Manny Villar? Seriously?

There's also this article by William M. Esposo --

How Manny Villar lied and used the death of his brother Danny

(The Philippine Star) Updated March 28, 2010 12:00 AM

Filipinos, please think about what's good for this country.

Family First

I was loaded with questions and scenarios yesterday morning as I put Javi down for a nap. It was a rough morning. I was my overly OC self and I got cranky when I thought of every single thing that was out of order.

Then I asked myself if life would be better if we had hired a yaya to help me with Javi. Would I pay another individual to look after my little boy? Heavens no! I seriously want to raise him by myself. It is just very challenging. There are days when things are falling apart and I want scream my head off. What I decided I need is a cleaning lady who can come to our house twice a week to help clean, etc. I have no idea where to find a person like this in Cebu.

It crossed my mind and I wondered if my little boy would appreciate that I raised him on my own. Of course, his dad is there but being the head of the house he works long hours and travels often. Would Javi have preferred being raised by his own mother? Or it would not matter if he was taken care of by a yaya? My own mother raised my brother and I alone with some form of help during the day. My younger sister came in much later. But you know what, I honestly don't remember being taken care of by another individual other than my mother. While I didn't fully appreciate it when I was a kid, I cannot be more thankful now that my mother took the time to raise us. I guess that was why I am this hands-on to Javi. I am aware of the benefits of a child raised by the parent/s.

I was thinking fast forward. I got curious. I asked Jed if - heaven forbid and I keep on praying that it won't - what happened to his father would happen to any of us, would either of us prefer to be taken care of personally by either spouse or hiring a caregiver would be be alright? Of course we might have to take into consideration our finances, lifestyle and what our needs be at that time. But my take is I would definitely want my husband to take care of me the best possible way. I'd need his TLC more than any person. I made a vow with him, in sickness and in health. I did not recite those vows with the caregiver.

How about parents? Now that I am married my first priority is now my husband, then my child/children, and then my parents. (Although I am struggling with this at the moment as taking care of Javi takes up most of my time.) The Bible states that we have to honor our mother and father. There was a point in time when both my parents were both undergoing treatment for their cancers. Let me tell you those were our family's darkest hours. My mother survived while my father didn't. And in those three years, I hoped that I showed them I could take care of them in my own little way. I love my parents so much. We are just not the touchy-feeling ones.

These choices entail sacrifices and they are the road less taken. But in the end it is all worth it. I am not a fan of regrets and I know how short life is. I'd rather make certain sacrifices and give up a part of my life for the people I most love. After all, these people are my life. In doing so, the Lord tremendously blessed us. I seriously believe that the Lord has greater plans for people who set the right priorities in life.

Facebook Phobia

Yes, I have fear of this social networking site called Facebook.

I have not been updating my status as regularly as before. Recent experiences forced me to lay low on updating my page.

I'm sure by now everyone knows how powerful this site is. One friend's status update said it all --

"How did you find out?" - facebook; "where did you see it?!" - facebook. Find out more, on FACEBOOK.

Here is a nice little analysis of what people do on Facebook.

I actually preferred Facebook when it wasn't as big as it is now. There's just too many people on my contact list that I needed to segregate into groups. I am a very private person. I only allow a select number of people to have full access of my account. I'm sure those I'm not close with does not care about what I do every single day.

Lately, I have been very keen on maintaining some level of privacy. I pretty much mastered what is in Facebook's privacy settings page. For security purposes, I learned to limit those who can view my Wall. It's interesting advice on the need to restrict Photos Added by Others to those I am comfortable with. Photos do tell an interesting story.

I used to not be bothered by comments posted by my contacts. I respect what they have to say. So far I never had any issues with anyone. Then I learned that people got bothered by comments posted on my page. But that's another long story.

To be safe, I put restrictions on my page. I am trying to avoid World War 3 in the future.

Oh Facebook, what have you become??

