Investing while working

Sometimes I feel so depressed about HAVING to work. But with a family to support, there is really no way around it. We really need to have money in order to pay for the basic needs of our family as well as self imposed essentials like a good education and good health care. That's why we occasionally also put some bets on the lotto, because we might just get lucky enough to be the recipient of a windfall. But, of course, such luck is "suntok sa buwan" or one in several million chances, which means that it is almost impossible. Almost, because you do have a chance of being lucky. But the really reliable sources of income are either actively working to pursue income, or investing.

Of course, investing entails risk, in a way it's just like gambling. But unlike gambling, it's a calculated risk. You decide on what investment to risk your money based on some available historical data and trending. Whether you buy gold bullions, real estate, stocks, mutual funds, etc., you need to study the investment instrument that you are interested, so that you'll know how much risk you are taking and you can determine how much you can risk for that particular instrument. You'll have to get a reliable agent too, because there are far too many scammers out there. The US Gold Bureau is one online resource for gold which look legit so I'm seriously considering buying from them.

I think the time for us to invest is now, when we still earn actively from our profession, as we can handle some losses for bad investment decisions. Of course for good long term investments, this will sustain us through the years that we would no longer be able to work actively.

And the tutoring for long exams start...

My son is going to have his first long exam this coming Tuesday, November 30.  This is the first time for him to have an exam that encompasses the lessons for a whole trimester.  He used to just have short quizzes. 

There's a first time for everything.  For my husband and I, this would be the first time for us to do marathon tutoring sessions.

I hope my little boy will be able to make it.  Keeping our fingers crossed!

A Christmas quiz

I took this quiz for fun, since December is just around the corner. I have to say that I didn't really do very well, just 5 out of 10 correct answers.  (Although the official results say that I know a lot...but diba passing is 75% :P).  I wish though, that they posted about the correct answers!  I do not know which of the answers I put in are the RIGHT ones!





You Know a Lot About Christmas






You got 5/10 correct



You know tons about the history and traditions surrounding Christmas.

When you celebrate the holidays, you never forget their true meaning - or all the little fun details.



Random Christmas fact: The average mall Santa is 5'9, 218 lbs, and 52 years old. The average waist size is 43 inches.


Lotto!

This morning, I bet on the lotto. I don't usually put bets, but then the pot money is a whopping 690plus pesos, so I thought, maybe I'd be lucky. Of course I was not lucky enough to get the windfall. Nobody won. So, the pot would even be bigger.

What would I do if I were the lucky winner of such a huge amount of money? First of all, I'd keep quiet about it. I won't tell other people. I'd set aside money to be sent anonymously to charities and foundations I believe in. Any relative who may need financial help may find some anonymous help too. I do believe in sharing blessings but I do not like to announce any sudden wealth to everybody else. It's too dangerous -- I might make my family targets of crimes. For myself and my family, I'd buy a modest house of our own near our current location. I'd set aside money to ensure my children's education. I'd put a certain amount in various investments like real estate, stocks and bonds. I think it would be prudent to buy gold too. And although bank deposits are not high yielding, I'd still put some money into it to ensure liquidity. And I'd still try to have my family live in around the same circumstances as we did before any win. No wasteful spendings just because we can.

Now, will I be lucky enough to win? Abangan!

Our laptop is back!

It's difficult to work if you don't have a regular computer. That's what happened to me. My hard drive crashed and for some reason, my laptop just wouldn't work. We thought that it was just the hard drive since my laptop is about 4 years old already and our hard drive is rather limited by now. I mean, 1tb hard drives were not exactly around during the time we bought this.

But even when we already bought a new hard drive and tried using the recovery disc, it still wouldn't work. Sigh. We really have to get it repaired. We were also advised to upgrade our RAM.

Figuring out that it would really be cheaper to have repairs done rather than buy a new lappy, we did so. Now it's back! And much faster too, thanks to the upgraded RAM! Woohoo!

