Saturday, December 3, 2011

An Encounter with a Pasig Traffic Enforcer

Me and my family attended a baptismal ceremony at St. Francis of Assisi Parish this morning and since the church is near SM Megamall and the reception is in a restaurant just inside this mall, my husband decided that we'll just park at SM Megamall. 

We are not familiar with the traffic flow within this area but since we brought the children with us, we decided to bring the car.

We were traversing the inner lane of Dona Julia Vargas Avenue going to SM Megamall when we were flagged down by a Pasig Traffic Enforcer (the blue boys of Pasig City) after we crossed San Miguel Avenue.  Our violation according to the enforcer is swerving ... but later on he said that we did not follow the traffic sign that says "vehicles at inner lane should turn left".  Actually we did see the sign  and we were going to make a left turn at San Miguel Avenue but when we saw the cars in front of us just switched to the inside lane of the supposed to be opposite lane (a counter flow scheme to give way to motorists going to SM megamall), we thought it was just fine to remain in our lane ... a big mistake because we were stopped by the traffic enforcer.

At first I made an appeal to the officer telling him that we are not familiar with the route and it is our first time to drive in this area but he told us that it would be unfair for the other motorists whom they had apprehended before us ... he even showed us the two driver's license he was holding.

Sensing that the Pasig traffic enforcer won't listen to our appeal, I told him to just give us a ticket and I'll make the payment to their office on Monday but he discouraged us to get the ticket because it will just be time consuming and he have to confiscate my husband's driver's license ... instead he offered us to just pay the penalty to him at half the price and he will be the one to pay it to their office and the good thing about it is that he will not confiscate the driver's license.

Haven't been with this kind of situation before, we thought it is how it works and so we agreed with what he was suggesting.  The enforcer told us that the penalty for our violation (ignoring a traffic sign) is 1,000 pesos so we just have to pay him 500 pesos and it will be okay, he showed us a smaller ticket which I thought was a receipt which he will give us but after he received the 500 peso bill he made a sign that we can go.  I called him and I asked for the receipt but he said that there's no receipt needed and the ticket he just filled-up will be submitted to their office.

This is where I came to my senses ... this is not right ... I insisted that he give us a receipt and his name.  I'm trying to read his name tag but it was hidden with a strap of a sling bag or part of their uniform? ... I'm not sure.

Since the enforcer won't give us a receipt and his name, I told him to return the money and just give us the ticket instead ... that time a man wearing a white shirt riding a motorcycle parked at the back of our car and the enforcer talked to him.

After a while, the enforcer went back to us, gave back the 500 peso bill and said that since he already filled up the other ticket he will generate a wrong report if he will issue us the other ticket (the real one), so he asked if we can just pay 100 pesos so he can cancel the other ticket and we can go ... being late for our appointment, I gave in to what he said ... I know it was wrong but just to end the situation, I gave him 100 pesos.

I searched the internet and I learned that the offense we committed was only due for a 150 pesos penalty and the way the Pasig traffic enforcer apprehended us was not within their standard operating procedure, he was supposed to introduce his name when he approached us.

Here is the link for the Philippines Traffic Violation with their corresponding penalties and the link for the standard operating procedure a traffic enforcer has to follow in apprehending traffic violators.

We have learned our lesson, so from now on, I will keep a copy of these documents in the car.  If you own a car, it is really a must that you know the rules of the road and your rights as a motorist.

I respect the traffic enforcers because I know they got a tough job out there but I should be ready for those who abuse their power and make money from unsuspecting motorists just like us ... this is our first time to encounter this situation and I know this will be the last ... we will arm ourselves with proper knowledge and if ever we'll be flagged down again for a certain violation, I'll make sure that the money I'll pay will be going to the proper authorities.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Logico Maxico - A Fun Way in Learning

Have you heard about Logico products by Grolier?

I learned about Logico products two weeks ago when their authorized distributor did a demonstration of their product in a community hall near our place.  My five year old son saw it and he tried his hands on Grolier's Fun Thinkers product.  He enjoyed doing the activity because he felt like he's just playing with tiles.  My husband requested for a demo at home so my elder daughter can also try her hands on Grolier's other products especially with Grolier's Logico Maximo which is suited for her age.

A set of Logico Maximo suitable for 8 years old and above

After trying an activity from the Logico Maximo, my daughter enjoyed it and she requested if we can buy a set of Logico Maximo.  At first I was hesitant because the price is heavy on the pocket ... one set of Grolier's Logico Maximo is worth 16,560 pesos (almost 400 US$), payable in three months (they have some payment options for 6 months to 12 months) ... but after looking at the whole set of Logico Maximo, I decided to order because there's just a lot to learn from this product and I believe that my children can still use this even if they are in high school or college ... I even enjoyed doing the activity in mathematics and geometry ... so this means, this product will be for the whole family.

The Logico Maximo that we ordered came with a free Fun Thinkers product which is suitable for my 5-year old son.

Set of Fun Thinkers suitable for 3 to 7 years old
We have already received our order and I give my children at least an hour a day to play with Logico Maximo (for my 9-year old daughter) and Fun Thinkers (for my 5-year old son).

I don't mind spending on books and educational toys because I know that my children can benefit from it. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Planning for a Bohol Vacation

My family and I are planning to take a 3-day/2-nights vacation in Bohol with a side trip to Cebu just to taste the famous Zubuchon lechon.

I had been to Cebu with a friend last April and I only had the chance to taste CnT lechon.  CnT lechon is the best lechon I ever tasted but I have read some blogs that made a good review on Zubuchon lechon so I want to taste it and this time together with hubby and kids.

Since we will be traveling with kids aged 9 and 5 years old, I'm planning to get a travel tour package for the four of us but the adventurous and budget conscious me wants to plan and make the itineraries all by myself and make hotel bookings on-line but with all the available options available, I'm starting to get a headache.  Maybe I should make a list first of all the things we really want to do with this vacation and from that list I can narrow down the searches I'm doing on-line ... of course the priority will be our children's comfort and safety.

I hope I can get a good deal for an end of December getaway otherwise we'll just schedule this trip for an early summer vacation.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Phineas and Ferbs Twelve Hour Marathon

My children love to watch Phineas and Ferbs.  They love the inventions the brothers are always undertaking, the new songs being introduced with every Phineas and Ferbs episode and not to forget the always hysterical and funny character of Candice.

A lot of Phineas and Ferbs episode were missed by the children since school opened last June so when my daughter learned a few days ago that Phineas and Ferbs will have a twelve hour marathon today starting from 9:30 in the morning to 9:30 in the evening, she wrote it down and posted it on the refrigerator door and asked me if they can watch this twelve hour marathon.  Well, it's a Saturday and their third summative examination is already over so okay just for today, they can watch television for more than two hours besides, I also love watching Phineas and Ferbs.

Happy weekend everyone.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Get Discount on your Prepaid Loads

Are you a cellphone prepaid subscriber?  How much does your family spend on all your cellphone loads for a month?

In our family, hubby and I are both cellphone prepaid subscribers and the average prepaid load we buy every month is 600 pesos.

