Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My "Thank You" Cookies

I was scanning through my camera this morning, looking at the tons of pictures that I have yet to upload to my FB account. A few people have been asking me why I haven't uploaded our pictures of this party, that event, this reunion, etc. And I keep on telling the same reason: I just hadn't found the time (this is after I say "sorry naman" gazillion times hehe). Yeah, it's weird. I've got 24 hours in a day, but it seems that it's just not enough.

Anyway, going back, I was rummaging through the pics and found these:

I worked on about 54 (I think!) of these: choco-chip cookies inside transparent containers adorned with red satin ribbon and gold ornament. Okay, I did not bake them (there goes the applause haha). I bought them from a cookies supplier I know and just worked on packaging them nicely.

Of the 54, 35 pieces were my dad's and uncle's giveaways in their offices. The remaining ones, I gave to some friends and to the guards in the office (there's 17 of them). The guards in the office have been nice to me the past year (and extra nice come December haha). They've been greeting me and saying hi, giving me easy-to-get-into parking spaces, and helping me when I have car trouble. The cookies were just a token of appreciation. They're not much, but I know they were well accepted. Evidence is the guards' still being extra nice to me even after I gave them the cookies hehe.

We seldom remember the small kindness done to us. We are only reminded of the great big favors given to us. As the year ends, let us not forget to thank everyone who had been a help to us, whether in big or small ways. We do not have to give them something to repay them. A simple thank you will do. Before 2009 bids goodbye, say thank you to the people who have been nice to you. They will surely appreciate the gesture.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Of Generosity

A few days ago, as my friends and I are traversing Airport Road, on the way to Bluewave, a differently-abled man knocked on my side windows, asking for alms. I say differently-abled, because I can't think of how to describe him. He has this unique incapacity, wherein his arms are dislocated, his left shoulder was lower that the other, and his body was extremely thin. All of these are evident, as he walked the streets with no shirt on. Must be so commuters will see his condition right off and have mercy.

Now, that wasn't the first time that I saw him. I had seen him a few weeks before. I was in the same road, en route to MOA, alone inside the car. He did the same thing: knocked on my side window and begged. When I saw him, I immediately felt fear. I was afraid that, if I lowered my window, in the the intention of giving him alms, he might hurt me. This paranoia came from stories of officemates and friends who had experienced such incidents in their desire to help. The fact that I was alone in the car didn't help either. And so, I shrugged him off, and he left quickly, approaching the car right behind me.
As I looked at him by my side mirror, I then realized how selfish I had become. How can I become so cold-hearted to a man who can barely lift his arms? How can I let myself give in to fear and ignore the chance to be generous? I then remembered a prayer from Didache:
"Thank You, Father, for the chance to share in Your joy of generous giving. Make my heart like Yours."

and a verse from Corinthians:

"He will always make you rich enough to be generous at all times, so that many will thank God for your gifts."

After that incident, I was greatly troubled. I felt that I owed that man help and prayed that I be given a chance to make it up to him. And when my second chance came, I took it without hesitation. I gave him not a huge amount, but I think he may find that it was a welcome addition to what he gets everyday.

I think this year's teaching for me is generosity. I have been constantly troubled with the term and its conditions. I have been confused with what is called generous and what is called stupid. I have often been at the middle of choosing between giving beyond fear and giving in to fear. I can never promise that I won't be afraid again, but I know now that there can be ways to be generous. What you give doesn't have to be big. It can be a few coins or a little food. It can even be something intangible like a smile, more patience, or time.

