10 days: Grandma's Big 80 Bash

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Grandma's bash waItalics held last Saturday, August 22 in Barangay Nayon (hehe aka Barangay Hall!)

People normally have to pay for the use of this venue but since my Grandma's the Barangay Captain, siya ang batas!lol It was a gathering only for the family and friends.

This cake was totally different when it was delivered. My cousins and I kinda edited it by decorating it with our cute pictures,lol

hmmm... do green and orange go together? If not, it wasn't our idea, okay? honestly! lol The caterer decorated the place and in fairness, the barangay hall went through a whole new transformation. I heard some people saying how "sosyal" the place daw,hehe

We had this short program (which we normally do when we have family reunion) that was not really short after all!lol One of the visitors actually had to go early for his next appointment and was not even able to eat! tsk tsk tsk The plan was to finish the important parts before eating. I guess we all got carried away.lol

O diva? May video and powerpoint presentation pa! I was sitting there with my two cousins who actually made this happen:) Mga IT genius!lol

My nephew and my grandma dancing to the tune of "SHE". Yay! mala-Julia Roberts eto!:)

My aunts singing Wind Beneath my Wings. Should I tell you how many times they rehearsed the song? Nah... lol Oh, by the way, one of them is my mom! guess who?!

Tadaaaaaan!!!! There you go! That's me with my brother, mom and lola! (grandma) :) Don't you think it's unfair that my lola's the prettiest???!!!hehe

At her age, Lola still has an active social life.lol See? That's her what they call "WALANG KUPAS" (meaning 'not fading', literally!hehe) group, berks, dabarkads something.hehe They were already "Walang Kupas" since I was a baby... or I think even I was yet to be born. They sang their own version of Happy Birthday, astig!lol:)

This was actually a "take 2" already.hehe The first time we tried, most of us were crying... due to uncontrollable emotion!hehe (I guess being a cry-baby is hereditary!) So my older cousin insisted we sing it again. We were singing "Iingatan Ka" by Carol Banawa.

The rest of the pictures were just "kulitan" na lang,hehe Mga adik sa picture! (addicted to picture!)

This is the rest of the family. Aunts, cousins and nephew. Pang- ID picture daw according to the photographer.!lol

Eto naman pa-cute:) hehe

Me and my cousins:)

Jumping, in my stiletto... ang stiff ko noh?! Kelangan pa ng practice!:)

Eto naman adik sa coke! (addicted to coke!) lol My 1-yr-and-8-month-old nephew.

This was after Lola opened her gifts. My mom and and my aunts were vying for the lotion of their choice.hehe Lola can't use any of them so they had a kind of raffle draw to decide who will get what!lol They were actually dancing like EB Babes in Eat Bulaga... or some gurlaloo in Wowowee.LOL

It was such a memorable experience. I'm sooooo missing them all already!

Can't wait for the next one!:)

Love you, Lola!!:)

10 days: Tagalog-Korean Greetings

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So... I have this habit of surprising people. In fact, when I booked my flight to the Philippines in April, I never told a single soul. Okay, actually, I was lying. I told my brother, alright.. and my cousin in Saudi. But that's it. Errrr... and a close friend from work plus my bestfriend. That's not a lot,right? Anyway, the bottom line is, my family didn't know. I was planning to just pop out in front of their doorstep! It was already planned! But then a few days before my flight, I thought of what my mom told me. Since she didn't send me off when I first came here in Korea, she definitely had to be there when I come back. And so, my whole plan was ruined! But I felt glad just the same. It was my mom's first time in the airport and I was just happy to let her have this experience.

Anyway, as part of my plan, since I didn't tell them beforehand that I would be able to attend my lola's birthday, I sent them our video greetings to be included in the video presentation. To make it convincing right? (I actually thought it worked! If only my plan was not ruined tsk tsk tsk) hehe

Okay, so just don't throw up while watching. I'm just naturally thick-skinned so I have the guts to post it here.lol Sorry Blue! He'll kill me for this!lol

Well? Just don't say a word... LOL

10 days: Halmoni (Grandma)

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One of the main reasons that I opted to go to the Philippines this August instead of December, aside from the extremely cheap plane ticket, is my grandmother's 80th birthday.

