Post-Christmas Post

Christmas has come and gone. The New Year is almost upon us. How are you? Have you experienced soul-searching moments that usually come during holidays, as I have?

I've given thought to a lot of things recently. What do I want to do with my life? How can I improve as a person, a wife, a parent, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend? Do you think things like that too?

I always find the Yuletide season as a time of reflections – for the year that was and the year that is to come. What were my greatest joys? What were my mistakes? What can I do so as not to repeat bad experiences within my control? How can I show my love to those people who are important to me? How can I get better as a writer?

Ah, so many thoughts, so many worries. My husband has the perfect answer. He would always remind me "Trust God and pray always, and everything else will fall into place." I have to agree. And with that, I'll be greeting the new year wearing a smile on my face and with confidence that having God and my family beside me, I have less chances of doing wrong. After all, I do believe that the best and good intentions have the most chances of turning out well in the end. Welcome 2004!


Nido's Xmazing Eyes

Now I'm amazed. Those little eyeglasses free from boxes of Nido Full Cream Milk are awesome! And it's a mom talking here!

It's wonderful literally seeing through a child's eyes. You get to see stars, snowflakes, smileys and even angels when you use the different glasses to look at Christmas lights. I felt like a kid myself while I stare in wonder at those dancing designs before my eyes.

It's nice sharing my children's happiness by simply doing an activity that they and I enjoy รข€¦ that is, looking at stars and angels on the Christmas tree using our "magical" glasses. Definitely, one of the Christmases they won't forget easily.



Kate and Leopold

Studio 23 aired this movie last night. I’m always fascinated with novels and movies with settings in the renaissance or Victorian eras (or anything that involves time travel like Freejack, Time Cop and Somewhere in Time). I was literally transfixed with the story, I had to shush the kids often so I can hear everything said better. I saw it for the first time. Hugh Jackman who played Leopold was superb! If ever the film industry will be looking for the next James Bond, I’ll vote for him (not Hugh Grant, heaven forbid!). He played his part so well, looking dashing and handsome in the 21st century without looking stupid or silly.

I like the cast. Meg Ryan’s performances always delight me. Those who played Charlie and Stuart were also great. I loved the storyline! Not the usual boy-meets-girl simple plot, rather something like boy-accidentally-found-himself-in-another-century-meets-girl-falls-in-love-goes-back-in-time-girl-follows-and-they-live-happily-ever-after kind of thing. Don’t mind me, I’m just being the hopeless romantic, normal me, today. Tee-hee!


Watched Survivor last week and yesterday. Whew, I really can't imagine playing such a game with all the lies and deceitfulness! John is despicable! Imagine pretending that his grandmother died to get the others' sympathy and even swearing on his grandmother's (supposed to be) memory his alliances. I just hope he gets voted out next week. Such a liar! Grrr!

Go, go, go to the remaining 3 women! I'd like Darrah to be the Survivor. She has such a sweet and smiling face and the least irritating of all the ones left. Argh, to be this involved in a TV game show ... madness!


FemaleBattle.net is now online! Please do visit the site. It’s a great resource for women of all ages. Phylline, a friend of mine, is the one who conceptualized the website. A worthwhile tribute for every woman. Kindly check it out!


Announcement: World Vision Philippines has been granted an extension of the Gift of Hope project in Glorietta Mall from Nov. 20 - Dec. 20, 2003. Please do visit their booth and know more about how you can help change the life of a child and his community. Let us share our blessings to others in need. Thank you!


I learned something new yesterday. I bought (rather my hubby did hahaha) a new celphone to replace the one I lost last month (a thief got his hand inside my bag without my knowledge!) during a jeepney ride.

My brother taught me this: key in *#92702689# . Your phone will display its serial number and manufacture date. Mine has 0903 in it, meaning it was made just last September. There was an option to change the purchase date which I promptly did to remind when I bought the unit.

Don't panic if the display won't exit. You have to turn off your phone for the functions to work again.

Just something I want to share with you :)


Sleepless in Laguna

My world is turned upside-down for the moment. James, my special child, suddenly had this change in sleep patterns and would stay awake all night up to early morning. Last night, he woke up at 10 p.m. and we had a Barney marathon until 5 a.m. I was alternately tube-feeding him and checking my emails.

