Working Abroad

There are a lot of Filipinos who have at least one relative working abroad in various industries. In recent years, "working abroad" has expanded. It used to be that the common places where Filipinos would try to forge new fortunes was in the United States for professionals and highly skilled workers, the Middle East for Construction Jobs and Hong Kong for domestic help. Later, other Asian countries like Singapore and China have been added to the list. In fact, one of my friends is now recruiting people for HR Jobs in Malaysia. Even the United Kingdom and other European countries have also been part of our the Pinoy search for better jobs. That's why you'll probably find a Filipino in every part of the world.

I believe these people are truly heroes, as they leave their homes, families and friends in order to ensure a good future for their families. Although leaving our country is not in our plans, my husband and I are keeping an open mind about possible relocation, if that's what it takes to ensure that our kids will have a brighter future. We will, however, be careful in getting a job first through a reputable, tried and tested recruitment agency before leaving our comfort zone, if it eventually comes to that.

Another Survey on the Hammeruler

This is a follow up survey to a few previous surveys regarding the hammeruler, an innovatively designed hammer with measurements on its handle. It's supposed to make carpentry work more efficient. What do you think?

My Alma Mater

The big reason why I want my son to be enrolled in my old alma mater, Saint Jude Catholic School, is because of the way we were taught right from wrong, which jibed with what my parents taught me at home. It helps that most of my classmates were raised in the same way, so there was very little in the way of bad influence during my formative years. The few classmates who consistently broke the rules got their parents summoned by the school disciplinarian for a talk and also got the dreaded conduct C. 2 Conduct C's and you're out of the school.

This may seem harsh to those outside the school system, but really, conduct C's are not handed out left and right. It has to be sufficiently grave for the teacher to even hand it. So, if a student gets it, usually he really did break the rules (which everybody knows, or should know, anyway)

I liked the fact that I have never heard of any of my batch mates or schoolmates having to undergo Alcohol Rehabilitation or Rehab at any Drug Treatment Center. That's because more than actually banning the stuff, we were already exposed to what could happen if we overindulge in alcohol or experiment with illicit drugs.

Of course, the consistently good performance of the school's students and alma mater in their academics also contributed to why I want to send my son there.

Lately, however, friends who sent their kids there said that there are simply too many homework. I remember, growing up, that when family friends ask where we study, they'd look surprised when we mentioned SJCS and say that, wow, that school has so many assignments, it's so difficult there...etc etc. But, frankly, I didn't feel that way at all. Maybe because I've always been there and it was already a way of life? Maybe. Anyway, let's see. My son will start big school in about 2 years so I have another year to rethink my choice.

Coffee Break Ver. 1.29

What's in your everyday bag? This week's coffee break question by Jan.

Oh, wow! What's in the-working-mom's bag? Let's have a look see:

pressed powder, blush and lip gloss
bills to be paid
small bottle of alcohol
traveller's toothbrush and toothpaste
tissue paper
calling cards
coin purse

Standard handbag items, I believe? I do wish I could get rid of some of these but I can't. :( How do men cope without a handbag?

What does this say about my personality? :)

Simply Elegant But Inexpensive

I am a great fan of white metals like platinum and white gold. In fact, my engagement and wedding rings as well as the ring my husband wore were made of white gold, with a simple basic design. They look so elegant and timeless. I've always preferred the simple but elegant look of the white metal over yellow gold. But of course, white gold is expensive, platinum even more so. Good quality Silver Jewellery are great substitutes at a much lower price, just right for somebody who loves white metal but cannot afford to buy either platinum or white gold -- like me.

There is a good collection of Silver Bracelets -- my all time favorite piece of jewellery -- found online! Awesome! Not only are they affordable, they also offer free shipping -- anywhere in the world!

And beat this -- they have a 14 day money back guarantee! I never knew that buying jewellery can now be so easy and so risk free!

I also found some great looking Silver Pendants on the same site. I especially like the pendant with the moonstone in the center. Sigh! Maybe I should splurge a bit and buy a few pieces for myself, since I never got myself a birthday present last month.

What Kind of Parent Am I?

Answering this quiz is actually a lead-in to my entry to the Pinoy Parenting Blog Carnival 6th edition. Please check out my entry here.

You Will Be a Cool Parent

You seem to naturally know a lot about parenting, and you know what kids need.

You can tell when it's time to let kids off the hook, and when it's time to lay down the law.

While your parenting is modern and hip, it's not over the top.

You know that there's nothing cool about a parent who acts like a teenager... or a drill sergeant!


My husband and I have always wanted to travel, but because we cannot find the time and the money, we haven't really gone anywhere yet. The last time we went out of town was not even a full fledged vacation, since we were also having a convention at that time. It was in Tagaytay, and our then 8 month old son (he's now 2 years and 10 months old) tagged along, together with my sister-in-law and the nanny. That trip was very memorable since it was my son's first out of town trip. It was only about 2 hours by land. The main reason for the trip was actually the midyear convention of the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology and we really didn't get to go around, given the limited time (3 days and 2 nights, including the convention proper), and given that we have a small child to take around. We enjoyed ourselves nonetheless.

The trip before that was no less memorable, although it was just a short 3 day 2 night trip too. It was our honeymoon. Since it was my husband's first time in Hong Kong, I enjoyed showing him around. :) It was the first time that we were truly on our own, and travelling together as husband and wife. But I've got to admit that 3 days 2 nights is not a lot of time.

See? We haven't really enjoyed an honest to goodness vacation in a long while!

We've been talking about taking a vacation for a while now, but we haven't gotten around to it. It would be nice if we could just go on one of those cruise holidays. Neither of us have joined any cruise at all so it should be very exciting for both of us. Some of my family friends who have actually joined one of those cruises that went around Alaska (if I'm not mistaken) told us that it was very enjoyable. Not only were they able to have a relaxing trip aboard a luxurious liner with good entertainment on board, they were also able to disembark at designated stops and tour some places that they've never been to before.

I just wonder if such a vacation would be better if we treat it as a second honeymoon and leave our toddler behind with grandma, or if it will be just as enjoyable with a small kid in tow. Anyway, knowing us, we'd most likely take the trip when our kid (and future kid/s) get older so that we all can enjoy the trip fully.

