The Amazing Raviv Turns 5 Part 2: The Superhero Party Food, Cake, and Lootbag

continued from The Amazing Raviv Turns 5 Part 1: The Superhero Party Program and DIY Event Styling

Superhero Fuel: Food

Last year, we served Raviv’s guests sliders/mini-hamburgers, cookies, spaghetti, fried chicken and fruit and vegetables salad.  Our cook forgot to cook the hotdogs.  At first I thought it was enough.  After all, that’s the same food served at a Jollibee or McDonald’s party, right?  But after the party, both Randy and I thought we should have served more.  Visual feast will always be trumped over by a gastronomic feast, as it’s the hallmark of any party.  So this year, I made sure we add more food.  But my goodness, this was December 26 and we had no catering.  So what happened and what did we serve?!?  Here:

 

Food superhero birthday party diy

 

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Teacher Joanna said that some of the guests asked her who our caterer was, because the food we served were delicious.  Why, what an honor!  Because actually, we cooked most of the main dishes, and outsourced the others.  Ate Evelyn, my Mom, Yaya Isay and I prepared the following dishes: hotdogs wrapped in bacon, chicken lollipop, baked macaroni, chocolate chip cookies, nachos, and fruit and vegetable salad.  We ordered the lechon (with free dinuguan) and pancit sotanghon from different suppliers.  

Randy said that a lechon in a party makes any travel worth it; it automatically gives the buffet table “WOW” factor. At first I didn’t want to order, but when I learned that Raviv’s cake will cost just as much as a medium-sized lechon, I gave it a go.  

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We also placed nachos with dips and veggies on every table

 

And before I forget, S&R helped me a lot, too!  Hehe.  Raviv’s cupcakes and corndogs were from there!  

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Aaaand, I was particularly happy about the instant mini pastries I scored from S&R.  I know how expensive mini pastries are, but they are a must in prettifying any dessert table.  So when I saw these in S&R:

 

S R mini sweet treats dessert

 

…I knew my dessert table has a chance.  I got 2 boxes of each. :)

Superheroes Party Dessert Table

 

Superheroes Birthday Party Sweets Table

 

On top of a fondant cake, I also ordered superhero-themed cake pops and sugar cookies from the same supplier.

Superheroes Birthday Party Dessert Buffet Table

 

 Here’s a closer look at Raviv’s birthday cake:

Superhero Birthday Cake

Superhero party birthday cake

I’ve ordered cakes, sugar cookies and cake pops from this same supplier a few times in the past.  In all those past occasions, I was all praises.  But not now.  Unfortunately, the cake artist was not able to finish all my orders on time.  And I think the Spider-man logo on the cake bungled.  See the black part in the middle?  Moreover, the cake itself was not delicious this time.  As in none in our family—including the kids—wanted to eat it.  I will no longer mention the supplier  (it’s not Bakeville, FYI.  Nek of Bakeville has just given birth via C-section so she is not taking orders this time) because this is the first time she bungled.  Moreover, I’m still grateful she accepted my orders.

 

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Raviv’s after-party “candle-blowing” at home.

Superhero Lootbag

Aside from the capes that the children designed, we gave two more loot bag items: 

Superhero party lootbag

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This red plastic contains superhero puzzles and action figures

 

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Whereas these Gymboree tumblers were filled not with juice, water or any liquid but with more sweet treats!

 

Gymboree birthday party lootbag giveaway tumbler

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Gymboree birthday party tumbler giveaway lootbag

 

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On my third instalment, I’m gonna show you our familia get-up, the guests’get-ups and the hard copy of Raviv’s invitation. :)

 

Ciao!

 

Tiffany’s “Drop a Hint”

Hello February!

One of my Facebook friends’s status today that made me smile was: “February na pala. Kaya pala malamig.”  Boom! 😀

So yes, it’s already February!  I’m glad January is over because honestly, January wasn’t so good to me.  I was full of angst in January.  And because February is the month of love, I want to feel and relish love this February.

Yesterday I was in the beauty parlor.  Sa wakas!  If you must know, going to beauty parlors is huge deal to me because I rarely do it.  Before yesterday, last I went there was about eight months ago.  I left Raviv with Randy at home, sans any helper.  Randy urged me to push through despite that because he wants me to be happy.  Seryoso.  I was a total grinch almost the whole month of January.  Actually, more like a ticking bomb that even the gentlest nudge would detonate me.  Thus, Randy and I kept on having arguments.  To the point that he called Mom pa pala to rant about my crankiness.  One of my rants was that I seem not to have time for myself already, so I’ve become this frumpy, wala-nang-glow, overweight woman.  Which made me all the more nega.

So when I mentioned to Randy that I wanted to go to the parlor, he almost pushed me out of the house.  I went to a different beauty parlor this time, not my suking Metro Hair.  That’s because I wanted to have my hair rebonded, and rebonding is this beauty parlor’s strength.

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Hello from the beauty parlor!

I was in the parlor from noon up to past 6 p.m.  I ate my take out from McDonald’s, brought my laptop and worked a little bit, watched several videos on Youtube until I almost reached my mobile date limit (my new favourite channel:  ASAPScience.  Yes, I am a closet nerd.)  but still, there was plenty of time.  Grabe antagal! Out of sheer boredom, I was forced to do some soul searching.  Maganda rin pala ‘yun ‘pag wala kang magawa, mapipilitan kang mag-soul searching.  It’s something that Randy has been begging me to do the past month kasi nga I was his Negastar.  But I couldn’t do it when I’m stressed out.  Pagpapa-rebond lang pala ang solution.  LOL.

One of the things that finally hit me was that naawa ako sa asawa ko.  On my bitchy days, I would think of him as this annoying, bossy, uncaring man who just wants me to work 24/7.  Yesterday at the parlor, I saw him in a different light.  I don’t want to elaborate, basta I felt that I wanted us to be lovey-dovey again like we were when we first got together.   Sickeningly sweet.  It may be the harsh chemical fumes or epekto nung napaso ang anit ko sa plantsa, but I made a pact with my lucid self to be calmer, more positive, and more malambing to my mag-ama.  It will be difficult, but I’ll really try.

But when they shampooed my hair again for the hot oil treatment, and I was distracted because some strands of my hair were sticking out!

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Gaaaah!  Para akong eagle!

 

Rebonded hair sticking out from the head

And so my epiphany and zen moment were broken (but don’t worry—I was resolved to keep my promise to myself).  I went back to my cellphone.  I bloghopped, and for some reason someone’s blogpost made me want to have a Cartier Love Bracelet.

(If you’re no longer new to my blog, then you know I’m not maalahas.  The only jewellery I have “of value” (relatively) are my 3 engagement rings, my wedding ring, and my pearl earrings.  So no, I’m not a connoisseur when it comes to jewelry).

Look at Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie wearing their Cartier Love Bracelets:

Cartier love bracelet Jennifer aniston and Angelina Jolie

And this is what I want:

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Nice, ‘no?  Very simple yet elegant.  Very Cartier.

