Raviv’s Long Weekend Adventure #1: His First Big School Entrance Test

Greetings from Mindanao!

Right now we are in my parents’ house, back again after more than three years. Raviv seems to be having the time of his life. Indeed, the past days have been anything but boring and monotonous especially for our little boy. If only I already have my own laptop, I’d have blogged about it earlier. Unfortunately, my MacBook Air hasn’t been repaired yet. The technician said that the all-in-one chip needs to be replaced, and he doesn’t have a spare. :( He said he has been ordering these chips since three months ago. Until now, nada. Which means I either have to go back to PowerMac or buy a new laptop. Or wait for however long it takes. Sigh. So right now, I’m at the mercy of the people from whom I borrow laptops.

Xavier School Kindergarten Entrance Exam/Test

Anyway, Raviv’s “hectic” schedule started last Friday when he took his first ever “big school” entrance exam at Xavier School Nuvali.

The night before his exam, I was already prepping him up for it.

I: Raviv, are you ready for your test tomorrow?

Raviv: What’s a test, Nanay?

I: Test…it’s an exam.

Raviv: What’s an exam, Nanay?


Raviv really can’t grasp what a test or an exam is because even if he started going to school as early as 1.5 years, all schools he has been to (Rainbow and Gymboree) are progressive and do not give examinations to students. So we just explained that the exam will determine whether he is ready to enter the school for big kids.

Since his first exam (the group activity) was scheduled at 11 a.m., I pulled him out of his class at 10:30. I let him eat his snacks while in the car en route to Xavier. The guard directed us to the David M. Consunji Administration Bldg.

When we arrived, we just waited for a while and then Raviv and the other applicants were called one by one for their group activity. All of them were boys.

I was told that this activity was necessary to see how an applicant interacts with other kids.

After about 15 minutes, Raviv’s group was done. Raviv excitedly ran towards us and reported there was a playground. We were then instructed to return at 1:45 p.m. for Raviv’s individual test. The indivudual test ended at 2:35 p.m.

After the exam…

I: Raviv what were the questions in the test? What did they ask you to do?

Raviv: There were so many.

I: Can you tell me?

Raviv: I forgot.

I: Whaaaat?!?

Then after a few minutes in the car…

Raviv: Remember Tatay when we saw a hippo at Manila Zoo?

Randy: Wow you still remember that? That was long time ago!

Raviv: Yeah I remember everything…

I: O if you remember everything then why do you say that you’ve forgotten the exam at Xavier?!?

Raviv: That’s because I don’t wanna talk about it. OK?

Walastik na bata! Lalo tuloy akong kinabahan—sobrang hirap ba kaya ayaw n’ya nang pag-usapan? In my heart, I feel that he would pass the exam talaga. I really think he’s ready for big school. But still, I don’t want to discount the possibility that he may have done something that would cause Xavier to reject him. Randy says that if it happens, that’s fate telling us already that it’s not the school for Raviv.


Why Xavier School?

[Read more…]

Who is stealing Christmas?



Ola!  I know I promised to blog regularly (at least 2x a week), but something happened:  my MacBook Air has been broken since Sunday last week!  Randy brought it to the PowerMac Center in Alabang last Tuesday.  On Thursday, we were told that the motherboard needs to be replaced.  New parts + labor will cost a whopping P27,000.


Waaaah!!!  That’s even more expensive than a brand new laptop of a different brand.  My MacBook Air isn’t even 2 years old!!! Kaasar to the highest level!  So for the meantime I’m borrowing the laptop of Gymboree.  I’m not giving up on my MacBook, though.  There’s a repair shop I’ll have my laptop brought, and I’m hopeful it can still be fixed at the fraction of the cost quoted by PowerMac.  If it’s gonna be a success, I promise to tell you about it.

Anyway, last Friday I had a reunion with my former Victory groupmates in Los Banos for an early birthday celebration of our beloved Mama Gi.  It was madrama at first, but fun for the most part.  We’ve all missed each other so much!


One of the things we tackled was Christmas and Santa Claus.  One of the ladies expressed her concern because on her son’s Christmas Party at school, the gifts will be delivered by Santa Claus daw.

