Thursday, July 31, 2008

Because They Come Cheap

Cars are aplenty here in Japan. People here change cars as if they are changing clothes. That's why if you want to get your own, you can easily buy a cheap and slightly used one in any of the numerous car shops available. Car brands vary from Subaru to BMW, to Toyota, Nissan and Honda. So if you are one those car fanatics,  Japan is the place to be.

My husband has always wanted to buy us a family car... so that we can easily go on those unplanned trips, move around town anytime we want, and bring Sam along with us wherever and whenever without having to worry about stopping because she wanted to be fed or have her nappy changed. Yesterday, my husband made a very good deal and bought us our first family car - a Subaru Legacy Touring Wagon. It's not yet with us though. We have yet to get our parking space, inform the police about it, and finish some paperwork.

August is fast-approaching, and with the Obon coming up, our newly-acquired car is just right on time! As for the Obon, well, that's another story. ;D

The HammeRuler... Redesign Almost Ready

I have previously posted about the "HammeRuler Commercial" survey. They are almost done with the commercial theme, thanks to us, dNeero-ites. However, they got a tie. To break the tie, they got this new conversation cooking. What's your vote on the commercial theme? Check out the survey and choose which theme you would like to see on television. Happy conversing!

It's About ME!

This time, the dNeero conversation is about ME! Here are a few questions and some answers about myself that will allow you to get to know me just a little bit more. This is just a quick and fun survey. Do take the time to take it yourself! Thanks a bunch!

Blog Feature: Sketchbook

I am new to the blogging world. In my less-than-a-month experience in blogging, I have come across various blogs with different personalities and interests. And during my blog hopping adventures, I came to like a number of blogs because they piqued my interest, updated me on some local Philippine news, featured nice stuff, and are sincere and open about certain topics. Of course, I do enjoy posting comments on other peoples' blogs and it is through this that I have come to know some of them.

In my search, I came across Sketchbook - a blog mostly about the hobby called beading, and beadworks and then some... I instantly liked the way Sarah Kelley presented her bead creations, how she features fellow local beaders, her beautiful insights on life, and the clean and simple look of her layout. The photo gallery of her creations is a must to view! Her advocacy to her readers to "Buy Handmade" remains true as she showcases her artwork, her passion for anything handmade, and other beaders' masterpieces. Her creativity has even inspired me to try the art of beading myself! I also love her train of thoughts when she talks about poetry to the point that you would like to engage in a conversation with her. This, and her obvious love for cats and God, are reflected in her works and posts. Truly, this blog is a must see.

Note: I recently got tagged by Kevin of Pinoyteens in his blog post My Blogging Idol. This is my response to his post. Thanks for the link!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Citizenship Marketplace

There has been much buzz about the issue on US Citizenship for Sale that dNeero had this follow-up survey. This time, the question is whether the US government would allow the selling of the right to legal immigration. Nothing in this world is for free but to sell the right to legal immigration? That would be a huge debate indeed!

What are your thoughts on this proposal? Do take the time to check the survey below:

Thanks a bunch!

Friday, July 25, 2008

What's For Dinner?

I felt lazy preparing dinner last night. I got so wrapped up reading and checking out blogs that I lost track of time. When I checked on the time, it was already 7p.m. and my husband had already arrived. For lack of any idea on what to cook, and because I have been craving for a slice or two of pizza for like weeks now, I asked my husband to order one for dinner. Luckily, I was able to keep a flyer that Pizza Hut distributes to various households. After a quick call and some 30 minutes later, our order arrived, fresh and hot from the oven.

I took the liberty of taking a snapshot or two of our Cheesy-Roll-crusted, Meat-Paradise-Idaho-Special-Mayo-Q-Ebi-Bacon-flavored pizza and Family-Chicken-Combo deli. Hmmm..... looks yummy, right? Itadakimasu!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Five Months And Counting...

It`s amazing how time flies. The first time I held her, she was soooo fragile and tiny at 2275 grams that I was afraid to hold her because I might break her. But everyday, she grows and proves to be a very healthy and active baby. She would kick to her heart's content, grip my fingers like she was holding on to it for dear life, wails like a 2-year old when she is feeling all grumpy, pays very close attention when you read her stories and sing lullabies, and just beams at you when she recognizes your face.

