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Monday, October 17, 2011

Open Letter to the twin of my soul

SCENARIO: I walked into a room full of people in white or black blouses or dresses. I don’t exactly know what this is but the mood is depressing. Almost no one seems to smile. Everything is vague but I know the ones I see are my friends, my workmates, my neighbors. Now I know what this is…this is a funeral. Then I heard a voice of a girl describing the person inside the coffin…I can never be mistaken..this is my sister describing me..and tears rolled down my eyes…then I woke up! (Geez…Thank you! It is just a dream..walanghiya yun, kung makadescribe..ahahahaha.joke!)

It was a bad dream but it is also a good dream realizing that if there’s someone who can most perfectly describe me as a person, aside from my mother, it would be my one and only sister (one and only sibling actually) Who else can better describe me but someone who have been with me since day 1 of my life. She knows how “maldita” I am, how moody I am, how ugly I look when I woke up, how many lice I have when I was a kid (halos kalbuhin nila ako..ewwww..), how “burara” I am, how dirty my panties are when I have menstruation, how I always forget to flash the toilet after I pooped, how I pick my nose. She had seen my whole body, naked! Ok..ok…I have made my point already, this is really getting grossed…LOL. So if u think you know how close our ties are, you have no idea because we are not just any other ordinary sister relationship, I have always believed that what we have is beyond sisterhood, (brotherhood?) if there is something beyond that. We can have a sister but rarely do we consider them as our best friend and much more, our soulmate but for me, she is my best friend, protector, confidante, companion, and my soulmate all rolled into one. If you know me, you would be surprised by this post. I am not good at this appreciation and thanksgiving stuff…however, this only comes once a year so this is the perfect time to tell my sister how much I appreciate her and how much I thank God for giving me the twin of my soul.

Thank you for the following:

  • Taking care of me when I was still a baby…You are only 4 years old back then when you are forced to look after your cute baby sister (don’t deny it, I am the cutest baby you’ve ever seen!) When every kid your age is playing outside, you are inside the house since mama needs to work to provide for our needs. Not to mention, for being patient with me when I was having tantrums and throwing all of your toys on you (maldita talaga!) but you have to say sorry for tying me up in a tree. LOL.

  • For being a good student when we were in the same school…because of that, you had built a good reputation. The teachers would tell me, “ah…ikaw ba yung kapatid ni Katrina? Kasing bait at kasing talino mo siguro yung kapatid mo…” (Are you Katrina’s sister? You must have been as kind and as smart as your sister..) Although, they have expected more of me, it made me strive hard to be worthy to be called your sister.

  • For simply being my protector!!! Police protection can’t even come close to my sister’s protection of me when we were in the same school. (exaggggg!!!!) I remember before, no one can pick a fight on me because they are scared of my sister..Hahahahahahha…I don’t mind if I was behind your shadow all the time…coz I know if I was the elder one, you would not mind as well.
  • For being my no. 1 fan! You would always compliment me, praise me, and appreciate me for all my achievements, big or small. You’re the very first one who will applaud in my feats. And the very first one who will extend a hand when I fall. When I am down, you would pull me up and when I am up, you would push me even higher…

  • For being the younger sister sometimes…ahahahahahaha! You would always tell me..”parang ikaw ang panganay ah!!!” and I want you to know I appreciate you when you lend your ear to listen on what I have to say and have the humility to accept that I have a point just like a younger sister. I am happy to know that I don’t limit my opinion just because I am the “bunso” of the family coz you hear me out.
  • For being always on my side, right or wrong… You know I don’t want your impulse sometimes.. And you also know that I always preach you to be objective in your decisions. No biases. We are the total opposite of each other. When it comes to fights, you are the impulsive type and I am the think-before-you-speak type. We would always clash on our views. You would always tell me…”ikaw si baka naman…hindi naman siguro…” As my friends would put it, I am the balance in the family. I told you that impulse can make you do things without even thinking about it, that can’t make the situation better; it can only make it worse. I remember before, it made me cry when you said that I can’t defend mama. But please understand ate, this is my personality. For me, fighting based on impulse is not a good way to handle a situation. It is not that I don’t care about it, but I believe that you should always hear the side of the other to have an objective view on the matter and if you are right, there are other diplomatic ways to solve the problem. And I know, you accept me for that. How I wish you would appreciate my objectivity sometimes because there is no other person who can tell you upfront if you’re right or wrong but me.
  • For spoiling me. Mama would always tell me “napakaspoiled mo naman sa kapatid mo…” coz whatever I want, when you can, you’ll give it to me. You’re naturally generous ate! If I will count all the things you’ve given me, I would forever be indebted to you but don’t worry ate, I know I am frugal but when time comes that I have money to spend, I will spoil you as well regardless if I have a husband or daughter already. I know you are not asking for anything in return but I want to return all the favor coz you deserved it and because I love you.

