Monday, January 26, 2015

Birthday Cakes, Birthday Cakes!

Nope, they're not necessarily birthday cakes (only one was) but I got them all on my birthday!

I celebrated my birthday yesterday - I won't be shy to say it - I turned 35 yesterday.  I'm sure you will all relate, but I don't feel any older than 30.  Well, except of course of certain body aches and pains, being (very) impatient, fearful of certain things, discovery of white strands of hair (quite a LOT of them), and having a hard time losing weight - yes, the battle with the (mega) bulge.  I still feel I'm the same person - only more responsible (I'm sure my mom will give me a high brow!) more mature and with a better (somehow) understanding of life.

So there - it was my birthday yesterday!  Yey!

A few days ago, I received a delicious chocolate cake from Starbucks.




Then yesterday - I got not one, not two BUT three cakes from Anita Li of the Baked by Anita fame.




We had a staycation at F1 Hotel last weekend and Pau gifted us with another cake!



There was a year that I didn't receive any cake from my Panget and I was so sad!  This year made up for the sadness because I got these cakes by chance.  They were not planned (except for the Starbucks) so the surprise was really delightful.

I am smiling ear to ear.

Thank you Starbucks Philippines, Anita Li and F1 Hotel Manila.  You guys made my birthday extra special.  The cakes mean so much, I will never forget this - EVER!!

Happy Birthday to me!! Hihi.. :)
(It truly was a VERY HAPPY birthday)





Saturday, January 24, 2015

My learnings from the Papal Visit

When the Pope announced that he would be visiting Manila, I was excited.  For I knew that we are very lucky to be graced by the Pope - the whole country that is!

More than a month before the Pope's arrival, my Panget decided to go on a holiday.  He predicts that the days of the Pope's visit would be declared holidays.  Two weeks after - we was right.  It was declared a holiday from January 15 to 19.

Even if I wasn't here during the arrival - I caught a glimpse of the Pope on TV.  The welcome was massive and I can't explain the feeling - I was teary eyed and very happy.  My heart was very excited and grateful.  Sa TV palang yan ha!

I must say - the country seemed to be very peaceful.  Most every one of those who went to Luneta were following rules.  They weren't trying their darndest to go and jump over the barricades.  Everyone was cooperative.  It was a proud moment as a Filipino - because it was then that I realized that - WE CAN DO IT!  We can be disciplined if we want to.  We can be compassionate and helpful to our countrymen.

I was impressed by the logistics and security.  The barricaded path was great!  The route was also very smooth!  In my mind - the person behind this whole thing, the planning and the logistics should be lauded.  It was only last Monday that I learned that it was DILG Sec. Mar Roxas who was behind the whole thing.  I think he deserves to be complimented and congratulated on a job well done.  I have congratulated him on Twitter, and honestly - I don't seem to read any write-ups of how good the security was nor commending the person who thought of the routes, the quadrants and the other details.

Why are we Filipinos very shy of appreciating the people who deserve to the complemented?  We do not give credit where credit is due BUT we bash ENDLESSLY and criticize small little things.  Why can't we be positive?  Why can't we appreciate?

I was also impressed with the all of those who went to Luneta just to witness the and be physically part of the Papal Mass.  They were very cooperative and they sacrificed a lot!  Imagine being drenched the while waiting.  Shivering in the rain and cold air.  Everyone was excited - and honestly, it was contagious!  Even on TV I was on a *high* and that doesn't happen often.  Everyone was good in following directions.  No one wanted to steal the show.

But after - the bashing came.  Flak was given to the priest emcee who was chanting.  Kawawa naman.  I know that everyone has an opinion about everything, but you there are some opinions that you need to keep to yourself.

