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... :)

Friday, December 31, 2004

Tsunami disaster

Had breakfast at McDonald’s with the kids, then bought a newspaper. Generally, I get a chance to read the newspapers only during the weekends. But just had to read about the tsunami which hit Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Thailand, Sri Lanka). Have seen snippets of the video on TV and it was terrible. There were a lot of tragic stories in the newspaper, and it was heartbreaking to read.

There was one story about how a woman was swept away by the waves, holding on to her two children. She had to let go of one of her children, a 5-year old, in order to stay afloat and survive. Good thing that there was a happy ending to their story. After hours of frantic searching, the family found their son.

Just thinking of all those people affected by the tsunami and the floods is heartbreaking. Imagine, the death toll has reached an ‘estimated’ 80,000 already. So like the recent typhoons and floods which hit the Philippines recently, numerous lives and homes were lost. Imagine losing loved ones so near the holidays… And it is difficult to imagine how the survivors of these tragedies will be able to celebrate the holidays, and more so, to move on and live their lives.

Makes me appreciate more the small pleasures that our family gets to enjoy… enjoying a quiet breakfast together, and now, looking forward to spending the new year with family and friends. This calls for a more somber celebration to greet the New year. Instead of fireworks, let’s greet the new year with prayers for all the victims, and survivors, of these tragedies. Peace, and GOD BLESS us all!

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Blog blog blog…

Blog blog blog.. blah blah blah... sometimes it’s sooo easy to write something here, and other times, it’s just too difficult to even think of what to write! This is one of those times. Aargh!

So anyway, let me see...what have I been doing these past few days? Had work the past two days, the 28th and the 29th. Couldn’t get off work fast enough and start my vacation! Seems like this past month, have been busy with parties, parties, and more parties! Get-togethers left and right. Like the night of the 26th, after our Villa Escudero trip, 2 different sets of friends dropped by the house for coffee, and to chat. Went to sleep 4 a.m. the next day already!

After work on the 28th, went to have dinner with a balikbayan friend and his 2 chums from high school, then had drinks at Pier One. (well, in my case it was just 1 drink... heheheh...). Then after work on the 29th, met with 2 friends from high school, had dinner at the mall then went window-shopping. :)

So the 30th is a welcome mini-vacation. The kids woke me up early, though, so didn’t get a chance to sleep in as planned. In prep for the New Year, cleaned out my files and make-up drawers, tidied up around the house, then cooked pizza for the kids for merienda. Then for dinner with friends here at home, prepared tuna spaghetti (lots of garlic, spicy tuna, cheese, olive oil, chopped fresh basil). Something new I cooked up. Even the kids loved it. So will surely whip this up again in the future. :)

Need a vacation from my vacation...

Monday, December 27, 2004

Board games

Last Christmas Day, my cousins and I played "Cranium", and we all had such fun doing the tasks which included charades, sketching, word games, etc. We were shouting, laughing, and teasing each other. It was really nice to feel like a kid again. Even my kids got in on the games and made everyone laugh with their antics. :)

Come to think of it, whenever our clan gets together, we end up playing all sorts of games or board games. I remember games such as Uno, Mastermind, Trivial Pursuit, Boggle, Clue, Charades, Pictionary, Guesstures, and even the Harry Potter Board Game. I don't know why exactly, but being board game fanatics just seem to be in our blood. :) Definitely, this New Year's Day will be no different. We'll all probably end up playing either "Name Burst" or "Cranium" again. Let the games begin... :)

(Which reminds me, I have another thing to add to my "to do" list as Paolo was asking that I buy him "Monopoly". Hay naku, manang-mana... he he he...)


Got home just a few hours ago from Villa Escudero. Went there with the rest of our clan. I have 2 aunts vacationing here from the U.S., and it was their idea to go there in the first place

Early morning of the 26th we all met up to go for a day trip to Villa Escudero (which is in the border of San Pablo City, Laguna and Tiaong, Quezon). It was just an hour's drive away going there this morning but going home late afternoon, traffic was terrible that it took us more than 2 hours to get home! But the trip was well worth it. The kids had a lot of fun especially. There was a playground, a museum tour, a carabao cart ride, lunch by the man-made waterfalls, and swimming. The kids enjoyed swimming the most, i'm sure! They didn't want to get out of the water though it was obvious that they were already cold. The kids fell asleep on the trip back home, from being so tired from the swimming and all.

