Monday, October 4, 2010

Learn What You Can


I am 39 years old.  For younger generation, 39 is considered to be old.  For the older ones, they think 39 years old is still young.  Sometimes, that really sounds silly ---

Despite the age, I never stopped myself in learning new things.  Guess what I am up to again right now?  Kickboxing!

Yeah, it sure does hurt at first.  I haven’t realized I have dormant muscles for a long time and it sure hurts after the first two sessions.  But do you know what’s nice though?  It’s the ability to be out there and move.  And I can sure move like someone in her early 20s. 

Aside from sports and fitness, I am learning new things on how to upgrade myself in the world of outsourcing.  I am learning more tools.  Aside from gaining the knowledge of the how-to’s --- it exercises my own patience.  It is difficult to challenge one’s patience.  Try it and you’ll definitely understand what I’m talking to. 

I am on the techie side of things because of my interest in computers, the internet and gadgets.  Learning how to use a software or installing a complicated one really is something that would test my willpower and patience.  Teaching another person how to do it is another one.  The positive aspects and gains of it all ----- fulfillment. 

I feel that I am smarter and better than the rest simply because I never stop learning anything.  I don’t brag about it – it’s a fulfillment I love telling myself (which sometimes worth giving my own self a pat on the shoulder). 

Learn new things --- look at life differently --- learn and live. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

4th Runner Up Miss Universe Venus Raj

4th Runner Up Miss Universe Venus Raj
August 24, 2010 -- I was up early that day to witness the live coverage of the Miss Universe 2010. Just like every Filipino, I was hoping that Ms. Venus Raj, the country’s representative would take home the crown. Ms Raj journey to Miss Universe has been full of trials and controversies making her very famous and an item to each and every household.

I turned the TV on and turned on my laptop to check my daily emails and update my facebook. Right after I have posted a shout out saying that I’m watching Ms. U – I am getting more updated details of the MsU coverage so I tried to watch an online coverage instead.

Venus has been a crowd favorite. Well not to mention a huge crowd of Filipino supporters in Las Vegas that night – she was one of the candidates that stood out. Aside from Miss Philippines, I was also rooting for Miss Jamaica.

Venus made it to top 5 – enough for every Filipino to be proud of her.  Unfortunately, most of the people were not satisfied of her answer.  Because of that, she became a talk of the town and people in every corner of the country are not saying good things about her because of frustration. She could have been the next Miss Universe.    

My personal reaction to what happened was posted to my facebook account.  I find it difficult to understand why people has to blame her.  This was my posted shout out where I got so many comments.  
 just a thought : if there was one person who wanted to win the title so bad - it was her - the pressure was not easy to handle- so give her a break - she deserves the applause and even a standing ovation not endless criticisms - if that was you, i bet you can't even make it to the final 15. (Peace and love!)

Different people has various reactions.  However, what's good about what happened is that Venus gained instant popularity (more popular than Miss Mexico).  Anyway, Miss Venus Raj -- you did well.  I give you a well-deserved applause and a standing ovation.  Philippines is proud of you.

Other videos worth watching  :

On the lighter side.  Check these Venus Raj fans.





Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Supposed Open Letter from Bang Lu Min (Survivor, Quirino Hostage Bloodbath)

7:45 pm Wednesday, April 25, 2010 
- just a few hours right after I have published the adapted article "An Open Letter from Bang Lu Min", I received a comment from an anonymous person. The comment is as follows  :
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "An Open Letter from Bang Lu Min (Survivor, Quirino...":
the name of the alleged survivor in the blog (bang lu min), it isnt in the official tourist manifest
please remove this fake letter 

So I tried to search for an official list and and true enough, the name Bang Lu Min is not in the official list.  This left me wondering how can anyone write a fake letter about that hostage taking?  What is the author's intention behind authoring this letter?
I have no wrongful intentions about publishing the letter.  For future references, you can see how people have reacted to this very sad event.  If true enough that this is a fake letter, I truly wonder why and what lead this author to write this.  

Today is a national mourning day for the victims of this tragic event.  And I am offering my prayers to the family of the victims and their families.  

*  *  *  *


Quirino Grandstand hostage drama - August 23, 2010

Warning  : Letter is unverified - read and believe at your own risk.

