Archives for posts with tag: Christmas

Let’s all admit it, as much as we look forward to the Christmas Holidays and everything it’s supposed to represent to us–good tidings and cheer and what not… We have to also deal with the other things it represents to us such as having to deal with finding the perfect gifts for our loved ones, and finding the appropriate obligation gifts for people we don’t really like but have to give gifts to.

It’s the time of the year when relatives or even friends who are not speaking to each other or actively avoiding each other might possibly bump into each other in gatherings and have to endure each other–at best it will be awkward and at worst it would be excruciating.

There’s also the pressure of being the epitome of happy and joyful during the Christmas season, which presents quite a challenge for some of us who aren’t particularly having a good year or season thus far or even for some of us who are just naturally dour and melancholic.

It can also be that for even normally cheery people, the pressure to be constantly jolly and giving all the time would lead to tolerating more stress and difficult people and circumstances than usual and thus turning oneself into a scowling sack of potatoes.

Sometimes it’s unrealistic to expect that just because it is that time of the year to be happy and jolly that we should be so because putting undue pressure on ourselves would just lead to further stress and with all the factors swirling around in the cosmos–maybe even a meltdown.

Maybe it’s time to consider Christmas Anxiety Syndrome and be kinder to ourselves and others during this hectic time.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s


Christmas season officially starts in September here in Manila and when we were younger, it was pretty easy breezy–it was all about thinking about what we wanted or wished for as Christmas presents from our loved ones… However as time passes by, it becomes about thinking about what to give to our loved ones for Christmas and preparing both the budget and the gifts themselves and there is a certain satisfaction in being able to properly prepare our presents.

There are some Christmases when our minds seem to be all over the place and as much as we don’t want to admit it, we haphazardly prepare and purchase presents for our loved ones as well as what we can consider as “obligation gifts” for people whom we don’t want to give gifts to but we feel that if we don’t, it’s just not proper or there would be serious repercussions–emotional or otherwise.

There is a certain satisfaction when we are able to prepare gift wrappers, gift tags, as well as appropriate gifts–and know deep inside that they will appreciate what we have for them.  It’s a delicate balance where we consider what we would like to give as well as considering what the person’s interests and inclinations.  In addition, there is the anticipation to their reaction when they open their presents.

Here’s to Christmases when we feel that we have managed to appropriately prepare and package the presents we are to give to our loved ones.

Happy Holidays.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

Go Green! Use Old Magazines for Gift-wrapping


Go Green! Recycle! Wrap Your Gifts in Old Magazines!



On the subject of new year’s resolutions and grand plans we might have for the year: it might be a good idea to consider our gift wrapping habits and switch from mean to green.

Instead of buying new gift wrapping paper and bags, we might pause and consider the impact that our paper and/or plastic consumption is having on the world and turn our gazes towards the piles of our old magazines and decide to recycle them as gift wrapping paper – they’re glossy and pretty too.

After all, we do want to keep the planet as healthy as possible for a longer time.

(c) Niconica 2011

1.) Yes, you read it right – I’ve recently begun to be addicted to Gummi Bears!  Not just any Gummi Bears but particularly Trolli Gummi Bears – interesting tidbit – it’s made in Spain!  I chanced upon it a couple of months ago and have been hooked since.

However, this recent proclivity for consuming gummi bears calls to mind other gummi treats which I have enjoyed munching on through the years.

And oh, this is not a paid review or article – but i wouldn’t mind being showered with an unlimited supply of gummi bears or other gummi treats – more suggestions below!

2.) And who can forget the classic gummi coke bottles, and the equally yummy sour version of it?

3.) All this, then, calls to mind another particular favorite of mine – The Jelly Snakes by The Natural Confectionery Company.

There’s certainly something to chewing while thinking and problem solving.  It seems to get the brain juices flowing.

4.) Japanese Mochi balls stuffed with ice cream could be a way to go when we’re looking for that cold gummi feel on our palate.

5.) For a bit of the gummi feel with soup, Chinese glutinous rice balls filled with peanut or bean paste provide the warm chewy gummi-ness.

6.)  Now for a bit of crunchy gummi-ness (Yes, I know it’s not an actual word) the fried glutinous sesame ball filled with bean or peanut paste would be perfect.

7.)   And of course, the local Filipino Palitaw (Glutinous Rice patties) would definitely be in the running with its two versions – one plain without the coconut shavings, and the other with the dried coconut shavings.  It is more popularly served dry with the coconut shavings – though I would have to admit that I prefer it plain with some soup.  You decide.

8.) The classic Christmas simbang gabi (midnight mass) favorite Puto Bumbong (also made from glutinous rice) also makes it to this list for it’s delectable chewy gummi factor.  It is traditionally eaten with dried coconut shavings and muscovado sugar.

9.) The ultimate Filipino glutinous rice layered cake Sapin-Sapin has a high chewy-gummi factor too!

10.) OK, I’m shamelessly squeezing two or three items into number 10.  Let’s just call it… a tie… between the yummy Puto Calasiao (semi-glutinous rice cakes) and Suman sa Ibus (sticky rice rolls wrapped in coconut leaves which is dipped in sugar before eating) (Suman sa Ibus is my preference over Suman sa Lihia at Latik – although I believe that Suman sa Lihia (sticky rice roll wrapped in banana leaves) and Suman sa Latik (Sticky cassava roll with coconut jam inside and wrapped in banana leaves) deserves a quick mention here too!)

Puto Calasiao from Pangasinan


Suman sa Ibus

Sticky rice rolls wrapped in coconut leaves


So it is here that I conclude my brief homage to the top gummi foods.  Let it be known that none of the photos are mine and I do not claim any copyright over them.  The copyright below only applies to the text of this blog entry.

Wishing You All A Very Happy and Gummi New Year!

(c) 2011 Niconica

So, it has been a rather long week, and the weekend could not have come soon enough!  I’ve managed to come across a major book sale at the Fort/Serendra Branch of A Different Bookstore.

There were books which were up to 80% off.  It turns out that  some of the items  (we’re talking about non-fiction books here) are still around P300 – P600 after that discount – but considering the normal prices of the books there, they aren’t bad deals at all.  I did not browse the fiction section – though I can imagine that the prices might be lower.

If I had stayed longer – I might have ended up buying more books than I had… which would have been good for my brain but not so good for my pocket.  I have a feeling that this won’t be the first and last time I’ll check the sale out.

At any rate, I have no doubt that all serious bookworms in Metro Manila would definitely appreciate this Christmas sale – which apparently would last till the 31st of December 2010, if I am not mistaken.  I don’t know whether the other branches would have a similar sale too – as I have not had the opportunity to be out and about lately.

And no, this is not a paid advertisement or review – in case anyone is wondering.  It’s just one happy bookworm sharing some good news to fellow bookworms.

Happy Browsing/Reading!

(c) Niconica 2010