Saturday, December 31, 2011

What a Year That Was!

2011 will soon be coming to a close and I had quite a blast. I'd say quite because as we all, know, not everything was perfect. Just consider the following photos to show you how my year went:

I received some rewards and commendations at work. All these why juggling through the effort, the work schedule and trying to learn as much things as I could.

My younger brother JR graduated in April. He had since put up a business and is working as a cinematographer for Bob Nicolas whose name rings a bell in the field of wedding photography and cinematography.


I met and made new friends; participated in fun events including this summer outing in Subic. Finally, I was able to come back after six years!

I also got to challenge myself in a few dares including getting a tattoo. This was during the Henamoko event; a company fund-raising event for the benefit of the people of Japan.

It was also on this year that I finally acquired the gadget that I have always wanted!

And our family celebrated my parents' birthdays!

I tried going back to my reading habit again this year, replenish my library with new titles. Among those that I've read this year were:

From local authors like Cel Coscoluella to foreign ones: James Patterson, Kazuo Ishiguro and of course, Nicholas Sparks!
And I have been to the movies again too; something I have not done for so long. Blame it on a movie date that I had in January of this year, but I found out that watching movies still is one feel good activity -- even if I alone. And on the final quarter of the year, there were two more things that happened to me this year:

I resumed gift giving this year


I made another career move and is now working in a new office. The people that I am working with right now are very much different from those I worked with in the past; the pay might not be that hefty but the work schedule and the task itself is so amendable. I remember challenging God in my prayer to give me a new job in exchange to what I have lost and He took my dare seriously for he gave me this job a day before my 27th birthday.

There are a lot of lessons I have realized this year; from living at the present, how positivity works its magic and likewise, what goes around comes around. Those are only a few; but I get to learn one day at a time. I still don't have any idea of what will be in store for me for 2012. Yes, I am currently having this wonderful feeling, but I will live one day at a time and let the surprise unfold before my very eyes.

Happy New Year everyone.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Simplicity in Giving

Guess what's inside!
I know I've previously said that Christmas gifts have not been my thing for four Decembers. But because of the blessings (career wise) that flooded my door this year, giving out these gifts had made my holidays lovelier. I will not hide it, the Christmas rush is so stressful. I was still not done with wrapping the gifts hours before Noche Buena. But I don't mind. There was excitement in that feeling of slouching on the floor to wrap the little things,  and just thinking and seeing the delight on the person who receives them is priceless (and there was this huge smile on my face as I type the word PRICELESS).

From my cousin's wife, Ate Rea.

Gifts from office mates, Eternity Moment from Tita F.

 In return, I received something for the holidays too. Gifts from office mates and relatives currently adorn a space in my study table. Yes, they might be simple things from pens, sticky notes to custom-made jewelry but regardless, those are all treasured. To others, they could just be little; but for me they mean big and loved.

More than just gifts, there are two more reasons that made my Christmas wonderful this year. It was a surprise that was revealed just last night. I'll probably tell that in another post, hopefully before the year ends.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

It's Proposal Season!

It's fun to think that Christmas season could be compared to Valentine's Day. While one of my friends was addicted to a Valentine's date dinner video, I on the other hand spent Christmas Eve watching these two videos. Marriage proposals seem to be "trending" these days. I know this one's a delayed reaction but I just had the chance to watch a very interesting marriage  proposal that's been viral in Facebook  only last night!

After following the links, I found out that the guy in the video was Timothy Tiah Ewe Tiam, the co-founder of Nuffnang (which provides ads to my blog) and the girl was blogger, Audrey Ooi Feng Ling . While some people call the proposal "was too nerdy", I don't see anything that's corny in it. I even think it's creative as who would have thought image memes could be placed in a wonderful use as that! And by nerdy, I guess it's true that the nerdy ones are often the romantic creatures.

From proposals in a foreign land,  another one that captured my attention was this one posted by a former colleague. Upon watching the video closely, I realized that the guy on it was no other than running coach, Rio dela Cruz. It prompted me to immediately tag some of my former office mates in Makati, who (kinda) know Coach Rio, as they were runners as well. I can't help but be both giddy and teary eyed just watching it and hearing their story. I know it's shallow. but who'd have thought, that the simple query for directions would eventually lead to an accidental meet up inside a jeepney and a love story. Fast forward to 2011, with another jeepney ride, the champion runner falls on one knee to ask a million-dollar question!

Surprises! Love! It really takes a lot to put up something as incredibly great as these. I almost forgot it's actually Christmas and V-day is still months away. :-)

December Party Rock: Our Style

Let me borrow a few words to that of our office Christmas Party's theme for this post. A day before closing for the holidays, we had a mini- Christmas Party consisting of our group and the colleagues from a different team. It was a winning moment because we were able to plan and organize the event all by ourselves-- considering that there was just less than ten people to make things happen. And we succeeded at that!

Now, let these photos tell you how the event went! As much as I want to post the photo of what we had, (each of us brought something for the menu as it was a potluck party), I just realized we failed on the presentation part and the only shot that's good for posting was this:

Mango cake from Dulcinea courtesy of Jec and I.
Each of us had a share: Rommel brought pork barbecue, Beth had maja con mais, pancit andd steaming rice were from Kat, Jen brought leche flan and Rodel shouldered the sodas and the utensils.