I thought he’d fall asleep around 6 a.m. but stayed awake to watch Blue’s Clues and another cartoon show on TV. My lids were getting heavy but can’t lie down to sleep unless he’s also asleep. I had to busy myself cleaning my computer table and doing other tasks to stay awake.

It took two more feedings and at 3 p.m. I played an Enya CD on the radio. In minutes, he was finally asleep. Ah, thank goodness! I was able to lie down too and get some snoozes.

I woke up at 7 p.m., helped my other kids with their assignments and ate dinner. Good thing the maid knows how to cook now. It’s already 11 p.m. and James is still asleep. Oh no, I guess I’m in for another sleepless night tonight.


Knowledge Means … Money

You read that right. In the IPTL website a member can take quizzes, be more knowledgeable in the process and earn cash while doing it. I must warn you though that you should take a lot of quizzes and earn a lot of points before you can earn a dollar. But I find it fun expanding my knowledge. There are lots of categories to choose from. I found out I score high points in the spelling category.

Wanna check it out? If you do sign-up for membership, (by the way, it’s free!) could you place my number AIL 137 as your referror? Thanks!



UP Diliman College of Music's Thursday Night Concerts will be presenting the Oktokanto group on Nov. 13, Thursday, 6 p.m. at the Abelardo Hall. The concert is entitled "Tunog at Kwerdas" Please do come and watch! It would be a wonderful experience hearing a quartet of classical guitarists play different sounds that wouldn't seem to be coming from guitars, really!

Why am I plugging this? My brother is one of them :P But I would vouch for that group. They are good musicians. Promise! See and hear them live this week.


How Insulting!

Mariah Carey is rumored to be coming to the Philippines for a concert. Now a comment she made before has surfaced once again to haunt her and irritate us Filipinos.

“She’s just a brown monkey who can sing.” Say what??? I’ve never liked Mariah Carey before and I think I’ve just been given a reason to start particularly disliking her now. What right has she to call someone who’s fairer-skinned than her, like Regine Velasquez, a brown monkey?! For those who don’t know her, Regine is a singer dubbed Asia’s Songbird in the Philippines because of her clear soprano voice. She’s also fairer-skinned than most Filipino women.

Was Mariah that jealous of a Filipino’s great talent for singing that she just can’t shut her mouth? In my honest-to-goodness opinion, she’s not THAT good to attack a fellow singer just because she came from another country. What a racist! I’m not much of a Regine fan, but an insult on a fellow Filipino is just unforgivable. Mariah’s comment was so below the belt, hitting every Filipino with the implication that we are brown monkeys? How rude! I think she ought to visit the Philippines first and see how gracious and hospitable Filipinos are before she says anything. We have more manners than Mariah for starters. And lots more brains too. Hmp!

I guess she wasn’t informed that Lea Salonga, the first Kim in Miss Saigon, Epinone in Les Miserables etc., with astounding theatre performances in England and the USA, is a Filipino. Lea who has won the coveted Tony Awards among others is way, way far from being another brown monkey who can sing. Now, what acting thing has Mariah been involved with anyway? Oh yes, that movie Glitter that bombed. Aw, shucks!

I could go on and on listing each and every Filipino who has been recognized worldwide for their talents. But the space won’t probably be enough.

A friend of mine also told me that in the year 2000, she heard an awful story from a radio station. It seemed that in one of Mariah’s concerts in the USA, she asked during an interval “Are there Filipinos in the house?”. Being a cheerful and proud race, our fellowmen hooted and howled at being special-mentioned. Mariah’s answer? “Get out!” Whew, another Clair Danes in the making.

Hmmm, and now there are rumors she’ll be having a concert here. Frankly, if ever Mariah even sets one toe on Philippine soil, I would be among the first ones to say “Get out!”.

Just ranting….


I am still amazed at how instant messengers can make life happier and richer. Here I am most nights, sitting in front of the computer, and being able to chat with friends living in other countries! I particulary thank the genius behind Yahoo Messenger because it has saved me a few times already. I would be needing a respondent for one of my articles and when I can't contact anyone near, YM's there to rescue me. I can interview somebody just by sending and receiving messages in real time! Now that I haven't dreamed to be possible before. But, here we are in the computer age, where most kids of this generation are taking for granted all the high-technology gadgets laid-down at their disposal. I'm just glad I'm still alive to see these wondrous things happen. Yeah, short of a miracle in my opinion.


