A Story of Dependence

Sophie is turning 2 months in 10 days. Diaper changing and breastmilk-drench clothes has become part of our daily lives. She has grown a lot in span of 2 months. Heavier. Chubbier cheeks. She also started to establish routines of sleep, play and feeding.

While I am catching up with my online work last night, she was half-asleep by my side. I have already fed her, changed diaper and ensured that she wears comfy clothes. I smiled as I watch her sleep. Though I noticed that she looks uneasy. She seems to be “tossing herself to sleep”. It was already pass midnight. I turned of my laptop and lied next to her. Instantly, signs of restlessness stopped.


It was a moment I realized that this little girl’s life revolves around me. She is totally dependent to me. When I lied next to her, she recognized my presence. She recognized my warmth. A warmth she equates to security and peace. A warmth she understands as care. She knows that as long as that warmth is beside her she will not grow hungry. She will not have to endure the ecky feeling of wet diapers. She doesn’t have to worry about the cold.

Sometimes, I feel guilty of not giving her that much attention while I am working. I may have held her hand while doing my researches. She may be sleeping on my lap while I am processing images. But I am not really there because my attention is not fully unto her.

I am becoming dependent to my little one, too. That’s a secret. Lesser crying moments and smiles are becoming a security and pride that I am doing a good job.

That’s cute to read but I know I could use some counseling, a good advice to change that mindset of mine. I know that pride and security thing can hurt my parenting. Tendencies of racing a spoiled brat? Uh-oh!

Shall we just ignore those signs of approval from our little ones? Of course not. Those precious moments are treasure. A true delight for a parent.

We just have to re-establish where our pride and security should come from.


He alone.

I am reminded of what our pastor adviced me before going to college: Psalm 34:4-5
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him.

An advice that never goes old and still applicable even if our season of life has changed. If you read the chapter a bit further, you will learn that delighting in God, dependency on Him comes with a promise that He himself will do for you.

My prayer is for God to reteach me to refocus my heart and mind unto Him. To my faith be like a child again, to have that total dependency unto Him. I know as I delight in Him, as I trust Him; He will transform me to a mom who’s best for Sophie. Amen.


How To: Prepare an Aromatic Bath

Nanay always look after our health Even now that my siblings and I are already grown up she still makes sure that we are always in the pink of our health. She was worried about me when I was in my 7th month of pregnancy and caught colds and cough. She advised me to do home remedies before I consult my OB for some western medication: pamper bath and a massage (oh yeah!).

The aromatic bath I prepared consist of boiled Lagundi and Eucalyptus leaves. Lagundi is known to cure cough and as a bath for patients who are sick and women who newly delivered. My mother gave me a warning not to ingest Lagundi as it has abortive effects. Eucalyptus is known for its therapeutic effects to patients with respiratory disturbance such as colds and cough. It has these warming effect that soothes “lamig” or cold wind.


Simple Aromatic Bath Preparation 

  1. Select Lagundi and Eucalyptus leaves. Choose those that are fresh and not too mature. The quantity of leaves depends on the strength of aroma you want for your bath. The aromatic bath I prepared consists of about 500-600 grams of Lagundi leaves and 700 grams of Eucalyptus leaves.
  2. Wash the leaves to get rid of insects, cob webs, etc. Make sure that the leaves gathered were not recently sprayed with chemicals. For the eucalyptus, the leaves can be detached from the mature twigs.
  3. Put the leaves and water in a large pan. Water is around 20 liters.
  4. Bring to boil. I let the decoction boil for about an hour. You will notice that the water will turn brownish during the process. Some oil-like material will also float on the surface. These are the natural oil extracted from the leave.  At home, we have an outdoor stove fueled by wood. It’s best to prepare the decoction in an outdoor stove to save on gas.
  5. Do the chant! Just kidding.


How to use the prepared aromatic bath?

  1. It’s best to use the aromatic bath while it is still hot. Temperature can be adjusted by adding cold water.
  2. Stainless containers are best to carry the aromatic bath as the extract can stain plastic containers. It could stain the bathroom tiles too. So be ready to do some scrubbing after.
  3. Bath as usual. After getting rid of suds, pour the decoction over your body. No need to wash off with clean water.  Enjoy the heat and take slow and deep breath to inhale the vapor.
  4. The prepared dedoction can also be used as hot foot bath.
  5. Follow the aromatic bath with a full body massage and sure you’ll feel better after.

