Saturday, January 9, 2010

Tim's Sweetest Lemonade and Amy's Yummiest Slushie

My two dear Koreans during study time- Sharing with you their recipes from our Writing and Following Instructions class:

Are you thirsty in this very hot morning in Saipan? Then try Tim's Sweetest Lemonade! This lemonade is sour and sweet.
Guess what? It's full of Vitamin C!

1 and 1/4 cups of freshly squeezed lemon juice (remove the seeds)
1 cup of sugar
2 cups of water
2 cups of ice cube
3 cups of cold water

First, squeeze the lemons.
Second, put water and sugar in the saucepan. Then, bring to a boil and let it cook for about 1 minute. Wait for it to cool.

After that, put everything in the pitcher. Then, put 3 cups of cold water and 2 cups of ice in a pitcher. Finally, put it in the fridge and wait for it to get cold.

It's fun to share with a friend this cold, cold lemonade!!!

Amy's Yummiest Slushie

Looking for something to drink? Here is Amy's yummiest slushie! It's made of banana, strawberry, and other fruits. It is very healthy for children, and it has no sugar!

1-4 frozen bananas, sliced (depending on the size)
9 or more strawberries
Other fruits of your choice
1 and 1/3 cup of apple juice (or milk)
It's up to you to add 2 tbsp. of sugar (optional)

First, wash all the fruits.
Second, pour 1 and 1/3 cup of milk into a blender.
After, add 4 sliced frozen bananas and blend.
Then, add juice or milk as needed. If you want it creamier, add more liquid. And you can put 1 or 2 tbsp. of sugar.

This frozen slushie drink is best when it's summer, or when you're so thirsty!

Servings: 2 and 1/2 cups.

Tip: Amy's Yummiest Slushie can also be an ice cream! Just freeze it for 1-2 hours.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Stranded Series

Writing on this doomed storms, tired and hungry- I'm on another round of relieving fretting, which my Grade 3 pad paper has to endure. Alone stranded in a lobby some place, I sit and sulk with a grumbling tummy, and sinking feelings. Waiting couldn't get any better as the receptionist sings his lungs out as if to some Rain God to make the rains pour its million drops down.

Impassable, impossible. Like the roads and flood and waiting. So for cold eons I'll be stranded with just kimchi and an almost emptied bottle of water.

I try to list down things to do and just be proactive, but my mind is blocked with fiery, furious frustration. And at a moment of disaster, I still had the guts to feel this- complaining, grumbling, and all.

Smite me, O Mighty One. I've to get a good spanking for this.

I’ve only the company of gnawing anxiety for my loved ones and the inexplicable taste of kimchi to keep me awake, alert at this moment where all seems to be on the downpour including my sanity.

I marvel at the light crispiness, the explosive juices as you bite into it- never mind the smell. It’s perfect for all fried and dry foods I could think of, the ones I could have eaten right about now to appease my tummy.

I especially love the sharp, biting effect after consuming just a few bites. Even Ratatouie would be swept away with floods and floods of spices! It bites your tongue like a fiery scorpion, leaving its poison of an aftertaste of garlic, chili, and chives.

Sleeping in ceramic pots for days, as my Korean friend explained, it unleashes its power as it gets fermented. It nurses lots of good living bacteria too that’s good for digestion!

It’s just me and my kimchi, stranded for God knows how long- now turning 3 hours…

Kill time- how do you suppose to do that? If I could just raise my hands and move the cars to let my driver come through, like Moses’ miracle.

It’s almost five pm now, I had finished my tutorials at 12 and I’m feeling more miserable than ever- like a first day dysmenorrhea on a cold, cold afternoon.

I could feel my hair blowing as if I’m in the middle of the sea on a cruise. Smelled like a turtle too. Can smell it from somewhere here- pebbles, and sand, and soil, and urchins… and... well, turtle. But there’s a strong scent of diesel and cigarette, so that makes it all wrong.

Have just called my driver and he’s still in Katipunan, that drench- wretched place infested with cars at this very moment- actually for 4 hours now. The parlor has closed on me so goodbye to my dream of hot red nails to save me from biting them as I was soo anxious.

It is still me and my overly sour kimchi now, depriving it from the refrigerator chill. What if life would be like this and I’d have no choice but to sit like a couch hippopotamus and drown in my sorrows and flabs?

Here I was as if I hadn’t gone past Piaget’s Pre- operational stage where egocentrism highlights it.

I sit and fret and rant some more while cars are floating hopelessly, people are losing their houses and families are crying for help in rivers or on roofs everywhere in Luzon.

