Monday, December 26, 2005

Merry Christmas all!

Finally! A much needed rest after a long day. Christmas day went by so fast! It was fun and tiring. As usual, my brothers and their families were here, as well as aunts, uncles, lolo and lola. Diego at his age has finally concluded that Christmas is the best time of the year because of the gifts he received. "Can I open now, huh? can i?" (well, in tagalog, of course lol) He would take ownership of the other gifts under the tree and really wail the moment he knew it's not for him. Andee, on the other hand, has taken serious attention and took ownership of the microphone of the rented videoke machine, (my mom and brother rented out this cabinet-sized videoke machine, the likes you see at carinderias or beer houses. I vowed to myself to get a Magic Sing pronto!) This is the first christmas without their dad, though he called up Christmas Eve to greet them, well, that's good enough for me. Pictures will be posted asap!

I would be unable to post as regularly as I would because I will be starting work today, This evening actually.(yes, new job at last). So for my newly found friends and fellow bloggers whom I spent those 2 1/2 months of unemployed moments, thank you, thank you for keeping me company. I t was worth it. Have a merry christmas and enjoy the rest of the year!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

What's 'up'?

"Mama, a-ta-at" ("Mama, tumataas") ("Mama, it's up again")

Diego has been saying this (or experiencing this, rather) almost everyday, and sometimes 2-3 times a day! He even has this habit of getting it out and showing it to me. The first time he mentioned this was good for laughs, but now though sometimes I find it amusing, I'm a bit..what? concerned perhaps? I asked my mom about it and she couldn't remember any of my 3 brothers experiencing this when they were young (unless they didn't really mention it). I asked some of my friends. Though some say that it's as normal as can be, well, what causes it? I mean, is it the cold weather? Did he see something on tv? What? What?

My male friends would just laugh it off saying that I should be calm and be glad that my 3-year old is 100% hombre! Oh really??!?!! Geeeezzz! Men.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

NEVER sing in the shower.

Philippine actress Eula Valdez has announced on Kris Aquino's Game Ka Na Ba that her new project is a musical comedy that is scheduled next year at the CCP.

For those 'character-specific' enthusiasts who've been reading my posts, you'll somehow get so excited and have mixed emotions to know what project she's talking about. :-)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Pride and joy

I took Andee and Diego to Riverbanks Mall to have Andee's picture taken as part of the requirements needed for her to take the admission test to St. Scholastica's Academy here in Marikina for the 2nd grade.
I decided to have their picture taken together as well, as Andee has kept pleading for a good picture that she can put in her new wallet (given to her by a classmate during their christmas party), and something to send to their grand-lola and other relatives.

How they've grown! Andee has still been as pretty and photogenic as she is and Diego has finally learned how to 'smile'.. since he usually just stares at the camera or makes funny faces. Next time I'll include myself in! :-)

So I'm sharing with you my pride and joy.. Andee at 7 and Diego at 3 years old.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

T'was Saturday

Great finds
Yesterday, My longtime, all-time friend, Gel, and I, together with her mom, went to Quiapo. Our main agenda was to finally purchase Gel's dream of a camera-- a Canon 520 something-something. Gel, a photography enthusiast, has finally decided to try-out digital cameras, but not until Gel's mom had led us through Avenida's labyrinth of alleys and christmas tiangges to discover yet what Gel and I thought was a frugal shopper's haven! As we walked through Avenida that morning, glancing at the small stores that had opened business for the day, and the sidewalk vendors 'proudly' showing off their wares, we saw, among others--- home-made herbal concoctions, cellphone cases, platic toys, gift wrappers and boxes, christmas ornaments, shoes, triple xxx vcd's, and to much our surprise, 'adult' toys.

Gel's mom suddenly turned left in an alley which led to, what we describe was like a hideout for gangsters, etc. We went up a flight of stairs and reaching the landing, we were in a warehouse-like building that housed smaller stalls where hundreds of Made-in-China sunglasses, watches, and Christmas decors were sold at wholesale prices. The usual P150.00 watches found in tiangges inside the malls fetch as low as P100.00 for single purchase, or as low as P80.00 for a minimum of 6pcs. The P50.00 sunglasses in tiangges were as low as P20.00-P30.00 here! Those cute, cute colorful earrings in tianggges that cost P50.00 a pair, we 'OMG!' discovered, cost P50.00 - P80.00 for a BOX OF 8 PAIRS!!!! As much as we would like to browse around forever and gawk at the prices, we had to purchase Gel's camera and go. We definitely would return with more friends in tow! We took the LRT and after 35 minutes (from Recto to Marikina) I was home.

