Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Here's the card we sent to friends:

And the one we sent to our relatives:

Monday, November 26, 2007


Our office raffled off several CRT monitors and I won a 19" one. Yey!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007


After watching several Korean TV series (The Wedding, My Girl, Kim Sam Soon, Princess Hours, Fantasy Couple, Full House, Vineyard Man, One Fine Day and Memories in Bali,) B and I are taking a break this weekend.

We're now watching movies from other Asian countries! This morning, we watched Hong Kong's Invisible Target. We so loved the movie - the action scenes were fast paced and beautifully choreographed, and Jacky Chan's son knows how to act.

I also got to watch Taiwan's Crying Out Loud from the Center of the World and enjoyed the cinematography that left my mouth open during the whole movie. I felt like I was watching a slideshow of postcards! The story was also beautifully presented. Surprisingly, I didn't shed a single tear but I was truly moved by it.

Another video that caught my attention is from America's Got Talent. Terry Fator is simply amazing!

Here's Terry's rendition of What a Wonderful World:

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Why I Don't Get To Blog . . .

He was so cute in Coffee Prince I had to check out his old movies as well (My Tutor Friend, She's on Duty, and B is still looking for the others.)

Jumong. 81 episodes. 1 hour each. 2 weeks.

He was such a cutie in Art of Seduction, too.

I'm now thinking of checking out his other movies and telenovelas. I guess I'll decide when I catch up on sleep.

And of course,

It took me a week to prepare for my presentation and another couple of days to help other lawyers prepare for their presentation. I had to present twice during the 2-day training and had to record the presentation all over again when I got back to Manila. Getting the Polish visa was so much trouble but seeing Warsaw was worth all the effort.

Maybe I'll get to write about Warsaw when I stop finding Korean cuties on DVD. :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Finally . . .

I got my Poland visa! I'll be flying to Warsaw tomorrow for our European practice group's meeting. It's just sad that I lost a day. I was supposed to leave today but my visa just arrived this afternoon. At least I still get to attend the meeting (and just on time - I arrive in Warsaw at 11 am and the meeting starts at 1:30 pm).

It took a month and a few long distance calls to get that visa. I hope the pictures that I'll be bringing home will be worth the wait!

Monday, August 27, 2007

B's New Desktop Wallpaper

I should have slept hours ago but it was such a challenge taking a shot of B's Mazinger Z toy. His arms and legs were reflecting all the mess in our room! After a hundred tries, I finally got it right.

Now B wants me to take more shots of Z! Hay.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Not Pregnant, Just Fat!

Maybe I should have this printed on a t-shirt and wear them in all reunions that I need to attend:

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

High on Sonja's Mini Cupcakes

We celebrated the birthdays of Paul (my brother in law) and Nikki (my niece) last Sunday at their house. All 3 of my nieces were there and after feasting on Sonja's mini cupcakes, they had so much fun playing and having their pictures taken at the stairs. I guess sugar attacks can sometimes be good!

Speaking of those cupcakes (sorry, no pictures, the box toppled over so the cupcakes didn't look pretty), I found them a bit too sweet but the girls just loved them and would have kept on eating if we didn't stop them.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Body Attack

Once upon a time, I was a gym rat. I worked out at the gym at least 3 times a week with a personal trainer. I lost several pounds and my body mass index vastly improved.

One day, I was a bride at our wedding and lived happily ever after.

Unfortunately, living "happily ever after" meant buffet meals, wine and cheese after a day's work, midnight calls to McDonald's delivery, trying out the specialties of new and newly-discovered restaurants, watching movies with burger, fries, pizza and softdrinks on our laps, and 20 lbs. of body fat.

So there I was at the gym, 2 years and a few months later, at the prodding of my childhood friend, Sarah. We thought it would be fun to join a class so we hopped in one that fit our schedule, the Body Attack. After a few minutes, I was huffing and puffing like the big bad wolf. I ran as if I was the king's messenger and danced the salsa with the enthusiasm, but sadly not the grace, of Esmeralda. I kicked and punched as if slaying dragons.

After the class, I was as red as a poisonous apple and was ready to sleep for a hundred years. Unfortunately, like the seven dwarves, I'm off to work in the morning. But since I don't want to be mistaken as a fairy godmother (I really think the glam wicked witch had a lot more character), I'm going back to wage another war with my flab at the gym.

