Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas 2009 Wishlist


With Christmas two weeks away, people have been bugging me what I want for Christmas. Some people have even remarked that I'm a difficult person to give Christmas gifts to. So, to make gift-giving easier (and as per my tradition), I'm posting my Christmas 2010 Wishlist:

1. Alarm Clock
Every year, somebody gives me a clock but somehow, I still haven't found one that I really like. I want an alarm clock that I can easily turn off when it buzzes so it doesn't wake up Leo. Digital or glow-in-the-dark numbers would be great so I can see in the dark.

2. Desk Organizer
My desk at home is a mess. I need to fix it especially when we're also reorganizing our room.  

3. Statio
I love stationeries. I correspond with a friend writing in longhand and the statios would come in handy there. Or when I need to write a note to people.

4. Picture Frames
There was a time when I would receive a lot of picture frames, but after awhile, I don't get them as gifts anymore. I would appreciate them now so I can display Basti's pictures.

5. Twilight stuff--especially a Twilight Desk calendar
Yes, I'm a Twilight fan. I have the Twilight shirt...any other novelty item with anything Twilight on it would be nice :)

6. Desk Calendar
There are several desk calendars at Powerbooks. I'm still searching for that elusive Twilight desk calendar but if there's none to be found, any of them would be nice (Dilbert, Simpsons, Baby Blues)

7. Handbag
Mind you, not just any handbag. It should be able to stand on its own when placed on the desk and should not be slouchy.

8. Checkbook wallet
My checkbook has it's own plastic case courtesy of my bank but I don't like the look of it. I saw leather ones before but I can't remember where I saw it.

9. Wallet
My wallet can hold 7 plastic cards and has space where I can place more. It also holds money and other IDs which I carry. Unfortunately, I can't find this type of wallet anymore and it's going to give up on me anytime soon. I wish I can find a replacement. It is 2" thick, almost 8" long and has a width of 4". If somebody can find a wallet for me with that specification, it'll be the best gift I'll receive this Christmas.

10. Vanity Kit bag
I have a separate make-up bag and toiletries bag in the office. Though I know it's not possible to combine the two due to the amount of make-up that I have, a vanity bag would be nice (for my toiletries) as my current bag does not close.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Goodbye, Yaya

I cannot recall crying over any household help that left us. Some of them, I would not even bother saying goodbye as they were quite a nuisance while there are some who are extraordinarily good of taking care of us but it was only fondness when we bad her goodbye.

At this instance, Yaya will be leaving in a few hours and I'm already crying as it is.

Amy has been with us for barely a year. We got her as Basti's yaya and she came to us January 10, 2009, a day after I learned I was 2cm dilated. When Basti came out, she was Basti's caregiver in the morning while Leo and I were left with taking care of Basti in the evenings. Eventually, we both gave up and called Amy for help as the 2-3 hours sleep were getting to us. She slept in the other room with a baby monitor by her side and she will just attend to Basti when he wakes up in the middle of the night.

Basti is now 10 months and she has taken care of him very well. Basti never got sick and is growing up rather well. He was not prescribed any vitamins as he's growing at the right rate and his appetite is healthy. Leo and I have come to depend on her and I've learned so much from her as well.

On my birthday, Leo called me up saying that Amy needs to leave as her middle child left home. Understanding that her family is her priority, we sadly let her go and she agreed to stay until today. Fortunately, her replacement also arrived this morning.

I know that this is a reality for working parents with kids--yayas coming and going--but I guess I never prepared myself for it. We treated Amy like family and with her leaving, I felt like I lost a member of our family as well.

We were lucky to have Amy when we needed someone to help us raise our child. Someone who will love our child as much as we love him and God sent her to us.

I wish her luck with her family and I hope that next time I get pregnant, she'll be available to work for us again.

Friday, November 20, 2009

December, Here I Come!


The next two weeks will be very interested indeed.

I have four events/deadline happening on the 1st week of December that I don't know what to prioritize first.

There's no definite date yet but my STRAMA paper (the success of which will be dependent if I'll be able to defend it next term which is the last hurdle for my MBA diploma) is definitely due on the first week of December. We will also be having our division Christmas party on Dec. 3 which also happens to be my birthday. Unfortunately, I was roped into organizing and participating in our group's presentation. Being a new employee, it's difficult to say "no" when you know that the big bosses are in attendance and they're quite particular of people not attending the parties.

Next week we'll have practice on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. However, I'll be on leave on Thursday to work on my STRAMA paper and there's the St. James Bazaar starting Friday which I intend to go to as it won't be too crowded. That leaves me Saturday to Monday to hopefully finish my paper.

At the onset of December, we will no doubt be cramming for our presentation and doing last minute practice sessions.

Our KL trip at the end of December would be very welcome considering how hectic my Christmas holidays will be.

Oh, have I mentioned that I'm also organizing Basti's first birthday party as well? (sigh)

Oh well, at least I'm watching New Moon in a couple of hours which I'm so looking forward to. A reprieve before the stress starts.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Basti's First Halloween




We initially couldn't decide on Basti's costume. It was supposed to be Nemo but it was too hot outside. Next option was a piglet costume that I think first belonged to Chloe. But he looked too much like a little girl so we opted for Batman!

Basti @ 9 months




Various pictures of Basti at 9 months old.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Hindi Ka Nag-iisa (Noynoy Aquino's MTV)

I can't help that my eyes teared up over this MTV and will no doubt have thousands and probably millions vote for the only son of the country's martyr, Ninoy and his equally loved wife, Cory. There's still a part of me doubting though whether he can do the job as he was pretty "quiet" when he was in the Senate. But considering the other presidentiables, I think Noy will do.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Picture Company Pics - 17Oct09




Bad Service

I don't know what is it about bad service that I've been getting these past few days. Makes me think whether I've been expecting too much from people and establishments as I've been getting disappointed.

Don't get me started on my rants (refer to my previous post) as negative emotions are bad for me but I can't help but get pissed. Just this evening when I was at Festival Mall, everything seemed to go the other way. First of all, the cashier at Bench took forever to ring up my purchases. The cashier beside her already checked out three customers while my cashier was still struggling with the register. Lucky me that I got a trainee.

When I went to Red Ribbon to purchase Basti's cake, the POS was not working so I had to pay in cash (I was using my BPI Credit Card as I already got a lot of freebies just by using that card).

Now, I found out that the CD that Picture Company gave me contained the wrong pictures. Moreover, they didn't tell me that it would take two weeks for them to make our Christmas postcards. Ano ba????????????????????????????????????? What is going on???!!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Rustan's FSP RANT


I initially wrote this post for an egroup, but I decided to also post this here. Sorry for the taglish language. I wrote this in anger.

----------------

Medyo long read at rant ito. Pasensya na. Uminit kasi ang dugo ko nung weekend.

Kumuha ba kayo ng bagong Frequent Shopper's Card ng Rustan's? Matagal ko na kasi gusto kumuha nito kaya yung nag-launch sila two to three months ago, kumuha ako. The date on my receipt is Sep. 12. Ang promise sa akin, I'll get my card within 2 to 3 weeks.

