Friday, June 15, 2012

Today is "Me Day"

Been wanting to have some me-time since last week. I've planned to watch Snow White and the Huntsman but it always gets postponed for 3 times due to meetings and brainstormings. Finally able to get away from work today. In the morning, I went to my husband's office' clinic for my Pneumonia vaccine, then proceeded to Megamall for some retail therapy and yes, watched a movie. This post is not going to be a review though... just want to share that I enjoyed my "day-off" hehe.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Next Level

How fast time flies! My daughter will be entering Kindergarten this June! We're going to the same school, and she's excited to see her classmates from last year. It helps that there are only 11 of them in the afternoon class, she got to bond with each of them well. Although two of them are transferring to the morning class, but her best friend Simone is still with her in the afternoon batch. Romy suggested Aliya skip Prep next year, and go straight to Grade 1... given that the K-12 is now being implemented. Thus, I decided not to buy new sets of uniforms anymore, as they still fit. She gained alot of weight during summer, but they still fit just the same. I attended the Parents Orientation yesterday and saw lots of new faces, clueless faces, hopefull faces, obssesed faces (haha!) of parents of new students. Can't blame them, I was like that last year, and will surely be like that again for the countless other adventures that Aliya will go through in years to come.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Dark Shadows

I am not a fan of horror flicks. Though I once wrote scripts for a total of three TV shows that are horror in genre, but I am not drawn to watching them on the big screen. I however, got intrigued with the latest Johnny Depp starrer, Dark Shadows. So I took time out today, a Monday, to watch the earliest screening in Robinsons Metro East. All in all, it was entertaining. The synopsis was simple, it could've been the seed concept of a show I could write in the future. Watching it was fun... but that was it. It's not like it will boggle your mind, or keep you interested in the storytelling for so long. The visuals are the part that will keep you entertained, and the acting of Johnny, too. Though the script may not be fantastic, I can say I liked it still.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

And She Indeed Returned

Late January of this year, our all around maid/yaya of 3 yrs has told me she's leaving for good to be able to continue her studies in the province. We got a replacement, who isn't at par when it comes to nanny-ing, but is hardworking and cooks well. However, our old-time maid/yaya, named Ate Ruby texted me and wanted to come back. Last Thursday, she indeed kept her promise and came back! My daughter was so happy and I am, too. God really works behind the scenes. He knows how we want to keep Ate Ruby and He orchestrated things and situations in our favor. Our household has somehow gone back to its normal routine again. :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Relaxing Weekend, Thank You, Lord!

I have been clamoring for a weekend getaway since a couple of months ago. But since I am maid-less, the list of things to do and errands to run seem unending. I know that an out of town trip is close to impossible, since May is a buys month for my hubby and his team at work, so maybe a dip in a hotel's pool would suffice. When I saw the deal in ensogo on Greenhills Elan Hotel Modern, I got interested. Although I haven't heard of the hotel before, the location won me over. It's only barely 40 minutes away from our place, and I haven't shopped in Greenhills for almost half a year now. It would be like hitting two birds, actually three birds with one stone - a weekend getaway, Aliya to be able to swim, and me to be able to shop. The deal was tempting, only Php2699 for a night, with buffet breakfast for two. Kids 12 yrs old and below are free. After thinking about it, I got my credit card and purchased a voucher. We booked last week, and checked in last Saturday. Aliya was so giggly about the idea, since she's such a fan of hotels. Her first New Year's Eve was spent in Astoria Plaza, her third was in Astoria, two. There were times when we just wanted a quick get-away and we checked in at Richmonde Hotel, or Linden, or even Go, and of course, the hotels we've been to in a few countries. If other kids are called "water babies," Aliya might be considered a "hotel baby?" Hehe, I'm not even sure if there's such a word. Anyway, since we're all there to relax and not think of anything, we decided to remain stress-free... and thank God it's been a stress-free stay indeed. Everything was well provided for, the staff are accommodating, the room is spacious, clean and modern, and housekeeping attendants are swift to attend to our requests. Though the kiddie pool was quite small, Aliya enjoyed it just the same. But she loved the jacuzzi more and spent more time there on our second day. Buffet was good enough, the linens are smooth and inviting, the phone lines to the lobby are never busy. The only thing I didn't like was there wasn't any airconditioning system in the hallways. When our keycard didnt work, I had to go downstairs to speak to the receptionist because there were no emergency phone lines atop the hallway console table. Anyway, it was a nice experience all in all. Romy and I got our retail therapy at the Greenhills tiangge, Aliya enjoyed swimming, and we had a good night's sleep. To God be the glory!!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

She Shall Return

Almost a couple of months ago, I ranted about my all around maid's decision to resign and stay for good in her province so she can pursue her secondary education. Yes, she stopped studying after elementary and worked as a maid here in Manila. I was, I think, her 4th employer. Anyway, she was with us for 3 years, being reliable and responsible, and because my daughter loves her, I was terribly hurt when she told me about her decision. Last April, she packed her things and left. We bid her goodbye and sent prayers and wellwishes, and we hired another maid as replacement. However, she texted two weeks ago and told me looks like she's not going to enroll after all. She realized she needed to work, and that she's no longer used to life in the province. To make the long story short, I sent her bus and boat fare yesterday, and now she's purchased the tickets going back to Manila. She's leaving their province on the 23rd, and she'll be here with us again the next day. God works in mysterious ways, and His plans are higher than ours, indeed. :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Officially a Superwoman

I intentionally woke up a bit late today, at around 8:20am. And instantly, the list of things to do started filling my thought bubble. Barely a few minutes after I stretched my body to wake up my senses, Aliya woke up with full blown energy. Energy to talk, to gigil, to play, to swim, to do all the things I need maximum energy to do! Hmmm, this is going to be another day when I need to be a super hero, again, haha! So even if we havent even washed our faces and brushed our teeth, she insisted we start our drawing lessons (we have different activities everyday). After 30 minutes, I told her we need to go downstairs so we can gargle and I could prepare breakfast. During breakfast, and while my mental list of tasks are lingering over my head, Aliya is making known to me her own things to do list for the day. I have grown a bit used to this, multitasking, sacrificing alot of things I WANTED to do, and prioritizing things I have no choice but to prioritize. I'm just so glad I am a work at home mom, because I cannot imagine leaving Aliya's day to day activities to a nanny. Being a proactive parent, I always see to it that in the midst of laundry and dishes and endless other chores around the house, not to mention the errands outside and my career as a scriptwriter, of course, I still provide Aliya with the proper and enough and age-appropriate stimulation that she needs for a balanced and fulfilled childhood.

Monday, May 07, 2012

25 Ways to Talk So Children Will Listen

I love reading other people's blogs, especially the informative, inspiring and encouraging ones. And this is one of those that struck me big time. Thanks to my fellow n@wie Meng who posted this in our yahoogroup. Here's the link by the way: http://www.askdrsea discipline- behavior/ 25-ways-talk- so-children- will-listen A major part of discipline is learning how to talk with children. The way you talk to your child teaches him how to talk to others. Here are some talking tips we have learned with our children: 1. Connect Before You Direct Before giving your child directions, squat to your child's eye level and engage your child in eye-to-eye contact to get his attention. Teach him how to focus: "Mary, I need your eyes." "Billy, I need your ears." Offer the same body language when listening to the child. Be sure not to make your eye contact so intense that your child perceives it as controlling rather than connecting. 2. Address The Child Open your request with the child's name, "Lauren, will you please..." 3. Stay Brief We use the one-sentence rule: Put the main directive in the opening sentence. The longer you ramble, the more likely your child is to become parent-deaf. Too much talking is a very common mistake when dialoging about an issue. It gives the child the feeling that you're not quite sure what it is you want to say. If she can keep you talking she can get you sidetracked. 4. Stay Simple Use short sentences with one-syllable words. Listen to how kids communicate with each other and take note. When your child shows that glazed, disinterested look, you are no longer being understood. 5. Ask Your Child to Repeat the Request Back to You If he can't, it's too long or too complicated. 6. Make an offer the child can't refuse You can reason with a two or three-year-old, especially to avoid power struggles. "Get dressed so you can go outside and play." Offer a reason for your request that is to the child's advantage, and one that is difficult to refuse. This gives her a reason to move out of her power position and do what you want her to do. 7. Be Positive Instead of "no running," try: "Inside we walk, outside you may run." 8. Begin your Directives With "I want." Instead of "Get down," say "I want you to get down." Instead of "Let Becky have a turn," say "I want you to let Becky have a turn now." This works well with children who want to please but don't like being ordered. By saying "I want," you give a reason for compliance rather than just an order. 9. "When...Then. " "When you get your teeth brushed, then we'll begin the story." "When your work is finished, then you can watch TV." "When," which implies that you expect obedience, works better than "if," which suggests that the child has a choice when you don't mean to give him one. 10. Legs First, Mouth Second Instead of hollering, "Turn off the TV, it's time for dinner!" walk into the room where your child is watching TV, join in with your child's interests for a few minutes, and then, during a commercial break, have your child turn off the TV. Going to your child conveys you're serious about your request; otherwise children interpret this as a mere preference. 11. Give Choices "Do you want to put your pajamas on or brush your teeth first?" "Red shirt or blue one?" 12. Speak Developmentally Correctly The younger the child, the shorter and simpler your directives should be. Consider your child's level of understanding. For example, a common error parents make is asking a three-year- old, "Why did you do that?" Most adults can't always answer that question about their behavior. Try instead, "Let's talk about what you did." 13. Speak Socially Correctly Even a two-year-old can learn "please." Expect your child to be polite. Children shouldn't feel manners are optional. Speak to your children the way you want them to speak to you. 14. Speak Psychologically Correctly Threats and judgmental openers are likely to put the child on the defensive. "You" messages make a child clam up. "I" messages are non-accusing. Instead of "You'd better do this..." or "You must...," try "I would like...." or "I am so pleased when you..." Instead of "You need to clear the table," say "I need you to clear the table." Don't ask a leading question when a negative answer is not an option. "Will you please pick up your coat?" Just say, "Pick up your coat, please." 15. Write It Reminders can evolve into nagging so easily, especially for preteens who feel being told things puts them in the slave category. Without saying a word you can communicate anything you need said. Talk with a pad and pencil. Leave humorous notes for your child. Then sit back and watch it happen. 16. Talk The Child Down The louder your child yells, the softer you respond. Let your child ventilate while you interject timely comments: "I understand" or "Can I help?" Sometimes just having a caring listener available will wind down the tantrum. If you come in at his level, you have two tantrums to deal with. Be the adult for him. 17. Settle The Listener Before giving your directive, restore emotional equilibrium, otherwise you are wasting your time. Nothing sinks in when a child is an emotional wreck. 18. Replay Your Message Toddlers need to be told a thousand times. Children under two have difficulty internalizing your directives. Most three- year-olds begin to internalize directives so that what you ask begins to sink in. Do less and less repeating as your child gets older. Preteens regard repetition as nagging. 19. Let Your Child Complete The Thought Instead of "Don't leave your mess piled up," try: "Matthew, think of where you want to store your soccer stuff." Letting the child fill in the blanks is more likely to create a lasting lesson. 20. Use Rhyme Rules "If you hit, you must sit." Get your child to repeat them. 21. Give Likable Alternatives You can't go by yourself to the park; but you can play in the neighbor's yard. 22. Give Advance Notice "We are leaving soon. Say bye-bye to the toys, bye-bye to the girls…" 23. Open Up a Closed Child Carefully chosen phrases open up closed little minds and mouths. Stick to topics that you know your child gets excited about. Ask questions that require more than a yes or no. Stick to specifics. Instead of "Did you have a good day at school today?" try "What is the most fun thing you did today?" 24. Use "When You…I Feel…Because…" When you run away from mommy in the store I feel worried because you might get lost. 25. Close The Discussion If a matter is really closed to discussion, say so. "I'm not changing my mind about this. Sorry." You'll save wear and tear on both you and your child. Reserve your "I mean business" tone of voice for when you do.

