Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Chocolaty Evening with Bessy


THAT'S ME AND MY BEST FRIEND, CRISTINE (3 years ago)


I had been looking forward to a date with my best friend since the start of the year but the “WHEN” was already a struggle to begin with.  But the long wait ended last night.  It was supposed to have been earlier than that but V-day came and I didn’t wanna be in the way of her romantic plans.

            Contrary to our original plans, we just settled for a simple dinner over long-missed convos.  I actually felt very sorry for being late at meeting her up somewhere.  She didn’t have a pleasant night but, as the very good sport that she is, there she was…casually sexy in shorts and a “twiggy” tee and letting her hair down, she gave that really sweet smile that set the mood for the rest of the night.

            The cab ride to the dinner spot was like a century-long of catching up on each other.  We talked like 2012 was just minutes away.  She fumed, I listened.  We laughed. We laughed more. Three seconds passed, she fumed again…then I laughed some more.  It was a typical “Me and Her” moment.  Nothing has changed from then.  We just aged a bit and she just bore a really adorable Mijo.

            It was a little bit past 8 o’clock when we arrived at the SM North Wing.  Before heading to the resto block, we took a peek at Tablea Chocolate Café to see if they’re still open…and they still were.  We then took little big steps around the rest of the mall just to sneak in some more time to chat further before giving in to our gastronomic calls.



            We decided, at last, to have our dinner at the La Mesa Grill.  It was my first time to dine there, so I was full of anticipation.  In spite of me not feeling so well, I was still in a jovial mood.  I’m always like that when I’m Cristine, I guess.  Then we entered the restaurant.  I actually liked the interior design of the place.  It was chic in its brown palette of colors giving you an instant Asian feel to it.  Actually, at first look, people would somehow assume it as high-end and might turn off those with tight budget but fret not, they have varied food choices and your P500 can already give you a decent meal for two.  The wooden mesh accents were really appealing.  On the downside though, they didn’t have much space to accommodate more diners and to play more with the designs.  Given the dim lighting, emanating from the hanging lamps, it made the place looked smaller.  The lighting was beautiful though, providing the diners the romance they might need.

            Then came the menu.  It’s appearance makes one suggest, at first look, that the restaurant may not be that “high-end’ after all. They practically offered all Filipino dishes.  The house’s specialty would be the CRISPCHON.  We were just in for a light meal because we were aiming for a heavy chocolate indulgence after dinner.  We decided to just have the “Seafood Rice”, Baked Scallops and our favorite “Gambas”.  For our drinks, Cristine offered to have the Pinacolada.  I never tasted one before but it sounded great so I conceded.



            We took pictures of each other inside, as we always do when we’re together.  The waiter, whom we mercilessly suspected at being attracted to Cristine, was kind enough to take a picture of us together.  Our Piñacolada came early.  It looked cute with a cherry on the rim and we both thought it looked a little bit too foamy.  It tasted fine with the pleasant mix of tropical fruits and coco cream.  Cristine, backed up by the waiter, told me that I don’t need to worry if it tasted Rum a little bit.  I did caught some bitterness and heat as I slowly sipped in.







            Shortly after that, after a few more laughs, I caught sight of our orders.  Laid down before us were the scallops in a platter, the Gambas which really smelled good and our Seafood Rice.  They could have put more seafood on the rice though, to really live up to its name.  The scallops, which I believe would always taste heavenly cooked in any other ways, were a little bit too buttery that I had to let some oil drip down before I’d carry it down to my plate.  Somehow, there were too much garlic over the scallops, but were forgivable, though, since I love them in most foods anyway.  I had saved the best for last, as always.  I took one spoonful from the Gambas platter and tasted the sauce. I thought it was delicious.  The natural taste of the shrimp wasn’t overpowered.  Shrimp is my all-time favorite seafood so it’s always important to me that the dish has to pay homage to the main ingredient and let it shine.  Although my tongue may have been to more scrumptious Gambas, I must say that I did not regret ordering it.







