Archive for  March 2008

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I’d like to share this excerpt from this book I’ve been reading, “Healing after Loss”:

 ” Often, especially in first grief, we don’t have the will or energy to do anything much, for ourselves or for anyone else. But as we begin to get better, we can give ourselves a welcome break from our preoccupying sadness by doing something for another. It expresses the hope that we are not always going to be stuck in this valley of sadness. Not to mention that such a move on our part can be reassuring and useful to someone else.”          

I remember these words my dad said to me when we celebrated his birthday last year, he said, “I think I’ve overstayed already, 80 years is enough.” Little did he know, that those words were like a stab in my heart. True enough, his words came to pass and today he is no longer with me. It has been one of my greatest struggles so far because my dad has always been with me all my life so the road to healing has been slow and arduous. I’ve taken little steps in that area and today, I’d like to push myself a little farther in this healing process by doing something useful for someone else in remembrance of his birthday. It might not be much but there’s a lot of love and a lot of heart put into it.

Please enjoy my little gift for you all, a simple 8×8 paper freebie called “My diary“.

Happy birthday, daddy!

click here to download:  

littlekitestudios-mydiary-pp1-preview-432-x-432.jpg 

Summer is definitely here and the heat just makes me wish I had a nice cozy little beach front house similar to those in Outer Banks overlooking the ocean just to escape the daily grind. Quite frankly, I’ve never been to Boracay even though my husband’s parrientes from his dad’s side own resorts in that little island. Hopefully, by this year we can finally go there. I’m sure the kids would have a lot of fun and my son can put his swimming lessons to the test. That would be nice… 

I was expecting my sister to come early this morning to stay over for the weekend but unfortunately they arrived after lunch. That was quite unusual because they had left early morning and it normally takes only an hour and a half or a maximum of two hours to get to our place. The reason being, they had rented a van and the driver was not the same one they usually get so being unfamiliar with the normal route they take, in short he got lost. In the words of my niece, he was “directionally challenged”. They spent the whole morning going around in circles, avoiding all the traffic they saw and ended up being in a bigger one.  In the end they had to go back to where they started and use the NLEX which they should have done in first place. Hay, naku! They probably could have avoided all that stress and wasted time if only they had a gps tracking system installed.  I think they should have stuck with the old driver. 

 

Hey peeps! It’s approximately +- 2 1/2  days to go to Earth Hour. For those of you who are unaware, EARTH HOUR is a global effort initiated by WWF (World Wildlife Fund) meant to inspire people to be aware of and take action on climate change.

This year WWF-Philippines is joining Europe, America and the rest of Asia by switching off lights for one hour. Take note: lights only not appliances! Why? because if everybody turns off even their appliances it could cause a power outage when everybody turns them on again because of the sudden surge of electricity demands. You wouldn’t want one hour turn into one day would you? 

For details on how it’s going to be celebrated here in ‘Pinas  and how you can take part, visit WWF-Philippines online.

Did you know?

that by switching to more energy efficient appliances, like switching from traditional bulky water heaters to space saving tankless water heaters you are taking a proactive stance in helping our world from climate change? So do your part, be an EARTH SAVER!

We all have a first and this is my first response to a tag by Etavasi on his blog. 

          makeawishmeme-yen-copy.png

I’m not going to be philosophical about it this time so I’m going to say I wish I had a pair of Dansko sandals  because mine are already ratty and falling apart and often make me trip when I walk. Quite embarrassing actually.  I’m not a high-heeled/stilleto girl. I’m more of a casual tees & jeans type so I have very seldom use for high fashion stuff. I’ve had a couple of birkies before but they just didn’t fit my feet. These look really comfy and sturdy and I think they will stand the wear and tear of this on the go SAHM. Now I need to go  look for that falling star… Be back later with my word for the day!

I had the opportunity to travel to Brunei a few years ago and I have more than a few fond memories that remind me of that trip. I have traveled to a few other countries that were predominantly Muslim but each one that I’ve been to has their own unique quirks.  One unique Pinoy cultural quirk is how we call someone’s attention. We do that by saying “Psst!” or “Hoy!”. Nowadays, in text lingo it has evolved into “Oist!”. Or what about our “tabo” or bathroom dipper and the original exfoliant “panghilod” or river rock?  These are dead giveaways that you are in a Pinoy household.

