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Showing posts from September, 2008

The Sari-sari Store

As promised in an earlier post, here is an informational piece on the sari-sari store. My Filipino friends will certainly not need to read this post as they might even know more than I do about the topic. For those who are at a loss, this might shed some light on the matter.

The term sari-sari is actually a Filipino word that means an assortment or many kinds. Applied to a store, it simply means a store that sells most anything. Sounds like 7-11 doesn't it?

A sari-sari store means more than a 7-11 does, I think. For me at least, it brings back memories of childhood...I knew I reached a milestone in my life when I was allowed to go to the sari-sari store about a block away from our house on my own....I go back in time when I was a child and carefree, looking for comfort food in our grandma's sari-sari store.

For many Filipinos, the sari-sari store is part of life. It is where they go to when they suddenly run out of eggs. Or sugar. Or cooking oil. Or safety pins. The sar…

Construction to Start Tomorrow

It's starting and it's becoming real. And now I am starting to really feel scared. The carpenter has arrived and we are starting construction tomorrow. It's not really a big job - we just need to move a few partitions and paint the living area behind the store.

Wait, come to think of it, I think I have not written about our decision to move out of the current apartment unit to another one downstairs. The unit is larger but we will be using the front as a sari-sari store. That's the Filipino version of a Mom and Pop store - not exactly the same but something similar. More on this later.

Anyway, we're starting the work on the unit tomorrow and hopefully, we'll have it done in 3 to 5 days. Our target is to move in by the 16th of October (that's when our current contract ends). There is so much to do, so much to spend on, and so little money...

Now I am starting to feel that range of emotions that one experiences when taking a leap of faith. It is exhilar…

Everyday Romantic Ideas

I never thought I would be posting something like this but I couldn't help it - blame MSN Lifestyle! Actually, I found most of the items on the list quite amusing but here are some that I just might try out. If you do try them out, let me know how it goes!

Get away from it all close to home — spend a night in a very luxurious hotel or cozy bed-and-breakfast in your own city.

Absence is an aphrodisiac. Spend a weekend without each other (substitute your best pal, your sister, your old college roommate) and plan to meet back at your place after 48 hours apart.

Lol, these are the only two that I actually find appealing. Here are some quirky ones that are way too cheesy:

Stuff a little love note in your sweetie's pocket, sock, or shoe. For maximum impact, try email.

Burn a CD with tunes from your dating days and include your first dance (or favorite) song.

Spend the day at a museum, holding hands.

Appliance Shopping

Livi told me about this sale that's going on near my place. They sell small appliances - coffee machines, espresso machines, ovens, etc. - at very low prices. The good thing is that they are all quality brands like Brun (I forget the others). Gotta get up early so I can drop by before I go to work...good luck with that!

Cebu Pacific Gives FREE Tickets

I was meaning to write about this but somehow I overlooked it but last week, we received an e-mail alert from Cebu Pacific that they were giving away tickets for local destination for absolutely free. Of course, I was skeptical but I tried booking anyway.

Ren and I were able to get 4 tickets (roundtrip) to Iloilo for November and YES we didn't have to pay a single centavo! So I guess that means we're going on a trip in November.

This also means that I need to get new luggage for the trip - our old bags are beat up.

Why Does It Have to Stink?

Those were the words that came out of my husband's mouth as I was cooking a mouthwatering pot of paksiw na bangus. I am not sure what the English equivalent is but I think the closest I can get is pickled milkfish.

It didn't stink, really. I think he smelled the vinegar cooking and that's what made him say that. I just realized how different backgrounds really give you a different take on things. I found it quite amusing because he does not complain that much about tuyo, which is supposed to be the worst smelling thing ever.

In my mind I was thinking...your loss!

Photo courtesy of Kikai's Kitchen (didn't have time to snap my own photo last night)

My Tuyo Puttanesca

I love good old spaghetti meat sauce but every now and then, I do get a hankering for something different. Puttanesca is always a good choice for me but I have never been able to pull it off. To date, the best puttanesca I have had is Bruce's.

Anyhow, I still had a bottle of gourmet tuyo (dried fish) from Connie's Kitchen so I decided to try my hand at making puttanesca.

Ingredients:
4 tomatoes, chopped up
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons black olives
4 cloves of garlic, chopped up
olive oil
salt to taste
cayenne pepper

So what did I do?

First I drizzled some olive oil in a pan - enough to cover the bottom fully. Then I crushed up some of the tuyo - I don't remember exactly how many I used but maybe around 6 of the fillets. I then put the tuyo and garlic in the pan and just let it sit there, stirring every now and then. I did this until the tuyo kinda melted (if that is possible). I then added the tomatoes, capers, and olives. The mixture looked a bit dry after a while so I …

Rent A Bus in NYC

Do you like going on vacations in large groups? I certainly don't. I know a lot of people who do, though. They like discovering new places and enjoying experiences with friends and family. Come to think of it, travel experiences can take on a whole new light if you go with a group. You just can't beat that kind of social interaction.

