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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

On Friendship+Baby C's First Outdoor Pictorial

One time, I found a chocolate bar on my table.

Me: Kanino to galing?
Officemate: Hindi ko alam.  Nandiyan na yan pagdating ko. Baka galing sa mga nag Subic.
Me:  Alam ko na kung kanino galing!
Officemate: Pano mo nalaman?
Me: Isa lang naman ang kaibigan ko kaya alam ko na kung kanino galing.
Officemate: May advantage din pala pag isa lang kaibigan noh? Haha

Of course, I was exaggerating.  Hindi lang naman isa ang kaibigan ko.  But, I only have few friends.   I am nice, but I am not that friendly.  Does it make sense? Haha.  I feel that I am too old to make new friends.  I mean, I no longer have the luxury of time to make friends.  Don’t get me wrong but  I believe that  one needs to have time and effort to nurture budding friendships.  And how can I commit my precious time to others  now that I am already a wife and a mother?  And you know what? I don’t easily tag a person as my friend.    I consider someone a friend if he/she has stood beside me or willing to stand beside me, regardless on whether  I am on the right or wrong lane.  Yung kakampi ko. Yung tipong pag may nag-away sakin, he/she will take my side…someone who will say “Hindi naman ganyan si Chasen” when she hears someone backstabbing me.  Talk about loyalty.   Yes. I expect too much from a friend .  And it may be  the reason why  I do not have a lot of friends.

Weeks ago,  I had a get-together with my  “elementary to present” barkada/friends.  We’ve been friends for more than twenty  years. Waah! I feel so old. We’ve been through a lot, from being summoned to the Principal’s Office to quarreling a friend’s boyfriend,  to cheating during quizzes (sshh), to drinking Red Horse with Gin (sshh), to being silly and carefree.  Ahh…those were the days!  But actually, every time we are together, we still act silly and still laugh as if we are still in the middle of the our alma mater’s quadrangle.  That’s why I love being with them.  I can act without reservation. I can complain about stuff without being judged.    I can be me…the burara, madaldal, eskandalosa me. 

We met at 3PM at BGC area. Oh diba,pang Titas of Manila ang meeting time. Haha.  We had pizza and pasta at Gino’s. The food were good.  Honestly, I did not enjoy the food that much. Pang Shakeys and Jolly Spaghetti levels ang taste ko eh.  Haha. But, according to them, masarap daw.   After eating, we had coffee and continued our chikahan galore.  At 7pm, Baby C was already sleepy so I moved to adjourn the Titas meeting.   

But before we bid goodbye, Pau, the husband of my friend, took photos of Baby C. It was an instant photo shoot! I was so happy because an outdoor photo session for Baby C was my long overdue plan.  I just didn’t know how to carry it out. Negotiating with a photographer, and preparing for the photo shoot were taxing for me. So, yeah, shout out to my friends Pau and Lai!  I’m grateful more than you think I am.  

I also had the photos printed at No Blank Walls.  These framed canvas (9"x11")  cost me P1,800.  

 Thanks for reading!


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Father's Day at Privato Hotel

My husband gave  me a big surprise on Mother’s Day, so I believed it’s just fair to return the favor. Haha.   However, knowing my husband, he wouldn’t appreciate “Happy Father’s Day” letter cut-outs, balloons, flowers or mushy message on Facebook.   Making him feel  extra special is a bit hard.   I always make him feel  special, that’s why.  Haha.  I mean, I always cook yummy food for him so, a  surprise breakfast won’t be a pasabog.   He is also not a maporma type of guy.  He buys clothes simply because he can’t go to work naked.  So, buying him clothes will not make him extra happy.  He doesn’t have sports.  He is not into NBA.  He is not adventurous. He has not climbed a mountain, and has not tried wakeboarding or surfing.  Skydiving is not in his to-do list. He is not into gadgets.  He is not into photography.  See, it’s  hard to choose a gift for him.    Yes,  I am married to a nerd and  “boring” guy.  And I like it.    I am married to  a guy who finds happiness in sleeping, reading, playing games on his cellphone, and being couch potato with me and Baby C.  Do not think that my husband does not have a passion.  Actually, he is very passionate. He is very passionate about his job.  He is passionate about giving us our needs and wants.  He is passionate about being a husband to me, and a father to Baby C.   And I thank God every single second for giving me the husband that I prayed for.  You know what? When I was in college, I made a checklist of my dream guy.  It was very specific.  Maputi, matangos ang ilong, Engineer/Lawyer/Doctor/CPA etc., ganyan ka-specific.  As expected,  I had boyfriends who fell short of my standards. Kung maka-standard, akala mo naman kagandahan. Haha. But, girls, it’s never bad to aim for the sky.    Dan is definitely not the “sky”, but he is one amazing guy.  He is a loving husband, and an “all out” father to Baby C.   And he is maputi,  matangos ang ilong, and an Engineer, and very gwapo.  Hahaha.  I’m GGSA (Gwapong gwapo sa asawa), I know. 

