Thought Bubbles...

musings, rantings, and what-have-you, about my own small part of the world, and my 'sometimes' not so-ordinary life...something to read and reflect on, and which hopefully will bring a smile to your face... :)

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Isang bagsak!

It’s a late Sunday night and the kids are asleep. So here I am in front of my computer, cup of tea in hand. Time to update my blog! Seems like weekends are the only time I get to do so. Had a terribly full week! Last Thursday was our first ‘Toasties’ meeting. Went pretty well! Don’t want to go into the details though. Suffice to say that I participated and did 1 of the ‘table topics’. :) Am scheduled to do my first icebreaker speech during our next meeting… Looking forward to it, though haven’t started preparing for it yet. Exciting!

Friday night went out for dinner with some friends. Didn’t stay out too late, and was home by 11.

Saturday went shopping at Greenhills. As in mega-shopping spree! My friend and I were there by 11 a.m. and didn’t leave until 8 p.m., would you believe?!? Shopped till we dropped, literally! Found a lot of great bargains that we had to do two trips back to the car just to unload some of the stuff, then went back to shopping. Each time we went back to the car, iba na katabi namin sa parking…Ha ha ha! Brought a lot of stuff for the kids, as well as for myself. And for gifts, too. Grabe talaga yung shopping na yun… :)

Sunday was spent with the kids. Heard mass, then went grocery shopping. Cooked roast chicken (again!), the kids’ favorite. After a quick lunch, went to the barber to get the kids’ hair cut. Then took a loooong afternoon nap. Not for the kids, but for me! He he he… Really, I can’t imagine how they keep so active all day while I was already drained. Well, it’s been all that shopping too, I guess. My body (as well as my wallet) was just begging for rest.

Tomorrow, am going out with the kids again. Did I mention it’s a holiday here in the Philippines tomorrow? Actually, the holiday (Bonifacio Day) is really on the 30th (Tuesday), but government decided to declare Monday a holiday instead to afford the people a 3-day weekend. No complaints here! ;->

Anyway, still so many things to do…like tidy up the room and get rid of some old magazines. Doing it tonight after updating my blog. Am not sleepy yet because of that long afternoon nap I took. Sarap!

Hmmm… what else do I need to do? Am organizing my icebreaker speech in my head. Am writing down my ideas once they come. Need to organize… Anyway, am still looking forward to a long night ahead.

Sunday, November 21, 2004


Some HR acquaintances and I are starting a new Toastmasters group. We’re having our first meeting and voting for officers this Thanksgiving, no less.

I’ve always admired good speakers, and it goes beyond speaking English fluently. Truly good speakers are those who are able to convey their ideas well, and who are able to keep their audience ‘riveted’. This is one area I’d like to improve on. Though I’ve had experience speaking in public, it’s mostly on more casual occasions, like hosting company parties and the like. And even that, I wouldn’t consider easy! The thought of giving a formal speech is enough to make my knees shake. And since I want to venture more into HR Training in the future, I know I’d have to improve on this area and gain more confidence in speaking in public.

A few weeks ago I had a chance to sit in on a Toastmasters meeting and was truly impressed with the way the meeting was conducted. It was very professional. There are speech projects that each member has to accomplish in order to be 'promoted', so to speak. So there's always something new to learn, and room to grow. So when this opportunity to join (and actually start our own) Toastmasters chapter came along, I was definitely interested.

From the Toastmasters' manual:
"You make a dozen or so friends in one year; you make hundreds of them in Toastmasters."

"If you are a competent and great speaker, we need you. If you want to be a competent and great speaker, you need us!"

Sounds good to me! Here’s to the newest Toastmasters chapter! :)

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Comfort Food

Got on a weighing scale just now and am not at all surprised that I’ve gone back to my former weight. I lost a few pounds a few weeks ago that time when the kids got sick and I was the only one taking care of them at the hospital. Even after the kids were ok, I still had trouble sleeping. Plus, I was able to go back to my ‘after six’ diet, and would take a light lunch (without rice), so these ‘helped’ me maintain my new weight.

But now, I’m back to my old weight. For one, I rarely get to play badminton now. And with the ‘despedida’ parties friends threw for me, the so-called diet was again no more. Plus, have gone back to eating dinner. I couldn’t help it since the past weeks, I’d get home from work really tired and hungry.

Filipinos just love to eat. Nothing like meeting up with friends and chatting while sharing food, glorious food! Take last night, for example. Friends invited me out to a sale, and though we didn't originally plan on having dinner, we ended up ordering roast beef at Bellissima. In fairness ha, it was really tender and delish so the extra calories was worth it!

