The Belle of La Belle Aurora

I finally brought Meg to this 2nd-hand books shop La Belle Aurora so we can stock up for their “forced” vacation due to earthquake. It’s in H Cortes, Mandaue, beside Lakwatsa Resto.

They have lots of kids’ books like those cardboard books, fitting for 6-yr old below. There are also fairytales. But there’s not much for what Meg likes. But we still got quite a haul.
So how to become prettier than pretty? This lady looks more stunning surrounded with books.
Meg was all over the place.

valedictorian, i was

I now noticed Linkedin has a “test score” feature. And, it made me realized why I’m probably the least person who will be impressed with honors and awards. It was because I was once an “honor student.”

I graduated valedictorian back in our small town Badian elementary school. 
I would categorize myself as the “bright” kid who needs to study to have good grades. I don’t think I was “naning” back in my elementary days. It’s just it was natural for me to open my notes, and study without any one telling me to do so. My mother was a high school teacher but I don’t remember her asking me to study, or help me with my homework. I was just that nice kid.
So I graduated valedictorian because the naturally smart classmate of mine who was always the first honor student since in our kindergarten days, just was no longer getting high scores. When I say naturally smart is that because he can engage in a debate with older people. He could give out-of-the-box answers, while my answer was memorized from the book or notes.
Stealing the valedictorian rank from the consistent first-honor student did not fail to provide drama to my graduation. Somehow, the mother of my classmate did not take it well. She did not directly attack me. But still, I felt weirded out. Seriously, I could give back the award to her son without hesitation. 
Came high school, both of us plus the 3rd honor went to the same school. 
And, I guess high school was the time I started loathing this “award” system thing. I was feeling the pressure of performing well just so I could prove to my home town that somehow I deserved to be the valedictorian of Badian Central School.
Unlike when I was elementary that I study because it’s just me. Highschool was I needed to study because I needed to be ahead of someone. I probably was “naning.”
And somehow the “hardwork” did pay off. I did not graduate valedictorian, nor top 5. I forgot what was my rank. I knew I graduated high enough in the rank to be above that classmate in elementary. I think he was no longer an honor student in high school. But I know he is really smart, he was probably trying to rebel from that “pressure” in high school. 
So came college, I promised that I would never ever ever do that again, getting good grades because of imposed pressure from my own made-up society’s impression of me. 
Funny, how a new feature in linkedin brought so much memories. 

Pogs

So Migi had been asking for “pogs” for like days already. Until yesterday, i overheard him asking pogs from his friends as payment for letting them play with his PS3. At least, he is probably entrepreneurial.

He probably really wanted the pogs badly. So i made a deal that he has to come with me to the “merkado” to buy the “pogs.” So this morning off we went with his 2 other sibs. 
The twist is we’re just going to walk from home to the wet market. I mean it’s no big deal, it’s probably just like 900m or 1km. But walking is an extinct skill nowadays.
Since it’s so instinct, it deserves proper documentation:
Like a trail runner.
Migi is just naturally good at physical stuff.

Blessing in disguise?

The back of our doll house got (minimal) flooded months ago because of cracks from the wall, thus too much water from the cracks w/ small drainage was equal to flood when rains got extra strong.

So we had not much choice but to have the walls, the drainage and all repaired by our dear neighbor carpenter Master Ken (if you need a handyman to carpenter, i highly recommend Master Ken. Message for contact number.) With 3 kids at home which at times would be left with just the Ate, we just had to do the repairs.
Funny how after all the repairs to prevent flood getting into our house, we were never again getting any very strong rains. Except, we got earthquake and after after aftershocks.
After listening to the strong rumble for yet another shock or quake, the mini “floods” were probably blessing in disguise; or else, our wall at the back, will not really totally broken down, but there were no small bits and pieces of falling from it.
Buyag buyag buyag!!! Thank you, Lord! πŸ™‚

Judge Book’s (back) Cover

So I have not really made any “due diligence” in choosing Meg’s books. I usually pick any thing that looks like pink and purple and colorful covers; or if not, those covers w/ spooky cute characters or cute animals. And, one thing I noticed with books for kids are their titles usually have “Diary.” I wonder is it because of “diary of wimpy kid” series or kid’s books usually have “diary” in their title. So anyhow, “diary” has also been one of my deciding factors in picking meg’s books. Sometimes, I get annoyed with the “diary” in the title so i skip them; sometimes, out of no choice, i pick them up.
So far, she liked them all except for 2 which have cute cats on the cover. But it was not the cute cats fault. She complained the books were all texts. 
So I realized her preferred books are those, yeah, the “diary” genre with illustrations. Well, there are books without “diary” in title which have illustrations too.
Anyhow, I love picking books!!! πŸ™‚ 
But I guess I have to be more “responsible” parent in choosing books when I randomly read the text of the back cover of the book with a “diary” in the title; it says “battles with her mum for an iPhone… 
What?!? So yeah, I think I’m crushing this one from the diary of book list to buy. Though, Meg swears she loves this book!
On the other thought, I should be reading all these kids books. And, maybe make a review of them, and call it “the diary of a wimpy mother reviewer.”

