Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's the end...

It's the end...of the first quarter of this year, 2009.

The highlights of the quarter are:

...my joining a support group for bi-polar patients

...my being appointed Office Manager for a research agency for a short while

...my RBC count still being low

...my having a good number of research projects to keep me busy

...my getting a few new clients

...my surviving the quarter despite an excruciatingly painful back

I got my highs and lows. But all in all, I'm happy (mainly because I made other people happy)...and that's all that counts.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Vivid Dreams

Once in a while, I have vivid dreams. The ones I remember more than seconds after waking up.

Just recently, I remember that I was losing my young child. After frantic searching, I just couldn't find him! My one and only child and he was gone! It was so scary so I willed myself to wake up . Reality check: My son is no longer 7 years old. He's a strong, very much present 20-year-old.

Interpretation: My son is graduating from college soon. He has been having his "own life" since high school. When he starts working, he will be all the more "gone" from my life. I miss the days when he was a little boy and clung to me. He even cries whenever I leave the house to go to work. How I wish I could bring back those days!

Another dream or recurrent dreams: Me, holding hands, embracing my favorite boyfriend or somebody special. Romantic! Sweet!...

...but upon waking up, there is no one holding me. Interpretation: I still long for that special someone. And that favorite boyfriend? He is now very much married and has a child. He is the one that "got away".

Last night I had a strange dream. A room full of toys and party favors...I was riding in a jeep and a woman says I'm pretty. She gives me a brochure for a beauty product...A former boss gives me work to do and I didn't do it well.

Interpretation: My longing for my happy childhood days...My vanity...My anxiety for not performing my utmost best at work.

Again, I remember what my psychiatrist told me about dreams. Usually one dreams of either what is currently happening in your life and what you long for or want to happen.

Why do I remember more the dreams of things I pine for?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Not Lazy Anymore

Today, I feel proud of myself!

I recomputed the cost of a big study.

I finished a 180-slide report.

And that's it!

Big accomplishment already considering that it's a Sunday. Another working day for me and this coming week promises to be another busy one.

Oh well, I can't wait till Holy Week! My time to rest. And I miss the Lord soooh much!

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Today, I feel lazy.

...Lazy to go out of the house after a week of leaving for the office

...Lazy to finish a transcription because my laptop is "acting up"

...Lazy to work on a 100+ slide report due Monday

...Lazy to write in this blog.

But I have the RIGHT to be lazy once in a while.

It's just one of those days.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Am I a People Pleaser?

"E" tells me about this person and that person. A backbiter! But I just smile and say "Talaga?" (Really?)

I've been told to be careful about another person because she is notorious about money matters, so to speak. Yet, I've just asked her to cost out one of my projects for bidding.

A client tells me that she does not like this subordinate of mine but this subordinate tells me this client is flirting with him. (Who do I believe?)

Just three incidents but the fact of the matter is I like everybody! (Or most everybody)

Why this attitude? Am I a people pleaser? I'd like to think not. I'm just a people-lover (naks!).

Because I'm not perfect myself, I accept other people - warts and all. Having said that are you now pleased with me? Please? (ha ha)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Never More

I'm only on my second week of daily going to office and it's both fun and torture.

Fun because...

...I enjoy dealing with my officemates and clients

...I like my work

...I get to do other projects

...I can also do other stuff (like check my email, do my blog he he)

...I get special privileges like not having to go to work exactly on time, somebody buys my food, I got "escorted" everywhere, somebody washes my utensils, plate and glass and so on

...I can use a computer on my own and unrestricted use of the telephone

...everyone is so kind to me

But why is it torture?

My back is sooooh painful, it is such a torture -

...riding taxi cabs

...looking for a ride to and from the office

...walking up and down the stairs

...riding elevators

...and Friday evenings is the WORST!

So, if I were to be asked to extend my job as office manager, I will most probably decline with a sweet smile. The ouch is simply too much compared to the wow's. I prefer my old life when I usually just work at home. I do go out once in a while to meet clients, facilitate focus group discussions, give presentations but these are not often.

Never more, never more.

Dreaming of...

For the first time, I missed writing in my blog yesterday. So to make up for it, I'm making two posts today.

