Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tagaytay with Lola

Warning: Another late post. I've finished the draft of this entry 2 weeks ago and wasn't able to find time to post it. Now, I'm doing this while trying to refresh my mind from doing a presentation slide for my boss. So here it goes...

We had a day-tour in Tagaytay last Nov 19 to celebrate Gani’s birthday and also, our first year in San Juan. Lola slept over in the house the night before to join us on this weekend getaway.

First stop was at Picnic Grove. We didn’t bring sweaters and it was quite cold the first time we went out of the car. Feels like Baguio to me but after several minutes of walking around the area, it started getting warmer so we’re better off without sweaters.

family with Lola

 Then we went back to Taal Vista hotel, this time not to check-in, but just to tour around inside the vicinity and have a another good view of the country’s smallest volcano.


 For lunch, we tried Josephine’s buffet. They offered mostly Filipino dishes and grilled food. Reese was not in the mood to eat anything so she ended up eating halo-halo with sago as the only solid ingredient. That was definitely not filling, so we made her ate spaghetti in Jollibee at Paseo Center. Yeah, we took the time to visit the said outlet mall. I’ve read from a blog that Paseo Center offers good deals, but I got disappointed since I was expecting the good buys to be like what I used to have from outlet malls in US (Albertville) & HK (City Gate). As for Gani, he found something he likes and bought 2 nice shirts for his birthday present. J

For pasalubong, we went to Rowena’s. I got pastillas de leche this time but was not satisfied with it. My mom and I were kidding, it’s just Carnation milk! Other items we bought for loved ones were chocolate oatmeal, kasuy (this one is good!), pastillas de kasuy and lengua. None of us was eager to eat buko pie that time so we skipped that yummy treat.

On our way going back home, we passed by Nuvali. Reese enjoyed feeding the vast number of Japanese kois. She thought that the fish pellets were chocolate but good thing she didn’t try eating it and just throw it out in feed the wide opened-mouth of hungry/greedy fish!

at Nuvali

Fun day with the family, and best of all, mom was there to enjoy with us and Reese. :-)

Now, back to work. :p

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Reese's First School Field Trip

I get swamped with work again so this is a late post now.

Last Nov 13 was Reese’s first field trip in school. The excited parents, Gani & I, accompanied her that day. Call time was 6AM, too early for toddlers and even parents like us! Good thing Reese was tired with playing the whole day before and did hit the sack early that night, so she woke up early. And yes, we made it just in time for boarding in the bus. But we had to wait for another 45 minutes as one of the student & parents were late! (I was a bit annoyed because we skipped breakfast just to be on-time)

Early in the bus with bff Yana
For my future reference, here’s the trip itinerary that day in sequential order:

• Sand Magic in Manila Film Theater
• Philippine Airforce Museum – Villamor Airbase
• Lunch at Blue Waves – Pizza Hut
• Museo Pambata
• Philippine Science Centrum
• Davao Crocodile Farm


Science Centrum movie effects, video taken was like in flying carpet


Reese’s favorite I think was the Museo Pambata, full of fun activities for the kids and educational too. While in Science Centrum, she participated in the shadow light experiment similar with Peter Pan wherein the shadow can be left behind.
As for me, I did like Davao Crocodile Farm; it was my first time to touch an albino python snake, baby crocodile and iguana.

We all went home happy and tired from the whole day of activities. It felt like I’m getting older as I cannot keep up with the energy level of the kids. Oh well!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Cartoonween

My favorite event in the office striked again!  Reese was there for the 3rd time to enjoy the Halloween Trick or Treat.  This year's team was Disney & Pixar movies, thus the Cartoonween.



As usual, the little girl had so much fun.  She was active in participating in activities and grabbing all the lootbags and candies she could handle. :-)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Glasses

Reese made a lot of developmental progress few months after she turned 3.  First, she voluntarily gave up her feeding bottle, second, she is now semi-potty trained, and third, she can now draw simple objects, write letters, & our nick names (mine and hers).

As she grows, we’ve noticed that she developed a mannerism while watching TV or by focusing her eyes on something.  We initially thought that it was inherited from her dad, but later on decided to have her eyes check.

