On Christmas Day!

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Since we slept late for the Noche Buena Feast, we woke late on Christmas Day. We planned to hear the 9:30AM mass but we heard the 11AM mass instead. We brought all four kids with us and good thing, I believe that they behaved well in the church. :)

Nonet and I didn’t get the chance to visit baby Jesus in the church’s manger like we used to do. There are many children scheduled for baptism.

After lunch, Nonet and I went to visit her Ninong John Paul. Nonet has not seen ninong on Christmas Day for a while. I have not been in their place in a while as well, so I got confused locating their house. We ate spaghetti and had a little chat with Paul and her mother, Ma’am Buhain. It was a fun visit. :)

In the afternoon, I went to see my Ninang Lina. Nonet, my sister, Pau and Ikay came with me. It was nice seeing ninang Lina again and had a nice chat. :)

When we got home, ate Yaga and her youngest daughter was with her. They just stayed for a while for they need to be off to her husband’s sister place. I really enjoyed the little time my cousins and I spent together. When we’re younger, we used to bond a lot. Now that most of us are mommies, we didn’t have enough time to spend time with each other.

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Patty and I accompanied ate Yaga and her children to Sta. Mesa. Then, we met Cathy and her boys (Jeboy and JC), April, Pau and Nonet at Greenhills Shopping Center to watch C.O.D. When Patty and I were young, the C.O.D used to be in Araneta Center. It is situated where Save More is now located. :) I remember our father carrying Patty on his shoulder so she could see a good view of the show. :) We would like Nonet to have the same experience, so we brought her to Greenhills. And, we had fun even if we didn’t have enough money for shopping. :)

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Our Christmas has been special this year. Of course, I do not forget that we celebrate  Christmas because of Mama Mary’s faithful obedience and God’s eternal love to mankind.

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Merry Christmas!

Ciao! :)

On Christmas Eve!

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My niece and nephews from Quezon went to our house to celebrate Christmas with us. Nonet is very excited to see her cousins again. The last time that they see each other was when my paternal grandmother died in 2009 (if I am not mistaken). It’s been that long since the kids get to play with each other. Nonet, being an only child has learned to enjoy playing by herself. But she is more happy while playing with her cousins. They have had misunderstandings, but I always tell Nonet to be patient with her cousins and be kind by letting them play with her toys. Gladly Nonet understood it well enough. :)

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On Christmas Eve, we just decided to prepare spaghetti, ham and chicken salad. My cousins Joy and April shared fried chicken with us. Since, I came from work, I let my mother do the cooking (as she always do). We were not able to hear the evening mass because we’re all tired. I decided not to hear the evening mass because I was really sleepy that I may just fall asleep during the mass. I slept maybe around 4PM and my mother woke me up at 11:30PM.

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When I woke up, I already found my daughter, sisters, my cousin April, and my niece Ikay opening gifts. Nonet got most of the gifts under our Christmas tree. :) Nonet got dolls from her Ninong Bonnie and my friend Mishie. Her Ninang Daisy gave her a Sponge Bob cushion chair. She loves it! :) I gave her Domino, Picture Link (board game) and Fast 4 Words (similar to word factory). Her Tajoy gave her a 204-piece Winnie the Pooh Puzzle. She said that she requested the said puzzle from Joy. Her Ta Anne gave her a Mickey Mouse board game which she enjoyed playing a lot with her cousins. Patty gave her the old fashioned Brick Game (yet we’re still enjoy playing it!) and a pink dress. Pau gave her a Finding Nemo coloring book. She loves all her gifts. Thanks to everyone who remember Nonet.

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In return, we do not fail to give gifts to her cousins and friends. I actually consider giving the kids money instead of toys or clothes, or RedEnvelope coupon codes but then I realize that kids still enjoy opening Christmas gift. I also enjoy wrapping gifts. :)

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We give thanks to the Lord and shared the food we have on our table. We chat a little and everybody is happy. We didn’t get the chance to have a “videoke session” like we usually do because we’re all sleepy already. It was a different Christmas Eve because we usually spend it with my sisters, my mother, my daughter and Tabibe. This year, we get to spend our Noche Buena with my cousins, Tita Lyn, our niece Ikay and nephews, Yves and Hans. It was really fun. Though our family has had conflicts and misunderstandings, it still good to spend time together especially this season. I believe that even if my cousins and I have our own families now, we’ll remain close to each other like we used to be. :)

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Merry Christmas!

