A Letter To All Young Girls, Wild and Free

And since it is Monday, I would like to reminisce what my Mondays were like, some years back. I always considered Mondays toxic. A majority of us would. So I applied this saying together with my other friends:  work hard, party harder. So we had wine or alcohol nights every Monday. Never mind that we have to report to the office the next day. It didn’t matter. Mondays were stressful. We have worked hard. We have earned the badge to party.

Photo from www.colorfully.eu.

 

Work hard, party harder, they said. It would be fun, they said.

That motto did not apply only on Mondays. I lived it by heart. Yes, that is exactly what I did.

I worked hard. 

Earlier in my professional life, I worked around twelve hours a day at the minimum and go to the office even on weekends. That was voluntarily — that was how much I loved my job. Sometimes, I skipped lunch. Then I go home tired and what I thought was the beauty of living on my own is now backfiring.

Living on your own without your parents spelled awesome (In hindsight, not that much fun anymore). You can sleep whenever you want to. Go home anytime you want to. You can eat whatever you want and in my case, since I was too tired to even move a muscle, my dinner would consist of fast food takeouts, pancit canton, inasal or whatever express food that was convenient to prepare. On weekends that I was free, I slept the whole day. That was my body conking out and me giving in to it.

It was only imperative to give myself a pat on the back — to reward myself for all my hard work. So, I partied even harder. I was proud that I can handle my alcohol. I know for a fact that my ex-boyfriend (now husband) was also proud of that, too. Vices are sooo fun when you are young.

It never dawned on me that it would jeopardize anything. I was young. Besides, during that time, no one really told me that this could happen. I only knew about these crazy immune disorders now. And to add to that, I had friends who smoked all their life, quit when they were pregnant and went back to smoking immediately after birth. No complications. I have friends who drove their car amidst this crazy Manila traffic up to their ninth month. I had friends who worked until their water broke. I had friends who were allowed a cup of coffee a day throughout their whole pregnancy. So this really, was never a concern. Everybody seems to get pregnant easy. You just have to want it, and when you are ready, boom! – you will just bloat like a balloon.

And then, I got smacked into this whole thing. Yeah, it is true. Regrets really come last. I took care of my career, somehow assisted my family. Took care of everything except my body. When I hear about healthy lifestyle before, I scoffed. I am not unhealthy!!! There are people worse than me – people who do drugs or what-not. Hell, I don’t even get sick!

So, in retrospect, how was I extremely unhealthy?

  • Vices
  • Not enough sleep because I claimed that I was insomniac
  • Coffee
  • Fried food
  • Very little veggies and fruits
  • Very little water
  • A red carnivore (I love lamb, steaks, everything red meat)
  • Coke everyday (the softdrink!)

Yeah, I may not have consumed alcohol every day but my eating habit is really bad. My husband always told me that this will be the source of my sickness. But I always thought that if I would die, better eat everything that is good.

But I didn’t die. And now, I want a baby. And my past habits are haunting me. Oh yes, perdition indeed.

So what steps am I undertaking? I will tell you –

  • Stop all the vices. No alcohol. Not even a puff of cigarette. No nothing. Cold turkey. So this is how it feels. Not that bad actually. Given the right motivation. I thought I could never quit.
  • Lessen consumption of red meat. The husband prepares my nutrition plan. For today, he prepared chicken, salad and kimchi. Oh, this is going to be fun!
  • No more coffee and Coke. This is my greatest struggle. I replaced water with coffee and Coke. Now I have to go back to water (and juices, and herbal teas). Good luck to me! From all these, coffee withdrawal is the thing funks me up. I am so dependent on coffee. Now, I am having tension headaches. Hopefully, this will come to pass. I have been replacing coffee with tea and fruit juices.
  • Sleep. This was easy. I did not bring work home anymore. They say that you have to prep your mind for rest. The more that you do something before bedtime, the more you drive Mr. Sleep away.

So, I urge you, those who can relate and who live vicariously through these experiences, to just think a little about your future. I am not a hypocrite. I won’t tell you to stop. But if you see a baby in the years to come, then you know what to do.

Sometimes, you think you would never want a kid but all those will change when you would finally get married. When you would finally yearn for a baby. When you would want to complete your family.