Mang Jimmy

Our family/company driver for so many years passed away last night. He died of a heart attack on the day of his wife's birthday.

It happened that fast.

My friends know him as Mang Jimmy. My siblings and I call him Jimmy, sometimes Jimmy Boy. He had been with our family long before my father met my mother. Yes, he was serving our family for more than half his life.

If Sharon Cuneta had Yaya Luring. our family had Jimmy Boy.

He initially lived in San Juan with his family then he moved to Bocaue to be closer to our family. Because my dearest father never learned how to drive. And he was dependent on a driver. Jimmy and his family settled in Bocaue and they lived their lives there.

Jimmy saw me grow up --
  • as a baby
  • as a little kid whom he would drive to the pediatrician almost every weekend
  • to a high school student with my friends making that trip to Manila during summer vacation
  • to a college student he would bring to the dorm every Sunday evening, pick up every Friday afternoon and wait for when I go on gimmicks
  • to an employee of the Canadian embassy whom he drove to Makati for 10 long years even after my father died in 2000
  • to a wife who lived in Dansalan Garden whom he'd bring goodies almost every week from my mother in Bulacan
  • to a mother to Javi as he'd pick us up from the airport every time we arrived from Cebu and he would drive us around to see my friends
I could not forget the time when my father passed away and he never left our family to find a job elsewhere. We both would end up crying in the car from Makati to Bulacan during the first few weeks.

For my wedding, I was so surprised when he handed me a cash gift. My instant reaction was to return the money. I couldn't take anything from him. Then he told me to take it, "May pera naman ako (I have money)." Yes, he probably had more money than me.

Most of my friends, classmates & co-workers know him. Especially since I have not been driving in Manila. Well almost everyone who knew my family know who he is in our lives.

I was putting Javi to sleep late evening when Jed read me the text from my brother. I felt very sad. It was like losing a family member. But his life wasn't pitiful. His family was doing okay. All his four children are all grown-up. He has a number of grandchildren. He was not ill nor sick of anything grave. I am so glad he didn't have to suffer any kind of illness. I believe he lived a fulfilled life.

Then the feeling finally sunk in. I ended up crying. The next time we visit Manila, he will no longer be there to pick us up from the airport nor drive us around to see friends and relatives.

It's almost 3 o'clock in the morning and I am here typing my grief away.

Thank you for his life. For the many years that he had served our family. For his undying loyalty.

Rest in peace, Jimmy.

Crossing Off My Manila Checklist

My list of thirteen things I want to do in Manila has been crossed off - easily.

1. Bought a carseat. Britax First Class Si from Mothercare in Shangri-la Plaza mall. Full story of the search on Tumblr.

Javi trying on his car seat.

2. Got a haircut. I ditched my hairstylist of several years and switched to Ogie Rayel of Kiehls. Ogie had been my hair stylist for years and during my wedding, but he has never given me a haircut. I gave him minimal instructions and he cut it just the way I want it.

3. Checked out La Senza. And went home with a few goodies. I am due to buy new lingerie (translation: I cannot fit into my old ones.)

4. Dentist appointment. I went to the dentist twice on this trip. It was a good thing that I visited my dentist, my gums are very weak post partum.

While waiting for my turn at the dentist

5. Ate at Mr. Jones. With Neyza and Ate Eppie. I HEART Mr. Jones. I wanted to eat there for a second time but the place was full.

6. Sugarhouse's Concorde cake. Now this cake deserves an entire blog entry.

7. Met Rob and Sam before they leave for the US. Sam invited us over her parents' house for a small dinner to celebrate her birthday. I will miss seeing her and Rob when they leave for the US next month.

Photos from Sam and Rob

8. Met the people I regularly see when I visit Manila
I failed to take a photo with Malou & Isaiah and Mia.
9. Met the rest of my friends/relatives
10. Bonded with the new people in my life
11. Spent time with my family

12. Picked out paper for my name card. A Laura Ashley paper from Fully Booked. It's not exactly the same design but something similar. My friend Neyza is currently working on the design and template. I will blog about the finished product later.

