Category: Events


Happy Thanksgiving!

I grew up knowing about Thanksgiving celebrations because my father stayed in the U.S. for 18 years. Its a happy occasion for Americans, my father said.

We sort of celebrated it in the manner of phone calls. Since its a long weekend for them, he would make frequent calls during the holidays.

Although I mostly associated thanksgiving to roasted turkey, I realized as I grew older that its a day of celebrating your blessings. Its a day for us to thank God and the people around us for all that we have, material or otherwise. So even if I am not an American and I will not roast turkey tonight, I want to celebrate the day by expressing my gratitude for the life I have now.

I am still on a bumpy road. The major decision I made a year ago had an immense effect in our lives. But I know like all things, this too shall pass.

And on this day, I still feel grateful despite of everything. I know deep in my heart that I have a lot to be thankful for.

I am thankful for a family who loves and supports me. I am thankful for the food on our plate everyday and for the good health each member has. I am especially thankful for work and productivity.

Everyday I thank God for waking up alive and breathing–for another chance in life.

I am especially thankful that after a long day’s work, I have a loving husband to go home to and a smart and bubbly daughter to give hugs and kisses to. They are my pillar of strength and their mere presence in my life completes me.

Whenever I feel sadness for leaving home and for the challenges that I am faced with, I simply take solace in the fact that we are all together everyday. I am able to endure everything because we are physically together. For those who live abroad, I am sure they understand what I mean.

I know that life is difficult. For some it may even be unbearable. But I am certain that despite the tough things we are going through, God has a plan for all of us and He will never keep us out of His sight.

With the things I had to go through in my life, I know that every waking day is enough reason for us to be thankful.

So go hug your loved ones and say a little prayer of thanks today. We are all blessed just by being alive.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Mommies’ Day 2011

Been a mom for two years now and I say that all of this hype, all of this celebration, all of these greetings are not too much to celebrate the travails and happiness of being a mother. After all, it just happens once a year yet the job of a mother is 24/7. So to focus on this day in just one person is not really too much. Or am I just being biased? 😉

Let me shout out some respect to all the mothers in the world who endure the everyday plight of being a mother. To carry a baby inside your womb is already a huge thing…and to pull off the job of raising that baby into the best possible person she/he can be is a lifetime obligation. It persists even after your baby grows old into someone who you no longer recognize. It lasts until that person builds his/her own family. It lasts until the day you surrender your soul to God. Motherhood is simply like that. No time-outs. No resignation.

So I half expected it when I found out that I was becoming a mommy myself that I cried. I asked myself if I was ready, if I can do it. Not that I did not want the pregnancy. Oh no. It was the best thing that God allowed my body to have. During my entire pregnancy, I was amazed by the everyday developments of the little thing inside me. I thanked God everyday that He gave me that gift. I was just anxious if I truly deserved it and if I can do good to this little thing.

Although I know I sometimes fail, hubby commends me for doing a good job. I guess the fact that I am breastfeeding up to now is plus factor for me. But aside from this, I know I am not a perfect mother. I try my best everyday to be a good mom to Ira. I try to be there when she needs me, although sometimes they get in the way of my own needs. I try to take care of her in the best way I can. I try to pick up the good nurturing ways of other mothers I know or heard of, and try to discard the bad ways I have seen or heard of. It is an everyday struggle, but I still try, nonetheless.

Today, I requested hubby if we can just stay at home. I wouldn’t want to eat out and squeeze into full-packed malls. Much to his digress, he doesn’t have a choice but to give in to my request. He said I have until midnight to be spoiled. I looove this day. 🙂

I also just want to thank my own mother — my Ima. Whatever I am today is because you are my mom. I know the struggles that comes with being a mom to Ira. So I can imagine your own struggles to raise the four of us — with our own individuality. Being your only daughter was both difficult and easy at the same time. Difficult because I had to live up to your expectations yet easy because I had no other girl to contend with in the family. I know I am a strong person know because I have seen various kinds of strength in you. I am the mother that I am now because of these strengths. I have seen your ups and downs as our mother. And I will forever be sorry for the times that I answered back and for the times that I frowned or made face to whatever you wanted me to do or say. I pray that God will bless you with more years to be happy — the way you want to be. This is the first mothers’ day that we are miles apart. And I miss you.

