When you feel like the World has crashed down on you, look around... others have the whole universe squishing them! You are still blessed compared to what others are going through. Doubly blessed, when you have God holding your hand. Others have no one, and know not where to look for grace.
If you have your Telly tuned to Playhouse Disney 24/7, then you'd know who this yellow fluff is. Special Agent Oso was created with James Bond in mind. He helps kids solve problems (in his case, in 3 special steps). This is RL's favorite cartoon. He can watch a single episode over and over again, and laugh at the same funny scenes (over and over). Yes, Oso is oh-so-special. And he endears himself to toddlers and preschool kids.
We noticed RL's fascination for this special agent of a bear early this year. He'd scream each time Oso's on and would watch intently. Eyes on the screen. That type of intent.
When we took K's PSP with us to Hong Kong in July, we had Mickey Mouse Clubhouse videos saved on the memory card and one Special Agent Oso episode. RL took to the episode like glue. And watched that single episode (The Girl Who Cheered Me) from start to finish, every single day, all day, all those 7 days we were there. And yes, laughed at that one part Oso fell on his tushy. Laughed out loud.
I've been scouting for the plush since. The Disney Store had it. Yes, had. It has since sold out. I have been writing to them for updates, but they aren't sure about stocks coming in time for the holidays.
And the toys aren't available here either. I've scoured the shelves of toy stores, both here and in Hong Kong, but no Oso. :( And I so wanted to surprise RL with some Oso stuff for his 22nd Month-day.
So, I did the next best thing. I went and had a few shirts made with Oso on it. This was no easy task, since the nearest mall to our place didn't have Transfer It! I went to 4 malls before I finally got to one that allowed personalization (transfer photos via usb) and had smaller shirts for kids. I finally got in touch with someone from Transfer It! at Ever Commonwealth, who confirmed they could help me with my project. So off we went, with the jpeg files saved on my trusty usb.
I'm glad I went to the Ever Commonwealth Branch because the guy who helped me was meticulous with his work! He had rulers and would really make sure the design was perfectly aligned (not too high, nor too low, in the middle, etc). Perfect! I hate crooked shirt designs (I'm kinda OC, too! LOL!). I can't say much about the girl manning the booth with the guy though, she was busy chatting with someone on Skype (but it looked legit, since the guy she was talking to was from Transfer It! Big R Fairview/Nova). Ok, ok, none of my biz. But it took a while before I got her attention.
After my designs got transfered to their PC, the girl resized and printed them on transfer paper. The guy then made sure the shirts were pressed and ready, and voila! RL's Oso shirts were made!
Needless to say, I had a happy and ecstatic little boy that evening.
But that was all part of the plan, more or less. :)
My little boy was Bible Bearer for my BFF's wedding. These photos were taken at Joaquin's Bed and Breakfast in Tagaytay. (Beautiful place, by the way) The wedding was held at Calleruega, so we had to hike up to Tagaytay on a Friday night. It was so foggy that we reached my aunt's townhouse at a few minutes after midnight! That's almost 4 hours on the road!
*My Super Serious Little Boy.
RL was in the mood before the whole thing began. But when it was time to walk down the aisle, he chose to hold a lollipop instead and made momma's partner hold on to the Bible. :P Oh well.
*The groom teaching RL how to pose for the pic.
*Lookin' snappy, eh?
*And my BFF, J. Beautiful bride!
We stayed in the city for 2 nights and drove back down Sunday afternoon, after flying kites at People's Park. RL was finally in the mood to smile for pictures. Finally, but yes, he got in the mood at home. :P
*My handsome little boy, with Mickey, finally smiling for the camera.
I knew it. I was right. My intuition didn't fail me. Yesterday, when I wrote that blog post on R being here, I had this itchy notion that he was being too good to be true. And I was right. Last night, while talking about the future, he casually mentions that he was leaving in the morning.
What time? I had asked.
But it was midnight, and the kids were already asleep.
