this is about family and its ups and downs, living, and everything about life from a working mom's perspective.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My New Favorite Place: Bukidnon

I am so blessed to have work that allowed me to travel to my new favorite vacation place: Malaybalay, Bukidnon.  It's even better than Baguio and Tagaytay. 

I will be posting more soon, but I just want to share with you breathtaking pictures of the place.  I hope you'd put them in your to-visit list soon.

Look! I don't even have enough words to describe this!
A foggy day!
Banana Plantation
Approaching Manolo Fortich (view from the car)

At Dahilayan Forest Park
At Dahilayan Adventure Park

Oh I will always have a craving for their super sweet  sweet corn. No other sweet corn in Manila compares to their corn.

Too bad I wasn't able to take decent pictures of the pineapple and corn plantations which stretch as far as the eyes can see.

I hope I can bring my family here someday.  Now I believe in love at first sight!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Action Station: A Fun Activity for Kids

There are so many play areas now in malls, that parents can leave their kids there and shop, while their kid is busy (and happily) playing.

One such play area is Action Station in Robinson's Ermita. It's near Tom's World, 3rd floor, near the Department Store.

It's a bit pricey though considering that the play area is small, and there's not much to play with. But still, it's very colorful and it looks fun!

Kenny Rogers "Buy 1 Take 1" Promo is Back!

Last Monday, my family went to celebrate a special Day in Tagaytay.

We first went to Pink Sisters.  Good thing we were just in time for the 3 o'clock Prayer.  Later, we went to Sky Ranch, then to visit Paps at the Memorial Park.

When we got to Sky Ranch, the middle pavillion was closed (it is only open during Sundays, I learned), and scouted for a place to eat. I've been craving for a banana split for weeks, and I was so happy (more like elated, spastic-to-the-point-of-drooling) when I saw the Buy 1 Take 1 promo poster at Kenny Rogers Roasters!  I was (previously) sad because it was offered earlier in July this year, and I only discovered about it on August 1.  And now it's back!!!

And so we ordered the following:

Carbonara (P135) and Lasagna (P135) (and 1 pc chicken meal - this one's covered by a separate receipt)

Ham and Cheese Sandwich (P130)

Roast Chicken Sandwich (P115) - (a la carte)

Banana Split and Peach Melba, both priced at P155 each.

For a total of P825 pesos. But wait, there's more (parang commercial ng home tv shopping)...

Pero dahil nga Buy 1 Take 1, we only paid P420.00 (plus P108 for the one-piece chicken with rice, iced tea and muffin)

The food was great, as usual! Medyo mabagal lang ang servers and we weren't offered water, until we asked for it after we've finished our meal. We had to ask for the desserts (peach melba and banana split) thrice for it to be served to us.  Also, the nuts in the desserts tasted funny/luma/old stock. But that's it. We still had an amazing time there and our tummies were so happy when we left.

Avail of Kenny Rogers Roasters' Buy 1 Take 1 promo for all its snacks. It's available during weekdays until Oct. 31, 2014, from 2-5:30 pm.

You may check for their snacks menu here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Happy Call Pan: A Review

My sister gave me a Happy Call Pan which she got from Metrodeal. Don't ask me, but I'm guessing that it costs around P1000 or P999.

Since I love cooking, I was so excited to try but I never had the chance. Hubby, now a better cook than I, decided to take matters into his own hands and used the pan. And he loves it!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

#Sariling Wika Dapat Alamin

Ilang taon na akong sumasakay ng tren ng LRT. Ilang tao ko na ring nakikita ang nakapaskel na ito sa mga pinto ng tren:


Bilang mga Pinoy at Pinay, dapat alam natin kung kelan ginagamit ang "NG" at "NANG".  Naalala ko ang tinuro sa amin noon eh ang "NG" ay tumutukoy sa pagmamay-ari at ang "NANG" ay ginagamit patungkol sa kilos o minsan ay panahon.  Kaya dapat yata ang ginamit dito ay "nang walang pahintulot".

O, mali ba ako?

Eto pa:

Ay grabe, halatang-halata na mali ito. Bakit pa ba pinaskel ito? Hindi ba nila napansin? O hindi ba ito natingnan bago nag-"mass production" nito?

Paano natin matuturuan ang mga kabataan ng tamang paggamit ng ating wika, kung makikita naman sa mga pampublikong lugar ang maling-mali na pagkakagamit nito ng mismong isang opisina ng gobyerno?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Philhealth, ang Kuripot Mo!

