Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cheerful Worker

Since I got married, I see to it that my lunch is fish. Today, I wanted to have fried Bangus with gravy (Gross? I don't blame you but you have to try it to like it.). I could not help but notice the infectious cheerfulness and enthusiasm of the cook/salesman in the canteen. I was amazed because in that whole canteen, he was the happiest and yet he has the hardest job if you ask me. I mean he has too cook what we order on the spot so he is exposed to heat.

I hope I can be the cheerful worker that he is.

God bless him for making so many customers like us happy and for making us realize that we should find joy in what we do.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My One Term in Five Days

The last five days, we had our trimestral break.

I spent the last five days in a conference room from 9am to 5pm and the last five nights (more thant actually) staying up reading papers. I have lost sleep, and the chance to unwind during the break, and yet, I truly enjoyed. It seems that the break was longer than five days because I spent it learning new things.

In the process, I think I might have stumbled upon what I want to be my life's work. I might have found (with the help of our mentor) the topic I would like to work on for my dissertation. With only one more subject to go, I have to think about this already.

I was very inspired by the works that I have read about and the ideas shared in the conference room. Truly that class has to be the best class I have ever had in my entire PhD program. We will have to see if my last subject can outshine Emphatic Computing.

Perhaps it's because I have missed attending classes, I have stopped for two trimesters. Or maybe it's because this is really what I want to do. Though I did not get to rest at all during the break, I feel renewed. Eager to finish my tasks, eager to complete my requirements, eager to teach. I feel excited again about everyday.

I feel really, really good these days and I hope this will never end. :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Returning to a Journey

As I packed my bag to return to my interrupted journey, I came across this quote:

Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood. -Marie Curie

I do not find it comforting to know that this came from a woman who died of cancer due to her experiments. I guess a reasonable amount of fear is enough for me.

I got this from the paper of R.W. Picard, who I would like to dub as (like I have every right to, but this is my blog so leave me be) the mother of affective computing.

As I go back to school (I have been an OSY for quite some time) and to make up for it, I am enrolling this term break to a weeklong PhD class that is equivalent to one trimester. We will be meeting eight hours a day for five days.

Fear can be good sometimes I think, it was fear that drove me to get all the papers that I have to synthesize (eight all in all, counting one masteral thesis from MIT) and all the papers that I have to review before our classes begin. *sigh*

Inspite all this, I cannot help but feel very excited. I am finally, going to be the student of one of the legendary teachers. He just finished his PhD in Japan and is now back for this week long course.

So fear or no fear, I must trudge on and finish what I have begun. Only two more subjects to go and off I go to the scary, land of no return, dissertation.

I have reached my cheesiness quota for the day. I must end this now.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rants of a New Wife

I have been married for 17 days. Details of how I got married will soon be posted, among with the wedding preparation details at Getting There .

On the day of the wedding, I could not contain my excitement. I was my usual giddy self, yes, even in my gown. Underneath the layers and layers of Duchess Satin I was still the unruly me. Some of my relatives took notice but before they asked me to at least pretend to have a single bone of grace in my body, they remembered that it was after all my wedding day and I will be how I want to be no matter what. :D

To catch a glimpse of how I was on that day, here is our video.

It has been a bit difficult on my part, I'm sure it's hard on Vince too. We are now staying in Paranaque at Chateau Elysee and the conveniences of my life when I was still single are now gone. For one, I no longer have access to a multipoint heater when I bathe or wash my face. I also have to now worry about what breakfast we will have, at least before we got our refrigerator. Now, I am back to my Fitnesse breakfast. He now shares the same breakfast with me, as there is nothing else on the menu. We do not have a stove yet or a pot where we can boil water so I cannot have my regular dose of green tea.

These days, I have to adapt to his schedule. If before I can spend half a day sleeping, now I have to wake up as early as he does to take a bath and head for work. I feel like I am working for an office. *sigh* One of hte perks of teaching is getting to wake up really late!

We do not have cable nor Internet connection, we don't even have curtains!