Busy, busy, busy!

What kept me up last night was I was costing out a super big project involving 56 reports. If client agrees to the cost, I will be able to buy a car! Yehey! Not a brand new car, but a "previously owned" one...maybe my dream car, Vios, or at least another Toyota.

Let me dream on...

...My son can drive for me and for my mom when we go places or when there is a family gathering (no more taxi cabs and bothering of other family members to fetch or bring us home)

...We can use my mom's parking slot which she has paid for

...If my back is no longer painful, I can start driving again (anyway I still have a driver's license)

...I can lend my car to my son when he has his personal "lakads"

...There are so many things one can do when one has a car!

Am I counting my chickens before the eggs are hatched? I don't care! All I know is that I feel I deserve some reward for working so hard.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tired and Hungry

As I write this post, I am super tired and hungry!

My friend-cab driver will be fetching me in about 25 minutes so when I reach home I just want to eat, brush my teeth and sleep!

It's been a long day.

...talked to a client over the phone

...computed for quotas for a quantitative tracking study

...entertained a foreigner client (whom I mistakenly called by his first name!)

...transcribed a tape

...prepared a status report for my boss

Why do I bore you with details of my job? Well, just so I can tell you that no matter how seemingly boring and tedious my work, I really find it interesting, challenging and fun!

Nevertheless, I'm too tired and hungry to write any longer...so goodbye for now!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Taxi Drivers

I'm a regular cab rider. As such I meet all kinds of taxi drivers...

...from the silent type to the answer-only-when-asked type to the talkative type to the nosy type

...the courteous and considerate especially of "special" passengers like me who has a bad back and is sensitive of rough roads vs. the rude, reckless drivers

...the new, know-next-to-nothing driver to the veteran, know-every-nook-and-cranny-of-Metro Manila type

...the smelly, unkempt, untidy type vs. the neat, well-dressed kind

...the honest type to the sly, cunning, dishonest kind

...the really good-looking ones (which is rather rare) to those who have a face only their mother would love

...the single with or without girlfriend/s, the married with or without girlfriend/s, the separated with or without girlfriend/s, the widowed with or without girlfriend/s

...the cab owner, the friend/neighbor of the owner, the driver of a fleet

...former family drivers, bus drivers, truck drivers, etc.

...former OFWs, would-be OFWs or dreaming-to-be OFWs

...the ones with simple dreams to the more ambitious drivers

...those who seem to be happy and content to those who complain a lot

...all these and more!

It takes all kinds to be a cab driver... but my heart goes out to most of them because life for them is difficult - what with the high boundaries, the traffic, the cost of fuel, the nasty passengers, the need to support their families.

Lord, please bless all taxi drivers. Guide them as they safely bring their passengers to their destination. And at the end of the day, give them enough earnings to meet their needs and those of their family. Amen.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Work vs. Watching a Movie

Given a choice between working and watching a DVD, which would you do? I chose the latter.

Before you go judging me, let me tell you...

...I had a very busy week

...I stayed up late some nights

...I was tired most of the week because I've had to travel even with a bad back

...I spent most of today, Sunday, working

So, after dinner, I decided to give myself a treat. Why not watch a DVD of "27 Dresses", a romantic comedy (my favorite genre!). It's my reward for working so hard this week. I deserve it!

And I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Interesting, funny, enough twists and turns, not predictable. I'm glad I chose to watch it. Anyway, I have enough time to continue the work that I was doing and still meet my deadline.

We have to learn to have some fun at the end of a busy day.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Watching Ballet

There are three ballet dancers among my nieces and tonight they had a recital. At first, I didn't want to go because I was tired and not feeling well. Beside, it's the second day of my period. But then, my sister already reserved tickets for us so I had no choice.

I'm glad I went though. The performances were good, for the most part. Some stood out from the rest. I'm proud to say that my nieces were among the better dancers (not that I'm biased). One of the most applauded dances was the one that won in a competition and participated in by two of my nieces. It was a modern dance cum ballet type of number.

As I was watching, I could tell which ones have been practicing/dancing ballet for years and were truly gifted. I also spotted which among the little girls or younger dancers had much potential. I guess it takes a dancer to appreciate other dancers.

