Friday, September 22, 2006

Labor of Love, Part Two

Just noticed that my recent entries have been all food this, food that; baby this, baby that. Just to show the other things I've been laboring over:

I helped put this magazine together. *bows* It should be available wherever they sell magazines, National Bookstore included. IMAG PHOTOGRAPHY (or just IMAG) is the magazine for photography enthusiasts, those who want to up their skills, or even those who just like looking at pretty pictures. This mag has some of the country's best photographers' works (and tips!). We have travel photographer George Tapan; wedding photographer Patrick Uy; James Deakin of C! Mag, the guru of fast car photography; Remy Bautista, who does amazing baby shots (check out the twins in her article! super adorable) ... and photos from a lot more.

On the editorial team are Ibarra Deri (who shot our wedding. Ahem... plugging. That reminds me, haven't gotten around doing our wedding album yet. Hmm...And baby album coming up...) who is a well known portrait photographer; Jun Miranda, who runs that Philippine Center for Creative Imaging (and has a bi-weekly Photoshop column in Manila Bulletin); and graphic artist/art director/photographer Ed Yap.

IMAG will be a monthly, in fact the October issue is due out...well in October. It's going to be a glorious issue. The theme is weddings, so the best wedding photographers' works are going to be featured (more than a year after my wedding, I still like looking at other people's weddings and thinking how I could've done better. hahaha), plus all the tips you need to start shooting great wedding photos, straight from the mouths (and keyboards) of the wedding photographers themselves.

Of course, there are the usual Photoshop and digital imaging tips; equipment review; buyers' guide; and one of my favorite sections--Clinic, where you send in sick pictures. Hehe. Not--it's more of a (free!) critique of snapshots you send in. A guest photographer will give you the good, the bad and the ugly, plus tips on how you can improve your shots (if you want to send in your photos for critique, email them to with the subject "Clinic." Include a short description of your photo, camera used, settings, etc and your pertinent details, like name (duh) and contact info; favorite color and time of day not really needed).

Of course, as with any first issue, IMAG still needs some tweaking, but at least you know for sure that the magazine's going to get better and better. Oh, and one more great thing about IMAG is that it is proudly Filipino. I mean, we Pinoys are simply oozing with talent, why not showcase it? And the tips in the magazine are stuff you can actually use and relate to, because it's in the Philippine setting.

I'm really proud of this magazine, and of the Filipinos featured in it.

So grab a copy. It's a steal at 175 bucks.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


I know it's the middle of the day and I'm supposed to be working, but...I can't help it. I'm so happy-giddy. The Hubby was so excited too, he promptly took a nap.

This is either Tristan Gabriel or Erynne Isabel. We were praying for twins, but the doctor said it was a single baby. Doesn't it look huge? This is the baby's first close up shot, actually. It's only 6.48 cm long! Imagine that.

When the doctor was looking, Trist/Raine was squirming like crazy, waving a tiny little hand (with tiny little fingers!). It's amazing. I still can't fully absorb that there is something so wonderful growing inside me. The Hubby wasn't allowed in the ultrasound room, but there was a monitor outside, so he could see everything the doctor and I could see. He got a little teary eyed.

Oh, side story: last week, feeling totally haggard and ugly, I went fishing--probably dynamite fishing, for all my subtlety. I asked The Hubby, "Do you think I'm pretty?" All he said was "yup". Then probably seeing that I was unsatisfied with his answer, he added, "And you know your baby pictures in the [high school] yearbook? You were so pretty! So..." he did some gigil motion, "I hope our little girl looks like you." Aww...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Labor of Love

Yesterday, the 19th, was our one-year-seventh-monthsary of being married (which means we've been together almost six years! Imagine that). And since The Hubby left for work in a rather dismal mood, I wanted to prepare dinner that was really worth coming home to.

When I finally sent off an article at 7PM--2 hours later than originally planned--I had to make a run for the grocery. What normally takes me 25 to 30 minutes (the walk from the house and back, plus shopping time), I did in 15 minutes flat.

And thus began my experimental meal. I didn't want to text The Hubby to say that I was making a special dinner because 1) I wanted it to be a surprise; and 2) if it didn't turn out the way it should, then at least he didn't get his hopes up.

On the menu was cumin-and-pepper seasoned pork chops with a white wine sauce, butter-fried apples, creamy garlic mashed potatoes and lightly seasoned corn-and carrots. Theoretically, it was only supposed to take me 45 minutes to prepare, but I'm not the most efficient cook in the world. The great thing about the main dish--the chops and apples and sauce--is it's cooked in just one pan (skillet). I'm such a fan of one pot/pan meals, so much easier to wash up after. Then
again, I had another pot for the mashed potatoes, another pan for the veggies. Oh well.