I think the biggest move for me though is having to change my name. I mean, while some girls dream all their life of changing their last names, I never did that. I never thought of changing my name and now I have to. Well, legally speaking, I don't. In fact, there is no deadline for changing names after getting married but it is more convenient if I have at least one ID that says my last name is my husband's last name. Maybe my license is what I will use.

In spite all these adjustments that I have to make, I am grateful that I am doing all these so I can grow old with Vince. Everything worth doing takes time and effort, and I would like to think that this is indeed one of them.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Another Declamation Piece

I Demand Death

My hands are wet with blood. They are crimsoned with hte blood of a man I have just killed.

I have come here today to confess. I have committed murder, deliberate, premeditated murder. I have killed a man in cold blood. That man is my master.

I am here not to ask for pity but for justice simple, elemntary justice. I am a tenant... My father was a tenant before me and so was his father before him. This misery is my inheritance and perhaps this will be my legacy to my children.

I have labored on a patch of land not mine. But I have learned to love that land, for it is the only thing that lies between me and complete destitution.

It is the only world that I have learned to cherish. And somewhere on that land I have managed to build waht is now the dilapidated nipa shack that has been home to me.

I have but a few wordly possessions, mostly rags. My debts are heavy. They are sumtotal of my ignorance and the inspired arightmetic of my master, which I do not understand.

I labor lika slave and out of the fruits olf that labor, I get but a mere pittance for a share. And I have to stretch that mere pittance ot keep myself and my familty alive.

My poverty has reduced me to the bare necessities of life. And-the constant fear of rejection from the land has made me totally subservient to my master. You tell me that under the constitution, I am a free man-free to do what I believe is just, free to say what I think is right, and free to worship God according to the dicatates of my conscience. But I do not understand the meaningof all these for I have never known freedom. I have always obeyed the wishes of my master out of fear. I have always regarded myself as no better than a slave to the man who owns the land on which I live. You tell me of the right to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But I have known no rights, only obligations; I have known no happiness; only despair in the encumbered existence that has always been my lot.

My dear friends, I am a peace-loving citizen. I have nothing but love for my felowmen. And yet, why di I kill this man? It is because he was the symbol of an economic system which has made him and me what we are: He, a master, and I, a slave.

Out of a deliberate design I killed him because I could no longer stand this life of constant fear and bein a servant. I could no longer suffer that htought of being perpetually a slave.

Here is another touching piece. This was also written by someone anonymous so I suppose it is alright to post this here for those who need a piece. I am still searching for the pieces that I have loved from childhood.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Happy Feet

Just wanted to share a picture we took from the mall. We were both pretty pleased with our new shoes, we could not help but take a picture! :)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Quick Blog

Hannibal Rising

I have finished the Thomas Harris' book and enjoyed it immensely. I could not put it down. It is way better than the movie as it allows you to creep inside the mind of Hannibal. He is such a genius and to peek into his thoughts was more than enthralling. I would want to read the whole trilogy but I am not sure if we have it in the library.

The Rainmaker

This book by John Grisham was a bit of a disappointment for me. I did not like the ending at all, I felt like it did not make much sense. I do not know if the effect Grisham was going for is to try and make a full circle out of the story or what. Also, I feel that the love story angle was totally unnecessary. I learned a lot about insurance litigation though so I guess it was not a complete waste of my time.

I am still waiting for the cheaper version of Kinsella's Remember Me. It's supposed to be a light romantic comedy (I think that was redundant but I will let it be), and I do not know if by the time the cheaper paperback is released, I would still be interested.

"Vacation" is around the corner but my planner is already bleeding black from all the other things I will have to do on the side on summer. Workshops, trainings, among so many. I hope though to still be able to rest a bit. I appreciate work as well during summers because I really get depressed when I am not doing anything. Mom is planning to leave the country again but there are no definite plans yet. Knowing her, she will be announcing our departure at the last minute.

I am trying to learn French right now through this web site. I am also planning to enroll at Alliance Francais once I find time for it. The schedule is a bit tight and I do not know if I can make it.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Confession

My very long vacation was not very productive and I am not very proud to admit it. It is just that it makes me feel better to confess.

