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, www.thunderbirdresorts.com, 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.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

My Top Ten Local Junk Foods

There are days when I just want to give in to my craving for junk foods. Never mind the cholesterol they’d be giving me. The following is a list of what I usually buy whenever I need that unhealthy-food-fix.

10. Piattos Sour Cream Flavor by Jack and Jill- cheaper than Lay''s Sour Cream

9. Moby Chocolate Puff- puffy and airy sensation in the mouth

8. Dingdong Mixed Nuts by JBC Food- whenever I crave for something salty

7. Curly Tops by Ricoa- brings back childhood memories

6. Goya Dark Chocolate- inexpensive alternative to the imported dark ones

5. Chocolate Sponge by Oishi- melts in your mouth goodness

4. Oishi Marty’s Cracklin’ Salt ‘n Vinegar Flavor- satisfies craving for real chicharon

3. Clover Cheese Flavor by Leslie’s- the thinner and cheesier, the better

2. Chippy Barbecue Flavor by Jack ‘n Jill - best with Coke

1. Chiz Curls by Jack ‘n Jill - my all time favorite!

Requirements in Applying for a Marriage License in the Philippines

Whether you plan on having a civil or a church wedding, the Marriage License is a requirement in getting married in the Philippines. Application for the license can be secured at the local Civil Registry from the city, town or municipality where either the bride or groom resides. Your personal appearance is also a non-negotiable requirement in the said application. Philippine law prescribes a ten-day waiting period from the filing of the Application to the issuance of the marriage license. The license is valid for 120 days from date of issuance and may be used anywhere in the Philippines.

The following documents are also required alongside the application form:

Birth Certificate of each of the contracting parties. Some civil registrars honor only Certified True Copy issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO). Online application for birth and marriage certificates are now being accepted by NSO via the e-Census, a web facility aimed to provide Filipinos within and outside the country a faster means in applying. It also has a 24-7 hotline called the NSO Helpline Plus:telephone no. (632)-7371111. Their email address is
2. Parents'' Consent (for 18-21 years old) or Parent''s Advice (for 21-25 years old).
3. Certificate of Attendance in a pre-marital counseling and family planning seminar conducted by the Division of Maternal and Child Health at the Municipal/City Hall in the same municipality or city where the contracting parties applied for the marriage license.
4. Marriage Contract. This applies if the couple has already civilly married. It should be marked ''Certified True Copy'' and issued by the city/town Civil Registry Office where the wedding has been officiated. Whether you plan on having a civil or a church wedding, the Marriage License is a requirement in getting married in the Philippines. Application for the license can be secured at the local Civil Registry from the city, town or municipality where either the bride or groom resides. Your personal appearance is also a non-negotiable requirement in the said application. Philippine law prescribes a ten-day waiting period from the filing of the Application to the issuance of the marriage license. The license is valid for 120 days from date of issuance and may be used anywhere in the Philippines.

The following documents are also required alongside the application form:

1. Birth Certificate of each of the contracting parties. Some civil registrars honor only Certified True Copy issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO). Online application for birth and marriage certificates are now being accepted by NSO via the e-Census, a web facility aimed to provide Filipinos within and outside the country a faster means in applying. It also has a 24-7 hotline called the NSO Helpline Plus:telephone no. (632)-7371111. Their email address is
2. Parents'' Consent (for 18-21 years old) or Parent''s Advice (for 21-25 years old).
3. Certificate of Attendance in a pre-marital counseling and family planning seminar conducted by the Division of Maternal and Child Health at the Municipal/City Hall in the same municipality or city where the contracting parties applied for the marriage license.
4. Marriage Contract. This applies if the couple has already civilly married. It should be marked ''Certified True Copy'' and issued by the city/town Civil Registry Office where the wedding has been officiated.

The Divisoria Experience

Nuong bata pa ako, ang ideya ko tungkol sa Divisoria ay isang malayo, mainit, masikip na lugar kung saan kailangan kong mag-ingat sa naglipanang mga mandurukot, at kapag uwian na’y malagkit at mabaho ang pakiramdam. Not to mention, masakit ang ulo sa tindi ng araw. Whew! Puro negative, noh?