I Miss Baguio

My childhood has lots of wonderful memories of Baguio. That's why when I was choosing a UP campus when I was applying for college, I wrote the Baguio campus of the University of the Philippines as my first choice. I was ecstatic when I passed. Thus, I spent the first one and a half years of my college life in Baguio, but because I got bored with Journalism and realized I wanted to pursue Film Making, I transferred to UP Diliman. But I kept going back to Baguio even after that. I even wrote a show where we had a week's worth of episodes shot in Baguio. My co-writer Andrew and I went up and enjoyed a Baguio vacation for free. Shortly before I got married, my family and then fiance spent a weekend there and that was it. That was the last time I was there. This summer, with all the activities and visitors coming over, I couldn't squeeze in even just two days of Baguio. I long to go there even for a weekend, I hope I get to visit the city of Pines and introduce it to my daughter this summer.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

I Miss Me

Summer is halfway through and if I am to summarize what's it been about so far, it's been about juggling my time between household chores and Aliya's ballet lessons. I don't want to think I made the wrong decision of enrolling her in ballet, it's just that the schedule being spread out during the entire week kept me from doing something else. Maybe also because I was the sole guardian who brings her to school (we ride the school bus)and waits for her for almost two hours in a not so conducive waiting area... the waiting and the heat are taking a toll on me. There used to be Ate Ruby who accompanies her to school but now it's solely me. What's happening now is I just tend to squeeze in what other things I need to do on the times and days that I am not attending to the needs and schedule of Aliya and Romy. The past week, too, has been quite of a circus in the house, because Romy's 3 nieces and sister stayed for a few days. Don't get me wrong, I like that Aliya has playmates in the house and that she's always busy entertaining and socializing, but the fact remains that I am not used to having alot of people in the house, so that's another adjustment that I had to make. Romy's weekends had been and is still is packed with appointments, so I end up the one making way, adjusting, and compromising. I long for the normal and quiet weeks again, I long for a reliable helper again, I long for more time for myself again, when I don't have to always be in a rush doing things that I love because I need to wash the dishes, or prepare dinner, or entertain guests, or (gasp!) iron the clothes! Most of all, I want to find myself again, the relaxed, creative me. Not the harassed, pressured and always-in-a-rush me.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Surprisingly Guiltless Afternoon

I made a self-imposed Me-Time yesterday. Partly it was an act of rebellion because of something stressful happening in my life lately. I dropped everything and didn't give a damn. I tried to focus on what I want to do without thinking of my obligations. Believe me, I haven't done this in years and I am a super responsible adult, but there are times, like yesterday, when I just want to be selfish. And so I left the house, went to the mall, bought stuff I want to buy for myself without thinking of pasalubong for anybody, and spent 2 hours inside the moviehouse watching The Avengers. It was a good choice because the guys entertained me big time. I like the stunts, the dialogue were witty, the action was superb, and Incredible Hulk turned out to be unintentionally and unexpectedly funny. When the movie and my mall time was over, I went back home and went back to my chores and obligations without feeling a bit guilty.


When I was younger, I knew someone in my class who was always bumping into things, spilling liquids accidentally, tripping all over the place... all the time. I remember how irritated I was being around that classmate of mine. When I was working as a junior copywriter, there was a senior copywriter with receding hairline and was single at 30plus years old and was of the same personality as my classmate years ago. Everyday at the office he'd be tripping and bumping and spilling, much to everybody's dismay. But I knew that there was no one more dismayed as I was. I find clumsiness repulsive and a major turn off. This week, I am, with no choice, around someone who, at a very very early age is displaying bouts of clumsiness. And the sad thing is, her mother does not even mind that her daughter is causing trouble, mess and well, ok, repulse in me. Ugh!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Human Nature Products

Been reading about Human Nature products from my yahoogroup for some time now. It's nice to know that there's a dealer just five minutes away from my place. Thus, I tried looking for their store and spent more than Php1,000.00 solely on their products in just one afternoon. I bought the famous Sunflower Beauty Oil, Kids Shampoo and Body Wash ( Tangering Tarsier), Feminine Wash, their Sanitizer Sprays (Juicy, Candy Cane, Bubble Gum), Deodorant (Aloe Vera) and Moisturizing Conditioner. I have yet to see if the Sunflower Oil is as effective as people say it is. Will update you soon, guys!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Malee Veggie Juice

My husband and I have been trying for months to eat healthy as much as possible. We've stopped buying cases of softdrinks, we've limited our intake of processed and canned goods, we try to minimize pork and innards in our diet, and when I cook, I opt for iodized salt instead of the very convenient powdered instant seasonings. I also bought this Malunggay Powder from the supermarket area of SM Megamall, which you can add on just about everything, and try to always remember to mix a teaspoon of it to our dishes. Two Sundays ago, while doing the groceries in Robinsons Galleria, I came across a booth giving out free samples of this veggie juice with Malee as its brand. I liked the taste of the 100% Veggie variety but I bought a carton of the carrot-papaya variety. Last Sunday we bought the Veggie variety and we liked the taste more than the first purchase. The label says it's 100 percent vegetable juice and that there's no sugar added. Since Robinsons Place Cainta's supermarket does not carry this juice in its shelves, I might as well buy in bulk whenever we're in Galleria... hoping this gives us the vegetable requirement we need for a healthier lifestyle.
I am dead tired of multitasking. Seriously. With the all around maid gone for almost a month now, I am never finished with household chores, baby sitting chores, and work deadlines. I don't mind the deadlines, but I hope someone else is there other than my husband to tend to the house. I hate washing clothes and ironing them, cleaning the loo and tidying the house. Ugh!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Not much 3d in Titanic in 3d

My husband and I watched the Titanic in 3d last Saturday, out of curiosity, actually. I was the one who's really interested because the film, and everything about it interests me alot, even when I was younger, even the first time I saw the movie. We left Aliya with my mom and sister while we went on this "date."

Sta Lucia Grand Mall was the nearest to our place that has it on its screening list. And with less traffic, I chose it over Robinson's Metro East. We caught the 2:40PM screening. It costs P275 each and each ticket comes with either free popcorn and drinks. Being mababaw that I am, I was happy.

Hmm, of course the film elicited the same moving effect on us, maybe more. It made me realize how perfect both Leonardo di Caprio and Kate Winslet are for the roles, how charming and engaging they both were, and how proud James Cameron must be about his masterpiece.

However, it only took a few minutes into the movie for me to conclude that there's not much difference with the 2d and this 3d version. Sure, the intention was well meaning, the Titanic's sinking being exactly 100 years ago, but its being 3d isn't fantastic.

But just the same, I'm still fan and will always be.

Unlimited Soup and Salad

Some deals can be really good. I like groupon sites, ensogo especially, since I have purchased some really sulit deals from them and never had a problem. But one of the nice deals we always avail of is the unlimited soup and salad buffet of Cravings Restaurant. When you buy any of their main dishes, you can go back and consume of their soups and salads nonstop. In this age of unhealthy fastfood eating, what Cravings offers is not only sulit, but healthy, too.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Mr Choi and Delicious Kitchen by Eat Well

I'll never pass by Mr Choi and Delicious Kitchen without remembering Papa. Actually, I'll never be able to look at a Chinese restaurant without thinking of my father, the late Ka Ming Po Lam. He's a good judge whether a dish is prepared the authentic Chinese way or not.

On second thought, I'll never be able to eat without remembering him, because he's the one who gave me the love of really good food.

Sigh, I miss papa so much.

Mommy, I Want to Watch Mama Mia!

So I've been blogging about Aliya's penchant for watching the same movies over and over again. Today she woke up and just suddenly wanted to watch my DVD of Mama Mia (starring Meryll Streep). Since I need her to stop following me while I do household chores, I said yes.

Oh my, it's so aliw to see her so into the musical numbers! She'd rewind them over and over and dance with the music! Most times she'd even choreograph dance steps by herself! It took me a long time though to get her to go to the bath and prepare for church. The whole day she was humming Mama Mia and Dancing Queen!

Hmmm, looks like my daughter's into musicals!

Easter Monday, Oops!

I've stuffed the plastic easter eggs with treats already last Friday because I know I won't be able to do it on Saturday, but because it's been a hectic weekend, I haven't had the time to hide them for Aliya to hunt down. Hmmm, looks like it's gonna be an Easter Egg hunting activity on a Monday this year.

She gotta go to bed now so I can place the eggs in strategic places around the house. Ho-hum, and I'm the one who's already sooo sleepy!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

The new baby dillema

Before this blog's title gets misinterpreted, let me tell you right off that I AM NOT PREGNANT. But it's been bugging me for months, for almost a year, if we should try for another baby or not. I am in my late 30's and is not as energetic as I was in my earlier years. I've posted about this and asked my n@wie sisters for their opinion, but of course, the final decision lies on me and Romy.

You see, there are alot of factors to be considered. Finances, physical ability, health, work, conditions at work among some. We live a very comfortable life now, but I'm afraid that if I get pregnant, I can't spend late night working and writing scripts. And I know myself, I write better at night, or early in the morning. But how can I do that if I'm not allowed to be puyat, plus the fact that I don't have a maid now.

Aliya, though has been asking for a baby sister for months now, on and off. I keep buying her na lang baby dolls (from the expensive ones like Baby Alive, to the not so-dear ones), basta baby doll. She loves taking care of them, but also tells me that when we have na a real baby in the house, she'll be in charge of baby-sitting.

Oh, I don't know! I know myself kasi, I'm not the energetic type, and I don't know if I can still pull off the late nights, breastfeeding, burping, nappy changes, and of course, yung pregnancy mismo.

God, please send us your wisdom in the next few weeks.

Over and Over

I know for a fact that kids thrive on routine, and that when they're fond of something, they tend to do it over and over again, like watching a specific cartoon and/or movie.

