Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Walking Dead



I was not aware of this series until my husband tuned to this last night where it premiered in 4 different local Fox stations. I initially thought that it was a drama series but when he woke up in the hospital alone, it made me think of Resident Evil. But somehow, the zombies here are different. They only walk.

Though I was deathly scared of zombies, I could not tear my eyes away from the screen. True enough, I could not sleep afterwards.

I still want to watch it though, but not late at night. I'll try to look for the replay times (hopefully in the morning) and I'll watch it then.

In case you're trying to figure out where you've seen the "bida" before, he was in "Love Actually" as the guy who fell in love with his best friend's wife--the one with the placards.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Goodbye, Soprano



When I became a member of Singles for Christ, I learned (and was affirmed by friends) that I can carry a tune and sing well. I refused to believe them at first as this talent did not manifest all throughout my life. I was persuaded to serve in the SFC Music Ministry which led to me being invited to be a part of the Villa San Miguel Choir. During those years, I felt a different joy when singing with other people and hearing our voices blend together. I started listening to the Madrigal Singers and other show choirs. This started my passion for choir music which led to my requirement on having a really good choir during my wedding.

When I left Mandaluyong to live in Paranaque in 2005, I did not join any other choir as I was focused in preparing for my wedding and eventually, dealing with my pregnancy. I was content with the office choir where we just sang during First Friday or Special Masses and sometimes, office programs.

After I left that company and joined my current employer, I heard that my new company has a show choir but I did not make any effort to join. I have somehow lost faith in my singing abilities and I'm scared to audition.

However, when a former officemate/choirmate joined the company and heard that I was there, she invited me to join the chor. I refused at first as I was not particularly keen with the late night practice but when I was again invited by two different persons, I knew I had to give it a try.

I finally attended the practice earlier and I was overwhelmed when they started doing warm-ups. I initially sat with the sopranos and I had difficulty hitting the high notes. After a couple of pieces, I was asked by the Choirmaster (a Philippine Madrigal Singer Alumni) to stand beside him and sing with the piano scales. After one scale, he told me to relax my vibrato (which has been my problem in the past) and try it again. After a few scales, he told me that I'm a Mezzo Soprano and grouped me with the Alto 1s.

I was initially disappointed as I've always been a Soprano 1 ever since I started singing in a choir. I did not have to worry about learning any special notes as Soprano usually sings Melody. I now have to unlearn what I now and learn how to sing Alto.

I've always found the Alto notes very beautiful and haunting. It gives more depth to the song and actually carries the Soprano notes.

I think I will pursue this, late nights aside. I hope this will revive my passion for singing and will give me something else to think about and do. Besides, I realized I miss singing with a choir.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Selecta Hazelnut Brownie

Disclaimer: This is NOT a paid advertisement. I just had a cup an hour ago and I'm alternating between happiness and sadness over giving in to my sweet cravings.

Three years ago, I wrote about my Haagen Dazs craving. Now, I have a new favorite ice cream flavor, the Selecta Hazelnut Brownie!!!

With Haagen Dazs, I could use the price as a reason not to buy it, but Selecta Gold is a relatively cheaper alternative and it's available in all grocery stores!

I've been fighting myself and holding on tight to my willpower not to eat this everyday or to finish off the carton that I find in the freezer (My husband makes me buy it as he likes the flavor too!). I love the hazelnut flavor and the brownies too. A treat to the senses. Yum yum.

I have to keep on repeating diet mantras and to remind myself of my blood sugar just to stop myself from the devouring more than a cup (a minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips).

Wish me luck!

Thanks to Philstar.com for the picture. By the way, they have a nice article about the Gold Label series which includes my favorite flavor.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Defenders



It's been a long time ever since I got hooked on a new TV show (last one was Glee late last year).

I only discovered this series by accident when I saw my husband watching an episode. I got curious when I saw James Belushi and the humorous twist of the stories so I hunkered down to watch as well.

The Defenders is a legal drama-comedy from CBS--it has the same producer as that of CSI--Carol Mendelsohn. The series is set in Las Vegas, Nevada and it involves a pair of defense attorneys who go all out to defend their clients.

So far I've only seen a couple of episodes (it started airing just this Sept. 22) and I like what I've seen. It would make me appreciate legal stuff more as I don't really follow Boston Legal or other courtroom drama series.

I think it's too early for me to recommend this series to people, but I like what I've seen so far.

Picture from the World Correspondents site.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Discovery Channel's Boom de Yada!



It never gets old. I made a post of the first video here (if you want to compare).
My husband was pretty stoked that Optimus Prime has a cameo. Hah!
I'm curious though, is there a meaning behind "Boom de Yada"?
Nevertheless, the World Is Just AWESOME!

If you want to sing along, here are the lyrics:

Boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada

I can't get that song out of my head
Totally, I'm going again

I love the mountains, I love the sun so bright
I love crustaceans, I love the stars at night
I love the whole world, so many things to see
Boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada

I love to catch fish, I love the lemur eyes
I love the future, I love when humans fly
I love the whole world, no place I'd rather be
Boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada

Still dirty, still love it

I love to blast off, I love adrenaline
I love the Big Bang, I love where air is thin
I love the whole world, and being part of it
Boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada
Boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada
Boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Christmas 2010 Wishlist

Yes, it's that time of the year again. As per tradition, I'm posting my wishlist this year (which somehow is similar to my wishlist last year):

1. Wall clock
I love our wall clock now as it has a white face and the arms are black which enables me to see the time without wearing my glasses. However, it has fallen off the wall so many times already and the edge is already cracked. It's calling for a replacement.


2. Notepads/stationery/post-its
I love these stuff. I still write longhand letters and these would come in handy. As for the post-its, it's for the office.



3. Journal Notebook
I found a journal notebook a few months ago at National Bookstore Podium. It was only 99pesos and it already has a hardcover and bookmark. It also can be closed by this elastic thingee that you wrap around the notebook. The pages are also yellowed and smooth--great for my pen. However, I can't find that type of notebook anymore.






4. Fountain Pen/Sign Pen
I use these pens to write out my checks. I currently use the Parker Sign Pen that my CAU Team gave me as my going-away gift last year. However, I've always been fascinated by fountain pens. My earliest memory of it was my grandfather singing his cheques and notes with his green fountain pen. I'm quite happy with a black pen though.


5. Body Wash
I love shower gels or body wash stuff. It does not have to be the picture above but any brand will do. I prefer the milky types. One of the best that I've tried was Marks and Spencer. Almond bath cream, I think.

This is it, for now. Will add more once I remember them.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

When Angelu met Bobby


After having lunch at Don Henrico's with my family, we went back to the house for a siesta. As I did not want to take a nap, I staked out the den (where the Destiny cable is installed) and channel-surfed. I paused when I saw the PBO channel and though I wanted to check the other channels, I put aside the remote and watched the movie with Bobby Andrews and Angelu de Leon as leads. I was trying to guess the movie's title and found out later (online) that it was "Laging Naroon Ka". If I'm not mistaken, it's their 3rd movie together showcasing their loveteam.

The Bobby Andrews-Angelu de Leon love team started in their weekly TV series, T.G.I.S. (Thank God It's Sabado). Their pairing was one of the most popular teams in the mid-90's. In fact the Angelu-Bobby team was included in spot.ph's Top 10 Eternal Pinoy Love Teams joining the perennial partnering of Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III, Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Concepcion and Vilma Santos and Edgar Mortiz--among others.

