Saturday, September 27, 2008

According to BabyCenter, I Have a Preschooler

Gosh, for some reason, I really haven't been in the mood to blog lately. Not that I have time either, but I can't muster my usual enthusiasm for it. It's really never good to lose your momentum. Here are some pics from Marguerite's 2nd birthday party. It was just family, nothing big - which shouldn't translate to the magnitude of my stress. Because I was pretty stressed. Remind me to tell you about the hitches. Or not.

Look. A third cake. And it looks suspiciously like the other one. There must be a story behind this. Another time.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Quick Hello

Just checking in to say "hi" and let you know that everything's okay. Just very busy with work and some touches for Marguerite's second birthday and Marguerite, of course. I'd also like to request prayer for my one-year-old goddaughter, Toni, who is confined in the hospital right now with a suspected case of UTI. May God's healing hand be upon her so that she can go back to her normal healthy and active self. Thanks.
I'll be doing my weekly memes again after this weekend as I'm sure they have a following (snorts and lols) :-D.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Flavors of Asia

Back in the nineties, several funny lists were circulating the internet and one of them was “You Know You’re Asian If…”. Since Asians came up with it, it was funny (...the Bio lectures on marine life -seaweed, sea cucumbers, octopi- were last night's dinner). It’s nice being able to understand where the others were coming from since I’ve been there myself (...everyone thinks you're "Chinese" no matter what part of Asia your ancestors were from). When I was studying in Spain, I noticed that Asians of different nationalities gravitated towards each other (this doesn’t mean that we didn’t befriend non-Asians, of course) if only because they were all homesick for Asian food. The same thing can apply on the internet. Online, Free Asian Chat is available to people wanting to immerse in Asian culture and meet other Asians.

Not Quite Snark-free

I used to have another blog. Actually, way before that, probably in 2002, I had another one that got me in trouble with a bigwig in my college (I was doing my masters at that time). Smarting from the unfortunate episode, I decided to discontinue blogging and just focus on actual paid writing (paid blogging hadn't proliferated yet back then). Anyway, shortly after giving birth to Marguerite, the desire to document as many of those early experiences and as much of the sentiment that goes with them got me into blogging again. I had a MySpace account and decided to blog from there (I guess I was still a little leery about airing my thoughts). As I grew more confident in blogging, I opted to make another one with Blogger. Back then, I thought I'd keep the blogspot one positive and use the MySpace one for venting. I guess I found the arrangement unhealthy somehow, like having dual personalities (I actually called it my Hyde blog), because when I went back there to peruse, I found that my last entry had been about Marguerite's birthday (something I just had to get off my chest, I suppose, or I'd still be flogging myself AND Husband over it up to now). I know I haven't been completely snark-free, but I suppose I've learned to count to ten before dashing off an anonymous hateful little note to the void (a misconception, the void is full of readers who can intelligently hunt down your true identity). It's not locking up unpleasant thoughts in your mind and throwing away the key. I've learned to pray more I guess. It's a great way to diffuse an emotional bomb.

Chatting with Other Christians

I went to a girls’ school that wasn’t of my religion and when it came to many things, I was definitely the odd girl out. There were so many things normal to the other girls that I couldn’t relate to and vice versa. Getting out of that setup and being exposed to other people of my own faith outside church was definitely a relief and a blessing. Fellowship and edification are important aspects of Christian life and finding Christian communities online is definitely one of the perks of being in the internet age. Christian Chat Rooms like Christian Chat City are good venues to meet and interact with other Christians.