            Just before the restaurant was about to close, we paid our bill and hurriedly checked on where we can snuggle with some really good HOT CHOCO.  After failing to get our hands on that “Tablea” Hot Chocolate, we thought BO’s Coffee’s would do.  We had ours at the BTC and chatted a little more and had hearty laughs here and there.  Don’t get me wrong, BO’s Hot Chocolate Drink was sinfully good but Cristine and me already had our favorites.  She’s loyal to “Jollibee’s”, which I believe is a very fine choco drink as well and their really convenient stirrer/straw is a major upside; I was very faithful to the homemade ones out of real local “tableas”.  I love my Mom’s the best.  That was why I was dying to try “Tablea’s” out and see if they’re as good.





            It was around 11 o’clock and I already felt the heaviness that the hot chocolate has brought to my senses.  Cristine was having her own “longing” bites for her lil Mijo and tried calling home from time to time.  It was time to go.  Carrying our Mocha Rolls inside silly-looking plain white plastic bags, we walked hand-in-hand towards the road.  It always feel so good being with a person whom you’ve spent more than half of your life with.  Though, there had been times when we were not physically together all those years, we had been inseparable since 4th Grade.  We’ve shared a couple of friends along the way.  Some of them stayed, some went on with their lives, yet here we are, staying as candidly comfortable when together.  She had her bad days yet there’s nothing as inspiring when you see her just standing up to any difficulties, smiling when there’s just a few reasons to, effortlessly laughing with you, letting her distresses out and then suddenly be “OK” in the end and still loving those people who matter to her despite everything.

            It was a chocolaty night, indeed.  I needed last night to happen because I have my own selfish frustrations to be done with.  Thanks to my best friend for the years and years of the sweet and tangy life we’ve shared, for the laughter and tears, for the fairy tales we both dreamed together and just for being here…for living a life where I can be.  Looking forward to many more Chocolates and Gambas together.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Long Lost List....



Every once in a while; you get a sudden urge to make your own list.  A list can be anything.  It could be a girl’s meteoric shopping list that would send her man to hell and back or a seemingly “endless” song list by a bride-to-be who couldn’t settle down with one song for her “walk-down-the-isle” spectacle.  To some, it could be a just today’s list while most would rather have a lifelong one.

What’s in a list, anyway?  Why put it down a paper when you can just do it now?  Sure, you can make it happen!  In a snap, somehow, you’ll get what you want.  But life, as we know it, isn’t as easy as it gets.  Even if it does, at times, we choose not to take the easy route.  Humans as we are, our instincts dictate our tendencies.  But as passionate mammals and being the wingless sparrows that we become, we feed on adventure.  The rush of wanting that something from afar keeps us from ending the now.  And this very thought fueled my long-overdue wish-list.  I surprised myself with this notion.  It would be so “un-me” to have this since I always dreaded planning ahead.  I do dream a lot but dreams for me had always been just figures of the future.

So here, I would lay down my “LIST” for the first time…and probably the last, too.  They are random, sweet, bitter, amusing, quaint and, sometimes, strange.  But they are mine and it can only matter that way.
A Telescope





I wanted to insist on a “Hubble” or for an own observatory but my fingers knew better not to even think of typing them out.  So, okay, I’d be more than pleased to have a simple optical telescope any given day.  It had been an early fervor for me to learn more about space and to look at heavenly bodies as closer as the human race can hope for.

Learn to Swim




More than the obvious reasons on safety, I had been envying everyone who, effortlessly, swims along or against the waves.  Sure, I can be a very good sport just sitting by the sands staring at the sea or be submerged altogether with my peers with the water up ‘til my neck when all the rest had barely wet their knees.  Funny…. Honestly, I just wanted to know how it feels like to be a mermaid just for once in my dear life.  Ok there, I said it!

My Own Dog






I love the idea of having a pet and treat him or her like your best friend.  Not that I have dethroned by Bessy, no one can ever replace her (*winks* at Cristine).  There is just this really soothing sentiment that radiates from a man’s relationship with, in this case, a dog (tearfully remembering HACHIKO).  One day, I will get to own my puppy and raise him into a dog I’ll be so proud of.  It’s the nearest thing to parenthood, I must say.
Learn to Play the Piano




…And I meant a serious one at that.  I regretted not learning by the book at my first touch of keyboard at 9 years old.  My father bought the organ out of a moment’s spur.  But now, as I look back, I knew that it was made to be touched, be played and be created music with.  I look back with throbbing desire for this fine percussion instrument.

