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 Café 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.