Here’s my first post this year.

What did you do in 2010 that you’ve never done before?
2007: Baked apple pie.
2009: Wore a strapless long dress in an event.
2010: Made mango ice cream and 4 celebration cakes from scratch.

What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
2007: Passport and Digicam (check, got both in 2008).
2009: driving skills because i bought myself a car. (returned by mid2010)
2010: ice cream maker.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
2009: travelled abroad alone.
2010: baked 3 layered cakes in a day

What was your biggest failure?
2007: Went ballistic over some people while completing the Project.
2009: same as 2007. =(
2010: never learned to drive a car.

What was the best thing you bought?
2007: NuDerm Supreme that I purchased from Dermclinic upon the recommendation of my dermatologist.
2009: tsinelas na mahal
2010: nivea sunblock

Did you suffer any illnesses or injuries?
2007: Nope. Thank God.
2009: Something was wrong with me healthwise in 2008, so 2009 was more on healing and recovery.
2010: tourists from all over brought all kinds of cough and colds virus

Whose behavior merited celebration?
2007: My elder sister. She bought a new oven for me to ‘play’ with during the Christmas holidays.
2009: My younger sister. Despite her loss, she remained steadfast and brave.
2010: Caleb. Learned to walk early.

What did you really, really get excited about?
2007:The latest addition to our family — my nephew! And the new oven (of course).
2009: Another nephew!
2010: early and long christmas vacation.

What songs will always remind you of 2009?
2007: The revival of Sheryl Cruz’s Mr. Dreamboy. Haha!
2009: Nobody, nobody but you. Uggghhh!
2010: Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Glee style)

Compared to this time last year, I am…
2007: More relaxed. Managed not to work during weekends.
2009: More focused and ready to work again.
2010: More comfortable with my own skin. Confident and happier.

What do you wish you’d done more?
2007: Kept in touch with friends. Write. Paint. Cook.
2009: same as 2007 but with an addition, learn how to drive.
2010: Took more pics of boracay. Drink more water.

What do you wish you’d done less of?
2007: Committe works.
2009: Worry and over-analyze things.
2010: Sleep.

What was the best book you’ve read for 2008?
2007: Johnnypanic’s birthday gift for me: Breaking Ground by Daniel Libeskind. Somehow it inspired me as an architect and as a teacher.
2009: Bible
2010: Rich Dad, Poor Dad

What was your greatest musical discovery?
2007: Arnel Pineda, great voice.
2009: None.
2010: Glee

What was your fave film of the year?
2007: Rattatouie, which I watched with johnnypanic and bisdak.
2009: none
2010: none

What did you do on your bday, and how old were you?
2007: I turned 31! Just moped around the house and despaired over my kamikaze-cellphone.
2009: I turmed 33. It was work as usual in Boracay.
2010: Work as usual in boracay. =)

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
2007: Good old jeans and shirt.
2009: shorts and blouse.
2010: shirt, shorts and slippers.

What kept you sane?
2007 & 2009: Getting enough sleep.
2010: my nephews.

Which celebrity figure did you fancy the most?
2007:Santiago Calatrava.
2009: Jericho, hehehehe.
2010: Puck of Glee

What political issue stirred you the most?
2007: Duh…
2009: The Maguindanao massacre.
2010: none

Who did you miss…in Manila?
My college friends. (same as 2007)

Who was the best new person you met?
2007: The half brothers.
2009: Miss Julienne.
2010: Tita Ruth.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
2007: Grace under pressure.
2009: Dirty money wont give you peace of mind.
2010: Less things, more space, more life. Live simply.

What was the nicest thing someone told you about yourself?
2007: You should cook more often… you’re good. (my aunt while devouring the dinner I prepared)
2009: You are so nice.
2010: You now look happier and prettier. (oowwws)

What is the most touching experience you’ve had this year?
2007: Two days after undergoing hemorrhoidectomy, my sister refused to take painkillers so that she can breastfeed her newborn baby.
2009: when my younger sister had a miscarriage- she still managed to comfort other people.
2010: ‘secret’

If you could go back in time to any moment of 2007 and change something, what would it be?
2007 and 2009: I should have remained calm (not ballistic) when ….
2010: build passive income.

What are your plans for 2010?
2007: Travel aboard, relax, laugh often, get passport, buy digicam, and …
2010: Travel abroad again, relax, laugh often, learn new skill, earn a passive income and …
2011: same as 2009.

What are your wishes for the new year?
2007: Dream job, good health and peace of mind.
2009: Excellent health, peace of mind and good job. world peace. =)
2010: same as 2009.

