Sunday, August 31, 2008

Mama Gran's Wake (Magallanes)

I was busy entertaining the many visitors who came by to see Mama Gran on the last night of her wake in Magallanes, so these were the only photos I was able to take.

At the St. Augustine Chapel at Magallanes
I'm sure she loved seeing all those flowers that surrounded her

Catered, of course, by Somethin' Fishy

Thanks to my dearest dearest friends who kept me company
(And to Pao, Venny, Elsa, Isko, Gie, Janis, Smile and Marilou
for the surprise last minute visit...thank you, thank you mwahhh!)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Errand girl gets a lift

I had to leave work early yesterday, because my DM asked me to buy some stuff for her. She hardly wears white and wanted me to get her a few white tops to wear this weekend to Mama Gran's wake and funeral. Glorietta was the natural and most practical choice for me, since I was already in Makati anyway.

After buying everything she needed, plus lots of stuff for both the girls from SM (I made a huge mistake because it was payday weekend and there was a 3-day sale but I got some really great finds anyway), I realized I had not gotten anything for myself hehehe.

Feeling sad about Mama Gran's passing, I found myself wanting to buy shoes. What else? Maybe it was Mama Gran no less who gave me that idea My taste in shoe colors are boring compared to hers. She loved COLOR, not just on her shoes but on anything she wore. Among the many choices in Glorietta, I went for VNC. Very stylish yet reasonably-priced. I have a few pairs from there which were bought a few years ago but are still very much wearable.

After spending a few minutes looking around (trust me, you don't want to dwell too much because it gets really confusing after a while), I ended up with these two pairs. I love them! The gladiator-type slides (also in dark teal and purple but mine are a safe cream) are casual and dressy at the same time. The patent peeptoe wedges have just the right height for both work and weekends. I think it's my age that's preventing me from buying anything that's higher than 2 1/2" nowadays. I used to love wearing stilettos but I've outgrown them.

So there, Mama Gran...I gave in to that urge which you I'm sure, are so familiar with. I'm sorry I couldn't be more colorful than this but hey, what matters is those genes are alive and well!

P.S. Thanks to everyone who sent their messages of sympathy yesterday. Big big help!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

FLY FREE, Mama Gran

My Grandmother passed away shortly before 7 o'clock tonight.

When my DM texted me this morning that she was rushing to Tarlac with my DF today instead of tomorrow, I immediately sensed that something was wrong. Lola or Mama Gran (as my kids call her) was moved to the ICU from her private room because she was going to be fed via a tube but somewhere along the way her blood pressure level dropped drastically.

My DM kept texting me with updates throughout the day and when she sent me this message, I knew it would only be a matter of time : Dad and I just arrived at the hospital. Lola looks like she's ready to go home. She's almost gone. Please bring out all your white clothes. I don't want anybody wearing black. Then another text in the afternoon : Her breathing is slowly failing. After that, a phonecall from my DF. He told me to pray because we would be losing her soon. I was so glad I was already with my BFF at this time because I really, really needed a good cry. And in less than 2 minutes after DF's call, another text from my Mom : Lola is gone.

I somehow knew that she might have just wanted to celebrate one last birthday with us, hence, the trip we made last Sunday to see her. I'm happy I was able to kiss her one last time before the drive back to Manila.

There's still that heavy feeling even if I've been crying since I was told. I'm both eager and afraid to go and see her remains tomorrow. I know it will be so difficult to see her. But despite all the sadness, I am truly thankful that she lived such a full life and passed on peacefully, without any pain and for having had a grandmother like her while I was growing up. I'm proud to be able to say that I had a grandmother whom I knew so well.

Thank you, Lola for everything. You were the only grandparent I ever really knew. Thank you for sharing with me your love for writing beautiful letters and for the many times you reminded me to keep writing. I'm sorry that I've forgotten my Spanish eversince it became too bothersome for you to keep sending me those handwritten notes but I treasure those times when I would write you all those letters in the language that was like your second tongue, and seeing how proud you were of my progress. I'm sorry that your "plans" of sending me to a university in Sorbonne did not materialize because (I think), I opted to stay here and be with my friends whom I refused to part with. My growing shoe collection and love for fashion and all things pretty will be constant reminders of who started it all --- you. Whenever I dance, I'll always remember why it's one of the things I love doing most. My girls are very lucky to know what it feels like to have grandparents, just like I did.

