Midlife

The thing with humans, we are prone to wear and tear. And it is unfortunate that my years of allowing myself good food is slowly catching up on me. Sigh! My belief in “You Only Love Once” is not suiting me fine right now. So I’ll try to be a good girl for a while and chomp rabbit food, and faithfully drink prescription medicines that were initially designed for elder people. I will beat you uric acid and cholesterol!

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Letting Them Grow

I feel a tugging of the strings that bound my kids to their Dad and I, especially with my firstborn. At third grade, event after event test my resolve as I balance between taking care of her and allowing her independence. Field trips far from our comfort zone especially do this to me. Letting her go in the “big city”, with all the good and bad elements, is enough to keep me on the edge until such time the bus docks safely back in school. Arming her with a cellphone and enough wits, trusting her teachers, and praying my heart out, I managed to survive the day sane and sound.

This must be how my mother feels every time I board a plane, even now as I near the fourth decade of my life.

And tale as old as time, Mischa and Maxine will always be babies in my heart. I will always maybe try to hold on as tight as I can even though the waves would eventually take them away from my side.

Coco

I was hard pressed not to cry as our whole family watched this beautiful animated film:

For most of us, family really comes first. But there are times when we want something so badly that we are willing to sacrifice them in order to reach our personal desires. And like me, sometimes love of family entails sacrifices so you can provide for them. No matter the circumstances, these challenges only make you love them even more because the sacrifices and the hardships make them even more meaningful after you’ve conquered them. Does this make sense? I know it does.

Oh, and this is Maxine’s first movie experience. She was so excited, and we had to keep her from going around. It’s a good thing we watched the first show and there was not a lot of people yet. Midway through the movie, we had to subdue her and she fell asleep! Haha. But I loved having her around. No more taking turns staying outside the cinema to keep her company.

Dagupena

Because I try as much as possible to try things, especially food and restaurants, whenever I am in a new place, We searched and asked around for the best dining experience in Dagupan City. Our cursory review of the Net and referrals led us to Dagupena, one of the oldest and well-known in the city. We got quite a laugh when we realized that Dagupena is not really in Dagupan, but located in the neighboring town of Calasiao. We thought we got a little ripped off by the tricycle fare, but I would like to think that the needs of the family of the tricycle driver is much greater than mine so there you go.

And because Dagupan City is Bangus (milkfish) city, we just had to have bangus! While I don’t normally like bangus because, number 1, it has more bones or tinik than you can imagine. You spend almost all of your time removing them than actually eating, and by the time you’re done, you might have already lost your appetite. Number 2, sometimes it kinda tastes like mud. But the bangus I had here was yummy, juicy, and more importantly, boneless! Haha. Seriously though, it had a sweet, savory tang to it that made me enjoyed it. We paired the sizzling fish with the national food in the Philippines, which is sinigang. The two were a perfect blend in the mouth. We capped it off with dessert (I had sansrival ice cream).

Despite it being a weekday when we came, the restaurant was full, and the service seemed slow. It seemed to me that the crowd was a mix of well-off locals and tourists like us. The lighting could also be improved, as well as the ambiance in general. But the place is still being patronized, maybe because of its long history in the business, and its reputation precedes it. It really could do more but the food really wasn’t so bad.

Lenox Hotel

My working feet took me and my colleagues up north this time. For a change, I had some official business in the province of Pangasinan. Admittedly, it was not something I was looking forward to because I don’t like long road travels very much. But this trip ended up ok, in part due to the very nice hotel we stayed in – the Lenox Hotel in Dagupan City.

We stayed at one of their newly renovated rooms, and it was definitely a good choice. The room had two queen beds, and the size was considerably larger than most provincial hotels I’ve stayed in. Pristine white sheets and super comfy bed and pillows = two thumbs up. We almost didn’t want to get up, and let all the softness envelop us for a longer time. Bathroom was also nice with an overhead rainshower. Wish it had great toiletries though.

Cafe Feliz, the in-house restaurant, was also elegantly decorated. We had our breakfasts there, and their daing na bangus was certainly a hit.

Nurse Maxine

Ain’t she the cutest nurse?

Yesterday, she and her classmates participated in their school’s Community Heroes’ Day. We scouted for her costume at the local market near us, and I am glad I didn’t have to buy online or in more expensive stores. Thank goodness for that spate of non-working holidays.

As I have posted on FB, I am really sorry for always missing her school activities. I hope she and even Ate Mischa don’t hate me too much. It is for them that I choose work over them sometimes. I would never choose work because I love my work more, but because I have to.

Red Platter

I and some colleagues, during a recent trip to Naga City, dined at the Red Platter. It was recommended by our hotel’s staff as one of the best places to eat in the city. Looking at its interior, with the way it was built, it seemed to me like it was formerly an ancestral house, which was turned into a restaurant. I like entrepreneurs who do this to maximize idle real properties. It even had weathered Machuca tiles that enhanced the 20th century look of the place. The dining different areas looked like they were formerly sitting areas or family rooms. The restaurant is perfect for family style meals or intimate conversations.

And because we were in Bicol, we just had to try the sili-infused meals. Unfortunately, there was no Bicol Express Pasta that day, and that was the one I was looking forward to. Bummer! And my favorite crispy pata is a little letdown. But! This might be because I have already searched far and wide for the best ones, and this version might be good enough for some.

Laing cordon bleu

Crispy pata

Salted egg fried chicken

Sinigang na salmon belly

They also have a bakeshop showcasing cakes and a whole lot of pastries, specializing in pili, a local product of the Bicol region.