A Summary of our Christmas!

9:49 AM gem 0 Comments

How was your holidays?

I thought this was going to be our first Christmas in a new home. However, we still haven't started the move out and the renovations in the new home are still in progress. Thus, we had to celebrate Christmas the way we used to. It didn't disappoint us in any way either! This celebration has got to be one of the bests we've had.

Here's what happened to us last Christmas!

family-christmas from gem taopo on Vimeo.


Revisiting my Dream board

7:54 PM gem 0 Comments

Last few days of 2012.

I believe that you do not just wait for things to happen to you but instead, you should set goals so you do not lose focus. With this, you gain control over your life or at least have a direction to go to. This will help you gauge how near you are from getting your goals.

Last March 2012, I created a dream board, or power-board for me because I think these things are not "just" a dream. As we close 2013, I revisited my power-board to see which goals were met this year. I am happy to say that I crossed out almost all of it.

My Goals for 2012 (March 2012)

My Achieved Goals as of Dec. 2012

1. Travel/ Vacation- We went to Boracay on my birthday despite the busy schedule that we have. I love adventure and travels so much that's why this, definitely, was on my list.

2. Ipad - it wasn't for me but for my hubby since I already have my Ipad 2. I gave him his own Ipad. :)

3. Makeup Case - I don't know why I kept on delaying my purchase of this. Maybe it was because I was not expecting that much clients. I was focused on my other business. However, the clients came left and right so I HAD to buy the makeup case. As of now, I am enjoying it so much!

4. Bills Managed- I am happy to say that they do not bother me anymore! yehey!

5. Church- I placed here a picture of a church because secretly, I was "dreaming" that someday, I will get married in a church. Looking back at what happened to us, it was really surprising that our planned civil wedding ended up as a church wedding. Unconsciously... maybe... I attracted it. :)

For the other things I have not crossed out, I would like to think that they were just delayed. We lost our car because of the flood during the Habagat days so we had to work with the insurance company in getting whatever money we can get to recover from it. Thus, the sports car did not become the priority from that time. Second, the target savings was not met because we got married but I am very happy that our finances have improved tremendously (one of the many blessings we received this year). And third, for Megan's educational plan, I talked to someone this year who made me think twice about it. In short, I changed my mind. I would rather get Megan and my soon to arrive baby Abraham a life insurance. It's a better choice.

Assessing what happened this year, I can say that it has been a wonderful year. There were delays but still, I can see how far I've gone in achieving the things I want. 2013 will be exciting. I decided not to make a New Year's Resolution because I often end up forgetting about them. Instead, I will be making another power-board and will work on turning those dreams to reality!

So how did your 2012 go?


A Happy Christmas

10:45 PM gem 0 Comments

Before this day ends, I would like to greet everyone a Merry Christmas! This year, the people we have met and interacted with have been a part of the learnings and happiness which made 2012 such a wonderful year.

For sure everyone has their story of Christmas eve and Christmas itself. I would just like to thank my husband for his gift for me. Since he knew I couldn't drink coffee and will not be able to complete the Starbucks planner, he gave me the end product as a present!

My husband's first gift 

Our Christmas Eve went so well by going to the chapel to hear mass before Noche Buena, having a fun filled Noche Buena, and enjoying ourselves as we sing using the videoke.

Megan singing with Daddy

And on Jesus' birth day, it was all about kids... Our kids and the kids of the parents who went to our house for the usual aguinaldo giving. But we must always remember that Christmas is not about the new clothes, the food, the gadgets, the money that we, or our children get. It is about spending the day with your family and filling the day with LOVE.

It was indeed a happy Christmas not just for the kids but to us, the kids at heart, as well. I think I will never make myself used to any other Christmas than the one that we celebrate here at Longos. They always say that in traditions, you can always add something new, but the goal or the essence should be kept intact.

Family is all about LOVE. No matter how big the family gets, it is important that they come back to their roots and appreciate everything that they have.


The Wildlife

12:18 AM gem 0 Comments

Travelling has always been my love but not commuting. My pregnancy has made it more difficult for me to get to places I want to go unless I would take a cab. Today, it was one of those days again where I had to explore by myself.

It was my first time at Parks and Wildlife. Nakakahiya naman considering the place is just in Quezon City. The entrance is only 8 pesos. Very cheap! However, I told myself I shouldn't be expecting a brochure with a map though it would really help so much for a first timer like me. I looked at the big map at the entrance but I just couldn't memorize it.

I roamed and got to the Wildlife Resource Center where I saw the animals that were being taken cared of. It was fun to be alone once in a while. For sure, I will be taking Megan here so she could see some animals live- in action!

Some of the animals in the Wildlife Resource Center

Checking out the scenery
There's so many areas in the place that I haven't really gone to yet. But I am glad to know that a park like this exists in Quezon City! Keep it up!


Let's talk about Bathroom!

11:13 AM gem 0 Comments

One of the best parts in a married life is moving to a place of your own. Although Yan and I have been living in together for almost 3 to 4 years, we really skipped the part of moving out of my house. First, I was not ready to move out yet. Second, Megan is best taken cared of when my aunts are with us. I get to work at that time without worrying about my then, very young baby.

