Category: Uncategorized

The country is currently swamped with news about the hostage crisis which lasted approximately twelve hours yesterday. TV reports and even internet articles are more or less focused on what happened last night. Personally, I feel devastated. It is even ironic that such tragedy happened at the very place where our current president was inaugurated.

I may not be an overly patriotic person, but I love my country to pieces. And its disheartening that one man’s personal quest now has trampled upon the entire nation’s reputation.

I pity those Hongkong nationals who only wanted to enjoy themselves and visit the Philippines. I pity the members of the assault team because of their unintentional shortcomings and their seeming lack of equipment and/or tactics. I pity our country who must suffer economically because of all these. We can continue to speculate and rant all we want, but lets just be glad its over.

There is no else to blame in this saga but the perpetrator himself. If he had problems with the justice system or if he feels he have been backstabbed by the police service, he could have held hostage all the corrupt officials for all he wanted, but he should not have dragged the lives of innocent people to the mud he is into. If he felt he is in hell for what happened, he should have stayed there and spared others.

Many nasty remarks about how the police handled the situation are being said. But I think they did what they can, maybe not enough, but they did what their trainings taught them. I have several policemen for clients and I sense they are not adequately trained too. The fact that they lacked equipment is not likewise their fault. It is the entire system that falls short of what police service must be. But to personally attack those police officers who happened to be on duty yesterday is in bad taste. I commiserate with the families of those police officers who could have felt like dying seeing their loved ones face death like that.

I don’t know what else is left of yesterday. One thing’s for sure though, lives were unthinkingly broken last night. Even those who survived the ordeal now have shattered lives. I cannot imagine seeing people being shot in front of my eyes. For sure, a lifetime of therapy cannot alter that.

I am hoping that no person can ever think like PSI Rolando Mendoza, ever again. He knew what he was doing was a mistake, but he wanted to prove that he is mighty and that he can hack it. But it is human nature to fail, to go through problems. But the world must not stop when that happens. When he lost his job, it was not the end of the world. His life did not begin and should not have ended with him being a policeman. He could have sold pancakes for all we care, but his ego was just too big for him to handle. If there was a mistake in how his case was disposed of, killing people surely would not reverse it.

I don’t know how this happened. Dang! Even the Ms. Universe 2010 hype has been stomped upon by that hostage crisis. Suddenly, Police Senior Inspector Rolando DR Mendoza is more famous than Maria Venus Raj. Maybe this is what he wanted, after all. But at whose expense? That part he may not have mulled over too much. He was just too keen in getting what he wanted, at the expense of people who did not even contribute one bit to his plight.

Now lets move on Philippines, there are so many things to do. Lets pray together for those broken lives, including that of Ronaldo Mendoza.

Birthday Blog

What if we are all like celebrities who celebrate birthdays all week long or all month long, huh? Wouldn’t that be fun? 😉

I am just asking aloud because I will be celebrating my birthday this coming week. Since my Dad is now with us and he is celebrating his birthday the same week as mine, and my nephew Kenji tomorrow, we are thinking of celebrating together.

I grew up in a family who celebrates birthday. I have noticed that some of my classmates did not give much fuss about their birthdays but for us, its the other way around. I don’t know now whether that is good or bad because it formed some sort of a habit for all of us in the family.

Since we did not know months ago about Tatay’s abrupt arrival, I was making lambing to my hubby about what I want for my birthday. I just want to eat out. Because really, I am tired of doing all the cooking (eyes rolling, argh!), especially that Kuya Jme will be working that day. I really just wanted to eat on this fancy looking Italian restaurant here in Makati, or Melo’s in Jupiter, or just ribs at Racks. But since bringing the whole family would probably be more expensive than just cooking at home, I might have to go for the latter.  Sigh.

