Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Shell Eco Marathon Asia 2010

With team leaders and some members of our Philippine representatives 
to the Shell Eco Marathon Asia 2010.

When I was in college I did a number of odd jobs and did some work at Pilipinas Shell for a couple of months. I did some writing first and then eventually my OJT at their legal department. I also spent summers at their Tabangao Refinery when my Ate worked there as the only female engineer (I think she was the first). So I was pleasantly surprised when I received an invitation to attend an intimate dinner with the student representatives to the Shell Eco Marathon Asia 2010.

 The Shell Eco Marathon Asia is no mean feat. The students said that they are expected to build a vehicle from scratch! The vehicle that they need to build should be fuel efficient. It should be able to travel many, many miles and have the fewest fuel emissions. I wouldn't know where to start with that kind of project, but the students we got to chat with have been building their vehicle for a couple of months now and expect to do test runs within the month. Wow!

I got a sneak peek on one of the vehicles that was being built. Team UST named their car "Tiger 400" because University of Sto. Tomas is celebrating their 400th year. Team Don Bosco College named their vehicle, "Grigio". Grigio I learned is supposed to be St. John Don Bosco's miraculous dog (I have a Grigio stuffed toy and he survived Ondoy!). And finally, Team Mapua named their car "Atalanta", after the Greek goddess of voyage and adventure. 

This competition is definitely an adventure for the group of students representing our country. I am hopeful and confident that they will bring home the prize! Siyempre! Pinoy eh!  

Good luck Tim, Edmund, Lester, Anjelo, Jericho, Kenneth (please also send my regards to your teammates)!

The Day I Became a TV Ad Model

Imagine my surprise when I saw my photo included in a TV commercial of a contest sponsored by a cable network. I don't really pay attention to TV commercials. I multi-task while watching TV so I usually have my laptop turned on.

We had a very late lunch yesterday because I was so engrossed with work. Sweetie turned the TV on while we were eating and settled on AXN. I got curious when I heard an ad about a free trip to Boracay. I looked up and was shocked to see my photo in the ad. What were the chances that there'd be another girl wearing shades, a sleeveless black top with a green bikini underneath, with the exact same pose I did when Sweetie took my photo? Because I gave a startled shout of surprise, both Miguel and Jay looked at me. I said, "Picture ko yun!"

Of course I remember the photo. I posted it at Lakwatsera Ako two years ago. Sweetie said, "Sigurado ka?" I replied that I was sure because it's one of my favorite photos. I was rushing out to go to a meeting, so I Plurked about it and some friends said they'd watch out for it. A Plurk friend though picked it up and said that she'd bring it up with the network.

I received an apology a few hours ago from the agency that did the ad. They admitted that it was their oversight. I haven't replied to them yet since I want to consult my Dad about it first. Plagiarism is something that I really frown upon. I understand that agencies can be hardpressed for resources that's why they end up copying stuff online. They don't realize that at the end of the day the embarrassment is with the client. If you need something and you found it online all you need to do is reach out to the owner of that photo and ask.


(I had a previous post about plagiarism, check it out here).

Friday, April 9, 2010

Eat Eat Eat

I couldn't help but laugh when I saw this delivery signage. Check it out and read the number 8 as "eat".

What a brilliant play with the number "8".

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My First 100 Days as a Wife (Part 2)

Part 1 of this post can be found at this link.

So off we went to our honeymoon. My colleagues said that we should not consider it as our honeymoon because I was in Singapore for work. Sweetie saw more sights in Singapore than I have in the past 9 years that I have been going back and forth there. The only decent photos we had in Singapore were taken in Sentosa (because Jajah showed us around) and at the office (because my colleagues insisted on taking our photo).

Nothing much to say about Singapore since we spent our first two days just sleeping (we were that tired!). (Most of my posts about Singapore are at Lakwatsera Ako.)

We were both very busy on our first monthsary. We were off early in the morning since I had a number of meetings in the Metro and Sweetie also had to go to Marikina. He surprised me though in the evening with some white roses.

I am terrible with keys so Sweetie left me this reminder on the door.
I actually did forget to put it in my bag. 

"Naparami ata kain ng Mister ko ah." I said to Sweetie earlier. He replied by saying, "Masarap luto ng misis ko eh!" We simultaneously cringed right after and burst out laughing. "Ang jologs!" I said. "Let's not do that again" Sweetie replied, still cringing. LOLz!

I realized after we finished giggling over our exchange that gears changed when we came home from Singapore. It was the time that we had to face our new found household chores full throttle.  It was a good thing that Samsung managed to repair our new washing machine, but we honestly started washing our clothes only after my Mom's helper laundered the 2 maletas worth of trip clothes (hehehe). I had to learn how to iron and poor Miguel's uniform became my practice ground. I can attribute my ironing skills to how-tos from Youtube (thanks Youtube!).

