a bittersweet parting

he hit the spot.  “it has not been always smooth sailing.  it was only last year that i get to enjoy your company”.  and rightly so.  i regret not getting to know him. i regret not being to prove myself and dispel rumors that gave him the impression of what i’m not.  it’s a real shame really.  now, the time is up.  i never had the chance to make peace with him.  although i found it really sweet and nice that he has treated me the same way he does other employees.  not all is forgotten, i know, but maybe forgiven.  the time for making amends is short, and goodbye is upon us as his boss steps down on the 30th.  surprisingly, i realized i will miss him, and felt a wee bit teary-eyed as the farewell party cum birthday celebration was being unfolded last night.  the years we spent at opposite ends of the management fence was such a waste, made worse by rumor mongers and suck-ups.  (sigh, office politics).  i used to think he looked too lowly on us because he was used to doing things the business way.  he wanted to run our office and the people like a private entity, and he was surprised that there are rules to be followed.  it was his first time to run a line agency.  in the end, i think the he changed his mind about us.  but i wish him well.  he has gotten to where he is through sheer determination and bits of luck.  someday, i hope to be like him.

adios sir.  till we meet again.

driving the second time around

i tried my hand again at driving after more than 5 years.  my mom prevented me from handling any vehicle of any kind (god knows her sick reasons, sorry ma).  needless to say, i think that despite the long rest, once i get hold of a wheel, it would be just like old times.  i wanted to take a refresher course but our budget wouldn’t allow it at present.  and so i convinced hubby to come with me and take out the car for a spin round the neighborhood.  he has been trying to put this off (i couldn’t figure out why, for chrissake) since last weekend but i put my foot down this time.  it’s either he come with me or i go out alone.  wehehehe.  true enough, as they say, it’s just like riding a bike, you never really forget.  one lesson though–i wouldn’t want hubby accompanying me anytime soon until i get my confidence full force.  you really need a professional, competent instructor to get your bearings straight.  relatives won’t work.  at least for us anyway.  i cruised around, and managed several turns inside our tiny sanctuary.  the engine didn’t die on me, i didn’t hit any cars or cats or live persons, all in all, a success in my book for my first time out after all these years.  until hubby decided to navigate the stick shift on his own.  whatda.  i was the driver right?  lol.  and i know he loves me and all, but it ain’t cutting it teaching me like i was totally clueless about driving (like starting the ignition).  and i learned long before he did.  now i wanted to go out in the real world.  hmmm gotta find someone to go with me…

