I finally set foot in Lucky Chinatown for the first time a couple of weeks ago. My husband and I found ourselves to be on that side of the city to scout for some materials to be used for Zayne’s first birthday party. I remember trying to go to Lucky Chinatown with my husband when I was still pregnant, but we had to back out after spending almost half an hour trying to get inside the mall’s parking area. Being first-timers, we were both surprised to see quite a number of nice restaurants, some of which we’ve seen for the first time primarily because we always frequent Robinsons Manila. Hahaha! We wanted to have lunch as quickly as possible because we left Zayne with a babysitter at home. And since we’re both ramen lovers, we decided to give Ramen Kuroda a try.

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Ramen Kuroda looks unassuming at first glance, but its minimalistic interiors - with the colors limited to black, white and beige, somehow gave me a refreshing vibe. I don’t remember passing through a door to get to the restaurant so its semi-exposed setting is perfect for people-watching while sipping a bowl of hot ramen. Hahaha!

Aside from the restaurant’s simplicity, the next thing that caught our attention and probably the “thing” that would make us identify Ramen Kuroda with is ITS PRICE! The price for their ramen starts at PHP180. It’s one of the cheapest we’ve seen in all our years of ramen-hunting. Given their prices, we weren’t expecting to be wowed by what we were supposed to eat for lunch that day.

With our expectations set to the lowest, we just looked forward to a bowl of ramen that would fuel us to hours of walking in Divisoria. I know, I know. Pessimism can kill! Hahaha! Baka naman sabihin niyo ang echosera ko! :p I’ve been to tons of restaurants that serve delicious food at reasonable prices. And believe me, I raved for those places here in my blog. But our ramen addiction is quite a pricey vice. With a bowl of ramen usually starting at PHP300, this place absolutely came as a surprise to us. Because we were a bit hesitant that the one-hundred-eighty-pesos-worth of ramen would not be filling, we decided to go with the bowl with a larger serving of chashu. This costs PHP230. It’s definitely not bad at all!!!

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Shiro Chashumen PHP230

Boyet tried Shiro Chashumen. It may not be the best ramen out there, but its rich and milky broth was enough to satisfy my husband’s craving for ramen. It has the perfect blend of subtlety and richness – a perfect contrast for my taste buds.

I would have wanted to try their Aka Ramen mainly because I’m a sucker for spicy food. But because spicy dishes make me want to drink more water, and more water means more frequent visits to the restrooms, I had to change my mind. I didn’t want to waste more time going to and from the restroom. Plus, you probably know the kind of restrooms we have in Divs. Hihi. Anyway, I’m glad that I went with Kuro Chashumen.

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Kuro Chashumen PHP230

With Tonkotsu broth spiced up with garlic oil, this ramen definitely exceeded my expectations. It has a pungent flavor which is perfect for the more adventurous foodies who find Shiro too mild for their senses.

The ramen we got already comes with half egg so I didn’t feel the need to get another serving of tamago. I would have wanted the yolk to be on the softer side, but I stopped minding when I tasted the chashu. Its smoky flavor is another reason to love our bowl of ramen.

My husband and I shared a plate of gyoza. Again, there are a lot of tastier gyoza we’ve had in the past, but this one is not bad at all. Plus, we only had to shell out an additional of PHP100 for this one.

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Gyoza PHP100

I love the ambiance of Ramen Kuroda. Their ramen was good enough to fix our ramen cravings. We were actually quite surprised that we went home satisfied with our ramen fix. Service was also very efficient because our food arrived just a few minutes after we placed our orders. Ramen Kuroda also has set meals. If ever I find myself back in Lucky Chinatown or SM Manila (I think they’ll be opening a branch there soon), I’ll definitely devour over their set meals.

Ramen Kuroda
Level 3 Lucky Chinatown Mall
Binondo, Manila

* All photos were taken with an Asus Zenfone Selfie

Ramen Kuroda Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
I felt a sense of panic when I had to put two numbers on top of Zayne’s cake. Has it really been ten months? That please-do-not-grow-up-so-fast is punching me in the face really hard. Hay, where did the time go?

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I think she’s just as surprised as I am!

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Zayne: Nanay, why does my cake look different?

