Friday, November 20, 2009

My favorite season has arrived

Christmas is my favoratest holiday season and it's here :)  I love everything about Christmas and New Year - from the food, the decors, the lights, the Simbang Gabi, the gifts, wrapping the gifts, the parties and get-togethers.  The only thing I don't like about Christmas is the traffic.  Otherwise, I absolutely, positively love everything!

It's not surprising then that our Christmas tree has been up since November 2nd haha  And I've done some Christmas gift shopping too and wrapped them all already.  I still have a few to do, but the St James' Bazaar of Ayala Alabang will be the Christmas gift one stop shop :)  Btw, it's on November 27 to 30.  4 whole days of non-stop gorgeous bazaar shopping.  The hubs said that our flyer to the bazaar in on our ref door, while our neighbor didn't get theirs out of their mailbox.  Guess who's excited? LOL

Here's a pic of our tree.  My theme for the past two years is blue and silver.  I'm still looking for that ever elusive blue or white (with silver trimmings) angel so technically, our tree is still a work in progress.  I keep finding white angel with gold trimmings.  Or red and green angels.  Has there been a memo that angels cannot wear blue?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Being local

I've moved to Laguna in 2005. And the only person I knew then was my husband. I didn't have any friends or even nodding-basis acquaintance. I made Laguna my new home, knowing no one else but my husband. I felt fine at first, and since we were still on the honeymoon stage, we were cocooned in our own happy world. As time passed, I slowly longed for friends of my own in Laguna and I missed going to a place and seeing friends, like I used to in Makati.

Gradually, I began to expand my network in my new home town. I made friends with a few neighbors, with our broker. I already have suki in the palengke, the parlor and the massage place. I met a few of the hubs' officemates who were quite nice. I then met some parents at my son's school. And then quite recently, joined a taebo class. I'm also on speaking terms with my bus mates, even got to car pool with a few of them.

To me, the true test of being local is when you go out either to the mall or palengke or well, Starbucks, and see a few familiar faces and speaking to those familiar faces. Now, when I go out, I always bump into people I know. A few weeks back, I went to SM and saw a couple of friends. Just tonight, I saw a taebo mate at Starbucks and also saw our instructor. I'm officially a local! 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thoughts on fuel shortage

I hardly think it's true.  It's just a tactic of the oil companies to lift the EO on price control.

It's also very inappropriate for the Secretary of Energy to claim that there is shortage.  It's his job to mediate between the government and the private sector and to ensure that there is enough supply.  But he's harping on the shortage, no one needs to wonder who's side he's taking.

I'm not buying gas this week, if I can help it.  The hubs got a full tank last Saturday and we still have half tank full. 

But I would gladly buy gas just so I can pour it on someone and light her. LOL

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Stormy Saturday

The uprooted tree in front of our house

Strong winds started blowing Friday night, around 10pm, coupled with heavy rains.  We slept right after coming home but we still had electricity then.  A little after 2am, I suddenly woke up coz I heard a loud bang and a car alarm going off.  I feared our car was hit by the tree right beside where we parked.  By then, electricity was out, so it was difficult to see a thing outside.  I woke up the hubs to check it out with me.  The tree did get uprooted, and hit our neighbor's car.  We couldn't confirm the damage since it was too dark. 

Morning came, the rain and wind had subsided.  Our neighbor's car was hit by the tree, thankfully, the fall was stopped by another smaller tree.  So their car wasn't hit directly.  The hood wasn't spared though and the roofing caved slightly.  It could have been worse so we were all lucky.

Today, the birds are chirping like no storm passed.  Mr. Sun is smiling.  It's a great sunny day.  Happy Sunday and Happy All Saints' day all!

Saturday, October 31, 2009


I was working from home again yesterday and was on the phone with a client for more than an hour (10am to 11:20am).  I was in the middle of our bed, earphones tucked in my ears, in pajamas with my notes all over the place.  While they are in their 52nd floor office in Central, Hong Kong, overlooking the bay, wearing black power suits.  I wonder who has it better? :D

Oh, and another thing I love when I work from home?  Drinking my favorite tea from my ancient favorite mug...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Little joys

I love working from home.  Coz I get to spend more hours on the bed, not necessarily sleeping...but working or facebooking/blogging/blog hopping :) haha  It's 7:45 and on a normal go-to-the-office day, I would've been in front of my PC already, drinking tea and starting with emails or doing data runs.  Now, I'm trying to work, now logging in to the office server and watching the little boy sleep.  It's absolutely wonderful.  I wish I could sleep longer, but when I'm up, I can't go back to sleep anymore.

Later today, the little man and I are going to the office for the company's annual Trick or Treat.  Sugar pumped kids on a work day?  Must bring the yaya. haha  Then tomorrow, Trick or Treat at the hub's office.  Saturday will be Trick or Treat in our village.  Yay!

I got the little two costumes for this year's Halloween.  For his school and our office's Trick or Treat, it's the 17th Century Soldier costume.

And then the Halloween theme at the hub's office is Superheroes so we got the little boy another costume for tomorrow.

He clearly likes the Superman custome better... he refused to take it off after trying it out! haha

Sunday, October 25, 2009

To construct a house - Part 1

I'm a girlie girl, so I don't really know these construction thingies.  That's why God blessed me with a husband who's not only into construction, but is quite serious about it, to the point of obession :)  All I wanted was a house, with walk in closet and a bath tub :)  Somehow, we balanced each other out.

First thing to do: Decide how you will build your house.

We were able to buy our lot late 2006.  So we've had it for 3 years now.  Even before we got it, hubs and I decided that we're gonna build our house, meaning we're going to manage and finance the construction.  That way it'll be done according to what we wanted in terms of layout and materials used, and also because an Uncle (who was a contractor) advised that it would be so much cheaper to do so. 

The other option of course is to have the developer build the house.  This was good if you're in a hurry to move in - that was RFO (ready for occupancy) scheme.  It was of course not cheap to get an RFO and you're not sure of the quality of materials used. 

And then you can also hire a contractor to build it for you.  As owner, you don't do anything except approve the design, and then pay for the construction.  I think this is cheaper than RFO, but then again before the construction starts, you have to make sure that the list of materials is of good quality and something you like.  So you have to check every material listed, go to construction supply shops and depots to check on the quality and the price.  This you have to do because if you don't and they start doing your house and you don't like the material, say, of the tiles and you'd like to change it, the cost of the change will be added on top of the original construction cost.