Mr. Mendoza was already upset even before he saw on television what the policemen did to his brother. The other tourists who remained inside the bus were complaining. Wei Ji Jiang wanted to go to the bathroom. Dao Chi Yu was hungry and the rest were just groaning and whining like they have forgotten that our lives rest in Mr. Mendoza's hands.
The hostage taker, as you know him was really nice. He treated us okay and even let the elders and the children leave the bus. He said your policemen treated him unfairly. He was a policeman too and was accused of doing something he had no knowledge of. But your government didn't listen so he used us to get everyone's attention.
Things would have never turned for the worst if he didn't see how his family was dragged out of their house and taken into custody. He was watching the news all the time as we huddled around each other behind the bus. He shouted some words in your language then started shooting in the air. A girl about my age started screaming. Mr. Mendoza demanded her to stop but she didn't understand English. God, he had to slash her neck with a knife just to put her to rest. Her boyfriend who tried to hit him was shot in the head.
Tension was rising. You can see in his face how scared and confused he was. The bus driver ran away leaving him alone with strangers from a distant land. I can see him walking across the aisle, sometimes pointing his machine gun to one of the tourists. But he tried his best not to hurt us, especially those who really cooperate.
I guess its in your nature not to inflict pain on others unless it was necessary. I remember him saying that he will free us before sundown and implored us to forget everything when we return home. But his words don't matter now. The policemen were trying to force their way in, while we all lied down to shield ourselves from bullets. Mister Mendoza blindly shoots at his enemies which I think kept them from rescuing us. I hear sobs under the chairs. Some were even shouting the names of their loved ones even when the air merely eat their words. Kevin Tang tried to escape when the glass door was was shattered, but one shot and he slumped on the floor with blood gushing from his mouth.
Heavy rain pitter-pattered on the rooftop. In old Chinese saying, it means an end to a struggle. Finally, somebody was able to open the escape hatch at the back of the bus. Freedom. But I knew Mister Mendoza was still alive. I knew he was just waiting for a chance to strike back at his enemies. So I told those around me not to escape. Let the authorities come for us instead. Then there was gunfire. He was firing at his enemies with a machine gun. Those who were at the escape hatch fled abandoning us once again. It's like a nightmare with no end and to wake up means a certain death. Then somebody from outside the bus threw a canister. It forced out a black smoke that is so painful to the eyes and putrid smelling to the nose. People started screaming. We cannot breathe. Some ran in front of the bus but Mister Mendoza warned them of stray bullets. It was too late. One was hit on the head, the other was hit on the shoulders. Bullets were now flying. Its like the authorities thought we were all dead. Mister Mendoza finally realizes his mistake and said sorry to everyone, dead or alive. He then ran towards the front of the bus where he would meet his maker. As he passed by my chair with bullets whistling overhead, I clutched my hand on the velvet curtain and wrapped it around my face. All I could think of was to stay alive - for my child who is waiting for me back in Xinjang. I know I will survive, I will come home.

---- CREDITS TO GMASeven blogspot where article was adapted

Quirino Hostage Taking Drama

Rescue attempt: Philippine policemen take position as they start their
assault in a bid to free hostages from Hong Kong who remain on the
hijacked tourist bus, yesterday which was seized earlier by an ex-
policeman armed with a high-powered assault rifle in Manila. Pic/AFP
August 23, 2010 - I was in front of my computer trying to cope up with the backlogs of my job when a news flashed and announced a hostage-taking happening in Quirino Grandstand. That was around noon. What caught my attention was the fact that the hostages were Chinese nationals.

Personally, I have a passion for the Chinese people. Not only that I was married to half-Chinese and I've got two half-Chinese girls but I have made so many Chinese friends from years of living in Chinese mainland.

It was all over the television. Even CNN covered it.


---
Adapted and credits belong to Mid-day.com
http://www.mid-day.com/news/2010/aug/240810-manila-hostage-situation-ronald-mendoza-media-coverage.htm

Manila Hostage situation: High drama in high definition

President says media coverage helped hostage-taker, as he monitored events on TV and radio

President Benigno Noynoy Aquino III is seeking further refinements in the parameters of media coverage during crisis situations following the dramatic hostage crisis that ended in carnage yesterday.