‘Yan ay nuong hindi ko pa naa-appreciate ang Divisoria. Pero simula nang magtrabaho ako’t nagkaroon ng limang barkadang babaeng mahilig bumili ng tela sa Tutuban, na-realize kong hindi naman pala dapat katakutan o iwasan ang Divisoria. For the first 2 trips, buong barkada kaming pumupunta doon mula sa opisina namin sa Ortigas. Pero nang kalaunan, natuto na akong pumunta mag-isa. Pero Cluster Mall at Tutuban Center lang ang kaya kong suyurin nuon. Duwag pa akong mag-experiment sa ibang katabing establishments.During my wedding preparations, doon ko natutunan ang pasikot-sikot sa Divisoria. Doon ako nagsimulang ma-inlove sa shopper’s haven na ito. At nang magkaroon kaming mag-asawa ng isang mini-grocery, sinasadya talaga namin ang Divi para bumili ng mga paninda. In fact, kahit sa pagbisita ko ng ilang beses sa Chatuchak sa Bangkok, na according to Wikipedia ay ang largest market of the world, mas at home pa rin ako sa Divi.

I’ve always loved going to flea markets. Likas na kuripot, naha-high ako kapag nakakakita ako ng mga stall after stall of inexpensive goodies. Feeling proud ako kapag may nahahalukay akong mura pero magandang damit sa tambak ng mga “sale.” At yan ang nae-experience ko kapag pumupunta ako ng Divi. In fact, sa pinakahuling pagpunta ko doon nitong buwan ng Mayo, sobrang ni-look forward ko siya na halos hindi ako agad nakatulog the night before, nililista sa utak kung ano ang mga bibilhin ko. Pag-uwi ko, naaalala ko pa rin ang ilang bagay na pinanghihinayangan kong hindi ko binili.

So, paano nga ba natin ma-e-enjoy ang Divisoria? Para sa akin, dapat may plano ka. May strategy. Para hindi sayang ang oras, para hindi doble ang pagod, para hindi mapabili ng mahal kung may mas murang mabibilhan pa pala. Through the past months, I have developed a fool-proof step-by-step plan kapag magdi-divi ako. Eto ang planong iyon, na baka makatulong sa inyo:

1. Go on a weekday. Mas kaunti ang tao, mas hindi siksikan. In my case, Lunes o Martes ako pumupunta. Iniiwasan ko lalo na ang Miyerkules dahil araw ng simba sa Quiapo, maraming taong namimili pagkatapos magsimba.
2. Start early. I always make it a point that I leave the house (I live in Cainta) before 9:30am. I take the LRT instead of the bus para mas mabilis ang byahe.
3. From Isetann Recto, sasakay ako ng jeep pa-Divisoria. Hindi ako bumababa sa Tutuban Mall dahil ang strategy ko lagi ay inuuna kong mamili sa malalayong building (168 Mall, Divisoria Mall) saka ako maglalakad pabalik sa bungad kung saan naroon ang Cluster Building at Tutuban Mall.
4. Kapag inip ka na sa traffic along Recto, at kung hindi na gumagalaw ang jeep na sinsasakyan mo, maari nang bumaba sa may McDo at lakarin ang papuntang Divisoria Mall.
5. By the way, mas maiging mag-commute na lang dahil pahirapan ang parking sa lugar na ito.

Ngayon, hindi naman kailangang puntahan ang lahat ng malls at kalsada sa Divisoria. Tulad ng nabanggit ko na, dapat may plano ka--- kasama diyan ay kung ano ang bibilhin. Heto ang isang tip: kung mga laruan at party needs ang hanap mo, the best ang Divisoria Mall. Sa ground floor, nanduon lahat ng mga laruan from Barbie dolls, to kotse-kotsehan, to pogs and text cards, to collectors figurines ng Ben-10, Naruto, Pokemon, etc. Banig-banig kung ibenta ang mga toy cars, play money, glitters, badges, etc. Ang mga cartoon character stickers ay pumapatak from P2.50 up. Kiddie wallets cost P5.50 up. Dito rin makakabili ng mga party hats, banners, balloons, piñata, loot bags items, at kung anu-ano pa. Sako-sako ng mga palto-platuhan, maliliit na kutsara’t tinidor, mga kupita at kung ano-anong laruan para sa bahay-bahayan ang matatagpuan din dito sa ground floor na mabibili ng per kilo. Hindi nga lang masisiguro ang quality ng mga ito lalo na matapos tayong ma-inform tungkol sa dangers imposed by the paints used on such toys.

Tip: Kung masyado kayong nalalayuan sa Divisoria Mall, may isang toy store din sa ibaba ng Cluster Mall at Alexis Marketing. Mas mahal nga lang nang kaunti ang mga ito.

Sa upper floors ng Divisoria Mall, mayroong mga clothes, bags and accessories but I personally find the selection in 168 trendier.

