Holidays · Memoirs of a Mummy

Summer Of 2013

Aki’s summer vacation is about to end. Huhuhu.
Before the school year starts, lemme tackle the oldest draft in my head — our summer Elbi vacay 2013.

If you remember, Aki had his first vacation without us last year. All cousins stayed in our anscestral home in Bayog because my UK-based relatives were home for a few weeks.

What happens when you put 5 boys and 1 girl with ages 3 to 10 in one roof? Chaos! Clutter! And lots of laughter and happy memories.

Pillow fight

Muscles muscles muscles

Jumping on and from the bed



The newest Go Go Balls addicts in town.

The reason we were all home is that my Tita Ming was celebrating her 60th birthday. Can you guess the theme of the party?



Continue reading “Summer Of 2013”

Celebrations and Family Traditions · Family Traditions

My Favorite Meal of the Week

What is your favorite meal of the week? Ours is definitely our Sunday breakfast in our picnic van. If you have been reading this blog long enough, you know how much I am a sucker for traditions and rituals.This new ritual that started around November last year is definitely something we will keep doing for as long as we can.  After the 6AM mass, we go to the parish multi-purpose hall where entrepreneurs from our area sell clothes (do check out the 20-25 pesos factory overrun underwears) and food. The food options are wonderful. And not to mention very affordable. I blogged about my finds here and here.

Friends, meet our picnic van, Iron Hyde. Don’t look at me. Franco came up with that name. Aki likes it though and thinks our trusty old van is a real Transformer.


On Sunday mornings, we stick to our favorites which are lugaw with egg for me and Aki.
For my husband who is pretending to be on a diet, an order of fried squid, kwekwek, lumpiang gulay, fresh buko juice and most of the time, another order of the deep fried squid.

These are the memories that I want to look back at.   I want us to remember when Sundays were simple yet precious. I want Aki to remember how we, as a young family, appreciated the small things like the combination of ice cold buko juice and smoking hot lugaw, being part of a community and simply being together. Continue reading “My Favorite Meal of the Week”

Aki's Preschool Years · Food · Memoirs of a Mummy

The Joy of Making Carrot Cupcakes

Oh what fun it was!

We made carrot cupcakes to celebrate Aki’s new interest in carrots. When he was younger, he would not touch his food if he saw a speck of any orange or green vegetables. Dear God heard my prayers and transformed my boy into a hearty eater. I really don’t know what happened last month. He suddenly started eating a lot and became open to trying out foods he used to hate.

I thought of making the baking activity more educational by using our weighing scale. Aki weighed the grated carrots first.


Then the sugar..


I took care of the flour while Ate melted the butter.  The next ingredients were the eggs. Since it was Aki’s first time to crack eggs, I told Ate to assist him while I take pictures. To our surprise, which was very evident in Ate’s reaction, my boy was a pro. Before Ate could get close, he tapped the egg on the edge of the bowl and cracked it open. Good job, bebeboy! And please don’t hate me Ate for posting this picture.


Aki was very much involved in the next steps. So involved that maybe at least half  a cup of our delicious carrot batter ended up in his stomach. Here, I am already pouring the batter into the muffin pan and he still won’t give up without a fight. He kept grabbing my hand and redirecting the spoon to his mouth.


After that difficult task, I transferred the pan to the oven. When I came back, this is what I saw


Continue reading “The Joy of Making Carrot Cupcakes”

Food · Memoirs of a Mummy · Mrs. Monologues

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream {No Ice Cream Maker Required}

That’s right. You can make chocolate ice cream without using an ice cream maker.It is so easy to make. Ten minutes is all you need.  Definitely, making our own ice cream, the excitement of getting to finally taste it and the big smiles after getting everyone’s approval are memories that I want Aki and my future kids to have every summer.

I would like to thank Cook’s Country for the recipe



1 tsp instant coffee
1 tbsp hot water
4 oz chocolate chips (the original recipe calls for bittersweet but I used semi-sweet)
1/2 cup condensed milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch salt (I forgot to add this but the ice cream was still so yummy)
1 1/4 cups cold heavy cream

In a microwaveable bowl, combine coffee and hot water until dissolved.
Add chocolate and condensed milk.
Microwave and stir every 10 seconds until the chocolate is melted. This step took less than a minute
Add vanilla and salt. Set aside
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, whip the cream until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Actually, I did see any soft peaks. Maybe my cream was not cold enough.
Mix 1/3 of the whipped cream with the chocolate mixture.  Then add the rest of the cream. Mix well.
Transfer the mixture to a container. Put plastic wrap directly on the surface before covering.
Freeze for at least 6 hours. We made ice cream in the afternoon and ate it the morning after.
Gather the family around the dining table, distribute cups, and serve. Close your eyes as you listen and take in all the positive reviews from your loved ones.