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Nanay: Because it’s not from Ninang Joie.
Zayne: Why?
Nanay: Hmmmm. I don’t know. Maybe Ninang Joie does not love us anymore? :p

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Zayne: Hey, Ninang Joie! You owe me a cake! Make me a pretty cake for my first birthday, or else... Consider this a threat! 
Nanay: Yari ka, Ninang Joie! :p

We were not able to have a cake from My Sweets’ Haven because Ninang Joie needed to attend to a commitment on Zayne’s birthday. Mama requested if we could have the Chocolate Sansrival from Conti's instead. I also let her wear a pambahay dress given by Mama. And as usual, taking her photos was such a tedious task! She was constantly removing her headband, grabbing the cake and talking like a crazy maniac. Hahaha!

At ten months, she can already stand unsupported for an entire episode of Hi-5. She already started walking with bigger steps and in longer distances. And oh, she always gives me a heart attack because she’s constantly diving from one point to another! When I told her pediatrician about it, he said, “Ang yabang naman talaga niyan ni Zayne. Ang advanced!”

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Medyo siga o! Binabalibag na lang ang walker! :p

Apart from that, her doctor was also very delighted when we found out that her weight gain is finally back to normal. He was initially worried about Zayne’s slow weight gain. But after finding out that her milestones are advanced for her age, he stopped being conscious. After gaining almost half a kilo and 600 grams for two consecutive months, we all finally breathed a sigh of relief.

Speaking of weight gain, I think I can attribute it to Zayne’s appetite. She’s still exclusively breastfed. She’s eating whatever I ask her to eat while still consuming the same amount of milk from when she was still not allowed to eat anything.

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

I didn’t practice baby-led weaning right away because of her slow weight gain. We would spoonfeed her while letting her hold a piece of vegetable. I was initially worried because she kept on dropping the food she’s holding. I read online that babies are expected to hold on to their food and eat it when they reach their sixth month. So I searched “what to do when babies throw food” on Google. Much to my surprise, I didn’t get much help. As I was scanning some online materials, I learned that this behavior is normal for toddlers! TODDLERS try to observe what happens when they drop food. Heller?! My baby was just six months old when she started doing it. Pati sa kalokohan, advanced ang loka?! Hihi! Anyway, when she started gaining weight, we went back to training her to eat on her own. Grabe, when she finally learned, napa “Hallelujah!” kami ni Boyet!

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

Last month, some of her tricks were inconsistent, either hit or miss. But a few days after she turned nine months old, she has become more “cooperative” haha! She says HI to everybody. She would say HI even if the person is not paying attention to her! She also waves her hand and says, “Bye!” She also obliges when you ask her to raise her hand. Maygulay! Years from now, baka siya ‘yung student na laging nag-vo-volunteer magbura ng blackboard! Bwahahahaha!

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

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She also learned to say LA NA as in WALA NA. And she says it all the freakin’ time - when she finishes her food, when a song ends, when someone goes out of her sight and when she sees the end credits of a TV show or movie!

She loves to dance! Minsan, natatawa na lang kami kasi siya lang ang may alam ng tyempo ng sayaw niya! And oh, she was more than happy when the Bonakid commercial came back on air! :p

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

A lot of tricks she learned were taught by her yaya - Nanay Inday. One of which is pointing at her baby photo when asked, “Nasaan si Baby Zayne?” It’s a photo taken by St. Luke’s BGC when she was a day old.

Marunong na rin siyang magmano! Huhuhu! I’m so proud of my bebe!

She has also outgrown watching Baby TV. Although she still loves watching Charlie and the Numbers, she now enjoys watching shows from Disney Junior and Animal Planet. Yes, Animal Planet!!! She loves seeing dogs, cats, elephants, sharks and whales! And, she loves making animal sounds. Her favorite is the sound of the lizard! Hahahaha!

Being the youngest baby in our neighborhood, she usually “talks” to older people on weekdays when all of her older playmates are in school. Boyet and I would always hear her giggles and babbles while we’re having breakfast. Her Titas from the house next to us would shout, “Zayne!!!” when they see her. And our baby, being the showoff that she is, would always show her tricks! Hindi ko rin alam, bakit hindi sila nagsasawa sa mga tricks ni Zayne! :p Tapos na-realize ko lang, mas sociable ‘yung anak ko kesa sa akin! :p

She continues to be our source of sunshine. She does the most random reactions – from tulaley to wacky poses and her signature walang-mata smile. She’s like a real-life emoji! Hahahaha!