If you ever find yourself planning a trip to the Big Apple (now that is one place that I would love to visit!) with a group of people, you might want to charter a bus to take you sightseeing. Renting buses is a great way to discover an unfamiliar city. You sit in comfort as an experienced driver who isn't out to rip you off drives you around - what can beat that?

NYC Bus Charters is one company that offers such a service. Aside from day tours, they can take you on casino and amusement park tours. You can also ask them to pick your group up from the airport, making traveling to your hotel easy. For corporate trips, they have special off…

Wanting More

Last night, I found myself staring at the dark sky through our small bedroom window. For some reason, I could not sleep despite the late hour. I found myself thinking about how lately, I have been yearning for something more.

I want to have a bigger home.

I wish my husband would act more like his age.

I wish that the atmosphere at work was less complicated.

I want to have more trips.

I could go on and on.

Yet as I was lying there thinking about these things, I also realized that I already have a lot and instead of wanting more, maybe I should focus on what I have. Perhaps that would make me feel better.

I have a comfortable home filled with things that I need.

I have a husband who loves me and who tries his best to live up to my expectations.

I have a job that allows me to have a reasonably good lifestyle and still fulfill my responsibilities.

I get to have vacations at least twice a year.

I guess it really is just a matter of perspective, isn't it?

My Sweet Tooth

I think I ate too much! I tried my hand at tuyo puttanesca (I'll talk about this in a separate post) this afternoon and I liked it so much that I had it for dinner again. Now I need something sweet. Unfortunately, I overlooked desserts when we went to the grocery store last week. Now all I can do is to browse online for dessert recipes. Maybe I'll be able to find something to whip up in the kitchen.

Another Tag: Me, Me, Me

Tagged by Livi:

1. What color is your toothbrush? White and moss green

2. Name one person that made you smile today? No one yet. I just woke up.

3. What were you doing 45 minutes ago? Dreaming.

4. What is your favorite candy bar? Butterfinger.

5. Have you ever been to a strip club? No.

6. What is the last thing you said aloud? Did you run it in normal mode?

7. What is the best ice cream flavor? Rocky Road. Anything chocolate.

9. What was the last thing you had to drink? Coffee - still drinking it.

10. What are you wearing right now? Boxer shorts and tank top.

11. What was the last thing you ate? Chicken tinola, my dinner last night.

12. Have you bought any new clothing items this week? I bought way too many this week!

13. When was the last time you ran? Last night, trying to catch the elevator going down. (Just a semi-run, though.)

14. What is your favorite flavor of popcorn? I just like iIt with butter and salt.

15. Who is the last person you sent a comment/message on friendster? I don't reme…

Even Good Dreams Suck

I love the fact that I am a vivid dreamer - usually, that is. Sometimes, though, even if I had a good dream, I wake up being very much affected that I feel low all throughout the next day. It looks like one of those days.

I found this quiz about dreams at iVillage and my results are:

On Top of the World... Congratulations. Your quiz score reveals that you feel strong, confident and in control. Maybe you recently found the love of your life, or perhaps your boss is finally acknowledging your hard work in the office. Whatever the case, you feel secure with yourself and ready to take on any future challenges. Just remember, there are some things in life that we can never control - so if you slip from your pedestal of power from time to time, don't be too hard on yourself.

I don't understand it - I don't feel as if I were on top of the world...

ShopWiki Provides More Options

I recently discovered some video games that I would like to have - games that I would actually spend time playing. You see, we have loads of games here at home and while most of them are fun, some are quite complicated and I end up losing the drive to play. With the limited time that I have and the complexity of the games, it is just hard to keep it up sometimes.

Yet I found a couple that I think I would actually be able to play for a while. These are Wii Fit and Guitar Hero 3. I already wrote about the latter in a previous post but so far, I have not been able to find one at a reasonable price.

My hopes are soaring right now, though, as I am browsing through the pages of this new online shopping site. The idea is similar to the one behind Wikipedia (hence the name ShopWiki). They display items from over 30,000 stores and do not only display those from paid placements. What this means for me - and you - is that you have more items to choose from. Practically anything that is for…

Thinking "Turbo"

In my attempt to try new things in the kitchen, I think I shall buy a Turbo Oven. This nifty appliance is similar to a convection oven and yet not exactly the same. According to Amabel, though, you can do everything in a Turbo Oven.

I am not quite sure about that as my experiences with this device are limited to the times when my dad would "turbo" (in the Philippines, this is commonly used as a verb) a whole chicken. The last time this happened was ... I don't remember exactly.

I think that he even tried chopped up turkey one time. I can distinctly remember the crunch of the crispy skin as I munched on it. The meat, if I am not mistaken, was very flavorful and reasonably juicy.

Anyway, back to the present day...I am thinking of getting my own Turbo Oven pretty soon. It should make things easier - marinate and "turbo." It will also give us more options as to the dishes that we eat.

You may be thinking, why not get a "real" oven? My budget is a bit…

Don't You Dare Say It Wrong!

