Thursday, September 29, 2011

Something inspiring

Thank God the weather is getting better here in Manila. The strong winds and incessant rain fall are over. To my blog friends who extended their warm wishes in my previous post, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!  These are things I never expected when I started blogging.

The storm is over and life goes on. I think this means something else to me. Perhaps, that deserves another dramatic blog post. ;-) To lighten up things, allow me to share some videos that made me smile over the past stressful days.

First and foremost, I wasn't paid by Google to do this post. How I wish! It was Anji, a batchmate back in High School and a new found blog friend, who first posted this video in her inspiring blog. For some reason I enjoyed and loved most of the TV ads produced by Google. They aren't shown in the Philippines but friends residing abroad made me discover these simple yet heart warming ads.

What I love about Google's ads are the simplicity and true to life situations depicted. These ads have also proven that companies don't have to venture to expensive celebrities to convey effective and lasting messages.

Among the ads produced by Google, this one is what I loved the most

I already posted this video for my father's birthday and though I have watched it several times, this never fails to melt my heart.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

At home yet restless

Woke up this morning with this

a closer look would show this

Manila and its nearby regions are stricken by typhoon, Pedring.

Classes and work are suspended and I would normally rejoice whenever these happen. However, our experience with typhoon Ondoy two years ago brought a lot of changes in my family.

It was a typical rainy Saturday morning. We were aware of the typhoon's existence but everything went the same for the family. We were complacent because our place never had a history of flooding. I woke up late, had late breakfast, lunch with my family and lounged for a DVD marathon. We ignored the continuous rain because we felt we were safe. Afternoon came and flood started appearing outside our house. Flood came so fast and when evening came, the level of flood inside our house was already as high as my waist. 

That evening made the longest hours of my life. My entire family didn't sleep. We waited until the flood subsided. Thank God for not prolonging our misery. At around 2 am, the flood was gone. We were left with the aftermath of flood. Stained walls, soiled floors, garbage, damaged furniture were the common surroundings in our community.

Ondoy changed my family. There were a lot of lessons learned from the typhoon.

As I woke up this morning, part of me was praying that typhoon Pedring is not another Ondoy. It's 6:22 pm and while I am checking my students' papers and nursing a cold :-( , my entire family is glued to the news. Weather reports say that the typhoon will soon depart Manila....Hopefully, the weather will be better tomorrow.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Historic House in the City

My followers and viewing statistics relate that my readership is concentrated on other countries. My few local readers usually include my friends, cousins and colleagues. I care about my few and humbled readers so I try my best to write things that would interest them.

In my almost a year of blogging, I have also noticed that I receive a lot of positive comments and hits whenever I write about my country. Topics about my country which include places, food, and traditions were my most appreciated posts. Since I value my readers, I promised myself that I would regularly write things that would interest them. Topics about my country will now be a regular content of my posts. I hope this makes my readers happy. :) In one way or another, this could also serve as my contribution in promoting the tourism industry of the Philippines. Despite all the negativities, I want to prove to everyone that my country is beautiful and worth to pay a visit.

The only people who can recognize this place are my cousins and friends who are residing in Marikina City. I hope they really do. ;-)

I was born and raised in Marikina City. This city is my home and cliche as I may sound, I would never exchange Marikina for any other place in the Philippines. Marikina is a suburban area and mostly comprised of small residential communities. High rise buildings and all those hustle and bustle of the city are things you cannot experience in Marikina. We have enough businesses, supermarkets, and a department store to supply your basic needs. Other than that, Marikina is simply a quiet and livable place.

Though we are a small city, Marikina is very rich in history. The shoe industry in the Philippines started and proliferated in my hometown. The shoe industry in Marikina started when the Philippines was still colonized by the Spanish government. A Filipino named Don Laureano Guevarra, aka Kapitan Moy, is considered as the father of the Marikina shoe industry. He started the idea of producing local shoes.

The picture above is the house of Kapitan Moy. This house is where the first local pair of shoes in the Philippines was produced. The shoemaking business in the Philippines formally started in 1887 in this house. More or less, this house is around 200 years old.

Some historical materials even relate that Kapitan Moy opened his home to the needy Filipinos. He gave employment opportunities to his fellowmen.

After the Spanish colonization, the Americans used this house for their tribunal. During the 1940s, the Japanese colonized the Philippines and this house became their army headquarters.

Today, Kapitan Moy's place remains as a historical site. The house can be rented as a venue for wedding receptions and other events. I just hope that the local government will continue its efforts in preserving this piece of history.

Did I just bore you? ;-) I hope you enjoyed my little historical post. Have a great week to everyone!
Sources of Information
Proud Marikenya

What's inside my bag?

It's been a week since I last updated my blog. Pardon my silence because some free lance jobs kept coming last week. I have some small research jobs to finish within the week. Most of these jobs are still in the preliminary phase, so no earnings yet for me. Setting aside the modest monetary earnings, what I love about my free lance jobs are the opportunities it give me. I am able to exercise my research skills, which I have not been doing in my current position. I am able to help colleagues, friends, strangers turned clients to friends finish their masteral studies and more importantly a completed job makes me feel so accomplished. It gives me self worth, which I seldom experience these days.

If I would blog about my free lance research jobs, you will surely get bored. ;-) You wouldn't want to see theories, numbers, tables, figures and all those academic things. I've been so eager to blog but I can't think of a topic to write. :-( To break my long silence, allow me to share a little something about myself.

In case you are not interested, then you are free to skip this post. :-(

Presenting, what's inside my bag..

First and foremost, the excessive things in my bag are explained by the fact that I am a regular commuter. I transfer to three different transportation on the way to work.(jeepney-train-jeepney) My average travel time from home to work is 1.5 hours, under normal conditions. This means no traffic and no technical problems in the mass rail transit.

1. Foldable Umbrella -  A must for every commuter! My weapon against the sun and unexpected rain showers. It has to be always blue because it's my favorite color. ;-)

2.Beauty Kit - comprised of a comb with large teeth (for my long, tangled and unmanageable hair), hair clamp (to tame and hide the unruly hair), face powder (preferably Maybeline's Clear Smooth Extra), eye shadow (Human Nature's Mineral eye shadow), blush (preferably Maybeline's Cinnamon Rose), and dark brown eye brow pencil.

3. Alcohol - Another must for every commuter! I prefer those brands with moisturizer to prevent having dry skin.

4. Book - To drive away boredom and to keep me awake every morning on the way to work.

5. Wallet - of course! Small wallet for my coins and big wallet for the cards etc. etc.

6. Techie stuff - My almost defunct Nokia E63 and my iPod Nano. My iPod Nano keeps me away from boredom on the way home. I usually go home so late so reading books is no longer possible. In that case, my iPod Nano is there to save the day.

7. Rosary - To remind me of my devotion to the Blessed Mother. During times of distress and trials, this has been my constant companion and refuge.

As I am writing this post, I still have tons of paper to check. It's 6:08 pm and in a few more hours it will be Monday, a start of another work week. Things have not been good at the work place over the past days but as always, life should go on. This too shall pass.  

I hope everyone had a great weekend.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Anna

As I am writing this post, my legs are exhausted and my body is calling me to finally zzzzzzzzzz. Saturday was filled with accomplishment and happiness. I woke up at 5 am to start my regular fitness activity. No matter what it takes, I promised my screaming bulging belly to shed off those extra lbs. It's time to pay for all those meal and Coke upsizes.

I jogged for more than an hour in this place
Though I was near SM Marikina, no shopping attempt was made. ;-) I jogged and enjoyed the outdoor atmosphere with some greenery left in the city.

After a perspiring walk, I went home to prepare for a meet up with my girlfriends.
Anne, Anna and May Ann
They are my super girlfriends. I've known Anne ever since I was 14 years old. We had common friends in High School and we went in the same university for college. I've known Anna and May Ann for 18 years. We were classmates in grade four and our senior year in High School. Notice the rhyme in our names? Anne, Anna, May Ann and Diane... God perhaps knew that we will eventually become friends in the future so He made our parents chose our rhyming names.

The main reason of our meet up is because someone's celebrating her birthday! Can anyone guess who among us is celebrating her special day? The girl in blooming pink turned YOUNGER! ;-) Happy Birthday Anna!

Anna wanted to see Binondo on her birthday so the loyal friend in me said, your wish is my command beautiful! I gave my friends a mini tour in Manila. Our first stop was the historic Intramuros in Manila. Anna wanted to start the day with a prayer so I brought her to the Manila Cathedral.

