I got really excited the moment I found out that Buffalo Wild Wings was finally coming to Manila. This restaurant holds a very special place in my heart because it reminds me of my second home, Minnesota. I remember eating my first big, fat, juicy burger at Buffalo Wild Wings after an almost 24-hour flight from Manila to Minnesota! I was just disappointed because when the news broke out, I was still working in BGC, and the nearest branch would be in Glorietta. So when our company moved to Makati, one of the very first things my teammates and I did was to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings!

The restaurant is very spacious making it easy for us to score seats even on a busy Friday afternoon. Buffalo Wild Wings does not only cater to foodies because its interiors speak loudly of SPORTS! I already lost count of how many TV screens there are inside the restaurant. During our visit, they were showing different programs ranging from NBA reruns, live coverage of UAAP and even old boxing matches. I didn’t pay much attention to any of it because I definitely came to Buffalo Wild Wings to dig into their mouthwatering food! Hihihi!

They offer four serving sizes for their chicken wings – Snack, Small, Medium and Large. If I remember it correctly, we got the Medium serving. It has 15 pieces of chicken wings coated in 3 different kinds of sauces. It was perfect to be shared by 5 girls!
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Wings (Medium) PHP695

I love that their chicken wings cater to all kinds of palates. Whether you’re in for the sweet and mild, or the hot and spicy, Buffalo Wild Wings has one for you! I vividly remember licking my fingers and the chicken bones as I eat my Spicy Garlic-flavored wings! If not for my pregnancy, I would have dared try their Blazin’ or Mango Habanero! I guess that is reason enough for me to come back!

Aside from chicken wings, Buffalo Wild Wings also offers different kinds of burger. Big Jack Daddy Burger was my first meal in Minnesota. But because I was sharing lunch with four girls (na parang hindi mga girls kung kumain, harharhar), we decided to get two orders of their Cheeseburger Slammers.

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Cheeseburger Slammers PHP475

I initially thought that a piece of this tiny cheeseburger would not be enough for me and my growing appetite. But I was mistaken! It may be small, but it’s definitely very filling! There was an awkward silence among us when we started munching on the burgers. And I distinctly remember chewing non-stop! That’s how good it was.

The bun is soft and has a hint of sweetness. And the patty is just divinely tasty! We requested to have the patty cooked well-done, but they have managed to retain the juiciness of the meat. Plus, the oozing cheese made the already succulent burger go a notch higher!

Buffalo Wild Wings
Ground Floor, Glorietta 2,
Ayala Center, Glorietta Complex,
Makati City

* All photos were taken with an iPhone 4s

Buffalo Wild Wings Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Hello, my dear readers! Can you believe that it’s already the last Monday of September? When did the time go?! I can’t believe that I’m already on my 32nd week of pregnancy and that we will be seeing our Little Kolokoy a few weeks from now! That is the primary reason of my blogging hiatus causing my backlogs to pile up. Boyet and I are very busy completing our to-buy list in preparation for Baby Z’s arrival. That alone makes me tired all the time. Plus, my pregnancy is making me very forgetful. (Partida, hindi pa ako nanganganak!) There are times when Boyet and I would laugh non-stop about something. I would take a mental note to include it in the next Kolokoy Household episode, but hours after, I would ask myself, “Why were we laughing again?!” Nyahahahaha! So bale, eto lang ang mga naalala ko! :p


One morning, I wore a dress for the first time. Boyet saw me, and he literally froze!

Boyet: Nanay, ang ganda mo!
Me: Bago kasi damit ko?!
Boyet (talking to my tummy): Anak, ang ganda ni Nanay ‘no? Pero paglabas mo, mas maganda ka sa kanya. Siyempre kasi nalahian na kita e!
Me: Kaya nga kinakabahan ako e!



Baby Z is getting more active. I couldn’t be more thankful. But there are times when she would kick me really hard! One time, I think her head hit my ribs while simultaneously kicking my bladder!

Me: Aray ko naman, Anak! Isa isa lang naman ang sipa!!!
Boyet: Hoy, Jerellt! Ikaw ha! Huwag na huwag mong papagalitan ang anak ko!
Me (habang pinandidilatan siya ng mata): Ano’ng sabi mo? Hindi ko papagalitan ‘tong makulit na ‘to?!
Boyet (while holding my tummy): Anak, huwag kang mag-alala. Ako bahala sa’yo paglabas mo. Dalawa na tayong papagalitan ni Nanay!
Me: Hahahahahaha! Ayan, mabuti na ang malinaw!


I still get to wear my pre-pregnancy clothes. The only problem is that some of my dresses appear shorter because of my growing bump.

Me: Hala! Hindi ko na yata pwedeng isuot ‘to!!!
Boyet: Bakit?
Me: Ang ikli na, sobra!
Boyet: Ay magpalit ka na lang ng panty. ‘Yung ano ang isuot mo… ‘yung ano…
Me: Ano?!
Boyet: Ano ngang tawag dun? ‘Yung parang panty na shorts.
Me: Sige, kaya mo ‘yan!
Boyet: Kumbaga sa lalaki, boxers… 
Me: ... ... ...
Boyet: Ayun! BOYLET!!!
Me: Hahahahaha! Usually, pang bading ang boylet. Hihihi!


Boyet read an article which says that a normal healthy person farts 10-25 times a day.

Boyet: Sabi dito sa article, healthy daw ang pag-utot ng 10-25 times a day.
Me: Hahahaha! O e ‘di ikaw na ang healthy!

After a few minutes…

Boyet: Prrrrrrrrrrrrrtttttttttttttttttt!!!
Me: Kanina ka pa ha!
Boyet: Pang 22 ko na yata ‘yun ngayong araw!
Me: E alas-siyete pa lang ng umaga!!!
Boyet: Ayaw mo nun, maaga akong naka-quota?!

Enjoy the rest of the week! =)
Last Monday, my husband and I took a day off from work to go to my routine checkup at St. Luke’s Global. We first went to see my endocrinologist. Fortunately, I was able to manage my gestational diabetes by following a strict diet. I’m such a disciplined Nanay! Hahaha! We also took advantage of our day off to see our OB/GYN for my 30th week checkup. We were so excited because we were also scheduled to do a 4D ultrasound!

During my prior visit, my OB/GYN told us that we could already opt to have the 4D ultrasound as early as my 28th week. But she told me that the best time is really between the 30th and 32nd week because the baby has gained more fats making her appear “cuter” in photos. She made us choose when to have ours. And because Boyet was so excited, without even thinking twice, he said that we’d have it on the 30th week!

I remember that my friend, Abby, discouraged me to have it on my 32nd week. When she had hers while she was still pregnant with my inaanak, Andrei, the placenta was already blocking her baby’s face, making it quite difficult to get clearer photos of Andrei. I told my OB/GYN about this concern. She told me that I need not to worry because as per our Congenital Anomaly Scan, the placenta is at the back of Baby Z.

My concern with the placenta was baseless. But our Little Kolokoy was such a tease! Just like the last time when she kept on covering her you-know-what when we were about to find out her gender, this time around, her face, arms and legs were covering her face! To make things even worse, she was “playing” with the umbilical cord! Dra. Australia Luz even said, “Hala! Lumalambitin pa sa umbilical cord!” Plus, she was soooooo likot! Napapakamot na lang ng ulo si Doc! :p I even felt dizzy during the procedure.