I can't recall how I started to heart Bobby Andrews when I did not even watch T.G.I.S. back then. But I do remember my college press friends giving me a photo of him and that I tried to be nonchalant when he shot some of the "Laging Naroon Ka" (LNK) scenes at La Salle but I was actually raring to stake out the library where the scenes were shot.

I really love their movies although I only watched their movies on cable TV but watching them after more than a decade, I'm happy to say that their acting and chemistry together was really good. LNK was about two college friends, Quinito (Bobby) and Tricia (Angelu) who wanted to take their friendship into another level but Quinito was so unbelievably torpe (I don't know if there's still a guy like him nowadays) that Tricia was getting confused and tired of waiting for him. She began dating another guy much to Quinito's chagrin until he was forced to face his feelings for Trish and declare himself to her.

The movie's supporting cast was also wonderful. Mitch Valdez was hilarious as Tricia's mom and Noel Trinidad was funny as the kooky but very patient dad. Gloria Romero was the conservative lola who raised Quinito (her nails and manicure looked really nice there). Unfortunately, I forgot the name of his lolo who was really good.

Their other movie, "Wala Na Bang Pag-ibig" was also good and I can still remember the plot (childhood friends who grew up studied in the city together etc etc). I wonder if I can still find some of their old movies? It will be great to watch them again. They bring back great memories of my college days.

Unfortunately, their love team had to end when Angelu got pregnant with Joko Diaz' child. I was so devastated. I felt the same when I learned that Albert Martinez eloped with Liezl leaving his love team with Snooky Serna. (Wow, I can't believe I remembered that. I was still a kid then!). It was a grim reminder that love teams are just for show and most of them don't really end up together.

The fantasy was great while it lasted though. I wonder if there will be another pairing like them.

Picture courtesy of Shannen's blog

Thursday, October 07, 2010

My 2nd White Hair


I was fixing my hair this morning when I saw a strand of white hair near my temple. I freaked out when I saw it.

I could justify my first white hair with the stress that I was going through that time (November 2006). I was barely sleeping nights and I was overworked so I was not overly surprised when I saw that pale strand.

But I could not justify this white hair as I am not stressed--well, unless you consider my pre-diabetic state as a source of stress. Nevertheless, I was shocked when I saw it. Is this a sign that I am really growing old? That my mortality is indeed creeping up on me?

Monday, October 04, 2010

Impaired Glucose Tolerance

I have been diagnosed with Impaired Glucose Tolerance or in more understandable terms, I am Pre-Diabetic. Basically, it means that I'm predisposed to diabetes UNLESS I make a lifestyle change. Not only do I have to change my diet, but I have to exercise more often.

I've know all these things before as early this year, I was already diagnosed as such. I was ordered to have an OGTT done to verify the diagnosis but I postponed having the test done as it was not a pleasant experience as I detailed here. Also, trying not to throw up sorely tested my willpower.

Maybe this is the wake-up call I need (God knows how many calls I already got). I know I managed to lose weight before and really lived a healthy lifestyle. I just need to set my mind that I can do it--again. I just have to think that my future with my son is at stake.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Jude Deveraux is Back!

My passion for books started when my paternal grandfather introduced me to Larry Alcala's weekly cartoon. Every week, he would call me from our house next door and together, we would look for Larry Alcala's head in his magazine.

What does books have to do with Larry Alcala? Well, my grandfather's room is a bookworm's paradise. Wall-to-wall books! If people decorate their walls with artwork or pictures, my grandfather decorates his walls with books. The four walls of his bedroom are all books. Whenever I'm in his room, I would reverently touch the books even if I cannot understand or appreciate the tomes that he collected. All I remember was the smell of paper and someday, I would want to have a room like that as well.

I started speed-reading through the Nancy Drew collection in our school library and was done in less than a year. Somebody introduced me to Sweet Dreams and I was hooked on romance. As I grew older, the romance novels became more...advanced...until my aunt introduced me to Jude Deveraux.

It was love at first word with Jude. Her historical romances on the Montgomery family kept me wanting for more and more and she never seems to run out of stories on this very prolific family. But after more than three dozen books later, she ran out of steam.

Her last good book, for me, was Sweet Liar (about modern-day Montgomerys and Taggerts), after that, her books on modern-day romances were not worth reading anymore. They were absolutely boring and I somehow thought she lost her touch. I didn't bother buying anymore of her books after that.

A few days ago, I saw Days of Gold at National Bookstore and I was curious what kind of story she's telling now. When I saw she went back to her historical romance roots, I bought the book to see if she managed to recapture her magic touch. After finishing the book today, I could cautiously say that she's back. I still have some qualms on the storyline, but reading her book feels like coming home. It's not perfect but it just feels right.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Yaya's Day Off



Our yaya is entitled to a day off once a month. For this month, she took it last night and returned this evening.

Though the day-off is part of our agreement, there's a silent part of me that wants to beg her to stay. Basti is a handful already. You cannot take your eyes off him as he'll be destroying something. His bedroom is Basti-proof but unfortunately, not the rest of the house. But I figured it will be a nice bonding experience for us.

Last night, I wanted to cry when after two hours, Basti didn't want to sleep and he was growing cranky by the minute. My usual tricks doesn't seem to work and makes his crankiness worse. I felt so helpless last night and was so depressed afterwards. I so envy my friends who have developed some sort of bond with their kids that putting them to sleep won't drain their blood as what happened to me and Basti last night.

I questioned our sleeping arrangement (he sleeps in his own bed and room with his yaya) and whether he should sleep with us or not. In the end, he fell asleep cradled in my arms while dancing around the room. He would wake up and start crying whenever I would sit down on the rocking chair or on the bed. My arms were crying out for mercy and I was so thankful when he finally slept.

However, he woke up at midnight crying again and I could not console him. He struggled to be let down and slid down to the pull-out bed where he immediately fell asleep. I slept after that only to wake up at 430 AM for his milk feeding. He slept after finishing 7oz only to wake me up a couple of hours later as he slid down from the bed.

We went downstairs for breakfast and I gave him a bowl of rice and egg where he fed himself (he wants to use the utensils and doesn't like it if we feed him). The food ended up half on the floor, on his clothes and chair and hopefully, the rest in his tummy.

Kindermusik this morning was bearable because Leo did most of the chasing. Lunch was the same as breakfast (with half of the food again on the floor etc). Thankfully, he fell asleep without not much fuss for his afternoon nap (Oddly enough, I just talked to him and begged him to just sleep without the dancing and rocking because I was exhausted and my arms could not take another round of that. He seemed to understand me as he just fell asleep on the bed cuddled beside me).

While reflecting on my exhausting day, I really admire the moms out there who survive without a helper. My sister who is based in the US, is one such person. Now I understand why mothers really are very affected when their children do something to hurt them.

I hope I can find more ways to bond with my son. I might have to change the house rules a bit so I can have more time with him.

Monday, September 20, 2010

My Take on the GulfAir Baby

I'm having mixed feelings about the woman who threw her newborn baby in the trash bin of an airplane. It's an absolute miracle that the baby is alive and no doubt, God has big plans for him to survive such odds and I am looking forward to knowing his future.

