Category: Uncategorized

My Dad, My Hero

When I was a child, I always felt that my dad was some kind of a hero. He appeared larger than life to me. I still remember the many times I would watch in awe as fights between goons and gangs in our neighborhood quickly disperse with just the sight of him. Surprisingly, meanies turned into angels whenever he was around them. Our house is always visited by people who would like to seek his help and advice. He often had a ready answer for everything. He often had the best solutions to their problems. Everybody just gravitated towards him. Whenever he talked, everyone stopped and listened. He maybe just like any other ordinary man to some but in my eyes, he was a hero.
My father, Virgilio Santos, was a self-made man. He grew up in the salt beds of Las Pinas to a poor family. His father was a fisherman and his mother was a plain housewife. While some kids in their neighborhood passed the time playing in the streets, he worked in their “irasan” to help his family make ends meet. Life for him, even from the start, was hard. This did not stop him though from dreaming big things for himself. One of his greatest dreams was to finish school and with quiet determination, he did. He got his college degree just when I was about to enter high school. He consequently earned his masteral degree right before I graduated from college.
My dad was by nature a man of God. His great desire to love and serve Him made him stay in the seminary for two years. However, when he came to realize that there were a thousand other ways in a hundred many places where he could serve God best, he chose to become a lay. He continued to live and spread his faith by sharing it with his family, friends and colleagues during his lifetime. Prayer time, as long as I remember was always an important event in our family. The sight of him with his head bowed down in prayer was a usual picture around the house. He would often tell us that every occasion, be it good or bad, is always a good reason to celebrate with God.
My dad was by far a man for others. Right after he got out of the seminary, he decided to join the Philippine National Police because he wanted to help as many people as he could. For him, there were only two ways to interpret the law, that is, either right or wrong. There clearly was no in between. He was uncompromising with his beliefs and principles. He fought for them with unflinching courage. This did not make him rise from the ranks fast but it had surely earned the trust and confidence of his men, as well as the respect of ordinary people who came to him to seek justice. He never once flaunted his gun nor asserted his position or authority on anyone. He used to say that he is not exempted from the law just because he happened to be the one implementing it. He had long accepted the fact that he cannot change much the bureaucracy in the government institution where he was serving but that did not stop him from trying. He strove to make a difference by performing his job with honesty and integrity. He was a man full of love, as witnessed by the way he had involved himself to so many causes and how readily he stepped up to any given situation. His immense love went beyond our family. It was so far reaching that it embraced everybody. He made helping people not just his duty but also his vocation.
To my young eyes and even up to this day I see my father as a hero. He may not be as noble as Dr. Jose Rizal or as brave as Andres Bonifacio but I know in my heart that my dad was just as great. I had witnessed the many simple yet extraordinary ways he had expressed his love. I had seen with my very eyes the significant marks he had left in the lives of each and every one who had become part of his life. I had felt the many sincere ways he had touched people. He served as a shining inspiration to them, but more importantly, to me. From him I learned to go beyond myself, to think less of me and more of God and others. He taught me to put my blind faith in God and let Him lead the way. He made me realize that family goes beyond affinity and there is nothing more fulfilling than making someone feel grateful to God for my presence. Through his example, I learned to value work and to give my best in everything that I do. It is through his footsteps that I now follow my dreams and make them happen. He had left me with an inner strength to rise above difficult situations and fight for the right reasons. He had passed on to me the gifts of faith, hope, love and charity. My father died four years ago but I can still feel the loss of his presence every now and then. He may be long gone but his legacy and spirit continue to breathe and live on inside me and the many people he had touched.

J. Co is Love!

Although I have a sweet tooth, I have never really been a fan of donuts, I find them too sweet, they make me nauseous. Though I have fond memories of donuts from my chidhood (my uncle used to surprise us with a big box of dunkin donuts everytime he visited us), it is one sweet that I never really sought out myself.
But then, about two years ago while vacationing in Singapore, my friend surprised us with a box of J.Co Donuts. I fell in love with these little sugar soldiers instantly. They come in assorted flavors that are oh so delicious, flavors like Choco Caviar Chocolate, Cheese Me Up, Mango Blitz, Tiramisu etc. All of them are hands down, yumeee! I like how the donut bread manages to stay soft even after being refrigerated and I like how they’re not so overly sweet.