Seriously, though, I really had lots of fun tonight (even if during the "Forever Young Running Segment" I really thought I was going to be forever young as I was ready to drop dead on the floor!). I love being with Sarah because I don't have to worry about how I look and how I act when I'm with her - she already saw me without front teeth when I was a kid! We also laughed so hard when she confessed that she was pressured to keep up with the routine because she was embarassed to stop - she has been regularly going to the gym for months and felt that she should keep up with me, who was having my first serious work out in years. I admitted that I couldn't stop because I was running after my heart.

We had so much fun that we decided to meet at the gym at least twice a week. Aside from the laughter, working out would definitely improve our chances of prolonging our ever after.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

i finally got to have my hair cut

and the hairdresser cut 6 inches off my hair!

I'm loving it now. I hope I'll still love it when I wake up tomorow morning.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

My Work Space

I had a slow day at work today so I decided to work on my space here in cubeville. I guess this set-up is growing on me.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Busy Bee!

I was hoping to change my template over the weekend but there were just lots of things to do that I didn't even get to turn on my computer!

As you know, I went to a wake last Thursday. And guess what, hindi nakapalag ang mga payat! Hahaha. Before going to the funeral parlor, I passed by my childhood friend, Sarah, from Fitness First Plus. Sarah was my best friend when we were kids. At that time we were both thin, but that's where our physical similarities ended. I was fair-skinned and chinky-eyed with short straight hair, she was morena with expressive round eyes and long hair with big fat curls that framed her pretty face. Like me, she gained weight since we were kids.

While still in the car, we got to talk about people commenting about our weight and we decided to bully them into not mentioning the words "fat" and "taba". When we got to the funeral parlor, none of our friends were still there. Ate Yaki welcomed us in. Ate Yaki was our favorite Sabbath school (the Seventh-Day Adventist version of Sunday school or kiddie mass. Yes, I used to be a Seventh-Day Adventist, but this topic is reserved for another blog entry) teacher. She taught us bible stories and encouraged us to help in our community. Like me and Sarah, she also put in a few months. The wake was for Ate Yaki's father but she appeared to have graciously accepted his loss, she explained that Tatay had been sick since December and it was more painful for her to see him and Ate Cris suffer. We learned that Ate Cris, our childhood friend, chose to leave her nursing career, to take care of Tatay. She had been at Tatay's said for almost 24 hours every day since December.

Ate Yaki, Sarah and I traded stories until our thinner friends arrived. Even before they can say a word, we already told them that they couldn't mention the words "fat" and "taba". They obliged. Of course, when we were saying goodbye, they joked about how it was good to see us after all these years, "ngayong malalaki na" kami. They added that "ang liliit" pa namin noon. But it was all in good fun and even Sarah and I laughed with them.

As for the when-are-you-going-to-have-kids question, they all stopped asking when Sarah explained that she wanted children but it was difficult for her since her husband and I were only together 4 weeks in a year. To make the conversation lighter, I volunteered to show the picture of my baby, who I described as "matangos ang ilong, malago ang buhok at napakaganda ng lahi!" Of course, they all laughed when they saw the picture of Porkchop on my phone.

It felt nice to see friends and I was so surprised to see that even if we all grew older (and fatter, in my case) the dynamics of our relationship stayed the same - Ate Yaki still talked to us as if we're still her students, Sarah and I still successfully teamed up in order to avoid hot issues. Unfortunately, Ate Cris remained the sensitive person that she was. We didn't even try to cheer her up, we knew we wouldn't succeed. So we just held her hand and silently prayed that she soon accepts the loss of her father.

As for me and Sarah, we celebrated our little "victory" by pigging out at Max's. We laughed at how we avoided being insulted by going on the offensive. We talked about how we vowed that we would be maid of honor in each other's wedding but ended up not inviting each other, but still ended up as friends. We so enjoyed being with each other that we ended up staying at Max's until they closed! It would be weeks until we see each other again but now we know that the next time we meet, we wouldn't need to worry about careless remarks and broken promises. All we'll need to worry about is finding a venue that would let us chat until the wee hours of the morning.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Why I Hesitate to Meet Old Friends

The dad of a childhoold friend died so I'm going to the wake tomorrow with some of our other childhood friends. I'm excited to see them again after all these years but I just dread hearing the usual, "What happened to you?" (I put on a ton of weight since college), "When are you giving birth?" (I am centrally obese - arms are relatively thinner than my tummy) and the pakialamera question, "Why don't you have a kid yet?"

