Friday, April 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Joanie!

Hello April 30!!!

It's another birthday. The year that was--came so quickly that it already wiped the twelve months that I once looked forward. I noticed when an individual grows older, maturity really comes with their age. For me, it just came at this point of my life that I stopped looking forward on having a birthday party, a birthday surprise, birthday presents and birthday greetings. I just suddenly felt that if people will remember me I’d be happy. If they don't then it will be ok. That simply means no more expectations this time. I just want something plain and ordinary.

This may sound contradicting of wanting something ordinary but I wouldn't let go of the fact that I want a birthday cake no matter what happens. And I started that promise to myself two years ago. And I'm glad that I am having my birthday cake in 3 consecutive years. Blowing it with eyes closed year after year still excites me! Always wishing that all my wishes will come true one day...

Since I don't expect anything for my birthday, I just slacked and waited for that day to come. Surprisingly I got the chance to pull my leg and went out of town to Nha Trang. It's a 12-hour bus ride from the busy city of Saigon. I celebrated it with good friends and they can't help but give me surprises, which include the birthday cake. I didn't really expect anything but a lot of things during my birthday surprised me---like tried parasailing for the first time; it surprised me to see myself up in the air. I was very stiff and tensed. I was really scared before it went on air. But as I was sailing up in the sky, I was flabbergasted with the fantastic view above the ground. It was a different feeling to see things in a different perspective and a courageous way to conquer my fear. End reward---I was able to fulfill my dream.

I remember last year I came up with bags of good wishes before I headed Saigon. Some did come true. Some are still work in progress. And now, additional dreams are coming my way. I just can't stop setting goals and visions for myself. It always include the things that I am passionate about--My cooking and art. What I have and will always be proud of is a a marriage of two talents. I always keep my fidelity on these two things that I will be forever grateful that my creator has bestowed upon me.

My life in Saigon is a maze-like journey. Few more days I will be approaching my first year anniversary here. How time flies, I really have to say that. And that's another story for me to tell because Saigon is my life now. Up to when it would be? I don't know yet. For now I am just happy to cuddle and embrace him in my life 'til the day that we are still meant for each other.

Oh my Birthday. A really happy one. I was amazed to all the people who greeted me on Facebook. They are a lot for me to thank here. I wasn't expecting anything but just a good birthday but three surprises made me at least happy on my birthday. First, my friends who were my company during Nha Trang trip that made my birthday really fun and exciting. Second, my Aussie friend whom I thought will not remember my birthday but called me and surprisingly he was the only person who called me that day. I could've spent my birthday with him if I was not in Nha Trang. That call compensated everything he owed me. Lastly, to my best friend who greeted and sent me a video he did with a soundtrack "Summer Song" by Chad & Jeremy. That made tears fall over and over again in my eyes. I can't thank him enough for being the person who helped and inspired me to become the woman I am today.

Life is nothing but a journey. I will continue to travel and I will see you again next year to narrate another birthday blog :-)

joanie xxx

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Good Morning Vietnam!

G'day everyone! It's been a month since I had my surgery and it's a beautiful Saturday morning or should I say almost afternoon? I am alright now and back to my normal self. I did it sooner than I thought I would. So the pay-off, I am greeting everyone a Good Morning Vietnam!

Few more days and I will celebrate my birthday and my one year anniversary here in Vietnam. I think it's my first time to say good morning Vietnam since I came here last year. Never too late to say it again and again starting today. One more day and I am set to go back to work. Does that mean stress is coming or fun and excitement will begin again? The answer, I still have to ponder on eventually. Things randomly happened very fast and I didn't notice that one month has passed by. My operation was a success. I had to undergo a surgery where in they have to remove a cyst somewhere outside my uterus and ovaries. Luckily it's just dangling outside so my gadgets inside my tummy are perfectly fine and complete. It's not what others think of, that I lost everything. The doctor said I am ready to conceive in four months because everything is fine now. Sooner or later I have to quest for that boyfriend and make him my husband so that the conceiving idea will get materialized. My big laugh out loud now.

To wrap this post I'd like to thank few people who really did remember me and made me feel better during my recuperating period after the surgery. I'd like to thank Xie Hao for bringing that lovely cake during the days when I can't hardly walk. Mr. Mischu Zolot for visiting and bringing some grapes and pear that made me cook a special dessert out of those fruits. And I was overwhelmed and happy to receive the yummiest French Vanilla Ice Cream in Saigon that again Mischu brought me. Anneleen Berlingen visited me also at home and in the hospital and gave me this bell gift. She's very concerned on how I will call my Dad from my room to the other room because I can't walk and scream after the surgery. My officemates from Brand Maker who visited me in the hospital and brought me fruits and juices. My Sky Garden Friends namely Quinn Donato, Oliver Salazar, Yeng Reyes, Obee Ham, Ivy Sorreda & Vianca are the people who visited me also and very helpful and constantly accompanied me and Dad in all our dinner out and adventures. Thanks to them Dad gained new friends! And to Ampy Rio, Oji Valencia and Kate Bayona thanks also for the visit. To my boxing trainer Alvaro LealdelaTorre and to my Aussie mates Mr. Ashley Groom and Adrian Ammendola for remembering me as well. But most of all I have to thank my Dad for taking care of me all the time during his stay here. I owe him a lot ...

Thanks Saigon peeps, I am back on track :-)

joanie xxx

Thursday, April 01, 2010

YUMMY - August 2009

HAPPY APRIL FOOLS to all foolish creatures :)

As we enter the month of April which is my favorite month of the year, my heart can't help but beats faster and faster. I wouldn't deny the reason and it's simply because it's my birthday month. Excitement ascends as the day gets near. But before I forget lemme share you guys an overdue post. I was featured in my favorite local food magazine in Manila which is YUMMY. Most likely it's about my cooking class stint in Sydney back in 2007. Thank you Ms. Mabekl Pilar David for the online interview. Would love the staff of this magazine to visit me one of these days here in Ho Chi Minh so I can share them the life The Artist Chef is living at the moment.

(Click to enlarge and read the article)

Can't wait 'til the egg hunting begins and the rabbit chasing thing. Looking forward cooking an Easter dinner feast to my Saigon friends and to my folk who is currently having his vacation here at my house.

Thanks for all the blessings our dear LORD!

joanie xxx