Had a "ME" treat just a while ago. I had my hair "pampered" at the local salon and availed myself of their promo package: haircut-shampoo-hot oil-conditioner-flat iron all for P480. (Wait a minute...was that cheap? Anyway...). Now my dark brown originally straight mane looks healthier, shinier, softer and.....well, straighter. :D


Ooh dear...because of last night's lack of sleep, I find it quite difficult keeping myself fully awake as I prepare the reviewers for the kids. My style is to prepare a sample test paper per subject using their seatworks and quizzes as my guide. It's a bit tedious having to rewrite practically the whole notebook (and I even tried printing test questionnaires on the computer!). However, this technique has been effective so far. Matt & Kyle are doing really good in school *eyes beam with pride*. They have been consistent medalists. Their Jesuit-run school gives medals every year to recognize the top students of each section. Sometimes I tend to wonder if I'm exerting too much pressure on my boys to maintain their good academic standing. Hmm, I hope I'm not...I guess they enjoy receiving these medals as much as I do pinning it on them...
I finished a significant part of my report at 2am this morning. Reviewed it and sent to the Director & GSMs. That was one big load off my back & I'm ready now to tackle the next items in my "to-do" list. There's the replenishment of the 700k revolving fund for Visayas, the review of the bank recon (70+ accounts in all), signing of checks, settlement of bills (before the Manila trip) and the review lessons with Matt & Kyle. I wonder how I'd be able to squeeze in my last minute Christmas shopping. Hmm... Sabagay, when it comes to shopping, I somehow find the time to do it. :)

Hi and blessings to everyone!


What Lies Ahead

It's going to be busy in the next few days. I'm at home blogging while waiting for my file (from our office server) to open. It's taking a while because of the file size and I'm a bit behind schedule already. This is one of those few times I wish there were more than 24 hours in a day. I'll do my best to finish up tonight.

Then there's Matt & Kyle's 3rd quarter exams next week. We have yet to get down to work... *pretend to shudder in panic*. Knowing how smart my kids are *ahem*, I'm sure review time is going to be a breeze. Last day of classes is on the 18th and then party time! Looking forward to our trip to Manila. That will be a good break!



Junnie tagged May about stripping himself....of all material things...(okay, just some)...Tried doing that this year because we wanted to simplify. I was successful in some (got rid of my nokia 8210, palm pilot, coffee table) but not in others (i sold our old computer but replaced it with a P4 though *guilty*, up for sale are the canon ixus, sony handycam, sony compo/vcd player) . Well at least the initiative to get rid of "clutter" is still there...I just need to keep what's important. I think I'll keep my P4 for blogging.
Another Special Greeting

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMY / A-MA!!! Thank you so much for your seemingly endless generosity. We thank the Lord too for keeping you strong. We pray for your good health and that you will have more birthdays to celebrate with us.

Our Mommy is one great person who ensures that we are able to eat 3x a day. HAHA! Yup, that's for real! She sends her driver everyday to our condo to deliver our food good for three meals. Oh be jealous everyone! This remarkable gesture saves us a lot! I'll bet there's not much out there who has a mother-in-law like mine (except of course for Jerry...hihihi)


A Special Message to Papa

Last summer in May, after a long time, we were one as a family (my maiden family). The morning spent at Maribago Beach where the kids (apos) and I had our first jetski ride (hihihi) together with Junnie, Mitzi and May was memorable. At lunch we feasted on native yummies at Cafe Laguna and spent the afternoon having coffee at Bo's Coffee Club. Junnie, Mitzi, May and the kids watched Star Wars afterwards while Mama and I went window-shopping. You were taking our pictures but the whole time you were not feeling okay and were already having chest pains.

In June, I received from Junnie a very early morning text message/call telling me to expect for the worst but to pray for the best. After several trips to the hospital, the test results were not good and you were scheduled for a heart surgery. I cried while thoughts raced through my mind. Flashes of childhood memories made me cry like a baby. Oh forget about the trying times and that dark phase in our lives. All that mattered to me was you. I was not ready to lose you. And I wondered how Matt & Kyle would fare without a grandpapa on both sides. I lifted everything to GOD and trusted in His divine plan... I relied on the expertise of the surgeons. You did not only have a triple but a quadruple heart bypass.

I remember those uncertain days in June. Everything took a backseat. We almost lost you. We thought our lives would never be the same again. Well, it's not the same indeed. We could have done some good in the past, for GOD restored you and gave you back to us.

Happy Birthday PAPA / LOLO !!!! We love you !!!


Long Lost Blogger!
Hi Ho! It's been a long time since I posted anything! But with my birthday just over, I discovered many things to thank for!...Relatives & Friends...text messages from long lost relatives & friends, overseas call from my “Aussie sister” Eya, birthday lunch at CafĂ© Ad on Sunday, birthday packages, hugs & kisses! Business Opportunities...snack box caters to breakfast, snacks, & lunch!, Linnor is the new "blouse magnate" 213 shirts in 5 days!, the "Yes Training" of Superstar Edmund Ramos, met 2 prospective buyers for our condo unit and 1 more on Monday, Astro cigarette sales conference was a great success! 600,000 cases for 2003, the Power of the Novena to St. Expeditus is amazing!…Life with the Family…went with Kyle to his Lilu & Stitch afternoon practices, getting groceries at makro with Matts, early morning prayers and late night cuddles with Linnor!…I’m 38 and it feels great! Who ever said life begins at 40...Life begins when you start living it!


To Cater or Not to Cater
Haay...just hurdled the morning session of the 1st VISMIN meeting. Handling 150 people is quite a mean task! Jerry & I together with our assistants Marites & Louella were busily arranging our sandwiches (chicken salad, ham, tuna on wheat bread) and juices on the designated area. It was a business opportunity for us to cater for snacks. However, we were quite unprepared for the sheer number of people who were there to partake of the food. I worried that we might run out of sandwiches or juices even before the VIPs from Manila could get to the venue. But as GOD would have it, the exact opposite happened. To make the story short, snack time passed without any hitches. Not only did everybody get their fill, we also received compliments that the sandwiches were good!