I usually answer the what-happened-to-you-question by saying, "Gumanda!" As for the when-are-you-giving-birth-question, I always say, "In 3 years, elepante kasi yung nasa loob." I'm used to these questions, anyway. But sometimes, when I'm having a bad day, I just don't have the humor to take the insult, so I say something nasty and feel bad about it afterwards.

The why-don't-you-have-a-kid-yet question is what usually irritates me. Hindi naman sila yung magpupuyat sa pag-aalaga ng bata o magbabayad ng tuition fees when the kid goes to school. I usually answer that we have no plans to have kids at the moment. Most of the time, they reply by reminding me about my body clock. Ano ba?! Do they think that we didn't consider my ticking body clock when we decided not to have kids at this time? Minsan talaga, gusto ko na lang sabihan, "wala kang karapatang makialam!"

Hay, sana talaga I'll have a good day at work tomorrow so I can bite off my nasty remarks when (unfortunately, not "if") I hear these questions.

Sari-saring Reklamo

pasensya na, i feel like whining today . . .

1. I can't believe I'm so cheap that I'm still not willing to pay for a decent photo site to house my beloved pictures. This week, I've been busy migrating my photos from Yahoo to Multiply. Yahoo is closing down YahooPhotos (waaah!) and will be deleting all the pictures uploaded in the site by September. I've tried using the automatic migration but only a few pictures were migrated to Multiply. So now, I'm downloading my pictures per album. Kakatamad.

2. I have an awfully stiff neck. This morning, I heard something dripping on the side of the bed. I was so sleepy that I just craned my neck to take a look. I felt my neck slowly stiffen. Kainis! It's so uncomfortable I decided to put some Salonpas ointment on it. Now, my neck's still stiff and I smell like a senior citizen.

3. I brought chicken asparagus soup to work today. When I was about to eat it(excited pa naman ako), I discovered that it was already spoiled.

4. Our internet is painfully slow tonight!

Mabuti na lang, maganda pa rin ako. Hahaha.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Trio and Telfast

Mang Al, our reliable driver, was not feeling well today, so B had to pick me up from the office. And since he was so nice about it, I volunteered to buy him dinner.

We decided to go to Trio at the Fort Strip. I had lunch there a couple of weeks ago and I loved their salciccia. The resto was almost empty when we got there - only 3 tables were occupied, which probably contributed to the prompt and efficient service.

We ordered their Insalata Mista, the Trio Sampler and the Shrimp and Scallop Pizza.

The Insalata Mista was described on their menu as

Mixed greens with an assortment of smoked salmon, shrimp and squid tossed in our special lemon-mango vinaigrette

That was a pretty good description. The lemon-mango vinaigrette was definitely special as the sourness of the lemon was perfectly blended with the sweet mango juice. Unfortunately, there was just too much dressing on the salad. (B loved it, though.)

The Trio Sampler was a plate with small servings of their best selling pastas - Frutti di Mare, Pancetta and the Agnolotti. The Frutti di Mare, or seafood pasta, had clams, mussel, squid tentacles and fish on white-wine olive oil sauce. The white-wine-olive oil mix was wasted on the not-so-fresh seafood. B liked the vodka-based tomate cream sauce of the Pancetta. The sauce blended well with the penne, smoked bacon and the chopped tomatoes. However, like the salad, I thought that the Pancetta would have tasted better if it had less sauce.

What surprised us was the spinach agnolotti stuffed with portabello and spinach. It tasted so good that I didn't mind that they were swimming in the garlic cream sauce.

The Shrimp and Scallop Pizza had roasted garlic, caramelized leeks, not-so-spicy shrimp and baby scallops that probably grew into adulthood in Trio's freezer. I loved the thin crust but the pizza as a whole tasted flat. A good sprinkling of chili flakes made it taste a lot better.

Actually, the dinner wasn't so bad. In fact, we wanted to taste their dessert, but the trio of girls with their irritating colegiala accents were getting on out nerves. I had a cup of ice cream from FIC, instead.

Unfortunately, when I got home, I felt the beginnings of an allergy attack so I immediately took a doze of Telfast. I wasn't surprised since I always get rashes when I eat seafood that's not fresh.

So will we be returning to Trio? Yes, but only for their agnolotti. I'd steer clear of their seafood, too.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Fully Booked at Bonifacio High Street

B hated picking me up when I was still working at Legaspi Village in Makati City. He loved some of the restos in Greenbelt but he always found the Ayala Central Business District too crowded.

Now that I'm working at the Fort Bonifacio, he always jumps at the opportunity to pick me up. I have to admit that there is more breathing room at the Fort, but what tempts my B like a moth to a flame is the 4-storey Fully Booked branch at the Bonifacio High Street.

