Sharing Daddy Daughter Pandesal

In honor of Father’s Day, I thought I would share a special recipe that has a lot of daddy attachment to it.  Last December, Evie had her first trip to the Philippines, and one of her favorite memories there was the freshly baked sweet bread rolls called pandesal.  My dad (her Papa Benny) would make a special trip to his favorite bakery every morning to satisfy Evie’s craving. Once back in the states, Evie was constantly talking about it, she would go to sleep and wake up talking about them.  Being the superhero he always is for her, my husband Peabe (who doesn’t usually bake) decided to try to help her learn how to make them.  He looked up different recipes online and had a good two months just experimenting on different rolls, until he deducted his own winning recipe. Peabe and Evie rolling out some of their first batches. It […]

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One of Our Favorite Places in Oakland

It was a beautiful, sunny day when we decided to go to the Oakland Zoo.  We have been members there for a couple years now, but slowly realizing all the reasons why this zoo is awesome. After going to Thailand and learning the right and wrong way to hold elephants in captivity, Peabe and I watched a documentary on the topic of zoos and circuses in America.  They talked about how Oakland Zoo’s practices were some of the more humane ways to care for animals.  We actually knew someone who worked with the giraffes there and was reminded about her own inside knowledge that she shared on how Oakland had some of the top researchers working with them. Aside from the treatment of the animals, it’s on beautiful grounds.  Slight hills make for scenic placements of the animals.  Warm climates make for an abundance and variety of plants, which we also […]

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Can a Curious 4-Year Old Understand Space and Science?

4-Year olds are curious creatures.  They can go on for days with the question, “why”.  Evie is no different, and it has really been interesting to see what her little head can come up with sometimes.  We had never been to Oakland’s beloved Chabot Space & Science Center, but have heard nothing but great things about it.  I wasn’t sure if Evie was ready for the concepts, but now I know she has been ready and it was up to me to really give her ways to explore it. The museum came highly recommended by friends and we decided to take some time to explore it.  Of course, right off the bat, Evie was a ball of energy.  She saw all sorts of things that she wanted to touch but didn’t want to hear what it was all about.  I assume this is a common thing with her age group. […]

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The Deeper Meanings Behind My Batek Tattoo (Part 3)

Featured image: finding symbols similar to my batek hand-tapped tattoo in some woven Ilocano fabric that I brought home with me from my last trip to the Philippines in December 2015.  Some of the tattoo images have been lost through colonization but are survived because they were found in weavings and pottery. As more and more time goes on, the old ways of Filipino tribal cultures are lost.  Having the markings of my batek tattoo are not only helping me to reconnect with my own ancestry but also bring some light to an ancient culture.  The colonization of the Philippines has affected the country and it’s generations of people in so many ways, and I’m just scratching the surface of it’s effects on me. The experience and the markings were powerful and affirming, I wish I could repeat all the knowledge that my mambabatok Lane Wilcken shared with me.  I just […]

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Hiking Point Reyes and Eating Oysters

On an overcast day, one can get comfortable staying in and spending the day at home.  I think, after moving from Chicago, I’ve gotten really used to the warmth and sunshine of California that rainy days can be a little hard to deal with.  On a mission to try and overcome this, I scheduled a hike in Point Reyes National Seashore for a questionable day and I feel lucky that the skies cooperated with my plans. The morning was gray and gloomy but it opened up to be a beautiful day.  My daughter, Evie, is out of school and I’m on a mission to keep her busy and run some of that 4-year old energy out.  My cousin, and Evie’s godmother, Kathy, joined us on our hike and I’m so glad she did.  Evie can be a great hiker, but it is helpful to have more than just myself to […]

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Unveiling My Personal and Ancient Story Through My Batek Tattoo (Part 2)

As I mentioned in my previous post, Part 1 of my Batek Tattoo, I split this portion of the experience up to talk about the process, the rituals, and the ceremony.  By the end, I felt extremely thankful to have the support of my family, and these amazing cultural practitioners around me to help me understand so many things about my own history.  I don’t know exactly what I had in mind, but the whole thing went totally beyond my expectations. Woke up around 2am that day after falling asleep putting my daughter, Evie to bed around 9pm. Unsurprising for myself as I suffer from regular bouts of insomnia and has a little one to tend to during the day.  Maybe it was nerves, but I sat in the living room on my laptop that morning scouring for any more information that I could find on my family.  I had done […]

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Hiking around Pinnacles National Park

In making through to all of the 50 states in my life at least once, I was always a fan of spending some time in some of the Nation’s prettiest National Parks.  I knew that I wanted to take Evie to visit a lot of them also, and have made that one of my goals. Luckily, she received a US National Parks pass from my family this year for her birthday and we hope to make the most of it.  To those interested, it’s $80 for the year.  Pinnacles had a $15 entrance fee, but larger parks like Yosemite charge more.  A pass covers entrance and standard amenity fees for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle at per vehicle fee areas (or up to four adults at sites that charge per person). You can purchase one here. Pinnacles is about 2 hours south of us and is one […]

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Learning History for My Batek Tattoo (Part 1)

I had recently received a tattoo that I feel has such a personal story behind it, and I knew I needed to write about the whole experience.  As I gather my thoughts on it, I have found that (much like my time spent on moving forward on it) it was going to take a lot more than just one sitting to get it down.  I have decided to split this up into 3 parts: Learning the history My own personal and ancient visual story and my photo story Deeper meanings behind my tattoo Hopefully, it will make sense why I have split all these up.  These tattoos aren’t like the normal flash graphic on a wall, where one sees an image that means ‘mountains’ and says to oneself, “yeah, I like mountains… this is for me.”  There is a larger story that is missed, I feel it’s something one needs to […]

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Evie’s First Baseball Game with Family and Friends

A couple weeks ago, I had some awesome visitors come into town.  My friend from grade school, Jeff, and his brother, James, have been to San Francisco and Oakland before and it’s always fun hanging out with these two.  As it is a small world, their older brother was also a really good friend to my cousin, Jon, who also happened to be in town too.  Basically, I’ve known these guys through grade school and high school, and it’s always good to have people like that pop back into your life every now and then to catch up and hang out.  It was Jon’s first time in the Bay Area, so we spent some extra time just showing him and his friend, Gerrado, around town.  The highlight of it all was the Cubs vs. Giants game.  I’ve grown up as a Chicago Cubs fan and Peabe has been a Chicago […]

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