Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Kung anong dinig

This is currently one of Malik's favorite toys -

This photo from the toy store website looks better -

His name is Handy the Tow Truck. When you press his siren, he makes cocky statements like: "I know just the tool for the job, the Handy-matic 6000. Yeah, boy." or "Now that's power." or "Move over slowpokes. I'll show you how it's done." or "Step aside boys. Let a real truck at it." (Go back to this last sentence after you've read the next paragraph.)

I like to repeat Handy's phrases because I really find the toy amusing. Pao doesn't seem to like Handy. He thinks he heard the toy say "Supersize boys. Let a real drug addict." Toink.

- Posted via BlogPress for iPad

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

To 5-yr old Malik

The other reason why I wasn't blogging for a while was because I was pre-occupied with taking classes and exams. Thankfully, after several months, I have finally qualified to enroll in the Part-time MBA program of the University of the Philippines. Three cheers for that.

/I am No.81. :) Click to enlarge./

I am excited about this new challenge in my life. I like learning new things; and the part about learning new things involving business excites me more. But I must also admit that I'm more scared than excited. Not so much about having to work thrice as hard to get another degree but because I will have to trade time with my son to study. That, for me, is the greater sacrifice.

When I hear about my friends' parents leaving the country for work, I think "Well, that's a wrong choice to make." But I think I understand now. I'm doing this to make way for better opportunities and yes, earn more money. But really, all that boils down to being able to provide a better life for Malik.

I just hope that, after all of this has been accomplished, he'll understand.

- Posted via BlogPress for iPad

Friday, May 20, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blogging from the iPad

You may have noticed, I've been blogging from the iPad. Totyal. First let's look at some pictures of the unboxing ceremony.

Malik was asleep when we opened it, so we settled for a photo of the iPad with his chubby feet.

I have the basic blogging apps down pat: (1) Blog Press, which is the platform that I use to compose and upload posts, (2) Dropbox, which is what I use to keep and download pictures since the iPad doesn't have a USB slot, and (3) Side by Side, which is what I use for "research" since it allows me to open 2 browsers at once.

I love the convenience that this contraption affords me. I am literally blogging on the go - while waiting for Pao to pick me up, at the restaurant, while waiting in line at the bank etc. Also, since this version comes with a camera, I don't have to deal with cables. I just snap photos and access them when it's time to blab away in the blog.

On the other hand, I do have a lot in my wish list when it comes to blogging from the iPad. I'm listing them down here in the hopes that someone could tell me how to fix them. So far, I don't like that -

- The photos are pathetic. The camera on the iPad 2 is able to shoot photos at .92 megapixels. Ano yan. Hindi man lang umabot ng 1!

/Photo of Malik taken just now. Superrrr low-res!/

- I can't format my posts. Goodbye italics, underline and bold.
- I can't include videos in my posts.
- I can't place links.
- There are just too many spaces between paragraphs even when I don't see them in the draft.
- I can't put captions on my pictures.
- I can't tag my posts.

As you can see, there are just too many CAN'Ts up there (Uy, parang bastos yun. Haha) I can live with the iPad as it is, but the blogging tools that I have here are so very basic. I wish someone comes up with a solution; preferably, one that does not involve shelling out some more $$$. Help?

- Posted via BlogPress for iPad

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Growing Up in Claveria*

My dad stayed in the hospital for four days last week. I'm glad he's up and about now, and back to reading the blog. Yey.

I thought for today, I could share a speech that my dad wrote for his high school reunion early this year. I edited it a little, but it's mostly his.

There isn't really anything fantastic about the speech (sorry, Daddy), but it provides us a glimpse of what life was like in the late 1950s for a high school kid. Personally, the speech taught me things about my dad's life that I wouldn't have known about otherwise. Who knew, for example, that he ran off the stage in embarrassment when he forgot a few lines in a declamation contest?

Anyway, the [condensed version of the] speech is quoted after the jump. It's still admittedly long, but worth the read in my opinion.

* My dad grew up in the town of Claveria, Cagayan. It is on the northernmost tip of Luzon and is 1,000,000,000 kilometers away from Manila (at least, we think it is that far away when we go there. Saksakan siya ng layo!). My father "comes home" to Cagayan at least once in a couple of months. I say he comes home to it because it's where he is most at home. Manila, which is where he's been raising his family, is really just a pit stop.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Malik's off to school!

It looks like it anyway. Heehee Last week, Malik got his ID for toddler church -

I love that VCF finally thought of making IDs for the kids. I used to have to line up and register Malik everytime we attended Sunday service. Now we go straight to the toddler room. The ID has a barcode, so they just "shoot" that with their laser thing-a-ma-jig and we're good to go. Each toddler ID comes with a small plastic tag that we use when we pick up Malik from the room. The tag has a matching bar code. So hi-tech.

