Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Talk Ain't Cheap

The husband and I have the most poignant, reflective and tender conversations. We talk in the car. We talk during fifteen-minute short drives. Sometimes, when traffic is heavier than usual, we end up talking and laughing and musing out loud to each other for an hour.

I love talking with him. I guess he does too, because when I trained a class in Manila last year and was away for two weeks, he lamented that he missed me and had no one to talk to. I could really tell he meant what he said because he usually doesn't get all mushy and sappy. When he does, I know that he's not just being overly sensitive.

Our relationship was founded on conversation, after all. Our first 'date' was at the Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa. We took a walk down the beach and watched the stars. We ended up talking until the sun rose. Up to this day, we maintain that our first time to talk with each other was also the first time we - wait for it - fell in love.

We talk in whispers when the lights are out. We talk when we meet up during lunch hour to eat with each other at work. We talk over dinner with our daughter about how our respective days went.

We like taking a walk around our subdivision whenever we can just to talk and breathe in fresh air. We talk about home decorating ideas and what restaurant to try next. We talk about what happened on my commute to work that morning and the funny thing he saw on a YouTube video. We talk about the Scarborough Shoal dispute and the NBA.

We don't always talk with words, though. A look. A smile. A silly face. A wink. Yes, a wink.

The husband likes to hold my hand while he drives. He also sings. He ruffles my hair. I fix his collar. He loves it when I fold up the sleeves of his button-down shirts for work. Most often, he holds my hand. He kisses me. Yes, in public. When words don't suffice, we rely on non-verbal language.

There are also times we are just silent. We sit and simply bask in each other, and there are no words that come out. Sometimes, those also end up becoming really good conversations, too.

Monday, June 18, 2012


When The Husband was still The Boyfriend, he constantly told me that one of the, erhm, countless things he loves about me is that I smell good. I wish I could say I just naturally sweat jasmine, freesia and heliotrope, but no, my smell comes from a bottle.

My favorite scent of all time is YSL's Baby Doll. I started using this when I was eighteen. I was initially attracted to its pink liquid and spinning top-styled bottle (it doesn't stand upright which looks gorgeous on a dresser) with the gold top, but the smell got me hooked. It's so sweet and charming but grown-up. I just fell in love with it. I still use it up to now. I am on my nth bottle. I've used so many that I've honestly lost count. I don't know of anyone else who uses this. Aaand the husband loves this. He tells me that, when we were still dating, he loved how the smell of it lingered on his bed and pillows long after I've left.

I use it for going out to dinner with the girls or a date with the husband. It still works its magic. I will never tire of it.

When I was in high school, I used Gap Heaven. It was that, or the Angel's Breath line. Remember those?

For a time in college and into my early twenties, I also used Ralph Lauren's Ralph. After college graduation, I guess I believed I was a prepster at heart. I certainly dressed the part. I favored polo shirts, skinny khaki pants, button-down cardigans and v-necked light knit jackets. The husband can attest to this. I had just started in the corporate work force, hence I dressed like I was going to a job interview, and, being fresh out of college, I had a lot of Bayo, Kamiseta and Kashieca in my closet. I literally had no choice. Ralph has a very preppy scent, that's for sure. Very clean and crisp.

Currently, I sometimes use Lacoste's Touch of Pink. It smells fresh and uncomplicated, but a little sporty. It doesn't stay as long as I'd like, though.

A few years ago, when my mom went to Singapore to visit her best friend, she came back with my birthday gift. She was looking for YSL's Baby Doll at the Duty Free store, but she was told they ran out of it. The sales person apparently told her that YSL had a newer offering. She came home with YSL's Young, Sexy, Lovely for me. I was pleasantly surprised. Very.

Unlike other girls, I thankfully didn't go down the Elizabeth-Arden-Green-Tea-or-Clinique-Happy route, but I did succumb to Davidoff Cool Water Woman. Why? Well, it promises to make you smell like the ocean. How can any self-respecting beach bum, me included, resist that? It's an old scent, though. It reminds me of the beach. And the 90s.

There are some more scents I'd like to add my collection. I'll think about the following and see if Rustan's has them. They are Marc Jacobs' Daisy in the Air and Juicy Couture's Viva La Juicy.

How about you? What's your favorite scent? Do share, because the nose really knows.

all images from perfumeria.pl

Saturday, June 16, 2012


I fell in love with words and faraway worlds because my daddy told me stories while I was growing up. These stories were not your usual fables and fairy tales. At six, he told me The Last of the Mohicans and The Odyssey. He gave me piggyback rides, played reggae music for us and taught me how to swim. He is an artist, a boxing aficionado, a traveler, a foodie, a stand-up comedian, an awesome lolo who dotes on Kaelana and THE best dad in the world.

Happy Father's Day, Daddy! ♥

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dream On

I like big dreams. I like BFHGs (big, fat, hairy goals). I like lofty ideals, wild aspirations. Most of all, I like making them come true. What good are dreams when they remain just ideas swimming lazily around in our heads? I'm happy to realize that I've made some of mine come true.

I dreamed of going away to college and attending the country's premier university. That came true. I spent four amazing years at the University of the Philippines in Diliman and obtained my undergraduate diploma there.

I dreamed of marrying someone funny and artistic and kind and thoughtful. That came true. We've been married for seven years now. We're polar opposites, some say, but we get along sans flak jackets and there's been no need for restraining orders so far. We're going strong.

I dreamed of becoming a mom in my twenties. Well, that came true very early, for I gave birth when I was 22. She's turning seven this year. She is my number one priority, my little bundle of all things great and awesome, my most precious gift. She is my heart.