A couple of months back she watches The Sound of Music almost everyday, all 3 discs of the VCD set. Then she moved onto watching The Little Rascals. In between she'd watch our copy of Sineskwela and Epol, Apol.

I observed though that she's not much into Lion King, E.T, and Angelina Ballerina. I wonder what she'll spend time on in the next weeks.

May I also mention that there was a time when she was hooked on Tom and Jerry, because it's playing almost the whole day on Cartoon Network! Ugh! It indeed affected her mood swings and her temper! True that when a kid stays glued on TV, and on something violent, he/she tends to be more short tempered and moody. Thank God she obeyed (with much effort, though), when I told her she can't watch Tom and Jerry anymore.

It's Sinking In...

Tomorrow, our yaya of 3 years is leaving. And it's finally sinking in. Not that I didn't see it coming, but now that she's leaving in less than 18 hours, it's making me realize how much adjustments we have to go through in the house. You see, she's not just a nanny, but also a bit of an all-around. She doesn't do everything at home, though because I am a WAHM (work-at-home-mom) and I also do some chores, but it's still different and more convenient if there's someone else I can ask to do the chores I don't like doing. Sigh, sigh, sigh.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Holy Week 2012

For this year, we just intend to stay home, visit some relatives perhaps, and go to Tagaytay on Black Saturday. I look forward to spending time with my family, watch a movie with a bucket of popcorn, do a little "spring" cleaning (though I've started some major cleaning and organizing since last week), and just lounge around.

The fact that the all around maid is leaving tomorrow is sinking in. :(

Saturday, March 31, 2012


Because of all the positive reviews I've been hearing about Kumon, we decided to attend the orientation and had Aliya take the diagnostic test. We were enlightened today during the orientation, but are still undecided if we should go for it. I don't want to cramp Aliya's schedule with so much activities lest she gets stressed so early in life.

Not closing our doors yet, we have a few more days to decide.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Easter Egg Hunting Activities 2012 (from Smart Parenting website)

Where to Go Easter Egg Hunting this 2012 (Metro Manila)
from Smart Parenting website

Where to Go Easter Egg Hunting this 2012
We round up where you can have some egg hunting fun as we celebrate Easter.


Egg-Citing Easter Weekend at Fun Ranch

Date: April 8
Address: Frontera Verde, Ortigas Avenue corner C-5, Pasig City and Alabang
Time: 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. (Ortigas) and 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. (Alabang)
Price: P250 for adults and P500 for the children two to 10 years old (inclusive
of snacks, loot bags, games, etc.)

For more information, visit or Fun Ranch's Facebook page,
or call (02)706-3029 or (02)706-3031.

Easter Break Escape at Richmonde Hotel Ortigas

Date: April 8
Address: 17 Orchard Road, Eastwood City, Bagumbayan, Quezon City
Price: Enjoy the Easter Sunday Lunch & Dinner Buffet for only P1,580 nett per
person. Children 5 years old and below get to eat for free.

At Richmonde Hotel Ortigas, enjoy the Barbecue Lunch Buffet starting at P1,200
nett for adults, P600 nett for children six to 12 years old and P300 nett for
toddlers five years old and below. Rates inclusive of tickets to the Easter
Kiddie Party after lunch.

For more information, call (02) 570-7777 (Eastwood) or 638-7777 (Ortigas), or


Easter Wonderland at Edsa Shangri-La Manila

Date: April 8
Address: 1 Garden Way, Ortigas Centre, Mandaluyong City
Venue: Isla Ballroom
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Price: P1,350 (inclusive of service charge and taxes)
Activities: Face painting, egg-shaped cookie decorating, Easter egg hunt, arts
and crafts, egg relay, special performances, games, etc.

For more information, visit Edsa Shangri-La's Facebook page , call (02)633-8888
local 2895 or e-mail events.esl@....


Underwater Egg Hunt at the Peninsula

Date: April 8
Address: Corner of Ayala and Makati Avenue, Makati City
Venue: Rigodon Ballroom
Price: Enjoy the Easter Bruch Buffet at the Lobby for P1,200 per child,
inclusive of a ticket to the Easter activities
Time: 11 am to 3 pm
Activities: Egg painting, face painting, balloon twisting, photo booth, ice
cream station
Egg hunt schedule:
12:30 to 1 p.m. - 4-6 years old
1:30 to 2 p.m. - 1-3 years old
2:00 to 2:30 p.m. - 7 to 12 years old

For more information, call (02)887-2888 local 6630 or e-mail pmn@....

Enchanted Fantasy Land at Makati Shangri-La

Date: April 8
Address: Ayala Avenue corner Makati Avenue, Makati City
Activities: Children's buffet, hair braiding, glitter tattoo, balloon twisting,
magic show, glow-in-the-dark Easter egg hunt
Price: P1,000 nett for adults and P700 nett for children (inclusive of
children's buffet)

For more information, call (02)840-0884 or e-mail rric.slm@....


Easter Eggcitement at Marriott Hotel Manila

Date: April 4
Address: No. 10 Newport Boulevard, Newport City Complex, 1309 Pasay City
Venue: Grand Ballroom
Time: 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Price: P500 nett (inclusive of activities, souvenirs, loot bag, etc.)
Activities: Egg hunting, egg painting, magic show, face painting, etc.

For more information, visit Marriott Hotel Manila's Facebook page or call


Easter Egg Hunt Adventure at the Manila Hotel

Date: April 8
Address: One Rizal Park, Manila
Time: 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon (buffet and activities)
Price: P1,000 per person (inclusive of Easter Sunday kiddie buffet, face
painting, magic and clown bubble show)

For more information, visit or call (02)527-0011 local
1260 to 62.


Lost in Wonderland at Acacia Hotel

Date: April 8
Address: 5400 East Asia Drive corner Commerce Avenue, Filinvest Corporate City,
Alabang, Muntinlupa City
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Price: P950 nett per adult and free for children below two years old
Activities: Face painting, arts and crafts, mini golf, inflatable castle, parlor
games, surprise show, mascot appearance, Easter egg hunting, loot bag, souvenirs

For more information, visit, call (02)720-2000 or
(02)588-5888 or e-mail enquiry@....

Egg-Citing Easter Weekend at Fun Ranch

Date: April 8
Address: Li'l Fun Ranch, Westgate, Filinvest, Alabang, Muntinlupa
Time: 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Price: P250 for adults and P500 for the children two to 10 years old (inclusive
of snacks, loot bags, games, etc.)

For more information, visit, visit Fun Ranch's Facebook
page or call (02)706-3029 or (02)706-3031.

Hikin' and Campin' Easter at the Bellevue

Date: April 8
Address: The Bellevue Manila, North Bridgeway, Filinvest Corporate City,
Alabang, Muntinlupa City
Venue: Tower Ballroom
Time: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Price: P700 nett (inclusive of activities, games, snacks buffet, souvenirs and
loot bag)

For more information, visit, call (02)771-8181 or text
0917-8718181 or 0918-8718181.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Overload of Cuteness with Lorax

And so last Monday, Aliya and I went to watch Lorax at Robinson's Galleria. I kinda know already what to expect, but I still was wary if she'd sit through the whole film since it's mostly environmental. it helped that one of their lessons in Science in school was how to take care of the environment... she was able to grasp the message of the story alright.

But what I think really grabbed her attention, being a child, was the overload of cute creatures and cinematography. Nobody really looked scary, even the villains O'Hare and his two men in black don't look scary at all. Once-ler was fine looking even if they tried to hide his appearance during the first part of the movie.

All in all, it was a nice experience, a fun Monday morning for the two of us. We went to eat baked mac after and she had a dose of her favorite dessert, frozen yoghurt.

It's always nice to share special moments with my kid. I know she'll one day look back to these times that we just lounge around and bond like best friends do.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The First Ballerina In the Family

When I was younger, it never occurred to me to take ballet lessons. Though I was relatively mahinhin when I was a child, but ballet never interests me. I remember watching a ballet recital as part of a writing gig, but even if I enjoyed the show, I know it wasn't for me.

Thus, it is somehow a bit of a surprise when early on, Aliya kept saying she wants to study ballet. She's interested in books about ballerinas and enjoys watching the ballet troupe in her school during their presentations.

And so for this summer, we decided to enroll her in ballet class. I paid the tuition today in KILA and went straight to the mall to buy her a set of ballet outfit, complete with ballet shoes. I was tempted to buy another set, but wanted to make sure of the size first.

She put on her outfit as soon as I got home this afternoon from the mall, and boy, she indeed looks sooo cute! Can't wait for her actual lessons to start!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Will a 4 yr old Appreciate The Lorax Movie?

Planning to bring Aliya to a movie this week... will the Lorax be a good choice? Or should we go watch The Muppets?

... thinking thinking...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Kopiko's Kopiccino

I like the taste of Kopiko Brown Sugar Coffee. Since I discovered it a few years ago, I always make sure we have enough stock at home. The Black coffee variety which, if I'm not mistaken, they labeled "Astig", is too strong for me.

Then last month I found they have a new variety, which is the Kopiccino. It's quite a witty name, and a brilliant idea. Plus the fact that each sachet comes with Choco Granules makes it all the more interesting. I like the froth it creates.

Since then, it's always been my coffee every morning, as well as by late afternoon whenever I need a little perk-me-up.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Little Playroom in Sta Lucia Mall

We've only been there a couple of times. So far. I intend to bring Aliya there more often since first, I know she enjoys playing with the stuff there, second, because I myself like the ambience. I like huge spaces, and the size of the playroom is big enough for lots of kids. The toys are new and not of low quality. The toys talaga ang pinaka-reason why I like Aliya playing there.

We've been to a few play areas in different malls, and what SOME of them offer are low quality toys. Mga sira na, luma, kadiri na ang itsura. My Little Playroom's selection of toys are clean, too. They have areas for fine motor skills-play, as well as areas for big movements like running, shooting balls, riding and slides.

Weekday rate for an hour is P140, for 30 minutes is P90. Weekend/Holiday rate is P160, and half an hour on weekends is P100.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mama's In Hongkong!

Happy for my mom. It's her first time abroad. Today, she and my younger sister left for Hongkong for a short vacation with my aunt, my cousins and nephews.

I'm happy that Mama is able to enjoy her life and be relaxed now. I know she's happy taking care of and loving Papa all throughout their marriage, and even when he was already sick... I know that even if it was difficult, Mama still finds it an honor to be of service to him.

But now that Papa is gone, we're trying to make Mama's life easier and stress-free. Glad that she's finally able to make this vacation a reality. Plus the fact that I promised Papa that I'll have Mama go to Hongkong for some rest and recreation. I know Pa's happy for her, too.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Summer Ballet Lessons

Aliya has been exposed to ballets and the concept of ballerinas through books and school events. So this summer, it's been decided, that amidst the many choices of workshops her school, Kids International Learning Academy is offering, we'd go for ballet.