This my second birthday that I have Ira. Last year though, post partum problems were creeping up on me and my birthday kinda just breezed through me. But this year, we have big plans. And if we are really allowed to make birthday wishes, I will wish for the realization of these plans. I wish our plans will push through and that I wish our decision to pursue these plans will turn out to be the best.

I am at the point in my life where I am looking for the path where I and my family will trudge through. I realized that I may have become a lawyer at a very young age so that I will have opportunities to pursue different avenues in my life. And that’s what I will do…with my family’s help and God’s loving guidance, of course. 🙂

So there, happy birthday to me! And may we all be happy today and always! 🙂

The first thing I do upon waking up, aside from thanking God for another waking day, is check my cellular phone for time and for new messages, if any. This morning was not any different, except for the first message I saw. It was a text message from a good friend and colleague, Atty. Inocencio Vivero, Jr. It was a message informing family and friends that his eldest daughter, Lianne, passed away this morning.

I sat up immediately to check if I was reading it correctly. I told Ryan about the news and he was likewise surprised. He checked his phone and had the same message from Ino. I sighed heavily and almost cried on my knees.

Lianne looked as healthy as any bouncy girl. She was just eight years old, if I’m not mistaken. She was plump and always smiling. I was not really her godmother but she always treated me like one.

As of this time, I really do not know the immediate cause of her death. All I knew is that her Leukemia had relapsed recently. We were supposed to see each other in a birthday party of a friend’s son but it coincided with Lianne’s check-up. Days after, Ino informed us that the Leukemia had relapsed. I did not specifically know that she was confined in the hospital for the last weeks or so had I not seen in his Facebook account. I have been telling Ryan yesterday that if she is still in the hospital in the weekend, then we’ll go see her.

Ino was my classmate in college but we went to different law schools. I can say that we were really never friends before but when we worked together for the Elections last 2007, we bonded so well that we became good friends. I even got him as Ira’s godfather.

We started working together September of 2006. It was around that time when Lianne was diagnosed with Leukemia. I always admired how his wife, Sheba, took care of their children, being a stay-at-home mom. The day we found out the possibility of her illness, I went to San Juan de Dios Hospital and accompanied Ino and Sheba. I was not yet a mother then but I already felt their pain. They appreciated the fact that I was there because they did not know what to do. Came then the successive cycles of chemotherapy and the continuous medications. Everything was doing well for Lianne. Personally, I included her in every novena I had. I always commiserated with them because for a very young couple, it was a very burdensome test from God.

But they did no flinch. They knew Lianne could survive the Big C.

Lianne, on her part, showed more courage that a 6-year-old child may hardly have. It was difficult for all the needles that came through her skin but she never complained. I have seen other children confined in a hospital and they are either hysterically crying all the time or just plain grumpy. But not Lianne. She was as pacified as she can be. Whenever she got scared because tests will be made on her, she would quietly shed tears. When blood came out of her nose, my friend Chubby and I instantly cried. Sheba jokingly said that there is a no crying policy in the hospital. Their battle for Lianne lasted for more than three years and they mightily survived.

July last year, Lianne was pronounced to have zero cancer cells. It was a very joyous thing for Ino’s entire family. I was one of the many friends who shared with their joy.  I even remember Ino blogging seriously about it. They even visited our home late December last year and I cooked dinner for them. They liked the Nachos I prepared and gobbled on fries while playing Wii with her sister Daphne and brother Joaqs.

But just this March, the doctor of Lianne said the Leukemia relapsed. I knew so well that Lianne could surpass this one as much as she did the last time. I always admired the little girl’s strength. But I was wrong. Maybe she was tired. And maybe, she did not want to further subject her family to more agony.

I cannot, for the life of me, begin to imagine the pain of Ino and Sheba. I am a mother now and I understand, more or less, all the pains that come with being a parent. I cannot even blink my eyes to even try imagining how they feel right now. I will not wish such pain on anyone. But I know they will come through this. This I have learned in my regular visits to Noemi Dado’s blog.

