Sunday, May 27, 2012


I finally found some time (and courage) to write. The past week has been a blur. At 43 and 41 years old respectively, my brother and I are officially fatherless, my Mom is a widow at 62, my children have lost their first love, N has lost the person he looked to as his 2nd Dad. 

Dad is gone. I can't believe I'm "saying" that. 

I can't believe I'm never going to see him.
I can't believe I'm never going to hear his voice.
I can't believe that all our special occasions will be celebrated without him, our official party organizer.
I can't believe I'll walk into his condo from now on and not hear the TV blaring from his room.
I can't believe I've stopped getting my morning text messages (always the first everyday) from him. 
I can't believe he will no longer comment jokingly on my Facebook posts.
I can't believe he's gone ... just like that.

I still feel like he was snatched away without warning. He wasn't sick. There was nothing about his health that gave us reason to worry or expect the inevitable. Death came to him like the proverbial thief in the night. I woke up Saturday after 4am to my cellphone which was ringing. It was his number, so I immediately thought he was calling about an emergency relating to my Mom. But it was my Mom's voice on the other end of the line, that told me to get dressed and run to The Medical City. She didn't say much, she probably wanted to keep it to herself first and not add to my stress. When N and I arrived at TMC's emergency room, I found my Dad being revived by the doctors. My knees turned to jello, I fell to the floor in tears. This was not what I expected to see. Not my Dad. He was always so in control, and now his life was in the hands of all these doctors who were working desperately to resuscitate him. I felt helpless because he looked so helpless. I had never seen my Dad so helpless before in my life. It was the worst day and I still haven't been able to shake that image off. 

Pretty soon, the doctors called it. Scenes from Grey's Anatomy kept flashing in my head. Time of death 5:34 am I had never known what it's like to be in shock until then. It's as if time stood still, as still as my Dad's body on that hospital gurney. As still as the entire room was after he was declared dead. I never left his side until the people from the funeral service we called arrived to claim his remains. At the morgue, I sat there, staring at the lifeless body wrapped and tied with plastic. There were no tears. I just kept staring at it and wondering what had just happened. One minute, he was so full of life and then this. I don't know where all that strength came from, not at that time. But I stayed there and didn't leave.

The next 4 days did not give me much time to grieve, except when I would get home late from the wake. I'd cry for a few minutes, then fall asleep. In the morning, I'd cry a little again before heading to Christ The King to face the day's responsibilities. I had little time to cry there because of all the people who kept us busy by condoling with us and paying their respects. Daddy was so well-loved not just by friends and family, but by the industry where he spent so many years.

At the necrological service put together by ABS-CBN, his former home, one of his former subordinates and now Congressman Angelo Palmones, apologized to us for taking him away from us all those years he was working for the network. They all knew that he spent more time in the office than with his family. He was an excellent provider, but he was mostly an absentee husband and father. He, however, more than made up for all of that after his retirement some 10 or so years ago. We basked in the time he finally had for all of us. 

I still find it hard to do this, to write about how he went and how sad we all are that he's gone. 

Today is his 9th day. I can't believe I survived a whole week not hearing his voice or seeing him. Today is the first Sunday after his cremation that we are gathering for our usual family dinner without him. I woke up in tears today when I remembered this. I've been on the worst roller coaster ride of my life since May 19, the day he passed. I'm not enjoying it at all but I'm on it and I've accepted that I will be on this coaster for a while. I get my strength from my Mom and my brother, from N, my kids and from the many beautiful memories my father left behind for me to cherish. 

He may be gone but I'll always be a Daddy's Girl. I'll always be the daughter he raised to be strong, opinionated, one who values character over reputation, one who believes that integrity is the best kind of wealth a person can ever have. 

I had an amazing father for 43 years and despite the sadness that envelopes me right now (and will probably stay with me for the rest of my life), I am truly thankful for all that he was to me and especially to N and my children. 

