Weekend Snapshot # 34 - Bela's Gift for Mom & Dad

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bela started attending her summer class at Mind Specialist School last April 15, 2009. One thing I noticed when we had our trial class was they really do nice art works. They even have a one -on-one session where they will teach and guide the kids with their art work.

It has only been 1.5 weeks since Bela started attending class at MSS and we can really see that she already started to love doing art works more since she will even ask us to get her water color and coloring paper so she can do her artwork when she is at home.

I called home during lunch time today to check on Bela and my mom told me that she is doing her art work again. When I asked my mom to pass the phone to Bela so I can talk to her, this is what she said:

Mom: “Hi baby. What are you doing?”
Bela: “I am painting. I am doing this for you so you will be happy. So you will no longer cry.”

I was so touched upon hearing her say that and I was so excited to go home so I can see what she did for me. And this is Bela’s gift for mom.

She also did one for her dad when I arrived and she excitedly showed it to her dad and was really happy when she saw how happy her dad is for her gift.

Color this time...

And so I thought that we are done with making decisions about our car purchase and I can start looking for my diet pills….

I received a call from our car agent last Friday and she is asking us to confirm what color we want for our car. Our options are red, dark blue, silver, beige and black.

When we went to Toyota Balintawak a few weeks ago, we saw on display a blue Vios 1.5G. We love the color and so we decided that we will have that color for our new Vios. But good thing we decided to visit Toyota again last Friday because the color that we saw for the Vios 1.5G is not really blue, but is medium silver. The blue that is available for the Vios 1.3 E is a bit darker than the shade for the 1.5G and it is not the shade of blue that we like.

Michelle Mascardo, are car agent, was kind enough to take us to their garage so we can see how the actual color of the cars will look like with our color selection. Howell initially wanted the black color since it is very classy but it is difficult to maintain. So we end up getting the Beige Vios 1.3 E.

So there….we will pay the down payment tomorrow and hopefully this is really the end for all our decision making for our car purchase. LOL. Like what I said, it is really difficult to make decisions because we really want to get the best value for our hard earned money. (Hirap maging dukha. LOL).

Vios 1.3E

Monday, April 27, 2009

Finally, we were able to make our final decision on what car we will buy. I was telling my friend that it is really difficult for us since it is the first time for us to buy a brand new car and it is our hard earned money that we will be spending here so we really want to make sure of our decision. But finally, we already decided on what car to buy so I can concentrate now on other things, like looking for a Mesothelioma lawyers since I have been promising my friend for the longest time now that I will help her look for one.

After numerous discussions with hubby and after computing and comparing prices and weighing the pros and cons as well as defining what our goal is for buying a new car, we decided that we will just get the Toyota Vios 1.3E. One of the major reasons for coming up with this decision is that the Vios 1.3E very well fits our budget so we won’t have a hard time paying for our monthly dues for our auto loan. Second is we realized that we just need a car for now since this car will basically just be used by Bela everyday she goes to school. (I promised hubby that since our second loan will expire next year, he can buy whatever car he wants next year since I know that he is really drooling for the Honda City 1.3S or the Mitsubishi Strada).

Hubby would have wanted to buy the Honda City 1.3S but I told him to make an Excel file of his monthly budget to check if we can really afford the monthly due if we buy a Honda City. And he agreed that since we are planning for baby # 2 for this year, we should start saving and avoid any unnecessary expense.

So it will be Toyota Vios 1.3E for us. We already signed the contract with BPI last Friday and our car agent confirmed that it will be released this Wednesday. We are really so excited.
Photo snagged from Toyoto Philippines Website.

Meet our Family

Meet the Laguerta Family. Saw this on Aggie and Jacqui’s site and I got intrigued and tried it too. Just like Aggie, this is exactly how my drawing will look like if I will be asked to make a drawing of our family. LOL.

Stick Figure Family at FreeFlashToys.com

Make your Stick Figure Family at FreeFlashToys.com

Howell is into a lot of sports but bowling is his most favorite but it is not available on the site so I just chose a male stock figure playing basketball.

As for me, I am one boring person so this is the closest thing that I can select to represent me.

And since bela just loves swimming so much, I chose a stick figure of her wearing a bathing suit. And of course, I should not forget her crown because she is our princess bratinela. LOL.

And of course, I should not forget our cute Labrador, Sassy.

Will be teaching again...

Howell attended the monthly meeting of Philippine Society for Industrial Security (PSSI) where he is a member, last Saturday at Bayview Hotel, Manila. He only learned about PSIS from his colleague who is also a member. He got really interested after talking to his colleague and after reading a few technical and vocational schools guide because IT Security is one of the major aspects of his job and he feels that getting a certification will help him advance in his career. Also having the opportunity to meet different professionals in the Security field will help broaden his experience when it comes to Security. So he took the exam to be a Certified Security Professional last year.

