Monday, April 26, 2010

Sometimes you have it, sometimes you don't

Monday and it's a new day. The weekend was a whirlwind of activity for me. - The kind you feel like you just depleted all your batteries... low batt! low batt!

Over the course of two days, I had a epiphany.

I went on a writing workshop last Saturday. I used to write when I was still single, won a writing contest and got some articles published in a local magazine.  Basically, I went into the workshop feeling pretty confident about myself. The workshop was held at POWERBOOKS, an local bookstore with amazing books. (I actually can spend half a day just browsing there). Day 1 went pretty well and we were assigned to write a PITCH.- essentially a proposal for a story that we would like to write and submit to a publication. I went home pretty secure about my ability to ace this.

That night, I had been "recruited" out of my retirement to play bowling for a team in the Filipino-Chinese Bowling Federation. (I used to be in the Philippine Junior team when I was younger). I was tired from the workshop and was dreading playing badly. I haven't played for over a year.I played two games earlier that week and SUCKED....

In the middle of the first game, I still wasn't getting my groove and was dreading the score I was churning out. I felt dread in the pit of my stomach when I looked up at the screen...Luckily, I finally scored strikes and finished pretty good (relief washed over me as I managed to salvage the game). What was surprising was that I scored better on the 2nd game-- and I don't mean just ANY score, it was a JAW DROPPING score... 276! (count how many strikes). It was the best score of my bowling career! --- and here I was thinking I lost my bowling ability....

So, in between the bowling, I managed to submit my pitch to the panel. I was feeling confident and good about the pitch I wrote. The next day, we presented our pitch. I sat on my seat, feeling quite certain my pitch was a sure winner. Then it started...

I sat there listening to the great pitch of my classmates, the way they wrote it and felt squeamish. I whipped out my iphone and reread the email pitch I sent. I suddenly had a "da da da dum" soundtrack playing in my head. OH NO! My stuff is crap! was the thought going through my head as I waited my turn.

You may have guessed...I didn't get a good critique. In analysis, I think the idea I pitched wasn't viable anyway. It was a learning experience for me- FOR... SURE.... I wrote a paragraph as a pitch but my classmates had more MEAT in theirs (and they wrote waaaaay more).
I could hear a big SPLAT as my writing just got wiped all over the bookstore floor. (you can add my ego too)  but I appreciate all the feedback. It will give me more incentives to improve my writing.

Epiphany: When you think you have it, you actually don't--- but when you think you don't have it....YOU ACTUALLY DO.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wet and Wild

Cagayan de oro- Day 2

We woke up early excited at the rafting adventure. It was going to be a VERY WET DAY.

The company we booked picked us up at the hotel  at 7:30. The jeepney we were riding had the red rafts piled up on top. COOL. 

After we picked up all the other people who booked the tour, it was another 30 minutes before we got to the starting point at the Cagayan River.. I secured my things in a waterproof bag and strapped my shoes real tight..

We were given a life vest, a helmet and a paddle and proceeded to the river bank.The guides then informed us about the safety rules we should keep in mind:

  1. If you know how to swim- DON"T. The river is stronger than you think.
  2. When you fall off the boat, FLOAT. That is what the life vest and the hat is for. They help you float. keep you head up and your feet up. Even though it was dry season and river was shallow, - do not attempt to stand. You could  get yourself stuck between the rocks and injure yourself.
  3. Alway follow the commands of the guide (how to row, etc)

As you can see.. the rural people wash their clothes in the river, so if you fall off and taste detergent.... you know!! hahahaa
The river course was about 30 miles long.... and it will pass through about 22 rapids (we had a choice to have a beginners course and a extreme course.... we chose the extreme one!)

We chose to sit in front of the raft- better view and as with roller coaters, a more exciting ride! The rafts had a foot hold (a pouchlike indentation where you can put your foot to secure yourself). The funny part about it was that the right front had NO foothold and that was where my husband sat. FYI- He was the first one to fall off the boat.

ok. we would eventually get dunked... it was part of the fun after all..

We passed by some rocks and had a nice rest, the views were wonderful... limestone cliffs... I took so many pictures, I can't possibly put them all here... we even saw some boys jumping off a hanging bridge.. showing off their diving skills....

and I put on sunblock.... guess it wasn't enough.. got REALLY sunburned.....

overall.... it was an EXPERIENCE....!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Flying like superman (or woman)

I'm BAAAACCCCK!!!! har har.. tired from all the fun.... but gotta go back to work as usual..
so many thing to blog about... I have to do it in increments...

ZIPLINE- Cagayan de oro City (south of Manila)

 First of all, I went on the 840 meter zipline. It was an hour drive from Cagayan de Oro city... the place was called Dahilayan. 

On the way there, we passed through the Del monte plantation.... pineapples as far as the eye could see....

Getting to the park, we signed up and waited for our turn. There were three lines you can try. a 150M one, a 320M one and the big momma... 840M!!
We decided to get the whole 3 lines for 600 pesos ($15) and since the lines at the shorter ones were quite long, we decided to take on the 840M one first.

You have to ride up to the top of the hill via a jeep they provided.
I don't know which was scarier, the jeep ride up or the zipline down.. the driver of the jeep that bought us up there was weaving around the dirt road like he wanted to throw me off.... hahahaa-- madman!

The platform looked like some kind of launchpad, or suicide drop, depending on your disposition. Even the walkway added to the drama of the zipline. (a hanging bridge? GULP!)
I got strapped on the line... and the place was a loooong way up... (was getting nervous) and watching other people screaming their way down was not helping.

As they let go of my harness, I was thinking about all the things the safety crew told me:
-- no jerky movements
--when reaching the bottom, tuck your head in
-- dont move your feet

I sure wasn't going to move.... bec I felt that if I did, I would fall off the harness that was holding me...

