Saturday, June 09, 2007

Triple Loss and a Win

We were not supposed to attend the company's bowling tournament last Saturday but my photography class ended early. I didn't aim to grab the best female bowler award nor for our group to become champions. But something did happen.

During the awarding ceremonies, a week after the tournament, my officemate disclosed to me that the difference of my score with best female bowler is only 2 points! Second blow is our group's score has only less than a point from the champion.

Flashbacks filled my mind. I was the last to bowl in the group. Never thought that my last frame was the deciding factor but I never took heed. Though I got a strike on my first throw in the last frame, the second one was a waste hitting only a single pin. If I hit at least 5 pins on my second throw, then our group will go home the champion and I'll be this year's best female bowler again.

Too late for regrets. I can't forgive myself for allowing this mere negligence to happen. My officemate should haven't informed me so I'll never know that this thing happened. But she also reminded me to take it easy and still be grateful because I got promoted and our group placed second in the tournament.

Friday, May 18, 2007


My husband and I took some time off from the office to attend the graduation ceremonies of my bestfriend Phen at the PICC. She took nursing as her second course (we're graduates of BSCoE then) not because her Ate Tess is already a very successful nurse in Maryland but perhaps its her way of making much moolah in which her prior course failed her to do so.

I was the one who attended the rites because she's the only one left here in the Philippines; her mom and ate were already American citizens and are now living permanently in the US. I instantly became her guardian . =) As I sat on the parents' area, I felt very awkward seeing parents of the graduates 10-20 years older than I am. They might have thought I married young for our child to have graduated Nursing. Then while waiting for the ceremonies, looking at the plenary hall's chairs, lighting and design, I couldn't help but remember that it was exactly ten years ago I went to this place for my college graduation. The place looked the same 10 years ago that's why I did recall.

Graduation is full of excitement, triumph and sadness for the first timers. It was indeed as I saw so many students shed some tears during the inspirational talks and send-off messages from the topnotchers of the batch. But for Phen, it was no extraordinary thing since she'd already graduated before. Her graduation today was just ceremonial. She's just happy that it puts an end to crazy teachers with their head-wracking exams, an end to massive expenses on fees in school (I'm afraid I might not cope up with the expenses when Bea will be in college since Phen has been ranting about a lot fees being collected), and an end to seemingly endless projects, case studies, hospital duties and a lot more. My mom-in-law urged to me take nursing and pledge financial support but I gently refused since I knew Phen's struggles in taking the course for three years. I have a weak heart on hospital jobs and I'm not a good care giver. I pursued with my own passion instead which is photography.

Another batch of medical graduates. I was like one of them ten years ago. Looking back, it remind me of a quote from a spiderman movie -- We always have a choice. These choices make us who we are. I am what I am right now because of the choices I made ten years ago. There are some few regrets though but I'm happy with where I am right now.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Our New Baby


The newest addition in our family of digital cameras just arrived today... fresh and super HOT! =)


We thought we'd forever be Sony digicam users. After my first point and shoot camera and our semi-DSLR camera, we decided to practice to become a pro so we joined the league of the DarkSide (coined for Nikon-users, used against Canon-users). Since we trusted so much of Sony's reputation on their digital camera products, we stick on their brand and purchased their semi-DSLR (Sony DSC-R1). When they launched their first DSLR product (Sony DSLR-A100), it didn't hit that much in the market. It's probably because Nikon and Canon are still the leading DSLR camera makers in the land.


We definitely would not contest that Sony has become a brand name in point-and-shoot digital cameras. We owned a very reliable P50 and and R1 and we are happy with them. But, we don't like to be the guinea pigs in Sony's experiment of releasing A100. So we better stick to the leaders in the DSLR world. Now, what would we choose, a Canon or a Nikon? Both produces the best DSLR cameras. Remember, it's not the gears that will make a better photographer. What made Nikon stand out in our decision making is stability. Nikon DLSR models are not released every so often so we think that every new product they offer to the public has a very well thought of design and features. This analogy is similar to Nokia ang Sony Ericsson mobile phones. But still, it all boils down to preference.


After deciding the brand, the tricky part is to choose the model. My first love is the Nikon D200. My heart goes for it but my pocket can't afford it. So we decided a model, the one I can afford without compromising the features and we found somewhat a morph of the best Nikon DSLR models, the D80. Here are the features that made our jaw dropped in awe.