For the gift giving, we were requested to write at least three items of the things we wanted (badly, haha!) that will fit the budget that was agreed by everyone.

Beth on a wacky loving her GCs from Bench!
Errol approves his brand new earphones

And so does Kat :-)

Freakin' happy me received a planner from Kat.
Jec received Ricky Lee's Para kay B -- from me!
Jen proudly shows her GCs from Starbucks.
While Rommel received food keepers from Lock n Lock.
We had a blast chowing down the food that each of us brought but what made the event wonderful was we were that lucky to have been allowed by our bosses to take the lunch period together to make this potluck party happen. And I'd like to think the clients probably sensed that we were having this gathering for they never called nor rang our phones even after the party.

photo courtesy of Kat Campos-Fowler's Facebook account.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Pre-Christmas Ritual 2011

Christmas Eve (literally) is a few hours from now. It's a weekend and just like the previous year, while I don't have work on this day, I found myself again in the city -- to shoot some photos and do my usual pre-Christmas church visit. Let these photos and little descriptions tell you what I did.

When I started this effort last year, part of the things that I did was visiting a sacred place (at least a new church). However, there are no churches near my office; only chapels. Last year, I paid a visit to the St. Pio Chapel. For this year, I went to the Holy Family Chapel which is just right across the street where my current office is located. People say that if it's your first time to visit a place of worship, and you do make a wish, it will come true. Of course, I did that (but I won't say what my wish was).

I also had the chance to visit the PLDT Christmas Village at the Citywalk (which was a mere steps away from my former office). This village was put up last year and I was able to see it too though I was unable to blog about it. But this time, I really had to capture the moment that could take me back to some memories of childhood.

I also took a video of the dancing fountains in the open park of the mall though I had to make the trip swift. I was caught a bit in traffic on the way home but I was able to manage. The gifts are ready to be sent out tonight and I am also about to open the gifts I received from my office mates.

I hope you'll have a wonderful Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Two Songs That Saved my Sanity

I say it saved my sanity because today, I (together with my immediate supervisor) was the only person in the project to report to the office for the scheduled mandatory rotation. I decided to get the slot for today since it's the last day of the work week.

What I did? Well, except for just one assignment that I finished thankfully before the day ended, I just sat there observing if in case the phone's going to ring -- which never happened as people are already on a holiday, and to eat lunch at McDonalds. But let me be clear, I'm not complaining. I'm actually thankful that I get to experience this kind of environment as this is positively different compared to what I previously had.

I know I'm supposed to be listening to Yuletide tunes as Christmas is just two days away. But I had to tweak it by listening to these songs. Funny but as I listen to it, I found some wonderful lines too!

Love is joy and love is pain
It's kissing in the rain
It's doing dishes when it's late
Isn't it, baby
It's the art of compromise
It's hellos and long goodbyes
It's the picture of our lives
I found this song after watching Jolina Magdangal and Mark Escueta's wedding video through my brother who is one of the cinematographers who worked on this project.

And all along I believed that I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more
This one, I found while listening to the radio using my mobile phone in the middle of doing my research at the office this morning. And while it worked its magic in saving me from boredom, I just found myself memorizing the lines of the song at the end of the day.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tickled Pink, Thanks to K!

I've started dispensing the gifts one by one. And so does my office mates. This is the time of year that I realize the use of wish lists.

For the second time, I had to pick items to include on my wish list for a small Christmas party with my new colleagues.Some say my wish list has no thrill in it for it's ordinary if not easy to find. Well, that's my reason for putting it up. Aside from being specific, another reason why I tend to ask for the items in my list is to avoid inconvenience to the person who'll give it. Last year, I asked for gift certificates for this famous coffee shop as a gift which I got and for this year, I asked for any of the following, a pink planner, any novel from Nicholas Sparks (which I got addicted to this year) or gift certificates from Gong Cha for my milk tea addiction.

Today, I got my wish of a huge pink planner, thanks to my office mate K, I had a reason to giddily scream (again!). While it's not as pricey as Belle de Jour nor stylish as those given by coffee shops, I'm still happy with the simplicity of this gift. When I first laid my eyes on this item a month back in my happy place, I knew this was among what I really wanted for Christmas.

And I can't be any happier. Thanks K for my new planner. I'm so excited to flip into its pages next year. I now believe that when you ask for something, you'll have to be specific -- and it shall be given to you.

In that case, I hope Santa will grant my wish on my list of having someone like ML for a significant someone soon. But who knows? He might be that generous :-)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Gift Shopping Revived

Maybe I should get one too? :-p
For I really haven't done decent gift shopping for quite some time. Back then, while I only have one significant person to shop for, I was really meticulous on what to give for that one special holiday. But since 2009, I only had the godchildren to think of for Christmas and since they're still kids, I give off money for their aguinaldo as they're not as complicated as adults when it comes to gifts.

