Friday, November 11, 2011

Richwell Kids Craze!

Guess who got a sneak peek? Well, moi, of course!

Richwell's Annual Warehouse Sale kicks off later today at exactly 1PM. My aunt and godmother Becca, knows MY, so I asked if she could get us invites to the strictly invitational preview yesterday. Thank heavens for my aunt, who knows practically everyone (actually, it's more like everyone knows her), she got us on the guest list! Love! Joy!

So KY and I went to check out the sale over lunch yesterday. No lines. No crowd. No fighting, shoving nor pushing. Just a handful of people shopping peacefully.

Special Guests arrive to check out hot buys for this year's annual sale.
Photo by: First Wives Club; Please leave me a note should you wish to use this photo.
The warehouse this year is smaller than the one at Libis. So watch out for crazy lines (and crazy people!) and do come early.

View from Right-End of store.
Photo by: First Wives Club; Please leave me a note should you wish to use this photo.

Scaffolding/ Racks of seconds or display units.
That Art Master activity table is only P2000! No chair, accessories (lights and screws).
I wanted to get it, but we don't have the space. 

Photo by: First Wives Club; Please leave me a note should you wish to use this photo.

Check out the seconds racks for great, great deals. Barbie w/o box, P100 each! 
Photo by: First Wives Club; Please leave me a note should you wish to use this photo.

View from the checker's area/ exit. (It's a small warehouse)
Photo by: First Wives Club; Please leave me a note should you wish to use this photo.

Four Cash Counters to serve you (photo shows three, I was at the fourth)! Look Ma, no lines. ;)
Photo by: First Wives Club; Please leave me a note should you wish to use this photo.

Richwell's Kids Craze happens on the following dates:
November 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26 
December 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

Their warehouse sale hours are as follows:
Saturdays and Sundays -- 9:00am to 6:00pm 
Weekdays and Fridays -- 1:00pm to 6:00pm

How to get there:
The warehouse is at #34 Scout Torillo cor. Scout Limbaga, Quezon City.

From EDSA, get to Timog Avenue going to the Scout area (GMA 7 side). Head down towards Rotunda/ Timog-Tomas Morato intersection. Left on Scout Torillo (intersection where you see Metrobank), which is about a block away from the rotunda. Go down the length of two blocks until you reach Scout Limbaga. Tall warehouse building on the left before Scout Limbaga is your final destination! Entrance is on Scout Limbaga.

Gigantic Banner on the warehouse facade, Scout Torillo side.
Photo by: First Wives Club; Please leave me a note should you wish to use this photo.

Scout Limbaga entrance.
Photo by: First Wives Club; Please leave me a note should you wish to use this photo.

Bring baby wipes and hand sanitizer! If you're planning on scouring the shelves for seconds/ display units, it might be a wise idea to wear a mask (read: dusty). Oh, and don't forget to bring a helper so he/she can line up for you.

Expect long lines! And bring moolah as the sale is CASH BASIS ONLY!  Good luck, and enjoy shopping! I know I did. :)

Know more about this sale and other Richwell events, "like" them on Facebook here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Richwell Christmas Kids Craze 2011!

I interrupt my blog hiatus to bring you this special announcement:

The Christmas Kids Craze 2011 Schedule
VENUE: #34 Scout Torillo corner Scout Limbaga Q.C.
DATES: November 11,12,18,19,25,26
December 2,3,4,9,10,11,16,17,18,19,20
TIME: Saturdays and Sundays -- 9:00am to 6:00pm
           Weekdays and Fridays -- 1:00pm to 6:00pm

Yes, this is the annual Richwell Warehouse Sale! And it is happening near my office this year. PTL! No more horrendous Libis traffic. Thank you, Lord!

See you there! And happy Christmas bargain hunting!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Harbour City's Baby Center!

This is such a late post. As it is always the case with travel posts and photos (I have my siblings constantly reminding me that I owe them photos, etc, even from trips two years ago). But my brother has yet to install new memory on my laptop, so I like to save the space. That, plus my external drive is FULL - blame it on full-sized DSLR photos that you just can't trash.  Anyway, I owe a friend a few posts on HongKong, so I thought I'd start with something easy to write.

