Yaya Diaries: Yaya Babylyn & how I got suckered

Sunday, August 31, 2014

I got suckered.

Yes, I have to admit it - I got suckered big time.

You see, I have been looking for a househelp.  My SIL sent me a message and it was in perfect timing.  She said that her previous maid is looking for work, she asked if I needed a helper and at that time.  I did.  So I called Yaya Babylyn - I spoke to her and we exchanged text messages.  She asked if I can send her money for her transportation.  I was reluctant at first, but then since she came highly recommended by my SIL (my SIL said she knew how to cook and take care of a child and was nice) so I agreed.  But on the day I was supposed to send it, she sent me a text saying not to send anymore because she still had to attend to some things at her child's school.  I thought, at least she was honest enough to tell me not to send it, right?  After a few days, she told me to look for other prospects - she said that she doesn't want me to wait for nothing.  And so I looked, and found one.  But it didn't pan out.

Last Tuesday, she sent me a Facebook invite via SMS.  So, the following day, when my other helper left - I sent her a text message asking her if she has found work already - and she replied 'No' so I asked her if she was still interested to work for me.  And she said yes.  She then asked me if I was willing to send her P1,000.00 - I assumed it was for her transportation.  I delayed replying because I was seriously thinking about it.  Then last Friday, I finally decided that I needed a helper.  I then told her that I was willing to send her the money, since she was coming from Bicol - I had to know when she's set to arrive.  She then tells me that she can arrive the following day since she was already in Bulacan.  Red Flag!  Okay, so she's in Bulacan.  So I asked her what the money was for.  She said that it was for her transpo going back to Manila and for some miscellaneous expenses.  I then bargained with her - that she come to Manila first, then I can give her P1,000.00 and she can send it to whomever she wanted to.  But she begged and told me that she was unable to find anyone who can lend her money for transpo.  The text message exchages were at 2PM onwards.  She was really making kulit on sending the money.  Red Flag!  I kidded her that if I sent her money, she won't come - and she told me that my SIL has her Police Clearance - and joked that that piece of paper meant nothing because she can always go an hide right?  But she said she's different.  So I believed her, and at a little before 5PM - I sent the money through Western Union - to a name she texted me of a man - Romel A. Cebu of Tungko, SJDM, Bulacan.  I asked who this person was and she said that this guy was her sister's husband and he is the only one with ID.  She said that she will be at my house on the afternoon of the following day.

The next day came and at 10am, I received a text message saying that she was just going to have lunch and then proceed to go to my house already.  I said 'OK'.  I was out with the kids and came back at 2PM.  The clock show 3PM and there was no sign of her.  A little before 4PM, I sent her a text message asking where she was, but I got no reply.  I then sent another message a little before 5PM, and still no reply.  By 6PM - I tried calling her but she wasn't answering, so I sent another text.  After sending that text - I tried calling and the phone was turned off.  Typical of a helper.  By this time, I knew I was suckered.  I was duped.  I had to admit that already.

That night, I sent her a stern text telling her that I was giving her a chance.  That she needed to come to the house by lunch time.  If not, I will make true what she told me - to call the police on her.  After a few seconds of that text sending - she replies.  And you know what she said?  She said that she was invited by her sister to drink - and she was drunk that's why she wasn't able to travel.  Red Flag!  I was just shaking my head in disbelief.  She then said that she will come the next day - before lunch time.  And I believed her.

This morning - she sends me another text that she won't be able to make it because her niece (her sister's daughter) ran away and she was helping look for her niece.  With this text, I knew that she was making a fool out of me already.  So I told her, that she needed to return the money to me or else, I will make true to call the police on her.  She then begged and said that she will just return the money to me - she promises to do everything possible to return the money.  I knew that this 'returning' is close to impossible.  So, I gave her an ultimatum - that she needed to wire the money to me this afternoon before Western Union closes.  She said that she will do everything possible and for me not to worry.  She event went as far as saying that she will sell her cellphone just to pay me back.  (I will post the series of text exchanges between us)

At 4PM, I still haven't received any transaction number.  at 6PM I sent her a text telling her that since it was already past 5PM, I will call the police already.  And she replies to say that she will send the money the tomorrow morning because the money she asked from her father hasn't arrived yet.  Red Flag!  I told her that I didn't care anymore - that I will make true what she told me to do in case she doesn't show up.  She them proceeds to tell me that she is telling the truth.  I told her to just be honest to tell me if she wanted to work or not - but she was still making excuses.

Here's the thing:  Last Friday night, my SIL sent me a message that Yaya Babylyn was employed with her in laws for 2 weeks.  That last week Yaya Babylyn asked permission to leave because her sister died.  Okay - thinking back, I realized - maybe the reason why she told me not to send her money was because someone else already did.  I didn't want to think bad of her but when my SIL said told me of the reason of death in the family - I assumed that she would resume working for her in laws after the funeral, but why did she want to work for me?  Red Flag!  The story was - Yaya Babylyn was went to work for my SIL's in law's friend but lasted only 3 days - thus her in laws took her in.  Red Flag!  Helpers are notorious for killing off their relatives to make excuses to go home or leave work.  When my SIL told me this - I knew I was duped.  But I gave her a chance - I always believe that people are good - and I want to be proven wrong.  And I was proven wrong.