He is really so happy when he got his certification. But his joy was even doubled when he got a call from one of the Board of Directors last week and he was asked to be the resource speaker of PSIS about IT Security for all their upcoming trainings this year. He is really excited and honored since he knows that he will deliver trainings to high ranking officials and managers of different companies, so being trusted with this responsibility by the PSIS board is really a big honor.

He presented his training plan to the Board of Directors last week and it was well accepted. They already gave him their training schedule for this year and he might even be sent to their trainings in other provinces like Davao, Cebu, Palawan, Baguio, and Naga. (I am excited since we can join him and have a vacation at the same time. LOL).

Congrats Dad. Bela and I are so proud of all your accomplishments.

Is it really a Real Deal?

I was looking for Wii accessories online for my cousin as our birthday gift for him but then my attention was caught by the current promo that Philippines Airlines (PAL) is running, PAL’s “The Real Deal” promo. Booking period is from April 27-28, 2009 which is valid for travel from June 15 – October 15, 2009 for Asia and Guam and from June 15 – December 25, 2009 for USA and Canada.

Round Trip, All in rates from Manila to Hong Kong and Macau is only $58, Manila to Bangkok, Singapore and Saigon is only $78, Manila to Beijing, Jakarta and Shanghai is only $108. Round trip airfares from Manila to Australia, US and Canada are being offered at discounted prices also.

I tried booking for Singapore and Bangkok and the total airfare is really cheap (even cheaper compared to the zero fare promo of Cebu Pacific). Although I read from my yahoo groups that they are having a hard time making a booking since the system always hangs when they are trying to make a payment for the reservation.

Anyways, as for me, I can’t make any plans not until June since it is only in June that hubby will get his training confirmation. And since we can only afford one major travel for this year, we have to wait first if his training will push through or not and it is only then that we can make our travel plans for my cousin.

Photo snagged from PAL's website.

Fully Booked

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I mentioned on my other blog that Howell be going out with his colleagues this coming May 9-10 for their annual section outing and Bela and I will be joining them. They are planning to stay overnight in any of the resorts in San Juan Batangas. Bela and I are both excited to go back to the beach again. It will be a nice relief from the scorching heat of the sun.

Unfortunately, Howell informed me this morning that they are having a hard time looking for accommodations since it is only two weeks away from now and you know how packed resorts are (specially in Batangas) during the summer months. I even helped them call all the resorts in Laiya to look for a place, but all the resorts are already fully booked all weekends of May.

So I am not sure if this will still push through or not. As for me, I don’t really care if the resort that they will find will be a five star resort or not. As long as I am with Howell and Bela (and the bathrooms are clean and well maintained, LOL) then nothing else really matters to me.

So wish us luck!

What's Your Travel Personality?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I saw this on Amanda’s site and I got curious as to what my travel personality is.

Your Travel Personality Is: Easygoing

When you travel, you're looking for a lot of downtime. Vacations are your chance to recoup.

All you need is a scenic spot and plenty of time on your hands. You'll figure out the rest.

You're not one to make lots of plans when you travel. You just follow whatever path seems right.

Although the last part which says that I do not make lots of plans when I travel may not really be true as some of you may know that I really plan ahead of time and do some research because I always want to travel on a budget and I find planning ahead a good way to save money.

If I were to ask for my travel wish list, my list will include:

1. Europe. Hubby will be going on training this August to Germany and he is convincing me to go. We talked about it and we both agree that we can’t bring Bela for this trip since if I will go, we will definitely go around Europe and so we will be moving from one country or city to the next and we don’t think Bela can bear that constant move. We plan to visit 6-7 places which includes Italy, Paris, Rome, Prague, London, Berlin, Frankfurt so we will just be in one city for just a couple of days. But I am still not 100% definite if I am going or not. I am already saving up for it and I already inquired with travel agencies for the cost of the airfare but thinking that I will be away from Bela for two weeks makes me really think twice about this trip. We will see. I still have a few months to decide.
2. Cape Town Africa and join a safari tour.
3. Florida so we can enjoy Disneyworld with Bela.
4. Tokyo, Disneyland so we can enjoy Disneyland and Disney Sea with Bela.
5. Australia
6. Dubai
7. Egypt. My friend is telling me about how much he wants to join a gay travel here in Egypt as he heard it is really a fun experience that he wants to try.
8. Greece
9. New Zealand and join the Lord of the Rings Tour
10. I wanted to go back to New York when I have lots of money for shopping so I can shop like the girls of Sex and the City. LOL. I was also not able to join the Sex and the City Tour when we were there since I did not realize that I have to book way in advance to join the tour so I really want to visit New York again for this.

How I wish I have all the time and the money in the world for travel.

Weekly Round Up #35

For the week of April 13 – 17. Join us here.

Since this is the week after the long Lenten Season break, I was so lazy to get out of bed Monday morning to go to work. But I know that we still have a lot of work to do, so I have no choice but to get out of bed.

It was a busy Monday morning that I was out of my office the whole morning. Tuesday was still the same as we are still swamped with work.