Two months ago, a friend introduced me to V-Mobile's LoadXtreme, an on-line one-stop shop where you can buy prepaid loads at a wholesale price.  With only 250 pesos (US $6) access fee, you will get a lifetime access to LoadXtreme's system and buy prepaid loads at a discount.  Please click here for a complete list of products LoadXtreme has to offer.

Without hesitation, I joined the LoadXtreme network and I'm glad I did because I get a 10% discount on all our prepaid load needs.  With our current monthly prepaid card expenses of 600 pesos, I get a 60 pesos discount monthly ... not much savings, you may think but if you sum it up for the whole year it can give us a free prepaid load for a month.  With all the prices of commodities going up nowadays, it's good to learn of some ways to save especially on our basic needs.

Since I can load all prepaid loads to all telecom networks, I told my neighbors that they can buy prepaid loads from me and I was surprised that I was able to sell more than 2000 pesos prepaid loads on my first month ... adding our own consumption, that was already enough to get back the 250 pesos access fee I had paid in joining LoadXtreme's network.

I'm really happy that I joined this LoadXtreme network and I invite you to join too. For personal discount or business purposes, V-Mobile's LoadXtreme can really help us.  This network is open to all Filipinos both here and abroad as long as you have a cellphone number from any telephone companies here in the Philippines.

If you are interested to join the LoadXtreme network just leave me a message or better yet visit my blog regarding LoadXtreme so you will have a better understanding of what V-Mobile's LoadXtreme is all about.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Steamed Fish and Vegetables

Steamed lapu-lapu, okra and camote tops with sliced fresh tomato.
One of my reasons why I decided to be a full time mother is to make sure that my family eats healthy and since I started staying at home, one of the changes I made on our daily meal is the way we prepare food.

My children loves to eat fried foods but as we all know fried foods are not so good to our health so hubby and I introduced them to a more healthy steamed or grilled foods.

Personally, I prefer to steam foods because it is easier and faster to prepare and you get the full flavor of the meat, fish or vegetable.

One of my favorite fish to be steamed is the spotted grouper or lapu-lapu in filipino.  After drying the fish, I just rub it with salt, pepper and dried rosemary then wrap it in aluminum foil (banana leaf if available) and put it in a steamer.  After a few minutes, the fish is cooked and ready to be served.

To complete our meal, I serve this steamed lapu-lapu with steamed vegetables and steamed rice.  The children loves this dish minus the vegetables but at least they are already starting to love foods other than the fried ones.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Disappointed with the Result

Manny Pacquiao won over Marquez via unanimous decision.

My husband went home yesterday after watching the live telecast of Pacquiao-Marquez third boxing match at the clubhouse but not like the previous fights, he did not asked me to open the television and watch the delayed telecast of the fight, he was not even happy to inform me that Pacquiao won.  He said he was disappointed with the fight and the result.

After watching the news and reading comments of boxing fans on the internet, I learned that my husband is not alone in his disappointment.

Well, that's the sport called boxing.  Like any other sports which requires judges to determine the winner, the issue of human error, negligence, favoritism or whatever you call it will always be present in every match.  But can we blame the judges? ... at their place, they see what we might have not seen and they might have not seen what we have seen ... so in boxing it would be better for a boxer to knock his opponent out so that all these doubts will be erased.

For Manny Pacquiao, win or loose, I'm still proud of him.  He have done a lot to put the Philippines in the spotlight and besides whatever the decision was, he has nothing to do with it.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

It's All Set for Pacquiao-Marquez Third Boxing Match

It's November 13, 2011, the day most Filipinos are waiting for.  It's the third boxing match for Filipino Pride Manny Pacquiao and Mexican Pride Juan Manuel Marquez.  After several weeks of rigid training of both camps, it's now the moment of truth.

My husband is a boxing aficionado and he really loves to watch live all of Pacquiao's fight.  Good thing here in our place, our homeowner's association always make a pay per view subscription whenever Manny Pacquiao has a fight so my husband doesn't have to go far just to watch the live telecast of the fight.

The clubhouse all prepared for the live telecast of Pacquiao-Marquez Fight.

We attended the Sunday mass early in the morning.  Instead of the 10:00 o'clock mass, we attended the 8:00 o'clock mass so hubby can get a good seat at the clubhouse.

The early birds getting the best seat. 

The children and I will just stay at home and wait for the news of the fight's result.  I don't really want to watch the live telecast of the fight.  Once I know the result, it's the only time that I watch the fight's replay.  I don't know, I just can't handle the suspense that happens inside the boxing ring.

Good luck to both fighters and I pray for your safety, no major injuries whatsoever.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Freshly Squeezed Calamansi Juice for a Hot 11-11-11 Day

For those who are superstitious or those who are fond of lucky numbers, today may be a special day but for most people just like me, today is just an ordinary day which just happened to have a rare calendar date and that is 11-11-11.

Here is the Philippines specifically here in Metro Manila, the weather is hot.  I fetched my son at school at 11 o'clock in the morning and whooo ... it's so hot.  I just can't stop perspiring.

For a hot day like this, I love to have an ice cold freshly squeezed calamansi juice ... so healthy and so refreshing.

Calamansi is a small citrus fruit which is abundant here in the Philippines and is very rich in vitamin C.  To neutralize the sour taste of calamasi juice, I add muscovado sugar instead of refined sugar because muscovado sugar is more nutritious compared to other sugar, it has a strong flavor of molasses though but once you are used to it, it's not really that bad.  I also added a teaspoon of honey to this mixture and the children are starting to love this.

For a hot day like this, it's really great to just sit and relax and sip this ice cold freshly squeezed calamansi juice.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I'm Feeling Down

I hate it but I'm feeling so low today.  I think this is part of my PMS (pre-menstrual symptom) but I hate it when I feel this way.

I woke up earlier than usual but aside from cooking rice and transferring some books on the shelf, I did nothing but sit on the couch.  I just want to cry for no apparent reason ... oh I'm so unproductive during this time.

Mid morning, my son gave me a reason to cry when I can't find him.  Usually, every morning after my husband and daughter leave the house, I let my son play outside our unit with his friends ... a group of boys from 5 to 8 years old ... they are just playing at the second floor (playing area) of our building.  After a while, one of his friends knocked on our door looking for my son ... I thought they were together so I went to look for him.  After a few minutes of going up and down (we live in a 4-storey building) calling my son's name, I got no reply.  I went out of the building and went to the clubhouse thinking that he went there with his other friends but I still did not find him.  I was already at the brink of crying when I remembered to check him on our neighbor's door.  Their door is usually closed but my son sometimes go inside their unit to play with their 3 year old child and thanks heavens, he was there.

When we were already inside our unit, I have not controlled my tears.  I cried while talking to my son.

I think crying helped in lifting my spirit because after the crying drama, I felt relieved and somehow my mood brightened.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Another Price Increase for Meralco Consumers

I'm watching the news this morning and news about another price increase on our electricity bill is going to be implemented by Meralco this month.  It's just like a few months have passed since they implemented an increase and now they are again implementing another increase.

