Archive for  March 2009

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This space is dedicated to Lolo Daddy (my dad) who is spending his birthday in heaven. We love you and miss you Lolo!!!!


ida’s birthday doodles at catscrap

Kick off your shoes this weekend and check out Issue 06 of The Daily Scrapper. Just like your Sunday newspaper it’s loaded with featured products, great articles, hybrid projects, awesome layouts(I have 3 of mine there) and most importantly, coupons and freebies and lots of good deals all over the digiscrapping world. No more coupon clipping! Just bookmark them or be a regular reader and you will always be updated with the latest and the greatest scrapping news online.

This issue’s product higlights are from Jofia’s Designs, Damayanti Designs, Britt-ish Designs and Cafe J. For TDS readers, you will find discounts from these awesome designers in the Product Highlight section. Don’t forget the mega mega freebies Mystical Garden Kit by Enchanted Studio Scraps ¬†in the Interview Section and one by Vintage Paris Princess Design in the Free Kit section which is this Issue’s featured free kit.

sneakie peekie

Here’s one of my layouts in this issue where I used Jofia’s The grass is green II kit- check out the other two layouts online.

The Daily Scrapper – we bring the news!

If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, I’ve been working on a project for a dear friend. She’s a ballet director and founder of her own ballet company, The Company of Acts Manila and I am tasked to do her souvenir program for this year’s recital at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Little Theatre a.k.a. as Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino because it’s ballet recital season. School’s almost out, summer is upon us and it’s the perfect time for our kids to explore the world of ballet.

Prep work for this project starts January or earlier and continues for the whole first quarter of the year. Hence, my absence from my bloggie duties. Good thing, the husband pitches in for me. ūüôā Costume design, pictorials, souvenir programs, rehearsals, ticket sales and all that jazz are some of the many little details that have to come together for performance night. This year is more exciting for me and the husband because both our kids (yup, girl and boy) are joining! Can you imagine the stress of being part of the production and being stage mommy and daddy at the same time? ¬†Although the kids are not unfamiliar with theatre life because we bring them every year to the recitals and we watch it backstage, this year they will be onstage performing and that’s another ball game. I usually take photos during the show but this time, I also have to make sure that their costumes are not torn before they reach the stage LOL or if they have the right amount of stage makeup. Overall, its an exciting season for us as a family.

So if you don’t see me around here – that’s what I’ve been up to all along.

For those who are interested to study ballet, here’s a list of schools that offer ballet year round.

under Ms. Chelo B. Gemina (Artistic Director, The Company of Acts Manila, registered teacher under the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet (ACB), ABAP (Association of  Ballet Academies Philippines) previous officer and current member) :

International Christian Academy (ICA) – Sucat, Paranaque (820-4521, 820-4524,825-8392)

International British Academy (IBA) – Aguinaldo Highway, Imus Cavite (046-4715922)

other schools affiliated with Ms. Chelo B. Gemina:

VCS Ballet Pasig – under Teacher Pia Paderes

STI Academy Ballet Las Pinas and Statefields School of Cavite – under Teacher Jan L. Manlapig

Palms Country Club Ballet School  Alabang Рunder Teacher Johanna Sotto

Shekinah Ballet School Cavite and STI Paranaque – under Teacher Beth Ciudad

Wizbee Ballet School Dasmarinas Cavite (opening this summer) – ACTS Manila Dance School – Sta. Rosa, Laguna under Teacher Rean Tirol

(for inquiries call or text 0917-6253674)

Enroll now and experience ballet recitals with a difference!

Today was an interesting day for the family.¬† After church, Tes and I took the kids to the Market Station at Paseo de Sta. Rosa.¬† There they observed how to buy stuff in a market.¬† We bought some live tilapia and some chicken.¬† (We later fried the tilapia for lunch. ).¬† We also bought some shrimps, rice and bread. ( ¬† Thus we had good fresh food for today’s meal). Later this afternoon, we cleaned the car as a family.¬† Tes and I washed and waxed the car.¬† The kids swept and shampooed the upholstery.¬† The day was capped with a charbroiled chicken and spicy shrimp dinner.

It really felt good to have the kids involved in the chores.¬† It seemed that our relationships grew a little bit today. Family time doesn’t have to be going to a movie or to a restaurant.¬† It can be the simple everyday things just done with a higher sense of fun and involvement.¬† Its really the engagement, rather than the expense, that counts!

