Browsing Date

April 2010

My Very New Daily Checklist

Family By April 29, 2010 No Comments

As a result of today’s horrifyingly huge failure at work, I have come to the realization that aside from a planner slash organizer, a daily check list of little goals to accomplish is now an absolute necessity.

I used to just go about my day doing whatever came to mind. I used to say I do not need a planner as there is nothing to write except:

  • Do laundry
  • Iron
  • Clean bathroom
  • Bathe the dog Ewok

…once a week, and

  • Clean house
  • Take care of baby

…day after day after day after day.

Now I’ve got “work” coming in from all directions, though mind you very few of them are actually “money-making”, and I find myself in need of some serious time management skills.

Indeed, failures are nothing but lessons we need to learn, for as a result of today’s failure, I realized a lot of things.


Cinco de Mayo Events

Family By April 28, 2010 No Comments

Unlike the wedding in 2006 when we did every single little thing ourselves, from sourcing suppliers down to writing on the invite envelopes, I did not want to deal with anything DIY for Lia’s birthday. Not because we can afford it but because we could not afford the time, all the effort and energy needed to do it all ourselves. Or even do it all MYSELF since this party was my idea anyway and it was what mothers did for their kids. So I looked all over the internet for kiddie party packages and stumbled onto the Cinco de Mayo Events site on Multiply. Out of all the packages Google got for me, from Metro Manila all the way to Cebu(!), Cinco de Mayo Events had the lowest kiddie party packages with almost everything I needed or wanted.

This was the package I got my eye on


New sites, new homes, new people.. All this Month

Musings By April 27, 2010 Tags: , , No Comments

As evidenced by the absence of blog posts the past week, I have been out of town and been generally busy.

Three days after Ryan and I’s trip to Calaguas Island and Bagasbas Beach in Camarines Norte, Lia and I boarded the ITI plane to El Nido, Palawan – Lia’s first trip ever to El Nido and mine’s after two whole years.

In El Nido, I visited close friends all over town, old haunts, hung out at the beach, did island hopping, reconnected with the school which was my home back in 2005 and 2006, saw my old students and attended the graduation of my then-2nd grade advisory class from grade school. It has been 4 years since I last taught at Potter’s Place School and my, how my students have changed – both physically, emotionally and perhaps, psychologically.


Happy Birthday Pa

Family By April 21, 2010 No Comments


This is a photo of my father taken for his high school graduation book. I believe he was sixteen in this photo. Today, he is sixty-one. Happy birthday Pops!

I found a photo of us taken on the day of my wedding. I wish I have a better photo of us two.

Father and daughter, October 2006


Green Day’s 21 Guns

Music, Musings By April 21, 2010 Tags: , , , No Comments

Yesterday’s stress levels were an all-time high. It was the only day in this week that I was gonna go to work, having failed to show up for work on Monday as I was picking up the baby from in-laws, and dog from sister’s, and just unpacking stuff. As opposed to the healthy happy baby we left last Friday evening, we got one back who was running a fever, had watery eyes and runny nose. I spent all afternoon trying to get in touch with her pediatrician and all evening giving her medicine.

We went to the pedia very early in the morning, 7AM actually, and was informed our daughter had a viral infection, got prescription for 5 medicines and got advise and certificates for our travel for today. I was supposed to go to work all day. I did not get to leave the house as I could not leave my poor sick daughter like that.

I posted a status on Facebook and got a whole hullabaloo because of it. I was dumbfounded. I spent the rest of the day crying my eyes out, not only because I was tired from taking care of my baby, I was frustrated that I did not get to go to work, I did not know what to do anymore as my daughter kept crying at the simplest things and I got all kinds of flak on my own Facebook and from the person whom I least expected it from. No, erase that. I did not expect any flak at all from anyone. I had no intention to inflame, incense, offend – to make such a big deal to put it simply, with the status I posted. It was just a status. What a horrendously big deal that status turned out to be! I am still dumbfounded as of the moment. Maybe staying dumbfounded is best.

I made an unexpected S.O.S. to the husband who was at work so he could join me in a pity party I badly needed. Actually, that was not a pity party. It was a mature conversation about the whole thing because I was there, totally lost, and caught up in something that got out of hand before I knew it. Wow. Again, maybe staying dumbfounded is best.

