ballerina.jpgAhh [tag]Spring cleaning[/tag] in my mind. A clutter-free existence is something I always look forward to all the time. This time I have the perfect reason to nag family members to get their butt moving because we’re transferring to our new home by the second week of March. Whatever junk they choose to pack will be carried over to their new rooms. It’s their problem. The Lady cat in our home is flustered as she sees stressed-out-old me clearing up the junk and what not. It’s difficult for me to let go of memories as I held the girl’s ballerina tutus in front of me. I decide “This goes to the “For Keeps” corner”. Lady , the cat lies down on the tutu and observes my “Goodbye Gulo” activity. Even if you’re not moving homes, it’s best for everyone to have some semblance of a clutter-free existence. Clutter causes stress, the feeling of not being in control or the absence of peace of mind due to panic searching for needed items. What about dust that settles on useless items.

So what have I tossed out?

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Edit: Visit this flower vendor from the Dangwa Flower Market

If there is one business my husband wants to get into, it’s a flower shop. For the past 6 years, all we could do for our beloved son is buy [tag]flowers[/tag] and bring them over to his resting place. We have probably made our flower “suki” quite rich. Butch either buys mums or roses in bulk and arranges them in our disposable vases. He leaves a few flowers to add color on our dinner table.

Last Sunday’s stroll at the Dangwa Flower Market in Sampaloc, Manila was different. Butch felt romantic . Hehe. I’ve never been there but I’ve heard that Flower vendors from Trinidad , Benguet sell their produce in here. Prices are quite affordable too. A bouquet of various flowers can fetch a price of 200 to 250 pesos (around $5.00). I bet it’ll be three times as much as Valentine’s Day approach. As I took photos of all the various flowers (See here), I can just imagine the profit margins of the Florists. Of course, there’s the problem of rotten flowers that don’t sell so perhaps they consider the wastage as part of their carrying costs.

carnationsAs I gushed over the Daisies, Roses, Zinnias ,Marigolds, chrysanthemums, in vivid colors, the Carnations caught my attention. I love Carnations.I love the colors.. Butch took the hint and bought a bundle of 9 Imported green carnations for 180 pesos. Not bad. Usually I get 3 pieces for 80 pesos at the Rustan’s flower shop. He didn’t haggle anymore as he knows that the vendor was not overpricing.

Butch and I may not celebrate Valentine’s day but random displays of affection truly warms my heart. For once, the flowers were not for my son.

I bought some Asters and lovingly arranged them in our vase.


I was so utterly busy so forgive me for the delay on the Blog Parteeh Aftermath ([tag]blogparteeh07[/tag]). Thanks to the Steering Committee. It was well organized considering we had barely two weeks to put it all together. This means we can really pull a party together in few weeks notice. I heard the next party is on June since there is an Iblog Summit 3 on April 13 and 14.

me and bloggersbo sanchezIMG_4167.jpg

The highlights according to me:

1. I won a Google T-shirt thru the kindess of Aileen Apollo, Google Philippines Country Consultant, which I in turn gave to my husband.

2. My daughter, Lauren finally joined the party but she was sooooo fashionably late. Thanks to her dad. I think she enjoyed
herself much as she thinks that she got stressed out.

3. I had fun even if I was the oldest among the bloggers. Haha! I felt like a Mother Hen making sure the tables, chairs, decors and food were all in place.

4. Abe treated the Steering Committee to coffee after the party.

5. Bo Sanchez interviewed me via a video podcast. Wow!

6. Even with less than two weeks preparation time, the event was quite organized. Kudos to Carlo, the logistics guy in charge. And the Steering Committee:

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boxer pups
M and I visited the kennel yesterday to reserve the [tag]boxer[/tag] pup that M discovered through the Dog Tracker forums . There were 4 cute pups to choose from. On the photo above, the female pup is to the leftmost while the rest were male boxer pups. They were only 2 weeks old but they have grown so much. It’s a comforting fact to know that the kennel owner’s Persian cat and his boxer live in peace. We believe the boxer is [tag]right dog breed[/tag] for our family and two felines. We were able to haggle the price a bit lower because I offered more than 50% downpayment. This boxer pup will be a family dog and not a show dog but it’s nice to know that the pups have good genes as they were sired by Philippine Boxer Champion, Solo.

And from among the 4 adorable pups, we chose….

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It is belived that with the proper orientation of one’s house or business premises, one is able to harmonize with nature and relate to the physical surrounding favorably to attract desirable cosmological influences. That is what I learned as a licensed real estate broker in the nineties. As part of the tools of trade, I underwent a basic orientation of [tag]Feng-Shui[/tag] under a Japanese Geomancer. A few Filipinos believe in the art of [tag]geomancy[/tag] and it helps if I had a little knowledge on the matter. I’ve forgotten all about Feng-shui since I stopped my real estate career (I will talk about this in another entry). Besides, I’m not Chinese and feng-shui shouldn’t rule my life or dictate my dream home.

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dals1.jpgThe last time we had a pure bred dog was over seven years ago. The children grew up with frisky dalmatians. My two girls screamed with joy when their Uncle Raul gave them Sindy, the female dal who in turn gave birth to adorable puppies. This was at the height of Disney’s 101 Dalmatians in the early nineties. Can you imagine their delight when 6 puppies scampered about our living room? My maternal instinct yearned for another baby as I helped them take care of the dalmatians. Little did I know that Luijoe was already growing in my womb. Many years later, when we moved to Makati, the village security guards kept giving us a fine of 1,000 pesos ($20) everytime one of the dalmatians broke out of the gate and caused a nuisance to the neighbors. Exasperated, we brought them over to Baguio where they would be free to romp around to their heart’s delight.

Moving to our new home has its risks. Security in the village is not as tight as it is in here. Outsiders are just free to enter in and out of the gate. So my husband thought it’d be best to get a dog for added security measures. I remember how the utility people freaked out whenever our dals came barking at them by the gate. But we didn’t want dalamatians anymore. We didn’t want a guard [tag]dog breed[/tag] like the Doberman because they could be mean. We just wanted a dog that could be a family pet, yet intimidating to strangers and hopefully an intelligent watchdog. Another criteria involved the two precocious kitties who are part of the family. How we love our cats! We don’t want our dog to harm them . They don’t have to be buddies but the cats and the dog need to be civil towards each other.

M took upon the task of researching for the right dog breed for the family. Her first choice was the Siberian Husky
We found out the Siberain Husky is not quite friendly to small animals. Instinctively they ran after them. The next choice was the Akita
Then again, M discovered that Akita’s were like the Huskies who ran after small animals. No, that won’t do. M thought that herding dogs or non-sporting dogs would be the better breed. She suggested the Collie but I thought long haired dogs might be difficult to take care in our tropical weather.

I asked “what about the Belgian Malinois?
The Belgian Malinois , a herding dog closely resembles “the German Shepherd Dog, but upon closer inspection, many differences may be seen including size, bone structure, color, and head and ear shape.” He looks intimidating yet probably kind to cats since the breed is a herding dog. Everyone agreed and the search for the Belgian Malinois began…

Then M showed me an adorable photo of this cat cuddled up with a dog….

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If you remember my New Year Goals, you will note that my first two goals were

1. Start the construction of our new home by February.
2. Move in to our new home before the year 2007 ends.

Unfortunate circumstances can turn into blessings. I posted my New Year Goals entry on January 2, 2007 at 7:00 AM, the first working day of the year 2007. Determined to start on my goals, I hied off to the seller of the lot we wanted to purchase so I could check on the documentation. The journey to the seller’s residence was daunting. Taytay is an alien town to me. Driving in circles, I gave up and parked my car by the tricyles stand. Showing the address of the seller, I hired a tricyle to drive me over there. Riding a tricycle terrified me as I hadn’t ridden one in years. Besides, the barren land opened my mind to all sorts of gruesome imagination. What if the tricycle driver robbed me and dumped me here? What if no one knew where I was? I didn’t tell my husband that I was on my way to Taytay. Anyway, I have a point. I finally reached the seller who was supposed to be the authorized person to sign any legal documents. It took her two freaking months to get the “Special Power of Attorney” (SPA) from her sibling. I eagerly looked for it so I could pay her the full payment within the week. Much to my consternation, the SPA came from the US Military not the Philippine Consulate.

I said “this won’t do.” The seller whined that it will take another two weeks to get the SPA I wanted. I was furious inside. That means a setback of another month in my plans. Then my fury turned to my real estate brokers. I thought “how dare they let me go all the way to Taytay? I could have gotten killed going here! How could they not have checked the papers?” Not about to give up, I told the seller that I would type out the SPA myself and email it to her sibling.

I drove back to my real estate broker but she was in Japan! Her agent (my aunt) excitedly told me about a lovely house and lot that I might want to consider. She said this was the house for me. I didn’t want to see it because my mind was already set into building a house. The property was also 500 thousand over my budget and I became more suspicious of my aunt’s motives “she just wants a higher commission”. My bad mood just clouded my mind for a minute. Since I loved my aunt, I grudgingly said I’d see it out of curiousity.

You know how it is when you fall in “love at first sight”. The minute I laid my eyes on the pretty house, I fell in love.

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Being 25 years older than the average aged blogger (who are usually mid twenties), I discovered that my age is meaningless. Enjoying the company of bloggers even makes me feel ageless. It tickles me that I am NOT referred to as MAAM, Ate, Mrs. Dado or respectable titles like that. I am just plain Noemi to bloggers. I get a kick everytime Abe, Gail, Jayvee etc. calls me by my first name. See, I feel old when I am addressed as Maam. I cannot imagine a blogger calling me “Maam”. I’d rather combust. That’s how different I feel when I am among blogger friends.

I am digressing. This post is supposed to promote the next blogger meetup which is the Blog Parteeh! 2007

The Blog Parteeh! 2007 is the largest blogger meet-up ever organized by bloggers for bloggers. The Steering Committee has worked so hard to organize this event and find sponsors. So, to make the process of joining the event more interesting and spicy with a bit of a buzz, read how you can be part of this parteeh!

What: Blog Parteeh! 2007
When: January 27, 2006 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Where: View Map
6th Floor (Poolside Area)
Classica Tower 2 Condominium
HV dela Costa St., Salcedo Village,
Makati City 1200

Without gracious sponsors , the party would have not been possible.

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Now that my 10 week [tag]weight management[/tag] program is over, I reflect with a slight disppointment over my [tag]weight loss[/tag]. I expected to lose more than 10 pounds in that 10 week period. I guess my age and the Holidays made it extremely difficult to follow the weight management regimen. I lost a total of 9 pounds. I should be happy but not really. That 9 pounds was my weight gain I needed to lose anyway. I still want to lose 15 more pounds to attain my ideal body mass index. Don’t get me wrong.

The expense of shelving out 7,700 pesos was not wasted. Today, I am able to exercise longer with greater stamina reaching 300 calories an hour unlike before where I only burned 100 calories an hour. Talk about quality exercise this time. That entailed 30 minutes of cycling and 30 minutes of treadmill with a 4.0 gradient and a speed of 5.5 . Even if I am not happy with my weight loss, I am pleased with the exercise benefits. More endorphins makes a happy me. While contemplating the renewal of my contract with Fitness First weight management, I caught sight of the colorful Del Monte Booth by the gym lobby.

Looking closely at the brochure, I became excited.
The brochure screamed ” Do you want to lose weight and get the BODY you’ve always wanted. I continued on flicking the pages of the brochure of Del Monte’s Fit ‘N Right Challenge

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Meet Traffic Enforcer Noel Quilatan. Every morning on my way to the gym at The Fort, Taguig City, Noel is a sight to behold amidst the magnificent skyscrapers in the background. His cheery disposition lifts my spirits for the day and revs me up for my daily workout. You will find the Noel at the intersection of Mckinely Road, Makati and 5th ave of the Global City. What makes this traffic enforcer different ? Well for one, his traffic signals are choreographed to his own rhythm. It’s unlike other robotic traffic cops you see waving hand signals here and there. He executes slick dance steps unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Second, his sunny smile beams all day after hours and hours of dancing to the tune of traffic stop and go.

My husband surmises that Noel might be crazy. His reasoning “How can anyone smile all day handling Manila traffic with the tropical heat hitting on you? One has to be crazy to beat all that.” That got me thinking. Is Noel crazy? Or does Noel just have high endorphin levels? Or is he just enjoying his job? And again, I remember a series in Grey’s Anatomy where a woman was found to have high endorphins due to a brain tumor. I brushed my husband’s theory aside. Maybe he is just born with a positive spirit.

Noel is quite popular with the Makati and The Fort residents that he even got featured in Ms. Vicky Morales “Wish ko Lang”, a wish giving show. Surrounded by stuffed toys given by generous motorists, Noel’s wish was to see his mother whom he hadn’t seen in years. Noel could have asked for material gifts but he preferred to be with his mom. With tears streaming down his cheeks, Noel’s wish was granted.

I wish I had taken a video of Noel’s dancing moves . Here are a few photos posted by European websites:
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