THEORY: Weighing Scale

For the past days, I haven't been sleeping or eating well. I would wake up early even if I slept late and I would either overeat or not eat at all. Actually, I just didn't function well. I would be super happy and energetic one minute and sad and tired the next. But really what was keeping me off balance was my constant weighing of pros and cons regarding the situation I was in.

Every day I would list down in my head the same pros and the same cons and end up with one side of the scale heavier than the other... a different one each time. After days of thinking and thinking, I got really frustrated. I didn't know what to do. I would be on the pro side one day and then on the con side the next. So for the first time in a long, long time, I sought advice from people. I finally admitted to myself that I can't solve this problem alone.

The advice I got were contradicting with each other. You would think that this would confuse me more... and you thought right. For another day or two, I factored in what other people had to say and that just made my listing of pros and cons much more complicated. So again, I was left frustrated.

So you might be asking now, "So how did you make a decision already?" Well, I stopped weighing the pros and cons. I realized that what I was doing was pointless since proving that one side outweighed the other didn't guarantee my happiness. I realized I was weighing the wrong things. I should have weighed where I would be happiest. And that was what I did.

I admit that the decision I made still makes me jumpy and scared and a little crazy sometimes but I guess that just comes with it. I realized that happiness doesn't come easy, because like everything else in life, you have to work for it. The decision also made me realize how I took for granted how happy I was before, so now I am going to put a lot more value on it.

I'm not as happy as before, but I'm the happiest that I've been in days. I know my fear and crazy thoughts will eventually go away and I know that will take some time. But here's hoping I don't ever have to consult my hypothetical weighing scale again because I'm just going to be too happy to care.

Ramblings of a Lunatic

I don't where to begin. And this is not like me... because I always know where to begin, where I stand and where I am going. Now, all I can do is cry. Cry like stupid. Cry and know that it won't bring me anywhere but to the very place I'm in. But I'll cry because as of now, that's all I'm capable of doing. Because, before, when I feel like my problem is too big or too heavy for me, I come running to you to talk, to make me feel better and amazingly, that helps. I can't explain it but while I cry and talk to you, the problem seems lighter and easier to conquer.

But now, I don't have you. I try to remind myself not to call you and cry on the other end of the phone as you sing me a song or deliver a joke. Because, now, my problem is you. Its weird because the world has millions of  people and many times before you helped me fight against them... but now that the world seems to be on my side and you are on the other, it appears that this battle is far more difficult to overcome.

And the worst part  is that I really know why I can't win this battle... its because I don't really want to fight you. Because truth is, I love you with all my heart and it breaks even more that you are the one who broke it. That you are the reason I'm crying right now. You are the reason even the world won't help me win this battle I have with how much I want to punch you and how much I want to hold you and never let you out of my life.

STORY: Emotion Control

I am not the most emotional of people. I like to believe that I am able to control my feelings, well at least, control how I express them. I can stop myself from laughing too hard, stop myself from shouting at the person I'm irritated with or stop myself from crying when I'm sad. I think its a skill that one has to develop and not everyone learns it. And I'm not saying that one should learn how to fake their feelings, I'm just saying that one should learn how to control expressing them. You don't want to react inappropriately, do you? I mean you can't laugh hysterically at a wake when someone beside you decides to crack a joke or you can't start shouting at someone when you are at someone else's party, right? You need to learn how to control your reactions, your expressions.

But I guess there is a down side to mastering this skill. Sometimes you end up wondering if you are just controlling your expressions or already controlling how you feel. Actually, its even scarier when you think you've learned to not feel at all. So for people like me who tend to go that level, we try our best to balance it out (well, for me at least). I try to be human (as many people have teased me with which is actually more hurtful than funny) and express myself. I try to laugh and not care and I try to cry when I feel bad. And when I tried to cry my heart out last night, surprise, surprise, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Sure my eyes got puffy and my head hurt like crazy but my heart felt lighter and my mind was at peace for a minute there. Because when I just cried and not think if it was appropriate or helpful to the situation, I released myself from a ton of worries. And it felt good. And though at the back of my head I was still thinking that crying won't help me solve my problems, I also thought that it did help me somehow. It got me through the night and allowed me to see another day with fresh eyes. I am able to think clearly when i woke up and face my problems better and calmer. And now that another day has ended with my problem still not fully resolved, allow me to cry this night away again. Don't worry I'm not depressed, I'm actually better than I have been in the last 48 hours. This is just me learning to master the skill of emotion release... you know, since  it might come in handy sometime soon. (Yes, yes, I know I'm weird).

