Thursday, November 30, 2006

When U Wish Upon...Your Aunt?

sometime in october, i told my aunt in vancouver that i saw in the net that one of scrapbook warehouse's location is in richmond where she lives. the store claims to be among the largest scrap store in canada. one month later, i received 2 separate packages from her. oh boy!, i felt like a kid again, uber excited to see what's in store for me. the pix that i took doesn't justify the stuff i got, which are these:

all scrap stuff, yehey!!!!
my cool aunt even included the receipts, one of which is super looooong. i almost fell off my seat when i totalled the bill to 350 can. $ +.

the cost of these 2 receipts could have gotten me my christmas wish: a cricut!!!!

for her generosity, i'm doing my aunt's scrap album. oh yeah, i love her dearly, w/ or w/o my loot.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

5 Years of Happy Misis & Counting

this entry was meant to be written last oct. 22. but several days before and even after oct. 22, husband & i were in utter lack of precious time. so what about that date? 5th wedding anniversary lang naman namin. thanks God, despite our busy sked, we were able to hear the very early morning mass at st. claire in katipunan & have dinner at moa. i recall, we had dinner at the pearl manila on our 1st, spent 2 nights at manila mandarin on our 2nd, gulfed a huge box of pizza on our 3rd & spent the whole day at the beach in binogawan on our 4th. 5 years hence, the joys of marriage...the joys of going back to our wedding day.
oct 20, 2001 - - - 2 days prior to wedding day (oras, samar)
in the evening, my younger sisters baby & jingle arrived from manila. they had loads of flowers straight from dangwa (read:calla llilies, mums, roses & stargazers) and my 3-layer vienna cake. yes, my sisters hand-carried the heavy, fondant cake. w/ them were auntie lina, auntie elen & uncle ted, all from vancouver. it was uncle ted's 1st philippine visit after about 30 years. i later learned that he carried 1 layer of the cake during the 1-hour manila-tacloban plane ride & 3.5 hrs. tacloban-oras land trip. oh how sweet of him. the cake must have been heavy that he suggested that my sisters better elope next time.
oct. 21, 2001 - - - 1 day more & it's wedding day!
everyone was busy at home (as reception was to be held in our backyard aka remedios garden). the florists from tacloban arrived past noon w/ a truckload of pillars & white life-sized cherubs. oh man, was i relieved? more than relieved. in the afternoon, we attended mass & had confession. the last time i confessed face to face a priest sans the tabing was before i had my first communion in grade 2! it felt like we were going to be executed! the church rehearsals followed & we headed home which proved to be even busier than i could ever imagine.
oct. 22, 2001 - - - wedding day!!!
i think it was about 4am when the dawn serenade passed by our house (read: a band playing soothing music goes around town as if saying 'hey people wake up. it's darlene's wedding!' [side kwento: we learned later in the day that uncle ted wanted to video-tape the dawn serenade, but was too late as the music was almost done when he woke up]).
by 9am, the heaven's poured rain! my tears fell w/ the drizzle. as i watch the rain in our balkon, uncle gerry joined me and said something like it will rain heavily in the morning so nothing will fall in the afternoon. i was relieved by his assurance (as if he can control heaven) . in my heart, i knew God will grant us a rain-free wedding. that very hour, my future husband then, was already being made up & had no choice but to abide by my rule that his preps be as maarte as mine. after his mock-preps, he slept!
my groom gets ready to wed
by 11am, the up-do of my entourage started. the hours ran so, so fast that i saw myself done, made-up & in the center of the standard wedding prep picture-taking session. when i went out of the room, my 3 nephews (anjo-9; jase-4 & jm-3) handed me my bouquet. oh how i love my nephews! my parents' role at this instance was to cover me w/ my veil.

aren't they cute? jm won't even let go of his lollipop!

as i was alighting our 100-yr old vintage stairs w/ tatay & nanay behind me, i couldn't hold back my tears. i'm the first cordero to ever alight that stairs in a wedding dress! (i mean, my grandma from whom my father & his siblings inherited the centennial house, alighted the same stairs in a wedding dress before she married a cordero, right?).

this used to be my giant slide!

as the bridal car (aka my sister's white toyota) was traversing the street across the church, i could see future husband at the church doors as if anticipating my arrival. my heart jumped. oh my! it's for real, i'm getting married (side kwento: i later learned that future husband's heart also jumped the first time he saw the bridal car). so would it not be too baduy to say that 2 hearts can really beat as 1?

the white figure at the church door is dear hubby

the sight of our lovely entourage in periwinkle and our ninangs in gray queuing outside the church made made really, really, really happy. i'm getting married na nga.

i just stayed in the car while our wedding party had their march. and when it was my turn, i had my cue to take my first step when i heard the first key of shania twain's 'from this moment' (read: in 2001, i didn't imagine it would be as gasgas as it is today). from the church door, i could hardly see the 10 faces at the altar beaming at me. 10 priests? yes, 10. we only expected the bishop, the church monsignor and a family-friend priest. the other 7 priests are all friends and their presence was a pleasant surprise. that included fr. nilo, who was vacationing from new jersey. who would not be happy? 10 priests on your wedding day? any bride would feel ecstatic.