I went to Sta Lucia with her a few weeks back and checked their schedule of classes and fee. Lumalabas it's still cheaper in Kila, plus Aliya's familiar with the environment na. Come Monday, I'm gonna enroll her na for ballet class. Yay!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Yahoo! Aliya Gets Lots of Awards!

It's Aliya's first year in school, and already, she bagged FIVE awards!

It was their Moving Up Day last Saturday and I was so excited I couldn't sleep the night before. I was more excited than her, partly because I'm so looking forward to watching them in their 1950's production number, and also I was stressing myself because I am in charge of her hair and make up. Yup, I decided against hiring someone professional to fix her hair do (50's style), and put on her make up.

We had a Hair and Make up trial last thursday, not really to prep her up, but to put me in gear. hehe. I wanted to see if I can make it. Aliya was all giggly when I put on rollers, especially when I started putting on make up on her. Lipsticks always intrigued her, and so when she found out my lip gloss actually tastes like watermelon, all the more she started giggling. So cute!

And so the day came, a Saturday and I was up very early. I made sure everything is ready. By 8am, we're ready to fix her up. Well, congrats to me because I was the one who designed her dress, and her hair and make up blended so well! Yiheee!

But the highlight of the day was during the awarding! She got 5 awards, all of them I wasn't expecting!

Here are her awards: Best in Math, First Placer in Coloring Contest, Second Placer in Penmanship Contest, Science Smart, and Most Thoughtful!

Woot! Woot! Congrats, dear Aliya! We are so very proud of you!!!

Magnum, Anyone?

So after so much raves from friends and acquaintances about this newest product from Selecta called Magnum, I finally gave it a try. I like chocolates and ice cream, i like Pinipig Crunch even as a little girl. But maybe it was just me, but I find Magnum too rich for me!

I tried the Almond flavor since I am a fan of almonds in all its forms. Too rich and huge that halfway through the bar, I couldn't finish it!

It might take me another month before I'll try another bar.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Trip to Manila Zoo and Luneta Park

Because my husband and I are committed to being pro-active parents who provide healthy, educational and fun experiences for Aliya, we brought her to see the animals at the Manila Zoo yesterday. She had fun watching the animals, observing their behavior, especially how they play. She particularly liked to linger at the monkeys' area to watch the playful creatures tinker with a pvc pipe, and waddle at their (dirty) pool. How the tigers fought over a piece of bone amazed her, as well.

She used to be afraid of riding the swing. But yesterday, she rode it and didnt want to leave unless we told her we'll go boat riding. She's been insisting on riding the boat even before we had lunch, and kept on nagging us about it until after we ate. This, in itself is proof that she's overcome her fears, as she used to be wary of moving things like the swing and the boat. Taking charge of the paddling gave her a sense of fulfillment and pride, even if it was actually the bankero who kept our boat mobile.

We had our pictures taken with birds all over us, three of them perched on our shoulders, and three of them on our fingers, and even if I know Aliya was a bit wary, she overcome her fear and posed for the photos just the same. Same thing with the giant snake. If this was three months ago, she'd probably not want to even look at the snake, but yesterday, she was so game about the pictorial as long as daddy takes charge of the head's neck and head. The snake rested on Aliya's lap, and its tail was on my lap.

After 3 and a half hours in Manila Zoo, we went impromptu to Luneta Park. She's been familiar with Jose Rizal as early as last year. We had a book on Rizal lying in the house, and both Romy and I have Rizal shirts. We thought it would interest her to see the diorama of the national hero, and she indeed was. She had fun looking, touching, learning about Rizal's life and death, as we taught her what the diorama was depicting. It makes us feel fulfilled to be able to expose her to these things as early as now. I know we are investing in her development, character building and intellect. Going to the mall every week is fun, but it gets routinary, boring and predictable after some time. Places such as the zoo and Rizal park are places where learning can be fun for her.

I am thankful for giving me a husband who shares my desire to be proactive in rearing Aliya. And I'm grateful for having a child who's curious, interested and healthy like her. But most of all, we praise God for giving us the health, the ability and the resources to be able to provide these things to our daughter.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

New Cabinets and Drawers

In September 2010, we had hanging cabinets installed all over the house. After we've filled up those cabinets with our ever-increasing stuff, we realized we havent installed enough! so i thought we might have to get this project over and done with while the helper is still around, so I won't be too overwhelmed with all the things I need to attend to, especially the cleaning part.

We contacted a carpenter and he made the measurements yesterday. Waiting for the quote which should be arriving either tonight or tomorrow. Can't wait to have the new developments installed in our house!

So glad to be able to afford these renovations and improvements. Thank you Lord for the provision, as well as the foresight, that we need to do this before we're left with no helper.

Sunday, March 04, 2012


Aside from being someone who's shutter happy, I, too, am fair-happy. I mean, I like visiting fairs or bazaars. Just last Friday, I went to the Shoes and Bags Fair at the Megatrade Hall. I was able to purchase 5 pairs for Aliya. Sandals, sneakers, school shoes, slip-ons, and dress shoes. Brands like Chicco, Pitter Pat, Barbie, Disney, Myspace, among others have really good deals and selections.

Even if I intended to buy a pair or two for me, I came out of the fair not being able to buy anything for myself. Haha! Naubusan na ng gana after being hyper from my purchases for my daughter. I also wanted to buy bags, and at some point, almost bought one luggage. But I wasnt sure of the brand, and since I'd just be commuting, I was intimidated by the fact that I'd have to haul it all the way to where the FXs to Cainta are.

But all in all, I was happy with my purchases. :)

Friday, March 02, 2012

Pinoy Wedding Checklist

Planning for my wedding in 2005 was one of the most exciting, challenging and meticulous tasks I’ve ever accomplished. I didn’t realize just how much needs to be done until I started reading on “wedding preps” two days after my then fiancé proposed to me. It was a roller-coaster ride – today happy, stressed the next. But the “high” I experienced each moment was incomparable. Pride and joy filled me all throughout the ride. I felt happy each time I get to cross out an item from my long list. And this list I am glad to share in the hope that I could now be of help to someone as clueless as I was then.

1. Date and Time. In the Philippines, being a June bride is not that big a deal as it is in other countries. Due to the very unpredictable weather, quite a number of couples I know try to wed on the colder months, e.i. September, October, November, December, January and February.

2. Venue. Again, the weather being a huge factor in decision-making, most opt for indoor weddings. A couple I know booked a garden wedding with an understanding with the venue administration that in case the weather does not cooperate, they can move the set-up to one of the air conditioned halls within the compound.

Popular Wedding Venues: Oasis,
The Mango Farm,
Manila Cathedral, Christ The King Church, and the various choices within Intramuros

3. Motif. I have yet to meet a bride whose mind is set on a motif from day one. I personally changed my motif 5 times before coming up with Fuschia and Green.

Popular Wedding Motifs: Pink and Chocolate Brown, Citrus, Red and Gold

4. Theme. Having a themed wedding isn’t very popular to the more traditional Pinoy couples. But the more daring ones can be very creative. Mine was Precious Moments. A good friend of mine’s reception was Lord of the Rings-inspired. She and her husband wore Arwen and Aragorn costumes, and souvenirs were inspired by the leaf on Aragorn’s outfit.

Some suggestions: Movies-inspired, Fairyland, Cinderella; or a mix of cultures e.g. Pinoy-Jewish, Pinoy-Japanese. Or to make it true-blue Pinoy, include a money dance.

5. Prayer List. This, for me is non-negotiable. I wrote down all the concerns my then-groom and I had regarding the preparation, including prayers for finances and emailed copies to our prayer warriors. Just make sure you inform them once an item has been answered and unless you have a very tight budget and can only accommodate a small guest list, make sure they’re invited!

6. Officiating Minister/Priest/Pastor. Opt for someone who knows you and your partner well. Someone who will do it wholeheartedly and not just out of duty. Pastor Julius Fabregas took the time to meet with me and my then husband-to-be weeks before even though he already knows me for years and has worked with me on countless projects. My personal tip aside from those already mentioned, choose someone who can deliver a timely, appropriate message without alienating the guests.

7. Ceremony Script. Discuss with your priest/pastor if the script will be coming from him or if he expects you to come up with one. If you have suggestions or requests, make sure you make it clear to him days, even weeks before the wedding.

8. Coordinator. A wedding coordinator is not a must-have, though I must admit I am all-yes when a bride asks me if she should hire one. Weddings can be very stressful and to have someone you trust to take over the goings-on on THE day can be very comforting, if not liberating.

Personal recommendation:;

9. NSO-Certified Birth Certificate

10. Marriage License. Check out this link as to how to secure a marriage license:

11. Marriage Certificate. I strongly suggest you assign a relative or a friend who’ll be in charge of having your principal sponsors sign the certificates after the ceremony. Believe me, you’d be so busy and high-strung to even remember to sit them down to sign. It’s going to be a hassle to have to go to their house/office after the wedding for their signature when you should already be honeymooning by then. For the same reason, my husband had the foresight and wisdom and saw to it that his Best Man took charge in bringing the copies to the City Hall (of the town/province where you got married).

12. Engagement Seminar. Call, visit your municipal hall for their schedules. The seminar usually lasts one day. Although ours started at around 8am and we were done by lunch time.

13. Family Planning Seminar. Being one of the segments discussed in the Engagement Seminar, you do not need to attend a separate one. But since we also attended the SEC-registered Discovery Weekend seminar, we were able to get a more insightful, practical and Christian approach to planning a family.

14. Invites. The number of guests does not have to coincide with the number of invites you should be ordering. Also, there a lot of new and exciting designs out there so I suggest you browse the internet or the printer’s folio first for ideas. Invites nowadays need not be on stock paper. Others print them on fans, CDs, frames, etc.

Sure winner: Pop-up Invites!

And unless your guest will be coming from another country, please please try not to invite via text or email. Set aside a week or two in delivering the invites personally or by snail-mailing them.

15. Thank You Tags. For the souvenirs you’d be giving away towards the end of the reception. Nice if they’re design-coordinated with your invites.

16. Hotel/House for on-the-day preparation. The bigger the room, the better. Think of all the people who’d be coming in - Make Up Artist, Hair Stylist, Photographer, Videographer, On-the-day Coordinators, your mom! Cramped space = Stress = Harassed Bride.

17. Caterer. Research! Ask around. Insist on a food-tasting session. Ask questions. Jot down notes. Jot down deals. Jot down requirements. Jot down agreements. Make them sign. Confirm. The caterer is one of the most important, if not the most expensive suppliers in a wedding so make sure you get what you want and what you pay for.

18. Cake Supplier. If the caterer does not supply the cake, or if their cakes do not pass your standards, you have to scout for a cake supplier. I was lucky to find a cake maker who not only make yummy cakes, but is also talented in designing them. She can follow instructions even if I just describe them over the phone!