The lonely hospital corridors
(while waiting for word from the doc about Papa's operation)
When my Papa was hospitalized last May, a representative from the Philhealth went to his room and talked to me about the requirements to get Philhealth benefits. She further explained that Philhealth provides better benefits now and combined with the Senior Citizen's Discount since my Papa was a Senior Citizen, a patient should no longer worry too much  about the hospital bills.  To quote, she said, "mas okay na po ang benefits ng Philhealth ngayon. Minsan nga, halos wala nang binabayaran ang pasyente dahil may Philhealth na at may Senior pa." Wow, this was good, I thought.
Papa was going to go under the knife that evening when the Philhealth representative visited us.  While money shouldn't be a problem, he was worried so much about how much it would cost so we told him that everything is going to be shouldered by my brother's health card. He was able to breathe.  We were all hoping that the Senior's discount plus the Philhealth benefit would help cushion the hospital bills.

Sad Experience at Jollibee - Dahil Lang sa Gravy

My kid's no.1  favorite when it comes to food is Gravy with Chickenjoy. Yep, gravy comes first before the Chickenjoy.  He can eat rice with only Jollibee's gravy as his ulam, but he can't eat chicken and rice without the gravy.  Sabaw-soup, ika nga.

My take out.

Friday, June 20, 2014

It's Official: I'm a Loom Band Addict

Two months ago, I went to Divisoria to buy some items for re-selling.  I chanced upon some loom bands at P196 for a dozen packs of looms with a hook.  The rubber bands in each pack were approximately 200.  Cheap huh!  So I bought a dozen and checked online on how to make a fishtail pattern.

I saw a loom/ladder with bands already but I didn't buy it because it was P80. There was another type, and it cost P60. Well, I didn't but it because I thought they were broken because the boxes were so dirty and old.

Fast forward to last week. I went looking for a loom/ladder at Divi and I was schocked to see the 80-peso-kit being sold at P700 at the bangketa!!! This is Divi for heaven's sake!!!

Pissed, I went to trusty old YouTube and looked for videos that taught one how to make loom bands using one's fingers. 

So, here are some of my finished products. I've made about 10 each kind that I posted. These are the only ones I made this morning:

1. Fishtail:

The first pattern I learned.

2. Inverted Fishtail:

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Getting Up and Moving Forward

The last month was hell.  I know you know what I mean.
I'm trying to live my life without my Papa around (physically), though I often see him in my dreams. If you've lost a parent, you know how it feels.
Life must go on. I know Pamsie would want all of us to move on and live our life to the fullest.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

More Typos So Early in the Morning

Mornings: the perfect time to get acquainted with the latest events and "chikas". 

It's bad to read about bad news so early in the morning, but what's even worse is the numerous typo errors on the page that one is reading. I'm not saying I've got perfect grammar. But Yahoo! Philippines should because it's got its own staff to edit and copyread its posts.

This morning, this is what I noticed in one post by Yahoo! Philippines:

"Blakdyak used to be a popular. (Screengrab from TV Patrol)"

So, Blakdyak used to be a popular screengrab from TV Patrol. I thought he was a real person. Screengrab lang pala sya.

Here's another one this morning:

"4. The sun is combines two representations"

This is so glaring, I don't know why nobody from Yahoo! PH noticed. Why, oh why?  Hayyy!!!!

Good thing, I had a hearty breakfast this morning so these two didn't dampen my already gloomy mood.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Dear Paps,

Paps, it's been a week since you were buried, nineteen days since we went to the hospital.

There's a big void left in our hearts when you earned your wings.

I still cry at night, or at every moment I think of you.  Maybe Ate and LA too. 

Mama is devastated. I know she is strong and she's trying to get her smile back, but she can't help it, not only because you're gone, but because half of her existence is gone. You're half of each other, right?

Everyday is going to feel incomplete because you are not physically with us, but I am also happy for you. I know you're gliding ang sliding up there, with your Nanay and Tatay, Lola Caria, and bestfriend Lola Eyay, (haha) and other relatives and former neighbors.  I know you are playing mahjong all the time and you've probably taken all your opponents' chips.  And if you get bored, you are having the time of your afterlife playing golf there, without any handicap at all -cause you're that good- and kicking all their asses.  Maybe your hair has grown there, so you would no longer think of getting a wig, even if it's only one of your jokes before.

You've been the best father one can ever have and  I believe, the best husband ever.  Thank you for that. Sorry for the difficult times we've had.  I know you know that already, but I just want to say it again.

