June 28, 2011

It Comes in 3's

I had a migraine yesterday. I really hate when that happens. I feel so useless. I can't function with a migraine and the worst thing is I can't seem to make it go away even with meds.

But despite the migraine, it was still a happy day.

First, I got a good deal. I bought a dining table for only $50 from an expat family leaving Cambodia. It's wood and it is still goodlooking. It would have cost me at least $400 if I buy a new one.

Second, our beta fishes gave signs that they are ready to spawn. In the next few days, we'll have little beta fishes in our little aquarium!

Last but definitely not the least, hubby has just been promoted. He's now the Head of Network Planning and Optimization. I am so proud of him. It's unexpected but it's well deserved.

Hon, congratulations!!! I believe in your talents. I am sure you'll go far in your career. I will always be here to support you. I love you. Mwah!

June 24, 2011

Boomer

EJ has a healthy curiosity just like kids his age. We do encourage him to explore things. After all, curiosity is the father/mother of learning. Or something like that. LOL!

I don't remember when he exactly learned about toy guns. Or where he learned/discovered about them. We never bought him one. Not even those uncle mikes holsters lookalike toys.

Hubby and I think toy guns aren't much of an educational toy so we veered away from it. I don't know, I also don't want EJ to think those are cool toys. That's just our opinions.

Anyway, EJ learned about those toys. Probably from his school friends. Here's a funny thing, he doesn't know what they're called. Hahahaha!!!

He uses his fingers and says "boom! boom!"

And I'd ask, what is that?

He'd then say, it's a boomer!

LOL! Bless him.

We knew that eventually EJ would play games like that but at least he doesn't play that all the time. And he even doesn't know what it's called.

Do you think we should correct him or just let him think it's really a "boomer?"

June 23, 2011

Evolution of our Passports

I wrote about the delay of our passports here in this blog. But last Friday, I got a call from the embassy. Our passports have arrived. Finally!

I was getting worried because we are travelling next week. And before that we have to apply for our visa here in Cambodia. We want to do it before we leave so when we come back here, we won't have trouble at the immigration in Manila.

Here's how our Philippine Passports have evolved. At least in our case.

From left to right: ePassport, MRP (machine readable passport), old green passport

When I posted a status in my FB mentioning that our passport was delayed I got reaction from a friend in Clark. She said that it's going to take a while, about 2 months, to get a new ePassport from their place because according to DFA in Clark the printing machines in Central Bank are not working well/broken.

I don't know how long it takes for them before they sort out this problem. Hopefully sooner. I bet a lot of people want to get their passport asap.

By the way, what Philippine passport are you using?

June 21, 2011

EJ Can Read Now

Hubby and I know EJ can read a few words. But we were a little surprised when he read the whole book all by himself.

It was a new book and we haven't read it to him yet. Then he started reading it from the title until he reached the last page.

The first book he read all by himself was about Handy Manny. Inspired by his reading abilities, we went to Monument Bookstore along Norodom Boulevard last Saturday and let him buy three books he wanted. He said he wanted to buy five books. What can we say, but yes, even if it was beyond our budget that day.

With books, we always try to stretch our budget.

Here is EJ reading a Dr. Seuss book. We bought this book during that trip to the bookstore last Saturday. When we got home, he read it right away.



I know it's not unusual for a 4 year and 10 month old kid to be able to read all by himself but hubby and I are proud of him.

I think I started reading only when I was seven years old. So EJ is quite ahead of us. But then, kids these days are ahead of their years right?

Still, we are so proud of him. Reading to him at a very early age (I started reading to him when he was 6 month old) has paid off.

Good job babe!

June 20, 2011

Berjaya Langkawi Island Resort

We went to Langkawi three years ago. We were still living in Kuala Lumpur then. During one of the long holidays in Malaysia, we decided to visit Langkawi.

We took an Air Asia flight from KL. If I remember correctly, the flight was about 55 minutes or so. It was pretty fast.

