I Was This Thin

11:00 PM Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Yup. I think this is probably me at my overall thinnest, which was in college, because the commute to PNU from our house was taking a toll on me. Yup again, it's only travel to and from Taft, basically, but that was already FAR for me since I walked to school most of my life.

This was taken when I was 18 years old... at the graduation rites of our batch of volunteer peer counselors for the Foundation for Adolescent Development, Inc.

I was so thin, no? I couldn;t help but cringe when I first saw this pic again. I did not have meat at all! Gosh.

And though I am very much overweight now, there really is some sort of acceptance of these curves and bulges now... and a lack of desire to be that thin again.

I will be happy with a maximum of 20-25 pounds lost... very doable if only i'd stick to a healthy diet and regular exercise. To reach my weight here, I would have to lose around fifty pounds.

No, thanks!

As I was discussing her moving options with my sister, we got to talking about Illinois movers and how Illinois Moving Companies seem to have the best packages in the US.

You see, there is an offer from a relative to help my sister out, but this is all the way in Texas. She's in Detroit now. And she wants to move to Florida (I am assumming the boyfriend is there). I really don't care where she moves so long as it's not a deader zone than Michigan. I have been encouraging her to accept any job offer, even those that are so far from her nursing degree and licence, like dog walker or receptionist... even maybe a shop employee. I even told her my former manager worked as a cashier at a grocery when she first migrated in the US, and to think they had ships and breeding horses here in the Philippines. That's dignity of labor... and any job will allow her to learn more about the culture of her adopted country. She's been there 3 years and has not been exposed to much... only the drama offered by our relatives.

So really, I want her to move.

Moving To Illinois is also an option, but she doesn't know anyone from there but loved the windy city of Chicago when she visited some 2 years ago. Plus, it also has all four seasons but don't quite get as frigid as Detroit.

Some sign on where she should go would be most welcome, Lord. I just want her gone from Detroit... and living a better life (where she's self-realizing and self-reliant).

Will You Get a Driver?

4:00 PM Friday, November 11, 2011

One of the things you think about if and when you're already super rich is... will you get your own driver or still drive yourself?

Now that a personal auto transport is not the monopoly of the rich anymore, and it's really very convenient for families to have their own auto transport to ferry them to and fro school runs as well as go on road trips with, the need for a driver suddenly becomes a question... even for the middle class.

After all, not all women drive... or feel compelled to learn. And most moms also work now so they can't really be the ones doing the ferrying too.

But then... a friend's driver impregnated their nanny. The next driver again had dalliances with the next nanny. I'm not sure I like to invite such possibilities.

Plus, I like the conversations we have during a car ride. Also not sure if I want someone else listening in on those.

Still, I'd really love to have my own auto transport someday. Even a cheapie Jazz or Getz will do :)

After A While

12:10 AM Saturday, November 05, 2011

This poem, After A While by Veronica Shofftstall, was very popular back when I was in college. And it resonated very deeply in me because I was still very insecure then... unsure of what will happen to me, if I will ever be happy, what will come of my dreams.

It encouraged me to go, be my own person, and tend to ME.

This other poem, I read when I was already about to get married, I think. It seemed fitting... after finding yourself, you can now lose it again and evolve because you can also truly love. The original poem is more beautifully written... but it's still really nice to have grown up and be able to appreciate this one.

It validates all the pain and drama of the yesteryears.

And I just recently found out that the author of the second one, Adrian Tecson, wrote it when he was still in college :)

The Silver Lining in the Lost P10k

2:44 PM Friday, October 21, 2011

I lost my wallet today. Or it was stolen. I'm pretty sure I didn't drop it because I never put it out when I was out, so I'm sure it was 'picked' from my bag while I was busy with something else. Maybe when I was just talking to my son. Maybe when I dozed off for a while. I dunno.

And as luck would have it, it contained P10k.

P5k of which was meant for my sons' party entertainment, which I meant to deposit in the bank today so I don't end up spending the money on anything else. Ironic, isn't it?

The rest is money intended for this weekend and the coming week... from cab fares to shopping for treats (Yakee's once a week treat of a popsicle after class while I get ensaymada), to allowance for going to Play Pilipinas and the field trip. I brought all the money because I was also buying Cetaphil lotion and I didn't think to leave the rest.

And now, all's gone.

And I am sad, of course.

But in a way, I feel relieved... because it could have been worse. I could have lost the P40k I withdrew the other day.

And I guess I can't really feel an overwhelming loss because the money was basically intended for wants. WANTS.

We'd still have food this week. I didn't lose the HMO cards so we could still have the checkups we're scheduled for next week. The credit card companies will be only too happy to replace my cards, and the cards haven't been charged by the thied (I really think he just threw away the wallet after getting the money, without checking the secret compartment). The only hassle would be having the EON card replaced. I may need Cetaphil for my eczema, but it's not like I have a loved one in the hospital needing the money.

