September 30, 2008

FREE trumps SALE anyday!!!!

I used to say SALE was my favorite word, especially when it comes to fashion. Midnight Madness Sales, end-of-season sales, 3-day sales, holiday sales, any sales were always an exciting event for me.

However, as I've made my way through this blogging world, I realize there is a better word than sale: FREE. I never realized how much free stuff there is out there, and how simple it is to get them.

One example of a great freebie is the mug I got from Jonel's Something Sweet and More Blog.

Another one is the free case of coke from the Buhay Coke party a few months back. Plus of course the free dinner, drinks and fun night during the blogger party. Too bad I missed the second party!

One freebie I'll never forget is the free ticket to the D-Cinema Launch at SM North Edsa's the Block. Admittedly, Journey to the Center of the Earth was not really something I would have planned to see, the digital effects of this 3D movie were simply AMAZING!

Of course there's also that controversial
What's your Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf story mug.

Anyway, this time there's a new FREEBIE I'm so looking forward to! What girl can resist a free handbag, after all? :-) Hopefully by October 15, this will be mine!!!!

My soon-to-be-bag hehehe! to continue reading...

September 29, 2008

Of Books and Technology

After dinner this evening, my nine-year old niece showed me a book and asked if I had read it. I said No, I haven't. Funny, because it was the second time I was asked today I was asked if I had read a pocket book. Now that I think about it, it's kinda sad that I haven't read so many of the popular pocketbooks of today. For one, I have not even read the Harry Potter series! I have, however, seen all the Harry Potter films! It's sad because when I was younger, not having read a book would be the last thing one would ever hear from me. Before the advent of Powerbooks and Fully Booked (where you can actually sit and read the book in leisure), I would spend countless hours lurking around various bookshelves in Goodwill bookstore (at the old North Mall (if I remember it right!) where the Ayala center is now). Since we lived in Urdaneta Village, I'd walk to the mall every Saturday morning, after breakfast, and stay there till about 6PM, just reading book after book.

Nowadays, I seem to find myself limited to reading in the bathroom.

Because of today's modern technology, it seems to me many children are not reading anymore. As a teacher, I see a lack of love for books by most, especially since these books have to compete with television, gadgets, and computer games. While this may be the sad truth, it is very encouraging to see a new item out on the market, which encourages the development of English and reading skills. Welcome, the Easy English PSL.

While it is mainly designed to improve English, it highly encourages reading as part of the development of the language. This modern day audiobook, if I may call it as such, is not like the typical audiobook that you can upload to your Ipod, as it still includes the words that are being read out loud so you can follow along. Further, it has beautiful illustrations that make harness a multi-modal approach to learning (meaning both visual and auditory learners can benefit from it).

The downside to the gadget, however, is that as of now, there is a limited selection of stories it presents. Also, it is more for kids to adolescents, so maybe adults may not necessarily enjoy it (but they still can!!!).

So while it is true technology has become so much bigger than us, we can embrace it and use it to still remain true to the core competencies needed in life, especially reading and the love of books. to continue reading...

September 28, 2008

12 lists of Christmas (1/12)

In keeping with my anticipation of Christmas, I've decided to come up with 12 lists. Each list will feature a series of ideas, gift items, traditions, and the like. Hopefully I manage to complete these by the time mid-December sets in. Hopefully, too, I manage to think of 12 points for each list. As of now it sounds easy, but as I try to sit down and think of it, it's not as easy as it seems!

To start it off, nonetheless, here are 12 Christmas songs that never herald the holidays for me.

1. I Miss You (Most at Christmastime) by Mariah Carey. This never fails to make me tear up. It reminds me of my Lolo so much. I guess I can resonate so much to this song too. It's so true that for most of the year, the memory of Lolo comes and goes, but at Christmastime, it hits hard.

2. What Are You Doing New Years Eve, Vonda Shepherd's version. Vonda's haunting voice and the way the song is arranged always gets this song stuck in my head.

3. Merry Christmas, Darling by the Carpenters. Greeting cards have all been sent, the Christmas rush is through, but I still have one wish to make....*sigh*. This song reminds me of my papa. For most of my life, Christmas was always a holiday without him. Every year, he would send me cards and call and wish me a Merry Christmas Darling.

4. I'll be Home for Christmas. Close on the heels of Merry Christmas, Darling for the same reason. I remember one time, my dad came home as a surprise. I was playing with my Nintendo, then the doorbell rang. I was so inis that my mom insisted I open the gate when the maid could have done it. To my surprise, there he was, singing, I told you I'll be home for Christmas :-)

5. My Grown-up Christmas List, the Michael Buble version. Beautiful words, wonderful singer, what more can one ask for.

6. The Christmas Song, any version. Perhaps this is the quintessential Christmas carol of all time. Wouldn't you agree? Just hearing this song piping through the airwaves brings flashes of red, green and everything Christmas.

7. Have Yourself a Little Christmas. I just love it. It's such a peaceful and calming tune. For some reason, it's words remind me to just let all the crap go and welcome the holidays.

8. Santa Can You Hear Me. Britney's teeny-booper Christmas carol is always a joy to hear, as it brings back fond memories of my preschoolers Christmas parties. We sang this on two separate occasions!

9. Santa Baby, the Ally Mc Beal version. Ally, in a short red Santa suit, traipsing around singing Santa can you not smile??? Plus the melody is so cute.

10. It Came Across A Midnight Clear by Sixpence None The Richer. Funny, but this song I love not because of the holidays, but because of the episode in Grey's Anatomy where it was played :-) Since then I've loved it.

11. Where are You Christmas by Faith Hill. If I'm not mistaken, this was from the soundtrack of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It's a beautiful sounding song. I have to admit, however, that the lyrics are kinda sad.

12. Tenk u, tenk u, ang babait ninyo tenk u! Merry Christmas po! Okay, okay, this may not be a Christmas carol, but no caroling session would be complete without this line! It's a heart-warming memory for me, especially since every Christmas time, my cousin and I would be slaving away in her kitchen baking our Christmas goodies and several street kids would come and pound on the gate for the traditional caroling. One Christmas, we had so much chocolate crinkles (I think I miscalculated the recipe, hehe) and so we handed it out to the carolers.

So, there's my first list of 12. What's your Christmas carol? to continue reading...

So Much for Pride.

Today I swallowed my pride. I'm not so sure I like the way it tastes, but I have to admit, I'm not so sure I don't like it either. For the longest time, I swore I would never bow down to capitalism...I would not waste a thousand bucks for a pair of tsinelas, kahit anong tatak pa man yan. But today, lo and behold, the call of the credit card was louder than ever.

And so I gave in.

So here I am, contemplating the consequences of my actions. I got to thinking, does this mean I've really lost all sense of paninindigan? Or did I once again fall prey to my unconscious need for control and affirmation?

The very first pair of Havianas I owned was a flowery purple pair. It was a gift from my best friend Cookie. Everytime my brother asks me to get him a pair of Havianas (or any branded item for that matter) I give him this whole litany of how brands are just brands and that we shouldn't get so caught up in it. He always would throw the fact of my owning purple Havianas to my face. I would retort I didn't buy it naman e!

But now, I have no more excuse.

Oh crap. to continue reading...

September 27, 2008

Beyond Determination

Sometimes there comes a point in time when one has to accept defeat. In this case, I wouldn't say defeat was a bad thing....

I used to to believe giving up or accepting defeat was a sign of weakness. I often equated it to being a loser, or something of that sort. However, the other day I had to admit to myself that this time, taking a step back is wiser than forcing my way through such a difficult task in the face of time constraints.

So even though this means goodbye Italy, I have to say, maybe next time. At this present moment, dogged determination is not enough to pave my way to that dream destination.

Sometime ago I came across an invitation to a convention in Italy on Health Psychology. As I browsed the flyer, I saw that the theme, more succinctly, one of the areas for presentation, was about my thesis topic, which I successfully defended earlier this year. I admit that I have lost steam with the thesis, and once again I put it on hold, but when I saw the flyer, I started getting excited again, and motivated to work through it.

However, as my adviser so aptly said, sh** happens, and things kinda got piled up and the thesis got pushed to the back-burner. And because I only decided to buckle up and do it so recently, I have to face the facts that no matter how determined I am to make it to Italy, time does not permit it.

I guess the lesson here really isn't giving up, but maybe to really stop putting things off till tomorrow. Many times, though, it is so much easier said than done. to continue reading...

September 22, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Oh yes, it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Christmas carols playing every now and then, the rush of shoppers starting to invade the stores, and yes, Christmas decors plastered all over. I recently went to one of my favorite stores, Living Well in MOA and saw a whole bunch of Yuletide cheer scattered around.

There is one thing, however, I am looking most forward to. To me, that is the go-signal that Christmas is indeed upon us:

The Starbucks Planner. Not only do I love (insanely for that matter: I know there are so many more affordable planners but the Starbucks planner, thats a whole other story!) the planner, it comes with my two most favorite drinks: the Peppermint Mocha Frappucino and the Toffee Nut Latte.

Yum!!! So much as Christmas is always a bittersweet holiday for me, I can't help but sing along with Alvin and the Chipmunks...Christmas don't be late!!!! to continue reading...

September 21, 2008

Almost Thirty.

In the past few months, I have been facing the fact that in a few days, I will officially be six months away from the big 3-0. For the most part I still feel like I used to, back in the day, and I often forget that I am no longer as young as I used to be. However, on occasion, I do start to feel that I am indeed getting older.

Anyway, with this whole "facing-thirty-psuedo-quarter-life-crisis" crap going on, I got to thinking about the things I want to do before I do turn that cornerstone.

It's not that I have a lot of regrets, albeit it would be a lie to say there are none. But for the next six months, here are some things I want to be able to do:

1. Lose weight. A few years ago, I was down to almost 120pounds. That was a big feat for someone who was almost 220 pounds at one point. However, becoming lax with my diet led to...well...obviously more weight!!!

2. Learn French. The French language has always been an interest of mine. But never had time to learn it. Maybe six months is pushing it to really learn a language, so maybe to be more realistic I'd say I'd like to learn at least some basic phrases in French. Then again, maybe Italian is more like it!

3. Go back to the Beach with Bubba. Oh, this has been a long waiting desire. It's been months since our beach adventure and I would love to do it again. Maybe now that gas prices are lower...but then I still don't have the spare money for it hahaha!

4. Attend another bloggers event. While this may be "babaw", it's been interesting.

5. Meet someone new. I'm not necessarily talking "Mr.Right Forever" here...but maybe some new Mr. would be nice :-) to continue reading...

Smile even if it kills you..

My tita loves the song "Smile". When things are rough, she always hums it under her breath.

Lately I've been catching myself doing just that. Many times it helps. Occasionally, however, even the hope the song promises makes it difficult to smile. As I try to believe in the power of smiling through crappiness, the taunting whisper of doubt suddenly becomes says "yeah right", and goes even further with "sinong niloloko mo diyan"...

But even with that...I'll try to keep on smiling. Even if it kills me! to continue reading...

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