Wednesday was Bela’s first day at summer class so I accompanied her to her new school. I was happy and sad at the same time because she was so independent already. We brought her to her classroom and she started playing with the blocks and with her new classmate. When I told her that we will go down and wait for her there, she just gave me a kiss and said bye-bye. Oh my, time move so fast. My daughter is really so independent now.

Friday, I got a call from BPI that our auto loan is already approved. So we will go ahead with purchasing our car this coming week (but I think Howell is having second thoughts again as to what car to buy. LOL.)

Saturday, we went to Ace Water Spa again for Bela’s class and to treat my cousin Aliah and Jego since they got good grades in school and they are both in the honor list. (I will make a separate post about this.)

Sunday, we are just here at home as we still have no car and we will just go to church later.

More Updates on my Nanay

My grand mother is doing ok now after her accident last Good Friday (you can read the whole story here.) She visited our family doctor (instead of going back to the Emergency Room of Chinese General Hospital) last Thursday and the doctor removed the stitching of her wound and the doctor said that my grandmother is in the best condition.

We are glad that nothing really bad happened to our grandmother. She must be really scared too since she is not used to going to the hospital. She may be 83 years old already but her health condition is better than my mom or my aunt. She has no high blood pressure, her cholesterol and sugar level are ok and she is really as healthy as a horse. It is because she really takes good care of her health. She is always conscious of what she eats (she rarely eats meat and other fatty foods), she always does her early morning walk as her exercise, she always has her medical supplies and she never fails to drink her vitamins and supplements which she always orders from Allegro Medical (she set an auto order policy so she will not fail to get her monthly supply of vitamins and supplements).

Nanay, we are glad that you are doing ok now. Do take care of yourself always and we love you very much.

Looking for a Web Host

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I did a back up of all my blogs today. I remember there was an incident before when a number of my friends’ blogs were hacked and so they have to restore everything from scratch. Good thing their web host always performs a back up of their blogs so they were able to restore it in no time.

But the problem with my blogs is that I am just using the free hosting service of Blogger and so I have to perform a manual backup of all my blogs every month just to be sure that in case anything happens to my blog, I can readily restore it from backup. Another problem with my blogs is that I don’t store everything in one central location – all my posts are uploaded to Blogger, then I upload all pictures to Webshots or Flickr and then I upload all my videos to You Tube. So this means that I have three different sources if I want to restore my blog which can make restoration and management of my blog quite complex.

And since I have come to love blogging (and this is evident by the four blogs that I currently maintained), I am thinking of starting to organize my blogs and find a web hosting service where I can host all my four blogs so all the contents, from the posts, to the pictures and videos, will just be in one central location. This will really make management of my blogs simpler and having a web host will really give me an assurance that all the contents of my blog are safe and are being back up everyday.

My only requirements for a web host are just simple. Of course it has to be affordable, it offers unlimited disk space and if possible it offers free domain name. Do you have any recommendations?

Weekend Snapshot # 33 - My ArtsCow Project

Monday, April 13, 2009

ArtsCow has been introduced to me by my good friend Peachy. It is a Hong Kong based company that does digital photo printing, photo books and custom gifts at a very affordable price. They sometimes even have promos where they offer free shipping for all items ordered.

When you sign up with them, they have a new member promo where you ca have a 20 pages photo book printed for only $9.99 with free shipping. So when I learned about this, I immediately started to work on my Photo Book. And this is what I have been working on:

Since I don’t have the time to do a lay out in Adobe Photoshop, I just used ArtsCow photo book creator where I just have to choose the theme, the background, the lay out and I can even add embellishments by a simple drag and drop action and in just minutes, I was able to finish my first few pages.

I have been working on my first photo book for months now and hopefully I will be able to finish with it soon because I can't wait to have my first photo book to be printed and delivered at my doorstep.

Top 10 Celebrity and Sports Stars earners for 2008

Are you wondering how much Hollywood stars and Sports icons actually make? Here are the Top 10 Celebrity and Sports Stars earners for 2008.

1. Tyler Perry - $125 Million
2. Tiger Woods - $110 Million
3. Jay-Z - $82 Million
4. Beyonce - $80 Million
5. Alex Rodriguez - $34 Million
6. Will Ferrell - $31 Million
7. Jennifer Aniston - $27 Million
8. Danica Patrick - $7 Million
9. Taylor Swift - $5.5 Million
10. Patrick Dempsey - $3.5 Million

With a salary like this, who would need jobs in banking or jobs in IT or jobs in Sales? But I am not complaining. My IT job has been our bread and butter and it has helped my family enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

And speaking of work, the long weekend is now over and tomorrow, I will be going back to reality again. The four day break is indeed quite short and will never be enough. I wish I can just stay at home, sleep the whole day, pig out, and just enjoy all the time with my daughter and hubby.

But tomorrow, I have to face reality and I have to go back to being a slave again. LOL.