Ceiling Fans

Living in hot, humid Manila, we do need a good cooling system for our house, and it's not practical to always use air conditioners. My grandmother has a couple of ceiling fans in our home, and I really, really love them. One's placed in their family room for comfortable TV viewing. Another is placed in their patio, which is my absolute favorite place in their house. The designs of these fans perform a three fold function -- they promote good air circulation, cooling the place; they provide light since there are lights built in; and they look good and coordinate well with the decors of the room. I also like it better than the usual stand fans since they distribute air better and of course they don't take up floor space.

In our I-hope-not-so-far-into-the-future dream house, I would like to incorporate certain elements of my grandmother's house like the lanai, if there is enough space. I would love to put craftmade ceiling fans in most of the rooms in the house. Not only will these look good, hopefully they would lessen our requirements for using our air conditioners, bringing down our electricity bill and giving us some savings.

This survey is quite interesting. Knowing how many Filipinos would love to have the chance to immigrate to the United States, it may be really relevant for most of us.

This is a follow up to the "Citizenship For Sale?" conversation. In the first conversation, many folks were concerned about the morality of selling their own citizenship ... that concern is right on target. However, Nobel Laureate Gary Becker's proposal has to do with the U.S. government selling the right to legal immigration. Can such a proposal work in the U.S. ... could it work for other countries? Can the law of supply and demand work to solve immigration problems?

Coffee Talk

I am probably a certified coffee addict! I always look for a cup of coffee whenever I wake up, because it does perk up my day. Although my usual choice of coffee in the early morning is a cup of instant, I get more excited if I see a batch of gourmet coffee lying around, just waiting to be put in the coffee grinder and drip coffee maker (that's what we have) and finally served! I'm even more pleased if somebody has already brewed the gourmet coffee ! Pity that doesn't happen a lot of times, since I'm usually the one they count on to make the coffee, and, frankly, I do not have the time to do that when I'm rushing around in the morning.

I do have coffee breaks with my close friend, Leah. We share the almost the same tastes and you could probably see us hitting the coffee shops for good coffee and conversation. What we would usually look for is a quiet coffee shop (hard to find that nowadays, as teeners now use the coffee shops as their hangouts) which serve Kona coffee. Great coffee, good company, and great conversation. Ah, just my idea of taking a break from my responsibilities.

Five Minute Management Course

Got this from one of my mailing lists. Enjoy!

Lesson 1:

A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her
shower, when the doorbell rings.

The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs

When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbour.

Before she says a word, Bob says, 'I'll give you $800 to drop that towel.'

After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in
front of Bob, after a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves.

The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs.

When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, 'Who was that?'

'It was Bob the next door neighbour,' she replies.

'Great,' the husband says, 'did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?'

Moral of the story:

If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your
shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable

Lesson 2:

A priest offered a Nun a lift.

She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to reveal a leg.

The priest nearly had an accident.

After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg.

The nun said, 'Father, remember Psalm 129?'

The priest removed his hand. But, changing gears, he let his hand slide up
her leg again.
The nun once again said, 'Father, remember Psalm 129?'

The priest apologized 'Sorry sister but the flesh is weak.'

Arriving at the convent, the nun sighed heavily and went on her way.

On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to look up Psalm 129. It
said, 'Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory.'

Moral of the story:
If you are not well informed in your job, you might miss a great
opportunity. .

Lesson 3:

A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch
when they find an antique oil lamp.

They rub it and a Genie comes out.
The Genie says, 'I'll give each of you just one wish.'
'Me first! Me first!' says the admin clerk. 'I want to be in the Bahamas ,
driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.'
Puff! She's gone.

'Me next! Me next!' says the sales rep. 'I want to be in Hawaii , relaxing
on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pena Coladas
and the love of my life.'

Puff! He's gone.

'OK, you're up,' the Genie says to the manager.
The manager says, 'I want those two back in the office after lunch.'

Moral of the story:
Always let your boss have the first say.

Lesson 4

An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing.

A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, 'Can I also sit like you and
do nothing?'
The eagle answered: 'Sure, why not.'

So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a
sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Moral of the story:
To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.

Lesson 5

A turkey was chatting with a bull.

'I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree' sighed the
turkey, 'but I haven't got the energy.'
'Well, why don't you nibble on some of my droppings?' replied the bull.
They're packed with nutrients.'

The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough
strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree.

The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch.

Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of
the tree.

He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.

Moral of the story:
Bull Shit might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there..

Lesson 6

A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird
froze and fell to the ground into a large field.

While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him.

As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize
how warm he was.

The dung was actually thawing him out!

He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.
A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate.

Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow
dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

Morals of the story:
(1) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy.

(2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your

(3) And when you're in deep shit, it's best to keep
your mouth shut!

New Baby Gifts

I'm at the age my friends and I are already having children. Sometimes, when a friend gives birth, I find it difficult to think of something to give them, especially when it's not the first baby. The first baby is easier, actually. The new prospective parents still do not have a lot of baby items, so virtually anything goes, from strollers to beddings to pillows. For a second or third baby, however, the parents may have already some baby stuff with them, so it's pretty useless to give another stroller or another playpen.

I've come up with some ideas for gifts for a new baby and/or the new mom & dad:

  1. Useful consumables: Newborn diapers would be a great gift! These could be presented artistically, as in a cake. Toiletries like baby wash would also be ok.
  2. personalized gifts for baby: There are now many personalized gifts for baby available. Example would be personalized baby shoes. More common ones would be personalized towels, pillows, bags and a whole lot more. These customized baby gifts show that you've really chosen that particular gift with the baby in mind.
  3. Home service mom massage: A new mom needs all the relaxation she can get. A home service mom massage will give it to her without the need for her to step out of the house. A big bonus is that the lactation may be improved by massage.
  4. Baby sitting help for the older sibling: New moms and dads need to be with their baby, but who will take care of the older sibling? Some baby sitting help while mom is in the hospital and even when she's already home would help them a lot.
  5. Food, nutritious food: When dad and mom are preoccupied with the new baby and especially if they have no help, a dish or two would be a godsend!
  6. Cash: Let's face it. Having a new member of the family is going to drain a bit off the couple's savings. Cash will always help, whether it's for the baby's needs or kept in the bank for future needs.
What do YOU think?