I was hooked by the book In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner. I have seen the film but I was very curious to find out if the film did the book justice. I am glad (though not immediately) that I read the book because as always, the movie obscured so many important details. Though, being fair to the screenplay, these were things a bit hard to convey on the big screen without the overly used voice-over thinking-aloud style. Nonetheless, the idea of reading a book of a movie adaptation is always a good idea, it's like seeing the behind the scenes of the movie itself.

I liked the book, the ending left me teary-eyed and wanting to cry. I am such a sucker for sibling stories. The books is about two sisters whose mom died when they were young. Seems like another one of those stories but Weiner was able to introduce other twists like the little sister having a learning disability and their mom's death not being an accident at all etc. It's a nice read, if you do not have much to do.

Which brings me to my confession. I have tons of things to do. I have got to stop reading! I borrowed In Her Shoes from the library. When my feet lead me to the library, I tend to shop for books. I thought it was a great idea since I have been buying books the past few weeks (I used GC's or I bought when the books were on sale but even so...). I got myself a John Grisham, Rainmaker and Hannibal Rising... Tsk... Movie adaptations again. I was going to get Romeo and Juliet but the library had a terrible copy all worn out and yellow and part of the book was cut-off so the last word in every line was truncated.

Tomorrow is back-to-work day and I have to face the list of things I must do again.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Declamation Pieces

For a while now, people have been asking for declamation pieces. I havea tried searching on the net for possible declamation pieces and found none. This afternoon, I found myself some time to spare so I headed to the library and got a book on declamation pieces. After reading some of the pieces, I feel compelled to post some of them because they have been used during my grade school days. No luck finding Vendetta and Birthday Gift though but I shall search again when I find the time.

In the meantime...

I think this is a nice piece that can slightly be modified as performed so that it is more dramatic.

Guilty or Not Guilty

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Logistics Nightmare!

I have just had a nightmare of a week!

I had not one, not two but eight foreigners come to my university. I was the only one who arranged everything and they are from not one, not two but five countries! I had a professor from France, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan!

If there is anything that I have learned from this experience, it is that, logistics is not really my thing. I had eight foreign visitors from my research group this week but of course, preparation started a week before as well. They had to change booking arrangements so the hotel booking drove me crazy. They were coming from different countries and different flights so transfers from the airport to the hotel also drove me mad. Then, I also had to take care of the logistics of the talk I asked as a favor from them for our students. I was thinking having foreigners from different universities abroad at the same time in one place, our university, no less, was a great opportunity for students. I requested networking students to attend as the field of the professors were mainly wireless technologies.

For the past few days, and I have reason to believe this is due to stress, I have been involuntarily waking up at three in the morning.

The talk was alright, I really did not expect much participation from the students but hopefully they got something out of the talks. They were also presented opportunities to study in Korea, France and Taiwan which I think is pretty good. There are also attractive PhD scholarships in Singapore. Internships are available as well.

I have been asked to go on an internship program in Singapore but because I am getting married soon, I declined for now. I might go next year before we aim to have a baby. The professor said there's no hurry since the project is going to span two years.

If it is any consolation, the foreigners loved the food here. On their first night, I brought them to dampa and on the second night I brought them to Gerry's grill. I mean even the French guy loved the food! Now that is flattering! The Korean was crazy about our fruits here as there is none in Korea. The weather also cooperated.

The second night that they were here also happened to be my birthday which meant that I was very stressed on my 28th birthday and I was brought to tears by the logistical nightmare I had to face! I had a car that can take four people but I had seven (one went to Subic) people to transport. No one was willing to drive for them and so I had to ask my mom! Fortunately, my mom was more than happy to help me and so she drove them to MOA.

My sweet fiance, with a chocolate cake in tow followed us to Gerry's so he can have dinner with us but mainly to help me drive the foreigners back. I love my mom and Vince! They truly are the wind beneath my wings!

To make this long story short, everything worked out thanks to the two people I love.

It's nice to know that there are people who, no matter what the circumstance can be counted upon.

I love you.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Cynic Child

What has become of the world?