Second thing to do: Design the house or find someone who can.

We knew what we wanted our house to be.  We've been to dozens and dozens of look-see of model houses of other developers to know which ones we like and we ones to say no to.  We've also looked at magazines and websites.  All we had to do is find someone to design our house.

We looked at several options.  One was a referral of the hub's officemate.  The other was a brother of an officemate.  We also saw a few architects on the web.  We all tried to meet with them and told them of what we wanted and they gave us plans and schemes and we met again to talk about changes if there were any.  This took awhile, to be honest.  None negotiables for me were the walk in closet and the bath tub.  But I had to choose one, since our space was limited.  It was heart wrenching - I honestly couldn't choose.  After about a month of debating, I let go of the bath tub but made the hubs promise that we're going to have one in our retirement home :)

Finally, we narrowed it down to the design, the person we're most comfortable with, and of course the price.  For me, what's important is the rapport we have with the architect.  There were a few we met who really had good designs, but I found them not trustworthy.  I went with someone sincere.  The hubs went with someone who we can afford hehe  So we had a winner design, winner architect and winner price! :)

We still have a long way to go. I'll try to update as we progress in this project.

The horror that was Taal Vista

On my last recent birthday, hubs and I went on a breakfast date at Taal Vista's Cafe on the Ridge. It was a week day so it wasn't crowded, in fact, we were the first customers there. Food was more than abundant and the corned beef was to die for! I love corned beef so that was a real treat for me :) We had a wonderful experience then but the service was a bit off. I brushed it off and though it was too early in the day to demand great service. Overall then, it was a pleasant experience.

So when my Mom announced that she's spending her birthday with us which was the following month, I arranged for breakfast buffet at Taal Vista after the Sunday mass. My sister booked for 6 persons at 9am. My mom's birthday came and we all prepared for a feast at Cafe on the Ridge. We got there a bit late, about 10 minutes past 9am.

Anyway, when we got there, it took them another 15 minutes to seat us. There was no maître or even a welcome hostess. So we were able to sit down at 9:30. And they didn't tell us that the buffet was only up to 10am. They could have advised us that they were closing in 30 minutes.  They could have given us an option to proceed with our reservation or go somewhere else. 

Friday, October 23, 2009

Everyday is picture day!

I've always loved taking pictures.  While before, I only take pictures on special occasions, now I believe that everyday can be a special occasion.  So I carry with me, at all times, if that's possible, my handy camera.  Just sharing a few everyday is a special day pictures :) 

Sitting in Starbucks with the hubs.  He's enjoying a cup of Cappucino, and I got a Chai Non-fat Latte.  Just being together after a hard day's work

Marveling at the first sign of fruit from our very own backyard.  A Kalamansi fruit at that :)

Lazy sunday afternoon merienda with my little man

The wallet that was...

I blogged a few weeks ago about having shopping cards.  I've had the Rustan's Frequent Shopper's Card since 2002.  When my Mom was here a couple of weekends ago, we went shopping at Rustan's and that's when I found out that they are launching a new shopper's card.  That meant I had to use my points as the points were expiring soon.  And I had 600 points, equivalent to PhP600!  Cool huh? :)  Ealier, I eyed this green wallet, but didn't want to spend on anything and since I had the points, I got the wonderful wallet.  My sister was green with envy LOL  It's much more fun to get a nice thing when you don't really pay for it, right?

Viola! The wallet that points earned :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Nothing lasts

It started with our Microwave not heating up about a few months ago. Then our newly bought electric fan for the computer fell to the floor and had a crack on its propeller (is that right?) hehe A few weeks later, our electric fan for the living area won't start. Suddenly our speakers for our DVD player won't turn on. And just last week our less than 2 years old rice cooker refused to cook!

Our appliances are going kaput every second. I hope nothing else will follow, our budget can't accommodate new appliance purchase. What is wrong with appliances these days? They're like disposable items, more like toys rather than appliances. Growing up, we only had one ref which grew up with me until I was in college. Mama just got tired of it, so we had to replace it. Even then Mama was still able to sell it. Same with electric fans, we had electric fans lasting decades. But our electric fan only lasted about 2 years. So weird.

So now in our second floor, we have junk composed of dead appliances - electric fans, speakers, rice cookers, microwave. What do I do with these? They're just gathering dust and space. In our old neighborhood, we had suki manong mambobote who buy our junk. But not here. Where do I find a junk shop to sell these items? I wish there is a listing of junk shops in Sta Rosa, Laguna! haha

Happy weekend all!

(picture from

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Of Etiquette and Consideration for others

I was at the hospital yesterday morning for a quick check-up with my derma. The waiting area was full, a few were even standing along the corridor. There was a space but a Mom had her child lie down so they were occupying 2 seats. A few older people checked the seat but the Mom didn't even bother offering the seat, didn't even budge. I found that very in considerate. I have a child too and we also go to crowded places. When we find others looking for seats, I make my child sit on my lap or his Dad's so the others can have a place. Sadly and apparently, not all mothers think the same. What are teaching our children then? That it's ok to let others suffer as long as we are comfortable? Children copy what they see their parents do. As parents, we should be responsible enough to teach the right manners and etiquette. The kids learn these first from the home, and not anywhere else.

I always pass by South Luzon Expressway. Because of the construction of the extension of the Skyway, traffic has been horrible the past few months. Yesterday, driving home from work, hubs and I took the Skyway and when we were near the ramp going back to South Luzon Expressway, a few cars and buses, would to squeeze in front of us. All the other cars would fall in line and for their turn, except for a few cars who feel they are above everyone else. I hate it that they refuse to follow the rules. I don't understand they feel more privileged than others when we were all on the same page, heading home to our families from a hard day's work at the office. If we could just all follow the rules and be considerate of others, traffic accidents can be avoided. Travelling home would be less stressful.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy at 52

It's my Mom's birthday yesterday and she came over since Friday to spend her birthday with us, mostly specially her only apo. When she's here visiting, it's always a frenzy of activity. Eating out is a favorite past time. Going shopping, seeing places. She believes that life should be lived fully, so while you can still go out, go out. When you're old and sickly, you'd rather stay in bed. This is her with my little boy.

