strips to ease

I just finished conducting the whole day training for guidance counselors and my oh my! I sure had a lot of fun introducing them to our Guidance Systems.

They seemed to enjoy my icebreakers. Something to lighten up our topics. We first had My Quirky Fives - where they had to reveal 5 freaky things about them. The revelations were absolutely hilarious! Our new counselors are so talented!

We also had Strips To Ease - an activity where they had to write compliments they received from people. These affirmations, which gave them a sense of happiness and appreciation, will be kept in a canister. These very same strips of compliments shall keep them company as they get to pick and read one
in the most tiresome day of their lives.

And, what do you know! They gave me strips to ease too! But I'd rather not go into details to tell you what it was. I shall keep these affirmations in my canister and pick one some time soon.


a training for counselors

Tomorrow marks the day that I shall give our new Counselors their training on our Guidance Systems. My closest friends know how much of a procrastinator I am. I strongly believe it even got worse during my UP days. I was informed I was to handle this training in March. But as expected, I started doing it just last week. I don't know why I do things that way. I guess the outpouring of ideas simply happen whenever I cram. But yeah, I need to improve on my time management.

My talk aims to orient our Counselors on the roles they play as formators in our school. It also shall inform them their key result areas.

Training starts at 8:30 and ends at 4:30. Wish me luck guys!

aliwan fiesta 2008

Tagged as the "Mother of all Festivals", Aliwan Fiesta 2008 falls on May 1-3. On its 6th year already, this annual festival showcases close to 3,00 dancers from all over the Philippines. Aliwan Fiesta, organized and sponsored by the Manila Broadcasting Company, features the various merrymaking celebrations in every corner of our country.

The festival is made up of 3 parts. The Reyna ng Aliwan is the search for the most beautiful Filipina from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The float competition is a display of Filipinos' creativity shown in the most colorful and artistic parade of floats. But the highlight of the festival is the streetdancing competition. The grand streetdancing is performed from Quirino Grandstand to the CCP Complex. Last year's winner was Cebu's Sinulog Festival.

I am so excited to see this year's show. I missed half of my life when I failed to see the festival last year. And this time, I surely won't miss it! I hope to see you there!


coffee break ver. 1.7

No family is ever perfect. We argue with our parents. We fight with our siblings. We utter hurtful words. Yet, at the end of each day, we still look forward being with them. Because spending time with our families never fails to give us a sense of comfort and belongingness.

My husband and I always anticipate special occasions with our families. It is a time for us to bond with them and catch up on one another's lives. Whether it's a simple event or a grand celebration, it always will be a moment we all love to share with. And now that Gino and I are starting our own family, we dream of making our children experience the love and joy of being a part of our family.

This week's coffee break invites you to:

Share with everyone the fondest memory you have of you and your family.

*Sorry for posting this late. Peace!

love thy pop

It's a lazy Monday for me and I can't think of my coffee break topic yet. So for now, let me just post this photo I took weeks ago. And in a little while, I shall be posting our topic for this week.

Title of the Photo: Love Thy Pop
What I Love About This Photo: I think it has an air of nostalgia. It kinda reminds me of my lollipop-preschool days.


on training design & hand-outs

Yeey! I'm done doing my training design and hand-outs for my talk! Now, I have the weekend to prepare my powerpoint and worksheets. My talk is on Wednesday. The whoooole day!!! Yaay!


carly smithson out

Would you believe it! After last night's performance, Carly Smithson has been eliminated! Honestly, I thought Brooke White would be leaving the show. Gosh, her performance last night was just so poorly done. In all the blogs I read, everyone thought she would be out.

But yeah. Being an Irish, we all know Carly won't be the next American Idol.

family planning & budgeting 101

In one of my conversations with my former-professor-now-ninang, she thought how efficient it would be to include subjects such as family planning and budgeting in college. And now that I am starting my own family, I couldn't help but agree with Ninang Lei.

So why family planning? Well, isn't it obvious? Our population is ballooning (is there such a word?) as each day passes. The effects? The poor getting poorer, more children fail to attend proper schooling, malnutrition in the family, mother's health suffers too. There's not much the government can offer in this area. Look at the number of unemployed and underemployed Filipinos. Look at the rice crises we are going through. I have been very vocal about my being faithful to Catholicism. Its beliefs and practices. But with the growth of our population, I do agree with some politicians and activists who call for a strict implementation on family planning. I don't know how we can do it but I strongly believe we should do something about our country's population, for the sake of our children and our children's children.