STORY: Tug of War

I'd like to think happiness is a simple concept to grasp. You find something that makes you feel good, something that inspires you and something that makes you want to greet the sun another day... then you grab it and never let it go. But it isn't simple at all. And its sad because everybody deserves to be happy. Life is too short for one to be unhappy. But I guess that's just the way it is.

In reality, only a few are blessed with the privilege of finding their happiness and being able to have it and keep it. Actually, the finding part is tricky but is the easiest part of the entire process. The real problem lies in the next two steps, grabbing it and keeping it. A lot of things get in the way, sometimes (actually, most times), its even ourselves. And its such a weird situation since you can't find the reasons why you would stop yourself from being happy but you do this to yourself still. You cry and scream. You pray and curse. You go crazy because you are in a tug of war with yourself. And its the kind of war you can't hide from or ignore because you have to live with yourself. You have no choice. Its a situation that drives people crazy really and only the strongest survive.

When this happens to other people, we preach that happiness is a choice. But it isn't that easy and you only realize that when you go through it yourself. You realize that no matter how many times you say you want to be happy, its a feeling you can't dictate. In desperate attempts to escape depression, you try to fake it. You smile and act like everything is okay but you know that you're still sad and hurt and it drives you crazy even more. Fact is, trying to make happiness a choice just made you even more sad, more depressed and more at a lost.

I liked it better when tug of war was a game I played against a bunch of people I'd like to see dive into the mud. It was easier and much more fun. When you get into fights with the other team, you just go your separate ways. Plus the mess of the game can be washed away with a blast of water. But I guess life has other plans and it isn't going to get any simpler soon. And at 20, I'm still just fully figuring that out.

STORY: Ac-count me in!

When you are an advertising student, you can't help but have this dream account. The product or company that is known to put a lot of effort in their advertisements (content and budget wise of course) and that you would like to make an ad or campaign for. For the longest time, my dream account was McDonalds. I always believed that if I get that account, I had made it. That I have reached my goal as an advertiser. 

But throughout my 4 years of college, I noticed that despite my goal of making Mcdonalds my account, I have always had this longing to work for the Department of Tourism and make one of those Biyahe Na videos with the song of the same title I can't get out of my head. The longing became even stronger when I saw Malaysia's tourism videos on Star World. I keep saying to myself that the Philippines is just as beautiful, we just need to make a campaign that is just as convincing as that of Malaysia's.

The original Biyahe Tayo music video

And now that DOT is in constant attack these past months because of its failed efforts in finding a replacement for the already brilliant slogan Wow Philippines that they changed, I am all the more eager to get in that office and share whatever I can share to help. For me, the original slogan was simple and catchy and everyone could understand it. Who couldn't understand Wow, right? I don't understand why they had to change it. But we can't do anything about that now. The fact is that they changed it. The saddest part (for me) was that the replacement wasn't the least bit catchy - Pilipinas Kay Ganda. If you were to use that internationally, you'd have to translate it and blah blah blah. I don't like to list down all the things I find wrong with this because as of now, I'd just really like to exert all my effort in thinking of a better way to promote the Philippines... which must be pretty easy since the country is amazing!

They changed the slogan again and ended up with Pilipinas, Tara na which resulted in the production of an updated version of the video I was talking about earlier. Versions actually. And I've got to say, the magic of that song is still there. DOT struck gold with that campaign, I wish they had just developed it and improved it instead of totally changing the entire campaign. Its a consolation that they revisited something that worked which is the music video.

But the story isn't over. The DOT launched yet again their newest slogan, It's more fun in the Philippines. An ad agency came up with the slogan this time which produced a better slogan than the one before it. However, the slogan was not without issues (again!) Apparently, the slogan was used by the Tourism department of Switzerland in the 50s and it goes like this: Its more fun in Switzerland. But despite this issue, the new slogan is scattering like wildfire on Facebook and everyone seems to like it. As for me, if it makes people happy and it makes the Philippines look as good as it truly is, I'm good. But still, seeing all these developments in the DOT campaign just made my longing to work them even stronger. So strong that my new dream account is DOT. Anyone around the world can brag that they've worked for McDonald's or Coke but only a Filipino can have the chance to say that they've made a campaign for the country. Plus, I heard getting to travel is part of the job. Now, ain't that truly a dream! 

