Wednesday, April 27, 2011

No Pain, No Gain!

"all I wanted was a simple kind of life"
My mind has been in a mess lately.....

I'm beginning to believe how lack of sleep can truly affect one's mood. It's truly hard to be cheerful when you got roughly 3 hours of sleep at night and 4 hours in mid morning. I noticed that my mood levels have been decreasing week per week. Too low to the point that sometimes, I just wanna disappear and shut myself from everyone.

Despite the mood crashes and suicidal thoughts (i have a lot lately), I still ain't stopping. My dad has been very worried about me these days. He told I was crazy and pushing myself too much and that I need to stop. Nah.... now is not the time to surrender I believe.

Probably, this is my way of dealing with my innermost demons. To be at my all time-low..... Yeah, I wanna push my limits really hard because I wanna learn. I know I need to endure much pain in order to be stronger. Call me insane! I don't really care. Most people naturally try to avoid pain because they think it doesn't do them any good. But you see, when life hits them really hard with unavoidable circumstances, they find themselves lost and acting ever so immature.  Obviously because they dunno on how to handle such situations for they have been trying to avoid them most of the time. They didn't prepare enough. They failed to find time to get to know themselves and love themselves better so they end up being vulnerable and shattered.  They say you have to build a sturdy fortress to protect you from being hurt.. but I think it's only for cowards... for a war must be dealt with head on, instead of hiding from your shelter. How can you test the sturdiness of your fortress if you keep on avoiding storms? When all else fails.. when those walls come tumbling down... how are you gonna protect yourself then? How can you upgrade your armor without winning battles? Makes sense right?
thoughts ever flowing...

"Have I gone insane or is it the just the world around me?" ~~ this thought has been wandering around my mind these days. I also don't expect many people to understand (if you do, then Thank You!).  

I choose to have peace of mind. I choose to listen to myself for now. I aim for simplicity,  to bring out the best in me. I'm at the stage where I'm training myself to be more self reliant, gain more control. Distance myself a little from all hypocrisy. Think about the relationships I'm in... sorting out the weeds. I wanna strengthen the morals and beliefs which I believe in. I wanna test my emotional strength and endurance. I'm on a riot of my own.

I know it may not be the best situation to be in, but I choose to be here for a reason. I wanna keep silent for now... clear my head. I have been a coward most of the time, so now is the perfect time for me to grow up. I'm letting myself wander in all corners of my head... testing the waters, challenging fate, finding answers, learning lessons, gaining much strength.
a promise..

I thank my family and friends for expressing concern. I know I've been acting strange lately. It really is strange for a people person like me to just isolate herself all of a sudden. I know. As I said, I don't really expect everyone to understand. Rest assured that I am and will always be the sweet old Mae, ever so working hard and ever so creative. Please be patient with me. I need you to trust me on this. Eventually, when I'm ready and have gained enough strength, I will  take flight once again and conquer the world like what I always do.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Voice Blog Entry #1

For those of you who are curious on how I sound...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My Other Side....

Today was like a dream come true.... I got to stay the whole day in the house!!!

I made it a point not to have any appointments so I can tidy up the place and focus on my cooking.
I've decided to make my weekly cooking show again. I find it really exciting and it seems I've been responsible for making my friends go hungry due to the irresistible food photos which I've been posting on Facebook. I noticed that my friends have been asking me for the recipes so I've decided to make videos like a real cooking show should (I'm in need of a producer so my show can be seen on tv!!).

Oh before I forget, Badeth came over again for dinner yesterday so I prepared a nice meal for us... I made my very own Rosemary Fried Chicken with Sour Cream Salsa. It's a dish I've been preparing since high school and I'm really proud of it! You see, I'm the kind of person who likes to break-away from the usual stuff so I also do my best to offer something more than the usual catchup and gravy. I'm glad that Badeth loves my cooking so does Frank and his family. I hope I can cook for Mitch one of these days when I get the chance to see her.
crispy herbed chicken with delicate creamy sauce......

I'm glad Badeth loved it!!

Ok ok... so today I'd like to show you a very intimate side of me..... a peek at my everyday life here at the unit.... 

I started the day with a heaping cup of coffee (I started drinking coffee last week) plus a spoonful of cream and lots of sinful cinnamon!! Waaaaaaaahhhhh (no wonder my friends call me sosyal)
not your usual cup...

indulging myself with much cinnamon
I took a quick shower then cleaned the bathroom!
I really enjoy hot showers in this place. I also enjoy keeping it tidy and smelling good!!! (obviously a bathroom OC arrrghhh!!!)
nothing beats a warm bath

keepin' it all squeeky clean....