I've Made My Peace

with the fact that Marguerite's party won't be as DIY or as "eco-freako" as I want it to be. I'm exhausted. Another fact. I lost my helper, but, honestly? I think it's all for the best. Marguerite never really did cotton to her. I only engaged her because I wanted to WAH more comfortably. I mean, I lost any support I used to have when Chip got sick and my mother turned into her 24-hour caregiver. Even though we were living in the same house as three other people, none of them were really available to help me in case I needed to call in a favor. If I sound a bit hostile right now, it's not because I'm begrudging the fact that I can't seem to depend on my mother to help me out when I need it. That's another thing I've made my peace with a long time ago. I mean, what if we were still living up in the mountains/jungle? It would have been the same thing (except worse because I wouldn't be a SAHM). I guess my attitude is, uh-what's-a-good-word, annoyed because I think all the coddling, co-dependence, and, gawd, DRAMA are unnecessary and actually detrimental. But I'll stop now before I get really into it. It wouldn't be pleasant. Anyway, how did I end up blogging about that? The point is (and I do think I have one here somewhere), losing my maid is good because I didn't want that kind of lifestyle anyway. I mean, we weren't wealthy, but I grew up surrounded by a gaggle of helpers (mostly my grandmother's, but we were included in their service) and I never had to do any chores. Thirty years later, here I am, still ignorant about laundry. I learned to do other household stuff (including cooking) when I was living by myself. Unfortunately, I (and then later with Husband too) used a laundry service at that time (or just dropped off my laundry at my parents', heehee). The thing is, I do not want Marguerite to grow up the same way and when we finally get our own place, I'll tackle the laundry thing head on. Gah, I make it sound like some impossible mission. Anyway, going back to Marguerite's party, I won't be making all the things I had planned to make myself. Lately, I've been all about sleep and spending time with my daughter. I'm not going to exhaust myself and be on the verge of a meltdown on my daughter's birthday (on the verge! hah!). Anyway, not as much is at stake this year and it's really not too good a thing to remember all the things that had gone wrong last time. Obviously, I still have to work on just letting go.
I know I said I've made my peace... but can anyone tell that I'm actually sulking about this?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Find Someone Without Leaving the House

Do you have an estranged relative? Have you lost touch with your childhood friends? Are you trying to track down anybody? The internet continues to make the world a smaller place as public records become accessible to us online. People Finder sites allow us to make discreet and effortless inquiries. At, you only need to submit a name and it can generate relevant information for you as soon as you click your mouse.

Blogging about the Weather

Gosh, I'm on a roll. A post practically every thirty minutes. But this is business. I should really post more in my wahm blog to avoid instances like this.
You know what? I'm going to talk about the weather. How banal can one get, eh? Typhoon season over here and we've already had some awful ones wreaking havoc and leaving devastation in their wake. How very inopportune that Husband and Marguerite's birthdays both fall on this month. Picnic celebrations are out, always out. You can't trust a beautiful morning during the monsoon. Days are "psychotic" and can easily go Jekyll-and-Hyde on you. Anyway, thankfully, we're not doing anything huge for Marguerite's birthday this year, so I really don't think rain will affect our celebration much.

Ringtones Reflect Who You Are

I think having a good ringtone does much to brighten your day. If you choose well, every call can spark positive vibes since you get treated to music or sound that you like. I’m not a fan of hiphop myself, but I know a lot of people out there are. If you’re one of them, you can get Kanye West ringtones at Kanye West Realtones. You can listen to a sample ringtone first before downloading it. This way, you know if everything is to your liking. There’s also a brief bio of Kanye at the bottom of the page and it’s an interesting read.


In the middle of writing an article about BMWs (Husband and I are doing car gigs - I'm writing and he's selling), I thought of David Morissey(?) and that somehow led me to Aaron Peirsol. I still haven't figured out the connection. Remember how I used to go on and on about him? Wait, that was just last week. Anyway, just because this blog hasn't been gushy recently does not mean that the fangurl is finally dead and buried. She's still around, surfacing in fits and spurts, and coming in really handy for interval writing in case I need to make another wahm post.
So. Aaron Peirsol.
I can't do this!
Not that I don't think he's cute anymore because I do. Very much. It's just that I'll just be repeating everything I've said before. And then I might be tempted to type "hoTT" again. Oops. Just did.

So. There's the newspaper! There's a picture of an upside down house in Germany. Interesting. The theme song of Amazing Vacation Homes just played in my head. Hmm, I'd include a paean to They Might Be Giants, only I think I already raved about them here before. That would be under "music". I guess I'm not in the mood for hyperlinks.
So. I can stop now? Okay. Bye.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Going Through Divorces

Public records have always been accessible to the people, but thanks to the information highway, going through them has become as easy as pie. Just like marriage records, divorce records are also available to you with just a click of a mouse. Those who want to find out the current marital status of a proud Texan can visit Texas Divorce Records. No legwork is necessary. You can do a single purchase or go for an unlimited yearlong search pass.