Flight by AirAsia
At the LCT (Low Cost Terminal)

Accommodation
We chose Berjaya Langkawi Island Resort as our accommodation. It was about 20-30 minutes away from the airport. This was our cabana. It was old and probably needed renovation but it was still okay. It looks small in the picture but it's a bit bigger than the standard hotel room.

Beach
Berjaya Langkawi Island Resort has direct access to the beach. Or should I say it has a private beach of its own. It has white sand and the beach is wide.

Beach 2
Those are the water bungalows lining the beach. We wanted to upgrade our accommodation, but unfortunately there weren't available bungalows that time.

Beach 3
My son was about 20mos old here, still has that chubby cuteness of a baby turning into a toddler. I miss those days.

Pool
And this is their pool. We spent a pretty good amount of time here.

Is it the best beach I have been to? No. But it provided peace and quite we needed that time. We had an enjoyable 3-day stay here.

Happy Father's Day!!!

To EJ's dad - Happy Father's Day, Hon!

I hope you know how much we appreciate everything you've done for us. You're not just a great provider, you're a great dad to EJ. I couldn't have asked for a better father. I thank God for you. Thank you so much. We love you.

To my own father, Happy Father's Day, Tay. I've learned so much from you and from your teachings. Thank you for molding me into who I am today.

And to all the Dads out there, Happy Father's Day. Hope you had a great time celebrating your day with your family.

Cheers to the great Dads around the world!

June 15, 2011

Passport and Upcoming Trip

It's been two months now since I renewed our passports (EJ's and mine). And I still don't have it.

I went to the Philippine Embassy last week (Tuesday) to follow up and they said they're still waiting for the passports. They're expecting a package on Wednesday last week and hopefully our passports are included.

I called them again last Thursday and they said our passports are not there yet. Probably in the next batch.

Uh-oh.

We will be going to the Philippines on July 1. While we can still use our current passports going home, we might not be able to travel back here to PP because our current passports will be expiring November this year. You have to have a valid passport with a 6 months validity prior to expiration

I am little bit worried.

Tomorrow, after I check on Black Diamond Z-Poles, I will go to the embassy. I hope to get our new epassports soon.

By the way, the receptionist at the embassy told me they can extend the expiration of our passports if ever we don't get our epassports before our travel. That's a relief. But as much as possible I don't want to travel with my old passport (still handwritten, LOL!) and also I want my new visa here in Cambodia to be in my new passport so I don't have to carry two passports all the time.

Lesson learned here: I should have renewed our passports early together with hubby. Nagtitipid kase ako. LOL!

UPDATE: We got our ePassports already last Friday. It took two months and a few days. I was getting worried but thankfully it did arrive before our trip.

June 13, 2011

The Never Ending Questions

Last night, I told EJ we should be asleep by 8:30pm. Why so early? Well, it's actually for EJ only because he has a full day class now and he does not take a nap anymore. But hubby and I also fall asleep in the process. Hahaha!!!

Anyway, at about 8pm, I told EJ to settle down. But he was still playing with the flash light.

Me: EJ, please put the flashlight back on the table. That's only for emergency use.
EJ: What is emergency, mommy?
Me: Emergency is for immediate need of assistance, like when there is no electricity or when there is earthquake...
EJ: What is earthquake?
Me: When the earth shakes.
EJ: Why does the earth shake?
Me: When there is a volcano eruption, sometimes there is earthquake.
EJ: Like in Japan. They had an earthquake.
Me: Yes. They also have tsunami after the earthquake.
EJ: What is tsunami?
Me: Tsunami is when the water in the ocean rises. And it goes to the land.
EJ: Huh?
Me: Tsunami is very dangerous.
EJ: What makes the earth shake again?
Me: Volcanic eruptions, tectonic plate (Why did I bring this up? I was asking for trouble!)
EJ: What is tectonic plate?
Me: Honey, help me outta here! LOL! Well, inside the earth there are big rocks moving and it makes the earth shake (I actually don't know what I was talking about! LOL!)

