What Happened in 2008: A Year-End Survey

What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?

Resign from my job.

Travel to Bacolod.

Move to Cebu.

Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don’t make new year’s resolutions. But I did promise to go to the gym more regularly. And I also promised to stay in touch and see my girlfriends more often. I pretty much accomplished both.

As I am getting older and wiser, instead of resolutions, I made a list of goals for 2009 which covers all aspects such as personal, career, financial, fitness and spiritual.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

My high school and grade school friends, Cathy to Ysabel and Tammy to Diego. My small group friend Malou gave birth last December 30 to Kristoffer Isaiah.

Did anyone close to you die?

A colleague from work, Patrick, died.

What countries did you visit?

Singapore for Food & Hotel Asia 2008 and the ASEAN Agri-Food Team Meeting in April.

What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

More time to manage the household. More time to work out at the gym.

What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

December 5: my last day at work

December 12: the day I moved to Cebu

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Put my family first by supporting my husband and following him to Cebu. I also survived three months away from Jed when I had to stay in Manila and him in Cebu.

Jed and I also started tithing this year. I joined a small group and learned a lot from the weekly meetings.

What was your biggest failure?

I should have saved more and shopped less.

Did you suffer illness or injury?

None.

What was the best thing you bought?

My NIV Women’s Devotional Bible and Christian books from OMF.

My gadgets: an iPod classic and a Canon digital camera

Whose behavior merited celebration?

My husband – for not giving up on me when I would feel most discouraged about our move and also for being the son that he is to his parents.

My mother and siblings – for encouraging me to move to Cebu when I know deep down that it would be difficult to be a plane ride away from me.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I’ll keep you guessing. They come from all over – family, relatives, work, friends, etc.

Where did most of your money go?

Food, dining out, travel to Cebu, and clothes.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Starting 2008 with a husband. The thought of a new boss. Resigning from work. A new life in Cebu.

What song(s) will always remind you of 2008?

David Cook’s version of Always Be My Baby

Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder?

Sadder. I’m still adjusting to this new life and I’m still missing my family and close friends, and the life in Manila.

ii. thinner or fatter?

Fatter! Waaaaaaaaaaaaah!

iii. richer or poorer?

Richer. In a way, we’re better off than when we started last year.

What do you wish you'd done more?

Be more adventurous. Tried out more new things.

What do you wish you'd done less of?

Sulked. I was mostly a pessimist which did not do me any good.

How many one-night stands?

None.

What was your favorite TV program?

I closely follow these shows: Gossip Girl, Grey’s Anatomy and Brothers & Sisters.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

Hate is a strong word. I’m trying to be more forgiving and not hate anyone or anything.

What was the best book you read?

My Christian books: Joel Osteens’ Become A Better You and Elizabeth George’s Loving God with All Your Mind. I also enjoy The Nest Newlywed Handbook.

What was your greatest musical discovery?

David Cook

What did you want and get?

Earrings.

What was your favorite film of this year?

The Dark Knight

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 32 last November. Jed came over from Cebu and we stayed at Makati Shangri-la. We had a quiet dinner in Restaurant Verbana in Tagaytay.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Travelled to a country I have never been to.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

Neyza and I fell in love with dresses which we shopped more of. I was fond of clothes from Zara and Gap as the cuts are more classic and the style is more forgiving which concealed flaws very well. Towards the end of the year, I purchased more dresses and sandals to prepare me for resort life in Cebu.

What kept you sane?

My girlfriends.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Barack Obama

What political issue stirred you the most?

The US Presidential election more than the financial turmoil and global economic crisis.

Who did you miss?

For the Christmas holidays, I missed my family and friends back home.

Who was the best new person you met?

My small group buddies: Malou (even if I’ve met her in 2007, I’ve gotten close to her this year), LJ and Lynn.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:

Keep on obeying God, and He will reward your obedience.

What was the nicest thing someone told you about yourself:

I bring warmth and joy to people.

What was the most touching experience you've had this year?