Ciao! :)

Nine Mornings Completed

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It may sound late to talk about Nine Mornings since Christmas Day has just passed, but I am just overwhelmed with the fact that I was able to complete Simbang Gabi after a long long while. It was really something that I would cherish. :)

Since I’d been part of the Call Center Industry, I never had the chance to complete the 9-Day Novena Mass to Christmas. I may have heard several Simbang Gabi masses but during my off only. I believe that being part of another team was a blessing in disguise. I used my lunch break so I can hear the 5:30AM Mass held at the Holy Family Chapel in Eastwood City. :)

I was really excited on the 9th morning. I know that I would be rendering ot because I chose to use my lunch time to hear mass instead of working on my cases. I was really happy when the mass ended. I have been praying for my daughter’s good health and better future. I believe that God will grant the longings of my heart. :)

Hopefully, next year I would be able to complete the nine-day novena to Christmas again. :)

Ciao! :)

Emmanuel: Nasa Atin ang Diyos

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A Game Console for Nonet

Little Antoinette No Comments »

Of course I cannot afford yet to give Nonet a game console. That is too much for me to buy for her (yet). Although, she has been requesting me for a PSP, my budget would still not permits it. Since her father is in Saudi, I told him that as a graduation gift, he can give his daughter a portable play station. Ney is contemplating whether to give her a PSP, a netbook or an XBOX so they can play together. He said that game consoles cost cheaper in there than here in the Philippines. Well, not only game consoles but other gadgets as well. :)

He thought of giving Nonet an XBOX because he is fascinated by the different xbox kinect available. He thought of giving her a netbook, so she can explore the wonders of the Internet; the learning that she can get in just one click. :) I want her to have a PSP because that is what she wanted. It is something that will make her happy. :)

It’s up to her father whatever he decided to give Nonet as a present. What is important is that he has something to give our daughter when he comes home in May, 2012.

We miss you ney. Be safe always.

Ciao! :)

Three Weeks With My Brother

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The first Nicholas Sparks novel I have read was The Notebook. I fell in love with the story that I got so obsessed in collecting all the novels written by Nicholas. When he visited the Philippines in October, I really find way to be present in his book signing and prayed to God that I will be lucky enough to have a signing pass. :)

Since then, I started buying different books. Going from one bookstore to another. I prefer a novel with original cover on it. Nowadays, most of the Nicholas Sparks novel covers are movie tie in. I really had a hard time finding the 16 novels. I will have them photograph when the novels are complete. I wanted a hardbound copy and good thing, I found most of the books online. Paypal is a great help paying for the books. :)

I almost got the novels complete except for one; Three Weeks with my brother. I went to nearby and even farther bookstore but didn’t find any. I checked out the local bookstores online but didn’t find any. Finally, I decided to take a chance of purchasing the said book through an online bookstore overseas. Good thing, they still have a copy of the book and it is a hardbound copy. Since, they accept paypal for payment, I used again my ever dependable paypal account. :)

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The order has been processed and the book was just shipped today, December 19. As per the email confirmation I received from the said online store, I expect to receive the package on January 9, 2012. The book will be coming from the US. :)

I am so happy that I finally found one. :)

Ciao! :)

A Trip to Daranak Falls and Calinawan Cave

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Since, we’re there, the barangay secretary let us use the service and tour around the Tandang Kutyo, which includes visit to Daranak Falls and to a cave called Calinawan Cave (I hope I remember the name of the cave correctly). It our time to unwind! :)

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Our first stop was the Calinawan Cave. I was bad; I forgot to ask the name of our tour guide. He said that the said cave served as a home to wounded soldiers during the war. How I wish there were available incontinence products during that time that our brave soldiers used when they were wounded.

The cave is bounded with tress and vines. One wouldn’t really notice it at all. We didn’t dare to get into the cave but we were told that many people have been exploring the said cave and their local barangay is planning to develop it further and introduce it as a tourist spot.

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After a quick visit and “picture picture” at the entrance and exit of the cave, we headed off to Daranak Falls.

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Exit of Calinawan Cave

It was my first time to see a falls within my reach and enjoy the cold water from the mountain’s spring. I have seen different falls like Pagsanjan Falls in Laguna and Maria Christina Falls in Lanao in pictures but not as close as Daranak Falls. One would really appreciate God’s creation.

The running water was really inviting! I do not have extra clothes and we do not really have plans of going to Daranak. I rolled my pants up and kicked my shoes off. I really enjoyed the water! I wonder if the water from the falls will ever run out. Well, as long the source or the springs continues to produce water then we will be able to enjoy this wonderful God’s creation. :)

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I would like to share this wonderful experience, not only because it was worth telling but I want this to be an eye opener to everybody. That we should be thankful for the wonderful creations God made for us. And, that we should be responsible in taking care of them. In our own little ways, we can help each other preserve the beauty of these creations.

Ciao! :)

An Outreach @ Gabihan

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When my sister Pauline was working on her thesis entitled; “I Survived; The Phenomenology of Ondoy Survivors, she was able to meet people who were greatly affected of the said typhoon. Typhoon Ondoy hit Metro Manila and its nearby provinces on September 26, 2009. In the news, we learned that many people lost their lives especially those who live in Providence Village in Marikina City. In my sister and her team’s research, they found out, that there were more unreported casualties in Tanay, Rizal. That paved way in finding the relocation site in Gabihan, Tandang Kutyo, Tanay Rizal.

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Instead of having a Christmas party, the praesidium (Legion of Mary) in which Pau, my cousin and our Tita Evelyn belong to, they decided to do an outreach program for the residence of Gabihan. They got donations from kind hearted people and from our barangay council. Most of the groceries were out of pocket expenses.

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Pauline and April re-packed the goods and used clothes into 40 bags. The following day, Tita Evelyn brought in more goods so while they are preparing for their trip, I helped Sis. Nida and Sis. Lori re-packed the rest of the groceries and rice. When I learned that they were only six women to go there, I decided to join them.

With God’s blessings and Mama Mary’s help, we didn’t have a hard time finding an empty jeepney which will take us to Tanay. The trip lasted for almost two hours. When we reached Barangay Tandang Kutyo, the barangay officials let us used their service going to Gabihan.

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The relocation site is being managed by Gawad Kalinga. The housing project is being helped by Teleperformance. There are certain categories before a family can truly own the house they are occupying and turn it into a concrete one.

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The houses that were provided to people affected by Ondoy are made of sawali wall and stainless roof.

The life there is simple yet, you know that people are having a hard time living. Most of the families in the area do not have any means of living. There are few who works in town, but most of them depend only for whatever help that will come from someone or from the government. I was really moved by how the people and the children look. It was Sunday morning, and yet you may not think that they came from sleeping. The children were deprived from food, from clothes, toys and shoes. Looking at them, I remember my daughter Antoinette, who in spite of paternal family issues, was never deprived of any of those things. Nonet has always food on her table. She has plenty of cookies in her jar. She has number of pairs of shoes and slippers; plenty of clothes to wear and toys. How grateful I am to the Lord. I realized that I shouldn’t be that extravagant anymore when it comes to buying Nonet clothes, toys and shoes. For there are so many children, who couldn’t even afford to have at least a pair. :(

There are around 250 registered families and we only got 40 grocery bags. We were able to add 20 little pales with 2 kilos of rice in each. That made a total of 60 goods to be given. Since, it is still not enough, we decided to have the goodies be raffled off.

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We know that the goods we gave them will not be enough for a week, at least, they would have something to eat for more than a day. We were told by the barangay secretary that what we have given is more than enough.

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It was tiring day yet we were all fulfilled. I learned to appreciate my life, my work, my family and everything that I have, more after that visit. :)

Ciao! :)

MOA Date with Girl Friends!

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Daisy, Pinky, Ime and I have been friends, best friends since college years. We have our own lives now and we seldom see each other, but we see to it that we get together at least once a year. We started planning our get together on my birthday, which was in June. Then, due to schedule conflict, it was moved to Pinky’s birthday in August. But, August just passed by. Come November, is Daisy’s birth month. Still due to work schedules, our date was moved to December. Finally, last December 4 our date was fulfilled. :)

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It was a rainy Sunday morning and we decided to meet each other at SM Mall of Asia. Daisy lives in Cavite, so we meet half way. :) We agreed to see each other at around 10AM, when the mall opens. Daisy arrived first, followed by Ime. I came in third and Pinky last. She brought her son, Johan, with her.

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Since, it was almost lunch time when we were completed; we decided to eat lunch at Shakey’s, courtesy of Daisy. Our lunch took about almost two hours because of the chickas over the meals. We had a lot of catching up to do. :) We text each other, but it is really different when friends talk personally and over meals. :)

After a bountiful meal, we started to do window shopping while still talking. I checked out the new womens boots on display. We also checked different stuff for Christmas. :)

We decided to see a movie which starred Sara Geronimo and Gerald Anderson. It was a feel good movie and we all enjoyed it. Pinky had to leave early because she needed to.

After the movie, Ime treated Daisy and I to Starbucks for an afternoon snack. There are two Starbucks outlet inside MOA but both were full. We decided to leave the mall and went to a nearby building where we found another Starbucks outlet.

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As we enjoyed our coffee and doughnut, the three of us talked about life, our relationships, our work, Daisy and my life as mothers. We talked about a lot of things; anything under the sun. We watched as the sun sets on the horizon. :) I know in my heart that we are going to be friend for as long as we live. They are not only my friends but they are my sisters. We have witnessed each others ups and downs. We may not be physically near each other, but we all know that we would be there for each other in times of trouble.

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We parted our ways at around 8:30 in the evening. I really enjoyed that day. I am looking forward to seeing them again; maybe on Ime’s birthday in January. :)

Ciao! :)

Cale’s 1st Birthday: A Reunion

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I was invited to attend the first birthday party of my friend Manoline’s son, Cale. I didn’t have any second thought of attending the said party. I knew that it is going to be a reunion of old friends from Link2Support. Besides, I also miss the friends I gained for the seven-year stay in the said company.

We arrived early because Manok borrowed our video camera. She said that Cale may not be able to remember that day. But, she wanted him to watch something afterwards. :)

Just like what I thought, friends arrived one after another. We were so happy to see each other. Most of them still work at Link2 (Concentrix) while the others like me found a new home. I handed the video cam to Manoline because I started chatting with all the friends I miss. :)

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There were more adults guests than children. Manok said that she already anticipated that since most of the guests are her and Aris’ friends. My daughter Nonet also enjoyed the different parlor games. She won a lot of prizes from the bring me game. Thanks to Tito Arvie, who practically has everything being asked for.

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It was really a day of fun and laughter and re-uniting with old friends; Friends whom I will treasure for the rest of my life. I hope to see again guys! :)

Ciao! :)

Christmas Rush

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It’s just seven days before Christmas and you may find people everywhere always on the go, doing last minute shopping and groceries. Shopping malls everywhere are filled with people from all walks of life. Who would say Filipinos are poor? :) Well, its a good insight after all, right? :)

Talking about Christmas rush, I accompanied my sister Patty at SM Mega Mall yesterday. She has to buy more than 20 gifts for her godchildren, nieces and nephews. Since, she has a budget for each (and she follows her budget, unlike me.. Hehehe!), we needed to check every section of the department finding good gifts that will fit the budget. It took us maybe an hour or two to complete the list.  :)

The struggle brought about by Christmas rush didn’t stop at finding good stuff for a strict budget. It was just the beginning. After making sure that she didn’t miss any from her list, Patty tried to find a cashier that is not queuing. Well, how can she find a cashier that is not queuing at this time of the season! It’s a good thing that most of the cashier today are using barcode scanner. Waiting for your turn to pay for the items you bought isn’t that long anymore.

From the department, we went to pick up the new tower and printer I got. My old 4 year old tower decided to quit and I need to get a new motherboard, processor and casing. My hard drive and optical drives are still working so I didn’t need to get new one. I thought that since the tower didn’t have much component installed, it will be easy to carry. I also thought the same thing about the printer. Well, I was wrong! I carried the printer because it is heavier while, Patty is on the tower.

We knew that finding a ride to go home wouldn’t be that easy. Yet, we are both tired and we are carrying heavy things so we eliminate the bus ride going home. We went to the taxi bay and as expected, it is queuing again! The rain brought about typhoon added to the traffic brought about by the season. We found ourselves on the line, when Patty noticed empty FX bound to Pasig. Since, we can take that route as well, we decided to take FX and get off at Rotonda in Pasig. We just paid all the 4 sits available at the back portion of the FX. It was still raining when we got off at Rotonda.

The struggle going home didn’t stop at Mega Mall. When we reached Rotonda, we found many stranded people too. There are only few jeepneys bound to Marikina. Since, we have a lot of things with us, she told me that we should take the tricycle instead. I looked over our things while Patty checked on the tricycle that can bring to Roasario. Finally she found one. She took the backsit while I stayed inside with all the things we bought. It wasn’t comfortable as taxi but, if we didn’t take the route we did, we might still be in Mega Mall waiting for a taxi.

When we got home, we were both tired and exhausted but we’re happy. :) Thank you Lord. :)

Ciao! :)

Not Allergic to Cats, Thank God!

Beauty and Health, Little Antoinette No Comments »

I have been very busy working on my cases at work and I wasn’t able to find time to write on my online journal. My desktop at home is still down and I’m just taking advantage of the avail time I have in the office. :)

My last post was about Nonet’s recent hospitalization. Well, it was her third this year alone. Hopefully, its going to be her last. After she was discharged in the hospital, we went to her ever compassionate pediatrician for follow up. Nonet is doing well in her recent check up. But, I was asked by our doctor, that Nonet should have her skin test the soonest possible time. Well, I have been told about this since March of this year. :( I admit that it was my fault why the skin test has been delayed for so many months.

Nonet’s father is so worried that he sent enough money for the skin test to be performed. Last November 26, we had our appointment with her Allergy specialist and performed the skin test. There were around 27 samples of allergens that were injected to her skin. We waited for about 20 minutes for the results.

I have been an animal lover since I was a young girl. We used to own a dog. We had around 20 cats in our old house. Today, we have 5 cats at home. Since, my daughter is asthmatic, outer cats usually get the blame for it. My sisters and I have been asked many times to give up our cats. My mother even asked me to choose between my daughter and our cats. Our cats are just local cats, or what other people used to call “pusakal“. Nowadays, those cats are called as Puspin (or Pusang Pinoy). Though are cats are just ordinary cats, we love them dearly. It hurts me so much when Nonet is being hospitalized due to asthma. And, it hurts me too thinking that I might have to give up our cats, if Nonet’s skin test result will show that she is allergic to cats. :(

My younger sister, Patty, accompanied as to the doctor. Both of us were praying and hoping that Nonet is not allergic to cats. After about 20 minutes, the doctor told us the different things which Nonet is allergic to. Thank God, she is negative with cats! :) It was a relief!

Nonet is most allergic to pollens and grass. She is allergic to mango, too. She is allergic with dogs but not with cats. When she was a baby, she was so allergic to peanuts but the skin test shows negative to it. We told the doctor that we have been so vigilant in giving Nonet any food that may contain peanut. The doctor said that it is possible that peanut has become foreign to her body allergy that’s why it didn’t react to the test. But, she told us not to give peanuts to Nonet yet. She said that the “peanut test” will be conducted in her clinic.

When we got home, I showed the skin test result to my mother with my specialist’s signature, highlighting the items which Nonet is allergic to. She couldn’t believe that Nonet is allergic to dogs but not to cats. :)

I am just glad that we don’t need to give up our cats. But, I’m sad because Nonet loves dogs, too. In her father’s house in Quezon, they have number of dogs which she loves to play with. Little did I know that she is allergic to them.

She is now 6 years old and hopefully, she will outgrown asthma before she turns seven next year.

God bless her! :)

Ciao! :)

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