In all honesty, I did not. Babies were actually the last thing on my mind. But trust me, you will want to. Unless you plan to be single for the rest of your life and you are 100% sure that you will be a eunuch, you will want to create a family – and a precious little one is part of that.

An overactive immune system caused by the toxins and acute stress that it has to constantly battle is sooo expensive to treat. Trust me, I am having that problem now so I know. The reason may not be totally  because of this (research has no conclusive results yet on why people develop autoimmunity and other immune disorders), but I believe that it is part and parcel of everything that I am undergoing (not to mention my over-compatibility with my husband’s leukocytes)!

I think that the new motto for young ambitious girls shouldn’t be work hard, party harder. It should be work hard, rest harder (a vacation, a walk in the beach, a rejuvenating massage to give you a sense of relaxation).   Doesn’t seem that exciting, but boy, you would thank yourself when the time comes.

Writer’s Note: I know that this is supposed to be a post about happiness or hope as this is my 365 days of happy. However, I just want to do this writeup because as I mentioned, everything about repro-immuno disorder is becoming my advocacy. I still consider this part of my project because in my own little way, I hope I am paying kindness forward (to all young girls out there) especially because I have received many random acts of kindness over the past months that we have discovered about our condition.  Also, this is a late post for Monday.

Our First LIT Procedure

“A lesson for all of us is that for every loss, there is victory, for every sadness, there is joy, and when you think you’ve lost everything, there is hope.” ―Geraldine Solon

People undergo many trials in life. In my case, I have considered myself so blessed. Most of the things came easy, God has been good. 

It came as an avalanche when I was diagnosed with a repro-immuno disorder. Having a problem creating a happy family never occured in my wildest dreams. I cried, tried to be happy, cried again, tried to be positive. Most of the time, my hope dangled on a string.

But during those times when I lose hope, I am pulled back, by family, by friends, by the husband… by Jesus.

After the shock of  knowing this ultimately weird condition of being “too compatible” with my husband, we finally decided to do the treatments. 

I already started on it last Friday. In the morning, they took 14 vials of blood from the husband and at around 2:30PM, injected the processed blood, which now only contains his white blood cells. 

I took this photo of my left arm before the procedure — 

My doctor started me on the first LIT (lymphocyte immunotherapy). She told me to hold the husband’s hand for support. I could have not gone through without it. I don’t know where to start describing the pain. It was excruciating. Tolerable but extremely excruciating. 

Doctor gave me six shots. Each shot was more painful than the previous one. To explain it haphazardly, it felt like blade slicing through the skin. Thinking about going through it for four times is hell. Thinking that I am doing it for my future baby eases it all.

I was required not to wash my arm for 48 hours. It looked like this when we went home —

Despite the pain, I am happy. I am happy that we are still able to find ways on how to couple our silent prayers with scientific treatment. I am happy that my immunologist is a God-centered woman who keeps on reminding us to pray. There have been times when my faith becomes so distant from me. It is by God’s grace and your prayers that I will be able to forge my faith stronger and hope for the best — the life that He has in store for me and my family.

Bacolod Foodtrip Day 5: Felicia’s

Yesterday was my last day in Bacolod. I have not posted my entry last night because the queue for cab at NAIA Terminal 3 was horrible and I was not able to open my laptop anymore. 

 

True to my promise of trying out something new during my five-day stay in Bacolod, husband and I capped our trip with some merienda at Felicia’s. We initially went to 6th Street but there were no parking. We then decided to go to Robinson’s Bacolod to pass time, a little disappointed that we were not able to try Felicia’s (I promised on my first day, coming from Mely’s Garden that I would try it there). To my surprise, there is a branch in Robinson’s Bacolod. I know, I know, my memory sucks!

 

Felicia’s at Robinson’s Bacolod can seat around 15-20 people. 

 

 

They have several products that you can take home with you, as pasalubong or what-not.


  

Similar to Calea, they have a wide variety of cakes as well. They also have macarons and some home-made crispies.

I heard from a friend that their macarons are good. I didn’t have the chance to try it though.