1. Apply tip of a cocoleaf pointer with the sticky white sap of a starapple for an instant dragonfly catcher. -from playmates

2.Joining a beauty pageant? Use the same sap as #1 as applicator glue for the false lashes. – from a parlorista

2. Eat many green ipil-ipil seeds… for worm-free stomach. – from my mother

3. Secret to successful bubbles: Add grounded up gumamela flower to a soapy brew. – from pong pagong

4. Stung with bees? Apply sap of amorseko stalk to stung area. (works wonders!) – from lola

5. Ground up some malunggay leaves and apply to wounds and scratches. -from my mother

My annual cartwheel test started during one of my college org’s outing. Somebody dared me to execute a cartwheel – so i did and suffered a painful muscle strain. I realized then that I have been neglecting my poor muscles for so long and, Im not getting younger. So after the pain subsided, I promised myself to do a cartwheel at least once a year just to have a goal – something to remind me to exercise and stretch now and then.

maybe its just me or the days when i went there, but i do find the sunsets in diniwid beach quite different. it has a surreal quality on them that i want to capture in a painting. my poor digicam did not lend much justice in capturing the hues and texture of the moments.

What did you do in 2009 that you’ve never done before?  
2007: Baked apple pie.
2009: Wore a strapless long dress in an event.

What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
2007: Passport and Digicam (check, got both in 2008).
2009: driving skills because i bought myself a car.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
2009: travelled abroad alone.

What was your biggest failure?
2007: Went ballistic over some people while completing the Project.
2009: same as 2007. =(

 What was the best thing you bought?
2007: NuDerm Supreme that I purchased from Dermclinic upon the recommendation of my dermatologist.
2009: tsinelas na mahal

Did you suffer any illnesses or injuries?
2007: Nope. Thank God.
2009: Something was wrong with me healthwise in 2008, so 2009 was more on healing and recovery.

Whose behavior merited celebration?
2007: My elder sister. She bought a new oven for me to ‘play’ with during the Christmas holidays.
2009: My younger sister. Despite her loss, she remained steadfast and brave.

What did you really, really get excited about?
2007:The latest addition to our family — my nephew! And the new oven (of course).
2009: Another nephew!

What songs will always remind you of 2009? 
2007: The revival of Sheryl Cruz’s Mr. Dreamboy. Haha!
2009: Nobody, nobody but you. Uggghhh!

Compared to this time last year, I am…
2007: More relaxed. Managed not to work during weekends.
2009: More focused and ready to work again.

What do you wish you’d done more?
2007: Kept in touch with friends. Write. Paint. Cook.
2009: same as 2007 but with an addition, learn how to drive.

What do you wish you’d done less of?
2007: Committe works.
2009: Worry and over-analyze things.

What was the best book you’ve read for 2008?
2007: Johnnypanic’s birthday gift for me: Breaking Ground by Daniel Libeskind. Somehow it inspired me as an architect and as a teacher.
2009: Bible

What was your greatest musical discovery?
2007: Arnel Pineda, great voice.
2009: None.

What was your fave film of the year?
2007: Rattatouie, which I watched with johnnypanic and bisdak.
2009: none

What did you do on your bday, and how old were you?
2007: I turned 31! Just moped around the house and despaired over my kamikaze-cellphone.
2009: I turmed 33. It was work as usual in Boracay.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
2007: Good old jeans and shirt.
2009: shorts and blouse.

What kept you sane?
2007 & 2009: Getting enough sleep.

Which celebrity figure did you fancy the most?
2007:Santiago Calatrava.
2009: Jericho, hehehehe.

What political issue stirred you the most?
2007: Duh…
2009: The Maguindanao massacre.

Who did you miss…in Manila?
My college friends. (same as 2007)

Who was the best new person you met?
2007: The half brothers.
2009: Miss Julienne.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
2007: Grace under pressure.
2009: Dirty money wont give you peace of mind.

What was the nicest thing someone told you about yourself?
2007: You should cook more often… you’re good. (my aunt while devouring the dinner I prepared)
2009: You are so nice.

The most touching experience you’ve had this year?
2007: Two days after undergoing hemorrhoidectomy, my sister refused to take painkillers so that she can breastfeed her newborn baby.
2009: when my younger sister had a miscarriage- she still managed to comfort other people.

If you could go back in time to any moment of 2007 and change something, what would it be?
2007 and 2009: I should have remained calm (not ballistic) when ….

What are your plans for 2010?
2007: Travel aboard, relax, laugh often, get passport, buy digicam, and …
2010: Travel abroad again, relax, laugh often, learn new skill, earn a passive income and …

What are your wishes for the new year?
2007: Dream job, good health and peace of mind.
2009: Excellent health, peace of mind and good job. world peace. =)

cory_yellowribbon Former Philippine President Corazon Aquino passed away today. My prayers for the family.

