Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas 2005

World Wide Web(cam)

i spent Christmas day with my family and relatives at my lola's (grandma's) house. we were able to
chat with our folks in Canada and Maryland, thanks to one of the most wonderful inventions known to mankind (especially people overseas), the webcam.

it was a day filled with laughter, reminiscing, and surprises.

i haven't seen my aunt and uncle in Maryland for over 8 years, while our relatives in Canada have been immigrants since 2000 (oh, and they're all Canadian citizens, now).

when all three webcam windows popped up, it was total chaos!

we really miss our cousins and seeing them "live" was a perfect opportunity to poke fun at each and every one of them - which is what we normally do during reunions. haha!

unfortunately, the microphone in our webcam didn't work. darn it! we could hear both parties perfectly while they couldn't hear us. well, it was funnier at our end because we could actually listen in to their reactions and conversations.

ahh, Christmas is definitely my favorite holiday...


after opening the gifts (and more picture-taking), my family headed for San Fernando, Pampanga to sleep over at tonet's house. she works in San Miguel Corporation (Beer Division) in that area and, the lucky girl, has her own house and car to boot.

this is the second time my whole family slept over.

we had dinner at Gigster, a fancy restaurant/bar where they have an area for live bands/performers. we dined al fresco in the second floor, overlooking... the parking lot. the food was excellent! crispy pata, sinigang, garlic rice, chopsuey. *burp!*

when we got home, we instantly morphed into couch potatoes and watched cable tv.

the next day, i woke up earlier than the others, except for my mama (who's usually the first one who gets up). we had a simple breakfast and i spent a few minutes taking silly pictures of tonet's
knick knacks (she has a lot!).

while waiting for everybody to freshen up and pack up before we go, we watched Friends reruns (thank God for VCD!!). we only got to season 1. we just cannot leave without watching the episode where Ross and Rachel first got together. ^_^

before we left, i was playing around with my camera. my papa saw this as an opportunity to take family photos on tonet's bed. what was just an innocent photo turned into a full
pictorial session. tsk, tsk, tsk...

i think my papa misses photography terribly. it's been years since he last held his beloved SLRs (which are gathering dust in his cabinet).

finally, we were off to have lunch at my sister's favorite resto in Pampanga, A La Creme. it was 2:30 pm and i was famished!! i was able to take a few
photos while waiting to pass the time. thankfully, there were only a few people because of the holiday so our orders arrived quickly. they absolutely did NOT disappoint. the food was EXCELLENT! my beef salpicao disappeared in a matter of minutes (even my sisters were surprised). hey, i'm hungry. do i even have to explain myself???

diet?? never on Christmas! :)

Friday, December 23, 2005

tis the season to be jolly

2 more days till Christmas!

i can't wait to open my gifts! for as long as i can remember, it has always been a family tradition to open all our gifts on Christmas eve. so even if i got most of my gifts really early (thanks to my students and an early Christmas break), i had to rely on my EQ to keep my gifts safely tucked under our tree.

anyways, i've been thinking of the things i want to get on my favorite holiday (second to my bday, that is. hahaha!). much as i want to be selfless this year, i realized that honesty is still the best way to go. so, here goes...

my Christmas wish list:

1. track pants
- at least a couple of them. the ones i use are torn and have definitely reached their prime

2. cell phone
- my
phone is in dire need of a replacement. really. i think it's about 4 years old already! if there's a generous soul out there, please hear my plea...

3. Canon dSLR (yeah, i love Canon)
- preferably the 350D (paging star... :p)

4. a round-trip ticket around the world
- i love to dream big ^_^

5. a Bayo GC
- *sigh* i miss shopping. i miss shopping with my SVI gals more! (hi star and flor!) have you seen the clothes at
Bayo??? waaaah! @_@

6. shoes
- especially trainers. the one (yes, i only have a pair now) i'm using are wailing for a replacement

7. an underwater digicam
- yep, summer's coming...Boracay, here i come! (i wish)

8. ticket to HK Disneyland
- i'm definitely a kid at heart. actually, any Disneyland is fine with me. HK is just the nearest
branch. :D

9. scuba diving lessons (and gear!)
- another *sigh* now WHY didn't i grab this chance while i was in SVI and can actually PAY for lessons...oh yeah. I DIDN'T HAVE THE TIME!

10. a safari expedition
- then i can do like a National Geographic special where i'd be talking about the different animals i saw and...aby, stop daydreaming already!

11. a full spa treatment
- this includes a full-body massage, facial, hot oil, dip in a Jacuzzi, body mask, and bottomless fruit shake (whoo!)