I would like to believe I fulfilled Anna's wish of eating at Binondo.
The Binondo Arc
Binondo is the Philippines' main China town. Binondo is believed to be the oldest China town in the world. It was established in 1594, when the Philippine was still a colony of Spain. The Spanish government allowed Chinese businessmen who have inhabited our country to stay in this place. Soon, the accumulation of Chinese entrepreneurs have developed the place to be a center of trade, commerce and the best Chinese foods in the Philippines.

Anna was dying to eat in this restaurant
Sincerity Restaurant

Inside the restaurant

 And what we had after a long walk
The best and unhealthiest thirst killer

Sincerity Chicken

Kiampong Rice

So after eating all these calories, we need to burn them so off for the ultimate walkaton

And before Anne and I parted, we indulged ourselves with this

Thank you Anna. But I think I need to devote more time for jogging tomorrow. Wishing everyone a great weekend.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

So who's the lucky girl?

Me! Me! Me!

My followers who were reading my recent posts are more or less aware of my painful misfortune. Over the past days, I keep convincing myself that life should go on. But deep inside, I am unwell and letting go is still far from reality. Though as of today, I'm still exhausting other possible means to fulfill that dream. Hey, Diane here is a tough one. You can defeat me, but never the easy way. (Award! Hahahaha)

But what made me lucky despite all these negativities? I am more than lucky because I WON TWO PRICES from two blog giveaways! Two prizes in one day, hooray!!!

I initially wanted to blog my prizes after they have landed in my hands. But I am so happy and excited about them. Pardon the bragging rights, but I am the proud winner of

A digital scrapbook software
The contest was sponsored by a fellow Filipina blogger, Janelle of Of Pinks and Fairy Tales.

 A Personalized Wall Hanger
I won this from Ginger's Snap Crafts.

I never imagined that I will win these two fabulous prizes in one day. The morning I read Ginger's comment in my blog, I was already happy. In the middle of a busy afternoon at work, I checked my blog updates and found myself in Janelle's blog. This is a heaven of happiness.

God perhaps wanted to cheer me up so He made me so lucky yesterday. Thank you to my angels, Janelle and Ginger. This is priceless happiness.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The idea should sell in the first place

On a recent trip to the shopping mall, I noticed a food kiosk flocked by both shoppers and employees. I was so curious but the crowd of people hinders me to check what was selling like hotcakes in a weekend afternoon. As I moved to the upper floor, I looked down to check what is this newest craze in town. I was surprised with what I saw. It was only green (unripe) mangoes and bagoong (Filipino condiment made of fermented, fish and shrimp).

The food kiosk is called Mango-ong. The name I believe was a combination of Mango and bagoong.

Inside this box

Mangoes are one of the best products of my country. I can proudly bet that the best mangoes in the world are produced in the Philippines. If you crave for mangoes, especially the green ones, visit the mall or even the streets and I'm sure you'll find one if you are staying in the Philippines.

Green mangoes in the Philippines are eaten with bagoong. The bagoong serves as the dip of the sweet and sour taste of the green mangoes. However, since the bagoong is made of sea foods, expect a fishy or stench taste.

Going back to the concept of the Mango-ong made me recall the days I used to handle Business Plan Writing and Implementation subjects. In our school, a student enrolled under Business Plan Writing is tasked to prepare and successfully defend a Business Plan. Once the student passes the defense, he can proceed with Business Plan Implementation. The students implement whatever they have indicated in their Business Plan. Our students are required to operate real and legitimate business using their Business Plan as reference. 

As a subject professor, my task is to screen the business ideas of the students. I suddenly remember a colleague who almost lost the last strand of his sanity (I admit, I am exaggerating) when he handled Business Plan subjects. I overheard him once telling a group of students that "Tapsihan lang ang gusto niyong maging business? I-b-business plan pa ba natin yan" (You only wanted to pursue an eatery that sells dried cured beef. Do you think such product is still worth pursuing a business plan?)

If another group of students told my colleague that they wanted to sell green mangoes in department stores, my colleague could have fainted. Yes, I'm, exaggerating again, hahahaha. I will not contradict his belief. But if I were in his situation, I would have reacted differently. As much as possible, I don't discard business ideas. I'd rather ask my students to establish and create a point of uniqueness for their proposed product. I would ask them, what makes your product different from those that are existing in the market? What is the selling point of your product? How would customers be appealed with your product?

After seeing the concept of Mang-ong I realized that successful businesses do not necessarily emerged from new, innovative and unique business ideas. Sometimes, our focus is limited to the attributes of the product. We focus much on what the product can offer while disregarding the acceptability of the customers.