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Hay. She’s growing up really fast. She already knows how to make lambing when I’m tired. She’s extra clingy on Sunday nights. Parang alam niyang iiwan ko na uli siya the following day to go to work. She squeals when she sees us coming home from work. And she showers me and her Tatay with hugs and kisses and lots of laway! At ten months, she does not allow me to go to the restroom! But I guess these are the best times to savor her childhood. Sooner or later, this phase will pass so I’ll just make the most out of it. I just can’t wrap my head around the thought that I’ll be having a toddler really soon!
Our friends from Discovery Suites, after reading my review of their hotel, invited us to have lunch at 22 Prime. When we had our staycation at Discovery Suites to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary, we went to 22 Prime while we were checking out the hotel amenities. We didn’t get the chance to give it a try since our friend, Joie, recommended a restaurant in El Pueblo. When we went to El Pueblo for dinner, the restaurant was closed for a private function, and we ended up having our anniversary dinner date at Racks! Hihi. But I guess the stars were on our side. We finally had the chance to have a decent date at 22 Prime a couple of weeks ago. Well, almost! We tagged along Zayne with us so you probably know how it ended! Hihi!

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Tatay: Please behave, Anak.
Zayne: I’ll try, Tatay. :p

22 Prime exudes a classy vibe with its elegant interiors. The cozy lighting, high ceiling and use of earth colors make the restaurant perfect for either an intimate date or formal business meetings. The sophisticated look of the restaurant may scare away budget-friendly diners (like me), but after our lunch, I realized that you would be getting every cent you paid for at 22 Prime! You’ll understand why by the end of this post.

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A basket of freshly-baked bread was served to us. The four types of bread with three spreads were the perfect way to jumpstart our taste buds for an exciting treat.

I took a bite of the soft bread topped with pieces of feta cheese with olive oil and balsamic vinegar reduction, and I knew right away that it would be my favorite. The moist bread and the pungent flavors of the spread were a perfect match. But then I got to try the potato bread which I paired with the herbed butter, and I immediately changed my mind! (By this time, I saw my husband mouthing “Ang sarap!”) I guess you probably know what happened next. The pairing of the tomato brioche and sundried tomato spread was simply OH-EM-GEEE! I seriously can’t find the words to describe it.

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Complimentary Bread

And in case you’re wondering, that giant flat bread in the photo is lavash. (I hope I got it right.) It’s sweet, and it somehow tastes like our local otap without sugar. Anyway, I promised myself that I would not be eating the entire basket to give way to the rest of the meal, but I just could not resist it. Hihi!

To warm our tummies, my husband and I decided to split their Lobster Bisque. The soup is very creamy. But much to my surprise, it wasn’t overpowering. It still has a distinct subtlety making my palates ask for more. It has a generous serving of fresh lobsters which reminded me of the feeling of going on an entire day of island-hopping in Coron. Seriously, guys, it really gave me that kind of feeling! Haha! (And once again, I saw my husband wink at me while saying, “Ang sarap!” I know, I know. He needs to expand his “foodie” vocabulary! :p)

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Lobster Bisque PHP375

The soup comes with tomato herb croutons. I was initially planning to snub it thinking that it would not be at par with the bread basket. Well, I was wrong! Can you see those perfect grill marks? Those are not for aesthetic purposes only. The croutons had a slight smoky flavor which balanced out the richness of the soup.

Here’s a tip: Never, as in NEVER, leave 22 Prime without trying out their steaks. I mean, duh! Just don’t! Trust me! Haha! Boyet opted to have one from their Steak Frites menu – Wagyu Hanger Steak.

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Wagyu Hanger Steak PHP1100

I know that my photos can’t give justice to my claim. I should have exerted more effort in taking more decent shots for this blog, but our Little Kolokoy was already asking for her baon: carrots! Hihi. Anyway, this 200-gram-worth of oooh-la-la goodness was such a delight to our taste buds. The meat is still very tender despite ze hubby’s request to have it cooked well-done. Boyet’s verdict: Ang sarap! :p

Apart from the steak, the truffle fries that came with it were a big hit! Grabe! The fries looked so simple at first glance so I wasn’t really expecting much from it. But it was sooooo addicting!

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We still don’t allow Zayne to eat anything that I didn’t prepare at home. But that smart kid figured out a way to have a “taste” of the fries! She probably saw how much we loved it! :p

Now, here’s what I got!

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Surf & Turf PHP1450

I chose to have the Surf & Turf. My plate has 200g Angus ribeye, two jumbo prawns and twice-baked potato. Again, I’m sorry for the crappy photos. I should have gone on Facebook Live to show you how beautiful my plate was! Hahaha!