I was telling a bunch of breastfeeding friends that the new baby rooms at Harbour City are way too cool. I've stopped breastfeeding RL when he turned 2, so I didn't really make use of these much during our last homeland trip (July - I know, eons ago, sorry!) but I just wanted to say how lovely they are! Nothing compared to the breastfeeding and changing rooms at our local malls. Nothing!

So allow me to share photos of one of Harbour City's uber-cool baby centers!

We actually made use of the new, albeit small baby room fronting Ocean Terminal's Toys R' Us (located right under the stairs) to change RL's diaper (and to throw away some boxes so we didn't have to bring them back to the hotel). I didn't take photos of that particular baby room because I wanted to check out this one. Also located inside Ocean Terminal, which is part of Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui, this baby center is beautiful!

This one is beside the ladies' loo, and looks like it is part of the wall, you won't actually notice it is there, unless you notice the signs.

See that hand on the wall panel? You touch it and those mirrored doors open!
Yes, you may park your stroller here. The room is big enough to accomodate strollers!
Communal Feeding Area for bottle-fed babies! Or for breastfeeding moms who don't mind nursing in front of others. :)
Diaper-changing area... I love the faucet!
Private Nursing Areas (with privacy curtains) at the back come with their very own changing tables. 
Nurse in Private!
I love how they thought about how some moms prefer to nurse in private. I remember trying to nurse RL in one of SM's nursing rooms and had to endure this lady's husband's numerous glances. I mean, gimme a break, mammary glands are mammary glands! Stare at your wife's, not mine! And I was wearing a bib ha? LOL!

Anyway, I hope one of the malls take into consideration the actual needs of nursing moms and come up with something as cool as this.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Time Out!

I know I said I'd blog over the long weekend, but didn't. I know. I know. I am sorry. But my Smart Bro wasn't working right, and I couldn't get a decent signal. I was up north, where the typhoon was strongest. That, plus it was my mom's birthday, and it was her specific request not to spend our vacay in front of the laptop. :P

So I didn't get to blog. I have a ton of things to do this week! We have that Community Garage Sale happening at the clubhouse this weekend. If any of you are in the area (Ayala, QC), we will be selling hardly-worn clothes (c/o KY, who wears most of her clothes once and forgets about them), plush toys, TOYS, shoes, baskets, linens, etc. so do try to drop by.

Meanwhile, this blog will be on hiatus 'til the fat lady sings.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Look at What's Happening Soon!

Are you ready? Is your wallet ready? Are you ready to burn plastic? I AM! I can't wait!

Check out what happened during the last Members' Treat Sale here.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Today is National Banana Split Day!

And that is why Five Cows Resto and Ice Cream Bar is giving you the opportunity to try their Old-Fashioned Banana Split for just 69pesos! That's 58% off the original price of 165pesos!

I screamed for Ice Cream and got this great deal for Five Cows today! Only P69.00 for an Old-Fashioned Banana Split! 

Get this great deal only through Ensogo!

Purchase of vouchers is limited to a minimum of 2, and a maximum of 5 per person, but you may use as much vouchers if you're going as a group.

To see this deal, visit Ensogo today!

Five Cows Resto & Ice Cream Bar
4th Level, Trinoma Mall, Quezon City (near the cinemas)
For reservations, please contact:
Phone #: (02) 9013748
On Facebook:

Friday, August 19, 2011

Making Waves in New York to Help Out Filipino Kids!

Below is an article written by eKindling on the website - a feature on my favorite cousin and wonderwoman, Ayesha! I am reposting this for all of you to read. Be inspired! 

From Investment Banking to Community Co-Investment with Ayesha Vera Yu of Advancement For Rural Kids
Investment banker turned social entrepreneur Ayesha Vera Yu is changing the lives of Children across the Philippines

Ayesha Vera Yu makes things happen! As CEO and Co-Founder of Advancement for Rural Kids (ARK), Ayesha has been intimately involved in developing the vision, implementing the mission, and ensuring that the organization makes a real impact. Prior to ARK, Ayesha “sold her soul” and “worked like a dog” in investment banking for 12 years as a Director at the largest French Bank, BNP Paribas. In 2006, Ayesha invested in restructuring the family farm into an organic and integrated one – where carabaos, chickens, ducks, and goats live happily with rice and vegetables. Ayesha studied biology and chemistry at Mount Holyoke College and received her MBA from Columbia University. She lives in NYC, and you can reach her at

My cousin, Ayesha, with first-grade kids of Sibariwan, Capiz. 

