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On Call Weekend

I was on Call the whole weekend.  I decided to stay close to the house – in case I get paged.  I took the opportunity to spend quality time with the dogs.  Staying close doesn’t mean no fun. 

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Started with Midori and I watching TV on the couch.  She likes using my lap as a pillow.

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Tea and Blueberry Cheesecake at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

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Brunch at BFAST. It’s crunchy adobo. Interesting but I prefer my own adobo sauce. I ended up feeding it to Midori.

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Bon Chon Snacks.

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Banana Pie – at Banapple Cafe

The Khmer Buddha

In a trip to Siem Reap in Cambodia - famous for the Angkor Wat and other Angkor ruins, one of the queens brought back the following art work.  They are four Buddha as the Khmer portray him.  It's different from the Thai and Chinese Buddha.
They are now on display in our living room.  Added to the rest of our Buddha collection.



Salt & Pepper Waltz

Salt & Pepper Waltz, originally uploaded by jumpnjoey16.

I bought these Salt and  Pepper Shakers from Thailand. When I bought them - I thought they were both men. From this picture - I might be wrong. It seems like the pepper Shaker is wearing a dress. Of course - that doesn't mean that she's female - she can very well be a man who likes dressing up like a woman.

Midori as Footstool

This is a famous scene in Alice in Wonderland.  The Red Queen – demonstrating her cruelty to animals – and even using this hapless pig as a footstool.

Pig Foot Stool

When I saw this scene, I am reminded of a familiar scene in the House of Queens.  Midori – demanding a belly rub – she likes it best when we use our feet.

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Don't Drink and Drive

Don't Drink and Drive, originally uploaded by jumpnjoey16.

There were numerous signs in Hong Kong about drinking and driving. This one I took while the cab was crossing this majestic bridge. The signs remind me of the time in my life when I used to drink a lot and drive. Now that I'm a lot older and wiser, i look back at those times and realize that I was being stupid and I was being inconsiderate. Driving while intoxicated - is never a good idea. Today - when I drink - i ask someone else to drive for me --- or I just take a cab.

The Greenbelt Park

M Cafe at Night, originally uploaded by jumpnjoey16.

Greenbelt Five was opened to the public last year. I've always been amazed at the beautiful structures that the Ayala development corporation comes up with. They're modern and most of the time - they do incorporate gardens in their malls and residential properties. Greenbelt five is no exception to that.

I must however say that I do feel that Greenbelt five was a bit too much. The first four malls were good enough - why add another one? With its construction - the whole Greenbelt Park is now enclosed by the different Greenbelt structures. Yes - there are trees - but the temperature within the park seems to have risen. I think it's due to the heat that the air-conditioning units of Greenbelts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 produce.

I remember as a young professional - the park was my sanctuary. I remember going to the chapel found at the middle of the park after those stressful days at work. Today - that sanctuary-like feel is gone. So instead of having a peaceful moment at the chapel --- I just walk around the five malls and get the next best thing: Retail Therapy. It may be the next best thing - but it's a far second.

Midori and Baby

Midori 1, originally uploaded by jumpnjoey16.

My Beagle - Midori with a baby girl amazed at tricks she does for treats.

Char Siew at the Triangle

I have been trying to make up some time together with Char Siew because this past week, when I go to my Lola’s wake,  I take Midori with me.  So I’ve been spending so many hours with Midori – and not a lot with Char Siew.  So the other day – I let Char Siew sleep inside the bedroom and today, he and I went to Ayala Triangle.

When people see Char Siew – he gets two very different reactions.  Half of the people we see on the streets will be afraid of him.  Thinking that he’s a big ferocious dog.  The other half – will say :”Awwwww! It’s a Shar Pei!”

We had fun.  I had coffee at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf ( which is so dog friendly I can take Char Siew inside the store ).   I brought his favorite ball with me – so I played fetch with Char Siew.  And of course – it’s time for pictures.  Lots of pictures.








Sleeping Char Siew

Sleeping Char Siew, originally uploaded by jumpnjoey16.
Char Siew sleeps in the kitchen. So I don't get a lot of opportunities to catch him in his sleep. This is one of those rare moments. I brought him inside my bedroom and he slept like a baby. This is my favorite of the bunch of photos I took. He has his right ear raised. I wonder what he was dreaming in this particular moment in time.

