January 21, 2021

Chef RV Manabat Cafe

Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve been seeing a lot of cooking and baking videos on social media. With the help of those videos, some of my friends learned how to bake and some even started their own pastry business. Well, sa case ko naman, nagbalik-loob din ako sa pagbebake lalo na nung wala kami mabiling tinapay. 

But of course, my passion for baking did not last, I ended up using instant mixes for cookies, cupcakes, and bread. I want to bake but what I don’t like is ang daming preparation, tamad ako magmeasure at maghugas ng marami. Hehehe! So instead of buying a lot of baking ingredients, I will just buy ready mixes or baked goodies. 

Anyway, one of the videos that I’ve been seeing is from Chef RV Manabat so out of curiosity, napaclick ako. I just watched one video and after that sold na ko and I started following his Facebook page. Since then I want to try his cakes kaso we have no reason naman to buy cakes at tapos na mga birthdays namin. 

Fast forward to December, my husband and I decided to celebrate our wedding anniversary. For your information, twice kasi kami kinasal ni hubby pero hindi naman namin cinecelebrate na yung pangalawa. But it became an excuse to buy cake and pasta so even though we don’t really celebrate our second wedding anniversary, napacelebrate kami. 


I checked their page and browsed their menu. According to their page, call daw for orders or inquiries so my husband called but ended up visiting the cafe para doon mag-order and bayad. It was so easy to locate kasi may Waze naman. Since we are still under community quarantine, they don’t accept dine-in customers, only take out orders. My husband waited for his turn, so may social distancing sa Cafe, one customer at a time. 


I already gave my list to my husband so he bought Sausage and Mushroom P260, Homestyle Meatsauce P250 and Classic Sampler P1360. All pasta orders have homemade Focaccia bread. Between the two pastas, mas prefer ko yung Sausage and Mushroom and because of this, nagluto ko niyan nung Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, hindi ko nakuha yung lasa nung pasta. 



Read: Holiday 2020 

Since first-time namin matitikman cake nila, yung sampler na pinili ko and according to their page, ito yung flavors. Oreo Cheesecake, Wild Blueberry Cheesecake, Carrot Walnut Cheesecake, Chocolate Dulce De Leche Cake, Chocolate Blackout Cheesecake, Belgian Chocolate Cake, Pistachio Sansrival, Belgian Brownie Cheesecake, Real Ube Cheesecake, and Biñan Best Queso de Bola Cake 


But when I opened the box, hindi siya same sa nakalist, meron wala. So hindi ko natikman yung Pistachio Sansrival, nareplace siya ng Red velvet Cheesecake. Maybe it depends din kung available yung cake. Anyway, we enjoyed all the flavors of the cakes except for the Chocolate Blackout Cheesecake. Our personal favorite is Belgian Brownie Cheesecake. It took us 4 days to finish the cake, naumay na kami kahit sweet tooth kami. Pero present pa rin ito nung Pasko sa get-together namin, potluck ng brother-in-law ko. 

I’ve made some research, Chef RV Manabat Cafe started in the year 2017, OMG, ngayon ko lang nadiscover kung kailan pandemic. His cafe pala was inspired by Calea, kaya pala ang dami niya cheesecake na choices. If you’ve been following my blog since 2011, you know for sure that I love Calea kaso nga lang nasa Bacolod sila. So I’m glad that I discovered Chef RV Manabat Cafe. Though their price is not cheap pero worth it naman sa lasa. Alam mo na hindi tinipid sa ingredients. 


Update March 2021: 15th Wedding Anniversary Celebration 

We always celebrate our wedding anniversary with my son so as early as January, we were searching for a restaurant or resort that will allow kids. Unfortunately, all the restaurants that we have called are not accepting kids so my husband and I celebrated Valentine’s Day in advance without my son at Alba Restaurante Espaňol. But hubby was able to book a resort in Calatagan, Batangas that accepts kids but our plan did not push through, And because of that we just went to Chef RV Manabat Cafe to take out some meals and cakes to celebrate our wedding anniversary at home. You can read here the reason why our trip was canceled.


We have already tried 10 cakes of Chef RV so I did not buy a whole cake anymore. I remember that we had a hard time finishing the cake sampler before. So I just order our favorites and I added Pistachio Sansrival. Wala kasi ito sa choices ng cake sampler. This sanrival was added to our favorite. 

Pistachio Sansrival P150 per slice 
Brownie Cheesecake P140 per slice 
Blueberry Cheesecake P140 per slice 
Carrot Cheesecake P150 per slice 
Belgian Chocolate Cake P140 per slice 
Chocolate Dulce de Leche P140 per slice



We bought a pack of Ube Cheese Pandesal for PHP180 (9 Pieces), we immediately ate this bread on our way home. The bread is soft but we cannot taste the ube maybe color lang na ube. Hehehe! But we like this Cheese Pandesal, actually nakakabusog na nga yung isang piraso. Next time, I will buy more packs para hindi bitin. 


Since I did not cook, I also order hot meals so medyo matagal ang waiting time namin. I ordered Aligue Cream PHP250, Beef Tenderloin Steak Strips P310 and Pork BBQ with Peanut Sauce PHP280. The serving is good for 1 person pero in our case, nahirapan kami ubusin. 


