Friday, September 29, 2006

Effects of Milenyo's Fury

The power is back! We had no electricity for a day and a half because of the storm. That's why I can't help but rejoice when the electrical company resumed the power. I crossed my fingers and hope that the DSL was working. I'm so happy when I got my wish. :)

We experienced heavy floods in our village. A small amount of water got inside the house but we were able to elevate some important things to protect it from getting wet. We're still very lucky compared to other people who got injured or who lost a loved one during the storm.

I took some pictures during the height of the storm and after.

Our village was ravaged by flash flood. We were caught off guard by the rampaging water. The flood was so strong that it tore down the village perimeter wall infront of us. It was very scary to see the gushing muddy water outside our home.

Our Village Wall Collapsed Because of Flash Flood

Prior to the collapse, my husband and a maintenance crew were creating some holes on that wall to ease the flood. Little did they know that it was ready to cave in. When they realized that the water was getting too high, they decided to abandon efforts of creating holes on the wall and retreated to our house. Minutes later, the wall collapsed. My heart pounded when I realized that they could have been injured if they remained there. They would have been swept by the water down the creek. Who knows what could have happened if their decision to leave came minutes too late. I kissed Jules at that moment and I thanked God for saving my husband and the other men from harm.

Scary Sight from the Window

Bended Trees

Uprooted Trees

As we surveyed our village, we saw many scattered debris like fallen trees, pieces of wood and steel from houses. The billboard at the village entrance was shred to pieces. There was even one house that lost its gate. That gate was washed away by the flood and winded up several streets away.

The storm has passed but it left many scarred for life. Super typhoon Milenyo has left countless people homeless and worse, some had lost their lives during the onslaught of harsh winds, strong rain, flash floods and landslides.

I'm thankful to God for protecting my family from danger. Many are still reported missing until now. I pray that they will be found alive and safe. I hope that God will spare us from another destructive storm.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Super Typhoon Milenyo

Classes have been suspended in all levels today because of Super Typhoon Milenyo.

I had to close all the windows in the house prior to this to prevent the rain from getting inside. There is a hard downpour of rain as of this moment. I guess it will get stronger by the hour.

I just hope and pray that no one will get hurt during the super typhoon.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The "Mature" Survey from Toni

I got this set of interesting questions from Toni. My turn to answer them.

1. What bill do you hate paying the most?
I hate paying my credit card bills. I have two of them and I realized that two is more than enough. I should get rid of the other one to lessen the burden. Oh, how easy it is to max out my cards but as they say, regret always comes way too late. ha! ha!

2. What is the best place to eat a romantic dinner?
Same as Toni, I think it would be romantic to have dinner by the beach, gazing at the sunset.

3. Last time you puked from drinking?
Back in college I supposed.

4. When is the last time you got drunk and danced on a bar?

5. Name of your 1st grade teacher?
Miss de la Fuente

6. What do you really want to be doing right now?
Eat a slice of Becky's blueberry cheesecake while reading my mail.

7. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I wanted to be a pilot but since I had fear of heights, it was best that I chose another field. :)

8.How many colleges did you attend before you settled on the one?
Only one (DLSU) and I think I made a good choice.

9. Why did you wear the shirt that you have on right now?
It's comfortable to wear and light on the skin.

10. Gas Prices! First thought?
Price hike, not again!

11. If you could move anywhere and take someone with you, where would you go and with whom?
New York with my family because my Dad, Mom and brother are already living there.

12. First thought when the alarm went off this morning?
Don't have an alarm clock. It's usually my son who wakes me up in the morning and it's always pleasant waking up to his kisses.

13. Last thought before falling asleep last night?
I hope there will be no more power interruption tomorrow.

14. Favorite style of underwear?
cotton undies

15. Favorite style of underwear for the opposite sex?

16. What Errand/Chore do you despise?
dusting and washing the dishes

17. If you didnt have to work, what would you do?
Not applicable since I'm not working as of the moment. I'm busy taking care of my son.

18. Get up early or sleep in?
sleep in ofcourse

19. Your favorite cartoon character?
Hello Kitty

20. Favorite non-sexual thing to do at night with the opposite sex is?

21. A secret that you wouldnt mind everyone knowing?
I have a short temper.

23. Your best yo momma joke?
Dont know any.

24. Beach or Lake?
I prefer the beach.

25. Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual that was invented by people who died at 20?
What a question. No, I don't believe that.