Impossible, impassable, I have become, but please, not for long…

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cancer Tale

I walked past three hallways and three sets of staircase, avoiding the escalators. Dragging myself, I wanted to walk the slowest as possible as I was going to see my Mom- with dangling wires and tubes stuck to her hands, feeding on her energy, making her weaker, wearier by the hour. My dad, beside her, also rendering a sleepless night.

My mom’s is a story of a cancer that waited. Waited until it went away temporarily- for the love of a husband to be rekindled.

For the faith that had been- that was almost lost to misery and hopelessness.

For the understanding of her children, and their maturity and independence to bloom.

Despite everything, our family struggled and fought for her to get cured and survive. Contrary to Mom’s wants though. She didn’t desire to be healed. But just to live for as long as God willed.

She knew in her heart it was her doing all along, that she had been workaholic, and didn’t give much time to herself. All her cigarettes have left a grave mark; the empty packs, and piles of papers to check, missed meals and sleepless nights are taking their toll now. But along with those, too, are the time and care she gave as a mother, a daughter, and a wife.

Everything unfolds slowly, and just as my mom promised, my eyes and my heart would be opened. Wounded but fully open to endure more, accept more.

You’re old enough to be responsible for each other, she said. I choked back my tears and just nodded. Yet in my heart, I knew I wasn’t old enough and ready to take all the tasks and thoughts about loss and dying.

She’s selfless. Pure, unhealthy selflessness.

But moms are moms- nurturing, loving and unreasonable. Like what life is- fun, exciting and unfair.

She carried the world and us.

What I wouldn’t give to get her back, and carry the world for her.

Still, thankful to the highest heavens she’s okay.

For now.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Caffeinated Life

Coming to therapy has been my daily routine for two months now. And everyone seeks excitement, everyone misses first- time thrills when all becomes a cycle.

I have met mine one day. We started with a few greetings, and little talks over leg press and wall squats and stationary bikes.

Infatuation may be for the younger ones. But my heart declares so. And in these moments, I am happy to have found my 'thrill', my break in the cycle.

When he's around, I feel like spilled latte, him the tall tower of dark, sultry espresso trying to blend me into his world. He treats me like a princess, too, the extremes of how he'd otherwise treat a basketball.

He too had been injured. A life-changing story too. He had packed half his home in a far away country, to explore the life of a student athlete in one of the local universities. Sadly, he got injured right before season started. Injured again and had a second operation two weeks after the first.

And despite these, he keeps smiling everyday, coming to therapy as if it was as fun as basketball training.

He's happy enough that he lives for one more day.

And as for me? Well, I better stop feeling that sinking, draining feeling when I get lost in this routine. No complaints. No more fretting.

I just want to go back to teaching. And in time, I believe I will.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Garage Sale

A grand ball of items
Prices marked down
Striking, tempting, blinding

As for this soul- Chaos In love
Gleaning on superficial eyes
Blundering feelings
Excruciating to the depths

Love's price marked down
with a non-negotiable tag: Never will be


Life's of black and white,
green and cream, brown and flesh;
on checkers, and squares, and boxes;
on wood, glass, plastic
- that familiar strategic game of complex moves and decisions;
of risking, sacrificing, consuming.
And there's no turning back- only forward and side-ward.

You make your moves. I do too- though at times I retreat.
Too scared to risk, to fall.
Piece by piece you take away,
then you capture my queen, my heart
as I take your bait.

My walls broken- you leave me defenseless, resigned.
And all that's left, my king, cornered with nothing to govern.
Not even the heart
that, at last, lost to you..

A Tribute



The very words that our teacher taught us two decades ago.

It was our world then- growing bigger and bigger as the years passed.

Remembering quite vividly, we conquered our mountains- in the pyramid of colored, old rubber tires in the grounds of PCMC, traveled to places- arranging the chairs one after another, and chanting the familiar “Chug-a-chug-a-choo-choo!”, swam to endless borders in the wee pool and caught frogs – all together constantly worrying Ate Lolit, our teacher aide then.

We painted our worlds with colors, flew and reached heights with the teacher’s encouragements. We keep our best memories of strutting proudly, I in my rockstar suit and gold wig, my sister in her tiger costume. We wandered around the halls of the Children’s hospital, smiling and enchanting the doctors and nurses for them to give us a bag of treats.

Much was to be dreamt at 4 years old. Being still in the soft mats, only just for nap time, we went and continued to dream each time we awoke. I in Nursery, and my sister in vertical class, in 1990.

That’s precisely what we did back then, until the day that we followed Career’s path, and found ourselves in the footsteps of our teachers.

It’s payback time, I guess. We hold in our heart the legacy left to us- to teach with love and to bring it wherever we go.

And now that we’re teachers, that’s what we hold dear and treasured, and what we teach our kids.

Thanks to the pillars and formators of PCMC.

Feast on Poison and Everything Yummy!