19. Cake Topper. Since I wanted a Precious Moments wedding, I bought a Precious Moments Cake Topper.

20. Photographer. Never be hasty in booking a particular photographer. Take time to browse his portfolio/website. Know his artistic style, his work attitude, his rapport with previous clients. Go not only for the talent, but also for the personality. A photographer with no rapport with the subject is a no-no. Who would want to smile at the camera of a photographer who’s masungit and mataray, anyway?

Highly Recommended: Paul Vincent Delos Reyes - 410.5126; 0928.5006912

21. Videographer. Same guidelines as those mentioned above. Check if your chosen photographer has a partner videographer. Sometimes, it’s cheaper if you book them together.

22. Florist. Look at their portfolio. Ask where they get their flowers. Ask previous clients about their punctuality and creativity. One plus factor of my florist was that she was willing to scout for cheaper alternatives for the expensive breeds I’ve been coveting.

23. Bride’s Gown. Whether you go for store-bought gowns or something that’s especially sewn for you, make sure you get something that fits well and flatters your figure.

My personal shouldn’t have: shouldn’t have decided on an expensive gown. Now it’s tucked away in our stock room and the huge box is eating up space!

24. Bride’s Shoes. Most Pinays have small feet. My personal experience was that those being sold at the malls were either too huge or not too formal. Try Marikina Shoe Expo or if you have enough time, go to Marikina City and check out all the little shoe boutiques there.

25. Bride’s Hair and Make-up. Ask for a THMU or a trial hair and make-up session. This isn’t free, though. If I remember it correctly, I paid P500 for the session because my dear HMU Artists who were from Bulacan had to go all the way to Cainta.

26. Wedding Accessories (veil, second veil, tiara/clip/headband, pillows, cord, pouch). These usually come as a package from the gown couturier.

27. Bride’s Jewelries. A pair of simple earrings would do, and your engagement ring if you have one.

28. Groom’s Barong/Suit. And don’t forget the undershirt!

29. Groom’s Shoes. Easier to find. The malls have them!

30. Groom’s Trousers. Again, hit the malls. Or have them made by your local sastre.

31. Entourage Gowns. Depends upon your agreement with your groom/bride, but nowadays, the engaged couple is no longer expected to shoulder the expenses of the ento gowns. In our case, we only paid for the gowns of the mother of the bride and of the groom.

32. Entourage’s Hair and Make-up. Same suggestion as mentioned above.

33. Holy Bible. For a more personal touch, why not use your own Bible and not one that’s been recently purchased in the bookstore.

34. Wedding Rings. Jewelry shops in malls, your suking alahera, the jewelry havens in Manila are good sources.

35. Arrhae

36. Unity Candles and matches

37. Bridal Car

38. Emcee. Choose one who has a track record of being punctual, lively, has rapport with the guests, can adjust to the guests’ mood, age and background, someone who respects the client’s wishes and won’t insist on his/her own programme.

39. Reception Script/Programme. Keep it short, sweet and personal. Sample scripts abound in the net and it’s convenient to download and use them, but if they do not fit your and your partner’s personality, or if it’s something that will most likely bore the guests, better to just come up with your own.

40. Musicians, Singers/Band. Better if you meet with them weeks before the wedding and discuss your choice of songs and music to be played. If you have a list of “must-nots”, make sure you tell them ahead of time. Like maybe a particular song reminds you of an ex, or is associated with a misunderstanding you and your groom had in the past, or is from a soundtrack of a tragic movie, tell them so.

41. Sound system. Request for more than 3 microphones and an excellent system. What’s the use of a wonderful program if only those in front can hear what’s going on.

42. Playlist –for Ceremony and Reception. My playlist was divided into the following categories: 1.) While guests are arriving 2.) Entourage March 3.) Bridal March 4.) Ceremony Proper 5.) Picture Taking Music After Ceremony 6.) Before Reception 7.) During Reception 8.) After Reception

43. Doves and Cage. This is usually included in the package with the caterer, though in my wedding, we decided we won’t have this portion any more.

44. Safety Pins. If you’re having a money dance.

45. Gift Table. Situate this far from the entrance/exit points and assign a trusted friend/relative to take charge so as to avoid missing gifts and envelopes.

46. Cake Table
47. Signature Frame
48. Guest Book/Wish Sheets
49. Principal Sponsors Gift
50. Entourage Souvenirs
51. Guests Souvenirs

52. Bridal Registry. Most popular choices are Rustan’s and Play and Display.

53. Guest Seat Plan

54. Floor Plan

55. Place to stay on night after the wedding

56. Honeymoon


Mannequin. To “wear” your bridal gown while your hair and make-up are being done.


Save-the-date cards

Fans. To avoid oily-faced guests.

Party poppers.

Envelopes for full payment for suppliers.

Baskets for souvenirs

Easels. To display your pre-wedding photos.

Luminaries. To light the path going to the ceremony venue, if you’re having a late afternoon-evening wedding.

Lanterns. For a more dramatic effect.

LCD. For audio-visual presentations.

… and the list goes on and on...

Thursday, March 01, 2012

To D-Link or not to D-Link

Whenever I have something in mind that I want to buy, I can't help but think about it many times a day. Not to mention research, surf, ask around, post in forums before making the purchase, especially if it's a gadget or a trip.

Right now, I'm thinking of buying that D-Link wireless surveillance camera. Will be useful especially once i become yaya-less and have to multitask while Aliya is still sleeping, or if she prefers to stay upstairs in the playroom. Will also be useful once i get a new nanny, have to make sure she's treating my daughter well.

Hmmm, so the question remains, do I buy, or not?

Still Not Over

Sorry if I'm obsessing, but just when I thought I am okay with my yaya leaving next month, I realize I'm still not over it. It hurts, angers and upsets me that inspite of everything we've done for her and given her and her family, she still decided to leave us. The fact that when I enrolled her in computer school, she promised she'd come back after her 2 week vacation in the province... that really pisses me off! She does not know how to keep her promise!

This morning, I am especially super inis with her. She's in a silent and bad mood, and I feel that she doesn't have the right to be nag-iinarte. Her workload here are home is so easy, she can eat anything she wants, and she's well paid. Super kainis that she's parang impatient while she was giving Aliya a bath and helping my daughter dress up for school. I also found out that she's washing her clothes, as in her new and old clothes para pag uwi niya sa province, malinis na lahat. Hello! She's consuming our water and our laundry soap!

Maybe I'm being petty, but I know my feelings are well grounded. I have been a really kind and considerate employer. I keep my promises and give her benefits, both financial and material. She has 1 and a half days off a week, and we renovated one of our rooms so she can have her own bedroom, bed and closet! Argh! I. AM. REALLY. UPSET!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Shoes and Bags Sale!

I normally ignore group emails for SM Advantage Card holders. But two days ago, I tried taking time to read what their announcement is this time, and I was thrilled to know there's going to be a shoes and bags fare at the Megatrade Hall on Friday till Sunday! Megamall is very accessible to our place, it's one of our go-to places since it has everything we need.

The fact that I need to buy shoes for Aliya made me more excited at the prospect of discounts. I might buy a pair or two for me, too, and maybe a couple of bags.

I intend to buy a heavy-duty and really colorful luggage for our travel needs, since the one I have now has been with me for more than 7 years, and has gone to quite a lot of places around the Philippines. It's also been to Hongkong 3x, Bangkok 2 times, Australia 1x, and Singapore 1x. To think it's not even a known brand--- it's called President. But it's been very trusted, spacious and reliable. Until our last trip... when we went to Singapore... we found out the wheels have been damaged upon arrival here in Manila. In fairness to Philippine Airlines, they picked up the luggage and took care of the repair. In less than 24 hours, my luggage is back and working again.

But this coming month, Mama and my sister are going to Hongkong and will be using my President luggage. So maybe after that, I'll let it retire.

So that's one of my must check out/to-buy items at the Megatrade sale. And a good pair of black shoes for Aliya, and of course, Maryjanes and Sneakers for us both.

Yay! I'm getting excited!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Could've Planned it Sooner

Today marks my parents' 40th Wedding Anniversary. I've been wanting to give them a renewal of vows ceremony, but when Papa got sick, and finally joined his Creator last year, I wasnt able to pursue the plan. Sayang. Super sayang.

I know Mama was somehow hoping they'd have something like that. I could've acted sooner, I could've made it a reality years ago. :(

Projects in my Mind

It's almost March and I'm planning new things for the family, and for the house. Off the top of my head, I have to contact a mananahi to make covers for the couches in the living room, then have to contact Mang Caloy, our trusted carpenter for additional cabinets in the bedroom and stock room. Since our nanny is leaving in April, I plan to make some changes in the maid's room to make it more functional. And since there are adjustments to be made, my cabinets need to have more padlocks, so that's another of my projects. Also, I have yet to buy the printer in Office Warehouse, as well as the cctv camera I saw in Cyberzone in Megamall.

For the longest time, I've been planning to have new photos printed so that I'll be finally able to change the pictures on our frames downstairs and in the playroom. Speaking of photos, I have to choose which of our Singapore trip photos need to be printed.

Mama is celebrating her birthday (first year without Papa ever since they got married) in May and I want sana to give her a nice party. So that's another one.

All these I have to finish or at least be halfway through before Ruby leaves in April. Whew!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Multitasking Queen, Me

packing for our trip... writing a script... checking emails... updating my blog... giving instructions to the househelp... helping Aliya with her homework... making sandwiches for the trip... convincing Aliya there's still time to sleep before we head for the road... while I'm not even sure if I can still crash even for just an hour...

Cramming... Again

We're leaving for Pangasinan for the weekend and here I am again trying to beat a script deadline which is due on Sunday. Since I do not want to bring my laptop, I have no choice but to finish the whole thing tonight! To think I'm not done packing yet!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Happy With Our Lampshade

Last Sunday, after church, Romy and I saw a lampshade in Robinsons Galleria which is simple but so nakakaaliw. We're both into the drama of lighting fixtures and we plan to have our lighting system at home re-designed once our budget allows it. We also like lamps and dim lights in hotels.

That's why when we saw this touch-sensitive lampshade in Galleria, I fell in love with it. But because we were pressed for time then, (have to go to Resorts World for the Sound of Music stage play), we didnt get to buy it.

But I can't get it off my mind, that's why I went back for it last Tuesday, before my Pidol's Wonderland meeting. It only costs P1499 and has 4 settings - dim, moderate, bright, and off. All settings can be changed and adjusted just by touching it's body. Plus it's slim and is silver and white makes it simple, decorative and functional at the same time.

Hope to be able to figure out how to post pictures in this blog soon. Once I do, I can foresee this blog's gonna be photos-heavy, hehe.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My Generous 4 year old

Me, my husband and Aliya are going to Pangasinan this weekend. When I asked Aliya if she wants to give some of her used toys to her cousins there, she readily agreed, got a plastic bag and started filling it up with her old toys. I like the way she'd mull over a piece of toy, discern if she still needs it, then decides from there. She was able to fill up the whole bag with toys and stickers from her playroom. I know activities like this train her in her generosity, decision making, and not being attached to material things.

