Dear Lebron James

Dear Lebron James,

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!  My husband’s sanity depended on you.  😀

See, aside from us (his family), his other passions were his bullmastiffs, bird photography, and being your fan.

Early this year, he lost his favourite bitch–the “Mother of Champions”—Khaleesi.

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Screen Shot 2016 06 20 at 11 12 42 AMThe progeny of Khal Drogo and the late Khaleesi

It was very heartbreaking for him.  He did everything he could to save Khaleesi, but his best was not enough.

To survive that very tragic episode in his life, he channelled his energy into bird photography.  Even though he was a newbie, his bird photos brought good vibes to the Newsfeed of his Facebook friends.

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Screen Shot 2016 06 20 at 11 20 03 AMA few of my favourites from Randy Ladaga’s bird photos

But a few weeks ago, a thief broke into his office and stole his bird photography paraphernalia: camera body and expensive lenses, and stuffed them all into his new backpack where his Ray-ban sunnies were also stuffed.

And oh by the way, check out his office:

Lebron James lifesize sticker

He discovered the theft a few hours before Game 1 of the NBA Finals.  He still watched, and his heartache doubled who you lost.  And lost, and lost.

I could just imagine how he was feeling when he posted this on Facebook two Saturdays ago:

NOT MY YEAR: The year 2016 has not been very good to me. Early this year, I lost my dear bullmastiff Khaleesi, leaving me with just her only love Khal Drogo. As an indirect result of my losing one of my dogs, my office got burglarized last week and I lost my birding camera and lens. I was just starting off with bird photography and it has somehow taken the place of Khaleesi, and now it has come to a halt. To top it all off, Lebron James is all set to lose this year’s NBA Finals again. I might not be showing it too much, but I’m probably the Philippines’ number 1 Lebron James fan. Bullmastiffs, bird photography, NBA. Can 2016 be any worse when it comes to my passions?

Oriental Pratincole (juvenile)
June 2, 2016, IRRI

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Yes Lebron, you were the finale.  He was counting on you to make everything right for him.  Watching you is one of the two reasons he wants to live a long life (the other being he wants to see our son grow up.  Yep, you before me. 😛  In fact, I remember that when I gave birth, he wanted us to go home as soon as possible because you had a game)

Screen Shot 2016 06 20 at 11 08 35 AMHe’s willing to burn bridges with anyone who lambasts you.

So when you started winning, he also started to perk up.

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And today, you made history.  🙂  More important, you made my husband very happy.  Our entire household expects that he’ll be in a good mood for the next few days, thanks to you.  He’ll realize all the more that indeed, he should live a healthy lifestyle so he could keep on watching you.

I don’t care about NBA, but I care about my husband so much.  So Lebron, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!  Thank you for being a “once in a generation player”, and for being a huge part of bringing in one of the most exciting NBA Seasons ever.

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The Wife of a True “Witness”

Ang tunay na lalaki

I rarely pay attention to–much less share–Sponsored videos I see on my Facebook newsfeed. But I recently did. It’s this touching Ariel commercial:

Watch the viral video that has been featured by CNN and has been applauded by global gender-equality icon, Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook. The video is about men who #ShareTheLoad through helping their wives do household chores – doing the laundry, for example.

I shared it not because I wanted to make “parinig” to the men in my life (my Dad and my husband), but because I couldn’t relate.

I couldn’t relate because I grew up seeing my father wash our clothes with my mom on weekends after a long work week in the city when we don’t have a maid. Sometimes, he would even be absent from work when curtains and beddings were scheduled to be washed and the weekend is not enough.