Oh, the three musketeers miss you a lot and they still think you're their superhero, their super lolo, the one who gave them the best and most expensive toys, their best playmate.  They love you so much, Paps. They cried a lot too. But being kids, they are better at coping than us adults.  They dream of you at night too. Well, me too. 

We love you Pamsie and we miss you sooooo much.  I wish it didn't happen all that fast, but who are we to contradict His orders or deviate from His plans?


P.S. Your clients are asking me to continue what you were doing for their offices. I don't know where to start. A little clue from up there would be really appreciated.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Thank You

Photo credit:

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Papa please get well soon

You don't belong in the hospital. Please be better and come home soon.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Manila Children's Playground Revisited after 2 or 3 Decades

The last time I played at the Manila Children's Playground was when I was around 12 years old- literally decades ago.   When I started working in Manila, I noticed that the playground has been rehabilitated, and colorful dinosaurs started inhabiting the area.  It used to be that the most prominent thing there was the giant shoe house, but not anymore.

So one time, I brought my kid there to play. 

Manila Children's Playground is located in Kalaw, Ermita, Manila.  If you ride the LRT-1 line, get off at UN Avenue Station, cross the street to Kalaw. From Kalaw Taft, there's a Wendy's at the corner. Go past the Wendy's, turn right and that's where the entrance is.  You won't get lost! Entrance fee is P10.00 for a whole day of play.

You can bring food too, and have a picnic there since there are tables and chairs with umbrellas.

The Giant Hippo is still standing tall!!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Yahoo! Philippines Not Proofreading?

Saw this on Yahoo! PH this morning and I was bothered by the glaring typo errors in their news. So I took screenschots of them.

Photo Source: Yahoo! Sports Philippines 

"Filipino watch"  - I don't need to discuss what's wrong with this.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Maynilad Posts Holy Week Water Interruption

Ang init na nga, wala pang tubig??!?!?!?!!

Here's Maynilad's friendly reminder:

To address the perennial flooding in Manila, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will construct an interceptor drainage box culvert along Blumentritt St. Unfortunately, this structure will cross Maynilad’s water pipe along Juan Luna St. and Hermosa St., so we must  re-align our pipe prior to the implementation of the said DPWH project.

We will need 72 hours to expose, dewater, re-align and energize our pipe because it s a 7-foot-tall primary line.

At dahil diyan, mamamaho ang mga tao sa mga sumusunod na lugar:

3 days na tag-tuyot:

Barangay 8, 12, 14, 21–51
From  April 16, 1:00 p.m.  to April 19, 2:00 p.m

Barangay Longos
From April 16, 1:00 p.m. to April 19, 2:00 p.m.

Barangays 1–186, 198–202, 202–A, 203–222, 227–233, 275
From April 16, 12:00 noon to April 19, 2:00 p.m.

Barangay Bangculasi, North Bay Boulevard North (incl. Navotas Fishport Complex), North Bay Boulevard South, San Rafael Village
From April 16, 1:00 p.m. to April 19, 2:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Parang May Mali: 10 Hollywood celebs with a Big Heart, but Check #9

I was browsing the latest news on the internet when a link popped showing a list of Hollywood celebrities with a big heart.  So I read the list and was finishing #9 on the list - George Clooney - when something made my eye pop:

This is my screenshot of the page. I just resized on Paint and included the red marks. Hehehee

Monday, March 31, 2014

Lea Salonga Performs "Nothing"

I'm on YouTube mode today. Actually, Lea Salonga mode.  Here's another of my favorites: "Nothing" from "A Chorus Line".  Lea Salonga sang this during her Broadway Concert many, many years ago. I bought a CD of this concert about seven years ago, and lent it to a friend seven years ago, who, seven years after, still hasn't returned it to me.  
"Nothing" is a song about how Diana Morales feels about her acting teacher.  Her teacher told her she'd never be an actress.  This is so funny because I've attended acting classes that bordered on insane and corny to nonsense.  This is the perfect song for all those moments.
OMG, this just reminded me now of a Music teacher in elementary who told me I couldn't sing, so I couldn't join the school's singing contest. Memories repressed!

Chess: Someone Else's Story

I'm listening to Lea Salonga's concert featuring Broadway songs right now, and I want to share it with you.

It's from the Musical Chess: New York and is entitled "Someone Else's Story".

 Long ago
In someone else's lifetime
Someone with my name
Who looked a lot like me
Came to know
A man and made a promise
He only had to say
And that's where she would be
Although the feelings run just as deep
The promise she made has grown impossible to keep
And yet I wish it wasn't so
Will he miss me if I go?