GIFT OF HOPE PROJECT EXTENDED!

World Vision Philippines has been granted by Glorietta in Makati to hold its Gift of Hope Project there for one week (Oct. 27-31). Please do drop by and hear what the WV mall coordinators have to share about the plight of poor children in our country.

Please help those needy children by sponsoring a child today. Your donation will help transform not only the life of a child but also his/her family. Thank you!


HAPPINESS IS PLAYING A GAME

I love computer games. I’m glad there’s still that child in me who wouldn’t let go the pleasures of simply forgetting worries for a while and concentrating on the game of the moment. Right now, I'm going ga-ga over Rumble Cube. A kind of Tetris game with a twist. I’ve registered as a member at Gamehouse and Rumble Cube is the newest game currently being tested by members. I thought I was good at Tetris before but I’m getting more and more frustrated that I can’t even get to level 6 with this new game. Arrrrgh! But it’s a nice way to release the day’s tension. I usually spend my “gaming time” when the kids are in bed and I need a rest from my article writings.

I have already downloaded and enjoyed Text Twist, Letter Linker and Super WhatWord. When online, I usually play one game each of Super Collapse (gripping!), Wild Wild Words (can make one panic) and Glinx (mild game that doesn’t require a heart attack). Of course my all-time favorite would be Bookworm. My whole family had his/her own username when playing that game. Very challenging and fun!

Now, if you’re feeling the pressure of that report you’re trying so hard to finish, take a break! Give your mind something light to think about for a while. Feel that joy of winning without having to compete with anybody. Play a web game and find that child in you again.


I’ve just watched another episode of Survivor: Pearl Islands earlier. Hmmm, at least the Morgan tribe members were cutting down their losses and made their numbers even with Drake.

The scene with the pelican had me laughing. Rupert, the big guy showed his soft side by caring for the water snake. Too bad it died. I also admired the way Krista toughed it out with the heavy bean bag pole. Women in tough times are really full of surprises. But I’m glad that Morgan won the immunity challenge. I don’t like Jon’s attitude. He acts weird and insolent.

I’m just amazed at the extent people would go to win a million dollar game. Whew, the lies and the treachery before a tribal council! I don’t think I’d want to be a contender in a game like that. But, it’s fun to watch anyway. Any given day, I’d much prefer to be on the other side of the TV screen, munching on popcorn than being bitten by bugs and scavenging everyday for food. I’m not that adventurous :P


I've just registered in Friendster and found a circle of close friends already. I just hope I get to meet old friends again thru this network. Will probably give my verdict if Friendster is as effective as it looks. Update you later!


Well what do you know? I've tried searching thru yahoo for fellow writermoms so I could perhaps visit their sites, make new friends and learn new things. When I entered "writermom" as the keyword, the search results showed my blog http://writermom.forwriters.org in the second spot. I was tickled pink! Yeah I know, sorta stupid huh? But I guess I'm just a simple person easily pleased with little things.


I lost my celphone last week. A fellow jeepney passenger managed to steal it from my bag. I went through the usual phases -- astonishment, anger, tears and finally resignation.

Thank goodness for the internet, I was able to let a lot of my friends and clients know immediately that they can't contact me thru text messages for a while.

It was depressing. And yet, a lot of people emailed me back and said encouraging words. My husband's first words when he called me at home was "Mom, let it go." So I did. I focused on a lot of things that I still have and are more precious to me -- my health (I wasn't hurt physically from the incident), my family, friends and yes, my computer :)

I know God is planning something better for me. Yup, I may not understand why the loss happened but I know that there is a reason for that, I just don't know what it is yet.

A co-egroup member of mine has this quote on the bottom of her emails: "Whatever GOD does, He does it in love, He never takes one thing away from you without giving you something better." And I say, Amen to that!




Announcement: World Vision Philippines has just launched their Gift of Hope campaign this week. Please visit their booths at all Metro Manila SM branches.

Background info: World Vision is a child-focused and humanitarian organization belonging to a world-wide partnership of Christians engaged in child sponsorship, community development, relief and advocacy work in over 100 countries. World Vision implements projects that focus especially on the needs of poor children. It is currently sponsoring more than 86,000 children in the Philippines.