That whole shebang actually led me to thinking I should stop posting Facebook statuses, making tweets and blogging in general. That’s of course understandable if you talked about social networking with someone who works on internet security for a living.

What a learning experience the past 5 days has been for me (I’m counting from Friday last week), and oddly enough, that whole experience reminded me I have not posted any music in a long time.

It’s time for some music. When your own words fail you, use someone else’s. I love you Green Day.

21 Guns
Songwriters: Armstrong, Billie Joe; Bowie, David;
Pritchard, Michael; Wright, Frank E.

Do you know what’s worth fighting for?
When it’s not worth dying for?
Does it take your breath away
And you feel yourself suffocating?

Does the pain weigh out the pride?
And you look for a place to hide?
Did someone break your heart inside?
You’re in ruins

One, 21 guns
Lay down your arms, give up the fight
One, 21 guns
Throw up your arms into the sky, you and I

When you’re at the end of the road
And you lost all sense of control
And your thoughts have taken their toll
When your mind breaks the spirit of your soul

Your faith walks on broken glass
And the hangover doesn’t pass
Nothing’s ever built to last
You’re in ruins

One, 21 guns
Lay down your arms, give up the fight
One, 21 guns
Throw up your arms into the sky, you and I

Did you try to live on your own
When you burned down the house and home?
Did you stand too close to the fire
Like a liar looking for forgiveness from a stone?

When it’s time to live and let die
And you can’t get another try
Something inside this heart has died
You’re in ruins

One, 21 guns
Lay down your arms, give up the fight
One, 21 guns
Throw up your arms into the sky

One, 21 guns
Lay down your arms, give up the fight
One, 21 guns
Throw up your arms into the sky, you and I


Baby Nathan’s Kitchen at the 49th Floor (Roofdeck) One San Miguel Avenue (OSMA) Building

Restaurants By April 20, 2010 8 Comments

We got our caterer and venue for Lia’s birthday party through our events planner. I was only supposed to get their kiddie party package but when we communicated online, the events planner told me she could also help me out with the venue as well. We have been looking for venues all over Quezon City and even considered the clubhouse in the village but there was nothing really concrete about our plans. It was a good thing the party planner got this venue for us.

The use of the venue/function room for 4 hrs is free with a minimum food catering booking of P15,000. In excess of 4 hrs, standard rate which is P1,200/hr applies.

Here are the following amenities as listed in Baby Nathan’s Kitchen’s website:


    tables and chairs
    mantle and tablecloths
    flower arrangement for the buffet table
    centerpieces for each table
    overhead screen
    sound system (amplifier, speakers, microphone)


Funshots Booth at Lia’s Birthday Party

Family By April 19, 2010 Tags: , , , , 2 Comments

Our party planner, Cinco de Mayo Events, booked this photo booth supplier for us. It was just our luck that Funshots Booth was having a promo for April to June 2010 bookings, that we got our 3-hr photo booth for only P6,000 instead of the regular rate of P8,000.

I would like to extend my most heartfelt thanks to my U.P. Rep family who sponsored this photo booth and made this [dream] possible. Thanks so much! The best gift you guys could have ever given! (Love you guysts!)

Ryan, Angku and Lia

Beryl, Alliana, Asi and Adi

Beryl, Alliana, Asi and Adi

My sister Jasmin and her son, Sean

My sister Jasmin and her son, Sean

Abet, Hasmin and Euan

Abet, Hasmin and Euan


Wishing You Were Here With Me

Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, MOMents By April 17, 2010 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

Right now I would be (or at least I hope so) in the island of Calaguas in Camarines Norte, having fun with friends and doing grown-up things, I suppose. No, I am not bloggin’ all the way from some remote island – this is a scheduled post.

I set this trip a few months ago thinking I would be able to bring Lia with me and not miss her a lot. I mean, not bring her with me to the island where we will be sleeping in tents, but I thought, maybe I could fly to Naga, leave Pili in the early morning of Saturday and get at the Vinzons port just in time for the arrival of the other beach bummers from Travel Factor and from then on, hook up with them to the island. The going back plan was leave Daet for Naga after lunch and be back to Pili in two to three hours. All things considered, I would only miss Lia for one night. But I had not factored in the event that I would have an actual job that has responsibilities and would not be able to fly out of the city whenever I wanted to.