I also had my steak prepared well-done. I’m still breastfeeding so I’m still as careful with my food intake like I’m still pregnant. Haha! But I was quite surprised the meat was still tender. The meat-to-fat ratio is perfect making the steak really juicy. And the taste? Oh. My. Goodness. Gracious. Lord. Saying it was perfect would be the biggest understatement of the year! The meat was seasoned to perfection. It was like I had a taste of heaven with that 200-gram thing! I let my husband have a bite of it. He closed his eyes, looked at me, and said nothing! It was THAT good! Hindi makatarungang sabihin lang na: Ang sarap! And the prawns?! It’s my dream to be able to cook prawns as perfect as these two beauties!

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My plate comes with three kinds of sauces which definitely added more flavor and texture, but I opted to skip it after a few tries simply because I wanted to savor the “natural” taste of the steak and the prawns. I swear, make me choose between an iPhone7 and this plate once a week for one month, and I would definitely choose the Surf & Turf without thinking twice! Hahahaha!

We would have wanted to try some of their desserts, but Zayne was starting to get irritable. It was as if she was telling us that we were already past her siesta time. Hahaha! Fortunately, we got to try their Iced Tea. It was refreshingly good! Zayne kept on grabbing the apples on top. Hihi!

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Albeit a bit pricey, food, ambiance and service are great. When Boyet and I were discussing at home what we would be having for dinner, he said that he didn’t feel like having dinner for two reasons. First, he was still quite full around dinner time. And second, he said that he didn’t want his tongue to taste anything new for the next three days! Hahahahaha!

So to Celine and the rest of Discovery Suites, thank you very much for having us! I was not joking when I told you that our lunch was perfect! =)

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22 Prime
22F Discovery Suites
25 ADB Avenue, Ortigas,
Pasig City

* All photos were taken with Nikon D60 

22 Prime - Discovery Suites Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Ever since I posted our battle with infertility last year, I started getting tons of messages from women saying that they felt inspired after reading my blog post. I honestly don’t know why. But I guess some women found comfort in learning that they are not facing their battle alone. I guess that by using my blog as a platform, I have managed to increase people’s awareness about couple’s struggles with infertility. (Kahit 10 lang ang readers ko, at least nakatulong ako. Hahaha!)

A big percentage of women who reached out to me were also diagnosed with PCOS. That actually came as a surprise to me. Before I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2012, I only knew two women who have it. When I published my blog post last year, some friends sent me messages telling me that they, too, have PCOS. Wait, what?! Puwede na pala akong magtatag ng The Sisterhood of Petiks Ovaries sa dami namin. But unfortunately, despite our number, PCOS is still unknown to many. That is why September has been tagged as PCOS Awareness Month. O ‘di ba? Hindi mo rin alam na may PCOS Awareness Month!

I took it upon myself to write about PCOS. I know that I don’t have a large following, but I’ll use this blog as a tool to raise awareness kahit puro friends ko lang naman ang nagbabasa ng blog ko. Hihi. I figured that by doing this, other women with PCOS who are still “hiding” in the dark will feel empowered. I was too embarrassed to admit that I have PCOS. In a society where women are expected to get pregnant right after marriage, having PCOS made me feel really inadequate. And apart from this, I do hope that I get to raise awareness to those people who are unknowingly hurting women battling PCOS. I, too, had a fair share of insensitive comments from people around me. They range from innocent questions like, “Wala pa ba” up to the gusto-kitang-patayin-pakialamera-kang-bruha-ka comments like, “Sino sa inyo ang may diperensiya?” (Side story: An oldie holding a baby once told me and Boyet, “Cute niya ‘no? Wala! Hindi niyo kayang gumawa ng ganito ka-cute!” In my head, I was like, “Nyeta, antayin mo ‘yung anak ko!” And because I’m naturally bitchy, I whispered to Boyet, “That kid is not even cute!” Sorry na! :p)

Anyway, please note that I am not a doctor. Everything you’re about to read beyond this point is just based from my personal experiences. If you have PCOS or you suspect to have it, the best thing to do is to go to an OB/GYN. Not me, not Google, okay?

So what is PCOS? PCOS means Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. It’s a hormonal imbalance which causes irregular periods, acne breakouts and unexplained weight gain. Women get diagnosed through a blood test or an ultrasound. I’ve always had irregular periods. Unfortunately, I was only diagnosed with PCOS in my late 20s when my then OB/GYN from Manila Doctors Hospital ordered for a transvaginal ultrasound. I’ve had countless of pelvic ultrasounds prior to that diagnosis. Dra. Australia Luz, the OB/GYN from St. Luke’s Global who later on handled our fertility workup, told me that pelvic ultrasound is not conclusive. My old OB/GYN should have gone me through transrectal ultrasound at the very least.