Bago tayo lumakad papuntang 168, though, madadaanan natin ang Tabora Street. Dito kung saan naglipana ang mga kitchen supplies tulad ng mga pots and pans, gas range, pandakot ng bigas, tongs, spatula… basta anything for the kitchen. Konting lakad pa along Tabora ay kung saan naman makaka-order kayo ng souvenir items for weddings, birthday parties, corporate give-aways. May mga gumagawa rin ng tarpaulin, invitations at banners. Dito rin sa Tabora nakapwesto ang mga tindahan ng mga lace, beads, ribbons, gift boxes at iba pang party-related items. At speaking of parties, narito rin ang mga pang-costume party ng mga chikiting tulad ng fairy wings, angel wings, bird wings, mascara, etc. Nagtitinda rin sila ng mga stuffed toys at some native items tulad ng abaniko, salakot, banig, sinamay at kung ano-ano pa.

Usually, from Tabora, tuloy na ako sa 168 Mall. Mas malawak ang choices dito pagdating sa mga damit, bags, shoes, accessories, kikay stuff. May mga shirts for men and women for as low as P100, at mga blouses na nagsisimula sa P250.00. Of course may mga 3 for P100 at P65.00 na mga kamiseta sa bangketa along Recto pero mas may quality ang mga nasa 168. Ang sikat ngayong ion-free sports watch na binebenta ng P100 each sa mga tiangge sa mga malls sa Ortigas ay nagkakahalaga ng 2 pieces for P130 sa 168. Ang mga hikaw, bracelets, at kung ano pang kakikayan ay mabibili sa P10 each, kahit anong disenyo! Dito sa 168, makakabili rin ng mga household items and décor, school and office supplies, electronics tulad ng cellphones, portable dvd players, mp5, at hardware items.

Malinis din ang food court sa 4th floor ng 168. Mayroong Jollibee, Rice in a Box, Greenwich, Reyes Barbecue, among others. Bagamat hindi spic and span ang restrooms, pwede na kumpara sa ibang public restrooms sa ibang karatig-malls.

From 168 pabalik ng Recto Ave, may mga nagtitinda ng Japanese corn (P35 per kilo), suha (3 for P100), broccoli (P50 per tali) at kung ano-ano pang gulay at prutas. Konting lakad pa at naroon ang hardware items at rolyo-rolyo ng cotton and polyester stuffing for pillows and stuffed toys. Sa pagbaybay ninyong muli along Recto Ave ay makakakita kayo ng mga interesting finds. Sneakers for P50, flipflops for P25, knapsacks from P150 above, payong for P50 above, underwear for P20, belts for P20, men’s pamporma shorts for P70 to P160, infant wear (mayroong 3 for P100). At dahil nalalapit na ang pasukan, naka-display din ang mga school uniform, school supplies, shoes, bags, etc. Ang mga spiral notebook na tig-P19.75 sa malls ay P9.00 lang sa divi.

Malamang, sa mga oras na ito ay gutom na uli kayo. Bakit hindi subukan ang mga ulam sa Sarap! Sarap! Sa ibaba ng Alexis Marketing along Recto. Malimit kaming kumain dito ng asawa ko dahil napakaraming choices ng ulam at mura pa. Magtiyaga nga lang maghintay ng mauupuan dahil palaging puno ang lugar na ito. Very friendly, alert and accommodating ang staff pero kung ikaw ang tipo ng hindi nae-enjoy ang pagkain dahil maingay ang paligid, this is not the place for you. Todo ang volume ng sound system nila at may walang kapagurang “barker” pa na nagtatawag ng costumers sa may entrance ng pwesto nila. Konting lakad at naroon ang Chowking for a more relaxed and airconditioned meal time.

Sa may ibaba ng Chowking, narito ang nabanggit ko na kaninang toy store kung ayaw mo nang kariring pumunta pa sa Divisoria Mall. Sandamakmak din ang mga mura sa Alexis Marketing kung saan laging ga-higanteng plastic bags ang bitbit ko sa tuwing namimili ako dito.

Kung tela naman ang hanap ninyo, pasok na sa Cluster Mall. Nang una kong na-realize na kayak o palang pumunta ng Divisoria many years ago, dito ako dumidiretso upang bumili ng tela na ipatatahi ko sa aming kustorera. Dito rin ang puntahan ng mga bibili o magpapasadya ng mga gowns. Sa 2nd floor, pag-akyat ng escalator, diretso na sa Pasilio H at doon ang sunod-sunod na mga pwesto ng mga gowns. Biro ninyo, a fully-beaded wedding gown can cost for as low as P5,000.00 only! Mother of the bride gowns and entourage gowns cost P3,000 and up, depende sa istilo at telang gagamitin. In fact, 3 years ago, nang ikakasal pa lang ako, ang mga flower girl gowns ay nagkakahalaga lamang ng P350 ++! Syempre, mayroon din ditong mga barong at coats para sa mga kalalakihan.