We've thought about the look of our future home and the things we want in it. Something else that we should consider is the lighting. Lighting contributes to the whole atmosphere, especially after sundown. But it's better to incorporate the plan for the Ceiling Lights already, even from the start, since these would also impact on how the electrical wiring is done. Of course, we should consider not only the look of the particular type of lighting that we choose, we should also keep in mind the safety factor, and in these times of belt tightening, how much these lights would consume in terms of electricity.

I like the way hotels do their Bathroom Lighting. I think I will have to ask my future interior designer to help me dream up a way to more or less replicate the design in the hotels, but with lights that will consume less electricity. If I am lucky enough to get a patio or a lanai, I will also have to consider adequate lighting via Outdoor Light Fixtures since I imagine I will want to be staying outside a lot of times.

I would love a well ventilated and well lighted house. I want a lot of windows so that daylight can stream in and bath the whole house with natural light and cool air would drift in. I feel, however, that I might not get something like this within Metro Manila, unfortunately, what with the small spaces, the heat and the pollution. Oh well. Perhaps I'll get to build something like this is the countryside for a retirement home.

Coffee Break ver. 1.28

This week's coffee break question by Jan: How much sleep is enough to keep you rejuvenated for the next day?

Hmmm, I never really thought about that. I do not count my sleep in the number of hours I sleep at a stretch, because sometimes I feel I do not get to do that anymore.

When I was in medical school, and then later when I became a medical clerk, then an intern, I realize that I no longer have a fixed sleeping schedule. So I just sleep whenever and wherever. Catnaps were my savior. I can sleep for a few minutes standing up (but leaning on a wall, that is) if I am really very tired. I sleep in the car or public transportation (very dangerous, I know, but when you're really very tired, you just can't help it). I sleep on hard benches in the call room during the times that there are no patients who need my attention (we had 36 hour duties, and I do not believe I can go the whole distance without snatching some sleep in between).

Now that I'm a mom, I find my sleep is dictated by what my son needs. When he was a newborn, he's awake at night and asleep most of the day, so my body rhythm adjusted to him. Meaning, I sleep when he sleeps, even if it's daytime, so that I can be awake when he is awake. Now, he's bigger and sleeps through the night, so I can do stuff like blogging whenever he's asleep, like now, :).

So, to answer the question, there is no set hours really. I sleep when I feel tired already and wake up naturally or wake up when needed.

Photo Fun

I have always been fascinated by how creative some people can be with digital media and photoshop. I tried, but I feel that I simply am not as creative as some of my friends. I did come up with a personalized guest book on my son's first birthday. It was a lot of work and it was all worth it. It documented the highlights of his first year of life. I was very proud with my project. But for me to do that all the time...well, that's probably not my thing.

I've come across a site that makes creating Photo Gifts so easy for Photoshop dummies like me. You just choose the project that you want, for example, a Photo Calendar, drag the pictures that you want on your the designated picture spaces on your calendar, and you've got a beautiful personalized calendar that you can give as gifts to family and friends or which you can keep on your own desk.
If you have thousands of pictures in your hard drive and your family's been bugging you regarding Photo Sharing, why not just make a few of these projects to send to them. Not only are they very pretty, they are also functional.


Link Exchange:
I realize that sometimes I do not get to attend to link exchanges anymore. That's why I decided to set this up. If you want to exchange links with me, just put your link here. It's automatic. Just make sure to put my link in your blog too!


Blogroll Me!

I've disabled my blogrolling links because there's a malware detected. Will put it back when everything's back to normal. 9/16/2010

What's Your Personality Type?

You Are An ISFP

The Artist

You are a gifted artist or musician (though your talents may be dormant right now).

You enjoy spending your free time in nature, and you are good with animals and children.

Simply put, you enjoy beauty in all its forms and live for the simple pleasures in life.

Gentle, sensitive, and compassionate - you are good at recognizing people's unspoken needs.

In love, you are quiet and sweet yet very passionate. You love easily.

You have an underlying love for all living things, and it's easy for you to accept someone into your heart.

At work, you do best in an unconventional position. You express yourself well and can work with almost anyone.

You would make a good veterinarian, pediatrician, or composer.

How you see yourself: Sympathetic, kind, and communicative

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Incompetent, insecure, and overly sensitive

Miss Venezuela is Miss Universe!

I wasn't able to watch the live telecast of Miss Universe because it happened while I was at work. I already knew that Miss Venezuela, Dayana Mendoza won the crown. But, even if I already knew the results, I couldn't help watching when a replay of the Miss Universe 2008 was aired again last Sunday. As expected, the women were all gorgeous. It was the year of the Latin American countries, as the top 5 consisted of 4 representatives from the Spanish speaking countries (Misses Venezuela, Colombia, Dominican Republic and Mexico) and Miss Russia.

There's a spanish translator who did his job beautifully but it was a surprise to me that Miss Venezuela didn't need him at all as she spoke fluent English, albeit with a Spanish accent. She was confident, she was beautiful and she was very smart. I think she did deserve the crown, although I wish Asians were more represented in the finals.

Learning the Details

I hope that we would finally be able to buy or build our dream house in a few years' time. I'm starting to make inquiries about what needs to be done and who we need to consult if and when the time comes that we may be able to start on it. There are so many things I take for granted but what I should know if ever we push through with it. For example, we need to get a building permit. We need to get several professionals, among them architects and engineers (electrical, sanitary and mechanical, for example. Of course, it's best to hire a good contractor, who will take care of practically anything. Our architect friend also told us that there's such a thing as a california mechanics lien which should cover for structural inadequacies within a certain number of years. I didn't know that. It looks like I really have a lot to learn if we're going to build our house up from scratch.

Branded vs Generic Medications

Branded, or more expensive medication? Or, generic and more affordable medication? In these matters, if I could afford it, I would rather go for the more reliable brands even if they are more expensive because, as a doctor myself, I've found them to be more consistent and reliable in their quality, hence there is a greater chance for patients to actually get the right dosage and the right medication, and as a consequence, get better faster. The faster you heal, the faster you can recover your productivity.