Their reason is that the Malampaya Powerplant was shut down since last week and repairs was made to this plant and the cost of the repair will be passed on to the consumers.  I really don't understand why all the costs incurred by these companies in repairing their powerplants, their transmission lines, substations , etc. are being passed on to the consumers ... what I understand is that, it will be another burden to us consumers who by the way are already burdened by all the prices of commodities which are going up these days.

Well, that's how life is, being dependent on all these utility companies.  We can voice out our grudges, they listen, but they continue with the increase anyway.  So, what's new?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Help! ... My Daughter is Afraid of Ghost

Well, everybody does.  Who wouldn't be afraid if you see something or someone who looks like those creatures in horror movies?  But what I found unusual with my daughter is that even if she has not seen any of these scary creatures in real life, yet she is afraid to be alone anywhere in the house not only at night time but even in broad daylight.  She said that she can't get out of her mind the scary scenes of horror movies she had watched on television and the horror stories she heard from her classmates.

Every time she takes a bath or do her thing in the bathroom she asks us (most of the time her younger brother) to accompany her and just stand at the bathroom door.  She won't get inside the bedroom alone.

We live in a small house, only 42 square meter area with two bedrooms and one bathroom.  The living room, dining room and kitchen are just a few steps away from each other so I really don't understand why she's afraid and always wanted someone to be at her side.

My daughter is already nine years old but she is still sleeping with us.  At the end of the year, I'm planning to have her sleep at her bedroom but with what she is behaving, I would find it difficult to leave her alone in her bedroom.  She is nearing her puberty stage and she should be using the bathroom all by herself with the bathroom door locked.

For now, I can't do anything but to tell her not to watch horror movies anymore and keep on convincing her that if ever there are ghosts (I haven't seen one and I hope I won't), they are in other places and our house is ghost-free.   I hope she will overcome her fears of ghost as soon as possible.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Sunday Treat

I have mentioned in my post here that as much as possible, I serve my family a well-balance meal everyday but once in a while we indulge on "fast food" meals or what many call as "unhealthy foods".

Today is one of those days that we treat the children with what they love to eat ... Jollibee!

Hmmmmmmm ... yummy.  If the children can get their way, they want to have this everyday ... but that's a big NO from hubby and me.

Happy Sunday everyone.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Back To School

After a week long vacation for the semestral break, it's back to school again for my children in grade school and pre-school.  Back to the normal activities of bringing and fetching the children to school, preparing their food, checking on their assignments if they have done it and so on and so forth.

Our week long vacation was just spent here at home, doing some cleaning and organizing some stuff.  The children had fun doing their trick or treat activities here in our place.  It's a yearly activity they are looking forward every end of October.

Last November 1, just like any other years, instead of going to the cemetery and visit our departed loved ones, we just lighted a candle at home and prayed.  It's really hard to travel with children in tow during this season so it's better to just stay at home.

It's good that the children have taken their break and have relaxed a little because Christmas season is just around the corner and for sure they will be busy again preparing for all the activities they will be doing for their Christmas celebration in school.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Well-Balanced Meal for Our Family

As a mother of two growing  up kids, one of the challenges I face is getting them to eat right.  Aside from the fact that children love junk foods and foods from fast food chains, the temptation of serving my kids these not-so-healthy food is so strong because of the convenience it offer.

Once in a while we indulge in these not-so-healthy foods but for our daily meals, hubby and I see to it that we eat a well balanced meal.  Using the Go, Grow and Glow basic food groups as our guide, we know we can't get wrong in giving our children the nutrients that they need to keep them healthy and strong.

I learned about this Go, Grow and Glow basic food groups from my daughter's lessons in school.  The Go foods are known as energy foods because it makes our body active and on the go.  These comes from carbohydrates rich foods like rice, pasta, bread and root crops such as potatoes.  The Grow foods help in the development of bones and teeth, strengthen muscles and improve mental functions.  These are protein rich foods which comes from meat, fish, eggs and dairy products such as cheese and milk.  The last food group which is the Glow foods help in strengthening our body's immune system which gives us protection against diseases.  Foods that belong to this group are fruits and vegetables.

In every meal, I see to it that the dish we prepare consist of the ingredients coming from these three basic food groups and since these things are taught in school, it is easier to convince the children to eat what we serve them.

Of all the basic food groups, the Glow foods which consist of fruits and vegetables are the most difficult food to serve our children,  I really need the patience just to get them eat their share of these foods.  I tried to serve our children different kinds of fruits and vegetables and I'm glad that they have already loved some of the fruits like apple, banana, pomelo, grapes, lanzones, rambutan and pineapple.  For the vegetables, they love moringa (malunggay), green papaya, jute leaves (saluyot),  squash, okra, eggplant, string beans and chayote.

By constantly serving fresh pineapple, lately my children loved to eat this fruit.

There are still a lot of nutrient rich foods that my children don't want to eat but I'm hoping that with patience and by being a good model to them, they will get the habit of eating a well-balanced meal.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

10,000 Free Round Trip Tickets to Japan

Yes, you read it right.  Japan's tourism agency in it's desperate attempt to lure the tourists back to their country after the deadly earthquake and tsunami that hit part of the country early this year is proposing to give 10,000 free round trip tickets to those who want to visit their country.

Personally, I love Japan and I was assigned in Yokohama for 17 months last 2007 and 2008.  My family had also the chance to visit me there for one month and they also love the place.

It's been three years since we were there in Japan and my children are asking me if we can again visit Japan, so if this proposal and the funding will be approved by the lawmakers, we will be very eager to join.  Click here for the original report from Yahoo.

Me and my family at Tokyo's Disney Sea

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

As seen on the result of the EMG test performed on both my arms, I was diagnosed to have a Carpal Tunnel Syndrome on both my hands with the left hand more severe than the right hand ... I have not yet felt the symptom on my right hand but it also has that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

The doctor explained to me that nerves are compressed on the carpal tunnel (wrist bones) ... thus the name came from ... the compressed nerves caused the numbness on my finger tips and the pain I felt in my arm.  This syndrom is usually caused by a repetitive hand movement which is done for a prolonged period, the most common is working on computer keyboard.

Before the EMG test result confirmed that I have a carpal tunnel syndrome, the doctor already prescribed me with an anti-neuropathic drug to relieve the pain.  She also prescribed a separate Vitamin B Complex, additional to the multivitamins I am taking.

The doctor gave me two options in treating my carpal tunnel syndrome.  The first option is to continue on the prescription she had given me but this time, the anti-neuropathic drug to be taken only when their is pain in my arm.  The second option is for her to recommend me to an orthopedist for a possible surgery to loosen the carpal tunnel and release the pressure on my compressed nerves.  For the moment I chose option one hoping that the compressed nerves will just loosen on their own with the help of Vitamin B Complex.

The doctor respected my decision but she reminded me that if the symptoms still persist, I should see an orthopedist.

So far, after a few weeks of taking the Vitamin B Complex and the anti-neuropathic drug, the pain in my arm subsides but the numbness on my finger tips still there but not that severe as before.  I hope my hands will heal totally because its hard to do my daily chores with my hands not in good condition. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Electromyography Diagnostic Procedure

A few weeks ago, I felt pain on my left arm, a tingling sensation on my left palm and a little numbness on my left middle and ring finger tips.  At first, I did not pay attention to what I felt on my left arm thinking that the pain would just go away but after a week, the pain was still there and sometimes it wakes me early in the morning so I decided to have it checked by a doctor.