An Old House in Sta. Ana

The district of Sta. Ana Manila is known to have many really old houses.  During the liberation of Manila from the Japanese at the end of World War II, the district was spared from the American bombs and the Japanese suicide attacks.  This was truly a blessing because pre-war structures were kept intact.  This includes a house close to the Pasig River.  That house is my grandmother's home.

This old house is where my lola and her siblings grew up.  She died a couple of days ago and for her wake, her family decided to have it in this house.  It was actually her request since  prior to her death she wanted to be taken back to her home.

When I was growing up, they told me that this house used to be one story.   When one of the older brother got married and my grandmother's parents passed away, the whole house was lifted and the first floor became the brothers' family's house.  The second floor - which is the original house became the home of the single women and eventually the widowed sisters - including my grandmother.

A very brief part of my life was spent in that house.  I think we lived there when I was two years old.  As a child and a teenager - we lived in my other grandmother's house which is on the same street.   In the afternoon - I will visit my grandmother and her sisters.  We will play "sungka" - all afternoon - I never got tired of playing Sungka.

As an adult - I've always recognized that the house represents a big part of my ancestry.  I knew that if I am a Millionaire now - I will buy it - get it preserved, maintain it and have it used as one of the heritage houses of Manila.  I'm not a Millionaire - so I was not able to buy it - and the house was actually almost destroyed by a fire almost five years ago.

For now - I took a number of pictures of the living room.  The living room where my grandmother's wake is.  It's also the living room where I played numerous sungka games with her and her sisters.  It's odd that this house represents happy childhood memories of games and fun.  As an adult - it now represents the sad memories of the last few days we have with our Lola.


Pigeons, originally uploaded by jumpnjoey16.

I saw these two birds pecking at each other. So I thought it would be good to take a picture of them. They stopped when I got too close. The male pigeon must be thinking "Stupid Human, destroyed the mood!"

She Enters the Kingdom

My grandmother died this morning.  She is the grandmother who I lived with as a child.  So I definitely have fond memories of her.  She lived a long life – and was even able to see her great great grand children.  I know that death comes to everyone – but I must admit – I never really thought of a life without her – because she had always been there for me in my life.

As a child – I clung to her – she was my security blanket.  I know that everyone else may have their blanky or their teddy that makes them feel safe.  I had her.  She used to pick me up in kindergarten.  I’ve always expected her to pick me up on time.  Times when she’s not there to meet me because she was late or I was early – I would bawl.  People would stare at me wondering why I was crying hard.  It was because she wasn’t there. I didn’t feel safe.

Now – I’m all grown up.  Like most children – I outgrew my security blanket.  I’m no longer the snotty boy who would cry when his grandmother was not by the school gates waiting for him.  And yet – today- thinking that she’s no longer part of this world – I go back to that moment.  I haven’t cried in front of everyone else – but now that I’m alone in my room – tears have not stopped.

I will definitely miss her.  I miss her already.

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Christmas 2010

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Nanay Pi (that’s what we call her) and my Niece her Great Grandchild


My Nanay Pi and my Sister ( my Niece’s mother )


Nanay Pi, Me on the left and my cousin in her arms


Nanay Pi and my Siblings

Happy Birthday - Char Siew

The House of Queens is celebrating the birthday of the youngest member of the Household: Char Siew.  He was born on February 14, 2010 which makes him a Valentine’s Day puppy and a Chinese New Year puppy.   That’s all good because he’s a Chinese Shar Pei.  His birth name was Bruno – but I thought it would be more appropriate to give him a Chinese name which means Barbecued Pork.


It was Love at First sight. I saw him at the Vet and right there I made an offer to his previous owners.


He was a bit wary on his first night with us.  First night away from his mom and sisters.


Trying to get acquainted with Midori.


Milk on his first night


Playing hide and seek with Midori


Little Midori the Toy keeping him company on his first  night


He like being scrunched up while sleeping.

And here he is today. All grown up but still adorable.