26. Who do you stalk on FRIENDSTER?

27. Favorite guilty pleasure?
Blueberry Cheesecake from Becky's Kitchen.

28. Movie you wouldnt want anyone to find out you like?
Day of the Living Dead

29. What is your drink?
I love Frozen Margarita

30. Cowboys or Indians?
I like both.

31. Cops or Robbers?
Cops ... the honest ones.

32. Stiffler or Oz?

33. Norm or Cliff?
I'm not sure who the guys are in question.

34. Worst relationship mistake that you wish you could take back?
Loving a guy who didn't return the feeling.

35. Do you have a teddy bear?
Yes, I have an extra large teddy bear given by my good friend, Tech.

Toni's The Fridge Door Project

This is for Toni's The Fridge Door Project.

I decided to take a snapshot of our refrigerator door in line with Toni's interesting project.

As you see, I only have a few magnets on my fridge. I had more of them before but my son has removed them and somehow got lost in the heap of his toys. But I don't really mind. :)

My favorite ref adornment is the photo of my son taken when he was a few months old. I got the photo holder magnet as a free item a few years ago.

I also love the bear magnet from Starbucks. I asked my husband to buy me the halloween magnet from Starbucks next time we drop by for a frappucino so I could add it to my collection. :)

A Beautiful Morning to You

"Man's happiness in life is the result of man's own effort ... "

I believe that happiness is a matter of attitude. Happiness is the outcome of one's own thoughts and self-discipline. Being happy can depend on how you perceive life. If you gather enough positive thoughts, then chances are you will attract positive energy.

When you wake up in the morning, try thinking of the good things that will come your way. Set aside your problems and worries for a while and aim at fulfilling a positive start. I know that problems cannot simply be dismissed nor does it easily go away. But when it's the first thing that you ponder when you greet the morning, then you will just be burdened with a heavy heart. Try to face each morning with a light heart and see what happens. A smile can radiate positive energy. It wouldn't hurt to try.

So the next time you wake up, think of happy thoughts and put a smile on your face.

Have a wonderful morning.

Yohan's Tito Keats

Keats is one of Yohan's favorite uncles. Yohan adores him because of his generosity and child-like approach. They enjoy playing with each other.

Keats has a soft heart for Yohan. He is very generous to my son. In fact he always has a surprise present for him even though there is no special occasion. He gave Yohan his first Power Ranger action figure when he found out that Yohan loves watching it on TV.

Keats' Gundam models are for display only. Each model is meticulously put together so each figure is handled with care. They are displayed to be admired and not to be played with. But it seems Yohan knows how to weave his magic around his Tito Keats. I was surprised when Keats allowed Yohan to play with his precious Gundam collection.

Yohan wanted to take the models home but I explained that it was not his, but only borrowed. He reluctantly agreed to return the models to Keats.

I told Yohan that I could help him write a letter to Santa asking for a Gundam toy for Christmas. I also told him to be a good boy so that Santa will grant his request. He seemed very excited about the idea.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Happy Birthday Mama Norma and Papu

Today is the birthday of my mother-in-law and her twin sister. Yohan calls them Mama Norma and Papu respectively. Wishing you both the best of health and more great years to come. Thank you for the love and kindess you give to our family especially to Yohan. We always feel welcome when we go to your homes. We will always appreciate the extra care and attention you give us everytime we visit. It's wonderful to be part of such a close knit family. God bless.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Good Karma

My Mom called this morning to share the good news. She won $1,000 - the grand prize in a church organization raffle.

My Mom has always been lucky in raffles and contests. I remember she won a colored TV in a raffle draw of a supermarket. She also won a video camera on a previous raffle of the same church.

She said that Yohan is her new lucky charm because she wrote Yohan's name on the winning ticket.

I think that my mom is lucky because of her kind heart. Perhaps, God is just returning her kindness because she always shared her blessings in the past with the people around her. Her generosity and selflessness attracts good karma.

It's Power Ranger This Year

I was thinking of a Lion Halloween costume this year as suggested by Kat but I realized my son had another idea in mind. It seems my boy already knows what he wants.

I asked him what costume he wants this year and he said Power Rangers. He wanted to be a Red Power Ranger but we only found a blue one. Good thing, Yohan didn't seem to mind at all as long as it was a Power Ranger outfit.

