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I was born to eat bread pudding…and rum cake…and white chocolate macadamia cookies!

Dared myself to make bread pudding from scratch. I’ve been searching for recipes far and wide for the past few days but found most of them too complicated. I chanced upon an Alaska Condensed Milk can and there was a recipe on the label. Pretty simple, and tasted great too.

Alaska Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

10 slices of day-old bread

4 pcs. eggs

1 can Alaska Sweetened Condensed Filled Milk (300ml)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 cup Alaska Fresh Milk

1/2 cup raisins (optional)

dash of cinnamon (optional)

1/4 cup Alaska Sweetened Condensed Filled Milk

Procedure:

1. Lightly brush the baking pan or baking dish with a bit of the melted butter. Cut the bread slices in half then arrange on the lightly greased dish/pan.

2. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, Alaska Sweetened Condensed Filled Milk, Alaska Fresh Milk, raisins, cinnamon and the remaining butter. Pour the milk mixture over the bread and let stand for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F.

3. Bake the pudding for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center of the pudding comes out clean. Top part should be a bit brown but not burnt. Let it cool for 10 minutes. Drizzle with Alaska Sweetened Condensed Filled Milk and serve warm. Serves 8.

(Some recipe adjustments for next time: Reduce the Condensed Milk to 250ml and add 1/4 of Fresh Milk to reduce the sweetness; Experiment with adding banana or other fruits; Vanilla Sauce???!!!)

Forgive me, it’s been 2,458 days since my last post (May 3, 2008). What happened? Facebook happened. 🙂

I was thrilled when I found out Swing Out Sister (SOS) will be performing again. During their first concert about two decades ago in Rizal Stadium, I fainted after about four songs. It was my first and so far only experience in losing consciousness. I was hungry and the place was packed. It was a riot as people rushed to get inside the gate, very much like the UAAP Ateneo de Manila vs. De La Salle University games.

The concert, The SOS Breakout Live in Manila was timely because it was a non-working holiday. Actually the holiday was April 9, to commemorate Araw ng Kagitingan but it was moved to April 7. I sat with my husband with much anticipation. Every minute was counted and with so many passed, it took a lot of energy from me. Faith Cuneta performed as the front act. She had a good voice though her being self-conscious was a turn off. Singing at the Big Dome was a dream come true, at the same time, she admits that it is tough to be the front act of a very famous band. The last question an audience wants to be asked is “(Do you want) another song?!”  Well, she got what she hoped for, which was a thunderous “NO!”  I hope she learned from that experience. I wished she would have breezed out with full confidence and gave it all she got without apologies. That would have been her great window of opportunity.

After an hour, SOS finally appeared and Corrine Drewery was a refreshing sight. She wore a tunic blouse with big flowers with black tights and black long sleeves undershirt. I liked the fact that the design was visible from where we were seated. I found her hairstyle interesting… she maintained the same for two decades?! The set design was simple. It had one big screen projector. They sang a songs from their new album “A Beautiful Mess” One thing about established artists is that even if sing new songs, it is still a pleasure to watch them. The old favorites such as “You On My Mind” and were performed early on. “Forever Blue” was included only because it was highly requested, much to their surprise!

Near the ending of the show, Corrine appeared on stage with her tailor-made Barong Tagalog. It was designed especially for her. That was a treat! She said she loved it and wanted one for herself. The great thing about her is that she connects to the Filipino audience with anecdotes like her jeepney ride, and a lot of other things she noticed about our country. She sang their hit song “Breakout” towards the finale much to the viewer’s delight, but I am not sure if people were too tired to dance on their feet or it was such a conservative, classy crowd.

Overall, it was a great show… if only it started on time!

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“I’m bored.”

“I have writer’s block!”

“I’m stuck in rut.”

“I’m burned out.”

“I’m having midlife crisis.”

“My relationships are a wreck, my life’s a mess!”

“I’m depressed.”

Have you heard a close friend or relative say any or all of these statements? Or maybe you yourself heard it in your head?

I was an one of the attendees of “Tapping the Creative Universe” (TCU) Workshop (39th batch), facilitated by Mr. Jim Paredes. I have been reading about this for quite sometime and never got the nudge to enroll. My friend Chuck encouraged me to attend and I guess Edlynn’s ‘time’ has come. We call our group Sognare, an Italian verb which means “to dream of/about or long for”.

