“It was just that we had this phenomenal honeymoon relationship that just kept on going.” James Levine

As my boyfriend placed the engagement ring on my finger, my eyes just sparkled with excitement. Nothing could stop us from getting married. We were madly, deeply and truly in love for seven years. What did I know about marriage? I saw my own parents fight, laugh, tease and get back together. It’ll be a breeze for us, I thought.


Looking back at our 25 years of marriage and 7 years of steady relationship, I never imagined the challenges, the tears, the drama that befell us. The children just kept us together. On one of those dreary days, I thought , “how can we grow old together?” Would we become one of those old grumpy couples that don’t speak to each other in restaurants or one of those adorable elderly couples that everyone aspires to be?

Sappy as it sounds, it must have been love that pulled us back again or was it our little angel watching over us? With the kids at college and more time for ourselves to bicker or romance (take your pick), the quality of time spent made us rediscover ourselves as a couple and as an individual. For me, that meant, slimming down, trying to be fashionably smart, embarking on new ventures and becoming a healthy person inside and out. Having dramatic changes might have moved my husband to do the same.

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“Doesn’t every woman deserve the right to have a safe pregnancy and a baby that’s born healthy? I believe this is a very basic human right.”
Katya Matanovic

RH advocates at the House of Representatives with Congressman Edcel Lagman. In the photo are Carlos Celdran, Red Tani, Beth Angsioco, Joy Virata, Adrienne Vergara, my daughter and other RH advocates. Photo by Adrienne Vergara.

Lauren and I participated in wednesday’s pro-RH rally. Both my daughters are RH advocates too. We were at the rally to make sure there were no delays at the Committee on Appropriations before it went into Plenary where debates, pros and cons are heard, before coming to a vote.

The good news was that the RH Bill passed the committee and will soon be debated in the plenary. A lot of hurdles still face the bill. Your congressman may conveniently be absent and thus, make a quorum impossible. But for now, baby steps until it becomes a law. In the photo you can see our happy faces, full of hope that the RH Bill will become a law.
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Update: Winner is Jaypee David.

How time flies! Touched by an Angel will celebrate its 5th anniversary on February 24 and I am having a small contest. I used to give cash money before , the prize money I got from winning awards for this blog. I didn’t really think of holding a contest this year until Samsung asked if I wanted to give out a Samsung Microwave oven in my food blog. I thought it fitted this blog though. Let me tell you why.

My favorite spot to work is in the dining area, close to the kitchen. It is here where I can monitor the daily tasks needed for home such as the cleaning and cooking routine . I can easily prop up my mobile gadgets and monitor certain websites all at once like Twitter, facebook and various messengers. Working near the kitchen area is one way for me to manage my time in being a homemaker and as a blogger. I see everything all at once.

Of course, I know when to take breaks. My cat, Missy reminds me that I need to relax and take time to just chill. Isn’t she cute?

So what am I getting at with the blog anniversary give-away? and why the Samsung microwave oven?

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Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired. Robert Frost

valentine-dayYes, it is Valentine’s day, another ordinary day for my husband and myself. Just like any day, we make time to have lovey-dovey moments with each other and a special ME time.

Today is special for other couples but for us, every day is special. We have never been out on a date during Valentine’s day in all the 33 years we have been together. I never really understood why my dear husband loathed Valentine’s day until a few years ago. He can’t be the Valentine’s Day equivalent of Dr. Scrooge. Butch is a very romantic person. He whispers the most romantic phrases ever and that’s probably the reason I fell in love with him. Now back to the reason for this Valentine’s Day aversion. I teased him, ““Will you buy me a Valentine’s gift”. He said ““I already gave you my gift”. He reminded me, ““Didn’t I just give you___ pataca for our Macau trip?”

“No flowers?”, I teased.

He says “expensive during Valentine’s day”.

I laughed. ““So it’s an economic reason?”, I joked. He nodded. Ah now I recall, Butch was only 18 years old when we first became steadies. Naturally, he didn’t have the money to buy me the overpriced flowers or presents. All these years, I always thought that he wanted to be unique. Kuripot lang pala. (or is it being thrifty)

The non-celebration of Valentine’s Day on February 14th is our tradition carried through the years. While restaurants are filled to the brim with loving couples, we will just have a date at home. I am not even sure if I have time to cook as I have a lecture in the afternoon.

Most likely, he will just whisper sweet nothings as always, while I reflect on the Bible passage of love that has carried me through the years:

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn’t jealous. It doesn’t sing its own praises. It isn’t arrogant. It isn’t rude. It doesn’t think about itself. It isn’t irritable. It doesn’t keep track of wrongs. It isn’t happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth. Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up.

