Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Elements of style's reminder

It is an old observation that the best writers sometimes disregard the rules of rhetoric.
When they do so, however, the reader will usually find in the sentence some compensating
merit, attained at the cost of the violation. Unless he is certain of doing as well,
he will probably do best to follow the rules. After he has learned, by their guidance, to
write plain English adequate for everyday uses, let him look, for the secrets of style, to
the study of the masters of literature.

- Elements of style by William Strunk and E. B White

Monday, January 30, 2012

How to Stop Being a People Pleaser

There's trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. 'People pleaser' is actually a code for codependency; many people are codependent. I was a people pleaser before, but now- by the Grace of God and maturity- I'm on the process of knowing when to say, Yes or No.


1. Think of five times when you did or said something that did not truly reflect your wants and needs, in order to please someone else. Write them down. For each of these occasions, imagine how you would have handled it differently to please yourself! What is the worst that could have happened? Write down your worst fears.

2.Look at your fears. Are they realistic? Are they truly terrible? You might be afraid that no one will like you, that someone will leave you, or that you will be left all alone if you don't say the right thing. That is a prison you have trapped yourself in, and it's time to unlock the doors and walk out! The people around you may be used to your compliance, but if they're not willing to accept that you have your own needs, are they really worth having in your life?

3. Examine your ability to set limits on others. Examine your boundaries. Where are they? What is acceptable behavior for you and what is unacceptable? Do you tolerate the intolerable? Normalize the abnormal? Accept the unacceptable? Do you know what it feels like to be treated with dignity and respect? Learn how to identify and label unacceptable treatment from others and how to set limits on their behavior when they violate your boundaries.
4. Consider the source. Many people pleasers were raised in environments wherein their needs and feelings were pushed aside/not considered. Were you always expected to anticipate and mold yourself to everyone else's needs? Did you learn that the only way to receive a positive response was to do what others wanted you to do? If so, here's a newsflash -- not all the world wants a pushover. By focusing on pleasing others, you open yourself up to manipulation and abuse. You will never reach your potential as an individual if you constantly hide behind others' expectations.

5. Stop basing your self-worth on how much you do for other people. It's noble to want to help others, but it's something you should do because you want to, not because you feel you have to. The greatest acts of kindness are those done by choice, not out of fear or guilt. If you're doing things for others because you would feel bad if you didn't, is the action really genuine? Would you want others to help you under those terms? And, if you're helping others to such an extent that you are neglecting yourself, is that really wise?

6. Learn how to say "no." Don't make up excuses -- give your reasons for not wanting something. So your best friend wants you to go with her or him to a party that will be full of people that you can't stand? "No thank you. It's just not my scene." Start small by finding something small to say "no" to, and say it firmly. Say it politely, but mean it! You'll be surprised -- the world will not collapse around your ears! People rarely take offense, and those that do aren't worth pleasing.

7. Ask for what you want. If everybody's going to the movies, and most people in the group want to see a particular movie, but you'd rather watch something else, speak up! There's nothing wrong with voicing your opinion, and it doesn't have to mean you're making a demand. Simply reminding people that you're an individual with your own preferences is a big step forward. Even asking someone to help you do something will help.

Ultimately, you must remember that no one can read your mind. If you feel that you do so much for others, but they don't do anything for you, maybe it's because you don't express your needs or desires. It's not fair to make people pry an answer from you. If they ask you what you want, or if there's a decision being made, put in your opinion, and let that be that.

8. Do something for yourself. Do one thing you have been wanting to do, but are afraid someone else will not like. Dye your hair, get that new look, have a treat that you enjoy, go on holiday....whatever you do, do it for yourself, and practice not worrying what anyone else thinks about it. Don't get caught up in doing things just because no one else wants you to do them. Remember that there ought to be things that you truly want to do for yourself, regardless of what anyone else thinks, not in spite of it. Other people's opinions are a factor in our lives, but they should not be the determining factor.

9. Compromise. While it's not good to be a pushover, it's no better to be a manipulative bully or a reckless rebel. Don't become totally selfish. In fact, many people pleasers have low self-esteem. So do those who are selfish. It is best to develop good self-care skills which include healthy assertiveness skills. You can listen to others, but ultimately, what you do is your choice. Keep a balance! Sometimes the needs of other people should come first. Whenever there's a conflict of desires, try to come up with a solution that will meet both desires halfway, or better yet, a "win-win" situation where both sides get even more than they bargained for.

Source here

Friday, January 27, 2012

Lil' forward into the past, press forward to the future

You make all things new, yes, you make all things new
and I will follow you forward.

When I'd look at you- I know I'm new.
I'm the one whom I dreamt of becoming.

I’ll constantly remember what this voice said,
"Enough for the thrill and twirl;
 yield and loosen up in the breeze."

