Helping In A Whole New Level

Typhoon Ondoy brought out the worst and best in the Philippines.

WORST: My jaw dropped as I watched the devastation that happened. My heart broke and went out to the victims. It was horrifying and a total nightmare. For the first time, my family's home in Bocaue was flooded. God was still good because at the time the water was rising my mother and sister were here with me in Cebu. They were supposed to fly back Saturday afternoon, but then my brother decided against it as the situation was getting worse. True enough, water was knee-deep inside the house.

There were many "what if's" -- What if it were only my mother left alone in the house? She would never managed the flood on her own. Even my sister would feel so helpless. But my brother could. And he was even out helping neighbors get to safety.

BEST: Bayanihan is very much alive. I am so proud of the Filipinos. Every single one of them who use social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to disseminate crucial information such as ways people could help. It is possible to help wherever you are.

There really is no excuse to be indifferent anymore. But there are people who still are. If they only knew how blessed they are from being spared. I really do think these people are the first ones who need to be out there helping the victims. Or even in their own little way such as sending cash, or post information to help others. Be involved if you want your children to live in a better Philippines.

Ways to Help:

  • Bianca Gonzales compiled this comprehensive list in her which she updates regularly. Through this I learned how I can send donations from Cebu.
Here are helpful tips for those homes and cars affected by the flood:

Oprah + Black Eyed Peas = Awesome!

I love --

Black Eyed Peas
the Windy City
the song I Gotta Feeling

"I gotta feeling.
That today's gonna be a good day.
That today's gonna be a good good day.."

The Sweetest Thing

Patrick Swayze passed away this week and tributes were given to this fine actor by the media. I had been a fan of his movies, Dirty Dancing and Ghost. Caught myself singing the song he wrote, She's Like The Wind. And I was in awe when he dropped by Oprah lat year, and boy he could still dance.

People had this photo tribute on Patrick and his wife Lisa called Patrick & Lisa: A Love Story.

I was so moved by this photo, especially its caption. I can definitely feel the love between the two.

Rest in peace, Patrick.

SIDE BY SIDE photo | Lisa Niemi, Patrick Swayze


All throughout Patrick Swayze's battle with pancreatic cancer, his wife of 34 years, Lisa Niemi (with him at a L.A. Lakers-San Antonio Spurs game in May 2008), was by his side to help him soldier on. From helping him keep track of his medication to flying him to chemo treatments (she's a registered pilot), the dancer-actress was his rock. "He looks into her eyes and he sees nothing except, 'Everything is going to be okay,'" Patrick's brother Don told PEOPLE in 2008. "No matter what he's going through, it's okay. She's just there.""


When I moved here in Cebu, I was stunned to find out that the simple things I enjoy back in Manila are not available here.

You'll be surprised that grocery stores and supermarkets here do not sell:

Gardenia bread

Pre-cut salad greens

Last weekend, Jed and I went around buying baby stuff, and we had a hard time looking for plain white garterized baby mittens.

Today, I checked out the Marks & Spencer store in Ayala Center Cebu and could not believe that they do not sell nursing bras. If I had known that that would be the case, I'd have bought in Manila two weeks ago. But then I followed the advices to purchase nursing bras closer to the due date. Sigh...

You bet I am frustrated. But then I realized how these situations teach me to be more resourceful, flexible, and content. And that I'll manage with whatever's available here. People here survive, so will I.

Thirty Three Weeks

This is how I look at 33 weeks pregnant.

Javier's been super active. I feel like he's using up all my energy as I'm easily exhausted.

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Baby Shower Gifts

Thanks to those who gave their gifts, lent items, and handed pre-loved goodies to us. :-))

Baby Showers

On my last trip to Manila before I give birth, I made sure I spent time with the special people who matter - my family and closest friends. It's also the time for baby showers. Who'd have thought I'd end up with three??

It was supposed to be just one baby shower thrown by Neyza and Ding, but then several friends could not make it resulting to two more get-togethers.

My long time friend Tammy, who I've known since grade school hosted a dinner for me in their lovely home. She invited our friends from grade school and high school. Confirmation was a 100%.

Being a new mom as well, Tammy's been a big help throughout this pregnancy. And when I feel clueless, I'd be texting or e-mailing her and she'd get back to me with so many useful information.

With Tammy, and the entire group
Photos from Samantha

My former colleagues and friends from the Canadian Embassy threw a sort of baby shower for me at Cafe Breton. I couldn't remember a time I laughed that much. For a while I was scared Cafe Breton would kick us out because we were too loud. A few of us transferred to Cafe Havana next door after a few hours, and the conversations continued.

My embassy friends + with Javi's Ninang Che

We waited for Fe at Cafe Havana

My real baby shower happened on a Sunday afternoon in Conti's in Serendra hosted by Neyza, Ding and my brother. Jed was there, and so were my family. And our favorite couples (Sam + Rob, Malou + Kris, and Joel + Joy) made the afternoon more fun.

The invitation and my organizers

A hearty laugh from my family

My small group and HS friends
Photos from Samantha

I'd truly miss everyone. Jed and I are so blessed with all these friendships, and their little something for our baby Javi.

September Treat

I cannot wait for Grey's Anatomy season 6 premiere. Here's the first five minutes of the two-hour premiere.

Two weeks to go!!

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