Update on my Nanay

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The 48 hour period of observation for my grand mother has lapsed and we are very thankful because she did not experience any signs that she has internal bleeding (which would require her to undergo CT scan) like vomiting, high grade fever, ear and nose bleeding and the like.

Our family friend, Tita Baby, who is a nurse visited her this evening to change the dressing of her wound and to clean it also. This coming Thursday, she has to go back to the Emergency Room of Chinese General Hospital so the intern who attended to her when we brought her in last Friday, will check on her wound again.

We are so thankful that our nanay is safe now and she only has to wait for her wound to heal. If something really bad ever happened to her, I will never ever really forgive myself. On the night of her accident, I was not able to sleep well because I kept on seeing images of the accident in my head even up to the point when she was brought to the hospital. I can feel her pain and her fear because I was with her at the hospital.

But I am really thankful for all your prayers and to the Big Man up there who have heard our prayers.

Because of the accident, I am looking now for insurance lead generation specially for my nanay. She is old already and being a working mother, she was not able to save up for her medical expenses since she was the only one working for her family. So my siblings and my other cousins agreed that we will all share to pay for her medical insurance and they asked me to immediately look for one for our dear Nanay.

The power of your credit card on your CP

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Have you heard about CitiMobile? It is a new service being offered by Citibank where you can charge purchases and payments to your Citibank card with just a single text message.

So how does it work?

1. First you have to enroll your Citibank Card to CitiMobile. You can do this by calling the 24 hour CitiPhone at 995-9992.
2. Then asked to be enrolled in CitiMobile.
3. The CitiPhone officer will get details from you to verify your account and will process the enrollment in CitiMobile. The CitiPhone officer will ask for the cellphone number that you want to link to your CitiMobile account. After successful enrollment, you will receive a text message containing your temporary Mobile Pin.
4. Change your temporary Mobile Pin for security purposes by following the instructions indicated on the text message that you received.
5. Then you will receive a text message again confirming the successful change of your Mobile Pin.

When this is done, you are now ready to order, purchase and pay using CitiMobile and all transactions will be charged to your Citibank card without even using your card or swiping it.

I have tried using my CitiMobile to pay for the food that we ordered from Shakeys and the transaction was a breeze. I just called Shakeys to order the food that I want for delivery and informed them that I want to pay using CitiMobile. They just asked for my cellphone number and after a few seconds, I received an SMS message indicating my balance and after inputting my Mobile Pin, my order was confirmed and delivered.

I am already an IT personnel but I was still amazed at how quick, fast and simple this technology works. As of now, McDonalds and Shakeys are the only merchants that accepts CitiMobile as mode of payment for their deliveries but hopefully more merchant will be added to the list as this is really a more convenient and safe method of payment for all my orders.

Note: Each text message sent will cost P2.50.

Blue Coral Resort: My Rating

I posted our pictures of our last beach getaway adventure at Blue Coral Beach Resort a few weeks back. I remember somebody left a comment here or has sent me an email for feedbacks about our stay at Blue Coral and here are my reviews.

1. They don’t accept credit cards so I have to deposit our reservation fee at the nearest BPI branch. Good thing that there is a BPI bank right across from where I work so it is not really a big hassle for me. Although, a few days before our booking date, they have requested to make another deposit for the full payment of our reservation for a guaranteed booking as this is their policy so I have to go to BPI twice just to confirm my reservation with them.
2. Their standard check in time is 3:00 PM. When we went to La Luz Beach Resort last year, they allowed us to enter the resort even before the allowed check-in time and we can just use the cabanas while waiting for the availability of our room. With Blue Coral, they insist that we can only enter the resort after lunch. I have to avail of their lunch buffet for the first day (since our overnight meal package only includes PM snacks and Dinner for the first day and Breakfast and lunch for the second day) so they will allow us to enter the resort by 10 AM.
3. By 12:30 PM, our room is already available so they allowed an early check in for us.
4. Their room rate I think is cheaper compared to La Luz. We paid P5800 for a room which they say can accommodate 6-8 persons but the room is small for 6-8 persons. There is only two queen size bed so 2 of us have to sleep on the mattress. But their room is clean though and they have a very big restroom with bathtub
5. The drainage system in their restroom is not working and there is no water supply during the early morning.
6. The food is just so-so, nothing really special and they have fewer food choices for their buffet compared to La Luz resort.
7. The facilities are ok. We love their swimming pool and Bela just love their kiddie pool that she doesn’t want to get out of the pool even if it is dinner time already.
8. The staff are friendly and courteous.
9. Their beach is better than La Luz since there are a lot of corals near the shoreline in La Luz so if you are not wearing aqua shoes, it will be difficult to swim around. But if you love to do snorkeling, La Luz’s beach is better since you don’t have to go far to see fishes since the corals are just near the shoreline.
10. The beach front is clean and well maintained.
11. They have a bar that plays loud music and serve guests until 10 PM. The bar is situated right in the middle of the resort (around the guest rooms) so we can hear the loud music being played so even though we are so tired already after a long day, we were not able to go to sleep early since the party outside was so noisy and we can really hear the noise from our room.