Been reading a very contentious book by a very handsome author, K.T., Natural Cures THEY Don’t Want You to Know About. It’s spilling the beans on certain agencies in the US- where most of our food and drugs are coming from- and the monopoly and corruption AND globalization of food and poison, etc., etc., etc.
Feel passionate than ever to write about it. (Especially dedicated to my beloved psychologist and friends who are dependent on ‘drugs’ and addictive food and all sorts of food whose shelf life are past our life expectancy)
Just to share with you some lines..:
“The four basic food groups and the food pyramid have nothing to do with health and nutrition, but are designed to brainwash people into eating a certain way for the benefit of the food industry…”
“Ready- to- eat salad linked with birth defects and other cancer hazards…washed with chlorine.. combines with chemicals naturally present in lettuce to create more hazardous stuff”
“Los Angeles Times reports that deformed frogs are showing up at alarmingly increasing levels” (Guess why?? *snickers*)
While on Drugs…
“Schools get a $500 incentive for every child they have on a psychiatric drug, like Ritalin or Prozac.. doctors too, for prescribing.. professors too, for expressing a certain view”
“Since the invention of sunscreen, skin cancer rates have gone up…”
“State- of- the- art chemotherapy etc. have killed, left young children injured for life, those that were prescribed by MDs… caused seizures, dementia, death, and cancer itself”
And some more random musings…:
The big M with a silly grin has agreed to pay millions of dollars ‘to settle a lawsuit because they were putting trans fats in its cooking oil’. I have this sinking feeling that maybe… maybe absolutely.. other fast food chains do this. They put some sort of addictive stuff and fattening chemicals into their food. So we keep coming back… So ‘once you pop, you can’t stop’, and a lot more jingles to be sung =)
The big K that makes our cheese and yummy cookies, etc. was sued for ‘knowingly putting dangerous trans fats in its food, most notably- Oreos’.
Beef being used for hamburger patties in most fast food restos are composed of ‘pooling bacteria from as many as a thousand different animals’.
Read labels, Dear friends and fellow food-lovers… The state in that big powerful country apparently has been amending and approving statements that ‘passes MSG as a SPICE’, passes any chemical stuff and other poison as NATURAL/ ALL-NATURAL FLAVORS”, and all other facts that can send and haunt us to our coffins- including those hard-to-pronounce words that are part of the ingredients.
I’m sure I still have a lot more from where these came from… In the meantime, I’ll finish reading (with read-aloud’s of excerpts to my family) the book. Anyone who wants to borrow, let me know=)

Reminiscing Journ Days

I sit here after a tiring day, gazing at art supposedly (just because he’s above our heads and up the stage). I listen to that ranting, raisin – eating man, wistful to learn insights on journalism from the seemingly witless monologues.

Waiting is one of life’s difficulties that everyone, as in EVERYONE, has to go through so many times. And this particular kind of waiting is less enjoyable than the one associated with ‘looking forward to-‘. This one’s a clueless kind of waiting. Clueless as to how long we’d have to endure it, and if golden time is commensurate to blind insights.

I pity the wrinkled grapes at his mercy- disappearing under his blob of a moustache every 7 seconds or so.

“It’s better to be passive; keep your writing simple. Unless you’re ambitious enough to be bold and adventurous! Dashing and bold aren’t for you, young people. Keep it light, keep it light.”

Sigh. Bold and daring are us, young people. I am now a vessel of assorted emotions- from the wait, and from the hollow runt.

Be still, my raging hormones. I’d like to believe he means well. But a cute speck of raisin probably has good intentions too, and would do a better job of enlightening us.

=) Endless Sighs..
I've always loved treasure boxes. And this one I have here, an old Victoria's Secret, a bit moldy on the corners, with flaked off silver lining, is the most dear to me. Inside there's a coffee-stained paper, among other priceless stuff, with the words, "You... the gem in my eyes ... my life".

Great words from a poet, a man whose hands carried me a few hours after I was born...

His love for my mom is strong. But the one for me overpowers it, I think.

Reminds me of the times I see him take care of Mum; times he'd cook for us; times he'd drive for us. And my childhood's fondest memories- attacking him on his weakest points, starting my famous line, "Papa, look, I want that-!". Oh but he refuses to call us spoiled. Funny- the wonders of oxymoron.

The treasures of Queen Cleopatra are nothing in the face of these. I am melted by this evidence of love- in its most classic and unyielding state.

I've always loved notes and letters.

Love- not something you can contain in a lingerie box as this.

Complicated. Pure. Exquisite. Beautiful. Especially the love of parents.

So this remains. Once in a while I open this. And for 10 years my lingerie box has been my refuge.

Especially when love gets difficult, and when there are no more strong arms to cuddle me, nor hands to wipe my tears.