Monday, September 25, 2006

Badminton World Championship, memes, etc.

I had a difficult time waking up this morning. Wondered if it was related to my current condition. Hmmm, suddenly I remembered the reason why...I stayed up late watching the 2006 World Badminton Championships telecast live from Madrid, Spain. Aww shucks. Memo to self, sleep early from now on. I think I can sacrifice 7 more months of late night television in exchange for a healthy baby. It was quite funny though...I was rooting for Lin Dan on behalf of my unborn baby....hahaha. I'm so glad he won the World Championship. Bao Chunlai, Lin Dan's opponent and compatriot, is also a good player. There are other opportunities for him to win though, so good luck on his next try.

Anyway, these memes are long overdue. (Sorry Ipanema and Mita for the delay.)

First off, Ipanema requested me to name seven songs that I'm into right now. Hmm, I'm not really into music these days since I'm too sleepy to pop a CD in the player or to turn on the radio. Anyway, these are the songs that I last listened to on my cellphone/mp3 player:

1. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life - Art Garfunkel's version

2. Moon River - Louis Armstrong

3. La vie en rose - Louis Armstrong

4. What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong

5. Do you hear the people sing - from Les Miserables

6. Master of the house - from Les Miserables

7. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas - Johnny Matthis

I included the last one since this song never fails to get me in the Christmas mood. And I love the voice of Johnny Matthis. :-D

Now, onto Mita's meme. She requested me to list the top 5 things to eat before you die. I had more trouble deciding on this one because my taste buds are askew these days. Previous favorites have been included in the banned list at home...well, at least until I give birth. I cannot even take the smell of sauteeing garlic and onions. Oh well, seven more more months.

Anyway, here's my own list of top 5 things to eat before you die:

1. Steamed lapu-lapu from Emerald's Garden along Roxas Boulevard. I love their fresh steamed lapu-lapu with the mixture of just the right seasonings.

2. Prawn salad from President's in Chinatown.

3. Sweet lanzones from camiguin...and it's lanzones season to boot! (Yipee! My stomach is rejoicing at the thought of these sweet fresh lanzones.)

4. Pork chop from Tasty Dumplings (they have branches in Chinatown, Wilson St., Banawe among others). Their food is reasonably priced, even for those on a tight budget. Their chops are thin, crunchy and very tasty.

5. Razon's halo halo. I just love their halo-halo. Their recipe hails from Pampanga. The leche flan on top just melts in your mouth. Yummmmmmmyyy.

I would have wanted to include lumpia from a certain shop in Quiapo. But the name of the shop escapes me at this point. Sorry guys.

Anyway, there you go. Sorry for the delay. And since these memes are long overdue, I don't think I'll tag anyone. Hope you all had an enjoyable weekend. :-D

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Tribute to My Husband

Tag Category: A Badminton Story

It's my husband's birthday today and I must admit that with all of the things that have recently happened in our lives, I was not able to prepare anything for him. I could not even cook for him because my olfactory senses simply could not stand the smell of cooking. So my husband is out right now buying food for the guests. By the way, we're not just celebrating his's also been 5 years from the day I officially said yes to his proposal for us to date exclusively. Hahaha...uso pa ba yun ngayon? Kids these days are usually less formal. Di na uso yung panliligaw. I have to admit that I come from a different generation and I'm not familiar with the dating patterns of teens these days. But I digress.

I was surfing the net deciding on what my entry for today will be when I came across the site of Badminton Chronicles. I was reminded of this article written by Mr. Victor Belizario about my husband. I don't know Mr. Belizario personally but I was truly touched by his article. It is a fitting tribute to my husband who's celebrating his birthday right now. It also proves the importance of observing court ethics while playing badminton, and that a little help goes a long, long way. I would like to share this article with you. And to Mr. Belizario, whoever and wherever you are, my heartfelt thanks to you for sharing your story with the whole world. Here's to Jojo *toast*! Happy Birthday Honey and Happy Anniversary!

The day ee played against RP singles no. 1
By: Victor C. Belizario 17 January 2006 2:08 PM

One Sunday morning back in the early 1990s, we heard that Mang Tony was coming to join us in our weekly badminton game. He was a kababayan, a badminton buddy of my father and my uncle, but was then residing in Manila to tend to his business. He arrived with his son, Jojo, a tall and lean chap in his 20s. He's a very good player, we were told. Everybody in his family plays badminton. Hmm... that may be so, but it doesn't necessarily mean he's THAT good. Turned out that Jojo Mance was RP Singles No. 1 at the time and he was going to play with us weekend warriors! All right, I take it back. He must really be THAT good.

