Monday, December 31, 2007

The 2007 of An Apple a Day

This is the only week that I've really managed to sit down and think about what happened the whole year. I celebrated New Year's day this year in another country and I'd say that my year did not really start well, but like to say that it's ending way beyond what I imagined where I would be at this point.

TRAVEL

Since I started this year somewhere far, far away, I'd like to start looking back at where my feet have brought me this year (for full recount on my travels, please visit Lakwatsera Ako).

Beaches: Bali, Puerto Galera, Samal Island, Tambuli Beach, Punta Fuego, Panglao Island, La Union, Boracay

Local: Bataan and Pampanga, Bohol, Cebu (lost count how many times), Davao, Laoag, Vigan, Lucban, Capiz, Iloilo, Baguio

International:
Hongkong, Singapore (thrice), California and Washington

I am amazed at how I managed to do all that. I hope 2008 would bring me to more places I have not been to.

FRIENDSHIP

I met so many people this year. Throngs of people believe me and I don't think I'd be able to remember everybody's names - so sorry! I used to have a very good memory and I just get so embarrassed now whenever I can't remember a person's name.

Because of unfortunate incidents I learned a valuable lesson on trust. I know my best friend warned me about it back in 2006, but I've always been open with everybody. She was right about the fact that I am open to being abused. Sadly, I met some people who did just that. It's a good thing I have a very solid support group who managed to bring back my sunshine immediately. So, I learned to be wary. I don't regret anything though coz each and every thing that happens to you is something you can learn from.

On the other hand, I am happy to note that I've managed to strengthen old friendships and forge new ones. To my old friends from my community/neighborhood, high school, college, grad school and work; plus new friends from the blogging community and the industry, THANK YOU VERY MUCH for bearing with me and for always being there. I'm not going to name names anymore, lest I miss out someone (iwas tampuhan!), you guys know who you are anyway.

LOVE

I just want to give a huge mega-watt-terrabyte smile about this. I just want to keep what I've been through this year close to my heart. There were a lot of mishaps (series-es of unfortunate incidents LOL) and drama, but I'd like to chalk those up to experience. And Brother Bo's right, you do need to meet more guys, not to have more choices, but so you'd be able to discern who's right for you. It was a long journey alright with a Valentine search, then defaulting because I did not have a Valentine, thoughts on whether it's better to be single or married, thoughts about THE one, longing for my ideal and type of guy and more rants about being single. I gave up. I really did.

Well, you just really got to have faith. Two years ago I wrote an article for our parish newsletter, "When God Writes Your Love Story" and I waited, waited and waited. On the 12-hour flight back from the US, I told God that I was giving up already and that I already accepted the fact that I'd just remain single forever. I already planned on enrolling in post-graduate studies since I made that deal with Him early this year. No BF by the second term, I'm going to go get a doctoral degree already. And I wasn't joking, I have emails to prove that I was already working on taking the exam and enrolling if I passed.

Well, whaddya know, less than 24 hours after I touched down NAIA's tarmac, I was tulala over having a Sweetie. I think it took two weeks for it to sink in. Poor Sweetie. LOL. Wanna know more? Go read "When God Writes Your Love Story (part 2)".

FAMILY

I thank God no one in my immediate family had to be hospitalized this year. The past few years has been grueling for me. My brother and sister are far away and most of my relatives live far away as well and it's just really difficult whenever someone's sick. You may have a great career, fabulous friends and what-not, but the most important aspect of one's life should be your family. It was really great seeing my Ate after 5 years and I just cannot help but cry whenever my brother leaves after a visit. Bunso ako eh. And Miguel, I just cannot imagine my life without him. It was this year that he began to outweigh me and he's taller than me already. Yikes! No girlfriends muna ha, please remember what I told you (why it's illogical to have a girlfriend at 13). And Mom and Dad, you guys are simply the best.

Good health and a prosperous new year and more love is what I wish for my family. Who knows, maybe there would be an addition next year.

IN SUMMARY

I only managed to do half of what I targeted to do this year. I wasn't able to do the other stuff because they were dependent on other people and I probably lost focus in some of the things I wanted to do. I'll think about my New Year's resolution and targets tomorrow (or maybe the day after since tomorrow's our family reunon). I'd say though that 2007 may not have started on the right foot, but it definitely steered towards a better path at the last quarter of the year. All of these are blessings from God.

And as my dear friend, Maui, SMSd a while ago, "Remember, life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that made you smile."

'Do not take life seriously. After all, no one has ever come out of it alive.' --- Bugs Bunny

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!

Yehey! Heads Up!

I mentioned in my previous post that I attended a couple of parties this Christmas and one of the big bashes I went to was Yehey.com's Heads Up party. I wish though I had more time to fix up a real party hat - that was my chance to wear my red wig again! My Mom probably kept it somewhere I wouldn't be able to find it because I've been looking since Halloween. Pffftt! I ended up going with just a simple cap on my head. Shy ako eh!

Yehey.com really knows how to party and had several bands provide entertainment. One of my favorite bands, Moonstar88 sang one of my favorite songs and Sweetie recorded and uploaded it in his Youtube channel. Here's Moonstar88's rendition of Apo Hiking Society's Panalangin (which is my Sunday video for tonight) -

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Rudy Project

I've been bitten by the lazy blogger bug this whole month (lazy blogger blog AND the love bug, LOL) because I've been so busy and when things got light I ended up being a couch potato and got busy doing offline stuff.

Well, what can I say, Christmas is the time of the year when you just have to see all of your family and friends again. It's the time to get gain more weight (by leaps and bounds if possible). After my stint in Cebu and Davao I finally had time to attend a blogger event. I also, unfortunately, missed the blogger party at Red Box (got tied up with my best friends). It would probably have rained though if I joined in the singing!