12. ticket to Oprah's Favorite Things
- now who in her right mind WOULDN'T want to guest in a Favorite Things episode???? why, that's like hitting a dozen birds with one stone already! (i'm pretty sure i'll have at least three items from my wish list for free in this episode)

13. a lifetime supply of GC @ National Bookstore or Powerbooks
- do i really need to say more??

14. to work in a luxury liner daycare center
- i think i can do this on my own. but it's still nice to wish... :) i'm actually envious of percy, ricababes' brother. he works in a liner and gets to travel to different places (for free!) and meet people from various walks of life

15. my own business
- hm. this is hard. i don't even know what kind of business to put up. but i would love to be my own boss.

and lastly...

16. to meet my favorite people
- i met Bo Sanchez already. the only ones left are:
Oprah Winfrey
Nate Berkus
Chip Foose
Tyler Florence
Mario Batali
the cast of Friends
and, of course, the Fab Five!! :)

how bout you? what's on your wish list?

happy Christmas everybody!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

i like to move it, move it!

last night, our community, Servants of the Lord's Vineyard (SOLV), celebrated its 21st year anniversary with a dinner dance.

Road Kill

i was one of the offerers for the 5 pm mass so i knew i had to be early. i left the house before 4 pm to give myself allowance. i even texted some of the sisters to ask if there was available parking space in the hotel so i'll know if i have to park in Shangri-La instead.

so there i was, calmly driving the streets of Ortigas and Shaw, gloating to myself that i was such a genius for planning ahead. pshft. i should have known it wouldn't last long.

by sheer idiocy, i missed Richville hotel and drove past it. it was supposed to be near Shaw Blvd...but there were too many buses blocking my view. when i saw the next MRT stop, my gnawing dread finally hit me on the face.

i actually missed the hotel.

i was in EDSA.

there are no U-turns.

i have to go back.



i felt my conscience sprout horns and a tail. Sooooo, care to gloat again?? Think you're so smart, huh?

yeah, yeah. full speed ahead.

i made a right turn in Guadalupe. now, i've only passed that way a few times, all of which i couldn't even recall unless i was hypnotized or had a gun pointed at my head. so i had to trust my driver's instincts (if i actually had one) and pray for the best.

miracle of miracles, i found myself back in EDSA, south-bound. yipee!!

i was fighting the urge to gloat that my brilliance has saved me yet again.

but do i ever learn?? do i??? DO I???

i thought to myself, if i stayed on the left side of the road, it'll be easier for me to spot the hotel on the other side. yes, that's my plan. that's a good plan.

i was rushing towards Shaw, praying that i wasn't late for the mass. my eyes were constantly glancing at my left to check if i passed the hotel already. when i looked forward, i realized that i was nearing the fork. you know, that harmless division where the left road will take you through the tunnel and the right will lead you to the intersection. and to that really important U-turn that i had to take.

but then, my spider senses told me that i was on the left side of the road.


checking my right side mirror for any maniacal drivers heading my way and glancing for any MMDA guys watching nearby, i realized it was safe to make a sharp right and head for the intersection.

tsk, tsk, tsk.

reckless driving + stupidity + an overdose of pride = traffic violations that can make your head spin

i was staring blankly at the MMDA officer, who was trying to explain what i did wrong.

can things get any worse??

when i gave him my license, i thought i still had a chance to negotiate. after all, it was Christmas, i was wearing my favorite gimmick blouse, and i had gotten away with things like this before (oops, did i just say that???).

"Aba, Miss, expired na pala lisensya nyo e!" ("Hey, Miss, you're license is expired already!")


yeah, *baka, things CAN get worse.

even if i felt i might get away with swerving, there was no chance in hell that they'll let me off the hook with THAT offense.

i was in trouble. serious trouble.

how can i have forgotten to renew my license?? now i know i'm really getting old.

ok, my mind was working in overdrive.

gotta think. gotta think. gotta think...i am SO dead.

i smiled at the officers. (yes, somehow that fiasco of mine grabbed the attention of two more MMDA guys.)

the first guy was explaining the damages:

- 500 for reckless driving on the first offense. what he didn't know was that this is my second. so it's really 750. but i wisely kept my mouth shut.

- 750 for driving without a license.