On the other hand, lunch was a bit of an ordeal. Our supplier obviously did not take care of all the details. We ended up wiping each and every styro pack since these looked like they were in stock for a very long time. The least they could have done was to ensure that the packs were cleaned thoroughly before they put in the food. Heaven knows what germs or bacteria could be there with the chopsuey, sweet & sour fish, fried chicken and rice! The spoon & fork were placed inside the pack on top of the rice. They couldn't get any sloppier! No matter how I detested the idea of eating the food after seeing how "messy" the pack looked, yup, I had to eat my share. What do you know, the food tasted as bad as it was presented!

What were the lessons learned here? If Jerry & I were to go into the catering business, I would have to test the supplier prior to the event! Better yet, we should not be too complacent about cleanliness. We have to ensure the quality (taste & better ingredients) & cleanliness of the packed food by supplying the styro packs ourselves!


James 1:2-4 (NIV) Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

I came across this passage today from Tammy and it made me reflect on our faith in the Lord. Spending time every morning in church, Jerry and I welcome each day with complete surrender to God's divine plan. Though we anticipate all the blessings that are bound our way, we do not cease to pray for His protection & to invoke the Holy Spirit for guidance mainly because we rely on His wisdom in facing and in overcoming all our trials. Part of our "conversion" (from being nominal to more devout Catholics) is the realization that everything (good and the "seemingly" bad) comes from Him. Our constant prayer is to be able to intercede for others who, like everyone else, are fighting their own battles too.


Back to reality! Just came from a very action-packed 3-day teambuilding workshop (Nov27-29) in Lagos Del Sol, Lake Caliraya, Cavinti, Laguna. Had very good facilitators that taught us insights on working as a team. Wednesday's speakers were Rod Salazar (hey Junnie, your mentor!) and Raymond Ganotice (formerly of Bayantel). Thursday's sessions were facilitated by LUBID, Inc. who made us do things we thought were impossible (details to follow later)! Friday's speaker was Jim Paredes, yup, 1/3 of the famous trio APO.

The workshop subjected us to mental, emotional & physical challenges that made us appreciate the team better. Initially, there was a display of different personalities and attitudes (a.k.a. power play by 45 managers) that made it difficult for some of us to accomplish the challenges. But as the sessions went along, there was already a better understanding of the importance of being a team player. Hopefully, everybody who was part of the workshop will apply the learnings at work and at home.


Cebu to Manila tomorrow lunchtime. It used to really excite me going back to the place I grew up in. That was before Cebu had the Ayala & SM malls & the rows of entertainment bars & restos. Before, I couldn't imagine myself living anywhere else in the Philippines. Nothing compared to Manila where I had my family & friends from way way back. Moving to Cebu didn't come easy. I felt a major part of me was left behind. Now eleven blissful married years (wow that long na?...), and two adorable kids after, I dread going back to my old place. If not for my family, friends and occasional official trips to one of Asia's most densely populated cities, I'd rather stay home. Cebu is my home now.


Spent most of Saturday working on Matt's science project with him. He's supposed to make a lantern from recycled materials, so, we decided to make some recycled paper. Matt's worked on some newspaper while Kyle chose some recycled pad paper - the one's with red & blue lines. Kyle's paper turned out to be really good looking, with small red & blue designs all over! Next, we used a glue gun and some barbecue sticks to design the lantern frame. Finally, we glued the recycled paper & colored papers onto the frame...chedeng... we have a lantern! Today, we're going to put on some of the finishing touches. Maybe some Christmas cutouts and a light! Its fun getting something done with the kids!

I had fun last night watching and "napping" over Harry Potter 2. We brought our own microwavable popcorn to the moviehouse! :) Matt's & Kyle's eyes were wide open till the movie ended at about 1130pm. When we got home Matt's even spent some time telling me the story of Harry Potter 1 before finally going to sleep. Linnor & I stayed up a little bit more, reading "blogs", redesigning the "gratitude" page, I reread the Jabez book, watched a little bit of tv - Brendan Fraser (sold his soul for 7 wishes) & Elizabeth Hurley (the devil, kuno, who gave the wishes). It was quite a funny movie!

I LOVE My Family! :)

Harry Potter 2

Had a movie date with my boys at SM. It was my first time to watch a Harry Potter movie (no kidding!). It had near flawless cinematic effects that were amazing especially with the kids. However, I found the movie too long at over 2 hours. There were a few instances that I was tempted to sleep (could also be because it was already late). Jerry was not lucky enough to fight the urge...hihihi...I'd say he spent quite a sum just to catch a few winks.

Prior to watching, I had biases about the movie (part 1 & 2). Emails being circulated say that kids shouldn't be watching this type of movie that dealt with wizardry & magic. Some emails went as far as saying that the author promoted witchcraft etc. Contrary to these so-called "warnings", I didn't find anything directly attacking the religion. In fact, I felt that this was just another "fantasy" film similar to the Star Wars series. Some people might have just over-reacted to the movie's popularity. I guess it all depends on how you look at it.



Cute!...Aint that true?!!! Saw this on Angel's Dance...



Make a Right onto "Believeth Blvd". Keep straight and go through the Green Light, which is Jesus Christ. From there, you must turn onto the "Bridge of Faith", which is over troubled water. When you get off the bridge, make a Right turn and Keep Straight.

You are on the "King's Highway"-- Heaven-bound. Keep going for three miles: One for the Father, One for the Son, and One for the Holy Ghost. Then exit off onto "Grace Blvd". From there, make a Right turn on "Gospel Lane". Keep Straight and then make another Right on "Prayer Road".