Next I had to deal with the sink problem I've been having the whole week! Thanks to Mr. Muscle for saving the day!!! hehhehehhehe (Seeing my sink A-OK really made me feel fulfilled!)
hoooray for Mr Muscle!!!! (I feel like a housewife! lols)

Then, I'm glad to see that my dishes have already dried! I also cleaned and polished the sink and the cooking counters. I applied a surface cleaner/disinfectant so I can assure that my food is bacteria safe.
certified kitchen OC!!!

the stove exhaust is so helpful!!!

gotta keep those utensils ready for war....
toothpicks... you'll never know when you need one

After making sure that all is squeeky clean, it was time to start cooking....
I found some left over brown rice (the healthiest variety as they say) at the cooker so I thought I should make some fried rice so I don't have to throw it away. I quickly opened the fridge to find some ingredients. Luckily, I found that I have a lot of stuff waiting to be picked. I did some grocery shopping yesterday and bought random stuff in preparation for my sudden culinary creativity moments.
I love collecting gourmet herbs and spices....

I always see to it that the fridge has enough food.. can't go wrong with eggs
 I found some chinese chorizo, bell peppers, parsley, eggs and oyster sauce..... So that's it!! Perfect!! It's gonna be Chinese Chorizo Fried Rice for lunch then!!! I knew I had to document it so I may show it to you so I grabbed my cam and started clickin'!!!
i always stock some chorizos just in case

also.... keeping fresh produce in the chiller is a must
toss them all in your wok!
add in your left over rice ( it's a sin to throw away food)

beat some eggs and pour in it.... place it on one side of your pan and allow it to set before mixing it with the gang

touch it up with a healthy dose of Oyster Sauce for that Oriental feel
tadah!!!! my instant Lazy Sunday lunch!!!!!
the other side of me..
Waaaaahhhh this is the life.....
there's this big part of me which enjoys being at home. I like going out yeah... to experience new things and connect with others... it will always be part of me of course but I always wanna see to it that I enjoy "me" time... a time to connect with my inner-self... to reflect on what I've done so far so I can think about things and plan what needs to be done.
Unlike many attention whores out there, I feel that I've established myself so far.... I don't really have to prove myself too much anymore. I'm glad that I've established a good reputation over the years due to my passion and dedication to my craft. I'm glad that everything is going pretty well... no pressures whatsoever. I believe as of now, I just have to continue on persevering with my passions... and that is to pursue my art and make the world a better place to live-in.....
.... how will I do it??...... by just being my own sweet SELF.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

First Weekend Cooking Trip...

I've been wanting to have more "me" time and be able to somehow rid myself of earthly woes. I've been wanting to detach and be alone for a while and the universe indeed granted yet another wish of mine.

Last week, I moved into a fancy condo unit which is owned by my mom's friend. I'm really glad they assigned me to look after the place for a while since I work very near the area. I'm happy that my mom trusts me a lot. I never let her down. She helped me with my things and then I volunteered to clean the unit especially the kitchen.

It may not be obvious but I honestly wanna be a domestic goddess.... I love cooking and entertaining people at home. I got sooo excited as soon as I saw the kitchen.  waaaaahhh so relieved! It has a reliable fridge and gas for the stove.  I immediately hit the grocery to buy the basics.

The following day, I invited Badeth and her sister Salve for a hearty meal. I made my ever special cheesecake and since it has been ages since I cooked pasta, (I'm quite known for my sinful rich flavored pastas), I've decided to prepare it again to see if I still got that magic touch. hehehhee

Crispy Tuna Alfredo
you can't go wrong with bell peppers
First on the menu was Tuna Alfredo. I like this recipe a lot because instead of putting cheese on top, I put crispy tuna flakes!! Imagine, creamy rich sauce along with the crunchy texture of tuna..not to mention the aroma of those luscious green bell peppers (I'm a sucker for bell peppers!) This is very easy to make I promise!!! A no-brainer dish!

I also prepared my classic rosemary mojos! They were an instant hit!!! Reminds me of Shakey's big old mojos. I believe it tastes better than what they serve now. Also a no-brainer snack!

Salve while on Facebook marathon
the view from the apartment
We chowed down immediately after the pasta was ready. We hung out on the table and chatted like crazy. Blah blah blah blah... about anything we could think of..... The girls enjoyed the sights. The unit had a spectacular city view and they were thrilled I got a reliable internet access so I let them use Alexa (my laptop) the whole day (Facebook marathon). Badeth and I took some photos of course.