Brunei has its own cultural peculiarities as well. An example would be pointing at an object. Usually, we use the index finger to point to an object, person or location. In Brunei, it is offensive to do that. Instead, they close their hand as if giving a person a thumbs up and then they use their thumb to point to whatever. I find it quite amusing. Another thing that I learned about Brunei is that, since it is a predominantly Muslim country, alcohol is not allowed or served in restaurants or dining places. I found out later how some of the locals become quite creative on how they get around that “no-no”. One time, while we were at a certain function and having dinner, I noticed that some of the people at our table acted as if they were hiding something under the table. They had just asked the waiter for a teapot and some tea cups with nothing inside. I asked the person next to me what was going on and he said that those guys actually had sneaked in a few bottles of liquor in gift bags and they were drinking it out of tea cups so that they won’t be caught. Talk about slick and sly! Alcohol is not available for sale in Brunei, so these guys would actually drive across the border to Miri, Malaysia and buy the stuff and drive all the way back to Brunei with their loot. Makes me wonder if I could find an alcohol rehab in Brunei?

If ever you do visit Brunei, two of the must see places to go to are these places:

First, the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque. It truly is spectacular especially at night.

 

The other must see is the Sultan of Brunei’s Palace or Istana Nurul Iman. (pic at the bottom) 

I’ve only been outside the gate but what makes this place a must see, especially if you are a Filipino, is the fact that it was designed by our very own National Artist for Architecture, Leandro V. Locsin and built by Filipino firm, Ayala International. Truly Amazing! Go Pinoy!

 

Let’s talk life insurance. I used to work before for the AIG/Philam insurance/pre-need group in their accounting department. Prior to that I had no idea that there was more than one type of insurance. All I knew then was that I instinctively hid from anybody who approached me with this little black portfolio/folder and tried to hard sell a policy to me trying to convince me with their acquired actuarial acumen and the benefits my loved ones would get when I die. I never bought one even if I was already working with Philam. I was single then and the need just didn’t click with me at that time. I did get one later on thru the only insurance agent I ever liked and trusted… my best friend. So if you haven’t got either one, here’s a little bit of info (in layman lingo) to help you decide where to invest your extra money.

Simply said, an insurance policy is a contract between you (the insured) and the insurance company (the insurer) wherein you pay a small amount regularly (premiums) to make sure that your loved ones or anyone you like (beneficiary/ies) will receive a specific benefit (money, proceeds, cash value) for specific future events (coverage) in case something happens to you (sickness, accidents, disability, death etc.).

Basically there are two kinds of life insurance policies:

term life insurance – temporary protection based on the coverage period; you are protected or “covered” for a specified time frame only (eg. one year, ten years etc.); has no cumulative benefits once expired; purely risk protection, meaning you are financially protected “in case of…” ; less expensive than permanent life insurance

permanent life insurance – permanent protection guaranteed to last the life of the insured; cumulative benefits accrue and do not expire as long as policy is current or updated; more expensive than term life insurance

Of course there are sub-classes to the two kinds mentioned above with different kinds of benefits, add-ons and possibly freebies depending on the insurance agent handling your account and the insurance company you go for. You could always ask for either term life insurance quotes or permanent life insurance quotes and study them before you make your decision.

Finally, it does help a lot if you find an insurance agent you can trust to guide you through the process. HTH!

Today… 
I am overwhelmed…
truly humbled…
and I have to admit
it just blows my mind just thinking…
how could You…?
why did You…?
what for…?
Even if I know I don’t deserve it…
words fail to paint the awe that’s in my heart right now
knowing that You did it anyway…
for me.  
The price paid is just beyond my imagination…
all for love? all for me…?
In my eyes, I’m not worth it.
In yours, I am.
I don’t see it. Yet you do.
I am condemned from the beginning…
waiting for my sentence to be served.
Yet You come and write My name on the sand…
How was I to know that you knew my name?
And the stones…
What else is left to do when you threw those stones…
not at me… but far away?   
How do I repay You?
I have nothing that You need…
And yet everything that You want…
So I will give You what I have…
Because it’s all I that I could give…
I will give you my broken heart…
Both the ugliness and beauty that’s within…
Because that is all You want and ask for…
And that is all I have to bring… 
Today You are no longer up in the clouds
Where I imagine heaven to be…
Now all I need to do is bow my head …
And heaven is right inside of me. 
For that I am forever grateful…  
  