Two weeks ago, I learned that J.CO opened a store at SM MOA, and I must say, I really sought out the store this time as I wanted to have a taste of these sweet charmers again. I went home happy with my box of J. Co Donuts. They are affodable at 42/piece, 230/6 pieces, 350/1 dozen, and 550/2 dozens. Now I can’t wait for their store in ATC to open so I can get my sweet fix anytime I want to since it is much nearer my place of work.
What about you what’s your latest sweet fix?

Fab Manila Reversible Tote = Happiness

I was busily downloading cute fonts to use for my classroom decoration this morning when I received a call from my husband informing me that a package for me has arrived. I was trying to recall if I was supposed to be expecting another package other than the previous ones I received the other day when his voice came over the phone again saying it was a bag and a gift from Fab Manila. Yup, that’s my husband, he would definitely fail the marshamallow test. Haha. Obviously he was too excited for me, he opened the package right then and there without asking me first. Anyway, my heart gave a little dance of joy when I heard the news and in my mind, I was doing somersaults. Just the other day, I was sharing how much I love Fab Manila’s new collection, Kismet, for their sheer prettiness. The thought that one of those pretty things was waiting for me at home raised my happiness barometer a notch notch notch higher. I was in a super great mood the whole day.
It turned out that it was one of the two super pretty bags that I was eyeing to buy from Fab Manila’s website for weeks now. I was actually saving up for it. I was really touched by their gesture. It was a patchwork creation of pink, floral, polka dots, and stripes. The things that make me happeee! I. Super. Love. It!!!

What I like about this bag is that it is reversible, you can actually use both of the pretty sides, whichever strikes your mood at the moment. It is made of good quality fabric that is dainty and cute. Thin foam was sewn in the middle to gently cushion things that will be placed inside the bag. The faux leather handles are thick and sturdy too, not one to wilt or flake after several use. Stitches were seamlessly run over, there wasn’t any sloppy stitching or extra thread, it definitely passed quality control with flying colors. It is pretty much perfect!

While I am making this post, I am also browsing Fab Manila’s website and I am happy to share that they have uploaded new Wet Bag Ahoy products that are just absolutely adorbs and to “buy” for too. Check them out as like any of their other products, they run on limited stocks, and are selling like hotcakes.
But then now, if you want to snag a reversible tote from Fab Manila and other super pretty items from their Kismet Collection for free, join our on-going giveaway (click here), you just might be one of the two lucky winners of pretty Fab Manila stuffs. And like me, walk away carrying HaPpiNesS on your shoulder.

Random Giveaway: Pretty Stuffs from Fab Manila's Kismet Collection

I have only few obsessions in life and these are flowers & vintage prints, pastels, polka dots, and stripes. Call me old fashion and girly but I like my things all nice and pretty. They’re my source of happiness and inspiration. Carrying my favorite bag in dainty floral prints or drinking water from my pretty glass cup puts me in a super good mood. When I feel out of sorts, I only have to rummage through my boxful of coin purses (believe me I have a lot) and choose the one I find prettiest at the moment, and everything will be right in my world again. Pretty stuffs transform me, they turn me into a gentle, caring, nurturing, happy individual. For me the adage, happiness can be found even in simple things rings so true that I make it a point to surround myself with pretty little stuffs at home and at work. They need not be expensive so long as they are too cute to resist and too pretty not to use, then they will make my happiness cut. As they say Happy people make for productive people.
Recently Fab Manila, yes the Fab Manila that we have grown to love since multiply days and yes the Fab Manila where pretty stuffs are made of, launched its newest collection, Kismet. And I must say I was one of the girls who can’t seem to stop gushing for days over the sheer prettiness of the whole collection.
As we all know, Fab Manila is known to produce well crafted bags, travel accessories and organizers. Each design is a celebration of all things feminine and beautiful. They always manage to artistically combine pretty fabrics, unique textures, and fresh unexpected colors in their products. And because of this they never fail to add a touch of whimsy, a dash of fancy, a smidgen of cheer and a good dose of fun to an otherwise plain and ordinary piece of bag or accessory.