That's the silver lining. It may be some weird way of making me realize that I am still blessed. P10k is not a deal breaker for me. I still have a biscotti in the ref to cheer me up.

Of course, it's a stressor for me and hubs since we'd need money for our wants... but at least, they're wants. Not needs. We're in a place where we can have so many wants. I know other people aren't so lucky. I now other people would need to work for two or three months just to earn that.

Which brings me to me... I am not earning money. Now, I may have to... because I was the one who lost the money.


I just realized that my engagement and wedding rings were in the wallet I lost.

Now, I feel weak.

Bye, Kuya Rich

1:54 AM Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I met you about 15 years ago. You were surly, weird (artistic and talented, but weird), hairy and non-fashionable, always late, uncompromising, idealistic.... You were also generally cool, steady, funny, smart and no matter how much you despised our girly drama, you were our friend. I like to think you even acted as a sort of big brother to me.

I only really knew that part of you. Talking to your wife at your wake, I couldn't help but find it both sad and beautiful that in you was a loving husband and father as well, one I really didn't get to see/meet since we've all generally lost touch. It would have been nice to see how fatherhood could have tempered your tongue and mellowed your stare. It would have been nice trading parenting tricks with you. It would have been nice to have stopped being a 'younger sis' to you and be equals for once (after all, I now have two kids!).

When I heard the news that you passed away already... I was really torn between being sad for your family who has to go on without you, and relieved for you because your pains have come to an end.

A song that you wrote and that we used to sing all those days ago when we were active in peer counseling keeps playing in my mind.

"Narito ako, kaibigan ko.
Narito ako, handang maglingkod sayo.
Tawagan moko, sasamahan kita
Tawagan moko, hindi ka na nag-iisa."

I wasn't much of a friend to you in your last days... but maybe, this song will remind me to be a friend to your wife and son from hereon. I told hubs that someday, I will buy your son his own guitar... because I would want him to continue your legacy of music, poetry and art.

You were surly, weird and not fashionable. But your wife is right... you were a good man. People will always remember you as one... and I am grateful that I have had the privilege of knowing you, learning from you, being touched by your life.

At 34

11:36 PM Monday, October 03, 2011

This has got to be my first birthday ever that I didn't have cake. And ice cream.

In a way, that is sad... not really because of the cake and ice cream (we could easily have gotten one) but because it really means I am all grown up. Some concerns I have cannot be fixed by ice cream and cake anymore. And my birthday, although I am thankful for it, is now really just another day in my series of days of growing and being.

And there are more pressing things on my mind.

Like my sons, who need me, and are reacting negatively to my bad mood.

And my bad mood... mainly because I think I still feel choiceless and limited with what I have chosen, instead of empowered and enlightened.

And my sudden penchant for multi-wear.

And the eczema on my hands. It pains me to do the simplest tasks like type this, or caress/carry my sons.

And that great question again of where do I go next, considering I already have plans and actually could start homeschooling already.


It's my birthday today and I am pondering if I am serving my life purpose. I even asked hubs to go to a Christian worship... in pursuit of answers.

I can't say I'm lost because I know what I want and I know some of the ways to get there. But I feel... diminished. Deflated.

I only pray I finally put myself to better use.

And I am thankful that I got someone who is pushing me to keep my word on a supposed birthday gift to myself: finally write a storybook.


Sis, How About Studying Further?

11:30 AM Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Talking to my sister last week, I found out she's looking for a home care job while waiting for hospital vacancies. She said she was advised to go work in home care for a while because it was good training for a newbie nurse like her. Plus, she doesn't have to do shifting work just yet. Then again, we are all naturally concerned with the idea of her driving in the snow to visit patients.

I now have three relatives in Detroit who are nurses: one in research, one in a hospital setting, one in home care. Too bad there isn't a doctor among them. I wonder if a nurse can take up a medical management course as well? Maybe someone who manages home care nurses, no?

And it's not like being a nurse isn't good enough. It's just that there is no doctor in the family yet. I really would appreciate someone who's an expert on sickness, and who can probably get us discounts on professional fees sometime in the future.

Plus, I recently stumbled upon a "teach the teacher course" for doctors as well as other training courses (consultant interview course, CV writing guide, leadership, time management, presentation skills and clinical governance, among others). Maybe I should look for a similar one catering to skills improvement for nurses. That way, my sister could have a chance at better opportunities.

What say you, sister, you up to studying again?

Color Me Badd and All 4 One in Manila

6:23 PM Friday, September 09, 2011

I accidentally saw the Ovation Productions ad in 2nd Avenue while I was surfing the TV for something to watch. I immediately told my hubby that we're watching this concert.

High school, baby!

I never knew I would get to dance to "I Wanna Sex You Up" with CMB singing it live!

All in all... Araneta Coliseum was definitely not filled up (they should just have held it at Music Museum, more intimate and probably more fun for everyone) but I was/am so happy that CMB and All 4 One gave such a great show. All their hits... I actually forgot all about All 4 One's "So In Love" and "I Swear" songs. Haha. I mean, I just knew I knew them from before... who cares what they sang?

And then I realized, a lot of their songs were favorite wedding songs, haha.

I also loved the tribute they did for Michael Jackson. I loved all the a capella moments. I loved that they all still sounded great (excepting the guy who grew fat in CMB, you could tell he was gasping for breath especially towards the end of the concert).

The concert really took me back to a time and place I've quite forgotten, not really missed, but also enjoyed and loved. Heck, high school was a time when you felt everything, lived everything. I even told hubs, I want to throw an 80s/90s party for our 10th anniversary instead... and we'd just play all the MTVs we loved.

One other thing, there was an old lady in front of us who was giving us the eye for shrieking... and the concert was sooo moving for me that it brought me back to my juvenile self... and screamed and shouted and clapped all the more to provoke and annoy said old woman. Mean, I know.


It's really gratifying to
1) listen to fave songs of yesteryear sung live
2) finally be able to afford concerts
3) feel empowered to attend concerts just because
4) have great memories attached to those songs
5) realize how much you've grown and that you've made peace with that pimply, awkward teenager
6) know that there are more has-beens coming to Manila!

What's Next for Mec?

11:01 PM Thursday, August 18, 2011

I am feeling a little envious of my cousin, who's taken up caregiving and is now taking up reflexology classes. I can start looking at online courses again, I am sure, and there are enough online degree programs in education (or at least, distance ones) but I really want to take up baking and I am intent on that crash course on Steiner education.. both courses are more practical. Plus, I don't have my own fully-equipped kitchen to just tune in to Youtube tutorials on embellishing cupcakes and whipping up a perfect souffle. Oh, and I also really want to finsih my sign language classes and move on to Level 4 (interpreter status).

Maybe I should badger my sister to look into http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ instead. Maybe there's some enrichment class she can take while trying for the NCLEX and can get aid for it. It would be a more productive use of her time in the US.

But apart from my duties as mom and wife, and breastfeeding advocacy duties, what's next for me? What more can I do? Who else can I become? Because I certainly have to keep growing and self-realizing!

Web Hosting and Wordpressing

7:57 AM Thursday, August 04, 2011

A friend of mine recently made the jump to Wordpress, complete with getting her own domain name and web hosting. She has started the laborious (for me) process of migrating and I really wish her well.

And of course, I am a tad envious. But I am still very much intimidated by the arduous task of switching and not having Google to back my blog up, because it's really quite safe with Blogger right now. A lot of my friends are already hosted in budget hosting sites like Hostgator or Bluehost or Godaddy. And you can see from web hosting reviews which ones are value for money. Still, I am not yet pushed to take the great leap.

Maybe when I know I can dedicate more time to monetizing. Or blogging regularly.

HP Ends

3:04 PM Friday, July 08, 2011

I now know that 'it all ends' on July 14. I still don't know when I am watching the movie though... and torn between watching it in 3D (IMAX theater) or in grandeur (Resorts World splendor). I am leaning towards crying in grandeur, haha.

I expect the actors to move on with their lives and finally really churn out other movies. I wonder though if they'll get paid as much as they were for the Harry Potter installations. Emma Watson became the youngest highest paid actress for the last 3 films, I think (which gave her around $20M). I wonder if the British has an equivalent to a 401k gold account. Or maybe, it's just celebs' accountants who are investing in IRA gold and arranging for IRA gold transfer later.

Oh, but I digress.

I cannot begin to describe the sadness that I know will accompany my last visit to the cinema for Harry Potter. And I think it's partly because I am not sure if my sons will ever be as big a fan as I am... and since they did not live during the time when you actually wait in line for the next book, there won't be that anticipation anymore for what will happen next... part of HP's charm.

I really think that's the reason why I haven't read Game of Thrones yet... even though I have had the 4 books for almost a month now. I know the 5th book is out there already too... but dare I fall in love again?

Pascual Consumer Health Care Corp. (PascualLab) recently invited bloggers as it launched its first line of health supplements that are specially made for women last June 9, 2011 at Tian-di Heaven and Earth Urban Spa in San Juan, Greenhills.

I actually had no idea what the product was and was happily surprised that they were health supplements from all-natural ingredients targetting women on the go. Briefly, they launched the following:

A!life Control - carbohydrate blocker for those who likes their rice or pasta. It contains Phase 2 (a white bean extract proven to minimize carb absorption). Supplement is best taken 2 hours before or after a carb-ladden meal. "Block carbohydrates. Get Slim."

A!life Posture - has Ostivone, which stimulates the formation of new bone cells and inhibits the loss of healthy bone cells. As brand ambassador Shawn Yao put it, "You can be as slim and pretty all you want but if your bones cannot support you, then everything will be pointless" (not exact words). She's got a great point, right? We do tend to forget about our bones and usually focus more on our skin. This is best taken with Calcium. "Stronger Bones. Better Posture."