Before EJ could ask more questions, I said:
Me: I think that's enough questions for tonight. It's time to sleep.
EJ: Aaaaaa...I still want to learn.
Me: That's why you go to school to learn. Hahahaha!!! Goodnight.

And that's how we slept past our bedtime last night at 8:45pm.

June 9, 2011

Work and Food

When will these condescending remarks on Stay at Home Moms (SAHMs) ever stop? Well, I am past the stage where I get defensive and angry. I still get annoyed but I just let the comments I hear pass by. What do they know anyway, right?

The other day, I was talking to a Filipina Nanny. She asked me if I work. I said, I am a stay at home mom. Oh! She said. My boss (Filipina too) is different. She does not like to stay idle. She likes to work. She's used to working all her life and staying at home does not suit her.

Good for your boss, I thought. I felt like she was insinuating I was lazy and useless. But instead of defending myself, I just smiled at her. It was pointless to explain to her my choice.

Anyway, I felt a little down after that incident. So yesterday, I asked hubby if we could have lunch out together. I was craving for a fish or meat drowned in heavy sauce like the one we had at La Marmite, french restaurant, a month ago.


Pork in heavy mushroom sauce



Dory fish with white sauce


Yum! But instead hubby brought me to Kobe, a japanese restaurant along Sothearos Boulevard.

I must say I had the most wonderful lunch yesterday. The grilled seafood and beef were absolutely gorgeous. The beef was tender and juicy. It was perfect.

Thanks Hon for bringing me there.

I'd like to bring my friends there today if they're game.

June 8, 2011

The Bali Reunion

It's been two years now since our Bali Trip. So many things have happened since then but I can't forget this trip because this was a reunion trip with my cousins and friends. It was also a time when I was still a bit slim. LOL!

J Boutique Hotel

Hotel
We stayed at J Boutique Hotel. We requested for a non smoking room, but they still booked us in a smoking room. That was annoying. And when we requested to move to another room, there wasn't any room available. We thought of moving to another hotel but alas, we did not have budget anymore. Sigh.

The hotel's location is a bit far from the real action. But the breakfast which comes free however was more than sufficient. LOL! And we had free wifi, which was a real plus.

Kuta Beach

Kuta Beach

Kuta beach
This is Kuta Beach, a public beach. It is wide and long. There is really nothing spectacular about the beach. But I guess tourists don't come here for the beach alone. They mostly come here to party which my single cousins and friends did!

Hard Rock
This is the whole group who went to Bali. We're all Pinoys but we all came from different places: Singapore, Malaysia, Maldives and Abu Dhabi =)

We had a day tour arranged by my friend. We went to several towns of Bali which includes: Ubud, Taman Ayun and Tanah Lot.

Ubud
This was in Ubud. The famous Babi Guling (roast pork) is found here. Personally, I wanted to go here because I wanted to sample that famous dish. It was featured in No Reservation by Anthony Bourdain. My verdict? It was okay, but nothing beats my hometown roast pork (lechon!)

Tanah Lot
In Tanah Lot

Taman Ayun
In Taman Ayun

The day tour was fun. It was non stop laughing inside the van plus the scenery was just lovely.

Hoping we'd be able to travel again soon with my jetsetter cousins and friends. Another reunion trip sounds great!

June 7, 2011

A Year in Owls 2

EJ has just finished OWLS 2 last Friday. The school had a party last Wednesday and celebrated it with International Children's Day also. Parents were there and the school had done a great job in showcasing the children's work and setting up various rooms of different countries.

As for the children, they had their own mini party last Friday which I have mentioned in my previous post already.

This is EJ's Owls 2 class.

We got EJ's folder of activities for the whole year. I loved going through it and letting EJ explain everything.

Let me share some of the activities they had during his OWLS 2 year.

Catch a rainbow experiment.

They had baking activity every Friday. Here, he's making a King's Crown cookie. On the other picture, he's just happy splashing on the side of the pool. They have swimming class every Thursday. But EJ is still not confident going to the "deep end" though.