 

http://fabmanilabags.com

With Fab Manila, it is easy to express one’s uniqueness and individuality. With their wide range of products, you will always find one that would fit your personality. They only produce limited stocks of the same style and design, and make these available only in select boutiques so you won’t have to worry about bumping into another girl with the same Fab Manila bag or stuff. They always aim to provide their customers with one-of-a- kind products that they would definitely be proud of owning.

Fab Manila is the brain child of sisters and travel buddies, Jen and Shiela. Their love and passion for all things pretty and colourful extend to their newest line Kismet. This collection boasts of homewares, papergoods, organizers, and travel accessories that are just too too pretty to resist. They have personally handpicked these products themselves with only one purpose in mind, to bring a little bright spot to our otherwise boring day at work. Let Kismet’s products work their magic on you like the Turkish word they stand for which is fate/destiny.
Aren't these the prettiest? (http://facebook.com/fabmanila)

love love love! (http://facebook.com/fabmanilashop)

oh so pretty! (http://facebook.com/fabmanilashop)

I guess what endears Fab Manila to its loyal customers is the way they have managed to stir the love for pretty things in us. Somehow they have constantly inspired girls to celebrate their uniqueness, femininity and creativity, and to express themselves in the most fun way with their products. They have manage to seamlessly fuse their love and passion for travel and art to create products that are functional yet fashionable, and practical yet pretty. And what’s more, they have managed to showcase Filipino talent at its finest by producing products of excellent taste and quality, truly worthy of the tag Proudly Philippine Made.
And now the best part! As a way of sharing the love for all things fab and pretty, Fab Manila and Blancnotes are giving away these pretty Fab Manila and Kismet products to 2 lucky fans and followers of both Fab Manila and Blancnotes.
Winner 1: Reversible Tote (blue bird cage)

 
Winner 2: desk organizer, notebook journal, sticker roll, melamine side plate

Winners will be chosen via random.org. To join this giveaway, follow this simple mechanics below (you need to follow all steps to qualify for the raffle).

  1. Like Fab Manila in facebook
  2. Follow Fab Manila in twitter
  3. Like Blancnotes in facebook.
  4. Follow Blancnotes in Twitter
  5. Share this post on your facebook wall with the line: “@Fab Manila and @Blancnotes are giving away pretty stuffs from Fab Manila’s KISMET collection. Join now @friend1, @friend2, @friend3. Giveaway ends on June 15!” (don’t forget to properly tag @Fab Manila and @Blancnotes)
  6. Tweet about this giveaway by sharing on twitter: “@fabmanila and @blancnotes are giving away pretty KISMET stuffs. Join now @friend1 @friend2 http://goo.gl/Mcxvm #fabmanila.” (don’t forget to properly tag Fab Manila and Blancnotes)
  7. Complete this sentence using the comment box and include the details below: I love Fab Manila products because_____________________

Name:
Email add:
Facebook name:
Twitter name:
URL of your facebook post:
URL of your twitter post
Goodluck! To view the complete product listing of Fab Manila, check out their websites: http://fabmanilabags.com or http://fabmanila.multiply.com

Isa, Dalawa, Takbo Run For Children's Rights

Calling all runners out there, this is one fun run you shouldn’t miss even just for its nature and purpose alone.

ABOUT THE RACE
On June 24, 2012 at 5:30 in the morning, children and young people and of people with a big heart for children are all invited to be part of Isa, Dalawa, Takbo: Run for Children’s Rights at UP Academic Oval, UP Diliman. As an advocacy event of MYLE and Lingap Pangkabataan, it aims to:

  • To raise child rights advocacy spirit among its partner communities- academe, young people, adult, social development, churches, parents in a creative and fun event.
  • To encourage greater public awareness and social investment on children- where every child could fully develop and participate in putting place an environment that respect and celebrate their full potential.