The venue was formerly a pelota court so only two sides were buffered against the wind and the rays of the sun. Good badminton courts were hard to find then, especially in BiƱan, Laguna so we made do despite the additional opponents – Mr. Gusts and Ms. Glare. True enough, nobody could withstand the father-and-son team. As there were practically no televised badminton matches during that era, it was my first time to watch a player move – no, glide on the court - swiftly and effortlessly, it seemed. Compared to this display of finesse, our footwork seemed like that of chickens – the decapitated variety. And his deft and deceptive strokes were remarkable to us yokels. Not to mention the hard smashes he occasionally let loose. But more astounding was his demeanor. Aggressive, but not loud-mouthed. He was no android either; he affably acknowledged good plays of his partner and even his opponents. We didn't see tantrums or self-berating scenes whenever a less-than-perfect shot was made. Which is quite rare nowadays. After the oldies, we (younger players) were next - to have a whack at it, as it were. But this time, he went one-on-two with us. Uhmmm … maybe we have a chance to beat him after all, we mused. That thought quickly vaporized when the game started and he quickly piled on the points. As my partner and I were basically all-power-and-no-strategy players then, we virtually telegraphed our intentions to him during every rally. Well … not every rally, really … there was one point when we finally got to serve. Jojo anticipated a short serve so he was poised to lunge at the net for the kill when I had begun my service motion. But I executed a pretty good flick serve, which surprised him (and most of all, me!) The shuttle sailed in a textbook offensive arc just beyond his reach and landed just inside the service court. Uh-oh. Instead of being elated, I thought grimly – now, you've done it. He's going to whip you and your partner for that. Lintek lang ang walang ganti. But surprisingly, he just laughed softly at himself and nodded at us in recognition of the point. No grimacing. No menacing grin. He even returned the shuttle to us for our next serve properly. Kakaiba talaga!? These days an opponent might slam the bird into the net in disgust or begrudgingly hit the bird back to you, i.e. hit it out of your reach. Anyone out there who could relate? Okay, okay … you can put your hands down now.

Anyway, after our single-game match, he gave us tips on footwork, grip, strokes, strategy .…. in a casual, unassuming manner. But what he didn't mention, we learned by example. Sportsmanship. Character. Play hard but still be agreeable to your opponents. Yes, even to your doubles partner….especially your doubles partner.

As we bid each other goodbye after the game, we thanked father and son for playing with us. Today, at 45, I thank them for helping me sustain my love for the sport. Just a little kindness really goes a long way, doesn't it? The final score? Ahhh ..….. oo nga pala! Jojo whipped us 15-3. Yet somehow, we all went home winners.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Many of you might be wondering the reason behind my absence in the blogosphere. Don't you worry guys, I'm still alive and kicking! :-)

Let me start my post with what happened last Sunday. I accompanied by husband to the GO! Badminton Tournament held at Powersmash Makati where he paired off with Rocky Magnaye in the Open Category.

Rocky Magnaye and Jojo Mance

They both tried their best. Unfortunately, they did not win in their cateogry. Youth simply proved superior at this point. But to me guys, you're still the best!

After the tournament, I suddently realized that I was not feeling well. Aside from the hunger pangs I was experiencing, I also felt nauseated. We decided to eat at the food court in Glorietta. Suspecting something, I asked my husband to pass by the drugstore first before going home, to which he readily agreed.

So, after passing by Watson's drug store in Greenbelt 1, we immediately went home. Upon arriving home, I fell asleep from exhaustion. I woke up at 6 P.M., went to the bathroom to pee...and to administer the home pregnancy test kit that I bought at Watson's.

After performing this test for about a year, I was already used to seeing a single line in the test kit to signal that I was not yet with child. When I finally saw 2 red lines on the test strip, I cried like crazy and felt extremely happy that God has finally granted our wish -- to have a child. I immediately went to my husband and told him the good news. He was also very happy with the news and excited too.

So that's what's been happening to me guys. For the past four days, I have been swept in this wonderful feeling of euphoria. Unfortunately, it is not without its accompanying discomfort. I always feel nausea, my taste buds are askew and I've been feeling very sleepy lately. But believe me, these are sacrifices I'm willing to make for the realization of a dream. Finally!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Bistek Tagalog: Beef Steak Filipino-style

It's Saturday and time once more for me to don my chef's hat (naks...hahaha). I'm sure all the Filipinos out there are familiar with Bistek Tagalog -- the Filipino version of the Western style steak. As usual, this is the result of the creativity of the Filipinos in order to stretch out this recipe to feed more people and makes use of native ingredients like calamansi.

I made use of sirloin steak sliced thinly and marinated it in a mixture of calamansi and soy sauce. Remove from the marinade and brown in oil for about 5 minutes. Add the marinade. Add soy sauce and a bit of water as needed. Top with pre-cooked white onions, sliced into rings. Serve over hot rice. Yummy!

Tag category: Recipe

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Importance of court surface

Tag category: Badminton 101

When my friends and I were still playing regularly at the badminton court located at the Court of Appeals, a friend of mine would constantly complain of back problems after a competitive game of badminton. I was not spared of any pain either. My feet would also ache due to the constant running I had to do.