O love that will not let me go I rest my weary soul in Thee I give Thee back the life I owe That in thine ocean depths its flow My richer, fuller be O Light that followest all my way I yield my flickering torch to Thee My heart restores its borrowed ray That in thy sunshines glow its day May brighter, fairer be O Joy you seek me through the pain I cannot close my heart to thee I trace the rainbow through the rain And feel the promise is not vain That morn shall tearless be 

It’s my scrappy Saturday today (depending on what time zone you are in) and since it’s Easter tomorrow I have a little sumpin’  for you digiscrappers out there. I love diaries. I love journals and I love writing. I’ve been journaling for years now and I got into scrapbooking  around 1998-99 when I got married. I didn’t have a lot of pictures of myself growing up and the few that I had were starting to fade already. Yup it’s sad and  I didn’t want my family most especially my kids to grow up with nothing to look back to as well.  My solution –  journaling with pictures. In short, scrapbooking! 

I first learned about scrapbooking when we lived in AZ.  I was into decorative painting back then and I stumbled upon it. I’ve been hooked ever since. Addiction is a mild term to describe my relationship with it.  Every weekend, my husband would drop me off at the local craft store and I would spend the whole afternoon going thru each aisle in search of that perfect paper or embellishment. If I skipped an aisle, I had to go back and check it out again.  I’d clip coupons and wait for dollar days just to get a good deal on scrap supplies. They didn’t have TIVO then but I would make sure I got to watch all the craft shows just to see if they had something on scrapbooking. Talk about needing an addiction treatment

I started out as a traditional paper scrapper, switched to digiscrapping  and now I’m thinking of trying to incorporate both by doing hybrid. Now for the fun part, I have a little giftie for you digiscrappers out there for Easter.  It’s not much though but it’s my first freebie ever so be kind.  Just visit my scrap blog right here to get this.

kitri-freebie-preview.jpgHappy Easter everyone! 

It’s a Friday today. Good Friday to be specific but I don’t think this season is remembered around the world as it is here. Although it’s not the same as I remember when I was growing up, the Lenten season is very much a part of our culture and tradition. 

I remember whenever the Semana Santa would come, before the invasion of cable tv, local tv stations would be off the air and there would be nothing to watch for days and networks would resume programming only on Easter Sunday. The streets would be quiet, people would be doing their church rounds and I would always hear the Pasyon being sung over a microphone blasted thru the church patio for all to hear. Perhaps a loud attempt to get God’s attention. There would also be kasoy and suman and ripe yellow mangoes on our table. Lots of watermelon, guavas and all that summer fun feeling of simple goodness. Those were my good old days.

Today, however, Holy week has a different and deeper meaning to me. I appreciate the fact that the whole country stands still… work, politics, school, shopping are suspended temporarily giving each one a chance to step back and re-assess one’s life apart from all these things that fill our daily grind. It is a chance to have a leisurely conversation… to commune-icate with God.

It is amazing how much communicating with others has evolved. I remember those days when our town had switchboard operators that would plug those red and black cables into a thing that looked like a massive piano with little holes and blinking lights that connect you to the person you were calling. Now we have space saving small business phone systems that do the job of 3-5 people. I remember when cellphones were so thick and bulky, you could whack someone with it and you could be charged with assault with an ugly weapon. Now cellphones come in all sizes with all the G’s, X’s and all the alphabets that go with it. You could practically do anything with it except cook, perhaps? Our conversations have evolved into abbreviations, spellings and acronyms that would send Noah Webster into confusion. KWIM?

In the middle of all the traditions, the technology and the gadgetry to help us communicate, I still relish the simplicity of spending a quiet afternoon, with just the wind on my face, the grass for my bed and the clouds as my blanket…to get down on my knees and bow my head and my heart… to whisper a simple wish, to utter a silent prayer, to send a message of eternal gratitude to this awesome, merciful and loving God who has given me forever access to His line in heaven 24/7. I will never run out of load, never get my line disconnected, never need the latest model with all the bells and whistles whenever I need to make a call. Knowing this, my heart is content. 

Today’s word is: 

GOLF, n. A game with ball and bat,in which he who drives the ball

into a hole with the fewest strokes is the winner.

 

I find it fascinating how a simple game like golf can close multi-million dollar deals. I often wonder what conversations go on while business execs concentrate on trying to hit that tiny white ball into a hole that’s beyond their line of sight and still manage to snag a deal or more. Maybe it’s the long quiet walk across the green, the absence of eavesdroppers who might spoil the negotiations or just being in a relaxing environment that contribute to all that.

