Panic Buying After Typhoon Ondoy

Sep 30, 2009

This was the scene that greeted me when I went down from the office to buy some groceries at the nearby Robinsons Supermarket in Ortigas. Shelves of canned goods and instant noodles are almost empty, and the lines at the cashier were very long. It seems everybody are all in a panic buying mode having heard that another typhoon is on its way.

A while ago, my mother went to the palengke and she texted me that the pillows that used to be sold at 3 pieces for 100 pesos are now priced at 80 pesos each. I told her not to buy anymore, since we have slept with no pillows for 3 days now, then we should be okay for a few more days when prices have already stabilized. Even clothes hanger that used to be 35 pesos per dozen are now being sold at 55 pesos. It seems that some people really are so insensitive to the sad plight of others, and are all for profit even at this time! Thankfully, food prices are still the same, as my mother reported.

My Ondoy Experience

Sep 29, 2009

We live in Santol, Quezon City and our place is not prone to flooding. But this Saturday, like the rest of Metro Manila, we experience what we may all call a nightmare. This was how my house looked like at 3pm last Saturday.

By that time, we have given up trying to keep our belongings safe from the flood water. I had cramps in both my legs, my mother was almost hysterical, and only my 17-year old sister still has her wits with her. My husband was at work, and I was shouting at him hysterically over the phone to come home already as I dont know what to do anymore. He arrived home, leaving Ortigas at 3pm on Saturday, at 5am on Sunday.

After three days, our house is only now beginning to look habitable. For two nights now, we have been sleeping on the floor, using borrowed banig from neighbors. I only finished washing clothes today, using only my hands. My hands are both swollen now, since all our clothes were wet, and the washing machine was submerged in water.

But still, despite all this, I am still thankful that my whole family is safe. I can't ask for more. Material things we can replace,and we are lucky than most for having survived this with only wet and submerged possessions. While my friends, office mates and bosses were texting me if I need anything, I only told them we are fine. And I really felt fine, despite the backbreaking work we did for 3 days. Watching the news and hearing the experience of other people, I really can't feel sorry for myself.

Unfortunately, I can't give any help to other victims at this time. We still need food, pillows and banig. Thankfully, we received our salary today and can buy most essentials tomorrow. The only thing I can do now is to pray for them and hope that help will come to those in dire need.

This is the rest of the post

Mommy Moments: That's My Favorite

Sep 25, 2009

mommy moments

For this week's Mommy Moments theme of That's My Favorite, I want to show you this picture of my kids each clutching their favorite pillow. We were on our way to Bohol and this was to be their first plane ride. I wanted them to have something to comfort them if they become afraid. True enough, they were hugging their pillows while the plane was ascending and Mommy couldn't put them on her lap.

But if you ask me what their favorite activity is, that would be SWIMMING! We do swimming parties any time of the year, mostly to celebrate birthdays. Danniel is turning 7 this November and of the choices I gave him (swimming, Baguio, Star City, Enchanted Kingdom), he chose a swimming party! And just to show you how they love swimming, check out these pictures!

This was in Bohol, and even after a tiring country side day tour, they still went for a dip at the pool!

Then in the morning after breakfast, some more swimming time for them!

I was checking my picture folders and I realized that I have so many swimming pictures! This is indeed, hands down, my kid's favorite activity!

Farmville is Bad For Me!

Sep 24, 2009

So you bought Liway, your Lenovo S10 laptop last month, because you want to take this blogging thing to the next level, right? You even said that blogging is not just a hobby anymore and that it is a way for you to express yourself and connect with other people and stuff. You said that you even earn good money at it. That is why this laptop of yours is an investment, or tool-of-the-trade, so to speak. And payment for that broadband is not peanuts either! But what have we here?

Farmville, that's what! You are so busy planting rice and harvesting crops you even forgot to give your son his baon for today! This is already turning into a vice! Not a hobby anymore!

And what's next, Farm Town and Mafia Wars? Good gracious woman! Will Farmville pay for the broadband bills? Get a grip!

