Sunday, February 26, 2012


the ateneo center for educational development (aced) helps in uplifting public basic education in the country.  in their 15th year anniversary, a fun run was organized to raise money, support and awareness of the university's work toward public school development. particularly their feeding programs for public elementary schools.
i am really happy to start my sunday morning with the run... and happier to be with new running friends.. i am not yet so sure of my run-time but i am just glad i finished it after suffering two times from side stitches.. hai.. it still pisses me off that until now i haven't improve well on my breathing..
with arnel #5254 winning 3rd place for 5k category
with friends from the MIS dept and facilities management office
with voltaire winning 2nd place for 10k category
boys will always be boys.. going gaga over #allysaValdez
it also makes me proud to have friends who had their first run but at the same time bring home the crown.. it's always a wonderful feeling to see people do good in what they do... of course, hats off to rice queen, mommy D, ruppert, atty no case yet, & ms. tin (my hrmo team) for finishing the run.. i love the fact that i am not running alone anymore.. :) (although i feel that i will still run alone most of the time.. haha)...

first time runners...  finishing their first 3k.. yeyey!!
special race category... :)

then again, going back to the cause of the event, my heart celebrates that a lot of people came to join to help in the fund raising... knowing that there were a lot of generous hearts willing to help feed children to keep them in school is more than a blessing.. 
going wacky with the kids of quirino & bagong silangan elementary schools
young athletes today... olympians tomorrow.. :)
thank you Lord for generous hearts.. thank you for loving souls... 
thank you Lord for a beautiful sunday run.. :)
as i would always pray, grant in me a loving and compassionate heart so that i may do things (even in my running) that would only give glory to your name and your kingdom..:)

..and i love you so... really.. :)


Wednesday, February 22, 2012


people may never understand where i am coming from.. people may not fully grasp the reasons for the battles i chose to fight or the battles i chose to leave behind..

and in the countless times of u-turns, relapse, pitstops and crossroads; in the face to face long hours with emptiness, solitude, and fear; in many moments of feeling like i am a walking dead; - - i allowed myself to stay with all of it in full humility of what i was feeling and holding on to; i allowed myself to embrace time with patience and breathe with hope that all these shall pass..

and then one day, to my surprise, i just felt that something has changed.. i cannot fully explain what or why or how, i just know that something is different... the memories and pictures remain vivid every time i close my eyes, but the heartbeat is humming and calm... there are (sometimes) moments when the the old tunes come in, but the heart embraces it immediately with sighs of forgiveness and letting go..

(big sigh).. its really amazing how God messes things up and let you find your way towards peace and serenity.. how He allows us to take our time..  and how He makes us new again even with the scars we have... it's always a blessing to find one's way back into love...

after the heavy rains,
flightless birds, lost birds,
heavy sighs, unanswered calls, unreturned smiles

at the end of all these,
blue moon or full moons,
together or apart,
for a reason, a season or a lifetime,

i will always be the lucky one! 

happy birthday MyangLigaw,
happy wednesday FlightlessBird.

i am getting there,


I Could Not Ask For More - Edwin Mcain Mp3

Sunday, February 19, 2012


i promised myself that i will make 2012 a great year for me. i am more than glad that the month of january (as it marked the take off of the year) turned out to be a great one.  although the month also had me sick again and again, i am still happy that there were a lot of things i got to do which definitely merit an entry in my happiness jar.  we are now in mid february and a lot of things happening to me continue to amaze me.  for the past 2 years, february had been a low-will&spirit month for me. but right now, the month is turning to be like magic - - it's like time and chance is with me in the things i do and i still want to do. here's a run through of some of my 2012 take off.

my sabado padi's point.  everything was like cloud 9.. and as much as i want to say that it's a happy thing, it's also one of the crazy things i have ever done... crazy but (yah) i am smiling right now.. :)

paydayNomNomNom is turning to be a great food trip. my food adventure blog and journal had started and i am really enjoying every bit of it.  eating out with friends and preparing food for my sisters is like enjoying a bowl of your favorite soup on a stormy night.  my heart is full every time.  

the binondoTour with my colleagues gave me the chance to explore another famous site in manila. although i have been to the place before, an arranged tour coupled with food tastings were two of a kind experience. and let me include, i am thankful for everyone at the office.. things aren't perfect, but i am starting to love where i am and who i am with right now.

i had my fist 5k run for this year. although sick during race day, i decided to push through for practical reasons.  it's i guess my longest time for a 5k distance run. nonetheless, i was able to run, and that's what matters to me. 

and my date with the zambaleswaves?  the memories are now inside the happiness jar.. do i need to explain? :)

recently, i made a commitment to make this pool be the keeper of my heart.  with the help of my swim buddies, diligence, and will, i know that this will play a great value in turning this year ALL ABOUT NIKKI.. 

today is the month of february and with truly a grateful heart, i close my eyes and whisper to heaven "you know i needed all the strength for this month... and i am doing really awesome.. --"...

some people are  worth everything.. 
some even to die for..
guess what, i realized,
i am that kind of person too..

