Posts filed under Maghanoy Madness

Kareoke All by Himself

  While watching Charice's perform "All by Myself" on Glee...

Arnold-Where is that girl from?

Me-I think she won Filipino American Idol or something like that.

Arnold-Oh yeah, Filinos love kareoke.

Me-Duh. "All by myself" is my Dad's favorite song.

Arnold-(Chokes on drink giggling) Really?

Me-You didn't know that? It's on his favorite mix-tape. You know the one with "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash.


Me-Yeah, cause he says he wants to be "All by Himself"


Posted on April 25, 2011 and filed under Maghanoy Madness.


The Tagalog word for Grandpa is Lolo.  It's a wonderful word for a child: easy to pronounce with repetitive syllables. Elian likes to replace L's with LL's (pronounced like a Y).  He has a deep-seeded commitment to his Colombian roots. So his beloved Lolo becomes Yoyo in his wondrous, exploding linguistic world.

Yoyo incidentally is a word taken from Tagalog.

Ah, linguistics, the more I know you, the more the world makes sense.

My Lolo died when I was quite young and my grandfather died when I was about 10 years old. It's my hope that Elian will get to spend many, many years with his Yoyo. They are already off to a promising start of rice-eating competitions, fervent commitment to naps and a shared love of making funny faces.

Posted on November 3, 2010 and filed under Maghanoy Madness.

Cake-Break School Style

Remember how I promised to tell you about the Ginger Elizabeth baking class?
Yeah, I know that was a long time ago.  Oops.  It's a pity too because I feel like that baking class changed my life!  Well, my baking life anyways.  I've never been a baker.  I'm not a perfectionist so all that exact measuring is a challenge but after the class I feel bold!  I can do it!  I can follow Ginger's precise step by step recipes for delicious cupcake-heaven.  I can totally make three different types of filled cupcakes.  Cower before me vanilla beans that will be split and scraped!!!
All gross exaggerations aside the class was great.  Ginger is a friendly and helpful teacher. She needn't have been. After she gave her biography her credentials alone made me ready to do headstands for her.  Among all the regular stuff she worked with Jacque Torres in NYC.  Also her husband worked a at a little restaurant in Napa called the French Laundry.
Please adopt me Ginger.
Can you imagine meal time at that house?  Their kid is the luckiest ever.

Mom, me and Em at Ginger Elizabeth Cupcake Class

Ginger Elizabeth Samples

Ginger Elizabeth cupcake demonstration

Ginger Elizabeth cupcake class

Ginger Elizabeth Cupcakes

Posted on August 3, 2010 and filed under Livin la Vida Loca, Maghanoy Madness.

Anything you can do my Mom can do better

Last week my Mom came to help me take care of Elian while Arnold was in Colombia taking Carmen back home.  I can tell you Casa Perez will never be the same.  My parents usually come once a year to visit and fix stuff that is broken.  Well my Dad fixes things,  my Mom serves as toolman sous chef and in her free time sets her sights on one or two areas of untouched dust. This time she was here a week and without my Dad to distract her with his need for tools and Indian Buffets my Mom was able to truly come into her own.  Armed with myriad cleaning supplies and a toddler with a small broom she cleaned things in my house that it has truly never even occurred to me to clean.

Elian starbucks and little broom

Okay that's a lie.  It occurs to me but I'm not really into cleaning.  I"m more of the organizing and sorting sort.  Do I like to sort stuff into matching and labeled boxes?  Yes!  Do I like to dust the shelf those boxes are on? No. No. No.

Anyways, it was awesssssssssssome.

Everyday I would come home from work to a happy as a clam toddler and an increasingly sanitized house.  Brandishing matching Grandma and Grandson cleaning implements they would show me their progress.  Bathtub cleaned.  Twice! Floors mopped. Top of wardrobes dusted. The plants are now alive.  Alive!   It really is a special kind of energy and enthusiasm that my Mom brings to the table. I once caught her washing the dishes at 4 am.  It's the upside to insomnia don't you know?

Grandma and Elian garden

Under Grandma's careful tutelage Elian's vocabulary exploded.  He added "Nutella (Tela) Mine (mia) and various other words to his vocabulary.  He also learned to climb in his high chair and feed himself with a spoon.  He is now an unrivaled expert on the importance of sunscreen.

After work each day I would come home wondering if perhaps she would've built on a 2nd bathroom during my workday or taught Elian french after naptime.  Exaggeratory?  Not by much.