A!life Energy - now, this is the Calcium supplement and it's all from Malunggay. The best part of this is that Malunggay also contains zinc, vitamin C, amino acids and other nutrients. With malunggay supplements, you really cover a lot of bases because this particular plant/food product is so good. "Natural Power. Extra Energy."

A!life Protect - this contains Pylogenol, a super antioxidant that helps protect the immune system defend against free radicals and facilitates skin lightening. Perfect for times when you can't get your eight hours of sleep or this rainy season. "Protect Health. Be Radiant."

A!life Restore - this is the anti-aging supplement of the bunch, with Hyaluronic Acid (HA) that restores moisture from within. Prevent wrinkles and fine lines by using sunscreen, moisturizing, hydrating and popping this pill! "Restore moisture. Look young."

A!life Trim - contains ampalaya and banaba and helps lower blood glucose levels which is helpful in this day and age of processed foods and easily-had sweets (I think I ate 14 cookies yesterday! gaah). "Control Sugar. Be trim."

Some pictures I took (and two from OMD Philippines) include:

the host Bianca Valerio was soooo perky and refreshing, I felt her talents were wasted on us bloggers who didn't respond so much to her (mostly because I think the bloggers weren't comfortable in the standing room only setup with camera crews in front)

some of the ambassadors for A!life and Pascuallab representatives

"We make time for what we choose to have in our life." and "It sometimes really gets exhausting but I would rather have this than empty days." (Lucy Torres Gomez, who was absolutely luminous!)

Everybody takes a pose. Brand Ambassadors were also officially presented to the public too. A!life Protect Brand Ambassador Ms. Lexie Schultze, A!life Control Brand Ambassador Cong. Lucy Torres-Gomez, Pascual Corp. Communications Vice President Ms. Mia Pascual, St. Lukes and Veterans Hospital Oncologist Dr. Christina Galvez, A!life Sr. Brand Manager Ms. Diana Gener, A!life Restore Brand Ambassador Ms. Patty Bettita, A!life Energy Brand Ambassador Ms.Lorraine Lapus, and A!life Posture Brand Ambassador Ms. Shawn Yao

Erika Paredes was sooo cute! Again, if we bloggers weren't standing, it would have been a more interactive and dynamic session for sure. It just felt awkward to be gathered round her, standing like that, hehe. But I loved her tips on creating slimmer silhouettes.

There were several mini-talks for the bloggers who attended as a treat and I attended the Makeover one. There was also a yoga class, one about making healthy drinks, and one on beauty regimens and exfoliating. After all these classes, there was a short dance class where everyone was invited to dance to varied energetic and sexy Latin dances.

So, yeah... this blogcon was fun. Illuminating too, aside from providing everyone that reality check to embrace a healthier lifestyle. The ambassadors did not just pitch for their brands but also reminded guests to exercise, eat well, manage stress as we all perform the many roles we play.

All bloggers got to take home some samples of the supplements (most were looking for the carb blockers, haha) and a spa certificate at Tian-di Heaven and Earth Urban Spa. Nice!

Look good, feel good, perform better... all possible with A!life :)


Thanks to Yehey, PascualLab and OMD Philippines, Inc. for the invite!

Heat Is Killing Me

7:46 PM Tuesday, May 03, 2011

This picture is deceiving because I think I look lean here when I'm really not. Last weighing said I'm 142 lbs. still (which is still a lot of weight lost, yey) but I am far from toned and firm :)

But the heat is killing me. I have severe acne again all over my face. I cannot exercise because I have been nursing rhinitis ever since the heat really gripped the country. I have also had headaches and muscle pain.


And now, I also have sore throat because I ate too much ice cream one really hot day. Yes, I blame everything on the heat. If I can go around naked, I will!

And no, I cannot imagine how I survived summer last year...

Another Grace as Nurse

6:48 PM Thursday, April 21, 2011

I recently managed to reconnect with childhood friends, one of which is now based in the States and shares my sister's name, Grace.

I heard she's taking up Nursing now too and I was happy to tell my old friend that our Grace, meanwhile, is reviewing for the NCLEX. That will be two Graces in medical nursing uniforms, hopefully, in the near future.

If it were me, I wonder if I could get away with cotton scrubs in shades of pink, orange/peach or lemon. Hehe. Maybe I should check out http://www.blueskyscrubs.com/ to see if such shades are common.

Anyway, I used to play older sister for this Grace. I used to defend her from all the teasings, especially when she had to have her hair shaved for a while due to persistent irritations on her scalp. I watched her grow from a toddler to a young child, then watched her be adopted by their aunt. Then, we bid adieu as they migrated to the US. I know she has a kind heart, just like my sis, and will make a great, really caring nurse. So, yes, I wish this other Grace good luck too. I hope my prayers that they make it will help.

Education in the Future

11:08 AM Friday, April 15, 2011

I have been discussing education, in general, with fellow Moms. Parents, after all, stress over where and when to send their kids to preschool... and which big school to aim for.