In the past few days, we have been considering getting new phones.¬† We intend to get the services of Sun cellular on a prepaid basis.¬† One of the strategies we considered was to get a new phone under our existing SMART plan and use the old phone for sun.¬† We¬† already requested for our free Nokia 6120 and are just awaiting for its arrival.¬† We would have chosen an N77 for free but we couldn’t find any use of the required myTV subscription.¬† Anyway, the 6120 seems to meet our needs.¬† This 3G phone appears to have the reliable basics with expandable memory.¬† We might buy a 4gb micro sd though the phone can expand up to 8gb.¬† We are looking forward to getting this phone.

How do you deal with kids that are bored? Nowadays, most kids sit in front of the TV or play video games.   In our home, you find the kids reading books or watching family or Christian videos.  It was only lately that they learned to play video games. Their favorite is a game called bookworm which is a sophisticated word forming game. Another one they play is Zoo Empire, it teaches them to care for animals and manage customer satisfaction.

To choose the right games for your kids, ask yourself this questions:

1.) Is it appropriate for their age?  Should your 9 year old be playing half life or counterstrike? Are they ready for blood, gore or sexual suggestion? (Street Fighter and Tekken are quite sexually suggestive)

2.) What values does the game promote? Is it in line with your spiritual beliefs? Do you really want your child to acquire the game’s worldview?

3.) Is there some educational value?  A game like Civilization teaches the player how civilizations evolve.

4.) Does it develop analytical or improvisational capabilities?  A game of chess, Command and Conquer or Harpoon are great examples. Have this questions handy the next time your child bugs you for a game.

Last night the valve of our bathroom sink broke.  It was quite surprising that contractors used cheap valves with plastic parts.   I was quite irritated trying to figure out a way of stopping the steady jet of water flooding our bathroom.  The night turned out to be a sleepless one that beats changing disposable diapers in intensity.  We tried filling the pipe with plaster but the water still prevailed.  Finally we decided to close the water main until we purchased a replacement valve. This time a bought a brass part.  Another lesson learned to be applied in the construction of our own home!

In the past few days, I have rediscover my passion for grilling.¬† I used to grill a lot of our food particularly steaks.¬†¬† With a quest for family health, I decided to grill more of our food as opposed to eating mostly fried stuff.¬† My first attempt was with tilapia (aka St. Peter’s fish).¬† I miscalculated the amount of charcoal so my fish was quite raw in some parts but good enough to be eaten.¬† The whole time I was cooking, I was thinking about cats or dogs that might take the fish.¬† A pvc fence installation would be helpful! My second attempt was with a whole chicken sliced in the middle.¬† Miscalculated the time in this case so I had to partially cook it with the microwave. My last attempt was quite fine and proved to be a delectable meal of tilapia for the family. For my next chicken attempt, I already had the vendor cut it up so I cook¬† it well.

The kids love the grilled food I cooked these days.¬† I guess I’m becoming a grill dad all over again.

Our recent bout with pneumonia, led us to rethink the nutrition strategy we have for our kids.  As it is, we feed the kids mostly fried meat or fish with rice and give them vitamin pills for the micronutrients.  Now we have decided to give them vegetables with every meal.  We also decided to buy our food from the market as opposed to a supermarket.  The benefits are quite a surprise. Market food is fresh and typically cheaper than at the supermarket.  Its really worth putting your dansko clogs.  When was the last time you  grilled tilapia still squirming in the bag? Or had fresh camote tops as a delectable salad for the family?  I guess the old ways are still worth keeping.

I bumped  into a former co-worker from intel this afternoon.  The first thing I asked him was about where he was connected.  Intel Philippines will be ending its operation by April 30 this year ending 34 years of operation in the country.  I asked him about his package and also about what his next move would be.  I asked him if he was looking for another job or going into business ( a franchise maybe?).  He said he was looking for another job while investing his savings in mutual funds.

I remember my own transition out of Intel in 2006 when I asked the question “what on earth am I here for?”.¬† It was then that I transitioned out of the semiconductor industry and into energy by means of solar manufacturing, then into the NGO world and now as a freelance energy consultant.¬† As the years go by, I crave for more freedom.¬† While I’ve had to tighten my belt at times because of cash flow and collection issues, the freedom I now experience is all worth it.

At this point, I am beginning to realize that the challenge of financial freedom really lies in finding something simple but returns a lot of money.  Why bleed yourself over  complex projects when you can earn a lot doing something like  servicing laundry, teaching kids, etc. I remember another Intel co-worker who sought a highly technical job only to get a poor appraisal later on.  A strong financial base will be the foundation for personal pursuits and advocacies later on. In the end, its really about being practical.

