Monday, May 31, 2010

getting ready for mother

a long, long time ago, i used to live in a pristine house. that's how homes are like when you have an OC mother like mine.

and then she permanently left for the US and left the house to me and my brother. and then my brother left and the house was left to me.

then, that's where the problem began. because while *i believe* i have a lot of good qualities, like being able to drill the curtains myself, i am not exactly a house cleaning diva. as a matter of fact, if there was some way i could get someone to do all my cleaning requirements for the rest of my life, and have that person disappear when i don't need her anymore, i'd probably gladly fork over my shoe budget.

i am, however, blessed with friends who love to clean. last year, theo - bless his kind soul - volunteered to get all of my cleaning needs done. he dragged over his best friend floro to help him, and after a couple of sessions (plus one with kuya efren's yaya ising), my house was ready for a party.

so we had a faux housewarming to surprise a friend on his birthday

and another one to celebrate christmas and theo's arrival

however, while my house would *somehow* be ready for parties, inevitably, it would return to its normal state of entropy (incidentally, one thing i learned from high school physics is that entropy, the state of disorder, happens to be the most stable state.) translation: i would once more need professional help to get the house in order.

my mom's arriving on friday and i am in a HUGE panic as to how to get everything ready for her arrival. of course i am crazy worried about how to make everything comfortable, how to entertain her while she's here, how to make sure she doesn't regret taking her vacation here. but, most of all, my biggest worry is how she'll react once she realizes her pristine house is no more.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

rain, rain please don't go away

as i was on my way to work this morning, it rained.

you know that kind which has giant raindrops and makes a huge splash on your windshield? that kind of rain.

happiness. if i didn't have a meeting this afternoon i would've probably spent the entire day in bed, reading. or watching dvds. or sleeping. anything that didn't involve getting out of bed.

because recently, it has been too hot to do that. it's been too hot to just hole up at home and spend the day in luxurious wonder. maybe when i get myself and aircon (sigh i feel too poor thinking i don't have a working aircon at home). maybe when i get myself that kind of salary that can allow me to aircon when i want (while i can afford the aircon, its the meralco bill that has been preventing me from making the big jump).

today's rain though, is a promise of things to come. i am now envisioning weekends in bed, lounging like a professional couch potato. i am envisioning cool nights and fuzzy pajamas. i am imagining sleeping to the sound of rain hitting the roof. and the smell of clean earth. sigh. i can't wait.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

and all i wanted was a haircut

there i was, at my aunt's house, lounging with the entire family at the basement cause it was too hot to be anywhere else. i had made the declaration that i was going to go to work, finish up on stuff, and wow the universe with my dedication.

then sloth stepped in and that was that.

still, not the one to allow the weekend to pass just like that, i had the *brilliant* (ha!ha!) idea to get a haircut. you see, one of my new friends had mentioned how her stylist at piandre somewhere in qc had fixed her curly hair in such a way that she never has any problem with it anymore. me, the rebonding addict who wants to finally get off the bandwagon and just be fine with my buhaghag hair, was curious. can HE fix my hair too.

then was one problem though - i didn't have the girl's number. and so i couldn't request the fabulous stylist to do my hair. boo-ness.

then tita mayu said that one of her good friends was seeing marlon at headzone salon in trinoma. and that she now has easy-to-manage fabulous hair.

so i went.

but instead of getting a haircut, i ended up getting the kerestase vita-ciment treatment instead with, well, a free haircut.

now, if there is one thing about me, i never, ever get expensive hair treatments in salons. i am kuripot that way. the most expensive thing i've ever done in a salon was rebonding, and that was in cheap out-of-the-way salons recommended by friends. once in while, i also get coloring done professionally, but once i've discovered my cheap parlor in bf resort, i've pretty much stuck to my single process, root retouch every three weeks or so. but when marlon was looking at my hair, and i was looking at him looking at it, i felt intense distress that when he said P1,400, and he'll throw in a free haircut with it, i couldn't help but say yes.

after all, i was sunburned (still!), had tired skin (i blame the hormones from the medication), and was fat bloated. the least i could do for myself was to treat me to something.

at first i didn't feel any changes. marlon asked me to touch the hair afterwards, to see how soft it was compared to when i first arrived. i pretended to have felt it, but in all honesty, i didn't. then i shampooed my hair this morning and there it was, a distinct softness, not as much as i would've wanted to (that, IMHO, would've been a miracle), but still, something.

marlon told me i'd need another treatment in a month's time, and i think i might just go for it. there's a number of these products being sold online and i'm thinking of just getting it there and doing the treatment myself (then again, i did love the chair massage they gave me. i think THAT was worth P400 out of the P1,400 i shelled out).

and, oh, re the haircut, it was okay. i told him that i'm growing out the rebonded portions and would like to stick to my normal hair once it all grows out, and asked him if he could recommend a cut when it's back to its normal state. his answer: i have to get it rebonded again. boo. i hate answers like that. so if you have a recommendation for a stylist who can fix buhaghag hair with scissor-magic, then i'd want that please.

in the meantime, i shall search for more kerestase love online.