In a way
It's someone else's story
I don't see myself
As taking part at all
A girl that I was fond of
Finally could see
The writing on the wall
She realized she'd left him behind
And sadder than that she knew he wouldn't even mind
And though there's nothing left to say
Would he listen if I stay?

It's all very well to say you fool it's now or never
I could be choosing
No choices whatsoever.

I could be
In someone else's story
In someone else's life
And he could be in mine
I don't see
A reason to be lonely
I could take my chances
Further down the line
And if
That girl I knew should ask my advice
Oh I wouldn't hesitate she needn't ask me twice
Go now!
I'd tell her that for free
Trouble is, the girl is me
The story is, the girl is me.

I also posted a Youtube video.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Birthday Blues

I'm supposed to "feel elated or gassy, or somewhere between that zone" but I'm not.
I'm at work on my birthday, and my sister's birthday, and I'm broke because everything is set aside for bills and stuff. And it's enrollment soon.
But then again, if I count all the blessings I have been given, I don't have any right to feel depressed at all.
Lord, thank you for the gift life. Thank you for my wonderful husband and super sweet son. Thank you for my family. Thank you for my parents who decided to have another child 37 years ago.  Thank you for my friends, my work(s), and thank you for always letting me know that You are watching over me and all my loved ones.  Thank you that I have my sister with whom I have been celebrating the same birthday for the past 36 years.
I'm sorry for feeling so sad this morning. I promise to enjoy this special day you gave me.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Baket List

Most people have their bucket lists. While I have mine, I also have the "Baket List" - this is a list of things that I wasn't able to do as an adult, but could have or should have done. It's not really a list detailing what I regret not having done, but something that I wish I had done before, but it's stil possible to accomplish it.

Let me share with you a few things on my Baket List:

1. Enroll in a dance class.

Photo credit:
When I was youngER, I was able to take dance classes during summer.  The dance classes I enrolled in were part of a scholarship that I got and it was something I totally enjoyed. Too bad, I wasn't able to continue because, 1.) I was more focused on voice lessons, and 2.) the scholarship had already ended after three years.

2. Pursue auditioning for Miss Saigon.

'This is what I saw at the tube station.' (Contributed photo)
Photo credit: Yahoo! Philippines
This morning, I read the Rachelle Ann Go's Saigon Diaries. It will chronicle her 14-month stint in London as Gigi of Miss Saigon.  I immediately felt a pang of regret when I read about it. Not because I sing better than her or i'm jealous of her, but because I stopped after two tries of getting in.  It's just that, I didn't try hard enough. Maybe after I lose 40 pounds, I'll audition again. Hahahaha!!
3. Learn how to do a might wallop serve in volleyball, and finger toss.
Photo credit: Pinterest
I love volleyball.  I think I make a pretty good libero, though at the height of my volleyball years, the term "libero" was not yet born.  People my age probably know Leila Barros. I just love love love her!!! I am a good tosser too, but I can't finger toss. While I know how to spike, it's not deadly. I never got the chance to improve my spike because I was busy trying to practice my receive while the other players were busy improving their spikes with me at the receiving end. So, there.

4. Revive my flexibility.

Platform Diving Stretch
Photo credit:
When I was young, I told you I was into dancing, so it wasn't so hard to be flexible.  In college, I had some training in sports that required a lot of stretching for flexibility, so I was able to be Barbie-like for a couple of years or so.  When I stopped training, I also stopped stretching, and I started getting fat, really fat. So now, I can't even reach my toes when I stretch. Why, oh why did I stop stretching? Oh well, now I really have to be disciplined and start stretching.
I still have a lot on my list, but these are just a few that I can share for now.
Do you have a Baket List too? Care to share with me?


