Monday, July 28, 2014

Faux Street Photography

Hahahha..naks! Well I'm calling this faux street photography because after all, I was just taking these shots from the passenger seat! Things that piqued my curiosity are the modes of transportation we usually take. Whether by private vehicle, cab, jeepney, pedicab, tricycle, kuliglig, bike or even on foot. I hope that no matter how far or arduous the journey, you find joy and meaning in it..and find satisfaction and rest in your destination. Hope you enjoy this set! :)

This is my father-in-law's car. Papa David's car may look old, worn and dilapidated. But I appreciate how it has lasted for a decade, serving its masters with loyalty and reliability throughout the years.

Isn't this our "National Transport Vehicle" yet? Steadily plying the roads of Metro Manila, with its burst of colors and sometimes weird horn sounds. 

I really like the pensive look on the cab driver. Is he calculating how much he has netted for the day? I'm assuming there should be much because most jeeps are on transport strike today. Or maybe he's just scouting for new passengers to pick up!

Going different directions. Would've loved if they lined up properly ala-Beatles! I find that pedestrian lanes are more of a guide in the Philippines. But caution! Some MMDA / police in charge would charge you with jay-walking if you're crossing outside this lane!

Oh yeah and it's a normal occurrence that backpacks are usually placed in front. For security's sake and peace of mind...don't mind how you look na!

Was she dancing? Playing patintero? This lady was trying her best to reach the other side before the light turns green!

This is the most inefficient mode of transport, me-thinks. Why? These fellows would wait up patiently all day and I can't be truly sure but I don't suppose each of them would get at least 10 passenger rides in a day. But this guy in blue is definitely eyeing and making pa-cute to someone!

I apologize if this may offend someone or some groups but, why are they in that spot instead of directing traffic? 

Oh yes kuya, you're definitely a boy! :)

I didn't chance upon a barge on the river but just so you know, I came all the way from those Makati buildings in the background (the small ones in the middle!). What a ride!!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Flashback: Cisco's Partner Appreciation Night 2011

When this mommy was still a "corporate woman", we managed to score BIG WINS together with our team! Here we are posing as we celebrated being the 'Cisco Distributor of the Year' for that fiscal year :)

Such a wonderful theme and look at our lovely and dapper outfits! Anything princess-y, count me in! Yes "we're gonna be royals", Lorde!! Hihihi :) Too bad I haven't found the accompanying pics of the event proper which was aptly held in Hotel Intercontinental Makati.'s been almost half a decade since this event. Do I miss being in the corporate world? Yes, definitely! Shall I come back? We shall see... *wink!*

Kristine Buensuceso-Ang, Madel Baljon Lim, Anjo De Jesus, Tep Misa

The NOLA gang - Anjo, Madel, Marivic, Jan

Madel, Anjo and this is how pageant titlists feel!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Zara's Baptismal Dinner at Racks Paseo de Magallanes

"Twinkle, twinkle tiny light,
little eyes that shine so bright,

a precious baby from heaven above,

fills our hearts with so much love."

- Author Unknown

After Zara's Baptism ceremony and photo-op with all godparents, grandparents and great-grandparents at St. Alphonsus Mary de Liguori Parish, all of us headed to RACKS in Paseo de Magallanes. We chose this restaurant primarily because of its proximity to the church. In literally under 10 short minutes, the guests found the place and got good parking slots too! The paseo itself just gives off a relaxing and intimate vibe..perfect for a chill afternoon with our loved ones and friends! 

Plus..I really really love Racks' ribs!!! I think I could actually eat just that as long as you give me their yummy sauces too..this mommy loves mixing the regular sauce with the spicy one for additional kick in flavor. Hot, hot, hot! The place, the food..this was a no-brainer choice for me us! So as soon as the respective schedules for Magallanes Church and Racks were in sync, we confirmed for both reservations and paid the corresponding fees.  

RACKS Christening Food Packages & Amenities as of May 2014

It's a good thing that Racks already has party packages which include the meals and if you so choose, they could also provide other party essentials like invites, cake, etc for a minimal fee. As for us, we booked the place for 70 guests, which means we got the entire 2nd level to ourselves for 3-4 hours. Food was served managed buffet-style in the other hall so it won't be cramped in your main event venue. Much as I wanted to have a venue stylist, we opted to just do it ourselves with our Divisoria finds. I also did not have to worry and spend for the tarp as it was provided by RACKS! :)

We did not do any prior food tasting because hubby and I are already familiar with their offering. Since this was essentially a cross between merienda and dinner, hence merien-dinner, we wanted to serve food that will be satisfying for our guests. That was our guide in choosing which menu to serve. And this picture of course!