Now our only problem is data recovery. Since our old HD is about 4 years old, it contains a lot of data, some of which are important. We really hope we can at least salvage some of them. Keeping our fingers crossed!

Taking charge of my retirement

That is really, really sad. A disgruntled police officer holding tourists hostage and eventually killing 8 of them. The reason: his being dismissed from service and not being eligible for his retirement benefits. He was demanding to be reinstated and his benefits assured.

I am no employee, neither a government or private one and certainly no police officer. I cannot relate to retirement benefits aside from what I probably would get from contributing to SSS and Pag-IBIG because I am self employed. But even if I were an employee, I would have made steps to ensure a source of income for my retirement years and not just rely on a pension. It's difficult to be dependent on some other entity to take care of you in the time that you would probably not be able to earn actively.

That's why I'm also trying to educate myself on the various investment instruments. I think that it's a great idea to buy gold bullion and maybe sell them later if the need arises. As we all know, gold prices generally go up in the long term. If I buy now when I have the capacity to earn a little extra for my investments, chances are prices would likely increase by the time I retire, which is a good twenty years from now. I admit I'm a newbie at this, so anybody could correct me if my statement is wrong.

One thing I'm sure of is this: We should take responsibility for our own future. Not depend on something or someone else. Not even our own kids, who will have their own problems and responsibilities in the future. Things change and the only people we can really count upon is ourselves.

Holiday confusion

My son's school calendar states that September 9 is a holiday. However, I have yet to hear the official announcement from Malacanang.

While this may not seem like such a big deal, to me it is. We have a team building activity on the eighth and ninth of September, and it's supposed to be an overnight thingy. I do not know if we can bring the kids (I hope so). And even if we can't, there's the problem of bringing my eldest to school. We'll have problems doing that if we're away at the team building affair.

Another problem is that we'll have to cancel other clinic schedules in order to accommodate the team building activity. A holiday would mean that we don't really have to cancel too many clinic skeds since some of our other clinics are closed anyway.

Such are the dilemmas of working parents.

I hope P Noy decides soon. He's been really slow in making decisions. I hope it's because he's still not used to his job, and he's still in the adjustment period, and that this is not reflective on how things are going to be for the rest of his term.

Gold

My family has great belief in the intrinsic value of gold. In accordance with Chinese custom, my father's family gave my mother gold jewelry during their engagement ceremony. My mother's family, in turn gave my father a gold watch.

Tradition aside, gold is really a good investment. It's a finite material, but it does not easily break down or lose its value. There is no special care needed to store gold, unlike, say, paintings. It is not destroyed by Ondoy-like floods (you could lose them though, if you haven't kept them carefully).

That is why I am strongly considering investing in certified gold coins. While jewelry does contain gold, I have no idea how much of the compound is gold and, heaven forbid, if I get a less-than-honest vendor, I might be fooled into getting something useless. Which is a waste of my money.

There was a time when it was difficult to look for such coins. I still don't know if there's a source right here in the Philippines, but at least now there are online sites where you can make a purchase. Do check out usgoldbureau.com if you're going to make an investment in gold. It looks like a reliable site.

Pagbabago

It was barely a month after my wedding when the news came.

My uncle and his family were enjoying their Christmas vacation in Thailand when the deadly tsunami struck. This disaster claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of lives, including those of my uncle and my 2 young cousins (they were only aged 44, 13 and 10 at the time) plus 2 other members of their party.

My brother went to Phuket to take care of things while we all waited for any updates. At the time, the youngest daughter (my cousin) was still struggling for her life in an ICU. She eventually succumbed after almost 3 weeks, a few days after her 10th birthday.

Imagine. We were still at the height of the euphoric honeymoon cloud that we were riding in when we were rudely brought back to reality. My mother was very depressed that her youngest brother and the 2 young children were so abruptly taken away from us.

With all that was happening, I initially did not realize that there were already changes occurring in my body. I started to get food aversions. I thought that I just did not have an appetite given the extreme situation that we were in at that time. There were only a few things that I could tolerate, and the Goldilocks mamon that my mom's friends brought over was one of them.