Lianne’s death came just in time for the Holy Week when we need to mull over things and re-assess our lives. All deaths leave us a lesson that time is fleeting and that we have to seize each moment. I am glad, somehow, that Lianne’s entire family was able to pamper her for the last two years or so. Maybe thats the goodness of knowing someone is ill, it gives you a chance to savor each day with them.

I am hoping though that we will all learn to pamper our loved ones, in a way that we will feel its enough (although it will never be enough) so that when the end inevitably comes, we will be assured that we have made them feel our love.

When I asked Ino if they need any help with anything, his reply to me was:

“Magkita kita lang tayong masaya sa harap ni lianne, ok na yun mare.”

I almost cried with his reply. Cliche’ aside,I am sure Lianne is happy now.  She was a very good girl and accepted her plight with the maturity that none of us may have.

I remember Lianne’s reply when Ino and Sheba told her that she may lose her hair because of the chemotherapy. She said and I quote (not verbatim):

“Magsusuot na lang ako ng hat. Bilhan nyo na lang ako ng hat.”

I was deeply touched by her acceptance. Lianne’s hair grew back just fine, it even became beautifully curly, like that of a doll.

I will no longer see her shy smile.  Ino will no longer share stories about her daughter’s battle with Leukemia. He will no longer ask for prayers for Lianne’s recovery. I will always look for her unassuming eyes. After she gives me a kiss on the cheek, she will always just answer shyly to my questions. I have always admired Lianne’s good heart. Her kindness never failed to light up a dim room. It always reverberated to touch my heart. For the few years that I have come to know her, I have learned from her a lot about loving, giving and fighting.

Being a mother myself, I know how difficult it is to go through the days knowing that your very precious child has passed away. As they all say, no parent should bury his own child. Just thinking about it brings throngs of pain to my heart. And I will not even attempt to tell Ino nor Sheba that things will be okay. I will just let them be and let them grieve for I am certain that their pain is beyond words.

Grieving is the process they have to go through and much as I try to, I will not wholly understand the process. All I can do is to pray with them. And I will do that for them until their hearts are completely healed.

I cannot deny though that it is saddening that the world lost another good soul. But I know inasmuch as Ino and Sheba know, that Lianne is now healed and happier.

We will all see her up there…someday. 🙂

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. 🙂

Amidst the busy schedule of preparing things for Ira’s 1st birthday, we were surprised last week with a high grade fever from Ira.

She started to have the fever Tuesday night, with a whopping 38.8 degrees. I say whopping coz its technically the first time she has ever had fever (aside from the effect of an immunization) and it was way above what I expected. We gave her paracetamol and we weren’t able to sleep. I went on leave from work since Wednesday until Friday. For me, nothing mattered more than looking after my baby.

After several talks with Doc Cathy, we were assured there was nothing to worry since Ira was still active during the day and was eating well. But at night, Ira would refuse to sleep on the bed. She required me to stand up for hours, just like when she was just a newborn. I almost broke my back tending after her, but I didn’t want to upset her anymore than she already was. On Saturday, the rashes we were told to watch out for came out. Doc Cathy said it was just “tigdas hangin” and it was viral in nature, nothing to worry, it shall pass. But dear hubby wanted to make sure, so we went to the clinic for lab tests.

But Ira was hysterical the moment it dawned on her that blood samples will be taken from her. The Med Tech couldn’t place the rubber in her arm and said no clear veins can be seen on her. Translation:  Trouble for all of us. I knew Ira would refuse with all her might to give the blood samples. I asked if pricking will be sufficient. After several attempts and tons of decibels from Ira’s screams and cries, we gave in. Prick na lang.

Turned out that Ira is healthy naman, no dengue scare or whatever. Platelets are okay but the rashes kept coming  out. Good thing the fever was totally gone by Friday night.

I had some sort of argument with hubby coz I opposed the blood tests. I know its just to make sure that Ira is fine, but as her Mom, I knew she was fine. I knew it was nothing worse. I knew it as I held her to sleep for several days. But to buy peace, I gave in.

It was very difficult to have a sick baby. I can imagine other parents having worse cases with their babies. This is why I cry when I see people on TV who have problems with their babies. I commiserate with them. I cannot, for the life of me, see myself in a position where I am fighting against a worse kind of illness for my baby.

This is why today, on her 9th month of making our lives complete, I only have thankfulness in my heart that Ira is as healthy as she can be. She has never had coughs, colds or anything of that sort. She has never had diarrhea or any problem which needed hospitalization. Maybe because aside from prayers, I make sure that no one smokes in the house coz from experience, I know it brings a lot of sickness on babies. And no, I dont want that on my baby.

So now, Im back to work again. Piles of documents for notarization, contracts for review, and hearings for the week await me. Its okay that Ryan and I weren’t able to go on a date on Valentine’s day. There are other days for that. Ira needed us more at home.

That also applies as to questions why I went on leave for the days that she was sick. I am a mother. I am required to do more than that, if deemed necessary. Actually, for the days that I was with her, I realized more that I’d really love to stay at home, or work part time just to be with her more.

So my dear Ira, Happy 9th month birthday! Please be super well na. You scared Mommny and Daddy. Thank you for being a very strong and healthy baby. Help Mommy and Daddy be the best parents for you, ha? Mommy will cook later for you, so just wait at home. I miss you already. Those 5 days straight that Mommy had with you are by far the best days of the year for her. Love you anak.

I am currently in a limbo. My dear Ira has no Yaya and we have to go to work. After New Year, her Ate Kriselle has been AWOL and has been giving me headaches. Let me spare you the story as to how she did it for it will take a long one.

Kriselle’s mother worked for my Ima in Pampanga until my berserked Ima fired her. Now she doesn’t want me to take back crazy Kriselle. I understand Ima’s point. After nearly 29 years, I have come to understand my mom’s idiosyncrasies. We are both each other’s best and worst friend. She has been the one who hired all my housemaids before, and some unfortunately left citing her as the reason :(. She has exerted too many efforts into finding me the best maid there is, to no avail. When I was still single, she found me a girl named Car-car, who worked for me more than 2 years. Car-car is the best that I’ve had so far. Ima is my agent when it comes to nannies. But when she doesn’t like the nanny anymore, even though I still like to keep her, she gets annoyingly mad and in the end, she gets her way.

But right now, I have very limited choices. My hubby and I did not come from an affluent family. We did not inherit a house to live in, a business to manage and monies to spend. As we are just starting new, we are at the point of acquiring things and paying for them. We are both lucky to have jobs that pay fine. Combined together, our income is just enough for our daily expenses and some luxuries. That being said, I cannot  afford at the moment to be a stay-at-home-mom. Oh how I wish I could!

Even when I was single, I used to hire a house helper. It was more of convenience for me. I needed someone who will look after the house everyday. I needed someone who will wash and iron my clothes. Don’t get me wrong. I know how to do ALL household chores. Its just a perk I have gotten used to. After all, I felt I was entitled to lay around the house whenever I wanted to. It was some sort of reward for working all day long.

I have lost count of how many housemaids I have had in the past. As to Ira’s nanny, I think she has had five already in just 7months of her life. Count out the two months that I did not hire one after giving birth. So on the average, its like one nanny every month. Neighbors think we are some mean people who would boss around the house that’s why these maids leave as soon as they receive their first paycheck. Oh, come on now, they oughta know better than that!

Even if there is a maid in the house, in the past and even now, its either my brother Jme or I who works in the kitchen. I clean Ira’s feeding bottles as soon as I get home. Hubby prepares her milk and clothes and other things every morning while I take a bath. I personally wash Ira’s little clothes. For me, nothing beats the feeling of personally taking care of my family’s needs. Even the maids notice that I work around the house more than other wives, considering that I have a full time work.