More activities lined up for the rest of the year... New Year's Day will be together again with the whole clan. :)Family gatherings galore!

Saturday, December 25, 2004

A Christmas Prayer

A Christmas Prayer
Robert Louis Stevenson

Loving Father, help us remember the birth of Jesus,

that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness

of the shepherds, and the worship of the wise men.

Let kindness come with every gift, and good

desires with every greeting. Deliver us from evil

by the blessings which Christ brings, and teach

us to be merry with clear hearts. Amen.


A blessed Christmas to all!!!

Friday, December 24, 2004

Things to do in December

Got this calendar/article from my Mom listing “31 Things to do in December” and decided to reprint it here. Kinda late, but then you could just decide to do the suggestions for the last week of December. I do NOT suggest trying to cram everything in this last week though, since that will just add to the stress that comes with the season. And we wouldn’t want that! :) Anyway, the article was from Jennifer Modenessi of the Times, but not everything could apply to the local setting, so it’s now down to 17 :

“It’s the happiest time of the year. And the busiest. And the most frantic. But it doesn’t have to be. To get it off to the right start, we’re offering a list of ideas. Some are practical, some are fanciful, but we hope they’ll serve as a reminder of what the holiday season is supposed to be all about.”

* Go easy on yourself. Request a vacation day (or two!) from the office to finish your shopping, clean the house, or get a head start on preparing holiday meals.

* Share your good fortune. Head to the grocery store and fill your basket with nonperishable items to donate to a local food bank.

* Time to get in the spirit already. Buy a CD of holiday music (or if someone plays piano, all the better), hand out the lyrics and a cup of eggnog and sing, sing, sing. No demerits if you’re off-key.

* Sit down and write a long letter to a friend who lives far away. Stamp it and take it to a mailbox right away.

* Visit a merry-go-round, or an ice skating rink, and feel like a kid again.

* Remember a lost loved one. Choose a gift that he or she would have enjoyed, then donate it to a holiday drive.

* Round up some kids and visit your local convalescent home, bearing simple gifts such as personal care products or home-baked goodies. Have the kids sing a Christmas carol. It’s a fine way to demonstrate the holiday adage ‘tis better to give than to receive.

* Cookie baking day! No time to mix it up? Buy store-bought sugar cookies, frosting and lots and lots of sprinkles. Combine with your wee ones and decorate away. Box up mini batches for friends, family or neighbors. Be sure to save a few for yourself.

* Going broke already? Here’s a simple gift idea. Snag a box of plain, inexpensive ball ornaments, and hand them over to a child of any age to paint. The cute keepsake is a lovely package decoration – or a gift itself.

* Organize an old-fashioned Christmas caroling party. Gather some friends, warm them up with hot chocolate, set out with sheet music and flashlights and treat your neighbors to some holiday cheer.

* Reverse the results of all those delicious cookies. Take a long walk around the neighborhood, choosing a route that allows you to admire outdoor decorations or attractive landscaping.

* Had your fill of holiday music? Take a break and get happy at the same time by renting a musical. Some ideas: Tap along to “Singing in the Rain.” Or get supercalifragilistic with “Mary Poppins.”

* Christmas Day. Rediscover your roots. Spend the evening flipping through old photo albums with your family, pausing to tell the stories behind each picture.

* Don your slippers early tonight. Then curl up on the couch and read a really good book all evening long.

* Weary of dreary weather? Then pretend it’s summer. Put on your Hawaiian shirt, sunglasses and flip-flops, grab an umbrella drink and turn on your favorite Beach Boys tune.

* Organize those holiday cards and family newsletters. Start a photo album and simply paste them in. Over the years, it will become a treasured record of friends and family.

* New Year’s Eve. Start a new tradition by writing a New Year’s wish on a piece of paper, then throwing it into a fire.

Christmas eve panic?