Have a lovely buntis day!



How To: Survive the Beach While Having a Period

Itinerary is planned.  You have packed your things and supplies for the trip. Then you found out that it’s the time of the month. Such a kill joy. Should you push or back out from the trip? I had this experience last year prior to a trip to Anawangin. It was a bit of a hassle but I still manage to enjoy it. Here’s how I did it:

how to survive the beach while having a period

Bring in the pads and some extras.

Base your estimate based on your flow.  Having too many supply will never hurt. Anawangin is a remote area and I am not sure if the sari-sari stores  in the island have pads. For a 2 days and 1 night trip, I brought 3 packs of overnight pads. Overnight pads are recommended for long travels and prolonged sitting.

I have read that it’s best to use menstrual cup or tampon if going to the beach with a menstrual period because (1) pads can get wet and soggy when submerged in to the water,  (2) it’s noticeable under your suit, and (3) “floating pad” incident may happen. But for me, sanitary pads is still my best option besides there are ways to go around the downside of wearing pads to the beach. If you want to wear flaunt your bikini, choose the ones without wings ’cause it could be seen outside your suit. I opted to wear dark shorts with my bikinis to conceal the adhesives and prevent “floating” incidents.

Wear something dark.

Dark bikini bottom, dark cover-up, dark shorts. Leaks can happen, dark cloths can cover it. 🙂 Dark clothing can also hide those bloated tummies. You can also ask your girl friend to check your rear (but not in an annoying  and paranoid frequency).

Don't let period get on your way of enjoying the beach.  Talisayen Cove, Nov 2013

Don’t let period get on your way of enjoying the beach.

Prepare for the cramps.

Stress and unhealthy foods can lead to menstrual pain. Ibupropen, Midol can be give you comfort. If those two won’t help, go back to the water and forget about the pain. But, but you still need to listen to what your body is saying, it the pain is too much to bare rest for a while. Relax, feel the sun on your skin and listen to the crushing waves. Find ways to interact with your friends while you are out of the water.

Change those pads.

Going out of the water for lunch or going for a trek? Change your pad first. You will feel more comfortable walking around on those dry pads. Changing pads is also for hygiene purposes and will keep you from getting rashes. If you’re out of the water, change your pads withing 2-4 hours to keep you fresh.

Dispose off used pads properly.

Roll it, wrap with paper or plastic then dispose then off in the garbage bins provided. Do not flush them in the toilet nor throw them out the shower window. You don’t want to ruin someone else’s escapade with those pads, right?

Enjoy the beach.

Period is a normal thing for us ladies. Forget the myths that it is not safe to swim if you are having a period. Don’t worry about sharks, they will not smell your blood.


Death by Strawberries: The Baguio Get-away Day 2

(Note: This is a throwback entry for a 3-day Baguio trip in 2012.)

We had our rounds of doing our chores. Day 2 adventures started out late because of the very low supply of water. Filling up a pail of water takes time. I never knew that April can be cold too. I only have a pair of  jeans. It’s a good thing I brought long sleeves and a jacket.

Death by strawberries because our group have consumed a good amount of strawberry – from the fresh ones, wines, ice cream, jam to taho. Oh no one died.:)

What’s the itinerary for Day 2?

Tam-awan Village: Garden in the Sky

Tam-awan Village is founded by National Artist BenCab to promote the local art and culture of Baguio (Source: Our Awesome Planet). How about a groupie before going in?


The entrance and the list of entrance fees. The village can also be rented for functions.


Our first activity is going through a trail that leads up, up, up. Up leads to where? To more trees and bushes. Just kidding. The trail showcases artworks and landscapes that reflects Ifugao art particularly. It rained prior to our visit so the trail is a bit slippery. An observation: the higher you go, the steeper the trail. Good thing, some bamboo hand rails are installed for visitors safety. Our genius friends appreciated the ferns growing on the sides of the hill.


If you opt not to take the uphill trail, you can still enjoy the visit. A souvenir shop, art galleries and cafes situated at the lower part of the hill. There are Ifugao fertility huts that can be rented if you opt to stay here overnight. I would like to have that experience given the chance. Beware of the fertility statues: they are believed to help you conceive when touched.

Baguio 201213

According to a source, there is always an art exhibit going on in the village. One attraction that brings interest to our group is the group of sketch artists. A portrait cost PhP100.00 and usually takes 10-15 minutes to complete.