It was our first time eating Aligue Cream Pasta, medyo maasim siya because of the lemon, kahit konti lang ng lemon. It was not a hit for us but I like my Beef Tenderloin Strips and my son enjoyed his Pork BBQ with Java Rice, pinatira pa talaga niya at breakfast daw niya yung leftover niya.



Reminders

• Take-out only. No face mask & face shield, no entry. 
• All cakes are available in 9-INCH whole OR slices 
• Cash only & NO DELIVERY for now. 
• For Laguna delivery, try Angkas Padala 24/7, Lalamove, or Grab. You will arrange for cash payment and pickup. 
• Shelflife of cakes 3-7 days in the fridge after purchase (depending on the handling). 
• Cakes must be kept in the fridge, and hot meals must be consumed immediately. Bread will last at room temp for up to 3 days, or 1 week in the fridge. 

CHEF RV | Biñan City  
Business Hours: Tuesday- Sunday 10:000AM- 6:00PM (Closed on Mondays) 
Contact Nos: (0919) 067 0906 and (0939) 905 5316  (between 10:00 am - 6:00pm)
Address: 172 Manabat St. San Antonio Biñan Laguna. (Chef RV on waze / google maps)

January 20, 2021

Holiday 2020

Days go by fast and we are now on the third week of the year 2021 and here I am still finding words to summarize my Holiday 2020. The year 2020 has been difficult for most of us especially for us who lost family members and friends. Christmas season always reminds me of the people that I lost because they are no longer part of my gift list. As time goes by, my gift list is decreasing and it is a sad reality that I have to face. Not only that, I am going to celebrate the holidays without them and I am only left with old memories. I know that I am supposed to be happy and merry but it is a little bit hard. 

Read: Goodbye Papa 

Nevertheless, we have to live in the present because we know that we can’t bring them back. We are here for a reason so let us enjoy every minute of it. Let us embrace the season and experience the true meaning of Christmas which is hope, peace, and joy. 

And amidst the COVID19 pandemic, we must enjoy the Yuletide season. Actually, I was not expecting anything last month because I know that I will be stuck at home. But looking back, I am thankful that even there is community quarantine we were able to celebrate the holiday with friends and family. Naenjoy ko naman dahil nakalabas ako. Hehehe! 


Although my schedule was pretty hectic because of the holiday rush, I felt happy and alive. Happy because I was able to finish my gift list, thanks to online shopping. Alive because I’m back to crafting and the majority of my gifts are personalized. Thanks to my Cricut Maker. Sobrang useful niya, I made my own Christmas card, tag, stickers, and decals. I haven’t shared pa pala mga Cricut projects ko except for the DIY Christmas Ornaments


December 11 

My husband has been working from home since the start of community quarantine so no travel trips until further notice. So I was shocked when he told me na may Christmas party sila. Anyway, konti lang naman sila so may social distancing naman talaga. They booked two Teppanyaki tables at Yurakuen so 2 persons per table. I will share more of this in a separate post but for now, you can check my old post about Yurakuen Eat All You Can Teppanyaki. 


December 16 

One of the advantages of Online Distance Learning, tipid sa gastos because I don’t need to pay for school service, no school events so walang potluck like Christmas party. Virtual party lang mga students, sabay-sabay lang sila nagkainan ng own snacks nila. May pagames pero wala prizes. Hehehe! 


On the same day, my husband went to Chef RV Manabat Cafe to buy cakes and pasta. Finally, natikman ko na rin yung cakes nila and meron na naman nadagdag sa list namin when it comes to cakes and pasta. This deserves a separate post. 


December 17

I seldom join contests or giveaways but if I like the prizes and if the mechanics are easy, join na ko. I am not expecting that I will win so I was really happy when I woke up and learned that I won $50 from Styled Stock Society Giveaways. Sinagot ko lang yung tanung na kung ano gagawin ko kung manalo ko ng $50. Yey! 


We normally have a Christmas get-together with my mommy friends but this time, nagdinner lang kami sa Southwoods Mall. It was nice seeing them even for few hours. 

December 18-19 

During the regular school days, exam muna bago party but this time nauna yung Christmas Party before the exams. And yes, may Saturday class pa. When I thought na makakapahinga na sa lessons, hindi pala. Ang dami homework ng anak ko na due din within the Christmas break. 

If we are not stuck at home, for sure maiinis ako kasi hindi maenjoy ang break pero dahil nasa bahay lang naman, okay na rin at least busy anak ko sa pagtahi, pagferment ng food, at iba pa. 

December 20 

After graduation, my college friends and I make sure that we have a yearly get-together pero may time na hindi natutuloy because our schedule won’t meet. The last time I saw them was during my father’s wake, sa lamay pa talaga kami nagkita-kita. Since mahirap mag-gather ngayon, nagZoom party na lang kami pero nakakaloka, virtual party na lang hindi pa rin kami nakumpleto. Hehehe! 