P.S. Since we are talking about DOT, they're logo is also one of the many things they were attacked for. But that deserves another post! Just let me find the file of the logo I made. Hihi

STORY: Surprise! :(

People surprise you. I've heard people say this a lot but I always thought that it was a good thing. I guess I assumed wrong. Sometimes when people surprise us, it isn't for the better. Sometimes you think you know a person then one day you find out you were wrong. It sucks that you really had faith in that person, well the person you thought he was, then you find out it was a false belief.

It sucks and since this has never happened to me before, it sucks even more.

And you know what, I was just talking about how I loved my life then came this. I knew it was too good to be true. I knew I couldn't be problem free for long. I guess I celebrated too soon.

STORY: To the good life!

A few days ago I had my exit interview (meaning the last interview in my entire stay in college) with my guidance counselor, Ms. Dakis and I left the room very happy and inspired. After an hour and a half of talking, I realized how good I had it. She made me talk about all the aspects of my life and as I shared her my story, we both noticed I had no major problems in any part of it. It felt weird to have no problems, really. I got so used to having something to worry about that the thought of my life actually being very good was a surprise... a very pleasant surprise.

I actually loved my life in a way I have never felt before. I always knew I should be grateful for all the things I am blessed with but I never really felt that I loved my life, I loved being me. But for about an hour after leaving Ms. Dakis' consultation room, I was so sure I didn't want anyone else's life but mine. It was a nice feeling and I wish I had it more often.

THEORY: To writing and travelling!

Some tweets I don't want to get buried and forgotten. Let us immortalize through this post, shall we?

On the first post, I do like blogging because as I have already experienced, the habit allows me to forever remember moments. Moments that my limited memory prohibits me from remembering forever. But once I read my blog, all the emotions come rushing back and the feeling is indescribable. A good indescribable.

On the second post, I just noticed that travelling the world was never really one of my life long dreams, although it somehow falls under one of my other dreams (to be a travel show host). When I reflect on the things I dream of accomplishing, it would often revolve around accomplishing things professionally or finally doing things I keep putting off (like take lessons for an instrument or another language). Just saying. I guess from a psychiatrist's point of view, this is saying a lot about me huh? I just hope I understood what this means... I've always enjoyed being "understood" by counselors. Hahaha. I guess I'm just too weird to understand myself I want other people to help me! :P

THEORY: The logic is so illogical

When you think about it, really think about it, isn't the logic of all this- having a regular and gay marriage when it should just be plain marriage and having one prohibited when both are really just the same thing - so screwed?

"Regular" marriage and "Gay" marriage are like bikini tops and bras. The exact same thing, but only one is allowed in public.
(So true.)

Saw this from

I won't judge others for having an opinion against this but hear me out, isn't love suppose to be love regardless who or what you are in love with? I mean, if something is meant to foster goodness and peace among mankind, I just don't see how that can be a bad thing. Really.

STORY: Cool story, brow

I wear make up but I can live without it. i can walk out of the house completely bare and not worry about a thing... that is until I discovered eye brow pencil. Now its something I always have to put on. Never mind everything else, I just need my eye brow pencil.

However, my one and only brow pencil has finally reached its end... literally. I am so cheap that to get the most of my pricey brow pencil (yes, I found 399.00 pricey for a brow pencil that is about 3 inches long) I continue to use it even if it just half an inch long. When I finally decided to get a new one since the cover is now longer than the entire pencil, Maybelline no longer has stock of the darn thing. All stores will start releasing their new stocks of brow pencil by the summer (daw) and I can't wait that long! I've tried buying a cheaper brand but the color turned out more reddish than brown. People even commented I looked like an old lady!
Notice I drew one of my eye brows in already. See the difference!
So I tried finding another brand to fill in for my beloved Maybelline brow pencil. I stumbled upon Body Shop just a few days ago and found a brow definer that is of similar shade to the brow pencil I am using. I immediately got hold of it and got shocked to find out it costs close to 600.00! P595.00 to be exact. It is about 6 inches long though so I'm hoping its worth the price. My 3 inch pencil lasted me almost a year (and I use that everyday more than twice!) so I'm expecting this new one to last even longer. Hihi.