What's in a name?
Eight years ago I was one of those hopefuls, to get that coveted "Atty." to attach to my name. Take note of the "period" (".")! My law professors told us students that when somebody completes law school, he or she has earned an ATTY to his or her name.  Passing the bar gives that person the "." to attach to the name. And it is only when he or she has passed the bar exams that such right to use  "ATTY."
Every waking day, during law school, I asked myself this question, "Why? Why am I doing this? Instead of enjoying life, here I am, being tortured."
Eight years later, I have come to realize what the title "Atty." entails.
1.  It is definitely a privilege. People with legal issues look up to lawyers as their solutions to their their legal problems. Lawyers have the capacity to bring significant changes to the lives of people with legal issues.  
2.  Lawyers are in a better position to fight unjust practices.  Because of their education and training, lawyers have the burden of helping bring out into the open the wrongs done in the society.
3. People think highly of lawyers. They think of lawyers as law-abiding citizens since their knowledge of laws allow them to be more prudent in their actions.
4.  Hearing oneself being called "Torni" is not for egotistical purposes. It should serve to remind lawyers of their  sworn duty to promote and ensure that justice is served.  Every time one is addressed "atorni", it should be like a tap on the shoulder or a knock on the head that would say, "Hey, you're job is to make this world a better place by bringing out the truth and ensuring that fair play is observed."
5. While lawyers can charge hefty fees, it doesn't mean that everybody should be charged at the same rate.  True satisfaction comes in being able to help someone in need and that someone has no capacity to return the favor financially. There is no better payment than seeing true gratitude and appreciation in the eyes of a client who has little capacity to pay or even none at all. .
On a lighter side, I have also come to the following realizations:
1. People actually think that all lawyers have a lot of money. I thought so too, that's why I pursued law. But no, it's definitely not true. Lawyers don't have bathtubs full of money.
2. While those from other professions can make a loan in a flash in times of need, lawyers, sadly can't. Credit card companies hate us. Banks are wary of us. So we need to take care of family and friends who have money because in times of need, we can run to them, but not to the banks.
3.  While people think highly of lawyers, the downside is, if the case is really a lost cause, the lawyer is to be blamed, even if that has been explained to the client from the start. Why? Because people are so fixed on thinking that lawyers are the solutions instead of realizing that lawyers are only there to protect whatever rights, if any, are available to them.
4. Not all lawyers twist the facts to serve their clients. There are still lawyers who try to win their case with only honesty in their bags. And they are definitely dwindling in number.
5. Lawyers get abused too. People name drop and use their lawyer's names to serve their needs - to brag, to get credit, to look smart, to threaten another, to intimidate, without the lawyer knowing about it.  Relatives and close friends are usually the culprit here.
6. Filipinos try to get legal consultations at inappropriate times to save on fees. Experience has taught me that sometimes a lawyer is invited to party not really because he/ she is wanted there, but because the host/hostess needs to get  legal advice, and the perfect timing is during lunch or dinner and the lawyer has no chance of escaping and no way of billing the consultation.
7. We Filipinos are thrifty. That also applies to attorney's fees. Instead of paying in cash, clients bring fresh produce instead. That's why, I have convinced myself that it is okay to receive a basket of fresh fruits and vegetables as legal fees. In fact, while this may not be good for the pocket, this is definitely good for the heart.
Oh, and lastly, native chicken and the like are also good alternatives to fresh fruits and vegetables.
To the new lawyers, welcome to the fold. May you always remember that the law profession is a noble profession. You may be disappointed to see that there are those who seem to have forgotten this and as such, demean the profession, but there are still those who still live by and abide by their lawyer's oath. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Bar Exam Results Later

According to the grapevine, the bar exam results for 2013 will be released at 1:30 pm.  According to more whiskers and much haka-haka, the result is that the passing rate is 20%. How true? (Parang blind item lang ano?)

About  5,593 bar applicants were supposed to take the exams. But I've heard of two (2) examinees who were never allowed to complete the four (4) exam days because of... hmmm... let's just say, katigasan ng ulo.

Anyways, to my friends who are waiting for the results this afternoon, good luck, God bless you. 

If you pass, then welcome, mga panyero at panyera. Please don't forget to uphold the profession and that it is a noble one, albeit, controversial because of some rotten tomatoes.

If you don't, wala nang five flunk rule ngayon, kaya try and try and try and try lang!!!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Why Commuting is Bad for My Mental Health

Last Monday, when our office shuttle was still not available (it was fixed for three months), commuting was really tough. I left home at 6 am, and was able to get a ride to Manila at 7:15. I arrived at the office an hour late. While looking out for empty colorum vans (there were no buses where I waited) and jeepeneys, this was the thought that came into my mind:

"(fuming) Pagdating ko ng office, bibili na ako ng condo unit SA TAPAT ng office. Para si little boy, dun na rin sa Manila mag-aaral (eureka!). Malapit na yung school niya, hahatiran ko siya ng lunch, tapos ako na maghahatid at magsusundo sa kanya. Weekends na lang kami uuwi sa bahay. Mamaya, titingnan ko yung condo."

When I finally got a ride and arrived (super late at the office, I looked around. Ay, wala palang condo sa tapat, kasi school yung nasa harap, tapos ospital yung nasa gilid!