I know that all mommies like me who are fortunate enough to raise their children full-time would agree when I say that nothing compares to the experience of being able to see your baby grow each day and witness her firsts. All the sleepless nights, exhaustion and the pounds gained during pregnancy was all worth it!Â

Sam is turning a month older on the 28th and my, how much has she grown since then! She is now such a delight to me and her daddy - she giggles a lot now and babble different sounds, holds her hands together and even tries to stand up when we hold her up. Sometimes, I can`t believe that I would be able to raise her without any relatives close by to call on except my husband. When I hold her in my arms and see how much she has grown, I realize that indeed I am so lucky to have her.

But seeing her grow up so fast, I sometimes say to her, "Sam, please don't grow up too soon!" It`s not that I don`t want her to grow up. It`s just that I would be missing the days when I can hold her in my arms and the days when she is so dependent on me and her daddy. So now that she is still a baby, I bask in the pleasure of being able to take care of all her needs and keep many good memories of it so that when she grows up, I will be able to share with her the joys (and the pains that go with it) of raising her.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

When Gas prices go up, you....

Lately, there has been a multiple surge of oil price hikes. And it is not just the industries and businesses that are affected - the common masses are also feeling the burden of oil price hikes on their shoulders. Talk fare hikes, inflation, increase in prices of daily commodities and diesel. Might as well use the train or perhaps bike your way into the office just to save up on your precious peso, dollar, yen or whatever currency it is that you have. Just what is it that you are doing with the gas prices going up? Here`s another survey from dNeero to find out just what the ordinary Juan dela Cruz or John Doe is doing to help out:

Monday, July 21, 2008

Those Lovely Yukatas


It`s summer time once again... For many, summer is an awaited season of matsuris (summer festival) and hanabi (fireworks displays). For most young Japanese, it`s also the time to take out from the closets those yukatas (Japanese traditional summer kimono) to beat off the summer heat. These kimonos are made of cotton and are very thin so that they are very comfortable to be worn during the hot Japanese summer. They come in different bright colors and floral patterns for women, and the simpler designs and dark colors for men.

A woman`s yukata also has an obi, a wide belt that is worn high, on the height of the stomach, to conceal the natural figure of a woman. To complete the look, the woman wears a geta (sandals) and dons a purse and paper fan.

But just how exactly is a yukata worn? Like the traditional kimono, there are steps to wearing this summer outfit. TyraW2686 from YouTube shows us how.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Transformers II?


I am a sucker for animated films. Disney animated classics, 3D movies from Pixar, Japanese anime - the works. And when Hollywood brought Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Hot Rod and the rest of the gang to life in Transformers, I can`t help but run to the Warner Cinema  in Yokohama with my husband to watch it on the big screen! I wouldn`t miss it for the world! After viewing it, I even asked my husband to download the movie so that we can watch it whenever we like.

It really makes me feel good to see good conquer evil in the end. Who wouldn`t?

But I heard that there`s a part 2 to the movie. Yay!!!! It`s been circulating around the web... I even got an email from my friend about the plot. I do hope it`s true. Get a glimpse of what`s in store for you in TF2.

Act One

  • Starscream returns, now self-declared leader of the Decepticons.

  • Rallies the others around his goal is a new energy source derived from the Allspark that rests on Earth. Plans overheard by Hot Rod.

  • Soundwave leads a faction that is still loyal to Megatron and with his followers battles Starscream and co and gains control of the resurgence ship Nemesis

  • Sam and Mikaela are in college, her at community and Sam in New York. Still together.

  • Sam and Bumblebee have a strained relationship since the city of gridlock makes driving a car impractical.

  • Shige, unspecified Asian, is Sam's roommate and learned English from Baywatch closed caption. Guessing he is the comedian role that Anderson was for first movie.

  • Nemesis slams into the ocean, destroying an aircraft carrier and taking on its form. IE Nemesis becomes a transforming aircraft carrier (something rumored to be in the sequel for a month and more).

  • Soundwave takes on the form of a "large, military-grade focused sound laser" while the other Decepticons take on military vehicles that where on the downed carrier.

  • Megatron's crushed lifeless form is retrieved and placed in a Cybertronian chamber. Since sound is a form of energy, therefore making Soundwave an unlimited source of energy, he is able to heal other Transformers and restore Megatron. The reason mainly because the merging of the Allspark with Meg's spark caused an overload and shutdown of his system rather then death.

