Sunday, December 31, 2006
Last night Johann treated us to a really grand dinner at Days Hotel. They have really great appetizers, roast beef and a wonderful dessert table. The conversation was about the year that's ending and plans for the year ahead --
It's been an interesting year for me -- I've experienced so many firsts and learned so much about my life. I became a mom and gained an appreciation for my own mom and how she managed to take care of five children when I am overwhelemed with the experience of having just one.
I nearly died from an undetected UTI. When I was in the hospital, I went through a mental list of all the things that I wanted to do before I died -- (the list isn't so long anymore. ^_^) and what I wanted to do if I got out of that hospital alive -- (that list is long. ^_^)
I've been in Iloilo for half a year and I'm pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoy being here. I love that everything is so accessible and I don't have to pack heavy whenever I bring Seth out --
2006 was a happy year and 2007 promises to be even better. There are trips planned and those dreamed about that I hope will push through.
Anyhoo, here's my list for the year --
Best gifts received this Christmas
5. A bag from my Aunt (really cool Alice in Wonderland print) which is big enough to fit a bottle, a disposable diaper and a lampin for Seth
4. Dinner with my sister and hubby, which was my hubby's gift (part 2) to me and my sister
3. A pair of Burgundy Crocs Mary Janes
2. A Canon Powershot A640
1. Does Seth count? ^_^ / Clean bill of health
5. Project Runway / Rockstar Supernova
3. Grey's Anatomy (yes, we finally caved and watched it)
2. House MD
1. Prison Break
5. Superman Returns
4. Howl's Moving Castle
3. Welcome to Dongmakgul
2. Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest
1. The Prestige
4. Fidelity by Regina Spektor
3. Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol
2. Mr Brightside by The Killers
1. A lot of Coldplay (Clocks, Don't Panic, Speed of Sound, Yellow, Fix You, etc.)
5. Wonder Woman (Heinberg)
4. Batman (the current one by Morrison/Kubert)
3. All Star Superman
Books for the year
5. What to Expect on your First Year / Child of Our Time
4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
3. Falling Angels by Tracy Chevalier
2. A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
1. Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier / The Prestige by Christopher Priest / Suddenly Silver by Lynn Johnston
Discoveries for 2006
3. Mangosteen is yummy.
2. Being a parent is hard but the rewards can't be beat
1. Iloilo is entertaining and a good place to raise a child
5. Fruits in Ice Cream, David's Tea House, Kettle Corn in Iloilo
4. Having really good doctors
3. Good, good friends (and realizing who they are)
2. My sibs, my parents
1. Seth, my hubby and my life
Things I did that I am most proud of
3. Reading all the books I've read (Tracy Chevalier was a discovery!)
2. Being Seth's mama (and doing it full-time)
1. Survive 24 hours of labor with enough calm to carry a conversation regarding teaching methods in Medical School
Friday, December 29, 2006
Thursday, December 28, 2006
While waiting for the mass to start last Christmas eve, I suddenly remembered the MV Doulos. I don't know why I remembered it, but I did.
The MV Doulos is a passenger ship that travels from port to port all over the world. One of their goals is to promote literacy by selling books at affordable prices.
I had hazy memories about going up the ship as a child and being overwhelmed by the number of books on board. I remember having about 100 pesos (a large sum during that time) and being able to purchase some comic books (Muppets) and other books. I told Johann about it and he was intrigued by it so I decided to read up on it online, hoping to find out when it would next visit the Philippines.
Wonder of wonders, MV Doulos was in the Philippines (Bacolod, more specifically)!
So Johann and I made plans to go to Bacolod to visit the ship. We planned the trip for the 26th because it was a non-working holiday. We took the 930am boat to Bacolod but it was delayed so we arrived in Bacolod at 11am. We immediately made our way to Doulos, which was docked in the same port. We paid the PhP10 entrance and then had to engage the precarious climb up the gangplank.
The bookfair is a lot smaller and the selection is limited to Christian books, recipe books and a shedload of books for children. I had to restrain myself from purchasing books for Seth. I ended up buying 4 board books that would help a child learn Chinese and one really cool board book of patterns and very nice graphics.
While walking around, I was suddenly transported back to my first visit to Doulos -- lost among the crowds, sweating from the stuffiness, overwhelmed by the number of shelves and books and excited to be part of something so... international!
Johann was able to find an excellent book -- Cinema Year by Year 1894-2003 -- a big-ass book (and steal for PhP600!).
Other noteworthy items there were Dr Seuss tape and book sets for PhP150 (Johann didn't want me to get it because we don't have a cassette player =P) and lots of really cool activity books for older children.
MV Doulos will be in Bacolod until January 2 and then it will be in Manila, then Cebu, then Batangas before heading to Taiwan. See the schedule here.
* * *
Amazing Race moment --
We finished touring MV Doulos at 1230. The boat we wanted to take had a 1pm trip back to Iloilo. There was another boat leaving at 1245pm but we were worried that we wouldn't be able to make it and waste precious time lining up for tickets to a boat we wouldn't be able to get on.
When we arrived at the other ticket office, it turns out they had run out of tickets for the 1pm trip and their next trip was at 230 in the afternoon. Johann quickly decided to run to the other office. We asked the guard and he told us that they were no longer selling tickets for the 1245 trip. Their next trip was at 215. We lined up for the tickets -- when we finally got to the counter, the ticket lady told us that they no longer have tickets for the 215 trip. I asked if they had tickets for the first class seats (PhP100 more expensive) and she said no. They did, however, still have first class seats for the 1245 trip. So we coughed up the extra cash to take that trip.
Lesson: Always make reservations.
* * *
Post-Christmas report --
It was an interesting Christmas. I was still on antibiotics, which was an annoying reminder of my recent visit to the hospital.
To be honest, it felt very un-Christmas-y this year. It was warm, and there weren't that many Christmas lights.
I was determined to find the magic of Christmas --
I saw a glimmer of it in Seth when he was looking at the Christmas tree with such fascination.
I saw it in my godson's younger brother as he excitedly opened the Christmas present we got for him.
I felt it when we had lunch with my aunt, my cousins, nephews and niece and grandma the day after Christmas.
I did get really cool stuff this year -- a Canon Powershot A640, which I'm still getting acquainted with and a really pretty pair of Crocs, which haven't left my feet since the 24th. ^_^
Thursday, December 21, 2006
It started two Mondays ago when I came down with, what I thought was, a flu. I had a high fever and achy joints. I stayed in bed and downed massive amounts of orange juice and vitamin C. I went to see a doctor later that evening and couldn't even muster up the energy to go down a few flights of stairs. I had started to get cold so I was bundled up in a blanket. The doctor gave me meds and suggested that I try to sweat out the fever.
So that evening, we did. My mom gave me a sponge bath (with tepid water) to try to get my fever down and then had to sweat the fever out.
I started feeling better that evening.
The next day, I woke up with no joint pains and no fever. We made an appointment for Thursday with a pulmonologist just to make sure it wasn't pneumonia. I was ready to be given a clean bill of health.
And then it happened. Right after lunch, I started to get chills. I was shivering and my teeth were chattering. I couldn't even make it to the bathroom because my limbs were too cold to walk. I had the yaya call my mom. By then, I was bundled under two layers of blankets and I was still cold. Johann was at work so it was my parents who had to make a quick decision to bring me to the hospital. At this point, I had already started turning blue/black.
I was admitted and an infection specialist was brought in.
Acute pylonephritis. Otherwise known as a Urinary Tract Infection gone bad. Apparently, I'd been hosting a UTI, which never presented any symptoms (later, we read that this sometimes happens) -- it only reared its ugly head in the latter stages when it hit my kidneys.
