Birthday Dinner at Manila

48 Hours in Manila

A memento from my previous trip to Manila. My birthday week celebrated with the family.


Matt, who is 10, is now at a crossroad. He is torn between being a kid and a teen. When his voice broke for the first time last summer, it signalled some changes that promptly followed. We began to notice the appearance of fine facial and body hair. His growth spurt is now more vertical than sideways. His voice is several octaves lower than his former high-pitched tone... Given these physical manifestations and changing social preferences, Jerry and I feel the sudden need to engage him in occasional serious conversations. You know... things he might be curious but afraid or conscious to ask about...

One night during dinner at home, the candid talk veered toward crushes. "Ah, I know na who is A-hia's crush", Kyle, 7, teased. "No no no...If it's a secret between the two of you, you are not allowed to tell.", I cautioned remembering how Matt got upset the first time Kyle blurted his crush's name in front of their Lola and Tita May.

"But, I'm not saying it man", Kyle countered. "I'm just going to say the first letter right A-hia?", Kyle continued as if seeking Matt's approval.

"First letter only... hmmm....", Kyle repeated... After a short pause, "so Ma, how do you spell Katrina ba?"...

"AARGGH! KYLE!!!", Matt roared as Jerry and I let out big guffaws!


Saturday again! Will visit the OB this morning to make sure the baby and I are fit to take that Manila trip on Monday. Then, we plan to drop by the kids' Great Grandma's house for a visit and to take Mama out to Makro for some Christmas decor shopping...



Two more reasons to feel blessed! Matt & Kyle proudly handed Jerry & me their Math awards...

Sarap feeling!


All About Geese

In one of Kyle's Science lessons before, we learned about baby animals' names. It was actually my first time to hear about goosling, a name given to a baby goose, as duckling is to a baby duck.

Yesterday, Jerry and I had an early lunch so we could pass by the mall to look at the maternity section. My regular wardrobe is beginning to cramp my belly and I wanted to buy a few pieces for a more relaxed fit.

We saw the section amusingly called Mother Goose. Darn... most of the pieces were too pastel and too frilly for my taste, I seriously entertained thoughts of designing my own line of maternity clothes. After going through the racks, I found 3 tops and 1 stretch pants that were acceptable to me. Bought them and went home.

This morning, the boys learned about our short trip to the mommy section of the mall and were teasing me. "Ma, you're our mother goose now", they kept joking. "And you're my gooslings!", I shot back at them, "right Papa Goose?", I added looking at Jerry.

Then all of a sudden, Matthew had a brilliant idea, "Hey, I know na what to call Lola... .....Granny Goose!"



While we were having breakfast yesterday with my mom, I happened to notice that Kyle was missing another upper front tooth. "Hey Kyle, you lost another tooth! When did that happen?", I asked.

"Last Friday...", Kyle answered hesitantly as everyone began to notice.

"(Grinning) Maybe Kyle got scared you'd bring him to the dentist yesterday (Saturday) as we originally planned", Jerry kidded.

I guess that was partly true. For my part, I was kinda guilty I didn't notice the missing tooth for more than 24 hours!


In my mom-in-law's house, cousin Juju noticed Kyle's missing tooth too. "Did the tooth fairy give you money?", he asked.

"No...", Kyle replied. "I couldn't find the tooth after it fell..."



Shopping or Party?

Kyle was presented with the idea of going on a toy shopping spree instead of having a themed children's party. We just wanted to see which one he was more inclined to choose. I guess the thought of being able to (finally) buy his Blade Liger, Dragon Slayer and Gundam was enough to trigger his excitement. And he readily agreed!

His Si-ko and Sa-ko bought the Dragon Slayer and Gundam while Tito Junnie and Lola's cash gifts enabled him to buy the Blade Liger (Zoid) and new puppy stuffed toy he was eyeing. Kyle was so happy his toy wishes came true.

Happy Birthday Kyle! We love you!


Driving is Now Off My List (Temporarily)

Jerry took the 3am Cebu Pacific flight to Manila last Thursday to attend a convention in Tagaytay up to Friday. This meant (for me) 2 days of driving the kids to and from school. What used to be a relatively easy task proved to be too strenuous for my "nauseous-easily-tired-pregnant-body".