People steal and deny it without batting an eyelash. I hate not being able to trust anybody. Trust and you pay dearly for it. It's terrible.

I remember a time when I was in kindergarten. It was dismissal time and my mom already got my bag and lunchbox in our car. I was still in school for a reason I can no longer recall. Then I saw a man and a child. The man had with him a screwdriver for who knows what reason in one hand and a bright yellow lunchbox in the other. Upon seeing that, a scene started playing in my five year old mind where the man opens the lock of our car with his screw driver and takes out my bright yellow lunchbox. I began wailing and screaming saying that the man has stolen my lunchbox.

I must have embarrassed my mom greatly because I sure got a nice scolding after. As young as that age, I knew trusting someone comes with a price, betrayal.

While I was probably one of the most cynical five year olds there ever was... even that cynicism did not prepare me for what the world has become.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Amazing Race? Filipinos No Doubt.

Perhaps by now, everyone has seen the Amazing Race Asia's final leg and so blogging about it is no longer a spoiler.

I was very sad that Rovilson and Marc lost. I mean, I had a feeling that they will not emerge as champions though they kept on getting to the pit stop first in most legs otherwise, the race would have been very predictable. Call me a bit negative but it was really all too good to be true if they won.

While I am bordering on depression right now, I am still very proud that Marc kept his cool and did not knock every tooth out of Rovilson's mouth after they lost. I am proud because they never cheated (I think), they were always good-natured, well, save for the time when they yielded the moms but nobody liked the moms so that's alright (haha! I am so evil!).

Collin and Adrian may not be the team I rooted for but I am glad they won still because I think they really worked harder than Marc and Rovilson especially with the handicap. I mean it was probably hard navigating the foreign roads with one of them unable to speak and hear properly. While Marc and Rovilson had a great time with the quad bikes, Collin and Adrian had to carry their bike and at a point one of them got squished by the bike! So with all due respect to the hard work Marc and Rovilson put in, Collin and Adrian really earned the 1st place spot.

Marc and Rovilson had the time of their lives and I think that's a prize in itself. They're the only team who truly enjoyed the trips as though they were really in it for the tour. They got moustaches, hid in bushes, stripped in strip bars, I mean really, how many teams in Amazing Race Asia and the Amazing Race did something like that?! They are already winners and for this, I cannot help but love Marc more than ever! (Next to my fiance of course... *sheepish grin*)

The sisters won 2nd place and I think they deserved it too. I mean, one of them got a concussion and they kept on getting entangled into so much drama.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Bucket List

i have seen the Bucket List. As always, Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman did a good job. The movie reminded me that I will not be around forever and while I am still young and clearly do not have any idea for how long I can stay here on our planet, I have decided to write a tentative Bucket List. Things I would like to do before I kick the bucket. I have done some things already actually.

1. Audition for a newscasting stint. Check! (twice! :))
2. Perform on a big stage. Check! (several times but only the Meralco Theater stage counts)
3. Marry my fiance
4. Earn my PhD
5. Travel the world with my fiance
6. Have kids of my own
7. Teach my kids
8. Own a two-storey house and live there with my loving husband and kids
9. Play a major role in a foundation for the youth at risk
10. Dance the salsa with my fiance
11. Celebrate our golden anniversary
12. Publish a paper in a journal
13. Send my kids to college
14. Write a book
hmm... I'm sure there's more. I'll add to this list more next time.

My new Shopaholic book is calling out to me... Read me! Read me!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Turning Bag-o-holic

Last year, my dad fulfilled one of my dreams hehe... He gave me my first LV! I do not have a second one yet but I won't mind having another one! While I am very happy with it, I am now obsessing over Burberry! My dad asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I said I'd like a Burberry bag! He called yesterday and I asked if he was seriously giving me one, and he said yes!

Since, I have been happily thinking about my LV bag and how it's about to have a Burberry sister, I have decided to get to know it more. I found out that it is called LV monogram canvas Alma and its shape was invented (yes, this is the word from their site) by Gaston Vuitton. They have it in multicolor monogram canvas and Damier canvas too.

