Thursday, July 9, 2015

from a long hiatus...promdi Mom returns!

When I look at my blog, I am brought back to times in Butuan and the simple provincial life...uncomplicated, serene, and quiet.  The lull from my last post (which was back in 2011) echoes years of silence.  A lot has happened since our move back to Cebu in 2011. In hindsight, I think I neglected the blog because deep inside I was guilty of abdicating my title of being a SAHM. Moving from a rural area to an urban one required a lot of adjustment and a big chunk of that pertained to financial needs. The higher cost of living dictated that I, too, had to carry the load in supporting our family.  And so this is the simple explanation to why you'll see a gap in blog entries. In the last four years I tried my best to get back on the saddle, so to speak, and find my own place under the sun. 

It was a challenging and demanding four years, half of which was spent in an entirely new environment with a crazy work schedule. Yes, promdi Mom tried it out in the BPO industry...and I'll happily strangle anyone who would say that work in the call center industry is a no-brainer and anyone can do it. It's very hard work which requires so much dedication and patience. I hobnobbed with people almost half my age that gave birth to most of them calling me "Mommy" at work. From that experience, I learned so much about myself, about what else I could do and how else I could contribute despite my being out of work for more than a decade. Despite the age gap, I never experienced being treated differently, in fact, it was the total opposite of what I expected. I was valued and cared for by BPO workmates and bosses. I forged many good friendships here which I will forever cherish.

When the after effects of a graveyard schedule finally got to me physically and at the home front, I had no recourse but to look for a normal day job. The search led me to get reacquainted with an affiliate of the company I used to work for many years ago. I got into working with the foundation right smack at the tailwind of the strongest typhoon to ever hit our country.  Social work was a totally new field of experience for me and there were lots to learn and being with a new group of colleagues and friends was something to look forward to. I was well into the routine of work when God threw me a curve ball...

Being asked to serve in our Christian community stopped me in my was so easy to say no knowing how demanding and busy my work was but something in me couldn't stay still with saying no and letting it go. It took the long Christmas holiday of 2014 for me take account of what was important and what that call of God meant. In the years that I got back into full time work, I inadvertently got into autopilot mode and thus dictated my relationship with my husband and kids...I became wife and Mom on auto mode. Deep inside I was yearning for that time I had in Butuan when being full time wife and Mom gave me so much fulfillment. And our God, being such a perfect planner, had it all mapped out for me, I just had to say "yes" to Him.

And so promdi Mom is baaaacccckkk!!! I am again nestled in the world where I feel I am my best self, doing the things I find most value in - being wife and Mom. Oh sure, the chaos of the daily rush to have the kids' school stuff and food ready on time will always be there and will drive me crazy but seeing my treasures' beaming smiles whenever I bring their hot lunch to school tell me that I made the right choice. Having time for my hubby and each of my three children without worrying that I have a report or presentation to make gives me a glorious high - it is a luxury that not many wives and mothers have so I feel blessed to have been given this opportunity.

It is not without worries because there will always be challenges when one makes choices but this verse from Matthew 6:32-33 strengthens my faith and gives me hope:

"Your Father in heaven knows that you need all these things. Instead, be concerned with the Kingdom of God and with what He requires of you, and He will provide you with all these other things."

Friday, March 16, 2012

Day 76: A New Decade of Twogetherness

2012 marks a milestone in our marriage. This year, we are entering our 2nd decade of being together as husband and wife.  Back in 2001, 10 years seemed such a long time and looking back, that first decade went by so quickly. It marked so many firsts for us and we experienced many challenges and trials during that time. 

As our family grew, so did we, as a couple. There were a lot of issues that we had to settle as well as storms to weather. In every challenge, we took with us precious wisdom and learning.

In reaching our 11th year, the challenge that we are faced now is fortifying our relationship to ensure that we provide a good and loving example to our children as they grow up. Another facet of change would be working as a couple to inspire others to value their relationship and continue to work on being committed to each other.

For my dear hubby...may this simple gift express all of the love and gratitude I have for you for all of the love you've showered upon me and our children. No amount of words can suffice to thank you for all of the sacrifices you've made for me and our family. 

Happy 11th Anniversary Ga! I'm excited to spend the next decade and many more decades to come with you...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day 163: Corned Burger Surprise

Leafing through the pages of a six-year old "Smart Parenting" magazine yielded a great result for my "pambaon" blues with the kids.  It was a Back-to-School and Father's Day issue and one of the features was a set of easy-to-follow recipes for children's snack or lunch in school. 

For a budget-conscious Mom like me, this is a perfect treat to make as it veers away from the more expensive ground beef since it makes use of corned beef instead and has shredded potatoes as extender. 


Patty Mixture:
500 grams corned beef (I used the "por kilo" kind instead of canned)
600 grams potatoes (peeled, shredded and drained of excess liquid)
5 tbsp. onions, minced
5 tbsp. flour
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. sugar
1-2 eggs (try one egg first as it might get too wet/soggy if too much egg is used)
cream cheese or ordinary processed cheese, sliced

for Sandwich assembly:
1-2 tbsp. canola oil for frying
burger buns
mayonnaise or your choice of dressing

Mix together all patty ingredients until well incorporated. If mixture turns out too soggy, drain excess liquid on strainer before forming into patties.

Get a spoonful of mixture on the palm of your hand. Place a small piece of cheese in the center then add another spoonful of the mixture to hide the cheese and form into a patty.

Fry patties in hot oil. Drain on paper towels. Assemble on buns and serve.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Day 157: New Kids on the Block

New school...