I even taught Badet on how to whip cream. It's really challenging! It's not as easy as it seems. It takes a lot of hand control and patience.
Badeth whipping it good!
my very special Blueberry Cheesecake

Evening came and I was thinking on what to serve for dinner (despite the fact that I still have lots of pasta alfredo left). Well, let's just say that I don't like serving left overs to my guests. Ok ok, I admit.. I just want to have an excuse to cook again hehehehehe., But the problem was, I really didn't have anything in mind, I wasn't prepared. I only had some canned goods in the pantry so I thought I'd just prepare some corned beef, a fluffy veggie omelette with brown rice (classic comfort food). But then I realized I had a lot of extra cooked pasta, I knew it would go bad and brittle if I just put it in the fridge so I had to maximize what I had. I checked the chiller and luckily, I had a lot of tomatoes and even herbs so I quickly decided to make my very own Italian style tomato sauce from scratch which I have developed a few years ago. Good thing I got almost all the needed ingredients (though I wish I had fresh herbs rather than dry ones).

i love garlic!!

my very own Italian style tomato sauce

Cornedbeef in homemade Italian red sauce
So I just combined the basic stuff. You need 2 things mainly: to have the right ingredients and to have the patience until you achieve the desired taste. I'm the kind of cook who is not into strictly "measuring" my ingredients... I like experimenting a lot and I never use MSG.

So there I was, experimenting again... wondering if my guests would enjoy it or turn blue after the 1st bite. Hmmmm I knew I was on the right track though.... the big question in my head was whether they would like it or not. You see, most of us got used to the classic canned thick tomato sauce. Basically, I just wanted to break-away from that culture. I wanted to make my own... and a better one.

It was also a hit! It seemed they liked it more than the 1st one. I'm relieved that they appreciate my cooking a lot! It was worth all the energy!

a very private moment

I'm happy that I'm now able to reveal  my more private side. That despite my image being very outgoing and always seen on stage, the real me still remains to be very happy with simple things like being at home and pampering people with hearty meals. I'm happy to be given the opportunity to show my passion in cooking once again. I know I'm not a pro chef or the best out there (I don't really plan to be one for it's gonna be for my family's pleasure only), I'm pretty much satisfied to see my friends enjoying what I've prepared for them... Seeing those empty plates are more like trophies to me!

unleashing the chef in me...

I often get comments from friends like, I'm ready to marry and that whoever is the guy for me is surely gonna be lucky to have me as his wife... hmmmmm yeah I guess so.

Whoever he is, he sure is one hellova lucky guy!!! He must be really worth the wait! I really don't wanna think about that right now for I'm busy on how to develop myself more (everything has its proper time). For now, I'll just develop more special recipes and cook more so I'll be ready when he comes!

I can't wait for next weekend's cooking trip.... I wonder who my guests will be.. hmmmmm

Friday, April 8, 2011

Kampo Berde...Where Love Is All Around!

a place made with love... (photo by: Frank Ruaya)
There is indeed no place like home... but sometimes, we too need to give ourselves a chance to disconnect from our routines and allow our souls to rejuvenate, to heal. We need to go someplace..  A refuge for hearts-a-hurting. A haven for families to bond, rebuild connections. A sanctuary in finding romance and a retreat for individuals who seek inspiration....

As spiritual beings and like you and me, we all have this instinct....
an inner voice.....
a place where you can be free! (photo by: Frank Ruaya)
a force which tells us to go back to the source... The power source which holds the planets in place and drives us to wake up each sunrise. The power which moves our face muscles to smile and allow our hands to reach out to the people we share our lives with. The power which fuels our dreams to materialize. The power which inspires artists to create and poets to scribble. The power which aids us to stand up again in times of adversity and defeat... The power which fills us with life... The one power which we were basically made with. LOVE

Where can you find pristine love amidst this chaotic and ruthless world? I, my friends have found it in a secluded place not really far from busy polluted Manila. I found it in a humble place called KAMPO BERDE "The Green Camp" located in Alfonso, Tagaytay City.

the grand entrance!(photo by: Frank Ruaya)
Tagaytay is well known for its cool breeze, great quality beef, cheap produce and a great view of the world's smallest volcano. In all the fancy overlooking places in Tagaytay, why do I prefer Kampo Berde? The answer is really simple. For me, this place is special. why?... because it is a place made and maintained by LOVE. And with LOVE, you can never go wrong!