But now that we're married, a sudden change of atmosphere swept me. It's time to live on our own. (Well we should have done it a long time ago anyway!) We have been looking for our new "house to be". Manila being too crowded gives couples more option if they would be looking for areas like Cavite, Las Pinas, Bulacan, Fairview, and all other faraway places. We removed Condos from our list because we want to be able to own a land and renovate it, build a house the way we want to.

For now, with baby Abraham coming soon, we can't risk getting a house that's far because if the time comes when I will have to give birth and Yan is in the office, who will help me get to the hospital? Or take care of me after giving birth? Some people will say "you'll get by" but I really do not want to wait and see.

Soooo... we're moving to a place near our hearts (still in Malabon). And we're having it renovated! I have been looking at bathroom ideas because I am very sure that we'll have it totally changed.

Here are some of the images I love to see materialize. All photos are courtesy of Home Interior Designs http://www.besthomedesigns.org/

For now I have picked simple designs for a small space. It feels so exciting!!!! Next up... I need some ideas for book shelves. Since I am a teacher by profession, my books are part of who I am. Thus, if I move out, I have to bring my books with me. It's time to research.

If you have other resources for bathroom ideas, let me know. It would be a big help! And if you could share the best places to buy tiles and bathroom accessories that are affordable, send me a message too. 2013 is going to be great!


December is a time to rejoice!

7:43 PM gem 0 Comments

December has always been, for most, the most favorite month of the year. One of the best reasons of course would be Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ. As I have mentioned, November was the best month for me. Second to it would be December. Nobody can't deny the happiness on people's face when they get to receive their 13th month pay, get to schedule and meet with friends they haven't seen regularly, visit relatives, buy themselves a gift or gifts for others, attend Christmas parties and get to be bonggacious once in a year.

And when it comes to looking fabulous, that's when I come in and help. I have always enjoyed making people look their best.

Looking at my Facebook newsfeed, there were a lot of people who got married last 12.12.12. They said the date is lucky because there will never be another three repetitive numbers again for a date. It was memorable for me too because I was invited to make 11 ladies more beautiful as they attend a wedding. I was at Lancaster Hotel early in the morning with my two assistants. It was a different experience because most of the clients we did were the titas of the bride. To be honest, they were very demanding. But they were fun to be with! Imagine, they have their own makeups and false eyelashes that they wanted to use. And for best customer service, you always give what your client wants. :)

Makeup artist at work

The blessings didn't stop that day. The next day, I went to C3 Events place to make 3 lovely ladies more beautiful in their Filipiniana costumes. I did their hairstyles too! And while I was in the middle of the makeup session, I was invited to judge the company's group presentation and beauty contest. Since I had no commitments after the makeup session, I gladly accepted the invite. I was just a little psyched that I might not be dressed for the occassion. But it really didn't matter! I enjoyed seeing the presentations and I laughed together with the crowd for the performances of people I do not even know! That was really an experience.

December is indeed festive and it hasn't ended yet. Let's celebrate everyday for life and for the wonderful things God has given us all.


Holidays are the best time to share

9:39 PM gem 0 Comments


And I continue sharing even if my little boy is already showing.

This year, I got promoted in our business. And for the Christmas event, all those who were promoted are in charge of the presentations. As much as I want to join in our team's performance, my pregnancy would be my outmost priority. Thus, to be able to help and share in the event, I made my lovely teammates look wonderful and perfect for their chosen presentation.

Doing makeup without "KYEME" :)

The team
Blessings continue to pour and I'm happy to be doing makeups this December! I remember the Dream Board that I made at the early part of this year... I finally got my makeup case! :D Yey!


A Mother's Presence

5:29 PM gem 0 Comments

I grew up raised by my aunts while my mother works in Hong Kong and my father in Saudi Arabia. I understood perfectly why the setting had to be such... it is for the greater good. My mother has been working in Hong Kong for more than 10 years if I am not mistaken. We don't get to see her every year because like other OFWs, she would prefer to work so she can provide for us. Again, I perfectly understand that.

We definitely see her on special events like my younger sister's wedding, and of course, my recent wedding event. The past months have been difficult for me, more difficult because of the hormonal changes I am going through because of pregnancy. Her arrival was like a grand vacation for my emotional stress. The feeling was calm and very secure. This is one of the reasons I love November out of all the months of this year. It is true that a mother cares like no one else would. A mother understands like no one else would. And though I didn't grow up with her beside me all the time, I truly appreciate seeing her... just seeing her makes everything okay.

Today, she is on her trip back to Hong Kong. It's going to be a long distance relationship again for us all. As a daughter, the only gift I could give her is to show her that I can manage my life on my own. The most precious thing I can offer is for her to have that peace of mind that I am responsible enough to live that life that she can be proud of.

We will see each other soon. And I will always find a way to bridge the distance so you don't have to worry so much.

mama vacation from gem taopo on Vimeo.


Attending all the Seminars

12:46 AM gem 0 Comments

We're finally glad we're done with all the seminars that we had to attend for our wedding. Church wedding is indeed tedious and demands a lot. We first attended our Pre-cana seminar from the church where we will get married, Parish of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Based on statistics, they rank #3 among the most number of weddings held every year- 200-300 weddings a year. And because of that, they always come prepared for every pre-cana seminar that they will be conducting.

