Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Aftermath of Ondoy: The Less Devastating Version

We have been busy for the past few days cleaning up the mess Typhoon Ondoy left. Wet books, toys, clothes, furnitures, etc. But I cannot say it is difficult. I cannot complain. I just have to watch the news to see how blessed we still are.
Wet stuffed toys and shoes
Sorry, dolls!
But that's the only way to dry your strands of hair-for now!:)
Dolls' clothes and more children's shoes!
A big basin of toys washed with detergent and disinfectant.

I am still blessed that most of my kids' toys were kept in the upper cabinets and those that got wet will only have to be washed and dried. Other kids lost all of their toys!

It will take a few more days to finish all my cleaning tasks. But as I've said, I cannot complain. This is better than cleaning mud-soaked things! How I admire my fellow victims (the more devastating version) because they still go on with their lives, pick up the pieces again or try to start anew. It breaks my heart to see their plight but it also inspires me to be more thankful and appreciative. God bless them! :)

I Don't Know How To Wear A Pashmina!

When Ria sent popsicle molds for my kids, I didn't know that she sent something for me, too. When I opened the package, I was surprised when I saw a pashmina for me!

I haven't used one before. I thought then that I would only buy pashminas for its function more than for fashion. I only associated wearing pashminas to cool weather. Was I wrong!

Now that I have my own pashmina, I noticed more and more people are wearing them. But because I don’t know how to wear one, I searched the net and found this:
photo source

My research also led me to know pashmina’s versatility. It is an accessory which we can use as protection for cool climate, as belt, soft pillow or blanket when we travel, as sarongs or cover-ups on the beach or just as a plain scarf.

Thanks again, Ria for this lovely gift. I would surely use this now that cold weather has begun. :)

Insulated Lunch Tote or What?

Gabby and Sunday doesn’t have classes the whole week because the Department of Education suspended the classes on all levels. The classrooms in National Capital Region and nearby provinces were being used as evacuation centers for people who were left homeless by Typhoon Ondoy.

But instead of being jubilant, my kids said they want to go to school already. They miss their classmates and the idea of being in school. I felt happy hearing that. Some kids would choose to stay home so they can play more but my kids know which is better.

With kids like that, I can’t help but think of ways to reward their love for studying. I am thinking of buying them something they love. Toys, maybe? What about toddler backpack? Nah, they’re too old for that. Nap mats which they can use on their nap times in school? Maybe. Or insulated lunch tote to keep their lunch warm and fresh? Or maybe I should just bring them to the mall with me so I can be sure that they really like what I will buy them. Being understanding kids, I know they won’t buy things Mommy cannot afford!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Ondoy Aftermath

I went somewhere in Pasig last September 26. On my way home while inside a bus, the storm was raging but I braved the gusty wind and rain upon reaching my destination because I didn't want to back out of my appointment. At about 12pm, I was glad that I was through with my agenda for that day.

I didn't know that while I was inside that office for two hours, typhoon Ondoy was unleashing its fury. I was so shocked! All I saw on my way home was water, water and more water!
Water was everywhere EDSA-Pasay
Water was below the knee-deep in EDSA-Taft Extension in Pasay City
A view from LRT-Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue (Buendia)

I took those pics so I can remember all the streets I had to brave just to get home! Never mind the dirt and germs, I was more concerned and afraid of tripping or falling in open manholes! It was just an experience I won't forget. :(

But I was in for a bigger surprise when I came home! MORE WATER IN OUR HOUSE! The kids were at their Lola's house, Fred did all the moving up of the appliances all by himself! And our house was in knee-deep water!
Just add three more steps down that cemented stairway
of our neighbor. That's how high the floodwater
was in front of our house--thigh deep!
There used to be sofas and side table here.
They got all wet and will be unavailable for sitting for a while. :(

But I still thank God my kids are okay, Fred was there to save some appliances and I was able to get home safe and sound.

Seeing the others who were left homeless, with relatives missing or have died, I must say God still took care of us--as He always does! :)

Have a happy week ahead! :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Weekend for Future Bookworms

After going to church last Sunday, we went to SMX in Pasay City to attend the 30th Manila International Book Fair. I decided that letting them go to fairs like this and that of Doulos is one way of supporting their love for books.
Filipinos love to read and it shows here.
Booth selling children's books
A schoolbus for a booth, nice idea!
Inside, there are computers where kids can browse and play.
Shelves and shelves of books abound
Boy: I wonder why there aren't no games here?!
Kids, including Gabby and Sunday enjoyed this laser harp!
Sunday being "electrocuted" at the Diwa Publishing booth
I love listening to the participants
in this storytelling contest. They were all good!
Gabby and Sunday found a book they really like
and it costs P3000! Too pricey!
Books, books, books!

I want to develop my kids' love for reading. I believe in its power.
As what Dr. Seuss said,
“The more you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”

So be it. :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Blogger Friend and Popsicles!

One of the pleasures of blogging is finding online friends who take the time to ask how we are and touch our lives by being there through chats or comments.

And one of the friends I found here is Ria. The host of It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want To. I found her blog through hops and since I like her posts, I tried to visit and post comments whenever I have the time. She returned the favor by dropping by my site too.

