Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I was once a Philatelist

I love collecting different things. I started developing this habit when I saw people featured on local TV programs showcasing their different collections. I was amazed and I wanted to earn that accomplishment too.

I am usually enthusiastic and diligent whenever I start building my own collections. As a kid, I would sacrifice a portion of my allowance to increase my collections. Unfortunately, I was not able to sustain my desire to complete any of my collections. At some point, I will just stop collecting different pieces and develop interest on other things. Most of the time, I find myself repeating this cycle.

My first collection was all about those stationery, stickers and letter sets. I would collect colorful and scented papers and later on trade with my classmates. I cannot recall my exact age when I started losing interest on those colorful and scented papers. What happened to my folders of stationeries, I can't even remember.

When I was in Grade 4, our school required us to join organizations that matched our interest. Some of the organizations include Art and Crafts, Cooking, Sewing, and Writing. I chose to join the Stamp Club becuase of  my budding interest in collecting stamps. Among the many organizations I have joined, the Stamp Club became memorable for me because we were given a small responsibility for the school.  Our club maintained the school's satellite post office. We accepted letters for mail from students and employees. We were taught to weigh and compute the cost of mailing letters here and abroad.  It was also my first on-the-job training experience at 10 years old.

Aside from our duty of mainning a mini-post office, we would regularly meet every Friday afternoon to showcase our collections and trade for stamps. It was also through the club where I learned that a stamp collector is formally called as a PHILATELIST.

Among the many items I have collected, my stamps are the longest that I have ever sustained. I managed to increase my stamp collection until I was in college. Today, my collection ended up as an idle and vintage stuff at home. Just to share with you, here's what I have managed to maintain through the years,
My Stamps
My frustration is that I failed to purchase a stamp album for them. When I was in High School, I saw a stamp album from National Bookstore that sells for Php 500, which for a student that time was expensive. It would take me months before to raise that amount. As of today, I can't see any bookstore selling stamp albums. So my precious collections, ended up in this small flat tupperware. 

This is my first Presidential commemorative stamp. The stamp shows our current President, Benigno S. Aquino III.  I bought this from the Philippine Postal Corporation (PhilPost). I love the PhilPost because of three reasons, my maternal grandfather used to work there, I am amazed by the architecture of the place and I find their employees very accommodating and customer oriented.... except for one area that unfortunately sells the commemorative stamps.

Philippine Postal Corporation - Architecture at its finest
When I bought this item, I asked the sales clerk if I could see it first. This envelope with the other collector pieces are stored in a glass cabinet. The sales clerk told me, "Eh nakikita mo na, di ba?" (You can already see it!) Yeah right. Thank you for the sarcastic remark Madam.  Don't worry Madam, the next time I will approach you I will be very precise. "Can I see, feel and touch it?"   

Setting aside the negative story, here are the specific contents of my collection.

I have so far collected from these countries

I have plenty of stamps from Brunei because I used to have a penfriend from this country. My penfriend's name is Azlinawaty Binti Jaini or Azlina for short. We lost communication after some time. I hope I could find and reconnect with her again.

 My China series
Dominican Republic

 Among my Korean stamps, this one is my favorite

A cute teddy bear! Although Mr. Bear looks sick and sad here. I wonder what message is manifested by this stamp.

Most of my stamps from Malaysia are designed with plants, flowers and animals. I like stamps with plant and animal designs because they provide some trivial information too.
Sri Lanka
I love the drawing of the pretty lady here. Too bad, I never researched of what and who possibly is the beautiful lady.

I have plenty of stamps from Thailand because I have a penfriend from that beautiful country too. Her name is Atcharee Bulyalert from Chiangmai. I lost communication with her for a while. But thanks to Facebook and her email address, we were reconnected after ages.