I managed to drive the kids safely alright. I even got to pass by church on those two days. However, I looked more like an inebriated momma who swaggered toward the pews. I was literally walking on spaghetti legs and was holding on to anything that could support my weight everytime I got off the car.

I swear I wouldn't dare drive anymore before my term, if I could help it!


Been thinking of what to name our coming baby... If baby turns out to be a girl, we like to name her Amanda Marie. If baby turns out to be our third boy, we plan (for now, at least) to name him Jake (from Jacob)...I kinda like the ring of it. Sounds tough for a boy, just like Matt & Kyle...

Hmm... we still haven't made up our minds yet, so feel free to suggest.
Loooong day ahead but I've got the best weapon to make me go through today with ease... I passed by church this morning for doses of our daily prayers - the rosary and the novena to St. Expeditus.

Hurry home Pa, Matt has a basketball game this afternoon and Kyle's birthday is coming up this Saturday.

There's a lot more things to do...


Whew... just had a meeting this morning and the list of things to do is driving me... er... nuts. Ma & May are in town, Jerry will be out of town, the kids have a few projects that will be due next week PLUS I have things to finish at work. Not that I'm complaining... I love to be able to do all these, if only...

Anyway, this is one of those days I'll just have to triple time.


Manila-Cebu PAL flight got delayed about 2 hours... Hotdog waffle hunting in Mactan while awaiting arrival... Laguna Garden Cafe lunch with family, Ma & May - sinigang na mamsa (some kind of fish), pork adobo, beef steak, adobong kangkong... Afternoon chat & bonding with Ma & May at the condo... Snacks at Flame It... 6PM mass at Redemptorist... Kids' haircut... Dinner at home - Sr. Pedro lechon manok, Cheaverz ngo-hiong, eggplant salad, atchara....

Short bits for today... :)


Just had my second prenatal appointment this morning. Kyle was with me and Jerry, hoping to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time. However, my Obstetrician failed to detect it using the doppler. I was immediately recommended for trans-v ultrasound to make sure the baby was growing fine.

After fetching Matt from his Math training, we all headed for the hospital. It was lunch time but we were lucky enough not to have waited long. I was then led to the ultrasound room for the test.

Jerry and the kids were permitted to view what looked like a more complicated computer screen. They marvelled at the baby's movements and the sound of the baby's throbbing heart. Looking at them happy & excited was just awesome.

Oh yeah... I'm 13 weeks on the way...


Family lunch was in Abuhan for their delectable pochero (a.k.a. bulalo for those in Luzon). Oooh, just imagine the beef marrow, the soft meat and the rich soup... This was one of those days that Matt & Kyle finished off 2.5 and 1.5 cups of rice, respectively, in less than 10 minutes (or was it 5?). Talk about being famished!


Looking forward to Ma & May's arrival tomorrow! *excited*


Flashback 10 Years

Ten years ago, on the 23rd of July, I delivered Matthew through Lamaze natural birth (unmedicated)... It was a beautiful (but not without pain) experience which Jerry & I shared from the time I had my early contractions at 7am to the time Matt let out a hearty scream 8 hours after. Jerry was my coach-partner in the labor room and the delivery room. He did a great job of helping me focus on my breathing, a special technique to manage the pain.

As soon as I felt the expulsive sensations in my birth canal, I counted around 5 pushes. Every push found me doing the semi sit-up as I held my breath for 10 seconds. Everyone in the room was egging me in hushed tones. I heard the nurses say: "Ang galing nya mag-Lamaze!" (She's doing great with Lamaze!)

The big & final one that heralded Matt's exit from the warm confines of my womb was the most liberating thing I ever did. I saw my tummy just deflate before my eyes! It was just awesome, the whole delivery process. Soon everyone was busy with me and Matt. I was fully alert but unmindful of the things going on around me.

All I cared about was Matthew as he instiinctively suckled and Jerry and I lovingly looked at this small wonder.

(I delivered Kyle in 1996 and still employed the Lamaze technique. However, Jerry was not in the labor room and delivery room with me at that time. The hospital became stricter since some laboring moms were complaining about the presence of the other husbands. That made it slightly more difficult for me to do the semi sit-ups all by myself. This time, though I labored for 12 hours, I think I made it in less than 5 pushes. *smiles proudly*

With 6 months to go, I feel I'm no longer as brave as I was 10 years earlier. However, recalling such wonderful experiences encourage me to keep my mind off any fear. Barring any other condition and if God wills it, I think I'll still do the unmedicated delivery the third time around.)


