Wednesday, March 31, 2010 1 comments

meet hershey

I am a certified dog lover. And I especially like Labrador Retrievers. For years, I dreamed of having my own lab to hug forever. Then three or four years ago, Balot made this dream come true. I finally got to have my own lab. She's black, smart and completely adorable. How she got her name? When she arrived from Davao my niece Danny was home and while brainstorming with her she came up with Hershey immediately. It just felt right. As I looked at her squirming in my arms, I just knew she was a hershey.

I bought a little book on how to train labs and I can say it worked pretty well. Labs are well known for their innate need to please and Hershey is no exception. It was real easy to train her. Of course we had a lot of accidents too but I think its because she intended it not because she did not understand. The first thing she learned was how to fetch. As a retriever it was in her nature to retrieve objects and bring it to her owner. Then I taught her to sit, stand, give, stay, kiss, embrace, no, come etc.

Another amazing thing was that Hershey would know when she did something I dont like. She would then look at me with pleading eyes and wag her tail so hard. Then she would attempt to climb up to my arms, no matter what I'm doing.

Recently, she's taken to understanding some words we did not teach her. It was truly amazing. She learned what leash, asa man, Charlie, lola, lolo, Aiza, James meant. If you tell her to go to someone she would know which one you're talking about.

Hershey is also a healer. Whenever anyone in the family is sick, she would stay alongside that person and somehow absorbed all the negativity. When the person got well, then Hershey would become sick. The downside of owning such a special dog though is the expense! There was a time I spent more than 5,000 pesos on pills alone. She had all sorts of sickness and the recurring one was dandruff. But even when she's sick, she never loses her great attitude. She still tries to please. It was heartbreaking to see her suffer through it.

She is also crazy about kids! She just loves kids. Whenever there are kids around she would be so happy and would keep on inviting the kids to play with her. Now that she's big the kids are sometimes scared of her so Hershey is left alone wagging her tail at them.

Dogs are a great source of happiness. I can't imagine not having a dog at home. I am so glad that Charlie is also in love with Hershey. He exercises her everyday and plays with her. He's even taught her new tricks! Sometimes I get jealous coz she follows him more than me now. Maybe coz he's more consistent with his commands while I tend to be soft-hearted and give her a hug right after I scold her. Haha!

Net time, I will also blog about my other dog, Lucas.

Sunday, March 28, 2010 2 comments

sunday at the movies

What's nice about the end of the school year is that I no longer have to be anxious about lessons to prepare for at the start of the week. I can stay up longer and thus stay in bed until late in the morning. I can blog, write notes, play bounce out, and edit photos at my leisure. No worries. No class to prepare for the next day.

Anyway, our little tradition includes going to the movies on Sundays. Today it was Invictus, a movie about Nelson Mandela and the South Africa rugby team. It was very inspiring and touching. It reminded me of our upcoming national elections and how important it is to choose and vote for the right president. Nelson Mandela in that movie embraced South Africa as his family. And just like a loving father, he knows exactly what his countrymen needs and he pursues it even when it did not seem politically correct. I just love how he was able to peacefully work for the unity of his people. The movie is a great lesson on strength in forgiveness, leading by example, and active non-violence where color and creed do not matter in working for the good of the country.

I hope you'll catch it in the cinemas while it's still showing.

Saturday, March 27, 2010 1 comments

refulgent in tenebris

Earth Hour - Logo
Palunga imong suga.
Bisa'g abi sa imong silingan wala ka nakabayad og kuryente
Bisa'g di nimo makita imong ngipon samtang nanotbrush ka
Sige lang kay mas nakabalo man ka.

Pagnga 'ton im suga.
Bahala na kun di kaw anay makapanhugas nan plato
Bahala na kun jaoy mangawat nan im baligja
Halalam kay nakasabot man kaw.

Isn't it great to have cared?
Di ba tsada ang feeling?
Uman jaoy nawaya?