 

 

Husband ordered a grilled sandwich and a shake. It was a little disappointing. He found the mayo in his grilled sandwich odd. We did not take a picture anymore because it was not that photo-worthy.



On my end, I ordered a Pavlava, which is a meringue cake with custard. I found it a little too sweet for my taste (I have low tolerance for sweetness). 

 

 

 

Their coffee so far, is the cheapest, comparing it with Calea and 365 Modern Cafe — a cup is only PHP45. You can opt to add flavor syrups for PHP20. I chose Amoratto (I suppose this is Amoretto; tastes like the Amoretto Sour I order in Bugsy’s). 

 

 

Overall, I still prefer the cakes of Calea and the coffee of Museum Cafe and 365 Modern Cafe.  I think this time around, my expectations were too high that’s why I was a little bit disappointed. Or maybe, I ordered the wrong items? 


How about you, loves? Have you tried Felicia’s? What did you like? 


xx,

Corporate Junkie




Bacolod Foodtrip Day 4: Ading’s Pala Pala

It is our last night here in Bacolod and my mom decided to treat us for dinner. She initially suggested 18th St. Pala Pala but since I promised to myself that I would try a new establishment during my five-day stay here in Bacolod, she agreed to go to a new dampa style restaurant in the city, Ading’s Pala Pala. 
You can check out the new restos / cafes I posted: 365 Modern Cafe, Tyrol, Museum Cafe & Mely’s Garden
Ading’s is located at the Old Pala Pala in San Juan Street. You can visit their site and use their navigator map to provide you with the directions going to the place.
Everytime I go home to Bacolod, I always feel that there is too little time. To maximize it, my two (out of three) best friends from high school joined my family for dinner. Talk about multi-tasking, hehe.
Ading’s has an air-conditioned area as well as various function rooms.

Like most dampa style, you choose from their selection of seafood and have them cooked. Look at the size of this fish!

Name it, they probably have it.

Husband and I could never resist crabs. ALL THE TIME!

They also have other dishes such as kare-kare, kansi (which was really good) and some desserts like leche flan, pandan cakes, among others. 


That was a crazy, filling and satisfying dinner. I asked my mom how much she paid for it (hehe) and she said around PHP2,900++! Not bad for a ten-pax hefty and sumptuous dinner! Seafood feast never fails and I am glad that there are more options now in Bacolod. Service is also very good; you don’t have to wait so long for the dishes to arrive despite the number of customers. Also, the manager roams around and oversees the operation quite religiously. He also takes a picture of the diners for uploading into their website.

Interested? You can get in touch with them through the following  or visit their site for more details:

Phone: (034) 458-1594
Mobile: (+63)0918-902-8800 | (+63)0919-993-2829
E-mail: adingspalapalabacolod@gmail.com

Once again, happy eating!

xx, 
Corporate Junkie

Bacolod Foodtrip Day 4: Calea

I know, I know. Calea is not someplace new but I just have to include it (for the benefit of those who have not been to Bacolod and have never tasted this slice of heaven yet) because every trip to Bacolod deserves a stopover in Calea. 
Calea used to be a small pastry and coffee shop beside L’ Sea. Because of its popularity, it branched out initially in Robinson’s Bacolod (not sure if it is still there) and now, in its own haven at Balay Quince fronting L’ Fisher Hotel. 

There has never been a trip home that I missed a coffee session in Calea. Likewise, I have never experienced a session in Calea when the place was empty or there were no customers. It is just buzzing with people, every single time! 
They have an awesome selection of really good cakes. The most famous ones are the blueberry cheesecake and the chocolate cake.

And speaking of blueberry cheesecake (PHP85), I just had to…


… together with my second cup of coffee for the day (PHP65)– 
(Side note: I liked the variety of coffee in 365 Modern Cafe more. I also liked how the coffee was presented in Museum Cafe.)

Husband ordered a Mocha Frost (PHP95) and a Double Pastrami Sandwich (PHP150) —

This is a larrrgee, filling, tasty sandwich! It could use more meat though. (so the husband says).


All in all, Calea ALWAYS never disappoints. So whenever you set foot, don’t forget to get that sugar fix from the best cake shop in the city. 