Some of you may wonder what’s the cause of concern with that.  Here’s the thing: several people—most of whom are Christians—believe that Santa Claus has stolen Christmas from Jesus Christ.


It took me a while to answer her question.  It is my heart’s desire to keep “Christ” in Christmas, but at the same time I feel like Christmas isn’t complete for a child without Santa Claus.  One of my most vivid and treasured Christmas morning memories was when I opened a gift under a Christmas tree, with a dedication from Santa Claus.  In it was a gorgeous doll that I proudly told everyone was from  Santa Claus.  On top of that, I got some coins and treats inside the socks I hung!  It was truly a merry Christmas for me, and I don’t like to deprive any kid of that feeling.  By thinking that Santa Claus has stolen Christmas from Jesus Christ (and thus removing him from Christmas), I feel like I’ll also be stealing a huge chunk of Christmas from Raviv. [Read more…]

Finally, A Christmas Tree!

Yes, finally!!! After more than 7 years as husband and wife and almost 5 years as parents, ngayon lang kami nagka-Christmas tree! I know, right? Andami ngang hindi makapaniwala.

On our first Christmas together, Randy said to save the Christmas tree for when we already have a child, because it’s usually kids who appreciate Christmas trees. I agreed, although I put some Christmas decors like wreaths and Christmas candles, poinsettias, etc. Then when I got preggers in 2010, Randy told me to skip it  because the baby wasn’t scheduled to be born until after Christmas (and true enough, Raviv was born on Dec. 26 at 12:10 a.m….ten minutes past Christmas!). On Raviv’s supposed first Christmas, we were in my parents’ because that’s where Raviv celebrated his first birthday. Ergo, still no Christmas tree. On Raviv’s second Christmas…I forgot why we didn’t buy a Christmas tree again, to think that my parents spent the Holidays here. On Raviv’s 3rd Christmas, eto ang nangyari. Then last year, I was too busy with Gymboree concerns to even think about Christmas trees.

But this morning, Randy and I went to Balibago in Sta. Rosa to take advantage of the Super8 Grocery Warehouse 3-Day Sale. On our way to Balibago, in the middle of traffic, we saw a sign na na-stress kami:

We were in disbelief…seriously?!? Sa “laser vaginal tightening” pa nga lang naloka na ako…may “flower arrangement” pa pala! Hahaha!

OK, now back to the Christmas tree.

Anyway, we’re glad we dropped by Super8 because it was on super-duper sale: imagine, discounted na, discounted pa!

‘Di ba?

Another perk of their 3-day sale was the Ocho-Ocho Promo wherein you could buy some products for only P8! Yes, you got that right! For every single receipt purchase worth P3,000 and above, you could get any of the participating products for only P8.

For example, present your receipt to the customer service and you could buy a 12 pieces of Knorr Chicken Cubes for only P8 (original prices is P56.10). ‘Di ba?!? Or get a backpack for only P88 instead of P200+.

At the Customer Service Counter. Thank you so much to Super8 Sta. Rosa Branch Manager Ms. Ana Lagatuz for assisting me earlier. :)  This promo is until Sunday only!


After shopping at Super8, I decided to go to the adjacent store that was mala-Novo. I was just supposed to buy some art paper, but then I saw Christmas trees. One thing that delayed our buying of Christmas trees was that Randy was so mapili when it comes to Christmas trees—he judged so many Christmas trees we saw on display as cheap-looking. ‘Yung maganda naman, sobrang liit or sobrang mahal.  Then I saw this Christmas tree that was just the right size, the right color and…the right price! But before I decided to buy, I called Randy first. He gave me his approval.  I also bought some decors. Very reasonably-priced as well.

At first, I felt stressed out, thinking I’ll have to spend time decorating the tree…dapat maganda eh! And since it was impromptu, I didn’t have a peg in mind—I didn’t know what decors to buy. Especially when Randy told me that the decors of the sample Christmas tree in the store was what he liked:

When I asked the salesladies where I could get those wreath decors, wala raw ganung for sale. Gawa daw nila yun. Patay na. I wasn’t very good at ribbon-making. But I still got the materials for this kind of wreath, ready to be Martha Stewart this weekend.