*image from

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I have a love-hate relationship with my armpits. No, scratch that – I have a hate-hate relationship with my armpits. I hate the fact that the laser hair removal treatments didn't exactly work on me. I hate the fact that they're not pretty. And I hate the fact that no matter how much I seem to do for them, they never really yield positive results. So, while I may hate the fact that my legs are big and my tummy looks like I have a baby inside of it, if God were to give me the chance to change anything, it would have to be my armpits.

Growing up, I have heard about the wonders of tawas. Tawas will make my armpits pretty. Tawas is magic. Tawas will be my savior. But no matter how wonderful tawas seemed, the fact that they came in powder form meant they were unwieldy and complicated. And so I stuck to deodorants. And I tried all kinds: roll-on, spray, gel, cream, and powder. Most importantly, I bought every single thing that promised me whitening or smoothening.

The fact that I am writing this post means only one thing: none of the promises materialized.

So when a friend recommended that I try out a solid tawas deodorant, I immediately said yes. What's yet another product to subject my armpit to, right?

The come on:

As I've mentioned, tawas allegedly equals pretty armpits. That was enough. No, that was MORE THAN ENOUGH for me.

The verdict:

Since the product is solid tawas inside a jar, you'll need to make sure that the surface is wet before you “apply” it onto your skin. I gently rub the product over and over the entire armpit area cause, and this is the biggest problem for me, I never exactly know if I am actually getting any product on. It just feels like you're rubbing a smooth wet stone on your armpit.

Since tawas is a deodorant but not an anti-perspirant, be ready to sweat when you're exposed to high temperatures. And of course, since sweat is liquid, I think (believe?) that some of the tawas “washes off” when I sweat, leaving me “unprotected” for the rest of the day. And, for some reason, there are times when I sweat and I smell okay, and there are (quite unfortunate) times when I sweat and I smell like someone who's been out on the sun the entire day. Translation: you never know what you're going to get. Me, I've learned my lesson – on days that I know I'm going to end up sweating a lot, I use a regular deodorant/anti-perspirant so no surprises for me.

Have they changed my armpits? I'd like to think so. I think they're not as dark as they used to be. Sweating aside, I try to use them as much as I can so that I never have to go back to artificial products which I believe have caused the darkening on my armpits after years and years of use. In fact, I can't wait for summer to end and for the cool days to begin so I can use them exclusively day in and day out.

Here are more pluses: (1) you don't get sticky armpits since the product dries almost immediately; (2) you don't get “product transfer” on dark-colored clothes (don't you just hate on putting on a black top only to see “stripes” caused by your deodorant?); and (3) white or light-colored tops don't get yellowish. In three words: I love this.

And save for the sweating (which, let's admit, is really a normal thing for armpits to do on a warm day), I think my armpits love it too.

the day-long date

around lunch time on thursday, i received a text message from *this* boy.

you see, i met his uncle four years ago when i was still working for the government. a year later, when my boss was visiting him and his family in new jersey, they cooked up the idea of setting me up with his nephew.

now, not only had i no intentions of being set up with someone who not only lives a world away, but it also felt weird that the set up was being done by one's boss. what if it's a great fail? what if we do end up getting together and then the relationship fail?

then i thought some more and realized, hey, he IS halfway across the world. what are the chances that we'd be at the same place at the same time?

so i said, sure, any time.

okay, that line translated into regular phone calls (from the uncle who'd pass the phone to *the* boy) during pacquiao's fights (they get together at the uncle's house) over the years. and, the two times the uncle went home to the philippines the last couple of years, i'd meet them for either lunch or dinner and i'd get updates and what not. and, oh, i'd get pasalubong too.

it got to the point that i'd met everyone (well, almost everyone) except the boy.

and then one day, i found he was coming home.

and then we had dinner. it was okay. but when asked if there was a spark, i had to say none. after all, how much spark can you get if you two were sitting across his sister and his uncle (another uncle, btw), and were crazy tired after an uber long day?

but then, as i said, the day after that fateful dinner, i received a text message from *the* boy asking me if i'd want to go to las casas filipinas with them.

and, after much (okay, little) thinking, i said yes.

so we went to mt. samat.

