Lola Noning’s birthday

Mike’s Auntie Noning’s (father-in-law’s eldest sister) birthday falls on New Year’s day. It has become a tradition in their family to spend the first day of the year together to celebrate the two events. We try as much as we can to join them although their family house is all the way to Novaliches. Their family is huge, and I can’t personally remember everyone even after eight years of being together, but there’s always new additions. This year, the party is more fun because aside from the food, they infused games for kids.

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Thanksgiving in Callao

Picking up from my last post, I blogged about our recent trip to the husband’s hometown up north to have our first reunion with his family. Since his sister and her family were over here, the family decided to hold a gathering that includes the extended families and other loved ones to give thanks to the Lord for bringing us all together. There was a fiesta-like atmosphere at my in-laws’ house from dusk until the wee hours of the morning the following day. Everybody was happy to see each other. For me and our two daughters, we were introduced and re-introduced to the rest of the family, although frankly, I could not keep up with all the names and how we are related to one another. But this didn’t matter anyhow.

We started with a simple Methodist service in the family home.

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Then it was all eating and talking and catching up with friends and relatives!

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The star of the feast (poor cow!):

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Mischa definitely had such a good time with all her cousins.

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There was dancing at night. Music boomed, and all swayed and grooved to the beat!

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We were indeed very blessed for the opportunity to belong to this wonderful community. And we were lucky this time that we got to have this first ever complete family picture!

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A little tea party

My childhood friends and I have gotten into the habit of just meeting at home, and doing anything and everything under the sun, and with or without kids. Gone are the partying days or even the quiet dinners out. Must be getting really old. We’ve reached that point in our lives that we relish in the simplest of get-togethers. We are not bothered by hovering waiters, neighboring conversations or ticking clocks signaling that we have to end our reunions soon. We could do away with dressing up or putting on makeup.

Caught up in our different routines and paces of our families, I am happy that we still get to do this at least twice a year. And it is really good that, like the best of friends, we always pick up where we last left off.

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Warner and Michelle’s wedding

Yesterday was my first time to attend a wedding in Iglesia ni Cristo rites. I must say that it was different from what we Catholics are used to. What I liked best about the sermon was when the minister kept on repeating that kaloob ng Diyos ang iyong asawa. It was like the Holy Father chose your spouse especially for you.

This was the wedding of one of our old friends at the office, Warner and his partner, Michelle. Warner and I go way back early 2000s when we started working at the CFO. And although we are not that close, I would say he was instrumental in the hubby’s and my beginnings so we made him a godfather to Mischa. Hehe. And as always, weddings, baptisms, and even funerals are also the best times for reunions! It’s happy and sad at the same time that we see some of our closest friends and family during special occasions only.

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Congratulations and best wishes to the couple!

And let me be a little vain okay? Wanted to post this picture (although not totally related to this post) because I feel I look a lot thinner here.

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Larena reunion 2015

My favorite aunt/godmother came home from the US for a very, very brief period together with one of my cousins. They were here to visit another ailing aunt (my cousin’s mom, and the favorite aunt’s and my mom’s youngest sister). I wished they could have stayed longer, especially my aunt. They were here for a total of five days so we had little time to do things. Only had a couple of dinners, visits to the hospital, and made a quick getaway to our home province for the two balikbayans to pay homage to our grandparents. We didn’t even have time to reminisce.

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Limbaga 77

Our family dined at a newly opened restaurant at the Tomas Morato area, in yet another restyled/refurbished old family home. It is found on No. 77 Scout Limbaga St., hence the name Limbaga 77. It’s hard to miss, especially at night, with its bright facade and conspicuous name.

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But among the last few ones I went to (Victorino’s, Adarna Food and Culture and Lola Cafe), its interior is one of my favorites. It has two floors, and both had their own bars and restrooms. As it is new, the place is definitely eye candy. I especially liked this statement staircase, with its steel and wooden railings.

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And yet again, it has the same take on modernized Filipino food. Did not get to choose any of the food, though. Not complaining, but most of those we had were not my cup of tea. So I would say that everything was average and just okay, and that I had better.

House salad. The prawns were big and generous so that’s a total plus for me. However, this one had bananas. Whoever thought of putting bananas there? It was weird.

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Poqui-poqui rolls. The Ilocano classic dish of eggplant and egg but wrapped in lumpia wrapper and fried.

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Bangus flakes in mustard leaves. This is good and healthy. One of the better meals on their menu.

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Binusog na pusit. Literally, a squid with its belly full. Now, this one is a winner! Perfectly roasted with pesto on top, and just the right sweetness and tartness of the dipping.

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Pochero. Didn’t get to taste this one, but doesn’t hold much for me anyway.

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I forgot to take a photo of the herb fried chicken. Mischa just took a few bites but I really can’t tell if she didn’t like it or she was too busy running around to enjoy it. Also the sinigang na salmon of the hubby.

If I had my way, there would be crispy pata or lechon kawali on the table that night. Then I would have totally enjoyed the meal. I got to content myself that I was with family. Maybe I need a second round for another verdict?

Rooftop Rendezvous

This is what our host, Rino, called our little party.

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Our group (alumni of one of the divisions of CFO) is slowly making a habit of getting together every Christmas season. Our first was last year, and I am glad for a repeat this time. We all came from different “generations”, thus, it was a meeting of “originals” (we don’t like to use the word oldies) and new blood. The hubby is also now officially part of this family, instead of being my “plus 1”.

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The hubby and I were the first ones to say adieu at 12 midnight. Party days are really gone as we have two little ones waiting at home.