Sunday, July 20, 2008

6 Days

These have been the longest 1 month and 3 weeks of my life. I miss my wife and the kids badly. I wish I had enough vacation days to go there now. I'm just glad that it's nearly there. 6 more days.

It just feels so strange not having my family here with me. Initially it was fine, I had some quiet time, where I can rest, clean up at my own pace and exercise. But that grew old too. Having a family really does change things. But 6 more days, right?

On a related note, I am happy that I am able to finally go back, after almost 8 years. I can't wait to see my family and friends, their partners and their kids. I wish it was longer but at least it's still 2 and a half weeks...

See you all soon!!!!

Signing off til I get back to the burgh...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


The last time I was in the Philippines, it was for my church wedding, all the way back to December 2000. 8 years ++ and we still haven't gone back. 2 kids after, one already in kindergarten and the other starting pre-school this fall, still here. My family and I have missed so many events already; friends and relatives getting married and starting families count among the happy moments and funerals among the sad. But life moves on and we're still here.

But the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer. The dates are not yet clear, the only thing I'm sure of is that it will be before 2008 ends.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are going home.

Monday, August 20, 2007

At last, more pinoy beers here (among other things...)!

We all went to NJ and NYC this past weekend. It was a tightly-packed weekend, with us leaving around 5 pm Friday, driving from the other end of PA all the way to northern jersey then coming back Sunday night.

We finally got to Elizabeth, NJ at around 1 am. The whole of Saturday was spent taking my in-laws all over the place with our tour guide/friend, Annagar. We went to lady liberty via the ferry from NJ, then went on the train in NJ over to NYC. took them to Times Square, Rockefeller Center, M&M world, NBC store (really wanted to get a heroes shirt but way too expensive...), then we had dinner at cendrilon, a Filipino/french fusion restaurant owned by a pinoy. The food and the atmosphere of the restaurant was ok, but the prices a bit too high.

Sunday was basically spent buying pinoy groceries at jersey city for Dez, and me buying beer at the beer store. San Miguel Pale and Cerveza Negra (a.k.a., San Miguel Dark) has been here for the past 4 years in Pittsburgh, but that was about it. I was surprised and excited to find out that NJ had red horse and san mig light already! I got a 6-pack of the RH and a full case of the light, even though they were a bit pricey. I wish they would bring super dry next!

One more reason to go back to NJ...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My top ten no particular order

  1. San Miguel Cerveza Negra/Dark – This is my all-time favorite. This is dark beer that’s not too heavy on the tummy, and provides a toasty, sweet taste. This is also a sentimental favorite, as my barkada and I love it.
  2. Heineken Dark – This one comes close to Cerveza Negra, in terms of taste. It’s not as sweet as CN, but I personally think it’s one of the best beers I’ve ever had. It’s not too heavy on the tummy as well. This is the one that I had Bob try when he visited me in Pittsburgh. He can vouch for me on this one.
  3. Wittekerke – I discovered this beer with one of my pinoy buddies here in Pittsburgh. It is a traditional Belgian White Beer, meaning it is unfiltered; the yeast is still in the bottle/can. According to the English text on the six-pack, it is the top white beer in Belgium. The beer provides a flowery, citrus smell, and finishes smooth. A perfect beer for summer!
  4. Killian’s Irish Red – This beer is smooth as well. In terms of taste, it is like having the best of both worlds (dark and light-colored beer).
  5. Franziskaner Hefeweize – This is similar to the Belgian white beer, German version. The literal translation is Wheat Beer. It is also unfiltered beer, and not as flowery or citrus smelling as Wittekerke. But it is still very smooth and a very nice summer beer.
  6. Sam Adams Light – One of the best tasting light beers I have ever had. Nothing beats its flavor for a light beer.
  7. Shiner Bock – I discovered this when we went to Texas to visit a friend. I got to taste it via draft and have liked it ever since. It is still on the dark side, and provides a lot of flavor, but is not bitter at all. It is now available here in Pittsburgh, although you have to buy it by the case.
  8. Warsteiner/Warsteiner Dark – This is another discovery with the same pinoy buddy of mine here in Pittsburgh. Both beers that Warsteiner make are very good. And they are supposed to be the best rated German beers in Germany.
  9. Yuengling Lager – This is one of the best beers not available nationwide. It is a Pennsylvanian beer that is reddish-brown in color, and is very flavorful. I initially thought that it was an Asian beer because of the name, but was surprisingly mistaken. It is one of the top sellers here in Pittsburgh.
  10. San Miguel Super Dry – This was one of my favorites when I was still in Manila. I just love the taste of it. They say it is available in cities with big pinoy communities (Jersey City, NJ, and California (LA, Bay Area and San Diego), although I have not seen it yet. This is a very smooth beer (one of the few beers that my wife would drink). The “Super Dry” designation is supposedly for the taste, but it always gives me the impression of having more alcohol content.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