I saw the red flags, but I chose to ignore them out of desperation.  I have never been duped this way before.  I was always careful when it came to sending money for transportation.  But with this one - since I've met Yaya Babylyn - and I knew she was ok with my SIL - I gave her a chance.  I believed her - but I was wrong.  Please don't think I blame my SIL for this because I don't - I knew it was a risk and I still took it, so here I am.  I was telling my Panget about this and he told me that if ever this yaya comes to our home - not to let her in anymore because she can't be trusted.  So now, I am only after getting back what I sent them.  I honestly don't know how to go about the process of filing a complaint - because I really want to teach her a lesson - that of all people to mess with, not with me.  Not with me.

I am attaching her Police Report and her Facebook Page.  I will not tell you to not hire her, but I will advice you just to be very careful in hiring her.  Learn from me.

Facebook Page :  Babylyn Dagsil Villanueva

P.S. I have been telling friends and family how worthless a Police Clearance is.  I want to be proven wrong by my own statement, so let's see how far this quest will lead me.  Wish me luck!

If any of you know or knows how to go about this - please please share it on the comment section.  Anyone privy with any police station in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan - please help me.

Hooked on The Strain

Saturday, August 30, 2014


I just discovered a new TV series and I am so very much loooooooving it!

It's called The Strain.

How did I get to watch it?  Well, it was in our HD.  I was bored and I wanted to watch a new show.  I was browsing the folders and the I decided to just re-watch White Collar (because I so love Neal Caffrey) when I saw a new title - The Strain.  I got very curious and decided to watch an episode.  And the rest they say is history.  I saw all five (5) episodes in one night.

That is how much I enjoyed the show.  I was so impressed and hooked on the pilot.  I don't think there's a show (this year) that got me hooked on the pilot alone.  I couldn't explain it - but I was HOOKED.  I was looking forward to every scene, I was giddy and concentrated at the same time.  I was so excited - really really excited and I wanted to know what happened next.

When my Panget got home - I gushed about the show.  I told him that he would love it, and that it was super duper nice.  He just said one thing 'Guillermo del Toro'.  It was only then that I knew why he had that particular show on our HD.  My Panget has this talent for picking out TV shows - and this one, he has in our HD.  The only reason he has it is because of Guillermo del Toro.  My Panget is a huge huge huge fan of this man.  My Panget has watched ALL of his movies and is surely going to watch his future films - with me in tow (whether I like it or not).  My Panget then proceeds to tell me that this was a book that was made into a TV show.  I didn't know that Guillermo del Toro wrote a book!  I then googled it and yeah - he did write it.

Isn't it exciting?  I don't want to go into detail because I might spoil it for you, but I swear to you - if you're a fan of sci-fi/vampire/suspense thriller - then please please, do watch this show!  I promise you, you won't be disappointed!  Every episode makes you more curious.  I really wish I can be patient enough to compile the next few episodes so I can have more than an hour's worth of episode to watch.  I keep waiting for another scene after the episode fades to black. Dammit!  Self control!!


Oh, and Sean Astin is there.

Tim Ho Wan at the Mega Fashion Hall

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I first encountered Tim Ho Wan during last year's Hong Kong trip.  I enjoyed the food very much, especially the BBQ Pork Buns.  It was good and filling, too bad that we had to go all the way to North Point to enjoy it.  Last year too, I think the first international branch opened in Singapore.  I also was able to try it with some friends during our New Year Singapore trip.  And a few months back - Tim Ho Wan finally opened its doors in Mega Fashion Hall in Megamall.

When it first opened, there was a long long queue to get it.  I like queueing - because its so civilized and polite.  There is no 'palakasan' when it comes to queueing - you really need to wait.  But one time, we went to Megamall early - and when we walked passed Tim Ho Wan and we were shocked since the line was so very very long and there was a sign that said that they will be opening at 12noon!  So imagine the wait - you queue immediately at 10am and wait until it opens at 12noon and wait for your turn.  Madness, madness!!

So last Saturday morning - I decided to queue.  I mean, I had nothing to lose because my Panget was renewing his passport and I dropped the kids off at Active Fun.  And so I was slowly walking towards Tim Ho Wan when I noticed that it was already busy!  It was only when I stood in queue that I noticed that they were already open.  When the staff asked how many was in my party - I just said that I was alone.  Hahaha!  So they gave me a table immediately.  The first thing I asked was, was there a limit to the BBQ Pork Buns order, and the lady said it was 3 orders per person.  I sat on the table and ordered away.  A few minutes later, I received a call from my Panget - he was done!  OMG - that was fast!  It was surely less than 30 minutes!!  So I told him to go to Tim Ho Wan because I was already seated.  So while waiting for the kids - we ordered and ordered and ordered.

The famous BBQ Pork Buns of Tim Ho Wan

We ordered like there was no tomorrow since they were only dimsum.  We were still eating when I noticed the time.  I picked up the kids and the server Mark, graciously allowed the kids to sit on our table (he gave us more chairs and another table to connect to ours - nice right?  And we ordered some more and more and more.  Hahaha!!  You won't believe our bill - I was shocked, but what the heck - we were all happy and filled to the brim with Tim Ho Wan yumminess!!

Lotus Leaf Glutinous Rice
(sorry, I forgot what it was really called!  Too hungry and excited!!)

I would like to make a special mention to Mark - our server.  He was very attentive, helpful and very efficient.  His efficiency and warmth made a big difference to our experience at Tim Ho Wan.  Thank you Mark, we enjoyed our meal and your service to us and the kids.  Thank you for indulging our every request and additional orders.  Thank you very very much!!