Ending a chapter in my life made me realize how much the people I have worked with value me and what I have done to them.

What did you like most about yourself this year?

I was eager to know more about God.

What did you hate most about yourself this year?

I allowed myself to be weak, and think disturbing thoughts.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

"Manila, Manila. I keep coming back to Manila."

Was 2008 a good year for you?

Yes, it was. It was a year of challenges and changes but I surpassed them all.

What was your favorite moment of the year?

Seeing the happiness and excitement in Jed’s eyes whenever I would visit him in Cebu.

What was your least favorite moment of the year?

Bidding my friends goodbye.

Where were you when 2008 began?

At our first home in Dansalan Gardens in Mandaluyong City.

Who were you with?

My husband

Where will you be when 2008 ends?

In Shangri-la Mactan

Who will you be with when 2008 ends?

Nobody else but my husband

Do you have a new years resolution for 2009?

Not resolutions but goals.

What was your favorite month of 2008?

November. I have always loved my birthday month.

Did you lose anybody close to you in 2008?

None

Did you miss anybody in the past year?

Sam and Rob who had to go to the US

What was your favorite record from 2008?

There’s none I could think of.

How many concerts did you see in 2008?

Ding, Neyza and I listened to the Chris Brown – Rihanna concert at the Fort.

Did you drink a lot of alchohol in 2008?

Occasionally. I’m not much of drinker now as I was in the past.

Did you do a lot of drugs in 2008?

I have never done drugs in my life.

Did you do anything you are ashamed of this year?

I do not believe in regrets. And I know everything happens for a reason.

How much money did you spend in 2008?

A lot on food, clothes, gadgets, pampering.

What was your proudest moment of 2008?

When Jed and I started tithing.

What was your most embarrassing moment of 2008?

I do not remember such unpleasant things.

If you could go back in time to any moment of 2008 and change something, what would it be? The time I felt weak, and I gave in my craving to smoke cigarettes. Thankfully, I’m no longer addicted to nicotine.

What are your plans for 2009?

To settle and adjust well here in Cebu.

To buy a car.

To be the best wife for Jed.

To have a baby.

To find my passion and make money out of it.

To continue getting to know my Lord.

How are you different now that the year has ended?

I am wiser. The experiences of 2008 made me a stronger and better person.

What are your wishes for the new year?

Despite the grim forecasts, may this new year be a better one for the world that we all come out wiser and stronger at the end of the year.

Off to the Movie House: My Movie List for 2008

I love movies, as much as I love books. Well, I painstakingly kept track of all movies I've seen for this year. Jed and I are big movie fans. We make it a point to watch a movie every week.

Not all movies I've seen were great. A number were totally awful. The movie ticket was a waste of money.

I have highlighted (in bold) those that I love.

Movies I've Seen in 2008

Page Turners for 2008

I cannot remember the first time I read a book. But I've been reading since then. I do have a collection of fiction and non-fiction.

For year 2008, here's the list of what I've read. The list is definitely longer than the previous years. I've read most books in the last quarter when I had more time to read as Jed was in Cebu and I had so much idle time I resorted to reading.

Books I've Read in 2008

Disturbing Christmas Message

I am behind in my entries. I'm not sure how I would keep up. One at a time... That had been my motto this month.

I should be writing about my last day at work, last week in Manila, our first wedding anniversary, my first two weeks in Cebu, and so on. But that has to wait until our DSL gets connected.

My husband and I spent Christmas differently this year. It was quiet and stress-free. While it may have been lonely that we had no family reunions to go to, we cherished every minute together. I insisted on eating lunch at Cyma which just opened in Ayala Center Cebu's The Terraces.


For this year, I sent out Christmas greetings to most people in my phone's address book. I received a very disturbing reply from one person which thanked me for my Christmas message but it also states how I wronged the person for which will not be forgiven and forgotten.

Ouch! I had no idea I offended this person. Apparently, the spirit of the Christmas season is lost.