Christmas eve…panicking? Me? Nah! Gifts are all wrapped, ordered lengua in mushroom, and leche flan for Noche Buena later, menu already planned out…so am just relaxing, watching TV, and surfing the net. The kids are outside playing so the house is quiet. Enjoying myself immensely… Bwahahahaha… ;->

Was telling friends earlier that I still couldn’t feel that it was Christmas, mainly because I still had work until yesterday. Couldn’t get out of the office fast enough, then wished I could fly to Ortigas for our TM meeting. Turned out to be a ‘mini’ meeting with just 4 of us ‘interim’ officers. But surprisingly, although there were only 4 of us, we had a very interesting meeting! Animated discussion on such a variety of topics that lasted till late at night. The power of four at work!

So this morning was spent cuddling with the kids under the covers until we all decided to have a late breakfast. Already imagining that the next few days will start the same way and will really have to pull myself away from the bed. I sooo want to sleep in!

Earlier this week, the kids and their yaya already finished preparing goody bags containing candies and cookies, to give away to kids this Christmas season. We've been preparing goody bags for a number of years now, a tradition my Mom and Dad started. And it feels so good seeing my kids enjoying giving...

Took a short walk to pick Paolo up from a friend’s house, then decided to have a manicure and pedicure. Need the pampering… ;->

Later tonight, planning to attend mass with the kids then, having a not-so-late Noche Buena dinner. Still have Christmas Day celebrations with relatives to look forward to for tomorrow. MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!!! :D

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Fun Night

Had such fun tonight… Got an invite to a Christmas party with friends and just had to go. They had a program, and games, and I was not spared from joining the games, by the hosts who called on me. Had lots of laughs! Alcohol was overflowing, and I couldn’t resist a margarita and 3 shots of tequila. So I got sleepy quite early. :) And since I still have work tomorrow [ boo hoo hoo…:( ] had to call it a night by 9:30. Pretty tame by some friends’ standards, but had lots of fun all the same… :)

Monday, December 20, 2004

Calling all friends in Singapore…

Discovery Channel has been advertising its contest for “Pub Crawl” in Singapore with the “Thirsty Traveler”, Kevin Brauch. And knowing my friends, this is something they’d be sure to enjoy… :) come on, you know who you are! So go on and click on the link to join: Good luck!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Christmas plans

Have Christmas all planned out. Christmas will be spent with extended family from my Mom's side. My parents are still in the US, so me, my brother, and 2 kids will be spending Christmas eve quietly here at home. But definitely Christmas Day and New Year's Day will be spent with relatives. Yearly tradition, when my parents were still here we'd be the ones to host the parties since my Mom is the eldest among her siblings. But since she left, her other siblings have taken over that 'duty', if you can call it that. :)

Then on the 26th, we’ll be going out of town (Villa Escudero, Quezon) to spend the day there. Swimming, eating, and a whole lot more. The kids are looking forward to the trip! Though personally, am not sure how this part of Quezon will look like after the super typhoons…

Getting late. Still have work tomorrow, and yet to recover lost beauty sleep. he he he.. :)

‘Twas the week before Christmas…

Last Friday night, attended 2 Christmas parties! It was our company Christmas party and though I was new, no getting out of it, I was the host. I don’t really mind since I’ve gotten used to hosting our Company parties and the like, being in HR and all.

It was a good way to get to know the employees, and I admit, I also have fun when I’m hosting. Got so busy though that I was on stage during the whole program, and of course, didn't get a chance to eat until after the party. Well, am pretty used to that happening, too.

After our program, stayed just an hour for the dance/disco, then went over to my high school friends' mini-reunion/get-together. As expected, had a blast! We were laughing and reminiscing, and funny, but our topic was what happened during our last EB (‘eyeball’) last July. :) Nice to see our friends from Switzerland, Jeni and Cesar, and my “blog” mentor Pepe (who’s on vacation now from his job in Singapore). :) Hey, guys! Hope we can get-together again soon!

Next week, might just also attend my former company’s Christmas party scheduled on the 22nd. I was actually invited by my (former) boss. Am seriously considering attending, since it will be my first time to see my former co-workers/friends since I left almost a month ago. Besides, it's really quite an honor also since I know they don’t make it a point to invite former employees to the party as it's exclusively for employees.

The weekend was spent wrapping gifts, gifts, and more gifts. This is one ‘chore’ I don’t mind doing. :)

Monday, December 13, 2004

Blog review

It's a relatively early Monday night, and needed to unwind. Haven't posted in a while, so checked out my blog. Then decided to read my past postings, starting from the very beginning... gosh, can't believe i've been blogging for 4 months now! Time flies so fast!