Successful products would still depend on the presence of customers. No matter how novel and innovative is a business idea, if it does not appeal to the customers then it remains as a poor and useless idea. Better yet, I could say that a novel business idea is one that should sell in the first place.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Moving on

Who doesn't love Fridays? Friday has always been my favorite day of the week ever since I started working. Obviously because it's the last day of the work week and it signals the start of a two-day rest.

I was inspired to finish my workload while looking forward for a happy and relaxing weekend. I was happy the entire day not until that letter of regret accidentally landed in my hands. What a way to end Friday... The letter of regret has something to do with my application for financial support for my research endeavor abroad. A prestigious university in Asia has accepted my research for international presentation. It was almost a dream come true. I was almost there if not because of financial constraints. I sought for assistance in my school / employer, which I know is highly willing to support research activities. Perhaps it's my fault because I expected for a positive response. Sad to say, I'm partly to blame for my misery. I might apply for support in other organizations but unfortunately, time is not on my side. Perhaps, it's not meant for me. Oh life... It just pains me whenever I think of all those efforts and sleepless nights.

I wanted to close this chapter of my life and move on. Though I know this is not bound to happen overnight. Only God knows and only time could tell. I don't want to spend my weekend crying in bed so Saturday morning, I engaged myself in an activity that would cheer me up... No it's not shopping or eating ;-)

I went jogging with my friend, May Ann

Since I have been complaining of my weight gain over the past months, I decided to start this fitness activity last Saturday. I believe this is a good way to divert my attention. I've also read that when you exercise and perspire, your body will be releasing the happy hormones or endorphins. Hopefully, by doing this activity every Saturday, I will be happy and soon forget about everything.

Me and my 138 lbs shapeless body...Hopefully by the end of the year I'll shed off the 20 lbs I gained.

And before we went home, I noticed this simple yet wonderful view. It made me smile for a while. I'm thankful to live in a place where there are still trees and walkable streets.
Life goes on and soon...I'll be well.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Another random FOOD post

For the lack of topic to write, allow me to post my refuge, the things that never fail to make me happy... FOOD! ;-)

In the middle of a busy work week and worrying about everything, I suddenly craved for these

Siomai!!! This is the traditional Chinese dumplings.

I came from a country whose dishes have become a fusion of Spanish, Japanese, Americans and the Chinese. We were onced colonized by Spanish, Japanese and Americans and part of our pre-colonization history relates that our ancestors used to trade with our neighbors from China. Some of the Chinese men ended up living in the Philippines since they found their livelihood here. As more Chinese inhabited the Philippines, the Filipinos were influenced and soon embraced some of the Chinese culture, which includes food.

It used to be that only Chinese restaurants serve Siomai. But today, the innovative entrepreneurs have extended Siomai as a street food. Siomai can be easily purchased inside shopping malls, train stations, to canteens inside schools.

Siomai in the Philippines is usually made of ground pork. Over time, the ingredients of Siomai have been diversified. Instead of the usual ground pork, sellers have used shrimp, ground beef and other types of meat. Siomai here is served in soy sauce with calamansi (unripe/green Calamondin) and chili sauce.


Some of you might not like this dish after discovering its ingredients. Sisig is a native Filipino food which orginated in Pampanga, a large province in the northern part of the Philippines. Sisig is made from some portions of the pig's head and liver, seasoned with chili peppers, calamansi and sometimes with egg. It is usually served in a sizzling plate topped with fresh egg.

Puto Bumbong and Bibingka!

Puto Bumbong is made from a particular type of glutinuous rice called Pirurutung, which is distinctively purple in color. The Pirurutung is placed inside small bamboo sticks and are heated using a steamed jacketed kettle. The bamboo sticks are responsible for molding the glutinuous rice in such shape. Puto Bumbong are served and wrapped in banana leaves, which makes everything so Filipino.

The Bibingka is the typical Filipino rice cake. It is made from rice flour, coconut milk, and eggs. Bibingka is also traditionally cooked. The Bibingka mixture is placed to a clay bowl with lining of banana leaves. The clay bowl is also covered with banana leaves and is baked under preheated coals.

Aside from maintaining the traditional baking process, Puto Bumbong and Bibingka are special because they are usually sold during the BER months or when the month of December is approaching. When Puto Bumbong and Bibingka are sold near the churches or even within residential streets, this means that it will be Christmas soon. The food adds flavor to the festive and exciting season. Soon, there will be Puto Bumbong and Bibingka near our home and I'm excited to have one ;-)

This looks like a looong post already ;-) It's 3:01 pm and I still have tons of work to do.

