New Addition to the Clan

Johan is I think the 70+ member of the Tan family. He was baptized a few weeks ago with family members (and his parents' friends) in attendance.

I helped his mommy make the reception venue look prettier.

The banderitas I cut out

the candy buffet area

Plain cupcakes we decorated with themed cut out toppers

my son and the backdrop

Welcome to the Christian World, Johan Matthew!


My Mandaue Foam Loot

2 views of our living room. I had to post the first one eventhough the ottoman isn't there because that's the shot with my beloved sunburst mirror.

A few posts ago, I mentioned my new happy place that is Mandaue Foam.

I'm now posting my loot from that initial visit:

leaf printed throw pillows. the base is a shiny brown and has printed green and burgundy vines on it. looks perfect on our couch although the husband complains we have too many pillows already. This is P280 each and with the 20% opening discount, a real steal.

The ottoman is the perfect pair to our bright orange cleopatra seat. It is pale yellow with thin striped of yellow and green all over. This is about P980 less the discount already.

Our DFA experience (courtesy lane)

It was so efficient this is one of the few times I was happy with government service.

The husband works for a government agency and so we had the privilege to use the courtesy lane at DFA. Courtesy lane applicants need not make an appointment by phone or online. Just print out a filled up form and bring your requirements and you can walk in at any date. Just go in the morning because they will not accept applicants after 10 am.

enjoying his breakfast

We were there at 7.40 am after a quick breakfast at Jollibee Macapagal Avenue (northbound). Since this is the route we take everyday, I know parking at McDonald’s right in front of DFA will be full so we opted to park at the vacant lot across S&R. Parking was P30.

We entered thru gate 3, along Macapagal. Showed the guard husband’s government ID. Then we proceeded to the 2nd floor. There was another waiting line but since we had a toddler in tow, we were asked to line up to have our documents/requirements checked right away.

For government employees, make sure you have a copy of the govnt employee ID to be attached to the application of all of you in the group. For married employees, only the spouse and unmarried children can go in with the employee and for single employees, his parents.

the TV on the background flashes the numbers on screen. we waited for about 20mins for our number to be called

Only 1 counter was open when we arrived but it’s before 8 am so that wasn’t bad at all. Our number was 7009. Counter 10 opened about 5 minutes after we arrived and began processing applicants from number 7001 so we were just the ninth in line. Again, not bad at all. I thought we have to wait for our 7009 number to be called from the first number I saw on the board which was 5001.

Took us only a few minutes at the counter. After which we paid at Cashier 3, in the same room. Our processing fee was P1,200 (rush service) since we used the courtesy lane. There is no option for the regular processing of P900.

Jared and his dad playing while mommy gets ready to fall in line at cashier 3 on the background

After paying (we were the 3rd in line when I lined up), we were asked to go to the other room to have our photos taken. Again, a privilege of using the courtesy lane is that you have 5 photo booths assigned just to you so when we got there, it was out turn again. The lady was so friendly, even playing with Jared’s Thomas the train that I felt he was at ease when he had his photo taken. He was smiling a lot for the camera but reaches out to take a look at his photo right away so the lady tried 6 times until she got an acceptable photo. Jared wasn’t smiling then and his unruly hair looked like a bird’s nest. =)
mommy checking Jared's passport info on the PC. this was after his photo was taken

For courtesy lane applicants, there is also a separate line for courier service. Fee is the same at P120/applicant but since I needed to hold on to my passport for my flight on Dec 9, they did not cancel my old one there. There is a delay in processing of passports so ours are scheduled to be released on Dec 6. In the event my passport won’t be ready by then, I can still use my old one which was a great thing.

We were done by 9 am and still had the rest of the day to celebrate hubby’s birthday.

1. Eat. You don’t how until what time you will be inside so eat. Heads are cooler when stomachs are full. =)
2. Be patient. Expect lines and lots of waiting.
3. If you have kids in tow-bring toys and milk. The waiting areas are cool and there is even space for kids to roam around and play a bit so no worries son this part.
4. Have you passport delivered. Since I am picking up our passports instead of having them delivered (see above), I checked the passport claim line and it is long. Good luck to me when I pick up my passport. There is no courtesy lane here. Pay the courier fee and avoid the line, the heat and the hassle of going back for the passport.
5. Go early. People I feel are generally more cheerful in the morning.hehe.


Daddy's Little Helper

Daddy tried to be a handyman earlier, fixing an outdoor socket. Jared followed suit and looked for his own tools.

He was intent on "fixing" the wall and following his dad. He wanted to "help daddy".