- 6,000 for releasing my car in the impounding station.

that last amount was giving me such a headache that i didn't absorb the last two words fast enough.

when he said, "So, pano yan, taxi nalang kayo?" ("So, how's that? You'll take a taxi instead?") i did a double take.

which part did i miss??


oh crap.

i will not, absolutely WILL NOT, give them my car.

one of the guys had a pleading look already. i knew he was worried that he'd lose his job if i didn't comply. but i remained seated and safely tucked in my car.

i know i did something wrong but please, PLEASE, don't take my car away. i kept praying that in my head.

after a few minutes of begging and negotiating, i had to face my last resort - asking for help.

admitting i needed help is such a big deal for me. really. particularly if it involves:

1. my driving,
2. being a female driver, and
3. my papa

but i was desparate and had no other (better and wiser) choice.

swallowing that stubborn lump of pride, i called my papa and explained what happened.

he calmly told me he had to speak to the MMDA officer. i wordlessly gave him the phone. i didn't need to explain who i was talking to. he heard the whole thing.

ah, so much for trying to prove women drivers are smart and competent on the road.

i felt like such a baby and wished that my car seat would swallow me whole.

when he gave me my phone back, i asked my papa what they talked about.

"Kunin mo na lisensya mo. Pwede ka na umalis." ("Get your license. You're free to go.")


to say i was stunned was an understatement.

i was FREE TO GO???

i talked to the officers. one of them was actually nicer to me after speaking to my dad.

"O, sa Monday, i-parenew nyo na lisensya nyo ha." ("O, on Monday, have your license renewed ha.")

as he was giving me advice on which LTO station i should go to just to avoid fixers and the like, i was still in a daze.

my papa is a member and officer of REACT Philippines. i knew it was a big organization but i realized i had underestimated their power. after i heard one of the officers tell his companion, "Taga-REACT yung tatay e,"("Her dad's from REACT.") it dawned on me that the fact that he was a member of that organization was enough reason to let me go, expired license be damned.

wow. God is good.

Shall We Dance?

the next miracle was that i was in time for the offertory. (although i missed the gospel. but i didn't keep my hopes up anyway.)

after the mass, we had a break to prepare for the worship, talk, then dinner. i recounted my (horrifying) story to my friends. they couldn't believe my rotten luck. hahaha!

after an inspiring worship and talk, it was finally time to chow! i was so hungry, my hands were shaking as i placed food on my plate. ah, i just love buffets.

dinner was followed by a slideshow of SOLV during the good ol' days and the more recent photos. after a few announcements, it was time to dance!

they kicked off the dance portion with a bit of ballroom dancing. our elder, Ate Malou, showed off her dance prowess as she did the swing with one of our brothers and "resident DI," Ramil. soon, everybody was swinging, cha-cha-ing, and boogie-ing their bodies.

it was a great night, full of dancing, laughter, and more dancing...
"Just got lucky... " (there's nothing like good ol' 80's music. hehe.)

by the time we were done, my feet were hurting already.

i left the party past 11. i still had to stop by Cost U Less to redeem our freebies from the gift certificates we receieved for Christmas. i just love going to 24-hour groceries, particularly late at night, when there are less people and the airconditioning is cooler. too bad i was only able to get our fiesta ham. they ran out of Tender Juice hotdogs and stocks of queso de bola.

past midnight and i was home at last, safe and sound. and more importantly, i still had my car. :)

*baka - a Japanese term for idiot ^_^

Sunday, December 11, 2005

worth waiting for

finally, after months of waiting...

and waiting...

and waiting...

the day of the Kerygma-Anawim GK build finally arrived!!!

a few months ago, Emily and i signed up as volunteers of the
Light of Jesus' (LOJ) recent project with Gawad Kalinga. unlike my first GK experience where we only painted four homes, this project is much bigger. i had so much fun on my first GK painting job - and we were only a few volunteers then! so imagine how excited i am just thinking about this next venture, which involves not only the whole LOJ community but people from other communities and walks of life as well. i couldn't wait!

we were praying for good weather because it's been raining for a few days now. but then, i realized, wild horses (and rain showers) could not keep me away!

and rain it did!

thankfully, it wasn't that bad. when Emily, Leah (who i invited a few weeks ago), and i got there, it was already drizzling. but everyone was in such high spirits that we didn't really care.

after the mass and orientation, we went to our respective groups (we were House #28). we were joined by a couple and a brother, all from LOJ, Couples Chapter. they were all so easy to get along with that we had so much fun working with them.

when we started on the house, the brothers proceeded to hammer the wooden flooring inside while we began to paint the facade. as we were working, some of the "foremen" and construction directors would pass by all the houses, chatting with us and making sure everything was going well. at first, we didn't notice the attention our house was getting. after a few moments, more of the LOJ "bigshots" were dropping by. when Bo Sanchez came in with his son in tow, i began to realize that our new friends weren't just "ordinary members" of the community. my hunch was right when another group of brothers and sisters visited us and joked that an LOJ director was actually working. Emily, Leah, and i were pretty surprised when we found out that both of the brothers in our group were THE directors in their respective chapters. ah, that explains it. after hearing that remark, we turned to Bro. Noel and joked, "Ah, kaya pala strict ang Quality Control dito e!" ("Ah, that's why the Quality Control is strict here!") we all had a good laugh. now that i think about it, it was a good thing we bonded first before finding out who they were. if we knew they were head honchos, we would probably be more formal - and respectful (haha!). actually, they were so down to earth that regardless of their status in their community, they made us feel at ease.

now speaking of community leaders, i just have to share this.