After listening to my complaints, the doctor requested me to undergo two test.  One of the tests was electromyography or EMG.  As the doctor explained, electromyography or EMG is a diagnostic procedure that will help to detect the cause of the pain and numbness that I feel on my left arm. 

The procedure was not available at my doctor's clinic so they referred me to Makati Medical Center.  The electromyography section at Makati Medical Center was fully booked that time and I was scheduled for the procedure after one week.  The procedure can't be charged to my health card since I was just a member for less than one year so I have to shoulder the expenses.  I asked how much the procedure costs and the person-in charge told me that it costs 3,250 pesos (approximately 76 US dollars) ... wow that costs a lot but I have no choice.  We need to know what causes the pain on my arm so the doctor will know how to deal with it.

On the scheduled date for my EMG procedure, I went back to Makati Medical Center Electromyography Section and there, I was made to fill-up a form asking for my medical history, have me read a form which details how the procedure will be done and I was also made to sign a waiver.  At first I was nervous because I was thinking that if a certain medical procedure requires you to sign any waiver, it means that the procedure is delicate and it involves risks but the attending staff assured me that the waiver is just a standard operating procedure and that the test is safe and the pain from the procedure is tolerable.

I was assisted to a small room with one patient bed and beside the bed is a medical equipment attached to a computer.  I was made to sit on the bed and rest my arms on a pillow which was positioned on my lap.  The staff requested me to take off my watch and ring.  There are two staffs attending to the procedure which I learned later as the technologist and the electromyographer.

As stated on the procedure details and mentioned by the technologist, the test will be divided into two parts.  The first is that they will introduce very small electrical charges on different parts of my arms and next is that they will insert a very thin needle on my skin.  Speaking about electrical charges and needles, I'm expecting a painful test.

The technologist plastered cables on my left arm starting on my middle finger then pushed a small button, I felt the electrical charge at the point where the cable was plastered on my arm but it's not painful ... it only surprises me even though I'm looking at the whole procedure all the the time.  The electromyographer looks at the waveform indicated on the monitor and inputs some notes on the computer.  The technologist transferred the cables and repeated the procedure on my wrist, elbow and upper arm and the electromyographer still monitors the waveforms, inputting some notes from time to time.  I was amazed at how my hand moves every time the technologist pushes the small button.  The whole test was also done on my right arm.

On the second part of the test the electromyographer inserted a thin needle on my palm along my thumb.  The needle was attached with a cable to the computer and I can hear the sound of fireworks on the computer.  The sound becomes louder whenever the electromyographer moves my thumb.  Although the needle was just inserted on the outer part of the skin, I felt a little pain but as what they have said, the pain was tolerable.  I even enjoyed the sounds produced on the computer which were like fireworks.

The whole EMG procedure on both my arms was done for almost 20 minutes and I went back to the reception area and after 10 minutes, the result was released.  The conclusion on my EMG test report stated that I have a Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Easy Way to Get Rid of Ink Marks on Fabric

Ink mark on my daughter's uniform
School children are so careless in handling their pens that most of the time they go home with ink marks on their uniforms.

I always remind my children to be extra careful with their uniforms especially the white ones because ink marks on clothes are really hard to clean.

Scrubbing alone won't get the ink marks off the clothes, good thing I have read from Good Housekeeping Magazine the easy way of getting rid of all these ink marks with the use of rubbing alcohol and cotton ball.

Yesterday I have put in practice what I have read from the magazine when my daughter went home with an ink mark on her blouse.  I dipped a cotton bud in rubbing alcohol and applied it on the ink mark ... the mark started to loosen and the cotton bud absorbed the ink.  It really worked.

I'm happy to have read about this tip.  We have some pillow cases with ink marks on them so I better go now and get rid of those marks.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Goodbye Typhoon Pedring

The sky is still cloudy but not as dark like yesterday.
 After hitting a large part of Luzon including Metro Manila with rain and strong winds, typhoon Pedring is now heading to leave the Philippine area of responsibility.  The sky is still cloudy although it is now a little brighter and the sun somehow managed to shine even for just a short period of time.

Despite all the damages brought about by typhoon Pedring to some areas of Metro Manila and other places in the provinces, most offices and schools are now back to normal. 

Here in our place, thanks God, typhoon Pedring has not left any major damage ... just some scattered leaves to clean up.

My prayers to all those who have been badly hit by typhoon Pedring.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Family Meal Time

Today is the fourth Monday of September declared as the "National Famealy Day".  This is an advocacy started by Lucky Me to remind families of the importance of family meal time.

We believe in this advocacy and to show our support, we had a simple yet relaxing family dinner this evening.  We shared on the simple fish and vegetable dish prepared by hubby. 

Famealy Day or not, we try our best to share meal times with our children.  This is one of our family bonding time where our children feels they are loved and that they mean a lot to us more than anything else.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lasy Day of Sale at S & R Membership Shopping

S&R Global City Second Level Parking
Today September 18 is then last day of sale at S&R Membership Shopping for Metro Manila members.  This is the second and I believe is the last sale for this year at S&R so if you are a member or wants to be a member, better visit their nearest branch near your place to avail on big discounts on imported products.

Yesterday we went to S&R Global City branch and I have availed of big discounts on dinnerwares, vitamins, pillows and other items.  I'll make a post about them within this week. 

For the meantime, I have to get ready for a Sunday bonding with my family.

Happy Sunday everyone.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Miss Universe 2011

Miss Angola, Leila Lopez, Miss Universe 2011
Yesterday, I took a break from all the household work that keeps me away from our television set.  It's Miss Universe 2011 coronation night and I don't want to miss the live telecast of this prestigious beauty contest which was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  I prefer to watch the live telecast because it saves me a lot of time watching the show without a lot of advertisements.

Miss Universe 2011 Coronation night was a grand one.  With all the 89 beautiful ladies representing their countries, it just made my eyes feast on beautiful faces and sexy bodies.  I bet the judges had a hard time taking their pick and finalize the list of the top 16 candidates. 

This year, the top 5 candidates came from countries which are not usually included in the top 5 finalists.  They are Miss Ukraine, our very own Miss Philippines, Miss China, Miss Brazil and Miss AngolaMiss Angola, Leila Lopez came out victorious for she was crowned Miss Universe 2011.

Though she didn't get the crown, I was happy that our representative, Miss Shamcey Supsup made it to the top 5.  She's really elegant and very regal out there.  She made our country proud.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Household Chores I Don't Love

Dirty clothes waiting to be washed.
Of all the household chores that I need to accomplish, doing the laundry is the least I want to do.  It's the most tiresome chore that sucks all my energy and most of all it makes my hands dry and rough. 

Without a household helper, I have no choice but to do our laundry otherwise we'll run out of clean clothes to wear.

Using a washing machine is a big help but for small clothes and clothes with thin fabrics, I prefer to wash them by hands.  So everyday, I try to hand wash few items but still the dirty clothes keep on piling so I asked my husband for help and he agreed that we will both do the laundry for big items on weekend ... haaay, it's so good to have an understanding husband who is willing to help on the household chores.  It just makes my life as a stay-at-home-mom-without-a-household-helper becomes easier.

