Thursday, April 29, 2010

Baby gifts

In the parenting forum which I'm a part of and even among my acquaintances, I've come to learn that baby showers are now commonplace. I never had one. It's not a tradition for us Tsinoys, and I know it's not for Pinoys either. It's like the bridal shower, I suppose, something that's Western that's being adopted mostly by the younger generation. Now it's a complete event, with baby shower invitations, food, games and a theme. Guests come bearing gifts for baby or mommy or both. Mommy can register for a gift registry. Some even have more than one shower -- maybe one with her relatives, one with her girlfriends, one with her office mates.

We simply told people that we were expecting. We got gifts, especially for my first born, after he was born. A lot of the gifts that I got were monetary gifts from my own (Tsinoy) family. I guess that is more of the Chinese way. I do not know if I got them because E was the first born or because I gave birth to a boy, because when I had my second born who happened to be a girl, I didn't receive as many as I did with my first. I'm not complaining, huh, just wondering. Some gifts came during the kids' baptisms, which I guess is more of Pinoy tradition.

One thing is for sure, it doesn't matter what nationality you are or what culture you belong to, a baby, especially if being brought to the world under favorable circumstances and with a loving family, is and will always be welcomed and thought of as a blessing and a gift.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My taste in furnishings has changed

There was a time when I liked the look of old Chinese furniture so much that I thought that when I had a home, it will be decorated with Chinese furniture -- you know, dark lacquered wood sofas, round tables with backless stools and the like. Just like what you see in old Chinese movies. Such character! They are also very classic and would not really go out of style.

But lately, I find myself more partial to more contemporary pieces of furniture like modern couches with comfy cushions. It seems that my tastes have changed. Also my priorities. Now I'd put comfort before style. I cannot imagine being able to laze around watching TV in a hardwood sofa or being able to work on my laptop for long periods of time in a backless stool. Maybe I'll just put some oriental touches with decors but that's probably it.

Kailangan nalang manalo sa lotto! (Just need to win the lotto!) LOL

Monday, April 26, 2010

Election 2010 looms

In about 2 weeks, we are going to vote for another group of people who are going to lead this country for the next six years. We're not just voting for the president and the vice president, but also for 12 senators, our local congressmen, governors, mayors and councilors. Whew! That's a long list!

As usual, we hope that the chosen ones would not fail us but would really, really prove to be strong leaders who take their responsibilities to serve their constituents seriously. We hope that we've seen the last of politicians who promise the sun, the moon and the stars when they are still courting votes but forget all about those promises once they've been installed in position. We hope they are sincere. Like say, bpi training for candidates who claim to be environmentally aware and friendly -- I mean, they should know what they're talking about and not just talk about something just because it's the stand that's popular.

Let's pray for a successful election in which the leader that we need will eventually emerge the winner.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Most Asians from the Far East are generally shorter than Caucasians. This is natural, and genetic. But since height is considered a desirable characteristic, both in men and women, people now have the desire to have their children grow taller and maybe experience advantages of being taller than their parents. Like become a model or a celebrity. Or have an advantage in sports like basketball or tennis. Or simply be thought of as attractive

That's why there are supplements that promise increase in height in children. Parents do give these in the hope that their kids would grow just a bit taller. Growth hormones are also available, although human growth hormone side effects may be pretty tricky.

While it's all right to aspire for "greater heights" so to speak, it pays well to remember that in the end, we are what we are -- whatever our height is.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Not Yet

Today, I've been asked AGAIN if I'm expecting baby#3, and I've said again, that, no, I'm not, I just haven't lost the post baby fat. Sigh. It's my fault really, I should get serious about losing this bulge, and no, I don't need any diet pills or clinicallix, because I'm breastfeeding AND I'm not having problems with my weight. It's just my unflattering shape, that while it may not show a scar due to the bikini cut I had, is not something I'd flaunt in a teeny-weeny bikini (not that I'm inclined to -- a one piece suit would be better for my conservative nature).

Thursday, April 22, 2010


My desk is so cluttered! Papers, papers, papers everywhere! Worse, these are papers that you cannot just throw away, because many of them contain important information.

I wish that I had a good document scanning software whose output would not take too much memory space so that I can finally shred and throw away these papers, especially those which are old already.

We all thought that the advent of computers will cut back on paper usage, but I guess it will be a while before we actually lessen the use of paper after all.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Party Planning

My Baby's first birthday is less than 2 months away and I haven't done much yet in the way of party planning!

I've made a temporary reservation in McDonald's but I haven't paid the reservation fee yet. I will do so within the week.

I have decided on a Mulan theme to kinda reflect our heritage. Also, it's not a very common theme so it would somehow be unique. The problem with an uncommon them is that it's a bit more difficult to search for party favors and supplies.

I'm not sure yet what to give out as keepsakes. I do not want those backpacks anymore because I have lots of them around and I'm sure other kids also do, especially if they've been attending other kiddie parties. Maybe custom water bottles? They are practical too. Or some paper shoes I've found online from a fellow n@wie which I can fill up with candies. Maybe I can ask her to make Chinese inspired shoes.

I find that I'm not as OC as other moms, and, yes, I'm less OC now with my second-born compared to my firstborn. Or maybe the party planning mode has just not kicked in for me.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Career Choices For Women

Times have certainly changed. For Chinese women (and Pinoy women and most women around the world, for that matter) before the 20th century, the only career choice is that of being a housewife.

In the 20th century, women have started coming out of their shells and became more involved in the workforce, although not in today's degree. My ama (paternal grandmother) helped with my angkong's (paternal grandfather) business, doing mostly accounting work even if she was not formally trained in it. My guama (maternal grandmother) didn't really become a career woman, mainly because my guakong (maternal grandfather) worked far away (he was in Iloilo and she was in China then, so she stayed home to take care of the kids.