Ganito ako sa Makati

(It’s been a long time I haven’t done any “look-at-me-now” post. So I thought of doing it again on a more frequent episodes because i just badly need it.)

Because it’s my first time in metro manila. Well, not really but my first time was like decades ago, and we went up north and down south so all i was able to do was just pass by metro manila. 

(Taguig has also this famous lamp post noh?)

So this is the first time that I really stayed in this place. We stayed at the back of and across Greenbelt so automatically we just loitered at GB. Since hotel’s strict about their check-in time of 2pm, and we’re there like 9am so we have no choice but to loiter in greenbelt.
Friends been saying to go to BGC but after witnessing the traffic from
Airport to Greenbelt, there’s no way I’m going anywhere that requires more than my feet.
So all we did was get in to restos that sounds familiar in greenbelt, which most probably i heard via social sites. EXCITING!
Conti’s
We had breakfast at Conti’s. Food was so-so or maybe i just ordered the wrong dish. I could no longer recall the taste of what we ate there. But i think coffee was good! 
Muji
We stumbled upon muji so we get inside because social media dictates. So i’m not a fond of cute little things and thingmajigs so muji is something i can skip. The pens and papers were cute but i’m really more of a pilot fan.
I bought a belt from them because belt i wore was wrong. And this led to some not-so-nice incident. The belt’s price tag said different price, then cash machine said another – a higher price. After trying to insist about price tag should be followed, i had to give up so staff should not be burdened of paying the difference. 
Cafe Mary Grace
After much going around, nothing really fancy us. I mean like how would LV, Jimmy choos or even aeropostale afford me?!?  And, i did not see any sports/running shops, so yeah, got bored roaming around GB.

So after going around, stumbled upon Cafe Mary Grace, which I think I saw on one of KC concepcion’s movies. And, i’m sucker for organic / vegan dishes. 
If i had not tasted Tavolata dishes in Cebu, I would probably be extra awed with Mary Grace. Call me jerk, but I think Tavolata in cebu does this organic / vegan thing better. But because they serve lemoned service water, cafe mary grace is something to add in to-eat place.
Dillinger’s
After we’re finally able to check in, I stayed at hotel to finish some stuff. So yeah, i came to Makati to stay inside a hotel! While Mark went off to meet someone. 
Dinner went to a resto suggested by hungitcebu.com. At first, i felt like backing out because set-up reminds me of Gilt in cebu. So it’s like a resto pub with 3rd eye blind music at the background. If i were a single yuppie or a college kid, i would probably feel comfortable. But i’m old with 3 kids, so yeah, i felt out of place.
But the onion soup and steak were greattttt!!! Something you won’t regret going to.
Happy Lemon
Something i can skip! So nothing much i can say about it.
Second day, went around for a walk because we’re too lazy to run, and yeah it felt awkward to be running in a big city. I should probably post more details of it in http://aktib.ph/owrange.
Solace
Breakfast were all courtesy from the place we stayed in! Free breakfast who can resist!?!
Mine was Vigan chorizo. It felt too dry. I guess i’m used to greasy chorizo of Cebu.

Dusit Thani
Thursday, we’re whole day holed-up in a conference in Dusit Thani. We attended the Softcon.ph conference, which I will post about it at techtalks.ph. Yeah, i have committed (shoot) myself to write about philippine tech startups again. Too many great stories behind technology, it’s such a sin to let them pass by without being recorded even just a snippet of it!
I was just so glad to meet the bootyard team, Ademar and Honee, again after a longgg time. We had once worked on a project before that went dead, which I’m just glad it got killed. And, ademar and honee are definitely a testament that what does not kill you can make you stronger. So i’m just happy to see their own web app, codetoki.com is doing well! Codetoki is for programmers and programmer-seeking companies. Anyhoo, sign up at http://codetoki.com

More wonderful apps and team and happenings at softcon.ph, which i’ll post techtalks.ph soon! 
And the food at Dusit! 
There were aplenty but forgot to take pics of them. I was too conscious around men wearing suits! πŸ™‚
Yoshinoya
Going fastfood japanese for dinner at glorietta. Tina was craving for some jap. She said yoshinoya is the equivalent of mcdo in japan according to Tina. So yeah, something I can skip. 