On life
I arrived at around 2:30 pm and had to rest a little and get ready. I was to be picked up at 5:00pm by a high school buddy, Grace, to attend the wake of the husband of Celynne, one of our classmates in St. Scho. When we arrived at St. Paul's Church in SSS Village, there were 3 more of our high school batch who were there. There was an 'updated' exchange of hello's and how are you's since we last saw each other in Feb 2005 during our 20th year homecoming. How fast time flies!

It seemed only yesterday when we got used to hearing batch mates getting married and having babies. But know it feels different when we talk about death, especially with people our age. How ironic it is when we say that we are 'old' at age 37 when we kid about living, yet very young at age 37 when we talk about death? Now it made me think, how much of my life did I make the most of? At what point do I say that I've finally done what I'm here for, therefore be ready to go? Can I be proud with my achievements, failures, joys and heartaches that made me what I am now-- seemingly alone? Uncontent? As I look at the abundance of flowers at the wake given by friends and family, would I be remembered like this as well?

About this time, Celynne arrived with her two little boys, aged 8 and 2, who looked exactly like their dad. Seeing the two tykes go straight to their dad's casket brought tears to my eyes (actually bringing tears to my eyes right now as I write this). What will become of Andee and Diego? In this fit of uncalled for paranoia, life maybe too long or too short, depending on which side you see it... the problematic side, or the hope side. Now I have to decide which side I should be in.

Good 'ol friends
From the wake, Grace and I took to road to White Plains to attend the batch's Christmas party. It took a while before our other high school classmates arrived and we really had a great time. During one of the lull moments, discussion became a little on the serious side. We were solving each other's problems, giving advice, etc. My ordeal was known in my batch by most and they were really up to it. Tess, who came in from Harry Potter's Surrey for the holidays, is a practising family and divorse lawyer there. She used to handle annulment cases here before she left for UK. It was quite uneasy listening to her, and 2 more of my friends, whose parents also handle cases like this.

With all honesty, it had always been an option for me to file for legal separation, but NOT for annulment. With any mental, physical or whatever torture the hubby has done to me, I don't have the balls to go on and do the right thing. Maybe because of the kids, or pity,.. or love (alright, anyone can smack me in the head now). But after last night, after I came home at 3am this morning, I've been thinking the whole day.

Talk about great finds, life, death, love, annulment.
Yesterday was a day full of lessons in life. The trip to Quiapo, is a trip knowing that beautiful things can be found if you looked hard enough and be resourceful. Of life and death at the wake, is an answer to probably what I was looking for. Maybe it was a realization (and it took you THIS long. Reia?!?!) about was life really is. I don't have to pity myself or sulk or think that I might never stand up and recover once again. I don't have to think of the times when I was so happy about life that I am stuck to thinking what should 'should-still-be'. Yes, maybe I do still love Nikki, but I have to love myself. Why should he matter when I have to fix myself up first? And for all my friends' suggestion and support last night, or rather, early this morning, I've thought about it. Hard and good. For all this cowardly time I've been stuck and had been thinking of going on to the next level for the longest time but ever really doing what should be right. I wanted to do it but thinking about the kids makes it so painful. I've hurt other meaningful people too in the process.

The decision wasn't easy. They say it will be a long gruelling process. It would involve much emotion and hurt. But it would finally set me free.

I tucked 3 year old Diego to sleep, I stroked his hair, planted a kiss.
"Good night, baby"
"Good night"
"I love you, baby"
"Lab you, mama. Lab ko rin papa" (Love you, mama. I also love papa)

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Friday, December 16, 2005

Love that egg!

After that tremendous pizza blow-out, I thought I had enough. Until I, uh, stumbled across this, ummm ... song. It was so hilarious. And yeah, weird. That's when I knew. I really HAD enough!

Well, maybe except for some tokneneng please (deep fried, orange-battered, boiled quail eggs with spicy vinegar dip!) Yummy!

Eggs, anyone?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Pizza anyone?