Happy birthday Ma! Thanks for the generosity of your heart. As always, I wish you good health and lots of love.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Wonderful Sunday

After 3 weeks of endless rain, Mr. Sun finally came out blaring hot yesterday, Sunday. A very welcome and needed respite from the typhoon weather. At least that's how our Sunday was here in Sta Rosa, Laguna. Not so in other provinces in North Luzon. I was just reading the news when I woke up (not in the actual newspaper, who does that now a days?) on my blackberry that a few lost their lives with Typhoon Pepeng. Let's continue praying for better days, we've had enough Super Typhoons, TBH.

We went to hear mass on our usual time, which is at 10am. The past weeks, we've been hearing mass at 5pm coz mornings usually rained. I loved being back on the normal groove. The little one specially loved buying his puto and eating it too :P Then lunch at home. I was trying to get my little sis to buy us lunch. She didn't have school for a whole week, so she had extra allowance :D But she wouldn't budge. Cheapskate. Haha

Bonding time after lunch. Playing with the little one, he asked to watch Ice Age 3 on DVD, I believe for the 20th time that weekend alone. Then we all took a nap. And went online. At one time, I think we had 3 computers online in our house all at the same time. Addicts. LOL

We had to meet our architect (yes, we're constructing our house!) at around 3. After which we trooped to Nuvali to feed the fish. We all enjoyed doing it, specially the little one. The kois were surely hungry. Too bad though coz I forgot to bring my camera, so I don't have pictures except from the Hub's phone. I'll remember to bring a camera next time we do that.
To me and the Hubs, the best way to end a day is to get a massage. When I tried to schedule one at our suking Spa, they were fully booked. Then at around 6, they called to say they had a cancellation so they could accommodate us for the last call. Amazing, huh?
Great, great Sunday indeed! I wished I could just pause life and reply that Sunday all over again, and over again... but work beckons and we have to face reality. My only consolation is that I'm able to work from home and bring a little piece of that Sunday with me to last me the long work week.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Pepeng (Parma) went away!

Last night, I slept fearing and bracing for the Super Typhoon Pepeng. Late afternoon yesterday, it was starting to rain and winds were also starting to pick up. When I woke up this morning, I expected to wake up to heavy rains and strong winds. Surprisingly, I woke up to a dry day, although still a bit gloomy. I'd take a gloomy day anytime. So I had time to do my weekly palengke. Fish was ridiculously expensive though, so I stayed away from the fish area. Vegetables were priced the same, due to the State of Calamity declaration yesterday, they couldn't raise the prices.

Oh and I got another frequent shopper card! This time from Monterey. They have this MVP card where you can earn points while you shop and points can be converted to cash. Quite neat, huh?

Happy weekend all, stay dry!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Another Super Typhoon

We're still reeling from last week's Ondoy and now we have another Super Typhoon coming, locally named Pepeng. I fervently hope and pray it doesn't hit land much, if at all. We need to recover from the destruction of Ondoy. We need to make sure we're ready for any emergencies.

I have a couple of officemates who were flooded. They lost a lot of things at home. Someone even almost lost a loved one. It's weird though coz when I talk to them and ask how I could help, they would say they didn't need anything. I guess it's not easy to ask for help. We officemates are pooling up our donations so we can give to them, just a little to help them tide over this tragedy.

I didn't bother going to work today, I want to be home if and when the typhoon hits land. And I'm trying to prepare for things we would need. Stocking up on food and water, first aid kit, medicines, batteries, flash light, candles. We need to be prepared. All the time.

Let's just continue praying for the typhoon not to hit land, and not cause a lot of destruction. Stay home if you can, it's still the safest place.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Survived Ondoy... and lived to tell

Yesterday's bagyo was bad. Early morning, it started raining hard... with winds pa! I knew it was bad when I was having breakfast and the tree beside our house was swaying like it was dancing to some rock music. I was bent on going to the palengke for our weekly food stock but the hubs won't hear of it. The rain and winds were going berserk then. Good thing we had a semi-full pantry, so we subsisted on whatever we had.

Then our internet went caput at around 10am. We still had electricity and cable, so it was bearable. Internet came back up at around 1pm, but then our cable went out. Without cable, we relied on the radio for news, and well, my friends' facebook updates. That's when I knew Marikina was mega-flooded. And Rizal too and parts of Metro Manila.

I called my Aunt and cousin in Rizal, but couldn't reach their cell phones and landlines yesterday afternoon. Until today actually, I still couldn't reach them. My parents, friends and cousins already called on check on us. I'm glad we have people who care enough to ask about us.

Laguna is spared, I believe. There were a few places submerged in flood water, but on the whole, Laguna's on dry land. Marikina, Rizal and Antipolo are worst hit, according to the late news last night. And yes, cable went back up at around 9am.

I offered my rosary this morning for those who are stranded and their houses under water. I pray for family in Cainta, who I still I haven't heard from. Please help pray for them too.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Loving the long weekend

I started the weekend on a Friday. Worked from home. TBH though, it was more work from the road (sssshhhhh! don't tell my boss though hehe). My mother sent us a couple of boxes Lanzones from Cagayan de Oro and I had to pick it up from the airport. There was heavy downpour in the afternoon, hence the delivery was so late. For 3 and a half hours.

Anyway, I hurried home to attend a birthday party of a friend's son. The little one was so happy coz he had a lot of playmates. He was the youngest boy and I was afraid he'd get bullied, but was so proud to see him assert himself. When they were playing basketball and he was pushed, he told his playmate, who was 2 years older, "Don't push me! Say sorry!". When I heard that, I knew he can take care of himself.

Saturday was spent playing badminton the whole morning with hubs and a couple of his office mates. And then we met up with a prospective architect (yes, finally decided to build that house, hopefully in January! Wish us luck!) and just hang out. And did a lot of FarmVille hehe

Sunday went to the palengke for the weekly food budget. Dropped by the nearby weekend flea market. Waited for the Marquez vs Mayweather game on tv. Uploaded pictures on facebook. FarmVille again (though it's not working now huhuhu!). DVD marathon(Hangover, Fast and the Furios 4, The Management, Ice Age 3 and about 5 more DVDs). Helped the little one with his homework. Heard mass in the afternoon. And had barbeque dinner at the newly opened Reyes Barbeque at Nuvali. Chatted with my Papa and requested for my birthday gift :D. Played lots with the little and now blogging at 12am. The hubs is also still up and blogging too.