That message bothered me the entire day. It was disturbing. I kept on reminding myself that I will let this person take away my joy. I honestly was fuming mad, and I felt like getting back to the person with a hurtful message. Thank God, the Lord spoke to me, and made me realize how I should be a better person.

I admit I was very affected, and I also felt sad for the person for holding that grudge against me. It pains me that the timing sucked, of all the days, I found out on Christmas day.

So what do I need to do to appease this person? I pulled out my notes from my small group meeting when we discussed "Overcoming Offense." And I read a few verses on forgiveness. The Lord repeatedly reminds us that in order to be forgiven from our sins, we should be ready to forgive to who have wronged us.

I, more or less, know what I need to do. But I need to wait out a few days as the person apparently is very angry. How can a person hold that so much grudge, when I honestly could not remember what I did?? What was not important to me was of value to the one I offended.

Let me tell you, how humbling this experience would be after I reach out to the person. I will pray about it as to what God wants me to share with the person. It is also a learning experience for me how I should forgive those who offended me, how I should forget their offenses, and to stop keeping grudges. Being told by this person how I will not be forgiven really hurts. It is unbelievable as my own mother does not this much grudge towards me, and I have failed her so many times in the past.

An Encounter with the Bathroom Scale

I shouldn't even had done it.

Weigh myself.

And what I saw was devastating.

I gained 10 freaking pounds. What the....

I blame it on this whole move to Cebu. And why's that?

There's non-stop eating. Friends and family want to see me before I move so I get invited to lunches, coffee/dessert, and dinners. I have a standing invitation for brunch on my last day on the 12th. And I am absolutely sure my family will go somewhere to eat before they drop me off at the airport.

And I couldn't resist the food I will miss in Cebu. How many times have I dined in Abe?!? And those wonderful desserts that won't be sold in Cebu. I have this rule of dining preferably in restaurants that don't have branches in Cebu. OMG, that's a lot of restaurants.

Gym time has become non-existent. I suddenly don't have time for the gym.

It's actually worse than the holiday season.

I cannot possibly get pregnant with this much weight.

I am horrified.

Better Late Than Never

Last night, I broke my personal rule of not seeing a movie adaption without reading the book first. Yes, I am talking about the Twilight frenzy. I joined my bestfriend saw the movie on its first day of showing.

My sister promised to give me the entire set of the series as she wanted me to read the book so badly. According to her, the series is that good, and I should not miss the chance of not reading it. Awww... that's so sweet of her.

So I won't look like a clueless fool, I researched a bit about the story, and the characters. In the moviehouse, Neyza and I were surrounded by teenage girls swooning over the lead actor, Robert Pattinson. I just braced myself for what I was about to see on the big screen.

There had been mixed reviews about the movie adaption. My dearest sister phoned just before to get my assurance that I would still read the books even if I find the movie disappointing. She saw the movie ahead of me. She's a diehard Twlight fan.

Well, the movie did not disappoint me at all. I was instantly a convert. I could not wait to get my hands on the book. Hmm... I think I better hold the reading off until I get settled in Cebu as there is no way I'd get to finish packing if I do start with the series. I hear it's a page turner.

Twilight brings you into the world of vampires. While many people are misinformed that the movie is a gory one, it is a love story between a vampire and a human.

Do not get me started on the character of Edward Cullen. The character took me breathless.

Scruffy gorgeous men have always been my type. Let's just say that Edward's character is what I used to dream about when I was younger. Twilight brought back the feeling of giddiness, or the very apt Filipino word is kilig.

Now I have been persuading those I can to go see the Twilight movie.

All Set for 2009

My search for the perfect planner ended yesterday. As it turns out, things did not exactly end the way I thought it would when I wrote about planners last July.

I found a package waiting for me from my dearest friend Tammy (and her husband Mon). It's a birthday gift! And guess what's inside -- a 2009 Belle de Jour Power Planner. I couldn't thank her enough.

At first, I had no idea what the planner was. It's embarrassing to admit but I have not heard of it. But as I flipped through the pages, I fell in love with it immediately. The planner suits me perfectly. It's the right size, very handy, and so chic. A much-coveted planner especially for women.