For the rest of the day, super proud Aki kept saying, “I made yummy ice keem fohr ebi-wan! Diba? Diba?” (I made yummy ice cream for everyone. Right? Right?!)

P.S. Please share if you have other homemade ice cream recipes.

Memoirs of a Mummy

Favorite Childhood Memories

Sometime mid-last year, I was bored to death waiting for Franco’s meeting to end. Out of the blue, I suddenly thought of my childhood. Jyl, at that time, was turning 10 soon. I wondered if she got to experience the fun things that my sister and I did when we were kids. That night, while waiting in one of the sofas in Glorietta, I contacted my favorite sister and compiled a list of our favorite memories from our childhood.  My hope is to be able to give my Aki (and Emily) the same experiences. Here is what Jana and I came up with

1. Nika, our pretty askal pet dog. We had other pet dogs before Nika. We had Jack and Jill and Blackie and Brownie. Unfortunately, they did not live long. I don’t remember them actually except that Blackie was black and Whitie (or was it Brownie) was white. My sister and I vividly remember the day we picked up Nika. I was about 7 years old. Kiboy, my dad’s best friend, introduced us to his friend. I can’t remember her name but she was a jolly old lady. We went to her house to pick up our first official dog. Nika is the prettiest mongrel. We loved her so much. I even read dog training books hoping I would be able to teach her a trick or two. That never happened though. hehe. During the 10 years that Nika was with us, she had a lot of babies. The most memorable for Jana and me were the first pregnancies. We excited waited for the puppies to come out and when they did, we loved feeding them and playing with them. Rest in peace, Nika. Thank you for being part of our childhood.

Trivia: Franco named his first dog  Baby Sue.

Assignment: Have the gate fixed when Aki’s 6 years old so that we can have our first pet when he turns 7.

2. Our very own bed. One weeknight, when I was 8 yeard old, our mom surprised us by getting us our own bed. It was a single bed with a pull-out one. When the truck came, sis and I did not know what was happening until we saw our beds.

I am just not sure if Aki would be as thrilled. Right now, every time the idea of him sleeping in his own bed is brought up, he gets teary eyed.

Assignment: Check when Aki turns 6 to see how he feels about sleeping in his own bed.

3. Grandparents. We have the sweetest lolos and lolas. Maybe because we grew daddy-less, everyone in our family especially the grandparents were extremely nice to us. I remember how we would wake up early to catch the pandesal delivery boy and pick the most toastest bread with our Lolo Ano, my mom’s dad. Our funniest childhood memory probably was when we were seated around the dining table for lunch when suddenly, a lizard ipot, I remember how liquid it was, fell on my lolo’s head.  My sister and I still laugh about it every time we reminisce

Papa Encio, my dad’s dad, have 2 pigs in Bigaa, Cabuyao. Can you guess the names of the pigs? Maqui and Jana! haha.

Every time we visited our great grandmother in Cabuyao, we always stopped by this store where we buy Chips Ahoy. I don’t know if this is just me but the Chips Ahoy when I was  kid were yummier than the ones nowadays. Or maybe that is because  Chips Ahoy cookies from my childhood were made yummier because of the sweet memories of excitedly waiting in the counter as Papa ordered and paid for them.

My grandparents on the paternal side were spoilers! Mummy did not let us papak Milo but when we were in Calamba, we could eat all the Milo in the world… secretly.

Assigment: Convince Lola Do to take care of 2 pigs and name them Aki and Emily. Also, I need to bribe Lola Do that let Aki eat Milo.

5 Swimming. If you are from Los Banos or Calamba, 4 out of the 5 parties that you will attend are most likely swimming parties. It is not just the kids who like to swim. The oldies with rheumatism also like to soak in the hot springs. I did not realize that tan lines are fashionable until years later because back home, everyone has them. We did not need to have celebration to have an excuse to swim. The pools in Pansol were minutes away and were very afforadable. We’d spend Saturday mornings swimming in Cuyab or in Laguna Hot Springs.

Assignment: none! Aki has experienced swimming in Pansol a couple of time and he looooved it!


