Category Archives: Everyday's Blessings

Birthday SURPRISE… Ohhh for Me?

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It was a pleasent surprise! A real surprise for my birthday. You got me! You pulled it perfectly… I was clueless! All the plans… And all the secret meetings and conspiracy… The works!

I thought “surprise” parties became a passe for my family, after we pulled the first 2 major parties (my mama in 2010 and my dad in 2011), i thought no one will ever be surprised anymore, or i mean, no one will ever be a good candidate (celebrant) anymore… NOT within my watch… without me as the “director”… I didn’t expect that they will someday plan for me… I thought that they knew well that i don’t like parties if i am the bida.

But they got me! Major surprise! All the people that matters were there… I feel fantastic, i feel ecstatic… Ohh cant describe really.

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A Month and A Week….

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I am missing my blog and blogging… I missed being inspired… it seemed without writing my thoughts, I am uprooted and in many places. Focus. that’s what I need now. And I need to blog/write to make my mind clearer and my priorities checked.

Anyway, best time to begin is always “now” … never mind that my last entry was Dec 2012 and the second last was July 2012…  I will keep at this for now….

I think I have not started my 2013 right… feels like a roller-coaster in the past month and past week (company take-over, store opening, new implementation at work place, while there are new projects, new demands in our business, plus it is now tax season)… It passed by with me doing so many things yet it seemed accomplishing nothing. I lacked planning and got lost. I am losing focus. And it frustrates me now,,, feels like it is making me more unproductive… Plus, there are lot of people (staff) who are banking on my directions and leadership.

Well, it will not get better if I whine and continue to be dismayed… I have to pick up myself and start again. NOW is the time to start afresh (January will not come back, not until next year). Focus on few things. Relax. Set goals. No pressure. Delegate. Depend on the Team. Unwind. Pray.

I will get by…. I will pass this… with lots “done” …

Will update soon….circles

101 Minus: Mama Mia with Mama

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No. 18 – Have a Solo Date with Mama
(Have to update my 1st 101 list 🙂 )
I got 2 tickets for the musical play Mamma Mia at the CCP last February… Its a pricey show and limited for few weeks only in the Phils. So its a date with my Mama! The musical featured Abba songs which are kind of oldies that’s my best companion that would appreciate it is my mom… The show was great, their voices are powerful. The music are nostalgic! We had a great time!

Hundred Island and Hundred Waves (Day 2, Part 2)

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Part 2 of day 2… The interesting and scary part of the adventure…
(See Day 2, part 1 here…)

So, we had the Children’s Island all by ourselves… And enjoying it… Then the great lightning and thunder all startled us! Seeing the storm from the “far” away made us decide to pack and go back! Apparently the storm is not that far!

Well, that hurrying to go back to mainland put us to a “dangerous” adventure. Something was also amiss since our two boats were docked at different sides of the island, that’s why we didnt see each other went. A single blow of the wind and sudden mild darkness made me wary and anxious. One can see an all-white horizon ahead of us. Storm! Our boatman said that we’ll dock for awhile at Cuenca’s Cave… Kuya Bong, the boatman said, “Sandali lang yan, palipasin muna natin” (that will only take fee minutes, lets just wait to let it pass)… that made another kabog in me (how about the other boat?) anyway we hope that the other boat will follow us and stick to the itinerary (the Cuenca cave).

I was really worried where’s the other boat, what if they went straight to that storm! Kabog kabog….
After awhile, Kuya Bong told us to go back to the boat, i am sure he was worried about the other boat too. After struggling thru rain and wind, we. eventually we found the other boat (full of green people) and I remember feeling the same way when I almost lost Jolo at Singapore train and later found him. The relief!! But Apparently, they have been through that storm and came back (all in one piece)! Speechless and non-smiling, traumatized and relieved… that’s what they all looked like.
Well, the story is more frightening based on their accounts (big waves, angry winds, water on the boat, all foggy-white surroundings, “apparitions”, their struggle to take the u-turn, their fear)… it is written somewhere in a facebook account… I know i cannot do justice recounting the story. The older people in the boat described it as “delubyo”… the younger members described it as just like riding anchors-away in Starcity… I will just leave to your imagination!
Back in Pantalan, one boatman said he had not experience that in his life; Aling Juliet said, it happened only in few times, its like twister that passed fast; another boatman said, he saw the “Monkey’s Eyebrow” kilay ng unggoy — apparently a sign of terribly bad weather. Well, we’ve been through that!
So that’s the extreme adventure we were looking for!?
But in the end… we all thank God we are safe and intact!

