Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Age is Just a Number

August 15, 2013.  Today, I turn a year older.  When I was a little girl, I could not imagine what it would be like turning a day over thirty.  Now that I’ve far exceeded that age, do I feel any different?  Actually… surprisingly…I don’t!

Image taken the year I was born

I feel 25; sometimes, I feel like I’m 18.  The age I have depends on the mindset I have for the day.  At other times, when I feel weighed down by a lot of stuff, that’s when I feel my age.  Okay, I admit I feel some aches and pains here and there (back pain and creaky joints are normal signs of aging, I know.  At least I know I’m normal…hahaha...).  I can’t really run too quickly nor can I rush up the stairs when I feel like it.  The occasional strand of grey hair (which I have extirpated* the moment I spot one) and a faint line or two are a give-away.  But other than that, I feel the age I choose to feel.

Some people act surprised when I reveal how old I am.  (If they feign surprise or actually ARE surprised, I’ll never know…hahaha…).  That’s when I realized that being tiny isn’t so bad after all.  From behind, I guess I’ll always look like a high-school kid.  (Up front…well, that’s a different matter, of course).   I’m just lucky that the women on both sides of the family are young-looking and I hope that I keep things that way for as long as I can.

When asked what I do, I honestly tell them that I don’t do much.  Of course, the cleanse-tone-moisturize-sunblock products, courtesy of Dr. Neil Oropeza’s Oroderm Clinic help a lot.  Other than that, I do nothing special coz I can be sooo lazy to keep up with any other type of beauty regimen.  I’ve tried other much-hyped beauty products before, but I never got to find out if they were effective coz I was never consistent in maintaining the routine.  As they say, consistency is key.  Unfortunately, the products evaporate, “shrink” or change colors before I have the chance to use them up.  Even facials take up time, so I’d have them, like, once in two years maybe?  So, I just stick to Doc Neil's basics.

Exercise?  I know…considering my age and cholesterol levels, I should insert it somehow into my schedule.  But then again, nakakatamad.  My husband Greg and I availed of the annual membership at Metro Lifestyle coz his doctors insisted that he has to have some sort of exercise to relieve the pain in his knee and back.  We were good at it for say…two months.  That was a little over a year ago.  We haven’t been back since.  But I’m now persuading him to go back coz my midsection isn’t exactly what it used to be when I was 20 years younger than I am today…I bought a Zumba pack for Wii U but the box remains in its same unopened state as on the day it was purchased about 3 months ago.  I’ve promised myself (with fingers crossed behind my back (?)) to open it and start using it…NOW NA…not pag may time lang…Now, whether or not I regain my old waistline remains to be seen…

But really, I guess what works best for me is how I view life and the burdens that come along with it.  I’m not saying that I run away from my problems. I don’t!  I just don’t dwell on them, dissect them or rant about them. I have various ways of dealing with stress, but that in itself would be long enough to be another blog that I shall be posting in the future.  Anyway, I just identify the problem, figure out how to solve it, carry out the solution and wait for end-results.  If I can’t come up with anything brilliant, I pray for enlightenment.  If things don’t turn out the way I want them to, again, I turn to prayer.  IT ALWAYS WORKS!!!  Believe me!  I may not get what I want, but things always turn out for the best.  I may yet have some unresolved problems but I choose not to wallow in the depths of despair.  As long as I know I’ve done what I can, as long as I’ve whispered my heartaches to God, I know these trials soon shall pass and hopefully, I emerge a better person. 

And that, I believe is how I’ve been growing older.  Gracefully, I hope.  Yes, hopefully with God’s grace…

I honestly believe that the fountain of youth is not in some obscenely-priced miracle-in-a-jar sourced from the heights of Mt. Everest or the depths of the world’s deepest trench. 

Youth is not necessarily associated with the young.  It lies in everyone’s hearts…It stays forever recorded deep in the recesses of our minds.  Age?  It’s just a number.  We sometimes forget the feeling of being young because we focus on the number.  But, no matter how old we get, the moment we re-live our cherished memories, we are transported back to another place and time and we become the young, giggling, carefree kids we once were.  And maybe, just for a moment, we forget about the crosses we carry and shift back to a time when all that mattered was our youth.

Getting older is a fact of life.  No one can escape it.  It’s just how we choose to live our lives that makes all the difference between feeling older and staying young-at-heart.

May 2013

How old am I?  I was born the year the Aswan Dam was completed, the year the Beatles broke up, the year the first Earth Day was celebrated.  Sirit na ?  Okay, I was born one year after Neil Alden Armstrong conquered the moon, the year after Gloria Diaz conquered the Universe.  You do the math. ;)


*Extirpate – a term familiar to my Room 211 roommates (Trisha, Chin-Chin and Leng) at Eliazo which means to pull up by the root 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Lemon Butter Sauce Disaster (?)

Two Sundays ago, my dear aunt, Tita Lita decided to have lunch with us.  My father's eldest sister used to run a successful catering business and helped set up several food establishments in the city.  In short, she knows good food when she sees and tastes it.

My husband decided to have pink salmon as the main dish.  Since we had it with oyster sauce a few nights back, he suggested lemon butter sauce to go with it this time.