Thus, the flying plan was scrapped and the bus plan came in. To be brutally truthful, I hate taking the bus. I cannot remember the last time I took a bus going to Bicol. I will not elaborate now as to why, but this much I will say, I never look forward to travelling overnight by bus. Just the thought of traveling by bus makes me think of not going..

.. but I guess (or at least I hope) I am now in the island and survived the bus trip. I am (probably) laughing and having so much fun with friends frolicking in the beach…

Only trouble is, I miss you, Lia love…

Lia love

My dear little one,

I wish you are laughing here with us just like we did in Matukad Island in Caramoan.

Sharing a light moment together, Matukad Island, Caramoan

And you are enjoying the sun on your face, the breeze blowing your hair, and the sand on your feet..

Sun and smiles at Matukad Island, Caramoan

We will play in the sand and splash water all around us, and over our legs and even at our faces..

Mother and child playing in the sand; Manlawi, Caramoan, Camarines Sur

Manlawi sand bar, Caramoan

I promise to put as much sunscreen on you and all over you so that you do not get burned like you did here:

The true beach babe; Manlawi, Caramoan, Camarines Sur

Manlawi sand bar, Caramoan

We can be castaways. You can stay naked all the time (isn’t that what you always want to be anyway?) and I will take care of you.

Mother and child in the island; Caramoan, Camarines Sur

I miss you Lia and I wish you were here with us.



Books for my Baby

Family By April 15, 2010 No Comments

Ryan and I came home at seven-forty five this evening to see our daughter still awake, almost two hours past her bedtime, just because she was waiting for us. Earlier this afternoon, she had clung to me like a jellyfish when she saw that I was preparing to go out. Only when I told her Mama needed to work did she let me go and only after I told her, “You know Mama would be back”. That was after I gave her like ten goodbye kisses and after I let her wave goodbye at me outside our gate. It was totally heart-warming to see my little one wait up for me. All my worries and stress all disappeared into thin air when I saw a big four-toothy smile light up her face.

I left the office a little before six. I thought about going straight to Eastwood where I was catching Ryan for a ride home, or dropping by this nice BookSale outlet I happened to chance upon one crazily hot afternoon when I was looking for a taxi after going from one Starbucks outlet to the next at the Araneta Center, all in the pursuit of a refreshingly cool “tall blended whipped cream mocha frappucino”.

I decided I was gonna be a “No day but today” person and walked a few blocks to the little store to get my daughter some books. I came home with nearly-P700 worth of books. 🙂

I got her these nice board books at P85 each.

Spring Fever! A Petal Tab book by Salina Yoon

12 pages of shimmery-petal pages filled with ladybugs, bumblebees, blue birds, butterflies, frogs and ducklings and a bright yellow sun. It would be nice to flip through this board book in the morning.

Lullabies Under the Moon by Giovanni Caviezel (Author) and M. Pledger (Illustrator)

12 pages of Little Bunny hopping off into sleepy time.

Product Description:

Little Bunny loves to play, and bedtime always comes too soon! But it’s always nice to say goodnight as Mother hums lullabies under the moon. Snuggle up warm in bed with Little Bunny and go to sleep to the comforting sounds of your favorite lullaby with this book and CD.

Good Night, Leo A Swashbuckling Adventure by Charise Mericle Harper

24 pages of adorable little Leo transforming from pirate to sleepy-head.

Product Description:

IT’S TIME FOR BED, and Leo must get out of his pirate costume and into his pjs, and as he removes each item of clothing, Leo fondly says good night. (“Good night, green bandana . . . Good night, red and white shirt . . .”) Meanwhile, his friend Teddy has other plans as he gets ready for a swashbuckling nighttime adventure. Young readers will love seeing Leo transform from pirate to sleepy-head with a cute surprise ending. This charming good-night book also teaches colors and object identification.

This book actually reminds me of another of Lia’s books…

Flip-A-Face: Big Little

Product Description:

This original and inventive book focuses on parts of animals’ faces, transforming big owl eyes to little chick eyes, pointy tiger teeth to nibbly mouse teeth—all with a flip of a die-cut page. These clever and changeable faces will delight both babies and grown-ups alike.

I got another board book for only P40.