Baguio 201216

A large portrait of Manny Pacquio is exhibited in the village. This masterpiece is a Solar Drawing by Jordan Mang-osan. It’s drawn using the sun and a magnifying lens. Amazing!


Strawberry Fields

Situated 30 minutes from the heart of Baguio, you’ll be able to find the Strawberry Fields to appreciate how these berries are cultured. The strawberry fields reminds me of the tobacco plantation we have back home specially the white canvass that covers the strawberry seedlings and the black canvass that protects the berries from being soiled.

Other crops are also planted in the Strawberry fields. There are lettuce, brocolli and some patches of mums and roses.

Baguio 201217

What is the best thing to do here? Strawberry picking! If you want to do that prepare to pay thrice the price of strawberries sold in the market. For our group, goof around and dance in the middle of the field. :)And oh, not to mention eat strawberry taho under the heat of the sun! Kimmy loved it so he had to call Manong Taho twice.


These are stars erm berries of the day.

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Camp John Hay

We made a side trip to meet a friend. The group hiked on the side of the hills (or mountains). Tree Top Adventures was closed for the holiday so most of the time spent here was simply chatting and sharing  jokes.  We also made a sequel of our Annual Jumpshot.


The Jumpshot for 2012

Do you know that there is a cemetery in Camp John Hay? It’s called The Lost Cemetery or the Cemetery of Negativism. So, if you’re carrying a negative vibe(s) that weighs you down; you can bury it here.


There’s also a butterfly sanctuary that you can check out. It is situated near the CAP Convention Center. Leaving Camp John Hay, I have noticed some factory outlets of apparels. Maybe these shops are also worth visiting.

Just some advise, do not loiter on the golf courses. Golf balls can hit you anytime. 🙂

Mines’s View Park (Round 2)

The journey continues to Mine’s View. This time buying pasalubong is taken more seriously. Peanut Brittle, Lengua de Gato, t-shirts, keychains you can get it here. Ate Abby just gave us a tip that we should save some dough for Good Shepherd items. I bought some bottles of strawberry wine.


What is our night activities aside from the usual chats and jokes? One of our group brought a set of Pictionary, another Monopoly Deal. There is also a karaoke set in the house which we are allowed to use. It’s free for all but since it’s Holy Friday, we opt to sing mellow as a respect to the neighborhood’s observance of the Holy Week.

Related Post:

At Home in the Mountains: The Baguio Get-away Day 1
Goodbye on a Rainy Day: The Baguio Get-away Day 3

Clean OS Installation for Asus K24N


Yeah, I know. We need some external clean-up too.

Sussy, my 2010 bought Asus K24N crashed with this error. My in-house computer engineer performed the suggested procedure but nothing happened. At start-up desktop starts in Safe Mode, attempts to repair then fails again. I am not a fan of back-ups so another problem came up. :p

What could have possibly caused the crash? Busted OS installer.

Since, I could not do anything I parked my poor notebook and shook my head.

Could it be possible to revive my notebook by using a rebootable USB drive? I checked out the Bios set-up (ESC for this model) and sighed again on the fact that there is no “Boot from USB option”.

I did my research and found this very useful article.  (and this).

Here’s how I repaired my notebook:

1. Download .iso version of Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit . It’s the software that was installed to the unit when I bought it. OS are 3Gbish in size so expect long download time. Well, unless you have a very good internet connection, download time is shorter. In my case, the ETA is 12 hours from torrent.

2. Download and install Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool. This software will turn your bootable USB.

3. Load the .iso image into the USB using the software downloaded on step 2. Once done, click “Begin Again” then safely remove your USB device. Note: the software will reformat your USB device first prior to loading. Now we’re ready to clean install. At this point, make sure that your unit is plugged on a power outlet.

4. Plug the bootable device to your notebook before pressing the power-on button. Then press ESC button several times to enter the Bios set-up. Options to boot from will pop on your screen that includes the “Boot from USB” in addition to the “Boot from drive” and “Boot from CD/DVD”. The option automatically and only pops out if your system recognizes a USB device upon star-up.

5. Select your desired location for the installation. In my case, I used OS partition. It’s advisable to format the partition first before proceeding with the installation. Watch how it’s done. I used the passkey pasted on the bottom of my notebook and was verified genuine by Windows. This is one reason why it is very important to check and download the right version and architecture of your OS (originally installed on your notebook) to avoid problems in the future. I’m still tempted to upgrade my OS to Ultimate though. 🙂

6. Wait for the installation to complete. This process involves several reboots. After a successful installation, the system will ask you to name your PC and to set a password. A few more click on the NEXT and OK button then we’re ready for the last step.