Anyway back to the only blogger event I managed to go to this quarter... I was surprised to see a Rudy Project box on our dining table - that's where all the mail goes when it comes in. I know I'm a bit ignorant about branded stuff because I consciously steer away from those stuff - unless I'm looking for something that I'm going to invest in (I have not changed my TV for 10 years already and I never had any problems with it). I didn't realize the box was addressed to me until I picked it up and made uzi. It was from Geiser Maclang and it was an invitation for a dinner with Rudy Project managing director, Cristiano Barbazza. I was highly surprised to find a hammer (yes, a martilyo) inside. That got me curious, so I confirmed my attendance for the event.

After dinner at Burgoo, Cristiano spoke about Rudy Project's unbreakable lens - ImpactX. I listened intently to his talk because I was curious about Rudy Project's business. Cristiano's father, Rudy Barbazza, founded Rudy Project in Teviso, Italy and started off making eyewear (they have a whole line of other stuff) and sports gear for elite athletes. Aside from athletes, Rudy Project also provides eyewear for the Italian military (and a lot of them are stationed in other countries fighting terrorism, so imagine how sturdy their eyewear should be).

I was fascinated on how Markku was using the hammer on the lens. It looked like the table was going to break instead of the lens. Juned tried using his Swiss army knife, to no avail. Ricowums tried breaking the lens with his hands as well. I therefore conclude, this eyewear ain't going to break and would be a good item to include in one's last will (want to inherit one Miguel?), but then again it'll probably take me a long time to save up to buy one.

Photo credits: first one from the press kit, second and third photos are by Sweetie.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

For My Best Friends

Happy birthday J.C.! This day would not have existed without you!

I couldn't help but smile yesterday while talking with my best friend, Anne. I asked her if she it crossed her mind early this year that I would be what I am now. She replied, "Not in my wildest dreams." Of course, being my best friend (and most accessible one), she got the brunt of all my rants and woes. When my schedule wasn't as hectic, we always found time to go to Wendy's and talk. It always took us at least 3 hours to finish a burger and a salad (what are biggie iced teas for? hehehe). So, that's the story behind Songs from Wendy's.

Anne knows how crazily girly I could get too and managed to hold me together a lot of times in the past 2 years. My long-time best friend, Darwin, for almost 2 decades kept that in check and always provided tongue-in-cheek advise, that I'd always end up laughing and that makes me forget why I was lamenting in the first place. Far-away best friend, Tappy, is the out-of-the-box soulful thinker among other things. And the Sweetie-best friend filled up an "opening" that was vacated 12 years ago. And Miguel, believe me, I sometimes mistake that 13-year old to be my guardian angel.

Point is, it takes a lot to keep me together at times. My roller-coaster life demands that I have that many best friends and each of them hold a very special place in my heart. They have seen me through a lot of mishaps and trouble (especially Darwin who's been around since I was a kid). And I thought I'd give them huge, bear hugs this Christmas for always being there for me.

Thank you very much my dearest best friends. I love you guys!

==========
Additional Christmas Post

This Christmas has been very different from all the other Christmases I've had. I mentioned last night that I missed a lot of stuff - mostly routine - my family (Ate and Kuya) and friends, but the bottomline is, it's not a blue Christmas and here are some more recounts:

Christmas Photos
Christmas Lunch at Good Earth Tea Room
Miguel's Christmas Scavenger Hunt

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

It's a little past midnight and I'm unbelievably in front of George (my desktop) [and don't ask why it's George, maybe Miguel will blog about that someday].

Before I go blah, blah... MERRY, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

A year ago today I was hearing mass at one of my Kuya's friend's house in Jakarta. We just got in from Bali, dropped our bags at my Kuya's home and went straight out to hear mass. I'd say it's one of the most meaningful Christmas masses I've had in my life. Being far away from home multiplies the effect you see, by the end of the mass everyone was bawling while singing "Ang Pasko ay Sumapit". I'm pretty sure a lot of Filipino communities all over the world are longing to be home for this very special occasion. (My heart goes out to all those hard-working OFWs and Filipino expats who are far away from home, hugs to all and may you have a happy Christmas).

Christmas is quite incomplete this year because my brother and his family did not make it home from Jakarta. I miss my nephews and nieces and all their kakulitan. A lot of my friends are also far away since a number of them are already abroad. I miss hopping from one house to another just to greet my Titos and Titas after hearing Christmas mass. I'll miss having to wake up early for the morning service as well.

I'd say this is one of my quieter Christmases. A lot of my Christmas routines may have been broken this year (add the fact that I wasn't able to go to Divisoria and Greenhills) because of a lot of circumstances, I'd say (and that's why I got all teary-eyed while hearing mass earlier) that it's been truly a blessed year (details on a year-end post which I'll do later this week) and this is a very different Christmas from all the Christmases I've had the past decade (a decade worth of Christmas blues).

Happy Christmas to you and Happy Birthday to the one who saved us all, J.C.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Blog Reading Level

I was sifting through my Google Reader feeds when I saw Noel's post about his blog's reading level - meaning "What level of education is required to understand your blog". I got curious so I tried it out for my blog. I thought that my blog's fairly easy to understand so it'd probably get the same rating Noel got (high school), but much to my surprise this is the result -

cash advance



LOL... this thing's probably a random thingy. Well, if it's true and your reading my blog (and enjoying it), then it just means you're a genius! Huwaaawww!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Paskong Pinoy

Christmas is just around the corner! And I'm so happy that I'll be spending Christmas here and not in another country. I don't think I'd want to spend Christmas elsewhere. Why? Because Christmas is where your home is, and my home is here in the Philippines.

So, I thought of spreading the Christmas cheer by starting off this meme to showcase why Christmas is best spent here.

What to do: Just share a warm, fuzzy Pinoy Christmas story or anecdote or photo or whatever it is you love about Christmas (as a Filipino). Link to this blog post so I can share your story in my compilation. Copy & paste the instructions (this paragraph) and then leave a comment so I can check out your post.