I can't get over how Jerry criticizes foreigners for pronouncing Tagalog words the wrong way. A couple of years ago, we went to watch a WWE show at the Araneta Coliseum. Mick Foley (I think that's his name) had a short speech thanking the audience for coming out to see them. At the end, he said "Salamat po!" That's the Tagalog phrase for "Thank you."

My Filipino (at least he seems to be one sometimes) husband suddenly yelled "It's sahlahmat po! NOT salaymat po!"

Today, we were watching CSI and the guy said "It looks like balut. It's a Filipino delicacy." He pronounced it as "balot."

Husband: "It's bahloot!!! God, it's so irritating when they say it wrong."

Be careful how you say Tagalog words around him. He's the expert. ;)

By the way, if you are wondering what balut is, it is the fertilized egg of a duck. It is boiled and eaten with a bit of salt. I have to admit, it is quite gross - I can…

When the Glitter Calls You

I used to NOT understand why people went to Casinos. I didn't get what made them want to visit cities such as Las Vegas because of gambling. I still probably do not get the whole idea as I have very limited casino and gambling experience. However, I think my horizons have widened considerably. Though I may not experience the same degree of thrill that some people do, I still have a better understanding of the experience.

Last month, my in-laws spent several days in Vegas. They have been there many times before so they knew their way around. I was thinking, though, that if I were to pay that vibrant city a visit, I would be lost. Seeing as I have never been there before, that is to be expected. Add to that the excitement that I would probably feel and you can just imagine how lost I would be.

Fortunately for people like me, there are a lot of resources online. One such resource is Casinos R-US. They specialize in providing casino tours so for example, if I were to go to Veg…

In Desperate Need of New Recipes

I am in dire need of help. I need to expand my recipe bank and try out new dishes that I can make every day. What brought this on? Let's just say that a certain someone seems to be getting tired of the same old pork and beef dishes that I have been making.

I try to rotate the few recipes that I know how to make. I even try to make up new ones. Unfortunately, I am very much limited by time and the fact that someone is a very picky eater. I can only use potatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower. Fried is always a hit but it gets old and is not really healthy.

I can always NOT cook but I can just imagine McDonald's coming in everyday and our expenses going up even more...HELP!!!

You Never Know

Sometimes I just can't help but wonder about the future. There are so many things that we do not know, even those things that perhaps we should know. Whatever the reason that things are hidden from us at the present, I believe that we should prepare for what the future holds. The maxim expect the unexpected is imprinted so strongly in my mind.

Take this friend of mine, who lives in Chicago. She was just on her way home when a car going the opposite way went out of control. Her car got hit and she was seriously injured. Lucky for her, a Chicago accident attorney was able to help her get adequate compensation. I have another friend who suddenly lost his job. Lucky for him he had some savings to tide him over.

I am so morose tonight it sucks...planning for the future sucks...

I Heart Sam

We just finished watching QTV's feature on Prader-Wili Syndrome. We were as proud as only aunts and uncles can be but at the same time, I found myself tearing up. I know I am not supposed to ask why when certain things happen but I cannot help myself...

...still, I know that no matter what his condition may be, I cannot love Sam any more than I do now. He has been a blessing to our family and always will be.

This is What a Big Breakfast Should Be

I don't normally eat breakfast - it seems that my stomach is not ready for food early in the morning. But when I do eat breakfast, I make a big deal out of it. That is why I really do not like eating the breakfast meals at McDonald's or Jollibee - they leave me unsatisfied. For the price that you pay, I think that you should be getting more, both in terms of quantity and quality.

Last week, I made my own big breakfast (although I had it for lunch). Thanks to Vicki, my tuyo (dried salted fish) was finally satisfied. Take a look at this.


3 Hotdogs, 2 fried eggs, and 3 pieces of yummy tuyo. Oh, and don't overlook the dipping sauce - Del Monte vinegar with a dash of salt and some garlic. Of course, a steaming cup of rice (it was still cooking when I took this picture) completes the meal. THIS is what those fastfood chains should have for their big breakfast menu.

Amazed at Prices

We just got home from doing our bi-weekly grocery shopping. We usually alternate between Shopwise and SM Hypermart. Shopwise is nearer and I normally like their selection of meat better. They also have the imported soups, snacks, and other items that we buy from time to time. SM Hypermart, on the other hand, is a bit farther but has better vegetables. The prices there are also cheaper.

Or so I thought.

I was amazed - I am amazed - at how much we spent on relatively few things. Since we still had a lot of meat in the freezer, I bought less than half of what we usually buy. I didn't even get beef. My grocery list today was about half of what it usually is.

So I was waiting for my turn at the counter, thinking happily that the bill wouldn't be so much. I was wrong. We went over the grocery budget by more than a thousand. If that wasn't bad enough already, the stuff we got was fewer than usual.

Now I really am feeling the crunch of the times...