Monday, September 5, 2011

I Need a New Flat Iron and Ironing Board

I need to press my husband's office clothes and my children's school uniforms but look at what happened to our ironing board and flat iron ... they are good as junks.

If I'm not mistaken, I just bought these ironing board and flat iron just a year ago and I bought this heavy duty type ironing board hoping that it will last a long time but look at this now ... well what can you expect, house helpers don't pay for these things so they don't take good care of these.  Texting while ironing or chatting with other house helpers ... nobody knows but I don't think this damage to the ironing board will be this much if your are just using it properly.  The ironing board can't even stand properly because the joints were damaged ... I don't know how my house helper used this, she did her ironing every time we're at the office and she did not complain or told me about this either.

Well, I can't do anything now but just discard these flat iron and ironing board, I don't want to use these, it will just ruin the clothes I'm going to press.  It's time for a new flat iron and ironing board.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Happy Fish

At last, after a month I was able to clean our aquarium.  The water was already dirty since it's been a few weeks after I cleaned the filter.  The children sometimes put so much fish food which makes the water dirty faster.

Hubby took a whole day leave yesterday to attend to our daughter's school activity.  I can't attend because I have a sore eyes ... my son got it first, then my daughter and now it's me ... haaay life, despite of all the precautions I made, I was still infected with this sore eyes.  Anyway, since my husband attended to our children's activities at school, I have time to do extra chores aside from the routine work I'm doing everyday since our house helper left.

I was thinking of just replacing the water but when I saw that the stones and the filter itself is already dirty, I cleaned the whole aquarium first before replacing the water.  It took me two hours to clean all parts of the aquarium.  It was tiring but it's worth it because our aquarium now is clean and the fish seemed to enjoy it. 

I think I have to schedule a regular clean-up of our aquarium ... the fish are more healthy and it is more enjoyable to look at them through clean and clear water.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

It's Time to Prioritize

Yesterday was my first day at home without a house helper.  It was also the first day of school and work after the four day holiday.  Preparing my eldest daughter for school was not really that hard because she is already responsible for herself, she just needs a little reminder to move faster otherwise she will be late for school.  Hubby is a great help because he did some cleaning before getting himself ready for work.

After my husband and daughter left, I was left with CJ whose nursery class is still scheduled in the late morning.  There are still a lot of household works to be done ... dishes to clean, clothes to wash and iron, cook food for our lunch, prepare and bring CJ to school and fetch him after two hours, after a few hours fetch again my daughter and so on and so forth.  There's just a lot of things to do at home and it seems that the whole day is not enough to finish all these tasks.  I was so overwhelmed with all the chores I want to be done that at the end of the day, I felt so tired.

Looking back at what I did yesterday, I think I need to prioritize things and not to try to multi-task.  Trying to do things at the same time usually results in low quality output and stresses me more at the same time.  To simplify my life I have to identify which chores are needed to be done first before going on to the next chore or maybe much better to rest first before going on to the next chore.  I really don't have to finish all these things in one day ... even my husband tells me so.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's Bye-bye Time for our Stay-in House Helper

Today is the last day of our house helper.  She's been with us two months before my eldest was born in 2002 but left us after she got pregnant in 2006.  After a year she went back to us to take care of my second child.  She is the only one who stayed with us for long.

Actually I'm not used to having house helper at home but when I got married and had our first child, I have no choice but to hire one because hubby and I are both working full time.

Our house helper is a distant relative of my husband, she has been staying with them in the province since she was in elementary because my mother-in-law sent her to school.  After high school she was enrolled in college but later on she stopped because she wanted to work and that was the time when we needed someone to take care of our daughter while we are working. 

At first I don't have any problem with her, she knows a lot of household works and she knows how to take care of children but later on she has some qualities which I don't like and what I really hate is that she lends things to our neighbors without our knowing and accepts visitors while we are at the office ... maybe that explains why she got pregnant even though she didn't take a weekend off that much.  I learned about what she's doing when some of our neighbors told me.  I never said anything to her then because she was already preparing to go home at that time.

In 2007, I was assigned in Japan then when my husband told me that one of our two house helpers told him that she wanted to go back to the province ... we had already our second child then so we really need to have two house helpers.  Hubby also told me that our first house helper texted him and asked if she can work again for us ... leaving us with no more choice, I agreed thinking that we have already transferred to a place where security is tight and visitors can't just come and go and besides my aunt was staying with us at that time so our house helpers can't do what they wanted to do for I have someone staying in the house watching them.

Before I can finish my assignment in Japan, my aunt who was staying with us passed away so again my children were left to the care of our two helpers without someone watching them while my husband is at the office.  So far, there were no problems and I was able to finish my assignment in Japan and returned to our local office here in Manila.

After few months, our other house helper left leaving us with our original house helper.  We were looking for someone to replace her but we can't find one so I just asked our original house helper if she can cope up with our two children and she said yes ... so I increased her salary and told her to just concentrate on the children, the household chores can be done whenever we're home.

As always, things worked out fine at first but there you go again, after several months, I started receiving texts from my neighbor of what our house helper is doing while we're at the office.  Our place becomes her siesta place with other house helpers of other units, she washed clothes for other units using our water and washing machine, selling items such as Avon, Natasha ... you name it, she has it.  I reprimanded her of using our water and washing machine to wash clothes for other units ... I have proof when my water bill at the laundry area doubled and she said that she won't do it again.

Since then, the idea of staying at home and living without a household helper already entered my mind and it took me two years to realize it.  So today is her last day and in spite of all the headache she gave me, I still have a lot to thank her.  Just like everyone else she also have her flaws but what is important is that she have taken care of our children while hubby and I are working.

As a sign of our gratitude to her, we gave her a separation pay.  I told her to stay with her daughter at the province and just start a small business there but I think she really want to stay here in the city and I learned that she will be transferring to a new employer just a few blocks away from us.  Well, it's her choice and we can't do anything but just wish her the best.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Happy Weekend Everyone

My daughter folding some clothes
It's weekend once again and for the Philippines it's a start of a long weekend because Monday and Tuesday are declared as holidays.  The long vacation gives us time to have an out-of-town trips but the weather just don't want to cooperate.  Typhoon Mina is currently hitting the northern provinces of the Philippines and although Metro Manila is not at the center of this typhoon still we experience bad weather today.  It's just no good to go out unless you really have an important commitment to attend to.

Despite this bad weather I still have a lot to thank for and be happy this weekend because it's time for a family bonding right here at the comfort of our home. We can have a movie marathon, do some household chores together and play board games ... monopoly is my favorite but should only be played once CJ, my 5 year old son is asleep otherwise we can't play seriously.

For all of us who still have the comfort to enjoy this weekend, let us give thanks to God for all these blessings and let us not forget to pray for our brothers and sisters who are currently being hit by calamities both natural and man-made.  May our Almighty God protect and keep them safe.

Have a nice weekend everyone and God bless us all.