Then we began to suspect that my lack of appetite and food aversions were due to something else.

2 pink lines. A new life. Hope.

We told my mother the news that she is going to be a grandmother. I believe that this was the point when she started to slowly get out of her depression.

9 months after we lost our loved ones to the fury of Mother Nature, we welcomed another life into the family. My husband and I were so excited that we excitedly shared the news to family and friends. A lot of them came over to visit. We served them goodies from Goldilocks like ensaymada and mamon and tetra packed juice.

I realized later that my son came at just the right time. He is my mother's first apo, and while she may not be a totally indulgent lola (she can actually be strict at times), she loves him very, very much. We now celebrate life, after death claimed our loved ones.

Life has again changed.

In about 2 week's time, it will be his fifth birthday. We're having a simple celebration at home. No party this year, just a simple family salo-salo, but for sure there will be a cake (from Goldilocks!) and misua. It's been a roller coaster ride the past 5 years, but life goes on, through all the ups and downs, through all the challenges, through all the PAGBABAGO (changes).

Solmux may gamot diyan promo

Here's a promo by Unilab. It's the rainy season and while we don't want to get sick with cough and colds, sometimes it's inevitable. So it may be wise to stock up on Neozep and Solmux. Not only do you get ready for the season of sipon and ubo, you may just win a brand new car!

Click on and zoom in the poster for further details!



One!

My little girl just turned one yesterday!

We had a very simple celebration at home. I had Manang Conching cook traditional Chinese birthday misua. I also ordered some food from Mr. Sun Moon and a cake for Conti's for dinner. We sang the birthday song and her Kuya E "helped" in blowing out her first birthday candle.

My mother gave her an "ang pao" (red envelope with money inside). There were no other guests and no other gifts yet, because the "real" party would be tomorrow. It's a McDonald's party. We've decided to hold it in the morning, which is different from the usual afternoon children's party.

I would have loved to a buy gold bullion coin for her today and for each of my children's birthday. That was what my father started to do when he realized that we have outgrown the desire for toys. He thought that it was a very practical gift -- and it was. It was a very good investment. While the toys we received as kids were already gone, the gold coins are still very much around. We have the assurance that if we need money, these can be easily exchanged for cash. Their value is also very stable. I haven't gone around to restarting this tradition because of budget constraints, but I have done some research on it. The US Gold Bureau seems to be a good source. Still, I do need more research -- and more money.

While I can't give much by way of material things, I do try to be the best mom that I could be. I do hope that she will grow up to be a decent person with all the right values. I know that her dad and I have the big responsibility of seeing that that happens. For now, we are cherishing the moments that we have with her.

Happy Birthday, my little baby!

My little boy goes to big school

Today is E's first day in La Salle Greenhills.

It's not his first school. He used to attend preschool at ICBB. But big school's a totally different story.

My husband and I both took leaves from our clinics so that we could accompany him to school.

He told us that he enjoyed school. We are glad. (Big sigh of relief here). Hoping that he'll continue to enjoy school.

The biggest drawback is the heavy heavy traffic in that area! We didn't have that problem when he was still in small school. We do have to make adjustments...soon. Let's see what happens in the next few days.

Geminis all

There are so many birthdays this month for my side of the family. There's my grandma, my daughter, my uncle, my niece, my cousin-in-law and me.

June this year is especially significant (and busy) since there are 3 milestone birthdays -- two first birthdays and a 90th birthday!

Happy birthday to all of us!

I like this type of house




You Should Live in a Rustic House



You are a traditional person with old fashioned values. And you're only looking to impress yourself.

You think it's important to have as comfortable a home as possible. You want to feel cozy.



You are in touch with nature, and you appreciate a beautiful view.

You appreciate the simple, basic things in life. You can be happy just from seeing it snow.


Certainty in uncertain times

People are really getting jittery nowadays, what with the looming elections. What will the future hold for this country?