My OB/GYN said that because 4D ultrasound emits heat, we had to stop to limit the baby's exposure. I was actually advised to come back the following week. She then did the pelvic ultrasound to check Baby Z’s development. She was initially worried because I wasn’t gaining the required weight. She was concerned that I might be taking my “strict diet” too seriously. But Baby Z’s size is still consistent with that of a 30-week fetus. After checking her size and heartbeat, she tried to check again if Baby Z would cooperate. Baby Z probably figured out that her Tatay and I could not afford to take another day off from work. Hahahaha! And so, voila! She gave us a glimpse of her chubby cheeks and busangot nguso!!!
Baby Z 4D Ultrasound
When this was being taken, Boyet mouthed, “Kamukha mo! Mukhang masungit din!!!”

This photo really cracked us up! When we went out of the room, Boyet said, “Parang ang laki laki ng problema ng anak natin?!” Nyahahahahaha!

Baby Z

I showed the clips to my younger brother. He said that Baby Z got my lips. My parents said that it looks like she also got my eyes. They still can’t decide if she had my nose or Boyet’s. Pareho naman kasi siyang talo kahit kaninong ilong pa ang manahin niya! =)) I have been praying for Baby Z to inherit her Tatay’s long and curly lashes. I guess we need to wait for a few more weeks to know if God granted my wish. Hahaha! But the most important thing is that she’s healthy. I’m just a bit worried because she’s currently in a breech position. My OB/GYN assured me that she still has time to move around. All we could do is to pray that things will get better as I reach my 36th week. We also talk to her to convince her to change positions. Her Tatay even tried to bribe her! ‘Yung matitipid daw namin sa normal vs CS delivery, ipambibili daw namin ng toys, clothes, shoes at books niya! Hahahahaha! :p
My teammates and I finally got to cross out Nanbantei of Tokyo from our must-try-restaurants-in-BGC list as we were counting down the last few days in our old office. I had been meaning to try this restaurant located in Bonifacio High Street Central, but some of my teammates had already tried it before. I assumed that they weren’t up to give it another try. But when I told them in passing that I wanted to try it because of their PHP888 for 3 promo, I found out that a lot of my teammates, those who were not yet hired before the initial visit at Nanbantei, also wanted to give it a go!

We paid the restaurant a visit on a busy Friday afternoon so we weren’t surprised to see the place packed with hungry diners looking for a quick Japanese fix. But luck was definitely on our side because we were able to score a table. As I mentioned earlier, we went there to try their PHP888 for 3 promo. They offer three kinds of set meals good for three people which only cost PHP888. There were 8 of us so we decided to share three set meals – two sets of Samurai Set A and one Samurai Set C.

Waiting time was actually not that bad considering that we were there on a busy day. What kept us entertained was watching the group of staff members grill our food as we peek through the glass of their open grilling station.

We all then started to panic when the food started to arrive at our table! We lost track of the amount of food being served to us. Hahaha! So please pardon the unorganized and blurred shots. We were just all too excited to dig in. Please note that the photos I’m posting here are probably just 2/3 of the actual food that we consumed since we got two sets of Samurai Set A.
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Everything is just so delicious! We were initially worried that we would not be able to finish everything. We then stopped talking to each other while we were munching non-stop. And before we knew it, everything was gone in 15 minutes!

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We got two sets of Samurai Set A because everybody wanted to have tempura. I think this was one wise decision because we all loved it. I appreciate the fact that the tempura is not oily at all! Plus, I got a decent serving of shrimp unlike other restaurants that serve tempura with 10% shrimp and 90% breading.

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I loved the distinct smoky flavor that I got from every bite of all the grilled treats. The meats are very tender and juicy, too. Everything is seasoned to perfection, and the serving size is also perfect.

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All of us enjoyed our lunch at Nanbantei of Tokyo. Although I enjoy the experience of grilling my own food the way other Korean and Japanese restaurants do it, I loved the fact that we didn’t have to sweat it out at Nanbantei. I think I can say in behalf of my teammates that we had one helluva experience at Nanbantei of Tokyo! Super sulit!!! ^_^

To know more about their set meals or their menu in general, check out the Facebook page of Nanbantei of Tokyo.

Nanbantei of Tokyo
Bonifacio High Street Central
Upper Ground Level, East Superblock,
Bonifacio High Street Central
7th Ave. corner 29th St., Bonifacio Global City
Taguig City

* All photos were taken with an iPhone 4s

Nanbantei Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
I remember buying this book ages ago when I vowed to read all of Rainbow Rowell’s books after I was done with Eleanor & Park and Attachments. I promised myself to read at least 20 books this year. But sadly, this is just my fifth read!

I initially had a love-hate relationship with Fangirl. It was a very slow start for me. I remember putting it down after reading two pages, and going back to it after days. My very delicate pregnancy might be the one to blame for being a sluggish reader or the book simply really had a slow start. But I trust Rowell so much that I gave this book a second chance. Believe it or not, I was so glad that I did!

I was initially preparing my heart for another heartbreak just like what Rowell did with me after reading Eleanor & Park. I may have not gotten the heartbreak that I was anticipating, but I was surely caught off-guard with how the story progressed! From a very slow start, I wasn’t aware that I was already engulfed by Rowell’s every word! I found myself smiling and acting like a foolish 16-year-old while reading the book. It tells about the story of twin sisters – Cath and Wren. They were initially inseparable until Wren decided to live her own life when they both entered college. That includes leaving the fan fiction-writing to the hands of Cath – one of the many things that they used to enjoy doing together. I guess these were two of the reasons why I initially failed to relate with the story. First, I am not really into fan fictions. And second, I had no idea how it feels to have a sister! But after inching through the first few chapters, I found myself relating to Cath. She is an aspiring writer. She's also a naïve and overthinking College freshman who hates socializing! (Very me! Hahaha!) I simply fell in love with how her mind works. And yeah, Levi definitely added all the needed kilig factor in the story! Homaygaddddd!!! I wasn’t sure if it was just my pregnancy hormones, but reading Cath and Levi made me endlessly roll in my bed because of too much giddiness! Levi has probably become one of my favorite “leading men” because he has the perfect balance of being the bad boy that gives that sense of excitement in a relationship, yet he also possesses that innate sensitivity that can make any girl fall in love with him. These qualities paired with Cath’s inexperience with love was perfectly narrated by Rowell.

I initially thought that the love story of Cath and Levi would be full of complications because of Cath’s roommate, Reagan. I was bracing myself for the non-stop drama and catfights, but I was just glad that it didn’t happen. Reagan is probably the coolest character in the entire fiction world, haha! I think that is how love is supposed to be in the real world. Walang drama, walang arte! That alone made me enjoy the book even more. Another thing I appreciated about Fangirl is how Rowell tackled family issues in an in-depth but not overly dramatic way. She spoke about the simple and usual issues of siblings up until the more complicated topics like divorce, parents abandoning their children and even mental illness. I think Rowell has that inherent talent to discuss these things and still manage to inject humor and sarcasm without washing away the very essence of her message. Oh, now I love her even more!
I have heard a lot of positive reviews about Recovery Food, most of which come from my officemates. My husband and I were supposed to try it earlier this year, but we ended up eating at Kuse because there were no available seats at the time of our visit. But a couple of weeks ago, we finally got to visit its second branch in BGC, the one in BGC Stopover Pavilion.

We arrived around 11AM on a Saturday which probably explains why there were only a few occupied seats. That made me curious how the place looks like on weekdays.

The restaurant is quite spacious. The minimalist interior somehow radiates an industrial vibe with black, white and red as prominent colors.
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My husband knew that it was going to be a long day. We were supposed to check out the Baby and Kids’ fair which will then be followed by a scheduled medical appointment and a food-tasting invite that we had to attend. To pump up his day, he decided to have his second serving of coffee. Too bad I could not share it with him!