All would've been fine and dandy until they got the results back of my CBC and they discovered, serendipitously, that my SGPT/SGOT was five times the normal value. The SGPT/SGOT monitors your liver and how fatty it is. My doctor was worried that I might have Hepatitis. The doctor suggested that I get a hepa titer test to rule out all the Hepas. I also got a stomach ultrasound.
Results came back negative for hepatitis (whew!) and for anything else in my tummy (whew!) --
And then I got rashes. Thing is, I have really sensitive skin and there was this summer when the housekeeper decided to switch detergents on us and my sister and I got rashy. I broke out in rashes so we quickly changed hospital gowns (turns out, the one I was wearing had been kept in a dusty cabinet the day before) -- but, to be safe, they gave me an antihistamine and something for the rashes.
I was finally discharged last Sunday because I requested it. I still had a mild fever but paracetamol could manage it.
I still have a day of antibiotics and I need to go for a check-up with the doctor tomorrow.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
We purchased two tickets from Cebu Pacific last May for my sister and brother. We scheduled their trip to Iloilo for July. We had to reschedule their visit because my brother had an appointment on the week that they were supposed to come home to Iloilo so we had their Cebu Pacific tickets cancelled and we filed the necessary papers to process the refund. We were told it would take 45 to 60 days.
That was last June.
Last September, I called the local office and they told me that they had submitted everything to the main office in Manila so that should be where I should follow up the refund. The phone numbers I was given were impossible to get through -- they are constantly busy or they put you on hold and then hang up on you. Now, this is okay if I were making a local call -- but I'm calling from Iloilo.
When I finally got through, it seems the refund request was never filed so I had to refile and was told to wait another 45 to 60 days.
It is now December and still no refund. I've called their office and the only person I've spoken to is their operator who puts me on hold and then hangs up on me. What's strange is that they have two local numbers for accounting (loc 218 and loc 263) -- I was finally able to get through to 263 and the lady put me on hold and transferred me to 218! (And then they hung up on me.)
It isn't really the money that I'm after (I think I've spent more on long-distance calls than the amount to be refunded) but I'm really annoyed with the bad business practice. They're very quick to charge your credit card but they are slow as molasses to return the money.
I wonder how long it will take before they refund me my money.
BOO! Cebu Pacific, boo!
Monday, December 11, 2006
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Looking for new shoes. I was warned, when I got pregnant, that my feet would never be the same again -- that I would, most likely, go up a size.
I've been living in slippers for the past few months, waiting for my feet to shrink -- but I've now accepted that they won't. So I'm in the market for new shoes.
We spotted a really nice pair of canvas flats in Bench for less than 400 so I might pick up a pair tomorrow.
* * *
Gearing up for 2007 --
Since I won't be able to get the Starbucks planner for 2007, I've been shopping around for a nice generic planner at the local National Bookstore and I found one that I like. Will probably purchase it tomorrow. ^_^
* * *
Dinner tonight --
We had dinner with our friend, Lucia (Korean) at the newly-opened David's Tea House. I ordered my usual asado congee and poured a healthy spoonful (spoonfuls, actually) of the chinese chili sauce. It was fun introducing the different kinds of dimsum to Lucia.
We thought it was a curious franchise choice because it isn't THAT well-known... but Johann and I are happy that they are here because we are great fans of their food. ^_^
Since it was their opening week, service was a bit wonky --
We plan to go back in a couple of weeks when things settle. ^_^
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Currently looking for another TV series to watch. Johann and I just finished watching Season 1 of Supernatural. Interesting show. Jensen Ackles, the guy who plays Dean Winchester, is a cutie. ^_^
* * *
A mild one. Intensity 4 according to the radio.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Thursday, November 30, 2006
I think that's a good word to describe me especially when I want something. I know when it's just a passing fancy or a phase because I don't feel compelled to pursue it to the best of my ability or I don't get it even when the opportunity presents itself to me. (Like the waffle maker -- my sister and I were in front of one last week and I passed on it.)
My current wants (which I am moving heaven and earth to get) --
1. A new camera -- well, I have this na. I told my sister and Johann to give me money na lang for Christmas and I asked my dad to split the cost with me as an advance birthday present. My brother was very nice and took the time to buy it in Japan (loads cheaper than if I got it here.)
2. A lightweight stroller for Seth -- my mom was supposed to get one for Seth. A lovely lightweight Combi from China, but she her luggage had exceeded the weight limit so she didn't buy it. So I'm still working on this one.
3. A pair of Crocs -- I'm looking forward to going to Manila so I can look for a pair. I've contemplated ordering this online and shouldering the cost of shipping.
* * *
It's 25 days to Christmas.
It's 37 days to our birthday. (Johann and I are going to celebrate our birthday at David's Tea House. It's opening this December. Yay!)
Monday, November 27, 2006
Sunday, November 26, 2006
So I'm getting myself a digital camera. That much is decided.
Which one do I get? That's where the fun starts --
I've been reading about them for the past few days and I've decided on the following criteria:
1. AA or AAA batteries -- I don't want the hassle of charging lithium batteries.
2. 5 megapixels and up. ~~Oh the lure of a 10 megapixel camera~~
3. $200 and under
4. Durable -- it must last as long as my dinky cybershot. What worries me is that newer digital cameras are made mostly of plastic and I don't know how long it will last me.
5. I'm leaning towards Sony because I'm used to the system but my brother is a big Canon fan.
6. Light/small enough that I won't mind bringing it everywhere with me.
7. It must look pretty ^_^
So I've looked and here are my choices (prices from Amazon.com)--
1. Canon Powershot A530 - 5 megapixels for $149.99
2. Sony Cybershot S500 - 6 megapixels for $149.99
3. Canon Powershot A540 - 6 megapixels for $177.00
4. Sony Cybershot DSCW50 - 6 megapixels for $199.99
5. Sony Cybershot DSCW30 - 6 megapixels for $174.99
Oh, and my dream camera? Canon Powershot A640 -- it looks pretty ^_^
Which one should I get?
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Friday, November 24, 2006
One afternoon my sister asked me if I still find new words in my current life, considering how fixed my world is. I told her yes, I do.
I think the life of a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) is quite misleading. While it seems that my revolves around my son (well, it does), I'm still able to do a lot of things. I'm still able to experience a lot of things.
There are the conversations with Johann and my sister.
There are newspapers and television.
There are books and magazines.
And there is the ever-expanding world of Seth. I feel I've learned so much just by being with my kid. When he discovers something new or learns how to do something for the first time -- I (re)discover that same thing and (re)learn that same thing along with him.
Some of the words that are part of my current vocabulary:
4. many of the words in the business section of a newspaper
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Monday, November 20, 2006
You are The High Priestess
Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education.
The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluxuation, particularily when it comes to your moods.
What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
We watched The Prestige last Friday and I thought it was amazing! I was a bit confused with the beginning of the movie as I was trying to reconcile it with the book. Christopher Nolan did a great job "editing" Christopher Priest's work and it remained faithful to the spirit of the novel.
Michael Caine was amazing as always. (I kinda felt that Scarlett Johansson was miscast but Johann disagrees with me on this.)
* * *
I am currently obsessed with Korean food -- Bibimbap, bulgogi and cucumber "kimchi" -- we've even made our own bibimbap. (Which was yummy!)
There's a lovely place here in Iloilo that serves really amazing Korean Food -- it's called Rendezvous. There's no effort at making the place look pretty -- it's pretty much white walls, and tables and chairs. But the food is AMAZING! (And our Korean friends tell is that this is as close to authentic as it gets.)