Convincing, right?! :)
I hope our guests enjoyed our menu of: Premium Boneless Pork, Baked Beans, Fried Chicken, Fish & Chips, Carbonara and House Salad :) Of course, everything and I mean everything is just ultimately better with their special sauce!! :)

And the cake!! Luckily, they did not charge us corkage so we were able to bring in a huge 16-inch Alex Franco cake. I decided on this because of all the raves I have been reading and it did not fail! Even guests who do not have a penchant for sweets couldn't help but get another serving. It's really worth the price :)

Since it was a simple celebration, we initially did not plan on having a program. The idea was more on nourishing our guests, catching up with each other and that's it! But how boring, no? That's why we had an impromptu program, hosted by Ninang Kathy. She's such a talented individual and was very gracious to accept the hosting request on the spot! Kaya I owe her big time!! hahaha..And despite just handing her the scratchy note on the scratch paper, she understood and delivered effortlessly well. Thank you so much Ninang Choy!!

We started with a prayer by Ninang Anna. I then handpicked 4 godparents to share their message to Zara and then we explained our little 'pakulo' to the guests. Since Z was already baptized with her Christian name, I figured..why not make a game for the guests to concoct for her a Chinese name? After all, we're a Fil-Chi family and majority of our guests are also Chinese! The criteria and weights were purely arbitrary: creativity, appropriateness, etc. And the judge of course was my father-in-law!

So how did it go? Some of the groups tried to creatively come up with Chinese sounding fun names and some were hard-core Bazi computing folks! Haha we had the most fun as we watched my father-in-law have fun himself in deciding which was joke time lang and which was best! A for effort! In the end, Johnson and Paul's group won with the winning entry: "LIN XIN PING" and they got the colorful lolli-towelletes as their prize.

We ended the celebration with more photo-ops and I think in general, everyone had a great time! :)

Thank you sooo much for all your gifts and thoughtful letters!! Beyond happy to be able to share this special day with you! We hope you had fun & enjoyed our salo-salo as much as we did! :)

***Special thanks to Tita Diane Lim, Tito Jonathan Lim, Tita Genesis De Los Reyes-Lim, Tita Mylene Aquino, Tita Rosie Rose Aquino for the venue set-up! ***

*** SUPER DUPER THANK YOU to our host, Ninang Katherine Choy-Ranoa!!! :D ***

***And of course, thank you so much to Zara's grandparents - Lola Madz, Lolo Rolly, Amah Medy and Angkong David! Without really having to, they shared so much and for the most part, sponsored this event for their apo!***

Church: St. Alphonsus Mary de Liguori Parish in Magallanes, Makati City
Reception: RACKS, Paseo Magallanes (+632 854 6622)
Photos by: Henry Liao
Collage by: Mommy Meowmeow, of course!
Baby's White Garment: Trajecito de Bebe of SM Baby Company
Mommy's Dress: SURCO by Vien Resurreccion
Daddy's Top: UNIQLO

Pica-pica of marshmallows, cornik and choco chips provided by us (from Chocolate Factory).
Basket of lolli-towels are Divisoria finds.

Special thanks to Sis Maqui of madammisismummy for sharing the poem for godparents and grandparents to be used for Zara's baptism :)

The yuuuuummy Alex Franco cake. Yes it's true, all raves for this!! :)

crying because she's too sleepy, and we're too loud!

Zara's Fifth Month!

Such a late post, I know!! But here are the pictures! And equally important, the kwento! Hahaha.. :) Thank you so much to this month's cake sponsors - Tita Diane and Amah Medy :)

On her fifth month, Zara visited her cousins (twice removed), twins Emrich and Erich on their first birthday celebration in San Pablo City, Laguna. It was quite a long drive and we almost got lost but it's her first out of town trip so I guess that makes it more memorable. Right, daddy A? Hahahaha..We had so much fun and we really enjoyed their party! :)

We also celebrated her first father's day with her daddy, Tito Arvin, the Resurreccions and the Manalaysays in BF Paranaque. The night before this, we had a sumptuous Father's Day dinner with the Lim & Ang families at the CSB Hotel.

Oh, this is also the same month that she got extremely ill! Mommy caught the bug too since I was the one who "suctioned" (read: make higop!!) her mucus with the baby comfy nose..yiikes!! To make matters a bit more challenging, daddy A had to be in Baguio for an overnight trip to attend to business matters...poor mommy & baby. Anyway, it was an epiphany of sorts realizing that even if we sometimes annoy (or get annoyed with) each other, it's still a different feeling having him with us *cheesy!*..And I realized how extremely hard it is to be a single parent, even for just a night!

I thought it would be by a long shot that Daddy A would be able to get this for us. But he did! And it was such a sweet surprise that I had no choice but to give him my warmest hug and whisper, "Thank you!"...awww my yummiest and freshest Vizco's Strawberry Shortcake!