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I think I may have finally uncovered the mystery behind the name Recovery Food the moment I laid my eyes on the restaurant’s menu. They offer food to diners who simply want to… uhmmm… recover! They offer comfort food for those who are trying to recover from a hangover, those who want to recover after spending an all-nighter from work, those who are still gaining their appetite back after recovering from flu, and even those who are struggling to recover from a broken heart. Hahaha!

I asked one of the waiters what their bestsellers are. The one who attended us said that we must try their Tapa de Morning and S.S.T (Spicy Sweet Tuyo). I wasn’t in the mood for tuyo so I went ahead to try their famous tapa.

Their rice meals come in two sizes – Regular and Full Recovery. My husband and I opted to have the regular serving.

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Tapa de Morning (Regular) PHP180

Their Tapa de Morning comes with their homemade tapa, rice, egg and ensalada. I know it is just a matter of preference, but I actually don’t like tapa that has an overpowering sweetness. If I wanted something like that, I should have just eaten tocino instead. (It reminds me of this very famous restaurant that claims to serve the best tapa in town, but I got disappointed because their version is a bit too sweet for my liking. Again, it’s just a matter of preference.) I like my tapa to be more on the salty side with a perfect blend of acidity and a hint of sweetness. I was just glad that Recovery Food’s version passed all my criteria! Plus, I loved the fact that the beef strips are very tender, which almost gave me the melts-in-your-mouth sensation at every bite.

I was guessing that my husband would get the S.S.T. because he loves tuyo! But because we just had dried fish for breakfast a couple of days before our visit at Recovery Food, he checked out the other items on the menu. At that moment, the waiter told us that they have new items that aren’t written yet on the menu. He pointed at this small board on top of our table.

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Boyet skipped tuyo and settled with the equally sinful (and deadly!!!) Doc Sisig! The crispy pork bits are sitting comfortably on a bed of garlic rice. Mixed with tons of onions and then topped with a generous amount of chives and sliced green chili, you’ll surely get that perfect mix of heat and salty flavor. Mixed with calamansi, the acidity somehow added a nice kick to an already tasty dish.

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Doc Sisig (Regular) PHP155

We could not complain about the taste. However, my husband pointed out that it would have been better if the sisig and garlic rice were served separately. What happened was that the oil (both from the sisig and the garlic rice) settled at the bottom of the bowl, making his last few bites quite unbearable because of too much oil. But other than that, this rice meal will surely help you RECOVER from whatever you are going through. Hihihi!!! :p

Recovery Food
31st Street Corner Rizal Drive,
BGC Stopover Pavilion,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

* All photos were taken with a Nikon Coolpix S3600

Recovery Food Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
A few months ago, I got to try O’Rice at Bonifacio Global City (BGC) with some of my officemates. I found myself back in this restaurant one Saturday afternoon right after my medical appointment at St. Luke’s Global. I was on my 18th week of pregnancy. And although our baby’s size was consistent of that of an 18-week-old fetus, my OB/GYN was a bit concerned that I wasn’t getting the required weight gain. She told me that I might be too conscious with my diet because of my gestational diabetes. I told her that it isn’t the case and that I have always been gifted with a hyperactive metabolism! Hahaha! Anyway, my husband decided that day that it would be our cheat day! He said that he wanted to have a Korean feast so I thought of bringing him to O’Rice!

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The restaurant’s interior is quite different from the other Korean restaurants that I have been to. Unlike the typical dim and cozy setup that I am used to, O’Rice is sporting a festive vibe with its colorful walls and ceiling. O’Rice may not fall into the usual Korean restaurant mold when it comes to its interiors, but their food definitely didn’t disappoint!

To warm our tummies, we decided to have their Spicy Seafood Ramen. My husband and I went to a phase when we got really addicted to those Korean cup noodles that we usually get from the supermarket. But that day, we got to have something more than dehydrated noodles mixed with bright orange powdered seasoning! Haha!

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Spicy Seafood Ramen PHP248

I tried to stay away from spicy food ever since I got pregnant as it may trigger hyperacidity. But since it was my cheat day, I decided to share it with my husband. At PHP248, you’ll surely get your money’s worth with the generous serving of shrimp, squid and mussels. The noodles were also cooked to perfection. I was expecting it to be soggy given the fact that the broth was too hot when it was served to us. The noodles were still firm up until we finished our bowl. The broth was just divine! It was very tasty, and each sip gave us that distinct seafood flavor. Is it really spicy? Yes, but it was something bearable. This part is subjective because I have very high tolerance with spicy dishes. I remember that one of my officemates was not able to stand the heat. Hihi!

O’Rice offers a wide array of rice meals. Most of the rice meals cost PHP248 and are already good for sharing. That’s already a steal! We got to try their Beef Bulgogi Fried Rice and Chicken Cutlet Rice.

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Chicken Cutlet Rice PHP248

Chicken Cutlet Rice is served with kimchi rice. The chicken cutlet is juicy and very tender, with the crunchy crust giving a nice contrast of texture. It is topped with a mixture of honey mustard and teriyaki sauce which provided a hint of sweetness to balance the pungent taste of the kimchi rice. I know a lot of people who don’t like kimchi rice, and that includes my husband. He liked it in the beginning, but he grew tired of the sharp flavors of the kimchi rice towards the end of the meal. Once again, this is just a matter of preference because I actually liked it.

We may have not agreed with the Chicken Cutlet Rice, but we were unanimous in saying that the Beef Bulgogi Fried Rice was such a treat! Eating bulgogi fried rice is quite tricky because it looks simple and unassuming. I have tried bulgogi fried rice served in some non-Korean restaurants. Most of the time, it ends up in disappointment. That’s why my taste buds jumped out of joy when I tried the bulgogi fried rice from O’Rice!

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The beef strips are very tender. Each strip can almost melt in your mouth. The menu says that the beef is marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, honey, onions and pears. This is probably why the dish has the perfect blend of sweetness and tanginess. This is definitely my kind of comfort food. Each time I will dream about eating beef bulgogi fried rice, the one from O’Rice will definitely be one of the versions that will pop out of my head.

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To clean our palates after all the spiciness and strong flavors, my husband decided to spoil me some more by having ice cream for dessert. Nyahaha! This isaw-looking ice cream did a great job! It was the perfect way to end our Korean feast. =)

The Forum, 7th Avenue Corner Federacion Drive,
Bonifacio Global City,
Taguig City

* All photos were taken with a Nikon Coolpix S3600

Click to add a blog post for O'RICE on Zomato
Gone are the days when animated films are made just for kids. Inside Out, the newest hit from Pixar, is another testament to that. The last time I stepped inside a cinema was half a year ago to watch Crazy Beautiful You. But because of all the buzz and the raves for Inside Out, I dragged my husband and carried my 6-month pregnant self to catch this latest craze. And I am just so glad that we did!

Inside Out is a story about Riley and her embodied emotions – Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust. These five emotions live inside a “command center” and are in-charge of Riley’s well-being. They have helped establish Riley’s personality and core emotions.

Riley is her parent’s ball of sunshine, but that didn’t last when she was forced to leave her hometown, Minnesota, and moved to San Francisco with her parents. Adjusting to her new environment, leaving her friends back home and feeling disappointed with their new house, Riley’s emotions went berserk. This became worse when Sadness touched her core memories, and a control room malfunction left her along with Joy kicked out of the place leaving Anger, Fear and Disgust to take over. Can you imagine Anger, Fear and Disgust disguising as Joy? It was hilarious!