As you go on your way, Yield Not to the traffic on "Temptation Ave". Also, avoid SIN STREET because it is a DEAD END. Pass "Envy Drive" and "Hate Avenue". Also, pass "Hypocrisy Street", "Gossiping Lane", and "Backbiting Blvd." However, you have to go down "Long-suffering Lane", "Persecution Blvd.", and "Trials and Tribulations Ave.". But that's all right, because VICTORY Street is straight ahead! AMEN!


Sent by Joe Gatuslao

A married couple came to a counsellor for advice. No sooner were they seated, than they began speaking at the same time in a duel of criticisms. When they finally stopped for lack of breath, the counsellor suggested that now they tell each other all the good they see in one another. There was total silence.

Then each was given a ballpoint pen and a sheet of paper and told to write down something praiseworthy about the other. Neither of them wrote. They both sat and stared at the paper. After what seemed like a long time, the husband started to write something. At once the wife also began to write---fast and furiously.

Finally, the writing stopped. There was silence again. The wife pushed her paper over to the watching counsellor. He pushed it back signalling that she was to give it directly to her husband. She reluctantly shoved the paper halfway across the table. He took it and in turn, slid his paper towards his wife.

Each began to read. The counsellor watched...Soon a tear slid down the cheek of his wife. She crumpled the paper in her fist and held it tight. That proved that she treasured the sudden revelation of good things her husband had expressed about her. The whole atmosphere of the room changed. There was no need for anything to be said. Praise had healed a thousand wounds.

The husband and wife left arm in arm.


How can two become one? Only through kindness and love; never by selfishness and retaliation. In the mystery of marriage, God allows each partner to be a mystic melody. And in concert together, they become a beautiful harmony in His grand song.*

Harmony is pleasing
In music and in life;
What beauty when it resonates
In husband and in wife! **

Shared by Joe Gatuslao

(To my "bestest" friend and all-around partner, Jerky, I love you! You bring out the best in me! I hope I'm not anymore as "sungit/taray" as when you first met me. Mwamwa!)
Every day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift from God. ...Just blogging in...Looking forward to a beautiful day and a happy weekend...


Oooooh....busy busy day! A few things worth blogging...sold the wrought iron mosaic/glasstop table & 4 chairs today to my officemate and we are both happy with the deal. =) The set was far from trash but it's something that we do not really need. One man's "trash" is another man's treasure.


Praise the Lord! Woohoo! My adrenaline is rushing! St. Expeditus is again working after the 9-day novena that ended yesterday. Ideas are cropping up... The Holy Spirit is breathing fire into our brains. What else could it be? We couldn't take credit for something that's purely a blessing from above. Jerry and I, at this very moment, are working on a brilliant business idea...It's not anything grandiose or capital-intensive but it's a good start...Will post some more when things are more definite...


I came across a very lovely site today following through the fresh blogs links. Reading her blog motivated me to think about our many blessings. Jerry and I have been trying our best to glorify the LORD in all our actions. Miraculously throughout the years since we started to really make time for the LORD we have been blessed with a lot of things. Sure there were challenges along the way, but the thought that HE is always there to see us through and knowing that we only had to invoke the Holy Spirit for strength, wisdom, and discernment, we never really felt lost.

Our GOD is an awesome GOD. His generosity is great and we have proven this in a lot of ways. I pray that those who will have the chance to read this blog will be blessed as HE has always blessed us.
Incidentally, my sister's website can be found here. She insisted that I post her blog for comparison...hihihi...


Inspired by my sister's new site...I'm currently working on a new layout, thus there are a few quirks that need to be redone...
what a weekend that was! matt's got a surprise of his life...a new pair of nike! linnor bought it for him as an advance christmas gift! he has been modeling his shoes and bragging about its non-marking feature :) on saturday, we went to get the kids' report cards for the second quarter. matt is still a first honor, but he has to work a little more on his science...kyle got all excellent, but he has to work a little more on his class participation... saturday was also ayala's anniversary celebration, a lot of activities happened and a big crowd was at the mall, we were part of it too! :) we brought mommy out for dinner at shanghai bay (in banilad). the food was good and prices were actually very reasonable. "amah & kids" bonding opportunity! :) ...the fireworks at ayala fired off 30 minutes before schedule, good thing we were just nearby and we were able to catch most of it...on sunday, kyle had a slight fever but, we were still off to the beach - mar y cielo - with the flp managers. mar y cielo used to be such wonderful place, it's a shame coz i considered it one of the best beaches cebu ever had. we had a great time with the managers. it was great to see them having fun with their families, it was a great opportunity to swap goals, it was even better to just relax and get away from work!...a friend of mine lost his teenage daughter a few days ago! it really makes you wonder why life ends like that. on the other hand, it makes you realize that while life is in your hands you've got to make really good use of it coz you never know when you will lose it! spend time wisely...i tell myself everyday. i don't know how good a job i'm doin now...i guess, only time will tell!


Took Matthew & Kyle to Ayala mall last night. I noticed that Matt's attention was focused on the sports shops, particularly the shoes section. With me and Kyle tagging along, he went inside Park, Planet Sports, Athlete's Foot & Keri Ol to look at all the Nikes. A few times he said: "Ma, look at the price! Grabiha! They're all expensive!" *sigh* I remembered bringing them to malls a few years back when they were barely out of their toddler years and the only things that caught their attention were toys. And it didn't matter if the toys were cheap. It was already a joy to them to be able to bring home something from the toy store. Matt is already 9 and Kyle 6, now their interest includes computers & gizmos, gameboys & playstations, watches & shoes. *double sigh*. Time really flies when you're busy. I should be taking it slow to see them growing up. It's fun being able to relate with them. With GOD's constant guidance, prioritizing the more important things shouldn't be too difficult.
what a week that was! it breezed in...then out! i got a lot done this week, but it still seems like there's just sooo much to do! the "exit meeting" with PM was good...we were in biz with them for the past 40 or so years and we parted as friends, no other way i guess. our "exit pay" is actually generous, a gesture of a friend in biz. nov. 14 was my poppy's death anniversary, we all heard mass at sacred heart church and had a great dinner at golden cowrie...with kyle "spilling" most of what he ate! :) im starting over in flp with a new group! i believe that if i made 120cc in two months in 1999 i can do it again now! majority of the managers in cebu (about 40 plus) have bonded together and decided to help one another get through this challenging stage in the biz. my learning for the week. "it may not be your fault that you fell down, but its surely your fault if you don't get up, and get up, and get up, and get up!........"