On the other hand, if I do not have enough money to buy the whole prescribed course of branded medicine, I will consider going for their generic equivalents, but I would first look at the drug company that manufactured the medication. There are some legal drug companies that offer lower priced, but still quality generic drugs. Those are what I would go for.

The drug development process is quite a complicated process, so I would much rather go for a company which has the means and the experience to produce quality medications, rather than some fly-by-night company whose credentials may be doubtful.

Survey Time Again!

It's a hodgepodge, a mishmash, a salmagundi

Just some items of interest from the popular press ... Britney, Heath, Eva, Barack, Zimbabwe.

Handguns Everywhere?

Sixty-one percent of dNeero conversationalists sais that everyone should have a right to own a handgun ... and forty percent said they either own or would own a handgun.

Long Hair, Short Hair?

I used to have long hair. I love the way long hair looks and I really love it's versatility. My then-boyfriend (now hubby) also loves long hair on me. Brenda did a great job on my wedding, turning my long locks into a work of art.

But I cannot deny that having long hair takes a lot of work. I am more of a simple girl who wants a wash and wear hairstyle with minimal need of styling. Also, my little boy loved to pull on my long hair! I had to have my locks chopped off. I admit that a shorter hairstyle looks good on me too! In fact, I look a little younger with the shorter hair.

But once in a while, I do miss having long hair. Good thing there are now Human hair extensions available, which can instantly "grow" my hair whenever I feel like having longer hair for the day! I guess it's also easier to maintain both a head of shorter hair and keep a set of clip in hair extensions rather than spend a lot of time on my own long hair to make it look nice. Yes, set! Because there are so many choices now to choose from. And the fact that clip ons are available means it would be much easier to instantly change my look without necessarily having to make a trip to a hairstylist.

Now I can enjoy the best of both worlds. My own, easy to maintain, wash and wear, chin length hair AND a vast choice of hair extensions if I feel like "having" longer hair.

Superhero Tag

Jacque wants to know if I have a superhero or special activities.

I am no superhero nor would I want to be conceited enough to say that this is a superhero ability, but I would like to think that I have healing abilities.

Being a doctor only comes after years and years of endless training and self sacrifice, foregoing a decent income and a decent family life while working for the privilege of helping people get well.

I know that I am not the only one who works for the healing of my patients. It is the three of us, the patient himself/herself who tries to heal himself, the Lord who is the ultimate Healer, and the doctor who is the instrument in assisting the patient in healing.

Every time a patient gets better, I rejoice. Every time a patient loses his battle with his illness, I grieve with him.

I would like to think that I have helped more and more people as I practice my profession. I love the feeling of being able to do SOMETHING to make my patient a little better.

At the end of the day, I am not a superhero. I am just doing my mission and my calling, and I hope I do it well. But in the end, it is not up to me. It is up to Him.

Technology in Conventions

We had a convention for cataract and refractive surgeons held here in Manila just 2 days after Typhoon Frank wreaked its havoc. Because of this, some of the invited foreign speakers were hesitant to show up for the convention itself. Fortunately for us, through the wonder of modern technology, we were still able to have a live lecture with them through including the post lecture question and answer portion, through Web Conferencing. So, even if they were not physically present, they were still able to deliver a most informative lecture.

We were also able to witness live cataract surgery on actual patients even if we were not in the operating room itself. I am no techie, so I do not exactly know how they did it, but they managed to put some equipment, so that images of the surgeon and of the view through the operating microscope could be seen. This is done somewhat like a Conference Call, I believe. The moderator talks to the audience at large and the surgeon himself before the operation. The surgeon then keeps a running commentary on what he is doing at the moment. After the operation is done, the surgeon then accepts questions from the audience and answers them as best as they can.

Technology has improved so greatly that even Conference Calls can be done without actually seeing each other. I wonder if there will come a time telecommuting will be the norm and "office-mates" will no longer see other "live"?

Magic Lamp of Luck

Got this tag from Jenny :). Thanks so much sis!

"The mighty Genie King and the beautiful Genie Princess from the magical Land of Faraway are back! Upon escaping the clutches of their Evil Master after being held captive for 1000 years, the magical genies have been busy flying on their Magical Flying Carpet, granting wishes and spreading love throughout the blogosphere.

"And now, the genies are back with a special gift for everyone! Behold the sacred, Magic Lamp of Luck! With this magic lamp, your blog will enjoy much good luck and fortune, warding off all things evil lurking around in the blogosphere. We would like to share this magic lamp with you so please pass on the Magic Lamp of Luck to those in need of some good luck. Remember, do not be greedy or unkind, evil or vengeful and good luck & fortune will always be with you! Join us on another exciting magical adventure as we spread goodwill and good luck to one and all!"

I've been visited by the Genies for a stroke of luck, which I really need it! Thanks a bunch, Genies! :)

Start Copy Here*

1. Add your site(s) to the list once you have received the Magic Lamp of Luck.

2. Pass on the Magic Lamp of Luck to as many people as you like. After all, everyone needs some good luck!

3. Leave a comment HERE once you’ve passed on the Magic Lamp of Luck. Once the Genie King and Genie Princess have visited your site to make sure your links are complete and proper, you will then be added to the Master List.

4. To ensure everyone receives equal link benefit, please UPDATE your list regularly!

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*End Copy Here*

I've posted this already in my other blog, so anybody who wants to can just grab this!

Sad State

It is a very sad situation we are in right now, given the present economic problem.

It is getting more and more difficult to attain the rank of Nouveau Riche these days. Even if you've finished an impressive sounding college course and used up most of your parent's savings in the process, you'll find that jobs are not as easy to come by as they once were. A lot of bright, young people who had dreams of being Nouveau Riche now find themselves settling for jobs beneath their qualifications, because they just need a job, any job.

My grandfather was a poor Chinese immigrant who came to the Philippine shores shortly before the Japanese occupation. He was one of those who actually succeeded in his business after the war. I do not know if he is among the rank of the Nouveau Riche Chinese, as he is not as well known as the Gokongweis, the Tans, and the Sys of SM. Nevertheless, he was able to fulfill his mission and reason for crossing the seas to the Philippines -- to find a better life for his family.