There are days that we both detest each others’ guts, being the strong women that we are. But you know this fact…I am and will always be your only daughter. In the same vein that you are the only mother in my life. And I will choose you to be my mom even if I would have to live through my life again.

I may be living a different life now from yours. I may seem so far away from you now because of the distance but I hope you know this — there are days that I want to run only to you. That your mere presence pacifies me. That your cooking is cure to my soul. That I miss our bickering. That I will always look to the days when I would sleep beside you like a baby while you read pocket books till you fall asleep. Like most heroes — I look up to your good side and forget about your indiscretions. Because as no mother is perfect, you are the mother God has perfectly chosen for me to have. And I love you, warts and all.

And to all mothers out there — Filipinos and otherwise…Happy Mothers’ Day to you. May God bless us with the strength we need to fulfill this lifetime obligation.

And to the person I owe this day to — My Ira…thank you my dear for allowing me to be the mom I am to you. Sorry for sometimes failing on being your mom. Sorry that sometimes I feel like running out of the door though you know I would never do that. You are the reason that mommy wakes up to every morning with delight…because I know you are right beside me. And to my hubby — thanks for being my partner in crime. I will not be half the mother that I am if you are not the kind of father that you are. Love you and Ira so much.

Thank you God for making me a mom. And please be with me always so that I can be the mother I ought to be. 🙂

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Disney On Ice

I cannot consider myself a fan of animation or cartoons. But as I was growing up, I became fond of fantasy stories, like that of Anastasia (I especially liked the soundtrack).

About three years ago, Disney on Ice came to Manila and I really wanted to go. For some reason, I was not able to catch it. I think my friends were quizzically asking why I wanted to watch. For one, I had no child yet back then and I am not known for liking things such as that. So I brushed it aside and have missed the opportunity.

When we arrived in Singapore, I saw some ads about Disney on Ice: Worlds of Fantasy. Something inside me wanted to check tickets but because we just arrived and unnecessary expenses are completely not advisable yet, I dismissed the idea again.

After a month or so, my dear daughter saw the ads with her dear Mickey Mouse. She instantly yelled “Ickey” and “Ouse”, referring to Mickey and Minnie, respectively. The mom in me could not resist the look in my daughter’s eyes. So I checked tickets the next day. Luckily, Starhub subscribers are entitled to discounts and Ira is still free so that helped a lot.

So come 19 March 2011, we all geared up to watch Disney on Ice. Unexpectedly, Ira wanted to leave the instant we went inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium. We then remembered how she doesn’t like loud sounds of speakers. She was on daddy’s shoulders the whole time. Even when we tried to convince her that Mickey was there, she wouldn’t bulge. She even fell asleep at the end of the show. Funny little girl.

The show was alright. For me, it was not really spectacular that I was left in awe. But it was fun and it was something that helped ease away the stress, even just for a day. For a kid, I am sure it is something really great. I liked the Little Mermaid part because they had beautiful songs. I liked the Lion King because of its funny characters and I was really amazed how they were able to skate for more than ten minutes with those animal costumes on. We missed the part of Cars because traffic was really terrible near the place. The stint of Tinkerbell did not really amaze me, although I always liked Tinkerbell because of the Peter Pan story.

The hosts for the show were Daffy Duck and Donald Duck and of course Mickey and Minnie Mouse. It was a bit disappointing that they barely spent time in the show, but that was expected because the show is Worlds of Fantasy, after all. I wasn’t even expecting them to be there, but was glad that they graced the show as hosts, nevertheless.

It was fun to see kids who came in princess and mermaids costumes. The show was attended by different nationalities, much very different if we caught it in Manila.

Ira enjoyed the pictures when we came home. For two days, she would remember the show by saying “Ickey, dance”. I am hoping that next time Ira will be able to enjoy it without being scared of the speakers. After all, her free-infant-on-lap privilege is soon to expire as she enters the terrible twos. 🙂

My WordCamp Experience

I first found out about it through iMom’s post and even commented that I so wanna go. But after checking on WordCamp’s official site, there were no more slots opened for bloggers. I got kinda sad because I wanted to learn more about blogging and wanted to see what WordCamp was all about.