I can never dance ballet again with my figure, my ailments and my age. But I sure am glad to have the opportunity to watch other people perform, even the amateurs.

After the recital, off we went to my brother's house and had a little get-together. Food consisted of baked macaroni, Flaming Wings chicken, and Yellow Cab pizza with softdrinks. Coffee and silvanas were served, too but I couldn't partake of either.

For a while, we had to entertain the date of my niece, Angie, to their graduation ball. Nice guy - good-looking, too. My niece was beautiful in her sexy, white dress. She had her hair curled. What I didn't like were her bangs which I found too long.

My brother-in-law had the kindness of heart to bring us home. So here I am, at the end of another day, almost ready to sleep.

Good night!

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Long Day

This has been a verrry busy day!

I released two proposals. I computed the costing for one of them which could be a tedious process.

I revised a looooong report and wrote the conclusions and recommendations for each of its major sections.

I cleared up some matters about "quota" of respondents in a big project.

As if to say "time's up", the fumigators arrived to start doing their job as I was dotting my i's and crossing my t's, so to speak.

But the worse was not over. It is Friday night. Gimmick time for many. Nightmare time to wait for a cab!...especially for those of us who just want to go home and REST.

So when I finally reached home sweet home, I ate dinner and here I am writing this post.
Feels good, feels great to be able to say "Time to rest". Tomorrow's another day. I will be revising a proposal and transcribing some tapes.

Tomorrow is tomorrow. Today is tonight. It's sleeping time! Thank You, Lord!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Not too long ago, I was complaining of not having work. Now, I am swamped with projects left and right! I know I should be happy but I have health problems. For instance, because of my bi-polar disorder, I can't stay up late at night. I should have enough sleep. Because of my back problems, I cannot remain seated in front of the computer for an extended period of time. And of course, I cannot be stressed.

But why am I taking time out to write this post despite my busy schedule? Because writing in this blog is a daily commitment for me. And because writing is therapeutic.

If you haven't noticed, I use this site to complain, to brag and boast, to share my blessings, to inspire, to promote values, to enlighten and educate...to do many things which make me feel good and hopefully, do a lot of good to my readers as well.

As I write this, I am dead tired but in a few seconds as I wind up this post and look for the appropriate pic, I will be ready again to work till about hmm 10 pm?

Good night for now!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Could This Be Love?

No, I am NOT in love as of the present moment. No special guy to make my heart beat faster. No special someone to make my hands clammy all the time. No special person to occupy my every thought.

But let me tell you a true story about myself. When I had my first nervous breakdown, I was obsessed with a man who was super handsome, super rich, super powerful. He even had blue eyes! And when you are in that state, you have all sorts of thoughts in your mind.

There was one song during those days which was very popular and it kept being played on the radio. The title is "Could This Be Love?" sang by the Seduction I think. If you want to listen to it, just click on the song to your right.

The lines that rang over and over in my mind were:

"Tell me is this real or just a mirage?
I ask myself: Could this be love?
Of the two of us together
Lifetime friends forever
You and me a unity
Of friendship and love!"

The funny thing is that the song had absolutely nothing to do with my "relationship" with that man because he does not even know me from Adam!

As I look back, I just laugh how crazy I was during those days. But the truth of the matter is, I ain't crazy...just bi-polar.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sad News, Bad News

Yesterday, at 5:30 pm, the father of my sister-in-law died of cardiac failure. Capt. Jake Ortega was a much loved man and will surely be missed by family, friends, co-pilots. It makes us sad to think that just last year, he and his wife, Tita Mimi, celebrated their "surprise" 50th wedding anniversary. They both looked so happy then. I remember they even danced sweetly like newly weds.

Now, Tito Jake's death took everyone by surprise because he was a healthy man for his age (74). My mom dreamt of him waving goodbye. The following day, he died. Fourth time that mom had such a dream prior to those persons' passing away.

Goodbye, Tito Jake! We will all miss you!

Now for the bad news. My red blood cell count and hemoglobin continue to be low and are even lower than the last reading. Woe is me! To think that we spent a lot of money for the injection with a higher dose and a new medicine I had to take twice a day. Now I have to continue both plus try a once-a-year injection worth five figures. When will all these end?