Cute Clothes for Your Baby

Shopping online is always fun as there are so many things that you run across. I was browsing baby clothes today - thankfully Globe finally speeded up - and saw this site called Polka Dot Patch Boutique. There are tons of baby stuff - from clothes to accessories and many of them are quite affordable as well. The only thing is that I don't think they ship to the Philippines. Still, if you know someone from the US, you can ship it to them and then have them send it to you.

Globe DSL Slowdown

My Globe DSL suddenly slowed down last night. It happens once in a while, but only for short periods of time. When I logged on about an hour ago, though, nothing had changed. It takes several minutes for some pages to fully load and it is bugging the crap out of me.

Is anyone else on Globe experiencing this? I can still browse and work but it is taking up my time. I should probably call their hotline but I am not in the mood to be given the runaround, which almost always is the case.

Oh well, this is better than no Internet at all, right?

Where to, Next Year?

It seems that once the travel bug has bitten you, you never get cured. Well, I know for certain that I have been bitten. I know we just got back from a short break but we are already thinking of travel plans for the future. This November, we are going to Iloilo - thanks to Cebu Pacific's ZERO FARE. For the New Year break, we might go to Catanduanes - they have really beautiful unspoilt beaches there. Next summer, who knows? Maybe spend time in reno hotels? Or how about Melbourne? Japan? We'll see...

The Guitar Beckons

Music has always been a part of my life and as a young child, I learned to play a couple of instruments. I still know the basics of playing the piano and the guitar but I never really learned to play them very well. Thank God for video games like Guitar Hero, which help me fantasize about playing in a real rock band. :p

I have heard about Guitar Hero for a long time but we never really got into it - until Jer downloaded the Aerosmith demo pack from the PS Store. Now we're both hooked. This game is simply awesome! I suppose that playing Aerosmith songs has something to do with it.

I want to buy the game but it costs PhP12,000 or thereabouts! Too much, no? Maybe the Wii version is cheaper. Anyone knows of someone selling affordable Guitar Hero games? Maybe a used (but usable) one?

Sam on QTV

On Thursday last week, Miriam Quiambao and the staff of a show (I think it's called The Beat - sorry I don't watch TV much) on QTV came over to Hannah's house to interview them. They are going to feature Sam on their show. I don't know exactly how they found out about Sam and Prader-Wili but this should be good exposure for the condition. They also interviewed Yuri - we met her at Sam's birthday party - and will be featuring her as well.

Please tune in to QTV on Monday at 10:00 pm to watch the show!

Realize by Colbie Caillat

I am listening to music while working on some things and the song "Realize" by Colbie Caillat (thanks, Vicki!) just played. Listening to the lyrics has made me really pensive...

Take time to realize,
That your warmth is
Crashing down on in.
Take time to realize,
That I am on your side
Didn't I, Didn't I tell you.

But I can't spell it out for you,
No it's never gonna be that simple
No I cant spell it out for you

If you just realize what I just realized,
Then we'd be perfect for each other
and will never find another
Just realized what I just realized
we'd never have to wonder if
we missed out on each other now.

Take time to realize
Oh-oh I'm on your side
didn't I, didn't I tell you.
Take time to realize
This all can pass you by
Didn't I tell you

It's not always the same
no it's never the same
if you don't feel it too.
If you meet me half way
If you would meet me half way.
It could be the same for you.

Wow...

Bigyan Na Lang Kasi Ng 50 (Just Give 50)

That's what the cab driver told me earlier on the way to work. This was his comment when we saw another motorist being pulled over by a traffic enforcer. His rationale was that instead of being made to undergo the tedious process of paying a fine and retrieving one's license, motorists should just give the traffic enforcers or cops money - 50 pesos.

It might have been an innocuous comment but as I sat there thinking about it, I realized that that is how many people think. And it is probably why corruption is rife in this country. From the "common person" to the people high up in positions - if they accept this kind of thinking, then we are doomed.

That is, unless individuals like you and me start thinking differently.

And He Went to Sleep

Remember that quick post last night? Hubby says "You have 10 minutes..."

So there I was struggling with guilt and trying to be a good wife...I hesitantly shut Koryu down, set her aside, all the while wistfully staring at her. I got myself ready for bed and some chat time with Jer.

Guess what? By the time I got settled in, I was treated to my hubby's lulling (NOT) snoring...that's what I get for trying to be good!

*disclaimer* I am not mad or even pissed. I find it ironically amusing. It turned out to be a good thing actually - I was asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Need Help with Your Papers?

I still remember when I was back in college - there were always tons of papers to write. It seemed that my professors took delight in reading the written work of their students. Either that or they simply wanted to assign lots of work.

I suppose it has not changed much today. University students are still required to write papers for most of their courses. I didn't have any problems with papers because I love writing. In fact, I preferred writing papers to going to class every day. But I had many classmates who had difficulty coming up with 10-page essays and I am sure that there are still a lot of students who are experiencing the same way.

It is a good thing, however, that technology and services today offer a helping hand to those who have difficulty in writing essays. Custom writing services abound online today and their main goal is to assist people in coming up with high quality Custom Term Papers. Custom-Essay is one such service. They specialize in providing informa…

You've Got 10 Minutes Left...

