No, today is not the usual routine I normally have. It was a long, tiring, fun-filled yet rewarding day.

At 9:00 AM , I attended the recognition ceremony of the Web Awards and claimed the trophy as winner for Blog – Personal Category . Marc Macalua teased that I got a “grand slam”. Mixed feelings washed over me like do I really deserve this award? There are so many other blogs with great content that deserve this recognition. Don’t get me wrong. I have an overwhelming sense of gratitude.  
web award
I have been blessed beyond measure. This award affirms that my son continues to live in me through my words, through my actions and through my blog entries. A month from now it will be my son’s 7th death anniversary. I know now even if he is not here with me, his spirit lives in my heart. It’s just that I hope other blogs get recognition too.

Blogger Friends who won the web awards are Marc Macalua (Community Category) and Abe Olandres (for Tourism category). The rest of the winners can be found here

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“Mom, my friends read your blog”

I was surprised. “they do? how did they find out? I always refer to you as M in my entries”

“Mom, duh, you place photos of me and besides word spreads around in the local blogosphere. Your sex education entry made them laugh that I just had to read it myself.”


(Hi M’s friends *waves* to M’s friends)

My daughter M is a very private person. Though she owns a blog, she keeps it in a private url for 5 close friends. Soon, she might start a public blog showcasing random photos or anything under the sun.

“Just make sure you write nothing negative about me” she continued on. Then added “and make sure I look good in any photo you post. My _____ happens to read your blog. ”

I assured her, “Ah I don’t and besides I am not about to wash my dirty linen for the whole internet to see”

It got me thinking , this blog belongs in the personal blog category. It revolves around my life, the travails of my grief journey and the road to recovery. My family is also my life and naturally I will mention them from time to time. When I started this blog, I felt squeamish about revealing the sordid details of my life . But how else will readers empathize ? I needed to write on a personal level.

If there are lessons to be learned in my 14 months of blogging and getting more exposure is that sooner or later , intrigues arise. Take for instance, a certain blogger might read entries about your spirituality and starts judging your character. Or someone criticizes your writing style. Do you think blogs are read because they convey journalistic or linguistic appeal to readers ? Blogs are not newspapers. If they don’t like how bloggers write, grab a newspaper or magazine, for crying out loud. Better yet, close the browser and blog about how crappy we are in their own blog.

Anyway, I digress.

A personal blog is personal. I go out of my way to relate relevant experiences and include the advice, lessons or gifts learned from it. If my readers didn’t care about my opinion , would they be reading my blog? If they didn’t care, they’d hop on to the next blog. Reading the human emotions associated with the blogger and the interactive discussions is what separates blogging from traditional media.

Aside from common-sense , avoidance of personal attacks and posting non-bloggable items, how personal should a personal blog be?

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airportLauren will arrive at the ungodly hour of 4:00 AM tomorrow. I hope she’s all revved up, motivated and raring to get back to job hunting. The couple of days before her short vacation in Singapore, she kept on whining how difficult it is to look for a job. How bored she is etcetera. How depressing it is etcetera. There is nothing more annoying than to hear a bored child‘s rant. So I have been asking my friends if they know of job openings for fresh graduates.

The problem is not the lack of job opportunities. Blogger-Friends in the publishing industry like Cathy, Jayvee and Annamanila have asked for Lauren’s resume.

The problem is , she doesn’t want to get a job because of connections.

Sighing, I explain ” In Filipino work culture, most employers look for referrals or recommendations. Sometimes a job requires someone they can trust. Besides they will still have to look at your qualificiations.”

She muses “I will think about it”

I told her as I drove her to the airport last wednesday “Let me tell you… how I ended up in the best job I ever had.”

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A virtual office was in the pipeline while I was still residing at Makati City. But I’ve never gotten around to getting one since I’ve moved homes now. Remember I showed you my Small-Office Home-Office (SOHO) at my old home? Well I’m going to give you a sneak preview of my SOHO over at our cozy home in Pasig City. I don’t know which sounds better. Home-office, Business-office (HOBO) or Small-office Home-office (SOHO) ?

