Friday, July 31, 2009

I got the raw CD copy of the birthday bash pictures the other day. My girls and I already browsed through the more than a 1,000 pictures in the CD. Later, the whole clan (whoever is available) will meet up to view the high resolution pictures projected on a screen. I told everyone to equip themselves with paper and pen so they could jot down what pictures they want enlarged. I have yet to pick 120 pictures for the album. As of now, I am still stumped what pictures to pick as they are all worthy. Here's a set that I have picked out.

Posted by desperateblogger On 7/31/2009 05:17:00 PM 13 comments READ FULL POST

Thursday, July 30, 2009

As part of Nanay JS's Filipiniana themed birthday celebration, I taught my kids and some of their cousins three original Filipino songs: Ikaw ang Mahal Ko, Dahil Sa Iyo and Bakya Mo Neneng. It was frustrating teaching the boys their parts for, believe it or not (girls included), the songs, except for Dahil Sa Iyo, were unfamiliar to them. We learned and practiced the songs for four Saturdays. On the day itself, we ran through the pieces with the string quartet minutes before the guests started arriving. The result? Not bad, I guess, considering my girls have not been actively singing for years now.

Posted by desperateblogger On 7/30/2009 11:50:00 AM 7 comments READ FULL POST
The venue for the party we had last week was held at the Fernbrook Gardens located within the boundaries of Bacoor, Las Pinas and Alabang. The venue's architecture is unique for it was made primarily of huge glass panels and clear polycarbonate ones. The roof were domes shaped depicting two eras in architectural designs: Victorian and Byzantine. Our venue was set at Byzantine 2 where the domes were not all made of glass and polycarbonate panels. However, some of the doors are reminiscent of wrought iron door designs of Ft Myers custom doors complete with decorative work like twists and braids. Take a look at the fantastic place called Fernbrook Gardens.

Posted by desperateblogger On 7/30/2009 11:44:00 AM No comments READ FULL POST

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I hired a professional photographer and a videographer for the birthday bash of MIL. The photographer will soon send me the CDs of the photos so I could choose which ones will be printed. The videographer said it will take him three weeks to give me the edited video. Meantime, I grabbed some pics of the occasion from FB. The party was held at Byzantine 2 at the Fernbrook Gardens. Nice place! Here's a sampler.

My son in Barong Tagalog while daughters #2, 1, 4 and 3
in their Muslim-inspired gown

The choral composed of my 5 kids and some of their cousins rehearsing
with the string quartet before the party. At the right foreground is
my back, wearing the ridiculously priced last minute choice
beaded kimona from the Filipiniana section at SM.

My daughters and their two cousins clowning at the reception line
Posted by desperateblogger On 7/28/2009 07:57:00 AM 9 comments READ FULL POST
I wanted to do my own hair and make-up for the party but my daughters advised me against it. They said I won't have the time nor the expertise to do a real good job. Daughter # 4 said that my make-up technique is obsolete! Oh well. I think I should really upgrade my skills on how to apply makeup as more and more cosmetic companies are coming out with products for Asian and Black women. There are tons of information at Aesthetic VideoSource on the how to's of applying makeup. It's interesting to know that Asian makeup is done completely differently from Black makeup. Here's a sample video on how to apply Asian makeup.

Asian makeup

How to apply makeup | Makeup Video

It is interesting to learn that different techniques are applied to achieve daytime makeup or natural look makeup, evening makeup and dramatic glamour makeup. Purchasing the complete makep-up video and studying it would make me a pro make-up artist! Wouldn't that be cool. If you are interested like me, go to for more information.
Posted by desperateblogger On 7/28/2009 07:53:00 AM No comments READ FULL POST

Monday, July 27, 2009

Last week was "hell" week. I did not even have time to open my emails nor update my blog because I was too busy taking care of the little details, arranging final rehearsals, being stressed out of my wits because the costumes and our Filipiniana-inspired gowns were not yet done. The son of my seamstress has been confined in the hospital because of seizures and my poor seamstress had no time nor the presence of mind to finish our clothes. I had to prompt daughter #1 to intervene for our gowns and costumes depended on it. Talk about weight loss pills, stress, apprehension, and harassment may be the best ever combination for one. To cut a long and winding story short, on the eve of my mother-in-law's birthday, after the final rehearsal for the production number, daughter #1 and I were at the seamstress' shop waiting for our gowns and other unfinished costumes. By 11:15 P.M., the clothes were done and we went home to sleep and be ready for the following day's big occasion. It was very remiss of me not to have fitted the top of my two-piece ensemble while at the seamstress'. Yes, the top did not fit! It was very loose! I must have lost weight. I was up until 2:00 A.M. trying to fix my top. Finally, I decided that all was lost and I just had to rush to SM first thing in the morning. Suddenly, daughter #2 came barging in my room. " Mom! my clothes don't fit either. The top and pants are too tight!". Luckily daughter #2 has a spare Muslim costume in her closet. She just had to wear that for the party.