Help poor children realize their dreams. Sponsor a child today!

Note: Miriam Quiambao, Karen Davila and Joann Zapanta-Andrada are just few of the celebrities who are helping change lives of children today.

Contact details:
National office: 55 Maginhawa Street, UP Village, Diliman, QC 1101, Philippines
Phone: (632) 927-0676, 929-0902 to 04
Fax: (632) 921-0195, 929-0901
Website: www.wvi.org

*I personally believe in and support this cause thus the promotion in this blog.




How thoughtful can he get? My 9 year old son came home from school yesterday and gave me a present -- one wad of pink, fluffy, cotton candy! "For you mom." I was touched. That's the 2nd time he brought home cotton candy just for me. And without the usual complaints of "I don't have money any more!"

He's an observant one. The most recent time I bought cotton candy was a few months ago and I brought home four pieces. Usually I just buy three pasalubongs for the three boys but since cotton candy is also a childhood favorite of mine, I bought one for myself too. Leland asked why, so I simply answered "Coz I like it too."

The following week, a cotton candy vendor was outside his school and he bought one for me. I was really surprised and happy that first time. Yesterday, I was profoundly touched that he still remembers. Now, am I not a very blessed mom to have a great son? You bet I am! =)


Just finished reading Ken Follett's book The Man from St. Petersburg. Whew I couldn't put it down! So full of suspense and action I was always left wondering what will happen next. That's why yesterday, I didn't go to sleep at all. I kept reading and reading without noticing the time. I finished around 7 a.m. which was already time to prepare for church so I wasn't able to snatch even a wink. But man, was it worth it!

My first Ken Follett book discovery was The Third Twin which I borrowed from my mother-in-law. I enjoyed it so much that the next time I was in a second-hand bookshop (can't afford to buy brand new ones -- my main budget is for milk and diapers hehe), I bought all the Follett books I can find. Now, I think I have about 7 of his books already and still searching. And may I just say that I was never disappointed with any one of them. So far, my favorites (can't choose between these two) are Night Overwater and Lie Down with Lions.

So if you happen to see a Ken Follett book on sale (brand new or not) I advise you to buy and try reading it. You won't regret buying it.

Just one tip from a bookworm to fellow book-lovers. Happy reading!


My kids have this funny habit of picking one or two movies and making them "picks of the week". It's amazing how the three of them would unanimously agree what to watch and re-watch and re-watch for a week or two. The current favorites right now are Lilo and Stitch and The Jungle Book. Imagine my chagrin when I caught myself singing Bare Necessities under my breath a few days ago while cooking dinner. I even managed to incorporate the word Ohana in my conversation with a fellow parent friend! And I'm also getting scared that I'm starting to like Elvis Presly's songs. Whew, I'm being brainwashed!

At least the choices playing these days (imagine hearing and seeing them at least twice a day!) are not as influencing as those Disney Magic English volumes whose theme song would come unbidden in my subsconciousness and play over and over again -- Magic English, Magic English, Have fun with Disney everyday! Have fun with Disney everyday!. Although I must admit those volumes did a lot of wonders in my youngest son's vocabulary.

Oh I can't count Barney and his I Love You song coz my special child James loves Barney so much he has got to get a "fix" of at least 10 VCDs a day (when the other three are in school). And I must say I've memorized about 75% of all Barney songs by now.

To date, the best pick of the week I've enjoyed tremendously was the Mulan and The Swan Princess phases. At least I love the songs there and I didn't mind at all finding out I've memorized most of the repertoire by the time the kids passed on to their next favorites.

Ah well, the joys of being a mom :D


It's so nice to go out with girl friends. Definitely a whole lot different (and better!) than towing your man out to the malls. I just came from a Women's Expo yesterday with 4 of my friends. We spent the morning at a parenting seminar then the whole afternoon looking at stuff and enjoying the freebies. We even had our make-ups done at the Avon booth. Such fun to just walk around and exclaim over exquisite or strange items.