Samantha Ysabelle

I haven't met Sam personally. I'm supposed to be a ninang but for a reason I don't remember now, I could not attend her christening. Nevertheless, I have always enjoyed reading her blog. I think it is an awesome way to document a child's growing years. Kudos to Kikamz for the loving effort she put on this blog!

She is a very photogenic child and having an artistic mommy made her blog all the more pretty and easy to read. I love seeing her photos with either Ka or Binsoy. I often could not believe how those two have grown and managed having a baby on their own in a foreign place! How absolutely blessed they are!

Sam's blog shows a very global child with very good parents who are absolutely grounded on Filipino values. I think she is one lucky baby to be born with such good parents. I can't wait to meet her for real and see for myself! I just hope she wont be a blooper baby too! Hahahha!



Binsoy and Ana Karenina in Siargao

There are only a few number of persons in your life with whom you can feel totally comfortable with. There's a variety of reasons why. One obvious reason is because you like to do the same stuff and because you have the same friends. You just click. Pure and simple.

This person for me has been my art and art therapy buddy during the years I was in Davao and when she was in CDO for a Camps Ministry job. That seemed so long ago! Now she is married to another person who also fits the description above. They are absolutely one of my favorite couples and also my favorite person when taken individually. If they get a divorce I wouldn't know who to comfort first. Hahaha!

Anyway, I have always been a fan of their love story. And a loyal follower of Kikam'z blog! Now that they're continents away, the only way to update is through her blog. As usual Ana Karenina has her distinct and awesome way of expressing herself. I have always been a great fan of this girl's artistic creations. She writes well too! She used to be editor-in-chief of a paper called Pakiglambigit. I bet she's earning millions with her blog Just About Anything too! Geez!

When I read her blogs I take what she says seriously. Coz this is one good girl and she wont mislead anybody. But the most important thing for me is that I get to know how well she is doing and how happy she is with little Sam and blooper king Binsoy.

Check her out. I bet she feels lonesome sometimes in Germany and would love to know your thoughts. :)
Thursday, March 25, 2010 0 comments

after goodbye, nostalgia

Goodbyes are most often the saddest part of life. The word just means end for me. Others want to be optimistic and say that goodbyes are really hellos but no matter how you sugar coat it, goodbyes are endings and it just plain hurts.

Tomorrow is the graduation day of XUHS Batch 2010. I wont talk about the batch coz I don't really know them that well aside from teaching 10 months of Church History which I doubt they remember. Rather, I want to talk about another ending in my life. Tomorrow I bid goodbye to active student formation work. Yep, I wont be with the OSASI next year.

As I look back at my 9 plus years at XUHS, 80% of those years consist of active student formation work. In my second year of teaching, I worked with the Social Action Program. When SAP ceased to be, I worked with the Office for Student Activities and Social Involvement. Those years were the highlights of my teaching life. I suck at classroom teaching anyway. I teach best in the field where life looks you in the eye and you have to guide kids to learn to see reality. The kids I worked with all those years have become my friends. They were my students too but I dont think they remember my lessons in class at all. I don't think they still remember that they can marry their second cousins and that diocesan priests do not have a vow of poverty.

I would rather they think of me as the teacher who made them walk kilometers in the dead of the night in the puring rain evading drunk farmers and cow dung. I would rather they think of me as a friend who tried to listen to their teenage angst in spite of my inadequacies and failings. I would rather they think of me fondly as that teacher who can't dress right and is more at home in dilapidated chapels and endless mountains than in the four walls of the classroom. I would rather they think of me with mud on my feet from hours of surveying and monitoring. I would rather they think of me as a human being who tried.

Those were growing years. I think it is where I learned the intricate skill of politics and superhuman organizing. I think it is where I learned to know what it means when we say, bahala na si Batman. I think it is also where I learned in a big, wonderfully humbling way the truth that what I'm doing is God's work. I know that coz He took care of me all through out. It was only when I began relying more on my superhuman skills that I began to fail myself, my students, my bosses and my God.