Whenever I think about my grandma, the thing that pops out of my mind is the time when she accompanied me in Quezon City to help me fix my enrollment in the university.

My mom was kinda busy that time and my grandma was the only other person who could go with me since she also knew how to go around the city (I was a certified "promdi"! from the province!hehe in the Southern Tagalog region). She was 72 then and it was only later on that I realized how hard it was for her to walk around the campus (poor grandma, I almost dragged her with me.. sorry!) You have to ride the jeepney inside the campus just to reach certain places like the shopping center, registrar and the gym and math building (which are way far and beyond,hehe). Anyway, how could I possibly know about the 'IKOT' and 'TOKI' (yellow jeepneys going around the campus) since I was not even officially a freshman yet?

We were just looking for the registrar that time and I remember how I tried to sink in my seat inside the jeepney while my grandma asked someone (read: LOUDLY! That made all the passengers listen to what she was saying. What's with the oldies shouting in a normal, calm conversation?!) how to go there. The people we talked to were most helpful and we were able to find what we were looking for. I didn't have time to express my concern when I saw my grandma behind me, slowly walking and probably just enduring her aching feet (blame it to her arthritis, rheumatism wahtsoever) but I was so anxious to have my work done (and was partly embarrassed of having my grandma as my company...okay, so I was bad... but I was a teenager then! And I so wanted to appear confident and independent,hehe)

We were done at last and I was looking forward to going home. One of my cousins used to live in Visayas..... avenue!hehe near Quezon City circle and that's our next destination. We got off in Philcoa and guess what? my grandma stopped a bus bound for Fairview! She already got on the bus when she told the driver (read: loudly again... in full volume!lol) that we were going to Quezon City Hall or any place where we can ride a jeepney to Visayas ave, the driver said we should cross the overpass and we would see jeepneys to take us there. To make the long story short, we got home safely (and each in one whole piece:)

I was with my cousin's husband the next time I went back there.lol (really sorry, grandma!)

And that's how my grandma is to everyone... her children, her grandchildren, her friends and now, the whole "barangay" where she's serving as the Barangay Captain!... at the age 80! (san ka pa?!)

And so the whole family decided to make her birthday extra special this year:)

more kwento's (stories) to come:)

10 days

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..of devouring kaldereta, adobo, sinigang and other Filipino food that I missed so much
..of nonstop chatting and sharing stories about my, as they said, "being Koreana" :)
..of catching up with the lives of everyone I know
..of taking tons of picture
.. spent with my family and a few of my friends

ay tapos na?! ang bilis naman!:(

I was soooo happy but soooo bitin din (hope the next one won't be... i mean, bitin. haggard kasi!:)

nice to be back, though:)

Kimchii Express

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Can you imagine kimchii traveling hundreds of kilometers to reach your dining table? Our's did!

A package arrived in our apartment last Saturday containing kimchii and other "ban chan" (side dishes) as well. There were several bottles,too. All basic stuffs normally used in the Korean kitchen like soy sauce (which has several types depending on what food will be cooked!) and sesame oil (which they use pretty much in everything:) My mother-in-law sent them all last Friday. And I was so thrilled to see our refrigerator THAT full again:)

Well, I'm not really the lazy type of wife.lol I DO cook for my husband! (really!!) But since there's just the two of us, there's really no need to prepare so much food. But I still feel happy when my MIL or sister-in-law give us food from time to time. (They are probably worried my husband might be malnourished or something!) Anyway, why refuse the blessings?lol

This is one of the convenient things I like in Korea. When you say express, well, it could really be fast (I guess part of their "ppali ppali" culture (ppali means to be fast) I found this site of one of Korea's pioneer in package delivery service and they offer services that cater to people's needs:)