Daddy ... when you were still around, there was never a time that I didn't say goodbye to you. I always had to give you a kiss each time we parted ways. To do otherwise was unthinkable. I guess that's where most of my sadness is coming from now. I wasn't given the chance to do the thing I had always reminded myself not to forget to do all these years. But I'm not mad at you, I can never be. God, in His own majestic way, has shown me little by little, why things had to happen this way. So while I hurt inside because you left us without warning, a part of me feels truly blessed that you were spared from any kind of pain. That would have broken my heart even more I know. Like I said in my eulogy, you raised me/us well. You can take comfort in knowing that your spirit and values live in me. You were always my hero, my rock, my safety net. But nothing lasts forever and it's my turn to be all of those to the rest of the family. I will not disappoint you, Dad. What I am today, I owe to you and Mama. You will continue to be proud of me from the happy place you're in. Remember what I whispered to you before I let you go? Thank you, Daddy, for everything. For the comfortable life, for giving me everything I asked for and more, for loving me even in silence, anger and disappointment, for being the best grandfather my kids could ever have known and the most loving and understanding father-in-law to Neal. Thank you for being everything that you were to me. I'll continue to look up to you for all that you've done to touch so many lives. I'll always love you with the kind of love only you deserve, from a daughter who thought the world of you. Now go and be happy, because in spite of the pain we all feel from losing you unexpectedly, we will hang on to each other for strength. I promise that soon, I'll remember you only with happy tears. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

RIP Donna Summer :(

I was tons sleepy when I read the tweet

Donna Summer, dead at 63

I grabbed this photo from after they tweeted the link to the story. I didn't even know she had been battling lung cancer. Not only that. She believes she got it from inhaling toxic particles during 9/11. That is just sooooooo sad.

Bad Girls
On The Radio
Enough is Enough
She Works Hard For The Money
Love To Love You Baby
LAST DANCE (my super favorite song of them all)

A friend commented, "Disco is officially dead" now that she's gone
I beg to (violently) disagree. Disco is disco and will be disco forever.

Thanks for the beautiful music, Ms. Summer! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I Love Flowers : Dangwa Flower Market

After so many years, I got to re-visit this place in Manila referred to by everyone as the Dangwa Flower Market or Bulaklakan ng Maynila. It's called Dangwa because it was originally located beside the Dangwa Transport, Inc. bus station. When I was a kid, we used to pass by sometimes to buy flowers for the dead. My paternal grandparents are both buried in The North Cemetery which is close by. 

I was surprised to see how much it's grown since then. There are tens of dozens of vendors in the area, most of which now own air-conditioned stores. You can tell that these are the ones that have been around long enough to see their business flourish. 

We went there on Mother's Day because N's sister wanted to buy floral arrangements for their Mom and her MIL. I took advantage and instead of buying flowers for my own Mom at the mall, I got her this humongous bouquet of paper roses for probably 1/3 of its mall price

The bouquet was heavy and fat and it definitely looked like it was worth a lot more than the P850 I paid to get it (arranging fee included). I got a smaller bouquet of colorful summer/spring flowers for my Tita for just P300. Two lovely bouquets for the price of one? My wallet rejoiced! (and so did my Mom and Tita who loved our Mother's Day gifts)

I could've stayed all day inside the store we went to. It's not everyday that I'm surrounded with beautiful  flowers. In fact, I don't get to see so many of them in one place very often.

If I could have fresh arrangements all over my house all the time, I really would.

The Dangwa Flower Market is located at Dos Castillas and Laong Laan Streets in Sampaloc, Manila. Just take the famous Espana Boulevard and you will find these streets very near the area of the University of Santo Tomas. If that still doesn't help, try Google Maps :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Still A Cooking Mama

I haven't been updating my blog with the things I've been cooking since our Yayay went on a last-minute vacation. That's 'cause N finally took pity on me (either that, or he really hates my amateur cooking skills) and we've kinda been ordering take-out lately. 

Last night, I had the chance to cook again and challenged myself by preparing this

Chicken Afritada

And yes, it's all from scratch *pats self on the back*
No mixes, no shortcuts

Guess what ... I think it's one of my best outputs so far

Wednesday Thought

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Mischmashed Life's Chic Kit Giveaway

So I have a new past time, triggered by my first ever win of an online/blog giveaway about a month back. I've already won something thrice and all in a span of just a couple of weeks. 

I discovered this blog through a blogger/Twitter friend and have been checking back since I first visited. Lo and behold, she has a giveaway that's ongoing for another 2 weeks. 

She's giving away not one, not two but all of these

Only one lucky winner gets to take everything home. I love that the stuff are all coordinated.

Sharing this to the rest of you and good luck to all of us!

Click on this link to jump in.

Hope you're having a really good week so far.

P.S. I'm eyeing one of her Carioca resort tops, too!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Day, Mama

Mother Goose
Momsie to my daughters

She refused to be called Lola from day one, when I gave birth to Anissa 16 years ago and for good reason. She was only 46 back then. She had me at the very tender age of 18, months after she finished high school and married my Dad. 