Key features

  • 10.2 megapixel DX format CCD (1.5x FOV crop)
  • Image processing engine (similar to D200 / D2X)
  • 3D Color Matrix Metering II, 420 pixel sensor (same as D50)
  • 11-area AF system (new version of Multi-CAM 1000, similar to D200)
  • Custom Auto ISO (selectable maximum ISO, minimum shutter speed)
  • Configurable high ISO and long exposure noise reduction
  • Mechanical only shutter (maximum 1/4000 sec, flash sync to 1/200 sec)
  • Quoted 80 ms shutter lag (short viewfinder blackout; 160 ms)
  • Larger, brighter pentaprism viewfinder (x0.94 magnification)
  • Support for SD-HC (SD cards over 2 GB in capacity)
  • In-camera retouching
D-Lighting (shadow / highlight enhancement)
Red-eye reduction
Filter effects
Small picture
Image overlay
  • Multiple-exposures
  • Compact body (smaller, lighter than D70/D70s)
  • Improved menu user interface (same as D200)
  • Higher capacity EN-EL3e battery (provides detailed information, same as D200)
  • Wireless flash integration (same as D200)
Marvin and I am now itching to go home to play with our new baby =)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I barely can't recall the time I got this very exhilarating feeling and a deep drive on pursuing on a hobby. I've been into sports (bowling), crafts, (cross-stitch and crochet) and culinary (baking). But none of these hobbies were financially funded so well and allocated a lot of time for practice so I can earn expertise.

When I was in elementary and high-school, I had completed a number of cross-stitched and crochet projects. All of them were just displayed and used at home. As for the sports I've got familiar with, I was able to hone my skills in bowling and won a couple of awards in our company's bowling tournament. Joined a bowling club at Alabang before but my work schedule hindered my desire to become a pro in bowling. I only play once in a while for now.

Then I was introduced again to baking while I was pregnant with our first child. Some goodies I've baked were posted here and here. I've even started selling my baked goodies and told myself that I'll venture into pastry business someday. But then again, my greatest resource which is time, didn't allow me to prosper and seriously obtain an expertise on baking. I won't tell that I'll forever don't have time for these desires of mine. The timing may not yet be the right one to say the least. The dream of becoming a pastry chef is still at the back of my head.

And here now comes my latest love affair, PHOTOGRAPHY. My passion in photography started when I acquired my first digital (and only one) camera in 2001. I was very proud to have the first 2.1MP Sony Cybershot digital camera in the office at that time. When we ruled out that my P50 needs retiring after a good 4 years of capturing memories, Marvin upgraded it to SONY-DSC R1 just last year after our first child was born. We're still apprehensive on jumping directly into DSLR cameras because we'll not make a business of taking photos anyway. So Sony R1, being a semi-DSLR is just a perfect practice camera for enthusiasts like us and it was indeed.

Now after a thousand photos practiced with R1, knowledge gained as an apprentice self-studying photography and its tools and being dearly inspired by a lot of photographers and their work posted I've browsed online, I've decided to slowly shift my career to my hobby which is photography and and someday be the best photographer that I can be. There's no harm in dreaming big. I remember clearly how our high school English teacher would always keep on telling us while climbing on top of a chair and extend her hands while saying, "Reach for the Stars!!!"

Friday, April 20, 2007

New Project

Don't be mislead with the subject. No I'm not working overtime in the office by this time (it's almost 1 am). I just got very excited since the domain we've registered is now up and running. And this is what I'm referring to as my new project.

It's kinda difficult to control the contents I want to post on my new site. It's totally different from the way I used to manage this blog. The term here is "control", and I'm really enjoying having full control on building my new page.

For those itching to know my new site... well, patience is a virtue. I'll post it here as soon as I created a decent design to make it a little presentable. =)

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Blog that Speaks

It's been weeks now that we're having some discussions about buying a domain for a dedicated blog that would contain all the things we desire, learn and share.

We paid for the domain registration and hosting fees this morning. Decided to try out Yuga's hosting service. I've been an avid reader of his tech blog and I was also inspired by other bloggers so I decided to write my own stuff too.

We might still continue to update this blog on our family's affairs every now and then. Friends, just keep in touch.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Making Decisions

We noticed that when the year 2007 started, we were bombarded with a lot of big opportunities that entail us to discuss, brainstorm and argue in order to come up with decisions we deemed wise.

Last month was the job assignment in Japan which I rejected due to reasons that I cannot afford to leave my spouse with our 14-month old baby for a long period of time and there are some very important family plans we need to execute this year. We admit coming up with such a decision is very difficult for us. If we only let ourselves be lured with the financial gains that overseas assignment bids then our decision is otherwise. Money is always one of the deciding factors indeed. But we stood firm on our decision and we are happy with it, no feeling of remorse whatsoever.

We may find the answer if we closely discern what's behind our decision which we thought of a million times to refuse the job assignment in Japan. Right now we face again one of the biggest crossroads we've been into so far. The most awaited letter from the embassy Marvin applied for a citizenship approximately five years ago arrived last night requesting for an update on some documents to push through with the application process. But why the excitement we're suppose to feel was replaced with anxiety and apprehensions? Probably because a lot of things have already changed, priorities placed on position, plans while on the waiting period are on the verge of execution and we already are three now (Marvin applied when he was still single).

(URGENT: we should comply with the requirements within 60 days)

Coming up with a decision might not be as difficult as we expect if we only don't have a kid. We'll not be having second thoughts if it's currently Marvin and I to leave. Don't get us wrong on blaming our darling Bea, we're just unselfishly deciding because we don't want to subject her to immense changes if we decide to migrate overseas. It's no simple life migrating abroad without family and relatives to inhabit with. We're not comfortable envisioning our first months or years there acquiring a permanent job to sustain our family's needs. It's obvious that only my husband can work full time since I'll be taking care of our daughter. This is where fear started to creep because our current condition here in the Philippines is still tolerable somehow. It's the fear for the unknown.