Reading through my past postings gave me a sense of nostalgia. Posted so many thoughts (on anything and everything!), events in my life, my kids' antics, and couldn't help but smile. yeah, smile. :) Just 4 months ago, and yet, so many changes in my life. A major change is the new job, of course!

And though things aren't going as well as i want, it still is a change. I stepped out of my comfort zone and am on a different 'adventure', if you can call it that.

Looking forward to the new year and whatever it has in store for me... New years, new dreams, new hopes...

I digress... time to go to sleep and dream my dreams... Good night!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Icebreaker speech

It's almost 11 p.m., i just got home, and i'm still psyched! I did my first speech at Toastmasters earlier this evening, and it went well, if i may say so myself. :) After giving the speech, i was able to heave a sigh of relief. And after hearing the evaluator's comments, i gotta admit i felt pretty "high" on the encouragement I received. I felt pretty good. :)

Below is the speech i prepared, but of course, during the actual speech there were changes here and there from what i was able to deliver... :)

"Good evening, everyone! Tonight’s the night I do my icebreaker speech! And the task at hand is to introduce myself to all you. Before I start, I’d like to ask… “When you are asked to introduce yourself, how do you do it?” Maybe you give out basic information like name, age, company you work for, etc. etc., right? Because that’s how we define ourselves. Well, tonight I’d like to be a bit different. Rather than telling you those basic information, which most of you probably already know anyway, I’d like to introduce myself by how I see myself…

First of all, I am a writer. Or more truthfully, a frustrated writer. I dream of someday writing a novel much like my favorite authors, Isabel Allende, John Grisham, J.K. Rowling, and a host of others. Even in grade school, I joined (and won) a number of writing contests. Now, I have a different outlet for my writing, and that is in blogging. For those of you who don’t know blogging is basically keeping an online journal.

Second, I am a bookworm, which I can say is the reason I wanted to be a writer in the first place! When I was younger, I could finish a thick book in 1 night! There were times that I would forego sleeping just to finish reading whatever book captured my interest and imagination.

Third, I’m also a movie buff. Friends usually joke that I’m their resident movie reviewer cum critic cum trivia guide. Name the actors or actresses in a movie, and there’d be a good chance I can name the movie.

But all the things I told you about me now is just a very shallow definition of who I really am. We’ve barely scratched the surface, as these are the things that I would tell practically anyone, even people I’ve just met. But to know the real me, you would have to know what I went through a few years back.

I was married 8 years ago in 1996, to my boyfriend of 9 years. The marriage started out happily at first. But by 2001, the marriage had unraveled and I had left my ex, with my kids, and just a few clothes and toys in tow. So imagine, I was with this person for a total of 14 years, almost half my life. And I certainly thought I knew him. For a while I couldn’t believe that I was in this sort of relationship…that this was the person I married. Rather than go through the details and relive those unpleasant moments, let me just say that I had gone through all 3 rings… engagement ring, wedding ring, and suffering. Truth be told, I was in a abusive relationship. And I had to get out, if not for me, then for my children who were witnesses to the abuse.

Looking back now, I can hardly believe that I was able to hurdle all those negative experiences. For a while, my self-esteem was wrought and I felt so helpless, so insecure. I was in a state of denial, and depression. But fighting back, standing up for myself, and being able to finally leave that house, that man, and that relationship, has definitely made me into a much stronger person.

My life now as a single mom is so, so much happier! I have 2 handsome, and loving sons and they are my life, my treasures. They are my reason for being. I do my best to bring them up as I want them to grow up to be fine young men, upstanding citizens of the world. And when I look at them now, so young and innocent, I know I made the right choice in leaving that marriage. And I know that I still have a long way to go in bringing up my children, and yet I look forward to the journey ahead. Because I believe in my heart, and in my soul, that in this world now I am first and foremost, a mother.

And that is how I’d like to be known to you. Good evening again to everyone! I’m Shy, frustrated writer, bookworm, dreamer, fighter, and survivor, but above all, a mother! Thank you!"


can't wait to do my next speech... :D

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Woe is me... :(

Aaargh!!! am still in a rut. Don't know what will happen next. Am keeping on my toes coz this is one instance i wouldn't want to be surprised. keeping my options open...