As I called up home just now, Ate Kriselle is already there. Hubby and I intend to talk to her seriously. As in, serious adult talk. She said she is willing to go down her knees just for us to take her back. She assured me that she’s willing to be jailed if she leaves again (as if!). I am keeping my fingers crossed that I made the right decision. As I’m typing down my blog, my heart is fervently praying to God that things be better this time. Ira needs someone with her and Kriselle has proven to be good for her. Had it not been for Ira, I wouldn’t need a maid. It would mean less expenses for us.

This is what I told Ima in our last text exchange when she said that she was talking to a new replacement but I opted to take back Kriselle and that I was taking Kriselle’s side:

“Ur reason is jst the same as ate nida’s. Pareho nyo lang gs2 protektahan mga anak nyo. U know dat I understand u and I appreciate all ur efforts in finding us a gud maid. Pero kung may mhanap ka ngyn, jst like crisel and other maids b4, wlang kasiguruhan na tatagalan kami. C crisel ngyn alam ko na ang topak, easier to cure. Kung magkaron ng bago, tuturuan ko na nman tpos di ko alam likaw ng bituka, mangangapa na nman ako. Hndi ko cla dinadamayan, anak ko lang ang iniisip ko. I am putting aside all my emotions and anger and giving Ira wat I can.” (pardon the text spelling, quoted verbatim here.)

Right now, most of my decisions are not about me anymore. It is either about Ira or the family as a whole. I am sure in time Ima will understand.

UPDATE: Ate Kriselle seems okay after a week. But my Ima is still annoyingly angry at me.

Whew! What a long sentence.

I am not even sure if it makes sense to me. Just trying it out as instructed.

As I am rediscovering blogging, I am trying to discover its other benefits (kaching kaching!)

My family and I are frequenters of the Powerplant Mall in Rockwell, Makati, not because of any vain reason, but because it is the nearest mall to our place. It takes us less than 10 minutes to get there on a Sunday and probably 20 minutes on an ordinary traffic day. When the bridge from our street which connects Mandaluyong directly to Rockwell (yes, directly from the street where we live!) is completed, then it would probably take us just about 5 minutes to get there. Neat, huh?

We go to church there every Sunday, straight to the supermarket for our weekly supplies. Naturally, we try different restaurants whenever we could.

One restaurant that we really like(d) is C2 Classic Cuisine. I like its quaintness and the homey feeling that comes with it. I like the design and the utensils used, even the condiments holder. I like the fact that the kitchen is just separated by a glass whereby customers can see what the chefs are doing. For me, that promotes transparency. So whenever there is nowhere else to eat, we go for C2.

My co-lawyers and I usually choose this whenever we have lunch-outs (this is after we got tired of Via Mare in Landmark). One of the main reasons why we go there is the price. For some, it may be a bit pricey, but if you learn to order just the right dish for you, then the price will be alright. This I have learned after several times of eating there. We have especially liked Crispy Kare-kare, Dory Escabeche, Ginataang Puso ng Saging (which is extra spicy! yum!), Sisig Express and their oh-so-yummy Bibingka Souffle. During peak hours, you have to wait to be seated because the customers pile in like crazy, even on weekdays.

The creamy and yummy Bibingka Souffle. Ask the Waiter to serve "for later". Watch out though, because the inside is sometimes scorching hot. May burn your tongues!

So last December 26, 2009, after arriving from Pampanga (and opening Ira’s gifts), we went straight to Rockwell to meet BIL Patrick and some. Hubby and I decided to eat at C2 since for us, we have time tested it.

I was surprised to see that they had a new menu. The fonts were embossed (does that matter?) and some dishes have been scrapped away and there were new items too. But what struck me the most is the change in price. I instantly told hubby about it and our eyebrows raised involuntarily. We went ahead with the ordering, and after some discussions, we chose Ensaladang Mangga, Crispy Ribs Sinigang, Pork and Chicken Barbeque and Sisig Express. I wanted some veggie dish but reluctantly stopped with the ordering.