 It was raining when I woke up after a mousefying night at Disneyland Hollywood Hotel. It was raining when I grabbed the complimentary soap and shampoo bottles with mouse ear caps, on the way to the bathtub with mouse-print shower curtains. It was raining still while we had our breakfast at Cafe Mickey. Rain, rain, rain. 

Just when I thought we’ll have to stay at the hotel and get mousefied all over again – with all the mickey icons swathed and transformed into art deco motifs – the rain stopped. The gray clouds cleared and out came the sun. Oh, God must have loved us so much that he granted our wish – which is to have another bright sunny morning of fun at the disneyland park.

umbrellaWhile waiting for my other companions to show up at the hotel lobby, I saw this gadget standing near the door leading to the outdoor recreational area. I was totally amazed by it. Ok, it was a true ignoy moment for me. But come on, I never saw anything like it at Davao city. I must have looked silly taking picture of this wet umbrella wrap but, sheeesh, it was awe at first sight.

Two weeks ago, I searched the net for similar rainy day gadgets and found an amazing cousin of this umbrella wrap. Its a wet umbrella dryer – works much like the hand-dryers found in restrooms. I think every mall, school, office and hotel  in the country must have at least one of these near the entrance.

disney in the stars

 Jumping, giggling, chasing, screaming, waving, singing, hopping, running, dancing, walking, skipping, laughing, twirling, clapping . . . like a child at HK Disneyland.

After months of taking things nice and easy, I finally faced what’s inevitable – to finally get on with the transition process that my older sister has always been talking about.

At the top of the must do’s is a review of what I had accomplished for the last 7 years. What better way to accomplish this than by reviewing my resume? So here was my plan: (1) Retrieve my resume from my portable HD. (2) Update resume.  (3) Gameover.

It was so easy… or so I thought. When my bossy older sister reviewed my ‘updated’ resume, she promptly declared it boring and uninformative. She said it did not really state what I have accomplished.

Duh?! I was really confused. I did state that I worked for blah-blah and I was the blah-blah but apparently, it did not pass her standards.  She took pity on me and advised me on what to do.

Oh, I labored for two days and nights, staring at the computer and willing my brain to remember things. And try to add and string together words and sentences that give honest and clear picture of my accomplishments.

I guess my labors paid off because, yesterday, she finally deemed my resume acceptable. It was a meticulous labor, I have to admit given that I’m a minimalist. But I’m glad that I did what she had advised me to do.

The process that I took to come up with an acceptable (by my sister’s standard) resume really opened my eyes and helped me appreciate the things I went through for the past 7 years. What’s really great is that I came to know myself better – my strengths, traits, interests  and skills (they seem vague before). And I realized that, yes, I may not be the ultimate mentor, colleague and employee nor my works were not perfect, I did accomplish some good stuff.  

Mmmmm… Im starting to think that this transition thing is a great idea. Now what’s next?

liguified's laptop

I woke up one February morning to find my laptop missing a single key.

What? The missing part was the period key.
Where? I found the key under a chair after hours of searching.
How? How it came off the board still remains a mystery.
Why? Beats me. Perhaps somebody has a hidden obsession for period keys.
Who? Nobody’s confessing the crime. Must be the cat.

coffee flower by liguified

My love affair with coffee started early – I think when I was 5 or 6 years old. It all started one morning when I wondered why my father’s ‘milk’ was black while mine was white. It smelled different,too. An oddly happy smell. Curiosity hooked, I asked for a taste which my father readily obliged.

It is hard to put in writing the taste sensation of my first gustatory encounter with coffee. So to put it simply, it was love at first sip;  so I asked for another sip and another and more.

photo by liguified

It did not take long for someone to call me Miss Kape and my reputation as a coffee drinker to spread among relatives. I drank it hot. I drank it cold. While my sisters and cousins dunked their pandesal in milk, I cheerfully dunked mine in coffee. My lugaw was even coffee or mocha flavored, too.

For me, it did not matter whether it was instant or brewed, black or creamed,imported or local as long as it has the aroma and taste that was uniquely of coffee.

photo by liguified

I was a happy coffee drinker, much to my mother’s dismay. Concerned about my health, she tried to disuade me from drinking too much coffee. I still remember the most crazy scheme she (together with my older sister and aunt) had concocted. It was a tale about the effect of coffee on my skin. She said coffee was the reason why I was nug-nug (dark-skinned). And for a while, I believed her – by simple childish deduction.