I must admit, inasmuch as I spent most of Christmas last year in Bali and Jakarta with my family, I went crazy because it is so much different. It was the nth time that I spent Christmas offshore, but I got so depressed. Why? Because the following elements were missing:

1. Simbang Gabi - I've never completed the novena. I almost did, twice when I was a kid. Waking up at 4 in the morning to hear mass, stretching your vocal chords to the limit to sing during mass and then lining up for bibingka and puto bungbong and having some hot chocolate after brings a totally different kind of joy. You won't experience that elsewhere. Attending one at the Philippine embassy in the evening just doesn't work for me.

2. Midnight Mass - I've been part of our choir since I was in high school (now don't start computing) and singing Christmas carols during mass makes me feel complete. I couldn't help but cry last year when we sang "Ang Pasko ay Sumapit" after the midnight mass hosted by a Pinoy in his house in Jakarta. I missed our church, our community and my friends terribly.



3. Cardiac Delights - Nobody loses weight in our country during Christmas. All those yummy noche buena handa tastes different when you are in another country. You will surely miss the delectable Purefoods ham cooked in Del Monte Pineapple juice with brown sugar, Mang Tomas sarsa over lechon kawali or the Baliwag chicken with lots of atsara and Tita Olive's sweet spaghetti swimming with red tomato sauce and Purefoods hotdog. (I'm not endorsing those brands okay, that's just what we use). I can feel my waistline growing by leaps and bounds just thinking about all those food.

4. Twinkling Christmas Decor and the Belen - inasmuch as sometimes I get annoyed with my Mom's decor of twinkling lights and the unending piercing Christmas jingles coming from the tree, you won't actually see much of those elsewhere. You'd also miss the Belen (look at the nice one in our photo above).

5. Gift-wrapping and Shopping - my list has dramatically shortened in the past two years, but I do miss gift-wrapping loads and loads of stuff since I had a lot of mommies in my past work. I always go to Divisoria, but I unfortunately didn't have anytime to do so this year. Good thing I bought 2 years worth of gift-wrappers and ribbons last year.

Everything would be really great, sana lang traffic's not heavy!

I'd like to tag the following to start off the Christmas cheer: Juned, Markku, Jayvee, Anne, Harry, Sweetie, Sorsi, Jehzeel, Winston, Blogie, Andrew, Migs, Ria, Janette, LadyCess, Gibbs, Jake, Tappy, Noemi, SexyMom and Lianne. You are also welcome to join in the Paskong Pinoy sharing, just leave a comment with the URL of your post so I can include your blog.

Maligayang Pasko!

Paskong Pinoy Stories

Christmas in Davao, Blogie Robillo
Christmas in the Philippines, Jake de Asis
Christmas Memories, Ria Jose
Paskong Pinoy (Christmas in the Philippines), Migs
Christmas in Australia, Janette Toral
Christmas Away from Home, Sorsi Soriano
Holiday Season - Philippine Style, Reggie
Maligayang Pasko, Tina
Missing Filipino Christmas from Tokyo, Reyian
The Real Meaning of Christmas, SexyMom
Real Stories of Christmases Past, Anna
Paskong Pinoy - Christmas Date Tradition, Noemi
Christmas is Here!, Jeric
Pasko na Naman!, Juned

I'm Alive!

Your Blog is Dead!

My best friend sent me a harried message early this morning asking if I was okay. I've been quiet the past week (been offline) and that's probably why he got so worried. Some of my other friends have also been pinging me about my whereabouts.

So sorry, I was just recuperating from all of my activities and had to do a little housecleaning a.k.a. pagninilay-nilay and other mental calisthenics.

I got that comic from Karlo's newest BlogComics blog, do check it out. Bumped into him last Friday and he said he's going somewhere for a vacation. Ingat ka!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

1st OPM Songhits Music Awards

Songhits is what probably pushed me to love OPM (original pilipino music). We always had those when I was a kid and I remember saving some of my allowance to buy a copy. It was the only way to get lyrics of your favorite song (unless you buy the tape or write it down yourself). Remember? Well, if you're a child of the 80s you'd know what I mean.


I've been tagging along with Sweetie in the music events he's been attending and I couldn't help but be awed when we attended the 1st OPM Songhits Music Awards. There were music artists all over the place - from MYMP to Cueshe to Rivermaya, Ely Buendia and many others. I just got extremely shy to have a photo taken with them, hehehe.

Anyway, Sweetie did a full coverage of the event, check out Titikpilipino.com's photo gallery and the list of winners. I was there as a fan and I forgot to take any notes.

Here are a couple of videos I took -

The New Rivermaya



Pupil (Ely Buendia singing "Sala")



Other videos

Cueshe - Ulan
Itchyworms - Beer
Kyla - Love Will Lead You Back
Mark Bautista - Break it to Me Gently
Ronnie Liang - Ngiti
Yeng Constantino - Hawak Kamay (she won three awards)
Hale - Shooting Star
Miguel Escueta - Isipin
Christian Bautista and Rachelle Ann Go - Pag-ibig na Kaya

Monday, December 10, 2007

My Lamp Art

I always wished I had talent for the arts. My nephews, nieces and my son can draw really well and I can't even make recognizable stick figures. Pfffttt!

So moving on... I wished too that I had talent in the realm of design. The most I've done is design a curio and simple furniture when my Mom and I were exporting. That didn't work out well either.

And, then again, I love taking photos, but the photos don't love me. Asa pa. So, I've been sticking to the standards and some strange patterns I seem to love taking photos of - and those things I just keep buried in my Picasa Web Album (offline).

I will always be a frustrated artist...