Have my own Published Novel



Still just midway towards the climaxes, I seem to never finish the stories I had started.  Hopefully, though, in the not-so-distant future, I can already get my hands on that paperback with my name written just below its title.  If I still can’t beat that chance, maybe a collection of short stories, poems and essays would not be a bad idea, would it?

Vacation for my Mom



It’s no secret to me and my family just how my mother would turn misty-eyed at the thought of her returning to her home province and spend a couple of days with her parents whom she had missed so much.  The place may not be that far but going home ain’t that easy.  But I know I will get to give her that vacation she had longed for in due time.  I’d give anything to see that longing in my Mom no more.

A Front Row Seat at a Barry Manilow Concert



He had created a few of the most romantic and bittersweet melodies that my, sometimes, discriminating ears had ever listened to.  What wouldn’t I trade for just so I could hear him live, serenading me like I’m the only woman in the world and the songs are, all, only for me.  Weekend in New England, Could it be magic?, Somewhere down the road… I know I would always fall over again at the first note.


My First True Love Kiss



A kiss is just a kiss until it is your first in all your adult life.  It will surely be the sweetest and lingering of all kisses that this mortal world will ever witness.

Talk with Nick Carter



I am not kidding!  I know he is not what he used to be.  And even if he stayed at 18 forever, still, the idea of me falling in love with a star is nothing but just another hopeless fan fiction.  Perhaps, they’re right.  He was a star.  I was a fan.  But I knew I was serious when I said I was going to marry him when I was 14 and held on to that ‘til I was 23.  I still have the unsent letters with me and when I get my chance, I will give them all to him in person.  And maybe, they will help him know how special he is despite himself.  And if, listen up, guys; ever falls for me after that, then I’m going to be sorry for him coz I’m not 23 anymore.  I’ve loved someone else way beyond what I had for him.  And there’s no way I’m going to settle for second best.


A Pantry-full of Chocolates




Heaven….  Thinking of it now is just pure heaven for me.  Period!


Fraternal Twins….



…who would look exactly like “BOO” of Monsters Inc and “Russel” of UP.  I don’t care if that’s too much of a demand.  I will bear those kids one day!


To Marry the Man I Love Now






I didn’t mean to marry him now, if that made you a bit confused.  I have someone I love now.  And there’s no shadow of doubt that he is the one I chose to be with for the rest of my waking days.  I will marry him not just because I love him.  If there is a more meaningful reason than love itself, then let it be that reason.


See.  My list isn’t that too complicated, as I had feared it will be.  I only thought of them as I typed.  But I know that the longing for those had been stuck within me for years.  Again, the list signifies that there is that “Right” time for every thing…that special moment when the word fits perfectly with a rhyme.  My list could be longer in a matter of seconds from now…or maybe after a year or two, but the power to change and choose still makes us the better person that we should be.  Never waste the chance to decide for your life, regardless of the possibility of mistakes.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Rain Song




It’s not that I hated rains before.  I just love how it sounds right now outside.  Some rains carry with them unexplainable gloom for me.  But, with this one, I get this pleasant warm numbness inside….  With just a mild pouring, slightly kissing the ground as it dampens the city.  I wonder how many couples could be sharing a single umbrella right now.  Some could be under a shed, warming up as they’d hold hands.  Or a few would be playfully running around under the mizzle.  I could blindly see another few sharing some sweet post-Valentine’s Day moments, while some, alone, away from those they long for, wishing to just be one with the rain.

Memories are more vivid on rains like this.  And so are the pangs of healed wounds.  Coffee and poetry makes the best company as I enjoy the surprisingly warm chill.  And then I close my eyes and see you…and I’m with you again. Which part of missing you is the hardest?  Is it when I think of you every time and realize that that’s all I could do for now?  Or is it when I sit here curled up with my favorite blanket yet still cold coz I’m aching for your warmth.  That is just one funny sad thing about loving.  You really never stop missing the one you love.  I miss you when you’re not here…and miss you more, painfully, when you’re near.