There is one thing however that my Mom can't do:  watch TV.  Faced with a night of leisurely television viewing my Mom falls apart.  She settles in contentedly to "relax" but like a shark the second she stops moving she becomes dead to the world.

I guess we all can't be perfect.

Thank you Mommy.  We miss you!

Posted on July 26, 2010 and filed under Maghanoy Madness.

A little story about family ties

Via Facebook I had the following conversation with my brother Nathan.

Nathan: Just finished watering the front yard in my underoos.  Take that common decency.

Me: Your nephew just sat down in my lap, farted into his hand and then offered it to me.  Apparently he's joined you on your campaign to affront decency.

Nathan:  The Maghanoy is strong with this one.

P.S.  Today over at Raising Colombian Kids I'm talking about boundaries.  Check it out here.

Posted on July 14, 2010 and filed under Maghanoy Madness, Nothing to Do with Anything.

Representing my Roots

When I tell people I'm half Filipino I usually get one of three reactions: 1) Seriously, are you sure you're not Mexican?

2) I totally knew you were Filipno, you totally look like one! (LIARS, if you thought I was Filipino you would've guessed that, not Mexican)

and the most popular

3) Oh, I looooooooove Lumpia!!!!

This is all in good spirit and all but it's kind of a duh.  Of course you love Lumpia.  What's not to love about Lumpia? The problem begins when they want you to be bringing Lumpia over to their house and whatnot. While Lumpia is not hard to make it does require deep frying and I'm just too lazy for that.  I mean if I'm going to go to all the trouble of deep-frying I'm not going to share that goodness with others.  I'm going to shovel that straight into my Wilipina stomach.

All of this is to say I felt like the best way to deflect the Lumpia requests might be to learn how to make some easy yet delicious Filipino dish.  Enter my Auntie Eleanor's Bibingka.

Bibingka is a coconut/rice based desert and Auntie Eleanor's is the bomb.  Actually she's an awesome cook so everything she makes is the bomb.  Her house is like a shrine to delicious food.  I feel like fainting when I walk through the door the smell is so intoxicating.  Best of all she is your typical Filipina Auntie.  There's no "hello" at her house, she greets you with "eat, eat, eat!" and then throws you at the buffet.  She is the good-kind of Filipina lady that will actually bring lumpia to your potluck and because she's a better person/cook than me she'll bring some Bibingka too.  Here's her recipe.  I beg you to find other people to share this with you will be sick if you eat it all.

Now you are ready my friends.  Go forth and make Bibingka.  Then invite me over!!!!!

Note:  The first time I tried to make this it was an epic fail.  EPIC.  So I warn you.  Do not cook this in a toaster oven.  It won't work and digging rock-hard rice and caramelized coconut out of your pan will not be fun.

Posted on April 6, 2010 and filed under Bossy Pants Recommends, Maghanoy Madness.

Weekend Update No. 6

Last week my parents came to visit and it was SOVERYMUCHFUN.  Come back Mommy and Daddy, I miss you! This was the first time that Grandma and Lolo got to have an extended visit with their little grand-dinosaur.  Elian ended up getting a new nickname "Abayoyo" and my parents ended up house-hunting in the region.  "Abayoyo"'s cuteness is just that compelling.  They had to go home on Saturday but on Sunday they called and we all got to watch Elian talk on the phone for the first time.  He had a lot to say... but mostly it sounded like this... abayoyoyoyoyoyabyoyoyoyoyooooooooooooooooooo

Posted on April 4, 2010 and filed under Livin la Vida Loca, Maghanoy Madness, Week in Review.

Oh fair Juliet!

Our ever productive family added yet another tiny family member yesterday!  My cousin Robert and his wife Reese welcomed a tiny 7 lb wonder, a year to the day from their wedding last year.  And it's another GIRL.  Yay Girls!  Welcome to the family Juliet, we can't wait to meet you!

Posted on October 17, 2009 and filed under Maghanoy Madness.

Best of California

Me, Arnold, Mom, Nate, Andres, Maritz and Kat I'm both hospitable and competitive so when Andres and Martiza said they were coming to California I felt this irrational drive that they must leave my homestate singing it's praises.  So I busted out some of the best that California has to offer: Maghanoy's and wine.  Oh yeahhhhhhhh We arrived to the fairyland that is my parent's house after a 14 hour drive.  My GAD had cooked pitch-perfect adobo and my Mom had fired up the spa. (They have a spa now!  Excellent.)  I was so tired after the drive I almost cried.  Andres took one taste of my parents meal and declared it the best food he'd had since his Mom moved to Argentina two years ago.  And if you know how Colombian men are about their mommies you'd know that was  HUGE compliment.  When I gushed to my GAD about how good it was he said "I know." Classic Maghanoy.