Bo Sanchez approached our house, i almost fainted! see, i've been his fan ever since i've read my first issue of Kerygma when i was in 2nd year college. since then, i've been a regular at The Feast, i have most of his books (well, all except one, that is), and i attended their holy week retreat early this year. although i met him during the retreat, it was only for a few seconds (i had to talk to his companion). this morning, we saw him while we were heading towards our house but it was just in passing.

and THEN he decides to drop by. THIS i did NOT expect.

so anyways, when my brain finally registered that he was right beside me, talking to the brothers, i tried to keep my cool and continued painting. after all, he wasn't there to talk to me right?? AND, i didn't want to look like some crazed fan, even if i SO am (hahaha!). so, i chatted with the girls while we were painting and the brothers were conversing inside. i could hear him joking with his son (sigh) and laughing with the others.

i almost jumped when i heard the door open. i began to panic when i saw our visitor bid the brothers goodbye.

tsk, tsk, tsk...


very calmly, i turned to look at them and caught Bene's (his son) eye. i gave him a smile and quietly said, "Bye." Bo seemed to have heard it because he turned around and looked directly at me. his eyes were smiling, as they usually are. i didn't hear what he told me at first because my pathetic brain shut down - again. when i heard him greet the other sisters, "Bye," i realized it must have been that. i managed a smile and tried my darndest not to look all giddy, lest i freak him out. by the time he left with Bene, i exhaled so loudly i thought the others heard me. argh, how pathetic was that! hahaha! anyways, when my feet finally reached the ground, my eyes lost that glazed look, and i could think normally again, i resumed my painting. ^_^

the couple who joined us left early and Bro. Noel was left to assist us and do some Quality Control (hehe). well, my OCness in me just CAN NOT let those nooks and crannies go. i just HAD to paint in the holes that were left gaping and unpainted by the roller brush. i was so engrossed with that activity that i didn't notice that my arm, my face, my hair, and the back of my jeans had paint already. wait, how did that happen??? must have been when i was dazed and confused by our recent visitor. hehe.

when we were finished and all those annoying holes were filled in already, it was still early. it wasn't even lunchtime yet! so we took a break, talked with some of our neighbors, and finally packed away our mess. as we were lugging our stuff to the car, we saw Bro. Noel eating with the other couples in the tent. he asked us to join them and we told him we'll follow.

when we returned bringing our lunch (longganisa meal from McDo), one of the sisters reacted, "O, bumili pa kayo sa McDo!" ("O, you bought food from McDo!")

i grinned sheepishly, "Sabi kasi magdala ng packed lunch e." ("It said to bring packed lunch e.")

"Nako, basta kasama nyo ang Couples, di kayo mauubusan ng pagkain!" ("Well, if you're with the Couples, you'll never run out of food!")

ahh, we were so blessed.

after a sumptuous lunch (rice with adobong sitaw, chicken, salad, siomai, and pichi-pichi), emily, leah, and i all had satisfied smiles on our faces. this is the life.

so, after a few picture-taking here and there,

we were all set to go. we thanked our wonderful friends and said our good-byes.

what a great way to spend the

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

out and about

Hibernation: \Hi`ber*na"tion\, noun. The act of retiring into inactivity. (from Webster's Online Dictionary)

or in my case, it's:
a. i've been really busy,
b. i didn't have internet access for the longest time,
c. i'm just too dang lazy to write, or
d. all of the above

yeah, well, your guess is as good as mine. ^_~

Rants and Raves

i really didn't want to start my blog entry by ranting but i just can't help it. would you believe i had a two-week vacation (school's semestral break) and the only time i went out was to visit our relatives' graves?!? (oh, and that one time i went to the gym)

my friend told me i was such a good girl to stay at home the whole time. what she didn't know was i was itching to go out but i just can't because...I DIDN'T HAVE MONEY!!! waaaah!! yeah, i still have my salary but what's left of it isn't even enough to pay for my insurance...which, by the way, i haven't paid in full yet. and i'm past the deadline already. it's a good thing i have an excellent record. at least my insurance company agreed to extend my deadline till the end of this month.


it's times like these that i really miss my old salary...and then i remember all the crazy hours, stressful work, and sleepless nights and i don't miss my IT days anymore. haha!

ok, ok. enough ranting already.

onto the raving now...