President Noynoy Aquino said he plans to meet with media organisations to forward his agenda after he lamented that full media coverage of the hostage crisis apparently gave the hostage-taker a "bird's eye view" of the situation and hampered government actions to resolve the problem.

Rescue attempt: Philippine policemen take position as they start their assault in a bid to free hostages from Hong Kong who remain on the hijacked tourist bus, yesterday which was seized earlier by an ex-policeman armed with a high-powered assault rifle in Manila.

President Noynoy Aquino, in a press conference early this morning at the Palace, explained that the government did not impose any news blackout during the 12-hour standoff since it violates the freedom of the press.

But he later recognised the need for "a redefinition of the limitations" set for the media to allow the government to do its job during a crisis situation.

"If we ordered the news blackout, you'd tell us that we were guilty of censoring you which is frowned upon by the Constitution. We cannot censor you for things you are bound to do. We did not vow transparency. But that actually points out to the possibility of further refining the rules after the Peninsula incident," the President said.

"We will be talking to you. We'll come up with terms and conditions that will help each of us achieve our objectives," added the President, who has expressed condolences to the families of the eight tourists killed in the hostage crisis that unfolded live on television.

Mendoza, who demanded his job back, was killed during a gunfight with police commandos that stormed the bus filled with Hong Kong tourists. He reportedly used his captives as human shields.

"To a certain degree, he might have a bird's eye view of the entire situation which does not help the security forces in carrying out the mission," the President said.

Mendoza was monitoring the events in the television and radio "all the time" with the "nonstop coverage of all media outlets," he added. He noted that the hostage-taker was distressed and "something pushed him to the edge." "Who were the people he was talking to? What were the limitations imposed on media? None," he said.

"Everyone wants to get latest tidbit and each time he got a new piece of information that obviously factored into his equations and it didn't help our security forces. But at the same time you have to balance the need for people to know. There has to be limits as to what should be divulged to somebody," he added.

The President earlier defended the actions of government forces, saying the police initially thought the hostage-taker would surrender but the situation later deteriorated.

Aquino also disclosed that he has apologised to the government of Hong Kong.

Survivor Slam
A survivor of the hostage siege accused the authorities of acting too late. The woman, who identified herself as Leung, told reporters that her husband was killed as he tried to stop ex-policeman Rolando Mendoza from attacking other passengers on the bus. Leung, still in shock, as she was carried out from the bus following a 12-hour standoff, demanded to know why Manila police came to their rescue so late. "It's too late. Why were there no one to help us after so many hours?" she said. 

Timeline
MiD DAY provides readers with a blow-by-blow update of the hostage crisis:
10.00 am: Police receive a report that former senior inspector Rolando D Mendoza commandeered the Hong Thai travel bus with license plate TUU 799 bus with an M-16 rifle and several short firearms.
Minutes before noon: A seventh hostage was released.
2.19 pm: The eight hostage was released. Around this time, the Philippine National Police (PNP) assigned Superintendent Orlando Yebra and Chief Inspector Romeo Salvador to negotiate with Mendoza.
4.37 pm: Another Filipino on board the tourist bus, was released.
Around 6.30 pm: Two gunshots were heard from the bus. Over a radio interview. Mendoza threatens to kill the hostages if the SWAT teams would not vacate the area.
7.30 pm: Alberto Lubang, the driver of the bus, was released. He later told the police that all of the hostages in the bus were shot dead.
7.37 pm:  The police assault team start to surround the bus. They start to smash the main entrance door and front windshield of the bus with a mallet.
8.40 pm: SWAT members throw a teargas into the bus through a side window.
8.41 pm: Gunshots are heard. Eight Hong Kong nationals come out from the bus alive.
Around 11:00 pm: Health Secretary  said the hostage crisis killed nine, including the hostage-taker, and injured eight others. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Walk the Extra Mile...


We have been hearing this phrase every now and then but do we really know what it means?  Let me explain this in a way how I understand it.

My life has been through a lot of challenges, ups and downs, and dramas you can ever think of.  Was I sorry about them? I do sometimes but mostly, I’ve learned a lot on what life had offered me.  I believe it made me realize and understand other people more.  It made me stronger.  It made me a better person.  And more importantly, I learned to walk the extra mile. 

What exactly is “walking the extra mile”?