The meeting Jerry had with Phillip Morris yesterday proved to be more beneficial to AUR. Thank GOD! PM gave a token that was way above Jerry's expectation. I'm glad for Mommy. Although still to be received in January 2003, the amount is really significant and would surely boost the retained earnings of the company.

Had a short talk with Christine Manuel of TMG this morning when she delivered my renewal check. I renewed my 2nd investment with them for another 6 months at 3%. With God's blessing, this new income will continue to provide us with the much needed cash flow. Learned from her too that today up to Sat., their interest for old investors (me included) would be 5% and that for P10k up, their rate is 2% if placed for a min. of 1mo. up to 5 months. Will try to look for partners today so I could maximize the high yield that is being offered up to Sat. :)


Jerry, Harley & Nicky discussed yesterday our options regarding the two properties (both transacted under our name although one is already paid for by Mama) and it seems that our only alternative is to sell the condo. Mama is amenable to this and in fact negotiated to buy another property in Manila if we are able to sell the condo at a good price. Our major prayer request now is for GOD to lead us to this elusive buyer who will buy the property at a fair price.

Brought Jerry to the airport this morning. He will be meeting with the Phillip Morris guys to finally end the distributorship contract that has been awarded to the family many years back. It's a bittersweet development for both parties after being in business for a long time. For the last 2 years or so, business with them has been stifling the family corporation because of the many changes imposed by PM. The family thought it wiser to give it up than to infuse more capitalization. On a brighter note, the Astro cigarettes which the family corporation chose to distribute in place of the more expensive Marlboro & Phillip Morris brands are selling very well in this part of the country. And I believe it's another God-given opportunity!


Finally put up all the trimmings! :)

Sunday morning, while we were looking at our new link (New Rosary Mysteries), the kids got interested and began asking questions about the Holy Rosary. We talked and ended up giving them their first rosaries. Matthew chose a dark wooden one which Jerry used to own. Kyle, in his excitement that he now owns a luminous plastic rosary, requested us to pray it. Picture this... at 830am on a fine Sunday morning, we were reciting the beautiful prayer...as a family. *sigh* I feel so blessed that we have kids like Matthew & Kyle...I pray that Jerry and I are able to set good examples for them to emulate and that they grow up to be inspirations to others as well.


There are sooo many things to thank for this week...a new outlet to sell snack box products, made good with my major financial obligations :), got to consolidate the flp office - maybe starting december, matt's good exam results & VIP award, kyle's equally good test results, good training with dr. ludgerio torres, new look on our wedding bands - had it dipped in white gold, and time with the family...there is also sooo much to look forward to!... with a lot of prayers, teamwork, and hardwork, nothing seems to be impossible. life is kinda hard to understand, "there is no oil without squeezing the olives; no wine without pressing the grapes; no fragrance without crushing the flower; so when you're pressured, God is just bringing out the best in you!"


Kyle had a hearty breakfast this morning not only because he had his favorite sardines in tomato sauce (hihihi) but also because I played Christmas music on CD. He is so excited about Christmas & keeps bugging me to decorate the tree that we put up last weekend. My fault, the past few nights when I got home, I always fell asleep even before I could start putting the trimmings... I will do it soon, Kyle, don't worry...! *wink*

I put new links on the left side bar (new rosary mysteries, daily gospel reading & reflection, etc.).....You're welcome to drop by and check out the new stuff...

Matthew is VIP (Very Inspiring Person) again for the month of October. He now has a total of 3 VIP certificates for this year. His quarterly test results (so far...Chinese test scores have not been announced yet) were all perfect. We attribute this great academic excellence to the Holy Spirit, who never ceases to guide us in everything that we do.


The day sailed smoothly yesterday...Thank GOD. Had to stay at work way after dinner with Matthew keeping me company. I submitted the financials by 9pm last night for today's A-Team meeting. I have yet to finish some other reports today such as aging report, agency billing update, merchants, airphil, pal, abs-cbn consolidated reports & bank recon (thanks to Ann for making my life a lot less hectic hihihi).

Yesterday 3pm was some sort of a reunion with Ann arriving first to give me the recon files. Then Dahlia next, to give me the rings I had dipped in white gold. We all spent some time talking about jewelry designs (hmmm...women! :D)...A few moments later, two ex-Islacom staff walked in for the recruitment of SkyInternet, Chat & Glenda. The former used to be my Acctg Asst... It was great catching up on each other's chika.

Earlier yesterday, I received an email from a former school/officemate, Eric Meim. It was a wonderful surprise to hear from him & see his pictures. Eric still looks good & very British now after being there for 7 years! I meant that as a compliment. :) Will send him a note in a while.