*My mother-in-law told me that during President Macapagal's time, a similar rice shortage happened. Like father like daughter?

Some individuals are gifted in the area of Budgeting. And I fall on the opposite side. I have lived quite a luxurious lifestyle when I was still single. Things have changed the day my husband and I began to plan for our wedding and our future family. Being married has truly transformed me into a new person. This time, with the support of my husband, 1. we carefully list down every cash-in and cash-out weekly, 2. we save so we can eventually open a mutual fund, 3. we bring packed-lunch and avoid dining-out (unless there's an occasion). But yeah, people make mistakes, and I still fall, face down.

I loved all your posts on budgeting but I think Teys' reply deserves the most applause. I am re-posting her budgeting secret below. You may view her full entry here.

5 Budgeting Secrets by Teys

1. Be in the know where your cash flows.
2. Best place to eat is at home.
BYOB. Bring your own baon(packed food).
4. Barbecue it!
Be a giver.

I hope this week's coffee break, even in the smallest way, has helped us in our daily plans. Until our next kapihan!

*My warmest gratitude to Mr. Jim Paredes for commenting on this week's coffee break!


david cook on limewire

Yes! Courtesy of Limewire, I have downloaded 6 David Cook performances in American Idol. These songs, in mp3 format, are as follows:

1. Everything I Do

2. Happy Together
3. Hello

4. Eleanor Rigby

5. Billie Jean
6. Always Be My Baby

So far, my favorite is still his very first AI performance, Happy Together! I will definitely update the songs in my cellphone and use one song from him as my ringtone. I am so hooked on David. Tsk tsk tsk. He should win, really. Or else I'll go crazy I might decide never to watch American Idol seasons ever again.

Just a thought in my head. Since I would be spending most of my time listening to his songs later, would I be dreaming about him tonight? Delicioso!

proud UPian

I finally got to take a photo of UP's oblation. All my college years, I have dreamed of capturing its image in all its stature. After more than a decade since I first set foot in UP Diliman, here is the UP oblation, in all its glory, captured by yours truly!

Title of the Photo: Proud UPian
What I Love About This Photo: The essence of being a UPian is dramatically revealed.

certified book lover

I am! And last Friday I was fortunate enough to visit the Scholastic warehouse. Its location is at
#70 C. Raymundo Avenue., Baranggay Rosario Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines. We were able to buy books as cheap as Php30.00! Here are my finds:

The Everything Tween Book by Linda Sonna, PhD
- bought it for Php90.00
(original price was Php400.00)

Kid's Survival Handbook
- bought it for Php50.00
(original price was Php250.00)

Rumor has it that I'll be handling Middle School kids this coming school year for my counseling load. And that explains my choice of books.


tagged:: my days are...

It has been like years since I did tags and awards. I owe my blogmates dozens of it. I'll start with one from Farah.

What time do you usually wake up? => set my alarm at 5, climb out of bed at 530. but on days when hubby and I have to do our 30-minute exercise, we get out of bed at 5.

What’s the first thing you do? => hug my hubby and sing to his ear our good morning greeting/wake-up call (hehehe)

Breakfast? => cereals and milk on weekdays, pandesal or rice on weekends

Do you go to work/school? => i work in a school so i guess my answer is both;)

Do you like it? => the experience is priceless

If you stay at home, what do you do all day? => prepare hubby's baon and stuff. sleep. do scraps. sleep. read. then maybe sleep again.

When’s lunch and what you eatin’? => just had one. pork caldereta. i cooked it!

What time do you get home from work/school? => i'm off at 4, home by 415. i live so near my workplace!

What do you do? => as a grade school guidance counselor, i help kids see and understand options they have at hand. i also at times make them realize their potentials to be successful Reesians

Dinner: When and what? => hmmm. i'll probably cook the embutido my mother-in-law gave us. that's around 9pm tonight since hubby gets home around that time.

What do you do to unwind? => listen to loud music. or dance. or sleep. or do scraps. or take photos. or read. or get a massage from hubby. or massage my hubby.

What’s your favorite part of the day? => morning weekends!

Who’s your favorite person to interact with? => hubby and my pamangkins

When’s bedtime? => usually that's around 11pm

Who’s bedtime with? => with hubby!