To celebrate the kagwapuhan of my husband …I mean Father’s Day, I booked a Deluxe Double Queen  Room at Privato Hotel.  I read and heard good reviews of the hotel.  That’s why I chose it despite the distance from our home.  I thought I it was a good deal since we paid only  P2500  for a 28 sqm room, with two double beds.   But, sad to say, it didn’t meet my expectation.  Perhaps my expectation was high.   (Warning: Very Honest Review Ahead)

The hotel's reception area was clean but a bit crowded. The queue was a “blockbuster”.  It was understandable because it was Father’s Day.

They only have two elevators.  As expected, they were not enough to accommodate all the guests.  
The hallway was narrow and really warm.  It was not airconditioned, and the ventilation was really poor.     It didn’t have a hotel-ish vibe. For me, it was like a residential condominium.

The room.  At first, the smell was  a bit weird.  But, after a few minutes, we got immune. Haha. However, the beds were ok. The linens were clean and new.  The A/C was functioning well.  There was also a tea facility,  and a  cooking area , which we were not able to use.

What really pissed me off was their breakfast buffet.  The P2,500 rate did not include breakfast, so , we still paid P350 each for breakfast.  For a breakfast buffet, it was cheap, right?  But,  our experience was very unpleasant.  The food was limited, that we needed to wait at the buffet area for the refill.  The staff and crew were limited too.

Dan: Wala na bang cup?
Staff: Wala na po.
Dan: So, ganun na lang yun?

It was supposed to be a fun and chill day, because it was Father’s Day, but, they made my husband furious.  Hindi  kami nakapagkape dahil walang cup. Oh my! Nag Jollibee nalang sana kami.  

In our attempt to erase the negative vibes, we went to the roof deck pool.  It’s a photogenic KIDDIE POOL.  It was crowded, and it was a kiddie pool.  Baby C had so much fun there, so keri lang.

Their saving grace, the skyline view.  However, I couldn’t stand staying at the roof deck because it was warm. 

Overall, I think I got what I paid for (or maybe not).  Do I recommend Privato Hotel?  If you are doing business  near the area, and you just want a room to spend the night, and you have limited budget, this average hotel is perfect for you.  But, if you are planning for a relaxing staycation, and you have a limited budget,  I’d recommend to increase your budget (haha), and look for a   better hotel.  Seriously. 

Despite the foregoing  experience, we still enjoyed our staycation.    Our Privato stay was still  packed  with giggles, cuddles and love.    Thanks to my husband and to my cute little girl.  Indeed, their presence is more than enough to brighten any day. 

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

So, shut up na lang ako!

Out of the blue, a guy officemate asked me:

P: Chasen, nangyari na ba sayo yung nalungkot ka or nagalit ka?
Me:  Bakit mo natanong?
P: Kasi parati kang bungisngis. Hindi ko maimagine na malungkot ka.

Nalungkot na ba ako? Yung malungkot na malungkot?  Oo naman.    It happened four years ago, but until now, I still do not want to talk about it because until now, it still makes me feel a bit sad.  

“Nagalit na ba ako?”  The answer is in the affirmative.   But, I seldom articulate my anger.     I am not confrontational. More than I hate being angry, I hate offending others, especially those who are dear to me.  I was not raised to be palaaway.  While growing up, my mom would always tell me not to be troublesome. Pag may nang-away daw, isumbong ko daw sa teacher.  Good thing, I never experienced being bullied. Or ako ba yung bully? I don’t think so. 

When I moved here in Manila, I was informed that it is just normal to be mean.  Kakainin daw ako nang buhay dito.  True enough, I had a job wherein I was surrounded  by mean and bully people.   I was asking myself, “Saan ba sila galing? Ba’t ganun ugali nila?”  Their nastiness was incomprehensible.  However, it didn’t affect me.   I didn’t talk back. I didn’t retaliate.   The mayabang in me set in.  On my mind, sino ba sila? Hehe.  But, yes, I resigned, not because of them but because I found another job.  To cut the story short, Metro Manila did not transform me to be palaban. However, I maintain the “tiger look” face. And I’ve also stopped saying “po”  when talking to strangers (to appear palaban or authoritative).  And I am assertive, when needed (especially when it comes to work). 

