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


ANG KALAT!

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!


PALENGKE

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!!!


CUTLERY SET

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.

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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


SER CHIEF

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)

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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. ^_^

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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!
saladstop (1)

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!

saladstop (3)
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! =)

saladstop (2)
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! =)


SaladStop!
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

Click to add a blog post for SaladStop! on Zomato
It has been a while since the last time I posted an update about The Kolokoy Home. My initial plan was to give you a glimpse of our living room. But I look at it, and I feel like it’s still a bit too bare. My husband and I still have a lot of renovation plans, but my pregnancy definitely stalled us a bit. The next best thing was to share our kitchen. But every weekend, my husband is coming up with new DIY projects to further improve that part of the house. I’m not complaining, though, even if I am disrupted by his construction worker getup every weekend (with matching pawis at asim ng kili-kili as bonus) because that only means that he is paying close attention in giving me a nice kitchen. I think that’s my reward for serving him good food every single day. Harharharhar!

Anyway, as my husband and I were walking around the neighborhood one weekend morning (for me to get my needed exercise and dose of Vitamin D), I told him that our house does not really look like a “house” as compared with our neighbors’. Although we got a lot of compliments from our guests during our house blessing with how we designed our interiors all by ourselves and how well we maximized the space, I think that we have been focusing all our time and energy with our house’s interiors that we had totally forgotten to pay attention to the façade of our house. Our garage still has a lot of trash and construction materials so that added to my bakit-parang-hindi-mukhang-bahay-ang-bahay-natin vibe. I have been bugging my husband to put up an outdoor planter, but he kept on saying that it could wait. But I guess he was finally convinced that our house needs some oomph that’s why he gave in. (Either that or I was just being my usual stubborn, pregnant self, haha!)

One morning, he woke me up and excitedly told me that he had a surprise for me. He then directed me to the garage, and I saw two large pots of plants. One has small white flowers. He said that the other one is a plant that helps keep mosquitoes away. He bought those plants from the same guy who was supplying plants to our neighbors. And yesterday, we bought a calamansi plant from the same vendor. Hahaha! I was seriously thinking of buying a malunggay plant in preparation for my breastfeeding journey, but I don’t think we can handle something as tall as a malunggay tree! :p

I told Boyet that the plants are actually a bit expensive. Mama usually buys plants from a nearby shop. If you’re from the Paco-Sta. Ana area, then you probably know the garden shops along Pedro Gil St., near the PNR-Paco station. I asked my husband if he could check it out to compare the prices. And of course, my hunch was right! The plants, soil and pots are way cheaper there!
garden
Too bad my topless gardener got too shy to pose for a photo. Hahahaha!

I asked my husband to buy a santan plant so I can teach our Englishero neighbor kids to eat its nectar! Wakekekekeke!!! (Next ko kaya ang Gumamela so I can teach them how to make bubbles?! :p) And because part of my 2015 goals is to build my own herb garden, my husband also bought mint, basil and tarragon! He was looking for parsley, thyme and rosemary, but the store ran out of stock. He was asked to come back next week to check for the new arrivals. Wooohooo!!!