But not all is sad news, bad news. Projects are coming in left and right. I am thinking of either giving up my Office Manager job or striking a compromise with the general manager - can't I be virtual manager some days and report for work just a few days a week?

In the midst of the gloom, there is a glimmer of light. Let's hang on to that light.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I Love MR!

I’ve been tasked to be the note-taker in a focus group discussion or FGD. [An FGD is a type of qualitative research where there is a moderator who facilitates the discussion.]

The participants are late in arriving so I figured I will be tired when I reach home tonight. Might as well write this post.

What to write about? Past boyfriends? Interesting but I’m not in the mood. My son? Would love to but he warned me that he will erase all my accounts if I so much as mention him in this blog.

Ah! I know…I shall talk about marketing research and why it fits me to a T:

…Marketing research requires dealing with different kinds of people – clients, bosses/managers, field personnel, data processing staff…and I love people!

…Marketing research means numbers, numbers, numbers...I love Math and I understand figures!

…Marketing research requires analytical skills…I love the challenge of interpreting data and coming up with meaningful reports!

…Marketing research requires coming up with useful recommendations and insightful reports…I love “feeling important”!

…Marketing research requires multi-tasking skills…I love challenges!

…Marketing research requires presentation skills…I love speaking before a captive audience (shows how KSP I am)!

…Marketing research requires meeting deadlines no matter what…I love the thrill of “making it” on time!

…Marketing research requires operating within budget…I love learning how to be cost-effective!

…Marketing research requires meeting consumers face to face…I love keeping in touch with the market!

…Marketing research requires being up-to-date with technology…I love keeping up with trends!

…Marketing research is all these and more!

So, come join the industry I belong to. It’s full of challenges and a lot of fun!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Quotable Quotes from My "Groupmates"

Still on my support group. Yesterday, I took down notes and here are some of the things I
I could relate to...

...I could not understand why I could not get out of my depression

...There are so many things I want to do. I am a creative person. I start a project, then drop it.

...Flitting from one project to another

...I was up from 2 am till evening...unfinished projects up to 10 term papers. Did not finish any

...I went from one job to another. I couldn't find my niche

...My deepest depression is to stop teaching

...I was depressed due to love-related and financial factors

...I could not explain why I was depressed when I am full of blessings

...I had mixed emotions - depression, anger, anxiety

Or which I found beautiful...

...our sharing leads to a better understanding of our condition

...friendship is a positive source of support

...be friends with your own kind

...what we're doing is talk therapy, talking things out

...I never stopped teaching, it is my therapy. It reminds you of your responsibility to others.

...sharing helps me as a person. It helps me get through

...when you love someone, you can conquer everything

Indeed, there is strength and comfort in numbers. Need a support group? Find one or form one!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Among My Kind

Today, I attended a meeting of my support group of bi-polar patients. Like the first time, I enjoyed myself thoroughly.

As there were new members, each one introduced himself/herself and said something about his/her experiences. I, of course, could relate to most of what they were saying. And I could empathize with everyone.

Many began with "I will make mine short only" but ended up with a rather long account of what happened in the past and/or the near future. It is indeed talk therapy and I felt good being among my kind.

I also had an "ulterior motive" for being present in the meeting. I wanted inputs to my script about a bi-polar patient. In particular, I wanted to know what is the usual reactions of other people, including family members upon finding out that one has a mood disorder.

[I am asking your help, too, my dear readers. Just answer two questions: What do you know of bi-polar mood disorder? What do you think of people who have such a condition?
Pretty please? You can write your answers through the comments section of this particular post.]

There was sharing of food - cookies, turon, softdrinks, peanuts, etc. No meeting is complete without food!

The meeting ended with a short lecture based on the first chapter of our official "textbook". I was tasked to conduct the next lecture.

I thank God for our psychiatrist, Dr. L. who helped put together the group. We are all benefitting from it.

How truly blessed I am!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Writing a Script with Friends' Help

Another category I am joining in a writing contest is the screenplay in Filipino. The story is something I've long wanted to write about - a bi-polar patient who finds true love.