On top of that, Dad finds joy in cooking for us. Our standards when it comes to inihaw na bangus and inihaw na pusit are pretty high, because Dad’s ihaw skills are legendary.  A few hours before dinner, he would personally go to the market to ensure he gets the best fish and the biggest and freshest pusit. Then he would very slowly broil these seafood outdoors. While guarding our inihaw, I remember sitting on his lap while he points out constellations in the dark sky. But it doesn’t end there: he would go up to personally chopping our pusit, flaking our bangus, and putting them on our plates. All we have to do is sit and eat. (Although until I was 11 years old, I remember that my best meals where when I ate from Dad’s bare hands).  It takes hours before we eat, but the waiting is always well worth the wait: tasty, just-right, tender broiled fish and pusit all the time.

When he brings us to the airport to send us off to our maternal grandparents’s for summer vacation, he would always wear dark shades because he always cries. As in hagulhol, that Mom would chide him and say, “Uuwi rin naman!” Hehe.

And although careerwise my Mom is more successful, Mom always expresses that despite their differences, Dad is the wind beneath her wings.  Dad is never insecure about Mom’s career success, and allows her to shine.  He’s not one to demand that she be home early to do this or that.  For Dad, Mom’s success is also his success.

By my portrayal of my Dad, one would think he’s effeminate. But NO. Hahaha, NO!  His mere baritone voice would intimidate anyone.  His features would rival any Pinoy contravida’s. I don’t think anyone has ever thought he could be anything less than a man.

Fatherhood’s Casino Royale-themed 60th birthday party in December 2015

My Dad is not perfect, and we have hurt each other m’s feelings several times. There are some things about him I still fervently pray he would change. And though his barrio-tic and kuripot ways used to embarrass me (hehe), I realize that my childhood wouldn’t have been that fun or exciting if I had the corporate, sa-opisina-lang-ako-magtatrabaho Dad I have always wanted.  This Ariel commercial (bless the person behind it!) made me appreciate the kind of man Dad is.

And most importantly, I wouldn’t have been the woman I am if I had a different Dad.

Because of how Dad treated Mom, it had always been inculcated in my mind that a husband and wife must share the load in everything. That a real man is not conscious of what society delineates what a certain gender must do. A real man is more conscious of how his strength could lighten the load of and bring joy to his loved ones.

So because of Dad, the man I married not only works hard to provide our material needs. He also works hard to babysit our son just so I could sleep more, attend to my kaartehan, or just so he could spoil me.

He may not be a great cook like my Dad, but he’s my son’s best buddy!

Because my Dad is a real man, I married a real man. And my son will grow up to be a real man.

From Ariel and MomsterTeacher, happy Father’s Day to all the loving Dads out there!

Guess Who’s Back!!!

Nope, not Raviv.

Anyway, it’s my rest day today (after 4 consecutive days of gruelling, intense-na-intense teaching), and what I want to do is maglaba!

Yes, you read that right.  I want to do the laundry, because it’s so freaking hot and I’m hopeful that if I do the laundry I’ll keep on touching the water and water will spill onto my body so I’ll groan with relief (eeew, did it just sound sensual?).

Earlier Randy told me to just turn on the aircon in our bedroom while I was watching the 1994 Miss Universe pageant–that was held here in the Philippines–on YouTube.  In fairness, natuwa ako. 🙂  I remember watching it when I was 11 years old, stood 5’1”, and was worried because I had a keloid on my knee—the surefire sign that I was not meant to be a beauty queen, hehe.  Today, I thought that I would find the whole thing baduy, but surprisingly I didn’t. And two things stood out for me. First, I now realize I got a good reason aside from “patriotism” why the 11-year-old me was rooting for Charlene Gonzales.  She was so beautiful, so witty, and so eloquent pala talaga.  Second, Ogie Alcasid was awesome as the ladies’ tour guide.