Then afterwards, bought Go Nuts Donuts as pasalubong for the kids but am finding that I’m eating more than them! Bad! (Just love the pastillas de leche, choco hazelnut and now, peanut butter frost). He he he… :)

Yup, food is on my mind a lot now. I also love sweets so it’s really hard for me to pass up chocolate cake and the like. I live for dessert! And with the Christmas season nearing, there’s always bibingka and puto bumbong just around the corner. Yum yum! It’s been raining recently, too, and that brings to mind arroz caldo with a side dish of tokwa’t baboy. And balut!

When I was pregnant, I craved japanese food – tempura, maki, sashimi… so it’s no surprise to me that this early the kids also like to eat Japanese food, but nothing raw, of course! The kids have their comfort food, too. They just love french fries! They go for it plain, and sour-cream flavored. Twister fries, crinkle-cut, french fries whatever the size, they just love it! Other things they love:
buttered popcorn / fried chicken / calamares
roast chicken / champorado / prawns
sweet corn / quail eggs / cookies
mushrooms / cereal / crabs
Jollibee peach mango pie / Yoshinoya beef bowl / KFC fun shots
Buti nga that the kids eat seafood, considering I'm not particularly fond of seafoods myself.

Patrick has one more comfort food…milk! But it has to be in his bottle! Still the baby… :)

All this thinking about food! HA! How am i gonna lose weight if food is so often on my mind? Which reminds me… for tomorrow, am cooking bulalo. Just perfect for Sunday lunch. :)

First week at work

Whew! The past week was so hectic! Which also explains why I haven’t been able to update my blog as often as before (i.e. almost daily!). Now, I guess I’ll have to content myself with updating my blog once a week.

In a sense, I was already expecting that I’d have a hectic week since I already had an idea of the work waiting for me at my new job. I keep saying that I’ve been psyching myself to “hit the ground running” and that I did! This past week, I was at the office by 8 a.m., experienced having lunch at 2 p.m., not having time to even read SMS from friends, and leaving the office at 8 p.m.! And that was just the 1st day of work! Ha ha ha! :D

Why can I still afford to laugh? Well, I honestly don’t have any regrets about accepting this job. I knew that I’d really have to put a lot of time into work especially the first few months since there are so many things to learn, and do! This is a fairly new company so a lot of things have to still be set up. Plus, need to adjust to the people I’m working with. There are so many policies to set-up and implement. Pretty challenging work. Will let you know how things turn out a few months from now. :)

Monday, November 15, 2004


The weekend just flew by! It was a pretty good 3-day weekend though. (An extra day off from work to mark the end of Ramadan). Last Saturday, had a chance to sleep late, and clean out and throw away some files. Also had a chance to experiment and cook 2 new dishes which I saw in a new cookbook I picked out (Pork Pata Hamonado and Empress Soup). Yummy, if I say so myself. But most importantly, the kids liked it. As Paolo would say, it’s delicious coz it was made with love. (Awww… how sweet noh?) :D

Anyway, aside from the usual chores (grocery shopping, cleaning, etc.) was able to squeeze in some pampering as well. Went to the parlor and got a trim, french manicure, and pedicure.

Come to think of it, this is my “transition weekend”. I’m psyching myself up for my first day of work tomorrow! Am kinda excited and got to admit, a ‘little’ worried. Just a little. ;-> My parents called me a 2nd time this weekend just to wish me good luck on my first day at work. :)

It’s 9:30 now, just waiting for ‘queer eye’ to finish, then am off to bed. I hope I get to sleep well tonight. I need lots of energy for tomorrow! Nighty-night!

Sunday, November 14, 2004


Was just reading today's newspaper and was sooo disappointed to read that that story about Faye Nicole San Juan winning those international competitions were not true! Turns out that Faye's mom was the one who came up with those bogus stories. She's believed to be suffering from "depression and psychological turmoil" because of her separation from Faye's dad.

Am just so disappointed. These stories were circulated widely through email and i think I wasn't the only one fooled into believing this story to be true.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

School readiness

Patrick will be turning 5 this coming March and this early, am making preparations as to his enrollment in school. Actually, this is not the first time he’ll be going to school. When Patrick was 3, had him enrolled at Nursery. That time, he was the youngest and smallest as his classmates were either 4 or 5 years old. But though he was the smallest, he was also the bully! So though he was doing well academically and could keep up with his classmates in that area, he was not emotionally ready for school. So by October of that year, we pulled him out of class.