One of the reasons why I'm taking up Hospital Administration is because I'm trying to study the real workings behind the organization. Medicine is very idealistic and scientific, and it doesn't teach you things like return of interest, balance sheets, etc., which is actually very important so that your enterprise would not be a losing proposition. It's sad but it's only after I've finished Medicine that I realize that the reason why a doctor charges quite a steep sum is because he pays quite a high overhead on rental and his secretary's wages, not to mention the money he (or his parents) already spent for his education. I wish we had a subject that teaches us how to manage our practice.

Ok, break time is up. I'm back to my homework.

Baby Girl

I am currently in the midst of baby envy.

A good friend has just given birth to a beautiful baby girl. Because I am swamped with assignments though, I still cannot go see her. Sigh!

But, I really, really would love to have me my own little daughter. I have a son who's my life's greatest joy, and I would like him to have a sibling too.

I, however, would bow to God's wisdom whether I be gifted with a daughter. Or another son. Lord, just make them "normal" so they would not have too much difficulty in this world.

Master's Assignments

If I've been remiss lately in my bloghops, please do forgive me. I've had a very busy month lately, what with my brother's wedding last weekend, my job obligations and also my assignments which I submit for my Master's. I'm actually still working on my assignment and just taking a small break. Anyway, part of it is already done and just needs printing, which I still cannot due because I'm working beside my sleeping toddler. While at it, I'll am going to shop online for Brother printers, ink cartridges and laser toner because for some reason, I don't find many of these around and if I do, they are quite expensive. Same goes with Lexmark printer inks. My sister-in-law can't seem to find any replacement inks and she's tempted to buy another printer so that her ink costs would not be so big. No, she does not have any problem with the printer itself, just with the availability of the ink locally, and since she's also taking up classes towards her Master's Degree, she has lots of assignments to make, print, and pass, hence she prefers lower cost for her inks.

Well, back to my assignment. Since I'm a doctor taking up Hospital Administration, instead of the medical terms I am used to, I now have subjects like Accounting, Architecture, Financial Management, Human Resources and the like. I'm enjoying learning although I do agree that it's another added burden to my already packed schedule. But they do say that time flies when you're having fun, don't they?

I'll be back to my regular schedule once all this is done. Promise!

How Bad A Proscratinator Am I?

You are most like:

Selective Procrastinator

As a selective procrastinator, you know how to procrastinate but only do it when you feel you can afford to.
Your a faker!

Take this quiz: How Bad A Procrastinator Are You?

Cord Blood Banking

Over the past decades, there is a phenomenal rise in advances in the field of medicine. The discovery that stem cells in the umbilical cord has a great potential in managing a wide range of otherwise difficult to treat diseases is one of the most promising. Cord blood banking now offers an insurance against potentially fatal diseases, since the blood from the umbilical cord is a rich source of undifferentiated and "privileged", meaning it has not been exposed to most diseases. Cord blood is collected from the umbilical cord just after giving birth with a special collection kit. Lots of parents have already opted to have this done because they are assured that their children will have access to their own stem cells for possible future use.

Check out the roundup at Daddy Guardian Angel's blog! Here's the link.


Keeping Babies Safe

One of considerations of having a very young child in the house is baby-proofing the house. I still believe that the best way to prevent accidents is to always keep an eye on the baby, but sometimes that just doesn't happen. Mommy has to do other things aside from watching the baby.

Fortunately, there are already a lot of products out there that help in making your home safer for babies. I have a few of those. My absolute favorite is the baby gate by Safety First. I've been using it for about 2 years already, ever since my son learned to walk. The version we bought can be moved, so we just put it between the door jamb of whichever room he happens to be in. Our room's door is beside the stairs, so we are extra careful in ensuring that the gate is always in place, because we do not want our son to take a nasty spill down the long flight of stairs.

My mother is very amazed that there are now so many products geared towards child safety. She noted that these were not available when we were kids.

The Big Read

The Big Read - books you've read.

Tagged by Pat!

The directions are simple:1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.2) Italicize those you intend to read.3) Underline the books you LOVE.4) Reprint this list in your own blog so we can try and track down these people who've read 6 and force books upon them ;)

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4. Harry Potter - JK Rowling

5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6. The Bible

7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

12. Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13. Catch-22 - Joseph Heller

14. Complete Works of Shakespeare

15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks

18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19. The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20. Middlemarch - George Eliot

21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens

24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25. The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis

34. Emma - Jane Austen

35. Persuasion - Jane Austen

36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis

37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38. Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne

41. Animal Farm - George Orwell

42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50. Atonement - Ian McEwan

51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel

52. Dune - Frank Herbert

53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas - love, love the movie. but haven't read the book

66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68. Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding

69. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie

70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72. Dracula - Bram Stoker

73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75. Ulysses - James

76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78. Germinal - Emile Zola

79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80. Possession - AS Byatt

81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87. Charlotte's Web - E.B. White - have the book for tina

88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94. Watership Down - Richard Adams

95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare

99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100. Les Miserables - Victor H

I have to confess, though, that some of the books I read are short versions. Or I skip some parts :P

Passing this tag to my fellow PPBC bloggers!

Still Looking

We're still looking for that perfect home for us. "Perfect" also includes "something that we can afford", and at the moment we are having problems reconciling what we can afford with what we want -- ideal location (near where we are right now--we don't want to move too far away), big enough to raise a growing family, secure, safe place -- with what we can afford. There are some condos near us which offer Lease to Own options, but they are surprisingly too expensive. Besides, we do not really like condos that much. We'd rather have a house or a townhouse.

Some of my friends have homes of their home and I am, admittedly, a little jealous of that. I realize, though, that many of them just had their places because their parents gave them an interest free home lone -- much better than those offered by any banks or financial institutions like Idaho Mortgage Loans -- because it's interest free! Not to mention pay when able! And, you do not get driven off the property if you didn't pay because, hey, they're your parents! So, in actuality, these are not really loans but "gifts" masked as loans.

My mother-in-law has a lot which she says is for her children (including my husband). We could build on that, but still we need money to build the house itself, that's why I'm still looking for the right financial institution, something like Refinance Idaho, which could give us reasonable loans for building our home.

Coffee Break ver. 1.27

This week's coffee break question by Jan:

What baduy love song do you like listening to?