Last October 3, we brought her to American Eye Center in Shangri-La mall to have her eyes thoroughly checked.  And my fears were proven to be right… the doctor said, she got astigmatism and a grade of 50 in both of her eyes.  Aside from it, Reese was also diagnosed to be near-sighted, she cannot read too small objects from afar. 

I kept on asking questions to the doctor, and the response that I got was that Reese needs to wear glasses to correct the astigmatism, but the grade won’t disappear.  It means she have to start wearing glasses now, at the age of 3! L

I was really shocked and even though I was expecting that could happen, I find it difficult to accept it… Her dad and I were blessed with good vision, 20-15 which is even better than 20-20, and that I was really hoping Reese (of all people) will have the same blessing.  It really made my heart sank.  And up to this writing, whenever I ponder about it, I couldn’t help but to cry inside.

After the check-up, we went to Vision Center to get the glasses for Reese.  I was convincing myself that we have to follow the doctor’s advice for Reese’s own good.  Reese, at her very young age of course, didn’t know what she was getting into.  She gladly picked the Hello Kitty frame and happily wore the glasses.  Seeing that she was comfortable and happy about it were my consolations… but still, I’ll be more than happy to give up my own good vision for her sake.

After 2 weeks, we brought her to the Asian Eye Institute in Trinoma for second opinion.  Same findings, the doctor there said that it’s in the genes.  Making her wear glasses will not increase or decrease the grade but will only help correct the astigmatism.  Laser option can only be done when the grade of her eyes is no longer changing, and we have to wait for her to reach 18 years old! L

Reese can take a break from her glasses during physical activities or when she doesn’t need to read something from a distance.  At least, she’ll be able to play with the other kids without being bothered by the glasses.

Now it's time for me to move on... it will surely take awhile, but hopefully, I'll get there.
To Reese, we'll make sure that you'll feel comfortable and that you will always get the kind of glasses that you need, we love you so much!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Anthurium from Miura

Upon seeing this plant today, I didn't think twice and immediately brought it to my office cube.  Lovely isn't?!


While these two existed for about 9 months already.



Now my office plants are complete.  These should be enough for now so that I can keep up with the watering routine!  For my long-time post on Miura hydroculture plants, click here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Reese in Boracay

We went back to Boracay last August 27 and we just knew upon arriving that it was the Habagat season, which means more waves.  It was my third time, hubby's second time and for Reese, her first time at the Boracay beach!

her first plane ride, excited at first,
but got scared upon take-off and during entire flight :(
upon arriving at Caticlan

From the aiport, we took a van going to the Jetty Port, then boat-ride going to the island, then lastly, rode a multicab going to the hotel.  Each ride took approximately 10 minutes excluding the waiting time while the boat was loading passengers.

We stayed in Villa Sunset resort (station 2) for 3 days and 2 nights.  The place was very nice, with crisp clean bed, well-maintained bathroom, and also another plus was the swimming pool.


It was lunch time when we arrived, and our first dining experience was with Shakey's (stn. 2, in front of Boracay Mandarin).  It automatically became the first choice as Reese had just gotten over her feeding bottle and we need to look for a sure-shot kid-friendly menu.  Reese had her servings of spaghetti and chicken & corn soup there.  The rest of the dining experience happened in:  Cafe del Sol (had iced mocha & chocolate, no more mug for sale), Boracay Regency dinner buffet (good food, but the "nilagang baka" there is not the real one, it's just a soup), Paraiso Grill (loved their "sinigang na sugpo"),  Aria (for the quattro formaggi), Pancake House (Reese loved their pancakes), then back to Shakey's for the last meal.

During the time that Gani and I were in Boracay 2 years ago, it was very stormy then.  Good thing we had a good weather this time.  The beach was very nice, but the only thing prevented us to stay longer in the waters was the strong waves.  Nevertheless, Reese had fun playing in the sand and catching some waves with me and her dad.  We also spent time dipping in the pool and making Reese pretend that she knows how to swim. 