After 2 to 3 weeks, I called their customer service in Alabang (where I filed my application) and they said wala pa raw yung card. Sige, mabait naman ako so I waited for another week and called them again. Wala pa raw. Medyo nairita na ako and I called again until last Tuesday, they told me may dumating daw na batch at punta nalang daw ako. Na-excite ako kasi marami na ako gustong bilhin sa Rustan's (for gifts) pero nagpipigil ako kasi hinihintay ko lang yung card para ma-credit naman yung points ko (sayang ang points!). So punta ako doon only to find out wala pa yung card ko. Ok lang sana sa akin pero I didn't like the way they handled my complaint. They only gave me blank looks na parang wala silang pakialam kung wala pa yung card ko which made me more angry. They just got my name and number and said they will follow-up with the head office.

Kahapon bumalik ako to find out about the status of my card. Siyempre, wala na naman sila maibigay na sagot sa akin. Sabi ko, hihingi nalang ako ng refund pero sabi hintayin ko nalang daw. Tinanong ko pa sila kung puwede bang bumili ako ngayon and then they'll just manually credit the points. puwede naman daw. Pero nanigurado ako at pumunta ako sa isa sa mga cashier nila. Sabi, hindi daw at dapat dala ko yung FSP ko para ma-credit ang points ko. Ay naku, nag-shoot up yata ang BP ko doon. Yung husband ko hinila na lang ako palabas ng Rustan's kasi nararamdaman niya na ge-guerahin ko na yung customer service at cashiers nila. Gagawin ko talaga yun kung di ko lang kasama ang baby ko.

Kung tutuusin, hindi naman siya gaano big deal pero mataas ang expectations ko sa kanila. They're Rustan's for pity's sake and their customer service should be exemplary considering their clientele! Alam kong hindi naman matunog ang last name ko tulad nina Zobel or Ayala or whatever pero, I have minimum standards set for them. SM has better customer service than them considering masa market sila. Worse pa, I paid 350 pesos for a privilege that I can't even use!

Does anyone know where I can write a complaint letter? Kailangan ko kasi talaga mailabas ito sa kanila. Hindi ko alam kung mabibigyan ng action pero hindi ko talaga kayang palampasin ito. In all my years in shopping with them, ngayon lang talaga ako na-dismaya sa kanila. Sabi ng brother-in-law ko, hanapin ko nalang daw ang store manager at siya ang kausapin ko. Kung letter daw kasi, wala daw talagang sasagot nun. Hay naku talaga.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Basti's 1st Birthday Party

Start:     Jan 31, '10 3:00p
Galleria de Magallanes, Makati City

Friday, October 23, 2009

Looking for my Good Samaritan


Everyone has their tales to tell of Good Samaritans who came to their aid. Strangers who want nothing more but help without expecting anything in return.

I have my share of stories but there's this one incident that I've been remembering lately and by writing my story, I hope that I will meet this stranger to thank her for her help. Though the incident was not as life-threatening as others, it mattered a lot to me.

I was a grade school student in St. Scho Manila. I cannot remember the exact grade but it could be from grades 2 to 3 (years 1983 to 1985). Back then, we were required to line up at an open area outside the Grade School building before our class. Our usual practice was to leave our bags in our respective classroom lines and rush to the playground while we still have free time.

Our line was located beside a building. I bent down to place my bag and as I went up, I bumped my head against an aircon edge protuding from the wall. I remember how jarring it was and my hand automatically rubbed the sore spot. When I looked at my hand, there was a lot of blood and I could feel it streaming down my head. All I could remember was saying, "Ay, dugo." (Oh, blood)and staring at my bloody hand. My classmate must've started screaming or called for help. An upper grader (or a probably high school student), rushed to my side and pressed a handkerchief on my head. She then half-carried me to the clinic which was thankfully nearby.

They cleaned me up in the clinic and the doctor noted that the wound was not that deep thankfully not needing stitches.
Details after that are a bit sketchy now. I can't recall if I was hysterical or crying or was calm throughout the whole ordeal. All I remember was the kindness of that upper-grader who helped me. I can't remember if I thanked her or spoke to her and I hope someday I'll meet her again so I can say my thank you.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Lunch at Alba's with the Palileos - 6 Sep 09




More pictures of Arwen and Basti at Alba's

Basti and Arwen - 5 Sep 09




Arwen and Basti at Magallanes

Con's Despedida - Oct 11




More Basti pics. Hehe.
I tried taking a picture of Chloe and Basti but Basti moved last minute.
He's so cute. Hehehe.

Basti trying out his Halloween costume




I got this costume from Cheryll (thank you, Ninang!). He just looks SOOOOOOOOOOO cute!

Basti at 8 months - Sep 27




I totally forgot Basti's 8 month as it was the day of the typhoon Ondoy. We were too shocked with the devastation that the typhoon wrought in the capital.

We had lunch at ATC the next day to celebrate Mama and Papa's wedding anniversary as well. I got Basti a small cake at Bizu. I got the hat at Shopwise Sucat the day before (it was where I sought shelter after getting stranded in SLEX for four hours).

Basti the Red Nose Baby - Sep 21




Basti had a red dot on his nose as he kept pressing his face/nose against the screen of his playpen. Good thing it disappeared after several days.

Basti at MOA - Sep 20




We went to the BookFair at MOA last Sep 20. The rest of the pictures was taken at the restaurant where we had lunch. He was enjoying the high chair.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

World Teachers' Day


Our STRAMA teacher reminded us that yesterday was World Teachers' Day and we should think about our professors in the past who made a difference in our lives. I then thought of four teachers, one person in every aspect of my institutional learning life from MBA down to my pre-school years.

In my MBA studies, one professor comes to mind, Prof. Willy Cuason. He teaches Operations and Production Management and I appreciate how he challenges us and forces us to think for ourselves. Even if it was a Saturday morning class, we all managed rise up to his challenges. One certain exercise (which I don't think we have an answer until now) is why there are teller booths. All our answers were shot down by his rebuttals and we've ran out of reasons. I liked his stories of how operations of some companies (which shall not be named) actually work and the secrets behind them. When I got my 4.0, I knew I really earned it as I worked hard and appreciated the subject. Prof. Cuason basically taught me to question things and to think logically.

As for my College years at La Salle, there's Prof. Tomakin (I can't remember his first name!). He was my Algebra teacher when I was still enrolled in the College of Computer Studies. I recall hating Algebra and Calculus with a passion when I was in high school. I never could understand it but he somehow managed to drill into my brain how the whole thing works and how excited I was doing derivatives. I remember passing his exams and I think if I studied hard enough, I would've passed the finals (which pulled my final grade down as I flunked the finals). He's no longer teaching in La Salle so wherever he is, I hope he's doing well and inspiring students like me to appreciate the wonderful worth of Mathematics.