If I had my husband with me, he'll probably tolerate the first 5 minutes following me around. Then he'll say "Ok, now buy something coz I wanna get outta here." So I'm very grateful to have had the whole day to hang out with my friends. It doesn't happen often enough to please me. There's nothing like another woman to understand the need to be beautiful for oneself, than another woman. I'm glad I have friends to share this with. Simply ... bliss!


I've just finished reading Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club. What a wonderful read! So full of descriptions that allowed me to "watch" the scenes as they unfold. It is wonderful to have this privilege -- a glimpse of another culture so different and yet curiously, somehow the same in terms of bonds between families and friends. More so when it comes to mother and daughter love-hate relationships.

Oooh, I have to find a copy of the movie for my collection. Ever watched that? I loved that movie even before I read the book. That was the first movie I saw Ming-Na Wen in. I like that actress, dunno specifically why. Perhaps her sweet face and humurous nature is a combination most people can't resist. I must confess though that a lot of scenes made me cry. Agh, I'm such a sucker for sad stories!


From the book Sirius by O. Stapledon

“Whatever becomes of me I shall always belong to you. Even when I have been unkind to you I belong to you. Even if we might part someday, I will always belong to you. It is I that am yours until I die. I have known it ever so long – since I started loving you. Though we love so much, we still fight. We are bound to hurt one another so much, again and again. We are so terribly different. But the more different, the more lovely the loving.”

“If you had never been you, then I should never have been I, and there would have been no difficult, lovely “us”. And even if I do hate you sometimes, I love you much more, always. Even while I am hating you, I know (and the best of me knows gladly) that I am not just me but the other part of you and me.”

Hmmm, sounds like what some relationships are made of these days huh? The love-hate intricacies of relationships…we love them and yet we still fight with them. How true!

Um, yup, if you are wondering, I was a hopeless romantic during my high school and college days but nowadays, I’d prefer to be known more as a practical romantic. Why? Chikwet! Hehehe. Seriously, being a wife and a mom made some drastic changes in my perceptions of love and I can say that I am a much better kind of romantic than I was before. More ready to make adjustments and more accepting of the shortcomings of people I love. After all, love should be the foundation of every personal relationships there are.


I’m a music lover. Come to think of it, everybody loves music at one level or another. I haven’t met a person yet who said he/she doesn’t like music. I’m pretty sure that’s why it really is a universal language, much more understood than the seemingly simpler spoken words.

an origami paper crane
Just yesterday, I heard something on the radio that I realized I’ve missed hearing for quite a while now. It was Hiroshima’s (FYI, it’s a jazz band not the city) Thousand Cranes. I suddenly remembered that many years ago, a decade or more perhaps, I heard that same song while listening to my husband’s favorite radio station. The disk jockey said something about it being inspired by a true story. Being perpetually interested to learn new things, my curiosity got the better of me and I felt I just had to call the station, Citylite 88.3, and ask the DJ to explain more about the song’s origin. How could I have forgotten that poignant story?!

Fortunately, the internet age is upon us right now so I just clicked on a search engine to refresh my memory. Oh yes, there are websites featuring the tale of how One Thousand Cranes came about. It is such a beautiful though sad story of hope. It is my privilege to share it with you…

can't count everything but this could reach up to a thousand cranes :)
A Thousand Cranes for Peace
(source: http://www.johnworldpeacegalleries.com/1000cranes.html)

When Hiroshima was bombed on August 6th, 1945, the Sasaki family was spared. Or so it seemed. Sadako Sasaki was only two at the time, and until she was twelve, she grew strong and healthy. She was the fastest runner on her school relay team.

One day at school Sadako felt strange and dizzy, a feeling she would keep secret until weeks later, while running, everything seemed to whirl about her and she sank to the ground. Sadako had leukemia, "the atom bomb disease".

While she was in the hospital, her closest friend reminded her of the old Japanese legend that if she folded a thousand paper cranes, the gods might grant her wish to be well again. With courage and faith, Sadako began folding.

Though she was only able to fold 644 cranes before she died, Sadako had a profound impact on her friends and classmates. They completed her thousand cranes and raised money from school children all over Japan to build a statue to honor Sadako and all the children affected by the bomb.

Sadako Sasaki's monument
Today, in Hiroshima's Peace Park, there is a statue of Sadako standing on top of a granite pedestal holding a golden crane in her outstretched arms. At its base a plaque reads:

This is our cry.
This is our prayer.
Peace in the world.