  • For being ever supportive in all my endeavors and never judged me in my decisions. I have made a lot of mistakes in my life and through it all, you have supported me. You never judge me for doing bad things in my life. You know my deepest secrets but you still see me as if I am the best.
  • For being a doctor. Your pride is my pride and my pride is yours ate! I am so proud that I have a sister who is a doctor. It’s just that it’s not my nature to be boastful but whenever I say that “my sister is a doctor.” I say it with pride. Whatever you achieve in your life, I feel like I own it up to the extent that sometimes, I feel like I wanna be like you. You’re my idol in perseverance and determination. Also, because of this, you’ve been a big help especially to mama. Actually, not just a big help, you’re the breadwinner! When I was the only one working before, I was stressed on how I could help mama but with you now, it lighten my burden or should I say, it removed my burden coz you’ve carried it all!!! Ahahahahahahaha….ligtas ako… (I am saved!)

  • For being my sister. Actually, it’s not you to thank but GOD for lending you a life to be a sister anyone would have asked for.

Sorry for not being a good sister when I have every opportunity to be one. I know that sometimes, you just need a little sweetness from me, a big hug after a long tired day at work (kasi wala naman bf mo dito..ahahahahaha..wala..wala..wala!!! iyak ka na?) but instead, I feel like I am taking you for granted most of the time. Sorry ate!

I know I am not the best sister, but sorry, I am all you’ve got. *wink* Sometimes, I know you feel that I’m kinder to other people than to you. That may be true but I will never want to replace you as my sister. I know you would get mad but…I am thinking that when I die, I want to know when so that I can make the best of my days spending it with you and mama. But if I have the same opportunity as Dianne in 49 days (Pure Love), I will surely live because I have you and mama who would cry for me representing pure love!

Always take care of yourself ate. Never abuse yourself just for the sake of having more money. (I know you are not like that!)Work will always be there but once you abuse your health, your life is on the line. You are a doctor, you know that!!! As much as I want to tell you to live your life and don’t worry about me and mama, I can’t coz we both know that at this point, we need your help. You are old enough to live alone but you are still worrying about us, though I know you’re doing it for your own happiness. You are a very good daughter and MAMA must have been very very very proud for having a daughter like you, except sa pagiging pikon!!! Ahahahahahaha…

I wish you happiness kapatid. I know you are happy and contented right now but there are things that can make you even happier. I wish you….

TRUE LOVE….although I think you already have one but I wish that may you have eternity to spend with each other. I can see how happy you are when he’s there, so who am I to stop you from loving someone who can make your gloomy day blissful. At the very least, you ought to have that!

I wish that I may have many….

NEPHEWS and NIECES from you but I am not saying now!!! (excited ka agad!) Always remember that a child will be given at the right rush! If it’s meant for you, it will come so just enjoy the times you don’t have one yet! And I wish that I can treat your child as my own (wag ka magseselos sa akin ah!) ahahahahha…

I wish that you’ll be an…

OB-GYNE as soon as possible! This is not to compliment you or anything but I really think you’ll make a great OB-GYNE because you have a heart of a mother. I can’t wait to receive a check from you (akala mo kung anu noh? Ahahahaha…palamunin pala ako!) kidding aside, I can’t wait to see the day when you’re at the peak of your career. I have no doubts that even when that day comes, I can still scold you when you’re wrong! You never make me feel that you’re a doctor, you stay the same, actually, you became sweeter and kinder, as I know you when you have nothing to be proud of. I commend you for that!

And what’s best in you is that, when you have no time for yourself anymore, you still have time to spend for us! So I wish you more TIME for yourself, a time to travel around the world, a time for your future husband and your future children, a time to live your life to the fullest!

I love you ATE! My love for you is like the air. You may not feel it but it surrounds you everyday of your life. Naks!!!!! Celebration na!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mother and Daughters Indulgence in PINOY MOVIES

They say that parents must have a happier life when their children already have their own jobs. This is the time when they are finished worrying about their children’s allowances and tuition fees...and it’s also the time for their children to return to their parents what is due to them and once in a while, pamper their parents (in our case, only our mom. Well. My dad is not living with us…so he can’t really feel the fruits of our labor…)

My mom is a homebody. As much as I want to let her explore on her different activities, she really doesn’t want to go out frequently unless necessary. It takes a lot of persuasion for her to go out of the house and have some fun and pamper herself and for some weird reason, she has two daughters who is way far from being a homebody (especially if payday). As my mom would often say it,

“Kating kati kayo gumastos noh?”

and we will just look at her as if begging to allow us to spend our money…our eyes saying…

”Please mama!!! Payagan mo na kami….ngayon lang naman!” (such a clichĂ©!)