The characters are very lovable especially the personified emotions and all the other characters in Riley’s mind. And Bing Bong! I love Bing Bong!!! These characters are oozing with cuteness that no amount of words can describe how adorable they all are. I could hear the kids inside the cinema squealing and laughing non-stop. I like Disgust very much because of her rational thinking. She is my favorite character next to Bing Bong, which makes her my favorite among the five emotions. I can somehow relate to her because she is brutally honest and very opinionated. She doesn’t settle for anything less because she always wants the best for Riley. And yeah, she overthinks! Very me!!! Plus, I love her sense of fashion! Haha! I was totally pissed off with Sadness in the beginning of the film. All I could think of was, “How difficult is it to follow a simple direction? You’re ruining Riley’s life! Just follow what Joy says!!!” But my annoyance of her has magically turned into admiration when I realized that among all the emotions, Sadness happens to be the smartest one. And she’s also the most emphatic one.

Inside Out made me laugh out hard. It is also thought-provoking. But what hit me the most was how much I was affected with the message of the movie. I saw the movie in 3D, and I went out of the cinema with a set of foggy 3D glasses! So yeah, it made me cry! I already lost count of how many times I sobbed while trying to conceal my handkerchief’s ninja moves! Bing Bong made me cry. Although I already knew what was going to happen, I still cried big time on his last scene. I cried when Joy finally figured out how to help Riley. I cried the hardest when Riley’s parents just welcomed her back with no questions asked.

Pixar’s flawless animation surely made the kids all giddy and excited. Inside Out is definitely an eye candy. But there is more than meets the eye…

Yes, Inside Out is made for kids. But after watching the movie, I have come to the conclusion that it is tailored fit for adults, too, specifically the parents! The kids will probably see the cuteness and the happy ending. But the adult moviegoers will certainly appreciate the ingenuity of the plot, the roller coaster ride of emotions and how its abstract message will leave your thoughts hanging for hours! (Well, probably days!) The eyes of the kids will see all the fun and colorful stuff of the movie, but the very young ones may not be able to grasp the poignant message that the movie wants to convey. It talks about the very important role of parents in building their kid’s personality and in helping them understand the logic behind their emotions. It speaks about the parents’ role in making sure that they are building good memories with their kids together as these memories will be crucial when things get tough when they get older.

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, check it out. If you’re a parent, pay attention to the real message of the movie. Believe me, you’ll gain a different perspective after watching it. More often than not, parents shield their kids from all the “negative” emotions in their attempt to raise happy children. But as Inside Out teaches us, it is okay to be terrified, to be mad and to be disgusted. And more importantly, it tells us that it’s perfectly normal to be sad, because addressing your SADNESS opens doors to feeling JOY once again. Addressing SADNESS makes you create new and stronger memories. Inside Out may not be the best movie to scientifically explain a person’s mind and emotions, but who cares?! (I read an article pointing out that the movie totally twisted Science, and I was like, “Duh! Chill out! It’s an animated film!!! Go get some popcorn! Or better yet, go get a life!” Haha!) It’s a good watch that will definitely provide moviegoers a perfect blend of fun and nostalgia, and you’ll surely go home thinking, “Yeah, that made sense.”
Hello, my dear readers!!! I know that I have made countless of excuses for abandoning this blog. I am already worse than a broken record. My best friend told me that I would be getting my groove back in blogging when I reach my second trimester, but that didn’t happen. I just entered my third trimester this week, and I am pretty sure that movements in this blog will become even slower! Haha! Things have become doubly harder the moment we moved in to our own home. I used to blog every weekend, but I now spend my weekends cooking healthy meals for Tatay Kolokoy and Baby Z, squeezing in some time to clean the house (I think I am already nesting!!!) and shopping for the things in preparation for the arrival of our Little Kolokoy. So I do hope that my loyal readers (mga 10 yata sila, haha!) will still be around when I return to regular programming. Haha! Anyway, I do hope that this Kolokoy Household post will make up for my absence lalo na sa mga naka-miss kay Mama Kolokoy! :p


Mama visited our house a few weeks after we moved in. She just got back from a medical appointment. After eating lunch, she went upstairs to watch TV. And being her usual pintasera self…

Mama: Ang bago bago ng bahay niyo, ang dumi na agad.
Me: Hindi ‘yan madumi. Hindi pa lang kami tapos magligpit. Si Boyet lang kasi ang kumikilos dahil nagco-contract ako.
Mama: ‘Yung mga sapatos niyo nakakalat o!
Me: E kasi nga Ma, hindi pa kami tapos magligpit. Kakatapos pa nga lang namin sa mga damit e!
Boyet: O sige Ma, tutal duming dumi ka sa bahay namin at nandito ka naman, tulungan mo akong maglinis.
Mama: O sige!

After 10 minutes…

Mama: Zzzz… Zzzz…
Boyet: O kita mo ‘yang nanay mo. Puro reklamo, tinulugan naman ako!
Me: Hahahahahaha!


Because Mama and Papa are meat vendors, going to the wet market has never been our problem. But because Boyet wanted to declare our full independence, he decided to start doing it by himself. Mama offered to help him by introducing him to all her suki. As soon as he got home, he started whining about his first palengke experience with Mama.

Boyet: Nakakainis si Mama!
Me: O bakit na naman?!
Boyet: Sinamahan niya kasi ako sa mga suki niya para daw maayos ang mga mabili ko at para hindi ako madaya sa timbang.
Me: O tapos?
Boyet: E lahat ng tindera, tinatanong siya kung anak daw ba niya ako. Si Mama naman kung makasagot, “HINDI HA! MUKHA BANG ANAK KO ‘YAN?!” Lahat ng magtanong sa kanya ayan ang sagot niya!
Me: Hahahaha! E anong sabi mo?
Boyet: Sabi ko sa kanya, “Aba Ma! Ikaw pa ang choosy?!” Kapag kaya naging kamukha ko ‘yung apo niya, itatanggi din niya?!
Me: Hahahahahahaha!!!


Somebody gifted us with a cutlery set for our wedding day. It has finally been put to use after almost four years. One morning while Boyet and I were eating breakfast, we had this mind-blowing conversation.

Boyet: Bakit ganun? Bakit Dinner Knife, Dinner Fork at Dinner Spoon ang nakalagay? E ‘di ibig sabihin hindi natin ‘yan pwedeng gamitin kapag breakfast at lunch?!
Me: Pffffttt!
Boyet: Pero seryoso nga? Hindi ba dapat DINER instead na DINNER?
Me: Oh my God!
Boyet: O bakit?
Me: Pinangtitimpla ko ng kape mo ‘yung kutsarita!
Boyet: O ano ngayon?
Me: Mali tayo! Pang TEA lang pala siya dapat kasi TEASPOON!
Boyet (while rubbing my tummy): Anak, kay Tatay ka magmamana ng sense of humor ha. Huwag na huwag sa Nanay mo!

Bakit?! E magkamukha lang naman ang joke namin ha?! @_@ Pero sige kanya na ang sense of humor basta sa akin ang looks! :p


After buying some books for Baby Z, Boyet and I decided to have dinner at a Chinese restaurant. While we were checking out the menu, Boyet blurted out something I initially failed to understand.

Boyet: Boss Chief!
Me: Huh?
Boyet: Si Boss Chief nasa likod!
Me: Boss mo nasa likod? Akala ko umuwi na ng Singapore?
Boyet: Hindi! ‘Yung jowa ni Maya!
Me: Ah!!! Si Ser Chief!!! Nasaan?!
Boyet: Pa-picture tayo!
Me: Ayoko nga! Nakakahiya! Baka personal time niya ‘yan.
Boyet: Ayan, nakapagpa-picture ka na!
DSC_0754Hindi kaya ako prepared!!! 

Boyet: Bakit nagkakagulo kayo diyan dati. E hindi naman siya pogi?!
Me: Ang pogi kaya niya. Pero mas pogi kasi siya kapag naka glasses.
Boyet: Glasses lang ba?! O ayan! (sabay suot ng salamin)


Boyet: O kita mo! Nakadalawang beses na siyang lumipat ng upuan. Nakita kasi ako. Sigurado ako na-insecure sa akin!

Wala! Wala na akong sinabi!!! Hiyang-hiya si Ser Chief sa kapogian ni Boyet! @_@ 

Enjoy the rest of the week! =)
Even before I got pregnant with Baby Z, my husband and I would daydream about how we would be raising our future kids. I guess doing this somehow lessened our pain as we battled infertility for years. We both agreed to be the kind of parents who will try to inject some of the old-fashioned stuff that we grew up with. My husband said that he would teach our kids to play piko, patintero, and tumbang preso. And yes, he vowed to teach our kids how to ride a bicycle! So malamang, sabay niya kaming turuan ni Baby Z! :p

I have nothing against the use of gadgets for kids. For as long as the child is learning something, it doesn’t matter what the medium is. But Boyet and I agreed that we will try our best not to expose Baby Z in gadgets at a young age. Even if we both work in the IT industry, buying gadgets has never been on top of our priority list. We only have our mobile phones and a personal laptop. Again, I have nothing against the use of gadgets. Hindi lang talaga namin hilig, or maybe because we focused on the big rocks first like investing and buying our own home. Anyway, in our attempt to minimize Baby Z’s exposure to gadgets, we thought of starting to build a collection of things to fill in the gaps.

Years ago, we bought Monopoly and UNO cards for us to get reacquainted with the old-fashioned card and board games. Boyet said that he’ll teach Baby Z how to play chess. (Magpapaturo na rin ako, since hindi rin pala ako marunong mag-chess, harharhar!) I know that Scrabble, Jenga, Pictionary and Snakes and Ladders will not be appreciated by the kids of this generation, but we want to take our chances with Baby Z. Haha! Boyet is also collecting Lego toys. I am not sure if Baby Z will also acquire the same hobby. It will probably take a couple of years before we find out. So for now, we are trying to introduce her to Nanay’s hobby – reading books!!!

I read somewhere that reading books to an unborn child is a good practice. So before we even bought her first clothes, I already started to build her future library. I searched online for recommended books for young children. I followed FB pages and IG accounts that sell children’s books. And I stalked fellow bookworm mommies! Hahaha! I visited Fully Booked in BGC because that one is the closest to my work. I was just so grateful that two of the staff members of Fully Booked BGC assisted us and answered all our questions! I just handed them the list of books, and they gladly searched the shelves for us.

You’ll never go wrong with Dr. Seuss. Even before I bought Baby Z’s books, I already started reading The Lorax and The Cat in the Hat to her. We got these board books for her as per the recommendation of the staff members of Fully Booked. They said that these will be perfect for early readers as they can read these types of books all by themselves without the parents worrying about paper cuts. Boyet and I just said, “Ahhh!!!” That was how clueless we were! Hahaha! We also got some story books. Two of which are published by Pamana Books and are written both in English and Filipino. Ang cool lang! Just last week as I was shopping for birthday gifts for my godson, I bought some Disney illustrated storybooks! The book originally costs PHP110, but Toy Kingdom was having a SALE during my visit. ^_^


A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I started reading the books to Baby Z. I thought my husband wasn’t up for the task, but a few nights ago, he started reading to Baby Z, too, with matching voice acting! There are just too many times when he ended up mixing the voices of the different characters! Baka malito si Baby Z! :p But I am just so grateful that my husband willingly and lovingly does this. =)

A photo posted by Jerellt Abenoja-Andrade (@dahwanderer) on

I vividly remember asking my mother why she never read me bedtime stories. She told me that I learned to read before I reached 3 years old so there was no need for her to read to me. I didn’t take it against her and Papa because 1) they homeschooled me very early so I learned to read at a very young age, 2) we were not well-off so buying books (outside of those I needed for school) were the least of their priorities, and 3) they needed to get up at 2:30 AM daily to attend to our family business so they didn’t really have the energy to read to me. But because Boyet and I are both working more than 8 hours a day, we really want to develop a habit of reading to Baby Z every night. It’s not only to train her to read or to help her expand her vocabulary. It’s to show her that we want to spend quality time with her. If she decides in the future that she doesn’t want to be a bookworm like her Nanay, then we’ll play Tatay’s Lego together. If she feels like building things is not for her, too, Boyet and I will still find a way to be a part of whatever hobby she chooses to. But for now, we need to fix our book shelf! Boyet and I decided to build a giant bookshelf which also houses his Lego toys. But with the baby coming and with her sharing (and probably monopolizing) the space, we need to find a way to keep things organized. For starter, I told Boyet to put my books starting on the second layer of the shelf so Baby Z can have the first layer. In that way, she won’t be able to reach my Young Adult books! (I think I made the right decision not to read 50 Shades of Grey!!! Hahahaha!!!)
It took me a while to share this chapter of my pregnancy. Just like with sharing our four-year battle with infertility, I was initially planning of not divulging this story to the public. Part of me initially didn’t want to write about this because it’s still very hard for me to go back to those days. Writing about this is like opening a casket full of pain and grief which I had long struggled to bury. But my husband convinced me that I should do it. According to him, I have touched and inspired a lot of women who were and are still battling infertility because of that previous post. He said that I might be doing the same this time by sharing this story to you.

When my husband and I saw the three home pregnancy kits with two lines each, we were more than ecstatic. Knowing that you’ll be having your first child is already a surreal feeling. What more if you waited for that moment after four long years? What more if you have already invested all your emotions and almost drained up your savings just so you could have a child to call your own? Seeing those kits made me exhale a sigh of relief. I told myself that I have finally passed one of God’s biggest and hardest test. But I was wrong. Kumbaga sa exam, may extra bonus question with practical exam pa pala siya para sa amin! I'm admitting this for the first time. Only our closest family members and friends knew that we actually lost a child. (Okay, I’m already tearing up at this point!!!)

As soon as we got a positive result, we followed all the rules. My OB/GYN asked me to rest for three days until we confirm the pregnancy through a blood test. After three days, I went to the doctor’s clinic to let her read my HCG results. My doctor was amazed at how high it was! According to her, there is a big chance that we’re having twins. It’s very possible given the fact that my last follicle monitoring showed that I had two matured eggs. And yeah, my husband and I have twins in the family. She wanted to be on the safe side so she asked me to go on full bed rest until we confirm the pregnancy via an ultrasound.

On my 6th week of pregnancy, I came back to the doctor for a transvaginal ultrasound which actually confirmed that we were having twins. I was carrying two separate sacs which indicated that we were having fraternal twins. According to her, this is a good sign because the babies would not be competing for the nutrients. It would be harder if it were identical twins. However, my doctor was a bit worried since there was no cardiac activity. Because we knew the exact day of my ovulation, it was very unlikely that we miscalculated my pregnancy. But then she assured me that it might still be too early to detect a heartbeat. Some may not see cardiac activity as late as 10 weeks. I was supposed to come back a week after, but that fell on a Good Friday. She gave us the option whether we wanted to go back after three days instead. My husband wanted to be on the safer side so we went back three days later.