Ngayon, ewan ko lang kung matapos suyurin ang lahat ng lugar na nabanggit ko ay may lakas pa kayong mamili sa Tutuban Mall. It’s also worth the trip but I personally find their stuff more expensive. Pumapasok na lang ako dito upang magpahinga at magpalamig. Ilang minuto lamang ay tatawid na uli ako ng kalsada upang sumakay ng jeep papuntang Isetann-LRT, kung saan nagtatapos ang aking full day adventure sa Divisoria, ang isang lugar na alam kong babalik-balikan ko hanggang hindi nawawala ang aking enjoyment sa pagsha-shopping.

Checklist: School Supplies and Rainy Schoolday Gear

ng sumusunod ay ang mga basic requirements na hinihingi at the start of the school year. Kung ilan ang dapat bilhin (tulad ng mga kwaderno) ay depende sa required ng teachers. Sa checklist na ito, maaring may mga kulang, at maari ring may mga hindi kailangan. Adjust to what your student really needs.

Isang kahon ng Pencils
Isang kahon ng crayons
Water Color and Brush
Glue/glue sticks
Pencil case

Pad of Lined Paper
Folders (Short and Long)
Envelope (Brown and Plastic, Short and Long)
Oslo Paper
Bond Paper
Pocket dictionary
Stapler, Staple remover
Correction Fluid/ correction pen
Hand wipes/ hand sanitizers
School Bag (with or without stroller)
Lunch bag or lunch box
No-spill drink container
ID Cord
School Uniform
PE Uniform
School Shoes
Sneakers for PE Class
Socks and other underwear
Face Towel

Hindi na nga yata natin mababago na ang opening of classes dito sa ating bansa ay alinsabay din sa hudyat ng tag-ulan. Kaya naman hindi dapat mawala sa listahan natin ang bilhan ng tama at sapat na proteksyon sa ulan ang ating mga bagets. Narito ang mga must-haves sa tag-ulan.

Raincoat – tendency nating bumili ng one or two sizes bigger dahil iniisip nating kalalakihan lang naman ito ng ating mga anak. Pero personally, hindi ko makalimutan how I hated the feeling of wearing my plastic raincoats way back in elementary and highschool dahil maliban sa mainit sa katawan ang mga ito ay ang laki-laki pa ng binibili ng parents ko para sa akin. Lalo na kapag nakasuot sa ulo ko ang plastic hood at tatawid ako sa kalsada, takip ang buong mukha ko dahil sa laki at tigas ng material ng hood! Thank God never naman akong nasagasaan! Make sure you get those that fit comfortably and those with hoods that move with the head.

Rainboots – exciting para sa akin nuong bata pa ako ang maglakad sa baha. Pero syempre, hindi advisable na basain ang aking “charol” black shoes and white socks. Kaya naman very convenient ang mga bota, kahit na ba mabigat sila sa paa.

Plastic Shoes/Gelly Shoes – kung hindi komportable ang mga chikiting sa bota, try making them wear these gelly shoes. They are light, waterproof and molds to your feet’s shape.

Payong – cute sana ang mga five-fold umbrellas pero sa mga panahong bumabagyo na, hindi maaasahan ang karamihan sa mga ito. Invest in the long umbrellas that give better coverage and protection.

Jacket – kung proteksyon sa ulan ang kailangan, mas makakabuting waterproof jackets ang bilhin. The more pockets, the better.

Tandaan, hindi kailangang mamahalin o bago lahat ng gamit sa pagdating ng pasukan. Ilan lamang sa mga tipid tips ay ang sumusunod:

1. I-check kung kasya pa ang school uniform from last year. Kung kasya pa o pwede pang i-repair, fight the temptation of buying a new one. Naririnig ko noon sa mother at mga tita ko na pinasosobrahan nila ang tela kapag nagpapagawa sila ng uniform naming magpi-pinsan upang pwede pang luwagan o habaan sa mga susunod na taon.

2. This is basic shoe care. Tuwing hapon, o gabi pagkatapos gamitin ang sapatos, hayaan munang nahahanginan at huwag ipasok sa kahon nang madumi. Huwag hayaang naiipon ang putik, alikabok, pawis at amoy sa sapatos. A wet wash cloth would do for quick everyday clean-ups. To prevent odor, soak a ball of cotton in alcohol and insert in the shoe. The more you take care of your shoes, the longer they will last… thus, the less likely you have to buy a new pair.