Naku, I am a very mushy person and I do listen to A LOT of songs which some people consider baduy (cheesy). But I think, a lot of times, the beauty (or kabaduyan) really depends on the listener. Basta ako enjoy ako dito! Hehehe

Here they are, in no particular order:

  • Mula sa Puso
  • I'm All Out of Love and other Air Supply Songs
  • I Will Always Love You
  • Hoplessly Devoted To You
  • can this be love
  • kailan
  • Ikaw Pa Rin
  • You
  • It Might Be You
  • Miss na Miss Kita
  • Against All Odds
I love a lot of long songs. But some of them I really do not consider baduy at all so I didn't include them here.

School For Realtors

I have a cousin who's now based in the United States and is currently a realtor. I wonder if she has taken any courses in Nouveau Riche University because she seems to be very successful in her new venture. She used to dabble in real estate when she was here in Manila but I believe it was not really what her main career, so to speak, because she was also involved with other things at that time. I haven't seen her for quite a while but I've heard some relatives say that she found more success there. The reason why I am wondering if she ever took up courses in Nouveau Riche University is because I was told that they specialize in real estate and they have produced several successful graduates.

Since I am, literally, many many miles away from where they are, I wonder if I could enroll in Noveau Riche University's Distance Learning Program. I wonder if the principles taught there will be applicable for real estate agents here in the Philippines, given that we have different laws over here. I am pretty sure that the taxes are different too. I have no plans yet of leaving, but I do need a backup career path if I do decide to make the move and maybe the Distance Learning is the answer.

Do You Have Healthy Relationships?

You Have Fairly Healthy Relationships

You try your best in relationships, and you do a pretty good job.

You're as considerate, honest, and giving as you can be.

There's always more that you can do, and sometimes you do leave people feeling a bit neglected.

Great relationships don't happen overnight. As long as you keep making improvements, your relationships will get better!

Longest Married Couple -- The "Game"

My brother really wanted a variation of the bouquet and garter throw in his wedding. I know for a fact that unlike Westerners who will definitely participate in such games and even jostle for the bouquet, Pinoys and Chinese are more unwilling to join this type of game. It's usually a dreaded part for singles. I know I'm one of those who tried not be noticed whenever this came up (before I got married, that is). My husband was even more extreme and took to hiding in the washroom whenever he anticipates that the "singles" games are next. That's why I did not do any "singles games" and just dedicated my bouquet to my mother, my mother-in-law and my grandmother.

That is why I suggested the "Longest Married Couple" game. I hoped that this will be more acceptable to a more conservative set of guests like we are bound to have. It's pretty simple and painless, actually, all married people stand up, they then get eliminated by number of years of marriage. For example, those who are married for less than a year are first asked to sit down. Then those who are married for 1 year. Then 5 years. This goes on until there is one couple left standing. I've seen this in other weddings and people are generally more "game" in this type of setup. My brother thought that it is a good idea too.

Surprise, surprise! Nobody wants to stand up when the married people are called! Arrgh! I did stand up, but hey, I know I would get eliminated soon because I am not married so long as to called the longest married couple. It was quite painless actually. Unless the married couples are not happy and proud that they are -- in that case, maybe a visit to the Marriage Family Counselor may be in order. The hosts had to resort to calling some of the more senior married couples. The "longest married couple" were together for 31 years. I'm sure there are probably others who are married longer but just didn't want to stand. Anyway, they did give their advise and their secrets for their long marriage. :)

My advice:
Marriage is a big, big change in both your lives. You have to love and trust your partner. That's because you now have to share everything. Everything you own is now communal property. You will have children. You must learn to think like a couple. You can no longer make major decisions without first consulting your mate. That goes for both of you.

That is why it is very important for you to have constant communication. About everything. And never think of giving up your marriage for any trivial matter. It must be foremost in your mind that "To Save my Marriage is important". Don't let small things destroy something beautiful.

Do not expect perfection. Nobody is perfect -- not you, not your mate. Accept that the things that you do not like about your mate is a part of his/her whole personality. There will be quarrels once in a while. There will be times when you feel that you have made the wrong decision, just because you are feeling down or angry. Don't let those things get to you. Remember why you got married in the first place, why you chose this particular person. As mentioned above, communicate. And if communication fails, don't share your problems with your family of origin. They will naturally side with you. Go to a Marriage Retreat or pray for guidance.

Have fun! Go on dates, enjoy movies together. Don't forget that married couples can still have fun with each other!

I congratulate you and I wish you happiness in your married life!

Isn't It Strange?

Got this from one of my mailing lists:

1. Isn't it strange how a 100-peso bill
seems like such a large
amount when
you donate it to church, but
such a small amount
when you go shopping?

2. Isn't it strange how 2 hours seem so long when
you're at church, and how
short they seem when you're
watching a good movie?

3. Isn't it strange that you can't
find a word to say when
you're praying,
but you have no trouble
thinking what to talk about
with a friend?

4. Isn't it strange how difficult
and boring it is to read
one chapter
of the Bible, but how easy
it is to read 100 pages of
a popular novel or ZANE GREY book?

5. Isn't it strange how everyone
wants front-row-tickets
to concerts or
games, but they do whatever
is possible to sit at the last
row in Church?

6. Isn't it strange how we need to
know about an event for Church 2-3
weeks before the day so we can
include it in our agenda, but we can
adjust it for other events at
the last minute?

7. Isn't it strange how difficult it
is to learn a fact about God to share it
with others, but how easy
it is to learn, understand,
extend and repeat gossip?

8. Isn't it strange how we
believe everything
that magazines and newspapers
say, but we question the words in the

9. Isn't it strange how everyone
wants a place in
heaven, but they don't want
to believe, do, or say anything
to get there?

10. Isn't it strange how we send
jokes in e-mails and they
are forwarded right away,
but when we are going to send
messages about God, we think
about it twice before we share
it with others?


Now that you've read this message,
forward it to anybody that you consider a friend, family member or foe(enemy).
If you don't do it, not only will you deprive
yourself from being blessed, but you will also do that to others who may need
God in their life.

After Getting Hitched

Yes, my brother is finally married! Will post more on it later.