It was a whole day event that we enjoyed. Breakfast, snacks, lunch were prepared. The speakers were all good and the place was airconditioned. If I am not mistaken, we were around 20 couples who had a crash course on how to make a marriage work. It wasn't like my everyday Religion class when I was in Highschool. It was more on the awareness that a lot of people get married but end up apart. Hence, the Church believes that a seminar like this is necessary so married couples would understand and expect that Marriage needs effort and nurturing of both parties for it to become successful. Family planning was also discussed. Because it is a very interesting topic, I'll post a different entry for that.

Second that we attended was a Pre-Marriage Counseling Seminar by the Municipality of Malabon. It was for four hours. A short version of our Pre-cana seminar, they tackled almost the same things. They only differ on topics about laws for women, children etc...

And the third was our Confirmation or Kumpil seminar. When the speaker talked about the 10 Commandments, the 7 Sacraments, our ears began bleeding... here we go again. It was the same lesson taught by a different teacher.

But among all these, what I really appreciate is the effort that our Church and Government give to create awareness of the real value of marriage. Though we hear about failed marriages left and right, when it's your turn to get into it, you'll realize how big is the task at hand.



10:58 PM gem 0 Comments

Hinahapon na ako kaya kinakailangan ko na umalis para sa regular kong check up sa aking OBGYNE.  Sikat ang OB ko. Director ba naman ng ospital. Pagdating ko sa office niya, nakita kong may pila na pero nakalagay sa pintuan ang "The Doctor is OUT". Wala pa si Doc kahit na dapat e nandun na siya dahil sabi ng office hours niya e 5pm to 7pm. Sige na nga, wag na akong magmaganda dahil 5:45 naman ako dumating.

Dahil alam ko ng maghihintay din ako ng matagal ay inilabas ko sa itim kong bag ang libro ni Bob Ong na di ko pa matapos tapos basahin. Kaya siguro naging Filipino ang blog ko ngayun para maiba naman. Nahawa ni Bob Ong e. Di ako naiinip kasi normal na sa akin na matagal si Doc. Maya maya pa, may dumating na dalawang babae. Nasa 50 anyos pataas na siguro ang edad. Sa talas ng pandinig ko, nalaman ko na Chinese sila.

Basa. basa. basa. Mga 6:30 ay dumating na si Doc. Hay salamat! Aandar na ang pila. Hintay parin... Basa... basa... Kung nauna ka sa doktor, di mo man alam kung sino ang nauna sayo, alam mo kung sino ang susunod sayo... kasi nga nauna ka sa kanila. Nang kumonti pa ang  tao, lumabas ang sekretarya. Akala ko sa akin siya nakatingin. Senyales na "AKO" na. Pero laking gulat ko ng hindi pala ako ang sinesenyasan kungdi ang dalawang Filipino-Chinese na mga may edad na kaharap ko. Kahit sabi ng popular na larawan na nagkalat sa Internet na "Keep Calm and..." hindi ko malaman ang isusunod sa katagang iyon dahil hindi ko makitaan ng magandang dahilan bakit nauna pa sila sa akin! May pila naman diba?

Bigla tuloy nag flashback sa akin ang ilang pangyayaring katulad nito.

Si Tita ko mahilig sa pag "singit". Marami kasi siyang kilala. Miss Congeniality kung baga. Ugali niyang magbigay ng pasalubong sa mga taong madalas niya nang nakakausap o nalalapitan. Kaya tuloy nung minsan na nagpunta kame sa isang government office para kumuha ng benepisyo- nakita ko na pagkahaba haba ng pila. Pero si Tita, pumasok lang doon mismo sa Employee's area, binati ang kakilala niya, tapos e sumunod na kaming naasikaso. Walang pila. Noon palang alam kong hindi ko kaya ang ganung pamamaraan. Masunurin kasi ako. Kapag kakain nga ng kendi si Abryan at itatapon nalang ang balat sa kalsada e pipigilan ko pa para hingin nalang ang balat at ilagay muna sa bag ko hanggang maitapon sa basurahan. Ganun ako kamasunurin. Hindi ko sinasabing masama ang mga taong di sumusunod sa nararapat. Ang sinasabi ko lang ay mas madali para sa akin ang sumunod nalang sa batas, sa rules, sa tamang asal. Kaya nga may RIGHT path kasi RIGHT! hehe.

Kung wala akong dalang libro at kung gutom na gutom na ako, malamang ko iba ang naging eksenang sumunod. Pero sabi nga sa 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, be PROACTIVE. Wag na magpa stress dahil hindi ko naman kontrolado kung gusto ng ibang tao na gamitin ang pagka ELITISTA nila para mabigyan ng "special treatment". Sige na, kayo na ang mayamang kailangang mauna. Siguro malubha ang karamdaman kasi may edad na kaya pagbigyan nalang. Ang maganda dun, matatapos kong basahin ang libro- na natapos ko nga bago ako tawagin ng sekretarya.