Friday, August 26, 2011

How to Change Membership Status with the Philippines Social Security System

The latest revision of SSS RS-5 form
The benefits of being a member of the Philippines Social Security System or SSS is one of the things I want to continue enjoying even if I'm already out of the corporate world.  Any employee of private companies who are not yet 60 years of age but decided to stay-at-home just like me can still continue to be a member of SSS and enjoy its benefits by changing the membership status from "employed member" to "voluntary member".

To change one's membership status to voluntary member, simply fill out the SSS RS-5 form which is available in any SSS branch office or download it from their website then just pay the total monthly contribution (employer and employee share) in any banks which are authorized to collect SSS payments.  The payment will be automatically credited to your account ... no need to submit the receipt of payment to SSS office for validation just like the way years ago.  You can always check your contribution by registering to My.SSS.

Just remember that the deadline of remittance for voluntary member's contribution is on or before the 20th day of the month following the applicable month or quarter. 

For the schedule of member's monthly contribution, please click here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Money Lending as a Business

After more than a week of being absent because of sore eyes, my son is already back to school.  I was the one who brought him to school and the lady caretaker of the school saw me.  She asked me why I was the one who brought my son to school (they are used to see my house helper accompany CJ to school) so I told her that from now on I will be the one to bring CJ to school because I already resigned from work.  She asked me what I will do so I told her that I will personally take care of my children and do some business on the side.

Upon hearing of the word business she immediately told me that lending money with a small interest is demand for employees of that school.  She told me that there is one person giving out loans for them but sometimes she runs out of fund because of the demand.  I told her that I will think about it but actually it's not the business I have in mind.

Personally, I'm not into this money lending business because I find it hard to collect payments and most of all I feel bad knowing that the person who wants to take a loan badly needs the money and here I am, takes the opportunity to make business out of this person's need.  I don't say that those who engage in this business is bad it's just that it's not my cup of tea.  Maybe I can help if it's really for emergency purposes but not in this way.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

To Raise Disciplined Children ... Be Their Role Model

It's been a week since I started staying at home.  I never stayed at home this long and I can say that being with my kids most of the time is very much different than being with them only on weekday nights, weekends and holidays.  Now, I have the time to observe their behavior on most of their activities ... mealtime, study time, play time, etc.

I'm happy because at last I'm personally taking care of them but sometimes I get frustrated because they misbehaves most of the time.  My eldest daughter, now nine years old is a little hard headed, she wanted to do things her way.  It seems that she loves to do the opposite of what I am telling her and most of all she has a little patience with her little brother.  My son, only five years old is very energetic, loves to climbs chairs and tables, runs everywhere, it's just so tiring to run after him all the time.  He also has the tendency to throw things on his sister.

I know their behavior is just typical of children their age but as a parent I want them to know the difference between right and wrong as early as possible.  If I won't do anything about their misbehavior, they may think that what they are doing is okay and they will continue doing it as they grow old.

I noticed that whenever my children misbehaves, shouting at them or pinching them doesn't do any good (well sometimes it settles them for a while, maybe one to ten minutes), they just tend to misbehave more ... trying to test my patience.  At first, I just can't stop yelling at them but I got tired and one time, after my son did something not so good, I just took a deep breath, did not say anything and I just looked at him.  Sensing that I'm angry, he just sat at a corner of our sofa.  After a few minutes, I sat beside him and talked to him in a very calm voice telling him that what he did was wrong.  He said sorry and behaved after that ... oh well there are still times that he misbehaves but at least he did not repeat what he did that made him say sorry.

I found this "staying calm and not saying a word" to be effective in telling my children to stop and behave so from now on, I'll try my best to be calm and practice more patience with my children.

Now I realized that my daughter's little patience with her little brother is what she observed from me, sometimes I really see myself in her whenever she gets irritated so I think I have to learn to control myself first ... behave myself the way I want my children to behave ... I am their role model and whatever they observe I'm doing, they will follow.  I know this is very difficult but because I love my children and I want to raise them to be a responsible individual, I have to try.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Viruses are Getting Tougher Nowadays

My little boy is still playful even if he has sore eyes.
It's been a week since my son CJ had conjunctivitis or sore eyes.  An ophthalmologist already checked his eyes and gave him a mild antibiotic but until now his left eye is still red and swelling so we went back to the doctor yesterday as per his instruction.

The doctor again checked on CJ's left eye and he told us that it seems that a tougher strain of virus infected his eye.  Normally for children it takes only a week for the sore eyes to be healed but in CJ's case it's different so he prescribed additional eye drop which contains steroid. 

The doctor said that he don't normally prescribe drugs with steroid to children unless it is really necessary and right now CJ needs it so we bought the additional eye drops.  There is actually an antibiotic eye drop which already contains steroid but since we still have the original prescription which does not contain steroid, the doctor just prescribed the additional eye drop with steroid.  It's a little inconvenient since I have to apply one eye drop after another.  I'm just glad that CJ is cooperative and the eye drops with steroid doesn't sting so he doesn't mind the additional drop.

I hope that this time CJ's left eye will get well soon so he can go back to school and play with his friends again.  Right now I don't let him play with other kids yet so I am his official playmate.

This week is their examination week and he missed it, anyway he can always take the special exams.  Small kids are so hard to control and it would be easy for the virus to spread so it's better to not let him go to school yet.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Preventing the Spread of Conjunctivitis or Sore Eyes

Last Thursday my son's left eye was irritated and it swelled a little that we have it checked by an ophthalmologist.  The doctor's diagnosis is conjunctivitis or sore eyes and she prescribed Fucithalmic, a mild anti-bacterial eye drop.

Conjunctivitis is contagious that the doctor advised us not to let CJ go to school for one week, she gave us a medical certificate in case the school would need it.

Contrary to what I know, conjunctivitis or sore eyes cannot be transmitted by just looking at the infected eyes of a person so wearing sunglasses offers no protection for others.  Instead, the infection can be transmitted through direct contact with tears or eye discharge of the infected person.  Nasopharyngeal secretions can also transmit the infection through coughing or sneezing.

To prevent the spread of sore eyes, my son was advised to always wash his hands with soap and water and we were advised not to share pillows, towel, cell phones and other things that are possible for a direct contact with the tears and eye discharge of CJ.

Since CJ is only 5 years old, he needs assistance in wiping his tears and eye discharge which makes us very much vulnerable to sore eyes so we just make sure that whenever we touch his eyes, we immediately wash our hands thoroughly with soap and water and as much as possible we don't put our hands on our eyes.   Kissing and embracing him is also limited.

I hope CJ's eyes will be healed soon so he can go back to school, play with his friends outside and most especially we can kiss and embrace him again.


Monday, August 15, 2011

It’s My First Day Being a Stay/Work-At-Home Mom

Today marks another milestone in my life … the start of my new career being a stay/work-at-home mom.  I thank God for giving me this opportunity and I know He will guide me all the way.

Being a morning person, I woke up early today and did a 30 minutes jogging/brisk walking around the neighborhood while my husband does some cooking.  My husband cooks better than me but I’ll try to learn some good cooking in the coming days.  Our house helper is still with us (she’s due to leave at the end of this month) so I still have no problem with the laundry and some house cleaning.