It's a fun filled weekend and we have an extra day tomorrow! I just loooove it :) Tomorrow would be swimming at our club house so we're all praying for a sunny day. Finish the little boy's homework. Get a mirror hopefully, as we don't have a big mirror. Taebo at 7 :)

Long weekends are such a blessing.... could we have more?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Pashmina Love

It's been raining for almost 2 weeks straight. Although I don't like getting wet in the rain, I love the cooler weather it brings. And so out comes the jackets and to me personally, pashminas!:)

I adore pashminas since the first time I tried one in HongKong, I believe around 2001. And that's when I bought my first pashmina, a black one, which also converts into a scarf. Then I got a brown one here in Manila after a few months. I use pashmina in the office, instead of the usual jacket. It's quite comfy and goes with either slacks, jeans or skirts. Perfect for me :)
I have more than a dozen pashminas. I only bought 2 for myself, the rest are gifts. A friend went to Nepal once and came home bearing 4 pashminas for me. Made of the softest and lightest silk, I only use them for special occasions, like parties or events. The hubs was assigned in India around 2007 and when he came home, got me the nicest pashminas in different colors and material, a total of 6!

And on Christmases, friends give me pashmina. One Christmas, I got 3 pashminas :D

So far in Manila, the best pashminas are from Anna Pashmina. I believe they have stalls in Powerplant and Shangri-La Mall.

Would you believe, I have 3 pashminas currently in the office with me? The picture is proof. I really heart pashminas. And I heart the people who give me pashminas :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bonding moments

Hubs, little one and I are in front of our laptops.  Well, the little one is sharing his Dad's.  It's 10:31pm, they're playing a game on the net and I'm, well, obviously, blogging and facebooking :D  It's bedtime in 5 minutes.
This has been our usual pass time of late.  We hardly watch TV anymore, which is good.  I'm trying to cut down on TV time.
A few minutes ago, I asked the little on stand on my aching back.  I swear it's the best massage ever!  Better than Spa massage.  Cheaper and so much fun to do :)  My backache is gone and the little one had loads of fun.  Anyhoo, tomorrow's Friday!  And Friday, I'm in love! :) 

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

My little bugoy

The pictures above were taken last weekend, while we were watching World Cup of Pool on TV.  He likes to have his picture taken.  He specially likes it when the camera captures his open mouth and his big eyes.  He's never been camera shy, as you can see in the above.

His loves nowadays: Hi5 (the Australian tv show for kids), playing games on the computer (not sure about the site coz he plays with his Dad), play badminton (he's not good yet but we make it a point to play with him) and school.

I'm still amazed at how fast he's grown.  A few weeks back, while I was rushing to do my errands with him in tow, he was requesting to play at the slides.  I told him, slides are for little kids.  He stopped walking, looked up to me said "I'm a kid Mom".  And he is right, he's a kid.

My son has a great memory.  He just picks up things and remembers them.  I don't know how he does that, but his teachers have been amazed as well.  Anyway, when he remembers something, my husband and I are always quick with praises.  One time, I told him he's smart.  And then he replied "Smart Buddy" - you know, the pre-paid of Smart Communications.  :D

And oh, he loves to party.  Thank God he's still 3 and not yet a teenager! LOL.  We were invited to his classmate's birthday last month and he was the youngest one who loved joining the games.  There was a portion in the games were each participant would say "Happy birthday" the longest.  He was 3rd in line and when it was his turn he said "Happy birthday----day----day----day-----day!" haha  Instead of saying "Happy birthdaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"! :)  Everyone's amused. 

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Few things on my (Pinay) Mind

I've just recently watched Mikey Arroyo's Media suicide on Unang Hirit on You Tube. There are two videos on youtube, video 1 here and video 2 here. It was major road kill from the second it started. He was no match for Mareng Winnie, and he looked and sounded so corrupt and full of himself. He even had the audacity to say that PhP 76 million is "kapiranggot". Geez! And he says that to a 3rd world nation, where hundreds of people are hungry and own nothing.

Please Pinoys, let's keep him out of our government. And away from our nation's money.


September 7th was declared a holiday. But not for our company :( We apparently belong to the BPO industry and hence are exempted from the holiday. Good thing I'm allowed to work from home, so work from home it is for me tomorrow hehe

I'm lucky to be able to work from home. It allows me to be with my son the whole day. Although it can get stressful as well. Whenever I work from home, I make it a point to bring the little one to school and wait for him there. So I wake up early to bring the hubs to work and then to jump start on work, before we leave for school. Then after school, I go back to work and try to finish everything before 4pm so I can pick up hubs at 4. Talk about hectic! haha But I love it :) It gives me a glimpse on how it is like to be a (desperate) housewife :D So that's why I still opt to work haha!


I'm planning on buying a new camera. I don't think I'd have the commitment to buy a DLSR or SLR. I'm good with a point and shoot type of camera. I learned that Hidalgo is the place to buy cameras. A lot of sites have provided a review. Here are the few I happen to like:

How to get there:

So I know where to buy. The next question is what to buy? I used a Nikon already and I was satisfied with it. I also used an Olympus, and loved it as well. I also got to use Kodak, which was great too, the only downside was that the video doesn't have any audio. Bummer. Reviews are in this site. I need to get started reading the reviews.


Oh and Congrats to Legends Efren "Bata" Reyes and Franciso "Django" Bustamante for winning the World Cup of Pool!!! Super galing!!! They truly are legends.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Happy thoughts

The past 2 days an Aunt and a cousin have been driving me crazy. I didn't want to dwell on the issue, a rather unproductive one, so I wanted to keep my silence. But they are such buggers. It's rather been difficult and frustrating for the most part. Although now, I'm totally decided not to say anything anymore. I even deleted their numbers and names from my contact lists. Such a release.

This morning, I missed my bus. So I was forced to travel an additional 30 minutes to catch my ride to Makati. I would have been grumpy, but I was thankful that at least, I had a job which makes me happy and it doesn't make me idle. At all.

