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Maru’s vocabulary

8 Aug

My son Maru is still bulol. But from the time he turned three last May, his vocabulary has grown tremendously. Alright, I’m guilty of letting him watch too much Playhouse Disney (which is now known as Disney Junior).  But I’m really amazed at how he uses most of the words/phrases he’s learned from watching TV.  Plus his antics never fail to crack me up.

1. Because he likes watching “Little Einstein,” he can sing a bulol version of “Annie’s rescue song” to the tune of George Bizet’s L’Arsienne Suite No. 2.

2. Everytime he refuses to eat, I tell him that if he eats, he’ll grow as strong as a dinosaur or a bear. “Like a dinosaur?” he’d ask. Then he’d thump his feet like a T-rex and growl loudly.

3. Every afternoon, he’s programmed to visit my cousin’s house which is just a few houses away from where we currently live.  After taking a bath, he always rushes to get his slippers and tells me, “I’m going to mommy house.”

4. “I’m back!” he announces as soon as he’s back.

5. “Where have you been?” he’d ask, in a demanding tone, everytime I come home from work.

6. Just last Saturday, I came home with a box of milk. He looked at the box of Nido and asked, “For me?” “Yes, that’s for you,” I said. “Oh, thanks Nanay. Thanks!”

7. My 10-year old nephew Isla had some friends over and were playing with their Transformers toys. Maru wanted to play with them but they wouldn’t let him touch the toys. He got so sad that he went to our room with his shoulders hunched.  I asked, “O, what happened to you?” He said, in his saddest voice, “Abujujuju friends!” No, don’t ask me what he meant, I still don’t know.

8. “Oh no! I’m stuck!” Maru said one time when Mike locked our door.

9. “It’s a fun! Weeee!” he exclaimed while we were going up the spiral driveway of Robinson’s Place’s parking lot.

10. “Tickle the toytoy!” he said while pointing at his penis, meaning he needs to go to the bathroom. We did not teach him that, ha!

11. When he doesn’t like the food and we ask him to eat, he says, “No way!”

12. “Nanay, please get dede in the kitchen? Please, please, please!” he says everytime he wants to drink milk.

13. “One dede, coming up!” he’d say as soon as I say ‘Yes.’

14. I think he has memorized Steve’s line in “Blue’s Clues” that everytime he’s looking for something, whether it’s a toy or a person, he’ll say, “Nanay, have you seen Woody (or name of person or toy) anywhere? You do? Where?” and adds, “There you are!” as soon as he finds whatever it is he’s looking for.

15. “Nanay, it’s gone!” with matching sad face when he doesn’t find what he’s looking for.

16. “I did it!” everytime he feels that he’s accomplished something.

17. “Oh no, it’s broken! Waaaaa!” when he breaks a toy.

18. “There! That’s better!” when he’s fixed something.

19. “Fix it!” when he wants us to fix something he can’t fix.

20. “Lemme try,” when we’re doing something (like writing on paper or typing on the computer) and he wants to try his hand on it, too.

21. He calls people he doesn’t know, “Anyone.”

22. He calls certain older people “Dad” (like my brother) or “Mom” (like my cousin’s wife).

23. We’ve raised him to call us “Nanay” and “Tatay”  but sometimes he forgets and calls us “Mom” and “Dad.”

Thank you 2010

31 Dec

Hot Air Balloon Fest

Valentine’s Day







Romulo Cafe

El Nido


Conquering fears

Why hello there India!

Indian food overload

Smoothest flight and landing (Indian Air)

Landing on Bhubaneswar

Khandagiri Caves

Bumpiest flight and landing (Indigo Air)

Back in Delhi, a sigh of relief

Taj Mahal with minamahal

Hello kids!

On the way to Sri Lanka (Jet Airways)

The Indian Ocean

Meeting heroes

Meeting Sri Lankan mothers

Eating Sri Lankan bread

Mating elephants (Pinnwala Elephant Orphanage, Sri Lanka)

My first ever train ride (Nagka-riot sa loob but the Sri Lankans protected us, thank you)


Global Towers

Back in Manila

The addiction

The enabler

“Uniting Filipinos Worldwide” right from this office

Mike’s tattoo

Lock-in meetings


Trick or treat!



More showbiz

Late night burgers

Think Tank

People I love

Star ng Pasko

2010 was a blast!

Happy New Year everyone!


