Monday, February 20, 2017

Jollibee in Edmonton (Waaah!)

Six months before I migrated to Canada, I wrote this "wish" in my previous (private) blog:



I can still remember Ford laughing that time, "Haha, asa ka pa!"

Pero grabe, in four years nagkatotoo ang wish ko! Imagine, sa may tapat pa ng West Edmonton Mall siya tinatayo (na super lapit sa bahay namin) at magbubukas this 2017.

Yun nga lang, wala na kami sa Edmonton. Asar-talo tuloy ako!

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I have reasons to be bitter, I swear. When we were contemplating to move in BC, Jollibee in Seattle was put into consideration. As in seriously. Isa siya sa mga pros. Naisip namin na 3 hours lang na cross border, makakapag-Jollibee na kami. Hindi na kami made-deprive kasi pwede na nga kaming magdrive lang para makapag-chickenjoy. Iniinggit ko pa ang mga kaibigan ko, at tinatakam.

Who would have thought na kung nag-stay lang sana kami sa Edmonton, less than 10 minutes away na lang ang Jollibee! Ang saklap talaga!

As of now, wala pang balita kung kelan magkakaroon ng Jollibee sa Vancouver area. Mukhang matatagalan pa kung magkakaroon man. Kasi nga raw aside sa mataas ang business costs dun, meron naman sa Seattle kahit papano. Saka although maraming Pinoys sa BC, mas marami pa rin ang chekwa kaloka!

Pic taken from the net (credits to the owner)

Fine, sige I'll be happy na lang for my friends in Edmonton. At least sasaya ang buhay nila doon.

And for me, eto na lang uli:

             WISH: Jollibee in Surrey / Metro Vancouver

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NOTE: The first Jollibee in Canada opened in Winnipeg last December 2016.


 

No girl, thank you.

I posted these pictures in Facebook a few days ago. Nakatuwaan lang namin ng pinsan ko na gawing girl si Nathan (using apps lang naman).



I was surprised with the comments that I got. Most of them "suggested / advised" that I "make" a girl na since gusto ko ng anak na babae.

I know that those people meant well. Common comment / reaction lang naman yun. But still, I was a bit pissed. Everytime I hear people telling me na mag-anak na uli, naiinis ako. Lalo na pag sinasabing gumawa ng babae. Haler, napipili ba ang gender ng anak?

I would have to admit na kung madali lang sana, mas ok nga din siguro na may kapatid si Nathan. Pero hindi na nga kasi feasible yan sa family situation namin.

I am really tired of explaining to all why I have no plans of conceiving again:

  • Iam already 37 1/2 years old right now. Ayaw ko ng magbuntis kasi high risk na talaga.
  • I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with Nathan. Alam kong mas malala kapag nagbuntis uli ako.
  • It's only me and Ford in Canada. We have no one to help us with Nathan kapag nanganak na ako. Kahit nga habang buntis pa lang (I couldn't imagine taking care of a toddler lalo na sa first at last trimester ng pregnancy).
  • Nathan was born via C-Section. Ayaw ko ng magpa-hiwa uli. Sobrang tagal ng recovery.
  • I am done with taking care of a baby. Ayaw ko na uli ng sleepless nights, etc. 
  • I want to upgrade my credentials to be able to find a good job in Canada. The sooner, the better. I am not exactly young. I want to work asap.
  • I am already exhausted in raising one child. I am not physically strong. An additional child will put so much toil on my body.

Some friends jokingly call me "selfish." Ayaw ko raw bigyan ng kapatid si Nathan (by the way, Ford wants one more child). Pero I need to preserve my sanity for Nathan din eh. Aanhin niya ang kapatid kung "baliw" naman ang nanay niya?

And for the record, I NEVER WANTED TO HAVE A BABY GIRL. #sorrynotsosorry

When I first learned that I was pregnant, I secretly hoped for a boy (although for sure magbabago din naman ang stand ko kung naging babae ang anak ko). "Boys are easy," sabi nga ng mga Canadians na nakakuwentuhan ko. Low maintenance. Saka Mama's boys.

