Saturday, November 27, 2010

Summer is here!

'spent a day at Shelly Beach down Helensville.  'twas a great day for a barbeque and just lounging under the tree.  Summer is here...and so is Christmas! 'wish our little Aaron was here.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Today, I am thankful for a lot of things:
- Friends, both old and new, who have prayed for us and wished us well.
- Being in a country that is safe and has lots of opportunities.
- A family who has been loving and supportive all these years.
- A son who his healthy and smart (and who I miss every single minute).
- A husband who is my #1 fan and cheerleader.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Basketball Full of Roses

We were once again blessed with a warm and sunny weekend.

The sun is bright, the sky is blue. This is just outside our main door.

Basketball and Fishing On a Saturday

Last Saturday my wife and I helped our landlord set up a booth at an all Filipino basketball tournament at the YMCA in Northshore. I'm not a basketball kind of person so I didn't enjoy it that much. What caught our attention though was the food. There was a stall that offers home cooked Filipino food. The sisig was very good and the laing was a piece of Bicol heaven in Auckland. Abby had beef steak and it was cooked to perfection. Apologies, I don't have a photo of the food...aesthetically, its not pleasing (a pile of meat on rice, in a styro plate) so I didn't bother.

At around 3pm we decided to pack everything then we went to Tai Ping and Countdown (supermarkets here in Auckland - someday I will write about it) at the downtown area to do our grocery. Several grocery bags heavier and a $100 poorer, we went to the wharf for a bit of fishing. It wasn't as successful as the labour day weekend fishing we did but it was enough for a decent meal of fried fish. We just caught bait fish which is ulam already for most pinoys. For most kiwis, if not all, what we caught is just fish food.

Bait fish makes a pinoy happy and full

Mass and Roses on a Sunday Afternoon

The following day, after hearing mass at Balmoral, Abby and I went to Parnell Rose Gardens to attend the Festival of Roses.

Marimba players provided the background music for an already perfect afternoon

We were greeted by music from a group marimba players which added to the relaxed ambiance of the afternoon. Aucklanders and tourists alike roam the food and souvenir stalls that dotted the whole ground.

Tourists and Aucklanders alike enjoyed watching the marimba players

Food and souvenir stalls litter the place


The star of the afternoon....the roses

The thorn among the roses?

Freshly made cones and delicious ice cream

We just couldn't resist the ice cream...danish ice cream in a freshly made cone?! We are only human.

A view of Auckland's marine port

The performances and the food made last Sunday extra special for us. What a weekend!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The TV ad that changed our life.

Not really overnight. Just 738 nights.

The hubbs and I first saw this TV ad 2 years ago while still living in Singapore. I remember it was just a few days after we lodged our application for immigration. We were grinning ear to ear everytime the ad came on. We knew we did the right thing applying.

Watch and enjoy.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Pumpkin Friday

Yesterday, I had my first cook off at the office. The theme was 'Pumpkin' and days before the presentation day, everybody was busy googling for the best recipe online. I didn't bother because I had my sights on a Filipino dish called ' Ginataang Kalabasa'. Just the name of the dish brings back memories of childhood in Ratatouille fashion (the scene where the food critic took the first bite of the ratatouille and he somehow time travelled to his childhood, that's how I felt, sansthe tears).

I cooked the dish the night before without the beans. I decided to separate it so that I will have something green when I plate it (I've always wanted to use that term...plate it). The original recipe calls for string beans but the quality of the ones available in Auckland is just not right for the look I want to achieve so I went with ordinary green beans :)

When it was time to 'plate it'. I simply nuked the green beans et voila I have this!

Unfortunately for me, the entire team went all out on their entries. Everybody just delivered.

In the end, this one from Kelly won. It was a pumpkin bread with a butternut honey topping and a mint leaf. Yum!

I got the second place, snaps snaps! Not bad for a first time.

Overall, the entire afternoon was great and SOOOO orange!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lipat Bayan

Ours is a small family. It is just me, my dad and my mom. At the moment, I am in the island of Negros, in the middle of a big sugarcane field, in the city of Silay. That's in the Philippines, home of the Abu Sayaf...errr Manny Pacquiao. My mom and dad are currently working in Singapore. It's been two weeks now since they left me with my 'nanay' and 'tatay', my loving grandparents, so that they can prepare for our family's biggest next move. That is why this blog entry is called Lipat Bayan - rough translation in english is 'migration' (feel free to offer a better translation, after all I'm just two years old with very limited vocabulary).

My parents are no stranger to moving to different countries. In 2005, with a big
hakot-lahat luggage, my parents, then lovers, moved to the big sandbox that is Dubai. Their love for each other was so great they decided that Dubai is the place they will get married. So in Feb 1, 2007, they hailed a cab to the Philippine Consulate and recited their vows before the consul. The next day they spent a brief honeymoon in Muscat, Oman, a neighboring country.

A couple of months after the wedding, my parents set their sights on another place, this time, a lot closer to home. They targeted Singapore, a tiny island in the southernmost tip of the Asian continent. They moved on Labor Day of the same year. My mom worked for the Singapore branch of her company in Dubai, while my dad found a job at a small UK-based research firm. Life was good and perhaps too good that my mom got pregnant with me even before 2007 ended. In June 2008, my fragile body inched its way outside my moms and made the
Diaz family complete.

I spent the next two years in Singapore in our small two bedroom house next to
Clementi MRT station. I would waste my afternoons roaming around the various stalls at the town center with my nanny. I must have spent a great deal of time there that store keepers would call me by name whenever I drop by.

Just recently, our
family's long term plan reached a milestone. Our visas to move to NZ was approved and we should be in Kiwiland before October 6 2010. We decided they will go there and get settled first, then they will comeback to get me. Painful but necessary, my parents are now busy packing, buying and psyching themselves for the major move. Dad already resigned while my mom already told her boss she is leaving. Everything is set for the Diaz' another major 'lipat bayan'