The leftovers were long gone and I had to learn how to cook. Good thing my high school, St. Scholastica's College, taught us how to cook and bake so I kinda knew stuff in theory. And thanks to Google and Youtube and Plurk/blogger friends (and my Ate!) I didn't have a hard time putting theory intro practice. I learned how to slice the hard way though and ended up having a couple of cuts on my fingers (OUCH!). Here are some of the dishes I've learned how to cook:

This was at the Dona Cuisinera Club cooking demo. We were
chosen to help out the chef because were were newlyweds. Our photo
has been featured in a couple of newspapers. (Thanks to Dona Elena
for the olive oil and other food stuff!!!)

My regular dishes include: adobo, cheese & ham stuffed pork roll,
fish fillet, beef bulgogi, beef/pork steak, afritada, spaghetti, arroz
ala cubana, sinangag, potato salad, coleslaw and the Dona Elena 
arugula salad. I'm still struggling with the Mee-goreng! 

I miss baking though and I hope I'd save enough money by month end so I can get myself a convection oven. One good advise we got before our wedding was from my high school friend, Ottie. She said that when she got married they didn't prepare their new home before they moved in. They got married on the 30th of December and went home on New Year's Day. They didn't have a refrigerator and it took 2 weeks for the appliance store to deliver because of the holidays. We heeded this advise and bought a refrigerator and washing machine a week before the wedding. It was really sound advise since we really needed the ref when we moved in. My Mom's long-time carpenters also helped us a lot in prepping up our new home.

Sweetie during our gardening session with my Mom.

When we got engaged we had to sacrifice the time we spent attending events. We didn't attend any for about 6 months since planning our wedding took up all of our free time. Eventually we realized that we had time to attend some events again and see our friends and do roadtrips on weekends.

Since Sweetie moved 25 kilometers from where he used to live (Marikina) and I just moved about 7 streets away, I had the pleasure of introducing Sweetie to Paranaque and my hommies (err my childhood friends) and my Parish. He probably didn't see it coming, but he is now part of our Parish choir (hahaha).

We had quite a number of challenges too in our first 100 days. We had to get rid of pests. Figure out how to keep the basura (trash) safe from being scavenged by cats/dogs/humans. Find ways how to fix up our tiny place and cope with stuff we didn't have yet. Prepare for parties (we've had two so far). Entertain unannounced visitors. Smokin'sinksSeptic tanks (euwwww). And there were bumps along the way that we faced together.

So it's been a 100 days and it's been an eye-opener about what marriage is all about. I honestly didn't realize though that chores are bottomless. I am thankful that Sweetie has been really supportive and patient the past few months that I've been learning how to cook, iron, do the laundry, clean the house etc. etc. (I'm an expert at washing dishes haha). I remember asking him one night a few weeks ago if he could still imagine himself sleeping alone in his old room (because I didn't). He said that he'd gotten so used to having me beside him (even though I sometimes accidentally kick him), he couldn't imagine himself being alone.

And that's what I learned the first 100 days as a wife. I am not alone anymore.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Enchanted Sisters

I was surprised to see a huge group of nuns yesterday at Enchanted Kingdom and they seemed to be having a lot of fun! While buying some hotdogs I saw them lining up at the RioGrande Rapids ride. I had just finished changing and buying a new pair of slippers because I got wet from neck down when we rode it. I pointed them out to Sweetie and we tried to capture their adventure on video. Here it is:

Thank you Enchanted Kingdom for the Easter treat!

You may also want to check out what's new at Enchanted Kingdom. My post about Zoori's Adventure is at Lakwatsera Ako.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

My First 100 Days as a Wife

There's a lot of countdowns happening lately (#elections, #countdowntostepdown) and I just noticed from a wedding countdown widget I placed in my Facebook account that 100 days have passed since Sweetie and I tied the knot.

100 Days!

Time flew by so fast and we haven't even been able to send out our Thank You cards yet and we haven't started work on our wedding album. Funny coz we haven't even printed any of our photos yet! I'll make it a point to finish this project this month of April.

The first problem we faced after the wedding was how to get to our hotel since the bridal car didn't show up. Our parents, relatives and friends either left already or wouldn't be able to fit us in their car. Luckily Juned brought his "schoolbus" (delivery van actually) and that's how we managed to get back to the hotel. The lobby area was pretty filled up and imagine the surprise of the people when we went down the van (check out the photo here). Haha! Inasmuch as we were both sleepy already (I was up by 2:30 a.m.) we decided to hang out with our blogger friends first at Podium.