11 Nov

Because Julia Ormond a.k.a. Yaya Lucy is still on vacation and Mike is super duper swamped with work, heto ang buhay ko:

At tagahabol sa makulit na bata.

Maru said, “Pichur! Pichur!”

And turned his back on me when I was about to press the shutter. Malokong bata.





13 Jul

Meet Kwak-Kwak and Doggie, two of Maru’s toys that Mike and I initially planned to use to teach him songs and the English alphabet.

Kwak-Kwak is a battery-operated puppet that “kwaks”…err, sings “Old McDonald” when manipulated.  Mike is Kwak-Kwak’s puppeteer, hence KK speaks English in falsetto and with funny Chinese accent (because that’s how Mike speaks English, hehe).

Doggie, on the other hand, is a stuffed toy and Maru’s sleeping buddy (together with Mickey Mouse).  I am his master puppeteer and he speaks with Irish accent.  He likes smelling Kwak-Kwak’s “arse” while he hates it when KK calls him Catfish.

Obviously, the plan to use these toys as educational tools went awry.  Because KK and Doggie kept on bickering, Maru eventually lost interest and decided to play with his other toys instead.

Sample impromptu bikerings of Kwak-Kwak and Doggie:

KK:  I’m a Peking Duck. I’m from China.

Dog: You’re not a duck. You have that orange thingy on your head. You’re a chick!

KK: I am? But I’m from China! (sad) I must be a “pekeng” duck.

KK: Hey dog! They’re going to make you into a hotdog! Hahahahahahaha! (KK has the funniest, most annoying laugh)

Dog: Oh yeah? Hotdogs are not made of dogs silly bird! But I know I’m hot.


KK: You don’t look like a dog. You look like a catfish! Catfish! Catfish! Catfish! Hahahahahaha!

Dog: (growls)

Doggie attacks KK and engages her into a bloody puppet fight.  The fierceness of their battle, however, eventually led to intense lovemaking (between the Irish dog and the Chinese chick, not of their puppeteers).  Happy ending.

* Disclaimer: Maru did not witness the lovemaking between dog and chick because he thought his parents’ puppetry was too idiotic to pay attention to.  So don’t worry, no innocence was lost…except perhaps KK’s and Doggie’s.

Who wore it best?

1 Jul

Baby James wearing a yellow Wayfarer.

Photo from Chuvaness

Or my son Maru, in a blue Divisoria Rayban, hehehe!


3 Nov

Oh, I thought I’d never get out of Manila again. Ever since the typhoons, I’ve been trying to stay home most of the time to spend time with family and loved ones. Haha! OA I know.

But yesterday, my family and I (minus Mike, because he had to work, corny) went to the Zoobic Safari inside Subic.

We took the SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Exit) on our way there and to me it was the best highway I’ve ever passed through in the Philippines. I was so amazed, ang ganda ng daan — clean and malawak. May kamahalan lang ang toll fee kaya konti lang ang dumadaan.



We arrived at Zoobic before lunchtime (after several stopovers to eat, siyempre) and immediately started the tour.



A bit disappointed though since I thought we’ll get to experience everything Safari style.  But then again, hello Rona, for P500 you’re expecting too much.  Still, from time to time you’ll encounter pigs and other animals roaming the place, such as this one. No, I don’t know what it is.


It looks like a hairy donkey.  Sorry nakatalikod sya in this pic.

The highlight of the tour, of course, is the close encounter with the Tigers.  Everyone gets to ride in one of these caged jeepneys before entering a huge fenced area.


If you want the tigers to come close to you, you need to pay P200 so that the caretaker, who joins you in your jeep, can feed them chicken.



The tigers were so huge, at hindi sila mukhang gutom unlike in the Manila Zoo.  And look at the fangs!

The manong who came with us also threw chicken on the roof of our jeep.  And in one swooping motion, the tiger was on our roof to get his prize.


That’s when I knew that I will never survive a tiger attack.  Kaya dito na lang ako, with the friendly ostriches.


Since I was carrying Maru almost all throughout the tour, ako naman yata ang nabinat. I’ve totally lost my voice and is feeling a bit feverish. Plus every part of my body aches!  But I think Maru had fun though.




You guys…

6 Sep

This is what I got last September 4.  To be greeted by celebs and people from all over the world? Oh, I’m so flattered!!!

Wait, you mean this is for the other September 4 birthday celebrant? Hmp!

Check out the Pinoy reps at at 2:52.