It Mask Be Halloween

our school had our annual Halloween party last Oct. 21. it was such a blast! the kids were adorable in their costumes. we had a chubby Annie, a very hungry Peter Pan, a shy pineapple, a flitting butterfly, and a tiny elf.

the teachers wore a simple costume - all black (with a bit of bling) and a shiny eye mask.

our class was in charge of providing entertainment. we chose to hire a juggler/unicyclist. he certainly lived up to his reputation and almost cost me a heart attack with some of his stunts on his unicycle (particularly the one where he propped one of our students on his shoulders and steered his unicycle around the room). there were a number of parents who asked for his contact info so i guess that's means we made the right decision. :)

we were also in charge of the Drinking Game for all the mommies. it was fun! they had to finish a cup filled with grape juice and gummi worms.

yesterday, i attended a birthday party of my student at Little Gym, El Pueblo. it was my first time in Little Gym and i was pretty impressed. if i had a child, i would want him/her to enroll there, too...of course, i'd need a rich husband for that...

A Few Sleeps To Go!

i just watched the HBO premiere of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. argh! i can't wait! it's opening this wednesday, ahead of most countries, i think (hah!). i'm watching it with my youngest sister this coming friday. woopee!

Doggone It!

the previous Sunday, we dressed up Mico, the youngest member of our family. oh and in case you're wondering, he's a two-year old Mini Pin. hehe.

my sister, Tonet, bought this adorable jumpsuit for him. although he's a small dog and the jumpsuit is a size medium, we were still crossing our fingers that it'll fit. he's pretty chubby for his breed.

thankfully, we were able to secure the suit in place without any buttons popping out. hm, a snug fit. ^_^

Monday, October 17, 2005

13 going on 30

Life is Short.

of all the things i've reflected on and realized during these past few days, this is it.

normally, i'd celebrate my birthday by having dinner with my family and friends. probably with a movie (and some shopping) on the side. but times are (really) hard and my wallet's getting more malnourished by the second.

so then, i about having a different kind of birthday? after all, i'm turning 13, erm, 3....0. might as well do something special. then...

a light bulb moment.

two letters immediately sprang into my mind.


i checked their
website. i needed a confirmation. just one confirmation.

my heart stopped when i saw the list of sites.

yes, they have one in Rizal. Cainta, Rizal to be specific. just a few minutes away from our place. perfect!

i've been wanting to volunteer to Gawad Kalinga since i read about them in Kerygma. i really like their mission because they give pride and honor to our less fortunate brothers and sisters by providing them with opportunities to earn their keep, teaching them ways to better their lives, and educating the young dwellers through day care and service-oriented programs. people are encouraged to give their TIME more than their money.

and that's what i should be doing. well, that's what i wanted to do for a long time but was too lazy to do anything. ^_^;;

after setting the date, i informed my family of my plan, careful to add that THIS was the only birthday celebration i was going to have (a subtle hint that they SHOULD come or suffer my wrath. haha.). i also shared my plan to some of my SOLV sisters.

after contacting the site director, i was given the details a few days after. unfortunately, it was only two days before the big event. when i sent out my e-mail to the SOLV community, i knew it was a late invitation. two have confirmed that week but i was still hoping that the number would increase.

anyways, the details were:

date: October 16
day: Sunday
time: 8:30 (meeting time)
9:00 (ETA in GK site)
12:00 (ETD from GK site)
GK itinerary: orientation, tour, painting of building facades

This is D-Day!

i woke up really excited and made a silent prayer that the weather will cooperate. yesterday, i actually sent my petition to the Intercessory Ministry. of course, the more prayer warriors, the better! ^_~

i drove to our meeting spot thinking that i was only going to wait for one sister. when Flor arrived, she informed me that Cara was joining, too. yey! another victim, um, helper! :p

the three of us met Leah in her village's grocery store, where i bought water. as for my family, i just told them to meet us at the site.