He never gave me an explanation. I guess it didn't matter that he didn't get to say goodbye. Over one week in Manila and roughly an hour and a half TOTAL with the kids. Yes, your guess is as good as mine.
R is back in Manila. He's been here for over a week now. When he first texted to let me know that he was flying in, I was a tad hesitant to reply. Over messages sent back and forth, he made it clear that he wasn't coming back for good, and that he was setting up a business down south, so this was just a buying trip.
So I had to brief A on this. Your dad is here to visit, so don't expect much.
A has been somewhat cooperative. Not as much as I had hope she'd be, but I suppose it's her way of coping with the situation. She isn't the same around her dad, well, not the same as how she was before, when he lived with us. She used to be daddy's girl. And now, she avoids looking directly at him. She'd resist, and wouldn't even go near him unless prodded or, worse, forced.
She has retreated into her shell. This little girl has been scarred.
So I am trying to remedy the situation here. R is reaching out, albeit temporary. And the little girl is shielding herself; preparing herself, and avoiding the fall. RL doesn't even care. After a few minutes with his dad, he was his usual, noisy, funny self. When his dad left, it wasn't like he was gonna miss him. But A? She'd rather not open up. The void is there and she has filled it with all sorts, refusing to let her father into her life, just so he can leave it again. What to do?
Last night, I tried to get that message out to R. Don't leave. Not just yet.
But he says life is worthless when you have nothing to do and no money to spend. His absence shall be temporary. Once he's got his business set up, he will hire managers to take over.
But then, you're setting yourself up for the fall. When you're away, the devil flies, pounces, chases, et al. Why are you doing this anyway?
Life's bull. (Pero hello, syempre tinagalog niya kasi 'di naman siya inglesero. LOL!)
You don't get it, do you? 10 years of bull and you still don't get it. You work hard for yourself, and yet, why? What for? You feed yourself with sin, and you forgo God's blessings. You tread on rocky ground, and you expect life to be at its fullest? You're missing the point. Fulfillment doesn't come when you're successful but empty. The void can never be filled by success, money, booze and flings.
I am having flashbacks. Yes, a serious case. It started while I was browsing channels and came across a new TV commercial. On it was my old schoolmate, J, and with her was... lo and behold, this (reference deleted, too revealing) from an earlier post (see here). Not that I am bitter, but I do wonder sometimes about her. How this good and sweet-looking woman can do such a thing. I bet her husband is still in the dark about her once-upon-a-time uh... hanky-panky. I once had the urge to knock on their door, slap her across the face and leave their family in shambles, but nope, I wasn't brought up to ruin families.
She once wrote R a lengthy email. On it she claimed she was serious about their whachamacallit, and that she didn't want to share him with anybody, not even with me (hello, sino nga ang kabit?). I wonder how she felt when R moved on to the next fling. Yes, the feeling was never mutual (ako na sasagot) because he had others while you were around and while you thought you were the only one.
So... I stalked and checked her FB. True enough, she is now friends with J, and a good number of schoolmates who are in the same biz. I want to spill the beans about her, you know, ruin her career. But I am reminded that vengeance isn't mine.
!!! Yep, I have that engraved on my forehead.
So this flashback started the domino effect. I've been having a serious case of it, I tell you. I need a push, you know, or a whack in the head - something (anything!) to help me let go.
I went to SM Megamall early this morning to catch the extra 10% discount for Advantage Card/ BDO Rewards Card Holders during the first 2 hours of today's payday sale (whew!). Rushed to Ace Hardware to get some stuff for our closets at home, brought the stuff back to the car and decided to check out Forever 21's first-ever SALE - The SALE that won't last forever...
The line to GET IN the store snaked all the way to Gingersnaps (that's about 300 people waiting in line to get in!)! Nyar!
So I snapped some pics and decided to head back to the office. Was actually planning on catching the tail-end of the sale today (might not catch anything good tomorrow), but after reading about how horrendous traffic is in Ortigas, I guess I can always head back tomorrow. I used to live in Ortigas, but believe me, I do not miss the traffic (might drop by Banchetto later tonight though. I miss my Korean Tapa!)!