9. Final step is installing drivers. You can use the CD that comes with your notebook or download it from the internet. Now you can install other software you desire. I’m never a fan of IE ’cause I found it slow. I downloaded Google Chrome instead. Thinking of self-studying CAD so I put DraftSight on the to-install software. Some image processing tools, word processing software, Windows movie maker, VLC Player and other codec package, Skype and Microsoft Security Essentials. I think we’re good to go.

Disclaimer: I am not a pro in doing this stuff. I am just sharing what I have learned today. You may check the links that I have pasted on this post for more info. Mommies, this knowledge will also be useful for us. We can always run to our trusted PC technician for this kind of problems but imagine how your kids will be amazed knowing that mommy is also an in-house IT personnel. Last words, always go for Genuine softwares. It will save you from a lot of trouble.

It’s a Girl!

By the time of writing, my Baby Lalabs is already 28 weeks and 2 days old. In less than 3 months, Pipi and I will be able to hug and kiss her. (EDD: October 2) Yes, Baby Lalabs is a girl! That means, she will no longer be called EK but SOPHIE ELISE or PIE.

SophieWhat’s with the name?

Pipi thinks that SOPHIE sounds cute kahit na makulit. So girly. Upon our research, Sophie is the cuter version of Sophia the goddess of wisdom. One of my favorite Lola is named Sophia.

The second name ELISE is after the name of Nanay Elisa which literally means God is my oath.

Jason Mraz sings “our name is our virtue” so the name should be a good one.

I can’t explain how thrilled Pipi is when he confirmed that Baby is a girl. Though even before he already had an inkling that it will be a female.

Ngayon palang madami na akong bilin for Pipi. That he should always tell that he loves Sophie, of how beautiful and special she is, to send her flowers on special days and to date her on Valentine’s day. In these little gestures, Sophie will grow up a smart lady. That she will be confident about her identity. That she will not easily fall for a guy offering a single stem rose ’cause her father had already given her dozens. ☺

Pregnancy and motherhood is such a wonderful experience.

osCV6L6 - anne

June 2014: A Recap

It’s already mid July and I haven’t written a single entry for June.

Aha, June my birth month! A month when my girlfriends and I are celebrating our friendship anniversary and a month to honor our fathers.

Blame it to the preggy hormones. They’ve been giving me emotional ups and downs,  thereby un-inspiring me to write. I am also adjusting to my family’s schedule since Tatay’s baby girl is now back to school.

A private tutor is a new addition to my already long list of roles at home. It was a joy to see Thalia progress on her learning. She now recognizes letters and numbers from 1-10!


Idea note_20140715_123243_01

This is the last birthday that I’ll be single, the last one that I’ll be blowing my birthday cake alone.

Alam mo yung may drama moment ka na, “Wow God, hindi na ako mag-iisa.” 

Last year, I celebrated my birthday in a foreign land. Celebrated with foreign food.  This year, I am celebrating it with my family. I think the last one was some 6 years ago. 

Ala akong handa but I enjoyed the day reading well-wishes and reflecting on the year that was. I think I have already received the most wonderful gift.

I am happy to see my father in the church again after a very long time.

God is really faithful.

collage - HB1

I was prayed for during the Sunday service. Our pastor said, someone who appreciates life can’t help but cry on her birthday. I think I agree with that.  I am still alive. There’s a living human inside me (sounds creepy, though).


Idea note_20140715_123243_01(1)

Our relationship with our fathers directly affects the way we relate with God.

My younger brother and I were reminiscing the days when our father used to tell us bible stories before bed time. Kim’s favorite memory is the time when Tatay thought him how to pray.

Ang laki talaga ng impact ng childhood memories sa nagiging pananaw natin sa buhay pagtanda natin. 

So, itay maraming salamat sa lahat ng pgsasakripisyo ninyo para sa amin. For staying up late to finish your projects for us to have food on our table every meal. We pray that God will bless you with longer life for you and nanay to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Much love.


