Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Chronicles of a House-Crasher: Greek Cookout

The rewards of house-crashing: power-ups on culture points, culinary knowledge, priceless bonding moments
Gone are the days of malling and unrelenting night-outs--as noticed by almost each member of our circle, we've slowly veered from those, as if unanimously--since we've discovered the joys of house-crashing.

It started with Pad-raiding (via the now-defunct Makati Ghels: first Marion's, then Chuckie's), then house-hopping (courtesy of the South Sirens: Carla, Meg, Shey, and again, Chuckie; then the Northen Stars: Ivan, Kara, J; later on, via MDAFI: Leo). Not only because it's budget-friendly (what's more economical than raiding the ref/month's worth of supply of a family!? haha kidding, sometimes we bring goodies over!) but because there's nothing like amping-up the party ante within homebase, away from the prying eyes of the public, where you can dance sans the heavy make-up/expensive outfit/guestlist worries/overpriced booze and do whatever strikes your fancy without getting booted/hugely humiliated. The disadvantage, of course, is less new eye candy for the singles, (unless one of us brings along new "prey" plus "colony") but that is hugely overlooked by the priceless moments collected each "session".

We've always had booze sessions before, and there were times that we had cook-outs, but there's nothing like the one we had last Maundy Thursday. Last year, Maundy Thursday was a Pad-Crash session with Marion, Nikos and Ivan: we cooked Tuna Pasta, swam-walked in the condo-pool with my very athletic bathing suit (pang-varsity as per Marion hahahaha!), watched ANTM, had a visitor, experienced a flat tire, plus other..... uh..... adventures. *wink*

This year's Maundy Thursday was Gourmet Staycation, a cook-out session with our dear friend and celebrity chef extraordinaire Mitchie Sison, Sunnex' newest endorser of cookware. (Yep she has her own cookware! and... standees! :p) And though she's been subjected to countless teasing by us re: her standees, posters and such, she was super gracious enough to teach us lots of cooking basics.

The Menu:
Grape and Mango Greek Salad
Grilled Chicken with Pepper Couscous
Tuna, Tomato, Olive and Feta in Angel Hair
Raspberry and Chocolate Oatmeal cakes

The group checking out Ivan's garlic smashing skills

Mitchie carefully explained a lot of concepts and taught each of us how to properly handle kitchen equipment, how to cut, slice, chop, clean food, roast, saute, boil, grill, mix, bake (the list goes on)... and it really felt like being in a very fun, informal cooking class! Sobrang thank you, Mitchie! Thank you for being very patient with us! :) We really learned a lot!

No, not a class--it felt like we were in a Lifestyle Network show. :)

Ivan's first try: Opening cans
Mitchie teaches me how to saute!

Chuckie's turn
Oh, feta!

ang pinakafasyon na cook sa balat ng lupa! Carla and the pasta sauce
expert nut chopping skillz by Chuckie
prepping the pasta and setting the table
Nikos checking out the chicken
Ivan studies his prey
Mitchie and Maxine!
Really overwhelmed with so much good food
Carla a few seconds prior to being the day's casualty :P

Fresh, healthy, Mediterranean, and best of all, made by US. :) We were extremely pleased with our new-found cooking prowess! (naks!)

We've already contemplated on a show format, ala-After Hours with Daniel by Daniel Boulud, wherein we'll gather to cook in Mitchie's house after a day of work and preparation, and where the conversations and the actual act of consuming food will be the focus of the show. :P

Borlogs after!
Kanya-kanyang internet pocket time
 Oooops, di pa tapos! We saved room for merienda-dessert: Blueberry Tea paired with the OATMEAL CAKES!
Mitchie teaching us how to "lighten" the butter
oh, the joys of baking: NAKAKAPAYAT!

Tea time :)

We've planned to make our "house-crashing" a weekly/bi-monthly affair, complete with themes. Next up is Viet night; but then I've already been hearing about "Temptation Island" night, since it was proposed that our theme-nights should cater to each attendee's field of work: there should be movies, too!

