Thursday, September 30, 2010

Capturing Beauty

While browsing my old folders, I found some of our pictures from a couple of years ago.  There were a couple of good close-up shots of flowers that I thought I'd share.  The camera I was using was our older  Canon Powershot A200.  Though I don't have a lot of control with the focus on this camera, these pictures goes to show that lighting is key in taking good shots...

 
These two shots were taken at the Japanese Garden near Luneta.
You can see Jojo and the kids at the background



This one taken at the Quezon City Memorial Circle

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Christmas Bazaar List for 2010

Christmas trees on display at Trinoma Mall
Looking for a great gift for that special someone?  Christmas bazaars or tiangges are usually great places to buy that hard-to-find gift. I've compiled a list of this year's Christmas bazaars which I hope will help both shoppers and bazaaristas.  You're welcome to leave your comments if you know of any other bazaars that are currently not on this list.  When available, the email and/or web site of the bazaar organizer is provided.  Please link to those sites or email the contact person for additional information.

Christmas Bazaar List for 2010
DateEventCityInfo

DECEMBER

1American Women's Club Monthly BazaarPasay CityWorld Trade Center
1-5
15-17
The Abundant Year BazaarPasay CityPTTC
Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. cor. Roxas Blvd.
3-5Christmas Tinsel BazaarQuezon CityNuvo City, Libis
Contact:
Cris at 502-3632 or +639178278928
Dore at 215-7306 or +639178261810
Email: ledge.concepts@yahoo.com
3-1610th World BazaarPasayWorld Trade Center
3-5
10-12
16-24
26-29
Christmas Bazaar @ The LevelsMuntinlupaThe Levels project site
Pacific Rim Filinvest Corporate City
Alabang Muntinlupa City

Sponsored by Filinvest, Four Seasons Creative Ventures Inc and Danza Fashion Fair;

HOURS:
WEEKENDS:
Fridays  10 am to 12 midnight
Saturdays 10 am to 12 midnight
Sundays 10 am to 10 pm

December 16 - 24 & 26 - 29 Schedule

Weekdays Monday -Thursday 10 am to 10 pm
Weekends Friday-Sunday 10 am to 12 midnight

December 24: 8 am to 6 pm
FOR INQUIRIES:
Mobile No.: 09177465691; 09222757355
christmasbazaar.thelevels@gmail.com
eloisa.fourseasonscvi@gmail.com
beth.fourseasonscvi@gmail.com
4-5
18-19
Tiangge Sa DonaPasigDona Juana Subdivision
Email bigslickph@gmail.com
4Latagan Sa Cubao XQuezon CityCubao Expo's 2010 1-day Holiday Twist Bazaar,
Cubao Expo
1pm - 12midnight
4-5The North Greenhills Christmas Unity BazaarSan JuanMcKinley Park, North Greenhills
Email unity.mktg@gmail.com or call at 0915-969-7068
Unity Marketing
4-5SEOULARIS:
My Seoul In Paris
PasaySMX Convention Center
Hall 2 (next to SM Mall of Asia)
12pm - 12 midnight
Sponsored by De La Salle University’s Business Management Society
For inquiries, contact:

Alyssa Lapira – 09179651890
Jessica Bello – 09178965856
alyssajayrose@yahoo.com
4-5Holiday Food BazaarMakatiRockwell Tent
10am - 7pm
Contact Kenneth Culala at 4152272 loc. 4818 or
email kenneth_culala@abs-cbn.com
4-5
11-12
Christmas Bazaar 2010MuntinlupaVictoria Homes
JRF Covered Basketball Court, Don Pedro Ave.
Contact April at 0917-5170908 or email me a_naguit@yahoo.com
4-5
11-23
Karl Edwards BazaarTaguig@ The Fort, NBC Tent
5Bazaar At InterconMakatiIntercontinental Hotel Manila
Grand Ballroom
Ayala Ave.
Contact: 793-7000
6-7Angel Sent BazaarMakatiEnterprise Center
Paseo de Roxas corner Ayala Ave

