Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year 2010 Greetings

Thanks Mayie for the New Year greetings.
How thoughtful of you.



Friday, December 04, 2009

Super Citizen Award for Trevor and KC

Trevor and Kristen received each a Super Citizen Award for December 2009 at their school Olympic View Elementary School, Chula Vista California. Congratulations Trevor and Kristen, Mom and Dad are proud of your achievements.

Click here on the image below to see more pictures.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Our 2009 Thanksgiving Experience

Myself, along with my kids Justin, Trevor and Kristen
spent our 2009 Thanksgiving Holiday at my
brother Fidel's home along with his family in Sacramento.

It was three days of relaxed atmosphere,
fellowship, an opportunity to catch up
with what's going on in our lives,
and most importatnly a time to ponder, realize,
reflect on the graces that God has bestowed upon us.

For me, it was also a culinary experience as a cook to whip
up a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to feed everyone such
as Roast Turkey, Mashed Potato with Turkey drippings gravy,
Roast Beef, baked Ham.

Thank you Manong Fidel, Ate Marivic, Francis and Martin,
Carl, Caroline, and Calvin for the wonderful time
spent with each other. May God's blessing be with us all.

I hope we have another family get-together
again sometime next year 2010.


Click here or the image below to see more
of our Thanksgiving get-together.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Our Thanksgiving Dinner, 2009

This year, I helped cooked our family's Thanksgiving Dinner.

Here's the Thanksgiving Dinner entrees that we came up with, all cooked from scratch:
- Roast Turkey with accompanying Gravy

- Shrimp Dinengdeng

- Mashed Potatoes

- Glazed Ham

- Roast Beef

- dessert: Buko Pandan Salad

Preparation Time: 4 hrs.

Cooking time: 6 hrs.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fish Sarciado (Fish with Tomato Sauce)

Fish Sarciado the way it was cooked while I was a kid
seems to be different from the way other regions
of the Philippines cook it. Filled with red broth and egg drop,
this version is the way it is cooked in the Northern region.

Here's my take on the Fish Sarciado:

Servings: 4


1 pound fish fillets or fish steaks(Tilapia, Sea Bass fish is fine)
Salt to taste
Juice of two lemons
Juice of Orange
1/2 cup vegetable or corn oil
2 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 medium onion chopped
1 tomato, chopped
3 tbsp ginger cut into matchstick length
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp tomato sauce
Patis (Fish Sauce) to taste
Light Soy Sauce (2 tbsp)
2 eggs beaten


1. In a deep bowl marinate the fish fillets or
steak in lemon juice, orange juice and salt for 20 minutes.

2. In a deep skillet heat oil and fry the fish just barely enough for it to turn brown.
Carefully turn the fish over once.

3. Put the fish on paper towel to drain the grease.

4. Wipe the skillet clean and return to heat, put two tablespoon of oil.

5. Saute garlic. Followed by onion, ginger then tomatoes until they turn soft.

6. Add the water, soy sauce and just a little bit of tomato sauce to achieve a red tinged broth. Season the broth with Patis to taste.

7. Add the fish to the sauce being careful not to break it.

8. Cover and simmer for about 2 minutes.

9. In a small bowl, beat two eggs with a fork.

10. Slowly drop the egg to the broth while beating the broth with fork to make the broth-egg mixture silky.

11. Serve hot, with hot rice.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Strawberry Banana Smoothie home made

My kids love Strawberry Banana Smoothie.

Its their favorite drink or dessert during Summer.
I stock up on frozen Strawberries during Autumn and
Winter when Strawberries are not in season
so they can continue to enjoy this smoothie.
Bananas, well they're pretty
much in season all year round in some part of the tropics.

Its a good way for me to introduce fruits
in my kids' diet. I also read in a Web article that
ripe bananas are excellent source for
TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor), which has the
ability to combat abnormal cells. I have yet to read the
Scientific Journal article that supports that claim though.