My father-in-law played golf in his heyday. In fact, when my husband and I got married, I found a set of irons that belonged to him gathering dust in our bodega. I didn’t know if they were Callaway irons but my dad who lived with us while he was alive, found a very good use for one of them. Our neighborhood back then wasn’t exactly safe and there where incidents of  robberies that would happen often even during the daytime.

One day, I found one of these old golf clubs right next to my dad’s bed ready to whack any intruder or thief that would attempt to break in and steal from us. Now, that’s a thought… Some influential people who play golf in our country and enter into anomalous deals for the sake of greed need a whack or two in the head with a good old golf club to stop them from stealing. That being said, I think I might take up the game for that purpose and really practice on my swing. What do you think? 

I’ve decided to make my Tuesday – tEysT-ful which simply means my take on anything that suits my taste or fancy just as it says up there in my header. So you may agree or disagree with my opinion and that’s fine because we all have different perspectives about how we see things. That’s what makes life more interesting. In the end, I hope you will have a good read.

I remember years ago when we lived in Arizona for a while, every weekend, my husband and I would go on long drives across the States. Looking back at what we did, I realized that we did some pretty foolish things. Once, while still pregnant with my first baby, we drove all the way to L.A armed with just a tiny map at the back of a slim diary, no cellphone, no specific destination or contact to go to, no emergency stuff.  I didn’t even remember my mom’s phone number in case something happened to us. We were married for less than a year so everything was like an adventure. Every rest area we found was like finding an oasis and a chance to get those hotel/motel coupon booklets that gave you discounted lodging rates. Now that I think about all that, what we did was pretty scary and actually really st__id.  But we were hooked on these long drives. The views were just exhilarating  and you can’t relish all that when you’re on  a plane.

So next time we had the chance to go on another long drive, we hit LAS VEGAS! This time, my mom, my brother and his wife went together with us and my son. We had to be a little bit more prepared this time. We rented this big van to fit all of us. We checked out the best rates that all these Vegas hotels were offering to find out which had deals and perks and low season rates that we could take advantage of. No coupon books, budget hotel discount cards this time, at least.Finally, we agreed to stay at the Excalibur Hotel. It wasn’t that spectacular for me but it was okay. It fit our budget. I wanted to go to the Venezia but it was way tooo expensive. Not worth the $$$. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the time to at least stop by for pictures with the gondolier. 

Of course, if you are in Vegas you would normally want to experience what the celebs do even if it was just once in your lifetime. So for dinner, we wanted to do something a bit more fancy than Denny’s. We wanted to try either Emeril Lagasse’s Delmonico restaurant or Wolfgang Puck’s but they were all fully booked and the only place that was available was at a steak restaurant over at the MGM hotel. So we trooped over there, dressed to the nines, feeling like celebs for a night and had dinner. It was okay but I’ve had better steak for a lot less because it was a bit dry. The ambience was great, the service was fine. It was a pleasant experience.

Overall, the experience was memorable and I’d love to go back and do it all over again. Not really the fancy stuff but the long drive, the rest areas, the coupon books, the rustic diners that don’t have that fastfood burger taste… this time with my kids and of course more prepared than ever…with a cellphone.

Here’s another word that’s been in the headlines as well.  

TRUTH, n. 

1. Conformity to fact or reality; exact accordance with that which is, or has been, or shall be. The truth of history constitutes its whole value. We rely on the truth of the scriptural prophecies. 
 
My mouth shall speak truth. Prov.8.Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth. John. 17.
 
2. True state of facts or things. The duty of a court of justice is to discover the truth. Witnesses are sworn to declare the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
 
3. Conformity of words to thoughts, which is called moral truth.
 
Shall truth fail to keep her word?
 
4. Veracity; purity from falsehood; practice of speaking truth; habitual disposition to speak truth; as when we say, a man is a man of truth.
 
5. Correct opinion.
 
6. Fidelity; constancy.
 
The thoughts of past pleasure and truth.
 
7. Honesty; virtue.
 
It must appearThat malice bears down truth.
 
8. Exactness; conformity to rule.
 
Plows, to go true, depend much on the truth of the iron work. [Not in use.]
 
9. Real fact of just principle; real state of things. There are innumerable truths with which we are not acquainted.
 
10. Sincerity.
 
God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship in spirit and in truth. John 4.
 