I'm also looking for good coffee. We have Blue Jay in Iloilo and they have really great coffee drinks. The last one I tried was a bit bleh though because it was a bit heavy on the liquer. =P Johann loved his Swiss Avalanche so I might order that next time.
* * *
I haven't done my Christmas shopping yet. I really should start, especially since all but one of my inaanak don't live in Iloilo (so I have to send out their gifts to them).
I haven't shopped for Johann or my siblings yet, although I know what to get everyone.
I have all of my Christmas cards ready but I haven't written on them yet. I should get this done so I can mail them out by the end of the month.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
I've been thinking of changing my blog's name to that *points at title* -- the phrase comes from an interview -- I forgot who and what show but she was talking about making something and not sweating about the product being perfect because she liked seeing the "evidence of human hands" --
I find that I am no longer a "serpent beneath the flower" -- I've always had issues about people thinking I was some sort of paragon of virtue when I didn't really think I was. I am too aware of my flaws and I felt that there was a me that people didn't really see. So, for the longest time, I borrowed that which Macbeth used to describe his wife -- which is, I think, an excellent and economic way of showing the layers of human nature.
It is years later -- I am married and a mother and I've come to terms with who I am. I'm quite comfy in my skin -- flaws and all. Thus, an evidence of human hands.
* * *
She [Tessie Sy Coson] admits many of today’s Chinese-Filipinos, who are enjoying the fruits of their grandparents’ hard work, " are not as hungry and ambitious anymore. - Philippine Star, November 14, 2006
There's another saying that goes, "The first generation will earn the money, the second generation will increase the money and the third generation will spend the money."
I don't know what tangible proof of our drive and ambition can we show that would satisfy older people such as Tessie Sy Coson. Isn't it enough that many of the younger generation have earned not just their college degrees, but also their MAs, MBAs and PhDs? More works of literature has been written and published by the younger generation. More films and TV shows have been created by the younger generation. A lot of the smaller business establishments in the malls are run by the younger generation. Isn't there a survey that shows that people are getting married later now because they have opted to pursue their careers and goals first?
This is the burden that has been placed on the shoulders of the younger generation (not just of the Chinese Filipinos but every member of the mid-20s to early-30s group). Much is expected of us and, yet, very little credit is given to what we have accomplished. We are constantly chasing after something which we will never catch.
Monday, November 06, 2006
I've been thinking and nursing this list since October but I wanted All Saint's and All Soul's to pass before I posted this:
My Christmas Wish List --
1. Crocs Prima (size 8) in Black <-- when I was in Manila, the only pair with my size was in Orange =P and Mary Janes in Burgundy (thanks for pointing this out, Nikka ^_^)
2. A nice lightweight stroller for Seth - A Maclaren or a Zooper or something <-- wishful thinking ^_^
4. A new cellphone -- am looking at the Sony Ericsson Z520i
5. A panini press
6. A waffle maker
7. Gregory Maguire's Son of a Witch and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
8. A new digital camera to replace my dinky 1st-gen Cybershot. This recent article says I should get a 4 or 5 megapixel camera.
9. A subscription to Smart Parenting
10. A Sizzix Set <-- I don't know why I want it, but it looks cool and it seems to be able to do interesting things with paper. I have a feeling, though, that getting a Sizzix would lead me down the path of bankruptcy as there are a lot of accessories that go with it.
11. Nick Hornby's non-fiction works -- The Polysyllabic Spree and Housekeeping vs Dirt
12. Walt Disney Treasures - Disney Rarities DVD -- I WANT THIS! This contains the "Truth About Mother Goose" which I've wanted to show my Fiction classes for the past two years but could never find a copy of! >_< For that matter, I WANT the ENTIRE Silly Symphonies collection! >_<
Friday, November 03, 2006
Today we interviewed a potential new yaya for Seth and when I was describing what was expected of her, I realized that I was hesitant to let go of some of the Seth "duties" -- the new yaya will handle Seth for about an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon and I'll be taking care of Seth the rest of the time.
I've gotten used to being a full-time mom and I'm quite lucky to have a very good support team of Johann, my sister, my parents and the maids.
Plus, Seth is a very easy baby to take care of and such a joy! A few days ago, his sleeping sked shifted a bit because he didn't take his 4pm nap so he slept early for the evening, which meant that he would be up at around 1am. Difficult as it was waking up, just seeing his cute, cute face in the shadows made me smile. ^_^
Even Johann realizes that he doesn't mind so much waking up in the odd hours of the morning.
Lookie at what I've accomplished this afternoon. ^_^ (Thanks to my sister and Johann for keeping Seth entertained when I was cleaning out the Gocco.)
I did a hundred invites in about an hour and we decided to stamp the envelope flap as well. ^_^
Thursday, November 02, 2006
One of the downsides of being yayaless is not being able to go out to watch the new movies -- (we're still trying to make arrangements for a temporary yaya so we can watch "The Prestige" next week)
But I've been quite fortunate in being able to watch really good movies on DVD. Johann and I have quite a stack of movies that we purchased last year on our honeymoon, which (to this date) we have yet to watch. Now that we've run out of TV series to watch (it's my turn to choose, but I don't know what I want), we've started going through our stack.
1. Jean-Pierre Jeunet's (with Michael Caro) Delicatessen
This is the same guy who directed Amelie, which I loved. Johann warned me that Delicatessen would be very different and much more representative of Jeunet's world. It's a quirky take on a post-apocalyptic world where people have to resort to a rather unusual way of procuring food -- cannibalism!
My favorite part of the movie involves a squeaky bed, Louisson, Mme Plusse and really lively samba (?) music. ^_^
2. Welcome to Dongmakgol
I saw the trailer for this movie early this year and it made an impression on me. Our dear friends Simon and Lena (Koreans) decided to give us an education in Korean movies and gave us a stack of Korean DVDs for Halloween. When I saw that one of the movies was Dongmakgol, I got excited and watched it immediately.
Dongmakgol is Kwang Hyun-Park's answer to the question: "What would a world without wars look like?" A group of North Korean soldiers and a group of South Korean soldiers stumble into the quiet little village of Dongmakgol. At first, they are suspicious of one another and cause a stir among the villagers whose biggest concern is how to handle the wild boars that run through and ruin their vegetable patches.
Eventually they put aside their difference as they enjoy the peaceful and conflict-free life that Dongmakgol offers.
There's a part in the movie when the captain of the North Koreans talks to the Village Leader --
Captain: It is amazing how you are able to lead the village without ever having raise your voice. How do you command such loyalty and respect?
Village Leader: I just make sure that everyone is well-fed.
3. Stage Beauty
This is a look at the English Theater during the period of Restoration. One of the most interesting and problematic aspects of theater during this time is that only male actors were allowed to be on stage so they had to play both male and female roles. What made this more interesting is that in some plays, the male actor is playing a female character who is pretending to be male (Shakespeare's As You Like It and Twelfth Night). Louis Montrose's The Purpose of Playing has a very interesting discussion on this matter.
Anyhoo, Stage Beauty is about the period of transition when women were slowly allowed to be on stage and how this affected the theater of the time. The movie looks at Edward Kynaston whose resistance to "progress" caused his downfall as an actor.
I love how the film tackles the ambiguity of gender and what it means to be male or female. I remember C telling me about this movie last year and how she loved the dialogue between Claire Danes' and Billy Crudup's characters.
Maria: So, am I the man or the woman?
Ned Kynaston: You're the man.
Maria: And you're the woman.
Ned Kynaston: Yes.
Maria: So, who am I now?
Ned Kynaston: You're the man.
Ned Kynaston: Uh, you're the woman.
Maria: So, who are you now?
Ned Kynaston: I don't know.
Ned Kynaston: I don't know.
