I Am the Boss of Me

bicol expressI retired in my forties. Seriously people like me don’t retire; we just need change and a new challenge. When my last work day came I didn’t have a back-up job ready. My first week away from the institution was a real struggle. I missed my desk, I missed my friends and the community.

Freedom I told myself! Then separation anxiety slowly crept in with the dawn of an empty schedule. The jobs were out there but I was being picky pondering if should be employed or set-up shop. I used to be a ruthless businesswoman but fell into the corporate trap of receiving a salary. A decade of financial security slowly killed my entrepreneurial spirit. Leaving was a leap of faith and the end of my comfort zone, after all Steve Jobs said “stay hungry, stay foolish”.

In my new found solace I discovered a millennial concept called “coworking” spaces. In this new productivity nest I followed my old work routine. The social interaction in this shared environment helped me transition. After weaning from my old establishment I started becoming busy writing, consulting, and cooking again. I realize now that the opportunities are endless.

This week I accepted a project supplying packed food to offices. The profit margins are low but I need to start somewhere.  I wake up early to market, cook and deliver orders. I work only in the mornings giving me more time to do the things I love. Baby steps…

Being an entrepreneur can be quite challenging.  This morning I panicked because I was taking too long frying a ton of fish. The kitchen was a mess with splatters of batter everywhere. Despite the rush, I still needed to tidy up before leaving.  In my previous job I used industrial machines, had a culinary assistant and kitchen steward to clean up for me. I was so tired but happy to get my groove back.  I’m blissful to be back in the kitchen, this time it is MY kitchen and I am my own boss.

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Chinese New Year Binondo Food Trip


We spent the eve of Chinese New Year in Manila’s Chinatown called Binondo. The atmosphere was very festive with fireworks, crowded streets and vendors everywhere. First we went to check out the rows of food stalls  beside the creek called “Estero”.  Food looked really sleazy but incredibly tasty. We couldn’t find an empty table so we walked back to Ongpin street.  We wanted to go to Sincerity  Cafe and Restaurant at the Lucky Chinatown building  but traffic was building up.

Our next option Wei Ying Restaurant along Benavidez street was an excellent choice. I ordered my favorite roast duck with white chicken. We also had roast duck mami, asado mami, siomai, shrimp chong fan, spareribs rice, chicken feet, lomaikai, and  linyong pao. Food porn! We only spent P1250 for 4 people !

image wpid-20150218_233945.jpgwpid-20150218_234253.jpgwpid-20150218_215301.jpg

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The Ice Cream Binge

I indulge myself with ice cream after finding out that I lost something valuable. In my frustration I binge on speculoos cookie butter ice cream, with choco lava cake crumble, salted caramel popcorn and cherries in syrup.  Feeling a little better now after creating this delicious concoction.ice cream1

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Exhibit of the Sacristy of the Papal Entourage 2015 of Pope Francis to the Philippines

The exhibit is open to the public until February 6, 2015. Due to popular demand, the Office of the President and Chancellor of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde is happy to announce the extension of the exhibit “Sagrestia: The Sacristy of the Papal Entourage for the 2015 Apostolic Visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines”.

Viewing time:
9:00 AM – 11:30 AM
1:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Room 808, 8th floor of the Angelo King International Center (AKIC)

With the blessings of the Vatican and in cooperation with the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, the exhibition features the various vestments, vessels, linens and liturgical books used by the members of the Papal Entourage. The highlights of the exhibit are the skull cap, Book of Ceremonials, and chalice used by Pope Francis during his Holy Mass at Continue reading

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Pastry Chef Ewald Notter in Benilde 2015


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Where did the Vatican Cardinals and Papal Bodyguards stay during the Papal Visit in Manila 2015?

popeHotel Benilde  Maison De La Salle  was secretly home to Pope Francis’ Papal Entourage last January 14-19, 2015 in Manila.  The presence of the high ranking Vatican Cardinals and Swiss Guards or papal bodyguards remained confidential during their stay.  Now that they are away, here are pictures from the devoted team that handled the delegation.

pope9As early as January 12 classes in SHRIM were cancelled. Those of us not part of the Papal Visit 2015 were asked to vacate the building. Security was very tight and  only members of the Benilde Papal Team were allowed in the premises. The whole hotel was closed for the congregation.  The different entrances even had metal detectors and x-ray machines!

Congratulations to the  Secretariat Team headed by Ms. Lettie Delarmente. They worked very hard  to show our guests the true meaning of Filipino and Lasallian hospitality. The
culinary team was headed by executive chef Mae Belgira Montalban of the De La Salle- Continue reading

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Exciting 2015 Menu

nye food (2)Several of my father’s very good friends passed away last 2014, and with ALL my siblings being abroad I was unsure of the menu for the party. Pappy is a stickler for tradition; he insisted on welcoming the New Year’s Eve with an abundant feast. So I cooked my usual turkey, a leg of lamb, lengua, potato salad, and we purchased a lechon (roasted pig). Inviting people was the easiest part. I did not make paella which was included in the regular repertoire, not realizing our regular guests would miss it.  It was a joy to see people enjoy my food. Complements such as “put up your own restaurant” continue to haunt me today.

Over the holidays I watched the movie “The Hobbit” and then did a “Lord of the Rings’ trilogy marathon.  This may seem funny, but this quote from LOTR is my New Year’s resolution:

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” – Gadalf the Grey 
J.R.R. Tolkien)

It is so much easier to stick to tradition and stay in our comfort zones, but there is an adventure waiting out there for all of us.  My theme for 2015 is CHANGE. So I resolve to: Continue reading

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