I don't know how to care of  baby girls. Hindi ako marunong mag-ipit o magtali ng buhok. Ayaw ko din mag-effort masyado kasi girl nga (aka fragile). Saka seriously, ayaw ko ng competition sa pamilya haha. Akin lang ang Louis Vuitton! Gusto ko ako lang ang girl, ako ang center. Siguro kasi nasanay ako na only daughter din. Oo na, selfish nga talaga ako.

In my more than 2 years of being a mother to a boy, napatunayan ko na less effort nga ang kailangan in taking care of them. Hindi kailangang masyadong makinis, hindi masyadong pabebe ang approach. Tamang harutan lang, lol. Plus happy na talaga ako na may magdadala na ng apelido ng asawa ko (so cliche!). Tama na yun.

So there, no more baby girl Blanco. I hope I made myself clear. Nathan is destined to be an only  child. Period. And he won't be kawawa. Ang daming only child sa mundo noh.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

#CessieEats 2

My recent addiction -- saba con yelo! Only Php40 at Kap's Tapsi. Masarap siya talaga in fairness, marami pang saging.


Nakiki-uso syempre. 


A heart-shaped donut at Vikings. Mister Donut brand. Masarap siya pero makunat ung rice crispies.


Another recent addiction -- Penoy! I would always go out at night to buy some. Mas masarap yung me sabaw. Eleven pesos lang ang isa.


This is probably my favorite instant noodle in this world. I am glad they came up with a better cup.


Tita Che sent a box of Lindt chocolates to Nathan last December. Naisipan kong buksan na at tikman. Hindi talaga ako fan ng sossy chocolates, mas gusto ko pa ang Nips at BigBang. Buti na lang may taga-ubos ako dito. Nope, hindi si TanTan. Yung sekretarya ni Mamoosh hehe.

*Sorry Tan, bawal sa iyo yan.


I have high cholesterol but I couldn't resist this. Nabibili lang dito sa tabi-tabi. Ang sarap, promise!


I love love love this moist choco slice from Red Ribbon. Perfect ito pag nagke-crave ako ng chocolate cake. Php21.00 lang, no need to buy a whole cake (na ginagawa ko dati pero kapiranggot lang ang kinakain ko).


Ahh, tahong! Hindi man lang nakatikim nito si Ford sa huling dalawang uwi niya dito sa Pinas. Palagi kasing walang tinda. Malas. 


I love the food at Reyes Barbeque. Lalo na yung java rice nila. Medyo pricey nga lang for a typical Pinoy.


As I have mentioned on my IG account: "I am into fancy purses, not fancy food." 

Masaya na talaga ako sa tapsilog lang. 


Valentine's Day 2017 (in Pinas)

Because we are still in LDR now, we just "celebrated" Valentine's Day via Facetime (where else?).


It was our 14th hearts day together. Lipas na ang sweetness haha. No more flowers, pang-shopping na lang daw lol! Sa stage ng life namin ngayon, practicality prevails. To be honest, wala na ring dating sa akin ang Valentine's Day eh. Busy kasi ako kay TanTan. But I am hoping that someday, maging meaningful and ROMANTIC uli sa akin ang araw na ito.


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Since my original Valentino is far far away, kami na lang ng favorite son ko ang nag-date sa SM Marilao.


Starbucks' mocha frappucino truly lifted our spirits haha!


I was glad na lumabas kami. Ang saya-saya ng mood, sa labas man o sa loob ng mall. Very festive. I am happy for those young lovers na sobrang kinikilig sa araw na ito. Nakakamiss ang ganung feeling ha. Yung mga estudyanteng boys, nagfa-flock sa bilihan ng chocolates. Halatang low budget pero keri lang. Kailangang mairaos ang Valentine's eh.


A few days before Valentine's Day, we saw this big stuffed toy at the Department Store. If I remember correctly, it only costs Php800. Haha, I could buy it anytime now. Ford could buy dozens if he wants to. Pero parang wala ng sense. Masarap makatanggap nito 15-20 years ago kasi talagang super effort sa pagtitipid ang kailangan.


But come to think of it, baka nga kelangang ibalik ang "kilig." Ang idea na kasi ng asawa ko ng kilig ay gastos eh.


Ganun na ba talaga kalaki ang pinagbago ko? Kilig = designer bag? Mukhang kelangan munang magdowngrade. May anak na nga kasi at maraming bills na kelangang bayaran. Hindi na pwede ang masyadong luho. Sasabihin ko sa asawa ko na ok na ang isang stuffed toy next time.