Have a great midweek to everyone and soon... it will be happy and merry :D

Friday, September 2, 2011

Happiness is spelled as F-R-I-D-A-Y

After a stressful and sleepless week, God made a way to make me happy. I have gained a number of reasons to be happy this Friday. Hooray!

Before leaving home for work this morning, I was surprised with a parcel from United Kingdom.
I don't personally know anyone from United Kingdom so I was wondering who would ever send me anything from such a far country. I opened the parcel and I was surprised with this
and this made me remember about Book Mooch.

For those who are not familiar with Book Mooch, you can refer to my previous post here. In a nutshell, Book Mooch provides a system of trading books to anyone in the world. If you sign up for Book Mooch, you can dispatch your old books in exchange for other books you like.

I am a die hard fan of Sophie Kinsella and as much as I wanted to purchase the Shopaholic series, financial constraints and other priorities prevent me to do so. Good thing there is Book Mooch! I submitted a number of books in my shelf that I didn't really enjoy in exchange for a free copy of this book. I love the simple yet great idea of Book Mooch. More than the fair and organized system implemented by Book Mooch, I can attest that its members are true to their words. I have experienced receiving one book for free. On my next payday, it will be my turn to send a book to a requisitioner from France. Hopefully, she will receive it in good condition too. 

Since today is TGIF and my huge task is over, I wanted to treat myself to a break after work. I initially planned to go malling by myself and perhaps purchase a nice top as a treat. But before I left for work I received a text message from my dearest friend, Anne. After exchanging a series of text messages, we decided to meet at SM Marikina. We had a Filipino breakfast meal for dinner (hahaha) at Pancake House
and frappuccino from Starbucks
I always say that I can do things alone. I know what I want. I know how to relax and make myself happy. But after a great dinner and stroll with Anne, I realized that I was such a selfish introvert. Having one of your best girlfriends in a relaxed and happy Friday is better. How I wish we would have this regular Friday meet up.

I have a lot of errands to attend over the weekends. It's supposedly a pampering weekend but hey, anything that is away from work is surely relaxing and refreshing. Wishing everyone a relaxed and happy weekend. :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ba-de-ya Ba-de-ya September! Ba-de-ya Ba-de-ya September!

Pardon the lack of blog posts this week :-(  I have been busy finishing the long overdue research that I have been complaining in my previous posts. I'd also like to apologize for all the rants and negativities I made. Anyhoo, thank you for bearing with me. I think a lot of people wished me well so in effect,  I am now proud to say MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. I have submitted my paper at exactly 8:00 pm, still in time for the September 1, 2011 deadline. September 1 ends at 12:59 pm right? So even I submitted beyond office hours, I'm still in time. HOORAY! hahahaha I'm marking this date: September 1, 2011 for an important achievement.

Aside from being able to submit my paper on time, September 1 would always remain as a special date because of  the following reasons

1. SeptemBER starts the BER months. The Filipino Catholics always look forward for the month of December obviously because of the Christmas season. For us Filipinos, Christmas entails a lot of preparations from the company parties, reunions and celebrations at home. Though I try to celebrate the season in a more relaxed mode, the happiness of Christmas never fails to overwhelm me. I will not deny the fact that I can't wait for December too. My only prayer is that everything else will turn out fine over the next months.

2.  September 1, 2011 marks my seventh year in working. I have been working for 7 straight years, I can't believe that it's been years. This made me reminisce my college days. It feels like I had just graduated from college yesterday.

3. September 1, 2011 is my first year in my new department with a new boss. :-) Who doesn't want to have a generous and supportive superior? I will forever be thankful to my boss because of the trust and opportunity he gave me. Thank you Sir! I'm looking forward in learning and working with you for more years.

4. FINALLY THE RESEARCH PAPER IS DONE ! - Sorry for being redundant ;-) After weeks of being lazy and days of cramming, I have finally submitted my research paper. The submission of my paper is just the first step in fulfilling my dream as a writer and researcher. If positive things happen to my paper, you (my dear followers) will be one of the first to know. For now, please continuously pray for me.

Before I end the day, I treated myself with one of my favorites

Taco Bell Rice Bowl Meal!
Weight gain! But a happy day deserves to be a cheat day, agree or agree?