Monday, June 22, 2009

Two Lives Made One

I attended last week the wedding of my former student Jhay Surmeda. I don’t usually socialize with my students outside school events or even attend personal events happening in their lives. I am reluctant attending those kinds of events, I am aware of the respect they give me and at times I know they avoid talking to me if they can help it. It can be very awkward.

But you can say there are special students I hold dear in my heart that even the passing of time can’t erase that. I do have students becoming my close friends after they graduated and would meet up or communicate with each other once in a while.

So when Jhay requested me to attend his wedding I just can’t refuse him(although it took me a month to really agree attending). It was an honor really, for him to still think of me after all these years and even felt I am special enough to witness a very important milestone in his life.

The wedding of Jhay & Lea Surmeda was held last June 16, 2009, 3:00 pm at the Immaculate Conception Parish, Antipolo Cathedral or more widely known as the church where Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage is in Antipolo City. The reception at the Alta Vista Clubhouse also in Antipolo City followed.

The wedding was elegant and solemn. The bride Lea was radiant and beautiful and the groom Jhay dashing. The wedding was conducted while it was raining very hard outside the chuch but I always believe rain brings blessings for the newly weds. I really felt the love Jhay and Lea feel for each other and how important that moment was for both of them. I said a fervent prayer to the Lord to guide and bless their marriage, the ceremony was really moving.

Familiar faces I saw there were my PUP former students, Jhay and Lea’s batchmates and close friends. It felt like a reunion! I got to catch up on what’s happening to them and how they are doing in their careers. I really enjoyed myself.

The reception that followed was really festive! Their VTR was impressive and the activities that followed lively. The venue was great you get to see Metro Manila skyline at a distance.

I was touched how Jhay and Arvin took really good care of me, checking if I am ok or if I need transport to the reception and if I am enjoying myself.

My gift for the newly weds are the chocolate giveaways in honor of their wedding. It’s the first time I have done edible wedding giveaways and it was distributed after dinner at the reception. My former students were surprised that I would do such a thing, create such goodies just for Jhay, for those who does not know, I give free chocolates to my students and still do so today. I loved doing it actually. It was a labor of love since it took me a week to design, conceptualize and make all those 140 pieces of chocolates.

To Jhay and Lea, Best Wishes and Congratulations!

Why Do People Cry At Weddings?

I often wonder why people cry at weddings, on weddings I've watched on TV or weddings I witnessed myself. Oftentimes it is the bride that is crying or the mother of the bride or the groom sometimes is the one that’s crying. There are even instances that the wedding guests are the ones doing it.

It is a mystery to me for no one cried at my wedding, it was a joyous event and everyone was happy. I have a sensitive nature being a Pisces and am really a crier if it’s a very sad story. I cried very hard when Dobby died while reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; read it three times cried three times too. But I don’t cry even if I am very happy.

Asked people, friends and family why they think people cry at weddings and here is what I found out:

  • They are so happy
  • They cry because their child will leave them (sudden realization)
  • They are overwhelmed with strong emotions
  • They envy the love between the bride and groom
  • They feel self pity
  • They cry because of the life they are leaving behind
  • They may not want to be married? forced into?
  • They are so relieved to finally finding mr. or ms. right
  • Frustration of losing the bride or groom to another person
  • They are so happy because it's their dream wedding

Friday, June 19, 2009

My Divisoria Survival Tips

I love going to Divisoria. I’ve been going to Divisoria for almost twenty years now. It is where I go to buy important stuff in my house from curtains, bed sheets, house decors to office clothes, toys and even the necklaces I have comes from there. Even some raw materials for my business I buy there.

I usually go to Divisoria three to four times a year, more often if the need arises. Before I buy, clothes, household items or toys in department stores I would first try to look for it in Divisoria. Its one ways I can save money. Friends and family consider me an “expert” in Divisoria but I don’t consider myself that, my knowledge came from experience. What’s funny about it is that I don’t know how to haggle. I am kind a bit shy doing that but my mom is a master in haggling it is a wonder when you see her in action.