Moving further, I had a lot of inspiring grade school and high school teachers at St. Scho. But I remember Mr. Pulmones--our Chemistry teacher. Again, if I studied hard enough, I would've passed his subject with flying colors but he made chem certainly interesting. I remember when he was teaching us about conversion, he substituted the weird chemical names to simple names just to teach us how the whole process works and for us to understand it better. After graduation, I only saw him when I watched Ms. Saigon at CCP (I can't recall when that was). He was with me in the line and I greeted him telling him I was one of his students. Of course, he doesn't remember me but I will not forget our classes. I don't know if he's still with St. Scho but he must have a lot of white hairs now. Mr. Pulmones basically taught me how to simplify complicated things by looking at them in another angle.

Moving further on, I will never forget my pre-school teacher, Mrs. Tugade.

Mrs. Tugade owns a small pre-school in the heart of San Antonio Village where my parents used to hold office. It helped that Mrs. Tugade's daughter and my aunt are bestfriends so it was only natural that we study there. I remember looking forward to school. It has a distinctive smell that I can still remember up to now--the smell of crayons and mimeo paper. When we would arrive in school, we have to look for our names on the activity sheets arranged around the tables in the room. Once we find our place, we sit down and painstakingly copy our names letter per letter, perfecting our penmanship. Afterwhich, we would start answering the exercises that Mrs. Tugade drew for us. We matched and colored fruits and letters and afterwards, played in the small playground. We sang songs and got a star on our paper if we did our exercises right.

Those were indeed happy days. I last saw her two years ago at the funeral of my grandmother (and I visited her a year before that) and she amazingly looked the same. The make-up is still the same (I later on realized that she makes her face up differently than other people do--we call it the kabuki make-up) as well as her speech (she enunciates words perfectly). Back then, I thought she was really tall but when I saw her again, I realized I was just really small as I was a few inches taller than her now.

The Think and Try preschool has also grown. Though it's still the little school along Sampaloc, they now have a school bus and they've expanded the space. I would want my son to study in this school but it's too far from our place of residence. I would've wanted him to experience how it is to be a Mrs. Tugade student.

So, to Prof. Cuason, Mr. Tomakin, Mr. Pulmones and Mrs. Tugade, thank you so much for making learning fun. I believe that being a learner is now my greatest strength because you incalcated in me the value of continued learning. May you inspire more students as much as you have inspired me.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Magdasal na Tayo





We know it's already desperation when the weather bureau told us to say our prayers and prepare for the worst.



Pepeng (international name: Parma) is scheduled to slam into Luzon Saturday morning--one week after Ondoy (international name: Ketsana) poured one month worth of rain inundating 80% of the metropolis with floods.



When I went to work this morning, I took with me a change of clothes, a towel, water and snacks and stocked them in the backseat of my car. In case the rains would pour again tonight, I'm prepared to camp out in my car.



In my 33 years of existence, the only memorable storm that comes into mind was Milenyo (international name: Xangsane) when it hit Manila three years ago uprooting trees, damaging property and taking lives. I felt the wrath of that storm when it blew open the terrace doors of our house and it took three of us just to close it again. We ended up blocking the doors with a couch and bed to keep the doors closed.



According to news reports, Pepeng has sustained winds of 195kph with gustiness of up to 230kph. If my research is correct, it's definitely stronger than Milenyo which only had sustained winds of 130kph and gustiness of 160kph. No wonder PAG-ASA intends to raise Signal 4 in the affected areas once the storm hits land.



Leo and I have been stocking up mostly on Basti's needs. I already bought two more bottles of Wilkin's yesterday and though I have 1 can of back-up stock of Basti's milk, I still want to buy more as I'm really preparing for the worst. Leo bought batteries in case the power goes out, at least we can listen to the AM station for any news. I hate being kept in the dark in times of crisis. (However, when I was stuck in SLEX with rising floodwaters, I refused to listen to the AM station as the news was already scaring me).



God help us all.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kris Allen - Live Like We're Dying



I was rooting for Adam Lambert in last season's American Idol but this song made me love Kris Allen. It's his first single released post-Idol.

By the way, this is a cover of a song by The Script (known for their monster-hit "Man Who Can't Be Moved").

Picture


Though I've been seeing the devastation wrought by Ondoy since Saturday, it was only yesterday that I realized how devastating it really was. Blame it on me being desensitized by the violence and crimes that are shown daily but somehow, this cognizance hit home.

It took a picture to make me quickly call home just to hear my son's garbling, never mind if he didn't make sense. It was a picture in http://mb.com.ph/ that made me feel grief and empathy and it took a big measure of self-control for me not to empty out my bank account and give it to the flood victims. It was a picture that made me hug my son last night making him squirm from my tight embrace.

It was a picture of a two year old boy dug up from the mud after his house was buried in a mudslide Saturday morning. A man in a blue shirt was digging out a body of a two year old baby and it showed his thigh and his small white hand limp and almost closed in death.

I was haunted by images of that mud-covered thigh, thinking it might have been Basti's, or that small white hand that might have been my son's. Though I know my husband and I will do our damned best that Basti will be kept safe, I can't help my thoughts from superimposing my son's image on that small frail body.

It was a gruesome picture that I really refused to look at again after seeing it once (it did not help that I was eating my merienda when I saw that picture. For the first, I really lost my apetite). But I forced myself to look at it again and again hopefully to desensitize myself and make me appreciate my life and my blessings more. But at the back of my mind, I know that nothing will ever replace a human life and that for the mother of that baby, her life will never be the same again.

I just take refuge in the fact that he will never grow old and that he's now safe in the bosom of our Father's arms. He will not know pain or sickness and his innocence will never be marred by the evils of our society.

I pray for the victims that they'll be able to overcome this and rebuild their lives. I pray that I'll be able to help them as effectively as possible.

God help us all.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Ondoy Experience


Compared to the other victims of Saturday's deluge, my Ondoy experience is merely an inconvenience.

I started my Saturday with a gym session with my trainer at 9AM. By that time, it has been raining non-stop but it didn't bother me much. I knew there was a storm but it was only Signal No. 1 which to me, just means an extra hour of travel time due to possible traffic in SLEX.

I was supposed to head to Makati afterwards as I had a group meeting for our STRAMA case. I set off at 1030 and texted my groupmates if we're still on after seeing the rainy onslaught. I got a text message that it's called off when I entered south superhighway. I just shrugged as I could always get out at Sucat exit and drive through BF to get to Alabang.

Entering SLEX through Filinvest, traffic was already slow-moving. As this was a daily occurence for me, I just forged on. I figured it'll take me 30 minutes to an hour to get to Sucat with the way traffic was moving. However, I got nervous when I saw the floodwater at the base of the Alabang viaduct. I could hear it crashing against my car door due to the big trucks and buses that were displacing the water. I called Leo and cried when he answered the phone. The water was freaking me out and I was scared that it'll enter the car forcing me to evacuate or even scamper to the roof. He told me to calm down and head off to a high place. My mother-in-law also told me to just keep on pressing the gas to prevent the water from entering the exhaust. When traffic finally came to a stand still, I was fortunately on higher ground where water was just ankle deep. I could see people wading through the flood walking along SLEX.

