A Little Break

Hi, world! I feel bad that I have not written anything in the last 3 weeks. I have some drafts and random notes on my phone which I wrote while waiting to board the plane weeks ago, but they're too sad. I was probably too tired from the flights and the schedules... and all that I've been doing. I'm glad we had a long weekend last week and I didn't have to travel for work this month. I just realized I've been traveling from February to May and have barely kept still so the month of June was a welcome break.

I savored every bit of the 4-day long weekend (for Dragon Boat Festival) by catching up with my reading list and spending time with friends. I finished 3 books. Devoured might have been a better word though. If you want something fun, thrilling, romantic and heart-wrenching (yes all these in one book), grab a copy of The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I couldn't put it down and read until wee hours of the morning. I also tried  a new recipe I found online- cinnamon roll cake. It had crazy amount of butter but it tastes oh so wonderful. The base is a simple vanilla cake then you swirl the cinnamon-butter-sugar on top. My final product is not as pretty but it was really good!

Last night (June 15) was the 118th Celebration of Philippine Independence Day hosted by the Manila Economic Cultural Office or MECO (the Philippine representative office in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties). It's that once-a-year event where we dress-up, put on some make-up and look like decent human beings. We feasted on Filipino dishes that we couldn't cook ourselves- Kare Kare, Lengua, Chicken Bbq, Dinuguan, Lechon de Leche. It was nice to be with fellow Filipinos and sing along to familiar tunes, and to gather with people we know- the Filipino priests who celebrate Mass in St. Christopher's, the ate's we regularly see in Zhongshan who work at the Pinoy groceries and remittance centers, fellow Pinoy scholars and even our doctors (prolly the only time we see them not donning their white coats, except for that one medyo awkward time I ran into my doctor in Costco hehe!)

The highlight of the night for me was winning the raffle!!! I still can't believe I won. There were several prizes given out like hotel vouchers, mall GCs and round-trip tickets. When the last few prizes were being drawn, I was so in a hurry to go to the ladies room. On our way out, my friends said to just wait for the last announcement. And then I heard our office's Chinese name being announced followed by my Chinese name. I screamed a little and made my way to the stage. They were telling me to run because we were at the back and the host started to count 1-3 (if they don't see me, they will re-draw), but I couldn't for the life of me run... I was wearing heels. I didn't know my other friends were panicking because they thought I've already gone to the toilet. It was a lucky night! I won a round-trip ticket to Manila!

That's all for now :) Ahhh we're halfway through the year... That was really fast.