Anyway. As they say, happiness is a decision and I'm aiming for that. Happy thoughts for today:

1. A new belt. Well, am still planning on getting one. But the thought of buying one excites me!
2. New friends :) I have finally made friends with the other Moms at my son's school.
3. An old favorite friend resurfacing. She disappeared for a while, but now she's back with a vengance! haha
4. The little one healthy and virus free :D
5. Taebo session tomorrow
6. My upcoming birthday
7. A little girl on the other bus waving to me :)
8. Facebook updates from friends
9. A private joke shared with the hubs :D
10. Finally, tomorrow's Friday!

What are your happy thoughts today?

Monday, August 31, 2009

A prayerful visit

I've heard of the Pink Sisters in Tagaytay. One may write one's prayer petition on a piece of paper and the nuns will pray for you. I have one prayer that I've been praying for and thought that a visit to the Pink Sisters would help.

I had planned to drag the hubs either last Saturday or Sunday. The little one had viral flu however, so we stayed home. Today, he feeling so much better so the hubs and I stepped out for a while and drove to the Pink Sisters Monastery. The place was semi-crowded, mostly weekender tourists, like us.

We prayed inside the chapel. I even got to pray a decade of the Rosary. It was wonderful.

Trees were abundant in Monastery's compound and there were a few butterflies as well. There was grotto where you have to go through an uphill trail to reach it. There was also a huge crucifix in front of the chapel. It's definitely a nice place to visit again, to pray and be one with the silent nuns in their petitions.

And here's the schedule of mass in case you'd want to go. I would love to hear mass on my birthday there :) Please? :)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Boracay on a budget

Travelling is something my family enjoys. We don't have a lot of budget for our travels, so we always look out for cheap fares, clean hotels and good food. Travelling with a kid also has it's limits. When as a couple, we could so easily roam and get familiar with a place in 2 days, we have to consider our son's schedule. He naps in the afternoon and can't walk for long. He gets picky with unfamiliar food, so dining should be something he likes...not all the time what we like.

Last April, Cebu Pacific had their discounted fares promo. Travel period is between June to October, I think. Anyway, we were torn between going home to Cagayan de Oro or going somewhere else. The hubs hasn't been to Boracay, so I thought Boracay it is then. I called their reservation but it was a book and buy promo and by rule, I don't transact business over the phone or online. Specially tickets. So I went to their ticketing office in Carlos Palanca, Makati. And got 3 round trip tickets to Boracay for PhP 3,000! :) What a bargain, right? Our trip was scheduled for Aug 17 to 21. And turned out that Aug
21st was a holiday :) August is a rainy month in our beautiful islands, so I prayed long and hard for a sunny weather.

I searched resorts online. Got a deal with the Orchid Resort. It was very cheap, PhP1,080 per night. So I booked for 4 nights. It was on Station 3 and one had to walk along an alley for about 5 minutes to get there. The resort was fine, our room was clean but it wasn't well lit, and mosquitoes were abundant too. The location wasn't working for us, having a kid to bring around. On the first night, our son had fever. We had problems finding dinner too.

The next day, while we were just hanging at the beach, I went to Villa Camilla to check if they had affordable rooms. Our budget is less than 2k. Since it was off peak, they had a lot of vacancy. The receptionist gave me a brochure, but the cheapest room they had for PhP2,300. But she gave me a great deal, for a Deluxe room, with a mini sala, she'll give it to me for PhP1,500! I was elated! We were definitely transferring the very next day.

When we did, it was marvelous. Villa Camilla is beach front, so we'd just change into our swim clothes, walk less than a minute to reach the beach and swim the whole morning. The room was clean and very spacious, the bathroom was clean too. We also had a big tv and a ref. Very important when you have kids with you.

Dining wise, we were limited. So we frequented Yellow Cab, Shakeys, Andoks. On our last night, I was insistent on trying out the buffet by the beach. So we checked the food, they had great selection and the little boy actually wanted to eat there. Kids below 7, I think, are free. We ended up paying for just 2 persons, for PhP500, for a buffet! Neat no?

Overall, it was a very restful and fun trip. Days just passed us by, we enjoyed the beach and the experience. We savored spending time with each other, talking, playing, resting. The weather was perfect beach weather, it didn't seem like August at all. God was and still is so good to us.

It's worth travelling on the off peak season. You'll get cheap flights, hotels and food. Also, the beach was deserted. We didn't have to go to the other secluded beaches around the area since we had the whole White Beach to ourselves :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Travelling Freely

We travelled by air, by land and by the sea...

To get to place where hemit crabs roam freely.

To a place where you can write letters on the sand.

To a place where you eat pancakes for breakfast by the beach.

To a place where life revolves around the sea, sand and sun.

To a place where a day ends in gorgeous orange.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Discipline at our home

My husband and I don’t believe in corporal punishment. When I was still pregnant, we have agreed that we won’t hit or spank our child to displine. I never had experienced spanking from my Dad. I did though from my Mama, as she was the main disciplinarian in our family. But after every bout of spanking, I was more resentful of her and not really sorry of what I have done wrong. So I was resolved not to spank or hit my child when I become a mother.

I’m not a master of discipline nor do I claim to be, so this shouldn’t be taken as a rule. And this post is not to critize parents who use corporal punishment to discipline their kids. That’s their choice. And mine is to discipline differently.

When the little boy was younger, it was easy to discipline him. He couldn’t do much and didn’t speak back. Now that he’s 3, quite active and can speak his mind, disciplining becomes difficult. I don’t want to bring up a spoiled brat into the world, even when it’s so easy to do that specially when he’s our only child.

Before we go out or go somewhere, we talk to him and agree that he should listen to Mommy and Daddy. He needs to know that we are ensuring this to make sure that he doesn’t hurt himself or others. When he insists on buying something he wants when we are out, and that toy is not part of our plan, and start to go into a tantrum, we don’t feed on his tantrum. He ignore him and move on to a different part of the store. There’s a chance that he still will throw a tantrum, but more often than not, he will follow us and in a few minutes forget about the toy. Children do have sort attention span :)

This one time we were doing the grocery, and he was running around without looking, he was hit by a cart. We discipline him at home. When he was younger, his only form of discipline is a time out where he is kept inside a room. One minute for every age of the child. Now that’s he’s older, he has two options. The time out and facing the wall. Every after a punishment though, it is important that it is explained to him why he was punished. It is also important that the parent who saw the problem should be the one to do the disciplining, so the child doesn’t get confused.

