Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Wrap-Up for 2012!

Well, we have finally reached the end of 2012! Since, we are about to close the last chapter of this year, I would like to look back and reflect on what I have achieved for this year.  Compared to 2011, I would say that 2012 has been a very fruitful year for me.  I have received countless blessing for this year and I am really very thankful to God for all these. 

The following are what I considered my accomplishments for 2012:

  1. I was able to move to a new company last March which had given me more financial rewards and benefits.
  2. I was able to push through with the major renovation of our first house which I am renting out. This project has long been delayed due to lack of funds and time.
  3. I was able to introduce some improvements in our second house where the family currently stays, like the installation of canopy in our laundry area and garden.
  4. I was able to pay nearly 75% of my balance for a lot purchase which I considered my additional investment. I hope to finish the remaining 25% of my balance first quarter of next year.
  5. I was able to fulfill my promise to my kids to bring them for another out of the country vacation for one week.  This has been their second out of the country trip and they have enjoyed it a lot.  :) 
  6. I was able to reactivate my monthly contributions to SSS.  I've stopped with my monthly contributions since I left my last job in the Philippines.
  7. I finally fulfilled my promise to my daughter to buy her a shih-tzu pup last February 26 which we named Lucio. My daughter has been very happy since then.
  8. I'd been very active in blogging this year.  I started blogging October of 2010 but I just started monetizing my blog last November of 2011 until now.  So that was only for one year!  For that one year of monetizing my blog, the result is quite fulfilling.  I know that compared to other long time bloggers, my financial rewards in blogging is not that great but for a newbie like me, I think it's quite acceptable.  Mind you, I never spend my earnings in my blogs coz I want to see how much I can make for one year.  I just spent some of it for my domain names and blog designs, but the rest is all intact in my account.  For one year, I'm happy that I was able to save 75K in cash and more than 15K in kind consisting of books, shirt, make ups, skin care products and sleep wears. :) It may not be that big but I'm satisfied considering that I just spend few hours each day in blogging as I am employed in a private company and working full time.
  9. I have met a lot of new friends through blogging and my boredom working away from home was lessened tremendously due to my blogging activities and my occasional interaction with them online.
  10. I have started learning how to bake, the thing which I always wanted to do.  Well, still a newbie in this thing but I'm learning and hoping to improve by next year.  
These are only some of the many things that I'm very thankful for. Year 2012 was really a good year for me in many aspects of my life and I really feel blessed and happy for having achieved something.  To know that I'd been very productive this year but still able to guide my kids in all aspects of their lives means so much to me.

I'm looking forward for another rewarding year in 2013.  But most of all I am very thankful for a gift of good health for me and my whole family.

Wishing you all a blessed new year! :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My Dream Destination

I've said it a number of times, Paris is one of my dream destinations!  Why is that so? Maye I was influenced by one Korean novela that I've seen where most scenes were shot in Paris.  Apart from being the capital and largest city of France, Paris has been a favorite destination of tourists due to it's many attractions, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral and Jardin De Luxembourg being the most popular ones.

Having traveled to some countries in Asia, I'm still dreaming of seeing the Eiffel Tower in the famous "City of Light".  Given the chance, I want to explore the best attractions in Paris.  But I am thinking if it would be so costly to go there. Of course, the place where I would stay would be the number one consideration.  I don't actually dream big like staying in parisluxeapt for Paris luxury apartment rentals, I think even a small but decent hotel will do.  Anyway, if it happens, I'm sure that I will be spending most of the time exploring the city rather than staying in my apartment or room.  I would also love to visit Disneyland and compare it to Disneyland in Hongkong.

Oh well, let's see! I love traveling and discovering places and understanding people and their culture.  I hope that this dream of mine will materialize, soon.  It will be a dream come true!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Of An OFW

I'm sure that by this time, many Mommies are now busy preparing their last minute shopping list for their "noche buena recipes" as well as their long list of families, friends and god children who will be the recipient of their gifts for Christmas.  There's no doubt that Christmas is the happiest season of the year and there's no better way to celebrate it other than having a Christmas dinner with your family especially with your kids.  Opening Christmas presents from our loved ones beneath the Christmas tree is truly a happy feeling that couldn't be trade in for anything else in this world. Christmas is for family.  As we remember the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, let us not forget that a family is the perfect gift that we had received from God.

