Category Archives: Reflections

A Cake Lovingly Made for Valentine’s Day

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My sister baked this red velvet cake for Valentine’s Day, and I “sort of” helped her while she lovingly prepared the frosting, and set out the cake’s decorations/design (okay, I actually just stood by her side and made comments whenever she asked for my opinion – but that’s helping too, right? ๐Ÿ˜€ ). My hubby and I didn’t have anything special planned for today, as we rarely celebrate Valentine’s day. But this cake symbolizes the things that are most important to me – love, family, simple pleasures, and of course – FOOD! =)

Hope you all had a lovely Valentine celebration, regardless of what your love life “status” is ๐Ÿ˜‰

Social Bullies

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I honestly marvel at the audacity of some people to pass judgment on others, moreso because these people think they’re much better than others because: they’re rich/they socialize with the “right” people/they think they’re beautiful. These ultra-judgmental individuals have no qualms about flaunting their brand-name possessions, and will do anything to name-drop as often as they possibly can. They’re not afraid to air their comments, which are often on the negative side (except when they’re talking about themselves/their possessions). Those who dare to air comments/points of viewย on the contrary should prepare themselves to feel the wrath of these social bullies – and be bombarded once again with their seemingly astounding display of wealth.

Too bad for these bullies, brand names (and in general, money) don’t automatically equate to class. Yes, we all have our own points of view, and we all have the freedom to air them – but feeling high and mighty, and much more superior to othersย while doing so, is just plain wrong.

An Extremely Bad Experience with SM Southmall’s 3-Day Sale…

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It’s been a long time since I last had the chance to post something here, and even if it’s not really nice to make my “comeback” post one that’s full of rant (and rage), I know I just have to let people know of what happened to us during the first day of SM Southmall’s 3-Day Sale (Feb. 26-28, 2010).

To put it simply – what happened in SM Southmall was HELL…My Mom, my husband and I were there early, around 10am, to buy a bed for my parents. As this was my first time to go to a mall-wide sale that early, I was surprised to learn that there was an additional 10% discount if you buy an item before 12noon (from the department store), and if you are an SM advantage member (aside from the store-wide discount of 10%). Since we were already quite sure of what we wanted to buy, we hurried up a bit so we can take advantage of that additional discount. So we stood in line for almost 2 hours…only to be told (when we were just 3 persons away from the actual cashier) that there was some mistake on the sale procedures/whatever, and we would only get 10% discount – because we were members of SMAC (SM Advantage Club); the 10% discount that the sales staff were earlier so eagerly pushing into our faces was apparently not valid, even though we hold in our hands an invoice with the earlier discounted price. What MAJORLY pissed me off was that, they would tell us that small detail after they have issued the invoice, and when we’re just a few people away from the cashier– and after patiently standing in line for almost 2 hours?! The price difference was not the biggest issue for me at that moment, the EXTREMELY BAD CUSTOMER SERVICE was!!! Those who know me would agree that I’m one of the most non-confrontational people in the world, but at that moment, I wasn’t afraid or shy to let the people there know exactly what I think about their service…

My husband said I went ballistic, but that I still managed to keep my emotions and temper under control. My mom found a supervisor and told him about what happened, and I wasn’t shy either in telling him, in a slightly loud but controlled voice – “the price isn’t the major issue here. What you people are doing is just plain BAD CUSTOMER SERVICE”. He gave me some line about looking into the matter, but I just ignored him and went on to pay for the bed. That same manager wanted to talk to us right after we have paid, but I just asked my mom and my husband if we can just leave the place ASAP, as I think my blood pressure can’t take more crap from the people in the immediate vicinity.

I believe a few other people were victimized that day by SM’s incompetent handling of their sales procedures/regulations. The supervisors, sales assistants and even the cashiers were all doing their share of finger-pointing as to who was to blame for that major booboo. Bottom line is, something wasn’t really ironed out, yet it seemed that mega-retailer SM just can’t pass up the chance to proceed with the much-advertised 3-Day Sale, regardless of the hassle and disappointment some of their customers will experience.

