Thursday, January 29, 2009

Any updates?

I've taken a short leave from blogging here which only shows that either:

a. I've got nothing much to blog about.
b. I've been feeling sick.
c. I've been so busy at work (what else is new).
d. I got a computer/internet problem.
e. all of the above

I really hope to make up for the lack of interesting things to talk about, at least more interesting than my new haircut, my food cravings, and my lack of 'good' sleep in the evenings. Until then, I hope you guys still want to pass by here all the time.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I Should've...

...stayed away from that daing na bangus during lunch today.

I knew since last week that I had this weird aversion to the taste and smell of garlic and fish. It started with that supposedly yummy garlic fish fillet that I bought and ate last Thursday. It made me feel nauseous all day and forced me to take the day off on Friday (coz I was vomiting like crazy!). And now it's beginning again....


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Early Pregnancy Stuff

I really never expected to experience pregnancy symptoms so early....and I mean, so early in the morning. Yeah, found myself vomiting and hugging the toilet as early as 4am last Friday, when I am still dazed and half-awake. Zoe decided to wake up too and wanted to play already. To top it all, hubby is away on a job-related out of town trip.

Being pregnant is really something. I'm really feeling all of the stuff about it now. I get tired easily. I experience morning sickness and get so sleepy at work. Even my appetite's gone which is almost unbelievable. I'm not complaining though because I know that it's all for the good.

In addition, whether pregnancy-related or not, I also had been feeling emotional lately. I was watching EWTN and the coverage about the March for Life in DC yesterday and I found myself crying for hours after seeing all those rallying for a change in the Obama policies on abortion and contraception. Although all of these may seem irrelevant to me, I felt sad too thinking that there are still so many things that Obama can learn about the unborn. Actually, I really need not even look far. Even here in RP, there is still that battle to fight the reproductive 'health' bill. And as a pregnant woman, I find myself in the forefront of that fight --- wanting to do everything to protect the rights of the unborn baby, including my own, who someday, can be one of the great leaders of this honorable country. Thus, we cannot allow our leaders to pass a law allowing abortions in this country, propagating contraceptive drugs and materials, implementing sex education at the improper level in school and preventing parents from freely choosing how many kids they should have and how far apart they should have them.

Pregnancy is NOT a disease. It may have its inconveniences but the better things about it take over still. And what could be any greater than to carry and give birth to a unique person in the image and likeness of God (for this part -- I believe that it's not just my pregnancy hormones talking but really just me).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Iloilo Vacation 2009

Day 1 ~

January 15, we headed to the new airport to catch the Cebu Pacific flight 5J 457 bound for Iloilo. It's our first time to be in this airport so it was a new experience. The facilities are okay and way much better than the old domestic airport which I found so 'bulok'.

Tagging along was our dear Yaya Cat. This is like her annual leave. The plan is for her to take a short vacation in Maasin, Iloilo where her family lives. She will go home the same day we arrive and return na on our departure date. She deserves this vacation because she has worked very hard for the past year.

Being more than 2 years old, Zoe already has seat of her own. Good thing she's well adept with the seatbelt for she loves to toy with the seatbelt of her stroller and in the car. We gave her a lollipop to keep her busy during the take off. It really worked.

We arrived in Iloilo before dawn and headed straight to Sarabia Manor Hotel. We're so glad our friend Det was kind enough to send her driver to pick us up in the airport and bring us to the hotel. Cat was able to get a taxi na rin agad to go to Maasin.

My sister met us as soon as we got to the hotel. Her house is just a stone's throw away from Sarabia. We decided to have dinner in Bourbon Street in Smallville which is like the Eastwood City of Iloilo. The ribs in Bourbon Street tasted great!

Day 2 ~

I woke up early to catch the 6am mass at my sister's place. After mass, I walked back to the hotel to eat breakfast (the buffet in Sarabia is good) and to bathe Zoe. After that, we went to pick up my sister who still went to work (school). She still had 1 class for the day. While in St. Joseph's School, we saw a group of nursery kids lining up for class. My sister's co-teachers allowed us to look into the class. Zoe ended up being "saling ketket", lining with the rest of the kids and even standing infront of the class mimicking the actions that the teacher was doing (it was for their poetry presentation). When they started singing Incy-Wincy Spider (did I spell it right?), her eyes beamed with happiness and she screamed in delight! She must really like school (a good sign!).

The other kids are also oh so cute! Many of them are about a year older than Zoe.

Look at Zoe here -- sinisiksik yung cute boy. Hahaha.

After going to St. Joseph's School, we headed for the pier to catch a boat ride to Bacolod. We took the Weesam Express which costs about P370 per person (1st class). The ride was kind of bumpy because it was windy but it's okay. When we got there, we immediately contracted a taxi to take us around the city (P1,000 for the whole day na).