Image from

I bravely volunteered to prepare the dish coz he was busy talking with Tita Lita.

Look, I'm no chef to begin with.

Baking, I can do. Since it requires precise measurements, I can say that following instructions isn't really a problem.  Besides, the baking lessons I had with Tita Lita for 3 summers when I was a kid gave me the basic know-how.

Cooking - now that's a different story.  My husband insists that it's the easiest thing in the world.  Yeah it is...for some!  But other less-gifted individuals like me struggle with it.  I mean, I've bought several cookbooks and have tried following the instructions to the letter, but something would always seem missing. I truly envy those who could prepare dishes without caring about measurements, tasting the dish as they go along and coming up with something really delish!  My husband's like that.  As for me - well, for the dishes I've successfully prepared, I need to refer to the recipe with exact proportions each and every time.  My most convenient excuse for my said "handicap" would be lack of practice as I don't do the cooking at home because I don't have the time,etc, etc...but is it really excusable? :P

Now back to my salmon with lemon butter sauce...

 I just had to rub the salmon with salt and pepper and our helper simply cooked it.  You could never go wrong with salmon, I guess.

The lemon butter sauce?  Well, I figured, how difficult could it be? It's just lemon and butter and some other stuff. Right? Right!

I searched the net for the best lemon butter sauce recipe, came up with a few and chose the one which seemed most basic and had a four-star rating to boot.  Haha!  Boy, was I ready!

I melted the butter, added the lemon juice, put in the rest of the ingredients and confidently mixed away over a low fire.

But, something wasn't quite right.  I couldn't understand why the sauce didn't appear to be what I expected.   A thin film of what I assumed were some of the ingredients, settled on top of the sauce, with the clear light yellow liquid beneath it.  To make it even worse, it tasted bitter!  I added some salt to offset the horrible flavor, tasted it.  Now it was a cross between bitter and salty, if such a flavor does exist or if I was the first ever human being to create it.  It was a disaster!

With the soup, vegetables and salmon ready, the sauce was the only thing left undone.  I had to serve it quickly; it was a little past noon and I didn't wanna keep them waiting.

I did the first thing that crossed my mind; I scooped out the grayish film that coated the surface of the sauce.  Good!  The sauce looked all clear, yellow and pretty, if that could be its only redeeming factor.  I then transferred the sauce to a bowl and took it into the dining room.

Tita Lita and Greg sat there waiting.  My husband asked why I didn't pour the sauce over the fish.  Knowing that salmon rubbed with salt and pepper is tasty enough, I simply said that anyone could take their pick: to have their salmon plain or to slather it with sauce.  I then whispered, "The sauce tastes so bad - it's both bitter and salty".  He answered, "Impossible!"  I dared him to try it.  He did.  I expected the worst...

Greg's verdict: "Medyo matabang" ("It's a bit bland").  I was incredulous, "Are you SURE?".  I tasted the sauce myself.  It WAS kinda bland.  And when poured over the salmon, surprisingly, it tasted quite good.  I guess that film of ingredients on the top gave off the yucky taste.  I mentally patted myself on the back.  "Good thinking!", I proudly thought.  It was one happy accident.

Tita Lita's verdict:  "Masarap siya"  ("It tastes good").  But knowing Tita Lita, she'd always say the best things, be it delicious or "chapter"*.  I just love her!!!

Now on to my next cooking (mis)adventure.  Wish me luck!!!


*chapter - a term Tita Lita uses when a dish turns out bad -- in other words, "palpak". :)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Tale Behind My Blog Name

It's a rather long blog name...I know. But all the blog names I came up with already exist, so I got my favorites and rolled them all together into one...


Image taken from

Well, I should say that I'm an all-around happy person, constantly viewing life through rainbow-colored glasses.  I have to admit though that at times, there is a need to don my prescription contact lenses (currently at 250/225) to see things in proper perspective -- that is from the standpoint of stark reality, lest I be gobbled up by entities lurking in the shadows, ready to take advantage of my naïveté.


Image taken from

While most people detest power interruptions, I look beyond the darkness and gaze at the soft romantic gleam from the skies above, best appreciated in my parents' quiet farm, far from the maddening hustle and bustle of city life.

At night, as the city sleeps amidst the glare of harsh sodium and fluorescent bulbs, I choose to imagine being blanketed by the warm glow of light cast by the moon and the stars as I get the best of my insights lying in bed, where my random thoughts teeter between a state of consciousness and dreamland, while my babies' steady breathing serves as my lullaby. 

(I also have to mention that I get some of my light bulb moments when I'm all lathered up with shampoo and soap - but a blog name bearing the said factors would most definitely be inappropriate!)


Image taken from

Shanez, as I was told, means "little princess".
I am little - that is a fact. At almost 5 feet, I would prefer petite. :)
I don't claim that royal blood runs through my veins; I do not have a kingdom with subjects who adore me. Though not by lineage, I can say that I am a princess to my parents, brother, husband and children who make me feel so loved.

That being said, I hope you enjoy the tales - random ramblings are more like it - of a little princess wannabe who, despite the occasional rain-shower, lives in a world basked in sunshine and rainbows, moonbeams and starlight.