Cathy is our helper who has been with us for 1 year and 5 months. She is one year older than me and has a 9 years old only daughter currently in good care of her parents-in-law. Cathy is a very shy, polite and soft-spoken nice lady. She's also very thrifty and even helps me to save as much as possible (as in not wasting anything)！ She never spend on food for herself except on her off-days (once every month) for lunches. The only 2 things that she'll spend more on are her cellphone's top-ups and basic skin-care products. The most precious is her complexion！ As she's slightly more tanned (she hates it), she's always mistaken to be an Indonesian.
This is Cathy's first time working in Singapore. Previously, she worked in Dubai for only 6 months and ran away from her VERY BAD employer because she couldn't take it anymore！Her ex-employer and 2 daughters are very nasty！They abused her and a few of the other helpers verbally and physically！ Some of them ran away after 2-3 months of torturing. There was once when the mother couldn't understand what Cathy said (she don't understand English and her daughters were not around), she got angry and splashed a kettle of HOT water at Cathy！ Luckily she missed！*PHEW* From then on, Cathy tried to find chances to run. With the help from another Indonesian helper who was kindhearted enough to give Cathy all her secret savings, she finally got outta that nasty house and went back home from the Philippines Embassy in Dubai.
I was so angry and sad when I heard of her bad experienced and I assured her and her family that we'll treat her as one of our family members since she's staying with us now. From day 1 until now, Cathy is very hardworking, I don't really have to teach or tell her what to do, just simple instructions and although she tends to be very forgetful (nobody is perfect, not even myself), she works non-stop, always keeping herself occupy until after dinner！Now she even helps me with Cheeky's spelling learning. I'm really very lucky and thankful to have Cathy！
I got the idea of cooking Filipino Cuisine for Cathy's birthday when I saw Tina's post on Leche Flan from her blog. I remembered that Cathy did told me about this popular dessert that her Mom used to cook for her when she was still around. Too bad she doesn't know how to make the Leche Flan although she'd seen how her Mom cooked it but told me she can try if I want to eat. She too has the interests in cooking and trying out new dishes. We used to have lots of fun, chatting, joking around in the kitchen before we move over to my parents' house. We really missed those days we told each other and wish that our new house to be ready ASAP！ We're still having our fun in my Mom's kitchen with the 3 of us together！ Not everyday though because my cooking doesn't suits my Dad's taste buds. I only cook when I feel like cooking, when my girls request for certain dishes or when I wanna try out new dishes but I'll go and join in the fun when I'm free or bored.
On Tuesday, which was Cathy's birthday, the 2 of us had the kitchen all by ourselves. My Mom just enjoyed her TV shows and waited for dinner to be ready. I did most of the cooking while Cathy helped to prepare those ingredients needed. Luckily I decided to cook on the actual day as Cathy already knew about it so it won't be a surprise anymore. We started cooking from 2pm and stayed in the kitchen all the way to 7pm！Gosh！I felt like staying inside a suana room that whole day but it was all worthwhile and happy！
Here are the recipes I chose from Pinay in Texas Cooking Corner with slight changes of certain ingredients while all the seasonings used remain the same and one recipe is from Adora's Box. Both Tina and Adora are Filipina and they cooked the most mouthwatering Filipino Cuisines！
| Lumpiang Shanghai from Pinay in Texas Cooking Corner|
The fillings are almost the same as my mom's Signature Ghor Hiang, only the seasonings and the wrapper used are different. Messy likes this the most and she ate the most too！
|Pancit Palabok from Pinay in Texas Cooking Corner|
I used the egg whites left-over from the Leche Flan and added in the seasoned sauce strained from the Lumpiang Shanghai while wrapping. Mixed together to cook scrambled egg instead of omelette for the toppings and I couldn't find the annatto powder or seeds for the sauce's coloring. As for the ingredients, I used only minced pork and prawns w/o the rest because there were TOO MUCH dishes！This has to be served hot otherwise the aroma of the shrimp exact will be too strong. We still like its special taste and I quite like this.
|Tahitian Pork from Adora's Box|
This is quite similar to our Sweet and Sour Pork (古老肉) and also the ONLY dish my Dad tried. All of us like this except Messy who seldom eat meat especially pork belly. Cheeky LOVES this and ate a lot of the pineapple cubes！
|Pancit Canton from Pinay in Texas Cooking Corner|
This is quite similar to Pancit Palabok but the egg noodles used has got much more flavor than the Bee Hoon which makes this more tastier.
Cheeky and my mom had a few helpings for this！
|Leche Flan from Pinay in Texas Cooking Corner|
Look at the bright orange color yolks！
|This time, I POURED IN REAL SLOW hoping there won't be any bubbles and when I saw the smooth top after steaming done, I was quite confident but who knows THERE'RE STILL HOLES IN THEM！|
|A Feast of Filipino Food with Ice Cool Korean Honey Citron Tea|
The last photo showing the left-overs after dinner. This shows that they like Filipino food especially the Lumpiang Shanghai！Messy ate the most of that！
Too bad that she misses her daughter so much and wanted to go back but yet she wanted to earn more money for her and her daughter's future. She's still doubting to stay on together with us or just go back for good. Of course we'll be more than happy if she choose to stay and actually I'm praying so hard for that！