In the photo above, I was probably a freshman or sophomore in high school. So maybe, she was around 32? At 32, I had only one child, a toddler. I was having the time of my life at 32, while she had frequent headaches, I'm sure. 

We went through a rough time during my teenage years and through my college days. She was my Dad's spokesperson, so naturally, I saw her as the enemy. Looking back, that was a really unfair judgement I made of her. Mainly because I am the same to my own teenage daughter today. 
The Bad Cop. 

I don't have a choice though. It's something I need to be. I'm sure other Moms can relate. 

I try as much as I can to recall the times when my Mom and I had verbal disagreements or when I simply hated her and would keep it to myself. I do this to guide me through difficult moments with Anissa. 

A friend who has a daughter older than mine once told me ... 

Don't bother to win them back while they're in their teens. You'll just drive them away even more because you're the last person they want to be with. Ease up on the nagging and the mushiness and the clinginess without giving up authority. They always go back to their mothers. It's human nature. Wait til she turns 18 then you'll be inseparable. 

I've cherished this advice eversince my friend gave it to me. I can still remember her saying them each time Anissa and I don't see eye to eye. I believe every word because this is what happened to me and my Mom, too. 

Today, I can't even imagine why I disliked her so much. 
I've never really apologized for making things hard for her back then. I guess Mothers don't really need to hear it. We're like that, right? 

MAMA, there's only one thing better than being your daughter

It's being the mother of the children you love and adore so much

Thank you for everything and for all that you continue to sacrifice for all of us

It's so cliche to say that you're the best Mom in the whole world

So let me just say, despite the many times I was less than ideal to you

I never ever asked for anyone else to be my Mom and I'm so glad I didn't. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

New flats from Gold Dot

My 2nd time to order from Gold Dot. The first time was for my niece and I loved the service, really professional and efficient. I'm subscribed to their newsletter so I get to see all their new designs. 

The first time I saw their Fritz Loafers (in tribal print), I knew I had to have a pair

A few direct messages on Twitter later, my reservation was in place. It was selling like hotcakes!

Then the other day, they arrived at my doorstep

They're even nicer in real life and I feel like I'm wearing slippers.
Plus the price (Php950 inclusive of shipping) didn't put a dent on my wallet. 
So glad I reserved mine right away because they're all sold out. 

Gold Dot is proudly Pinoy-made.
Check out their online store at

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I'm still a bit starstruck after the event I went to yesterday.

That's Judy Ann Santos in the green dress and of course, my good friend, Pia M. We were at M Cafe for the Absolute Mom Awards hosted by Absolute Drinking Water. Pia, along with 4 other well-known Moms were recognized for their accomplishments as mothers. FMF received a cheque donation for being Pia's chosen charity/foundation, so I had to go up on stage to get it (horrors ... I hate being in the spotlight, seriously). But thank you, thank you for this blessing and honor!

Now back to Juday. I was in awe the minute I saw her. I'm not much of a showbiz person. I don't really watch teleseryes or talk shows, but seeing her made my jaw drop. So pretty in person! She also recently lost around 50 lbs by going on the Cohen Diet and doing Barre 3. Amazing dedication. It all paid off. She looked awesome. Literally.

Since we were in the area and had some time to spare, we headed over to Greenbelt 5 to find a place to sit, have coffee, eat and chat. 

Classic Confections was our next stop. Look at these pretty, pretty cookies! My favorite was the popcorn. I didn't buy it though, because I'm not really a cookie fan. 

This was more my type

Butter Cupcake with Buttercream Icing
Did someone say butter? Hee hee.

Koi got the Opera Torte

And this was Pia's Mango Panna Cotta

The icing on all these desserts was, of course ...

The company

Oh but seriously, there is never a dull moment with these two. Can't wait for the next sesh!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Etsy, you are LOVE

I've been spending more hours on Etsy than before. I truly am some kind of masochist. One of my biggest frustrations in life is not having the talent to make things from scratch, especially those that require creativity. I do have an eye for it but it all ends there. My hands were not made to execute art. They can type really really (like Superman) fast. Uhm, what else? This is me trying to think of other things I can do with my hands and I'm stumped.

So I'm not artsy. I'm not creative. I'm more the kind of person who knows how to put things together but never ever make them myself. To cut it short, I would rather buy something pre-made than get all the raw materials, try to make something myself then end up with something ridiculous or worthy of laughter from family and friends. Or maybe I should cut myself some slack and try to actually MAKE something before I give up? We'll see...