trauma

it was just an ordinary night that had me sitting on the edge of my seat come nightfall.  the hubby and i attended a regular socials hosted by the office.  it was good, simple fun.  there was an acoustic duo belting out songs, food and a “talent show”, and we were entertained as usual by the antics of wonderful gay friends.  i always say that i’m getting too old for these kinds of things, and that i prefer going home early or staying at home with mischa when events like these come up.  but i did try to enjoy myself.  until i decided to go to the washroom, and saw that, beyond the loud music, rain was pouring down real HARD outside.  we were so engrossed that we didn’t hear it beating on the street.  it must have been like that for quite a while because flood was starting to build up on the sidewalks.  at that point, i began to get worried about mischa (don’t i always?).  after floods seeped inside our home last september during the ondoy tragedy, my immediate thought was it could happen again.  at any time.  so how would the household cope without us there?  then i received text messages from the yaya, and was informed that the creek surrounding the perimeter of our subdvision was starting to overflow.  water was coming to the basketball court which was 5 meters from our house.  and at that point, my panic button was pressed.  the rains did not cease after a couple of minutes watching it.  the prudent thing to actually do was stay put for a while, and let nature takes its course.  it’s gotta stop somehow.  i know deep in my heart that we could get stuck on the road, tumirik (in the vernacular), drop into open drainage systems, get stranded because we all know how floods could literally stop life in metro manila.  but i couldn’t sit still.  i was bugging hubby that we go home straightaway, panic slowly rising up my throat.  i could’ve have a heart attack at that moment, all i could think about was mischa, mischa, mischa!  i couldn’t help it.  and then i realized, i was more traumatized that i ever admitted.  that event left a deep mark, which i haven’t even noticed all these months.  i seemed to have kept my cool back then.  i had no choice, i had to.  while hubby and the neighbors were busy trying to bring things up, like the tv, books, food, the gas range (imagine how much adrenaline pumped through our veins), i had to be calm and attend to my 3-month old kid who didn’t have a care in the world except her milk, poop and sleep.   i, on the other hand, continuously went back and forth between the bed where she was stationed and the window where i watched helplessly as the water rose in the street in front of us until waist level.  it seemed never ending.  back to the present, in that instant (friday night), i was again helpless because i was so far from mischa.  the difference was that, she was more malikot and curious now, and god only knows what kind of antics she would be up to once put in the same situation again.  and this time, we were not there, instead we were still kilometers away on the road, trying to navigate the water-infested streets of manila, quezon city, san juan and pasig en route to taytay, rizal amidst other vehicles of all shapes and sizes.  i also wondered, if it came to the worst, how our two companions would save mischa if need be?  the answer maybe too gruesome to think about.  it is too much to expect others to lay on the line their lives for one tiny baby.  selfish as it may sound, i don’t know if i would for some other kid.  after all, isn’t it usually a game of survival?  i wouldn’t want to die because i cannot bear the thought of mischa being left alone in this world at such a young age.  how then could i possibly expect others to give up their lives for somebody not really related to them.  i know it was only i and hubby who would risk lives for her.  thus, my absolute panic, which thankfully i was able to control.  thank god i didn’t even cry, even though it was the very thing i wanted to do.  i hope i’m never put in this situation again, which i know of course is quite impossible as we just entered the rainy season.  the least i could hope for, i guess, is that we’re all home safe and sound each time a storm visits us.  more importantly, that we’re all together.  on the more practical side, maybe (just maybe), we could start scouting for places near work.  i don’t know if we could afford the extra expenses since we save a lot by watching house for hubby’s sister’s family, but i guess it would give us a whole lot of peace of mind knowing mischa is just a stone’s throw away.

1st birthday photos

am posting some pictures taken during my bulilit‘s first birthday some two weeks back.  i know, i know!  i procrastinate.  i will take that up in my next new year’s resolution.  hihi.  kwentos and ratings here.

my little babe was quite matipid with her beautiful smile, which was a real sayang.  maybe all the attention lavished on her, and all eyes on her, made it all unnerving.  she was a bit overwhelmed thus the sumpong of this usually precocious and happy child.  but don’t worry, you’re still the prettiest thing ever, my princess 🙂

the birthday girl

with mama old and papa old

with lolo and lola

cupcake tower

one of the ladybug cakes

souvenir cupcakes

with ninang june

tito ninong

wide-eyed wonder

me 30 years ago

CFO friends

guests

neighbors with yaya on the farthest left

bongga topper

the boys

and girls

my inaanak josh whom i saw for the 1st time after his christening some 3 years ago with kyle trying to hide

asleep, tired from everyone carrying and passing her around

xander, son of mischa's ninong jerome

host-magician, jester

games for moms and kids

fruit game

kids enjoying

the boys of pmd with manay

alaskador tito sam and tito ninong

crowd

magic show

the wacky team

funny tito nico. thanks for being a good sport!

ate zay participating in the show

the rabbit out of the box (or was it paperbag?)

pretty girls, darla and isha

speech

blowing the candle

mom and mischa

friends

mommy's side of the family

a small portion of daddy's

with ate lysa

with ninang len, tito rochelle, ate ianne and ate anne

trying her hand, in this case, feet, at independence

mom's college buddies, mischa's DDG aunts

2nd generation hollaback girls with tito frenz and dad

fam pic

the good and the bad

i received some news today, which i have been anyway anticipating in the past few days.  i knew i was due for a step increment.  in government employee terms, that means you haven’t moved a notch in the last 3 years.  but mine are 2 steps ever since i was promoted in 2004.  obvious conclusion: i haven’t had any professional growth in this thankless job in the last 6 years.  i know i’ve ranted enough but i’m sorry i was just reminded of my predicament.  while i should be grateful for the minimal increase, can’t help but feel a little self-pity again that i am stuck hard in this pit.  (an increase is an increase period.  it would pay for diapers.)  i want to move on.  i’ve been trying so damn hard but no such luck yet for that long-awaited interview.  i want to go.  i want to be a SAHM, even a WAHM, anything.  i’ve even taken a shot at administrative openings in international organizations.  if only i could leave just like that.  but i can’t.  i’ve got a mouth of feed, milk and diapers to buy, utilities to pay for.  i shuffle my feet to work EVERY SINGLE DAY.

