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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


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


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???!!!)



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.


One of my clients shared this letter he composed to his children which he attached to the life insurance policy he bought from me in the hope of inspiring other parents to do the same.

To my dear children,

I am very sorry for leaving you so soon. There is never a perfect time for any father to have gone ahead of his loved ones. God called me to help Him in heaven. One day, you will understand.

I am confident that you will be good, loving and cheerful givers of this world. I have raised you in the way I know best. I wish I have led you right and helped you to be true. It is an honor that God entrusted me to you and thank you for choosing me. Each day with you is a gift to live up to the ideals of being the best Daddy that I can be. I am sorry for my shortcomings. Please forgive me for the times I ignored you, lost my patience and hurt you and your mother. Even Daddy is a work in progress.

Be bold, be brave and live your days to the fullest and without regret. Life is all about love and growth. Love one another and pass on the good works to your spouses, children and grandchildren. Let no man put you down and don’t let them steal your dreams.

Daddy is in heaven now so don’t worry. I provided for your needs at least until the time that you have adjusted without me and ready to take on the world. I signed this policy for this purpose. Your Tita Edlynn will help me take care of you. She knows best how to handle a family crisis such as this. Just give her a call whenever you want to hear stories about me, and she can also tell you how much I love you all. Do this gesture to your future children as well. I have sent you angels to watch over you, my children. Take care of Mommy and know that I love her very much. If she is happy, be assured that I will be happy for her too.

Though I am not with you physically anymore, I remain alive in the memories that we shared. Whenever you miss me, just close your eyes; remember the good times we had as a family and I will be there. I will visit you in your dreams-I miss you too.

One day, we will meet again.

I love you from the bottom of my bottomless heart.

With love,

“For those of us who believe, death is not the dying of the light. It is the lamp of life turned off at the coming of the dawn.” – Tagore

Interested to write your own ‘love letter’ to your family?  I can help you. Drop me a line at 0917-5336869

With my Lola Ermy’s prodding, we hopped on the Pasig River Ferry Service for a “cruise” from Hulo, Mandaluyong to Escolta, Manila. I was very excited to take this cruise, especially with the hyped publicity of the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean At World’s End” that is currently being shown in local theaters. We parked our car at the station and waited for the next ferry to come. The station was clean and the air-conditioning was cool.

Trip 1
My Mommy Edlynn went with me on my first trip. The trip took one hour but I pasigferry-1.jpg wasn’t impatient. The boat could fit about 150 passengers, and it was cool inside. Looking out at the river and the shanties on both sides were interesting sights. The garbage floated along with the water lilies and I feel helpless that the Pasig River is near death due to the undisciplined practices of the residents beside the river. You wouldn’t smell the garbage inside the ferry, so if you decide to take a nap, it was a very convenient ride. They were showing a Paul McCartney videoconcert and you can sing along as the lyrics were being flashed (microphone not included though). Life vests were available for everyone just in case. Though it’s one incident I wish will never happen. Historic sites that you can see include the Malacañang Palace, the official residence of the President of the Republic of the Philippines and the Philippine Post Office Building. We stopped at Sta. Ana station before reaching our destination and when we reached Escolta, we visited Lola Elena in Philtrust Bank. My Lola Elena is a woman of strength. She is already in her mid-80’s yet she is still very sharp and reports everyday for work. She might be retiring soon, so I am happy that I was able to see her office. Wepasigferry-postoffice.jpg went to Polland Store on Escolta Street to buy hopia, fresh lumpia and other goodies. We went back to Hulo station after another hour.

Trip 2
Lola Ermy invited us to eat in President Restaurant in Ongpin. My Ninong Erwin, Aunt Raquel, cousin Erica, Lolo Eddie and Mommy Edlynn took the ferry service to Escolta station. I had the chance to ride the ‘calesa’ this time with my cousin and it was lots of fun! Walking to President Restaurant would take 15 minutes, though by that time, they already worked up an appetite. I ate a lot of ‘birthday noodles’, my favorite! We also rode a ‘calesa’ from the restaurant back to Escolta station. I was so full from dinner and I slept on our way home.

pasigferry-tarpflag.jpgThe fare is at P25 per person one way. It is very reasonable as against the gasoline and parking you would spend going to Escolta. That’s assuming of course that you can spare 3 hours of your time. Nevertheless, I highly recommend trying it out. Also, this will support the advocacy to save Pasig River. The ferry service is a project of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission. If we contribute in our own little way, I look forward to an improved condition for my generation and those to come!