The Hubby arrived at about 8:45PM and I was only about halfway done, still mashing the potatoes, the veggie side dish not even started! But when I finally called him to dinner at 9:30PM, he sat down to this (as he picked up his knife and fork, The Hubby said, "You've been reading Selina's blog again, haven't you?") :

The Hubby's reaction when he bit into a piece of porkchop was worth the two hours of slaving over the hot stove. "This is the best I've had in ages," he said. Now that I think of it though, that seems to be a backhanded compliment. Does he mean the things I've been cooking lately haven't been good? Hmm. Must grill The Hubby (when he's in a better mood).

After the meal, it took me another hour to clean up and wash the dishes (I've been such a slowpoke these days--and this isn't the healthiest meal I've cooked, as the gunky butter and oil caking the dishes and pans can attest to) before totally zonking out in bed.

Ah, the things you do for love.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

More Happy Food

Oh joy! Just discovered another happy food: tomato sandwiches.

Slices of plump, juicy Baguio tomatoes on whole wheat bread, with mustard and blue cheese salad dressing, liberally sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese. Sublime!

I'm down to my last half-tomato though. Uh oh.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Happy Food

People ask me what I'm making lihi (craving) to, and I can't really say. I eat the same things I usually eat, and I don't suddenly want weird stuff like peanut butter and bagoong sandwiches or sinigang with mayonnaise. While I can't stand the smell of cooking fish, I still eat it. I think I'm easy. I would also like to think that I'm not giving The Hubby a hard time; I don't send him out at 2AM in the pouring rain to look for things like pickled balut and sinkamas na itim.

There are foods that make me extremely happy though. When my mom was here a couple of weeks ago, she treated me to a CPK salad. I was beside myself with joy. Every bite was sheer pleasure. I get goosebumps thinking about that salad. I think that's the only thing I constantly ask The Hubby for. Salad. The more exotic, the better (though I'd settle for a Caesar's from Wendy's). I love CPK salads, which have stuff like cilantro and jicama (what ever is jicama?) and Monterey Jack cheese and walnuts and avocado. And the dressings! Blue cheese, honey mustard, raspberry vinaigrette! Just the thought makes me drool. Then my friend Selina comes up with a salad like this. Ooh la la.

The thing is, I don't like homemade salads (at least the usual lettuce-tomato-onions-thousand-island-dressing kind). One time I asked The Hubby to bring me home a salad, and he said he was passing by the grocery to buy greens instead. I was sooo disappointed. My hopes went up when he said the veggies were ugly (am so bad!), but he still didn't bring me salad. I enjoyed the fruits he got for me though. Homemade salads--or at least the common ones--don't turn me on. It just isn't happy food.

Another happy food for me is pasta. I am so grateful that my seester Rix, the OFW, sent me half a kilo of sundried tomatoes and a quarter kilo of parmesan cheese. Oh happy, happy, joy, joy! When I cook my pasta, I can splurge on the ingredients. Actually, the pasta I like eating, I can easily whip up at home. It's just lots of garlic sauteed in olive oil (I make my own flavored olive oil--adds lovely taste to almost anything), lots of fresh tomatoes, lots of basil and freshly cracked pepper, and thanks to Rix, lots of sundried tomatoes and parmesan cheese. Super quick, super yummy. I still enjoy other pastas, like the Quattro Formaggio at Cafe Puccini, or the El Telefono at Cibo. A good pesto anywhere is also such a treat. What I'm not into though, is the typical spaghetti, the regular tomato meat sauce, bolognese. In fact, at Cafe Puccini, I had to move the steaming plate of bolognese away from me--the aroma made me really queasy.

I also discovered another happy food yesterday--tuna (I've been eating the Century with calamansi) on whole wheat bread, sprinkled with parmesan cheese. Now this is so much easier to get and prepare. Just open the can, pour the tuna in a bowl, pop it in the micro for a few seconds, spoon it over the bread, add the cheese and viola! Happiness in a sandwich.

The funny thing is, it's The Hubby who's been looking for all sorts of things. The Hubby, who usually eats because he has to (unlike my clan, who eat for the joy of it), has turned into a serial muncher. After dinner, he will scrounge around for dessert, usually some chocolate (I haven't been into chocolate and sweets these days, so The Hubby feels 'obliged' to finish them). Then when we get into bed, he gets up to get a glass of milk, and maybe some crackers. Then maybe a bit more chocolate. Or a peanut butter sandwich. Or some juice. Or some of my super sour jelly tape (great discovery--jelly tape helps ward off queasiness!). He's constantly hungry and looking for food.

Just the other night, at about midnight, he turned to me and said, "I want balut." I'm just so glad he didn't send me out in the pouring rain to get it.