Wedding Stamps

Personalizable Wedding Photo Stamps

I have been married for almost 12 years now, in a civil ceremony and I am still dreaming of being married in church. So when I saw these wedding stamps, I began day dreaming about my wedding, and of course, the wedding invitation.

I would love a small but traditional wedding with only very close friends and family. And these wedding stamps would look just lovely on my invitation!

Oh to dream of a perfect wedding!

Guinataang Kuhol

Sep 23, 2009

Being a Batanggenya, I love anything cooked in coconut milk. I especially love Guinataang Kuhol, but I don't know how to cook it. So last weekend, when I saw my mother-in-law washing these kuhol she bought, I immediately grabbed my camera to document and learn how to cook Guinataang Kuhol.

Below is the complete step by step illustrated guide on how to cook it.

The first step in cooking this dish is to break the bottom of the shells using a knife handle or a hammer. Then, wash thoroughly until all the sediments are gone and the water is clear. Then heat the coconut milk with ginger, garlic and onion and bring to a boil. Put the Kuhol and let boil for 2 minutes. Then put the malunggay leaves (you can also use Kangkong) to the boiling pot and simmer for 1 minute. Then serve hot with rice.

I wanted to put chilies but my mother in law said the kids wont be able to eat it. So we just dipped the Kuhol to a mixture of vinegar, onions, pepper and chilies. It was delicious!

Words Do Bring Back Memories

Sep 22, 2009

Back in college, I have this notebook where I used to write my thoughts and some "words of wisdom" that I would come across. I would also paste there some cut outs from magazines, newspapers, candy wrappers, etc of things that interests me. There are love letters, poems , bus tickets, paper napkins, flowers and a lot of things that I have kept over the years. And since we were cleaning house yesterday, I saw it again and had to smile as memories came rushing back. It was an instant trip down memory lane.

I was smiling as I read through the notebook. I could still remember some instances why I have written these poems and rants, if you would call them.

I guess, this one I wrote after a fight. There is no date so I can't recall now the name of the then boyfriend:
My hands and feet weigh as heavy as that boulder up on our hill. I cannot dance as lightly as the leaves that hung on our tree...

This one I think while I was daydreaming inside a Logic class:
I tried tuning in
to the senseless charade
and realization came quickly as dawn,
I don't dig, I cant dig, I won't dig!

There are a lot of poems here that I might share in the future but I cant help but smile as I remember some of these memories now. Its really a wonder how words can bring back memories of heartaches, joys and of friendships.

Oh, and SLY was the code name of my boyfriend back then. He he, wonder what hubby would say should he see this!

No longer a child

Sep 19, 2009

This is my eleven year old son, Drexelle. He is a sweet kid, and is still very childish at times. He always says "I Love You" to me. He is closer to me than to his father.

This morning, we went to buy some plants for my garden project. While waiting for the soil we bought, my son asked me if he can still change his YM password. His password was a combination of his name and that of his first crush. I asked him why, and he said, he has a new crush. Then he described her. She is intelligent, has long hair and is smooth. "Smooth"?, I asked him and he said he touched her hands. He was smiling when he said this, and there was no malice in his words. He said the girl was his classmate since Grade 1, but he just recently had a crush on her. She is his seatmate, and maybe that's how he had a crush on her.

I am happy that he is opening up to me. He also told me about his previous crush and why he doesn't like her anymore. I know he is growing up now and I just hope that he will continue to trust me with these things. He will be in high school next year and he may already have a taste of a relationship by then. I just hope that he will continue to seek my guidance and counsel. I hope I am doing right by him!

Why Its Fun To Be A Mom #1

Sep 18, 2009

There are a thousand reason why it is fun to be a mom and one of them is finding these in your bag. I think my little girl Ishi put it inside while I wasn't looking. She was the one I saw cutting papers the other day.
I was rummaging in my bag for my wallet to list down my expenses for the day when I saw this note. It really made my day!

Treasured Pictures!

mommy moments

The theme for this Friday's Mommy Moments is Treasured Pictures. I have a lot of them so it was difficult to choose but here are just two of them anyway.