Visit Bread Talk at SM Megamall today through Sunday and get a FREE FLOSS or FREE HOT CHIC with every purchase of 5 breads (ok, so I thought it should say pieces of bread or something to that effect, but learned from wiki that it is fine to use breads with the S to mean its plural version, so my bad).
I got 4 Kick-Kicks and 2 Cheezmans today, and you know how they're priced at P 29 each? And it doesn't matter! 5 breads is 5 breads, regardless of price! I got myself a Floss for FREE! ;)
Thought of getting a Subway sandwich for lunch and was already dreaming of a Tuna 6-inch Sub (P99 on Fridays for Subways' Sub of the Week) when I saw Subway's new 69er offer! Get a 6-inch Sliced Chicken Sub for only P69!
That's an irresistible offer. I got one with everything on it (well, sans the pickles, but i love olives and jalapeños in mine) on white with oil and vinegar. Nom! The promo ends on the 15th of November, I think, so it looks like I'll be having Subway for lunch a lot this month. ;)
What's your favorite Bread Talk uh... bread? Mine would be the Floss, and the Kick-Kick. Comfort food! I've always loved Ma-hu (floss)! I remember getting bags of it from my Granny and aunt! I checked out Bread Talk today and saw they had new versions of bread with the floss. Didn't get to try 'em though, but I shall!
How about your favorite Sub? I love Steak and Cheese! Any sub, in fact, basta with everything on it and with oil and vinegar. This blog post is making me hungry again. Hmmmm...
Guess what? It's back! Twister Fries from McDonald's, that is! Was listening to the news over the radio and heard an ad! I wanted to drive-thru, but A was late for school (we did a sidetrip to SM Megamall to get the extra 10% off during the first 2 hours of their 3-day sale; finally got my closet rods!).
But thanks to McDonald's Delivery, I shall be getting my fill of Twister Fries in a bit. McDonald's delivers for a fixed delivery charge of P40. No minimum.
T'is another story of yet another Facebook contest involving Fitflop. This time, Shoe Salon was giving away a pair of Fitflop Supertone Sneaks, the new toning sneakers from Fitflop. I've been using my Electra's as everyday shoes, and was thrilled at the idea of winning another pair.
But after sending an entry on why "I thought I deserved a pair", I thought of sending another entry, this time nominating A's teacher. Every time she sees my Fitflop sandals on me, she never fails to tell me how nice they look and how she'd love to own a pair someday. So I told her I'll resend my entry and scrap my self-nomination and try to win a pair for her.
And guess what? Today, when I opened my account, there was my name, winning the grand prize for Teacher Maricar! I can't even describe how happy I feel. She truly deserves to win a new pair of sneaks. I am soooo ecstatic just thinking about it. I called her up and told her, and she cried.
Thanks heaps, Fitflop and Shoe Salon!
God has been so good. He truly knows the desires of our hearts.
Fitflop SuperTone is Fitflop's new muscle-toning, energizing, shock-absorbing sneaker.
After more than a year in engineering, Fitflop's product technology and design team has managed the perfect merger, amalgamating their patent-pending, muscle-loading Microwobbleboard™ technology with the all-weather wearability of a classically-shaped, trend-conscious leather sneaker.
Cleverly designed to hide the ‘toning sole’ (so you can wear it everywhere without anybody knowing you’re getting a workout) the FF Supertone™ has an ageless, cool, go-everywhere style, with our thigh-toning, foot-flexing, bottom-benefiting biomechanics built-in. Best of all – it doesn’t look like a shoe that’s ‘good for you’.
The Fitflop Supertone will be available at the following stores: FitFlop store in Mall of Asia, Shoe Salon (all outlets), Res|Toe|Run (Ayala Cebu, GenSan, Laoag and Dumaguete), and at FitFlop kiosks (Rob Ermita, ATC, Trinoma and Greenbelt3) beginning OCT 16, 2010 (Metro Manila) or OCT 22 (Provincial).