You co-founded a non-profit called Advancement for Rural Kids, can you tell us about it?

Advancement for Rural Kids partners with communities to improve primary education and health of children in rural areas in developing countries, starting in the Philippines.

In addition to the local communities, ARK collaborates and partners with volunteer professionals, students, schools and universities to develop innovative solutions that will keep kids in school, in better health and armed with the critical tools to access opportunities that would lead to a future devoid of poverty.

ARK’s programs are school-based, community-managed, financially sustainable at the local level and results-oriented and include:

Keystone feeding program - ($15/kid/year) for a nutritious lunch of protein and vegetables
Provisioning of school supplies - ($5/kid/year), for donated books and computers
High school scholarships - ($50/kid/year) for school fees, uniform, supplies, and much needed tutoring
Infrastructure projects like rain water catchments, school houses etc.
For-profit projects for the community (currently in development)
We have grown exponentially since we founded ARK in December 2008. Now, ARK sponsors over 1,260 students and partners with over 700 parents and teachers in four villages in Dumarao, Capiz.

What was the inspiration for ARK ?

In January 2008, I visited my family’s farm in the village of Sibariwan in Dumarao, Capiz. The first grade teacher in the local school, which was 15 minutes away from our farm, heard that I was in the village. Breaking away from Pilipino tradition (especially in the provinces), the teacher was so persistent in her visits and invitation, and would not let me leave the village without meeting her students. When I walked in her classroom, over 50 kids ranging in age from 4 to 11 were excitedly shouted in unison “good morning maam”. I saw 3-4 kids huddled around each textbook that was literally in tatters. I saw a gaping hole taking up almost a third of the ceiling and found out that if it rained, class is suspended and that kids get sick. I saw students holding pencils that are 2 inches long and learned that teachers come out of pocket for students’ school supplies and test papers as students barely come to school with food, much less supplies. Given the teacher’s initiative, the beaming kids, despite the shocking conditions, I could not leave without trying to help. So I took whatever cash I had, $300 or so, and handed it over to the teacher to get the roof fixed and the kids some school supplies.

I went back to NYC and told Jerry Topitzer, my co-founder, about my experience and showed him pictures of the school and the kids. A month later, Jerry and I heard back from the teacher. She happily reported that the roof was fixed in about two weeks. Because the parents banded together and volunteered to fix the roof for free, there was excess money to buy school supplies for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders, accounting for 2/3rd of the school population!

While the finance sector was getting enveloped by doom and gloom in 2008, we were presented with a teacher who went out of her way to find a solution to what she knew to be a problem; a group of parents that would work together for the betterment of the whole; and a model for co-investment. At this point, we could not just sit idle and do nothing!

In December 2008, Jerry and I went back to Sibariwan, this time with some more donated funds, books and two computers - and despite only 1 day’s notice, were welcomed by over 400 parents, teachers and students in the pouring rain. It was during this visit that we saw intimately that people have ideas and understand (much better than us) ways to solve the challenges that face them. Donated books and computers, and locally purchased school supplies, were not going to make a dent in improving education if the kids are hungry. Our meetings with the community – and listening to the parents, teachers and community leaders led to an idea to try to solve what was clearly one of the biggest issues: malnutrition. With the donated funds we decided to pilot what would later become our keystone feeding program, which we launched in January 2009. This important initiative has proven to get kids back to school, fight malnutrition and spur weight gain, while providing additional income to the local community.

What inspires you to do the work that you do?


Seeing kids excitedly pouring over books and selecting them over toys as prizes on our student workshops…

Seeing student attendance levels go from 70% to 90% within a week, and seeing students gain, on average, 10 lbs within 3 months of implementing the feeding program…

Learning that ARK scholars like 15 year old Jurel Evangelista would wake up at 5am to get ready and prepare his lunch by himself while the rest of the household slumbers, walk to school for an hour and get to school by 7am on time for class every day! He, like the rest of the 49 scholars, are committed to finishing 4 years of high school, are getting better grades than they got previously, and are excited to be a step closer to their dreams…

These positive, tangible and measurable results excite and inspire me.

Who or what have had the biggest influences in your life as a changemaker?

