Cool Christmas Songs

Happy Christmas (War is Over) by John Lennon

All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey

The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred
we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit become a child again at Christmas-time... 

Jingle Bell Rock Challenge

I am writing this post while listening to a Christmas song, “Jingle Bell Rock.”
As I have been listening to this song over and over for the past days, I come to appreciate the upbeat melody and playful lyrics. It makes me feel like a child again.

I am actually memorizing this song and the reason why I am into it now is because of our Christmas party presentation. There are four of us in the group and we are planning a song and dance number (yeah right!)

Jingle Bell Rock Lyrics

Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock
Jingle bells swing and jingle bells ring
Snowing and blowing up bushels of fun
Now the jingle hop has begun.

Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock
Jingle bell chime in jingle bell time
Dancing and prancing in Jingle Bell Square
In the frosty air.

What a bright time, it's the right time
To rock the night away
Jingle bell time is a swell time
To go gliding in a one-horse sleigh

Giddy-up jingle horse, pick up your feet
Jingle around the clock

Mix and a-mingle to jingling feet
That's the jingle bell rock.

And our inspiration for our piece is the Jingle Bell Rock presentation from the movie, “Mean Girls.” Yeah that famous, cute, and sexy dance number. Watching it makes me feel real sorry for Lindsay Lohan – she’s so pretty and talented, I would really love to see her change for the better and regain all that she had before.

Anyway- back to the Christmas party performance- whenever we practice, I contemplate feigning sickness on the day of our party just so I can escape being a subject of humiliation.

But what the heck- all of it is just for fun and I am going to try singing and dancing even if I have wooden dancing skills (lol). Part of me is also hoping our group wins (yeah there’s a cash prize for this!). I just hope my officemates would be kind enough not to catch our performance on video.

Official List of 2012 Holidays!

I love holidays. Who doesn’t? During these days, I don’t have to wake up at 5am (would wake up around 6:30-7am), can have that rest and relaxation I need and I can bond with my daughter and husband—all that and I am still being paid. So I think it is understandable that this early, I am already curious about the official list of the 2012 holidays.

It’s a good thing that Malacanang released the official lists of Philippine holidays for the coming year. early. Last Friday, the Office of the President declared the regular holidays, special (non-working) days, and special holiday (for all schools) for the year 2012.

A. Regular Holidays

New Year’s Day
Maundy Thursday
Good Friday
Araw ng Kagitingan
January 1 (Sunday)
April 5
April 6
April 9 (Monday)
Labor Day
Independence Day
National Heroes Day
Bonifacio Day
Christmas Day
Rizal Day
May 1 (Tuesday)
June 12 (Tuesday)
August 27 (Last Monday of August)
November 30 (Friday)
December 25 (Tuesday)
December 30 (Sunday)
B. Special (Non-Working) Days

Chinese New Year
Ninoy Aquino Day
All Saints Day
Additional special (non-working) day
Last Day of the Year
January 23 (Monday)
August 21 (Tuesday)
November 1 (Thursday)
November 2 (Friday)
December 31 (Monday
C. Special Holiday (for all schools)

EDSA Revolution Anniversary
February 25 (Saturday)


Happy 11-11-11! The Meaning of November 11, 2011

Happy November 11, 2011 everyone!
It's Friday and I am the earliest to came in at the office today! I woke up so early (up at 5:10 am) so I am out of the house by 6:50 am. My husband is also expecting a cash bonus today. So far, so good- this is turning out to be a really lucky day.
I also noticed that there are so many events lined up today. A lantern lighting something at the Banchetto Megatent, the wedding of a famous Filipino boxer, a bunch of job fairs, and a free concert at the UST Open Grounds.
This is said to be a very lucky day for weddings and starting a business. But I also heard that 11-11-11 is not so unique because we almost had the same number on January 1, 2011
And apparently one can make a wish at exactly 11:11 am or maybe also at 11:11 pm and it will come true! I will try this!
Of course, the cynics are saying that today is the end of the world. Well a day like this doesn't happen everyday. So let's smile, enjoy the moment, and spread the good vibes!