Pero kumapit kayo—according to the Cartier website, that simple bracelet I like costs…US$5,300!!!  Excluding sales tax pa!  That’s about Php250,000 just for a “simple bracelet”.  Although there are less expensive models, those without any gems.  This one has a solitaire diamond naman kasi.  I thought of having it custom-made by an alahera.  That is, ipagaya na lang as what many girls on the internet are doing for practical reasons.  But then, I realized I wouldn’t enjoy a bracelet that I know is an imitation.  Just like how I feel about knockoff bags.

My cousin in London, Ate Marivic, suggested Tiffany sterling silvers instead.  According to her, “Every girl should own a Tiffany.” (At nai-imagine ko na ang simangot ni Randy when he hears this statement.  Hehe).  She said that a Tiffany bracelet costs around P20,000.  Pwede na ‘di ba?  However, I didn’t really like the typical Tiffany bracelets.


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I don’t know why, but it does not catch my fancy (or maybe it will in person?)  Just like omnipresent Pandora bracelets.

However, I fancied something on the Tiffany website.  Necklace naman.  Look:

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Here’s a closer look:

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Just like the Cartier Love Bracelet, it’s simple and elegant.  Perfect for everyday use.  As I was checking out the price, something caught my eye, at natawa talaga ako.


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May DROP A HINT talaga?!?  I wondered how you could DROP A HINT, and clicked it.  Eto pala:


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I admit that for a split second I was tempted to type Randy’s email address.  But nah, it will still be obvious.  And Randy’s not exactly one who gets hints, subtle or obvious.  He’s a great husband, but he isn’t exactly one who loves spoiling his wife (spoiling Raviv lang.  Hrmpft).  He always tells me to buy what I want, whenever I want to.  Sounds fair, I know.  Though let’s admit it—iba pa rin when extravagant and ridiculously expensive stuff comes from your husband.

Anyway, I just thought of sharing this with you, in case it would work on your boyfriends or husbands. After all, Valentine’s Day is near.  Tiffany’s made it easier na, hehe. 😉

As for me, maybe in time I’ll get that Cartier Love Bracelet if I reach my target at work/business.  Mahirap-hirap, but I swear to myself I won’t get that Love Bracelet until I reach my goal.

(OMG.  I just realized—parang ga-graduate na ako sa bags!!!  Mature na ‘ata talaga ako!  Hahaha.)

Speaking of hints…you know why I had my hair rebonded instead of just a Brazilian blowout?  Here’s the hint: because the Brazilian blowout will last only for a few months.  If God gives what I think I’m now ready for this February, all I could do to my hair in a beauty parlor is just a haircut for at least two years. :) 

Gets?

Love, love, love everyone!

The Amazing Raviv Turns 5 Part 1: The Superhero Party Program and DIY Event Styling

The decision to throw Raviv a full-blown birthday party for his 5th was a no-brainer.  First, the 5th birthday party is the last birthday party a child could celebrate at Gymboree, and we still fully remember how much he and his guests loved his 4th birthday party at Gymboree.  Second, he now has sure guests even if his birthday falls on the 26th of December.  Third, his abuelito, abuelita and cousins are coming over for the Holidays.  And fourth, he requested for it.  Anyway, he didn’t have full-blown parties on his 2nd and 3rd birthdays.

It seemed everything was all set, until I learned that:

  1. The caterer I want to get (Jen-Dre’s Catering—it was our food caterer during our Grand Opening) is not available on Dec. 26.  I also called Center Table (it was our food caterer during Raviv’s baby dedication aka binyag and I love the food!!!) I and asked whether we could pick-up “paluto” from them.  They don’t accept daw, because it’s a busy season.
  2. Teacher Roxanne and Teacher Clarice—the Gymboree Sta. Rosa teachers who handle Play & Learn classes and host birthday parties—will both be out of town on Dec. 26.

That means:  I will have to DIY everything (food and decor), and I have to learn how to host a Gymboree birthday party.

Ako na.  Ako na si Superwoman.

And true enough, I was Superwoman on Raviv’s party.

Adult Superwoman Costume

Thank you so much Lindsay Abcede See for buying me this Superwoman costume!

I told you, Superwoman.  Literally and figuratively.  Anyway, let me share with you the photos of Raviv’s birthday.

It’s a Gymboree Party…hosted by the Superwoman/Supernanay

Instead of listening to Christmas songs on Christmas Day, I was actually listening to a loop of Gymboree songs and practicing the actions.  Yes guys.  You know how musically-uninclined I am, right?  Exactly.  Add to that the fact that I have never ever hosted a Gymboree party before.  Kahit nga Play class man lang, never pa eh!  So I had to practice; I didn’t want to just wing it.  I was determined to make it very fun for my son.  Kaya nga nag-costume pa ako.  Ika nga ni Lindsay, “Ganun talaga para sa anak!”  Add to that the fact that my balahura friends were attending!!!  My gosh!!! Actually, I didn’t want to invite them at first because I knew they’d make fun of me (Chrysanthemum Collado, I’m referring to you).

So yeah, on top of the other preparations and entertaining the guests, I was also the main host.  Based on these pictures, mukhang hindi naman ako nagkalat. 😀

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This is it!  I formally began!

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Marvel Justice League Superhero Birthday Party

Here I was, making all the children feel like real superheroes!

Superhero Party Gymboree Sta Rosa

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Best superhero birthday party Fotor Collage

What I am most proud about Gymboree birthday parties is that all guests—the children and their parents—are always happy and are never bored while keeping everything wholesome.  Look at those smiles!  The superhero-themed activities that made the children believe they were superheroes saving the city were all patok!

After the junior superheroes saved the day, Teacher Joanna invited them to the Arts & Crafts room to design their own superhero capes.  It was my time to rest and drink water.  Hehe.

Gymboree Activity Superheroes Birthday Party

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Superhero Capes Arts Crafts Party Gymboree

Raviv and his guests all had a blast decorating their capes (which they took home as souvenirs)!  They proudly wore their capes back to the Gymboree playfloor for the bubbles and parachute time!

Justice League Marvel Superheroes Birthday Party

Superhero THemed Birthday Party at Gymboree

Most fun Superhero Party

And to add more fun, we invited a special guest.

Everybody, chant with me:  We want, we want GYMBO!  GYMBO!

G-Y-M-B-O!

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Gymbo is the blue clown, red clown, yellow clown, Gymbo is the a clown who never let you down He’s got smile on his face He rocks this place Giving you kisses all over your face We want, we want Gymbo… Gymbo!!!

Gymbo is the blue clown, red clown, yellow clown,
Gymbo is the a clown who never let you down
He’s got smile on his face
He rocks this place
Giving you kisses all over your face
We want, we want Gymbo… Gymbo!!!

Everybody loves Gymbo!

Everybody loves Gymbo!  Even my niece who’s afraid of mascots hugged the cutest clown of all! 

After the fun party, the guests headed to the reception hall that’s just adjacent to the Gymboree playfloor.  Wanna see how it looks like?  Here!

 

Venue & Event Styling

Just like Raviv’s Dinosaur-Themed Gymboree Party last year, the event styling is DIYed by yours truly and the talented Gymboree Sta. Rosa teachers again.