STORY: Truly Clever

Surprisingly, I found myself with nothing to do! I kept going from one site to another without anything to do so I decided I try out the that everyone is so amazed with. And voila! Look at what this truly cleverbot said to me... clever indeed.
This was his first "wow" moment answer.

but he lost me when we got to this conversation. Not so clever...

... but then again, he/she ( i don't know!) redeemed himself. And I couldn't agree more with the last statement .
Well played, bot. Well played.

STORY: Hit the Lights!

I don't know why I have to constantly put a disclaimer in my posts about Selena Gomez that I am not a fan. I just don't know. I'm not trying to be cool and say that she's not cool enough to be idolized, there is just something about her (and I'm not saying that its something WRONG) that I am not really liking. So there, I am not a fan. Okay? Well, a super fan at least. Anyway...

Selena Gomez was featured on a Videoscope episode on Channel V and as the first songs started playing, I found myself answering my question of why I am not a fan. Most of her songs were the typical teen bubblegum pop type with lyrics repeating itself to infinity or until the song ends... you know, whichever comes first. But as the episode progressed, I found myself liking some of her songs. Who Says is one of it although I had an initial disliking to the tune. Maybe the constant blasting of the song on TV and Radio have changed my opinion of it. I also really liked I Love You Like a Love Song which is my favorite song from her ( I also really like the music video especially the Hula hoop part). 

But I stopped to listen to the last song of the episode which is her latest song, Hit The Lights. I have been hearing it for a while already and actually thought it was her version of Jay Sean's Hit the Lights at first. I don't like the tune of the chorus but the verses sounded pretty good. Plus her voice is huskier and deeper in this song which I like. But what got me caught was when I listened to the lyrics. One part really struck me and that was what made this song a winner, well semi-winner. Hihi

"It's all the money the you're saving
While the good life passes by"

This part got me thinking and made me realize how many people make this mistake - saving too much, thinking about tomorrow too much and letting their lives pass them by. But then again, it got me thinking about how many people live by this belief - living like there is no tomorrow - and end up having no tomorrow to live for. 

It got me thinking of how I was going to live my life. How much I was willing to spend on living for today and how much I was willing to save for tomorrow. These are hard decisions and though the song passes it on as just another line in the lyrics, these decisions are the ones we have to make and what will change our lives in the long run. If only it were as easy as hitting the lights... if only. 

For now, let me enjoy the song by hitting the play button already. ;)

STORY: I'm Lavigne Her

I caught an episode of Videoscope on Channel V featuring Avril Lavigne and I went into instant flashback mode as the show continued. The moment Complicated started playing, I found myself singing to it with every word still in my head! I remember memorizing Sk8er Boy, Girlfriend, and a lot more.

As I watched each of her videos, I saw her evolution as an artist. From the teen full of angst to the 20-something punk princess having fun and to the now more serious and dark adult she has become. I have never been a super fan of hers but somehow watching her grow up made me realize how much I've grown as well and how she has somehow become part of that.

And its not just her, all the other musicians whose songs I sang to at one point in my life have all been part of my growth somehow. And I thank them for it. For writing songs for my young heart to sing to when I couldn't understand what I was feeling back then, for writing songs I could listen to during the nights I felt my problems were the end of the world and for writing songs that welcomed me back to sanity when I eventually realize I was just going through a phase which did pass.

Musicians, the true ones who are in the business for the love of music, should keep doing what they're doing. They might have contributed to my life in minor ways, but they will never know when their songs might help someone's life. And I believe that their songs do have the ability to do that. And that is something precious musicians have in their hands... and it is just disguised as a really cool guitar (that they smash in music videos which is also totally cool).

STORY: Music Videos

From what I know, music video history isn't from that long ago. It started in the 1980s and I believe I even blogged about the first music video ever to air on MTV. And from what my mind tells me, music videos came to being because it was supposed to enrich the musical experience. Although there are negative effects of music videos (like people don't listen to the lyrics as much), over all I think it allowed the artist to better express his/her musical thoughts through visuals. 