I was up and about at 6:30 A.M., called all the who I had to called, packed my things and Ethan's (for my kids and I had to check-in at the venue)saw to it that the props were on their way to the venue, and all other nitty-gritty details that could make anyone's head explode. Alas, by 10:10 A.M. I was in the women's fitting room of SM. I even bumped into 3 more invited guests for the party who were also in a mad rush to buy a Filipiniana outfit. The beaded, embroidered and ridiculously priced kimona top was not really my type but I just had no more time to spare.
Posted by desperateblogger On 7/27/2009 07:56:00 AM 3 comments READ FULL POST
My brother-in-law from Texas went home here in the Manila to grace his mother's 80th birthday bash. His two youngest daughters tagged along for the occasion which made me rush one more Barong Tagalog, two Filipiniana dresses, two more Itik-Itik costumes and the subsequent choreography. My brother-in-law is a stay-at-home dad for the last four years due of his heart condition. He is thinking of getting a motorhome and of course, a motorhome insurance in the near future, so he could visit his eldest daughter in a university in New York. He and his wife could definitely take a time-off and live like Gypsies for a spell. I think that would be exciting.

Posted by desperateblogger On 7/27/2009 07:36:00 AM No comments READ FULL POST

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"Mom!, my classmates want to see my Hong Kong pictures!"

Okay. How do I do that? The digi pics are still in the digi cam, of course. With the schedule I am keeping - remember?, ma-in-law's birthday bash this Friday - I just don't have the time to upload the pictures or have them printed. Anyway, I have one print of myself and Ethan taken at the Avenue of Stars at Kowloon Site. The picture was taken by Tony, a photographer who I thought was nice enough to take our picture with his Nikon DSLR. Little did I know that he would charge me HK$300 for two 5X8 pics and 2-6" plates with our pics on it. Gullible me, right? But who would have thought that such MO still happens? Anyway, I hope this picture is worth the price.

Ethan and I at the Avenue of Stars. That's Bruce Lee behind us.
Posted by desperateblogger On 7/22/2009 07:47:00 AM 12 comments READ FULL POST
I was up late last night tidying up the basement. The heavy rains last week let some water seeped in the basement walls that I had to move and relocate some boxes. As I was tidying up, I could not help notice the accumulated "trash" I have. I am some a hoarder! Oh well, I just could not let go of my logo-ed boxes that once contained laptops, printers, computer screen, scanners and what-have-yous that I received from abroad. I have always wondered who does the packing and shipping of such products. My curiosity pushed me to find out who does. It turned out that there are actually companies who do order fulfillment for different companies and products: pick, pack and ship. Branded packing slips are designed with the company logo, policies and other information. Photos of the product is a possible together with branded shipping boxes, logo-ed tapes, seals and even custom gift-wrap. Shipping is guaranteed too as with return processing of products. Great service, me think.
Posted by desperateblogger On 7/22/2009 07:31:00 AM No comments READ FULL POST

Monday, July 20, 2009

As an architect, I am constantly on the look-out for new construction products and methods of construction. The fun part in my profession is looking for new home products like gadgets, electronics, equipments and especially furniture. Furniture designs and styles have evolved and continue to do so. Dining table designs used to be so heavy, literally and figuratively. Today, designs are more linear, light and practical. Take a look at my new find. The design is called Goblin Square by Catellan Italia, a furniture design company under Spacify. The easy-lounge feel and look is a new concept in today's dining. I would definitely refer this type of dining table to a client.
Posted by desperateblogger On 7/20/2009 08:54:00 PM No comments READ FULL POST

