No Running: WOK with BFD and Meowth

I was already in high school when Grandma taught me how to cook.  I was pressured.  Grandma said that my mother-in-law will send me back to my parents once she learns about my zero culinary skill.  I wasn’t thinking about marriage at that time.  I was afraid of the idea of failure.  Eventually, I learned basic cooking.

BFD has his fair share of culinary lesson.  What drove him to learn basic cooking: ‘survival’.  A few months ago, he found himself in a situation that gave him no choice.  If he didn’t cook, he would’ve died.  (Translation: BFD not cooking? No meals.)  I want to assure the running community that he was not lodging a protest against any human rights violation at that time, so he had no legitimate reason to go on a hunger strike.

Fast forward…

Today, BFD and I are not only preparing for our wedding.  More importantly, we are preparing for that true-to-life scenario called ‘life together’… and without hyperventilating – seriously!  One facet of daily, healthy living is to assure constant supply of nutritious food in our household.  I (sweet) talked him into a Sunday afternoon bonding in the kitchen. We agreed to prepare a pasta meal, as we are currently recovering from a full marathon.  We badly need carbs, plus a healthy dose of protein for muscle repair.  So we made our version of PENNE PASTA with SPANISH SARDINES in CHUNKY TOMATO SAUCE. 

We dropped by SM Hypermarket MOA to shop for the choicest ingredients at budget-friendly price point.  It turned out, the recipe below is good for 6 servings, about P65.00 per serving.  (Budget is another matter that we need to get used to as a couple.)

Now try these steps! 

Serving suggestion:  Serve with garlic bread or any toasted bread sprinkled with McCormick Garlic Bread Seasoning. 

Note on the recipe:  I don’t usually follow measurement of ingredients to the dot (that’s why I don’t bake).  I adjust the amount of ingredients based on the aroma, taste, and how the food actually look while I cook it. 

Wine pairing:  I’m not a wine expert.  I just have a strong preference for French wine.  For my personal consumption, if wine I must have, I would gladly reach for a glass of Chardonnay to go with this Spanish sardines pasta.  (Note to self: The last Chardonnay bottle at home was emptied two months ago.  Time to replenish.) 

As for our bonding in the kitchen, we didn’t have roses all around.  Instead, we had a few laughs, my mom and cousin approving the recipe, and a minor complaint (from me) – the ‘distribution of workload’ was not fair.  This minor complaint, I can let it go.  I just have to write about it now…well, at least, we accomplished a recipe.  We already have some assurance for a hunger-proof household.  =)

BFD and I did the grocery together.  I ended up cooking, while he prepared chilled soda and Mogu Mogu.  He had the knack for making it appear that it was a quest for the best Mogu Mogu beverage for me.  He offered to wash the dishes, too (sweet!). While he was at it, he was checking whether his new sports watch is indeed water-resistant (peg: running in the rain).  Runner nga talaga! =)

Madam Margaret Thatcher, The King and I, and BFD

The Iron Lady and the Hopeless-Romantic Me  =)

Euro-cultural immersion – done!  I was homebound, aboard a CX for a good 13-hr flight.  I said good for I had plenty of time to catch up on some interesting films, including The Iron Lady, a Margaret Thatcher biopic.

There’s one scene from The Iron Lady, that I wished to experience in this lifetime (I tried to be specific with the timeline).  I never want to become a Prime Minister; the scene I’m referring to is Denis’ and Margaret’s date in a theatre – they were enjoying a lively scene from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I.  That idea of a date is both classic and classy.  I’ve always loved the theatre…I used to act / write / and direct plays back in school, and I (then secretly) wished – that I’d end up with someone who would also appreciate the theater…oh, and a date in a theatre production of any Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classics.

I was aboard CX, 30th April 2012…and five months later, 30th September 2012…I was at the Newport Performing Arts Theater enjoying that same lively scene – the King of Siam and Mrs. Anna – singing, dancing, and what would appear – falling in-love…Shall We Dance?  BFD reached for my hand…exactly what Mr. Denis Thatcher did, as depicted in the biopic, The Iron Lady.  =)

Shall We Dance? =)

The King and I at the Newport Performing Arts Theatre, Resorts World Manila

The King and I is a stage musical based on the 1944 novel Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon, derived from the memoirs of Anna Leonowens.  Anna became the governess to the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the 1860s. Anna was hired to support the King’s drive to modernize Siam.  The story depicts cultural conflict with some political undertone, and a love that neither the King nor Anna was able to express.  (source:  Wikipedia).