  • The resurrection' s side-effect results in dependency on Soundwave for energy but (I think), Meg's wouldn't like depending on anyone for survival so needs something from Prime to complete his return and sends his minions to capture Sam as leverage.

  • Hot Rod lands on earth to warn Prime of Starscream's plans and coordinates for unknown energy source. The alt form, Ferrari F430, is taken from a "high-profile action movie director's car (a cameo perhaps for Bay?).

  • Autobots head to Las Vegas, with Hot Rod (with Mikaela) running ahead of them due to his speed.

  • Bumblebee also heads to Vegas with Sam and Shige in tow (after a scene involving street racing).

  • Mikaela finds Agent Simmons, who now works for LUXOR in Vegas, to get the location of the object.

  • Everyone but Sam and company form up at the home of Linus Ellison, descendent of the Sector 7 founders.

  • The second source, "City of Lights" is an orb that stores the Allspark's excess energy that was collected while being studied by Sector 7 and is used to meet the United States energy needs. The electrical conduit for the orb runs from Hoover Dam to Vegas, in effect Vegas was built to hide the orb much like Hoover Dam was built to hide the Allspark.

  • The Luxor (the black pyramid) provides the access point to the orb (hence Simmons working there) resulting in a White House ordered evacuation of the entire city.

Act Two

  • Sam and co still heading to Vegas, Shige still unaware of Bumblebee is a robot; watch their dorm destroyed by a giant robot on TV. Sam recognizes that means he is in danger.

  • Creation Matrix is introduced and contained within Prime. The Allspark provides life, the Matrix provides the Transformers with a soul and free will. Without the matrix the Transformers are soulless primal beasts ("hence the cell phone, Xbox and Mountain Dew machine"). Decepticons therefore came from the Allspark and Matrix but used free will "to follow a path of evil". (Very slick and very obvious, I feel pretty stupid for not thinking of this).

  • At this point, Starscream wants the Orb and Megatron wants the Matrix.

  • Meanwhile Sam and co reach the roadblock of traffic from the evacuation of Vegas and come head to head with six construction vehicles...who merge to form Devastator.

  • While trying to escape Ultra Magnus and his car load of Transformers arrive to attack Devastator and defend Sam. Meanwhile Shige pees in his pants (thinking BB wouldn't like that). A vicious battle ensues.

  • Devastator is slowed buying time for a tactical retreat down Route 66 to Vegas (historic American landmark, worth googling).

  • In Vegas, the largest defense force ever assembled is ready as Starscream's faction arrives in protoform.

  • The force is intercepted by protoform Autobots (so three groups of Autobots) resulting in a free-fall battle until forced to break for crashing landing to Earth. The fight is rejoined and moves toward Vegas.

  • Once the fight reaches Vegas, the military learns that the Decepticons no longer effected by the sabot rounds making them ineffective in the battle.

  • The assault continues above ground while below Mikaela watches as Ellison and Simmons wordlessly hatch a plan.

  • Night falls as the Autobots defense of the Luxor barely holds. Reinforcements arrive in the form of Sam and co. pushing back Starscream's faction.

  • Sam and Shige are escorted down below as Skorponok drills through to the underground bunker undetected.

Act Three

  • Skorponok is detected and despite best efforts from the military below ground, manages to sever the orb from the electrical conduit, stopping the flow of energy to the nation, plunging cities and Vegas into a blackout.

  • Military re-enforcements arrive in Vegas, only to discover they where infiltrated by Megatron's forces and destroyed.

  • The military lies in waste, the Autobots outnumbered and exhausted, Megatron's forces begin their assault.

  • Seeing the odds, Ellison makes the call to go to the Stratosphere Tower and release a Sector 7 built electromagnetic pulse that would destroy all electronic systems within 50 miles including the Transformers and the orb. Despite knowing it would kill them; Optimus approves of the plan and orders the Autobots to clear a path up the strip.

  • Soundwave, overhearing the orders, moves to intercept.

  • Prime, Magnus and Hot Rod stay to defend the Luxor, the others move to defend human's move to the tower.

  • Starscream, thinking the advantage is his, moves to attack the Luxor to claim the orb.