December 21 

Since 11.11 Sale, I’ve been ordering online for my Christmas gifts and because of that, hindi talaga ko makaalis ng bahay kakahintay. Yung monthly visit ko sa dentist hindi ko nagawa dahil sa kakahintay ng order ko. Hehehe! So I stopped ordering na, kahit may 12.12 sale pa kasi gusto ko makalabas ng bahay. 

And dahil wala na ko pending order, sumama ko kay hubby sa grocery, it’s been a long time since my last visit sa Landers. Gusto ko maggrocery kapag holiday season, parang ang dami ko kasi gusto kainin. Lol

December 23 

I started preparing for our family Christmas get-together. My husband bought 1kl of scallops and 1kl of curacha (red frog crab). If you remembered, I ordered Japan Jumbo Scallops last time but I find it expensive kasi P800 for 9 pieces so nagtry kami ng from Zamboanga. Oh my, inabot ako ng oras sa paglinis and dahil maliit lang siya, nagshrink pa nung niluto ko sa butter. I was supposed to bake it just like my Baked Mussels, kaso ang konti lang so tinamad na ko.


December 24

After breakfast, we started preparing for our Christmas potluck, we cooked Sausage and Mushroom Pasta + Toasted Bread, Singaporean Chili Crab, Fried Chicken, Mushroom and Beef Bulgogi for the grill. I also prepared games for kids and adults. 

I was supposed to cook pa for our Christmas Eve pero tinamad na ko so hindi ko na dinagdagan yung food namin, 3 lang naman kami. We had Buttered Scallops, Sausage and Mushroom Pasta, Toasted Bread, and Leche Flan.

December 25 


We have this Christmas tradition that we will go to Tagaytay for church service and breakfast. But because of the community quarantine, we don’t know if we can do this pero sabi ni hubby kahit magroad trip lang daw kami ng makasagap naman kami ng fresh air. Lol. I told him, magpapagod pa kami kung iikot lang. Pero ang ending, we still took a chance and went to Tagaytay. Nagroad trip kami and ended up at Sonyas Garden, our initial plan was to buy our favorite Hispanic Bread so we have something to eat, if ever hindi kami makatake-out ng food sa mga fastfoods. But thank God, they allowed us to eat at their restaurant, wala tao. Yehey! 


December 27 

My siblings and I have an annual get-together, it is either before or after Christmas. Now, it is a little different because my late sister is no longer here so we just went to her house. Hay, sadness.

December 30 

Holiday so my husband and I went to Alba Restaurante Espanol to pay for our order, we bought some wine and cold cuts too for our New Year’s Eve meal. Then we went to SM Department Store to buy some stuff for our kitchen and bedroom. 


December 31 

After breakfast, I prepared salad while my husband pick-up the Alba Cochinillo for our potluck. We just took this picture before going to my in-laws. 


For our New Year’s Eve, we had charcuterie, sliced fruits, dinner rolls, wine, and juice. We enjoyed our dinner so for sure, gagawa ulit ako ng cheese board. 


January 1 

We kept our holiday decors na, sobrang excited lang magdeclutter. Hehehe! 

January 4 

Back to school so back to regular programming but my husband was still on leave for another week kahit wala kami alis. Sayang kasi yung Vacation Leave, mafoforfeit lang so vacation kahit nasa bahay lang. 

January 19, 2021

Missing the Beach

Our family loves to travel if our time and budget permit, in fact, I have a long list of must-visit places but right now, I don’t know when we can freely go out again. I did not imagine that this Community Quarantine will last for so long and I don’t know when it will end.

Normally, January is the month when we usually plan for our anniversary trip or summer vacation trip. Given the times we are experiencing right now, I don’t know if it is possible to have a short trip or weekend getaway. Though I’ve seen other celebrities and people who are going to Amanpulo and Balesin for a vacation, I know it is impossible for us to go there. Kamusta naman ang rate nila, masasanla pa namin bahay namin kapag pumunta doon. 


Just this week, my husband was searching and planning for our anniversary trip. He said, “magbeach tayo para naman maarawan kayo”. We try our best to stay in our house because of the coronavirus but of course, we can’t deny that we are itching to travel. We miss our road trips, beach trips, and even food trips. 


My husband checked some Airbnb properties with beach access but unfortunately, wala na available sa dates na gusto namin. It just so happened that when we checked our son’s school calendar, may mga Saturday classes. Yes, online class sila pero may time na may pasok ng Saturday. Maybe because we started late and naghahabol ang school sa number of school days. We know that we can travel because online class naman but we don’t want to take the risk because we don’t know kung okay ba internet connection sa pupuntahan namin. 

Well, I guess I have to accept the fact the traveling is still unattainable so I just have to reminisce our past travel photos, videos, and blogs. Maybe, I should start writing and publishing my travel backlogs. Sharing Beach Phrases and Quotes. Kailan ko kaya masasabi ito ulit. Hehehe! 

The cure for anything is saltwater, sweat, tears, or the sea. 


The beach is calling. 


Life is better at the beach 
Beauty and the beach 
Son of the beach 
Sandy hair don’t care 
Beach, love of my life. 