Moreso, generosity is not only given to beggars; it is shown to all who are in need. A friend may be in need of support; be generous with your encouragement and help. A family member may be in need of time; be geneous with your time. A parent of old age may be in need of understanding; be generous with your patience. Generosity has no price; it has no required amount.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Little Wonders

I was extremely late for work today. Got up at 10am, left home at 1130am, and arrived at 215pm. I got to leave the house much later because I spent the morning just chatting with mom. She was asking how last night's party went, what gifts I got, among other things (she was already opening my gifts at this time! haha). We shared a light morning snack: Royce chocolates. We both gushed at the melt-in-your-mouth feeling brought by the nama chocolate and tried to stop ourselves from finishing the whole box in one sitting. I would remind her of her high blood sugar. Tsk tsk. She would remind me that I was late for work. Trying to get the whole box to herself huh? No way!haha But despite the "fight" over that tremendous box of pure bliss and despite my being extremely late, I had fun, and I think mom did too. I'd like to think that mom enjoys having little chats with me in the mornings before I go to work. We seldom do that since, everyday, when I hitch a ride in dad's car, I'd always be in a hurry. Today, I didn't hitch, so I had time on my hands, time that was well spent.

When you don't have time, make time. Take those pockets of time, those little moments, those few minutes,and make them mini bonding sessions. They don't have to be expensive, they just have to be exciting; They don't have to be extravagant; they just have to be extra-fun. Make time.

Rob Thomas puts it perfectly:

Our lives are made
In these small hours
These little wonders
These twists & turns of fate
Time falls away
But these small hours
These small hours still remain
(from Little Wonders)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Got Heart?

(Photo source:

Sometimes I wish I had all the money in the world so I could buy the best gifts for family and friends.

A friend in the office wants to learn violin, but she still doesn't have the money to spend. I was at the mall the other day when I saw a brandnew violin on display at Yamaha worth a little less than 5000php. If only I had the money, I'd probably buy that for her.

My mom wants this certain kind of bag that she in Robinson's Department Store, but it is really expensive. If I had the money, I'd probably buy that for her.

One of my college friends totally loves organizers. Ever since college, she would not miss buying herself a new one for the new year. I'd like to buy her that Belle de Jour organizer with all the coupons and cute stuff, or that Starbucks organizer everybody (well almost!) is just mad about. But organizers are not that cheap huh? Glad verabear informed me of her contest. Hop over there and find out how you'll get a chance to win a Got Heart 2010 Planner. Hmm... I just wish I'd win so I can give it as a gift. =)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Them Child Assassins

(Photo courtesy of

Over lunch yesterday, my officemates and I got into the topic of children in Maguindanao being trained to kill at a very young age. It was told that, at age 12, kids are taught to have no mercy and to kill without remorse. And if they suddenly grew a conscience and refuse to kill those they were tasked to exterminate, the kids have to exchange their conscience for their life. So, everything comes to just one choice: they kill or they will be killed. Not a good set of options right?

The talk about these kids being trained to kill people led me into thinking that what a blessing it is that I was born into a life, an environment, and a family in which I did not have that kind of dilemma, the dilemma of having to choose between my life or another's. I am blessed to be born into a life that opens different opportunities for me to excel, to dream, and to be happy. I am blessed to be born into a relatively safer place with no ongoing war, no soldiers constantly on the move, no fear of continuous gunshots and grenade bombings. I am blessed to be born into a family who gave me a baby doll for a toy and not a baby armalite, who let me run with my playmates and not run after men to kill, who taught me my ABCs and not how to dislodge a grenade. I am indeed blessed. How then can I be not thankful for the life given to me?

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Parol and The Prize

We did not win. Our parol (Christmas lantern) was bested by a parol made of mussel shells, which was on third place; a parol made of banana blossom, which went second; and a parol made of rice and hay, which bagged first prize. I must admit; those parols were beautifully made. And I must also admit; I was sad that we lost.

Not being too competitive or anything but I guess that's what it feels when you've given something your all, your best effort, your 100%, and you don't get recognition for it. I've joined contests before and have been completely ok with losing, but I think that was because, during those times, I never really exerted that much effort, so it was ok to lose.