And then I saw plush Christmas decors like this:

I thought they were really cute, and I knew Raviv would like them. But, I realized these decors would be out of place with the elegant decor we had in mind. So I asked Randy: “Can our Christmas tree look like the Christmas trees we had when we were kids?” ‘Yung walang theme, yung medyo magulo, ‘yung hindi uniform ang decorations…In short, ’yung pwede tumulong si Raviv sa pagde-decorate. Randy smiled and agreed—I told him that though Christmas trees like these:

…were lovely, they didn’t exude that home-y feel.  No offense meant to those who have this kind of tree.  But for me, they look too formal and too cold. Aaand, too common already. Randy agreed. Since we were buying the tree primarily for Raviv, our unico hijo should be able to “help” in putting up our tree. And our original peg would not let him, because it would be tedious and would demand perfection. [Read more…]

The Super8 Grocery Warehouse Super 3-Day Sale!


Christmas is definitely in the air. And we know that Christmas = handaan. Especially for us, because Raviv celebrates his birthday every 26th of December. So dobleng handaan ‘yun, wala pang catering. That’s why as early as now, I’ve begun planning our handa for these two occasions. I also plan to start buying some canned and packed non-perishables to avoid the Christmas rush (read: long queues and out of stock goods).

So when I learned that Super8 Grocery Warehouse is going to have a 3-day sale, I was all smiles.


I just love the tagline, “Discounted na, discounted pa!” That’s music to my ears!

Super8 Grocery Warehouse is a chain of grocery warehouses that offers spot-on service and quality supplies at unbeatably low wholesale prices. As such, it has emerged as one of the most promising new players in
the retail trading today. It is actually the Philippines’s leading wholesale distribution company.

Founded in 2006, Super8 Retail Systems Inc. opened its 7 outlets after winning the bid to assume the Uniwide Sale’s grocery business. From then on, it has opened 38 more branches to serve consumers and resellers in strategic locations from north to south Luzon.


Super8 Grocery Warehouse Sale!!!

‘Di baaaa?!? Now mark your calendars and check out the Super8 Grocery Warehouse nearest you!

  • Angeles
  • Antipolo
  • Baclaran
  • Baliuag
  • Biñan
  • Binangonan
  • Blumentritt
  • Caloocan
  • Caloocan Jackman
  • Cogeo
  • Dasmariñas
  • Ermin Garcia
  • GMA Cavite
  • Gagalangin
  • Guadalupe
  • La Huerta
  • Las Piñas
  • Libertad
  • Makati
  • Malibay
  • Malolos
  • Masinag
  • Meycauayan
  • Molino
  • Montillano
  • Muntinlupa
  • Novaliches Bayan
  • Ortigas Extension
  • Recto
  • Rosario
  • San Juan
  • San Pedro
  • San Pablo
  • Sapang Palay
  • Shaw Blvd
  • Southgate Mall
  • Sta Rosa
  • Sto Rosario
  • Sucat
  • Tarlac
  • Taytay
  • Tatalon
  • Urdaneta
  • Visayas Ave.

Happy shopping!!!

Wardrobe Diary #71: Welcome Back, Self-Esteem! (November 8, 2015)

Happy Sunday everyone!

I feel great about the past week because I was able to rest. A lot. Classes at Gymboree resumed (after sembreak) only on Wednesday, and I had no classes this weekend. So hooray!!! Because I was relaxed—and because my jeans are all super tight now—I was (finally!) compelled to get physical. But to get there, I have begun sleeping and waking up early. I think I have to thank PLDT’s palpak na internet for that. Since wala nang magawa sa gabi, derechong tulog na. Result? I’d wake up early the following day.

From this, to…

…this!!! (sana magtuluy-tuloy!)

I feel happy doing it because I know it’s the right thing. I’m not getting any younger and my metabolism has slowed down, especially postpartum. Moreover, Randy’s really happy to see me up and about. He has long begged me to join him in biking, running and dog walking. But since I’m not a morning or a nature-nature person, he’d always go alone.