I tried to relax by reading some articles but my mind was not in it. I was a bit wary of some men who managed to get inside SLEX and was offering to push the cars. One even knocked on my window asking if I wanted my car pushed. I just shook my head without opening my window or car door. I was scared as it is.

After four hours, the rain abated and when I saw that the small car ahead of me was able to forged through the floodwaters, I followed suit. I was out of SLEX less than a minute later and I quickly drove to Shopwise where I was able to use the CR and find something to eat.

I received word from my mother-in-law to stay in Shopwise from the meantime while I wait for flood waters in BF to subside. I also called my aunt who was in Manila Memorial who I intended to visit and she told me to wait until the coast was clear.

I stayed and shopped in Shopwise for the meantime and after receiving the go-signal, I left the shopping center and went to Manila Memorial to meet with my aunt. I stayed for 30 minutes and proceeded to go home.

I finally reached home at 530PM all in one piece. It was there that I finally realized how lucky I was compared to the others who have lost their homes. My heart goes to all of them and I'm trying find out how I can help. Somehow, giving financial assistance does not seem sufficient. I'll see if I can go to some donation center which would let me help in packing stuff.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

SGOT and SGPT


I haven't had an annual exam for almost three years now so I voluntarily went to our village clinic to have an over-all blood test. Since I've gained some weight since my last check-up, I knew they would find something and true enough, they did.

Bad news is that my uric acid and triglyceride levels are twice the number of a normal reading. I immediately went to my husband's uncle who happens to be a cardiologist and he prescribed medicines to bring down my uric acid and triglycerides. However, he mentioned that the SGOT and SGPT levels are high as well--the latter reaching three times that of normal levels! That alarmed me especially when he suggested that I get a liver ultrasound to check for damage. Apparently, I might have damaged my liver due to the fatty foods that I've eaten. Maybe that's why my metabolism is shot lately.

While waiting for my schedule, I'm now on a diet from fried stuff. I'm doubling up on my daily fiber intake (hello oatmeal, goodbye tocino, goodbye fried rice, goodbye friend egg) and I'm trying to figure out what other foods I should avoid.

There are good news though. My sugar and cholesterol levels are thankfully within normal ranges. Thank God! At least I only have to worry about my liver for the moment.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Travel Kuwento: Bohol August 21-23, 2009

At the start of August, I already asked Leo where we will celebrate our second wedding anniversary. Last year, we went to Subic and this year, I want to go somewhere else again. I can't remember how we arrived with Bohol but I can recall that there was not much discussion involved. We somehow just agreed with Bohol.

We next settled with the date. We initially wanted it during the long weekend of our anniversary. But since I had finals, we moved it a week earlier which happens to be another long weekend.

As we only had two weeks until our agreed date, I rushed everything. I booked online and we got Cebu Pacific this time around. We also found a nice resort as recommended by my online friends.

The reason why we chose Cebu Pacific other than it's price, is that it leaves Manila a tad later than PAL giving us more time to get to the airport (via Skyway!). Also, I wanted to see NAIA III.

I woke up all excited as I've really been looking forward to this trip. I was a bit sad too as we'll be leaving Basti behind (my in-laws though, took him to Tagaytay). We arrived at NAIA III two hours before our flight. I expected the worse and I was surprised by the cleanliness of the airport and how it can really rival airports from other countries. I do hope that the government settle whatever they would need to settle so they can fully operate the airport. It beats NAIA I hands down!

We had breakfast at one of the airport kiosks (food choices are definitely better than NAIA I) and patiently waited for our flight. It didn't take long though but we were diverted to another gate as the flight before us was delayed.

Flight to Bohol only took one hour and a half. I was again pleasantly surprised by the plane. It's clean and the interior looks new--like the PAL plane that I rode going to Singapore last year. Our photo was taken by our window-seat seatmate who kindly offered to do so.


As we were not seated by the window, I was not able to take a good photo of Bohol from up in the air. I assume though that it looks exactly like in the map. The airport is surrounded by hills and trees, typically provincial Philippines.

We requested for an airport transfer and we were happy to see that the driver from our resort--Alona Tropical--was there at the gate. He took us to a Toyota Vios and after loading our luggage, drove out of the airport and on the way to Panglao Island. I asked if we'll be taking a bangka ride going to the island and he mentioned, much to my relief, that there's a short bridge connecting both islands eliminating the need for a boat ride.

Seeing the coast was such a welcome sight. The water was so inviting and so clear! You could really see your feet underneath the water and it feels like you're swimming in a pool! This was the view from the restaurant at our resort. The beach is just FABULOUS!!!Makes you want to jump right in...and here's another unobstructed view.

We opted not to go anywhere on our first day and just stayed at the resort. We (or rather, I), swam in the beach in the afternoon and we even tried out their pool (it's SO deep as they also use it for teaching people on how to dive). We also explored the stretch of beach and found other resorts where you can have lunch/dinner, which we did that night.

DAY 2
As discussed with our tour guide/driver, we wanted to do the land tour thing on the 2nd day. I only have two things that I wanted to see in my must-see list--the must acclaimed Chocolate Hills and the indigenous Tarsier. We set out at 8AM and started off to Chocolate Hills which was an hour's ride from the resort.

We first stopped at the Sandugo sight (which was a replica of the "agreement" made by the locals with the Spaniards). Unfortunately, there were too many tourists waiting for their turn with the statues so we only took a few pictures.

Though I lacked sleep, I was excited in seeing the sights that I barely noticed my tiredness. The tourguide/driver was also full of trivia and tidbits about the towns and landmarks that we passed. I'm very impressed with him and I assume that the rest of the guides are the same as well. Whoever trained them did a damn good job and I commend them for their effort and success.

My first glimpse of the famed Chocolate Hills was full of awe. Apparently, the hills fan through 3 or 4 towns and I asked the driver to stop so I can have a picture with the first few hills. The small hill at the background is indeed a chocolate hill. The bigger ones though are further into the island's interior--which we'll be seeing later on.


Finally, we got to the base of the viewing deck and the climb towards the viewing deck was definitely worth the climb (200+ step!). The view is absolutely magnificent and marvelous! There were hills as far as the eye can see! You would really wonder how these hills came to be and they would really look like little chocolate kisses come summer when the hot summer sun turns the grass covering the hills into brown.

After probably an hour at the place (we had ice cream at the base of the viewing deck), the driver returned for us and we traced our route back to the resort. Stopping at places of interest for us. Oh, another interesting thing to note, the restroom there has aircon inside! People wanted to stay inside the restroom because it was SO hot outside. Me included. Hehe.

Our first stop back was the butterfly farm. I felt it was no different than the other butterfly farms in the Luzon island but it was the first time that I held a live caterpillar and let a butterfly rest on my hair. Seeing the insects flutter about the garden was also very relaxing and I somehow got over my fear of them. There's an urban legend that if a butterfly wing touches your eye, you'll get blind. Apparently, there's no truth in that--according to our guide.

