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Power Out

A sudden loss of electrical power certainly brings out a different response from kids today.

After more than a day of having no power, my household was enveloped in darkness and silence. We listened to the wolf-like howls of the wind, stared at the dreary skies and basked in the creepy coldness of the visiting typhoon named Glenda. Initially, Prince and Yna were content to lie around and savor the reality that classes were suspended. After a while though, they became restless especially when the gadgets lost their battery power. They came up with all sorts of ideas on how to charge the gadgets. Go to a convenience store to charge. Start the car and charge. In that way, there’s aircon too. How smart!

They asked, “What can I do?”

They muttered, “Lord, please bring back the electricity now.” (How impatient!)

They mumbled, “How can we charge our ipad?”

They wondered, “Where can we go?”

Decades back, power outage also happens. I remember, whenever the electricity was out, there was no TV, no radio, no desktop computer. Those were the only “gadgets” that mattered to a kid in my time. It was not much of a big deal though. Whenever there was a power blackout, there’s a list of things I looked forward to as a kid.

Go out of the house and climb a tree. A blackberry tree, preferably.

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Go out of the house and go skating.

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Grab a book and read, get lost in a different world from reality on earth.

zpearn-yourock-blog-separator-2 Get hold of the guitar and sing.

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Spend time with my parents, just talking or cuddling — with nothing on my mind.

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Walk in a garden to literally smell the roses.

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Watch the rain and lose myself in childlike thoughts.

Being holed up at home without power made me ask if my kids knew how to live life “slowly?” Am I allowing them to get caught up in the fast pace of modernity, losing their own selves in the process? Are they too busy at a young age? It’s funny how a simple blackout can lead one to ponder about parenting skills but yes, I couldn’t help but note the difference.

Because of this, I vowed to be more conscious of doing simple things with the children — talking, eating slowly, walk with them when I can, still sing together — mundane stuff that might just teach them to live “slowly.”

How about you? How did you respond to the sudden loss of electricity, albeit temporary?

 

 

 

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Remembering July 16 in Baguio

Sometimes, life forces you to relive earth-shaking memories.Literally, that was what I remembered today. The 7.7 intensity earthquake in the City of Pines. Being subdued at home due to Typhoon Glenda’s threats, I was kind of forced to remember the earthquake back then.
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Notre Dame De Lourdes Hospital, where I was born

I was 12 when it happened. We were in our store in Session Road. I pestered my mom, wanting to buy a new pad of scented stationary at the FRB building. She didn’t allow me. Minutes later, the earth shook. Someone was screaming,”Lumilindol, lumilindol!” I saw our neighbor ran out of the building. My instinct told me to run as fast as I can outside to open space. I ran so quickly that I remembered I left my mom and my little sister only when I already was outside. I saw the building being ripped from the sidewalk while Session Road appeared to suddenly have cement waves in literal seconds.

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The Session Road I grew up with

While eveyone gripped the reality of an earthquake, I saw people kneeling down to pray desperately, men leaving their cars in the middle of the road to seek out their families, a lady who tied blankets together to serve as a rope she can slide down with from a building to save herself. (She still fell, landing on a pile of broken glass.)
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The elegant inside of Hyatt Hotel, my playground

My life changed after the earthquake. We lost a considerable amount of material wealth. A classmate died. A schoolmate went back to school with an amputated leg. I spent the rest of my first year in high school in a tent, a makeshift of a classroom.
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The 19th Tee at Camp John Hay, where my father brought me for donuts

I could not forget that minutes before the quake, I was absorbed in the thought of buying some trivial scented paper. Then after a few minutes, I almost lost my family. I almost lost life. But it wasn’t time. A greater force decides this for us. We are blessed with life. Almost all was lost but no, everything just needed to change. After a few minutes, everything changed for me. I realized the impermanence in life, that after a few minutes or just a snap, drastic changes can occur.

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Hyatt Hotel in its glorious erect

At 12, as I experienced that earth shattering moment, I learned that change is constant. I can be in constant fear and worthless worry, anticipating the changes. Or I can be awakened by the beauty of life’s impermanence. I choose the latter, to love, to cherish because I know life is more than that scented stationary.

 

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Gracious Thought of the Day

yna mia

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It’s Time to Eat: Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen

Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen, 2/F SM Aura Premiere, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

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What Brought Me Here

An online feature on this restaurant prompted my husband to try this place especially since we haven’t really hopped into the ramen craze. All the Ramen I have tasted in my life were quite ordinary. This should give a different perspective.