3. Sigurado, may mga pahina ang mga old notebooks from the last school year na hindi pa nagagamit. Bakit hindi tanggalin ang mga ito from their original binding, ipunin ang lahat ng unused pages from other old notebooks saka tahiin ng yarn. Voila, my new notebook ka na!

4. At ang pinakatipid sa lahat, huwag mahiyang gumamit ng mga hand-me-downs. Mga bigay ng mga kamag-anak, kaibigan, kapitbahay. Kung malinis, maganda at maayos pa, bakit itatapon na, hindi ba?

Sa panahon ngayon, ang pagiging matipid ay hindi nangangahulugan ng pagiging kuripot, kundi ang pagiging resourceful and wise. Ang mahalaga ay nakakapag-aral ang iyong mga bagets dahil sa pagpupursige mo. Malay mo, ang pinapag-aral mo pala ngayon ay ang magiging movers and shakers of this nation in the future!

Checklist: Things to Buy for your Newborn

This article was written around 3 years ago. Hope this helps expectant moms who are starting to shop for their babies:

The moment I realized I was pregnant, one of the things I was so excited to do was to shop for the baby. But it was only until I was 7 months pregnant that my husband and I made our first purchase for the baby – tie-side shirts. Being obsessed with lists, I asked family and friends for suggestions as to what to buy for the baby lest I get carried away and spend a fortune for things we don’t actually need.Here’s what I came up with:

Baby Book for records
Parenting Book (What to Expect the First Year)
Disposable Newborn Diapers – Prokids carry a line of newborn nappies
Cloth Diapers
Chino Pino - but ended up not using this at all
Rubber Mat for changing diapers/Changing Table
Diaper Rash Cream -Desitin
Petroleum Jelly
Cotton Balls
Cotton Buds
70% Isopropyl Alcohol
Baby Wipes
Diaper Pail
Receiving Blankets
Tie-side Shirts, Onesies - sleeveless, short-sleeved, long-sleeved
Mittens and Booties – ties preferably, not garterized ones
Caps – my baby didn’t like wearing caps, though
C-Shaped Pillow – for support while breastfeeding the baby
Pillow cases
Bolster and extra bolster cases
Bedsheets, Comforter
Bathing Net
Small Basin, Plastic Canisters, Small Basket/Carry-All
Nursing Bra – believe me, it’s close to impossible to breastfeed with an ordinary bra!
Breastpump – used the Pigeon Electric Pump
Breastpad – also by Pigeon. But it can get very expensive especially if your breasts are full. Others suggest cut-out panty liners or cotton hankies.
Breastmilk Bottle Liners –by Playtex
Adult Diapers/Sanitary Pads –for the first few days after pregnancy as the flow tends to be really heavy!
Nipple Guard
Sterilizer -electric or stove top
Feeding Bottles –Avent can be very expensive but it’s worth it!
Bottle and Nipple Brush
Baby Soap, Shampoo and Oil – we personally use Nivea and Johnson and Johnson’s.
Saline Nose Drops –Salinase
Nasal Aspirator – the old-fashioned, rubberized ones are more effective
Nail Clipper – by Safety 1st
Baby Brush and Comb –by Safety 1st
Night Light
Diaper Bag – the more compartments, the better.
Stroller/Umbroller – umbroller is more portable and a lot lighter.
Carseat – a must-have especially in the states.
Playpen/Crib/Bassinet –make sure you buy a really sturdy piece as babies can get really active once they’ve discovered what else they can do aside from lie in bed and sleep.
Rocker – though my baby only used this until she was 3 months old.
Baby Monitor – nice to have, but not necessary

Pajama Party

Aliya will be attending her first ever pajama party today! Yay! I don't even remember being able to attend one when I was a child, much more when I was already an adult. Their teachers were the ones who organized this, even suggesting to bring along blankets, snacks and flashlights. Haha! I'm excited for my little girl!

4 Years After...

A lot has happened that I havent been able to blog for four, yes, four looong years!
Anyway, I'm back now and hope to be able to blog regularly again.
I am doing this for my daughter, Aliya, though I intend to be able to share and help others with the things I'll be writing here... most probably reviews, rants, raves, mothering experiences, etc.

I hope to be able to start writing about our recent Singapore trip. Blogs about stuff I am interested in help me a lot many times, and I intend to do the same.

So, hi again, world! This is abibride, signing off, but only temporarily.