February 27, 2014

A Brief Visit to UP Mindanao

It's already 10:30 (draft written earlier) and I've just started working! Gah! Electricity has been out daw since 3:00 AM kanina; we found out it affected the whole of Mindanao. Then, it went back at around 6:30. I thought everything's going to be okay na. Suddenly, at 8am, wala na namang electricity. Waaah.

Worse, none of the gadgets were fully charged. Both my phone and my laptop were only halfway charged, while the tablet was not charged at all. I really had no means to work, and I hope my boss understands.

Anyway, I was out yesterday afternoon to return to my Alma Mater, UP Mindanao, to get my diploma after ++ years. The reason is that UP is soooo far away! It's 2 hours away from where I live. I can't go to the nearby mall nga anytime I want, UP pa kaya?

The last time I've been there was during Teena and George's graduation back in 2011. So much has changed! I couldn't believe this was the same UP I entered back in 2006.

I don't have a photo of UP circa 2006, but it's really different from what I saw yesterday. For starters, the CHSS (College of Humanities and Social Sciences) building wasn't painted yet. The floor wasn't tiled and had only gray cement. Plus, there was a huge (and not working) fountain smack in the middle of the admin building. We also had several "abortion" roads which were a real challenge to ride on because they were unpaved. There was also no proper mode of transportation save for the habal-habal. 

However, the UP I saw yesterday resembled a private school. Of course, I haven't seen the other UP Campuses, but for me, what I saw already resembles a private school. The road leading to the Oblation Park not only was beautifully paved but also had flower beds. Bongga!
My good friend and former churchmate, Yankee, also accompanied me. I had been craving for some face-to-face human interaction for some time now, and while I do have this at home, I craved for interaction with someone my own age. Yankee's a bit younger than me, but she's way more spiritually mature. Yesterday, God spoke through her (and I hope God spoke through me, too), and I just feel so blessed. It was really nice catching up with her. It was also a very blessed meeting because we are both blessed by each other's stories, which, unexpectedly, were very similar pala. And we didn't know about it!

It was a good opportunity to use my Samsung WB150F camera for the first time. Hihi.
My company for the day. Thank you, Yanx!
And yours truly. (Seeing my photos makes me want to visit a salon ASAP!)
Two-fie? :P
Obligatory Oblation shots below. Thanks, Kuya (or Sir) Jonmarx for taking our photos!

February 26, 2014

My New Samsung Wi-Fi Camera (UPDATED)

After 48 years, my new camera has already arrived! I've been feeling bad because I needed to review some products, one of which was delivered to me more than a month ago. However, I could not properly review them because my almost 2-year old camera already died on me.

So I scoured the online market for a replacement. True, it was very scary to buy gadgets online, so I made sure to look only at big and reliable websites. I found a camera that I really loved, Samsung WB150F. The first thing that attracted me to it was its huge lens. Next, I found out it had Wi-Fi. Finally, I read the online reviews and saw that most reviews were positive. I was sold.
Photo: http://tweakers.net/

Unfortunately, the camera was out of stock! I was waitlisted for more than a week, but I patiently waited for it. I prayed so hard for that camera. Last Thursday, I found out that the camera was already available, so I immediately reserved one. However, we were only able to pay for it on Saturday afternoon, which means the camera wouldn't be shipped until Monday.

Fortunately, they employ next-day delivery. Happiness! Yesterday, Tuesday, it arrived. Behold, my Samsung WB150F:
I had my eyes on the white one, but I still dig this black version. I think it's the only color available. Check out its lens. I'm sorry; my phone is the only other available camera than can take a photo of the Samsung. The photo below shows the camera with its maximum zoom setting:
It's no telephoto zoom, but I love how it can still take crisp photos of subjects 5 meters away! Nice!

Okay, so I'm supposed to upload the photos I took during that day. However, the internet connection is soooo slow! I don't have time for this! (flips hair) Charot. Anyway, I'll be out later to go to UP to claim my diploma (after 48 years din). Gagawin na kasi daw nilang pataba sa lupa. Charot ulit. Because of that, I really couldn't wait for the photos. Hopefully, I will update this post once the photos finally get uploaded!