My brother Earl came over to visit this afternoon and offered to treat us for merienda (afternoon snack). There are all sorts of delivery flyers held up by refrigerator magnets (mostly kitty magnets and one garbage bag-shaped one from Marikina Mayor MCF on proper garbage disposal) on our Kelvinator and were we surprised. Attached to our refrigerator door are the following delivery fliers:

Pizza Hut,
Greenwich Pizza,
Shakeys Pizza,
Pizza Smile, and
Yellow Cab Pizza!!!!!! What the.....!?!?!

What's this?!? No Jolibee or McDonald's? Where is KFC or Popeye's or Chowking?!?!
Well, we ended up with Greenwich's Sari-Sari Square Pizza and requested to include their new 'sisig' topping (which really didn't even come close to what the pizza looked like in their commercial).

Funny thing, really. And weird. Well, what's on your refrigerator door?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Name Game2

My previous post here dealt with where I got my name, as well as Andee's and Diego's. It's so interesting to note how one person may have a dozen of names up his sleeve! Let me pull up my sleeve for a change...

If you call me by my nickname, Yang, then you could be one of my closest friends or anyone I really feel comfortable with. You could be my classmate in grade school, high school or college. A bit on the informal side. Some with even joke around "What would you be called when you grow old? Lola Yang?" Lola is tagalog for 'grandmother'.

If you call me Yangtze, YangSi or Yang-si-doodle, then you could only be a classmate in Western Civilization during college, or either Nannette, Gel, or Bambie, three of my closest friends.

If you know me as Yang Vergara, then you could be familiar with charcoal and/or oil pastel art works in college or at the City Gallery in Rizal Park where we frequently hold group exhibits. I use this name in my art. Now married, it's hyphenated with my married name.

If you call me Mangyan (an indigenous tribe here in the Philippines), then you could only be my cousin, Angge (Angela) whom my kids call Tiangge (actually means 'store' or 'market' in either tagalog or spanish), derived from 'tita' (aunt) and Angge. Mangyan was derived from 'manang' a name given as respect to an older sister or female, and of course, Yang, my nickname.

You are a younger (than me) member of the family (mother's side) if you call me Manang. You call me Ate, Atsi or Ache-che-- if you are any of my brothers. And Mama, of course, only by Andee and Diego.

If you call me Reia (ree-yah), then you could be anyone I've met at work, or as an acquaintance-- in a more formal setting. If you still call me Reia as in "rheya", then hello?!?...there must be something wrong or you just wanted to have it your way or you can't really pronounce the 'long eeeeee' well...because I would've corrected you already.

If it's Ma'am Reia, then you could be any of my former staff at Splash Island, Warner Bros. or Marks & Spencer. if it's Miss Reia or Miss Yang, then you could be any of my co-supervisors from my past jobs.

If you call me Paulina (my second name) then you can only be Lee Aurelo who right now is 'at large' (hey girlfriend..where are you?!?), or anybody who teased me for having this, during our time, name suited only for lolas!

If you called me Loving, then you could only be my ex of 12 years (sniff!), before I met the person who eventually i married and called me Babe (yes, the pig..LOL), Bab, Beh, or Bah-beh-- and which marriage ended up in a pig sty..

If you call me Miss Beautiful or Miss Sexy, then you could only be my suking tricycle driver whom I knew since grade school. Or that Manang selling vegetables in our local market.

If you call me Ms. Mutya, you are one of those who remembered, supported and trained me in a, well, embarrasing-not-something-I-would-get-myself-into moment of my life in 1990. Thanks!

And lastly, if you call me Hey!, Psst!, Hoy!, Girl!, Lola! then you could be any of my barkada, or my YM chatmates, or you're just trying to be cute, or worse, you don't know my name! Oh well, choose from any of the above, or make up your own LOL as long as you tell me why! So there goes my sleeves! In the meantime, a sufficient and very sincere and friendly "Hi there!" will do!

P.S. As I find this entry to be amusing on my part, I am therefore tagging all my scratches as well as interested readers!!!! Let me know so I can visit you!

Monday, December 12, 2005

8th year

Today is my 8th year wedding anniversary... and same as the past 3 years, it would go on like any other ordinary day without any greetings or i love you's.

No one remembers.
Not even...