The sky before we left…

Boat 1 “Aquarius” – those who worried a lot… the “seniors”

Boat 2 “Nina” – those who experienced the great storm… the “adventurers”

The LESSON…

Hundred Islands and the Green Tribe (Day 2)

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We thought that Pangasinan adventure will not equal the fun, excitement and amazement with our Sagada adventure last year… But we thought wrong…
The start of our second day was going well according to the plan… thanks to our dear organizer, tata pentz… we will not have to worry about the food, the boat, the registration, diving equipments and the guides… he had already “bothered” them all everyday before this day!

We were all in Green… The motif of the year…


The Buffet Breakfast was superb, thanks to Tita Julieta at the pantalan. San ka pa complete with dessert, unlimited coffee and smiles! Ala-hotel minus the ambiance… yum-yum….

We arranged for the diving, snorkeling equipment and food to bring to island picnic…. then we were assigned to our respective boats…


First stop, Governor’s Island. We hiked up to the hill for a top view point of scattered islands. Piktyur piktyur..,


Then we walked farther at the other side of the island to see ‘big brother’s house’… Another good viewing deck! Awesome sight of God’s splendid creation!



We passed the Monkey’s Island

Then we went to Marcos Island for a dive in a cave… Sila lang di ako kasama… They swam passed the cave to the sea. Then spent some time swimming there while drinking cold beer.
Then we were told to get going, we have to go to beat too many people taking their picnic lunch at Quezon Island.
Quezon Island is the most “commercialized” island and too crowdy. But at least we’ll take our lunch on cottages. Our lunch is hataw again, with the pancit canton being the highlight, again thanks to Tita Julieta at Pantalan! We took the rest and just enjoying each other’s presence.


Then its time to go snorkeling… At the middle of the sea… Most of us took the dive… I know everybody was enjoying!

Then we went to Children’s Island… The water is shallow and we can relax either by the mini cave or by the beach… We played “tabunan” of sand. Sayang wala na lahat battery ang camera. And after awhile we had the couple of islands all by ourselves!! As if owned by the Green Tribe! We relaxed some more with bit still sun shining to our left.

But the came the big quaking lightning! And as if that signals us to pack and go!

(to be continued…. for more “adventure” going back)

2nd Cousinhood Adventure @ Pangasinan (Day 1)

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The second cousinhood adventure! April 21-23, 2012…
This time our destinations are Bolinao and Alaminos Pangasinan, 200 kms north of Manila.
We are 25 in the group, we took 3 cars and 1 van. Our itinerary follows:

  • Assembly time 3:30, take-off at 4:00 am
  • Quick pandesal and CR break at Tarlac city, near Hacienda Luisita at around 6:00 am
  • Long drive up to Alaminos, St Joseph Church at around 9:00am, where we stopped for a while.
  • An hour drive to Bolinao and took the rough road to Bolinao waterfalls. We met AJ the 9year old guide.
  • Few of us took a dip at the stream by the falls and enjoyed the cold water. I dont know why they are not ready to take the swim? Kaya antayin na lang nila kami… Sorry….
  • We havent seen the other Bolinao falls which they said is more beautiful…. I think they are more worried with their cars getting dirty and got bumped by the rough road…hehehe
  • At around 11, we looked for the Villa Carolina Resort… We took a few wrong turns… But finally we arrived.
  • We ate our lunch and we are all famished…. We ate even without proper table setting… Heheh… Relleno, tinapa, adobo, itlog na maalat, mango, crabs, shrimps…. Yum yum!
  • Rest time… Settle down….
  • Walked to knee deep sea…. Picture taking….
  • Prepared to go to have some caving and spelunking….
  • We visited Enchanted Cave and we all took a dive and swim…. The water is cold, but the cave is too small…. Its not really a spelunking because they already cemented stair steps going down… So bigo sa spelunking.