Every year, children from around the world fold cranes and send them to Hiroshima where they are placed around the statue. Because of Sadako, the paper crane has become an international symbol of peace.

Sadako wrote of her cranes: ' I will write Peace on your wings and you will fly all over the world.'

a statue of Sadako Sasaki at Seattle Peace Park in the U.S.
So, fellow music lovers out there, when you hear a song with such a beautiful melody with these lyrics "Show her now that we do care / with a love that we all share / send her a thousand cranes / send her your thousand cranes … " I hope you’ll also remember the story of that little girl who, with faith and courage, didn’t lose hope and in turn gave so many people the strength and encouragement to go on in spite of life's many challenges.




Whew! I missed my computer sooo much! Just got it back today. For one whole week plus a day, I wasn't able to sit down and relax reading and answering emails because my modem hanged after a brownout. I had to have it brought to my brother-in-law for repair, which was about 2 hours away from home. He had to replace a new modem because the old one didn't want to work anymore :(

Ah, finally it's back and I'm raring to go typing and reading again. I'm downloading almost a thousand emails which were stuck in my web inboxes (have several email addys) for days. But nope, I'm not complaining, I just glad that my virtual life is a-okay again. My husband was teasing me while I was booting the computer up an hour ago, telling me that I look like a kid who found a lost toy and got it back just in time before the tears. Ha ha, I guess I was really feeling down the past week because of this. Wow, I've realized once again how dependent we all have become on techie gadgets these days.

Now I think I'll be more careful in using my computer when it's raining or when there are thunderstorms like the one we had last week. I can't believe how much a computer addict I've become! And I'm not sure I can stand missing it again in the future.


I had the flu 2 weeks ago. Me! Who haven't been sick for years suddenly had to lie down for a few days and recuperate. I guess the late nights I spend in front of the computer finally caught up with me. Yeah I know, I should have slowed down. Thing is, that flu week, I had a very important project doing an advertorial for a prominent advertising company. I had to sneak to the computer (when hubby's not looking) and try to finish my draft for the deadline. I would wait 'til the fever subsides and type like crazy until the fatigue sets in again. I was a bad patient huh?

Ah, the things writers do!


My husband and I watched Jim Carrey's film Bruce Almighty. I didn't expect it to be that good! I had lots of laughs especially on the scene where he berated an old woman about leaving Leonardo de Caprio to die and ranting on about the Titanic. That was really hilarious. The special effects were good too. Imagine a filing cabinet with a kilometer long drawer, haha! But the sensitive side of me managed to shed a few tears on the ending. It was a feel good movie and I did came out feeling refreshed after. Nothing like a funny, light movie to lift my spirits up. And what a nice way too to show how wise God really is!


Anybody knows where I can download a free software for tracing family trees? I've tried searching Yahoo and came up with very difficult ones to download. My ISP is way too slow and keeps getting disconnected (can't afford DSL yet) so I'm left with the option of repeating downloads again and again. Oh please if you do know something kindly email me! Thanks so much!


Finally! I was able to watch "Sweet November". Unfortunately, I was the worse for wear afterwards. I cried my eyes out! I hate sad endings. What I don't understand is the thought presented in the movie that it's better to die alone than be with your loved one. That's the craziest thing I've ever encountered in my whole life! But, *sigh* sad as it was, I loved seeing Keanu Reeves again (after his dashing roles in Speed and The Matrix) and up to now can't forget the cute ways he said "Marry me!" while throwing his cell phone and watch in the sink. What girl could resist that? In real life anyway. Charlize Theron was beautiful as ever and I must say her acting was great too! All in all, I must say I enjoyed the film but I really wished there was a happy ending.



Ngarf! I'm so busy these days I can't find time to even visit my blogs :( Soooo many deadlines! But I'm not complaining. I kinda like the thrill of rushing around interviewing resource persons then trying to puzzle out the interview pieces into an understandable article.


For writers like me who need inspirations on writing, visit ewritersplace.com and I guarantee you'll find lots of things to write about afterwards. There is also a writer's software called WriteSparks! created by Shery (owner and publisher of ewritersplace) and it's a great tool for writers of all ages. Go check it out now!


I have this trait of being very impatient. I can't seem to have the tolerance to wait for many things to happen. Like right now, I'm downloading a mere 63 messages to my Oulook Express and yet, it's already been almost an hour and it's only the 8th message being downloaded! I've noticed that since my computer was fitted with the Norton Anti-virus program, the downloading of messages became very slow. But I can't complain much. I need that program! My computer has crashed twice already due to infected email messages. It's just that having to wait reading my messages takes a toll on me. Ugh, I guess I do have to practice waiting a lot more.


I love honey but ironically, I hate bees! We've had a beehive inside our ceiling since January and I must say it has caused us a lot of trouble. All members of my family have been stung one way or another. Our windows have screens but I don't know how in puzzle land can they still get inside the house! Argh, I must have swatted at least a hundred tonight. They come inside the house during the night when the lights are on. A science teacher friend told us, bees thought it was sunlight. Ugh, it had to happen now that the bee keeper we know is in Canada and working during bee season there. I don't know how we could get rid of them. Judging by now, the hive must be an armful size already. Last year, we had the same thing and I peeked thru the ceiling trap door. When I turned on my flashlight, I was horrified that at least half of one wall was crawling with lots of bees. I am worried about the kids, they' too have been stung a lot of times already. Good thing they've learned now to step on anything moving on the floor :) Oh, what to do? Anybody out there with ideas? Please email me!


Whooohoo! Finally, I've just had my long-awaited, much-planned "Mommy's vacation." I had to bring my 5 year-old youngest son though. He put on his cute sad face when he found out I'll be gone for 3 days that I just had to bring him along. We had so much fun riding a boat to the island of Mindoro and staying at a resort some friends of mine manage. The 3 days were spent swimming in the resort's pool and I must say we were baked as toast when we came home. We haven't had the opportunity to swim at the sea coz the smell was a little fishy and lots of seaweeds were floating about. Daniel enjoyed playing in the sand for the first time. Like all moms, I had my camera along and snapped pictures of my cute little kid in all his activities. It was such a great resting period for me. But *sigh* now that I'm back to the real world, here I am feverishly trying to beat my deadlines for 3 articles. So I have to sign off now. Bye!


I've just discovered a game that's very useful for writers like me! It's called Text Twist and it's a neat game to play. For more info about this, visit Gamehouse.com and try to play the game online first before downloading the free game trial. Enjoy!


Argh! I hate forwarded emails with sooooo many attachments! I received an email the other day from one egroup of mine where somebody forwarded a message with the subject "This is Nice". Know what? I had to open 31 windows just to see the original message! By then I was thinking that the subject line should have been "This is Soooo Irritating!" I didn't enjoy the message anymore. Talk about not following proper email etiquette ... that was the ultimate! Grrrr.


Isn't "Mulan" fun to watch! I love the songs and the story where a woman is the hero. We don't see movies like that much. I am also proud that the singing voice of Mulan is Lea Salonga, a fellow countrywoman of mine. Remember her? The very first who played Kim in Miss Saigon! Eddie Murphy was soooo hilarious as Moshu the lizard, ehem, I mean the dra---gon. Donny Osmond's voice was great too! He never seems to age, doesn't he? The Donny I remembered when I was a little girl has still the same young-looking and handsome face today. Wow, talk about the fountain of youth! I also like Ming-Na Wen a lot. First saw her at "The Joy Luck Club" then "E.R." She has a great sense of humor and made me laugh a lot when she was interviewed before about being in the movie. She mentioned about her mom telling friends that her daughter will be starring in a new Disney movie ... uh, Lion King 2!


My family and I (yup, my husband included!) like to watch Mulan so much that the first few days we had the VCD, it was running at the rate of at least 2x a day. I had to buy a copy 3 times! The first one was destroyed after my youngest son played with it and broke one of the CD's in half. The second one was dubbed in Chinese! So back to the store it went. Finally, the third one was alright. Whew! The lengths I go to just to provide entertainment to my kids! And seeing their smiles at the funny scenes, I would say that my tiring trips to the store were all worthwhile.