11. The truth of God, is his veracity and faithfulness. Ps.71.
 
Or his revealed will.I have walked in thy truth. Ps.26.
 
12. Jesus Christ is called the truth. John 14.
 
13. It is sometimes used by way of concession.
 
She said, truth, Lord; yet the dogs eat of the crums– Matt 15.That is, it is a truth; what you have said, I admit to be true.In truth, in reality; in fact.Of a truth, in reality; certainly.To do truth, is to practice what God commands. John 3.

… like me. I’ve been scarce online because I’ve been trying to get my documents in order like renewing my passport, id’s, clearances and stuff in aid of, (not legislation, which is the buzzword in politics right now) opening up a paypal account and boy, it’s been such an ordeal. It’s a bit frustrating how much bureaucratic red tape I have to wade through just to open a simple account. Well, anyway I’m posting this for anyone who might find the info useful for whatever reason. I’m not an expert on this, I’ll just share from what I experienced and what I have done in the simplest way I understand it so you may find it useful or not. 

Since this post is about  paypal and opening up a verified Paypal account in the Philippines, the objective is not just to sign up at Paypal but to have a verified paypal account. I’ve been signed up for years but haven’t done anything with it because of many restrictions for Philippine-based users. Now Paypal has become more Pinoy-friendly and allows us not only to pay(send) money for  online purchases/transactions but also to receive(withdraw) money as well. It still has a long way to go but I’m just glad that this option is made available to us Pinoys already. 

(Note: Generally a paypal account becomes verified only when you have added a credit/debit card to your profile and completed the expanded use process. Read more about the benefits of being verified here.)
Here are some tips on what to do or not do based on my experience. 

  1.  Read. Read as much as you can on the topic. There are a lot of helpful discussions online at the pinoymoneytalk forum or read Chikai’s blogsilog for more details to help you. Don’t forget to read all the way through so you don’t miss out on the steps. I didn’t so unfortunately I wasted time and transpo money going back and forth to complete requirements I forgot.
  2. Write. You need  to write down or print out the information you gathered. It’s not a cool thing to be waiting in line for hours or traveling 20 kilometers to your destination only to find out you forgot your cedula number or your barangay clearance or so and so’s contact number etc. Major bummer!
  3. Gather all the required documents and place them in one container or folder and keep them there for the whole duration of the process until the task is completely done. Imagine how frustrating it would be to be finally in front of the person you are submitting your documents to only to find out that your documents are in the folder you left at home because you switched bags today.
  4. Plan your itinerary and try to locate the addresses of the offices or agencies you need to go to. Most of these offices have websites already so just click on their contact us tab to get their office address or phone numbers. Call them up and inquire before you go. Verify if what you have gathered is what they require because sometimes the requirements listed online are not what is followed in practice. Try to do all you can in the location you are in. I live far from these offices so I made sure that I didn’t have to go back there once I left.
  5. Submit and Smile. You’ve finally accomplished #1 to #4 and it’s almost your turn to be attended to by the not so amiable clerk in front of you. Try to be as polite and as cool tempered as possible so that your papers don’t end up at the bottom of the pile even if you feel like screaming at the poor service you are getting (unless you intend to never ever go back to that establishment or you wait till that person gets promoted or fired).
  6. Wait. Your papers are finally in and all you can really do is wait so just wait…. and wait… hmmm wait…. still waiting….
  7. Follow-up. So you’ve done the waiting game and it’s been weeks since you’ve submitted your papers just pick up the phone and call them because the likelihood of them calling you is zilch. Don’t forget, be nice. You don’t want to keep waiting for another six weeks. 
  8. Tip#8 is not done yet because I haven’t gone past #7 but most probably what I’ll be doing is Celebrate and blog like crazy. 

I am going via the Unionbank EON Cyber account route although you could also enroll your own regular credit card and now your local bank account code to get verified. Here are some useful links to help you get started on the requirements:

If you don’t like to sift through all that government stuff, you can also get it simplified right here.

Wasn’t able to post yesterday but I do have a word find for today from the 1828 Webster Dictionary.  🙂 My word find for today is:

AP’ATHY, n. [Gr. passion.]

 

Want of feeling; an utter privation of passion, or insensibility to pain; applied either to the body or the mind. As applied to the mind, it is stoicism, a calmness of mind incapable of being ruffled by pleasure, pain or passion. In the first ages of the church, the christians adopted the term to express a contempt of earthly concerns.

 

Quietism is apathy disguised under the appearance of devotion.