6 Balikbayan relatives. A few days before my relatives from the UK and from the US arrive, we’d scrub the house clean and make sure that the nicest bed linens are ready for use. On the day of their flight, we rented a jeepney so the whole barangay can pick up the special visitors from the airport. From them on until they leave, it’d be all about reunions, vacations, swimming, food overload left and right. My favorite part? The balikbayan boxes! We excitedly waited for our pasalubong to be handed out to us. I wish I could keep the smell of a balikbayan box in a bottle so I can be transported to my childhood anytime.

7 Saturdays at my mom’s clinic. Until a couple of years ago, my mom’s dental clinic was based in Calamba. On Saturdays, my mom would bring us to her clinic. We’d read her Woman Today magazines. Play with her dental gadgets. Have our teeth checked and cleaned. Watch my mom clean her patient’s teeth.  The highlight of the day was our trip to this nearby grocery to buy Hello Panda.

Assignment: Befriend the head of security and find a way to bring Aki to work when he is about 7 years old.

8 Summer vacations. Our summer vacations were either in my paternal grandparents’ house in Calamba or in my Tita Sor’s house in BF. Aside from the thrill of being away from home, the best part is being with cousins 24×7.

Assignment: none! Aki had a blast in his first summer vacation away from home. We will definitely make this an annual tradition.

9 Undas. Interestingly, I have more fun memories from All Saint’s Day than from Christmas. November 1 is the always the day we visit our dad’s grave, make balls out of melted candles, go to perya, and stuff ourselves with adobo and suman.

Assignment: Have Aki experience sleeping in the cemetery. We will definitely keep the Undas tradition. Continue reading “Favorite Childhood Memories”

Memoirs of a Mummy · Mrs. Monologues

A Family Sport

Both sides of my family are not sporty. I did not mind at all until I learned that my friend Tanya bikes and runs with her family on weekends. Running and biking are bonding activities they enjoy as a family. I wish there is a sport or any activity that my little family would enjoy doing together. Aki and I like crafts but Franco, over his dead fat body, will not touch glue. Aki and Franco both enjoy jujitsu but it is too boyish for me. My wish was granted thanks to a genie named Timezone. Before Aki only knew SM, now he begs for MCS and Glorietta.

This is the game that we love..


GoGoballs! It is a test of speed, accuracy and reaction time.  The game is available in Timezone Waltermart which Aki calls MCS and the old Timezone in Glorietta. There is a similar game in the new Timezone in Glorietta, called Penguin Paradise but we like GoGoballs more.



Continue reading “A Family Sport”

Birthdays · Family Traditions · Memoirs of a Mummy

The Morning He Turned 3

Even if we were without a helper, Aki’s birthday celebration this year is relatively less stressful compared to last year’s. Maybe because I have already mapped out the traditions, I kinda already knew what to do. I pictured how that morning would be. Wake up at 5AM to get cupcake and candles and make the birthday web. Wait for Aki to wake up. Once he starts rolling, wake up the hubby and light the candles. Sing happy birthday and lead birthday boy to his gift.Let him open his first gift and eat his cupcake. Go downstairs and ask him to draw.  Before 8AM, ask neighbor’s helper to look after Aki while we get cake from Red Ribbon, give worm balloons to Party Tools, buy Jollibee breakfast, meet Kitkat for the cupcakes and go home. At home, picture taking with photog while waiting for pasta and drinks to arrive. At 10 AM, load stuff and at 10:30, go to school.

I thought it would be so hectic because there were so many people to meet. The morning was not as stressful as I expected. Thank you, Lowrd!

Oh, the birthday celebration actually started the night before when Aki and I looked at our old photos. The plan to print pictures and make a birthday scrapbook is, uhhm, still just a plan.

Where oh where did my baby go…

Web and gift, check!

Aki woke up before six. He was crankier than the Grinch. He was in no mood to blow any candles. After drinking milk, he went back to sleep.

Fifteen minutes later, he woke up and was his jolly not-so-old self.

After two rounds of birthday songs, he was ready to rip the web..

and open his gift. This time we have a proper gift, not like last year when all I had prepared for him was a banana.

At first, Aki was taking his time opening the gift. However, when he realized what was inside he got so excited and unwrapped his present fast. Continue reading “The Morning He Turned 3”

Food · Good Buy · Memoirs of a Mummy · Mrs. Monologues

Fun Food Finds @ MHC

Remember our Sunday grocery-lugaw  bonding? Well that has been replaced. Ate Dorina has been showing much enthusiasm in doing the groceries so I let her shop in the Bicutan Public Market every Sunday.  Since we don’t do the grocery anymore,  we also don’t eat lugaw every week. Instead, our new routine is to attend mass in Mary Help of Christians Parish here in Better Living and proceed to the multi-purpose hall where we enjoy these yummy goodies.

