The Great February 2014

1 Mar

At the beginning of the year, I said to myself that it was high time to pick up the pieces of me, and continue to live life as happy as can be.

So to start it off, I went to get togethers with old, comfortable, and real friends.

The first of the many actually happened late January. It was a long overdue meet up with Team Netcom. Sad that all werent there to be with us because weekends are understandably days that should be spent with the family but super and hyper happy that Edison, Rosie, and I pushed through with it. Yay!

I have been meaning to check UP town center for a while so when they asked where to meet/eat, I suggested the place. Fast forward to getting there, we had a hard time choosing where to eat since every restaurant, just by looking at the interiors and the menus, promised a part of food heaven to a starving woman who realky really loves to eat, me.

When we passed by IHOP, I was silently praying “not here, not here” since I promised Arli that we will have our first IHOP experience together. And in the process of checking the entire building out, we also considered a burger place. But it seemed that the silent prayer did not work that moment. Maybe Edison was doing a counter prayer because he was seriously craving for some french toast. Thus we had a beautiful brunch at IHOP. We opted to get their breakfast samplers and just plain service water for drinks because we had to leave room for we also planned to go to Chocolate Kiss to get their house original and specialty iced tea and sample more of their generous offerings of really tasty cakes.

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The weekend after, I went to a fun early breakfast buffet with my sisters. It was supposedly a sibling day out because it was the week before my natal day but the brother was too sleepy to be bothered. So we let him be and left for Eastwood where we dined to our heart’s content. We also did some retail therapy and some window shopping by visiting the weekend bazaar near the restaurant and by going to Tiendesitas.

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I did not expect the reaction that I got from Arli because I went to IHOP with another set of friends even though I really promised to check the place out for the first time with her. It made me so guilty. So to make up for it, the next Saturday, (I had busy weekends, yes) we went to the branch in BGC, where we really planned to dine together. After the roughly two-hour eating and catching-up time, I went to accompany her in looking for a dress which ended becoming plural for an occassion which she would not tell me what. Arli! If you are reading this, how did it go? Chika on our next sesh together! Massage!

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The next day, Sunday, I had a date with Shang and her boyfie. When I heard on the phone, on my way to Megamall, that she was talking to somebody, I started thinking why was she with him in our meet up? Was she to tell me something personally? Hahahha! How silly of me. Anyhow, I have no photo of the food that we had (Rack’s sampler) but I have one with Shang and I. This was taken when we had coffee after dinner.

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The next meeting that I have was initially scheduled the week before. But because I decided to take a personal time off on the day, the day before, and the day after of my natal day, Joyful told me to have the meet-up on a Monday. Thank you for the Saboten treat! It was my first time and I loved the cabbages! Joke! I loved everything! Thank you!

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The personal time off that I mentioned a while ago was supposedly for two days but I decided to go for three. It was awesome!

The next weekend, my friend Buding stayed with us for the Saturday night in order for us spend some time together before she goes back to her work “place” and more. I went to the airport, late that Saturday morning, because I was expecting the usual smooth traffic. Was I so mistaken. I should have left two or three hours earlier. But since I busied myself with tidying my room, I got out late and got stuck in the EDSA traffic (Ayala tunnel) for nearly an hour. Good thing there was still an opportunity for the cabbie driver to take the SLEX route instead of the Pasay route to the Centennial Terminal.

It was a religious group’s annual event and I had no first hand knowledge of how crazy the traffic would be on that day because I think I was always tuck away in dreamlandia or lazying my bum off at home everytime it happens. Because of the traffic situation, we decided to go to CCP, where we watched Wicked (yay!), four hours earlier than we were supposed to. Thanks Buding for the treat. I know you had super fun and so did I! SUPER!

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That night while we were waiting for the show to start, I was texting with a friend to meet with us the day after. Good thing she was free for the meet up! Nina and Buding have not seen each other for years! Was it four or am I again exaggerating? But yeah, years! We first had coffee to give Xai some energy boost because she just came from work. Seriously? Work on a Saturday? (As if i dont do it!) and then had late lunch at Megamall Chili's. Conversations wih girlfriends is always fun. And its so nice to have people so dear, that you actually have not seen in years or months, and yet you talk to each other like you just saw one another yesterday.