At work, walking an extra mile means simple things such as displaying a cheerful and positive attitude even when you are feeling down.  That is not easy.  It is putting extra work without expecting an extra pay.  In other words, walking an extra mile is working beyond what is expected of you.

In relationships, walking an extra mile happens almost all the time.  In times of arguments or misunderstandings, one has to try to understand the other even if it means understanding what is impossible.  Or maybe one has to give up something important to make the other happy.  Walking an extra mile means sacrificing something to make the other happy.

For friends, walking an extra mile is almost equivalent to being BFF’s (best friends for life).  Walking an extra mile is simply being there whatever happens.  Lying and standing up for your friend regardless he or she is doing the right thing.  Walking an extra mile for friends is camaraderie all the way.  It’s the same as “I’m with you all the way”. 

I have walked my extra miles in all different kinds of relationships.  I worked, I was in relationships, I’ve got great friends --- I will walk an extra mile for anyone I love and for anyone important to me. 

Walking an extra mile I would say would bring wonders to you and your life.  It brought me good jobs that I will always be grateful of.  It gave me two wonderful girls who are considerate and sensitive of my needs and other people's.  It gave me friends who are always ready to be there with me at all times.  All these years, I’ve walked an extra mile….and I know my family, my kids, my friends are willing to walk an extra mile for me.

What are you waiting for? Walk that extra mile…….it’s all worth it. 



Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Be Grateful for The Helpers Around You

All my life, I grew up with one or more household help. Seriously, being the youngest, I grew up with someone doing almost anything and everything for me. I’m fortunate I would say. I grew up with a family driver to take us to and from school and household maids to cook, clean, and do the laundry for us.

Then the big decision came when I need to move abroad tagging along my 2 and 5 years old daughters. The big challenge came. I have no one to rely on except for myself. I’ve got no nannies (we call them yaya in the Philippines) that would look after my little kids while I work. I learned to do everything. I learned how to cook (I know how to – but I’ve never been a full-time cook for my family since). Do the laundry --- which was quite easy because of the washing machines. I learned how to iron our clothes (which I hate most). And I learned to clean and keep everything in order. (I guess you’d agree that it would be impossible to keep everything in order when you have two toddlers). But I survived. I had 8 wonderful years abroad learning to become independent.

Now, I am home. I am back to the comforts of having someone do almost everything for me. Since I got back in 2007, I have a personal helper that wash our clothes, prepare my kids’ things, and keep everything in order. Honestly, I have never felt so grateful. She has been with me and my girls for three long years now. It saddens me to think that she needs to leave her home to help me raise my kids, while she has two younger sisters just having the same ages as my daughters. I have never treated her as a mere help. I have always treated her as part of my family. I would always joke about that we’ll grow old together.

I am thankful for my help, Inday. She’s the most reliable person I have ever met. She is very honest and she never complains. I have big plans for her. I want her to go back to school to get her own degree. I don’t want her to leave me and my daughters but I know time will come when she needs to go out and have her own family. I wish that day won’t come because I don’t know what to do without her. When I decided in 2007 to really make it on my own as a single parent, she had been there for me --- up to now.

I am grateful of Inday and I will forever be. Thank you Father God for giving me a help like her.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

2010 Presidential Elections: Hope for a better Philippines.



 
May 10, 2010 was a very important day in the history of my country.  It was the day for millions of hopeful Filipinos.  It will  be the start of a new Philippines




I got up really early that day.  I was excited that after almost ten years, I am home and I could join my fellowmen in this historical event.  This election will be the first ever automated elections for my country.  I got dressed and went to the polling precincts as early as 7 o’clock.  


When I got there, I was so surprised to see a huge crowd of people that was as eager as I am to cast their votes.  I wasn’t expecting it.  I was happy but I was also disappointed because I knew that it would be a rowdy day.  It was crowded (and I mean it with all exaggeration --- CROWDED). We fought our way through the crowd to find our names.  Thank God, it only took us about 20 minutes to find them.  We went to the queue of people and waited for our turn when the rain started to pour.  We didn’t mind the little sacrifice of getting wet – I am doing this for my country.  And most specially, I believe that I am doing this for my children and my children’s children. 