Fast forward to today where music videos may have lost its original purpose (well, some still respect the medium). It is now invaded by advertisements and artists trying so hard to look cool. Never mind that the product has nothing to do with the song, never mind that the outfit the artist is wearing is totally inappropriate for the mood and never mind that the music video could have had another song totally and it wouldn't matter.  Just. Never. Mind. 

Actually, I could live with music videos that don't fit songs and don't fulfill the purpose of enriching the musical experience since I could treat it as another form of entertainment, you know, like watching youtube videos of home videos gone wrong. But what I can't forgive is for a beautiful song with such good lyrics to have a terrible music video. I think a good song deserves a good music video or it shouldn't have one at all. Just let the music speak for itself rather than ruin it with a lousy video. I'm not even asking for a brilliant music video, just at least an appropriate one. Like this music video for Jessie J's Price Tag. I really liked the message of the song even if there are "bad words" here and there which is why having to hear it with a music video of the total opposite of the message is just heartbreaking. I just hope the music video was being sarcastic. I really do hope. But then again, this maybe just me trying to defend the singer's choice of donning heels and fancy clothes when she has such a good song under her name. Haaay.

But then again, we still have music videos like this of Selena Gomez' hit, I Love You Like a Love Song. The song isn't that great (but it is catchy) but the music video made it better. The video isn't totally like what the song says but I never said music videos had to be literal. For me, it just has to be related to the song. I appreciate it when music videos are creative and interpretative, you know, treated like art. I just hate it when the music video is made to make the artist look cool or pretty or bad ass. I just hate it. The music video should always still be about the music. Anyway, back to Selena... I like how the video is surreal and Selena was willing to be ugly pretty (Yes, lets thank Tyra for that term) for some of the shots. I really like girls who are willing to look ugly... for me they look even prettier. And though I'm not a fan of Selena, I found myself singing to this song and letting out a few praises for her throughout the music video. The music video was creative and somehow related to the song. See! Is that so hard to do? :) 

STORY: Beach babe

I am not very comfortable with wearing revealing swimwear at the beach. Actually, I'm not comfortable wearing anything too revealing anywhere! So when I stumbled on my old photos with me rocking my one piece in the beach, I thought I might have hope. I might be able to rock a bikini on the beach one day!

 I have mentioned my dream of rocking a bikini by the time I'm 20 in a post before  and I have yet to fulfill that goal. Sure I wore a bikini but under a cover up and I only took the cover up off indoors to take a photo. I know I don't have to do this and there is nothing wrong with not being comfortable flaunting one's body but I'd really want to experience it before it's too late. I don't want to end up being one of those older ladies who wear inappropriate clothes because they were not able to do it when they were younger. At the end of the day, I'd just like to flaunt what I've got while I still have it... even for just 15 minutes along the shore. Haha!

Enjoying the white sand in Boracay back in the day when it wasn't as crowded during the summer.
Beach babe at 6 years old!
Fingers crossed I rock my swim suit this summer!

STORY: Try Andy, Try!

Jose and I went to church at St. John Bosco Parish on the first Sunday of the year. We didn't go to St. Alphonsus where we usually go since we were running late and I didn't want to be late to mass on the first day of the year. Mom and my siblings all went to my cousin's house in San Juan for some post New Year get together (even if they were just with each other earlier celebrating New Year) so Jose and I opted to eat dinner out since there wouldn't people home except for dad. Dad ate all the left overs from the New Year's eve feast.

Staying true to my new year's resolution of exploring food, I told Jose that I was willing to eat seafood this night. Jose immediately suggested we try Bubba Gump which he has wanted to dine at for a long time. Knowing my dislike of seafood, he never asked me to eat at the place though he mentions the place time to time. Well, tonight we were both finally going to try the famous Bubba Gump (my mom and sister keep raviing about this place).

Jose had his mags painted yellow
Jose was quite hesitant to allow me to order shrimp since he knows how much I hate them. I can't even stand the smell of those little sea monsters! Haha. He was afraid that I end up eating nothing and suggested that I order some fish instead. He'd order shrimp and I can eat some from his plate. But I told him that I must learn to eat seafood. I'm not allergic or anything I just don't like it! I don't like the smell or the taste of it, well, except for fish. So if its will that is stopping me from eating, then its will that's going to get me to eat as well.