I told them, same thing I told my husband, that I/we will/should play this one by ear. For one thing, online courses are already pretty common nowadays. Kids as young as 16 are taking distance education programs from UP's Open University. My professor friend is in charge of online degree programs in education at PNU. It's not anymore important to really attend the usual colleges because now, kids can just attend specialized institutions for design, culinary, etc.

Too bad we don't have anything remotely resembling Free Application For Federal Student Aid (like the one at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/) for students who may be looking for such opportunities. But still, my point is, who knows where education and other upheavals/technologies will take us? :)

Investing in Gold

5:29 AM Saturday, April 09, 2011

With the inflation nowadays, it's really kinda stupid to just keep your savings/money in a bank. Even if it was put on time deposit. The interest is just not enough to cover the money value lost due to inflation. Unless you're investing in, I don't know, the Australian dollar and Chinese Yuan? Or maybe delving into mutual funds.

Enter investments in precious metals like jewelry and IRA gold. I think they also have gold 401k accounts in the US, which supposedly yield more for the same level of investment.

So, I guess when my sister starts earning regularly, I will ask her to look into 401k gold investments so that by the time she retires, she can maybe have a bigger resort made than our uncle, who has recently cashed in his 401k returns.

Or at least, she'd just really be comfortable in old age.

Top Chef Masters, Season 1 and 2

2:34 PM Wednesday, April 06, 2011

I have just recently finished watching the first two seasons of Top Chef Masters. Gave my husband a challenge because there weren't enough people seeding the episodes... but yeah, he found a way to get me each one of them.

My fave for Season One was Hubert Keller. He's just so sweet and dignified, gentle and calm. So, it was really a bummer that he got the lowest scores in the finale. Then again, even if I haven't really tasted it, I also think truffles are overrated.

My fave for Season Two is Susur Lee, mostly because he's Asian. Same reason I was also rooting for Anita Lo from the first season (but I think, she just really went downhill after winning one of the elimination rounds). Again, a bummer that he got the lowest scores in the finale, haha.

I loved Season One because I think most of the contestants there were really dignified... except the batch with Ludo Lefebvre (though, he's really, really yummy!). They exuded the Masters aura :)

But the challenges for Season Two were really tougher. I couldn't sit still, considering the season has ended!

And now... I am looking forward to Season Three, which premieres tonight! I will miss Kelly Choi though (and her stylist's preference to dress her in shades of red and purple).

Now... hopefully, hubs can also finish downloading Top Chef Just Desserts too.

Lost at 33

6:55 AM Saturday, March 19, 2011

I am blessed. But I am also at a point where I don't know what's next aside from raising a family.

I am sad about something but I am not sure which, nor why.

I am praying the tears will stop from flowing and I will be engaged in more doing instead.

An unhappy me cannot be a good wife and mother... so, what's wrong with me?

Winter is Costing my Family

9:47 PM Thursday, March 17, 2011

My parents' car in the US has been snowed in half the time this winter... and it's always raining and snowing there still. I'm betting even a Ford Expedition cannot stand to remain outdoors in such snow. It would be dented and frozen and caving in with all the snow!

My sister has to literally dig the car through the snow every two hours or so, otherwise, the snow would turn to ice. It's such tedious work, she says, as opposed to just cleaning the car in the summer with a bucket of soapy water and hosing it down with a water pump. Add to her woes the fact that something seems to be wrong with the car's timing belt too. Oh well.

Is it an upside that gas is so high that they won't be doing much personal/leisure driving to save on costs?

The Case of my Lola

6:33 PM Wednesday, March 02, 2011

My lola wants to go back to the Philippines because she's 85 years old already and wants to escape the harsh winters of Michigan. Unfortunately, her pension was awarded her because she's a senior citizen. It's not something she worked for in her youth that she can bring and use anywhere, like other American citizens.

Therein lies her problem. Right now, we're looking into resources for seniors to see a workaround on this issue... so she can still come home with medicare supplement to enjoy. After all, she's undergone surgery for her hips and is already taking maintenance drugs for her heart.

I don't think there's a need for burial insurance for her though... that's something all her kids and grandkids can spring for... plus, my father's plots are there for her to use. Not that I'm expecting her to pass away anytime soon. Her mother reached the grand old age of 96, her uncle, 102. :)

Anyway, I just hope she can come home soon... and maybe, my youngest paternal uncle will also grab his chance to get married. Haha.

Run United 1 for 2011 Blogger Event

1:30 PM Friday, February 25, 2011

This blog post is soooo long overdue, haha.

I attended a blogger event for Run United 1 for 2011 by Unilab at Borough at the Podium last January 31, 2011. Yes, I know... almost a month to the date, eh?