Now I feel myself growing in a different way. There is already another call. And the guy in the clouds is brewing something wickedly exciting again. Though it hurts to say goodbye, the excitement for another chapter is stronger and draws me farther and father everyday. I have a vague idea where He's taking me. I think I will enjoy the ride too. But for now, I want to wallow in memories. A fitting ending to wonderful years with the SAP and the OSASI.

Siargao, anyone?

Will publish rates soon. :)
Wednesday, March 24, 2010 0 comments

What makes you happy?

As I sit in this dark room with just the light from my laptop illuminating my keyboard, this question suddenly popped up in my mind. I know that this is the sort of question priests ask us during mass. It's the kind of question a well-meaning friend or mentor asks us when we don't know what we want to do with our lives.

Now that I am 32, married and settled as most people would say, I am supposed to have known what will make me happy and is now reaping the consequences. Yet as I sit here, I suddenly had an overwhelming urge to confirm once again what makes me happy. I am aware that this question is somewhat triggered by the sight of my husband peacefully asleep beside me.

It does not take much to make me happy. As my husband would point out sometimes in frustration, what makes me happy is so ludicrous that he thinks I'm full of baloney.
And because it is important for us imperfect and wounded souls to connect with the core of our beings and touch the sacred every time, I want to share with you the things and thoughts that make me happy.

Like Peter Pan, I would like to think of my happy thoughts now and fly.

1. When I see our little closet apartment spic and span, bleached and disinfected in just 30 minutes
2. The sight of Charlie goofing around
3. Listening to my parents' quietly talking
4. Receiving money every pay day!
5. Snuggles early in the morning
6. Charlie playing catch with Hershey and Lucas
7. Having my nieces around
8. Christmas and giving gifts!
9. Family reunions
10. Daydreaming :)
11. Learning a new techy technique on my own
12. Hearing from the sicovols or anyone from Davao whom I've worked with
13. Seeing my students grow up
14. A nice dinner made by Charlie
15. Having the whole family home
16. A letter from Holly
17. Hanging out with Lawig
18. A good stretch in the morning
19. Memories of Siargao
20. Getting payments for my sideline businesses
21. Singing the Agnus Dei during mass
22. SAP/OSASI memories
23. Connecting with old classmates and friends
24. Passing an exam
25. An I Love You

These things bring a smile to my face and sometimes even a happy tear. As you know, these are not all. I also get a silly kind of happiness in watching things grow too, the wind on my face, biking, cooking breakfast for Charlie, washing dishes, etc.

In the stressful world of teaching oftentimes I just get disheartened and disillusioned that I no longer see my happiness. It's good that I made the effort to remember just now. This gives me a lot of reason to live more fully and fly higher.

How about you? What makes you happy?
Tuesday, March 23, 2010 0 comments

jumpshots galore

Here I am trying to be techy and stumbled on Linda's blog in search of tutorials in making badges and buttons. Instead, I discovered Picnik! For years I've been dying to know how to edit photos and make it look exciting. Picnik is just awesome! I just spent over two hours tweaking and exploring. Charlie kept on bugging me about horseshoe crabs (he's not done yet as of the moment)and I was not paying attention. So he got over from his side of the room and asked, " Are you farming again? Don't get your hands dirty!". He thought I was at Farmville again. Haha! Then he saw what I was doing and he was so amazed he wanted a collage of all our pictures!

What I did was get all my jump shots from all the places we have been to. I would tell you more about it coz I cant concentrate now. Charlie is talking a mile a minute. Hahahha!!

What do you think of my first attempt?
Sunday, March 21, 2010 1 comments

More Sponsors!

This contest is getting me all excited! Here I am at exactly 11:53 pm typing away. Forget sleep! I am blogging! Hehehehe!.

Anyway, here's the list of secondary sponsors for Bambie's My Thoughts, My Heart, My Turf First Anniversary Contest. Check them out!