Counting Grains

I'm trying to follow the diet requirement BabyCenter pushes, but as of now it's too much for Marguerite. I believe in following my daughter's cues, nonetheless, it's worrying when she seems to be consuming less than the "standard" indicated by the experts. Take water for example. She can't be consuming more than half of what they suggest. While I offer her a drink practically every ten minutes, she doesn't do more than pretend to drink unless she's really thirsty. On the other hand, she's willing to consume more than the average milk and juice intake. Food-wise, we're nearer the target. Actually, I've started her on the 24 months and up diet so I'm not too worried if she doesn't seem to be eating as much as expected. She hasn't officially turned two yet. Anyway, she's healthy even if she's not chubby. I promise I'm not obsessing about this, but I have created a journal planning and monitoring her daily feeding. I just need to be on top of it, so I actually know what's going on. Being the way I am, I need to know and not just have a vague idea that Marguerite finds 6 servings of grains too much. That's it. If I'm not blogging, it's because I'm working or keeping track of my daughter's food intake. Ciao.

No Such Thing as a Secret Marriage

What are the possible reasons for people to go through public marriage records? What comes to mind is somebody wanting to verify somebody else’s marital status perhaps in the interest of starting a relationship. There is also the matter of lawyers doing their research on people involved in their cases. Journalists would be another group interested in this pursuit. And then there are those who want to track down old friends or classmates whose married names they do not know. Public Marriage Records is a good site to consult regarding public records related to marriage. Users can specify a location to narrow down the search, especially when concerning people with very common names. Gone are the days of hopping from courthouses to city halls and numerous inquiries. With a simple click of the mouse, you can purchase the information that you want for a reasonable fee.

Silent Odyssey

The First Feature-Length Documentary Film on Filipino Deaf Culture

September 20, 2008
4:00 p.m.
UP Film Center Theater

SILENT ODYSSEY—a journey into the Deaf world—brings out the Filipino Deaf’s sentiments towards the hearing society, chronicles the significant and pioneering efforts of different institutions and personages in Philippine Deaf history and touches on important and current issues on Deaf education. It introduces the word “audism” (Deaf oppression)—a not-yet-so-popularly used term in the Filipino Deaf community; takes a glimpse at the 15th World Federation of the Deaf Congress in Spain with the theme “Human Rights Through Sign Language” and the celebration of the entry into force in the Philippines of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The film also focuses on some of Deaf achievers who are worthy of emulation by the Filipino Deaf youth and presents the World Federation of Deaf President Markku Jokinen’s views on oralism, use of hearing aids and importance of sign language to the Deaf. Most importantly, the film takes a close look at the Filipino Sign Language (FSL)—its probable origin, uniqueness, present status vis-à-vis other sign systems and its importance as index to the cultural identity of the Filipino Deaf as a cultural-linguistic minority group.

The journey leads to a realization that the Deaf are disabled and impaired by society’s failure to understand and accept their language and culture as an ethnic group, disregarding their cultural needs as Deaf persons by not providing the bridge of communication which aggravates their linguistic isolation. That “Deaf can” is no illusion but a reality which can shame those who think of themselves as superior just because they can hear.


“Silent Odyssey captures the cry of the Deaf soul through an intricate tapestry of image, sound and color - indeed a poetic documentary that only Miranamedina can create.”
Special Education
University of the Philippines, Diliman

“I have to admit that many issues tackled in the film were new to me. So, in that sense, the film has accomplished its purpose on introducing what is happening in the Deaf community in the Philippines…”
Manila Shimbun

“Silent Odyssey is simply unbelievable in its quality and unmatched expressiveness in outlining the life, struggles of the Deaf and the Deaf history in the Philippines. Mirana Medina's excellent film will capture the hearts of every movie watcher and celebrates the expressiveness of language without a voice.”

“Silent Odyssey shows who Deaf people are and what they want.”
Benildean Deaf Association


SILENT ODYSSEY (110 minutes, subtitles in English) is a production of Miryad Visyon in cooperation with the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and Lingap-Pangarap Foundation, Inc.

The Premiere Screening of Silent Odyssey is sponsored by De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies (DLS-CSB SDEAS) and UP Special Education Council.

Proceeds of the film will go to the Deaf Scholarship Fund of DLS-CSB to provide access to tertiary education for more Deaf Filipinos, to Miranamedina’s next advocacy film on special children and to projects of UP Special Education Council.

Php 150 (Regular)/Php 100 for students (please present ID)

[email protected], 526-7441 local 239, 0927-2248584

Watch the Silent Odyssey trailer:

Visit the blog:

Monday, September 8, 2008

Feliz cumpleaños a mi querido esposo

To one of the biggest blessings in my life, a spectacularly awesome birthday to you. I pray that all your dreams be realized according to God's will and time; that your character grow even stronger as you mature; that you improve each day into the man that God has designed you to be; that your days brim with music, laughter, inspiration and creativity; that our life remain happy and always filled with love; that our journey continue to be enriching, colorful, beautiful, and guided by God. Marguerite and I have the best in you. May God keep you safe and healthy always. Te queremos mucho.