One thing is for sure: we do need to secure OUR OWN future. We can't always pin our hopes for a better government who will give us MORE, because it's pretty difficult to say who will win or what will happen when the new president takes up his duties.

My brother is very serious about going abroad. I am of two minds. It is not a simple matter for me, because unlike my brother who is single, I have to think about my husband and 2 small kids. Although both my husband and I are doctors, who may be on the priority list for "needed" professions in Canada (which means we have a greater chance of getting approved), so many things are holding us back in the meantime. Sigh.

So now what I want to do while deciding is to invest. Clinch the pag-ibig loan so we can pay our condo unit and have it rented out at the soonest possible time. Put more money in our mutual funds once we have the extra cash. Learn about other investments. Maybe try forex. Maybe buy gold bullions. Something easy enough that I can understand. Something that requires only a small investment -- read: what we can afford. Something that is easy to sell. Something that can easily be passed on to my kids. Something that can be verified internationally and something that will not lose its intrinsic value over time.

How should I deal with stress?




You Should Play Some Music



Part of what's stressing you out is that you can't stop thinking about your problems. Whenever you try to relax, you can't stop your mind from racing.

The best thing you can do is crowd out your thoughts. And there's no easier way to do this than by cranking some music.



Dancing is optional but highly recommended. Give yourself a break from your stress and really let loose.

Or put on some of your old favorite music (happy music only though!). Sit back and remember what it was like not to be so overwhelmed.


World Malaria Day

Five years ago, Reyster Langit, the son of noted broadcaster Rey Langit, went to Singnapan, Rizal, Palawan to investigate a mysterious disease that was supposedly killing off members of the indigenous Tau’t Batu tribe residing in the area.

Tragically, Reyster and his companions also contracted the disease and died from it. The mysterious disease turned out to be malaria.

Here is the article that I wrote for thepoc.net regarding this disease:

Malaria: The Flying Scourge


My yayas are leaving....

Yayas (nannies) are essential for a working mom like me. I have a very active four year old boy and a 9 month old baby girl who is starting to stand up and try to walk. I try to attend to their needs as much as possible, but I do need help because I have to work too, both outside the home and in the home.

However, they have both expressed their desire to leave. My boy's yaya of more than 2 years said that she wants to take a breather from yaya duties and wants to go home to her hometown. My little girl's yaya for the past 9 months said she wants to go back to school.

It's certainly a pity, as I have gotten used to them. I was even thinking of inquiring about night classes for them so that they can have another career outside of domestic help when they leave us. Something they want, like maybe a secretarial or IT course or maybe a beauty course (of course, nothing as sosyal as a cosmetology school in Minnesota coz I can't afford that for them), something basic that they can use for furthering their own lives. Now the cosmetology course would be very useful if they want to set up a business in the near future. Persons wanting to have a haircut/hairstyle change or manicure/pedicure or makeup would always be around, whether it's in the countryside, the big city, or even if they decide to go abroad.

But for my yayas, that's all moot because they are already leaving.

iBlog6

I've been wanting to attend the Blogging Summit for the longest time, but there's always something else that I have to do. Big sigh. This year, I've marked it on my calendar, told hubby about it, and set aside Saturday so I can at least attend on one of the 2 days. I can't on Friday since it's a work day.

I am really looking forward to going!

Update (April 17, 2010): Wasn't able to attend on Saturday either. :( Still not meant for me, I guess. Maybe next year....

30 Questions

Since it's April Fool's Day, you'll have to wonder which of the answers are true and which are not!!! Got this meme from here.