6th_week_ultrasound_twins First Photo of Our Little Kolokoys

On our next ultrasound appointment, I saw my OB/GYN’s face light up just seconds after she looked at the screen! She immediately showed us the monitor and pointed the two tiny movements, which according to her are our babies’ heartbeats. We had two heartbeats! We had TWO STRONG HEARTBEATS! But my doctor had a minor concern. Twin B, who is a day younger than Twin A, looks like it was splitting! Because multiple pregnancies run in our families, she was suspecting that Twin B might have an identical twin. Hello, triplets?! But she said that we should not be worrying about it because it looks like it wasn’t fertilized. But just to be on the safer side, she injected me with HCG just to make sure that my body is producing enough hormones for two babies. I was also ordered to stay at home. I made arrangements with my company to work from home for at least a month.

fetus_A_heartbeat Fetus A at 6 weeks with Fetal HR at 124 bpm

fetus_B_heartbeat Fetus B at 6 weeks with Fetal HR at 114 bpm

Things were very difficult. Because I was carrying twins, my uterus expanded faster than the usual! There were nights when I could not help but just cry because I could not pee. My doctor asked for a urinalysis to check for UTI. It turned out to be negative. According to her, it might just be my uterus pressing on my bladder. I remember waking up at 3AM because my stomach was grumbling. Yes, there was morning sickness. But given my experience with Clomid and Metformin for four years, I think my body already got used to the nausea which made morning sickness more bearable.

I went back for another scan on my 8th week. According to my OB/GYN, we should be expecting to see a more “human” form of our babies. My husband was so excited. But days before my scheduled ultrasound scan, I felt extremely worried. My husband said that I was just being my usual pessimistic self. Call it a mother’s intuition, but I knew that something was terribly wrong. On the day of my scan, I was agitated. I was excited to see our babies, but I could not dismiss that weird feeling that something was wrong. I could not see the monitor as it was facing my doctor and my husband. Boyet looked at me and smiled. But my OB/GYN was extremely quiet. She was looking at the screen for minutes without telling us what was happening. I saw a crease forming on her face. My doctor, who has always been cheerful for the past couple of years that I have been seeing her, suddenly looked different. It was my first time to see her with such a reaction. That confirmed my fear – something was wrong. She showed us Twin A, who by then was already looking like a tiny teddy bear. She was moving non-stop. According to my doctor, it’s a good sign that her brain’s development was on-track. By the time of the scan, her size was consistent with that of an 8-week old fetus. But then she told us that she could not see Twin B…

She paged another sonologist to ask for a second opinion. My doctor said that she might be missing something or that Twin A might be covering Twin B. But both my doctor and the other sonologist said that what they were seeing was a 6-week old sac… without a heartbeat.

The yolk sac of Twin B grew bigger than the usual. My doctor explained that if the yolk sac is unusually large, it is getting all the nutrients instead of the baby. I was trying so hard to understand every word that my doctor was saying. I was still lying on the bed because I felt like my entire body froze. I got up while she continued to explain to me that it could just be a case of “vanishing twin” which is very common in multiple pregnancies. But being the OC doctor that she has always been (which is why I love her), she told me one possibility that actually made me really scared. According to her, there might be an ongoing APAS (Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome). The mere thought of me having APAS already frightened me. I know two women who have experienced multiple miscarriages because of this condition. I have heard firsthand horror stories of women who are battling APAS. In a nutshell, it’s a condition where a woman’s antibodies clot her blood during pregnancy which causes the miscarriage. My doctor said that she’d explain everything further to us in her clinic.

My husband and I had lunch while waiting for our turn. I remember being so unusually quiet while my husband was extra comforting, giving me countless of hugs in between conversations. I wanted to cry, but I was trying to compose myself. I told myself that crying could wait. I remember eating a burger for lunch. Burger, which happens to be my favorite comfort food, failed to give me even an ounce of comfort. It tasted bland. I wanted to throw it away. No, I wanted to throw the burger into someone else’s face! I didn’t want to eat. I wanted to mourn. But then I realized, that I have an 8-week old survivor inside of me who needed to eat. And so I took the last strength inside of me to chew and ingest my food.

8th_week_ultrasoundFetus B with No Cardiac Activity (left)
Baby Z at 8 Weeks (right)

When I entered my doctor’s clinic, I saw how busy her secretary was. She was making tons of calls. Apparently, my doctor already asked her to contact the immunologist and inquire for the price and schedule of the APAS screening. I was surprised that amidst the chaos, I was able to remain calm. But looking back, I think I was more of numb. It was as if my mind and heart refused to go in sync. It was as if my entire body stopped functioning. I remember my husband holding me because I was so absent-minded. By the time my OB/GYN met us, I was still extremely quiet. I was listening intently to her every word, but my mind was working double time just to process what she was talking about. She gave me an overview of APAS. She told me that undergoing an APAS screening was just to give us an assurance that the surviving twin would make it. She told me that she already consulted with her fellow sonologists and doctors. Some said that there was no need for me to undergo APAS screening because there is no such thing as selective APAS. If I happened to have APAS, both twins would not make it. But then the other doctors said that why should we still wait for the surviving twin to be put at risk? So my OB/GYN let us decide whether we wanted to undergo the screening or not. The catch is that only St. Luke’s has the facility to perform the test. PGH and Manila Endocrine can also conduct the test at a cheaper price, but they also forward the specimen to St. Luke’s for them to process. Waiting for the result can take up to weeks. I was at the clinic on a Saturday. I could take the test the following day, and I could have the result by Thursday at the latest. The screening at St. Luke’s costs PHP13,000!!! But because time wasn’t on our side and we could not wait for weeks for that may put the surviving twin at a higher risk, we went ahead with having the test at St. Luke’s. My doctor warned me that treatment of APAS is not only aggressive, it’s also very costly and time-consuming. I actually knew about this because I happened to watch a documentary of an actress who struggled with APAS. Anyway, my doctor immediately referred me to an immunologist. She asked me to meet the immunologist the following Monday even without the result of the screening yet.

While my doctor was discussing all of these, I was just involuntarily nodding my head as I stare blankly at the wall. I was trying to control my emotions. I was successful in my attempt of keeping my emotions inside. But then something happened. I started feeling my doctor’s pain as well. I don’t know why, maybe I was just over analyzing things, or maybe because I have been seeing her for more than two years already. She had seen us struggle with our battle with infertility. She had seen how many times we got heartbroken over the cycles that didn’t work out. I remember her being extremely happy when I texted her that I got a positive result in the home pregnancy test. The nurses at the Women’s Health Unit of St. Luke’s Global (who have been taking very good care of me) told me that Dra. Australia Luz excitedly announced to them as soon as she found out that I was already pregnant. My husband saw how she screamed out of pure excitement the first time she saw the two sacs on my first ultrasound. I saw how she raised her arm and shouted, “Yes!!!!” when she first saw the two heartbeats of our babies. She was more than a doctor to me. She’s someone who has been very vital in making our dream of building our own family come true. A lot of people bluntly and most of the time insensitively told me that I should stop the fertility workup and just pray for a child. But I know that my doctor is God’s instrument in answering our prayers. And at that moment, she made me feel that she, too, also lost a child.

I could not even look at my husband. So at that split second that I made a mistake of looking at Dra. Luz, I saw that she was already crying. That was the last straw. I just literally broke down. There were no words coming out of my system, only strong but painful sobs – sobs from a first-time mother who lost a child. My husband pulled his chair closer to mine and tried to comfort me. And at that moment, there were tears everywhere. Nothing was making any sense at that time. Why? Why me? Why us? Why our baby? My doctor then started to comfort me. She said that after she did my ultrasound, she immediately went to the hospital’s chapel. She said that there are a lot of times when we want to question God, but the only thing we can do is to simply trust that His will is always for the better. She told me that multiple pregnancy is very risky. I would be prone to high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, premature labor and other complications. She said that maybe God figured out that it would be too risky for my small body to take care of two babies. And then she said something which made me cry even harder. One of the reasons why I decided to stick with her is the fact that I have always felt that she completely understands my battle with infertility. She, too, had been battling PCOS. She also had difficulty conceiving a child. And when she told me that she also suffered two miscarriages before she had her eldest child, I cried even harder. “OB ako, tapos pedia ‘yung husband ko pero wala kaming magawa.” Wala na. Umiyak na lang ako ng umiyak. She didn’t rush me. She just let me cry my heart out.