Moving out

Photo from here

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Kung hei fat choi

We went to Binondo last Monday in accordance to the Chinese lunar new year. Woah, I told you  last time that I went here before and the volume of people who attended last Monday doubled from 2010.

I was with the same folks along with Mama and Pao for 3 consecutive days. That's what this long weekend means to me-- tingling feet and hyperactiveness. Let me enumerate the places we've been to.

1. Sta. Cruz Parish church

It's a huge church across the Escolta street. In front of it is a fountain, which turns to be a resting haven for people who's gone in celebrating the festivity.

The fountain
2.  Ongpin

What to expect? a large crowd coming back and forth. I'm already geared up. Dragon dances with fire crackers shakening the pavement. Sellers pitching about the lucky charms along the way, which I bought one. Big arks telling about their beliefs. Tikoy (gummy cake) with different colors lined up on a table. Circled fruits, oranges from Sagada which awed me. really? it's a long travel. Searching for the Taoist temples along with apartments, business establishments and restaurants. Mash feet with people because of parades and photographers gorging their cameras to capture beautiful moments.

 The crowd

Dragon dance

Family fortune? might be.

incence's well

The wanderer

Tradition: make 3 bows then blow a wish

Dragon's fire

Side car driver with his 25th Chihuahua 

 Me with a 3 year old Fil-Chi girl

I still feel like I'm a tourist in my own country. Visiting Chinatown send me into a portal of rich and vital culture. Chinese people already brought their preserved culture and traditions in this hamlet.

It was a superb experience. I'm proud to be Pinay after knowing how we embrace other's culture and at the same time maintaining ours.  

3. Binondo church

This enormous, made of stones with stained glasses portraits of stations of the cross served us our resting vicinity, though there's an ongoing mass. Afterwards, we went out to look for a restaurant.

4. Maki's place

It's a small Chinese restaurant with a cool ambience and recommendable for dining in too. The food's price is cheap yet "sulit" (they'll meet your taste expectation).

 Yang chow rice

Sweet and sour fish fillet

Chicken with mushroom sauce 

Go on and a pay visit to our motherland's beautiful places. It will deepen your love for your country.

Lovely night along the Lawton bridge

Photos by  Dave and Michael

Hap chan restaurant (Chinese new year's eve)

 When the blessings rain upon, we're on-guard. After The Feast's service, we hanged out with Uncle John and Aunt Meda in Hap Chan, Harbor Square.

As my sister's childlike and funny remark, "Totoo palang may Chinese new year! (Chinese New year is real!)" when Uncle John and Aunt Meda surprisingly treated us in a Chinese restaurant. Unfamiliar with this couple, I love Chinese cuisine and tea.

while waiting for our food, have some tea first.

Ready to pig out?

Fish fillet's verdict: ★★★★★

Brocolli's verdict: ★★★★★

Their serving, depending on your appetite is worth the pay. Their waiter is accomodating, diligent and enthusiastic in serving, especially Mr. J ( I won't put his name here.) The place was designed with big Chinese lanterns. They're even readying their Chinese dragon dance, save it for the 6 o'clock customers.

Thanks to this sweet couple!

Photo from the uber diligent waiter

Before leaving Hap Chan, we talked to its owner and he assimilated us with new knowledge about Chinese's traditions upon celebrating the Lunar new year. Shem who's so inquisitive, throws her questions spontaneously to Mr. Chan (my fault for not asking his name) that made us delighted to listen.

These may be lucky in the year of dragon

Chicken, fish and pork are their offering to their God

Another lucky offering

The more leaves surrounding the pineapple, the more prosperity comes along.

Good thing, there were no new customers getting inside. They might think, we're having a field trip. ;)

Photos by Shem and Mr. J

Bookay ukay

I was inspired by my friend's post about Bookay ukay, a booksale somewhere in 55 Maginhawa street, UP Village. Just a walk away from Quezon city circle and a tricycle away across. We tagged along there to look for cheap books or magazines, expecting how it'll look like. It's a small space and artsy bookstore, wherein you can find 2nd hand books/magazines, record tapes and even new books.

After my eyes unflinchingly scrutinize the place, I realized that I'm already sluggish prior to attending a recreational activity in Quezon city circle. Thanks to their friendly sofa for knowing their customer's need and I decided to chill out with their reggae, opm, r'n'b and boyband songs for few minutes.

Go forth & dig in your preferred book/s

abstract, comic photos and map inspired on their wall

Since, my sister and friends starting digging the books and showing me how cool the book they're holding. Ok, enough for being lazy- I got up and started to search for Dr. Seuss' books. Unfortunately, waley- nowhere to find! arrghh.

can't remember why I'm crazily chuckling here

holding a 2nd choice book

I ended up purchasing nothing, nonetheless I enjoyed as my eyes indulged from the books there and the place itself. They have a facebook fanpage, wherein you could check out their available books.