The place has this cool beach shack vibe. Actually the entire place is based on the film Forrest  Gump so the decor is inspired by the film.
Jose checking out the menu. We sat opposite each other since the bunk was just enough for one!
So much to choose from... I couldn't decide!
One quick photo before our food arrives
Jose made a delicious pick with this one. Its Louisiana Blue Lemonade. It tasted very nice since it was ice cold. The hint of Vodka gave the drink just the right kick.
taking my first bite! Fingers crossed I get it down my throat! Haha

Since we couldn't decide what kind of shrimp to try, we ordered the Shrimper's Heaven which includes 4 different kinds of shrimp served with fries and dips. It was a good decision since I liked almost all of the shrimp! The dips were also great. I especially loved the shrimp behind the tempura in the photo below. I think its the hand breaded coconut shrimp. I'm not sure. The only shrimp I didn't like was the plain fried shrimp. I tried to eat it but I ended up spitting it out. Without the breading, the seafood-ness of it is too overwhelming for me. Yuck! But I'm proud of myself for trying and i'm hoping that I'll get to try more kinds of food throughout the year.

Shrimper's Heaven
I forgot what dish is called but it is extremely yummy. It comes with 3 pieces of fish fillet, mashed potatoes (which are super yummy - one of the best mashed potatoes I've ever had), shrimp with the buttery sauce all topped with shoe string potatoes. 
I couldn't help but share my amazing achievement on facebook already! That's me uploading a photo thru the free WiFi.
I took a picture with the bench with matching running shoes outside the restaurant. The shoes look real, huh?
It was a nice meal and an even nicer night. Jose and I were very pleasant to each other which is very rare, really. Haha. We always bicker about something at one point then just make up over dinner but this night was surprisingly calm and just happy. Its hopefully a sign that this year, our 4th year together, is going to be as calm and happy as well. :)

Peace and love! :)
That was a really nice way to start the year. I hope all of you had an equally amazing January 1st! :) Again, Happy New Year and may God bless us all! :D

STORY: The Last Day of 2011 Part 2

The moment we got home from celebration part 1, I started cooking the sausages and hotdogs. Mom started reheating her sopas and we prepared the table. After about 30 minutes, the gang arrived armed with a ton of food!

It was sad that my stomach was already full so I wasn't able to eat as much as I wanted to. After an hour or two, I started to dig in though. Haha. I especially enjoyed my cousin's mini burgers that looked a lot like Krabby Patties.

Mini Burgers, Glazed Ham, Rum Cake, Sausages, Hotdog, Rosemary Chicken, Pasta (I dont know what pasta that is), and ingredients to make Nachos and Tacos (See the ground beef, the tomatoes and onions in the containers? There is also melted cheese which is not in the photo). They also brought bags and bags of doritos to munch on the entire night.
Since we started the night at around 11pm already, we didn't wait very long to get started on the fireworks. Come 1130pm, all the kids started lighting the sparklers and roman candles. Around quarter to 12, the bigger kids started lighting the big fireworks and it was amazing to watch. The people around the neighborhood even went out to the streets to watch all the fireworks my cousins were firing one after the other.

Sam wore his mask for the entire night! 
Allea kept asking me to take a full body picture because she loved her boots so much! ;)
Our neighbor, whose business is lights and sounds equipment, provided the music for the night. It was great since not many of the neighbors went all out with the firecrackers this year. At least with the music, you couldn't feel how quiet the place really was. Here, I caught Joshua dancing to the music.
Mom wanted to do something special for this celebration so she asked everyone to wear a headpiece for the night. Tita Ann's family brought their own but mom provided most of the head wear for the night. It was nice to see everyone in wigs, hats and everything in between. 

