22 August 2011

Amici & Caramia Experience

Tried out Amici and Caramia Gelateria in Alabang Town Center with Che and Karla. While I love pasta, Che loves pizza and Karla loves ice cream. It's what this restaurant serves best, as their logo indicates.

And since it's our first time, we agreed to choose from the best sellers in the menu.
Insalata con Ricotta Fritti
 Fried ricotta topped over mixed greens, served with balsamic dressing. I was never a fan of salads of greens until Ate Lea's dressing, so when they chose this I was like, I would just try the dressing with tomatoes and cabbage and the "chicken." Little did I know that it's fried cheese. Well.
Linguine Fantastico
Linguine tossed in a tangy, mouth-watering blend of proscuitto, stewed tomatoes, black olives and garlic. This has to be one of our favorites. Loved the stewed tomatoes.

Toni di Maiale
 Roast pork slices with tuna mayo dressing and fried capers. Another favorite. The pork was roasted perfectly! Yum!
Tutta Carne
All-time Amici favorite. Italian sausage, ham and pepperoni.

Now, it wasn't difficult choosing our appetizers and pizzas and pasta. Those were unanimous choices. Until.... DESSERTS. We had to try Caramia Gelato's best sellers, and it was a battle of fruits and nuts. Since Karla loved ice creams she insisted on trying Black Forest. But it was not available. Then we had to choose a cake. Che wanted to try the Pistachio cake, I wanted the Nocciola Gateau. Here's what happened:
Pistachio Gelati e Sorbetto
 Karla's choice was not available, and I won the cake challenge. And since we love Che, and her love for pistachio, we chose this. It is also one of Caramia's best sellers and we loved it!
Nocciola Gateau
Hazelnut cream cheese and rich dark chocolate in layers of crunchy meringue. A Cara Mia favorite. We loved the texture of this cake, and it melted in our mouths. 
We were all nuts with the desserts!

We would definitely try the other Cara Mia gelatos and cakes. You may visit their facebook page where I got the roast pork and pizza pictures.

20 August 2011

Dog Whisperer

You cannot create peace with frustration.

I am officially a Dog Whisperer fan. I love how Cesar Millan rehabilitates dogs and teaches the owners to be the pack leader. What I look forward to in each episode is whenever Cesar gives pieces of advice to the owners, making them realize they were contributing to the problem dogs. The episode last night was so inspiring I had to blog about it.

The above quote is just one of the many advice Cesar gave to his clients that I love. It's applicable not only in interacting with dogs but with humans as well, especially with kids. I've witnessed parents getting so frustrated when their children don't obey. They discipline them out of frustration, when what they need is just to be calm and assertive. You can never put down fire with fire. What you need is water, to cool it down.
"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." - Proverbs 15:1 
Most of our dogs are on a leash. Two pitbulls, a Japanese spitz, a mixed Japanese spitz and dachshund, and a mini pinscher. Dog Whisperer makes me want to just let them loose and practice the "TSST!"

15 August 2011


I have been reading Tim Lahaye's book The Spirit-Controlled Temperament for quite a while. It's the second time, actually. Ate Ria introduced the book to us, I guess 4-5 years ago during our small group meetings, and it has been quite useful up to this day, and I believe, for the rest of my life. I found it very helpful that I decided to share it with my victory group as well.

What is it about? The temperaments. We have been introduced to so many psychological tests and explanations of our characters, why we behave the way we do, suggestions to improve our personality, and ways to make us understand ourselves and other people better. And while all those were informative, i found the explanation of the temperaments simpler yet accurate.

