A Swanky Kakanin

In my country, there is a ton of silly cultural and superstitious beliefs that needs to be kept and observed during the New Year.  From wearing polka dots, to ensuring 12 types of fruits on the dining table, to jumping when midnight strikes and to making sure all lights are on inside the house, all these and other insane beliefs are observed by Filipinos when New Year happens.  Failure to do so would result to some wicked curse, a good amount of misfortune and a handful of bad lucks the whole year.

Two of the silly beliefs my family did last New Year’s Eve was the tossing of heaps of coins inside the house (for prosperous fortune) plus the serving of classic “kakanin”.  From the amalgamation of two Tagalog root words kain meaning “to eat” and kanin meaning “cooked rice”, kakanin are varieties of sticky and glutinous Filipino delicacies whose main ingredient is rice.

It is an inane Filipino belief that eating something glutinous and sticky during the New Year like kakanin will bring good vibes in terms of relationships within the family.  Reason for eating something sticky will result to a greater bond, affirmative ties and optimistic connection among members of the family which for my family is very important and essential.

My family settled for having the “biko” as this new year’s kakaninBiko is a classic kakanin made of glutinous rice cooked for hours with fresh coconut milk and brown sugar usually sprinkled on top with brown coconut curds! And since I am pretentious, nitpicky and ostentatious, I pushed on levelling up this new year’s family Biko or Kakanin

I had our classic biko topped with dark brown coconut curds, drizzled with rich coconut-cinnamon caramel syrup served with slices of ripe and succulent peaches! Yum!

our swanky kakanin! yum!

Aside from hoping for a continuous upbeat sticky bond with my family, with this swanky kakanin, my hopes are high for a chic, swish and affluent New Year ahead!

Cute Human Beings

It’s the last day of the crazy year.  Let me be very positive today.  I know I failed to post and greet everyone a very Merry Christmas last December 25 that is why I made sure to write something on the last day of the year.

I have been seeing and bumping unto highlights of what has been this tremendous year online.  The internet specifically YouTube has somewhat been my escapism during this scary pandemic year.  My incapacity to explore outside and my inability to socialize personally with my friends and family gave me the opportunity to instead switch to watching sweet and delightful videos on YouTube.  These are the videos that somewhat filled the void of my needing to smile and my wanting to feel pleasant despite the scary contagion lurking outside.

Let me give homage to the cute human beings whom I encountered this year via YouTube.  These are the cute babies, toddlers and kids whose parent’s vlogpost I frequently watch and look forward to during the months that passed. 

They are…

Nitro (the cute baby of Dwaine and Shanta Wooley)

Nitro: cuteness overload

Holland and Stone (of Dustin & Burton Buffalo)

you will definitely be charmed by the chic and trendy Holland and Stone

Zach, TJ and Holly (of ChonaAndMyKids)

these kids’ antics will never fail to put a smile on your face

Uma (of Matthew & Elliot)

Uma the adorable and stylish little sunshine

Leila and Stella (of Ingrid in Bosnia

the cute sister-power of leila and stella

May our new year be as beautiful, as happy, as promising and as full-of-life like these cute human beings!  Happy New Year everyone!

Happy 2020 Everyone!

Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365-page book.  Write a good one! — Brad Paisley

Let me take this opportunity to thank all the people who has been a part and made the pages of my year 2019 complete.  And to all those who I am to meet next year, please take it easy on me.

Happy New Year! — from me and Nengkoy (my mom)

I wish for more love, happiness and success to every one of us.  Remember to believe in yourself, be an inspiration to others and have an awesome New Year every one!

2020 New Year Advice: Moisturize!

While the internet is now bombarded with New Year predictions and resolutions, I want to instead give an advice to all folks this coming New Year.  I only have one word (repeated 3 times) as an advice. It’s “Moisturize! Moisturize! Moisturize!” 

I want all human beings to look good and look young for the rest of the New Year! So moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

But seriously, aside from its awesome aesthetic benefit, the act and process of skin moisturizing can actually be multi-yielding.  The rubbing of cream on your skin can be paralleled to being a “Me Time” concept.  It is an opportunity to have time for yourself so as to reduce stress and restore energy.  Thus, moisturizing is one circumstance of thinking and caring for oneself. It can be a way to enrich ones self-esteem!

can’t imagine a world without moisturizer!

Moisturizing cream does not simply fall from the heavens or can be picked incessantly from a fruit bearing tree.  These pricy facial serum, night creams and body lotions are not basic human needs.  These may actually be the last item you may want to buy out from your hard-earned money.  Thus, you need to have extra money to moist and nourish the largest organ of your body.  Therefore, my one-worded advice can be construed as folks needing to work harder this New Year to earn the needed extra gravy for your skin. Work hard!

Lastly, the end result of moisturizing can make you feel good.  And when you feel good, you can effortlessly establish inner confidence and upbeat attitude which will eventually exude and radiate to other people.  You can then be a channel of positive thinking and optimistic attitude this year.     

So follow my advice, “moisturize, moisturize, moisturize”.  Because if you do, I am so sure, you will be happy and laugh the loudest at the end of the year! Hahaha!

Notes On My Desk Calendar 2020

With a couple of days to go, I guess everybody now are contemplating on how the year 2019 had been.  This is now the typical time when people are thrilled and excited on what the New Year has to offer.

be in style in 2020

This also is the usual time when people receive gifts from friends and colleagues for a desk calendar, a notebook organizer or a journal planner.  I for one has been receiving these items every single year.  Yet regrettably it fail to organize my life!  I still chase those big dreams and pursue the pursuit of happiness.