We enjoyed the Halloween dry run as much as he did. :)

So, the theme for this year is Anime!

Monday Pasalubong

Jules brought home some freshly baked empanadas (stuffed pastry)from Alaminos. I enjoyed eating the empanadas because they were plump with tasty, rich filling (chicken, potatoes, carrots and some raisins).

Some empanadas sold in the market are so thin that you could hardly taste what's inside.

He also brought home a box of the most delicious yema I've ever tasted.

Pasalubong from Jules ... what a sweet way to start the week.

Yema is also called Egg Balls. It's fairly easy to make.

Here's a basic recipe of Yema that you might be interested to try.

Yema.....Egg Balls
4 cups milk
3/4 cup sugar
10 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioner's sugar

In a saucepan, simmer milk over low heat until it is reduced to I cup. Stir in sugar
until well blended. Turn off heat and let cool. Mix 3 tablespoons of the simmered
milk with the egg yolks and then add this mixture gradually to the milk in the pan.
Stir in vanilla extract and continue stirring over low heat until mixture thickens.
Remove from heat and let cool. Shape into balls (triangles or other desired shape), using one tablespoon of the mixture to make one ball. Roll finished balls in confectioner's sugar.

Serves 6- 8.


Monday Madness

It's a rainy Monday today but I didn't let the gloomy weather dampen my spirits. I just thought of nice things that come on a Monday, like Monday Madness :) to brighten my day and it worked! Well, here are my answers.

1. From jstar: Holiday in Europe or Asia? I would love a trip to Europe. It has always been my dream to go to Paris. My Dad has been to London recently and he said it's a really wonderful place. I'd love to go there too. Venice is also one of my dream vacations. My Aunt gave us a beautiful mask from Venice and told us how beautiful the place is.

I equally like to visit the many beautiful places of Asia. Even though, I'm already from Asia, there are so many lovely places that I haven't been to. I have yet to discover and enjoy my neighboring countries.

2. From sherle: How do you try to change a behavior pattern you don't like about yourself... whether it's chewing fingernails, overeating, smoking, or picking your nose? Sometimes, it's tough to change a behavior that you've gotten used to for a long time. But if that behavior seems to be negatively affecting myself and the people around me, then I just consciously stop myself from doing that behavior for the sake of the majority. For example, I used to smoke occasionally. I realized that smoking was bad for my health and equally bad for the people inhaling the smoke around me. It was just a conscious effort to stop on my part. Smoking is just one example but I don't judge people who smoke. It's still a free world after all.

3. From tricia: Have you ever successfully completed a Sudoku puzzle I had to google the word Sudoku before I could answer this question. :) I must say, I haven't tried it yet but it seems challenging and seems worth a try.

4. From caylynn: What website do you visit the most often? I regularly visit Rice Bowls Journal and Metroblogging Manila.

5. From michael morgan: What was your favorite thing about high school or college? I love the school dances, the soirees and the parties. But what I really missed most about school days are my friends. I haven't seen some of them for a long time now because many have migrated to other countries. It's fun reminiscing about high school and college days. Reliving those moments make me feel young again.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Happy Birthday Dad!

Happy Birthday Dad! How I wish I could be there on your birthday. I truly miss you very much.

I'm so thankful for having you as a father. You've always been my inspiration. I admire you for being so hard working, selfless, understanding, loyal, sweet, thoughtful and kind. I know that you will always have a soft heart for me. There was never a time that you said no to my whims. I love the way you spoil me. ha! ha!

I'm lucky to have gotten some of your artistic and creative side. I think you're a great artist. It amazes me how you could transform surplus materials to wonderful works of art.

I love you Dad. I wish you the best of health. God bless.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Thundersaurus Megazord

Yohan is a big fan of Power Rangers. Today he wore the Power Rangers shirt given to him by his Lolo Jing. He was excited to show his new shirt to his teacher and classmates. After class, he had an unexpected present. To his utmost delight, his Lola Dol gave him a Thundersaurus Megazord. He was so delighted when he opened his present. He ran to his Lola Dol in a flash to give her a big hug of appreciation.