... where i sorta pretended to having been to before so they don't ask me to kiss the ground. it was a beautiful place. and, it was a not-so-gentle reminder why we don't have work on 9 april every year.

then we went to las casas filipinas. my uncle had heard so many good things about this place that he wanted to chaperone me.

it was very pretty.

unfortunately, by the time we were done there, i was hot, sweaty, and sticky that i'm willing to bet that even if i were the hottest thing on the planet, *the* boy would be turned off by my icky self.

i though we were done for the day but apparently, we were still going to have halo-halo somewhere, and that somewhere turned out to be the lighthouse at subic bay.

i started the day with him at around 6:45 am and we parted ways after ten in the evening already.

did i have fun, yes.

was it an adventure i'd do again, probably.

it was lovely, really, i got a lot of chat-time with *the* boy and i did get to know him a little better. however, if nothing happens between us once he's back in the US, well, i'm blaming the 9 relatives who went with us on the date and did nothing the entire day but pressure us to be in a relationship by the end our day-long date.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

breaking up with henry sy

dear henry,

you know i've loved you since forever. my entire life has been brought by the letters S and M and all numbers that end with xx.95. when i had to make sure that i'd pass the bar, i studied in one of the coffee shops located inside your mall. when i had a major fight with an ex, i hid in one of your cinemas where i know there wasn't any signal.

every single day, i park in one of your malls and could not help but take a peek at your offerings, hoping i find a good deal.

then again, you always offer a good deal. that's what i love the most about you.

i hope you understand, though, that for the next couple of months, we'll have to stop seeing each other.

you see, sometime at the beginning of this year, when i had zero plans for vacation and what not, my friends from community said "hey, let's go to vietnam". now, since i've never been there and the tickets were cheap, i said yes. i figured, even with occasional regular dates with your stores, i'd still have enough left over to pay for my vacation expenses. after all, we weren't going till august. that's more than enough time to save.

and then my mom finalized her vacation plans and approved of a trip to HK. now, you and i both know that mall of asia aside, HK is the shopping capital of asia and it would be pretty stupid of me not to shop while i was there, right? still, i believed, i can still sneak in the sporadic mini shopping sprees. after all, a nice black cardigan that would go with virtually everything in my closet is too good a deal to pass up.

but then last night, my tuloy friends and i booked a trip to KL. and hotel too. and, boo to me, that set me back a couple of thousand pesos once more. but then, my dear henry, i've never been to KL, and i would most definitely want to check out the formula 1 track. and the petronas towers. and, okay i admit it, i want to check out the malaysia sale too.

so, even if the HK trip is courtesy of my mom, and the vietnam plane tickets have been paid for, and the KL trip relatively cheap, my salary isn't big enough to cover all these trips AND a regular spree around my favorite mall. one of these things i'd have to give up, and i'm so sorry it had to be you.

don't worry, i've tried breaking up with you before and wasn't really successful. after all, i think you're the one addiction i couldn't really kill, at least not for extended periods of time. but for now, i think it's time for a cool-off.

with much love,


p.s. let's get back together by november, okay? by that time, it'll be the perfect time to go shopping for christmas. xoxo!

*image from

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

the missing cross pen

a long time ago, a friend's mom gave her a parker pen for something i can't remember now. i do remember that it was silver and had her name on it, and to my teenage mind, it was something so special, something that would make ME feel special had i been the recipient of the pen, so i asked my mom, "how come you never gave me anything like that."

her reply: "cause you lose things"

the answer didn't make me feel any better, but i guess at that time, i understood what she meant.

a couple of years later, when i was in college, my dad, for some reason, send me a silver and gold cross pen. that, for me, was a dream come true. i felt truly special, and all the major envy i felt in high school, plus the hurt that came with my mom's words, went away.

and then i lost it.

but since i didn't want my mom to say "i told you so", i scraped up the money to buy a replacement and none was the wiser.

then my wallet got stolen and since i had put the pen inside that wallet (it was a checkbook wallet), i lost the pen that i bought to replace the lost pen.

years and years later, when i was in law school, i saw a classmate with a classic lady's cross pen (the one without that thing you use to hook the pen on shirt pockets) and i remembered all the good feelings that came with having a cross pen. so once more, i saved and saved until i had enough money to buy myself a cross pen. a couple of months later, the person i was dating then bought me the matching cross pencil. it was love, it was happiness, and, shallow as it may be, i felt whole.

yesterday, i opened my pencil case and realized that the cross pen wasn't there. i remember using it at last friday's hearing, and again to sign some papers when i was at tuloy afterwards. so i placed a note on my phone to remind me to look for the pen when i got home. i emptied out the bag i used last friday (and was even tempted to tear out the lining) but it wasn't there. i emptied out the bag i used yesterday (maybe i had ended up transferring it?) but it wasn't there either. my last resort was the portfolio i brought to the hearing last friday, which i had left in my office. when i got here, i immediately checked it out. guess what: it wasn't there either.