Go BPA-free

29 Aug

There’s an ongoing debate on whether BPA or Bisphenol-A, a chemical used to make hard, clear plastics, is dangerous to human health.  Since baby bottles are usually made of hard clear plastics, I decided that I don’t want to risk Maru’s health and invested on BPA-free bottles when he was just a few months old.

But a year ago, BPA-free bottles were hard to come by in the Philippines.  Buti na lang there are many enterprising Pinoys selling imported stuff on and Multiply.  I went gaga over bottle-shopping online and bought Avent, Sassy Mam, and Gerber Gentle Flows. (At that time, BPA-free Avents were not yet available here; I haven’t seen any store selling those Sassy Mams and Gerbers though.)

BPA-free Avents are now available at department stores.  But it’s still cheaper to buy online since a single 9-0z bottle sells at about P1,000 at the mall. OA di ba?  Parang hindi 3rd world country ang Pinas.  Ang advantage lang, mas matibay siya from all the other BPA-free bottles.  Inaapakan kasi siya ni Maru lagi at inihahagis and so far, his Avents show no signs of breaking.


The Gerber Gentle Flow bottles, on the other hand, are clear copycats of Avent, except that they come in cute colors and are way cheaper.  I replaced the Gerber teats with Avent teats since the Gerber teats leak.  If you’re buying Avent teats in bulk, go to Way cheaper (only P260) as compared to the P375 per pack of two at the mall.


I like the Sassy Mam bottle because it’s so cute, except that it’s harder to clean.  Its bottom can be unscrewed and has an anti-colic valve for less bubbles.  Honestly, I don’t know if all the anti-colic features of these bottles work.


Then there’s really good news.  Maru and I dropped by SM San Lazaro earlier and saw these.


Sesame Street BPA-free bottles for only P130!  At cute pa.

I checked the entire baby bottle section of SM San Lazaro and noticed that Apruva and Barney have also come out with BPA-free bottles. Hurrah!  Apruva sells a pack of three for only about P130. Now nobody has to starve to buy BPA-free.  Apruva also came out with BPA-free training cups.


I’ll probably get my 6-month old niece some Apruva to start her with BPA-free bottles.  I think everyone should go BPA-free.  Our children’s health is way too important to take risks.

Now on to Maru, we saw this humongous Mickey Mouse stuffed toy at the toy section.  I thought he’d get scared but when he saw Mickey, his eyes lit up and hugged Mickey.


He really likes Mickey Mouse, as in he always recognizes him on wall posters, clothes, etc.  He has a small Mickey Mouse puppet at home which he loves very much.  So when I took the stuffed toy away (because it costs P1,999!), he cried.  Sorry Maru.


14 Aug

Penguin Malaysia recently came out with a series of print ads depicting the “unputdownable” nature of classic literature.




From The Inspiration Room.  The ads were by Saatchi and Saatchi Malaysia.

Cute di ba?  Reminds me how truly unputdownable Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations was.  How about you?  What’s your unputdownable classic novel?

If the Aquinos were Lasallians

10 Aug

Over lunch with a college friend, who’s developing a major crush on Cory’s apo Jiggy Cruz, our conversation drifted to: If the Aquinos were Lasallians, from what DLSU college would they come from? (Mukhang mga taga-La Salle lang ang makaka-gets nito since each La Salle college has a very distinct stereotype ng mga estudyante.)

Ballsy – College of Education. Very teacher ang dating. Organized.

Pinky – College of Business and Economics or LIA-COM.  Friendly and dating pero seryoso sa pag-aaral. Puwedeng estudyante ng Business Management, Marketing, or Legal Management.

Viel – College of Computer Science.  Tahimik, studious, at very Chinese ang features. (Marami kasing Chinese sa CCS)

Noynoy – College of Engineering. Bukod sa boy siya, grim ang dating niya. Parang laging aburido sa hirap ng exams.

Kris – Hands down College of Liberal Arts.

Jiggy Cruz – College of Science. Geeky na may social life.

Miguel Abelleda – College of Business and Economics.  Anak ng negosyanteng Chinese ang dating.

Maru da lakwatsero

26 Jul

Friday night, went to Greenbelt to meet some friends for a late dinner as a send-off/get-together for Boni, who goes back to Japan today.  Since I don’t have a Yaya yet, I brought Maru along with me.


Stuffed ourselves silly at National Sports Grill.  We all fell in love with their potato skins.  Maru loved it, too.  Me, on the other hand, loved this.  Is this good ole’ Alfredo?  I forgot to ask.