I still have a lot of work to do in the house. I want more decors , furniture here and there. Unfortunately, furnishings, home accessories and other decors are quite expensive so they will have to wait. Right now I just have the bare essentials.

Wi-fi reception was poor in our old home because of the thick concrete walls. I’m quite happy that the Globe Broadband was bundled with a wi-fi router and the reception is pretty strong.

I have four workstations with three Internet Service Providers (Globe Broadband, PLDT MyDSL and Smart Bro) for connection redundancy. I like the idea of variety in my work place. Each of my working space has a purpose. Perhaps I want to blog, work on some papers , websites or just go blog hopping. My mood of the day determines the location of my work.

1. Writing Table at the First Level

This writing table sits at the foot of the stairs . Originally I planned to put a console table here. But see, a console’s purpose in life is decorative . I decided that that every furniture I buy should have functionality.

Working here at my antique narra writing table is best at around 7:00 AM after my dear husband leaves for office . Country angels adorn my table. Hearing the chirping Maya birds and gazing at the greenery of the pocket garden is a good start for the day. This nook works best for me when I am in a calm mood.

I usually stay here until 9:00 AM , checking emails, working on webhosting orders or tickets. Then I get up to check household work for the day. When I come back, the cats decide to invade my table.

Kylee thinks the window view is lovely.

Kylee peeks at my Twitter while Lady naps on my chair.

2. Workstation at the second level

Going up the stairs, the workstation aka mini library greets me at the landing. I want to shield the sunlight with beige Roman Shades but ugh, I still need to save money for that.


Updated (June 28, 2007)

This is my custom-built workstation (built by Connie’s carpenter) where my PLDT mydsl connection is. This is where I stay most of my mornings if I need to pay bills, call people or just do paperwork. As you can see I avoid papers on my desk. They are all inside the drawers . Instead of ugly looking Filing cabinets I had drawers built in the bottom. I use a temporary monobloc chair because I haven’t found the perfect working chair. If I can’t find a white swivel chair then I might as well buy a colored chair. My workaholic mood works best in this working area.

Behind me are Butch books. I keep telling him to sort out his books since it just accumulates dust. It’s one reason I shut the windows in this part of the house.


Usually I go the gym in the late morning once I’ve settled all the work to be done for the day.

3. The couch at the Dining room

The dining room is the favorite part of our home. It’s the soul of the house, a place of conversation. When the kids or my husband are having a snack, I am sometimes found lounging on the couch. If work piles up, I can multitask with my macbook while supervising the food preparation, cooking or house cleaning. Most of the time, I am just doing menial work online while seated here.

4. My bed.

During extremely hot weather, I stay in my bedroom. Turning the airconditioning of the whole house is not a good idea so I prefer to stay in a smaller room where electricity cost won’t be as much. I plan to put a writing table by the bay window as soon as I can save enough for this. I have this thing about windows. I like to pause in between my work hours then look as far as I can .

At night , Butch and I read websites or blog hop before we call it a night. You can see his laptop on his side table.

In the rare occasion that PLDT MyDSL or Globe Broadband is down, I still have one more ISP (SMART BRO) found at the kids’ bedrooms.
Lauren’s blue room and M’s Green room

Now if all three ISP’s are down, I will just sleep, right?

So there you have it. In my ecommerce business , do I really need to lease an office space when I can easily work at my home office? The flexibility of my SOHO allows me to move around as I work . Sitting down in one area stiffles my creativity. I like to work and enjoy the view at the same time.

Now tell me, what part of your house is a favorite spot for blogging or surfing sites?

bloggingThe couple that blogs together stays together. I’m just kidding of course. Aside from reading books, Butch and I surf the internet together, share sites of interest or we go blog-hopping before we call it a night. I think it’s really sweet that my ex-technophobe husband took an interest in my hobby turned business venture. Who would have thought he’d be blogging today? A few years ago, he snickered at the internet saying it was a waste of time. I’m beginning to think that people who scoff at it are just intimidated or clueless of technology. It took a lot of love and patience to teach him to turn on the computer, firing the browser, surfing the net and posting an entry. And today, we enjoy a common interest- blogging or reading blogs before we sleep. I know… how boring.