It is beaching time. 
Day beaching. 
Love the beach 
Good times and tan lines
Feeling beachy-keen

January 18, 2021

Stickable Photo Tiles from Photobook

Second week of January, I was busy decluttering our home and while I was cleaning, I saw all the Photobooks I ordered for the past two years. I have thousands of pictures on my harddrive and I seldom print because printing pictures is not cheap and it is hard to choose pictures. I started ordering Photobooks last April 2018 and so far I have 8 Hardcover Photobooks, 4 Softcover Photobooks, and 2x2 Insta Cards.





"A picture is worth a thousand words but memory is priceless"

Since Photobooks are not cheap, I only order if there are promo codes and Black Friday Sale. The last time I ordered was March 2019 so yung goal ko na every year magpaprint, hindi na naman natupad. Anyway, I redownloaded their mobile app and checked for promos. They have different promos so I availed 50%, 65%, and FREE 10 pcs of Insta Print. There are few changes na rin pala, I remember last time P250 yung shipping rate, now meron na mga options. 

P300 - Premium Express - 4-6 business days 
P450 - Super Rush - 3-5 business days 
P200 - Standard Shipping - 7-10 business days. 


For my first order, I chose the 5"x 5" Small Square Lay Flat Softcover Photobook. This is the smallest photobook that I ordered, parang mas type ko yung 6x6 or above na size. 

P145 - Photobook (50% off) - 20 pages 
P200 - Shipping 
P345 - Total 

Next, I availed the FIRST10 promo code, free 10 pieces daw pero Insta Prints 5x5 - Square (15pcs)  pala so sayang, kulang ako ng 4 pieces na pictures. I thought same sa Insta Cards ito na medyo makapal, mali pala expectations ko. Yung Insta Print, same as regular photos lang pala, the difference is may theme siya so pwede mo lagyan ng design. I chose my favorite photos from our Scandinavian Trip.

FREE - 5x5 Insta Print (11 pcs) 
P200 - Shipping 
P200 - Total 

I was contemplating if I will order the Stickable Photo Tiles because even it is on sale, namamahalan pa rin ako so I asked my husband about it. He said yes naman so I chose my favorite photos. The original price is P1,800 for a set of 3 and FREE Shipping daw pero when I ordered it, may P50 na shipping charge. 

For the style, there are two options, Front Print Mount or Back Print Mount and for the wood color, you can choose from the 3 available colors; black, white, and latte. I chose Front Print Mount and White Color. I am glad that my order turned out fine and I received it in good condition. I will order again if I have an extra budget. Hehehe! The only downside of these stackable photo tiles is it doesn't stick to our walls so we have to use a different double-sided tape (3M brand) so it won't fall again. 

P900 - Photo Tiles (50% off) 
P50 - Shipping 
P950 - Total 

January 11 - I ordered 4 items 
January 18 - I received 3 out of 4 orders via DHL. I was expecting 3 separate packages since I paid separate shipping for all of my orders. Ganun din kasi dati so I was surprised when I received one box only so I was thinking baka nadelay yung 2 na order ko. When I opened the box, nagulat ako na nandun pala yung 2 order ko na via DHL din. So pinagsama-sama na pala nila yung 3. 

Ang weird noh because I already received 3 of my orders (from Malaysia) pero yung 6x6 Mini Square Imagewrap Hardcover that I also ordered on the same day, wala pa. I am waiting for this order via Ninja Van daw. 

P192.50 (65% off) 22 pages 
P200 - Shipping 
P392.50 - Total 

Update:

January 11 - ordered 4 items
January 23 - received the 6x6 Mini Square Imagewrap Hardcover via Ninjavan. The package is from Malaysia. 



Update March 2021: Photobook Canvas Air 12x12

While checking the February promo of Photobook, I saw the PHP299 promo for 12x12 Canvas Air. I've already tried the Stickable Photo Tiles so I wanted to try the Canvas Air. I immediately ordered so I just chose my favorite photo which is also my phone and desktop screensaver. 

Canvas Air is the thinner and lighter version of Canvas Print, for Canvas Air, you have 3 options: Standard Texture (Canvas), Leather Texture, and Fine Texture. I chose the standard texture. I only chose standard shipping but the rate is quite expensive. I paid for my order via Paypal, I was expecting that it will be delivered after two weeks but it took more than that. And my order just came from the Philippines. 

PHP299 - 12x12 Canvas Air
PHP400 - Shipping fee
Total: PHP699 

February 16, 2021 - placed my order
March 5, 2021 - received my order

The package includes instructions on how to display the photo so I have to buy my own adhesives for this one, unlike sa stickable photo tiles, provided na. Though yung free sa Stickable Photo Tiles ay hindi madikit so we use 3M double-sided tape. Anyway, I like my Canvas Air and I hope I can score more promos so I can print my other favorite photos. 


This post contains affiliate link/s. If you decide to make a purchase, I will earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support. 

January 14, 2021

Easy Baked Mussels Recipe

Eight years ago, I’ve already blogged about Baked Mussels Recipe and for the longest time, I am using that recipe. If I don’t like the white cream sauce, I will just prepare a garlic butter sauce. 