The GK Heroes

we were welcomed by Kuya Ralf, the site director, a warm and jolly man who quit his job to work full-time for GK. his dedication and service to his community is truly inspiring and humbling. we could see that he's very much loved by the people who live in the site.

while we were waiting for the rest of my "crew" to arrive, he showed me the latest building that was being constructed - the multipurpose hall. the workers were in full force and i could feel the bayanihan spirit going on. during the break, i was able to chat a bit with some of the volunteers. i thought they were members of Kuya Ralf's community (Couples for Christ). turned out they're actually the residents who help out in the construction during the weekend (they work the rest of the week).

the minute my family arrived, Kuya Ralf gave us the customary welcoming speech and oriented us on Gawad Kalinga, the history of the site, and its developments. we learned that this particular site is home to 98 families and that they used to live in tiny shanties with very narrow alleys (that were usually flooded). from where we were seated, we could only see colorful houses with plantboxes and windows and a wide cemented pathway. i couldn't imagine what the site used to look like. it was only during the tour that i finally understood...

Tour di-ff'rence

after passing the new homes, Kuya Ralf led us to the "other side." that part of their universe that has not been touched yet.

the difference is startling and mind-boggling.

we passed the narrow alleys and carefully crossed the wooden planks (which we learned were not even there before) that they positioned. as Flor had said, it was like joining Extra Challenge. my sister, who's claustrophobic, did not even dare to join us on this part of the tour. along the way, Kuya Ralf greeted the people we came across. he knew everyone by name!

towards the end of our tour, i realized how grateful the dwellers of the new homes must be. just seeing that stark transformation from the dilapidated homes to the vibrant buildings definitely made that tour worthwile.

Ervin, the Wonder Boy

as we were waiting for the volunteers to prepare the paint we were supposed to use, we were greeted by a shy-looking boy who kept on standing behind one of the pillars of the tent. i approached him and told him i was going to take his picture. he immediately hid his face. when he thought i wasn't done yet, he slowly took a peek. still there. after his second shot, i innocently turned my camera around and showed him his photo on the LCD screen. he grinned and proceeded to swing himself around the pole. taking this as a sign to take another photo, i began to shoot. and shoot. and shoot.

soon, he was practically demanding me to take photos of the different parts of his body (hand, feet, eyes). he even brought props (a stick and stones). camera shy, huh?? well, not anymore! i had to reload my memory card because i used my remaining shot on him (lucky kid). by the time i was done, he was striking a pose already. he actually approached me because i (jokingly) said i was tired already and sat down to rest. my, this boy definitely knew how to strut his stuff! i didn't even have to say anything. he went on and on, pose after pose. i had to tell him that he can only have 10 shots because i still needed the rest of the space. i have no idea where he learned to pose like that (hm, i should have talked to his mom...)

what a cute and funny boy!

Painting the Town Blue (and Yellow)


this is the row of buildings we were supposed to paint. exciting! ^_^

we started off with the blue paint. as my sisters and parents began painting, i took photos. hey, who're you calling lazy?? i was waiting for the yellow paint! :p

anyways, i was trying to catch up with the others but we started late so...guess we lagged behind. but what we lacked in speed, we made up for in quality (hahaha!). it was actually a challenge to paint the wall because it wasn't flat. Gelli, my youngest sister, discovered a technique with the roller brush to make the paint seep through the small cracks on the cement wall. and it worked! (naks, this must be her calling! :p)

at first everybody was still energetic and even joked around. but towards the end of our task, it became serious. some stopped talking and spent most of the time filling out the cracks (right Cara? :p), the others couldn't care less if their arms, hands, hair, and shoes had splashes of paint (right, Leah and Flor? :p), painting accidents on the window pane were wiped off (ok, that was me!!), while others just had to grab a chair to stand on so they could paint the area above the door (just check out the photos. :p)

by the time we were spent (and the paintcans were empty), we surveyed our work. and it was good. ^_~

i can't believe we were able to paint (the front of) four houses in two hours!!

great job, everybody!

Chowtime @ Chowking!

i wanted to have inihaw na liempo (or anything inihaw) for lunch but we couldn't find a nearby place that had grilled food. after driving for a few minutes, we settled on Chowking. hm, this is just like my Monday cellgroups. hehe.

while we were waiting for our orders, i started to rain. just in the nick of time.

isn't God great? He made sure we were settled in, ready to have our scrumptious lunch, when He ordered His angels to start the waterworks. ok,that was a bit dramatic. but that was how we felt.

to Lovern and the rest of our prayer warriors, thanks for knocking on heaven's gates. they defintely heard all of your prayers. :)

to Flor, Leah, and Cara, thanks for coming! i had a blast.

to my family, thanks for waking up early and brave the Extra Challenge. mwah!
to everyone who greeted me, thanks! :)

and to God, well, the list is too long. You know what they are. :D

this is, indeed, a very happy birthday.

you can check out all the pictures here.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Young Investigators

i'm currently reading three different books on Teaching. this is apart from other related articles, daily journals, a personal portfolio, a life metaphor, and coming up with a project with my toddlers.