Contact: 828-1885, 799-4018, 0920-876-6505
or email philtradeevents@yahoo.com.ph
11-12Santa's Christmas Bazaar @ La VistaQuezon CityLa Vista Clubhouse & Basketball Court
Email claudbaron@yahoo.com
11-12Santa's Gifts BazaarQuezon CityQuezon City Sports Club, E. Rodriguez Ave.
9am - 9pm
11-12The Holiday Rush
(Year 2)
Quezon CityChrist the King Church, Greenmeadows
10am - 9pm
Email cad.concepts@yahoo.com
17-19The 5th Christmas Toy Fair (and Mom's Holiday Finds)PasigMegatrade Hall 2, SM Megamall
18-19La Vista BazaarQuezon CityLa Vista Clubhouse & Basketball Court (near Miriam College & Ateneo)

9am - 7pm
Sponsored by MBCI
Contact:

710-3711
0917-5408697
0922-8821075
Email mbci.events@gmail.com
18-23Christmas Shop Expo 2010/Noel BazaarPasayWorld Trade Center




 Trinoma Mall's Christmas Light Display
 And don't forget to be responsible and environmentally-friendly shoppers.  Bring your canvas or other reusable bags so that the concessionaires will not use plastic bags.  Try to find more creative ways of wrapping your gifts rather than using paper with tape.  Think of the long-term effects of the gifts you buy.  Happy Shopping!  And Merry Christmas!

RELATED LINKS:
Using SM Eco Bags To "Wrap" Gifts
Gift and Gift Wrapping Ideas
Another Way To Wrap Gifts
Avoid The Crowds - Shop Online

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Shrek - Forever After


We watched "Shrek - Forever After" last week.  I've been seeing the ad in the papers for the Playback screenings of these second-run movies.  We hadn't seen this movie and I'm sure it's already out on DVD.  But it sure was great seeing it on the big screen.  We paid P25 each (for adults and kids) to see the movie.  We could've stayed to watch "Kimmy Dora" too, which was bundled with the price, but we were already tired out.  The kids come out of school early on Tuesdays and though much further from our house (Novaliches - about a 45 minute to an hour drive), it was worth the commute.  The Playback movies are still ongoing for those interested.  For more details and other upcoming movies, browse the Robinsons MovieWorld site.  The next showing for the Animation/Kids genre is "Avatar - The Last Airbender", Sept 29 to Oct 5.  But look at the site for a more accurate schedule.

I laughed and cried at some parts of the movie.  The lesson I got from the movie: we have to look around us and continue to count our many blessings.  There is no thing as "they lived happily ever after".  Well, there is, but not here in our world.  We must look behind what seems to be dull, boring, everyday simple moments and see the wonder, the magic.  The magic even in the simple smiles, giggles, hugs and words that were always there but we may have taken for granted.

Image Editing Using Paint Shop

A bit on the lighter side of life, to brighten one's day, mine as well as yours...  I was playing around with the pictures I downloaded from our camera.  I've been practicing some closeup shots and some turned out pretty good.  With automatic focus on digital cameras, it's sometimes hard to really focus on the object.  This is something I'll continue to work on.  I played around with the images using my image editing software: Jasc Paint Shop.  A little less popular than the commonly-used Adobe Photoshop, but this is the software that I've "grown-up" with and it works for most of my editing needs.  Here's some that I came up with...
Original shot taken of roses at Sta Teresita General Hospital.  The camera that I'm using has a great flash, so even if this was taken in a dim area, the flash worked wonders.




First put on greyscale and then used the negative image.  I love the way this turned out.

 A white flower from a plant (which I'll try to find the name of) just outside our house.  It took me several tries before I could get the focus on the flower itself and not the leaves around it.  I put this in greyscale.



 
A totally different image with the use of Effects - Geometrical - Twirl.  This is fun!  This picture makes me want to imitate it :)



I've taken similar shots of the Quezon City Memorial before.  I like how the sun is shining behind the tree here and covers up the shot so it didn't turn out too dark.  This is the original shot taken.