Oftentimes, it’s the little things that matter in a relationship. Let me count our simplest pleasures.

1. Sending email or chatting via Google talk at any time of day. I always close my email or chat with “your loving wife”, or “love and kisses” or “your sexy wife” “love you”. In turn he affirms my email with “Dear Loving Wife..” or ends our chat “see you , dear or I love you”. We never tire of saying sweet nothings to each other.

2. Gazing lovingly at each other. Someone told me that my daughter is so obvious with her crush because she kept staring at him. Guess where she got that quirkiness? From her dad! To this day, my husband gazes at me lovingly (on random moments) as if it’s the first time he met me. As if I am the most attractive woman in the world.

3. Buying me Flowers when there is no occassion. Butch rarely buys me flowers but there are those days when he buys a bouquet just because.

4. Saying affirmations to each other. There are those gloomy days that just get in the way of positive thinking . One way to empower the good in ourselves is through affirmations: the positive statements we make to each other : “I love you”, “You are good enough”, “Our life is good”, “I’m glad I have you”. Positive thinking doesn’t mean we think unrealistically or revert to denial. It’s just we don’t dwell on the negative parts of our experience.

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My heart goes out to the victims in the Virginia Tech mass shooting incident. So many young lives wasted, so many tears, so many questions. WHY? WHY?

I can just imagine the grief and hoplessness the victims’ families are feeling right now. What boggles me is the mental state of [tag]Cho Seung-Hui[/tag], the 23-year-old suspect in the [tag]Virginia Tech[/tag] massacre that left 33 people dead and others hospitalized.

What troubled him?

Take a look.

On Tuesday, authorities identified as a senior undergraduate English major at the school, where officials have said that Cho’s creative writing was so disturbing that he was referred to the school’s counseling service, the Associated Press reports.

“He was a loner, and we’re having difficulty finding information about him,” school spokesman Larry Hincker said Tuesday. Police and university officials, however, could not provide any reason for why he might have been responsible for the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history.

Still, the Chicago Tribune reports that Cho was becoming increasingly violent and erratic, and that he left a rambling note in his on-campus dormitory room in which he railed against “rich kids,” “debauchery” and “deceitful charlatans” at school. The paper, on its Web site, also said he recently set a fire in a dorm room and stalked some women.

Source: Virginia Tech Suspect Called ‘A Loner’

I agree with Cathy that bullying can be a culprit or some childhood abuses might have aggravated his state of mind. A high school classmate says that Cho Seung-Hui was bullied by fellow high school students who mocked his shyness and the strange way he talked.

His professor had concerns over his creative writing and who described Cho as “troubled.” Apparently he was referred to the counseling service, though the results are unknown as of this time.

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In a few hours, Lauren will be on board the plane for Singapore with 2 guys (both brothers) *gasp* . One of the guys is Lauren’s band manager. I didn’t know she was travelling with 2 guys. The mother of the guys called me up and assured me that Lauren will be in safe hands. That was sweet of her to call me but I trust Lauren knew she would be in good company. At the last minute, the female companion backed out.

She loves the excitement and the adventure of travel. The travel itch started at the age of 10 years old when I “forced” them to join a cultural exchange program (choir tour) in the USA and Canada every summer. Those were my stage mother years where the girls were caught in the hustle and bustle of stage performances. During those travels, I taught the girls every immigration , travel and plane procedures because I knew they’d be travelling almost every year and I wasn’t sure if I’d always accompany them. I didn’t know it then but today, they tell me that their travel experience is something that they will always treasure.

While at Singapore , Lauren will meet up with a few Singaporean bloggers who have been her readers for the past decade. Imagine that!? During the early days of the internet, I was often questioned why I allowed my children to get online.

Questions often asked were:

Am I not afraid of pedophiles? Am I not wary of the pornography ? What if the online friend is really some serial killer?

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