Saturday, January 30, 2010

Too Late

"She reminds me of you."

Those were the words you used to describe her when you told me about her 5 years ago. So no, don't tell me you liked her for who she is or was. There was something missing there that you just had to find. Too bad it wasn't uniquely hers. For in her, you took comfort in knowing she was somehow like me. Alas, she still isn't me.

You missed the chance. The boat has sailed. You should have said something back when it was just you and me. Not now. It can never be.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pampers Update

So maybe there is still some good in people. The other day, while shopping with my brother for some Korean Ice Cream, I received a call from a P&G representative. And it looks like I will be getting some form of goodwill (a free pack of diapers) from them for my displeasure in their service and their products.

All I can say is thanks! And snaps! to P&G for their attention on this matter.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Zest-Air... Yea, Right!

I received 2 GCs from Standard Chartered Bank last year. They had a promo where they require you to spend a certain amount on your credit card to qualify for FREE Round Trip Zest-Air Tickets to any domestic destination. So anyway, I qualified for two RT tickets. I realized I still had them when J asked me if she could use them to go home to Bohol.

So this morning, I called Zest-Air to inquire about the tickets I had. But apparently, they aren't free at all. You have to pay tax and fuel surcharge. Ok, I get it. It's like claiming reward mileage tickets... but then, here's the catch: they base the tax and fuel surcharge percentages on the highest available fare. And that means, even if the flights go for as low as P499 all-in, should you choose to use the GCs, you'd have to pay around P3,444+ per ticket!

So I tried giving away the GCs on Facebook. Yea, right. Who'd take them? At that rate, I'm sure I won't have takers. So much for "the promo." What a marketing ploy!

One of my schoolmates once took a pic of the in-flight magazine on Zest-Air where a sticker/violator announced that they were giving away return tickets to Zest-Air passengers... I'm sure it's the same deal. Ho-hum.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sigh, SM Supermarket!

I haven't shopped at SM's Main Supermarket in years! I usually do my bi-weekly grocery shopping at Shopwise. If I feel too lazy to do so, I head to either SM Hypermarket at Tiendesitas or Robinson's Supermarket in Galleria. So when A and I disovered Hacienda Macalauan's Fresh Milk being sold at SM Supermarket last week, we decided to take a second trip over the weekend (yes, to get more milk. We are milk drinkers!).

A got one of their mini blue carts (the small carts that hold their baskets) and off we went to the chillers. And because we were in a hurry, we rushed back to the counters after getting the milk. There were two long lines for the cart counters, so naturally, I looked for a counter with no line. I noticed that the other counters had no people in line, so I took the cart and steered it towards the direction of the nearby counter. As I neared it, a customer assistant guy (the one with the sash) comes up to me and says I can't fall in line there as the counter was only for customers with big carts. I gave him a puzzled look and he points to the sign above the counter that says BIG CART. So I told him I was in a hurry and the counter had no line, and he replies with "Ma'am, bawal po kasi diyan. Dun lang po kayo pwede magbayad (points to the long line at the "express" counters). Kung gusto niyo, kumuha po kayo ng yellow cart sa entrance tapos lipat niyo po pinamili niyo sa malaking pushcart."


I was in a hurry. There was no one in line at that counter, and he wanted me to either get back in line for the counters "for blue carts only" or transfer my stuff to a bigger cart. Yea, whatever. I headed back to the line (I was in no mood to argue). Waited a good 10 minutes for my turn while the other counters for big carts remained empty. When it was my turn at the counter, I asked the cashier if it was true regarding the carts and counters, and she affirmed the "policy".

"Magagalit po kasi yung manager namin pag nakita niyang nakapila ang blue cart sa yellow cart lane."

"E, Miss, wala naman nakapila, ba't hindi pwede? Ang haba ng pila dito sa Express Lane. E diba, Express nga kasi kaunti lang pinamili, di dapat mabilis. Hindi ba yun yung purpose? Buti sana kung mahaba yung pila dun..."

And she interrupts... "yun ang patakaran po kasi dito."