The next day,  I couldn't find a van again, and my brain was doing this weird clicking again while trying to get a ride:

"Aha!Bibili na lang ako ng van, ako na magpapasada ng colorum van. Dadaanin ko na lang sa charm pag hinuli ako ng LTO. Tapos hindi na lang ako bibili ng condo."

A mini cooper passed by, driven by a woman (I often see her at this hour, and she's probably on her way to work like me). Take note, I don't know her and where she comes from or where she goes to every morning, I just know her because of the car that she drives. If you saw it, you would really notice the car, and then the driver - because of the car.  My brain went ito overdrive:

"Kakaibiganin ko na lang yan. Aabangan ko siya sa grocery kung saan man siya galing. Tapos sisimplehan ko, hanggang sa malaman niya na pareho kaming pa-Manila pala. Tutal, dalawa lang ang kasya sa kotse niya, sulit pag sakay ako. Ako na magbabayad ng toll fee."

And a vacant jeepney passed by, without me noticing it.   Sheesh...

Good thing, a colorum van arrived, picking up passengers to Manila.

Oh meyn, napa-praning na ako sa biyahe.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Parang May Mali Dito: " Vandalism is Highly Prohibited"

Ever seen these posts/ signs anywhere?

"Thank's God, ok kami... or something like that"

"Bawal Umehi Dito. Magmomolta."

"Posts No Bills."

Basta, alam niyo na kung anong ibig sabihin ko.

So, I'll start posting them because I want to post them (bakit ba? blog ko 'to eh!)

And here's the first:

Hmmmm... Pwede sigurong strictly prohibted or very much prohibited. Pero highly???? Tapos sa office comfort room pa?

O siya, sige na. Bawal magvandal dito.  Period.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Book Review: Broken Hart by Ella Fox

Photo credit:

The first in the series...

A typical story - Girl meets a guy who's rich, hot, and handsome. They have great sexual chemistry. Girl falls in love, guy doesn't realize that he's in love with her too. He tells her he can't commit, not even with her.  Girl discovers that guy is like that because of his haunting childhood.  Will the girl be able to make the guy realize that he has more to offer than what he is offering?  Will he realize that he is capable of commitment?  Will it be a happy ending?

I find the story okay... I like the writing style, it's light and readable. Too much sex scenes though. The dialogues are not quotable quotes. They're too long that they eventually become boring. Do people really say that much?

And another point: when Sabrina dresses up, the description there focuses more on the brands she's wearing not the clothes/shoes. I spray on J'adore... I wear my Jimmy Choos... What's this? A running advertisement?

I gave it two smileys because it's so predictable.  It's something to pass the time away, but it wouldn't really make your brains work.  I gave this two smileys in my Goodreads review.  Perhaps, I  can give additional 1/2 smileys? But how do I do that? Hahaha, just kidding.


Review: Human Nature's Natural Bug Shield Mosquito Repellent

Sold at supermarkets. Bought mine at
Robinson's Ermita Supermarket at P99.50.

I am constantly in search of effective mosquito repellents. With the dengue strains all going berserk, I need to make sure that my kid is somehow protected against mosquitoes.  One time, I saw Human Nature's Bug Shield Mosquito Repellents displayed in one of the racks at Robinson's Supermarket, and immediately grabbed one.

At P99.50 for 50 ml, I thought that this one's a good deal.  It's DEET-Free and it's made of natural ingredients (all Human Nature products are).

This one's a spray. But I was disappointed when it didn't really spray like atomizer nozzles do - you know, one spray, with a diameter of a few centimeters? This one is more of a squirt - one push and oil is quirted.  So what you do is you have to spread it on your hand first before you apply on the body. Well, you can directly apply on the body, but since it's a squirt, it's a little bit hard to fully apply.

So here's what I think...

Smiley notes:

1. It's affordable.
2. It's got this nice citronella smell. it's not overpowering, unlike the Tiger Balm mosquito repellent patch that I reviewed here
3. It's got natural ingredients. It's infused with soybean oil, sunflower oil, citronella, and eucalyptus oil.
4. It's DEET-free.
5. It doesn't stain the clothes.
6. It wards off mosquitoes for about three (3) hours, tops.

Sad faces:

1. It's not a spray.  It's a squirter.  So it's a bit hard to spread.
2. It's too oily.
3. While it effectively wards off mosquitoes, you have to re-apply every 2-4 hours. Not good during sleeping time, cause then, you'd have to wake up to re-apply to make sure that your little one is protected.

