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Sunday, October 28, 2012

And the winner is...J.Co Donuts!

Gone are the  days when donut choices were only limited to sugar-coated, Bavarian filled or chocolate candy sprinkled. Now when we say donut, it is usually followed by a litany of varieties and flavors we never even thought could be made into a donut. (Well, it never crossed my mind that the chocolate Snickers could be a donut topping!)

I remember maybe around 9 years ago when Go-Nuts Donuts first came into the market, my good friend Lily would ask their company driver to buy donuts for us. The poor driver would fall in line for 2 hours before he could snag our boxes of freshly-baked donuts.

Then an American brand of 'doughnut' came to Manila and we had the same story of waiting in line for a donut. The commotion died down slowly over a period of around six months after every middle class Juan have tasted the latest craze that was Krispy Kreme.

Everything seems quiet for awhile in the donut arena until J.Co Donuts and Coffee arrived in Manila. J.Co is originally from Indonesia and boasts of unique donut flavours.

A few friends commented that J.Co is just another hype or fad similar to Krispy Kreme or even the most recent Magnum Ice Cream. But I am a certified donut lover so I actually don't care if this is just one of those fads or hypes.

The J.Co store closest to me is in Megamall so I trooped there to see for myself what's so special about this donut. As expected there were dozens of people waiting in line and from the way they look, I don't think anybody minds the queue.

I should say the queuing time of approximately 45 minutes on a weekday eve is already short. I have friends who reportedly waited for over an hour before they got to lay their hands on these delicious, colorful, melt-in-your-mouth babies. Honestly, I found the time quite useful for ogling the donuts and deciding which ones to include in my dozen (damn, I say ALL!).

Taste-wise, I like these better than Krispy Kreme. J.Co donuts are less sweeter than KK and the variety of flavors are just overwhelming. I also appreciate that the donuts are priced less if a customer buys by the dozen (each donut costs Php42, but a dozen is only Php350 or Php29.30 each).

If there's such a thing called Donut Wars, I'd give J.Co the upper hand.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Out of the Picture

Every time my little girl shows me a new drawing, I would always end up smiling if not at all laughing. Her ideas are really funny and normally depicts her daily activities or what have just transpired in her life. She would often draw princesses, an image of herself or even food that she wants to serve on her birthday parties.
So imagine my surprise when her nanny showed me Eone's drawing yesterday after she had just been reprimanded by her Dad. We caught her hitting her little brother and also had been very naughty all throughout the day. She also refused to take her afternoon nap.

I cried when I saw this picture made by her. Simple as it is but it showed how much she's been 'hurt' when her Dad imposed discipline on her that she felt she's no longer part of our family.

I do remind The Hubby to explain to our daughter why we are upset with what she did, hence, the punishment. I know her sensitive mind and heart would not comprehend the logic; what overpowers her at that moment is the feeling of being unloved, and the pain of  Mommy's betrayal when I ignored her hand when she reached out to me for help.
I never realized 'til now how hard it is to balance discipline and affection with our children. I don't want my kids to feel unloved even for a brief moment but neither do I look forward to having spoiled brats in the house who would have us follow their every whim.

Parenthood. It's never easy.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Review, review, zzzz....

I've been down with a terrible migraine and colds for the last 3 days. I stayed home on Monday and Tuesday but had to force my sorry butt to the office on yesterday as I am sure my pending tasks are not going to wait 'til I get well.
However, apart from work, there are other matters that slipped me during the last 3 days. Sadly, those are Eone's homework and quizzes. It's unacceptable and I am disappointed with myself that I did not check my daughter's handbook on Tuesday as I was practically asleep all day! Because of that, she missed bringing cut out pictures required for her performance test in Social Studies. This mommy needs some spanking! Good thing I am not embarrassed to write to the teacher, tell her the truth (that Mommy failed!) and request for a special exams.
When I was still in school, it was my Dad who assisted us with our assignments and reviewed with us for our exams, especially me as I also took up Engineering like him. He patiently tutored me in geometry, physics and brain-draining calculus. I could have not finished Engineering on time if not for my father's patience.
And so I want to do the same with my children. I want them to remember me as someone instrumental to their success in education, not just someone who paid for their tuition fees (because their father did :)). So from hereon until they are all grown up, from their nursery until their gmat prep, I wish to be there for them to guide and assist them - create practice quizzes, mock exams and review questions for each of them just like what a professional tutor will do.
But I wonder how long I will be able to manage juggling career, home-managing and motherhood. I dread the coming years when all three of them are in school because for sure homework and exams will come in threes. Either I quit my job to focus on just being a mom or get myself a clone. Which one is better?

I hope ten years from now, schools and universities are able to send exams reminders and updates to students (and parents too) just like VeritasPrep updates. It will be great receiving information, reminders and updates using social media like twitter or even Facebook. Heck, I know review groups now meet online and hold sessions via web...maybe, maybe then I can even tutor them while having my nails done at the salon.

Friday, October 05, 2012

The Most Beautiful Woman In My Heart

Memories of my happy childhood were not with other kids. I don't have that many moments with playmates to reminisce but more with bullies in school who tried their luck with me but failed. But if one can call word war and tarayan as things to remember of ones childhood, okay, I'd recant my earlier statement and say I have a book of those moments to tell. But let's leave my bratty days for another time. Instead, the happiest days of my childhood were those spent with my maternal grandmother and my aunts.
I was barely a month old when Mama started taking care of me and from then on were inseparable for 8 years.

I stayed with my grandparents on weekdays when my parents need to work and then I get fetched on Fridays to spend the weekend with them in Quezon City. I felt like a ping pong then, but in a very nice way as I got spoiled rotten in the process.

Since my grandparents live in Malabon during my early years, I had my share of experiences with flood. It floods after heavy rains, during high tide and worst, when it rains while it's high tide! The 'abundance' of water didn't make me miserable, but in fact the exact opposite. I had grand times swimming inside the house (eeewww? yeah, it's eeewww), sailing around the living room aboard a giant styro, or wading in panic pretending a shark is after me.

I didn't play with other kids in the neighborhood. I didn't need to because I've got my aunts, all three of them, to keep me amused. I can't recall much of the toys I played with but can narrate in detail how my Tita Maris, my mom's youngest sibling who is only 7 years my senior, and I played 'market-market'. We'd take leaves of various plants from our backyard and pretend they were fishes. I would then buy those fishes with paper money cut out of old newspapers.

I knew all my aunts' crushes and their suitors who would bribe me with chips and Coke so I'd pass their love notes and messages. I was also witness to their strength of characters - hair pulling sessions and shouting matches during their adolescent years. All these sealed my bond with my aunts for good and for life.

When Mama suffered a stroke when I was 8, she had no excuse anymore not to allow me to live with my Mom and Dad. I transferred school and the weekly routine got reversed. I stayed with Mom and Dad on weekdays and with Mama on weekends. Alternately my uncles and aunts would fetch me from Quezon City every Friday. They would take me to shopping first before going home or to Jollibee.

I am not sure when they stopped doing the ping pong arrangement with me, all I know was after a year or two, the weekend visits gradually came to a halt and I found Mama staying more and more frequent with us due to our home's proximity to the hospital where she's having her therapy. As the years passed by, my aunts got married and built their own families. Our Mama then moved from home to home to spend time with her other grandchildren.

One of my fondest memories was when she asked me to wear to church a brown dress custom-made by our neighbor/seamstress. It was the feast of St. Anthony and boy, oh boy, my dress was exactly the same as the rebulto's robe!

She loved us all but I will not deny (because no one will believe me, anyway) that she loved me the most. I was her superstar, the center of her universe, the incomparable one. Whenever I come over to spend the weekend with her, she would pamper me like a queen; cook all the dishes that I like, brush my hair, hug me and kiss me (and hug me and kiss me some more).
When I watch my children now with my mom or my mother in law, I am reminded of Mama and how she was to me then. I thank God that my kids are given a chance to be cared for, loved and sometimes disciplined by their grannies. It's a necessary and wonderful part of a person's life - to enjoy the presence of grandparents. In my heart I know that I will not be who I am today if not for the overwhelming love my grandmother have showered me with.

Today is my Mama's 12th angel birthday and as I pray for the eternal repose of her soul, I also reminisce and celebrate her beautiful memories.
I love you, Mama.
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