Little One, God Made You (Inspired by The Purpose-Driven Life)
Written by Amy Warren Hilliker and illustrated by Carol Thompson

I loved this one the moment I saw it because it was very simple and it had little things that Lia and I could do… and illustrations of things Lia and I do.

God made you to love you, little one. There’s no one like you, no, not one.
No one has your tiny nose… Or your wiggly, squiggly toes..
No one has your silly laugh.. When you splash in bubble baths..
When you’re crawling or you’re creeping
While you’re skipping.. while you’re sleeping..
God made you to love you, little one.

Okay, I suppose I will post the other books I bought some other time, since all this looking at board books about sleeping is making me sleepy. I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow and I best be sleeping now.

I have not even packed! (panic mode) Maybe that’s just my subconscious expressing its non-desire to leave my little one. I am still very much pissed off with the Nikon service here in the Philippines. I am becoming more and more pissed off as each day, no, week, passes. I have a friend’s wedding to shoot tomorrow and I have no camera! I have got my schedule all messed up tomorrow to accommodate my borrowing of my sister’s camera.

Okay, I better go back to looking at these board books to get me into the calm, sleepy mode.


My Surfbum Fish

La Union, Travel, Travel Factor By April 14, 2010 Tags: , , , , , No Comments

Many of my Travel Factor friends were in Baler, Aurora this past weekend participating in the 2010 Surfvivor Beach Games and someone posted a blog about how great her Baler experience was.

This led to discussions on when we should come back to Baler and where to stay. At some point I said, “I wanna go back to Baler and bring my short board with me so I can maximize my use of it,” or something to that effect, and someone said, “So you’re using a short board now.. The shortest I’ve used is a 7’10.. Tyx [another friend who happens to be a managing partner of TF as well] has a 6 flat board. Bongga.”

I didn’t know what to reply to that, because to be honest, I bought this fish from my friend who did not want it anymore and did not bother to ask about the specs. I did not even know the brand. *laugh laugh laugh* And of course, in this photo, I do not see a brand name anywhere..


My board resting against the wall of “The Apartment” or “Surfer’s Inn” in San Juan, La Union

So the first thing I do when my friend from whom I got my board gets onto Yahoo Messenger is ask her the brand and the specs. And that led me to this:

And lo and behold, this specs (and original price):

2x 5’9 x 20 x 2 1/2
blue rail spray/blue rail & bottom spray
double wing swallow
Php 17,500.00

Holy crap, I have got a 5’9 board!! No wonder I had such a hard time staying on top of it as almost 1/3 of my body was off the board when I paddled out. I should work on staying on it, balancing it while waiting for a wave, on top of being on a wave itself. Damn! No wonder I almost wanted to give up! No wonder I got totally wiped out at the Point in L.U. and for the first time in my surfing life, actually thought I was gonna drown! Good thing my instructor (who goes by the name of Anthony Valdez by the way) was cool and always rushed to help me out. *straight face goes here, like really*

I distinctly remember crying out to him, “Help!” hahahaha.. and clinging to him for dear life when he got to me instead of clinging to board (for dear life) only because he was nearer hahahaha. Damn it.

That whole experience does not mean I am giving up on this board. It only means I have got to get to Baler soon so I can work on my fish board skills. 😉

By the way, here is where I got the info about my Surfbum board.


My Student Driver Permit… Finally!

Uncategorized By April 13, 2010 11 Comments

After many, many, many months, or perhaps years, I finally got myself a student driver permit! I have been asking Ryan for a long, long, long time to teach me how to drive, I think before I even got pregnant, but we just could not find the time for it.

I remember asking my own father to teach me how to drive using his car, but he said back then, “I am surely not teaching you how to drive WHILE you are pregnant!” This inability to drive has been such a hindrance to my activities when I am in Camarines Sur. My parents have a car that I keep wanting to drive when I want to get a quick CWC fix or a little trip to Naga City, but alas, I have no license. Or more like, alas, I do not know how to drive!

So Ryan started teaching me last year, after I had the baby and every time we had some free time. At first it was just up and down the street, and then a little bit around the village, then he let me drive the car for maybe twenty kilometers on our way to Bicol from Manila last Christmas break down Almeda Highway and let me drive again for maybe almost an hour on our way back to Manila. I must say driving down that nice deserted highway was fun, only if I did not hold on to the steering wheel too tightly that it made my fingers sore! Hahaha.