Sa akin lang, hindi ko sinasabing pabayaan ang baluktot at magbulag bulagan. May mga pagkakataong kailangang ipagtanggol natin ang karapatan natin kung alam nating nasa tama tayo. Pero hindi sa lahat ng pagkakataon kailangan nalang laging makibaka- parang laging may gera.

Attract positive energies.

Kahit naghintay pa ako, masaya naman ang naging usapan namin ng OB ko. FAMILY PLANNING. Nakakatuwa talaga siya pag nagbibigay ng opinyon. Salungat kasi siya sa tinuturo ng simbahan pagdating sa "Natural Family Planning". Sa totoo lang... sang ayon ako sa kanya na mahirap talaga ang itinuro sa amin nung nag seminar kame sa simbahan. Yung aalamin mo kung kailan ka "Fertile" sa pagkuha ng temperatura ng babae at pagmomonitor nito araw araw. Aba!!! mahirap yun- (promise!) Kung may mga nadadalian- ito ang masasabi ko- IKAW NA! :)

Napag usapan din namin yung sinabi sa amin na paraan para sa mga mag-asawa kung gusto nila ng lalake o babaeng anak. Ang hirit ni Doc e walang scientific basis yung sinasabi nila. At hindi daw ba mas masama na ituro yun kasi sino ang tao para pakielaman kung anong gender ang gustong ibigay ng Diyos sa mag asawa. (may punto naman si Doc dun!)

Masaya ang naging usapan. Kakaiba talaga magpayo si Doc. Hindi lang sa kalusugan, pati sa personal na opinyon, nakakamangha. Kaya nga ba sikat siya e. Biruin mo sino bang Doktor ang darating ng 30 minutes nalang at tapos na ang Clinic hours niya pero sa kabila nun marami paring pila. Ibang klase talaga siya.

Kung nainis ako sa dalawang matandang yun, malamang nasira ang araw ko at hindi kami nakapag kwentuhan. Kaya ang bottomline: Wag na lang magalit. Kung may magagawa kang paraan, gawin mo. Kung wala naman e wag mo nalang pansinin. Sabi nga nang Prettier than Pink "Easy ka lang, relaks ka lang, simple lang ang buhay ngumiti ka nalang. Daanin mo sa galit noo'y kukunot lang..."

Sa mga may ikinakagalit diyan... alam niyo na ang gagawin... :)


Prenup... prenup...

10:42 PM gem 0 Comments

Got tired today but it was fun! Here's a glimpse...

HMUA: Tita Ruben
Location: Heima Store

Some of these shots I will post on my Instagram.
Find me. francineangel


Do you have a couple theme song?

12:58 AM gem 1 Comments

When I was in my teens, I love having theme songs. I even had a theme song for every crush I had. Somehow, it reminded me of those cute guys who made my day complete.

When we attended our Pre-cana seminar and we were asked what our theme song is. I honestly answered "none". There were lots of songs which became a part of our relationship but we never really considered them our theme song.

The only couple theme song I couldn't forget was "It might be you" by two of my closest friends. It made me very cautious of choosing songs back then because it might define how the story will go. Since it was "it 'MIGHT' be you" meaning "unsure", they didn't end up together. *peace*

So is it weird that we do not have a theme song?

This morning, Abryan suddenly sang a song on auto repeat while we were on our way home. Then he asked me if we could play it on our wedding day. We listened to the entire song. It was really funny and I am sure the chorus would best describe what happened to him. However, we just laughed because it wouldn't be that appropriate for a wedding.

About the song:::

Yes... this will very much pass as a theme song when we were starting the relationship. When everybody thought that this guy is nothing but a pretty face and will do nothing but cheat and make women cry, God gave a different kind of relationship that required a change of character.
And that is what happened to us.

You can CHOOSE not to let your past actions define who you are.

Your environment, your family history, your past relationships are not a basis of who you will be.

You CHOOSE what your character will be. It is not an easy process but it starts with a CHOICE.

And there's one thing I know... I never keep a blind eye on wrong doings. With this I can honestly tell that the man I will marry has come a very long way from who he was when I first met him. That is the reason why I will marry him. <3

Here is the song that would describe our journey before this marriage.

FYI: this is not cheesy!


How to prepare a wedding in a short notice: The Requirements

1:58 PM gem 0 Comments

For most couples I know, their engagement took 6 months to 1 year preparation. So why are we rushing it? I would simply answer it with a "what's it to you?".  The Mayans said that the world would end on 2012 so we might as well get wed this year right? (Kidding)

Really, I thought of having it next year. Yet, I guess for couples who are both working, 6 months to a year would really be ideal. But for us where I take charge of a business, I "know" we can make this work with the little time we have.

Our ID Photos :)

Know the requirements.

We were just blessed because we are accustomed to the internet world which makes the requests of documents much faster compared to lining up in the government offices which could have taken us forever. Here are the basic requirements for a church wedding.