1 kilo of Mussels 
1/3 cup of butter 
6 cloves of garlic minced 
1 cup of grated cheese 


My son loves Baked Mussels but I seldom cook this because I feel that it is time-consuming. I have to steam mussels, remove one side of the shell, prepare the white sauce or butter sauce, preheat the oven etc. It is not that complicated but I want to make my life easier so last year, I started baking my mussels without shells.


Easy Baked Mussels Recipe 

1 kilo of mussels (on the photo 1 1/2 kilo yung nabili namin) 
1/4 cup butter 
1/2 cup grated cheese (quick melt) 
Garlic Salt 
Ground Pepper 


1. Steam the mussels for 20 minutes and remove them from the shells. 
2. In a pan, saute the mussels in melted butter for a few minutes. 
3. Season it with garlic salt and pepper. 
4. Place it in a ceramic bowl and top with grated cheese. 
5. Toast it in the oven toaster until cheese melts. 


Using this recipe, I saved time, effort, and money. Less butter and cheese, less baking time, no baking trays to wash and the most important thing is madaling kainin.

January 12, 2021

Highlights of 2020

It’s been almost two weeks since the year 2021 started and here I am still writing my Highlights of 2020. Honestly, I’ve been delaying writing this post because I don’t want to cry again and I don’t want to remember the pain of losing my father and my sister. I did not imagine that year 2020 would be even worst. May isasakit pa pala sa year 2019 ko. 

Today, was my father’s death anniversary too so naalala ko na rin naman ang past, itodo ko na so I’m pushing myself to finish this post while my husband is not working from home. If my husband sees me crying “He won’t stop asking me, Anong problem, bakit ka umiiyak?”. Maiistorbo pa pagrereminisce ko. Hehehe! 

Before 2019 ends, I can clearly remember that I was looking forward to the year 2020 because we have so many exciting plans. I was excited because I will have my first “Mommy Trip” with my friend and sister. We have family trips both domestic and international but everything was canceled because of COVID19. 


I know that some years are filled with moments to remember, others with moments we would rather forget. 2020 is a year when your plans have come to nothing, when you realized that life is short, and your greatest wealth is your health. 2020 is a test of faith; when you feel out of control and you don’t understand why it is happening. 

Indeed, it is a tough year that will either break or make us. It broke my fragile heart into pieces, and each day I feel different emotions. There are sad days, tears days, fright days, shatter days, and hopeful days. So I was thinking if there is something worth writing for the year 2020? But the truth is, even year 2020 hurts, there are still blessings. Sharing this quote and favorite lines from Blessings song. 

“The pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow” 


Blessings by Laura Story 

“Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops 
What if Your healing comes through tears 
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near 
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise” 

January 

 As I’ve said before, I started my year feeling excited, first week pa lang busy na kami. As early as January 2, we went to Indang, Cavite and we had lunch at Cafe Voi La. We had our first and last staycation for the year 2020 at Sheraton Manila Bay Hotel. I haven’t blogged about this trip because it will only remind me that this is the last time that we are complete. During our weekend staycation, my siblings and I visited my father’s house. Since parking is hard, we all met at Pedro Gil Station and sabay-sabay na kami nagcommute and we separated our ways in LRT station too. 

Read: Cafe Voi La 


First Monday of the year, my husband and I went to H.I.S Travel Agency to submit our Japan Visa Requirements, we were happy that our Japan visas were approved and this time 5 Years Multiple Entry Visa


But my happiness turned into sadness because a few days after my sister messaged me that my father passed away. It happened so fast, I did not imagine that a week after our last visit was also the last time that we are complete. We don’t even have a picture of that moment. My brother was already in Japan so he was not there during my father’s wake. 

Read: Goodbye Papa 

While I was in my father’s wake, my two boys can’t be with me because they need to go back to our home. On the same day kasi nakisabay si Taal Volcano. Last week of January, when my husband went back to the Philippines from Singapore, the COVID19 news broke. Grabe, umpisa pa lang ito ng 2020 pero grabe na ang pasabog. 


February 

This month we turned our storage room into an office room, it was supposed to be our project in 2019 kaso nagkaproblem kami sa contractor so ending, we just bought ready-made furniture for our office room. We we happy that we’ve made the right decision kasi kung naghintay lang kami sa contractor namin, wala kami office room na nagagamit ngayon. Who would ever think na magiging online distance learning ang class ng anak ko and work from home si hubby. 



February is our anniversary month and since it fell on weekday, we had an advance celebration at Cafe Ilang Ilang at The Manila Hotel. This time we celebrated our anniversary with my parents-in-law. 


March 

My husband was supposed to be back in Singapore last February but they canceled it because of COVID19 health scare but since there is no news about COVID19 in Indonesia, he has no choice but to fly. By the time he arrived back in the Philippines, nagkaroon na rin sa Indonesia. 

Ever since the COVID19 news broke we’ve been contemplating if we will pursue our Taiwan Trip, our flight was canceled last February but it was confirmed again after few days so we thought that we can still push on this trip. 