Caveat, use a patch test first to see if your kid is allergic, before applying on the whole body.  Allergic reactions may be highly unlikely since it's made of natural ingredients, but I know you'd want to be on the safe side. Oh, it's safe even on the face.

Human Nature has a Farmer's Fund Drive. According to its website, 100% of the profits from every Bug Shield Oil and Bug Shield Lotion sold will fund the development of sustainable livelihood for its partner farming communities in Malaybalay, Bukidnon.
Their goal is to sell 50,000 bottles which will fund the citronella oil processing facilities in Brgy. Imbayao and Brgy. San Jose in Bukidnon. 

I would have given this four smileys. But because of Human Nature's Farmer's Fund Drive, I'd give this five out of five smileys. Yey!!! ☺☺☺☺☺


Review: Tiger Balm's Mosquito Repellent Patches

I was able to get a free trial pack of Tiger Balm's Anti-Mosquito Patches for kids. (P195 pesos at Robinson's Supermarket)

It's actually very easy to use, just peel off the protective layer and stick onto  your kid's skin or clothes.  The patches are chemical DEET-free* so it's really safe for kids.

Upon opening the pack, one is assaulted by the strong Citronella smell. Even my kid wrinkled his nose when I opened it. 

Here are my thoughts on the product:

Smiley faces:

1. It's easy to peel and stick on.
2. It's also easy to peel off and no sticky mess is left on the skin.

3. It can be stuck on the clothes.
4. It's very handy.  The diameter of each patch is about 2 inches.
5. It's DEET-free.

*Some studies show that long term exposure to DEET causes seizures and other toxic side effects, and affects the central nervous system. 

Sad faces:

1. It's a bit pricey if it's 195 for a box of 10 patches.
2. I appreciate the citronella smell, but it's a bit overpowering.
3. It didn't effectively ward off mosquitoes. My son woke up in the middle of the night scratching his leg, and said, "Mom, the mosquitoes are still attacking me."  Those nights we've been using these patches were the nights that the mosquitoes were on hyper mode.  

I'd give this 2 smileys out of 5.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sulit Mom

I always make it a point to make the most out of everything. As a working mom, I should know how to budget our family's needs - this includes balancing our expenses, yet making sure that we are not so deprived.
So I have to make sure that every peso we spend is "sulit". This includes making the most out of a rewards card. 
The other day, I went to a Savemore near us to buy my kid's "baon" for school, and bought some other essentials.
When I went to the cashier, I asked her if I could use my SM Advantage Card points to pay for the grocery items. She said yes, and proceeded to check out the items. My bill amounted to P661.00. When she checked my points, it was 660 points already! So she said, "Ma'am, piso na lang ang ibabayad niyo."

Wow, nakakatuwa. I bought items for one peso.  Here's the list of items that I bought:

1 pack Oishi Pillows
2 Highlands corned beef (150 gm)
1 box Zesto Choco
2 packs Lucky Me Pancit Canton (6 pcs per pack)
1 Vitasoy Soya Oat Drink
4 cans Campbell Cream of Mushroom
5 cups Creamy Delight Yogurt

Ang hirap lang mag-ipon ng points, pero, ano pa nga ba at makakaipon din tayo, diba?


Book Review: "The Woods", by Harlan Coben

I started my love affair with books late. While members of the family were already enjoying novels, I was still stuck with Enid Blyton's children's stories, Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries. I started reading the more serious novels in college.
Not too many few people know that I try to finish at least two books in a week. Yep, that's my goal. If I get to finish three in a week's time, then that means I have a lot of extra time in my hands. (Gasp! I do?!?!!?!)
Anyway, a year ago, someone (Ms. Dawn) visited me in my former office and saw a book I was currently reading perched on my table. After that, she gifted me with a copy of "The Woods" by Harlan Coben, her favorite author, and another book, the first book in the series of the same author. The name was so unfamiliar, I was scared that I won't be able to finish the book (what a waste!)