The backpack is our latest sneaky contraption. You see, Malik doesn't want to be held by his arms when he's walking around the mall. This backpack is actually a harness disguised as a bag. Malik has no idea that he's tethered to us when he's wearing it. He thinks he's free to move around. Ha!

/And he's off!/

The bag is from a company called Safe Fit. I got it for $15 or around PhP600. It's available on Amazon.

In contrast to regular toddler harnesses, Malik can still use this when he grows older as a regular bag. It's reflectorized too. The Safety Patrol would approve!

- Posted via BlogPress for iPad

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Today we take a moment to marvel in awe at His majesty.

Taken at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, Arizona USA (April 2011)

- Posted via BlogPress for iPad

Saturday, May 14, 2011


This week we replaced our old refrigerator. We've had it since we got married four years ago. It served its purpose when it was just Pao and myself living in a 56 sq.m. box. But now that Malik's around, and with him came 2 helpers and a refrigerator-full of food, a decision was made that it was time for an upgrade.

/The one on the left is our old refrigerator. Ang cute no? Heehee/

The first thing that Pao did was to rearrange our ref magnets. These were accumulated over the years from mine and (mostly) Pao's travels. They don't look as cramped now -

Even the Batanes ref magnet doesn't look as pitiful -

(Note to Batanes enterpreneurs: Make decent magnets!)

So far, we're happy with our new refrigerator. Now we don't have to go to the grocery as often because there's just more space to stock food. Plus, we can already buy ice cream! Wee (Our old ref was so small it couldn't keep an ice cream tub frozen. Kawawa.) The only person in our household who isn't too happy with this purchase is Malik. He used to play with the ref magnets, but now that they're way up there, he can't. Yes.

- Posted via BlogPress for iPad

Friday, May 13, 2011

Terrible Twos

I've been warned about the Terrible Twos but I didn't care about it so much as to learn how to deal with it until it was too late. At 17 months, Malik has begun throwing temper tantrums and saying "No" to everything we say. I'm glad I'm usually calm when he leans backwards, refuses to be picked up, mops the floor with his body and flops like a fish -

I mostly find such episodes amusing. I understand the world must generally be frustrating for pogi boy. He wants to explore, put things in his mouth, run unhampered in the streets, la di da. But as soon as he starts having fun, adults take things away. Boo.

I've experimented with a couple of approaches to the Terrible Twos and so far, here's what I think of them -

Does NOT work: Time Out. I tried this the other day when Malik slapped my mom in the face ( Wait, this sounds too dramatic. Haha But really, the more accurate Tagalog term would be "palo." ) I told Malik what he did was "not nice" and made him stand in a corner of the living room. He unfortunaely thought we were playing peek-a-boo so he was smiling the entire time. Not the punishment that I had in mind. Nyi.

Malik: "Bo-ring."

WORKS: Distraction. This one works like a charm, especially because we know what Malik likes now. For example, Malik usually throws a tantrum when its time to get out of the bathroom after a bath. But the other day, he heard Manny Pacquiao's fight versus Shane Mosley in the news and he offered to be picked up! Our other fail-proof distraction is any one of Malik's basketballs. He is sure to forget whatever it was he was crying about as soon as we hand him one.

WORTH A TRY: Empathy. I read in parenting threads that I should let Malik know that I understand his frustration if he doesn't get what he wants. If he can't play with my mobile phone, for example, I could tell him "You must feel sad because you can't play with mommy's phone. (make sad face) But I think we can find some other thing that you can play with. (open toy box) What would you like to play with today, Malik?" I'm giving this strategy a try one of these days mostly because I believe in speaking to Malik as I would do an adult. I labor under the assumption that he understands what I mean, so long as I am honest with him. Right, Malik?

How about you? Any tips on how to deal with the Terrible Twos?

- Posted via BlogPress for iPad

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mom's 60th

Meet my mom -

She celebrated her 60th birthday a month ago (Yes, posts in this blog are that delayed now). We had lunch with family at Sambokujin in Eastwood.

Bagong kalbo pa si Malik dito.
I wasn't able to take pictures of the food because Ate Bear wasn't with us and you know how chaotic things can get in buffet restaurants. Malik was running all over the place at first. He ran out of energy fast enough as expected -

Malik fell asleep while holding a box... 
Anyway, the food was okay. I'm just glad I finally got to try a smokeless grill buffet. We've been trying to get into Yakiniku in Trinoma / Tomas Morato since forever but haven't had luck getting seats.

Ok. So I just thought this would be an excellent opportunity for me to introduce my family. Here we are -

This is my nephew Gabby. It was his birthday yesterday. We took him to a toy store in Eastwood last night, and he spent too long picking out a toy. Excited! Haha He's too funny.