But things changed so last Mach 12, 2020, my friend called Philippine Airlines to refund our ticket and as of this writing, Philippine Airlines is still not refunding our plane ticket. Last May, sabi nila we will received the refund after 3 billing cycles, then last September after 100 business days tapos pagdating ng November, after 150 business days daw. Today, January 2021 na, wala pa rin ang refund namin from PAL, grrr. 

March 15, 2020 is the start of the Community Quarantine in the Philippines so the majority of the people are in a panic. A few days before the CQ was implemented, we just did our usual grocery and palengke errands. Hindi namin naisip na maghoard because we did not imagine na maglalast itong quarantine. We are thankful na hindi naman tayo nagkakaubusan ng foods and drinks supply. 

My son’s school year was almost finished, last day of final exam na nga lang nabitin pa. No classes na agad sa lahat ng school sa Philippines. First time na hindi natapos ang school year. 

April

I’m an introvert + a full-time mom so staying at home is not really a problem. I am happy being at home because I have so many things that I can do. When Community Quarantine started, I subscribed to Netflix, I took a lot of free classes at Brit + Co site (1 month) and I started my freelance journey. When time permits, I design social media graphics for clients.

I felt that my life seems okay even there is community quarantine then four days after I posted my Day 32 of Community Quarantine, life hits me so hard. I lost my sister and friend, it was so sudden and we’re all shocked. We were supposed to go to Taiwan last March, nacancel lang. How I wish natuloy man lang yun bago pa siya kinuha ni Lord. We’re supposed to go to Norway this year sana, it was her dream to go back there after 2 decades pero hindi na rin mangyayari. I know that God has reasons but I miss my sister. I did not know na yung wake and internment ng father ko yun na rin yung last moment namin together. Wala man lang siya decent funeral because of Community Quarantine. Truly, life is short and we don’t know when it is our time. 


May 

My world suddenly stopped when my sister died, I felt that there is a part of me that was lost when she was gone. No matter what I do to move on from this heartache, deep down inside I know that pain never leaves. I just have to accept the fact that I have to continue living without her. So I’m literally living one day at a time, with no plan at all. I was also focused on helping my sister’s family in getting my sister’s death benefits. It is so hard to get all the documents needed since most of the private and government offices were closed. 


After one year of planning and preparing our mini vegetable garden, nakapagharvest na rin kami ng vegetables. I have no contribution since si hubby lang naman nag-aalaga ng halaman. Hehehe! But I am happy that we saved money because may vegetables na kami for Sinigang and Nilaga na dish. 


June

My husband planned to visit Siargao for his birthday celebration, minsan lang siya magplan hind pa natuloy but of course, we still celebrate his birthday at home. We had pizzas and cake, happy na kami dun kasi ang tagal din namin hindi nakakabili ng cake and pizza. Hehehe! 

After so many months of waiting, my son’s school card was released and he is a Gold Eagle Awardee again. Yey! So sad that there is no Recognition Day for them so I am praying that COVID19 will end soon para naman may graduation picture at makaakyat ng stage. 

Community Quarantine is slowly relaxing so I am thankful that after 109 days of being stuck at home, nakalabas na rin ako. May Quarantine Pass na rin ako so I was able to visit my dentist for my monthly brace adjustment. 

My husband gifted me a Cricut Maker, this was a delayed wedding anniversary gift. Naabutan ng lockdown kasi. 


July 

I was about to explore my Cricut Maker but ended up opening my shop at ETSY. I love creating social media graphics and printables so I decided to list some of the designs on my online store. I only have few sales but I am still not losing hope, someday tataas na rin ang SEO ko and marami na rin makakavisit sa store ko. If you need some social media graphics and printable greeting cards, gift tags and stickers then visit my store. 


Wala talaga interest anak ko sa mga summer classes gusto niya talaga kapag bakasyon, vacation lang. Hehehe! Pero since March pa siya wala ginagawa, puro Netflix and TV lang so my husband decided to enroll him in different online classes. Actually, he doesn’t like the idea but ended up liking the classes that he took. 

Young Engineers 
Explore Scratch 1 and 2 
Explore HTML & CSS 

August 

My husband has been helping his parents in processing my sister-in-law’s death benefits. She passed away last August 2019 pero until now hindi pa rin tapos, naabutan din ng lockdown so when my husband went to visit her mom para kunin yung documents na ipapasa niya, he mentioned to me na masama daw pakiramdam ni mother-in-law. After few days, we were surprised na naconfined na sa hospital. Just like that, my husband and in-laws are in a cancer battle again. I am praying hard na sana wala na susunod pa na magkasakit. Praying for good health for everyone. 

Both my mom and my mother-in-law are battling their own sickness and this song “I Pray” by Marlo Mortel is so touching 

"Night after night, I sit and pray 
That the day I fear would never come our way 
I pray that you will never have to go away 
One day the pain you're feeling it'll go away 

Ma, I know that time goes by so fast 
I wanna make our every moment last 
Whatever it'll take, I'll take the chance 
I'd give up everything to see you dance 

Oh Lord I pray, give her all the strength she needs 
Oh Lord I pray, that she won't lose her faith, no, not a minute 
Lord I pray, that you will never ever take her from me 
Not tomorrow, not today, forever she will stay"


We missed eating out especially the buffet and samgyeopsal so one of our good buys last year is Imarflex Health Grill. So whenever we crave a Korean BBQ, we can eat it at the comfort of our home. For my quarantined birthday, we had steak and seafood grill at home. 