I shrugged. And wonder if my former boss, RK knows this is happening in his stores. He was always for efficiency in operations. And customer service that works. I cannot imagine how you will stay efficient and serve effectively when you tell your customers to wait in line, when they can very well pay at some other counter whose cashier is just standing there waiting for the next customer with the big yellow cart. Besides, I always thought the express counters were created as courtesy lanes for those with small buys. Didn't they put up express counters for those in a hurry? They only had 5 express counters open on that side that day to serve two long, long lines (hence the length).


Saturday, January 23, 2010


I've recently had to re-prioritize my life. What gave me the wake up call? Well, my daughter A recently failed her math and language exams. Yes, her two favorite subjects. Why so? Well, aside from the fact that the new puppy distracted her, she was just sooooo out of it.

So early this week, I had a talk with A's homeroom teacher, and we discussed her personal talk with A, who, by the way, appears happier nowadays. According to Teacher M, A told her that she has accepted the fact that her father no longer lives with us, and that he will probably never come back (now, how sad is that?). But that sometimes, she thinks so much, her head hurts, so she sometimes decides not to think at all. But she understands that I love her and that I work so hard for her and her baby brother, but if she had a choice, she'd rather have me around all the time.

Ah, the perils of single parenthood! Here I was, working my butt off to provide for my kids, and argh, I forget that physical presence is still key over anything else. So, I am back to the drawing board. I promised myself I will have to let go of the sidelines that take too much time away from the family. :( God will take care of us!

The post stayed in my drafts folder for over two days before I decided to cut it short and publish it. I must admit, it got too long for my preference, and by the time I decided to cut it short, I lost all the other points I still wanted to add. But yea, please don't take my post out of context. We all know that Kris has a past. But let's not miss the point here: James overlooked that past and married Kris. The issue is about him (what's a safe word?) accommodating friends of the opposite sex. The issue is about the present. Not the past.

So let me reiterate: A person is always welcome to change for the better. I would love for R to change his ways. But it is not in my will or power to do so. A person has to decide on his or her own to change. But yes, change for the better is always a good thing. So whatever happened in Kris' past, or in anyone's past, has nothing to do with the present (well, if indeed that particular person has let go of the past). I can only think of the word consequence when it comes to past haunting the present (in other words, Karma). But again, no one deserves to be cheated on, especially by a spouse who promised to love you 'til death do you part.

I have been looking all over for Baby Puff Cereals. Gerber has it in their Graduates brand (to think I used to be brand manager for Gerber when we still handled their local distribution) and so does Happy Baby Organic. But waaah, these aren't available in the Philippines! I bought a lot the last time I was in Hong Kong but my little boy loves the stuff so our stock ran out fast. I went to Healthy Options the other night but their organic cereals are for older kids and those take too long to melt in the mouth (choking risk). Thank goodness I found a Multiply seller that sells the stuff locally. The downside is, they're pretty expensive, given that she imports it on her own. :P If you find any on your end, please leave me a comment to let me know? Thanks!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pampers Comfort

I am a loyal Drypers user. I used the brand with my daughter A, then naturally, when I established NappyCakes in 2004, I decided to use the brand because I was a satisfied client. So when my son was born last year, I went with Drypers, knowing it was the best, affordable brand for my little boy. Besides, I buy it in bulk for my cakes, so letting him use Drypers was most convenient.

But I recently learned that baby boys are different from baby girls. What suited my little girl, didn't follow with my little boy. When Drypers worked properly with my little girl, it failed with my little boy - it leaked like crazy at the waist.

So because my then nanny had a little girl of her own, who was exactly the same age as my little boy, she suggested we try Pampers Comfort. Pampers has a number of diaper lines in the Philippines - the cheaper alternative is their Comfort line with Bear Hug Tapes. And it didn't leak, unless uber full, which didn't quite happen much because my little one takes after his dad, and soils his nappies twice a day (hehe).

It reached a point when, because I was so happy with Pampers Comfort, I was ready to make the switch, even with my diaper cakes. In fact, prior to this happening, I've already had requests from clients to use Pampers Comfort, as it was the brand of choice of the mom-to-be. But my last purchase of Pampers Comfort proved to be a bad lot. I purchased two huge packs of 52s from the Christmas Midnight Sale at Shopwise. The diapers had a new waist design, which my new nanny noticed the moment she opened the packs and transferred the diapers to our diaper crate.