Sakay ka na!


My name is Xavy and I am 2 years old today. You know my brother Terence from the previous post and I too must have my space in my mom’s blog. These 2 years of my existence were marked by the hustle and bustle of my parents’ budding careers. My sense of self and life in general is being revealed to me in the townhouse that my parents and elder brother moved into before I was born, in contrast to my brother who grew up in a condominium. As with other second born children, my mom has more confidence that I will develop social skills early on with my brother keeping me company and my constant playmate. He is a big influence in my life and I caught his passion for juggling. Watching juggling videos on YouTube has been our favorite pastime.

My being born into this world is a result of my parents’ confidence that becoming one is not as hard as they imagined. When parents get past the baptismal rites and the ever grand first birthday party of the firstborn, they now breathe a sigh of relief and gear up to have baby number two. Suddenly, having only one child seems to be insufficient especially when the eldest grows so fast. Parents start reflecting on what they did wrong and how to improve the second time around-or can they really?

“The beauty of ‘spacing’ children many years apart lies in the fact that parents have the time to learn the mistakes that were made with the older ones which permits them to make exactly the opposite mistakes with the younger ones.” – Sydney J. Harris

How would you celebrate the 50th anniversary of a company you built from scratch?

Being in business for 50 years is a milestone to beat. Only a handful of businesses survive even its first year.

We are known as the “mahangin family”. No, we don’t sell electric fans. We are in the business of compressed gases and chemicals. Superior Gas and Equipment Co. (SUGECO) was established by my great grandfather, the late Don Jose Tiosejo (Lolo Pepe). He was an entrepreneur at heart, establishing several businesses during his time. My grandfather Januario “Frondy” Frondoso took over and now my father’s brother, Manuel “Lito” Frondoso, leads it.

The late Mrs. Concepcion Lua, a pharmacist, responded to an ad looking for distributors of compressed gas products in the Visayas. Superior Gas and Equipment Co. of Cebu was established in 1957. Operations started in a small office in her rented house. SUGECO Cebu is now a multi-million business, a testament to her dedication and commitment, and to the management skills of her son Alvin, the President and CEO. It is a key player in the gas industry in Visayas and Mindanao. Mr. Alvin Lua paved the way for a major milestone, the establishment of a hydrogen plant in Lapu Lapu City in 2003. SUGECO Cebu is in the process of attaining ISO Certifications.

The anniversary party was held at Pacific Grand Ballroom of the newly renovated Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Lahug, Cebu City. I am very honored to take part in the celebration. It was a sumptuous dinner buffet with lechon (roasted pig) and roast beef. They raffled off a lot of prizes with a 21” plasma TV as the grand prize, and the audio-visual presentations and musical entertainment were great! There were cakes on each table and the souvenir was a nice memo pad holder.

I accepted my father’s invitation (he is one of the directors) to accompany him and I looked forward to a great learning opportunity. It was also a good chance to visit Cebu again. The last time was in 2004 with my husband and we stayed in Plantation Bay. I travelled with my father Mr. Eddie Frondoso, uncles (Jay Frondoso, Chito Frondoso, Dr. Tony Tiosejo) and aunt (Tessie Tiosejo).

Lolo Pepe died before I was born and I feel the connection in spirit through this experience. The success of the company to me is as close as I can get to get a glimpse of what he was like. His ideals are carried on to those whose lives he touched. He was a man of great vision and foresight. He surely wanted to leave a legacy for the future generation and the details will follow. I can play the scene in my mind on how Lolo Pepe and Mrs. Lua would strategize on making the venture a success.

Congratulations to SUGECO Cebu and may the next 50 years be even greater!

Would you want your business to last as long? What major step will you take to make this happen? Do you have what it takes?


Excerpts from the homily delivered by Fr. Johnny C. Go, S.J. during Brian & Edlynn’s nuptial Mass
April 15, 2000

Before this wedding, I had the occasion to listen to the story of Brian and Edlynn, about how they met & how their relationship developed through the years. Many of you probably know their story. Some of you may even have played an important part in it. For this reason, your presence here is significant because each of you represents some key moments in their personal stories; each of you symbolizes an important part of their selves. Today, Brian and Edlynn will gather their memories, they will gather their selves, part of which each of you symbolizes, and with our prayers, they will ask the Lord to fuse their separate lives and separated stories into one and to bless their new life together.

There are two things that have drawn Brian and Edlynn to each other. And these two things are: beauty and the deep.