This is all of us (from my dad's side) except for the eldest grandson who was still on the way by this time. Again, like in my previous post, we are a small family. This is all of it, people. Hihi.
These are the girls next to me and my cousin Celine. Allea is 12 and Bellai is 13. Oh how that used to be and Cellina and they used to be in diapers. Now look at them! Haha 
Diego and Sammy are growing up quickly, too!
The 2nd batch of cousins!
The first batch includes Kuya Gino 28, Kuya Mac 23, Celine 20, Me 20 and Enzo 16.
At the stroke of midnight, Tita Ann wanted everyone to toast... kids included which is why she bought some non alcoholic sparkling wine. She even bought plastic wine glasses for the kids. But with the chaos going on with people running here and there and fireworks popping left and right, the sparkling got mixed with Martini and dad ended up serving Martini to the kids! The kids were complaining about the yucky taste of what they were drinking and we would keep telling them that it was just sparkling wine but it turns out we were wrong! Dad had figured out the mistake after the kids have already gotten a sip from their glasses. So we just let them finish their glass and proceeded to toast for the new year.

Sparkling wine? Haha.
 After everyone has calmed down and the last firecracker was lit, everyone went inside for a game of bingo! Everyone joined which meant chaos! No one could hear anyone during the first 10 minutes but it was a good thing order finally settled in. Tita Ann won the first game (P150 + a big pack of M&Ms), Allea the second (P200 + a big pack of M&Ms) and Bellai the third (A pack of Hershey's Kisses).

Eventually we got bored with Bingo and just sat down and talk. One by one the kids got knocked out. Joaquin (3) was the first to go followed by Amanda (7) and then Joshua (8), The Abayas left the building with the kids Sam & Diego at around 4am. The Arcanos slept over and decided to pack up for their house the next day. 

Those of us left behind ended up playing Monopoly Deal. It was my first time playing so Celine and Bellai had to explain the mechanics to me first. Once I got the hang of it, I found myself enjoying it and actually getting really competitive. It was a fun night, I mean day. Its been a long time since I spent time with my cousins (which I used to do often years ago) so this was a nice thing to do again.

I don't know about you guys out there but this has been the best New Year's celebration I could remember. I got to spend it with all my cousins (both sides) and all my aunts and uncles. I haven't felt this happy with family celebrations in a long time. I guess this is a sign that 2012 is truly going to be an amazing year. I can feel it already.

I bet 2012 has a song about it because its going to be that awesome. This will be my year, I swear! Happy New Year everyone! May God bless us all!

STORY: The Final Day of 2011 Part 1

I hope you got that my title was a play on how finales should not have parts which as we have witnessed with Harry Potter and Twilight is a rule that can be broken. Apparently, we can have two finales.

Anyways, this story really has two parts since I celebrated new year in two different places with two different sets of people. This is new for me since we would always spend new year in one place. We would usually spend Christmas with my dad's family then New Year's with my mom's family. We also used to do it the other way around. Christmas with my mom's and New Year's with my dad's. But this time, we celebrated new year we both families! I guess we could always start new traditions, eh?

We started the last day of 2011 pretty late. Mom, Jose and I headed off to Savemore in Sta. Ana to buy some last minute additions to our Media Noche feasts - yes, feasts. One for Laguna (mom's) and Manila (dad's). We couldn't find the sausages dad wanted so we ended up going to Puregold instead. We also dropped by Buddy's to order some sotanghon and Cassava Cake. 

We left Manila at around 5pm. Jose and I went ahead then Dad and the rest of the family followed a few minutes later as soon as mom has secured the entire house. But surprise, surprise, when we got to the toll gate, dad was already there! Jose kept insisting that dad got ahead of him because we had to stop for gas but I think that Dad just really drives fast... and when I say fast, I mean fast.

When we got to Laguna, we started preparing the food. But we had to wait for Tito Archie who bought the Lechon and all the seafood for grilling before we could dig in.

Mom opening the Lechon. The lechon wasn't very big but it cost P6,000! I guess its because its New Years already that the price went that high.
This is Jose's second New Year at Laguna
 Of course we had to take pictures with the food before it disappears! There was a lot to feast on which I gobbled in non stop. It was a bad idea since I didn't leave enough space for the feast waiting back in Manila. Anyways...