Now, my partner R and I spent three nights laboring on our parol. We were confident at one point that we had a fighting chance, but after seeing the competition, we saw that chance slim down to near zero. Still, we did not completely lose hope. And though we did not win, and I am sad about it, I am still thankful. I was thinking that may be God's prize for me was the times spent with R talking about practically anything as we mercifully labored on our parol during the wee hours of the morning. Maybe the prize was the excitement that built up on not only me and R but also my parents (who saw us work) as we see the parol taking form. Maybe the prize was the bonding moment that is called parol-making.

Afterall, the definition of PRIZE in the dictionary is not only award; it also means something valuable. Thank you God for letting me win.

Judgement Day

At 5pm, we will be judged. Ok, not us. But our parol will be. Later this afternoon, the winners of the parol-making contest held here in the office will be announced. nyeee... crossing my fingers (and toes! haha) that we'd win!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Friends and the Holidays

(Photo source:

The holiday rush has caught up with me. I am still not done with shopping for gifts. I realized that I had forgotten about certain people. Argh. Me and my ever deteriorating memory. Everyday for the past few days, I have been just going to work, and then either running errands or meeting old friends. It's tiring, but at the end of the day, I am just thankful. God continues to remind me that I have friends. Though I don't see them often, I can still get in touch with them once in a while, and it's always like we had just seen each other the day before. Thank you God for friends!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fund-raising campaign

Posting this from an email from my friend Em:

Hi, sisters and brothers in Christ and friends. I’m selling some of my most-loved collection to help my friend (Ate Macoy) who has stage 2 breast cancer (invasive ductal carcinoma). She really needs financial assistance for her radiation and chemotherapy which will probably cost her an arm and a leg. I am appealing to each and every one of you to help me raise at least P10K this month (don't know how I can possibly do that, but with God's grace I will) so that I can give it to her right away. She'll be here in Manila until the 15th of Jan. She badly needs the money since her relatives are in Bicol, and they didn’t come from a well-off family. She had been my teacher aide while I was still teaching in a preschool (S.Y. 2006-2007). I want to repay her kindness by helping her in her ordeal. I had a vision that she’s not doing well when I first heard the news from my former colleague (and I really trust my intuition, esp. after Ondoy). I will give her whatever amount I collected from this fund-raising campaign. Prayers are greatly appreciated, but she needs the money to pay for her hospital bills in Chinese General Hospital. May God touch your kind hearts and generous souls. Thank you in advanced. I’ll be forever indebted to all of you. Merry Christmas to all!

*Buyer must be willing to meet in SM West / North EDSA, The Block, Trinoma, SM Manila, SM Megamall, Shangri-la or The Feast in VVCC Pasig.
*Kindly forward to interested parties. Thanks, thanks! God bless you a hundredfold.

List of 2nd Hand Books for Sale: 0917-9789478

*A Book of Hugs (Relatively New) Scholastic Publisher P120
*A Book of Kisses (Relatively New) Scholastic Publisher P120
Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand P300
Boy Meets Girl Joshua Harris P150
Brida Paulo Coelho P240
Catch Me a Firefly Freda Jayme P200
Chronicles of a Death Foretold Gabriel Garcia Marquez P75
Dracula (Relatively New) Bram Stoker P50
Filipino Bilang Tanging Gamit sa Pagtuturo (New) P110
*Joyfully Single in a Couple’s World (Relatively New) Harold Sala P150
Language of the Hand Cheiro P100
My Brother, My Executioner F. Sionil Jose P90
*New Moon (New) Stephenie Meyer P320
*Not Even a Hint (Hardbound) Joshua Harris P300
*Saving My First Kiss (Relatively New) Lisa Velthouse P150
*Silent Night Scholastic Publisher P100
*Stop Dating Your Church (Hardbound, not available in most bookstores if I’m not mistaken, bought it for almost P800 some years ago) Joshua Harris P600
Soul Mates Jaime Licauco P100
The Devil and Miss Prym Paulo Coelho P240
*The Disciplined Mind (New) Howard Gardner P500
*The Fifth Mountain (big) Paulo Coelho P300
*The Heavenly Man Bro. Yun P175
*This Is My Story P90
Unveiling Teaching Expertise Flordeliza Clemente-Reyes P120
*You Can Heal Your Life (Relatively New) Louise L. Hay P125

