Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"Please" and "Thank you"

“Please” and “Thank you” are golden words that was taught to us by our parents and in turn we try to teach our own children to say.  We are given something on our birthday or Christmas, we say “thank you” to the giver.  We need to ask someone for something beyond our reach, we say “please can you pass…” 

“Thank you”, “Thanks”, “TY”, “Salamat” are simple words and so easy to say and brings music to the ears.  “Please”, “paki ___” likewise connotes manner in the sense that when you’re asking someone a favor, it is not an order but a “pakiusap” (I’m lost for a translation on this one)

Anyway, this is how I was brought up and something that I try not to omit - saying “thank you” either by text, card, phone call or the like.  But there are some people who maybe were not taught this basic manner or else never got used to saying it.  And to one that expects a “thank you” the omission is so silently noisy that it really leaves a hollow feeling.

Someone stayed with us for nearly 11 months because she is a relative and we wanted to help out while she settled in her new job.  She moved out just the other day.  The move wasn’t sudden since I already spoke to her about her future plans and she mentioned about looking for a place.  So she came one day on her day off, packed her things, left a lot of things (for us to take when we go to the province) and left, saying “bye”.  No “thank you”, “thanks’, “ty” or “salamat”.  I should be used to it, since I know that it’s not in her nature to say the words.  But still, I expected she may say it on this one occasion, because in my mind she had a lot to be thankful for.  Pero wala, “nganga”, “nada”, just a “bye”.

I’ve been busy since she left by the way, cleaning up the room that wasn’t cleaned since she stayed.  Ay!  Sorry to complain, but allow me this one please.  Thank you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Loomband Fad

There are fads and there are fads.  Many come and many go, some come back and others are just for show.  (Ay, it rhymes oh!)  I try not to get attached to them, stay away from them if I can.  I know that they’re a fleeting fancy.  Some fashion trend that becomes popular for awhile and then goes out the door never to be remembered again.  Let me cut to the chase… I’m talking about the fashion fad of loombands that I believe started in the US and made its way here in the Philippines and became such a hit with everyone.

Some of my finished products, some of these were given away as gifts
Loombands are small sized rubber bands that you weave into bracelets and other items like small animal figures that can be attached to keychains.  It was such a hit just a few months back, especially during the summer months.  I don’t remember where I first heard of them but I didn’t take any notice.  It’s just a fad I thought to myself plus it’s made of rubber, how long can that last?  But one time when in my husband’s hometown, his niece bought a pack and I watched as she made her first bracelet in a few minutes.  Being a hobbyist and one who likes to make things with my hand, I tried it out.  And that started my own interest in the fad.

Several bags of loombands sold per 5 grams in Divisoria
I began by looking for them at Divisoria, different packs with different colors, some even scented.  Benjo and Joselyn got into it too.  I got challenged and looked up tutorials on youtube on making the more complicated styles.  We finished up our supply pretty fast, with Joselyn even selling some of the finished bracelets to her classmates, an addition to her baon (or lunch money).  The next time I went back to Divisoria, they were selling the loombands by the gram, much cheaper and so I continued to make them, some per requests from those who saw our post on facebook.

A gift to Jojo's cousin, who saw our post on facebook.
 I learned how to make letters and made this one for her.
Fast forward 2 months later, I still see the loombands in Divisoria, but hardly anyone is taking any notice.  I hardly see anyone wearing them either, when a few months ago almost everyone I saw was wearing a loomband or two or more.  So it was a fad that came, became very popular, and went just as fast.  It may come back who knows.  But now I have some finished products and loose loombands that weren’t used up.  Like any other fads, the interest seems to fade when its popularity does.  I don’t regret “riding on the bandwagon”, it’s the experience that counts. Plus I hope that we made our friends/family happy when we gifted them with these loombands.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Viva Sta Ursula!

