Saturday, August 30, 2008


So will someone pop the cork from a good bottle of wine?

Hooray! Hooray!

I am SO proud! This entire blog layout was the fruit of my labors. I managed to wade through indecipherable xml and long-forgotten html for the sake of tweaking the basic Stretch Minima Template to this little baby!

I am SO good. *smugness*

Fine, for all you geeks out there, this may be nothing. But demmit, I DID IT! I shake my fist at the coding gods! I had help, of course, but in defiance of dem coding gods, I tweaked and tweaked!


Of course, I still have to fix the header image, but that can wait 'til I get to the other things I put off for today to finish this coding.

I am SO gooooood! Anybody want me to do their blogs now? Heehee.

Friday, August 29, 2008


Sorry for the inconvenience! I'm currently wrestling with html and xml code as of the moment.

I should be done in a few soon as I finish HTML for Dummies.


Thursday, August 28, 2008


As promised.

There, but for the grace of God, go I; as the adage goes.

I was feeling terribly down yesterday and because I refuse to totally succumb to a black mood, it got me to counting my blessings. I'll be posting this as a series as it's too long to post in one go!

1. My child.

Oona was an unexpected Christmas present.

Every time I see her antics and her four-toothed smile, I can't help but feel wonderfully, totally blessed. While maybe it's true that a child at her age can't help but love the people she's with (if they are capable of categorizing things like this at this age), babies and children in general, seem to have that infinite capacity to love.

They're so intense.

A smile, brilliant as the sun, as good as yells, I LOVE YOU! All caps, bold and underlined. With little flashing lights and a big red arrow. It's as intense when they cry, of course. But it's amazing how, when you're the focus of that smile, your whole world stops, flowers bloom and sappy as it's getting, but you can swear that angels laugh along with her.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


It's been three months since I quit work. And while I refuse to give satisfaction to people who would love for me to make a mess they would glory in, I am just plain exhausted.

Exhausted, that most of the hard work we put into ventures and people gave us poor returns and betrayals. Exhausted, that there doesn't seem to be a pay-off in sight. Exhausted, that our budget needs augmenting but there's nothing from my end coming in yet and the bills folder on my desk is beginning to burn. Exhausted, that there's nothing I can do about it for the most part.

I know. This too shall pass.

I'm trying my darnest best to stay positive and keep the faith. But sometimes, I am so near to losing it. People aren't always as nice and generous of heart as we'd love to think. This is not an ideal world where neighbors greet each other by name because they really like each other. Kids can't play on the streets without fear of getting run over or swiped to white slavery by strangers for whom the death penalty is too kind for what they do. And money doesn't rain from the sky or grow from trees.

Such a morbid train of thought I have today. It's all I can do not to just bury my head in the sand, waiting for the world to show me a brighter day.

If only wishes could come true at a time like this. I suppose though, there would be a price to pay for it, just so the universe would be in balance.

Hay, susme. Why do we always wax philosophical when we're in the pits?

Anyhoo, there are a lot of things I truly am grateful and thankful for. Indeedy. But today, I'll indulge my melancholy for a bit.

Tomorrow is soon enough to list all the nice things I'm blessed with.


Monday, August 25, 2008


Picking out the church was easy.

St. John Bosco Parish was a stone's throw away from our house. We liked its simple, peaceful ambiance. There was none of the garish, overwhelming religiosity we aren't too fond of.

On the practical side, there was a parking lot near the entrance and no steep stairs. The church wasn't so big either so it wasn't going to be a long walk to the front pews or anywhere we needed to be. It was perfect for our older, arthritic relatives who we knew would want to be there when Oona was baptized at the church font. After all, they've been waiting for this for a long time now. Tradition, tradition.

Waking up early for us non-morning people wouldn't be a problem either as it took all of ten minutes to walk from the house to the church. Squeezing in an extra few minutes of precious sleep on a weekend would be great! It reminded me of childhood grousing when Sunday church was mandatory. Hehe. Tradition, tradition!

Officially on paper, we were only able to have two principal sponsors, one living just around the corner and another who could arrive early for the required seminar on Sunday before the mass. We weren't sure if proxies are allowed.

As per requirements, we had to book two weeks before the Sunday date we wanted (the only day baptisms are done). As luck would have it, the schedule fell on a long weekend (when everyone's supposed to be out of town) so we weren't even sure if all the godparents could come.

I was too chicken to ask if we could add more names to the church list of godparents later on. I'm sorry to say that the lady in the church office was so forbidding and dismissive that I just wanted to pay the fees and get out as fast as I could.

At home, que horror! I found that Church Lady botched the schedule on the receipt by TWO DAYS. I was afraid we'd get kicked out of the church if we showed up and we weren't on the registry. We had to go back to have it fixed, and I had RF talk to her instead. Her kung-fu was no match for my Mr. F!

We didn't add more names to the church list anymore. We agreed that paper is just paper anyway and the more important stuff regarding Oona's platoon of fairy oddparents were already taken care of. They all know what it's about and that was that.

Yes, we'd rather Oona grow up to think and decide for herself what spiritual path she is called to follow.

For now, however, living in a predominantly Catholic society has its downside. Without the required certificates from the required ceremonies to give you an identity, you're prone to run into a lot of legal hassles. Rather than let Oona experience that, RF and I go through the SOP's.

Make no mistake however, our spirituality is just fine.