<-- from IMDB.com
4. Fun with Dick and Jane
I love this movie! It's quiet and unassuming but it really takes a jab at Corporate America and the American Way of Life.
I love how the end credits acknowledges infamous companies such as Enron, IMClone, etc. ^_^
We still have Girl with a Pearl Earring, A Touch of Spice and a shedload of Korean movies on our list. ^_^
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Check this website out -- Chambers Book of Days ^_^
* * *
Future movies to look forward to --
Paul Auster's In the Country of Last Things
Audrey Niffeneger's Time Traveler's Wife <-- what's interesting is that in IMDB, Stephen Frears was pegged as the director
Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
The Darwin Awards
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
I've been good. I've finally started exercising and trying to lose what's left of the weight I put on when I got pregnant. I've become addicted to Kettle Korn and to watching Judging Amy in the afternoons when Seth naps.
Last Sunday we attended Pia's baptism (she is friend Florie's daughter) and I was the ninang. She's an adorable little girl with really amazing eyes.
I tried to get a nice picture of her so my youngest bro could see, but she kept squirming --
It's Seth's turn to be baptized on December 3 and I've started making the invitations and the little tokens for our guests. I will post pictures of the finished product next time. ^_^
Johann was able to get a copy of FFXII and we've started playing it. (By "we", I mean he plays and I watch ^_^)
Seth was so curious about the controls and insisted on holding the controller. Cutie! XD
We have been yayaless for two weeks now and things aren't as difficult as I thought it would be. Seth's a very easy baby to deal with and my sister is here to help out. ^_^ Seth rarely wakes up during the odd hours of night but, when he does, Johann's very nice about it and lets me sleep while he handles Seth.
* * *
The Amazing Race --
I don't understand the Cho brothers' strategy. I don't know how they can win when they keep losing time. I don't really know who to root for --
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
I've added a link to Michael Cacnio's website -- he's a sculptor who works mainly with brass and his works are amazing!
He is one of our luho -- we used a bit of our wedding money to purchase one of his saranggola series -- this one of a little girl flying a kite. ^_^
Unfortunately, we could not bring her to Iloilo with us so she sits alone on top of one of our side tables at the condo.
* * *
An interesting project --
I contributed a photo of Seth for the Yahoo Time Capsule which will be opened in 2020.
I amuse me --
How evil are you?
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
RodCon 2007 is a two-day literary convention from February 3 to 4 at the Hotel Intercon Makati, organized by Read or Die Inc. RodCon focuses on readers and the serious craft of reading. Here’s what you can expect from RodCon 2007:
* Panel discussions ranging from lectures to discussion groups to workshops to book signings and launchings. The panels are multi-track, which means they will take place continuously throughout the convention.
* Specially themed book exhibits of book genres or author collections.
* Screenings of movies based on books.
* Lotteries, free books, signed book auctions, quiz shows, a book bingo.
* A dealers room with booksellers ranging from your favorite bookstores to your neighbor’s garage sale.
* The first ever Pinoy Readers Choice Awards.
The convention seeks to bring together readers, writers, publishers, government and school organizations and book dealers to highlight the importance of reading and literacy in building an open world for every Filipino through books. All proceeds of the event will be donated to UNICEF in partnership with AHON Foundation.
For information on ticket prices and other details, please visit the RodCon website.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Just realized that my blog is 3 years old this October. How time flies!
TOday I spend time looking back at previous entries, searching for my annual Christmas Want List because I'm getting ready to make this year's list -- and I find that I still have the same things on my list -- one or two things get added, but they all basically fall under the same categories. ^_^
* * *
More on Changes --
It was my youngest brother who introduced Johann to Mozilla Firefox a year ago and I remember saying that I would never, EVER switch to Firefox.
See me eat my words.
I love Firefox and how user friendly it is. I also like the tabs at the top and how you can "custom" your tabs. I like that it isn't as buggy as IE.
And today my sister tells me she's made the switch as well and she discovered Themes for Firefox. ^_^
* * *
In TV News --
We bought and finished watching Entourage. It's clever and well-written and I love the character of Ari Gold -- definitely a must-watch. ^_^
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Johann and I will be in Manila for the weekend to attend a friend's wedding. We're also going to be haring around the city doing errands and showing Korean friends (who decided to tag along) the sights (aka Malls).
It's a bit weird leaving Seth for the weekend and I actually couldn't sleep last night just thinking about it.
I read that babies this young still don't have separation anxieties and that it would be relatively easy to "renew" the bond when we come back on Sunday.
But earlier today, for Seth's appointment with his pediatrician, he let out a cry of distress when he got into the car first with his yaya thinking his dad wasn't going with him.
* * *
And trip --
The trip to Manila begins on a slightly sad note as Seth's yaya has given notice. She has a two year old who needs her and we don't want to stand in the way of that.
So we're in the market for a new yaya for Seth.
It's such a shame, though -- this yaya was amazing and so smart and was so good for Seth.
Friday, October 06, 2006
Thursday, October 05, 2006
September 24, Sunday
Fetched Seth's (future) ninang Rebecca from the airport and had dinner with her at Emilion -- a Filipino Fusion restaurant here in Iloilo. The grilled marlin was amazing! We ordered "Ham Litson" which sounded intriguing but was nothing more than ham. Just ham. With a sweet glaze.
September 25, Monday
Took Rebecca sightseeing and pasalubong shopping. Lunch at Breakthrough. We had scallops and bangus and lechon. Everything was good! We brought Seth around with us in the afternoon and he really enjoyed cruising around the city.
September 26, Tuesday
Rebecca was taking the afternoon flight out of Iloilo so we hung out in our house and played with Seth. ^_^
>>>>>Flash forward to:
September 30, Saturday
My mother in-law came to town to see her grandson. My parents were out for the weekend for a marriage retreat which they organized for the BCBP so we were left holding down the fort.
October 1, Sunday
Had lunch at Rai Rai Ken -- the cooking that day was amazing! Johann had the Charsiu Pork Ramen and I had the Chicken Teriyaki Don and Mom in-law had Seafood Hotpot Ramen and everything was GOOOOOOD! Yum!
>>>>>>Flash forward to:
Yesterday, October 4
Johann and I finally got to watch Devil Wear Prada. Meryl Streep was amaizing and so flawless. I love her character's composure!
Was also very pleased to discover that The Prestige is showing on November 8. H'ray!
Friday, September 29, 2006
I accidentally stumbled upon this blog when I was looking for a recipe on Martha Stewart's website. (It was a recipe for the chocolate pudding cake that she made when Rosie O'Donnell was on her show.)
It's a blog where they review different chocolate candies and bars. Yum!
Saturday, September 23, 2006
So, Johann and I are currently addicted to watching The OC and our favorite character is ...
To clarify, we didn't name our Seth after Seth Cohen. In fact, we hesitated naming Seth "Seth" because we thought people would associate his name with the character from The OC.
We've been spending a lot of time hanging out with Korean friends (who live in one of our properties) and last night, they treated us to Korean food. It was an interesting and very spicy education. ^_^
I now have my brother's laptop so expect me to update more often because I get to spend time with Seth and still be connected to the rest of the world.
The Devil Wears Prada is finally being shown in local cinemas so we might watch it next week with my sister.
Seth (future) ninang is going to be in town for a few days on business so we'll spend time with her and tour her around the city.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
It wasn't that he had ever wanted a great deal from life, but the little he wanted turned out to be beyond his grasp: to finish his doctorate, to find a place in some university English department, and then to spend the next forty or fifty years teaching and writing books. That was all he had ever aspired to, with a wife thrown into the bargain, maybe, and a kid or two to go along with her. It had never felt like too much to ask for, but after three years of struggling to write his dissertation, Tom finally understood that he didn't have it in him to finish. Or, if he did have it in him, he couldn't persuade himself to belive in the value of doing it anymore.