PS: If you want to know where I bought this camera for cheap, feel free to shoot me an email.

A few minutes before I was about to leave the house, the photos were finally done uploading. Here they are:
Awesome zoom work: The photo above is shot from my office table around 5 meters away from the subject.

February 24, 2014

Why I'm Still Breastfeeding My (Almost) 23-month old

It's funny how breastfeeding a toddler in public gets more weird stares than letting a toddler drink Coke in public.
I seriously regret not having a proper camera during this time.

This is Yuri. 23 Months old (almost), weighing a little more than 10 kilos, 86 cm long, very active, a quick learner, word-smart, affectionate, and still an avid nurser.

Breast is best, they say. I'm blessed to have a rather smooth breastfeeding journey with Yuri. Aside from the teeth-gritting pain during the first weeks and, maybe, the stress with pumping whenever I leave Yuri for a while, I never had major breastfeeding troubles. The beauty with breastfeeding is that it quickly becomes second nature, which helps a mom realize that yes, God created these boobs to nourish another (super adorable) human being.

Breastfeeding in public will always be awkward (for me) mostly because of the lifting-of-the-dress involved. Once the baby's latched, though, it becomes easy. Now, it wasn't so hard to breastfeed a newborn baby. More people are becoming aware of its benefits, so nursing a small baby often gets a "thumbs-up" from the public.
Nursing a child almost half as tall as you is different. The inspired looks turn into weird stares. The genuine questions become accusing. Suddenly, the accepting society becomes backward again.

Yuri very rarely nurses in public now, save for times of physical pain, distress, and, well, sometimes when he poops (I don't know!). Since he started walking, maybe he has only nursed in public around 7-8 times. Still, that doesn't save me from some rather funny questions.

Big boy ka na, Yuri, bakit dede ka pa rin? (Yuri is still a baby!)

Medyo payat si Yuri no. Try mo kayang mag-supplement ng formula? (FYI, 10 kilos is not underweight. In fact, it's within the normal range for his weight. It's just that other children are so chubby in comparison.)

Hindi ba sya kulang sa sustansya? (As far as I'm concerned, my milk is more nutritious than what you buy from the grocery. God designed it and personalized it for my son. He might be on the slim side but he's really sturdy.)

Stop mo na kayang magbreastfeed para kumain ng madami si Yuri. (I bet my bottom dollar that non-breastfeeding toddlers are as picky! And FYI, maganang kumain si Yuri. Picky lang and short ang attention span - just like other toddlers!)

On the other hand, I see very young toddlers (a little over a year old) being given Coke by their mothers and nobody questions their decisions. What's wrong with the world, momma?
Yuri will be 23 months old this Wednesday. Yikes! Originally, I planned to breastfeed Yuri only for the first year. However, I learned that WHO recommends breastfeeding for a minimum of 2 years. Wow! So we continued. Actually, that's the easiest thing to do because Yuri was (and is) so in love with breastfeeding.

My next "deadline" was 2 years, but Yuri exhibits no sign whatsoever of weaning. He stills enjoys it very much and is his go-to when he needs to be comforted. And that's okay with ne because I, too, have reasons:

1. It is normal and not as uncommon as we may think.

2 years seems too old an age to be breastfeeding, but in many countries around the world, the norm is 4-5 years old. This means that based on the global population, weaning before 2 is actually weird!

2. Breastfeeding beyond infancy offers immunity both to mother and child.

February 21, 2014

Help! Home Remedies for Cold Please?

Today is Friday and I'm supposed to have written a post enticing you to make wiser personal finance decisions. In my defense, I already have a draft written weeks ago, just awaiting completion.

However, I was feeling so tired last night that I just couldn't bring myself to completing it.

I wasn't even able to exercise properly, save for around 15 minutes of running. After that, my body couldn't take anymore stress.

Buntis? Charot.

You see, I've been battling what I thought was a common cold for two weeks now. It never progressed because I fought it with fruit smoothies and liters of water. I was able to get through the past two weeks smoothly (and healthily, too).