Crispy Ribs Sinigang. The soup is served separately. But not much different with the ordinary sinigang. I prefer the Crispy Kare-Kare.

When asked for the drinks, hubby suggested Calamansi juice coz I prefer this often and because my colds just started during that time. However, I saw that they have Moringa Tea. Being a breastfeeding mom, I knew that this had malunggay as its main ingredient. I was interested and I asked about how it tastes — the waiter offered to give me a free taste. After checking with the kitchen, he said they do not have moringa anymore. ^Sigh. Too bad for Ira.

So I was back to the calamansi again. The waiter asked if I want it hot or cold. I looked at the price and was surprised to see that hot calamansi was only Php45.00! Hubby asked how much the cold one is, and the waiter replied, “pareho lang po ng hot” .

All of us, except for one, ordered the said juice.

When our food arrived, we munched away. I liked the juice, and compared it to other restaurant’s. I found it okay and noticed that the food serving have been considerably reduced. Anyhoo, we tried to enjoy whatever food we had.

When hubby asked for the bill, he instantly gave me a nudge to show me how much the bill was. For three dishes and one appetizer, we had more than Php2000 for the bill! Goodness gracious! We did not even order anything beyond Php500, I whispered.  I then thoroughly inspected the bill. I saw that for the juice alone, the charge was almost Php600! I checked and saw that they charged Php135 for each friggin’ calamansi juice.

Of course I called the attention of the person who handed the bill to us. I told her that we were told that the juice was just 45 pesos. And that I will not pay for 135pesos for one calamansi juice. She said its for 135 because it falls under “fresh fruit juice”. Oh yeah? I asked. Why didn’t the waiter tell me then? Had we been told that the calamansi juice  was 135, we would not have ordered it. We would have ordered fruits which are more costly for that matter.

The lawyer in me insisted that I will not pay 135 for each juice. I will only pay 45 and that’s it. No further statements. The lady then called the manager (who was young to be one). He talked to me and I said my piece. My last statement was “I will not pay 135 for each juice, wherever this matter may bring us. Period” So the discreetly arrogant Manager went away. The revised bill was returned to us, showing that we ordered Hot Calamansi instead and we were charged Php45 for each juice. I think about 1/4 of our bill was slashed.

I was kinda bothered if I acted just right or if I went beyond the borders. But I knew that I was just acting within my rights’ limits as a mom, as a person and as a lawyer. I just asserted what was rightful. Maybe the waiter who took our orders was admonished, but I know that a calamansi juice, however pricey it may be in the market, will not cost Php135. The cold and hot one do not have much difference other than the temperature, so why will the price be so considerably different from one another? In some restaurants, the price of a cold calamansi ranges from Php60-80. It is usually the cheapest fruit juice.

Maybe C2 needs to rethink this area of their business. When I even told the Manager about the changes in the Menu, he snootily told me that the price of their supplies went up. Well Mr. Manager, you could have said it nicely since you caused us inconvenience and stress with that juice thingy! I did not even get an apology from you! Hmp! And the next time we get confused with where to eat, your restaurant is scrapped from my list. I have had enough of you and your discreet arrogance.

(Note: I even googled if calamansi was indeed a fruit. Turned out yes. Hehehe. ;))

Why the name? Well, she was initially lent to us by my ever so kind maternal Uncle (now Uncle-Ninong after my wedding) before hubby and I got married. We were waiting for the time to return it, when I figured I’d call her Zsa-Zsa, because of the song Hiram. (I know, I know, its corny! :P)

Talks between my Tatay and Uncle Medel were on-going if he was going to sell it na lang since it was really up for sale anyway. (Note: Uncle and Tatay are both in the U.S…the reason why van was up for sale) After several weeks, (or was it months?!?) it was decided Zsa-Zsa will be ours. The factors considered were the overhauling we had on Zsa-Zsa and the seemingly unending stress brought about by the succeeding repairs.