Photo grabbed from the King and I Resorts World Manila’s official website.
http://www.rwmanila.com/the-king-and-i/

What made Newport Theater production extra-special is that it’s all-Filipino!  The production showcases world-class Filipino talent, top-billed by Leo Tavarro Valdez (King) and Monique Wilson (Anna), directed by Mr. Freddie Santos, with performances by the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philippine Ballet Theater.  Oh, and I just have to mention the lovely gowns designed by Rajo Laurel for Monique Wilson! =)

We’ve got Resorts World Manila to thank for producing the show. It is indeed a very ambitious project, but the all the effort that went into is every bit perfect for bringing out a truly stellar stage production.  The Newport Performing Arts Theater is as modern as its name implies – acoustic and lighting are superb.

As of press time, the play runs every Friday at 8PM, Saturday at 2PM and 7PM, and Sunday at 2PM.  Ticket price starts at P1000.00.  For more details, you may visit Newport Theater’s official website:  http://www.rwmanila.com/entertainment-at-resorts-world-manila/newport-performing-arts-theater.

Photo grabbed from the King and I Resorts World Manila’s official website.
http://www.rwmanila.com/the-king-and-i/

Part IV – Alam Na (final installment)

Sana naman ay ganap nyo nararamdaman ang lagay ko ngayon sa Mundo ng mga Keso.  Ang Parts I – IV ay aking nailathala dahil na rin sa mga pamilya at mga tunay na kaibigan na malayo sa akin.  Nais ko ibahagi at ganon din ang excitement nila na magkwento ako na para bang magkakaharap lamang kami.

Hindi magtatapos sa Part IV ang kwento namin ni BFD, pero sa blog, hanggang Part IV na lang dahil baka sumunod pa ito sa mga yapak ng mga Pinoy movies na Shake, Rattle, & Roll (pero laging pang MM Filmfest?), Tanging Ina (pang-ilang ‘last na ‘to?), at Mano Po (sa mga blood chem naubos ang mga huling patak ko ng Chinese blood, kung ako man ay nagkaroon ng marami nito).  Same formula ang plot, na pinaulit-ulit dahil sa commercial success ng mga nasabing pelikula.

Ilan sa mga Pinoy movies na madaming installment.
Photos grabbed from Wikipedia.

Paulit-ulit?  Medyo taliwas ito sa mga nangyayari sa tunay  na buhay ko sa ngayon.  I challenged a team of 77 people early this year – that if they are desperate for change, they must be prepared to do things which they haven’t done before.  Ito ngayon ang syang challenge ko sa sarili ko.  Practice what you preach nga naman.

Possible pala na ang Manila-Singapore-Manila, ay maging parang Manila-Pampanga-Manila – as a way of embracing the altruism, ‘follow your heart’, but no banging of head against the wall this time around?  Nasa Terminal 1 ako isang umaga, gagawin ko yon kasi alam ko na doon ako magiging mas masaya.  Parang sa palabas na Shaider na tumatawag ng Time Space Warp ang babaylan na si Ida, nasabi ko sa harap ng laptop, hatinggabi bago ang aking flight, ‘Eroplano, ngayon din!’.  Kaya mainit-init pa ang plane ticket at hotel voucher ko noong umagang iyon – mas mainit pa sa ‘rush photocopy’ sa mga tindahan sa U-belt…mas mainit pa sa extra hot na double espresso…mas mainit pa sa ulo ko nang gawin nilang isang malaking parking lot ang Coastal Road dahil sa hindi pag-usad ng traffic.