I've been reading in different parenting fora how most of the posters basically condemned the woman (one of the posters even mentioned that she cannot call the woman "mother") for abandoning her child in such a way. I initially reacted the way they did. Being a mother myself and seeing how helpless my son was back then, my heart bled when I read the way the baby was just disposed in the trash. I've already stopped thinking how a person can do such a thing because of the news that I've been reading lately, I can already surmise that humans are capable of things that we used to only read about and is now part of our unfortunate reality. Somehow the world has evolved from bad to worse.

But I digress, humans are capable of awful things especially when their mind is stressed. I guess this somehow proves the adage mind over matter.

Amazingly, one of the voices of reason came from Ramon Tulfo. I was so used to his acerbic and biting words that compassion coming from him sounds a bit different. His columns lately were mostly about forgiveness which was a big deviation from his earlier columns--not necessarily a bad thing. His column reminds me of the Bible saying, "he who has no sin cast the first stone." My heart still cannot fathom the barbarous act (reminds me of a video that I saw of a woman throwing puppies in the river) and I don't know if I'll be strong enough not to judge her for what she has done.

I guess I will just have to remember Jesus' example of forgiving those who have done Him wrong and suffering for our sins. Perhaps compassion is the first thing we should give this woman. Though I cannot justify what she has done, I just hope that there will be a happy ending for all of her, and the baby's trials.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gypsy by Shakira



I was fanning myself after watching this video.

Shakira with Rafael Nadal can surely heat up a room. Whew.

Eye Candy!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pacific Rims by Rafe Bartholomew



It has been a long time since I watched basketball. I was an avid fan when I was in first year high school when I rooted for Ginebra/Anejo and worshiped Jojo Lastimosa and Samboy Lim (to be honest, I worshiped them for their cuteness. hehe). But I somehow outgrew it when I went to college. The only time I watch basketball games was when we were required to by our PE subject.

My husband is an avid fan of the sport and knows stats and player names. He can hold his own on a discussion regarding basketball. Over the dinner table, he and my father-in-law would talk about the latest game or who got traded to where (NBA and PBA). My husband even subscribed to Destiny Cable (even if we're already existing Skycable subscribers) because of their Balls channel where he can watch all the Basketball he wants.

When he bought Pacific Rims, I just shrugged that it must be another basketball book. When he learned that the author, Rafe Bartholomew, will be in town to have a book signing, he asked me to go (he was in Europe during the last week of August). Unfortunately, my schedule was a bit iffy so I was not able to go to either Powerbooks or Fully Booked which hosted the signings.

However, I got curious about the book when he would read it and bed and suddenly, the bed will be shaking because of his laughter. He would laugh over something in the book and when I would ask, he would just shrug because he knows he would have to explain the whole thing for me to get it--and he was enjoying the book to much to take a break.

During a lull here at home, I saw the book lying around and out of boredom, read the first chapter--and I was hooked. My high school love for the game suddenly resurfaced and I devoured every word of the book. I'm already halfway through and I've laughed so much already. Rafe certainly has a way with words.

Now, I'm sorry that I was not able to meet him in person and shake his hand (and maybe have a picture with him. He is cute. Hehe). As an avid and voracious reader, I never thought that I would be reading about basketball but somehow, Rafe wrote about it to make it easy to read and appreciate the sport--and our people--more.

When he was here a couple of weeks ago (he actually lived here for 3 years to do the book and speaks amazingly fluent tagalog), a couple of local shows did a segment on him. The video below is from Bandila--an evening news program.

I hope he'll return someday so I can have my book..errr...my husband's book signed. I won't be able to talk bastketball with him but at least I can tell him how my interest returned because of his book.

Mabuhay ka, Rafe!

ps
He's cute too :)

Monday, August 09, 2010

Giveaway Galore!! Win a Diaper Bag from ManilaBaby Shop!!


I love joining online contests as I've won my fair share of prizes from such events. This time around, manilamommy.com is hosting another contest where the winner will get a diaper bag from ManilaBaby Shop. I would love that diaper bag as we bring a lot of stuff with us whenever we go out with my son.

For contest details, visit the ManilaMommy website here. She has noted the stuff that you would need to do in order to win.

Good luck to us!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

At Last!

At last, after 7 long years, I'm done with my MBA!

I started 2nd term of school year 2003-2004. It was as if yesterday that I climbed those stairs going to the RCBC Campus of DLSU inquiring about their MBA program. Next thing I knew, I was asking for an application form.

Seven years later, the De La Salle Professional Schools is no longer an entity but was merged back into the De La Salle University fold. Instead of having a separate graduation ceremony, we will join the 1000 other undergraduates and masteral graduates who will attend the graduation ceremonies.

I actually stopped for two years due to work and personal reasons. I promised my husband that I'll go back to school when I have more time and I did return last year.

I took my Oral Comprehensive Exam on August 5. It was the last step before I receive my MBA degree. It entails presenting a core subject paper that you did during your MBA and defending whatever it is that you put there. It was quite brutal this term as there were a lot who did not make it. Thankfully, I made the grade and it tops as one of my most memorable moments ever. The relief that I felt afterwards was so great that I burst into tears when the panel chair delivered the verdict. I knew he was saying something after he said "congratulations" but I cannot remember anything anymore. All I could think of was, "At last!"

Though I was hesitant at first, looks like I'll be attending the graduation ceremonies. I never did enjoy my undergraduate graduation as I was sick a week before and I was not able to attend the practice and other ceremonies. At least now, hopefully, I can experience it fully 14 years after I left De La Salle.

As a postscript note, my original panel was supposedly Prof. Aleister Cruz, Prof. Michael Joseph and Prof. Benedict Avila. Thankfully, Prof. Cruz pulled out as he was a college friend and it would be a conflict of interest if he stayed in my panel. I don't want my passing mark to be marred by any hint of favoritism. He was replaced by Dr. Tony Concepcion.

Sick Basti

Last week has been very harrowing. Not only did Basti get sick, but I was scheduled to take my Oral Comprehensive Exam which was the last step for me to get my MBA degree. But thankfully, we all got through with it all in one piece.

Basti's low grade fever (if you call 38.5C as his highest temperature as low grade) started Thursday, July 29, 2 days after he got his annual flu shot and his 3-in-1 booster shot. We all thought it was due to the vaccine so we didn't give it second thought. We just gave him his paracetamol dose and we all went through our daily grind.

On Saturday, his fever was still there and I was beginning to worry especially when I saw him just lying there. My son is very active and he refuses to just sit there and do nothing but that was what he was doing. I resolved that if he doesn't get well by Sunday, we'll bring him to the ER.

True enough, his fever returned Sunday and we took him to the Asian Hospital ER.

I was surprised by the number of kids that were in the Emergency Room that day. There must be a bug going around that would entail kids being rushed to the ER on a Sunday afternoon. Whatever case, we just have to continue with the paracetamol and bring him to his pedia the next day.

Basti was given his tag and as a precaution, they took a blood sample to rule out dengue. The results were available in less than an hour and good thing, his platelets were at a normal level but we were advised to return the next day as the levels were low-normal.

The ER doctor said that Basti must've caught a flu bug or could be roseola.