Happy eating!

xx, 
Corporate Junkie

Bacolod Foodtrip Day 4 at Tyrol Restaurant

Bacolod is evolving more to be like Cebu and Manila. The variety of food establishments would usually determine the progress of a place. Going around in the last three days, the number of new restos and cafes overwhelmed me. There are many new restaurants serving international cuisine and this is really good news! This may mean a boost in tourism where more international tourists now frequent the place; better yet, expats are increasing which may also mean that foreign investments are pouring in.

So consistent with my promise of discovering a new resto for my vacation here in Bacolod (I am down to my last two days), one of my best friends Carla offered to eat in Tyrol. As it turned out, it served German / Austrian cuisine.

I have been to several Bavarian gatherings hosted by the German Club Manila, the most famous one is its Oktoberfest which is housed in Sofitel Philippine Plaza for several years already. Sausages, pretzels and beers flood these events while a Bavarian band, who they import straight from Germany, gives the audience a taste of authentic German music. The husband, in his younger years when the wall was still up, also stayed in Germany so he pretty much introduced me to good German food. 
 

Okay, before I continue, you have to learn this song. This is such a happy song and this plays in my head everytime  I think of anything Bavarian. Blame it on Oktoberfest!

https://youtube.googleapis.com/v/HEfwQkIoIyI&source=uds

Okay, let me proceed. Hahaha, hope that gave you some really good vibes 🙂

In my little research, Tyrol is a federal state in Western Austria – thus probably the name. The restaurant is located in 12th Lacson Extension in Mayfair Place. It is a short walk from the corner of Mayfair Plaza if you are walking. The area is a little obscure; my other friend commented that she has never noticed of the place before. When you enter the gate though, it houses an ample space for parking; the restaurant itself looks very inviting. 



The restaurant has fair amount of seating. 

Inside the restaurant, the seats are packed considering it is a Tuesday. It has an open kitchen area where you can see the chef and his staff prepare the food.
 

The attendants were really accommodating and wore a really cute Austrian costume called a dirndl. 

Some other details completed the vibe of the place — beers and the notable giant German beer mugs included. 

They also have a daily special. (Notice the Jager at the topmost of the self? Wink wink!)

Husband ordered the Hunter’s Platter which they call a Jagerplatte. It is a mixture of chicken, pork and beef steaks served in a creamy mushroom sauce (PHP255). 

He also got a Sauerkraut which he claims as his childhood favorite. Basically, it’s pickled cabbage. 


I ordered a Bratwurst (pork and veal sausage) at PHP165. You’ll never go wrong with a sausage; the salad was equally delicious! Das schmeckt gut!


My inaanak, Charly also gobbled this mashed potato so it must have tasted good as well!


Last on the plate was their coffee. It was okayyy. I was not really expecting an awesome coffee since it really is not a specialty coffee shop. Serves it purpose though — my needed caffeine kick.

My friends and husband indulging my request to eat in a new restaurant for this Bacolod stay. Oh, and that’s my inaanak, Charly.


Okay, so there goes. As I am not a professional critic, I would not comment more on what’s good and what’s bad for this resto. All I know is that I looved their food and it is a refreshing option to my previous inasal-filled vacations. 

Note: Taken from their Facebook Site: Tyrol will be open to serve you lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Sunday. Lunch table is from 11am to 2pm and dinner is available from 5pm to 10pm. Please note that we are closed on Mondays.

Happy eating! 

xx, 
Corporate Junkie

Bacolod Foodtrip Day 3 at 365 Cafe

To stay true to my promise of discovering a new restautant / coffee shop during my five-day stay here in Bacolod, me and my closest friends met up in a new place in BS Aquino Drive for merienda today.


Oddly, this cafe is endearing to me because the establishment’s name is related to my 365 Days of Happy project!

365 Cafe is near Doctor’s Hospital located at the gas station. Check out this map which I lifted from their Facebook Fan Page. 

 

It is an inviting color of green. Parking was not that much of a trouble. The guard was courteous and polite. 

I heard from a friend that this now becomes the new venue for meetings. It is actually very conducive because of the ample space and the relaxed atmosphere. Chairs are comfortable and they have several cushioned sofas as well. The arrangement is not too cramped such that the space is comfortable between tables. This is important if confidential business meetings are hosted here. 

