Santacruzan and My Issues

1:09 PM Tuesday, May 26, 2009

First off, Santacruzan and Flores de Mayo are not the same. Santacruzan is all about reliving Queen Helen's hunt for Jesus' crucifix remains. Flores de Mayo is a flower festival for Mother Mary asking for good harvests.

Anyway, the Santacruzan has begun in earnest in our area. My son loves the beat of the drums and xylophones during the parade and I love watching all the gowns. I see that tarpaulins wih the sagala's picture is now the norm, either attached to the decorated arch or the pedicab (which usually carries the kids). I can't help but cringe when I see archs decorated with plastic, thinking of how they'd be environmentally bad.

Anyway, watching those heavily made-up girls parading with their consorts will always be a bittersweet thing for me as I was ugly as a child. And though I never measured my worth through my looks, I am only human. Of course, it would have been nice to be asked to parade. And eventhough I know half of those who were only there because of their conncections and bribes, I really doubt any woman wouldn't like being appreciated for how good she looks. I really doubt any woman wouldn't like being perceived as beautiful.

So I can only imagine how competitive such things can be in small towns.

I only got to parade in a gown once, and that's at the Tapusan of Flores de Mayo in Lipa, where anyone can don a gown and parade. The only one with decorated archs and lamps are the Kapitanas. And even if you don't have a partner, you can join (of course, it'd be kinda embarassing, but it's still not uncommon). And yes, being voluntary, ladies in gowns usually outnumber guys in barongs by 3:1 :)

But all these being said, I am glad to not be particularly marked negatively by the lack of looks. And it's really great there's such a thing as sex appeal and confidence, that I never wanted for admirers naman.

ow, if only I can be the hot momma I want to be. Hehe.

Sponge Crunch Addict

5:03 AM Saturday, May 23, 2009

I am not even going to pretend that this is a healthy snack. But since it only packs 150 mg of sodium (and 185 calories) per serving (the big bag contains four), it is a little better than other chips.

And I just love how it melts in your mouth! Ugh. And it's not as salty as most cheese snacks. I can eat a whole big bag in one sitting (so ouch, that's 600 mg of sodium, yikes).

I also like their Marty's cracklin in salt and vinegar (veggie chicharon). Again, it's good food (vegetable) made bad (fried, salted) but it is a better alternative to usual chips, I guess.

I have not seen any of them. I was (am) curious but I am also ashamed to go downloading a copy since every curious cat like me who end up watching the vids take away more of the victims' dignity.

Can you imagine what those girls feel?

I mean, those who know better will also know that the offense really is having those videos taken without their permission, sharing those videos to others, and letting the videos be distributed. Which is why I really hope nobody buys what Hayden Kho is saying ("no malicious intentions my a$$) and that he be stripped of his license for the simple reason that he compromised others.

Other men (or boys) should be equally punished.

Because the truth of the matter is... nobody really watches these videos for the guys. These videos become consumer goods because the women in the videos sell. And the guys don't really suffer the same stigma as the girls in the videos do. If ever their partners leave them, it would be because they were unfaithful. But the women, they are left, ostracized, judged and marked for life... not for infidelity (if that was the case) but for being sexual beings. They are judged because they got naked in the first place. They are condemned for reaching an orgasm. They are ridiculed for performing things that about 1/3 of the female population between ages 16-45 actually perform themselves (or are made to do).

So really, I am all for laws being passed that would make distribution of sex videos without both (or all) parties concerned a crime. And I am all for heavier sanctions laid for situations where minors are going to be affected. Because this reminds me again of that Mabini scandal of three high school boys gangbanging a girl and exposing her online.

I have a son. I don't want him to grow up thinking that there are women you can use and abuse and that it doesn't take away from his own integrity or from his other relationships.

What a 150-lb Woman Looks Like

10:27 AM Thursday, May 21, 2009

Well, okay, technically, i'm still only 145 lbs. But I am still really very much overweight now. And yes, this is the most flattering picture of me right now because am really all lumps and bumps and bulge and cellulite and stretch marks.