Anyway, back to the aircon.  I couldn’t turn on the aircon because 1) I was alone in our bedroom and just relaxing so sayang naman ang kuryente, and 2) it reeked of rugby because there were workers in adjacent room renovating our bedrooms and working on my future walk-in closet.  Yes guys, I’m gonna have pretty modular walk-in closet soon!  I’ve always wanted one, so the best husband in the world (itago na lang natin sa pangalang Randy) made sure I’m gonna have it in our future new bedroom.  It’s really smaller (a lot) than what I actually need (yes, NEED…I have so many clothes and abubots eh), but I didn’t want my walk-in closet to eat into our bedroom.  Anyway I could still use the cabinets along our future corridor to store my not-so-favourite clothes and accessories.

But because of that renovation, jusko, our current bedroom is a huge pile of mess!  Gravity!

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The kalat above is just the tip of the iceberg!  These are just the freshly-laundered clothes that we don’t know where to put.  Not to mention the sawdust and cement dirt that my feet feel on the floor!  But then tiis-tiis na lang.  I hope that in a week, I could start fixing my new walk-in closet.  Magpapaka-Marie Kondo ako. It’s a lot of work but now I feel more confident because someone is baaaack!

Yes, someone dear has come back to work for us.

Sirit na who?

Iiiit’s Alona!!!

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We picked her up from the airport just last Wednesday after our review class on Katipunan Ave.  If not for my splitting migraine I’d have jumped up and down hugging her upon seeing her because I’m sooo relieved she’s back!

Hindi ko lang naikukwento sa inyo, but ever since Yaya Isay left after Christmas (she promised she’d be back but honestly I didn’t believe her. I think she only said she’ll come back so we won’t convince her not to leave.  Oh well, whatever) I dreaded coming home to Los Banos and preferred staying in Sta. Rosa.  It’s always a mess, and we kept on replacing part-time maids.  Then finally when we settled on getting a full-time gay “maid”, I held my expectations because he’s only 21 years old.  So yes, there were a lot he didn’t know and his idea of cleanliness was very disparate from mine.  Most of the time I’d end up doing lots of things but I was just grateful I had someone to utos and help me.  I had no choice but to lower my standards and hold my expectations lest I’d be highblood all the time.


Anyway in other news, Randy and I tried to talk to Raviv last night.  But Motherhood was nagpaka-contravida!  She said that Raviv is having the time of his life, never tiring of playing with his cousins. She told us not to call because the last time we called and talked to him, Raviv silently cried himself to sleep.  No theatrics—he just probably missed us but didn’t want to complain or make a big deal out of it.  According to Mom, Raviv’s such a good boy who never complains.  So painfully good that when Raviv quietly cried himself to sleep (Mom asked what was wrong, he just said “Nothing”), she and Dad were also teary-eyed, in awe of how mabait Raviv is.  So ‘wag na raw naming tawagan at nade-depress lang daw ang bata. 🙁  That left Randy and me feeling ambivalent.  We’re of course happy that Raviv is having fun, especially because we know we cannot devote our time to him this summer.  But we’re also really sad because we miss him so much that this morning we just watched several videos of Raviv recorded on my mobile phone.

Hayst, ganito pala mahiwalay sa anak.  To survive, I just pretend and tell myself that Raviv will be back tomorrow.  And then I tell myself that the following day.  And the following day, and so on.  I don’t know until when I can keep up this charade.  Oh well, might as well be productive:  teach excellently (oh boy, I missed teaching high school students!!!), channel my still-nowhere-to-be-found inner Marie Kondo in preparation for my walk-in closet, get-together with friends…and co-make a Raviva with Randy. 😉  Hihi.

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. (More obvious than this?!? Hehe)

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. 🙂 


Love, love, love everyone!

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?


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.


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!

My Birthday Bawl

To all who greeted me on my birthday, thank you so much. You just don’t know how much each greeting meant to me.

Or do you know want to know how precious each one was?

Like what I said in one of my previous posts, I really wasn’t expecting much of my birthday. And that was true, especially because exactly a week from my birthday, the brother of one of my employees passed away. Of course, it was expected that she’d be absent for a week or so. As usual, ngarag uli. Last week—just like my weeks the past months—was bustling with activities especially because one of our main teachers was absent. Then may drama pa ‘yung new teacher aide ko. I was too stressed that I discontinued my diet and started binge-eating. I’m a stress eater kasi. I’m fat and bloated when I’m stressed. I eat my way to temporary happiness.