Credits: Photo and product spiel from Fitflop's Facebook Page and Photo Album on the new FF Supertone!
Check out Fitflop on Facebook here. And Shoe Salon on Facebook here.
Ok, so we've been at our new place for about a month now. More or less. Maynilad cut my water supply on the 6th of October. According to them, our account's under their condonation program. See, prior to us moving into the new place, my uncle had "sold" the unit to a lady who stayed there for about 3 months or so. This was over 6 years ago. The lady failed to make her monthly payments so she lost the unit. When she left, she also left a mountain of utility bills.
So over two months ago, when we decided we were to take over the unit, I had our maintenance guy at the office check on water and electricity. Found out that the old unpaid water bill racked up to about P11,000!!! We paid for this in CASH as this was the only way we could get a new water meter installed. Maynilad actually gave us the option of enrolling the account in their condonation program (pay the past due in installment), but we had opted to pay everything in cash and in full. Clean start. No problems.
No way. I received a bill on the 13th of September (this was about a week after we had moved in) and on it were the words "NOTICE OF DISCONNECTION". Way (nods head). So I brought the bill to the office the next day, called up Maynilad, and questioned the bill. Remember, we had paid all previous balances in full. But the bill came and on it showed I had owed Maynilad about P2,000 worth of previously unsettled bills. I asked the girl on the other line why this was so, she gave me a reference number and told me to check again in a week's time. This didn't sit well with me. I didn't want my water supply cut off (especially with a baby at home), so I asked our maintenance guy to go to the Maynilad business office to sort things out.
Turns out they made a mistake. I only had to pay current charges for the past 2 bills (which amounted to about P400). I didn't even see the other bill. But I paid anyway. Because, like I said, I didn't want my water supply cut off.
Last week, on October 6, someone from Maynilad rang our door bell, and told our nanny he was disconnecting our water meter. Our nanny told him we had already paid our bill, but the Maynilad guy refused to accept this as valid reason to check with his office. I mean, hello, couldn't he make one call to check?
Our nanny begged him to be allowed to get a couple of pails of water before they cut our supply, but the man yelled at her (and cursed!), telling her he'd get into trouble. He told her to have me go to the Fairview Business Office if we wanted to get our water back.
My car was coded that day so I got home late. It was too late to visit their business office so I called up their hotline. I spoke with a rep, KC Tutero (I think her name was), who couldn't help at all. She told me it was their protocol to cut off the water supply of a customer who fails to make payment on or before the due date, when the account is under condonation. I mentioned that we paid the past dues in full so how would that make my account under the darn program? "Yun po kasi patakaran ng Maynilad, pasensya na po."
I also mentioned that I specifically made it a point to send someone to their business office just to make sure they didn't cut my water off. How could I have paid all past dues in full on the 20th (she said this was when my Bancnet payment got posted in their system, but I actually paid on the 17th, a day after that visit to their office) then have their office issue a disconnection order on the 5th of October (that's two weeks!)? They could have checked the account first before they issued the job order!
No answer. So much for having a hotline. Yup, no thanks to her, we had to go back to the office to take a bath and get some water for washing, etc.
I personally visited their Fairview Business Office the next day, with our maintenance guy in tow. I was ready to hurl out a lot of angry words to the Maynilad people, since I was so frustrated with their hotline guys the night before. But the man we talked to was just so nice (a certain Mr. Dela Cruz). He was quick to help, checked my account and found out their corrections weren't committed until that same day! Turns out, they had mistakenly enrolled the account in their condonation program, hence a first installment for the original debt of P11,000 was being charged to me. But my account ISN'T under condonation because I no longer had past dues since we paid IN CASH AND IN FULL. He went down to this other lady who was very apologetic and promised to have their field people visit my house asap.