  • Chris Chronicles - 2,000 EC credits
  • Cornyman's Blog Reviews - 2,000 EC credits

  • Cornyman's Money Blog - 1,000 EC + 10 x Spikes from CMF Ads worth 1$ (250 visitors)

  • Earn Money Online with Red - 2 months AD space

  • Earth Friendly Momma - 1,000 EC credits

  • Fashion Explorer - 1,000 EC credits

  • Gene + Experiments - 1 month AD space

  • Health and Beauty Diva - 1,000 EC credits

  • Her and History - 1,000 EC credits

  • Here Anything Goes - 1,000 EC credits

  • Home Buddies - AD spaces in her PR3, PR2, and PR1 blogs

  • I Empower Myself - 1 month 125x125 AD space

  • Inspirational Insights - 2,000 EC credits

  • Life Can't Wait - 1,000 EC credits

  • Life of a Filipina Blogger - 1,000 EC credits

  • Liza's Online Journal - 1,000 EC credits + 1 month 125x125 AD space

  • Mariuca Wishing on a Falling Star - 1,000 EC credits

  • Mariuca's Perfume Gallery - 1,000 EC credits

  • Meow Diaries - 1,000 EC credits

  • Moms Write Stuff - 1,000 EC credits

  • My Daily Thoughts and Ramblings - 2 months AD space (winner can opt to have 1 250x125 AD or 2 125x125 AD)

  • My Journey to Life - 1 month AD space

  • Pinkville - 1 month 125x125 AD space

  • Proud Mommy and Wifey - 1,000 EC credits + 1 month 125x125 Ad space

  • Runaway Blogger - 1,000 EC credits

  • Samantha’s Own - 2,000 EC credits

  • Simple Pero Rock - 1 month AD space and 2,000 EC credits

  • Spread the Word - 1 month 125x125 AD space

  • Tasty Exploration - 1,000 EC credits

  • Teaching Moments - 1,000 EC credits

  • The One Minute Guide - 1,000 EC + 10 x Spikes from CMF Ads worth 1$ (250 visitors)

  • The Pinay Blogger at Home - 1,000 EC credits

  • Up Now and What's Next - 1 month 125x125 Ad space

  • Wonderful World of Peachy - 1,000 EC credits + 1 month AD space


    My first!

    The school year finally ended yesterday with the fourth quarter final exams. It was all so timely coz I get to spend my first wedding anniversary goofing around with my husband. Right now, he is on the bed drafting the layout of our first ever dream pole house. He keeps asking about living room size and arguing about where the bathrooms should be. I cannot believe he wants each room to have a bathroom!! Geez..

    I did not want to argue anymore coz this day is supposed to be special. So while I'm being ignored, I surfed through my blog and remembered a cool contest Kikamz told me about. I've always wanted to join a blog contest. My blog is around 5 years old but its never gotten past the point of dropping entrecards. And now that summer is here and no graduate school to think of, I' going to be a real blogoholic (if there's such a term). So I officially declare that I am joining a cool contest being sponsored by Bambie. Her blog's turning 1 and my marriage is turning 1 too so isn't it a cool coincidence? Hehe.

    I've been thinking about joining since last week and the mechanics look really easy for a neophyte like me. I wish I could sponsor my own contest soon. The blogging world is really, truly alive! What an amazing way to connect and have more friends!

    Here are the contest sponsors and their fabulous prizes. Awesome!

    A Woman Remembers - 1,000 EC credits, 1 month AD space and $5.00
    - $5.00
    From this Side - 3,000 EC credits
    Girls Rule! - $5.00
    Live for Life - 4,000 EC credits and 2 months AD space
    Living Life to the Fullest - $5.00 + 1,000 EC credits
    My So-Called World - $5.00 + 1 month AD space
    Niko's Blog - $5.00
    The Hunger Games Trilogy - 3,000 EC credits
    The Mommy Journey - 5,000 EC credits
    The Snoring Queen - 5,000 EC credits
    Travelin' with Marie - 8"x8", 20-page Photobook ($20.00 value) and two 1 month AD spaces
    Wahmaholic - Wordpress or Blogger template based on the winner's choice of theme and color

    The more the merrier so join now!

