How was your Christmas?

We had a wonderful Christmas celebration, as always. Hope you had a lovely one, too! :)

Here's C by the Christmas tree:

Wishing you all a fruitful New Year!!!

Missing C...

It's extremely quiet without C at home. I cleaned the entire house today, and when I stopped for a while to rest, I realized how boring my life would be without my noisy, sometimes naughty, but always sweet little girl! I miss her already! And it has just been 24 hours! Can't wait for C to be back tomorrow! =)

Why I've been busy lately...

November and December are usually the busiest months for me, but this time around, their even busier than ever! So, please excuse me for not posting for so long... I've been busy as busy can be!

Anyway, here's an update of what I've been up to the past months. My family were recently in Singapore for a family visit. It was so much fun! And it was C's first trip abroad. She was so excited for this trip. Surprisingly, too, she was well-behaved on her first airplane ride. =D The highlight of our trip was our visit to Universal Studios. C enjoyed the 3D Shrek show so much that until now she keeps talking about how she got wet from Donkey's sneezing! *hachoo!* =)

Just wanna share some nice scenery shots from our recent trip:

Christmas display of lights along Esplanade Dr.

Aboard the Sentosa Express on the way to Universal Studios
Universal Studios Singapore!
Meeting the Merlion

Christmas along Orchard Rd.

C at the Holiday Inn lobby

The famous Fountain of Wealth
(Unfortunately, it was closed at the time we visited, due to the downpour. We still made a wish, though. :) )

A scene from Songs of the Sea
The Helix Bridge and Marina Bay Sands
A view of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino across the river
Now that we're back, I'm still busy! hehe... busy organizing Christmas parties and get-togethers for High School and College friends, as well as cousins and other relatives. Christmas break this year is a bit short because December 25 falls on a Saturday. Good thing Dec 27 is declared a holiday, too. That's why the get-togethers will fall on days one after the other, so it'll surely be a busy Christmas. Nonetheless, I look forward to lovely get-togethers and wonderful times with family and friends.

Just in case I get too busy again the next days and weeks, I'm wishing each of you an advanced Christmas greeting. May you and your family enjoy the Christmas season and may bountiful blessings come your way!

SM's 3-day sale

I took advantage of SM's 3-day sale here in Dasmarinas. I thought of grabbing this opportunity to do our early Christmas shopping and get clothes and gift items at discounted prices. Although I love a bargain, I am not a usual fan of mall sales, mainly because I don't enjoy shopping when there's so many people around haggling over stuffs I'd also want to look at, and spend so many hours waiting in line at the cashier. But this time around, I set my mind that I would get the best of what this sale has to offer. And so, with my shopping list on hand, I braved the hoards of people rushing to the mall. With my little girl in tow and a yaya to assist me, I was determined to find the things I wanted to buy, and maybe still try to enjoy the shopping process. :) At the end of the day, I was one tired but happy shopper, as I got most of the items on my list at mostly half their original prices, plus another 10% off just for being an SM Advantage member! =) I feel like a little girl enjoying her loot bag after attending a children's party! hehehe =)

Here's my loot: =)

dresses for C

assorted gifts for our godchildren

shirts and blouses for us and gifts for relatives

bags for my girl friends

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Lately I've been feeling some numbness on my right hand, wrist, and arm. Sometimes, I can't use my hand completely the whole day when it feels really painful. So I had it checked by an ortho at the Asian hospital. He diagnosed it as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The probable cause: long hours of using my laptop everyday. Oh, no! So, I'd have to lessen my Facebook addiction, and try not to use the laptop somedays. And I am also now starting on my Physical Therapy (PT) sessions to help ease the pain and hopefully fix the problem. So, for those of you who are unfamiliar with this condition, here are a few facts about the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

What it is:

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when the median nerve becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The capal tunnel houses the median nerve, which controls sensations to the palm side of the thumb and fingers.

- pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm
- frequent burning, tingling, or itching numbness in the palm of the hand and the fingers
- decreased grip strength

- factors that increase pressure on the median nerve
- trauma/injury to the wrist
- rheumatoid arthritis
- repeated use of vibrating hand tools
- repetitive and forceful movements of the hand and wrist at work
- development of a cyst or tumor in the canal
- in some cases, no cause can be identified

- resting the affected hand and wrist
- avoiding strenous activities of the hand and wrist
- stretching exercises
- surgery if symptoms last for 6 months

info source:

Philippine E-Passport Application

Application for the new E-Passport was a breeze at DFA Aseana (Macapagal Ave.). We arrived at 12:20 for our 1pm appointment, and we were finished by 1:30pm. Kudos to the efficient and professional service of their employees! =)

Well, to anyone interested in applying for the new Philippine E-Passport, here are the quick and easy steps:

1. Go to the DFA website for online appointment. Supply the necessary information:
Applicant's full name
Date and Place of Birth
Latest Passport number, issue date, and place of issue (for renewal only)
Valid e-mail address
Complete address and contact numbers
(and other information as stated on the online application form)

2. Set your appointment. You will be shown the soonest available date, and you can choose the date and time that is most convenient to you.