Came late for work today (not because I stayed late last night) . Had to pass by LTO to renew my driver's license (1 week overdue) as well as Jerry's (one month advance). We went through the SOPs which were not entirely new except for two. This time we had to undergo a drug test. And this time, one could claim the plastic license right away. No more waiting for months (yey!). The whole process took us 2 hours though and a total of P1400. I'm just glad it's over......


even before i read linnor's blog, i was already eating one of those hot packs of oishi!...i guess we just charge the three packs of oishi to "representation" :) so far, this has been quite a week! coz of monday's u.c. class sked mess up, i was able to identify irene's eatery as a possible outlet where we could sell our snack items. since monday we have been delivering burgers, hotdogs & sandwiches everyday...and they've sold out all our items each day! learned something new from eddy chai today, " one single tree can save a forest, but a single match can also burn the whole place" - don't let any negative thought, no matter how small, destroy what you have created!
Just had half of two packs a while ago of Oishi Spicy Seafood Snack (the other half is being feasted on by Matt and Kyle as I am blogging this!). I could still feel the sting in my mouth. Junnie/May, you should try this. It's HOT and yummy! Wonder what Jerry would say after he reads this & finds out I scored the packs from the Snack Box inventory....

Last Monday, together with some office staff, Jerry and I watched the advance screening of CHANGING LANES at SM Theater 2. Just some of the "perks" we get for placing ads with WRock. I am not a certified movie critic but I enjoyed it. Ben Affleck was convincing in his Wallstreet lawyer role but Samuel Jackson is still the better actor between the two.

Hmm...it's been a long time since Jerry and I watched a movie together (not counting the movies we watched with the kiddies)...It sure is a good way to break the monotony of our routine and- another excuse for me to eat junk food! Last Monday's movie "date" brought back fond memories of SGV-style lunch break at Greenbelt Cinema and Choriburgers!


Call it weird but Jerry and I were pretty excited that classes are on again. Jerry spent 4k to put together all the ingredients for today & tomorrow's snack sales at UC. As expected cash flow would be coming in in no time. By 9am, Jerry who was already at UC, called to bring me the "not-so-good" news. UC classes will begin on Nov. 11.

There were people we could easily pin the blame on but what's the point? We were already stuck with all the burgers, hotdogs & pizzas. I couldn't help but really ask GOD the message behind this. Jerry was evidently disappointed. Just then, an idea flashed thru my mind... I told him why don't we sell it at Mother's West Entry? Jerry had a better idea...He sold it to a cafeteria owned by one of Mary's employees. The cafeteria sold more than we expected! Probably, this was the message GOD wanted us to see... He surely moves in strange ways...


this long, long, long holiday turned out to be a "food trip holiday"! rai-rai-ken bento dinner on the 30th, for linnor's bday! peking duck & a whole lot of chinese goodies on the 30th lunch at grand majestic...dinner at sto. nino! lechon lunch on the 1st of november at sto. nino...buffet dinner at city sports with mary, the kids & mymy! kyle's swimming party with home cooked food - spaghetti, hotdogs, pizza, courtesy of "chef" jerry from tuscany! :) and bbq & ngo hiong from cheavers!...what i thought was a long, long, long vacation was not sooo long after all, after tomorrow, november 3, it's back to a working day! i'm really excited for the second semester of "snack box"!...going back to work! good, i have to try to lose some of the extra weight i've put on since this eating holiday began! linnor reminded me of something today, "if it is worth doing! it's worth doing well!
Just to recap the past few days, following are the things to be grateful for last Oct. 31:
:) My birthday lunch treat (Chinese buffet with Peking duck!) together with my in-laws, my maternal relatives, Pa & Ma... Wonderful to have both sides of the family together on special occasions like this.
:) Early & unharried trip to the cemetery (no hassle & no traffic)
:) Kyle's afternoon nap at the lobby of Waterfront Hotel
:) Matt & Kyle's Halloween face paint
:) Dinner at Mama Sol's
:) TV movie with Jerry (The Blair Witch Project 2? )

November 1
:) Lunch at Mama Sol's
:) Knowing that Lola Meding was all well after a bad fall that hurt her head & required 3-4 stitches
:) Shopping for Kyle's party giveaways
:) Buffet dinner at City Sports Club complete with halo-halo
:) Billiards with Jerry, Matt and Kyle

:) Makro shopping for Kyle's birthday food
:) Found & bought 2 coolers at SM
:) Lunch with my in-laws
:) Fetched Forden, Dahlia & kids from their house to bring them to Tuscania
:) Kyle's swimming party at the poolside (no clown, no balloons, no games but a lot of swimming kids, pabitin goodies and raffle gifts)
:) Seeing a lot of good friends again
:) Seeing a lot of the kids swimming, enjoying their raffle prizes
:) TV movie with Forden and Dahlia (Legally Blonde & Someone Like You)
:) Being able to blog


Thank GOD (for last Wednesday):
:) for Pa & Ma's safe arrival
:) for the chance to be able to treat our office staff to 25pcs ngohiong, 20pcs barbecue and 30pcs puso
:) for the full lunch at home with Pa & Ma complete with my birthday miswa
:) for the lovely European picture albums of Pa & Ma's recent trip
:) for the pretty & expensive cuckoo clock gift
:) for the joy of being together on a sunny afternoon
:) for my (Ikea-inspired) wicker living room set where we cuddled together
:) for my staff who were willing to take my forwarded calls as I took the whole day off
:) for the sumptuous Japanese bento meals for dinner
:) for all the birthday gifts and birthday greetings I received on my email & cellphone
:) for another year of life!

...and looking forward to more!...


Our conversation with Matthew last Sunday was something out of the ordinary. For quite some time, I''ve been trying to gain his trust to tell me what's going on in his 9 year old mind. I guess I was able to do just that and pick his brain when we began talking about school stuff. The topics ranged from his peers, the things they talk about, their "plans", and how they deal with girls. Yup, gurlz! When he asked: "Why do girls always spray colognes after lunch?", this started the ball rolling. We gave him a few pointers such as: "Don't hurt others' feelings especially girls'.","Don't play rough with girls", "Girls are different from boys, treat them nicely." etc., etc. To these he retorted: "Why are there so many rules?". Gently we tried to tell him that these were not rules but practical tips to help him deal with his girl classmates. It was amusing the way he raised his concerns as if girls really confused him that much. Maybe they did...Bottomline is, we gave him assurance that Papa could always give him advise on the "hows" and if he wanted to know the reasons girls behaved the way they do, I could give him answers to his "whys"...
what a nice day today we can play all the things we want to play with because its already sembreak..........don't need to study because there are no lessons and notes and we don't need to do our assignments and projects (yapeeee!).
what a great day! :) didn't have to wake up at 545am, didn't have to rush the kids to school! we have prayed the rosary and the expeditus na!...great way to start the day! today is mactan day again in flp...i think this will be our new growth area...looking forward to an explosion very soon! had dinner last night with tita elsie, forden & dahlia, & linnor at hap japs in ayala entertainment center. anticipation day...tomorrow will be linnor's birthday!