We still have a long way to go. And we’re taking it a day at a time. We are focused on the goal to bring up a responsible, happy child and not loose our sense along the way :)

Friday, August 07, 2009

Ang tagal ng Pag-ibig!

No, not that pag-ibig (love). But this Pag-ibig.

We were advised by our HR that it would be good to take advantage of our SSS and Pag-ibig loans. So every 3 years or so, I apply for a salary loan from SSS and Pag-ibig. The SSS loan processing was so quick and painless hehe I applied for my loan, our company took care of all the processing and I just got the check through the mail. And then I went to have it encash it and voila, I was rich! LOL Well, not exactly. But you know, painless.

Not so with Pag-ibig. The processing was horrible. I was advised by HR that Pag-ibig will not accept applications through a representive, unlike SSS. So I had to process my own papers. Good thing the Pag-ibig office in Makati was near our office. I went on a Thursday, at around 9:30. Took a number from the guard and waited, get this, for 3 hours! Geez.

When the guy finally called my number, I was advised to go to another floor since they still had my single and married records separate. Another department need to consolidate my records. So I went up another 3
floors, and waited. Again. Then I had to back to the first guy to submit and he gave me a slip and said that my check should be out within two weeks, but advised to call first to verify. It was a day full of waiting.

After 2 weeks, I called. And called. And called. For 3 hours! The number was always busy and no one was answering the other number. I could have given up. But I don't back down that easily haha! And well, my phone could redial automatically and I had a speaker phone. So wait I did. After 10 million calls, someone finally answered and confirmed that my check was ready for pick-up.

So I trooped to Pag-ibig again. Gave the slip to counter 11 and waited, for 10 minutes. I thought that was fast and believed that was a good sign. I was advised that only ONE bank will encash the check. It was just right next door, so good right? NO! The line at that bank for encashment only was so long, I again had to wait for another 2 hours.

The Pag-ibig loan process is so unproductive. It was a very bad way to waste time. I hope something can be done to update the loan process, or they could have added more people to handle loans. Knocking on Pag-ibig's door!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A Cory Week

Last Saturday, at 9am, while waiting at my dentist, I learned that Cory Aquino passed away. I was shocked but also relieved that she finally has found her final rest. The whole nation is aware of her sickness and her journey through it all. I worked near Makati Med, and everyday I'd pass by the hospital and saw yellow ribbons all over the area.

Last week, Makati was a yellow city. Cars had yellow ribbons, 7-11 were giving yellow ribbons to pin on clothes. I even got one for myself, and wore it last Thursday. Eversince I learned that Cory was undergoing pain management therapy, I know it won't be long before she leaves us. That day I also started praying for her everyday, and for her family.

I was born 1977, so Marcos was still the president then. At the Snap Elections, my aunt, uncle and cousins were Marcos loyalists. Our neighbor were for Cory, and bought Malaya newspaper. I couldn't understand what was going on, all I knew then was you shouldn't be reading Malaya haha!

When the Edsa Revolution happened, our whole family ran to the provinces to hide. The elders really thought that there will be another war. But there was no war. That's the time I learned of Cory. And her great gift to the Filipino people.

On Monday, her funeral march passed by Ayala Avenue. I stood with the crowd in front our building at 11:30am. She finally passed us at 1pm. When the truck carrying her casket was in front of us, the crowd fell silent and suddenly burst out in applause. It was a defining, goosebump moment. Clearly, she's deeply loved. I was glad to have honored her, albeit in my own little way.

Last night, I stayed up late to watch the Necrological Service replay on ANC. Boy! Did I cry buckets! I don't know her personally, but hearing all the testimonies, I felt that I knew Cory. For me, the nicest testimony was from her Security staff, Mel. It was truly heart felt and sincere. Broke down more when he saluted.

I've been since 8am to catch the funeral mass on TV. Again, I cried buckets. Howell.

Thank you so much President Cory. You are truly an icon. The Filipino icon of freedom. May you rest in peace.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Work stress overload

The past weeks has been extremely stressful at work. I've been called a few not nice adjectives. Deserved or undeserved, I was affected to the deepest level. I guess it's just hard to live up to very high expectations. All I can do is try my best.

It's hard when one aspect of life is difficult. Something just stops functioning. I was suddenly consumed with a remark made. It was probably flippant on his part, so I didn't want to dwell on it. But I was so affected, I couldn't stop thinking about it. It was on automatic replay in my head, like a song from my Ipod. Only I wasn't hearing melodies.

I think less of it now. He did try to make amends. My friend said that knowing me, that remark just will challenge me. Perhaps she's right. I am slightly challenged, although I'm more cautious now. That and guarded.

At least it's Friday. Work rests. Weekend is a happy respite. TGIF everyone!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Migration Thoughts

I've toyed with the idea of migrating. Back when I was single and almost bored with Pinas. Also when I had just gotten married. But the hubs loves Pinas and convinced me that it's worth staying for. So stay put we did.

Last Friday night though, I again thought of packing all our bags and migrating. And the trigger? The what Philippine government is doing. Or what it's not doing. I worked from home last Friday so was able to catch the prime time news and the following really ticked me:

1. GMA not signing the Cheaper Medicine Bill. That bill has been sitting on GMA's lap for more than 100 days, I think. She has yet to sign it, citing that she's giving the Pharmaceutical companies chance to bring down their prices, on their own. Let's say the drug companies do lower the prices now, but for long? Other countries do not have such exorbitant medicine prices, why can't we have the same? Take India for example, their medicines are uber cheap and now they are already exporting their medicines.

Who is GMA kidding? I bet something happened in the "meetings" between Malcañang and the Pharmaceutical companies. Simply ridiculous.

2. The Big oil players vs 1 lone player. Where in the world have we seen the government siding with the big oil players who refuse to reduce prices? Even to the point of castigating the one who plans to reduce their prices. I tell you, super UNBELIEVABLE.

