February 2009

Pepe Alcantara, Amiel Alcantara’s Dad Delivers 4 Messages

My husband refused to listen to me the night I first learned of Amiel Alcantara’s death. As I narrated the sordid details on how Amiel Alcantara died, Butch clamped his ears, “Stop it, I don’t want to hear anymore. It is just too much” All he knows is that Amiel got ran over by a van inside the Ateneo campus. He couldn’t take in the violent nature of Amiel’s death. (Edit March 8: My husband wrote A Grief Beyond Words) .So, when I visited the wake of Amiel Alcantara on February 25, I was all alone. No worries, I was there to offer comfort that a grief support group such as The Compassionate Friends is around if they needed it one day. Good thing Cathy was around too. I kept staring at Pepe Alcantara. He looked familiar to me but I couldn’t place his face. That night, I told Butch that I met the father, Pepe Alcantara. The name rang a bell to Butch but it was only the following day that we got confirmation in the papers that he is the same Pepe Alcantara he knew back then in his UP student days. Pepe was the UP Student Council President in the early 80’s with Lean Alejandro as his vice. Pepe and Butch belonged to the same student organization in the UP student days. Surely now, Butch will want to see Pepe.

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Piolo Pascual on Loving Yourself More


Piolo Pascual and Marian Rivera at the Bluewater Day Spa Capitol Hills Branch Launch

Let’s have some showbiz break with Piolo Pascual. A few bloggers got invited to the BlueWater Day Spa Capitol Hills Opening. Going to the spa is one of my favorite ME time that I couldn’t miss the opportunity to check out another spa especially since it is near the girls’ university. Now it isn’t the first time for me to meet Piolo Pascual and Marian Rivera. I met them in another launch of Bluewater Day Spa last year.

Like I told you, I find Piolo so charming, er gorgeous looking guy to put it mildly. This time around, he looks even more gorgeous than ever. Kinilig talaga ako but I didn’t show my giddiness even if Piolo kept smiling away to everyone. Acting poised and collected, I boldly approached Piolo for an exclusive interview. Lucky me got to sneak in a 2 minute exclusive close-door interview with a few bloggers. Here is his video message to all of you my dear readers:
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Ukay ukay, Bargain and Vintage Clothes Shopping

Visit ukaymanila.com to check for online ukay ukay store or its mirror site, Ukay Multiply

ukay ukay>


I first came across the word “ukay-ukay” from my mother-in-law who lives somewhere in Benguet. It was circa 1992. Just so everyone knows what ukay-ukay means, let me quote my daughter:

Simply put, ukay-ukay is thrifting/thrift-store shopping, Philippine-style. I say ““Philippine style” because ukay stores are not so much clean, brightly-lit places like the ones you see in malls as they are hole-in-the-wall outlets that are often dusty and disorganized. Clothes are generally arranged according to tops, dresses, jeans, etc., but there are racks and racks of them and sometimes, piles and piles of them. Which is why the thrift-store shopping experience is called ukay. The word ukay is a Visayan word that literally means ““to dig through” (source: my mom, who speaks Bisaya) and ukay-ukay shopping can sometimes involve hours of wading through junk (and suffering from sneezing fits) to find dirt-cheap fashion gems.

Now that everyone knows what ukay-ukay means, allow me to give you a history of how ukay-ukay became such a hit with my girls.

One day, mom gave me a bunch of lovely children’s clothes. “Used clothing?”, I thought it was only meant for those that can’t afford to buy clothes. But when I saw the array of unique children’s clothes on my sofa, hmm…I thought it was cute enough to wear at the oath taking of my father-in-law at the Malacanang Palace. The girls never knew it was ukay-ukay clothing until they were in college. Not that it mattered. Lauren seemed fascinated with sailor clothes that she’d often buy marine-themed tops or skirts. Apparently, she had fond memories of this particular sailor dress. I told her that the dress she wore in Malacanang was ukay-ukay. She seemed pleasantly surprised.

When my mom-in-law told me the cost of each of the children’s clothes, I was amazed at the low prices and the good quality despite being used clothing. Those clothes above cost around 20 to 30 pesos during those days. Mom, a talented crafts person bought these ukay clothes for her beautiful quilt projects. She’d cut up the dress and use the fabric for her grandmother’s quilt. I got sucked in to grandmother quilt projects myself but until now, I still have to finish working on it. Most often, she’d be in the lookout for clothes for her grandchildren until they reached their pre-teen years. What a sweet grandma she is.