ABS-CBN Christmas Station ID 2011: Da Best ang Pasko ng Pilipino

Watch the full and official music video of ABS-CBN Christmas Station ID this year. It features the Filipina-Canadian Youtube sensation, Maria Aragon, UP Concert Chorus, 100 ABS-CBN stars and ABS-CBN reporters, anchors and other personalities.

The ABS-CBN Christmas Station ID 2011: Da Best ang Pasko ng Pilipino was first shown today after TV patrol. If you are a certified Kapamilya and missed it on TV, here is the clip of the music video

Help Make Puerto Princesa Underground River One of the New 7 Wonders of Nature

According to a TV news report I head earlier, the Puerto Princesa Underground River is part of the top 10 in the preliminary voting stats. That means we are inches closer to being part of the new 7 wonders of nature.   

So let’s guarantee our spot by voting for Puerto Princesa Underground River. Voting ends on Nov 11. 

You can vote in three ways:
Via SMS (Philippines): Text PPUR to 2861. Cost per each SMS sent: PHP2.00 (Sun), PHP2.50 (Globe, Smart)
Each SMS sent counts as one vote for PP Underground River in the New7Wonders of Nature.

Visit this link and follow instructions:

Via N7WN website:
Visit this link and fill up the form below after choosing your picks: 

Cinema One Originals Film Festival: Nov 9-15, 2011

This year, Cinema One Originals Digital Film Festival will be held at Edsa Shangri-La Mall Cineplex Cinema 4 and at Shang Cineplex Premiere Theater, Mandaluyong City, Philippines. It will run from November 9 to 15, 2011.
Cinema One Originals Filmfest Schedule
At Shangri-La Mall Cineplex Cinema 4
November 09 Wednesday
3pm: Opening Ceremony
4:45pm: Gala Premiere: SA KANTO NG ULAP AT LUPA by Mes De Guzman
7pm: Gala Premiere: ANATOMIYA NG KORUPSIYON by Dennis Marasigan
9:30pm: Gala Premiere: DI INGON 'NATO (Not Like Us) by Brandon Relucio and Ivan Zaldarriaga
November 10 Thursday
5pm: Gala Premiere: MGA ANINO NG TANGHALING TAPAT by Ivy Universe Baldoza
7pm: Gala Premiere: MY PARANORMAL ROMANCE by Victor Villanueva
9:30pm: Gala Premiere: BIG BOY by Shireen Seno
November 11 Friday
5pm: Gala Premiere: SA ILALIM NG TULAY by Earl Bontuyan
7pm: Gala Premiere: KA ORYANG by Sari Dalena
November 12 Saturday
5pm: Regular Screening: Sa Kanto ng Ulap at Lupa
7:30pm: Regular Screening: Di Ingon 'Nato (Not Like Us)
9:30pm: Gala Screening: CARTAS DE LA SOLEDAD (Letters of Solitude) by Teng Mangansakan
at Shang Cineplex PREMIERE THEATER:
November 10 Thursday
9pm: DI INGON 'NATO (Not Like Us)
November 11 Friday
12nn:  Cinema One Docu Special: INDIE MAINSTREAM PAANO KA GINAWA? by Jay Abello
9pm: BIG BOY
November 12 Saturday
1:30pm: KA ORYANG
7:30pm: KA ORYANG
November 13 Sunday
1:30pm           MY PARANORMAL ROMANCE
3:30pm           KA ORYANG
5:30pm           CARTAS DE LA SOLEDAD
9:30pm           BIG BOY
November 14 Monday
November 15 Tuesday
4pm: BIG BOY

Chateau Royale in Nasugbu Batangas Review

As I said in my previous post, I was able to buy a voucher for Chateau Royale at CashCash Pinoy. It was a very good deal because for Php1,999, we got 2 days and 1 night stay at the sports and country club. It includes a tour and free breakfast for four (yes 4!) pax. Another plus factor is that there is no limit to the number of kids one can bring as long as they are below twelve years old. I don’t mind paying an extra Php800 because our group is composed of five adults.
We arrived at the place at 1pm, an hour earlier before the check-in time but they already allowed us to enter our log in cabin. I had to leave a valid I.D and pay P1000 deposit but it is refundable upon check out.