And then I was FLYING. The trees whizzed past me, the ground was a long way down. I was nervous, thrilled, contemplating what would happen if my harness broke all at the same time.

840 meters was quite long... about one minute from the top to the bottom.... that 1 minute, seems like forever.. by the halfway mark, I was feeling easier and could appreciate the beautiful scenery around me. WOW. When the line ended, you get a feeling that you wanted the last part to last longer.


After which we did the shorter ones. the 350 meters and the 120 meters.. by this time, it was a breeze... ( no screaming )... 840m was cooler BY FAR.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Stiff Neck

I have been having a stiff neck off and on for awhile...

Gone to a reflexology session last last sunday and it helped for a awhile. Went to another "myotheraphy" session- (kind of a physical theraphy) and it did relieve a little of the stiffness for a few days. Last saturday the stiffness attacked me full on. My neck just felt really really sore.. like I stared at something for hours upon hours.... (blogging maybe??? I did post 3 blogs that day)

I was thinking I was stressing a bit much (maybe) on the house and typing too long on this 21" MAC.... hahahaaa.. getting a crank on the neck...

As I have said on the last blog, I was planning to go back to playing badminton ( my trainer is VERY persistent.. he needs the tips!-- =) har har...).. So I finally went yesterday and played an hour. LO and BEHOLD! my stiff neck was gone after that hour. I guess my body was screaming at me to get back to physical activity... so, tomorrow. I plan on going to a YOGA class. They have one near my house and since it's summer, they added a few more classes.... lucky me!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

By Golly- just do it!

3rd post today-- hope my readers don't mind!

feeling chatty again!

yup, the excess energy has to go somewhere...

Been thinking about how to  motivate myself to start exercising. (yeah yeah, I know.. been saying that for ages).. I know that now that the kids are on vacation, I have more time to start going to the gym and hitting the treadmill.

My badminton trainer has actually texted me to ask when I will play again.. hmm.. thinking I might go on monday.. I also need some training before my whitewater rafting trip on the 15th. --need the arm muscles to row for 4 hours down a raging river!

I was thinking how when you want to do something, there is no use always talking about it... in the end, you just have to DO IT. I have already done the pinatubo trip, next is the whitewater rafting...

I HAVE TO start that exercising regimen I always say I need to start. But  then...early morning and I feel the warm soft bed, the fluffy pillows, dark room  and I convince myself there is always tomorrow.....want to go back to sleep.... zzzzzz...

on a side note... check this video out... it's funny and gross at the same time.. eeeewwwww!!!!!

Cagayan de ORO

Summer is scorching!!!! 38-40C  .. if it gets any hotter.. I'll try to fry an egg on the hood of my car!
(sizzle sizzle)

Speaking of driving, I renewed my driver's license this week. I should have renewed it on my birthday but got too busy. Thankfully, the Land Transportation office has set up satellite offices in malls.. They have one near my office and it is airconditioned, no lines and very quick. I would have died if I had to go to the main office.. (with the heat, lines and all).. Surprisingly, they took a pretty decent picture this time around... hahahahaa.... got to live with that pic for 3 years you know!-- maybe the airconditioning helped.. being stressed doesn't a good picture make!

I am super excited by my upcoming trip to Cagayan de oro...... whitewater rafting and zipline.. wooo hoo..giddy with excitement!!!!

I have discovered a new website. (Although I booked my travel before I found the site) I  may book my succeeding trips thru them...

Here are some of the things in store for me.... photos taken from the website..

Their prices are pretty good and they have amazing packages... (they have trips to other destinations also..)

They also post updates in their facebook page:  
I obviously became a fan.

here is the official "visit the philippines" video... I think it is one of the best they have made!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Cooking Mama

Long holiday and I finally had to chance to try out all the recipes I wanted to try but had no time to....starting with.....


PRAWN BALLS... I have been wanting to try making these as they are a favorite of my kids. I made them using shrimps... so actually, they are shrimp balls...needs more ginger in the mix but I feel it turned out pretty good.

Then, I tried making radish cake.. (grated radishes made into a cake and then steamed, sliced and pan fried). - this one is a favorite of my husband...I tried them before but I had no Rice flour and substituted sticky rice flour... and it turned out... TOO STICKY.. this time though, I made it as per recipe.. but I guess I need to add more rice flour or cook it longer or reduce the water.... still have to figure that one out... it turned out ok, but I think it needs to be more SOLID.. it was too soft for my taste. oh well... back to the the drawing board...

Friday- went to the beach... so  no cooking..... Saturday- watched  CLASH OF THE TITANS... pretty good movie..

Sunday- I made BUKO PIE (coconut pie).. its our take on apple pie.. since you can get coconut almost anywhere here... (again, I tried this one before too.. but I shredded the coconut to thinly and it was too mashed in the final pie.. so this time, I left the coconut meat chunky)... I also reduced the sugar in the recipe since we dont like anything too sweet.  This time.. I think I lacked more  coconut.. the filling need more coconut... hmmm.....I had my family taste it and I got mixed reviews.. some say it was just right, one said it was too sweet... I felt it lacked sweetness....but maybe if I added more coconut, it would be better!

#2 - Leche Flan - it is a egg custard much like creme brulee or panna cotta. It's made with egg yolks, milk, vanilla and sugar... This one is my best one yet! Just have the picture of the process of mixing the eggs though.. but the final product was a best seller!

#3 home made fish balls - tried this new recipe... the first time I made it , the balls fell apart... this time.. I think I need to add some more cornstarch or reduce the water... the fish balls were a bit on the soft side.-- although the taste was ok....... this recipe need more work...


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