As you maybe aware, I won't be home this Christmas.  It was my choice, as I prefer to be home next March for some very important reasons.  I was home last October for my vacation and a one week vacation to Bangkok was my Christmas gift to my two kids.  We had a blast! From this very moment, I can still recall their happy faces when we explore the city of Bangkok.  I could still figure out the sparkle in their eyes while we visit the various attractions and shopping malls around the area.  We really had fun and swear to be back again for another vacation.

Now that Christmas is just around the corner, I couldn't help wiping the tears in my eyes as I would be celebrating alone on a cold December.  There will no noche buena, no gifts to open and no Christmas songs to hear.  I would be working on those days and spend Christmas just like another ordinary day.  I am staying in a Buddhist country and Christmas is not being celebrated here, not at all.

How would I celebrate Christmas?  Perhaps just like any other typical OFW.  Attend to work, make myself busy so as not to entertain any sad thoughts.  I will celebrate Christmas right here in my heart where Christ and my family resides.  I will celebrate Christmas with happy thoughts that one day, I would be reaping all the fruits of my labor.  One day, I will be home and will celebrate every occasion with my loved ones.  

For now, I will just content myself hearing their voice over the phone,wishing them well and hoping that we could be together next Christmas.

As parents, we have choices to make and that is to assure our children of a bright future.  To give them the best that life could offer and to make them realize the value of hard work.  The best gift that I could give to myself is knowing that my kids are happy and comfortable and seeing them growing up to be responsible, God fearing and loving individuals.

For me, it's priceless....

Off Road Vehicles

Do you already own a vehicle?  Perhaps most of you will say yes, but how about an off road vehicle like UTV?  

UTV stands for "Utility Task Vehicle".  It is also otherwise known as "side by side" vehicle which is actually a small two or four- seater drive off road vehicle.

Did you ever fancied for a UTV vehicle? I do! If you got a big piece of land, then UTV can be very useful in transporting things and is especially good on agricultural areas.  Do you know that one of my dreams is owning a farm and a rest house in a huge land, where I could grow vegetables and tender flower gardens?  That would surely bring me a relief from a hard day's work and could very well serve me during my retirement.  UTV can be very useful to me then. UTV could also be used as a recreational vehicle.  But since an off road vehicle is an open type, the most common concern is it's safety.  As safety remains to be the name of the game, it is important that we observe safety measures such as driving slowly to avoid overturns, observing maximum number of persons allowed inside the vehicle and ensuring that side by side UTV parts were properly installed and additional features and devices are added up for maximum security.  One safety measure that I know is installing a UTV cab enclosure.  This could surely protect you off the road.  Apart from that, there are also UTV cab heaters which will keep you feel warm on the road during an extremely cold weather. 

UTV's are undeniably useful in so many ways.  Having an ample storage space, the ability to safely carry more than one rider, provision of finding you a reasonable way to pack your things along for a camping, a hunting ride or simply a stroll around the farm, are only some of the many benefits that we can get from owning a UTV.  It is indeed a best fit for our basic and recreational needs.

That what makes off road vehicles a winner!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Watching Sinister at Central World Bangkok

We were on our 3rd day at Bangkok when me and kids decided to watch a movie at Central World.  Actually this is already the second movie that we watched as we have already seen "Paranormal" at SF World Cinema at MBK mall during our first day.  I have to admit, me and my kids love to watch movies.  This has been our favorite bonding time.  We always make it a point to try cinemas abroad same way that we did when we traveled to Hoh Chi Minh City Vietnam on one of our summer vacations.  When we saw a movie at Megastar Cineplex at Saigon, I really admired the interior of the cinema lobby as well as the cinema houses which are all big and nice, but the moment I saw this SF World Cinema at Central World in Bangkok, my excitement was doubled up as this cinema looks so lavish and elegant.  Really nice!