Fly home, Mama Gran. Heaven will be a much livelier place with you around. There'll be lots of dancing there from now on, thanks to you.

I miss you already

I love you dearly

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Come to Momma!

We finally sold our Canon Ixus T900i to a friend but we found ourselves without a digicam all of a sudden --- horrors!!! But dear SIL was kind enough to lend us her old Canon unit because she got a new one in the States during her vacation. I'm using hers until our new baby arrives...

The Canon EOS 450D/Digital Rebel XSi
I didn't even know until today that DH already called up our favorite store in Hidalgo to ask about this. I am hoping to get my itchy hands on this new toy very very soon!

(I wonder though if I'll have the patience to carry it with me wherever I go.
This definitely won't fit even in my biggest big bag)

Why I LOVE Anissa's School

I'm being totally SARCASTIC of course.

But before that, what started all this was report card distribution yesterday. First Quarter grades. ONE OUTSTANDINGLY RED MARK in Filipino and a couple other "almost didn't make it" grades in Hekasi (I'm not surprised) and Science. All major subjects. Major bummer. This is the first time she was given a failing grade in anything. She's not an honor student but I know she could be, if she were less "tamad" about schoolwork. Although there was never any pressure on her to be an excellent student. Habits are more important for me.

I was happy when the teacher said she can take remedial classes to bring her grade up. That means the red mark is not the final quarter grade --- whew!

Here's why I was reminded of how much I LOVE this school...the remedial classes are NOT FREE. There's a fee of PHP 1,500 for a total of 8 sessions. Needless to say, this already disgusted Mom (I love her school, remember?) freaked out. PAY FOR REMEDIAL CLASSES??? Since when??? Somebody correct me if I'm being OA here but I distinctly recall that remedial classes are supposed to be free of charge?!

I immediately called up BFF and ranted. She agreed...why charge parents for something like this? She said in her childrens' school this isn't done at all. Then again...her kids go to Woodrose and Southridge so dapat lang. Plus her kids never had to take remedials, they're all super duper smart and consistent academic awardees (mana sa ama). I found out from her that she's having the same problems with her eldest though. He's turning 14 and brought home line of 7 grades for the first time since he started going to school. He's always been on the honors list and now...shockers! I guess it's really a phase they're going through. There are more important things on their minds at the moment...friends, gadgets (hate them), making telebabad, listening to music on their iPods, going out (in BFF's son's case, not Anissa's) and for Anissa, her varsities --- cheerleading and more recently, she also got into the volleyball varsity. I'm scared to press the fast forward button and try to see what it's going to be like when she's in high school.

Oh well...this panicky Mom has time to calm her nerves. Thank God, Anissa is with her DF for the long weekend. I won't be this freaked out when she comes home to us tomorrow. She's in for one very long sermon.

What's On My Mind?

Lately? It's eyeshadows, eyeshadows, eyeshadows! I've been bugging Sophie these past few days about --- what else --- make up! Beauty and Minerals is having a clearance sale and I took advantage of it. It's that time of year again. After being not-so-interested in make-up these past months, my cosmetics loving side is alive and kicking again and this time it's all about eyeshadows!

The ones I got from the sale are : Sabotage, Jinx, Light Plum, Semi Matte Brown, Ivy, Blizzard and Mirage. All those pretty shades for less than PHP 300. Thanks to Sophie for patiently answering all my questions and not disappointing me with these
(her personal choices for me)

A closer look at the colors:
Top Row L-R : Ivy, Blizzard, Mirage
2nd Row : (I forgot to label this), Semi Matte Brown, Driftwood (I've had this for a while)
3rd Row : Sabotage, Jinx, Light Plum

I've only tested Blizzard, Semi Matte Brown, Mirage and Sabotage so far
Can't wait to road test the rest!