On Monitors and CCTV

Since I'm going to be nanny-less in April, I'm now on the look out for, not just a replacement, but for a good baby monitor. You know, something I can install in the upstairs bedroom and/or playroom so that I can work downstairs while Aliya is sleeping or playing upstairs.

I've heard of sound monitors, and hope to be able to find video and audio monitors. But in my research, these systems work one-way only. Meaning, I can hear my daughter from where she is, but I wont be able to speak to her via the system. Hmmm, I need to research more. I know this will also be helpful when I get a new nanny, so I can spy on how she's treating my daughter.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Print, Scan, Copy, Fax, Photo Print

Woah! Amazing what one machine can do! Was at the Office Warehouse today to buy a micro SD for my Samsung Galaxy Tab (btw, a Transcend 32gb costs Php2200 there), when I saw their stock of HP, Brother and Epson printers. Buying one has been on my list since last month when the need for a printer becomes more frequent thanks to the ensogo vouchers I regularly purchase. Plus the fact that I intend to print worksheets for Aliya more, and of course, to photocopy stuff.

I'm eyeing already a model that I like, and whose ink does not cost alot. The challenge now is where in our now crowded room am I going to place it?!

Magazine Love

As far as I can remember, I've always felt happy each time I buy a magazine of my interest. The feel of crisp paper, whether it be of a magazine, or a book, lights up my mood. It's been a while since I last purchased a copy of Smart Parenting.

I've been very busy with work lately that I can no longer find time to browse a magazine. Nanghihinayang ako na bibili ako pero hindi ko naman mababasa. The last time I bought one was maybe around 5 months ago. Even the DVDS and VCDs I buy, nakatambak lang. It is only now that we're done writing all the episodes of my upcoming soap opera, Felina, that I am able to find time to relax, watch movies and catch up on my reading.

So far, I've read about 3-4 articles from my latest purchase. It always enthralls me to read about mommies who are experiencing almost the same (sometimes totally different) things as I do. I like their Show and Tell portion, the tips and advice I get from practical moms, among other segments.

I intend to enjoy these free times to the hilt while I'm in between soaps. Glad for the other two weekly shows I write for. Keeps me busy but not so.

My "Prudential" Errand

Since I've been nursing a cough and cold combo the past few days, I wasnt able to go to the Travel Expo as planned. After learning about the problem Prudential Life Plans is undergoing, I made the trip to their office today at the Robinsons Corporate Tower to terminate my MIB (Millionaires in Business) account. I was in for a possible spat just in case they ignore me. You see, I've been having a really hard time claiming my check 3 years ago due to a discrepancy in the Certificate of Full Payment they issued me. It's been causing me a lot of stress just speaking to this certain J___ who consistently claims she just receives documents and has no control over when my check will be released. Calling up the main office in Makati wasn't easy either. I keep being transferred from one department to another, from one officer to another. Until I just felt so sick following up about my check and so I stopped calling up, until today.

I'm glad to be able to speak to Ms Beth Ramos at the 6th floor who accommodated me well. She was very nice to talk to and understands how I feel. She even gave me her direct line so that I could call her up for follow up on March 15, once decisions about claims have been made.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dreaming of Alfalfa and Darla

Aliya's been watching The Little Rascals for the past 2 days, over and over again. Yesterday morning, she woke up dreaming of Alfalfa and Darla. In fact, she dreams alot in her sleep, and talks about her dreams every morning. Sobrang nakakaaliw because umagang umaga pa lang, andaldal na niya sobra!

As of this writing, she's downstairs watching Mama Mia and dancing to the tune of Dancing Queen.

And she chose The Sound of Music

The other day, I went shopping and one of the pasalubongs I have for Aliya are three vcds of Angelina Ballerina. I also bought The Sound of Music, Mama Mia, and Little Rascals. Lo and behold, just when I thought she'd spend the next few days with the mouse who dances ballet, she insisted on watching The Sound of Music! And she sat through the whole three hours of the movie! After dinner, she asked me for it to be played all over again! The second time, she was with her nanny, and she was narrating, or should I say preempting the events by telling her nanny what's gonna happen next!

My little girl's such a talker! And what good memory she has, not to mention unpredictable at times. Hahah!


I've been seeing a lot of banners of Thunderbird Resorts lately and I'm quite intrigued. The one in Rizal is quite near our place, but judging from their website,, the one in Poro Point, La Union looks grander. I've always been swept away by photos of Greece, and to come close to it even by just being in a resort with Greece as its theme can make me very happy. Will update in case we finally decide to reserve a room in one of their resorts.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ignoring the Nanny

I know it's wrong. But I can't help it. I've been ignoring the nanny for a week now after learning that she's leaving in April for good. I know I've been a good employer, trying my best to be a friend and a semi-mother to her. We've helped her in so many ways, aside from regularly increasing her salary and giving her bonuses and gifts during special occassions. Whenever I go to the mall, i have something for her when I get back, like a cute pen, or a nice notebook, or a textbook on English, or a Filipino devotional. I could go on and on about the things we give and do for her because we like her and my daughter adores her. But then, I guess them nannies, and helpers do learn to move on easier than employers like me do. She seems unhurt, unfazed, unaffected at all. She in fact seems to be so looking forward to leaving and continuing her high school studies in her province. Despite the fact that I enrolled her in computer classes last month and paid for her full tuition in cash, she still opted to accept her older sister's offer to send her to public school in Leyte.

I'm trying to be nicer the past couple of days, trying to understand that it's her life and I can't control her. I just hope I get over this feeling of disappointment and betrayal. And most of all, that we'd be able to cope with or without a replacement. And that the replacement be far better, more reliable, more caring than this one. And that my daughter will be able to move on and be good friends with the new helper.

Travel Expo 2012

I am sooo looking forward to this year's travel expo. Obviously, the travel bug in me (which is also true for my husband and 4 yr old daughter) can't get enough of exploring different places. We just came from Singapore barely a month ago, and now I'm researching on Batanes, Marinduque and the Thunderbird Resorts in La Union and Rizal. I hope to get to drop by the Philippine Travel Expo which is happening this month from the 17th-19th at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.

I will also be on the look-out for good deals on hotels since this is also one of our cheap thrills as a family. I am lucky that I married someone who feels the same way when it comes to enjoying life and exploring the world. Even my daughter, who enjoys our travels very much, beamed when she saw me this afternoon browsing and surfing the website of Bellaroca Resorts in Marinduque. :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Singapore Travel Kwento Day 4

Day 4:

We were almost done packing the night before and so we were more relaxed on the morning of our flight back to Manila. Medyo hirap nga lang gisingin si Aliya, and I was almost tempted to give in to her request not to take a bach anymore. But since we’re still about to make lakwatsa that whole day, pinilit ko pa rin maligo. I know kasi the feeling na hindi naligo tapos, humid yung weather sa labas, mas pangit yung feeling, eh. Good thing I insisted kasi that put her in a better mood. We requested our friend to move their pagsundo to us to 930 instead of 8 or 830am. Since we were able to check out early, I still had time to go back to Bugis to buy the bag I saw the day before. I so wanted to buy kasi the bag kaya I asked my husband if I can go alone while they waited for our friend at the hotel. Since walking distance lang naman ang Bugis, nakapunta pa ako, videotaped the place, and bought the bag I’d been eyeing. Nagsisi lang ako kasi sana I also bought the other one. Eh dahil I was rushing na, I decided na lang to buy one. By the time I got back to the hotel, wala pa sila. Oh well…

They arrived shortly before 10am. We left our luggages in the hotel and walked to Bencoleen Street. We took the buys, yay! Nice experience because I really like bus rides, especially if the bus is super neat. I like their bus, super layo sa itsura ng bus natin sa Pinas! Malinis, maganda, hi-tech, hehe. Our family friend, the Camachos, pre-bought cards for our transpo. We alighted sa Marina Bay, and yes… they bought us tickets to the Marina Bay Sands Skypark! Woohoo! It was quite an experience! Entering Marina Bay Sands pa lang, super sosyal na. I look forward to checking in there one day. If only it was not our last day in SG, we could’ve stayed in the hotel a bit more to explore the place. Ang ganda talaga, as in tourist spot na siya in itself!

We took the elevator going to the Skypark, which is at the 57th floor! Btw, the tickets cost 20SGD for adults and 14SGD for kids. It was exhilarating at the top. Kita ang buong Singapore. It was wonderful realizing we were higher than the Skyride, hehe. And all the while I thought the Skyride was so taas na, mas may tataas pa pala! Pictorial galore kami sa taas. Wala nga lang ramps kaya mahirap sa stroller. The girl staff was Pinay and she’s the one who took our photos (for viewing later and purchase if you want). We saw all the buildings from a bird’s point of view. We even saw the Louis Vuitton building from atop. We rested for a while and sat on the planks where the air was cool. After around 30 minutes of sitting there and snacking, saka pa lang may staff na lumapit to tell us that it’s bawal to sit there, haha! After 30 minutes talaga before he took notice of us!

Since it was already past 12, we were all hungry na. hindi na namin naikot yung Marina Bay (much to our regret kasi we didn’t get to see the other areas there, including the famous infinity pool!) We went to the 56th floor and viewed our photos. They were all good! We’re not the type who’d purchase photos taken by the staff and placed in illustration board-like frames, haha… but here, we were willing to give in. Pero the Camachos insisted on paying pa rin for our photos, hehe. Thank God for generous friends! The photos, by the way, cost 30SGD for the first print, then 20SGD for the second and succeeding prints. But if you order ata 7 prints, they’ll give you a CD copy of all the photos the staff took of you. Cool! We all got 7 prints, including the Camachos’ and they got the CD. They just tagged us for the other photos kaya sulit pa rin.

After that, we took the bus again and had lunch in Sun Tec City. I was mesmerized by the wall décor sa entrance ng Sun Tec kasi parang library. Ok, maybe I was overreacting and this might just seem ordinary to some, but maybe it’s the geek in me speaking. Yung wall decors nila mga books and books in bookshelves galore! Sayang, hindi kami doon kumain. I would’ve loved to have my photo taken with those as the background.

We strolled a bit after lunch and Aliya fed the fish in the Koi Garden. A pack of Koi food costs 1SGD.
By around 215pm, we bid our goodbyes and thanked them. We took the cab and went back to the hotel. Super perfect timing kasi andun na rin yung coach namin going to the airport. It took siguro around 30 minutes or less going to Changi. Checking in was a breeze. Sa dami ng pwedeng gawin, picturan, mabilhan sa airport, kulang ang time to roam around.