I love how Thailand designs their stamps. The pieces I have collected from them are so colorful, diverse and educational too. Among their pieces, these are my favorites

Thailand's Tuk-Tuk
I hope you are reading this Atcharee. Please correct me if I'm wrong. The stamp shows the Tuk-tuk, one of the most common public transportations in Thailand. If you can still read the description, it says that the stamp is intended for the International Letter Writing Week 1997. Wait, 1997?  That is more than 10 years!! I can't believe that I have this stamp that long. 

Still from Thailand, I believe this is one of their traditional houses. This is similar to my country's Bahay Kubo.

Among my USA series, this is the one that I most LOVE!
Love USA
Lone Piece from Italy
I have collections from unknown Arab countries too. I can't even remember how I acquired these pieces.

How could I ever forget my country! Here are my collections from my beloved, Philippines.

Pilipinas Stamps
The stamps showcase some of my country's national treasures. The second row shows a drawing of the Philippines' national fish, the Bangus (Milkfish). The third stamp from the second row shows the Anahaw (National Leaf aka Livistona rotundifolia). The first stamp from the third row shows the Sampaguita  (National Flowers aka Jasmimum Sam), second stamp is the Philippine Flag and third is the Narra (National Tree). The items in the last row show the Baro't Saya and Barong Tagalong, the Philippines' female and male national costume respectively.

Don't ask me who is the lady in the stamp. I failed to do my research again. But this stamp brings a lot of memories to me. This was the stamp I bought the first time I stepped at the PhilPost. After exploring the Philpost, me and my fellow members of the Stamp Club were brought to the place where commemorative stamps are purchased. I wonder if Sarcastic Madam was already working at that time. ;-)

Philippine Festivities
This is another favorite in my local collections. I love them because they showcase the most awaited and celebrated season in my country, Pasko (Christmas).  The other stamp (on the lower right) identifies the Philippines as a Fiesta Island. My country is also known for its different fiestas or feast. All of the towns in my country have their own feast day.

I hope I will have the willingness and time to revive my collection. I suddenly remembered my grade four teacher, Miss Veronica Bilag, who told us that stamps are like jewelries. The older they get, the more valuable and pricier they become. In fact, they could be treated superior than diamonds. They say diamonds are forever. Stamps are however not designed to exist forever. The government does not repeat the design of each stamp. Each stamp design can be seen in a limited time period only. Diamonds can be mined and structured to one design every now and then. Stamp designs are however special. They come only once and exist only once.

I am joining Paisley Passions' Wandering Wednesday and Savvy Southern Style's Wow Us Wednesdays!

Happy Wednesday to everyone! :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It was meant for me

I know not everyone will enjoy this post. Nevertheless, I am sharing my own shopaholic experience.

Last Friday, I went window shopping at the Gateway Branch of Mango. I tried some of their button down blouses but nothing fits my shape. (Pretending that my body has a shape) I find myself in between their medium and large sized blouses. Their medium size is too small, while the large sizes are lousy for me. Have you ever been placed in that situation too? I instead browsed their bag collections.  I have been eyeing one of their "satchel like" bags last month.
Photo from Mango's website
It costs Php 2,950 (around $74), cheaper than the red bag I bought from them last January. I am quite regretful for purchasing this red bag now. If I were to choose between the two, I'll go for the satchel.

I wanted to grab home the satchel. But I was contemplating on my expenses and payables over the next month. Since I do not have a part time job, I might end up getting in debt for purchasing the satchel. I walked away the shop with nothing.

During the weekends, I almost wanted to purchase my satchel. I badly want it. Saturday and Sunday passed, I opted to stay home. I wanted peace of mind. So Monday after work, I dropped by Mango to finally purchase my bag.

My Mango Satchel!
I was able to purchase the bag with a treat! Mango was hosting a Spring Sale starting Monday. I made the right decision of not purchasing the bag last Friday and during the weekends. Yehey! The price of my satchel was reduced 33% off of its original price. What a treat!!! If I bought the bag earlier, I might end up crying today for paying more. Hahahaha!