More fun with Paint Shop.  This time with Colors - Histogram Functions - Equalize.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Jueteng

Jueteng.  It's so much in the news nowadays.  It was so much in the news in days and years before.  It's like... my eczema, like a disease that keeps coming back and you don't know what to do about it.  I haven't directly bet on Jueteng, but the people around me have.  It's not rampant here where I live, but who knows?  I'm not one to standby on the streets and judge the lady with the shoulder bag who has a pad of paper as a jueteng collector.  But it is rampant in the provinces.  Shall I dare name these provinces?  Well, the likes of Archbishop Oscar Cruz and reporter Anthony Taberna dares to name names and bring out into the open what almost everyone knows is already out in the open.  Except for the officials who are supposed to be apprehending the operators and the "lords" of this illegal numbers game.  "Eyes wide open", is a term that comes to mind, and this is what these politicians and policemen are doing in keeping watch over jueteng.

When we went to the burol of my aunt in Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija, almost after the people just wake up and before they even to get to wash their faces, there is someone taking the "numbers" for the morning draw.  Mom got into it, asking for numbers all around, even from the kids.  She paid for their bets and one of my aunts ended up the winner for one of the draws.  But no "balato" from the winner, even for mom who paid her bet :)

Innocent game you would think, barya-barya lang for most of us.  But those barya (coins) when collected and counted sum up to a big amount.  Millions, even billions.  And those that I know who bet are poor - the money they bet are hard-earned money that they hope will bring in a jackpot.  Little do they know that they put out much more than they would ever take in.  It's a pasttime and without it, it seems that the already quiet small towns, will be quieter still.  People who sweat and toil over their crops, retired people getting meager benefits, housewives who happen to have a few pesos to bet.  All of them play the illegal jueteng game in the hope of bringing home that jackpot, at least for the day.  But if their numbers don't come out, there is always hope for the next draw.

Their hope is in the wrong place.  Keep the money you would bet and let it grow.  It will sum up to more than that jackpot.  What should we do?  What can I do?  For one, I should not play the game, however tempting since almost everyone does at one time or another.  Let me set an example first.  This much I can do. ... but it doesn't seem enough.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Silence Despite the Noise

If you don't like it, then just bear with it the best you can.  This seems to be the sentiment or the attitude of most of us Filipinos.  It wasn't mine when I first came here to the Philippines after being influenced by the more agressive, expressive and action-oriented American culture.  But there is a way that one's attitude changes with the culture you live with.  And living here in the Philippines now for over 8 years, I have now acclimatized my ways, so to speak.

This topic comes on the brink of the noisy night and restless sleep we had courtesy of our neighbors.  I hear them, I may even know some of them (by face more than by name), but I do not care for the way they keep us and our neighbors awake from the "party" they have outside their homes.  Our windows are not noise-proof and even with the windows closed shut, we can hear their boisterous talk and laughter.  With the warm weather, many houses most probably had their windows wide open.  When I went downstairs to get something, the noise from the open windows was much louder and I could imagine the frustrations of our other neighbors.

So why does no one do anything about this?  Are we waiting for the others to make the first move?  What are we scared of?  These people, these neighbors should not, in the first place, be drinking on the streets.  There's a law against this right?  And to think that the barangay is just one street away from us.  Is it because it's only around 10:30pm and they think that people are still awake at this time?  But I could still hear them after 12 midnight.  There was no singing this time, thank goodness!  Drunk men with microphones... they sing as if they're the best singers in the world!  But it was just the loud voices and the singing or chanting, mostly of "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ....!", over and over and over again, as if chanting this would persuade the celebrant to give them another round.  Even if it's not someone's birthday, there's still an occasion to celebrate and to drink.  But who needs an excuse to drink?

I did not call the officials this time.  I was more willing to give in, to bear the noise, to be as someone had said, na magpakisama.  The tiredness I felt during the day helped bring me to slumberland.  I fell asleep and didn't care as much about the noise these disrespectful neighbors were making.  Let someone else call if they felt the need.

"Maingay." (Noisy.), my neighbor told me, in a sort of whisper, this morning, after I asked her "Napuyat po kayo kagabi?" (Didn't get a lot of sleep last night?).  They are willing to bear this.  They are elderly, the noisemakers young.  To keep the peace?  "Love Thy Neighbors" is a commandment that is especially hard during times like these.  I wish they would learn to love their neighbors, by firstly being respectful of others, being sensitive and responsible for their actions.