The rooms are a bit far from the reception area so guest can opt to ride a shuttle to take them to their cabins. We rode the shuttle first because we thought that we are not allowed to park our car near our rooms. We later discovered that there is an ample parking space near our cabins.
I guess we are all satisfied when we saw our cabin because it is so cute and huge-- good enough for 8 people. There are two queen-sized beds and one extra bed. It was air-conditioned with TV and toilet and bath. There are cabinets and a desk that makes one feel so at home.

Chateau Royale has many amenities including a mini zoo, a floating restaurant, a swimming pool, and a playground. One can try fishing, go wall climbing, etc. (forgot the others) but all of those are available for a fee. I think only the playground and the pool are free.

My nieces took advantage of the pool and swam to their hearts content. The tour schedule is every 9am and 4pm but we opt not to join since it was a walking tour and we have been walking to and fro our room and the pool area. Those who don’t like to walk can wait for the shuttle but I seldom see it so we always end up walking. Anyway, it is fun to explore the place ourselves.
We had lunch at Tagaytay so we ate dinner at their Veranda Café. This café is a bit small so we just ordered food and decided to eat at our cabins. We are all so tired that an hour after dinner, almost everyone was asleep. The next morning is another picture taking and swimming sessions before we prepared for check-out.
Overall, we enjoyed our stay and I would not be ashamed to recommend it to others. In fact, maybe we can come back. The staff is courteous and friendly. The place is beautiful and relaxing. Chateau Royale gives good service but should also work to improve some areas.

For one the zoo is pitiful, I am quite disappointed with it. The food in their café is okay but average. And a bit embarrassing but there's something wrong with the toilet. I hope Chateau Royale can fix all these so they can offer the best services to their clients.

Hillsong United and Casting Crowns, Songs that Enrich the Soul

Majority of my officemates and even my boss are “Christians”. I put the term in quotes because in my opinion, I am a Christian too because I am also a firm believer in Jesus Christ. However, I am different from them as I still belong to the Roman Catholic religion.

Almost every Monday, a group of pastors and would-be pastors I guess would come to the office to conduct a Bible study. I must admit that I am not so enthusiastic about the session with them every Monday. But in fairness they are all wonderful people and I have learned so much from them. Anyway before the actual Bible study, we would have this short worship thing where we sing Christian songs and pray. I love this part.

At first, only the Christians in the office would be able to sing along. But now, almost everybody is singing as we become familiar with the songs.

The songs are inspiring and soothing, there was even a point when it made me teary-eyed. I just felt a bit sad when I went to a Catholic church one Sunday to hear mass and I find myself missing the songs.

Let me share some of my favorite Christians worship songs from Hillsong United and Casting Crowns.

Desert Song

Who Am I

At the Cross

Picnic grove in Tagaytay and Chateau Royale in Batangas: Happy & Relaxing Weekend Getaway

The week before was so busy and I felt so pressured. It was also a week filled with so many events at home and at the office. I literally felt that I need to rest or maybe I have to quit work for a while. I think I survived it by just letting things be-no excessive worrying, not thinking much, and just doing what I can at the moment. And of course by relying on God’s strength and guidance.

Anyway another thing that helped me cope with pressure is looking forward to the long weekend. It’s because I scheduled a reservation for a 2-day and 1-night stay at the Chateau Royale, a sports and country club in Nasugbu, Batangas for the whole family. I was able to buy the voucher at CashCashPinoy.

We left home (Mandaluyong area) at around 6:15 am on Saturday. There were 9 of us in the group- five adults and four children and our travel was a breeze. There was no traffic at all so by 7:30 am, we are already in Tagaytay. The plan was to visit Picnic Grove first as our check in time at the hotel is still at 2pm.

That is where we ate our breakfast, merienda, and lunch. My mother and I prepared pansit canton, buttered chicken, hotdogs, sandwich and lots and lots of snacks and drinks.

The weather was lovely!

The entrance at Picnic Grove is now Php50 per head. We also rented a cottage worth Php150. There are not so many people that day and the weather was perfect, no rain, mild sunshine, and cool breeze.

I just got a bit annoyed because everywhere you go, you would be approached by someone offering a horseback or a boat ride to Taal lake.

Anyway we tried the services of therapists that roam the area offering a head and back massage for 15 minutes. In fairness, the massage felt relaxing.