I hope he grows up to be like his daddy--just not on being a handyman because a handyman he is not. hahaha.


Still a Baby

There are times when he's so independent already it makes me think my "baby" really isn't a baby anymore. He's heavy and tall and he looks more like 3 1/2 than 2 1/2. But there are times he reminds me that yes, mommy, I am still your baby. Like at night when he'd still prefer to nurse from me, or look for me when he wakes up, or lovingly calls me "maymi". And last Saturday is another reminder that he may be big, but this boy is truly mommy's baby.

*drinking his dede (milk) at McDonald's. Here he is happily lying down on the slide


My New Happy Place: Mandaue Foam Las Pinas

I couldn’t be happier with the opening of Mandaue Foam in Las Pinas. Now, we don’t have to troop all the way to Quezon Avenue or Cainta to have a fix of lovely settings and affordable furniture. It couldn’t come at a better time, too as we are furnishing our home sweet home.

Been looking at the construction progress almost everyday and my guess was, they will open by November 15, just in time to catch the Christmas shopping madness. They opened a week early but only the first two floors are open, the 3rd floor is still closed to the public. There is still sawdust on the floor and it still smells a little bit of paint but now is a great time to visit as they offer 20% off on all items until the end of November.

Admittedly, I am not a big fan of laminated wood products but I do love their great selection of home accessories such as
throw pillows, accent chairs and couches. Now is the time to spend that 13th month pay on something beautiful for the house.=)

I’ll save my initial loot for a different post.

Come to my new happy place! There is enough parking for I think 10 cars and if the slots are full, park at nearby Southmall. When you get hungry after the shopping, cross the street to SM or try the new café almost beside the store (Café Urbe—haven’t tried it but it looks promising).

Jared playing hide and seek in the curtains

Sitted in an ottoman in one living room showcase

Mommy and Jared at mommy’s new happy place. I love this old, ratty dress (just in case you remember this from my Dapitan post, haha)

Store Hours
Mon to Fri : 10am to 7 pm
Sat and Sun: 9 am to 7 pm


My Room Mate, Maan

Let me tell you about my friend Maan. I am doing this so I can share the kind of person she was, and so I will remember the memory of a friend.

Unlike most horror stories of room mates from hell, this girl from Zamboanga whom I first saw before school started that year in 1994, has an open pleasant face about her. She is naturally talkative. We became fast friends in a dorm called Kalayaan where freedom was ironically far from reach. Imagine, curfew at 9 pm? =)

That girl and I became room mates for that year, and for the next three years after when we transferred to another dorm called Yakal. Being roommates was our choice. In fact, we were made to write a letter stating that we specifically wanted to be room mates.

She was so full of life and had so many plans that it was unbelievable that she was robbed off her life in the most senseless and painful of ways.

Jerry Salappudin, your target was Wahab Akbar, but you know my friend was hit the worst that day. She was nearer the area where you planted your evil bomb. She was burned beyond recognition, and it took a friend of hers most of the day to do her make up so she will look presentable to those who will look at her coffin. Maan I know would have appreciated that gesture.

I heard the news of the bombing on TV. I was 3 or 4 months pregnant then and my tears did not fall easily even after I heard her name because in my heart, I was hoping it wasn’t true. A month or so before that, she texted me saying she’ll be going to the US and that we need to see each other when she comes back. I happily told her the news of my pregnancy, and that of our other friend and that she is going to be my firstborn’s godmother.

It pains me to remember how she died, because truth be told, nobody deserves to go that way.

She was a girl full of zest, full of life. We share the same course but had different sets of friends. Still, in what we consider home (the dorm), she was a sister to me.

During our first year, the dorm was very strict. From SM North Edsa, we have to rush and run to the dorm’s door before it closes at 9 pm, lest we be marked as late. And we’ve done this quite a few times. I will never forget how we enticed a dorm mate to punch laced with alcohol and Tintin did nothing but puke all evening, it made us nervous. What if we needed to bring her to the Infirmatay (the Infirmary)?

We would cook instant noodles together when cooking was strictly prohibited inside the rooms, and would mark our bottles of water with “with medication” so nobody would dare take them from the common dorm fridge. She would take back to Manila a tub of adobo, cooked by her mom and we would eat that for several days straight so we can save on dinner, and she would listen to me cry almost every night that first year at school because papa had just passed away.

So, Jerry Salappudin, if you’re really the culprit, if there is something worse than rotting in hell, then I hope you get it. You killed her just a few days after she celebrated her 30th birthday and when she had a whole bright future ahead of her.