It was the first time that we brought Reese with us on a more-than-overnight vacation and it was all good!  She's now definitely  at the right age, eating real food and could already ask to use the bathroom which means lesser things to carry for travel.  And the best part, she could now voice out how much she appreciates being with us and spending that special moment in a real beach. :-)  I thank God for making it happened... Ciao!

my little girl posing on the
powdery white sand of Boracay

Friday, September 3, 2010

Surprise!

We've been loyal to BPI & HSBC cards for the past 5 years already, but not until I saw the Citibank credit card. What really made me interested to apply is due to the Mercury Drug rebate plus another rebate for every 1,500 pesos worth of purchase. Cool isn't?!

I just got my new card two weeks ago.  And without knowing before hand, I also got a new mobile phone.  It's just a basic phone without camera, but for me, it's definitely a welcome surprise!  Thanks to Citi! :-)

my baby model :)
PS:  I learned quite late that Citi has this card called "Cash Back Card" which gives higher rebates but with highter annual fee... I'm still contemplating if I want ours to be changed.  Will it become a savings or an additional expense in the long run? Think, think, think!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mom's Birthday

Mom's birthday was last August 21, a non-working holiday in the Philippines being Ninoy Aquino Day.  I wish my birthday also falls on a holiday... imagine, no need to file any vacation leave from work!  Mom even got luckier working for the government and being given a Birthday leave annually as part of their incentives, so that's another work-free day. :-)

She celebrated her  birthday this month with lunch & merienda with the family.  The cake at the left shows how old she is... just 1 year away from being 60.  I know, she's definitely looking forward to her retirement by December of this year.  It's time for her to relax and take life easy, her job of raising us and giving us good education is done! Advance congratulations Mommy! :-)

Plastic Balloon


We had our EPM team building last August 20 at Cattleya Resort in Antipolo, Rizal.  Above picture was me and my 2 other team mates participating in the game:  "Blow the Plastic Balloon using Your Nose!"  I thought it was not possible and even challenged the host (one of our colleagues) to try it herself which she was able to do so.  I always loved plastic balloons since I was a kid and maybe one of the reasons why I made it through the game, and yes we won! :-)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Date with Reese

Two weekends ago, Reese and I went out together, just the two of us for the first time. Her daddy was such a “couch potato” that day so I thought of driving to the nearest mall and have a date with Reese. :-)

It was the last day of the 3-day sale but I was not in the mood to shop. I just wanted to bring Reese to have snack and see the outside world. Upon arriving, we headed straight to Jollibee and ordered some snacks. Reese had spaghetti and brownies while me ended up eating the rest of the biggie meal, chicken & rice.

Then, we strolled in the mall for awhile, passed by the baby & kids section of the department store and went home. It was short but sweet. Reese didn’t give me a hard time, it was all bliss!

Reese having fun trying on this kiddie bed

Monday, August 16, 2010

Money Manager

It's raining cats and dogs outside and  I can't go home yet!  So for now, I'll just grab this golden opportunity to blog :-)


I had backlog with my receipts for about 2 weeks and just got the chance to do my accounting stuff at lunch time today. I do it dutifully (when I can) to know where the "hard-earned" money goes and have my summary at the end of the month. It's not because I'm obliged to do so... it's just me wanting to know how are we handling our expenses. :-)

What I personally do is to group the receipts by categories like groceries, clothing, eat out, etc.  Then I use Money Manager mobile application to record the total expense per category.  I don't record the receipts per transaction date, instead, I do the total per week to make this task less tedious.

sample photo from 8mobile.org


What I love about this mobile application is that I can record expenses anytime, anywhere!  I've been using this tool for 4 years already and this is the simplest mobile financial application I've used so far. 

In case you want to be on-track with your expenses and get to see how much is left from your payroll every month, then this tool is a must-try!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Comfortable Love

I came across Books & Mags again, this time in Megamall. I got myself 3 books to read (hoping I have the time) and one of them is this: When Husband and Wife Become Mom and Dad

Below poem is an excerpt from above book which I dedicate to my better half... and it's called

"Comfortable Love"

There’s a thing I call comfortable love.
It’s not new or shiny or flashy.
It’s more like a bear with the fur loved off,
All comfy, cozy and warm.
It’s a love that’s passed the test of time,
Much deeper than new love could possibly be.
This love is filled with history,
Passion through joys and despair.
This love produces strength and security,
Like a baby blanket from younger days.
Comfortable love is what I share with you,
Growing more valuable, more precious,
More comfortable each day.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Turn!