Anyway, it was a blogcon for the Run happening on March 06, 2011 at the Fort. Registration is finished already but everybody is welcome to the Unilab ActiveHealth Village for free consultations and even games :)

2nd floor of Borough

Dennis, Unilab's official photographer

Maqui registering for the event on an iPad

partaking of the spicy chicken stuff they served

with bloggers Mauie and Julie

us again with Maqui (Mauie's son) and Leirs

me with friends and Rio

* the last 4 photos are courtesy of Dennis/Unilab

I really hope to at least be at the Unilab ActiveHealth Village and also get to cheer hubby for once. See you all there!!!

From 190+ to 140+ Pounds

5:29 PM Thursday, February 24, 2011

That's around fifty pounds lost, right? :)

Thank God nobody believed it when I was pushing 200 lbs. back in October-Novemeber... and that people see me as relatively slim now even if I'm still overweight :)

But I have committed a crime to my body... I'm still not exercising even if the varicose veins issue has resolved itself on its own. How can I look magnificently toned at my ninang duties at a wedding in June?


I shouldn't be just enjoying this body... I should be taking care of it and maintaining it.

Some 15 pounds more before I am a healthy weight again!

(oh and yeah, am loving the appreciation I get from strangers, bwahahaha)

What is Valentines Without Chocolates? Not a great Valentines, that is.

Anyway, am just happy though that hubby picked up on my hint. You see, I recently discovered Lindt's Lindor bars and loved, loved, loved the white one. It took me back to the time when I can still enjoy Cadbury Dream Eggs (and hubs had to get that from Singapore pa!).

The filling is just sooo divine!

Hubs got the assorted pack though, not the bar. Well, I guess I can now try the other flavors :)

And I do have 3 white Toblerones.

I Have a Problem

11:46 AM Monday, January 31, 2011

I am down to 150 lbs again, which is great right?

Plus, I have this grand plan to start dieting and exercising this Feb so I'd look fab by June (for my primary sponsor stint at a wedding) and can join the Mommy Milkshake marathon in August.

But... but... all the weight loss is threatening my investment in clothes. Case in point, the Maki pants of my Eden Bento Box is already hanging real low around my hips. And the tops are also getting slightly loose so the collar is hanging lower on my chest.


I'm already wondering if I can sell them on Ebay if they don't fit anymore. Right now, that's about P7k worth of clothes that's being threatened. If my Aria Nursing tank also starts getting loose, that's another P1k.

And don't get me started on my other nursing tops... two of which are hanging big and shapeless around me. The only way I can salvage them is to maybe wear them with shorts... but I still have varicose veins everywhere!


Losing weight though is a happy problem right? Right?

Erratic Weather, New Diseases?

9:55 AM Sunday, January 30, 2011

I am not really monitoring the news but I have heard of the flooding in Saudi Arabia. There are other countries getting flooded, I know, and our country has several areas flooded since December. Then, it's 11 degree Centigrade cold in Baguio. And negative 18 degrees in Detroit. Everywhere, the weather is either unusual or extreme.

Could this possibly lead to newer diseases? I'm just assuming that mosquitoes, for example, will get more resistant and develop an immunity that will affect their bites. Plus, there's always that rat poop in floods that can lead to deaths. These two can easily lead to bloodstream infection that weakens a body fast and is slow to respond to drugs.

And what of the allergic rhinitis, asthma and colds that behoove us all since late November? I am currently taking antibiotics for sinusitis that's giving me headaches for the past few days. I've been nasal dripping, sniffing, coughing for a month! Ewww.

I know there are many institutions fighting new diseases and infections everyday but am sure the weather ain't helping them.

Selfishly though, does this mean our summer will be mild? Because I still have nightmares over how hot it was last year. I know I was pregnant then but the heat was just really unmageable.

Almost Bye Time, Mom

9:36 AM Thursday, January 27, 2011

I really enjoyed having my Mom this time because she stayed here in Manila most of the time. She also really bonded with her grandkids, which I really, really, really wanted.

But come dawn of Saturday, she's heading back to join my sister in the US again. Sadness.

I can just imagine she'd be crying so much this time because she'd be missing 3 grandkids who she played with, took care of, shouted at, put to sleep, fed and sang to.


I really wish God will be so kind as to allow my Mom more years to see her grandkids grow.

Big Bad Blogger Hoopla

1:44 AM Monday, January 24, 2011

I was surprised to see texts to me asking who the Big Bad Blogger was. I had no idea why there's suddenly a Big Bad Blogger (since I know for a fact that there are tons of them haha) so despite lacking sleep, I had to go online and find out.

I can't say I'm shocked about who the blogger is and the PR company involved, nor the lengths they've gone through just to generate income... I am surprised though at how lucrative the blogging business has become and how more of the bloggers I know who are pleading for decency among bloggers are actually, well, paid hands.

Then again, that's just more hypocrisy for you. But at least, this is out now so maybe the sharks will lie low for a few months before putting pressure on businesses again. The blogger wars and issues has just gotten bigger.