Well, for Christmas this year, shopping for gifts was revived. My godchildren will still receive their gifts the usual way but since I got blessed with a good-paying job, I decided to go the extra mile to shop for some extra gifts. At one corner of my bedroom are bags containing those gifts; from books, toys, kikay stuff and that Parker pen.

I guess, I'm still meticulous when it comes to the gifts -- the kikay stuff should be hypoallergenic, the toys should be apt to the age of the recipients, and for those with a wish list, that they get what they wanted. But what tested me was the Parker pen. Why so? It took me three weekends to acquire the gift. This after my office mates B and K reached to a decision that it will be the best gift for someone in our office. We first discussed about the type of pen to give and the budget (but I started checking it on National Bookstore's website when we agreed on the brand), then since I normally frequent Megamall every weekend, I checked with the branch to make sure that they still have the said type and color. And of course, since the gift will be personalized, I had to make sure that the spelling is correct or else my head will roll if something goes wrong (:-p).

We're off to send this gift next week -- and the recipient has no idea of what we girls planned. While I will start wrapping the other gifts so it will be ready in time for the 24th given that I'll still be going to the office until Friday.

How bout you? Are you done with your Christmas shopping too?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Do You Prefer Money as Gifts?

How much should you really put in?
I certainly do.

With Christmas just two weeks away, the mall is already crowded will patrons who are busy with their Christmas shopping. Now, it's not that I'm a lazy godmother, I also shop for gifts as i look forward to wrapping some stuff to give on Christmas but I think cash would be far better especially for the kids.

I consider this to be a better alternative. Especially if you're the kind of person who hates to wait in the long line in the ATM, the long queue in the cashier and of course the hours spent travelling (and if worst comes, in traffic). It also saves time if you don't have the wishlist of what the kids want as gifts as they'd have all the liberty of what they want to buy.

For some Christmases, I've been handing the aguinaldo to kids in red Chinese envelopes (ang pao) but after a former colleague shed some light that those are intended for birthdays and the Chinese New Year, I'll be handing them their gifts in these money enclosures.

How about you? Do you give money as gifts too?

Pink Shoes

Heaven for my heels!
I never fail to make it a habit to go to the mall during weekends just to unwind. And today, in between gift hunting for Christmas, I decided to treat myself with a pair of new footwear. My original plan really was to purchase gladiator sandals from Charles and Keith at SM Megamall but then they don't have my size for the style that I wanted (that's what you get for having big feet!).

And so off I went to the other brands and found these pink rubber pair from World Balance. Normally, I ask for a size 8 as most of the pairs I wear bear that but for this one, I had to ask for one size bigger. And despite wanting the gladiator sandals badly, I had to resort to this because of two things: 1) my work wardrobe isn't that complicated -- I wear jeans and shirts to work five times a week; and 2: I walk from the jeepney stop to the office (and vice versa) daily; making walkathon a (healthy) habit.

As per the cost, the pair is at PhP 1,199 (roughly around $27). I normally don't splurge too much on shoes (and yes, I already consider this one to be pricey). But when I first tried it on, it left my feet feeling comfortable (as in, I don't think I'll need heel cushions like what I used to do) which in other words is a purchase that's worth the money.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Midweek Outfit Post

Outfit: Pink tee from Reitman's denim jeans from BNY.

This was what I wore to work today. And as much as I would like to blog more, my hands are also a chuckful as of the moment. One of my dad's sisters, Tita F arrived yesterday from Canada to celebrate the holidays here with us (and that dress I am wearing was from her :-)

At the office, we also moved to a new space. While I will have to keep photos of my new office private, I'll make a photo essay so you will still have a clue where to find me on mornings.

Oh, not to forget, I am still not done with the gifts for the holidays and I still got some backlogs pending to be finished.

But don't you worry. I have drafted the entries and will post them the soonest!

Two days before the weekend! Can't hardly wait!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Viral Video I'd Love to Watch Over and Over Again

I first found out about this video yesterday morning when one of my friends shared the link. While she had said she will not cry, I decided to give it a try and watch the video to see for myself what it's all about.

I'm not really a fan of viral videos especially given the fact that majority of these are nonsense. But Coca-Cola's Where Will Happiness Strike Next: The OFW Project was different.

It's a touching video about how three OFWs from different countries were given the chance to come home for the holidays through the initiative of Coca-Cola Philippines.  It was that heartwarming found myself crying (and to think I just woke up when I watched it yesterday morning) when I watched it.

It made an impact on me. And moved mo to tears despite trying not to.

I am no different from the family of the three OFWs. Prior to obtaining their Canadian citizenship,  my dad's two sisters were OFWs as well. And so, I wasn't spared from the sad feeling whenever one of them leaves to return to Canada after spending a month with us -- usually for Christmas. Of all the three people featured in the video, I was moved by the story of Joey Doble, who because of his job as a babysitter had to spend 11 Christmases in a foreign land. When the video reached to the point where he showed the ring he'll give his wife and when he first went to the school of his son when he arrived in the country.

I've seen a lot of Coca Cola ads and this one had touched me the most. If all ads would just contain heart more than just profit, I won't mind spending five minutes or so watching it without complaining.