Friday, July 17, 2009

It was raining when the plane touched down at the NAIA on Wednesday, close to midnight. It was almost 1:00 A.M. when Ethan and I were picked up not because of immigration or luggage-related delays but because my mobile phone took a long time to switch back to my local provider. It was close to 2:30 P.M. when Ethan decided to stop telling stories to his aunts and mommy. Thursday, I decided to turn off my mobile phone and instructed everyone that "I am not home". There were just too many "stresses" coming in: costumes for MIL 80th not yet done, SIL wanted me to add 20 more people to the guests list, no groceries, due bills, bags to unpack, emails to open, feeling bad about missed opps, etc, etc. I told myself to deal with the stresses on Friday. So I planned what I had to do on Friday and thought that was that. Well, actually, no. It rained cats and dogs on Thursday and more cats and dogs on Friday. This is the view from my terrace.

Ethan, daughters 2,3 and I are stranded! My son and daughters 1 and 4 cannot come home for most of the roads going to our place is flooded too. I hope the rain stops now for I really have tons to do tomorrow.
Posted by desperateblogger On 7/17/2009 07:49:00 PM 2 comments READ FULL POST

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I am back! I don't know if I can honestly say that I had "fun" on my trip because I am so tired. My company stressed me out, in a way. I was with my 76 year old mom, 69 year old cousin, 6 year old Ethan and an mid thirty niece and her friend (both overweight) who all can't keep up with my quick and planned moves. I had to do a lot of waiting... and waiting... and more waiting. We were booked in a real nice hotel in Canton Road. The inter-connecting malls only have high-end stores that I cannot afford. I was able to do a bit of shopping thought but I was now able to go to downtown Kowloon though where I wanted to buy some dog supplies like flea and tick medicine for Chip,the Shitzu. I heard that it's a once-a-month, topical spot-on treatments for fast-acting, long lasting control of fleas, ticks, flea eggs, and lice that last for a month. Anyway, I hope I could fine some here in Manila. I will be sharing you some pictures I took of Ethan and I while we were in HK - that is once daughter # 3 0r 4 has uploaded the pics in my computer. For the meantime, I will rest and sleep.

Posted by desperateblogger On 7/16/2009 12:03:00 PM 3 comments READ FULL POST

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ethan and I grabbed an opportunity that was presented to us. We were offered to go on an all-expense-paid Hong Kong trip! Yey! Ethan is so excited because he will finally see Disneyland. It's a protocol to secure a travel permit for a minor not traveling with a parent. Armed with the necessary birth certificate and letter of consent from his mommy, we trooped to the Department of Social Welfare and Development. The processing was a nightmare as the case worker was insistent on having Ethan's biological father sign the consent. Where is Ethan's father? Who the heck knows?! We have not seen him for the last five years, since his marriage to my daughter was annulled. So, we had to produce affidavits left and right, and so on and so forth. Finally, after two whole days of long lines, long waits and driving back and forth, I finally have Ethan's travel permit.

My next worry now is Ethan's immunization. I can't remember if his immunizations are all current. Daughter #1 said he missed a couple of booster shots but that is fine since we've all had our flu shots lately. With the swine-flu scare world wide, I guess I am not overly reacting for our health. I do take multi-vitamins but at my age and current afflictions, I think it would be wise for me to take immune system boosters pills. I read the the supplement increases an individual's immune system, increases energy and vitality. It is safe to use and anyone who has the sense to improve his health therefore extending his life span would do well to take this health supplement. A study done by Bristol-Myers Squibb K-PAX Immune Support Formula could strengthen the immune system and the results were published as a “Rapid Communication” in The Journal of AIDS in August 2006. I better ask my doctor is I could take this supplement with my current medications. Meantime, I have to think of how to pack light.
Posted by desperateblogger On 7/11/2009 07:15:00 AM 13 comments READ FULL POST

Friday, July 10, 2009

Yup. You read it right. Draining, not Training. I was not able to go online yesterday for various reasons. The "reasons" were all physically and emotionally draining. Suffice to say I am a 5/10 in terms of being "okay". Anyway, I opened my email a while ago and a day of missing out opening my email account presented me with hundreds of spam emails. A lot of those emails are from companies offering diet pills. Are the claims of these diet pills all true? It's a good thing there is a website that do diet pill reviews. Five things listed in the site's DONT'S regarding diet pills are: buying diet pills without a money back guarantee; falling for those "free" trials; buying proprietary blends unless there are positive reviews about it; buying diet pills without reviews from experts, buying without reading consumer reviews. Are you on the lookout for the best diet pills for you? Check out the site for reviews of various diet pills in the market today. In the meantime, I'd life to put a little spark back in me. I need to recharge. Wouldn't it be something if people could just be recharged as mobile phones?

