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. :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"How Was Lunch?

...I had asked A when I got home from work tonight. "Was the Beef Stroganoff still good?"

She looks at me funny and says, "Beef Stroganoff pala yun."

"Why, what did you think it was?"

"I told my friends it was called Beef Demonol."

And at that point, I started laughing and couldn't stop. LOL!

Kanino nagmana 'to? In fairness, she laughed at herself. We laughed all throughout dinner until we were crying from laughing too hard. Don't ask me, I don't know where she got that name.

Beef Demonol, anyone?

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Took my lappy with me on vacay, but right now, I'm feeling too lazy to actually blog and upload photos. It's 1030am, and the kids are still in bed. We had a full day yesterday, so today's going to be a slow day.

I don't even have anything planned. I guess it changes when you're old(er). I wasn't even excited to go on any of the rides at the park yesterday. Contented myself with shopping for and with RL (who didn't care much that he wasn't riding any of the rides either) while A did her round of the rides, etc.

I suppose it's a good thing we have annual passes. I don't want to be that stressed out momma crazy-panicking about getting our moolah's worth. Yes, we took it in the way we always do. Relaxed and at a leisurely (wait, over-leisurely) pace. LOL.

This is what we did at the park yesterday. We got there at 12noon (late to start with).

- checked out Mickey and Minnie on Main Street (line was too long, and it was too HOT - last time we did the photos with the characters, I promised to never do that again during the summer)
- upgrade Magic Pass
- checked out Main Street shops
- watched the new parade
- Hainanese Chicken lunch
- checked out shop
- claim Magic Pass gift
- took the Jungle Cruise
- checked out another shop
- Philharmagic
- checked out a shop outside Philharmagic
- checked out shop beside Banquet Hall
- checked out Pooh's Corner shop
- Small World (RL's favorite ride)
- checked out shop outside Space Mountain
- checked out shop outside Astro Blasters
- Fried Chicken and BBQ Chicken Wings dinner (yes, chicken again)
- Astro Blasters
- checked out shops again on Main Street

We were in shops all day! A even exclaimed several times - "Wow, we came to Disney to shop!" LOL! Well, RL was asleep half of the afternoon so technically, I had nothing to do. You can't take the stroller in (even with the shows) and I can't take him out of the stroller. So no choice. But I've been in this situation before. This is RL's 6th time here (I think). Once, I think on a trip with my siblings, RL slept the whole time we were at Disneyland. And I literally just sat with him and the stroller to watch the birds attack leftovers (Disney has crazy local birds that aren't quite scared of humans). So yes, this isn't anything new. What's new is: A wanting to laze around with me. I usually let her get on the rides by herself. Or watch some of the shows, while I wait outside with RL. This time though, she got on a few rides and then shopped. LOL.

RL - Framed! LOL at the milk bottle! Obvious bang pawis? It's was sooo hot!

Look who's in the new parade at Hong Kong Disneyland! 

Our Hainanese lunch at Tahitian Terrace, Adventureland.

RL, shopping for plush toys at Pooh's Corner.

The family that shops together, stays together.

So much for the Disney visit. We didn't even wait for the fireworks. Took the train to Tung Chung to shop for groceries at Taste.

We were talking about going to Kowloon Bay today for Mega Box. But I have this thought looming in my head. I have to get Steve to bring us a box for Monday. No way I'm lugging the Ikea stuff with me back to the airport with 2 kids, luggages and a stroller. Oh well. We'll see.

Oh, I'm in the homeland for the weekend. :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Shopping List

My brother is leaving for a business trip. I'm leaving for a trip as well, but there are things you can only get in the US. So I am sending him a list and hopefully, he finds time to get me at least one thing from my list (and Lord, please not just the Neosporin! LOL!).


1. Neosporin + Pain Relief - from any supermarket, drugstore, Walmart or Target

Best First-Aid Ointment when you have active kids!

2. Body by Victoria - from Victoria's Secret

The Fragrance - long-lasting smell.

The Body Mist

3. Night Blooming Jasmine Body Mist - from Bath and Body Works.

My fave everyday scent.

4. Special Agent Oso R. R Rapide Command Center - from Target, Walmart or Toys R' Us

RL has been wanting this toy since he first saw it on the net!

5. Special Agent Oso Training Pack Coldfingers - from Target, Walmart or Toys R' Us

This is the only one missing from RL's Training Pack set!

6. Timmy Plush from Timmy Time - from Target

Aside from Special Agent Oso, RL also loves Timmy from Timmy Time!

7. Littlest Pet Shop Backpack - from Target, Walmart or Toys R' Us

8. Littlest Pet Shop Lunch Bag - from Target, Walmart or Toys R' Us

Dami no? Just giving him options. He doesn't have a month to shop. He'll be in the US for 4 days! Yes, just like that trip I took in 2008. Hehe, I'm buying him stuff from the homeland as well. So quits lang kami. Kekeke.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


...and I don't like it. The kids and I are off to our annual trip to the homeland on Thursday, and we're all down with the bug. I don't know how we caught it, but RL had the sniffles, then I caught it, then now, A has it too. And it has mutated into one big, fat bug! We're all on antibiotics. Nyar.

I don't really like dealing with sickness, especially one that involves the kids. It gives me stress. I also detest getting sick along with them (to think I opted to get the flu shot this year), because I can't take care of them the way I should. Yesterday, I had a head-splitting headache that just won't go away. I literally had tears in my eyes!

Took RL to the pedia today, and I thought I was well enough for work in the afternoon. But the headache and fever came back with a vengeance after lunch, and I just had to get myself back in bed. Or die.

My mom called to say we should watch out, because there's a crazy virus going around. Yea, if it hasn't reached us yet (what do you call this, if not crazy). And yes, my brother says we have to keep resistance up, so that means, we're hitting the parks (and the gym) for good ol' exercise when this bug's done and dead.

I hope your families are well!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Would You Leave a Legacy of Divorce?

Once again, I opened up my FB account to a barrage of messages from friends. Too many things happening in marriages, one can get lost in the flurry. Early this evening, I received a DM from T. Her husband wants a divorce. Apparently, his resolve was brought about by his mom's encouragement. Ah yes, the mother in law. I know the story - I've been there; I've done that.

It's so easy to get caught in the fray. One day you're repentant, the next day, you're all riled up and ready to call it quits. The devil sure doesn't waste any time when he sees a way to put "breaking the family" into fourth gear. I am not surprised at how fast the devil is working on this one. Too vulnerable. Too many things happening in their lives. 

But really, I was telling T, she has more working in her favor (well over my case, that is). Her husband loves God. He was working as a youth counselor in church when they first met. Unlike R, this guy loves and fears the Lord. At least, she has that in the bag. 


There are some things I don't understand when it comes to parents choosing divorce over working things out. I know that some people find it ridiculous to keep a marriage for the sake of the kids. Yes, I've heard that argument before. But folks, if you truly care for your kids, would you want to leave them a legacy of divorce? Remember, sins are passed on from generation to generation. You allow adultery and divorce to set foot into your household, it will stay forever. 

It's about time you break the curse! 

Sure, sure, you can tell me that God never meant for life to be miserable. Tell me, is life ever always pleasant? You married your spouse. You promised to love and to cherish this one person, through sickness and in health, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, 'til death do you part. And yet, you let one trial pull you down, and you're ready to throw in the towel. Tell me, why'd you get married in the first place? 

SHAKE IT OFF! The devil is trying to fool you into thinking life is greener on the other side of the fence. He is feeding you lies. Of course it looks inviting! Think about the consequences. Think 10 steps ahead. Don't live in the here and now.

STOP RATIONALIZING IT! You're tired. You can't continue this charade. You want out. You don't want to keep lying to yourself. Goodness, stop rationalizing your resolve to quit! Whichever way you want to look at it, this isn't God's way. He never, NEVER meant for husbands and wives to separate! 

Matthew 19:6
(NIV) "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

THINK ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN. Okay, I know what you're thinking but give me a chance here. Find me a child or (an adult) who'd say, "My parents are separated, but I have no divorce-related issues." I'll bet you a cheeseburger you won't find one. Kids are sensitive. They have their ideals. Resilient as they may seem, divorce breaks them - emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically. I got reconnected with an old family friend on Facebook last year. Her parents were missionaries to the Philippines, and were popular church leaders. I always wondered why they left for the US in a huff, only to find out after all these years that their parents got divorced. They were already adults when this happened. One was even married with kids. And did they get by okay?  "It doesn't matter how old you are, it still hurts," says D, referring to her parents' divorce.

FOCUS ON GOD. Man will always fail you. So when the going gets tough, stop focusing on each other's faults. Give this to God. He doesn't expect you to change overnight. He doesn't expect you to weather that storm alone. Before you make a life-changing decision, make sure you are in the center of God's will. I am 100% sure He won't call on you to take that step towards breaking the family. God says "I hate divorce."

Malachi 2:16
(NCV) "The Lord God of Israel says, I hate divorce. And I hate people who do cruel things as easily as they put on clothes, says the Lord All-Powerful. So be careful. And do not break your trust."
(ESV) "For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the LORD, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless."
(NIV) “The man who hates and divorces his wife, says the LORD, the God of Israel, does violence to the one he should protect, says the LORD Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful."

READ YOUR BIBLE! I went through this and learned this the hard way. Kept asking friends what I should do. Racked up my phone bill calling this person and that person just to get advice, but really, you are God's creation. He knows what's best for you. And best way for you to find out how to troubleshoot life's problems is to read your life's manual. No other way to find out which step to take unless you immerse yourself in God's word. Let Him reveal His plans. You don't have to rely on someone else's advice (not even mine!). That someone else is not you! He or she doesn't know your heart, but God does! He knows exactly how you feel. He knows every emotion. He knows how hard it is to put up that front of showing others you can do it without your spouse when bottomline is, you just really want your marriage intact. HE KNOWS.

PRAY! GIVE IT TO GOD. LET HIM TAKE THE WHEEL. I'll say it again. You can't do this alone. You were never meant to do this alone. Let God handle this for you. He is bigger than all this. BIGGER. He knows what's on the next bend. Forget what others may say. It doesn't matter. You can't justify divorce by saying it worked for someone else so it should work fine for you. You are accountable to One and no one else. Who cares if society says it is okay to separate or get annulled and divorced? WHO CARES? You don't have to adapt to what the world says! It's your life.In the end, it's all about conviction. What is God telling you? Live your life by His standards. In the end, He calls the shots.

Off to the Groomers!

Mickey, after his summer cut over two months ago.
The youngest member of our family needs to be groomed again! Has it been 3 months? Hopefully, this time, he doesn't need to go "almost-bald" with a summer cut. We try to make sure he's groomed and combed often, so I hope he gets a nice cut this time.

And guess what? So timely, too, that Ensogo has a deal up for Pooch Park!

Only P 250.00 for Complete Pet Grooming Services at Pooch Park! A P500.00 value, that's 50% off!

The deal is for small breeds only, but you can upgrade your voucher if your pet's a big dog. • Top-to-toe grooming and pampering includes:
* Bathing
* Haircut
* Ear Cleaning
* Nail Clipping
* Toothbrush

I am thankful for deals like this. Makes saving moolah a tad fun. Hehehe. The one feature of Ensogo that I love is I can pay direct using my Debit Card. No need for tasking bank deposits or unsure credit card transactions. Yes, so convenient.

Hurry, you have a little over 2 days to grab this deal!

Get your discount voucher now!


Pooch Park has two locations for your convenience - Ortigas and Robinsons Metro East.

Ortigas Branch
Ortigas Home Depot Complex, Julia Vargas Ave., Ortigas Center
Phone #: (02) 9105036/ (63)922 9663320

Robinson’s Metro East branch
Level 5 Robinsons Metro East Mall, Marcos Highway, Brgy. Dela Paz, Pasig City
Phone #: (02) 6477025/ (63)922 3024566

Add Pooch Park on Facebook here.

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