However, this week, my cold returned and was worse. I have very itchy sinuses and itchy and watery eyes and a sore throat. I'm thinking maybe this is allergic rhinitis. I've never had this before and I'm actually placing my suspicion on the mice that suddenly invaded our home.

So, yes, I've been feeling under the weather. Water and fruit smoothies didn't seem to be enough, but I don't want to take any medication.

Worse, nahawa pa si Yuri. The other day, he developed a cold, too, and just yesterday, he started coughing. I'm praying that his is only a common cold and not as bad as mine.
I want to use home remedies for Yuri, but the elders are persistent in making him take medicine, so I'm giving him little amounts of it. He has been drinking smoothies, too. What else should I do?

Here are my friends when it comes to these situations:
Boogie Wipes to wipe mucus away
Zenutrients Natural Therapy Oil for decongestion. (Last night, I placed some on his feet and covered them with socks. This morning, the socks were all over the bed. Mmmkay.)
Rice powder to avoid irritation (Cologne not included - of course)
Lotsa lotsa water and fluids

What else should I do, mommies, daddies, and non-parentals? This is not the first time Yuri's sick, but I want him to be healed in record-breaking time! (I claim it, Jesus!)

By the way, I'm also thinking of making nasal spray to flush my sinuses. But I can't do that with Yuri. He'll surely hate it and would not stay still. So again, what else do you think I should do?

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February 20, 2014

Yuri Takes Selfies

One morning, about a month ago, I checked the gallery of our tablet, and I saw this:
I literally laughed out loud when I saw the photo. Yuri just took his first selfie! My mom was looking after Yuri (I think I was taking a bath that time?) and sort of gave him the tablet to play with. My mom was fully unaware that the 21-month old Yuri opened the camera function and, well, took a photo of himself! It's quite obvious naman that the Lola wasn't paying attention, diba? Hahaha!

That wasn't the end of it. Somehow, Yuri got really amused with the idea of seeing himself on screen and freezing it into an actual photo. Thinking from a toddller's point of view, that would really be fun. If I didn't know better, I would think he just loves his face! Here are more selfies of Yuri (some of which include me):
 Mapungay na mga mata shot
 Full body "bomba" shot
 Dreamy shot
  "Show me your tongue" shot
 Happy, toothy shot!
 Shy guy says "hi" shot
 Yuri looks like a girl here, don't you think? :P
With Dinda in the background

I barely let Yuri use the tablet (only when I leave him with his Dinda or his Lola), but he's become so proficient in using it. It just proves that kids today are "born" techie! Are your kids like this, too? Do your kids take selfies, too? :-)

PS: Sorry for the quality of the shots. You know how the front-facing cameras of most tablets are! (This is an O+ tablet.)

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February 19, 2014

Love and Respect in the Family (by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs)

I have a painful childhood memory which remains fresh in my mind. I was 6 years old and awoke to the sound of my parents fighting. I huddled in bed and waited for the house to calm down. I was crying. Minutes later, my mom went inside the room and sat on an armchair. Sniffling, I snuggled up to her. She asked, "Why are you crying?"

"Because you're fighting. And you didn't even get to tell me 'good morning.'"

My mother held me away from her. I can still remember the disgust in her eyes and the contempt in her tone when she said, "You're so selfish. You're such a bad girl. All you could think of is yourself. How very selfish."

I was 6 years old with no understanding of what I did wrong. To be honest, I still believe I didn't do anything wrong. I love my mother dearly and I'm sure she does, too, but at that moment, I've never felt more unloved.

I still think that's the reason why I have trouble expressing love and affection to my family.

I needed to understand why that little moment made such a big impact on me. It eclipses the other low moments of my life, such as the times I failed to meet my parents' expectations. They're painful, yes, but somehow, I was able to manage the temporary loss of respect on me (for a while). I mean, I was able to bounce back. However, not the same could be said for the moments I felt unloved, and I wanted to know why.

Thankfully, God answered my prayer in the form of a book.

I am very blessed to have received a copy of the book, Love and Respect in the Family, written by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, who is an internationally known expert on relationships. I say "blessed" because it opened my mind to the real reason behind the rifts within our families.