Our first stop was at Pendy's for lunch. The food was great! We had Kansi, Pendy's Fried Chicken and Pancit.

After that, we went to The Negros Museum (fee is P50 each). There we had a guided tour by a very nice lady (I think Debbie's her name) who relayed to us the history of Negros and the province's sugar industry. There was also a great collection different dolls by the Montelibano's, known to be the vastest collection in the country. Zoe really enjoyed looking at this one. Too bad, we were not allowed to take pictures inside.

Here are just some pictures of us sitting on the old staircase of the museum. The museum used to be an old government building which was constructed around 1941.

Next stop was at the Negros Showroom which is actually a store for souvenirs and Negros / Bacolod food products. I bought some Muscovado sugar there and some Bacolod ref magnets.

For merienda, we made our way to the famous Calea, near L' Fisher Hotel in Lacson Avenue. They serve the best cakes and pies in town. I swear, the pies that we ate were super yum-O! I really wished I bought a whole box for take-out. I regret now that we didn't, because now I'm craving for one!

Last main stop was at the San Sebastian Cathedral.

We said a short prayer there and made our wishes because it was our first time to step inside. :-)

Just passed by the Bong Bong's Pasalubong store to buy piaya and other stuff and then headed at around 5 p.m. to the pier to catch the last trip going back to Iloilo.

When we got back to Iloilo City, we went to Esca's for dinner. Tiring day but super fun!

Day 3 ~

The third day is for a tour around the city. Photo opps first before leaving the hotel.

The hotel already had several tourists because it was the start of a week-long Dinagyang Festival, wherein the culmination is held every 4th Sunday of January. This festival is dedicated to Señor Sto. Niño. The dance competition is really something to look forward to!

Our first stop for the day was the Jaro Cathedral to pay homage to Our Lady of Candelaria whose image is said to miraculously 'grow' each year.

In the picture below, the hole on top is the actual place where the statue of our Lady was originally placed. Now, she is more than double the size of her small niche. Her feast is every February 02, almost a week after the Dinagyang Festival.

A tablet near the statue said that Pope John Paul II himself went to this church back in 1981 and addressed the people from the top of the balcony where Hubby and Zoe are standing in the picture.

Just across the cathedral is the main branch (I think) of Biscocho Haus. We bought several delicacies there. Then we headed for Mary Mart near SM Delgado. What's there? Ukay-ukay!!!! Yeah, I traveled all the way to Iloilo to shop for some ukay-ukay. Hahaha. My sister and I love ukay-ukay. And what I really like about this ukay-ukay is that the clothes are arranged according to color. In that way, we can easily choose which colors you prefer. In a matter of minutes, I scored some nice maternity-styled tops which were in really good shape pa. :-) Only for 100 bucks each.

After that, Hubby, Zoe and I went to noontime mass in the nearby air-conditioned Sto. Niño Chapel just beside SM Delgado. After mass, we were off to Tatoy's for lunch. We had lechon, liempo, oysters, shrimps and sinigang na lapu-lapu. It was heavenly ~ need I say more?

We were so tired from the day's tour that we decided to just stay inside the hotel to rest. Anyway, for dinner, we met up with our friends from Metrobank and they treated us at Krua Thai (yummy again) in Smallville. It was so much fun seeing and talking to our friends. Det, My (with son Ralph) and Philip ~ we really enjoyed your company.

Day 4 ~

Our last day was dedicated to shopping and packing. Yaya Cat met us in SM City that morning where we also had Ted's Batchoy for brunch. At noon, we attended Sunday mass at the Jaro Cathedral. Lunch was at Mang Inasal near Mary Mart. And then it was pasalubong shopping again in Deco's Pasalubong Shop near SM Delgado. We bought a box-full of goodies to take home to our family and friends.

Here's Dad and Zoe in a Dinagyang decor in SM:

After that, we found ourselves again in the ukay-ukay in Magarbo. Of course, I again got to buy something for my maternity wardrobe. Hay, addicting talaga! :-)

At around 5:30 pm, we were already on our way to the airport. We just had a simple dinner in JD Bakery inside the airport before boarding.

We kept Zoe busy and sitting down by opening a tumbler of Chef Tony's Popcorn (our baon).

Bye-bye Iloilo! We enjoyed visiting!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Eating in Bacolod

Eating in Iloilo

Monday, January 19, 2009


...sleepy. So sleepy that...

...I didn't get to work as much today.
...couldn't blog properly.
...passed on several tasks at 3ps today (money didn't even attract me grabe)
...I couldn't eat properly -- so lazy to chew.
...I'm going home NOW.

