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... :)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Kenya needs us

I believe that aside from using blogging as an online journal, and keeping in touch with friends, blogging can also be used as a medium to advance social issues. Used responsibly, this medium can reach and inform as many people as possible, of what's happening in the world today. So let me share with you an email message I received from regarding the current situation in Kenya.


Dear friends,

Kenya still teeters on the brink of disaster – today bullets are flying on the streets, with over 600 killed and 250,000 made homeless as government and opposition dispute the presidency. There's hope yet, as Kenyan civil society groups stand up for peace and justice -- but only dialogue and an independent review of the tainted election can end this crisis and prevent escalating violence.

The world can play a crucial role: by reinforcing the efforts of mediators like Kofi Annan, and refusing to recognize any government until it is legitimately established. 50,000 Avaaz members have already sent this message to our foreign ministers, and almost all have listened so far. But inside Kenya, hardline leaders are sowing conflict.

President Kibaki and opposition leader Odinga need to hear that international legitimacy will only come after a mediated resolution. To send this message, we're taking out a full page ad in The East African Standard, an influential Kenyan newspaper. The ad will list the number of messages we've sent to our governments - can we double its strength by sending 100,000 messages this week before the ad runs? Click below to see the ad, send your message and spread the word:

Kenya depends on international tourism, aid and trade. With both Odinga and Kibaki accepting Kofi Annan's mediation mission, there may be light at the end of the tunnel. It's not too late to help Kenya back from the brink -- send your message, spread the word today.

With hope,
Paul, Pascal, Galit, Ricken, Ben, Esra'a and the whole Avaaz team

PS - Here are some links to the latest news on Kenya -

Marches, violence:,,2242178,00.html

Disputes over mediation:

Tainted elections:


ABOUT AVAAZ is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means "voice" in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Paris, Washington DC, and Geneva.

To contact Avaaz, write to You can also send postal mail to our New York office: 260 Fifth Avenue, 9th floor, New York, NY 10001 U.S.A.

If you have technical problems, please go to

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Kids' belt test and grading

The kids had their belt test yesterday (January 12) and earned another orange stripe! I was a bit worried that Patrick wouldnt get another stripe, but the practice and one-on-one with his kuya and Coach Stephen paid off! The kids are so happy they got another stripe! :) And being their mom, I can't help but feel proud of my sons and their achievement. One more stripe to go, and they'll get their orange belt. :)

Check out the link to see the write up on the kids' last grading and belt test:

In the picture with the kids are Asst. Coach Karl Medina, Judoka John Baylon (who earned his eighth judo gold medal during the recent 24th Southeast Asian Games last December 5-16 in Thailand), and Head Coach of Kamphuis-Fabricio Asia, Stephen Kamphuis (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Judo Black belt, and 9x International Senior World Champion (Brazil/USA).

The kids competed last December 1, 2007 at the 2007 Philippine BJJ & Submission Grappling Open, and Paolo won a silver medal in his division, while Patrick won a bronze medal. :)

They will compete again this March 1, 2008, at the Philippine National Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition, to be held at SM Megamall. Watch them then! I'm pretty sure I'll be a nervous wreck again watching them competing. Aaargghhh!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Green Tea NFB

For all my friends who (like me!) included "Lose weight" in their New Year's resolutions, I would just like to share this with all of you .. :)

This is about the green tea capsules i'm taking now, Green Tea NFB. I started taking it last December 6, and when i weighed myself last december 26, i lost 3 lbs. already. Of course, I need to lose more. ;-> heheheh...

But imagine, what with all the parties and good food, i was actually aiming low, and that was just to maintain my weight. Imagine my surprise that I did lose weight. :)

I used to take this a couple of months back and even then, without exercise, I lost 1kilo in one month. Of course, it's much more effective with exercise! I remember that even before I tried this out, I checked the ingredients and researched online on the listed ingredient, QUERCETIN. Here are the sites i've found with information on Quercetin:

After being adequately convinced on the efficacy and safety of the product, plus the fact that it's sold in Healthy Options (one of my favorite-st stores), I bought my first bottle. :)

What I noticed as its effects, was that I was perspiring more. Unlike before, when I wasn't the sweaty type, this time I found myself a little more sweaty than usual after moderate to heavy activity. So, okay lang. It wasn't as if I was perspiring buckets while just sitting at my desk. At least I was perspiring more but only after some huffing and puffing (walking, working out at the gym, etc.).