I think I am kind. Hahaha.  It’s awkward to be writing this but seriously, I am kind.  Hindi lang talaga halata. Haha.     Actually, I feel that I am kind to a fault.  As I’ve said, I don’t want to offend people. Pero masakit din sa  dibdib.  One day, I feel abused and unwittingly disrespected. Then the next day, I feel sympathetic, and I become genuinely kind.  And the cycle continues.  I don’t want to hurt the feelings of others. I don’t want to antagonize them.   Gusto ko masaya lang parati, no conflict whatsoever.     I always try to understand. I always try to put myself into their shoes.  I always try to justify their acts.

Part of me says, magsalita ka na, while another part of me says, just be kind.  And right now, I choose to listen to the latter.  I resolve to just zip my lip.   My words  might cut like a knife, even if I say it in the most gentle way.   

There are situations which call for my voice to be heard.   There are also situations which require me to shut up, and be more patient...even if I am angry…even if I am hurting.    For me, talking is futile if it would breed animosity.  So, shut up na lang ako. Lol. (Dumadaniel Padilla) 

Thanks for reading even though this post is a little bit vague.    


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Drama Overload

Last week, a man went to my work station.

Me:  Good afternoon po.

Man: (looking at me, then on my desk) Good afternoon.  Ako po si ________________, officer  (I forgot the exact  designation) ng PDEA.
Me: (on  my mind) Baka naframe up ako. I don’t do drugs.  Hindi ako papayag ipasearch ang mesa 
ko. Hindi talaga pwede! Wala siyang search warrant!

Man:  Dito  po ba humihingi ng copy ng Board Resolution?

OMG! Nasosobrahan ako sa panonood ng drama series.  lol

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Staycation at B Hotel Quezon City

Just right after the Holy Week, my mom and nieces visited us here in Manila for a few days.  As kids raised in the province, my nieces consider Manila as a lovely place, a place to be excited about.   As their Tita Ganda, I didn’t want to take away that notion. I wanted to take them to places that highlight the “beauty” of Metro Manila, or to places that would make them happy, at least.   I thought of Manila Zoo, Kidzania, Ace Water Spa, Club Manila East and  Ocean Park.  However, considering that my mom could easily get tired,  I changed my plan, and opted to go to  senior citizen-friendly places or  places where we won’t endure the other face of the metro (traffic, pollution etc.).    

Since kids love to swim, I decided to just look for a hotel (with pool) near our place.  And luckily, I stumbled upon B Hotel QC.  It’s a relatively new  hotel located at Scout Rallos, Quezon City, a tricycle ride away from our home.   I booked the Superior Twin Room  for our All-Girl Staycation (me, my mom, my 2 nieces and Baby C).    My husband had his “me time” at home, Nich (Dan's niece) had work,  Baby C’s yaya was on a one week vacation.

I was impressed by the hotel’s interior design.  It’s stylish and  modern.  How can an unfinished and unpainted wall look so pleasing? Magic!  

Our room was industrial styled as well. I liked it so much because apart from being squeaky clean, it also smelled so good.  It was equipped with a flat screen TV, fridge, AC, blower, and toiletries.

They also provided a cot.

The marshmallow-soft bed made my daughter oh so happy.

My nieces spent most of their time at the pool area.    

Nich (before she went to work), Baby C, Francine and Baba

The hotel has a  restaurant and cafĂ©.   However, I regret that I did not avail of their breakfast buffet. 

What made B Hotel stand out for me, was their above par customer service.  The staff and crew were very polite and professional.  Case in point, my mother thought that she lost  her purse.  When she reported it, the hotel’s admin immediately took action, only to find out that my mom just had her senior moment (she just misplaced it).  Hehe. 

I highly recommend B Hotel QC.  For more info and pictures, just visit their website. 

Room Rate:
Superior Twin Room (Breakfast Excluded) – P3,500


Monday, May 16, 2016

Maintaining Composure + Mother's Day Special

I’ve been very busy these past few weeks.  My mother and nieces had their vacation in Manila. Then, a day after they went back to  Naga, I was informed that my mom was admitted to the hospital.  Without a second thought, I boarded a bus going to Naga, leaving my work  to the members of  the committee I was heading up.  When  I arrived, I found out that my mom was transferred to the ICU while my father was also admitted.    Imagine the anxiety.  But God is indeed good.  Both of my parents are home now  although my mom has not completely recovered yet.   The hospital bills were settled.  My differential (I got promoted!) was timely credited to my account.   My superior and colleagues were very considerate.   My relatives and friends showered us with so much love and support.