Two "big-time" friends came over. First, we had a sumptuous lunch of ginataang kuhol, lumpiang shanghai, spam, vegetables (tomatoes, onions, string beans in calamansi), monggo, rice, softdrinks and fruits (mango for me, star apple for them).

Almost immediately after eating, I made each of them read what is called a storyline - a longer version of a synopsis of a movie. I then discussed various aspects of my screenplay - title, character, plot, message, specific scenes, even dialogue.

I would say it was a healthy exchange of ideas as I was open to their suggestions while occasionally challenging them as well.

The main objective of the movie is not so much the kilig factor of a love story. It is more of enlightening the audience about bi-polar mood disorder, which as most of you know by now, I am afflicted of.

I'm eager already to write the screenplay! Again, wish me luck!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Temporary Job

I've just been tasked to be Office Manager of a research agency for a month. For the next four weeks, I will be waking up early again, go through traffic, be in the office by 9 am, work, off by 6 pm. then go through traffic to go home.

The job is relatively easy and I am likely to have plenty of free time. So, I was allowed to work on other projects while physically present in the office.

Ahh! To be the "boss" for a brief period of time. In a way, it's an answered prayer because I have had little income the past few months. And if I do well, I could be assigned the same job in the future, not just for the same agency but for others.

The pay is not that high but good enough. This plus my income from other projects in the pipeline plus collection of some receivables should almost wipe out my debt to my mom.

I look forward to dealing more closely with marketing researchers. Sometimes, when you are an analyst doing reports within the confines of your home, you miss the human touch so to speak.

Exciting! God is good! Life is great!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

In my Book, Facebook is...

Facebook seems to be the in thing these days.

Yet, people say it's overrated. Some say it's passe already. Still others say it has become too intrusive.

What do I say? I say it's great!

...It's great to get and keep in touch with family, relatives, friends (old and new), former classmates and batchmates in high school and college, former officemates, former students, former mentors and teachers, former boyfriends, etc.

...It's great to tell everybody that it's your birthday and to share interesting things about yourself

...It's great to learn about what's been happening to other people

...It's great to see wonderful videos, listen to good music, watch new ads

...It's great to discover new things and learn stuff I wouldn't normally know about

...It's great to find help when I need it from friends

...It's great to be able to give compliments and encouragement to others

...It's great to join worthwhile causes

...It's great and fun to answer all sort of quizzes

...It's great to announce news (good or bad) and read about other people's news as well

...It's great to discover how people look these days, along with their spouse and kids

...for all these and more, it's great!

And so in my book, Facebook is not just great! It is wonderful, enlightening and fun.

Intrusive? Nah! I own my time and I simply don't allow FB to ruin my schedule.

To Facebook's detractors, I say, "Don't focus on the germs. See the gems instead." To Facebook's fans, I join you in saying, "Thank you, FB, for making our lives better!"

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Toast to Toastmasters

I used to be a member of the Toastmasters International Club - the club that teaches people how to speak, think and listen (not necessarily in that order). But because my mom does not want me to expose certain details of my life to live audiences, I have stopped being an official member of the club.

However, I do get invited to attend their meetings - particularly that of Sultan Toastmasters Club - once in a while. It's always a joy to attend a Toastmasters meeting. There is so much camaraderie and friendly banterings.

The Theme for the Day was "Think Out of the Box". An overused term, we would say, but still useful.

The meeting started at exactly 7:30 p.m. and ended at 11 p.m. There was the usual call to order, invocation, salute to the flag, Toastmasters Promise, and Toastmasters Welcome.

Everyone introduced himself/herself and answered the question: "What is one moment of love that you will cherish forever." Since it was my birthday recently, I simply talked of how friends and loved ones greeted and treated me out on the day when I turned 48.

There was only one real guest who was a "walk-in participant", named Toots. (Same nickname as that of my brother-in-law.) Although he was "taciturn" [the word of the day], Toots turned out to be the National Sales Manager of a huge manufacturing company.

Table Topics was basically impromptu speaking and the topics were unforgettable life experiences: one's first job, first car, first time to operate a computer and first book. It was thinking out of the box, alright - i.e. thinking out of the present box.