Thank you, Bookay-ukay, because they may inspire other enterpreneurs to create this kind of business. Why not expand in Manila? Ahh, it'll be risky because they'll be competing from Recto's book owner.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

First fellowship for this year

Last January 21, we were at Quezon city circle for Tita Chay's post birthday celebration/ first Media team's fellowship and exploring The Feast's history. I was happy to know that we have a wonderful leader and mentor. Aside from that every photographers, writers, PR specialist, special project team and artists truly rock as they shared their view about this year plans.

The park explicitly showing us its beauty through the playground and fun activities there. While the sun touched our skin, we still had a lunch picnic under the big tree.  

Birthday song for Tita Chay

Birthday cake

I recommend this place for you. This is perfect venue for playing charades while laughing with family or friends, storytelling and listening to your mothergoose, intensive planning, practicing for any perfomances, and educational activities. After a having a bunchful lunch, Ate Kimmy, provided us a brown paper, colors and pencils unleashing our creativity through drawing our dreams for this year.

Once I hold  any colors, I'll be unstoppable in using it.

Everyone participated well, and excited to showcase their dreamboard manifesting in the future.

Proudly presents my masterpiece! :)

Afterwards, we roam around the place and we met this hunk- sadly we didn't get his name.

Isn't he cool with his shades?
(wishing Jewel was here)

kudos big kiddos!

Of course, we returned to a serious planning for our assembly this February. That place was good for refreshment and to make your creative juices work spontaneously. Nature, you're a big help!

Time's up! Time for recreation again: charades

me and my sweetie ate Kimmy

Kuya A surprised us!
 (indeed, love is in the air~~)
Media Team
(wishing we're complete)

On that day, I've learned that it only takes an initiative to plan plus other's cooperation to experience a blast. Thank you for saying "yes" to that invitation and have fun!:D

Photos by Cris and Shem

Friday, January 20, 2012

Goodnight, amor!

1960. A year to learn by heart. Violet, a 32-year old mestisa who has a grayish bluish eyes, chestnut brown hair, and wears a red and black poodle dress and flat shoes while dancing with her Dance instructor in a ballroom hall. Nitoy, a 34-year old brown skinned and an averaged tall man with brusque stature on his olive green polo and dark pants entered the hall with his friends after having an intensive military training. As they asked for a glass of wine or drink, Nitoy noticed Violet’s stunning legs. As he sipped his wine, he went right away to Violet and asked for her name, anything about her, and they spent the night in dancing. With that momentous night, they got married after 6 months and blessed with 4 beautiful daughters in between the years 1961-1967.

They sometimes spent time in traveling mostly in the Visayan and Bicol region leaving their daughters with Violet’s mom. In passing she came from a prominent Suria clan, mixture of Spanish, French and Filipino blood and she  risked her kin just to marry Nitoy,  a Native and ordinary man from Bicol who dreams of becoming a pilot.

Their Bohol moment while lola is 3 month old pregnant for their first daughter

Ballroom dancing became part of their 60's-70's lifestyle

What if they didn’t choose to get married? Will they still be my grandparents, I don't certainly know?

1987. I was born. I was raised with my mom, aunts, Lola (Grandmother) Violet and Lolo Nitoy (Grandfather). Both of them were there to support me. And now that I’m older, trying to revive the values that they instilled in my heart.

I wouldn’t forget my grandfather’s repeated stories about war, his taekwondo training, judo class, anything about survival and self-defense while Lola, who’s exactly opposite of him is quiet, caring, calm, considerate, and very kind. Lolo reminded us how much he loves lola, how he put her into her throne as his queen. Whenever lolo told his 1960’s aircrafts and love story, pictures of black and white tv, Natalie Cole’s music, 3 coins in the fountain, vintage photos will flashback. He’s more of a storyteller than lola. She just nodded or sometimes smirked at him and would say, “Amor (Spanish for “love”) .” Lolo continued his work in  Armed Force of the Philippines (A.F.P.) while lola took care of her children. According to lolo, my grandma isn’t a nagger. Once he got home late, instead of asking where he went, she’d ask if he had already eaten.

He actually had a dream for me-- he wants me to enter in A.F.P. He also wants most of his grandson/daughters to do so. Good thing, lola is lady-like, I think I turned out to be more of her. It’s what we call balance. But as we’re growing up, he said that we could be what we want to be as long as we know our priority as their apo (granddaughter). Lola would just watch us as lolo taught as some taekwondo steps, it sometimes occur weekly. She allowed him to teach us the basic things we need to know and even his hard discipline to us.

