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Showing posts from May, 2017

Learning history at the Aquino Museum

Ninoy Aquino is one of those heroes who made people unite for one cause. In Jose Rizal's day, his death sparked the anger of Filipinos leading to the Spanish-Filipino War. In Ninoy's case, his death brought the downfall of President Ferdinand Marcos, who had declared martial law in the country and ruled for 20 years. People had had enough of Marcos' questionable actions and alleged election rigging that they marched on EDSA, catapulting Ninoy's widow, Cory, to the presidency.
I remember the EDSA revolution, not because I was there, but because I was at home on a school day and the rest of my family were at home too. My brother was walking around the house wearing a large yellow shirt with Ninoy's face printed on it (it was too big because my brother was just a toddler then). That's about it. My cousins were on EDSA, of course.
Three decades later, we went to the Aquino Museum in Tarlac to see that period in Philippine history based on how the family and its su…

Compelling stories, anyone?

For the past few months, the buzz word at the work place is culture change. An abstract concept that is difficult to grasp if where we're at is not dissected, analysed, and critiqued; and where we want to go is not defined. After all, the concept of the need for anychange in itself implies that something is inherently imperfect in the system and that there is room for improvement. 
The group I found myself being in want to improve the way the institute tells its success stories and pitches its ideas so that it is continually able to address the needs of some of the poorest people in the world, people who produce and who eat rice.
This photo, for instance, is a good example of how the institute tells stories. It's the type that caters most likely to intellectuals, academicians... after all, look at how poor people have been reduced to dots on the world map. Yes, it is a highly informative and useful infographic but it's all highly cerebral. It doesn't move people to ac…

Biboy's whirlwind of a trip to the Philippines

My 101-year old grandma, Lola Bats, faced several challenging weeks as the summer began, so my family flew in from the USA to visit her. Mommy and Daddy arrived two weeks after her birthday. Biboy arrived a week later. This marks the first time, albeit a very short time indeed, that my family is complete. Only Barbara, Biboy's wife, was absent... she's holding the fort in the USA while everyone's here.
He had two wishes for this visit: eat good food and spend time with Lola Bats.
Naturally, all four of us went to the airport to pick up my brother. Since he arrived around midday, it was the perfect opportunity for us to have lunch together before Anna had to go to work. 

We had lunch in Buddy's (Eastwood), a restaurant that served Filipino fare... the servings were huge! It's as if we were attending a fiesta! Anna has found a real gem of Filipino cuisine surrounded by restaurants serving foreign cuisine. 

Since his purpose was really to visit Lola Bats, we went str…


As children, Anna, Biboy, and I had taho as breakfast typically on the weekend. I remember Anna and Biboy rushing out of bed early in the morning when they start hearing the vendor's plaintive call, "Tahooooo!" as he walked, carrying two pails: one containing the soy curd and the other containing melted sugar and the sago. I'd be the strategic one, of course, staying back and letting the two run after the taho... they'd be carrying my breakfast bowl too.
Now that we're a lot bigger, older, and wiser... my brother and my sister still jump out of bed to chase after the taho vendor with breakfast bowls on hand for their weekend breakfast... and mine.
I find it funny that there are things that never change in my family, despite the distance and the time that has flown fast.

When Lola Bats turned 101

Lola Bats turned 101 years old this year. When she was younger (i.e., 98 years old), we still went on road trips to Batangas together but as she neared the 100 mark, she started declining going there because it's too far. When she turned 100, we were able to bring her out to the nearby Mandarin Palace and to the Black Pig... but at 101, I'm not daring to take her out without the rest of the family with me because she's so fragile these days... happy but fragile.
There are good days and there are bad days. So we were lucky that when her birthday came around, she was in such a good mood. See, we almost lost my grandma earlier this year. So reaching 101 was a very happy occasion for the whole family. Even my parents and my brother flew in to visit her a few weeks after!
We knew she was going to recover when she started talking about what she wanted to do when she grew stronger: "Ay talaga, paglakas ko, ako ay pupunta sa States!" My grandma's sense of humour nev…

Tea time with Mommy and Daddy

Finally had the chance to introduce Mommy and Daddy to the almost endless choices of tea types at TWG, a Singaporean tea shop that has several branches in the Philippines. 
The first time I tried tea here, I was so shocked that I had to actually look through a thick book describing different types of tea. And here I was thinking that all I wanted was black tea. I absolutely wasn't (still am not) a tea connoisseur. Might come in handy someday though.
Anyway, my tea time with the parents was the first time I also ordered scones. Scones! Why, this was so English of us! These scones came with whipped cream and jelly. Very yummy! Too bad we couldn't try any more of the pastries typical of an English afternoon tea (the meal). We were actually saving some space for dinner.