So, there - I will suggest you go when the mall opens so you won't need to wait in line for a long time.  I'll be sure to visit again, during opening time!  Hehehe...

Tim Ho Wan
Mega Fashion Hall

Panels at Nerd HQ 2014 at the San Diego Comic Con

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I was exposed to comic books at an early age.  My uncles (my mom's younger brothers) drew very well thus I was used to seeing Superman, Spiderman, Batman, the X-Men and more.  As I was growing up, my twin brother was into comics, he too is very good in drawing.  When he was doing nothing, he would just doodle and the super heroes would come out!  Well, he got the family talent, and I didn't.

When I met my Panget, I learned that he too was into comics and other geeky stuffs.  So, we sort of had something to talk about.  I remember asking him a question on Star Wars, anyways - we started going out and eventually we got married.  His interest with Sci-Fi has rubbed off on me, thus for the last 3-4 years, I have been so fascinated on the Comic Con, more specifically - the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC).

It was just two years ago, that I started watching the panel videos on YouTube, and man are they super entertaining!  I feel so excited whenever July comes because I look forward to the panel videos.  This year, I learned of Nerd HQ.  Nerd HQ was founded by actor  Zachary Levi and he has one of the most exciting panels (in my opinion).  I spent one whole last night during the holidays watching the Nerd HQ panels on YouTube.

It was sooooo much fun!  I'm sorry but the geek in me is the one talking typing.

Here are the panels that I loved:

Orphan Black - I was so shocked that Sarah and Felix do not have real English accents!  And Felix is very ver very good and convincing!  WOW!  I found the character Paul too cocky though, I didn't want to listen to his opinion.  Hahaha!!

Supernatural - this is one of my Panget's favorite show.  He was so happy that this show has been renewed over and over again.  The bromance is indescribable!  I love you Dean Winchester!!  Hahaha...

Nathan Fillion & the Mystery Panel - Can I just say - because of my Panget I became a Nathan Fillion fan.  My Panget loved loved loved Firefly, heck - we got Kailee's name from that show!  Haha.. (trivia!!)  I remember seeing him from the TV show Miss Match with Alicia Silverstone and Two guys a girl and a pizza place with Ryan Reynolds!  So he was quite a familiar looking TV actor.  I didn't know that he has a huge following - apparently, he's quite popular!

I wish someday, I can visit the San Diego Comic Con - but they say its super hard to get tickets.  Sigh.  Someday.  Someday.

A B & Me features, Me!!!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Sheila is an online friend.  I met her years ago in an online forum, where I met most of my online friends.  But you know what?  We've never met each other in person - no joke!  But in this age and technology - we don't need to be physically in proximity just to be friends.  I have to be honest, I sincerely love love my online friends - why?  Because they are always there for me, one tweet, one FB message, one email and I have my supportive friends who do not pass judgement.  I feel their sincerity and their concern.  They're my support group.  I am so glad that I met them online.  Grateful.  That's why I am also there for them too, forever!!

Thank you Sheila for giving me this opportunity!!

Love, Didi

Please visit her blog at A B & Me

Zelda Baked: S'mores Fudge

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Dada and I have been friends since... I have no clue!  But how did I meet Dada?  I met her through her husband Jayson, whom I met through Twitter who is actually good friend with a friend Oliver.  That was long right?  As it turns out, Dada is the younger sister of my BIL's good good friend Abot.  Small world right?  Tiny!  So we developed this friendship - through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  Yes, it all started there and we became text mates.  We had so many many common friends!

From her IG posts, you'll see that she's a dedicated homemaker.  I spy (through her IG posts and pictures on social media) that she cooks, bakes, and is a wonderful wonderful homemaker.  We've graduated from likes here and there to textmates.  We've helped each other out in travel itineraries and travel tips here and there.  Now, we have moved to teaching the kids how to read!

Two weeks ago, while I was pestering her to help me teach Kailee how to read, she very willingly (SUPER Thank you!) lent me her Keywords with Peter and Jane books to help Kailee.  She mentioned that she has something for me when I pick up.  Surprise, surprise - they were these S'mores Fudge.  Of course, I had to take a peek right?  And this was what welcomed me:

She specifically told me to freeze them.  And I did.  I had to control the urge - so I waited until dinner time to try it.  I took it out of the freezer and got a piece - I immediately took a bite and OH. MY . GOSH.  It was sooooo good!  Wow!  It is a fudge alright with pieces of marshmallows and graham crackers.  These bite sized goodies are so good that I had to control myself for I might finish them all in one sitting!  Kailee was so curious on what I was munching on that she asked for a piece, I had to give her one - and she enjoyed eating it!  I had my Panget try it too and he liked it!  We were literally all over the box asking one piece after another.  Yes, its that good!!

It so reminded of the fudge that I ate in Alaska more than a decade ago.  I really really liked that fudge and was thinking of how to make it.  Thank goodness for Zelda Baked, for I won't need to trouble myself with making it, I know she made this with love and care!  All I need to do now is ORDER!  Hahaha...

Please, if you like S'mores and fudge - give Zelda Baked a try!  I promise, you won't be disappointed!