Yup, new and defective. The first time the baby wore the diaper, it broke off at the waist. The next one's tape came off when the nanny was dressing him up. The rest were the same. So I decided to write to Pampers but the email I had sent to the address provided at returned with an error message saying the address didn't exist. So I tracked down Proctor and Gamble's corporate email address, and sent them the same message I had sent the original Pampers Site. And after a few days, I received a reply and was told to call their hotline so they could assist me with a refund.

So I looked for my Midnight Sale Shopwise receipt, which I had on display on my kitchen refrigerator at home, being proof for the most I've spent on one grocery ever! Sorry, but it was their Christmas Special Sale, and I was in line at 10pm!

And today, I called their hotline. I spent over half an hour listening to a taped voice message that told me their representatives were busy assisting other customers. Finally, after 10,000 years, a certain Ella assisted me with my call. I was put on hold again so she could draw up my file, then after asking me a few questions, she informed me that she couldn't assist me further if I couldn't produce the actual diaper packs. I told her that the email I received didn't inform me of this requirement, but that I had my official receipt which clearly states I bought two huge packs of Pampers Comfort Large 52s from Shopwise Libis on December 16, 2009. But no, she couldn't help because she needed the batch code, etc, etc. So much for the customer service. I was at a dead end.

What I do not understand is why bother with the packs when clearly you already know of the defect/ recall. As I tried to purchase more diapers (but of the Pampers Active Baby line which works pretty good) the first week of January 2010, I couldn't find any on the shelves because apparently, the bad Pampers Comfort lot was pulled off the shelves and loyal customers like me bought the next Pampers alternative.

Oh well. So much for the brand switch. I heard Drypers has improved their new diaper design with new leak guards to address the problem with baby boys. Hmmm... I guess it's time to give my supplier a call! Too bad, Pampers. Our relationship has been cut short. Apparently, you do not value your customers much.

PS. I received a message from a few friends and a cousin, after posting a disgruntled status on Facebook, and guess what?! They are unhappy Pampers Comfort customers as well! Just this batch, but you know how it is with mothers, if you irk them once, you irk them forever. :P


The office blocked all blog sites. Hence, I can only write a post, edit and publish. However, I cannot view my own blog.

Alas, the comments will have to wait. Until tonight.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Of Girl Friends and Marriage...

Put yourselves in Kris Aquino's shoes. Your marriage is on the rocks. You (and your husband, you think) are working on your marriage, trying to save what's left of it. The last thing you need is another affair. But then your husband has friends, who happen to be girls. And they aren't your friends, only his. Would you feel comfortable knowing his girl friends call him up? Would you, like Kris, confront the girl or girls?

Let me tell you what. I've been there. I've done that.

I've had my share of annoying girl friends. Girls who profess to be "just friends" in R's life. Not that they intimidate me, or that I am insecure of them. But these girls take precious quality time away from MY family, and ON PURPOSE (don't get me wrong, R has other girl friends that I absolutely love and adore; there are a select many though that have other motives). Let me cite one: R once had a girl friend from the gym, who happened to befriend me. She supposedly was one of the boys, and would hang out with R and his guy friends from the gym. She once even offered to be my "spy" at the gym, claiming that R had dozens of admirers there. There was one time though when I was trying to invite her over for dinner when she kept giving me the excuse that she wouldn't be at the gym all week. But I later received a call from one of R's guy friends who was burdened enough to tell me that the girl saw R every single day at the gym that week and that she'd have dinner with him every single night. True enough, when I stormed to the mall that day, I found her having dinner with R.

Pretty safe excuse, you say? Then let me tell you this. If a girl is really a friend, then she'd respect the fact that the wife/family exists in her guy friend's life. Respect means knowing not to cross the line.