i want to be excited for work, looking forward to possibilities, a new day.  i want to gain my enthusiasm when meeting people and new challenges.  i want to revive my passion for serving others.  hay!

good lord, please have mercy on this fellow.  i’ve trying to be good.  i’ve aiming for good karma.  i’m kind to my helper.  i’ve lessened my grumblings.  i try not to nitpick.  i try not to make pintas.  what have i done wrong?  can you hear me up there?  pretty please?

delayed birthday story and supplier ratings

disclaimer: super delayed post 🙂 but am writing it anyway for posterity.  as i have briefly blogged a couple of weeks back, we celebrated mischa’s 1st first birthday last june 6.  we were lucky enough that it fell on a weekend, and we need not worry about moving it to a different day, a weekend for that matter.  well, seeing as i was scheduled to give birth by c-section anyhow, i chose to be “opened up” on a saturday last year, just 1 day shy of my actual EDD.  my entire birthing process was hazy, even then, except for the part when they had to put in the anesthesia, which i remember vividly, and will remember to my dying day because of the intense pain i went through with it.  it was the most excruciating part of the whole birthing.

moving along…

i started scouting and contacting suppliers as early as january.  i wanted do something special, and not the usual birthday parties that we are used to.  i was adamant about not having it at a fastfood resto.  but the first and foremost venue on our list is the fun ranch complex in ortigas.  we always pass by the area to and from work, and it has always caught my eye.  so i started asking around, getting a quotation, and trying to work on our budget AROUND this.  see, i wanted it to hold her birthday so badly that i was willing to spend less on the other items on our list.  it was just disappointing that we had to get most of our suppliers from them since they bank on a one-stop party place thing. this meant, i had to get everything from food, decor, entertainment, etc. from them.  sigh!  this put a huge dent on our budget since we could’ve saved a lot if we got suppliers on our own effort, which was nothing new anyhow since i managed to pull off our wedding and mischa’s baptism based on negotiation skills, resourcefulness on finding the “best buys” and just plain looking and finding your way through all that bookmarks you made on the computer and wayward notes around.

hokei, so i said we were just happy and giggly on that special day.  we were ecstatic when my in-laws and some nieces and nephews arrived from the province just to celebrate with mischa.  i got a few jitters when the day started because it was raining on and off the past few days, and i feared that when it came down too hard, we would lose a few visitors.  the oldies said not to worry as the rain of course, signifies blessings but couldn’t help myself from praying hard for mr. sun to come out.  it was drizzling that morning although i know the party will push through even with just a handful of us present, but i wanted everything to be perfect for mischa.  i would certainly understand if guests would be lazy to go out and make an effort because i know how hard it is to go out.  so i almost jumped for joy when the sun peeked around midday!

and the party was a blast!  thanks in large part to the suppliers.  of course, looking back, i wished i had done more but then again, there’s always next time.  (i always feel like this after every party we throw hihi).  i wish we had more decors, i wish we hired a professional photographer, i wish, i wish, i wish!  but as we were working (as always) on a tight budget, and due to my insistence to hold it at fun ranch, we had to let go of a lot of things.  sometimes, it did cross my mind that if we had decided to do things the “normal” way, we would have needed to spend less.  we are far from being rich.  we are a struggling family, and we had to work hard for every penny we spent on mischa’s party.  but every time i look at her, seeing her dimpled smiles and i began envisioning her having fun, and all my doubts about our capability diminishes.  i know that i would do everything i can when it comes to her and her needs, maybe a few “luho” once in a while.  this birthday party counts.

too bad, the celebrant wasn’t in a very good mood.  she’s usually bouncy, giggly, and exuberant but these were non-existent on her special day.  i guess the constant carrying and passing from arm to arm took its toll, even in the early part of the party.  she had very little pictures showing her beautiful smile, which was a real pity.  her aversion to men also reared its ugly head as she was cranky from the get-go whenever “strange” men approached her.

here are the supplier ratings: (no rating scale, only “kwentos”)