For orders please visit her Facebook page - Zelda Baked

Here's a closer look of the S'mores Fudge

2014 FERN-C Ambassadors

Last week, I was invited by FERN-C to attend the awarding ceremonies of their 2014 FERN-C Ambassadors.  I was excited to see what was in store.  Since my Panget is a huge huge fan of FERN-C, I was more than happy to see what was in store.

FERN-C is the first non-acidic vitamin C in the market.  And my Panget has been a loyal user of this brand since it started.  I'm so happy now that FERN-C is already available in Watsons, South Star Drugstores, Rose Pharmacy, Manson Drug, Generika and the most convenient of all - 7-11!!  Thank you FERN-C for making this product available for everyone!!

In this event, I learned that FERN-C partnered with the leading BPOs in the Metro to support their industry.  As we all know, working in a BPO is stressful, thus FERN-C is showing their support and at the same time helping those in the industry fight stress and boosting their immune system at the same time!  In line with their partnership, FERN-C launched its campaign with the search for the 2014 FERN-C Ambassadors.  With thousands of entries - they picked two (2) ambassadors to represent their brand.

Congratulations to FERN-C and to the 2014 FERN-C Ambassadors!!

The 2014 FERN-C Ambassadors really look their part is are glowing with happiness!

You know what's nice about FERN-C?  Their work environment speaks very highly of them.  They greet everyone 'Good Morning!' regardless of the time of the day.  Their cheery-ness is infectious and I feel that, that's very good!  I'd love to have a working environment with everyone smiley, happy and very positive!

Again, CONGRATULATIONS to the 2014 FERN-C Ambassadors and of course to FERN-C!

Manam, formerly Namnam is Manamnam!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Tongue twister galore!

We were in the Makati area yesterday since we had to pick up Kailee and Connor's prints at The Picture Company in Glorietta.  So after a leisurely breezy walk from Greenbelt to Glorietta 4 (and back) we were hungry.  But Kailee insisted to go to Gymboree first, and since I promised her that - we dropped them off for a 30 minute gym play.

I was honestly dreading picking the restaurant because I only knew of the staples.  Thank goodness that I called my friend Kath and she told me that her sisters loved Namnam, and that it was below Burger Bar.

So, off we went, my Panget and I - we looked at the menu and the prices were fair.  It wasn't as crowded but the place was full - I had to have my name listed so that they can call me when it was our turn.  We were 4th in line.  As we picked the kids up, they called me to say that the table was ready - we hurriedly walked back to the restaurant.

It was only then that I noticed that the name of the restaurant was Manam.  I remember Kath telling me that it was Namnam when I called her.  So I asked one of the staff - and she told me that they just recently changed the name to Manam, to be exact - they changed the name two Sundays ago.

I like that the menu was very customer friendly - they labelled each dish with S for Small, M for Medium and L for Large - and also indicated how many can eat the dish.  It was brilliant, if you ask me - because it eliminates the immediate question 'Good for how many?'

We all ordered Medium for the dishes.  We ordered the Crispy Sisig, the Overload Garlicky Chicken & Pork Adobo, Laing, University Fried Rice, White Rice and a Small sized Trio Chicharon.  I apologize for not being able to take all pictures of all of the dishes - we were so very hungry!!  But here are some of them.

University Fried Rice
This is rice with beef tapa and eggs.  

I have to confess that Laing is one of my favorite veggie dishes in every Pinoy restaurant.  I just recently learned that if Laing is not cooked correctly - it can be poisonous!  Yikes!  But this one is really good.  I love the consistency.

Overloaded Garlicky Chicken & Pork Adobo
This dish was sooooo good!  The overloaded garlic was not overpowering instead it was able to bring our the flavor of the adobo even more.  I liked that they fried the pieces first with coating and then cooked it together with the adobo sauce.  We all loved this dish very much! 

Trio Chicharon
I forgot why it was called trio, but I knew it was because it was composed of three kinds.  Kailee loved every single one of the Trio.  Hihi..  She calls it 'chips'! 

This wasn't on the menu but they offered it to us anyway.  I was very impressed that they went out of their way to tell us that they can make this.  I understand that they may have already had this but it wasn't printed on the menu and so when they offered it, I was floored.  They knew what we wanted and offered it.  Some would just ignore the request since it wasn't on the menu, but they went the extra mile to inform us that they can make it.  Hooray!!

Overall - I LOVED Manam, why?  Because:
1)  The menu is so very easy to understand
2)  The food is really good!  I mean - for a Pinoy food restaurant, even if the dishes were vey simple - they were really really good!  The taste, the size of the serving and the price was really well thought of.
3)  The staff is very friendly and efficient!  How?  Well, I was asking them if they were connected to Burger Bar and they said yes and even told us about 8Cuts Burger, Manam Expres and Q-Daddy.  They explained that Manan Express has similar more affordable 'meals' compare to Manam.  I thought it was really nice of them to go a step further to explain their restaurants to me.  It goes to show how well the know their product
4)  They went the extra mile for dessert.  My Panget was craving for Ginomis - and it wasn't on the menu.  One server heard my Panget's request and immediately asked the kitchen - he then came back to us with 'Sir, I heard you wanted Ginomis - we have that, we can make it even if it's not printed on the menu'  - O diba?  That's what you call CUSTOMER SERVICE!
5)  The staff was honest enough to tell us that they served us with a large order of the garlicky adobo.  They informed us in a very nice way and I appreciate their honesty.  They also told us that they won't charge us extra since it was their mistake.  Loving the customer service experience!!

