As a media partner for the upcoming VoIP Convention in 2007, I was tasked to write articles for their souvenir program. My deadline was yesterday, rather last week. Oh dear, I have limited VOIP knowledge and time at my hands. The first thought that entered my mind was to interview Silverback ASP, the only Filipino-owned VOIP Provider (for outbound VOIP calls). I didn’t know Globe, Bayantel, and PLDT were using VOIP resellers (like Vonage, Packet 8 etc from the USA). I immediately got the appointment with Steve Davis, the CEO of Silverback ASP. As I stepped into their office, I was surprised to see the ITX Cafe/Silverback signage by the large window panes. Oh an internet cafe! As I looked in, I liked what I saw.


An informal ambience of comfortable chairs, swings, gorilla nest and computers in the corner for internet use . I was 30 minutes early for my appointment. You know, I’d rather be early than keep the other party waiting for me. As I eased myself on the chair, I turned on my macbook and was quite pleased that I got a wi-fi connection.

This is my dream business office setup. The virtual office was a plan but a physical office is so much better. Part business office, coffee shop with my baked goodies, and offering free wi-fi to the customers. It’s important to dream about a goal so it can eventually materialize one day. The most important value is having fun and doing business at the same time. Looking at the photos around the ITX cafe, the partners of Silverback ASP appear to be doing both. No wonder they moved to the Philippines and even devloped and providing internet service in Mindoro Island.

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home-baby.jpgLast Monday, I was surprised to receive a text message from Cathy to pray for her surgery scheduled for 7:30 AM. That surprised me. I knew she had thyroid consultation and a complaint on Mittelschmertz (German for “middle pain”) and some pre-menopausal symptons. I knew something was up with Cathy because we see each other everyday, well “online” that is. So that worried me when I didn’t see her for two days. Anyway, I thought they found something in her thyroid gland which required an emergency operation. I can imagine the shock of this sudden decision. I thought of visiting her yesterday but then it was my husband’s 47th birthday. Besides , I thought she might not be able to chat because of the pain around her throat area. So I took a chance this morning to visit her at the hospital. Cathy was in high spirits ever grateful for the successful operation and God’s faithfulness.

So they found something in your thyroid?, I was skimming around her throat area wondering where the incision was done.

I was puzzled.

Cathy said “No, I had an ectopic pregnancy

I was stunned. [tag]Ectopic pregnancy[/tag] can be fatal. In fact , she was already bleeding internally and had lots of clots. No wonder she couldn’t attend our August 19 meeting of the Compassionate Friends. Imagine she was bleeding for more than 10 days not knowing she was pregnant all along. Anyway, Cathy will blog more about God’s faithfulness in delivering her from danger. The question that piqued my curiousity was ” are you grieving?”. She doesn’t know yet as everything happened so soon and she is still processing the past day’s events.


That Monday, I also received word that my sister-in-law lost her more than 8 weeks old baby. I know they wanted this baby so much as they only have one child. .

A baby did not have to be born after nine months in order to be loved and treasured. A baby was anticipated and wanted and it was taken away without permission, consent or notice. The loss needs to be grieved and mourned by the parents but they need to be reassured that there is no timeline on the grief process. A [tag]pregnancy loss[/tag] is not something that someone just ““gets over” in a matter of days. It is a true loss, just like the loss of a pet, the death of a family member or a friend. A pregnancy loss is a real loss. Their feelings should not be minimized with an unkind comment and their loss must not be trivialized. Too often, those closest to us – our friends and family members – tell us what they think is the right thing to say but is really the last thing we should hear:

““It was God’s way”
““It was better that it happened now, rather than later”
““At least you have other children”

Each of the above statements might be true but none of them offer comfort or take away the pain. Support for preganncy loss is available around the world and even in our mission, The Compassionate Friends Philippines.

47a.jpgMy dear husband turned 47 years old last night. Heh, he’s 2 years younger than me. We thanked God for another year. I told my husband that every year after 46 years old is a celebration for me. My mother died young at the age of 45 and I am full of gratitude that for every year added to my life. Every year I buy practical gifts for my husband usually kitchen appliances. How boring is that? I should be more romantic in my gift choices. This year, I wanted to buy him the Super Kalan, the Magic Stove. In times of high energy costs, we need to be fuel efficient. It costs less than 5000 pesos if I remember right , including the stand. The Super Kalan utilizes any kind of locally available unexpensive fuel like newspaper, wood, charcoal, carton, sawdust, ricehusk, twigs etc.. But I needed more time to order it. So I scrapped that idea and bought instead a pressure cooker. Our old pressure cooker just conked out and I keep forgetting to buy a replacement.