am i insane? (probably) am i a workaholic? (correction. a recovering workaholic...) don't i have a social life? (ahh, don't ask...) why am i subjecting myself to all this work? to think we (my co-teachers and i) are into our second assessment and starting the individual portfolios of our students, i'm still tutoring, and i'm planning to be involved in more extra curricular activities (tell you more on my next post!).

actually, all this craziness (see the first paragraph) is part of my Practicum course. i'm really excited because we're going to apply one of the most effective activities for children -
The Project Approach. i'm planning to do Zoo Animals w/ my toddlers but no specific idea yet.

i'm the only one handling toddlers in my Practicum class. it's more challenging to do the Project Approach with children below 3 since they're not in the stage of questioning yet. but i know how my kids love to explore and experiment so i'm not that worried. it's really a joy to look at the world through the eyes of a child. they have that innocence, almost akin to naivety, and yet when they learn something new, they feel like they've set a world record....

wait, i'm going off track.

anyways, as i was saying, i can't wait to start! :)

while reading one of the assigned books, i came across a paragraph that really struck me. i feel that this truly describes what teaching is all about, particularly the last sentence. read on and be inspired as well.

Teaching is instructing, advising, counseling, organizing, assessing, guiding, goading, showing, managing, modeling, coaching, disciplining, prodding, preaching, persuading, proselytizing, listening, interacting, nursing, and inspiring...And that's not all. When we face ourselves, we face memories of our own triumphs and humiliations, of our cowardice and bravery, our breakthroughs and breakdowns, our betrayals as well as our fidelity.
-- To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher (2nd edition) by William Ayers

have a great week, everybody!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

flickr fave: up close and personal

i admire a lot of photographers and photo hobbyists alike in flickr. but for macro and nature shots, the person at the top of my list has got to be rosemary*.

the first time i saw her photos, i was awestruck. ALL her photos are beautifully composed and taken. it's difficult to pick out my most favorite among them. at the moment, it's this one...

photo courtesy of rosemary*

she also has a fantastic ladybug series ...

photo courtesy of rosemary*

...and waterdrops set.

photo courtesy of rosemary*

i don't know how she does it.

photo courtesy of rosemary*

i do know she uses a Canon EOS 300D and several zoom lenses (Canon & Tamron)..but gadgets can only take you so far if you don't have the talent.

and i am telling you, this lady has got LOADS of talent AND an excellent eye for detail to boot.

see for yourself.

Friday, September 09, 2005

for art's sake

the exhibit poster.....recognize the blue photo? :)

two tuesdays ago, our community (Servants of the Lord's Vineyard) held our very first art and photo exhibit. it was organized by the Creative Communications Ministry (CCM), which i am a member of. we've been thinking about it since last year but it was only recently that it finally happened.

initially, it was supposed to be a 20- or 30-minute event right after the regular prayer meeting but the Core liked the idea and decided to dedicate the whole evening to the exhibit itself. :)

all the brothers and sisters of SOLV were invited to join and share their works, either in art or photography (or both, even). the timing was perfect for me because i had recently taken an interest in photography so naturally, i just had to join. ^_^

the exhibit was open to everyone so i invited some of my friends. tinatuna came! :)

the event, entitled "God's Glory in Creation", began with a ribbon cutting ceremony (led by Ate Malou and Beauty), which i actually missed because i had to transfer my car, buy dinner, and change after setting up the place (arh, long story). by the time tina and i arrived, the exhibit was in full swing, complete with hors d'oeuvres (i.e. Fita with tuna or liver spread ^_^) and music to set the mood.

i am amazed at the talent of my brothers and sisters and proud to be in good company :). there were a lot of entries in both photography and art. there was even a corner dedicated to cross stitch works! :D

in the photo side, Sharon shared with us pictures of her trips abroad (Finland, Singapore...), while Randy's work gave us a glimpse of the different places in his province. one of my favorite participants is actually the youngest in the bunch, Hannah. she's a college student who told us that she believes photography is her calling. and when you see her work, you will defintely agree! unfortunately, i wasn't able to get a decent photo of her work because her area always had visitors...

in the art section, our sisters blew us away with their creativity and brilliance in painting and sketching. i loved Beauty's watercolor paintings (that's actually my frustration. i tried watercolor before and i realized i needed more practice ^^) and flor's pastel sketches, particularly the one with the waterfalls (above photo). hers actually look like they came right out of a postcard. (and i recently found out that she DID copy them from postcards. hehe.)