Then the issue that street kids were kept in a resort far away from the Papal visit.  I thought about it and I don't see anything wrong there.  These kids will just be wandering around the area asking for alms - we all know that most everyone who went to Luneta won't be bring their wallets right?  And these kids will only suffer because of the crowd!  They will just be squished helplessly in the crowd and the barricades!  So instead of people making a fuss about it why not think of it this way - these kids experiences something they will never experience in their lives.  They were fed full meals and they were taken cared of.  Why not focus on that?  I'm sure some will say that they deserve to see the Pope - question, are they even aware of who the Pope is?  I'm sure they don't know who he is!  So, please STOP making a big deal out of it!!  That's the problem with Philippine politics, they will make an issue of a non-issue because they want to make noise and be heard of TV.

On the issue of the recent terror attacks in Paris, I was moved with the wisdom of the Pope with his thoughts on the Charlie Hebdo attack


I never thought of it that way.  He makes a lot of sense and I am proud to be Catholic!!  I have friends who come from so many religions and I have never discouraged them or convinced them to change their views.  I respect their beliefs and I will want them to respect my beliefs as well.


I'm sure that there will be comments that the Catholic/Christian faith has killed so many in the past.  Yes, I know that - and I think we have come to a point in learning from what happened in the past.  There is no use to bring back history just to strike a point that what happened was wrong.  I am Catholic and I know it was wrong.  I don't think there is one religion that is perfect.  What is important is to have a relationship with God (or your chosen higher being).  For me that's the end all and be all of any form of religion.  Whether you are Catholic, Christian, Born Again, INC, Anglican, Orthodox, Jews, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, and all to other religion (I apologize for not mentioning your religion as these above are the only ones I am aware of).

Bottomline was - RESPECT.  Plain and simple.  RESPECT.

Let's just all get along.

Please.

We NEED to get along..


Friday, January 23, 2015

My FRUSTRATION in driving around Manila

Sudden stops because Jeeps take in passengers.
And then again because passengers want to alight.

Overtaking speedy buses.
Buses overtaking all the lanes.






Tricycles, Jeeps, Taxis - counter flowing the roads.

Running the red light.

Blocking an intersection.

Tricycles, Jeeps, Taxis illegally parked on streets.

It can go on and on and on.

I am FRUSTRATED to say the least.  There is no giving way - everyone want to be *lamang* on the road.  And at what cost - MASSIVE TRAFFIC.

Two days ago, I had to bring Kailee to the doctor because she has been itching like crazy.  I assumed that since I left the house at 4:00pm - there would be less traffic.  I was wrong.  I came from QC and I was going to Cardinal Santos in Greenhills.  What usually was just a 30 minute travel became an hour worth of waiting in traffic.  It was a mess!  When I was still in ICA - I don't recall experiencing that much traffic in the area.  It was really, really bad.

This is along Gilmore - see the yellow and white lines?  
Those are the lines that separate the two-way system of the cars.  But as you can see, 
these two cars are there - COUNTER FLOWING.  
I had to take a snapshot.  WHERE IS THE DISCIPLINE IN THAT?  We are all rushing but what makes them extra special to do that?  I wish there is a penalty for doing such.
POLITICAL WILL - I have said that time and again.  No one wants to dirty their hands for election.
Pinoy mentality = DEATH of the soceity.

The other day, I was going to San Juan (again) and I passed Araneta Avenue - it was fast moving.  I was delighted.  But when I crossed Aurora Boulevard and hit the bridge going to N.Domingo - it was terrible!  Jeeps stopping because passengers were alighting in the middle of the road.  Caritons and Tricycles parked on the side road of the bridge - take note, there was a LINE of tricycles.  Was it their *terminal*?  Who made it their terminal?  Argggh!!

I think I have road rage - I can't be patient with these things on the road.  When I see them - I become all negative and curse them all.  I control myself when the kids are with me, but it's so obvious that I am frustrated.  Kailee has uttered time and again that *Buses in the Philippines are stupid!*  Oh my golly.  What is happening?  Is there NO DISCIPLINE?  It wasn't always this way.  I don't know.