What will this silent culture bring us?  How long can we keep the silence?  How much longer do we have to bear this burden?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Revisiting Our Electricity Consumption

I searched for a previous blog I posted about conserving electricity and finally found it: Conserving Electricity, smart title :)  At least I was able to find what I needed.  Well, two months later, I again have our electricity bill in front of me as I write: P4916. Well there was some improvement, our usage did go down from P5600 two months ago.  Mainly because one member of the household being away.  Mom loves to watch the TV constantly when she's here and keeps it on even when she's sleeping.  I would still love to see this bill go down even more.  It is supposed to be the rainy season with cooler weather, but we still need the air-conditioning on at night.  The timer on that aircon I think is broken.  I wake up in the middle of the night to turn it off.  I see the kids and Jojo all wrapped up in their blankets from the cold, then slowly as the warmer weather comes back, they slip their blankets away and continue to sleep.  The computer is another electricity hog.  It uses up 3 sockets, 1 for the main computer, another for the internet box and another for the speakers.  Then there's the washing machine...  I'm going to list down some ways that we can conserve electricity, in the hope that we can follow it and find a greater improvement in next month's Meralco bill:

1)  Turn off the water cooler more often.  It is on for most of the day, but if we keep a container of water in the refrigerator, we wouldn't have to use this at all.
2)  Use the low-energy electric fan as opposed to the industrial one as often as possible.  Like right now, it's on the "1" setting and directed at me.  It gives me cool enough air with lesser noise.
3)  Unplug the appliances that are not in use.  I always thought that this didn't matter.  If you didn't turn on the appliance, the meter should not be running.  But I heard somewhere that this "standby" mode is still using energy.
4)  Watch only the TV shows that you think important or essential.  This one will be harder to do, as Jojo now turns the tube on.  Too many television addicts here at home.  But I will do my best and hopefully the others will follow.
5)  Try to wear clothes more than once as to lessen the washing machine loads.  Also, try to hand wash more.  Ahh, another added chore, but will try...
6)  Use the air-conditioning less often.

There are probably more, but this is all I have for now.  Let's see how next month's electric bill turns out.  Abangan!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I Have An Old Nokia 3310

Our cellphone won a prize!  Well, the contest was just a children's party "bring me" game and the prize was just a pencil.  But we won because of our cellphone.  What did the party emcee ask the kids to bring?  "Bring me an old model cellphone!"  I delved into my bag and proudly took out my Nokia 3310.  To be honest, I wasn't that proud, I have to admit I am sometimes ashamed to bring out my cellphone when others around me have all those new and fancy ones.  But Benjo quickly took our old cellphone with its bright violet casing to the emcee to claim his prize.  He came back with a big smile.

There have been times that I have thought about upgrading our cellphone.  I saw one advertised in the paper this past weekend.  A recent model phone with TV/video, 2megapixels camera, FM radio and other eye-catching features.  It had a nice look to it and it was on sale, around P2500.  To make you want the phone all the more, the advertisement emphasized that it was the last day of the sale and limited buyers to 2 cellphones per buyer.  I was ready to get up and go to that store and purchase one.

But my practical senses got the better of me.  I don't have P2500 to spare (well, I do, but I feel that there are other more important purchases), and as with previous temptations, I looked at my cellphone and said to myself, it works fine.  I can text and call with my cellphone.  I even use it to write down short memos, use the calculator and use the alarm to wake me up each morning.  Well, there was the time that the battery went down overnight and luckily I woke up even without the alarm.  Some of the keys are harder to press and the battery will soon need to be replaced.  But it works for the purposes that I need, and for this I should be contented.

We have the TV to watch our shows, our PC to get on the internet and our camera, the new one that Ate Connie gave, to take our pictures and video.  So what more can I ask?  Unless the phone doesn't work, I should not think of getting a new one, just because...  There are already way too much waste around us.  Though small, adding to the "waste" will not help.  I realize too how fickle we humans can be.  If I choose to purchase a newer cellphone, there will always be a newer and fancier one than mine.  It's very human to always want more than what we have.  The realization of this is the first step in stopping the cycle of buying and saying, no, I don't need that, I am happy with what I have.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday Blessings

It's only 9 o'clock.  I've been awake for 4 hours now.  The kids are already in school, Benjo going on his 3rd hour.  One load of laundry is in the machine after I prewashed.  Hard work that, especially the whites.  I catch a glimpse of myself on the computer screen just as Windows was loading.  Ahh, haven't even combed my hair!  I look around, still so much to do.  Pick up this, put this away.  Fold the clothes, wipe the dust.  Dishes are done though, at least for the first batch.  Upstairs bathroom cleaned.  Got a chance to snack and read my bible devotional earlier...