After the butterfly farm, we finally got to a place that lets you view the tarsiers and like other tourists, I was able to get a shot with the famous mammal. Apparently, there are a lot of tarsier farms in the area and we were brought to this one. We're not allowed to touch the little guys so I tried to get as close as I can without bothering them. This was the best shot that we got.

Another thing I love about Bohol was the churches. We visited two of them and both of them are quite ancient. If I'm not mistaken, they were built way back during the Spanish era. I also learned a bit of trivia. This church is the second oldest church in Bohol. According to Wikipedia, it was originally built in 1602, but soon reduced to ashes. The bell tower of Loboc is about 100 meters from the church.

We also visited another church, the Baclayon church. This church was initially built in 1596 and located near the coastline. Next to the church is the old convent (which we also visited) which also houses a small museum with centuries-old religious relics, artifacts and other antiquities, dating back to the 16th century. Here I am posing outside the church.

After the churches, we had lunch at one of the boats cruising the Loboc River. While having lunch, we had a local singer serenading us with local songs (and even Japanese songs for the tourists). This shot was taken towards the end of the cruise and I felt so calm and peaceful while looking through it again. There's really something about the sea can calm a person (I think there's a psychological test somewhere on how you look at the sea).

The cruise took around 30 minutes to an hour, I think. We stopped by a "settlement" where local people dressed up in tribes gear entertained us with their drums and dance. Other than that, it's just seeing the palm trees along the river and enjoying the music, food and view. Really something that a Bohol visitor should experience.

We got back at the resort at around late afternoon and I could feel myself coming down with something. Apparently, I caught a cold because of the abrupt change in weather (it was hot outside and after sight-seeing, we would take shelter inside the car where the aircon was on at full blast).

DAY 3

We were at the Tagbilaran airport right on time. Unfortunately, I was nursing a cold and I tell you from experience that it's so difficult to fly with a clogged nose. I was so miserable throughout the whole flight even the cold medicine that I took could not knock me out.

Anyway, the Bohol trip was the best local trip that we've had so far. That island is so beautiful and there are still a lot of things that we were not able to see. I'm looking forward to going back and hopefully, we can bring our brood along.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Immortal


I have never really pondered hard over my mortality. Whenever a relative would die due to sickness, I would just shrug and say that it's a fact of life; that it's something that I have to accept. I would grieve and move on without thinking or learning from the experience. I never really thought about it, except for today.

My seatmate at work has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Though the tumor is still treatable, it still scares her. She's married with two young children and she worries about them if something does happen to her. It worried me too. See, I'm at risk to such life-threatening diseases yet I don't try hard enough to change my lifestyle or my habits. I would start but I'd end up reverting back to my unhealthy food.

I don't know if this is the wake up call that I'm waiting for. I know I managed to lose weight before and I can do so again. Willpower...

Lord help me.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Driving Peeves


I've been driving for six months now and though I'm still not yet a fully confident driver, I have several peeves which can almost brings me to road rage:

1. Zip Zip Zoom!
I know that for some people, the motorcycle is the only form of transportation they can afford and it can definitely save on time and commute fare. However, I really hate it when they drive as if they own the road. I almost got into a couple of accidents because of motorcyles. And I cannot understand why they are allowed on that stretch of highway from Nichols going north. They would just zip right past you out of nowhere.
I know that there are decent motorcycle drivers out there but this is just based on my driving experience.

2. Tabi Tabi Po!
This is prevalent in our village actually. The maximum speed limit in our village's main roads is 60kph. However, there are some who drives at 40kph and they won't even drive at the slow lane to give way. It really doesn't matter if I'm on my way home but there are times that you just want to get home and there's this long stretch in front of the slow moving car that you just want to get to.

3. Left or right?
The reason why the turn signal is installed is so that other drivers would know if the car before him or approaching him would be turning left or right or going somewhere. It irks me no end if a car would suddenly change lanes or turn somewhere without signaling thus leaving me stuck behind him. The switch is so conveniently located near the wheel so it's easy to reach without your hands leaving the wheel but people still don't use it.

4. Singit
I see this everyday especially at SLEX. Sometimes I'm a victim of cars cutting in front of me. I try to drive carefully and fast enough to ensure that the gap between me and the car in front of me will not allow the cars from the "rogue" lane to make singit. It's really unfair. Nakakapikon.

5. Is It Really An Emergency?
On my way to work last Tuesday, 8 ambulances and cars with "wangwangs" passed through the traffic at SLEX at different times and I wondered if there was an accident somewhere. I tuned in to the AM radio and there was no news of an accident that would require such emergency assistance. I had a suspicion that these were just people who wanted to travel through the snail-pace traffic of SLEX the fastest way. I also suspected that one car with the wang-wang is a politician.
COME ON! Bear with the traffic like the rest of us peons! I hope that someday sila naman ang ma-karma.
My friend says that he always gives way even if he has that suspicion as he's scared that if time would come when he would be the one in the ambulance, he doesn't want to get hit by karma.

Anyway, as my driving experiences lengthens, I'm sure this list will grow proportionally as well.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Malaysia, Simply Asia

Leo and I will be going to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on December 26 and will be back on December 30. KL was not our first choice actually. We were debating between Singapore, Cambodia and Vietnam but we ended up with KL (I've already been to Singapore; there's no direct flight to Cambodia and Leo will be having a company meeting at Vietnam next month). We bought a guide book on KL and we'll do our own tour thing. We prefer it than rushing from one place to another.

Map of Malaysia taken from http://www.oceaneering.com/uploadedImages/Locations/Malaysia_KualaLumpur%20copy.jpg

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Crawling Basti




Basti is now a crawler. He actually crawled from his room up to my mother-in-law's room which is a few more meters after the video stopped.

Adaptation


It has been more than a month that I've been here with my current job. People were afraid that I'll have difficulty adjusting but I learned how to adapt quickly. I've always prided myself of my resiliency and I'm happy to say that this trait of mine did not disappoint me this time around.

Though my current employer and my former employer are in the same industry, they don't look like that they do. I won't make comparisons on how they run their respective companies but maybe the biggest difference would be the culture. Coming from a fast-paced and long-hours working environment, it was a welcome break to stay in the office only from 830 to 530 and not seeing the big bosses everyday.

Of course, it came with a price. I had to replenish my closet as my current employer is very conservative and prefer their female employees be dressed in suits and closed shoes. At least I'm not required to wear a skirt but corporate attires are very much preferred, yes, complete with the make-up. I also had to be more conscious with my time as attendance is very much monitored.

The technology is also very different. Since I now work for a local bank (a big one at that), their technology is not that advanced as my previous employer which was an international bank. Instead of MS Office, we're using OpenOffice.Org. Since we recently switched to this software, I have yet to see if it is indeed better than MS Office. We were caught by surprise as the switch happened this weekend and my officemates have been bombarding IT with calls of assistance.