His fever still returned Monday morning so we returned to Asian. Though his pedia is not expected in until 330 but we were there at 1130 to have Basti tested again for dengue. I was surprised when the laboratory said that they will only release the results after 6 hours as there's no stat request. I had to call Basti's pedia, Dr. Clemente, to request for stat. Good thing the laboratory agreed to rush the results with minimum fuss. They did however, made me wait for another hour before I got the results. Thankfully, his platelets were higher compared to the previous day.

When we saw his pedia, he agreed to the ER doctor's pronouncement but he suspects it could be roseola. He told us that the fever will abate by Tuesday and by then, spots or rashes will come out with is indicative of roseola. I was also give then option of having Basti confined but after a discussion with my husband and in-laws. We resolved to just take care of him at home.

True enough, Basti's rashes and red spots came out the day after and his fever no longer recurred. I breathed a sigh of relief especially when he returned to his old, "malikot" self.

No doubt there will be more days like these. I just hope I'm strong enough for all of them.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The sun will come out, Tomorrow!


That song has been reverberating in my head today as tomorrow will indeed be a big day for me.

After 7 long years, tomorrow will be the culmination of my MBA studies. I will be facing a panel of three professors who will quiz me and determine if I really learned anything in my years of studying. My fate will be in the hands of these three people.

I am nervous as hell. At first, I was pretty nonchalant about it but when the date approached, I started to panic. In my former job, I am always prepared for meetings and such and even if I tried my best to prepare for this, I still feel that I am not ready. But I cannot delay the inevitable. I already postponed for one term and I cannot put this off much longer. If I fail, then I fail. I just have to find the strength to go back, re-do my paper and face my panel again. Whatever the case, I am preparing myself for the worst.

Though I know my panel with even one of them a friend, I do not want to take their "nice-ness" for granted. I know I have to earn that passing grade and that degree. I know I can and I have to believe that.

Wish me luck. By tomorrow, I will know.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Oishi Baconette Strips


I wish I am paid when I write about all the food that I'm eating. I would probably have enough money to be able to pay for all my trips abroad. Anyway, for free or not, I just have to write about this new snack that I discovered while grocery-shopping this afternoon.

Oishi Marty's was known for its vegetarian chicharon. Yes, chicharon that tastes like chicharon but without the guilt! Supermarkets would run out of stock as people would trip over each other buying it. Now, they are at it again. This time, healthifying (is there such a word?) bacon! Whoever thought bacon would be healthy?! But the good and wonderful people of Oishi found a way to make this notoriously high cholesterol breakfast item into a relatively healthy snack.

The 3.17oz/90g (pictured above)pack costs P14.95 at SaveMore. You just have to taste it.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Percy Jackson



I can't remember what made me buy the first book of the Percy Jackson series. After being disappointed by 39 clues, I was not too keen on reading books with a 12 yr old as the main character (Harry Potter was an exception), but with the film coming out, I was curious.

I remember reading the first book during our Holy Week vacation at Tagaytay. After speed-reading through it, I wanted to go home to Manila and buy the next books. When that happens, the book is good. When I started reading the 2nd book, I didn't stop to breathe until I finished the 5th book and I did this in 4 straight days. In fact, I finished The Olympian in a day--and a work day to boot. I started while waiting for the morning shuttle, read through lunch, read again while waiting for the evening shuttle, and finished it when I got home.

It's odd considering I am not that familiar with Greek mythology. I mean, I know who the gods are plus other trivia that I got from watching Hercules (the cartoons) but that's basically it. But I really love the series.

Percy Jackson is a demigod--the son of a god, Poseidon to be specific, and a mortal. The books talk about his quests and how he and his friends get to defeat Kronos--the father of the gods.

I love fantasy/adventure books, especially those that are adapted in the modern setting. The dialogue was also very witty and funny. There are times that I would suddenly laugh while reading drawing stares from people in the shuttle.

Though the Percy Jackson series looks like its written for an early teens audience, adults, like me, can still appreciate it. A good read if you're a fan of Greek mythology and quests.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Writer's Block



It's been years since I wrote fiction. I used to write for and was part of the editorial staff of our school's literary journal when I was in college. I loved writing then whether it was for my own pleasure or for others. I wrote in English and amazingly, excelled in Filipino (I was recognized for my Filipino poetry). Unfortunately, that drive to write died down after I graduated from College. I do not write creatively anymore, instead, I keep this online journal which serves as an outlet for my happiness and frustrations. I don't know if it's considered creative writing as none of it is fiction but at least I get to practice putting words together.

My current job involves a lot of report writing--technical and formal writing at its very best. I have to basically unlearn writing creatively and keep my report emotionless so to speak (No "I"s, "we"s or "us"). I have to watch my words to ensure that I deliver my findings with no bias whatsoever. Basically, creating a document which would bore the hell out of a person. I would think that the more boring it is, the better the report will turn out to be.

I used to think that writers block only strike writers who have to come up with novels or stories or poems. I never thought that it would apply to report writing as well. I have a paper that I've been trying to finish today but I can't seem to find the right words to express the thoughts that are floating in my head. Everything is there--the summary of my findings and my recommendations--but I end up putting emotions in the words that it's so difficult to edit them out.

For the past hour, I've been pulling my hair or staring at the swimming pool view outside trying to clear my head so I can write properly. Every few minutes or so, I return to my document and try to add a few words but end up deleting them as they sound quite off. Hopefully, I'll be able to pull myself together so I can finish this. I am so way out of schedule already and I have a couple of reports still waiting to be written.

Photo from of memphismafia.wordpress.com

Monday, June 07, 2010

A Wedding Reception to Remember



http://mb.com.ph/node/260733/groom-bride-treat-gue

I read this article in today's edition of Manila Bulletin and other than wondering what Morgan Spurlock and the anti-McD's crowd would say about this, I was very much amused and maybe, a bit envious.

Whenever I would read weddings featured in newspapers, I would be amazed at how original and extraordinary some of them turned out to be. I would've wanted mine to be like that. But my husband and I are not creative people so we had a difficult time conceptualizing a one-of-a-kind wedding.

Nevertheless, I was still happy with how our wedding came out as it was what we always wanted. Not too exceptional that would merit a newspaper article (hey, I was not exactly like those brides who had/have svelte and sexy figures during their weddings) but special enough for us to remember that day for the rest of our lives.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Powerbooks Greenbelt


I had a nice experience at Powerbooks last Friday and I would recommend that branch (maybe all branches) to all book lovers out there.

I was out shopping for a book--a continuation of a book that I was reading--in Powerbooks Greenbelt. I already got the second book and was browsing around for another one when I was approached by a sales clerk asking me what I would want to read. When she saw what I picked out, she recommended other books of the same nature (angels). She went with me to the young adult section and picked out a few books for me to choose from. I quizzed her about the stories and she actually read them and gave me some spoilers from the books. I bought all the books she recommended.

Powerbooks did more than renovate their interior when they fixed their shop. They apparently educated their staff. I don't know if they're required to read the books they are selling or actually hire people who read but whatever they're doing, I hope they keep it up as it really makes me buy the books they recommend. It's not enough that they put a sign saying why they recommend it. It helps if you get to talk to someone who can really give you an idea what the book is all about.

Which reminds me of my Fully Booked experience.