- From The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster
Monday, September 11, 2006
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Playing with the look of this blog. I'll try this out for a few weeks and see if I can live with it.
Johann thinks this is appropriate to me because I like popcorn. ^_^
I finished reading ALL of Tracy Chevalier's works and my favorite is still Girl with a Pearl Earring. Fallen Angels was also very compelling.
Currently reading: Paul Auster's Brooklyn Follies
Saturday, September 09, 2006
I've been trying unsuccessfully to change the look of this blog --
Can anyone recommend a good place to find free templates that will be easy for me to modify? (Or can my brothers please make a template for their beloved sister ^_^)
* * *
Been watching --
Johann and I have been watching a lot of TV Series on DVD.
So far, we've watched:
House MD <-- my choice
Prison Break <-- Johann's choice
I went along with Johann's choice because I've always thought Wentworth Miller was soooooooooooooo cute XD. And then now I'm hooked to the story as well.
Next series to watch:
The O.C. <-- my choice (Not that I need to justify it but, the writer of the series is currently writing Wonder Woman, which I enjoyed reading.)
Monday, August 28, 2006
I've been sitting on this entry for the past few days because it sounds sad but it really isn't --
I am slowly forgetting the names of streets in Metro Manila --
Slowly forgetting the names of shops and restaurants --
Slowly forgetting phone numbers and the cost of taking the LRT2 from Katipunan to Gilmore --
I've been in Iloilo for almost 6 months. We've slowly settled into a routine here and life is never boring with Seth around so I really didn't realize how much time had passed until Seth's yaya reminded me that it's already a "-ber" month.
My mom asked me and my sister over dinner a few weeks back whether we preferred Iloilo or Manila. My sister readily answered Iloilo and I said "Iloilo, but a visit to Manila every 3 months to get books."
My sister returned to Manila for the Bookfair and sent me my stash -- the last two Tracy Chevalier books on my list: Fallen Angels and The Virgin Blue and Geraldine Brooks' March.
I'm done with The Virgin Blue (and I didn't like it as much) and I'm starting on Fallen Angels.
* * *
Life measured in reality TV shows --
I've been following Rockstar: Supernova and the show is ending in two weeks. By then, Seth will be 3 months old. (H'ray!) The new season of the Amazing Race is starting very soon as well. There's also the new season of Project: Runway has started on ETC.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Please visit my sister's booth at this year's bookfair -- we still have some leftover stock and we're selling everything CHEAP.
We're stall #112.
Japanese manga regardless of size will be P100 each. ^_~ The English stuff will be priced at minimum 50% discount.
Bookfair is from August 30 to September 3.
World Trade Center, Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue (Buendia Ave) corner Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Metro Manila. =)
by Alice Dallow
1. Requited love is an impossibility.
2. You will fall in love only once. Obstacles will prevail. The rest of your life is spent recovering.
3. Eroticising their possessions will be the pinnacle of your sexual fulfilment.
4. Anything that distracts you from the pain of your loss is good. Some people are more successful in this regard than others.
5. Hook up with someone. Live with them. Sleep with them. Tag along. Don’t be fooled. You are only a transitory distraction. Ask for commitment. Declare your love. Watch the set up evaporate.
6. The most potent way to exist is to occupy someone else’s imagination.
7. Desire is kept eternally alive by the impossibility of contact.
8. Modern communication enabling technologies will only heighten your sense of desolation by making you more keenly aware of the fact that no one is trying to
(Alice Dallow is a long time fan of Wong Kar-wai’s films. In her spare time she makes shorts films and music clips.)
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
I'v seen Superman Returns and PotC: Dead Man's Chest and I'm really looking forward to the next installments next year. ^_^
* * *
Johann and I celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary last Sunday and we treated my family to pizza and pasta. My parents gave us cake. Yum! and my sister created a really lovely photo message for me and Johann. ^_^
Seth turned 1 month old last July 19 and I can feel the "snowball effect" happening already -- in a few more weeks, his blobbiness will disappear and he will start to sit up, grow teeth and eat solids. Grabe! Where does the time go? ^_^
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Friday, July 14, 2006
Afterglow by INXS
Here I am, lost in the light of the moon that comes through my window
Bathed in blue, the walls of my memory divide the thorns from the roses
It's you and the roses
Touch me and I will follow in your afterglow
Heal me from all this sorrow
As I let you go I will find my way when I see your eyes
Now I'm living in your afterglow
Here I am, lost in the ashes of time, but who wants tomorrow?
In between the longing to hold you again
I'm caught in your shadow, I'm losing control
My mind drifts away, we only have today
Touch me and I will follow in your afterglow
Heal me from all this sorrow
As I let you go I will find my way
I will sacrifice 'til the blinding day when I see your eyes
Now I'm living in your afterglow
When the faith has gone as I let you go, as I let you go
Touch me and I will follow in your afterglow
Heal me from all this sorrow
As I let you go I will find my way, I will sacrifice
Now I'm living in your afterglow
Bathed in blue, the walls of my memory divide the thorns from the roses
It's you who is closest
Sunday, July 09, 2006
We got to watch and finish a dvd today! It came with a lot of stops and starts because we were watching Seth but, wow! -- a whole movie!
* * *
Want to watch --
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
The Lake House
* * *
Toys R Us --
Is open in Galleria. Has anyone gone there? How is it?
Friday, June 30, 2006
This was featured on Yahoo! Video --
* * *
Token Seth Shot --
Tomorrow, Seth turns two weeks old and we are celebrating the milestone by bringing him to his pediatrician for a BCG vaccination. We have heard horror stories about wailing babies and fevers and crankiness post-vaccinations so we have mentally and physically prepared ourselves for such a possibility.
* * *
Token entry on parenting insecurity --
I am slowly learning motherhood --
I've always had a fairly high learning curve and am able to cope well with most situations but this one is different. The subject is unpredictable and fragile as hell.
There are moments when my son cries and I can't soothe him -- I have to hand him off to Johann who can soothe him easily. And I wonder whether that is indication of what kind of parent I am.
I see Seth with his yaya (an AMAZING yaya, btw) and I feel like I've already failed because I can't handle my son on my own.
One evening, after putting Seth to sleep, Johann and I talked about how much we admire Seth's yaya and how calm she is and how capable...
...and how tempting it is to just hand him off to her every time he cries or needs to be changed. (We don't, btw -- we try to be as hands-on as possible and take care of him most of the time.)
When does parenting begin? And are my actions and decisions now affecting how Seth will be in the future?
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Am not sure when I'll be able to come back to my blog as I have a new job now -- full-time mom to Seth.
He's currently 5 days old and I am head-over-heels in love with him.
When I have more time, I will write about his birth and everything else that has happened so far.
But, for now -- have to say, bye. ^_^
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Put numbers instead of x's (1, 2, 3, 4...).
 I have read a lot of books.
[ ] I have been on some sort of varsity team.
 I have run more than 2 miles without stopping.
 I have been to Canada.
 I have been to Europe.
 I have watched cartoons for hours.
 I have tripped UP the stairs.
 I have fallen down an entire flight of stairs.
[ ] I have been snowboarding/skiing.
 I have played ping pong.
[ ] I swam in the ocean.
[ ] I have been on a whale watch.
 I have seen fireworks.
[ ] I have seen a shooting star.
[ ] I have seen a meteor shower.
 I have almost drowned.
 I have been so embarrassed I wanted to disappear.
 I have listened to one CD over and over and over again.
