Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cheers to 2010!!!

As I end the riotous and highly charged 2009, even if it was a challenging one, I want to leave it all behind me and let it go with the matching fireworks here in Cavite. According the the Chinese (please correct me if I'm wrong), we need to light up firecrackers to scare away the bad spirits, etc. So everytime there's a firecracker exploding, I accompany it with a personal prayer saying, "shoo away, bad luck!!"

And to all readers out there (lurkers or not), happy new year!! Here's looking forward to a better 2010!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thank you

I just turned a year older. Hopefully wiser too. Matured? I hope so.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank people who were there for me for ever since it happened. Without their love, generosity, care and support, I wouldn't be here where I am.

Without IM's generosity, thoughtfulness and support, I would possibly be neglected. Non-existent would be the proper term.

Without MOH's answers to my SMS', empathizing with me and support, I guess I would start to go crazy. Now it's my turn. I'll help you in the preparations. It's an honor.

Wihout MJ's support in every way, I would not survive this.

Without S's straightforward answers and sarcastic remarks, I might get lost with who I am. Thanks for bringing me back once in a while.

Without Infinite Grace's quiet support and sometimes also sarcastic remarks, I don't know where I'll be.

And most especially to Bro. I believe it's pure and sheer grace that I am somehow okay. I am still not okay, but I am getting there. I keep on hanging to you and please don't let me go. I so need you. Maybe that's why I was a bit touched when the a certain channel's Christmas Station was sung by my daughter's batch during their play this afternoon.

To be honest, with all the recent developments of my life, call me Scrooge, I don't feel like celebrating the season. Maybe I'll celebrate for the sake of the kids. Otherwise, nope.

Bah Humbug.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Little Girl's plea to Abba

I got this post from a former student's blog in her FB account and she was very gracious enough in allowing me to get a copy of this. This is so true for me lately with all what's happening in my life I so want to end it because I'm having difficulty in overcoming it. (thanks, L :) )

Dear Abba,

I know this isn’t much of a deal to you, but am asking you to please hold my heart even tighter. I am so weak as of this very moment. I don’t want to build cisterns that cannot hold water anymore. Help me to find rest in you alone. Help me to live and embrace the identity that I have in you – in you alone. I’ve been failing you so many times and am just sick of doing it. I’ve been battling with my fears now. Help me let go of it all and let you handle it instead.

Am so compelled to let your light shine, but when I look into myself – I found fake pearls all around. I don’t feel so worthy to be called your daughter but you still extended that privilege to me. Can you just take these fake pearls with you? I do not need it anymore. I have been trying so hard to build a standard of my own, and look what I’ve produced – fake pearls. Built to last for the moment, cheap and has no value at all. But Abba, this is all I have, plus a tattered heart and a big ego. Will you accept it? Does that appeal to you? Am I still a person of value, having only these as my possession?

I need you to comfort me, because I don’t think I will be able to last a day without you breathing your air of grace, the warmth of your embrace and the stillness of your voice that calms the over-thinker me. I plead that you allow me to tell the world about who you really are. To show compassion, to love, to extend an arm to those who are in need. I’m down on my knees God, cause me to do that which I thought impossible! Help me to devote this time to you and only to you alone. I want our intimacy back.

I can only do so much in this lifetime and if that is so, I want to offer it for your glory alone.

I ♥ YOU,

From your LITTLE GIRL, pretending to be BIG enough to handle her life - France♥ (I intentionally changed her name to mine)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

It's crunch time

As most of you know, I'm taking my graduate studies. Admittedly, I'm a delinquent student. I'm supposed to finish my Masters within 2-3 years but it has extended to, believe it or not, 10 years. Kidding aside, I love to study, but when work demands so much, plus a little girl is depending on you (that time) studies has to pause and sit in the corner. Added to that me getting married and having another baby within that time nailed it.

Just last year, while I was looking at my documents, it made me realize that I have to finish it...otherwise, it will end in nothing. So with a leap of faith, I defended my proposal that time, into which, I am thankful for my prayer warriors that time, my prayers were answered. The topic is approved, with only minimal questions and some inputs. I thought I had the groove back but again work beckons me. That's why data gathering and analysis took a year and now, in a few days' time, I'll be defending again.

So for my dear readers (wow, as if you're so many!) May I request for a prayer and light a candle for me? Please pray: 1) that the panel will be nice; 2) that the panel would approve of my paper and would have minimal revisions (as in: grammatical errors, etc only); and 3) that the panel would not ask much (this is the most important part!). My schedule is on the week of November 16-20. Will give you an update as soon as I'm done.

Thank you and will be forever grateful. Your prayers and words of encouragement are good enough for me. :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Rate my Life

This Is My Life, Rated
Life: 6.9
Mind: 7.5
Body: 7.3
Spirit: 6
Friends/Family: 7.1
Love: 4.5
Finance: 6.1
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

This is the interpretation of the test:

Life: Your life rating is a score of the sum total of your life, and accounts for how satisfied, successful, balanced, capable, valuable, and happy you are. The quiz attempts to put a number on the summation of all of these things, based on your answers. Your life score leaves room for improvement. You can make changes to improve your trouble areas, and this will bring you greater satisfaction. Focus on your weakest points and set about to change them. Do not delay your happiness and success. Mind: Your mind rating is a score of your mind's clarity, ability, and health. Higher scores indicate an advancement in knowledge, clear and capable thinking, high mental health, and pure thought free of interference. Your mind score is not bad, but could be improved upon. Your mental health is not weak, but you are not achieving full mental clarity and function. Learn how to unclutter your mind. Keep learning, keep improving, continue moving forward.
Body: Your body rating measures your body's health, fitness, and general wellness. A healthy body contributes to a happy life, however many of us are lacking in this area. You have a rather good body score, which is an indication that you take care of yourself. There is room for improvement, however. Please keep doing what works. Eat right, exercise, reduce your stress, treat any illness. Doing these things will help ensure your body will be in good working order for a long time to come. Spirit: Your spirit rating seeks to capture in a number that elusive quality which is found in your faith, your attitude, and your philosophy on life. A higher score indicates a greater sense of inner peace and balance. Your spirit score leaves room for improvement. Consider making a concerted effort to redefine your attitudes and focus your beliefs. Boosting your spirit will lead to greater life satisfaction. Friends/Family: Your friends and family rating measures your relationships with those around you, and is based on how large, healthy, and dependable your social network is. Your friends and family score is quite healthy. You have a social network you can depend upon. Count your blessings, but never forget that these bonds need to be maintained. Keep your friends and family close.
Love: Your love rating is a measure of your current romantic situation. Sharing your heart with another person is one of life's most glorious, terrifying, rewarding experiences. Your love score is fairly average. Things could be worse, and thankfully they aren't. But you must work to improve this area, turn an average score into a great score. Finance: Your finance rating is a score that rates your current financial health and stability. Your finances are somewhat in the middle, neither bad or exceptional. Keep doing what works for you, and improve what doesn't. Focus on long-term financial stability as your goal.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Do you want to see what Mikey Arroyo was doing in the height of the disaster?