Jer just said that to me. Followed by "Then you have to stop working and maybe then I can talk to my wife."

I feel kinda guilty because I stay at work all day and then come home late at night only to write. We talk while I work but I guess it's not enough. Then again, I have to work.

I don't want to stop in 10 minutes but I will.

Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell in Manila, 21 September 2008

Jer and I are so excited about this (thanks to ABS-CBN News):
Philippine mixed martial arts fans will surely be in for a treat as Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) pays a visit to Manila on September 21.Details of the light heavyweight champ's Manila visit have yet to be released.However, Liddell may treat Filipino MMA enthusiasts to a rare fans' day and media guestings judging from a similar event held for Filipino-American Brandon "The Truth" Vera in April.The only thing that we have found out is that he is going to be at the Mall of Asia at 4pm. We're already planning the day - Donks, are you a sponsor???

Do you think he'll let me hit him? ;)

*UPDATE* Jerry insisted that I take note of this. Chuck Liddell is a former light heavyweight champ. It's Forrest Griffin who currently holds the title.

Dreaming of a Greek Beach Vacation

I know, I just got back from the beach and I am already dreaming of my next trip. Don't get me wrong, I love the beaches of the Philippines - they say that we have some of the best beaches in the world - but I also want to experience beaches in other countries. Australia is on my list but so is Greece, which my boss says has the best beach ever.

I would give an arm and a leg to visit Greece but the costs are way too high. The airfare, the food, and even just the thought of Mykonos villa rentals are way beyond my budget. Then again, I can still dream, can't I?

Night Before Jerry's Birthday @ Aninuan Beach Resort

Despite the typhoon that had been hounding the northern part of the Philippines all week last week, the weather was wonderful on Saturday. The sun was out and the water was very inviting. We spent all afternoon in the water and after dinner - which we made on the grill - we decided to go over to the neighboring resort, Sunset @ Aninuan Beach.
The birthday boyYep, found time to work a little bit. Koryu's first trip!Here's a tip if you want to go to Puerto Galera. Stay at Tamaraw Beach Resort because their rates are more affordable and the beach front is better. For brewed coffee, drinks, and ambiance, walk over to Aninuan. They have this nice litte outdoor bar where you can enjoy the sound of the crashing waves and the warmth of the sun while you drink an ice cold beer poured over chilled mugs. They also have a nice selection of wines and liquors. The owner, Lexy, is there on weekends and provides a lively conversation.

Silas and Sam @ the Beach (Tamaraw Beach, Puerto Galera)

Silas and Sam had a blast last weekend. We could hardly get them out of the water. Well, where the water and the land met. The waves were too strong and Silas didn't want to get dragged by the crashing waves as Nikki, Myla, and Mom were dragged.
Silas enjoying the water and sand.See how big those waves are?
Whee!!! Sam loving it.
I wonder how I can go into the deeper waters?With Sam and Silas

Does My Floor Have to Look So Bare?

I am no good at design at all. When we decided to move to our shoebox, we were initially hellbent on making an effort to pay attention to the aesthetics. We were not able to follow up on it, though. Last night, when we arrived from our trip, I was suddenly surprised to notice how bare our living room floor looked - no Rugs, nothing. I don't know why, after a year of living here, I had to notice that last night.

So here I am thinking of ways to spruce up the house and looking for a nice rug to add to the living room. I stumbled upon a site called Superior Rugs. They have a very nice collection of Area Rugs which would do very well for our house.

What I like about this online rug store is that their interface is well designed to make it easy for customers to search through their extensive collection. For example, you can browse the rugs based on the size, shape, or color. If you do not have an idea of what you are looking for, you can just look at their section of recommended …

On the Way to Puerto Galera with the Family

Our whole family hadn't been on a vacation together since forever. That is, until last weekend. Since Jerry and I had a really good experience in Puerto Galera last May, we decided to take everyone with us for Jerry's birthday. We headed out early Saturday morning. As expected, it didn't turn out that well (at first). Jerry is a stickler for time and we all know how families move slowly, especially with kids. There was also a slight drizzle that morning and that, of course, affected our dispositions. Nevertheless, the ride down to the pier was not that bad. We made in about an hour and a half.

The guys at the pier were a bit irritating, though, as they all screamed in our ears trying to get us to take their boat. We decided on M/V Golden Hawk as they were the only ones NOT shouting to be heard. It was hilarious to see how nervous Hannah and Mom were - they were expecting to get on a big ferry. Then again, we were all grumpy after waiting for an hour for the boat …

Achieving Peace of Mind with Medical Alert

This past weekend has made me realize a LOT of things. I have not spent this much time with my family for quite some time and during this weekend at the beach, I was really surprised at how old my parents have become. It used to be that both my mom and dad had boundless energy. Up till I was in high school, my dad used to stay in the water for hours - even the whole day. This weekend, though, he stayed in for only 20 minutes at a time. My mom couldn't even get in the water for fear of the strong waves. They really just lounged around and relaxed.