And so while I was in Davao I took some photos of lamps, you'd never guess what they really look like in real life. The Usual Suspects thought they looked interesting and encouraged me to post them in my blog. So here it is and I've also taken the liberty to give them titles -

Blue Rings


Jellyfish


Red Eye


Green Eyed Monster


Lighted Avocado


A Clean Moon


Exhaustion and boredom, that's why I took those photos =)

What it Feels Like to be in a Race (my Cebu and Davao trip)

I must say I've been living a horrendously crazy schedule the past few weeks and that's the main reason why I haven't had the time to blog. My Davao-based friend, Migs, noticed that I've been making "summary posts" the past few weeks. Ahhh, sowee, I've been just really extra busy.

Anyways, I felt like I was a contestant for the Amazing Race last week. I'd say it's one of my busiest weeks for the year, having 2 sets of visitors, an event for educators (another one of my backlogs), the 1st OPM Songhits awards, dinner with Sweetie's friends, and speaking engagements in Cebu and Davao, plus a whole lot of other stuff. I had to talk really fast for my gig for STI in Cebu to catch my flight to Davao. I arrived at the airport just before the counter closed (whew!).

At STI's National Youth Convention in Cebu. Photos by Mhel and Kim.



Check out the full album at the STI Picasa Web Album.

I was quite overwhelmed with the number of students present at the Mindanao Students IT Education Conference. I had to psyche myself up not to hyperventilate over speaking in front of 3,000+ students. Here's a short glimpse -



After speaking at the MSITE I was feeling quite dizzy and slipped out just before the event ended. I had dinner later on with Davao friends, The Usual Suspects - Blogie, Migs, Winston and Jun and met Ted Padova (Adobe evangelizer) and Rodney at the Fwendz Diner.

This is me with Fwendz Diner owner, Tope. More about Fwendz Diner at my Lakwatsera Ako blog.


After eating a hefty dinner, we proceeded to the Nokia party and enjoyed taking photos -



So, we thought we took more than enough photos, and moved to Basti's Brew for a late night cup of coffee and then called it a night.

The next evening was a really interesting one. After eating a late merienda at Basti's Brew, Andrew, Migs, Ria and I proceeded to Hairzone and indulged ourselves with a foot spa/massage. It was Andrew's first time to have one and the look he had on his face when the attendant asked if he wanted colorless cutex to be painted on his toes was priceless. And it's only in Davao that I've experienced having foot blush wiped on my talampakan. (Methinks I need the works to really feel relaxed).



It took the whole session for us to finally decide where to head for dinner and we ended up at Red Moon Chinese Cuisines & Delicacies and was joined by Blogie. For more in-depth coverage about Red Moon, head to my Lakwatsera Ako blog.

Things just got more fun after dinner. We moved to Studio Onnie, located just a few steps away from Red Moon. Studio Onnie, owned by Onnie (who's really cute and funny, and a local celeb for ABS-CBN-Davao), is a comedy bar with Ahbet as its most popular host. I was quite lucky to meet them since everyone is Blogie's friend. Take a look at the photos and find out what transpired while we were there.



Here's me and Winston being grilled by Ahbet.



Check out Blogie and Migs' song numbers.

As if hanging out at Studio Onnie wasn't enough, Blogie insisted on giving me a tour of some new stuff in Davao, so we went to see David in all his glory at Seawall and the fabulous, wonderfully decorated Davao City Hall.



Whew! I just conked out the whole day yesterday after celebrating Mom's birthday when I got back.

Here's some posts about the weekend by The Usual Suspects -
Winston
Blogie

And coverage at my Lakwatsera Ako blog.

Your Soul's Music

So it's early in the morning and Juned buzzes me to inform me that he tagged me for the "Naked Meme: What's on Your iPod?" by Jayvee, the bug.

This is how the meme goes -

1. Take a screen shot of either your Top 25 Most Played / 25 Recently Played / Top Rated songs on your music device.

2. Post them on your blog and explain yourself.

3. Copy these instructions and tag 6 audiophiles to do the same thing.


Fine fine... so here's my top 25 most played list:



Now to explain myself:

1. I obviously love OPM. I do and it's what primarily brought me and Sweetie together as friends. We started hanging out because he'd invite me to tag along with him to some music events - the first was Christian Bautista's album launch last January - and the rest is history.

2. I like listening to love songs, but I do have a sawi list too. My top 25 list is worth 2 years of playing. #19 ramped up only recently, bakit kaya? Hmmm...

3. Since I love OPM, I love Pinoy artists. Quite a number of my friends would always chide me for preferring OPM artists over foreign artists. I'm Filipino and proud to be one. I am not ashamed over preferring local music and don't really care if my friends have to be dragged around to accompany me to watch local concerts.

4. The list culminates from different playlists in my iPod and I have really funny names for it, I just choose the playlist that best describes my mood. I've been playing my Christmas list for the past month and my friends on Gtalk have noticed it (to show what your current music track just download the Gtalk console).

5. I am in love. `Nuff said. LOL.

If you love OPM you should check out my Youtube channel since I feature a number of artists I've watched perform live. And watch out for my post about the 1st OPM Songhits Awards.

Most of my friends love listening to music too, bestfriend Anne though prefers listening to another type of music (you'd witness this on our Songs from Wendy's blog) and it would be interesting to see how she'd answer this meme. Well, I'm tagging the following:

Anne, Harry, Janette, Jehz, Markku, and Winston

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Kainan Ulit! (Eating Time Again!)

Yehey.com and the Ayala Malls are inviting 100 bloggers for a food tour at the Trinoma Mall. Here are the details:

What: Trinoma Food Tour for Bloggers
Where: Trinoma Food Court
When: December 13, 2007, Thursday
Time: 2:00 - 7:00 p.m.

For details on how to join shimmy over to Jonas' blog or through Yehey.com.

Kindly check the Google spreadsheet if you've been registered.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Brrrrr Baguio!