now that i'm a lawyer and definitely earning more than when i was a teacher and had to save up for my law education, i know i can easily find the money to buy a replacement cross pen. it won't be cheap, but its possible to do. except that i want that cross pen, and i am mad at myself for losing it. the last i remember, i was slipping it inside my bad after i had signed some documents for our client. where is it now?

i'm praying to saint anthony that i find it. and i'm praying that inasmuch as he helps me find missing things, that he gives me the wisdom to be more careful of my earthly possessions. yes, money can buy replacements, but money ought to be used for far more worthy things.

19 May 2010 edit: yesterday when i got home, i checked the bag once more. when i was about to overturn the bag (that little paper bag with silica beads inside broke) to empty it out, i grabbed a pocket and there it was. now, i know i had checked ALL the pockets of the bag and it wasn't there, so i felt like i had witnessed a tiny miracle in my life when i found my pen. thanks, St. Anthony!

Monday, May 17, 2010

pain, horrible pain.

right now i am in so much pain that i wish i could cease to exist.

okay, that may be partly drama but if you know me in real life, you'd also know that (1) i'm not the type who takes a lot of medication, even pain medication; (2) i am as tough as they come; and (3) it takes a huge lot to get me to be absent for work. so when i say i am in pain, i really am in major pain.


right now i'm experiencing extreme menstrual cramps. eight years ago (it's been that long?) i had an operation which resulted in the removal of one of my ovaries. i remember the doctor saying then i should get married within a two-year period and me thinking "like i could buy a husband from mercury drug". i remember her telling me that my condition was more or less permanent, that what they did then was merely a stop-gap measure, and that unless i get myself a husband and babies soon, well, there's the huge possibility that it was all going to come back and haunt me.

a friend told me then i should get my eggs frozen. but i was 25, was dating someone amazing, and was confident that it wouldn't be long before i "solve" my problem with marriage. now, 8 years later, with no prospect in sight, i still think i made the right decision. after all, what good are frozen eggs if no one was going to be father of the babies, right?

anyway, sometime september of last year, i began experiencing major pain and, after an ultrasound, my aunt/doctor confirmed that indeed, the cyst is back. it wasn't ginormous yet, but since we only had one ovary to work with, we had to be aggressive. so i took hormones, and then she put me on pills, and then i got a procedure done, and then i went on injectibles.

for a while, they all worked. and they'd stop working, and i'm back to experiencing the horrible stuff that goes with my condition: major menstrual cramps, a painful lower back (apparently the cyst pushes the other organs), and regular bleeding.

sometimes i wonder if the pain is all worth it. if maybe i should just ask them to remove everything. after all, i am 33. no one's in the horizon. (and after dating the last person i dated, i know for a fact that there is nothing in the universe that will force me to settle down with anyone out of sheer desperation. been there, done that. alone is way, way better than being with a horrible person.) maybe all this pain isn't worth it. maybe preserving my remaining ovary isn't worth it. maybe i should just ask them to open me up again, take everything away, and leave me pain free, worry free, and, unfortunately, ovary-free.

then again, maybe it's just the pain talking.

and for the sake of my future husband (hello, hello, wherever you are!) and our beautiful spawn, i do hope that it is.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

working weekends aren't so bad after all

dear self,

three snaps for you.

yesterday, you got out of bed, showered, and made it out by 10 am to check papers at the second floor of robinsons bf. fine, fine, you were hungry and needed sustenance by then, not to mention you had to send off an email to *that* school, but still. it was a weekend and you made it out of bed early.

clap, clap, clap too over the fact that you didn't let the heat + the defective washing machine from doing the laundry. usually that would get you down but this weekend, you just got right out there and figured things out. i know you're disappointed over the fact that you couldn't exactly figure out what was wrong with the machine, but now you do know that (1) it's heating up and (2) it stops working when it's all heated up means that you figured out a way to finish everything before sunset. good job.

and while you were itching to go out by 6:30 pm, you stayed put and decided to rest knowing that sunday was going to be a working day. and today, you made it to work even before the boss did and you were working by the time he got in. i'm sorry though that you were too sleepy while waiting for the delivery to arrive and he caught you sleeping, but since its a sunday, i guess it's understandable. after all, isn't the rest of the universe having the most restful weekend ever?

i know you're not relishing the drive home. i also know that you're dreading the huge deluge of work that has yet to be accomplished this coming week, not to mention (1) car registration (2) regular car maintenance (3) dinner with a person you're not exactly excited to meet but i know that that new john maxwell book (sooo inspirational, haha) + your amazing self-motivation skills (really now?), you can do it.

and if you can't, well just think happy thoughts: your mom will be here soon and before you know it, you'll be on vacation.



and the quest to "fix" my skin goes on

If there's anything at all that getting horribly sunburned has done to my routine, it's that I've become pretty much obsessed with my skin. After I got back from Calaguas and saw my horribly fried (I've begun calling myself crispy lechon precisely because of it) skin, I scrounged through my closet and unearthed every single Clinique sample my mom sent from the US. Then, as you may have all read by now, I went on a body wash shopping spree at Watson's.