I hope this is the last time I have to write a rant post, as it’s not really something I cherish and plan on doing on a regular basis. I won’t be a hypocrite and say that I’m never going to buy anything else from SM from now on, because I think it’s kind of impossible nowadays to travel for an hour or so, and not see an SM mall wedged between cities and municipalities (heck, Las Pinas has 2 SMs!). I just hope not to encounter anything like this anymore, in SM or in any other mall/store.

On behalf of the millions of consumers who regularly flock to SM malls regularly (out of necessity or out of frivolity), here’s a message for the SM management: Clean up your act! You owe it to all of us.

Cabin Fever

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It’s been a while since I last wrote something on this blog – as I was signing in to my account, a part of me wanted to say “sorry for neglecting you!”, as if talking to an old friend. And I do consider this little space on the Web my friend, one who’s always there to (virtually) listen to my ramblings. There’s no better time to start writing here again, than now…when I’m experiencing a mild case of cabin fever.

Wikipedia defines cabin fever as “an idiomatic term for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person or group is isolated and/or shut in, in a small space, with nothing to do, for an extended period (as in a simple country vacation cottage during a long rain or snow)”. Now, I’m not cooped up in a simple country vacation cottage (sounds quaint, right?;) ), but it has been raining almost non-stop for the better part of a week now. I sometimes have the urge to go out of the house, but I really don’t have a specific place to go to – and there’s really no reason for me to go out. And besides, the bed weather makes me want to just laze around and not move too much. Yet, I still have this restlessness inside me, something that tells me I should be doing something outside the house (exercise, most likely!).

I’m a little surprised I feel this way. About a week ago, my husband and I stayed at my sister’s place for a couple of days; after that, I stayed overnight in the hospital with my Mom for her chemo session (hope it’ll be the last, God willing). I felt really glad when we finally got home, but after a few days i was itching to go out again. I think it’s time to meet up with some of my friends again; this restlessness may be cured by a session of girl-bonding (which I dearly miss, since I started working from home).

Then again, it may just be the cold, dreary weather that’s causing me to feel a certain degree of isolation.

Time to put on my pajamas, the book I’ve been meaning to finish and my bed are calling me…

The Defining Moment

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My husband and I just came home from my sister’s house, which is about 2 hours away. We stayed there for 5 days; we actually planned to stay for just 3-4 days, but since we had a flexible sched anyway, we decided to extend our “visit”. It was like coming home to a second (third?) home, as I have lived with my sister and her family for more than a year before hubby and I got married. Every part of the house itself is familiar, though there have been a lot of changes since i was last there.
We now have a new angel in the family – my sister’s 3-month old baby! ๐Ÿ˜€ My husband and I can’t get enough of this precious one; we spend a lot of time looking at her, just admiring the way she sleeps. When our antics elicit a smile, I almost want to jump in triumph. Yeah, I know, mababaw…but that’s how much joy this little miracle brings to me and to our whole family. And – she seems to love looking at my husband – her eyes follow him around the room often. She even loves to lie down on his arms, and eventually fall asleep.
My older niece is now a young lady, who knows what she wants and is starting to get very vocal about her thoughts. There are times when she gets in trouble for this trait; I can only pray that she gets past this stage and still gets to grow up to become a strong-willed, yet kind-hearted lady. She has been my constant companion during the time when I stayed with their family, and I hope that our bond will not fade as the years pass.
I miss talking to my sister. This is an activity that I took for granted when I was living with them; I just had to go to their room/study/kitchen/dining area, and I would get to chat with her about anything and everything. I suddenly remember the time when she had to go away for the first time to start her job. That was about a decade ago, but I the memory is still fresh of how my heart broke with the thought that I would not share the same bed, the same room with her anymore. At this moment, I’m feeling sort of the same thing, triggered by an SMS from her. She said that she felt a little sad when I tidied up and got all my stuff from their place; instead of feeling this way during my wedding, she said that this moment was the “defining moment” for her – that her little sister now had a family of her own. She then said that it made her a little sad, yet she was very happy for me. Sentimental crybaby that I am, this message was enough to start a crying fit. ๐Ÿ˜›
I made a vow to myself to visit my sister and her family as often as possible. In reality, I know that might not be as frequent as we all want it to be; I know I have to slowly accept that things have changed, and there are still adjustments to be made. I believe my sister knows that whatever happens, I will always be her little sister – the one who ran to her when something is wrong, the one who turns to her whenever it feels like the world is turning against her. And all throughout these crying fits, her little sister has and will always be at peace with the knowledge that her Ate will not judge her, whatever the issue is about.
Hey, maybe this is my defining moment too…