Nevertheless, I signed up for email updates to know more about WordCamp and whaddya’know? They came up with a blog contest saying they were giving away free tickets to the event. Yes, you read that right, free! Its either you tweet or make a blog about the sponsor and winners will be given free tickets to WordCamp, with all the freebies that come with it. I chose to blog about it and with another stroke of luck, I won!

So off I went last October 2, 2010 to the College of St. Benilde to attend WordCamp. It all felt surreal for me. I was like a student again attending a conference where I will meet participants from different schools. It was a nostalgic experience for me. It reminded me of debate competitions, of journalists seminars, of girl scout campings. I just loved it!

Hubby dropped me off right in time for the lectures. I even got to munch away the Krispy Kreme donuts they gave away for free and even drowned myself with the free-flowing coffee. The event was well attended by bloggers of all shapes, sizes and ages! I realized that the blogging industry has grown so big and everybody is just welcome regardless of age, profession or school.

After a day of WordCamp, I got to take home new experiences, new friendly faces, and new websites to explore. I also stashed away a Krispy Kreme gift certificate and one year free webhosting. I also met Mr. WordPress himself and got to listen to his few words.

It was an enriching experience all in all. One worth repeating and worth blogging. I hope to join again next year, when I am better in blogging and I can join advance lectures instead. 🙂

Ira @ 14 months

My dear princess has grown big. Uh well, not actually big coz she takes after her parents, small, that is. But in my eyes, from the time that she sleeps incessantly up to now that she knows how to refuse napping, she is now a big baby.

Her used-to-be dresses have now become blouses and her rompers are just so tight fit that she looks fat. She walks a lot like crazy and she cries if she’s not allowed to walk outside. Crazy I say because she walks around the yard more than ten times, or until she gets tired or thirsty. When she reaches that point, she will just leave whoever she’s with and walk towards the house. My Tatay would laugh with this daily routine of hers because she has unbelievable energy daw.

However, she refuses to wean from breastfeeding and would just cry endlessly if I insist on putting her to sleep with the use of bottle-feeding. The mommy in me would easily give in, knowing that the days of her complete devotion to me are about to end. I know too that by breastfeeding her, I am trying to give her my best.

Yesterday, she just turned 14 months old. Hubby and I have a long way to go when it comes to parenting but we are taking things in stride, learning each little thing as it comes. Because of lack of sleep (thanks to typhoon Basyang!), we almost forgot that she turned 14 months yesterday. Hubby became so sad that we had to buy a cake for Ira just to make up. But because of unexpected series of events, it took us 3 hours to come home and the cake is unrecognizable by the time we opened it for Ira. Sigh. Well, as they say, its the thought that counts. 🙂

This morning, we came to work quite late because Ira refused to drink milk from her bottle. Whenever I’d get up from the bed to take a bath, she would cry hysterically and shout “dede”. I tried to leave the bed once and she cried laying her face flat on the bed. She raised her face up and showed her pursed lips with matching “tulala look“. She wasn’t crying anymore but she had tears in her eyes. Hubby and I both wondered what her act was all about.

Hubby would usually be frantic about me not taking a bath on time but this morning, no one dared to question Ira. We had to switch on the TV to divert her attention by watching Dibo the Gift Dragon in Playhouse Disney Channel. She finally took her bottle and laid back to watch. Haay, kids nowadays talaga.

Today I found out that I won the Kids Central Watch Time Management Contest. Yahoo.  Thanks a lot imom! Isn’t that a perfect gift for Ira? When I receive the prize, I will take a picture of it and write a post about how I came to join the contest.

I really want to make frequent updates about my little one but time just prevent me from doing so. I will update this post by posting her more recent photo.