[ ] I have had stitches.
[ ] I have had frostbite.
[ ] I have licked a frozen pole and got stuck there.
 I have stayed up til 2 (and beyond) doing homework/projects.
 I have been ice skating.
[ ] I have been rollerblading.
[ ] I have fallen flat on my face.
[ ] I have tripped over my own two feet.
[ ] I have been in a fist fight.
 I have played videogames for more than 3 hours straight.
[ ] I have watched the Power Rangers.
 I attend Church regularly.
 I have played truth or dare.
 I have already had my 16th birthday.
 I have already had my 17th birthday.
 I've called someone stupid.
 I've been in a verbal argument.
 I've cried in school.
[ ] I've played basketball on a team.
[ ] I've played baseball on a team.
[ ] I've played football on a team.
[ ] I've played soccer on a team.
[ ] I've done cheerleading on a team.
[ ] I've played softball on a team.
[ ] I've played volleyball on a team.
[ ] I've played tennis on a team.
[ ] I've been on a track or cross country team.
[ ] I've been swimming more than 20 times in my life.
[ ] I've bungee jumped.
[ ] I've climbed a rock wall.
[ ] I've lost more than $20.
 I've called myself an idiot.
 I've called someone else an idiot.
 I've cried myself to sleep.
 I've had (or have) pets.
 I've owned a Spice Girls CD/cassette.
[ ] I've owned a Britney Spears CD.
 I've owned an N*Sync CD.
[ ] I've owned a Backstreet Boys CD.
[ ] I've mooned someone.
[ ] I have sworn/yelled at someone of authority before.
 I've been in the newspaper.
 I've been on TV.
[ ] I've been to Hawaii.
 I've eaten sushi.
[ ] I've been on the other side of a waterfall.
 I've watched all of the Lord of the Rings movies.
 I've watched all the Harry Potter movies.
[ ] I've watched all of the Rocky movies.
 I've watched the 3 stooges.
 I've watched "Newlyweds" Nick & Jessica.
 I've watched Looney Tunes.
[ ] I've been stuffed into a locker/I have stuffed others into lockers.
 I've been called a geek.
 I've studied hard for a test and got a bad grade.
 I've not studied at all for a test and aced it.
 I've hugged my mom within the past 24 hrs.
 I've hugged my dad within the past 24 hours.
 I've met a celebrity/music artist.
 I've written poetry.
[ ] I've been arrested.
 I've been attracted to someone much older than me.
[ ] I've been tickled till I've cried.
[ ] I've tickled someone else until they cried.
 I've had/have siblings.
[ ] I've been to a rock concert.
 I've listened to classical music and enjoyed it.
 I've been in a play.
[ ] I've been picked last in gym class.
[ ] I've been picked first in gym class.
[ ] I've been picked in that middle-range in gym class.
 I've cried in front of my friends.
 I've read a book longer than 1,000 pages. (i think.)
[ ] I've played Halo 2.
 I've freaked out over a sports game.
[ ] I've been to Alaska.
 I've been to China.
 I've been to Spain.
[ ] I've been to Japan.
[ ] I've had a fight with someone on AIM/MSN.
 I've had a fight with someone face-to-face.
 I've had serious conversations on any IM.
 I've forgiven someone who has done something wrong to me.
 I've been forgiven.
[ ] I've screamed at a scary movie.
 I've cried at a chick flick.
 I've watched a lot of action movies.
 I've screamed at the top of my lungs.
[ ] I've been to a rap concert.
[ ] I've been to a hip hop concert.
 I've lived in more than 2 houses.
[ ] I've driven on the highway/been on the highway.
 I've driven more than 40 miles in a day/been in a car that went more than 40 miles in a day.
 I've been in a car accident.
[ ] I've done drugs.
 I've been homesick.
 I've thrown up.
 I've puked on someone.
[ ] I've gone horseback riding.
 I've filled out more than 10 MySpace/LJ surveys.
 I've spoken my mind in public.
 I've proven someone wrong.
 I've been proven wrong by someone.
[ ] I've broken a leg.
[ ] I've broken an arm.
[ ] I've fallen off a swing.
[ ] I've swung on a swing for more than 30 minutes straight
 I've watched Winnie the Pooh movies.
 I've forgotten my backpack when I've gone to school.
[ ] I've lost my backpack.
[ ] I've come close to dying.
[ ] I've seen someone die.
 I've known someone who has died.
[ ] I've wanted to be an actor/actress at some point.
[ ] I've done modeling.
[ ] I've forgotten to brush my teeth some mornings.
 I've taken something/someone for granted.
 I've realized how good my life is.
 I've counted my blessings.
 I've made fun of a classmate.
[ ] I've been asked out by someone and I said no.
 I've slapped someone in the face.
[ ] I've been skateboarding.
 I've been backstabbed by someone I thought was a friend.
 I've lied to someone to their face.
 I've told a little white lie.
 I've taken a day off from school just so I don't go insane.
[ ] I've fainted.
[ ] I've had an argument with someone about whether cheerleading is a sport or not.
 I've pushed someone into a pool.
 I've been pushed into a pool.
 I've been/am in love.
* * *
Last night --
I realized that I've never been hospitalized in my entire life. When I give birth will be my first time ever to be confined in a hospital.
Saturday, June 10, 2006
I'm still pregnant.
So far, I have been told to:
- go up and down stairs
- to walk around
- to do squats
Good news? My blood sugar is normal -- it has been for the past 6 weeks.
Bad news? Until I pop, I have to go through an ultrasound and a nonstress test once a week.
(The nonstress test is a misnomer. In my opinion -- it is stressful >_<. Imagine lying flat on your back when you have 10 pounds of baby and fluid pressing down on you. To encourage the baby to react, the interns ring a bell for 21 minutes. Ouch.)
* * *
Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee is yummy! Well, am not allowed to drink coffee but it smells really good! Johann had me try a sip and I didn't realize how much I missed coffee until that one small taste. ^_^
Now if I can have donuts with it...
* * *
A belated congrats! --
To dear, dear Gabs! Good luck with NUS! (We will definitely go and visit you there! ^_^)
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Realized that people might think that I've given birth already since I haven't blogged in almost a week. I haven't yet.
Based on today's visit with the OB-Gyn, it's not going to be this week. ^_^
Starting this week, it's a series of the same tedious tests just to monitor that the kid is okay. I had a very interesting experience in the labor room having a Nonstress Test done (I'm hooked up to a fetal monitor and they check the baby's heart rate.) -- a very pregnant lady was wheeled in and she was in labor. In order for the residents to conduct the NST on me, they had to ring a bell. I could just imagine how annoying that sound was to the laboring lady. I requested for them to stop so she could proceed with her labor in peace.
* * *
Lookie what my hunny gave me! --
(Image "borrowed" from Amazon.com)
I've been waiting for this book to come to paperback for a really long time. When I saw that Amazon had it already, I was praying that our local bookstores would get it soon.
I asked Johann to check Fully Booked and Powerbooks for this and he didn't say that they had it already. Instead, he surprised me with it when he returned to Iloilo last Friday.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
A few days ago, my dad spotted the electric post across the street from my house sparking and then catching fire. We immediately contacted PECO and they informed us that their ONLY troubleshooter was on call. We also called the Fire Department and, within a few minutes, they were there. It took a few more phone calls to PECO before they eventually sent their repair crew over.