When I got back to the office, as expected,  I was bombarded with  work and responsibilities.  The 
presentation we prepared had to be redone in one week.  My colleague in charge for  video editing informed me that she had to start from scratch.  I was very anxious since video editing is something that I don’t know. And all I could do is to trust her assurance that she could deliver on time.   Despite the pressure, I did my best to remain composed.   I tried my best not to nag or throw a fit.  I tried  hard to be graceful even under pressure.    Thank God, we were able to deliver an output as wanted by our bosses. 

After the presentation had been finalized, I wanted to relax and see a movie.   I asked my niece and my baby’s yaya to accompany me, to which they said yes.  However, they changed their minds and opted to go somewhere without my permission.  I was really fuming with anger especially that they brought Baby C with them.  They also lied that they just went to the lobby. The thought that they were hiding something  intensified my anger.  However, I bit my tongue because I was afraid that I might say hurtful words.  Instead, I walked out.    I went to the mall  alone and resolved that I will talk to them  when I get back.     

When I arrived home… 

This was the first time my husband surprised me.   I was really clueless.  I never expected it because, you know, my husband is not the ma-surprise type of guy.  I was really touched.

When I asked him, "Anong nakain mo?"  He said, "Sabi kasi nung pari sa kasal ni ****, dapat daw sweet pa din kahit mag-asawa na." 

The reason why my niece and Ate "sneaked out" of the house because  my husband asked them to
buy food and stuff.

I am glad that I remained composed.  I would have ruined their sweet surprise had I not bit my tongue.    

To all my ka-mother, belated Happy Mother’s Day!  


Monday, April 11, 2016

PROUD MOMent: Baby C at 18 months

I almost had a heart attack two weeks ago.  I was in the bathroom when I heard my husband yelling “Mommy! Si Baby C…” In an instant, I ran out of the bathroom.  My trembling husband was carrying my crying baby.  Apparently, Baby C fell off the play pen.  I immediately checked if something was wrong with her, if she was bleeding, or if she had bukol.  When she stopped crying and seemed okay, I went back to the bathroom.   That was the only time I realized that I went out naked. Dan and Baby C’s yaya told me that their eyes were on Baby C that they didn’t bother to look at me.  However, they were not sure whether our neighbors saw my sexiness. Waaaah! I don’t care!

Baby C is now very malikot.    We cannot take our eyes off her.  Bawal kumurap.  Taking care of a toddler is indeed tiring but at the same time fun, super fun to be exact.    

I realized that I haven’t written much about my daughter here.  Bakit nga ba? I don’t know. Haha. In real life (what?), I talk so much about her, as if she’s a prodigy. Haha.   A simple “how’s your daughter?” always results to “She’s okay. You know what? She can do like this and like that blah blah blah.  She’s sooo cute blah blah blah” I always talk about her with gusto.   Sorry but talking about her makes me feel so kilig.   So, permit me to share  WITH PRIDE  what my baby can do at one year and six months.  

1.        She can count from one to ten.
2.       She can associate words for each  letter of the alphabet.
3.       She can identify colors. We were at National Bookstore, I was identifying the color of the pens when she pointed at the blue pen and said BLUE.  I thought it was chamba.  A day after, when she saw a color yellow jelly ace, she said YELLOW.
4.       She says “It’s okay” every time she stumbles.
5.       She can also communicate what she wants. She says UP, when she wants to go upstairs and BABA, when she wants to go down. She says MIMI, when she wants milk and WATER, when she wants water.  She says MORE, when she wants more.
6.       She can poop in the toilet. 
7.       She can also do “mano po/bless” gesture.
8.       She can understand and follow simple instructions like “Put it back or Give it to Mommy”. 
9.       She says I YOU when I say I love you.  She says THANK YOU every time she receives something.
10.   She also says these expressions: OHMYGOD, UH-OH, HAYNAKU!

Kamot-ulo moment

Her cuteness and new “tricks” amaze us every single day.  I must have done something right to deserve a precious gift like her.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sa Malamig na Lugar

We have decided not to push through with our Baguio trip since we don’t have enough funds for it.  But, when you deserve a vacation, all the universe conspires in helping you to have it. Hehe.  My husband’s aunt invited us for the house warming of their retirement home in Tagaytay.  Free accommodation, free food...of course, I instinctively confirmed our  attendance. I didn’t even consult my husband.  I was confident that he’ll say yes.