On another note, husband noted that they should get more “silent” blenders though. 🙂

We checked out the menu and found a wide variety of teas, coffee, main entrees and even dessert! The place is a little expensive than the other local coffee shops, though but I can say that it is still worth the spend.

I ordered their bestseller coffee, the Sumiyaki Roast and their bestseller dessert, their Chocolate Cake.

Chocolate cake was awesommee!

Since the husband was a little hungry, he ordered this mixed sausage platter (PHP165, if I am not mistaken).

And since I am forever easily influenced, I realized I was hungry too and ordered their Smoked Baby Back Ribs (PHP220). Dish was good, reminded me of Pepe’s Back Ribs!

So after we ate, the brood arrived. Before, occasions like this only involved us, girls. 

 

Now, we are with the husbands! Time flies by so fast!

Pep and Carla ordered pizzas (priced at around 250). If I got it right, this first one is Piazza Blanca (Carla’s favorite).

This one is Pizza Supremo (I think, hehe).


 As I said they also have a good variety of coffee, both iced and hot.

For a quick guide, they provide this little coffee trivia —

 

I think we may have a new venue for our get-togethers now. The smile on the husband’s face says that this was another “burp-worthy” meal. We were so full when we went home, we could not even touch Mama’s dinner.

Go and try out this new coffee shop / resto. I am sure you will be able to find a favorite of your own. For me, as of the moment, it is their pizza and back ribs. Next time around, I would try one of their teas… maybe THE Vanilla Sky. 

Check these cool infographic and add up their Facebook fan page! 

So, what are you waiting for! Head out now to 365 cafe and enjoy their blends! Happy eating!

xx,
Corporate Junkie

Bacolod Foodtrip Day 2 at Museum Cafe

When my non-Bacolodian friends ask me what to do in Bacolod, food is all I have in mind. There are a lot of nature spots but it would probably take a minimum of an hour or two to reach the nicer mountain springs or beaches. If you have limited time, I suggest you just explore the local gastronomic landscape of the city as it is the best place which could offer you a good variety of restos and cafes.

As I said in my previous blog post, I am trying to catch up on some of the local restaurants (some are old, some are new). I have been out of the city for almost nine years now and unfortunately, the few times I go home do not allow me to discover all the establishments that have been sprouting in the city like mushrooms. 

So for my five-day vacation, I told myself not to eat in the same restaurants I usually go to (uhh, this means Bob’s Lacson, hehe) and go to somewhere different instead.

Today, husband and I went to Museum Cafe, located in Gatuslao Street because I wanted some cup of good coffee. This establishment was featured Best Restaurant in Bacolod by Click The City so I was about to find out what it has to offer. 

We would have wanted to dine al fresco but the rain just stopped and the seats were still damp. No choice but to dine inside.

Once you enter, you will immediately see their kitchen / prep area. Organized, and yes, it just had to be artistic!

It was a little rustic on the inside. I am not sure if they were renovating but the walls are undecorated unlike the ones I saw on other posts. The paintings leaned on the walls, on the floors. I didn’t mind though.

Some book collection at one corner. Devil is in the details, so they say.

A friendly server approached and told us that they have some weekly specials aside from the ones we see in the menu. Husband ordered ginger-lime juice and their specialty, Smoked Bacolod Pork Belly Open Sandwich. 

I ordered my dose of caffeine, Mt. Kanlaon Organic Arabica and their Grand Dessert. Coffee was served in a very stylish way with three different kinds of sugar — white, brown and muscovado. I was little disappointed with the Grand Dessert though. It was a mash of avocado, green apple, banana and mango served with whipped cream, a small slice of pie and a chocolate bon-bon (which in fairness, tasted soooo good).


You would probably spend around PHP200 for a sandwich and some beverage. For the main course, around PHP300 bucks will get you a main entree, a side dish (rice or bread) and a salad. 

In summary, it was a good dining experience especially since I was out for the coffee. The coffee did not disappoint. I will definitely go back to this place to try out their other dishes.

xx,

Corporate Junkie



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