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Cake galore!
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I turned a year older yesterday.
I don’t really like announcing my birthday because I get so tired trying to thank everyone who greets me. But it’s really sweet. I read every message. Some make me cry and some touch me in a warm, fuzzy way.
I feel guilty not answering all of them. Because if I do, I would spend the whole day just thanking people.

Yesterday I had so many cakes!
The first one was given by my son Christian, who came up to my room with his electronic cake that sings. The candles actually “extinguish” when you blow them. He’s so sweet…

Birthday cake

No birthday of mine is complete without a Jollibee cake. I would be really disappointed if this doesn’t come, hehe.

Birthday cake

Some friends from a hotel sent me a cake I didn’t get to eat because it came hot and deconstructed.
At first I thought the hotel had sent me a special cake that looked like ruins, because I like that. Then I realized it really was ruined! So I asked the delivery guy about it. He said he may have encountered a hump along the way.
I felt sorry for him so I didn’t complain. Also because I don’t want them to make him pay for it.
So in this case, it’s really the thought that counts. :)

Cake

My friend Van sent me the sweetest cake from The Royal Picadilly. Everyone who saw it was simply amazed.

Birthday cake

I loved that the cake had my loved ones on it, plus a cake on top of a cake!

Birthday cake

My friend Grace also gave me a caramel cake from Costa Brava (R), not Estrel’s :)

Birthday cake

The caramel cake is still in the chiller thought, because I am eating this cake given by my friend Anthony.
When I first saw the cake, I thought it looked like the ruins. So me!

Birthday cake

My friends and I dug in and guessed correctly—that the coffee crunch cake is by Mrs. Yulo of Forbes Park.
Tons better than Red Ribbon (jeje). Cedric called it the Coachella cake because it reminds him of the dessert.
I was so happy I had four slices last night and three slices today. I’ll work it all out starting tomorrow.

Birthday cake

Finally, Jude and Yodel art directed this cake platter. It is a sight to behold.

Birthday cake

It got me scrambling in the kitchen for the heavy silver tray Jeroen and I received at our wedding more than 12 years ago. I found it in mint condition in our kitchen cupboard.

There were a couple of other cakes that arrived just before I left the house. I wasn’t able to take a picture, but I want to thank you for the cakes, flowers, presents and well wishes. For those of you wondering, yes I share them with the people at home. There are 13 of us here.

Funny how the older I get, the more I like cake.

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The sad childhood of Gretchen B
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Before anything, I have nothing against Gretchen Barretto!
I find her highly amusing and entertaining, unlike her sister Claudine, whom I find strangely aggressive.
One thing I’ve always wondered about Gretchen though, is why a pretty woman like her needs to alter her face that much.
Another thing, Gretchen recently found her voice in social media. Through Instagram we can all see her bling

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her ride

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her gifts

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her drinks

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her shoes

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her bags

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her food galore!

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But what drives a woman who seems to have everything to show off what she has, when we all know she’s “married” to a very rich man?
The answer finally came when her good friend, former actress and schoolmate, Tania Montenegro, recently spoke to Pep.ph about Gretchen’s sordid childhood.
The idea was not to put down Gretchen, but to discredit Gretchen’s sister Gia, who wrote a letter to discredit brother Jay-Jay (Joaquin), who wrote a statement to discredit their mother Inday, who wrote a letter to discredit Gretchen.

I know, long story.
Tania’s story is quite a read in Tagalog. I thought it would be easier to understand by summarizing and asking my sister Ana Maria Zamora to illustrate them.
Here goes…

Tanya Montenegro
Tania Montenegro

While they were “put in exclusive schools”, Tania says many times during exams, Gretchen would be asked to leave the room because her tuition fee was not paid.
no tuition

“Most of the time, she’d come to school, wala siyang baon. So many countless times, I make her libre for recess,” Tania recalled.
libre

Food galore?
Tania says she used to see Gretchen’s siblings in the canteen, “nagre-recess, nagla-lunch”, while Gretchen only had one meal. “Bakit si Gretchen, it’s either lunch or recess, ganyan? Lagi, lagi ‘yan,” Tania asked.
Gretchen is the fifth of seven children of Miguel at Estrella “Inday” Barretto.
Her elder siblings are Mito, Michi, Jay-Jay, at Gia (non showbiz) while the younger ones—Marjorie and Claudine both joined Gretchen in showbiz.

kapatids eating

“Sometimes, we’d go out as a group, hindi ‘yan oorder kasi she has no money to pay for the food, yung ganun ba.”

outing

“Nakakaawa nga ‘yan, e. There was one time nga, e, dumadalaw ‘yan sa house, mga early 1990s.
We were living in Capitol Hills, and she was within the area lang, kasi she had shooting. She passed by.
So kami naman, unintentionally, we served Spam and California rice. She sat on the table and sabi niya, ‘Ang sarap naman nito! Di bale, I promise, some day I’d be able to buy myself this.’