For the past couple of days, I must admit, I had been bouncing in extreme shower love.

Today though, yes today when I was supposed to be checking papers and writing pleadings and doing laundry (I eventually did two out of three before the sun set), I moved on to face stuff. I'm thinking, now that my nose is finally normal once more and now that my forehead has stopped peeling like crazy, I can now move on to making my face presentable once more.

First things first though: while I do dabble occasionally with Clinique stuff and while there are times that you'd find me getting a facial, I'm one of those cheap girls who doesn't spend much on her skin, not even on her face. I did stock up big time on Celeteque when it went on sale (I loved the fact that not only was it cheap enough for me, it was no nonsense) and for a while back, I did my own version of the three step routine (cleanse, tone, moisturize), but for the most part, I hardly pay much attention to my skin and just hope for the best. After all, I'm the girl who (sometimes) uses regular bathing soap (read: not Dove) to wash her face.

Given everything I've said so far, you'd understand why I did my search for face stuff at the beauty aisle in the grocery store. And, you'd also understand why, instead of buying those lovely products in boxes, I stuck to something that came in pink and white packaging (pink happens to be my favorite color).

The come on:

It wasn't really the Belo name, or the fact that Bea Alonzo is one of their models. It was because Xeng Zulueta, on twitter, mentioned how Belo's pore minimizer facial wash actually works. That same day, I went to Watson's with every intention of buying it except that I was turned off with the fact that it was also a whitening product. I haven't really got anything against whitening products (I did, after all, rely heavily on them after I got chicken pox at 24 and my face was crazy spotted) but let's just say I honestly think I don't really need them.

Of course, when you do turn into a crispy lechon and your nose morphs into a rainbow of reds and browns, you begin to realize (once more) that whitening products may exactly be what you need.

I also loved the fact that products were easy on the pocket (P1__ for the facial wash and P49.00 for the toner) and therefore, very, very attractive to me.

The verdict:

The facial wash comes in the form of a gel (I think it's a PINK gel too!) and you'll need more than a pea sized amount to get it foamy. It was relatively easy to wash off and that is a good thing (especially since I live in BF, that part without water yet, boo!) After that, I used the toner and I was pleased with the fact that it didn't leave my skin feeling tight. Since I didn't buy the moisturizer (apparently I had to get two: one for day and one for night), that was pretty much the end of my routine for the day.

After a couple of hours, my t-zone is oily, but then again, it's almost always like that. My pores don't seem any smaller (I just checked the mirror), but then again, I've only used the products once – I guess I need to give them more time to work on my ginormous pores.

For now, I'm giving Belo more time to work her magic on my skin. Who knows. Maybe one day I'll wake up looking like Bea Alonzo too.

Friday, May 14, 2010

yet another happy shower something

remember when i said that i came home from watson's with a stash to "cure" my sunburn?

well, while i was quite happy with the radox shower cream, i saw this and couldn't resist.

for one, daphne osena is an olay girl and we all know how she's one of my idols.

and second, come on, there's a promo. who can resist a good deal? i know i can't.

the come on: i will not deny it -- more than anything, i bought the product cause it's buy one take one. i guess there's something about the feeling that i'm getting a really good deal that makes me want to whip out my card to make a purchase, whether minor or major.

however, it also claims to fight the 7 signs of skin ageing while you shower. for someone who's not into lotions, body butters, and creams, being able to do something miraculous for my skin while doing something that i have to do anyway (like showering) is a good deal.

and, given my crispy lechon status, i figured, i'd need all the moisturizing effects that this product was offering: apparently, not only is it a moisturizing shower product, it also contains body butter for added moisturizing effect.

not bad, not bad at all.

the verdict: it's an olay product, so to begin with, there's the psychological aspect that something good is going to happen to my skin.

unlike the radox shower cream that you can spread using your own hands, you'll need a bath glove or something similar to make sure the product is evenly distributed and that it foams, otherwise, it'll be too thick on your skin and difficult to wash off. it does leave a lotion-like feeling even after washing it off, something a bit similar to the filmy feeling after you was using dove soap. then again, it might just be cause i was rushing and failed to totally wash it off. in that case, my bad.