The way back home was more terrible!  I made a bad decision on passing the Roosevelt-Quezon Avenue route and was stuck in that particular corner for more than 30 minutes.  WE WERE NOT MOVING.  I don't know if the mall is to blame or the many jeeps that still load an unload even if there's a sign of NO LOADING & UNLOADING.  I think the passengers are to blame too, to be honest because they stand there on the the sidewalk - waiting for the right jeep to take.

I am not shy in honking.  I got this from my Panget.  I will honk as long as I want - I don't care about the noise!  I will honk until the public transport in front of me MOVES.  Yes, I do that - that's what car horns are for right?  And then I get yelled at by the driving saying *NAG-HAHANAP BUHAY LANG KAMI* *We are just trying to make a living*.

NAG-HAHANAP BUHAY LANG KAMI / We are just trying to make a living.

This has ALWAYS been the excuse for them not following traffic rules.  Why?  What makes them special?  What makes them above the law?  Why?  What?  I am always baffled on why I need to give them leeway.  I really don't!  I can't understand it, I won't even try to understand it.  Aren't we all trying to make a living?  Why is that, we try and follow rules - while they don't?  I really don't get it.  I swear to God - I really can't, for the life of me UNDERSTAND what makes them feel special that they can break the rules and get away with it?

Traffic enforcers just stand there.

Yes, they do!  They just stand there.  Why don't they penalize these rule breakers and teach them a lesson?  Is it because they get some sort of *protection* money?  Hayayay.. I am so very frustrated and I don't know what to do anymore!!

I realized that in a couple of years - my life would consist of bring the kids to school and back home.  Are we all to suffer with the traffic?  Gosh.  I don't know.

I don't know!

I like driving - on a Sunday or during Holidays.  Why, because the roads are clear (well, sort of clear - they become fewer) during these times.  I like not being angered with sudden stops or slowing down because they foresee passengers taking their rides.

DISCIPLINE.

It simply means one thing and one thing alone.  Yet, most all public utility vehicles have no notion of what discipline is.

It's effing FRUSTRATING.

Frustrating.

Oh, and almost ALL public utility vehicles contribute to heavy POLLUTION because these drivers are IRRESPONSIBLE drivers their OPERATORS are irresponsible citizens of the country.

Where is the Philippines headed?

I don't know.









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Jan, 31, 2015, Saturday
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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Our experience with Ready Steady Go Kids - Hockey

In my wildest dreams - I never thought that my kids would learn how to play Hockey.  Why?  Well, because we simply don't have snow!  And that our skating rinks don't have hockey lessons (or so I think).  So imagine my delight that they were to learn - Hockey!



I honestly thought that it would be difficult since its hand-eye coordination - but I was really happy surprised to see that Kailee was able to do such movement!  It's quite difficult for a teacher to mentor a number of kids at the same time and it takes a whole lot of charisma to convince the kids to follow and listen - Coach Sonny had both!  I commend and congratulate him for a job well done since my kids (and the other kids) listen to him!  Thank you for your patience and love for teaching Coach Sonny!  I am forever grateful!!

Here is a video of Kailee hitting the hockey puck and below is a video of her friend Xavi who's doing the same thing.  Wonderful right??





I think we parents who have witnessed these developmental learnings are so proud of our kids!  Now that they're exposed to different sports - maybe they can learn discipline from it!  At least now, they're exposed to different kinds of sports (and not just basketball!)  Hahaha.. I know it's too soon to *discipline* them - but hey, whatever works right?

The Ready Steady Go Kids program showed me that there is learning in the form of sports.  Kailee would listen intently to Coach Sonny and ask for help as well.  These sessions made me realize that my little girl is ready for higher learning.  Whenever she's in class, I feel very proud because I see her listen, follow and perform.

Here is the Facebook page of Ready Steady Go Kids Philippines.  Please feel free to browse their page, call them at +63-2-6311497 if you're interested so you can schedule a trial class.   You may also email them at info@readysteadygokids.com.ph for inquires and questions.

Ready?

Steady?

GO KIDS!!