Too little time to blog, but here's a rundown of my freezing Baguio experience:

November 29, 2007
1:00 a.m.
Hopped on a Victory Liner bus to Baguio

1:00 - 6:30 a.m.
Zzzzzzzz (yes it's my talent, I can sleep anywhere)

6:30 a.m.
Tulala

7:00 a.m.
Stuck in Baguio Traffic

7:30 a.m.
Crashed at event organizer's hotel

10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Work work work!!!



In-between: Panicking over the Makati siege and kept bugging Mom and Dad and Miguel's guidance counselor.



More STI photos here.

7:00 p.m. onwards
Eat and zzzzzzzz

November 30, 2007
Bonifacio Day (holiday)

So, you thought I'd manage to go around Baguio? Nahhh. The only thing I actually managed to see were: SM Baguio, Session Road, Camp John Hay - that small strip between the CJH Convention Center and the Filling Station (walked back after eating lunch), and food. Check out though what made me gain a couple of pounds overnight at Lakwatsera Ako.

12:00 to 6:30 p.m.
Bus back to Manila
What I did? Zzzzzzz. Natulog siyempre.

And so I thought I'd manage to do some work, but... I conked out when I got home. The bumpy ride really did me in.

*Photos by Sweetie and Mhel Garrido/Kim.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Digitalfilipino Christmas Party and Culmination of the Filipina Writing Project

It's been a really hectic week and if you noticed I haven't blogged for sometime now. I got loads of stuff to blog about, but I'm just so busy lately that it's been pushed back again and again.

Anyway, last Wednesday before heading for Baguio I managed to squeeze in attending the culmination of the Filipina Writing Project and the Digitalfilipino Christmas party (an all-in-one event) which was held at Ponciana's Restaurant somewhere in Quezon City (I'm not from that area, but I think it's somewhere near Timog, bah don't ask me).

I think I started gaining weight at the party because of this -

Photo by Sweetie.

And Joan's tipsy leche flan was indeed something that could make you tipsy -

Photo by Sweetie.

And since my best friend, Anne, and AngLoloNiyo Harry and Chel were late, we had a grand time presenting Harry's birthday gift after the party. Look at the photos and you'll know why I was so bungisngis about the gift -

Photos by Sweetie.

Photo by Dennis Rito (nenok from Janette's Facebook).

After the party, we joined some of the Digitalfilipino oldies (hehe, they don't read my blog anyway!) and Sweetie and I were put on a hot seat. Lusot pa rin though!

Here's some photos from the party:

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Can't Stop Christmas!

Brrrrrr!!!

That was my first thought when I arrived the other day from Baguio. I thought I already escaped the cold Baguio weather. And I soon realized after seeing all the blinking lights and the red, green and gold decor at the Gateway Mall that Christmas is just around the corner!

I have a confession to make... I have not even made my Christmas list and have not started shopping for anything. I have, however, managed to put up a mini-Christmas tree at my basement (okay... so it was actually Miguel who put it up, but hey at least I made him do it, hehehe) and since my Mom wanted a new tree Sweetie was really kind enough to accompany me to find one, so last weekend we ended up at this huge store in Sucat and found this really scary Santa -


Much as it was inexpensive I didn't want to scare myself and the kids who'd be visiting home, so I dropped the idea of buying any decor at that store. Perhaps it'd work for a Halloween Christmas spoof eh? LOL.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Mahirap Maging Pogi (It's Hard to be Handsome)

This video has been online for some time already and was sent to me by my new friend, Mhel Garrido of (secret na lang natin the school)... anyway, guaranteed to make you laugh. The song's by Da Pulis, sang by Gabe Mercado.



All I can say Mhel is... hahahahahahaha... that made my day!

And here's something Miguel's crazy about right now -



Must be a phase eh?

Sabong and Balut

I was amazed when a friend of mine asked if I knew of any website on Sabong (cock-fighting). I didn't know of any so I asked Sweetie if he knew of one. I was lucky since his former colleagues were actually running a couple of websites about the subject. I then asked my friend why SHE was interested in cock-fighting (and watching one at that), she said that she had someone coming over and was very interested to watch. Huwhaaaattt?

I realized then that this sport has been around for the longest time. An uncle of mine when he was still alive used to care for a couple of Texas roosters. He was really into it that when my Kuya accidentally strangled one when he was 3 years old, he cried! It's a story told time and time again whenever we go to Lucban, Quezon. My uncle knew better than to showcase his roosters to me when I was a kid. LOL.

Here's a preview of what it looks like (I don't think I'll visit one in my life) -



A few months ago, I showcased a dear American friend, Chris Sandberg, who tried out Balut when we were in Bohol. We tried scaring him out of it, but he was really game on trying out stuff and he was such a good sport. I cannot even remember the last time I ate balut, but I've tried dangling Miguel a prize (PhP2,000) to eat one to no avail (sorry baby, it was just a one time deal).

Anyway, here's my friend Rachel showing her friend Adam how to eat one -



Oh, I was too tired last night to make a Sunday video post. Here's one song that caught my attention while eating dinner at McDonald's with Sweetie and Miguel -

Saturday, November 24, 2007

At the Google TechTalk and the Advertising Congress

It's been a flurry of activities the whole week and I'm just really glad it's already Saturday and I know I've been getting a bit cranky already due to exhaustion. Sensya na, tao lang po.

Here are some photos from the Google TechTalk held last November 19, 2007 at the AIM Conference Center:



Cliquebooth
was there too -



Check out also Erwin Oliva's coverage at Inquirer.net and Derek speaks about iGoogle Gadgets. Markku's photos are also splendid and you might also want to check out how Jehz enjoyed the event.

And yesterday I hied off to the Ad Congress in Subic with some colleagues. For those interested to hear more about what Derek spoke about I have a hands-on workshop in coordination with the Philippine Trade & Training Center on December 11.