*Recommended books

Em with Ate Macoy

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


It has been awfully quiet here huh? That's because the past days had been hectic. My whole December is practically packed! Tons of errands to run, friends to meet up with, among other things. Whew! I'm already excited for the coming Xmas vacation. I want to sleep!! Nice way to spend the few days off right? =)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Godparent Me

(Photo courtesy of Irishblessings)

Today is Xmas shopping day! Mom and I will be shopping now for gifts to family, friends, and godchildren.

I have five official inaanaks, but I only know three of them. The first two godchildren I had were much like just shoved onto me. Haha. I was like 16 then when their parents got me as godparent for their kids. I was even so hesitant that time; I thought I was extremely young to be called ninang! Haha. Then, when marrying age crept up with me and my high school and college batchmates, I became ninang to three more kids. This time, there wasn't any hesitation or denial, only unspoken panic! I was thinking, "Oh no, everybody's getting married and having their own kids, and I'm still single!" Yeah, I know. There is just no pleasing me. Haha. Anyway, that woe-is-me-for-I-am-still-single thing calls for a different entry. There will be many times to write about that. For now, I will just go and enjoy the day finding the best (that I can afford) gifts I can find.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

SOLV at 25

Mazel and I will be going to the 25th anniversary of Servants of the Lord's Vineyard (SOLV). We were Christian Life Series (CLS) Batch '99 from the SOLV La Salle Sector. After we graduated, Mazel went on to commit herself to the SOLV Makati Sector, whereas I chose not to, but I have remained in contact with some of the sisters there.
Later, SOLV will celebrate its 25th anniversary at UCPB Building along Makati Ave., with a mass at 4pm and a celebration at 7pm. Former and current members, even non-members, are invited to attend. Tickets are priced at 350php.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Remembering and Forgetting

(Photo courtesy of

Yesterday was the second death anniversary of my aunt. Time really flies fast. Has it really been two years?

Right after she died and even a year after, I was extremely depressed. Yes, I would go out with friends. I would laugh, crack jokes, go to the mall, and do all the usual things. But when alone, I was in deep sorrow. I didn't know how to pick myself up. I was just lost. Before she died, I had spent 13 years sharing a room with her, going window-shopping with her, watching movies with her, and doing many other things. She was the sibling I never had. We even had a sorta vow that, if ever I don't get married, we'd be together as we age (she never married). So, her death really was a hard blow on me. I wasn't used to her absence.

Fast forward to now, I am better than when I was in depression mode. I have began widening my network of friends and meeting new people. When she died, I prayed that God would give me new friends that will take her place. God did give me some. Also, I prayed that I may not forget her. I was afraid that, when I turn 30 or 40 or 50, I will forget that I had a Tita once whom I loved dearly. I'm scared that there will come a time when I'd forget the details of my life with her, of our moments together, and of the time that she was a huge part of my life.

Sometimes, I feel guilty when I don't remember her: When she died, all I thought of was her. Now, swamped with work and other activities, I sometimes "forget" her. And then I feel guilty. Though this happens once in a while, I know that she will forever be the closest Tita to me. It's just unfortunate my future kids won't get to know her in person.. =(

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jollibee MaAga ang Pasko

(Photo courtesy of mushings)

Yey! Jollibee Foundation finally replied to the e-mail I sent them last week. I inquired if they were still accepting volunteers for the Jollibee MaAga ang Pasko Clean-up Activity.

Actually, I wasn't aware that there was such activity. I was scanning through the website of Hands on Manila (HOM; of which I am a registered volunteer), looking for updates. There I saw that HOM is a partner of Jollibee Foundation on this endevour. The Cleanup Activity is meant for the cleaning and sorting of all the donated secondhand toys and books received by the different Jollibee branches nationwide. The said event is ongoing until end of December at the Jollibee warehouse at Rockefeller St. in Makati.