 
September

Last March, we donated our Globe Reward Points but this month we used our points and claimed free meals at Mcdonalds and Jollibee. Namiss ko ang fastfoods. 


June is the usual start of the school year in the Philippines but because of the crazy year 2020, hindi malaman kung kelan ba talaga start. My son’s school started classes a little bit late compared to other private schools, akala nga namin susundin pa nila yung sa DepEd. At last they decided to start na rin so my son was back in school after 5 months of vacation at home. It was our first experience of online class and so far mas prefer ko ito, mas at peace ako nasa bahay lang anak ko. 


Since ECQ, it was my first time to go to Landers and Mall, for the longest time si hubby ang nagrogrocery sa amin, and for a change sumama ako. It was funny because Valentine’s month yung last na punta ko and pagbalik ko puro Christmas Decorations na. 

The first time also that I was able to travel to Valenzuela and visited my sister’s home. For the past few months I’ve been contemplating whether to visit or not. Part of me wants to go but another part of me doesn’t want to go because I know that reality will hit me more. It was my first time seeing her urn sa personal and I was happy na okay ang nagawa kong name and date vinyl stickers for her urn. It was my second project using my Cricut Maker. 

October 

My son celebrated his 12th birthday at home. Last year, I was thinking to celebrate his birthday in advance para kung magtravel or staycation kami, may kid’s discount pa. Hehehe Pero stuck at home naman pala kami. 


We finally decided to invest in our second house. We have no problems with our present home but we need a bigger space so we bit the bullet. Hopefully, we can move after two years, for now, tipid-tipid na kami ulit. 

November 

11.11 is the start of my Lazada and Shopee experience, I know I am so late but I was trying to avoid this site so I can save money. Hehehe! But I finally gave in and started my online shopping. This helped me big time because I was able to buy holiday gifts without going to the mall. 

Yung pasabog ni year 2020 hindi pa tapos, so we experienced Typhoon Ulysses. We had no electricity and water for 16 hours. 


December 

December is always a busy month. I was preoccupied finishing my gift list, creating my own gift tags and stickers, wrapping our holiday gifts, and doing some Christmas Ornaments. 


Despite the community quarantine, I am glad that we were able to do our Christmas traditions like spend the holidays with families, meet-up with my mommy friends, and visited my siblings. Hindi man naging maganda ang pasok ng taon but I am still thankful that we end the year on a good note. I am thankful for the strength, for the hope, and for all the blessings that we received. 


I’m pretty sure that I am not alone when I say that 2020 was not a great year. There were a lot of changes that were made around the world. In spite of the storms of life, we can proudly look back knowing that we survived the hardest days and nights, pains, struggles, and challenges. What’s done is done and what’s gone is gone. We need to let go and move on. I hope that year 2021 will unfold good and happy times. Happy New Year! 



“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:34

January 06, 2021

Where to Eat Beefsteak or Steak in the Philippines

I really miss our food trip, I miss the days when we can freely go out and try a new restaurant and cuisine. In the past ten months, I was able to eat at the restaurant naman pero mabibilang sa daliri ng aking kamay kung ilang beses lang. This reminded me that I haven’t shared my food trip during the pandemic.

Eating outside and knowing that the virus might be everywhere is no fun at all. Nakakastress din kasi ang dami ng rules na dapat ifollow like you need to register or app-tracker. You can only remove the face mask kapag naserve na food. Some restaurants require appointments and some can only accept limited guests. The menu also changed, maybe they just chose the best seller and fit it in a one-page paper menu. And of course, wash your hands or sanitize before eating (though dapat naman na ginagawa ito with or without COVID). 

I just hope that everything will be back to normal soon. As of now, I’ve been checking my old food blog posts and I am wondering if these restaurants are still in the business. I hope so because some of these restaurants are my favorite place if I am craving for a steak. Sharing the list of restaurants where you can eat beefsteak around the Philippines. 


Bacolod 


Baguio


Cavite 


Laguna 


Metro Manila 


Care to share your favorite steak restaurant?

January 04, 2021

Ready to Cook Lechon Belly De Cebu

It is pretty obvious that I love lechon and I have several posts about lechon. It is one of our favorite dishes whenever there is something to celebrate or if there is a holiday. But of course, we can’t always afford to have lechon so the best solution is to buy Lechon Belly Roll. Personally, I haven’t tried buying cooked lechon belly but I have tried several lechon belly roll sa mga get together namin and so far, okay lang naman experience ko. Hindi pa ko nacoconvince na mag-order because I know I can cook this at home. 