    Saturday, March 20, 2010 1 comments

    love happens, actually

    March 21, 2009 Spring Equinox

    The impossible happened exactly a year ago on the first day of spring.

    Who would have thought that I would readily march down a church aisle and commit my life to a person two decades my senior and who comes from an island in another part of the pacific?

    Who would have thought I would leave my mountains and stars and silence to be cooped up in closet apartment with a man who can't stop talking?

    Who would have thought that I would dare to go home when the sun is still up and leave the familiar comfort of my XUHS cubicle and buy fish from the street market?

    Who would have thought that I would get the courage necessary to sell oil and sugar and hand sanitizers in school?

    Who would have thought I could ride a bike for 20 kilometers to keep a dedicated biker company?

    Who would have thought I could go to bed with a stomach filled with green leafies and just mango, mango and mango?

    Who would have thought I could actually enjoy going to graduate school after school?

    Geez, who would have thought I would enjoy married life this much to want 350 years more! Hahaha!

    I want to tell you a secret.

    I never did picture myself getting married. Nor did I ever picture myself doing the things I just mentioned.

    When my friends talk of walking down the aisle, I would dream of more mountains to cross and islands to explore.

    When my friends talk of having kids, I would remember the annoying kids I teach and feel sorry for their parents.

    When my friends talk of going home early to feed the baby and take care of hubby, I just feel annoyed that they could so limit their universe.

    When my friends talk about troubles at home, I smile smugly and say "mirisi!"

    Like some independent and naive thirty and single know-it-all with a bad case of wanderlust, marriage for me was a trip to nowhere. So there I was with happy thoughts of never growing up and hopping around the world on borrowed money when the fellow up in the clouds threw me the biggest punch.

    Love happened.

    Oh he did it subtly by making sure I would have no inkling what he's up to. He sent me a 50 something guy who claimed to be 45, had a string of gorgeous girlfriends, been around the world too many times than I ever could in a hundred years, and no blue eyes. It wasn't love at first sight at all. It was more like, hurry up and go back to where you came from so I can be with my students.

    What person in her right mind would enter into a relationship with that? Or, what person in his right mind would want a relationship with me?

    But that's why I call my blog "one never knows". It's because I'm crazy like my God. Hahahaha! I decided to call his dare and claimed this person as mine. I claimed him and dared God to take him back.

    He did not. I can see him smiling smugly in the clouds with a twinkle in his eyes. And all he said was, Trust Me.

    So love happened and I made a choice. 365 days later, I am now glad I trusted God. Coz instead of the "nowhere marriage" I pictured, my daily life has been so full of amazing and hilarious adventures. There is no boring day with Charlie. It's either we fight or we laugh. Hahaha! There are struggles but they are tempered with acceptance and understanding. There is a lot of fear but it is caressed by the gentle hands of comfort and faith. There are tears sometimes but they are easily wiped away by a hug or a blooper. There's still a lot of unknown, but there is also the knowledge that Someone willed this. Someone loved me enough to know what's good for me, for us.

    To my dearest husband, you are a gift. A true treasure I have been blessed with. Thank you for 365 days of love and laughter. Happy anniversary, boo!


    a typical evening on the second floor

    So what's a kris kringle again?
    It's a donut.
    Oh I know! Its a prenzel!
    A prenzel?
    You mean pretzel!

    I've always thought that prenzel is better than pretzel. It just sounds better, you know.
    There are three kinds of prenzels. One is twisted, the other is straight and another one is bent.
    You know, like a small case.
    What's a small case?
    A small letter.
    You mean lower case!

    More justification...
    Shals, nobody uses "lower case"! If you go to the airport, are you gonna carry a small case or a lower case?
    But a small case is an object and a lower case is a letter!
    You're full of baloney.