So to end, these are the key things I learned this month:
1. Never, even if they exhibit such vigor and strength, overly exhaust your baby. Nap time or sleep in general is very important for their developing body and mind. 
I guess stress is a huge contributing factor on why she got sick. On a Saturday morning she had her vaccine, then we went to my parents place then we proceeded to CSB hotel for dinner. Ended up going home late. The following day we woke up real early to prepare for a 2-hour trip, had fun at a party and enjoyed the afternoon at her tita's place. Too many deviations from her daily routine and that's enough for a baby to not be able to sleep and rest well. So now we don't mix vaccine schedules with 'pasyal' na. Vaccine = rest for her and for the entire household!

2. Breastmilk is best but sometimes you also have to be flexible in giving meds.
No matter how much I wanted my breast milk to be a "super milk", sometimes, we also need meds to help heal our child. Some might find this OA but it was a bit heartbreaking, giving her a dose of paracetamol (per doctor's orders) especially since she's exclusively on breast milk since day 1! But seeing the relief it gave her, gave my heart relief as well. It's not always about us, about exclusively breastfeeding...on a more important note, it's about our child being nourished, our child being well, our child being in the pink of health!
*Of course, I still am conservative in my approach to using medicine and I always always consult with my doctor before administering anything to baby Z.

3. It is hard to say NO to welll-meaning people who want to carry or pinch the cheeks of your baby. Still, try your best to say "no", in the most respectable manner you can do.
In connection to my first point, I now know that I have to say "No" to people who would want to carry my child if even in the slightest they smoke, have symptoms of flu or colds. And definitely "no" to kissing on her lips!!

4. Appreciate your husband. And the things and sacrifices they do for you. Always.
Sometimes it's easy to take for granted the things they do for us. In our minds we might think that it is their "duty" to serve, protect and provide for us but beneath all the fluff is still their selfless act of service. I hope we always take the time to appreciate their sacrifices in making sure we live comfortably. So despite being perpetually tired and sleep-deprived nowadays, I always do my best to serve my husband - whether it's just a back massage, a mani/pedi, or a simple application of his nightly skin regimen. Men like to be pampered too! They just don't make it too obvious! 

With much love,
Mommy Meowmeow! :)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

All of me loves all of you!

Do you remember your high school days when you go ga-ga over love songs and just hearing one makes you more in love with being in love? When you sing (in your mind) and tap gently while finishing through the countdown on the school bus' radio? When catching the top 20 countdown on MTV or MYX was de rigeur while eating afternoon snacks at home? My friends and I used to print lyrics pa just so we could sing during breaks..sorry kids, there were no iPhones back then! Such was the power of songs over my young and impressionable heart.

Yes, yes...those feelings..I thought I was sooo done with them. But hearing this song, these kids and their voice..aaaahhh!!! I feel so loved up again! :) Amazing how I get goosebumps every time they open their mouth to sing. And si pareng John Legend, sooo talented song writer and singer too!

I guess being married now, makes this song all the more relatable. Feel na feel ko talaga. :) It's such a fitting anthem for married couples about knowing you'll be alright despite the challenges, finally settling (and not in the "pwede na" kind of way), accepting and loving each other fully.

And for what it's worth, this is the thing I remember most from my religion subject in high school. Our teacher said, "When you get married, it's not about giving 50% and expecting 50% from the other to make it whole. Rather, give your 100% even if the other can only give 10%...and pray. That way your love and relationship will always be blessed and full."

A sweet Saturday pre-nup shoot at Caleruega (Photo by Reality Box, July 2012)

So dear readers, I hope you indulge me with this juvenile *kilig* feeling :) Enjoy!

John Legend

What would I do without your smart mouth?
Drawing me in, and you kicking me out
You've got my head spinning, no kidding, I can't pin you down
What's going on in that beautiful mind
I'm on your magical mystery ride
And I'm so dizzy, don't know what hit me, but I'll be alright

My head's under water
But I'm breathing fine
You're crazy and I'm out of my mind

'Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I'll give my all to you
You're my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I'm winning
'Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you, ohoh

How many times do I have to tell you
Even when you're crying you're beautiful too
The world is beating you down, I'm around through every mood
You're my downfall, you're my muse
My worst distraction, my rhythm and blues
I can't stop singing, it's ringing, in my head for you

My head's under water
But I'm breathing fine
You're crazy and I'm out of my mind

'Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I'll give my all to you
You're my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I'm winning
'Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you, ohoh

Give me all of you
Cards on the table, we're both showing hearts
Risking it all, though it's hard

'Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I'll give my all to you
You're my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I'm winning
'Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you

I give you all of me
And you give me all of you, ohoh



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