Ok, tama na ang segue. Back to our date.

My Nathan, as always, was so happy to be at SM again. I really enjoyed hanging out with him. May representative na si Ford. "Ibinilin daw kasi ako ng daddy niya sa kanya" (as per Jollibee ads "Date") haha!


After two hours at the mall, umuwi na kami to our another love -- Mamoosh! Pero syempre me pasalubong kami na dinner to celebrate the day.


My Nanay will always be my first love. I am grateful for all the times that we spend together.


Happy Valentine's Day to us!


Friday, February 17, 2017

Medical Services Plan of British Columbia

We moved to Surrey, British Columbia last October 2, 2016. Unlike in Alberta where you are covered the moment you moved there, we had to wait for 3 months to be eligible for BC's health care.

Just a few weeks ago, my husband informed me that we are already "covered." (By the way, I had to write to Health BC to explain why my son and I will be 'away' from BC for five and a half months). I was grateful but 'disappointed' at the same time.

Why, we have to pay $150 per month as premium for our Medical Services Plan!


Waaah! Another reason why I want to go back to Edmonton.

Bigla talaga kasi akong nanghina. I mean, on top of additional 7% provincial tax on goods, eto at me additional monthly bill kami. We are now paying the maximum premium (for those with above $42,000 net income) of $75 per adult (hence, $150). We don't have to pay for Nathan as there are no premiums for children under the age of 19.

Ford argues na meron din namang "bayad" talaga ang health sa Alberta, naka-imbibe lang sa income tax. Mas mababa daw ang income tax sa British Columbia.

Oh well, we will find that out this April when we submit our income tax returns. Pero sa ngayon, hindi ko pa talaga masabing gusto ko na sa BC.

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NOTE: I consider $150 a 'big' amount already. When you are living in Canada (especially on a single income), every dollar counts.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Random Chika # 8

1. Kidzoona in SM Marilao. OMG! As in OMG! Magkaka-Kidzoona na pala sa SM Marilao! I only learned about it last January 28 (Chinese New Year) kasi hindi ako nagagawi sa parteng iyon ng SM. I am so happy! Imagine, hindi ko na dadalhin si Nathan sa Robinson's Malolos para maglaro.

Akala koe exclusive lang sa Robinson Malls ang Kidzoona. Ini-invade na rin pala nila ang SM.


Too bad sa March 4 pa ang opening. Kung kelan malapit na kaming umalis. Grrr.

2.  Happy Chinese New Year! I urged my mother to buy this. Mahilig siya sa mga ganyan eh.


CES -- Mamoosh, kain naman tayo sa labas to celebrate Chinese New Year.
MAMOOSH -- Bakit, Chinese ka ba?
CES -- Hindi po. Pero lagi akong napagkakamalang Intsik! (Which is true!)

We ended up eating dinner at Chowking (plus Master Siomai!).





3. Jollibee Supermeal. I am glad Jollibee came up with this. Para sa mga katulad kong matakaw haha! Php125 only!


4.  Kiddie Meal Toy Set. I've completed this set in 3 days. Pero mas natuwa pa yata ako kaysa sa anak ko haha!

There was a time in my life when I collected ALL happy and kiddie meal toys that were released in the market. Hoarder lang ang peg. But I am happier now kasi may anak na akong makikinabang haha!


5. My cousin's funeral. Another first cousin of mine died last January 25. The last time I came home, may namatay din akong pinsan (November 2015). Both were in their 50s. Hay, maikli lang yata talaga ang buhay ng mga miyembro ng pamilya namin.

We had to drive to Hagonoy for the funeral. Konti lang ang nakipaglibing because it was too far.


We were all hungry after the libing so we dropped by Pat's Palabok House in Guiguinto before going home. There were 15 of us.


We had palabok and lugaw.


6.  Miss Universe in Pinas. Sa wakas, natapos na rin last January 30 ang Miss Universe. Umay na umay na rin kasi ako talaga. Miss France won.