My mom is the ultimate change maker. I have idolized her for as long as I can remember. To discuss how she influenced me would be another interview altogether.

What's one of the failures/challenges you experienced in your changemaking career? And how did you overcome it?

The first challenge has been trying to communicate, coordinate, and continue to keep everything on track in the Philippines from over 8000 miles away in New York. We have been able to overcome that with the continued commitment of the teachers who call us at least twice a month and email the required reporting. Typhoons, patchy cell service, and language barriers all present challenges. Cultural differences are also not to be underestimated – living in a fast paced urban area like New York, one has to adjust expectations with regard to the pace of life in the rural provinces. Lastly, everyone in the community has different perspectives and often some members may not be used to ARK’s methods of community development. For any program, we look for community contribution or counterpart. We also audit to ensure effectiveness and to account for every expense. Not all parents and teachers are used to being accountable for every peso that is distributed to the school. Expenses that are not supported by receipts have to paid by the program members, team leader and school head. This rigor requires training and consistent reinforcement but it is so critical for us to demonstrate our effectiveness and differentiate ourselves as an organization.

How can those reading now get involved in ARK and why do you think it's important to get involved in giving back to the Philippines?

Like us on Facebook at Visit and support us on Email us your ideas and wishes at

For Filipinos, it’s not a question of why it’s important to give back in the Philippines. Filipinos all over the world already do this! We send money, clothing, balikbayan boxes packed with chocolates and spam all the time. Repatriations prop up and fuel the Philippine economy right now.

