Wednesday, 25 July 2012

short story

on monday afternoon, after work,as i was just coming out of the changing room to change from our uniform to civies, my colleague asked me why i wasn't in shorts, (everyone seemed to know what the weather is like in the morning that they seem to know when to don shorts in the afternoon or not if its raining).

she, even in her 6 months pregnancy glory has the most beautiful skinny legs and our other colleague who had nice legs herself were asking whether it wasn't warm enough for me for shorts (because i come from a hot country?). i said, "no,i just didn't think of wearing shorts because we plan to go to the town centre after work."

she said "so?".

ok, i felt it was a bit too revealing to walk from the hospital building in my shorts to the car and where i could be seen by my other colleagues, but i lied "i didn't shave my legs". and that seemed to have shut her up (because all of them shave their legs/ a national pre-requisite in summer for all short-wearing female this side of civilization).

in truth, i do not shave my legs. i do not have/get hair in my legs at all. (logical, since i do not have much hair on my head, it would have been too unfair of God to have given me hairy legs,wouldn't it?) i pluck an odd hair every now and again on the lateral side of my calf muscle, but a very fine feathery one, the most. i just dont get hairs on my legs at all. (this is a positive,right?LOL). and i suppose,most filipina women dont, unless they have a mestisa blood (i know,coz some of my cousins do).

truth number 2--- i have no shorts to wear. i do not say this in "woe me, pity party-mode", because the reason is,all my shorts are quite loose at the moment and the last thing i want to do is keep buying clothes i have no intention of keeping. (wais si lumen!). i was planning on a shopping spree when i get to my goal (i am getting there, i promise you,i will!).

case en pointe, this photo. i wore my old shorts one warm weekend to a walk in the town.

these were mid thigh high shorts last year, now, its more "puruntong" .

in this photo, this was rolled in the waist to hold it tight and i have to not suck my stomach in (in fact i had to do the opposite), just so the short stays in place (haha)..

i regret going to town with it,because it kept falling off my hips. it was a great feeling: a reminder of some changes my body has undergone, but also, an accident waiting to happen, that you dont wish to occur having your trousers/shorts on your ankles in broad daylight in the middle of the town. (ahh,these things you only think of once you're out of the house).

but then again, maybe, its high time i should start buying shorts as summer seem to have shown its face (at last!). i am not talking about those micro 'pek-pek' shorts that i see on young beautiful skinny things,no!. i am just talking about those things that are non-denim, (or maybe denim),lightweight material, cut above the knee, or mid-thigh (enough to show some definition and separation between my quadriceps,and enough to leave dignity for a woman of my age,harhar
). Shorts that can be seen that: a) i am orientated to the season.. b)i did shave my legs!



Some photos of me two years ago (August 2010) India and Dubai.

cute!..the elephant,too! ;-) PS. the elephant is the one lying on its side. the one washing it has no relation to elephant whatsoever.

in Dubai airport in 2010 waiting for our flight back to the UK. i could still wear the top until this day (fabulously loose as it was intended,haha), but last year, i couldn't fit into those linen trousers. now, those same ones (linen trousers) are just too lose for my sense of security (haha).. i chucked those trousers to a sealed box in a garage in london at the moment as it might be more beneficial to someone from my relatives who do not mind Marks&Spencer linen trouser hand-me-downs.


I enjoy looking at old photos of me before.. it reminds me to keep going.

how about you? what are you trying to get motivated with?x

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

a break

..from all the graduation posts..

here is a photo of the beautiful Gwyneth Paltrow during her book signing at the London Food Festival last year.

we were lucky to be with her twice..first in the outdoor event,then in the VIP tent.


we werent able to attend the food festival this year as we couldnt travel to London. we gave our tickets to our friend.

apparently it rained. not just the normal festival rain, but hardcore tropical rain.

but hey, that wouldn't have stopped us enjoying it. when there is food, music and interesting people, who cares getting wet?


back to graduation posts/photos after this (maybe) but i am sure i'll make time to post photos of the food festival from last year.

Monday, 23 July 2012

pre graduation night

monday early evening, the 16th.

we travelled all the way from norfolk to essex, to stay at a friends' house. the same friends who were coming in to witness my graduation because i already paid for two other tickets for my mom and my sister (who by the way could not make it--ahh,well, plans).

it was nearer to leave from their house to my university, which could take an hour in a good traffic. (because of the olympics traffic however, it took as 15 minutes longer to get to uni the next day).

we arrived expecting just two of my friends in their house, but i wasnt expecting another friend and her partner to be there,too.

it was a happy reunion. one over stories, and food and gifts-- all a surprise to/for me.

when in a rush, make-up has been the normal sacrifice of late.

i couldn't sleep that night. its that feeling of just having had a great night, the buzz of a wonderful evening took a long time to wane, not being in your own bed and the anticipation of an event i would have loved my family to witness but they couldn't.


the next day, i received my degree. with second highest honours while my friends and husband looked on with pride.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012


i graduated today. well, the ceremony that is. i officially graduated last year, and started working as a qualified therapist, but since our university decided to push the graduation rites from October 2011 to July 2012 (due to moving campuses and departments merging into one big mega-department for Sciences) thus the delayed ceremony.

more pictures later on in the week (i know my family is waiting like crazy to see them) as i can only grab photos from friends' facebook accounts.

here are a few photos:

with my cohort/groupmates


with my two greatest friends in this world (not just in the UK), The Donns.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

divine grace

"Happiness is not a is a by-product of a life well-lived.. "~~Eleonor Roosevelt

Today, silliness with Adrian... visiting the Lavender Farm in Heacham, Norfolk (20 minutes away from our house).