  • Then while we all still wet, we drove farther to Cape Bolinao, the lighthouse near Patar beach, we were supposed to wait for the sunset, but it is now too early, so we drove back to resort.
  • Picture taking by the beach of the resort…. While watching sunset! Jump-shot and silhouette photos…. Great time spending with family!
  • Dinner time with sarap sinigang na baboy! Wow….
  • Wentuhan up to bedtime…. Saya…

That’s our day 1….
More exciting story in day 2…. To be continued….

101 Things to be Happy & Thankful About (2011 Year-ender)

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1. My Aliya, my new tiny best buddy.
2. My Lean, my cuddly bubbly kid.
3. My Jolo, my teen-age heart throb
4. My Papi, my old buddy.
5. Successful “Pillow Me” concept
5. Travelled to Palawan at P25 airfare
6. Travelled to Ilocos at P88 airfaire
7. No major sickness in the family
8. My friendship with sisters FLor and Kerol and Natz
9. Surprise parties (dad, tian, pa nick)
10. Taking Mama and Daddy to Antipolo (where they had their 1st date)
11. Chat moments with mama and daddy by the window
12. Books of Mitch Albom
13. Leaping to SVS venture
14. Bestseller pillows like “Like” and “HP”
15. My newly-painted house
16. Puregold 100 stores
17. Sunrise and sunsets at paradise
18. My new venture in stocks
19. My trips in the park with ALiya
20. Beach time with Aliya
21. Snorkeling with Papi!
22. Paddling in the water!
23. Spelunking with cousins!
24. Mentoring my new “leaders”
25. Their appreciation of my mentoring
26. My promotion… without increase :>
27. Arranging Aliya’s photo album
28. Gift of paint/art set
29. My new bathroom
30. Mama and Daddy
31. Playing in the rain with Aliya
32. Volunteering
33. BLood Donation
34. Inspiring others to volunteer and to share
35. My new iPad (gift from SVS)
36. My new gate and terrace
37. Our friends at Hospicio de San Jose
38. Time with my in-laws
39. Winning major in raffles
40. Aliya’s color/art skills
41. Jolo’s love for music
42. Jolo’s 1st stint to perform in stage solo!
43. Lean’s many great lego creations
44. Our new business ventures
45. Time at MOA with Papi and ALiya just watching sunset
46. Eating seafoods with friends
47. The IC Manual
48. “Full-moon” moment with Papi
49. The Paoay church! Magnificent!
50. “Survived” many PI storms without much damage
51. Aliya’s laughter
52. Our new Audit Room, and my new desk
53. The Sumaguing Cave! Amazing!
54. Chance to help new staff to learn
55. Our series of training and workshops
56. Helping kins in tuition fee
57. Seeing my kins in Naga
58. The Classic Series of Readers Digest
59. DQ moment with Lean. Discovered DQ’s Double Dutch Blizzard
60. Helping hands of family
61. Parlor moment with Aliya
62. You Tube moment with Jolo
63. “Me” moment every now and then (at the spa)
64. Watching babaw movies with sisters (friends)
65. Church moments
66. The Palawan Underground River! Awesome!
67. Kikay days with BFF (tried eyelash extension)
68. Books of Francis Kong and Bo Sanchez
69. Beach moment with Papi
70. Stargazing!
71. Gain in FAMI’s investment
72. Church moment (Antipolo) with Daddy and Mama
73. Chat moments with brothers
74. Bookstore moments with Jolo
75. Gift of books by friends and son
76. Found long-lost old letters and diaries
77. Connecting with old friends
78. New SVS office
79. The Vigan walk with Papi
80. Teambuilding with staff
81. Reading books to Aliya
82. Gift-giving at Dagat-dagatan.
83. Zeroing my credit cards
84. Gimiks with old high-school buddies
85. Discovered chocolate of Lido
86. Lean’s new sofa-bed
87. Few moments of Hilot-paa (Jolo)
88. Fireworks moments
89. New friends
90. Eat-out moments with colleagues
91. Visita Iglesia
92. Helped trained the managers
93. Writing for Tips and Insight (T&I)
94. Blogging moments
95. Hearing good speakers, Francis Kong and Jojo Baldo
96. My positive outlook
97. Probono work for a foundation
98. No “casualty” in the family this year
99. Healthy ME.
100. To God and to all of His blessings!
101. This List!