But overall, even though I don’t consider Blue Coral as one of the unique hotels / resorts, we might still go back to this resort as this is the closest resort from the city where we can enjoy the white sandy beaches and has a swimming pool (most of the resorts in San Juan Batangas don’t have a swimming pool and the other resort that has an Infinity Pool is very pricey for our budget).

Ice Cold Coke

I am craving for a cold bottle of Coke. We are already in our room since it is already 11:00 PM and Bela is already fast asleep. Howell just finished shutting down his computer and he is already ready to lie down to sleep when I thought that I want a cold bottle of Coke. Nope, I am not pregnant (or at least that’s what I think. LOL.) It was just so hot and humid today and since I still have a lot of tasks to do online and so I need my daily dose of sugar to keep me awake.

And so when Howell was about to lie down:

Me: “Dad, I am so thirsty. I want a cold bottle of Coke.”
Howell: “Mommy I am so sleepy already and all the stores are already close. I promise I will buy you Coke first thing tomorrow morning.”
Me: “Do you love me? Please, I want a bottle of Coke.”
Howell: “Mom, promise I will get you a Coke tomorrow morning.”
Me: “Daddy, please I am so thirsty already. Can I have a bottle of Coke?”
Howell: “Hmm, mommy you are like Bela. You are so kuyit (kulit)”

He was complaining but he was already getting up so he can go out to buy my Coke. And a few minutes after, he was holding in his hands two glasses of Coke filled with ice and my craving was satisfied.

I love you dad for doing this. Imagine, this is how bad I am when I am craving for something and I am not even pregnant yet. LOL.

TY to Dr. Eric De Castro

Before I look for credit report services, I just like to make a post first to thank Dr. Eric De Castro (the intern who attended to my grand mother) when we brought her to the Emergency Room this afternoon. (You can read the whole story about it here.) I was also not able to get the name of the lady intern and the male nurse who acted right away to attend to my grandmother. The lady Intern, cleaned the wound of my grandmother and the male nurse immediately took my grandmother to the X-ray Station so she can have her X-ray.

I am so thankful to Dr. Eric because even though there was no nursing aid assisting him, he was able to attend to my grandmother right away and he was able to close the wound to stop the gushing of blood. There was even a time when he asked us to wear gloves to apply pressure on the wound to stop the blood (there was a blood vessel that was hit and so the blood won’t stop oozing) since there was no one helping him while he is doing the surgery. There was even one nurse who stopped by to look at my grandmother and when Dr. Eric asked her to wear gloves to assist him, the nurse just had a blank look on her face and all she can say was “Why would I do that?” (I though that she was joking, but she left after saying that and she never came back.)

But even though we experience some boo-boos, the service that we got today was far better than the service that we always get at the ER of CGH. Maybe, there was not enough staff since it is the Holy Week so there is not enough nurses present to attend to all the emergency cases. But just the same, if not for this one nurse who snob Dr. Eric and my grandmother, everybody was extremely helpful to us and to my grandmother and we will be forever thankful for taking good care of her.

Please continue to pray for my grandmother as we have to observe her condition for 48 hours and hopefully she is already on the road to complete recovery.

Our Good Friday

Friday, April 10, 2009

Every Good Friday, we are at our grand mother’s house as she always cook our favorite food “ginataan” and we also prepare a little something (sandwich and iced tea) for our Lenten tradition, Caridad.

It was only 1:30 PM and we plan to give away the sandwich to the kids around 3:00 PM but since it is very humid inside, my mom, my aunt, Bela and I are sitting outside my grandmother’s house. We were playing with Bela as she is asking us to teach her how to write. My 83 years old grandmother went out to watch Bela too. She took a mono block chair and when she sat on it, she did not notice that one of the legs of the chair went inside the hole of the canal cover and so her chair tip over and she fell down with it. My aunt, my mom and I was so shocked at what happened to my grandmother that we all froze in shock.

After a few seconds, we all run towards her. My mom was in panic already and she was shouting that almost all our neighbors run towards us to help us. My mom helped my grand mother up and she checked on my grandmother’s head because we saw that it hit the floor. My mom started shouting again when she felt the blood in her hands. My uncle heard us and went running outside too. He tried to cover the wound on my grandmother’s head and the wound was already oozing with blood.

My dad started the engine of the car right away and we took her to Chinese General for immediate attention. I was so shocked too but my mom and my aunt are hyperventilating already and my aunt even dropped that digital frame that she was cleaning, so I accompanied my aunt and my dad to Chinese General Hospital.

My grandmother is safe at home now. She was discharge from the Emergency room after they close her wound with three sets of stitches. But we still have to observe her condition within 48 hours for any signs of head injury like drowsiness, ear and nose bleeding, vomiting, high fever and hallucination.