Fresh Passion Fruit Juice . Fifteen pesos only for the smallest cup and PhP 25 for the biggest.

The couple also sells authentic Taiwanese  dishes

Turon for Aki

Native kakanins. Aki and I love the cassava and bibingka

Pasta from Good Eats. There are three tables that sell pasta. We always buy from Monica. Her table is the farthest from the entrance.

Continue reading “Fun Food Finds @ MHC”

Maqui's Me Time · Memoirs of a Mummy

My Childhood Collections

During our last visit to my beloved Bayog, I was able to unearth the things that were most precious to me some 20 years ago. I am talking about my childhood collections

1. Collection of Trivia Clippings
Oh yes, I was a certified geek back then. I read our encyclopedia for fun. When I was in Grade 4, I had a science teacher named Teacher Alda. She inspired us to read the trivia section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. As un-geeky as it sounds, I have never been a fan of newspapers. Since my mom reads them in her clinic, she would cut the trivia section and give them to me. I wonder if PDI still runs its trivia section.

I liked labeling my stuff. I think my handwriting when I was in primary school is better than my handwriting now.

2. Archie Comics Collection
Not only were they covered in plastic, they were also numbered. I remember counting more than 90 of them at some point.

One of my sister’s and my favorite childhood memories (wait wait wait.  I just spent the last 10 minutes searching the web for rules on multiple possesives. My sister and I’s? My and my sister’s? I give up. If you know the rule on this, let me know) is receiving Archie Comics packages from Papa and Mama, our paternal grandparents, who were based in US.

Look, I have always been loyal customer of Booksale for 3 decades now.

From geeky and pop culture, let’s move on to the freaky…

Any guesses on what is inside this old film container?

Continue reading “My Childhood Collections”

Gardening · Maqui's Me Time · Memoirs of a Mummy · Mrs. Monologues · The Gift of An Ordinary Day

The Gift of An Ordinary Weekend

A few months ago, I shared a video that made me cry buckets of tears.

Normally, I am giddy excited every Friday afternoon. I live and breathe for weekends. Long weekends are even extra-special. There is so many projects that I want to work on, so many recipes to try and so many movies to watch.  On stressful days like today and the past 7 days, make that 10 days including the heavy rains, thanks to the monsoon, all I really want is to go home and have a boring, uneventful weekend with my family.

I wish all our weekends are as simple and memorable as that of the last weekend of July.

Saturday, 7:36AM. Aki washed his urine-soaked shorts. Normally, when he forgets to use the potty, we ask him to wipe the mess. He was extra-industrious that morning and even volunteered to help Ate Dorina in the laundry area.
Saturday, 8:50AM. Aki made breakfast bohgoh (burger). Yum!
Saturday, 10:33AM. Mother-son bonding at the garden. Aki helped me spray the homemade pesticide to white bugs which have been attacking our chilli plants.
Saturday, 12:42PM. Aki showing Daddy that he is ready for more martial arts lessons. Here he is, practicing his “guard” on the unwilling sparring partner… Me!
Saturday, 4:21PM. Gaye marries Aaron! So happy to see my good friend so happy! What made the day even more special is the announcement from our other friend, Nyl, that she is getting married too! Happy happy!
Sunday, 6:45AM. Ironman went to potty. Funny little man is very much into superheroes nowadays. When he feels like being Ironman, he asks us to wrap a gold ribbon around his hand.
Sunday, 9:04AM. We are late for church! Because Aki insisted that he wears his favorite The Hulk pajamies over his clothes. Thankfully, he let us take of the pajama when we arrived.
Sunday, 9:26AM. “Penge nine hunded toins (hundred coins), fis (please)!” is what Aki just told me.
Sunday, 9:28AM. And this is why I hate attending mass inside a mall! The guy in white is the pasimuno.
I hate that the kids keep on running and playing.
Interestingly, Aki kept chasing a big kid who was playing with a toy gun. Aki kept saying, “Hey, no bengbeng. Stop it! Bengbeng bad! No bengbeng!” Inasmuch as I was happy to see him standing for what he believes in (or what I made him believe in), I am sure the big kid was pretty annoyed to have a small kid who was very passionate about his beliefs, run after him.
Sunday, 11:02AM. Look what I found in Booksale! The top 1 of the top 100 children’s books!

Check out the complete list here

Sunday 12:45PM. My baby can ride!
Is he ready for his first bike?

Continue reading “The Gift of An Ordinary Weekend”