1. Where is your cell phone? Table

2. Describe your boyfriend/girlfriend? Married!

3. Your hair? Brown

4. Your mother? Traditional

5. Your father? Gone

6. Your favourite item? Computer

7. Your dream last night? Elections

8. Your favourite drink? Juice

9. Your dream car? Functional

10. The room you are in? Bedroom

11. Your ex? None

12. Your fear? Hell

13. What do you want to be in 10 years? Successful

14. Who did you hang out with last night? Husband

15. What you're not? Model

16. The last thing you did? Nap

17. What are you wearing? Stripes

18. Your favourite book? Sheldon

19. The last thing you ate? Lunch

20. Your life? Interesting

21. Your mood? Confused

22. Your friends? Worldwide

23. What are you thinking about right now? Back

24. Your car? Toyota

25. What are you doing at the moment? Typing

26. Your summer? Home

27. What is on your TV? Nothing

28. When is the last time you laughed? Today

29. Last time you cried? Today

30. School? History!

World TB Day

Today is World TB Day. Knowledge is power, especially in beating this centuries old contagious disease. This is a series of articles that I wrote for thepoc.net regarding this disease.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4 (watch out for it!)

Adventurous Soul?




You Are Adventurous... Sometimes



You like an adrenaline rush as much as the next person. You like your thrills in small doses.

You're generally pretty calm and level headed. But sometimes you have to go wild and have a crazy adventure.

You're up for extreme sports, as long as you know you'll be safe. You don't mind taking the risk.

When it comes to thrills that truly risk your life, you may be tempted... but you pick safety instead.


Keeping Fingers Crossed

Pardon my lack of posts.

I've been very busy lately.

The good: new clinic hours, new freelancing job. I wish I had enough money after these to buy gold bars. US dollar is weak, so I don't really get a lot from my "rakets". I know I have to invest, and now is a good time for us to do so with gold, since these are really more stable investments. I've heard that the gold prices have actually increased over the past two weeks! And there are predictions that prices will be going up even higher! Too bad we weren't able to invest in it because of...

The bad: kids getting sick, me getting sick, hubby getting sick :(

My baby was also hospitalized hence our savings were again decreased. Which highlighted even more the fact that we need to save for that rainy day and invest for the future.

I will just as soon as we get enough money for investing! Keeping our fingers crossed.

Today is World Glaucoma Day

Today is World Glaucoma Day.

I did a series of articles for thepoc.net . Here they are. If you want to know about glaucoma, read up on it here:


Playing Catch Up

7 blogs to update (what did I get myself into...:P), kiddos and hubby getting sick (daughter was admitted last week), clinic, tons of photos to download -- I think I need a 1tb hard drive to store them. I also got a new writing gig, which I'm excited about. Oh, and new orders for my small biz.

While my multitasking is difficult, I'd like to think that I actually thrive under pressure. More often than not, I do surprise myself to what I can accomplish under pressure. I am also grateful for opportunities that come my way. So here I am, trying to play catch up online once again!

Johnson and Johnson Bedtime Discoveries

I was one of the mommy bloggers to be invited to Johnson and Johnson Bedtime Discoveries last January 30, 2010. This event was hosted by celebrity mom, Tintin Bersola-Babao, who looked so radiant even when she was obviously about to pop! (She was scheduled for a Cesarean section the following day, due to placenta previa totalis.)

The guest speaker was Dr. Luis Rivera, a pediatrician specializing in sleep medicine practicing in Makati Medical Center and Asian Hospital. I thought he looked very familiar. He turned out to be a batchmate in UST Medicine. Small world!

Here are some photos from the lecture proper:

Sleep is important. More so for babies because it is during sleep that there is a surge of growth hormone production.

To ensure that babies (and parents too) get a good night's sleep, the following routine is suggested, as demonstrated by expert midwives:

First, a warm bath or punas.

Then, a massage to help baby relax. The I love you massage (for the chest and abdomen) and "milking" massage (for the arms and legs) were demonstrated.

Lastly, some quiet time for baby to drift off to sleep. You could read to your baby, or cuddle with him/her, or simply just share the moment.


Johnson and Johnson has a complete line of products -- soap, baby wash, baby lotion, baby oil and baby powder-- that are especially made to help babies sleep better. You can use them for these 3 steps.

While I am no longer a newbie mom as I have 2 kids and have been hands-on with them, I still pick up something new in this lecture. Truly, the learning process never ends, especially for parents. I especially like the Q&A portion where moms were given the chance to ask questions (some of which I never thought to ask....or are too shy to ask!)