At first, I thought the pains we were experiencing were due to the fact that we were getting older(lol!). It was only later that I found what the culprit was - the surface we were playing on was cement and it was harsh on our bodies due to the constant running, jumping and lunging we had to do. It was then that I discovered the importance of court surfaces in playing.

So far, I have seen four (4) kinds of surfaces in different badminton courts here in the Philippines, namely: (1) cement (hard court); (2) rubber mat-on-cement; (3) wooden planks flooring (wooden court surface); and (4) rubber mat-on-wood.

An example of a rubber mat-on-wood surface

Of these four, I prefer the last one, rubber mat on-wood. Cement is my least favorite surface. It has no 'give' after you perform a jump. Your body will have to absorb all the impact of that jump. A wooden surface, on the other hand, will help absorb some of the impact and will help the player 'bounce back.' Rubber mat, on the other hand, provides for a good surface since it has anti-skid properties. Due to the sudden stops and starts in a badminton game, this will help the player avoid sliding across the court after a sudden move. Obviously, a rubber mat-on-wood surface provides the best surface since it absorbs some of the shock and prevents the players from skidding inside the court. In the absence of available rubber mat-on-wood surface, I would settle for a wooden surface. I would definitely steer clear of those cement surfaces. I still want my knees and joints to be intact in my old age. :-)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Traffic condition last night

It was around 6:20 last night when I heard the sound of thunder. My room at the office had no windows so I had to go out of my room and peek at the next available window. Sure enough, it was raining hard. I had a hunch that if I stayed long in the office with this kind of rain, we would have difficulty going home since we live in a flood-prone area. I called up my husband to pick me up. By 7:00 P.M., we were already on our way home.

The rain suddenly stopped. So feeling confident that the water will subside, we plied the Espana route. Lo and behold, there was water everywhere and traffic stood still. Arrgghhh, we should have known. That area is really prone to flood at the first sign of rain.

See the water on the street and the
stream of people crossing the street

The people walking hurriedly by inspite of the flood,
probaly to catch the latest teleserye at home.

With the elections looming next year, I just hope that the politicians make good on their promise to improve the drainage and flood-control system, not just in Metro Manila, but nationwide. Santa, I hope you're reading this.

Oops, I almost forgot. What time did we get home? 10:20 P.M. I could hardly believe it myself. That's how bad the traffic situation was last night.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Sinigang na Baboy: Pork Soup with Tamarind Mix

My husband accompanied me to the grocery yesterday and I asked him what he wants for lunch today. He said sinigang na baboy (pork soup with tamarind mix). So I decided to grant his wish. Besides, I love cooking soup-based meals since it's an all-in-one meal.

The grocery we went to was out of pork pieces specifically for sinigang. I had to settle for liempo. Unfortunately, the pork pieces we got had lots of fat in it. But the good thing with this kind of dish is that it's not fried and there are vegetables so I still consider it somewhat healthy.


1 1/2 kilo pork liempo
gabi (taro)
enough water to cover the pork
1 pack tamarind mix (I used Knorr's sinigang sa sampaloc mix with gabi)
onions, chopped
tomatoes, sliced
chili pecante (about 5 pieces)
kangkong leaves


Combine the water, pork and gabi and cook in a pressure cooker, about 5 minutes. Remove from pressure cooker (be careful, it's hot) and transfer to another pot. Add the tamarind mix, onions, tomatoes and chili. Let it boil and simmer for about 20 minutes in order to let all the juices out. Add the kangkong leaves and let it boil again. Remove from heat. Best served with rice and patis (fish) sauce with siling labuyo. Yummy!

And for dessert? Voila! Bibingka (sweet rice cake) which was a pasalubong from my husband after he came home from the gym this morning. (Sweet noh?!)

Tag category: Recipe

Friday, September 01, 2006

Friday night out with some of my closest friends

My friends, Eric and Minnie and I, decided to have dinner tonight since we have not been able to get in touch with each other lately. Eric has been my friend since my days at the Supreme Court, while Minnie and I have known each other since college days at the Ateneo. I miss them so much and I was really looking forward to having dinner with them.

Predictably, since I would be the last one who could get off work, we decided to eat somewhere near my office. So, we decided on the old reliable Amici (ah-MEE-chi) di Don Bosco located at the Don Bosco School along A. Arnaiz Ave., Makati City. They serve excellent Italian cuisine at affordable prices. Jojo tagged along since I had always been convincing him to eat at Amici. I always teased him that I discovered Amici first even if he was the alumni of Don Bosco High School.

This is what we had:

Spaghetti with the house specialty - Don Bosco sauce
(tomato sauce with hams and mushrooms)

Penne Arrabiata (believe me this is really hot)Spaghetti Carbonara
(since we already ordered 2 pastas with tomato-based sauces)

Tutta Carne Pizza (all meat toppings)

How did we eat all of these? By sharing, of course! The best way to eat since we could each have a taste of everything. It was a wonderful evening. Good food, good friends. :-)