We decided to check out of the hotel the day after the wedding since there was so much to do at our new home. My parents' golden wedding anniversary celebration was also just a few days away and I wanted to spend some time with my siblings who flew in from the US and Jakarta. We didn't realize that we brought so much stuff with us we felt that it would've been hard to take a cab home. Good thing Jay's parents offered to pick us up and bring us to our new home.

This video shows the first thing we did when we got home:

Our place was a huge mess since we just started hauling in stuff a week before the wedding. We didn't have a bed yet so we just borrowed a foldable mattress from my Mom (we slept on the floor for a few days until we decided to buy a mattress). 

When we got home we tried to fix some stuff and then realized that we needed to eat, so we decided to open some of the gifts and tried to figure out which one was a microwave, an airpot and rice cooker. It took a few days before we managed to open all the gifts. 

Our first breakfast was served on a paper plate and placed on top of a bag because we didn't have a dining table yet (we still don't have own one until now and the one we are using is my Mom's extra table).

Our first full meal at home was... Binalot! 

Our first dinner was canned tuna adobo with some maki from SM Hypermarket and sliced tomatoes. 

When we finally opened all the gifts we discovered that we were proud owners of FIVE irons! The only thing I knew how to iron (during that time) were hankies! 

Most of our meals for 2 weeks were leftovers from the family gatherings and parties that we went to. Our first cooking attempt was aborted because we didn't know that it's normal for electric stoves to emit white smoke the first time you turn it on. Eventually though Miguel moved in with us and I quickly had to learn how to cook.

The first thing I cooked was Maling!

Eventually moved on to omelets (this one looks like scrambled egg though).

Our first laundry day was a traumatic experience. It definitely alerted our neighbors that someone moved in at apartment A and the new tenants seemed to be doing their laundry (or playing drums?). After 2 attempts I asked my Mom if her maid can do laundry for us for our first month.

We had to quickly organize our new home for the installation of the Sacred Heart and house blessing. My Mom insisted that we had to do this immediately so that our home would be blessed. 

And then we left for a not-so-honeymoon trip to Singapore (I had work!). Sweetie ended up going around Singapore by himself. Boo!

To be continued...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

We always spent Holy Week in Bicol when I was a kid. We'd leave in the wee hours of the morning on a Monday and usually arrive at around lunch time. It was a painstakingly long trip and during the 80s car aircon wasn't a norm. I managed by sleeping the whole trip. I'd usually just wake up at four points: (1) at the Yakult office somewhere in Laguna, (2) the mermaid monument somewhere in Quezon, (3) at the Emme in Quezon and (4) at the Pamplona-Pasacao intersection in Camarines Sur.

We have a small beach front place in Camangui, Pasacao and I always ran to the shore when we arrive. It's usually high tide when we get there and I'd always beg to be allowed to take a dip before having lunch. It was always hard for my parents to get me out of the water especially during lunch time. I always paid the price though because after 2-3 days I'm usually sunburnt.

I'm never allowed to swim on Good Fridays. I was told that the sea wasn't blessed and that it was dangerous to go in the water. I always ended up sulking the whole day. One thing notable though, year-in, year-out at exactly 3 in the afternoon the weather would change. It would become gloomy and the sparkling blue sea would become blackish.

I have been spending Good Friday in Manila for about a decade now and I terribly miss our little paradise in Bicol. It saddens me that we eventually might have to let go of it to mend my leaky heart.

May your Good Friday be a meaningful one!

My Earth Hour Experience

Last Saturday after picking up Miguel from school we just hung out at BF Homes and had snacks at Serenitea and Miggy's. When we got home we planned what to do for Earth Hour.

A year ago Sweetie and I were just newly engaged and was in transit from a wedding expo at World Trade Center. Lights went off as we traversed Buendia Avenue. During that time I called my Mom to remind her to turn the lights off at home.

For Earth Hour 2010 we planned to finish dinner by 8:30 p.m., but we were a bit delayed because I took more time to cook. We managed to turn off our lights and unplugged all appliances (except for the ref) by 8:40 p.m. Sweetie set up chairs at our tiny garden and we just enjoyed each others company under the moonlight. Miguel eventually joined us and we talked about Plants vs. Zombies (haha).

I was sorely disappointed though that we were the only household in our street that participated in Earth Hour. I expected that our famous SEO neighbor would've participated since Earth Hour is all over the net. Our neighbors either forgot about it or were out and didn't leave instructions with their maids.

Next year I'll take Earth Hour a step further and work on placing a poster on our gate and give out leaflets in our neighborhood. I'll also try to get some organizations in my neighborhood to advocate it and hopefully the next Earth Hour our locality won't be shamefully all lighted up.