For my friend Maan, may you rest in peace now that this shall hopefully come to an end.

(Maan was Henry Pryde Teves, Jr.’s Chief of Staff at the time of her death. She was one of the victims of the Batasan blast last November 2007.)


(Christmas) Shopping at Dapitan Arcade

Finally, we were able to go and check out new stuff at Dapitan Arcade.

And this time, the little boy was with us.

Sitting down on a miniature chair. I whisked Jared away before his lola could even get the idea of buying him this.

Father and son amusing themselves while mommy looks for the perfect hamper.

So, what can you see at Dapitan this time of the year? Instead of just being housed at the arcade, the sellers were on the street making for more traffic, but more variety of goods.

Two and three tier plate holders with plates in Christmas-y designs would make the perfect dessert platter/display.

Nice, native baskets less than P100 each. These will be good to stash away toys, or remote controls, chargers and other knick knacks. Or they could even be trash cans.

Wooden picture frame of different sizes. They go for P50 for the smallest to P75 for the biggest.I bought 4 and will post how we put it up inside the house.

Rows and rows of plates. I love to get a new set of white ceramic ones but I need to make room for them in the house first. The ramekin bowl is P20 each.

In this stall I found my hamper. Nicely done at P800. They also sell jewelry holders and make up kits for P350 to P450 and the small trash can is P200.

Christmas ornaments abound. But if you are looking for Christmas trees, the mall might be a better place.

These birdhouses with Santa design goes for just P50 each. We bought one and Jared is happy lugging it in the house.

It was a bit chaotic there and humid and not the best place for a toddler so in about an hour, we had to leave because the boy was getting bored.

And bored he was...

Til next time!


Hello, Lolo!

If he had lived 14 years longer, he would have witnessed the birth of his grandson and for sure, it would have brought immeasurable joy to him.

He has 2 daughters and although I’m certain we've made him happy in his too short a life, he’d have found a different joy being with a grandson.

Early morning of November 1, we headed off to visit papa at the cemetery. We didn’t have a tent because the clan skipped cemetery-hopping this year and opted for a get-together two weeks before (which incidentally is also the 60th birthday celebration of mama and the 5oth birthday celebration of Tita Lay).

So, instead of the usual 40-something group, we were down to 5, including Jared, and the drizzle made us cut the visit short.

This is Jared's 3rd Nov 1 at the cemetery and his "Hello, Lolo" surely made papa smile.

sleepy and probably hungry. chubby, chubby cheeks!

showing off his big tummy

giggling at something

giving mommy a good morning kiss


Moving In Day

I thought I'd be able to post a lot of photos of this day but upon review of what I had on the digicam, only these photos were available:

We've had the house for 2 years and most of our stuff were in there already we only had to move Jared's cabinet, a single bed for one of the rooms and our clothes.

Plans went awry and the original truck supposed to pick us up did not materialize and this truck on the photos I was able to contact only at the last minute. They made it to the house an hour after my phone call.

Given that, we were still excited. Our first time as a family to sleep in the house!

Now I have to face (the dreaded) issue of running a household. That will for sure be the subject of a future post.


Things I Need in the House

I never realized you need so many things to make your house livable, meaning one that could function as a normal household everyday with normal chores like cooking, cleaning etc until we moved in last Saturday.

We've bought so many things in the past 3 months that I thought we're complete already-- but case in point, we have a range and oven but no regulator and gas tank!

I'm going over the house in my mind because I am here typing in my mother's house-- we have no wifi yet-- and here's what I remember are missing:

For the bathroom:
- towel/s- (color preference: brown, orange and yellow. yung 100% cotton)
- towel rack-stainless steel, there is this nice looking one I saw at Wilcon, matte look, if I remember correctly brand is Kasch
- hamper - calling Tita Ye =)
- a set of pail, dipper -- preferably orange

For the Kitchen
- electric steamer
- cheese grater
- plate drip
- cooking tools (sandok, syanse)
- a set (12 pairs sana) of spoon and fork ( that does not bend when used)
- kitchen towels - dami at SM, martha stewart
- stainless steel sabitan of my coveted sandok, syanse etc
- carafe - for iced tea at Japan Home Store, P66 each lang
- can opener
- lock and lock freezer storage
- lock and lock container for pasta, for cereals etc etc

- potted herbs - i want to have my own herb garden
- aluminum trash can
- there is this holder of mop, broom I saw at Howards Storage
- black hangers
- ironing board
- ladder

I wish i could complete everything before the housewarming next month.
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