spam and rice

Yayas and chauffeurs? According to Tania, Gia’s recollection of their lifestyle during the ’80s is “weird”.
The chauffeur was actually Jay-Jay, the brother who drove them to school in a yellow combi!

yellow combi

“And their house, lahat naman yun rented. Rented lang mga houses na yun.
There were times nga, may mga art project kami, may mga project kami for art or for GMRC [Good Manners and Right Conduct], na we’d have to go to the school and bring this. Wala siyang madadala, kasi nga wala…Hindi siya nabigyan ng pambili or ganyan. Kaya nga kami naging close niyan. Kasi ako, madalas, I’d share. I’d share with her.”

friends cos of sharing

“Nagulat lang ako talaga kung bakit kinailangan magsalita pa ni Tita Inday. I don’t know why she had to come up with that statement na parang…parang disown Gretchen. Parang tinatanong ko lang, ‘What has she done to you guys? Kasi, all throughout…ano ‘yan, e, she has a very big heart. So I don’t know.”

big heart

Another thing she can’t understand is Tita Inday’s “hatred kay Gretch.”
“I don’t know why. Hindi ko rin maintindihan na bakit parang through all, ha…seven kasi sila [magkakapatid]. I don’t know why siya [Gretchen] lang, sa nakita ko, sa naririnig kong kuwento from Gretch, sa na-witness ko, I don’t know why merong ganyang hatred si Tita Inday kay Gretch. I don’t know why.

Kasi dati pa sasabihin niya: ‘Si Gretchen ang itim-itim! Ang pangit ni Gretchen!’ Kaya nga si Gretchen, nagkaroon ng kailangan na pumuti siya, kailangan gumanda siya. Kaya naging ganyan ang effect kay Gretch, e. Kasi she hears it from her mom na, ‘Maitim si Gretchen! Maitim si Gretchen. Hindi naman maganda si Gretchen! Maraming gano’n.’”

maitim si gretchen

“And then there was one time, she had a big pasa dito sa may face niya…between her cheek and her neck.
Sabi ko sa kanya, ‘What happened to you? Why do you have a bruise?’
Sabi niya her mom slapped her daw. Sabi niya, ‘She hit me.’
Sabi ko, ‘Why?’ She started to cry.
pasa

“I didn’t bother asking her kasi naawa ako because of the bruise on her cheek. Yung malaking bruise.
We were like Grade 6 lang siguro—so, mga 12? There was one time, may pictorial may pictorial kami, na-late siya.
‘Parang you cried,’ sabi ko sa kanya.
‘Yeah,’ sabi niyang ganun.‘Inday pulled my hair.’”
pulling hair

Even though Gretchen now lives the good life, Tania says it’s not so difficult to please Gretchen—it could be as simple as mocha cake and hugs.
“Gretchen is so mababaw. A simple Goldilocks mocha slice or mocha cake will make her so happy.
When we were young, she would have to wait for her birthday para makatikim ng Goldilocks. Kaya if people out there want to make Gretch happy, give her Goldilocks mocha cake or mocha slice!”

mocha cake

“She was deprived kasi of love and affection growing up. That’s why, if you notice, Gretchen is a hugger, she loves to hug her friends, and she always says, ‘I love you.’ Because her mom never said that to her.” (Source)

P.S. Gretchen didn’t pay me to write this!! xo

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Yellow Chicken Festival at Wee Nam Kee
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If you’re chicken rice-obsessed like me, you’d know that it is best served yellow!
Unfortunately we don’t really have fatty yellow chicken like they do in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia.
That’s because they’re more expensive. And imported (obviously).
For a limited time only, Wee Nam Kee will be serving yellow chicken at Serendra in Bonifacio and the new Glorietta in Makati. Enjoy it from May 1-June 30, 2013 only!

Wee Nam Kee

It’s my first time to visit the new Glorietta. We were invited to dine there by Linfred Yap, Philippines franchise holder of Wee Nam Kee Singapore.
The place looks tons nicer than Wee Nam Kee Singapore, for sure!
This is Singapore

Wee Nam Kee

And this is Glorietta—voila!

Wee Nam Kee

Linfred showed me white chicken (left) vs. yellow chicken (right), steamed and roasted

Wee Nam Kee

He had me at yellow!!
Here’s what we had: a mixed platter of both (with chicken rice, of course!)