A few weeks ago, I remember one incident when I was reading a magazine article. As I read out the title out loud, “Is your child ready for school?”, I looked over at Patrick. Patrick looked up at me and said, “Hindi”, while shaking his head. Hay naku…


Yesterday was my last working day at the office. The past week has been soooo hectic…not just with work but with get-togethers, too! Imagine, almost all days of the past week I’ve been treated out to “despedida” (farewell) lunch by co-workers from different departments, and suppliers as well.

The last 2 days (Thursday and Friday), I was even treated out to lunch by our 2 big bosses, together with the other managers, which was such an honor! Then in the afternoon, our department (which consisted of 6 units/divisions) surprised me with a big cake with the dedication “Dear Sheila, We will surely miss you. Good luck on your new job. Love…”. They had been teasing me the past days about having a “despedida” for them, so earlier that day, I ordered pancit for merienda (snack), not knowing that they had all pitched in to buy me a cake. Another close friend gave me a chocolate cake (my favorite!), while a number gave small gifts, chocolates, etc. Then last night, may pahabol pa! :) The Sales Department treated me out to dinner and drinks, then coffee before we all headed home. All throughout these past days, have felt an outpouring from love. Lots of hugs, and everyone saying they’d miss me, and how sad they were that I was leaving. And of course, it felt good to hear people say this. As we’d say in Filipino, “nakakataba ng puso”. :D

Definitely, I will miss working with these people who have been like a second family to me these past 7 years. But it’s really time to move on, and get out of my ‘comfort zone’. :)

Saturday, November 06, 2004

5 days to go...

It's late Saturday afternoon, and i can't believe i'm still at work. Actually, didn't have work today but decided to come in anyway since i wanted to finish up some pending work. Finished a lot of paper work, and am pretty satisfied with the work that I was able to do today. Besides, am expecting a crazy week ahead since it's going to be my last week at work. So much work to do! So many meetings crammed into my last week!. Aaargh!!!

Anyway, i still can't believe it's just 5 working days to go before i start work with my new company. Countdown... :) Am psyched up to "hit the ground running" so to speak, since I know that there really is a lot of work waiting for me. Wish me luck! :)

CRAZED By Patricia Chanco Evangelista

Here's the 2nd part to that story about Faye, in the article "Misplaced Priorities can mislead a nation"...

Fairy tale come true
CRAZED By Patricia Chanco Evangelista
The Philippine STAR 11/05/2004

Her name is Faye Nicole B. San Juan. She is 12-years-old, a quiet girl with serious eyes and a habit of furrowing her brow when deep in thought. She answers simply questions that people thrice her age would hesitate over. When the right question comes along, the mature mind gives way to the irrepressible child, and Faye
bubbles over with giggles as an impish grin lights up her face and brightens her eyes.

Yes, she exists.

Faye is the much-debated winner of the International Science Quiz Net, an international quiz bee in Sydney, Australia sponsored by the Mathematics Empowerment Association that brought together over 57 countries from all over the world. Maybe sometimes, when a story as inspiring and as powerful as Faye’s comes out in the open, it is difficult for people to simply believe. Maybe living in a country known for scams, scandal and corruption makes us too used to disappointment to risk hoping.

Two weeks ago, when I first wrote about Faye’s story, I have received innumerable comments about the article. Along with thanks for bringing the story further (which I am so glad to have been a small part of) I have received many queries on the authenticity of this claim. How can a child like that choose to hide her full name in spite of her achievements? Why is there no web site announcing her win, no school claiming her for a student? How can she have won given the series of aggravations
that she was compelled to work under? In other words, her story is too good to be true.

Sometimes, I’m happy to say, good things do happen.

At 7 p.m. last night, I was sitting across the flesh-and-blood Faye and her mother at Crossroads 77 along Mother Ignacia street. Dressed in jeans and sneakers, Faye looked the same as any sixth-grader shivering in the air-conditioning. This kid from St. James School in QC, however, spent nearly four hours straight being interviewed by crews from major networks without complaint – other than looks of amusement exchanged
between her and her mother.

She never thought she would win. "Sobrang humagulgol ako nung inannounce nila pangalan ko." The competition began in the Philippines, when Faye competed locally in an examination that granted her the right to represent the Philippines in Indonesia. Her thesis, which also won Best in Physics (and I shudder at the thought of the experimentation involved), is entitled "The Effect of Ionizing Radiation on the Philippine Fruit Fly." Asked to explain she answered: "Tungkol po ‘yun sa pagbabaog ng langaw." She giggled at my reaction. Eeeyuck.

