A heroine in Friendship

14 05 2010

NATIONAL BROADSHEETS have hailed the Filipinos as the true heroes of the successful May 10 polls, our country’s first ever automated elections.  I totally agree with them.  But for examples worthy of emulation, I need not look far.  One of my bestest friends, Friendship, exemplified to me the kind of patriotism our country needs in these times.

With Friendship, a "Bagong Bayani" (new hero) in the truest essence of the word.

Friendship flew all of 1464.2 miles of air travel distance from Singapore where she is currently based, just so she could assert her right to vote and effect change in the national leadership.  Yes, the Sunday before the elections was Mother’s Day, making her trip dual-purpose.  But knowing Friendship, she would’ve surely taken a separate trip for the elections had it been far off.

Her couple of days here were full-packed.  And I’m quite thankful that she invited me over to lunch with her and her mom and sister.  Restaurant of choice was one of our favorites, Cibo at Town.  Dessert was at Starbucks.  Of course, she had pasalubong for me!

It felt like an era has passed since the last time we broke bread together and shared boisterous laughter.  Naturally, talk this time was all about the elections.  As well as catching up with each other’s goings on.  And oh…  shopping!  (Just talked about it!)

The next day, like a BMPM (“Boto Mo, I-Patrol Mo!”) correspondent, she kept me posted on how her voting experience turned out.  After braving the long lines for at least a couple of hours, under the unforgiving heat of the summer sun, Friendship was on her way to the airport to catch her flight back.  If that is not love of country, I don’t know what is.

Thanks a lot, Friendship!  Amishoo!

Friendship had "Farfalle alla Genovese" - farfalle (bowtie pasta) with mushrooms, basil pesto, and fresh cream.

Friendship's sister had "Tagliata di Maiali" - slices of roasted pork tenderloin, with garlic and rosemary, and served with bread.

Friendship's mom had "Linguine alla Ghiotta" - linguine with mushrooms, bacon and cream!

Of course I had my all-time favorite "Spaghetti Alla Romana" - spaghetti with sardines, extra virgin olive oil, fennel, chili peppers, and a dollop of red pesto. And, as printed on the receipt, I asked for "extra fennel please."

A pretty fennel frond sits atop the red pesto with every serving of this pasta dish!

Just one sardine in a generous amount served with every order.

Frosted rum cake at Starbucks

That's a pretty dense cake!

For the first time, I tried Friendship's sister's favorite caramel blended, no whipped cream drink. I loved it!

Goodies in a nice bag - Friendship's pasalubong!

One of the pasalubong items was this bag of chocolates, Kinder Schoko-Bons! I just couldn't get over it yet! Really good. (Partner, you like kinder too, right?!)

What's not to love?!

Friendship's sister was toting a Cath Kidston to lunch. She's only the second person I know who has this!

A closer look at Cath!

Thanks Friendship - and Friendship's Mom & Sis - for yet another great lunch! I had a great time.

Copyright © 2010 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.

Happy birthday, Summit!

14 05 2010

My favorite cupcake, an offering to the Summit.

I REMEMBER exactly where and when I first saw her.  I walked in to the recerational hall primarily to assess the hosts of the “Battle of the Bands” that our company was sponsoring.  (They didn’t get me for this gig so I went there to “assess.”).  But upon entering the sound-drowned space, my eyes got transfixed at this lady with a pixieish cut that accentuated her eyes and her high, defined cheekbones.  She was taking “cinematic” and really “artistic” shots of the band on stage.  The way she was with the camera, I could tell she wasn’t just one of those who have money to burn on a gadget and eventually brandish themselves a – gosh – videographer.

I pulled aside my friend Jules who was part of the Employee Programs team, and just had to ask – no, scream above the blaring speakers – “Who’s that girl?”   Jules didn’t feel the need to check first who I was referring to and proudly declared, “Bago namin.  Si DataDaphne Tatiana.  Taga-Probe yan dati!”  (“She’s our new hire Data, short for Daphne Tatiana.  She’s worked at Probe before!).  I found the undeniable excitement and pride in Jules’s voice to be warranted.  After all, Probe Productions is arguably one of the best, if not the best magazine show and investigative journalism TV outfit the Philippines has ever had.  Jules spoke as if hiring Data was synonymous to cutting all the way to the top of an Hermes Birkin waitlist, and not having to pay full price.

She was a breath of fresh air in a multinational company of 6,000+ where it wasn’t commonplace for women to come in sophisticated, elegant, really feminine garb.  For a while, Data rocked Boho-chic.  And while others could surely put on those articles of clothing, nobody else could pull the look off with such grace and effortless, understated elegance.  I didn’t need to look at the Sienna Miller.  I had Data then to look at.  I found myself scratching my head and staring at the ceiling a number of times with the thought that without her knowing and intending to, Data was upping the ante when it came to style at the workplace.

Later on, I realized that the perfect hair, the clear and pretty face, and the always-put-together look were a package that wraps inside a beautiful person.  It does sound painfully trite, but I have to say that the phrase “woman of style and substance” is the best way to describe Data.

I eventually got introduced to her and right to this very moment, that has got to be one of the best things that has ever happened to me.  I’ve always believed that when it comes to friends, it’s always a matter of choice.  And to be able to surround yourself with those who can help nurture the best things you like about yourself – those who can inspire you to keep getting better – is something no one can ever put a price tag on.

Any aspiration I may have to be a really good blogger has been fueled by Data’s own The Muesli Bowl.  Her account there of how she felt being away from her husband who had to pursue higher education somewhere Down Under remains to be an unparalleled written work in my book.  The same holds true to her opinion of the “Woman in Yellow” and the kind of revolution she ignited.

I won’t claim at this point that “words fail me” to give justice to my friend Data because clearly, I’ve breezed through six paragraphs already.  But I do feel that way.  And I haven’t even started about the rudiments of video-making and video-editing that she has taught me.  Suffice it to say, everything and anything I know about those things, I learned from Data.  She taught me so much more over a light brunch at Figaro at The Podium than all the many videos I had watched on YouTube weeks before that.  She could be quite unselfish with her knowledge and with her time so I had been very careful not to abuse the privilege to be under her tutelage.

As with other successful friendships, it does help that we find the same things funny – and laugh at them heartily!  And thanks to sense of humor, I have found a way to refer to Data in a way that try as I might, couldn’t belie the regard and respect I have for her.  I call her “Summit.”   And I feel like a Sherpa in her presence.

Today, the 14th of May, is her birthday.  Happy birthday, Data!  Amishoo! 

Copyright © 2010 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.