I admit I don't know all the characters of Power Rangers but I'm exerting effort to get to know them. :)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A Halloween Guess

September is coming to an end. The approaching month of October reminds me of one thing ... Halloween! It's really a fun time of the year. I fondly remember Yohan's past costumes. I dressed him as a cute kitten on his very first Halloween. It's always fun dressing Yohan for Halloween. He has masqueraded as Batman, a cow and a bee. I must admit, I always help him eat the candies after Trick or Treat. :)

I wonder what his costume will be this year? We haven't decided yet. I guess everyone will just have to wait and see.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Splendor After the Rain

Tagaytay is one of our favorite places because of it's beautiful scenery and refreshing cool breeze.

It's a captivating place even after a rainshower. In fact, it transforms to a nostalgic place after a downpour. The smell of the rain in the air makes you want to seek warmth in the arms of a special person.

Yohan enjoyed snuggling between me and Jules. We loved the smell and look of Tagaytay after the rain. A rainbow would have made it perfect.

It was a lovely afternoon well spent.

Monday Madness

1. How do you eat an oreo cookie? (from tricia) I eat it like a typical cookie ... but always with gusto. Since I'm on a diet, having an oreo cookie is already a treat so I savor each bite.

2. How long does it take you to eat lunch? It really depends. I could eat as fast as 10 minutes if I'm in a hurry or as long as 1 hour when there's good conversation between family and friends 'coz after each mouthful, follows more friendly chatting.

3. Caffeine or decaf? I usually prefer decaf although I'm not really a big fan of coffee. If I drink coffee, it's usually the cold variety.

4. Chicken or beef? I prefer chicken ... particulary my favorite chicken ala king. :)

5. Pen or pencil? I like permanent ink so I prefer pen.

6. Autumn or spring? I love the idea of spring because everything seems to be at its best ... best blooms and vibrant display of colors.

7. Baseball or basketball? Basketball because in the Philippines it is considered one of the favorite sports.

8. 'Survivor' or 'The Amazing Race?' I enjoy watching Amazing Race. It's exciting to watch how people deal with competition and real life obstacles.

9. Come up with one question I can ask our Monday Madness participants in the weeks to come. What song can you relate to your personal life? Share a line or two of that song.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday Mom!

Thank you for your overwhelming kindess, thoughtfulness, unwavering understanding, constant sweetness, remarkable patience, and endearing concern for me and family.

I will always be grateful for having you by my side at all times. You've always been there for me. You made me feel brave knowing I can rely on you for help. I've lost count on how many times you've fought my battles for me.

You know me deep inside. I don't need to tell you how I feel. We have a special connection that I'm proud of. You've always made me feel special because of the love you've given me all these years. You always have kind words for me even though I make mistakes. You seem to know when I need you most. I feel safe knowing I can turn to you anytime.

You're a great mother and dearest friend.

I miss you...

I love you very much!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Regret Always Comes After

Oh my, I just finished eating 2 mini packs of Tomi corn chips and 5 pcs. of mini Twix bars. I vowed to start my diet yesterday and it seems I already failed on the second day. Tsk! Tsk! Shame on me! I should work on having stronger self control. Maybe I should ask Jules to hide the chocolates (Tito Jing gave us a large bag of bite size chocolates today). ha! ha!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Monday Madness

I've always been curious about what a meme is really about. What better way to find out than to try it first hand? I've joined Monday Madness, my first meme. Here are my answers to my first monday...

1. How long have you been blogging?
I put up my blog a year ago but I rarely updated it. It's only these past few months that I became really interested in blogging. So technically, I've been blogging only recently.

2. How many times have you taken a break from blogging? I take a short break from blogging when I'm away from home where there is no internet access.

3. How long is the longest you've gone, so far, without posting on your blog? Several months but now I think I'll have more time and inspiration to update my blog.

4. How many fellow bloggers do you keep in touch with, through your blogs, on a regular basis? I would say just one regular for now but I would really love to get in touch with more bloggers in the future. I love getting comments on my blog. It makes me smile thinking there's someone taking time to read my posts.

5. Have you ever met, in person, a blogger on your blogroll? No one as of now. But that's a lovely thought.

6. How often do you update/change the 'extra' stuff on your blog? Quite often. I always get excited when I discover new trinkets for my blog. :)

7. Do you think you'll be blogging for years to come? Yes I think so. It's a great way to keep track of my thoughts and feelings. It will be like a treasure box which I could open whenever I feel like reminiscing.

Michael Schumacher's Retirement

Many have been saddened by Michael Schumacher's retirement announcement on F1 ... and that includes my husband Jules.