After being on queue for almost 2 and a half hours fighting our way through the undisciplined people, we have finally cast our votes.  I felt proud of myself.  I felt proud that I am a Filipino and I still believe that someday, my country would be led by a good president and officials.  I’ve got nothing else but hope – I know God is looking down on us and would shower all of us His blessings.  We will have a better country  --- that's not a dream --- I'm positive that  it's going to happen. 
 

Thursday, April 29, 2010

COKE Chicken : A recipe everyone would love.


I was in Dalian City, China when I first tried this recipe.  I am a big fan for any dish with sauces.  "COKE Chicken" is one of my latest favorite.  I have to give credit to my Chinese good friend, Gloria (her English name) for teaching me how to cook this wonderful, mouth-watering dish.  She wasn't a good cook -- but whatever, she taught me a good way of preparing this dish.

Ingredients  :
Chicken (chicken wings are what Chinese prefer)
Star Anise
green onion stalks - sliced
ginger  - sliced (I love ginger so I use a big one)
cooking oil (about 3 tbsp)
soy sauce
coca-cola
salt and pepper to taste
sugar (2 tbsps)
dried red chili peppers (optional -- if you want a bit of spice)

How to cook  :   
(Note  :  This was how I was taught and how I do it --  
this recipe has different ways of preparing it.)
1.  In a pan, add oil and saute green onion stalks and ginger.
2.  Add chicken.
3.  Add star anise and stir in 1/4 cup of soy sauce.
4.  Stir until soy sauce and chicken is mixed and having a brownish color.
5.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
6.  Add coca-cola (just enough to cover all the chicken).
7.  Boil until chicken is cooked and add sugar. (make sure that there is more than enough coke mixture left for sauce).  
8.  Add 4 tbsp soy sauce for final sauce.
9.  Remove from heat when sauce is thick and dark reddish in color (please see picture).
10. Serve hot.  Best with rice.  

My girls has been a bit picky with the food they eat.  However,  this is one recipe they love.  I was told, that you can substitute chicken with other meat.  For Filipinos, this is a cross between the all time favorite "adobo" and "humba".  Try it and I'm pretty sure your family would love it.  Oh, this can be garnished with chopped green onion leaves -- and I've tried adding cashew nuts, once.  Turned out very nice.



Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Be Passionate Of Your Kids' Passion : A Solution For Generation Gap


Generation gap is one of the problems that parents and children face in their daily life.  Most of the time, children are having a difficult time understanding parents because of generation gap, and vice-versa. 

The generation gap is and was a term popularized in Western countries during the 1960s referring to differences between people of a younger generation and their elders, especially between a child and his or her parent's generation.” – Wikipedia

How do we solve generation gap between us and our kids, nowadays?  I don’t know if it works for you, but this method works well for me.  In my case, I respect and support my children’s passion.  Fortunately, my girls and I share the same passion – these are books, music, movies and sports (not much for my eldest girl). 

EAM during the US Tour Concert 2008
Music:  My girls love anything and everything new in the sound waves.  Sometimes I have to admit, it’s difficult for me to like what music that they love.  Maybe it comes with age; some tend to be too noisy for me or too blunt.  Well, what else can I do but to join in and learn their music – on the other hand, my kids are trying to love the music that I love.  One common thing we enjoy most is Broadway, Disney, and pop tunes.  Oh, and the three of us loves to sing.  My eldest, being the performer and the star of the family, is highly supported by her younger sister and me; us being her number one fan. All her performances, here and abroad, are  all well-documented.


EAM performing "TOMORROW"


EAM's 1st US Tour (videos of San Francisco, Washington DC, South Carolina finale number)


Homecoming Concert (after the US Tour) - "Castle on the Cloud"



KIM with ITF-Davao and trainer Ryan Cordero
Kimmy during her first days in ITF-Davao









Sports:  It was just recent that my youngest daughter found her passion for taekwondo. As much as I wanted to learn the sport, I guess I’m too old for it.  Instead, being with her and supporting her in all her classes is the best I could do for her.  Her sister, on the other hand, joined her this summer and learned taekwondo to show her love to her sister.  She’s not the sporty-type of girl.  









