going french with my lemonade

It’s unfortunate that the weather is being uncooperative over this long weekend. Despite no storm signals being raised where i’m staying right now, the gust of the wind and the volume of rain are enough to imply otherwise.

I’ve been feeling very French lately, and so after watching an episode of French Food at Home, I decided to try out the French Lemonade (Citron Presse) recipe they featured on the show some weeks back. Thus, the lemon I initially bought for some salmon steaks ended up as french lemonade!

I started out by peeling the zest of two lemons and cutting them into fine strips

I reined in a bit on the sugar when making the lemon syrup, and i do think i could have done a lot more slow-cooking for the zest to get a more lemony punch

the recipe yielded two bottle worth of syrup (i used old Starbucks coffee bottles for this, and i didn’t expect it to look so pretty)

i gave the lemonade a try, and it was zesty, fresh, and sweet!

I heard that storing the syrup in the fridge over a couple of days helps in infusing the lemon flavor deeper into the syrup. I certainly hope that’s true, as I have two bottles chilling over the long weekend!


to the woods and back

I joined the Murakami Reading Challenge a good¬† 7 months ago, and even wrote about it on a book blog i share with my bestfriends . With my Toru-level target (5 Murakami books for 2011), I’m a little behind schedule (2 of 5, and it’s month 8), though that can be said about my full-year reading target as well.

While I collect my bearings and attempt to get back on track with my reading, something arrived today in the mail that i’d almost completely forgotten about!

when i saw “t-shirt”, my heart skipped a beat. seriously.

Apart from hosting the Murakami Reading Challenge, Nat also hosted an online trivia contest to drum up excitement for the movie Norwegian Wood, based on Haruki Murakami’s novel of the same name. I’m not very lucky with lottery, but somehow, i braved the odds and managed to win the randomized lottery after answering the trivia question correctly.


the shirt came with shirt tags featuring movie scenes, a movie brochure, and this note from Nat. thanks a lot!


Excitement over the shirt aside (that in itself is a feat haha), I’m interested to find out how the movie will treat the text. Norwegian Wood is not one of my favorite Murakami works (it deviates from his usual styles and themes in that it is rather traditional in its narrative), but I love the candidness with which Murakami approached the complexities of being young and utterly intoxicated.



That said, I may wear this shirt the first time I watch Norwegian Wood.

life restart (also: new directions).

I’ve changed work roles, moved cities, changed addresses, fell in-like, slid ungracefully out-of-like, gained weight, lost (some of that same) weight, and yet somehow, the last thing i’ve managed to put up on my blog was roughly some random post last May. The lack of posts I’ll irresponsibly attribute to:

1) my DSLR getting repaired

2) not having a stable internet connection back in Bacolod

3) my inability to weave together my life into something interesting and/or unequivocally un-embarrassing.

That said, I feel like writing again, and hopefully, in the process, achieve some of the things I’m meaning to do more of, like taking photos.

I managed to swing by the bookstore today. My to-read pile is at its highest in the last two years, but I’m beginning to think buying books, as a general activity, is something I do to get my life engine running.

life, as we choose to live it

since my last, bland post, i’ve been traveling. uneven tan notwithstanding, i feel great that i finally found the time to do this. i’ll write about my trips soon (a travel blog, or section, is in the works!).

last week, i shipped out four sundry rolls of film for processing, and was surprised to find that some of them were from as long ago as two years ago! a little trip through memory lane, c/o my sheer incapability to process films immediately.


Duka Bay (beach resort) in Medina, Misamis Oriental is beautiful at dawn. This was taken two years ago during a teambuilding activity my team had.

On a calesa in Intramuros when I joined Carlos Celdran’s walking tours.

My aunt and niece during the religious procession in Bulacan back in summer of 2010.

from my neck of the woods

it surprises me that my last post on this blog is from the starting point of my so-called Legendary CDO Sanity Break. it’s not that i haven’t been up to blogging; but i haven’t been writing in the last few months either.

writing now because the tides are turning, and a transition is in the horizon. because it’s not too tangible yet, i haven’t been occupied with thoughts relating to it. i felt like posting something so that my readers (are there any?) will know that i do intend to keep this blog open.

apart from work, i’ve also been considering a couple of trips (some 2012 trips already with flights booked! cool, right?), figuring out how to put together more content for this blog, and rediscovering Bob Dylan and some blues. in the short term, i’m trying to see as much of Negros Island as i can.

how’s everyone been?

break glass in case of emergency

there’s a slight feeling of guilt as i’m doing this: am i really allowed to travel leisurely in this lifetime? i’m well-traveled locally (owing to the nature of my work), and so the chance to be in the cities that i absolutely adore just to take them in fully is such a gift.

nonetheless, today finds me in Cebu City, waiting for my 4PM flight to CDO. i still feel a little light-headed from how little i planned this trip, but i feel so excited. while waiting to deplane earlier, i asked myself, “where to, now?” so many hours till my flight out to CDO, an entire island waiting to be explored.

truth be told, i’m not particularly sociable (though i think the right word is socially awkward, another oddity that i find myself in my profession; but i digress), and i’ve largely been independent since i started learning the ins and outs of the public transportation system as a teenager. i’ve lived alone in different cities, and traveled alone in the course of my work a lot. that doesn’t change the fact though, that left to my own devices, with no work to do, no friends to hangout with, and no concrete plans, i really don’t know what to do with myself. the prospect of asking myself what i want to be doing now, with this time as my own, both excites and overwhelms me.

and i guess, it’s apt to quote from my favorite book, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle:

“This was my one great vacation in life. It would have to end sometime, but until it did I was determined to enjoy it.”

Off the Lapu-Lapu memorial in Mactan City, facing the bay where I think the battle of Mactan happened.

What I Talk About When I Talk About Murakami (reflections on Murakami’s memoir)

i recently signed up for the Murakami Reading Challenge, which involves reading any number of books written by Murakami over the span of 2011. i’ve more or less targeted 5 books, which means at least 5 of the 30 books i intend to complete by year end will be written by perhaps one of my most favorite authors of all time, Haruki¬† Murakami. my Murakami books were all in Manila, so i took about a week off reading while waiting either for the Norwegian Wood i ordered from The Book Depository to arrive or for me to fly out to Manila (the latter preceded the former) . before joining mum in USTH, i managed to pick up Murakami’s “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” on the way out of the house. i’m typing up my reflections on the book fresh after i finished my re-read.


What I Talk About When I Talk About Murakami

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