Jules was downstairs watching F1 on TV until dawn. I was still on the computer when he went upstairs to break the news of Michael's retirement.

It's confirmed, the seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher, who drives for Ferrari will retire from Formula One at the end of the season.

Michael S. was quoted saying, "This has been an exceptional time for me. Motorsport has given me some amazing moments. I have loved every single moment, the good and bad ones. Those make life so special. To finish in style has been fantastic."

I personally admire him not only for his prowess on the racing circuit, but for his extreme generosity. I remember hearing the news of his overwhelming donation to the tsunami victims in Asia. He donated $10 Million dollars to the tsunami victims. He lost his bodyguard and friend Burkhard Cramer who was killed in Phuket because of the tsunami.

I believe that Michael S. will become a renowned legend in driving.

Garden of Life

"Learn to labor and wait." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

It's amazing how tiny seeds transform into a garden of life in a matter of months. Jules and Mark endeavored in planting tomatoes during the rainy season. Months of hard work is worth it after seeing the product of their labor.

Shown on the photos is the initial tomato harvest. An every other day routine harvest has been established after the first one.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Joy Ride

The boys having a joy ride.

Behind the scenes: Yohan cried at first because he thought they were leaving me behind. We couldn't convince him that they will just drive around and will be back for me in a little while. To appease him I agreed to ride with them. He even wanted Yaya to ride with us too. We just told him Yaya will ride in the basket. He didn't look back and assumed she was indeed there. ha! ha!

The three of us drove around Mama Norma's broad backyard. Imagine, the three of us riding in that small scooter. It was fun but after a while, the scooter conked out. It just wouldn't start. O-oh! It wasn't even ours! We broke Keats' scooter. Shame. Shame.

Jules brought it to the shop to have it checked. Nothing serious. It just "ingested" some sand but it sill cost P250 to have it cleaned. Life!

Thank you Tita Prency

Thank you Tita Prency for sending some love to Yohan. Your kindness will always be written in our hearts.

Ice-cream Boo Boo

Had a little misunderstanding over ice-cream. Yup, over something so insignificant as ice-cream. Half-way thru lunch, I decided to bring out the Ube ice-cream for Yohan. Jules objected to the idea, saying I should bring it out after Yohan has finished his lunch. I was about to do that but it was too late 'coz the little boy saw me holding it already.

Fine! I should have waited 'til after lunch. But it didn't ruin his appetite. He was happily eating his lunch with side scoops of ice-cream. What was the big deal?!

I thought it was settled but the lil' boy's Dad kept blabbering about table dos and donts. Fine, I made a mistake but why can't he let it go? I couldn't take it anymore! The child in me took over. I made the abrupt move to put away the ice-cream, finished or not finished. Realized how stupid I was when Yohan started crying. I immediately said sorry to Yohan and assured him that everything was okay and he can resume eating his ice-cream. He was back to his normal self in a second.

Shame on us!

I was quite ashamed for acting so childish but so should his Dad! Arggh!
In order not to let it balloon to a real argument, I just went upstairs in a fit.

Petty isn't it?

Oh well, we can just kiss and make-up later ... and perhaps share some ice-cream. For now, I'd rather make a post and do some blog reading. It always calms me down. :)

Chanda and Jackie

From time to time, I will feature a loved one on my blog in random. It will be my way of expressing how much they mean to me and how grateful I am for having them in my life.

Let me start with my two close friends, Chanda and Jackie.

Chanda(in yellow)

I met Chanda when I was working at Epson. She was my very first friend at the office. We hit it off immediately because we realized that we had many things in common. She was always there to make me feel better at work. I often complained to her about how I felt at the office and she never got tired of listening. Chanda is a great listener. I felt terribly sad when I found out that she had a tentative stay at the office because of her contract. But our friendship did not end when she left EPC. We vowed to continue being friends. We have kept that vow until today.

Best qualities: dependable, sweet, independent, not afraid to take risks, friendly, easy to get along with, compassionate, willing to sacrifice for the sake of her family, trustworthy, romantic

Jackie (in pink)

I also met Jackie at Epson. Chanda introduced her to me. Chanda somehow made sure that I had a new friend before she left. It was very easy to like Jackie because of her carefree spirit and endearing attitude. In fact, everybody at the office seemed to like her. She was the bubbly girl at the office that people wanted around. I admit feeling jealous at some point because she had so many friends at the office. I was quite jealous and worried that she might not have time for me. But I was wrong. She always made sure that I wasn't left out of the picture. It was because of her that I made new friends at the office. Her trials in life made me see how brave and strong she really is inside. I really look up to her.