In the past few days I realized that the world stops when you or your loved ones get sick.  Since Thursday, I had to stay with my family in the clinic they were confined to for treatment of pneumonia.  My routine with be to look at the time and see if it was time for their medication.  ( I wish had a J12 watch !) I would then prepare the meds and give it to them.  Other tasks would be to help the kids urinate or spit our their phlegm.  We would also have our time of prayer, the main theme was recovery and provision.  This was a time of redirection and refocusing of our lives toward what really counts.  Everyday we do a lot of things but are they really important? I thank God that my wife and kids are now out of the clinic and on their way to recovery. But I am grateful that this experience has brought us a step higher in our relationship with God and closer towards what are purpose is for our generation.

Our recent experience with pneumonia has brought our family closer.  For 3 nights we had to sleep together in 1 bed. Under normal circumstances, this would have been uncomfortable unless we were using a sleep number bed. However, the need to be in close proximity with the children to monitor their status and respond to their needs justified such a set up.  Every few minutes, someone was coughing and required a kidney bowl for the sputum. We needed to check if one of the kids was entangled in the IV hoses.  Considering that their well now it was well worth it.

Tes has been harping about buying a new computer for the last few days.  As usual, I asked the typical questions. Why do you want to buy a new one? etc.  It seems that she wants to have a good laptop computer that can support her graphic design needs.  It has to have a good software bundle and good system memory to support photo editing and layouts. Using her current PC, it would take quite a while for one of her files to open not mention that it hangs when a lot of pictures are opened. The laptop would also give her the mobility to work with clients in the field.

A friend is helping us source out a laptop (a Mac). Hopefully she comes back with news of a good deal.

The past week has been quite an ordeal for my family.¬† It started¬† with our 6 year old daughter catching a fever last saturday.¬† After 24 hours it seemed like her fever couldn’t be managed so I took her to the nearest hospital, Southern Luzon Hospital in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.¬† They did a CBC, urinalysis and looked at her throat. They gave her a suppository to bring the fever down. She was then diagnosed with Tonsilo-Pharyngitis.¬† I was then asked to settle the bill so I could take her home.¬† When I came back from the cashier, I found that she convulsed.¬† Only then did they have an x-ray and find that she had pneumonia and had to be admitted. My wife followed to the hospital and stayed with her.

After 3 days of treatment, my daughter’s fever still wasn’t managed.¬† The doctor was considering Meningo-coccemia. He said this because of the convulsions that my daughter experienced¬† and because the 3rd generation anti-biotic he employed didn’t work.¬† He mentioned this to Tes and said he was going to have spinal fluid extracted.¬† With this development, my wife was in despair!¬† We then decided to call our old pedia Dr. Manuel Almelor.¬† That night, we transferred to his lying-in clinic in Las Pinas.¬† Aemu was then given Cefuroxime and started recovering after 12 hours. After another 3 days she was sent home.

So what went wrong? Why would a simple lying-in clinic be more effective treating pneumonia compared to a full service tertiary hospital? First it was the doctor.¬† Dr Almelor was aggressive in his treatment. He would not hesitate to give the maximum dose of a drug if it was necessary. His extensive experience in goverment hospitals, overrun by infectious disease cases led to a well developed “clinical eye”.¬† When he saw my son who was with us that night, he also had him admitted because of the external symptoms of pneumonia he saw as confirmed by his stethoscope observation.¬† In the hospital, they rarely used the steth for observations.

The second thing was the drugs.  Dr Almelor used imported drugs that had a higher probability of success.  A lot of hospitals use local generic drugs to reduce cost or increase mark-up.  No  matter what they say, these drugs have a reduced potency.  Just imagine how many more people will suffer from poor drug quality because of the cheaper medicines act.

Other notable things were about Southern Luzon Hospital:

1.) an inexperienced nursing staff.

2.)Tes was prescribed anti-biotics since she also got pneumonia.  Only to find later that she was prescribed a drug for Urinary Tract Infection.

3.) 3 days cost us PHP 24,990.75¬† vs PHP 11,000++ at Dr. Almelor’s

At the end of this ordeal my wife lost a lot of poundage from the stress and the sickness.  It definitely beat most weight loss pills.

My understanding is that Southern Luzon Hospital is a sister facility of Calamba Doctor’s Hospital.¬†¬† My friend related his experience in the latter facility where he was misdiagnosed with a failing kidney. He was prescribed to go for dialysis.¬† This depressed him for weeks.¬† After seeking a second opinion, he finds out that he only had high uric acid!

If you value your health and your life.  Stay away from these hospitals! If you live in Sta. Rosa Laguna, go to New Sinai or Sta. Rosa Doctors.   If you need a good pedia or family doctor go to Dr. Manuel Almelor tel no. (02) 8735097.