My little girl just loves to cuddle and it makes her happy to have any part of my body touch hers. Even when its not her turn to sleep beside me, she makes sure that she can make "dantay," even if it means I have to sleep sideways! This picture was taken when I was sick, but she insists on cuddling anyway.

This next picture was taken when Danniel was not even a year old. I was doing the laundry and my mother placed him in the laundry basket. It was good luck that we still have film on our camera and I was happy to have taken a shot.

These are just some of my most treasured photos. Of course, a lot of them are in albums when we used to have the photos printed from our camera films.

Have You Adgitized Yet?

Sep 17, 2009

Have you Adgitized yet? I have been an Adgitize publisher for some months now and after reading so many testimonials about it, I now took the plunge!
I signed up yesterday for a month of Adgitizing and is happy to report an increase in page views in just a day of signing up.

Adgitize your web site.

I paid only $14 for a month and I will let you know if the money is really worth it. Although when I checked the stats for this day alone, I can feel that its worth it.

If you want to try world class advertising on a bloggers budget, try Adgitize now!

LP 75: Karatula

Eto ang Karatula na bumulaga sa amin sa pagbisita namin sa Phyton Sanctuary sa Bohol. O di ba, pang-agaw pansin talaga!

Malaki talaga si Prony! Mabuti na lang at nakakain na siya ng magpunta kami dyan. Pero nakita namin ang mga pictures kung pano siya kumain ng buong baboy! Ay sus, nakakaligalig! Imaginin mo kung bata yun????

How to Love Going to the Gym

Sep 16, 2009

I have been going to the gym every day during week days here at the office since July 24. I have missed only twice, once because I need to attend a wedding in the evening and I didn't want to bring too many change of clothes, and another for a birthday lunch. So far, the results are great. I am also amazed at how I love going to the gym and I think its because of the following:

1. Since I go to the gym during lunch time, I cannot go down to the nearby Robinson's Mall anymore. It means I save a lot of money on unnecessary purchases, which I used to suffer from every time I go to the mall. I only buy groceries at the palengke, which means I cannot use my credit card, so I end up buying only the essentials. Really, in less than 2 months, I saved a lot!

2. I get to watch a movie or a TV show during lunch. There is a TV in our gym and I usually get to choose what to watch. Since I am there for one and a half hour, I get to watch the news or the local noontime show, or a series, like True Blood, or an HBO movie.

3. I get to use the sauna 3 times a week. And I apply hot oil to my hair while there, which means another savings for me.

4. I meet new people from other business units who uses the gym during lunch. It's another form of networking.

5. I eat a smaller serving of lunch since I eat later than everybody else. It's almost time to get back to work after my exercise so I have to hurry.

6. I love seeing the results of my daily efforts. I can now run 5k in 40 minutes. I know its still too slow, but I finished a 5k run in an hour and a half some months ago so this is already a big improvement for me. Besides, I can't run straight for 2 minutes before, but now I can do 10 minutes!

7. My clothes fit a lot better now than two months ago. There is a a noticeable difference already on my muscle tone.

8. My allergies clear up faster after I have run.

These are just some of the reasons why I love going to the gym and running. Aside from the obvious health benefits, it makes me save money and meet new friends.

What about you?

Is my Husband a Hypochondriac?

Sep 15, 2009

Is my husband turning into a hypochondriac?

After being diagnosed with hypertension a few months back, he has undergone a number of tests: from blood tests to ECG to stress test, to name a few. These were f course recommended by doctors he consulted. However, I am thinking that he may be imagining some of the symptoms and is just being paranoid about it.

A month ago, he was complaining of dizziness and headaches. He was cleared by the Ophthalmologist and his CT scan didn't show any problem. But he thinks he needed glasses, so we went to an Optometrist. So now he has glasses, but he wont wear them because he said he is not used to them. Then, when he changed medications for his hypertension, he again asked for an appointment with another Ophthalmologist who once again told him, he didn't need to wear glasses. So he is not wearing those glasses anymore! Last night, he was telling me that his blood pressure shoots up whenever he have to have them monitored. Which makes me think, is he turning into a hypochondriac?