For those who have no idea what happens to women with PCOS, allow me to give you an “overview” first of a woman’s cycle. A healthy woman without PCOS has two ovaries, the left and the right (hold them up high, so clean and bright, hihi). The ovaries release an egg cell. (Usually one lang. In some cases, more than one which explains the existence of twins.) If the egg cell is fertilized by the sperm, the woman gets pregnant. If not, menstruation happens. And then the cycle continues. These lucky women can observe their cycle to have at least an approximation of when they ovulate. This makes planning to get pregnant a bit easier for them. This is not the case for women with PCOS. Our cycle is very unpredictable. In my case, I experienced not having my menstrual period for more than a year. The OB/GYN from Manila Doctors Hospital who initially handled my case at that time said that I was just underweight. (Oo mga bes, bwisit ‘yung doctor ko dati! Kapag naiisip ko siya ngayon, sinasakal ko siya sa utak ko. Haha!) Anyway, we don’t know when we ovulate. In my case, I didn’t ovulate at all. As a result, my ovaries had a lot of undeveloped eggs which appear as cysts in an ultrasound scan. Kaya siya tinawag na polycystic ovaries. It made getting pregnant very difficult for me. Ovulation had to be induced. I had to take hormones to make my ovaries release an egg. Unfortunately, my ovaries were resistant to such medications for years.


Apart from the hormones, I had to take Metformin. It’s one of the most common medicines given to women with PCOS. Incidentally, it’s also the same pill given to diabetic patients as it controls the level of insulin in the body. Metformin is our best friend, but that best friend is a bitch. Its side effects are horrible – nausea, headache and LBM just to name a few. Apart from people who kept on asking me why I still didn’t have a baby, I also had to face the horrible side effects of Metformin. Naisip ko nga dati, bakit hindi na lang ‘tong mga tsismosang atat na atat akong mabuntis ang magtae araw-araw?! :p

Although PCOS is one of the major causes of infertility to women, there are other things attributed to this condition that women with PCOS have to go through. Normal ovaries produce a little amount of male hormones. But the ovaries of women with PCOS produce more which result in acne breakouts and unwanted hair. And then there’s weight gain! I’ve known women with PCOS who exercise like there’s no tomorrow and eat nothing but salad, and yet they still struggle with losing weight. Blame the messed up hormones and insulin!

In a society where body-shaming has become the new norm, women with PCOS have to go through the pains of being ridiculed. In a society where women are expected to bear children, women with PCOS have to endure the never-ending emotional struggles of feeling incapable.


A lot people are so ignorant on what women with PCOS go through!

Some may say that PCOS is not a big deal. Hindi naman siya sikat so ano nga ba ang pinaglalaban namin? A person once told me, “Malayo naman pala sa bituka ‘yan,” after I explained what PCOS is. There was also this one time when a friend told me this story. My friend has an officemate who also has PCOS. A relative said to her officemate after finding out that she has PCOS, “PCOS LANG, HINDI KA NA MAGKAANAK?” Naknampucha! So yeah, PCOS is not a big deal.

I mentioned earlier that when I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2012, I only knew two women with PCOS. Now picture this. I have lunch buddies in the office: 5 girls, and 3 of us have PCOS! One of the girls was diagnosed with PCOS four years after she gave birth. That’s 3 out 5 just in my inner circle alone! Pffffttt! So yeah, PCOS is not a big deal.

For women who come out victorious mothers despite PCOS, the battle is not yet over. PCOS survivors who get pregnant are at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes. I was quite fortunate that my GD was managed through strict diet. Others had to inject insulin on a daily basis. GD is not something that should be taken lightly since it can harm both the mother and the baby. Nakaligtas ka sa PCOS, magkakaroon ka naman ng gestational diabetes. Ang saklap lang! And even if infertility is already out of the question, PCOS still poses as a health threat to women. Women with PCOS are at greater risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases and ovarian cancer. So yeah, PCOS is not a big deal.

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I’m writing this post for two things.