This afternoon, I also had to run some important errands in Greenhills. Yaya is going on vacation starting Monday and I won't have time to get away 'til she returns so I went to I-Lash Salon for a retouch and to Nail Loft afterwards, for my usual mani-pedi-foot reflex package. While killing time in Watson's V-Mall, I couldn't help but look at the local make up brands on display. I have to say...I was quite impressed with the packaging and presentation, also with the extensive variety of products. I've never bought anything from these brands, except Ever Bilena's pencil eyeliner (which really works well by the way) but I was sucked into getting this today because I just couldn't looked so natural on my lids when I tried it. It's just the thing you need on "lazy" days when you want to do your eyes but don't feel like blending

Medium Gold e/s from Ever Bilena

PHP 40.00, can't complain at all!

And while I'm at it...I went back to my basic nail polish shade today
Been wearing a lot of reds and burgundies lately, and I just felt like taking it down a few notches this time. Old habits die hard...I went for my favorite Essie nail color (Ballet Slippers)

I love the fact that Nail Loft always has this in stock

That's it for me.
I'm waking up extra early tomorrow (early for a Sunday, that is) because we're driving to Tarlac to visit my Mama Gran who's still in the hospital. But we're celebrating her 90th birthday tomorrow nevertheless. I am both sad and happy to be seeing her. Hopefully no over-crying tomorrow (not good for my newly-retouched eyelash extensions).

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Product Review : Skin Hour Deep Cleansing Oil

Product description taken from Skin Hour's site:

Makeup Remover & Cleanser
Deep Cleansing Oil
Eden Mint

A mild cleansing oil which has powerful anti-irritant properties formulated with tea tree for skin clarifying and papain extract to even out skin tone. Eden Mint variant relaxes and calms while deeply removing makeup, dirt and oil, and protects skin.


organic sweet amond oil, vegetable glycerin, sucrose cocoate, tea tree and papain extract, a-tocopherol, organic non-solvent fragrance oils

I got the mini which is a 30ml bottle because I wanted to test the product first. I first read about it in Beautynomics. Thanks to Sophie's convincing powers, I purchased one for myself just recently. I've been using it for about 3 days straight now and I have to say, I think I'm going to get more once I run out. If you're the type to use oil to cleanse your face, then this is something worth trying. I've always been loyal to either Pond's Cold Cream or the old reliable Johnson's Baby Oil to take my make-up off at the end of the day. But I stopped using the former eversince I decided to get eyelash extensions. It is much easier to clean the eye area with oil when you have extensions.

Just don't make the mistake of using this on your eyes because of the mint factor.

The 30ml mini costs P290.

Go to Skin Hour's website if you want to know more :

Image belongs to Skin Hour

(P.S. Char, I know I said I'd let a week pass before writing a review. But I think 3 days is good enough for me. No breakouts or irritation and that's a really good sign!)

Food Review : Figaro's Pasta Chorizo

I had this again yesterday after a very long time. It did not disappoint! Still tasted as good as before. What's nice about Figaro is, even if most branches are franchised, they manage to maintain the quality and taste of the food and coffee they serve.

The Pasta Chorizo is reasonably-priced at only P185 per serving (if memory serves --- I'm sure it's no more than P200).

P.S. I love their Iced Tea too!

Food Review : Icing's Caramel Cakes

The one on the left is the SOFT BUTTER CARAMEL CAKE which I had. Anissa had the other one, MOIST CARAMEL CHOCOLATE CAKE. Both were good but I really enjoyed mine because I'm a sucker for butter (bad!!!) and this one had just the right amount. Not nakakahilo or "nakakaumay" as some would call it.

We went to the branch somewhere in the Scout area in QC. I was so sleepy from a long day at work, I didn't even know which street it was on and forgot to take photos of everything else we ordered.