Today… Embrace Today’s Difficult Task…

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Today…
I will embrace today’s difficult tasks, take off my coat, and make dust in the world.
I will remember that the busier I am, the less harm I am apt to suffer,
the tastier will be my food, the sweeter my sleep,
and the better satisfied I will be with my place in the world.


Aliya on her 15th month

Today series: 6/22

Today…. The Only Day…

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Today….

I will treasure this day, for it is all I have.
I know that its rushing hours cannot be accumulated or stored,
like precious grain, for future use.


Aliya, Sept 7 2011, having fun dressing up princess…

Today, while I plan for and do everyday “livelihood” chores, I should not also forget to seize every moment with delight and pleasure… no matter how toxic and busy life is, there is always simple things lurking around (unnoticed) that can make us smile and feel warm… like a kid’s smile, her bouncing around, or kid’s effort to offer you slippers (and foot massage), their singing while playing in shower. Those are the moments that cannot be stored in a box, nor completely captured in a photo. Life is now. Appreciation should not be delayed! Maybe, this imight be really the only day I have….

Today Series 4/22

Best Day Ever!

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Last night, I caught Aliya suddenly stood up from her sleepy state and danced and sing when he heard the song featuring at “Nick tune” at Nicolodean…. Her full smile and delight shining on her face (gone was her sleepy state!). I was delighted too… so I sat her with me and watched some more in You Tube and do sing-along over and over… (at 11 in the evening!)
“Best Day Ever” lyrics is soooo nice, funny and insightful! If you just can imagine if people waking up every morning with the same positive attitude and delight! hahaha!
Until sleeping time, Aliya is singing the song, but she keep on saying “Best Friend Ever” and I kept on correcting her, but can’t win!… Anyway her version is so cute too…
I woke up this morning with that song playing in my head…
What a good felling, i’ll tell you…
Best day ever!
I stamp this day as my “best-day-ever” day!

Mr. Sun came out and he smiled at me.
Said it’s gonna be a good one just wait and see!
Jumped out of bed and I ran outside feeling so extra exstatified!

It’s the Best day ever! (Best day ever)
It’s the Best day ever! (Best day ever)

I’m so busy got nothing to do, spent the last two hours just tying my shoe.
Every flower every grain of sand, is reaching out to shake my hand.

It’s the Best day ever! (Best day ever)
It’s the Best day ever! (Best day ever)

Sometimes the little things start closing in on me,
when I’m feeling down I wanna lose that frown
I stick my head out the window and look around.
Those clouds don’t scare me they can’t disguise,
this magic that’s happening right before my eyes.

Soon Mr. Moon will be shining bright so the best day ever will last all night.
Yes the Best day ever’s gonna last all night now.

It’s the Best day ever! (Best day ever)
It’s the Best day ever (Best day ever)
(Best day…)

Have a Little Faith

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“Have a Little Faith” by Mitch Albom
Another heart-warming true-story book, an inspiring piece that talks about faith and religions (a hard topic to touch, should I say) a story between two worlds–two men, two faiths, two communities, several religions, and quest for “understanding.” In simple ways it offers some simple answers on questions about faith and religion which we cannot articulate to ask or dare to question but always in the back of our mind…, like:

“Soon we had tumbled into a most fundamental debate. How can different religions coexists? If one faith believes one thing, and another believes something else, how can they both be correct?


“Is there any winning a religious argument? Whose God is better than whose? Who got the Bible right or wrong?”

We are not really looking for answers, since answers maybe too complicated, or vague, or just leads more questions… But here, I understand, or I mean, I learned to understand… as if I arrived to the same realization, summed up as said by the author:

“It hit me… the whole point is: not the conclusion, but the search, the study, the journey to believe. You can’t fit Lord in a box.”

TSP: Fun Session and Nighttime Stories with Aliya

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Every night, Aliya will always have her books before sleeping. It’s what she call “istoyi-taym” She gets not just one book but several books for her to “read,” well, she just actually telling stories “bulol-bulol” from the pictures. When its time, she asks me to read for her. And that’s our finest moment! And mind you, it’s not “solemn” reading good for a sleepy child, but she likes it to be complete with all sounds and actions and mimic of voices. That’s why at the end of it (4 stories at the minimum), mommy was exhausted, and Aliya was “alive” again.