DSC_3793

The plants will be staying in this part of our garage for now. We’ll probably get more plants before we build the planter that we have been planning. I’m looking forward to having our own mini garden! And I’m so excited to simply stretch my hand out of the window to grab some fresh basil leaves while I cook pasta! Very Giada de Laurentiis ang peg! Hihihi!
My husband and I love watching FRIENDS. Even now that he’s into Game of Thrones and I’m hooked with the more underrated TV series like iZombie and Orphan Black, Friends is still the best TV series for both of us. A lot tried to grab the top spot in our hearts, but none even made it close. When we were still dating, we would often dream of watching late night reruns of Friends together in our own bedroom. And more than a decade after its last episode was shown, Boyet and I still watch Friends with the same reactions as to when we first watched it. There are a lot of times when we would remember watching a specific episode, but we would still laugh at the same scenes as if it was our first time to see it. But as we were watching the reruns of Friends on Warner TV, I noticed that my perspective of the TV show has somehow changed over the years. When I first watched it years ago, I just thought of it as a funny and very entertaining show. But years of experiences have changed the way I see it now. First, I realized that Rachel and Ross are my least favorite characters. Yes, Ross is amusingly funny, and Rachel is undeniably gorgeous. But the indecisiveness of Ross towards his feelings for Rachel and Rachel being an immature and unfair spoiled brat at times are quite irritating. Again, I didn’t mind this the first time I watched the series. Second, I have come to love and sometimes envy the friendship of Chandler and Joey. Third, when I first watched Friends years ago, I was keenly following the love story of Ross and Rachel. I’m not sure what appealed to me at that time. But now that I am much older, I felt like the love story of Monica and Chandler is the quintessential one. Again, this may be an unpopular opinion. But I guess that it roots from the fact that I am more mature now so the on and off, rocky and unpredictable love story of Ross and Rachel no longer appeals to me.

Or it’s probably because I can relate more with Monica and Chandler now.

Although my husband and I didn’t go as far as starting off our relationship with a one-night stand in a foreign land just like Monica and Chandler, the start of our love story can be described the same way as Monica and Chandler’s – it was unexpected. Just like the two, we have been friends for the longest time. I remember on an earlier season when Chandler was bugging Monica about the possibility of them being romantically involved, a thought that Monica immediately dismissed. But then poof! They just clicked one day. They were even trying to understand the situation that they were in, but they just went with the flow when they started to feel that what they have was something real. And then the hiding begins. (Hihihi! ‘Yung bawal mag holding hands in public kasi ang daming judgemental! :p) They initially hid their relationships even to their closest friends. Watching those episodes again brought me back to the time when everybody got shocked, including my best friends, when I told them that Boyet and I were already dating. “Ano? Si Boyet??? Kayong dalawa ni Boyet? Paano nangyari ‘yun?!”

Monica is well-known for her obsessive compulsive personality. I may not be as extreme, but yeah, I want everything in order according to my own preference. On the other hand, Chandler has always been that goofy and sometimes annoying guy who does not know how to take things seriously. But when he does, he really does take things seriously! People close to us can attest that my husband is very much like that! Number one sa kalokohan at alaskahan pero may natatago naman siyang lalim kung kinakailangang ilabas! :p

But the thing that made me relate the most to this couple is probably their infertility journey. I didn’t really pay enough attention to it before. But because of our four-year battle with infertility, I somehow felt the connection between us and their characters.


Monica and Chandler both struggled with having a baby. Monica is known to be the kind of woman who has dreamt of having her own family, her own children. She even made a painful decision to leave Richard just because he wasn’t keen in building a family with her. She has yearned for a child, and it was made clear how she took care of the kids around her as early as when Ben (child of Ross from his first marriage) was born. And she has lived through the reality of having her close friends having their own kids. Phoebe became a surrogate to her brother’s triplets, and Rachel got pregnant after having some sort of a one-night stand with Ross! But as fate dictates it, Monica and Chandler, the married couple who are ready and willing to become parents, were not as fortunate! I happened to watch reruns of that season just in time when I was going through a difficult part of my infertility journey. So medyo tagos hanggang bones ang sakit while watching those specific episodes! Hahaha! But then, I specifically caught one episode that made me tear up a bit. I was already pregnant when I got to watch it again. Monica and Chandler resorted to adoption. But they were forced to lie to the birth mother when she had mistaken them for a doctor and a minister! They desperately wanted a child so they went along with the mother’s false belief. But when they realized that they could not have the child by lying, they told the mother about the truth and apologized. Not wanting her child to be in the hands of two liars, she decided to back out. But then, Chandler said this!!!

Love this. �� Happy Mother's Day! ����

A video posted by @friendstvvideos on



“My wife's an incredible woman. She's loving and devoted and caring. And don't tell her I said this, but the woman's always right... I love my wife more than anything in this world. And I... it kills me that I can't give her a baby... I really want a kid. And when that day finally comes, I'll learn how to be a good dad. But my wife... she's already there. She's a mother... without a baby...”