To say that this book changed my life is an understatement.

The premise of this book is this: parents and men demand respect while children and women desire to be loved. While both are not mutually exclusive, most conflicts happen when these demands are not met.

When I study the conflicts I've been in, this idea makes so much sense. It's like a light bulb suddenly turned on. Now I understand! Parents get frustrated when they feel they are not respected, while children resent their parents because they feel unloved.

On the other hand, husbands commit sin when they feel their wives don't respect them, while wives get discontented when they don't feel they are being loved. It's a vicious cycle actually. The author even calls it the crazy cycle. 

Come to think of it, everything's already written in the Bible, which makes this book not only credible but also practicable:

For children to respect their parents: Exodus 20:12

For parents to love their children: Psalms 127:3-5

For wives to respect their husbands: Ephesians 5:22-24

For husbands to love their wives: Ephesians 5:25 

The author also offers a very practical guide readers can follow in order to achieve "harmony." The acronym used is GUIDES, and here are the letters' meanings:

G - Give (Not too little and not too much)
U - Understand (Putting yourself in their shoes)
I - Instruct (Not too much but just enough)
D - Discipline (Confront, Correct, Comfort)
E - Encourage (Equipping them to succeed)
S - Supplicate (Praying with confidence!)

What I really like about this book is how it values the imperfection of human relationships. In other books, we are given "tips" on how to handle a clingy child or a secretive husband. If you're looking for tips on how to change another person, well, this might not be for you. However, if you're praying to change yourself, I say that this is a great book to start with.

You see, we always pray to see change in other people. We always pray for them to be more honest, more understanding, more patient. What about ourselves? Change begins in ourselves, and we cannot really do that unless we completely depend on the Lord. This is one of the main points of the book. Human relationships, even in the most ideal families, will never be perfect. However, we can depend on a perfect God whose love is unwavering and unchanging.

Isn't that amazing?

This is life-changing for me because I learned how to treat other people. I can prevent conflict by trying to weigh whether I sound disrespectful or not. I try to avoid being unloving. Finally, I am able to assess my feelings and know when to validate my anger and when to dismiss it.

Of course, I cannot tell you everything I read. The experience is unique because you can read about the cases the writer has handled. You don't need to be a parent to read this and benefit from it. Reading this book does not only teach me how to handle Yuri but also Job, my parents, my siblings, and yes, even the household help. If you are a father, a mother, a daughter, a son, a sister, or a brother, you will benefit from reading this book. 

This just goes to show that every kind of relationship within the family takes work, and you just cannot expect to see results without intentionally treating them with love and respect.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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February 17, 2014

Scary Scary Saturday!

The other night, while I was prepping Yuri for bedtime (I think I was giving him a sponge bath), the peace and quiet was interrupted by frantic screams from upstairs.

Of course, we all wondered why Honey (Yuri's yaya) screamed. She ran downstairs and told us.
You see, above her bed in her bedroom, there's a trapdoor that leads to the "inside" of the roof. Can you imagine it? Here's a photo of said trapdoor.
Not really the stuff horror movies are made of - or so we thought.

Now, several months ago, it has been blown open by the wind. For reasons unknown, Honey left it as is. Imagine this: the space between our space and ceiling is a big and dark and damp crevice. It's like an attic: a cave-like version of it. Now imagine sleeping on a bed under an open trapdoor that leads to a virtual cave.

Up to this day, I still couldn't understand why Honey, who's also a scaredy cat like I am, didn't bother closing the trapdoor.

So let's go back to Saturday. We were peacefully doing our pre-bedtime rituals when Honey frantically screamed upstairs

Ganito kasi yun.

February 14, 2014

What I Learned from our Separation and Love Triangle

Today, let's talk about love. I'm not going to talk about boring finances. Let's talk about what I learned from the 2 months separation I've had with Job and the love triangle that formed within our relationship.

I know, I know. So anti-climactic and anti-romantic, right? Well, help me pray that on the next Valentine's Day, I'll be talking about something mushy and lovey dovey. We all want that, right?

But for now, I have accepted my season of waiting and planting. I have come to appreciate it, actually. Although the sting of "separation" is there, I am able to go through this phase with the grace of God. So let's talk about the separation first.