Best qualities: sweet, dependable, affectionate, strong, sincere, friendly, good confidant, great mom, funny, outgoing, trustworthy, life of the party

These are just a few qualities I see in them. I believe that it's just the tip of the iceberg. There are still many things we don't know about each other. That's the fun part. We can look forward to sharing more wonderful time getting to know one other.

This photo is one of my favorite pictures of the three of us. It was taken last February 14, 2006 at Boracay. We spent three fun days at the beach. We had a grand time!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Hopelessly Addicted to YOu

What kind of power do you possess over me?
I don't know why I'm so obsessed over you.
I can't seem to resist you.
I feel so ashamed because I can't help myself.

I tried countless times to drop you from my life.
I can't even remember how many times I tried.
But I always end up failing.
I admit you're too powerful for me.

What will it take to make me leave you?
Oh, I'm so desperate for an answer.
I've sought the help of others.
But no one has succeeded in helping me.

I know you're bad for me.
But why do I still want you everyday?
I should listen to what my mind tells me.
I confess, I'm too stubborn to relent.

Am I smitten with you for life?
Perhaps, there's still a chance for me.
I don't want you anymore.
Coke please leave me in peace.

Monster House

Watched Monster House after Yohan's class yesterday.

It's about three children who realize that a neighbor's house is really a monster. No adult would believe them so together they must find a way to stop the house from eating people and save the neighborhood.

It's not your typical feel-good animated movie. It has a somewhat dark theme highlighted by a series of eerie events.

Yohan got spooked by some of the scenes but he generally enjoyed the movie.

I think it's a potential movie that could be enjoyed by the whole family as long as parents guide their children especially the young ones.

Friday, September 08, 2006


I bought Yohan a bowling set earlier today.

I've always wanted to get him one since I found out that he enjoys the bowling game at Time Zone.

I never thought I would regret buying Yohan a bowling set.

As soon as he opened his gift, he assigned me as the official bowling pins setter. I didn't mind at first but I got tired after 20 rounds of non-stop bowling. ha! ha!

Shopwise Stuff and Save Bag

I went shopping at Shop Wise today and found out that the store is offering 20% savings on many of its *participating items. All you have to do is buy the Shopwise Stuff and Save Bag. The bags are sold for P5.00 each. In exchange, a customer may stuff the bag with as many items from the these participating departments: *Children's Apparel and Toys, *Men's and Ladies Apparel, *Bed and Bathroom Items, *Home Furnishing and Decor, *Plasic and Home Organizers and *Kitchenware and Kitchen Linens and get 20% savings.

Too bad the promo does not cover grocery items and cosmetics.

The bags are sold at Shopwise customer service. I was told that the bags are reusable. You can bring the bags again on your next visit or you can even lend it to family and friends who plan to go shopping at Shopwise.

The promo runs until October 31, 2006 but the bags will only be sold until October 8, 2006.

It's quite a good offer so if you plan to go shopping at Shop Wise, don't forget to buy a Stuff & Save Bag at the customer service before heading to the cashier.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Few Inches Taller

Checked Yohan's height today and he has grown a few inches taller. Isn't that nice? :)

E-pass Glitch

The reason we got an e-pass is to be able to pass through SLEX tollgate with ease as the computer electronically deducts the toll from the account of the motorist. In contrast, manual tollgate payment takes up more time because the motorist has to surrender the toll card first to the tollgate collector then it is swiped on the computer to determine the amount of toll fee. Payment is then handed over to the collector and if it is more than the allotted fee, the appropriate change is given. The collector then presses a button to release the horizontal bar to let the mororist pass.

These manual steps are conveniently skipped by an e-pass tag holder. There is one exclusive e-pass lane at the SLEX. You will not see anyone manning this booth because the computer takes care of every tollgate transaction. An e-pass tag with sufficient funds will register a green light and the horizontal bar automatically lifts to let the motorist pass. The computer also reminds the motorist if his e-pass is below the maintaining amount when it registers a yellow light. E-pass tags could easily be replenished in PNCC offices.