Who wouldn't dream of migrating after seeing these in the news right? I just pray that the Filipino voting public gets more educated about the people they vote for. Let's do our share and keep out all the trapos from getting a government seat. It's for our future.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Starbucks and Songs

The little one with his Auntie Xan (my sis, the one in the middle)
and Ate Cookie (our niece), he was clearly enjoying himself :)

Totally having loads of fun

If the place is child friendly, the little boy tags along with us. Starbucks is one of the places we frequent that he loves. Last Sunday, we drove my little sis back to Tagaytay where she's currently doing OJT. And of course Starbucks is a must-stop. Our little bugoy loves the hot chocolate and donut in Starbucks.
Today at dinner, he was singing "Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday". A song he learned today at school. So all of us at home are humming that song! :) What an LSS! haha

Monday, July 13, 2009

Going Gaga over Lady Gaga

I always loved dance-y, groovy, happy songs... including Chill-out/House (back in the day, we used to call it Trance) music too. I first heard Poker Face late last year. It was an upbeat, easy to sing to song so I got interested. Then I saw Lady Gaga guest on the Ellen Degeneres show, which I love! That's when I knew who sang Poker Face. I searched for the album and loaded the whole thing to my Ipod. I listen to her when I do my morning exercise, on my way to and from work and sometimes while working. I know, OC-OC, right?! HAHA! I have that tendency though, to just listen to a whole album until my ears bleed :T I remember I listened to Usher's album for a whole year. In my defence, MP3 players weren't in yet. Right.

Suffice it to say, I LOVE Lady Gaga's album and I LOVE her! She's like Madonna, with a dash of Gwen Stefani and... basta! It's unique, upbeat, funky and fun. And she's coming to Manila on August 11th. A Tuesday though, which is a bummer. And I want to watch but no one to watch it with. Howell rockwell. I'll content myself listening to my Ipod's Lady Gaga... over and over and over and over and over... (well, you get the drift, right?)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Smashing it

Started the weekend right, the whole family went out to play badminton. And yes, including the little one. He was running around most of the time, but at least he experienced badminton in a badminton court :)
I'm a novice in all of this. When God gave out sporting skills, I was probably reading inside my room hehe The only thing I did like to play enough to learn it is bowling. But I'm not good at it either. So this was a first for me and little boy. Now I know why a lot are hooked to badminton, it's really a fun way to get active. I'm gonna do it again, for sure :) Now, let me find that Salonpas and Katinko.... :D

Thursday, July 09, 2009

When 3-year olds watch a movie

Last night, we brought the little to watch Ice Age 3 at a theather. It was his 2nd time to watch in a cinema, the first was mother's day last year and we watched Iron Man. He wasn't too aware yet of what was happening then, so he wasn't excited. This time though, he's already fully aware of his sorroundings and that he's going to SM so he was bouncing off the walls with so much anticipation hehe!

We got popcorn and juice for snacks and settled down on our seats. For 10 minutes. Then he began rocking his seat, he seemed to enjoy that it can be folded. He sat with me for awhile. Sat with his dad too. Leaned on the seat in front of us, good thing no one sat there. Put up his feet on the head rest in front of my seat. Said he was going to "wiwi" twice, but didn't. That was the whole Ice Age 3 :)

But that's all good. After the movie, he did say he had fun and he wants to watch a movie again at the cinema. And we spent time as a family :)

Monday, July 06, 2009

In these trying times

We need to be smart about spending these days. So spend on items you need, save up for the wants. Also spend on something you'll get returns or rebates. Like I always carry rewards cards of SM, Rustan's, Mercury Drug, National Bookstore, Coffee Bean. I wish Starbucks had a rewards card. I recently got myself a Gerry's Grill card. With the above card, you earn points everytime you present it upon purchase. Accumulate the points and you get cash discounts. I simply love it, you get points for your loyalty.

For airlines, I have the PAL card, the Cathay Pacific Frequent Flyer Card and Singapore Airlines card. I got great discounts from the PAL card. I got a spa treatment and make up set from Cathay. And I got an upgrade with Sing Air. See, cards are really neat! :) Question? Does Cebu Pacific had a frequent flyer card?

Now I've been a Smart user, I have a Smart cell and subscribe (still do) to Smarbro. They have Rewards system as well. Although it's just a small amount, it'll surely help.

And I pay my bills online and found out that BPI gives you points when you pay online. You get freebies from Chowking. Cool huh?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The corner office

Not the one with the view. I wish!

I have this little corner at our spare room which is my home office. I do my monthly budget there, write out checks, pay bills online, do my scrapbooking and well, do my online stuff. For the past year, it's been chaos with a capital C. The past weekend, I got the nesting itch, so spent a whole night organizing. And below is the result!
I got our albums and the little boy's progress chart stacked properly, have my boxes used. I got
those boxes from Ikea in Singapore last year. I adore boxes and I'll write about that in another post.

I got a tin can to put all my pens and my stapler in place. And I also finally put up my cork board for the bills or notes. My laptop is inside the bag, under the computer table. I feel like I am good at this :D My little corner office is now organized.... now on to the next project :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Loving silently

That's a classic picture of my parents, my Mama always making lambing while my Papa smokes and smiles :) They married young, young enough to receive the ire of my Mama's sisters. Papa comes from a big, working class family. Mama comes from a smaller, landed family. The Princess and the Pauper. But they made it work.

This is really a father's day post. Albeit delayed, still worth writing. My Papa's not the communicative, demostrative type. He rarely talks. Maybe also to balance out my Mama's noise. God is so smart! haha

I was a Daddy's girl eversince I could remember. In my pictures when I was younger, I would always be near my Papa. He was so my hero. My first memory of him was him telling me a bedtime story while Mama was away at work. It was exactly the same story every night, The Monkey & The Turtle. And then he left to work abroad when I was 5. An OFW. Years later, Mama said the main reason he left was so he could provide for my future well. The trigger? We were hearing mass and there was a balloon vendor and I was asking him to buy me one and he had only enough money for our fare and can't afford a balloon. Too emo? :P

All of us sisters didn't experience spanking from Papa. He doesn't believe in that. Which is why I also don't believe in spanking my child.

