Kids’ fun run

Mischa’s school held some very interesting activities in celebration of July as Nutrition Month. Thank God there was none of those vegetable artsy craftsy thingie that schools normally do for kids. Creative as they were, the school officials had a fair last week, where the Kinder 1 class had to put up a fruit booth. This week, joining the bandwagon, they held a fun run for the kids as part of the wellness aspect of nutrition. Great way to burn off all that energy! I wish she had more of these.


And as usual, woe to me who wasn’t able to join her. She looks so cute!

Shadow play


One of Mischa’s rituals at bedtime, after her evening prayers and a book, is making shadows. It takes a lot from our batteries, but who cares, I am glad she is using her imagination. Aside from the ones I taught her, she makes up her own. As one would know, kids these days, without proper supervision, are almost just into gadgets. While I am sometimes guilty of letting the iPad or the TV babysit her, especially when I have chores to finish, and seeing as I am a working mom without a maid, I still try my damnedest to let her play the traditional way. While the grandmother, brought up in a generation different than mine, and waaaayyyyyyy different than now, would rather have Mischa parked in front of a TV (mas maigi daw na tahimik ang bata dahil mabait na bata ito. Duh ma!), I prefer she runs around the house (safely!), perspire and basically be an active, normal child (It’s so hard to bring up parents nowadays lol). I believe that a child is born to play and use her imagination.

A different cut

Sometimes, simple old me gets a chance to rub elbows with the alta sociedad. Along with some colleagues, graced the opening of the exhibition of Madam Celia Molano’s (my former mentor’s wife) prime collection of jewelry. Her creations were spread under the glittering lights of the newly opened wing of Salcedo Auction in Makati City.

Mrs. Molano designed and crafted the pieces herself. Not being a jewelry connoisseur myself, I cannot give technical descriptions of the pieces. What I saw instead was how well thought of and loved each of them were. I look up, albeit enviously, to people like Mrs. Molano, who creates not only with their minds and hands, but with their hearts as well.





* more photos at

I wish I could create with a passion that consumes. I hope that someday I will love what I do, and do what I love. I pray that the right pressure will propel me along. As it is, I am only armed with the thought that I have to do what I am doing for the sake of my daughter. But in the deepest recesses of my heart and soul, there lacks excitement and fervent desire. There exists only a methodical need to accomplish tasks. I wonder what has become of me.


Tucked into a little side street in the restaurant capital of Quezon City lies Ariake, a Japanese cuisine restaurant. We were actually there by accident since most of the better establishments in the area were already full. But I was glad we did. We all went home with happy tummies! Partida pa, almost all our orders were healthy. Except for the oyster butteryaki, which could give anyone a heart attack right there and then because its richness is sinful as hell, all were almost on the vegetarian side. I was surprised that they will all filling. Bland food always makes me crave for more because I feel like I didn’t eat anything at all. It’s not just the meat, it’s also the seasoning.


Oyster Butteryaki

buttered oyster

Cheesy Beef something (sorry!)

cheesy beef

American Dream (don’t ask me why it’s called like that. lol)


Chicken Udon

chicken ramen

Salmon Teppan




Tofu Steak

tofu sauce


tofu soup

Because of its location, only regular patrons come here, hence, the numerous empty tables. I hope they don’t fold soon. Their offerings pack a mean punch, and the price ain’t bad at all. I’d like to come back soon.

Next generation Larena

Welcome to the family and to the Christian world, Baby Elijah Kristoffer Larena!


We are so blessed to have this little kid in our extended family. For a bit of family history, my beloved lolo and lola, the ones who brought me up, had five children, six if you count an uncle who died at childhood during the Japanese occupation. Among those who lived are my mom, my Tito Sammy, Ninong Filo, Ninang Demi and Tita Nila. Among them, they produced nine grandchildren. My Ninong Filo, who had an unsuccessful first marriage, and another partnership (not sure if they got married eventually), adopted a daughter who is now sixteen. And now, among us cousins, there are ten great-grandchildren of Mamay Asio and Nanay Angge, as my grandparents were fondly called in our hometown.

My uncle Sammy was the only male heir of my grandparents, and he fortunately had two sons who carried the surname of “Larena”. The rest of us, since our mothers lost the name when they got married, had Larena as our middle names. Alas, when we, the granddaughters (there are four of us) got married ourselves, the name Larena, seem to gained more distance, as we also shed off even our fathers’ names.

So I was personally glad when Elijah was born. Finally, a Larena to carry on the name! I really hope he’s not the last. I am counting on my cousin, Joff, and his brother, Erik, to produce more. Haha.

Here is Elijah with two of great-grandchildren still here in the Philippines. All of Ninang Demi’s five grandkids, as were her kids, my first cousins, are in the US. The middle child of Tita Nila is there also with her brood of two.



Lola and Lola, I know you can see them from up there. Please watch over them like you watched over me when I was young.

Still the one

It’s not much. But I’m still the reigning Scrabble queen. Hahaha. In the last four years, except last year when I was in Israel on an official mission, ehem, ehem, I’ve been, uh, the unbeatable champion in our annual office olympics dubbed CFOlympics. Harhar. I guess it’s something you can be proud of. My being a true athlete (was a volleyball player during my elementary and high school days) is kinda over as soon as I put in my last thirty pounds.



Maybe I’ll retire next year. Quit while ahead?

Study time


Despite being busy with work, we still strive to guide Mischa through her homework whenever she has one. On weekends, we are able to study well together, but weekdays are a little trickier. Just one of the challenges of being working parents! You know the feeling of always wanting to ask for more time? Between work, running a household, wanting time for yourself, I know parents sometimes want to pull hair in frustration. But kids will always come first.