Sometime this year, I posted about my kids’ love for ice candies. I was so touched when Ria told me that she will look for popsicle molds in her place and send them to me through courier or someone who will come home to the Philippines.

I received her gifts to my kids this month and the kids were so happy. They immediately asked me to make popsicles and even thought of having a popsicle party for their cousins!
My kids like these because they can sip the melted juice/smoothie

Thanks, Ria for the gifts. I also like the pashmina which I will have a separate post about. Thanks for the thoughtfulness and for taking time to look for them and ask your hubby to bring them here! It was a very thoughtful thing to do and I will forever appreciate it! :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

What to Look for in Web Hosting Support

Last week, I met with a client who asked me to design her website two months ago. Actually, I was her second choice. The first web design provider didn’t meet her expectations so she asked for my opinion on the look of her site.

Since I wasn’t that adept in programming but the client liked my design style, we agreed on me doing the pages and another provider would do the programming. Programming involved mail and inquiry management, site visit monitoring among others.

After doing the project and turning it over to the other provider, I asked the client how much they paid for that provider. And I was shocked by her answer. The provider’s rate was too high! The provider told my client that half of his given rate would go to website hosting.

I doubted that. I really believe my client should consider looking for other providers who doesn’t charge that high. She should also know what to look for in web hosting support. Good service? 24/7 technical support? Corrupt-free drives? She should research first before taking the services of providers she just saw in directory ads.

Anyway, the client told me that I will do some updates on her website pages. I will know the details next week and for sure, I will be busy again, as I always am!

Remembering 9-11

I was four months pregnant with Gabby when 9-11 happened. It shocked me and didn’t imagine that anything like that can happen in my lifetime. But it did.

Eight years after, watching documentaries still stirs mixed emotions in me. I still cry with those who lost their loved ones and whenever I see that part of the video where people plunge to their death. I still admire the heroism of those firemen who braved hurdles just to save other people’s lives and eventually died on duty. And I still pray for those who thought of that terrorist attack. I wanted to hate them for plotting and executing such acts but then again, I’d rather hate the sin, not the sinner.
This magazine now sells for $7.50 in ebay. Thrice its price in 2001!

And to commemorate that fateful day, we bought the Time Magazine issue that featured 9-11 images and stories. We will keep that until we’re old and gray, if God permits. It somehow lets us remember that life is temporary and we must thank God for each day that we’re alive.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Landscaping Tips

When I won a room make-over two years ago, I also felt blessed to have known some interesting tips on landscaping. The landscape architects renovated our lanai and they shared some ways to make a semi-indoor lanai more ventilated.

Since we have a tropical climate, just like Arizona, where being under the sun for several minutes would leave your skin scorched and tanned, I believe applying those tips would make our stay in our gardens more enjoyable. Putting plants that require less sunlight and water fountains are just some of their suggestions.

The landscape architects were just so good that I could have jokingly suggested them landscaping for Arizona! With the raves my lanai got, I wouldn’t be surprised when they go places!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Best Of Time: Where Time Lasts Forever

Yesterday, we went to the mall after church to while away the time.

My husband said he used to frequent this mall when he was still single and would spend hours checking the latest on watches and shoes. So that prompted me to ask him, “Hmm, if you were rich, you would have designer shoes, clothes and watches, right?” And without hesitation, he said yes. He said any working man should own designer stuff sometime in his life not because of the status symbol it gives but also because of its high quality. One brand of watch he would love to own is Rolex. Its models are classic and the features are to die-for!

I told him he can browse through It offers a selection of Rolex watches for men and women and he can also find like-new and pre-owned models. The watches are 100% genuine and have a three year warranty.

But on second thought, my husband said he plans to own one someday. Someday for him meant when he has proven himself, when he has acquired properties or put up a business or have traveled to several countries already. For the meantime, the dream of owning a Rolex watch would have to wait. He would have to be contented with another designer watch I gave him last year or else… :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Online Car Search

Our house is Skype hub every Saturday.

My sisters-in-law come by to talk to their eldest who is now based in United Kingdom. She got married to his long-time British boyfriend last year. She will give birth to their son there. She told us that she chose to give birth there so they won’t encounter problems in their son’s citizenship. Also, the UK government offers many benefits to their citizens, especially children.

Because they already have a house, their only concern is owning a car. They just settled there this year and they are opting to buy used cars. I believe it is okay to own one so they can travel with ease and convenience, especially now that they will have a baby. I just hope that they will be able to visit back Philippines so we can see our cute-for-sure nephew!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ushering the Ber Months!

Before welcoming the Ber months, let me just share with you my kids' pics. They joined their school's celebration of Buwan ng Wika this August.
I am so happy that I let them study in one school.
Less stress and better time management for me,
especially on program and school activity days.
Gabby dancing Itik Itik, a Philippine folk dance, with his classmates.
Sunday, waiting for the cue to start.
My two performers had fun donning their Filipiniana costumes. :)

As for the -Ber Months, welcome! May you bring us colder weather, happier moods and songs and more thoughtful moments! :)