I hope my grandmother will really be ok. I am so thankful that our dear Lord heard our prayers as there is no fracture on my grandmother’s head. I cried after I heard the good news and I am really thankful that He did take care of my beloved “Nanay.” I don’t know if I can ever forgive myself (because I did not act fast enough) if something bad ever happened to my dear grandmother.

Rabbits, don't get it, ouch and randomness

Join us here.

1. What was the last thing you ate? Ripe mango picked from the tree outside our house.
2. I say the color purple.. what do you think of? Purple is my favorite color. I have all sorts of purple things, from bags, to watches, to blouses, etc. Purple is even my color motif when I got married.
3. Lamps or ceiling lights? Ceiling lights. We don’t have lamps since we have a toddler at home so we have to child proof our home.
4. What color rabbit is your favorite? White.
5. Your car breaks down on a deserted road and your cell phone has no signal - what do you do? I will definitely cry.
6. What is one thing most of your friends do online that you just can't understand the fascination and do not participate in? I can’t think of any right now because I think I do almost the same things as what my other online friends does.
7. What do you need right now? Cold bottle of Coke.
8. And your most serious injury you've had was....? When I fell our of a caterpillar ride. I have bruises everywhere and I was even brought to the Emergency Room.
9. What is the most evil thing you've ever done? I can’t think of any right now.
10. Give us some random fact about you. I am scared of heights.

Beware of this Taxi: TWJ 290

I intend to write about this that very night it happened, but I was so tired and pissed and lazy that night so I am writing about this just now.

It happened I think two weeks ago. Hubby and I went to Robinson’s to buy gifts for Bela’s teachers. Since we have no car, we have to take a cab on our way home. We waited for a cab at the taxi bay since we know that it is a sure way to get a ride since tax drivers who lined up there can’t select the passengers that they like to take. So when it is our turn, we got in the cab and we told the driver our destination. He was shouting already and he said that he doesn’t want to pass by the Pier area so we told him he can take any route he likes and since it is already a little late we assured him that for sure there will be no traffic.

He sounded like he is not happy to have us as his passenger and I was so tired already that I did not want to get off the car. He started to drive like crazy (maybe he has auto insurance coverage so he is not scared if he will hit something or somebody). He said he wanted to take the Moriones route and we told him it is totally up to him.

When we reached Moriones, he is asking us to get off his cab and we can just take a tricycle going home. But Moriones is still quite far from where we live and so I told him that we can’t get off there. So he continues to drive and when we reached Tayuman, he is asking us to get off again. But I was pissed already and I told him to stop when we told him to stop. He said that we are causing him trouble already and I told him how can we cause trouble if we are paying customers. Then when reached Solis, he is asking us to get off the cab again. Solis is just 5 minutes drive from our house so I told him again to continue driving and we will tell him when to stop. All throughout our ride, he was cussing and driving like crazy.

I got tired already with arguing with him and even though I wanted to piss him off more, I decided to get off in front of Jollibee Gagalangin and we just took a tricycle from there. We gave him the exact amount for the fare and we did not give him any tip. Besides, it barely took him like thirty minutes or less from Robinson’s to our place since the road is clear and there is no traffic.

My husband and I always have a soft spot for taxi drivers because we know that their job is hard and very tiring. So every time we encounter nice taxi drivers, we always see to it that we give them tip. We sometimes even double the fare specially if we encounter heavy traffic. But this driver is so impossible. So just a reminder, if you want to avoid abusive and crazy taxi drivers, avoid this Taxi with plate number: TWJ 290.

Grocery List

For two weeks now, we survived without any food supplies. Since we still don’t have our car, we haven’t gone to SM for our regular grocery supplies. So every morning, we have to ask our nanny to buy breakfast at the nearby market or we will just have delivery for breakfast. Good thing Bela still has her supply of snacks, juice, Dutch Mill and distilled water and we only have to run to Mercury Drug to buy her vitamins and milk. We have to buy food though and the Frontline Plus tick remover for Sassy, our Labrador.

This reminds me that since Bela will be starting her summer class next week, we need to buy her some school supplies. Hopefully we will get our car next week or the week after that so we can finally do our groceries. It is just difficult to go to the supermarket and just commute with all our big grocery bags.

Times like this make me really appreciate our old Vitara. LOL.

My List

Thursday, April 9, 2009

So many things to blog, so little time. So before I totally forget about it, let me make a list here and I promise to make a post about it as soon as I find the time:

1. Bela’s Narrative Report from Toddlers Unlimited
2. Upload more Moving Up Day Pictures
3. My review of the Blue Coral Resort
4. Our new car (although it is still not with us. Maybe after Holy Week).
5. My Artscow Photo book that I am working on for months now (I initially planned to give it as a birthday present for my dad last March 21 but I was not able to finish it. Then I intend to give it instead to my mom as our birthday present for her last April 6 but I was not able to finish it still.)
6. Hopefully, I can send my first two rolls of films that I used for my Holga camera for developing so I can upload the pictures and make a post about it too. (I’m excited because I want to find out how my shots turned out. Hopefully I can get at least one good shot.)