The Fully Booked branch is on soft opening but most of its selling area is already filled with hundreds of books. It has stock of all the old bobo books that I've been looking for and it also sells the photography books that I almost ordered online when I couldn't find them in any of the stores here.

The comic books and popular fiction are at the ground floor, together with the pretty notebooks and scrapbooks. It took me several minutes to browse through all the sci-fi and the chic lit that I love to read.

Half the second floor is for kids. There are are rows of colorful children's books that looked interesting. The artwork on the new children's books are all so pretty!I'm already planning to buy a book on faeries and an illustrated book of poems.

There are rows and rows of travel books at the 3rd floor and I'm sure I'll be hanging out there when I'm planning for my next trip (which will be 10 years from now since I recently spent all my money in China and Singapore.) B loved browsing through the non-fiction books at the same floor.

There are CDs and videos at the 4th floor but there's still a huge space for art and other hobby books. We loved browsing through the books on interior design. And of course, I lusted over a couple of photography books.

The Starbucks at the 3rd floor isn't open yet but there are several soft seats scattered around the place. We literally spent hours there. It truly is a heaven for book lovers like me! (Of course, there's hell to pay when you get to the cashier.)

[Note: All photos taken using my Blackberry]

Friday, June 29, 2007

View from Our Office Window

Cubeville isn't so bad when you have this view:

Oh, yeah. I haven't blogged about my new job!

So where do I start?


One crazy day last year, I decided that I didn't want to practice law anymore. It was a fleeting thought and the decision lasted only about an hour or two. But in that brief moment, I submitted a resume for a legal content administrator position. At that time, I sent out my resume from time to time just to confirm to myself that working at a high-profile law firm, with its extended working hours and a stress level so high you'd be amazed there's still hair left on your head, was a choice.

I didn't hear from the advertisers of the job for months and completely forgot about my not-so-lucid job application. So, I was surprised when someone called me up for an interview for a Professional Support Lawyer (PSL) position. Curious about the job title, I scheduled an interview on a slow daw at work. For most part of the interview, Mich, the HR Director tried to explain the the work of a PSL. I honestly didn't understand a lot of what she said but the phrases "work-life balance", and "lots of travelling" convinced me to agree to another interview when they called me up a couple of months later.

The 2nd interview was a puzzle to me since it was not actually an interview. Marian, a lawyer who worked as a PSL for a couple of years before she was promoted, explained to me what she did on a day-to-day basis. The "interview" gave me a picture of what is expected from a PSL. It also became clear that there were a lot of positions above the PSL level in case I decided to pursue it as a career.

A couple of interviews and a written "test" (I was asked to summarize a couple of cases and a powerpoint presentation) later, I was offered job. At that time, I was spending too much time in the firm working on both client and administrative matters. The job offer was an opportunity I couldn't turn my back on.

I've been working as a PSL for a month and a half now. While there are still a lot about the job that I need to understand, I appreciate the flexy time which allows me to choose which 8 hours of the day I would spend at the office as well as the challenging tasks that I am asked to do. I love working in a virtual team , and even if my boss tends to ignore me for days (after all, they do work in an international firm), working on tasks without a partner breathing down my neck feels like drinking a glass of green mango shake in the middle of Boracay (this is definitely exaggerated but the point is, it feels good to work without so much stress!) Of course, the small and light-weight laptop, the huge LCD monitor and the blackberry issued to me help boost my contentment level.

I was sad to leave my job at the firm because I would be leaving co-workers who have became close friends. I didn't want to miss our extended lunches where we talked about anything from entertainment gossip to the latest Supreme Court decision. But with my new job, I still get to visit my old officemates and I am now enjoying lunches with my new ones.

The only things that I truly miss from my old job is my enclosed room (with 4 solid walls and a wooden door) and the services of a waiter. But I'm slowly getting used to cubeville (besides, I don't have to "live" in it!) and I have, in fact, started to personalize my space in it. As for the waiter, well, it's not difficult to microwave my own food and clean my own mug.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cheering for Cutie-pie and Orange Cakes

Everytime I see Araneta Coliseum, I am always reminded of the times when Papa, Vanni and I would watch the Toyota-Crispa championship games on our 14"-Sony color TV at home. The reception on screen was a bit cloudy and there would be some static when the wind blew on our rooftop antenna, but we would clap and cheer for our favorite team - Vanni for Toyota, Papa and I for Crispa. A few years later, we would be watching the UAAP games at the Araneta Coliseum with Vanni and Papa cheering for La Salle, and me cheering for Ateneo.