Anyways the next day we took it too another level.  That would be my brother Nathan and wine tasting.  Yup, we got our own personal wine-tasting and tour, complete with a stop to the VIP wine tasting room.  Oh, yeah, and then after resting up from our exhausting morning of wine tasting he took us to swim at La Jolla.  Hard Day, but we made it.

Andres, Martiza and Nathan.

Posted on August 25, 2009 and filed under Adventures in the World, Maghanoy Madness.

People Power


Last week Corazon Aquino died. She died of colorectal cancer.  Believe me, hearing news like this only motivates me more to kick cancer in the teeth.

I was seven years old when she became president in one of the amazing non-violent political movements ever seen by the world.  In 1986 the Filipino people forced out Dictator Ferdinand Marcos after the bishop urged them to flood the streets.  In his place the "People Power" movement installed Corazon, the widow of former presidential candidate Begnino Aquino, who had been murdered upon his return from exile three years earlier.  Time magazine named her woman of the year, calling the people power movemnts a "fairy tale come true."

Filipino people are known for lots of things.  For Lumpia. For being jokesters.  For being short.  For having funny accents.  I personally thinking being a short, lumpia-eating, funny accent jokester is excellent but then again, I also know that my heritage is so much more than fried food or short stature.  

My heritage is determined hearts, iron-clad work ethic, reckless optimism and a long history of strong women.  All of those elements came together to create the fairy-tale of 1986 and in the middle of it was a small woman dressed in yellow.

Corazon means heart in Spanish.  It's so fitting.

Click here for a moving editorial.

Posted on August 4, 2009 and filed under Bossy Pants Recommends, Maghanoy Madness.


Mostly I call the baby triceratops because I think it's a fun word to say but it reminds me of a really cute family story. When my Mom was pregnant with my youngest brother my brother Nate was about 6 years old or so. As a kid he was reallly into dinosaurs and he would ask my mom repeatedly if she could have a dinosaur instead of a baby. I remember my mom looking at him very seriously and saying "Even if I try my hardest I can't have a dinosaur."

And Nate replied "I know you can do it Mommy! You can have a dinosaur and we can name him furball."

Instead we got Wes.  I think it's been working out okay for us.  :)

Posted on July 27, 2009 and filed under Adoption, Maghanoy Madness.

Big News

Okay, well... I've been working on setting up a new site for awhile but what I haven't mentioned is that I created the site awhile ago because I've been blogging about a secret.... BIG SECRET! Something life changing... and not what you are all thinking :) So bookmark my new blog and head over there to find out what the HECK I'm talking about.
P.S. Scroll down to the July 20th post for "BIG SECRET" reveal.
Posted on July 18, 2009 and filed under Maghanoy Madness.

Classic Little Brother

Anyone who knows my family knows that my little brothers are both very funny... and we watched a lot of TV as kids. My parents taped Disney movies for us on VHS which we would watch repeatedy. Re-peat-edly. Sometimes they didn't do a good job though... I didn't see the first 10 minutes of Star Wars till it was re-released in 1995. But I digress...Witness the following which I pulled off Kat's blog. Loves it!
So today I went to the zoo 10 minutes from Irvine with my friend Kristen
and one of the things they had there was a mini enclosure thing where you could
ride an elephant. And I was so sad watching this elephant, who walked in the
same circle ALL DAY practically with no breaks, with that hideous lei on its

As I'm recapping to Wes about my day, I was telling him how sad it was
seeing this elephant and... count on Wes to make me feel better hahaa he was so
cute I had to post about it...

Wes: The elephant probably didn't care cause he gets paid anyway
Kat: wait... what? paid? uh.... it lives there, it's stuck there
Kat: --ALL DAY" -sad face-
Wes: um, duh, he gets paid
Kat: What are you talking about??
Wes: Elephants get paid in peanuts dummy
Kat: uh.. i.. what...
Wes: Peanuts are way better than money for elephants
Kat: hahahah I can't believe you just said that
Wes: I can't believe you didn't know elephants got paid in
Kat: -laughing-
Wes: I mean... Haven't you watched Dumbo??

Posted on July 8, 2009 and filed under Maghanoy Madness.