Meanwhile, I sort of pity BBB because bloggers everywhere are looking for him and he might be cyber lynched if enough evidence are given to identify him. I pity him because he's not alone... there are a lot of other blogggers like him. And they are both perpetrators to and victims by the PR companies and desperate/corrupt businesses. After all, no blogger wakes up thinking he or she can just ask for P8k per positive blog post.

Games of Chance

11:57 PM Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hubs and I were talking about playing poker and what-not, and how he used to play all day in college, not really because he was addicted to gambling. He was more hooked on the social thrill of beating other guys up. He also told me what one of the people working for Resorts World says about their casinos: in principle, it really isn't different from an all night videoke, or going dancing, or going to a girlie bar or even shopping, watching movies or dining out. You spend money to be entertained.

It made me remember all those basketball betting boys and men used to do when it's basketball finals and Ginebra is competing. It made the games all the more fun and competitive for them, and then there's the chance of winning some cash. Am not sure if there's much sports betting being done now. All I see nowadays are men hooked on horse races and am not sure if that's considered a sport.

Games of chance. They are actually fun for the thrill, and maybe if you're winning. It's just really bad if a person starts pinning his hopes and dreams for that one in a million possibility of a big win.

Tayo'y Hindi Tigang

3:01 AM Monday, January 17, 2011

Cases in point:

* Our coastline is around 36,000 kilometers long... halos doble po ng coastline ng USA. Ako'y tuo namang nababagabag before when I read novels where kids actually don't see the sea for years... or all their lives. IMHO, sadyang kaawa-awa naman po talaga ang hindi man lang nakakakita ng sunset sa beach. Susmio, kahit never ako natuto lumangoy... kahit kelan hindi ko ipagpapalit ang Pacific Ocean natin. If it's good enough for whales, it should be good enough for everyone!!!! Feel ko nga, bigyan lang ng proper education and training ang Badjaos natin... we'd Olympic Gold Medal ourselves sa swimming eh.

* Gusto mo freshwater? Aba, we have 211 lakes, 18 major rivers, and 22 marshes, swamps, and reservoirs. Kaya kahit super umaakyat ako ng Banahaw via GuisGuis, o kaya naman sa Sto. Tomas sa Cordillera, o dili kaya naman sa Daraitan sa Rizal, or sa Apo pa... siguradong me lawa dyan, o kaya ilog. Kung sa Halcon ka nga aakyat, magsasawa ka sa "water source" eh. Why else would the Ifugaos construct rice terraces kung walang tubig up there, diba nga?

* Ah gusto mo galing sa alulod? Pwes, umaabot lang naman po ng around 63 cm. of rain ever ang dumadaan sa alulod ng mga bahay natin (and with the floods, you'd even wonder bakit 63 cm. lang!). At yang tubig na yan na naglilinis ng bubong ang syang isa sa mga tunay na nakapagpaligaya sakin nung bata ako... where I first practiced the art of taking a shower (as opposed to taking a bath, powtek kayo!). Ultimately nga, naging daan pa yang "playing in the rain" moments ko to realize na I was actually growing breasts na. Go figure.

* Ah gusto mo mas subtle sa ulan? We have dew and fog and humidity. Mornings in the Cordillera can't help but make you believe that if you stick out your tongue, you'd actually get water from the fog enveloping you. Sometimes, you don't even have to water your plants anymore. Talagang wet na lang ang lupa.

At dahil tayo'y hindi tigang, we have more fun!

Cases in point:

seafood - hello... siguro mga 1% lang sa total world population lang ang ayaw sa any kind of seafood. Well ako, am in love with them. Masarap ang maya-maya pag fresh and mataba tas bagong prito. At nagpapasalamat akong naiiwan ang mga batong kinakapitan ng mga liswik sa dalampasigan, para maani at ibenta sa palengke. Ilang klaseng tuna nga ba meron tayo? Sa Calapan nga, people report that they have to bury caught giant tuna (think tuna that are as long as the average Pinoy is tall) because there are not enough vessels with reefer outlets to transport these to Manila. Susmio, itaas ang kamay ng hindi pa nakakatikim ng "ketong" na kinusido... pramis, kulang pa ang langit mo! And do I need to remind anybody pa ba of shrimps and crabs and oysters and clams... Kung mahilig ka sa exotic, we have octopus and turtles even! Aba, ultimong seaweed masarap i-enselada. Kung hindi ito ang paraiso, ewan ko na talaga!

water fun - forget the pools with wave generators... we have so many white-sand beaches (Galera, Boracay, Panglao) where we can lounge in our string bikinis while enjoying a massage. Northern Mindanao offers such adventures as surfing (Siargao) and white-water rafting (Cagayan). Subic offers parasailing... Batangas and Mindoro offer great diving sites. Even Manila Bay offer Dragon Boat rowers a lot of space to exercise. Have you seen kids playing by the beach? Ang gandang tingnan diba, kahit nognog na sila?

but what really is the greater implication?