There were three Prepared Speeches entitled "Songs in the Night", "Under the Sea" and "An Anti-Virus Proposal". Wonderful and interesting speeches, judging by the titles alone. But frankly, I wasn't listening too well because I was preparing for my evaluation of the Table Topics session.

Then comes the Evaluation portion led by the General Evaluator for the evening, no less than Madam Sonia Roco. I gave my Table Topics Evaluation quite nervously but the members of the audience were rather impressed with it. The other evaluators were also impressive as they obviously listened to the speeches. Then, there was the grammarian's report, timer's report, ah counter's report and finally, the general evaluation.

Closing remarks were delivered by the Toastmaster of the Evening. After some announcements, the meeting was adjourned. But participants stayed around to chat and exchange contact numbers.

If you were more confused than enlightened by my account of the evening, that was my objective. I wanted you to be more curious about Toastmasters International. Search for it online and look for a club nearest or most convenient for you to go to. Just like Toots, you can just drop in and join!

I believe I am a better public speaker, listener and thinker today because of Toastmasters.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Mah Jongg!

How many of you play mah jongg? What?! You don't know what that is?

Well, to those who do not know, mah jongg is a Chinese game of both luck and skill. There are colored tiles used consisting of three suits - balls, sticks, and characters. Each suit consists of one to nine. There are also tiles called "flowers" which I call "mga panggulo" (nuisances).

The goal is to have a complete set of 17 tiles consisting of 5 "trios" and one pair, or 7 pairs and one trio. A trio can either be a chao (three consecutive numbers of the same suit) or pong (three tiles of exactly the same number and suit).

There can be a minimum of two players and a maximum of four players. At the start of the game, each player gets 16 tiles and tries to arrange them to get higher chances of winning, and the more difficult combination to attain, the higher the score.

The two most common "ambitions" are escalera (one entire suit from one to nine) or seven pairs.

Of course, the real jackpot is "bisaklat" which happens when you are the first to play and upon opening your tiles, you have a complete set already! I would say that bisaklat is to mah jongg as hole-in-one is to golf...except that the former is more of luck, the latter is more of skill.

I have never experienced "bisaklat", but second bisaklat, yes. Second bisaklat means winning upon the first throw of another player.

Why am I telling you all these? I'm not really teaching you how to gamble. But I just want to share that playing mah jongg can be a lot of fun. It can be thrilling and exciting! However, one must not allow mah jongg to rule his/her life. Obsession is never a good thing.

I look back to the days when we were growing up and we played mah jongg as a family. I also remember the times when I played the game with friends. What fun! I recall these days with fondness.

The last time I played mah jongg was with my mom. Just the two of us. I don't remember who won. All I could recall was that I enjoyed the bonding time we had.

If somebody invites me to play mah jongg, I will agree assuming that I have both time and money. I don't play for the money of course, but you've got to have money to play the game in the first place. I don't want high stakes. Just "barya" (change) will do.

So...let's play?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Count Me In!

I'm joining a writing contest again. There are several categories - in English, Filipino, and a few dialects.

I plan to participate in more than one category so that my chances of winning will be greater (he he). I already have material for an English essay, an English one-act play, and a Filipino screenplay. (It's the last one that will take some time.)

Uncontented, I might try the poetry and short story categories as well.

Funny, I've even had to search the Internet on what "personal essay" and "one-act play" means before attempting to write either.

Will I win? Hope so. I sure could use the prize money. The contest itself is a prestigious one which could open doors for me as a writer.

But my primary reason for joining is that I believe when God gives us a gift or a talent, we must explore, develop, hone, and use it for the greatest good... to bless the world, to inspire others, to inject humor, to propagate positive values, to promote the common good.

So, see ya at the award-winning ceremonies! Even if I don't win any award, I hope at least one friend of mine will win and I will be there to congratulate him/her/them.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Full of Blessings

How come there are days when blessings abound? (I'm not complaining though.) This is one of them.

Actually, the blessings started to come in since yesterday. I have more projects coming my way. In addition, I might become Office Manager for one or two marketing research agencies while the bosses and key staff are away.