This. (taken from an FB account)

While all of us are busy trying to clean the house to get rid of Ondoy's mess.

I think it's high time for us to seriously think who will get our votes in 2010. Plus this one (again, source from FB):

Be the judge.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

And they apologized

Got this letter from them a few minutes ago. Be the judge.

September 22, 2009

Dear Sir,

I am very sorry to learn that our service in T.G.I.F. Mall of Asia did not meet your expectations when you visited us last September 20, 2009. At times we falter and comments from people like you keep us to our toes. This way we can improve our business.

I understand how you feel about all the things that transpired during the said visit. There is no excuse for poor service. We go to great lengths in training our staff to be as efficient and service oriented as possible. Please accept my sincere apology for any inconvenience we may have caused you. Rest assured that we are addressing your concern so that it may not happen again in the future.

It is in this context that I would like to make it up to you, by personally inviting you back and dine with us again at T.G.I. Friday’s Mall of Asia. In the event that you have decided upon a most favorable time to visit us, I may be reached at Tel #’s _______ / _______ or Cell Phone # 09________ so I could reserve a table for you. I shall personally make sure that your visit with us will be as fulfilling and exciting.

I hope to see you soon

Sincerely yours,

General Manager

TGI Friday’s Mall Of Asia

TGIF MOA's most disappointed and unhappy customer

Yup, that's me. Not only me, but my family as well.

Will be posting here my letter of complaint addressed to their GM. I also copy furnished the Marketing Department of the Bistro Group. Please, feel free to cut and paste my post in your blog as well. So that the public may know and be aware of.

General Manager TGI Friday's MOA

Dear General Manager,

I am writing in behalf of my family who experience the most disappointing and frustrating experience that we encountered with your branch and service crew last Sunday, Sept. 20, 2009 between 12:45 - 2:00pm.

We went to MOA with the purpose of celebrating my mom's birthday and to go to the Book Fair at the SMX. We are thinking whether to eat at Fish and Co. or at Friday's. Since we have such a great experience with Friday's we decided to eat lunch there.

We arrived at Fridays and we were greeted by your receptionist by the name of Shyne. She told us that we are third in line. We said okay and we are willing to wait. But we noticed that it took a while and then we were told that the diners are still inside waiting for the boxing match to finish. Its okay, we said. Then again, we noticed that there are customers after us keep on going in and that's the time we asked what's happening. It was only then that Shyne told us that we were 3rd in line in a big group. She didn't advise us earlier. That's the time we blew our top. We are hungry that time; my dad has to eat lunch in order to take his medicine but is willing to wait because of the good food that you serve. But your receptionist didn't even bother to offer us something. Out of frustration and anger we scolded her and I specifically told her to call her boss. She went in, and it took some time before I decided to come in and that's the time she was explaining her side to the manager. While I was complaining, she keeps on defending herself into which I scolded her to stop defending, you've done so much damage already and that you're not telling the truth. Out of anger my dad called her stupid. Your manager that time didn't do anything about it either.

When we ate at the MOA branch the first time, we were given the option that to have 2 separate tables since we are a big group into which we readily agreed. Because of that experience, we went back again. But our 2nd visit to your branch proved to be fatal and is one of the most disappointing and frustrating experience of all time. We didn't have any problem with any Friday's branch specifically Glorietta and Bonifacio High Street. Because of your exceptional service we keep on coming back. Though our tirade to the receptionist became personal that time, that we apologize, but the way she treated us ruined your customer service orientation and reputation - that, is a big no-no for us. You espouse good quality service and we expect much, yet she didn't meet our expectations. But if this matter or issue cannot be resolved, I'm afraid my family won't see much of Friday's MOA anytime soon.

cc: Marketing Department, Bistro Group

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Ber months

It's been quite a while since my last post. So sorry for not keeping you posted on what's happening to me lately. Well, a lot has happened, both in career and family life. Let me see if I remember some of them.

Career / Work-wise, let's say it's a surprise for me especially on the recent developments. You see, I'm part of this national organization of Career Development specialists, and was part of the board. Because of certain personalities, I announced that I am not seeking re-election. It was too stressful. I like my work assignment, but the way I was treated, I don't like it anymore. But somehow a twist of fate (or arm I should say) made me run again and was pleasantly surprised that I'm in the top 3! So the long and short of it, I'm part of the board again. In work, I was given additional assignments that made me travel - by car. No flights yet.

Family-wise, it's a private thing between couples and my close friends know about this already. But one thing is certain, we are okay and it's a learning experience. Our marriage is not perfect, it's a work in progress.

So there! This is all for now. Will post a new update soon. :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Road rage?

I am reposting this post from a friend who had first-hand traumatic experience on the road...

Last August 20 between 5:30 to 6PM.I was on my way to Podium. It was traffic and it was in EDSA and so I assumed it was normal to get caught in a traffic jam.

When suddenly your PLDT Vehicle (ZBP 776) cuts us off and starts cursing the taxi driver.They follow us and harass the taxi of which I was in. And starts cursing the taxi driver AGAIN but with a louder voice. The windows were closed but I can hear them and as if It wasn't enough they stop their vehicle i nfront on the taxi get down.3 Men get out of the vehicle and 2 of them starts pounding the taxi my window included and demands the taxi driver to get down.A man pulls out a knife.I was appalled and shocked at their behavior to say the least.