I should follow Gabby around one of these days. He does the oddest things, like this -

I honestly didn't know my mom qualifies for senior citizen privileges this year. That just goes to show how time flies. Look at the first photo above. And then compare it with this photo of my mom back in the day when she was studying in the tiny town of Ballesteros, Cagayan -


Monday, May 9, 2011

Make Your Momma Proud

So yesterday Manny the "Pacman" Pacquiao beat "Sugar" Shane Mosley by unanimous decision, thereby retaining the title of WBO welterweight champion. I have several thoughts on the match. If you care to read about them, be my guest. :)

First off, Jinkee, girl, take it easy on the collagen. You're beautiful as you are. Seriously. Quit it before you turn into La Greta.

Secondly, uy, pogi pala si Sugar Shane Mosley. Too bad all he did in the fight was to run away from Manny. Haha Anyway, he got at least $5M yesterday. That's a decent enough amount to retire on. Good for him.

I'm sure a lot of fans are disappointed at how the match turned out. The NY Times has called yesterday's match a "bromance" and a "glorified sparring session." At some point, it did look like Pacquiao and Mosley were in love. Yikee. Mosley wasn't even trying to throw punches at Pacquiao anymore. Boo.

Lumaban ka naman, Bro.

At least Pacquiao was forthright on his feelings about the match. He said he wanted to entertain the fans. So even though he won, he looked and sounded disappointed at not being able to knock Mosley out (and well also disappointed at Mosley's "performance"). We have to hand it to Manny when it comes to these things. For him it's a choice between being stellar and nil. Mediocre-ville is not a place he wants to be in.

Since it was also Mother's Day yesterday, we were told in church that there are several ways by which we can honor our mothers. One would be through words, as in telling our mothers that we love them everyday. But the more interesting way to honor our moms is through our lives: We honor our mothers by what we do. In that sense, yesterday's win must have been an excellent Mother's Day gift for mommy Dionisia (that, and the Hermes Birkin that she's been dropping hints for. Heehee)

On that note, I'd just like to share that moms were given chocolate flowers at church yesterday. Some children from Kids' Church also performed a beautiful Mom song. Awww.

Have an excellent workweek everyone!

- Posted via BlogPress for iPad

Saturday, May 7, 2011

La Petite Roche

After a few days in New Orleans, I found myself in the sleepy city of Little Rock, Arkansas.

Sleepy city = sleepy visitor (stayed at the Marriott in Downtown Little Rock)

We were there for only a couple of days, which was fine by me. My impression is that there isn't much one can do in Little Rock. In fact, their claim to fame is the Willian J. Clinton Presidential Center - a museum/convention center dedicated to, well, former US President Bill Clinton. The Center was built in 2004, which makes me wonder what brought tourists to Little Rock before Clinton became President. Hmmm.

So what is a visitor to do in Little Rock? Why take a picture with The Little Rock of course! Here it is -

Fact tidbit: In the 1700s, a French explorer landed on the south banks of the Arkansas river. He found "la Petite Roche" (The Little Rock) there, after which the city was thereafter named. The Little Rock had a practical purpose, as it was used by travellers as a landmark for navigation. Now it just sits in the bank so tourists like us can take pictures. Wee.

The other highlight of my trip (if I can call it a highlight haha) was having beer at Boscos,while overlooking the Arkansas river. Boscos is a restaurant and brewing company. They brew their own beer in house -

That's the brewing tank in the background.

People who know me, know that I am a beer lover. This is probably the result of 8 years of beer- drinking and merry making in UP. Yuz. This said, I loved Boscos' Famous Flaming Stone brew -

Boscos Famous Flaming Stone Beer: "North America's Original Steinbier. Brewed using a traditional German technique, stones heated in Boscos wood-fired ovens are lowered into the beer during the brewing process, giving the beer its unique caramel character." In fairness, matamis siya. Tasted like San Mig Super Dry, except it's $10 more expensive.

And with that, we bid adieu to Little Rock. Next up, Las Vegas!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Queen of New Orleans

If I had a day to myself in Louisiana, I would go on one of those tours to see old plantation homes along the Mississippi River. But alas, I only had a few hours after work to explore the City of New Orleans. I had to make the most of the little time that I had and I'm glad  I did.

On my third day of intermittently exploring "Nor-leans" (at least this was how I heard the locals pronounce their city :D) , I think I've seen enough to realize that the city has more history and culture to offer than most North American stops. If you're ever in those parts of the world, with limited time and budget like myself, I suggest you try these -

WARNING: What follows is a photo-heavy post!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Today never happened before

Off-days happen. I am genuinely thankful for my family, our health, the food on our table, the roof over our heads and generally, for work. But sometimes, the drudgery of everyday tasks takes its toll on me. It plays tricks on my brain. I get bored, or frustrated. And on really bad days, I just don't care.

On those days, I'm glad I have a husband who pulls me out of my rut. He drags me to a Switchfoot concert, where I get to listen to good music -

"We were meant to live for so much more..."

And where I am also serendipitously introduced to Tim Foreman -


He's the bassist, the one with the wettest t-shirt (2nd from the left) and currently, my new reason for believing in humanity.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
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