Around 12:20 pm, we left Picnic Grove and head on to Nasugbu. We arrived at Chateau Royale around 1:30 pm and stayed there until Sunday noon. Will make a separate post about this experience later.

Overall it was a hassle-free and happy weekend getaway for the whole family. Everything went as planned and we get the much needed rest and relaxation we need. Thank you God for this blessing!

November 7, 2011 is a Holiday!

It's a typical Friday at the office. Amidst the chaos of so much work to do, I decided to take things easy as my boss is not around and I have long learned that stressing out does not really make anything easier.

Anyway, I am not expecting the good news I received today and I would like to share it with you. To holiday addicts like me- Proclamation No. 276 declares November 7, 2011 as a regular holiday!

That means another long weekend, another paid rest day. That would be two consecutive Mondays without work because October 31 and November 1 have also been declared special non-working days. November 2, 2011 though is a regular working day.

The President signed the proclamation in celebration of the Eid'l Adha or the "Festival of Sacrifice" for the Muslims.

Official Trailer of Marvel's, The Avengers 2012 Movie

I am excited for this movie but I am also disappointed that Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) would not be part of it.

Avengers 2012 Plot:
Joss Whedon brings together the ultimate team of superheroes in the first official trailer for Marvel's The Avengers - out Summer 2012

"Like" The Avengers official Facebook page - to discover exclusive content.

Visit the official website -

When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as SHIELD, finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

The Avengers continues the epic big-screen adventures started in "Iron Man," "The Incredible Hulk," "Iron Man 2," "Thor" and "Captain America: The First Avenger". Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson, and directed by Joss Whedon, "Marvel's The Avengers" is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series "The Avengers," first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since.

Prepare yourself for an exciting event movie, packed with action and spectacular special effects, when "Marvel's The Avengers" assemble in summer 2012.

Steve Jobs Speech: Be Inspired

The name Steve Jobs doesn’t matter much to me before. But of course, his works and his achievements is an important part of everyone’s life now. His resignation from Apple was major news. And now his recent death is being mourned by millions of people worldwide. And I am quite ashamed to admit that I made this usual mistake --only showing appreciation for someone that is already in his deathbed. Anyway, I think everyone but especially the new generation should look at Steve jobs life to learn many great lessons.

Watch the video of Steve Jobs Speech at the 2005 Commencement Exercises at Stanford:

Read the full transcript of Steve Jobs 2005 commencement address at the Stanford. This speech is very inspiring and almost moved me to tears. Check some of the inspiring Steve Jobs quotes.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.
The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960′s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”

It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

Sophie’s Pictures at Pic a Boo

One proof that a company gives good service is when customers come back and I think this is one thing I can say about Pic a Boo Photo studio. I first tried their services when my daughter turned 1 and I want a nice picture to remember that momentous event.

This year, going back to Pic a Boo for a 2nd birthday pic is really in my plan. It was fortunate though that I was able to buy a discount voucher of Pic a Boo from Ensogo. After a year, not much has changed with the rates and terms so my 1st Pic A Boo photo studio review
is still applicable. 
I am satisfied with Pic a Boo services before so I am excited and have high expectations. Unfortunately, Sophie was not in the mood and unlike the first time, she was not in the mood for the whole 30-minute photo session. I think she doesn't like the photographer. The result- she is not smiling in any of the pics. I am also a bit disappointed because some of their costumes are old and tattered. But still, I was able to choose a few pictures to print.

At least, I was able to get a privilege card which entitles me to freebies and discounts. Imagine, last “Grandparents Day”, Sophie and my mother gets a free photo session and one 8x11 printout.

Overall, I would still recommend Pic a Boo and I am still coming back. Here are some of the pictures:

Do it Yourself Birthday Party

September is a special month for me because it is the birthday month of my daughter, Sophie. Yes, she turned 2 last September 5 and for this year, we decided to hold the celebration at home. It is a much simpler one compared to her 1st birthday. Nevertheless, it is as memorable as the first.

I thought we can save on balloons because we have an inflater. But I think it would have been better if we bough ready-made balloons na lang. Inflating balloons is not as easy as it seems plus the balloons we bought at a thrift store seems to be of low quality. Here are some of the balloons we managed to make.