 Today October 21 is the Feast Day of Sta Ursula, the patron Saint of the Parish Church in Binangonan, Rizal, my husband Jojo's hometown.  Since it fell on a weekday we weren't able to join the festivities, which includes a procession of Saints with different groups dancing in the streets and the young and old alike getting wet from spectators, with water being a symbol of blessings.

The last time we joined in the festivities was in 2012 and here are some of the pictures during that Feast of Sta Ursula two years ago...

Sta Ursula Church in the heart of Binangonan, Rizal is clad in the festive banderitas.
Picture taken after mass while awaiting for the procession to begin.

A smaller image of Sta Ursula is carried across the streets during the procession

At the end of the mass, people shout joyfully and wave their hands and
handkerchiefs while shouting "Viva Sta Ursula!"

Colorfully dressed women dance in the streets during the procession
Majorettes add life to the festivities

While the band plays, the image of Sta Ursula is carried by the crowd.
The boy riding on his father's shoulder gets ready to shoot water from his toy watergun.

Not to be outdone, Jojo brings his car pressure washer, the "machine gun of toy water guns".
Passersby who do not want to get wet wave to Jojo to allow them to pass

Monday, October 20, 2014

Christmas Bazaars 2014

In 2011, I posted a list of Christmas Bazaars that became helpful to many.  Here is the start of this year's Christmas Bazaar list mostly around Metro Manila.  I'm not personally connected with any of these events, but am making this available to both shoppers and concessionaires who plan on attending these events.  Please contact the event organizers for more information.  If you know of any Christmas bazaars and would like it listed here, please leave a comment below.



Oct 17-19
Dec 5-7
Dec 19-21
Cirque de Noel
Filinvest Tent, Commerce Ave corner Spectrum Midway, Alabang

Hours: 11am – 9pm
Contact: Ellen Vergara
(02)687-0654 loc 807 or
Oct 27 - Jan 2
Christmas Village Bazaar @ La Joya
Bacoor, Cavite
La Joya subdivision

Hours: 9am to 9pm
Contact: Charmaine Yasay 0932-869-9758 or
Nov 7-9
Travel and Christmas Bazaar at the Palms
Palms Country Club
1410 Laguna Heights Dr.
Filinvest Corporate City
Nov 8-9
The Great All-Out Sale
Metrotent, Ortigas Center 

Hours: 10am to 10pm
Nov 14-30
Nov 14-21
Nov 22-30
“Cirque du Noel” World Trade/Noel Bazaar Series 2014
World Trade Center
Sen. Gil Puyat Ave cor Roxas Blvd

Hours: 11am to 9pm
Contact:  Ellen Vergara
(02)687-0654 loc 807
Nov 16
International Bazaar 2014
Philippine International Convention Center (PICC)
CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd

Hours: 9am. to 7pm Venue: Contact: IBF
Nov 22-23
Christmas Carnival Bazaar
Cuenca Park
Ayala Alabang Village

Contact: Michelle Yu:
(02) 842-9225

Nov 27-30
St. James the Great Christmas Bazaar 2014
St. James the Great Church

Contact: Juliet
842-4279, 842-5140 or 807-1623
Nov 28-30
Circuit Makati Bazaar
Globe Circuit Events Ground
Circuit Makati

 Nov 28 6pm to 12mn
 Nov 29 10am to 12mn
 Nov 30 10am to 10pm

Contact: Valorie Marie
Nov 28 - 30
Dec 5 - 7
Dec 12 - 14
Dec 16 - 23
Feliz! Yuletime Bazaar
Las Pinas
Villar SIPAG Promenade
C5 Extension Road
Pulanglupa Uno

Contact: Maia Ruefa

Nov 29 - 30
Bright Lights Christmas Bazaar
Quezon City
UP Bahay ng Alumni
Univ. of the Philippines, Diliman

Hours: 10am to 7pm
Contact:Pauline Estevez
Dec 1 – Jan 4, 2015
Christmas Bazaar sa Quezon Memorial Circle
Quezon City
Quezon Memorial Circle