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Teachers Joanna and Clarice finished this before they had their Christmas vacation.  Ito ang dinatnan ko when I arrived at the venue on December 26 at 9 a.m.  Yes, 9 a.m. na because the cake and sugar cookies I ordered in Los Banos were delayed!  Gaaaaahhh eh andami pang gagawin!!!  As soon as we arrived, I became a drill sergeant ordering people around, telling them to, “Double time!!!!”  But mind you, I wasn’t just ordering people around.  Barefoot and hungry, I was also working my tushy off.

And then we transformed the room into an eclectic cacophony of anything and everything related to superheroes:

Superheroes Birthday Party

Marvel Justice League Superheroes Theme Birthday Party Event Styling DIY Setup

Superheroes Name

The R-A-V-I-V letter designs were lovingly made by Teacher Joanna.  Teacher Clarice helped Teacher Joanna make my Superhero City “stage backdrop” vision come true.  Same goes with the Superhero-themed paintings on the windows.

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Event Styling Superhero Party Balloons

Superheroes Birthday Party Setup

Superhero party mylar balloons

Yep, these were all DIYed.  Labor of love.  I bought lots of mylar balloons because they’re always a hit with the children.  The action figures and toys are all Raviv’s, so I didn’t have to buy them.  The vintage comics, on the other hand, were from our library.  They were given to us by Randy’s mom, and we’re saving it for when Raviv would actually read them.

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It was a “Waaaaaaah!!!”day.  Every single minute was precious to me to make sure I don’t disappoint my amorcito, whether in event styling or hosting.  I spent any “free time” either checking the other details or remembering the lyrics of the songs and their corresponding actions.  Ganern.  It was so crazy—made even crazier because in the middle of the day I learned I already got my period thus my headaches.  And partida, I hadn’t even eaten a morsel until after the party!  It’s a miracle I survived it all.  Although on our way back home, my “adrenaline” waned.  My headache went fullblast and on the road, I threw up.  Ugh.  The last time it happened to me was when Randy and I were on the road after our wedding. Well, that was definitely more stressful, but my hunger strike plus my Day 1 Period spiked my stress level so there.  Hehe.

Pero sulit naman, especially when I see this picture…

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…then I become Superwoman. 😉

PS: Thank you so much Luther Abcede for the wonderful photos!

You too, Kuya CJ!  Thank you!

(Up next is Part 2, featuring the food, the outfit-eys and the giveaways. :))

My Favorite Golden Globe 2016 Gowns & Styles

I told you I’ll be back! :)

Prom time is near, and how I wish that Wifi were omnipresent when I was in high school as it is now.  Getting gown inspirations would have been easier.  During my senior prom, my peg was Julia Roberts’s gown in My Best Friend’s Wedding.  I just loved that gown, especially the bodice.

Julia roberts gown my best friend s wedding

You know what I did?  I sent for the mananahi to my Tita’s house, because my Tita had a VHS tape (wahahaha!) of that movie.  Rewind-forward kami, until we got to the scene where Julia Roberts was wearing the gown.  Then pause during this scene while the mananahi was sketching the gown:

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During our prom, one of my classmates actually called out my gown, saying it looks so much like Julia Roberts’s.  I acted nonchalantly, hehe.  Well that means my mananahi got it right.  Haaaayy high school.

Anyway, if you or your daughter or niece or sister doesn’t have a gown yet, well, you still have about a month.  If you’re going to a designer (because “mananahi” sounds so last decade ago), you can get inspirations from the gowns of the belles that graced the red carpet in the recently concluded Golden Globes.

Though honestly, most of the gowns seemed boring to me.  Many played too safe and didn’t take risks.  Many also wore the same styles that have worked in the last years.  An example of that would be the goddess gown.  I normally rave about such a feminine design.  But this year, I didn’t see any head turning variation.  The only two I liked a tad are these two:

Lily James

Lily James surely didn’t look like a cinder girl in this pastel chiffon Marchesa gown!

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Saiorse Ronan looked like a modern-day Greek goddess in this Yves Saint Laurent Couture gown.  The white color and Saiorse’s slick hair made the overall look clean, but also removed any whimsical and romantic appeal.

The others that (actually) stood out, in my humble opinion, are the following:

Heidi Klum

So you think she looks like she’s wearing a giant feather duster, eh?  But she’s Heidi Klum, and she’s not a supermodel for nothing.  Make her wear a rag and she’d still sizzle! Now admit it, you’re now maliciously eyeing your father’s pansabong because you realised its potential.  Too bad, because that’s Marchesa’s expertise.  Seriously, Marchesa gowns amaze me.   They’re always so whimsical and romantic aaaand they make your usual nakakataba gown slimming.

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Don’t believe my last statement about Marchesa?  Here’s another proof:  Zendaya.  I don’t know who she is, but her gown blew me away!  If she were a bit bulkier and a bit shorter, this gown would be wrecked.  But her lithe frame made her the perfect model for this tiered Marchesa gown.  The color and the details were screaming, “Notice Me!”

Jada Pinkett Smith

Jada Pinkett-Smith’s emerald gown by Versace showed just the right amount of flesh at the right places and accentuated her hourglass figure.  Now who wouldn’t be green with envy with that?

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Ah J. Lo. J. Lo is another caped crusader in the red carpet.  I’m not too crazy about the drapes at the hips (as if J. Lo needs an illusion of a bigger booty or hips, duh!).  Despite being covered, the wreath necklace teamed with the cascading drop necklace from no less than Harry Winston plus her fierce stance made her look really hot in that mustard Giambattista Valli gown.  So hot that she had baskil (yes, that’s not a shadow, sadly). =D

 

Lady gaga drupal

If quite a few were surprised with J. Lo’s balot na balot look, I’m sure every jaw dropped when they saw a normal-looking Lady Gaga (yes, that’s Lady Gaga!!!) in an elegant Atelier Versace gown.  Her platinum blonde hair and peaches and cream complexion stood in stark contrast with the elegant (I am overusing this adjective, I know!) gown.  Gawd I love everything about the gown:  its seamlessness, the way it exaggerated Gaga’s butt, how it fell on the floor, how it subtly fell off Gaga’s shoulders.  And don’t get me started on how Gaga wore the perfect jewellery!  Love love love!

 

Jennifer lawrence

Speaking of the perfect accessory, J. Law also donned the perfect neckpiece!  What would have been an otherwise pa-Gwyneth Paltrow boring minimalist fashion ek-ek (I love Gwyneth, OK?  But not her gowns.  Because I could never pull off her gowns.  There!) was brought to life by the perfect accessory.  Well, forgive me.  Even without the necklace, this Dior Haute Couture is a work of art.  It used the peek-a-boo technique buuuuut not in the usual places.  No cleavage, no thigh.  Just the ribcage.  And yes, it’s as flaming hot as the color of her dress (whoever thought rib cages are sexy?  Dior!)