2-layered veil barely covered my back!

but aren't the flowers amazing & cherubs heavenly?

i tried holding back my tears as i walked towards my parents. and when tatay 'gave' me to future husband, i could see my parents & future in-laws trying to hold back their tears. the many faces around us were also in tears. so i gave in. i knew i had to cry or else i'd have a heart attack. we will forever be grateful to these priests who blessed us on our wedding

when we reached our seats, futurehusband whispered 'tama na'. it meant, stop crying, the bishop is here. the bishop was all smiles when we got near him. maybe he was naaaliw with my halgulgol.

our wedding ceremony turned out as solemn as we wanted it to be. but in the end, the bishop had to ask me before the signed our marriage contract if i'm sure about marrying husband, to which i just smiled. i think he also asked husband the same thing. cool bishop indeed.

what an honor to have the bishop officiate our wedding!
that's me kissing the bishop's ring

after our 'official kiss', we hugged so, so tight that i could hardly breath. we both cried while the audience applauded. i think the captured picture of our embrace says it all.

believe me, husband never held me that tight. ever.

breaking the heartwarming moment w/ our cutie bearers & flower girls

we reached remedios garden before sunset. the beaming faces who received us were all familiar. what could be any happier than an occasion where family and friends are present. aaah, it's our wedding.

the last to enter, who else?

husband & i opted to say our 'thank yous' during the first part of the reception since we wanted all our guests to hear how grateful we are for their presence, for which reason, i could not help but shed a tear again.

instead of the the dove release, we 'released' candies from a hanging bell to the delight of our kiddie guests.

and oh, our vienna cake...we had it placed atop branches of a driftwood auntie lina salvaged in monbon beach in 1999. i also had a barbie doll in a wedding gown like mine, and a ken in barong stand in one of the branches. we thought the dolls could be our mini-us, but with husband's protruding tummy and barbie's extra-ordinary figure of 8, i doubt! yet still, no one could ever be more handsome than dear hubby that day. and he assured me that moi was all pretty. call that mutual respect (mutual admiration is an understatement).

our wedding cake w/ our mini-us on the right

after a series of 'kuratsa' and 'aminodos', and the sumptuous buffet prepared by the leyte park hotel chef and waiters we pirated for the event, and the overflowing wines, spirits and beer, with an instant sing-along seession on the side, we called it a night; i mean a day at 4am, october 23!

that's the visayan tradition of helping newlyweds start their new life together: shower of money while dancing the kuratsa

and the most important thing aside from the solemnity and privacy of our wedding, and the overflowing love from family and friends, it didn't rain on our parade!

really happy!

end of our wedding story. meanwhile, we continue our journey. so help us God.


there was one time i asked husband what he thinks of our 10th anniversary. he said it's just as simple as reaching the 10th year. but of course! hmmmp. so i go straight to the point: will we celebrate? i know? he smiled. i smiled back. that's actually how he proposed exactly 6 years ago. only that, now, the roles have been reversed.

a snapshot of our baguio honeymoon. that's me actually convincing husband that we renew our vows on our 10th year! (yes, ganun kaatat)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Home (Again) But Not Alone

for the 3rd time this year, hubby & i splurged on a vice we couldn't do without: visiting home. but again, i'd have to be thankful that cebu pacific still offers low fares. otherwise, waaaaaaaa....husband's pockets would be in a perpetual state of calamity. so, on oct 27, we flew to home-sweet-home. as expected, our home in paypayon was already in frenzy for the del rosario feast two days later. i was happy to see relatives help us out. as we ardently prayed, heavens afforded us a perfect weather. indeed God is good all the time.

our family was able to breath after oct 29. it was then that we enjoyed food....
manila-based nephew jase, playing around w/ rock lobsterrrr!

....frolic the waves of burakay....
my sister baby, nephews jm & jase, my sister inky & moi

....have good time at the beach even on a monday....
my nephew anjo was glued to his phone that he didn't notice
we were making fun of him, ahihihi

....enjoy the lush greens of our cagpajo farm....

that's our family traversing the san juanico-inspired bamboo bridge leading to aunt lina's bahay kubo in the hanging ropes exclusive for kids.... that's me w/ shannen, jm, inky & jase in the play area

....chitchat w/ aunt lina: the farm queen....

3rd from left is the reason for our visit: aunt lina

....bathe at the falls (locally called pisak ).... that's husband & cutie shannen.
obviously, that's not the falls. auntie had bamboo poles gather water from the falls. so if you are lazy to walk to the falls, that's the other end less the distance. shannen, after bathing at the falls, couldn't resist the hi-tech shower, ha ha!

....traverse the oras river from cagpajo to the town....our family fit in the speed boat, eeer, speed subiran.
i heard somebody say that the oras river is a better version of the loboc river in bohol.

(i noticed that no one cared to take a photo of our picnic. that could be a sign that in our family, food is priority; or matatakaw lang talaga.)

....and after 7 days, fly back to busy, crazy manila.

husband & jase in between their vivid discussion on how to buckle the seatbelt, adjust the seats, etc. barely 9 yrs, jase affirms he'll be able to travel back to oras alone.

our brief home visit also allowed us to spend all soul's day in oras after 13 years. just like the del rosario, nov. 2 was like a feast. my husband's family, the villalons, gathered at my father-in-law's musoleom were food was aplenty.

truly another memorable visit.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Del Rosario Feast

[background: the feast of our lady of the most holy rosary (in short, del rosario), has been celebrated w/ flare in our quaint town in samar since the '30s. the daily dawn rosary & mass for the month of october is highlighted by a procession usually on the last sunday, by the del rosario image & ladies in filipiniana ternos (called the reginas) representing the 15 mysteries of the rosary (now, 20). all these is taken cared of by the year's hermana, who chooses the next regina who will replace her position. my mother 'inherited' her regina post from my paternal grandma. the regina draw lots to determine when they will be hermana. nanay got the 2006 slot. during the tedious preparation, my sisters & i realized that we were like preparing for another wedding: a full-color souvenir program/invitation; white umbrellas + miniature del rosario images for give-aways; cutie girls donning wings to shower the del rosario w/ confetti; fresh flowers from dangwa; hundreds of luminaries; the bishop to officiate the mass; a dinner-reception...the list is endless!]

oct. 28 - the reginas & hermana pasadas (past hermanas) coverged at our house to fetch the church's del rosario image (she has been staying in our house since january) w/ a mass at 3pm intended for the deposed hermana pasadas. we got a word from the parish that monsignor japzon will be an hour late. so it afforded our visitors more time for merienda cena & chitchat.