In reality, she has been with us for more than a year now. We used her when we moved from Manila to Mandaluyong (yes, by heavens’ frugal name, we did not hire a truck!). Hubby and Kuya Jme insisted that the van can take all our things, one stuff at a time. After getting tired with driving, hubby realized hiring a truck would have been a better option. (oh men, really!) She has been to Lubao, Pampanga (Ima’s hometown) several times already and she can readily take the whole family in, my brothers and their families included! She has been the companion of the family for the business venture. Hubby and I use her to get to and from work everyday. We use her during Sundays when we go to the church and mall. She has been very reliable when I was hospitalized and when I was to give birth to Ira.

there's zsa-zsa parked outside the villa we stayed in at fontana. she was too big for the car port so we asked her to stay outside. plus, she was the one often used to go to and from the pool and the basketball court.

Really, she has become part of the family. Of course we dream of getting a shiny new car soon, but I never once thought of abandoning her. But of course, like any aging vehicle, I would have to accept one day that she cannot stay with us forever.

Recently, we had to change the aircon compressor, and whadya guess? The price of the compressor was skyrocketing! But we had to do it lest Ira sweat herself crazily each time she rides Zsa Zsa.

Around September of 2009, as hubby and I were on our way to work (coz we work for the same company, yey! Read: More Time Together), we were hit by a JMK bus, the one plowing the Baclaran-Ayala route. After a quick demand letter from moi, the bus operator cooperated with the fixing of Zsa-Zsa. Until now though, we haven’t got the cheque yet.

After coping up with the monetary effects of changing the compressor, we had to change brake pads and the rotary. We noticed that the strange sound was gone and she was up and running again like nothing happened to her. We used her for our trips to Pampanga for the recent Christmas and New Year and there seemed to be no problem.

Our Ninang Baby and family are visiting from the U.S. and they have needed several times the services of our good ole’ Zsa-Zsa. She has been very considerate with them until she broke down last night. Story in my next post. I am still stunned as to what to do next with her.

I love Zsa-Zsa to pieces although I may have said bad things to her in the past when I felt she was makulit with the aircon. As a mom, I feel like she is my daughter. And as she is badly sick right now, I am praying that she gets well soon. I can do  away with the commute for the meantime as we live nearby, for as long as Zsa-Zsa gets better.

Now my problem is just the money to use for the fixing. No overhauling needed, please! *fingers crossed.


The Year That Was

To say that I had a wonderful 2009 is an understatement. I cannot simply put in words the way I feel about the year that my little princess Ira was born. This is an uber fantastic year for me and the family. This year marked the time in my life when I thought I needed nothing else, until she came.

As 2009 started, I had no other expectations except for the fact that I am giving birth. Dear hubby and I had our minds on looking for a new place to stay which will be nearer to our office, but did not know it can happen sooner. We moved to Mandaluyong early January and even though my tummy was already bigger, I had to move around fixing the place. My Ima helped us shopping for the things we needed like furniture and other fixtures. She also helped big time with the improvements needed around the dirty kitchen and the laundry area. Come February, we were fine and well settled in our humble abode.

March was likewise a busy month for us as this marked the start of our business endeavor. Looking back, I hope we gave the business more study and second thoughts. Family venture is indeed a hard one, and I regret that we jumped into it too easily. I won’t go into the tiny details anymore lest I bore everyone else. Nuff said about the business, let me just let out a big sigh. 😦

April seemed fine and exciting. I was into my final month of pregnancy. After the annual physical examination at work, I was told I have anemia (although I know about this already) and UTI. Such two things are common with pregnancy, especially with a lifestyle like mine. I hardly drink water, some habit I took after my dear Ima. So whadya know? Last week of April, I had to be confined for the medicines since I couldn’t take oral meds already, they had to be intravenously (if there’s such a word!) given to me. It was my first confinement ever, so imagine my stress. I stayed in the hospital for 8 days, the day of my discharge being my hubby’s birthday (poor baby!). During this time however, I saw the strength of the love of my husband for me. I saw the things he can do for me. He went on leave from work the entire time I was hospitalized, spoon-fed me with whatever food I wanted, washed my butt when the I needed to go (uh-oh! uhmmm!) and gave me a bath everyday. These and more he did for me lovingly. And boy was I uber grateful.