According to Wikipedia, Hypochondriasis (or hypochondria, often referred to as health phobia) refers to an excessive preoccupation or worry about having a serious illness. Often, hypochondria persists even after a physician has evaluated a person and reassured them that their concerns about symptoms do not have an underlying medical basis or, if there is a medical illness, the concerns are far in excess of what is appropriate for the level of disease.

I know it is right of him to worry about is health. We have 3 young kids anyway and he is just in his early thirties. So now I am thinking that he is just worrying needlessly. I keep assuring him that his hypertension is manageable and that there is nothing else that is wrong with him. As long as he eats the right food and keeps on exercising, then he is just fine. But he is also asking me whether what he is experiencing could be withdrawal symptoms from having quit smoking quite abruptly some 4 months back.
Could it be because of that? Or is he just being paranoid? Please do share if you have any similar experiences so that I can assure my husband.

September 21 is a Regular Holiday

Sep 14, 2009

In case you haven't heard, September 21 has been declared a Regular Holiday throughout the country in observance of Eid'l Fitr or the Feast of Ramadan. Eid'l Fitr is celebrated by our Muslim brothers after the end of a month-long fasting.

Let us join them in the celebration and observance of this feast.

By the way, below are the guidelines on regular holiday pay from DOLE :

Every employee covered by the Holiday Pay Rule is entitled to his daily basic wage for any unworked regular holiday. This means that the employee is entitled to at least 100% of his basic wage even if he did not report for work, provided he is present or is on leave of absence with pay on the work day immediately preceding the holiday.

Work performed on that day merits at least twice (200%) the basic wage of the employee.

Where the holiday falls on the scheduled rest day of the employee, work performed on said day merits at least an additional 30% of the employee's regular holiday rate of 200% or a total of at least 260%.

There are eleven (11) regular holidays in a year under Executive Order No. 203, namely:

* New Year's Day - January 1
* Maundy Thursday - Movable Date
* Good Friday - Movable Date
* Araw ng Kagitingan - April 9
* Labor Day - May 1
* Independence Day - June 12
* National Heroes Day - Last Sunday of August
* Eidul Fitr - Movable Date
* Bonifacio Day - November 30
* Christmas Day - December 25
* Rizal Day - December 30

Honor Students

Sep 13, 2009

This morning was the distribution of cards for my kids and I am one proud mother! My kinder student was Top 5 in her class, my first-grader was Top 3 among all Grade One's and my 6th Grader will have a song published in the school paper. Not bad, huh?

Yes, I am proud mother indeed! The adviser of my first grader was all praises for my son and she said that I should just help my son overcome some of his shyness. My eldest on the other hand, despite not being in the Top 10 of his class got very good grades. I asked his adviser why he wasn't able to make it on the honor's list and she said he needs more improvement on the written component of his grades. Although she also praised him for his active participation in class and his talent on play acting.

Oh well, I think the kids deserve a treat after these good performances.

Hat Day!

Sep 11, 2009

mommy moments
This week's theme for Mommy Moments is Hat Day and here are the pictures I want to share. The first one is Drexelle wearing his Igorot costume. I really love his head gear in this picture! His smile is very engaging also, don't you think?

The next pictures were take some years ago. While inside a mall, the decide to try on the hats for sale and the results were quite cute.

LP 74: Lansangan

Sep 10, 2009

Oo, lansangan yan. Daanan ng sasakyan. Pero mukhang palengke ano, sa dami ng sidewalk vendor. Sarap magpunta dyan para mamili. Oo siksikan, at mainit, pero nandun minsan ang thrill di ba? This is the next thing to Divisoria, ang Quiapo. Tara, punta na!

Halloween Party? Count Me In!