We have no definite plans this Holy Week. We will just stay at home and we might have our Caridad tomorrow. There are lot activities for the Holy Week (like the Senakulo and Station of the Cross) in our baranggay so I think we will participate in one of those too. Then on Sunday (hopefully, Howell will have the energy to drive to Ortigas on a Sunday), we will attend the Zoorific Easter Party at Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Family Vacation

I got a call from my aunt the other day and she is asking if we are going on a Family Vacation anytime soon. She is the sister of my mom and she is now living in Rizal with her husband and three kids. Rizal is a couple of hours away from where we live so we rarely get to see her and her family. So she wanted me to plan a vacation getaway so we will get a chance to spend some time with her and her family.

She said that they wanted a very relaxing resort and not like the party paradise, Boracay Island which is very crowded especially this summer months. She said that she saw the Mexican Riviera Maya where guests are really pampered and her favorite is the suite rooms that has a magnificent view of the ocean. Plus the resort is so kid friendly since they have a lot of activities that the whole family can enjoy.

Of course, we can’t afford a quick summer getaway in the Mexican Riviera Maya anytime soon. That would take a lot of saving and budgeting before we can afford that. Maybe a Bohol trip will be something similar (although I know will not equal) the relaxing resorts of the Mexican Riviera Maya.

@ Home

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I was watching SNN and they interviewed showbiz personalities to ask them what their plans are for Holy Week. Most of them have planned for an out of town vacation like going to Boracay, Palawan, Cebu, and Bohol. And even some of them planned for an out of the country getaway with their family like going to Hong Kong, Europe and the US.

Well as for my family, we will just be at home for Holy Week. Most people find Holy Week as their only time to have their rest since it is really a long weekend so majority always takes this opportunity to go on vacation. So Manila is the best place to be this Holy Week as almost majority are out of town or out of the country so Manila is very quiet and there is no traffic. That is why every year, our family never plans a vacation during this long weekend and we just prefer to stay at home and spend some time with our family.

Who knows, maybe after Holy Week, I might get my juices going again and I will start to plan for our next family vacation. Maybe we can visit our friends in Los Angeles or visit my husband’s relatives in New York. We can join any New York Tours and enjoy their hop on- hop off bus so we can visit all the tourist destination spots in New York.

But I have to set aside our travel plans for now and we will take this opportunity to stop from our busy schedule and reflect on our life and to repent and be thankful because Jesus gave up his life to save us.

Have a blessed Lenten Season everyone.

Caramoan Adventure Package

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Have you been to Boracay this summer? My friend just got back from their recent family vacation in Boracay. She is saying that Boracay is really paradise but it is so crowded. I can just imagine, especially now that it is summer. I am sure a lot are trooping to Boracay Island to party and have fun under the sun.

But if you want to experience paradise without all the crowded resorts and teenagers partying in the beach, then you must really try Caramoan. Little is really known about Caramoan. (I guess that is the main reason why up to now it is considered as the Philippines best secret paradise). Caramoan is a second class municipality on the Caramoan Peninsula, in the province of Bicol, Camarines Sur. The only information that I know about Caramoan was that it was chosen by Survivor France to be their location for the filming of the Survivor TV Series (and I heard that it has also been chosen by Survivor Israel as their location for filming and shooting will start early 2009). But when I saw the pictures of this beautiful island paradise, I fell in love with it.

.: Photo Snagged from caramoan-paradise.blogspot.com :.

Caramoan will be one of the perfect vacation spots this summer. If you want to book a Caramoan adventure tour package, do visit this blog. They offer affordable tour packages which include:

* Accommodations
* Three (3) Breakfast Meals
* Tour Guide (3 days)
* Island Hopping Boat
* Spelunking Fee
* Cable Park and Equipment Rental Fee (CWC)
* Beginner Wakeboard
* Skis and Kneeboard
* Basic Kneeboard Instructions from Professional Wakeboarder
* CWC Swimming Pool use
* Round Trip Transfer (Land and Boat)

All of this for only P4650 per head. So book now as slots fill up fast. My siblings are planning a trip to CWC so I am sure they too will get interested with this Caramoan Adventure Package.

Happiness is….

I was reading hubby’s blog and it really put a smile on my face since I just read his recent entry about how happy he is with his life now. I don’t know what has gotten to my husband. Just recently, he asked me to marry him again. And then I read his post and I can feel that he is just so happy and contented with our life.

I was just telling him that maybe we enjoy simple pleasures in life because we have gone through a lot already. Most of you may know that my daughter was born with a congenital heart disease and when her cardiologist pronounced that the hole in her heart is totally closed, we felt that it is the best blessing that we have ever received from the Big Man up there. Just seeing how smart, healthy, independent and hopefully God fearing our daughter is, makes us really forget about all the other things that matter in life, because for us, just being with our daughter is the best gift ever.