Little Girl Antics

Zoe's current (terrible two) antics never cease to amuse me (or send me in panic!).

On our first day in Iloilo, we headed to Bourbon Street in Smallville for dinner with my sister. Zoe was not contented on just sitting down so we let her walk around the place. Her Dad was the one watching her all the time. Both stepping from outside, my hubby who had his back turned didn't notice Zoe stop to play near the door. We suddenly heard her cry "Daddy, Daddy!" ~~~my heart stopped when I saw her fingers stuck in between the wooden double doors of the restaurant. It was like an eternity! When her Dad finally got her fingers out, some of her nails had a brown color on them (the doors were painted brown). I really thought patay na kuko sya. Whew! Good thing it was not. Hahaha. Zoe only cried a little. Shortly after, it was as if nothing happened.

On our third day, we were at Tatoy's Manokan and Seafood for lunch. Zoe woke up from a nap just as the food was arriving. When she opened her eyes, the first thing she said was ~~~ "Coke, Coke Araw-Araw!!!!" Hmm.... Then she eyed on the really red plastic glass that held the paper napkins and wanted to drink from it. Of course we couldn't let her! It was dirty! So lagot! She didn't stop crying na!

Then yesterday, our last day in Iloilo, we were at my sister's house where they have an oratory. I was inside doing my afternoon prayer (as the rest of the people were doing) when Zoe enters, looks for me and shouts -- "Mommy! Pupu!" (I wanted to disappear!) And then after some time trying to kneel down and pray, she notices that her Dad was left outside so she stands up and headed for the door. Then suddenly, remembering that the ladies there genuflect first along the aisle before leaving, she takes an abrupt halt to genuflect (what a nice genuflection you made baby!) and then runs like crazy while saying "bye bye Jesus" as she sped away! It made the people inside the oratory burst of laughter/tears!

Zoe also picks the worse times to have a tantrum now. For example, on our plane trip back to Manila, she went into a tantrum right before take-off! She was shouting, crying and strangling to get off from her seat and didn't stop until the seat-belt sign was put off. I'm pretty sure it frightened a lot of the passengers, kids and adults alike! Hahaha! I could still remember the look that this well-dressed man gave us when I couldn't make Zoe to stop from crying and shouting. I could see that he was obviously pissed! I wanted to tell him -- "She's two! What can I do??!!!" Oh, by the way, she was sound asleep 10 minutes after take-off and awoke at 6:30 na this morning, which is the reason I was late for work today. Her morning cry of "Mommy!!!! Mommy!!!" is usually my alarm clock. :-) I could only assume that she had a blast during the whole trip that is why she ended up so tired and sleepy (like me!).

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Batchoy, Here We Come!

I'm going on a short leave from work (and blogging) starting tomorrow.

We're off to Iloilo (and maybe Bacolod) for some bonding time with my sister and some friends. I can't wait to eat Iloilo's original la paz batchoy soon! As you can see, when a preggy mommy wants one now, she gotta have it NOW!!!

Photo credit here.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Now's My Chance

Whenever I browse through my folder of digital pictures, I always stop to look at this picture and wonder when I am ever going to use this pic in my blog.

I finally have the chance now. Hahaha.

Ain't it a cutie? :-)

A Wonderful Discovery

I've always heard about prayers for pregnant women. Well, during my first pregnancy, I had the fortune of being blessed by a priest during my retreat. He said (talking to the group) that after the retreat, we will have the blessing of the baby. Not thinking, my initial reaction was --- "Where? Where is the baby?" Toink! I forgot for a second that I was pregnant and that he was referring to the baby in my womb. Anyway, that prayer was so comforting and reassuring.

So prayers for the mommy and baby are common. But my wonderful discovery today is to find this prayer. It's fantastic to see here that the father, who also equally participates in this wonderful blessing in the family, is not forgotten. Like the mother, he also needs to be prayed for and blessed. This is so good to know because my dear husband, who I love so much, although he is not the one who will actually give birth, also needs the supernatural grace to be the head of our growing family.

Blessing during Pregnancy, for Both Parents

When a pregnancy is first confirmed and at various times during pregnancy (when the extended family is present, for example), this blessing is appropriate. It may simply take place as part of the blessing at table, using the scripture reading and a prayer of blessing before joining in the grace for meals. The leader may be a priest, deacon, lay minister, a friend, or a member of the family.

All make the sign of the cross. The leader begins:
Blessed be God forever.
All respond:
Blessed be God forever.

The leader may use these or similar words to introduce the blessing:
As you await your child's birth in faith, partners in God's own love, may you already cherish the child you have conceived.