After a few minutes of trying so hard to compose myself, she told me the next steps. The following day, I had my APAS screening. Good thing that St. Luke’s laboratory is open even on Sundays. Incidentally, I also failed my initial OGCT test. Pregnant women usually get tested for gestational diabetes on the 6th month of pregnancy. But because I had PCOS prior to pregnancy, my OB/GYN said that I have higher risk of developing gestational diabetes earlier. I was actually pissed off when I failed my OGCT test because I completely stopped eating sweets almost half a year before I got pregnant. I completely stopped eating sweets when I noticed that my fertility workup was not working. So can you imagine how unfair life is?! How can I develop GD at my 8th week even if I hadn’t tasted a single slice of cake for months?! My OB/GYN asked me to have an OGTT test along with my APAS screening. I had fasting the night before, and the lab had to draw blood from me once every hour for three hours. So I had four blood extractions in one day. Both my arms were bruised. They didn’t even know where to extract blood from me because I also had my OGCT test the day before. Nagtago na lahat ang veins ko sa sobrang bugbog!

On that same day, I got the result of my OGTT test. That confirmed that I have gestational diabetes at my 8th week of pregnancy. My OB/GYN said that I should not worry about it. GD is manageable with strict diet. All I needed to do was simply pray that my APAS screening would yield a negative result because that one is harder to deal with. So aside from an immunologist, she also referred me to an endocrinologist. I was supposed to meet both the following day, Monday. Unfortunately, two of the three immunologists of St. Luke’s Global were on vacation that day. The only available immunologist could not meet me until Friday. The following day, I showed the results of my APAS screening to my OB/GYN. Sulit naman ang 13k test, because it turned out to be negative! Plus the two-day wait relieved me of my anxiety. My OB/GYN gave us the liberty whether we would still want to meet the immunologist despite the negative result. According to her, I could still meet the immunologist for our peace of mind, although she said that what happened was just probably a case of “vanishing twin”. But my husband and I took the immunologist’s absence as a sign to just let it go. We didn’t want to give ourselves more stress. Besides, we could focus our energy on dealing with my gestational diabetes. I was asked by my endocrinologist to monitor my sugar four times a day for a week. I had to prick myself four freakin’ times a day! According to my endocrinologist, we needed to take this thing seriously because GD can cause miscarriages in the first trimester. Miscarriage? Not again! I told myself that I wouldn’t let that happen!!!

Breaking the news to the very few people who knew that we were having twins was the hardest part. I actually grew tired of explaining why I lost the other twin. It was one of the reasons why I wanted to keep the pregnancy private until I reached the 12th week. The most common question I was getting at that time was what would happen to the twin that didn’t make it. I would just tell them that the surviving baby will “press” the other twin until it disintegrates naturally. It pains me to sort of trivialize my other baby. How can I refer to my baby as something that will just “disintegrate” naturally? I would explain it in a scientific way, but my heart bleeds each time I think of him.

For days, I kept on hearing words of encouragement from family members and close friends. I knew that they meant well, but I felt that no amount of words can comfort a grieving mother. Some may argue with me that it should not be that hard to accept because the baby is technically not yet a baby when I lost him. But no one has the right to say that to a grieving mother. Kapag namatayan ka ng anak, walang mas madali o mas mahirap tanggapin. Hindi pwedeng ikumpara ang sakit sa ibang nawalan din ng anak. Kapag nawalan ka ng anak, nawalan ka ng anak! Tapos ang usapan. Pare-pareho lang ang degree ng sakit. Whether you lost a child when he’s 80 or 8, or even if he’s just an eight-week-old fetus, no words can ease the pain of a mother who lost a child. I saw my baby’s heartbeat. There were two babies living inside me. And then one day, without me even knowing it, he just decided to let go. I didn’t even have the chance to say goodbye. I spent nights thinking what I did wrong. I followed all of my doctor’s orders religiously. I was eating healthy. I was getting enough rest. I stopped working for a couple of weeks. I was taking my prenatal vitamins. So what did I do wrong? The first instinct of a mother is to blame herself. Even if I get all the assurance from people around me that these things are inevitable, I still could not help but think what else I could have done better to save my child. Would things turn out differently if I had a bigger frame or if I had a stronger immune system? I had a lot of questions. What pains me more at that time was the fact that I wasn’t even allowed to grieve my loss. I cried on the first night because I wanted my other baby to feel that he is not forgotten, that he is also loved, that even if people think that he is just a tiny circle, the fact still remains that for me, he is still my child. But a part of me felt very guilty each time I shed a tear. I might be putting stress to my surviving baby. I still have Baby Z who chose to fight for me! How can I balance grieving for the child that I loss versus making sure that the other one would not feel neglected. That was my first dilemma as a mother. I get hurt when people tell me, “At least may isa pang natira!” Of course I am grateful that I have a survivor inside of me. But no one should discount the life of the baby that I lost. It’s unfair for him. It’s unfair for me. And it’s unfair for Baby Z. She is not some sort of a spare tire!

I am grateful that God somehow spared Baby Z. But I will forever be scarred as a mother. I lost a baby. I will never know whether the one we lost is a boy or a girl. Were we supposed to have a little Je or a little Boyet? He is my biggest what-if and what-could-have-been in life.

I refused to talk about it. There was one time when my parents brought it up over dinner. They started talking about the usual, “It would have been difficult to have two babies at once that’s why God probably took away the other one.” I simply told them, “Yeah, I know that. Let’s just eat and not talk about it.” I cried after that. I knew they just wanted to comfort me, but it was just too painful to discuss. The topic was never brought up ever again. Even my closest friends knew that it wasn’t something that I was willing to talk about. So they just waited for me. They waited for me to open up. And they just listened. They listened as I recount every painful detail. It was probably what I needed to do.

We already made plans thinking that we would be having twins. When we were planning for our house’s construction, my husband and I would refer to the babies as kambal. But then, God has other plans. When we were still waiting for a child, Boyet and I would tease each other that maybe God was making us wait longer because He would be giving us twins. God probably heard us and said, “Of course, I can give you twins. But you can only handle one child for now.” At that moment and up until today, all I have been doing is hanging on to whatever is God’s will for us. I know that He never makes mistakes.

People who knew that we were supposed to have twins have probably forgotten the one we lost. But not me. I don’t think a mother will ever forget. The only consolation I have is that each time I see Baby Z on the ultrasound screen, I know that I am looking at a fighter. Each time I hear her heartbeat through Doppler, I know that I am hearing the heartbeat of a survivor. Each time I would see my tummy getting distorted because of her very strong kicks, I know that she’s telling me, “Don’t worry, Nanay! I’m still here. I’m not going to leave you!” People were actually so surprised when I tell them that Baby Z started kicking me at 15 weeks. They say that it’s too early. Maybe it was my body’s way of coping with paranoia. Or maybe, just maybe, it is Baby Z’s way of easing my mind, her way of telling me that she’s continuing the fight. During the Congenital Anomaly Scan that we had at my 24th week, my OB/GYN mentioned how strong our baby is. She survived losing her twin. She survived an APAS scare. She survived two bad cases of upper respiratory tract infection – one I had in two consecutive months. She survived countless of premature contractions. And she is still fighting gestational diabetes with me. (We are both kicking the ass of GD because injecting insulin is still out of the equation. I was able to manage it well with proper diet!)