Last Friday, I spent my ME time at Relaksasi and tried their Swedish massage and foot spa. It was a treat for myself for being good all-year round! :-)
feels so relaxed

I was officially not in my 20s anymore after celebrating my birthday this year! Can’t imagine that I’ve grown so old and not really feeling that way.  So the saying that “Age is just a Number” seems to be true.


To all who are in their 30s, please welcome me in your club! :-)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Reese's 3rd Birthday

My little girl turned 3 last July 5. As soon as she woke up that day, I handed her the presents I bought just the day before from Gift Gate and F tiangge: a lovable stuff toy, a pink watch that fitted nicely on her, rubber stamps, cell phone holder and pencil case. All of it brought a huge smile on her face showing how much she likes Hello Kitty. :-)




We were all off to school by 11am. During class, Reese was asked by teacher to go in front and was greeted by her classmates with a birthday song. She was quite shy and was staring at the ceiling, but she graciously said “Thank You” to her classmates as well.

Reese celebrated her birthday for the first time in school and served merienda during their break time. We brought her a Mickey Mouse & Friends themed cake from Goldilocks. The kids were pretty amazed with the cake toppers and the teachers had to remind the kids every now and then not to touch it. ;-) Kids sang for Reese once again and helped her blew her candle. Then, we served the kids Jollibee spaghetti, grilled TJ hotdogs and fruit juice. The snack party was short but sweet. I wasn’t able to take much pictures as I was busy myself assisting the kids with the help of their teachers.


I’m glad that Reese was able to experience celebrating her birthday with kids of her age; I really waited for this to happen. Hopefully next time, it will be in a different venue so the kids will have time to play games too.

Happy Birthday again baby, your Daddy still owe you a fun day at Cosmic Kidz and will do that soon…

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Reese's First Day Of School

June 15 (Tue) marked the first day of school for Reese. It was only a month ago that Gani and I decided to send her to school, we felt it might be too early for her since she will only be turning 3 by July. But now, we both feel that it would much better for her to spend few hours each day to meet new friends/playmates and continue learning through the guidance of a teacher. Now, Reese is officially a Nursery student in one of the preschools here in San Juan.

No doubt, I took my leave on that day as I cannot afford to miss this opportunity of seing my little one finally in school. Reese was sooo excited! She pulled her favorite Hello Kitty trolley bag and posed for some pictures. (Taken few minutes before we left going to school)


We arrived 15-minutes early and waited for the class to start. At first she was quite shy and did not want to let go, but good thing she was not crying like the other kids. I led her inside the classroom and stayed there until she got comfortable sitting in the rubbermat to play with the other kids. There were 17 kids in the class composed of 11 girls and 6 boys. They have 1 main teacher and 3 assistant teachers to take care of all of those little tots.


The kids spent their first day playing, listening to stories, identifying objects in flash cards, reciting phrases, singing and dancing. Reese’s favorites were the first 2 activities, she made sure she was seated in front of the teacher. But for the last 2 activities, she positioned herself at the back, it seems like she was not yet comfortable singing and dancing in their class. And lastly, they were also taught how to pray. At home, Reese already had her own version of prayer, thanking Jesus for each one of us (mommy, daddy, herself, and even her ate Len)

The highlights of that day for me was first when teacher held a stamp, Reese immediately stood up from Indian seat position, raised her hand, and told teacher, “Star si Reese, star?”. Everybody in the room found it cute and had a good laugh. She was excited to get a star too, like her cousin Edlan. Another thing was when teacher asked “Who wears socks?”, Reese stood fast, approached her teacher and removed her shoes right away to prove that she wore socks. Haha!

back home, tired, but still in the mood to show off her star

Parents like me were all beaming with joy seeing their kids exploring their new environment and being in school. We were all observing how the kids interact with each other and follow teacher’s instructions. Reese is growing up too fast, and I am having a hard time catching up. If only she can be like this forever, uncomplicated and pure. :)