The more appropriate questions when we give back - whether it’s family or a nonprofit organization are: Can you trace your dollar? Is the program sustainable, and the results immediate and long lasting? Do you want to just hand out money, or do you want to co-invest with a community or a parent who is doing something effective to get themselves out of poverty?

~~~ o ~~~

A Feeding Program at one of the ARK-partner schools in Capiz.

Packing children's books donated by the good people of New York! 

Advancement for Rural Kids (ARK)
- improving primary education for rural communities in developing countries

My cousin is an amazing woman. I cannot even begin to imagine how she does it. Imagine being on top of the corporate ladder and giving all that up to help kids in her homeland. She lives in New York and yet, her heart is with the Philippines. 

If you're willing to help out or are interested in finding out how you can be a part of ARK, like their Facebook page here or visit their webpage at

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Let Me Tell You a Secret.

Today is R's birthday. Things have been pretty civil (more like nice) between us for a while. Although there are days when I don't hear from him, and days when I don't think about him, things have been pretty much okay.

Two nights ago, over the phone, we talked about past birthdays. And how, during one of those surprise parties I threw for him, he declared to his friends that he will be the best father to A. Bittersweet. And although he isn't exactly the best dad in the world, I'd like to think he is trying his best - at least as best as how he knows 'best' to be. He was never dad, exactly, to M or KY. So he's only had practice with A (a little bit with RL). And he hasn't been there as much, really, for the little boy. Who knows how much of an influence or an inspiration his dad was in terms of being a parent... So yea, I suppose in his eyes, he is doing okay. Not to say, he could be better. But that's just how it is, for now.

An old photo from R's Friendster account, showing him with baby A.
His shirt (sent by a relative from the US) says World's Best Mom. Hehe.

In that same conversation, which turned out pretty pleasant, we talked about that first birthday surprise in Rockwell, 10 years ago (or was it 11? I forget) - one he doesn't quite remember, except for the part where he tells our server his real age, after being sang to and given a brimming bowl of vanilla ice cream. And we had a good laugh about it.

Time flies. There are days when I think about the good times, and then, there are days when I wish the good times overshadowed the bad. Right now, we're okay and the kids are happy. And I guess that holds importance in family relationships, right? I'm not saying we're fixed or we'll ever get to the point where all is well, but right now, we're fine and that's dandy.

And of course, with all this talk about age, the topic of change came up more than once. Last night, I had asked if he thought that at his age, it was okay to be doing what he was doing. He answered in the form of silence. I don't want to appear like the consenting wife, but at this point, I only wish he is safe and is keeping himself protected from harm and disease.

Times have changed and wounds heal. R, sadly, hasn't changed. Today, his phone is ringing off the hook, and he's probably enjoying his day with his "friends" - friends who think they are more important than family... who think it is cool to be part of that secret life R has been living. But guess what? I know a secret you guys don't.

See, a week ago, on one of those late night conversations with R, he mentioned it was his birthday soon, and his friends (who were with him in the car while he was on the phone with me) had asked how old he was going to be. R, nonchalantly, replied he was going to be 30 on his birthday. 30.

A pretty random number now, don't you think?

I somehow recall celebrating the same birthday 10, maybe 11 years ago. And back then, I was caught off guard as I remember him telling me he was only 26!

You do the math.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Dear Heavenly Father, 

Today, I pray a hedge of protection around R. 
May the blood of Jesus cover him
 and keep him away from sin. 
I also ask that You reveal Yourself to him
 and that he gets to experience Your love
 and how it is to be Your child. 

In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Accentuating the Positives

There are a number of things I would like to change. And this would be one.

From this day forward, I am taking my eyes off the negatives, and will start accentuating the positives. After all, with God, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. We only need to believe.

Count your blessings with me! Check out my other blog: COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Books For Less Warehouse Sale!

Love books? Don't mind previously-owned ones? Then this SALE is for you!

Books for Less is having a Warehouse Sale! Currently ongoing 'til the 20th of August!

Hurry! You only have a week to catch this Sale! The Books For Less Warehouse is open from Monday - Saturday only.

A and I decided we'd check out the sale today. The catch was... the warehouse is open until 5pm only. So we rushed to Pasig and got to the sale with about 15 minutes to browse and shop. We were lucky though, because they were still cleaning new stocks, so that allowed us to look around for half an hour or so. Then it rained really hard, so they gave us another 30 minutes. Yay!

It was a task to look around (read: garage sale) and the books were dusty (an understatement, actually). But that's part of the thrill, right?

Book Heaven! Discounts apply only to books P75 and above. 
Not to worry though, these books were P10 each!
Nice selection of children's books. A went crazy looking through stacks and stacks of good reads.