I started reading The Woods, just a few page turns and I was hooked. This was also the start of my love affair with Harlan.  I've read all his books, and I thought I'd share with you The Woods by giving a review.
The setting of this book was 20 years ago, in a summer camp, where four teenagers walked into the woods one night. Two of them were later found dead, while two went missing.
Meanwhile, Paul Copeland is the new county prosecutor, and he is coping with being a single dad. His wife died six years ago.  Paul's sister was also one of those teenagers who went missing.  Someone was arrested for the murder but that someone never confessed to the killings.
Paul finds the surprise of his life when  a murdered guy is found and he is one of the two missing teenagers from 20 years ago. Paul's life is turned upside-down, his family is tested and his past is unearthed. Secrets unfold and the truth finally comes out.
This book is fast -paced and an easy read. Its twist and turns are like the Enchanted Kingdom's Space Shuttle. One moment you speculate what the ending would be, but when you turn the page, there's something more that you didn't see.  I like the witty dialogues and the profound reflections on simple matters. One is a reflection made by Lucy, and this struck me as a teacher:
"It was hard to teach students. She often tought back to her own education, the hours of mind-numbing lectures, and could not remember one thing from any of them. The lessons she had truly learned, the one she internalized and recalled and pit to use, were the quick comments a teacher would make during discussion time. Teaching was about quality, not quantity.  You talk too much, you become Muzak- annoying background music. If you say very little, you can actually score."
I like Paul. I think he's really a great guy. I love it how he defended Chamique Johnson, the rape victim. When I started reading this, I couldn't put it down. Even if I was riding the train, standing up, I had to fish out my book from my bag just to get on with my reading.

This is also where Loren Muse is first mentioned; and Cingle too. Harlan Coben's characters somehow meet each other in some other novels, which is one thing I like about his writing style. You should read his other books so you'd know what I mean.

Anyway, I give this 5  out of 5 smileys:

:) :) :) :) :)


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tupperware Women of Confidence for 2013 - Photos

My room for two nights

Last November 20 was the awarding of the Tupperware Women of Confidence for 2013. There were five of us, but unfortunately, two were unable to attend. Remember my post about that?  If not, you can view it here.

Anyways, here are some of the photos.  As a sidenote, we were housed by Tupperware Brands Philippines at the Holiday Inn (for an overnight stay).  Venue for the awarding was the Oz Bar at the Holiday Inn Makati. The three of us didn't know that the awarding ceremony was for that day. (I didn't properly read their email for me).  We thought we were attending the workshop. I arrived at lunch with my bags, thinking that we were just having lunch and when I got there, everybody was dressed - except the three awardees. Oh well!
The staff of Tupperware were so nice, they insisted to take my bag and bring it  directly to my room while I ate, and my camera was there. So yep, I just stole the photo below for the awarding from Rockstarmomma who was one of the bloggers who attended the event. 

After lunch, we got interviewed by bloggers, and writers... Feeling artista thingy... Plus more photo ops.

Around 4 in the afternoon, we had a Personality Development Workshop (that I heard, cost an arm and a leg) with Karen Loren Agustin-Ostrea, Binibining Pilipinas-Universe 2002.  Wow, natupad ang pangarap kong magpapicture sa isang Beauty Queen.   We learned how to walk, sit straight, maintain good posture, introduce ourselves and others, and more feel-good things.  Ang dami kong natutunan! Had it been longer, I would probably have discovered that I don't have manners kasi ang dami kong social faux pas! Hahahahah!

Feeling Beauty Queen!

Si Ms. Karen, making a funny gesture.
After dinner, we were given a complimentary whole body massage at the hotel. Hay, first time to have a massage in a hotel (mas mahal kasi diba?)

The massage room with its own CR

I can get used to this life!
The next day was our scheduled photo shoot and video shoot. The photo shoot is for a magazine feature (Metro I think) that will come out this coming February. The video shoot is for Tupperware's campaign for confidence. There was another interview while we were waiting for our shoot

We were prepped (I hate my hair, by the way) but I didn't want (wasn't in the mood) to complain. Wearing those 4 inch killer shoes was really painfully nice - it was so nice, it looked like I had longer legs, but it was so painful that I had to remove it after every shoot.  It also hurt, because it was only a size 8... I have big feet and there is no other bigger pair. :(

Love my dress by the way... There's another, a red one, that I wore for the YouTube vid.  We were super duper feeling artista that day. Grabe! It's so hard!!!

The awardees: Nanay Remie and Dolly, with Bianca Valerio

My uber-sakit-sa-buong-paa-BUT-to-die-for-sexy-heels

Behind the scenes... while doing the youtube video

One of the prizes, an Aranaz bag.

My beautiful flowers and Plaque

Enjoying the elevator and the endless mirrors

Thank you to everyone who voted for me. Special mention to Atsi, who nominated me, Chasen, Caru, etojac family, Tan family, Esperon family, my officemates (current and former), and friends.

Ayan, huli, naglalakad nang nakapaa sa lobby.