merienda cena at our garden w/ my sister chinky & niece shannen
manning the buffet table.
in gray dress is nanay welcoming her guests.

in background is our 105 yr old paternal ancestral house.

the del rosario image is our own: a gift from my paternal grandpa to my paternal grandma during her hermanaship many years back.

oct. 29 - the procession around town promptly took off at 3pm.

up front is the church's del rosario image, followed by our own image.

the cross bearers led the procession, followed by the color-coded reginas who were sheltered by white umbrellas. thanks to the holy cross studes.

the procession passed by our house where the del rosario images were showered w/ confetti.

in pomelo pink is the lovely hermana (ehem, my nanay) flanked by the out-going & in-coming hermanas.

that's our eldest sister dodit who now, is a regina w/ her really tall, 14 yr old son anjo, my parents' first ever apo.

at center in blue, is the most reverend bishop of eastern samar, his excellency leonardo medroso. for the record, that mass was the last he officiated in his capacity as bishop of e. samar as he is scheduled to hold another post middle of november. the church decor was really oh wow!

what was another oh wow, was the pleasant surprise to see many people join the procession. the church was also filled to the brim, much like standing room only! in fact, the single pew reserved for our family was already occupied by church-goers.

tatay even had to stand at the rear part of the church & i was thankful to see him later seated in a plastic stool. this explains why we were not able to have a family picture at the church: tatay, my bro-in-law jerome & husband had to rush home right after the mass ended because of the influx of people who rushed to the reception. the turn-out of guests was rather tremendous, of which we are truly grateful.

nanay w/ winged b-girl, benyl & shannen: 3 of the 8 cutie girls who showered the del rosario images w/ confetti.

our family.

as aptly put in the souvenir program: our heartfelt gratitude to all those who helped make this year's del rosario feast a success.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Thanking God For Your Birthdays

i thank God for keeping you both healthy.
i thank God that we are still able to share each other's joys.
i thank God that my young nephews are able to experience spoiling privileges from you.
i thank God for your birthdays.

[my parents' birthdays are just one week apart. nanay is one year older but her looks doesn't show it. both are enjoying retirement, tending to a beach fronting the pacific ocean ]

Monday, October 02, 2006

Foodie Family

i basically grew up in a family who loves food. i also learned that my paternal grandparents' house is known for it's 'always cooking kitchen'. so that explains why my father is an expert cook. by coincidence, i married a man who both loves to eat and cook. so that explains why i don't cook. simply put: my father cooks, my husband cooks = one spoiled housewife.

but no, i am not about to narrate the chronicles of my being a spoiled housewife. i wanted to say that even during the wake and burial of an aunt, husband's family just had to have a full meal, er, a full blast. and because our departed aunt loves feeding her kin, our acts were kind of justified. after that almost eat-all-you-can feast, i tagged along w/ husband and his manila-based siblings to dinner at a paluto resto in macapagal avenue. cafe latte and crepes at cafe breton sealed the day. whew!

after the burial, came the devastating typhoon. as majority in the metro experienced, my tiny household composed of husband and i, was power-less for 8 damning days. and for that duration, we always had dinner outside. so, milenyo not only wrecked the giant billboards sorrounding our tiny home in edsa, it also crashed hubby's wallet.

the night before the big typhoon, we had dinner w/ cousin jeff a. at the museum cafe in greenbelt, where i gulfed their spicy siam noodles and sweet, sinful tiramisu. i should have taken it as a sign of the days to come. just a food for thought. food, still.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Scrapfest Galore

see my loot?

over the weekend, i attended the scrapfest in september organized by the scrappinmoms at the makati parks & gardens. thanks goodness i came early because after the registration (though i was pre-registered at #20 at that!), i had all the time to hover the suppliers' booths.

what did i get? loads of paper! and that's not counting the embellishments and stickers i hoarded *wink*.

and since i was too busy booth-hopping, it was too late when i realized that i should have paid attention while the winning raffle tickets were called. what if my # was called?

it was a pity i was not able to join the scrap challenge as i had to leave when it started. sayang, i had pa naman w/ me stolen shots of husband preparing breakfast and watering our plants. it would have been good subjects for the 'stolen moments' theme of the challenge.

but more than the high i got from the loot & demos, it was great to meet fellow scrappers - - the kind of breed i share this passion called paper scrapping. one thing is for sure, we've all been biten by the scrap bug! the casualty? my wallet. but i don't mind. will never.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

In Disguise

i'm not a sucker for forwarded messages. i especially detest those w/c warns the reader of bad luck in case the chain is broken. pathetic, isn't it?

thankfully today, i received a mail that endeared me. read on:

"as you might know, the head of a company in the world trade towers survived 9/11 because his son started kindergarten that morning. another fellow was alive because it iwas his turn to bring donuts. one woman was late becasue of an auto accident. one of them missed his bus! one spoiled food on her clothes and had to take time to change. one's car wouldn't start. one went back to answer the telephone. one had a child that dawdled and din't get ready as soon as he should have. one couldn't get a taxi. the one that struck me the most was the man who put on a new pair of shoes that morning, and took his usual, various means to get to work but before he got there, he developed blister on his foot. he stopped at a drugstore to buy a band-aid. that is why he is alive today. now when i am stuck in traffic, miss an elevator, turn back to answer a ringing telephone...all the little tings that annoy me, i think to myself, this is exactly where God wants me to be at this very moment. next time your morning seems to be going wrong, the children are slow getting dressed, you can't seem to find the car keys, you hit every traffic light, don't get mad or frustrated; God is at work watching over you. may God continue to bless you with all those annoying little things and may you remember their possible purpose. pass this on to someone else, if you's like. there is no luck attached. if you delete this, it's okay: God's love is not dependent on e-mail! (that's the cool part)".