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What We Ordered

Black Garlic Tonkotsu (Ramen), Php 380.00

Ajitama Tonkotsu (Ramen) Php 380.00

Gyoza Php 150.00

Takana Yakimeshi (Fried Rice) Php 180.00

Harumaki (Spring Rolls) Php 180.00

Ikkoryu Teriyaki Chicken Wings Php 180.00

What the Place Was Like

Like my impression on Japanese living, the restaurant was clean, fuss free and comfortable. The light-colored wooden decor panels provided a casual and comfortable feel to the place. These panels served as partitions. It added a little sense of secluded formality to the place as well.

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What the Food Was Like

The fried rice was tasty enough that you can devour it on its own. The fried chicken wings passed the kids’ standards like ti should. It was not too salty and greasy. Just right. The gyoza — well, we didn’t really like it that much not because it wasn’t good but we aren’t really gyoza fans. I especially loved the spring rolls especially with its tasty vinegar dip.

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But the ramen, oh the ramen! This is all I could ever remember about Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen. It certainly lived up to its name. The bursts of flavor from the ramen ingredients were so delightful. The first sip of the ramen soup was comforting to the soul. The kids were surprised at how much they liked it. The ramen was soft and tasty. So this is what the ramen craze is all about! I think Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen set my ramen standard. After our meal, everyone was just content and satisfied.

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We had the perfect feeling after a restaurant experience. We left not being overly full, just content after we knew we ordered just the right amount and the right choices. Thanks to the waiter who kindly assisted us. He knew his menu, that’s for sure.

Lessons Learned

I have two lessons learned this time.

One, if you don’t have any idea of what to order in a new restaurant (if internet research fails or if food titles are presented in a foreign language), ask away! Ask the right questions though. For us, we asked, “What we ordered — is that enough for five?,” “It’s our first time to taste your ramen, what would you recommend?”, “We don’t like anything too spicy, did we order anything spicy?”  Your specific questions will lead the service crew to give you the appropriate answers. General questions will simply prompt cluelessness.

Two, whenever you go out to eat, pay attention to how your child eats in that restaurant. I have a picky eater. This time though, I saw the little Prince finish his food with gusto. That made me love the restaurant even more!

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The Family Verdict

Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen — a potential family staple

The name is quite difficult to remember though.

 

 

 

 

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7 Things That Tell You Your Kids Have Really Grown

1. After grocery shopping, I get out of the car and lo and behold, I discover that I don’t have to carry any grocery bag anymore! Why? Well, the kids carried a bag or two each and that just leaves me and my handbag! I hop and skip as I approach our front door. Whee!

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2. A pair of my shoes is missing. Yes, there’s someone in the household with the same shoe size as mine so I expect someone out there to share my footwear. Which is cool by me.

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3. Today, when I check into a hotel or book a flight, I no longer tick the box that says, “Children Below 7 years.” No big deal but soon enough, we will be required to get 2 rooms instead of sharing a family room. Oh no.

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4. Whenever we dine out, we order full meals for everyone. No sharing whatsoever. As for pizza, family pizza is no longer family pizza. Bitin yun! We have to order another box to make sure it is filling, the traditional pizza way.

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5. All the bathroom doors are now locked. Yes, everyone needs their privacy now.

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6. You know you have to look at those college application forms. There’s not much of Tom’s World, Gymboree or Active Fun even.

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7. Instead of shrieks and wails during scolding sessions, there’s a silence of defiance or mumbling and grumbling under their breath. Oh well, it’s part of growing up I guess.

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I’m bound to discover more realizations about the kids’ growing up. It’s one of hell of a ride and I am so glad I’m on it.

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“Me Time” at Martine’s Blissful Workshop

Blissful Blogging 101.

I had to find a “me time” sooner or later.

I marked the date June 14, Saturday to attend blogging belle Martine De Luna’s blogging workshop. I attended two of her workshops the previous years and I knew what to expect. This time, I was happily curious about Slate Creative Studio, the new workshop space.

The afternoon promised to open a window of cheer, creative possibilities and blissful brainstorming.

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The afternoon offered a space conducive to creative productivity and mindful self-expression.

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The time was prepared almost perfectly for meaningful sharing, pensive pondering and thoughtful silences.