Next, his bruises that molded him to be a sturdy man for his countryman became part of our system at home. But when lola cries and asks him to calm down, lolo’s authority melts. He’s vulnerable with my lola’s presence, especially when you look at lola’s beautiful eyes. Maybe he can still see the eyes of a woman whom he decided to love nearly 50 years ago.

These 2 old-aged, wrinkled with cracked voices sweethearts still  argue at times. But oftentimes, they shared a sweet and good memories. They are 2 great examples of “till death do us apart.” God has seen how they started as rigorous lovers until Alzheimer’s and heart failure striked lola on the latter part of her life, yet lolo remained at her side. Loving and feeding her for 4 years in her bed ridden posture, reminding her their first meeting. Sometimes, I would just look at her with silence; she’s my stress relief way back. She’d ask about him while her eyes sparkle. She sometimes forgot our names but not amor. Upon sleeping at night, lolo will just give her a gentle kiss on her forehead and will say, “Goodnight, amor!” How can she forget that word if he says it relentlessly?

I think one of the best things that they taught us is to let go. Never ever possess your lover, but stick on your role to serve each other and your family. Lola trusted lolo so much to the extent of surrendering to him, thus lolo remained faithful and worthy of her trust.

2008. That’s the year when Lola Violet died. I was deeply saddened and the year after Lolo Nitoy followed. With so much precious memories within the gaps of time, I swear to myself to write something about them. I remember writing an outline for this almost 2 years ago, but then I procrastinated.

So this is the story about a man and woman, who showed me how true love works; I actually put a post it on my computer reminding myself about this:

Don’t forget to write about your grannies.

Today is the day, lo and la! :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Weddings and beyond fair

complimentary ticket      

Last Sunday, after attending The Feast, our Ministry photographer, Cris Legaspi was expecting us to visit her booth from the this weddingfair in PICC forum. Cris gave us a complimentary ticket, which really excites me to see the first, the biggest and the grandest weddings and debut expo for this year. It’s not that I’m excited to get married, but come on; this will be helpful to those who have a wedding plans. When we got inside, the first thing that caught my attention was the voice of an acoustic singer and guess what? It’s from the band, Pillowcase. I’ve heard them perform before and they’re still good. The second thing was the cherry blossom ark that you’ll pass through.

I’ve read that there were 300 suppliers and I actually got a bulk of flyers and letters from them. Prior to visiting Cris’ booth- my eyes feasts from the pre-nup/nuptial packages, cakes, photobooth, gowns, rings, bouquets and catering.

I’m glad that they’re giving away white bag perk, handy for carrying such hassling flyers.
The most fun part was when the photographer named Joseph Claravall talked to us about the free photobooth, which is an Eiffel tower inspired and gave us his pitch about the Unique selling point (USP) of their event coordination. Sounds, impressive huh! You can visit his site here.

Never forget the pastries and cakes free taste! Harharhar!!! : D

                              Proud owner, Cris!       FH flyer flies       Funky FH booth

Finally, we went to Cris’ flickerhappy booth and among all the booths around the fair (coined me as bias, I-won’t-mind!) their booth looks so modern, lively, artsy, down-to-earth yet sophisticated, funky and cool!!!:D (woah-so many adjectives to describe it!) We also met her tandem, M, who looks simple yet rock! She has good news to us, they booked a sensible client.

No, doubt-- check out their photos here.

Before ending our capriciousness inside, she ritually took a mug shot of us. Talk about bonding with friends and mama!:)
 mug shot

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Feast day of Sto. Nino

The Feast day of Sto. Nino was celebrated every 3rd week of January. Nuestra Senora Cebu, Sto. Nino parishes from Tondo or Pandacan but almost all over the Philippines and some parts of the world. According to Fr. Ike Veloso, as he gives his homily at the Feast- it’s a sign of our devotion to Sto. Nino or a child Jesus.

The Little Children and Jesus (Mark 10: 13-16)
 13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

He added that there are 2 contradictory things in Sto. Nino, because he’s a child yet he wears a crown. First it shows the mystery of weakness and strength. It tells about the lesson of humility- the little child is the greatest in heaven. A child is great because he/she has a mother and father. It only means that we’re great because we have our Father in Heaven and we became His children through Christ. The reason why each of us is great.

More stories about Sto. Nino here 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Comic Jewel

 Sometimes, we wonder if she's really thinking deep and wanting to become a human.

When Jewel started to show off her silliness, riot surrounds our house.
When she's happy, she'll jump and stomp her feet on our thighs;
her golden brown hair will start to fly in the air.
She'll play around our house, like a kid
freely plays in a playground. But when we're fondling her, let her lie on the floor, as we
sing a song- it seems like a lullaby on her ears, and she'll be half-asleep.

She creates an unending burst of laughter 
and uncomparable happiness on our home.