Called Mama Sunday morning for last minute requests before they fly in on Wednesday. Heard mass at 11am then went to A-ma's house for lunch with in-laws. Mary is fast recuperating from her recent hysterectomy & praise GOD the biopsy result diagnosed her 5cm lump as benign. Jerry & I left Matt & Kyle, who were playing the computer with elder cousins, to go on a "shopping spree" (after a long hiatus!).

First stop was SM for new towels, pillows, and a few Christmas pillow cases, so Mama will not "nag" me when she gets here (hihi). Then candles as requested by Mommy, shirts for Matt, shirts, shorts & pants for Kyle. Tried looking for Monopoly, the board game that the kids are hooked on. What they have right now is one in British Pounds. They want one in US Dollars! Found none in good condition, though. If Ninong Junnie & Tita May are reading this....this is your cue! *ahem*

Ayala was our next stop to check out the Giordano sale. Well, what can I say theirs was a sale in the real sense of the word. Was able to hoard enough for the gift-giving season but I wouldn't go further into details.

3.5 hours (traffic & parking time included) and 2 malls after, total damage to my budget was P4000. Quite a lot of money but not when I list down what we got for it (again, no details here...hihihi)


Haaay...Blogger got hacked! I thought I did something to the blog that caused it to conk out, so I decided to delete. I just finished redoing everything & I'm quite tired to do some posts...Tomorrow maybe...
my blog for the 25th got erased! now, what happened yesterday? :) kids didn't have to go to school...weekend blast! had a big aspac conference organizing committee (coc) meeting at cafe george...things are starting to heat up! over 30 members attended! went to time zone with the kids...on saturday, we went to watch a basketball game, but, we got the sked messed up and we ended up playing basketball at the school gym! :) it was great spending some time with the boys. "life's too short! if you don't stop to smell the flowers, you'll really get left behind!"
:D Got off late for lunch today at 1230. My boys had half-day classes (yay! then sem break!) and the whole avenue was packed with cars getting kids from preschool to highschool. After a quick lunch at home, I happened to surf channels on tv & caught Oprah. The episode featured young children with extraordinary talents. One that caught my attention was an average looking 6-year old boy named Noah who played classical piano like a virtuoso! He could not even read notes yet! Then there was a team of teenagers aged 14 & 16 who put up "Chocolate Farm" that sells fancy & yummy looking chololates online. They raked a million in a year. There was also this 12-year old Afro-American girl who, after not being permitted by her mom to read regular entertainment & fashion magazines, decided to start her own dummy book which later on became "Black Girl" Magazine. There was also a 12-year old girl who painted really well that even the White House (?) bought one of her paintings. Her paintings were worth 10k a piece.

Shame on adults who spend their lifetime trying to discover their passion when these kids just did their thing like it was no big deal.

:D Woke up feeling great! TGIF! Looking forward to the short work-week & long week-end ahead! Been guilty these past few days of not personally accomplishing tasks as much as I wanted to...Delegated most of my work to our very able & efficient staff, Christine & Marilyn. Otherwise, work would've piled up to my armpits! Now counting the days before I hit another milestone...Good that Thursday-Saturday are holidays (declared & legal). That'll give me enough time to reflect...

got a lot done the past few days!...paid pag-ibig downpayment and paved the way for activating this account...paid psbank for the star credit and paved the way for future funds requirement...achieving financial integrity in this trying time is not an easy feat, but i believe that integrity may be the most important component to success!...learned something from ariel yesterday..."there is no such thing as a bad day, only bad moments we choose to remember the whole day. think of happy things, have a happy day!"

:D Done with work but with a lot of ancillary activities on the side (attending to concerns of provincial offices & other coordination stuff). I've read somewhere that to be able to manage your time wisely, schedule only up to 70% of your total working time to allow for unexpected interruptions. This way you don't get burned out or feel guilty that you were not able to get everything done. Hmm... sounds logical. I think this applies to me who's so used to stretching myself too thin juggling different tasks & trying to do everything all at once...

:D Just received mail from the PO...Result of HSBC Mabuhay card application was unfavorable...Could it be blessing in disguise?

:D Presently at work...done with the newspapers (couldn't keep from reading, though it's a major time-waster)...Ready to do the replenishment requests now...

:D Yesterday was Mama Sol's birthday. The whole family trooped to Sto. Nino for the dinner invitation. We were surprised to see a big celebration on a Monday evening! A lot of well-wishers from the DepEd were there, colleagues from their Catholic community as well as friends from the neighboorhood. We had a really good dinner mainly of crabs & prawns while the kids had generous portions of the famous Cebu lechon! If not for Matthew's test the following day, we would have stayed longer. :)
:D Ma called yesterday to tell me they were coming on the 30th (hmm, I wonder why ???). It's good to be able to see them again especially Pa since the quadruple heart bypass in June. :)
:D Just changed the look of our blog...so far so good...neat...am happy with it...will post later!