This could take hours!
These novels went for P15.00 and up. Happy-joy-joy!
An hour is just not enough to check this sale out. Must.Visit.Again.
A wants to go back and dig for more books. Not that we didn't spend more than we had planned today. But yea, looks like we're going back for more.

Our Books For Less loot... well, some of it. Dent on the pocket: P910.00 - not bad!
See you there?

Visit their warehouse at 643 Mercedez Avenue, Pasig City. Sale hours are from 8am to 5pm only, Mondays to Saturdays.

Want to get updates on upcoming events such as this? Like Books for Less on Facebook here. Or check out the Books For Less website here.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Enchanted Kingdom Deal!

My kids are I were just talking about how we should take RL to Enchanted Kingdom since he hasn't been there. He's been to Disneyland in Hong Kong about 6 times already, so he should be ready for EK, right?

Anyway, we were discussing how expensive it is to go to EK nowadays, gas and toll included. So imagine my delight when I received an email notice from Ensogo last night!

EK Passes for P300 each! Great deal! Only from Ensogo Philippines!

Yes, that's 40% off the regular day passes at Enchanted Kingdom! P300 instead of P500! Hurry, as of 12noon today, they've sold over 1,850 passes (and they're only selling a limited amount).

Don't you just love these deals from all these coupon sites? Ensogo makes purchasing easy by offering Bancnet payment options! Just key in your Bancnet ATM card number + pin, and voila! Purchase done!

To see the deal, click here. To join Ensogo and avail of other great deals (up to 90% off!), click here.

Don't Rain on Her Parade!

Dear You,

Actually... you, you, you and you!

If you think this post was meant for you, then you're probably right.

Love, K

"And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?" Mark 8:36 (NLT)

Friday, August 5, 2011

New Blog!

I started a new blog. Yes, you read that right. A new blog.

This one's different though. I needed to start this blog. You see, I've been wallowing in my depths of despair (Anne of Green Gables, I know) and needed to combat the devil from stealing my joy.

It's called Count Your Blessings - a Daily Photoblog of Thanksgiving. - Excuse the mess, I haven't worked with html codes in years! 
Join me on my journey as I count it all joy.

Visit my new blog here.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Devil's Out to Get You!

I came home late last night (not late-late, but later than usual) and found A on the couch eating dinner. I took a second look and saw her crying. So I asked her what was wrong, and she started crying out loud.

Scary, freaking loud.

After a few more tries at asking her what was wrong, she wailed, "The demons are chasing after me!" (more wailing)

"What do you mean? Do you see them coming for you?" (I know, I know, stupid question, but I had images of old men chasing down my daughter, and not the spirit-type-of-demon)

After much prodding, she wails back, "I can't see them, but I feel them!"

The house echoes her cries. I fear that even the nuns across the street think we have Linda Blair happening over at our place. Nyar.

So I march A up to the bedroom, and try again. (Did I mention I was freaking out already, and nearing a major heart attack?)

I called my mom and asked for help. She tells me to pray with A. I was freaking out (Lord, I know I should've reacted in prayer at first option, and I am sorry I gave in to my demons by getting all worked up on what I thought was happening). Sigh.

So we prayed.

And I asked her again. This time, careful with my choice of words. "What was happening? Did someone hurt her? Did something happen in school? Etc? Etc?"

"I feel it because of all the bad stuff happening to me."

Okayyyyy... like what? (For a while there, I expected the daddy-answer and I was ready with my speech on how demons existed, excuse the pun, kekeke)

"Like the things RL does to me." (What? Like how?)

"Like he gets my toys and writes on my notebooks, and he gets a new toy today, and I have to study."


Anyone here have the demon of sibling rivalry in their home? Turns out, she just woke up from a nap (one I told the nanny she shouldn't take unless she is done with homework and studying for her 4 quizzes for today - note: thank goodness, classes were suspended!) and was scared she was gonna get punished for not studying. And we did stay up 'til past midnight studying because of that nap, and that episode! Read: more huffing and puffing.

Demons. She probably was right. The demons were out to get her. I was livid. And I know I was wrong. She's just nine and is probably as stressed out with school. Sigh.

Pray for us!

Psalm 91
New International Version (NIV)

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

Thursday, July 28, 2011


I'm taking a break from blogging. I feel the pressure of having to write all sorts, when really, I started this blog to get away from pressure. Now how ironic is that?

I'm feeling so out of it today, and no, it isn't that time of the month. I've been sick for the past 3 weeks, and although I feel better and am actually better, there are tons of things to do. Hence, the need to go on break.

But I'll be back soon enough. I just need to upgrade my vaio and get the speed going, because right now, the memory chip's acting up and I have everything dragging at a snail's pace.

I got a call this morning from a friend who told me about how a group of friends from school have recently made it their business to talk about other people's business. I mean, getting together to make "chika" is acceptable, but disguising it as bible study is another. I mean, give me a break! You think it makes it any less of a sin to gossip when you do it under the guise of "matters of concern" or prayer requests? C'mon! MYOB! Praying for others does not warrant you to talk about their affairs!