I'm sure they would say that it was the taxi driver's fault. But I really think they should know better being educated and working for a prestigious company like PLDT. These people represent their company and they would do that to a taxi driver not even caring that there was a passenger.I'm sure that they will say that its not their fault.

I will tell it as I see it This was ego and power tripping to the highest level. I maybe just a passenger and I can still feel the trauma up to now. I even had to call my doctor because my palpitations was so bad I thought I
was going to have a heart attack.I'm scared to ride a taxi..I freak out when I see a PLDT vehicle.

I would like to put on record the mental agony that I have undergone. No one should have the go through the trauma that I went through. I maybe just be a simple citizen but I too have a voice and this voice
would like to be heard and would not be kept silent.

She doesn't deserve that. I take cabs and horror stories such as these makes me more scared to ride alone. If you know someone who works at PLDT, please, please, let them know this. Let's not be silent on this.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The IL Factor

Pahabol kong entry ito sa mga misis.. (my last-minute entry for the mrs) for the Monday Memoirs!

Marrying hubby was also getting the whole barangay. Plus with all the traditions. You see, we don't came from the same province. He's Kampampangan, I'm Ilongga. And we are the opposites though they say we look alike, hehe.

Wifespeaks: Memoir Monday

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Am I a shopaholic?

For today's topic, let me try to answer the survey... (my answers are in red)

Shopping Allowance…

(a) Hubby gives me on a monthly basis…
(b) I save up for my own.
(c) Non-existent.
(d) Depending on whatever’s left in the budget.
I buy only twice a year - before classes start and christmas time 

The bulk of my shopping money or “extra cash” goes to…
(a) Bags
(b) Shoes
(c) Clothes
(d) Jewelry
(e) Books
(f) Gadgets
(g) Make-Up
(h) All of the Above
none of the above - more on savings or bonding time (i.e., date) with my daughter when we have mom-daughter time

The one kikay item that I can never live without, even if it’s worth my last penny is none.

The most expensive kikay item that I have or had, but I think is worth every centavo is none.

The best place to shop for affordable but quality goods is at:
For Clothes/ Bags/ Shoes:
depends on the style. i agree with the saying that if i can't find it in my size, then it's not my time to buy. but if I do, you will see me at woman (for clothes), sm and landmark (for shoes and bags)
For Gadgets:
i have a china phone hehe, so sa bangketa lang yun!
For Books:
normally book sale. but with my dad filling up our house with books, no need for me to look for one!
For Make-Up:
i have new and unused hand-me-downs of estee lauder blush on and eye shadow from my mom. but for face powder, it's pond's for me. 
For Jewelry:
our ninang in the wedding! she's the one who gave us our wedding rings as gift. but i'm more of the accessories type, so... divisoria is the place to go ;)

If you cannot afford a brand new Louis Vuitton, you will…
(a) Buy pre-owned ones at lower prices
(b) Save up and wait until you can afford it
(c) Swipe the card anyway and think about the bills later
(d) Buy a similar type from the more affordable brand

Who is the bigger spender in terms of shopping? none. 
(a) Me!
(b) The Hubby!
(c) Same

Have you ever splurged on something that was not really worth it? If yes, what item? none 

Is there any kikay item or any gadget that you are currently saving up for, care to share? i already have my gadget - it's a laptop 

Are you the type who goes to the mall, and can never leave empty-handed? nope

I just realized that I'm a scrooge, after all.. heehee :)

Wifespeaks: Fab Finds Thursday

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Chi-Cha na!

Ah, food. It's the centerpiece in every Filipino household. This is where the "Board" meets, where decisions are consulted and made and announcements be taken simply like a grain of salt.

Between me and hubby, it is hubby who mostly loves to cook. But don't get me wrong, I also cook, but he's the one with the most required spices such as thyme, cumin and the like. He doesn't like ready-made sauces and wants the real thing. I also have my share of recipes and tips, and recently I thought of doing a spaghetti sauce that can serve as nacho / tostilla chip dip. It was such a hit that my family wants me to cook that often. Also recently my mom taught me how to cook her infamous grilled squid in garlic sauce. Yummy!

So where are the tips here? Maybe I can share here the recipe for the grilled pusit:


Squid (the big one, yung tawag nilang lumot ba yun?), body should be semi-cut into serving pieces (most supermarkets have this already sliced and even marinated)
Finely chopped garlic

1. In a pan, fry the garlic until it turns golden brown. Your oil should be at least 1 - 1 1/2 cup. Set aside.
2. Grill the squid. Put a tinfoil under the grill so that the squid will not harden. Squids are easy to cook.
3. Put the cooked squid in a platter and pour over the garlic and the oil. Serve.

Depending on the size of your squid, 2 big ones can serve as dinner already. Hope you like it!

Wifespeaks: Foodie Wednesday

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Chika Tuesdays: What will I do with Php180M?

I would say this is my first post for the Tuesday edition of the Wifespeaks. Php180M is supposedly the pot for the lotto which somebody won recently. If given the chance, the opportunity and the blessing to have this much moolah, I would do...

1) pay off all our debts! (who doesn't have one?)
2) fully pay all my children's educational plans
3) fully pay my personal insurance
4) invest for our children's future (invest in mutual funds or trust funds)
5) get my hubby his own insurance
6) get our own home
7) give to our community
8) get a memorial plan for me and my hubby (morbid, I know, but you'll never know)
9) invest for our retirement (same as #4 but that's for us)
10) travel - domestic muna before international ;)
11) set up own business (have something running now, but need to have on our own - it's my mom's baby)

I think the list will go on. But these are the first things that came to mind. I will continue to work (my salary being my "allowance", heehee). Seriously, it boils down to responsibility and simple living. It won't last long, but it will be a big help. Plus, prayers are still the best weapon for that.

How about you, dear reader? Have any thing in mind? 

Wifespeaks: Chika Tuesday

Monday, June 1, 2009

Money and Marriage

I just have to apologize to the misis out there. Wanted to post,  but work and studies swamped me up. Here's trying to catch up with this week's topic!