Wee Nam Kee

Sambal kangkong which I loved. Plus a roast pork dish

Wee Nam Kee

More roasted pork in hot pot with tausi

Wee Nam Kee

Yellow chicken owes its color and fat content to a high-protein diet composed primarity of corn, which makes its meat more succulent and its skin, well, fatty.
It’s boiled in Wee Nam Kee’s secret stock for an even more flavorful taste.
Available steamed or roasted, they’re best savored with chicken rice, complemented by pounded ginger, chili sauce, and dark soya sauce.
For a limited time only, enjoy it here in Manila only at Wee Nam Kee Serendra and Glorietta 2.
To know more, follow Wee Nam Kee on Facebook or Twitter.

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Dr. Phil’s test: How do others see you?
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I took this test and got a 34. I think this is a fairly accurate description of me.

31 TO 40 POINTS: Others see you as sensible, cautious, careful & practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest. Not a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone who’s extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expects the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you, realize it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you a long time to get over if that trust is ever broken.

Dr. Phil did this test on Oprah and scored 55, while Oprah got 38 (similar to me).
Wanna try? Try not to cheat to get the most accurate score.

phil and Oprah-121109

1. When do you feel your best?
A) in the morning
B) during the afternoon and early evening
C) late at night

2. You usually walk…
A) fairly fast, with long steps
B) fairly fast, with little steps
C) less fast head up, looking the world in the face
D) less fast, head down
E) very slowly

3. When talking to people you…
A) stand with your arms folded
B) have your hands clasped
C) have one or both your hands on your hips
D) touch or push the person to whom you are talking
E) play with your ear, touch your chin, or smooth your hair

4. When relaxing, you sit with…
A) your knees bent with your legs neatly side by side
B) your legs crossed
C) your legs stretched out or straight
D) one leg curled under you

5. When something really amuses you, you react with…
A) big appreciated laugh
B) a laugh, but not a loud one
C) a quiet chuckle
D) a sheepish smile

6. When you go to a party or social gathering you…
A) make a loud entrance so everyone notices you
B) make a quiet entrance, looking around for someone you know
C) make the quietest entrance, trying to stay unnoticed

7. You’re working very hard, concentrating hard, and you’re interrupted….
A) welcome the break
B) feel extremely irritated
C) vary between these two extremes

8. Which of the following colors do you like most….
A) Red or orange
B) black
C) yellow or light blue
D) green
E) dark blue or purple
F) white
G) brown or gray

9. When you are in bed at night, in those last few moments before going to sleep you are…
A) stretched out on your back
B) stretched out face down on your stomach
C) on your side, slightly curled
D) with your head on one arm
E) with your head under the covers

10. You often dream that you are…
A) falling
B) fighting or struggling
C) searching for something or somebody
D) flying or floating
E) you usually have dreamless sleep
F) your dreams are always pleasant

POINTS:

1. (a) 2 (b) 4 (c) 6
2. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 7 (d) 2 (e) 1
3. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 5 (d) 7 (e) 6
4. (a) 4 (b) 6 (c) 2 (d) 1
5. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 2
6. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 2
7. (a) 6 (b) 2 (c) 4
8. (a) 6 (b) 7 (c) 5 (d) 4 (e) 3 (f) 2 (g) 1
9. (a) 7 (b) 6 (c) 4 (d) 2 (e ) 1
10 (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 6 (f) 1

Now add up the total number of points, check your total, and see how others see you.

OVER 60 POINTS: Others see you as someone they should handle with care. You’re seen as vain, self-centered, and extremely dominant. Others may admire you, wishing they could be more like you, but don’t always trust you, hesitating to become too deeply involved with you.

51 TO 60 POINTS: Others see you as an exciting, highly volatile, rather impulsive personality, a natural leader, who’s quick to make decisions, though not always the right ones. They see you as bold and adventuresome, someone who will try anything once, someone who takes chances and enjoys an adventure. They enjoy being in your company because of the excitement you radiate.

41 TO 50 POINTS: Others see you as fresh, lively, charming, amusing, practical, and always interesting, someone who’s constantly in the center of attention, but sufficiently well-balanced not to let it go to their head. They also see you as kind, considerate, and understanding, someone who’ll always cheer them up and help them out.

31 TO 40 POINTS: Others see you as sensible, cautious, careful, and practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest. Not a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone who’s extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expects the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you, realize it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you a long time to get over if that trust is ever broken.

21 TO 30 POINTS: Your friends see you as painstaking and fussy. They see you as very cautious, extremely careful, a slow and steady plodder. It would really surprise them if you ever did something impulsively or on the spur of the moment, expecting you to examine everything carefully from every angle and then, usually decide against it. They think this reaction is caused partly by your careful nature.

UNDER 21 POINTS: People think you are shy, nervous, and indecisive, someone who needs looking after, who always wants someone else to make the decisions and who doesn’t want to get involved with anyone or anything! They see you as a worrier who always sees problems that don’t exist. Some people think you’re boring. Only those who know you well, know that you aren’t.

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