Simple lang... we are far richer than we really believe for to the extent that Water gives life, the Filipno is being allowed to live. We have water that is clean and relatively safe in abundance.

We can drink the water directly from faucets in most areas in the country, including Manila. Masbate nga lang ang alam kong amoeba-infested talaga ang water. Pero other than that... konting sala lang or wala... POTABLE na sadya ang tubig natin. May problems sa distribution services pero our water is still clean and safe. Kayang-kaya tayo talaga i-sustain. At ultimong Manila Bay na nakakatakot sa pollution nya, hindi pa talagang nakakamatay. Ask the lang the rowers who practice there every morning, who then take a quick dip after a rigorous session. Buhay pa sila!!!

Sabi, we can last up to 14 days without water before dying. In 14 days, kahit sino satin, in the next century or so, makakahanap tiyak ng water kaya guaranteed ang ating survival.

Ang tubig ng Pilipinas. Andyan lang sya, nag-aantay na kailanganin mong i-soothe ang parched throat mo... lagyan ng konting asin bago ipangmumog... ipangtayo ng bahay... pagpalutangan ng bangkang papel (or in my nephew's case, 3 rubber duckies)... pakuluan kasama ng mga bote ng anak mo... gamitin sa jacuzzi mo... gamiting patubig sa palayan mo... ibuhos sa bunbunan ng nagngangangawang bata para gawin syang Tao ng Diyos...

Kaya salamat talaga, ang Filipino ay hindi tigang.


wrote this in June 2005 for our then Blogkadahan theme: "what we love most about being Filipino/the Philippines"

so much has happened since then, and I guess a lot of Filipinos are actually not appreciating all the rains that are destryong our crops. Even Ondoy took lives and a lot of our fellowmen did not have a very merry holiday season due to floods and destroyed properties. But the sadder thing is, our government has still not harnessed this great potential nor really taken care of this blessing. What have we done after Ondoy? Have we become more concerned for the resources we're enjoying?

Cousin Wants Scrubs

7:00 AM Wednesday, January 05, 2011

My cousin, who just recently found a better paying job in a bigger hospital in Detroit, has asked my Mom to buy some navy blue scrubs for him at Bangbang. Just like my uncle before, he is unhappy about the nursing uniforms he finds in the US because of the material and make.

My Mom has checked out scrub uniforms sold in Divisoria because she was also planning to buy some for her caregiving work but didn't like the bold styles there. I explained that those in Divi are mostly scrubs for helpers and nannies and not really nursing ones. So, now she really has to go to Sta. Cruz.

I know some Filipinos in the US make a business of buying and selling scrubs to their peers because those offered there really leave much to be desired. I guess this means, we don't only export health care providers but also dress health care providers abroad as well.

The Downside of Christmas

8:40 PM Monday, January 03, 2011

I'm still sick so I will rant.

One of the things I have always hated about Christmas is growing up watching relatives come flocking to our house, and my uncle's, and ask, ask, ask.

Yes, I don't have a naturally generous spirit.

But I have never liked having people sort of force my Mom to give them things, from food to clothes to money, in the spirit of Christmas. Plus, it never felt right how my Mom would already bless the parents but she'd also have to bless their kids, and then later on, their grandkids. Come on, my Mom had to wake up at 5 AM, the latest, every day of the year to earn her keep so it's really offensive that these people, who weren't in our lives the whole year, would oblige my Mom to give.

We got a reprieve, sort of, when my Mom migrated. But alas, she was here for this Christmas so there was that again. What's more, these relatives would even ask my Mom to hand something over for someone who did not come along with them, which my Mom refused to do. I guess it was a blessing that her GSIS pension wasn't released so she really had to put her foot down and only give to those who took the effort to be there.

And the asking/begging hasn't stopped. My uncle has been texting my cousin to ask my Mom to give aguinaldo to my cousin, whose wife has just given birth, for formula money. While I feel for the infant, who was born with an infection and requires a daily dose of antibiotics, my cousin was right in telling my uncle that I'd just go ballistic on them since I breastfeed so my cousin-in-law should to.

I know all about the gratitude that should come in being in the position to give, rather than ask. But it's not like my Mom hasn't helped these same people out many times already before. They just kept making the wrong choices. So, why should my Mom be obliged to provide for them when they're younger and stronger than she is?


I can rant and rant and rant. But it's really one of the downsides of Christmas. Even some of my nieces and nephews had the gall to demand aguinaldo from hubs, which made me decide all the more not to give them any. Some people just automatically assume it's other people's obligation to give. It is the season for giving but everyone should be giving. Some people just want to receive.

And frankly, it can get quite exhausting to help especially if they make you feel you're a bad person for not having satisfied them. Like my uncle. My Mom and my aunt has already blessed him immensely, but the way he asks, it's as if he hasn't been given any yet... and that my Mom should just really foot the bill for everything.

He should just have castrated his son if he didn't want another grandchild... right?


So crabby of me, I know.