Second, I noticed that when I woke up in the morning, I didn't have that sluggish feeling. It was as if I was automatically awake and ready to go-go-go!

And speaking of go, I noticed that I would be more "regular". 'Nuff said! ;->

And for me, the most important effect, is that I feel "lighter". I noticed it when I was walking up the flights of stairs to the MRT. You know how high those steps are, right? Well, usually, I'd have to stop mid-way up the flight of stairs to catch my breath. But after taking green tea, to my surprise, I was already at the top of the stairs when I realized that I didn't have any difficulty going up the stairs, and I got there so fast!

Before people think of this as an infomercial and blatant advertising, let it be said that I'm not going to get anything from this "endorsement". I just want to share this with my friends who want to lose weight. And the way I see it, losing weight is just an upside. The other benefit is the fact that it will do your body good. (Read the info on quercetin!)

The Green Tea NFB is available at Healthy Options. Cost is Php 935.00 for a bottle of 90 caps. Take as directed, 2 caps after each meal. In my case, I usually just take it after lunch and dinner, and still lost 3 lbs. after just 3 weeks.

Check out the link below to find out more about this product.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year's Day 2008

I got up at 10 am to prepare for our new year's day celebration with the clan at Paranaque. Still groggy from less than 5 hours sleep, I was thankful that my brother was there to drive all the way to Paranaque.

Food was aplenty, as expected! The kids had fun playing while the adults enjoyed eating. Isn’t that always the case? Hehehe…

Attended mass with the kids at the nearby church in the afternoon, and reflected on the priest's very nice and inspiring message...

Here are some of our pics taken after the party ended.

And here's our telenovela pose again. MarimArboleda. (pero parang di lahat "in character").

Tomorrow is another working day! Boo hoo hoo!!! :(

Media Noche

New Year’s Eve has always been a big celebration at our house. Whereas for Christmas, our celebration would be on Christmas Day itself with relatives coming over to our house.

Nowadays, with my parents abroad and the clan Christmas party moved over to one of my aunt’s house, Media Noche is the only other celebration that I get to plan and have at our own humble abode.

For the 3rd consecutive year, friends would come over and celebrate New Year’s Eve with us. Going for the 3rd year as “guests” are Ben and Dan. Both very good friends, the “Wills” to my “Grace”. ;->

As planned, I prepared lasagna, roast chicken, and roast pork, then veggie salad (with apples and blue cheese). Ben for his part, prepared tofu shiitake in teriyaki & oyster sauce, and steamed fish fillet. Dan’s contribution was completing the 13 types of round fruits which should be on the table for the New Year. Why 13? Well, the belief is that you should have 13 types of fruits to signify prosperity for each of the 12 months of the year. The 13th fruit is to ensure there’s more than enough. Or so they say. So okay, okay, I admit that I can be a little superstitious, but then again, it wouldn’t hurt, right? And besides, this is my way of ensuring that I have lots of fruits to munch on when I’m back to dieting mode again. Hehehehe…

Aside from the food we prepared, we also had ham, french bread, biko, putong ube and keso (cheese), choco cupcakes, and brazo de mercedes. Most of these were gifts I received from friends, co-workers, etc.

We had a hearty dinner at 9PM, shared our new year's wishes and then just lazed around the sofa, talking, while waiting for 12midnight to strike. Since wine and coffee are also staples for our after-dinner chit-chat, we had that, too.

Before 12MN, we were out of the house, joining in on the noise-making. Fireworks are a no-no in our household so the kids were content using sparklers. While the adults were content posing for pictures amidst the fireworks. Hahahaha!!!

Around 1am, we were just lounging around, talking, sipping coffee, and munching on some more food. It seemed as if we were eating non-stop, and the conversation was the only break we got from all that munching. A friend of Ben’s stopped by, so we had another person to grill, err... talk to.

It was 4AM when Ben, Dan and Benji left the house. I still had the energy to tidy up, then went to bed at 5am! Whew! What a celebration!