The simple menu:


The Birthday Cake

Shrimps with Baguio Beans


Hotdogs and Marshmallows

We also had ice cream, lumpiang shanghai, pininyahang manok and steamed tilapia.

I made a simple lootbags with assorted candies on it.

The party was held at home and we only send invites to a few people so we spend less this year but you know, I guess we enjoyed it more. As there is no time restriction to think at home, the party lasted almost all day, with videoke singing, a little drinking and lots of eating.

Cellphone Plan That Offers The Best Value for Your Money

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Straight Talk for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

The need for a great communication tool is necessary for one to stay competitive in this fast-paced world. That is why getting a cellphone plan is very important. And the good news is that you don’t need to spend a fortune for it.] For those living in USA, Straight Talk offers a cellphone plan that would give users the best value for their money.

Android on Straight Talk offers an “All you Need Plan” that is perfect even for those which are heavy phone users as it comes with 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts and 30 MB of web data. Their unlimited calls, texts, picture messaging and web service only costs USD45 a month and you do not even need a contract to avail this service. No contract means no monthly bills, no credit checks, no reactivation or termination fees and other hassles that come with a phone plan. One can save even more money by availing the unlimited calls, text, picture messaging and web service for only USD499 a year. For that amount, you can also make 411 calls for free.

One can also be assured that Straight Talk plans comes with a strong nationwide coverage. You won’t regret falling for this Hook, line and sinker.

They work with trusted phone manufacturers such as LG, Motorola, Kyocera, Nokia and Samsung.So what are you waiting for, Call a friend now using Straight Talk.

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A Short Visit at The Farm @San Benito, Lipa Batangas

 I was able to visit The Farm at San Benito in Lipa, Batangas last July. I was with my husband, my daughter and my mother. We all woke up very early one Sunday morning for the more or less 2-hour drive to Batangas. It was a very very short visit but not short enough for us not to able to take pictures.

Here are some of them:

Glee 3D Concert Movie Review

My Monday started right this week even if I am laden with so many tasks at the office. It also happens to be the first day of my menstruation and as I had only a few hours of sleep the night before, I suffered a major headache which almost had me running home because I am useless at the office.

Well I did went home early that day, partly because of the headache and partly because I won two tickets to the advanced screening of Glee 3D concert movie in SM Megamall Cinema 1! Yes, talk about luck. The tickets were courtesy of Warner Bros and I got it by joining a contest in the Astroplus FB page.


The movie is at 8pm but I went home at 4pm so I can still have time for my daughter before heading to the cinema. I tagged my husband along even though I know that he has no interest in Glee. As for me, I am still a fan of Glee even if their Season 2 is kind of disappointing. I hope Glee Season3 will be a lot better.  Well, here’s my brief review:

First, I think I’m grateful that I was able to watch it for free. It seems that the line of Sue Sylvester in the trailer is quite true- you know saying that it’s a waste of money. Not because the concert was bad. The performances of the Glee casts are fantastic; I just think that I would be able to watch all of it in YouTube for free.

Amidst performances, they feature the stories of real-life fans of Glee and I don’t like that part. I wish they had focused on the Glee characters and the Glee series more. It is a movie for Glee fans because those new to Glee would not be able to understand. I hope the movie caters also to those who have no idea about Glee and thus may be able to gain new fans through the movie.

The most memorable performances are from Heather Morris which is gorgeous and from the Warblers. I barely saw Quinn and I hope Dianna Agron had more performances.

In the end, the movie was a bit bitin. I am not sure if that is really the whole Glee concert. I wish I would be able to watch a Glee concert live too so I can write a better review.

Watch Korean Films at SM Cinemas for Free

Yes I am one of the many Filipinos who love Koreanovelas. Their dramas are heartbreaking, their comedies are hilarious and their love stories are so unforgettable. And of course, the actors and actresses look perfect—even the guys look like girls because of their flawless skin and hair. So I guess many would be happy to know that they can watch Korean films at SM cinemas for free. The Korean Film Festival started yesterday, Sept 20 and would run until October 2.

The participating cinemas are SM North, SM Mall of Asia, and SM Cebu. As usual this is first come, first serve. It is advised to get your tickets at least 2 hours before the screening period to guarantee your slot.

