Must be fate then. Read on.
  • .: Joni’s New World :.

    Welcome to Joni's New World! Here you will find my thoughts on anything I am currently obsessing over: mostly Literature, languages, and travel. View the cloud down there for a better representation of subjects.

    I've been blogging since 2005. My early posts were on Multiply but have since exported those to Blogger. See if you can find that. (Actually not that hard.)

  • .: My Calendar :.

    October 2016
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  • Weekly Gratefulness List (August 28 to September 3, 2016)

    Posted By on October 2, 2016

    –Canada trip

    My first time in Canada, and also my first time to go from one country to another by land. Imagine that!

    Me sitting on a Canadian bench. Also, do I look fat?

    Me sitting on a Canadian bench. Also, do I look fat?


    –Cyclones game

    Our singing group, the Dyker Singers, got invited to sing the National Anthem at the Brooklyn Cyclones game against the Auburn Doubledays.

    –Pirch cooking class

    We made strawberry vanilla ice cream sandwich. It was so good! And we also had what the other groups made, and they were also so good!


    Thank you! More please!


    Review: oxo on Barista Brain Coffee Maker

    Posted By on September 23, 2016

    First, let me acknowledge that I am beyond ecstatic to have been given the OXO on Barista Brain 9-cup coffee maker to review. So fancy! Second, I would like to preface my review by saying that I am but a casual coffee drinker. I know nothing about the different types of coffee and how they’re supposed to taste, etc. Having said all that, I do enjoy the aroma and having a hot cup o’ joe from time to time. And so it is from these perspectives that I write my review.



    And I’ll have to say that I really, really like this coffee maker. These are my reasons:

    1. Super easy to use. None of the dozens of buttons and knobs that never fail to overwhelm me. Instead, there’s just one knob to adjust how many cups you want to brew, and you only choose between 2-4 and 5-9. The same knob has a button in the middle which allows you to start the brewing process.
    2. You can actually program the timer to start brewing the next morning so you can wake up to the smell of coffee and have it waiting for you while you get dressed and whatnot. I’ve never used the timer and don’t really plan on using it but it’s a cool feature to have.
    3. It’s compact enough not to take up too much space even though it can brew as many as nine cups at a time. When you have limited space, like many of us do, compactness is ideal.
    4. And yet, it can also brew a single mug too.
    5. Easy to clean. Just wash all the removable parts after using. It takes a while to dry though but leaving it overnight should be enough.
    6. And finally, it makes good coffee. I’m not sure why I was expecting otherwise but the coffee really was surprisingly good.

    So it takes a little over a minute to brew a mug (2 cups) of coffee after you’ve put your ground coffee and water. Yeah, I trimmed the video a bit in the beginning. I’m posting the video because it’s kind of fun to watch sometimes. Am I weird?

    Disclosure: I received this product free for testing purposes.

    Weekly Gratefulness List (August 21 to 27, 2016)

    Posted By on September 21, 2016

    –got my new passport

    It’s not the new design that I was hoping for, but at least it was relatively painless to renew it. Now to start using it….

    –first half of weekend getaway

    We went on a road trip of sorts to Upstate New York. Whee! We went to see the Niagara Falls and…

    –Carbon Leaf live performance!!

    This was really the main reason for the trip. I absolutely loooove this band! First time ever to see them perform live.

    IMG_20160827_140935 - Edited

    Thank you! More please!!


    Pancit Bihon: a recipe

    Posted By on September 19, 2016

    Never in my wildest dreams did I think I could ever make bihon. It seemed so complicated with a bazillion and one ingredients and would require giant pots and pans. Also, I was not a noodle person myself, so it just never entered my mind to think of learning to cook it. But then I married a noodle maniac, who loves just about any kind of noodles. When I saw my friend J post a picture of the bihon she cooked, I dared ask about it and thus the seed had been planted. One day I found myself promising my noodle maniac of a husband that I would try to make bihon one of these days. And then finally that day came. It was exhausting, true. But it was not as complicated as I feared it to be. Perhaps the hardest part was cutting all those veggies but it really was just a matter of mixing and stirring after all the cutting. So yes, it’s doable indeed.

    Pancit bihon has come to be known as a traditional Filipino dish often found where Pinoys gather to celebrate. However, many of what we now consider Filipino food can be traced back to its Chinese origins due to the thousands of years of trading and intermingling with the Chinese. “Pancit” means “noodles” in Tagalog but it came from the word “convenient food” (便食) in Chinese Hokkien. There are many different kinds of pancit, one of which is “bihon,” also a Tagalized word that originated from another Chinese Hokkien word meaning “rice noodles” or “rice-flour noodles” (米粉). Despite its foreign origins, pancit bihon has become a staple in any Filipino celebration. No birthday or Christmas party is ever complete without a big plate of pancit bihon to be shared by friends and family.