Our lessons stopped in the aftermath of the great Ondoy as we did not have a car for almost three months! But after we got it back, I drove a little bit every now and then, in little increments at a time, like from the house halfway to the village gate, then up to the village gate, then up to Ortigas Avenue and then the farthest so far within Metro Manila, from Red Ribbon in Libis all the way to U.P. Yup, I have been driving around a stick-shift car without a license. *straight face goes here*

Actually, about a month or so ago, I went to the Land Transportation Office satellite in SM Hypermarket Pasig and was told I am supposed to go to the office next to the Ynares Sports Arena. I made it there two weeks ago, with my daughter in tow, and was told that the person in charge of permits and licenses only go to work in the morning. I was like, WTF?

So anyway, today I finally made it to the LTO office in the morning!! In less than an hour and P318 poorer (plus P25 for the plastic case) later, I had my student driver permit in hand! In a month, I intend to have my non-professional driver’s license in my hand, gleaming and proud!

Student Driver Permit

A portion of the student driver permit

This is the procedure for Student Driver Permit application as published on the LTO website:

1. Proceed to the Customer Service Counter to have your documents checked for completeness, and secure a Driver’s License Application Form. (This form is available for download here. You can accomplish this form prior to transacting your business at the LTO.) Get a queue number and wait for your number to be called.

2. When your number is called, proceed to the transaction counters to submit all required documents to the Evaluator.

3. Proceed to the Phototaking/Signature Area to have your picture and signature taken when your name is called.

4. Proceed to the Cashier when your name is called to pay the necessary fees and obtain an Official Receipt.

5. Proceed to the Releasing Counter, present the Official Receipt and claim the temporary student permit/license.

This is the procedure I went through:

1. Get an application form from the guy on the table outside and fill out. Attach photocopies of NSO-issued Birth Certificate and NSO-issued Marriage Certificate. Present all forms to guy on table outside, who looks at original copies of NSO, takes the photocopies and application form and staples them all together and stamps them with, I assume, something that says “Authenticity verified” or maybe just “Verified.” He does not give them back to me but instead hands it himself to person in glassed-in counter.

2. My name is called out on the loudspeakers telling me to go to “Photographer A”. I see a sign overhead that says “Photographer A and B” with an arrow, and so I walk over. Get my photo taken, wherein guy actually says “SMILE!” and thus the big smile on my permit, and walks over to (wow, so sosyal!) WACOM tablet to give them my signature. I then walk over to waiting area to wait for my name to be called.

3. Person on loudspeaker calls out a list of names, including mine, to go to Cashier: Window 7. I go over to Cashier and pay P318.00. I walk back to seats and wait for my name to be called.

4. A person calls out my name in Window 8, no loudspeaker this time. She gives me my printed out student driver permit, along with my receipt and asked me if I wanted to buy a plastic case for my paper permit for P25. An image of Lia crumpling my permit and/or munching it in her salivacious mouth flashed in my head and very quickly, I say yes.

That had me walking out of the gate into the hot street that is Shaw Boulevard in less than an hour. Wow, that was really quick! I loved it! If only all government office transactions were as quick as that.

Related links:
* LTO services
* Quick link to the LTO’s Requirements for License/Permits Applications


Deactivated Voter’s Registration

Musings By April 12, 2010 No Comments

I was watching the news today about the usual, the elections, and of course, NAMFREL has something to say about missing registered voters’ names as well as un-updated voters lists, and someone was interviewed about checking his registration status online and not finding his name on the database… and we were like, “Wha…? You can now check your registration status online?!?”

But then I went back to my room, went back to processing and uploading photos and forgot about the whole thing.. until I went on my Facebook and saw my friend’s link on making sure one is on COMELEC’s registration list and checking one’s name online. Yahoo! I got the link and went on to check my name.. and this is what I got. *straight face goes here*

Screen shot 2010-04-12 at 11.17.31 PM

Well, so much for endeavoring to make it to until the May 10 elections, from my April 22 arrival (hopefully) with my daughter who I will be away from for three whole nights this weekend as we will be going on the Travel Factor trip to Calaguas Island. It’s going to be the longest time yet that I will be away from her. You would think this time I should be used to it but no I am not. The longest so far I have not been with her was two nights! My in-laws are picking her up Friday afternoon as we are leaving by bus Friday night going to Daet and we will be back Monday morning as the bus leaves Daet Sunday night. Technically, we will only be sleeping in the island one night but two whole nights are spent on travel alone. I really wish I could take Lia with me to the island (Calaguas) but we will be sleeping in tents and the boat ride might not be very safe.