The cat jumped right into the box after the gift opening

47b.jpgI prepared a lot of food for his birthday dinner such as beef stroganoff, Lemon-Thyme Barbecued chicken, Shrimp Potato Salad, Pepperoni Pasta and Jasmine Rice. The 2 girls arrived from the dorm that night just to be with their dad. Awww. It’s a rarity to have these close moments with your college kids. They have their own friends and social life. Inspite of having midterms exams the next day, the celebration of their dad’s [tag]birthday[/tag] was more important to them. It was a wonderful celebration only made more meaningful when my aunt called to say that her house (which we sold to her in 1998) is up for sale exclusively for us. We were delighted to hear the good news. There were tenants who were still living in the house so that was an obstacle to the sale. What a wonderful birthday gift from God.

ebay.jpegOnline shopping is quite tempting especially if one finds bargains. My sister in San Francisco tells me that she doesn’t go to the mall anymore to buy her clothes, gifts and even appliances. Unfortunately our credit card’s exchange rate is quite high. The only online shopping experience that is financially rewarding is buying at Amazon. All of my grief recovery books were purchased from Amazon. I often browse at’s online shop but their prices there are not bargain deals. You know how we moms love bargain shopping. Three years ago, my sister-in-law in the States urged me to try selling at Ebay. Her vintage jewelry and children’s books raked in modest income. At that time, my online business was still at its infant stage. I thought maybe I should try selling some of my services at ebay.

Being an Ebay newbie, I didn’t actuallly read the fine print. Maybe I did but I could not comprehend the listing rules. Ebay requires sellers to input your credit card and dollar account details which I readily supplied. A few days after a failed Ebay sale, my Wells Fargo statement said that $7.00 was deducted from my balance. Confused, I emailed Wells Fargo that I don’t remember the sale and to investigate the matter. A few days later, Ebay emailed a strongly worded legal letter that I should pay $7.00 listing fee. OOh so that’s where the money went , I thought. But Wells Fargo was a bit too hasty. They credited the $7.00 back to me just because I complained. I didn’t tell the bank to do that. Now Ebay was breathing down my neck. In the next few days, I received frequent “nasty” notices until they wrote back that my credit card will be billed $30 something for collection fees plus listing fee. Ridiculous! Now I owe them $30.00. I quickly called Citibank to stop the transaction. They said they can’t do that until the bill arrives and suggested that I talk to them. Thinking it was hopeless, I wrote a letter to Ebay apologizing that since I was an Ebay seller newbie to give me a chance. Happily, they did. I still had to pay the $7.00 though. My gosh, these Ebay guys can really hound you just for $7.00. Imagine the millions of sellers worldwide giving that income.

That Ebay seller experience prompted me to give up on Ebay selling. I know a lot of stay-at-home moms earn quite a living from it. I know I shouldn’t judge Ebay for that first bad experience but it dampened my Ebay seller enthusiasm. Now being a bargain shopper, I thought I’d test out The Ebay stores. Last year , my daughter spent two months in the states so it was perfect to deliver any purchases to her. I found a second hand book that was out of print and cheaper than Amazon. Oh dear. I found out too late that once you click “purchase to buy”, it’s good as sold. But I didn’t know that. I didn’t push through with the sale because the delivery time was too long. It was scheduled to arrive around the time my daughter’s return trip to Manila. To cut the story short and a few “nasty” emails later, I apologized once again to the buyer and Ebay for being such a clueless Ebay buyer.

Never again will I go to that darned Ebay site. Or so I thought.


To my horror, Lauren got herself a belly piercing. I comforted myself with the thought that the piercing will get covered by her clothes. However the belly piercing failed. My husband and I were happy but not for long. To my utter disbelief, she got an eyebrow piercing. My husband and I wailed! “How could you disfigure your pretty eyebrows?” My husband said he will get a metal ring on his nose. I nodded and added that I will get a diamond studded nose ring too. “You look too feminine for an eyebrow ring!” , I continued with my rant. My daughter was steadfast in her decision and said that she will order pretty eyebrow rings so she won’t end up looking like a punk.

I don’t know why she chose an ebay store but she found PiercingPal
, which is based in Thailand. She wanted these rings that cost $20.19 including shipping.


Not only was I stressed out with her eyebrow piercing, I suddenly felt heavy pit in my stomach . I recalled the past Ebay horrors as I waded my way around the Ebay site navigation. (Actually she could have done this herself but Paypal is weird. It doesn’t like different Philippine IP addresses in a Paypal account)

Finally, I found the “PAY ME NOW” link glaring at me. Purchase was succesful.

My daughter awaits eagerly for her purchase. Let’s see in the coming days if that Ebay experience is positive.

oilspill.jpgI just had a haircut yesterday. While entering the door of Azta Urban Salon in katipunan , a sign caught my attention . The notice said our cut hair willl be used for cleaning up the [tag]Guimaras Oil Spill[/tag]. A few days earlier, I saw the TV news on human hair being collected by Les Reyes of Reyes Haircutters . Reyes mentioned that all members of the Philippine International Hairdressers Association signified their intention to join in the efforts to clean up what is believed to be the worst oil spill in the country. This article says more on the experience of human hair in cleaning up oil spills:

In the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, human hair was found to have great adsorptive quality. According to the CNN website, which wrote about it, oil clings to hair as the tiny scales on hair snag and hold the oil. Chicken feathers, wool, and straw may also be used, but human hair is found to be more absorptive.

