Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ode to My TWG

A few years back, I met a society of women that influenced me in more ways than one. It all began when I was invited to join a technical working group (TWG) assigned to revise a twenty year old manual. Although I was eager to work on the project and I knew a few of them, I was also feeling a bit hesitant and overwhelmed to be working with such an accomplished people. It didn't help to know that I was the youngest of the group.

Posing in front of the Mayon Volcano & Cagsawa Ruins
The TWG was headed by our adviser, Ms. Neri. She is firm but hers is the tone that set the camaraderie that binds us all.  And on our first official meeting she whisked us away to an out-of-town river lodge. We stayed there for a number of days brainstorming and discussing the outline of the manual. It was also the first time I get to know these ladies. My roommate was Ms. Cynthia. I was immediately set at ease by her friendly demeanor and her spunky attitude. She also had the most baggage because of all the reference books she brought with her! Later I was also introduced to the rest of the group.

Almost a complete group picture...

Bhe, I was surprised to learn, has three children, the eldest in high school! To be honest she looks even younger than me! Not only do I think she's cool, she's also very kind. Then there were Ate Amie and Ate Helen, who among the group looked to be friends already. Ate Amie doesn't beat around the bush to get her points across but becomes soft when talking about her lovely daughter. She's very forthcoming and became almost like my older sister. Ate Helen is like the 'mommy' of the group. She lightens the mood with her infectious laugh and positive outlook in life but gets us teary-eyed whenever we made her tell her pang-telenovela life story.

 Ate Ella, I thought was quiet but gives sound, practical advice. Her face lights up every time she talks about her children and would always invite us to her family gatherings. Ate Lani and Ate Anabel were with the group for a short while so I didn't get to know them very well but I can tell they are nice and pleasant people.

River rafting in CDO
 Ate Ime, I rarely get to talk to now but is always there to help me. I would call her at the office asking for help about work and she always delivers. Last to join us was Ate Neng. Now this lady has a no-nonsense approach on work. Give her a job and she'll finish it with aplomb and in no time. She's not easily bothered by senseless gossip but is willing to stay up late just to hear my views on things and such.

There were many more of these distant location meetings, workshops and training but I realized that I'm not only enriching my mental and career pursuits but I'm also learning a lot more about life. These women are good mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, friends and leaders. They taught me to value my work and live life as it should be. So I tell myself: "when I grow up I wanna be just like them". :)

Thank you, ladies!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Japan in a Bowl

Oh my! September's almost over and we haven't posted entries yet! I guess it's been a busy month. Nevertheless, my Ate and I weren't that busy to try new food.

We were at the mall one afternoon and we went to have a bite at Yoshinoya. I was at the counter, about to order our all-time favorite beef gyudon, when I saw on their menu board that it wasn't available. So we opted for 2 bowls of beef misono instead.

We savoured their misono almost as much as we would have their gyudon. The two tasted alike, except for the fact that their misono has a sweeter, smokey flavor and that the onions were too chunky and raw! We easily removed them from our bowls though and enjoyed the rest of the meal. The sweet ginger sauce went well with the beef and the shitake shu-mai was good as always. We also tried their new side dish in the form of potato balls. The potato balls were crisp on the outside and had a nice surprise of crab meat bits on the inside. Yuuum!

Lastly, we had their refreshing red tea to quench our thirst. Once again, we paid the price for our gluttony as we could barely move by the end of our lunch! We even had a goodie bag to bring home. Our meal costs exactly ₱455. Not bad, huh?

So next time you eat out, why not grab a pair of chopsticks and say, 'Itadakimasu!'? v:)

Rating: 4/5


Yoshinoya - 2F Main Bldg., SM North EDSA, Quezon City