But ever being the “weird is wonderful” believer that I am, my favourite look of the night is…

300191DD00000578 0 Fringe from tip to tail Cate Blanchette 46 was all lace fringe a a 91 1452478219819

3001926A00000578 0 Fringe from tip to tail Cate Blanchette 46 was all lace fringe a a 92 1452478219822

…Cate Blanchett in Givenchy.  Now some of you are probably clucking your tongues.  I won’t take that against you.  I know that this gown is either a “love me” or “hate me” dress, no in-between.  Yes I know, it kinda looks like tassels or even a vintage lampshade.  But still, I freaking love it.  If reincarnation were true, I’d have been in the 1900’s and went to jazz clubs wearing something akin to this in the 20’s.  That’s why.

What about you?  Who’s your favourite girl on the red carpet during this year’s Golden Globes?  :)

Note:  All of the images courtesy of Google.  None of them were mine.  No copyright infringement intended.

A Domesticated Day

I’ve received several private messages—both from my readers and friends—regarding my last from-my-bitter-and-angry-heart post.  Kumusta na raw ba ako.  Well, I’m glad to say that I am surviving.  I went to work last Monday to welcome the students and teachers after the long Christmas break, then we went back to Los Banos because I wasn’t able to prepare our stuff for one whole week dahil nga haggardous ako since New Year.  We were supposed to return to Sta. Rosa the following day, but when I saw the state of our house in the morning, I blew my top.  I started hyperventilating because I somehow expected that either Randy or Dodong would have prepared breakfast or cleaned-up while I was taking care of Raviv that morning.  Pero bilang mga lalaki, deadmabelles sila.  Kotse muna bago bahay ang dapat linisin ang motto nila.  So even though I was already all dressed up, I decided to stay home to do the chores.  Dodong drove Raviv to Gymboree, and Randy called my mother-in-law to borrow her helper.

Domesticated Dew’s Woes

I started with the laundry.  I brought the washing machine and dryer to our bathroom so I can wash clothes and clean our bathroom at the same time.

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Towards the end of my laundry and bathroom cleaning task, Mama arrived with her helper.  Ayan, I finally had some help, and Mama’s helper seemed to have a good head on her shoulders.  Next task was to clean up the kitchen and fold the clothes that we have washed, along with the other clothes that have been washed since months ago but somehow were never ironed or folded properly.

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It was quite difficult because I had to teach Mama’s helper how I wanted my clothes to be folded.  I also taught her my system of arranging clothes, which is quite complicated, hehe.

But finally at 5 p.m., natapos din.  Pagoda cold wave lotion ang MomsterTeacher n’yo.  There were still plenty to do but at least we’ve accomplished a lot.  My hands were really painful and dry (kuskos kung casks mako sa toilet bowl, with Zonrox pa!), but it felt soo good to see that our laundry basket was empty, our cabinets were full of clothes again, and our bathroom and kitchen were clean and sparkly.

Domesticated Tatay Epic Fail

When Raviv returned from Sta. Rosa with Dodong on this same day, he was sleeping fitfully.  Dodong told us that something happened.  When Raviv was peeing, the little boy suddenly panicked and started to whimper.  Ravi wouldn’t say anything because he was shy, so Dodong peeked.  ‘Yun pala, a bit of Raviv’s pitoytoy skin got stuck in his zipper, and Raviv was trying to pry it away to no avail.  Imagine how it must have hurt ‘di ba?  Dodong said he really felt sorry for Raviv, and asked us, “Bakit po wala siyang brief?”  I looked at a guilty Randy, because Randy was the one who dressed up Raviv!  You know what Randy said?  He said, “E kasi ‘yung ni-ready mo pants and polo lang, walang brief.” Waaaaah!  Hahahaha!  I told him that I prepared the polo and pants only because I wanted to make sure they would match, and that the briefs were a given.  Especially for him, because he also wears brief all.  the. time! Hahaha.  Mga tatay talaga!

Speaking of fathers, naalala ko.  It was obvious that one of Raviv’s female schoolmates lost her nanny.  Bakit kamo?  Because the little girl used to go to school wearing super cute outfits and her hair would always be tidily tied up…’yung ang ku-cute ng hairstyle.  That’s despite the fact that this girl’s mom works in the Metro and leaves home very early (the girl is in the afternoon class).  Now when I saw her again last week, ang gulo ng buhok.  Tapos wala pang dalang baon.  Hehe.  It reminded me of Randy and how he made Raviv go commando.  And that TV commercial where the dad was taking care of his daughter and the daughter always complains because that’s not how her mommy did things.  Can you remember that TV commercial?

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If you follow me on Instagram, I know you’re waiting for me to tell you something big in detail.  But even though I’m also affected by that thing, it’s not my story to tell.  It’s Randy’s.  And I think the wound is still fresh that he still can’t talk about it without getting teary-eyed.  So I’ll have to wait.  For the meantime, eto na lang muna.  Taken almost a year ago:

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Sigh.  We were both lovely, weren’t we? 😀  I just had my keratin treatment here.  That reminds me, I really hope I could spend time in the parlor again!  Randy and I have big plans this February, so I have to get a keratin treatment na before January ends.

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Christmas Helper Horror Stories

It seems I’m not the only one with helper-related Christmas horror stories.  Other children at Raviv’s school also lost their nannies over the holidays.  Apparently, many helpers do this: they take advantage of the Christmas spirit and graciously receive their Christmas bonuses, gifts for them (and even their whole families) and savor all the delicious foods.  Afterwards, they’d do a Houdini and disappear without trace.  Wala man lang ni, “K, tnx, bye!”  Aside from the families at Raviv’s school, check out the comments section of my from-my-bitter-and-angry-heart post.  Andami pa palang iba!  I got even more comments and private messages about this on Facebook, most of them saying how much they can relate and that the same thing happened to them.  Honestly, it made me feel good.  I mean I felt bad for the commenters’ plights because, hello, relate na relate!  But it felt good to know we are not alone.  Christmas tradition pala ito, hehe.  Ngayon lang ako na-inform.

So in the next Christmas, I plan to give Christmas gifts after our helpers return after their New Year’s vacation.  And maybe I’ll tell them that I will give separation pays (that would depend on the length of their service) IF they tell me in advance (at least 1 month) when they’re leaving.  That way, I won’t be caught off-guard.  And they could train pa their replacement.  If they leave without permission, manghinayang na  lang sila.

Do you have other tips on how to ensure our helper/workers would at least ask permission when they leave?  Or do you have more horror stories?  Dali, I’d love to hear it! 

K, tnx. Bye!

But I swear, I’ll be back!  Have a great day!

Gymboree Play & Music Sta. Rosa’s Anniversary Promo

Hip, hip, hooray!  Gymboree Play & Music Sta. Rosa is turning 1 this January!

As its anniversary blowout, Gymbo is  giving away these awesome treats:

Gymboree Sta. Rosa Anniversary Promo

4+2 Promo

  • Enrol in 4 classes and get 2 FREE additional classes!
  • Enrol in 8 classes and get 4 FREE additional classes!