Love never comes to an end.

<< 1 Corinthians 13 >>

Since today is Valentine’s day, you don’t have to be a couple to celebrate it. Whether you are a couple or single, the most important relationship you will have with is yourself. And the most important person in your life is YOU.

““If you aren’t good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you’ll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren’t even giving to yourself.”

Loving yourself is the best way to learn how to love.


I arrived home tonight and received a gift from Butch.


I saw the news in Twitter. Angelo Reyes got shot.

“Who was Angelo Reyes?” I asked in Twitter.

The corruption charges against the General Garcia was not something I really followed because I was busy with other matters like the Reproductive health issue. Besides, one of the bloggers was going to write about it.

Twitter was then buzzing with shock and wondering what happened.

Did he feel he could no longer hold his head high, with his former underling telling the world how he (Reyes) had left the military service with millions in people’s money?
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The little children scampering around this village down south of Metro Manila is just mind-boggling. Shrieks of laughter rings in the air. They are giddy with excitement as they wait in line for the generous donor to distribute toys and school supplies. I asked a resident. How is life here? Oh , she says life is hard. Source of income is scarce. Their husbands work hours away in Manila. She goes on and on. One small house fits up to 12 persons. There is no electricity or water. “We have to get water from the spring water of the mountains”

The resident adds ” A 12 year old girl got pregnant recently”. Saddened at the plight of the poor residents, I turned to the priest who lived in the village, “do you believe in the Reproductive Health bill?”

He smiled “No comment”.
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big-bad-bloggerThe topic is still a burning issue. The Big Bad Blogger and the evil PR brouhaha is still making waves in the Philippine blogosphere. I am always asked, “who do you think is big bad blogger?” or “is there really a big bad blogger?” I am aware there are a lot of bloggers with various interest, business model and purpose. I may not agree with all the time but I have yet to hear or encounter allegations of “extortion”. The accusations are downright unfair. In fact the the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP) issued a statement on
“In the Interest of Philippine Blogosphere”

(This is an industry response to Marguax Salcedo’s column dated 23 Jan 2011 in Sunday Inquirer Magazine, where she hinted at unethical behavior by a blogger and a PR agency http://showbizandstyle.inquirer.net/sim/sim/view/20110122-315972/)

Please-Dont-Give-Blogging-a-Bad-Name IMMAP recognizes the value that blog marketing brings to the success of building brands in the digital space. Bloggers themselves are publishers of their own personal websites, and as such are entitled to embrace opportunities to monetize their online presences.

We also recognize the fact that digital PR agencies, which help clients manage their online reputation, often engage bloggers for word-of-mouth promotion.

We understand that blogging as a credible medium can only grow if there is transparency and accountability by all parties — clients, agencies, and writers. It is in the public’s best interest to know if a write-up is affected by a potential conflict of interest.

Our biggest concern with Ms. Salcedo’s article is that it was essentially a blind item. Speculation (amplified by social media) only casts doubt on all bloggers and all PR agencies, which doesn’t help anyone. However, if the insinuations are true, then such behavior — essentially blackmailing a potential client with the threat of a negative review — is unacceptable as a marketing services practice. This is something IMMAP frowns upon as it diminishes the credibility of the medium. We also believe that such behavior is limited to a few black hat practitioners and not representative of the Philippine Blogosphere.

We hope that at some point Ms. Salcedo will clarify the issue and disclose the names of the client, blogger, and PR agency involved so the matter can be brought to the proper light. We at IMMAP are always open if Ms. Salcedo wishes us to mediate between the parties concerned during this discussion.

To help strengthen the credibility of the majority of the Philippine Blogosphere, IMMAP recommends the with the ability to safeguard its practitioners. We would be more than happy to be of assistance in the formation of this organization. In doing so, we can table the interest of the Philippine Blogosphere in the broader digital conversations in the industry.

For our part, IMMAP is currently updating its 2007 Code of Ethics with updated guidelines for digital advertising and social media. We’re looking forward to having a dialogue with representatives of the Philippine Blogosphere immediately to assist in the establishment and ratification of relevant ethical standards.

The statement hits it right on the part where doubts have been created if names are not mentioned or brought forth to the right forum. While I do agree with a collective set of ethical standards for bloggers , I am not convinced on the establishment of a national blogging organization. Bloggers are so diverse and may not want to belong to one big group for one reason or another.

Before the establishment of an organization, a set of ethical standards should first be deliberated and agreed upon in a conference or summit, then the rest can follow.

It is good to have guidelines and let’s start from there.
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