Before we got married, I already made some investments. You see, I was a solo parent before getting married. Let me make this clear though: this is my first and only marriage. I didn't married the guy who donated his sperm simply because he disowned my eldest. (that's another post). So having a baby out of wedlock, fresh out of college has made some drastic changes in my lifestyle and handling money. Now I need to budget everything. Which made me also realize that I need to invest in my daughter's education, healthcare and my personal insurance. So, in summary, I have an educational plan and personal insurance. The healthcare is being given by the workplace. I also have some credit cards but I specifically separate them for groceries and emergency cases (like confinements or treatments that is not included in the healthcare package).

When hubby and I started our wedding preps, we didn't open a joint account. It's more of a 50-50 contribution. So off we go to check affordable and within budget suppliers and most of our wedding paraphernalia was DIY. But we unanimously agreed that instead of accepting gifts or be enrolled in the bridal registry, we would like to accept cash so that we have funds of our own. Which our guests didn't let us down. We received a modest sum and invested it in mutual funds. But it didn't last long. Family emergency (specifically on his side) came and we were forced to use the money into which until now I have no idea if it was given back or not.

Right now there are no hard and fast rules on our end. We consulted each other and arrive at a mutual decision. If there are conflicts, we simply talk about it and decide without compromising our stand. I think it's basic - communication and trust, especially in this topic, don't you agree? If so..

Join us! Wifespeaks: Memoir Monday

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Acoustic Night: The Repeat!

This is just a teaser poster. For details, just leave a message. Hope to see you then!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Art of Letting Go

In one of my egroups, someone asked if anyone has their wedding gowns and would want to part of it. At the instant I would say yes and give it to that person, but a part of me says wait a minute. A part of me asks, "don't you have any sentimental value to it? like it's the dress that you wore on your wedding day!" or better yet - "isn't it that you plan to have it dry-cleaned and vacuum-seal it so that you can give it to your daughter or daughter-in-law when their day comes?" Another part would say - " it's taking up space. it would be good if you have a container van or a basement where you can keep it, but for how long? and besides, how can you be so sure that your daughter will get married? (she might enter the convent or become single for the rest of her life)? and you're dictating what she would wear, not giving her own freedom to design and choose."

A lot came to mind, actually. But basically, I know how it feels to prepare for the wedding and the expenses keep on piling up as the day approaches. I have been there. Because of the budget, most of my wedding stuffs are DIYs. And after the wedding, what?

Maybe that's how I decided on letting the dress go. It would be good though if I want to wear it again, but where? Maybe because also I am not too sentimental on those items that would gather space and dust. And I think it's about time to de-clutter and let go of some things that takes up space and dust. And that dress is a start. But don't ask me about the unity coins - that I won't let go! Hehe. ;)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fab Finds!

Wifespeaks: Fab Finds Thursday

I just need to post this before buckling down at work (read: reports due today hehe)

At the start of our wedding preps, I made sure that hubby is there when we buy supplies or materials needed. As for the suppliers, he gives a free hand on it (as long as he pays hehe). So, in the course of our wedding preps, we are frequent visitors of Divisoria and Market! Market! which during that time just opened. I can't say that we are on a tight budget, but most of our items found in the picture are DIYs, something borrowed, and of course, something new. My something new are: my shoes are from Janeo which I still use it up to now when we attend formal occasions, sandalwood fans from Divi (we got it at Php6 each from Php8), flowers from angelic blooms (which I was a bit apprehensive later because of the horror stories that the brides experienced from them - but they performed well on me) and the unity coins that I got from W@W :) the unity coins was a subject of discussion between me and my hubby because he wants old coins, I want the new ones for it to be different. You know who won, hehe. Something borrowed there is the cord from my friend. Actually she was very generous enough in letting me borrow her cord, veil and pillows :) thanks S! The DIYs there are the misalette, candles and the matchboxes.

For me it's a Fab find because we get to have looks at less price but still look stylish and expensive :) And that's one of the comments I received from people during our wedding :)

PS. I just have to acknowledge our photographer, Mr. Jaime Elizaga :) he's a fab find too!

Interested to join us? Check it here.

No More Newly Imported Books in the Philippines; the Reason Why

This is a re-post. I got this from one of my egroups. No wonder Philippines is No. 1 in terms of corruption. I'm so disgusted and disappointed.

No More Newly Imported Books in the Philippines; the Reason Why

THIS IS A TRAGEDY..... .......

Grr! This news makes my blood boil! Picked this up on a blog and I'm spreading the news to help stop this outrage.

In the last few months, the importation of books into the Philippines has virtually stopped.
(To those of you who frequent bookstores, I don't know if you've noticed.) The reason why is
explained in this article by Robin Hemley, a University of Iowa creative writing professor
currently on a fellowship in the Philippines.

If you have no time to read the article, the essence is that because the Bureau of Customs has
decided to impose duties on the importation of books into the Philippines. (italics and bold mine)

This, despite the 1950 Florence Agreement on the Importation of Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Materials (which you can see here), which the Philippines ratified in 1979. The preamble of the agreement states: "Considering that the free exchange of ideas and
knowledge and, in general, the widest possible dissemination of the diverse forms of self-expression used by civilizations are vitally important both for intellectual progress and international understanding, and consequently for the maintenance of world peace...", an indisputable proposition.

Here's an excerpt from Robin Hemley's article (I shortened it a bit. Better if you can read the
whole thing.)

...Over coffee one afternoon, a book-industry professional (whom I can't identify) told me that for the past two months virtually no imported books had entered the country, in part because of the success of one book, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. The book, an international best seller, had apparently attracted the attention of customs officials. When an examiner named Rene Agulan opened a shipment of books, he demanded that duty be paid on it.

The importer of Twilight made a mistake and paid the duty requested. A mistake because such
duty flies in the face of the Florence Agreement, a U.N. treaty that was signed by the Philippines in 1952, guaranteeing the free flow of "educational, scientific, and cultural
materials" between countries and declaring that imported books should be duty-free. Mr. Agulan told the importer that because the books were not educational (i.e., textbooks) they were subject to duty.

Perhaps they aren't educational, I might have argued,but aren't they "cultural"?

No matter. With this one success under their belt, customs curtailed all air shipments of
books entering the country. Weeks went by as booksellers tried to get their books out of storage and started intense negotiations with various government officials.

What doubly frustrated booksellers and importers was that the explanations they received from various officials made no sense. It was clear that, for whatever reason-perhaps the 30-billion-peso ($625 million) shortfall in projected customs revenue-customs would go through the motions of having a reasonable argument while in fact having none at all.