  • Baptismal Certificates
  • Confirmation Certificates
  • Marriage License
  • NSO Birth Certificates
  • Single Status Certificates (CENOMAR)
  • Canonical Interview
  • Ecclesiastical Banns
  • Permit
  • Pre-cana Seminar
  • List of Sponsors
Baptismal Certificate: You have to request this from the church or parish where you were baptized  Good thing we are both from Malabon so it only took a motor ride to travel to and fro to our parishes. Depending on the church or parish, it would just take a day to process this. *Check!*

Confirmation Certificates: Although we both graduated in a Catholic school in high school, we really wonder why our parents did not thought of having us confirmed when we were 11 or 12 years old. We went looking for a church where we could have this done. FYI, since a bishop is the only one allowed to perform this sacrament, we finally found a schedule in a church in Caloocan. Be reminded that some churches hold confirmation ONCE a month so you better be sure to attend it. (Quiapo church hold Confirmation rites every week just in case you are really in a hurry) We are still to attend our Confirmation on the last Saturday of this month. ***Pending***

Marriage License: Tada! How stupid of us to leave this last. You will get this from your Munisipyo. The requirements are NSO Birth certificate photocopy, Cenomar photocopy, but you will need to bring the original ones for checking. Then, you will be scheduled for a family planning seminar. Your names will be posted in the municipal hall for 10 days before you get your license. Since we thought it would just be a whim, we unfortunately have submitted our original birth certificates and cenomar to the church so... we would have to request again! delay... delay... delay... ***Pending***

Birth Certificates and Cenomar: Save your sweat. Do this online. It only takes 3 days and the documents will be delivered right at your doorstep. Birth certificate costs 300 + pesos while Cenomar is 400 + pesos. 

Canonical Interview: Will be scheduled by the church where you will hold your wedding at. 
For us, it will be next week, on a Wednesday. ***pending ***

Ecclesiastical Banns: Your chosen church will give the bride and groom a request form which will be given to the churches where the bride and groom were baptized. Their names will have to be announced after the mass for 3 consecutive Sundays. This would be the perfect time for those who would want to STOP the wedding to come forward and state why the wedding shouldn't happen. Of course, the reason should be lawfully acceptable. If no one disagrees...

the Permit will be issued. *** we should be getting this, this Sunday ***

Pre-Cana Seminar: You can choose which church you would want to have this. They have schedules. ***checked***

List of Sponsors: You need this for the marriage license and for the church. 

Other than the Marriage License, we are all good to go. 


What happened after the Proposal?

11:43 PM gem 0 Comments

It has been a month and two days since Abryan proposed. Right after the fleeting feeling that I will get married, the preparations have to happen. I was very comfortable with a civil wedding. That was what we originally planned. I was not really in the mood, and I don't think I am that type of woman, to tediously plan for a church wedding. Like my closest friends used to say, I was always one of the boys. But after the "pamamanhikan", my mother, who is based in Hongkong talked to Yan and they decided that a church wedding is always better.

So why is it better? I had to try to understand why I would agree with a church wedding since I already had my mind set on a civil one.

For our parents.

Not just for mine, or for any bride of that matter. I just realized how any parent would love to see their daughter or son receive God's blessing through the church. Since my family is still traditional, I know they would really be glad if the church bells ring.

For God

For those who know our love story, the beginning of our relationship wasn't ideal. We went through a lot of trials and we both believe that it's just right that we put God in the middle of our relationship as husband and wife. IDK, saying our vows in front of the altar will forever remind us that we did not only make a promise to each other but to God as well.

And all the other things we've learned in our pre-cana seminar made me realize that a church wedding is not just a "paper" signed legally, it is a commitment to God that we will forever love each other.

So how long do we have to prepare for this wedding?

2 months!

It's exciting.

I would really want to have it next year but this year has got to be THE year. Having a lot of time to myself, I have the opportunity to really be hands-on in the preparation.

This wedding website was made a few weeks after the proposal...



The Music of the Night

11:48 AM gem 2 Comments

I was terribly waiting for the day, September 13, when I was scheduled to watch one of my favorite and most dreamt Broadway plays to be staged in Manila, Phantom of the Opera. It was all over my social networking sites, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

When you have prepared and waited so much for this day, you wouldn't let anything ruin it. Yet that morning, I got hot headed just because Boi didn't reply to my texts for awhile. (hormones) He said he was going to his mom's place but what's so important that he could be doing that he did not reply to my texts? And then, the flare began. I called, no one picked up. I called again, he picked up. I asked him where he was because I was hearing a lot of noise. He said he just came from the bathroom which was why he wasn't able to pick up- totally not good at lying! And because my detective instincts are really at par, I got furious! I told him not to go home. I was even thinking of going to CCP by myself and watch Phantom of the Opera alone.

He then texted that he knows how important this day was for me so he do not want to ruin it. He went home. SILENT TREATMENT. Went to sleep. Woke up around 5pm. At that time, all I wanted was to be ready for the show so I put aside the morning issue.