J&J also introduced their microsite: http://www.babycenter.com.ph/bedtime
. You may want to check it out. It contains some helpful information and tips about sleep in babies. There's also a sleep profiler, which I found really interesting. There's also a mommy corner where other moms share their experiences regarding their children's sleep. Oh, and you may also want to check out http://parentin.tv, the first Philippine online parenting show, hosted by Ms Tintin Bersola.

Parents nowadays are luckier, as we now have access to more knowledge and have more resources on hand, and can network and share tips with other parents.

Busy, Busy, Busy

It's such a busy week and I have so many things that are kept on hold, mainly blogging about the (few) events I've been to. You see, I've just started a new clinic. The new schedule is something me and my family are still getting used to.

So sorry.

Anyway, I hope I'd be able to come up with my blog posts on the Microsoft Bloggers Mix and the Johnson and Johnson Sleep Discoveries very very soon. Also, I have to update my other blogs.

Keeping my fingers crossed that I'd be able to accomplish these soon!

Real Leaf Paparazzi

As a working mom, I oftentimes have to stop by the convenience store to refresh myself. My drink of choice is usually not the usual soda but something healthier, like Real Leaf Green Tea. This drink is not only refreshing, but because it's made from whole tea leaves, it contains Theanine which helps reduce mental and physical stress and improves cognition and mood in a synergistic manner with caffeine (from wikipedia). Thus a great pick-me-upper especially when I'm tired.


My little boy is at the age where he wants what the adults are having. So one day, while browsing through the offerings of the convenience store...

Hey, this is what mom usually buys. I wonder why?

Let me try it out myself...

Hey, this tastes great! No wonder mommy likes it so much!

Uh, Little Boy, we'll have to pay for it first before you drink it!

I can't blame him. Real Leaf Green Tea tastes good and really refreshes. It is certainly a much better choice than soda, health wise.

Now my Baby Girl wants a taste of it too!


No baby, not now. Too early for you. For now, it's just mommy's milk for you. Maybe in about 3 years time, you can join us in tasting the goodness of Real Leaf Green Tea!

Philippine High School For The Arts is looking for scholars

Got this from the n@w yahoogroups. You might know somebody who's interested.

We are looking for our 2010-2011 artists-scholars: grade 6 or grade 7 students graduating this March, 2010, with exceptional talents in any of the fields of dance (ballet or folk dance), music (instrumentalist or vocalist), theater, visual arts, and creative writing.

Since PHSA spends a huge amount of public funds for each of the PHSA scholars, and since each year only 40 incoming freshmen can be admitted into the program, we are exerting so much effort to ensure that the 40 young people that we will take in are the best young artists of their generation. Likewise, since the funds for the 4-year special training in the arts come from the taxpayers of the entire country, we would like to ensure that the young artists even from the most remote areas are informed about the search and auditions and are given equal chances of vying for the scholarship.

I am appealing to all of you to disseminate the info to as many of your contacts as possible, in any which way you can-internet, phones, print and broadcast media, etc.

Maraming salamat po.

Nanding Josef
PHSA Executive Director

Contact:
Mr. Fernando Josef ("Tata Nanding")
Executive Director
Philippine High School for the Arts
EMAIL: nandingjosef@yahoo.com
Telefax: (049)-5365972; (049) 536-2862
------------------------------------

For more details, visit: http://www.pinoytumblr.com/post/310586614/objective-the-philippine-high-school-for-the-arts

And please note that all applications, documents, and requirements must be received on or before the following dates:

Luzon applicants - 08 February 2010
Visayas applicants - 22 February 2010
Mindanao applicants - 08 March 2010

-----------------------------------

PHSA is a public school for talented adolescents. It combines a general secondary education program with an arts curriculum. This means that the students go through the required high school subjects but they also major in an art.