3. A confirmatory email is sent to your email address. Check your email and click on the link to confirm your online application and appointment date.

4. A PDF file of your application form will be shown (you will need a pdf reader such as Acrobat to be able to view this). You will need to print this on LONG BOND PAPER.

5. Fill-up the other information in the application form, but DO NOT SIGN it yet. You will need to sign it in front of an authorized DFA personnel, when you personally go to the DFA office on your appointment date.

6. Acquire all the necessary documents required for your application. The DFA website clearly states all the requirements you will need for your application (examples are birth and/or marriage certificates on NSO paper, valid IDs, etc.).

7. On the date of your appointment, and 30 minutes before your appointment time, go to the DFA office in Aseana Business Park, along Macapagal Ave. (near Mall of Asia). Don't forget to bring your PRINTED APPLICATION FORM and all ORIGINAL and PHOTOCOPIES of your requirements for application.

8. Enter through the appropriate gate (gates are well-marked accordingly: for example, Gate 3 is for applicants who had their applications done online; other gates are for those who apply through an agency, or for OFW, etc.).

9. Show your application form to the guard. Note that only applicants are allowed entry to the DFA. No escorts are allowed inside.

10. Line-up for processing of requirements.

11. Next, go to the 2nd floor for payment (P950 for regular processing - 1 month release; P1,200 for express processing - 2 weeks).

12. Get your number for the encoding (photo, thumb print, and signature capture). Wait for your number to appear on the screen, and proceed to your assigned cube for encoding. There are around 50 cubicles available for encoding, so the process won't take too long.

13. Make sure to check that all information are correct. They are the information that will appear in your passport. You will be asked to sign a paper to confirm that you have thoroughly checked all personal information and that there are no more corrections to be made.

14. Optional: Pay P120 for delivery of your passport. This is an added convenience so that you need not return to the DFA office when your passport is released. You can choose from several couriers such as LBC, Air21, 2Go, etc.

15. Now, all you have to do is wait for your passport to be released! :)

Happy trip! =)

Ms.Universe 2010

I love watching beauty pageants. Isn't it nice to see so many beautiful faces all in one show? That's what the Ms.Universe pageant gives us: a couple of hours of pure beauty! :)

What's more endearing is that while watching the show this morning, my little girl of 3 years was also doing her own Ms.Universe poses. hehehe =) Oh, my own little darling... my very own little Ms.Universe! =)

Anyway, congratulations to our very own, Ms.Philppines-Universe, for making it to the top 5. I would have wanted to hear a better answer to her final question, but 4th-runner-up wasn't so bad after all. :)

And I guess Ms.Mexico - now Ms.Universe - does deserve the crown. She's a beauty!

SOFA, so good

We started out with a Duvel for a sofa.

Then I added three large pillows for back support.

Then I plumped it up with a couple of throw pillows with covers that match the chair pads on our dining chairs.

And now... tada! Here's how it looks like! =)

What's a birthday without lechon?

Filipinos are known for grand birthday celebrations, whether it be on the first year, or most especially if it's on your 92nd year! Yes, you read that right. My lola recently celebrated her 92nd birthday! And what better way to celebrate than to have a family reunion of sorts, and of course, have lots and lots of food on the table, including the lechon. The best part of it all is seeing our lola healthy, happy, and still beautiful at 92! =)

Our special day

They bring out the best in me: my loving husband and our sweet daughter. The past 5 years were simply wonderful! Looking forward to many more "best" years with you both! I love you, my love, and mommy loves you so much our dear C!

Toy Story 3

I love Toy Story because it brings out the child in me. I feel like a child all over again, and brings back happy memories of childhood. Plus, the toys are so cute, too! :)

Toy Story 3 becomes more memorable this time around, as it is the first-ever movie that my daughter watched in a movie house. She slept half-way through it, though. hahaha! :)

Anyway, I still enjoyed the 3rd sequel as much as the 1st and 2nd ones. And being one who can get easily emotional, I did shed a few tears near the end of the film. Won't you agree that it's a touching and heart-warming movie, too? ;)

I just love Pooh!