Saturday, 14 July 2012

family beauties

ok, be honest. when you look at me, you'd think that i come from a family of ugly ducklings, right? (aminin!). that in fact,is far from the truth.

alright. i admit, during my growing up years, my grandma, or my family/relatives would always remark about my talent and brains (ehem!) but would never comment about my looks (hehehe). it was never a problem to me because my mother and father always never emphasized about beauty per se as a must-have in the family. they appreciated and would comment about how intelligent someone is, or how well-mannered their friends' children are, or how funny/good entertainer someone's child is, which i thought were always traits that mattered to both my parents. so i strived to be all of that (well, i tried to,haha).

i am not ugly, but you must see my cousins and then you'd know why my brand of looks were not the most talked about in my family,haha. so this blog entry really is to show you how many beautiful/ good-looking cousins i have.

all are first degree cousins of mine; our fathers are brothers:

Note: pictures are not mine.. taken from their facebook accounts and in the case of my Ate Ting, it came from Google images (LOL).

First off: My Ate Ting-ting, or more popularly known as Maria Quiban as weather girl in a tv channel in LA. Her real name is Ma. Theresa Aviso thus we call her Ate Tingting.. She left the Philippines when she was just starting high school and grew up in Hawaii.

Her father was my dad's brother Gener (where i got the 'gen" part of my Ragen name,haha. Trust my father's brand of creativity of connecting two of my uncle's names). Gener was a pilot (he died along with my uncle Raoul in a freak drowning accident where my father was the only person spared) and his family left for the US when he died.

Apart from being a weathergirl, she also starred in some tv shows, and movies most notably Cold Case, Criminal Minds and Bruce Almighty.

She and i briefly met in our childhood days, i was a little girl then and she was just in her elementary years, thus, my memories of her are just the photos she sends my grandmother yearly and stories i hear from my father. She is quite close to the rest of the family who live in LA/California at the moment as they are geographically able to meet up.



next is: Cousin Suzanne or "Honey". Daughter of my uncle Efren (deceased).

Honey used be a spokesperson for Avon cosmetics when she was just 14 years old. She graduated with a Computer Science degree and now a successful manager for an insurance company (i am not sure if this is accurate re. her current job because these are just information i get from other relatives). Skinwise, she is flawless, and sings like a diva. She also is a bookworm and a romantic at heart. From what i heard,she is still single, but i guess, its hard to settle when you look like that ;-)

We were never close when we were growing up,because she grew up in her mom's hometown in Masbate, and moved to Cebu in her high school years but she and i always talk whenever we can, and more recently catching up on Facebook (i love facebook for catching up with relatives,dont you?). I had memories of summers where we used to play with the rest of our cousins and she would be very 'hinhin and shy', and a little bit intimidated by the rest of the other loud-spoken cousins (guilty!LOL).

The last few years,we never got to spend time together because she always had a boyfriend who kept her busy and unavailable whenever we attempted an invite. Recent facebook messages promises some meet-ups in the future.

doesn't she look like Anne Hathaway?


Next is Victoria or Texy. (Uncle Nestor's daughter).

Texy is quite young,and she would be in a generation where she was still a baby when i was in the Philippines so i wouldnt be able to tell you much of her personality as we never got to hang out. She is 21 years old and already has a son who is a cute adorable gem.

Texy is a BSc Nursing graduate from USJR and was crowned as Ms.USJR two years ago. She is a ramp model in Cebu, and currently is the face of What a Girl Wants. Texy is one half of a fraternal twin duo,and her brother Wello,is also a gem.


Next is Tony Rose or "Tony'.

Tony is the youngest daughter of my uncle Victor and Auntie Libeth. She has two university degrees and most recent one is a nursing degree to which she is now making full use in New Zealand at the moment. She is a great cook, loves a travelling and photography and loves a night out of dancing and has a big arsenal of beautiful and amazing friends. She is one of my favourites because she has the kindest heart from a person and she is sweet and nurturing by nature.


Another beauty is: Joan Pearl or "Joan".

(her photos are when she was pregnant with her second child).

Joan is the brains and creative force behind Belle Marie wedding and party planning services. She is eloquent and beautiful (pretty pretty face, flawless face - hardly wears any make-up) and is a very hands-on mom to her two babies. She used to be a radio DJ too. But now,she is more or less busy driving her kids to and from school, meeting clients to arrange the nitty gritty of weddings and playing dutiful wife to her hubby Sean.