I'm happy where I am right now. What I got in return can be very much outweigh the liabilities. I got my life back and hopefully, I'll be able to use my free time wisely.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bohol Trip




Leo and I went to Bohol on August 21 to 23 to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary.
We stayed at Alona Tropical Beach Resort at Panglao Island.
Bohol is such a very beautiful and enchanting place. We will return there someday and we'll bring Basti. He'll surely enjoy it.
Take note, it's not expensive as other people would say. It's really cheap. The airfare is more expensive than what we spent for the room and other expenses. Better if we were able to find cheap fares going there.

Friday, August 21, 2009

2nd Wedding Anniversary

Start:     Sep 1, '09
Wow, it's been 2 years since Leo and I got married. A lot of things has happened since then and most of it was this year.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Final Stretch


When I took a leave of absence from my MBA studies two years ago, I told myself and my husband (then my boyfriend) that I'll only take a leave for one term until I'm fully settled with my new job at SCB. It turned out, I was away for more than that because I got married then I got pregnant. After giving birth, I knew I had no other excuse so I went back to school this term.

As I was already beyond the prescribed period, I was tasked to take a penalty subject (an additional elective) pushing up my remaining units to 9. I took a finance elective as it was my waterloo and hopefully it will help me with my final paper (it's indeed a helpful subject).

Today is the start of enrollment for the next term. I've been struggling since this morning trying to figure out what subject to take. I initially enrolled for an elective on Risk Management, a subject which really interests me as it's my line of work now. But I backtracked and changed it to a lighter elective (Managing Corporate Wellness) and the dreaded integrating subject--Strategic Management. Since I'm returnee who's already beyond the prescribed period, I'm given a year to finish my subjects and take my OCE. I figured if I do the one time big time now, I have two terms for my OCE. This was also the advice given to me by the GSB people and my boss.

Leo has been scaring me as the STRAMA professor is known to be tough with exceptional standards. He said it's like taking two subjects already so it's best to be taken alone. I figured if I survived working for tough bosses who demanded the best from me, then I could survive this subject. Besides, my workload in the office is not as heavy as before. I hope I did not bite off more than I can chew.

So, STRAMA. you are mine next term. Bring it on!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Typing SKILLZ


I have always been pleased with my typing skills. I can type using all my fingers instead of the pindot system that most seem to favor. I can also type without looking at the keyboard and just starting at the paper that I'm transcribing. According to an application in Facebook, my typing speed has already reached 100+wpm. Not a mean feat, I tell you and one that I'm surely damn proud of.

I got my typing skills (which was further developed by hours of online chat) from my high school teacher. I think her name was Mrs. Ponce. Back then, typing class was mandatory and mind you, we didn't have computers then. We had to learn typing using the manual typewriters and we had to learn it the old-fashioned way. Centering does not entail choosing an option from the Format tools section. It involved finding the paper's center and a complicated computation. Who knew there was a science to it?!

Liquid paper was the favorite school supply and the roller-type white outs were unheard of then. We would get calluses from pushing at stubborn typewriter keys and struggling with that return lever (the metal thing that you push when you need to go to the next line). Environment awareness must not yet be an in-thing then because a lot of bond papers were wasted due to numerous typing errors which were too many to be corrected by liquid paper. Delete keys were unknown and making numerous copies involved the use of carbon paper.

I just remembered our VERY cheesy production when our Typing teacher made us present something about typing. Our group presented something with James Bond as our theme...get it...my name is Bond...Bond Paper (all together
now...CHEEESSSSYYY!!!!!! Wahahaha!).

As our final exam, we had to wear blindfolds or masks and put a paper bag over our heads (I kid you not!) and type her dictations. She uses a triangle to signal that time was up and we would laugh at what we've typed after removing our head covers.

It's probably an unorthodox (and funny!) way of teaching touch-typing but hey, it surely worked. My typing SKILLZ now rock!

Monday, August 17, 2009

I Will Not Vote for You


I am pissed at these electoral candidates who are already campaigning when campaign period has not officially started. You know who they are. Those so-called public officials who churns out political ads in the guise of infomercials. It makes me literally sick. Think about it. If they can bend the rules today, what makes you think they will not bend or break the rules when they've been elected?

No, I will not vote for you Manny Villar (obvious na trying hard)
No, I will not vote for you Mar Roxas (mas obvious na trying hard and what's with the magazine covers? I almost threw away my PEP issue for the month!)
No, I will not vote for you Ronaldo Puno (sino ka ba?)
No, I will not vote for you Bayani Fernando (your Facebook ad sucks, by the way)
No, I will not vote for you Jamby Madrigal (distributing yellow bracelets with your face on it during Cory's funeral was absolutely distasteful)
and most and foremost, I will not vote for any of GMA's cronies who went with her to the US and spent almost 2 Million Pesos (probably some of it coming from MY HARD-EARNED MONEY) gorging themselves with cholesterol-laden food.

Let's see who will be left and I really hope to God that someone is worthy enough to take on our lost cause.

I previously wrote that I was scared that with Cory gone, no one will wake me from my apathetic state. I was wrong. Her death actually woke me up from my indifference. I began to care again about my country's welfare. I began to open my eyes to the disgusting things happening with our government. Most of all, I took accountability for that mistake I made five years ago when I voted for GMA. (Well, probably seeing the tax that is being withheld from my salary every payday and knowing it goes to the pockets of these officials makes my blood churn).

They say that I am only one person and my voice will not be heard. But my voice together with another and another and another will be one big voice by next year.

If that does not work, I'm a firm believer of karma. What goes around, comes around.

As Conrado de Quiros said in his today's column, May araw din kayo.

Friday, August 14, 2009


WHAT NOW?

It has been a week since our beloved former President Cory was buried and I still can't get over her demise. I purposedly did not write anything about her in my blogs as I feel that enough has already been said. But to still feel this bereft for almost 2 weeks since she passed away, I have to write to try to express what I feel.

Though I only met her once in my life--I just saw her onstage delivering a talk in our alma mater--I feel that a big part of me was gone. I still devour anything written about her. My eyes still tear up whenever I read new stories about her legendary humility and kindness. I would scour the newspapers looking for any new tidbit that the press might have missed during her funeral.

One thing I learned these past two weeks, Tita Cory, though how venerable and saintly other people might proclaim her to be, is not perfect. She knew nothing about running a government but her character helped her with the transition from a dictatorial to a democratic government. It was this character of hers that drove people to the streets either to oust a person in power or to condole with a family in their grief.

I guess people know innate goodness when they see one. I cried buckets when Pope John Paul died as he was the personification of goodness. Though he is only human, he practiced what he preached. He learned to forgive what others might deem impossible and his benevolence shone from him like a beacon, drawing the hopeless into the his light. It's the same case with Tita Cory. Her kindness radiated from her and touched everyone who sees her. It somehow converted the cynics in all of us and made us believe that there are still decent people in our ugly and cruel world.