First is to raise awareness so more people will know how serious PCOS is. The thing is, you’ll see a woman, and you won’t even have the slightest idea that she has PCOS. I have PCOS. I don’t have breakouts, and I am not overweight. I know someone who never missed a period but was later on diagnosed with PCOS. I also want people to know that apart from the physical struggles that these women go through, we also deal with our own demons. We fight the urge to eat our favorite chocolates because we’re hoping that even the smallest effort can help us succeed with our fertility treatments. We exercise to death even if we know that it’s nearly impossible to lose weight. We look at the mirror every morning hoping that one day, we’ll finally have our clear and rosy cheeks back. We throw up, go to the bathroom countless of times in a day and try to keep ourselves from banging our aching heads just because our bodies can’t handle the side effects of Metformin and Clomid. We strive to be genuinely happy for our best friends who got pregnant without even trying. We look at kids with tears in our eyes while asking the question, “Will I ever get my turn in motherhood?” We feel guilty for dreading to go to family reunions primarily because we already got so fed up with relatives asking why we are still childless. We pray at night and sometimes bargain with God with the hopes of having an answered prayer soon. We get sad each time we can’t buy that dream bag to save for the pocket-draining fertility workups. We cry every single time we hear of stories of mothers throwing babies in the trash can while our dysfunctional ovaries can’t even produce a single egg cell. We pray that our husbands will continue to love us even if we can’t give them the kind of family that they deserve. We are in a battlefield every single day, and sadly, there are days when our hearts are dying. So the next time you utter an insensitive remark, whether you said it in jest or simply out of your ignorance, remember that these women are going through tougher times.

Second, I’m writing this with the hopes to empower women with PCOS. I look back at the days when I felt so embarrassed about having PCOS, and I wonder why I felt so inferior about it. I hid it like I did a heinous crime. It’s probably because I was so ashamed that I didn’t fit the mold of a “real” woman. Now that I have this platform, I’ll be using it to make these women feel that PCOS can be managed. I want these women who are being “beaten” by PCOS to feel differently. You are beautiful! You are sexy! You are smart! You are funny! Don’t let other people feel that you’re less of a woman just because your ovaries are lazy. And for those who are still praying for a baby, let me be a living testament that although having PCOS makes it more difficult to conceive, it does not mean that it’s impossible. Hang in there! You’re going to be an amazing momma!
We welcomed Zayne to the Christian world on January 22, 2016. (I know, I know. Why am I blogging this just now? Better late than never, eh?!) Anyway, my husband and I decided to have our daughter baptized before my maternity leave ended. We didn’t really get the chance to thoroughly plan for the said event, but I’m glad that it turned out really well. Our stay-out helper started with us just a couple of weeks before Zayne’s baptism so I didn’t really get the chance to go out of the house to “physically” do the preparations. Apart from taking care of Zayne, my husband and I also agreed not to take her out of the house before having her baptized. It’s not really because of the pamahiin. We were just being extra careful since a newborn’s immune system is still very fragile. Checkup lang ang labas niya ng bahay, tapos uwi na agad. So technically, her baptism was the first time that she was welcomed by our family and friends, and the “world”, too. Hahaha!

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Nanay and Tatay sporting the New Parent’s Look
Good for Boyet he was able to hide his tired eyes with sunglasses! :p

Church: San Agustin Church

We were supposed to have a private baptism at Shrine of Jesus. But when my husband called to reserve, we found out that the only available times were 8AM and 4PM. We then decided to check out other churches, but most of them require a clearance from our parish. The parish where we belong does not entertain private baptisms. Running out of options, we decided to check out San Agustin Church. If you’ve been following me through this blog, then you probably know that it holds a special place in our hearts since we also got married in the same church.

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San Agustin Church didn’t require us to submit a clearance from our parish. There was no seminar prior to the baptism, but the priest incorporated it during the ceremony. Kapag hindi pa naman naintindihan ng mga ninong at ninang ang role nila sa anak ko sa haba at linaw ng paliwanag ni Father, aba ewan ko na lang talaga! Haha!

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We were also assisted by someone from the church before up until after the ceremony. And because it was a private baptism, we literally “owned” the entire church. Incidentally, the priest who officiated the baptism happens to be an acquaintance of one of Zayne’s ninongs. He opened the altar gate and allowed us to come closer to the altar for the picture-taking. Hihi. And of course, let us not forget how picture-perfect the church is. Lakas lang maka-we-also-got-married-here senti! :p

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Our little darling, Zayne, turned nine months old on August 8. I planned to take a day off from work so I decided to cook a pasta dish and fried chicken instead of the usual food takeout/delivery. Everything was turning out just fine, and I was just being my chillax self, when Zayne’s ninangs decided to join our celebration. Well, it was more of they invited themselves to join the celebration. Haha! My mind was already programmed that I would be preparing dinner for four people, so my mind started flying everywhere when I found out that Joie, Jeff, Aubrey, Joy and Skye would be joining us. Masarap naman daw yung fried chicken ko. Masarap din daw yung pasta ko (Thanks to the spanish sardines pasalubong of Jeff and Joie) kaso lang, nakalimutan kong patayin agad yung pasta. Ayun, overcooked. (Guys, huwag niyo na uulitin ‘yun ha?! Haha!)