It got me thinking about how they are alone at the house most of the time. Though they can still move around and function independently, I am now very much aware that they are not as agile and strong as they used to be.

Now that I am (constantly) connected to the Internet again, I am already browsing for products and services that may be able to help my parents. I found a site featuring Medical Alert products that have been designed…

Some Thoughts on City Life

I thought that I have been "citified" for good but each time I get back to the city from the beach, I just can't help but think that I have had enough of the city. This is even truer now that you can have all the amenities that you need at the beach. For me, that is basically Internet access.

Once again, I find myself thinking of ways to be able to leave the city and live the rural life. I hope that I can figure out things.

Writing at the Beach

This is the life! The resort (Tamaraw Beach) where we are staying at has no WiFi - it got busted due to the storm - but the resort next door (Sunset at Aninuan Beach) has it. We met the owner earlier and she offered her WiFi for free, can you believe that?

We're here celebrating Jer's birthday with Nikki, Han, and Mark. I just finished a bit of work and I just wanted to write a short post here.

Seriously, I could live here!

All Worked Up

Despite my sleepiness, I am all worked up. I forced myself to get up when the alarm went off and I think I did a pretty good job. Instead of the usual 1 or 2 hour delay, I was only 30 minutes behind schedule this morning!

The reason for this is below:

In a little over 24 hours, we should be seeing this view! Woohoo!!!

Ruy's Quirky Tag

I have been putting this off - might as well do it now. Ruy tagged me. Here are the rules.

Tagging rules:1. Link back to the person who tagged you - that's me. 2. Mention the rules on your blog. 3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours 4. Tag 6 bloggers by linking them. 5. Leave a comment on each of the blogger's blogs letting them know they have been tagged.

My 6 Unspectacular Quirks

1. I sometimes sniff food that I am tasting for the first time. I don't know why. I don't even know if what I smell would make a difference as to whether I would eat the food or not.

2. I name our toys and appliances. I should give credit where credit is due, though. I picked up this habit from Jerry.

3. I like to crab toe. For those of you who are wondering what crab toeing is, it is when you pinch people using your first two toes (the big toe and whatever you call the one next to it). Yeah, it hurts - not me, but the person I crab toe. It goes without saying that I only crab to…

The Four Agreements

I heard about The Four Agreements from Avril (her blog, to be exact). Though I have never heard of this publication before, the ideas presented in the four points are not really new. However, reading through them, I was once again reminded of certain principles that I believe in. I thought I'd share The Four Agreements here, courtesy of Don Miguel Ruiz:

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don't Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don't Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunder…

Review: Poker Ownage

Over the years, I have learned to like poker. I do not claim to be good at it but I do like playing it – thanks to Jerry. As such, when I saw this chance to review a poker site, I told myself that I could not pass it up. After all, I really do like reading up on poker as it is my only advantage over Jerry, who is quite good at it.

There are a lot of web sites about poker out there but Poker Ownage does give you a lot of information on the game. One feature that I appreciate is the section that gives reviews on a particular Online Poker Room. Again, there are so many online poker rooms that sometimes, you do not know which one to participate in. The reviews in this site are quite comprehensive and give you the information you need.

The web site is also well organized, giving you the necessary navigation tools that you need to find the specific information that you are looking for. There are links at the top of the page which will lead you to the different sections in the web site.…

Choosing Your Battles

I remember what Livi said one time - there are no compromises, you only have to learn to choose your battles.

How do you know which battle to take on? How do you know when you have to let go? Does it apply when you firmly believe in what you are pushing for?

Sometimes I just feel so tired of hanging on. Sometimes I feel that I should just take the easy way out and let things go down the drain.

Wanting Jelly Beans

Whenever I feel down and out, there are certain things that are sure to make feel better - maybe not totally happy but at least comforted. Naturally, food comes high up on my list. There are a lot of things that I would like to have right now but I was surprised when something came to mind that I have not had in a long time - jelly beans.

Jer's dad used to send us jelly beans and despite the fact that they do not really fall under health food, they always cheered me up. Now I am on a mission - jelly beans mission.

I came across this site where you can buy Bulk Jelly Beans. That is, you can buy all sorts of jelly beans in large quantities. Large quantities - that's always good but here is something better: wholesale prices! I was really excited to see that they carry the brand Jelly Belly as this is something that brings me back to my childhood. They have all sorts of varieties of Jelly Belly and I think I discovered quite a few types of candies that I have never heard of …

Here Comes the Rain Again

I love the rain, I really do. But only when I am not obliged to get out of the house. Only when I can stay in my warm bed with a good book and a cup of steaming coffee. Only when I can cook a potful of sinigang and sip the hot broth.

Today I hate the rain. Try waiting for a tricycle for 15 minutes. Try riding one - even for just a short while - with the wind blowing in the rain. Try waiting for a cab for another 15-20 minutes while all the cars and jeeps that pass by get you wet because they do not care.

I hate the rain even more because we are supposed to go to the beach this weekend. If it does not stop raining, we might have to cancel our plans AND I don't like the thought of that.