Here are my Survival Tips

  • Make a list of all you planned to buy and try to know ahead of time what stores or areas in Divisoria you plan to buy them
  • Bring just enough cash for your purchases. Most stores deal with cash leave, you credit cards at home.
  • Haggle. Most salesladies give discounts specially if you buy in bulk
  • Buy in bulk. Most store sell by the dozen. Or give big discounts when you buy in bulk
  • Bring along a shopping buddy. Much better if go with a person familiar with Divisoria. There is safety in numbers
  • Be vigilant to avoid unpleasant incidents like this scam
  • Dress comfortably and use shoes for good for walking. Don’t wear flashy expensive clothes for people may perceive you to have big money and you maybe a victim of pickpockets, holdups or scams.
  • Leave your valuables at home. Jewelries, cellphone and expensive bags are a No, no. You might be a victim of petty theft. I went to Divisoria before with my brand new phone and sadly I was preoccupied being vigilant with my phone that I was not able to buy a thing.
  • Bring study and big bags for all your purchases. It is where you put you purchases so that your hands are free to scan things on sale.
  • Avoid going to Divisoria during Holiday rush or the 15th or end of the month when people receive their salaries. There are so many people going there that it will be difficult to shop. Go during weekdays instead.
  • Lastly, Enjoy shopping!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Divisoria AOWA Incident

My last trip to Divisoria with my mom two weeks ago was memorable, first because it almost took me a month to really go there because of the continues rains(you don’t want to be there when it’s been raining coz of muddy streets) and we almost been a victim of a scam.

We went to Divisoria in the afternoon so that it won’t be too hot and doing so we were on a very strict schedule to buy what we needed; most of the good shops in Divisoria close at 6pm. It was nearing 5pm when I decided to eat, we only have the fabrics left to buy for the new curtains and new blankets and maybe see new toys near Divisoria Mall and Ilaya. Since we are at 168 Mall and their foodcourt have authentic Chinese food that is where we went. But before we even reach the stalls we were greeted by a group of well dressed men, asking us if we can watch their product demonstration and they would give us a shopping bag as a token. We accepted.

I was strapped to their foot massager and my mom to some pads connected to the massager to help massage her back. What was supposed to be a short product demo turned into a nightmare before my eyes, the massager would stopped in time so I can’t get my feet out as they presented the it’s good effects but as the minutes passed they were already asking so many questions like where do you live? Do you have a credit card? What is the name of your bank? At the same time, another person was presenting their array of AOWA products; giving pictures of famous stars who bought them and making us watch a video of the TV shows using their product.

They started calling their “manager” on the phone because since we live in Quezon City we were entitled to another major product. I was powerless to stop it since my mother kept answering they’re questions and we were separated by two people doing the product the demo and I can’t catch her eye. What turned out to be a short demo wasted almost an hour of our time. At their last attempts, their “manager” approved us winning all the products in their booth, sets of stainless cookware, the convection stove, the massager and even a pressure cooker all of which was totaling more than 200 thousand pesos, if I buy any one of their featured products. And their product costs around 45 thousand pesos and above. I said I don’t have that kind of money but they keep telling me to write a check or use my credit card, they even have a zero installment plan with my bank. Since my mom babbled about my financial status they were really badgering me; lucky for me I don’t bring my credit cards or checkbook just 2,000 pesos that day. They are even asking my address already so they can deliver all the products.

It was only when I raised my voice and started to get mad that they stopped. Luckily I was taking pictures while everything was going on and even informed them I will be blogging about them. They became hostile when I refused to buy and was still taking pictures of their booth, “bawal daw yun”.

Our afternoon was ruined, we were not able to eat because it is already nearing 6pm. We dashed to Ilaya and sadly most of the fabric stalls inside were already closed and Anding’s toy store was closed too. We bought our fabrics at the stalls on the street limited choices but it was enough given the circumstances.

There were things we were not able to buy that afternoon but thankful that we avoided that AOWA scam. So an advice to those going to Divisoria bring just enough money to buy what you intended and be wary of those product demos, I think some Malls around Metro Manila have these kinds of scams also.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

AKA a New Way of Doing Business

I am taking my hobby turned business into a full time work and at the moment I am slowly but surely making my products known. My official website is still unavailable at the moment, for I still have to finish it. The problem is there are so many things I want to put there, so many products I want to promote that I am a little confused what to do with it.