No, my brother and my new sister-in-law have not left for their honeymoon yet. There are still some traditions to be fulfilled. Today, my sister-in-law is supposed to visit the family of her origin.

I believe they want a trip out of the country. It's weird that travel outside the country is sometimes cheaper than local travel here in the Philippines. Of course, it also depends on the place. Anyway, there are now so many travel deals that sometimes aside from having no time, there's practically no excuse not to travel since it has become so affordable! In case they go to a place where they would need a car, they could actually avail of an ongoing promotion for 10% off online booking for car rentals.

For now, they have been unwrapping the wedding gifts that they received. They received a few electronic appliances in the many gifts that they received, but being both Chinese, most of their gifts came in the form of cash. This is good because they don't have their own place yet, so the other gifts would go into storage for now. But they would definitely come in handy once they have their own place.

I'm happy for the new couple. I hope they will stay in love for the rest of their lives.

Lessons For The Day

  1. You really can't please everybody.
  2. Too many cooks may not necessarily spoil the broth, but the broth definitely changes in flavor.
  3. It's easier to put a barong on a small boy when daddy wears his barong first.
  4. Even the best laid plans go awry because of factors beyond your control. But the change may actually be for the better.
  5. People are very curious about unusual stuff. They would watch something that is out of the ordinary.
  6. Count your blessings. Sometimes we focus too much on negative details that we forget all the good things that happened.

My Brother's Getting Married

My brother is getting married tomorrow! This culminates several months of wedding preparations. During the course of their wedding preparations, they turned to me for advice regarding where to go for affordable Wedding Dresses. I referred them to my dressmaker, who makes affordable but well made Bridal Dresses comparable to those of the top designers but without the sky high prices. Since the prices are so reasonable, they decided to shoulder the costs of the Bridesmaid Dresses, Flower Girl Dresses and Mother's Gowns which they got from her as well. I also went to her to have my own gown made since the price of a made-to-order gown from her is even cheaper than off-the-rack gowns found in the major department stores. She even included matching bags for all of us, which means more savings for us as we no longer have to buy them.

As for the men, they are going to wear the traditional Filipino Barong Tagalog. That includes my son, who will act as ring bearer.

My brother and his bride are going to have a modified Buddhist ceremony by the hotel pool. I am pretty excited about since I have never witnessed a Buddhist ceremony before. Of course I am also excited about my son's first time to be part of the wedding entourage.

Congratulations and best wishes to my brother and his bride!

Bug in Microsoft Update?

If you noticed that I rarely update my blogs during the past few days, that's because my internet connection has been very bad the past couple of days. For some reason, my laptop just would not load pages even if my connection to the modem was OK. All the other computers here could access the internet well enough. It was just mine which had this particular problem.

My husband did a system restore, which seemed to work. But later, when I shut down my laptop, I was surprised to see the same problem again when I turned on the laptop the next day. I thought back to the day when the problem occurred, and remembered that Windows XP updated itself after I shut down. So I went back and removed the latest update. I also changed my system update settings to "no updates".

Lo and behold, this morning, the problem was there again! I looked at the control panel, and the last update was no longer there. So what was the problem?

I tried doing another system restore. I noted that during the past 3 days that I have been having problems with the internet, there was a program called "Software Distribution 3.0" which kept installing even if I turned off the automatic install.

Apparently this is a problem with one of the previous updates of Microsoft Windows. I have deleted 2 previous updates which was noted to be a cause of the problem in a forum I searched.

So far, so good. I hope this is it and I would no longer encounter such a problem! Let's see in the next few days.

Floor Dress Ups

I am not a fan of "permanent" carpet. We used to have those in my parents' old place. They are so hard to clean! I would much prefer the usual tiled or wooden floors. However, I do admit that such floor coverings do have their uses. They could mute noises especially on wooden floors. And of course, they add character to the place. I think a good compromise would be Area Rugs. My mother has a number of these rugs at home and I really think they look great. And, if it gets dirty, my mother can bring them out to clean. We have a few rugs at home. Some are Contemporary Rugs, but others have a more antique design.

This is definitely something I am going to emulate my mother with in terms of home decorating. Several pieces of Rugs placed in strategic places around the house would definitely make the house look warm and inviting. It also adds a quiet elegance to the room's decor. And, if you're residing in a cold country, these carpets are actually insulated and would keep your feet warm while you are indoors. This is another one of those "functional art" -- artworks that serve a real purpose rather than just look great.

Home Improvement for the Homeless?

Although we haven't moved to our own place yet and are just shacking up with my mother in the meantime, I'm already thinking of some home improvement projects, both for mom's place but more so for my future dream place. It may seem silly, but then there's actually a big advantage to not having your own place at the beginning, and that is you can see what works and what doesn't work in the household. Then when I have my own place, I can put whatever I want and implement whatever policies I want in my own household, with my husband's consent, that is.

Dneero Survey On Dneero Surveys!

Whenever money is introduced into a process there is the risk of creating bias. dNeero works hard to reduce and remove that bias. We want you to score us and share your thoughts on how money and blogging interact. As always, be honest!

(Proceeds from this survey go to the American Cancer Society.)

Copper Sinks

Still on "house-dreaming", I'd like to have lovely Copper Kitchen Sinks in my future home. I know most kitchen sinks are made of aluminum or stainless steel, but I believe these would add a touch of class to either the kitchen or the bathroom.

The very elegant looking Copper Sink is a great alternative to the usual ceramic bathroom sinks too. Unlike ceramic, it does not stain and look dirty over a period of time. Copper ages well and still look very nice even when used for a long time. It's also lends both an "antique" but timeless air to the whole place. It truly is a piece of functional art, which is my favorite form. I much prefer this type of art over those that are purely decorative and serve no practical function at all.

A matter of great interest is that Copper Sinks actually have some form of antibacterial property. Science shows us bacteria can live for days on a stainless steel surface, but for only a matter of hours on copper. If that were true, that's another point for copper sinks! But even if that were not true, I would still consider these because they are truly beautiful works of art.


I was offline the whole day! I didn't know what happened by my computer just wouldn't connect to the internet. Initially I thought there was a problem with the ISP, but my brothers didn't have any problem connecting. Later, we thought that maybe the problem lies with my computer. But if that were the case, I might have to postpone any internet work until next week because I do not have any time the remainder of the week. This week is pretty busy as I have an assignment to complete and submit. The more important thing is that my brother is getting married this Sunday!