I plead guilty to the fact that there was a time in my catatonic state that I was wondering why she wanted President Arroyo to resign. Weren't they allies who ousted President Estrada from Malacanang? Why is she trying to shake things when we are on the road to recovery? I would hate it when they would parade down Ayala shouting for leadership change while I peer down from my windowseat wondering if they'll be gone by the time I go home. I was apathetic and I would only think of the pathetic state of our country when I would see the tax withheld from my salary twice a month. I had problems on my own and I refused to think of the state of our nation and the trials that we had. Let the lobbyists and the politicians think about it.

I cried and am still crying because I'm ashamed that with Tita Cory gone, no one will be able to wake me up from indifference. That with her gone, I will end up ashamed of being a Filipino.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


BAD HAIR DAY        

It's been a long time since I posted something. Nothing like a bad hair day that would power up a rant.

Actually, I blame my non-posts to Facebook's Farmtown and Farmville. I've been playing those two applications for the past two weeks and there's something addicting on levelling up. Never mind if the application would take its time loading up, I would patiently wait for my avatar to finish harvesting and plowing before I hie off to the marketplace to find another employer. There's something about virtual farming that makes life fun. I can't say the same for the real farming though. I doubt peas and potatoes would be ready for harvest in a day. Hehe.

As mentioned in my previous post, my last day at SCB was July 3. I started my new job on July 16 and I'm now almost four weeks in the job. I miss my friends in my former company but I take refuge in the fact that I get to go home at 5:30 on the dot and I have more time to do my extra-curricular activities (i.e. go to the gym and shopping). Best of all, Basti's still awake when I get home and I get to witness his heartwarming giggles and gurgles and his other milestones. It makes me feel good knowing that my son still recognizes me and smiles whenever he sees me when I get home.

I'll be crossing off two items in my project list by the end of the month. Not only will my husband and I be celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary, we will also be going to Bohol--a place where both of us has never been before. We'll be leaving Basti to the care of my in-laws while Leo and I explore this place that I've heard so much good things about. Can hardly wait!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Get Milk!

I buy Basti's milk (Enfalac A+) on a weekly basis. I could stock for a month but shelling out almost 4Kphp/month on milk sounds shocking compared to 835php/week (besides, minsan si Leo bumibili. Hehe).

I went to Shopwise yesterday to buy juice for our school case presentation today and I thought I'd buy milk for next week's supply. I blinked when I saw the price at Shopwise. The price says 932.50 php. I thought maybe it was just wrong so I opted not to buy.

This afternoon, I was again at Festival Mall so I went to Savemore to check out Basti's milk. I was shocked when I saw the same price. WTF??? I can handle a 5 peso or 10 peso increase, but 100 pesos?

I still opted not to buy and decided to go to South Supermarket where I bought his milk last week. I was not surprised anymore when I saw the 100pesos price increase. I just really hope there's a good reason for this increase.

Monday, July 06, 2009

At Last...



After 10 years, I finally get to say goodbye to a place that has been my second home.

I tendered my resignation from SCB last June 4. As agreed with my boss, I'll be staying for 30 days, which I did and my last day was last Friday.

It has been a great 10 years. Of course there were ups and downs but if one would graph my career, the trend is going up. This has been my longest employment ever so it's only natural that I feel melancholic.

My last day was the happiest and saddest day in my life with SCB. I was touched with all the messages of thanks and being missed. The first person who made me cry that day was our CB Head when he thanked me for my efforts. I managed to get a hold of myself but I again cried when my boss gave me a surprise despedida party. I was really surprised and that made me cry more.

Looking forward to starting my new career with another bank.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

My Last Days at SCB - Revised




My last week with SCB was packed with lunches and dinners.
On Monday, I had lunch with Malou (CCPL Head's EA) and Anne (CB Head's EA). They treated me at North Park.
On Tuesday, Tina treated us at Recipe's as her way of thanking us for putting up with her pangungulit (it was her last day as well). My boss gave me a despedida dinner at Friday's with my CAU Team and other Credit Top team members.
Wednesday, I had lunch with Peter and Dale from Marketing again at North Park and dinner with the Account Creation team under CB-Operations where CAU used to be under a year ago at Cyma.
Thursday, I had lunch with Jen, a college friend at Tempura and Friday, I again had lunch with the Account Creation Team this time at Brother's Burger. I capped off the night with Marvin and Vanessa at Luk Yuen Glorietta 5.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Last Day at Work

Start:     Jul 3, '09
After 10 years (including 1 year as contractual/probationary), I'll be leaving SCB to work for another company.

I never thought this day would arrive but it's now here. SCB has been my home for a decade and now it's time to say goodbye. I guess having a child makes you reassess your priorities and your outlook on life.

I'll be starting my work at another company on July 15.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sebastian's Photoshoot at Picture Company - 23May09




My sister-in-law is a member of Picture Company and she invited us to bring Basti for a photoshoot.

These are just some of the photos that were taken during that day. Basti was so cooperative and in such a jolly good mood during the whole time. He's just SOOO adorable!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Back to School

Start:     May 30, '09 12:00p
End:     May 30, '09 3:00p
Location:     RCBC campus
After 2 years, I'm returning to school tomorrow.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ellen DeGeneres Commencement Speech at Tulane University (2009-05-16)

I really love Ellen DeGeneres. She was asked to do the Commencement Speech at the Tulane University and listen to what she has to say. This was surely NOT the most boring commencement speech ever!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

David Archuleta Says Thank you!

I WAS THERE!!!





I guess he did tape this when he got back to his hotel from the concert. He was wearing that same outfit.
I could really attest to the thousands of people who were there. Everytime the camera would pan across the crowd, you will only see people alllllll the way to the back. Heck, you can't even see where the crowd ended.
And the people--the people definitely loved Archie and Cookie.
I got pictures but they're all blurry. I'll try to post the acceptable ones soon.

I LOVE DAVID COOK AND DAVID ARCHULETA!!!! I want to watch them again!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Britain's Got Talent - Jamie Pugh

This person will give Susan Boyle a run for her money. He also sang a song from Les Miserables which show-cased his pitch-perfect voice. He's a pizza delivery man who lost his wife to cancer 10 years ago. His performance brought tears to my eyes.

Who do you think will win?


Lola Remy's Burial - May 1




We buried Lola Remy on May 1. There was a funeral mass at 9am at the Magallanes Church and we proceeded to Manila Memorial Park afterwards.

We picked up Basti at home before returning to Magallanes to make Lolo Gening smile.

Basti @ 3 Months




Basti turned 3 months on the day that Lola Remy passed away. It was also supposed to be Chiqui's (the wife of Leo's cousin) shower party.
As his development milestone, Basti also learned to roll over on that day. Unfortunately, I was not able to take a video until only recently.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Labor Day

For those not following my multiply blog, I wrote a post which you can read here detailing what happened the past two weeks that I returned to work. I use to enable the cross-posting between blogs but I changed that.

