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.