Showing posts from July, 2008

English Trainer Chronicles: Bath

She really had a good laugh after she realized her mistake--the first one I heard from her.

A typical Monday warm-up is: "So how was your weekend?"

Her: The weather was perfect! I went to my parents' swimming pool and had a bath.
Me: ...
Her: (Continues) It was my second bath in a year!
Me: What do you mean "it was my second bath in a year"?
Her: The water has been cold, but now it's warm.
Me: So you went swimming?
Her: Yes.
Me: It's better to say "I went swimming" because when you have a bath, you have soap...
Her: Oh! In a shower! (Starts laughing).
Me: (Laughs with her). Your parents wouldn't like that, I think.

What are you doing this weekend?

I'm doing this on Saturday. :)
Good day fellow travelers!

As the rainy season pours, we invite you to join us in our famous Pampanga Food Tour called Viajeng Cusinang Matua or Old Kitchen Tours. This will be on July 26, 2008, Saturday, from breakfast to dinner, we will just enjoy the company of food trippers and learn more about why Filipinos love to eat.

Bring your family and friends or if you have guests from abroad, just bring them in and prepare for a one of a kind and fun-filled gastronomical experience!

For reservations, you may reach us at 09209235615 or email us at alquimistatrails@

See you!

Tracey Santiago
Alquimista Trails


The Kapampangan cuisine is highly regarded as one of the most delicious variety in the Philippines. Discover the secrets of the locals and explore the rich culture of Pampanga through this one of a kind cultural culinary experience. We will bring you to an extra special tour...we bring YOU to some of the old kitchens of Pampanga...because the best Kapampangan dishes are made at home.

Itinerary and Sample Menu

Breakfast - Cucina ng Atching Lillian Borromeo - Mexico
Native tsokolate, dinuguan, galantina, sinangag, etc. There will also be a baking demonstration of the famous San Nicolas cookies and a tour lecture of the cooking heirloom pieces of the family.

Merienda - Alviz Farm - Sta. Rita
This farm is owned by ArtiSta Rita's Artistic Director and one of Pampanga's cultural pillars today, Andy Alviz. During this time, experience the Rice Planting Festival of Pampanga with music, dances, and food. Tamales, pandan tea, empanaditas, and other native kakanin will be served during the festivities.

Lunch - Cucina ni Kong Willie Carpio - Sta. Rita
Willie Carpio is known for its authentic preparation of the famous sisig. A Pampanga food tour will never be complete without tasting this delectable recipe without the sizzling plate. Taste it hot or cold and you'll know the difference! Other included viands are sinigang na bangus sa bayabas and humba.

Side Trip - Betis Church - Betis
Pampanga is also known for its beautiful old churches. We will have a glimpse of one of the most famous baroque churches in the Philippines. Betis church is named as one of the most significant cultural landmarks by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

Merienda - Betis Crafts - Betis
Kapampangans are also known as excellent woodcarvers. Betis crafts showcases this craft through their fine world class furniture pieces. Taste the famous La Moderna ensaymada of Guagua after taking the factory tour of Betis Crafts.

Pasalubong Shopping - Susie's Cuisine - San Fernando
Susie's is famous for the "tibok-tibok," mochi, empanadas, and other Kapampangan delicacies.

Dinner - Everybody's Cafe - San Fernando
This restaurant is most famous for its camaro, morcon, and paksiw na bangus. A must try if you want to taste what the Jorolan Family has been serving their customers for more than 50 years.

Fee: Php2,500.00 per person
Inclusions: lectures, chartered vans, set and buffet dishes (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Meriendas)

Pick-up points:

a. Makati - Mc Donalds Greenbelt along Paseo de Roxas - 5:45am
b. Ortigas - Mc Donalds El Pueblo - 6:00am
c. Quezon City - Mc Donalds MRT-Quezon Ave - 6:15am

English Trainer Chronicles: Grass root

A few minutes before this, my student told me, with a laugh, that he had asked his secretary for help with his English homework.

We were talking about idioms related to money.
Grass roots. The term "grass roots" refers to the ordinary people who form the main body of an organization.
Him: For example, my secretary is a grass root.
Me: Oh, noooo... when you say it that way, the meaning becomes literal.
Him: Oh. (Laughs out loud.) I will not be mentioning this.

English Trainer Chronicles: Birds and (the) Bess

Two amusing stories today, one from Evreux and another from Douarnenez.

Evreux (in Normandy)

My learner told me about the bridal shower and stag party they planned for her fiance's brother and his bride-to-be. The girl had to wear a cow costume and sell marshmallows. If she met someone with the same name as her groom-to-be, she'd be required to kiss him on the cheek. The cow costume was made up of a top en dentelle (lace) and a soutien-gorge (bra).

The groom, in turn, had to dress up as a rabbit (once described by another student who was telling me about the rabbit stew she ate as "a very cute animal") and run around in it at a rond-point (roundabout). One motorist called out, "Don't do it!"