Anyways, happy 14th month my little one! Mommy and Daddy love you to pieces. Mwah! 🙂

Yesterday was the feast day of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

See, I am not a devotee or someone who is able to go there regularly. But when I took the Bar, I sought all avenues where I can possibly get help in passing the Bar. So I pleaded for help from Our Lady and went there as often as I could. I think I may have finished several rounds of novena. Even after I became a lawyer, I have tried my best (yeah, sometimes not quite enough) to go there and visit to light a candle for my prayers. But after I got married and had Ira, my visits became more seldom than ever. I cannot even recall the last time I visited Baclaran.

It is always a great relief for me to go there. Its like going to Quiapo Church for me, and like going to Our Lady of Manaoag.

This is why I feel blessed for having been able to go there midnight of Wednesday to pay some respects to her feast day. The flowers near the altar are just bountiful and super pretty.  I know it was a great blessing to have been able to go there. I know that even without constantly going there, I am being blessed everyday with Her prayers.

May we all be blessed continually through Our Lady’s intercession and prayers.

It has been nineteen years. Yes. Nineteen Long Years. My father hasn’t been home that long and finally, he is coming home.

My Tatay, as all of us siblings call him, has lived and worked for the last nineteen years in New Jersey. We survived such time and distance apart with the help of phone calls, letters, text messages, and just recently, Yahoo Messenger and Skype. He enjoyed the latter immensely as he was able to see us everyday, as if we were just an hour apart. He was able to see Ira grow from the day she was born until the day she learned how to walk.

Prior to his decision to work in the U.S., Tatay has worked in Saudi since I can’t remember when. All I know is I grew up with my Ima only around, waiting for remittances of Tatay and waiting for his yearly vacations. My Ima often recalls that time when I went hiding upon seeing my Tatay because I got scared of his mustache. To put it plainly, I grew up with an absentee father.

But I don’t think my father and I lost the line as far as love and respect are concerned. I admit that in the start, I was just elated by the fact that my Tatay would send U.S. goodies to us and that we were able to have everything we wanted. After studying in a public school, Ima finally allowed us to study in private schools. Back in high school, my classmates would notice my signature backpacks and other things. Even at a young age, I always knew that he was there so we can get all the things we wanted and needed.

When I went into college, that’s when I realized all the sacrifices he was doing. He gave us all we wanted and more. But he never complained. He gave me a bashful 18th birthday celebration because he said I was his only girl. He used to call me his Beautiful Ampang (the latter being my nickname at home). When I graduated from college, he was so delighted, he almost gave me the world. Of course that is exaggeration, but that is how my dad loves me.

Imagine his delight when I entered into law school. He felt very proud for every unit I earned in law school. When I wanted to be a working student, he strongly opposed because he wanted me to concentrate with my studies. My Tatay was right all along.

He was overly supportive when I took the Bar Exams. He made sure I have everything I needed. I was able to choose a hotel nearer La Salle although it was more pricey than the hotel my other classmates stayed in. He gladly paid for the food all the four Sundays of Bar for all my org-mates in Law School with my Mom’s cooking.

I know he must have been saddened when I broke the news to him that I was getting married. After all, I was his baby and it was hard for him to accept that someone else is taking me away. But being the understanding father that he is, he gave me his blessing.

When I had Ira, I felt that he loved her more than he loves me. Friends say its because Ira is mine thats why he loves her that much. After years of giving up on sending us packages, he sent boxes for Ira’s goodies. The packages contained unbelievably too many things for Ira. The clothes he bought her could even last until she reaches five years old. He would refuse to miss a night of Skype with Ira and I to the point of Ira knowing him through the webcam.

On the eve of my hubby’s birthday weeks ago, he called me up on the phone. That seldom happens because we do Skype every night. I felt his voice was different and asked if he was sick. He said he probably ate too much pork and feels numbness in his feet that he has to go to the doctor. I prodded him to make sure that he goes and asked him to update me about it.

It turned out it was a mild stroke for my Tatay. My uncle and other relatives would update me but I never really knew his status until I saw him. Since he can’t stay on his own yet, he had to stay with my ever-kind Uncle Medel. When he first saw me, my Tatay cried like there was no tomorrow. It was like when a child got lost in the park and he saw his mother. We were both crying and my heart melted away with his pain.

I didn’t sleep that night. My mind was racing with thoughts on how to get him there and how to take care of him. I just cried myself and wallowed myself in the helplessness of not being able to help the one man who was always there for me.