They are involved in the science and art of capturing and creating beauty on print and they both love diving. So my having no actual diving experience notwithstanding, allow me to offer three diving lessons to our couples:

Diving lesson #1: Preparation and patience are a must. You don’t have to be an expert to know that diving, which can be so exhilarating, and life giving can also be fatal and life threatening. Hence, the imperative for deliberate preparation, for precision and care for your own gear, for your own resources.

And should you find yourselves in unfamiliar and threatening situations underwater, never panic. Never act impulsively. In the deep, patience is a virtue with a high premium.

In the same way, as you, Brian and Edlynn, take this other kind of plunge, remember that preparation and patience are just as crucial. As you enter into the married life, it is important to know your gear, to be aware of what your resources are, and to learn how to use them. Likewise, if you find yourselves in unfamiliar and stormy situations, what you have learned in all your years of diving will come out handy: Patience. Do not panic. Do not act impulsively. Wait.

Diving lesson # 2: Always watch your buddy. As you know all too well, trust between diving buddies is so important. When you to go the deep, where there is no room for words, a whole new language is required between you. There are seasons in our lives where there may be no space or time for words. I hope that you have begun to do, you will continue to develop your special language so that you will always be able to communicate w2ith each other no matter what.

Diving lesson #3: As you know, he world that opens up to the diver is so charged with beauty-new colors and corals-if only the diver opens his or her eyes. You only need to look.

Marriage is an invitation to the deep, but it is also an invitation to beauty, beauty that can be discovered and found only in the deep. We, your family and friends, who love you and care for you both, have seen glimmers of the beauty that each of you holds in the depths of your persons. We are confident that you will each discover more of this beauty in your years together-if only you open your eyes. You only need to look.

And remember, just as God desires that the diver who is given the rare privilege of discovering the beauty of the deep take care of whatever he sees and finds, likewise God, Who creates beauty and holds the deep in his hands, desires that you, Brian and Edlynn take care of the treasures you each find in the depths of one another. Our prayers are with you on this joyous day.


I’m a CPA by profession and yes, today is the official deadline filing the Annual ITR and 1st Quarter tax return. But since it’s a Sunday, then it shall fall on the next working day, in this case, tomorrow, April 16. So as a concerned Filipino citizen, I hope you have filed yours to avoid the rush (I did already, thank you).

On this day 7 years ago, my husband Brian and I swore to be together for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part. It was a bright and sunny morning and I was confident everything would go well. The color-coding scheme was lifted on Saturdays. It would be easier for everyone to move around.

I stayed at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel and woke up early to prepare. Our photographer Nelson Villarica came and took some shots of my accessories and me. Our wedding Mass was 10am at the Chapel in Valle Verde 5 in Pasig City. Diyosa, Deedee’s daughter sang our wedding songs, and our officiating priest was Fr. Johnny Go, S.J. of Xavier School. Fr. Johnny and Brian are good friends since his college days in the Ateneo. I am very happy that he is a personal friend, and having documented his homily to us, he e-mailed it to me entitled “Taking the Plunge”.

We held our lunch reception at the Social Hall of Wack Wack Village. Josiah Catering catered it and our beautiful Mac(intosh) inspired wedding cake was created by Brian’s cousins Penk and Shen of Pastry Bin. We wanted a small, and intimate wedding had about 150 people in attendance. We headed back to Edsa Shang for our late afternoon pictorial.

After the session, we dressed casually and felt hungry. We decided to go to the mall and eat in Cibo. While we were eating, the reality of weddings and engagements dawned on me. Coming into this commitment in the right frame of mind—wherein it is better to prepare for the married life than the wedding-I was ready to get back to reality in a snap. While the ceremony and the reception may well be one of the best and ecstatic moments in my life, I have grounded myself with what it really is-one big party!

I watched an episode on Oprah about ‘bridezillas’ or engaged ladies who transform into this crazy and obsessed bride-to-bes. She puts the other areas of her life on hold as she buries herself in bridal magazines and sourcebooks. She meets a lot of wedding providers and sometimes, the budget gets out of hand. The wedding turns out grand, but for some of them, depression sets in on day one. The elegant bride who was everybody’s center of attention suddenly feels neglected as the adrenaline rush from all the preparation dies down. Engaged women should strike a balance to better handle their emotions. After all, according to comedian Bernie Mac, “Love is overrated. You really have to like someone to make your marriage last.”

Love and light!

P.S. This is my favorite wedding photo 🙂

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