There will be:

  1. 3K, 5K, and 10K running, jogging and walking around the university oval
  2. Advocacy presentations from Lingap children’s advocacy groups, Ateneo- Performing Arts groups and other partners
  3. Running Pack – singlet, number and other freebies
  4. Child rights advocacy booths and food stalls

THE ORGANIZERS
The Movement for the Youth’s Legal Education (MYLE) is an organization in the UP College of Law that seeks to provide legal education primarily for children, and secondarily for the children’s families and their educators towards a holistic formation of the Filipino youth. It aims to provide awareness to children of their basic rights through classroom activities, lectures and workshops. MYLE also seeks to serve as a venue for students of the law to engage in a pro-active approach to learning laws pertaining to children’s rights.
Lingap Pangkabataan Inc. is one of the social development organizations in the Philippines whose primary mission is to lead in child- advocacy efforts. As an organization or a network member, Lingap has been at the forefront of community education, awareness- raising, lobbying and other advocacy activities upholding the rights of children and promoting child protection.
PRE- REGISTRATION MECHANICS:
A. FUN RUN PARTICIPANTS

  1. Isa, Dalawa, Takbo: Run for Children’s Rights is open to all child rights advocates/ supporters and fun run enthusiasts.
  2. To join, participants must secure a PRE-REGISTRATION FORM from designated pre- registration stations.  For downloadable on-line registration forms, visit www.facebook.com/isadalawatakbo/
  3.  Submit duly accomplished registration form and pay required registration fee. The Pre- Registration Volunteer will facilitate registration process by enlisting the participant in the pre- numbered SUMMARY LISTING according to category and assigning a runner’s number.
  4.  FUN RUN KITS (singlet, runner’s number, baller and other freebies) will be made available two weeks before the event. Registered participants can claim the kit at their PRE- REGISTRATION STATION by presenting their Fun Run Kit Stub.

             The ‘Fun Run Kit Stub’ will serve as the receipt of the participants.

            For participants who will undergo on-line registration, payments can be   deposited thru the following bank accounts:

Bank Account No : Banco de Oro 401-001-8286
Bank Address : New York-EDSA Branch
Account Name : Lingap Pangkabataan Inc

or

Bank Account No : Metrobank 056-3-05651302-8
Bank Address : Aurora Boulevard
Account Name : Lingap Pangkabataan Inc

Deposit slips should be emailed to takbo_lingap@yahoo.com.ph or faxed to 912-4225 together with the duly accomplished pre-registration form. Lingap will then send the FUN RUN KIT STUB with the registration number thru email.

Brain Connections' eBooks for Children

When I gave birth to my daughter, I made it a habit to read a book to her whenever I want to make her settle down. My voice as I did rhythmic reading then soothed and calmed her. When she was about six months old, I started her on Dr. Seuss books. Being read to gave her so much pleasure that she has continued on this habit of reading even now that she is well into her tweens.
Before, well even up to now, my daughter and I used to hoard books at second hand bookstores to satisfy our thirst for reading. We would spend long hours at bookstores poring over titles of books. But now with the advent of the internet, everything becomes easy. We can just literally crawl to amazon.com and purchase ebooks there.
Recently I reviewed two children books from Brainy Connections which are perfect for pre-schoolers and primary kids. I suddenly miss teaching little kids as these books are perfect as springboards for lessons about sea creatures, friendship, and good behavior.

The story Of Codley and the Sea Cave Adventure is something that children will surely enjoy. As stated in the description:
“They find more than they expect when they decide to explore a mysterious cave – a marvelous hidden world, interesting new friends, dangerous currents and the value of true friendship.”
Children can easily identify with Codley the Octopus and his friend Pokie the Pufferfish’s thirst for adventure especially an under the sea one at that. The plot is full of thrills and suspense that will surely sustain children’s interest till the end. The accompanying illustrations leave a lot to children’s imagination. What I like most about the book is that it not just any adventure book, it teaches children about the true meaning of friendship which is all about helping your friend in need and never leaving them behind in the context where they can understand it better, that is through an adventure story.