Last December, weeks before Christmas, Job and I have come to the decision to stop communicating. That was God's command. Now, it's a long story and I don't want to delve into the details, but you can read this blog post if you're interested.

It's been 2 months, and there are still days when I don't think I can get through the day without feeling the urgent need to talk to Job. It's a good thing we schedule weekly talks where we talk like crazy (I, mostly), but waiting until Sunday is hard. Then I realized this command is actually an exercise of faith. Much like physical workouts, this phase we are now in stretches our faith muscles. We grow in faith through struggles like this.

I learned and am learning a lot of things, and, being the sharer that I am, I'm going to share them with you (along with the prayer that God blesses you, too):

1. I need to cling onto God.

Last December and January, a couple of storms passed through Mindanao. They made landfalls during the days when Job and I didn't allow ourselves to talk to each other. And given the damage Yolanda had just brought to the country, not being able to know how the other was doing was driving us crazy!

In my case, all I heard were reports about damages in some parts of Surigao. Ironically (quite funnily, too), all Job heard on his side were news about Davao. The funny thing was both of our places were spared, so we were worrying about nothing.

But of course we didn't know that. All I did was worry and later on prayed. I prayed really hard that Job and his family would be safe and dry. It wasn't until Sunday when Job made me realize that we were helplessly clinging on to God. God placed us in a situation where we really could not do anything, and our only option was to cling onto him. And guess what? That's what God loves His children to do!

2. I need to exercise patience.

Patience is a virtue I practice, but I realized I needed to practice it more. On the other hand, while Job struggles with discipline - he sometimes finds himself struggling against not messaging me outside our designated day - I don't find this a problem. However, I struggle with waiting and, more importantly, waiting with a good attitude. 2 months later and I'm still counting the days before Sunday! Not that bad but I really need to be more patient.

3. I need to make the most out of limited time.

I have written in some old posts that my most often committed sin would be my short sweet temper. Unfortunately, Job had found himself on its receiving end many times. Now, though, because we only get to talk to each other one day a week, I find myself setting my pride aside to avoid anger.

There are still times when I get annoyed or provoked by something Job said (unintentionally usually!), but knowing the limited time we have, by God's grace, I am able to put my own emotions to the backburner.
And you know what? This applies not just to our own situation but also to life in general. If we always keep in mind the truth that our time is limited, perhaps we could be spending more time loving than getting frustrated!

4. I need to value myself.

Like most moms, I often forget myself because I put others' needs before mine. This is not the statement of a martyr. It's the statement of an ordinary mom as I know most moms are like this.

Thankfully, God made me realize that I should love myself, too. God is the source of love, and if I have a personal relationship with Him, I need to absorb as much love as I can.

Don't get me wrong; Job fulfills my need for romantic love. However, I cannot depend on another person to complete me. It's God's job, and my job is to make sure I am able to fill myself with love so that I can also fill others' tanks with it.

I'm starting with the easy tasks. Reading actual books, eating healthy foods, exercising. And I love it. Who knows? Maybe I can actually visit a salon soon! Hee hee

5. I need to be value my other relationships.

This is a realization I have had even before we reached The Decision. I'm pretty sure God is making me wait now because I've been such a cr@ppy daughter, sister, and friend during the first year of my relationship with Job.

I know Job didn't have anything to do with it, but somehow, I was under the impression that I could treat anyone the way I wanted to because I was so secure in his company. And I really did treat everyone cr@ppily! I was barely home, ignoring calls from churchmates, breaking friendships with college classmates. The works.

Now I'm slowly building up what I alone have torn down, and Job has been awfully supportive. I call this my "reconciliation year" because i'm working on reconciling broken relationships.

6. Trust is an aspect God controls.

Many ask me, especially those who don't know Job and don't know me very much, how we could last in a long-distance barely-there-communication relationship. Simple: I don't know.

All I know is that there is a faithful God that sustains us. Honestly, there never was a time when I doubted Job's fidelity, and he tells me he never did, too. Although there are some pangs of insecurity, all we do is, again, cling onto God.