It is was 6 days (actually 6 nights) of 2-hour sessions packed with a lot of concepts, ideas, exercises, singing and sharing. I highly recommend it to people who feel stuck in a rut.

One exercise was the declaration of my 7 stands or personal core values. It is a list of things important to me that I want to imprint in this world.

  1. I stand as a candle, as I light other candles, nothing is lost.
  2. I stand as a mirror. What I see in you is what I see in myself. You are divine… so am I.
  3. I stand as a lotus flower. I will bloom despite the blackness of the pond.
  4. I stand as a bumble bee. I am beyond my physical abilities. I defy conventions. I can make things happen. I can fly!
  5. I stand as a diamond that was in a rough. I am polished to showcase my brilliance.
  6. I stand as a butterfly. From my cocoon I spread my wings, and I am free.
  7. I stand as a genie in a bottle. I am a cheerful giver and a grateful soul.

How about you? What do you stand for?

Sognare TCU – We are creative dreamers!

What is creativity rule #1? Find out in the next run.

TCU is a workshop that will help uncover, identify and set aside the blocks that stand in the way of creativity in everyday life. By actively engaging self-defeating attitudes and instilling practices that will help the participant overcome them, the workshop hopes to awaken a new way of seeing that will bring back the inner joy and natural creative impulse each person possesses. The next run will be in May. For details, please email Jim at emailjimp@gmail.com

We held a fitness activity as part our our pre-kickoff activities for 2008 in Diamond branch of Pru Life UK. The venue was on Macapagal, Pasay in the vicinity of SM Mall of Asia (MOA). Our starting point was McDonald’s at the Power station at 7 a.m. We were given several tasks and a group shot was required after accomplishing each one. We had so much fun! Hope you enjoy the photos…

Task no. 1 – Form like a car, drive through McDonald’s and order one large fries.

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Task no. 2 – Form a human chain from the foot of the bridge the other end. Pass on the fries you bought at the drive thru from the first person up to the last, and each one takes a piece of the fries and eat it at the same time.

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Task no. 3 – KASAL, KASALI, KASALO — Portray a wedding ceremony

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Task no. 4 – Crazy monkeys are on the loose. Imagine that the posts of the car wash are trees and you are the monkeys. Strike a pose!

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Task no. 5 – Look for the 8 pieces of concrete culvert and find a way for all of you to hide inside.

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Task no. 6 – Look for a 3 level fountain. Make a wacky pose with the convention center as background.

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Task no. 7 – Ronald McDonald has good news for you. Go and ask him…News flash! The branch manager has been kidnapped! The kidnappers are asking you to write down your individual commitments for 2008 as ransom for her release.

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Good news!! FREE breakfast awaits you after the successful rescue sponsored by Ms. Che.

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My husband Brian and I flew to Zamboanga City to attend the wedding of his former student (he taught in Ateneo de Zamboanga for a year) and good friend Marita Pobre last Saturday (January 5, 2008). I first met Maritz in Chicago, Illinois in August 1997 when Brian and I attended Print’97, a convention for graphic arts and printing professionals.

Brian was the cord sponsor and it was a great opportunity to visit friends. It was my second trip; the first one was 10 years ago, also to attend the wedding of Allan and Jenjen Bacalla in May of 1998.

We took the Cebu Pacific flight scheduled to leave at 5:40 a.m. but due to delay in aircraft turnaround, we took off at 7:10 a.m. It was a smooth flight and we landed safely. We stayed in Garden Orchid Hotel on Gov. Camins Avenue, just outside the airport. We met up with Allan and rushed to Pilar St. to have our fill of ‘satti’. It’s a combination of small pieces of beef or chicken on barbecue sticks and sticky rice mixed with an orange-colored and very spicy ‘sauce’ (made of chicken stock, tomates, curry, et. al.). It’s guaranteed to make you sweat! As early as 11 a.m., our trip was already worth it! And as if breakfast wasn’t enough, we had lunch at Hanazono, a Japanese restaurant.