When I was still single, I love to shop, I love to have all the new gadgets, I love to travel. I remember there was even a time when I went to the US, I visited all the places that I can go during my stay. I went to Las Vegas, to Los Angles, to Washington and to New York City with my friends. I feel that I am like one of the girls from the movie Sex and the City that I even rented for car service Laguardia Airport to take me from the airport to any places in New York. (And by the way, their service is really good as all their vehicles are in good condition and they provide on time service.) But now that I have Bela and Howell, even just a simple bonding time at home makes all the difference.

Just like what my husband said, it is only important that you are happy and contented with your life and with the guidance of God, everything else will fall into place.

He Proposed…..Again

Last Saturday, when I arrived home from work, Howell asked Bela to give me a kiss as soon as I entered our house. Then he asked me to sit beside him and he whispered to me, “How would you like to be a bride again?” And I was like, "What is he trying to say?'"

Maybe he saw my confused look and so he explained. Since it will be our fifth year anniversary next year (January 29, 2010), he wants us to have a renewal of vows. He initially planned to just surprise me and he will just ask for the help of my cousin and my sister to prepare for this. But he realized that my cousin and my sister are both busy and he is bad when it comes to planning and logistics and maybe he wants my inputs too, so he decided to spill his secret.

He told me that his initial plan is to fly all our immediate and extended relatives to Bohol and we can have the ceremony there but if I get pregnant this year, it will be difficult for me to travel so he decided to drop the idea. His plan now is to have the ceremony at Diamond Hotel and he is asking me to inquire and start preparing for it.

It really made my day and it really put a smile on my face. Imagine, hearing your husband say that he wants to marry you again really melts my heart. He is really so sweet and it really made me realized more that I married the perfect man.

With our planned trip either to Europe or US this year, I am not sure if we will still have a budget left for this. In fact we already started to make plans for our trip that I already researched about Charter bus NYC which we will hire so we will have a service while touring the Big Apple. They provide day tours and even airport pickups so it will be really convenient especially if Bela and my mom are coming with us.

January is still a few months away so I am not sure if this will really push through or not. But the thought that Howell wants to renew her promise of forever to me is already enough and I am one happy wife.

Happy Bday Lola Sexy!!

Monday, April 6, 2009


To the best mom and lola we could ever have, Happy, happy birthday!

Thank you for all the sacrifices that you have done for us. Thank you for making us who we are today. Thank you for your patience and your guidance and thank you for always being there for our dear Bela.

We love you very, very much!

~ Howell, Abie and Bela ~

Questions of the Week #52

Join us here.

1.What are you grateful for today? Another day, another life.
2. Do you form your own opinions of others before you ever get the chance to meet them in person? I have to meet them and get to know them first.
3. What would be your personalized, or vanity, license plate? HAB 129 – This is our initials and our anniversary.
4. What’s the best thing about the village/town/city you live in? All the people in our neighborhood know each other and all of them won’t hesitate to help us in any way possible.
5. Have you ever been a victim of prejudice? I think so.
6. What is your ideal vacation? A quiet, relaxing day at a 5 start beach resort with my family.
7. Does someone else’s routine force you to create your own? I can’t really say force, but my husband and I have to adjust our routines so that we will be able to attend to our daughter.
8. Are you planning any pranks for April Fool’s Day? No.
9. What has been your biggest coincidence? i can’t think of any right now
10. What do you have to say for yourself?

TY Dad & Bela

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I worked over time again yesterday. This has been a regular routine for me for the past months now. I will either stay up to 10 PM one day during the weekday or I will work the whole day either on a Saturday or a Sunday. My husband has been so used to it and I am so thankful because I never heard him complain. If I work late during the weekdays, he will even fetch me since he doesn’t want me to go home alone since it is already late. Even if he has no car (since we haven’t got the replacement for our Vitara), he will still fetch me and we will just take a cab home (Sweetness!). Then on weekends, he will stay with Bela at home or he will take Bela to her swimming class since I am at the office working.

Thank you dad and Bela for understanding my work. Don’t worry, the project is almost over and we will be back to our regular routine soon. And don’t worry because I am not spending my overtime pay for shopping. LOL. Who knows, by the end of the project I will be able to save up to afford a New York City hotel for our next family vacation (wishing!!). LOL.

Howell & Bela, one Saturday at home

I was working overtime yesterday and my husband and my daughter was left alone in the house. We still don’t have our new car so they are both stuck at home while I was at the office.

So look what they have been busy with:

Aside from doing art works, Howell told me that they have been pigging out the whole afternoon. Bela ate her pretzels and Howell was so touched because Bela wanted to share the pretzels with him. She does it by biting the pretzels on one side while she asked her dad to bite it on the other end. Howell was even able to capture it in pictures. He just used the timer because yaya was having her lunch.

I was happy that Howell and Bela did have a great time while I was out. Moments like this really makes us feel happy that God has showered us with a great blessing. That is why we are more inspired to work harder so we can give Bela a good future. That is why we are looking at another business opportunity like investing on wholesale lots so we have another source of income so we can save more for Bela’s future.