We arrived at CCP at 6:40pm. We bought the program which cost us 500 pesos and a keychain for 400 pesos. (really! such an expensive keychain) And around 7:15pm, we lined up for the  theater entrance. The usherettes of CCP are very particular with time. They let people in exactly at 7:30pm. Good thing we got aisle seats. I was pleased that they were strict with the "no camera" policy. I would have complained if they were not because I did not bring mine though it hurted me a lot... hehehe. (All photos were taken using my fone)

Here we go!!! I thought to myself. While we were seated, I turned to my right where Boi was seated and saw a small black box- jewelry box that he held in front of me. He opened it and in it was a ring. (I know what was going to happen but I don't know how to react!) I just said "Totoo ba yan?" Then, he kneeled and my eyes just got bigger! I was telling him to get up because we were already attracting viewers. And of course, he said the "Will you Marry Me?" line. His body was shaking and I felt his armpit got hot afterwards. (hehehe) Of course I said "yes"!

I am not particular with jewelries. For all I care, I would be happy with any ring. It is that easy to put a smile on my face. He just made this night a NIGHT to REMEMBER.

When the show started and when they lit the chandelier and started playing the Overture, I was teary eyed. I couldn't believe I was watching Phantom of the Opera!

The entire production was superb! The transitions to every scene were perfectly done. Though the stage was small, it was well managed- not too crowded. And about the performance of the cast, they were very good. But if you have seen Sierra Boggess as Christine Daae in the 25th Anniversary performance, you would really wish she was the one on stage. (just because I am used to how she sings and acts out every line)

When it ended, it was a sigh of relief that at last I got two goals down- to find the man I will be with for the rest of my life and watching one of my long lists of musicals that I have been dreaming to see since I was a child.


Good Times!

2:59 PM gem 0 Comments

There are times when you feel lost and that there is nothing good happening. But like what my mentors always say, sometimes there are things that you just have to outlast. And after that, things will start to get better again.

And it did!

And here are the things that I would celebrate for!

  • Boi is turning anew! 
* I forgot that he hasn't made this known to others yet so... Ang daldal ko talaga! Chaka na nga pag na announce niya na. :)
  • We will watch Phantom of the Opera this September 
After postponing buying the tickets for some time, Boi and I finally decided to purchase our tickets! I can't imagine my regret if I don't see this masterpiece.
ANTHONY Downing as Raoul
Photo Credit: 
Claire Lyon as Christine
Photo taken from:

This is one of the grandest productions in Broadway. If you want a glimpse of how grand it is, check the pictures below.

So if you haven't bought your tickets yet, there are still a few good dates available. Make sure to check Ticketworld for the best seats!

  • Car Insurance for Total Loss in the process
After a series of follow ups, our car insurance is now processing what we will get for the misfortune we had on our car. Boodha was unfortunately flooded while parked in our garage during the HABAGAT days. The flood was so high we couldn't do anything to save it. HOPEFULLY (crossing my fingers), we can get a new car SOON.

  • An underwater digital camera
It's not really a need because we do not have plans of going to the beach yet but I would really like a handy camera so I do not have to bring the bulky Canon that we have. As for which camera, we are still deciding between Canon D20
or Lumix TS4

And there are other good things coming which I would like to share when they're official.
It really helps in one's motivation to write about the good things that they are experiencing. It makes one realize more the blessings that God is continuously giving.

So if you are experiencing a not so good time, just remember that it's not going to rain all the time. Expect for that sunshine and be excited!


A Beautiful Wedding!

6:29 PM gem 0 Comments

Applause! Congratulations to my bestpren RJ for marrying his dream girl Angel! After 11 years of relationship, I am just glad that though they were married in the US, they still decided to have another wedding here in the Philippines for their relatives, friends, and all their loved ones.

How do you make a marriage work forever?

The priest said there should be two important things: PATIENCE and KINDNESS.
There might be some things about your partner that you WILL never accept- but PATIENCE will solve this for you. And there would be times when you would want to pack your bags and leave, but if you remember your partner's KINDNESS, you will eventually unpack.

There are a lot of things in between which would really be hard to understand. Nevertheless, it takes a LOT of EFFORT to make a marriage work. Most say that it is worth it.

This wedding is the most elegant one I've seen so far. Too bad we had to leave a little early because of some "no Yaya issues" with Megan.


Boats in the City

10:30 PM gem 0 Comments

Ever since we got back from Tagaytay, the weather hasn't been really nice. Storm Gener's very strong winds and its hard rains made me stay in the house for 4 days now. I am just so glad that I do not have an office work anymore which could have forced me to dip into the thigh high flood and find out the next adventure that awaits me. This is one of those times when I am thankful for having a business.

When you live in Malabon, flood is not a weird event. It is something we expect when storms as strong as what we have now enters the Philippines. But I don't feel bad at all living here compared to what some people told me that I should probably get a new house somewhere else. Manila is no different to Malabon nowadays. It floods everywhere too. It is something that just takes a little of getting used to. And besides, admit it.... Malabon folks are happy people. Peoplehere help each other in these times and we truly care about our neighbors... Compare that to your condominium neighbors!

And part of adapting the appearances of lifeboats. It's funny because you'd probably see these on the beach or at the river but not on the street.


The Team in Royale Estates

7:18 PM gem 0 Comments

Just when Super storm "gener" was entering the country, I spent my Saturday in Tagaytay.
And of course the rest was all fun-filled!!! Here are pictures with the ELITES.