Manam will definitely be on the top of the list when it comes to Pinoy food in the Makati area!  I will make sure to comeback to enjoy the food and most of all the service!!

Good job guys! :)  Good job!

Manam Restaurant
Greenbelt 2

LTFRB Memorandum Circular 2014-14 RECALL of Memorandum Circular 2014-11 RE: Acceptance for the filing of Appiication/Petition for Exemption in the operation of TH Freight Services

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Here you have it folks, the Memo RECALLING Memorandum Circular 2014-14

Private companies with PRIVATELY OWNED Trucks - be informed!  This is what we all have been waiting for!!!


For the link to the original pic, please click the link below:


I just hope that ALL enforcers know about this because I am sure that they will still try and sneak their way into asking for 'kotong' from us!!

I hope you can spread this around!! :)

Depression is REAL

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I remember when I was younger, I assumed that when one was depressed - it simply meant that, that person was sad.  As I grew older, I realized that it was something more than being sad.

I learned that being depressed meant something more.  It didn't just mean that one was really sad, crying all the time, enveloped in problems - these are merely the outer layer that people see.  What they don't see and realize is that it goes deep within a person.  I'm sure you're asking - why?  Why am I writing about this?  Well, because it hit a nerve.  I cannot explain it but I understand to some level why a person would think of suicide.  I've had thoughts about it a couple of times in my lifetime.  For sure you will label me as weak but I tell you - inner turmoil is different.  Thoughts are ripping you apart!  It may seem superficial to you, but I swear - its real and it is happening.

I ask you NOT TO JUDGE people who are depressed.  Don't dismiss their being depressed as something to be ignored, that it will eventually go away.  It will go away, depending on the person's coping mechanisms.  Don't pass judgement, instead - try to help.

I got this screen cap from my friend Apot.  I hope you don't mind that I posted it here on my blog.  I felt that this would help people understand the situation better.

Here is the complete link:

Depression is REAL so don't be too quick to judge.  Remember, unless you have gone through it, don't pretend that you know how it is to be depressed.

To Robin Williams - THANK YOU for the movies that you made.  I especially loved Dead Poets Society and With Honors when I was growing up!  All of your movies - I think most everyone has seen.  Thank you for making us laugh and sharing with us your great great talent.  We are sorry not to have noticed you were battling something.  I wish I could have held your hand and cried with you.  Thank you Robin Williams!  Thank you!!

Livestock: A Piggy Experience

Monday, August 11, 2014

I first learned about Livestock through blogger friends.  It was perfect for us, because the location is really nearby.  At last, I have a new restaurant in my list!

Fast forwards weeks later.  My MIL (Mother In Law) was telling me of this new restaurant of that my FIL (Father In Law's) friend, Uncle Gab that recently opened.  She mentioned that it was near ABS-CBN, I immediately volunteered - Livestock?  And she said yes.  She then began to tell me that this restaurant was put up by Uncle Gab's son and that it was called Livestock because they owned a piggery, the biggest one in Bulacan.

Brilliant right?  Since they owned a piggery, what better way to showcase your product by putting up a restaurant!  I then learned just last Saturday from my MIL that Uncle Gab's son studied culinary arts (where he met his wife) and I thought it was such a perfect combination (that he and his wife put up a restaurant!) the owners can have free hand on the menu!  Also, as it turns out - Uncler Gab's family, well we see each other during Christmas because of my FIL's Tennis group Christmas Party, that I really enjoy attending because of the lechon - the lechon that they donate every year!!  Haha!! Small small tiny world!

I remember being told that Livestock's Crispy Pata is very soft and juicy, that one can use a popsicle stick to put it apart.  I knew that I had to see it for myself.  And so, here's the video:

Melts in your mouth Crispy Pata
It was really soft as you can see on the video above.  The skin was very crispy too!  My Panget liked this more than the Crackling Pork Belly - and I can see why.  The Crispy Pata was juicy and wasn't too fatty.  It was really soft despite being fried perfectly.  Connor and my nephew Mav were so enjoying nibbling on the bones!  The Yayas said too that this dish was very good!

Lechon Tom Yum
I liked this very much, my Panget would have liked it more spicy - but I thought it was great!  I wished though that it would stay warmer?  I don't know if there will be an effect if you put a tea light underneath?  (Heck, what do I know - right?)

Crackling Pork Belly
My MIL liked this dish because of the herb-y lemon grass.  The meat was very tender too and the vinegar sauce added a perfect kick to the flavor.  Once you bite into the skin - crackle crackle crackle!  It was that crispy!  And despite being aired out - it was still crispy and not chewy!

Gab's Fried Chicken
This is really GOOD fried chicken.  I mean, I love fried chicken but this one's really really good.  The seasoning is perfect AND its crispy!  Kailee and Connor ate so much!  Kailee ate 2 pieces and my MIL was so shocked!  It only meant that it was that good - because Kailee's quite picky with chicken.  I tried it too and it was very juicy.  All the Yayas liked this dish too!  It was a very simple dish that was very flavorful - plus, I like that you can order it half or whole - and it comes chopped already!  And may I say - super loved the gravy!  Hahaha..  As you know, I am a gravy person..  I was kidding with my MIL - that she can tell her friend Gab that their fried chicken at home is very good!