Anyway, Miki of Jollibee Foundation, in her email response, referred me to another colleague, who, she said, would contact me regarding my inquiry. So, no finalities yet. It might have been too late for me to ask them, or there may no longer be any slots for new volunteers. In any case, I just hope they contact me real soon, so I could squeeze it in my packed December schedule. If my schedule doesn't permit, then I just have to forego it and maybe be real early next year in emailing them. =)

If anyone is interested in joining me on this, just comment. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Walls of Hope

I am so excited! On the 19th, my friend Mazel and I will be volunteering for Walls of Hope to help them paint the entire first floor of the Phillipine Children's Medical Center. The murals really need repainting. As the ad said, artists and nonartists will be painting side by side to refurbish the walls of the hospital and bring joy to the kids afflicted with sickness currently confined there.
Wanna come?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Be Not Afraid

(Photo courtesy of Lib-art)

Today is a Holy Day of Obligation, as we celebrate the Immaculate Conception of Mary. We are encouraged to hear Mass and pay homage to the Immaculate.
The Gospel today speaks of the announcement made to Mary by angel Gabriel that she would conceive a child whom she would later name Jesus. Mary was engaged with Joseph then, and I would imagine that the news of this unexpected event created much confusion and trouble in Mary's mind. I mean, it isn't often that an angel of the Lord would come and visit you, right? =) And it was just impossible, or so she thought. But when the angel told her that nothing is impossible with God, I bet the next emotion Mary felt was utter fear. The thought of bearing a child unwed was simply not acceptable in the society. She would probably be treated a prostitute and be stoned to death by the people. But the angel Gabriel reminded her that the Lord is with her. She took comfort in this and must have realized that, though this was a big role being given to her, it was more of a priviledge. Mary then surrendered her life to being the mother of Jesus and our mother.
I believe that Mary was just like the rest of us. She was living a simple and quiet life when she was suddenly tasked with a huge responsibility. We are also huge roles to play in life: it may be an unexpected promotion, a huge project, or becoming a parent. At first, we may feel that we are undeserving or that we are incompetent. We may think that the task is impossible to finish and the goal is impossible to reach. We may want be afraid and unsure if can do it.
But Mary is setting an example for us. Though she was afraid and the not sure of what her future would be after bearing Jesus, she took the situation as a blessing and just gave God the driving wheel of her life. We are encouraged to be the same. We may not initially understand certain things that happen to us. We may be afraid of what the future holds. We may feel that we just cannot do what needs to be done. But let us follow Mary's example. Let us take each situation, whether good or bad, and each responsibility, whether huge or small, as a blessing and a priviledge to be of service to God. Let us surrender whatever fears and insecurities we have to God.
I would like to think that, when angel Gabriel said, "For nothing is impossible with God," not only was he pertaining to the Immaculate Conception, he was also saying that there is nothing God cannot do if we only ask Him.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Not paid. Yet.

My Microworkers payment hasn't been forwarded to my Paypal account still. This is not good. Though it's just a measly amount, I still would want to be paid for the work I had done. Guess I just have to wait. If nothing comes up this week, I might need to contact the Microworkers admin if there's just a glitch or something.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Xmas shopping

(Photo courtesy of christmasgeek)

It's the weekend but still have a ton of things to do. After the South Feast, I might start doing a little Xmas shopping with mom. She has been bugging me for the past few days, asking when we're going to buy gifts. I have long believed that the most exciting part of Xmas for her is the shopping and the gift wrapping! =) Ok. GTG. The mall's opening in a few minutes. Atat? hehe

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Tara na!

Cebupac's on sale!!

From now until tomorrow, all domestic destinations and flights from Manila to Taipei and Kota Kinabalu, and from Clark to Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Bangkok can be had at a ‘Go Lite’ seat sale fare of P999.