We believe that all blessings essentially come from a good place. The ceremony in church is given its meaning and its power from the people surrounding us, regardless of creed, predilection or physical proximity, to mark our child with blessings from their hearts.

And thus, may I not be struck by lightning with this posting.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Most of our friends are oddballs.

Nevertheless, we love the few that have lasted this long with us and whose level of intimacy with our lives are on the blackmail-able level. Hence, the term.

Zoning out on cartoons every so often didn't hurt either.

As inspired by Nicktoons, "The Fairly Oddparents". I think Ninang Rei would be the one with pink hair, being the pink-haired lez type. Heh!

We take the duties and responsibilities of being second parents quite seriously. For us, it means that if the entire genetic family was wiped out, leaving the kid as the only survivor, we'd be comfortable in the afterlife knowing people who are virtually family will be raising her. Pretty heavy, huh? We believe in the traditional Filipino values that dictate the role of the godparent: ensuring that the child grows up into the best person he/she can be, in mind, body and spirit.

Anyhoo, we sent the godparents' invite months ago. Of course, everyone said yes. We know not everyone was going to make it to the day itself, schedule and geographical impossibilities being the reason, but knowing Oona will be occupying a special place in their hearts and minds was enough.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Party Preps: Have Event...Will Party!


RF and I wanted a simple celebration for Oona. Yes, we would've wanted games, coverage, an AVP presentation, a performer, a tarpaulin banner, fireworks...heck, the whole deal! But apart from not being in a financial standing to splurge, we know the celebrant would not even be able to remember the fun that's supposedly to be in her honor. That party would have to be when she's old enough...say, three years old.

It would also give us enough time to save up for the arm and a leg it's going to cost. Hehehe!

Call it envy of my other mommy friends. Going all out would be great but again, reality demands practicality.

So, we agreed that we'll just hold lunch for everybody at a restaurant with good food. Everyone we know enjoys satisfying meals over bongga-ciousness anyway. The bottom-line: GOOD FOOD, GOOD COMPANY, GOOD TIMES.

Then the hunt began.

We tried a couple of restaurants, thinking of a buffet lunch our guest list would enjoy. At first,
there was Jaymie's Grill along Arnaiz Rd. (which would have been convenient because it was near Don Bosco Church and our house. But the time slot we needed was unavailable.

Then we considered the Triple V Buffet Triumvirate of Kamayan, Dad's and Saisaki. No go as the nearest branch was too small to house our projected guest list (100pax). They have very good packages though. My nephew celebrated his first birthday there and the food was to die for. However, you just can't go wandering over to the other buffets that aren't included in your package. You're going to have to pay extra for hapless guests.

TGIF and Hard Rock Cafe? A real rock n' roll shebang would be SO cool! Rockin' at One Year Old! The stuff of legend...but really too steep. Ambisyosang Nanay!

It really is sad that Jo-ni's is gone. It would have been perfect to hold Oona's first party with a family tradition like Joni's. At their main branch in Makati, I remember they had a big reception area on the second floor. I wax nostalgic everytime I pass by the place. Their food was filling and delicious and their cake remains the indulgence of my childhood. To date, the building houses Citibank, an Art Gallery, a dental office, Philosophy Salon and Spa and The Cafe.

Eventually, we wound up with the tried and tested food at Max's Restaurant. Years Of Sarap To The Bones. TheTradition. Sixty House That Fried Chicken Built.

I love their house chicken and the crispy bites satisfy RF's cravings for cholesterol.

We reserved the Baptismal Party Package for lunch over the Kiddie Birthday Package.

We liked the simple elegance over the more garish theme that passes for what kids are supposedly interested in these days.

(Not to make okray but no mascots and too-bright colors for this family if I can help it.)

With a menu that would satisfy picky eaters (Soup, Kare-kare, Veggie bites, Crispy Pata, Chicken, Pancit, Rice and Leche Flan served with Softdrinks and Ice Tea), it fit our budget for a projected 100 guests with a cake, give-aways and balloons.

We knew we wouldn't be having a program as we only had three hours for the venue (they threw in an extra two hours free anyway) and everyone would be more interested in eating and catching up on each other.

So with the venue and menu picked out a few months in advance, I was sure we wouldn't be too stressed about the event itself.

Boy, was I ever so wrong.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Party Preps: Oona turns One!

So it's been a year since I went to the hospital, getting pissed at the driver and cracking up the nurses' station with my drug-induced stand-up comedy routine. God, I should be stoned more often. I was never wittier, funnier and never had a much more appreciative audience than when I was in labor.

Now, a different birthing is going on as I attempt to put together Oona's First Birthday Party and Baptismal at the same time and at the last minute.

And nope, we are not chinese.


If I had a dollar (wag naman dime lang, para sosyal!) for every time I had to explain the practicality of holding the joint celebration, I'd probably have enough to cash in for the restaurant downpayment. It's been explained to me that it's mostly the Chinese who usually does this. Tradition and practicality reasons.

We just figured it was more convenient. Otherwise, we'd have just celebrated the birthday and waited until she's old enough to choose her own spiritual path. Really. However, family tradition will not be denied. Hence, a Baptism along with the birthday.

It doesn't leave a dent on our liberated views on spirituality after all. It wouldn't hurt to "officially" invoke divine blessings for the child. Besides, RF and I came from Catholicism and we've so far survived.

We also think of it as thanksgiving for Oona's first year of life on this Earth. She has given us so much joy and touched so many other people's lives.