After almost a year of having it, there have been many occassions where I have been glad I had a nice bag to use. I don't really buy myself a lot of bags. Really! Contrary to the belief of my brother and sister and mom, most of my bags have been given to me. Most of them are not really meant for formal events so, I am very happy to have my LV bag for these things.

Now my LV bag is another thing to pass unto my child someday... vintage.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


I believe last night was one of the funnest(let it slide ok... I feel like Elle Woods today... it's funner! hehe...) things that we did in the longest time! After being so stressed for so long (we still are actually), we got to unwind for a bit!

We celebrated Mardi Gras at Gumbo Midtown. We reservd two weeks ago when I had my nails done before a wedding at California Nail and Day Spa. The price 600 Php for two people and it was already a three course meal so we thought it wasn't that bad. Plus, if we came in our costumes, we get a 500Php GC!

I went in my Tomb Raider costume and won my GC! Also, they sang for us because they knew it was our 2 years and 9 months together! They sang Can't Take My Eyes of You and asked us to dance. They also gave us two sundaes with a candle each! Yey! As if that's not enough, they even gave Vince a crown and me a New Orleans headband! Usually, guests do not take these home but they were given to us! More yey! I love Gumbo for their Four Seasons Salad and now, I have more reasons to love Gumbo!

Since it was Mardi Gras, they also gave us some beads! No, we did not have to flash anybody to get those! :) I thought it was pretty fun! Hope they'll do it again next year! Totally every centavo's worth dinner!

Before we ate, Vince already mentioned P.S. I Love You. I thought the movie was the movie version of a Sweet Dreams pocketbook. It was a really sad story of a Paul Strobe or something and the girl and him met at Palm Springs. The guy died in the end. Apparently it was not the SD book and a common friend said it was a nice movie and it stars Butler and Swank. I decided to give it a shot.

After dinner, we sprinted to the cinema and made it to the trailers! The movie lived up to the hype and it made me cry in record-breaking five minutes! I know, unbelievable. It was really, really nice. A bit cliche but the delivery and presentation is too nice, you'll let it slide.


I do not know what is up with me, but I have been mushy the past few days. No thanks to the Kinsella books I have read.

Thank you baby for the 2 years and 9 months we have spent together. Thank you for the lifetime you have promised we will spend together. Thank you for asking me to promise the same before the Lord and our family and friends. Thank you for bearing with me and for staying strong for us.

I love you.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


No, I won't offer you Milk Tea. :)

There are several ways a person can handle stress. There are those who, like the egg when boiled, hardens while there are those, like the coffee, turns the hot water into coffee. While some people change themselves, others tend to change their environment to cope.

I got that from a site that I visited last year.

Stress can manifest physically as well. I have a colleague who, while doing his PhD in Japan, suffered nosebleeds (and this is not because he had to learn Japanese). The doctors could not find what was wrong with him. Lo and behold, after he graduated, his bleeding stopped.

This should be a reminder for those who find the adrenalin rush of tons of work exhilarating.

This is a warning for me because I keep on jumping at every opportunity that comes before me. Hey, as they say, strike while the iron is hot. I cannot agree more. I say I will keep doing this while I still have the energy and youth. I will slow down when I can no longer carry on like this. I am at the prime of my life.

Who says you only have to choose one?

Life is a shopping spree and i want all that I can have.

So sue me.

Monday, January 14, 2008

More Books!

She's Come Undone

I am not the kind of person who buys a lot of books. I love reading don't get me wrong, I am just a thrift when it comes to books. I always think of how big our library is and why in the world I am in wanting of a book not in the library.

This Christmas though, I got a copy of She's Come Undone from Vince's sister Veena . Thanks Veena! As I did not feel like working at all during the holidays, I decided to curl up and read the book. I finished it after two days! I could not put it down. I kept on waiting for things to get better for her. My pace should clue you in on how miserable her life was. it took that long for the character to redeem herself. *sigh*

This book should come with a warning. People easily depressed should not even touch this book. Seriously though, there are so many points in this book that one can ponder on. It was a sad read but it was still,definitely, very good. It's a story of evolution and adaptation. It portrayed how indeed, life is a jungle, the wild, where the strong preys on the weak and where the weak eventually evolves into something that can thrive in this place called society.