Lesson learned: Sometimes, it pays to wait. ;-)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Getting Inspired on Mondays

My regular exploration of the blogosphere has brought me a lot of learnings and discoveries. In my constant blog hopping, I found bloggers hosting activities that required participants to write for a specific topic. Part of joining the activity is the opportunity to know other bloggers and develop connections with them. The One World One Heart (OWOH) 2011 of a Whimsical Bohemian was the first blogger event I joined. OWOH gathered thousands of bloggers and enabled each participant to make another blogger happy by hosting a give-away. Joining the OWOH was a decision I will never regret. The activity opened my blog to the other side of the world. It used to be that I am the only person reading my blog. The event changed my blog life because it lifted my zero blog visits and gained me new friends and followers.

After the OWOH, I became more inspired to join gatherings for bloggers. Among the many events in the blogosphere, I joined Dandelion Wishes' Happy List and Wandering Wednesday Blog Hop of Paisley Passions and Inspiring U to Save.

If I will host my own blog event, I will name it as Inspirational Mondays. I'm sure it doesn't sound original and there is a high possibility that another blogger is hosting a similar event. But since I am in the mood for writing and sharing, I am doing the cause for myself.

Starting today, I committ myself to blog anything that inspired me every Monday. It can be a song, video, book, article, letter, painting, a person or anything that have inspired me in any way. Why did I choose to pursue it on a Monday? Monday is the start of a new work week. Oftentimes, I find myself lazy and unmotivated to start the week. It's part of my weekend hang over I guess. When I write something inspirational every Monday, I hope this will help me begin my week feeling moved, motivated and inspired to face the next days to come.

For my first entry for Inspirtational Monday, I would like to share this video to everyone..

The video is one of the many commercials released by Pantene Shampoo. This commercial is particularly shown in Thailand. Please be patient with the time needed for the video to load.

I was moved and inspired!

The commercial may just be fiction but the message it relays to us is definitely not fiction.

Although to be honest with everyone, I found the story similar to the plot of typical soap opera in my country. The protagonist will be deprived to death by the antagonist in the first parts of the story. The ending will provide a redeeming moment for the protagonist. But regardless...I was inspired by the commercial.

Hindrances are not really hindrances. They serve as bridges to make us more strong and determined. In the end, the bitter hindrances will soon turn to the sweetest moment of success.  

I am doing Inspirational Monday for myself. But if you wish to join me, I will of course whole-heartedly welcome you. Your joining will give me another reason to become inspired and motivated! We can learn and be inspired at each others sharings.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I am surrounded by beautiful women

I am surrounded by beautiful women

My mother
Tinee and Tara
Annette and Marie
Anne, Anna and Me
Lea and Me
Me, Yana, Lola Florentina and Alexia
The Girl in Red Stripes: Gracie
From left Clockwise: Yana, Teli, Me and Alexia 
Me and Alexia
CBAA Sisters: Wella, Wilma and Me

My MBA Sisters: Lani, Me and Jo Ann
Ate Weng, Tinee, Me, Abigail and Clara

The women whom I don't have pictures with, allow me to mention your names
Ninang Isiang, Ma'am Eloi, Ate Amy, Susie, Ate Nesy, 

and those women whom I failed to mention, but  changed my life in one way another... 
Thank you for coming to my life!   

and of course how could I forget my 23 all female followers, allow me to mention your names

Cheryl Dolby of The Healing Woman 
 Comeca Jones of Shans Wife Meme 
Diane of My Art Journal
Karen Taylor of  Creative Learnings
Kim of My Domestic Bliss    
Melandria of Melandria Romero
Myster of A New Journey
Nicole of Beadwright
Purple Cat of Purple Cats Corner

Thank you for sharing your beautiful hearts with me!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Great Hunt for Toms

For the longest time, I wanted to buy my own pair of Toms' sneakers. In the Philippines, the cheapest pair of Toms costs Php 2,400 (around $ 60), which for a typical employee like me is pricey. I was saving some of my earnings from my free lance jobs to purchase one. But since I find it too expensive, I ended up buying these pairs of flats..

