Monday, June 30, 2008

Manic Monday- Pride

Wow! Time flies! It's Monday once again:) Today's word is PRIDE. I'm not really sure what to say because after all the humbling experiences, there's nothing left to be proud about. Oh maybe there's still... hahaha! Okay, I decided to write some flashback instead.

I just graduated high school when I was so depressed and confused. My parents can’t afford to send me to college in the big university. I don’t want to be stuck in the island and live the rest of my life there. Being ambitious that I am, I had been going back and forth to the main town and check every now and then the results of the scholarship in the Department of Education’s office. The government provides scholarship to the poor but deserving students. However, based on my Mom’s job- we are not that poor to grab the opportunity. I have been one of the top 5 students in school and being the top notcher of the NCEE ((National College Entrance Exam) - I was ranked number 1 for yet another category of the scholarship. I have to maintain an average grade of 2.0/B. Okay, I will try my very best and I believe I can do that. But the hardest part was either I’ll take Engineering or Nursing. They have the limited options of courses- based on the needs of human resources. I admit, I had been so weak in Mathematics- I would rather consider it as my most hated subject ever since grade school and I can’t really take Nursing- I always faint every time I see blood.

Okay, I may have passed some other scholarships in 3 different government universities but the closest option I had at that time is to take up Engineering. It was more of a one foot on the ground and another foot up in the air with a squeaky stomach. I was scared all the way. During the first semester, I was so worried and being a “promdi” or a slang word for “from the province”- I was more of a very aloof person. I don’t mingle with anybody after any classes. I got good grades because I really worked hard on it. I spent most of my time in the library- answering all the problems in every exercise on the books, hahaha! Since I only have enough money on my pocket for the transportation- I don’t buy books or any extra accessories not even notebooks. I had only one uniform and a pair of shoes that I have to wash at nights just so I have a clean uniform the next day. Being a working student - I stayed with my cousin’s house; I had to clean the house and help with their business (small restaurant) before and after school. My time is pretty much occupied with a lot of things that I don’t have time to spend with friends in the mall or even dating, lol! I had learned self-discipline and perseverance.

After I got a hang out of it, I was able to pull myself up and managed to associate with few good friends who, like me- doesn’t have enough money for some other comforts. I had a very good time then, trying to figure out everyday the best thing and decision to make. I learned to manage my own time and eventually, I love the joy of being independent. I go back to the island after every semester with my allowance from the scholarship. I had learned to manage and appreciate money the more. I was just so determined that I can be an Engineer in 5 years. Well, graduation comes and there’s no containment of the happiness I felt at that time. It’s not because I graduated but it’s because I had proved something to myself. Poverty is really not a hindrance. And oh, I forgot to mention my best friend who has helped me all the way. I talked to Him every now and then when things get so tougher and the way seemed so dark. You might not believe me but my faith in my God had been tested all throughout my struggle and my little joys of getting good grades. Yes, waiting is always sweeter than the harvest!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Joy of Winning- Pacqiuao

Yehey! Filipinos in all walks of life today had paused for a while and said a little prayer for Manny Pacqiuao’s fight in Las Vegas. Indeed, he never disappointed his countrymen. Well, it’s just a lightweight division. He may only be one of the thousand boxers all over the world; yet, he is a pride of his countrymen despite the economic crisis. Filipinos are just so tired of struggling and working so hard everyday just to have something to eat on the table. Thus, watching a Filipino fight in an international arena just make everything bring to a halt for a while, forget all the worries and feel the excitement!

I was at the Filipino store this afternoon and all I hear is the heated conversation and bets of whose gonna win. Pacquaio, being the underdog had won the fight with a ninth-round knockout. I have always loved watching boxing although I’m so scared of blood. To me, it’s the spirit of the game that made it more interesting! It’s just like living, you may have all the talent and capabilities but if you don’t have the spirit and the courage- you’ll lose.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Photo Hunt "BRIGHT"

This was taken while we're in the parking area in Fashion Island- Newport Beach, CA. It's such very bright and pretty sunset!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday's Feast One Hundred & Ninety Five

Here's my first feast for Friday. Yes, it's Friday's Feast One Hundred & Ninety Five.