To that little angel that we lost, the world may have forgotten you, but not me. Definitely not me, my little one. You are my baby. And I want you to know that you will not just be another part of the statistics. Nanay will love you forever. I will forever cherish that tiny flicker of life that you showed me and your Tatay. I will never forget the one and only time that we saw your heart beating. My doctor said that you stopped developing a day after we saw your heartbeat. I want to thank you for that one day that you gave me and Tatay. I recently read an article saying that women who lost a baby usually want to hide in the dark. They don’t usually talk about their miscarriage openly. I wanted to hide in the dark not because I was scared or because I was ashamed of what happened. I stayed in the dark for many months because it was just too painful for me talk about it. The pain didn’t lessen, though. I don’t think it ever will. There are still nights when I think of you and I shed a tear for you. But I realized that this post is meant to honor your life – no matter how short it was. I also wanted to let the other mothers know that they are not alone. When I wrote about our battle with infertility, I didn’t realize that breaking my silence somehow gave hope to other women who are also having the same problems. And now, by letting the whole world know about you, we might be giving comfort to the countless of mothers who also lost a child. I also wanted to thank you through this post. I know that my heart has been thanking you through our countless of silent conversations, but I just want to put this in writing. When you and Baby Z were still both inside me, I was under a lot of pain. Every night, I wanted to rush myself to the ER just to empty my bladder simply because I could not pee. My doctor said that you were pressing my bladder so hard. My petite body could probably not handle two babies. I don’t know if you gave up so Nanay could be more comfortable, or maybe because you wanted your Ate to grow healthier. You probably “let go” because Nanay was too weak to handle two babies. I’m sorry if Nanay was too weak. =( I may have not the answers why you left me and Tatay, but I want to thank you for making things a bit easier for me and your Ate. Of course if I had a choice, I would have chosen to handle all the pains if that only meant that I could hold both of you three months from now. But then God has other plans. I just want to let you know the world may have forgotten you, but not me. Not me. Never. And I promise to let your Ate know about you so that each time she blows her birthday candle, she will never forget that those candles, those future birthday cakes, are also for you. I will teach her to share all of her future accomplishments with you - because that’s how twins are supposed to be. I promise you that, my little angel. And I vow to keep that promise.

And finally, when we welcome Baby Z this November, we’re not only welcoming our first-born. We are welcoming a fighter. We are celebrating the life of a survivor. Ate, when you’re old enough to read this, I want to let you know that you are one special person. You were not only the strongest of the strongest of your Tatay’s sperms (hehe), you were also the stronger baby. You are the strongest baby I could have possibly known! People will surely try to belittle you along the way, but I want you to know that you were once a tiny creature who fought for survival. You fought even during the times when your mother was too weak and too grieving to fight for you! You are very special. Don’t ever forget that. You have been a fighter, a survivor, from the very beginning!

24th_week_ultrasound Say “Hi” to our Little Survivor!
With more restaurants sprouting like mushrooms, BGC has inevitably turned into every foodie’s haven. If you want burger, pizza, steaks, bibimbap or shawarma, a certain place in BGC will surely have what you’re looking for. But once in a while, yuppies like me who work in The Fort look for the cleaner and greener option. We have recently tried a few restaurants that offer healthier alternatives (there are even a couple that serve organic food), but there is this specific restaurant that we have definitely fallen in love with! I’m talking about SaladStop! in Central Square in Bonifacio High Street. The place first opened its doors December of 2014, but we were too intimidated to give it a try. My friends and I had this connotation that eating healthy means putting a hole in our pockets. But earlier this year, we took a risk and gave it a go. We got hooked since then!

I already lost count of how many times I’ve been to SaladStop. When I first saw the restaurant, I was immediately mesmerized by its simple yet vibrant interiors. The dominant colors are light brown, yellow and green, which simply remind me of nature. The yellow and green chairs will definitely convince you to eat more fruits and veggies! And to top it all, their walls are surrounded by photos and sketches of more fruits and vegetables. Hahaha!
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They have a wide array of different salads to choose from. But if none of these appeal to your palates, you may opt to create your own salad. You can actually see through how the staff members prepare your salad. The number of calories is also clearly indicated on each item of the menu. This gives diners, especially the health-conscious ones, ample options to suit their needs and/or preferences.

In the many times that my friends and I have been to SaladStop, we get the same thing over and over again – Hail Caesar! I would try other items from their menu, but I would end up eating Hail Caesar again on my next visit. I’m thinking that it’s probably because the Filipinos’ taste buds are mostly accustomed with Caesar salad. (In short, Caesar salad lang kasi ang kilala natin! Haha!) Either this or my friends and I just love the familiarity we get each time we eat SaladStop’s Caesar salad!

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Hail Caesar Salad PHP260 / Wrap PHP250

Hail Caesar has Romaine lettuce so you’re getting enough dose of your greens. It also has eggs for your protein boost. The croutons and bacon bits definitely added crunch and more texture to the salad. Ahhh! You will never really go wrong with bacon! With the addition of grated Parmesan cheese, its marriage with the bacon gave this simple salad some salty kick. The Caesar dressing is very tasty yet it still highlights the distinct flavor of each “cast member” from this ensemble. Who says that salads should be boring?! Believe me, it’s one of the best Caesar salad you’ll ever have in your life!

The plain Hail Caesar has 526 kcal. You may opt to add grilled chicken for an additional PHP50. I have tried both. But I have to say that the plain Hail Caesar is good enough even without the chicken. This is one of the perfect example of the cliché, “Less is more.” Plus, it’s kuripot-friendly, too! Hihi! :p

For the first time that day, I got to try Man-Go Wild! It has Romaine lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, green mangoes, red onions, turnips, raisins, fried garlic and mint, all tossed in mango vinaigrette. I asked the server if I could replace the green mangoes with ripe mangoes instead. With all these things, you probably think that there are a lot of things going on in this bowl of salad. Well, you’re absolutely correct! My husband didn’t really like it so he ended up eating my Hail Caesar. I actually loved the burst of different flavors as I dig into this salad. You’ll get the freshness of the cucumbers and the lettuce, the pungent taste of the red onions and garlic and the hint of sweetness of the raisins, carrots and ripe mangoes. I think that my call to change the green mangoes was a wise choice. The green mangoes would have been too sour for my liking if mixed with the acidity of the mango vinaigrette. I liked this salad, but my vote still goes to Hail Caesar! =)

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Man-Go Wild Salad PHP260 / Wrap PHP250

The plain Man-Go Wild has 453 kcal which is way below the Hail Caesar. I guess this lighter salad is perfect for those who are mindful of their calorie count. But if I remember it correctly, there are other choices from their menu with calorie counts as low as 359 kcal. It’s Jai Ho salad, if I’m not mistaken.

You may say that the prices are a bit steep for a serving of salad. But with the very generous serving, believe me when I tell you that you’ll definitely get your money’s worth. One bowl of salad is very filling. You may also opt to have your salad on a wrap. It’s PHP10 cheaper but the calorie count is higher. Hail Caesar in a wrap is at 717 kcal! But if you want something more filling and you need more fuel for the day, the salad on a wrap is a good idea. What we usually do (well, at least before I got pregnant) is we buy a wrap, split it into two, eat the half in the morning and have the other half for lunch. Plus, this is good for those people who are always on-the-go. You can just munch this while walking or if you’re having a working lunch!

Aside from the salads, they also offer other healthier food choices. I specifically love their yogurts and their cassava chips! =)

G/F Bonifacio High Street Central Square,
5th Ave. cor. 30th St., Bonifacio Global City,
Taguig City

* All photos were taken with an iPhone 4s

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