I'm tagging just one blogmate for now. And that's you Alma.=)

UP weekend

Like what was planned, my hubby and I were in UP Diliman last Saturday. The plan to jog however didn't push through. We didn't have enough time to do it. Instead, we just goofed around the campus. I also brought along with me my point-and-shoot camera and took some precious photos. I will be posting more images soon. But for now, here are some.

There. You guys finally get to see my new hairdo. I am so in-love with my curls!!! Hubby adores it too. Wait, don't you think I need to get some tan? Look, I'm so white I look like a ghost!

coffee break ver. 1.6

Oil price hike. Rice crises. Transportation fare increase. Meat and poultry products getting more expensive. Costly canned goods and other grocery items. Just about everything is getting more expensive as each day passes. At times, I would rather watch Mr. Bean and have a good laugh than see the news for fear of another price hike.

What used to be a not-so-obvious thin line between the rich and the poor is getting more evident these days. At this day and age, who would have thought poverty-stricken Filipinos would have to line up to be able to buy their daily supply of NFA rice. I swear, whenever I see this scene on TV, my heart breaks.

I believe that most of us Filipinos are affected with these issues. And I am part of that crowd. This time around, I have been very conscious budgeting our expenses. Every centavo is well accounted for just to make sure my husband and I make both ends meet. Nevertheless, because I am new at this, my budgeting skill still falls short at times.

This week's coffee break aims to gather suggestions from the blogosphere on the present condition our nation is going through.

What is your budgeting secret?


committed to fitness

Committed to fitness. That's me and my husband. Well, at least for the last 2 weeks. Haha.

I have cooked various meat products (thanks to a compilation of recipes I downloaded from a yahoo group). Sadly though, it doesn't contain vegetable meals. And so I bought this local cookbook which contains a variety of veggie meals. I have tried a few ones. And I am convincing myself to eat what I prepared. You see, I am not a big fan of vegetables. But whenever I don't feel like eating what I cooked, I remind myself of my future grandchildren. I want to see them grow-up. Tell them my experiences. Cuddle and give them butterfly kisses. And guess what. It's effective!

Gino and I have started doing 30-minute exercise routines too. We wake up at 5 in the morning 4 times a day to do our warm-ups, stretching, push-ups and other routines. I tell you, my bones were screaming the very minute I started to stretch! But it felt good, really. Especially when I started to sweat. And who knows. In a year, those crunches, however tough they feel, might just flatten my fat-filled belly.

We are thinking of starting to jog this weekend too. I think UP will be a good place to run to. Anyway, here's a quick guide to living a healthy lifestyle. I found this in this kiddie website and thought you might find it helpful.

Let's all get fit blogmates!


david cook is it

I was screaming my heart out last night as I watched David Cook's latest performance on American Idol's season 7. His version of Mariah Carey's Always Be My Baby was a blast! His arrangement of the song reminds me of The Verve's Bitter Sweet Symphony. I sure hope David wins!


happiness is 2 kinds of ice cream

I was supposed to give a seminar this Friday but I have yet to start with my powerpoint presentation. I haven't even made my hand-outs and worksheets yet. And just when I'm going crazy cramming over my training design, this superb news came my way just now.

My Pre-Service talk for incoming Guidance Counselors has been moved to the end of the month! Talk about some luck! And because I am so happy right now, I couldn't stop myself from singing this song!

Happiness is two kinds of ice cream
Finding your skate key, telling the time
Happiness is learning to whistle
Tying your shoe for the very first time
Happiness is playing the drum in your own school band
And happiness is walking hand in hand

Happiness is five different crayons
Knowing a secret, climbing a tree
Happiness is finding a nickel
Catching a firefly, setting him free
Happiness is being alone every now and then
And happiness is coming home again

Happiness is morning and evening
Daytime and nighttime, too
For happiness is anyone and anything at all
That's loved by you

Happiness is having a sister
Sharing a sandwich
Getting along
Happiness is singing together when day is through
And happiness is those who sing with you

Happiness is morning and evening
Daytime and night time, too
For happiness is anyone and anything at all
That's loved by you

back to work

Yes, I am back. No, I'm not very excited about it. I thought I would be, the minute I opened my eyes at 5 in the morning. But the moment I stepped into our building... an irritating smell of paint combined with dust welcomed me. Our building is still under renovation. Well, at least about 40-60% of it. My office included.

I am a homeless entity seeking refuge.


token of one's gratitude

There was nothing much to do at home the other week. No TV show worth watching. No new music to listen to. No interesting article to read on the web. But I have my camera with me. And so I began taking snap shots of some stuff at home. This is what I got!

Title: A Token of One's Gratitude
What I Love About This Photo: It's what we gave out to our wedding coordinators as souvenir! I love its color! The depth of field too!

mistaking tuesday for monday

Darn. I posted my coffee break today thinking today's a Monday. Talk about too much sleep. Who would have guessed! Mistaking Tuesday for Monday. Tsk tsk. I have lost track of time. Ever since I had my break from work, I have been sleeping until noon time. Well, not really. I wake up at 6 in the morning to prepare my hubby's breakfast and baon for lunch. As soon as he leaves for work, which is usually at 8, I hit the sack and sleep again.

I will be back to work tomorrow. Ooh. I am definitely going to miss vacation.

coffee break ver. 1.5

did it. The TV show on the local channel QTV, I mean.

Yesterday's topic on health and wellness slapped me straight on my face on how unhealthy my lifestyle has been all these years. Fatty, oily food. Softdrinks. Sedentary life. How in the world did I let myself be a victim to all these mouth-watering gourmet food without even thinking of enjoying them just in moderation. (See. In moderation. I just can't let go of them.)

My husband and I will slowly change our ways and live a healthy lifestyle. No pressure. We shall do it. Little by little. Doing our careful baby steps, we shall commit to fit. This week's coffee break asks you:

How committed are you to health and fitness?


green thumb

I have often wondered if I could be like my mom. Gifted with a green thumb.

In a recent visit in her hometown in Pampanga, I got really amazed at her set of pots where these green plants looked so mighty proud. They seemed to be trying to reach for the top. Like a person stretching her wits and acts to get hold of her dreams. I couldn't help but take photos of it. And this is what I came up with Mama's pot of Horse's Tail. Wait, should it be in plural form? Haha.

Title: Crowded House (shot in Pampanga)
What I Love About This Photo: The title says it all. The plant looked like people struggling to get somewhere.

blanket of memories

Whenever I see kids during this season, I end up telling myself that summer is especially meant for children. No school for them. No homeworks to think of. No school rules to follow. It's a time for fun-filled activities woven together to make a colorful blanket of memories.

Here is a scrap of me with my pamangkins Bruce and his ate Betchay. Oh dear. Being with them makes me feel like a child again!

Credits: AmieB_HarmonyGirl QP, Ronna Penner_express yourself kit


all freaked out

As mentioned in my previous post, I am a creepy flick fanatic. And here goes the top 3 scariest films I have seen. And I mean seen, over and over and over again. Yet, they still leave me all freaked out.

The Exorcist
Truly classic. It never fails to give me sleepless nights. And did I tell you it left me clutching my rosary each time I go to bed?

The Sixth Sense
I wouldn't forget how loud I screamed in the movie house in that scene where this ghost appeared behind Haley Joel Osment while he was in the bathroom. Hair on my nape stood up the whole time. Freaky!

The Eye
Watched this with my whole family at home, with all the lights turned off. We're just so crazy doing that. The result? We were all screaming our hearts out. While our mom said "ano nakakatakot dun?"

Here's a little trivia. Our mom has never been scared of any spooky movie. None at all. Until now, our challenge is to find a film that would earn us a nod from her. Difficult task. She thinks no movie is worth any of our screams. That's our mom!

glorious days

I’m on my 7th day break from work. 4 more days left before I go back to the 4 corners of my office. And I would assume you are wondering how I am spending my glorious days. Well, here’s how:

I turn on our computer and listen to whatever genre of music the moment calls for. And then, I begin making slide shows of the gazillion photos we have collected. To put icing on the cake, I add a song and synchronize the lyrics with the slide show. Here is a sample of my work showcasing my precious summer adventures with my husband. I used the song Pure Shores by the English-Canadian all girl band All Saints. Sing with me!

super low maintenance

Have I told you lately? How much I adooooore my new 'do?

Who would have thought sporting curly hair would be hassle-free. This is the first time ever, in my 29 years of existence, that I am sporting a super low maintenance hairstyle. I don't even need to comb it! Imagine the minutes I save preparing myself in the morning!

I'm sure some of you want to see how these curls look like on me. Like Khaye? Uhhmm... I don't have photos of me yet in this new hairstyle. Soon, maybe. But for Khaye, we'll be seeing each other next week at work. Woooohooo!


coffee break ver. 1.4

I am a certified fan of horror flicks.