i'm not sure about the scent -- first whiff isn't so pleasant, at least in my opinion. but as you shower, a different layer of the scent permeates and it turns into something that i like smelling on me. at first i thought it was just cause i'd gotten used to the radox and truly liked that, but on my second and third showers with this product, i still experienced the same dislike-like feeling about the scent. i guess i'll have to get used to it anyway.

did it make any difference? well, so far nothing discernible yet. will i buy it if it isn't buy one take one? i don't know. but is it something that i'll recommend? maybe. after all, it never hurts to experiment once in a while. ☺

*i availed of olay's buy one get one promo at megamall, from the watson's store one the 2nd floor of mega a (near where cinderella used to be). P250 for both bottes.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

a lawyer's quest to find make money

last tuesday, i was very sad.

you see, one of my favorite clients, one whose case i felt very passionate about, decided to terminate our services. we were too expensive, they explained. they further claimed that they couldn't afford us, that it was as if they'd actually lost the case even if we actually won it for them. they've decided to go with someone else.

backtrack: our firm does time billing. this means that regardless of the nature of the work, we will bill you depending on the amount of time spent performing that work. the nature of our charges are clearly outlined in the engagement letter sent to the clients but as i've learned from experience, very few clients actually read the letter before signing. i guess desperation does that to you.

going back to my story, our clients claimed that they misunderstood the terms of our engagement and therefore were quite surprised when they received our bill. apparently the reason why they felt so good (at that time) asking for a whole lot of meetings, discussions, and what not was the fact that they didn't know they were going to be billed for time spent on their case. in the end, it didn't matter that we had written a very convincing pleading, one that (i believe) would stand up even to the supreme court's scrutiny. it likewise didn't matter that we were available to them 24/7, or that we shared their passion in the case. what mattered was that they didn't believe we were worth the amount we had charged.

boo, client. boo you.

that event reminded me of something my previous boss mentioned to us over lunch -- doctors have a huge advantage over lawyers. it doesn't matter if the patient dies; in the end, they'd still thank the doctor (salamat doc at ginawa niyo ang lahat ng makakaya niyo) and pay his bills. on the other hand, it doesn't matter how well the lawyer performed; if you lose, good luck in getting paid. (in my case, even if we won, good luck in getting paid) truly, it's a thankless job.

still, we have to make money, right?

and so, i present: alternative billing methods.

more on this tomorrow (or when i've got the time)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

rosa, the crispy lechon

my bad.

they've always said that an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. unfortunately, while i believe in it, i failed to act on it. and so i came back from my weekend at the beach burned to a crisp.

boo. i am fat and burned. i feel like a lechon at a fiesta. kulang na lang, apple.

all self-mockery aside, my skin's present state is horrible. i am sunburned, and days after i got back, i still feel slight pain on my back and shoulders. my face is peeling like crazy, including my ears.

and in case you were wondering, i did apply sunblock, i just forgot to re-apply.

since i couldn't do the past over, i thought i'd do the next best thing: take care of my skin. so i trooped over to watson's megamall and tried looking for something that'll (1) fix (2) cure (3) alleviate my sunburn.

in the end, i came home with this:

the packaging promised to help "renew skin in the shower" (yes, my skin needs major renewing). they claim that it is "infused with dead sea salt and exfoliating beads to help remove old skin cells" (uhm, including sunburn peel i hope!) as well as "concentrated vitamin c known to increase the synthesis of collagen and help reduce skin damage cause by free radicals" (collagen is good, right?). and, while it was inside a box and sealed i (gently) opened the box so i can get sniff the contents. what good is a product that fights free radicals is it'll make me smell like chowking's orange chicken, right? (connection: orange chicken = orange = vitamin c. i always associate vitamin c products with the orange smell. don't you?)

the verdict? the slight orange-y scent was the selling point. i LOVED it.

i used it last night and again this morning and i just love how even without a bath lily or scrubbing glove (neither of which i could use cause my sunburn HURTS!) the product is easy to use. i hate how you can't maximize bath gels unless you use a bath lily to distribute the product on your skin but the consistency of the radox "shower cream" allows you to wash your entire body without using much product. i could feel the tiny dead sea salt that they incorporated in the product and while it does exfoliate, i believe that the sparse amount of the sea salt makes it gentle enough for daily use.

it didn't hurt that smell lingered even after i had washed off the product. ☺☺☺ shower love ♥♥♥

going back to my predicament, i'll need more than two showers to determine whether or not it does help in renewing my skin and making it all better. but, to my mind, the mere fact that it makes showering fun and it makes me smell slightly of oranges is a happy thing. and i think that if you want happy showers and the hint of an orange-y scent in your bath, then you should hie off to watson's yourself and get a bottle of this product for only P220 for 450 ml.