According to its website, a Belle de Jour planner (BDJ) is --
After a research study on planners, the Belle de Jour concept was born. It is the first organizer specially targeting women in the Philippines, full of witty and relevant articles, optimized layout design and discount coupons from various popular fashion and lifestyle brands. Unique features like shopping lists, meetings to schedule, professional priorities and etc. help Pinays organize their schedules and daily to-do lists. This makes the planner an indispensable tool to make the most out of Belle de Jour lifestyle.
Who's not gonna fall in love with this cover?

A preview of what's inside.


As I was going through my friend Emillie's blog, I had no idea she was blogging about this planner for a while now. Emillie lives in West Virginia, and she's having the BDJ planner shipped to her from the Philippines.

Emillie and I share our love for planners. I know she used to collect the annual Starbucks planner (only available in the Philippines) which I collect, too. This serves as my journal where I write my deepest thoughts.

I finally claimed my Stabucks 2009 planner. And I stopped drinking coffee after.


Emillie and I share another thing in common - Moleskine notebooks/planner. I purchased a Moleskine diary more than a month ago. Well, I'm stuck with it. I probably would use it as a scrapbook for important things (receipts, cards, photos, newspaper clippings, etc.). I know for a fact that Moleskine notebook holds items pretty well. I learned this from Daphne Osena's blog. She has an entry on Moleskine notebooks.

I bought a Horizontal Weekly diary which should've served as my main planner for 2009.


Well, I'm all set for the coming year. I'm hoping all three planners/journal would help me manage and maximize my time well which will lead me to accomplish more next year.

Lori's New Baby

I have been a fan of Lori Baltazar of the Dessert Comes First blog for years now. Why won't I be when my favorite part of the meal is dessert? Her site is my resource material on which desserts to buy when there's a special occasion or whenever I would crave for one.

Small world story as Lori happens to be the sister of my (no longer new) friend Charley.

Lori came up with a new site called, Coffee Comes Next. I'm sure she will write on anything and everything about coffee.


Talk about timing, eh? I just decided I would give up coffee while Jed & I are trying to have a baby.

Maybe I'll go visit the coffee shops she recommends and smell the aroma of roasted coffee. That would have to do for now.

Awesome Punta Fuego!

My ever gracious co-worker turn friend, Lynn, threw some sort of send off for me at her house in Punta Fuego.

She has a BEAUTIFUL house with a spectacular view.

View from the balcony

My mother and I sitting at the balcony

I am so glad I brought them with me.

Did I say beautiful house?

Hangin' at the beach

with our wonderful hostess and Fe


We totally enjoyed the weekend.

I so needed the break.

Thanks Lynn!

Farewell to the Kitchen Club

One of the things I will miss when I leave the Canadian Embassy is my ASEAN Agrifood Team, aka the Kitchen Club. We are a group of Trade Commissioner/Assistants who handles the agriculture sector in each of the post in the ASEAN region. We meet annually to plan and exchange ideas/best practices.

Over my eleven years, this group eventually became my good friends. They had seen me grow-up. I first met them in 1998 on my very first trip to Cebu.

Some people had left the group.

I never thought I'd be the next one to leave.

For this year's meeting, I begged them to come to Manila so I could say goodbye to them.


The 2008 ASEAN Agrifood Team

aka the Kitchen Clubbers of Southeast Asia

with Celeste and Sharon


My dearest Susan from Singapore put together this CD of all the photos taken in our annual meetings as far back as 2002. It's something I will look at when I start missing them.

These wonderful group of people brought an item from their home country of things that will remind me of their countries or Canada. My goody bag contained all the items in the above photo.

I will miss the annual meetings. Most of all, I will miss their company.

A Weekend of My Favorite Things

The weekend I turned 32, my dearest Jed flew to be with me from Cebu. I had the best birthday!! A weekend full of my favorite things.

As soon as my brother picked up Jed from the airport, we all met at Spiral for dinner. My family is celebrating three birthdays in November - my mother, mine, and my brother's.