The book explained what the differences with temperament, character, and personality are.
Temperament is the combination of inborn traits that subconsciously affects all our behavior. These trait, which are passed on by our genes, are based on hereditary factors and arranged at the time of conception. It is a person's temperament that makes that person outgoing and extrovertish or shy and introvertish.
Character is the real you. It is the result of your natural temperament  modified by childhood training, education, and basic attitudes, beliefs, principles, and motivations. It is indeed the net result of all the influences and religious commitment on your life. It is what you really are when there is no one else around.
Personality is the outward expression of oneself, which may or may not be the same as a person's character, depending on how genuine that person is. Often personality is a pleasing facade for an unpleasant or weak character.
We were handed out a checklist, from Florence Littauer's book, Personality Plus. And while it's a different book, it also discusses the temperaments and was written as inspired by Tim Lahaye. After we answered the checklist, Ate Ria made us read the result and what our temperaments are, our weaknesses and strengths, according to the book.

There are four temperament types: Sanguine. Choleric. Phlegmatic. Melancholy.

I am, as the title indicated, a Phlegmatic. It was surprising how accurate it was. It was like the author knew me. But I wasn't just a Phlegmatic. There are 12 temperament blends, a combination of the temperaments. We all are most likely a combination of two or more temperaments. The book described a 60/40 blend of two temperaments, that is why some people might find it not so accurate.

As I re-read the book and answered the checklist again (since I have to share the results to a new group of friends) I found out that my temperament blend was not what I thought it was. All the while, for the past few years, I thought I was a combination of the Phlegmatic and Sanguine. Sanguine is an extrovertish temperament. And somehow, I tried to live up to that result of the evaluation. There are strengths and weaknesses in both. I am shy and reserved, and knowing I have it in me to be bubbly and talkative (a sanguine trait), I was able to let it out. Only to realize after I took the exam for the second time, that I my secondary temperament is Melancholy. Introvertish. The mind is really strong.

So, here it is! I decided to choose Beverly Lahaye's presentation of my temperament in her book The Spirit-Controlled Woman. A woman's point of view of the temperament.
Strengths of emotions: Calm and dependable. Good-natured and easy to get along with. Cheerful and pleasant even if she doesn't have much to say. Kindhearted. Peace-loving
Emotional weaknesses: Lacks confidence in self. Pessimistic and fearful; worrier. Rarely laughs aloud (i don't understand why this is a weakness). Passive and indifferent. Compromising. Self-righteous.
Strengths in relationship to others: Pleasant to be with. Has many friends. Dry, witty sense of humor. Softening and conciliating effect upon others. Constant and faithful. Diplomatic and a peacemaker. Good listener. Faithful friend. Gives advice only when asked.
Weaknesses in relationships: Doesn't allow herself to get involved. Selfish and stingy. Studies people with indifference. Unenthusiastic. Stubborn. Teases others who annoy her. Not very cordial. Attitude of superiority.
Strengths in activities: Works well under pressure. Practical, easy way of working. Conservative. Neat and proficient. Plans her work before beginning. Stabilizing influence. Dependable worker.
Weaknesses in her action: Calm, serene, uninvolved spectator in life. Slow and lazy. Reluctant leader. Lack of motivation. Indecisive. Overprotects herself from involvement. Discourages others. Opposes change of any kind.

 There you go. Most, if not all, is quite accurate. Those who really know me can testify how the presentation fits their description of me. But I am a combination of Phlegmatic and Melancholy temperaments. The more I know of my weaknesses, the likelier the chance to turn things around and enhance my strengths instead. 
Yes, Garfield is Phlegmatic.

(photos not mine, unless indicated.)

04 August 2011

White As Snow

by Eric and Leslie Ludy

Alone and confused, your heart is bruised from sin;
Your joy is gone from love gone wrong
And you're longing to start again.
I know that you've been hurt, and you don't know whom to trust;
I won't pretend I understand your pain.
But I can see repentance in your eyes, and I know it's not too late;
I hear Him calling your name...

White as snow, He has made you white as snow;
The moment you confessed, His heart forgave.
You might think you've ruined all the plans He had for you,
But it's for that very reason Jesus saves.
Pure and innocent like a dove,
Though you have done nothing to deserve His pardoning,
You've been purified by Jesus' blood -
White as snow.