Yesterday, I ate longganisa in the carinderia in front of the church nearest our place. Since the food was cheap, I was able to order rice, Coke, and a banana. And I still had taxi money to spare to get me home.

When I reached home, I had a swell time all by lonesome because my mom stayed over her sister's place and my son said he would be coming home late. So, I spent the time listening to my favorite music, praying, visiting Mother Teresa's website and taking down notes, and chatting with a friend.

Today, I danced to disco music, chatted with cousins and friends, had lunch with my son (which he cooked). I discovered the delicious taste of honey mustard dressing by Lady's Choice (free advertisement again!) My son collected some money for me from a client and with that I gave some to my mom, a few to my son (he needed to buy a shirt and a pair of pants) and kept some for myself. I finally received my Christmas gift pack from Del Monte and I'm eager to taste their new products! I ate Tempura shrimp flavored snack for merienda, a favorite.

When my mom arrived, she gave me a new blouse. She also brought chocolates, pancit canton, barbecue, panucha (sugar-coated peanuts), and books.

I've been invited to attend a Toastmasters' meeting this coming Monday. I am looking forward to it because I always enjoy such meetings.

See how fully loaded I am with blessings? Days like these more than make up for days...not like these (how profound ha ha).

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Cleansing

Yesterday, I talked about taking a bath. Today, I did something infinitely better!

Nope, I didn't go to the sauna nor the spa. (My experience with the former is limited and believe it or not, I've never gone to a spa. That's how "simple" my life has been and will continue to be.)

Given up on guessing?

I availed of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In terms more understood by many, I went to Confession. It has been exactly a month since my last Confession and my sins have accumulated. I'm back to my holiness trip or shall we call it my trip towards heaven.

Well, in this day and age, temptations about. I'm single (again). Pretty. (Oops, sorry, Lord for my lack of humility.) There are still vultures hovering around at my age. You get my point. And there are so many sins - of thought, word, and deed. I fall easily in the area of ______.

That is why lately, I've been reading up on the saints again. My favorites are Padre Pio, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Francis of Assisi and Mother Teresa. I get inspiration from their lives, their works and prayers. I may not - and need not - be canonized someday but I do want to be as holy as I can possibly be. If it means bearing all my sicknesses and offering all my pains and hardships for the souls most in danger of not making it to heaven, so be it.

Thank God for the Sacrament of Reconciliation! It's much more cleansing than a cool, refreshing bath!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Taking a Bath

I've just finished a loooong report. Took me weeks to complete the whole thing.

Yesterday, I was too tired to take a bath (yuk). So, today, after writing my report and some "job searching" in the Internet, I finally took a bath.

Ah! The many things we take for granted! Not too long ago, I was bedridden. A maid had to clean me with a wet towel and every now and then, shampoo my hair. But now, I am no longer bedridden. Even with a bad back, I can go to the bathroom on my own and...

...turn on the shower. I purposely did not turn on the heater so I can have cool, cold water!

...I shampooed my hair with Pantene. I soaped my body with Safeguard. Both smelled oh so good!

...I cleaned behind my ears and every nook and cranny of my body...and the ones that I could not reach, I used a loofah with a handle (newly bought).

...I dried myself up and dressed up in a clean housedress.

...I combed my hair, put Johnson's baby powder, applied Dove deodorant, put on Pond's White Beauty lotion on my face, applied Jergens body lotion, cleaned my ears with a cotton bud, put on Folded and Hung cologne.

Ahh, fresh and fragrant from a cool bath!

The simple joys in life!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sick and Tired of Being Sick

Just came from the hospital. Was there almost the whole day. Had some blood tests. Had lunch. Waited for the doctor. The doctor arrived and the verdict?

...My dosage for my injection has been doubled

...I have to take an additional medicine for my low red blood cell count and low hemoglobin

...I have to take antibiotics for my cough

...I have to see a rheumatologist for my osteoporosis

...In two weeks' time, another blood test and a visit to the hematologist

...Another appointment with my internist was set

When will all of this end? I'm sick and tired of being sick! Medical expenses are skyrocketing! My income simply cannot catch up.

