Monday, December 31, 2007


It was a good year. Blessed with so many things that is beyond hard work...beyond luck. I hope that 2008 brings more blessings not only to me but to everyone that touched my life and who I've touched in one way or another.

Happy New Year! Manigong Bagong Taon!


Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Respite from all that partying...

Just like what I said, the longest holiday celebration only happens in the Philippines. Today is my respite from all those drinking, chatting and catching up, singing and well, dancing too!

It started with my high school reunion last December 8th. Meeting high school classmates after 25 years was a blast. Totally very tiring but so much fun. Since we had an open bar, I was happily trying what the bar had to offer most of the evening amidst the hard work of running the program.

Looking at this pic, I wonder when Vic (the guy who was hanging on me..) became really close...must be the alcohol. Hahaha! Well, this bunch of people continued on with the celebration a week later. On Dec. 14th, we all headed out to Tagaytay ( where a classmate has a beautiful home called "T" that has a great view of the lake and the smallest volcano in the world.

It must be the cool air and the fabulous place (, but once again alcohol invaded my senses. Sitting on a deck chair, looking at the stars one cannot help but gulp down a whole pitcher of kick-ass margarita. Which led to dancing on top of a big rock beside the pool (nature's version of "the ledge").

There is also my sister Des who flew in from Dubai on Dec. 2nd. Any sibling of mine who flies in for a visit from their part of the world is already one big party. So Des stayed on until the 14th of December. Before she flew back, we had a great time drinking at The Bar of the Manila Peninsula. She wanted to feel the ambience of the site of the latest rebellion attempt! In the midst of chatting and catching up, I did not realize that I downed several of those mango daiquiris. Paging MJ: If you're reading this, this is one drink that you should try :-)

The rest of the photos are here:

Though my other sister Teng already arrived from Denmark on Dec. 16th, another party kept me in alcohol and that's my company Christmas party last Dec. 19th. I had a great time emceeing the event and gulping down San Miguel Beer Lights until the wee hours of the next morning.

A couple of days later on the 22nd, Butch and I threw our very first party at our home. Though I was downing San Mig lights and red wine, I was so busy running around and entertaining guests that my head cleared up by mid-afternoon. I forgot to take photos though!! The few that I have are here:

And the last so far was Christmas Eve. We (my sister Teng, brother-in-law Ramon and husband Butch) were lounging about at the house watching my husband cook dinner with Fundador and Coke cocktails and enjoyed it so much we missed Mass! I also realized that this was the first Christmas I remember that I wasn't wearing purple.

It ain't over yet...the partying...but the respite of just vegging out - sleeping the whole day was a welcome break to recharge and to be thankful.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

'Tis the Season...

'Tis the season. The season where I cannot write about anything. The season that alcohol consumes most of my free time. When parties abound. Where gifts are the norm.

'Tis the longest holiday season celebration in the world - the Philippine Christmas season.

MERRY CHRISTMAS wherever you are in the world!

Maligayang Pasko from Manila and MOPWorld.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

They Come and Go, They Come and Go-o-o-o!

After one sister left and a week of indulging in margaritas, daiquiris and san miguel beer light (my poor liver! hahaha!), another sister flew in and has started the onslaught of time with family once again.
The Fuentes family from Copenhagen, Denmark will be here until the 4th of January so most likely I won't be seen in the virtual world that much.
Of course, I'd tell the tale one of these days. I need to catch up on sleep...the yapping just won't stop. :-D

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

My Medical Tourist is Keeping Me Busy

She came in the middle of the night..sibling # 5 of Kamp Braza. The "red" girl of the family. Hard to miss her in Manila's chaotic airport. She has this bright red luggage set.

The minute she rode my car, I've been basically sleepless since. But I was so happy to see her again. It's been a year and the last we saw each other wasn't the best of times.

She used to be "Des" short for Maria Lourdes but now her business card says she's just Maria. In Dubai where she is now based, her first name is used while in the Philippines, traditionally the second name is used to distinguish the many "Marias" of this country. Oh well!

This time the medical tourist in the family is home for eye laser surgery. Last time she was here, she had arm liposuction. According to her she will have dental surgery next time she comes home to visit. Oh well!

So now, she said she can see clearly..goodbye to her contact lenses and eyeglasses. She's off to socialize after a couple of days of being our home patient. Oh well!

But I can't wait to spend time with her this weekend. She's an exasperating character but she's happy and I'm proud of her. Thank God she is still "Tatsi" to her nephews and nieces. We can all call her that until the next name evolves.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Budding Chef's First Overseas Trip

It was Butch's first overseas trip so I was excited to see Hongkong ( again with fresh eyes and in the eyes of my budding chef.

It was already getting colder when we arrived. Loved the autumn chill! It made walking for miles and miles bearable. Despite the shock of seeing Chungking Mansion...we adapted to our surroundings and promptly went on to do what we wanted to do - see places we were not able to see back in 2004 and see friends we have not seen for a long time.

It was always a wonder to me that a place that is barely a couple of hours away from the Philippines could be so different in climate, culture and overall texture. I had fun re-acquainting myself with Tsim Sha Tsui. Just roaming around the area near our place was already a lesson in sight and smell. We were already anticipating the coming days.

Whereas before we had a tour bus bring us to our classy hotel at Harbour Plaza Metropolis (, now Butch enjoyed his first sight of Hongkong via the A21 bus. No difference since the buses were very comfortable double deckers. And did I say our bus' upholstery was purple? Such fun! I also loved the sofa of the Adidas store. Thank God the budding chef was also quick with the camera because we later found out it was prohibited to take photos inside the shop. :-D

So Hongkong was purple galore in autumn and I definitely took advantage! More about how I took advantage of purpleness tomorrow.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

After a Wonderful Autumn Hongkong...My First Taste of Curfew Since Martial Law

Coming home to a buzzing airport was an experience in itself. Imagine this - you come home from a good trip, line up at immigration tired and wanting to go home since its almost 1:00am then you receive a small piece of paper saying that "due to the incident that happened in Makati today, a curfew has been imposed from 12 midnight to 5am. Please be ready with your passport in case of inspection". What the!!!!

It was the first time since I was a small child that I experienced curfew albeit short. Nevertheless, the sight of Manila's most congested avenue EDSA was a sight to behold with just a couple of vehicles plying it.
Apparently, while we (my husband Butch and travel partner Ochie) were busy visiting Avenue of the Stars in Hongkong, a Senator decided to walk out of his rebellion hearing, marched to a poor unsuspecting 5-star hotel, called the Filipino people to arms to oust the President of the Philippines which naturally prompted the military to ram their tanks into the hotel's lobby thereby causing mayhem and inconvenience to the hotel's guests and anxiety to the country's population.

My friends who I met for drinks later in the evening said that if I've seen it on TV, I would most likely borrow the British adjective "bloody damn fools" for the comedy of errors that it became. So they said thank your lucky stars you weren't here and tell us about your vacation!

So for the next few days I will most probably do tell everyone how interesting my recent trip to Hongkong was. Sounds better rather than spouting bloody damn fools every two seconds right? Jacky Chan should give these guys a few kicks in the butt.