When we returned to Los Banos, I realized that I left my running shoes in Sta. Rosa. Fart. Buuuuut, ika nga eh ‘pag gusto may paraan. So yesterday morning, I watched Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag while on the elliptical machine (that I haven’t used in more than a year). Look, look, look:

Yes, lampas isang oras para i-burn ang 2.5 donuts. #AsanAngHustisya. But still, I feel good that I’m doing something about it. And exercising might awaken my sleeping metabolism. Actually, my mood has improved overall. Totoo ngaata ang sabi ni Elle Woods:

Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.

‘Di ba? :)

And though I know I still haven’t lost weight, I just feel so good that today that I felt confident to take a photo of me–whole body—for a Wardrobe Diary entry (but not that confident to ask Randy to use his DSLR. Mirror selfie lang muna). Here’s what I wore to church today:


And here are my outfit of the day details:

  • black sleeveless blouse: from one of the stalls at Olivarez Plaza, Los Banos (I bought this when I was a freshman in college, grabe!!! Two for P180 ang price)

  • white skirt with floral prints: Cacharel

  • white kitten heels: Prada

  • leather bag: YSL Chyc Cabas

I see from the photos that my arms still need some serious toning and that my waist is barely recognizable from my hips. But the fact that my last Wardrobe Diary post was in April, well, this speaks volumes about my regained self-esteem.  Iba talaga ‘ata ang nagagawa ng endorphins. 😉

Have an endorphine-filled week ahead!

Choosing a “Big School” for my Big Baby Boy

Randy had a parent-teacher conference with Raviv’s Pre-K teacher at Gymboree, Teacher Clarice. I wanted Randy to attend so he could give a feedback on how Gymboree Sta. Rosa teachers conduct PTCs. Moreover, I wanted Randy to know what Raviv has been doing. ‘Pag ako kasi, I’m sure I will be sidetracked by something and after a few minutes we won’t be talking about Raviv anymore but rather, Clarice and I will be talking about Gymboree in general again.

But after Randy and Clarice’s PTC, Randy excitedly told me the great things Teacher Clarice said about Raviv. Based on Randy’s report to me, Raviv is doing very, very well in school. I don’t want to brag about his “analytical intelligence”, but I want to share with you that according to Teacher Clarice, Raviv likes challenging himself and doesn’t give up on his tasks. Like when they’re shooting hoops; when Raviv could easily shoot the ball into the basket with two hands, he would go farther from the basket and try to shoot with only one hand. And when he’s playing rough with his classmates (they’re all boys in their class) and gets hit or hurt, he never complains or makes sumbong. In a nutshell, Teacher Clarice said that she thinks Raviv is super duper ready to enter big school.

Raviv and some of his classmates during their field trip

Speaking of big school, we haven’t finalized yet where we really want Raviv to go. I want Raviv to go to a school in Sta. Rosa, but Randy wants Raviv to go to a school in Los Banos. Here are our considerations:

Los Banos Pros

  1. Good quality of schools – Los Banos is an academic community, so even if there are no big name elementary school names there, we are confident that the teachers and curriculum are at least at par with the more popular ones’. At least, in terms of academics. The Los Banos schools parents community (at least the schools we consider) is made up of UP professors, international scientists and researchers, UP graduates…you get the idea. And yes, they complain when they feel that their kids’s teachers teach wrong lessons.
  2. Relatively cheap tuition fee – given that many teachers in Los Banos schools are graduates of UP, the tuition fees are very reasonable (perhaps tuition is less than half of the schools I’m eyeing in Sta. Rosa). As I’ve said, the Los Banos community is made-up of people from the academe and not really businessmen. Thus, a school with an exorbitant tuition fee will not thrive that well in Los Banos.
  3. It is home – while we have a place here in Sta. Rosa, Los Banos is our home. Our “home” here in Sta. Rosa is just a halfway house—it is really small and cramped. Our whole “house” in Sta. Rosa is smaller than our bedroom in Los Banos. We will be more comfortable in Los Banos.