Jed & I stayed at the Makati Shangri-la for the weekend. Thanks to his GC. I totally love staying at the hotel.

For that Sunday, we attended service in Victory at the Fort. The message that Sunday was all about Psalm 23. And that's my favorite Bible verse.


My highschool best friend, Aileen, got married. She made me read during the ceremony. The following was a horrible photo. Too bad it was my only photo with the couple.



Jed & I are big movie fans. Of course, we had to catch a movie while he was in Manila. We saw Quantum of Solace. We watched after the wedding. For some reason, I fell asleep in the middle of the screening. I ended up not understanding what the movie was about.



I told my brother what I want for my birthday cake. And he got it for me. My absolute favorite is Estrel's Caramel cake. I could eat an entire cake if I could... but that would be gluttony.


Jed & I had our photo taken at our first home. I feel sad about leaving our place in Mandaluyong.


We drove to Tagaytay for dinner. As most of the good restaurants were closed on Mondays, we settled at Country Suites' Restaurant Verbena. We had the restaurant to ourselves. My own version of a private dinner. Our waited overheard that it was my birthday, and he served me a cake.


Jed gave me the best gift. I am telling you, this man would do anything for me. I was sad to see him go back to Cebu. But I will follow him in a month's time.

Halloween Weekend

Halloween has not been a big event for my family. November 1 or All Saints Day is. My siblings and I decided to go out, given that Halloween this year falls on a Friday. Instead of watching scary, gory movies, we saw High School Musical 3: Senior Year. Can you imagine my brother watching a teeny bopper musical? We were hilarious inside the movie house.

Dinner was Dio's treat. They wanted to try Flapjacks at the Theatre Mall. I had been to the Flapjacks in Greenbelt, but the Greenhills one is self-service type which is more affordable! The three of us enjoy breakfast food.

I was raised a Catholic, and my family/relatives are all Roman Catholics. It's no surprise All Saints Day is a big event. After eight years, my brother found a way to build a mausoleum for my father.

We even have a rooftop which I find very cool. My mother served lunch for our relatives.

The best thing about the mausoleum is our own toilet. We don't have to be at the mercy of our kind neighbors when we need to go use the toilet. My mother loves the color blue and since we forbade her to use this color in the construction of the mausoleum, she put accents of blue in the toilet, with the tables and chairs, and most of what she brought with her that day.


Here is my sister and our cousin Gina sitting on the bench.

My mother wanted the mausoleum to be blessed so she asked our neighbor priest to do the blessing.

Friendship Through the Eyes of My Cosmic Sister

In her October 29th LJ entry, my dearest Cheryl wrote on her thoughts about FRIENDSHIP. We call each other "cosmic sisters"as most of the time we understand each others thoughts and feelings without ever needing to explain or defend (defend? Bakit may kaso?) ourselves There would be times when we just think/do/say the exact same thing at the exact same time. We're a couple of freaks.

Anyway, here are excerpts of her blog entry--
it's easy to get lost in a maze of 10 million different people you come across with, especially as you get more mature, as you move around, but as long as you know what's real and what's true, there's no way you can hide that. even when you've decided to shut yourself out of people, afraid of getting hurt or disappointed, you'll be surprised at how friendships grow. people reveal themselves at the most unexpected situations. for example, i admire those who prove their integrity and sincerity even when everything else around them is just wrong. isn't that what integrity is all about? doing what's right EVEN when (especially WHEN) no one's watching. or for instance those who share their time, what they know, or themselves in the midst of a demanding work environment.
I have met most of my very good friends through unexpected and most surprising ways. There was no need to exert any effort nor pretend to be someone better. The friendship simply grows. I especially am endeared to those take the time, out of their very busy schedule to be available for me, or just simply be thoughtful.
thinking about the friendships i've made, i am totally pleased and content. there are more people i am only getting to know, and maybe it'll end there or maybe we'll grow to be better, closer friends. but what's important is that they are around me because they've seen through me at some point. and they liked what they see. no pretentions, no hidden agenda. that's how relationships transcend into friendships. perhaps this is one of the reasons why i'm not the friendliest person on earth...to me kasi i make a conscious effort to take care of the friendships i make. i give it my time, eh i have so little of it na nga!
I have shared with my husband and with Cheryl how happy I am with the friends I have now that even if I don't find new friends in Cebu, I would be okay. I don't want to say I do not need new friends as that comes across as a very snotty remark. What I mean is I am contented with the friends I have now, that there's no reason for me to look for new ones.