Come to think of it, i been doing it since Jolo was a kid, then with Lean, and now Aliya. It’s seems that while my kids can “graduate” from this ritual, their Mom cannot!

Well, I know, when I’ll look back at it, it’s our finest moment! 🙂

TSP: Hijaked Mama’s Attic and Found Old Toys

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Aliya and I made a quest in my Mama’s attic, and looked for old toys… there are lots of them up there and my little princess just can’t contain herself, no matter how dusty and torn and old these toys are! I saw the delight in her face for every good find! It was my pleasure to introduce her to my old (few) dolls. But our great find was the old circus toy set still in a box, with only just few pieces missing. We took them down and played with it together with Kuya Lean… Ahhh… a great way to enjoy Sunday!

Do “First Time” More Often – Part 2

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That was August 9, 2010 when I have finished my first list of “Do First Time More Often” and now its almost another year, and I have to update my list Part 2… I have to rake my memories, but I know there are more than enough to fill my next 101 “Firsts”. Pardon me if I start where I left-off last year….

1. Luge ride and Skyride (down the winding hill) – got a little scared, at Singapore!
2. Segway ride (I thought I can’t do it too)
3. The “Mummy” roller coaster ride at USS! weeee! really cant get enough of roller coasters
4. The CineBlast Log Ride at Sentosa Imbiah Lookout
5. Dinner at Kopitiam for 4 consecutive days, ohh Jolo, cant get enough of Tempura
6. Moment with the Merlion….
7. Quiet moment at the coach below the Singapore Flyer (while Jolo and Papi were sleeping – nice place to take a nap)
8. Walking round the Marina Bay (de-tour because of Olympic rehearsals)- that was about 2-3 kilometers! kakapagod.
9. Singapore night scene at the top of the Sky Park at Marina Bay Sands. Spectacular!
10. The China town and the Temple @ Singapore
11. Siloso beach at Sentosa island
12. Mass at Singapore Church (St Vincent de Paul)
13. Seen college friends at the airport- the only couple from college days (first time since about 15+ years)
14. New business line for Star City – Pillows! New designs, nice prospects.
15. Tried 2-day bazaar at the World Trade Center (WTC).
16. First to create business page in facebook “Pillow Me”
17. The SJS Reunion-Batch 87… many friends and classmate whom I last seen since HS graduation! Great time!
18. The Charity Marathon as celebration of my 40th birthday, 2 orphanages & 2 street-gift-giving
19. First time at Hospicio de San Jose with my auditors! Hello Liezl, Edward, Hannah, etc.
20. First time at Philippine Children’s Mission with family and auditors! They sang for us!
21. The “us” moment (with Papi) at Puerto Princesa. First time without the kids in tow.
22. Dinner at Kalui, a popular resto in Puerto Princesa
23. The unforgettable Underground River
24. The spectacular Snake Island and its beach. 1-km stretch walking with Papi.
25. Goofy photo-taking at the beach!
26. Special guest at new “Karaoke Republic” of sister Flor (seen Boots Anson Roa)
27. Experience “Karenderia Buffet” with Papi
28. The spa party experience with friends!
29. The new room, I mean, Office for Auditors!
30. A great family getaway at Amana Waterpark resorts at SJDM Bulacan (March)
31. Special guest at Summit RIdge, Seri ASia spa at Tagaytay.
32. New office for SVS… Major business decision for SVS (lots of first-time decisions here)
33. The 1st ever organized “cousinhood” adventure at Sagada, mountain province
34. Spelunking… the first time I heard the word was in February… and in April I’d already done it. It’s trekking inside the underground cave! (Sumaguing Cave)
35. Seen hanging coffins of Sagada
36. Mountain trekking at Echo Valley
37. Sunrise watching at Kilterpan Valley! Just WOW!
38. Two-hours trekking at rice terraces to see a waterfall
39. Cold swimming and underwater picture-taking at the Bomod-ok Falls
40. Night walking with Papi at the quiet small town of Sagada.
41. Surprise birthday party for DAD! 82nd! Motiff in Blue and Green!
42. Special guest at the new restaurant of sister Flor, “Mesa”
43. Beach time with Kahiwat family Phi-phi resort, Bataan (June)
44. Making sand-castle with Aliya and Lean
45. Paradise experience at Club Paradise with Papi!
46. First ever “swimming” in the beach without my feet touching the sand underneath the water. First ever in life-vest.
47. Stargazing by the beach with Papi…
48. Mountain trekking and meeting the bats! Lots of bats!
49. Snorkeling all day-long… yey! afraid to try in Puerto Princesa… now I succeed at Coron.
50. Swimming at Kayangan Lake and Twin Lagoon
51. ALiya’s 3rd Birthday… first-time family bonding at MOA.
52. Joined bazaar at Robinsons
53. Divi moments with Mama and Jolo – shopping galore
54. Teambuilding for my Audit Team! (more firsts here)
More to come…. I just have to retrieve from my memory…