I dreamed of a dynamic career in the corporate scene - a career that allowed me to teach and work in communication. That came true, as well, for I'm a senior corporate communication trainer for a global company. I deal with coaching, analysis of training data, and curriculum development. Plus, I wear four-inch heels to work, and I love that part the most. (When will I wear them on a daily basis? When I'm 40? Riiiight. I say wear 'em as often as possible, while you still can!)

I dreamed of a comfortable home for my family to live in. That came true, too. We are proud homeowners of a modest but pretty house (with a fully-paid car parked in our garage), borne out of our own hard work and perseverance. I've said this before and I will say it again. I absolutely love coming home to our own space.

What's next for me? What dream do I pursue next?

I want to share this excerpt that I wrote down in my journal. It's about dreams. I found it very enlightening and insightful. I don't usually take advice from self-help books, but when I read this, I decided it made perfect sense. Dreams shouldn't remain castles in the air, and for them to come true, one must take very deliberately realistic and pragmatically calculated steps and measures.

"Dreams are, by nature, not practical. Practical has to do with what is; dreams have to do with what could be, but isn’t yet. Yet bridging these two worlds, the actual and the desirable, is the practical dreamer’s challenge. 

The practical dreamer is both the architect and the builder, creating what could be from the reality of what is. So the practical dreamer must walk between two worlds, with one foot in the world of imagination, hopes, wishes, dreams, and possibilities and the other firmly planted in the world of physical reality with all its limitations of time, money, space, form, material and the needs of other people." - from The Practical Dreamer's Handbook by Paul and Sarah Edwards

With this in mind, I am dreaming more dreams and couldn't be more hopeful and excited for what the future brings.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


It's back to school time once again, and my little one is in the first grade. Her transition from summer's I-can-get-up-any-time-I-want-and-sleep-as-late-as-I-can to We-need-to-be-in-school-before-the-bell-rings-at-7:15-am was pretty painless. I expected a bit lot of whining and some dramatic waterworks, but I constantly forget I have an emotionally intelligent six-year-old.

I made sure to take two leaves off from work for her first two days of school to get her settled into some semblance of a routine. I think that worked. The husband was only able to take one leave (he never misses our daughter's first day of school and she's been going to school since she was three), but that's all right because I take the lead in taking care of things like these.

When I was her age, I never gave my mom a hard time on the first day of school. I truly enjoyed going to school and the first few weeks were always exciting for me. I loved my new school things, my new uniforms and I looked forward to seeing my friends.

I remember the only time I hated school was when I was down to my last semester in UP Diliman. I was preparing to defend my thesis and I had dropped to a horrifying 95 lbs. I was terribly stressed and barely eating. Plus, my family flew in weeks early to see me graduate that I was actually scared I'd botch things up, fail and NOT get a diploma. That didn't happen but running on empty makes one extremely paranoid and borderline crazy.

I hope my little girl continues to love school as much as she does now. May her thirst for knowledge never wane. May it grow and may it always give her a sense of awe and wonder. May she cherish the experience of learning anything and everything, in and out of the classroom.

taken by the husband using his Android phone

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Home Sweet Home

How fast time flies. I've just recently realized that we've been living in our own little home for more than a year now. The husband and I are proud homeowners of a two-bedroom, one-toilet-and-bath and two-story townhouse in peaceful Lapu-Lapu City. We live in a gated subdivision with a basketball court, a multi-purpose hall, and have a one-car garage. We live five minutes away from a hospital and a modest shopping mall (it's convenient when we run out of cooking oil or when we want a tub of ice cream in the evening after dinner), ten minutes away from the international and domestic airports and most importantly, ten minutes away from the beaches and resorts. A lot of people think we live far because we work in Cebu City and our daughter goes to a school - my high school alma mater - there too, but we have gotten used to it. By car, it takes us twenty minutes to get to work. When we have to take public transportation, we allot a good hour for moderate traffic and for the amount of time spent waiting for a jeepney or a tricycle.

We got this house through Pag-IBIG and with our own money with no help from both our parents. I love coming home to our space. All the townhouse units in our subdivision look exactly alike but we don't mind because we've really taken strides in making the inside of our home as personal as possible. We still have a long way to go, believe me, but we're not in a major hurry, and we're allowing this house to continue to evolve. Speaking of evolution, we, as its inhabitants, have also changed in a lot of ways.

I've learned to cook, for one. I wouldn't touch a skillet before and didn't even know how to turn the stove on. Now, during times when we're sans household help, we're not totally help-less, if you catch my drift. We don't go hungry and well, no one has poisoned anyone yet, so we're doing good, I should say. Our daughter is more sociable. She has playmates who are our neighbors, and since our unit is situated towards a dead-end street, we allow her to ride her bicycle outside in the afternoons because it's safe. The husband and I are more at peace too, and we rarely fight now.  We just love coming home to something that symbolizes how hard we've worked and how far we've come.

Our home improvement to-do list is still long but I think we'll be able to make great changes soon enough. Here are some things we have planned:

- have great storage units installed
We're talking kitchen cabinets, shelves, closets and racks.
- buy beds
We're sleeping on mattresses on the floor as of now. We'll get a nice queen-sized bed for the master's bedroom and a bunk or a pull-out bed for our little one.
- get the master's bedroom air conditioned
Our daughter's room is the room we air conditioned first. Ours will be next.

I also wanna buy a gas range - we only have a two-burner stove for now; a washing machine - our household help hand washes stuff for now or we send them to the laundry people; and an LED flat screen TV for the husband - just because I promised him we'll get this in December with a little help from our year-end bonuses.

Because we have a home to call our own, it doesn't feel painful to part with hard-earned money to spruce up our space. I mean, one probably wouldn't spend so much to improve a rented space, right? You don't really invest in something you don't own.

The husband and I are also thinking of investing in a condo unit in Cebu City but that's another entry altogether.