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.