In Kris' case, I think she had every right to do what she did. Whether or not this girl was "just a friend", Kris only did what she had to do. Wives don't get paranoid for no reason at all. A woman's intuition is mostly correct. You know why? When a man becomes your husband, the vow that is made before God makes him and you one flesh. Did you ever wonder why coincidences happen more than a handful in you and your husband's everyday life? I mean, for R and me, there'd be times when we'd go to the grocery separately and unknowingly buy exactly the same things - a tray of eggs, a loaf of bread, bananas and dog biscuits. I mean, what are the chances, right? Not just once, but over a dozen times in a year's time! There was even one time during our early life as a married couple when we came home with new mobile phones on the same day - same make and model (and no, that wasn't when the world only had the N2110, LOL)! Plus, we didn't even talk about getting new phones. And well, R and I have obviously different tastes. But it happens.

But I digress, my point is, a wife is connected to her husband because they are of one flesh. So when a man cheats or lies, the wife will somehow know (as it is when he is happy or sad), unless the wife lives in denial or refuses to face that inkling or that nagging suspicion (but then of course, there are wives who are so not connected to their husbands or couldn't even care less :P).

I mean, sure, it is fine to have girl friends. I mean, a guy can't have just all guy friends, right? And so it is with women, having guy friends. I also have guy friends (my best friend's a guy, in fact!), and sure, there is nothing wrong with having friends of the opposite sex. But there is a thin line that separates friendship and relationship, especially with friends of the other gender. Especially when a marriage is on the rocks. Why? Well because the devil preys, deceives and destroys.

Ok, ok. I don't want to sound like a preacher here. But really, there is nothing more that the enemy wants than to have marriages crumble, families destroyed, souls lost, and well, you know what I mean. When you put yourself in situations where you allow yourself to be tempted, then you make yourself vulnerable to something more than just friendship. Oh come on, tell me this: when (and please, no Platos or Socrates in the house!) you have marital differences and your married life isn't perfect, and you choose to run to a friend of the opposite sex for comfort and advice, don't you find yourself comparing that particular friend to your spouse? Don't you become emotionally attached to that friend? Especially when that friend is comforting and supportive, when you are aching for love and security from the one you love?

I am not saying all men (or women) are cheats. There are indeed rare good breeds. But when a man has a track record of being a womanizer (like someone I know), it is quite hard to believe that the friendship is anything but otherwise. It is the same in James' case. And that is why Kris, in all her effort to heal and save the marriage, had to go to Mayen's house to set the record straight, to see for herself what the real score was between the so-called fan and her hubby.

It would have been ok, in my opinion, had the other woman come out and apologized. I mean, I'd be ashamed of myself for confronting the other woman at her house, had she come out and apologized to me for calling my husband and bothering him with her sob stories. I mean, he could have been her only friend at that particular point in time. But the mere fact that Mayen stormed out of her house, refusing to apologize, even when she already knew Kris had an issue with her calling James, only showed her disrespect for Kris being James' wife. I mean, hello... I'd be way embarrassed to have Kris calling on me to ask me what the score was between me and James. I mean, if we were really just friends indeed.

But then, no. She just had to defend herself. She just had to defend her right to call James. Call it whatever, but I think something was out of place. Here was this woman friend, who, in all her insolence, refused to apologize even when she knew she had no business calling a married man - one who denied being her friend at that. I mean, if she was indeed just a fan, why call the star athlete about your love problems, right? I am sure she knew of Kris. And why, pray tell, if they were really friends, didn't Kris know of her friendship with James? I'd be suspicious of any girl friend I personally don't know about!

And James? Well James I want to hit on the head. But then that's another story.

It's funny how I see similarities in this story to some chapters in my marriage. If there is one thing I've learned, it is that marriage is a partnership. A two-person thing; A two-way street. It is reciprocal. It cannot survive on just one person's will. You just cannot fix it alone. Unless of course, a miracle happens (and miracles don't happen everyday).

And well, if I were in Kris' shoes, I would have done the exact same thing. James is one lucky duck to have Kris fight for him, when obviously, he doesn't deserve it one itty bit.

