The Benefits of Oregano

Oregano (Scientific name: Origanum vulgare) is also known as Wild Marjoram, Mountain Mint, Origanum, Wintersweet and Winter Marjoram.

Hand of Hope: Samuel Alexander Armas

A picture began circulating in November. It should be "The Picture of the Year," or perhaps, "Picture of the Decade." It won't be. In fact, unless you obtained a copy of the paper, you probably will never see it.

Tracey Connelley, Baby P's Evil Mom, Shows NO Remorse

I have never been affected by any story as much as Baby P's story has affected me. Yesterday evening, I found myself sobbing twice! I just can't get over the sheer horror of the story.

Baby P's Murderers -- Why Are They Being Protected?

In my country, it has never happened before that the media and the people have been forbidden to actually reveal the names and faces of TC and SB, the murderers of Baby P.

That Winter The Wind Blows Finale: Did Oh Soo Die?

Over the holy week break, I spent the entire four days just watching the 15 episodes of this Korean show. Yes, I am a self-confessed Korean drama addict. I already have my favorite actors and actresses; albeit, I don’t know their names.

Oct 29, 2009

A Glimpse into a Typical Evening


Oct 27, 2009

After 31 Years of Marriage

"Love survives all things... yes, it really does."

Mama: Ang sekreto kang maugmang pag-iribanan, dai mo pamati sa agum mo na mas matibay ka saiya. Kung dai, yan ang saiyang magiging DOWN-FUL (remember that story?)

Me: Down-FUL?!


She Has Memorized Her NIght Prayer :)


Oct 25, 2009

Humor Through Grief

Walking home after our last class, my friends from law school and I noticed the reflections from the searchlight darting here and there across the blackened sky.

As usual, my friends couldn't resist blurting out a wisecrack, and so Bumble said, "Hinahanap na naman ni Batman ang brief nia."

That made us laugh, but searchlights do not remind of Batman or his briefs. It actually reminds me of my Inay's wake.

It was August 2003. I was going through a major heartbreak - but of course, that's another story.

Anyway, Inay (my lola) passed away from pneumonia and I was heartbroken. We were in Cabusao for a one-week long wake - and sleeping was difficult with many people coming and going.

Mama was popping Valium like they were M&M's and she was walking around like a freaking zombie. Old ladies kept singing this song about some mother dying. The song would of course trigger sniffles or all-out hysteria. This pissed off one of my uncles who figured people would stop crying if the old biddies would just stop singing the darn song.

Anyway, I was afraid to go to sleep, but this one night I was able to. It was one of those nights.. The room where I was sleeping was quiet, but downstairs, I could hear people coming in and out of the house.

The peace was disturbed by this sudden commotion which also broke through my stupor. Suddenly, Mommy came into the room exclaiming, "Ne! May aswang sa luwas! Kasubago pa sigeng layug!"

At first I didn't want to open my eyes. I was so goddamn sleepy. But the word "aswang" broke through the haze and then I remembered that i left all the windows open. I imagined the freaking aswang ripping my head off my body (gruesome, I know), but the image had me scrambling out of the bed and running downstairs.

Nobody was inside the house. Everyone was outside, looking up the sky. So, I figured, what the heck - why not check out what's causing all the excitement

People were pointing at the sky. My aunts and uncles (all educated if I may say so) were also looking up and giving out their opinions as to what they were seeing.

At first, I couldn't see anything - and then I saw this white blur moving to and fro. Everybody was so excited about it. I could hear all sorts of gossips -
"Nagtugpa na daa yan sa atup nina Tata Kano. Maduguan daa yan tapos mayo na daang hawak. Manananggal daa yan."

The image was gruesome. I shuddered just thinking about it. Again, I looked up and shivered at the thought of the manananggal swooping in from the sky and eating me.

I heard one of my aunts saying matter-of-factly, "Dai yan aswang. UFO yan." Huh?!

After about 5 minutes of staring at the sky, I noticed that the blur of light does not seem to pose as a threat at all. After 10 minutes, I became so bored, I decided to go inside.

After a while, my mother came in looking for flashlight, "Ne, nahiling mo si flashlight? Nagduman si aswang sa plaza. Maduruman kami ta gagadanun daa."

My response was a huge sigh. I still didn't know what the white blurred light was, but i was pretty sure it wasn't an aswang.

Anyway, they weren't not able to kill "the aswang" because the light didn't move away from the spot. It didn't sweep down and there were no reports of anyone being eaten alive.

The next day, two of my cousins and I went to Naga to get some burial stuffs. We weren't able to come home the same day, so we decided to spend the night here.

That night, my cousin and I decided to eat out. Nobody wanted to cook and we figured eating at Biggs would be more convenient. Walking home, my cousin (who hasn't gone to Cabusao yet for the wake) looked up and saw the reflections of a searchlight darting here and there.

"Okay man ang Chili Peppers ah. Nag-aattract na naman customers."

I looked up and saw the white light reflected across the blackened sky. It was only then that I realized what that freaking aswang really was -
an effing searchlight.

I started laughing. Classic.

Oct 21, 2009

Just One of Those Conversations

Yesterday evening, I was fiddling with my new phone (courtesy of my sister who took pity on me after she saw my busted phone - and of course, I don't mind wringing her out of her hard earned money) when Paige approached Erbe who was lying next to me watching TV. She said, "Papa, bata na pipi ko."

I looked up in time to see Erbe's disconcerted face and I started laughing. I love it when he is confronted with this kind of stuff. Anyway, Paige continued, "pupo mo na ako... bata na pipi ko."

Erbe's face took on a more uncomfortable expression. He said, "Pag-abot sa pipi baby, si mama na lang ha? Bako na si papa."

Paige insisted, “Ika na lang, papa!”

I found the whole exchange quite hilarious. Anyway, I decided to rescue Erbe and said, “Dian na baby, mama na lang. Bantot na talaga po.”

I picked her up and I heard Erbe shout out, “Naparong nia ta pigpaparaatuman pipi nia!”

As if she understood what he said, Paige shouted back, “Bastos!”

Oct 18, 2009


Okay, after the encounter with the weird beggar yesterday, I was hoping I'd never have to see him ever again. EVER - you know, when-the-hell-freezes-over kind of ever. That kind.

Anyway, earlier this afternoon, we were on our way to pick up my busted cellphone from the repair shop when we had to stop because of the heavy traffic along the road in front of Bichara. Again, the car windows were open. When suddenly, a hand suddenly shoot up in front of me. Surprised, I turned and who did I saw? Yeah, right - the same old loony that I had a very pleasant encounter with yesterday. My first thought was, "Fuck! Not AGAIN?!"

Fate must have been having a helluva time laughing its ass off at my expense.

I started rolling up the window. Okay, I panicked. Forgive me, but the guy is scary. I swear! Anyway, I couldn't fully close the window because he stubbornly refused to remove his hand - and he was running along with the car. It was very dangerous, but we didn't want to stop because I was bloody scared. He didn't want to remove his hand and he kept running along with the car. Fortunately, we weren't really moving at a fast pace because of the traffic. Still, it was scary.

Seeing that the man fully intends to harass us until we give him money, I once again jumped onto the backseat. I'm pathetic, I know.

I miss Jack. Remember him? He wasn't scary. He was damn sweet. Yes, he could embarrass the hell out of you when he embraces you in public, but at least he didn't scare the hell out of me. And he was very happy with one peso.


  • Went to Lago del Rey today. Surprise, surprise! The water was remarkably clean! We had a lot of fun kayaking. Kris and I whopped Erbe and Beng's asses during our kayaking races. :)
  • Have been watching the last three season episodes of Dawson's Creek. Bittersweet. Kris wanted to buy a couple of Karaoke DVDs and I came across the DC dvd's. I got her to buy them for me.
  • Thinking of driving to Manila on the 19th. Still thinking about it - I dread the day though. Kris' and Cori's flight to London is scheduled on the 20th. I won't be able to see my favorite sister and niece for god knows how long. Sad. sad. sad. Thank God for the Internet

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  • Missing you.
  • Sleepy.
  • Listening to Five for Fighting's Slice album. Love some tracks.
  • Been having weird dreams.
  • Work mode again.

Oct 17, 2009

The 50 Peso Bill Story

Parked beside E-Mall, we had the windows of the car down. Intent on watching Yaya crossed the street, I was surprised when a hand suddenly stretched out before me. Turning, I saw this man, with a glazed look on his face, crouching beside the car's door. He was mumbling and he was looking down but he kept waving his outstretched palm in front of my face.

Obviously, there was something seriously wrong with the man.

Alarmed, I turned to Erbe, "Ba! Limos! Limos!"

And as usual, Erbe refused to give a single cent.

I turned to the man and said calmly, "Mayo po manong..." But I was alarmed when he refused to leave. Instead, he started crying! WTF?!

Seriously, he was bawling.

He also refused to remove his hand in front of my face. I wanted to close the window but I was worried he wouldn't removed his hand. I turned to Erbe again and in a raised voice I demanded, "Ba! He's not right in the head! Tanan mo ng kwarta! Dali!"

Again, Erbe refused. At this point, I was panicking. Meantime, the man stopped crying and once again started waving his hand in front of my face - yes literally in front of my effing face! All sorts of horrific images were passing through my head. Him grabbing my throat. Him pounding his fist on my face. Just horrific images. Oh, okay, kinda melodramatic, I know.

Anyway, Erbe took pity on me and took out a five peso coin. Relieved, I grabbed it and showed it to the man.

I was surprised when he refused to take the damn thing. Instead, he took out a 50-peso bill and started waving the damn thing in front of me again and he kept saying, "Ini! Ini!" Again, he started crying.

Erbe was pissed while I was even more alarmed. I was shrieking, "Give me 20! 50!"

"Mayo ngani ba! Ma-withdraw baga kita!"

"Aagggghhh! Mag-drive ka na!"

Erbe (the stubborn mule) kept glaring at the man and he kept reasoning with the bawling idiot, "Mayo ngani. Sige na. Papapulis ta ka na!"

Just then, a coin fell off from the man's other hand and he bent down. It was at this point that I literally jumped onto the backseat of the car. And then I started pounding at Erbe's seat, "Drive na! Drive na! Drive na!"

Unfortunately, the man had his hand already stretched out once again. And then he said, "Sain na si subago?"

Relieved, I handed over the 5 peso coin.

He took it and then he started walking in front of the car. I thought he was going to leave but what he did next alarmed me even further. He hurled the coin and then he came back and once again demanded a P50 bill.

I'm ashamed to say, I was panicking and was shrieking, "He's not right in the head, ba! Drive! Goddamn it! Drive!!!"

Erbe finally listened to me and he started the car.

I glared at him and said, "Ano ka man?! He could have struck me or strangle me. Why didn't you just give him a fucking bill?!"

He said, "Mayo ngani akong kwarta digdi, ba."

Freaking liar.

Later on, we stopped by at Biggs for some takeouts for the kids. He had to take out his wallet and so I grabbed it from him.

And guess what I saw the minute I opened his wallet - a fucking P50 bill.

Mommy Went Sho-peyng :)

Oct 12, 2009

Albay Wildlife Park

Cagsawa Ruins