Flights from Manila to Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh, Macau and Guangzhou, and flights to Hong Kong and Singapore from Manila and Cebu are at a seat sale price of P1,499.

Flights from Manila to Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur or Jakarta, and flights to Incheon from Manila or Cebu, and to Busan from Cebu are for only P1,999.

Going to Japan? Manila-Osaka flights are available at the ‘Go' fare of P1,999.

Travel period is from January 1 to March 31, 2010.

Yey! Hoping I could book a MLA-SG-MLA or MLA-HK-MLA for March!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Never again.

This year's entries to the Native Parol-making contest in the office.

I never want to see another parol again.

Slept for only an hour (slept?? it's more like a long nap! haha) after cramming up to finish our entry for the native parol contest being held now in the office. Ours is that one on the topmost row. Btw, sorry for the blurry image. My camphone isn't 5MP!=(

The rule was simple. Submit a 24- to 36-in-diameter Christmas lantern made of indigenous materials. It can be of any design, but the materials must be native. My officemate R, being the competitive type, wanted to join and tagged me along (which I began seriously regretting after the fifth time I got burned by that hot glue gun!). At 3a.m. this morning, I was telling her, while I was carefully attaching our makeshift tassel, made of coconut shell and walis tambo, using the last remaining ounces of my strength (OK, that seems a little too much, but I was dead tired you know!), that, next year, I won't let her drag me into this mess (which I call native parol making) again! The mere thoughts of spending three whole nights working on a parol once again will just kill me. I could care less with the 3.5K php prize. (What? It's gonna be 5K php next year? OK, where do I sign up?)

Well, just ranting. I am tired. Extremely. But it's okay. On our way to the office this morning, R and I were amazed that we were able to stand working on the parol for 8 straight hours. We hardly rested, just glimpsing on the what's on the tube every once in a while. Then, I told her that the drive of seeing the parol as it takes form was enough to keep me awake. As I mercifully attached each sheet of copra, I was actually excited for the finished product. Yes, I was tired. And yes, I already wanted to sleep, but I guess, when one is focused on the goal, one cannot just stand resting. One just works and works and works. OK, now that's deep. haha But it is true, right?

Anyway, win or lose, I am happy we got to finish our lantern. But I haven't changed my mind: I never want to see another parol again. hahahaha

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Claudine and Change

Caught this in the news yesterday. After being with ABS-CBN 2 for the longest time (I wouldn't know how many years exactly; i'm not a fan.), Claudine finally hopped fences and joined rival network GMA7. At first, I found it weird. She is the face of Star Magic, one of the most prized possesions of ABS-CBN. Seeing her make that huge move makes one think what could have happened. Anyway, that is none of my business. What just stuck me was the realization that change really in inevitable. Your friends now may no longer be your friends tomorrow. Your enemies now may become your BFFs tomorrow. Your life now may not be the same in the future. There is always change. And that statement is never easy to accept to most, especially to some who dread change (like me!).

They say change is always good. I say, yeah, it may be, but with it comes the risk, and that is what I am not always accustomed to. I was never a risk-taker. I always want to be sure. I am at peace with security. I always ask for a guarantee. Yeah, I know. That will not always be case. For certain things happen beyond my control. But I'm slowly trying to learn. I am beginning to learn to be open to change. I just hope the day will come when I can fully embrace it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Busy Bee

(Photo courtesy of

Waah.... I'm swamped! Swamped with work that is. I haven't logged on to my Facebook account for two weeks, haven't gotten myself to read the ton of books gathering dust on my bedside table, haven't had a rest day for the past week, haven't had time to catch a flick or even go malling! Argh. Got a ton of things to do and organize. But despite this, I am thankful that God is still being patient with me through my being busy and my procastination (yes, ironic huh?). Thank God for the strength of mind and body that He continues to provide me. Ok, back to work. AJA!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

This is it

This is it!! I'm so excited! I've got a ton of things to do, I just hope God gives me enough time and resources to do them.