I need to get healthier asap.

Dreams of Living on the Beach

3:46 PM Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Maybe it's just my in-laws' resthouse. But then again, i've always loved the beach. And after having come back from Marinduque, I find myself daydreaming a lot about living there on my own, for at least a month.

I'd just sleep at the sala or the hammock, with the ocean breeze and the crashing of the waves for company. I'd eat local food and not watch TV. I'd forego cellphones and internet and read a lot instead. And i'd walk miles and miles and miles of it.

I'm thinking, maybe i'd even camp at the Melchor island of the Tres Reyes chain. Wonder though if high tide would mean i'd have to sleep in the cave...or climb higher on the limestone cliffs.

And what would be a typhoon like from the treehouse? And would the sunsets always be as beautiful?

This is such a romantic daydream, one I doubt i'd ever realize now. After all, I can't exactly live an idyllic life there away from my husband and son.

photohunt: painted

8:56 AM Saturday, May 16, 2009

Painted masks, faces and bodies are basic elements of a Philippine fiesta. They inject energy and passion to the festivities, making all the merrymaking and praying and convergence more dynamic, electric and interesting.

This is the eye of a Moriones mask that was being sold in a flea market. I would have loved to have lashes and brows like those, hehe.

R.I.P. Charlotte

2:33 PM Tuesday, May 12, 2009

We weren't even good friends in childhood exactly. But we played and hung out a lot.

And I wouldn't call her nice, but I'm assumming she's also not that bad. And surely she'd have mellowed out in time.

My most vivid memory of her is that time when we were already in high school. She liked a guy from our street, who happened to be involved with my classmate. She, along with some others who like the same guy, were trying to bully my classmate and she asked me for my classmate's number. I told her I didn't know and she was dripping with sarcasm when she asked, "Classmate mo, hindi mo alam number?" (no cellphones back then)
I was cold with my reply that I really didn't know because I was not in the same peer group. Then one of our friends said that she doubts i'd have told them the number anyway, if i'd known. True enough, had I known, I wouldn't have given it to them. I was not close with my classmate either but I certainly wouldn't let them get to her. And all for a boy who was not exceptional in any way.

Sheesh, no?

But anyway, like what I said, I played a lot with Charlotte. I hung out with her a lot. I grew up with her. When I entered college, I lost touch with all of my neighbors/street friends. All I knew was she was involved with a fellow Paconian who later on owned a computer shop in our area. Turned out, she married him.

Anyway, she is probably two years older than me at most. And now she is dead. I am only turning 32 this October so that makes her less than 35. And she is dead. Of cancer. And I can't express how deeply I was moved by this fact.

I doubt any of us wondered, ten or twenty years after that football game, or that chikahan, or her birthday party, if all of us would still be alive. Especially since she came from one of the richer families in the neighborhood. Some of our playmates grew up to be drug addicts and convicts, some grew up to be whores. You'd think they'd snuff it first before someone who was moneyed and educated.

But she's gone now. And I hurt for the family she left behind. I may not have great memories of her but am sure her family thinks greatly of her, that she will be missed by her friends. I hurt for the knowledge that she's leaving behind young kids.

All I can do is pray... that she is at peace and that her family will find comfort where they can.

photohunt: In Memory

12:38 AM Saturday, May 09, 2009

This is a picture of my late nephew's cake on what should have been his 4th birthday. His story has been already told and ended, but our memories of him live on.

And the love he inspired in me made me a better Mom, a better person.

Friends are annoyed by Manny Pacquiao's dismissal of DOH's request that they not return to the country so soon, or that they limit contact with other people. But I also see Manny's point that they are also putting themselves at risk by staying longer in the U.S. And the press and the people are flocking to shake his hands and hug him of their own volition.