My birthday was a holiday, that meant we were be in Los Banos on that day. But my mind was too busy thinking of how we’d survive the week without the teacher on leave that I no longer thought about any birthday parties. Randy was asking me what we’ll do on my birthday. I told him I was too exhausted to plan my birthday, so we’ll just keep it simple: on the day before my birthday, I just wanted to eat crab at Claw Daddy Nuvali, and then buy shoes after.  And so we did that on Thursday.

Brief review about Claw Daddy, Nuvali (it’s the sister company of The Red Crab): In my opinion, this restaurant is so underrated. I wonder why it isn’t patronized that much. I love almost everything about Claw Daddy in Nuvali: courteous and accommodating staff, excellent ambiance (rustic and nostalgic), fantastic view (lakeside), and let’s not get started on the uber delicious crab dishes! It just smells a bit musky inside, but save for that, it’s perfect!

If you’re a crustacean lover, this is the best place to eat! It makes eating crabs worry free. Look:

From the apron that protects your clothes from the inevitable talsik to the gadgets and gizmos in crushing the crab shells and sundot-ing the meat from the narrowest point; to the bucket where you could easily dispose the shells without crowding your plate and the table; and to the hot towel that they would give you after your meal to remove the lansa from your hands and mouth. And again, let me reiterate that the crab dishes I’ve tasted are really yummy! So far, I’ve tasted Crab Maritess and Szechuan Crab (twice each). Both are incredibly delicous, but both Randy and I prefer Szechuan.

I can’t wait to try out the other crab dishes there!

After that, we proceeded to Res Toe Run. I’ve wanted to buy canvas shoes for the longest time. Those who know me probably can’t believe that I’ve been eyeing canvas shoes, because I’m a heels girl (especially now that I’ve gained weight). But because my work at Gymboree requires me to wear socks all the time (and because there was a time when I was too lazy to remove my socks that I just wore my wedge sandals on top of my socks outside Gymboree and the person I met outside was surreptitiously looking at such a baduy ensemble), I surrendered to the heed of comfy canvas shoes. Good thing Wakai shoes were on sale at Res Toe Run. They were on super sale that I bought two lovely and comfy pairs!

Each pair cost only Php920, more 50% slashed off the original price

After that, we went to Los Banos. The following morning, Randy woke me by kissing me and greeting me a happy birthday. Through a haze, I thought I saw balloons on the ceiling and for a brief moment I thought I was in for a treat that day.  But when I rubbed my eyes and was fully awake, I realized that the balloons were just a mirage. I turned to my phone. No “Happy Birthday” messages. I also checked my two Facebook accounts. No “Happy Birthday” posts on my timeline, either. I told myself it was nothing, because I chose not to share my birthday to the public. That it was my birthday was visible only to me. Though at the back of my mind, I was secretly wishing that my “friends” on Facebook still knew it’s my special day, somehow.

Then I went through the usual stuff I do on my rare days off: read some articles on my iPhone, prepared breakfast, fed Raviv. As I was feeding Raviv, I suddenly had the willies and asked myself, “Will I really feel this unspecial on the day that I’m supposed to feel special? Will I really spend it just running after Raviv, amidst people who don’t care a hoot about making me feel special today?”