Sta. Rosa Pros

  1. It is where we work – Because Raviv goes to Gymboree everyday, I’m also at Gymboree everyday. Thus, I’m able to monitor everything, and I believe my presence and being THAT hands-on benefitted Gymboree a lot. If Raviv studies in Los Banos, I will lose one very good reason to stay in Sta. Rosa often. Aside from Gymboree, Brain Train tutorials are doing a lot better in Sta. Rosa as well. We are also leasing out some office spaces in Sta. Rosa. So yes, our bread and butter these days mostly come from doing business in Sta. Rosa.
  2. More well-rounded schools – I have a feeling that the big-name schools in Sta. Rosa are more well-rounded. When I visited one prospect school, I saw several external sports clinics that the school offers. I want Raviv’s school to focus on arts and sports as well and not just on academics. If he joins a debate club, I expect him to actually learn and do debates (I remember being an officer of the drama club in high school in Los Banos, but we never even had a stage play—not a single one! Even workshops, waley).
  3. Less-to-no pressure on Raviv – If you’re from Los Banos you’ll easily get this. Mayabang nang pakinggan kung mayabang, but Brain Train has made a name in Los Banos. Why? Let’s begin with high school. In Los Banos, the most sought-after high school is inarguably the UP Rural High School. That school only accepts about 125 students per batch. More or less 100 out of 125 students per batch were our review class students. On top of that, we regularly get 8 out of 10 topnotchers of the entrance exam of that school. Same goes for UP. When Randy and I go to the UP campus or anywhere near it, we are always greeted by smiles and greetings of our former UPCAT review students, who are now UP students. Perhaps it’s not too much if I say that Randy and I are part of a team considered as an authority in helping students get into the best/most academically competitive schools. So when time comes that Raviv—our son!—takes his high school entrance exam, and, GULP, does not make it…I’m afraid that tongues would be wagging and in a hushed (but still loud enough to be heard) tone with feigned compassion, people would be saying, “‘Yung anak nga ng taga-Brain Train hindi pumasa.” I know this would happen because I remember hearing something akin to that a decade or so ago. Randy and I were checking out the passers’ list and there’s a woman beside us who said, “Ay ‘yung apo ni {owner of another review center} waitlisted lang…grabe ‘no?” Eh apo lang yun. Eto, anak namin. And I don’t even want to imagine the pain Raviv might feel in case he doesn’t make it and we have to advertise the achievements of his batchmates—when we post our Passers’ List on Facebook, layout our “Congratulations!” tarpaulin. Adolescent years n’ya pa naman ‘yun. Of course he will feign a “What-evah!” and patay-malisya kuno attitude. But deep inside I know he’ll be very sad and will always have a lump in his throat everytime that topic comes up. And it will, because we will have inquiries and it will definitely be discussed at his Los Banos school.

    2015 UP Rural High School Topnotchers and Passers from Brain Train

    But if he goes to a nice, big-name private school here in Sta. Rosa, it will hardly matter. His classmates and the other people around him won’t be too obsessed about getting into science high schools. So if he fails (though ‘wag naman sana!), keribells lang. He may feel bad about it for a week at the most, but after that, wala na.

[Read more…]

Raviv’s Halloween Costumes

Trick-or-treating is one of those Western traditions that I had really wanted to be a part of when I was young. Unfortunately, because I was born three decades earlier, at partida sa liblib na part pa ng North Cotabato ako lumaki, hanggang carolling lang ang nagawa ko. Good enough I guess, except that carollings didn’t entail me to wear costumes (which is actually half of the fun of trick-or-treating).

Fast forward to today. It seems that trick-or-treat in posh subdivisions has been en vogue since a decade ago. So when Raviv was old enough to go trick-or-treating, go agad ako! I’ve heard that one of the best trick-or-treat haunts (pun slightly intended) were in Ayala Alabang. Since my cousin lives there, off we went. Unfortunately, it wasn’t such a good experience because there were too many “outsiders” who forced their way in the exclusive village just to go trick-or-treating (I even heard from another resident that there was a time when the security didn’t allow these outsiders in…ayun nagiba ang gate). Because of this, it seemed the Ayala Alabang residents were no longer too keen on handing out special treats…Mentos at Potchi na lang din tuloy ang treats.

The Halloween after Raviv’s first trick-or-treat,we were in Thailand, and there were no Halloween events there. But last year, Gymboree Play & Music Sta. Rosa had a Pumpkin Patch Party as a pre-opening event. It was Raviv’s first Halloween Party, and he had loads of fun.

He wore a Mike Wazowzky costume that we bought from Disneyland.