How I wish it was possible for my mom to send me "adobo" and "kaldereta", too when I was all noodles and instant stuffs during my college days.hehe

It's a Small World 2

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Like I've mentioned in my post before, I never expect to bump into someone I actually know when I'm wandering around Seoul. Well, I think I should now:)

We were in the main branch of Kyobo Book Center or Kyobo Moongo, the largest and most famous bookstore in Korea, in Gwanghamun Seoul yesterday. I was looking for some art book I was planning to give my nephew in the Philippines and we had to ask for assistance. Not only was it hard to find where the exact corner was, but it was too crowded as well (what, with all the kids sprawled on the carpeted floor plus their parents who are looking after them) It was Sunday that's why:)

It so happened that the staff my husband talked to and showed us around was one of my students in my group class in the language center in the Philippines! I didn't notice her right away because frankly speaking, Korean faces tend to look similar in my eyes especially in a crowded place like this. Anyway, I was browsing some books when she suddenly asked me "Were you from C21?" I looked at her and realized, hey, she did look familiar! So, I said "Wait, I KNOW you!" and we both laughed. We didn't talk much though because it was still technically time for work so she shouldn't be probably chatting away and we were not really that close so a small talk would do. We didn't even exchange numbers,hehe She probably thought I was a horrible teacher!lol

Again, small world indeed!:)

Dinner in Alaska

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Okay, so we didn't actually go to North Pole just to have dinner!lol

Since I have been sick (and alone...do i really have to emphasize that?!lol), I was moping at home the whole day yesterday when my niece suddenly texted me saying we'll be eating dinner together with the family that night. I thought it was just an ordinary dinner, which is either in my sister-in-law's house or in a restaurant somewhere in the neighborhood, so I didn't bother to dress up. And I was not in the mood anyway. So I just put on a shirt and sweat pants, combed my hair a little and powdered my nose. With just a cellphone in my hand, I put on my slippers and off I went to my SIL's apartment.

The simple dinner turned out to be a kind of send-away get together for some relatives who are just in Korea for a visit. They are currently living in the Philippines and will go back there next week.

I kinda panicked because they all looked decent and I wasn't.lol And so as we were entering this fancy restaurant, I took a deep breath and thought of a friend's mantra in this kind of situation which is... "Attitude!". No matter how drab I look, with the right attitude... kering keri ko na yan!lol Anyway, actually, it doesn't matter at all. Keber ko ba?!lol

The restaurant we went to was ALASKA (Seafood Buffet and Family Party Restaurant) located in Lotte Mart in Junggye-dong Nowon-gu Seoul which is just a 10-minute drive from our home. They also have stores in Ansan, Bupyeong, Ulsan, Anseong, Guru and Gwangju World Cup Stadium.
This is their sort of logo, that I got from their site, which could be mistaken for an ice cream store or winter wonderland something if not for the small text above Alaska!:)

The place was cozy and I instantly noticed that there were already a lot of customers inside, some seated and some already feasting around the buffet tables. If I had taken my camera and were feeling a little better, I would have taken tons of picture already. But no. I was not in the pityur-pityur mode this time. And I didn't have my camera with me anyway.

They have salad bar, sushi and sashimi bar, the steamed and grilled stuff corner, a special corner where they serve kebab and shabu shabu and MY corner: dessert!!!!! That was the part I enjoyed the most:) They served these cute mini choco mousse, blueberry mousse and mango mousse to name a few (gosh, I lurrrrv them... actually not particularly these ones but cakes and mousse in general). Plus a chocolate fondue (I forgot how many chocolate coated breadsticks I ate:). They do have choux, muffins, cookies, ice cream, and fruits, too (which I couldn't stuff in my tummy anymore cause it was already bulging.lol)

Though I enjoyed the dessert A LOT, the restaurant was not really extraordinary. (I think people always have something negative to say.haha) Hmmm... and I think once is enough. Di bale nang walang picture!lol