    Saturday, March 13, 2010 1 comments


    I think I just made a serious mistake. I was supposed to blog about a contest. Not just blog about anything! Geez!My apologies to Kikamz and the contest sponsors.

    Over the past weeks, I have been regularly visiting Kikamz blog and been reading her reviews of blogs who joined the contest. I visited some and marveled at the beauty of written words. Blogs and the internet have truly become effective platforms where all kinds of people can speak their mind without fear of being judged and embarrassed. Sometimes the anonymity gives a lot of courage to some people.

    So to all the bloggers and budding writers out there! Keep blogging! You can check out the fabulous blogs below and learn some tips. :)

    Below are the four MAJOR sponsors of Kaye and Pehpot's Blogversary contest:

    I Am Buraot
    A blog about politics, the environment, religion, philanthropy, and everything else that is life. Author is known for his generosity in sponsoring contests. The home of the famous EntreDropper.

    Anak Ni Kulapo
    Yet another blog of Buraot. If you want to die laughing, then go visit Anak Ni Kulapo. His life in the US and hilarious stuff about his home country are only two of the must-sees in this blog.

    Seiko's Diary
    The blog title says it all. This is Seiko's journal about being a mom to her five gorgeous kiddos, her take on life in general, and random musings of a woman who loves life.

    Mom Conversations
    A new blog about everything concerning mothers: pregnancy, health and fitness and babies are the current categories, under which are detailed articles containing tips and valuable information for moms everywhere.

    Please drop by these blogs if you have the time and see why they are worthy of a special mention. :)


    american idol!

    Believe it or not charlie only heard about american idol this year here in the philippines.
    Coz he has'nt had tv for over a hundred years. geez.haha.
    Now he is mad over the show. He watches every episode at least two times a week! He pretends to be the fifth judge and agrees most of the time with simon cowell. He doesn't like kara and ignores ellen. He is seriously thinking of asking someone in the US to vote for these guys below.:)

    He is rooting for...

    Crystal Bowersox

    and I'm rooting for

    Didi Benami


    Lee DeWyze
    Lee DeWyze of American Idol

    How about you?

    I realized I haven't posted anything for a long while. I dont want to make excuses but one reason why I resurrected this blog is because I want to support a serious blogger that goes by the name of Kikamz who in real life is Ana Karenina. These contests seem like fun. Too bad I'm either too lazy or too busy to participate. When Im too lazy I just surf through the blogs on my list and drool over the layouts.After which I'd be too intimidated to blog about anything. When Im too busy, blogging is the millionth thing in my mind. Hehe.

    Level 1 Sponsors:

    Level 2 Sponsors:
    Azumi : Fab Momma : Mara's Personal Bubble : Mara's Appetite : The Pinay Blogger @ Home : Diva Fabulosa : Best vacation Places : Momma Wannabee : Advising Writers :United World Poets : A Mom's Life and Loves : Travelin' With Marie : Happy Thoughts : Stalking Mind : Living Life To The Fullest : Online Mommy's Corner : Her And History : Careless Whisper : In My Psyche : My Quality Day : Just Throw Money : My Journey To Life : Cotton Candy Buzz : The Mommy Journey : Super Gulaman : Pen, Paper and Pan : Niko's Blog : Lover's Mushroom : Yena's World : Girls Rule! : Trendy And Heartily Yours : Husband of A Blogger : Glitter Page : Here Comes The Bride : Heart Random : Novice On Blogging (Noob) : At Home Here : Sexy Blogging : My Camerasexy : Dishes By Pehpot : Wonder Wifey : Coffee, Anyone? : Clarisse After Dark : Jena Isle's Random Thoughts : Where The Moon Shines : Crossroads.. Where Ideas Meet : Simple Pero Rock : it's not always about me... : Pinay Mommy Online : How I Earn Money Online :
    A Woman Remembers : Beng's Entertainment Spree : My Thoughts, My Heart, My Turf : Yashiro : The Blogger Hub : Embrace Life