Well, I'm now a working mom again. I miss my son a lot when I'm at work but I guess it's something that I have to get used to. I just cherish every moment that I have with him and try not to linger when I have to leave for work. I just live on the thought that Leo's here and he'll ensure that Basti's ok and well taken care of.

There might be some changes coming up soon and I'll post about it once they're in place. :D

Friday, May 01, 2009

The Past Two Weeks - Back to Work and R.I.P.

It has been a harrowing past two weeks. Not only did I have to adjust from being a stay-at-home mom for the past 3 months to being a working mom, but Leo's maternal grandmother passed away last Sunday.

On my first day back to work, I stayed in the office for almost 14 hours as I had to get things back on track. There were so many changes that happened in the 3 months that I was away that I had to catch up quick. Not only that, I now have a different boss!

I cried when I got home and saw that Basti was asleep (his bedtime is 9PM). I didn't want to wake him as he just fell asleep. I tried waking him up the next morning to breastfeed but he was so soundly asleep. I tried my best to go home early but I couldn't leave early as my bosses wanted me to make sure that my team delivers.

On the 26th, we were peacefully enjoying our Sunday morning when the househelp urgently knocked at our door asking for Leo. Mama was crying hard and almost hysterical. Apparently, something happened to Lola Remy and she's going to Magallanes in a few minutes. Leo and I quickly dressed (without taking a bath!). Leo took one car while I accompanied Mama and the driver in another car. She continued on crying in the car but calmed down a bit when we were in the highway.

When we got to Magallanes, she quickly got off the car while I got her things. She was greeted by Leo's cousin who was crying at the door. She ran to Lola's room and started crying again. Lola Remy peacefully passed away in her sleep that morning.

The next few days were late nights (I passed by the wake at Magallanes before going home) and Basti's already asleep by the time I get home. Since I'm bringing a car, I wake up earlier than usual as I don't want to get stuck in the rush hour traffic. By Thursday, I was a walking zombie and I can barely function at work. Even my boss noticed it and told me to get some rest. Good thing it was month-end so I was able to leave at 6PM.

We buried Lola Remy yesterday. It was again an emotional moment as everyone was saying goodbye. During the eulogy, four people spoke on behalf of Lola's family. Jack, who represented her great grandchildren; Grace, who represented her grandchildren; Tita Mike who represented her children and Lolo Gening, her husband. We brought her to Manila Memorial Park where she's buried with her two children.

This morning, I'm happy to say that I slept for more than 8 hours. I really caught up on my sleep. I was also so proud of my son as he brought joy to Mama, her sisters and father during their grief. Everyone clustered around him when Leo brought him to the wake and to Magallanes. Basti did not cry and his smiles made everyone smile. Everyone literally lived for his smiles.

The last picture was taken on Lola's birthday on January 31, 2007. We had lunch at China Palace Tagaytay Highlands and all her family was there. That's Lola Remy with her husband, Lolo Gening and her five surviving children. From L to R: Tita Chit, Tita Christy, Lola Remy, Uncle Bob, Lolo Gening, Mama and Tita Mike.

Lola Remy will be sorely missed. What I remember best about her was that she ALWAYS had something nice to say about you. Never a time that we would meet that she wouldn't praise me for something--whether it would be my haircut, my blouse, my son and very recently, my driving. It was her way of welcoming me to the family and making me feel good about myself. She was one remarkable woman.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

what did you do today? - basti talking




Basti's really talkative. Here's another clip of him making his baby sounds. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

16 Gig - Basti Talking




Basti now makes cooing and gurgling sounds. We can't help but laugh while taking this video.
Enjoy!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Back to School!


I'll be returning to school next term to finish my MBA. I've been planning to go back to school since last year but I got pregnant so I had to postpone it. Since I have no more reason not to go back, I emailed the Vice-Dean and had my account reactivated. I went to GSB office today to enroll and pay for my tuition (ANG MAHAL!!!). I am now officially a returnee.

I supposedly have 6 units left on my MBA (one elective and Strategic Management, plus the defense). Unfortunately, since I'm beyond the prescribed period, I was penalized to take one extra elective from the usual three. I don't mind as this will be the chance for me to take up something interesting which I can use at work.

I was shocked when I paid for my tuition. On my last term two years ago, I think I only paid around 10K for one subject. Now, I paid almost 15K for one class. Gah! 7K for 3 units--can you believe that??? I should get a 4.0 in this class to make it worth the price that I paid.

I'm taking my Personal Project list seriously this time around. Now if I can get around doing #1, it will be a good end for the year.

Yellow Means Go (Stop?)

After two years on leave of absence, I'll be returning next term to DLSU to finish my MBA. The last term that I was in school was 2nd term of SY 2006-2007 (December). I was penalized to take an extra elective since I'm beyond the prescribed period already.

I went to the GSB office today at Taft Avenue and I had several close calls in my driving. I forewarned that driving in Manila is different compared here in Alabang or Makati but I didn't know it will be THAT extreme!

I found it difficult to find a parking spot as it was also exam week at La Salle so most of the parking spaces were taken up by the students. Another car, obviously driven by a La Salle student, honked at me while I was manoevering into a parking space where my parallel parking was tested (with the guidance of the manong guard). He drove past me and gave me THAT look (ang kapal at ang yabang! Binabaan ko sana sila. Grrrrr).

When I managed to enroll and pay for my tuition (7Kphp for 3 freaking units--one subject! And that's only tuition. Wala pa diyan yung miscellaneous) and almost getting lost in the process, I hurriedly went back to the car so I can go home.

I'm glad I managed to get out of the La Salle and St. Scho vicinity in one piece. When I got to SSH, I opted not to take the Skyway as I thought there would not be much traffic since it's still off-peak. While almost at the Pasay Road intersection, the traffic light suddenly turned yellow. I was already at 60 or 80 kph so instead of stopping, I sped on. I unfortunately did not see the MMDA at the other side of the intersection. I think he tried stopping me but kunwari hindi ko siya nakita. :) Nervous of the traffic (and probably the chasing MMDA), I opted to go up the Skyway ramp at Magallanes and hope that the MMDA does not have jurisdiction there.

Between Sucat and Muntinlupa exit, I was at the rightmost lane when there was a stalled car ahead. The car ahead of me swerved to the left to avoid the stalled car. I tried to follow but a bus suddenly sped up preventing me from going to the left lane and I braked hard! I think the car following me also braked hard because I heard a squeal of brakes. Siyempre, kunwari cool pa ako and I gently went to the other lane after the bus.

When I reached Festival Mall to pick up a pair of pants which I had altered, I desperately needed a break. My nerves were already frayed and I want nothing but to go home before I get into a car accident. I kept on praying through the short ride home hoping that there will be no more surprises.

Fortunately, I made it home with no more drama. This makes me really want to commute instead.

Holy Week at Tagaytay




First time we took Basti out of town. I'm happy we survived it. He seemed very happy there i.e. he sleeps longer. Looks like we'll be taking him there more often.

Basti @ 2 Months




Bought him a cake at Goldilock's and took pictures. We woke him up for this pictorial :)