(hmmm... i wonder if anybody understood what i've been rambling about, but then, that's really not important.) what's important is that all these ramblings have helped me vent my thoughts and make me feel better. rather than carrying around these problems, blogging is a great channel/medium to vent out my thoughts and feelings... what better way than to write it all down on paper, and just let it go... relax...

Sunday, December 05, 2004


Am facing anoher dilemma... should i stay or should i go? Da-da-da-dan! should i stay or should i go? :(

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Secret Society of Happy People

I was reading a magazine which mentioned this website, “Secret Society of Happy People”. As the name implies, it’s a website for and about happy people. Of course! :)

So anyway, I had to check it out. From the website:
“The Society believes happiness is contagious and that when more people talk about happy events and moment, it will be chic for everyone to do it.”

In the website you can share your happy moments, and find out the 31 types of happiness! Want to become an official “happiness ambassador”? Or maybe just become a "not-so-secretly happy member”? Then check it out… Be happy! :)

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Paolo's 8th

In my earlier post i already mentioned that my "baby" is celebrating his 8th birthday today. We’re still here at home, trying to decide whether it's a good idea to still leave the house considering it's storm signal #1 here in Manila. No rains yet though.

Anyway, we were originally planning to celebrate Paolo’s birthday at the mall, specifically, the amusement center. It takes so little to make the kids happy, and want this to also serve as a reward for Paolo for being such a good big brother to Patrick. Paolo is such a sweet and loving kid, also bright and well-behaved. And I’m proud to say that he’s growing up to be a fine young man, a good role model for his younger brother. Patrick sang the birthday song for his Kuya Pao earlier today, then after singing shouted, “Happy birthday, Kuya Pao!” :)

For my dear son, PAOLO GABRIEL, may GOD continue to bless you... I pray for your good health, long life, and happiness! We know that you’ll grow up to be a fine young man, and an upstanding citizen. You deserve the best, and WE LOVE YOU!!! -- Love, Mommy and Patrick

Super typhoons in our midst

My “baby” is 8 years old today. Days earlier we had already decided to have him be absent from school as we wanted to spend his special day together. But it turns out classes are also suspended today as super typhoon ‘Yoyong’ (international code name Nanmadol) is reaching our shores today. So depressing considering that its coming fast on the heels of other storms which wreaked havoc on so many provinces just a few days back. As of this writing, its storm signal no. 4 in Catanduanes! ‘Yoyong’ is a super typhoon indeed.

Thanksgiving was just a few days back, and what better way to show thanks for the blessings we have, than to share those blessings with people who lost their homes, clothes, etc. You only need to read the newspaper and watch the news reports to see the devastating effects of the past storms. So many people lost all their belongings, some even their lives! Imagine, storm “Winnie’s” death toll has already reached 500! Tsk, tsk, tsk…

Below is an email I received from one of my egroups, requesting for donations for the victims in Dingalan, Aurora province. Please read on, and if you can help, please do so.

Subject: [diversions] clothing drive for landslide victims again


Again an SOS from the townsfolk of Dingalan, Aurora province. They have been hit by 2 consecutive typhoons and the 3rd one on the way has the same area in its path.

According to my friend who called the tragedy goes beyond what happened in Southern Leyte last year, but since the province is remote, no media has been on the ground to cover it. But the appeal is the same, they have lost their homes and their families, escaping only with clothes on their backs.

So since Christmas is upon us can we look into our closets and those especially of our kids to sort through the stuff that will be replaced by new gifts. Clothes, old toys, shoes are all needed.

Please put them in bags or boxes marked for Aurora victims. You can drop it off at:
The Royal Plaza lobby
648 Remedios st. Malate, Manila.

For those who are donating clothing and other items for typhoon victims, here is another drop-off point along EDSA, Makati:

FMW (Filipino Migrants Workers)
3rd Flr. Parchouse II
EDSA Guadalupe (near Chowking, the pink bldg and tallest along that side, before Guadalupe Commercial Center)
Look for Mr. Jun Aguilar or any of his staff

Please indicate in the bags name of donors. Let's all extend our help to our kababayans in need...