Icing's also has a branch in SM Hypermart, beside Tiendesitas.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I'm Praying For Gentle Release

I spoke to my maternal grandmother on the phone last night. DM called me from the hospital in Tarlac where she's confined and put the cellphone next to her ear so I could say hello. But DM said Mama Gran didn't react when she heard my voice, which to me is surprising, because she always said I was her favorite grandchild. But I don't blame her. I have not gone out of my way to visit her lately. And now I'm afraid it might be too late...

She's been in and out of the hospital recently. The latest reason for her confinement is pneumonia. When DM told me this, I knew it would only be a matter of time. She'll be 89 this Sunday and has lived her life to the fullest.

Now hooked to a heart monitor and an oxygen tank...we are just really praying for her to be taken quietly and without pain. DM said Mama Gran cried after a priest prayed with her earlier.

The photo in this entry is my favorite of her, taken some 20 years ago when she was in her 70's.

I'm frustrated...I can't find Mama Gran's letters. I kept them somewhere but I can't remember where. We used to write each other a lot BY HAND in the days when e-mail was unheard of. She was living in LA and I was all the way here in Manila but we never lost touch. I need to find those letters!!!

Current mood : very very sad
(P.S. Bong and Zha, Kuya Rick and Haz ... I'm sure you're updated but I made this entry just in case you haven't been informed)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

SmartBro is testing my patience

For the past 2 days, our wi-fi connection at home has been CRAPPY.

I can get into Multiply but only to see snippets of new entries. I can't even get into my own entries or reply to posts, without having to make several (and I mean several) attempts first. It's the same thing with other sites. The only sites I can visit without going through any hassle are my Yahoo and Gmail accounts and sometimes, GirlTalk. Facebook is also so hard to get into.

So frustrating!

I'm told that in other areas, SmartBro subscribers are experiencing the same thing.

And here I was thinking how lucky we are to have a seamless connection here at home when everyone else is complaining about theirs.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Good times with great friends!

A long overdue gathering of old friends over food, drinks (for them, not for me) and non-stop chikahan until 3am! The oldies have not been out this late in ages and we simply just wanted to catch up on each other's lives. But the best part of the evening?
It was just us girls, no hubbies hahaha!

Last night proved that friendships as SOLID as this are made to last forever! I just realized that the last 2 decades were simply the start of something BETTER.

Here's to the next 2 decades and MORE!!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Way to go, JLW!

I began to watch Jennifer Love Hewitt closely since I first saw Ghost Whisperer. I love her look in that series! Very vintage to suit her character which owns an antique store in a quaint town. I noticed she slowly began to gain weight and became the subject of many articles in US magazines. Pictures of her in a bikini with fat coming out from every place imaginable!

So glad she woke up to reality and began to diet seriously!

Now that's more like it!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

This one's for you, Pia and Francis

We all rushed to see Pia at the Medical City this afternoon, after finding out last night that Francis was diagnosed with Leukemia. Everyone's been worried, needless to say, and we wanted to see how they were doing. I was telling Pao and Smile last night that I was so sure Pia would be her usual self and would probably make us all feel ashamed of ourselves by telling us, hey don't worry, he's okay! we're all okay! I was right! Unfortunately, Francis was not allowed to have visitors today but to prove that he's doing well, he asked Pia to take these photos with her phone so that she can show them to us...

A photo dedicated to us...the pioneer Havaianaticos!

It was so relieving to "see" him in high spirits!
(For the record...FM is still confined and will undergo treatment soon
so please keep those prayers going!)

Just as I, calm and steadfast --- you are something else, my friend!

The next screen shots are of Francis' message, which was read by Vic Sotto today on Eat Bulaga for all of his friends and fans. Pia asked me to post it here for those who missed the show earlier:

I cried while reading this
(Sa lahat ng dabarkads ko dito sa EB miss ko na kayong lahat. Araw-araw magkasama tayo at kayo'y naging 2nd family ko na. Pati na rin lahat ng viewers sa mga bahay at studio. Ngayon meron akong isang pagsubok na dapat daanan at hiling ko lang ay ang inyong pag-unawa at suporta. I have been diagnosed with leukemia and i am preparing for my treatment. Sa tulong ng Panginoon kakayanin ko ito. Abangan ang aking pagbabalik. Di ko lang kayo miss, love ko kayong lahat.)