I felt weak (ok ok, lazy is more apt) to go to work this morning on account of my tummy acting up last night and keeping me awake into the wee hours. And the kids didn't have classes today. So I thought another half-day of rest added to Saturday & Sunday wouldn't hurt, would it?.

Then my cellphone alerted me at 800am. My boss texted we should meet at 900am. What? I texted I wasn't feeling well (yeah right) and would be coming in after lunch.

So the time flew by with me and Kyle spending time drawing, watching tv, cuddling and eating some junk. Then Jerry and Matt came home for lunch (Matt had to attend their school mass earlier.) bringing with them the beads needed for Matt's project.

After lunch, the four of us were all hunched in the living room trying to string together the beads. Jerry helped Matt with his project, while I made extra for Kyle. In 30 minutes, we were done with the rosaries, white for Matt & blue for Kyle.

*Sigh* I really would want to be able to do things with my family... sometimes even to the point of missing half-day of work....


All About Thursday

My work day yesterday went fine and I was a bit energetic to finish up on some minor backlogs *blushes*. Though there were some irritants (like my superior who kept texting me his requests/directives instead of putting them in writing *grrr* ), my day in the office was uneventful, really.

The kids had half-day classes so we all had lunch at home. It was great knowing that the kids had a free afternoon to rest, play or catch up on something. Jerry thought it was a good time to take the kids and their granny (they call A-ma) to dinner.

By 6PM we were on our way to fetch A-ma from her house. Dinner was at Big Mao where we enjoyed some dimsum, patatim and fish. Hmm, not really my idea of mouth-watering food, but I still got my fill. Though I found the place kinda pricey for a Chinese resto, service was quite impressive, I should say. Dessert was at La Marea where I had my sans rival. After some light conversation mostly about the kids & my pregnancy, soon it was time for A-ma to be brought home.

Time spent with A-ma was all pleasant and relaxed, we intend to take her out more often. (Though I married into a Chinese family, buti na lang I have no problem with my mom-in-law. Heehee.)


Of Food and Reality TV

Yesterday's cravings were "banana-cue" for my afternoon snack and "paksiw na lechon" for dinner.

While watching the television and gawking at Kris Aquino's confessions on her love-affair-gone-sour, I was also enjoying my lechon paksiw and rice tv-dinner. Either the reality tv show was longer than it should have been or I was really hungry when I noticed I was going back to the dinner table a few more times to get food.

When I finally let up, I already had too much ... too much of the lechon paksiw and too much of the surprise revelation about the sordid details of Joey Marquez' unfair treatment of poor Kris.


Slept last night & woke up today to the same bagatelle of a headline... that Joey Marquez allegedly poked a gun at live-in lover, Kris Aquino during a verbal tussle over a text message.

True or not, that's Philippine media feasting on anything to sell copies and airtime.



I was roused from sleep in the middle of the night to find Kyle standing by the bedside, looking a bit worried... "What is it?", I sleepily asked him as he stood there looking half awake. He was holding a bit of something between his fingers and was trying to show me. "Ma, my tooth fell off. See?".

Jerry woke up amused at our unexpected guest & invited him to spend the remainder of the night with us. I motioned him to hop into bed between me and Jerry, tucked him under the sheets and cuddled him back to sleep. I then looked at the tiny piece of enamel on the side table...

Aw... Kyle is now missing his front tooth.


Kostka Wins!

Matt's team/section won in today's basketball game! Highlights of the game according to Papa Jerry are the ff:

1. Matt was the first to score a basket.
2. Matt contributed 4 points to a team total of 12.
3. Final score is 12-11.



Where's the Towel?

"Boys, take off your shoes & socks and wash your hands", I recite like a mantra, everyday without fail the moment Jerry,the kids and I enter our house after a long day at school/work. I then plop on our bed and grab a few minutes of rest until it's time for dinner.

Last night, as I lay in bed enjoying the peace and quiet, Kyle, my 7-year old son, came in to use our bathroom. Jerry was giving me a good back rub (pregnant mommies love this!). Then I heard Kyle blurt in Cebuano, after washing his hands: "Uy, wala ma'y towel diri, panty ra man!" (Hey, there's no towel here, there's just panty on the rack!)