Books and Movies:  EAM, my eldest girl, lives in the world of books since she was four years old.  She’s a bookworm.  When she was younger, she would rather read than play.  She would rather go to the book shop than go to the toy shop.  To show my support for her love in books, I’d read most of the books that she has and discuss some of our favorite parts.  I remember how much we enjoyed the Twilight Series.  My little girl, KIM, is hooked with Nancy Drew right now.  Having read most of them when I was a little girl, we too have our own moments of sharing our favorites.  Like books, movies are one of the bonding moments that my girls and I share.  We’d watch movies together – I’d watch even the silliest cartoon with them.        

Being supportive and being passionate of what your kids love would definitely bridge the generation gap between you.  Let your kids know that you care for whatever is important to them.  Teach them to compromise – to learn loving what you love, and in return, love what is important to them.  

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

TRUST YOURSELF -- especially when no one else believes in you.

It was in 1978 when this movie came out.  I was eight-years-old then.  I'm guessing it was the first-ever full-length movie I've watched.  I fell in-love with the movie.  It has always been in  my favorite movie list.
And who would ever forget the famous soundtrack, "Looking Through The Eyes of Love by Melissa Manchester?  Being so much of a fan, this song was my first ever piano recital piece and my song piece when I joined a singing contest in school.  

Since then,  I have been a huge fan of the sport of figure skating.  Unfortunately, I have never had the chance to learn the sport.  I never had the courage to wear skates (blades or roller-blades).  I guess, I'm too wimpy to do so.

Plot Summary courtesy of Wikipedia  :
"Alexis "Lexie" Winston (Lynn-Holly Johnson) is a young girl from a small town who dreams of becoming a champion figure skater. Her high-school sweetheart, Nick (Robby Benson), dreams of being a hockey player.
Lexie enters a regional championship and is discovered by an elite coach (Warren) who sees her potential despite a lack of training and qualifications at an advanced age for figure skaters. Despite initial protests from her father (Tom Skerritt) Lexie moves from her home in Waverly, Iowa to train at the legendary Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She is not well received by the other girls because of the attention lavished on her natural talent, but she proves herself and qualifies for the next level. Lexie's life is drastically changed; she becomes a star, alienates her high school sweetheart, and she begins dating an older man.
One night, while skating, Lexie tried coming down after trying another triple axle and her skate caught on the metal bar between the tables and ice where she tripped and fell into the tables and chairs and hit her head on the middle bar of a table. This accident causes her to lose her sight due to a blood clot in her brain. In the midst of feeling sorry for herself, she and Nick rediscover their love for each other. With help from Nick, her father Marcus and original coach Beulah, Lexie begins to realize that she can still fulfill her dreams."



Things I have learned in this movie, is to TRUST YOURSELF when nobody else believes in you.    Self-pity has no place in this world.  NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE.  Allow me to share with you part of this movie.  Of course, it is the best part of all (when she was skating blind and no one else knows except for her family and her boyfriend).  


Recently, they made a remake of this movie.  Comparing the original from the new one, I'd say I still love how they've made the first one.  I have watched this new version of Ice Castles with my kids.  Like me, they have loved the movie.  We all ended up crying after the movie.  I strongly recommend that you watch this movie. ( a box of tissue would be handy).  Both versions if you can. 





Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Smiling Crippled Girl : Be Grateful With What You Have : (Borrowed and Repost)

I am not going to get any credits for this blog. I got this from a forwarded email and I thought, we could help in our way by reposting or reblogging this one.

Extraordinary



This is Qian Hong Yan.
Qian HongYan lost her legs in an accident.  Her family in China are poor and couldn't afford prosthetic legs, so she uses a basketball to help her move.


Qian uses two wooden props to drag herself, and never complains, even though she has worn through six basketballs.













 




Despite all these, she still attends her class and tries her best to live like a normal girl. 











She is a very cheerful girl.  She always smile.  She is always positive.


With your help she is now able to afford a pair of prosthetic legs.

Repost...reblog --- let everyone know that we need to be grateful with whatever we have.  Be thankful ---  Life is good.





Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hachiko : A Dog's Tale



Saturday is my normal bonding day with my two girls.  Today, after bonding with my eldest girl (a whole afternoon of shopping), we decided to watch a movie entitled  :  Hachi : A Dog's Tale.  Coming from a family of dog lovers, the tv room was joined in by my mom, dad, my girls and a niece, all excited to watch.Hachi : A Dog's Tale is a true story about a dog and a professor.  It is a good movie to watch with the entire family. 