5:49 AM gem 0 Comments

There are two ways to look at a coin like there are two ways to look at things. I am a worrier when things do not go as planned. My impatience really gets the best of me. I could have made a wrong decision but there is this text message which said something very true.

How well do you know if you've made the right decision?

Jesus said:

"It's when you picked the hardest choice yet your heart is at peace."

And I wouldn't be at peace if I chose the easier path. God gives us experiences that are sometimes hard to understand. But we just have to believe that it is for something... My heart still cannot understand completely, but I know that HE did magic in my life.


An old electronic love letter

4:51 PM gem 0 Comments

Often times, I always imagine what if I could go back in time and see myself when I was younger. Maybe there are so many things that I would realize about myself. But if I can't remember how I used to think back then, I remembered how my students were.

Young people are full of dreams. They are not afraid of trying for they do not know yet what they can and cannot do. They just do it without caring if they would be rejected. And young people are creative. But somehow, along the way to maturity, we lose the heart to dream. We get scared of being rejected. We ran out of creativity in expressing ourselves or solving a problem.

I was going through old CDs trying to sort out which ones are still working. I found a CD which made me appreciate how young people are. Somebody gave me this with a poem which was written for me.

Not for anything else but I realize that we can create beautiful things and achieve what we what to achieve as long as our heart has the unwavering desire to do so. Like in fairytales, maybe we are all under a spell. We have forgotten how to be brave and fight so we can go after our happily ever after. Nothing is impossible if you WILL your heart to it.



11:50 AM gem 0 Comments

I've seen a number of movies about being trapped in the elevator. And most of those are scenes you'd never want to get into. Who would want to experience delay by getting stuck in an enclosed area? Last Saturday, after we went swimming at Ascott's pool, we were in a hurry to get back to our room because we have other activities to do and was already crunched for time. And it was unexpected that our elevator didn't even move but we got stuck on the 6th floor. A few girls let out a scream when we stopped. The elevator can carry 17 people. We did a headcount and we were just 16 - including a little girl maybe around the age of 10, and 3 of the other girls were really slim so we weren't overloading the elevator.

They electricians weren't able to fix it at once so we stayed there quite longer. An Islam family who were with us started praying. And with the turning off of the lights and shutting down of the power, and realizing there wasn't any fone signal, I felt that I was gasping for air. I am not really sure if it was a sign of panicking but good thing we were able to keep the humour going while we were waiting for everything to end.

My experience was not traumatizing but I never want to try it again just to find out.

So what are some tips that will help you when you get trapped in an elevator?

  • Check the emergency button- it is important that they know immediately that you got stuck
  • Never panic. Sing a song, talk to other people (if you are not alone) 
  • Patiently wait.... 
  • Keep yourself busy. Use your gadget if you have it with you.
  • Pray. 


Want to know your future???

4:44 PM gem 0 Comments

It is not unknown to my close friends that I love anything that has to do with horoscopes, zodiac signs and finding out about the future. The Bible said not to believe in this things. I understand completely. However, I do not use them so they could decide for me. I 100% exercise God's given free will. 

When my friend Mhay invited me for a fortune reading- I adjusted my schedules so I can attend it. 
She was really looking for one, and he is the best that she was able to find. 

Before the reading, I was a little surprised when he said something about the reason why my friend wanted her fortune read. Imagine... it was before pulling out any tarot cards! It was surprising because he was right!

So after my friend, I couldn't resist not finding out what he could possibly see in my future. But again, as I said... I like challenging "fate" because I know we MAKE our own FATE. Not going to go to details about what we he told us but I am happy about the reading. Since I have gone to a number of readers too, I always make sure that I do not talk to much and give out information which could give the reader a clue about my life. Let's just say that if he can truly SEE it, then he will SAY it. Right?
And so far, he has gotten more positive checks than negative points. Of course this is a reading-- something will definitely be said wrong depending on how it was read. 

But was I like about the fortune teller AUGUST is that he is kind. He even gave us rituals if we want something for relationship, or career. These rituals are for free. And mind you, you invoke angels in your prayer. 

During my desperate times years ago, I have tried rituals too which of course didn't work. Maybe its because they are more like spells than prayers. hahaha. But what I am sure works is the power of the Universe: The LAW OF ATTRACTION.

If you are new to this, I highly suggest you READ or WATCH "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne. It will tell you why some people are successful and why others just keep getting bad events in their lives. 

Here are the few pictures we took from the meeting.
Roan, Mhay and Me
with August

If you want to contact August, visit his FB page here.


Mrs. Cahanding

12:21 AM gem 0 Comments

I was a newcomer when I entered high school in a Catholic school. From having only two sections per year level, and knowing almost everyone in school when I was in Elementary, transferring to a bigger school really is a challenge for all teens, I should say.

On my first day in highschool, all I know was that my section was I-St. Vincent. Then, I met my advisor, Mrs. Victoria Cahanding. Maybe it is true that there are some memories that you will never forget. And surely, a big part of who I am today started in that little room, with an adviser who has played a very big role in my development.