(Then Jerry and I burst out laughing....)


Kyle finished his lunch in my office surprisingly early today and I, sort of, felt in the mood to go with them back to school. This would give me a short change in scenery at least, a very much needed break after hours of paperwork.

Nearing Kyle's school gate, I looked out the window and said: "Uy, Jer, parang ang sarap nun..." (hey Jer, that one looks yummy...). Being the dutiful, thoughtful husband that he is, Jerry promptly maneuvered the car to a halt and ran to the peddler ...

lining up with the studentspaying the peddlermission accomplished!

...to buy me my preggy whim for the moment --- cheap tempura and fishballs!


Michael Buble

Just came across the official site of the now famous 25-year old Vancouver vocalist, Michael Buble (click name), and soon found myself swooning over his songs. His cd has been a recommended "good buy" by Lifestyle channel. And he is scheduled for a 9/18 concert tour at the PICC.

I think my parents would surely relive fond memories if they hear the remade songs of '50-'60's artists... Calling Junnie and May, Ma's birthday is coming up. Wouldn't you be generous enough to take them to the concert? Just tell me how much I owe you guys.

As for me, being pregnant in Cebu and all, I'll make do with the website's player to listen to the songs and transport myself in another time.


Last Saturday was the report card distribution, so it was an early morning trip for the four of us to the kids' school to avoid the traffic.

And these were posted in their classrooms...

grade 4 honors' list grade 1 honors' list

Matt & Kyle's names were included...Smart kids noh? Hehehe....


Kobe Shoes and Jersey No. 15

matt, as part of the line-up matt, with rival players matt in action matt looking for the free man

This was yesterday's game where Matt's team lost to the other section. Matt's section now has 1 win and 1 loss.

1 loss? It didn't matter much, as long as Papa Jerry and brother Kyle were there to watch him.


Junnie made a good post on the ubiquitous jeepneys on his site which got me thinking. Jeepneys are perfect examples of Filipino ingenuity, I agree.

If only these jeepney drivers were more courteous on the road, then I'd refrain from turning my bright headlights on. Knowing that these jeepneys have oversized rear-view mirrors, I normally do when trailing a slow-moving jeepney on a narrow lane that refuses to give way or one that decides to load/unload passengers in the middle of the road. Proves quite effective for me.

These jeepney drivers are the antithesis of what the jeepneys symbolize.
The morning sickness these past few days was mild. My cravings were not really far out unlike last week when I wanted to have "saba" with caramel syrup, milk and ice, and bibingka only from Mandaue.

Getting up these days and doing the regular morning chore of taking a shower and putting together the day's wardrobe didn't render me weak and dizzy. Thank God!

I now have a renewed zest to finish my finance reports on time. Not to mention the desire to keep posting on the blog in between office work.

I guess the prescribed new prenatal vitamin, OB-Smart, is really doing wonders for me.


Tomorrow is Osmena Day which means tomorrow is a holiday for the province of Cebu.

It's the Blessed Mother's birthday today and what a good way to start the workweek - with an early morning mass. Jerry and I heard mass to celebrate the special Marian occasion....

Prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Father of mercy, give your people help and strength from heaven. The birth of the Virgin Mary's Son was the dawn of our salvation. May the celebration of her birthday bring us closer to lasting peace. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Our Father – Hail Mary – Glory be to the Father.


Old wives' tales say that pregnant women could eat anything they fancy without the risk of having indigestion. I could attest that there is no truth to this at all.

I just had one of the worst tummy aches last night after partaking of a buffet dinner at Laguna Garden. Perhaps I had too much of the beef caldereta...


We attended the 3rd birthday party of my cousin's youngest son (my kids' 2nd degree cousin), Hans yesterday. It was a big gathering of relatives and friends. While doing the rounds of greeting my relatives, they all congratulated me for being in that interesting phase.

Good news travels fast indeed.


Though my tummy was threatening to "go" any minute, Jerry, the kids and I still took the time to drop by our friends' place where there was yet another gathering. Wine was overflowing and cheese was a-plenty. I refrained from taking any and contented myself with the exchange of stories by the wives whose kids were there too.