I laughed aloud when I read about making a conscious effort to keep a friendship. It should come out naturally. One's busy schedule should not be a hindrance to stop spending time together. One makes time for those they love, right?
so think about it...are you too concerned about yourself, so focused on your own problems that everything is about you? how much of your time do you give to the people you'd wanna run to in times of need? get real, in that you cannot expect to receive from others what you cannot give of yourself.
Her words are exactly what I want to say. See, she put my thoughts into words.

A friendship is a two-way street. If only one person makes all the effort, it's not going to work nor will it last.

Just recently, I feel sad about a colleague who died yesterday. We worked on several work events in the past. And I enjoy every minute working with him. I grew very fond of him. He's someone I would run the extra mile for. Even if my stupid feet was killing me at the Food & Hotel show in Singapore, I walked over to the USDA hall when I learned he also flew for the event. I adjusted my schedule to visit him in the ICU, and found ways to get to his wake, to pay my last respect.

Some people are just worth the extra mile.

In last night's small group, our topic was Overcoming Offense. As I learned more about the cause and effect of offenses, I felt a sharp object pricked my heart. I realized how I get offended easily. And when the offense is caused by people I most care for, I sadly hold grudges. Worst case would be for me to think the person does not exist. My rationale is if we no longer have the same interests or share the same views then our friendship might as well fall apart. I hate when I need to explain myself a lot when I know I do not need to. Yes, I may not share your current views but I am allowed to have my own opinion and beliefs. Yes, I may have changed my perspective about life but it does not mean that we need to grow apart.

That is when I realized that there are friendships worth keeping. I need to give myself time to heal a little and then I will do what I can to save the friendship. If that does not work, and my effort cannot enough to save the friendship then I am happy to have tried my best.

Pet Peeve

The definition of pet peeve according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary --
Main Entry: pet peeve
Function: noun
Date: circa 1919
: a frequent subject of complaint

So who and what irks me?

  • Dishonest people: No explanation needed for this.
  • Mess: I absolutely cannot stand a messy house.
  • Junk: I do not keep anything I don’t intend to use.
  • Crowded places: I hate packed malls. Mall wide sales never lure me. Except maybe when Zara goes on sale.
  • People constantly borrowing money: If a person keeps on borrowing money then something is very wrong with how he manages his finances. It’s not how much one makes that matters, it’s how much a person saves.
  • People who live beyond their means: They are very pretentious to me. There is nothing wrong with living simply.
  • Chatty people: Please please please stop talking to me, especially in the morning. I love my peace and quiet.
  • Dependent people: The world’s not going to end if you try to do something on your own.
  • Inconsiderate people: Please respect other people's time, energy and money.
  • People who demand and think highly of themselves: They are not God. To me, these people are insecure. Secure people are content and unassuming.

And my list ends here.

October 18th Weekend

Last weekend was hectic but so much fun. Lots of good food and excellent company.

It started with dinner with my family in Abe in Trinoma. Abe made it to my list of favorite restaurants. I looked forward to this evening all week, when I'd be sharing a sumptuous Filipino meal with my family. A hands-down favorite is the Crispy Pork Adobo.

Saturday was the opening of Pink Kitchen at the Rockwell Tent. A lover of good food should not miss this event, organized and for the benefit of the I Can Serve Foundation. I gave my family no choice and they found themselves being stamped at the entrance of the Pink Kitchen. I feel very strongly about the cause as my own mother was struck with breast cancer twice. By God's grace and mercy, she is currently in remission.


The venue was packed. Yes, we endured the crowd. The food stalls featuring the best dishes and desserts were worth the 200 pesos entrance. Now don't ask how much we spent on food. It's for a worthy cause, right?

Everyone's full thus the smiles on our faces.



with Nanay
Before leaving the Powerplant Mall, my sister and I passed by Adidas, and we found the Ateneo and La Salle jackets. I just had to buy it for the two of us. It's my belated birthday and advanced Christmas gift for her, as the jacket is expensive.



Blue goes to Via, and I take the green one.
When I stay at my family's house in Bulacan, I get to see my sister's dog, Kenken. He's one-fourth dalmatian, and three-fourths beagle. But his dalmatian blood is more dominant thus the spots, etc. I am terrified of dogs, or any pet for that matter. However, this dog is very hard to resist. Especially when he looks at me with those puppy eyes.Well, I touch and look at him from a distance. I wish he'll remain this small.

Kenken

I headed back to Trinoma on Sunday evening to meet my two highschool friends for dinner. Aileen was my bestfriend in high school. We were roommates in college for a year, I think. Aileen's getting married on November 9. The dinner was supposed to be her shower but unfortunately people couldn't make it so we ended up with an intimate dinner with Cathy at Bubba Gump.

Irma, Cathy and Aileen

And that ends my busy weekend. Next weekend will be as busy as I'm off to Cebu to spend quality time with my dearest husband.

A Proposal

My sister e-mailed me a You Tube link of the video of her batch mate's proposal.

The guy, Boyet, was their batch's valedictorian and student council president. I'm not surprised he came up with this type of proposal. My hats off to him for his creativity, organization, and LOTS of courage.

While I found it a bit OA (but of course as Jed's proposal is the perfect one even if that was at my family's garage in Bulacan), I was so surprised to be shedding tears. I cannot believe I cried while watching the video.

I'm such a hopeless romantic.

Busy Bee

My assumption was I would have more free time now that Jed has moved to Cebu.

Was I very very wrong with this assumption!!

There's a saying in Filipino which goes, "Marami ang namamatay sa maling akala." The saying may sound morbid, but there's truth to it.

I have never felt this busy after the wedding. There are too many tasks I need to do that my time management skill is failing me. When I hit the bed at midnight, I am always exhausted. It even dawned on me that I should have moved my resignation date earlier so I would have more for my personal affairs. I have not even started packing our things for shipping to Cebu. Eeeek!

So what's keeping me busy?

I go to work Mondays to Fridays. I come in to work early because it is easier to find vacant taxis before 7 o'clock. Plus I do not want the added stress of heavy traffic. But, I don't head to the office right away. I pass by Starbucks first and sit while I read a chapter or two of a book I'm currently reading. At 10 minutes before 8, I proceed to the office, and work as I am expected. When lunch break comes, I try to squeeze in working out at the gym. I go back to work after until I need to go home at 4:30.

On days that I do not have dinners with friends or small group meetings, I go straight home to supposedly work on household chores. When I am not in the mood for house chores and I put it off for a later time (Very bad!), I would easily get sidetracked by surfing the net. I multitask a lot. I watch my favorite TV shows while cleaning the house or cooking or doing whatever. I realize multitasking could be the source of my exhaustion. Too many things happening at the same time.

I allot one night a week for my manicure and pedicure at home. I look forward to that evening when I am forced to sit down and not do anything else.

My week passes by very fast, and the weekend arrives. Weekends are more chaotic. I alternate going home to Bulacan to spend time with my family with spending the weekend with Jed in Cebu. Friday afternoons for me would either be killing time in Trinoma waiting for my siblings (I'd get to do all my shopping errands then) or waiting in NAIA 3 to board my flight to Cebu. I never appreciated the Embassy's shortened Fridays more than before.

With my current set-up, I do not have quiet weekends. I love spending quality time with Jed and my family, but it can be physically draining. I am grateful that God is giving me the energy to keep me up on my toes. I load up on vitamins so I do not end up sick.