By then, a line had broken off and was on fire, dangling a few feet above the ground.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
This morning, Johann and I and my parents attended a mass with our "new" friends, R & F who were celebrating their first wedding anniversary today. They're my youngest bro's batchmates and our families are quite close so, when I came back to Iloilo, we got in touch with each other and became friends. ^_^
After the mass, we joined their family for breakfast at Sarabia Manor's Salvatore restaurant. It was a wonderful morning and a wonderful breakfast. Johann and I really enjoyed watching the egg guy make the omelettes. ^_^
It was also fun talking to R & F who are also expecting their first child. F and I have been exchanging notes about our pregnancy experiences and about our concerns about childbirth.
It's wonderful having someone who can relate to you about the things you are going through. ^_^
Chatting with F made me realize something about Johann and myself -- we are too bookish. Not that that's a bad thing -- whenever we encounter something new, our first instinct is to find books and/or articles and read up.
This is us with R & F at the breakfast this morning. My mom took this picture. ^_^
* * *
Despite my own perception that life in Iloilo would be slow and "blah", I find that my days move quickly here and they're filled with things to do and errands to accomplish.
We've slowly adapted to a schedule here of breakfast, morning errands, lunch, afternoon errands and dinner -- we get time for ourselves in between the work that we do.
The pace is different, everything is more relaxed because time is not a big issue. From my house to the city usually takes 7 to 12 minutes. Heavy traffic usually takes about 30 to 45 minutes to go through.
We're more relaxed and feel less hurried but, at the end of the day, we realize that we've accomplished so much.
What pleases me the most is being able to see how our help has freed up some of my parents' time. They're able to go out and enjoy themselves and not have to worry about the work that usually gets piled up for them.
* * *
The downside --
I've been here for a month and I've experienced more power failures in that month here than I have in my stay in Metro Manila. Okay, maybe that's a slight exaggeration -- but there have been a LOT of power failures in Iloilo lately.
Last week, during the bagyo (Caloy), the power went out and PECO (Panay Electric Company) decided NOT to entertain the phone calls and inquiries from the people. Mayor Trenas was really upset over this and publicly reprimanded PECO.
* * *
Missing Manila --
What I miss most about Manila are the movie theaters. The lovely seats. The lovely popcorn. ~sigh~
I also miss being able to cook -- I don't like our kitchen here because I feel like I'm trespassing. I think about making cheesecake sometimes or even katsudon.
And, yes, I miss my sibs and my friends in Manila. Thank goodness there's Y!M and PLDT's PhP10 per phone call and mobile phones.
* * *
Another photo --
Johann and I at F's birthday dinner a week ago
Friday, May 19, 2006
July 10, 8pm
I want to go and so does my hubby!
... but we can't.
* * *
On trying to watch the Da Vinci Code in Iloilo --
We only have 2 decent cinemas in Iloilo -- one of which is SM, which has stood by its ground not to show any movies Rated R-18.
Last Thursday, Johann and I went to Robinson's Place to try to catch the first show of the Da Vinci Code at 1030am. We got in line at around 1015 and was surprised to see that they hadn't started selling tickets yet. 1030 came and went and still no tickets to sell.
At around 1045, someone in line decided to ask the person at the ticket booth what was holding up the line.
Apparently, they only had HALF the reel and they didn't have the permit to show the movie yet.
Johann and I decided to leave -- we should've left a lot earlier. The movie people should've informed the queued people of what was happening instead of letting us line up like that.
We tried again today -- after making sure that they had the entire movie and the permit to show. We caught to 1030 show, which actually started at around 11 -- but we didn't mind.
Next week -- X-Men!
* * *
One more thing --
We now have DSL!!! Hurrah!
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Johann and I woke up REALLY early today to go to the local SSS branch to update his status (from Single to Married) and to get our SSS IDs.
Today I learned that:
- the SSS loves black ink. We had to redo our application forms because we had filled them out using blue ink.
- they have a record of EVERYTHING so you can't lie about not losing your old ID. Apparently, I had a digital ID issued to me last April 27, 2000 but I lost it. I had to go and accomplish an affidavit of loss and pay the PhP150.00 replacement fee before I could get my new ID.
- 2 IDs is key. More is better. So bring an original copy of your birth certificate, your marriage license, etc. etc.
It was a tedious process and I'm glad we went early enough so we were able to finish everything that we needed to do.
So why did we go through the trouble of getting our IDs?
Because SSS benefits are excellent.
- After a minimum of 120 payments, when you hit 60, you get a monthly pension FOR LIFE. (You are guaranteed enough money for groceries and whatnot for as low as PhP282.00/month in SSS remittances.)
- You have maternity, disability and sickness benefits, provided you are vigilant in filing your claims. (I recently calculated my maternity benefit and went "wow!")
For people curious about their SSS status, you can check it online.
* * *
The other thing I learned --
The SSS office is very near the NSO office and, as early as 7, there was a loooooong line at the NSO office. They were people getting their birth certificates and other documents that the NSO keeps.
You can get these documents online as well. You'll have to pay a little bit more for the convenience but, hey -- it beats standing in line for half the day.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Today Johann is saying goodbye to our beloved PC in Manila. When we decided that I was going to come home to Iloilo to give birth, we knew we couldn't take our PC with us so we sold it to a friend and bought parts that I used to build a new PC here in Iloilo.
Our friend is getting the PC today. I'm not there to say goodbye, but I feel the loss of such a trusty companion -- that PC was the very first thing we purchased with our own money and it was a PC built to serve our needs. There were no compromises and shortcuts when that PC was built.
The new PC is actually much better, infinitely faster and has a better graphics card -- but it really is a bittersweet moment having to say goodbye to something that was an integral part of our daily lives.
* * *
I miss DSL --
Didn't realize how much I miss having DSL and how I took for granted such a wonderful service until I had to deal with dial-up.
Something as simple as updating my blog takes a few minutes longer -- having to wait for pages to load. Window shopping on Amazon.com is next to impossible because it takes forever for pictures to load.
I don't even have Y!M yet because it wouldn't download properly (and I can't tie up the phoneline =P)
In the continuing quest for DSL here in Iloilo -- I've made a habit of calling every other day to check on my application. I finally got a breakthrough last Wednesday when I spoke to a person who actually knew her job.
I finally have a service order and installation is pending availability of a line.
Am hoping that we get DSL by the end of the month.
* * *
Funny things you read in the paper --
Saw this on the ad for the movie "Apoy sa Dibdib ng Samar" --
Oo, inaamin ko sila ay mga yakal, lawaan, apitong at narra at kami ay saging lang.
Pero maghanap kayo ng puno sa buong Pilipinas -- Saging lang ang mga puso.
* * *
Sunday is --
Mother's Day. I am quite pleased with what I got for my mom (on behalf of my sibs) -- a pair of capri pants, a nice cotton top and funky wedges to complete the outfit. I didn't break the bank for this outfit, though -- decided to go to SM Department store and bought everything there. ^_^
We were walking around a mall yesterday and she _was_ looking for new clothes.
My dad also asked me to get my mom something (from him) and this one took a lot longer to find. My dad is practical and I don't think he would've appreciated it if I spent his money on something "frivolous" <-- am not quite sure what counts as frivolous for my dad. I finally decided to get a "coin purse" (can actually fit bills) in green Chinese silk -- Green is my mom's favorite color and she needs a wallet that's more accessible. It wasn't so expensive either, so my dad can just buy something else if he doesn't like the idea of giving that to my mom.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
I really enjoy watching "How Clean is Your House" on ABC5 every Monday at 7pm. The show's two hosts, Aggie and Kim, are really witty and they offer very good practical tips on cleaning.
I enjoy shows where places get cleaned and organized -- it really appeals to the OC in me. ^_^
The other show I really like is "Child of Our Time" on Hallmark, which tackles the whole Nature vs Nurture discussion regarding child development. The last show I watched had to do with gender identities and "brain gender" --
Saturday, May 06, 2006
So I'm currently in Iloilo preparing to give birth to my son.