Tears started to well, and I retreated to our bedroom. Randy followed after a while, and asked me what was wrong. Of course I replied with the perfunctory “Wala”, though I secretly hoped he’d probe further, which he did. And then the dam broke. I told him how unhappy I was that no one seemed to care for me anymore. I told him I even sank so low to the point of making my birthday visible in one of my Facebook accounts, just so some people would spend three seconds and type the generic “Happy birthday!” or even one second to type, “HBD” to make me feel special. I told him I was tired of planning everyone else’s despedida and birthday parties…puro surprise at last minute pa (you know how tiring and stressful surprise and last-minute parties are, right?)! And then on my special day, waley. He said he thought I just wanted crabs and shoes, just as I said. I said, “I thought so too!” And then I just cried more. He hugged me and apologized for not being more discerning. Although after the hug he told me I was like Sharon Cuneta—blessed but depressed. I said that yes, probably. Basta marami pang pangaral sa akin si Randy about counting my blessings and I honestly, I agreed with them all. I may be unreasonable, but all I could tell him was that I couldn’t control how I feel, and that’s how I felt. I said I’m just so freaking tired everyday, especially because I don’t have a day off (except when there’s a holiday). I blamed my weight gain to the fact that I have to wear the same boring clothes everyday that I honestly have forgotten how to porma thus I no longer had any motivation to watch my figure. He told me he’ll throw me a party since it was still early anyway, but I told him I never entertained the thought because let’s face it: the people who used to make my birthdays a lot of fun have moved on, just as we did. We lead very different lives now, and I think I’d feel more unspecial if all of them would just play the, “I’m sorry we can’t” or “Sorry busy kasi” card on me after I would slave the whole day cooking food. The excuses could be valid reasons, yes, but still I’d be hurt.

(In case you didn’t know, we are at a transition period right now. Our Los Banos home used to be so alive with people—we used to have parties almost every two weeks. Now, it is chillingly quiet and almost everyone is new. Moreover, since my business is new, my team and I are working extra hard to ensure we give our clients their money’s worth. Plus since we also live in Sta. Rosa City for most of the week, we are also adjusting to our new environment).

Looking back, I regret having that outburst because it stressed out Randy. I’m crying again right now because I am so touched remembering how my husband wanted me to be happy.  He would go from hugging me to scolding me, then asking me what I wanted (“Gusto mo ibili na kita ng pinakamahal talagang bag? Mag-shopping spree ka gusto mo?”), to blaming himself for not knowing me enough. Bottomline is, he just wants me to be happy and he seems he can’t live with himself to see me unhappy.

During my drama anthology, I told him that it seems I really needed affirmation from other people that I’m special. I need to be around friends and other people. [Read more…]

Bring Home the Beacon

Happy Sunday! I am in Quezon City right now, waiting for my turn to teach. I hope there won’t be much traffic later this afternoon as I look forward to going to church. Our move to Sta. Rosa made me “homeless” spiritually for a few months, but now I can say I’ve found a new home in Victory Sta. Rosa (Nuvali). I love listening to Pastor Janssen’s deep and thought-provoking (but never boring!) preachings. I also love spending time with my new Victory group mates.

We meet every Thursday morning; I try to make time to get out of my busy schedule to attend because it gives me respite. I feel refreshed and I am inspired to be a better person (particularly wife, mom and Christian) after each session.

The word last Thursday was particularly striking, and I really want to share it with you, especially to the moms who are having trouble juggling everything and not knowing what and whom to prioritize.

Let’s begin with this story from Max Lucado’s book, “Just Like Jesus”:

A lighthouse keeper who worked on a rocky stretch of coastline received oil once a month to keep his light burning bright. Not being far from the village, he had frequent guests. One night a woman needed oil to keep her family warm. Another night a father needed oil for his lamp. Then another needed oil to lubricate a wheel. All the requests seemed legitimate, so the lighthouse keeper tried to meet them all. Toward the end of the month, however, he ran out of oil and his lighthouse went dark, causing several ships to crash on the coastline. The man was reproved by his superiors, ‘You were given the oil for one reason,’ they said, ‘to keep the light burning.

Remember how we moms are touted to be the “ilaw ng tahanan”? We are the lighthouse keeper, actually. We must serve as our family’s moral compass and “a beacon that displays the light to guide her children through an ocean of choices.”