Adobo Bagoong Fried Rice
The bagoong was really subtle and I liked that it wasn't too salty.  I confess that since I am a gravy person, I poured the gravy on top of the rice - and it was soooo good!  Hahaha.. 

Salted Egg Fried Rice
The yellow-ness made the difference.  The flavor of the salted egg was there but it wasn't too much, it was just right and it complimented the dishes very well!

Mushroom Duxelle Fish Fillet
My MIL liked this (and the Pork Belly) the best.  The mushroom sauce took the ordinary fried fish fillet a notch higher in terms of taste.  I wish we can order more of the sauce!  Hehehe..

We knew we went a bit overboard with Pork - but since it was a Piggy kind of restaurant, what the heck right?  I think I failed to mention earlier in the post that we ordered an appetizer - and staying true to being a Piggy experience - we got an order of the 3 Kinds Chicharon.  Deadly indeed!  I apologize for the hazy shot!

The place is big if you ask me, the AC is cold, there is parking available and they serve alcoholic drinks (they're a resto bar).  Interiors are nice too - you'll know instantly that it was well thought of.  They also have an al fresco dining area and a second floor that can accommodate 80 people (it can be split into 2 rooms that can accommodate 40 people each).

So, if you're looking for a new place to eat in Quezon City- try Livestock!

Sgt. Esquerra Ave.,
(beside Packo's)


Saturday, August 09, 2014

UPDATE:  August 16, 2014

Here's the ACTUAL Memo recalling the previous Memo



There is LIGHT at the end of the tunnel for all privately owned trucks that are NOT FOR HIRE!!

Here's the LATEST tweet from the LTFRB Chairman Ginez:

Here is the official link:

So glad that I was browsing Twitter at this exact time..

So there you have it readers!! :)


To the law firm that has posted numerous advertisements to my comment section - are you going to refund those who sought you assistance?


Update:  August 11, 2014 9:12AM  (please refer to the Twitter Account of @LTFRB_Chairman)

My love for writing..

Friday, August 08, 2014

I love to write.


As you know, I have a collection of pens.  And I use them, all the time.  I scribble, I doodle, I write.  But really - I write, on paper, on scratch paper, on notebooks, on stationary.  Looking back, I was thinking - who or what made me start writing?  To be honest, I remember being in HS, and I think it was my friend Kathlyn.  She was what you call very poetic.  She kept a journal filled with poems.  I think during sophomore year in ICA, we were all encouraged to write, we were made to make a journal out of notebook that our teachers would check on weekly.  I think as a teacher - I'm sure a LOT of students didn't participate while others, well - they found their knack for writing.  I found out that I had so many things to say, but I couldn't say it out loud.  So I kept journals.  Journals that I valued and treasured.  Mind you, I bought fancy notebooks to write on - and I kept them.  Until Typhoon Ondoy struck - now goodbye to the volumes of journals I made during my teens.

I then started this blog in 2005.  As an outlet of my writing.  I think I was internalizing Doogie Howser, MD.  The PC with the first ever font, typing his thoughts and realizations.  I felt the same way to be honest - and I do still feel the same!  Hahaha..  If you were born in the 80's I'm sure you know who Doogie Howser, MD was.  So I was internalizing that TV character -  I started just blabbing away, typing away my thoughts, feelings and experiences.  I never thought that I would still be here, still writing, still blogging.  But I am.  And I am thankful.  Very thankful.

Writing has kept me sane through the years.  Whenever I as feeling down - I would just start typing and I would type as long as I can until I felt good.  Whenever I was happy, I wanted to write - I wanted to document things, when I was sad - my thoughts wanted to come out and so I typed away, reasoning with myself in words.  It was just then that I realized that words are very very important.  They helped me express so much of my feelings - good or bad.  Writing was my medium.

I was not encouraged to write, in fact - I was laughed at, at times because I was told that there was no money in writing.  But I never dreamed to having it as a career - I thought of writing as a way of expression but don't get me wrong - I admired people who made it their career.  Journalist, novelists - wow.  If I can just pick their brains!

I think people started noticing that I had 'skills' in writing when the Friendster Testimonials were the in thing.  Years after that, and years after I started blogging - I had my first ever published work - it was a narration of my experience in Hong Kong, and it was published in the Manila Bulletin.  My mom was so proud of me, that she texted all of her friends to read it!  I have kept a copy of it here in the house - as a remembrance.  I wish though, that I can find a link of that article in Manila Bulletin's archive - I am still requesting for it, but I guess it's gone.

So, why am I doing this particular post?  Simply put, I make this post now - to encourage whoever reads it - that writing is not something that's embarrassing to do.  Writing is very powerful.  Words are very powerful.  You can change the world with the use of words - Jose Rizal started a revolution with the pen, and as they say - it's mightier than the sword, and I so believe that.  Not everyone has the talent to write.  If you do, hone it, practice, learn, share and most of all, document it.  You will see how much you have matured by the way you write - by the way you use words.  I honestly was cringe-ing when I was back reading my blog posts!  Hahaha..

Remember - your thoughts matter.  You are important.  So find your inspiration and start typing/writing!

Love, Didi

What inspired me to do this post? It's reading this article by my friend's son:

Yaya Diaries: Calling their attention

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Is there a clear cut way how reprimand helpers?
(Note:  My Yayas are all okay, thank goodness!)