But I was more offended by Chavit's donation of a thick wad of dollars at Quiapo Chruch during the Mass. I am not offended by the act of donating (after all, it is for the Church) but the manner in which it was given was really atrocious. He knows he's in the front pew. He knows people are looking their way because he's seated beside Manny. He knows there are cameras. But what does he do? He pulls out a thick wad (and by thick, it's at least an inch thick) of dollars which he of course couldn't shoot in the donation basket fast enough.

At least Manny had the decency to write a cheque and put it in an envelope (or it cash too but it was really a very slim envelope). The act of donating was not done ostentatiously.

Chavit's charity became news itself. Tsk. Tsk.

So forget GMA. It is Chavit who is truly the master strategist. He arranged for the Filipino people to crucify Erap while he's now walking free, with fat bundles of cash on him, a percentage of which is most probably ill-gotten.

On Blog Posts

9:16 PM Wednesday, May 06, 2009

My Hope This helps You blog is currently how I get my bread buttered. I installed a feedjit there for most popular pages and for months, I was kinda amused that my post on the Crocs Mega Sale is always in top 5. I assumed it only means that "crocs sale" is being googled many times.

It also sort of annoys me because I feel I have more helpful posts that aren't being generated/syndicated. Then again, I know the traffic is also affected by where I promote my posts (which is in message boards usually) and whatever's happening that season. Right now, my travel posts are top posts, maybe because it's the time for travelling.

Sigh. Hopefully I am still really dishing out quality posts. I miss being funny though.

Webhosting Research

2:55 AM Monday, May 04, 2009

I am now a stay-at-home Mom and I have been struggling with the fact that I am not earning much (or regularly).

And hubby and I believe we have thought of a brilliant website idea. One that hopefully we can really expand someday, one we hope will generate a steady source of additional income. A hundred dollars each month may be a measly sum but if you know you can depend on it monthly, that will still go a long way because you can use that to project earnings.

So now we're scouting for web hosting options for the site and comparing prices and packages. Right now, i'm looking at which conveniently lists the top ten web hosting sites. I have only ever used Go Daddy (for domain name registration) and have heard of Bluehost but the rest are totally new sites for me. So it helps that comes with comparative charts and reviews (one that is very updated too!).

It's also great that the site has an FAQ page (the Learning Center list of links at the sidebar) for website/hosting beginners like me, who really do not know yet what my requirements are and what things I should look for and consider.

I am checking the site's review of which was Voted Best Host. It's great that they included things like JustHost offering everything unlimited. Hehe. It looks like their tech support is also great. I'm going to get the husband to go over the reviews so we can set up the website asap.

Don't you just love those sites that summarize and consolidate things for you? So it's really kinda easy to be reviewing such sites because they are extremely helpful.

Pacquiao's Glorious Win

9:59 PM Sunday, May 03, 2009

Anyone who watched the HBO specials on Pacquiao and Hatton might say that Hatton's camp could have used more humility and prayer. Mayweather was especially boastful and too confident. And as it turned out, before anyone has even warmed a seat, the fight was already over.

Who would have thought that Hatton would get knocked down as early as round one? And twice at that! Or that a lefthand punch would knock him out at round two? Am sure all advertisers were chagrined, as well as those who paid P700 a seat in SM Cinemas.

My MIL surmised that Westerners don't really know hard and tough like us Easterners do. The guys said that Hatton lacked technique and speed. I thought Pacquiao was getting back at Solar for not letting him have Channel 2 cover his fight. Hehe.

Looks like Martin Nievera's bad luck is his alone... and Pacquiao has just made sure he'd be earning millions and millions again. And because twas such a short fight, he's also maybe delayed Parkinson's.

I can't help but wonder though how people will react when he losses again after a long winning streak. Hopefully, his team will still be there for him and that he won't be suffering alone again (like that time he lost and had to go to the hospital by his lonesome).

Still, congratulations to Manny Pacquiao and his team! And thanks for making the Filipino proud.


I generally liked this article: Pacquiao, a Filipino Uniter