(All classes must be consumed until March 30, 2016) 

We’re the Global Leader in Classes for Kids

At Gymboree Play & Music, you and your child will build creativity, confidence and lifelong friendships. Gymboree programs are specially designed to help young children learn and develop as they play. Our classes also help you learn about your child — how to participate in and encourage his or her development — while enjoying the simple pleasure of playing together.

 

10% off on Preschool Tuition Fee!

Get up to 10% off on Gymboree Sta. Rosa Preschool’s (for SY 2016-17) tuition!

Build the key social, emotional and intellectual skills needed for school and life with specially designed classes for ages 2 to 4. Activities help develop confidence, curiosity, communication, perseverance and cooperation through art, science exploration, play and more, giving your child a solid foundation for future learning environments.

11098191_858614274215163_3517093430773166371_n Pre-K students during their Science Fun time

Gymboree PreSchool curriculum includes both independent and group learning activities to promote the important personal, social and beginning academic skills of reading, writing, math and science. 

1934580_931364630273460_3377365758896577171_nNursery 2 students learning about road signs

Gymboree’s holistic and nurturing approach inspires learning with its small teacher-to-student ratio. Teachers also read children’s books that explore and nurture key social and emotional skills, engage in activities that require cooperation and self-awareness, and encourage communication with peers. Includes both independent and group learning activities to promote the important personal and social skills needed for a successful transition into school.

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Experiencing how it is to be a fireman

All Gymboree PreSchool students enjoy the benefit of unlimited GymPlay at any Gymboree center in the Philippines. Please call ahead to find out the GymPlay schedule at the center you plan to visit. It’s truly a pre-school like no other.

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Gymboree Sta. Rosa Preschool Teachers pose with Mommy Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan after Mommy Maricel’s Parenting Talk/Seminar with the parents of Gymboree Sta. Rosa preschoolers

 

10% off on Birthday Parties

Book your child’s birthday party between Jan. 4-30 and get 10% off!

What’s the best birthday party?  It’s when the celebrants themselves have fun!  Gymboree birthday parties are specifically designed for the enjoyment of babies and toddlers.  Gymboree guarantees the fun for the celebrant and his guests as they roam around the Gymboree playscape,  singing and dancing, and imaginative play!

zion lahbati gutierrez birthday party gymboree sta. rosa

gymboree sta. rosa birthday party

solana pangilinan gymboree sta. rosa birthday party

Fun Children’s Activities and Zero Cleanup

Choose your child’s favorite theme and we’ll create a private, personalized party experience filled with kid friendly activities guaranteed to be 100% fun with zero clean up! We specialize in 1st birthday parties all the way through to 5th birthday parties. Gymboree Play & Music Parties are available to members and non-members.

Themes vary by location and may include:

  • First Birthday Party
  • Farmyard Fun
  • Ocean Adventure
  • Construction Zone
  • All Aboard Trains
  • Princess Playhouse
  • Little Super Heroes
  • Dinosaur Adventures
  • Jungle Safari
  • Sports Galore
  • Arts party
  • Music party
  • And more!

 

For more details, please call (049)576-0595.

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We’re the Global Leader in Classes for Kids

Gymboree Play & Music has been fostering creativity and confidence in children ages 0-5 for over 30 years. Today there are over 550 locations in 30 countries, making us the global leader in early childhood development programs. Designed by experts, our age-appropriate activities help develop the cognitive, physical and social skills of children as they play. Our programs are also recognized for their unique approach to parent involvement—which encourages participation in and understanding of each child’s development.

We Are The Experts in Early Childhood Development

Our class curriculum is developed by our experienced child development program directors and incorporate a balanced whole-child approach with activities to support what your child is mastering right now and what he or she will aspire to later. Classes are designed in 6-month increments to meet a child’s unique interests and abilities. From birth to age 5, there’s always something special awaiting you and your child at Gymboree Play & Music.

 

 

Raviv’s Long Weekend Adventure #3: At the Philippine Eagle Center in Davao + Raviv’s Wardrobe Diary #33: The Snake Charmer

Yes, hindi pa tapos ang kwento about our Mindanao trip last December. :) This time, let’s talk about our 2nd day in Davao.

Remember how tiring our first day in Davao was? Exactly. So we all slept fitfully, and the following day we all woke up feeling refreshed and energized. I would have wanted to lounge and just chill in our hotel room for a longer time, but we wanted to drop by The Philippine Eagle Center and the Eden Farm before heading home to Kabacan. So we had to move quickly. After we all took baths and packed out stuff, we headed to Cafe Marco of Marco Polo Hotel Davao to have our buffet breakfast.

Quick Review of Cafe Marco of the Marco Polo Hotel Davao: First things first, sorry I don’t have lots of photos. Just those two. Aside from that we were in a hurry, nahiya naman ako to take too many photos. Baka sabihin ng mga sosyaling guests excited ako. 😀

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Anyway, food at Cafe Marco was great. Not outstanding compared to the other hotel buffet breakfast we’ve gone to. If I say, “OK lang”, please don’t think I’m saying that food is bland and so-so. The variety of food is wide, almost everything is delicious. By “OK lang”, I mean it’s pretty much the same breakfast buffet we had recently at the Disney Hollywood Hotel in Hong Kong, Century Park Hotel in Bangkok, and Acacia Hotel in Alabang (though the food variety at Acacia Hotel is less. Buti na lang super sarap ng beef tapa!) But what we were looking for but did not find was yogurt!!! Walang yogurt! The interior and ambiance of Care Marco are also great.

We had to rush breakfast because of two things: first, minamadali na kami ni Motherhood. Gagabihin na raw kami. And second, my goolai, in the middle of our familia lafang-fest, sumakit ang chan namin. One by one nag-LBM kami. Must be the food we ate last night! Good thing we had lots of Dutch Mill yoghurt drink. No seriously, fan kami ng Dutch Mill. Although to be sure, we also bought some loperamide for Randy and me and Erceflora for Raviv.

Our first stop was The Philippine Eagle Center. This was probably my 4th time there. Before we even reached the entrance, Raviv got excited over something. He asked Randy to take his picture together with that something. Brace yourselves guys, here’s Raviv:
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How brave he is! This is a huuuuuge snake, and he volunteered to hold it and have a photo with it. Alone. Bravo!

Anyway, here are more photos of Raviv inside The Philippine Eagle Center:

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Yes, behind Raviv is a Philippine Eagle! Gawd these birds look so fierce and majestic! There were lots of other birds but it was hard to take good photos of the. So instead, I just took photos of my charming boy.

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Here’s his outfit details:

[Read more…]

Buena Manong Bad News sa Bagong Taon

Less than 24 hours after posting my sagacious, pa-deep, and optimistic post regarding the lessons that 2015 has imparted to me, 2016 painfully hotstamped a new lesson to me. 2016 LESSON #1: MARAMING TAO ANG INGRATO, WALANG PALABRA DE HONOR, WALANG DELICADEZA. Tagalog na para mas may dating.

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Yes, I am angry. Seething. But above all, I am hurt.