Posted by desperateblogger On 7/10/2009 08:12:00 AM No comments READ FULL POST

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I just don't have the strength not inspiration to blog today. Not even my constant need of that extra cash can push me to write today. For today, July 8 here in Manila and July 7 in North America, Michael Jackson has finally been laid to rest. You won't believe how much I bawled myself out.

There has been wonderful and inspiring eulogies said for Michael. As I write this, I guess there are people like me who have puffy eyes and clogged nose due to too much crying. I guess there are also people out there still uttering something negative about the whole Michael Jackson Memorial. I guess there are fans out there claiming that there will never be another Michael Jackson. I guess there are non-fans out there asking "what's the fuss all about?".

Michael Jackson: of the Jackson 5, the King of Pop, the Greatest Entertainer of all time, the Legend, the Whacko, the Weirdo, the alleged child molester, Peter Pan at heart... But you know what? All these descriptions are of no meaning to his three kids. As Michael's daughter Paris said: He was the best "Daddy"!

The music world have lost a great artist. But for Michael's children, their lost was even more. They lost their daddy. After all the hoopla and hullabaloo regarding Michael Jackson, he was human after all. I will miss you Michael. You were my best bud during all those angst-full years of the 70s. You lightened up the load of a young mother as I watched you moonwalk your way in the 80s. My kids danced to your music in the 90s and they, like me, became your fans.

Rest now, Michael.
Posted by desperateblogger On 7/08/2009 09:22:00 PM 4 comments READ FULL POST

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I am browsing for articles regarding Botox injections. Do I need Botox injections? Heaven forbid! Please...not yet. A cousin of mine has an affliction that no doctor could explain. For the past 10 years she has been suffering from extreme migraines and her eyelids were progressively closing. It came to a point where she has to pry her eyes open for her to see. She consulted doctors both in New York and Manila and the diagnosis was vague. However, the doctors prescribed Botox injections on her eyelids and the surrounding eye-area to arrest the drooping eyelids. The Botox injections worked! Her eyelids no longer droop but she has to have a sort of a prophylaxis Botox treatment every 3-5 months.

Botulinum toxin is the scientific name of the the product Botox. It was approved by the FDA in 2002 for the treatment of frown lines and wrinkles. The product is also used to treatment of migraines, muscle spams in the face and even excessive perspiration. How does it work? Botox block nerve signals to the muscles. The muscles are then paralyzed, albeit temporary, to create a smooth, wrinkle-free appearance. The procedure takes less than 20 minutes. The effect last from 4-6 months. It is a necessary for a would-be-Botox devotee to seek medical advice first before doing the procedure. Millions of women and men are usign Botox now to maintain wrinkle and furrow free faces. Interested? Who would not be?
Posted by desperateblogger On 7/07/2009 01:35:00 PM 3 comments READ FULL POST

Monday, July 6, 2009

A niece from California arrived last night. She and her friend will be spending three weeks vacationing here in Manila. She called me a few minutes earlier and asked if I would like to take a break from my life's mundaneness, throw everything to the wind and play truant with her in Hong Kong next week. Hmm... very tempting. I told her to give me a couple of days to decide as I am in the middle of organizing and coordinating my mother-in-law's 80th birthday bash.

Anyway, she said her flight to Manila was uneventful as she slept most of the way. She was planning to go light on her luggage but that did not happen. You know how Filipinos are when it comes to sending something for the folks back home. My niece said she had to buy extra shipping boxes to accommodate all the "little something for the folks back home". Speaking of packaging and boxes and all related paraphernalia, I actually found a site that is a one stop online shop for packaging and shipping supplies. The site is www.packnbox Bubbles wrap, bubble pouches, packaging peanuts, labels, etc...I.Love.These.Stuff! They make my "packing" life easier.

Back to the question of the day. Should I go with my niece to Hong Kong?
Posted by desperateblogger On 7/06/2009 07:42:00 PM 4 comments READ FULL POST

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Daughter # 2 commented over dinner tonight that there are a bunch of teachers in the school where she teaches who are applying or have applied for positions abroad. One lucky IB teacher had been contacted by an international school in Boston for the position of a Chemistry teacher. Well and good. Daughter # 2 still has no immediate plans of applying for a teaching position abroad because she wants to pursue her Masterals in Early Childhood Education first.