As we have already seen Paranormal, we decided to try Sinister which is also a horror movie.  We bought our tickets and just stand by on the lobby to wait for the screening time.  Of course, we had fun taking pictures especially the kids.

 Me, waiting at the lobby.

 Our tickets!

My daughter trying to find some snacks to bring inside the movie house.

It was still a bit early at that time, so we really make the most of the time by roaming around the area taking some pictures.  The place is really nice and kids really had fun! :)

Honestly, I prefer Sinister than Paranormal.  The latter is so unrealistic and so many flaws in the story. My kids told me that this is supposed to be very scary, but I ended up laughing and joking while we are watching the movie.  I didn't find it scary at all. (lol)

Anyway, our movie experience at Central World Bangkok was really unforgettable.  Every time I see our pics, I feel like I want to go back there for another round of vacation. Meaning, we really had a blast!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

"Ina, Kapatid, Anak"

You know what I've been up to lately? Watching the series at ABS-CBN, "Ina, Kapatid, Anak".  I was just hooked into watching this series as the story gets more interesting each day.  I actually started watching this when I was home last October and since then, I never failed to watch each episode.  This "teleserye" is top billed by Kim Chiu, Xian Lim, Enchong Dee and Maja Salvador with the participation of high calibre actors and actresses in the likes of Cherry Pie Picache, Janice De Belen, Pilar Pilapil, Eddie Gutierrez and Ronaldo Valdez.  It is a story of love and friendship.  Main characters Maja Salvador and Kim Chiu grew up living opposite lives, not knowing that their lives are intertwined.

Sometimes, it's also nice to pick up something that you find entertaining.  It really helps a lot especially in my situation working away from home.  Watching keeps me occupied, relaxed and entertained.

On Being A Stage Mother

Just the other week, my daughter Mika had sought my permission to join a swimming party hosted by her friend in school  She told me that it will be a gathering of her friend's family but few close friends were invited.  Guess what? I did not allow her to join.  She was a bit upset at first but she understands me better after I explained to her my side.  I told her that I was just after her welfare and I wanted to have a peaceful mind at work not thinking or worrying about her safety.  The venue of the swimming party was a bit far from our house and I wouldn't like my daughter to have any problem along the way.  Call me a stage mother but I just want to protect my daughter.  I allowed her to spend time with her friends for a snack or movie marathon but I never allow her to join any swimming party.  You see, my daughter can swim but she doesn't have any formal lessons in swimming nor I trust the cleanliness of the pool especially on issues of sanitation.  Some pools are equipped with robotic pool cleaners but most are not.

Since I am working away from home, I couldn't afford to see my daughter getting sick or being in danger.  I don't want to deprive her of her youth but I also wanted to take good care of her.  It's good that my daughter was never a stubborn type and she always obeys me and this what makes me really proud of her.

Love For Cakes

Do you know that one of my weaknesses is my great love for cakes?  In today's world where every woman fancies of maintaining a slim figure and doing everything to diet, here I am with my undying love for cakes!  Good thing that I am a person with a fast metabolism.  I really never get fat no matter how much I eat.  Lucky huh?  Since cakes are one of my favorites, for sure that this is one of the things that I miss most.  It's quite funny, but now that I am staying in a suburb, you can hardly find a decent bakeshop selling cakes and breads.  The result? I'm craving for cakes!  I remembered that during my last vacation at home, I'd been having cakes to my hearts content (lol).  I bought several cakes like Mango Cake and Chocolate Mousse, both from Red Ribbon. I really love Red Ribbon cakes!   It's too bad that I can't have even a slice of cake for Christmas.