Here are the feature films and the schedules:

Synopsis: Secret Reunion

Song Kang-ho, an ex-agent of the National Intelligence Service who is very careful about his actions, is paired with Kang Dong-won, a former spy from the North. Song’s character was released from the NIS six years after the gunfight which happened in the heart of Seoul; however, both men keep their identities hidden from each other.

Scandal Maker

Nam Hyun Soo was a very famous idol worshipped like God by teens. Though he is in his mid-thirties now, he is still one of the most sought-after celebrity in the industry and a DJ in a radio show. One of his listeners, Jung-nam, sends him letters narrating her willingness to see her father whom she never met. Her story became a hit and catapults the show’s ratings to be the most popular program. But one day, Jung-nam knocks on Hyun Soo’s door claiming that the father he hasn’t met is none other than him.

Happy Life

The plot revolves around three former members of college rock band, Volcano, who were reunited by the death of their leader. At the funeral, a young, jobless lead guitarist Gi-Young (Jang Geun Suk) suggested that they reform the band with him as the new front man.

My Dear Enemy

Hee-Soo, who is living a miserable life as a single woman in her thirties, sets out to find her ex-boyfriend, Byoung Woon who owes her $1000. Byeong Woon is also penniless but knows that girls are willing to give him money. Hee-Soo follows him as he visits many girls for money and starts a one-day journey that will change her life again.

Hwang Jin Yi

A film based on the story of Hwang Jin Yi, the most renowned courtesan of the Chosun Dynasty. She was a beautiful, talented and intelligent young woman who has no other choice but to become a gisaeng because she was an illegitimate child. The movie shows how she used her position and her charm to gain favor from the upper class, as well as his love affair with a male servant named Nom-yi.

For Eternal Hearts

An ordinary college boy Su-young meets an extraordinary girl named Pippi on campus. He fell in love with Pippi which did not last long because the latter ended her life at a student demonstration. While trying to get over Pippi, he was hired as a tutor for a girl named Su-young. He was almost at the brink of giving up because of Su-young’s peculiar personality but something is stopping him from doing so. He soon fell in love with Su-young and bizarre things started to happen.

Christmas In August

The film is about Jung-won who falls in love with Da-Rim while suffering from an unnamed illness. He hides the fact to Da-Rim and tries to continue living as usual, spending time with his friends and family.

SM Mall of Asia (Cinema 6)

September 21
My Dear Enemy - 6:30PM
Hwang Jin Yi - 9:30PM

September 22
Christmas in August - 6:30PM
Eternal Hearts - 9:30PM

September 23
Secret Reunion - 6:30PM
Happy Life - 9:30PM

September 24
Hwang Jin Yi - 12:45PM
Eternal Hearts - 3:00PM
Christmas in August - 7:30PM

September 25
Happy Life - 12:45PM
Scandal Maker - 3:00PM
My Dear Enemy - 7:30PM

SM North Edsa (Cinema 3)

September 20
Hwang Jin Yi - 1:40PM
Secret Reunion - 6:30PM

September 21
Scandal Maker - 1:40PM
Eternal Hearts - 6:30PM

September 22
Happy Life - 1:40PM
My Dear Enemy - 6:30PM

September 23
Christmas in August - 1:40PM
Scandal Maker - 6:30PM

September 24
Secret Reunion - 1:40PM
Happy Life - 6:30PM
My Dear Enemy - 9:30PM

September 25
Hwang Jin Yi - 1:40PM
Eternal Hearts - 6:30PM
Christmas in August - 9:30PM

SM Cebu (Cinema 1)

September 28 (Premiere Screening)
Scandal Maker - 1:30PM

September 28 (Regular Screening)
Eternal Hearts - 7:30PM
Happy Life - 9:30PM

September 29
Hwang Jin Yi - 5:30PM
Christmas in August - 7:30PM
Secret Reunion - 9:30PM

September 30
Eternal Hearts - 5:30PM
My Dear Enemy - 7:30PM
Scandal Maker - 9:30PM

October 1
Happy Life - 5:30PM
Secret Reunion - 7:30PM
My Dear Enemy - 9:30PM

October 2
Christmas in August - 5:30PM
Hwang Jin Yi - 7:30PM
Eternal Hearts - 9:30PM

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