  • The fight up the strip against Soundwave's troops results in a kamikaze move by two Autobots that opens the lines but also kills the military specialists for the EMP.

  • Sam and Mikaela ascend the tower under assault from a Deception with Bumblebee trying to defend. Eventually Bumblebee wins forcing the weak Megatron to enter the battle and clumsily but effectively stopping the EMP and possibly killing Mikaela.

  • Soundwave attacks Starscream's faction with a sonic pulse that also hits Prime who was chasing a determined Hot Rod that had ordered his retreat orders.

  • Soundwave uses that opportunity to rip the Matrix from Optimus and brings it to Megatron restoring him to full strength.

  • First order of business to regain the role of undisputed leader of the Decepticons by taking out Starscream those results in a dogfight in the Grand Canyon.

  • The defeated Starscream's last act of defiance is a message to his faction on Cybertron, "I have prepared the way..." resulting in a mass exodus from Cybertron to Earth. (HMM so TF 2 Vegas battle is what Helm's Deep was to the Two Towers, with I guess TF 3 having a battle that will be like Return of the Kings Minas Tirith - if true sweet)

  • Movie ends with the Autobots recovering in Ellison's compound, Optimus severely wounded, Hot Rod determined to right his wrong (I guess getting the matrix from Megs), Sam feeling betrayed by Prime with the death of Mikaela, and Mikaela regaining consciousness, the forcefield of the Bumblebee defeated Decepticon failing after having protected her from the destroyed Tower.

Basically be Concluded in TF 3.

And there even is a part 3... Another great trilogy. Can you believe it?

It's a hodgepodge, a mishmash, a salmagundi

Here`s a new survey from dNeero. This time, it's just about anything from the press... from latest movies to Hollywood stars to current events to politics. Check how I answered.... You might also be interested.

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

I know you are all familiar with this nursery rhyme:

twinkle starTwinkle, twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky
Twinkle, twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are

As I grew up, this nursery rhyme has kept me wondering about those stellar stars. And on countless cloudless and moonless nights, I would look up to the heavens to marvel at their beauty. Gee, they really are beautiful!

I studied in a Science High School and we`ve got lots of science subjects that we study - biology, chemistry, physics, botany, anatomy, computer  science - all those "geek" stuff. (But of course, I am no geek. I just got lucky to be admitted! :D) It was during one of those classes when I got the answer... I will not go into further detail about what stars really are, what makes them twinkle, etc. But one thing`s for sure: I know now what those stars are made of - Hydrogen. And here`s my "grown -up" version of that popular ryhme:

twinkle starsTwinkle, twinkle little star
I don`t wonder what you are
For by the microscopic ken
I know that you are hydrogen
Twinkle, twinkle little star
I don`t wonder what you are


Friday, July 18, 2008

Ziddu: Upload, Share And Earn

Now, here`s something new. Ziddu - a 100% free file hosting service. Have you got that collection of photos, videos, audios and books that you have been dying to share with your friends but couldn`t find a hosting service that will allow you unlimited uploads and downloads? Then Ziddu is the answer.

Just how exactly does Ziddu work? Here`s how: provides you 100% Free File hosting solution with just one click. Its fast and easy. Only people knowing the exact download URL are able to download your file. Your file will be deleted when it has not been accessed for more than 90 days or you use your delete option. Select a file to send by clicking the "Browse" button. You can then select photos, audio, video, documents or anything else you want to send. The maximum file size is 200 MB. You may choose whom you want to send a file to. If you submit your friends email addresses, Ziddu will send the file to your friends. If you just want to get the link to your file stored on our server, simply copy the link and share with your friends.

Earnings: You will get $0.001 for each Unique download.Redeemed cash will be transfered via PayPal or Moneybookers once it reaches $10.
10000 Unique Downloads: $10
50000 Unique Downloads: $50
100000 Unique Downloads: $100 USD
500000 Unique Downloads: $500 USD
1000000 Unique Downloads: $1000 USD

You will get $0.10 Referral Bonus, when someone joins with Ziddu through your referral link and uploads his first file!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Clicks That Pay

Are you a websurfer? If you are, you might be interested in monetizing those clicks. There are many pay-to-click sites out there that pay. But it is quite difficult to determine which ones are real and which ones are a scam. As for me, I just try a few sites that pay only a minimum amount and does not really require me to make upgrades just to earn. And once I get the minimum payout amount, I will claim it and see if the money arrives. If not, then, it`s scam!