The guilt and shame, keeping you chained,
Not wanting to let you go;
It's not how you dreamed, not how you planned,
And you can't see that still there's hope.

Receive His healing for your bruises;
Receive His riches for your rages.
You cannot imagine all the plans He has for you,
So take His hand, and don't look back.

Ministry of Eric and Leslie Ludy
visit Leslie Ludy's website

What God Promises

by Barbara Cage

He doesn't promise sunny days, just a rainbow at the end of the storm.
He doesn't promise silver and gold, but to provide for your needs.
He doesn't promise to make your life trouble-free, just to give you the strength to see things through.
He doesn't promise all the answers, just that He'll direct your path.
He doesn't promise you understanding, but faith that will see you through.
He doesn't promise freedom from despair, only joy and peace in believing.
He doesn't promise that you'll never fail, just that your strength and hope will be renewed.
He doesn't promise you'll have no fears, but that He's always there.
Most of all, He promises unconditional and everlasting love.

The Benefits of Boredom

This is an excerpt from Carolyn Johnson's "The Joy of Boredom"

Boredom's doldrums were unavoidable, yet also a primordial soup for some of life's most quintessentially human moments... A long drive hove after a frustrating day could force ruminations. A pang of homesickness at the start of a plane ride might put a journey in perspective. 
Increasingly, these empty moments are being saturated with productivity, communication and the digital distractions by an ever-expanding array of slick mobile devices. 
But are we too busy twirling through the songs on our iPods - while checking email, while changing lanes on the highway - to consider whether we are giving up a good thing? We are most human when we feel dull. Lolling around in a state of restlessness is one of life's greatest luxuries - one not available to creatures that spend all their time pursuing mere survival. 
To be bored is to stop reacting to the external world, and to explore the internal one. It is in these times of reflection that people often discover something new, whether it is an epiphany about a relationship or a new theory about the way the universe works. Granted, many people emerge from boredom feeling that they have accomplished nothing. But is accomplishment really the point of life? 
There is a strong argument that boredom - so often parodied as a glassy-eyed drooling state of nothingness - is an essential human emotion that underlies art, literature, philosophy, science and even love.
This should not be an excuse to do nothing, though. It's just an appreciation of every season we are in.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 

03 August 2011

A Woman's Question

- by Lena Lathrop

Do you know you have asked for the costliest thing
Ever made by the Hand above?
A woman's heart, and a woman's life - 
And a woman's wonderful love.

Do you know you have asked for this priceless thing
As a child might ask for a toy?
Demanding what others have died to win,
With the reckless dash of a boy.

You have written my lesson of duty out,
Manlike, you have questioned me.
Now stand at the bars of my woman's soul
Until I shall question thee.

You require your mutton shall always be hot,
Your socks and your shirt be whole;
I require your heart be true as God's stars
And as pure as His heaven your soul.

You require a cook for your mutton and beef,
I require a far greater thing.
A seamstress you're wanting for socks and shirts -
I look for a man and a king.

A king for the beautiful realm called Home,
And a man, that his Maker, God,
Shall look upon as He did on the first
And say: "It is very good."

I am fair and young, but the rose may fade
From this soft young cheek one day;
Will you love me then 'mid the falling leaves,
As you did among the blossoms of May?

Is your heart an ocean, so strong and true,
I may launch my all on its tide?
A loving woman finds heaven or hell
On the day she is made a bride.

I require all things that are grand and true,
All the things that a man should be,
If you give this all, I would stake my life
To be all you demand of me.

If you can't be this, a laundress and cook
You can hire and little to pay,
But a woman's heart and a woman's life
Are not to be won that way.

The Interview with God

I dreamt I had an interview with God.
"So you would like to interview Me?" God asked.
"If you have time," I said.
God smiled, "My time is eternity. What questions do you have in mind for me?"
"What surprises You most about humankind?"
God answered... "That they got bored with childhood, they rush to grow up, and then long to be children again."
"That they lose their health to make money... and then lose their money to restore their health."
"That they live as if they will never die, and die as though they had never lived."