Customs Undersecretary Espele Sales explained the government's position to a group of frustrated booksellers and importers in an Orwellian PowerPoint presentation,  at which she reinterpreted the Florence Agreement as well as Philippine law RA 8047, providing for
"the tax and duty-free importation of books or raw materials to be used in book publishing." For lack of a comma after the word "books," the undersecretary argued that only books "used in book publishing" (her underlining) were tax-exempt.

"What kind of book is that?" one publisher asked me afterward. "A book used in book publishing." And she laughed ruefully.

I thought about it. Maybe I should start writing a few. Harry the Cultural and Educational Potter and His Fondness for Baskerville Type.

Likewise, with the Florence Agreement, she argued that only educational books could be
considered protected by the U.N. treaty.  Customs would henceforth be the arbiter of what was and wasn't educational.

"For 50 years, everyone has misinterpreted the treaty and now you alone have interpreted it
correctly?" she was asked.

"Yes," she told the stunned booksellers.

Throughout February and March, bookstores seemed on the verge of getting their books released-all their documents were in order, but the rules kept changing. Now they
were told that all books would be taxed: 1 percent for educational books and 5 percent for
noneducational books.
A nightmare scenario for the distributors; they imagined each shipment being  held for months as an examiner sorted through the books. Obviously, most would simply pay the higher tax to avoid the hassle.

Distributors told me they weren't "capitulating" but merely paying under protest. After all, customs was violating an international treaty that had been abided by for over 50 years.
Meanwhile, booksellers had to pay enormous storage fees. Those couldn't be waived, they were told, because the storage facilities were privately owned (by customs officials, a bookstore owner suggested ruefully). One bookstore had to pay $4,000 on a $10,000 shipment.

The day after the first shipment of books was released, an internal memo circulated in customs
congratulating themselves for finally levying a duty on books, though no mention was made of their pride in breaking an international treaty...

Please forward this or disseminate this in any way you can. In the name of reading.

My take: What were they thinking?!?!?!?! I'm sure they are parents also, and that textbooks cost a lot. Not only textbooks but also those novels that their kids read! They should not complain if the library fees of the schools of their children are big - because of their greed. This should be looked and be investigated upon. Truly, they are the role models of - "Moderate their greed". 


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Food Trip!

I would like to apologize for not posting yesterday. Was busy at my activity in a school in QC. But this topic for the Misis - I won't miss this because this one is close to my heart - food!

When I was single, I love going out with friends, trying a new restaurant or diner and have nightcap afterwards. When I got married, I still do that - either with my girlfriends or with hubby. We also do the same thing - try out the new restaurants or simply go back to our old-time favorite. But sometimes we don't agree on the restaurant. We somehow have this unwritten commitment and agreement that if my spouse wants this, you'll have to wait for your turn after.

We were in Baguio last year attending a friend's wedding when this diner caught our eye on the first night. It was really an old-style diner, the one you would imagine servers in roller skates, it brings you back to the 50s - 60s era. We decided to eat lunch there before heading off to Manila. Now we know why it is always full of people. See the picture? See the bread? Yup, it's not cake or butter toast or 2 bread slices stacked together, but they are BREAD. And with that big serving of spaghetti, one might think that it's expensive, but that alone costs Php90.00 only. Unbelievable, noh? And oh, before I forgot, it's yummy too :) Our bill for lunch that time reached 200-300 I think. 

So next time you hie up to Baguio, look for this diner - 50's Diner. It's located along Leonard Wood Road.

Monday, May 4, 2009

WS: Commitment

Wifespeaks: Memoir Monday

While looking at my wedding photos, I can't help but get giddy all over again...

In spite of what had happened during our wedding, I'm thankful that we are on our 5th year of married life. May not be blissful, but can be a source of envy (for his female office mates especially). We may not be perfect, but we are a work in progress.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Here's hoping

PAL just recently announced its promo for international flights. Just imagine, $58 for a round trip to Hong Kong! My mom suddenly said, "Let's go!" So to cut the long story short, we'll go to HK!

It's not only me, but also the little girl and my brother. You might ask where's hubby in all of this, well, someone needs to take care of the little boy while we are away. And besides, he will go with my dad in Iloilo during the long weekend (June 12-14).

Here's hoping that we'll definitely go by then. I mean, it's a great blessing for us to go there and I'm sure the little girl will definitely enjoy since we're going to HK Disneyland.

This coming week, I'll be out of the office - 2 days of institutional meetings and 2 days of VL. After which, I'll have 2 full weeks of work (because my little girl will have her summer class) and the remaining 2 weeks of May will be devoted to VLs. What to do? Well, aside from personal errands, need to do my never-ending paper. Ah, the pressure...

Friday, April 24, 2009


Wanted to blog, but nothing comes to mind.

I have a lot before and now it seems that I can't put them here.


Le sigh.

Have a lot of thoughts running in my head and I can't seem to organize them.

This is one of those days that my mind seems to conk out on me.

Friday blues? Maybe.

But I'll be back. Definitely.

Please be patient with me.

Monday, April 6, 2009

How Starbucks saved my life

This book is of great help. It's a revelation how an affluent guy, with a top position at one of the biggest advertising firms, was suddenly downsized at work and became a barista at Starbucks. So, if you're thinking of a career change, try reading this one. It's insightful and helpful in making career decisions and how to adjust to the new kind of work, going out of your comfort zone. My dad got it at a bargain price of less than Php 100, but currently is being sold at Php 500 at National.

New Toys

Everyone, I would like you to meet my new toys...

I just got my laptop last week, and this is my first laptop :) it's more of a notebook, actually. It's Gateway, and it's within my budget as a working mom. I got my cellphone free from SMART upon renewal of my subscription. It has WAP, so I can also browse anytime :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Privacy and Respect

Privacy is defined by as the state of being free from intrusion or disturbance in one's private life or affairs: the right to privacy while Respect is defined as to refrain from intruding upon or interfering with: to respect a person's privacy.Those are two very basic words but heavy with meaning.

I just can't help but be disappointed with the way they acted. Let me share this story that just recently happened. A disclaimer though: the things that are put here are my own account and experience. This is more a ranting session.