I may not know the reason for all this pain and sickness and expenses but I trust that there is a good reason. Or good reasons (plural).

I don't need to know the answer now. But I trust that God has something good in store for me in spite of all these suffering.

Pray for me!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My Birthday -- Extended!

Even if I still have that loooong report to finish, I decided to take the day off today to have fun.

I went out with my best friend (Amy), her mom, their maid, and another friend (Cel). Both Amy and Cel gave me birthday presents - a stuffed toy, black pants and a bag. (Hey, I just gave away a stuffed toy and a bag. What goes around, comes around!)

We watched "You Changed My Life" starring Sarah Geronimo and John Lloyd Cruz. Funny and kakakilig romantic comedy! A fitting sequel to their movie. We enjoyed the movie, to think that the two senior citizens with us paid only P1.00 each.

Then, we ate at Flavors of China in The Block. Food consisted of kropek, house tea, garlic rice, birthday noodles, sweet and sour fish, mixed vegetables, beef with brocolli, and lumpiang shanghai. Total bill was less than a thousand for all five of us. Not bad, considering that I didn't pay a single centavo! And of course, I enjoyed the company.

I went to National Bookstore to buy two books out of the money that my sister gave me for my birthday. Then my friends accompanied me to the taxi that brought me home.

But I'm not exactly home right now. I left my keys and apparently my mom is out of the unit so I am writing this in the internet cafe on the ground floor. Thank God for businesses such as this!

So, considering that I should be working, I don't feel exactly guilty for taking the time to have fun. Sometimes, when blessings come, we should welcome them with open arms!

Thank You, Lord, for this fun, fun day!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Extending A Helping Hand

Times are really tough. I have had barely any collections these past few months. I owe my mom a huge amount already!

My biggest pain in not being "rich" is that I am not able to extend material assistance to other people. But then two incidents happened recently which made me re-think things.

First, my friend asked me for examples of new Filipino idiomatic expressions. I tried to search using my favorite search engine but could not find any. And so I thought of "makuha ka sa isang tingin" which literally translates to "be gotten with one look". Of course, what it really means is that when a parent gives that stern look, children should beware. They are about to be disciplined should the child/children make one more false move.

Another Filipino idiomatic expression I suggested was "walang matigas na tinapay sa mainit na kape" which translates literally to "there is no hard bread for hot coffee". I got this from the title of an action movie so maybe it really means "the best man wins" or something to that effect.

The second incident is that another friend experienced a big problem recently. Her bag was snatched while she was talking to somebody over her celphone! All her IDs, her checkbook, some important papers/notes, one phone, even her lipstick and powder were in that bag! She went to the nearest police station to report the robbery. But to this day, she was not able to recover any of her things.

So when this friend of mine visited the condo last Saturday (I owe her some money for a project that she did for me), not only did I give the money I owed her. I also gave her a wallet, lipstick, cologne and a bag - all of which were still useable to me but I know she needed them more.

Two simple incidents. Who would think that this "poor" consultant can no longer extend a helping hand to those who need it?

Lord, thank You for continuing to use me as an instrument of your love and joy!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My March 2009 Resolutions

My February was such a lousy month by way of fulfilling my resolutions I won't even attempt to cite which ones I "achieved".

But this is a brand new month. So I have brand new resolutions...

...I shall resume writing "Ang Mundo ni Minda" (screenplay) and/or "Mission:Possible!" (book)

...I shall lose 5 more lbs.

...I shall pray the rosary, listen to Bible reflections, read the Bible, listen to online mass, and/or write on my Spiritual Journal as often as possible. To draw closer to God, in other words.

...I shall stop _________!

...I shall be more productive as a marketing research consultant (read: earn more!)

...I shall exercise daily by walking for several minutes

...I shall try to help others in any way I can even if it's through the use of my computer and phones

...I shall try to wash the dishes more often

...I shall "serve" my mom more often by massaging her feet, scratching her back, etc.

...I shall spend more quality time with my son

...I shall be a better family member, relative and friend in any way possible

Hey, sounds familiar? I said "brand new" didn't I? At least, by repeating my resolutions, I am declaring what is important to me and my loved ones.

Wish me luck this time!