The first time I tried cooking lechon belly was 8 years ago and it was a successful try though nakakapagod yung recipe na yun kasi panay check ko sa oven so hindi ko na inulit. So instead of Oven Roasted Pork Belly, mas type ko na lutuin yung Lechon Kawali

Two years ago, I saw ready to cook lechon belly at Landers, I bought the smallest size for less than P300. I chose the plain version, marinated it with soy sauce, and cooked this for our 2019 New Year’s Eve. Then last year, I bought a ready to cook Lechon Belly de Cebu again but this time with lemongrass. I can’t remember the weight but the price is P676.43. 


I’m supposed to cook this on Christmas Eve pero tinamad ko, sabi ko sa New Year's Eve na lang pero tinamad ulit ako, so I cooked this after the holiday. Hehehe! I just followed the instructions that I saw at Lander’s. 

How to Cook Lechon Belly De Cebu 

1. Brush skin with oil. 
2. Preheat Oven at 350F for 5 minutes 
3. Put meat in a roasting pan and add half an inch of tap water on the baking pan. 
4. Roast meat for 1.5 to 2 hours until the skin is golden brown and crips. 
5. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. 


I baked this for 2 hours but after slicing it, hindi pa luto yung loob, medyo mapula pa siya so we baked it for another 45 minutes. Lunch nga namin dapat kaso gutom na kami, buti na lang marami kami leftover food so may kinain kami. Then before dinner, I grill it for another 30 minutes, mukhang sunog sa picture pero hindi lasang sunog. 



All in all, I cooked this for 3 hours and 15 minutes. Matagal lang lutuin pero mas tipid kaysa bumili ng lechon belly. As expected, we were not able to finish the pork belly so for sure may lechon paksiw kami in the next few days. #holidayleftover

January 02, 2021

DIY Memorial Christmas Ornaments

It is already New Year but here I am still blogging about Christmas ornaments. Yesterday, we already packed our Christmas tree and decors and while keeping our ornaments I saw the ornaments that I made last year including the memorial ornaments.

I did not imagine that I would be making memorial ornaments but these past two years were so heartbreaking. The year 2019, when my grandmother and sister-in-law passed away and I never thought that 2020 is another devastating year. As early as January, my father passed away and after three months, my sister passed away. It was so sudden and we did not see it coming. I have no idea that my father’s funeral is also the last time that I will see my sister. 

I won’t deny that it was really hard to celebrate Christmas without them. Every time I write my Christmas gift list, it will always remind me that they are no longer part of my list. Moving forward, they may be gone but they can still be part of our holiday so I decided to make Memorial Christmas Ornaments. I was contemplating if I will buy acrylic blanks but since I need a few pieces of them, I ordered Wooden Blanks. I bought angels and round but the angels are too small to write the message, names, and death anniversary so I ended up using the wooden round blanks. 

I downloaded Memorial SVG files at Creative Fabrica. They have different options but here are the designs that I personally used for my project.  


Because someone we love is in heaven, there is a little bit of heaven in our home. Check the design here and here.      








Materials 

Glossy Sticker Paper 
Christmas Tree Wooden Blank Painting Craft PHP133 - 10 pcs (bought it from Lazada) 


At first, I want to use my Cricut Maker but I know that it is hard to weed if there are small letters so I just made a Printable sticker. I measured the wooden blanks and using Photoshop, I created circles and placed the SVG files. I printed this on glossy sticker paper, cut the circles, placed the sticker on wooden blanks, and put string. I added the name and death anniversary below the design except for these two, I placed the name and death anniversary at the back using vinyl stickers. An easy DIY Christmas project. 


As I’ve said before, it is hard to celebrate the holidays after you lose someone but to help you to move forward, I will share with you this song that I kept playing since the start of ber-months. 

Where You Are by Craig Aven 

I'm not going to lie, 
Christmas really hurts this time
'Cause, you're not here to celebrate with me. 
Tears fill my eyes, And memories flood my mind, 
As I place your ornament upon our tree. 
Although this year, I have a broken heart 
It gives me hope and joy as I remember where you are. 

You're with the Son of God 
You're with the Prince of Peace 
You're with the One we're celebrating 
And that thought amazes me.
Sometimes I still break down grieving that we're apart 
But the sweetest gift is knowing where you are 
'cause you're with the Son of God. 

Got your picture in the frame 
And a stocking with your name 
Oh God knows it's been hard letting go. 
And I can't bring you back 
But I'll see you again. 
And oh that thought is healing to my soul. 
And I'll miss making angels with you in the snow. 
I guess instead you will be singing with them all around the throne. 

'Cause You're with the Son of God 
You're with the Prince of Peace 
You're with the One we're celebrating 
And that thought amazes me. 
Sometimes I still break down grieving that we're apart, 
But the sweetest gift is knowing where you are. 
You're with the Son of God. 

And I know how much this season was your favorite time of year. 
You loved to help us decorate the tree 
But now that you're with Jesus 
Can't imagine how you feel 
Cause He's the one who bled and died upon the tree for you and me. 
You're with the Son of God 
You're with the Prince of Peace 
You're with the One we're celebrating 
And that thought amazes me. 
Sometimes I still break down grieving that we're apart, 
but the sweetest gift is knowing where you are. 
Yes, the sweetest gift is knowing where you are. 
Yes, the sweetest gift is knowing you're in His arms. 
You're with the Son of God. 


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