Well, this Monday's not half bad.  My cup is half full.  I hope at the end of this day, it may be spilling to the brim.  Counting my blessings, yes, and trying not to complain along the way.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Need A Living Room Makeover

Our living room area is in need of a makeover.  Well, need is not the exact word, more like want.  Green, and a shade of green that reminds one of girl scouts, is the color that we've had to live with since having the sofa covers made back in 2003.  So we have 5 pieces of furniture with this same shade of color, way too much!  I bought a small piece of green and yellow print and sewed a cover for the footstool.  I thought it was a nice touch.  Now, I want to change the others, but am still deciding on what colors and print to choose.

I moved the furnitures around so we have more space plus it added another space where the kids sometimes play or do their homework.  I think watching all those home makeovers on TV has been paying off.  The picture below is of one of our sofas which I put against the wall.  2 things - I want this particular sofa to have a more brigher color/print than the others since it's on a plain wall.  And secondly, I plan on moving that mirror and putting up some sort of artwork on the wall to make it more interesting.



Aside from the sofa covers, we need to change the light/ceiling fan.  We had bought this when we were remodelling the house in 2002, but the problem... both the ceiling fan and light does not serve their purposes.  The ceiling is too high for the fan to give us any type of wind, the light too dark to give us enough light to read at night.  When we were at Wilcon Builders with Ate Elvie, I had a chance to look at the options.  At this point I'm looking for a ceiling light.  The stand-up electric fans that we have right now will suffice.  I found some nice designs on the internet, but have not found them yet in any of the stores.


Here's some of the designs that I found on the internet that I think may look good on our ceiling:


But besides the style, I must think of its purpose, first and foremost - to give sufficient light for our living room area.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Writing For The Truth

I pulled out this one spiral notebook that I use every now and then to write on, from the stack of other books and magazines.  I plan on giving some basic computer training to some of our friends, the Angelican parents that we have gotten to know well in the past year.  So I wanted to write down some lists on what computer topics to touch on.  Then I came upon some of my writing from last year.  There were some that was undated, some of the written notes I believe found their way on this blog.  But I think this one didn't and after re-reading it, it gave me renewed inspiration...

Written March 29, 2009:

Well, I'm back to pen and paper... after getting the computer sequestered by a little tyke (ie Joselyn).  Never take a bathroom break when there's little (and big) game addicts lurking around.

This is best though.  I'd like to start by quoting from a reflection I read the other day..."I have become more in God's hands.  I am his pen."  (written by Tess Atienza from Didache March 27, 2009).  I read this and thought to myself, yes, this is what I want to become - "God's pen".  It was later reconfirmed upon reading "Teresa of Avila - The Interior Castle", who wrote many inspiring works, wrote when trying to put her thoughts on paper: "... May He, in whose mercy I trust and who has helped me in other more difficult things so as to favor me, do this work for me." (p. 18).

So many times when I write I do not know where the source of inspiration comes from nor what the purpose of my writing.  I see now, a little clearer than before, the goal to which my words must achieve.  Merely more than for entertainment, more than self-expression, more than stories or complaints or gossip, my writing should have as its ultimate goal - truth and the search thereof.  And this truth cannot be from me, but from our God who uses me to convey His message to others.  My grammar may not be right, my sentence structure awkward - but if the message conveyed will teach another heart, then praise God for using me as His instrument.
-----------

I picked up 3 books to read from the bookshelf.  After reading "I Gotta Crow..." I wanted to read some fiction.  One book "Angela's Ashes" looked promising with many rave reviews, plus winning a Pulitzer Prize.  Well, it ought to be good!  The other two books were books I've had on my shelf for awhile and never really got to read.  Since it's Lenten season, I'm striving to read Spiritual books to help me on my Lenten journey.  One book was "Praying With Icons" by Henri Nouwen (I've read 2 of his other books and love the way Fr Henri writes and the message he has to say - simple, easy to read, almost like a conversation with a friend).  The other which I mentioned earlier, "Teresa of Avila - The Interior Castle" - the story of this great Saint and founder of the Carmellite Monasteries.  This last book is a harder read, with many text on one page that it seems to go slowly.  But I realize I don't have to speed through these books.  On the contrary, it's best to read them slowly, trying to understand the messages and reflecting on them.

So I have the 3 books, picking up one and reading, picking up the other, reading a page or two, and on other occasions picking up the next and reading more.  The fiction (Angela's Ashes), though entertaining - retelling in a humorous way the author's beginnings, it hits me as not being spiritual and even being sarcastic inthe author's aversion of the Catholic church.

I have a choice I realize, as we all do.  To continue reading this wildly acclaimed book (the language and message might get better) or to put it down and as is said "to not tread further".  I think I am open-minded and would listen to other people's tales no matter how I may disagree.  But upon opening up the other two books and when praying the rosary last night, a message of seeking the Truth came into my consciencee, and I chose to put the book down and put it back on the shelf.

If seeking the Truth, for what is true in all things and in all people, I need to spend my time, my space, my senses, my energies to the search for Truth and God, and not waste my time and energy on what is not (or what I think or feel is not).  This issue on Truth is a sticky business.  But I pray that God, who is Truth, its soure, its definition, will guide me.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Beauty of Breastfeeding

We were at the doctor's clinic again today, this time for a possible nostril infection and allergy rashes that has been spreading on Benjo's face.  I was reading the medical books we have here at home to try to figure out what the rashes were and how to treat them.  I came upon 'Impetigo', which kind of scared me with its note that this type of skin disease is very infectious and children with possible impetigo should not attend school.  So, although well enough to go to school except for the obvious red spots on his face, we opted for Benjo to skip school and go to our pediatrician at Sta. Teresita Hospital.

It being a Monday and during a season where various illnesses are on the rise, Sta Teresita Hospital's clinic hallways were already full and we were listed as number 8 even though we arrived 20 minutes before the opening of clinic hours.  From experience, the doctor would sometimes arrive late and then do her rounds of admitted patients before attending to her waiting patients at her clinic.  So it was already around 12 noon when Doctora saw us.

Benjo and I spent the time firstly having a merienda of Pan de Manila's cheese bread with iced tea from the canteen.  We sat at the end of the hallway where other doctors weren't so busy (ie no patients waiting outside) or near the cashiers where there were a couple of seats.  Then we tried to busy ourselves by doing some math and spelling exercises and just observing the many people around.

Near the end of the hallway is the Ultrasound area where many expecting mothers are seated waiting for their turn.  There is an overhead television which shows a video of a Filipino mother giving birth and the newborn infant placed on her mother to nurse.  We've seen this video during previous clinic visits and I think it's the only video that is shown because they show it continuously almost throughout the day.  But no matter how many times we've seen the short documentary, it still seizes us with amazement.

In slow motion we see the baby slowly open her eyes and try to grapple for her mother's breast.  The little infant moves her fingers, opens her mouth, trying to reach.  I don't know how they do it, there is no persuasion from the mother or any of the attendants.  But slowly, by instinct, the newborn reaches for and then finally finds the mound, the source of food for her nourishment.  And when she does, that little bundle who just minutes before came out of her mother, latches on, squeezes her whole face and hides it in her mother's breast.  It is a joyous moment, a victorious moment when you want to cheer and shout.

Benjo and I look at each other and we share a smile and a laugh.  I think to myself, this is better than any action or drama movie.  This is real-life drama, a moment captured in time when a child and mother first finds fulfillment in each other.  Beautiful, just beautiful.  No wonder it never ceases to amaze me and others, even the young like my Benjo, who hugs me afterwards as if remembering the time when we too first had our own bonding moment.

Back to the doctor's clinic... when we were finally called, Doctora saw the obvious rashes and with a closer examination gave us a prescription for an antibacterial ointment and anti-itch syrup.  We hope his skin condition improves with this treatment.  For now, we're avoiding "malansa" foods such as shell fish, chicken and eggs.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Mushroom Burger Fan

One of my favorite foods right now, and I hope it's not a passing fancy, is mushroom burger from (where else?) - Mushroomburger, this branch along West Ave, Quezon City.  We've passed it countless times before.  I think we did try several years ago but I don't remember it tasting this good.  Jojo and I ate there for breakfast after I visited the BIR a short distance from Mushroom Burger last month.  We ordered the burger mixed with beef, Jojo's with cheese, mine without.  It tasted so good, a refreshing new patty taste than from the other more popular food chains.  It had pickles, fresh cucumber and tomato along with their own sauce that's probably a mixture of mayonnaise and ketchup.  To top it off the french fries that came a few minutes after the burger were also so good - freshly fried and seasoned just right.  We went back that same week with Mom and the kids and again today after Sunday Mass.  The restaurant at West Ave opens at 7:30am and closes at 11pm.  They do provide free delivery, but I'm not sure what their scope for delivery is, not sure if they deliver as far away as our place.  I wish they did have a branch closer to us.  Jojo tried their lomi today and he said it tasted great too.  They do have other options on their menu, which I'm kind of excited to try on our future visits.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Mixed Thoughts

I wrote on my last blog how we sleep soundly through the rain.  Well, not all the time and not all through types of rain.  Last night's was a howler, pouring down rain hard with winds that I thought one of our windows would be blown in.  Jojo and the kids were already sound asleep.  I looked around for the flashlight, creating some noise (our wooden floors creak in some places, something that wasn't fixed with the 2002 reconstruction).  Jojo wakes up and asks me what I'm looking for and I tell him the flashlight.  He pulls one out from under his pillow.  He says he keeps it there for emergencies.  Good, now I feel more secure.  And I fall asleep.

It's Friday, thank God.  Though the week is shortened because of National Heroes' Day last Monday, it still feels like a full week.  My blog yesterday titled "Busy" was cut short because of an unexpected visitor.  One of the parents from school was looking for a place to stay while she waited for her child.  We accomodated her for the few hours. I got busy with the cleanup, trying to hide what I could and clean what I could.  I would love to have said, oh I'm too busy, could you please find another place.  But that would be rude and uncharitable.

I would love to have my house open for guests any day at any time, but it's not always in the best of shapes.  Clutter here, clothes there, dust everywhere.  I really should get my act together.  I don't know what's preventing me from asking help from an outsider, a hired hand, even for a day.  Pride, maybe - don't want others to see how I'm such a lousy housekeeper.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Counting My Blessings

It's raining again.  I should be glad that it is, with all my previous complaining and praying about how we needed more rain, with people suffering from water shortage, etc.  Our house isn't leaking like it was before.  This I'm thankful for.  Jojo was able to fix the broken down spout (I think that's what you call it).  There are other places in the house that leaks, but that one was the worse, keeping us awake to mop and wring out the flooded floor.  We always blame the people who made our house and the people who tried to fix it, every time it leaks.  Of course, it's no use complaining and cursing.

I've seen some of the houses of the contestants on Eat Bulaga's All for Juan and Juan for All segment.  Many have no ceilings.  Can you imagine the heat from the iron roofs?  Many of these families have small children and you see them sweating from the midday heat.  Some didn't have dining tables.  Yes, no tables.  Where do they eat?  That was my first thought.  Then, what was obvious to some, but not to me, was the floor.  They eat on the floor.  They live in such cramped quarters, hardly any room to move.  And yet, it's a home, it's shelter from the rains.  It's all that they have.

And so I have no reason to complain - I am sheltered from the rain, I sleep soundly without worrying about getting wet.  We have room enough for all of us and more.  Yes, I am blessed.  Thank you Lord.

Leron Leron Sinta


So proud of my little girl!  This was during Angelicum Preschool's Buwan ng Wika's program.  You can tell how much fun she had - with the dancing as well as performing for the audience.  We think she has her Lola Jovy's dancing genes.

Busy

Been away for a few days... it sure does feel that something is amiss during the days that I do not blog.  Busy or just trying to be.  No, truly busy with some days where I really had to literally catch my breath and I thought I would pass out.  Partly because I have a cold and it's a little hard to breathe.  Partly because there are so many to be done.