You see, you could never control a person. Even if you see each other everday, if a person wants to cheat, s/he will. This is an aspect that only God can control. Because we leave this to God, we don't have trust issues.

I can say that I trust Job because I know in my heart that he fears and loves the Lord. I don't want to sound conceited, but many women have tried to, you know. But I was never bothered not because I was confident of myself. Not because I was confident of his love. But because I am confident of his love for God.

I know and he knows he's accountable to the Lord. He often tells me that nothing could keep him from cheating, but he doesn't because he doesn't want to hurt God.

Yes, folks. He says he doesn't want to hurt God, not me. I guess this is the secret? Find a man with integrity and with a genuine fear of sinning. Find a partner who loves God before you.

He can say the same for me, too. He once told me that he has full confidence in me and had never doubted me even once. I can do whatever I want with the money he sends me! But I don't. To tell you the truth, I don't even touch it. This is not because I'm good but because Jesus is good, and I want to imitate him.

7. A love triangle needs to be formed - with Jesus in the center.

It used to be just Job and me - period. Like what I mentioned above, I shunned all the other people around me. Well, aside from that, I also shunned God. In reality, He should not just be included in a relationship: He should be right smack in the middle of it.

It's easy to say but difficult to follow. What does placing Jesus in the center of a relationship really mean?

It means making Jesus the first and true love of our lives.

It means taking a step only when Jesus says "yes."

It means not taking a step when Jesus says "no."

It means clinging onto faith in something that is not seen (I'm pertaining to not only God himself but also our future).

It's denying ourselves of our selfish tendencies.

It's taking up our crosses - and our partners' crosses, too.

It is building our partners up even when we're down and broken.

It's understanding our partners even if they don't understand us.

It's respecting them when they're not respectable.

It's loving them when they're least lovable.

Why? Because that's how Jesus loves us. And when He's in the center of the relationship, we are supposed to love one another with the love of Jesus Christ.

It's hard. But the good news is that when Jesus is in the center of the relationship, He sustains us. Even if the love of our partners is undependable and imperfect, we always have Jesus' perfect and unfailing love.

Our situation is hard. I'm not claiming that I have the most difficult life because I don't, but this is one of the hardest things I ever had to do. It's not easy. It's an everyday battle, a battle that requires me to have a strong and steady front even when my heart is crumbling. It's a battle I (we) silently fight.

But I know that with God's grace, everything is gonna be okay.

That's it. Happy Valentine's Day. :-)

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February 13, 2014

Cloth Diapering Updates

We only got into the cloth-diapering bandwagon recently when Yuri was already 20 months old. Now, I realize that I should have cloth-diapered him a lot earlier! It's one of my mothering regrets actually.

It has been almost 2 months since I first used a cloth diaper, and I still love it. Here are the reasons:

1. Cuteness

Must I begin with something as superficial as cuteness? Yes, I must. You see, one thing I despise about disposables is their limited designs. Also, they tend to look really bad when Yuri has worn them long enough. Sometimes, he wears one, and in less than one hour, laylay na. Why?! On the other hand, this is never the problem with CDs. They still fit well no matter how long you wear them (not too long naman), and there are so many cute designs to choose from!
These inserts take forever to dry! But they do well in keeping Yuri's bum dry.

2. Dryness

At first, I thought I would be changing Yuri from hour to hour. Well, that was not the case. I didn't even have to change him every two hours. In fact, I only have to change him twice a day!

Here's our setup: Bath in the morning, wear CDs at around 8am, change it at 12nn, and change it again at 5pm. I use two inserts (microfiber and bamboo), and I've never experienced leaks.

*This setup might not be applicable to your baby. Yuri is already a 22 month old potty training-ready toddler who does not anymore urinate like an old man. He already has more control of his bladder, so he pees twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon.
3. Ease of Use

One thing that prevented me from buying cloth diapers when Yuri was (a lot) younger was intimidation. I was afraid they would be hard to use. When I got to try one for the first time, I realized it wasn't so hard at all! In fact, what you only need to do is insert the inserts and wear it on the baby like you would with a disposable. Easy peasy!