*tears tears tears*

I remember hearing almost the same thing from my husband countless of times before. There were many times when I doubted about the possibility of us having kids because of our infertility issues, but he knew what to say to comfort me. One time, he told me that I am already a mother. I am a mom to our nieces and nephews, to our godchildren and to the kids I send to school. “Mas nanay ka pa nga kesa sa ibang may mga anak pero pinapabayaan naman!”

He said those things without him realizing that he, too, has always been a father long before we even had a baby…
As my husband and I wait for the new restaurants to open in Robinsons Manila, we made a mental note of the very few restaurants in the mall that we had yet to try. We then spotted Hokkaido Ramen Bangaichi. It’s hidden in one of the corners at the second level of Midtown Wing so I have no idea how long it has been there. It’s sharing a spot with another restaurant, Jack’s Loft. We tried Jack’s Loft years ago, but we weren’t that happy with the service so we never came back. But because my husband and I are both ramen lovers, we took a risk and gave Hokkaido Ramen a shot. Years had passed since our last visit so we were also quite curious if their service has already improved.

The place is a bit small given the fact that it houses two restaurants that probably have two different sets of clientele. Fortunately, my husband scored a vacant seat while I was in the restroom. They also have additional spaces for al fresco dining, but it was very humid that day so we settled with the seats we scored.

A waiter immediately approached us and handed us their menu. It gave me high hopes about the improvements in their service that I was hoping for. And true enough, their service has improved! I noticed that turnover time was quite fast as orders are being served and tables are being cleaned in no time. Just a few minutes after we placed our orders, we got to enjoy our bowls of hot ramen!

shio ramen
Shio Ramen PHP280

I opted to have their Shio Ramen, while my husband settled with the Miso Ramen. I think the only difference between the two is the kind of broth used. Both have the same amount of noodles, leeks, nori and bamboo shoots. Both are also served with two slices of meat.

Shio Ramen is salt-based. The ramen is very tasty, although I have to admit that its briny taste is one-dimensional. It doesn’t bring anything else to my palates aside from its salty flavor. But nonetheless, the taste and portion is reasonable enough for its price.

On the other hand, Miso Ramen has more depth when it comes to the flavor as compared with the Shio Ramen. The cut of of the meat is thicker than the usual, but it’s still very tender. Undoubtedly, the nori and the leeks amplified the already rich flavors of the miso broth. If I didn’t have a conscience, I would have agreed when my husband offered to switch his bowl with mine! :p

miso ramen
Miso Ramen PHP310

When there is ramen, there should also be gyoza. I have to admit that this is not the best out there, but it’s still delicious. It has subtler flavor compared with the other gyoza that I have tasted before. If you’re the type who doesn’t like the strong and pungent taste of the usual gyoza, then this will suit your taste buds.

gyoza
Gyoza PHP160

Hokkaido Ramen Bangaichi offers good food. It may not be the best, but it is certainly reasonably-priced. Ramens usually cost more or less PHP400 making Hokkaido Ramen Bangaichi cheaper compared with the others. They even offer a larger serving which has more meat yet it still costs under PHP400, if I’m not mistaken. Service is also remarkable. It’s way better than what it used to be. =)


Hokkaido Ramen Bangaichi
Level 2 Midtown Wing
Robinsons Place Manila,
Ermita, Manila


* All photos were taken with a Nikon Coolpix S3600

Click to add a blog post for Hokkaido Ramen Bangaichi on Zomato
There’s a relatively new restaurant in BGC that is concealed from the busier side of Burgos Circle. Abby and I were trying to cross out another restaurant from our “Must-Try-Before-We-Leave-BGC” list when our initial plan got derailed because she saw a Facebook post of Frank & Dean. The post shows a mouth-watering photo of fried chicken and waffles. So yeah, when you see a photo of fried chicken and waffles, you forget whatever your gastronomic plans are and go for this duo!