We went to Tagaytay a day before the house warming.  We were expected at around 5pm but since we were excited and we wanted to sip bulalo soup  without being too demanding to our host, we went earlier. We headed straight to Mahogany Market to satisfy our Bulalo and tawilis craving.  After our hearty meal, we went to Ayala Malls Serin and waited for our  uncle to pick us up.

Their retirement home is huge and modern and really beautiful. I was uttering WOW the whole time, and wishing that we could also  build our own retirement home.   A girl can dream, right? (But I'm no longer a girl. haha)

Here are some photos of our Tagaytay trip.


Isn't she lovely?

This photo was not staged. Promise.

Baby C enjoying the kalsada 

At Starbucks Magallanes Square

Our expenses (for 4 persons)
Fare (Pasay Rotonda to Tagaytay)            P86x4       P344
Fare (Tagaytay to Manila)                                           344   
Lunch (Bulalo, Rice, Tawilis and Drinks for 4)          650
Fare (Mahogany to SM)                                                 32
Starbucks (4 Drinks)                                                     600
 Total                                                                         P1,970

We had so much fun, and we were truly inspired.  Our Tagaytay trip was like a trip to our future. Hashtag RetirementGoals!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Feeling Refreshed

I already mentioned in my last post that my husband and I became busy with work these past months.   (I think I even used it as an excuse for not updating my blog.)From November to February, my husband’s  self-imposed schedule was from 8am to 12midnight, Monday to Sunday (konti nalang, no noon break pa).  I have a very workaholic husband.  I no longer  tell him to slow down because it will just piss him off.  I, on the other hand, was likewise busy with the ISO certification thingy. I was busy worrying about the surveillance audit.  I admit, I am a worrier. But, I don’t show it. My husband didn’t even notice that something was bothering me. Oh well, he asked me why my hair were everywhere.  I suffer from hair fall every time I’m stressed or anxious.    Apart from that, I looked perfectly chill (although during the actual audit, my nervousness was a bit noticeable).  That’s how I differ from my husband. He’s very transparent and honest. There are times that he would wake me up at night and tell me  things that bother him.   Although he knows that I can’t understand a thing about his job (he’s a software engineer), he still thinks that I’m the best  person to confide his project setback.  In one of our midnight/morning conversations, my husband told me  “Pagnatapos talaga ito, magbabakasyon tayo. Akyat tayo ng Baguio.   I need to commune with nature. I need to be rejuvenated” I got so excited that the following day, I immediately googled “Baguio itinerary”.

The Surveillance Audit transpired a week after my husband finished his task.  Just right after the closing meeting, I texted my husband.

Me: Dada! We passed with flying colors.
Dan: Congrats Mommy! Ikaw pa.  Uy, kelan na tayo pupunta ng Baguio para maka pagfile na ako ng leave.
ME: Next week.
Dan: Ok.
Me: Wait, may pera ba tayo?
He did not reply.

I prepared two sets of travel budget, one is for “luxurious vacation” (decent hotel accommodation, fancy restaurants etc) and the other one is for  “vacation on a budget” (apartelle/dormtel accommodation) to be presented to my husband.

When he arrived home, our conversation went this way.

Dan: Nakakatawa ka.
Me: Why?
Dan: Oo nga ano, May pera ba tayo? Magkano ba kailangan?
I showed him my two computations.
Dan: Bakit parang narejuvenate na ako?
Me: Ako din nga eh. I feel totally refreshed!  (with feelings)

Then, we both burst into laughter.  We both realized that we didn't have that much funds to travel, and it became a laughing matter. Weird!

We are currently renovating our townhouse in Naga City. Honestly, we are not financially prepared for it.  Our budget for the townhouse renovation was only a fraction of our condo renovation budget.   Pinush lang talaga.  We need to make the townhouse livable at the soonest possible time.  We need to rent it out for us to  recoup our investment.  The remaining cash  that we have (which is not that much) will be our  buffer fund.   Hence, the lack of travel fund.  Touching our emergency fund (which is also not that much) is out of the question.

Tiles and partitions were installed.

A kitchen was constructed.

I am grateful that my husband and I share the same financial values.  I am also grateful that even in times of shortage, we can still afford to laugh.  

Thanks for reading.