Oh and if you know of any educators, kindly let them know about this event.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Cool Change for Jaya

Last week I had the privilege of tagging along with Sweetie for Jaya's album launch. "Cool Change" is the title of her album and I'd say it's very appropriate since Jaya claims that she went through so much turmoil in the past 2 years, but everything's at peace already. Jaya was a bit emotional during the launch. She cried a bit when she shared that there was a time that no recording company wanted to support her and she also shed some tears when she sang "Cody's Song" - a song dedicated to her child.

I have Jaya's old CD's. Her voice is very unique and cool to the ears. When she was launched a couple of years ago, she stood out because of her voice (I dunno how to call it). I would've had my old CDs signed, but decided not to after Jaya's tearful sharing. Anyway, Jaya's album "Cool Change" was produced by GMA Records (nice meeting all you guys!).

I really prefer listening to OPM than foreign songs. (What do you think brought me and Sweetie together? MUSIC! LOL.)

Anyway, here's a love song from the album - For the First Time -



And, a heart breaking song - Girlfriend -



And, something to dance to - On the Radio -



Salamat traffic! Nakapag-blog tuloy ako. Hehehe.

Congrats Jaya! Love the album!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Classic Tito, Vic and Joey

I was looking for the new PLDT commercial on Youtube for a post about advertising I made, but found this charming classic Tito, Vic and Joey Coca-cola commercial instead -



I couldn't help but giggle. For more interesting old commercials visit Adman's Youtube channel.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pumapatak na naman ang Ulan

It was raining when I slept (more like conked out) last night and it's been raining since I woke up early this morning and basement weather just got colder! I think it'd be nice to have someone to wake up to instead of pillows and Winnie the Pooh.

I remember when I was still a Makati office girl, I'd really abhor the rain because I'd normally come to work in full corporate attire (business suit, high-heeled shoes and stockings! euw!) and I definitely don't like the feeling of getting wet by the rain. I also have the misfortune of getting sick whenever I get wet by the rain (kahit ambon lang). Add much heavier traffic, flooding, mahirap sumakay since everybody seems to be rushing home, who'd love the rain (unless when you're just at home)?

BUT! There are a lot of happy rainy stuff -

1. Dancing in the rain with my Ate and Kuya when I was about 4 years old. It was raining hard and naligo kami sa ulan! That's when I learned that you'd have to take a bath immediately after getting wet in the rain, to prevent getting sick. A couple of years after that it was announced that it's bad to bath in the rain because it had elements that may cause baldness (radiation? I dunno). Well, that ended our ligo sa ulan sprees. Miss ko tuloy Ate and Kuya ko. Sniff.

2. Champorado! Whenever it rained we'd always have champorado for merienda. And mind you, way back then those little chocolate packets weren't available and our champorado was cooked with those uber bango chocolate balls. Yum yum!

3. Snuggling. Cuddling. When I was a kid, I'd be a DH* to my parents and I'd snuggle in with them whenever it was raining. Miguel would also snuggle in bed with me whenever it's raining. Well, that was before he became taller than me. Hmph.

Bed weather is also best for sleeping in and reading cheesy romance novels (which I haven't done in years!). Well good thing I'm not sleepy right now and all the books I have lined up to read are business books (ay nerd!) and with loads to do I should just try to ignore the call of the rain to snuggle in bed.

What about you? What's your favorite rain story?

*DH - dakilang hadlang

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

For the Stressed Out

Here's something quite funny and amazing sent by my long-time friend Achew -

Wanted: Entrepreneurs, Marketers & Advertising Agencies

Hindi naman ako masyadong busy... LOL.

We also have workshops for entrepreneurs, marketers and advertising agencies! And those who will attend and have websites will get a free Google Adwords coupon (that means free advertising on Google!).

Here are the dates:

November 16, Friday, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
November 27, Tuesday, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
December 10 & 11, Monday & Tuesday (hands-on), 9:00 to 5:00 p.m.

at the Philippine Trade Training Center, Buendia near cor. Roxas Blvd. (beside World Trade Center).

For more details and signing-up, please visit my work blog.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Wanted: Developers

Are you a developer? And do you wanna learn more about Google developer products straight from Google engineers?

We're hosting an event for developers!

Here are the details -

What: TechTalk with Google Engineers (from Mountain View, California)

Topics: Google Gadgets, Google Open Social & other developer products

When: November 19, 2007, Monday, 7:00 p.m.

Where: ACCEED Conference Center (beside AIM, in front of Greenbelt)

How to join: Sign-up your name and your programming language by leaving a comment in my work blog. You can check if you've been registered by checking out the guest list.

Sign-up now here! Limited slots available.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Next Please!

Yesterday during lunch my Mom was telling a story about a girl whose boyfriend suddenly dropped her to marry another girl. Tragic isn't it? That and a million other stories of heart break. That's why don't date crazy people!

Anyway, so I just flippantly told my Mom, "Ma, kung ayaw nung guy, eh di huwag! Sabihin niya, next please!" My Mom agreed and said she'll tell the girl that there are many guys out there. And I'd like to make that appeal to a dear friend of mine. (If I was there with you, I'd probably boink your little head!).

It's so easy to play the martyr for someone you love and just accept whatever it is that is thrown your way. "Because I love him." I totally disagree. I wasted so many years of my life on someone who was totally unworthy. Because I thought it was the right thing to do. It is not and by golly give yourself a lot of love and respect. No man should insult nor belittle you to cover up for his follies and insecurities (ay galit ang lola niyo!).

"He's Just Not That Into You" and "The Rules" are two of the most interesting books I've read. Both books basically said that if a guy is really into you he'll do everything in his power to make you fall in love. Hahamakin ang lahat mapa-ibig ka lamang. Men are hunters and they will pursue you until they have you. (Read the two books and then read Bo's book).