A few of my small time money-earning sites include the following:


You receive $0.02 for each email read. What`s great about it? The $10.00 sign-up bonus.
Ever heard of this one? I have read many praises from this site. Each click pays $0.01 with guaranteed 10 clicks per day. They also have a referral program. I am just keeping my fingers crossed until I receive my payout. To see is to believe!


Now here is something. Get paid by becoming either a Social Person or Conversation Igniter. I opted for social person. If you are interested in joining conversations, posting your answers to your blog and making money, this one`s for you.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Commenting To The Higher Level

Yup! Commenting just got into a higher level. The word is out: Entrecard is on to something really HUGE! and SezWho is the reason. That`s right! Entrecard has taken commenting on blogs into the next level through SezWho. Through this partnership, bloggers and commenters alike will be rewarded for posting quality blogs and comments.  Not only that, it will enable SezWho-enabled users to have their posts noticed. It`s like having a niche in this vast world of blogging.

Although quite new to the world of blogging, installing the plug-in in my Blogger blogs was quite easy. I have yet to install it in this blog though since the plug-in for Wordpress MU is not yet available. I do hope they release it soon!

I am not just in it for the rewards. I`m in it more for the feedback of my "readers". Where are they by the way? And these kinds of competitions are just the thing to encourage struggling youngbloods like me to continue blogging, meet fellow bloggers and learn more about the blogosphere.

As for Entrecard, thanks a lot guys for coming up with competitions like this one! You sure know how to reward your members for all their hardwork.

Road Trip To Yamanashi Ken

For my birthday last April 30, we went on a roadtrip to Yamanashi Ken, home of the famous shibazakuras and the four lakes surrounding the mysterious Mt. Fuji. It took us about 2hours and then some wrong turns to get there, but we got there alright. Thanks to the reliable NAVI that our rented car has. It is really amazing how it works!Got to have our picture taken in this picturesque view

On the way, we stopped by Ebina, an expressway pit-stop for us to refresh and stretch and feed baby Sam (Oh yes, we brought her with us.) Driving through a network of expressways, roads and then some tunnels that are quite long (the longest one was almost 3kilometers), we finally got to our first stop: the Shibazakuras. The shibazakuras are so named because like the sakura or cherry blossoms, they only bloom in the spring time and that they are like grass, thus the term `shiba`. The place was really breathtaking even though not all of the shibazakuras are in full bloom. From there, one can catch a glimpse of the mysterious Mt. Fuji in the horizon.

Our next stop was Lake Mutotsu - one of the four lakes that can be found in Yamanashi Ken. The lake itself was very beautiful - crystal clear waters, and with a breathtaking view of Mt. Fuji. We circumnavigated the lake and it was a bit scary because the road was quite narrow in some areas and a cliff on another. Surrounding the lake are different areas: they got two camping sites, a windsurfing site, a boat rowing site, a fishing site and a hiking site. We stopped by a famous viewing deck, where professional photographers take photos of the beautiful Mt. Fuji, to have our pictures taken. It was picture perfect - the lake, Mt. Fuji, me, dad and Sam. After we tired of taking photos and taking in the view, we finally decided to move on.

Just captivating!We then visited the two other lakes, which are bigger than Lake Mutotsu but we just dropped by because it was getting late. Then we set off for home, quite dreading the fact that we have to pass through those tunnels again. It was already dark when we left Yamanashi Ken. We stopped by Ebina again for our pitstop to change Sam`s nappy and feed her so that she will be comfortable on the road, and then we got some coffee to keep us awake on the still long road ahead. I especially have to be awake because I was helping dad navigate and I was keeping him company so that he won`t get sleepy during the drive.

Finally, we got home - exhausted from the long day of sightseeing but it was one of the best birthdays ever. Thanks Dad and Sam for the trip!

US Citizenship For Sale?