I helped my daughter prepare for school … I dried, combed and tied her hair.  I don’t have the luxury of time to do this when I was working.  I also helped my son finish his breakfast and convinced him to eat a little of broccoli.  Feeding little kids need much of patience and time.  My children are so picky on foods especially on vegetables that when I’m in a hurry I just give them what they want so as to cut their whining short.

My son is not feeling well because of his sore eyes (conjunctivitis) so he won’t be going to school today and I’ll be his official nurse, cleaning his eyes and applying the eye drops prescribed by the doctor.  Oh, it feels good taking care of your children personally.

For the first time in many years, I am not stressed early in the morning … no shouting just to make my daughter move and prepare for school, no waiting in lines or running after public utility jeepneys just to get a ride and be at the office on time. Well, it’s still early to tell but today I did great and I’m happy about it.  I’ll just take each day at a time and enjoy the gift of being a stay/work-at-home mom.

Have a great day everyone.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

New Back Format for Philippines Bank Checks

New back format for Philippines bank checks
I received a letter from my bank a few months ago about a new back format for checks.  I did not paid much attention to that letter until I saw an announcement at our condominium’s management office that they will only accept checks with the old back format until August 31, 2011.

I still have two booklets of checks with the old back format so I called my bank to confirm until when can I use the checks with the old back format and she confirmed that those checks will be acceptable until August 31 only although I can still use it after that date but it might incur some charges from the clearing house … I didn’t really understand her explanation regarding the charges and the clearing house issue but one thing is sure, it’s time to request for a check booklet with a new back format.  I asked if I can swap my unused check booklet but she said that it is not possible so I have no choice but to order for a new check booklet and pay 165.00 pesos for each booklet.  Haaay banks … they always end up gaining for all these changes.

So if you issue checks for payments, be sure that you have now checks with the new back format.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Exit Interview

As part of our company’s regulations for resigning employees, an exit interview was conducted on me by one of the personnel from HR department.

First I was requested to answer an exit interview questionnaire which is just asking whether I agree or disagree on the given statement and after that the interviewer based her questions from my answers on that questionnaire. 

The interviewer explained to me that the exit interview is a chance for them to know more the reasons why an employee resigns so that they can try to upgrade the company’s system especially on matters of salary and benefits which are always the reason of employees’ resignation and transfer to other companies.  This will be very hard for employees who resign because they will transfer to other companies … surely they will be asked as to how much is the offer they get from another company and what benefits they will enjoy.

In my case, since I won’t be transferring to other companies, the exit interview became a friendly talk between me and the interviewer.  She even shared her own experience of having been a full time mother for one year but eventually she went back to work because she got bored and because of the pressure of her parents telling her that she just wasted her time studying to get a degree because she is not practicing it.  But she said that her children (now adults) tell her that the most memorable part of their life is when she became a full time mom to them.

It was a relaxing exit interview that I have and the interviewer even asked me to consider returning to the company if ever I change my mind and decided to go back to the corporate world again.  Well, that’s also what my department manager told me but as of now, that's still out of my mind.

Monday, August 8, 2011

It’s My Last Week at Work

This is my last week at work and I’m excited but at the same time a little anxious and sad.

I’m excited because at last my dream of staying at home has come true.  I will be with my family most of the time, no more deadlines for drawings to be submitted and most of all I won’t be enduring the hardship of commuting every day.

On the other hand, I feel a little anxious because this is my first time to stay at home after working full time for more than eighteen years.  Although I spend time with my family every night, every weekend and every holiday, being with them every day is definitely a new experience for me.  I really don’t know what I will be expecting being a full time mother … I have read stories and experiences of other stay at home moms and so far they give me the idea but every family is different just like as every person is unique so I still have that little anxiety running through my mind.

Lastly, I also feel sad because with my eighteen years of working full time, eight years of which is with my current company, I have made friends with a lot of my officemates, friendships that blossomed for years and now we will not be seeing each other that often.

Anyway, all these feelings are normal for persons going through a transition in life and I am not exempted from it.  I know these feelings will pass and reality will take its place … life wouldn’t be easier because I will be a full time mom but with God’s guidance and blessings I believe I will be living a great life.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


In as much that I want to make my resignation from our office as silent as possible, it can’t really be avoided that news of my resignation have reached some of my officemates from other departments that every time they see me they ask me if what they heard is true.  Well, there’s no need to deny it.

The first question that my officemates ask me once I said yes is “Where are you going?”.  It’s always the common question asked to resigning employees here because in our line of business, the manpower demand had been rising lately.  Aside from local competitors, the demand abroad had started to rise again after a few years of slowing down. 

Whenever I tell them that I’m going nowhere and that I’ll be going to be a full time mother, it seems that they don’t believe me.  Well, if they won’t believe me, then it’s not my problem but I can’t also blame them, we have some officemates who didn’t tell the truth when they resign … I can’t get the reason why some people has to make up stories when they resign … the company will try to persuade you not to go on with your plan but if you are really decided, they can’t do anything but to just let you go.  As long as you follow the company’s rules on proper exit, the company has no reason to hold anything against you.  So, just tell the truth.    

The second question usually asked is “Are you sure you won’t get bored at home?”  Though I can’t answer it now still I’m optimistic that I won’t.  Who will be bored raising two energetic kids?  Maybe stressed … but not bored.  Even if my kids would be at school, I have a lot of work to be done at home that I know I would be occupied with.

The third question asked is “Are you financially ready?”  Well, we have been preparing for this for two years and I can say that “we’re ready!”.  This is not just a spur of the moment decision, we have planned for this so I believe that we will be fine.  Living a simple life together with my family and with God’s guidance, I’m sure we will be doing great. 

Others may not understand why I chose to leave the corporate world despite the financial rewards that I get but I don’t have to explain to them.  All I know is that, this decision will be healthy for my family especially to my kids. 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Six Blogs After More Than One Year of Blogging

I have learned about blogging last year through a seminar conducted by Mr. Jomar Hilario.  It was an internet marketing seminar and blogging was one of the subjects. 

After more than one year of blogging on and off, I have managed to create six blogs.  Of all the six blogs, I decided to maintain only the four blogs with niches which I believe I can give helpful information to many readers out there. 

The first one of course that I'll be maintaining is this blog ... my “Pinoy Working Mom” blog.  This is my personal blog where I can write anything especially my experiences of being a mother, a wife and an ordinary citizen.

The second blog I’m going to maintain is my “Honestly Speaking” blog.  Here I’m writing about reviews and information of anything we have personally used, inquired and experienced.  I hope this can help others to decide whether to try those products or services which we have already tried.

The third blog is “My Portfolio” blog where I’ll be writing information about investing and trading in the Philippines Stock Market.  I had been trading/investing in the stock market for two years now and so far, I’m earning decently from this market.  Only a small percentage of Filipinos invest/trade in the stock market because of the risk it entails and because of our fear of that risk, our opportunity of building our wealth and be financially independent is being robbed from us.  I believe that proper information will get rid of our fear and we can start to develop strategies that will minimize the risks.