I think the child in me has kept me constantly in love with Winnie the Pooh. Pooh is just so adorable! And now I think my daughter has imbibed the same love for Pooh. So, just fittingly, Pooh was the theme for her simple 3rd birthday party with just our immediate families as guests. Simple but just as fun and adorable as Pooh! =)

Just a sneak peek: Here are the Pooh stuffs we had as give-aways for our guests. :)

The story of my vote

Ever since political ads starting airing on TV, I've been very observant and studying each candidate's qualifications, platforms, and plans for our country. I read every information on the process of the automated elections. I watched every episode of ABS-CBN's "Harapan", as well as some of the other networks' election-related debates and/or programs, staying up till the wee hours just to hear the candidates' responses to the various issues our country is facing. So, humility aside, I think I can say that I'm an informed voter. I was really looking forward to the May 10 elections, as I believe that every election is an opportunity for change, a chance for a better future.

Days prior to May 10, I made my list of candidates that I will be voting for for the national positions (President, VP, Senators ... I opted not to vote for a party-list, as I didn't see any clear platform from anyone of the party-lists). And the day before the elections, I completed my list for the local positions (from Congressman down to Councilors). As I went to attend Mass that Sunday of May 9, my fervent prayers were for peaceful and clean elections.

On May 10, election day, I was up at 6am, and ready to vote by 7. My hubby, brother-in-law, and I arrived at our precinct by 7:20am. I was surprised to see so many people already at the site. I thought we were early, and I was hoping to finish by 8, as I also had a morning appointment with my dermatologist. My hubby and bro-in-law started lining up, while I looked up our names in the voter's list. I joined them in line, and told them to memorize our voter numbers (according to the voter's list). While in line, I observed the procedure that the teachers, watchers, and other election officers were implementing. First, voters had to fall in line in a narrow hallway which was directly hit by the morning sun. I noticed a bigger field where there were no people, a much bigger area, and with shade. I imagined how we would all be more comfortable in that field, unlike where we were standing in line. Even though we brought an umbrella, a small face towel, a bottle of water, and fan, we were still dripping with sweat amidst the scorching heat of the sun. But still, we waited. And waited. And waited. Then, the line moved! Yey! We were then placed inside a small classroom, this they called "Room 1". At least now we were seated, with some shade, but still little ventilation, as they fit 40+ adults in that small room. And again we waited. And waited. And waited some more. After what seems like eternity, we were transferred to another room, "Room 2", which turned out to be another waiting room! By this time, we were really tired, all sweaty, and ready to give up. I was thinking about whether I could still make it to my derma appointment. In my mind, I was calculating, and choosing between whether to stay and wait to cast my vote, or leave and have my beauty rest. All signs were telling me to leave. People losing their tempers, others calling out to friends and relatives so that they could move closer to the line ("singit", as we call them in our native language), men smoking in the already unventilated room (I was afraid I would have an asthma attack right then and there!), the scorching heat of the sun, the waiting time that seems like forever, etcetera, etcetera. Despite all these, I chose to stay. I had to. I could give up my beauty rest for today, but not my and our country's peace and hope for at least six years. I couldn't give up. I just couldn't. My patience and small sacrifice today could mean a brighter and better future for our country, for my family, for my daughter.

Finally, in what seems like light years, I was inside "Room 3" where voters are casting their votes. After verifying my name in the voter's list, I was handed my precious ballot, which I so carefully handled, in fear that a single crease would void my vote. That was my greatest fear that day, that my vote would be void if my ballot was not read properly by the PCOS machine. Maybe I would cry. With all that careful planning, staying up late to watch the candidates' debates, waiting endlessly in line with sweat all over, I would be very upset if my vote wouldn't be counted. So, I carefully filled up my ballot, and within a minute or two, I was finished. I approached the PCOS machine, gently inserted my ballot, and nervously waited for the "Congratulations" message of the machine. Then, there it was, "Congratulations!". I heaved a sigh of relief! :) After having the indelible ink on my finger, I was out of the room. I checked the time: around 10 o'clock. The entire process took us 2.5 hours! Nonetheless, I was happy. I was glad I had enough patience to endure it, thankful that I was able to exercise my right to vote, wishful that my choices would prove themselves once elected, that they would live up to their promises, that they are worthy of the sacrifice I made that day just to be able to vote for them.

So, congratulations to me, to you, and to the millions of Filipinos who went out on May 10 to cast their votes, amidst the many hurdles. Now, again, we are waiting. Waiting for the results, and continuously hoping for a better and brighter Philippines!

Mabuhay po tayong lahat!

Election Fever

We know that the election fever is on, as we see plenty of posters, tarpaulins, stickers, and baller IDs of the candidates everywhere. Have you decided whom to vote? Whether you're yellow, green, or orange, let your vote be counted! Go out on May 10, 2010 and exercise your right to vote! And remember, vote wisely!

A friendly reminder from: