Scrapbook Saturday – Feet!

It is still Saturday in the US and some other countries right? 😉

So instead of speedwriting to make it before Saturday 11:59 PM Manila time last night, I slept. So here I am with a late SS post, and not even the third installment to my Organization series that I thought I’d be writing. Nonetheless, I have something even better! I have a new layout for the mini-album! Take a lookie:

All the photos were taken by my god-daughter Iskra, Chelle’s daughter, the same one with her tongue and kilikili exposed in a previous SS layout :).

I can’t wait to finish this project and start scrapping our vacation photos.

Don’t forget to visit Scrapbook Saturday HQ for the Blogroll! Go on and start with MammaDawg!

Edit: I forgot to include a link to the credits. Find them here:

Tuned in to Kids

Sunday night turned out to be kids’ night. No, the kids weren’t around here. Rather, we spent almost the entire evening watching kids on TV.

First up: Pinoy Dream Academy’s Little Dreamers.

By golly, those kids have got oodles of talent. Really. I love watching them and I truly believe there is more talent in them than their teen/adult scholar counterparts.

Cristina was named this week’s Outstanding Little Dreamer, and she deserves the award. She’s always very energetic in her performances. You could check out a video of her performance here. Hers was the last number in the video in that post. Check out the Archives for performances of the other little dreamers. You will be WOWed by their talents.

Later in the evening, ABS-CBN had a feature story on the two faces of malnutrition in the Philippines. On the one hand, there’s the more common scene of skin and bones children who, because of poverty, and/or neglect, do not eat enough. On the other, obese children who give off a false front of being healthy but are actually are at high risk for heart disease and diabetes.

The Health and Social Welfare bureaus have programs to address the growing problem, but I know they are barely scratching the surface. Development groups and NGOs are also there with their own feeding programs and health programs for moms and their children. But how can we really save more children from dying of hunger or obesity?

With the food crisis hanging over the air, many of this kids are even more compromised than ever. But really, it’s not just the poor who can’t afford the enough healthy food for the entire family who’s in danger. In fact, I have a nephew who the doctor said was malnourished. It is sad. He has an enormous appetite and I’ve never really seen him be picky with his food. But I guess he’s not eating healthy.

And the overweight/over-indulged kids featured in the story have become too big for their age because their diets weren’t carefully planned by the adults caring for them. So it’s not just money needed to ensure that kids are healthy and grow up to become adults themselves.

It wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the feature, but this got me to thinking about how the pending law on Reproductive Health is being vehemently opposed by the Catholic Church here. I mean really, I am all for educating parents-to-be before they bring more children in the world, that’s a long term solution. But we’ve come to a desperate point already and government has the responsibility to at least make available various options to allow couples to choose the best family planning method for themselves. I just don’t see what’s so wrong about that. I don’t think the law endorses abortion, does it? I mean, c’mon!

Sunburn, waves and water proof paper!

I feel like I’m on vacation right now but I’m just on my regular weekend off. I had such a fun day yesterday – water fun under the sun! I had the best company ever – boyfriend, my friend from work Vanette, my niece Dalnes and my nephew Esban.

Vanette loves swimming. She’s gone to two swimming courses in the three years I’ve known her. We’ve been talking about taking a dip for the whole month of April but didn’t get to go then. Oh when we finally got to go, the sun was really on it’s brightest and hottest! Yesterday seems like the only day in the past week that didn’t have rains in the afternoon. There were threatening rain clouds at around 4PM but they didn’t blow over Taytay (the municipality where the resort is at), and even when it started drizzling as we were on our way home, it was just brief like the wind just blew them over there.

We went to Club Manila East, a resort that’s about 35-45 minutes away from here. This was the same resort that Vanette and I went to 3 years ago with 3 of our other guy batchmates from work (who are all no longer in the company). This visit was in stark contrast to the first one: we were practically alone there on that Friday afternoon while we shared the resort yesterday with hundreds of people! They have more pools this time around though so it didn’t really feel very crowded, except perhaps in the Beach Waves pool.

As my dad drove us in to the entrance of Club Manila East (CME), we were overwhelmed by the number of people hanging around at the gate and the vehicles that filled the parking lot. Thankfully, the queue for tickets wasn’t that long so we were in after about 5 minutes. While waiting, Alfred lifted Esban to see the people on the kayaks. We also saw the sign for surfing lessons up front. At first we wondering, how could they do it? Surely, the artificial waves wouldn’t be that strong. Later in the day, we learned just how possible it was to really ride those waves!

The only thing that kept me from really enjoying the trip to the max was that I caught a cold the night before and it’s just no fun swimming with colds. I also couldn’t stand the intensity of the sun’s rays. It was really awesome that one of CME’s maintenance guys put up our table and chairs about five feet from this pool that had the least people in, and right under a mango tree! Shade! We had the coolest spot ever and we only had to pay 100 pesos for it. Before we got that spot we wanted to rent a hut or a cabana but all of them were already taken. That turned out to be a blessing in disguise really.

The kids really maxed themselves out swimming, it was fun to have them because they could both swim already so we didn’t always have to fuss about them. All we had to was just make sure we had our eyes on them. They did venture out on their own to the Kiddie Pool on the other side of the resort. Dal is very capable to watch her brother though so I didn’t worry too much. They came back in less than 15 minutes.

The first pool we checked out was Beach Waves. Of course, within 5 minutes of our arrival, the kids were on there. Good thing too because the waves just started. Us three adults didn’t get to experience the waves yet in the morning, it’s like the waves went on break or something. So we checked out the other pools and found our awesome shaded spot.

When our pool (yes, I claimed it) was closing at 5PM, we decided to go back to the Wave Pool. Vanette and I would not leave without getting a taste of it (not literally okay). Alfred and the kids went there after lunch so boyfriend already knew why Esban just couldn’t get enough. So off we went and WOW, those are some waves. The whole time I was thinking, real waves are more forgiving! Haha. We stayed for like three cycles, the last one were just at the “shore” where the waves break. It was so much fun. I kept worrying about Esban though because as violent as the waves were, he kept taking them on and pushing forward! I had Alfred and Dal alternately chasing after him. Near sundown though, he was the one who said we should go – he was hungry and looking forward to going to SM Taytay!

The shower rooms weren’t crowded as I though they would be. Thank God. There wasn’t much hassle getting the kids cleaned and dressed up. Esban even came back for me asking me to hurry – that’s just because we thought it was going to rain. We had to take pedicabs to the main street as the shuttle was no longer available (too bad, we were looking forward to taking a ride on those). And then we took a jeepney to SM Taytay. We really just wanted to check it out a bit and maybe find something other than Jollibee to eat, but we ended up eating at McDonald’s! I figured it would be easier to get a cab from there too. Okay, it wasn’t easy, but we did get a cab that agreed to take us home.

Esban fell asleep on the ride home, just as expected. He came up here after lunch to tell me he liked it at CME and wants to go back. That’s just as expected too. I want to go back too sweetie 🙂

Any regrets on the trip? I guess only that I didn’t borrow Edsel’s camera pack to get the digicam water proofed. Another would be that we didn’t ask other friends to tag along. There’s always a next time. 🙂

Oh, this has turned into a long post and I haven’t even mentioned the water proof paper bracelet they make you wear upon entrance. No worries, I’ll have another post on this later with pictures! I’ve just transferred them from the camera and checking them out!

Sometimes they don’t grow up the way we thought they would…

My cousins had kids at a young age and so I was around babies and kids for quite some time now. We seemed to have new babies being born into the family every two years if not yearly. The first of the babies was my cousin Nikki. For 10 years I was the baby of the family, and then she came. I was not at all intimidated by her coming, I was actually excited too. I waited with the rest of her family outside the delivery room. At the time, I don’t think we knew she was a girl yet.

I was too young to really take care of her then, but I’d like to think I kinda did. Or else I gushed over her and played with her like she was a stuffed toy. Hehehe. She grew up at a wonderful time in our family. Really. But her being the baby was cut off abruptly at the age of… maybe about 3 or 4. We had two new baby girls born 2 days apart to two of my cousins. They were the cutest and most adorable babies ever.

Being in highschool then, I was really more like one of their caregivers, or so I’d like to think. One of them was the first infant I ever really carried in my arms. I remember having been nervous about it too. We lived right across the street from them at that time, in our old neighborhood. I always found myself going there just to see them, kiss them or hold them close.

As toddlers, I took one of them to my highschool sportsfest and she got scared of the clowns!

Then there were times that they would sleepover at our house. Even when we moved an hour away, they would be glad to go and stay the night with me – they so loved my stuffed toys. hahaha.

I remember one time, only one of the girls went home with me and it was during the time her mom was working overseas… She was so sweet and innocent and so missing her mom. She asked me to sing to her like her mom used to. And we said “I love you” in different languages, just the way her mom used to do at bedtime.

She just graduated from gradeschool and will be taking exams to enter the highschool that the other girl is already attending (she was delayed one year). And today, I was just so surprised (and admittedly a bit disappointed) that there was something in them that I would have never expected from what used to be such sweet little girls.

I took them out to the arcade and a movie this afternoon. I invited another niece, a year or two younger than them. Another friend of theirs tagged along too. They really seemed to have a lot of fun. Unintentionally, I ruined it for them at the end of our evening. I just couldn’t pass up not talking to them about the behavior I hear they’ve displayed recently (one’s misbehavior is totally not connected with the other’s, by the way). I couldn’t let it go, I didn’t want them to continue being like that. It’s just not them.

I didn’t like being the person to lecture, I’d prefer being the fun aunt or older sister. I told them that. But I sincerely hoped I made my intentions clear with them, which I tried so hard to explain. I have high hopes that in the future, they just might thank me for that talk.

In a way, though I am not their mother and not even a first-degree aunt, I feel responsible too for however they turn out. I used to bring them along with me to work, or to just go strolling in the mall, and to some event or another. I used to teach them stuff. Then I just stopped. These two weren’t really born in the best of times or circumstances. Though we all did our best to raise them as generally happy children, I know there are some aspects of their lives that could be the subject of teen angst and God knows they are nearly at that stage already. Somehow I think that is what’s causing the misbehaving. I just truly truly hope they know they have loving moms and aunts around them (and there are a number of us) who will be willing to hear them rant and are actually anxious to find out how they feel deep inside.

Anyhoo, it probably is a good idea to just stay visible for them and to keep on taking advantage of the fact that they still like hanging out with me. I know they wouldn’t be that way for long.

ILU Challenge

I’ve decided to participate in my first freebie challenge from the ladies over at Bohemian Art:

I used their freebie for this layout of my niece and nephew:


Credits are here.

The photo was taken 2 years ago; my mom, dad and I took the two kids swimming. It was a fun day. They are my cousin Ada’s kids, but the little boy is always with us. He used to spend all of his mornings here in our house. I even used to take him to work with me.

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