So Mitchie, what's on the next menu? :)

*all photos taken by Chuckie Chavez 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Definitive moment

i had an out-of-the-body experience last night, sans the out-of-bodyness of it all: it was a strange, multi-aspect diorama of what my life consisted of.

it had been a stressful past couple of weeks. yesterday began with a meeting with the Nielsen execs and the TV5 MarcComm and Research heads, then rolled on to more supplier calls and more brand demands. Lunch was Mcdo fries and chocolates, snack were 2 cups of strong freshly brewed coffee.

upon going to Ortigas to meet Ivan and Nikos, i decided to indulge on dark chocolate almonds, a preference of my foodie and social media god boss; at P180, it was a treat that deserved because of the stress i've been through the whole week. i deemed my almonds the precursor of a good weekend.

alas, my almonds failed me. I felt like i was hovering over myself the whole time--the cab ride to Ortigas was miserable--i was too shaky, too nauseated, too sad and tired. i was photosensitive and my head felt like it wasn't connected to my body. At Chilis, my stomach hurt too much. i felt like i was hyperglycemic with all the chocolate i had throughout the day. i even asked nikos to google "hyperglycemic symptoms" but it actually felt like hypoglycemia to me-- i was cold, shaky, fainty.

Murphy's Law was at it's most potent when the events turned dramatic from merely miserable--I then had an encounter with a person I've tried to avoid for the longest time. The circumstance was almost comic and i recoil when i consider its believability--it was as if i was in a really bad rom-com. I was stressed and behind deadlines, broke as a pauper, sick enough to die, an old flame and his current within the periphery--coupled with out-of-reach parents and siblings.

My most loved friends beat several stop lights and committed a host of traffic violations to get me to Medical City within record time--5 minutes from Greenhills to Ortigas, considering friday-payday traffic at around 8pm. I was in luck when a good friend took care of me and inserted me an IV line. I told him it was my first time to be hospitalized. Then came another angel, this time giving me all the instructions that I needed, even taking my VS and CBG for me. I had the best possible nursing care thanks to my friends Earvin and Laarni, who made sure that I was receiving proper attention and care. Then, I was told by the doctors that I probably had peptic ulcer. An uncle, a very close family friend, came as soon as we called, tended to me while my parents were in transit.

It was one of the extremely awful nights of my life but the whole time that I was in pain, I felt incredibly loved. Definitely not alone, definitely not panicking that I had no one beside me. In fact, during that 4 hour ordeal, I knew that I was exactly where I was meant to be, and I know I was with the people who matter most in my life.

I now know what matters most, and who could take care of me best. And I am incredibly blessed to have the most important people in my life with me during a very critical moment. Cheers to friendship, love, ordeals, pain and recovery. :)

Friday, April 15, 2011


the piling workload, the short notices for service orders, the short timelines and deadlines, the daily meetings, the critical issues to monitor (and sometimes lack of sleep and weekends), the lack of teammates, the lack of an established system of requisition and other admin concerns, the lack of work supplies and lack of technology for work, the distance i've to travel from home to work and back, the high costs for commute and food, the lack of  friends with available scheds within the area, my lack of expertise regarding some aspects of the job--

--I deem myself grateful and proud. I am not complaining, I just had to detail it to actually sort some glitches in my head. I've never been given as much corporate responsibility and never been as trusted with a lot of big stuff (well... i've been trusted with A LOT of lives before but thats another matter) and I feel sort of... a bit wiser. I've so much to learn, and I can't wait to learn it all. I want to be the best in this field.

I love my job.

Monday, April 11, 2011

this is love

thank you Bodie for the picture. :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

if I was sent by Tumblr for the NYC Fashion Week

I would have said:

"I'm so excited to be here, and so very grateful to Tumblr and for the people who made this possible for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Where I came from, you'd see a surge in the number of fashion blogs; technology paved the way for people to become more and more aware of different styles around the globe. We're one with the global community when it comes to this fashion revolution--we're definitely not there yet, and there's much more to explore, given the talent and potential that my people back home have, but I know that we're going somewhere!"

i thought about this the minute i was done reading a friend's well-written blog entry about the controversial video. sorry wasn't able to think much, also im currently in the middle of a laptop crash, desperately trying to salvage my files (HOPE THIS GETS POSTED, TOO!!!!), swept by tons of work but i just had to get that off my chest because, truthfully, I wish I could be given the opportunity that Tricia had, and the following that she has. a lot of people believe in her and a lot of people follow her blog. but really, all it takes is gratitude: it would have been simpler to just be thankful and lose oneself in the magnitude of that experience and responsibility.

im in no way connected to tricia and i fully agree with what my friend said too. i'm not even in the fashion biz. but here's to goodwill to both of them and to the whole Pinoy fashion industry--cheers, and lets all work towards further progress, unrelenting creativity and unparalleled craftsmanship.

Something to put you to sleep