Lexi and The Forbidden Door, on the other hand, is perfect for ultra inquisitive little girls as this will teach them why it is important to put a reign on their curiosity sometimes and listen to elders. The books’ synopsis alone will surely capture any children or parent’s interest:

“Lexi Fairheart had a problem. She hated closed doors and had to know what is on the other side of each and every door.In the past, this led to all kinds of wonderful discoveries but one day while Lexi was visiting Grandpa, she went round a corner, up a flight of stairs and stood in front of a massive green door. She had an eerie feeling that this was the one door that was better left closed, but she couldn’t help herself and went ahead anyway…”

The plot is something that little girls can easily relate to. I also like that they put a grandfather in the story as this adds an extra soft touch. It reminds me of my dad and daughter’s special bond. It explains why we must always listen to cautions especially if they’re well meaning ones.
Both stories were written by Lisl Fair, an author of numerous magazine articles dealing with a variety of parenting subjects. She is involved in the development of educational children books and the Brain Based Learning and Development so she clearly knows what she needs to put and write in her books that will help children in their development.
These books are available at Brainy Connections. If you do not have a Kindle or a Kindle application to open the book, Kindle application for PC is absolutely free to download here, CLICK.
Happy reading with your kids!:)

Goya And Kim Chiu's Radio Station Tour

If you are chocolate fanatic like me, your taste buds are probably trained to taste chocolates like a seasoned  connoisseur. I’m sure you can tell even on the first small bite if the chocolate is any good or not. Anyway, Have you tasted Goya chocolates lately, they’re absolutely divine!!! I am guilty of being biased when it comes to my chocolates, I usually want it swiss or belgian, but I have to say that after tasting the new Goya chocolates collection recently, I want it Goya now too.
Anyhow, Goya, the delicious chocolate brand much-loved by many Filipinos, made a lot of people happy when Goya brand ambassadress, popular actress and certified movie queen Kim Chiu, visited popular FM radio stations Love Radio 90.7 and Yes FM 101.

Kim visited Love Radio 90.7 during the program “True Love Confessions” to consult with the famous radio DJ Papa Jack, the host of the show himself, regarding concerns in her love life.  Kim also joined DJ Chico Loco at the Yes FM 101.1, sister station of Love Radio, during his program “YES! Diaries” to listen as he reads letters from the show’s followers as they share about their life experiences.

Both DJs gamely and happily welcomed Goya and Kim Chiu’s visit eventhough both programs seldom accept visitors. But for the love of Goya and Kim Chiu, they sure made an exception.
During her visit, Kim and Goya excited listeners through a call-in radio promo.  A security guard who related his fun experiences when he joined a training camp won a one-year supply of delightful Goya chocolates.
The young actress encouraged listeners to give the new Goya chocolates a try. She related that chocolates are not only perfect as a snack but also as an everyday treat or even as a gift to a loved one or special someone.
Kim also brought smiles to the staff of both stations when she and Goya gave away an assortment of Goya products like “Goya Everyday Chocolate Drink,” “Goya Bars” and “Goya Pretzel Twists” as their way of thanking the two stations for accommodating them during their visit.

For her parting words, the actress advised her fans to enjoy life and just relax, saying “Basta always have fun and enjoy life! Enjoy Goya!”
I say, let’s take Kim Chiu’s cue and munch on our Goya now!

The Art of Letting Go: Ava Says Goodbye To Her Pacifier

Have you seen this video? Fr. Jason Joson shared this video with us today during his lecture on The Theology of the Body. I can’t help but smile when I learned that the little girl was crying in pain because she had to say goodbye to her pacifier.  Her father decided to “send it away to paci heaven” because he thinks that she does not need it anymore because she is a big girl already.
Ava surely can’t understand yet why she doesn’t need it anymore but she willingly let go of it no matter how painful and heartbreaking it is because  she believed her dad when he said that it is what’s best for her.