Yesterday we were waiting in vain for two of our helpers to return from their New Year’s vacation. When it was already past noon and none of them have arrived and cannot be reached, kinabahan na ako. I checked the Facebook of one of them, and this is what I saw:

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 3.12.41 PMYes, status n’ya ‘yan. Hindi man lang private message addressed directly to me or to Randy.

This is the same person who said, “Nakaka-touch naman po kayo” when we gave her a Purefoods Fiesta Ham and roasted chicken for her media noche. The same person who expressed so much happiness and gratitude because of the presents she received from different people this Christmas, through the work we gave her. The same person who badmouthed her colleague for being ungrateful and a liar. The same mobile phone-less person who was given a tablet by Randy kasi kawawa naman daw. The same person who assured me that her honesty and integrity will always be intact even if you strip her of everything. If she’s just sick—if she really is sick—she could have just told us! She knows that we even chipped in for the hospital bills of the children of our long-time helpers, on top of the PhilHealth health benefits we provided.

And then let’s talk about the other one. I still hope that she has a good reason for being MIA for two days, because otherwise isa pa ito. When she was jobless, we took her in. Despite being new, we allowed her to get one month’s worth of advance wages for the tuition fee of her daughter. Hindi raw talaga siya aalis, mabuting tao raw siya. When she hinted that she wanted her daughter to transfer to a university in either Los Banos or Sta. Rosa to be near her, we volunteered to take her in to be a working student. Since her daughter’s course is education, the daughter could work part-time as a teacher’s aide and eventually be our teacher when she graduates. This Christmas break, she asked us whether her daughter could spend the holidays here. I said, “Sure!” without batting an eyelash. And now, this.

I do not claim that we are the best employers in town. Work here is no walk in the park, and there could be other households and businesses that give higher wages than we do. But I think we are fair. Or more than fair. When I interview prospective employees, I disclose everything. I even exaggerate their workload so they expect the worst. Even if their contracts say that they are given 2 days off per month, we give them 1 day off per week. When their work is beyond our expectations, we give them a raise right away. Their meals are also our meals; the water that we drink is also the water that they drink. We do not limit their use of our office desktops, and their common room has its own Cignal digital TV. At night, we try very hard to not disturb them because we want them to rest.

Our ever reliable Ate Evelyn, their colleague, is as enraged as I am when I called her and broke the news. She even blames us for being too lax and lenient. I don’t ever want to think that we are “mabait na amo”, lest I feel entitlled and all high and mighty. But in Ate Evelyn’s own words, “Ayan kasi Ma’am masyado kasi kayong mabait kaya inaabuso kayo.” She told me she wouldn’t blame me even if I hurl invectives to these two. And before she put the phone down, Ate Evelyn’s cutting words were, “Marami po talagang mga walang utang na loob, no?”

Last Christmas I was feeling generous. I wanted to give something to everyone. I even regretted not buying more gifts because I wanted to give more. When I was packing away Raviv’s small clothes, I really wanted to give them all to her who said, “Nakaka-touch naman po kayo,” so she could give them to her children . But I held back and gave only a few, because I wanted her to prove herself first. Now, I am glad I held back. And I got angry at Randy for pitying her and giving her our Telpad, that she uses to post stuff like this on her Facebook:

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Right now I regret ever trying to be diplomatic to them when they committed mistakes. For feeling their plight. For helping solve their scruples.  For wanting to be a part of their pag-asenso. And most of all, for believing that they are good people. Because they are not. It all just boils down to, “Wala akong pera ngayon, kailangan kita. Kailangan maawa ka sa akin kasi kung hindi ka maaawa masama kang tao.” Then when they have recovered a bit, “Kaya ko na sa ngayon. Kailangan intindihin mong sisira ako sa usapan natin, at hindi ko kailangang isipin ang obligasyon ko.”

Noblesse oblige is in; palabra de honor and delicadeza are out.

What I hate the most from this experience is that I no longer want to care about our employees. I just want to think of them as necessary evils. I would look at them and their hardwork thinking that they’re just going through the motions like a machine or a robot. I need them, and they need me. For the meantime.  So sue me, Kilusang Mayo Uno.  Condemn me and let these people feel entitled and martyred.

I hope to learn my 2106 LESSON #2 soon: HOW TO DISCERN REALLY GOOD PEOPLE FROM THE USERS.

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My 2016 Lesson Plan

Happy New Year guys!!!

I hope and pray that 2016 is going to be a lot better. While 2015 was not necessarily a bad year, it wasn’t one of my best either. I had several frustrations, but the good thing is that most of them were resolved. As I write this post, I realize that 2015 was a year full of learnings. With that, I guess I can say that 2015 was more good than bad, because I fully recognized several important things.  So as I usher in 2016, here’s my lesson plan from the lessons I learned in 2015.

Career-wise, 2015 was good to me, and I am very thankful to God and everyone who helped me achieve what Gymboree Sta. Rosa has achieved in less than a year.

Gymboree Play & Music Sta. Rosa Grand Launching ribbon-cutting by Sarah Lahbati and Richard Guttierez in April

After the Mommy Talk between the Gymboree Sta. Rosa Preschool students’ parents and Mommy Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan

The growing Gymboree Sta. Rosa Preschool students and their parents on our Christmas party

I really wanted my branch to be successful so I had to sacrifice a lot of things. Notice that during the middle of the year, I was almost not blogging. I tried to juggle everything, but I ended up going crazy.

That chapter in my life taught me two important lessons: LESSON #1, KNOW YOUR PRIORITIES. At that time, I prioritized work/business and the other frills (social media, blogging and other pampalipas oras) of my life.

It is a must that I prioritize work and business, because we invested so much in it. Ayoko namang pabayaan especially because it’s in its first year. And second, parents entrusted their children to us. That’s such an honor, and I don’t want to disappoint them. So I was really very hands-on. I was breathing down on everyone’s neck. Everything had to be perfect. And I don’t regret it. Honestly, hindi ako convinced sa mga sagacious posts and “kumbaya” life lessons that belittle the importance of work in the grand scheme of things. I am offended when I see posts and Facebook statuses that condemn diligence in work. Yes, family and me-time are important. But that doesn’t mean that work has to be dropped like a hot potato everytime the going gets tough. And the justification would often be that money isn’t important anyway. That may be true, but what about the people who hired you? You know, the one you so tried to impress and convince to hire you and trust you when you needed the job. And what about the other people whose lives will be significantly affected when you quit. Your responsibility isn’t to your family alone. So no, I don’t regret my dedication to Gymboree.

Now let’s go to my other priority, the frills. Ito ang pinagsisihan ko. I thought to myself that since I was working too hard, I had to have time for myself after work. I felt entitled to do whatever I wanted to, bahala na ang ibang tao kay Raviv. But of course Raviv needed and wanted me, not others. He would sleep at 11 p.m. na because he would wait for me. Ang sungit ko pa sa kanya. Imagine that! So his attitude changed: ayaw nang sumunod sa teacher at naging palaaway, to the point na sinampal n’ya ‘yung playmate n’yang babae na mahinhin for no acceptable reason. I knew right there and then it was because he was craving for my love and affection. I felt guilty, because I realized I was giving 70% of myself to work, 20% to frilly things (blogging, social media, “me”-time, etc.) and only 10% to my mag-ama. And that can’t go on. I know that I can live without the frills in my life, but I can’t live without my man and my boy. I told myself that I have to adjust: 50% work, 35% family and 15% frills (this includes personal growth, friendships, blogging, etc.) But to achieve this, I had to learn Lesson #2.