before the exhibit, i told Beauty that i can only showcase a few of my works since i didn't have the money to have the others printed. she told me i can just send the rest of my photos for them to be turned into a slideshow. of course, the whole time i thought it was a compilation of all the participants' works. just imagine my surprise when i saw that the slideshow (displayed in a laptop situated in one corner of the exhibit) was dedicated only! i felt honored (to know that they felt my photos were worth displaying as a slideshow), embarassed (because i was the only one with the Powerpoint presentation @_@), and proud (to see my works flashing in front of us :D) at the same time (if that's even possible!). ayayay! ^_^;; it was definitely a humbling and enriching experience.

needless to say, our first art and photo exhibit was a success. i am hoping that this will not be the last :)

Monday, August 29, 2005

roam if you want to...

it was another day of road trippin' for me!

yesterday, i was with ricababes and tinatuna (who just came from the US of A. welcome home!).
we had a full day ahead of us so we started early...

Adventures of the Zoo-per Friends!

it was tinatuna's request to go to Avilon Zoo. it was my 3rd time (can you believe it???) and ricababes' 2nd. but since we haven't seen her for a while, we gladly obliged (lakas ni tina sa min e! :p).

we've been praying for good weather that day and it looked like our prayers were answered! in fact, i think we prayed too hard because it was scorching hot when we had our zoo tour (yeah, we asked for it. hehe.)

speaking of tours, we took the 9 am schedule so we'd still have a lot of time to kill afterwards. rica and i weren't that concerned with the tour since we were old timers. we weren't prepared, though, when the guide decided to use a different route and led us to the last part of the tour. hm, interesting.

anyways, i didn't take too many shots since i was satisfied with the ones i had during my prior visits. that and the fact that i ran out of batteries (hahaha!). i couldn't believe i had the brain to bring an extra memory card and yet forget to charge my spare batteries. was i that wasted last saturday??? (hm, yeah i think i was...) oh well.

as expected, the zoo had a shop that sells batteries and films. although i knew the price was about 2x more expensive than those i could buy in the mall, i still bought the AA batts. sucker. ^_^ my justification was, i might not forgive myself if i ever encounter a "photographic moment" and not be able to use my camera. tsk, tsk, tsk...

i'm glad i did it because i was able to get a lot of stolen shots here and there....

like i said, ricababes. thanks for always being a cooperative guinea pig, er, subject. oh, and i have a new victim, um, subject...thanks, tinatuna! hehe.

we were disappointed that we didn't get enough quality time with the infamous Big Bird and his feathered friends. Big Bird was still as sleepy as ever...

i had a little fun with Mo (for mohawk. haha. i don't know his real name)...

he was giving me a lot of attitude so i just couldnt' help it.

since we started the tour early, we were able to leave the zoo before lunch and headed for...

Market! Market!

it was the first time for both tinatuna and ricababes, so i suggested we have lunch there. i heard about a certain stall that has the best bbq in town and even if i couldn't remember the name, it was pretty obvious just by the number of people lining up for it. Ineng's barbeque!

and was it yummy!! they have the leanest meat in a bbq stick i have ever seen and tasted. one stick was actually a bit filling already. we ordered two sticks each...hey, we were hungry!! plus two orders of kilawin. :)

you'd think we were full already but with girls, there's always room for dessert!! hahaha! double scoop ice cream on a waffle cone, please!! i just luuuuuuve FIC (Fruits in Ice Cream). they have the most amazing flavors, especially the fruity ones. they even have kalamansi, durian, leche flan, avocado (which actually reminds me of the frozen avocado dessert my mom used to make), tsokonut, raspberry, capuccino, and more flavors that i can't recall but all look yummy.

i tried the green tea and cafe latte (no sugar!) combination. mm-mm-mm.

after a few minutes of strolling around the mall and stopping to look at tinatuna's photo collection, we headed for our next stop....

Cruisin' Down the Bay


it was the first time tina saw the already developed Baywalk and she was excited to catch the sunset.

unfortunately, the sunset itself was not that spectacular because of a huge bunch of clouds covering it but we still had a great time walking around, talking about nonsense stuff (oops, sorry :p), trying to take stolen shots of one another (yeah, revenge is sweet),
and, surprise surprise, snacking at Figaro's. i must have gained 10 pounds yesterday. ^_^

before we went home, we were able to catch Megan Aguilar in one of the live shows. of course, you had to actually dine in at that particular resto but we couldn't help but sit down for a couple of songs. before the waiter was about to approach us with two glasses of water (was that for us, even??), we casually stood up and left.

the sun had set, our tummies were filled, and our senses were stimulated.

what a
day! after my horrendous week, it was exactly what i needed :)

sa uulitin, girls!