    • 8 oz of rice sticks (recommended brand is “Excellent”)
    • Choose your preferred protein. Half a pound of any one or combination of pork belly (sliced), chicken thighs or breasts (shredded), or shrimp (shelled). The first time I cooked it, I used a chicken and pork combo. The next time, I just used pork.
    • ½ green cabbage (shredded)
    • 1 (or 2) carrot (sliced thinly)
    • 1 tbsp cooking oil
    • 1 small onion (minced)
    • ½ bulb garlic (minced) — Can be less but I love garlic so I tend to put more.
    • 2 tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 tbsp fish sauce
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Nice to haves:

    • snap peas
    • celery
    • calamansi or lemon wedge



    1. If you chose pork belly and/or chicken, you’ll have to boil it/them in four cups of water until fully cooked. Set the meat aside to cool so you can shred the chicken and/or cut the pork belly into thin slices.
    2. In low heat, add the rice sticks to the meat broth you just created. Stir from time to time until soft. Add the soy sauce and fish sauce. Stir until evenly distributed. Keep in low heat and wait until the broth has been almost thoroughly absorbed by the noodles.
    3. In a separate pan, heat the cooking oil and stir fry the garlic and onion.
    4. Once hot, add your protein (shredded chicken, sliced pork belly, or shelled shrimp). If you have shrimp, wait for it to turn pink.
    5. Add the carrot and cabbage and stir fry until cooked (around 3 minutes). You might also want to add your snap peas and celery at this point.
    6. Mix the noodles with the rest of the ingredients. Make sure you have a big enough container for everything. Stir to distribute the ingredients evenly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
    7. Squeeze calamansi or lemon and serve.


    Weekly Gratefulness List (August 14 to 20, 2016)

    Posted By on August 31, 2016


    Got to see our little one twice this week. She’s getting cuter by the day.

    –NYFA/PEN America readings

    I’ve missed literary events (sometimes without even realizing it) and I had such a great time at the reading at Greenlight Bookstore this week. And I even had my picture on PEN’s FB page!


    While chatting with Jamie, PEN’s Membership Engagement Manager

    –got a bit of writing done

    Not much but I’ll take it.

    –This OXO coffee maker came in the mail to be reviewed! Fancy!


    Thank you! More please!!


    Weekly Gratefulness List (August 7 to 13, 2016)

    Posted By on August 30, 2016

    I thought nothing much happened this week until I started listing my happies and actually came up with a lot!

    –dinner with S

    …to catch up and also, I had this:


    –The public domain performance at the Lincoln Center

    My great Lincoln Center debut happens to be with about 999 other singers. Ha! It was amazing to think about how it all came about. And it seemed like we had been rehearsing since forever so it was a great relief to finally get it done. Here is the video of the making of the public domain:

    –second half of weekend trip to Atlantic City

    –kitchen success: some kid of rib mechado (it does not have a name because a rose of any other name would still smell as sweet) and fried chicken (and I realized that this is my first attempt at cooking a traditional fried chicken)

    PHOTO_20160812_194424 - Edited

    PHOTO_20160811_194455 - Edited

    –my orchid is in full bloom!


    Thank you! More please!


    Weekly Gratefulness List (July 31 to August 6, 2016)

    Posted By on August 21, 2016

    –big move

    Stressful as heck but finally successfully did it. Thanks to C for the help!

    –this Pinoy dinner

    I told the Bunny that we should have halo-halo after we’ve moved. And so we had this the next day. Yum!


    And then the next days were pretty much a lot of unpacking, cleaning, and organizing. What fun! (No, not really. But was really happy to know that the worst of the move has passed.)

    Thank you! More please!


    Weekly Gratefulness List (July 24 to 30, 2016)

    Posted By on August 19, 2016

    It was a pretty crazy week of packing and moving stuff. I did get to:

    –squeeze in five hours of writing

    …which was not enough but grateful still because it was more than I would usually get.

    –NYFA check in

    The talk was about public speaking and how to better present ourselves.


    Saw the award-winning Pinoy film “Toto”

    –Chinatown date

    We had been craving for fried chicken for quite a while now. This wasn’t exactly fried but still good.


    –kitchen success: chicken adobo


    Thank you! More please!


    Weekly Gratefulness List (July 17 to 23, 2016)

    Posted By on August 18, 2016

    –2016 Book #11: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

    Screenshot 2016-08-17 at 5.08.51 PM - Edited

    –productive goal-setting meeting with NYFA mentor M


    Being productive never fails to make me really hungry so….

    –date night was wings and shrimp and spinach pizza!


    –My orchid plant has started blooming


    Thank you! More please!!


    Weekly Gratefulness List (July 10 to 16, 2016)

    Posted By on August 15, 2016

    –NYFA Alumni Mixer

    NYFA events are always inspiring. I feel so grateful that I get to be a part of it.



    –coffee with E

    I met E in Shanghai shortly before I moved back home to Manila. She later moved to Manila for work and then is in the US for a training program (in CA) and some travel (everywhere!) so we got to catch up while she was in NYC. It’s nice to stay in touch with friends over the years and across the oceans.

    –We got to see our cute Jojo!

    –We found taho in NYC!!

    Not exactly like Manila’s taho but close enough.

    The sign. Bunny going to get me one. Me eating it!

    The sign. Bunny going to get me one. Me eating it!

    –sold three things on Poshmark, two of which was on the same day

    A new record for me, I think. Use my referral code “BUZZA” so we both get $5 in credits.

    Thank you! More please!!