How to Find Your True Love

Firstly, I was disappointed to find out that Bo's book is already 350 Php. Not that it's not worth it. It's just that before, his books were just 150 Php each. I bought hte book anyway because I have been trying to find a copy for a long time. It was out of stock in most National Bookstores that I have been to! I know you might be wondering what I am doing reading this book. No, I am not trying to find another true love. I am simply checking if how I found my future husband was the right way of doing it. The answer? A resounding yes.

I think I did most of the things that he adviced in his book:

1. Take responsibility of your life.
Long before, I have resolved to save up for my life in the future as a single woman. I, like most girls, also wanted to get married but I am aware also that there is a possibility that I might not be meant to marry so instead of splurging on outfits and other things, I saved and invested.

2. Know what is stopping you inside.
This has never been my problem haha! Seriously though, I chose not to have a boyfriend during my college days so that I may be spared of the long sermons from my mom. I promised her and my dad that I will not get into a relationship until after college.

3. Talk to Lots of Guys.
Most of my friends are guys. Though I come from an all-girls school, I have had guy friends from childhood and it also helps that I have a brother. It was never hard for me to be friends with guys. Also, I joined the Singles Apostolate and I found myself having more friends there male and female. I also joined Center for Arts where I had more male and female friends.

4. Have as many friendly dates as humanly possible.
I did not have as many friendly dates as possible but I did go out on dates.

5. Be Attractive.
In Bo's definition, smile, look approachable, and put on a bit of make-up but make sure you look natural. Bo says an amazing personality never fails to capture a heart but you have to capture his attention first and it does not hurt to look attractive. Hey, Bo's words not mine. :) I think I looked okay. Though, as I recall clearly, I was in the worst state when my fiance first saw me. It was at ATC after the Discernment Seminar at St. James and we (Bhennie and I) were waiting for the prayer meeting. I was having a bad hair day. I let my hair down and I could not braid it because I had it layered and some parts were way too short. I have not seen my fiance then but we have talked a great deal with each other already. Oh, and if that is not enough, I discovered there was a hole in the right armpit sleeve of my shirt! I was not particular about how I dressed especially when I attended prayer meetings since I felt like I should just go there to pray and not for anything else. This was also a phase in my life when I was trying to practice simplicity. I refrained from buying new and branded things. (in case you are wondering, I am no longer in this stage hehe, though it may look it sometimes)

Suffice to say, I looked terrible the day I met him. I was wearing a UP shirt (so he thought I was from UP) yes, the one with the hole. A high-waist cargo pants that I have had before college. A pair of Nike running shoes, I had my hair down and it looked like a hurricane just hit it.

6. Know what you want in a spouse.

My fiance asked me to create an Excel file of all the things I want in a boyfriend and all the things I do not want. Needless to say, I did not agree to do this. Still, he found a way to ask me and so to make it fair, we alternately told each other what we wanted and did not want in a partner. The first thing i said was patience, patience and more patience. Now he knows why. :) I love you baby!

7. Enter into courtship.

My fiance was purposeful but he did not make this clear to me immediately much to my annoyance. I do not like it when guys just drop hints. For me it's say it out right or just leave me be. Anyway, after we got that behind us, he became purposeful. We knew how to create space by allowing each other to continue each other's activities. I let him do his sports he let me do mine. We do not control each other's lives and I think this is one of the real reasons why we are still together. Well, aside from his enduring patience and love. ;)

8. Trust God and enjoy life.

Being the paranoid, cynical, pessimist person that I am, I worry all the time. I know that I should not worry about tomorrow and that I should live in the now but it gets to me all the time.

I think, more or less I did it right hehe...

Oh and yeah, if there is one thing I learned in the book that I should always remember... guys love affirmations. They like being thanked and being recognized for their actions.

Now there's a tip. :)

The book really is overflowing with so many wonderful things to ponder on and put into practice. Bo though has a condition for you to read the book, that you are in your mid-twenties and above. :D