Allow me to borrow whatever Wiki has to say about the story of Hachiko.


"In 1924, Hachikō was brought to Tokyo by his owner, Hidesaburō Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo. During his owner's life Hachikō saw him out from the front door and greeted him at the end of the day at the nearby Shibuya Station. The pair continued their daily routine until May 1925, when Professor Ueno did not return on the usual train one evening. The professor had suffered a stroke at the university that day. He died and never returned to the train station where his friend was waiting.   

Hachikō was given away after his master's death, but he routinely escaped, showing up again and again at his old home. Eventually, Hachikō apparently realized that Professor Ueno no longer lived at the house. So he went to look for his master at the train station where he had accompanied him so many times before. Each day, Hachikō waited for Professor Ueno to return. And each day he did not see his friend among the commuters at the station.
The permanent fixture at the train station that was Hachikō attracted the attention of other commuters. Many of the people who frequented the Shibuya train station had seen Hachikō and Professor Ueno together each day. They brought Hachikō treats and food to nourish him during his wait.
This continued for nine years, with Hachikō appearing only in the evening time, precisely when the train was due at the station."




A bronze statue of Hachiko was was erected in his honor at Shibuya Station in April 1934.  Hachiko, himself, was there.








In May 1935, Hachiko died but his stuffed and mounted remained and kept up to this day in the National Science Museum of Japan in Ueno, Japan.






Personally, I would say - movies would give a big impact on us and in our kids' lives.  A good way of teaching them values would be sharing a good book or a good movie with them. 

This movie would teach them the value of  LOYALTY and that you should never forget anyone that you've loved. It would remind us that FRIENDSHIPS CAN LAST FOREVER.




Desiderata


My girls and I were going through some old stuff today when they found an old card dated way back 1985 . It was a card given to me for my birthday by my homeroom adviser.  He was a Jesuit priest.  On the cover of it was written the poem, Desiderata.  
I went to a famous Jesuit school in high school and I grew up in the Catholic teachings.  I grew up learning Desiderata and after reading it again today, I realized that everything is more applicable in my present life.


So my kids and I went through each line, discussed it and compared our favorite lines. Desiderata has been a huge part of me while growing up --- and I felt that it would be nice to teach them whatever has been a big part of what I am today. 


Desiderata has touched my life in a big way.  I hope that after today, my girls' life has been touched the same.  I hope that in 25 years, when they will be going through some old stuff -- a copy of Desiderata would be found to remind them of this day.

Allow me to share my favorite lines  :
.....remember what peace there may be in silence

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, 
even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become bitter or vain,
for always there will be greater or lesser persons than yourself.

be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be 

keep  peace with your soul
it is still a beautiful world

Be cheerful.  Strive to be happy.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My Baby is Now A Lady

Another first for me and my eldest daughter.  Today, my baby became a lady.  I have been trying to prepare myself for this day -- but maybe it's just me, but I took this experience as an emotional one. When my daughter asked for my help to check whether this is the big day -- and after confirming that it is -- I found myself in tears.  It was a mixed emotion.  (And my daughter thinks I'm a loonie for crying about it). As a woman, I knew that this day would come.  Maybe I wasn't ready to let go of my baby.  Perhaps I wasn't emotionally prepared.  Maybe I have fears that she was growing up so fast.  

When I broke into tears, my daughter hugged me and assured me that things would be okay.  Then I realized, I was scared -- not for my daughter but for myself.  That one day, soon enough, my baby would need to go out in this world.  For the first time, I feared of being alone.  Yeah, soon she has to go and face whatever fate has for her.  But yeah, I guess I'm just being too emotional.  Hey, don't blame me -- I have the best relationship with my daughters.  I guess that's just the way it is --- I have to face and enjoy this new chapter in our life.  I have to learn to realize and embrace that my baby is now a lady.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Work At Home Jobs : Is it for you?

What is work at home jobs?  Wikipedia describes this as  :
Telecommuting, e-commuting, e-work, telework, working from home (WFH), or working at home (WAH) is a work arrangement in which employees enjoy flexibility in working location and hours. In other words, the daily commute to a central place of work is replaced by telecommunication links. Many work from home, while others, occasionally also referred to as nomad workers or web commuters utilize mobile telecommunications technology to work from coffee shops or myriad other locations.