The exclusive e-pass lane is supposed to be a free flowing lane but this is not always the case. There are times when the traffic in this lane is stalled due to ignorant or abusive motorists. Some claim that they mistook the e-pass lane for a regular lane because it was their first time at SLEX. Others say that didn't see the tollgate header sign until it was too late. The rest, on the other hand, just try to squeeze their way through the e-pass lane to avoid the long queues on the regular lanes.

All it takes is one ignorant or inconsiderate bloke who wants to take advantage of the e-pass lane and it becomes a sea of irritated, horn-honking drivers. Since the e-pass lane is electronic, the horizontal bar will not lift as long as the toll fee remains unpaid. If a non e-pass holder attempts to access the lane, chaos! It has to be manually overridden in order to let the nuisance non e-pass holder pass through the tollgate.

As a matter of fact, we had the unfortunate time of witnessing an e-pass violator a while ago. It was an old red 1993 Mazda. It was infront of us on the said lane. We noticed that the horizontal bar did not go up when it was supposed to. Waited for a few seconds and as expected cars behind us starting blaring their horns as a protest to the hold up. A few more minutes and it became a horn frenzy. It took several minutes before an operator took hold of the situation. I saw the driver of the red car hand over a P500 bill to the operator. To my dismay, the money was handed back to the driver as is and the bar was lifted. Hey, that wasn't fair at all! He should have been given a warning to discourage a repeat action. The least that the traffic officials could have done was let the nuisance motorist pass to clear the obstruction and ordered him to stop at the side for a some reprimanding. But that was not the case. Imagine he caused traffic and then he was able to pass the tollgate without paying a cent!

How can people like him learn the importance of following the rules if he could always get away with his actions?

cool glitters

i made this cool glitter art. please give it a few seconds to load properly.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Fickleness of Nature

Ten minutes ago, the sun was blazing hot. It almost felt like a typical summer day. We were contemplating of going to the clubhouse pool for a swim. But it's amazing how nature can change in just a matter of minutes. As I opened my computer, I noticed the gray clouds forming in the sky. The glorious sun seems to have disappeared and in a matter of minutes, the sky has been enveloped in dark gray clouds. I could hear faint thunder in the background. Flashes of light make me pause. I'm not really afraid of lightning and thunder but sometimes, its intense power can be quite overwhelming.

I remember when I was young, my mom would tell me to put a blanket over the mirror (the one near the window) 'coz it might attract lightning. I did it without question. Now I wonder, was there any real danger? Did a mirror inside the house really have the potential of attracting lightning. I doubt it ... but one can never be sure. It took very little effort to cover the mirror so I guess it wasn't a real waste of time. If it made my mom feel better, then it was worth it.

The rain has now dissipated. The sun is peeping behind the clouds. The sky is not as dark compared to few minutes ago. Some clouds have cleared but there's still a feeling of gloominess in the air. Nature still appears undecided ... rain or shine? I wonder what it will be next. Talk bout nature's fickleness.

Flowers and Sunbeams

It takes so little to make my day. Sometimes, a simple good morning kiss is enough to put my day well on its track. A smile is an inspiration by itself. A smile can uplift my spirit and make me approach daily tasks with positive energy. Time spent together is always something to look forward to. It's fun discovering things together and learning how beautiful life can be. At the end of the day, when he is fast asleep, I look at him feeling a sense of warmth within. I couldn't help but think how lucky I am to have such a wonderful blessing. He makes everything worthwhile in countless ways.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Farewell Crocodile Hunter

I was shocked to hear on the evening news that Steve Irwin, also known as the Crocodile Hunter was killed by a stingray while filming off the Great Barrier Reef.

It's a very unfortunate event but at least he died doing what he loved most in life.

I will always remember for his favorite catchword, "Crikey!"

I enjoyed watching his funny antics on TV but I was appalled when he subjected his few month old son to a perilous act. He was seen feeding large crocodiles in a zoo while he held his infant son in one harm. Although Irwin claimed that there was no danger to his son, I think it was a huge mistake on his part. He must have learned from that mistake because there was no repeat incident.

Steve Irwin was a passionate environmentalist. I admire him for his dedication to preserve nature. He will be missed by many including me.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Box of Memories

It took me a few hours to get through stack of old stuff. I was looking for my box of maternity clothes. I packed them away years ago since I won't be needing them (indefinitely). I decided to rummage the storage area to look for my maternity clothes because I plan to lend them to Jules' cousin, Darlene. I think she's around six months pregnant right now and I just thought she might appreciate the idea of borrowing some of my maternity clothes.