I really love Fully Booked because of their stock. They have books that Powerbooks and National Bookstore doesn't have. Unfortunately, I had a rather negative experience with their Cebu branch which makes me think twice of going back to their shops to look for new books. When I was in Cebu, I asked the clerks if they can recommend books about angels as I love reading about them. I don't know if they don't understand me since I'm speaking in Tagalog but when they pointed me to someone who can speak Tagalog, she couldn't recommend much and can't really tell me much about the books that were on display. It was really disappointing.

Anyway, kudos to Powerbooks, most especially to Lorie, who recommended the books to me. Job well done!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Wonderful Cebu

I was in Cebu last week for a business trip and it was my first time to visit the Queen City of the South. For years, I have friends urging me to visit but haven't really had the chance. During my first pregnancy trimester, I wanted to visit but based on the options given to me, I just agreed to stay put until the time I can travel again.

I only learned that we will push through with the trip, a week before our departure date. For a month, I knew we will be going but I kept delaying preparations as we were still not yet sure if it will be approved. Once I got the paper approval, I had to submit it to the necessary departments (per diem, allowances, airline tickets, hotel etc). My officemate and I were booked on a Cebu Pacific flight leaving Sunday afternoon and we're booked at Cebu Midtown. I realized too late that my husband and I were booked to stay at Hotel Sofitel the day before my departure. So that means I will have to pack for an extra day (my stay in Sofitel would entail another post).

My husband and I checked out early at Sofitel so I can see Basti again (who we left with my sister-in-law) before I leave for Cebu. They took me at Terminal 3 two and a half hours before our flight leaves and I met up with my officemate, Eunice, there.

We arrived in Cebu just on time and after checking in at Midtown, we took a cab to Ayala Mall where we met up with my friend Kay, for dinner.

She took us to Sunburst Chicken where we had sarap-to-the-bones chicken and had dessert at Oh, Georg.


We had a job to do and we spent office hours (and even beyond) in the office doing our review but during lunch break and after office, we spent time exploring the city and its wonderful delights.

On Monday, we had lunch at the Ayala Mall foodcourt. Eunice had CNT lechon while I had something at the neighboring kiosk (yes, it was so unremarkable that I've forgotten what it was). For dinner, we just went back to our hotel and ate at Jollibee (the hotel was located on top of a Robinson's mall).

On Tuesday, we opted to be more adventurous. Based on the numerous recommendations given by my friend Kay and my former boss, Joanne, we ventured forth to Ayala Mall for lunch and ate at Desserts Factory. I had their own version of Chicken Cordon Bleu wherein the chicken was grilled instead of friend and the ham and cheese is on top.

For dessert, I had their banana split ice cream cake. It was oh so heavenly and I found myself finishing one whole slice. The slice involved three different ice cream flavors with a cookie base and chocolate syrup. It was just absolutely divine.

For dinner, we went to SM City Cebu. We had no idea which restaurants we can eat there so we just looked for one that was not in Manila. We found Jonie's which somehow reminded me of Kenny Rogers. The food though is a far cry from Kenny's but apparently, the place is popular in Cebu because of the unlimited rice (and beer, I think). Nevertheless, all I can say is that at least we tried it but I'm never going back there again.

Wednesday, we resolved that we'll eat at Casa Verde. The day before, we stopped by the place and asked them what time is the best time to eat there where the line is not kilometers long. She said 2pm for lunch and 8pm for dinner. So we had a late lunch and was able to snag ourselves a seat. We asked for the bestseller. Eunice and I had their spectacular ribs each and I ordered the Death by Chocolate.


On Imagine my surprise when this was served to us each. We had no idea how to finish it. It was served on a humongous plate and when you dig in, the meat was soft and fluffy. And the sauce was absolutely delicious. Better than Raks. Better than Tony Roma's. Better than any other ribs that I've ever tasted. And best of all, it was so dirt cheap! That big plate was only worth P188!!! No wonder lines are SOOOO long. And they don't take reservations so you really have to fall in line.

After demolishing those huge ribs, I don't know if I still have room for dessert. But I knew I had to try the dessert that I ordered as there is no way I will be able to bring it home (it's an ice cream cake). So I just breathed in deep and tried not to gag when this was served to me. There is no way in hell I'll be able to finish it moreover when Eunice wouldn't share as she's sporting a cold. The first taste was pure bliss. Chocolate ice cream coated with chocolate syrup with marshmallow and nuts on a bed of chocolate cake. Absolute absolute bliss. I was only able to eat half as I didn't want to die of chocolate overload but it was definitely worth it. It was also as affordable as the ribs. That one big slice only cost P125!!!

That night, we skipped dinner as we were still digesting our very heavy lunch.

On Thursday, we had lunch at Moon Cafe, another referral of Kay. It's a place in Ayala Mall that serves Mexican food. I ordered a Chimichanga and Chicken Fingers with Mozarella Cheese and Tomato. Both are absolutely delicious! The Chimichanga was so fluffy and soft. The crust melts in your mouth.

For dinner, we went back to SM to buy more pasalubong at Don Merto's and eat at Cafe Laguna--which was a recommendation of my former boss Joanne. We were a loss at what to eat there as the servings seem so big. We settled for Sinigang na Baboy which sourness was just enough for me. Too bad we wanted to eat the Kare-Kare but was too wary that the servings might be too big.

On Friday, our last day, we took time to see the sights. Aside from the side trip last Monday at the Basilica to see the Sto. Nino shrine, we haven't done any other touristy thing since we arrived five days ago. We had the cab driver drop us off at the Magellan's Cross where we had our photos appropriately taken. We went back to the Sto. Nino Basilica intending to take one last look at the Sto. Nino image but was dissuaded by the long line. We then walked to the Cebu Cathedral and to the Museum. By then, the sun was up and very hot. I was sweating buckets and after buying some last minute pasalubongs at the nearby Shamrock store, we hailed another cab which dropped us off at the hotel where we checked out.

Overall, Cebu is a wonderful and beautiful place. The people, especially the unit which we reviewed, were very warm and helpful. I definitely enjoyed my stay and look forward to returning and seeing more of the sights. Hopefully, I'll be back with my husband so he can experience the extraordinary food and culture with me.

See you soon, Cebu!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Maayong Buntag, Cebu!


Talk about photo-finish.

We initially planned to go to Davao last February. But since my boss went on Maternity Leave, we had to postpone our trip. She returned last April and we're now ready to go out of town. We rechecked whether Davao is still our destination but according to our bosses, we should go to Cebu. So, Cebu it is.

We're leaving on Sunday and will return Friday evening. I'm quite excited as I have NEVER been to Cebu and it will be something new for me. I've heard great things about the place from my friend Kay and previous bosses at SCB. Since we can't do much sight-seeing due to our limited time, I asked around on good places to eat. I've received numerous suggestions. I hope we'll have enough time (and budget) to try everything out.

Probably the downside of the trip is that I will not be seeing Basti for a week. I'll miss his hugs, kisses and laughter. I'll be bringing my laptop and Globe Tattoo with me so I can chat with them.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Epidemic

We have some sort of epidemic here at home and we're still trying to figure out the source.

I was sick during the weekend but the illness that most of the people in our household are down with are not related to what I had. I had upper respiratory tract infection but the symptoms that they, and now including me, have are LBM and fever. My husband and FIL has it. Since I'm in antibiotics due to my recent illness, I'm only sporting the LBM symptom. Basti is also sick but in his case, it's cough and he threw up 3x this evening.