In the meantime though, I have fallen in love with Etsy because it's overflowing with ideas and stuff that creative people (BAH, d*mn you) come up with and sell online. The magic word being SELL. That means I can BUY. Wee hee hee.

Like this necklace from ILY Couture. The exact same necklace I've been looking for!
It's selling for USD 49.00, that's roughly Php 2,000 something. I could make a killing if I knew how to make these (resentment resentment)!!!

It also comes in this color and more


Nautical Sailing Bracelet by BraceletMixx
It kinda reminds me of Hermes. Even if it's tagged as a Men's Bracelet, I would definitely wear it.

And speaking of creativity, a bracelet using what looks like the cord I use to secure my luggage. Apparently, it's called Paracord. Geez, I really feel like a moron now. Who would think? 
These bracelets are going for USD 15.00 a piece.

Moving on, it's really furniture and home decorating ideas and accessories that I like looking at on Etsy

These drawer/cabinet knobs are sooooo cute!!!
The seller's name is HobKnobin and the set sells at USD48.00.

At USD6.00, these are slightly cheaper
Seller's name is SweetPetitesBoutique
(why am I suddenly so fixated on knobs???)

Okay, I can't possibly buy beds or heavy furniture from the site because it would cost me TWO arms and a leg to have them shipped here. But I keep looking at them anyway.

I'm also fascinated with owls. The next few photos are from just one seller.
How absolutely adorbs is this headboard??? The colors can be customized to suit your bedroom theme. It's handpainted and decorated with scrapbook paper that's decoupaged (WTH is that?) and sealed. 
TheWoodenOwl sells this at over USD200.00 or roughly PHP12,000. 
Prices are automatically converted to your home currency, btw. Pogi points!

Whimsical table at USD99.00

Wooden Clock at USD49.00

This hand painted musical and mirrored jewery box looks like something you can pass on to your daughters and their daughters. I love the colors.

Zoomin' in on cute and unique iPhone cases today 

From CaseOrama, USD19.00
Har har har

Owls on my iPhone? Not a bad idea.
RabbitSmile, USD16.00

Nom nom nom
Happeemonkee, USD32.00

Getoffmycase, USD13.99

There is soooooo much more I would love to share here but I'm busy deciding what my first-ever Etsy purchase should be. I'll make sure to share it here soon! 

Anyone of you on Etsy as a seller? Drop me a note so I can check out your wares. 

Have a quiet Wednesday, everyone!

Disciplining With Love

I had an interesting day today. It was busier than most days. I was up at before 6am, was out of the house by 8 and in my first appointment by 9am. After an hour and a few minutes spent at Starbucks, I was rushing home to cook lunch. 

I lay in bed after lunch and fell asleep while watching the pilot episode of VEEP (I've missed Julia Louis-Dreyfus since "The Adventures of Old Christine" ended). 

Pretty soon, I was up again and getting ready for a work-related event somewhere at The Fort. Too bad I only stayed an hour at the talk, just as it was getting to be so interesting. I had to get up and leave because Anissa had to be picked up from training and I still had to cook dinner. I swear, by 6pm, I felt the same way I did when I was still working full-time.

The Francis Magalona Foundation's sister group and partner, The OneCORE's Coach Pia Nazareno-Acevedo spoke to GE Philippines employees and shared her knowledge on relationships. To be specific, the afternoon's topic was DISCIPLINING WITH LOVE.

It will take more than one blog post to share the things I learned in the one hour I sat there but I made sure to take the following photos to share to all you parents out there

Coach Pia showed this slide which illustrates the recommended amount of time a parent should be spending with his/her child/children, spouse, on work or with friends. Really interesting.

This next slide is more specific and shows a typical week for most parents. Note that it also includes time for oneself. 

Plan your time with your kids by mapping out the kind of activities you want to do with them. It should keep you focused plus you don't waste time thinking of what to do. 

See if you can do the same (I know I will). And let me know if it works for you. 

It's Wednesay and we're halfway through the week! 
Hang in there, folks!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Make Your Own Havaianas 2012

I totally forgot about my invitation to go to the pre-selling event, until I saw Saab (Magalona's) blog post. I think I also didn't go last year, but I can't remember why.

I would love to drop by and take advantage. After all, not everyone gets to be invited. Also because they have really nice designs this year. It's their 50th anniversary!

Word has it, they'll also be having these limited edition styles

Today happens to be a busy day (add to that the fact that I have no yaya) so I'm gonna have to skip it but