Here's my version of Strawberry Banana Smoothie
that I make at home. Try making your own Strawberry Banana Smoothie
if haven't yet.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Servings : 4

Tools needed:


1 cup Milk 2% lowfat
1.5 cups Nonfat Yogurt (plain)
2 cups Strawberries, capped
3 large Bananas, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup ice cubes
1/4 cup white sugar


1. Place the strawberries, yogurt, bananas, ice cubes
and milk in a blender. Place Blender cover.

2. Process the ingredients on high speed setting for about 20 to 30 seconds until smooth.

3. Serve Smoothie in tall clear glass.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

My take of Ginisang Mongo (Mung Bean Soup)

(click on image above to see more pictures)

I was inspired br Arelene Descargar's Facebok
entry for her Homemade balatong (mung bean soup) and also by Connie Veneracion's version of mung beans
called Stewed monggo (mung beans) with coconut cream
at Pinoy Cook website.

I cooked the dish for lunch today to revisit this Filipino staple dish.
I didn't use Coconut Milk as I don't have Coconut Milk stocked in my Pantry.

Here's my take on the Dish:

Serving: 5

Tools needed:
1. Blender
2. Deep Pot

2 tbsp. of vegetable or cooking oil
1.5 cups of of green mung beans
5 cups wanter
1/2 cup shrimp broth
2 medium tomatoes diced
2 Slices of thick Pork Chops cut into small cubes.
2 cups of shrimps, shelled and deveined
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
1 white onion, chopped
1 bitter melon (ampalaya) cored, deseeded and cut into cubes
fish sauce or bagoong to taste ( I don't tolerate high salt in my diet so I used it sparingly)
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
A bunch of spinach , washed . You can also use Ampalaya leaves or any green leafy vegetables
Cilantro leaves for garnish

Cooking Procedure:
1. Wash Green Mung beans in water.

2. In a covered deep pot, place water and mung beans. Use medium heat to bring it to boil.

3. Season with salt.

4. When the mung beans are soft, pour beans and its broth
into a blender and pulse until the beans get a coarse puree consistentcy.

5. Meanwhile in a deep pan over medium heat, saute garlic in oil until lightly browned.
Add onions, tomato, until soft.

6. Add pork, shrimp, bitter melon, shrimp broth, fish sauce to taste. Simmer for 5 to 8 minutes.

7.Add mung beans with its liquid and continue to simmer for another 10 - 15 minutes. Stir the
bottom of the pot at regular intervals to prevent the mung beans fromm burnning at the bottom of the pan.

8. Turn off the heat, add the spinach leaves and cover pot for 1 minute.

9. Transfer the Soup in indivual bowls. Garnish with Cilantro.

10. Serve hot with rice.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Kristen's 6th Birthday

November 1, 2009

Today's my daughter Kristen's 6th Birthday.
Oh boy, they grow so fast. Seems like
I was just cradling her on my arms
while she was still a baby.

We had just a simple Birthday celebration,
at least with Dad. We went to Sunday morning
Mass at Saint Gregory the Great Church
to celebrate All Saints and All Souls Day
and also thanksgiving for
Kristen's 6th Birthday (of course).

After that, we went home to let Kristen blow her Birthday
Cake. That was pretty much it.

After lunch, all three siblings went to Mom
to celebrate Kristen's Birthday.

Go to :
or click on the iamge to see more of Kristen's Birthday

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Our Halloween 2009

October 31, 2009

This night my goblins roamed
the streets seeking treats.

From door to door they knocked
and wishing everybody a Happy Halloween.

Justin seems to have outgrown this
yearly ritual. He's thirteen
years old now and it seems his interest
has changed. Gone are his interest for costumes
and seeking sweet treats, instead Video Games
,Social Networking and You Tube videos are more on
his interest list. He's contented to wait at the door to hand
out candies to roaming goblins in the neighborhood, he he.

Trevor, Kristen and Jep-jep (cousin) on the other hand
had fun roaming the neighborhood seeking sweet treats.
One house even made a Haunted house out of their garage,
how cool.

As they were headed home and carrying their baskets filled with candy,
Kristen told dad "Dad thanks for bringing us around the


Go to:
or click on the image below to see more pictures

Cousins and relatives,

I wanted to share some old and
rare family pictures.