PHSA students enjoy free tuition, board and lodging. These scholars spend school days at the National Arts Center in Mt. Makiling, Los Banos, Laguna. They stay in cement cottages with hot and cold water. The forest cover keeps the air cool. The beautiful school site not only provides inspiration but also allows the students to practice their craft. It is usual to see paintings and sculptures on the street and hear trumpets, pianos, violins or other instruments being played not only in the music rooms but also in the dorm areas. Ballet and theater performances are regularly held in the open-air theater, the ballet studio, and in any corner of the 13.5 hectare site. Works of art are constantly displayed in public areas.

After breakfast, students walk to their classrooms for their high school subjects. After lunch, they are tutored in the arts. Evenings are spent on academic homework and art practice.

The experience of living away from home and being with mentors and fellow artists teaches students to be independent but at the same time makes them realize the importance of getting along with their peers. Living at the NAC builds a close community of students,faculty members, and administrative staff. Every one knows each other. Each student in the higher batches is an ate or kuya to the younger batches. Teachers and administrative staff act as secondary parents to the students. But this does not mean that the school is isolated from the rest of the world as students take part in various outreach projects. They perform and even give workshops all over the country. Some of them participate in international festivals and competitions.

PHSA has nurtured artists since 1977. It really is a good place to study in and most (if not all) of the alumni always have good memories of their life in Mt. Makiling.

The Century Bangus Event

An iphone is something I'd really, really like, but I'd prefer to WIN it rather than buy it! LOL

So when Nuffnang announced the contest for Century Bangus, I was all set to join!

It's quite simple really, just take pictures of you and somebody else enjoying Century Bangus, make a blog post with the opening line "I Enjoyed My Century Bangus At ____". My entry here.

Unfortunately, I didn't win any of the 5 iphones up for grabs. But I did get to be invited to the Blogger's Thanksgiving Lunch. This happened last January 23, 2009, a Saturday, at West Side Grill, Wack Wack Golf and Country Club.

After registering my name and blog URL, I proceeded to this table:

We had to guess the ingredients by either looking, smelling, touching or tasting the different spices/powders/condiments that were on the table. I THINK I got pepper, coffee, mayonnaise, but I'm not so sure about the others. Sigh. (The eventual winner guessed 7 out of the 13, so I got less than that, definitely. LOL)

After submitting my answers (guesses actually) to the above game, I proceeded to the dining area. Met a few other bloggers -- Kate, Alvin, Vina. I'm quite shy so I'm not really very sociable--yet. Gimme a break, it's only the 2nd blog event I've ever attended!

Next up, the host (I didn't catch her name but she's really good. Her looks are a cross between Agot Isidro and Iza Calzado) introduced Century Bangus. The Chef Guy (gaaaahhh, I'm really bad with names) announced that Century will be coming out with new variants of their canned bangus, as well as their line of frozen bangus.

There was another game, wherein the contestants were supposed to make salads out of the various ingredients present, including Century Bangus, of course! The concoction called the "Happy Salad" won for this contest.


This was our menu for lunch:


All bangus! Well, not quite. The only things on the buffet table that was not bangus was the rice and the desserts! LOL


The appetizer and entrees, all with Century Bangus as the main ingredient:

The food was surprisingly good! Even if they all contained Bangus. Chef Heart assured us that we could ask for recipes. We'll surely look for them!

The winners were announced. They had truly awesome entries and rightfully deserved the prizes. Although I wouldn't mind being one of them (who wouldn't want to win an almost 40 grand cellphone?)



Even if I didn't get any prizes, I did get acquainted with interesting people who I'm looking forward to see in future events. I had a great meal, and took home a gift pack.

Thank you, Century Bangus!

Wish They Had This 5 Years Ago

More than 5 years ago, my uncle and cousins died in a tsunami. It was supposed to be a bright sunny day in a resort with no warnings whatsoever that disaster was striking. Imagine if there were adequate warning systems then and a structure like this to run to when people were forewarned:


More people would probably be saved. Maybe including my relatives.

Maybe.

Source of pic: http://news.discovery.com/tech/tsunami-proof-buildings-gaining-ground.html