This would be another year without the warmth you get accustomed to when you sleep at night, or the mornings when you wake up with a loving peck and hug. Or the times when laughter is shared by mere rekindling what has been during the earlier years.

So, today is my 8th year wedding anniversary... and same as the past 3 years, it would go on like it did .... without any thrills or frills, or surprises. No phonecalls, or emails. This would be another year with the warmth of the smiles of Andee and Diego, the comfort of their hugs and kisses, and the laughter shared with the funny antics they do.

Life would go on, yes ? Because no one remembers.
Well, maybe, just me.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Memoirs of a Geisha

What I thought would be another uneventful and boring day at home turned out quite well when my cousin, Angge, let me borrow her book, Memoirs of a Geisha. I spent the whole afternoon reading the book and guess what? I finished it!!!! I've never really done this--reading AND finishing a book, never putting it down (well of course disregard trips to the little girl's room and preparing lunch and dinner)--- since Harry Potter.

I am not really a bookworm, though I encourage my kids to read books (Andee and Diego has a room full of books, but has toys that would fit in one big box altogether, as compared to their cousin whose room is half-filled with toys! ) One of my dreams is actually having a small library where the kids could sit down and read or, in Diego's case, browse through pictures of animals and dinosaurs. Aside from the books their we, their grandma, Tita Angge and others give as gifts, they REALLY enjoyed (thank goodness!!!) World Book's Childcraft which I gave Andee as a kinder graduation gift. Well, going back to Geisha...

I love reading simple, well written books where the author opens my mind and brings me 'inside' and experience what I am reading. Memoirs of a Geisha reminds me of The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck , one of the rare books I enjoyed. Beautiful!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Blog winners!

Congratulations to the winning blogs of the recently concluded Philippine Blog Awards! Wow, great work, I may say! :-)


I was glad that My Scratch Pad was a part of this, even though the blog's just months old! As what the site says, "see you all again next year!" Hmm... got to gear up for that! LOL!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

That Christmassy-feeling

Oh it is Christmas! This photo is one of several beautiful shots taken by Summer. She always seem to capture the mood, be it with flowers, beaches, or other themes. Watch out for the opening of her online photo gallery!

I used to be sooo excited about Christmas! As a kid I always look forward to opening gifts and having relatives come over for Christmas lunch. Now as an adult and a parent, Christmas also means endless laughter from the children who have now taken our place, our kids who by their mere presence can lift our spirits up!

"'s the most wonderful time of the year.." as so the song goes. But why do I feel so sad....?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

My life in blog

My Scratch Pad is 4 months old today!

(It should've been 6 months but I could'nt count the 1st 2 months with 1 entry each!) Oh well! So far my venture into this blog addiction served me well. It's the best therapy in town. From day one that I decided to open myself up to the WWW, I was able to improve my writing, be a lot more creative, discover new things and most of all, made new friends here and abroad!

  • Interesting to note are the stats I received to date: 1742 visitors from 12 countries. Most number of unique visitors was 57 on Sept 6th, while I average 5 returning visits everyday. The most popular blog entry is my unframed botanical peacock story, and as much as interesting keywords are concerned, this blog was found by searching "fixing a broken waterglobe" (huh?!?!) Thank you all!

I take personal pride in helping friends (or groups) put up blogs, like Snap Shots, B.U.D.O.N.G., and La Kulasa. I have the pleasure of blogging for a cause for Fabulous Filipinas and just recently, this evening actually, a pleasant surprise!..... I saw that this blog made it as one of the 52 finalists at the 2005 Philippine Blog Awards (out of 667 nominated blog sites). :-) Nice! that's good enough for me!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Tummy question

I came across this link through Kars, who came across it through Owen, who in turn received it via email. It is a link to a German children's book that could answer that famous question "How did I get inside your tummy, mom?" I remembered commenting on Tired Tunia's post on how she successfully answer her kid's who-what-why-where questions with grace and wit!, but never really gotten to answer THE famous question.

It came to me as a shock, really, when I visited the site. I myself am not sure whether I would give this book to my kids, or let alone, let them see it. I am not sure what age level this book is intended for, but based on the drawings, you decide.

Maybe I'm still old school. Maybe times are different now. Or maybe I foresee more questions to come that I might not be ready to answer..! What do you think?

Here's the link: