christmas rush

This is what happens when you don't plot events and follow your calendar. You end up going crazy cramming. If you guys have been checking out my blog the past few days, you would definitely notice how rarely I update. I have been hit by the Christmas rush big time!

My husband and I have long been done with our Christmas shopping. I have wrapped gifts as well. However, the parties here and there have been overlooked and we ended up feeling swamped with these events!

To all my blogmates... my apologies for not updating you with our coffee break sessions. You won't be seeing and hearing much of me until the year ends because I don't go online that often these days. I won't make promises! But I will try to check you out as I cling on to this season like dear old Santa here. Don't get me wrong though 'cause I am not complaining. To be honest, I am having the greatest Christmas of my married life!

Merry Christmas blogosphere!


coffee break ver. 1.48

It was 19 degrees celsius yesterday, the coldest time of this year's holiday season. And while we all searched our closets, looking for our funkiest sweaters and jackets, Christmas carols could be heard from outside of our house.

Back in my mother's house, I remember my siblings and I make fun of carolers. Before giving them a small amount of money, we request songs for them to sing. And whenever they grant our requests, we joyfully sing with them. Of course the songs we would normally ask them to sing are the ones we know by heart, such as O Come All Ye Faithful and Silver Bells. If the carolers are the cute ones, we request them to sing the all-time favorite Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and my favorite Tagalog song --- Kumukutikutitap.

Credits: Anne Langpap_july pea tag


reedley reaches out

When Reedley reaches out to our less fortunate brothers and sisters, our students go through a life-changing experience. In just a few hours, they get to realize how blessed they are being born in their families. Yes, communication problems will always be evident on such occasions. But sometimes, a simple touch and a shy smile makes up for it.

Last week, the Tahanan ng Pagmamahal children paid our school a visit. Our students prepared a lot of games and food for them. It was heart-warming to see our flawless and sweet-smelling students cuddling and giggling with the dark-skinned orphans. Their skintones and language did not stop both camps from learning from one another.

On that fateful day, the children of Tahanan ng Pagmamahal learned how to play the Korean jackstone, chess, charades, snakes and ladders. They got to watch a magic show presented by our students. They also got to taste gourmet food. On our end, our students learned the value of sharing and gratitude.


hail UP oblation

My husband and I are proud UPians. Proud meaning, we would do anything to proclaim to the world how much the University of the Philippines has changed us, mentally, emotionally and politically. The UP System has played a major role on how we rationalize on things, especially if it concerns our government. All the days spent in the University of the Philippines, from college up to the days of our graduate studies, are valued. The fraternity riots. The rally and boycott-the-class days. The Unos and Cincos. The UP fairs. Dropping out of Math 17. The Ikot and Toki rides. The Sunken
Garden nights. The Isaw gimiks. The Chocolate Kiss dinners. All these experiences weave a colorful blanket of memories.

Proclaiming to the world the greatness of the University of the Philippines on its
Centennial Year has come close to me and my husband. Receiving a message about featuring 100 male UP students, alumni, faculty and staff for a photo shoot entitled Hail UP Oblation was an invitation we just couldn't resist. My husband, though reluctant at first, eventually embraced the idea of posing beside the UP Oblation wearing nothing but a flesh-colored tanga covered with a fig leaf. With an objective the photos will be featured at Time Magazine in celebration of UP's Centennial Year, with a wide grin, we blocked off the date and headed our way to the UP Ampitheather last December 13 at 4:30 in the morning.

What a historical day it was! Years from now, I can imagine myself proudly showing my crease-filled copy of Time Magazine to our grandchildren, "
That's your Lolo imitating the UP Oblation!"

100 live UP oblation men at the frontpage of Philippine Daily Inquirer
and other leading newspapers
(There's my proud husband!)

Here's a wacky shot of the group
(Hubby is 2nd from the right, arms in the air)

View more photos at Aei's multiply.

absence makes the blog

... boring and dull!

I bet you all agree with me. The days I was gone in the blogosphere were the most dull moments of this blog. I wanted to post a lot of stuff! A lot of things were happening in my life and I wanted to share them with you. But our internet connection was busted for days. For whatever reason, I didn't even wanna know!

Now that I am back, there are a lot of things I need to share with the blogosphere. For now, I am patting myself on the back for a well-spent weekend! News about it will be posted later.


fotoloco invades reedley

About a month ago, in line with Candy Magazine's School Tour, Fotoloco invaded Reedley International School. It was part of the Upper School Department's Substance Abuse Prevention Week. With free photos, magazines and cookies for everyone, what transpired that day was a wacky experience for both faculty and students.

Here is a photo of my Lower School 1 kids.

And here is how my team and I look
when kids aren't looking!
That's me in my blazer.

See more of our faculty and students here.


food for the soul 12.2008

Breathe deeply.
And appreciate the moment.
Living in the moment could be the meaning of life.

Photo Credits: LunaDiRimmel

marky cielo's early demise

To some of us, he is just another name in showbiz. But to his fellow Igorots, Mark Angelo Cadaweng Cielo is a living testimony that even teenagers having indigenous roots can make it big in the industry. At 10 AM of Sunday, December 07, he was found dead in his Antipolo house. Although a lot of peopple said he died in his sleep (bangungot), Marky Cielo's early demise is still being investigated by the police as of press time.

Marky's name rose to stardom when he won the Batch 3 of GMA 7's Starstruck with Gian Carlo, Iwa Moto and Jackie Rice. He has starred in a number of shows in the network such as Zaido, Codename: Asero, SOP and the primetime series La Lola. He also hosted the GMA 7 documentary entitled Kalam which talked about the rice problems of the Philippines. Originally from the northern part of the country, Marky Cielo grew up in Butuan City. In 2001, they moved back to the Mountain Province, which made him fluent in both Bisaya and

Without any hesitation, I am writing this post in memory of this young actor known for being a good-natured boy and talented dancer. Together with his family and members of the Cordillera organization, let us all pray that his soul find peace with our Creator.

a queen in our castle

After 3 days of absence in the blogosphere, I am finally back. Hit with cough and colds, I had to stay at home doing nothing in bed. My husband did everything for me, from preparing our meals to making sure I take my medicines on time. Awww, you're so sweet labski! I felt like a queen in our castle the whole weekend!

I'm getting sickly lately. Must be the weather. So, what did I miss in the blogosphere the past 3 days?


the missing transcript

I have been bothered by my missing transcript for almost a month now. You see, I need the updated version (the one with my MA units) for my promotion at work and the correction of my birth certificate.

But last month, as I searched every corner of my old room in my mama's house, the transcript couldn't be found! Requesting for another copy of it from the University of the Philippines will take about 2-3 months of waiting. And my deadline for submitting it is January 2009.

But guess what. I found it just here in my office cabinet, folded neatly! Yeeey!

coffee break ver. 1.47

Everywhere we go, the spirit of Christmas is present. Children singing carols. The city filled with glowing lights and trinkets. Shopping malls offering their items in big discounts. People carrying a warmer than usual smile. Parties and reunions here and there. Bumper to bumper traffic.

We all have our own memories of Christmas, both the merry and the not so merry times. In this month of December, we will have feel-good coffee break conversations about Christmas. After all, this season is really the best time to feel joyful. Not because of the gifts we will be receiving. Not because of the parties we will be attending. Not because of the bonuses our pockets will be getting. Christmas is a joyful occasion because it is the time when we can reach out to people as we proclaim to the world the gift of having that child in the manger.

Credits: NBX_xmas tree
Traci Turchin_garden evening kit paper

fun with photos at photofunia

I love looking at photos. And I love taking photos too. It creates lasting memories. Each one brings us back in time. People have various ways of adding life to their photos. We make scrapbooks. We write captions about it. We frame them. We hang it some place where others may see it. This morning, while hopping in the blogosphere, I discovered a way to have fun with photos at Photofunia. Look at what I did!

This one looks so real.

I wonder if people will crowd over my portrait
if it was featured in an exhibit.

My wedding photo at the mall? Why not!

A photo I took used as an advertisement?
That's a dream and I would do
anything for that!

Now that I've shared this with you, it's your turn. Go have fun with Photofunia!

joyful and triumphant

One of my favorite Christmas carol is Oh Come All Yeh Faithful. Whenever I listen to it, I am filled with the Christmas spirit. It also never fails to bring me back to early memories of children dressed up as angels singing at the Simbang Gabi. It isn't surprising that I used that same song for our December calendar. Here it is.


feeling lethargic

It must be the holiday season. Christmas carols. Gift-giving. Family reunions. The cold weather at night and early morning makes me wanna stay in bed. I am on vacation mode! And preparing for work on weekdays leaves me feeling lethargic.

This day really is the sluggish day of all. I couldn't even count the number of times I yawned! The monthly visitor could be a factor too. To wake me up, I am now drinking my second cup of coffee.

I have to do something when I get home later so I would be up on my toes again. I still have 14 working days to face before I could rest and enjoy the Christmas break. Oh dear. When my husband reads this post he surely wouldn't be happy. Unlike me, he gets very excited each day knowing how close we are in celebrating our second holiday season. Tsk tsk tsk.

A project. I need to have one so I could be hyperactive again! But what? Oh yeah! I still have to finish my 2009 desk calendar!

christmas centerpiece

Some old Christmas decors at home were collecting dust and I kept thinking how I would dispose them. Wait! What did I say again, dispose? No way, Jose. Let's recycle!!! How about making a beautiful Christmas centerpiece for the table? Sounds good to me!

Materials Needed:
- basket
- clear vase
- candle (make sure it will fit your vase)
- gold trimmings
- red poinsettias
- red crepe paper torn into pieces
- Christmas lights

How To Do It:
1. Scatter the torn pages of crepe paper on the basket. Since my poinsettias are red, I used red crepe paper.
2. Arrange the clear vase at the center of the basket. Place the candle inside the vase. Choose a plain candle in white (or follow your color scheme).
3. With the Christmas lights plugged in, arrange it beginning at the foot of the vase to the edges of the basket. Make sure that the basket is well lit by scattering the lights around it.
4. When you're done placing the Christmas lights, put the red poinsettias at the base of the basket with its petals hanging at the edges. To add some color, layer the gold trimmings around the body of the vase.
5. Dim the lights in your dining area and light your candle. Voila! You have your DIY Christmas centerpiece!

Peso Power:
- 17" diameter Christmas basket: FREE! (old native fruit basket)
- 10 red poinsettias: FREE! (old stuff from my MIL)
- red crepe paper: FREE! (old stuff in my cabinet)
- gold trimmings: PHP 90.00 (Tiangge)
- Christmas lights: PHP 50.00 (Tiangge)
- plain white candle 6" x 2.5": PHP 67.00 (Wax and Candle Store)


Creating this DIY centerpiece was so consumer-friendly because it took just a small amount from Christmas budget. But the end product looked really elegant!


missing a $7 post

And so the weekend had passed without me even thinking of going online. I got too pre-occupied with Christmas shopping, family dinner and DVD marathons. The result? I missed a $7 post.

It was sent to me Saturday afternoon. At that time, I was probably swimming beneath a pile of Guess clothing, in search of a fine new top for me. Oh dear, what a chance I missed. This is what I get from being a delinquent blogger.

My husband told me not to fret, that I'll be getting a new task soon. Yeah, be proactive Jan! I hope I get a new chance soon.