*image from beauty haven

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

it's summer ... and i finally made it to the beach!

thanks to lingkod brothers who organized the trip, i finally made it to calaguas, camarines norte last weekend.

the trip started late friday night when all 16 of us met at festival mall, alabang. it was the weekend before elections and they'd anticipated that travelling by bus to camarines norte would be difficult, hence two vehicles to ferry us to paracale, camarines norte.

the trip was relatively long ... not to mention uncomfortable. while i appreciated the fact that riding a hired vehicle meant i didn't have to worry about where my tent and bags were, the legroom in most vehicles for hire (generally the ones used in "shuttles" within metro manila) leaves much to be desired. it was a relatively uncomfortable trip and i was only too happy when we finally arrived at a little past 9 in the morning.

since we were all famished (at least i was) from the trip, we first ate at cowboy restaurant (or was it cowboy eatery?) right at the town's center. i had lugaw with egg (P15 only!) and it satiated my hunger without making me too bondat to brave the almost two-hour long boat ride to calaguas. we also bought most of our supplies from paracale, including several five-gallon jugs of water and junk food.

after we had gathered our supplies, we boarded a fishing boat (without fish, thank goodness) and finally hied of to calaguas. the most winning part was the fact that the water was really clean, and the deep brilliant blue of the water was just breathtaking. be warned though that this trip -- even with the tarps -- could be very hot, and that your things will get very wet especially if the sea is choppy.

the boatmen said it was an hour away, an hour and a half at most, but i shouldn't have gotten my hopes up. as was promised by my friends who had been there in the past, it's a two-hour boat ride from paracale to mahabang buhangin, our destination.

it could've been the fact that we went there on a long weekend but contrary to the statements that this island was virtually a rustic paradise, there were a number of groups already camped out on the beach when we arrived. not only that, we found out much later on that most of the people on our part of the island had arrived via tour groups that organized everything for them -- food, tents, transfers, etc - for a very affordable amount. it won't be long, i think, before this island will be filled with adventurers near and far.

i couldn't wait to get to the water as soon as we arrived but that meant changing first, hence my first encounter with the bathroom facilities. if you're the kind who needs a nice bathroom, you'd want to avoid calaguas until some enterprising native decides to develop the island. there was one (yes, ONE) bathroom inside a bigger room whose only source of water was a manong whose job is to bring water from the pump a couple of meters aways to the bathroom.

the sand was hot, but the water was sooooo cool that i ended up burning to a crisp. note to reader: make sure to lather on huge amounts of sunblock -- it's easy to forget how hot it is when the water is as cool as the water on this beach.

in order to catch a different view of the sunset, a number of us decided to rent a boat to bring us to a nearby island. it was much smaller than mahabang buhangin, and there were more corals and rocks, but it had the same divine white sand and it was deserted.

unfortunately, the clouds were out, preventing most of us from taking beautiful sunset photos. then again, it could've simply been my lack of camera skils.

accommodations were limited to tents. we pitched ours right on the beach, in a circle, so that we could gather round the middle prior to bedtime. it could get really warm inside the tents, though, so be prepared to sleep either with the tent "door" open (even if our tents had that net-like door, most of us still chose to leave the door open just to make the tents cooler) or on the beach itself. (note: sometime in the middle of the night, though, it got really, really cold that i had to fish my blanket from my bag in the dark).

all in all, it was a nice adventure. i spent roughly around P3,500 for the entire trip (outfits not included ☺) -- P3,000 for the van ride, boat ride, and other incidental expenses, and P500 for the other things that were not included in the trip such as pasalubong, additional food, and snacks. there's a small store right on the beach which sells halo-halo for only P20 -- it's pretty good but it's even better after you realized that there's no such thing as cold water on this island and it could get really, really hot in the afternoon.

honestly speaking though, while the island was great, the views spectacular, and the beach lovely, it was the very long trip coupled with the single bathroom that got to me. by the end of the trip, i was so ready to go back to civilization and be where there was cold water all the time, and the bathrooms had running water. if you're the adventurous type though, this trip would be worth your while. make sure to go on a non-weekend -- it's hardly much fun with all those tour groups around.

there are hardly any fish to see too, so it might be best to leave your snorkeling gear at home to cut down on baggage. better to load up your luggage instead with a flashlight, lots and lots of sunblock, and extra batteries for your camera. forget your phone -- there's no signal the moment you leave paracale.