Many foreigners would like to have a bite of the big apple - that nation called the United States. For many of them, they consider the USA the land of milk and honey. I know there are many who want to apply for citizenship but the process is quite tedious and the requirements, well, let`s just say comprehensive. As a non-US resident, would you be willing to pay a certain amount of money just so you could have a bite of the big apple? How much would you be willing to pay? Check out the conversation below:

Think Again

This music video of Lori Brainard is for women who needs some more encouragement when it comes to finally ending not-so-good relationships. It`s called women empowerment, and standing up for yourself, and loving yourself first and giving yourself some respect. If you only get empty promises, then by all means, speak up and tell him, "Better think again if you think I can`t make it on my own!" Now that`s what I call girl power.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Getting It Going

This survey is sort of a dneero profiler. I enjoyed answering the survey questions and thought that maybe, they could add more items into the survey. But I guess, this will help you get a glimpse of what I am like.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Coping With Nihongo

I have been here in Japan for a year now... In that one year, I still cannot understand Nihonggo. Well, I can understand some words and VERY common phrases like Ohayo gosaimasu, konnichiwa, konbanwa, arigatou, and omedetou to name a few, but make a Japanese talk to me and I will just stare at them with a clueless look on my face and a small apologetic smile and say, "Gomenasai, nihonggo wakaranai!" (I`m sorry, I don`t understand Nihonggo!) Funny! I`m saying that I don`t understand the language in Japanese.But kidding aside, it has always been my struggle. Why?There was this one time when I had to buy some groceries by myself because I ran out of shampoo on a weekday. I went to rush to the grocery store to buy one. Unable to read Katakana, the Japanese way of writing foreign and borrowed words, I just browsed through the shelves and looked for familiar shampoo brand names like Pantene, Lux, Vidal Sassoon... and just picked one that I liked. I paid the cashier and went home. And we used that shampoo for a while. Then one day, my husband wondered why his hair is not soft and silky anymore. He checked on the label and realized that we have been using liquid body soap for shampoo for like days! He mentioned the mistake to me and we laughed ourselves crazy! Of course, I was embarassed with what happened. From that time on, I vowed to learn how to read Katakana. Oh, I can read alright, but with a preschoolers reading skills. Heck, a preschooler might even be better than me.. Hehe!

There was this another instance when I had to take a taxi because I have so many things to carry and walking from the train station to our home is not a good idea. Mustering up enough courage, I went to the waiting taxi, got inside and showed him my mobile phone for the address and asked him to take me there. Of course, the driver was a little annoyed because I can`t understand what he`s saying but I was able to go home safely that day. Whew! That was a relief. But it would be better if one can make small talk, right?

Of course, I am trying to learn the language. I even attended a Japanese language class last year given by two kind-hearted Japanese ladies who speak English so well. There were only two of us attending the class. The other one was Rajani, an Indian who is now pregnant and going back to India this month. The lessons were free and we met every Tuesday. So you can say that it`s a Tuesdays with Yoko and Noriko. The lessons went well. I can count in Japanese well already. And the grammar and vocabulary drills were particularly helpful. But I skipped some classes because I was still pregnant at that time and the winter season just made it impossible for me to go out. The funny thing with the Japanese language class though is that after our lessons, we go back to speaking in English. So, the lessons learned for the day were not really put into practical use.

And I have one more dilemma. It`s when Sam begins going to school. Of course, everybody will be speaking in Nihonggo and as we all know, children have the greater capacity to learn new things at a great speed compared to older people. And that`s when my problem comes in. I would not like it if she would converse with me in Japanese because by then, we would not understand each other. And just thinking about those parents and teachers meeting scare me!

So how do I cope? I browse Japanese websites and try to read the contents. And if I cannot read them, especially the difficult Kanji (Chinese characters), I just translate them using excite(dot)co(dot)jp. Also, I watch anime. Naruto, Dragon Ball, Samurai X, Pokemon - all those famous Japanese anime - just so I could familiar myself with the accent and the pronunciation and the expressions. And I get to catch a few words.. And there`s always the handy Nihonggo books and of course the world wide web. Perhaps, if I am too desperate, I might require my husband to speak to me in Nihonggo, which I think will never happen.

I am just taking it easy though and not that seriously because I am confident that I have a husband to translate for me. He said that I don`t have to pressure myself because the moment I start doing that, it will be more difficult for me to learn it. So I guess I should learn the language slowly but surely from this day on. No more procrastinating. Because tomorrow might be too late.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Moms Know Best

There has always been the cliche that "Moms know best." For us, mothers, we would definitely agree. But for others, well, you might have second thoughts.