Science Experiment: What dissolves in water? I think I only had science experiments when we were in Grade 4. Kids really have an early start nowadays.

Rainbow painting.

Life cycle of a butterfly. EJ loved this activity. And it has really stuck in his mind. Great job, babe!

~~~

And oh, EJ had a great first day of full day class yesterday. My phone was with me the whole day yesterday until I picked him up. I was just nervous the whole day but everything turned out well for him. I guess it was just me who was not ready for him to be away from me the whole day. Yeah, signs of a parent's separation anxiety. LOL!

June 6, 2011

Short vacation soon

I am excited about our upcoming vacation to the Philippines this July. It's going to be a short one again (17 days) but our itinerary is filled to the brim.

We will arrive Manila and stay there for four days before going to my home province, Surigao.

In Surigao, we will stay for five days only. We just have some loose ends to finish but that does not mean I will not  have fun and enjoy my stay there. When I say enjoy, it usually means food. LOL!

My mouth is already watering just thinking of the food I am going to eat once I'm there. Food that come to my mind are: saang (seafood), banana que, bolanghoy (cassava cake), fresh buko, grilled seafood.

After Surigao, we will stay in Cebu for three days. It's been ages since I last set foot there. I would like  to see the changes and of course....guess what? And of course, eat dried mango (my fave!), cebu lechon and otap. Wohooo!!!

I am actually trying to decide now which hotel to book, Radisson Blu Hotel or Marriott Hotel. Both look great in the pictures. Rates are almost the same too. Hmm..

After Cebu, we'll go back to Manila. We will probably visit  my brother's farm in Morong, Bataan.  Maybe even go to Baguio if we still have some time.

I know it's going to be a tight schedule but I love it. I hope I would still be able to squeeze in a little shopping, though. That would really complete my short vacation =)

Full Day Class for EJ

EJ's last day of school was last Friday. They had a party in their class which he absolutely enjoyed. They had games and they sang all morning. When I picked him up, he had the biggest smile on his face.

Today is the start of their summer class. I tentatively enrolled him in a full day class for one week. If everything is okay, I will probably enroll him for two more weeks of full day summer class before we go to Philippines for our vacation.

I am a little nervous. It's EJ's first full day class. He's used to me picking him up just before lunch time.

We talked to him already. And he seemed to be excited with the idea of a full day class. Still...I am apprehensive and okay, really nervous. What if?

There is really nothing to lose. If he doesn't like to stay in class the whole day, he can still go back to half day class the rest of the summer.

So, I don't know why I am nervous about all this?

June 5, 2011

Quiet Day at Home

It's a quiet Sunday here at home. It's been like this for the past couple of weeks now. We just stay at home and watch DVD all day or just read books.

For lunch, I cooked chicken menudo. I thought it was good but EJ did not eat his share. It must have been a little sour. Will put a little sugar next time.

After lunch, hubby slept while EJ continued his TV time. I prepared our dinner menu for next week. And then suddenly inspired by my friend's post, (one posted it in her blog and the other posted it in her FB account), I cooked Maja Blanca.

Hubby has been craving for this Filipino dessert but it's not available in Bistro Lorenzo, the Filipino restaurant, here. I was not in the mood for any cooking last week (blame it to my diet again!) so I did not make it.

Then I saw my friends posting their Maja Blanca. Yum! That made me check our cupboard for ingredients.

Luckily I have all the ingredients, well except for the sweetened flaked coconut. I thought we could do without it since it's just a topping anyway.

Here's the Maja Blanca Recipe I got from Allrecipes.com:

Ingredients

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup fresh sweet corn kernels
1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Directions

1. Butter an 8-inch baking dish or pie pan, and set aside. Mix 1/2 cup of water with the cornstarch in a bowl, and stir until smooth.