We were talking about child-rearing and the potential hazards of teenage life these days. Years before we would see each other only during kiddie parties. Now, we were talking about being parents to kids on the brink of being teens.

Ah, time really flies.


8wks 0day


Had my trans-v ultrasound yesterday (for those who are not familiar, this is not the ordinary routine pelvic ultrasound) and found out that I was 8 weeks heavy with a new bundle of joy.

My last pregnancy being 7 years ago, during a time when ultrasound was only done on the 2nd half of a normal pregnancy, yesterday, I was quite impressed with the new technology I subjected myself to. At this very early stage, it's incredible seeing my baby's tiny but clear image on the monitor with its heart beating really fast at 175 beats/min.

Life is really growing inside of me now. What an honor...


I'm in the mood for a small bar of Nestle Crunch...


I finally had my fill of the ube flan today, after two days of pining for it. Jerry bought 3 cups for dessert. Kyle and I heartily shared a small cup a while ago. I still have another cup on my desk for later.

Looking at it as it sits on my desk, its little white spoon beckoning me to take another scoop of its yummy purplish creamy gelatinous consistency - now makes me queasy.

Darn...I wish my appetite were back to normal.


Just an Update

Just a while ago, I craved for beef steak for lunch. After indulging myself, I felt I couldn't take another bite of it. Then I thought my officemate's "pinakbet" looked more appealing. Short of requesting the utility man to go buy for me, I changed my mind.

Not only with food do I manifest a different behavior. I used to think watching tv was a big waste of time. I'd rather go online and blog. Last Saturday and Sunday, I didn't even touch my laptop, because I was literally glued to the sofa surfing channels.

Why is it that when a woman is expecting, her whole life suddenly makes drastic changes that are unexpected? I've been a mom twice over with Matt & Kyle. Now after 7 years, I'm going to be a mom again. I'm supposed to be used to this right? I should now have a working knowledge of how to handle this delicate phase, right?

Hmm... Not me. I'm going through the same symptoms I had back in 1993 and 1996 - the same hormone-induced appetite and mood-swings that surprise even myself. And yet it feels I'm going through it for the first time!

(I feel like eating ube flan right this very minute... Not just any ube flan but the one from Mother's. At least that's what my "lihi" dictates....)


Theme Thursday Entry: HEAT

gruyere cheese fondue and wine in switzerland

This is a shot during my first time to eat authentic Gruyere cheese fondue last June when we visited my brother and sis-in-law in Vevey. My bro said it's eaten during winter more often than during summer. It is usually accompanied with wine. Comfort food for heat during winter...


Quarterly Exams!


Do your best Matt & Kyle! We love you both!


Theme Thursday Entry: HOARDING

Gruyere Cheese in Switzerland

hoard - n. A hidden fund or supply stored for future use; a cache
This is a hoard of Gruyere cheese in Switzerland being stored for final processing. Yummy!
Matt for Math

Last July 26, 2003, Matt was one of Grade 4 students sent by his school to take the qualifying exam together with candidates from other schools (Grade 3-2nd Year High School). I was a bit worried because we had no preparation at all. I was totally out of whack because of some viral infection the day before and Jerry was busy with his ASPAC. Still, we felt he had to go and take the battery of tests.

Yesterday, he received a congratulatory letter from the organizers of the Math Training Group that conducted the testing last July, stating that he is one of four (Grade 4) students from his school, who qualified for an extensive training in Math.

Matt will be trained for a series of Saturdays and will be part of an elite group of students who will have a chance to compete with other schools (ahem...) internationally.

Way to go Matt! We love you! And we're proud of you!



Last week I sent an email*** requesting head office to reclass some P500,000 worth of freight charges covering June and July, (only one contractor serviced this particular expense account) to improve our bottomline. I felt that these costs charged to our group was way too much. I went as far as copy furnishing the CEO and CFO to let them know I was concerned about costs.

Today an email from our CFO was sent to me, my Finance counterparts and the Directors. It bore the message: "This is worth emulating". Funny thing is, what was being referred to by our CFO as worth emulating was the email sent to him by my counterpart in Northern Luzon whom we will refer to as L. L recommended a list of cost cutting measures to improve the bottom line, measures that covered office supplies, and power consumption, overtime, etc. which did not even come close to P500,000 on savings over 2 months or did not translate to a significant improvement in bottomlines. What, and this was worth emulating? L was also just doing his job. I have nothing against him, but a lot against our CFO (whoa strong words there).