Maybe I should move around my schedule so I could get some breather. I am a proponent that it's alright to say NO. But in my desire to spend quality time my family and friends that I'll be leaving behind, I tend to push myself a bit more.

I am no superwoman.

And I was reminded about this in Church two weeks ago.

I should just stick with what I have to do, and leave the rest with God.

Tina Fey Rocks!

Comedienne Tina Fey was hilarious in Saturday Night Live's spoof of the interview of Gov. Sarah Palin by Katie Couric.

Another Proud Filipino Moment (Part 2)

And this is the video of the duet between Charice Pempengco and Celine Dion. They sang Because You Love Me.

Another Proud Filipino Moment (Part 1)

Charice Pempengco guests in Celine Dion's show at the Madison Square Garden.

While Charice's singing voice is not my particular choice of voice or music -- I am a rocker at heart -- Filipinos could not help but be very proud of this girl. With Oprah dedicating an entire show to her, what's not to be proud of?

Here's the video of Celine Dion introducing Charice.

The Quest for the Perfect Nails

My current obsession is maintaining beautiful nails. Well-manicured hands look very clean, fresh and neat. I may not have model-perfect hands but I'm satisfied with what God has given me. I don't go for long nails. I keep mine short and square.

When I was still staying with my family in Bulacan, I would religiously do my own nails complete with polish every Sunday evening. But when I got married, I realized I didn't have the luxury of time on a Sunday evening - or any evening whatsoever - to do my nail ritual.

And that began my quest for the perfect mani/pedi place. I came up my own criteria, which are: (1) accessibility of salon, (2) technicians with gentle touch, (3) nail products and polish, and of course (4) price. I usually find the time for a mani/pedi appointment when I would wait for Jed. My preferred nail salons would have to be near our offices.

I have tried several nail places, from the posh nail salons to your neighborhood parlor. My conclusion is one needs to shed out a few hundreds for the best service.

I am particular when it comes to nail care. I take note of what products the technicians use to clean my nails; I cringe when those pink cuticle remover or orange merthiolate would be used. Cuticles should only be pushed, not cut. Several manicurists are not gentle that I end up with cuts, and a bruised cuticle area. I never go back to a salon or parlor when that happens.

My favorites are the Nail Spa (any branch) and Dashing Diva. For me, these salons are the best in the metro. But the services in both nail salons are very expensive. It puts a dent in my pocket. It's money that I could have put to better use.

One day, as I was searching the net for reviews of nail salons, I chanced upon this home-service mani/pedi called Nails at Home. The idea of a nail spa service at home is too good for me to resist. I picked up the phone and booked myself an appointment the next day.

My assigned technician, Zeny, came with a huge plastic box of all the things you could possibly need for a decent mani/pedi. It's complete with a foot soak machine. Nails at Home also offers foot spa.

I was just pleased to be having my manicure & pedicure in the comforts of our home, while watching TV, and in a schedule most convenient for me.

Zeny was very thorough and gentle. She "repaired" the mistake my past nail technicians did to my nails. They absolutely murdered my toes. Well, they're all okay now. Thanks to Zeny. One other thing I like with Nails at Home is their choice of nail polish. The variety of nail polish includes Essie and OPI. At several nail salons, there is an extra charge for these brands of nail polish. Of course, I picked an Essie polish as it lasts long.

Side note: I'm beginning to buy a few bottles of Essie and OPI polish in preparation for the move to Cebu. I figured it may take me a while to find a good technician there and they may not have the colors I want. These brands may be expensive, but it's worth it as it doesn't chip that easy. I've tried and tested it and it lasted after handwashing my clothes, scrubbing my flipflops and washing the dishes and cooking pans.

I was so pleased with the service that I booked Zeny for the following week. I am excited to try their foot spa.

What's also good with Nails at Home are the prices. It's fairly affordable compared with Nail Spa and Dashing Diva services without comprimising the quality. Those salons do have ambience and comfy couches with fluffed pillows. Well, my home has that, too, and more.

 
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