TO FRANCIS and PIA ... God wants you to go through this journey TOGETHER
for a reason
HE knows that your love for each other, support of your wonderful kids and solid faith will sustain you at this challenging time. Take care of each other...savor every moment. You will definitely want to do this because when you're both old and gray, it would be nice to look back and remember how you made it through.


P.S. --- FM, I know you're reading this...
these happy faces are smiling at you
and wishing you well
We look forward to seeing you on our next visit!

Prayers Needed!

For my friends, Pia and Francis Magalona.

Francis was diagnosed with Leukemia and it came out in the news tonight. I'm calling on everyone, especially my friends and contacts to please help us pray for Francis' recovery and strength for his family in this trying time.

To those of you who would like to donate blood, please proceed to the Blood Bank, Lower Ground Floor, The Medical City, Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City (you can call the hospital at 635-6789 or 631-86-26 for any questions on blood donation). Inform the hospital that you are donating for the Francis Magalona account.

PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) received information earlier today, August 13, that rapper-songwriter Francis Magalona has been diagnosed with leukemia and is currently in need of blood donors.

Pupil band manager and Francis's good friend Day Cabuhat told PEP in a phone interview that any blood type and platelets will be accepted.

"Donations may be made at the lower ground level of The Medical City in the name of Francis Magalona," relayed Day.

The Medical City is located along Ortigas Avenue in Pasig City.

Friends and relatives organized a blood donation drive to help the popular singer's cause. They're also asking friends from the media to spread the word regarding Francis's condition to encourage people to turn up and donate blood.

MASTER RAPPER. The son of local matinee idol Pancho Magalona and actress Tita Duran, Francis created his own mark in the entertainment industry as a rapper-performer when he released his debut album, Yo! back in 1990. The said record spawned the massive nationalistic rap hit song "Mga Kababayan," which in effect introduced Pinoy style rap music in the mainstream.

The ‘90s band explosion failed to deter Francis's popularity and significance in the music scene as proven by the number of hit albums and good singles he churned out since Yo! He even collaborated with other artists and most of the time experimented with various sounds and genres so as not to remain stale before the listening public.

Some of his memorable songs include "Mga Praning," "Meron Akong Ano," "Man From Manila," "Cold Summer Nights," "Bahay Yugyugan," "Ito ang Gusto Ko," "Girl Be Mine," and "Kaleidoscope World."

Aside from singing and writing songs, Francis also plunged into hosting. He served first as a VJ for both MTV Philippines and Channel V before joining the country's longest running noontime show Eat Bulaga! as one of the regulars.

Francis was also tapped as one of the judges, along with music maestro Ryan Cayabyab and Pilita Corrales, of Philippine Idol's maiden season in 2006 aired on ABC-5.

He also ventured into photography and music video directing, megging videos for artists such as Sponge Cola, Join the Club, Gloc 9, Shamrock, Join The Club, Pikaso, Death Threat, and Pupil.

Francis is married to Pia Arroyo and their union is blessed with eight children: Unna, Nicolo, Francis Jr., Isabella, Elmo, Arkin, Clara and young actress Maxene Magalona.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Very Quick Trip Down Memory Lane

It's such an ugly picture because I decided to take it at the last minute, when the traffic finally started to move. I was in a meeting somewhere in the Malate area and got stuck in horrible traffic around La Salle and St. Scho and ended up on Leon Guinto Street. I was too busy looking at my watch and wondering what time I was going to get home when I suddenly realized where I was. I almost didn't recognize the place, if it weren't for the girls in blue and white walking around the area. It looks so different from the last time I was there (which was in 1986 when I graduated from high school). This is the school's main gate called Pergola (atleast during my time) and it was manned by this female security guard whose name I am forgetting at the moment. Was it Lilia? Kulasas help me out here, my memory is super crappy hahahahaha! Haaayyy...for a fleeting moment I was transported back to those good old days.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sunday Family Style : Big Fish Dinner

We had dinner in Fishy tonight because a friend gifted DF with a gargantuan fish! I shall keep the fish's name a secret because I don't want to get DF's friend into trouble hehehe!