Matapos ang halos sunud-sunod ko na travel mag-isa, pati ang pagtakbo ng full marathon sa SG nang mag-isa, I made a decision – I will open up myself to love…sana for the last time, pero hindi basta-basta love…ung love at relationship na talagang pinag-isipan…may process, hindi basta naramdaman na lang…a love story wherein two people made a whole-hearted commitment to make it work inspite of their differences…yung dalawang taong same wavelength, may shared values, parehong self-actualized….partners, yung tipong they bring out the best in each other…symbiotic, hindi parasitic…Ayoko na ng same ‘ol, boring, pathetic sh–, er, story! =)

Isang pagbalik-tanaw:  In one of my visits to the Pink Sisters Chapel in Tagaytay (2007),  I was having a hard time coping with some major changes, and in grief, I wrote a letter to the Lord through the Pink Sisters Congregation.  The content came from another letter which I wrote back in college (1998).  I was very specific when I wrote my intentions.  To sum it up,  He was supposed to write me a beautiful love story.  Minsan nga talaga mas alam natin ang gusto natin when we were younger.  Over the years, we tend to forget or masyado na tayong nagiging jaded kaya akala natin hindi na pwedeng magka-totoo.

The Pink Sisters’ Chapel – Tagaytay City
Photo by: BFD

I almost forgot about those letters, until last month when I went back to the Pink Sisters Chapel – first time to visit with BFD.  Before that, we were tossing several questions particularly about the ‘timing’.  BFD and I attended the same university, and he was only a year my senior.  We used to chat about running for over a year, but none of it seem to have made sense.  We ran the same race routes/categories, but we did not care as if there was an imaginary banner, ‘just-another-face-in-the-crowd.’  Who would have thought?  Maybe, we were born with a ‘homing’ device; that one, which is automatically triggered when the right time comes, and nobody knows about the exact time. Ang galing, parang magic, di ba?  Ni hindi ko nga magamit dati ang salitang ‘magic’ dahil pakiwari ko para lamang ito sa mga bata na naniniwala sa fairy tales; kulog, kidlat, baka kainin ako ng lupa. Uh-oh.  =)

Dahil pare-parehas din naman tayong busy, tapusin na natin ang Part IV.  Here’s to share the last part of those ‘special letters’, which I’ve mentioned in this blog –

              “…and wherever we are, he will always make me feel that – I’m home.” 

Altar – Angels’ Hills – Tagaytay
Photo by: BFD

Part III – ‘Pako’ (English: Nail; not another MMK episode)

Photo: http://www.sonomachristianhome.com
Try to imagine me running like this in a concrete jungle called MOA Parking Lot.

Naka-dress pa naman ako pero kailangan ko tumakbo.  Hays, hassle!  No choice, hindi ko sya matawagan sa mobile number nya ‘cannot be reached’ sabi sa line…Kaya hinawakan ko sa magkabilang gilid ang dress ko para hindi ito tumaas habang tumatakbo.

“Kaya ko ‘to. Runner ako.” Ito na lang ang sinabi ko sa sarili ko na para bang mahirap ang 100-to-300meter-dash compared sa 42.195km marathon distance.

Buti na lang may tsinelas sa kotse, at least ‘barefoot’ feel ang pagtakbo ko…

Target:  kailangan ko mahabol si BFD!

“Daves! Daves!”, sumisigaw na ko baka sakaling marinig nya ko…bakit kasi ang bilis nya maglakad?  O sadya syang tumakbo palayo sa ‘kin?

Takbo ulit ako…kailangan ko tumawid, at biglang huminto ang dalawang sasakyan sa harap ko sabay senyas ng mga driver na tumawid na ako.  Pinagbigyan nila ako makatawid, naawa siguro sa ‘kin.  Sumenyas naman ako na katumbas ng ‘Thank you!”…ang aking mala-alamat na ‘politician’s wave’.

Malapit na ko sa MOA IMAX.  Mahirap din pala tumakbo ng halos barefoot pag hindi sanay, kaya sumigaw na ko ng todo…

“Daaaavvvveeeesss!!!”, siguro naman nararamdaman nyo ang pagsigaw ko nyan, ang haba ng spelling ng ‘Daves’ ha.  =)

At parang isang eksena lamang sa MMK, nakatayo na lang ako sa kabilang kalsada ng parking lot, medyo (feeling) pagod sa paghabol…ako na ang damsel in distress!!!  Isang role na hindi ko kailanman na na-imagine gagampanan ko sa tunay na buhay…sa aking tunay na buhay, mind you!