Daughter # 1 said a lot of nurses in the hospital where she is a resident are glued to the net searching for jobs in health care - any related job, that is. Nurses' wage here in Manila are way too low that more and more nurses are looking for greater opportunities abroad. First class tertiary hospitals here in Manila charge their patients outrageously high! Why can't they pay their nurses a fair share? Ditto for schools! There's tuition hike every year yet private teachers' salaries stay the same. No wonder more Filipino teachers and nurses are going abroad to work.
Posted by desperateblogger On 7/04/2009 10:52:00 PM 3 comments READ FULL POST
I am so freaking mad my jaw is clicking again - that means my muscles are all so tight from the tension. That means my jawline, neck and shoulder muscles are stretched like a fully-stretched guitar string about to snap. I am in freaking radiating pain! My muscle relaxant medication seems to be not working. What to do? I can only pray and remember Proverbs 14:29

A patient man has great
understanding, but a quick-
tempered man displays folly.
Posted by desperateblogger On 7/04/2009 08:47:00 AM 2 comments READ FULL POST

Friday, July 3, 2009

AT 5:45 A.M. today, I was awakened by the insistent ringing of my mobile phone. As I groped for my phone I was groggily thinking "who could be calling me at this ungodly hour in the morning?" I could not see the number or name of the person calling as I did not have my eyeglasses on. As my mind came into a clearer state, I bolted up thinking it could be my son calling in distress!

"Hello?!" I said, my usually soprano voice was still in its alto mode.

"Lena, this is Ninong Watts, I'd like to borrow the red pick-up truck tomorrow for I have some things to pack from the office and take home" he said.

Ninong Watts is Eduardo T. Malinis, the Insurance Commissioner of the Philippines. He is actually hubby's first cousin and one of our wedding sponsors eons ago.It seemed he was not able to find a transport for the moving job.Too bad, If he was anywhere in the U.S.A. then he could have gotten the services of an honest-to-goodness long distance moving companies whose services includes: packing, pickup, delivery and storage (if need be) at highly agreeable price quotes. East to West. West to East. No problem with the moving company. The only problem now is, what the heck will Ninong Watts load in the pick-up truck?
Posted by desperateblogger On 7/03/2009 07:51:00 AM No comments READ FULL POST

Thursday, July 2, 2009

It is July already and in less than three weeks, the much-awaited, much-labored-for grand birthday celebration of my mother-in-law will smack me right in the face. I am so frazzled by all the preparations for I am the dupe coordinating the event. I was not planning to lift a finger to help the in-laws. I was just too tired and not really cart-wheeling happy to help. When one is tired and unhappy, the creative juices will not flow. So, why did I eventually take the responsibility? One of my sis-in-law called and asked to "please, pretty please help us". I finally said okay and now I am just drowning with work. I am actually losing weight (and sleep) without actually taking my dietpills regularly. The "losing weight" part is one perk for all the work I am doing. I guess you are all wondering what kind of party I am coordintating for me to lose weight and sleep. Now. Now. You just have to be patient for I will definitely tell you and show you when the time is right. Meantime, if you're not happy with the extra love handle you see each day as you look at yourself in the mirror, try exercising. If you care to take dietpills to hasten up the slimming process, ask your doctor first if you are taking any medications.
Posted by desperateblogger On 7/02/2009 06:23:00 AM 3 comments READ FULL POST

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A favorite nephew recently migrated to Australia. He is a chemical engineer by profession, in his mid 30's and still single. He decided to try his luck abroad not for the lack of a fulfilling job here but for a more passionate reason: to spread his wings, so to speak. Before leaving for Sydney, he already had a string of potential employers in his field of work. However, he is not limiting himself to a specific job genre because he is also looking into the possible IT jobs and other fields directly or indirectly connected to his expertise. Nephew said he used to look for potential employers. The site is free to join and you can post your resume for employers to find. A registered member can set job alert when a matching job i posted. Well, it's a whole new world downunder for nephew. I wonder when I could visit - all expenses paid.
Posted by desperateblogger On 7/01/2009 04:28:00 PM No comments READ FULL POST
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