God's hand took mine and were silent for a while...
And then I asked, "As a parent, what are some of life's lessons You want Your children to learn?"
"To learn they cannot make anyone love them. All they can do is let themselves be loved."
"To learn that it is not good to compare themselves to others."
"To learn that it only takes a few seconds tobopen profound wounds in those they love, and it can take many years to heal them."
"To learn that a rich person is not one who has the most, but is one who needs the least."
"To learn that there are people who love them dearly, but simply have not yet learned how to express or show their feelings."
"To learn that it is not enough that they forgive one another, but they must also forgive themselves
"Thank you for Your time," I said humbly.
"Is there anything else You would like Your children to know?"
God smiled and said, "Just know that I am here... always."

(this was an e-mail message sent by a friend. just sharing)

What will be said of me?

This is my journal entry dated January 29, 2009.

It is not a tradition here in the Philippines to speak eulogies when someone dies. Perhaps some practice it, but most don't. I've seen eulogies on movies, where a family or a friend of the one who passed away gives a short speech about the deceased. Most of the speeches are composed of old memories, bloopers, achievements and the legacy left behind by that person; that is, if there's much to say. I was wondering what would be said of me NOW if I die this instant, when God calls me back home. I would love for someone to speak about my life and how I lived while on earth, but what will they say?

It's one of my goal in life to age gracefully and be able to tell stories to my grandchildren, see them grow, give them pieces of advice, tell them of my love story, be their personal guidance counselor, and many more. But to be that kind of a grandma, I need to start now! Live the life of adventure and it's challenges with my heart set on that goal, with God's help. Then I'll leave this tent with my husband at my side, or maybe alone, not with him, but peacefully. But, I don't want to live just so people can say good things about me. Becoming a lasting legacy is not just to be our goal, it's our destiny. God wants us to excel in everything so we can bring glory to His name. That means He'll help you excel in everything you do if you seek His help.

We don't have to wait for the parting time when we're back to ash-mode; we don't even have to wait 'til we're old just so we can leave a legacy. Every day is an opportunity to leave something to someone they'll remember you by; which they may also pass on to the next generations to come.

1 Corinthians 15:58 "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."
Ephesians 4:29 "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."
Ephesians 5:15-16 "Be very careful, then, how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity..." 

02 August 2011

How would you feel if someone tells you these words?
- I will not forget you
- I care for you
- You are mine
- I love you

You would feel great, right?
You are remembered, cared for, and loved...

These words are for you...
From God.

1 Peter 5:7 "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."

Isaiah 44:21 "I have made you, you are my servant; O Israel, I will not forget you."

Isaiah 43:1 "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine."

Isaiah 43:4 "Since you are precious and honored in My sight, and because I love you..."

--- text message---


"It's just an empty cup."

That has to be my favorite line on the movie. Here are some of the lessons in the story:
      You can't work your way to anywhere alone.
      The proud will be humbled and the humble made proud.
      There's no greater reward in this world than knowing you took part in making life better for someone.
      It's not so much about winning...

Lightning McQueen has his eyes set on his goal. To be the first rookie to win the Piston Cup. He had to be humbled. He took all the credits for winning and failed to acknowledge the help of his team. Fame and glory was all that mattered to him.

And so, the detour. On his way to get the prize, he is about to discover what he's been missing. He found what he never expected to find; what he is really longing for.

His change of heart was evident when he chose not to win the Piston Cup and helped "The King" instead. It's not about himself anymore. The cup wasn't the ultimate prize for him.

Friendship. Love. Humility. Learning to appreciate the people who has always been there to help you win.

I appreciate the detours and delays in the fulfillment of my dreams, and unanswered prayers. Sometimes it's just what we need. God allows it for us to check our hearts and reveal its contents. Is it purposeful or just for a boost of ego?

The King has to be my favorite car.