Thinking about it, we should be free to buy whatever we like with our own money. Nevertheless, we understand that she only wants to make sure we know how to spend our money wisely. Although for us, spending for family bonding is more important than the money itself! As my sister would put it…

“It’s the bonding, MOTHER!!”

Going back, being the mother that she is, she can’t resist our “paawa” look and will just give up with a loud sigh…

”Bahala na nga kayo…pera niyo naman yan...”

BUTTTTT….there is always an exception to the rule…Same is true with my mom, there is only one thing that she would be willing to go out for (aside from buying groceries)….MOVIES, specifically PINOY movies!!!! Take note: It has to be a Filipino film because if not, you will just end up waking her up in a 15-minute interval…or worst, you will just hear her snore inside the cinema. Her reason:

“Gusto ko lang manuod ng walang iniintindi…Kaya nga ako nanuod para mawala stress ko..kapag foreign, nakakastress naman un..iintindihin ko pa yung sinasabi nila plus iintindihin ko pa yun istorya....” (I want to watch with nothing to worry about…I watch movies to release stress…Watching foreign movies is stressful. I’ll worry about understanding what they are saying…and understanding the whole story at the same time)

Since then, whenever there is a new Filipino film coming up, I will always reserve it to my mom. I remember in my college days, my friends would ask me to go watch a movie. My default question would always be

“Filipino or foreign?”

for the reason that if it is Filipino, my usual line goes…

“Nako! Sorry…Alam mo naman kapag Filipino, nakareserve kay mama…Siguradong magyayaya yun na panuorin namin yan…” (Sorry…You already know that Filipino movies is always reserved for my mom…I am sure my mom would ask me to go watch that movie..)

My friends understand. Anyway, we can watch a foreign one. They are not as limited and as choosy as my mom with respect to movies.

Movies are a good activity to bond with each other. There, we laugh together when Eugene Domingo slipped in the Septic Tank…
we giggle together in the “sulyap tingin” moments of Lyda and Migui… (guess the movie!!! This is for pinoy movie enthusiasts)

We get angry together on how stupid Basha is for leaving Popoy (that is an easy one…)

 but we also hope together that Popoy gives Basha “one more chance” (give-away naman yun.)
We cry together when Lorna Tolentino finally revealed about having a cancer to her daughter, Bea Alonzo in the movie “Sayo Lamang”…
we cry together in pity of Johnny Delgado in “Tanging Yaman”…
we weep together in the journey of “Thelma”…
and just recently, we get mad together on Anne Curtis’ character as a mistress/bitch (LOL. But she portrayed it very well. Two thumbs up for Anne) in the new film “No Other Woman”..
Name it,,we’ve watched it! Alright…I admit…I am a crybaby when it comes to movies…in fact, in my “crying history” 70% of my tears came from movies that in real life painful situations…and my mom is just the same…we will look at each other in the cinema and will laugh at each other for being such a crybaby…most of the time, my mom is holding back her tears..and I’ll say..

”Ma, huwag mo na kasi pigilan.. iiyak mo na yan!!” (Ma, don’t hold it back..cry it out!)

If there is a word “food trip” there is also “crying trip” and we are fond of that!! Really, we haven’t let any famous pinoy movie passed us by…if there is, sobrang unti na lang yun!

Lest I forget, we criticize the actors/actresses physical appearances in the movie…At the middle of the movie, you can just hear us whispering at each other…(fill in the blanks)
”parang ang taba ni ______ diyan…”
”parang ang itim ng kilikili ni _______”
“parang and laki ng binti ni _______”
“hindi pala maganda si ________ pag nakasimangot…”
“banlag si _________ noh?”

Wait…it was not all negative…we know how to appreciate beauty!!!! Hehehehehehe….check this out!