Hopefully this will subside, especially Basti's cough.

Starbucks May Promo


Though my husband says they're very expensive and not worth the price, I love the Starbucks planners. Every Christmas, I religiously buy coffee so I can gather the corresponding amount of stickers to get the diary. I remember only missing two years (the first year it was offered and the year I was pregnant).

What I loved about the planners especially when they first came out, were the freebies included. The buy-one-take-one promo was a big deal for us moreover when we have a Starbucks store at the ground floor of my office then. (I remember that branch with bittersweet memories. That store became our office extension too and I can still recall the times that we had powows there and even cried my heart out to my boss then. No wonder I was so interested and passionate about the company when we had it as a case in my STRAMA subject last year.)

Going back to the planner, I noticed that the latest issues did not have the freebies anymore. Maybe that's why they reduced the number of stickers required to qualify for the promo. I'm still having mixed feelings when they brought it back this year. The planner only have 6 coupons and only 2 can be considered as useful. One of them can be used this month of May.

So for 2010 Starbucks planner owners, use your May coupon from May 1-31, 2010. Buy your friend a frap and you'll get one too for free.

See you at the nearest Starbucks branch!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

"Niluluto sa Sarili kong Mantika"


"ANG INEEEETTTT!!!!!"

This is the common complaint very much heard in the metropolis nowadays. Everytime you would meet someone, the weather becomes an instant conversation starter.

"Grabe, ang init ngayon!"
"Nagkakasakit na ako sa init!"
"Tumayo lang ako, tagaktak na ang pawis ko!!"
"Niluluto na ako sa sarili kong mantika!!!"

are very much repeated (especially the last part, for rounded and healthy people like me). Having spent half of the day out of the office, I could very much attest to the heat and have discussed it with at least 2 people I met today.

My husband's balikbayan aunts have even made a game out of it. The next time somebody says "ang init", they have to pay P20. They've been here for a week and will leave this coming weekend. I wonder how much they've contributed to the pot already.

The intermittent rains do not help at all. They seem to make the heat worse, especially yesterday. I got sick also because of it. I nursed an upper respiratory tract infection during the weekend which did not let me enjoy the extra vacation day. The fever started Friday evening (39.2C. That's my highest temperature in more than 5 years) and broke the morning after.

Hopefully, this coming weekend will not be as hot. Not only do we have to go out and vote, I have to do a lot of cleaning and doing so in this weather will not make the task enjoyable at all.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Basti's Picture Company Shots

Last April 25, we took Basti to Picture Company for some studio portraits/shots. This was supposed to be taken during his birthday but at least it's better late than never.

Here are some chosen shots out of the numerous cute ones:









Saturday, May 01, 2010

Basti Picture Company Pics - 25April2010




This was supposed to be taken on his 1st birthday, but it's better late than never.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

DFA passport experience

Ever since we've been hearing of the new e-passport, we wanted to get our own. As I already have the machine-readable passport and is not due to expire until 2012, my husband opted to get his first (he still has the old one with the green cover). He scheduled an appointment through passport.com.ph. We also decided to get Basti a passport as he might be traveling with us in the future.

The new DFA office is located along Macapagal Ave right beside S&R Aseana. It's less congested and parking is immense. There's a McDonald's across where people can wait or eat while waiting for their companions. Our appointment was at 9AM but we left at 630AM and arrived barely past 7.

Yesterday (and even days before), I was already asking around whether we should bring Basti as in the past, the DFA would allow the mother to appear in behalf of the child. However, there have been reports that children/babies should also be physically present. I did confirm this with the egroups that I frequent and told my husband about it. He was adamant though that Basti would not come with us so together with the requirements, I had with me, Basti's passport photos.

As mentioned, we were there at 7AM. I was surprised when I saw the number of people crowding around the entrance. With the appointment system, I was expecting order and at least a minimum number of lines. Apparently, these were people who did not have any appointment and was hoping that they be accommodated. The security guard was tightly manning his post and refuses to allow anyone inside without an appointment. I pushed my way through the throng and showed the guard our appointment papers. He opened the gate a bit and we squeezed through the small opening.

Once inside, we were greeted by more lines with no signs telling us where to go. We had to flag down a roving guard to ask which line we should go first and he politely told us where to proceed.

The first stop was a table in front of the rest rooms. They asked us for our names and they gave us the printed application forms containing the information that we provided through the website. We had to fill-up some of the missing portions though.

Next stop was to get inside the building to get a number so our passports can be processed at any of the 23 windows. Before we got inside, there was a waiting line. The first line was for those who came in before their appointment. The next line was for those who are due to join the line entering the building. The third line was for those ACTUALLY entering the building.

Once inside the building, we were handed numbers and we took our seats. The seats are like those found in airports (the steel, cold ones) and the aircon was pleasantly cool. I was a bit bothered though by the humongous mosquitoes that were languorously buzzing around. Our number was 1234 and I freaked out when I saw that the number being serviced was 1094! I settled down and prepared myself to wait until lunch but was pleasantly surprised to see the numbers move speedily along. Our number was called 30 minutes later at Window 19.

We then proceeded to our assigned window and handed my husband's renewal application first. The processor checked the details and was done in 5 minutes. She gave my husband a slip for payment at the cashier at the 2nd floor. I then handed Basti's application and she looked for my son. I told her that he's at home and she said the he should be physically present as they will be taking his passport picture. I asked if we could get the machine-readable passport instead as I already have pictures. She then mentioned that they are no longer issuing such passports. She was kind enough to mention that we can pick up our son and return later in the day so his passport can still be processed.

We then proceeded to the 2nd floor where we paid for the processing fee (if I'm not mistaken, it's 950 for regular processing of 20 days and 1200 for processing of 10 days) and arranged his passport to be delivered at home (for an additional fee). I held my tongue as I was exasperated with my husband for not listening to me that we should bring our son for the personal appearance. I managed to let one "I told you so" out and kept my mouth shut after that.

The whole process took less than 2 hours. I somehow feel I wasted my half-day leave as we were done by 9AM and we were unsuccessful in securing a passport for Basti. At least it was a lesson learned.

I just wish that DFA would update their website to include current information regarding passport application. They should have indicated that machine readable passports are no longer being issued and personal appearance of children is MANDATORY. Moreover, I hope that they would do something about their customer service hotline as apparently, it's not working.

They should also have a special lane for children and the elderly and they can still improve in pointing the people on where to go. Visible signs can help A LOT.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Vote for Basti!



This is the first contest that my son has joined.We just bought him a pair of Elmo Polliwalks at last Saturday's Kidsexpo and the stall owners said that they have a contest wherein the kid with the most number of like votes in Facebook wins a special prize.

So, please help Basti win by doing the following:

1. You need to be a facebook member. Go to www.facebook.com
2. Search: polliwalks philippines. You have to be a fan in order to vote.
3. Look for Basti in the album Polliwalks Philippines's Photos - kids expo. Or click on this link in order to go to Basti's photo directly.
4. Click on LIKE

Contest will run for 1 week and the winner gets a special prize from Polliwalks Philippines.