May was the “it” month for me. We were expecting Ira to come late part of May but events led to one thing and another and tadah! Ira came on the 15th. It was a random joke that this baby is smart, knowingly arriving on a payday. I said yeah, really smart, as she came days after the company’s mid-year bonus. Hahaha! So May was indeed the happiest month of the year for me. And the rest of the year seemed history. Another entry on how I popped Ira out, next time.

But June to July probably ranked second best, as during these months I was on maternity leave, rearing my baby and nursing her full time. It is the best feeling in the world to sleep and wake beside her everyday. It is indescribable how it feels to watch her sleep in my arms. Then the realization that I would give up anything, yes anything, even my work, just to be able to be with her and attend to her 24/7. However, at this point, such is impractical. I would not risk having my hubby far from us in order for me not to work. I love the three of us being together. For now, this set up seems fine.

August is back to work moment for me. At first it required a  little adjustment from me but I warmed up in no time. I missed Ira for every minute I was not with her, and the trouble of looking for a regular househelp added up the burden.

Come September, everything was back to normal. Work and Ira took most of my time, with the business being managed on the side. I started taking out-of-town hearings again and it was kinda tiring. Ira had to be mixed-fed and I only get to see her after work. We maximized weekends by spending time together and not going anywhere else without each other. Ira was baptized 6th of September and had her ears pierced. Hindi na sya masyadong mukhang boy. Kawawa!

After Ondoy and Pepeng, the country struggled back to get up on its feet. This applies even to us as the whole country felt affected by these tragedies. Christmas swung by so fast that I did not notice the year was about to end.

I had a very fruitful year. It was magastos with the many hospitalizations and the new apartment but it was fun! Being a first time mom is very rewarding in more ways than one. We had new and quite expensive stuffs this year but they’re worth it (are they? hmmm..). Next year though, we will cut back on our expenses and save up for our li’l Ira. Promise (fingers crossed).

As the new year unfolds, I am hoping that it will bring good fortune not just to my family but to yours too, and the rest of the Philippines. I hope there will be no more floods as worse as Ondoy’s and Pepeng’s. I hope that Mayon will stop with its ash explosion and that it will peacefully sleep again. I hope that the coming elections will be peaceful and that people will vote conscientiously according to their own beliefs. I hope that as Filipinos, we shall all start to believe in our own capabilities, in what we can do as a nation, and stop looking at what cannot be done. All of us have shortcomings and misgivings. But if we unite and focus on what each of us can do and overlook these shortcomings, then we will have a better 2010.

For my family, I pray that I can raise Ira in the best possible way I can. I hope I can continue breastfeeding while working. I pray that no illness or accident may come to my family. I pray for guidance in raising my little one to be a happy baby. Next year, she will start walking and talking, which will ensure that 2010 will be a blast. I hope we can give her a great birthday party which she can remember by as she grows older. As we turn into our second year, I hope Ryan and I continue to be the best parents to Ira, less the petty fights that the kids in us get into. I hope that we may continue to be the best couple we can be, with God guiding us as we straddle along daily budgets and family problems. For work, I pray that what I have been eyeing upon for quite sometime now will be given to me. I am working harder to get it, and am keeping my fingers crossed for my wish to come true.

In sum, I hope we all have a safe new year and that we may happily spend it our loved ones!

This has been a long blog. I bored myself out just writing it. Whew!

Happy New Year Philippines!