Now, don't fall for the first guy who pursues you with a passion. There would be guys who just love the pursuit and they'd drop you like a hot potato once they are done (I know one who does this every 6 weeks). Be mindful of his values, the respect he gives you. Check his family background, his trustworthiness etc. etc. (check out Bo's book hehe).

Huwwwhaaaattt??? You might ask. Well, raise the bar girl! Don't settle for anything less. And pray.

And I'd like to plug a project of The Usual Suspects - You Got Blogged - check it out and get a chance to win $150 when you join the contest.

And here's my Sunday Video (which I should change to Monday Madaling Araw Video LOL) -



And I might say, if you're not ready to "take all your chances" with that one guy, then don't even think about lending your heart to him.

And, I'm NOT saying "next please!" this time around. What do you think Sweetie?

Friday, November 9, 2007

SM City Taytay

I'm still in a daze over meeting the SM bigwigs and I didn't have breakfast or lunch today because I was still very full from all the food that was served at the SM City Taytay blessing.


SM City Taytay is bigger than SM City Bicutan (where I always go every weekend coz I'm lazy to go out of my neighborhood). I remember rushing in with everybody else when SM Bicutan opened a few years ago, that's why I was quite excited to attend the blessing of SM City Taytay (even though it's very, very far from where I live!). We went around the whole place (well most of it) and saw that it had most of what we also have here at SM City Bicutan and more (since it's bigger). It also had a bridgeway and SM Hypermarket and I think a bigger SM Department Store (inggit!!!).

Here are some photos -

That's me with Francine Prieto, Herbert Sy and Robert Kwee, don't ask me why I suddenly became so tiny! Argghhh!!!


The SM Hypermarket girls.


Longest grocery cart I've seen in my life.


SM lives up to its name with yummy-yummy food!!!


And more photos -



(Nahiya ako pa-picture with the Sy family eh hehehe.)

Photos by Sweetie.

Make Me Believe

I had no idea who Aicelle was since I rarely watch TV (an improvement mind you) and the only time I get to listen to the radio is when I'm in a cab or the car. So, when Sweetie asked if I wanted to go I just said okay since it's a free-food event (hehe) and I do love listening to OPM.

And I was astounded with her voice. Buong-buo! I've been quite disappointed lately with some favorite singers who seem to have "lost" their voice (how come they end up being so maarte with how they sound when they've been around for sometime already?), and Aicelle's singing prowess was definitely refreshing.


The album launch was held at Circle Cafe in Tomas Morato, Quezon City. Here's her carrier single "Ikaw Pa Rin" which was composed by Janno Gibbs.



And another single "Make Me Believe" (which is the title of the album) -



Photo by Cecille Pascual of Tugtogpinoy.com.

Tamaritisis Blogginisis

Okay, I just made up those words. It's supposed to mean, "tinatamad ako mag-blog". It's a symptom (hopefully not a disease) that I think we all go through sometimes especially when you're attention is in a lot of other more important things.

I just thought I'd write down these things till I get back to normal:

1. I started blogging to educate myself about all these available resources on the web.
2. To rant and make use of my muse when she is in the mood to write.
3. To keep in touch with what's happening in the community.
4. To inspire.
5. As a tool for communication (abangan an event I'll be announcing soon!).
6. To de-stress.
7. To make up for not having officemates. (I got no one to annoy!).
8. To keep in touch with friends.
9. To amuse myself.
10. To share what I can share.

Oh well... still having tamaritisis blogginisis. Sigh.

Upcoming posts though: SM Taytay's blessing and 2 other events =)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Reunions

I did not realize it's been 4 days since I last made a post. I did not go on vacation, I was actually just home but was very busy working and taking care of other stuff during the holidays (what holiday? meron ba? LOL).

I attended two reunions though over the weekend (oh and another one last Tuesday night) and it's really funny how the same topics seem to be discussed in any type of reunion -

Topic #1 - "Uy antaba mo ngayon ah!" Yeah, weight is ALWAYS the first ice breaker in any reunion. Good thing my college friends did not realize that I actually gained 25 lbs. since I graduated.

Last time I saw most of these guys was ten years ago, most were at least 20 lbs. lighter then.

Topic #2 - "Bakit di ka pa kasal? Ano nangyari?" my Tita asked in a her malumanay voice. Arggghhh! And then my Dad quipped, "Napag-iwanan na yan ng panahon!" And for that my Dad got a huge kurot from me. I am the youngest in both sides of our clan and one of the two who are unmarried. My cousin though is in her late 30s and they've designated her to be the generation's spinster (we always have one).

On the other hand, among my college buddies, those who got married already are those who we never expected to marry and these were the guys who did not even have girlfriends back in college! At least there were no questions on, "Bakit di ka pa kasal?"

Instant family reunion after visiting the cemetery.

Topic #3 - The latest apo. The "elders" couldn't stop bragging about their grandchildren. My favorite tito won the payabangan contest this time because my cousin Tina just gave birth two months ago. I think my Dad was quite scared to quip about having a new grandchild, baka kasi umayon ako at last eh. LOL.

My Dad making pa-cute!

My college friends are starting to have kids as well. Ako naman ang pwede na gumimik ngayon! Ha-ha! The disadvantage though of having friends with kids is a longer Christmas list, but that's okay, basta girl because I love shopping for baby dresses.

Topic #4 - Trip down on memory lane. Funny antics from way back. Who's changed their sexual orientation. Who broke up with who. Scandalous old tsismis. And one thing that you should bring during reunions are old photos. My gawd! I couldn't imagine myself 25 lbs. lighter with an 18-inch waist line. Funny though how the most un-sentimental person was the one who actually had an album.

I almost fainted when Sweetie saw my old college photos! I had braces then!