Hours: 7am to 11pm
Contact: Maritess Villacrusis
0930-480-0812 or
Dec 1 – 2

Sent By An Angel
Quezon City
St. Luke’s Medical Center
279 E. Rodriguez Sr. Blvd

Hours: 9am to 9pm
Dec 5 – 21

World Trade Center

Contact:Ms. Norma Timbol
Dec 5-7
Dec 19-21
Metrotent, Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center

Hours: 12noon to 10pm
Contact: Angel Romero
Dec 5-7
Governor’s Hills Subd.,
Biclatan, General Trias

Hours: 9am to 9pm
Contact: Elizabeth Aquino
Dec 5 – 7

Cinderella Pop-Up Store Bazaar
Cinderella, Lower ground of
Cinderella Glorietta 3, Ayala Center

Hours: 10am to 9pm
Contact: Seamora Corp
Dec 6 – 7

Frozen Christmas Bazaar
Quezon City
Beside Our Lady of Mt Carmel Parish
Covered Tennis Court
Road 8, Project 6

Hours: 10am to 9pm
Contact: Cherry Geronimo
Dec 7, 14, 21
The Grand CarouSELL
Quezon City
St Paul the Apostol Parish Church
#3 Sct. Rallos corner Timog Ave.,
Mo. Ignacia and Sct. Santiago St
Brgy Laging Handa

Hours: 9am to 8pm
Contact: Lil Banawa
0915-771-4495 or
Angela Catpang
Dec 13-31
Green Basket Presents: 2014 Christmas Tiangge in GMA, Cavite
Mendoza Open Field
Sitio Pasong Saguing
Brgy. Delus Alas

Dec 17-18
Sea of Glam & Gold Xmas Bazaar
Henry Sy Auditorium
St. Luke’s Medical Center,
Bonifacio Global City

Hours: 10am to 9pm
Contact: SeaStyle and Events

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Foodtrip - Brazo Resto

Friday is supposed to be the “Foodie Friday” blog day, but since I didn’t get a chance to blog yesterday, I’ll do that today with a review of this new restaurant Jojo and I tried a few days ago.  Maginhawa Street in Teacher’s Village, Quezon City is fast becoming the go-to place for foodies with its wide variety of mostly hole-in-the-wall restaurants.  We have been by this street several times, but unfortunately for us early birds many of the restaurants open in the afternoon.  I thought when we went by Maginhawa again at around 9am we would end up frustrated by all the “closed” signs.

Luckily we found a couple that were open.  Jojo was hesitant about entering this new restaurant since there were no customers to be found but I convinced him to try it plus I said, “it’s early so you can’t expect a crowd”.  There was another car that parked next to us that had the same idea.  So the two of us plus the other group of 4 entered Brazo Restaurant.  Nice clean interior.  It looked like a house converted into a restaurant with two parts, one the air-conditioned area that we entered and another outdoor area with an open bar.

We looked at the menu, not sure what to order and aware that the prices were more expensive than our usual fast food fares.  But there’s always a first time and since I was already hungry having just a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, I ordered their Brazo Burger, which had a description of “100% beef patty with cheddar and bacon on potato buns and potato fries”.  Jojo chose the Cabanatuan Longganisa, which came with a serving of sunny side egg & garlic rice.  Water sufficed for us, since I’m not a coffee drinker and Jojo already had his share of coffee for the morning.

The food did take its time to come out, more than 15 minutes I believe.  But it was early and we were the first customers so we’ll excuse them for that.  When my burger came out I was impressed by how big the patty was.  It’s been awhile since I’ve had a real burger and this one really satisfied.  I cut it in half and used my fork and knife since it was too big.  The patty was really yummy and such the perfect combo with the bacon, cheese, lettuce and tomato.  Jojo was also enjoying his choice, commenting that the Cabanatuan longganisa is similar to the Vigan longganisa but with the garlic flavor not overpowering.  I had a couple of bites of his longganisa, but went back to my burger, where I left the other half for him to try.  The tastes were contrasting and I wanted to enjoy the more western meat, the American burger patty.  We found it hard to finish our meals, but we did and we relished every last bite.  The potato fries that came with the burger was ordinary and I do prefer my fries thinly sliced.  