I've tried it all, I think.  I took time to explain to them but nothing works.  It seems nowadays that when you call their attention on something - ikaw pa yung masama.  To be honest, I have kept one eye shut - because I know they're not perfect, so I give them chances.  But when I see that nothing is improving, I make it a point to tell them.  But it always backfires.

Is it wrong to call their attention on something that they did wrong?  Because all the helpers that I've dealt with (with an exception of a few) would feel that it was the end of the world when I call them on it.  They feel like they're being accused of something they didn't do!

Take for instance - yesterday, we had no water.  So I told the helper to get use the water for washing dishes from the balde where we kept water (for emergencies - this water is replenished every 2 days to keep it fresh).  I knew that we had water in the tank - I instructed her to do that so people in the house can shower.  But she didn't understand it.  I think she didn't get the logic of why I needed her to use the tabo system for cleaning dishes, so she ignored my instruction and still used the faucet.  When I saw this, I called her attention!  It turns out, she didn't understand what I meant (feeling ko, nagets niya pero ayaw lang niya gawin).  She then turns to me and says 'Ma'am eh ubos na yung tubig sa balde' I go to the clean kitchen and see a water jug (with faucet, the blue one?) filled with water - so I pointed it to her and said 'Ano yan?' and she obliged.  With this helper, I've called her attention so very few times in the past two months.  I like her, in fact of all the helpers that I have - I think she's the smartest.  She gets instructions fast and she works efficiently.  But something has changed.

This morning - while she was moping our bedroom floor, I noticed that she was moving a certain object, mop it, put it back, move the object beside it, mop it and put it back.  I then suggested to her - why not move all the objects/items all together so you can mop it properly and put it back again?  She did it with ease, but then when it came to putting the stuff back - gosh, she forgot where to put everything and was having a hard time fitting everything in.  Sigh.  Ayoko na, suko na ako.  I then felt that something might be up, so I asked her if there was something wrong or if she had a problem - because I knew from experience that when they're 'problematic' they slack off and are semi delirious she then tells me 'Ma'am hanggang sa 23 nalang po ako, kasi po pinapauwi na po ako ng magulang ko, may magpapa-aral po sa akin' - I knew it was baloney.  But she stuck to her story, telling me that she received a text yesterday that her parents wanted her to go home to study.  And this morning, they confirmed it.  Really now?  I asked her when she would be studying - she answered me with 'Sa Summer po'  Summer?  Was she aware of what she was saying?  She insisted Summer - I asked her when Summer was and she said October.  Sigh.. I knew that Second Semester starts in November and Not October - October is for sem break right?  (or am I wrong?  Please correct me if I'm wrong)  But them I am one who doesn't force the issue.  If you don't want to work for me, then so be it.  I will not force you to work if you're unhappy with me and the workload.  So I told her it's okay.

In the car, I was talking to her aunt (she's Connor's yaya) and she told me that last night after I reprimanded her niece, her niece was all emoting and cried!  She said that I was being unreasonable and that she wanted to leave.  So I asked Yaya Belen if the reason of 'studying' was true - she said that it wasn't, based on what they talked about the night before.  If there was a studying issue - she wasn't aware that there was any.

Sigh.  So there, I am again on a look out for a helper.  I hope she stays though because she works very well  with the Yayas.  She's also smart enough to follow instructions.  Its just that after her day off - well, she was kinda - off, she seemed different.  Lutang, she was very lutang.  I think that's one of the problems - when you get to your relative's place you will be talked out of leaving your current employment, people will make you see the negative.  I guess, it's really up to the helpers to discern what the right thing to do is.

Oh well, that's life!

I spoke to her again and she really wanted to study.  I admire her for that but I hope that she sustains it.  I was asking her what course she wanted to take - and she said computer.  I wish her well.  I told her that if her studying doesn't pan out, she knows how to reach me.

Eric Kayser's Kouign Amann

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

What exactly is a Kouign-Amann and how do you correctly pronounce it?

I've searched Google and learned that Kouign-Amann is pronounced as Queen A-Mahn.  And that it is a hybrid of a palmier and a croissant.  Since I like the texture of both - I wanted to give it a try.  The first Kouign-Amann that I tried was made by Krispy Kreme and it was terrible!  I was told that the real Kouign-Amann was lightyears different from that of Krispy Kreme but I never had the chance to try any.

Until now, that is.

Yesterday, we were in Greenhills.  We had lunch at Zao which was surprisingly good!  I'll make another post for it.  And as we were walking to Milky Way - I saw that Eric Kayser was open, I was curious because my good friend Kath said that Eric Kayser's Olive Ciabatta was really good!  So I got one of those, one pastry picked by my Panget and then I saw they had the Kouign-Amann!  I immediately asked the person behind the counter if their Kouign-Amann was any good - and as expected he said that it was, so I got myself a piece.

Look at that beauty.

Gosh, it tasted even better than it looked!  The texture is oh-so perfect, the sweetness was marvelous!  I like my sweets sweet.  Even Kailee thought it was very good - she was asking how come it was all 'balat', hahaha!!  'Balat' for Kailee menat crispy.  It was the perfect combination of crispy, chewy and flaky.  I loved it!

Now, I'm a fan of Eric Kayser and Kouign Amann.

Eric Kayser
Promenade, Greenhills

Green Pastures: Original Local Organic

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

I finally FINALLY got to try Green Pastures and I super loved it, looooooooved it!