Not only do I feel good about my new haircut, I feel that I have contributed a little to the oil spill cleanup. I wish I could do more. Like what fellow blogger, Abe Olandres wrote:

One of the projects we’re looking into was to collaborate and utilize all our IT resources in pushing advocacies like expanding awareness for the Guimaras Oil Spill on the internet and maybe helping pool donations or fund drives.

Let us think of something to contribute to the cleanup . Perhaps we can cut our hair? Hehe. Or maybe we should import cut hair from other countries or even just writing about it might bring out awareness for the Guimaras [tag]Oil Spill[/tag] to other countries.

Photo source Ariel Catubig/AP

click.gifMy husband is in the mood for movies lately. Maybe he’s making up for last week’s emotional crisis. Comedy was our choice just because we wanted to laugh. After all, watching a funny movie can offset symptoms of chronic stress, which can suppress various components of the immune responses. The choice? “Click” or “My Super Ex-Girlfriend”. Butch wanted My Super Ex-Girlfriend.

Aha. I knew it. You get a kick out of watching bitchy women“.

I preferred “Click” and Butch just sort of went along with me.

“Click” is a hilarious comedy. Imagine being able to own a remote control that controls the world around you. One can fast forward events that bore or stress you out, pause an obnoxious person so you could kick his butt, and lastly rewind to see your life in the past!

If I had that kind of universal remote control, I will skip the part where I am watching my dying son just so I wouldn’t feel the pain. That is not reality of course. Amnesia or short term memory loss is possible. What would you choose to skip?

super.jpgWe watched “Click” on a monday night. Yesterday night, my husband calls from his cellphone and asks me to check the schedule for “My Super Ex-Girlfriend”. I tease him again ” Can’t get enough of bitching women, huh?” This superhero spoof/romantic comedy is kind of stupid really but my husband was laughing his head off. I’m thinking, “Wow he’s enjoying the bitching scenes

One of the funniest scene is during Jenny and Matt’s first night of lovemaking… (Spoiler and Too much Information Alert)
If you want to take the risk, highlight the text in between the brackets with your mouse

[Our bed collpased too, remember?…that’s nothing new! ]

That romantic memory made him laugh even more.

G Girl (played by Uma Thurman) alternates between crazy, controlling, angry , and sexy. That’s too much for a man to take. No wonder Matt left her. I don’t think I am controlling or angry. Maybe crazy and sexy. hehe

Next movie this week :”Little Man”

bluskies.jpgA few days ago, I was at my aunt’s neighborhood to check for possible houses for sale. One of the most important considerations for moving in a new neighborhood is a fast internet connection. I visited an internet cafe inside the neighborhood, just a few meters from the vilage church. It was 8:00 PM and the internet cafe brimmed with high school and even grade school students playing some kind of war game, possibly Defense of the Ancients (DOTA) , an expanded version of Warcraft. I was horrified to see these kids. Shouldn’t they be studying? It upset me that the parents are not monitoring their children’s whereabouts.

Then I read today’s article in Manila Bulletin . “Computer ‘Addicts’ Rise in Defense of their hobby”

Better Games than drugs. Who would disagree with this reasoning esecially when cited by teenagers hooked on computer games? This is the reason why computer game afionados should not be restricted in pursuing their hobby, said Gladys, a self-confessed computer game addict

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(image by Kevin)
I am up and about at this time (2:00 AM) because I had to pick up my daughters at Eastwood. Now I can’t sleep. *yawn* Everyone is still awake. With nothing better to do, I checked my site stats and discovered a link from Jayvee’s site. As I landed on the site, I laughed when I saw that I was one of the The 12 Apostles of Globe Innove . I hope I am not Judas.

The occasion?

When: August 31 2006 (it is not on the 30th anymore)
Where: Temple Bar, Greenbelt 2 | 8:00PM
What to expect: It’s a surprise party (shhh!)

I heard that there were limited slots for this Globe Innove sponsored bloggers meet. According to Abe Olandres, ” they prefer bloggers with a fairly good reach in readership”. I don’t think I have that many readers but I’m sure this blog has a Google presence in a few important keywords. Hmm, I wonder what Globe Innove has to say during the Bloggers Meet. Will it be their unlimited dial up internet, the Broadband internet or the VOIP webphone? The last time I visited their booth at the Rockwell center, the guys remembered me. Hehe, it must be because I was bugging another subsidiary , the Globe Visibility if my Macbook is compatible with their mobile wireless internet. (Visibility works on a GPRS/EDGE platform)

Anyway, the rest of the 12 Apostles

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