Before we started to dig in!
Lechon, Sotanghon, Grilled Liempo, Lumpiang Shanghai, Creamy Vegetables, Grilled Tahong,  Grilled Fish, Puto, Cassava Cake. It's a feast!
The first generation family! Lolo, honeylo and their 3 kids
With the second generation kids and you've got the whole family from my mom's side. We are a small family. :) I guess we are waiting for a third generation then? haha.
With Jose. 
With Mother dear
With Jinin.
Its nice that in our family everyone has someone their age and for me, its her. We basically grew up together until we reached our teens and figured we had different interests. But still, she is a bunch of fun to be with. Hope we could hang out together like we did when we were younger.
Cousins. See how even everything is? 4 kids in our family, 4 in theirs! We have 1 boy and they have 1 girl! 
Jose and I left Laguna at around 9pm so we could drop by his place. His lola was staying over at their house for New Year's eve and they had their own small celebration (his family doesn't make as big a fuss over family get togethers as we do). Dad and the rest of the family passed by Jose's house at around 1030pm to pick me up. From there we headed home and started preparing for celebration number 2.

STORY: Skipping the Regular

This is a very late post. I thought I shouldn't blog about it but I still really like to share the experience... so there. This was last Dec. 23.

After dropping by my dad's christmas party, my mom, siblings and I went off to Landmark and Glorietta to buy some last minute Christmas supplies. I was also able to buy some gifts for my High School friends - Singherz, Rosa and Menchee (I haven't given any of the gifts to them because I haven't got the chance to swing by their houses to give them). 

That's me in the right using Dad's laptop
 When we got to Landmark there was a gimmick going on where there were dancing reindeer and elves. Amanda stopped to take a photo before we headed to Glorietta and rush to Timezone already.

Allea and I shared to buy 200 pesos load for our Timezone card. We both were so eager to play Dance Dance Revolution already. She was the one who introduced me to the game and I've been itching to play it again ever since! Since then, this was the only chance we got to step on the game together again.

I sucked big time but I didn't care coz I was having way too much fun. Haha!
Sorry for the lousy quality. I had to resize it so I can upload it faster.

As much as we wanted to continue playing, there were other people waiting for a turn. We decided we let them play first and we get back to playing DDR after their turn. We never got to play again since the people we let use the machine let another pair of players get on the machine who hogged the thing for the next hour and a half. It was a good thing I guess since the players that followed us were extremely better and Allea & I were able to discover a new game whilst waiting for the machine to be vacant. It wasn't DDR but it was a close second plus no one was waiting for a turn so Allea and I played this thing until our arms were sore. It was fun though!


On the other hand, Enzo and Amanda had their own card and had their own business. When we met up when both our cards were drained, I found out Enzo got 1, 300 powertickets! Amazing. That's the most number of tickets I've seen personally in one visit ever! Enzo was lucky enough to get the jackpot of 1000 tickets in one game and he gave all the tickets for Amanda to redeem at the station. It was his advanced birthday gift to Amanda already. She got a lot of good stiff with those tickets.

After tiring ourselves at Timezone, we headed off to dinner where Jose joined us. He followed us to Makati after he joined their company's Christmas party. We ended up heading over to Tender Bob's which I have blogged about a lot of times already. I think Tender Bob's should start paying me for promoting them. Haha.

 I have eaten at Tender Bob's quite a few times already but I have always ordered the same thing. Sure i would taste what my family or Jose would order but my order always remains the same - a quarter pound burger, medium well with onion rings on the side plus Chicken Tenders Buffalo style to warm me up. As much as I enjoy my regular, I wanted to try something different this time. I was hesitant at first but I pushed myself to order the Fish Fillet with Angus Rice and steamed vegetables. It ended up being a great decision since the serving was great and it tasted delish! Sauce included.

Fish Fillet (You can choose any of the sidings in the menu, I chose Angus Rice)
US Angus Rib Eye Steak - Allea's
OpenFace Roastbeef Sandwich with Onion Rings (You can opt for fries) - Enzo's
Chicken Steak with Steamed Rice and mixed vegetables plus gravy - Jose's
Quarter pound burger with fries
Amanda ended up ordering my regular which I watched her gobble up real quick! Amanda doesn't eat much so we were all surprised when we saw her finish up the entire burger! I wasn't even able to finish my burger the first time but she did! Haha.

It was a good thing mom ordered the Chicken Tenders so I didn't miss my regular all too much. :)

Jose filling in for Daddy who stayed behind at his Christmas Party back at the office
 We sat for a while to let the food sink in. We were all stuffed!

Amanda has such a pretty smile. I wish her teeth would grow already! 

We're all full and ready to go home. And that is just the beginning of many "stuffed" nights we were going to have. Yey for food overload! :)