The nuptial mass was held in St. Joseph’s Church on Nunez St. with Rev. Fr.zambostjoseph1.jpg William Kreutz, S.J. as main celebrant and the dinner reception in Astoria Regency Convention Center on Scout Limbaga Road, Pasonanca. The bride Maritz surprised the guests with a special song number “Hero” by Mariah Carey. Maritz and husband Amante Cruz are both nurses based in Illinois, U.S.A. They were actually married civilly in 2001 and have two kids, Alyssa Marie (age 5) zamboastoria.jpgand Aedan Mattheu (age 1). While Marita is a native of Zamboanga, Amante is from Bulacan. Her wedding cake was inspired by the chocolate cupcake with frosting on top, more commonly known as ‘beehive’.

We went to the Lobby Bar of Garden Orchid Hotel after the dinner reception for a few drinks and music listening. Zamboanga City Mayor Lobregat who dropped by and gamely rendered a song number and duet also entertained us.

The next day, we had lunch in Palmeras and they serve good native food. Wezambopalmeras.jpg ordered the seafood platter, crispy pata (deep fried pork knuckles), beef with yellow corn and yummy sinigang na lapu-lapu (fish in sour broth). I also got to taste their specialty dessert, a mixture of strawberry and vanilla ice cream with fresh fruits. I got intrigued, as almost all the guests were ordering it.

Barter trade in Canelar was just right for pasalubong shopping. They have a lot of batik clothing, souvenir items and snacks.

On our way back, we rode Philippine Airlines and fortunately, the flight left on time.

It was a great vacation and wonderful experience to renew old ties and meet new people, and I look forward to going back again soon, though I hope I don’t have to wait ten years for another wedding invitation.

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“Captivating, timeless, a musical delight…

WANDERS is a one-of-a-kind musical extravaganza that top bills our best homegrown talents in the entertainment scene. It showcases world-class Filipino performers who are out to captivate audiences with soulful renditions of timeless classics and vibrant dance numbers. A fusion of cultures, the show also highlights gravity-defying aerial acrobatics and stunning displays of skills by flamboyant performers from China and Russia.”
http://www.ticketworld.com.ph/events/default.asp?event_name=Wanders

 

 

I have always found this ad intriguing ever since I saw it. I wrote it on my wish list, that I may come across the opportunity to watch it. Thanks to my good friend and Business Network International co-member Armand, this has come to fruition. I brought my five-year old son Terence. He is a juggling fanatic and spends most of his time viewing youtube videos of magic, acrobatic and juggling acts. I had no doubt in my mind that he will enjoy.

The show ran for one hour and forty five minutes. Thirty minutes into the show, Terence asks me, “Mom, what time is it?” I reply “It’s 9:15. Why do you ask? Are you sleepy?” He answers, “Not at all, actually, I don’t want it to end just yet.” I was delighted with his response knowing that he was enjoying the show.

My favorite number was the silk ballet “The Flight of Love”. It featured two performers who were flying in the air with the aid of harnesses. I was very touched as I saw them fly like angels, and at that instant, I knew what I want. Like them, I want to fly! The best way to describe my feeling was that of a mystical, out of body feeling. It was more than the yearning for adrenaline rush that a skydiver gets as he jumps of the plane, but that nudge to be free from everything that binds me and pulls me down.

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Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/brianritchie/566318848/

It was truly spectacular! Don’t miss it.

 

Shows are every WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY, and SATURDAY

Until December 29 at the PAGCOR Grand Theater
Airport Casino Filipino
Parañaque City, Metro Manila

Tickets are available at Ticketnet and PAGCOR

 

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We recently launched a new fund-the PruLink Equity Fund. The fund seeks to optimize medium- to long-term capital growth through investments in shares of stocks listed at the Philippine Stock Exchange. This fund is for those who have high-risk appetite for their investment. To better prepare us for the demands of investors who are becoming more learned and sophisticated, we opted to expose ourselves into this world ruled by a lot of misconceptions. Taking part in an exposure trip to the Makati Stock Exchange trading floor was truly an experience!

Our branch manager, Ms. Che Martinez, arranged our tour and information session. The Philippine Stock Exchange has a Market Education department, which aims to reach out the general public and promote stock market investing through educational seminars. We were privileged to hear from Jay Peñaflor who gave us a general overview of stock market investing.

Sapi is the Filipino word for stock. In English, it literally means “possess” or “acquire”. A stock investment represents ownership on a company, where the investor (of common stock) is entitled to vote and share in the profits of the company he invested in. He can also claim on the company’s asset and earnings in the form of dividends.

Here are a couple of most frequently asked questions:

Q: Is it risky to invest in stocks?
A: One must have a healthy dose of knowledge coupled with discipline. Without either one, then there is a very high probability that the investor will lose his money for he does not know what he is getting into or doing.