LESSON #2: GET THE RIGHT PEOPLE, LET GO OF THE WRONG ONES. One reason why I had such a hard time was because of the help surrounding me who were no help at all. If they’re not incompetent, they’re lazy or they are not committed. Or all of the above. At first I didn’t want to let go of them, because I thought it will be too difficult to get a replacement. Or that the replacement will be much worse. Then I thought that it couldn’t get any worse than this. Bahala na, hirap na ako! I no longer cared that I was going to give a higher pay and that I was going to pay agency fees. Bahala na, basta maging maayos ang tao ko. I still had some misses, but eventually I got the right people, both for our household and business. Ang laking ginhawa. Most importantly, Raviv’s good nature returned.

In connection to LESSON #2, this is LESSON #3: IF YOU WORK HARD FOR MONEY, MAKE MONEY WORK HARDER FOR YOU. As I have said, I no longer cared that much even when I paid agency fees and higher salaries. I often tell you guys I’m kuripot ‘di ba? Both Randy and I, actually. But this year, I feel like ang gastos ko na. Proof? Hindi na ako nag-uukay-ukay! Hehe. But seriously, that’s true. Plus that I got myself more designer bags, hihihi.

It actually dawned on me that life is short. Para saan ‘yung pagtatrabaho namin? As the adage goes, Hindi madadala ang pera sa hukay. Randy and I are both farsighted when it comes to the future, and we often refuse to bask in the present. But I believe we already have what we need, and even more. Though it is still my dream to have a big house with a big lawn in an exclusive neighborhood, (and we need to save up for that), ayoko na munang isipin ‘yun. Because kahit maliliit lang, we have roofs over our heads in Sta. Rosa and Los Banos, and we also have a decent condo in Mandaluyong. We got all the basics covered already. So I feel that it’s more important for me to enjoy the little things that money can buy instead of scrimping for my “big house with big lawn in an exclusive subdivision” dream. Live the moment na muna.

Hehe.

As a corollary to LESSON #3, my LESSON #3.1 is: I also realized that doing things by yourself “para makatipid” is not always a good idea. Many times, it’s better to just buy or get someone else’s services. Often, time at stress pa lang lugi na ako. Instead of being able to relax and chill or spend time with family and friends, my stress levels get high and I don’t get to rest. And for what ‘di ba? For the half-hearted “Wow ang galing! Ikaw lang ang gumawa nito!” praises? Or saving of a few hundred pesos? Not really worth it. I say delve into DIY if you’re so bored and got nothing to do, or if you are the expert on that something, or if you would truly enjoy what you’re doing. Enjoy, as in hindi ka susungit dahil sa pagpapaka-Martha Stewart mo. Otherwise, DIYing is totally not worth it.

Sometimes I would think that I’m already throwing caution to the wind with my spending, and I would get scared. But then again I have to remind myself that:
1) Hindi ko inuutang o ninanakaw ang panggastos namin;
2) We still have savings and we are still far from living beyond our means;
3) Randy and I got insured for sickness and accidents;
4) We got Raviv’s future secured; and
5) We—especially Randy after years of toil and pagkukuripot—deserve to revel the fruits of his hardwork.

And speaking of life is short, here’s LESSON #4: MY BODY IS NOT INVINCIBLE, SO I HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF IT. You know when I was young and I wasn’t a mother yet, I felt like I owned the world. I had hubris: I wasn’t fat even if I was eating like a construction worker and not exercising; and my skin was smooth and glowing even if I slept late, didn’t put on sunscreen and subjected it to lots of pulling and tugging. Abuso kung abuso. I was at the peak, and I did not think abusing myself would take its toll. Then I became a mom. I started to feel ugly, and I could no longer shake off those pesky extra extra extra pounds. Worse, people I knew started getting sick and dying. It gave me sleepless nights worrying.

I want to tell you that I’m living a healthy lifestyle already, that I’m counting calories and exercising regularly. Kaso hindi pa rin. Old habits die hard. But in 2015, at least I got a health insurance cum investment. That way, if I get sick, I won’t deplete our savings or scrimp on my healthcare. There were also times that I actually got physical and enjoyed eating vegetable salads sporadically. Moreover, I’ve also religiously started wearing sunscreen everyday and putting on night cream. This 2016, here’s my plan. I don’t want to be too ambitious so I’ll start with these:
1) Exercise at least 3x a week.
2) Eat fruits and/or raw vegetables before eating rice and ulam.
3) Sleep at 11 p.m. at the latest.
4) Get facials at least once a month.

I say that 2015 was not that good because it was the year where we experienced lots of changes. This year was a transition period. Remember my birthday bawl post? Every now and then I would feel a pang of pain everytime I remember how things used to be, when our house would be chaotically happy because of the presence of our Brain Train family. But finally, I learned to let go.

So yes, you probably guessed LESSON #5: DON’T DWELL ON NOSTALGIA. MOVE ON. It was difficult for us to accept that things were not gonna be the same. We lingered for a while and waited. And waited. And waited for naught. Until finally, I decided to stop being sentimental. I proactively sought new friends and started appreciating the people around me.

My birthday wasn’t that lonely after all because of these lovely ladies, my Victory Groupmates!

My lovely Victory Groupmates and I on our Christmas party

And if there’s one thing I got from being with my crazy Brain Train family, it’s hosting and throwing fun-filled parties! This year, Familia Brain Train no longer had a Christmas party. So I organized an interoffice/intrabuilding Christmas party. It was welcomed by most of our tenants, and they had fun.

Scenes from the first ever Brain Train Building Christmas Party

I would be lying if I say that with my “Move on!”bravado, I no longer miss my Brain Train family. I still do, and I always will.

Brain Train Mafioso. Iba kami eh. Basta iba! The best!

But as I have said, we have to move forward. The world is big and there are billions of people to meet, greet, love, help, and learn from.

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Amidst the rollercoaster ride that was 2015, my husband and son were always with me, loving me unconditionally. The last days of 2015, I got awful, awful news. I’m sorry I cannot share it with you. But that news made me appreciate Randy all the more.

So yes, may LESSON #6 pa: GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE. It matters, promise. It doesn’t cost a cent, but the joy it brings is priceless. Many people (including me) neglect to vocalize their appreciation of their spouses because of a multitude of shallow reasons: awkward, alam naman n’ya yun, lalaki lang ang ulo, iisipin n’ya ang galing-galing n’ya, etc. ‘Di ba? This New Year, let’s break that mindset and verbalize our gratitude and admiration. After reading this blog, tell your loved ones how much you appreciate them. Be specific. With a smile in your faces, in a sincere (‘wag yung nang-aasar!) tone, tell them they’re handsome, they’re beautiful, the food they prepared was so delicious, you love waking up beside them, and the list goes on I’m sure. It’s a great way to start the new year. Imagine being the recipient of that message. Ang sarap, ‘di ba?