Credit goes to Philippine Entertainment Portal for the photo used on this post.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Kris Aquino, you have my vote on this one. ;)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

This Thing Called Patience

Friday night, A and I were in a hurry to get home as we had a post-Christmas thing to get to and wanted to get a quick bite first. I had our cook prepare dinner the night before because she was gonna be home late the next day (she goes to school in the afternoon). As I dropped my bags, the nanny informed me that R visited earlier that day. He checked on the other dog and had lunch. Lunch? What lunch? Our nanny said she was ironing the clothes so she wasn't able to check what he took from the refrigerator. I quickly went to check and lo and behold, all that was left of our dinner was a few scraps, not even enough to tide over one person (what more the whole household?). So I called up R and asked about it, he got pissed and says he'll replace it. But A and I were famished! 30 minutes later, he still wasn't anywhere near our place. 1 hour = nada. 2 hours later, he comes in the house with chicken from McDonald's. A two-piece chicken pack for A, he says. What about the rest of us? He curses and leaves.

He ate up OUR dinner and comes back with dinner for one. I have no nice words for this man. I don't even know how I came to fall in love with him in the first place.

Patience? It is out the door.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Night with Richard Poon!

...also features Acel Van Ommen. For tickets, call BMI at 9105524. Or visit the Becca Music website for details.


Four-month male Shih Tzu from the Achilles Shih Tzu Kennel. :) A's new best friend.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Addition

My daughter received a new male puppy from my cousin today. She named him Mickey. What a post Christmas surprise! :)

Will post pics soon.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Quote for the Day

"Never allow Pharisees to intimidate you from reaching the people for whom Christ shed his saving blood on the Cross." - Pastor Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Dream Board 2010

I started a letter on this blog, but couldn't even get past the first 5 sentences. Thinking about what to write just brings so much emotion to the surface. So much so that I couldn't handle it. So. I'm writing about something else.


Every January, my friends come out with a list of resolutions/goals they hope to keep for the rest of the year. I failed to come out with a list last year, what with the new baby keeping me busy. So this year, 5 days too late, but better than never, here is my short list of five:

5. Take a FAMILY trip to the homeland (this is happening in July, as we already have tickets, hehe, but it still counts, right?). And maybe a trip to the US for A, who's been bugging me about it. Must save up.

4. Home of our own. Looking at new low-rise developments. Better to move to a different place to start anew, than have the old place haunt us with ugly, painful memories.

3. No softdrinks for the whole year. No Iced Tea or sugar drinks either. I had my last bottle of Mountain Dew (sniff) last sunday (cool that I am making this up today, huh?). I still have one bottle in the fridge, but I guess that's going down the drain. :(


1. Happy life. :)

Oh, I should add... lose weight. I gained 5 pounds over the holidays. Blech!

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year, New Life.

So the holidays came and went. Mighty fast, I must say, with no brouhaha or the like.

Christmas was spent outside of the country (homeland!) with 16 other people (A included). I became tour guide to a group of relatives and close family friends. And for the first time in a long time, I flew with PAL again (well, not counting the provincial trips I took this year... I meant, overseas), which was really disappointing with the flight delays especially on Christmas Day. We wasted our day, I tell you. We spent it in airports. Blah.

But the short trip out was fun. We got to bond with cousins and friends. A and I had the special dinner buffet at Disneyland with sisters J and N. The spread was super delish! It was an experience worth the price (around 1,200pesos converted).

We didn't tell R we were leaving for the holidays. So he was quite disappointed to find the house empty on Christmas Day. My mom took the baby out with the family, so it was just the old nanny, her kids and her mom at home. :) Well that's what he gets for not being in his family's life, right? You miss out on inside info. Ha!

My folks had us stay with them at a nearby hotel for New Year's, so the new nanny (the old one had to leave since she has two little ones under two now) had her first taste of hotel living (well, for one night since she left for her day off the following day). With all the buffets that happened, I must say I need to include DIET in my resolution - "that, or get pregnant again...", my best friend J says. LOL. O.o Yea, right... pregnant with whose child? Funny.

My mom brought up the issue of getting an A several times over the holidays. "It puts you in the position of really moving on," she argues. Well yea. So I guess this means things will finally happen in 2010.

Yes, things are looking good. Looking up and looking good. Everyone I met up with over the holidays asked me about how I was. I think the smile and the carefree attitude says it all. I feel great. Can you feel my heart beating? 2010 is gonna be MY year. I've staked my claim.
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