Q: How do we pick a good company to invest in?
A: For beginners, it would be advisable to invest in blue chip stocks, which have the following characteristics:
1. big and profitable company
2. very stable price movement/minimal risk
3. declares regular dividend payment to stockholders

Personally, I’d take Warren Buffet’s advice: “Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.”

For more information, visit http://www.pse.com.ph

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FOUR JOBS I HAVE HAD IN MY LIFE

  1. Store sales consultant for a Benetton outlet
  2. Junior auditor
  3. Graphic designer
  4. Financial advisor

FOUR MOVIES I WOULD WATCH OVER AND OVER

  1. The Secret
  2. What the Bleep Do We Know?
  3. Chocolat
  4. Matrix

FOUR PLACES I HAVE LIVED

  1. Lola’s house in Sta. Mesa
  2. Bungalow in Mandaluyong
  3. Condominium in Mandaluyong
  4. Townhouse in Pasig

FOUR TV SHOWS THAT I WATCH

  1. Desperate Housewives
  2. Oprah
  3. Sex and the City
  4. CSI Las Vegas

FOUR MOST INFLUENTIAL BOOKS

  1. liketheflowing.jpg Like the Flowing River by Paulo Coelho
  2. You Can Have It All by Arnold Patent
  3. The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
  4. Good to Great by Jim Collins

FOUR FAVORITE MAGAZINE TITLES

  1. Readers’ Digest
  2. Entrepreneur
  3. SME Insight
  4. Yoga International

FOUR PLACES I HAVE BEEN ON VACATION

  1. Paris, France
  2. Rome, Italy
  3. Stuttgart, Germany
  4. Barcelona, Spain

FOUR OF MY FAVORITE FOODS

  1. Lechon
  2. Prawn hot salad
  3. Tempura
  4. Salmon sushi

FOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVORS

  1. Coffee Crumble
  2. Double Dutch
  3. Strawberry
  4. Vanilla

FOUR PLACES I WOULD RATHER BE RIGHT NOW

  1. The Farm at San Benito
  2. Mandala Spa, Boracay
  3. Amanpulo
  4. Chi, Edsa Shangri La

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“I heard you got a new car!”
“Yup!”
“What did you get?”
“A Toyota Yaris!”
“A what?”….

For starters, it’s nothing short of a conversation piece.

The Toyota Yaris is almost unheard of. In fact, it’s not a high demand model. Its predecessor was the Toyota Echo. For the Yaris list price, you can already get hold of an Innova, a Vios or an Altis. So what makes it so special?

The Yaris brochure’s headline reads, “Are you groovy?” Well not exactly, but ‘hip’, ‘sleek’, ‘unique’ and ‘a bit Euro’… definitely! As my husband yaris2.jpgBrian and I were agonizing on which model to buy, we went to the showroom and the moment he laid eyes on the Yaris on display, it was love at first sight. My goal was to upgrade my Mazda sedan to a newer car so I can move around with more comfort and security. My Mazda kept me company for the past ten years, though we haven’t really gone too far. The mileage was only 59,600 kms. I resolved to finally let go and sell it, and luckily, the new owner is not a stranger. The brother of my good friend took an interest after years of going around on a motorcycle. Thus, I was content with a ‘normal’ car, and the all new Vios was my choice.

When I rode inside the Yaris, the interior was classy and nice! Thereyaris3.jpg were a lot of console boxes for my knick-knacks and the cup holders were plentiful. My dehydration days are over. It was a unanimous choice in the end-that which is uncommon and a cut above the rest. Our very friendly and accommodating agent Alex Veloso of Toyota Pasong Tamo informed us that there was stock available in the plant, and in less than a week, he delivered our full-featured, all-power, brand new medium silver metallic 1.5G Yaris at home. The ride is luxurious and it’s one lean, mean and powerful machine.

C!, The Ultimate Car Authority Magazine editors gives the Toyota Yaris a rating of 5 on their 5-star scale, which corresponds to ‘Beg, borrow, or steal to drive it.’ The only drawback of a hatchback design is the trunk space. I need to discipline myself to travel light (as in life, where we all should anyway).

Over and above that, this Yaris girl feels great, renewed and extremely grateful!

P.S. Today, October 20 is National Thank You Day!

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