So I have to look into alternatives to get my products online and be seen by people. One discovery I made is AKA Mobile directory. It is primarily an SMS search engine and allows registered users to “find and be found”. The directory can be search thru SMS or thru the web.

What I like about AKA is its SMS search engine, it’s like google search but thru SMS. You can search any information you want by just text AKA FIND keywords to 0922.999.7255. AKA’s SMS search engine can be search even by non-registered users.

Being a registered user of AKA has a lot of benefits especially to entrepreneurs like me; it has Messaging features, MiniBlogs and SMS Soundbox. Once you sign up you get your own account that where your can post information you want to promote like their Mini Site. AKA has great merchant applications like the Mini site where the information you post there will be the SMS message received by the people searching the AKA Mobile Directory.

I just signed up tuesday night before going to sleep but I got immediate results the next morning, I just posted keywords on my Mini site relating to my business like choco, wedding giveaways and cupcakes but forgot to put my contact information, by wednesday someone is already contacting me through AKA saying he’s interested in the wedding giveaways and could I update my information to include where can I be contacted. It really made my day, now I am busy maximizing my AKA account to really connect to more customers.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I've Been Glazed!

When I signed up for MySandbox account a month ago there was this ad in the site that if you signed up you can glazed yourself and your friends. A few weeks after I receive an email that says “time to glaze myself”.

Last week I finally glazed myself! So happy.

Friday, June 12, 2009

An Afternoon Spent with a Special Friend

I have many friends but only have a handful that I consider close. One of them is Mam Flu Garcia, I hold her very special to my heart, she is my mentor and a confidant as well. Mam Flu is one of my former professors in grad school.

Our relationship started as any student-teacher relationship, I remember asking permission from her to be excused from her class for a month to visit my husband in Hongkong where he was then based and after that our talks became more personal. During the next few years I would visit her, let her know how I was doing and she would weigh in on what I am planning be it my family life or career decisions.

We started going out for lunch or dinner after I graduated maybe twice a year just to catch up. Since leaving PUP two years ago, we lost track of each other and finally reconnected again on the social network Linkedln. We met again this May at Megamall and she recommended that we eat at Amici located at the third level Atrium.

I am always in awe how life works out. We met again at the time when I am facing a very difficult and crucial decision in my life. My husband is asking me to consider leaving my teaching career and just concentrate in my family and my hobby/business. At the same time I have these prospects of having my dream job, a department head or a college dean by this school year.

I already solicited advices from friends and family, some advised me take to position; after all I am at the peak of my career while others say that having your own business is the way to go.

The meeting with Mam Flu helped me with it. She put everything into perspective, she had seen how stressful work had been for me and opened my eyes on the importance of putting family first and that I can always go back to teaching in the future. She emphasized that time spent away from my family can never be taken back and suggested that I ask the Lord for guidance.

I really enjoyed out time together and the ambiance at Amici that afternoon was really conducive for two friends to catch up. The food was great. I love their pizza and even their chocolate cake passed my discerning baker’s taste. That afternoon spent with Mam Flu will always be a treasured memory in my heart.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Wifi Testing at The Podium

The Podium finally has provided its shoppers with fast and reliable Wi-Fi connection, last May 31, 2009, bloggers like me stressed test their internet. Participating in this event is special for me, I brought my family. Since it’s a Sunday the Wifi testing event became a family activity I saw fellow bloggers with their familes, grandmas, kids and even yayas were there. My son enjoyed the event for there were kids to play with.

As a family, we brought 2 laptops and a wifi enabled cellphone. My son Lorenzo has a plurk account so he used my laptop while I checked out the connection using a Samsung phone. The connection was fast and did not even faltered since we started @ 2:00pm till 6pm. There were even electric outlets available to charge batteries of laptops. I was impressed the connection, you can even watch youtube, we did that when the kids got restless and watched sesame street and maisy.


I would like to thank The Podium for the pleasant time we had. It was really a bonding time for my family. Hey, what can you expect for parents both in the IT industry? Thank you for the entertainment provided, it was really a decadent feeling when you get to be serenaded by Vince Camua while surfing the Net! There were so many raffle prizes, sayang lang we did not won. Anyways! Thanks for the experience Podium!