Naalala ko pa nung unang ginanap sa Pinas ang Miss Universe (1994). Grabe ang hype, Parang sobrang big deal talaga. Parang sa event na yun umikot ang mundo ng mga Pinoy for several weeks. Ngayon parang ordinaryong pageant lang ang dating sakin nito. Baka sa akin lang naman, kasi nga KJ ako.

7.  Balatski's visit. Balatskin and her two kids came over to our house for a few hours to visit me and Nathan. They were just here in the Philippines for a week kasi may kailangan silang lakarin.

Balat is like a sister to me and I've missed her so much! The last time we saw each other was in January 2013 pa.

To be honest, we weren't able to make chika talaga because of our kids! Ang gugulo nila haha! Sana makapagkwentuhan na kami nang maayos next time.
Pic courtesy of Balatski (It was so hot that day kaya hulas na hulas ako huhu!)

8. Fruit and Nut Chocolate. I am a very boring chocolate-eater. I only eat those plain ones. Sayang itong pasalubong ni Balatski, kanino ko kaya maibigay?


9.  Jollibee at 12:30am. I am so thankful that we have a 24-Hour Jollibee and McDonald's nearby. May nakakainan ako kapag tulog na si TanTan hehe.

Sakto one night that I was so hungry, pauwi from work ang pinsan ko. Nalibre tuloy!

Thanks, MackyMacMac!

10. Ten-Peso Ride. I was so happy when I discovered this "ride" in SM Marilao (near the foodcourt). Imagine, two 5-peso coins lang ang kelangan para umandar. At matagal siya ha, around 3 minutes yata.


My little boy was so happy the first time. Naka-two rides siya. Nung bumalik kami after a few days, di na siya ganun ka-happy. Saglit pa lang siya sa second ride niya eh umayaw na.

Nung huling punta namin, nakita nya yung rides pero dedma na. Nahilo yata siya noon kaya ganun.


Sayang. Akala ko nakatagpo na ako ng cheap entertainment for my son. Tsk.


Friday, February 3, 2017

Love affair with Master Siomai

My addiction with siomai started when we ate at Jumbo Dim Sum Dining (in Edmonton) on Christmas day 2015. Noon ko lang talaga na-appreciate ang siomai as in. Sobrang sarap naman kasi.


And since then, di ko na siya makalimutan. Palagi akong nagke-crave. But a cheapskate that I am, namamahalan naman akong bumili. Around $5 kasi ang 4 pieces, imagine that! Buti na lang meron daw ok na frozen siomai sa T&T Supermarket kaya yun na lang ang ini-steam namin sa bahay.


So isa sa mga plano ko sa pag-uwi ko dito sa Pinas ay ang magpakasawa sa siomai. At dahil hindi nga ako kumakain ng siomai dati kaya hindi ko talaga alam kung saan masarap.

I learned na uso na pala dito ang cheap siomai. As in 3 pieces for Php10.00! But of course, you get what you pay for. Hindi kasarapan syempre.


Then one time, when we were at Trinoma, I noticed in the foodcourt that a lot were eating siomai. Ayun hinanap ko, Master Siomai pala. I asked Ford to buy from there at ayun nasarapan ako.

One time we went to Robinson's Place Malolos (to bring Nathan to Kidzoona), me kiosk ng Master Siomai. Lafang galore kami ni Lani (our ex-househelp who also likes siomai a lot).

Akala ko sa "malayo" lang ako makakakain ng Master Siomai, yun pala meron din sa SM Marilao (which happens to be just an extension of my house haha!)! Kaloka, no more reason para ma-deprive! Gusto kong magtatalon nang makita ko siya as in! Sorry, mababaw lang talaga ang kaligayahan ko.

Master Siomai in SM Marilao

Four pieces for Php35.00 -- not bad at all! Sa ibang  branches (like the one in Marquee Mall), 4/Php30.00 lang. Sarap na sarap talaga ako. I even influenced my mother, favorite nya na rin haha.


I super like Master Siomai to the point na kino-consider kong mag-franchise haha! Sobrang lakas naman kasi. Ang dami palaging bumibili. Naa-out-of-stock pa nga sa SM. Kung dito lang talaga ako based sa Pinas, kakaririn ko talaga ito.

Hay, I will surely miss this when I go back to Canada. Ba't nga ba kasi we can't have everything noh?