Just this weekend our community held a crossroads retreat in one of the retreat places in Tagaytay. It so happened that a show in ABS-CBN, particularly The Correspondents, asked permission from us that if they can cover our event as part of their report. Our admin person mentioned this to our elder, and automatically our elder said no because it's a private activity. So the production team left. They came back the second time and again asked since they are there and that the other group in the retreat facility allowed them to take their group, they asked if they could do the same to us. Again, the answer is no and that our elder mentioned that "When we said no, you should respect our decision and our privacy. I hope you understand." Into which they said they do understand. So we thought it was the end of it.

But on my way to the Ladies' room, the staff from the Retreat House and Bernadette Sembrano came over and asked if they wanted to talk to the elder. Right there and then I told her no, you cannot simply take videos. Hear me out, Sembrano says. Okay, I told her. She mentioned that the other group are elderly people and that she wanted to take the video of the community since we are young professionals and that we also attend retreats during Lent not just going to the beach. I told her that even if that's the reason, we would still not allow it simply because it is a private activity and that even if you talk to our elder, she will still give you the same answer. Even on our own terms. I told her even if we have terms, it's still a no. She said okay, and then they left. I communicated it immediately to our elder.

But we got the surprise of our lives when Sembrano is very insistent on talking our elder. She approached her and told her the same account. My elder told her that it's a no and you have to understand that. Then she became arrogant, saying, you're a catholic community and yet your staff are very edgy (read: mataray daw ako). Our elder said, yes, my people are edgy simply because you don't respect our decision. They ended still not covering us though I am wary because they might be taking videos of us while we're having an activity outside the conference room.

I may be bold in stating her name, yes, but my respect for her as a journalist or in that profession came down big time. I am a bit sad because they did not understand the meaning of NO. I wanted to ask though if they would allow us attending their own weddings, parties and affairs and take pictures of it even if they do not know us. Of course not! Then I think the same rule applies to us.

I guess we as individuals with no stellar status on our belts should not approve these people to step on us just to get a story. And they should draw the line. And our right to privacy should be respcted.

I would like to request you though: if you happen to watch correspondents and see us, do tell me immediately :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

An "unfortunate" event

Though it is somewhat similar to the book, I must say, a lot has happened and I agree, it was unfortunate. This is just what happened last Friday.

Friday saw me attending the Baccalaureate Mass in the morning and fetching my daughter at her Kumon class in the afternoon. She had her achievement test, and she passed so that she can proceed to the next level. After her Kumon, we went straight to the ENT to have her ear checked. She was given an ottic solution so that her ear wax softens so that when Monday comes, the ENT will need to clean it out.

After the check-up we went to SM Manila to wait for hubby so that we can go home together. I was so looking forward to go home that day because I want to try the Hot Oil treatment that I got from Watson's as I am having some concerns with my hair, and at the same time rest because I have a lecture the following day at CSB (read: raket hehe). We decided that hubby will drop us off at the corner near our house so that he can go directly to his class in the evening. 

But everything changed in an instant. We met an accident. Don't want to go into gory details (well if you insist, just pm me). Bottomline, no one was hurt (though the little girl is shaking, I was irritated, my MIL was a bit nervous but hubby is still...calm) except for the other party (as of press time, he is okay) and our car.

Though I can say firmly it was really not our fault, but something happened and it is never be the same for us. It was a lesson learned and we will definitely learn from it. As of press time also, so far, I am okay. So far. I guess I am still in a state of shock and somehow, eventually, will really need to face it. How? I guess I'll take it a day at a time. I will survive this. Like with all my previous issues, if I can handle them, I am sure I can handle this also. 

My request - just pray for us and support us. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

25 Random things

Been tagged again... le sigh.

I am supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about myself.

Below is my version of the ’25 Random Things’. It’s actually my random musings:

1. I am still a perennial student (even if I lack my paper, I consider myself a graduate because I passed the compre and thesis proposal defense)

2. I want to learn basic photography.

3. I just recently finished the Wicked book.

4. I am now currently trying to lose weight (and I hope what I'm doing now is effective)

5. I'm taking a leave on April - almost the whole month that is. Still have VL credits.

6. I will do some personal planning come Holy Week.

7. Travel to some domestic destinations that I haven't been - Palawan, Boracay and Puerto Galera.

8. I want to have a house that I will call my own.

9. I'm part of a service team for an upcoming retreat (details to post here soon).

10. On that retreat, I will be meeting some people who I haven't met for a long time and somehow created a 'gap' between us.

11. Though we made up, it's through email and it's still pretty awkward up to now when we meet.

12. I want to have my own line of business/es, so that I can be a SAHM.

13. I am so busy with work lately.

14. I hope and pray that my little girl makes it to her finals and that she makes it to the grade.

15. My baby girl is now a lady. Now I'm getting old. Gaz!

16. Life is a constant change.

17. I am a fan of Sun Tzu.

18. I so like the smile of Elphaba of Wicked (aka Wicked Witch of the West)

19. When I sleep, almost all of my body is under the comforter except for my feet.

20. I also hate cockroaches - whether they are crawling or flying.

21. My kids' birthday month are the same.

22. I like to cook. Will do my own version of seafood curry and oreo cheesecake during my VL.

23. I love to eat out and have nightcap.

24. I love Makati Supermarket's Spaghetti!

25. I firmly believe that God answers our prayers, not on our time, but on His time.

How well do I know my partner?

was tagged by my MOH. Here goes..

1. He's sitting in front of the TV, what is on the screen? Lifestyle channel, anything about cars

2. You're out to eat, what kind of dressing does he get on his salad? a vinaigrette (spelling?)

3. What's one food he doesn't like? ampalaya

4. You go out to eat and have a drink. What does he order? something light and healthy

5. Where did he go to high school? Sta. Catalina

6.What size shoe does he wear? 9-10

8. What is his favorite type of sandwich? tuna

9. What would this person eat every day if he could? dark chocolate

10. What is his favorite cereal? di niya type

11. What would he never wear? something that he feels na hindi bagay sa kanya

12. What is his favorite sports team? wala

13. Who did he vote for? dunno....

14. Who is his best friend? jane

15. What is something he does that you wish he wouldn't do? hmmm....

16. What is his heritage? pinoy! tho sr. placid thinks he's indonesian...

17. You bake him a cake for his birthday, what kind of cake? chocolate mousse

18. Did he play sports in high school? parang wala hehehe

19. What could he spend hours doing? tinkering on the car, playing psp, sleep! ;)

20. What is one unique talent he has? he can sing (carries a tune talaga)

I just realized, there's no #7. Oh well..