Just a portion of the controversial big fish...cooked Chinese style with leeks and lots of garlic

DF cooked this himself --- Halaan and Tahong Soup

GOODNESS! Just look at the fish's other half!
DF said the entire fish weighed close to 10 kilos!

Even the little one agreed...the fish was really good!

And who was the last man standing? It was my DB, of course

Thanks for dinner, Dad!!!
He super duper loves me (notice the knife he held to my throat?)

Sabine was probably thinking...Geez, now I know why my Mom's a psycho.
How on earth did I end up in this family?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Tagged by Didi --- All About Me

Yikes! Anissa was already 2 yrs old in 1998.

It's officially Monday...I'm waking up in 4 hours:-bring Anissa to school-load gas in the car on the way to work (not looking forward to this)-attend 2 meetings-work on my backlog (paperwork)-if I have time before going home, pass by I-Lash Salon in Greenhills hehehe

-Pringles Original Flavor
-Chippy (red)
-Jack 'n Jill Potato Chips
-McDonald's French Fries
-Potato Corner BBQ French Fries
-Garlic peanuts

-Quezon City

-send poor children to school
-send Yayay's two kids to school until they finish college
-take care of my parents' retirement
-buy my DB whatever car he wants
-buy 2 huge properties : one in the city and another by the beach, where DH and I can spend our twilight years
-buy one lot each for Anissa and Sabine
-travel, travel, travel with DH and the kids
-shop while travelling hahaha!-set aside funds for Anissa and Sabine's college education in the US
-donate to the church

Now tagging : Chelle, Meeshel, Smile

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Lazy Sunday

Sundays are very relaxed for the family
Our day doesn't start until late afternoon
So what exactly do we do during the day?
We BUM around! Others spend the entire day at the mall but not us...

Sabine's idea of a relaxing day...lying on our bed with a can of chocolates

While watching her movie of the moment, The Incredibles
She knows all the lines by heart!

Now tell me...would YOU choose the mall over this?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Abbey's Happily Ever After

I'm notorious for crying at weddings
The one I attended last night was no exception
Unfortunately I could only go to the reception at Sofitel because I had work

I wish I had taken a video of the AVP which the groom's brother
and only sibling prepared for him

It gave me goosebumps and made me run to the ladies room for a touch-up!

My childhood friend, Abbey got married and I'm so glad I decided to go even if the rest of my family couldn't make it. It was great to see old familiar faces, people I grew up with, good friends of my DF and DM. People with whom we had lost touch but have reconnected with.

The wedding favor (half of which now rests in Sabine's tummy because she had this for breakfast this morning)

I kept staring at the centerpiece

Too bad I couldn't capture the set-up details
Awesome work done by my Auntie Jojie (bride's immediate aunt)
The Manila Philharmonic Orchestra played beautiful music during the dinner
(Sorry, Abbey and Auntie Joj...I hope you weren't disappointed that I didn't get to sing as requested. I promise to make it up to you at that grand reunion we're cooking up! Na-pressure naman kasi ako sa orchestra back-up hahaha!)

With Auntie Jojie who slaved over every single detail
She's always been the creative one and may have been a director in her past life
When we were growing up, she was always choreographing dance numbers for us to perform in front of the adults during our many many parties
(Note the bride on the right side...I should've taken a closer shot of her gown. This was her 2nd one for the evening, a Chinese-inspired number
which she had made to honor her heritage)

Can't believe Abbey's now a wife. Here we are with her and DH, Chuck
I'm the eldest child in the group and seeing the younger ones get married makes me feel OLD

Stay HAPPY forever, Abbey!
And see you soon!!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Beauty and Minerals Clearance Sale

My friend, Sophie is holding a mineral make up sale!

Ongoing until September 30, 2008
Check out Beauty and Minerals for the details
Sophie got me started on mineral make up.
Those of you who haven't switched yet, maybe this is the time to do so!