2. Combine the coconut milk, 3/4 cup of water, and sugar in a saucepan over low heat, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil, add the corn kernels, and then stir in the cornstarch mixture, stirring quickly to avoid lumps as it becomes very thick. Bring the mixture back to a boil, and simmer until fully thickened and smooth, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Pour the maja blanca into the prepared dish, and set aside to cool until firm, about 2 hours.

3. Place the coconut flakes in a dry skillet over medium heat, and stir to toast. Watch them carefully so they don't burn. Remove the toasted coconut flakes to a bowl, let cool, and sprinkle over the pudding before serving.

Since I am on a self-imposed diet (again!), I just had a tablespoon of it. I had it with green tea. Yummmmm!!!

How is your Sunday guys? Whether you're busy or having a quiet day like us, be safe always. Happy Sunday!

June 4, 2011

Teacher for a Few Minutes

I was asked by Teacher Ros (EJ's teacher) a couple of weeks ago to come to their school and talk a little about Philippines. Their class was exploring places and people.

I would have deferred the invitation to hubby but hubby has been there last month also to talk about his job, since they were talking about occupation at that time.

So anyway, I said yes.

I prepared pictures of Philippine Map, points of interest like Banaue Rice Terraces, Chocolate Hills, Mayon Volcano, Tarsier, etc..

The kids seemed to be really listening well to me. Hahaha!!!

After the talk, Teacher Ros encouraged the kids to ask questions. I was afraid I might not be able to answer the questions. Thankfully, they did not ask difficult ones so I was able to answer them. LOL!

Teacher Ros thanked me afterwards. She said I did a wonderful job. I knew she was just being polite. Hahaha!!!

The next day, hubby told me that Teacher Ros told him again how nice my presentation was. She wanted to visit Philippines now. LOL!

Last Wednesday, EJ's school had a year end party. A parent of EJ's classmate said Hi. And then she told me how my talk had inspired his son to go and visit the Philippines. She said, her son came home that day and suddenly announced "Mommy, I want to go to the Philippines!" She was surprised, she asked "why is that?" "EJ's mom came to the class today and she showed us beautiful pictures of the Philippines and this small animal called Tarsier. I want to visit the Philippines"

LOL!

I was just being honest during my talk. I love my country and I guess it showed when I told them how beautiful my country is. The kids have very impressionable minds so it must have stuck in their cute little heads.

Maybe it's not too late yet to change careers? Hahaha!!! Just kidding.

June 3, 2011

Visit to Phnom Tamao Zoo

EJ has been asking me to bring him to a Zoo. I think they were talking about animals at school. He's been to several Zoo actually but I guess, it's not fresh in his mind anymore.

So that day, we decided to bring him to Phnom Tamao Zoological Garden and Rescue Center last Saturday.

It's about 40 kilometers away from Phnom Penh. But it took us about an hour to reach there by car.

The entrance fee for foreigners is $5. Children are free. The place is huge. It's advisable to bring a car or even a tuktuk to tour inside.

We went to the bird sanctuary first. Kids will automatically swarm you eager to be a guide.


The entrance. It was a beautiful day. Look at the sky.


You will see these birds freely roaming the area. I was so scared. I have this weird phobia of anything with beak.


They have a lake inside. I am not sure if it is natural or man-made. But it was nice.


Inside the bird sanctuary, we also saw monkeys caged and not caged (which terrified me again LOL), turtles, squirrels and deers, some caged and some not caged like this one.


You can buy sliced sugar cane from this girl and feed it to deers.



After the birds, we went to see the Asiatic Black Bears.




I saw this one, taking a dip. He/She was cute.



Saw a bull.



A Tiger, he was too far away from us. We did not get to see him up close.



The expansion of the Tiger enclosure was made possible by a couple from Australia.



A lion



Elephants


At 11:30am, we left the place. There were still a couple more of animals to visit but we decided to skip it and probably come back next time.

This Zoo is not your regular tourist attraction. For one the facilities still needs a lot of improvement. But this place has a lot of potential. It just needs a lot of fund though, which they willingly accept.

By the way, the scenery on the way there is just lovely. I posted it earlier but here's a couple more shots.