My new nanny can't cook. So I cook dinner almost everyday. Unless I have lazy bones and I tell her to open a can of Spam (which reminds me, I have to restock!). I've been getting really good at cooking (I've always loved to cook, but I can get really lazy just thinking about it). The other night, I made Chinese Pork Pata Adobo, complete with Banana Blossoms. Nom! And it was the bomb! My kids enjoyed it so much they had more than second servings, which is a plus for little RL, who doesn't eat much.

So yea, I've been really stressed at home as well. Plus A's exams are next week!

I've been talking about a revamp for the longest time, and well, what do you think? A friend called my attention on the title of the blog (yes, this blog), about how I used First Wives Club and how it contradicts my stand on marriage. But I've known this blog as that for so long, would it be right to change what it's called when it's been that since... well, forever?

Monday, July 25, 2011

It's Here!

The box, that is! The box I had sent from Hong Kong on the 11th of July is here! This is a late post since I have been sick (again!) and busy. They delivered the box to my office on Wednesday last week, July 20, or exactly 9 days after it left the hotel.

Hooray! My shopping loot is here!

Yey! I think my nanny was happiest when I brought the box home Friday night. Her pasalubong sneakers were in the box. Hehehe.

To learn more about shipping stuff from Hong Kong, see my previous post on this here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

List Fulfilled!

Remember that shopping list? Well my brother's back! And he outdid himself big time! LOL! Not only did he find RL the Special Agent Oso R.R. Rapide Command Center, he also found a Timmy Talking Plush on Clearance! (Imagine this: Timmy saying Bah! And snoring when made to lie on his back or side! So kyot!) He also got A a Littlest Pet Shop Backpack with matching Lunch Pack, plus a Littlest Pet Shop Plush! He also got her a Lego set from the Lego store! Such a great uncle! I love my brother! Kekeke!

Excuse the shoes, but this was taken in my brother's room. Kekeke.

RL checking out Special Agent Oso's R.R. Rapide Command Center...

Special Agent Oso gets his gear on by pushing him against the wall. Magic!

Busy with Oso. It's all part of the plan... well, more of less.

It's Timmy Time! :) Bah!

Littlest Pet Shop swag for my not-so-little girl.

Actually, my brother wants this for himself. Kekeke!

Ok, so can any of you guess what I got? LOL!

Monday, July 18, 2011


Well not exactly... but something like that. Two weeks ago, a man in business attire (complete with tie, shades and all) parked his car at our common parking area, got out, smiled at the maid hosing down our neighbor's garage, and got into the compound. If that isn't scary, here's more...

He tried opening the screen doors of the first two townhouses, then went on to check the other units in the compound. Mind you, this was at a few minutes past 12 noon! In broad daylight! According to my neighbor, he knocked on our door, too, but my shih tzu, Mickey, barked at him like crazy so he moved back towards the first units and tried their screen doors again. All this was happening while the maid was cleaning the area in front of our compound. She knew he was inside, and would normally be the first to yell at him for trespassing, but his get-up got her confused.

Anyway, when he tried opening the screen door of the last unit, F, my neighbor, who was home at that time, yelled at him to ask what he was doing and what he needed. He yelled something back, to the effect of "Ah, si Attorney, te-text ko nalang!" and left.

F ran after him, and saw his car (make and model slips my mind but will update as soon as I get to talk to my neighbor again). He tries to knock on the car's window, but the man drives away fast.

Needless to say, the maid, who also happens to be our compound's katiwala, got the sermon of her life. F says his aunt, who lives in the unit across them, saw something that could've been a gun! (!!!!!!) I am freaked! So is my nanny, who, upon learning about this yesterday (we normally hear about things like this from the katiwala, but obviously she was at fault here so there weren't any news reports aka tsismis coming from her), recalls someone knocking on our unit's door sometime before we left for Hong Kong. But she was getting RL to nap, so she didn't bother to check. Besides, we normally do not get visitors during the day. Or I would usually call first if she was to expect someone.


Anyway, my neighbor tells me that a similar incident happened to her sister, who lives in rural QC, where her nephew is robbed at gunpoint in their own home. Same get-up. Guy looking oddly similar, in business attire, with tie and shades. I spent a good hour or two briefing my nanny and A. We're getting new locks and have added more security measures. Our compound has about half a dozen kids so it is scary this happened! Good thing no one was harmed! And we live practically next to a police outpost. If it can happen at our place where security is second to none, what more in places where security is lacking?

This must be a new MO! Guy acts like he has official business being at your place, fools the maid, and actually gets inside your house. In our case, maid leaves the compound gate open, sees him enter, thinks he's visiting someone (there are 6 families in our compound), when he's really out to steal! Argh!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Shipping from Hong Kong to Manila

I am no rich girl, so I don't fly Cathay (well, not anymore) and hardly ever do I fly with PAL. Ever since I got married, I had to make that choice to fly budget, just so I can take my kids to places I've been to as a kid. It's harder when you're living off a single income. But don't sue me for wanting to travel. I am sure every mom wants what's best for their kids. All I really want is for my kids to experience the perks I had growing up.

Well, so far, they've been to Hong Kong and Beijing. LOL! (We're getting there, we're getting there. Momma just has to save up some more.)

Anyway, since we always fly budget nowadays (yes, yes, that's 5J for you folks, but can you beat P2,700 for 3pax, RT to Hong Kong? I didn't think so.), we've had to find ways around the baggage allowance. Lately, it's been easier, given that RL has to have his own seat now. That means, an extra 15kg! Yes!

But what I haven't mentioned on this post is this: I am the only adult when we travel. Well, most of the time. Yes, the only adult with 2 kids. It was harder last year, since you couldn't ask RL to hold on to anything. T'was easier this year, with A being a more responsible Ate. She helped me lug 9 bags to the bus stop. Yes, 9 bags. LOL! She had 3, I had the rest, plus pushed the stroller with RL on it.

But I digress from the main point of this post. See, we may have had a ton of bags with us, but they were either empty or light. Two were filled with junk food. One had an ergonomic pillow and 4 plush toys from Disneyland. Relatively light, albeit bulky. The heavy stuff went inside a box we had shipped to Manila on the last day we were in Hong Kong.

Shipped, you say? Yes! Hong Kong has a number of Philippine-based couriers that ship off balikbayan boxes to Manila. They cater to OFWs and regular Hong Kong travelers. My favorite company is called Worldwide Elite Express or Worldwide EEC. We first used WEEC in March 2009, when during a buying trip with my brothers and a friend, we had no choice but to ship off textile samples back to Manila. We had heard about balikbayan box shipping from a friend based in Hong Kong and ventured to Worldwide House in Central to check all those couriers out. The shipping companies are all on the 3rd floor of Worldwide House, right next to each other. I don't remember how we chose WEEC, they were the cheapest, I think.

Others had promos if you planned to ship a combo of boxes. Others had referral promos, tracking points, etc. WEEC just seemed okay, and came highly recommended by Filipinos around the area. That was the start of our business friendship with Kuya Steve. The guy who mans WEEC in Central.

Worldwide Elite Express at 3F Worldwide House, Central. Look for Steve!

Today, every time he sees me in his store, he doesn't need to ask. He already knows. And yes, that's how often I've been to Hong Kong since that day in 2009! LOL! Shipping usually takes a week or two, depending on the day of the week you have your packed box picked up, and/ or if their shipping container is full and ready to go. The fastest I've ever had to receive a box would be a record 5 days! Bilis no?

Here's how to ship a box from Hong Kong to Manila:

1) CHOOSE A BOX. You can either go to Worldwide House in Central to pick up a box, or have them deliver a box to your hotel. Boxes vary in sizes, so make sure you know which size you need. If you choose to have them deliver an empty box to you, take note that the prices below reflect pick-up box discounts, so you have to add at least 20HKD to the shipping price (30HKD for D'King).

Current Rates still applied today. :) 

2) PAY FOR YOUR BOX AND SCHEDULE FOR PICK-UP. I usually pay for the box and shipping in full when I pick up my empty box at Worldwide House. That way, I don't have to worry about waiting to pay the guy who will pick up my box from the hotel. I also make sure to schedule pick up with Kuya Steve so I don't have to pay storage with the hotel's concierge, in case I leave the box with them after I've checked out.

3) PACK YOUR BOX. A box comes with at least 2 rolls of packing tape. I wondered why there were 2 rolls once, and Kuya Steve mentioned that some Filipinos liked to wrap their boxes with tape. I saw proof of this on my recent trip to WEEC in Worldwide House, when an oversized Jumbo Box was literally covered in tape. Remember that you ship these boxes regardless of weight, so fill your box with the heavy stuff. Make sure you wrap the fragile ones in paper or cloth before packing those in.

4) SEAL YOUR BOX. I like to line the edges with tape as well, just to secure the box from bumps and accidents. Write your complete mailing address on all sides of the box (I also write down the tracking number from the waybills to make sure the number's on the box, if in case the stickers come off). Stick all five (5) Waybill Tracking stickers on the 4 sides and top of box. Stickers will be provided when you pay for your box in full.

5) CALL FOR PICK UP. Or if you've scheduled this when you picked up the box, just bring down the box to the concierge. Tell them WEEC will pick up the box from them, leave a contact number, in case the box doesn't get picked up on time.

C'est tout! I know, I know. Why ship? Well, if you're traveling budget like we do and there's a cap to baggage allowance, the cheapest way to go about getting all that shopping back to Manila is to ship them all back. The biggest box, D'King, which can fit a huge automatic washing machine costs only 600HKD to ship, that's roughly P3,500 or so! Beats paying overweight charges, I tell you. I paid about the same amount getting breastmilk back to Manila in 2009. That, plus I don't have to take everything back when there's only one little ol' me to pack and lug everything back to the airport.

Jumbo Box vs. D'King, with monoblock chair for comparison. 

Shop 342/ 343, 3F Worldwide House
19 Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong 
Tel. No.: 2774-9736/ 2578-2773
Look for Steve and tell him Kaye Catral referred you. :)
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