But just like the lightkeeper, so many people and so many things seem to require our “oil reservoir” (aka our time, efforts and talent) as well: there’s our heavy workload in the office, a friend who needs a crying shoulder, a relative who needs our help, a house that seriously needs some TLC…and the list goes on. Including our want to use the oil for ourselves. All seem legit and we will feel uncaring, irresponsible and selfish if we just ignore these things and people that also scream for our “oil”. But just as with what happened with the lightkeeper, the damage is greater when we set aside the real purpose of the oil.

Suffice it to say, when we prioritize other things way above our family, the damage is greater. I know for a fact that I’d rather not get a raise or promotion if that means my son might become a drug addict or a petty criminal because he tried looking for love, affection and attention elsewhere. I’d rather not be a famous or top blogger if my love affair with my laptop might drive away my husband and have an affair of his own. I’d rather have a messy house if it means I will have a loving home.

The reason this word cut through me is because I feel like I’m the lightkeeper who’s so caught up with other “legit” things that he was either forgetting or setting aside his real role.

On top of being a wife and mom, I crave to be a Mary Barra who has Martha Stewart’s domestic skills; Ivanka Trump’s beauty and clout; and Oprah Winfrey’s gift of gab. It’s not that I will totally leave out being a family woman—it’s just that for the longest time, I was being Raviv’s mom and Randy’s wife…when my other activities permit me to.

Am I saying that I must cease from trying to have different facets? Not exactly. All I’m saying is that I realize that just like the lightkeeper, I must not veer away from my most important role to the most important people in my life, lest I run out of oil. ButI’m not saying that my goal is just to be a mom and wife 100%. No. My light is not just for inside the home—it would be too glaring. I am still willing to open our home’s windows so that my light from the inside could still help and guide other people. But the priority is always my son and my husband.

But even if I save my oil for my family, it is inevitable that it would run out. That’s why I need to turn to God, always. He is the supplier of my oil to help me burn brightly to guide my family first, and then me in my work, my friends, my relatives, and even strangers. If I know that I will not run out of oil because I am confident that my Lord has limitless supply and that He’ll always give me enough, I won’t scrimp on shining and burning brightly for the people who need my light.

Have a blessed week ahead!


To the Best Husband & Dad: 7 Years and Counting

I realized that two consecutive Sundays have come to remind me how blessed I am to have Randy in my life: Father’s Day last Sunday, and our 7th Wedding Anniversary today.

How time flew!

Salamat Facebook sa pagpapaalala!

Honestly (and sadly), I almost forgot our anniversary. And last Sunday, I was just too tired to honor Randy as a father: I was not able to buy him a gift and I didn’t have the time and energy to, once again, laud him publicly how truly happy I am that he is the father of my son. I was that busy and tired. I felt like there’s no room in my head to reminisce and be sentimental about us, puro work, work, work, work na lang ang laman ng utak ko! That’s why when Randy said he’ll be joining the dog show in Angeles this weekend, I didn’t protest.

But now I realize that having two consecutive Sundays to celebrate the important roles Randy has been playing are not to be ignored. After all, not everyone gets to snag a handsome, smart and faithful partner…

Ay mali! Hahaha! But LeBron James, Randy is very loyal to you. More loyal than your own wife. LOL!

Ito na talaga:

Kunsabagay, what reason does he have not to be faithful to me? Hihihi!

…and not all children have a loving, patient and generous father!

Ay mali uli! Si Raviv pala dapat! Hahaha! But with how he took care of his puppies, multiply that a thousand times over…that’s how he is with our son.

So let me remind myself why my husband is truly a gift from God.

Here are my Top 7 (for the 7 years of blessed wedded bliss.) reasons why he’s the best, ever!