Cafe Breton

We were hoping to go to Sonja’s for dessert but we missed it, and it was raining hard. It was not fun moving around so we just get inside to the first resto that seems to offer dessert. And o think we were lucky it was cafe breton. Crepes were great. I mean it’s not something i highly recommend, but then it’s something you won’t regret going to either!
And, i love their coffee! πŸ™‚

Tapella
Allelujah! For last meal here, i was torn between cino, bizu and max brenner but i thought of picking out a place that i don’t get to read on my social site feeds.
Food is great, definitely, but kinda too small for the price. But hey, we definitely do NOT need to eat a lot! I guess it’s just the Cebuana in me.
ieatwell cafe & deli (the only resto i encountered who does not provide free service water)
Back in NAIA. I seriously cannot see why i hear people saying it’s the worst airport. Maybe, i come in a better time. 
(Tip: more coffee shops option at the boarding area.)

Flight is still at 6pm. Gaahh! I thought i would be milling more around the metro manila thus taking a night flight. But too late when i realized that i certainly have nothing much to do here. πŸ™
Looking at this post, it was probably useless buying a belt from muji!
I guess it’s a trip i feel like a small town girl in a big big city! 

Growing a marriage? Keeping a marriage? Or whatever you call it!

(I posted this last March, in time for our wedding anniversary. But I took it down because I mistakenly shared it in runroo or aktib’s social sites. And, just remember now to put it back.)

Last week, March 6, was our 9th wedding anniversary. We we’re boyfriend-girlfriend for 5 years. So we’re together for 14 years in total. Maybe 14 years gives me a right to talk about marriage and such. But anyhoo, 14 years or not, no one can stop my self-righteous mouth to talk about marriage and such.

Growing a marriage? Keeping a marriage? Or whatever you call it!

I think you do not grow the marriage or relationship. It’s more of you grow individually as a person.

And, I strongly believe that you should not burden your partner or make him / her responsible for you to be happy. The best gift we can give to another person is being a happy individual.

And, we do not grow when we’re too focused on the relationship, of ourselves, of him, of us, of what should be an ideal marriage. 

And, I don’t know how to explain this part.

So maybe I’ll talk about how it happened on us.

A jolt of growing up happens to us when Mark took a “managerial” task. Mark has always been the “leader.” But unlike before that it was only among his few friends that if ever Mark made some stupid decision, friends would understand.

This new “managerial” task is a totally different ball-game. It’s no longer just about his few “friends.” It’s about other people who have family and maybe a few relatives to take care of. That whatever silly decision he will make, it’s just not about me and our kids getting hungry or being homeless or going to debt.

Being in this situation, when we start to look outside our own circle/family’s comfort, our own misery seems to be trivial. With 101 issues to deal and different personalities to work with, a forgotten date / birthday is just a very welcome misery to deal with.

I may be too fake to be saying this but our dream has become of seeing others’ dream come true. So I don’t get sad when people leave because it means their taking actions to make their dreams come true. The only sad thing was that Mark was no help to them. (When someone asked me about people resigning.)

And, this is what I mean NOT being too focused on the relationship.

It’s not being a hero or overly-generous. It’s actually self-serving. I believe in karma. That when we start to think about the welfare of other people, I believe that they or others would do so with our kids. It’s a more sustainable inheritance for my kids.

So about marriage? Seriously, I don’t know. It’s something we don’t think about.

This deserves a selfie and a blogpost: 1st blood donation

I was at the Phil. red cross cebu chapter earlier to have a quick interview with vic jay gonzal, chapter admin of

Lapulapu and OIC of cebu city chapter. It’s in relation with their upcoming red cross humanity marathon run this nov. 10, 2013. Check details here http://aktib.ph/56-red-cross-143-marathon-for-humanity, early bird until oct 31.
And, i took a leap of faith of donating blood after my interview of him. I’d been wanting to donate blood since i know how hard it can be to look for blood, from my 3 caesarian operations experience. But i was just scaredsh*t. So
Finally after xx years, i finally took the leap! 
Thanks to the red cross staff for making it fun! 8 more donations, and i’ll be awarded galloner! πŸ™‚
This one is also for the blood donor tunners group who has been
An inspiration! πŸ™‚