Anyway, The photo above was taken last October when me and my son is saving the last bite for each other as we both wanted to have a free cake (lol).  Of course, I lose.  I had the last bite. :)

Perhaps, I should continue baking cakes. I'd been looking for some cake recipes online and I hope that I maybe able to continue learning how to bake cakes soon.  That would bring me great pleasure for sure. :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

On Parties and Lucky Draws

Since, it's December, I'm sure that most companies in the Philippines are very busy organizing their traditional Christmas parties and all employees are likewise very busy preparing for their performances and buying exchange gifts for their "monitos" and "monitas".  I'm quite sure also that everybody is looking forward to the company lucky draws as most companies are having it every year.  I remembered that we used to have this kind of stuff when I was still actively working in a private company in the Philippines.  We all get excited aiming for a prize during our lucky draws as our company suppliers had been very generous in sponsoring some prizes. Comes December, our company also gets very busy having tickets, vouchers and gift certificates printed.  That was years ago! Perhaps if I'm still working in that company, I would be recommending wholesale printing at  It's a faster and more efficient alternative solution for your printing needs and a lot cheaper, too.  I remembered winning around 4 times on lucky draws during my employment in that company.  It's really fun! Well, we don't have it now in my current company but you know what? Tm still keeping those prizes in my house as a souvenir (lol).

Well, I will always have fun memories of those days.  

A Busy Week

Wheww...I'm having a super busy week!  I have loads of things to finish.  Seems like I can't feel that it's already December.  For one, I cannot feel the spirit of Christmas in the place where I am staying now.  This is a predominantly Buddhist country and people here are not really celebrating Christmas.  Well, our company had put a 14 ft tall Christmas tree but that's it!  That's all what we have in our company premises.  Besides, I can't hear any Christmas carols or see any Christmas lanterns.'s more fun in the Philippines, right?  Anyway, I long prepared myself for this.  The moment I came back here after my month long vacation in the Philippines and Thailand last October, I already set my mind not to be bothered about not being able to celebrate Christmas this year.  Well, I mean I would still celebrate it in my own little ways, but not in the way I used to if I am in the Philippines. Anyway, Maybe God has a special way of helping me not to experience the blues by keeping me super busy!  Yes, I have more tasks this month and some little projects that I'm rushing of.  So, I just want to think it that way, that I'm busy so I could get away from being too sentimental (lol).

Anyway, I'm coping up.  Can hardly get a free time for myself, but I'm glad that I'm coping up.  
How about you guys? What's keeping you busy this week?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Would You Go For Cosmetic Surgery?

How far would you go for the sake of staying beautiful?

This question is very intriguing and probably none could give us a very quick answer.  Women, by nature have a great love for beauty and this is probably the reason why businesses that are related to beauty and wellness are spreading like mushrooms.  Everybody wants to be beautiful, and why not? Feeling good about ourselves could boost our self confidence and the way we interact with people. Women are now getting more cautious when it comes to skin care, hair care and fashion.  Some women and even men became slaves to beauty products such as facial creams, whitening lotions, anti aging creams and the likes.  But the question is, are we getting the desired results?  

Some people can never even rely on such products for their beauty related problems and this is when they go for cosmetic surgery.  Cosmetic surgery has been the answer to various imperfections that women are experiencing.  They go for services such as breast augmentation, face lifts, lip implants, brow lift and even go as far as liposuction, tummy tack, thigh and buttock lift just to achieve that beautiful body.

Again the question is, "would you go for it for the sake of staying beautiful?"  For some, the answer might be yes.  I even heard of some friends commenting that, if they have the means, why not?  If you can afford it and you think that you would feel happy about it, then go for it!  These people would even exhaust all their means and resources to look for some reliable surgery clinics located within their area or others would try to search some reputable clinics online such as, just to assure themselves of getting their money's worth.  

For some women, going for cosmetic surgery is definitely a big No!  For them, they don't want to spend their hard earned money for something which they are not even assured of lifetime results.  Also, there are those issues of "side effects" and all those negative effects which they might not realize at the moment, but will do come later.