(happy birthday teddyBear)

Sunday, February 12, 2012


sometimes i wonder how it feels not to make plans..

having this feeling right now is quite unexpected actually..
i wonder if you'd like to not make plans with me..
you know.. the kind of thing that we can just go by the day and just take things how it is..
to just wait for things to unfold... laugh today or cry tomorrow.. 
just hold hands and sigh..

guess what,
i'd be really happy to hear a yes..

boy, this feeling is really weird!! 


Colbie Caillat - You Got Me Mp3

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


i was having a hard time deciding whether to put this entry on my food blog since i will be talking mostly of my food adventure here.  later though i decided to put it here as part of my wowPilipinas entries.  after all, binondo is one of the must-visit places when you are in the philippines.

i love chinese food. and when you are in manila, the best way to experience chinese food is doing a food trip in nowhere else but china town.  

china town is more known for its big binondo food wok. binondo is said to be one of the most colorful and exciting places you can explore in manila.  for many locals, a trip to binondo means a celebration of flavor and culture.  the town itself offers a festive environment from its long array of establishments of restaurants and shops.

together with my admu human resources management team, we spent one afternoon to explore china town and feast our tummies to an ultimate food adventure.

we met our tour guide at binondo church. the church was built in honor of the first filipino saint, san lorenzo ruiz.  it was originally known as minore basilica of st. lorenzo ruiz.  it was founded by the dominicans in 1596 and is considered to be one of the oldest places of christian worship.

we started the trip by having a visit down memory lane regarding the fresh start of china town.  i know the the place offers a rich beginning but i am afraid i cannot capture them here right now.  besides, i am too lame to talk about history today.  since the trip for me was all about food, i'd rather stick to that.

we had our first stop at new po-heng lumpia house.  chinese menu will never be complete without its traditional lumpia.  our tour guide shared that the lumpia served here is an original/traditional recipe.  the place is quite small with only around 5 tables for its customers.  i noticed that there are a lot of suki already and they come and go with huge orders of the lumpia.

there is a lady who takes the order and another one who prepares the lumpia.  even with the way the lady prepares it is so pleasing to the eyes.  she does it fast but i find her preparation artsy too.  first she'd lay down the wrapper,sprinkle sugar and black seaweeds, put in a piece of lettuce, followed by the mixed vegetables (carots, cabbage, tofu), and sprinkle chopped nuts.

what made the stop interesting is the 4 ways of eating the lumpia as introduced by our guide.  1) eat the lumpia as it is - allow your tastebuds to savor on the taste of the different ingredients. 2) with peanut sauce - a lot of filipinos love their food to be saucy.  the peanut sauce adds a sweet blend of flavor. 3) with hot sauce - chili paste gives the lumpia a kick and 4) with fresh garlic and RC cola.  i actually did not try this one because i am not a fan of fresh garlic.  but my trip buddies found it to be an interesting taste.  they said that the garlic with the lumpia goes well with the soda.  they say that is had a way of popping the flavors up. oh well, i don't actually know what they meant by that. maybe on my next visit i can try the 4th taste to understand their point. i loved the lumpia so much.  i loved it that they serve it fresh and hot.  i ordered some for take home.

our next stop was a specialty restaurant called cafe mezannine.  the restaurant is firefighter-themed and (geez) the color purple is just in every corner.  the place serves both filipino and continental food as well as the common hokkien favorites.  we tried their famuos kiempeng rice, squid soup and adobo tofu. 

of course dumplings cannot be set aside when we talk of chinese food.  at dong bei dumpling we had a taste of these dumplings.  we were first served with what they call fried stuffing pancake, followed by steamed dumplings.  the stuffing for both is actually the same. it has chives, celery, cabbage, bell pepper, and pork.  i loved the fried pancakes so much.  but i was already too full to have another serving. i am not a go-getter of steamed dumplings but i still made sure to try them out.  the stuffing tasted really good specially with their vinegar and garlic dip.

similar to the lumpia house, dong bei dumpling is also small.  it only has around 4 tables. upon the entrance is also a table where you can see their staff preparing the dumplings. i enjoyed watching them. the dumplings really looked so cute. the restaurant also sells frozen dumplings which customers can buy and cook at home. prizes were relatively affordable.

shang hai fried sipao came in next on our itinerary. i love siopao so i was really excited to try this one out.  how it looks is pretty much like our usual siopao.  the only difference is that after steaming the siopao they fry it in a large pan with a little water.  it reminded me of naga's (bicol) toasted siopao.  the fried siopao tasted good, but my heart still shouts toasted siopao forever.  there was a long line of customers so i assume that people really like it so much that they don't even mind the heat of the sun.

last stop on our route is at holland hopia. we cannot end the tour without getting to taste one of china town's best hopia maker. you will be amazed of the variety of flavors available.  we tried their hopia with tikoy. it was like eating two chinese favorites in one.  i loved it because it wasn't too sweet and the stickiness from the tikoy makes it more fun to eat.  i bought some for take home for my sisters. i hope they like it too.

binondo girls
my binondo tour was tiring in a way that there was much walking to be done.  but it was at the same time fun and amazing because of the long list of food one can try out.  if you are a lover of food and is not afraid of trying out chinese culinary at its best, a visit to binondo is a perfect get-away thing to do.

you can check for a guided tour or if you'd prefer to have it on your own, you can get a copy of the big binondo food wok map.  

binondo food wok last 012812sabado
posted 020712 tuesday