Ang long-hair na si BFD ay huminto sa paglalakad, at dahan-danang lumingon sa aking direksyon.  Sa sandaling iyon ay bakas sa kanyang mga mukha ang pagkagulat…marahil ay dahil sa isang katulad ko na literally humahabol sa isang katulad nya (Queue El DeBarge music, circa 1986:  “Someone just like me / Running into someone just like you / An accidental touch / Turned into a gentle kiss of two…”).  Mas masaya pag cheesy!  =)

“Daves! FLAT TIRE!!!  Flat ang gulong ng kotse ko!  May malaking pako!”, yan lamang ang aking nasabi at lumapit na sya sa akin.  Takot ako na hindi makauwi agad nang dahil sa flat tire.  Gabi na rin kasi yon.

Naglakad kami pabalik ng parking para palitan ni BFD ang flat na gulong ng aking kotseng si Migs.  Halos humiga na si BFD sa parking lot, kahit madumihan ang damit nya basta maayos nya lang mailapat ang jack at maiangat ang gulong na papalitan. Hindi sya vain…at sa isang dako, parang mabubuhay kaming dalawa kahit ma-trap kami sa isang island (saglit lang yan pumasok sa isip ko…ayokong lagyan ng malisya).

Sample photo: Ilovecostco.com
Walang sinabi ang Potenza GIII ni Migs sa walang awang pako.

Sa mga sandaling yon ay ‘My Hero’ ang dating ni BFD sa akin, pero natuwa lang ako.  At least, makakauwi na ko, okay na ang gulong ni Migs.  Nagpasalamat ako kay BFD, at nag-offer pa ako na i-treat sya sa Starbucks pero tumanggi sya at hindi naman ako nagpumilit.  Madali ako kausap. Ayaw mo, huwag mo.  =)

Meron akong realization:  Okay naman pala friend si BFD.  Hindi ko naman kasi alam kung ano ang purpose nya, at ayoko itong pangunahan.  Kung friendly lang talaga sya at naghahanap ng kausap, well, hindi naman masama maging friends kami.  Natuwa na ako na may bago akong kaibigan.

Ni-report ako ni BFD sa mga kaibigan ko:  Muli naungkat ang kwento ng ‘flat tire’ nang ipinakilala ko na si BFD kila Kris, Jenny-Vi, at Atty. Cashmer.

Ito ang kanyang report –> Hinatid nya ako sa parking lot.  Magkahiwalay kasi kami ng parking area.  Pagdating sa kotse, hindi ko pa man nabubuksan ang pinto, ay ‘pinalayas’ ko na (daw) sya sa pagsasabi ng “Sige, uwi ka na!”  Napaka-inggrata ko daw, hindi man lang ako nagpasalamat sa kahit ano…basta pinaalis ko na lang sya…kaya malungkot syang umalis sa parking area…hindi nakapag-moment man lang kagaya ng kanyang original plan…At matapos nyang palitan ang gulong, hindi daw ako nag-insist man lang sa Starbucks…gusto pala nya, pinilit ko sya…oh, well…may ganon???  =)  Isa lang ang sabi ni Kris kay BFD nang ito ay magreklamo, “It’s so Ann!”.

Ang ‘wicked’ version nila Kris and Jenny-Vi, at ni Atty. Cashmer:  Pag-alis ni BFD sa parking, tinawag ko (daw) ang Guard, sabay sabi ng mala-kontrabidang instructions, “Eto ang pako, tatakbo ako papunta don sa lalaking andito kanina.  Siguraduhin mo lang na pagbalik ko ay flat na ang gulong ha…siguraduhin mo ha…sige, simulan mo na, tatakbo na ko…”

Photo: Wikipedia.org
Parang kasing wicked ko ata si Cruella sa flat tire version nila Jenny-Vi?

Nanghinayang kami ni BFD ngayon sa ‘pako’.  Dapat pala pinakuha ko sa vulcanizing shop…nang dahil sa pakong iyon, a few days after the ‘flat tire’ episode, may natanggap akong message kay BFD…

“Sagot ko na yung movie tickets sa Friday, wag mo lang ulit ako pahihigain sa parking lot (para magpalit ng flat tire).”