Pixar characters: Mike Wazowzky and “Jessie”

This year, Gymboree Sta. Rosa hosted five Pumpkin Patch Parties, and Raviv attended four of them. At each time, he had fun and participated in all activities. He wore three different costumes to the four parties.

Speaking of costumes, what’s your take on the controversial Muslim costume of Tito Sotto and Joey de Leon?

Joey de Leon and Tito Sotto wearing thawb as Halloween costume

When I first read about it, my first instinct was, “What’s wrong with that?” Perhaps I was so dense because it took me a while to realize that, traditionally, Halloween costumes were supposed to be scary. Thus, the two hosts seemed to have implied that Muslims were to be feared. That thought slipped off my mind because in Gymboree parties, we prohibited kids from wearing anything scary. And these days, scary Halloween costumes are considered tacky already. The cuter the better na kasi. That’s why I felt a tad bad about the Halloween activity of one of our local town malls. There was a Best in Costume award, and Raviv was wearing his Mike Wazowsky costume. Honestly, I thought Raviv was at least going to be shortlisted to be a part of the Top 10. But lo and behold, deadmabells ang board of judges sa costume ni Raviv, eh ang cute-cute kaya! Most of the kids they picked were wearing heavy scary make-up. Zombies, witches, ganun. Medyo naawa ako kay Raviv when he asked, “‘Nay, why was I not picked?” I just told him that the judges were choosing kids wearing scary costumes. But there was one cute little girl who was an angel. We supported the little girl to win, but I heard others say that she shouldn’t win because it’s a Halloween activity thus scary costumes must have an edge.

Anyway, back to the thawb costume. If the two hosts meant to wear it to be in the league of witches, zombies and other scary characters,well, foul nga talaga. But if it’s just a costume, as in like a Heneral Luna or Mike Wazowzky or pirate or fighting prince, then maybe it’s no big deal. It may not be politically correct but honestly, kapagod na ‘yang political correctness na ‘yan.

IMHO, those who cry being bullied by politically incorrect people are being the bullies with all their open letters and statuses complete with “Pls share”. FYI, pikon akong tao. But I think people these days already put too much malice on the littlest things that were uttered or published offhandedly. Too much reading between the lines, when most of the time there’s nothing to read.

And FYI, I’m not a fan of Eat Bulaga or AlDub. Neither am I a fan of Showtime/Vice Ganda nor any noontime show for that matter.  Moreover, I stand corrected if Joey de Leon and Tito Sotto said or did something discriminating relating to Islam while wearing the thawb.


Sorry for the interim. Let’s return to Raviv. :) [Read more…]

Crow’s Feet Problems

These past days I’ve been feeling down everytime I check my image in the mirror in the middle of the day…my crow’s feet are getting worse! Grabe na talaga!


For months now, I’ve been religiously putting eye cream day and night. I had hoped that would solve my problem but noooooo. Worse, it seems to be getting worse. I have so far used two brands of eye creams: Shiseido Benefiance Nutriperfect Eye Serum and Burt’s Bees Radiance Eye Cream.

Unfortunately, I can’t say I’m satisfied with any of them. I had high expectations especially of the Shiseido Benefiance NutriPerfect Eye Serum because it’s expensive; I actually bought the whole line (including day cream and night cream) when we went to Hong Kong last year. Unfortunately, I can’t say any of them made a difference. The night cream and the day cream were very heavy on the face, and I’d have been willing to endure them if I saw any difference. I reverted to Burt’s Bees Eye Creams (Radiance and Naturally Ageless)—they’re a tad cheaper and I honestly the Burt’s Bees eye creams they do a better job if I diligently (and gently!) rub them to make my skin absorb them. I planned to stick to Burt’s Bees, but when I realized that my crow’s feet are getting worse, I decided to find a better alternative.

Yesterday, Randy, Raviv and I went to Alabang Town Center. Our first stop was Rustan’s. While Randy and Raviv were choosing toys, I proceeded to the cosmetics department. I remember reading sometime ago that when choosing an eye cream, the really effective ones are those with alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and Retinol (I actually went to drug stores and looked for Retin-A dati, remembering Margie Moran’s commercial when I was young. Unfortunately, wala na atang Retin-A). Sorry sa mga organic-organic, natural-natural cheper advocates, give up na ako! My first stop was Mario Badescu, but when I saw that its eye creams are organic-organic cheverlu again, exit agad ako. The sales assistant referred me to Dermalogica, as its eye creams contain Retinol. Whew! I got the Dermalogica Age Reversal Eye Complex, and the SA threw in a free starter pack of its other Dermalogica products.