I Miss My Niece…

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I realized this after reading my sister’s blog. I stayed with their family for more than one year, and got to bond with my precocious niece during that time.When her parents were in the office, I was with our 5-year old bundle of energy, trying to answer her numerous questions to the best of my ability. Admittedly, when there are times that her questions were about delicate matters, I revert to my safest answer, “Ask your Mama/Papa later”.

When her nanny was busy doing household chores, she would go to wherever I was, and say, Tita, can you stay with me for a while?” It breaks my heart now when I remember the times I answered, “Later” to her requests, because I was busy working from home. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

When she got sick, I made sure that I gave her extra attention – asking her what she would like to eat, feeding her in the room while she was on bed, bringing her whatever she wanted to drink, checking her temperature from time to time, updating my sister and brother-in-law about how their little girl was.

I won’t forget how excited she was when I told her last year that I would get married in a few months, and that she would be a flower girl. She started planning what she would do for the reception (she wanted to sing, and lead the prayer). She even asked if she can wear a pink dress instead of a lilac one, because she liked pink better than my color motif.

However, as the wedding day got closer, she started saying that she wasn’t that excited about our wedding anymore. When I asked her why, she answered, “Because when you’re already married, you won’t be able to visit me anymore. And you won’t stay here with us anymore.” ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I tried to cheer her up by saying that of course I’ll still visit her whenever I can. But I guess we both knew, deep in our hearts, that things would be changing big time soon.

I’m now married. I’ve moved in with my husband, and haven’t been to my sister’s house in a few months. The last time I saw my niece was on my wedding day, and I haven’t been able to give her the attention I wanted because I was too busy with the preparations.

I miss my niece. I miss how she knows how to be quiet and not wake me up early in the morning because I work until the wee hours of the morning. I miss the way she tells me (after a little persuasion) how her day went at school. I miss how she talks about her friends, and what they played with. I miss how she loves the way I feed her (even if she can do this by herself, I know this is her way of making “lambing” ๐Ÿ™‚ ), talking almost non-stop in the hopes of distracting her from eating oh-so-slowly. I miss the way she tries to delay her nap time with requests for snacks (Tita, I’m hungry!). I miss the way she bargains for more than one book to be read to her before she sleeps. I miss the way she says that she isn’t sleepy so she doesn’t need a nap; afterwards, we’d have a hard time waking her up after a three or four hour-nap! I miss seeing the happiness in her eyes when she hears the doorbell in the evening, knowing that her Mama and Papa are home at last. I miss the way she always wants to take a walk with me and her nanny after dinner, just because she wants to go out of the house. I miss the way she asks for chips before going to bed, because she knows I am fond of eating them as well. I miss the way she asks if she can sleep with me in the study (where I sleep), because “I miss you”. I miss the way she cuddles close to me in bed (even if she sometimes kicks me when she’s dreaming ๐Ÿ˜€ ).

I told her, during one of those times when she repeats that she’s going to miss me when I’m not living with them anymore, that “Whatever happens, even if I already have my own baby, you are the first BABY that I loved and cared for, and that will never change”. She just responded with a smile full of trust, at peace with the fact that what I told her is true.

I miss my niece…