We boarded at around 5pm for our 520pm flight. All in all, it was a wonderful trip. Both hubby and I agree that we enjoyed the vacation a lot and we look forward to going back in the next few years… maybe even checking in at the Marina Bay Sands and lounging at the infinity pool, God willing.

To God be the glory!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine's Day is Coming Up...

... and I still dont have a gift for my husband. I've asked him what he wants but he said he's ok with no gift at all. We just came from a vacation from Singapore and we spent quite an amount in that trip, so maybe he's thinking of making tipid for a while. I'm thinking of treating him to a couple's massage. Hmm, yeah, maybe that'll just be my gift for this year's V-day... unless i come up with something more interesting between today and Tuesday.

Yaya is Leaving and I'm Feeling Disappointed

Our nanny of 3 years is leaving in April and I feel sooo disappointed! She's not perfect but she's the best we've got so far. We've had 4 nannies before we got her and all were close to disastrous helpers. Now that this yaya has told us she's going back to the province to continue her studies, I can't help but feel bad about it. I know she deserves to grow and discover herself more, but maybe because I know my daughter adores her makes it all the more painful. :(

Monday, February 06, 2012

Singapore Travel Kwento Day 3

DAY 3:

On day 3, our half day city tour is scheduled. Kasama ito sa package namin. We were picked up by the coach at 840am, late siya ng 10 minutes. Senior citizen na yung driver and we were wondering if siya ang magtu-tour sa amin, eh hindi naman nagsasalita. Nasanay kasi kami sa Hongkong at Thailand na machika ang mga sumusundo sa amin, que dirver pa siya o tour guide. Tapos, nadapa pa si Aliya. Hindi man lang niya kami tinulungan magfold at magbuhat ng stroller, nakita na nga niya na nagpapakarga si Aliya, hmm. Sa loob ng coach, he wasn’t even talking. So I asked him where he’ll bring us, I mean, what are the inclusions in the city tour. He just said he’s just driving and he’ll bring us to our tour group. Whew! Para kaming nabunutan ng tinik kasi kung siya ang kasama namin sa tour, parang wala kaming matututunan. Eh diba one of the nice things about having a tour guide is yung mga trivia na makukuha mo about that country?

So, hinatid niya kami sa Marina Bay. We were met by the group and the tour guide sa foot ng Marina Bay Skyride. Medyo bad mood si Aliya kasi may gasgas yung knee niya. Ayaw naman niya magpalagay ng band aid. We rode bus number 9, puro Indian families ang kasama namin. Romy said this is our first tour na wala kaming nakilalang Pinoy. The tour guide, whose name I forgot na, first brought us to Merlion Park. Super looking forward kami kasi diba, this is where all tourists go, haha! But since we were only given 15 minutes there, bitin ang pictorial namin. And because there were so many tourists, Sali-saliwa ang nagpapapicture. Daming tao!

Because we were so bait, kami pa ang nauna bumalik sa bus. And because everyone wasn’t there yet, nakapag-restroom pa ako. Next stop was a temple near Chinatown. I forgot the name of the temple, pero ok lang siya. There are more interesting temples in Thailand. Bale ang ginawa lang namin talaga dito, nag-CR. After 15 minutes, off we went to Singapore Gems and Metals Inc. Super ako naaliw dito, precious stones and jewelry making always interests me. Maybe because my own dad used to make jewelries as a hobby. And he had a wide collection of precious stones when I was a child. The workers there remind me of papa’s craft. Makes me miss him all the more, and makes me resent the fact that I wasn’t able to bring him to these places. After a few minutes of picture taking, saka ko lang na-realize that there are earrings, pendants made of precious stones for sale… at 12SGD and above! I so wanted to buy sana pero time’s up na! Downside of being in an organized tour, limitado ang oras sa bawat lugar.

Off we went to the Botanical and to the National Orchid Garden. Super nag-enjoy si Romy because he’s got a green thumb and he likes orchids. Pictorial uli dito, then balik sa bus. Last stop was Little India. Since napagod kami sa paghabol ng oras, and this is the last stop na, and I know through my research that this is just near our hotel, we told the tour guide not to wait for us na. We took our time, though hindi naman wonderful ang makikita dito. Interesting, yes, because of the sights and smell and ambience of being around Indians and their culture, pero wala ako pinamili dito. Pumasok kami sa isang mall, and had lunch there. Romy and I always find different cultures and emerging ourselves in them quite an experience, kaya we opted to stay here for a while and eat here. Though hindi naman extraordinary ang kinain namin. I was always kasi taking into consideration what Aliya will eat, kaya yun ang ino-order ko. So hindi ako umoorder ng maanghang, may toyo at may toge.

Lunch is over and we walked back to our hotel. Medyo long walk kasi may construction sa Bencoleen Street kaya iniwasan namin mga crane at may mga harang kasi sa tawiran. Pagdating sa hotel, my hubby and daughter so wanted to swim. Kaya ayun, nag-swim sila sa pool ng Parc Sovereign, while I grabbed the opportunity to go back to Bugis Street to shop. Ay, super enjoy ako shopping alone! I bought more bags, keychains, a blouse and Merlion Chocolates. Ang cute ng Merlion chocolates, yung may almonds, 6.50SGD lang! I should’ve bought more! As pasalubong to my mag-ama, I bought langka, 5SGD lang!

Pagbalik ko sa hotel, hala, they’re still in the pool! My daughter was having the time of her life swimming! Ang yabang na nga, sarili niya mina-maniobra ang salbabida. I thought to myself, swimming lang pala katapat nito, umalis pa kami ng Pilipinas, haha!

They showered and dressed up, and we ate the langka. Then off we went to Sentosa. We took a cab to Vivo City, picture picture as usual, then went to Level 3 of Vivo City to buy tickets for the Songs of the Sea. 10SGD for adults and kids (same rate) and yung roundtrip monorial to and from Sentosa to Vivo City is around 3SGD yata, not sure anymore. This whole time, tulog na si Aliya, napagod sa swimming. We just let her, para ma-recharge. Wala siyang kamalay-malay, when she woke up nasa giant Merlion na kami sa Sentosa, which is in Waterfront Station. We enjoyed our stay here, taking note of the fact that next time we visit Singapore, we’ll have to spend one whole day in Sentosa so we can avail of more attractions.

Since I so wanted to see a beach, hehe, we proceeded na to Beach Station. Nice! Aliya played with the sand, which is a first because she used to be so diri with sand. Kung may pampalit lang sana kami ng damit, nag-swim muna kami dun! It was already 630pm (at ang liwanag pa!) so we grabbed a quick dinner in McDo. Dinner kami picnic style sa grass outside McDo. Aliya enjoyed this simple joy of eating while sitting on the grass, nagmamadali nga lang kami kasi we have to line up for Songs of the Sea, which will start at 7:40pm. Eh ang tagal ng apple pie which I ordered sa McDo, so we had to hurry up with our dinner.

Medyo gilid na kami sa benches sa Songs of the Sea. We all enjoyed the show, a first for us. Kasi wala namang ganito sa Pilipinas. I love the effects and the water works. Medyo may pagka-80’s nga lang ang acting ng mga actors. The show lasted around 20 minutes I think. We were so hyper and love the feeling na nasa beach pa kami at this hour, hehe. Ambabaw ba?

Konting ikot pa kami sa Beach Station, pictorial uli, then pila na kami to ride the monorial back to Vivo City. One of the nice things about marrying my husband is that, we’re so the same with regards to travelling. We’re both willing to explore, make mistakes, and find interesting stuff about the places we visit. Monorail kami to Vivo City, then cab back to Parc Sovereign. Andun na kami around 845pm.

By 9pm, dumating na yung friend and godson ni hubby na taga-doon na. Kwentuhan sila. Bumaba ako sandali to chat with them, pero sinimulan ko na ang pag-eempake since check out na kami the next day. Pinagkakasya ko mga pinamili namin, to think we have an extra luggage with us. At 12midnight, umakyat na rin sa room sa wakas si Romy and Aliya, announcing we have to check out the next day at 830am because Bimbo and his family will bring us to Marina Bay Sands the next day.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Always Fun

Family reunions are always fun. It is a delight to see the generations increasing!

Friday, February 03, 2012

Singapore Travel Kwento Days3-4

My travel kwentos about our 3rd and 4th day in Singapore are still in the works. Hope to be able to finish them early next week!

The best of both worlds

My babies, which means my husband and daughter are quietly asleep now. I'm still up, obviously, because I still have to finish editing the finale week of the soap opera I'm headwriting. Makes me grateful for a job like this, where I am able to stay at home and be with my family 24/7, yet still make a living out of a career I so dearly love.

Big part of this gratitude is the attitude God has given me and placed in my heart. It's always easy to complain and think that the grass is always greener at the other side of the fence... but come to think of it, lots of parents would want a career like mine. So, tonight, as I always do, let me thank you, God for this life, for this job, for your love.

To God be the glory.

Singapore Travel Kwento Day 1

Airline: Philippine Airlines
Travel Dates: January 26-29, 2012 (4D/3N)
Travel Agent: Scorpio Travel and Tours, Megaplaza, Cityland, Garnet Street, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Hotel Accommodation: Parc Sovereign Hotel, 175 Albert Street, Singapore, Singapore

Day 1:

Our flight was at 6AM. We had to get up at 1AM because I had Basic Taxi pick us up at 2AM. Since we were advised by the travel agent to be at the NAIA Terminal 2 three hours before the flight, we made sure we get there at 3am. Turns out we were too early, because airport staff normally arrives at 4am, so wala rin. Nakapila kami nang matagal, though we filled up our immigration forms na while waiting.

Time for check-in. I specifically asked the girl at the counter to make sure na hindi kami nakatapat sa pakpak ng eroplano, para may view of the sky ang daughter ko. Ayun, sakto kami sa pakpak talaga! Grrr! Eto pa, hindi kami pinagtabi! My husband and 4 yr old daughter Aliya were seated beside each other, pero ako, nasa after the aisle pa! Alam naman niya na family kami travelling together! Hmpf! Parang ewan!

Anyway, the flight departed as scheduled. Ok food, pero iba pa rin sa Singapore Airlines. There was a shortage of blankets, good thing we hand-carried my daughter’s blanket kaya may nagamit siya sa plane. Flight took 3 and a half hours, so we landed in Changi Airport Terminal 2 at 9:30am. Temp was 36degrees!

Immigration personnel were not as intimidating, mainly because they know we were travelling as a family. But as most IOs, hindi sila friendly. We found our sundo without difficulty, as there was only one exit sa terminal 2 arrival area. We got into the coach, which served as our airport transfer service. This one’s included in the package we got. Everytime we travel, gusto namin may airport transfer na, para hindi lugi sa taxi.