THEME: LADYBUG

PARTY VENUE: Blue Whale Grill, Fun Ranch

Contact number: 706-3019
Website: www.funranch.com.ph
Rating: The entire complex was fun! it’s a place for kids. need i say more? mischa’s party was held at the 2nd floor of the blue whale grill. what i loved about it was it had an indoor play area for kids! now, they didn’t have to get bored while people were eating and the host had to take a break. as it is, they had quite the time of their lives just playing on it. it made for entertaining at a new level, which we could not have if we held the party at a regular function hall. the place was large, it could have accommodated 180 guests but we made a reservation for only 100 adults and 30 kids. the decor was very simple, but again, it was what we paid for so no complaints there.

the FOOD is a different thing. i thought we paid for more than what we actually consumed. there wasn’t any shortage at all, but we had barely anything left to bring home. and considering, we didn’t reach 100 (about 85, i estimated), i was expecting to have much leftover from the buffet. i didn’t know if they actually prepared food for the “average” eater but isn’t the idea of “buffet”…overflowing? that’s why people get buffet packages instead of plated ones, isn’t it? oh well. it was quite a letdown for me. and it wasn’t even that delicious, just a bit so-so. or maybe i was busy entertaining and talking to guests that i didn’t mind my food so much.

DECOR: balloons at the fun ranch cost GOLD! i inquired early on from n@wie suppliers and found reasonable rates, but then, as i said, i had to get them from fun ranch, and they were quite expensive. so we had to do away with table centerpieces, balloon chandeliers and styro backdrop, much to my chagrin. we got 50 balloon drops and a pair of column towers to breathe some life into the stage but that’s it.  fun ranch also provided a generic tarpaulin bearing mischa’s name.

HOST (c/o fun ranch): Jester: this one, i like! He really, really rocked! our guests absolutely loved him. he’s not bakya, he has the perfect accent, and the ideal humor cutting across all generations and societal status (lol), which made up our guests. of all the money we shelled out, he’s the most sulit. at 7k, he did total hosting, balloon twisting and magic show, which left the kids gaga over him.

CUPCAKE TOWER AND SATELLITE CAKES: Fernando’s Bakery


Website: fernandosbakery.multiply.com
another hit! this is a gift from tito ninong mico, and i felt a whoa when i saw it. pang-debut? i told my brother, it was a little too much for a 1st birthday part. it had 150 cupcakes made of choco and cheese, and 6 satellite cakes designed as ladybugs spelling out mischa’s name. anyway, nothing were left of it, ewan ko ba, some got more than they could carry. tsk tsk.. i really hate it when people make dumog when there’s more than enough for everyone. it doesn’t speak well of a person(s). like there’s no tomorrow…

OUTFIT: Prim Chua


Website: babyfashionistas.multiply.com
love the outfit even though many have worn this kind before. i just adore mischa in red. she’s just so darn cute! i loooove my bulilit to bits! transaction was easy. too bad we didn’t get to meet prim but we covered everything over e-mail. went to her shop in sta. mesa twice, first for measurement taking then pick-up after a month. what a breeze!

INVITES: Ninang Bel and Ninong Troy (maps)


labor of love. all the way from dubai. we had this developed at photoline, inserted it inside a red envelope and the result was great! it was cheery, and spoke of P-A-R-T-Y!

LOOT BAGS AND PRIZES: where else, but divi? we just a hard time finding ladybug-inspired stuff so we opted for floral-inspired and generic designs. it felt hot and sticky, going through the divi road but we came home happy with our lot with only a few pesos spent. nice job!

all in all, we’re just happy we managed to pull her birthday off. it will be a long time before we do this again. many years ahead of watching and enjoying her grow each day 🙂

will post more pictures soon.  cheers!

independence day weekend

this was what our long weekend looked like.  i loved every minute of it 🙂

…waking up to this…

…guiding her to walk…

…playing almost non-stop…she got a whole lotta toys for her birthday, and toys and books of every color could be found in every corner in the living room and our bedroom.  it’s a fun, fun mess!  i like the joy and cheer they bring to the house.

…doing every feeding, bathing, washing…

…watching my baby sleep (or nap. i was like a little stalker)…

…cooking for hubby.  it melts my heart whenever he wants second and third helpings at every meal…

…hubby doing this…

…running errands, banking, grocery shopping, applying for utilities, with mischa in tow.  i just glory in doing family things together…

i hope we could do this more often…