Pwede… 

Part II – Si BFD. Walang Malisya. (not another Derek Ramsey movie)

Paunawa

Kailangan mailathala ang Part II upang mabisa nating maitawid ang kwento sa Part III.  Paunawa sa mga babasa, napaka-wholesome po ito na kwento, walang bahid dungis o pagkahumaling (whew!), kaya isantabi nyo po muna ang alam nyo na (wag madumi isip)  Je je je   =)

Part II – Si BFD.  Walang Malisya.  (not another Derek Ramsey movie)

…nakilala ko ang isang runner / blogger na may initial na BFD (parang blind item lang dapat sa una)…at parang wala lang syempre noon.  Chill.  Deadma.  Ni hindi man lang pumasok sa isip ko na palitan ang aking major crush na si…Derek Ramsey!!!

Actor Derek Ramsey – sya na!!!
Photo credit: No Other Woman – Star Cinema

Dumating ang pagkakataon na naghanap ako ng ibang sports maliban sa badminton…napunta ako sa running. Nagsimula ako sa 5KM hanggang sa umakyat ng 21KM…at hindi ko din akalain kakayanin kong tapusin ang 42.195KM last year.  Naging sobrang addict ako sa life.  Sa level ng energy na meron ako, parang wala ng bukas.  Badminton 2x a week, running 3x a week…at syempre andyan ang aking trabaho na kailangan din seryosohin dahil mahirap kumita ng pera; lalo na isip ang puhunan ko sa trabaho, hindi katawan (kung pwede lang sultry actress ala-Anne Curtis).

February 2011 – Naghahanap ako ng resources noon sa internet tungkol sa running hanggang sa mapadpad ako sa isang website – http://www.barefootdaves.com  Ang website na ito ay aking sinundan (‘follow’ ang term dito sa web, hindi po ako stalker) para updated din naman ako sa running.  Madali makilala ang owner ng website na ito sa mga road race ‘pag Sunday.  Ang haba kasi ng hair ni Barefootdaves (BFD)…lalaki sya, okay!  =)

Minsan na ako nagtanong kay BFD sa website nya.  Hindi naman sya suplado, pati sa Facebook friendly naman .  Ilang buwan ko sya naka-chat pero bihirang-bihirang-bihira at tungkol lang lahat sa running….SOBRANG WALA LANG.  WALANG MALISYA!  Hindi ako defensive…pero kay BFD ata baka may malisya.  Tanungin nyo na lang sya.

Sa RU3, November 2011, 32km category – mula Buendia palabas ng Roxas Blvd may maingay na nag-uusap sa tabi ko…medyo annoying nga eh.  So tumingin ako sa left, pati na rin sa right, at nakita ko si ‘long-hair’, este BFD na naka Team Alpha 1 singlet!  Aaminin ko sa world wide web sa pagkakataon na ito na somehow, ‘starstruck’ ako sa presence ni BFD (slight lang ha)…pero walang malisya, isa nga kasi ako follower ng kanyang blog (pwede mag-explain).  Sa ilang pagkakataon na magkatabi kami sa kalsada, naisipan ko mag ‘hi’ or ‘hello’ pero hindi nya ko napapansin, ni hindi man lang sya tumingin sa ‘kin…kaya nasabi ko na lang kay Jay (SM Runners) – “kasabay pala natin si Barefootdaves.”

Tumingin ako sa left, pati na rin sa right…si BFD!
PEG: Nakita ko lang. Hindi ko crush. Walang malisya.

Nagsimula din ako mag-blog last year para magkaron ng online backup ng ilang mga alaala, resilient na ang web compared sa Alzheimer’s kaya mabuti na din na may online backup.  At sa isang post ko noon November 2011, nagulat na lang ako nang may magpost ng comment …walang iba kundi si…hindi si Derek (ayyyyy)…kundi si BFD!!!  Wala pa itong malisya.  As in, chill lang kami pareho.  Flattered lang ako sa idea na isang kilalang runner-blogger si BFD, na para bang ang trivial ng blog ko sa runner na katulad nya pero heto sya at nag comment pa!

At dahil sa mga pag-comment na yan sa blog, naniniwala na ako ngayon sa sinabi ni ADD ng SM Runners…”para-paraan lang yan!”  Wink, wink….

At kung sa paanong paraan, itutuloy natin mula sa Mundo ng Running patungo sa mga Keso sa Part III….  =)