I tried it last night and so far, OK naman. It went smoothly. And what I liked about it is that you squeeze it from the tube—unlike other creams that you need to dutdot (unhygienic).

Earlier, I thought that if this still doesn’t solve my crow’s feet problems, I might go for Botox. I know I said I wasn’t ready for it, but I am so bothered by my crow’s feet this early in my life that I may just go for the extreme solution. However, when I Googled, “long term effects of Botox”, here’s what I read from this website:

But you can’t help wondering how safe Botox really is, when it’s made from a toxin that’s produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, a deadly neurotoxin that can cause botulism, a rare and life threatening paralytic illness.

When used cosmetically, it’s injected in tiny amounts. But in large doses it’s one of the most powerful poisons known to man.

The Consumer Medicine Information on the Ministry of Health website warns that it can spread from the site of the injection and cause difficulties in breathing and swallowing which, it notes, “can be life-threatening”.

Other side-effects listed on the website include: numbness, droopy eyelids; double or blurred vision, trouble speaking. If this is not off-putting enough, it mentions that Botox “contains albumin, an extract of human blood, and it carries an extremely remote risk for transmission of viral diseases.”

There are no findings yet on its long-term effect, and it might be very bad considering it’s a poison. Moreover, remember its effect on Renee Zellweger! So this time, final na, no Botox for me.

I tried looking for an alternative, and I saw something that looks really promising: [Read more…]

Wayback Wednesday: Hong Kong Hotels Review

I’ve promised you guys so many blog posts that never pushed through. Usually when I have the time to blog about it, parang laos na ‘yung “news” so I don’t bother and move on with my current affairs. But there are moments like this that I have the time to blog but I don’t know what to blog about. Enter “Wayback Wednesday” blogs—now I’ll backtrack on things that I feel I should have shared with you but was too busy to.

For my first Wayback Wednesday post, I’ll share with you my take on the hotels we’ve stayed in in Hong Kong last year. I feel these reviews will be helpful if you or a loved one is currently looking for a hotel in Hong Kong.

We stayed in two hotels in Hong Kong last year: Residence G and Disney Hollywood Hotel. Here are my unbiased reviews about these two Hong Kong hotels.


Residence G Hotel (aka Hotel G) Review

If not for the fact that I lost my iPad, we wouldn’t have stayed here. But to pay penance for my stupid mistake, we opted to stay in this relatively cheaper hotel. When I say “cheap”, it isn’t exactly cheap. Most hotel rooms in Hong Kong were tailormade for hobbits, I suppose. Ang liliit talaga. And Residence G was no exception. This was my second choice because of its good reviews on TripAdvisor and because it has a complimentary smartphone.

When our awful cab driver dropped us off, I had a sinking feeling already. It was located in an area na medyo eskinita ang dating. Katabi pa ng mga bar.

Screenshot of Residence G “neighborhood”

It has been described on TripAdvisor as having this “modern” vibe, and most reviewers loved its “modern” vibe. Unfortunately, not we. Perhaps I’m old-fashioned, but I still prefer a cozy, homey ambience over a “steel-y” one. See for yourself:

Yep, that’s the bathroom across the bar. And yes, it’s transparent

The cabinets

The bed

The bathroom. Silver lining: I love the peppermint-scented bath essentials provided

To be fair to the hotel staff, they tried to help me recover the phone I left in the cab. They also helped us locate the nearest FitFlop store in the block. However, some reviewers on TripAdvisor said that they give complimentary cookies/fruits. I expected this, but we never received any.

Residence G Hong Kong (by Hotel G)
Room Type: Good Room
2.2 Austin Avenue,Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Contact Number: +00 852 5808 4528
Cost per night of our hotel room: a little less than Php7,000

Disney’s Hollywood Hotel Review

Whatever bad experiences we had in Hong Kong were quickly forgotten the moment we stepped inside the confines of the “happiest place on Earth.” Yes, it goes without saying that I love, love, love and absolutely LOVE Disney’s Hollywood Hotel! I’ve been to many hotels but this is my favorite hotel so far!