Happy New Year again everyone! Let God guide us this year, and trust me, it’s gonna be awesome! :)

What about you?  Any life lessons learned in 2015?  Share away!

Reasons why the 2015 Miss Universe pageant is historic (especially to us Pinoys!)

Wait, disclaimer muna: I’m no Norman Tinio when it comes to beauty pageants, OK? What I’m going to write are comments made by a casual pageant observer. Feel free to correct me when I’m wrong about something.

Anyway highway and expressway….

OMG OMG OMG!!! That’s what I kept on shouting earlier as I watched the live telecast of the #MissUniverse2015 on Star World.

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I almost didn’t watch it because Randy, Raviv and I were supposed to do some last-minute shopping this morning. In fact, I was already getting dressed to go out. But when I saw on Fashion Pulis that Pia was among the Top 5, I hurriedly turned on the TV. Pag bukas ko, sakto that Miss Philippines has just been called to complete the Top 3. I convinced Randy that we need not do some more shopping anymore. Then I curled up on bed and continued to watch. I also turned on the TV in the kitchen so Yaya Isay and Manay Gemma could watch while they’re cooking.

During the Q&A portion, pak na pak naman talaga ang answer ni Pia! “Confidently beautiful with a heart” will go a longer way than “major, major”, I tell you. Kebs that she looked the most nervous of all (did you notice that? Miss USA and Miss Colombia were smiling and waving while Pia seemed to have stood frozen for some time). Based on my meager knowledge of what answer was pang-Miss Universe, I think that it was just a toss between Miss USA and Miss Philippines. Miss Colombia’s answer seemed tangential. So ayaaan naaaa, nakakakaba naaaaa!

My nerves calmed down a bit after I watched Seal serenading the ladies. “Kiss From a Rose” is among my super duper favourite songs!

And then commercial again. Randy joined me in bed, medyo mocking me for watching, because he knows pageants are really not my cup of tea.

Then the winners were being announced by Steve Harvey. When Miss USA was pronounced as the 2nd runner-up, I was cheering! In my mind, #AlamNaThis! Philippines na ’to! Then the emcee (haha, emcee talaga?!? Sige na nga, host na lang) announced that Miss Colombia was Miss Universe, I groaned loudly. I was complaining to Randy that I’ll never understand the Q&A portion because my “best answer bets” don’t usually win. I was wallowing in depression that’s why I didn’t move to turn off the TV. I tortured my pagka-Pinoy by watching Paulina Vega and Ariadna Gutierrez hug and jump together. Back-to-back winner ang Colombia. :(

And then Steve Harvey walked on stage. When he said, “I have to apologize” and Miss Colombia was still smiling, I thought he was going to crack a joke. But after seeing him cringe…OMG OMG OMG!!!

And the rest is history!!!

I was cheering happily and wildly in the bedroom, and so did Yaya Isay and Manay Gemma in the kitchen!  Randy even said it was a good thing he decided to lie down and watch beside me.  Even the Facebook pages dedicated to sports he is subscribed to is talking about it.

While I was wrapping Christmas gifts afterwards, I couldn’t help but realize how historic the Miss Universe 2015 is, especially for us Filipinos. Here are why:

  1. The obvious. This is the first time that the wrong Miss Universe has been announced.
  2. Trumping Donald Trump. The Miss Universe franchise had been under Donald Trump from 1996 to 2014. This year, Trump no longer has any stake in the pageant.
  3. After 42 years! After Margie Moran won the crown in 1973 (only four years after Gloria Diaz won our first), the crown has remained elusive, until now. For a long time, our representatives were tagged only as “clappers”, or the perennial Miss Photogenic (thanks to our diligence in voting). In fact, the Pinoys’s collective interest in the Miss Universe was rekindled only in 2010 when Venus Raj got into the Top 5. After that the Philippines would always be among the Top 5, except for last year. The crown was always “abot-kamay”, but the crown would always end up on someone else’s pretty head.
  4. No more basura from Barraza. Did you know that for many years, Colombian Alfredo Barazza (Stella Araneta’s friend) has been designing the Philippine representative’s gown? Rumour has it that last year, MJ Lastimosa was in a bad mood because she wanted to wear a gown by Filipino designer Leo Almodal, but Stella Marquez Araneta (a Colombian) insisted on the Barazza gown. Many Pinoys say that the gowns Barazza makes for the Miss Philippines candidates are shonget, but the gowns he makes for Miss Colombia candidates are wonderful. You be the judge:

1450687042_thumb.jpegMiss Colombia 2014 Paulina Vega’s gown by Alfredo Barazza. Paulina Vega is Miss Universe 2014

1450687090_thumb.jpegMiss Philippines 2014 Mary Jean Lastimosa’s gown by Alfredo Barazza. Mary Jean had no place in the Miss Universe pageant last year

Ariella Arida-Philippines-Evening Gown-Miss Universe 2013Miss Philippines 2013 Ariella Arida’s gown by Alfredo Barazza. (Yellow is my favorite color, but that’s the only thing I love about this gown. Fabric looks ill-fitting and stiff)

Pinoys were enraged over this “sabotage” and clamored for a Filipino designer because, naman, andaming Pinoy designers who are soooo good!  We also know they will do their absolute best to give our representatives the best gowns ever. And this year, sa wakas, Pia Wurtzbach wore gowns by Filipino designer albert Andrada.

Look and see the difference:

1450687776_thumb.jpegNational costume

1450687853_thumb.jpegEvening gown

So when it was down to Pia vs. Ariadna earlier, it was also Andrada vs. Barazza! And we know who won! :)

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As I’ve said on Facebook, if not for the fact that Miss Philippines won, I’d dwell on the humiliation that Miss Colombia is most probably feeling right now. It’s like she was jilted in the altar after the groom said his wedding vows. Ganern. Many websites say that Steve Harvey’s gaffe was unfair to both girls. I fully agree when it comes to Miss Colombia. I don’t see any silver lining. The joke that she had the shortest reign as Miss Universe is cruel and not a laughing matter.

But for Pia…I can’t say nothing positive came out of it. Sure, Pia didn’t have her “moment” (of kaway-kaway, rampa-rampa as Miss Universe). But I think what made it worse was that it was awkward to blatantly celebrate when your fellow contestant was probably feeling lower than an angleworm’s belly. Pia didn’t have that chance to celebrate her victory. She had to be sensitive, (I saw from Dyan Castillejo’s report that after being flanked by the other candidates to congratulate her, Pia tentatively approached Miss Colombia. The latter seemed to be crying and was being consoled by other candidates) so as not to bask in her victory and flagrantly flaunt it.

But the silver lining is that her victory is one for the books. It will never be forgotten…she will never just be a Miss Universe statistic! It was also sweeter—when she thought it was all over and all hope has left her, her spirits soared to new heights.

Congrats, Pia! Thank you for starting the Philippines’ Book 3 in the most prestigious beauty pageant.

 

Note: All images courtesy of Google