True enough, 20 minutes after that visit, we had our water supply back.
Two days ago, I received another bill from Maynilad. It still said "NOTICE OF DISCONNECTION" on it and reflected the P2,000+ past due from the old payables. Yesterday, I called up their hotline to check on this and according to LJ (the girl who assisted me), this has been corrected in their system and all my balances have been paid for.
Finally! If someone from Maynilad rings our door bell again in two weeks, he's sure to lose his ears.
Finally got to change bags today, as my trusted sling needs washing before the next trip to the homeland. I promise to keep this one organized. Wait, did I say promise? LOL. I shall try to keep this one organized. There.
Took a quick trip to Robinsons Galleria over lunch to drop off a special order. I haven't been back to Robinsons Galleria since the 19th of September. It gave me this melancholy feeling, to be back in a place I used to frequent almost everyday. Yes, I am having Ortigas withdrawal symptoms. Living in the Ortigas area the past 20 years had its perks. Mall access is one.
I love Robinsons Galleria because it isn't as crowded as nearby SM Megamall, plus it has mostly everything. My added plus would be FREE parking, if you're in the mall for 30 minutes or less.
But FREE parking no more. I was surprised to be greeted by this sign as I entered their basement parking today.
"Effective October 1, 2010, passing through Basement Carpark will be charged a minimum of P40.00." - Apologize for the blurry pic, was on my way in, when I took this.
Yup, there goes the 30 minute leeway. :P Nyar.
Robinsons Galleria -- you used to be my fave Ortigas mall because of this. Getting a quick snack, take-out, or paying a quick visit to Robinsons Supermarket to get a couple of groceries used to be so easy. I CHOSE your mall because of this perk. But sadly, you took it away. Oh well.
At least I don't have to get pissed much about it because I no longer live near you.
I thought my bag was extra heavy today. So after lugging that thing around all morning, I decided to check what made it heavier. Voila! This is what I found. I saw my little boy holding this little pouch last night. I asked him to put it back. I remember saying, "put it back, in momma's bag." I didn't specify which bag, and so it ended up in my handbag. At least he followed instructions. Haha!
This is my Hong Kong pouch. I stash my cash, coins, Octopus Card, keys and receipts here, such that I don't have to look all over when we're granted a last-minute, emergency trip back. Haha. Yes, I love Hong Kong.
They say that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.
Yesterday, I got a surprise call from R. He was asking for the recipe to a classic dessert I used to make when we first got married. I love to have my way in the kitchen, and used to cook a lot when we didn't have kids. We didn't have a maid either, so we alternated in the kitchen. There is this particular dessert that my family loves. I made it for special occasions or on days when there was nothing to do.
My dad's sister loves this dessert so much that one time, when I gave her a pan of this for Christmas, she specifically labeled it as hers so the rest of her household stayed away from it. It really isn't anything spectacular, but takes a lot of time and love to make.
R always expressed his love for this particular dessert. Make a batch and a pan will disappear in a matter of hours. I knew he looked forward to it, especially when he sees me prepping the ingredients. So when I got the call yesterday, I was not surprised he asked for it.
He said he wanted to use it for his dessert menu. He's supposed to be opening a food joint somewhere south.
No way I was giving him a classic, family recipe (yes, our old cook from our old guesthouse passed this on to me before she passed away from heart disease. It is one of three special family recipes I have been able to perfect). Especially since I was not gonna benefit from it. I do not even know who his business partner is! And knowing R, it's probably some girl willing to part with moolah just to get his eye. :P
As much as I want to help out and be unselfish, I cannot bring myself to part with something as special as this. Even my aunts and cousins in the US look forward to my visits because of this particular dessert.
Call me selfish, but I will not give some other girl a chance at a recipe that has found its way to my husband's heart.
I never really had a knack for writing. But I kept a journal growing up and I wrote about anything under the sun. Blogging makes journaling easier. Only now, you have readers, and your secrets aren't kept under lock and key.