I know, I am gushing - but in all seriousness, I really really liked the meal and the service.

It's been open for a long while now, but since we were always battling the Sunday lunch crowd - well, it was always that we were the 10th in line or so.  And a few weeks ago, we finally got to try it!  To be honest, that Sunday I wasn't too keen on being able to dine in Green Pastures - I left my name and number but since my Panget deemed it was still too early for lunch, we walked to Rustan's first.  It was when we got out of Rustan's that my Panget told me that he wanted to try our luck in Green Pastures - and since there was a Mass ongoing - I told him to hurry, because in less than a few minutes the lunch crowd would be surging!  I think I was brisk walking - I was so scared to be left behind since I really wanted to try the restaurant.  We got there just in the nick of time - PERFECT actually!  So we placed our orders.  Our server Wilton has very good!  He is charming and very knowledgeable on the menu and I like that.  He was also very attentive to our needs.

So here are what we got, please forgive the photos!!

Duck YOU, Duck You fries!!  I loved this (since I am a fan of fries)  The kids loved it too!
I can eat just this!  Thus, next time - I'll order it again, in 2s! Hahaha..

The Farmhouse Salad
This is the MOST refreshing salad that I have ever came across.  The portion looked small if you ask me, but when you mix it up and start eating - it seemed neverending!  Hahaha.  Am I making sense?  It seemed like the salad was not depleting!  My Panget and I had a hard time finishing it!  I shared this to the Yayas and they loved it as well!

Roasted Organic Chicken
This was not the prettiest (of all the food that we ordered).  The taste was also so-so but I guess since it was organic, it was healthier.  Kailee and Connor ate this and they liked it.  I think it lacked a punch but then again, what do I know right?  Haha!  I think I would have preferred the fried chicken version.

80/20 Burger
To be honest, I forgot why its called 80/20 but I don't care anymore because it was soooooooooo good!  I mean really really really good!  And to think that I had only 2 bites.  2 bites!  It was because my Panget wasn't sharing with me.  He ate it all!  The cumin sauce/dip was sooo good too!  I love Cumin!  My Panget was so in love with the taste that he REFUSED to share with me!  I had to beg for those 2 bites!  Hahaha.  It's really funny because when it was served, my Panget was all wanting to be proper and didn't know how to eat the burger - he then decided to use a for and a knife and then later on just decided to eat it with his hands!  And I think that made the meal more enjoyable for him.  Made the burger dish more good!  Hahaha.. It's the mess, you see!

Carbonara Pasta

When it was served, I was thinking - WTH?  It looked so sad!  But I guess looks can be deceiving because the way I ate it made all the difference!  Hahaha.. I had to cut up the really yummy bacon and then place it on the pasta before I put it in my mouth.  Such joy and wonder this little taks makes!  Its so good!  If you're one who enjoys the meaty bacon, then you have to try this!  I loved the bacon, it's the real bacon!  Macho bacon.

So there you have it!  I had such a wonderful wonderful time.  Our server Wilton made the experience even more enjoyable.  He was always asking us if we needed anything - wonderful customer service right?  He was trained very very well.

I know this is late, but Congratulations Chef Robby Goco!  You did it once again!

Green Pastures
4/Floor East Wing 
Shangri-La Plaza Mall
Ortigas Center, Pasig City

Vikings Luxury Buffet: South East Asian Street Food !!

Monday, August 04, 2014

On all weekends of August - Vikins Luxury Buffet is treating its patrons with more food!  The theme this month is South East Asian Street Food.

Here is what they have in store for us!!

Laksa fans, REJOICE!  Imagine having unlimited Laksa!

I am a huge, HUGE fan of Indian food!  I was so happy that they offered this!
Love the rotis, papadums, and dips!  Yummeh!!

Ukkokei Ramen Ron

Saturday, August 02, 2014

I've heard about this restaurant for YEARS.  My friend, Kath is such a fan of this place and would always tell me to try it out!  I've been meaning to try it out, but the times that we've tried - the place was either closed or there were no available parking spaces.

I think Ukkokei belongs to the earliest and first ever wave of the ramen places here in Manila - because even before (I mean ages before) the ramen craze, they were already open.  I was told that this was the place to go for your authentic Japanese ramen fix - and its too bad that it was in Makati because I live on the opposite side of the city!  It was always been a dream to eat there - and it still has remained one.

But just this Monday night, since it was a holiday the next day - we decided to have dinner there to celebrate my mom's salubong (Chinese) birthday.  I was really really excited, Kath repeatedly told me to get the Tan Tan Mien.  So it was the first thing we ordered.  While waiting for our orders to arrive - I was looking at the restaurant.  It looked really simple, the interiors were just ordinary.  There were tables on one side of the restaurant and there were Japanese booth on the other.  I liked that their female staff is very attentive, they would say 'Hai!' whenever you called their attention.  I think I was testing their patience because every so often, I would call their attention to order something.  I didn't give out all the orders at once - we kept on adding and adding (much to our confusion) but mind you, all the orders were spot on.  Except for one - the Shio Ramen for Kailee that arrived really late so I gave it to the Yayas instead to share (on top of their Karaage Chicken and Rice dish)

Anyways, here is the Tan Tan Mien:

It looked really scary as I was not very fond of the tan tan kind, but I had to give it a try since Kath was raving about this and I was curious too as this dish was only available during dinner time and it was for a limited number of bowls per night.