isn't this a good read?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Nursing Alert & Juanbambu

so you thought i am referring to the alleged leak in the june 2006 nursing board exams.

no. but allow me to vent a little.

last week, an uncle was confined at the hospital where i work. for lack of an errand, i took charge of accomplishing his philhealth forms. at the accounting section which receives the form, i was told to secure a photocopy of the doctor's orders and nurses' notes which show that the procedure arthrocenthesis was ordered and eventually performed, to coincide w/ the doctor's entry in the philhealth form.

alas! when i climbed to the 5th floor to ask for the needed documents, the nurse found that she did not put in her previous charting an entry that an arthrocenthesis will be done. down at the accounting, it was found that there was no entry on the nurses' notes that the procedure was actually done twice!

so i climbed again to the 5th floor (heck, the elevator queue was too long that i could not wait). i asked the nurse again to fix the missing entry. what she did was add the info on the 28th and 30th entries, despite my insistence that the first procedure was done on the 29th. so be it.

back at the accounting, i found that the procedures were done on the 29th and 30th. the doctor himself wrote the dates. so i went back again (!), i mean climbed again to the 5th floor. the nurse who i talked to earlier was not around, i was told by the head nurse (i knew she was because of her uniform). instead of waiting for the nurse, i asked the headnurse to, again, fix the mistake (it was also my way of saying that she should have noticed the lapses of her staff - - - because the headnurse is supposed to check her nurses' charts). after adding the phrase "arthrocenthesis done" on the aug. 29th nurses's notes, the headnurse turned her back on me. just like that. behind her back, i said "thank you miss".

every step i made back to the accounting made me want to cry. i was deeply disappointed. no one even offered an apology. you see, i was in uniform. what could have the nurse/headnurse acted had i been un-uniformed? back at my office, i felt like running a fever, i guess from exhaustion. one question played my mind even after collecting composure: will i report the matter?

the next day, i braved myself and told the big nurse on what transpired. no, i do not want the nurses invloved to be penalized for their negligence. i just want the big nurse to remind the nurses to be mindful next time. i could have reported in writing (& my report might eventually fall on my very lap, which if it does happen, i will surely inhibit in conducting the investigation), bu t i chose to just remind the concerned nurses. maybe, or i hope, we all learn.


during the weekend, husband treated me to a dinner at juanbambu in mall of asia. nice food, nice ambiance, save for the defective exhaust of the a/c. it appeared like the goings on in the kitchen were right in front of our noses. ok, i should have not said nice ambiance. sige, nice food na lang.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Too Many Things To Write, Too Lil' Time to Blog

it has been one whole month since my last entry. i sure have been busy. sorry blog. but these were the reasons for my absence:

ONE. my parents from the province stayed w/ hubby & i for 2 weeks. it meant being out of home most of the time after work & on weekends for their general medical check-up, shopping, shopping & shopping. the great accomplishment of the visit, second to medical concerns, was to have been able to have our family picture.

we used to have us pictured decently on christmas days & new year's days. so i grew up seeing us change (improve & otherwise) in our yearly pix, the latest being in 1999. distance primarily contributed to our failure to continue our christmas tradition. good thing, in oct 2001 during my wedding & the april 2005 wedding of my sister, we were all gathered to pose for posterity.

as is still now, we are physically distant. but thanks to digital thingies & photoshop! we worry distance no more. i just hope blogger will cooperate so i'll be able to successfully upload our pix once the magic of adobe & photoshop takes its course.

TWO. i'm rushing paper works & what-have-yous for an event in october. no, not for our 5th wedding anniv. teka....i wonder what's in store for me. i hope husband gets to read this.

enough said.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Gay Gays

finally, i got to see carson, kyan, thom, ted & jai in the flesh! yes pipol, the fabulous queer eyes are in manila.

the encounter happened last night in greenbelt. but oh, i wasn't among the "privileged" to have "my own seat". but i managed to have a brief, close encouter w/ carson & kyan when they crossed to nuvo (restaurant), for sure to have a pee. eh, i was at the nuvo door, kaya ayun, i grabbed talaga carson's shoulders. and when kyan came out of nuvo, i was like 12 inches apart from him that i was floored w/ his charm. instead of shouting his name, i blurted "thom!!!" *ha ha ha*

while i was going gaga over these nakakatuwang gays, husband was busy taking their pictures for me. yes, that's how supportive he can get. only that, he never got a good shot. my sister who's physically small (sorry inky) wasn't able to get near them. but we had fun. and i can say that just as how they project in queer eye, the fab 5 are happy & gay. i just love them no less!


husband treated us to a trio-flavored ice cream when we got home. i think he's fast learning from jai, the culture vulture. or maybe ted, the food & wine connoisseur. it was such a sweet way to cap the night that i forgot my coffee binge (oops, that should be on a separate entry) .

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

June Vacation

you read it right. hubby & i took a 10-day off from work just when the summer season ended. here's a travelogue of sort:

june 9, friday - husband & i arrived tacloban and immediately hied off to guiuan. it was a swifty 2-hr ride, what w/ hubby trying to hit destination before sunset ('coz mano alex's pajero's headlights were very dim). in my auntie's house we found plenty & plenty of relatives - - all attending the next day's wedding. oh, it was great to be w/ family again. the sad part was, my uncle, the father of the groom, got sick and was flat on bed (i guess from stress) that my first order upon arrival was to check if he was ok. he was running a fever w/c made me fret (but didn't show it) because he prepared well for the wedding of his son, the last to marry in the family. from a hearty supper, my sisters & i rushed to the church for a late-night practice. we hit the sack before midnight hoping to catch enough sleep before 5am - the make-up artists' calltime.

june 10, saturday - first thing in the morning, i cajoled my sister baby that we see aura (the bride) at their house for last-minute instructions. sure glad we did. back to our lodging house, no one wanted to have them made-up first so i volunteered. sure glad again i did, because the beautician was not yet tired & i found my up-do nice & appropriate ( ganang akin lang naman).