She is a wedding fanatic and meticulous to the very last detail when it comes to her weddings and parties to the point of obsession. Its a trait that is obvious when it comes to her kids because she is very much hands-on with her children and in fact, she makes sure,she knows what her children eats, and takes them to her client meetings. I used to remember when she and Sean were still dating, they would drop by my station and we would have lunch together and laugh over recent events of our lives. She and Sean were one of my greatest rocks when i underwent a heartbreak waayyy back years ago. Those were memorable moments.


Also, not forgetting the very pretty and very accomplished : Kharla May or "Karla"

Out of everyone, Karla is my closest cousin and practically my best friend. We grew up attached to one another's hip. There was a time our boyfriends were bestfriends. Then the next time, our boyfriends were cousins. It was that bad,haha.

She also came from Science High School (breeding ground for excellent scientists,haha), and in university, a consistent Deans lister, she graduated with a Chemical Engineering degree from USC talamban. She is now in charge of the Vaccines division for Cebu region for Glaxo SmithKline ( a well awarded one at that!) and she is an avid nature lover, and a devout caholic. Once,she said, the only thing that stopped her from becoming a nun was because they do not allow make-up inside the convent,haha. She also teaches catechism to kids during her spare time when she is not busy doing things for me (out of love).

She loves eating out, eating in, she is also into travelling which is harder for her to find "the one" because they have to at least be at par with her accomplishments and intelligence. She is candid, funny and easy to be with (no requirements!) and she doesnt even know it. Her only downfall: she loves her sleep too much! She cannot stay later than 10 PM, so any activities with her has to be waaayyy before her bedtime.

And of course, speaking of beauties, i will not hesitate to mention my very own sister Ana Candelaria or Ana/Ankai/Nana.

Ana is a 23 year old freelance creative. She is does everything that her creative mind takes her. She loves fashion (clothes), shoes (my gulay!) and music and a love for french cosmetics. She is also a make-up artist, photographer, emcee/host, writer for a french canadian company website, and sometimes does the occasional singing and stage acting gig. She is also at the moment, in love, thus the new sexy bod (haha!). She is my youngest sister,and forever one of my truest inspirations. She also loves me to death, and that alone would make her number one on this beauty list.


Needless to say, i am proud of my cousins,and sister,and that apart from their looks, i am proud too of their accomplishments.

I only shared some of the most beautiful people in my family (i have not mentioned everyone) and hope it will somehow give u some glimpse into my family and an idea that although it has missed me by a half-shot (mga dalawang paligo,haha)--beauty indeed runs in my family.

the country farm shop

We love our local farm shop. We get most of our meat from there and some of our veggies and fruits.

Apart from a very nice selection in their butcher's counter, they have an organic bakeshop if we wanted some cakes or unusual fresh bread.

From our house, there is a short cut to the farm shop. and across the farm shop is the gym where Adrian and i go to. We just love the proximity of everything (although we always drive to get there so far as we normally visit the farm shop to go somewhere else,too).

We were supposed to go meet oour lovely friends back in essex, but Adrian had to cover someone else's conference study day today, so we had to be at home for him to be available for his students. I thought, i might as well cook him his fave pork chop meal tonight. Just perfect for me right after going to the gym.

Thus, the need to drop by our farm shop, which is always a happiness to visit.

Remind me to take u there.

cottage of our dreams

one sunny november sunday in 2011,we had guests who we took to the Castle to have a view and listen to the history of our little village and of course it's most beautiful landmark: the castle of Queen Isabella. (pictures of that to follow some time this month!)

the castle had 'heavy' dramatic history to say the least (i will tell you a snippet, but i wont give it all, lest u come visit and we shall take you there,lol),and the views were amazing from the castle itself.

at the side of the Castle is a hill where the moat slopes, and tadaahh, guess where it looks over?

that's our tiny little cottage over there. it looks tiny outside, but it has 3 double bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen and a dining room. perfect for a two-person family like Adrian and i, and for a few guests. however, storage was our compromise: half of my clothes, shoes ,books and kitchen gadgets are stowed in my brother-in-law's garage back in the suburds of London. but, im not complaining. compromising space to live a cottage peaceful life is like living in our own B&B and so far, everyone who visited here, have nothing but gushed how pretty and relaxing it is.

please book,soon. you know you are always welcome. xx

Friday, 13 July 2012

medium rare

Adrian and i are quite fond of our meat, especially bloody steaks that is on the rare side.

Last Friday,the 6th, Adrian and i came home really late from my GP appointment and from doing the groceries, so we arrived home after 8pm. The initial plan was a takeaway. But i mentioned to him how a good steak sounded more appetising. One phonecall later to my friend L who has been a Norfolk guide for me, and told me to get on to a restaurant she highly recommends but said it was a miracle to book a table at the time, on the same night on a Friday.

I rang the place by 9pm thinking that the first sitting would have gone by then, and luckily enough i was right, they indeed had a space for two diners.

When we got there at about 20 minutes to 10pm, groups of parties were just coming out merrily from the restaurant.

Pictures of the night.

have a lovely weekend, loves ;-) x