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It’s BB Gandanghari not Bebe Gandanghari

Bloggers’ meet with BB Gandanghari is on Saturday, March 14 at Mag-net, Bonifacio High Street, at 3-5 PM. You can Sign Up Here



I am absolutely charmed by BB Gandanghari. “Call me BB” as she hugged me. I found out that it is spelled BB not Bebe. BB is actually derived from her own motto Be all that you can be or be all what you want to be and from her first name, Binibini. The Gandanghari came from a family name of a UST beauty queen which caught her attention and thought it was perfect for her. She is beautiful, much prettier in person than photos shown in newspaper and magazines. With just light powder on her face, lipstick and faint blue eyeshadow on her eyelids, BB looks like a sweet schoolgirl. “I want my skin to breathe”, she says. Simple , classy and bubbly. Her happiness shows in the glow of her face and the smile that escapes her lips. It must be her newfound peace that makes her look and feel beautiful.

Before Dine and I started our interview, BB was more interested in us and started to ask questions about our blogs. You can see the concern in her eyes as she asks about the circumstances on how my son died. It was like talking to an old friend. No awkwardness, no airs.


I took photos of BB as we continued to banter about her new life and before the video interview. How absolutely charming! She flashes a smile now and then, an aura of happiness surrounding her that I can feel the positive vibes. I see nothing pretentious about her. I was with her for over 6 hours. She is BB.
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“Heaven’s Butterfly” – sharing part of the journey to help other grieving children

My friend Cathy and her daughter, Pia launched “Heaven’s Butterfly” yesterday. The book is published by Anvil and talks about the story of their life in the first year after Migi died. It specifically describes Pia’s journey from a place of sadness to a place of hope.

Pia was only seven when Migi died in 1998. Loss is a reality for children even at a very tender age. A child experiences grief in a cyclical manner. Meaning, they re-experience or re-visit the loss every time they pass through a developmental stage.

Cathy hopes that parents and teachers who read this book will come to realize that grief and loss, when it takes place, cannot just be swept under the rug. Losing someone is a real occurrence in a child’s world and we must allow that child to grieve. As adults and caregivers, we must do everything in our power to help them navigate that journey from sadness to hope.

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Parents of Teens: Beware of The Open Party & The Marcel Piezas Incident

It’s been more than 5 years since my girls left high school. It was a nightmare for us every time L would ask permission to go “clubbing” with her high school classmates. We feared that they would be offered ecstasy or some dangerous drugs. No matter how responsible we believe our teenager are, once they are in the company of peers, one can never tell what may happen. Especially in parties with flowing booze, raging hormones and minimal adult supervision. Thank God, Lauren never succumbed to dangerous drugs. M was not interested in parties then so we didn’t experience these fears with her.

Gone are the days when fun, wholesome teen parties are held at homes. My strict loving dad didn’t allow us to go to class parties unless it was held at our home. My classmates readily agreed because it meant that their parents will allow them, knowing how strict my dad is. Maybe teens still hold occasional parties in their homes but it is not hip or “in”.

Have you heard of an “Open Party”? I have never heard of it until now through Chuavness. An open party is organized by a class from a private school and invitations are posted online. It’s a money-making gimmick, for sure. Anyone can attend, provided one pays a fee. So different from our fun disco parties of the seventies. If 800 people attend and spend 300 each, do your computation. Where the heck does the money go anyway?

I would like all parents particularly in Metro Manila to be aware about this “Open Party”. Let me quote Chuvaness:

COPS AND PARENTS: THE NEXT STOYA OPEN PARTY IS ON FEB. 20 AT THE GREENMEADOWS CLUBHOUSE AT 8.PM. FREE FLOWING BEER. THE PARTY IS CALLED ASYLUM.
Oh, and doesn’t ABS-CBN own part of Multiply? Maybe they can take down the site. Or maybe homeowners can stop these parties from happening in their clubhouses.

Do something.

PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN.

Like Chuvaness, I feel for the boy that got beaten up in an Open Party. You should all read this mom’s heartbreaking letter so your teens will be safe or warned about these Open Parties.
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Relaxing at a Spa Movie Theatre

My ME time is always a relaxing day off from home and work. It’s the day I pamper myself and make myself feel good. Nurturing is about how we show love for ourselves. It can be a visit to the beauty salon, a foot spa, a home service massage or an indulgent visit to a spa treatment salon. I am not where I am today if I didn’t learn to nurture myself. I wouldn’t have a second wind in my marriage if I didn’t have a loving relationship with myself first.

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Round Table Talk: Ethics and the Blogger Part 1

I can’t believe it. My blog is celebrating its 3rd anniversary on February 24. What can I say? Blogging brought me a new normal, many friends, reuniting with old friends and a new sense of adventure and more. I feel like I am on top of the world. Look at me, I am having the time of my life. Though my blogger’s journey has been mostly fun and adventure, I receive comments or blog entries that are in disagreement with my views or heavy criticisms on my actions. Oh geesh, the ad hominem attacks too. Now, I am not a perfect person and I also make mistakes but I learn from them.


When the Blog and Soul Movement gathered a few bloggers to attend a round table talk on Blog ethics and other matters, I made sure I would be there to share my experiences and provide inputs to the discussion. Topics were Blog events, Copyright, Code of Ethics. The idea of the round table talk is to gather a list of ideas from bloggers on bloggers’ ethics.

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