It turns out that the CFO, according to a lot of reliable sources, is part of the enterprise of the contractor for the freight services I was "complaining" about.

Oh, now I get it.

***My email is already archived for use in my future "privelege speech" should there be a need... *snickers*

Picture Moment

matt & kyle walking to school

No particular reason why I took this shot. It was just an urge to roll down the car window and to snap a foto of my two sons as they walked to the school's gate, confident and prepared, and ready to face yet another day of learning.

Playing With Colors

jubilee house, cebu

I have long been amused by this structure along one of the interior streets near Capitol Site, Cebu, which we pass by everyday on our way to school. I finally got the chance to take a shot of it even while inside a moving car.

The choice of colors may not be my personal favorites, but it succeeds in calling attention to itself, if this is what the owners intended.

It started with pink urinals, now colored buildings and other structures. Is this goodbye to drab grays and whites. Why not? It just got me to think. If this becomes a trend... Ayala Avenue and other business districts will look like stacks of Lego blocks. Cute.

huddled together for review in Chinese

I knocked-off early from work today (Aug. 19) to give my boys the time to be reviewed by Jerry in Chinese before he attends his 5PM meeting for ASPAC.

Bring on all the other subjects and I'll willingly assume the teacher's role, just keep me away from Chinese. Chinese conversation and language are two subjects where I'm completely useless.


As a routine, after lunch in my office, Jerry and Kyle drive back to school. Today for some reason, I told Jerry I'd go with him bring Kyle to school since my office is only 5 minutes away without traffic. So when it was time to go, I grabbed my bag to join them.

On the way, "Kyle did you bring your sandwich?", I asked. "Hm? Hmmm...mmmm", came his reply. "What, you forgot?", I continued. He just stared back at me from the rear view mirror. "Darn...", I told myself. Jerry requested the Yaya to run to the nearby convenience store to buy something, while Kyle was told to wait at the gate. The Yaya got him a cupcake.

When I got back to my office, I saw the sandwich lying on my table.

Why is it that mothers have this uncanny ability to feel something is amiss?
As usual, I got in early at work today and was getting ready to start ticking off items from my to-do list when my cubicle neighbor arrived. "Hey! What brings you early?", I asked in Tagalog. "Parking is limited in the basement", he replied. Uh, yeah whatever.

And I thought it was because of more profound reasons.


Kyle insisted that I post this shot of his new pet, Nemo, which he took yesterday. He positioned Nemo against their sky blue wall and on the printed blue sofa bed in their room. Very clever, Nemo looks like he is underwater.

My boy is so attached to his new toy that he even requested me to allow him to bring it to school.

on our way to watch Song of Mulan at the Ayala MallMatt & Kyle with cousins at Grand Convention

Since we didn't make it to the late morning mass (thanks to the confusing exit at SM mall), we just went to Ayala Center to catch the mall tour of the musical play Song of Mulan.

The colors onstage were really nice. In fact the short musical performance was surprisingly ok. I didn't realize Nancy Castiglione and Greg Turvey could sing well.


Right after the show, we went to Grand Convention for the buffet lunch birthday treat for John. I personally enjoyed the Peking duck and the scallop dumplings among other things.

Well, after packing the calories in just one meal, I seriously think my diet starts tomorrow!

I learned from Jerry early on that the kids' Uncle Junnie had a (belated) birthday gift for Matt, so I bought Kyle a little something to keep him distracted before Jerry hands Matt the gift.

Kids normally get envious when one receives a gift and the other does not. Buying Kyle a small Nemo stuffed toy was just to pre-empt any incident. It turns out that he loved his new addition to his zoo so much that he didn't mind Matt's new Kobe shoes.

(Thanks Tito Ninong! Matt tried calling you during lunch but you sounded like you were in a moviehouse or something.)

While waiting for Jerry's flight arrival, the kids and I spent a few hours this morning in SM. We passed by National Bookstore to have our gift for John wrapped, then spent the rest of the time in Toy Kingdom.

Speaking of SM, it was my first time to drive going there as most of my driving trips are to Ayala Center. I noted that parking was a breeze (of course at 9:30 am) but looking for the exit was such a hassle. Whose bright idea was it to re-route the traffic without clear signs directing the motorists? Got to the airport late because of this.


