You don’t choose a life, Dad. You live one.
— The Way (2010)
Franco makes having too much testosterone alright.

Franco makes having too much testosterone alright.

Books were safer than other people anyway.
— Neil Gaiman
Big Scoop’s green tea ice cream is so gooooddd!!!!!!!!!!! (And that’s enough exclamation points for you to go and try it.)

Big Scoop’s green tea ice cream is so gooooddd!!!!!!!!!!! (And that’s enough exclamation points for you to go and try it.)

Morning Grind


Macky’s Goto and Tokwa’t Baboy (72 pesos)

It was 9 o’clock in the morning, and I already declared I was having a bad day. I hate queues; I won’t deny I’m an impatient person. I’m the type of person who does precise calculations to make sure I arrive at the right time to be able to avoid idle time in waiting areas. Still, there’s still something about health clinics and doctors not mixing well with this principle called sense of time. 

The afternoon before, I was advised to come back the following morning for some tests the doctor advised. I accurately remember the secretary telling me that it would be best to come at 7AM so that, they could immediately run the tests. My schedule the next day had been planned. Tests in the morning, work after that. 

Here comes that awful morning. I came there a little after 7AM. I decided not to come at  7AM sharp ‘cause I knew they were still gonna set up and all that. When I got to the place, I was able to get my blood works immediately. Then, the lag time. The secretary who happens to run the ECG tests as well told me to get my X-ray done first. So, I waited for the technician to arrive. 20 minutes. X-ray came quick. I went down again to the secretary to update her that everything was finished except for the ECG. She told me to wait for a bit. I was starting to get pissed ‘cause she wasn’t even doing anything. She would go here and there as if trying to look busy. After about 10 minutes, I came to her again asking if I could have my ECG done right away ‘cause I have to get to work after. At that time, she told me to come in the afternoon because my request hasn’t been approved by my HMO provider. kdfajkl;d. So inefficient. I had no choice but to leave the place and proceed to work. 

I decided to pass by somewhere to have breakfast before going to work to relieve my frustration. (Yup, I kinda eat my feelings.) When I saw the faded yellow sign of Macky’s, I knew goto was what I wanted to eat. 

I don’t know if a lot had a goto/arroz caldo phase but I definitely had a lot of the Filipino’s version of rice porridge. Back in the days, Tatay would always go to this goto place nearby with his purple casserole. He didn’t even have to mention what he was gonna buy. It became automatic for the owner to fill the casserole and prepare two plastics - one for the tokwa’t baboy and one for the vinegar sauce. Sometimes, Tatay would have an extra order of pancit. It was just the perfect way to fill and heat up your stomach in the morning before going to work.

All of these childhood memories flashed back as I was enjoying my goto. I didn’t care if I was eating alone. Haha at that moment, I decided I didn’t mind doing it more frequently. I saw myself in the future coming back to the place, taking a seat in my usual spot (preferably beside a window) and eating goto to my heart’s content.  After that, I realized I was too quick to make rash decisions. It wasn’t a bad day after all. :)

Cheers to good ol’ and simple traditions! 

Macky’s Goto
J.P. Rizal, San Roque,
Marikina City

Villapando-Carlos Wedding

My brother married his four-year long girlfriend yesterday. It was the first in the family for both mom’s and dad’s side. It was far from being extravagant and well-planned but I’d say an intimate and awkward (yes, the whole event was full of it) wedding has its perks. They only invited about 120 guests, most of it our family and just a handful of their closest friends from college. 

I was never the sentimental and emotional sister who symphatized with him on the eve of his wedding when he couldn’t get a good night sleep or had the oh-no-there’s-a-newcomer-in-the-family jitters. As stoic as these may all sound, the realizations came in after the wedding. 

Their story isn’t the ideal — the baby came in first before the marriage. They had to go all of those “Mom, I’m pregnant.” and “Dad, I got my girlfriend pregnant” dreading confrontation. Fresh from college, my brother was forced to be mature and accept responsibility which, as most teens who are in a similar situation, he wasn’t ready for. I would count myself as part of the skeptics who believe this kind of couples shouldn’t commit another mistake by tying the knot just because they had a baby out of wedlock. But what I missed out in their story is that they were able to go through those dreading confrontations (not just from parents but from aunts and uncles and grandparents and other friends) and all other equally terrifying parts of being parents. Yes, my brother was forced to face responsibilities he wasn’t ready for. I wouldn’t be lying if I embarrass him here and say he’s the most irresponsible among the three (or six) of us and yet, he’s able to perform all of those. 

So, congratulations Kuya, I’m very proud to have seen you become a mature and responsible daddeh. Ang dami mo nang daddy-vibes indicators. Hahaha I really really wish you and Karla will stay together forever. Congratulations! 

P.S. Putek, ang cheesy ko. Sana hindi ‘to mabasa ni Kuya.  

The beauty of Coron despite the tropical depression during that weekend

Coron, Palawan
July 5-8, 2014 

Will never forget the food and the sceneriessss! Aaahh the pizza in Bistro Coron, the sizzling tuna steak in Centro Coron (see picture above), the baby back ribs in Santino’s Bar and Grill, the photogenic beauty of Kayangan Lake, the pristine water of Twin Lagoons, the conversations made in Bulog Dos Island (see picture above). 

The two 180-peso meals in Manila.

Erra’s Ramen
Adriatico Street, Malate, Manila

Shawarma Snack Center
Ermita, Manila

They’ve always been supportive; it was just I who was afraid.

We were never really the type of couple who went to places by ourselves. We would almost always invite our friends to come and share the experience with us. This trip was a contrary to those trips. We had a spontaneous day trip to Burot Beach in Calatagan, Batangas on a Saturday towards the end of summer. There were a lot of groups who happened to be there but the shoreline allowed each group to have decent privacy. We had plans of preparing lunch and griling some meat but settled on Chooks to Go liempo. We had plans of (actually) swimming but ended up just lounging on the outdoor, director chairs talking for hours. The whole trip, except the 3-hour drive from Manila, was lazy — but the good kind. At sunset, we packed up and headed back with a quick stopover at Bag of Beans in Tagaytay for dinner in between.