You see, there were only two coffee drinkers in the family, my father and I – both dark-skinned. On the other hand, my mother, aunt and two sisters, non-coffee drinkers, were all fair-skinned. Hence, I deduced, coffee can cause darkening of skin. Sounds ridiculous now but my then six year old intellect was confident of the conclusion. However, this particular glib did not work as my mother had intended. I was never a vain child, thus, being a nug-nug did not bother me.  I continued on my coffee-fest.

photo by liguified

We always have a supply of coffee at home since my father was (and still is) a regular coffee drinker. But when I went to Manila to attend college, my supply of coffee became scarce. My older sister seldom include coffee in our grocery list. Like my mother, she is a staunch supporter of the health-benefits of milk.

Fortunately, I found many allies in the form of classmates. I studied architecture in college and just like what they say, coffee is a lifeline of many architecture students. With all the latenights and overnighters, coffee, chocolates and cola were regular staple among my classmates.

I never drank coffee to stay awake (I was always the first one to sleep – I was never fond of overnights even then), I drank simply because of the gustatory pleasure it brings. Whenever I needed some perk up, I drank milk instead; a habit that greatly boggled Rach, my frequent groupmate in school projects.

coffee berry - photo by liguified

Two years ago, I was advised by my doctor to refrain from drinking coffee for medical reasons. Since then, no more coffee-laced lugaw and barako for me. No more 2 packs of cream and 2 tablespoons of sugar for every sachet of instant coffee. No more steaming black coffee from posh cafes.

Believe me, drawing a lungfull of aroma from someone else’s coffee is both a torture and a manna. Heavenly but wistfully not enough.

coffee beans - photo by liguified

I don’t think I could completely wean myself from coffee. I confess that once in a while,  once or twice a month, I sneak in a spoon of decaffeinated coffee in my cup of milk.

Of course I feel guilty everytime I have that moment of weakness. But I swallow my guilt just as I savor my first sip of my now rare cup of coffee.

march_03b-2271
We had a short spell of dry season this year. So short that the mangoes in the yard did not have a chance to bloom fully. But looking at the brighter side, the lawn did not turn brown and dusty which normally happens here in Cavite during long summer months. Instead, the lawn remain lush and very green.

march_03b-224a

The dry spell, albiet short, was very hot. To combat prickly heat and summer blues, my niece and nephew took a plunge in a tub of cool water. The tub may be small but the fun was great.

dsc000023
As promised, Teleserve delivered my passport 10 days after I made an appearance at DFA. A photocopy of my notorious birth certificate is attached to one of the crisp pages, making my passport look bulky. But wohoo! Im all ready for next month’s trip to the north with my family.

There’s one gray cloud in the horizon though – the H1N1. Hopefully, it will be safe to travel abroad by first week of June.

The nurse led me through a vanilla colored hall where several examination rooms are connected. She opened a door on the left and gestured me to enter.

The room has pink walls and I mentally noted that who ever designed the room has a good background on color theory. Pink is said to could calm a person.

Another door mirrors the door which I entered. I briefly wondered where it leads to. A pink bed rests at the center of the room and beside it is the now familiar sonogram. The accordion door on the right side of the room opens to a changing room.

***

The changing room is well lit and even has a wide mirror (no grappling with my clothes in the dark – check!). A pile of clean-smelling pink gowns on the wooden shelf (check!). Laundry basket awaits for used used gowns (check!). Ample space for my things on the shelf (check!). Satisfied, I grabbed one clean gown and changed. Hahaha! The one-size-fits-all, duster-look-alike gown did not fit me at all. It could perfectly hold a person twice my size!

***

I went back to the main room wearing the gown – I have no other option. I lay down on the bed. The nurse fussed around a bit, politely told me to wait for the doctor and then she left.

Me. Room. Alone.

Good.

***

I was glad to have that solitary time, even if it was only for a minute. It is a moment to take a deep breath and gather courage. To focus. To pray.

Pray that it wont be too cold this time.

What I really dread every time is the algid coldness of the gel. As it is smeared on my skin, I get goosebumps and my heart starts to beat faster. I really hate it. It was as if an unknown fear has gotten hold of me.

The pink walls, pink gown and pink bed did not help to calm me.

***

It has long been a challenge among designers to make hospitals homey and friendly for a couple of reasons. Many proposed patterned wall prints, certain colors, indoor plants, more windows, framed pictures and paintings, etcetera.

As I dumped my gown in the laundry basket after the examination, I realized one thing. Perhaps doctors and designers may have missed one thing. I have heard of stories of people remembering certain cold things in hospitals — the cold table, the cold knife, the cold clamp, etc. Perhaps something could be done about these things.

In my case, the cold gel. Perhaps, I just needed a warm gel to make me comfortable during examinations. Perhaps.

“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.”  – Alan Cohen

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