Your 1 way ticket to paradise starts as soon as you enter the gates and be greeted by a warm and loving smile by the people maintaining the place. Fall in love with the beauty of the blooms and greens which surround the area. Feel peace and tranquility as the cool breeze enfolds you... filling you with the energy which you need.
a symbol of undying love

Yes, this place is indeed made by love. Kampo Berde is managed by a very warm loving family headed by Mr Dan Villas and wife Cristina who have been happily married for many years and I would attest that they are still very much in-love with each other up to this very day...

A love that has stood the test of time...Something that is very rare to find nowadays. If only you could hear their love story, it'll surely send you a lot giggles (I'm such a love junkie). The place I believe is the living proof of the love which they share. You may find their symbol all over the place as reminder of how undying their love is. You can definitely feel that love is all around!
meet the Villas!
Maui, Buchak and me!
I have been very very fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend some of my weekends with them. Their 3 lovely daughters Michelle, Maui and Glyf plus their granddaughter Linsey is such a delight to be with! I feel that I have found a family in them. I have had my share of good laughs, great food and great conversations with the Villas! Just mere looking at them as they work and relax around the place makes me feel really good. I feel very safe in this oasis especially at times when my heart needs mending. It's the best place to bond with your friends and loved ones.
the fab facade (photo by: Frank Ruaya)

the facade at night (photo by: Frank Ruaya)
a very spacious place where you can run free and just be yourself!(photo by: Frank Ruaya)
The place is 2100sqms big. It has 1 huge bahay kubo which serves as the dining area with a kitchen right beside it. It has 1 main house which can accommodate 9 guests complete with toilet and bath, fridge, and a nice veranda. For those of you who wanna have a more "native" feel, you may opt to stay at the huge bahay kubo which can house up to 8 guests (with toilet and bath).

dining area (photo by: Frank Ruaya)
dine at the grand kubo! (photo by: Frank Ruaya)
the cozy main house! (photo by: Frank Ruaya)
relaxing beds.. (main house)

a great place to chill (main house)

toilet and bath (main house) (photo by: Frank Ruaya)
me acting crazy again!
you may also stay at the big kubo (good for 8pax)
toilet and bath (kubo house)
inside the kubo
sleeping time.... (photo by: Frank Ruaya)

Videoke with the gang (photo by Frank Ruaya)

Pick your perfect place under the sun with the various relaxing spots you can choose from. If you're a shutterbug like me, this place is truly a delight with the various subjects and flowers which you can photograph! It's an ideal place to hold photo shoots! Perfect for bondings of all sorts.. reunions, retreats, weekend barkada getaways etc.. a perfect place to make great memories!

great for photography enthusiasts!
great for bondings of all sorts!
meet the Mafia with big boss Frank!

hehehehe I may act silly most of the time but they still accept me nonetheless (Photo by Frank Ruaya)

It was a perfect day!!! (Photo by Badeth Compuesto)

Whenever I spend the weekend here, I really enjoy walking along the pavements, occasionally greeting the friendly animals and daydreaming while I lay my back at the hammock. I'm proud to say that there is no wifi in this place.... this means, you can really disconnect and have the "me" time you deserve!  

No temptations, No pressure, No stress... exactly what YOU NEED!!!
entrance to the main house. I really love walking along these pavements.. (photo by: Frank Ruaya)

chillax, reflect, rejuvenate, daydreaming about my crush.... *sigh*

my view while chilling at the hammock
hanging out with the resident animals!! They often holler for some fresh grass!
hehehehehe as long as I got the basics with me... I'll be fine!

plotting yet another evil plan...(photo by: Frank Ruaya)
The best thing you can do is to give yourself a breather... Disconnect from worldly worries and reconnect with your true self or spend it with the people who matter most to you. To really "recharge" isn't achieved by expensive spa treatments or massages..... it is attained by clearing your mind, spirit and filling it with much much LOVE...because it is what really fuels us to go on.

Time, Peace and Love.... the most precious things in life which I believe we should invest in. So go on... give in to what your heart tells you. Let the vibe of this place help fill your heart with the love and healing which you need! Let this place be the canvass as you paint smiles and memories to be etched in your heart and mind. Treat yourself and your family to an unforgettable weekend here at KAMPO Berde...

For rates and booking inquiries, you may email me at

Special thanks to  Frank Ruaya of Eye Street Photography for providing this article with wonderful photos =)