Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Our Home

11 days in Manila and we've almost completed furnishing our condo unit in Greenbelt Parkplace. P and I have both been on interior design mode since we got back. I never leave home without the handy tape measure. Never mind if I leave my mobile at home as long as I have the tape measure in my purse. Our days have been filled with regular trips to Ortigas Home Depot, Our Home and Automatic Center scouting for the best lighting, furniture and appliances that our budget could afford. It's a good thing that we already set a ceiling for how much we were willing to spend per item before we went on the hunt otherwise we could easily get carried away with all the fabulous choices out there. Imagine, we spent a whole afternoon just deciding on the light fixtures then another whole afternoon just looking for a bed and sofa.

We're almost done. We just need to get mirrors and frames for the walls and curtains for our windows and bring in the appliances. Other than that, it's ready for occupancy. But since we will be leaving for another project very soon, we decided to just lease out the unit. So if there is anyone out there who is interested, the unit is available for rent.

Here's what the unit currently looks like...

The door on the left of the photo is the entrance to the unit. As soon as you enter, you will find the kitchen to your right and the dining area to your left.
A few steps beyond the 2-seater dining set is the living room....
The bedroom is to the right....We got a queen-sized bed and we still plan to put night tables and lamps on each side....

The L-shaped sofa is our favorite piece of furniture in the apartment. It's not only stylish, it's also very comfortable and easy to maintain.

All our furniture are from Our Home in SM Mega Mall. I swear, Our Home is the best place to get reasonably priced condo furniture. They have a wide variety of choices, they have well-trained staff who are really well-versed with the products they are selling, plus they have excellent delivery service. I would say Our Home is one of the best retail establishments here in Manila. ( I hope they read this and give us a big discount for the free endorsement).

Friday, August 17, 2007

Goodbye, Seoul!

It's our last night in Seoul, I can't believe it! I'm feeling a bit nostalgic leaving behind our very first home together as a married couple but at the same time I'm so excited and looking forward to be back in Manila.

I will miss Seoul! I will miss freely walking in the streets without having to look over my shoulder for a bag snatcher or kidnapper. I will miss the sense of security knowing people will not take advantage of you. I will miss the convenience and accessibility of public transportation. I will miss authentic Korean food. I will miss the free cappuccino with extra milk from the breakfast lounge. And of course, I will miss all the great friends i met here.

Tonight we end our Seoul-searching, tomorrow we will start a fresh chapter. Hopefully, it will be exciting enough to write about.

Anyong Hee Kaseyo!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Online Exhibit

Just wanted to showcase some of my paintings good enough to give to family and friends....

I would like to introduce you to my very encouraging and ever so patient teacher, Prof. Joo! He never fails to tell me every class that I have a gift and I am very skillful with the paintbrush (blush) ... but of course, all teachers say that to encourage their students.

In case you find yourself in Seoul and you want to learn oriental painting, you can get in touch with Prof. Joo at 010-5715-5535.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Now that I am married, I am slowly transitioning from being a Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City to a Desperate Housewife. If you think career-driven single women are interesting, oh boy, married women with children are even more fascinating. But at the moment, I’m neither one nor the other. I’m not single anymore but I’m not yet a mother and I still have a lot to experience being a wife.

I had lunch with the “expat wives club” recently and I really had a great time just listening to everyone. It’s amazing how a conversation can jump from one topic to the next in a single breath. Topics range from the most mundane to the most inspiring life stories. It’s tough being a wife and mother – putting others before yourself while still maintaining your own identity. Now that I can empathize with the wife bit, I feel greater admiration for women/mothers who have loved unconditionally. I see mothers in a new light. I look into their eyes and see a mixture of compassion, concern, care, resilience, grace and confidence.

I do hope to have the same maturity and depth in my soul someday. Right now I still feel like a rookie anxiously awaiting the trials and triumphs ahead of me. Do i have enough faith and resilience to overcome the adversities? Do i have enough humility and gratitude to appreciate the blessings?

Monday, August 6, 2007


We finally packed most of our things last night and it's amazing how we were able to fit most our belongings into one jumbo box! Of course it helped that we're living in a serviced apartment and most of the essentials were provided by the hotel. Nonetheless, it's still a big accomplishment not to have accumulated useless clutter in the last 10 months. Most of the things that went inside our box were books, shoes, winter clothes, and plastic containers. We only have our laptops, clothes and a couple more pairs of shoes to pack in our suitcases.

So it is possible to live simply and clutter-free. We have been for the last 10 months. The trick was to prioritize and invest in things that were important to us and think twice before purchasing items that gave only temporary pleasure. The same way that we can uncomplicate life by focusing on what is important and learning to filter out the noise and clutter around us.

What am I going to cook??

Being a creature of habit, I tend to fall into the routine trap for everything - food included. I can eat the same food every week if it were just up to me. But having a hubby who loves food and takes dining very seriously, not to mention he can cook better, it's a challenge to think of new dinner ideas. Honestly, most of the time he comes up with the ideas and I just execute.

Cooking is easy, it's thinking of what to serve that's the challenge. Uhg! The pressure of thinking of what to serve for dinner is just as much as developing marketing campaigns for new products and promos in my previous job. Actually, I could come up with a brilliant campaign with more ease and less time.

If I was able to manage a billion-peso business portfolio, I'm sure I can manage our weekly dinner menu. It might take a while though but I'm determined to be the master of our kitchen (eventually).

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Korean Food

15 more days to go before we leave Seoul... I thought i would post my favorite Korean dished so i could use this as reference in case i forget their names in the future. Please excuse some of the food shots. They might not look appetizing at all because most of the time i only remember to take photos halfway through the meal.

1. Bibimbap - Traditional Korean rice bowl with lots of veggies, seaweed, egg and your choice of meat or seafood topping seasoned with sesame oil and red pepper paste.

2. Pajeong - Savoury pancake with either seafood or kimchi filling. Served with sesame and soy dipping sauce.

3. Dakgalbi - "Dak" means chicken in Korean. It's a Sweet and Spicy chicken dish with red pepper sauce and lots of vegetables cooked in an iron grill right on your table.

4. Galbi - Beef shortrib barbecued on a charcoal grill at the center of the table. The way to eat the barbecued meat is to put in on the center of a lettuce or sesame leaf, smear some doenjang (fermented soybean paste) on the meat, top it with pickled radish and grilled garlic, fold the leaf over and take a bite. Yummmm....

5. Jjeyopukum - Sweet and spicy pork cooked with red pepper sauce very similar to Dakgalbi. Usually served with coleslaw or macaroni salad.

6. Gyeran Mali - literally translated means "rolled eggs". It's like a fried egg crepe with fried rice filling. Other variations include cheese, vegetable or kimchi fillings.

7. Mandu - Korean dumplings. Like the Chinese dumplings there are different types of Mandu - fried, steamed and boiled. The mandu i enjoy the most is the bun kind from Shinsegae food court. It looks like siopao but with spring roll filling.

I realized most of the popular Korean dishes in Manila have already been "filipinized" and adjusted to suit the Pinoy palette. The Korean food they serve in Kaya and Kimchi are mostly soy-based while authentic Korean food are mostly cooked with the red pepper paste. I guess the red pepper paste may be too spicy for most Pinoys. Another difference I noticed is that authentic Korean stews and barbecues are always served with some kind of vegetable which is not the case back home. It's not to say I have any complaints with the Filipino version. I'm just simply pointing out the differences so you won't get surprised if you don't find the same Kimchi beef stew here in Seoul.


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