I don't really remember a lot about highschool maybe because my memory isn't that sharp as it ised to be. I only have snapshots of the things that happened in that four years. What I vividly remember was joining an English Club in first year (or was it theater arts club?). On the first day, there really wasn't an agenda. The moderator, who happened to be my adviser too had us watch a broadway play in the classroom. That was the first broadway play I ever watched. Though I didn't understand the story, I was captivated by the music. Every scene was etched in my brain. I fell in love with Les Miserables. It was the start of me loving BROADWAY MUSICALS. That weekend, I asked my guardian to take me to the mall and buy me a soundtrack of Les Miserables. I got in in cassette tape. (kids... you probably don't know what that is anymore. do your research)
At that time, there was only dial-up internet connection. So imagine how long it would take me to browse Yahoo and look for the lyrics of my favorite song from the soundtrack, Eponine's On my Own. And because I love it, I listened and wrote the lyrics from what I understood. Para-paraan lang! it was my first love.

Out of all the lessons in first year, I will never forget the exam wherein we were asked to deliver "Invictus" and... an oration for the girls entitled "Medea". Would you believe that I still have these two memorized till now. So what is an oration? As a freshman, I had no idea how to do it. But my adviser shocked the class when she started performing Medea. It was like watching in a theater. Mrs. Cahanding was full of emotions. After she was done, our jaws dropped with amazement. This is where my "Medea" performance in college originated. My performance of Medea evolved and I was lucky to be chosen to perform this on video for Constel- Continuing Education Via Television, a program aired on PTV 4 aimed at bringing education accessible through media. However, I didn't get the chance to see it on TV. I know my University had a copy of it. :)

From that period of my life, I realized what talents I have in me. I knew my heart beats for performing. And in every activity where performing is required, I made sure I excelled in it. After performing Medea in front of the class, my adviser said something which inspired me so much. "I see myself in you. Your eyes can show a lot of emotions." 

Because of these experiences, because of my adviser, English became my favorite subject. I became the go-to-person when it comes to plays. Time stopped for me the moment she started teaching. This is where it all began. I took up Education major in English because it was the closest thing to Theater Arts. After I graduated, I had no intention of working at once. But then, Mrs. Cahanding asked my younger sister if I wanted to apply as a teacher because she is leaving the school. I tried my luck. I did a demo teach, I can't remember who the panelist were but I know she was there. It ended with me getting the slot that she left. Starting there, I was doing what she did- teaching- inspiring. 

It is true that a person has the power to influence others to become good or bad. And sometimes, without us knowing, our inspiration becomes a part of who we are. 

June 14, 2012, my adviser, Mrs. Victoria Cahanding passed away. It's a sad news because 61 is still a young age. I wrote this blog to let her know, wherever she is now that she has served her purpose on earth. She has inspired and changed a lot of lives. One of those was mine. Thank you so much. You will forever be in my memory. And this is how I will remember you. Rest in Peace.


Movie Date: SWATH

2:16 AM gem 0 Comments

Among all the Disney princess, I was a fan of Ariel, the little mermaid who was Triton's favorite daughter. This is just because this cartoon was the first I ever really understood considering I was too young when I watched the others. One of those was Snow White. True enough, the idea of an evil step mother seems pretty scary and real for children if you compare it to Ursula, the Octopus. So it wasn't really the type of cartoon you would love to watch again and again.

But of course, we all love Snow White because she has seven cute dwarves. And as we celebrate 100 years of Snow White, I chose to watch Snow White and the Huntsman over Mirror Mirror. First is because I am not really a fan of comedies. Second, there's something about Charlize Theron being the evil Queen that I can't explain.

And after watching, I was struck by a thought given by Queen Ravenna

"I was ruined by a king like you once. I replaced his queen, an old woman. And in time, I too would have been replaced. Men use women, they ruin us and when they are finished with us they throw us to their dogs like scraps."
"When a woman stays young and beautiful, the world is hers." 
There is really truth into this as I have observed. Time might have changed. Women's place in the society was already acknowledged. However, it still doesn't change the fact that when a woman is young and beautiful, she can easily get what she wants. Take the actresses for example. How many beautiful actresses have both men and women adored so much in their prime? And suddenly, when they fall in love, get pregnant and for some, became mothers, everyone turned their eyes to the next in line- someone who is younger and more beautiful.

So, I can only think of two things to do since I am a woman.

#1 Make the best of your years while you are young and hot.

hahaha. O yeah. I don't mean for the ladies to be promiscuous. Enjoy your youth. Dress up, wear swimsuits to the beach, sing, dance, act, do what makes you happy. Take pictures so you'll have a remembrance of how good you once look in swimsuits. hehe

#2 Age Beautifully

Since we cannot cast a spell so we can be forever young, we might as well give extra effort so we can age with grace. Women blame men for cheating on them. But if we look closely, the reason is not because the gave birth. It is because the woman looked so much different from the person the guy fell in love with. Being a mother doesn't mean you have to look haggard all the time. Remember, men are visual. You don't have to look young, you just have to look presentable and a sight of life. When you are happy, no matter what age you are in, you will definitely look years younger.

Let's accept that the world is not ours forever. (Like Pacquaio lost today to Bradley - totally BS!)

Enjoy being young inside and out. Don't forget that innocence and purity is our salvation.