“ang gwapoooooooooo ni ____________, hayuppp!!”
“ang ganda ni ___________, parang manika lang…”
“diyosang diyosa si _____________”
“ang kinis ni ____________...parang walang kapeklat peklat”
“makalaglag panty naman tumingin si ___________”
“Laway mo ate!!!!” (LMFAO)

Right after every movie, expect a discussion among us…we agree and disagree on how great or how poor the actors were in their portrayal of their respective characters…on how good-looking the actors/actresses were in the movie…on the lessons that can be learned from the movie…on the good endings and bitter endings…and also, on our own version of ending the movie if we were the directors…on how it could be better if Jake Cuenca kills Dennis Trillo in “The Neighbor’s Wife.
Kidding aside, the great part of everything is we talk about things.

All-in-all…it is an ultimate bonding experience with my family especially with my mom.. It’s a great thing that we always discuss and we can open up our opinions in different topics depending on the movie we’ve just watched. Sometimes, we agree/ Oftentimes, we disagree and 90% of the time we disagree, silent treatment. (LOL. Nagkakatampuhan kami. I am highly opinionated and I speak my mind and sometimes, my mom is offended by the fact that I inherit this attitude from her…) From these movie discussions, I have been able to know some of my mother’s opinion in some things like marriage, premarital sex, live-in, mistresses, relationships, success, love, death and life in general. Indeed, children can be more mature in their decisions when they can openly talk about anything with their mom, even topics that are considered taboo in other families. Whatever it is, even if our opinions differ, my mother’s points of view will always be considered in all the decisions I have to make in my life.

Thus, I am looking forward on more Filipino movies with her…on more healthy discussions with her. With a mom with few interests like my mom, you almost want to let her watch movies everyday just to make her happy. So I am wishing for more movies to come. Also, more power to the Filipino Movie Industry.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sisters' bonding: Humanessence SPA

I have never been a fan of health spas. Perhaps, because everything that I can see in a spa, I have it in the comfort of my own home. Thus, I do my manicure, pedicure, foot spa, body it…I am doing it just by myself. My belief was I can do it better than the staff in a spa. I know when it hurts… I know my pain threshold… I know the pressure I need to put on… I know everything about my own body…plus the fact that I don’t have to pay for my own services…talking about being frugal.

My sister is my exact opposite when it comes to this. (Well, not only to this. We’re opposite in a lot of things. Lol. I should do a different post for that!) She’s a spa lover. If she has extra time, you’ll know where to see her, in the spa having a good massage..literally, almost every week!!! Not to mention the times where she would call her personal masseuse for a home service. She can’t get enough of it. 5 hours of massage, she can handle it; she can be massaged forever actually!!! At first, I can’t get it..I can’t understand why is she addicted to it? What I do know is that she’s tired from work, that’s reasonable; she’s an ER physician having 48 hours of duty. Nevertheless, is that a reason to overindulge yourself into so much pampering?

Well, I really can’t identify with her not until she brought me with her in a spa in West Ave. named “Humanessence Spa”. It is located in the 3rd flr of a certain building near Caltex in West Ave. She availed of……what else? Body massage + body scrub + footspa with pedicure which is in a promo that month which costs 1,050 all-in-all. She forced me to avail of a body scrub as well and a footspa with pedicure, that’s 680.00. Being the frugal person that I am, My jaw dropped big time and my first reaction was “grabe naman, ang mahal..” (Oh my God…it’s expensive.) and my sister said..”ako na!! worth it naman eh.” (My treat. Don’t worry, it’s worth it.) I conceded. Her treat. Who won’t say no to a free service? 


Then my journey to wellness starts….Before you can be allowed to walk in the lounge area, you will be required to leave your footwear in the reception area, a staff will put your footwear in a shoe locker and will give you another set of rubber slippers which is the only slippers allowed in walking around the spa and a key to your personal locker to those availing of the body services. The lounge area is divided into 4 parts, there are 5 lazy boy’s chair towards an approximately 50-in TV. There are two sofa sets adjacent with each other. From here, you can also watch TV There is a bar area but it is not functioning as such, it only functions as an area for preparation of coffee and tea and last is the 6 super comfortable chairs for the footspa, pedicure and manicure services. The lounge area is shared by both men and women but of course, the massage and shower areas are separate. I am not aware if there was a couple massage room, I am single so don’t ask me. (bitter?)

For those who are availing of body massage and body scrub services, you will be asked to take a shower (you can opt not to take the shower if you just took a bath) and you can also use the steam sauna if you want to. After which, a towel, shorts which can fit all sizes (so to my fellow plump ladies, don’t fret) and a cotton bathrobe will be provided.