I learned early on that Singapore isn’t a huge place after all. Wala pang 30 minutes, nasa hotel na kami. Yun nga lang, Din (whose wife is Pinay and hails from Bacoor, Cavite), the Singaporean who served as our driver has no idea kung tuloy ang half day city tour namin that day. He just said nag-iwan na ng itinerary yung Vacation Asia (our tour operator) sa front desk ng hotel. Good thing they did indeed. At least alam namin kung ano IT namin. When we left kasi the Philippines, ang sure pa lang is that second day ang Universal Studios. Yung half day city tour, hindi pa sure kelan gagawin. Since we got to Parc Sovereign at 11am, wala pang available rooms. Check in is at 3pm, like most hotels. Romy, my husband contacted his friend who lives there and we were told he’ll meet us for lunch. Eh ang tagal dumating, so I thought I’d go look for a money changer muna. Since tanaw ko na ang Bugis Street from our hotel, I explored it right away, alone, on our second hour in Singapore. Natuwa ako sa location ng hotel namin, as in walking distance lang from Bugis, Chinatown, and all those interesting shops and food stalls! Pagbalik ko sa hotel, wala pa ang friend. We rested for a while, changed into more airy clothes, left our luggages sa hotel, and off we went to Bugis for lunch. Tuwang tuwa kami sa Bugis! Naoverwhelm ako kasi andami ko na gusto bilhin agad! And the stuff there are cheap! If only it’s not time for lunch yet, I’d beg Romy to go explore na kami! Anyway, our first lunch was in an eatery in Bugis. Mine was Sweet and Sour Pork Rice (SG$2.50), Romy got a Chili Chicken Meal with Salted Vegetable Rice (SG$2.50). Conversion is to multiply by around Php33.00. We got fruit juices for SG$1.00 each. Not bad!

After lunch, Romy and Aliya headed back to the hotel while I asked to be left for awhile so that I can go buy some stuff in Bugis. Super aliw! Parang Pratunam experience, daming bilihin! I bought keychains (12 pieces for SG$10), ref magnets (4 for SG$10), and Singapore bags (3 for SG$10), and vowed to return for more. Kung hindi lang nagtext si Romy na may room na kami, hindi pa ako babalik, eh. I did kasi the packing, so ako lang nakakaalam where to find immediate necessities like their slippers, change of clothes, vitamins, etc.

Few minutes after staying sa hotel, Romy’s barkada who now lives and works in Singapore said he’ll bring us to Orchard Road. Since I’m the OC-OC traveler who’d research muna before going to a different place, alam kong Orchard is the sosyal part of Singapore with all the nice malls and where the branded (read: expensive) stuff are. Since hindi naman kami pumunta dito para mag-mall at bumili ng branded, I wasn’t as interested. But the friend looked to eager to bring us there, andun daw ang Lucky Plaza where the Pinoys and Filipino stores are. Sa loob-loob ko lang, galing kami sa lugar na puro Pinoy, dadalhin mo kami ngayon sa lugar na puro pa rin Pinoy? Not wanting to hurt his feelings, and giving him the benefit of the doubt, hala, sige! Sama! Aysus! Taga-Singapore nga siya pero hindi pala siya expert sa commuting outside his place of work and residence! Anlayo ng nilakad naming makarating lang sa MRT Station, dalawang lipat ng trains, and pagbaba sa Orchard Road, haba pa ng lakad. Para daw makita namin ang malls! Sumesenyas na ako kay Romy na this is not what we came here for. Edi sana nag-Rustan’s or Shangrila na lang ako. Plus, si Aliya was getting irritated na. Antok and pagod na. And wala naman interesting tingnan for a kid like her. Haay, may pagka-insensitive lang talaga yung guy kasi vocal na nga kami na wag na sa mall kasi sawa na kami sa mall, lakad ever pa rin siya, wanting us to see this and that mall! Bottom line, dadating ang nanay niya at gusto niya ipasyal sa Orchard. OMG! Nadamay pa kami! Ok, he wants us to enjoy, he wants his nanay to enjoy, pero point is, this is not our idea of pasyal in Singapore. And Orchard is not in our list of places to go dahil hindi naman kami ma-branded na shoppers. Took a long time before he let us go. Antagal pa niya bago nakahanap ng taxi, hindi rin daw kasi niya alam kung pwede magpapara kung saan-saan lang. I told them kasi hindi na kaya ng powers ko mag-MRT uli. Taxi na lang kahit medyo mas mataas ang fare. Whoah! Yung metro ng taxi was only SG$5.00! Nagpakapagod pa kami kanina… pero nice experience mag-train. Pero dahil may kasama kaming bata, syempre take into consideration ko rin energy level ni Aliya.

When we got back to the hotel, it was around 415pm. Super antok kami lahat, we took a nap and woke up at 7pm. Ang liwanag pa ng 7pm dun! Parang 4pm lang ang itsura! We freshened up, then off we went to Bugis and Chinatown uli for dinner hunting. Pero hindi rin napigilan ni Romy kasi nag-pasalubong shopping na rin siya that night. Nag-ikot ikot kami sa mga RTW, bags, souvenir shops, fruit stalls, etc. Tuwa kami sa mga orchids, and the Chinese who visit and read their horoscopes along the road are interesting! May mga naghuhula din, at maraming nagpapahula. We had dinner dun sa hawkers center sa Albert corner Prinsep Street. Food this time was so-so. At SG$3.50, I got rice, nuggets, hotdogs, fries combo meal kasi gusto ni Aliya ng fries. Romy got noodles na super anghang. Price was around that range din. I saw a dessert station,, yung flavored ice with gulaman, corn and bits of what tries to look like strawberries, pero HINDI masarap! I remember kasi having something like that during our trip to Thailand years ago, masarap yun. Ito, hindi. Hmmm, hindi lang siguro ako marunong pumili.

By around 1030pm, umuwi na kami sa hotel. Hindi ko napigilan, naligo pa rin ako kahit malamig. At 1130pm, we called it a night.

Singapore Travel Kwento Day 2

DAY 2:

Breakfast at 8am. Gulat kami kasi when we were giving our meal stub sa buffet, the waiter was asking for a third meal stub. For the baby. Pay for the baby, sabi niya. Eh sa ibang hotels, libre naman si Aliya, ah. Punta ako sa front desk, and complained. Syempre wala sila magawa, ganun daw ang policy. Inis ako kasi hindi naman for sure kakain ng buffet si Aliya! Malamang cereals lang. Pero siningil pa rin kami ng SG$6. Sabi ko, i-charge na lang sa credit card ko. the receptionist said pwede i-settle na lang upon check out, umoo na lang ako. Kesa hindi namin papasukin si Aliya sa restaurant, hindi ko mate-take yun! So ayun nga, ni hindi niya naubos ang cereals, at isang kagat lang siya sa nuggets. Ohwell.

9:30am, sinundo na kami ng coach. Kami lang ang laman. Walang ibang sinundo. In less than 20 minutes nasa Sentosa na kami. Very accommodating yung driver, si Mr East. Dami niya tips. Pagdating sa Universal Studios, wala nang pila-pila. Syempre picture picture kami dun sa globe ng USS. First mascot we saw was Frankenstein, then nagpa-picture kami kay Woody Woodpecker. The first half of USS mostly for kids – Madagascar, Shrek, The Lost World. Tuwa kami dun sa Madagascar: A Crate Adventure. First time ni Aliya sumakay ng ride! I know medyo kabado siya, but not afraid. Kami pa nasa pinakaharap sa ride, so kita niya lahat. Happy naman kasi very entertaining the whole ride. Tapos ng ride, picture with the Madagascar cast, very festive ang music sa area na ito. Then watch kami ng SHREK’s 4D Adventure. Cute din, fun and worth the pila. Buti nga hindi mahahaba ang pila the day we were there. Hindi pa sanay si Aliya mag-wear ng 3d glasses. This is her 3rd 3d experience pero may pagka-wary pa siya. All in all, it was a nice show. Nagpa-picture kami kay Puss in Boots, hindi lumabas si Shrek and Fiona! Then buy kami ng Shrek shirt (SG$23.90), kiddie USS shirt (SG$19.50), and a Fiona doll (SG$26.90). Romy got a Donkey shirt, free kasi for every two shirts bought. Bumili din ako ng USS fans (SG$2.900 each).

Next stop is Jurassic Park, The Lost World. Gusto ko sana sumakay pero gutom na kami. And tirik na ang araw nito. We ate at the Discovery Restaurant, the structure and interiors of which resembles the hall used in Jurassic Park the movie… yep, where the famous shaking jelly ace scene was shot. Tapos, eati kami with Jurassic Park soundtrack playing, nice experience! I’ve always been a fan of the movie kaya aliw ako here.

On to Ancient Egypt. Aliya likes this part as well kasi during one of their school activity, she was an Egyptian princess. Kaya feeling niya, can relate siya, hehe. Maraming eyptians dito for picture taking, may men on stilts na kunyari horses sila. Ganda ng exteriors dito. We wanted to ride the Treasure Hunters attraction kaya lang when we saw the ride itself, parang wala lang. But I love the fact that we got a photo op with a Brendan Fraser look-alike who’s posing as The Mummy’s Rick O’Connelly.

After this area, punta kami sa SCI-FI City. Andito si Optimus Prime, picture picture. And I SOOOO wanted to try the Transformers The Ride. Up to now, I’m not over the fact that I wasn’t able to ride it! Ang haba kasi ng pila! Usap na kami ni Romy na babalikan nila ako after 15 minutes, pero 40 minutes pa pala ang waiting time! Eh may mga hindi pa kami napupuntahan. So off we proceeded to New York (Street). Andun ang New York Public Library, ginaya talaga nila ang itsura ng New York. Complete with a parked yellow cab. Then may performers dun. Tapos buy kami ng more souvenir items. It is a must for me talaga na wherever we go, may bibilin akong keychains, ball pens and ref magnets. Keychains I bought were priced at around SG$7.60-SG$10.00. Ref magnet was I think less than SG$10.00. Bought pens ranging from SG$7-SG$10.00 each Aliya was so fond of this Woody Woodpecker pen so I bought it, priced at SG$10.90.

Off we went to Hollywood Street. More shops, and where Steven Spielberg’s show Lights! Camera! Action! was on. As well as the live musical classic, Monster Rock. An all-Americal boyband consisting of really cute guys were performing really upbeat songs from the 60’s. I feel transformed back in time! I took more pictures of them than I did for Po of Kung Fu Panda, and other mascots we saw in there. Romy had his pics taken beside the vintage cars parked outside Mel’s diner. This part of USS resembles America decades ago.

Since we had an hour to go before pick-up time, we watched the interactive Donkey Show in Far, Far Away… which was I think, not even worth the cueing up for. We had our pictures taken with Betty Boop, Po of Kung Fu Panda, and Marilyn Monroe.

At 7pm, we met Mr East at our meeting place and went back to our hotel. Since we were too tired to walk far for dinner, we ate at the nearby food center just round the corner from our hotel. Romy bumped into another old friend and we had a nice chat over wanton noodles and chicken rice.