I never really minded that Papa's away. Until I reached high school. Being a teenager, I was full of angst and blamed every problem I had on Papa being away. I resented him being away too much that I stopped talking to him and didn't follow his orders. He said not to have a boyfriend until I turn 18, so I had a boyfriend when I was 15. He said I'm not allowed to sleep overnight at friends' houses, so I slept out a lot. He said I'm not allowed to go out dancing, so I did. I was a pain. I knew I hurt my Papa and I actually wanted to do that.

I didn't know what changed after graduating from high school. But something just did. I then understood what it was like for him to be away all the time. On my first semester in college, he was working in Nigeria and got sick of Malaria. I was at my Aunt's place when I learned he was home and I got so scared. My Papa was invinsible, he never got sick, not even flu. And then he had Malaria? On top of that, I was scared that I wouldn't be able to finish school. My Aunt advised me to pray, God will provide. And indeed, God did. Papa recovered and was able to find a better paying job at a nicer place.

Seeing a father and daughter having a close relationship or in a light loving moment never fails to affect me. Sadly, I don't have that much with Papa. But I do love him dearly and I know that he loves me. He never says anything of course but I know he does. I feel that he does.

Monday, June 22, 2009

What a journey it has been!

As Leah Salonga sang.... My journey is definitely not worth singing about though.

Last Wednesday was a really bad traffic day in SLEX. I left Sta Rosa at 6:30am, exactly the same time I leave on a week day. With the Skyway's contruction on going to extend it to Alabang, traffic has been terrible. But extremely so on that Wednesday. I arrived in the office at 9:15. A good 2 hours and 45 hours travel time. I could have been in HK or Singapore if I left on airplane.

Today, I took the day off. Just because I felt like bumming around the house :)

Tomorrow is indeed another day and I'm bracing for another long trip. But am looking forward to a great burger dinner careof Brother's Burger's 10th anniversary :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Little school boy

It's another school year and our little school boy was so excited. It's his 2nd year in school, he's in Pre-school 3. We agreed yesterday not to send him to school today coz he had colds then, but come Monday morning, when I called from the office, he was begging to go to school.

And this is his ID picture :)

We're trying not to push him too much, he's just 3 anyway. He's learned so much though, he knows his numbers, all the letters, colors and shapes. He also started reading already, counting and writing. He does have a great memory, remembers the littlest detail. He's going to be a great investment banker. Or doctor. Or engineer. Or research director. hahaha!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Make or break

I'm super glad I worked from home today, well, I've worked from home since Monday. But I'm more glad I worked from home today. There was a rally along Ayala and Paseo de Roxas in Makati and as with any rally, traffic would be gruesome. I totally get what they're rallying for or against, I did attend a couple of rallies back in the day when I was single. In fact, I would gladly join the march if I wasn't married and didn't have a son. I just didn't like the traffic it'll cause.

I did go to EDSA II for most nights of the revolution. Every night after work, I'd meet up with my housemates and we'd go to EDSA, to rally. The atmosphere was charged and the people's energy was contagious. Maki-baka! I did feel like I made a difference somehow.

Ironic that the President we now have and some are protesting against is the same one we put in place during EDSA II. I wonder now if we really did the right thing then. The lesser of two evils was the logic then. In hindsight, is she really the lesser of two evils?

I pray each night that our country will come of this politicking and emerge to become a better nation. We do have the right resources, we just need the right management.

I was able to catch the ANZ special on the Presidentiables. The first part where it was held at the Ateneo. I've never been impressed with Mar Roxas, more so now with his pending union with Korina. It's too orchestrated to be real. I also am not impressed with Villar. He could be a great example of some making it big, but to be President? I don't think so. With Cheese, I was impressed early on. He's young and well spoken. I always believed that someone who can speak well has a great mind. But lately, I'm not so impressed...I just wasn't swayed with his statements, too simple to be believable. I also like Teodoro, but I don't like the way he's using his current position and came up with Infomercial. I never liked Loren Legarda and I still won't think about voting her to be the next President. For now, Gordon is my man.I also willing to listen to the platform of Binay and Bayani Fernando. The thing though with Bayani Fernando is he needs to learn to present his thoughts better. Looking at Marikina, I do think he's a great administrator, but he needs to learn to communicate better.

Let's think hard about our next president. It's make or break for our nation.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Should I?

I'm working from home today, with the Hubs down with the flu, I had to stay home. But I don't want to work! It's so tempting to play hookie and just enjoy an extra day at home with the little one. He was actually nursing a slight fever after taking his bath. He helped the Yaya with washing the car and the weather's not too sunny. So ayun, he had slight fever after.

Anyhoo. Should I really work? My mind says I should, with my million emails to respond to and Friday being a holiday, I have to close out issues by Thursday. But it's too fun not to work, no?

Ayayayay. Ciao!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Vacation quotes

  • We finally had a vacation last week of May. My parents and sisters came to visit for a whole week. The Manila Ocean Park was our first stop, then we went to see Mall of Asia and then off to Baguio for about 3 days, we spent the Hubs' birthday there. We then stayed in a Makati hotel for 3 days, 2 nights.

    It was always great to spend time with family. We talked about so many things. And came to know the following:
  • My second sister gets very cranky when she's hungry! haha

  • My son does really have a great memory! He can remember road signs and can now definitely read :)
  • My Mom is getting old. But she likes to take vacations still, while she still can move about

  • My youngest sister can be spoiled but she can be kind too. And she adores my son to bits.

  • My hubs didn't grow up to have his family spend time like we do... and he's slowly liking the way we bond

and oh, got a few quotes from our mini vacation:

  • My son said this while spelling the wrapper of my crackers: "R-E-B-I-S-C-O, crackers!" Nice try little bugoy :D

  • We were discussing Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston and why Brad Pitt choose Angelina. I turned to the hubs and asked him who he would pick. He said "Carina" (that's me) which he got a "Cheesy" from my sisters :P

  • My youngest sister asked my other sister what do the people from Pampanga call themselves, to which my other sister without batting an eyelash answered "Pampangasians!"

  • Again, my second sister said that the rice from a restaurant we just ate at was like "NPA rice"

  • My son says this when he takes our picture "Look at me, smile!" quite like the grow up

I wish our vacation was longer. Hubs and I had to drag ourselves to work the following Tuesday, we actually had to take Monday off. Now we are back to reality, back to work. Until the next vacation in August :)