School year 2011-2012 has brought in some firsts and some new things...after spending the first three years of school life in Butuan Faith Christian School, Jarred is now facing the challenge of being the new kid on the block. Entering the Grade II level at his Dad's elementary alma mater - St. Francis of Assisi School, he may have some bumps here and there before he gets the hang of things in this new school. Joining him is newbie student, Caitlin, who's beginning formal school for the first time as a Kinder pupil at the same school.

God has directed our path ever since we knew about our inevitable move to Cebu. The school is strategically located as it is less than 2 km away from home and is also on the way to their Lola's place of work. They may be newbies but I know they can manage and will enjoy their time at SFAS.

Many thanks to Tito Ninong Alfred and Tita Ninang Phebz for making the nearly impossible possible .

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 144: Local Razor Clams / "Tudlo Dato" (Rich Man's Fingers)

I was doing the rounds of the Banawa market this morning when I spotted a tray full of local razor clams ("Tudlo Dato" in Visayan lingo). At P100/kilo, I thought it was already a steal. And so with a kilo of these fresh live shellfish at hand, I started to salivate about what's for lunch today.

Just a simple stir fry of these babies turned out to be a sweet and succulent dish that's both hearty and exotic.

Razor Clam Stir Fry

1 kg razor clams / "tudlo dato", rinsed well
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 medium onion, sliced
2 pcs. thumb-sized ginger, sliced
5-6 pcs. medium-sized tomatoes, sliced in wedges
2 tbsp. canola oil 
salt and pepper to taste

In a stir fry pan, heat up some oil and fry the aromatics. Once the onions turn translucent, stir in the clams. Season with salt and pepper. Adjust heat to medium and cover the pan. Turn off the heat after 10 minutes. Serve piping hot with rice.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Day 128: Being a Mother

Right after my class last night, my son asked to use the computer. I thought he was just going to play his fave computer game or what.

After about half an hour I saw this photo posted on my Facebook had the caption "Happy Mother's Day to my best Mom ever - (tagging my name)" It was a post from my son, Jarred.

This is why I love being a Mom...why I'll do it over and over again despite the challenges, sacrifices and hardships...because little things like this make everything else so worth it.

It was truly a wonderful Mother's Day for me. 

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all mothers, mommies, mamas, nanays and inays!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Day 115: I'm Two Today!!!

Time really flies so fast...wasn't it only yesterday when our cutie-pie CeeJae made her grand entrance into the world? Well, it's already two years since then and she's grown into a very witty and a parrot-like chatterbox. When you hear her talking you wouldn't believe that she's only two...she talks wise beyond her years.

A week before her special day, whenever Mama Lola would ask her what she'd like for her birthday, she'd reply with a list of specific requests - chocolate cake, spaghetti, balloon and ice cream. 

And so with the support of her Ninongs (godfathers) JunJun and Jeffrey, Mama Lola Alice, Papa Lolo Fred, she got her wishes today. With family around her, she blew the number 2 candle on her Orange Brutus Chocolate Monster cake and had a feast of Spaghetti, Roast Chicken Rosemary and Baked Pork Liempo.

It was a simple celebration and yet to her it meant the world.

Thank you so much Lord for all the blessings you've bestowed upon our little angel throughout the past year. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Day 114:"Dirt Bike" Fun

Eyes widened in awe and excitement when my two older kids saw a bunch of other children going around a makeshift track using battery-operated kiddie dirt bikes. Back in Butuan, they usually spent whole-day weekend playdates at Jarred's best buddy Francis' home to experience such a ride. 

Well, it's a lot different here in the city...first, the ride doesn't come free - it's P35 per child and second, it's not ride-all-you-can - your money can only get you as far as 5 minutes on the bike. 

Since it was their first time and it wasn't something they would be allowed to do frequently, I thought it wouldn't hurt to let them experience it even just for once. Those precious five minutes seemed to last a lifetime as I watched them do the rounds on the track. The joy and the thrill that was evident on their faces was worth more than the seventy pesos paid for the ride.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day 113: A Birthday Prelude

Our bunsoy will be turning two years old in a couple of days. Since this is her first time to celebrate in Cebu, the family thought of giving her an advanced "day out" treat at SM Cebu.

We entered through the Northwing entrance and it was clear that little CeeJae was overwhelmed by the sheer size of the mall. Her eyes widened and she seemed a bit afraid to explore. When asked, "Do you like it here?" she moved her head side to side in negation while she would nod in the affirmative when asked, "Do you want to go to Gaisano-Butuan?" Hay, my little promdi-girl!!!

We thought she'd be interested in the SM Storyland Train ride but she got kind of scared when it passed by. What caught her attention were the little tikes cars for rent going around the mall. 

She got very excited getting into the driver seat of her very own "pick-up truck". Atchie Caitlin had to content herself at the backseat while Kuya Jarred was tasked to push them around the mall.

A couple of hours making rounds in the mall capped with a simple snack at McDonald's made her day. When we passed by the entryway of Northwing, she suddenly pointed to it and said, "Go home, Mom...tired, miss Lola". When asked if she enjoyed her day, she gave a resounding, "Yes!!!"

It was just a simple day out with the whole family and yet through the eyes of a toddler, it was a magical and amazing day. This is one of the reasons why I love promdi life and exposing my kids to it. A trip to SM is already something very special when it's just an ordinary thing to most city-bred children.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 111: Reflecting on God's Amazing Love

Today is Maundy Thursday and it's an opportune time to ponder on God's immense love for us. He sent His only son Jesus Christ to redeem us from sin. From the very beginning, Jesus knew that He was going to give up His life for us - for our redemption.

God has given us the chance to spend eternal life with Him. The only thing He's asking from us is repentance and belief in His word.

We only need to think about Jesus' passion and pain to realize how much God loves us.

May the spirit of the Lenten Season fill our lives with the true meaning of love and sacrifice.

Have a blessed Holy Week!