We went with some of our teammates last Friday. The place has the perfect mixture of coziness and elegance. It certainly exudes a laid back vibe yet there are bits and pieces scattered within the place that speak of nothing but sophistication. I initially thought that the place is a bit small until I realized that the restaurant has a second level to accommodate more guests.

While we were placing our orders, I noticed that most of the other guests were being served with their fried chicken. This got my hopes up because that only meant that it is one of the restaurant’s specialties. Basing from the menu, guests have the option to have their fried chicken go with rice, waffles, donuts and mac ‘n cheese. My mind was already set in getting their fried chicken and waffles, but I was disappointed when I saw from the menu that they only serve waffles with 2-pc fried chicken. I settled with the 1-pc Southern Fried Chicken with Mac ‘n Cheese instead. Abby and Sheen also got the same.
frank & dean (1)
1-pc Southern Fried Chicken with Mac ‘n Cheese PHP350

Was I happy with my choice? Yes, but not entirely. I loved the mac ‘n cheese. The pasta is cooked al dente. The amount of sauce is perfect. It’s not too runny, but it’s more than enough to coat the pasta. I also fell in love with all the cheesy goodness with my every bite.

Although the chicken’s crust is crunchy and very tasty, the meat is a bit too bland and dry for my liking. Unfortunately, the gravy didn’t help at all. I also don’t have a problem splurging on food, but I just felt that the PHP350 is a bit too much for the size of their chicken. I was trying to keep my silence while we were eating until Abby and Sheen finally verbalized what was on my mind. Abby even said that Army Navy’s fried chicken is way better than Frank & Dean’s. And oh, one of my teammates who got their 2-pc fried chicken had to send it back to the kitchen because his chickens were undercooked. :|

Although our food arrived shortly, some of us were not that lucky. Mitch simply got their Electric Omelet. I was almost done eating when her food arrived! After her numerous attempts to follow up and the waiters’ promise that her food is coming shortly, I finally asked one of the servers, “Kuya, bakit ang tagal ng itlog niya? Piniritong itlog lang, ang tagal tagal pang lutuin?!” My officemates simply laughed for two reasons. First, I sounded like a grumpy pregnant woman! (Well, I was one at that time! :p) And second, I think they put malice on my first statement! :p

I whispered something to Mitch after I talked to the waiter. “Dapat bongga ‘yang omelet mo ha! Kapag ayan hindi mukhang ginawa ng more than 30 minutes, yari sila sa’kin!” After less than a minute, this arrived to our table.

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Electric Omelet PHP200

Well, imagine the unsliced version. I think Mitch waited long enough that she totally forgot to take a photo of it. Now, you decide. Does this look like something that you would be willing to wait for more than half an hour? She let us have a few bites of it. It was just so-so. Although I loved the texture of the crispy bell peppers, the omelet was bland. But I think it was intentional given the fact that it’s called Electric Omelet because it is supposed to cater to those who are working out. I guess this is the healthier version as the omelet is cooked with three egg whites, 1 egg yolk, spinach and bell peppers. It is served with sliced bananas and toasted wheat bread.

The first two dishes may have been quite a disappointment, but the others made up for Frank & Dean’s shortcomings. This Fish ‘n Chips arrived later than the Electric Omelet. (IKR?! Hahahaha!) But I guess those who were able to give it a try enjoyed it. The fish and the fries were both cooked and seasoned perfectly. And the dip definitely did its purpose in adding more flavor to this dish!

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Fish ‘n Chips PHP360

We also got two kinds of pizza which came last after our countless attempts to follow up. We were all done eating when the pizza were finally served to us. We got to try 5 Cheese and All Meat Pizza. We failed to take a photo of the 5 Cheese Pizza because we all got so excited after the long waiting game. Haha!

Everybody seemed to have enjoyed it. The pizza crust was cooked to perfection, and the toppings were very tasty. They use thin crust so that gave more emphasis to the richness of flavors of the toppings.

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5 Cheese Pizza (not in the photo) PHP440

The All Meat Pizza will definitely give you a protein overload as you get the all the meaty goodness at each slice. I also loved the pungent flavors of the 5 Cheese Pizza. The combination of the different kinds of cheese was a great treat for my taste buds.