Peeking from my laptop at 4PM, this is how Kyle looked from across the table while reviewing for his Filipino. The kids are still busy preparing for their exams which by the way keeps me busier too. I've made them their questionnaires and will probably be going over their answers when they're through.

That's me on the phone in my office after a long drive from the airport and after supervising a general cleaning of my cubicle. Matt took this stolen shot while I was on the phone with Mama and Papa for a quick update. Jerry at this point was on his way to their house.

Sent Jerry off early this morning for his overnight trip to Manila. He'll be back tomorrow in time for our regular Sunday Mass and for our special lunch to celebrate John's birthday.

Lookie here! This is what I found when I turned on my cellphone a few days ago... Both Matt and Kyle claim they took this shot- of their mini zoo. Believe it or not, their stuffed pet inventory consists of: 6 dogs, 3 turtles, 2 reindeers, racoon, fox, monkey, elephant, rhino, hippo, rabbit, polar bear, tiger, duck, bear, and a dolphin.


Theme Thursday Entry: SPIRAL

If not for today's Theme Thursday project, I wouldn't have noticed that my telephone cord was already full of grime. The shot above was right after I cleaned it by dragging from end to end a white rag with alcohol.
Cat Fight

A few minutes ago, the sound of a high-pitched voice talking on the phone cut through the hum of airconditioners and computers of an otherwise quiet office. Sounded like personal bickering between two Station Heads. Then, some sobbing... At this point, I instructed my Accounting Staff to call the Group Sales Manager to do some mediating.

I'm glad I'm not in Sales.

This site has been getting a lot of traffic lately and checking my site stats, I found out that there were a lot of google referrals from those who searched for (of all people) ruffa gutierrez bektas!

Yes I've posted once about her but is there a way I could get my site from being listed everytime people search for her name and her first-born?


Found Nemo Today

Our kids' school made this their fund-raiser this year. What great timing! I've heard good reviews about the movie and read on the papers that the head background artists are Filipinos. Enough reasons for us to go see the movie other than the fact that it's compulsory for all students.

Matt watched with his classmates while Jerry and I watched with Kyle and his Grade 1 class. Midweek family gimmick!


After the movie at SM, Jerry waited for Matthew while I spent some time choosing the place for lunch.

Dimsum Break - nope, the looong queue already snaked its way out to the next restaurant;
Mikado - hmm...nah, tempura was not on the combo menu;
Barrio Fiesta - skip that, if they were any good how come nobody was there?;
Max - no way! the basic 1/4 chicken with a cup of rice is all you get for P99!

Then I saw the poster of a bento box: tempura, chicken teriyaki, miso soup, mixed veggies and rice for P165... This was it! With additional orders of tempura, gyoza and 3 extra rice, the family had a good lunch at Rai-rai-ken. Hmm-mmm!


For more than 3 years now, Jerry and I have made it a habit to pass by the Redemptorist Church everyday after bringing the kids to school. Though we attend mass at another venue every Sunday, this particular church is our daily refuge for at least 30-45 minutes before we start our day's activities. We try to hear the 7am mass from start to finish but if we do not make it in time for the Gospel because of traffic, we still make it a point to receive our Holy Communion.

By 730 am, as soon as the mass is ended, the people rush out to go. Jerry and I stay on to spend the next 15-20 minutes praying the Prayer of Jabez, the Holy Rosary and the Novena to St. Expeditus. I find it so uplifting and heart-warming talking to God, lifting up our fears and asking for blessings as a couple. It is just not complete if we miss on our daily church visit.

I might as well let you in on our prayer requests. We pray the Jabez prayer for abundance of blessings, the rosary as a devotion to our Blessed Mother and the novena for our urgent needs. Everyday, we recite the same prayers of praise, thanksgiving, repentance and requests.

Amazingly last Monday, while praying the novena and reaching the part where we state our favors, we found ourselves groping for words. We just realized that our most major request since last year has just been fulfilled a few days back.

Several months ago, due to bad investments, we prayed for our house to be sold. We were actually desperate, thinking that if we sold it, we would gain enough to settle some obligations. Months have passed and we couldn't understand why no sale ever materialized. But we kept on praying and trusting in Him.