Thursday, March 12, 2009



I got the book! (Thanks to my dad, of course) and currently reading it.I can only give a bit feedback - quite interesting and enjoyable to read, and I am at the part where the Wicked Witch starts to become "wicked". It's a "pre" to the book of Wizard of Oz, and some of the questions that I have been meaning to ask was answered so far in this book.

To give you an idea:

* Why red scarlet slippers / shoes? Only to find out that those shoes are a gift of a father to his favorite daughter..

* Why her skin is green...

Those sorts of questions.

Can't wait to finish this so that I go on reading "Son of a Witch" :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hectic Weekends

My March weekends never looked so hectic! Up until the 3rd weekend of April, I think. Let's see why it's so hectic...

March 7-8 - went home to Pacita
March 14-15 - Island Cove with the kids
March 21-22 - will facilitate a seminar then dinner with the household at Superbowl (we won during the Christmas party and it's our prize!) and the College Graduation on Sunday
March 28-29 - Crossroads Retreat
April 4-5 - Start of the Holy Week
April 11-12, Easter Vigil weekend
April 19 - My son's third birthday

I am so looking forward to the College Shutdown wherein we have no office. Gives me time to rest and spend time with my kids. I also have x number of leaves left, and I am still thinking when to avail them given some changes that will happen in the summer.

What I am not sure of is when we will be going to Pacita for the Holy Week and if we are to spend summer at Pacita as well.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

50 secrets este 49 pala ;)

It's been a long time since I answer some surveys (I have an outstanding invitation to answer in my FB account, but I plan to put it here, but this is not the one - yet). So here goes..

Be honest no matter what !

[ONE]How many times have you been in love?
- Thrice, I think hehe (if you want to consider your grade school days). But technically, yeah, three only ;) Honest!

[TWO] Your relationship status?
- Happily married :)

[FOUR] Have you ever lost a close friend?
- Hmm.. if died, none so far.. but left the Philippines, yes...

[FIVE] What is your current mood?
- Steady lang. Answering this so that I'll get sleepy :)

[SIX] Whats your brother(s) names?
- Francis Xavier :)

[SEVEN]sisters names?
- none. We are two in the family.

[EIGHT] Where do you wish you were right now?
- In our bedroom in our REAL home

[NINE] Have a crazy side?
- Hmmm.... yep, especially if things doesn't go my way and when my schedule gets haywire

[TEN] Ever had a near death experience?
- yep when I gave birth to my eldest one. Didn't contract that's why blood keeps on going out. Gory, ain't it?

[ELEVEN] Something you do a lot?
- eat, read, laugh, SLEEP!

[TWELVE] Angry at anyone?
- as of now, none ;)

[THIRTEEN] What's stopping you from going for the person you like?
- is it safe to say I'm married? Nah, kidding! I married the person I LIKE!

[FOURTEEN] When was the last time you cried?
- last week when I had a very bad dream

[FIFTEEN] Is there anyone you would do anything for?
- my kids :)

[SIXTEEN] What do you think about when you are falling asleep?
- what to do tomorrow hehe

[SEVENTEEN] Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
- hubby's "stalker" heehee

[EIGHTEEN] What is your favorite song?
- too many! But if one - I will survive by Gloria Gaynor! National Anthem!

[NINETEEN] What are you doing right now?
- answering this survey, what else?!?! ;)

[TWENTY] Do you trust anyone right now?
- hmm.. a two persons only (the other all and the other not all)

[TWENTY-TWO] Have you hugged someone in the past week?
- yup, my family

[TWENTY-THREE] How many close friends do you have?
- a lot! and all from different degrees of closeness

TWENTY-FOUR] Describe your life in one word.
- colorful ;)

[TWENTY-FIVE] Who/What are you thinking of right now?
- hmm.. how to finish this survey!

[TWENTY-SIX] What should you be doing right now?
- shutting down this laptop and prepare for bed

Are you scared or worried about being alone ?
- sort of. But we will survive!

[TWENTY-EIGHT] Who was the last person who gave you a hug?
- my little lady ;)

[THIRTY] Do you act differently around the person you like?
- before, yep. Now, nope ;)

[THIRTY-ONE] What is your natural hair color?
- black

[THIRTY-TWO] Who was the last person to make you laugh?
- the resumes that the students submit at my office to have it edited. Full of grammatical and typographical errors!

[THIRTY-THREE] Who was the last person to make you mad?
- cashiers who doesn't have any change at all!

[THIRTY-FIVE] Is your hair naturally curly,straight or wavy?
- straight

[THIRTY-SIX] Has anyone ever called you "scrumptious" before?
- nope.. Bootylicious was more appropriate because of my behind

[THIRTY-EIGHT] Hugged the opposite sex in the past 3 days?
- yep ;)

[THIRTY-NINE] Do you use smiley faces on the computer?
- depends on what I'm doing. I can't do that on my thesis, would I? ;)

[FORTY] Plans for the weekend?
- going home to myin-laws then watch Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah

[FORTY-ONE] Are you happy with life right now?
- yup, forever grateful

[FORTY-TWO] Are you currently jealous?
- hmm... maybe...

[FORTY-THREE] What jewelry are you currently wearing?
- rings (wedding and engagement)

[FORTY-FOUR] What are you doing Friday night?
- supposedly watch Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah but it was rescheduled to Sunday night. So, will pack some stuff to prepare to go home to Pacita this weekend

[FORTY-FIVE] Have you ever had your heart broken?
- definitely. Life was not fair then

[FORTY-SIX] Have you ever broken someones heart?
- i think so. But it was for the best.

[FORTY-SEVEN] Is there anybody you're really disappointed in?
- oh yes, definitely.

[FORTY-EIGHT] Last person you saw?
- my father

[FORTY-NINE] How late did you stay up last night and why?
- 12 midnight because my mom and I talked some things

[FIFTY] How is your heart?
- so far so good...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

2nd phase of motherhood

I texted close friends about this 2nd phase of my motherhood. Just to announce, the little girl is no longer a little girl, but a lady already. At an early age too, just like me when I was during that time.