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I really though that was the last of the many eating sessions that Ill have this month, especially now that I am really dieting and exercising. The goal is to get thin and yet I was eating, and eating, and eating. But the next week, I went to eat some nachos with melted cheese, chicken wings, and a lot of pasta in TGIF Greenbelt 3 with my BPI girlfriends. I really contained myself not to eat more. I stop everytime I feel I was satisfied and no longer hungry. That is why I always have take outs. :)

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I was getting the GM diet again this last week of February but was also cheat eating because the diet does not really work for people at work. You have to have something to supplement. So what I do, I will either buy something in the afternoon, or eat when I get home, or both. Because I accepted that the provided food was not enough and that I was ready to do a little cheating on the side so long I exercise, I did not experience the week-long headache that I had the first time I tried the diet.

The month long eat-outs didnt stop there! I planned to go to this vegetarian place a long time ago that Maam Emi have told me about but we do not push through always or was it because we really did not do the sit down and pin a specific date initiative? So when the opportunity to visit the place came, I made sure it was a go. I loved loved loved Wabi-Sabi and will definitely go back for more! And I so love the Collective!

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I was able to try Pink Wasabi which I accidently discovered while we were on our way out of the building! Even my siblings loved the mini cakes. They are definitely worth the try!

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To add to all the happiness that the place gave me, I discovered BSide! I was euphoric, ecstatic, and was unstoppably bubbly the whole time and was even chatting up the Pink Wasabi store dude incessantly about the mini cakes and about fliptop. The things that I did that night were proof that I was a noob and that I was not part of the “cool” people, but I felt as if I was because I discovered a place where real magic happens. :)

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I cannot put into words how happy I am now. I value my family – my mother, my father, my siblings, my relatives, and my awesome friends more than ever. How silly I was to over think things and not be contented with what I have in my life, for letting my feelings or “dreams” rule me, for letting my being lonely get the very best of me, and for letting other people’s opinion dictate how I think of things.

That many aspects overruled the self preserving attitude or nature that I have had since I was little and in the process, I neglected the many things Jah has blessed me with. But, here is the kicker, I am thankful to have experienced being deeply hurt again. It was an eye opener or an “awakener”? It helped me differentiate delusion, illusion, dream, reverie, lead ons, and assumptions from the realness of life. It made me stronger – closer to my self, to my siblings, my real friends, and most of all, closer to God.

My sincerest Thank You’s to all who have made my February soooo happy! I so love you!! Hugs and kisses from me!

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Turning a New Leaf

11 Feb

2014 started rough for me. But, as always, Im hopeful that everything will turn out okay and alright because this is also the year when I reach another milestone in my life, that is basically in a couple of minutes. More reason for it to be another awesome year.

I initially wanted to make a review post but I am totally not prepared especially since I plan to post this before midnight strikes. That kind of post will entail a little bit of preparation. So instead, I will share something that I have been doing for the last couple of weeks or maybe a month.

When the year started, I wanted to acquire new habits. A new routine that can somehow help me push through the day to day monotonous living, added is something (personal) that I am going though, and the many frustrations that I have with my professional path. It is like going through the menopausal period minus the hot flushes.

One day, I happen to stumble upon this article in our intranet entitled “2014 – New Year! Fresh Start!” which highlighted the 5 steps one can do to achieve a better year. I thought of going through the entry with the hope of finding something that can help me. And I was so glad that I read though.

1. Try being a little kinder. – It was said that this is one best method for inner development.

2. Be unspairingly honest about personal goals. – Make a list everyday of what you truly, deeply want out of life. Revise it repeatedly until you feel you are unflinching honest about your desires.

3. Radically forgive even cruel people.

4. Express gratitude daily.

5. Commit to civility. – Compose all communications as if you are sending to someone you love.

I am practicing all 5 but of them, I am very committed to expressing my gratitude daily. What I do is that the very first thing that I think of when I open my eyes in the morning is the three things that I am most thankful for for having. And the three things, if I have nothing specific to really thank for, will usually include (a) a new day, (b) family, and (c) real friends.

I also decided to keep a journal that I have been neglecting for more than a week already. But I promise to update it with daily entries tomorrow if not after I posted this article.

I also plan to make a Gantt Chart or first, a list of the things that I want to accomplish in this lifetime. I have been meaning to do this for years already but being the procastinator that I am, I havent one scratch paper with even an entry to boot. I have to have a semblance of order in my life which I think is very chaotic and topsy-turvy. I have to rein in and plan rather than acting out or responding only to whatever stimulus is given me. I have to know what i want, what I really really want.