Watching scary movies would certainly give me the creeps yet I would still sit glued on my seat anticipating every horrifying scene. Last night, because there was no interesting show on cable, my husband and I decided to see this movie he downloaded at www.fullandfree.info.

Borderland, one of the top 8 horror films at this something-something festival (hehe, I can't really recall what festival it was), tells the story of this untouchable group in Mexico. Even the city's police would ran away from them in the middle of a savage mess. The gang was thought of as immortals and brutally cruel. The film, in my point of view, is awfully gory. Just like the trilogy Saw, I didn't like it. But Gino did. As to why... that I don't know. I have my own top 3 scariest films that I would love to see over and over again. And I was wondering what my blogmates would say when asked:

What are your top 3 scariest movies?


good 'ol days

Back in High School, Eraserheads was the coolest band in the OPM scene. For that reason alone, we wanted their hit song Wit A Smile as our Graduation song. We thought it was the perfect choice since we used it during our Senior's Retreat. We sang it during recess. We jammed on it on weekends. It was THE SONG of our time. However, our teachers thought of a better choice.

And so our Graduation song became Color It Red's Paglisan. Although the song does speak of goodbyes, initially we thought it talks more of death. That it sounds too sad. That it doesn't have a sentimental meaning on our batch. Haha. When you don't like something, you find ways of convincing other people too. Of course our teachers won us over. More than a decade after, whenever I listen to this song, I couldn't help but reminisce of the good 'ol days, the innocent mistakes committed, the hilarious pranks, cheeks turning pink over hearing our crushes' names. High School. Truly memorable and monumental.

going for curls

My friends know how confused I have been with what I am going to do with my hair. For half a year now, I have been pondering, asking my family and friends what hairstyle should I wear. Bored of my long straight hair. Will it be a bob or curls? Finally, a decision has been made.

I'm going for curls. The answer came last Sunday, the very minute I walked in the backstage of Ateneo's Erwin Lee Theater. The answer stood right infront of me. A warm-blooded, living answer.
I refuse to elaborate on it. But I am glad I have now made a decision.

The schedule is set. This Sunday morning, it's going to be a new look for me. I can't wait! Woohoo!

sugar & spice

I guess it has been a month already since I last made a scrap. And to think it's technically my vacation, I still fail to create a scrap. I sit on my computer, search for a kit and end up browsing my song collection. Which, brings me back to my bed until I fall asleep. Again.

But I think it's about time I post one. And since I am soooo lazy designing my own, I used this quickpage instead, just so I could post a scrap. Tsk tsk tsk. Pathetic lazy 'ol me.

Credits: Fuchur74_Endless QP, Font_Laban

That's me with my only niece, Betchay. No one would mistake her for my daughter because of our eyes. She's chinky-eyed while I have round, big eyes.

Ooh this laziness is killing me! I hope to make new scraps within the week.


coffee break ver. 1.3

Graduation is a milestone in every student's life. It signifies both the beginning and the end. It marks the beginning of another chapter of one's life. It's a breakthrough. It's a turning point. It is the beginning of memories to be cherished. Yet, it also marks the end of one's simpleness. One's uncomplicated way of looking at things.

Photo by FreeRangeStock

We all have our own graduation songs in High School. Those that give us goosebumps whenever we hear it on the radio. That particular song that leaves us reminiscing about those not so recent past. And this week's coffee break leaves you with this simple question:

What was your High School

Graduation song?


Dear blogmates,

My apologies for not blogging yesterday. I was soooo lazy to even get up from bed! You see, it was the start of my 11-day break from work and it was overwhelming. I even failed to meet up with Doc Joey for my order of citronella linen spray and insect repellant. What added to that was my ankle felt strained. It was our school's graduation last Sunday. Being the Usherette that I was, helping in handing out the medals on stage, resulted in me having tired and weary legs! Imagine standing up for 4 hours in your high heels wearing your warmest smile! But don't get me wrong. I wouldn't trade that experience for anything else. Seeing up-close how parents and their children beamed upon receiving their countless medals. Standing up few meters away from Bam-Bam Aquino, Atty. Jopet Sison, Vivian Velez and Ces Drilon.

I know I still owe you guys my coffee break for this week. I'm still thinking of the question to pop. Stand by, you guys!