For those who don’t have the luxury of time and always in a hurry, you might be disappointed with the long waiting hours before you can be accommodated. If you arrived there at 11pm, expect to go home at around 2-3am. Although you are free to take a nap in their comfy chairs (I do it all the time). Anyway, if you fell asleep, they will call your attention if it is your turn. If you are not sleepy, you can also watch TV while sipping a cup of coffee or tea. They serve coffee or tea upon request until supply lasts. And if you are lucky, possibly, you will be left alone in the lounge area and you can watch the TV and treat it your own. Grab the remote control. Browse channels. You can do anything you want actually.

As for the service, it was great! The downside of it, you will have to be naked, (although I haven’t seen a spa that will not require you to take your clothes off) but don’t be bothered, the lights are so dim; the staff can only see your silhouette. So I guess this treatment will not be a relaxing experience for the conservative types. Initially, they will let you lie down on your stomach then on your back. The scrub consists of the actual scrubbing starting from your feet up to your neck. Following that, you will be required to take a shower (this time it is mandatory). Next, your whole body will be applied with honey…as in pure honey mixed with a small amount of hot water. When the staff is applying the honey, I feel like I am a pancake. I can smell myself. I almost wanna lick myself, kidding! The honey will stay for 15 minutes. Shower again to rinse off the honey and it’s done. The service took about 30minutes. The effect fascinates me considering this is my first time. I have done this way back when I was 18 but this was different, my skin was the smoothest. My skin had never been that smooth. The foot spa is also good but nothing extraordinary if you will compare it to other spas. Perhaps, the great thing is the pedicure because I didn’t feel any pain. I nearly fell asleep when they are doing my toenails when I am expecting it to be really painful since I have deep in-growns.

Right after every service, they will give you a tip envelope with their name if in case you want to give them a tip for their service and it is your discretion if you want to give it directly to the staff or leave it in the tip box.

When we got home, I feel the need to avail of these services twice a month or at least once a month. My sister grinned, as if saying..”I told you you understand…” and I immediately defended myself saying “It’s not that I am getting addicted to it…My skin needs it…” ahahahahaahhahaha….

Before, I thought I can do it better myself but I was wrong, it’s a good feeling that you just have to lie down or sit back and relax and let somebody else do it for you. In view of all of these, I highly recommend Humanessence Spa for everyone who is so stressed out (just be sure you have a lot of time to kill). I though this was expensive but upon research of all other spas, it’s cheaper.  (That’s what matters to me the most…lol) So check it out guys!

Who would have guessed? Now, this is my bonding experience with my total-opposite sister! Aside from eating, by the way!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Chic-Boy. So-so.

Since I first saw Chic-boy in West Ave., I have always wanted to try it. Months have passed and I haven't even tried it yet and last week, finally, after going to the spa, i've experienced it with my sister and my mom.

On the outside, it looks like the food will range from 150-250 per person. but upon entering, the ambience can be compared to that of Mang Inasal and I was quite surprised that the prices are cheap. We ordered cebu lechon meal and the inihaw na liempo meal. Each meal is only 99 pesos!!! That's a treat! Mind you, the meal is with an unlimited serving of soup and rice. IN addition to that, if you want unlimited iced tea, you would only add 25 pesos. Thus, all in all, for the 3 of us, we only paid 373 pesos!!! I was happy about that!

However, while I was satisfied with the affordability of the meals, I was disappointed with the meal itself. I am not that good in cooking but it seems to me that my grilled liempo is better than their inihaw na liempo. The liempo was underseasoned and not that juicy as I desired liempos to be. Also, i've already tasted the original cebu lechon directly from Cebu and this is really different but not as underseasoned as the liempo. On the other hand, the soup is good.

And there's something more that made up for it.

There is one waiter there named "Aries" which is outstanding in customer service. You need not tell him to refill whatever. He will approach you before you even call him and the best of it, he did everything with a smile. We can't help but notice him because he stands out from the rest and we want to help him in our own ways so we ask to manager if we can make a commendation for Aries. Indeed, when you are giving good service, you will be rewarded because the supervisor told us that Aries is the "Employee for the month" and we hope that he will stay as is for as long as he is wearing that smile on his face ready to serve the customers and we also hope that all the waiters will take Aries as their model.

Over-all, from 1 to 10, 10 as the highest, i'll give Chic-Boy in West Ave. a grade of  7 and here is the breakdown:
Ambience                7
Affordability            8
Taste                       4
Customer Service    9

DISCLAIMER: I believe that Chic-Boy is into franchising so I would like to make it clear that this review is based on my experience in the West Ave. branch I don't know about the other branches. That only shows that sometimes, franchise agreements can be really risky because every franchisee holds the name of the company so the franchisor of Chic-boy shall really look into this.

If I will go back, maybe I'll try some other branches when I'm out of budget! CIAO!