Grendha Flats

Kamiseta Marshmallow Flats

If you read my description and some of my posts, you know how much I adore flats. Believe it or not, I am perhaps the only member of the female populace who don't wear heels. Even on those formal occassions, I really insist on wearing my flats.

The silver gray flats is made of plastic and rubber. You read it right, they are plastic comfortable shoes from Grendha. The second pair is from Kamiseta, a local brand in the Philippines. Kamiseta specializes in female clothes, but they occassionally produce shoes. Aside from the comfort of wearing ballerina flats, I also love the free tin can. The shoes are not placed on those typical cardboard boxes. I can reuse this tin can to store my other valuables.

When I bought these two shoes, I thought I will already forget my dream of owning a pair of Toms. But I didn't get contented. I didn't get my own peace of mind. hehehe! As a result, I bought this yesterday

My Toms!

It took me by the way two malls to get this pair. I first went to Nothing But H2O in Trinoma but the sizes left are so big to fit me. Yesterday, Tinee, my bestest friend in the workplace, volunteered to join me in my great hunt for Toms. Finally! I found my pair at the Robinsons Galleria branch of Nothing but H20. Thank you Tinee!

My realization now, I find the Php 2,400 very pricey for a pair of Toms. But look what I have done. It costed me more to acquire the Toms. I ended up shopping and shopping. My advice to everyone, if you badly want a pair of shoes, go and get it! As much as possible, save up your money and don't look for substitutes. In the end, you'll end up to spending more than what you have expected. Lesson very well learned for me!

After splurging much on shoes, perhaps this is a consolation that I should be thankful

I hope Toms really fulfills its advocacy of giving a pair of new shoes to a child in need.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My Sassy Girl knocked me off

This movie made my weekend

The film was originally released in South Korea and later on to other Asian countries. It became an instant hit and in effect a Hollywood version was produced. I honestly haven't watched the original Korean version but I'm pretty sure that it is equally beautiful.

It's been a while since I shopped at my favorite video stores. I initially wanted to buy the Toy Story series, you see I'm very kid at heart. I still enjoy films for kids. I was contented with my two Toy Story VCDs, when I saw a DVD of My Sassy Girl for only Php 175 (around $4). I haven't read any reviews about the film. But a friend, who I remembered saying that this was one of her favorite movies, prompted me to get it. I trusted her taste, so I bought it.

I initially watched the film on a Friday night, after my tiring shopaholic escapade with my friend, Wella. I was so tired to watch the film so I ended up sleeping with it. My second attempt to watch the film was Saturday night and I ended up falling asleep again. Hahahahaha! Sunday afternoon came and since I am equipped with plenty of sleep, I was able to successfully watch and finish the movie. Finally!

To be honest, my expectations for the movie was not that high. It will just be one of those typical romantic comedy films. But after watching the film, I ate my words. My Sassy Girl was one of those ordinary, cheesy, comedy, and romantic films that..... I LOVE LOVE LOVE!

My Sassy Girl is the story of Charles.. I mean Charlie and Jordan in  R-O-A-R-K, two persons who are not just meant for each other. Charlie was a promising business student while Jordan was a heartbroken, pathetic and habitual drinker. Their paths crossed at the train station where a drunk Jordan, who got almost hit by the train, was saved by Charlie. After that incident, Jordan started chasing Charlie. The boring and typical life of Charlie drastically changed. The love story of Jordan and Charlie seem to be almost perfect. But a painful experience from Jordan's past was hindering her from loving Charlie. But after parting for a year, destiny rejoined them together.

Though the story was so ordinary, a number of lines and scenes in the movie awaken the hopeless romantic in me. Some of the cheesy lines I will never forget are as follows,

What I lack in ability I compensate for determination 
The only man I'll ever envy is the man you'll be with.
 I wish you a story of with a happy ending and the wisdom to look for it.
That's why human beings exist... to save each other from ourselves

and this one knocked me off

When destiny wants to accomplish something, it can't do it alone. You still have to build the bridge to the one you love.