The Brazo Burger was P196 and the Cabanatuan Longganisa was P140.  Overall “pop” for this new resto with one complaint: the overhead music that just played 1 song during our whole stay - a remix of "With or Without You".  No complaint about the song itself but hearing it what?  over 30 times during our less than hour stay was too much.  We plan on inviting our friends to try it too and hopefully they will be playing a different tune.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pictures from La Naval Procession

Here are some of the shots that I took during the Our Lady of La Naval Procession last Sunday.  The viewer is welcome to download the pictures when needed, but I would appreciate a link back to my blog if used on another website.

St Dominic.  I like that the shot was taken with the tree in the background.
And that his face was clear as can be seen when downloading the original size.
St. Thomas Khong
The cloudy skies in the background added drama to this shot.
Glad we got to position ourselves in front of a house that had a clear background,
with no power lines or any other obstructions.
St. Joseph
It was totally dark when St Joseph, husband of Mother Mary past us.
The artificial lights around the statue helped to illuminate his features especially his face

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, La Naval
I should have changed the camera's settings at this point to lesson the glow on her face.
But as such her face was too white and could not see the details
More close up view of the above picture
I do need more practice at taking pictures especially during low-light situations, either indoors or in the evenings.  I have read several articles on this which I have tried to follow, increasing the ISO, but only up to 200, going up to 400 does increase the noise and the picture becomes grainy.  Decreasing the shutter speed and increasing the F number, but taking the shots with a steady hand also increased the lighting effect.  I didn't use the flash in any of my shots, conscious that it would disturb the procession goers.

I took the pictures first using the Raw + Jpeg format so I could do post processing on the camera. This does take more time and I have to decrease the size of the file before uploading to facebook. The late afternoon was cloudy, with the heavy rains subsiding thankfully for the procession and all those who took part.  This decreased the light, but I was fortunate to be situated in a position where the backdrop had some light, which added drama to the shots.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Christmas Gift Ideas - Home-made Treats

Last year I joined in the bazaar held by our parish church of National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes (NSOLL).  I sold my best-selling oatmeal cookies and truffles.  To be honest I only made even with the two Sundays that I joined but it was a good experience and I got to talk and meet to some interesting people, vendors and buyers alike.  And I’m glad that more people got to taste my products.

If you’re thinking of a gift idea for Christmas, boxed goodies filled with cake, cupcakes, brownies, cookies, chocolates or any home-made baked products  are always a good choice.  If you know the home baker personally you can always request for a customized product.  For example, some of my friends have requested oatmeal cookies with or without raisins.  For those you may know who have special dietary needs, requests for sugar-free products are always an option.  I’m always open to suggestions from my customers and am willing to give in to their request as long as it meets a minimum order.

Another example is when my husband’s niece gave away my chocolate truffles to her officemates as a Christmas gift last year.  Since there were about 12 of them, she requested that I put them in smaller boxes with 4 truffles each (instead of the usual box or 10 or 12 that I usually make) to accommodate her budget.

Some things to remember though when giving and receiving home-made baked products:
  1. Order your products early enough to avoid the Christmas rush.  Tell your supplier when you need the product so they’ll know to bake it a day beforehand or on the day itself. Freshly baked products are always best.
  2. Most home-made products do not use preservatives and has an expiration of 5 days from the day it was baked.  So it’s best to pick up your products and deliver it to the person you’re giving it to as a gift as early within this 5 day frame as possible.
  3. Tell the person you are giving the baked gift to that it’s perishable food that is inside the box and must be eaten before a certain date.  Some boxes or packages are not that obvious.  It would be such a waste for the recipient to open the gift a week after you’ve given it and find the spoiled goods.