As the rain gets a bit angrier, I sit still.  Swimming through my deeper self; hoping to feel you more.  I remember you saying the perfect words that saved me.  You brought me back to my feet and helped me walked still.  From you, I realized that pain is inevitable in love and it can make you a better person, if you let yourself be.  You did…but, I can’t be certain with me.  And then I fell for you.  And when I did, I surrendered myself to that familiar tang of pain, allowing it to capture me when it can.  But it sure is the sweetest sting because loving you this much is all I can own for now.

And as the rain softly nears its end, I lie down.  For the last time, I see your face, so serene and gentle.  I love you.  That’s all it takes and I gave in to the somber moment.  Little by little, from afar, you tucked me as you sing me my lullaby and kissed the edge of my eye where a tear just passed by.  I love you…. I thought I heard you whisper and I smiled.  And for a moment, I became one with the rain.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dreaming of My Secret Garden



So many years ago, I was a little girl with a penchant for mystery and sobriety.  My movie and song choices were definitely not the ones my contemporaries would enjoy…if they ever heard of them.  But as much as I admit that I preferred to be alone, I was still pretty much a ‘normal’ kid.  And I did enjoy some stuffs and thoughts that most young girls my age did.

I loved flowers.  I loved trees and bushes that burst their blooms out.  I loved gardens; big and small ones, grand and simple…no matter what kind; just as long as I can feel that ‘oneness’ with the place.  Growing up in a city, it was a luxury to see beautiful gardens and greens.  Luckily, I have a mom who works magic with just a pot-full of soil that would eventually blossom into a wonder of nature…in small packages.

And then I saw the movie The Secret Garden.
After that, I had this renewed fondness for the floral wonders.  Yes, it may still sound very childish but I want to have my own Secret Garden one day.  It would definitely of a smaller scale but I want to have my favorite flowers inside.  It will surely be an outside chance to accomplish it, considering the climate we have here.  If you would see my long wish list of flowers, you would probably think I’m a fool!



Cherry blossoms




They are my trees with magical blooms and the enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life.  They are my eternal clouds of beauty, so in my garden, I will see a piece of heaven.


Casablanca Lily



Who would say no to my Lilies? Say no to their magnificent blooms and irresistible fragrance? Its name signifies celebration; hence, they are widely used for special occasions.  If I have them in my garden, then everyday is going to be a celebration….


Gardenia




Blooming from about mid-spring to mid-summer, this wonder reminds me of myself sometimes.  It can either bloom in solitary or grow amongst her relative buds.  With its white color, it gives a feeling of purity and sweetness symbolizing a 'secret love'…just perfect for my Secret Garden.


Primrose


The creamy yellowish clustering sprouts would give out the youthful glow of my garden..  They will be my constant reminder of my special childhood memories.  Those time when I first knew of my own fairytales and actually lived it.


Sashta Daisy


Like my Primroses, my Sashta Daisies will shower innocence to my garden.  It shall encompass any darkness and turn them into clouds of hope in my meadows.

 Lavender



Escorting my daisies and primroses are my lavenders at the foothills.  Their fragrance and mystic shall wash my earthly heaven with serenity I will always yearn for.


Stargazer



Like any stars in the heavens, my stargazers will be luminaries in my garden.  They will pride themselves with their whimsical wings turning my garden into a fantasy haven.


Rose








Roses, roses, roses….

Who would not fall for thee?

The red rose whispers of passion,

And the white rose breathes of love;
Oh, the red rose is a falcon,
And the white rose is a dove.



But I send you a cream-white rose bud
With a flush on its petal tips;
For the love that is purest and sweetest
Has a kiss of desire on the lips.



Gerbera












From the proud Stargazers, to the eternal beauty of the roses
No one else come closer to me than my Gerberas
They’re my personal brooches and my happy thoughts waiting for full their blooms.
They’re my rainbow towards tomorrow and my key to yesterdays
Coz they tell of so many secrets on thy garden can say.

So there goes my Secret garden.
I know I am fool to even dream of such grand.

*************
Credits to the Images' Owners