Looking perfectly beautiful is every body's dream.  We all wanted to be admired, to be appreciated and to be looked up to.  This is a normal feeling for every human.  For me, whatever we desire in life comes with a great responsibility. If we think that we are happy and this is the ultimate thing that could make our life meaningful, then by all means, do it!  My only word of advise is you have to weigh all the consequences, do your maths and look for professionals who could handle you with extreme care and would consider your safety above else.

On a side note, I think I would be better off with the natural way of being beautiful like eating healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables, doing regular exercise, having a stress free life, thinking positive, and probably, I would also go for choosing the right products for my skin and hair, choose the right clothes that would fit me and nurture my mind and body with knowledge that would keep me more confident facing my family, colleagues, bosses, friends and basically all the people around me.

Lastly, having that faith and trust in God will give us that feeling of assurance that we will always be beautiful by having the right attitude and disposition in life.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Cosplay At MBK Mall Bangkok

One of the highlights of our visit to Bangkok was being able to witness the weekend Cosplay and dance program at MBK mall.  We actually didn't have any idea that they have special shows on weekend.  We just happened to pass by at MBK as we initially planned to watch a movie before I send the kids to the airport at night time.  On our way to the mall, we chanced upon these cute Thai teenagers wearing cute costumes.  It's my first time to see this so I was not aware what's going on and the kids told me that, that was actually a "Cosplay" which stands for "costume play".   I haven't seen this kind of thing yet in the Philippines so I really don't have any idea about Cosplay.  We were entertained by their lovely costumes and they were really posing for pictures.  Here are some of the pictures that we had and my personal favorites:

I really like the face of this Thai teenage kid.  Isn't she so cute? :)

Both my son and daughter grabbed the chance to have a photo taken 
with some of the Cos players. :)

Another two cute Thai girls! :)

Another photo with a Cos player.

The fun and excitement did not end there as we were still able to watch a program participated by those talented Thai students.  The show is free and I guess that it's a part of the weekend activities of this Thai group of teenagers. 

Having able to witness a Cosplay at Bangkok was indeed a beautiful experience.  All of us really had a great time. :)

Salon Basics

I was a bit pleased during my recent visit to a salon.  I go for manicure and pedicure on a regular basis and on one of my salon visits, I noticed that some salons are now using laboratory oven to sterilize their nail cleaning tools such as nail clippers, pushers, cuticle nippers, etc.  I think this is a good move because it will make the customers more confident availing the nail services.  I heard stories in the past that communicable disease can also be transmitted through the use of these nail cleaning tools.  I guess, it might be true coz if you get wounded, chances are a small amount of blood will be left from either the nipper or pusher and if the blood is coming from a sick customer, then the virus can be transmitted to another customer if the nail cleaning tools were not properly cleaned and sanitized.

Sometimes, we really have to protect ourselves so we have to be wary of the things that's being used on us.  That's why I felt a bit comfortable when I saw that this particular salon is using a laboratory oven to sanitize their nail cleaning tools. I know that only few salons are practicing this but I'm sure that sooner or later, it will become a common practice on all salons.

Teaching Your Kids How To Handle Money

Got this photo from one of my repins at Pinterest. :)

I think this is a good idea!  To come up with 3 cute jars, have these jars labeled same like what was shown on the photo and encourage your kids to fill each jar from their school allowances or now that Christmas is fast approaching, maybe from their "aginaldo" from their Ninongs and Ninangs.

Teaching our kids how to value and handle money is the greatest gift that we could offer them.  This good trait, when developed will put them to a great advantage when they grow up.  Children should also realize that money is not just only for spending on whatever they like.  They should also be taught on how to share their blessings to less fortunate people and used it as an offering when attending holy mass.  I guess the best way of encouraging our kids to learn how to handle money well is through leadership by example.  We should show our kids the benefits that we got out of proper spending and saving.  

Encourage your kids to do simple chores at home and give them monetary rewards that they can use and budget according to how you taught them.  Give them a sense of responsibility and a bit of independence.  I bet this will be a very good training for them that they can continue to practice in the coming years.

I think January next year would be a very good start. :)   What do you think?

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