This year also marks the 10th year of friendship with these wonderful ladies. We started out as dormates, then orgmates, then bestfriends. Some are already married and expecting babies,  finished masters, passed board exams and are now managers.

collagethese are the ladies who will unselfishly go out of there way just to be with you. to cry with you, laugh with you, pray with you. And the best part, they are not afraid to tell you what you needed to hear. My life story will never be complete without you. Cheers to more years of friendship.

osCV6L6 - anne

How to Deal With a Toddler’s Temper Tantrum | Better by the Minute


Recipe #3: Patulid

Patulid has been a treat my nanay would cook after a long day of travel. Her reason is that it’s good for the blood.


Patulid is a dish indigenous in the Northern Part of the Philippine. It is an Ilocano term which literally means “rolled over”. No, not part of this dish is being rolled over by a heavy machine. But it’s cooked as if it just rolled over fire.

The dish is simple that it calls only for the following:


  • 1/2 kilo pork lomo, sliced to 1/2 x 1/4 x 1/16 strips
  • 1/2 kilo pork liver, sliced similar to the pork
  • 4 cloves of large garlic, minced
  • 2 pieces small onions, chopped
  • spring onions, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oil for sauteeing

Bring the dish to life:

  1. Heat oil in a pan. Saute onions, then garlic until the golden brown. Ensure that garlic and onions were not burnt.
  2. Stir in pork lomo then simmer to half-cooked consistency.
  3. Once the pork lomo is half-cooked add the liver. Stir until the bloody appearance disappears.
  4. Pour in water enough to cover the meat and liver. You may add more if you want more soup.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Spring spring onions for added zest and garnishing.

Cooking Notes:

  1. Overcooking the liver leads to tough texture.
  2. Use the freshest liver and meat available. Frozen ones are not recommended.
  3. Meat should be sliced thinly for faster cooking.

Patulid is rich source of protein and iron. No wonder Nanay describes it as food  for the blood.

How Much Does It Cost to Explore Ilocos?

Traveling in group is fun. It’s noisier, there will be more stories to hear. And yes, noisier! If traveling in group and if the destination is reachable by land, it would be more convenient to rent a car. Considering that our trip is scheduled on a holy week, imagine the inconvenience that we have to deal with finding seats for 10 people. Also, commuting to the different tourist attractions will be painful. Well, an exemption if you are willing to ride a tricycle and have a race with bigger vehicles along the highway. Buwahahahah! Planning a trip to Ilocos in a group? Hope this post will help you weigh these questions: to commute or not to commute?

Capture - Day 1Day 1: Let the Travel Begin!

We basically explored Vigan. Though our eyes have already feasted on the views we have passed during the trip that started 5AM from Quezon City. At around 2PM, we were avail to reach Vigan. Then our adventures begin:

collage - daY 1

Sneak preview of our Ilocos Adventures – Day 1

Our group took a Calesa Tour with an instruction to go to the highly recommended areas only. We voted to check out Baluarte, Padre Burgos Museum and Calle Crisologo. The tour was quite slow. Blame it to the madding crowd that flocked to Ilocos that long weekend. 🙂

Day 2 : Explore Ilocos Norte.

Capture - day 2

This day is what I am excited about. I’ll be seeing the Bangui Windmill for the the very first time. Voted spots to check out:

  • Blue Lagoon, Pagudpud
  • Cape Bojeador, Burgos
  • Bangui Windmills, Bangui
  • Paoay Church
  • Dine in Herencia’s Cafe, Paoay

collage - DAY 2

Day 3 – Tara na sa Beach!

Our relatives in Ilocos Sur blessed us with meals and welcomed us to their home. That’s a big slash from the expenses. Thank you, Dr. Sean and Joy!

Capture - day 3

It’s time to go to the beach-each-each. Our group together with our host took us to San Isidro Beach, San Juan, Ilocos Sur to cool off a bit before we hit the road again. After the lunch at the beach, the group then went back to Vigan to purchase pasalubongs – chichacorn, bagnet, Vigan longganisa we sourced from the wet market. We also passed by Marshia’s to take a bite of the famous royal bibingka and pudding.

collage - Day 3

Some notes on the transportation arrangement: gas, meals, toll fees and accommodation for the driver is separate from the van rental. At the end of the trip, we made a deal with the driver to drop us near our respective homes and he agreed. That explains the additional gas refill for Day 3.

Capture - Misc

Each individual had contributed PhP3,000.00. That does not include the additional chi-cha, water, and other personal effects. I could say that this trip is worth all the peso spent. A big thanks to our sponsors during the trip.