I am whining...blame it on the rain!

Photo courtesy of Harpagornis - isn't it beautiful?

How Do You Show Your Love?

We were having one of those talks at work today and we got around to talking about how you show your love and how our partners show our love. I remember something I read in the book "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus."

It said something about people wanting to be loved in a certain way and showing their love in that way. The problem is that sometimes, your partner expects to be loved in a different way and when you show your love, the message may not get through to him.

I guess it really is true and the key is communicating with each other as to how you both want to be loved by each other.

My First iPhone Encounter (and the Memory of a Bunny)

It's weird how coincidences can happen in life. According to Jason Bourne, you should not believe in coincidences. They always mean something and it is up to you to find out what it means. (At least I think it's Bourne who said that...P)

Well last night, we were getting ready to leave for the city after a nice weekend in Los Banos. Dad just picked a pastor up from the airport because he was going to hold a series of seminars in out church. As it turned out, he is the husband of an old family friend of ours. She used to be the secretary in the school where Mom worked. So the pastor called his wife up and gave the phone to Mom.

She wanted to talk to me so Mom told me to get up and get the mobile phone from her. Since I was playing Wii (yeah we brought it home), I was mouthing "No, I don't even really remember much of her!"

THEN Mark whispered - "Hey, it's an iPhone!"

Of course, Noe jumped up to grab the phone. "Hi!"

It was kinda anti-clima…

Busy Weekend

Just another quickie. We just got home from Laguna and we are pooped. We left for Los Banos last night around 11:30pm and got there around 1am or 2am. We then had to get up early (relatively) and then go to Irvin's birthday party. It was fun - Jer stuck to his 2 beers! Lots of fun pics, which I will post tomorrow.

Some thoughts - I miss my family (immediate and extended) and I don't realize it till we spend time together. Then again, I think the current arrangements are great because sometimes, family time is best when they come in small doses. It was great to spend time with my cousins, aunts, and grandma. I don't know if I am being *evil* for feeling thing way. Have you ever felt that way?

I can't wait till next weekend when we go to Puerto Galera. It should be fun. Now it's time for bed.

Pain

No it's not a serious post. It's just that I have been sitting here for hours writing and playing Farm Frenzy while watching Jer have fun playing the video game he bought from the PSN Store. Titled Pain, the game involved throwing guys from a giant slingshot. I don't quite get the objective of the game but it's kinda weird hearing guys scream from pain and at the same time hear my husband giggle like a kid.

And you wonder why certain groups abhor violent video games?

Have Your Dream Day Wedding

I never really liked formal gatherings, even less when I would be the center of attention. I guess that is why I opted for an informal wedding at the pastor's office. Jer even had to "force" me to buy a dress for the day! We ended up compromising - I got a skirt and a blouse, instead.

With the exception of Beth, all of us married girls at the office had informal weddings. Vicki still wants a big wedding ceremony, wedding dress and all! That is why from time to time, I would also think about having a more formal ceremony for when Jer's parents come over. After all, they were not here when we got married.

Looking for Wedding Dresses is not at all that hard, I have come to realize. The traditional way people do it is to buy bridal magazines and look for a dress they like and then have someone make it for them.

Internet-crazy me, I have found a better alternative. Bridal Dresses can be found online. I chanced upon a site called Best Bridal Prices and I really liked…

8700 Jollibee Delivery to the Rescue

As I sit here and try to clear away the tendrils of sleep clouding my brain, my eyes rest on the remnants of the "feast" that we had at 2 in the morning. We got a bit desperate last night due to gnawing hunger pains and the fact that McDo's hot line was still down did not help one bit.

Thank God for Jollibee! I didn't know that they had 24 hour delivery service but I gave it a shot anyway. Besides, I have been craving for one of their burgers ever since Wednesday, when I got a whiff of The Champ from someone at work.

My morning uppers are working now and the gears in my brain are starting to turn...what makes Jollibee's burgers different from McDo's? Which is better?

I remember mulling over this last night as I was eating and my conclusion is that McDo's burgers are meatier - the taste of the beef is stronger. Jollibee's burgers, on the other hand, are better seasoned.

So which is better? Depends on what you prefer, I guess. For me, it depends on m…

McDonald's 8-mcdo Down?

I just realized how dependent we are on McDonald's 24-hour delivery service. We don't order everyday but when it is past midnight and we suddenly feel pangs of hunger, I don't really feel like cooking. It takes so long to thaw meat and then cutting up veggies and actually doing some work is not an attractive thought in the middle of the night.

Anyway, we tried calling them the other night but the line just kept ringing. An hour ago, I tried again since we are both kinda hungry. Same thing.

I did some research and saw a post in That Word In Me. Apparently, McDo changed call centers and their system has been down. I need to get the number of a specific branch to get food delivered.

It sucks to be hungry but I think it sucks even more that I am relying on McDo to get me full.

Google Chrome: Brilliant or Doomed?