Before he had a stroke, hubby and I were already making plans for the future. Because Tatay wanted to spend time with us before such plans happen, he abruptly decided to go home. Just this Saturday, he called and informed us that he will be arriving on June 2.

My heart raced with glee with such news, coupled with the fact that we have to fix a lot of things around the house so we can accommodate his physical restraints.

We had to buy a sofa bed because he will temporary stay downstairs. We are also on the hunt for a good bed in his room once he is able to walk up the stairs. We are also looking for ways on how to install an AC unit in the living room, especially with the heat!

All in all, I am just glad that he is coming home. I hope I will be able to repay all his love for us by being able to take care of him now that he needs us.

I pray that he gets better soon also so that we can roam around the city to show him other places.

This is definitely going to be one of the best birthdays for the both of us and we will surely celebrate it with love and happiness! Thank you God! 🙂

It feels just like yesterday. I can still vividly recall every pain I felt when I went on labor pains, when I had to push and push but she wouldn’t descend. I can still remember the night before I gave birth to her. I ate at Dencio’s Jupiter with hubby, good friend Greys and BIL Patrick. I could hardly walk and felt that Ira was coming out. It has been exactly a year since that day. And tomorrow my precious little one is turning a year old.

I get too mushy whenever I think of her, of her milestones and of what she can still become someday. Can you blame me? She is the realization of everything I have ever dreamed of. She is everything and more. Ira is my princess, though I am far from being a queen. She is my sunlight, my moon and my life.

I am proud of the things she learns everyday. The peculiar way she says “hi” and “bye” with her tiny voice is just hilarious for me. When she wakes up, she instantly says “hi” to everyone she sees. If her sweet smile can kill, then I am dead a hundred times over. She smiles incessantly, showing her little dimple beside her lips. Her small teeth are just so funny, they show up whenever she laughs or smiles.

In ways that a mother could not further explain, I am amazed with every little thing she does. I will not grow tired saying it. She fascinates me in the highest level possible. I told her she has to learn how to walk before she turns a year old and she complied. It was a tall order from mommy. Her appetite is just incredible. It is just too much for someone of her age.

Sometimes I get frustrated when I teach her something and she doesn’t get it. Then she would surprise me the next day by doing it out of the blue.

Anak, thank you for being you. Thank you for being such a wonderful daughter to us. I hope you will enjoy your party tomorrow. Mommy and Daddy are working for you so that you will have a better life. I will always be your friend and you can honestly tell me anything. I promise to be as understanding as I can be.

Sorry if sometimes Mommy snaps out on you. Mommy never gets angry at you. You are the perfect gift from God and we will take care of you always.

I love you Ira. Happy 1st Birthday!

I used to wonder what’s the big fuss about motherhood and the concomitant celebration of Mothers’ Day. I used to believe all the hype about motherhood is much too much sometimes. But when I became a mother myself, I realized all the fuss is not overkill. It can never be enough to explain or salute all the terrains of the greatest journey there is…motherhood.

Next week my baby will turn a year old. I have just been a mother for that short a period of time. But it is by far, the most fulfilling and greatest year of my life. I have learned things in my life that I may never have learned were it not for my being a mother.

Sometimes I think of the things I could have easily achieved if I was single, or something like that. But when I look at my husband and my precious little daughter, all answers yield to the fact that I have more than I could ever ask for in a lifetime.

While it is true that motherhood is a 24/7 job which you cannot take a leave from, which you cannot resign from, it is the best job in the world. Its compensation, albeit far from monetary,  is a million times more rewarding. The incessant hugs and kisses, the simple yet pure smiles, the contagious giggles and laughters, these and more, reward a mother in ways that no company can ever pay for.

This is the first mothers day where tons of people have greeted me. They felt much too special because I really feel happy being a mother. I will not deny that it gets tiring at times. I work throughout the day and go home to take care of my little one. My physical and mental capacities sometimes tire me out but they are just reflections of my human side for I will never grow tired of being the mother of my wonderful little princess. It is the best job that God has chosen for me. And I vow to do my best, for as long as I can, for my daughter.