just got back from my aspac campaign in korea (10/17-10/20)! i had to travel a long way, cebu-hong kong-seoul and back via cathay pacific. the good thing lang is i earned some mileage for the asia miles program...maybe we'll get a free trip out of this. stayed at lotte hotel in seoul. it was a very nice hotel, not so new, but very spacious. it was cold in seoul, maybe 10-12 C during the night. we ran a good campaign and everybody is excited to come to cebu. the only concern most people have is the recent spate of bombings in southeast asia...i surely hope things shape up soon. during my free time & my layover in hong kong, i was able to get some surprises for linnor, matts & kyle! swatch irony for linnor, lotty the racoon for kyle, & a mini monopoly for matts...which we ended up playing till midnight. he! he! wasn't able to make matts study for his exam! i was the first to go bankrupt! it's great to be home! home is where the heart is! :)

:D Got to City Sports early for the mass & there were only a few people in the ballroom. While we waited, Matthew was fretting about the shoes I told him to wear. He didn't like the Adidas but reluctantly obliged just to obey my request. He would have wanted to wear his black Puma or black Fila instead of the white & blue Adidas. I tried to let him understand that he's fortunate to have more than 1 pair of shoes because there are kids who are not as lucky to have even a single pair of slippers or who could not even walk because of some handicap. I think he understood, however, it was his preference as influenced by peer pressure in school that's eating him. He still appeared "napipilitan". Just then the lady from the Sports Club approached us to request if its possible for both Matt & Kyle to do the "offering of the gifts". Kyle excitedly said "Yes! I like!" to Matthew's utter disbelief. hihihi It was God's way again of playing tricks on him. Probably to make him realize that everything would be fine----even if he wasn't wearing his "comfort" shoes.

:D Jerry called yesterday morning & early today to say he's doing ok in Korea. We're both looking forward to his return trip tomorrow. (Uuuy!)...
:D Had dinner with my in-laws yesterday at Cafe George to celebrate Mymy's birthday. It was her treat too. Food was yummy & the kids & I got so full we weren't able to have dessert!
:D Gave Mymy a single pearl pendant. It would have been perfect if it were set in white gold instead of the 14k yellow gold. It was pretty though & surprisingly, it was more reasonably priced as opposed to my initial choice of a Guess blouse! Well sometimes one just have to be more creative in coming up with gift ideas. :D

:D Was happily busy yesterday (hence the delayed post). Jerry flew to Korea yesterday noon with Marcel to invite the Korean Jaycees to participate in the 2003 Asia Pacific Conference to be hosted by Cebu. That leaves me to attend to his share of the daily business of picking up Kyle from school at noon and Matt in the pm. :D Well as fate would have it, yesterday too was the scheduled Slumber Party of the Preschool classes. After getting Matts, I had to drive back home to get Kyle again to attend the school activity at 5pm. For the most part of the afternoon, all I did was drive :) (no complaints!). The preschoolers were SOOO adorably cute in jammies! They wore headbands with glittering "antlers" and were full of energy as they sang & danced to the delight of the proud parents (me included)! The three of us had Jollibee dinner on the picnic mat together with the other parents & kids. The fun affair was done by 830pm. We were home by a little before 9 and I was in bed by 930 for my zzzzz's....

:D Part of our daily routine after bringing Matt & Kyle to school is to go to church to hear mass (7-730) am, to recite the Holy Rosary & the Novena to St. Expeditus and to say our personal prayers (aloud & as a couple). We have been doing this for the past two years now & I believe it is this bond with the Lord that enabled us to weather all challenges (big & small). What do we pray for? We pray to praise His generosity, ask for mercy, lift up our daily battles, pray for more blessings for us & our loved ones & to intercede for others. Prayer is habit forming indeed & we are high on God.

:D Today was slightly different. Due to all the appointments lined up for the day, we veered from our usual routine. On our way to school, we decided to say our prayers (loud enough for Matt & Kyle), and to recite the Rosary & the Novena. It was God at work as Matt & Kyle, unlike many others, willingly recited with us.

:D Jerry is off to Korea tomorrow. Nope, not to catch up on the Games. As Conference Director, he will be inviting more Korean delegates to the Asia Pacific Conference in May 2003. This will be his third foreign trip this year (twice to Japan). Although it's work, foreign trips are opportunities not presented to everybody :).

:D Opened separate kiddie accounts for Matt & Kyle today. For a minimum deposit of P2000 each, they were given their own passbooks, cute "treasure chests", accident insurance policies for me, and best of all, their very own ATM cards with picture! (ahh...cute!). We're all very excited about it.

:D Half-awake at 5:15am, I saw Jerry in bed with rosary in hand. He whispered to me as I tried to go back to sleep: "Mommy gave me the bonus na". Oh what joy! :D
:D Matt's periodical tests were rescheduled for Fri, Mon & Tue from the original Wed-Fri! Just enough time to juggle my office work & to assist him.

October 14
monday blues! one bad habit i gotta get rid off...! went to visit chris & may and their new baby boy, christopher matthew, it's always amazing to see a newborn baby! what's even more amazing is that we all started that small...wonders of life!

Yay! I'm back in Blogspot! Tried Yahoo Pagebuilder & Bravenet (among others) but ended up coming back. Transferred the rest of our postings here...This site suits our blogging needs best...

October 13
it's a sunday! went to makro for the snack box groceries...we studied chinese with matts, getting him ready for his quarter exams. msgr dakay's sermon tells us to wear a "wedding garment" all the time. meaning, follow the commandments, follow the christian precepts, etc. all the time, so that people know that we are christians! while linnor pounded away in the computer the kids & i went out for a spin...put air in kyle's mini basketball, got the stuff from bread gallery, bought ngo hiong from cheavers...movie time again...hunt for red october! this weekend was great, it was a great recharge for the time i spent with the family! this is what i want to be able to do always!