to my *inexperienced beach* mind (read: of minimal experience), locally, i still prefer the beach at dos palmas the most, closely followed by pandan island in mindoro. it could very easily be the reverse, though, as pandan island had gorgeous underwater views. would i recommend calaguas though? if you're a real beach person, and you like roughing it, and you're the type who gets a high from adventure, well, you should start planning a trip now. as in soon. before all the tour groups ruin the rustic beauty of it all.

my candidates may have lost but i don't think my vote went to waste

at around 2:45 p.m. yesterday, i left the house to vote.

i had been basically glued to the television the entire morning. stories about the long queues and the machines breaking down, coupled with horror stories from my friends who had been in line for hours on end made me change my plans of voting the moment i woke up. i knew i was an impatient person and that i'd probably end up going home should the wait tire me out.

after i finished a couple of errands as well as the laundry, i got ready to vote. i armed myself with an umbrella, a fan, and a magazine, ready to brave the heat and the long wait. i even tried to list down my candidates (i ended up with one president, one vice, and two senators, and then i stopped - i realized i couldn't remember any of the other senators i initially said i'd vote for) so that i wouldn't stay too long in the clustered precinct.

i don't know if it was just cause of the time (it was too hot!) or cause of the news (of horribly long lines) or cause of efficiency (ganito kami sa las pinas) but i was in and out of the public school in less than ten minutes. and, mind you, 5 of those 10 minutes were spent looking for my precinct since i had inadvertently forgotten to write down my precinct number after i looked it up online. my bad.

after i was handed the ballot, i must admit that my hands were shaking a bit. there was part of me that was afraid i might over-shade the circle, rendering my ballot useless. it was also windy in my precinct and i was afraid that the wind might crumple my ballot. and, i had forgotten to bring tissue to make sure the ink from my thumb won't smudge the ballot so i was scared of that too.

i was short of the 12 senators i was entitled to vote for, and i had mistakenly voted for councilor who wasn't in my mayor's party so i ended up not being able to vote for his last candidate (sorry!) since i was only entitled to 6. and while there was a bit of a tug-of-war in my mind whether to change my vote for president and vice, in the end i voted for those whom i felt would be able to do the job well best. as early as yesterday i knew they wouldn't win, but i didn't care. in my mind, there's no such thing as sayang na boto. that's why we have one each.

from all the negative press about the automated elections, now it's all about how fast the elections were, how losers didn't even get the chance to allege cheating, how this is the way things are supposed to be. of course there were glitches -- i think that was to be expected -- but the biggest glitches it would seem are these: (1) that while he's a far second, erap is still a major choice for a lot of filipinos; and (2) our next vice-president might be binay after all.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

the real "dagat ng basura"

ever since Miss You Like Crazy came out, my friends and i have been planning to take the Pasig River Ferry. it didn't even matter to us where the destination was -- we just wanted to experience it (after all, john lloyd did extol its virtues in a conversation with his movie gf).

one weekend, we decided to make a go for it. we had planned on doing a binondo food trip and figured, this would be a good time as any to try getting from one end of the metro to the other through the famed pasig river.

we parked at the tiny parking area (3 cars maximum on one side, not sure if there was parking on the other side) and made it just in time for the 11:07 a.m. trip. it was important that we made it on time -- the next trip was two hours later.

we thought guadalupe would be our best bet - it was accessible to all of us and, having passed by EDSA-guadalupe countless of times, we knew exactly where it was.

i think we had braced ourselves against the smell -- after all, we knew that this was Pasig River and the experience was not going to be anywhere near the Loboc River Cruise. What we hadn't prepared ourselves for was the amount of garbage that we'd see in the hour-long trip.

in fact, even the "famous" lambingan station (we made sure to take pictures of the station although we didn't exactly know where we'd end up had we gotten off this station) was not spared from the trash.

it was, however, good to note that there were areas that were pretty clean. the part of pasig along rockwell, as well as the area near malacanang were almost garbage-free.

i guess the government's efforts to clean up the river are *somewhat* working.

still, with areas *this* thick with garbage, you can't help but regret all those times you took out jolly spaghetti and didn't think twice about where the styro packaging was going to end up in. apparently, some of them end up in pasig river. (note to self: avoid take-out as much as possible beginning today)

still, it was an experience that i did not regret having. after all, how many times have i seen the post office from the other side?

this side, IMHO, is a much, much better view.

the trip was about an hour long -- longer than if we drove from guadalupe to binondo on a weekend (yep. our friends who missed the ferry got to binondo way ahead of us). still, i think having taken the ferry -- which deposited us right at binondo -- made the experience even more memorable had we taken more convenient routes (i.e. car, mrt/lrt, fx).

now, i would have loved to write about the food trip, except that we ended up REALLY hungry already and by the time we thought of whipping out our cameras, everything on our plates were gone.

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