At the airport last Thursday, I encountered the party of Dennis Rodman and, like every other person at the airport, I took out my phone and started taking pictures of him.
When I arrived in Iloilo, the first thing I did was contact the local PLDT office to apply for a DSL line. I was initially impressed with how efficiently they handled my call -- I was informed that there were available lines in my area and that they would send someone over the next day with the application form.
The next day, the person from PLDT arrived late -- affecting our schedule for the entire day. After filling out the form, I was told that it would take 3 to 5 days for activation.
That was the start of the Labor Day weekend --
When I called back last Wednesday to ask for an update of my application, I was informed that they ran out of DSL lines in my area and that it would take between two weeks to two MONTHS for them to give me a line. I told them to keep my application on priority and that I would call to follow up the application in a few days.
I was given a different number and was given the impression that my application would be filed in their database.
I called again last Friday just to make sure that I was already in their database. This is my conversation with the person who handled my call:
Me: Hi, my name is ... and I would like to check on my application for a DSL line.
PLDT: What's your phone number?
Me: It's 3xx-xxxx. The line is under my mom's name ...
PLDT: Ma'am, I don't see your application in my records.
Me: That's strange. I spoke to Eden and she said she would handle it.
PLDT: I'll give you Eden's cellphone number so you can ask her about your application.
Me: Um... isn't that your job? Could you please ask Eden regarding my application? I'll call in an hour to find out the status.
Thirty minutes later, I get a call from Eden and she explains that she gave my form to her boss who is currently out of the office for a meeting. I asked her why my application wasn't placed in the database yet and she just gave me a roundabout answer about how she gave the form to her boss and that her boss is at the office.
I told her that I wanted that application processed and that I would check on Monday to make sure that they've done their job.
In the meantime, I was stuck with an old laptop with a faulty modem you have to tilt at an angle in order to get a dialtone.
I took matters into my own hands and asked for a Philips-head screwdriver, opened the laptop and fiddled with the modem. And here I am.
* * *
Labor Day weekend --
Last weekend, my father-side relatives from Manila and Cebu decided to spend the long weekend with us. I was a bit worried about how I would entertain my cousins as there really isn't much to do in Iloilo. I packed some board games with me, hoping that would help pass the time.
We played Carcassonne, Fluxx and Landlord -- while munching on "snacks" like pan de sal (from a bakery that's been around since 1896), macopa (which I don't eat, but my cousins seemed to love), baye-baye (I can't explain this one, basta it's yummy), peanuts and pistachio.
I was especially thankful that I got to spend some time with my cousin who is currently based in Cebu -- we were able to talk about my impending motherhood and how she handled the changes and challenges in her life (she's married and has a 3-year old and they moved to Cebu a year ago).
* * *
On the Reading front --
I FINALLY finished reading Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice after 3 years of starting and stopping. It was an enjoyable and rewarding experience. I went to National Bookstore and picked up a copy of Sense and Sensibility.
Since the movie is coming out in two weeks, I also reread Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code -- it really is an exciting read and I wonder if Ron Howard et. al. would be able to do it justice.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
40+ means you're spoiled
Do you have:
(1) your own cell phone
(2) a television in your bedroom
(3) an iPod/MP3 player
( ) a photo printer
(4) your own phone line
( ) TiVo or a generic digital video recorder
(5) high-speed internet access (i.e., not dialup)
( ) a surround sound system in bedroom
(6) DVD player in bedroom
(7) at least a hundred DVDs
(8) a childfree bathroom <-- not after June ^_^
( ) your own in-house office
( ) a pool
( ) a guest house
( ) a game room
(9) a queen-size bed or larger
( ) a stocked bar
( ) a working dishwasher
( ) an icemaker
(10) a working washer and dryer
( ) more than 20 pairs of shoes
(11) at least ten things from a designer store
( ) expensive sunglasses
(12) framed original art (not lithographs or prints)
( ) Egyptian cotton sheets or towels
( ) a multi-speed bike
(13) a gym membership
( ) large exercise equipment at home
( ) your own set of golf clubs
( ) a pool table
( ) a tennis court
( ) local access to a lake, large pond, or the sea
( ) your own pair of skis
( ) enough camping gear for a weekend trip in an isolated area
( ) a boat
( ) a jet ski
( ) a neighborhood committee membership
( ) a beach house or a vacation house/cabin
(14) wealthy family members
(15) two or more family cars
( ) a walk-in closet or pantry <-- used to have one
( ) a yard
( ) a hammock
( ) a personal trainer
(16) good credit
( ) expensive jewelry
( ) a designer bag that required being on a waiting list to get
( ) at least $100 cash in your possession right now
( ) more than two credit cards bearing your name
(17) a stock portfolio
( ) a horse
(19) a trust fund (either for you or created by you)
(20 ) private medical insurance
(19) a college degree, and no outstanding student loans
(21) shop for non-needed items for yourself (like clothes, jewelry, electronics) at least once a week
( ) do your regular grocery shopping at high-end or specialty stores
(22) pay someone else to clean your house, do dishes, or launder your clothes (not counting dry-cleaning)
( ) go on weekend mini-vacations
( ) send dinners back with every flaw
( ) wear perfume or cologne (not body spray)
( ) regularly get your hair styled or nails done in a salon
( ) have a job but don't need the money OR
( ) stay at home with little financial sacrifice
(23) pay someone else to cook your meals
( ) pay someone else to watch your children or walk your dogs
( ) regularly pay someone else to drive you
( ) expect a gift after you fight with your partner
( ) an only child
( ) married/partnered to a wealthy person
( ) baffled/surprised when you don't get your way
( ) been on a cruise
(24) traveled out of the country
(25) met a celebrity
( ) been to the Caribbean
(26) been to Europe
( ) been to Hawaii
(27) been to New York
( ) eaten at the space needle in Seattle
( ) been to the Mall of America
(28) been on the Eiffel tower in Paris
( ) been on the Statue of Liberty in New York
( ) moved more than three times because you wanted to
( ) dined with local political figures
( ) been to both the Atlantic coast and the Pacific coast
(29) go to another country for your honeymoon
(30) hire a professional photographer for your wedding or party
( ) take riding or swimming lessons as a child
(31) attend private school
( ) have a Sweet 16 birthday party thrown for you
... I didn't think I was to begin with. But 31 is cutting it a bit close. ^_^
* * *
Saying goodbye --
Somehow this song always seems to be part of the goodbyes in my life --
Leaving on a Jet Plane
by John Denver
All my bags are packed,
I'm ready to go,
I'm standing here,
Outside your door,
I hate to wake you up and say Good Bye.
But the done is breaking, surley moan,
The taxi is waiting, blown his horn.
Already I'm so lonesome I could die.
So kiss me and smile for me,
Tell me that you wait for me,
Hold me, like you never let me go.
Cause I'm leaving on a jet plane,
Don't know when I'll be back again,
Oh Babe I hate to go.
So many times, I let you down,
So many times, I played around,
but I can tell you, they don't mean a thing.
Every place I go, I'll thing of you,
Every song I sing, I sing for you.
When I come back, I'll bring your wedding ring.
Now the time has come to leave you,
One more time has come to kiss you,
Close your eyes and I'll be on my way.
Thing about the day will come,
When I won't have you leave alone,
About the day, when I won't have to stay.
... When I left Xavier to pursue my MA, this was the song I sang to my workmates. Everytime I travel, this is the song in my head. Now that my stint with the ALLC is over and I am on leave from the University until October, this song is playing in my head.
During the closing ceremony for the ALLC, I was pleasantly surprised that they selected this song to close the festivities.