While on vacation in Baguio City,
I went through our old family albums
to find some old pictures.
I found these and had them scanned
at a local Internet Cafe shop.

Maybe you can download a copy for yourself
if it is dear to you.

-Tatay Francsico Nanay Uning

-Daddys Navy days

-Alex honor student

-Ramon honor student

-Thelma girls scout picture

-Estabillo Siblings

Please go to my online Photo Album:


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Miramar Air Show 2009

October 4, 2009

I took my three kids to the Miramar Air Show 2009. Well this year's Air Show
is more of a work related event for me but nevertheless, I brought my kids along.
Its something they didn't react with excitement, I should admit.
This is our third year in a row of going to the Miramar Air Show.
I think repetition breeds boredom as they have seem to see all
the attractions this year from the previous two years.

For this year's Air Show, I volunteered to be an attendant for our Company's
Booth at the Air Show. Nothing exciting, just take pictures of Air Show attendees
and print the pictures on the spot for their event souvenir. We used our
Company's portable picture printers. It would be nice if I had one of these at home,
but then again, going to a Costco Photo booth to order picture prints is much more practical.

I plan on not going to the Miramar Air Show at least for sometime, maybe two years.
As I think about it, Justin is now 13 years old. Will he still be interested to attend an Air Show by he time he reaches 15? Oh boy, these kids are growing fast.
I better come up with more interesting family activities that they all can participate and be interested in.

That in itself I think is a challege. How can you come up with an activity that
will appeal to a 6 yr old girl all the way to a 13 year old boy and an 8 yr old boy in between? I need to use my creativeness I guess. Any suggestions?

I scheduled a Camping weekend on October 16, and 17 at Sequoia National Forest
by Lake Isabella. Its somewhat isolated from urban areas set amidst a natural Lake
with swimming, hiking, camping activities, and equipped with cold shower and a flush toilet amenities. I hope this one wil not be boring to them.

I'll see.


Click on the picture below to see more of our Miramar Air Show experience.

Miramar Air Show 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pismo Beach Camping weekend, September 2009

September 12, 2009

I brought my kids to Pismo Beach California for a weekend of Camping by the beach.I met up with my brother Fidel and his family to have a chance for fellowship.We all have our busy schedules in life and this was a perfect way for us to catch with what's going on in our families.

I felt we should have spent more than a day of Camping as travel time is 5 hrs one way.Well, we'll plan another camping on October 2009 before Winter season sets in.

The kids had fun camping and something they look forward to for a long time.I haven't taken them out for Camping for more than a year and this was a fresh change for them.

For my camp cooking offering, I cooked the usual suspects: Lemon Garlic Shrimps,wrapped in aluminum foil and cooked on the charcoal grille. I also cooked syrup glazed Pork Chops grilled on charcoal. I did the usual breakfast stuff: pancakes, frnch toast, breakfast sausage, bacon on a camp stove and griddle. They generally turn out dry as it is hard to regulate the heat from a Camp Stove and heat genrated from propane tends to be high. Maybe I should put the griddle on a platform next time to put it away from the heat source and so as not to burn the food.

Well if you're up to doing Camping before the Winter season sets in, I'm organizing a second Camping weekend on Octber 17 and 18th at Sequoia National Park Lake Isabella. Care to come along? Please let me know.

Click on the URL:

or the image below to see more of our Camping pictures.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A time to open up

I haven't made an entry in "Journal of Our Lives" blog ( a blog about what goes in our family, my life as a divorced Dad, those of my kids) in a while. Its not that I or we have shut ourselves from the world.

I guess I was just busy, maybe we shunned the openness of being exposed. Some privacy, some quiet moment, is good sometimes. a time to recollect, a time to think about our orientation in life.

For the coming weeks and months, I will open to the world again.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Charice to sing at Barack Obama Pre-Inaugural Party, January 18, 2009

Philippines' new Pop singing sensation
Charice Pempengco will sing at Barack Obama's
Pre-inauguration Ball, January 18, 2009.

Hear all about the news by going to: