April 29, 2009

Not the fastest residential broadband after all.

After my irritating and disappointing experience with SKYBROADBAND, the company that boasted having the fastest residential internet connection, has proven to be all hot air. Just take a look at my latest result. I'm supposed to be paying for a service of 1.5mbps. Fair?

I've made numerous calls already to their customer hotline, and the answer is always the same: "we'll check on it ma'am". What does that serve me? NOTHING!!!

During the 15 day free trial, I had good service. In fact, on occasion it would even go up to 1.6-1.7 mbps. Impressive, right? But as soon as the free trial ended, I started to notice that my speed would become somewhat slower. At first I'd still be getting 1.3 mbps but it seemed normal. I even proudly told my friends that Sky was great!

Now I am eating my words. The speed went down from 1.3, to 1.1, to below 1 and now this! Last night was even worse.

I am now trying to figure out how to file for a disconnection of service without having to pay the supposed 2 year lock-in fee because the company is failing to meet the agreement I signed on to. Any suggestions? I really feel so cheated with my service. To be honest, I chose them because I preferred having cable tv and internet over telephone and internet. But now I think I made a wrong decision. Even my mom's Globelines Broadband modem (not the usb one) gets faster speed then this. Heck, my cellphone powered by Smart's 3G network is SO MUCH better than this.

I know they're a corporate giant and that losing me would not matter at all, but it's about time I found someone who cared more for it's customers. to continue reading...

April 26, 2009

I Promise....

I give you my heart to have and to hold,
to protect and to keep,
to love and to cherish

Ok, I took some liberties here! Maybe traditional wedding vows do not necessarily use the word protect, but for me, I think marriage implies that. After all, you give yourself completely and wholly to another and from that day forward, you face life together, the good and the bad.

Yesterday I attended the most moving wedding ceremony ever. A good friend of mine got married. What made the ceremony extremely touching is the fact that, despite their handicaps, these two hearts found a true and lasting love and vowed to be together, protecting one another and to weather whatever storm that may come their way together. As they signed their vows, I heard a lot of sniffling around the chapel as the guests all became teary-eyed. I was truly blessed to be a witness to such a wonderful union.

This is my weeks Photo Hunt: Protect(ion). to continue reading...

To host or not to host? That is the Question.

Since I discovered the wonderful world of blogging, I've gotten hooked. I can barely wait to get home from work to check on my blog and to see what others are up to. I've gotten so hooked that one major factor in choosing hotels or resorts to go to this summer is whether or not I have access to the internet when there. My offline friends even tease me about how different my lingo has become since I've begun to fiddle with blog sites, domains, plug-ins, CSS and so on and so forth. My newest discussion point is on whether or not to get my own webhost or to continue leeching on to free offers given to me.

Indeed, this question of has been on my mind these past weeks. I think I am not the only one thinking about this. In fact, I've read many threads in a micro-blogging site about this. Lucky for me, I came across a site that gave me some insights about my hosting queries. It has been a great find! With lists of the best web hosts and lots of reviews, it really is a helpful site for those, who like me, are caught in webhosting limbo.

So, going back to the question: to host or not to host? I suppose there's no clear cut answer right now, but definitely, going through the blog posts and discussions around has allowed me to start charting out my plans, as well as weigh the pros and cons, about going the next step in making my mark in the World Wide Web. to continue reading...

April 23, 2009

Earth Day Customer Dis-service.

Before I begin this post let me make it clear: I have nothing but respect for MANY of those who work in the food service industry. I know how difficult the task is. I, myself, used to work in a restaurant as a teenager, albeit in the U.S., so I know firsthand how hard the task can be.

In celebration of Earth Day, Starbucks had a great promo: bring your tumbler/mug to any branch and get Php 40.00 off of your purchase. Yes, like many of you, I decided to grab the opportunity to enjoy my favorite Starbucks drink at a discounted price. To add to my excitement, it was the first time I saw their summer offerings, which included the Dark Mocha Frapuccino. I loved that drink the first time they offered it and was disappointed when the season was over and they removed the drink from the menu.
So I went to the counter and handed over my cup and asked for my drink. The barista punched it in and I saw that the price was Php 165.00. So I prepared Php 125.00, because of the discount. After fiddling with the machine several times, the barista calls his colleague and says "Bakit wala yung Earth Day discount" ("Why doesn't it register the Earth Day Discount?"). So the other guy tries and fails, then turns to me and says, "Ma'am, okay lang ba, hindi nag didiscount sa Dark Mocha"(Ma'am, is it okay that there's no discount on the Dark Mocha?"). I pointed out to them that it said ANY drink except bottled water and juice. So they tried again and once more tried to get me to concede the discount of get another drink, but I declined to. I suppose they were not used to people standing up for thier consumer rights and so they got a bit flustered and eventually gave me a discount by punching in another drink instead but giving me my drink anyway.

It was upsetting to a small degree how customer rights are not really given much credence and value in this country. It seems to me that a lot of times the priority is given to the company and the customer is not given as much value. For example, when I go to the grocery, at times I pick something up thinking that it costs whatever it says in the price tag but when they scan it, they charge you more. Then when you point it out all they say is that the correct price is whats on the scanner. This is unfair practice in my opinion! Another Starbucks example that comes to mind is one time during the Christmas promo I ordered a couple drinks and was told there was no more regular milk, and if it was okay to substitute it with soy milk instead. So I said, ok, because we were already there and we lined up for a long time already. When we were paying, we were charged extra for "ordering" soy milk! Again, to the company's interest!!! When I was working in the restaurant in the States, if we had to substitute an ingredient BECAUSE WE COULDN'T DELIVER what the customer was ordering, that was on us. But if they requested it as a special order, then they pay. That's what they should have done. It wasn't our fault there was no regular milk after all.

At the end of the day, what really gets my goat is that no matter how much I complain, fill up complaint sheets and the like, I don't see change happen. What now? to continue reading...

April 22, 2009

The Sweet Smell of Summer.

If there's one thing I hate about the summer, it's the not so sweet smell it brings...I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about. As the temperature rises, so does the production of sweat and the build up of germs and bacteria that leave us smelling, um, so not fresh! I'm really glad that I live in a time when perfumes and colognes are widespread, easily available, and oftentimes quite affordable.

I like a variety of scents, depending on the time of the year and the weather around me. Perfumes are great during the cold season, but for the summer, I prefer wearing a light, lemony scent, such as Nenuco or Denenes. These, for me, are perfect for the hot and humid summer as it keeps me smelling fresh and clean even after a long day. Also, since the scent is quite light and airy, the smell doesn't hang so heavily in the air, thus not exuding an overpowering smell. For an evening occasion, however, I like something like Burburry Baby or Tartine et Chocolat. These offer a more full scent but yet light and sweet. to continue reading...

Join the Wave Party!

Looking for a cool way to spend a lazy summer afternoon? Why not drop by the Nickelodeon kids event on Saturday, April 25, at the Bonifacio Global City Open Field and enjoy fun games, win prizes and take home a whole lot of goodies. Wait...there's more!!! Free entrance!
Kids of all ages will surely have a blast! to continue reading...

April 19, 2009

Beauty and Sunshine.

If I were to list favorite moments in my life, this would definitely count as one of them. This was taken sometime November 1st, 2008, on a quiet weekend getaway with my best friend and love, Bubba :-)

This is my shot for Camera Critters this week! to continue reading...

Shadow Shot Sunday #1: Out of the Shadows.

This week I explored the whole world of friend who does flickr groups like these keeps telling me to try it out, but I like blogging more than just taking photos. Plus I don't want to get a pro flickr account yet, hehe.

To make a long story short, I made a list of memes I found interesting and want to join. This is the first post of all :-)

Out of the Shadows....Lately I've been feeling a little trapped and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work and lack of time, money and desire to do it, but I am reminded that out of the shadows is bright beauty.

This is my Shadow Shot Sunday. Look interesting? Click here and join! to continue reading...

April 11, 2009

OOOOHHHH....Contest time!!!

Do you like reading books?

Do you want free books??

Do you have a favorite book???

Then go to and get the chance to win a Php 300.00 Fullybooked Gift Certificate! to continue reading...

April 9, 2009

The Game.

This is an old post, originally written on September 2008. As I anxiously await the revelation of my new self-hosted blogsite, which would feature teaching and education as its main content, I decided to do some browsing in my old blog and came across this post. I think it was a fitting reminder because lately, especially since I've turned the corner from my late twenties to being in my thirties, I have been contemplating my life as a teacher and whether or not I do indeed belong in this profession. The answer is clear: yes, I do.

"The game...they say a person either has what it takes to play or he doesn' mother was one of the greats. Me on the other hand, I'm screwed…"

In 2005, my favorite TV show opened with that line. Today, as cheesy as it may seem, I find myself reflecting on that statement and asking whether or not I really have what it takes to play the game.

I am a teacher.

I make no qualms about the fact that I came into the profession unintentionally. I've even called myself The Accidental Teacher in my blog. While teaching was not originally in my Life Plan, I soon found myself flourishing in a career I had not laid out for myself. Enjoying a game I was not really into in the beginning. Not only was I flourishing, I was loving every moment of it. Well, almost every moment.

As a rookie, I initially saw myself knocked down by the challenges of the game, be it screaming preschoolers who wanted their mommies to undergraduate students who failed my quizzes. It took some time to get into the groove of things, to feel like every now and then I would be on the winning end. But then, as I continued training, kept on practicing, and built up my game plan, I started believing I had it in me to play the game.

Until now.

It's a bit hard for me to fathom right now that in a few days, a new term will begin. I feel like I barely hard time to sit and catch my breath after what I can only call the most complicated and controversial terms ever, one that has made me question why I even care to be part of this thankless and often exhausting game. Ironically, this comes at a time when I started out with such high hopes, feeling like finally, I’ve learned all the tricks and I know all the plays that is needed to succeed in this game. But now, I ask myself, do I have what it takes to play the game?

What is it actually that one needs to play this game? For one, patience and perseverance. The will to keep going when things just aren’t going right. I suppose a level of intelligence is also needed. And perhaps, the capacity to influence and touch lives. Other personal traits I think are necessary to play the game is a strong will but balanced with a listening heart, but not one that gets overcome by emotion. I think it also takes guts, and drive, and the ability to stand up for what is right.

While I may have some of that, I don’t know if I have all that it takes. And this term made me take pause and reassess where I stand. It started out with little things, but one by one, all those little things started piling up. At first I had the strategies, I knew how to block or defend, as well as how to strike or approach the tasks, but soon, my repertoire of skills ran out. I have to be fair, though, not everything that transpired throughout the term was bad...some good also came of it but all of it was an extremely difficult challenge for me. It was as if all my reserves suddenly ran out.

Going back to preschool, for one, was a challenge in itself. For the first time in years, I was handling the littlest kids. Not that they’re not great to be with, but it is hard for someone like me to be uber cheerful and child-centered with kids whose communication skills are vastly limited. It has been ages since I’ve handled kids who are going to school for the first time, so having mama or yaya out of the room is not a given. I also have to admit, I am not as young as I used to be, nor as fit. It now takes a lot of effort to do what was so simple back then.

In the same breath, everything that transpired this term really taxed all my resources…physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. By the end of the term, I felt myself so beaten down, so exhausted and frustrated about the way play went. Not only was I losing a game, it was like I was losing the entire season. It seemed like no matter how hard I tried, I just kept on missing the goal, messing up the play and just failing in every respect. Further, it felt like I wasn’t getting the rules of the game anymore.

With that said I began to ask, why I am playing this game so hard? I don’t think I really have what it takes to make it after all. It’s kinda like knowing I could be a good player in this game, but not good enough to make it to the Olympic team. Was it worth it? Was I still enjoying the game?

The pilot episode of Grey’s Anatomy ended with this voiceover: “I can't think of a single reason why I should be a surgeon, but I can think of a thousand reasons why I should quit. They make it hard on purpose. There are lives in our hands. There comes a moment when it's more than just a game, and you either take that step forward or turn around and walk away. I could quit but here's the thing, I love the playing field.”

While I may not be a surgeon, and the lives in my hands are not necessarily teetering between life and death, but at the end of the day, when I really stop and think about it, there are a million, not just a thousand reasons why I should quit. The heartache, the disappointments, the compensation (and I’m not just talking financially here), are just a few reasons why I should quit. But then Meredith Grey is right: it’s hard for a reason. The lives I become part of don’t just live for today…and hopefully, just hopefully, I have done enough to make a difference in one life. I suppose it is indeed a choice, to continue or to walk away. I may not be the best player in this game and I might not have all it takes to be one of the greats, but I can’t give it up. I, too, love the playing field. to continue reading...

April 7, 2009

How the Slumdog Knew the Answers.

I've never really been a big believer on the idea of destiny, but after watching the movie Slumdog Millionaire, I can't help but be hopeful that no matter what, there is some great plan out there for me that is written in the stars.

The film revolves around the story of Jamal Malik, an eighteen year old orphan from the slums of Mumbai who is at the throes of the best night of his life, one that will truly change his destiny. As he comes within a hairs breath of winning a staggering twenty million rupees in India's version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, he is arrested on the suspicion of cheating his way through the game.

Despite being coerced and tortured to tell the "truth", he was steadfast in proclaiming his innocence. He then weaves an amazing tale of trial, turbulation, and even triumphs, all of which lead to him knowing the answers.

As a teacher, this film was truly the epitome of my philosophy: that learning does not just happen within the four walls of a classroom. While getting an education is indeed important, life experiences can often be an even better teacher.
After seeing the film, I know why it was greatly heralded and awarded.

The Oscar winning film directed by Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandan, will play in Philippine theaters starting April 11, 2009.

Thanks to TV5, Viva International Pictures for the VIP tickets to the red carpet premiere! Thanks too to Trixie and Az ;-) to continue reading...

April 3, 2009

Privacy and Disclosure Policy

I respect your privacy and commit to safeguarding this while you are online at my sites

The following discloses the information gathering and dissemination practices for these Web sites.

Log Files
Like most standard Web site servers, I use log files. This includes internet protocol (IP) addresses, browser type, internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, platform type, date/time stamp, and number of clicks to analyze trends, administer the site, track user’s movement in the aggregate, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses, etc. are not linked to personally identifiable information.

E-mail Subscription
If a user wishes to subscribe to my posts via e-mail (powered by Feedburner), I ask for contact information such as name and email address. Out of respect for my users’ privacy, a way to opt-out of these communications is provided.

A cookie is a piece of data stored on the user’s computer tied to information about the user. My site use cookies for tracking visitors’ activity. Some of my business partners use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, I have no access to or control over these cookies, once I have given permission for them to set cookies for advertising.

This Web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that I am not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. I encourage my users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every Web site that collects personally identifiable information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

I use outside ad companies to display ads on my site. Some of these partners may use cookies and web beacons on our site which I do not have access to. I work with the ad companies: Google Adsense, and NuffNang. Please check their websites for respective privacy policies.

Contact Information
If users have any questions or suggestions regarding my privacy policy, please contact me @ yapatoots{at}gmail{dot}com

All posts in this site are my own compositions, unless otherwise specified. Occasionally, I may re-post articles with the original authors permission. Further, everything you read here are based on my personal opinions, experiences and beliefs and are in no way coerced or influenced by anyone. Occasionally, however, I may be compensated in some way, shape or form for my point of view on certain topics for discussion, but this does not mean I am not offering an honest opinion about these discussion points.

While I have been a teacher for over a decade now and a psychologist for some time as well, I do not claim to be an expert in the field (or in any other field for that matter). Occasionally I may suggest techniques and strategies or offer my advice about certain issues, but please not that these are merely based on my own experiences and should not be taken as professional (be it legal, medical or psychological) advice. Similarly, I make no claims of any form of client/psychologist (or similar relationships) confidentiality.

Seeking advice from an accredited professional is strongly recommended.

Lastly, please remember that we are all entitled to our own opinions. Dissent from my opinions are welcome, but do note that I would appreciate keeping discussions clean and fair. to continue reading...

Browser Shopping.

In the past few days, I have discovered a new favorite past time: browser shopping. In many ways, it has replaced my love for window shopping, especially these days given the crazy weather and the cost of gas for my car. Imagine, by just opening several browser windows, I am ushered into not one, not two but a whole kaboodle of malls! The best thing about it: all in the comforts of my own home!

This has definitely made planning for my friends wedding so much easier. I was even able to find great gift suggestions for her shower, and I also was able to show her a whole range of bridesmaids gifts that she could choose from.

Other than saving on fuel and managing the erratic weather, I think this whole browser shopping technique really trumps real-life window shopping. Why? For one, through the browsers, with one click, everything you want is there! No need to go from one store to another to canvass. Just look through the guides and viola...decision making in a snap. Also, because you see the options and can go back to them easily, you are not tempted to buy an item right away then regret it later because you see something better. As such, you end up saving a bundle!

Since I've saved on my friends wedding present, I think I have enough to even look for a new thing or two for the artist in me! to continue reading...

April 2, 2009

World Autism Awareness Day.

Today is World Autism Awareness Day. To date, there is still no known cause nor cure for this pervasive developmental disorder. Theories range from genetics, diet, and even vaccinations as a cause of autism. Whatever it may be, there is one thing I know for sure: individuals with autism deserve a fighting chance at all life's opportunities!

PsychConsult, Inc. is composed of a group of highly trained psychologists who work closely with and in coordination with other professionals in helping address issues, concerns and needs of individuals with autism and other psychological disorders/concerns. Established in 2001, its consultants offer a wide range of psychological services including psychological assessment, individual and group therapy, play therapy, and other psychological interventions.

For inquiries, please call (02) 4212469, (02) 3576427, 0917-8080193, or email

photo taken from Thank you, Mommy Earth! to continue reading...

April 1, 2009


Dear Friends and Family,

Please support my birthday campaign this year!

Rather than figure out what I want for my birthday, or what new gadget to splurge on as I always do, I have decided that as I turn the big 3-0, I will use my money wisely: I will support a cause. Not only that, I will also become an advocate for a cause.

This year I have chosen to support the Autism Society of the Philippines. When I first told my friend about it, she said, why that? I casually replied, because the autism awareness campaign coincides with my birth month. But as I stopped to think about it more, I realized that as a preschool teacher and a psychologist, this would be something I can actually get involved in and be a part of, and not just in name or by word: but because I can actually DO something beyond just fund raising.

Autism is a developmental disorder that is characterized by speech/communication and social impairments in individuals with the disorder. It is a lifelong disorder that affects not just the individual with autism, but their families as well. Estimates show that approximately 1 in 150 children is diagnosed with autism. Although more prevalent in males than females, autism can affect anyone: it knows no gender, age, no race, nationality, and socioeconomic status.

As a birthday present to me, it would be a great honor of if you supported my cause by pledging 50 pesos. For every Php 50.00 you pledge, you'll not only receive one of these very cute Angel Baller Bands, but you'll help raise awareness about autism as well. Proceeds will benefit the Autism Society of the Philippines, who in turn provides support and services to underprivileged families afflicted with autism.

I am gathering as many pledges as I can this whole month! Please click on the link below and fill up the sheet to make your pledge, or leave a comment and I will get back to you asap.

My Pledge!

Thank you for your support of my birthday campaign!

special thanks to Earth for the photos! If not for her post, I would not have found a worthy and timely cause to support.

*permission to promote this campaign as my project was granted by a representative of the ASP.


In the first 24 hours of my campaign, I gathered a total of 50 pledges! As such, I placed my first order with the ASP who in turn will forward the bands to me by Monday. I will be able to distribute them shortly thereafter!

By 7 pm April 3, 25 additional pledges have come in!

On April 4, I received 28 more pledges...and still counting!

My birthday brought in 32 more.

I got my first order of 25 bands from the ASP on April 7, and the second batch of 50 on the 13th. On the same day, I was able to start making deliveries.

By April 21, I not only ran out of bands, but my pledges have reached 196! I am hoping to reach 200 before the end of this campaign. to continue reading...

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