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Adding more fun to our celebration, and making up for my semi-palpak pasta was the cake baked by Joie! S’mores, antokwa! Super sarap!!! It’s so good that I felt really bad sharing it with other people. Hahaha!

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She felt bad that she was still not allowed to have a piece of her own cake! :p

Zayne didn’t mind the extra faces that night. Gone are the days when she would simply stare blankly (aka tulaley) at people’s faces. She was giggling non-stop, and she definitely loved showing off her new tricks to her ninongs and ninangs. She also adores her Ate Skye. Skye was running here and there while Zayne was obviously trying to escape her booster chair! Hahaha. Ang cute nila “maglaro” haha!

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She wore a top from H&M. And in case you noticed, yes, I paired it with a Bamboo Dappy cloth diaper! Please don’t judge me. I am not a bad mother. Haha! It has been a struggle to make her stay still which explains the choice of outfit. :p

Taking a decent photo is just as hard as feeding her especially at night. She does acrobatics and action-star-level stunts while I breastfeed her. She has also developed a personal relationship with the boobies. She talks and laughs at them all the time. Akala mo tropapips sila. Parang, “O mga besh, kamusta ang araw niyo? Ok ba ang milk production?” Hahahaha!!!

Zayne’s first tooth finally erupted before she turned nine months old. She started showing signs of teething as early as four months tapos forever bago naman lumabas! Pabebeng ngipin!

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We had some issues with her slow weight gain the previous months, but she finally started bouncing back. Her pediatrician wasn’t really worried because 1) her height is above the normal range, and 2) her “skills” are already advanced for her age! She could easily stand on her own for a long time. She actually watches TV while standing up. A few days after she turned eight months old, Zayne surprised her Ninang Aubrey. Zayne was standing the whole time her Ninang Aubrey was talking to her! Ang yabang na daw ni Zayne!

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She finally gained around 400 grams before her ninth month. Prior to that, she only gained 60 grams. Parang wiwi pa yata sa diaper niya ang 60 grams na na-gain niya. Haha! I was not really that concerned with her weight gain. First, because she is not sickly. She only had sipon once which lasted for a day. And second, she is not a picky eater!

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Yes, friends! That is ampalaya! :p

She also started walking sideways while holding on to something. Favorite hangout niya ang gilid ng couch. Haha! Everybody in the house is also so amused every time she dances. Madalas may head bang pa e! She dances when she hears songs from Hi-5, Sofia the First, and her favorite, Sheriff Callie’s Wild West. And because we’re trying to raise a bilingual kid, she also dances when my parents watch Wowowin! Hahahaha!

And since we’re already on the topic of raising a bilingual kid, we’re quite amazed that Zayne gets to interact with the people around her. May kwenta na siyang kausap. Haha! She responds to people who talk to her either in English or Filipino. Where’s Papa Jesus? Nasaan si Papa Jesus? She would then point to our house altar.

Where’s the light? Nasaan ang ilaw?

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Show me your tongue. Where’s your tongue? Nasaan daw ang dila?

Beautiful eyes. Ganda mata.

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We have been exerting a conscious effort when we converse when Zayne is around. She’s like a sponge who absorbs everything she hears! There was this one time when Mama and Papa told me that Zayne had cough. Thank God for a mother’s instinct, I already knew right away that Zayne was well! She started “coughing” ehem-ehem level with matching dahak, and then she smirked! Oh yes, she did! ‘Yung parang sinabi niya sa akin through her eyes na, “Nauto ko sila Papa Lolo at Mama Lola!” I told my parents, “Umaarte lang ‘yan!” I found out the following day that her nanny was having itchy throat. Antokwa ‘di ba?! Hahaha!

Aside from mamama, papapa, dedede and tatata, she could also say - diti! Hahaha! I kept on saying DIRTY each time she holds our curtains. Loko rin e. She would hold the curtains, look at me, smile and say DITI. Haha. And oh, there have been times when she refers to her milk as BATEH (aka bottle) instead of dede. Haha. Uma-accent ang loka!

I have long accepted the fact that NANAY would not be her first word. It’s very easy for her to say TATA, but here’s the funny thing. She does not say NANAY when people ask or teach her to say NANAY. But there were a few times when she woke up in the middle of the night and found out I was nowhere near her. I went to the bathroom and from there, I heard her cries. And yes, she kept on calling me NANAY. Pang-emergency cases lang daw kasi si NANAY! Haha!