The fall season has just started. It seems like summer went by so fast. FYI, I love autumn, with its changing colors and cooler temprature... plus I won't need to mow the lawn as often.

But things have been falling for us, both positively and negatively. Let's start with the negatives first, to get them out of the way.

My 14-year old junker car, a 92 Subaru Legacy L AWD, just had a damaged clutch. The pedal wouldn't go up anymore, and the transmissions repair specialist told me that we need to replace the clutch as well as the clutch cable. All-in-all, it will cost us nearly $900... :-(

My 02 Hyundai Santa Fe will need its timing belt replaced, as we have gone above the 6ok mile threshold already. this will cost us around $400. If we add in the 60k mile service, it will damage our pockets for a grand total of $800.

And that doesn't even include our other debts and monetary problems, nor my green card application. Sometimes makes you wonder if the debts will ever end... (oh $203 mil Powerball, please save us....)


I have lost 20 pounds since the start of the year. I have been working my butt off, through spinning, basketball and weights. It is a bit slow, as I will not and can not do dieting. But I have made some sacrifices as well, like not drinking beer doing the weekdays, and not eating anything 3 hours before I go to sleep. I am now down to 185, and I am aiming to lose 10 more pounds by year end. My goal will be to get back down to 150 next year.

I am enjoying playing with my kids now. My son is such a bundle of energy, and surprisingly he loves football (the american kind). His current idol is Hines Ward, the Superbowl MVP from our very own Pittsburgh Steelers. He loves doing the drills even more than when I had him take basketball. He loves basketball as well (since he always sees me playing it), but so far, it looks like my son will go for the pigskin rather than the round orange leather ball. As for my daughter, she is so playful now at 20 months! It's nice to see her playing with us, and she especially loves playing with her kuya. I can't wait to see what activities I can do with her when she becomes a 2-year-old (So funny, who would have thought that this subject would be the focus of a guy in his young 30s...). One of our favorite games to play is bringing the kids to our bed, and the kids letting themselves fall on the bed. They both love it and are so funny to look at. Really makes you wish that they won't grow up anymore.

Now, if only the green card and the powerball would fall into our laps, then things would be perfect...

Friday, April 14, 2006

The checkup

I had our SUV undergo a 3k mile checkup, since we are going to NJ at the end of the month. I was expecting the worst with regard to our tires, but to my surprise, they said that the tires are still good for around 6k more miles (wow, and it has gone around 56k miles already...). IT is good news, since expense-wise, this has been a very heavy month for us. I still have to buy 4 new tires for my 92 suby legacy, though. I also just found out that I will need to change the brake rotors up front for the rubasu.... Right now, if I go above 4o mph and hit the brakes, you will feel a strong vibration coming from the brake pedal to the steering wheel. The mechanic said that I shouldn't be worried about it now, but I will eventually have to get that fixed. I just hope that we will be better off in the next couple of months...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Alive and Kicking

It's been awhile since I last wrote something on my blog. I just haven't had the time. Aside from work, I'm trying to spend more time with my two little bundles of kakulitan. No complaints, I love spending time with them.


I just had my junker car undergo state inspection, and I ended up spending so much just to get it passed. That's what I get for buying a 13-year-old car. It's a 92 Subaru Legacy L. It had around 137k miles on it when I got it, but the original owner really took care of it. It's been a year since I got it (and I only drive it to the park & ride, most of the time...), I've only added a little over 2k miles... but I guess age will eventually catch up with it. Next on the list is to buy 4 new tires for it. Even if two of them are still okay, I still have to replace all 4 since it's an AWD car. To make matters worse, I will also need to get new tires for my SUV, since we haven't replaced them since we got it. We've put a little over 55k miles on them. This is turning out to be a VERY expensive month...