Nowadays, I would only get to watch a basketball game when B plays NBA Live on the XBox. So, I got really excited when an officemate invited us to watch her husband's game. Actually, it was a bit embarassing since I didn't know who her husband was - the only players I remember are Samboy Lim, Allan Caidic, Alvin Patrimonio and Jojo Lastimosa who all stopped playing at least a decade ago! I had to wait until I got home so I could ask B.

It turns out that my officemate's husband played on the Alaska team and we we had tickets to their 4th semi-finals game against San Miguel. B reminded me to cheer for Alaska.

The game was at 4:30 PM but we arrived at the Araneta Coliseum at 5:30 PM, when the game was halfway through the 2nd quarter. We had nice seats - we were seated a few rows behind the game officials. I was still trying to figure out who the Alaska players were when the buzzer announced the end of the 2nd quarter.

I was a bit disappointed that the coliseum was only half-full. I thought that people would watch the game live because it was already a semi-finals match. It didn't help that the few times I watched other basketball games, the coliseum was fully-packed with people. Nevertheless, I heard myself cheering for the Alaska players. At first, we just clapped every time they sank a shot. But as the game progressed, we started screaming every time they stole the ball, when the ball was stolen from them, and even when the San Miguel players missed a shot. We even cheered even if we didn't fully understand what was happening! It was a good thing that another officemate was kind enough to answer all our questions.

Halfway through the 3rd quarter, I could already match the names of the players with their faces even without looking at the back of their jerseys. I started cheering for them individually. Of course, when I noticed Ferriols for the first time in the middle of the court, I just had to scream, "Go cutie-pie!" not knowing that his girlfriend was seated 2 rows in front of us.

By the 4th Quarter, we were all screaming and clapping continuously, specially after Alaska stole the lead from San Miguel.

It was a good game that left our hearts pounding until the end. We were ecstatic when Alaska won the game! I was amazed at the range of emotions I felt (and the amount of adrenalin my body pumped into my blood!) for a team that I just "met".

After the game, we were so hungry, that we were almost in a hurry to go to Bellini's at the Marikina Shoe Expo.

Bellini's is a cozy restaurant with painted walls, Italian home-cooked dishes, home-made sweet wine, a cheery Italian owner and Italian-speaking waiters. Our waiter patiently explained the items on the menu to us. When we ordered the vino dolce, he explained that it didn't go well with the food that we ordered and that it was more suited for dessert.

Food was served in a few minutes and I loved my fetuccini al vongole. The clams were fresh and the sauce was lightly flavored to emphasize the taste of the clams. It was perfect.

The Bellini pizza that we shared wasn't bad - I loved the thin crust. I would have preferred a pizza with less toppings, though.

After our pizza and pasta, we decided to have orange cakes so we can properly enjoy their home-made vino dolce. The orange cakes were so good! It had the texture of butter cake, the moistness of a good rhum cake, and the orange shavings on top added a chewy texture. It wasn't too sweet but it wasn't acidic either. We easily finished the generous servings on our plates.

The vino dolce was very interesting. It wasn't as sweet as the other dessert wines I've tasted but it effectively masked its alcohol content. By the end of the evening, we were giggling like school girls.

On my way home, I realized that watching a PBA game and having dinner at Bellini's were pleasures that should not only be remembered but experienced over and over.

[Note: Araneta Coliseum doesn't allow spectators to bring in cameras so I left my bulky DSLR and smuggled in my little point-and-shoot.]

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Person Who Made Me Blog Again

I've been a bad blogger. Really.

My blogs have been abandaned for months.

Not that I have nothing to blog about, in fact, I do. Lots.

But everytime I think of blogging something, I just find something else to do - create a lay-out, crop, resize or upload a picture or 2, read a book or even sleep.

But this man, Paul Potts, made me blog again.

The moment I saw his audition in Britain's Got Talent in Jessica Sprague's blog, I just thought that the whole world (or at least my world) should see this man.

I'm not an opera lover but neither am I new to it. I've listened to several opera singers and while I can't relate to most of them, there are some singers that I love. But seeing Paul Potts singing Nessun Dorma was different - he made all my hairs rise! And while he's not the best singer I've ever heard, he definitely is the most sincere.

And he looks so ordinary! And because of what he did, he reminded me that ordinary persons can do great things. I hope someday I will.