Argh! I missed to post yesterday. I was so tired, wasn't able to sit much in front of the computer the whole weekend! Just had a garage sale and was able to dispose of a lot of unwanted stuff in the house plus, earned a little on the side. Nice way to clean house :) Also, my kids were kings for these 2 days. As it was weekend, they claim that weekends are computer games time. Oh well, as long as they are learning, that's fine with me. I make it a point to buy them educational CDs so that even if it's summer break, they still will learn new things, and in fun ways too!


Today is the 38th birthday of Robert Downey Jr. I am a great fan of his. I even joined an international fan egroup called the Last Party just to have the most recent news of him. I’m also a frequent visitor to websites dedicated for him. He’s such a talented actor. I first noticed him in the movie “Chances Are”. That time I was still in college and didn’t give much thought to that handsome guy called “Alex”. When Chaplin’s life story came to the big screen, I sat up straighter and noticed for the first time, the versatility of the actor with those soulful eyes. Wasn’t he terrific as Charlie Chaplin? Chaplin’s daughter Geraldine was quoted to say that she felt her dad came to life once more in Robert Downey Jr.’s body. Now that’s great talent!

Then came “Heart and Souls” and I was hooked for life. Who could resist Thomas Riley anyway? I know I can’t and to my surprise and joy, when my kids first saw the movie, they now frequently request to watch it. Ain’t that grand! I must admit I envied Elizabeth Shue for having the role of “Anne.” Such a laugh-out-loud and tearjerker movie at the same time. His singing voice was a revelation too!

I thought it was heavenly already “meeting” Thomas. Never did I think that when Peter Riley came (and conquered Faith) in “Only You,” I would become even more enamored of RDJ. He has that boyish quality that comes across even through the big screen. If you haven’t watched that movie yet, do! You’ll fall in love over and over again every time you watch it. As I have …. dozens of time already I feel the VCD might fall apart any minute now. One dream of mine is going to Positano, Italy because of that movie.

The latest feel-good portrayal that RDJ did that I appreciated was his role as Larry Paul in Ally McBeal’s 4th season. As my co-LP’ers would say … he was absolutely YUMMY! I have that soundtrack album of RDJ with Vonda Shepard and never cease to be amazed at the sound of his voice. He’s also a great composer. Just listen to “Snakes” and you’ll know what I’m talking about. He’s a phenomenal, multi-talented guy and I can simply say, “He makes me smile.”

So there, my little tribute to one of, if not the greatest actor who has ever graced Hollywood. How I wish I could meet him, face to face someday. Uh yeah, right. I have to get on an airplane to the USA first.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBERT!

Off to Downey dreams …. (good thing my loving husband is the forbearing kind and lets me have my happy thoughts :) )


Somebody’s forwarded email has this footer “The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without it.” I had to pause and think, how right that quote is! Being a mom of 4 kids and a freelance writer to boot, I sometimes find it hard to juggle motherhood (cooking, taking care of the kids, doing the housework etc.etc.) with my work. When I’m in the middle of doing article assignments, I would often feel harassed and pressured that I can’t help but complain sometimes. My husband would then remind me “When you don’t have any assignments, you worry. When you have deadlines, you panic and are often short-tempered. You are such a contradiction!” And sheepishly, I had to agree. Nowadays, with all the pressures of family and work around me, I try to count my blessings instead of complaining that I have so much to do.


My kids were watching Peter Pan last night. Seeing Tinkerbell made me smile. When I was small, I used to imagine myself being her – flying off to faraway places. Such a tiny creature in a yellow dress, glowing like gold. I liked her best because of those clouds of gold dust swirling all around her.

photo borrowed from comicvine.com
Ever wished to be one of the Darling children? Pretty Wendy or scholastic John or cute little Michael? I saw my kids’ faces light up when they saw that being sprinkled with gold dust can make a person fly coupled with happy thoughts. I know that when I was little, in my heart of hearts, I believed that if only Peter Pan and Tinkerbell would come visit my window, then I might have gone too to Neverland and joined lots of adventures with them.


Isn’t it wonderful how imagination can make a child happy? I know that when I was a child, just imagining being in the Peter Pan story made me happy. I hope that exposing my kids to fairy tales like these would also fuel their imagination and make them travel to places their minds can reach, and in the process, give them nuggets of happiness along the way.




Just thought I should finally join the fun of creating a blog. I'm a full-time mom with freelance writing jobs on the side. If you want to reach me, just send me an email!
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