October 12
spent another day with the family! quality time is always about quantity!...we opened snack box for the day coz u.c. had a p.e. culminating event. brought everyone to the mall, the kids went gaming at av and linnor and i went goal setting for a new car! no plans yet, it just feels nice to set goals. spent the afternoon with matthew and his clf project...peace poster! party time for renzo & lois at jollibee...movie time - speed 2 & ms. congeniality (fell asleep :) )- complete with popcorn! really fun to get away from work!

October 11
hello! off line for the past few days! but today is kyle's big bday! he's been looking forward to this day! surprised him at school with cookies & ice cream! bought him a new pair of converse shoes - his choice! japanese dinner at rairaiken and to top it all gaming at time zone! time really flies, if you don't spend time with your loved ones, they'll just pass you by!

October 10
:D Glad that Matt & I have finally finished doing together his Social Studies project on "Spanish Influences in the Philippines". More glad that I have my "life" back again after spending the whole day yesterday doing nothing but that. For a while there I felt I had made use of my time unwisely. I could still see the grand old churches & Vigan houses flashing in my brain. But having seen the way Matt's face light up after viewing his finished work & having heard him say: "Whoa! I'm sure I'll get perfect! Thank you Ma!" with a kiss & a hug, I thought, well, everything was well worth it!

October 7
:D Just when I thought I was done with the monthly reports, I found out there was another batch of adjustments that had to be posted. Momentarily, I was torn between leaving it at that, pretending & making up an excuse or telling Irene the truth & anticipating the (slight) reprimand that could be directed at me. I think an angel whispered to me & I soon found myself apologizing to Irene for my lapses & requesting for a 30-min extension prior to final close of the books. Surprisingly she relented without any hitches at all. That was a close call & am glad I didn't have to lie.

October 6
:D Received early birthday gifts from Mommy today! It was a very generous token she gave to Kyle & me.

:D Stayed home with the kids the whole afternoon for an early review of their 2nd quarter lessons. Kyle's exams are scheduled for this week & Matt's the week after. Since the "house assistants" were out on day-off, Matt & Kyle did the table for dinner & perfectly at that. Very cute. Had an engaging talk over dinner with the boys asking the silliest questions & making up equally funny "cartoony" scenarios- all figments of their wild imagination!

went off to do the groceries early in the morning!...makro...fooda savers! bought chinese lumpia & siomai for breakfast! :) heard mass at city sports, as usual, msgr. dakay's message always hits the mark, God always expects his share of the produce! spent the afternoon at the flp megasizzle at the cap center! it was a great show and a good learning experience. i believe our flp group will be big again...very soon!

October 5
:D Met with my good friend from La Salle & SGV, Ann, at Bo's around 3pm to go malling & catch up on chika. Though there was a huge sale happening for the weekend & not only once did I contemplate on buying the digicam, I did not give in to my shopping impulses like I used to. A big accomplishment in itself. HAH!

:D Enjoyed watching the championship games at the Ayala Entertainment Center with Ann, Jerry & the kids. Though we didn't win, it was great seeing the alumni of both schools rabidly rooting for their respective teams, yup, young & old alike...It was a sight to behold.

:D Matthew was awarded the VIP (Very Inspiring Person) award by his class teacher. I'm thankful to GOD that at his young age, he is already growing up to be the person we want him to be- a blessing to everyone he meets.

spent the day with the family, what a recharge! went swimming with matts & kyle in the tuscania pool...quite some time since we have done that! ...had a tv lunch with the kids...conair! went for a coffee break and a basketball championship at the ayala entertainment center.

October 4
:D Found a way to save on my long-distance calls to Manila! Since I have a non-NDD subscription, my monthly fixed bill is only about P600 (excluding LD calls). However, per minute calls are exorbitant at over P10/min! The good news is that PLDT offers prepaid cards for LD at P3/min! Bought 2 P100 cards today. Have to call Mama this weekend to catch up on their European tales!

:D It's Ayala's mall-wide sale weekend! One of my great finds today...a 3/4- sleeved Giordano striped shirt that used to sell for P900 but got it for P250. Another good buy was a pair of Mandy Moore low-slung boot-leg pants for P387. Dinner with Matthew & Kyle was equally yummy- authentic Japanese bento with tempura, gyoza, beef teriyaki, chicken, rice & miso soup for only P366. I just love Japanese food! And I just love bargain hunting!

he! he! even before i could start writing in this log my tight sked has already come up! but i'll try my best to keep up!...snack box had a great week!, flp managers' meeting & megasizzle dance practice, aspac meeting at zach's - 280 days to d-day, time zone with matts & kyle. the boys raced down the western route of "outrun" with kyle winning the first leg & matts on the second leg, even got to clean out my side of the cabinet! read "priorities" by dave balch... trying to sort things out!

October 3
:D Lelen called to thank me for the clothes Jerry & I donated for their community. I was glad to be of help. In our pursuit to unclutter our lives, this was a good way to start.

:D Matt didn't have a lot of assignments today. Just a test in Language about verb tenses (the other kind & not the "tense" that we know of. :D) That gives me a major break! Much needed at this time when reports at work are coming due.

:D Had good sales at Snack Box! Oh goody! Cash (IN) flow...By the way, the new Beetle is now on promo at 1.395M from 1.9M! Still requires loads of money but 500k is not a small slash. LOL

October 2
Linnor:Got the idea of putting up a "gratitude journal" from one of those Oprah episodes. Amidst all the challenges that we constantly face, we have to make a deliberate note of the many things that we should be grateful for - each day.

I thank GOD for the gift of life, love (being able to love & be loved in return), family, friends, the numerous big & small miracles that happen & the abundant blessings received.

October 1
Linnor:I can't seem to make my old weblog work. To make it even half as nice as those I see, I need to know more about web design & HTML. I guess I will have to go back to my old reliable Yahoo PageBuilder. I need something as easy as a "point & click, drag & drop" type of page builder. Goodbye for now to my blogspot & hats-off to Junnie & May who did a great job putting up MEMENTO & KNOCKKNOCK.