The moment we stepped in the lobby, I knew we were going to love it! The lobby was really spacious and modern-looking, but it has this whimsical charm. I can’t really explain, so I hope I was able to capture them with these photos:

Upon entry, you’re gonna see the hotel’s toy & apparel store

Check-in counter

Across the check-in counter is this spacious and kid-friendly waiting lounge. Ready to go to our bedroom?

But before that, here’s the lobby:

Aaaand here’s our bedroom: [Read more…]

Conversations with Raviv Part 6

This November, Raviv will be taking his first entrance exam to a big school.

Gravity, hindi na baby ang baby boy namin!!! One of the things I love about blogging is that old entries make me smile. There are times I can’t believe something really happened, but since I know I’m very honest on my blog, I knew they happened if they’re documented here. I could revisit Raviv’s childhood again and again, and I’ll remember what a funny and adorable baby he has been.

Speaking of funny, let me share with you some of the hilarious things I remember Raviv saying over the past…well, ever since I wrote Conversations with Raviv Part 5.


Conversation 1: Calling a Spade a Spade

I once brought Raviv to a training. At lunch, we were served a KFC lunch box with two pieces of fried chicken. I gave Raviv the chicken because he loves fried chicken. He ate heartily. Afterwards, I told him to thank the person who provided our food.

I: Raviv you have to thank Ms. P****

Raviv: Who is Ms. P*****?

I: The one wearing pink.

Raviv: Which one?

I: That lady (pointing to Ms. P****), o.

Raviv: You mean ‘yung mataba?

I: Sssshhh Raviv don’t say that! Don’t say someone is mataba!

Raviv: OK. So you mean the fat one?

At that point, wala na akong masabi. Hehehe. Euphemism and politcal correctness are not expected of kids.


Conversation 2: A Jollitown-er at McDonald’s?

Last summer I “enrolled” Raviv at as a McDonald’s Kiddie Crew (Do I recommend it? Mmm, perhaps not for really young kids. For 6 and above. The “facilitator” isn’t too hands-on and might just leave your kid doing something else—good thing I did not believe them when they told me to just leave my four-year-old with the facilitator. Most participants were also older, and I was afraid they might bully Raviv) His favorite part is when they would go to the counter and get customers’ orders. S’yempre bili ako nang bili, at dapat s’ya ang nasa counter. He was super cute!

Para mas cute, I taught him something.

I: Raviv when someone is at the counter, you should tell them, “Welcome to McDonald’s!”

Then Raviv proceeded to the counter. When he saw a customer over the counter…

Raviv: Welcome to Jollibee!!!

Ayayay!!! Hahaha! Sinasadya n’ya ‘yun, because he flashed that adorably naughty grin of his!


Conversation 3: Boys’s Secret!

Randy and Raviv were in the living room watching TV while I was in our bedroom. Then Randy called me, laughing. Apparently he and Raviv had this conversation when a chocolate drink commercial aired.

Raviv: Tatay, I think I want to drink my chocolate drink (we have stock in the ref for his baon; I don’t allow Raviv to drink it just because).

Randy (ever being the spoiler): OK, get one from the ref.

Raviv: Pero ‘wag natin ipakita kay Nanay, OK?

But of course Randy told me, pointing out what a spoilsport I was! Actually, that wasn’t the first time it happened. Yaya Isay told me that once he saw Raviv hiding in our laundry area. Apparently, one of our drivers offered Raviv the Nova (chips) that our driver was eating. Looking around, he told our driver to follow him to the secluded laundry area. There, Raviv munched on the chips. When his Yaya Isay saw them, she told Raviv, “Hala ka! Bawal sa ‘yo ‘yan ‘di ba?!?” Raviv looked like he was about to cry and returned the chips to the container. Our driver, feeling sorry for Raviv, begged Yaya Isay to allow Raviv to eat and not tell me. They kept that secret for a long time, actually. It was only recently I learned about it whwn someone accidentally let the chips—er, the cat—out of the bag. [Read more…]