by 8am, me & my 2 sisters, baby & chinky were at the rustic yet majestic immaculate conception church, hopefully to meet majority of the bridal party who didn't attend the rehearsals. my! imagine the frenzy because we weren't doing the usual march (read: the kaartehan in me rushed in that i was determined to have a non-traditional bridal march w/ the girls marching alone & their partners meeting them at the center; & a closed church door for a dramatic entrance of the bride just like what we did for my sister's wedding. in the province, that's something new). oh how i wished my sister jingle (who's the official wedding planner/coordinator in the family) was there to do it all.

hubby & i were the first to march & lighted the candles along the aisle. when we reached our seats, we surreptitiously returned to the formation, so i can 'coordinate' the processional & for hubby to stand as proxy to an absentee-ninong (eeew). during the bride's parents' walk, i wondered who was attending to the bride! my instinct dictated that i get out of the church & quick! you guessed it, she was in her lonesome in the bridal car. what a patient girl could aura be. if it were me, i would panic. so, i led her to the closed church door for her walk. when it opened, i heard an applause. i had goosebumps. i was sure my cousin was glad to finally see his lovely bride. later, i learned from my bestman-cousin that indeed, the groom was in the verge of tears.

the wedding ceremony went as planned - - solemn, period. i was relieved. my sisters were relieved. the reception was rather laidback, just the way everybody wanted it to be. there, we ate, danced, ate & danced. everybody was happy.

in the post-wedding dinner back at the groom's house (where our relatives converged again over a non-ending buffet), my sisters & i were congratulated for a job well done (hmmmm). for that, my auntie gifted me w/ a big victoria's secret hand & body lotion. i wonder what my sisters got (another hmmm). actually, it was just a bonus. what matters is we helped our cousin & new cousin-in-law achieve their dream wedding.

june 11, sunday - after a 4-hr drive, we were in oras at 1pm. yehey! home at last.

june 12, monday - husband & i woke up early so we can see the independence day parade pass by hubby's home (where we stayed). i was amazed that until now, our flag is still displayed in majority of the houses for the ocassion. i rarely see that in manila.

by lunchtime, the villalons in tiguib, my family in paypayon & compound relatives in riverside were all in burakay. a monday on the beach? sure it was the best monday, ever.

cagpajo river landing
immortalized in burakay

june 13, tuesday - hubby & i just stayed in tiguib & visited paypayon where i started covering my nephew, anjo's notebooks & books (haha, me the dutiful auntie ever!). in the afternoon, we fetched tatay & nanay in burakay (read: they go there everyday. to clean & beautify the place, that is).

june 14, wednesday - we were in burakay again, this time w/ nanay's siblings to discuss important family matters. in between, i walked along the seashore (haaay, sarap!).

june 15, thursday - tatay, nanay, chinky, jerome, husband & i visited auntie lina in cagpajo via a 1.5-hr boatride. for those not in the know, cagpajo is my paternal grandpa's rice farm along the oras river. i remember as a kid, i asked tatay to point to me the extent of the property & he said: as far as your eyes can see. i know it is just a hyperbole. but i know too, that it's really huge. auntie lina (who's retiring there) has a cute bahay kubo at the far end of the place w/c can be reached thru a loooong concrete pathwalk & a high bamboo bridge that cuts along the rice field. aside from her veggie & flower gardens, she also has a tilapia pond & tends a poultry. the visit wouldn't be complete w/o a tampisaw at the waterfalls. purely farm life. surely peaceful.

june 16, friday - after a bried visit to tatay bett's musoleom and a garden lunch in paypayon, we had our first 'official meeting' for the del rosario feast in october. later in the evneing, we had an audience with msgr. japzon. good thing, the parish priest agreed to our plans. that's a great way to start. then, hubby & i paid a 'courtesy call' to auntie delia in the evening.

june 17, saturday - we reached tacloban by 8am after a 3.5-hr drive. husband cum driver was starving, that's why. in the evening, mano alex treated us for a bbq dinner in rtr plaza.

june 18, sunday - husband & i had the whole morning playing w/ bea. we hit manila in the evening as our 4pm cebu pacific flight was deeelayed.

bound for manila

as husband always put whenever we prepare for bed on sundays, we are back to 'reality' again the next day. after our 'vacation' w/c for me is such a blessing considering the 'hard life' today, i try to be enthusiastic on mondays. because i'm lucky i have work w/c keeps me at bay. not everyone gets to have work, a happy married life & vacations in between.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Always a Bridesmaid, have been a Bride

for the nth time, i stood as bridesmaid. for my benefit, allow me to count:

aug 1991 - maid of honor to my sister dodit;
may 1994 - cord sponsor at my friends, litos & arnel's wedding;
june 1994 - maid of honor to my cousin louie;
june 1996 - cord sponsor w/ ex-bf-now-hubby to our friend elsa;
april 1998 - bridesmaid to ivy in her wedding to my cousin bobbit;
july 1999 - veil sponsor w/ ex-bf-now-hubby at our friends, enan & donna's wedding;
dec 2000 - maid of honor to my friend iris in her wedding to my cousin roldan;
july 2003 - cord sponsor w/ hubby at my cousin, kevin's wedding to minerva; &
april 2005 - cord sponsor w/ hubby at my sister, baby's wedding to jerome.

and that doesn't include my bridesmaid role w/ ex-bf-now-hubby as groosman at my cousin, lalaine's wedding in may 1996, which, sadly, we weren't able to attend.

this time, it's me & husband again. we lighted the aisle candles at my cousin, babie's wedding to aura last june 10 in the historic immaculate conception church in guiuan, eastern samar. that meant travelling again, our second defiance for the year (read: we resolved in january this year to limit our out-of-manila travels). not that i'm complaining because i just love wearing gowns (which also means not having to worry what to wear if i were just a guest).

not only did i stand as bridesmaid, i also coordinated w/ my sisters (minus the official events coordinator in the family, my sister jingle who's abroad) & read the prayers. and oh, during the reception, i helped count the "gala". talk about multi-tasking at its best.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


isn't it amazing that these glass coasters i got at landmark at a really cheap, cheap price look like my blogskin? simple things...simple joys...

Monday, May 22, 2006

To Dance or Not to Dance

to obando (bulacan), that is.

early morning friday (may 19) saw us rushing to obando. by us, i refer to husband & me. for those born just today, obando is known for the fertility dance in celebration of the feast of sta. clara. myth has it that those who have difficulties conceiving may ask for the intercession of sta. clara so that they may be blessed w/ a child.
about 2 years ago (during our 3rd yr of marriage & no child yet), husband & i would joke about going to obando. but we remember about it past the month of may, when the annual festivities is held. so when husband reminded me on thursday that the next day will be obando's last day of the 3-day celebration, i was more than ecstatic. honestly, i was happy becuase he was as interested as i am. who would think of a he-man like my husband wanting to join the fertility dance?

amidst a throng of people, we joined the procession to the beat of a dancy tune. i learned that even those whose 'wishes' have been granted still join the fertility dance as their way of acknowledging sta. clara's 'help'. odd but true, a lady who was manning the restaurant we ate in, guessed correctly that we were there for the dance. the way she told us that believeing in sta. clara's intercession is just a matter of faith trailed my ears even as we were leaving obando.

from obando, we proceeded to glorietta to watch da vinci code. tom cruise's character, robert langdon said something like "in the end, what matters is what you believe in". yah, correct. just as what the restaurant lady said.

will we dance in obando again next time? yes. because it's just a matter of faith.

Monday, May 08, 2006

35 na!

yes, i hit trenta y cinco.

when i reached home from the office on friday, may 5, i immediately told husband about our friend dundee's text asking if i have many visitors the next day. i wondered: visitors? that led to my pleasant discovery that husband already texted our 'close-in' friends for a b-day party. honestly, i just wished to watch MI3 on the big screen and eat out after.

it was sweet for husband to concoct the surprise-that-never-was. you see, he better tell me early, otherwise, we'd have no plate, spoon & fork to use. our spare china & silver are neatly kept that he will not be able to locate. he also made sure that a tacloban lechon be sent by mano alex & rented extra tables & chairs, considering that we only have 6 dining chairs & a 4-seater sofa.

despite the impromtu-ness of the event (at least on my part), it was a happy one. i got to share wine with my sisters dodit & baby, & my girlfriends liza & bingklay. and oh, husband got to bond with his boyfriends, too.

husband & i hit the sack in the morning of may 7, tired & sleepy. but who cares. we had a great time. 35? yes, i'm 35. it means i'm already classified a high-risk if and when i get pregnant. that sounds scary. but reaching this age is an achievement in itself. i am married to the 'right' man for 4 1/2 years; we live in a pretty decent dwelling in urban makati & able to pay rent; we are employed, albeit not that 'gainfully'. we don't have a child yet. maybe soon. we hope soon.

God must have his way of saying that we can't have it all in one setting. yet still, we have to be thankful. and i am.

Friday, April 07, 2006

I won! I won!

whenever husband & i ride cebu pacific, we get giddy during the on-board games. i see to it that my stuff are ready for the picking once the steward/stewardess shouts "bring me...!" and we also intently listen to every word they say even before the games start. you see, questions may be based on just anything. and there are only 3 slim chances.

in an october 2005 flight to tacloban, the passengers were asked to identify at least 3 ctities w/c cebu pacific flies w/ airbus 320 (fyi: A320 has just been introduced that time). that info was part of the stewardess' intro when the flight started. i eagerly raised my hand w/ nothing in mind. i heard myself shouting "davao, cebu & tacloban". of course it was just a guess. that good guess earned me a small-sized cebu pacific shirt. not bad.

on march 25 this year, still on a flight to tacloban, the passengers were asked the no. of exit points on the airbus 300 we were riding. husband whispered to me "8" & even said that airbus 320 has 11 exits (see how attentive he can be for a prize). but of course i didn't raise my hand because i wanted him to speak out. so we missed question #1. then another question: name of one of the 2 captains. i told husband to answer capt. sevilla. he did not answer, maybe because he was still annoyed at me for not heeding his call on the 1st question. i was also unsure so i did not answer & we missed the shirt. the last question came: to name at least 4 colors that starts w/ the letter P. we were told 'pula' & 'puschia' are not among the correct answers. but of course!

mel tiangco (yes, the kapuso) who was seated in front of us, answered pink, purple & peach. failing to give the 4th color, i raised my hand with pride & shouted "periwinkle!" & recited the other 3 colors. i was declared winner & immediately got another small-sized cebu pacific shirt. husband asked me how i knew. heavens! i reminded him periwinkle was our wedding motif. how can i ever forget. and why did he ever forget.

those small, happy winnings reminds me that it does not harm to try after all. i'm sure husband & i will always try to win a shirt, even if we don't get to wear them. and i hope he does not forget our wedding motif. for what? just for the heck of it.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Happy Misis & Happy Mister strike again!

our #1 new year's resolution for 2006 is to limit our out of town travels (read: those that necesitates an air ride). obviously, we want to give our finances a breather after 4 trips to tacloban/oras & husband's bangkok trip in 2005 .
PRIORITY being our mantra, we figured, we have to go home only once this year. that said, husband & i agreed that it has to be in october, during which time, nanay will be hermana at the feast of the most holy rosary.
in january though, i received a call from my closest male 1st cousin that he wants husband & I to be part of the entourage in his june wedding in guiuan (a 2-hour ride from tacloban). i didn't have the heart to tell him of our new year's resolution. for sure, it will sound funny & it will disappoint him (read: he recalled that i attended other relatives' out-of-manila weddings in the past). so, I said yes. this early, we are breaking our new year's resolution.
in february, husband & i were reminded by my sister-in-law of her daughter's 1st bday celebration in tacloban. the bday girl, bea, is my goddaughter. after several computations, it appearing that we will not be cash-strapped, we said yes.
husband made sure that we avail of an airline promo rate. instead of the almost P8 thou 2-way fare, we got a P2.4 thou cebu pacific mla-tac ticket & P2.1 thou PAL tac-mla ticket. that's around P5 thou each! not bad.
we had a smooth ride to tacloban on a saturday morning, march 25. for the 2nd time, i won a cebu pacific tee during the fun-flight game. that hilarious experience deserves a separate blog entry.
husband & i were billeted in a decent air-conditioned room at vic-mar beach resort (the party's venue). the room being really big, we shared it w/ my sister & nephew, & husband's brother's family of four. all of them went all the way from oras. it was a good time to bond for all of us.
sunday, march 26 lasted so fast. in the morning, i was designated by the bday girl's mom to oversee the caterer's re-do of the garden venue. while taking snapshots of the venue's transformation, i prayed hard that it won't rain. it did not.
the party started w/ a mass officiated by the same priest who baptized bea. while adult visitors
enjoyed a 6-course buffet + an array of seafoods (read: huge shrimps, crabs...aaaah name it), the kids went ga-ga in their jollibee zoo party. the moment the jollibee mascot appeared, the place was in chaos. if only kids can vote, i bet jollibee will hit it big time in the polls : )
as if the gastronomic treat was not enough, bea's papa & mama hired 2 acoustic singers to liven the party. several intermission numbers of bea's cousins & her mama's officemates also added to the happy mood. will a sing-along machine be left behind? the answer is a big NO. as expected, the party's time limit at 10pm was extended to around 12 midnight.
bea's mom who's on oficial travel to baguio, joined us on our way back to manila, monday afternoon. we checked-in late & had no choice of the 2nd-to-the-last row seat left for us. good thing, we rode a PAL airbus 320 w/c felt as if we were seated in front. we have technology to thank. oh yes, dear GOD the most.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


The date was August 13, 2005.
I received the good news that our youngest sibling, our only brother, is finally a father. It was not a surprise, much more a pleasant one. But the moment our family was told that our brother's girlfriend is pregnant, we embraced the reality that, yes, a new family member is coming & for the first time, he will be carrying our family name (after 3 sons by our eldest sister).
The moment I laid eyes on this cutie, little boy at the Chinese General Hospital where her mama had to endure a cut, the cesarian section way, thoughts rushed in to 25 years ago, when our brother was just a baby himself. Dear God, my mind said, bless this young family.
His parents named him Bach (pronounced BAK). They say they got this unusual name from Johann Sebastian Bach, the classisist. We insisted that at least a Justin, a Joshua or even a Johann be affixed before the Bach (considering that Bach's parents' name both start with a J & our 3 other nephews' names also start with a J). But our brother was adamant. He prevailed. He's the father after all. And he's no longer a boy.
When our senior citizen aunt heard of Bach's name, she exclaimed: "Ay sus, kadami ng pangalan, bakit talud-tod pa!" (talud-tod is the waray term for likod; likod is the tagalog word for back, right?).
Barely 2 days before Bach turned 7 monhs, he was christened at the Sto. Domingo Church & we, the adults, feasted on an eat-all-u-can buffet in Kamay Kainan, West Avenue. He may not have parted with the yummy treat, but it is with hope that he will grow knowing and feeling that he is much loved by all of us.
Looking at Bach now, I can say that indeed, the best things in life are free.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Holidays in a place called HOME

Yes, it's right, husband & I spent Christmas and welcomed 2006 in Oras.
It was an spur of the moment decision to go home. After all, we thought, our respective families are there, so to purchase our tickets right away was the main concern. Unfortunetaly, we were not able to avail of any airline promo (argggh!)
It being a peak season, we also had no choice but to go for the Dec. 21 Cebu Pacific extra flight. In my last blog for October 2005, I promised not to ride CP anymore (ha ha!). With this new CP experience, I might wish (again) not to patronize it.
Dec. 21 - Bad things had it coming that day. The taxi driver wanted a fixed rate. OK, a fixed rate is fine, but not when it's way, way too much the just fare. Like from our place to the airport, a taxi fare will just be around P70; ergo, the P150 the driver demands will drive you nuts, right? As expected, husband was pissed. The driver might have sensed that he was not in for a joke when husband suggested that we go straight to the police precinct, forcing him to use his meter which yielded P63.00 when we reached the domestic airport. Uhm, see!Nevertheless, I told husband to give P100.
As expected, there were too many passengers in the check-in counters. 2 lines were alloted for Tacloban until we heard a CP employee shout that another counter has just opened. When we were finally settled at the departure area which seemed like a market, came the announcement that we will be 1 hour delayed. Ha ha! 99% on time, huh! But the 1 hour delay turned out to be 2!
The ride was rather smooth. Since we were seated in the 1st row, hubby & I could see the goings-on of crew. 1 of the 2 female stewardess turned out to be a trainee, and she was to assigned to close the door!
Considering my proximity to the door, I noticed that the smaller lever was still up. In seconds, the phone rang and the trainee lowered the lever. I heard the senior say " nagalit si captain?". See, I knew that the door was not totally closed after all!
To complete the day, 2 of our 4 baggages were not in the same flight as we were. I was dismayed, rather, utterly dismayed 'coz no one among the CP people at the Tacloban airport seemed to care. It was only after I demanded, no, yelled that I be referred to the manager did I realize that I was in for a lousy costumer service. The male manager did not offer an apology at first even if it was obvious that my baggages were nowhere in sight. He reasoned, it was not their fault, but of the CP people in Manila! How pathetic! Instead, he asked for my address in Tacloban and offered to deliver the 'lost' baggages the next day. But I cried "NO!". I demanded that it be sent that day, wherever it could have gone since 1 of the baggages carry wedding paraphernalias scheduled that very day (truth is: it has Baby Bea's formal dress for her aunt's wedding going on that hour and my friend Liza's mother's gown for a Dec. 29 wedding). I think it was only after I implied to the manager the urgent need of the 'lost' baggages did he make radio calls in front of my face to confirm its location. And yes, it was only then that he offered me a seat!
It turned out that my 'lost' baggages were carried by the flight next to ours. So that's another hour wait. The result? Baby Bea was not able to make it to the church for her aunt's wedding. At the reception in Hotel Alejandro, I whiled the evening on yummy food to forget the mess. Can I shout haaaay!?
Dec. 22 - Husband & I left Tacloban for Oras at exactly 2:35pm on Mano Alex's pajero (bless this man. We took the Lawaan route 'coz the shorter way was not passable due to heavy rains and landslide. So instead of 3.5 hours, it took us 6 hours to reach home.
After we settled our baggages in my in-laws place in Tiguib, hubby & I paid a visit to our Paypayon home. Tatay was ready for a welcome party that lasted 'til 12 midnight.
Dec. 23 - I had the whole day to help Baby wrap the presents in Paypayon that need to be settled in the Christmas tree.
Dec. 24 - In between preparation for the Christmas dinner, Baby, Anjo and I had a hearty laugh as we took photos of ourselves at every corner in Paypayon.
Later that night, during early dinner in Tiguib, "Santa" came to deliver presents for the kids, to the delight of everyone. Husband & I went to Paypayon at past 12 midnight. There, he continued drinking w/ Auntie Lina and some 'compound relatives'.
Dec 25 - We woke up to a festive mood. Husband & I accompanied Baby Bea to do "house to house". On our way, we were able to deliver gifts to our inaanaks Laieniel, Gabby & Kuliglig.
While I was in Paypayon, Tony & Liza dropped by to tell me that they just went to Tiguib to deliver their gift to us (clap clap clap). At 3pm, we attended mass w/ Mano Alex & Mana Adette. It was while we were queueing for the communion when Rivah said we were in identical colors. It dawned to me that yes, Mano Alex & Mana Adette were in red, while husband & I were in pink! After church, my sisters-in-law & I whiled our time in Tiguib. I was also able to open Tony & Liza's gift - - - a black authentic Guess wallet *yipee* & a blue izod shirt for husband.
In the evening, husband & I went to Paypayon to wish Auntie Lina a happy trip since she was leaving the next day for Manila to take a chance flight to Vancouver. I guess, she really needed all the luck.
Dec. 26 - In the morning, the Villalons convened at Auntie Delia's house. Yah, she played Santa, that even husband & I were not spared to receive P100 + an imported corned beef *wink* .
At noon, husband & I were invited by Tony & Liza to visit their resthouse. As I was in a short
denim skirt, Liza gave me a Marks & Spencer denim pants *applause applause*. Aaaah, we had a great time eating and enjoying nature, aside from the 'competitive magic singing' that kept us busy.
Dec. 27 - While I was in Paypayon to see Auntie Dayday who visited us all the way from Guiuan, husband drove Mana Adette and friends to the town's jail to visit an incarcerated classmate. Misa wanted me to see the jail so he fetched me. And go I did to the jail!
After our jail visit, husband opted to have his nails cleaned! Yah, instant manicure and pedicure. See, husband has gone vain, really vain.
Dec. 28 - I also had my nails cleaned while doing nothing in Tiguib (me too!).
Dec. 29 - After lunch w/ Anon, we proceeded to Paypayon & found Anjo 'home alone' since Baby & Jerome attended a wedding. Tatay & Nanay were in Tacloban (Tatay was ninong at Homer's wedding). Husband & I had a much-needed siesta in Paypayon. It was a treat - - - worry-free nap to the max!
Dec. 30 - Baby Meeko, Tony & Liza's 3-mos old 'american' son was baptized w/ a party that followed at Kirum-Kirum. Heavy rains didn't dampen the event.
In the evening, the Villalon boys convened in Tiguib over 2 watercans of tuba! Beat that! The 'survivors': husband, Anon, Jose & Edsel decided to 'bar-hop' in Mucho Beer Garden. Since I was in my pajamas, husband excused himself from entering the bar and promised to come back. Of course, he didn't return *bwahaha*.
We were told the next day that Anon played Santa in Mucho (he shouldered everything that was consumed that night, include those not among his company - - - in hindsight, i should have pocketed all of anon's money!)
Dec. 31 - After the Tiguib household said goodbye to Baby Bea (back to Tacloban for the New Year), Nanay Luz, husband & I visited Tatay's Bett's musoleum. From the musoleum, husband & I ran to Paypayon to have brunch. As the house was getting ready for the New Year dinner & Baby's b-day, husband & I opted to clean the garden. It felt like we were in Extra Challenge . Whew!
The 'compound' people, Jerome's family & Villalons from Tiguib were all in Paypayon for dinner. Benly & Liezl w/ kids came too. It was our first time to see thier son Wamig, husband's godson. Naughty but cutie Shannen & Sky came w/ their papa & mama.
Jan. 1 - After I packed our things so I won't cram when it's bye-bye time, we had breakfast in Paypayon underneath the mango tree (oh I miss it!).
Jan. 2 - By 8:45am, we were off to Tacloban via the usual Bagacay route minus the road slip and landslide. In 3 hours, we reached our destination. By 6:10pm on the dot, PAL flew us to Manila.
We were back to 'reality' by 8pm! I can only praise God for the treat.