We’re like Ava in a lot of ways, sometimes we simply can’t let go of our own “pacifiers” because they give us pleasure. They give us comfort. They give us a jaded sense of security. They serve as the perfect excuse for us not to face up to the challenge of growing up and changing our ways. But then one day it will come, the time when we need to let go of our own pacifier because it is stunting our growth. It is doing us more harm than good. It is getting in the way of our own maturity. When the time comes for us to let go of it, we have to listen to the voice of reason.  You may question its decision or argue its point like what Ava did,  but in the end we have to heed its advice. It maybe too painful and difficult to handle but we must do it for it is only when we let go of our own pacifiers  that we will discover the many wonderful things that life has to offer like milk shakes and cereals, fruits and candies. Life’s little pleasures that we won’t know till we let go of the one that’s keeping us from enjoying them to the fullest.

Random Giveaway: A Pair of Rubi Shoes

So where did your feet take you this summer? It took me literally everywhere. First week of my summer vacation was spent in Coron where I did some bonding with nature. After that, I was out and about doing fun stuffs and meeting new people. It was a super great one that when I had to go back to work, I was in a depress depressan mode. But I guess work has its way jerking you from your cloud nine. I did fell from mine with a big thud first day of work after the vacay. Now, I have gone to accept that my summer is now but a fleeting memory and I have ten months of work ahead of me before I can be reunited again with the sun, sand, sea and the whole summer shebang.
So now, I am finally bidding summer adieu with this random giveaway. For this one I am giving away a pair of Rubi shoes from Singapore size 36. You can still join even if you’re not size 36 so long as you have somebody in mind (who’s size 36) that you want to give this pair to. This is your chance to make someone happy! It could be your mom, sister, aunt, or friend.

Here’s the mechanics: Simply answer this question, “Where did your feet take you this summer?”. Leave your answer on the comment section of this post together with your facebook name and twitter name, city, and email add. Oh by the way, you have to be a fan of Blancnotes on facebook and a follower of @blancnotes in twitter for your entry to be valid. I will also be raffling a surprise gift to those who will share this post on their facebook wall with the line “Blancnotes is giving away a pair of Rubi shoes. Join now! Giveaway ends on May 31.”. Just leave the URL of your post together with the other deets. Dont forget to tag Blancnotes too. Easy peasy right?!
So what are you waiting for, join now! This giveaway ends on May 31.:)

Cath Kidston's In Print

Last Mother’s Day, my husband and daughter gifted me with a Cath Kidston book. To say that I am fan of hers is an understatement. I love flowers, pastel, and all things pretty. Cath Kidston’s flower print designs fit me to a T. I was thrilled when I opened my gift as I didn’t know that she had a book. I later learned that there are only few copies around now as the book was released way back in 2005. Luckily my husband and daughter were able to snag one of the two stocks left at National Bookstore ATC.

As a child, Cath Kidson already had intense fascination for prints. Her compulsion to buy vintage prints started when she was a teenager. She would hunt flea markets and country town fairs for them. But then it was only when she became an interior designer that she seriously started to build her vintage prints collection. She has always been drawn to old floral prints since they exude a certain kind of freshness. She had these vintage prints documented and had reworked them into contemporary floral prints in new, fresh designs. She started her business selling pretty ironboard covers, it was well received and her prints became a hit so soon after, she started selling a wide range of products such as dog beds, towels, hair ties, and handbags as well. To date, she has several flagship stores in the world, three of which are in Asia, one in Japan and 2 in Thailand.
The book, Cath Kidston’s In Print has page spreads full of pictures of her trademark prints. It features some of her DIY projects such as pillowcases, upholstered sofa, lampshades, kneelers etc. It is sort like a tutorial book for moms and ladies who are fond of sewing and DIY projects. The sewing instructions she provided in the book are simple and easy to follow. There are also lots of suggestion on how to perfectly combine colors and prints to give for example a sofa or lampshade a fresh new look.
Here are some of the pages from the book that I like:
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Someday, I wish to have portions of our house decorated this way:
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I love all things pretty and nice that is why I am a sucker for Cath Kidston stuffs. I like how her floral prints add a touch of gentleness and girliness to things. Seeing her prints makes me happy. One of these days I will start redoing some portions of our house or follow some of the DIY projects in the book to make it cosy, pretty, and nice too just like these Cath Kidston inspired rooms. I want that when friends come to visit our house, they will leave with a smile on their faces and bring home with them a warm happy glow, much like what happens to me when I see Cath Kidston prints around.