Husband's faux mug shot for the Brent yearbook


Saturday, September 6, 2008

100 Species Challenge (10-14)

I'm in my fourth week of the 100 Species Challenge initiated by Sarah Sours. You can read my previous entry here.

My species list thus far:
1. Shy grass
2. Lantana
3. Creeping fig
4. Ginger lily
5. Asian sword fern
6. Hibiscus
7. Bougainvillea
8. Chinese honeysuckle
9. Guava

And now for this week:

1o. Eupatorium riparium

Commonly known as the Mistflower, it is found growing wild anywhere it fancies here. It is considered a weed, but I've always liked the little purple flowers. The blooms also come in white or blue, but many refer to them as blue mistflowers. To me, they look like little starbursts. The plant is also called Creeping Croftonweed in some places. I read that the flowers can be used as a tanning agent. I'm not sure if we mean suntans or leather here, lol.

11. Pine

We know these trees as pine, but I'm not sure what kind - the scraggly kind? lol If you recognize it, please let me know what kind it is. Thanks.

12. Plumeria

Commonly known in the Philippines as Kalachuchi, these blooms are considered flowers for the dead here (ditto in Bangladeshi culture). I used to think that this was because they were probably used in wreaths or because they were always found growing in graveyards, but it seems that local Southeast Asian folklore has it that the plants serve as shelter to ghosts and demons. Hmm, the flowers are pretty anyway (used to form leis in polynesian culture). The scent is quite heady, but it doesn't matter because we've been trained to be spooked by it (the flowers being associated with death and all). I personally like it. Locals who are not aware that plumeria is the same as kalachuchi have no qualms buying plumeria-scented perfumes. Better not tell them, lol.

13. Acacia

We just call them acacia trees and lovely shaded streets (shade is always nice in the tropics) usually have a line of them growing on the sides. The plant has many uses here. We may not be aware of it, but it is used in food, in folk medicine, in perfume, etc. It also called thorntree or wattle in other countries.

14. Adonidia

Known as the Manila Palm or the Christmas Palm because of the bright green and red berries (not sure if they're really inedible, but we don't eat them here; they turn red in December, btw). They're native only to us here in the Philippines, but they grow as ornamental plants in other parts of the world.

A Clean Record Is the Way to Anybody's Heart

How amazing are technology and the internet? You can research somebody’s history without the requisite trips to various agencies. This may not be such a great thing for secretive or really private people, but for, say, protective fathers of dating-aged daughters, it is a godsend. is a great place to start. Not sure about your friend’s boyfriend? Think your new neighbor looks sinister? Criminal Court Records are available to you with just a click of a mouse. The information you’ll be accessing is derived from public records, so it’s all within the law. This certainly diminishes the legwork involved in legal battles as well.

From My Head to Another's

Remember me telling you about shipping my hair off to Florida? Well, great news! My hair was accepted. Please remind me next time I complain about my mutant hair that it's really a blessing. It can even be a blessing to somebody else too. If you're interested in donating hair, please visit Locks of Love.

Crank Callers, Beware!

You’ve probably been around long enough to know that when somebody calls you and asks you if your refrigerator is running, it’s most certainly a prank call (and if this is new to you, just please don’t answer “yes” or your caller will most gleefully tell you to better go catch it). will certainly come in useful for instances like this. Prank calls aren’t always as harmless as the refrigerator one. There are those that intend to inflict a stronger psychological impact than mere annoyance and a reverse phone lookup will enable you to take control of the situation. With Phone Lookup Scan, you can immediately know certain details such as the location of the caller and the type of line used. Further details are available to you with charge, but if it’s a matter of great importance (it could be related to business, an important personal matter, or even something that you’d want to report to the police) the fee becomes irrelevant, right? You can definitely make technology like this work to your advantage.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Words, Not So Much

It's not only that I don't feel like blogging, but it's also mostly because I don't have the time. This is why I resort to the blogger's alternative during times like this. When not wanting to deal with words and thoughts, post pics.
These were taken last weekend, the first during a Mexicali merienda, and the latter three by security cameras at my sister-in-law's bazaar. Stall owners warned against toddlers who believe in their five-finger discount. :)