I’m also glad that she is still a very low maintenance baby. I don’t feel the pressure to buy her toys because she finds joy in playing with the ends of the puzzle floor mat, the remote control, her lampin, and whatever it is she’s holding. Her favorite game is the old-fashioned bahay-bahayan. A blanket already makes her very happy. Her Tatay and I would go with her under the blanket and pretend that it’s our house. Aliw na aliw na siya. Hahaha!

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I look at my daughter and wonder for two things all the time. First, where did the past nine months go? And second, what have I done to deserve a sweet, smart and lovable child? At times, I still look at her with amazement, and I would tell myself, “Look at that former egg cell, the one that your effin’ dysfunctional ovaries almost failed to produce.” Hihihi! =))

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Being a neophyte mother who is currently sharing the load of paying two mortgages with my dear husband, I look at payday as a gateway to an avalanche of bills to be paid. Harharhar! Gone are the days when I could go the nearest mall to score a new bag or a new pair of shoes. Now, as soon as all my “obligations” are settled, I usually do some online shopping for my daughter. #BuhayNanay

Honestly, it wasn’t really that hard to let go of shopping. When you’re already a mom, more shopping only means two things – more clutter in the house and less college fund for your child. :p But even if I’ve already let go of a lot of unnecessary things that could put a hole in my wallet, I still make sure to treat myself once in a while. I work hard, after all. I didn’t think twice saying goodbye to shopping, but there’s one treat that I chose to hang on to – EATING OUT! If others skip meals to buy gadgets, I don't buy gadgets so I can have nice meals. Hahaha! :p

My husband and I used to eat out at least three times a week. But we made a conscious effort to limit it to one to two times a week when we started paying for our house amortization. So imagine us during payday. FIESTA! This is why I was so ecstatic when I received an invite from Raintree Restaurants a couple of weeks ago. Apart from trying out their good food (I already knew that their food would be awesome because I’ve been to Stella before), I was delighted to be a bearer of good news so foodies like me would hear about their Payday Buffet at Terraz Bistro & Meetings!

Terraz is a cozy restaurant housed at the third level of Zuellig Building. (Yes, that glassed building in Makati that becomes “invisible”. Hihi.) During paydays, they host eat-all-you-can buffet lunch (PHP395++) and dinner (PHP450++). It’s a perfect treat for frugal, corporate slaves like me who want to indulge in a gastronomic adventure!

Our host was more than generous to allow me to bring ze bestfriend with me for dinner. As soon as we set foot in Terraz, I already knew that it’s far different from the usual buffet places that we got used to.

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We were welcomed with a very inviting setup with perfect lighting and good music. The ambiance is cozy yet very classy. They have couches providing a quite relaxed environment which is perfect for corporate meetings or simply an extended night out with your friends.

Another thing I noticed is that the buffet spread is arranged and spaced smartly. Hindi siksikan. Hindi masakit sa mata. Plus, their presentation is simply awesome. I’m sorry, but my photos might not give justice to my claim so just take my word for it. :p

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Now, do you believe me?

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This, by far, is the most dramatic tawilis setup I have ever seen! :p

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I’m not saying this because they didn’t make me pay for my dinner. You know me, guys. I don’t lie to you. Haha. But believe me when I say that their food is sooooo, sooooo, sooooooooo good! Aubrey and I told our host, Michele, “Hindi namin ‘to sinasabi kasi nakaharap ka ha. Pero masarap talaga!”

I have to say that I’ve been to other buffet restaurants that offer a wider range of food choices. ‘Yung tipong impatso-level kind of dami ng pagkain tapos karamihan naman ng food ay forgettable. Such is not the case at Terraz Payday Buffet. First, because their buffet menu actually changes. This gives diners variety and another reason to look forward to the next payday. (Excellent marketing strategy there, Terraz! 😊) And second, what the spread may have lacked in quantity, Terraz definitely compensated it with quality. They exerted an extra effort for the presentation to make the dishes look more appealing. And oh, have I already mentioned that their food is delish?! Hahaha. Eto, para na akong sirang plaka!

Everything I tasted was good, but ranking on top of my list is the pork belly (lower right portion of the photo below). I only got two pieces of the pork, one decision I later on regretted. I stood up to get more of it. The melt-in-your-mouth pork was such a delight to my taste buds.

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I also personally loved their chicken inasal salad. I was simply just intrigued when I saw it served in a glass. I’m glad that it piqued my curiosity because it turned out to be another favorite! The smoky flavor of the grilled chicken was very evident.

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