Now I have to deal with another phase in my daughter's life and that is pre-teen period. This is the time of exploration of another phase and level and that there are more serious issues that I need to deal with and help my daughter overcome those issues. And somehow my "nightmare" has began. Anything is possible, especially in this generation.

Now her guardian angel needs to work overtime. That goes for me also, praying hard that she will grow up loving God and be the woman God wants her to be.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's summertime!

Pag-asa reported that summertime came earlier than expected. Normally summer comes in at around mid-March. But, we are feeling the sweat and heat already.

Since it's summertime already, hubby and I are thinking of ways how and where to spend summer with the kids (since the little girl will be on vacation by then). We are thinking of family fun, some driving, some cultural heritage trips so that my children would know how they became who they are and appreciate it. In spite of the heat, I'm sure they will enjoy because it will be so relaxing and inviting.

Speaking of Arizona, recently hubby and I are discussing of the possibility of having a house of our own. I'm looking at homes in Scottsdale in Arizona just to get an idea what do we really want in a community - with a country club where the kids can enjoy swimming and playing and also provide a security and safety for us. But most of all, the feeling of being a part of a community is a big plus for us.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


(this is one of my sharings in one of my egroups. the reason why it's reminiscing, read on..)

June 15 was Ruthie's first day at school. She's in Grade 1.

I had Ruthie when I was 22. Just when i was starting to have my career. Sheltered by my over-protective parents, I guess. Got naive, then wham bang, thank you! I have a baby. The guy wasn't that helpful either. He simply donated his sperm. That's why I call him my sperm donor. ;)

Fast forward to the present. I can't help but be nostalgic because Ruthie's starting to grow into a fine young girl. Very assertive. Sensitive. Loving. Caring. Mataray. Suplada. Hehe. The assertive part I guess came from her being a Scholastican and her mom's genes. That goes with all of it. Very vocal on her opinions and concerns. At her age, she is starting to become practical, if not, mature? I hope not.

She enjoys being the "ate" of the group. Has a very imaginative mind. Creative also. Very appreciative.

I love her. There are times that I feel a tinge of regret, of not waiting for the right time to bear kids, the what-could-have-beens or what-should-have-been-dones or if-i-could-haves... but seeing her growing up, and being so lovable in her own way helps me ease the pain.

I still remember my sharing in our community that has touched many people. Hopefully they were inspired also by that.

I've been meaning to write this sort of sharing, but work and some other matters swamped me but that's not an excuse. This may be long, but please bear with me. :) Anyway..

As you all know, I'm a mom. A first time at that. Everything is a first. When she joined pre-school, that was the time that I realized that I am a real mom. Don't get me wrong here, it's not that I realized that I am a 'mom', but more so of getting deeper into this full-time, 24/7, no leaves, no day-offs job. And it's fun! Believe me. When Ruthie has activities in her pre-school days such as the Halloween party and stuff, I personally see to it that her needs (her costume, etc) are met. And I enjoy every minute of it. It may be tiring though, but seeing her smile and enjoying her new stuff makes me.. hay. :)

Of course that was pre-school. It was a challenge for me during the time when she took her entrance test at school. Of course, not only butterflies and mariposa are fluttering in my tummy, but it was there that I realized that I can't work! I can't concentrate on what I am supposed to do! Argh! My secretary is used to see me very intent on doing some tasks either in my table or at the computer, but for the very first time, she saw me staring into space, distraught. Well, so much for the workaholic mom and what hits you the most? The entrance test. I heard so much of horror stories of kids crying and stuff, and I feared that it might happen to my baby girl (alright, alright she's not a baby anymore, but now I realized even if she's grown physically, she's still my I know how my dad feels). This is the time that you can't seem to do anything, and you want to volunteer in your kid's place. But, she came through. St. Benedict and St. Scholastica granted their Benedictine kid's prayer (me being a Scholastican in my growing up years). Now, she is one too.

I had a nanny before, but she left after holy week of this year. It's a big adjustment for me, because the timing was not-so-perfect. Ruthie just started taking her summer program. So, it's a work-out for me. It's a struggle to get up early morning (as I am not a morning person) then waking her up and preparing her to go to school.Thank God there's a grandmother to help me out (hehe). The first days of the summer classes opened, and she's starting to have some tantrums. And it's so damn hard being both a mom and a dad at the same time. As much as I want to comfort her, you just can't. She has to learn to grow up. As much as I want to smother her with hugs and kisses to ease her pain, I just can't. Someone has to tell her firmly that mommies are not allowed inside the classroom. Thank God for her teacher. She talked some sense into her, and every day until her last day at school, she's excited to go. Of course, how can I forget that on the last day, she bawled on my office? She was hurt. She was bullied. But giving her a hug and a congee made her day. I was affected too, but she has to see me strong in order for her to overcome this. Oh man, why does she have to undergo this? Realizing all along that she has to undergo this, because if she can't, how and when she will learn to stand up and be strong for herself? Haay.. But, I received some consolation too. Another mom told me that, "mukha lang ata nagpapalambing sa iyo yung anak mo. kasi kapag nasa classroom, ate ng bayan." Well, that's good. I think (and I'm pretty sure you'll agree) that she got my "strong" personality. I'm really, really convinced that she's my daughter.

Yesterday was her first official day as a Scholastican. Prior to this, my mom told me when she saw me fixing my daughter's stuff, now it's your turn. Graduate na ako dyan. And as for me? Seeing her running around the campus in her uniform (nostalgic, because I wore the same uniform eons ago) and smiling at me, screaming, "MOMMMMMYY!!!! AIIIEEEEEE!!!!" reminds me of how much God loves me so much for giving me a wonderful, talkative and hyperactive little girl. And it made me realize that if I am enjoying this scene now, how much more God? I think He's smiling and laughing along with Ruthie. And looking back at all the situations, I am pretty much amazed how I managed to pull through. But, that is God's work. Up until now, I still couldn't believe the countless miracles I experienced. No wonder, at the end of the day, I would just simply say, "Thank God!"

It's my turn now. And I want to relish the experience one day at atime.

Need I say more?

I rest my case. :)