Another thing that held me back from buying CDs before was the pain of laundering. Now, here's what I need to tell you: I work at home full-time and I wash Yuri's cloth diapers. Why? Because they're actually easy to wash!

After almost 2 months of using CDs, I have delegated the task of washing the unsoiled nappies to the yaya. Meanwhile, since I'm the one washing Yuri's pwet when he goes poopoo (which is, well, 2-3 times a day), I also wash the soiled nappies,too. I do grumble sometimes, though, when it's time for me to work but I still have to wash a diaper, but in reality, it only takes less than 15 minutes to do so. And it's not hard, promise!
A day's worth of diaper laundry

4. Economically-wise

February 11, 2014

Super Yummy Lunch at Manang's Chicken

Let me just begin this post by saying this: I don't regret cheating last Sunday!
(Of course, I am referring to cheating over my Balik Alindog Program.)

So a few months ago, I wrote about the lunch I've had with the owners of Manang's Chicken and some members of the press. I was really the odd one out, but truthfully, I didn't mind because I was so curious about this new restaurant. (Of course, eating at Don Beppe didn't hurt either!)

You folks from Manila might have known Manang's Chicken and even became patrons. For us in Davao, though, it is a new name. A promising new name for us who love hearty homemade meals!

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend its opening last November due to time conflict. Also, because I live quite far from Gaisano Mall (where the branch is, near The Peak!), I wasn't able to go during the following days and, well, weeks. Fortunately, they were kind enough to still extend the invitation. If they only knew how much I was looking forward to try their famous chicken!

Last Sunday proved to be a wonderful opportunity. We finally ventured out to Gaisano Mall and Manang's Chicken was our immediate destination. Let me tell you this: I regret not going earlier! I mean, I can still taste that chicken while I'm typing, which is a bad idea since I just finished working out. Ayayay.
Another thing I regret is not visiting Manang's when my camera was still working. Oh well, we got to work with what we have. So sorry for the low-res cellphone photos in this post - good thing the food was photogenic on its own!

Here are some photos we took last Sunday:
Friendly cashiers greet you at the counter. I think I took 5 minutes to finalize my order, and they didn't mind at all.

I finally decided to buy the bucket meal since I figured it would be cheaper than buying individual chicken meals. My sister was beside me and was telling me, "Anything, ate, basta chicken." Well, we're in the right place, aren't we?
You can read more of Manang's Chicken's story here.
Before the food came to our table, I was imagining how their famous chicken would taste. Would it be like a copy of Bonchon? We'll see.
After a short while, these potato chips arrived. We all love them! They were very crispy and quite thick at the same time. My choices of dip were Garlic Mayo and Cheese, and they were also great. The best part was the potatoes were not too salty. Yay!
Finally, the bucket of chicken arrived as well as my two choices of side dishes (macaroni and corn). I tasted the side dishes first before Yuri inevitably takes possession of them. They were yummy, too! I especially like how the macaroni salad tastes like the one my mom makes which is not sweet at all.
I don't have a photo of the macaroni salad because a certain little boy, who shall remain unnamed, claimed it as his own.

And, finally, the chicken! It was delicious. Scrumdiddlyumptious. I swear everything was perfect. It does remind one of Chicken Bonchon, but the similarity ends at the appearance. I actually like this one better because it is more savory. Maybe it's the sesame seeds or the right amount of sauce? I'm no cook so I can't tell what exactly it is that makes their chicken so delish. What I know is that I wanted to eat the entire chicken until its very last morsel! #pataytayodyan
I'll tell you a secret: My dad was so in love with the sauce that he placed his rice inside the bucket and mixed it with all the remaining sauce. He almost made a hole with all that scraping. Ssshhh!


Location: Quite far from home, but Davaoenos living near downtown will find the location convenient. Plus, even if you live far like me, trust me, the food's worth the trip.

Service: Absolutely no complaints at all! Everyone was friendly and very attentive. One of the staff played with Yuri when he was getting a bit malikot hehe.
Food: Oh my gosh, can I say yummy? Really really tasty food here. I can say that choice ingredients went into my food, which reminds me of my mom's cooking!

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