I hope, as I turn into this new chapter in my life and before the first quarter of the year ends, I can accomplish all of my immediate personal deliverables.

Good bye and thanks to the old year and happy, glad, and excited for the new year. Happy New Year to Me!

A Very Humbling Review

6 Jan

The social media applications have this feature wherein they give a review of the things that you did the past year by showing the posts that got the most views or attention. So, me being intrigued, I jumped into the bandwagon and did the 2013 flashback.

Here is the link to my YEAR in RE|VIEW: https://www.facebook.com/yearinreview/geevie.lou.palec

After seeing the recap, I was very humbled. And to show that, I made this:

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Thank you so much 2013 for being so good to me and my family. I really feel that 2014 will be a great year as well and I deem to make it awesome!

Hopeful for 2014

31 Dec

2013 was a bit rough for me. There were a lot of constraints and impediments. However, even with all the struggles that I went through and am still battling with, I am not oblivious to all the blessings that came my way. I can still feel that I am loved.

So as every year begins, I am starting afresh with a plateful of faith and hope. I really wish 2014 is as great as it promises.

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Jehovah, I pray that you continue to bless me and my family with Your guidance, improved health, safety, and, strength. Bless me and my siblings with better opportunities at or with work, improve and strengthen our love for one another, and make your Holy Spirit work on us more to be better servants. We know You, we acknowledge You, and I know in the deeper recesses of our hearts, we want to serve You. Thank You for everything. Amen.

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I am really excited for the new year. I hope I get to be a better person, better employee, better colleague, better sister, better daughter, better friend, better kumare, better godmother, and be a better businesswoman. Better meaning more patient, more loving, more respectful, more committed, more determined, and more goal-oriented. I also hope to better my health and love life. Hahahaha! :) I hope I get to jog atleast thrice a week and be involved more with activities outside of work. Yes, 2014 is THE year!

Below is a picture that my brother took of me with our new favorite pillow that says “Find your happiness, Go there often.”

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Tita Baby’s Home Cooking

25 Dec

Nothing beats a home-cooked meal especially when the cook is an excellent one. Here is the spread that we enjoyed last night that had everyone experience a little bit of food coma.

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Earlier yesterday I was posting about preparing some leche flan. I did this last year so I thought of doing it again this year.

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They were surprised that I can cook and that I personally made the flan. And I think they thought that what I brought last year was something bought. A lot of my relatives gave that reaction when they see me cook or knew that I can cook and now I really wonder why? I was not a pampered kid growing up. We weren’t rich. I was doing household chores and basically looked after myself since high school. It should be expected that I know something.

Anyhoo, Im thinking of posting individual photos of the food that we feasted on but I’ll wait for the better pictures from my sister’s phone.

If I may add, we had some leftovers for breakfast today and every morsel was devoured by the four of us with gusto. Again, nothing can beat a home-cooked meal. Thank you Tita Baby for inviting us over last night!

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The Plantation Experience

24 Dec

I joined my current company the hard way. I, along with my co-trainees, had to endure almost 3 months of a torturous classroom set-up training. Because of that, it was really inevitable for us to get closer. When we were deployed and started to do work, we didnt have that much time to be together, even do lunch or dinner or the afternoon snack thus I treasure more the moments that we get to spend with each other.

Before the holiday vacation started, we decided to have lunch in one of the nearby, and new discovery for me, food establishments in Palanca Makati, The Plantation.

As per research, prior to going to the place, they were serving Filipino and Mediterranean cuisine. Here are the things that we got from their generous offerings.

I will post first the worst of the 7 different dishes that we had.

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This is their salmon. I was seatmates with Ica and since this was our first time in the place, we wanted to try as much in the menu as possible so we decided to order two kinds of viands and share them between the two of us. This was the most expensive of all the that was ordered and for me, this was a failure. From tasting it, you can get the all the “lansa” or “stink” of the fish. Nothing a little lemon, salt, and pepper cannot address. Fail… :(

The next photo is the first of the two collages I made from the assortments that we ordered.

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The upper right picture is the baby back ribs, the second order Ica and I had. This was okay. A good rib for me other than being flavorful is when the meat readily detaches from the bone when prodded by a fork.

The picture on the bottom right is what Lei had. This is similar to what Harold had. I decided not to get a photo of it because they only differed in the garnish. Lei had the mediterranean version of a grilled liempo while Harold had the Filipino version.