As I went through my old stuff, I couldn't help opening some memento boxes I packed away. I opened a box of old photos and it brought back happy memories of my school days. I found some pictures of friends back in grade school. Looking through those pictures made me smile and miss those days.

I also found a familiar plain white box. I knew what was inside. It was heavily sealed with tape. I hesitated ... but gave in anyway. I removed several layers of tape. What's inside? Letters, photos and a diary. Most of the letters were written in 1993 by someone I used to care for deeply. It has been more than ten years and yet when I read through some of the letters, I felt my heart beating a little faster. One letter was written at 2:40 a.m. He said he couldn't sleep because he was thinking of me. Blah. Blah. He wrote me many letters. I remember it was always a treat to receive one from him.

Sadly, I realized, not in any of those letters did he write the words I love you. Why should I care? That's done and over with. Yes, it has been over years ago and I have moved on but I realized even distant memories can bring back tinge of pain and regret.

I wonder, does he still have my old letters, personalized cards and artwork? Is it bad to be curious? I feel ashamed for accomodating thoughts of him when I should have discarded everything about him a long time ago.

We still keep in touch ... during birthdays and special occasions. There was a time, when he told me that he was a fool for letting go of an angel and it was probably the biggest mistake of his life. I was already married then. Did he really mean those words? Whether he meant it or not, it still felt good hearing him say it.

He is still single. I saw a picture of his last girlfriend and I'm ashamed to admit that I felt a little jealous. She was so beautiful and quite young. She had the looks of a model. But I found out they broke up. I don't know the reason behind the breakup but I'm curious. I heard the girl is working abroad. I don't understand my emotions. I actually felt sad that they didn't end up together.

I'm sure he doesn't think of me anymore like the way I do. I must be crazy to write about him here.

I didn't have a special nickname for him. I just called him by his name. He called me Chelay. Sigh.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Devil Wears Prada

Image Hosted by Image Hosted by

I watched The Devil Wears Prada earlier today with Jules and Jacq at Festival Mall.

I haven't seen my dear friend Jacq for quite some time. It's always wonderful to spend quality time with someone you miss. As usual, Jacq greeted us with her smile and warm hugs. Jacq is one of my friends who loves showing her affection through gentle kisses and friendly embraces.

We all enjoyed the movie. Got out of the movie theatre with smiles on our faces. It was one of those feel good movies. It's a great comedy. I think Meryl Streep did a great job as Miranda Priestly, the most powerful woman in fashion who leads the team in Runaway Magazine.

I think there is some truth to the story. Sadly, there are some people who would go out on a limb just to follow the dictates of their bosses. I used to have a boss who asked a colleague of mine to run personal errands for him like going to the bank to pay personal bills, buying groceries and even pawning jewelry. I think it's pathetic when your boss makes a constant habit of ordering you to do personal errands that is beyond the scope of your duties. Lucky for me, that same boss never ordered me to do his personal biddings. Sometimes I wonder why my colleague was burdened with all the personal errands and never me. Not that I'm complaining. I'm actually relieved that I was spared but sometimes I wonder why. It has nothing to do with position because I was in the same level as that of the appointed erran doer. Another intriguing question left in the air.

In the movie, Streep orders her assistant to get hold of the unpublished manuscript of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter for her twins with the looming threat that failure to do so might as well connote not bothering to report back to work. Talk about pleasing the whim of one's children on the expense of your employee. Watch the film to find out if the impossible feat materialized. I wouldn't want to spoil the movie for you.

The movie showed various examples of lengths to which a person would allow himself to be humiliated just to keep a job. Most of which are the highlights of the movie. Streep gave an outstanding performance. I loved her in Death Becomes Her and I adore her more in this movie for her very effective role as a cold and domineering fashionista.

Streep's triumphant career is also her downfall. Behind the ice cold facade of a powerful career woman lies a broken heart. I guess when she made her career number 1 in her life, she failed to fill in her role as a wife and mother. She was revered in the fashion industry but she was a disappointment to her family. I think it's very sad that some successful women are very unhappy deep inside. They adamantly pretend that they are more than satisfied and happy with their lives but when no one is looking they shed tears and feel that they are alone.