OMG... me in braces! And really, really short hair!

Topic #5 - The SO interrogation. Good thing my relatives and friends are nice during first meetings. Patay si Sweetie sa sunod na meet-up. (Don't worry I won't tell you're from the other side of the fence. LOL. Lagot ako sa reunion niyo!). My cousin though was already starting to ask questions, "One year na ba kayo niyan?" I had ammunition though and asked her about her SO and where he was. Hihihi.

Ang serious naman ni Sweetie.

Ayan happy na siya... natawa sa itsura ko kasi noon... LOL.

Oh well, I guess that's how reunions usually go. Do you normally experience the same thing when attending reunions?

Oh, and don't laugh... both reunions were held at Max's Restaurant on different locations.

I've been listening to Christmas songs the past few weeks and here's my supposedly Sunday video (I got buried under clothes last night so I wasn't able to post it).



Translations:

meron ba? -
was there one?
Uy antaba mo ngayon ah - Hey! You've grown fat!
Bakit di ka pa kasal? Ano nangyari? - Why aren't you married yet? What happened?
malumanay - soft voice
kurot - pinch
apo - grandchild
payabangan - bragging
tsismis - gossip
baka kasi umayon ako at last eh - I might give a positive answer at last
Ako naman ang pwede na gumimik ngayon! - I can go to gimmicks now!
Patay si Sweetie sa sunod na meet-up. - Sweetie will be creamed in the next meet-up.
Lagot ako sa reunion niyo! - I'll be creamed in your reunion!
One year na ba kayo niyan? - Have you been together for a year already?

Photo Credits
College friends by Brian Vallesteros and Kiko
Enrile clan by Sweetie

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Remembering

I was washing the dishes after a hefty lunch when my Mom told me why the dogs in the neighborhood (and our dog) were going arf arf crazy last night. A nearby neighbor passed away last night, a son my parents' friends. He is their second son to pass away this year.

I don't know him personally, but my Ate and Kuya did and my Mom's announcement got me thinking about what I have lost in the past.

1. My Mama Lola (maternal grandmother) - there's a drawback to being the youngest in our generation in both sides of the family, I only met one grandparent, my Mama Lola. I grew up with her puttering around the garden (fab green thumb I tell you) and her sewing on the manual makina (sewing machine).

I was 12 when I got the call at around 5ish in the morning from the funeraria. I had no idea how to handle things, so when the schoolbus arrived I still went to school. I was tulala in school the whole day and just cried in my Dad's arms when I got home. I still miss Mama a lot since they say I got a lot of my eccentricities from her and I used to hang-out in her room a lot of times (it was where I'd hide whenever my Mom would force me to take a siesta). Mama passed away in her sleep at the hospital right after a butterfly suddenly appeared in her room (believed to be my Papa Lolo).

2. My Lola Iyay (maternal grand aunt) - my Mama Lola's sister. Lola Iyay absolutely hated going to Manila. She lived by the beach with her lovely dogs. It took me a long time to figure out that her dog Whitey wasn't immortal and that she just kept getting a new white askal whenever the last Whitey died. Oh yeah, and she's very funny too. My Lola Iyay spoke English like she was born speaking it. She was an English teacher and had many, many stories to tell and absolutely loved hearing about my love life. (I have so much to tell you Lola `yay!). She passed away in her sleep about 2 years ago.

3. Papa Lolo (maternal grandfather) - Papa Lolo died 5 years before I was born, but my Mom would always tell me stories about him and what a good story teller he was. I met him though, in San Francisco. I was 4 years old then and was playing by the window in a hotel room when he appeared right in front of me. He was wearing a white uniform with gold buttons and had this stiff hat on (he was in the army and was part of the Death March). This was our conversation:

"Hi Papa!"

He smiles and beckons me to come closer to him.

"Papa, are you going to tell me a story now?"

He nods yes and asks me to come closer to him.

"Talaga Papa? Story? Story now?"


At this point my Mom interrupted and asked me who I was talking with. I told her, "I'm talking with my Papa Lolo!" She then snatched me away from the window. I know I was just 4 years old then, but I do remember to this day how my Papa Lolo looked. A few years later I saw a photo of him in a white uniform and realized that I did somehow meet my Papa Lolo.

Last year, my nephew, Gabby had the same experience. What was funny was he didn't have any idea how Papa Lolo looked and he turned all white when we showed him his photo wearing his white uniform. We must've gotten our being pilyo from Papa Lolo!

4. My Pets - it took me a long time before I considered having another pet when my oscar (fish) named Oscar was killed by the ugly janitor fish. I had Oscar for about 3 years, so you can just imagine all the stuff that we've been through. Prior to Oscar, it took me about 7 years after Cotton (a japanese spitz) died to have another pet.

You see, I do really get so attached to my pets and it takes me a long time to move on (longer than boyfriends mind you, coz one doesn't live with a boyfriend right? LOL). To Bullet (a dog), Cotton, Ham & Egg (hamsters), and Oscar, Lucky and Pork & Beans (fighting fish) I hope you guys are very happy in pet heaven. (The janitor fish is probably still alive coz we left him go in the creek behind our house, hmph!).

5. Dead Toenails? (I don't have any.) Dead hair? (they fall off every day)... ahhh and I this cute ceramic bowl just caught my eye here in my study room, Ashes of my Ex(es). Well, I know I'm being funny (#1 to 4 was making me teary eyed already) and I seriously have that pot (I wonder if Sweetie noticed it hmmm)... I'm referring to dead relationships, friendships that fell apart and stuff that just didn't work out. That's life and it's normal. We all go through that cycle, but what's important is just letting go of everything that's in the past and move forward by cherishing what you have now.

Live and let live. I say, "Love and just love because that is why we are here."

To Mama, Papa and Lola Iyay, I know you are watching over me and the whole family. I will be with you again someday.