Frank & Dean may have some hits and misses. I would like to think that the service was a bit slow because it has only been a month since they started their operations, but I’m hoping this will improve over time. =)


Frank & Dean Café x Kitchen
First Floor, Forbes Town Center,
Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City,
Taguig City


* All photos were taken with an iPhone 4s

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This was the exact message that popped up yesterday from my mobile pregnancy application. I just reached my 20th week so that means we’re already halfway there! My husband and I, and those who patiently waited for us for four years, are all excited to see The Little Kolokoy. But I didn’t realize that time has passed by so swiftly. It felt like yesterday when my husband and I cried over three home pregnancy kits simply because we could not believe that we were going to be parents after battling infertility for years. But now, oh wow! The Little Kolokoy will soon make The Kolokoy Household brighter, happier, livelier and probably messier, too! :p

I mentioned in an earlier post that I started to feel our little girl as early as my 15th week. She used to just give me those weak movements randomly throughout the day. But I was feeling her more when I am about to go to sleep at night. Soon after that, I got sick. I was a bit worried when I stopped feeling those flutters in my tummy. But things have drastically changed in a span of a few weeks. She is now making sure that her presence is felt! She kicks like crazy every time she hears her Ninang Abby’s breast pump! Naiingayan siguro! Hahaha! She also could not stop kicking while I was watching John Lloyd Cruz in MMK. And I wasn’t even paying attention to the television at that time! But I was most amazed when she never fails to kick me every time her Tatay plays an Adam Levine song! I thought she was just reacting to the music. But she’s silent when it’s Katy Perry or Taylor Swift. Pero kapag Adam Levine, walang palya! Hahahaha! Kalokang bata! Ang aga aga maging John Lloyd at Adam Levine fan! :p

I’m due on November so it’s still a long way to go. I will just cherish and savor every moment that I get to spend with our Little Kolokoy inside of me.

I think I got a bit too excited yesterday that I ended up flooding Instagram with my posts. Yeah, I already consider it “flooding” given the fact that I can go really quiet on IG for days!

My officemates, Mitch and Abby have been bugging me to post an OOTD shot every week. I kept on finding excuses because I am not really the best person to pose for an OOTD photo. That’s the reason why I am a food and not a fashion blogger! Hahaha! But because going on my 20th week was sort of a big deal, I finally gave it a shot. But before I posted it, I made some sort of a disclaimer so people will stop saying that my tummy is too big for 5 months! This is an excerpt from the book What to Expect When You’re Expecting.


I really don’t understand why people keep on obsessing a pregnant woman’s tummy! Ano, lahat kayo OB/GYN na?! Charot! :p A pregnant woman’s tummy is not the best indication of a baby’s health. Plus, just like what the book said, every pregnancy is unique. Hindi naman ako si Marian Rivera na 19 inches ang baseline ng waistline! I have been a food blogger for years kaya malaki na talaga ang tiyan ko to begin with. Magaling lang akong magtago dati! :p

Anyway, I then posted this after a couple of hours. You have no idea what went behind the scene while we were “shooting” this! Hahaha! Sobrang laughtrip! I think I had to choose from Abby’s gazillion of shots before I settled with the most decent one! :p


This photo came in a close second place.

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But then I realized that I had a PUSH sign in the bakground!

It’s still too early to PUSH! :p
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cake!!!

We’re having a very delicious cake baked by my best friend, Joie, owner of My Sweets’ Haven! Hahahahaha!