The last picture of food, the bottom left, is Nico’s. Some chicken with cheese and it came with some mashed potatoes at the bottom and sweet pepper as garnish. I have yet to get the official names of these from their menu. Its so hard to multi-task when blogging from a tablet. I will update this post when I can access it through the computer.

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Lets do the description in a clockwise manner, the same that I did with the first collage. So the above right photo was the Puttanesca that Chesca had. I did not expect the abundance of meat that this dish came with and it was tasty too! I will definitely order this the next time I decide to come over along with the ribs.

The next photo is nothing special than a grilled pork chop. This dish can improve. nothing makes meat tastier than it being fresh and made to sit on a marinade for a time, enough for the flavors to seep into the meat. This was what Marge and Jun had. the upside to this dish is that it was good for sharing. Marge gave one whole pork chop for us to share because she was only able to finish one.

The last one I did not have the opportunity to taste but it resembled a seafood paella. I saw RJ devoured it to the last morsel so it must have bedn good. This was the same dish that Ica and I initially wanted to have but decided on the salmon instead. Awww..

Ending this post is a bit bleh and amusing because I started to write about the friendships that I made in my current job but in the middle part I started to criticize the food that we have. So let me get back to the good side.

It was a genius decision for us to come early to the restaurant becuase fifteen minutes after we arrived, the place was full to the brim! Having tasted their food makes me ask why? But thinking about it, it must have been the set-up of the place and the ambiance. The waiters were not a nuisance at all. The other diners werent much of a distraction. The overall feeling is nothing like you are being hurried because other people are in line and are waiting to have a seat (the fast food kind of feel). We were able to enjoy lunch as peaceful and enjoyable as we hoped to be. Or maybe it was just me. :)

I always have everyone do the round-the-table update thingy because I wanted to know what is new with everybody. I hope we keep it as a tradition. Another one on your personL list wont hurt at all. :)

Again, my sincerest thanks to the friendship and the loyalty and for committing some of your time to be with the us. Happy Holidays batch 4 of 2012!

How Great It Is To Have a Brother

21 Dec

I have been writing more rumblings than worthy-of-the-space posts for the past months. I will try to write better content from now on. I will start that by telling you more about my brother, Jun Patrick Palec.

I have been very vocal in person and in this blog how proud I am of my siblings. We reached college when all were expecting that we could not. I am just thankful that even through the hardships, all four of us persisted with our studies. No one did anything major that could stop us from finishing school. We were never pushed by our parents to do good but I believe that four of us shared the trait of giving our education much importance. Now, we are all graduates and I am none but the proudest sister ever!

I should have written about this last April 15, 2013, the day my brother graduated from school. I don’t know why I kept on forgetting but here it is.

ImageI cant say in words how proud I was when I saw you walking on that stage. I might have teared up a little. It did not progress to the full blown crying because I was running like crazy, jumping on top of one chair to another trying to get a good picture of you. For me and for posterity’s sake.

Thank you for doing good in school Toto. Nene, Joyjoy, Papa, Mama and I are so proud of you. I may have regretted a little why I did not push for you to become an engineer. I know you can because you are a brilliant kid. However, I now believe that you were made to pursue the career that you have for a reason.

Since you joined us here in Manila, we love you more for being our house cleaner, our dishwasher, our garbage man, and our errands boy. We love you even more because of your willingness to serve us, your sisters. Just hang on in there, you will find the best company because you deserve nothing less.

There is another upside to you not working yet, it gives us more time to experience you. I so value now when you are mostly home. I love it that I have someone to talk to that can give me a different perspective of things, a man’s. I am crazy, I know that. And I value all your feed backs about my attitude, my actuations, my over-reactions.

Of the four of us, you are the most peace-loving thus I was shocked when I first experienced fighting with you. But we always patch things up in less than 10 minutes. You have a lot of traits that are so nice and I hope I adapt some of them. You are so fun loving and the easiest to please. You are also so great to be with, story telling with you is always so full of laughs. I am so glad that even with the age gap that we have, I got to know you. I have always been jealous of Nene because she was able to experience being with you during the time she was done with school and was mostly home while waiting for hospitals she applied for give a call-back. But not anymore.

Toto, I hope you continue to be you as we grow old, the best brother ever.

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May Jah bless you in your future endeavors. We love you toto and again, congratulations!

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