  1. He is such a great, great dad. May aaminin ako sa inyo. A week before Father’s Day, Randy and I had a fight. I was emotional, fuming mad and irrational. So emotional and irrational that I wanted to leave him. But what primarily held me back was Raviv—I could never ever deprive him of any minute away from his Tatay. I really can’t. Sabihin na ng mga tao ang gusto nilang sabihin against Randy, but what I could never ever deny is how great of a father he is to Raviv. I woudn’t be able to forgive myself if I take that opportunity away from Raviv.
  2. He is so dependable. Randy is my North, and even though I would sulk when he sermons me, many of my newfound good traits are because of him. I am not scared of the future, because I know he makes sound decisions. And if ever he is wrong, he will work doubly hard to make it right. He is THAT kind of man. Truly, I will be lost without him.
  3. He prioritizes us. Yes, his family. Not his work, not his barkada, not social gatherings, not a drinking spree…it’s family first to him. And by the way, his family includes Raviv, me…and the dogs and LeBron James. LOL! On a more serious note, what really proves this is the fact that he tends to be more careful with his words towards me and Raviv. He is usually brutally frank with other people especially when he is cross, but he is careful with his words when reprimanding me and Raviv. ‘Di ba usually baligtad? But no—he cares more about not to offend the people he loves.
  4. He is smart and intelligent. Alam naman natin ang academic credentials ni Randy, ‘di ba? Moreso if you know of his childhood and how he became who he is. But what’s more amazing about him is that even those with “higher academic credentials” are in awe of him. I’ve often heard them say they’re astonished how Randy could pull off something, how he manages to organize things, how easily he could explain something, and many more.
  5. He is good to my family. One of the things Randy did that I will never forget and forever cherish was when he suggested we shoulder three sessions of my tita’s chemotherapy. I didn’t need to ask him to give—he just did on his own. Moreover, he never sulks when my folks are around, and even always tells me to ensure they are comfortable. I love him all the more for loving my family!
  6. He is not fat. Hehe. I’m not body shaming anyone (especially because I’ve packed a few extra pounds in the last two months myself), but I want to give credit where credit is due. Randy is among the least vain men I know, but for a long life with his family, he’s very disciplined when it comes to his diet and exercise. I’m just glad he’s not like most men who expect their wives never to get fat but allow themselves to look likeBaymax.More than a designer clutch, a handsome husband on the red carpet is a woman’s more preferred accessory.
  7. He is sappy in his own way.  It’s kinda hard for those who know Randy to imagine how sweet he is with me. Even I. When I see him in action at work, I feel special because I can’t imagine how this driven, hardworking, no-time-for-idleness man could have made me blush with his sweet words and gestures. But he is, in private. I remember being envious of other women because their husbands are very showy on social media, whereas Randy is more often reserved.


    But I felt a wave of relief because I have a Facebook friend who was what I had hoped Randy to be: he keeps on posting how lovely his wife is, how much he loves his wife, etc. But I know for a fact—yes—FACT, that he’s cheating on his unsuspecting wife. In his own words, “Huli ka balbon!”



I’m happy that even though Randy isn’t showy like that on social media, he has–in real life–shown me what a great husband and father is.  And I’m blogging about it not because I’m insecure, but because he deserves to be acknowledged, after all he’s been doing for us. So this blog entry is actually me taking a break and just marvelling and consciously reminding myself what a great man God gave me. It’s not that I need to convince myself—hell no—but I just want to reflect on why he’s the best husband I could ever have, so I won’t take him for granted. And more so, to inspire me to be the wife that he needs.

Happy 7th Wedding Anniversary, Sweetheart! Thank you for allowing me to soar, for always being the wind beneath my wings. However I try to “make it on my own”, I will always acknowledge that what I’ve become, what I’ve achieved and what I have are all because of your intellectual, emotional, financial, and moral support.

I love you, always and forever.