Have you received your Halloween Party invites yet? Well, I have and I am so excited! Its just 51 days to go, but I don't have any idea what to wear. So I am now trying to decide which Halloween costumes I should buy for me and my husband. This will be a first time for my husband so while I am eager to wear outrageous and fun costume, I should try to keep his dignity intact! Ha ha.

I am actually thinking of coming as Amy Winehouse, you know the train wrecked of a talented singer? If I come as her, I can do a lot of things just with make-up! But I am thinking if my husband would approve of him going as Blake Fielder-Civil. I don't think I can convince him since he do know the guy for his reputation and therefore hates his guts (I read Perez Hilton). Well, I can also come as Britney Spears, shaved head and all, but my husband wont come as K-Fed, who now is known as K-Fat! While my husband loves basketball and boxing, I don't think I want to be in a sports-related costume. While I love vampires and werewolves, my husband only tolerates them so that is also out.

So I am thinking that since I want us to come in a couple's costume, we could just be either naughty:

or nice.

I am actually partial to the naughty costume and I am thinking of getting it now from Costume Cauldron. Good thing they offer Free delivery or I would have to spend a lot more than necessary for the two costumes. They actually have very nice costumes for sale if you want to check them out. And I can assure you that you will be able to find any costumes that you desire here. So if you are eye-ing the Best in Costume Award, better order now!

Tools for Home Improvement

Growing up, I am not the girl-y type. I know my way around nails, hammers, pliers and I do take them up from time to time to repair things inside the house. I have always believe that mending something is far easier than waiting for it to become a major problem. Of course, it helps a lot when you have the right tools for home improvement and repairs.

Therefore, I consider it is a must that you know how to buy your tools and hardware. You cannot just use any type of pliers when long-nose pliers will do the job more easily and more perfectly. I remember the time when my husband was asking for a screwdriver and I asked what type he need. He did a double take, not quite sure that his wife knows her way around hand tools. Even when we hire contractors for a job that we cannot do ourselves, I make sure that they are using the right tools to avoid doing any damage. I insist on using power drills for walls, instead of just a hammer, for fixtures that needs to be placed perfectly.

Of course, since I know my tools, I also know that buying them sometimes takes time and patience. I use Shop Wiki when buying these tools because I know that I can find any thing that I need for home improvement. At Shop Wiki, I can compare prices and delivery options from many stores online because they have a complete list of sites where I can buy them. This Christmas, I am thinking of looking for not just tools, but also workshop accessories, like a proper storage system from Shop Wiki so I can organize our tools. Good thing that Shop Wiki has all the shops on the Web because I am sure to find great deals and bargains this time of year. I love shopping online, thanks to Shop Wiki!

After Image: A Reunion

Sep 9, 2009

September last year, I witnessed the Eraserheads reunion concert. Then yesterday it was the reunion-of-sorts for the After Image. I have seen both of my favorite bands perform live on stage for the first time! But last night, I was front row and center and I have the videos to the five songs that they sang to prove it. Yep, they reunited last night for a very special event indeed and I was privileged to be part of it.

Six Cycle Mind was also at the event, and did you know that their drummer is nephew to After Image's Rogie Callejo? Hmmm, musical genius runs in the family.

After the Eraserheads, After Image is my favorite band. I sang to their songs Next In Line and Habang May Buhay during my college years. I was very sad to see them disband, but life goes on as they say. Other bands came but I have never liked any other except for those two. I never get to see After Image perform live way back then and I was indeed very lucky to see them last night. I know that no reunion concert is in the works and this was one rare occasion for them to be together indeed.

And after all this time, After Image still rocks!

Noynoy Aquino to Run for President in 2010

image source

So Noynoy has finally announced today his intention to run for president in the coming 2010 elections after much dilly-dallying. Okay, Sen. Drilon confirmed it earlier to Arnold Clavio of Unang Hirit this morning. I am still undecided whether I will vote for him or not, until I hear his programs. He may be a man thrust in the limelight because of recent events, but we must not discount the possibilities that those around him have other agendas.