The first time I saw the link on Google's homepage for their new web browser, I could barely contain my excitement. I refrained from downloading it immediately, though, as I wanted to wait a bit - am relying on Mark to test it and to give the verdict.

I saw an article on Zdnet, though, which says that Google Chrome is on the path to self-destruction. I do not know how true this is but here are the main points:

Internet Explorer's stranglehold
The average computer user tends to lack the technical know-how or motivation to change from their default browser, Internet Explorer, giving Microsoft around 60 per cent of the market without even trying. Despite being the only really viable alternative to IE's domination, Firefox has struggled to gain above 20 per cent of the market.

Bad track record
Despite Google's search dominance, its other homegrown applications have failed to attract anywhere near the same popularity.

Google backlash
With the Google brand already ubiquitous worl…

When Things Get Personal

If there is one thing that I have learned from my current job (and believe me, I have learned a LOT), it is that you should NOT take everything personally. The nature of my job makes it a sensitive one, prone to dislike and misunderstanding. As such, we tend to get a lot of flak.

In the beginning, I was very much rattled by these things. Today, I witnessed a colleague going through pretty much what I have been through before. It is nerve wracking. It is disappointing. It makes you want to lash out in anger.

After a while, though, you get to realize that it is not targeted at you personally. It is something that comes with the job and all that you have to do is let the emotions subside, try your best to put yourself in the other person's shoes, and do what you can to diffuse the situation.

Marriage Fitness

Exercise, health, and fitness have always been topics that lead to interesting exchanges. Most of the time, however, these topics are referred to in the physical sense. Have you heard of marriage fitness? If you are married, I am sure that a slew of thoughts are now running through your head.

Yes, marriage can be bliss but oftentimes, there are many aspects of marriage that can make you feel like going crazy. I think that bliss in marriage can take a lot of hard work - from both partners. Sometimes, a couple may need outside help in order to resolve their issues.

I would be the first to admit that marriage has sprung more than a few surprises on me. Many times, we were able to handle them. Sometimes, I think that a Marriage Counselor would be useful. (I know, Jer will disagree.)

I found this site that focuses on Marriage Family Counseling which I think would be very helpful to any couple who have even the most minor of issues. The program is called Marriage Fitness and it was des…

PSN Card Worries

Last night, Jer and I bought a PSN card worth $50 for $62.50 on Ebay. The seller has wonderful feedback and since it is practically impossible to get the cards elsewhere, we decided to buy it off him. The Ebay ad said e-mail delivery within 24 hours and it is not here still. We were expecting him to at least e-mail us since we sent him a couple of e-mails but nada.

I am a bit worried - I hope that this is not a scam. Also kinda pissed for Jer because he is so excited to buy things off the PSN. I really hope that this guy delivers. Otherwise, that would be money down the drain. Then again, he still has about 12 hours to make good on his promise.

Fingers crossed.

Benefit Concert For Tara @ 70s Bistro

Let's all go to 70s Bistro on the 24th of September. If you remember, I posted something about going to a benefit gig at Route 196 several weeks ago. It was for Tara, a young woman who was shot in the head. There is another concert slated for the 24th so be there if you can. Here's the poster for the gig for more information. Please click the poster for better viewing.
For those who do not know about what happened to her, you can read this article.

For Women: Find Out If Potential Partners Have Vasopressin

What makes a guy good husband material? As far as I know, women would normally mention something about the guy's characteristics, personality, and so on. He has to be caring. He has to be thoughtful. He has to be responsible. Blah blah blah.

Then again, we're in a hi-tech age. Why not take genes into consideration as well?

According to some researchers at the at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm:

"Our main finding was an association between a variant of the vasopressin receptor 1a gene and how strong bonds men reported they had to their partners. Men carrying this variant scored on average lower on a scale measuring the strength of the bond compared to men not carrying this variant."

In simple terms, men who have vasopressin will make better mates - NOT! The researchers have a disclaimer (as they usually do, I noticed that):

"Taken together, the effect of the gene variant that we have studied on human pair-bonding behavior is rather small, and it can not,…

Obama or McCain?

Not that I would be able to vote for either of the two candidates, but I thought that it would be interesting to see my results for this quiz at BlogThings.



Your Issue Profile: 68% Obama, 32% McCain




While it sounds like Obama is the choice for you, he's not a perfect match.

You and John McCain actually share some of the same views.



Whether this is news to your or not, you have some studying to do.

Obama seems like he's the right fit, but it's an important issue might sway you over to McCain.

Should You Vote for Obama or McCain?
It sounds just right. I wonder if we'll ever see a similar quiz for the presidential candidates in the Philippines in 2010? :p

Why Is Farm Frenzy So Addictive?

I have always been easily addicted to video games (among other things). I remember the time when I wouldn't sleep because of Heroes of Might and Magic III. Then there was The Sims (yeah I didn't go to my classes because of this game). Now I am more into casual games and Farm Frenzy seems to top them all at the moment.

It's not just me, though. Everyone I know who has had the chance to play this game just couldn't stop playing. What is it about this game that makes people like it so much?