He never looks for praises
He’s never one to boast
He just goes on quietly working
For those he loves the most
His dreams are seldom spoken
His wants are very few
And most of the time his worries
Will go unspoken too
He’s there…. A firm foundation
Through all our storms of life
A sturdy hand to hold to
In times of stress and strife
A true friend we can turn to
When times are good or bad
One of our greatest blessings,
The man that we call Dad.

Related Post:

Happy 6th Wedding Anniversary, Randy!!!

The Bad Weather of May!

Ang init kasi ‘di ba? LOL!

Of course, you know what I’m saying. Like many people (including non-Pinoys), I felt like Mayweather was cheated. Yep, Mayweather was denied by the judges the humble pie that his malnourished conscience has long been craving for. I’m not saying this simply because I’m a bitter Filipino. I really thought Manny was gonna win. We (I including those who were watching with us on Pay per View at home) were all optimistic that Pacquiao had it in the bag, until the announcer said, “…and still undefeated…” Then the whole world crashed.

Earlier, we were preparing a mini-feast for lunch. We grilled fish, squid, tahong (super sarap!) and liempo. Then I also prepared ensaladang talong at manggang hilaw, and I cooked yang chow fried rice. Nagpa-beer pa si Randy for our boys! We were supposed to eat that while watching, but the fight started earlier than we expected so we ended up delaying lunch (hindi pa luto ang pusit!) and just focusing on the fight. And during the bout I was thinking we’re gonna have a great lunch relishing Pacquiao’s victory. But then ayun nga. Hayst! I really lost appetite eating the food we prepared. Sarap pa naman!

Imagine nawalan ako nang ganang kainin ‘yan!

Of course after that I joined the netizens in expressing my disappointment! There were lots of funneh hirits, but the one I loved the most was a comment on Fashion Pulis:

Favorite ko ‘yung “Lydia de Vega” hirit! Lakas maka-80’s eh! And ramdam ko ang sarcasm n’ya. Hihihi!


By the way, let me share with you some of my conversations with Randy (who spent hours yesterday reading about fearless forecasts and watching analyses) about this fight:

[Read more…]

Randy the Proud “Feeling New Tatay Again” and the Bitch He Got Pregnant!

Yesterday, Raviv and I were invited to watch the block screening of Cinderella at Shangri-La Plaza.  It’s part of my project with PLDT Telpad—because Disney is now on PLDT Telpad!  It’s all very exciting and I’m gonna tell you more about it on a separate post.

Two days before the event, I was told to dress up Raviv in a prince costume. And honestly naloka ako sa kakahanap ng prince costume.  Every nook and cranny of department stores there are all kinds of princess costumes with all the effects and abubots, but there was nary a prince costume!  Not even a prince crown!  Or kahit anong crown na buo na walang balahibo!  Then I realized why there was a dearth of prince costumes: I have yet to meet a little boy who fantasizes of being garbed in fancy clothing to pursue a “beautiful princess” just to dance and sing with her.  Kaya siguro walang prince costumes.

Buuuut, being the ever innovative and resorceful mommy that I am, nagawan ko nang paraan.  And what’s the result?  My Amorcito won 3rd place Best in Costume yesterday.  The 2nd and 1st places went to princesses (but I think, if only the judges knew how difficult it was to come up with a prince costume, there’d be no contest and Raviv would have won 1st place).

Anyway, aside from Raviv’s triumph and our watching of Cinderella, the bigger news is that Randy missed all of these yesterday!!!  Yes, he failed to see his son smiling for the cameras whose flashes kept blinking on his face in front of a theater in a roomful of people!

Baket kamo?  Kasi busy at aligaga ang lolo natin.  Actually, he has refused to leave home since last week.


That’s because he got a bitch pregnant, and he has been taking care of that bitch.

Yes, bitch talaga!  Am I bitter that I’m calling this preggers a bitch?  Bitter maybe a bit, but I swear to you she’s a total bitch.  Wanna take a look so I can prove to you whatta bitch she is?  Here:

[Read more…]