What I would have given to have been there! :D

New French words for me! :D She said this originated from the north of France. I'd have to ask another student about this, but he's on vacation. :P

Meanwhile, in Douarnenez

Seagulls are protected there; if you destroy a nest you could get fined. During the lesson, the seagulls started making a lot of noise, and my learner apologized, and we got to talking about how the seagulls could be pests sometimes.

Me: Do they make a mess?
Him: What mess? I know mess, but which meaning?
Me: (Wondering if I should practice using what little French I know and say "Seagull merde.") Ahhh... um... you know, when they eat and then the food comes out...
Him: Oh, SHIT.

There was a cute line too. He was talking about his neighbor's roof, which had a nest on it. Apparently, seagull poop (yes, I taught him that word) is acidic, so it can put holes on the roof. He said he was watching the nest from his window, and then...

Him: The eggs let some little birds out. :)

Dear Universe/God:

Thank you for the past few days' blessings:

1. The Attracting Wealth seminar last Saturday, which helped me deal with the negative thoughts I've been having, thanks to news media. (Thanks for the discount!)
2. Weekend with the family, which included a free Gary V. concert and a yummy, yummy meal at Kanin Club.

3. Mommy and Ivan being safe home.
4. The stuff Ivan and Auntie Tita bought for us in the US.

5. The Naked Bar by NanWell (naughty name, healthy stuffy) Donna gave me.

Copyeditor Chronicles: Say what?!

How do you edit this?

Q: What do you have to say about Sen. Lacson’s call on the government to review the Church’s exemption from taxes?

A: Bakit pa ipapasa sa gobyerno, pwede naman gawin ng Senado?

N songs

You've probably seen this by now. You reply to this post, I'll assign you a letter, then you list five songs that begin with that letter.

Paul assigned me the letter N.

1. (The) Nearness of You - I first discovered (and fell in love with) this song in an ice cream commercial. Leave it to me to associate sexy with food. Now I associate it with that scene in that Hugh Grant-Sandra Bullock film, Two Weeks Notice, where Nora Jones has a cameo singing her own version.

2. Never-ending Story by Limahl, lead singer of Kajagoogoo(!). - I love this song because it stirs up giddy magical feelings from the first movie I ever saw on Betamax. I can still remember the exchange:

The Childlike Empress: Bastian. Why don't you do what you dream, Bastian?
Bastian: But I can't, I have to keep my feet on the ground!
The Childlike Empress: Call my name. Bastian, please! Save us!
Bastian: All right! I'll do it! I'll save you! I will do what I dream!
[Climbs to the window and yells out in the storm]
Bastian: MOON CHILD!
3. Never My Love by the Association - I love the lyrics; used to imagine singing it for someone.

4. New Age Girl by Deadeye Dick (whatever happened to them?) - Funny New Age girl's name (Mary Moon!), long words (transcendental, septuagenarian), and "she sure like the bone!" ;) I think this was one of the songs that made me think, hey, I'm weird but I can be cool. Only it doesn't seem so cool anymore now that I'm 30.

5. No Day But Today by the cast of Rent. - It strangely reminds me of my UP Quill/Loafer days. It also captures my LEAP 32 "The Power of Now" journey.

There's only us.
There's only this.
Forget regret.
Or life is yours to miss.

I believe in angels

I have a dream, a song to sing
To help me cope with anything
If you see the wonder of a fairy tale
You can take the future even if you fail
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I’ll cross the stream - I have a dream.
And my dream has always been to marry someone like Pierce Brosnan! Loyal, dapper, funny, artistic, sexy... I know he paints, he acts, and now I know he sings!
Listen to the whole song here.

My other love, Colin Firth, is a pretty good singer too:

English Trainer Chronicles: Nutshell

The language of IT is English, so it no longer surprises me when my IT students can talk about their jobs pretty well in English. What tickles me--and them, I think--is when they use technical terms to describe not-so-technical things.

We were talking about the expression, "In a nutshell."

Me: So, what does this mean?
Student: I get the meaning. It's like "in short."
Me: Right! But what is a nutshell?
Student: I don't know.
Me: Well, what is a nut?
Student: (Thinks.) Squirrels eat it.
Me: Right, right. And if it's the shell of a nut, what is it then?
Student: (Thinks, then laughs a little.) It's the interface of the nut.


P.S. Another learner told me he watched Hot Fuzz in English. I'd never heard of it before, so I looked it up. Tonight, I saw it was showing on HBO and watched it. Hilarious stuff. :P

Dear Universe/God:

Thank for the lovely surprises of the past days.

1. Saturday's flowing open bar at Sophie's Garden with my colleagues, where I had my first taste of Tequila Rose.

Picture from Marchie's camera.

2. My initiation into SEx--Sinangag Express, that is.

Picture from Marchie's camera.

3. Sunday birthday snacks for Dr. Bau, with lots of sugar-free goodies. I have pictures... to follow!

4. Monday's relaxing sked.
5. A learner's funny Facebook message.
6. The baked tahong Marchie gave me today. I'd been craving for it for days!
7. The small piece of Romana peanut brittle I got from Joanna. I know it's mostly sugar and peanuts, but I only got I small piece. :)

I have a request. I'm craving for really good Cebu lechon again. Just a small bit, for what's left of my suka pinakurat. Please.