With parents like Ninoy and Cory, he indeed has a lot of promise. And though there is this big pressure for him to deliver, those around him, just like the same people aroun Cory during her time, may use him for their own selfish interests. I will not be blinded by his popularity nor by his parental lineage. I will still guard my vote until such time that Noynoy can convince me that he is the best choice.

How to Make Siomai

Sep 7, 2009

Yesterday, we decided to make Siomai as a snack. A neighbor sells them 4 pcs. for 10 pesos and we always end up wanting more so I said let's try and make them. Making siomai is very easy indeed, the kids had fun while I take their pictures.

Here are the ingredients: 250 gms. ground pork, 3 carrots, 2 onions, 1 egg, 1 pack siomai wrapper, salt and pepper. Those are almost the same ingredients for lumpiang shanghai. Then, just mix them all together.

Then using a small spoon, pour a portion to the siomai wrapper and wrap it like this:

Then, steam the siomai for 20-30 minutes and serve hot.

For dipping sauce, just mix some soy sauce and kalamansi. Add chili's if you want them spicy hot. I wanted to add some garlic to the dipping sauce just like they do in Siomai House, but I had no more time. I am sorry I wasnt able to take photos of the siomai on the serving dish. They were gone so fast even before I had time to get my camera. That was how good our siomai was. Of the ingredients above, the total cost was P88. We were able to make more than 60 pieces and had fun doing it and much more fun eating it!

Please Vote for Me: Filipino Blog of the Week 177

Sep 5, 2009

A commenter told me that I was nominated for the week 177 of the Filipino Blog of the Week and would like to ask all of you who enjoy visiting my blog to please vote for me.

I don't know who made the nomination but I am very grateful to whoever thought my blog is worth something. Those Filipino Blog of the Week badges are way cool!

Mommy Moments: Dress Up Day

Sep 4, 2009

mommy moments

Every year during their school's foundation anniversary, my eldest son Drexelle's class had to make a presentation. Last year, they danced the Singkil, a native dance in the Mindanao region.

He was not supposed to wear a sando under his costume but he was shy so ended up wearing one anyway. I was calling him to come nearer so I can take a proper picture but he was not keen on posing with all of his classmates around. Oh well, he is indeed growing up!

Forgive me if I am just babbling here, as this is my first time to join Mommy Moments. I will sure get the hang of this soon! But boy, this is fun!

LP 73: Lakad

Sep 3, 2009

Napapansin pa kaya ng mga batang ito ang ganda ng kanilang tanawin habang sila ay naglalakad patungong paaralan? O sanay na sila, at ang nadarama na lamang nila ay pagod sa layo ng kanilang nilalakad?
Kami ng kaibigan kong si Vangie ay talaga namang nabighani sa lugar na ito ng Laiya, Batangas. At habang ako ay kumukuha ng mga larawan ng magandang tanawin na ito, ang mga batang iyon ay nakapukaw ng aking pansin. Malayong lakarin talaga, pero kung para sa kinabukasan at kung kasama naman ang mga kaibigan, masaya na rin ang lakad.

Ang ganda talaga ng Batangas!

Diorama of the Martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal

Sep 2, 2009

Last month, I accompanied my son on his field trip and one of the places they visited was the Luneta, where the Diorama of the Martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal was located. It was a lights and sound presentation, if the visit was done at night. During day tours like this, a tour guide would just tell the story.

I am sorry to say that in my 30+ years of being a Filipino and a resident of Metro Manila, this is my first time to visit this diorama of Rizal's executuion. I want to share this with all of .

This is Luneta, where our the remains of our National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal are located. The Diorama is just at the right side of this monument. Entrance fee for day tours is P10, while P50 at the 7pm and 8pm lights and sound presentation (scheduled). A 50% discount is given to students upon presentation of their IDs.

This is the entrance marker to the Diorama.

The picture below shows the kids listening to the tour guide tell the story of Dr. Jose Rizal's execution. I would really love to see the light and sound presentation.

I just hope that now that the elections are once agaon very near, those who vow to run will remember the sacrifices of Dr Jose Rizal and other heroes and serve our beloved country well.


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