What are you waiting for? VOTE NOW! :)

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Front Act with Mike and Stanley



It's seldom that a TV program will catch my attention--and a local show at that. While changing channels from ABS-CBN to QTV, I suddenly paused at ABC5 when there was this guy trying out hopia and tikoy at Eng Bee Tin. Since I didn't get any tikoy this recent Chinese New Year, I just watched with envy as he devoured the delicacies.

I watched more and I found out at the show was called Front Act with Mike and Stanley. There was something fresh and funny about these two guys. There were some technical aspects in the show that I didn't like but overall, these two somehow entertains me.

Catch Front Act every Sundays at 6PM at ABC5.

Monday, March 01, 2010

KidsExpo

I first got an email from our birthing class mentor, Rome Kanapi about KidsExpo. I think it was supposed to be held last year but because of Ondoy and Pepeng, it did not push through. Then I got an invite in Facebook to attend and now, this contest manilamommy wherein she's raffling off tickets to the event.

Even if I don't win the contest, I'll still be going.

See you all there!

Super-Mom!

I always thought that moms were superwomen but I never guessed that it would apply to me.

Yeah, I carried my son for 9 months, gave birth via CS and breastfed for 3 months. Others may already call it as extraordinary but for me, it was expected of me as a mother. I got a yaya because I wanted to share the load of taking care of my son and I'm still free enough to do the things that I want.

I'm not exactly a super-mom like other moms I know (stay-at-home-moms with no yayas are the epitome of supermoms), but this weekend, I had a mom-experience which does not necessarily make me an extraordinary mom (in fact, some moms might have the same or even more extreme experience), but it reminded me how challenging motherhood can be (I've only been a mom for a year and most of it, I have a yaya to help me out. Hehe).

Last weekend, my yaya went on her mandatory once-a-month day-off. After attending a baptism Saturday afternoon, we dropped her off at EDSA. Basti and I were on the backseat while Leo drove.

I knew it was going to be a LONG weekend when Basti was so active. He did not want to stay put and our stuff was all over the backseat. Moreover, he did not want to let go of my phone and he kept on playing with it. Everytime I would take it from him to text, he would cry until I would give it back (he's also cranky as he missed his afternoon nap).

I took it a good sign when he easily slept when I lulled him to sleep that night. But I spoke too soon. He kept on waking up (i.e. moaning and crying) throughout the night. It started at 11PM and continued until 4AM. I barely got any sleep. When he finally woke up at 630AM, I did not want to get up as I wanted to catch up with my sleep. It did not help that I went boxing Saturday morning and my back and arms were hurting like hell! Good thing Leo got up instead and played with Basti while I slept for a few more minutes.

When we went down for breakfast, Basti did not like the Cerelac that I prepared. I switched to rice and Basti refused to eat that as well. What he wanted was the low fat chocolate milk that Leo was drinking but I did not want to give him much of that. I gave up and brought him upstairs where I gave him a bath, and then his milk and lulled him for his morning nap. He slept for an hour and woke up just in time to get ready for church.

At church, Leo kept him occupied. He did however, shouted and screamed at the end of the mass. It was so embarassing. He did see his future playmate at church (the baby girl's name is Nicole. She shares the same birthday as Basti and they were baptised on the same day) and they sort of smiled/played together.

After church,we decided to have lunch at Pancake House South Supermarket so I can do my groceries. When we got settled at Pancake and he was seated on the high chair playing with the utensils, he suddenly turned really red and was concentrating really hard. Turns out, he was pooping. I decided to just change him later at the supermarket bathroom where it's more spacious instead of the cramped bathroom of the restaurant. However, he suddenly threw up (I don't know if he choked on the food or we just overfed him). I had no choice but to change him then and there.

I picked him up and together with the diaper bag I locked myself in the restroom. I put down the toilet seat cover and placed the diaper bag there. I undressed Basti down to his diapers. I washed him on the sink while he kept on squirming. After wiping him down, I tried to figure out how to put on his diapers. I sat down on the toilet seat, put the diaper on my lap, sat him down on top of the diaper and secured the fastenings. I quickly put on his shirt and shorts and handed him outside to his dad while I cleaned up our mess. I was really pespiring and felt so harassed afterwards.

When we got home, I again put him to sleep for his afternoon nap while I caught some sleep as well. I was so thankful when yaya arrived at 3PM. You could hear my sigh of relief up to Makati.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Consultations

Consulted with four doctors throughout the weekend.

I first went to the MyHealth clinic at Festival Mall but I was not happy with the doctor who I consulted with. He was more concerned with my uric than with my sugar and just gave me allopurinol and there's something about his vibes that I don't like. So I decided to get another opinion.

Good thing that my OB's secretary called and said that they have a vacant spot in the schedule for me on that day. I quickly rushed to Asian Hospital and showed my OB my blood tests.

After checking the results, she recommended me to see three specialists: cardiologist, endocrinologist and hematologist. The cardio to check on my uric acid and triglycerides; the endo to check on my borderline sugar and the hema to get a second opinion on my low hemocrit results.

I was recommended to a Dr. Luna. He has a really posh office at the second floor. He's very matter-of-fact and he answered my questions. However, he was rushing through the consultation maybe because he has a line of patients waiting for him. Unfortunately, that's a pet peeve of mine. One thing I love about my OB is that she does not rush through consultation. Sometimes, I'm not aware that I'm more than 30 minutes inside her office because she wants to ensure that I have no more questions. He gave me medicine for my Uric Acid and Silimarine capsules for my fatty liver.

I then proceeded to the 4th floor for my appointment with the endo, a Dr. de Jesus. She shares the clinic wth Dr. Ejercito--the surgeon who did my laparoscopic appendectomy two years ago. Even if my sugar is still a high normal, she's still concerned about it as my HBA1C is above normal. She prescribed me to do an OGTT (i really really hate this test as I also took it during my pregnancy. I still haven't forgotten that sick, sweet, orangey taste. ugh ugh ugh. I'm also going to return to drinking Metformin which I initially took prior my pregnancy for my polycystic ovaries. However, the dosage is higher and I just have to bear the icky side effects.

Unfortunately, there was no hema accredited at Asian Hospital for Maxicare. I'll just have to look for another one. My OB just wants a second opinion on my previous blood tests which declared me Thalassemia free.

It's going to be a LOOOOONG battle for me. I'm returning to the gym on Tuesday with instructions to take it easy and not to push myself too much. Dieting is also a big part of my to-do list other than the medication. I have to take it easy on the sweets for now.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Flower Power!

Just one more day to go and I'm done with this Valentine craze--at least for this year.

It was crazy at work, with female and male officemates receiving boquets of flowers left and right. An officemate even received 3 bouquets from 3 different guys! Where is the fairness in that? All day long, I watched friends receive flowers, though logically I tell myself that there is no one who in his right mind would give me flowers, but I still hoped. By 5:30 I gave up and asked my dad to pick me up.

It's difficult to pretend that I don't care when there are all these flowers staring right at me. I did get a couple of long-stemmed roses (one from my Dad and another from a female officemate who gave flowers to everyone), but they don't count in my book. It's still different if you receive it from someone from the opposite sex who is neither your blood relative or a friend. I don't mean to sound ungrateful. Heck, it was really sweet of my dad to get us flowers, but it's still different.