I used to work abroad and decided to come back home to be with my kids.  Unfortunately, Philippines is one of those countries that could be biased with age when it comes to jobs.  So, armored with whatever knowledge I have in outsourcing, I decided to look for a work at home job.  Surprisingly, I got a nice work at home job a week after I got back from abroad, giving me a firm reason to finally decide to stay for good. 

Question, is work at home jobs for you? The key to working at home is time management.  In my own opinion, as a first time stay at home mom, it was difficult for me to just sit in front of the computer when there are tons of chores around you.  Or when the kids are overwhelmed with ideas and can't wait to share them with you.  Balancing time is essential otherwise, you would end up sacrificing either the tasks you need to do at work or the chores that needs to be done.  

Work at home jobs could sometimes be boring and would turn out to be a routine.  I would suggest that when the kids are in school, take some time to work in a coffee shop to change the atmosphere and the feel of your work.  It would give you a new environment and a new drive.  It works for me, I'm sure it would work for you.  

The most important tip I could give you is --- be brave enough to try new things.  Being traditional and conventional isn't bad but learning and opening yourself to new things and technology might be of benefit to you.  Be positive.  Work at home jobs works for a lot of people out there.  There are tons of high paying work at home jobs.  Be brave, be open --- you'll enjoy it.   

The perks of work at home jobs --- more time with your family, more time with your kids, the ability to go out anytime you want.  You can go on a vacation anywhere and anytime because you can actually take your job with you.  What more can you ask for? So, whether you are looking for a full time or a part time job, there is always a work at home jobs for you. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How To Train Your Dragon : A Good Watch!


My daughters and I were looking for something to do yesterday when we decided to watch a movie.  My eldest daughter declared to treat her little sister to a 3D movie (250 PHP) as a reward for being helpful to both of us.  Oh by the way, I work at home and my daughter is working as a part time email generator.  Since she got her first ever paycheck for the week (she earns 1,500 PHP for 20 hours a week work), she decided to treat her sister and I to the movies.

We all decided to watch the 3D movie, How To Train Your Dragon.  EAM and I had experienced 3D and 4D when we were in the US in 2008.  So this will be the first time that KIM would experience watching 3D and yes you bet, she enjoyed every bit of it.  

The movie effects and the graphics were amazing.  I have to admit, I enjoyed it as much as they did.  I felt like a young kid all over again -- What I loved most about the story was the morale of the story.  The 
lesson that is being conveyed was very nice.  I don't want to burst the bubble of excitement for those who haven't watched the movie so I would not go into exact detail.  This movie is a good movie to watch with the entire family.  Take your kids -- enjoy it with them -- feel great and feel young again.

TRAILER

Recognition Day

It's the end of the school year for the Philippines.  We normally start school in June and summer vacation starts sometime end of March.  At the end of each school year, we have what we call recognition day for students who made it to the honors list or awarding of medals for all non-academic awardees.  I am blessed with smart girls.  EAM, who's in freshman highschool (7th grade equivalent) got the 13th honor spot for her entire level with an average of 91.38 (yep, she's in the 13th spot...I wonder how well did the 1st do? hehehe -- just thinking).  Anyway, my daughter EAM has always been excellent with her academics.  In fact, she graduated as first honorable mention and is a full scholar in her freshman year in a private school.  Because of her achievement this year, she would still be a full scholar when she enters her sophomore year.

 (EAM's Certificate of Honors)
KIM on the other hand is as smart as her sister, EAM.  The only problem she encountered in school was her Filipino subject.  (FYI, my kids grew up in China and they grew up using English as their language -- well EAM used to speak and write Mandarin.  Up 'til the present, KIM can't speak the Filipino language making her get poor grades in Filipino subject).  Anyway, KIM got the GOLD in Math and Bronze in Christian Education.  

         (KIM showing off her two medals)         

 (KIM with best friend, Soowha)
 
 (KIM with their nanny for 3 years now)

It was difficult that day.  I have to be in two different places at the same time.  But with patience and time management, I was able to be with my girls to get their awards.  That day meant so much for my girls --- and it meant twice for me.  My happiness is overwhelming being blessed with two smart kids.  I am so grateful to have very good kids.