What is the weather like today where you live?

--It's hot and humid. The skies are hazy maybe because of the wild fire. We're far from it but the wind might have blown it away.


On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how career-minded are you?

--Well, from 1-10: I'm 8. It's more like grabbing every opportunity there is and that comes my way.


What type of window coverings do you have in your home? Blinds, curtains, shutters, etc.?

-- We just changed our blinds to draperies. I loved it!

Main Course

Name something that instantly cheers you up.

--High school memories! Ah, I love those days when you're so care free and you just let your parents take care of you, lol!


How many times do you hit the snooze button on a typical morning?

-- Fortunately, I don't do that. I worked at home :) My husband is my boss and if I get so lazy, he will just wake me up with a coffee, hahaha! Lucky me, eh?

Happy TGIF everyone!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Magic of Technology

Whew! You just don’t know how scared I was yesterday when I carelessly uninstalled one program. It took me an hour trying to make it work again. My second monitor was just black and all icons moved! I can’t believe- how stupid I was, hahaha! Okay, I uninstalled a driver that I’d no clue about. Ah, technology! One minute it’s heaven, one minute it’s hell, hmmmm.

I remembered how my friend cried over a break-up email. Of course, goodbyes are hard and it’s a lot harder when it’s said on an email or worse; on text message or chat and never will you ever hear from- again. The world just gets smaller everyday. Communication is really fast these days. A lot of misunderstanding can happen in a matter of seconds. Or a love can blossom at the span of hours of chatting or changing text messages. Wait a minute, is it really love? Then, you can just hear stories of early pregnancies. How did they meet? Oh, they’re text mates. Well, in the Philippines- most people just loved new trends of technology. I can’t even believe an officemate borrowed money just so he can buy the new model of Nokia. To each it’s own, yeah. It just doesn’t make sense.

Anyway, I just wondered how it’s gonna be in the next 50 years? Maybe humans can be named and identified through their IP Addresses, hahaha! Okay, I have to stop; I’m too scared to go that far :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

All Too Familiar

When I worked in Taiwan, our General Manager called for a meeting one morning. He sounded so disappointed. Later on, he told us- how the Philippines’ economy soared up in Asia moving past Japan and even Taiwan- 15 years ago. It was a bit insulting for us- Filipinos who were there at the meeting but of course that was the whole intention of the meeting. Oh well, it’s reality. What happened? That was his question. Then, he continued- it’s laziness. Is it really?
There are loopholes in every society and culture. Generally, it’s not laziness. It’s the kind of conditioning that people are being brought up with. It’s sad to know that we are sort of 50 years behind from any advanced civilization. Most Filipinos hate change. When Americans came to help the country, most politicians thought we’re going to be a slave again. Okay, I don’t blame my ancestors. They suffered a lot during the Spanish colony. Bottomline, it’s the selfishness of power. They don’t want anybody to control the Filipinos again. Yes, we got our freedom from Spaniards and escaped from the Japanese. Americans have helped us to stand on our own. We were doing well somehow.

After 110 years of Independence, there’s not much difference at all. Philippines is still suffering from poverty (sigh).

Monday, June 23, 2008

Manic Monday

(This is my first entry to Mr. Mo at It's a Blog Eats Blog World. The picture says it all. Oh well, I have been thinking of my night schedule. )

Ever since I arrived here, I have been taking advantage of the nights. We sleep at 2AM and wake up around ten in the morning. I remembered going to bed as early as 8 at night when I was in the Philippines. I can’t even watch the late “soap operas” at nights nor did I remember staying up so late then. I was just so amazed at how quickly I managed to adjust to Jim’s schedule. During summer, sunset is around 7 and it only gets really dark around nine. Maybe that's what it is.

Last night, it was so nice outside. Ah, moonlights and the beach breeze are so cool. Sometimes if it gets really warm, we just go out for a walk in the beach with our dog. It’s very refreshing but then Jake can be very dirty from the sand, haha! Oh, I just loved summer nights better!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Photo Hunt "WATER"

These pictures were taken at our very own Salt Creek_beach. It's beautiful outside, so we (with my 4 other friends) just grabbed the opportunity to enjoy the breeze and catch the waves with our cameras. It's a surfing place, obviously.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I have worked in a call center for almost a year before I came here. It’s basically a technical support. Obviously, we deal with people who have complains and pretty much pissed off at the products; more so, when they are being put on hold for a long time. I enjoyed the job most of the time except when I had an irate client. I understand their frustrations as it's said on the label- "plug and play".
When I arrived here - I was a bit hesitant at people smiling at me in almost every place. I had the different impression, sorry. I was terribly shy at every gathering or even just meeting with the families and friends. I was terrified of speaking to other people—but not to Filipinos.
Filipinos to me have always been warm, friendly, and loud. Yes, right. Filipino parties, were always filled with laughter, karaoke and dancing (my husband would rather call it a Mexican party). I guess it’s safe to say that being around other Filipinos was a shelter for me—the only kind of people I felt comfortable enough to not be embarrassed around. Is it insecurity? I don’t think so. I believe, I’m still trying to grasp the whole culture or what they call “Western” culture.

So I guess I’m just so grateful I have found new friends here. We are- what we call “interracial marriage”.

Some people interpret it differently. Oh well, I’m happy and that’s far more important. Why not enjoy the best of both worlds? A Filipina in a Western world :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Not-So Wordless Wednesday

This is super cute! Hope you enjoy it too! Hilarious, really!

oh, not-so...


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bliss of a Grateful Heart

There are days when I wake up in the morning and things are not the way I wished it would be… That’s when I have to tell myself that things will be better and the sun will still shine.
There are times when people hurt me and let me down…
That’s when I keep reminding myself to trust my own intuitions and judgments.
There are trials and challenges I have to face along the way,
That’s when I have to be strong despite my meekness for I will choose to stand and not to veer away to the wayside.
There are changes that I make in my life,
That’s when I have to struggle a stronger sense of myself.
I always tell myself to grow up and it’s always not easy.

Life is a game, an endless journey.
I have to play, otherwise; I will just stumble in the dark.
I have choices and it’s all up to me.
Somehow, I keep telling myself to stick on the good choices.
So when days come with frustrations and disappointments,
I will not quit. I will survive.

Moving ahead, forward and on,
Let me walk in the beauty and make my eyes behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have created with passion.
Make me wise so that I may understand the things hidden in every trees and rock.
And I may see the light in every tunnel.
The light that is holy and that the holy is the light-
Only by seeing, by being, I know…
Captivated, breath stilled- the bliss of a grateful heart. ..

Monday, June 16, 2008

Her Life On Stage

I was so touched watching Lea Salonga’s concert shown on TFC-The Filipino Channel. I missed my hometown, my country, my family. Life is different now, I must admit. Still, I remain the Filipina that I am. It was the very warm, more personal, and more intimate theme of the whole concert that had moved me to tears. Ah, some memories are never forgotten.

In case, you don’t know who Lea Salonga is; here’s what I got from Wikipedia.
She is a multi-awarded Filipino singer and actress who is best known for originating the role of Kim in the musical Miss Saigon. In the field of musical theater, she is recognized for having won the Olivier, Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, and Theatre World Awards, the first to win various international awards for a single role. She was also the first Asian to play Eponine in the musical Les Misérables on Broadway. Salonga is the singing voice of Princess Jasmine from Alladin in 1992 and Fa Mulan for Mulan and Mulan II in 1998 and in 2004, respectively).
Lea's big breakthrough came when she was selected to play Kim in the megahit musical Miss Saigon in 1989. Unable to find a strong enough Asian actress/singer in the United Kingdom, the producers scoured many countries looking for the lead role of this major British production.
Well, can I say? She’s definitely a picture of a little girl turned into a fine lady, a great wife and Mom. After all the glamour, she remained very simple and humble.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sing Me Your Song Again, Daddy

I remembered running outside the house every time the Pepsi truck will pass by. I have to stretch my hand just for the driver to stop and I can hug my Dad. He worked as a salesman in Pepsi then. He will give us bottles of Pepsi and I'm so proud to share it with my friends, hahaha! Sometimes, he comes home very late at night and wakes us all up to eat the crabs that he just brought. We all loved that and so we have to tell our Mom to wake us up when Dad comes home. Then, he was assigned to the city; so we have to move in. He works all week- traveling to distant cities and he only comes home every weekend. I remembered waiting outside the corner of the streets every Friday nights. Those memories are pretty much vivid and will always be with me! I love you, Pa!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Seize the Day!

My friend, Marivic invited me to go out some place as she was kind of bored at home. I don't blame her. She's used to a fast lifestyle (working at the same time taking up Nursing). I believe, it's tough but she liked it to be occupied with a lot of things to do. I don't want to say "no" to her for the second time. I finished all my work early and so I agreed. It was warm that we just decided to go to the beach. My husband kept telling me not to go swimming. It's rough waves and besides, I can't swim well. Oh no, don't tease me! Yes, right- we are obviously surrounded by water. Did I say, I grew up in a small island? Oh well, don't ask me why I can't swim. That's a long story, lols! Okay, here's what I got from our visit to the beach- just "visit" because we didn't swim. The water is so cold though. It's more like our cold spring, hahaha! I guess, we are just blessed to have lived near the beach. It's always very refreshing!

Happy weekend, everyone!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Flip and Flop

(picture courtesy of TravelBlog)

It’s back to school in the Philippines once again. I still remembered the smell of new notebooks, pens, bags and shoes when I was in grade school. I’m the only one that wears shoes in school then. I’m jealous at my classmates who only wear flip flops. It was a public school and wearing shoes is optional. During rainy days, I know my teacher is pissed at me because of the mud it brought to the room but it was my Mom who kept putting those shoes on, hahaha!
When I came here, my husband kept teasing me of wearing flip flops most of the time even winter. Then, we read something about how dangerous it is to the health.
“Flip-Flops are OK in Moderation, but Wearing Them Too Often Can Prove to Have Adverse Long-Term Effects”ABC News

Well, it’s not only moderation to us. It isn’t a fashion but a prime necessity to us; basically because it’s the cheapest one can buy. Some even cannot afford flip-flops and just go to school barefoot.
One time, I was in the mall (Cagayan de Oro, Phils) I was so shocked to know that those ladies I saw gathering together (like shells) outside one of the boutiques were waiting for their flip flops. When asked, how much each-they said it’s $20. Holy Molly! That’s about an ordinary worker can earn in a week! Wow! That was funny. I guess, the trend had started.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


At first we hope too much then later on, not enough.
---Joseph Roux
It was heart-breaking news my Mom had told me last weekend. A friend, a neighbor, my Mom’s officemate had an accident and broke his hip-bone. He is still in comatose right at this moment. He survived but he cannot see nor hear anything. The doctors cannot do anything or move him around yet because of the delicate situation. They had spent 30 grand so far and still clinging on some hope for a recovery. My heart goes to his kids who are very anxious about the whole incident.
The Health Care in the Philippines is pretty bad. You will not be admitted in the hospital without a down payment. They don’t care if you’ll die outside the hospital. While it is understandable that the hospital won’t survive if everything is just free- still, it’s very sad and very inhumane. I have a good friend before who met a terrible accident and the taxi driver just brought her outside the hospital and left. She was unconscious for almost 12 hours with a few blood clots on her brain. How she survived was a miracle and partly because they have enough money to spend in the expensive hospital.
How could you cling for hope during these trying times? Where are they going to get more money? His wife had borrowed more than she can earn in the next 10 years. Plus, the kids are still young and one is in college. Yes, they both have a very good job but it’s not even enough for the whole financial dilemma. Even so, what money can do if the body can’t survive anymore? How good is money without your loved one? Or how good is a living spouse but handicapped (blind, deaf and lame)? How could you keep the hope burning without neglecting the future of your kids? You may have all your friends and relatives to support you but at the end of the day, you are just all alone.
With all my deepest sympathy.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

( This picture was taken in Melbourne Beach, FL at our room hotel when I got up around 6AM to fix some coffee. I can't help but pause for a while and thank God of how magnificent Thy creation is!)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Youthful Guts

I always loved reading ever since I started to learn how to read. I read almost all the writings, signs on the road, in the market, everywhere. One time, I stumbled on this quote saying “Enjoy your youth while you can because you only will be young once.” I don’t remember where I read that but it certainly had become part of why I make most of my youth, lol!

Last Saturday, we were cruising on the country roads up to the Northern part of Lake Elsinore. It was very fun! I liked riding the bike with my husband as the driver of course. It’s fun to know how these bikers have their own social world and signs. I had to raise my hand (sideways) or give some thumbs up every time we met another biker. It’s very new to me. Oh, I loved seeing those bikers on their black/blue whole-body attire- zooming and freakingly drive past you, hahaha!

Okay, they were asking me if I ever rode a bike before in the Philippines. I never drove a motorcycle though but I have rode in a scooter a lot of times before even carrying 5 people. Just like this:

(picture courtesy of Big Jim)

Ah, those days when you’re still young and all you think is just seize the moment! You know, we almost met an accident one time. My cousin (the driver) was sitting on a basketball (ball) and 4 of us at the back (my high-schoolies). We really wanted to watch the live band in the main town that’s about 30-min bike ride. It so happened there’s 10 of us with only 2 small-sized bikes! The road was very busy then because of the fiesta. But that never prevent us from exploring again and again with the dangerous scooter ride. Stupid youth, eh?

Monday, June 9, 2008


When I arrived here in the US a little over a year ago, the gas price/gallon was only $2-now it’s freaking $4.39! It’s really sad to know that your dollar can't buy that much anymore. One Sunday, we went to PF Chang’s for dinner and we’re so surprised to see the place is almost empty where it’s been so shocking one-hour wait every time we go there. Even cruising around Laguna Beach, you will see a few of stores that were closed for business. I even felt sorry for our housekeeper who lost her house because she lost part of her job- the Yoga place was closed.

Last Saturday, we went to the boat show. My husband was doing some window shopping as he missed boating in the river. Well, it turned out to be another dead show. Wow! There was even a boat that was 30 grand cheaper than last year. Yes, right- not too many people can afford the luxuries anymore. Yet, when we went to the Old Pasadena (Colorado Blvd.) place after the boat show; we had trouble looking for a place to eat! Okay, we both don’t like Japanese food that much so; we were walking for about an hour and indeed up eating in a Pizza place, hahaha! Most restaurants have an hour-wait, gezzz! Maybe they’re not affected with the recession or maybe because it’s Saturday night.

Oh well, who knows where this gas price increase will end up.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Enjoy the Coffee

I stumbled upon this story somewhere and I thought it's worth sharing. It says "Author Anonymous" and for whoever you are, thanks for sharing this. It's wonderful story:)

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups - porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all his former students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: "If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is but normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups and were eyeing each other's cups. Now consider this: Life is the coffee, while the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and do not change the quality of Life. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided."

So, don't let the cups drive you... enjoy the coffee instead. Happy weekend, everyone!