I love flowers. I really do. What makes them more special is that it's not often that I receive them. I'm particularly fond of peach roses. Have no idea why I like that particular color when a friend informed me that it means admiration. (I learned that colors have different meanings). Tulips are nice too although they can be horribly expensive. That covers my knowledge on flowers though. Although I recently discovered Malaysian mums and the such.

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. I gifted myself with a spa appointment at my gym. I'm having a chocolate scrub and body massage. That would really be nice. I don't know if I'm going out again tomorrow but I'll just play it by ear. I do want to see that movie with Mandy Moore in it. Actually, I wanted to see Gothika but it won't be out until March.

*sigh*Things really used to be VERY simple. I don't know why it has evolved to being this complicated.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Basti's First Birthday




We celebrated Basti's birthday one week later than his actual birthday. Feb. 7 at Galleria de Magallanes.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Endless Wake-up Call





I posted something about my wake-up call five years ago. I somehow succeeding in waking up. I lost some excess weight and ate healthier. However, the stress just got to me and since I'm an emotional eater, I gained back the pounds that I lost.

A couple of months ago. I got a trainer to help me lose the weight. It was fine for awhile but my fitness instructor prompted me to go to the doctor when I've been experiencing dizzy spells during our work-out. At first I thought it was because of the food that I ate or the gym but even if we addressed those factors, the dizziness won't go away and it was so frustrating for the both of us as I could not push myself as much as I would want. I've worked out in the past and this was the first time that it happened.

On Friday last week, I went to the doctor who prescribed me to have a stress test and blood test. The stress test revealed negative but when I saw the blood test, I just deflated.

In my 2005 wake-up call, it was my cholesterol, triglycerides and uric acid levels that were beyond the normal levels. In this blood test, there were more findings. Though the cholesterol and sugar levels are normal, my triglycerides and uric acid levels are high and my HIBA1C level (related to sugar) are a bit over the normal range. However, it was not that that caused my dizziness. A complete blood count showed that my hemoglobin levels were low. Hemoglobin is the iron-containing oxygen-transport metalloprotein in our red blood cells (thank you Wikipedia). In layman terms, it means that the oxygen in my blood is low. Basically, I have iron deficiency anemia.

What adds to the frustration is that the food that I can eat contradicts each other. For my anemia, friends have advised me to eat liver; but then that's a big no-no for my uric; for the cholesterol, I should eat oatmeal and veggies but then oatmeal is not good for my uric and there are some veggies that have high purine content. And the list just goes on and on.

I hope to see my doctor this weekend so I can really know what to do. I'm just lost right now and I miss my exercise. I really want to lose weight and be healthy again!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Neil Patrick Harris



Neil Patrick Harris aka Doogie Howser is a fond memory of my childhood. I remember watching his show and my friends and I got the inspiration of keeping a computer journal. We would type or thoughts on the computer, save it on a floppy disk and exchange disks to read each others letters/journals. It was quite cool back then.

He disappeared for some time right after Doogie and my glimpse of him was in Harold and Kumar. Now, he's quite successful in his new stint in "How I Met Your Mother" and has come out from the closet. His recent hosting gig at the Emmy's was the best. I find him really funny and engaging. I wish to see more of him like this.

If you want to sing along, here are the lyrics:

Nothing Suits Me Like A Suit
by Barney Stinson

I know what you’re thinking
What’s Barney been drinking?
That girl was smoking hot

Yes I coulda nailed her
But no it’s not a failure
‘Cuz there’s one thing she is not

To score a ten would be just fine
But I’d rather be dressed to the nines
It’s a truth you can’t refute
Nothing suits me like a suit

Picture a world where all the boys and girls
Are impeccably well dressed
That delivery guy in the jacket and tie
That puppy in the double-breast

That ’80s dude in mutton chops
That baby with a lollipop
That lady cop who’s kinda cute
Nothing suits ‘em like a suit

Wingman I can wear
They’re oh so debonair
The perfect way to snare
a girl with daddy issues

In navy blue or black
Check out this perfect rack
I want to give them a squeeze

Oh really? Then answer these questions
If you please

What would you do if you had to choose
Between your suits and a pot of gold? Suits.

What would you say
If you gave your suits away
In return you’d never grow old? Suits.

What would you pick
One million chicks
Or a single three-piece suit? It’s moot.

What if world peace
Were within your reach … Abbadabada I’m gonna stop you right there. It’s suits. Come on, Lily. Get your head outta your ass.

Two! Three! Four!

Girls will go and girls will come
But there’s only one absolute
Every bro on the go needs to know
That there’s no accepted substitute

I’m sorry suits, let’s make amends
My Sunday best are my best friends
Send casual Friday down the laundry chute

‘Cuz nothing suits the undisputed oft-saluted suitor of repute
Like a …. wait for it …
Suit!

Then again, she is pretty hot.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Graveyard Book

WARNING: This post contains spoilers.

I love Neil Gaiman. I fell in love with his works during college when a friend lent me a Sandman comic. When I finally had the means to do so, I bought the entire Sandman collection (from 1: Preludes and Nocturnes to 10: The Wake) and if I find anything else out there, I buy and will buy them. I love reading stories about The Endless and in my opinion, they're the best stories that Neil Gaiman had ever created.

But I was wrong.

I first read about The Graveyard Book at Neil Gaiman's site last year. As I was not expecting it to be out in the Philippines soon, I forgot about it until I saw it at Powerbooks while I was looking for books to read for our KL trip. I started reading it at the airport while waiting for our flight and finished the book halfway during the 4 hour flight. I was surreptitiously wiping my eyes afterwards as I cried during the last few pages. It was the best book that I have read in AGES (after being disappointed by Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, it was a welcome reprieve)!

What I basically love about it is the premise of the story. It talks about a boy named Nobody Owens or Bod for short, who escaped from being murdered by the person who killed the rest of his family when he was a baby. He was adopted and raised by an old ghost couple living in a graveyard and he has an undead creature as his guardian who brought him food and taught him his letters. The ghosts and his guardian kept him safe inside the graveyard and forbade him from stepping out of his sanctuary with the fear that his life is still in danger with his killer still looking for him.

It was a great ending, with the boy getting his "justice" 15 years later and claiming the freedom to experience the world outside the cemetery. I don't know, but being a mother, I really found the last couple of pages really heartfelt and beautiful. Bod was leaving the cemetery and it was his adoptive ghost-mother who he last saw who bade him goodbye. She sang him the lullaby that she used to sing when he was a baby and she finally remembered the rest of the words which she thought she forgot forever. And my tears just started flowing when he tried to hug her but couldn't anymore.

As I write this, I keep on getting up and looking at my son. I know it's still a long way off before he leaves the nest to experience the world and as early as now, my heart is already crying for that eventuality.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Haircut


Before the haircut



After the haircut


Is there a difference? Hehehe.

Basti had his haircut yesterday at this kid's salon at Festival Mall. It's a cute shop wherein the toddler can sit in little cars and they can watch their favorite cartoon. Everything started smoothly at first with Basti playing with the car and watching Hi-5, however, he began to freak out when he heard/felt the razor. Yaya had to hold him but he kept on twisting his head.

Fortunately, it was over in less than half an hour. The haircut's more expensive compared to an adult haircut but we somehow expected it. Their stylist was really patient and really knows how to deal with toddlers who doesn't seem to like to have their hair cut.