Pessimism might have clouded our decision making because it was fear we first started to feel. On the other side of the coin, our life overseas might just be the one we've always been dreaming of. There's always this premise that no guts no glory. If we could withstand the birth pains of pursuing life outside our country land, using the best of our abilities and skills to survive then we'll most likely to succeed.

Whatever our decision may be, we'll see to it that it has been seriously thought upon countless times because it will change our life forever. We hope that God will always guide us and let His will be done on our family.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Parental Authority

Our little one is growing so fast. In two to three years time she'll gonna be a full blown toddler. Now why am I getting anxious on that progress? Because she'll start learning a lot, from the things she see and hear, from the people she spent most of the time with, from everything around her environment. There are other reasons and issues - much more serious ones.

In our situation where we follow the exceptional rule of having a two-income family, as working parents, we count on a househelp and Marvin's mom to take care of Bea in our absence, which we feel our daughter is in good and capable hands. We need to make a living to support our family and our child and children to be. Well, ideally, no one should have a child until one is financially and emotionally prepared for parenthood, but the ideal is hardly the rule. Or should I say that some part of the history repeats itself. Both Marvin's parents are also working professionals and he and his siblings were also taken under their grannies care while their parents are away. I too am a granny's girl, living with them for almost a year or so during my pre-school years.

At the outset, I find it perfectly OK with grandparents babysitting their grandchildren during the day when both parents are at work. So long as the child is still able to distinguish between the real parents and grandparents and is able to discern who exercises real parental authority. My concern is if our child recognizes the other way, accepting no other parental authority than the grandparents.

I'm not writing this against my very kind mother-in-law but these are just some apprehensions I can't avoid to think about. Some fears that may or possibly wouldn't happen in any way.

Marvin and I and Bea's grandparents might be sharing the same belief and principles on child-raising, both being brought up in a traditional family, we may not have serious issues over this matter. But then I still believe in the "generation-gap" phenomenon, on the difference between child raising practices 20-30 years ago. This is not limited to this issue alone since I also consider the issue on discipline. Grandparents are notorious for spoiling their grandchildren, which might be a manifestation of how a person mellows down with age.

We may not have totally surrendered our parental authority to Bea's grannies but overall, we are still confined to their rules since they're our parents and we co-exist with them in the same house. It might be confusing to our young child being subjected with two different sets of rules imposed by two different parental authorities. But we can't just simply take away from them their source of joy which I think fills a void in their lives during their twilight years. Maybe, when we too become much older, we'll also seek our grandchildren the way a typical granny does. But definitely for me, I'll keep my hands off raising them and allowing my children to have their rights exercised on what they believe it is best for them to raise their children. Mothers might know best, but I'll never subject them to parental authority tug-of-war unless they've deeply urged me to do so. =)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Public Exposure

It was the first time that we brought our little girl Bea with us in a company event. We should've already done it during the Family Day last year but she's still months old. Besides, the office premises might just harm her with most of the employees having cough and colds during that time. But this time, the company outing at Caliraya Recreation Center at Lumban Laguna added to her experience to socialize with other people, ride different means of transportation (a boat and a jeepney) and let her be in other places away from home.
She enjoyed a lot even of she wasn't able to plunge into the pool because of the windy weather, it's cold. We thought she can show off the very cute two-piece bikini I bought for her =). Anyway, we still had a good time watching the games played by inter-department, strolling around the place, reading the books and playing the toys we brought for her. She likes book a lot by the way.
Til our next escapade! =)

Sunday, February 25, 2007


The preparations' the biggest production so far. Imagine almost a month of planning for just an overnight stay for a milestone party. Exchange of emails during work hours for the planning of committees and assignments is so much fun. The preparation is already some sort of relaxation for us behind our very toxic work. And the excitement is somehow killing us as the days come to near. It's suppose to be our team's milestone event but other co-business unit members were able to come with us, at their own expense, which made the event more enjoyable.

We had our first stop at SLEX Petron to assemble the convoy. After which, the next assembly was after Star Tollway at Lipa exit. The bad thing that happened to us was getting lost. Burn the map! Or should I say punish the head of the convoy who didn't follow directions which caused a bit of traffic on the two-lane street at Lipa after 7 cars are turning back. =)

The place may not be too exceptional since I used to live in Davao surrounded by beautiful beaches. Anilao is famous for its rocky coast. But we still had a good time. Marvin and I just opt to prepare the food for the group and hone our photography skills instead of plunging in the waters. At night, we had a few drinks, indulge in merry-making and snugly rested at our beds before midnight since we still need to be at Tagaytay in the morning to be with our little girl who was brought there by her grannies.
All that starts well, indeed ends well. We hope that there'll be another event such as this so we'll not always be thinking about work and the office. =)