Photo from

13. Met with business contacts. I had meetings with my former office and with the hotel where the group I am assisting is staying.

Meeting venue of the mission

There goes my lucky thirteen.

Mission accomplished and more.

*I got to drive around Bulacan and was even brave enough to get on EDSA alone.
*I visited my high school best friend who happens to be a dermatologist for some procedure.
*I brought Javi to the airport to see Jed while in Manila for a few hours layover.

It was an exhausting but fulfilling.

Till our next trip!

My Favorites at the 2010 Oscars

The Best Actresses
Sandra Bullock in a Marchesa gown
Kate Winslet in YSL

Red + Blue
Penelope Cruz in Donna Karan couture
Kirsten Stewart in Monique Lhuillier

Gold Dust & Pale Pink
Diane Krueger in Chanel Haute couture
Cameron Diaz in Oscar de la Renta
Anna Kendrick in Elie Saab Haute couture

Rachel McAdams in Elie Saab Haute couture

All photos from

Lovin' My Sunday

Despite waking up at 4:30 in the morning, this day proved to be full of simple joys. Since I had so much time that I decided to tidy my wallet. I opened this envelope with receipts given to me by Neyza more than a week ago. To my surprise, I found these lovely items inside.

She made me a personalized gift tag and blank card. I love it!!!! I immediately thanked her. And asked for the file so I could print more. I can't wait to get started on my name card. I just have to find the perfect paper for me.

I got to cross off two items on my Manila checklist.

#2 - I got a haircut.

A short one. By Ogie Rayel of Kiehls. Ogie is my hairstylist at my wedding. I ditched my hair stylist for more than 5 years. Now this is what happens when I try to be frugal. I only paid a fraction of what I usually pay and the haircut is what I really had in mind. I only told Ogie that I want a shorter hair. He even thought me how I could style my new 'do. Let's pray that I remember what he told me. I love it!!!

#1 - Javi finally has his car seat.

Trying out his car seat. He was sleeping before I put him down thus the crying incident.

The car seat buying has become a saga. I scouted for the perfect car seat for Javi. I visited every major mall in QC, Makati and Madaluyong. A good car seat is hard to find in the Philippines. I decided to buy the Chicco Zenith car seat from Rustans only to find out that: (1) the actual price was more expensive than what was relayed to me by the sales attendant, (2) the age range was wrong and (3) Google did not have very good things to say about the particular model. I returned the car seat the next day. I ended up with a merchandise credit at Rustan's. Thank heavens a kind-hearted couple decided to buy all the GCs. God bless their hearts.

Jed was now supposed to purchase the car seat from Melbourne while he was there. He almost bought this very affordable but then he encountered problems with LBC so we scratched that "brilliant" idea. I was still at Shangri-la Plaza when Jed texted me about the challenge with LBC. My sister and I passed by Mothercare and to my delight the car seat I was eyeing now more colors other than pink. The store placed my order and I would pick it up this weekend.

Voila, we got a Britax First Class car seat. And as I was paying, I found that it was cheaper by 3,500 pesos. All I can say is the Lord really had a hand on this.

Sugarhouse's Concorde Cake

If there is one dessert that I absolutely love and would keep on coming back for, that would be the Concorde cake of Sugarhouse.

My friend Cheryl made sure I ticked #6 of my Manila Checklist. We dragged our other friend Bib to dessert at Sugarhouse in Megamall earlier.

I am a happy person today.

Screw the diet. Not today.

I always order a baby Concorde.

There are times when I would half it, then bring the other half home.

Isn't this a thing of beauty?

Now there's my favorite sponge cake with chocolate filling.
Very light and moist.

The chocolate meringue crowding the cake is what I eat first and last.

'Til my next visit.

I am grateful there's no Sugarhouse in Cebu.


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