And like every year, I again received a planner, a desk calendar in particular.  And while doing my long and arduous skin care, I happen to notice a small portion on this desk calendar where you got to write down your goals for each month.

With inflated optimism and pent up enthusiasm, I filled out the first 3 months of the desk calendar.  With scoops of anti-aging facial moisturizer dirtying my pen, this is what I have written….

january 2020

february 2020

march 2020

Let me greet you this early a very awesome New Year.  I hope everyone will Be In Style this New Year!

2018 Reflection and 2019 Aspiration

We have now reached the time of the year when we start to reflect on the year that was.  The compilations are starting to come out for the best songs, movies, Facebook and Instagram posts, fashion and all other bests for the year. 

It is also the time for reflection on a personal level: new people we met, new food we have tasted, amazing new sites we’ve visited, new skills we’ve learned, virtues we’ve acquired or maintained as well as the surprising circumstances we have encountered along the way.  It is also the time when we reflect how we’ve been as a human being and what we want to be in the next year.

As for me, I guess all I can do is be the best person that I can be to those who need me.  And to those who don’t need me, just wait and see because sometime next year you would realize that you do crave and long for me.  Hahaha!  I may not have a new set of resolutions but I will definitely do my very best to stay out of the treacherous waters that would be swirling around next year. 

It is the end of the year and it feels like a lot of people are tired and need a break.  I hope that next year would be more peaceful, meaningful and fruitful for everybody.  Let us hope for the best! 

happy new yeaar from sweet nengkoy! 

happy new year! welcome 2019!

Happy New Year and lots of love from me and my mother, Nengkoy!

Yumaman sana tayong lahat!

Obtained Charms For The Year Of The Dog

It’s Chinese New Year this coming Friday.  To somehow get ready for the upcoming Chinese New Year, I and the 80-year old Nengkoy went to the world’s oldest Chinatown!  Yeah, established in 1594, the Chinese-filled, Chinese-looking and Chinese-smelling Chinatown in Manila is the oldest.

And guess what?  I have been on numerous times to Hong Kong, Taiwan and some portions of mainland China, but this is my first time to visit and traverse the street of Ongpin, the heart and center of Manila’s Chinatown.

my sister say that i look like the owner of the store in this photo. BILI NA! hahaha!

nengkoy while we traverse the old Ongpin Street

will i get rich if i buy and wear all these?

Me, Nengkoy and my sisters proceeded to Chinatown not to greet the folks Kung Hei Fat Choi nor get there to immerse ourselves on some exotic Chinese food.  We went there to optimize the potentials of our good fortune in the coming Year of the Dog.  Believe it or not, we bought ourselves some oriental good luck charms and amulets.

It was such a fun experience when we reached and entered a store that sells various charms and amulets.  A variety of glossy gleaming rocks and a cornucopia of gemstones, trinkets and ornaments that believed to dispel bad luck and will attract fortune, good health, peace of mind and even auspicious love life are all seem present in that store.

I got myself these…

i’m ready to get rich!

The ritual of cleansing the purchased charms and putting a spell on it (as if switching on the potency of the trinkets) before it was handed over to us seem to enhance some authenticity to the powers of our chosen charms.  It also adds up fun and amazement to the rare adventure we had at Ongpin Street.

Some would say that we may have made a fool of ourselves and we let ourselves be duped, tricked or conned by the sellers of these Chinese ornaments.  But I have always believed that there must be something in these knickknacks that seem to influence human fate and providence.  Nothing will be lost anyway if I am to practice or believe in these age-old Chinese tradition.  Yet, what if it works?  Hahaha!

But seriously, ,may it be effective or not, I know deep within my sensibilities that hard work, perseverance, Intelligence of the mind and the brightness of the heart are still the keys to good life and sought after fortune.

Kung Hey Pat Tsoy!

This Is Me Is So Me

Almost all blogs had a 2018 New Year post except me.  Though 18 days late, let me then post my 2018 New Year post.  Let me feature my 2018 New Year song entitled This Is Me from the movie The Greatest Showman.

This Is Me is so me.  After listening to the song and watching the lyric video, I could not help myself from not tearing up.  The message, the lyrics and the tune really cuts deep.  With my eccentricities, my weirdness and my oddness, This Is Me fully represent my being me.

This post maybe late for 18 days yet I know I will face the year 2018 with much courage because I am brave, I am bruised, I am who I’m meant to be THIS IS ME!  Life’s hurdles for 2018 may be inevitable and I may not be The Greatest Showman but I’m not scared to be seen, I make no apologies THIS IS ME

nengkoy and i

Ito ako!

Live, Love & Sparkle This Christmas

I was a bit nervous that Christmas might be cancelled.  Reason?  I thought Santa would die of laughter because someone told him that I was no longer naughty and gone nice this year!

christmas tree like tree in queenstown new zealand

christmas tree like tree in queenstown new zealand

the manger in bethlehem where baby jesus was born

the manger in bethlehem where baby jesus was born

merry christmas! (inside a chapel in bethlehem during the recent israel visit)

merry christmas!
(inside a chapel in bethlehem during my recent israel visit)

I hope that your Christmas will be full of fun and laughter and may you live, love and sparkle in the coming New Year!

Mabuhay, Umibig, Kuminang! Meri Krismas…