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And the afternoon fulfilled all that promise and more…

Martine was her usual inspiring self, so effortless in relating to ladies who share her thoughts and experiences.

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The session prompted joyful thoughts, purposeful self-expression and spontaneous story-telling coupled with laughters.

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A blissful afternoon gave me another round of ‘takeaways’ transformed into reality the previous days.

  1. I made friends with awesome ladies whose stories have inspired my own.
  2. I’m finally on Instagram…yay!
  3. I discovered Juice Hut, a better-tasting, more affordable cold-pressing option.
  4. I am acquainted with Slate Creative Studio. I can describe it as a space that makes rustic beautiful, a place ready to give birth to creative realities.
  5. I finally asked someone who knows about Honeycomb’s Manila Coworking, a coworking space that might just be the place I need to get even more productive and inspired.
Photo Credit: Jean Javier (Thank you Jean!)

Photo Credit: Jean Javier (Thank you Jean!)

Side Story:

All throughout the workshop, my little son kept texting and calling.

“Mom, my neighbor friends just ordered a lot of loom bands.They paid me! They paid me!,” he talked loudly into the phone.

I whispered excitedly, “That’s great. Ang galing naman!” I wondered how in the world did he convince our neighbors to buy stuff from him.

He shrieked even more loudly, “I already have more than Three Hundred Pesos! I’ll give you 100 when you get home.”

I thought to myself, That’s a lot. How many loom bands have they ordered? How much is one pack of band? What’s the cost of one loom band?

I said instead, “That’s great. Make sure you give the right orders, okay?”

Then I texted my husband at once, Please call your son now. His friends ordered and paid for loom bands. He has three hundred pesos in his hands. He needs support. Ask him how many loom bands and how he will deliver the orders. He’s very happy about the orders. I want him to be supported on this.

And I breathed, happy that my son is happy.

It was an afternoon full of bliss indeed.

blissful blogging 101

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It’s Time to Eat : Magnum Cafe

Magnum Cafe, SM Aura Skypark Dining

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What Brought Me Here

The Magnum craze has reached my kids about a year ago so when Constancio saw the online advertorial for this cafe, we were bound to visit the place.

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What We Ordered

Make your own magnum Php 100.00

The catch is you get to choose everything about your own ice cream except the stick — the ice cream itself, the dip, the coating and the toppings. With the hundred peso price, you are given 3 free toppings. You may choose add-ons for additional costs.

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There is also an option to dine in at their cafe. Browsing through their interesting menu, I had a suspicion that their Magnum burger, bruschetta choices and Cajun spiced chicken poppers are worth the try.

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IMG_5802What the Place Was Like

Magnum by Selecta is packaged as one of the “royalty” of regular ice cream. It wasn’t surprising that the cafe design was on the upscale with its glass encased Magnum displays and elegant lighting. It wasn’t your regular ice cream parlor for sure. It was like the “Starbucks ” of ice cream houses.

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What the Taste Was Like

For this time, we opted for the make your own Magnum. Well, it tastes like the same Magnum we buy at retail outlets. Only this time, you are free to add on toppings and choose flavors. The quality and choices of toppings are excellent but more than the taste, it’s the actual experience of making choices and experimenting on various combinations that make it worthwhile. Choosing the top three toppings you love most is the highlight. It was hard to choose among a whole topping spread — mini mallows, speculoos chocolate, chocolate chips, honeycomb, potato chips, popcorn, pistachio, Oreo, gold nuggets. There’s more! After they put together our creation, it was nice to compare notes.

Which had the best combination? Which was the most delish? Everyone bet on their own stick.

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It was a fun experience. It was not just about how magnum tastes as it took ice cream to another level.

Lessons Learned

Let the kids make their choice — on ice cream flavor and toppings, that is. Our magnum cafe experience allowed me to see how my children make their choices. My eldest was decisive, he knew what he wanted from the start and firmly stayed with his declared choice until the very end. My daughter had a difficult time choosing, contemplating on the cost and thinking about what topping I would like too since she’s sharing her stick with me. The youngest kiddo was fickle-minded as he was too excited with the selection spread upon him. If he could put everything on his stick, I think he would. I stepped aback and let them make their choices. I discovered little facts about the children. Ice cream is always a fun experience, but it can be insightful too!

The Family Verdict

Magnum Cafe — A potential family staple

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