I will, though, try my hardest to take her with me to El Nido on the 22nd. We are attending my students graduation. They were my students when they were only in 2nd grade, ages 7 to 8, and now they are graduating from grade school (ages 11 and 12). I wouldn’t miss their graduation for the world. It turns out though I don’t have to stay there until May 10th, as my registration has been deactivated for….

Screen shot 2010-04-12 at 11.31.00 PM

No, I have not been court-sentenced!! 😛 I came “home” late in 2007.. instead of making it to the May 14th, I arrived May 25th. I really don’t remember why. I do remember why I did not make it to the October 29th baranggay elections, I was a few islands away, in Coron! Oh my. Hahaha. 😐

Oh well, next elections I guess….


Lia’s Birthday Celebration

Family By April 10, 2010 No Comments


49th Floor (Roof Deck) One San Miguel Avenue Building
San Miguel Avenue cor. Shaw Boulevard
Ortigas Center, Pasig

This was mainly organized by an events planner, who took care of talking to the caterers, cupcakes and cake supplier and the photo booth supplier.

Caterer: Baby Nathan’s Kitchen
**(view related blog entry here)

Photo booth: Funshots Booth
**(view related blog entry here)

Photo documentation: Cheekay Torres and other friends

The cake, cupcakes and decors as well as face painting and ice cream cart were also handled by our events planner.


Happy Anniversary to the Mommy Me..

MOMents By April 7, 2010 No Comments

Today, I celebrate not only my daughter’s first birthday but my first anniversary as a mother. Today, I realized that I will always remember this date and celebrate it, not for my daughter, but for me. Every year my daughter celebrates her birthday, I will commemorate the day I became a mother – undoubtedly, the single most life-changing event of my life.

[more to follow….]


To Blog or Not To Blog

Musings By April 2, 2010 No Comments

I am all over the internet. I am very googable. I write a lot of stuff everywhere, post a lot of pictures and can be seen in every social networking site that ever hit this side of the planet. Sometimes I wonder if that is right, sometimes I wonder if it’s what I want or how I want things to be. Do I not value my privacy?

I have been asked more than once as to why I blog. I forget now how I defended myself or my actions but I am sure poorly.

Every now and then I ask myself that same question, why do I blog?

Yesterday I chanced upon someone’s blog, someone very close to me, and since it was an old blog, I went through three or four years worth of blog entries – and in the process, learned a lot about how that person thought, felt and how things, events, persons, were generally perceived. Close as we are, I did not know that side of her existed, or that those are her general thoughts and feelings, and in the end, I was left surprisingly and without my knowing it, bewildered and confused. That made me think, if someone close to me were to read my blogs, how would her/his perception of me change? More importantly, would I like this change?

True to my seemingly bipolar nature, there are times that I do not want to share anything about myself to anyone, that if I could erase everything about me on the internet I would. But yet again, true to my bipolar nature, these feelings are fleeting and I find myself coming back yet again.

I have not answered my own question in all these years, why do I blog? Perhaps it is time to answer, or at least attempt to come up with one that I hope I would myself believe when this feeling, this motive-questioning, comes back to haunt me yet again perhaps a few months or years from now.

I like telling stories. That is why I like to write. I have got so many stories to tell, so many experiences to share, and I want to because at the deepest core of my being, there is always this hope that somehow, someway, these stories, if only even one, will touch someone else’s life or perhaps leave a lasting imprint on someone’s thoughts – even if they do not really remember where they got it, much more who wrote it.

I blog not because I want people to know me, or help people understand me, my actions, the motives behind my actions, my deepest hurts and feelings, my joys and all these little tidbits of trivia of my very much insignificant life – but because I am just some ordinary person with an ordinary life, mundane, even mediocre at times, trying to validate my existence in this world wherein everything is ordinary, unless you do something (even just a litte bit) out of the ordinary, not for anything or anyone else, but yourself. This is me trying to make a difference. This is me trying to matter, not as someone specific, but someone blending in the general sense of things.