The last blog I’m going to maintain is “Our Big Toy”.  Actually I have not updated this blog for more than a year now but I’m determined to update this blog once I already started working at home.  With the help of my husband, we can make this blog helpful for all those individuals who are first time car owners just like us.

I hope you can visit these blogs and learn something from it.

Happy blogging everyone!

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Weekend in Cebu City

The historical Magellan's Cross
Two weekends ago, I was in Cebu together with a friend.  I had been to Cebu a long time ago but I don’t remember much of the city so when I’ve got an opportunity to visit this city once again, I never hesitated to go.  Thanks to my husband who has been so understanding and allowed me to spend the weekend in Cebu.

We don’t have any itinerary of our trip, our plan is just to be there in Cebu and get the most of our days there although we decided not to miss their famous landmark which is Magellan’s Cross and of course the famous Cebu’s lechon (roasted pig).

Basilica de Sto. Nino after the mass
My friend booked us at Radisson Blue Hotel and she didn’t make a wrong decision to book us there.  The hotel is just new and is conveniently located adjacent to SM City mall.  It is so accessible that getting a ride is so easy but of course since we are not familiar with the routes, hiring a taxi was always our option.  Taxis in Cebu are no different that taxis here in Manila, they drive like crazy, always blowing their horns as if they are the owner of the road.

After checking in at the hotel, the first thing that we asked from the hotel attendant is the restaurant that serves their famous lechon.  He directed us to a nearby restaurant, just a walking distance from the hotel.  We later discovered that it is the CnT lechon, we don’t know that it’s the famous lechon in Cebu until we asked some of the locals.  We were asking if there are still other lechon they can recommend but most of them told us that CnT lechon is the best.  Well, no question about that because their lechon was really delicious … so tasty, tender, juicy and most of all the skin is so crispy … hmmm, my mouth is watering. 

One-fourth kilo of delicious CnT lechon ... finished it in one sitting.
On our second day in Cebu, we decided to visit the famous Basilica de Sto. Nino where the historical Magellan’s Cross is also located.  We wanted to try going there using the public utility jeepney but when we asked one of the locals, she told us that it would take us a little longer because the jeepney route plying that area is far if we will be coming from the hotel.  So again, we hired a taxi and in less than 15 minutes, we were at the cathedral.  The taxi fare from Radisson Blue Hotel to Basilica de Sto. Nino cost us 80 pesos.

A mass was on-going when we arrived at the cathedral and there are just so many people.  If you are standing at the back, you can’t concentrate on the mass because there are just so many people passing mostly tourists taking pictures.  There are some people in-charge who reminds tourists not to take pictures while the mass is on-going but with such a huge crowd, it’s really hard to control. 

After the mass we went to where the historical Magellan's Cross is located.  Still tourists are swarming this place, waiting to get a good pose without someone on the background.  Some locals are offering candles and chants with a matching dance steps for good health and good life.

The weather was really cooperative when we were in Cebu.  It was raining in Manila during that weekend but in Cebu it was really sunny so it was perfect to go around the city.  We planned to go to another lechon restaurant, the Zubuchon lechon which I saw in one of the blogs I visited that day, but to my dismay, the taxi driver don't know about it so instead of going there, we went to 7D Mangoes production plant somewhere in Banilad town and we bought a lot of preserved mango products ... dried mango, mango puree, mango nectar and mangorind.  The place was so far from the basilica and it's a little far from the highway so we just let the taxi wait for us.  From the 7D plant we asked the taxi driver to bring us back to SM City.  All in all, from the basilica going to 7D plant and back to SM City, the taxi fare was 280 pesos.

Radisson Blu Hotel

It was already around two o'clock in the afternoon when we reached SM City and heavy breakfast we ate at the hotel was already burnt out of all the walking we did.  We can't decide what to eat at lunch and we found ourselves going to CnT Restaurant once again.  Another encounter with lechon ... hehehe.
The rest of our weekend in Cebu was just used in exploring Radisson Blu Hotel which is really a nice place to stay and looking for other local goods found in SM City.

We haven't really explored the city that much but there is always some other time and looking forward for it together with my family.  They will surely enjoy it.

Until next time, Cebu.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Umbrellas Are Prohibited to be Hand Carried Inside Passenger Planes

In case you have to travel by air especially this rainy season, be sure to put your umbrellas inside your check in baggage otherwise it will be confiscated by the airport authorities.  I think this is just a new ruling because last April we went to Iloilo and I have my folded umbrella inside my hand carried bag and there was no problem with it.

Two weeks ago, I went to Cebu and I was surprised when the check-in attendant told me that umbrellas are not allowed to be hand carried inside the plane.  There is also a notice posted on check-in counter.

It was a problem for me because I have a folded umbrella inside my small bag and since I booked a "no check-in baggage" from Cebu Pacific, I can't check-in any baggage.  Of course, I really intended not to check-in any baggage since I'll be staying in  Cebu for just two days so I'll just be bringing a small bag.

I asked the check-in attendant if they can consider checking in my umbrella, she told me that they can but with an additional fee of 400 pesos because it is considered as an excess baggage.  Wow, that was really harsh ... just for a small umbrella they will charge me with 400 pesos?  I asked if they have any storage facility where I can just leave my umbrella and I'll just get it back after two days.  She directed me to an airport storage area but to my dismay, they charge a per hour rate ... it will cost me more than an excess baggage charge.

Determined not to pay anything for my umbrella, I just put it back in my bag.  At the scanning area, just before going to the assigned departure gate for my flight, the scanner of course detected the umbrella inside my bag so the airport officer asked me if I can just go back to the check-in counter and have my umbrella checked-in.  I told her that I have a travel lite booking and that I will be charged with 400 pesos for just an umbrella.  I asked her if she can just consider me bringing my umbrella since it was just small.  She told me that it's an airport regulation so she can't do anything about it.  Ok fine, if it's the regulation then I don't want to argue about that.

Still taking my chances on my umbrella, I asked the airport officer if I can still get my umbrella when I'll be back two days after ... of course she said no, since it is already confiscated.  I rest my case and just said good bye to my umbrella, my ever dependable umbrella.

So on my next flight, I won't put my umbrella and any liquid 100 ml and more inside my hand carried bag. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

It’s Time to Give Up

Last weekend I spent time trying to make an onion costume for CJ.  It will be his costume for their school’s coming Nutrition Month celebration on Thursday.  I spent the whole Saturday morning trying to construct something like a Japanese lantern that will fit him but I just can’t get the look that I want.  I tried to make the costume using papers, next I tried to use a piece of cloth but nothing worked out the way I want it to be.  The costume doesn’t look like an onion … it looked like a piece of trash, haaaay.

Yesterday, I again tried to make the costume but still the same, it’s not good.  I was really irritated because I can’t get the look that I want.  There even came a time that I’m already bad mouthing … so bad of me, I know, but sometimes when I’m irritated I just can’t control my mouth which is a very bad example to my children.  CJ although a little scared still managed to tell me “O mama, bad yon ha!”

Okay, that’s it.  I have to stop what I’m doing.  I know I’m not really that creative type and even if I’ll try to make that costume the whole day, I won’t be accomplishing anything so it’s time to give up and just leave this costume making to the hands of the experts.