Faye has been joining competitions since second grade, beginning with the First Metrobank MTAP-DEPED Math Challenge in 2001, the same competition that launched her overseas this year. She spent five months preparing for the Australian competition, reviewing and reading every night, with her mother (a former teacher) quizzing her before both went to bed at 2 a.m. The results of the competition (yes, I saw the final and authenticated results) reflect this dogged determination to excel. Zoology:
100. Physics: 90. Biology: 100. Chemistry: 95. Physiology: 100. Final Rank: 97.

The competition was difficult, and the actual quiz was the least of it, where competitors were required to both give and defend their answers to the quiz questions. Faye says the most memorable part of the experience was walking down Brisbane with her bakya slippers clattering while people stared at her in her baro at saya. In the actual hall, as if the sight of galleries holding each country’s cheering squads was not enough of a shock, Faye and her mother were surprised by the requirement that each competitor decorate her booth. The booth was two-feet wide, with a table and chair for Faye to answer her quiz questions from. Fate was
on their side. Since the Philippines has so many variations of a national costume, the mother-and-daughter duo brought with them two other costumes. The Igorot costumes they hung on the walls, the malong they spread on the table. All that was needed, Faye said with a laugh, was a crystal ball for her to play Madame Auring.

They were cited as most creative before the competition proper. They were penniless, their passports and tickets were stolen, and still they won. It was not the Philippine Embassy who aided them later on; it was a Japanese gentleman who gave them a number to contact for temporary passports. The harried mother burst into tears at the kindness.

Faye said that to her, being a Filipino meant growing up in a country ridiculed and condemned all over the world. For her, being a Filipino is an everyday challenge to change that perception. She tells a story of how in Indonesia, during the earlier leg of the competition, she was so nervous that she failed to answer the first question in the quiz. She was booed – the only person to have ever been booed in the competition. She says it was because during that time, people had so little respect
for Filipinos they felt they had the right to mock her that way. After that incident, she said "Ipapakita ko talaga sa kanila." And she showed them what a Filipino could do.

Faye used to want to be President of the Philippines, now she wants to be a lawyer. "Madami kasing nadadaya na mga tao dahil walang tumutulong sa kanila. Gusto ko, ako yung magdidefend sa kanila. Parang ang saya nun, yung nakikipag-debate ka kasi tama ka." She beams at the thought. A girl after my own heart.

It is hard to imagine this shy young girl with her pony-tailed hair and passion for The Chronicles of Narnia to have such a warrior’s soul. But she does, it all but leaps out of her eyes. Asked if she would rather be born anywhere else in the world, she answers immediately, no. "I’m a Filipino," she says. The Philippines is seen as such a terrible place that one good thing done by one person is seen a beacon for so many others. The more hopeless it seems, the more she wants to defy that impression. It is her country.

Faye’s story is not out there to ask for aid. Her mother would not have been compelled to come out with Faye’s full identity if it were not for the claims against her child. As Faye’s pastor said, her story was told to show Filipinos that one individual could do well, even one alone and unaided. The story was about hope, about Filipinos who can excel in spite of monumental odds.

Faye deserves the congratulations. Thanks to so many who believe, she is getting it now.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Tickle fest

Was home by 6:30 last night, and just wanted to relax. By 7:30 was in bed with the kids when the ticklefest started. We tickled, giggled, and took turns turning off the lights and making scary noises. And we laughed! I'm pretty sure our next-door neighbors could hear our laughs. :) By 8:30 the kids had quieted down and were pretty tired from all the giggling and tickling. In the quiet i heard Patrick say to his kuya, "Paolo, kiss mo naman ako". Paolo obliged and kissed Patrick on the cheek, then kissed me on the lips. That made me smile. :)

What a great way to end the day... :)

Monday, November 01, 2004

01 November 2004

Today is a holiday here in the Philippines. We have another holiday coming up on November 15 (Monday), to mark the end of Ramadan. So, I have another 3-day weekend to look forward to. yehey!!! :) Another reason I’m so happy about this holiday? Well, since my last day with my current company is on November 12, I really won't have any sort of vacation since I'm supposed to start work November 15 at my new company. BUT now, since it’s been declared a holiday I’ll have one more day to relax before I face the work waiting for me at my new company. So, technically, 15 days to go before I start work at B…. (secret!) he he he… ;->

Today was a nice day... spent with the kids, just being with them while they were watching cartoons and playing video games. Prepared dessert for them, peanut butter cups. No biggie, since it's no-bake and essentially, no hassle for me. Why slave hours in the kitchen when there are goodies which can be prepared in 15 minutes? That means more quality time with the kiddies... and I'm all for it. :)