My brother asked me if there's anything I installed between last night (when I last accessed the internet) and this morning, and I said "no". I then recalled that my Windows XP had an update which started when I shut down the computer.

I'm no techie so I'm not sure what that's called, but my husband decided to reset the system to an earlier time, which was the day before yesterday. Lo and behold! I was able to access the internet after that. Thank goodness!

Was the security update the culprit? I certainly hope not because I'd be wary of such updates in the future.

Gifts Of The Chinese Mother-In-Law

My brother is getting married this coming Sunday. I do not know if this is also a tradition among other cultures, but Chinese tradition dictates that the bride's soon-to-be mother-in-law gives jewelry to her prospective daughter-in-law. These are usually complete sets of necklace, earrings, ring and bracelet, sometimes with a brooch. What my mother did is to pass on the jewelry that she received from my grandparents (her in-laws). I believe this is a charming tradition as I believe it symbolizes continuity of the generations. I do hope my future sister-in-law continues this tradition.

Since I do not have a lot of jewelry of my own, it might be a little difficult for me to do exactly the same thing my mother did when the time comes when Ethan grows up and gets engaged to be married. I hope that jewelry prices would not be too high by then because I may have to buy jewelry for my future daughter-in-law. Maybe I should start buying some pieces whenever I have some extra money. I've seen some nice pieces at Apples of Gold Jewelry. Some styles are classic and timeless, which I really want. I do not want to buy the pieces that are too fashionable because these designs come and go. I think it would be a good investment anyway as jewelry prices do appreciate in the long run.

I could also use them in the meantime, come to think of it. Practical idea, don't you think? Hmm, since I'll be buying them, I'll just get the pieces that I want and use them now. I've been to a few occasions when the attire is formal and a little bling is in order. I have always contented myself with costume jewelry, but for really formal occasions, I have often resorted to borrowing from my mother. So, if I do decide to buy, I'll have something classy to use on such occasions. Then, when Ethan brings home a bride, I can still pass them to the future wife of my son.

Sweet Home Blogger Awards

I got these sweet awards from Sheng. Thank you so much! I am very flattered to be chosen as one of your recipients.

I am passing these awards to my fellow pinay bloggers :)

Baby Shopping Tip -- Compare Online!

The difficult thing about shopping for baby is trying to compare the different features of the many baby stuff that we have (or just simply want to buy). Since a lot of these stuff are to be used for our little precious kids, we really do not want to take any chances with an inferior product. However, we also do not want to be stuck with expensive stuff that we will eventually just add to our already growing pile of household clutter.

So a great baby shopping gift is to do comparisons of the different available products before you actually buy. But it's difficult to go around stores looking at the different products. :(

I've found a great way to do some canvassing and price comparison from the comforts of your home. Shopwiki actually has buying guides for the most common baby and toddler gears and needs, such as strollers, playpens, car seats, feeding, clothing, books, beddings, covers almost anything that you may need for your baby! This is a really good resource especially for a first time mother like me. I wish I had found this site much earlier. Comparisons of products would have been much easier! Being a breastfeeding mom (until my son turned 22 months, that is), I appreciate the guide on the different breast pumps and other breastfeeding needs.

Since my son will be turning three in two months, I have most of the items already. But I really, really NEED to toilet train him. I'm glad I did find a section on toilet training, which may prove a big help to me right now!

Monthly Pain

I know somebody who doubles up in pain whenever she has dysmenorrhea but refuses to take medications for it because she believes that she will develop "immunity" to the medication. I have told her that it's best to take pain relievers if she's suffering because she won't be productive at all when she's in pain. Another long held belief is that taking medications would lessen the flow of the menses. This is thought to be bad as the "dirty blood" is not passed out.

I'm in a field where women who have dysmenorrhea and can't work because of the pain would be accused as trying to get out of doing her job and thus uses her monthly visitor as an excuse. This is especially coming from the males who would never experience how painful it is to have such a condition. Since the solution is relatively simple, I'd rather swallow a pill so that I could go on with my usual duties rather than have those unsavory comments hurled at me.

The pain during dysmenorrhea is caused by the production of prostaglandins. Most pain relievers are designed to block prostaglandin. No more prostaglandin -- No more pain. But the endometrial lining continues to shed, hence the menstruation itself is not hampered.

I tried looking for evidence against "immunity" to medications. This is what I found.

So, ladies, no need to be afraid of taking a pain reliever pill if you're really suffering every month. :)

What People Do To Cut Costs (And What Businesses Will Thrive)

Things people will buy even if they are tight on cash and the ways they try to cut costs (hence are "recession proof" businesses, if you play your cards right):

  1. Food. People will still buy the staples. That's why the rice problem is such a big issue here in the Philippines. People will actually line up to buy rice. Of course, now that there is less buying power, it's the cheaper rice that people want. Fancy restaurants, however, may suffer because less people will be eating out if they are almost broke.
  2. Clothing. I'm not talking designer clothing that would run up into the five figures. Second hand clothing shops enjoy better business nowadays because their wares are cheap. So do clothing wholesalers.
  3. Shelter. People still have to have a roof over their heads. Small condos and apartments will still have some business because people will still have to rent the place and would forego large houses with large rentals.
  4. Utilities. Electricity, water and communication tools (telephone, cellphones, internet) are considered essential nowadays. People will still use them, but will just think of ways to try to save on these.
  5. Toiletries. Soap, tissue paper, napkins, baby diapers. People will still have to buy these. They will, however, look for cheaper deals from wholesalers or look for alternative brands.
  6. Appearance. People still want to look presentable even if they are a little short on cash. Women will try to look for cheaper makeup or wholesale cosmetics, so that they will still look good with a lower cash out.
  7. Health care. People will have no choice but to seek health care services if they get sick. However, they will try to cut costs by going to public health care facilities rather than to private practitioners and see doctors only when sick and not for a wellness check up.
So, if you're looking to earn a little bit more in this time of economic downturn, do take these into consideration. If you can find something that people need, or perceive to need, even in hard times, offer a cheaper but quality alternative and you can find plenty of customers.