Then Scripture is read:
Listen to the words of the Holy Gospel according to Luke 1:39-45:

During those days, Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant leapt in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, "Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leapt for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled."

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
All respond:
Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ.

After a time of silence, all join in prayers of intercession. The Hail Mary, the Memorare, or other prayers asking for the protection of Mary may be appropriate. After the Lord's Prayer, the leader may invite all to extend their hands toward the parents or to place their hands in blessing on the parents.

Gracious Father, Your Word, spoken in love, created the human family and Your Son, conceived in love, restored it to Your friendship. Hear the prayers of (mother's name) and (father's name), who await the birth of their child. Calm their fears when they are anxious.

Watch over and support these parents and bring their child into this world safely and in good health, so that as members of Your family they may praise You and glorify You through Your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen.

All make the sign of the cross. The leader concludes:
May God, Who chose to make known and to send the blessings of eternal salvation through the motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the protection of St. Joseph, bless us and keep us in His care, now and forever. Amen.

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Friday, January 9, 2009

On This Day

Josemaría Escrivá was born in Barbastro in 1902, at about ten o’clock at night. He wrote later: “God our Lord (…) caused me to be born in a Christian home like most of those in my country, to exemplary parents who practised and lived their faith, and who gave me great freedom from the time when I was quite young, while at the same time watching over me very carefully. They tried to make sure I was formed in a deeply Christian way.”

The birthplace of Josemaría Escrivá:

Monday, January 5, 2009

And Now For Some BIGGER News...

Guess what Hubby and I received as a gift for Christmas?




















Friday, January 2, 2009

Divine Concurrence

Have you heard of divine concurrence (better known as divine providence)? Well, I re-learned this term a few months ago in a seminar. Somehow, the term stuck into my mind this time around maybe because of the way it was explained to us. In my own understanding, this means that God plans everything. It also means that everything that happens has a purpose and is all part of a great plan.

Divine Providence
(Latin, Providentia; Greek, pronoia)
"Providence in general, or foresight, is a function of the virtue of prudence, and may be defined as the practical reason, adapting means to an end. As applied to God, Providence is God Himself considered in that act by which in His wisdom He so orders all events within the universe that the end for which it was created may be realized. That end is that all creatures should manifest the glory of God, and in particular that man should glorify Him, recognizing in nature the work of His hand, serving Him in obedience and love, and thereby attaining to the full development of his nature and to eternal happiness in God. The universe is a system of real beings created by God and directed by Him to this supreme end, the concurrence of God being necessary for all natural operations, whether of things animate or inanimate, and still more so for operations of the supernatural order. God preserves the universe in being; He acts in and with every creature in each and all its activities. In spite of sin, which is due to the wilful perversion of human liberty, acting with the concurrence, but contrary to the purpose and intention of God and in spite of evil which is the consequence of sin, He directs all, even evil and sin itself, to the final end for which the universe was created. All these operations on God's part, with the exception of creation, are attributed in Catholic theology to Divine Providence."
Anyway, I believe that divine concurrence happens in the big things as well as the small things, in the good things as well as those perceived as bad. Recently, we had a taste of God's divine concurrence and goodness.

On January 1, 2009, while preparing for New Year's lunch, we heard a clash at the back of our house. Our Ate Nilda and Francis were at the backyard grilling liempo. We heard from them that part of the window from my Tatay's walk-in closet and bathroom fell out.

All the while, Zoe and I were in the kitchen watching my husband prepare Fish and Chips for lunch. When Hubby finally went inside the room to check why the window broke, he found this ~

~ at the lavatory of my Tatay's bathroom.

It's a 9.0 mm bullet.

We couldn't believe that a 'stray' bullet hit our house at 10:00 in the morning.
When I look back, I only have God to thank because...

1) Zoe and I were sitting at that same sink where the bullet fell only 5 minutes before the bullet was fired. She wanted to make pupu and I accompanied her.
2) Ate Nilda and Francis were about 1 meter away from where the pieces of the glass window fell so they were unhurt.
3) That time (10 am) was ordinarily Zoe's bath time. After bathing, she would normally sit on that sink to brush her teeth. On that day, since it was January 01, Zoe took a bath earlier since we had relatives who were coming for lunch.

Whoever fired that bullet must be crazy. That single bullet could have cost the life of a dear person. It was so bad. We called the baranggay police and they said that we should report this to PNP Rizal. So we tried calling PNP but nobody was answering the phone so we just let it be. I felt really scared but at the same time I felt relieved that God made it so that the bullet hit the window and not a person. Divine concurrence is really a great mystery and I'm glad God spared us from any harm.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Busy Vacation...

...but found some minutes to sneak in our family picture taken on New Year's Eve.

Happy 2009 everyone! Now, let's get on with our resolutions!

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