When we were still babies and very vulnerable, they are the ones who took special care of us. They feed, clothe and bathe us. They spend many sleepless nights just so they could soothe our crying, satisfy our hunger, and change our wet diapers. They even become instant singers just so they could sing us a lullaby or two. They even become storytellers - they are the first persons in the world who introduced us to Cinderella and Snow White, Jesus and His apostles, Jack and the Beanstalk, Noah and his Ark and other popular persons from the Bible and from the Kingdom of Far, Far Away. Yes, they love us unconditionally.

When we were younglings and about to go to school, they are the ones who send us off to school and comforted us when we cry because we are afraid to get inside the classroom. They are the ones who encouraged us to try new things and are also the ones who would tell us when not do something. While we spend most of the day in school, and with the company of our friends, we go home to our mothers and their prepared snacks. We always get a treat whenever we excel in school activities and they are always the first ones to learn of our achivements and are also the first ones to brag about it to their friends. Yes, they are always proud for us!

When we were growing up and are able to make decisions for ourselves, we begin to spend less time with them. Rather, we spend our time hanging out with friends. Gradually, we talk less about what`s going on and share less about our thoughts. But they are still there. Constantly behind us and watching out for us, just in case we stumble and our friends are suddenly nowhere to be found. Yes, they are unceasing in looking out for our wellfare.

When we reach adulthood and become mature individuals, they are the ones who we can always talk to about life`s complications (although most of us prefer to talk to our peers). Because they are more experienced than us, they have life`s wisdom that we do not have. Sometimes, we disagree on things and even engage in arguments because we come from different generations and we have clashing ideas, but know that they are always flexible. They know when to give in.

And then we get married and raise our own children. And the cycle repeats. We go through what our mothers went through while raising us. We have no idea how things are done, but somehow, they get done. We begin to learn how to raise our own children with each new day. And surprisingly, we begin to realize that perhaps, mothers know best.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sam's Firsts

She is Samantha Ysabelle, our firstborn. She is our source of joy, strength and comfort. She is such a delight to all of us! Because I love to document stuff, I always take note of our baby`s milestones. Here are some of them:


Sam came out into this world one cool afternoon in Tokyo. I gave birth to her on February 28, 2008 at 1:30pm Tokyo time. This is how she looked then: very tiny and still wrinkly. :)

first ride

031108. This is Sam on her first ride home. We were discharged from the hospital on March 11. Her ninang, Ms. Zhera Ochiai, offered to give us a ride home.


032508. This is Sam`s first passport picture. She looks just so adorable here, it makes me want to hug her tight!

first check-up

040208. She is now all dressed up for her first check-up. She just turned a month old and she is now ready for her pedia check.

first cam smile

042208. Sam`s first camera smile. Nope, she is not camera shy. It`s just that, she stops smiling when she sees the camera out of curiosity. But finally, after numerous attempts, I was able to capture her smile. She was playing then with her small furry friends.

1st day out

042608. Sam`s Firs Day Out (doctor visits not included) was on a trip to Hakkeijima`s Sea Paradise. Although she was still very small then, just almost two months old, I think she enjoyed the fresh sea breeze... not to mention the furry sea friends that we brought home with us. I am sure, she will enjoy Sea Paradise on coming visits since she will now be able to appreciate the different marine shows and marine creatures.

bcg mark

052908. This is Sam`s immunization mark from her BCG. It looks a bit odd.. with 18 pricks in all, very much different in the Philippines where I came from. When the doctor gave the BCG, Sam was crying very hard I embraced her and whispered soothing words into her ears. I had to stop myself from crying too. My poor little baby!

1st hold 1st grab

062008. Yay! She now knows how to hold them little things... I was experimenting on whether she can grab on to things given her and she succeeded!

pacifier suck

062908. She finally figured out how to use the pacifier the first time I gave it to her. Smart girl! But I don`t always give it to her.. I only use it as the last resort after I have tried all kinds of ways to soothe and comfort her.


070308. The first time I heard Sam giggle, I was so happy! I didn`t quite expect her to giggle and laugh knowing that she just came from bouts of crying. I wasn`t even sure how to hush her because I was already tired and hungry. But all of that vanished when I heard her first giggles! I even recorded her giggles so that her Daddy can also hear. She is just such a joy now that she`s four months old! I am sure there will be more milestones from this day onwards.

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