My husband and I initially planned to use a cake in announcing the arrival of our Little Kolokoy. But at the last minute, he changed his mind and thought of using shoes instead as seen in this post. It makes perfect sense since we both love shoes anyway. We then agreed to use our initial idea when we announce the gender of our first child. I specifically told Joie that I wanted this kind of cake – a simple chocolate cake topped with tons of my favorite chocolates! I don’t want it coated with fondant because I actually hate eating something as sweet as that. But before all of you tell me that I shouldn’t be eating cakes at this point in my pregnancy, don’t worry. Because I had PCOS prior to pregnancy, my blood sugar is being monitored EVERY DAY. Kaya huwag kayong praning, ok?! :p

Anyway, I’m not saying this because Joie is my best friend, but this cake is insanely delicious. I even told her that this is her best creation so far! The base cake is very moist. I initially thought that it would be too sweet judging by the way it looks, but it isn’t. It’s not that sweet, but it isn’t overpowered by all of the chocolates in it. I specifically requested KitKat, Ferrero Rocher, Maltesers, Flat Tops and Chocnut! Hahahaha! Suffice to say, the Little Kolokoy was just as happy as I was when I tried it.

So by looking at the cake, did you get any clues if we’re having a boy or a girl? Nahhh? How about with this one?

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Still got no idea?! Exactly! That was the kind of suspense that The Little Kolokoy put us through when we went for an ultrasound last week! I think I was lying on the bed for more than half an hour, and the baby refused to cooperate. The Little Kolokoy was facing down, with legs crossed and one hand covering the you-know-what so my doctor could not see it. My legs and my back already started to hurt, but we still didn’t get any luck. My doctor even tried shaking my tummy to make the baby change position. She then advised me to just come back after a few days to have it rechecked. As soon as she said that, The Little Kolokoy suddenly showed us what we were waiting for!!!

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We’re having a baby girl!!! Our doctor was initially trying to comfort my husband because she thought that Boyet wanted to have a baby boy. But in reality, his preference for our first born is a baby girl. But of course, the baby’s gender didn’t matter to us at all. We waited for four long years! Choosy pa ba kami? I was ecstatic to find out that we’re having a baby girl, although I was secretly wishing that it would be a boy for three reasons. First, my husband and I are both 31 years old. I wanted to have a boy now because it would probably be harder for us to run around chasing him when we have one when we’re older. Second, my husband is the only boy in his family. Boy na sana, para tapos na ang pressure to have a boy. Hihi! But my father-in-law told us that it doesn’t matter to him at all! Basta daw healthy, masaya na siya! And third, everybody was predicting that we were having a baby girl. When we had our house blessing, a lot of my friends saw me for the first time after I announced my pregnancy. All of them were saying the same thing! “Babae ang anak mo… Ang ganda mo magbuntis… Hindi ka man lang tumataba… Hindi nagbago ang itsura mo…” I was secretly wishing it would be a boy just to prove na maganda lang talaga ako! Charot!!! Hahahahaha!

But then again, the baby’s gender totally didn’t matter to us when the doctor told us that everything was looking great. Our little girl has a strong heartbeat and that the brain and other internal organs are developing well. I was just having some on and off contractions, but my doctor said that it wasn’t really alarming. She just prescribed some meds to relax my uterus. (My doctor had the luxury to check all of these while waiting for The Little Kolokoy to reveal her gender! Hahaha!)

Even before I met my husband, I have been praying for the same thing over and over again. I didn’t specifically pray to have a boy or a girl. All I ever wanted was to be given the chance to fulfill what I have always believed is my mission in life – to be a mother. And seeing a human being inside my very tiny frame was just a testament of God’s grace, generosity and faithfulness. It may be a long wait, but it was definitely worth it. (Our baby girl just kicked me really hard while I was writing this part! She was probably saying, “Yes, Nanay! God loves us!!!”) For years, I have been praying to be given a healthy, normal, smart and beautiful child with a very kind heart. The last part will definitely be the hardest for us as parents. The other qualities can be determined by our genes, but the last one is for Boyet and I to work on! And so as we pray for our child, we also continuously pray for our hearts as parents-to-be! =)

I’m still not sure whether Baby Z will like her Tatay’s Lego toys or my books. She can like both or none at all. I’m not sure either what kind of parents Boyet and I will turn out to be. I’m not sure whether my little girl will like tutus or if she will favor jumper shorts instead. But the things that we are still uncertain about are the same things that make us really excited to get to know her! =)