In my mother's generation, there were now more working women. My mom was a businesswoman, trained a bit by my father but mostly by trial and error and experience.

When it was my turn, my parents encouraged me to be a doctor, even if being a doctor was mainly considered a man's job at the time I was young. My angkong would not have agreed. He thought being in business is the way to go, and I should go into a course like Management or Accounting, both of which I do not have an interest in.

I think all of them would have balked if I had mentioned that I would like to pursue a course in say, hairdressing or makeup. At that time, it was not the career to go to if you have the means to go for further education. It was mainly a skill that's learned through experience. Famous beauticians like Ricky Reyes didn't have any formal training but went on to open a bunch of profitable salons.

Of course, times have changed again and it is practical and glamorous to have a job in beauty and fashion. If I were a kid at around this time, my parents and grandparents would probably not think it's weird if I wanted to go to a cosmetology school in Minnesota (well, it's not really my interest anyway, so they won't really expect that). But if my daughter wanted that, I would let her. It's growing to a be a more professionalized service, and having the right training with experts is the way to go, not only in this field but also in other fields. It also helps if the training is recognized worldwide so if she decides to settle anywhere else, she could still put her training to good use. I also like the fact that some schools actually have job placement services for their graduates!

Also, it's less stressful than being a doctor!

Friday, April 16, 2010

My Mother's Shoes

I'm lucky that my mom and I share the same shoe size. I am not much into shoe shopping, so I just have 1-2 pairs of shoes that I wear daily and another one for formal events. But when I need shoes, I first look in her shoe collection and see if there's any pair that would suit my needs before heading out to buy.

She also has better shoes than I do. She has branded shoes like Ferrogamo, Giuseppe Zanotti, Bally, Naturalizer, etc. in her decades-old collection. I guess it's because they are good quality (and expensive!) that they are still in good condition even after many years. Which I can't say about the cheaper brands that I usually buy. You truly get what you pay for.

She does let me use her shoes. Especially now, since her hip accident, she can't wear many of them, especially the ones with heels. My sister-in-law does not share the same shoe size so I'm the only one who can utilize them.

Maybe I should start using them. They are more classy anyway than my own shoes.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Konjac Jelly

I remember that some years back, a gelatin like sweet made of konjac glucomannan was banned in the United States, after some children reportedly choked on them.

I remember that I liked that sweet as a dessert. It was soft, chewy, not really that sweet and refreshing. Just right. I was sad that it was taken off the market after the US ban. We used to buy big containers of these, pop some in the refrigerator (it tastes so much better when cool) and just get one whenever we feel like it.

It's also quite nutritious, I've since learned. It has soluble dietary fiber and may also be used in constipation.

It's now used in some diet products. I'd still rather take the jelly dessert anytime -- maybe that would help me lose weight? Anybody know where I can still find this dessert?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Chinese Language Course

Instead of getting our kids glued in front of our entertainment centers, why not make their summer more productive? Maybe learn something new -- like a new language!

Chinese Language Course
Participants: Children's classes (7-13 years of age); Adults ; No Chinese background required

Venue: Manila Fo Guang Shan Mabuhay Temple Language Center
640 Pablo Ocampo Sr. St., Malate, Manila
Contact Numbers: 523-4909; 525-3680

Schedule of classes:
1. Children Class
a. Complete course: April 12 to 30 9:30am to 4:30 pm (M-F)
b. Short course
(1) April 12 - 23 (MWF) 2:00-4:30PM
(2) April 13-24 (TThS) 2:00 - 4:30PM
(3) April 10-25 (Sat-Sun) 2:00-4:30 PM

2. Adult Class
a. Complete course: April 12 to 30 7:30pm to 9:30 pm (M-F)
b. Short course
(1) April 12 - 23 (MWF) 7:30-9:30PM
(2) April 13-24 (TThS) 7:30-9:30PM
(3) April 10-25 (Sat-Sun) 2:00-4:30 PM

Registration fee: Short course Php1000 ; Complete course Php2000
Course contents: Storytelling, song interpretation, poetry recitation, singing and playing, dancing, crafts, games and watching movies
Facilitators: Teachers from Taiwan with extensive pratical experience in teaching Chinese Language

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ama Techie

I'm really amazed at my mom. She's officially retired, but she spends a lot of time on the computer, both surfing the net and doing some bookkeeping jobs as a volunteer.

She's not a college graduate like most of us are, but her mind has a great capacity to absorb new stuff and new technology. When the internet became available, back when dial ups were the norm, she learned to surf. She even taught ME some tricks!

She's also a techie. She has the most hi tech phones among us. She just recently bought a touch pad phone while I am content with my 4 year old Nokia cellphone. She was the first to buy a laptop (while I was still using the desktop). She's now using a MAC!!! She didn't go with the netbooks though, because she wanted a large screen so that she can read properly. I think she is a true Lola Techie! (or since she's Chinese, Ama Techie!)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Today is Buddha's Birthday

For Catholics and Christians, today is Black Saturday, still a day of mourning as Christ died Good Friday and will be risen on Easter Sunday.

For Buddhists, on the other hand, today is a Blessed Day as this is the day that Prince Siddharta, who was to be the founder of Buddhism, was born!

Most of the women in my family are Buddhists, so as obedient children and grandchildren, we're all trooping to the temple to "bathe" the baby Siddharta and ask for blessings. I haven't since 2005. My son will be offering flowers in the ceremony.

I pray that we'll be having peaceful elections and that we'll get a good leader who will put his country and his people above his own selfish ambitions.