I know there will be hard times in the future, but I know that they’re nothing compared to the beauty of being a mother. And when the going gets tough and my daughter breaks my heart, I will remind myself of that moment I first held her in my arms…surreal and perfect. Coz that’s what motherhood really is.

Best Mommy Moments with 3-Day-Old Ira

And to my own mother who has raised me to be who I am, thank you. You may not be able to read this, but I want to tell you that I appreciate you beyond your imperfections and misgivings. You have taught me things about motherhood and I will forever be grateful to you. I am sorry for the heartbreaks I caused you and I promise to be as strong as you if and when I encounter the same heartbreaks in the future. I promise to be the best daughter to you from this day forward for I understand now, more than ever, your travails and difficulties. Love you Ima and Happy Mothers’ Day to you.

@ Fontana for Ima's Bday

It is just recently that I realized that I have not posted an entry for more than a month now. I have tons of topics to blog about, but each time I think of posting an entry, time and other factors halt me.

I have previously blogged about my problem with Ira’s caregiver. My Ima and I fought severely about taking Ate Kriselle back, my mom knowing that this maid has a knack for leaving without a word, compromising everything else in your life. Well, I fought for our dear (or not so dear) Ate Kriselle. It was my way of telling my mom that we can stand up on our own and that we make our own decisions for Ira. Turned out after all that Ima was right. Let me not dwell on the details because it gives me the worst heartache for a maid.

In sum, we are (again) looking for Ira’s yaya. Truth be told, I just want the person to be sane. I can easily teach her all the chores I need her to do and Ira’s routine. But I cannot simply impose sanity on one person. Ima arrived from Pampanga to bring a yaya but I told Ryan from day one that this person can only last for a month (that is a generous estimate already). She doesn’t even know how to put Ira to sleep. On her first day, Ira only drank one bottle of formula. She said Ira refused to drink milk in the afternoon. I was like, whaaat? One bottle for more than 8 hours? Of course Ira will refuse with all her might to drink the milk prepared in the morning! Heeelllo??? Sasakit pa tyan ng anak ko. I wanted to send her out of the house right then and there.  She has more boo boos that can make a mom go crazy, but never mind. I will spare you the opportunity of laughing your hearts out.

We are in full blown preparation for Ira’s birthday. Ria of Partycraft and I have been in constant communication about the details of Ira’s party. I am getting more tensed as days go by. Good thing I have her, she pacifies my nerves with her ever cool attitude.

Last Saturday, we took Ira, the new nanny and Ima (who decided to come last minute) to our company outing in Splash Island. It was a breath of fresh air except that there were 2600 employees (with their families) from Toyota who were also having their outing there.  So Ira and I just took a quick dip and caved in for the rest of the day in a cabana. I was surprised that Ira enjoyed the swimming immensely. She would dip her whole face in the water and be shocked after. She walked along the pool even up to chest-deep level and I never saw her got scared. I was a proud and happy mommy that day.

After that, we went to Mamplasan to buy a pair of running shoes. Hubby and I have been yearning to go there I can’t remember when. But men’s shoes ran out of sizes so I was the only one who went home with a pair. Oh, he was able to buy sandals pala. The one like Sanuk. He was happy with it na rin.

We were caught by the traffic on our way home from Susana Heights until after Alabang and Ryan was already cursing SLEX under his breath.  He really hated going to the South on account of this factor.

Over all, it was a fun-filled day. I was happy to have spent time again with my mom. We have a different relationship but we get along just fine (until the next fight, haha). I can see that she loves Ira and enjoys taking care of her more now.

When we arrived in Makati, we had to go to the Picture Company for Ira’s photo sessions in preparation for her birthday but believe me when I say that details of her session is worthy of another post.

I have a very bad headache now which I had to consult the doctor for. The doctor said it is still my recurring Myofascial Pain Sydrome. I am due for cervical spine X-ray tomorrow and have a referral to the Rehab doctor. I am really stressed coz there are just so many things to do and yet I cant seem to finish anything.  I am getting this headache because things are just all mixed up.

Maybe tomorrow will be better. And it better be. 🙂