In the mean time, a lot of things have happened. I was given a clean bill of health after a mammogram. I was given a raise. Jerry got a better position in his company. He was given a bonus. We have sold our car. I was offered a new one by the company I work for. Our travel papers got approved and we were able to take the opportunity to travel 5 years after the last time we went out of the country. And Matthew and Kyle received gold medals in school.

Still, our house was up for grabs. Last July, an ordinary inquiry turned out to be the deal we were waiting for. After a short negotiation, the sale was made. However, it was also a heartbreaking moment when we found out that after some computations of penalties, interests etc., we were not to get any financial benefit from the transaction. In fact we lost a significant amount from the sale.

Looking back, we have lost indeed. The loss is something that will set us back in the short term. But when we count the blessings that came our way, we are still better off. It became a realization for us that God really answers prayers. It may not be the way we had wanted it to be. God may even play some tricks giving you something you never asked for. His answers may come in different "packages". But if we lift everything up and trust His divine plans, everything will turn out for the best.

(I am posting this to propagate the Novena to St. Expeditus)


A Weekend Photo Blog

Friday, at EJ's birthday celebration, I caught our 89 year old Lola Meding eyeing the homemade ice-cream.

Saturday, Jerry took the family to a special dinner at the much talked about Isla Foods Restaurant on Nivel Hills overlooking the city of Cebu. It looks more like an eatery than a restaurant to me but it beats the well-known seafood market in Mactan which is popularly called as Sutukil. Isla Foods is really like a "turo-turo" but a cheap and really yummy one at that. We had a big slab of grilled tuna belly, scallops, squid adobado, generous helpings of rice, and mineral water all for P420. Darn, I forgot to take a pic of the food before cleaning it off.

After enjoying a healthy seafood dinner, we all went to Jerry's temporary Jaycee office at the Waterfront Hotel Lahug where the kids had fun playing a few rounds of billiards. As Jerry had a short meeting for ASPAC, I busied myself having a tete-a-tete with Monica C.

Matt and Kyle were pretty tired after a really long day and couldn't help but fall asleep in the car on the way home.

Saturday morning and Sunday morning (right before attending the 11AM mass), Matt and Kyle hit the books in preparation for the 1st quarter exams this coming 20th.

After diligently working on their review, the kids deserved an afternoon break at the pool with Jerry. As for me, I had an uninterrupted session of channel surfing between two local tv talk shows.

(This post is image intensive, I hope my free image host doesn't go offline.)


Photo Friday Entry: SLEEP

After an active day in school, having attended his basketball club today, he took a quick shower and changed his dirty clothes with this red shirt which he wore to dinner at a relative's house. Matt had a hefty meal of crabs, Yang Chow fried rice and roasted pig among others. It was pretty filling, I should say. When we arrived home, he had just about enough energy to watch Lethal Weapon on VCD before finally calling it a day. I guess he was too tired to even change his shirt for bed.

Happy Birthday EJ

This afternoon at 5pm sharp, I hastily cleaned my desk and kept all my things just a few moments after Jerry texted me he was on his way. We were in fact late in getting the kids from school. With the traffic, we got to school at almost 530pm.

The moment the kids were in the car, I was immediately assaulted with the familiar smelly scent akin to somebody who just had gone from a strenuous activity. Indeed, while waiting for us, Matt played basketball and perhaps Kyle too had his share of running. Too much I thought.

"Matt! You knew we were invited to this party for dinner, why did you and Kyle have to play today and get yourself all dirty and smelly?", I scolded. Poor things, they had to get the brunt of my moods. To make the long story short, we drove to the house of my mom-in-law which was just nearby for a quick shower and a change of clothes (we purposely brought extra shirts and denim shorts).

Soon we were headed for EJ's 2nd birthday. Some of the guests were probably caught in the rush hour snarl because there were just a few cars when we arrived at the place at around 6. The kids' party was just winding up and the big people's dinner was about to begin.

As Matt and Kyle went to greet Lola Meding, Mama Sol and Papa Lalo, they were both kissed and hugged. "Guapo (handsome)! Humot (smells good)!", my Tita said. I heaved a sigh of relief. That quick shower just saved the day.

the party crowd Matt working the buffet table Jerry eating with gusto!
I cleaned this off.  No kidding! Jerry raiding the loot bag for more munchies? freshly showered and ready to party