Visita Iglesia 2011

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We had our traditional visita iglesia with “cousinhood” and 3rd generation anakis… we have targeted the 14 chapels of barangay of Bulacan, Bulacan. Although we had planned to see the other side of Bulacan and their churches this year, but we have decided not to take long trips but rather take the “walk” to 14 barangays of our very own town. What we’ll “saved” on gas and picnic-food will go to our charity deeds at Phil Children’s Mission at Burol… Anyway, God is everywhere naman to pray to… besides it’s the substance of our “passion” and sacrifices that matter. This time, I have offered my prayers (with different theme) on every chapel, as follows:

1. Taliptip – Repentance and thanksgiving
2. Perez- wish for my Parents and payer for long life
3. Bambang – prayer for the beloved departed ones
4. Sta Ines – prayers for the needy and those I could reach to help
5. Sta. Ana – prayers for my Kids
6. Bagumbayan – prayers for my famiy life and papi
7. Immaculada Concepcion – wish for me and my career
8. San Jose – prayer for my business ventures
9. San Nicolas – guidance for my financial perspective
10. Cupang – blessing for my people and my “leadership”
11. Pitpitan – blessings for my adventurous spirit
12. San Francisco – blessings of my kins
13. Balubad – prayers for my self development and enhancement
14. Matungao – me and my spiritual aspect

Pics to follow….

TSP: Missing Our Old Habit: Hilot-Paa for Jolo

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He is now 13! He is now taller than me… he is so awkwardly odd and handsome… he talks slangishly weird… he laughs like his father… he is now into piano, guitar, rubix cubes and skateboard… he is into Harry Potter books doing marathon reading… he worries about his pimples…he just had his hair “relaxed”… he shuns me from his room…. he “forbids” me to look at his cellphone… but last night, he asked me to “hilot-paa”*; awesome :)!

*hilot-paa used to be our bedtime ritual since he was two, for him to sleep (plus his tini-smelly pillow)… massaging, (tickling actually) his foot one at a time till he gets asleep…. until we “agreed” (or rather “fought”) to halt it by his 10th birthday. it was getting difficult for me to reach his foot, and for him to do some body contortion…

Last night, I willingly (and longingly) obliged! It doesn’t matter now even I have a long queue of things to do with my tax clients, it doesn’t matter even if it will mean I will fall asleep too, it doesn’t matter even if we do major body contortion! i love it, I missed it! We both missed it!

Happy birthday! Love you, Jolo… anytime, anak…

Oh, by the way, he is still playing with his Lego… :>

Been Awhile….

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It’s been awhile since I made a very personal entry in my blog… maybe because it’s been awhile since that I’m in a roller-coaster of happenings and feelings. And I really don’t know my “mood” whenever I face my blogsite, so I just refrain from it…

Well, anyway, NOW I am good! not great but good!… OR I mean I decided to be just that (anyway it’s always a decision to make)….

So, I need to be inspired and get excited and I need to count my blessings again NOW!
1. I got friends who unfailingly support and cheer me!
2. My kids are as bubbly and rewarding as ever (thanks for amusing mornings)
3. The chance to “touch” my staff’s life whom I know I can still inspire (pinaghuhugutan ko din sla ng lakas)
4. A chance to create arts and hatch ideas (gumagana pa)
5. Ice-Scramble while walking with a friend in an amusement park.
6. Fancy pizza with the same friend, talking about life, age and aging.
7. Chicharon once in a while.
8. Thriving business….
9. Bonding moment with parents and kuya
10. Good books (“uhh-ohh” by Robert Fulghum).

So… I have no reason to be forlorn or grumpy… Hello LIFE! I’m BACK!