But as in any dinner event, Maru got bored eventually.  Tupe, my former editor in Plaridel (one of the official newspapers of La Salle), graciously treated Maru to Timezone.  Thank you, Tupe!


Saturday, Maru and I went with his Ninong Marlon and Tito Bong at Trinoma.  Again, my little boy went Timezoning – Ninong Marlon’s treat.  We rode the mini-ferris wheel and Maru was awfully quiet during the whole ride.  At parang ako ang enjoy na enjoy, haha!


I wonder if he got scared.


He also rode this swaying taxi ride.  He was very excited upon boarding, he couldn’t take his hands off the steering wheel.

maru taxi

But when the taxi started to move, natameme na siya.  Inantok din dahil para siyang pinaghe-hele.


Thank you dear friends for the treat.  Maru and I had a very wonderful time.

Burton’s Wonderland

23 Jun

Ang tagal pa nito, but the recent release of these photos is getting me all excited!  Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland is scheduled to have its theatrical release on March 5, 2010!  That’s just a couple of months before the Philippine elections, if there will be one!

Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter

Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter

Helena Bonham Carter as the Queen of Hearts

Helena Bonham Carter as the Queen of Hearts

Anna Hathaway as the White Queen

Anna Hathaway as the White Queen

Matt Lucas as both Tweedledee and Tweedledum

Matt Lucas as both Tweedledee and Tweedledum

Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland will not be a retelling of the Lewis Caroll novel, but instead will be a sequel where Alice is already a 17-year old teenage mother of two with drug issues.  No, I’m just kidding.

But really, Alice will be a 17-year old played by Mia Wofjskjfakljfakljafaflfal.  Ang hirap tandaan ng pangalan niya, day!

Mia Wasikowska

Mia Wasikowska

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland

She will run away from a bad marriage proposal and, following a white rabbit, return to the land she once visited.


mia wonderland

Typical Burton.  Looks promising, ano?

Pagmulat ng mata…

26 May

There’s a new children’s show coming this June that would hopefully be the “Batibot” for today’s generation of pre-schoolers.  It’s called Happy Land!, an educational program produced by GMA 7’s News and Public Affairs that aims to shape the viewpoints of children through inventive storytelling and inspire young viewers to discover happiness despite life’s difficulties.

Young stars Patricia Gayod and Jermaine Ulgasan topbill Happy Land together with Love Añover as the neighborhood’s Ms. Fix-it and Joy Viado as the children’s aunt.

Happy land2

Ang kaso, I think both Love Añover and Joy Viado are too loud to be the  “Ate” and “Tita” of the kids.  I have a feeling I’m going to miss Kuya Bodjie and Ate Sienna.


Anyway, Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point discussed how the Sesame Street, the concept of which was “adapted” by Batibot, became sticky enough for kids to remember and understand.


The most important thing that (Sesame Street pioneer Edward) Palmer ever found out with the Distracter (a machine used to test whether children were paying attention to what they were seeing), though, came at the very beginning, before Sesame Street was even on the air. “It was the summer of 1969 and we were month and a half from air date,” Gerald Lesser, a psychologist at Harvard University who was one of the show’s founders, remembers. “We decided, let’s go for broke. Let’s produce five full shows-one hour each-before we go to air and we’ll see what we got.” To test the shows, Palmer took them to Philadelphia, and over the third week of July showed them to groups of preschoolers in sixty different homes throughout the city. It was a difficult period. Philadelphia was in the midst of a heat wave, which made the children who were supposed to watch the show restless and inattentive. In the same week, as well, Apollo 11 landed on the moon, and some children–understandably–seemed to prefer that historic moment to Sesame Street . Worst of all were the conclusions from Palmer’s distracter. “What we found,” Lesser says, “almost destroyed us.”

The problem was that when the show was originally conceived the decision was made that all fantasy elements of the show be separated from the real elements. This was done at the insistence of many child psychologists, who felt that to mix fantasy and reality would be misleading to children. The Muppets, then, were only seen with other Muppets, and the scenes filmed on Sesame Street itself involved only real adults and children. What Palmer found out in Philadelphia, though, was that as soon as they switched to the street scenes, the kids lost all interest. “The street was supposed to be the glue,” Lesser said. “We would always come back to the street. It pulled the show together. But it was just adults doing things and talking about stuff and the kids weren’t interested. We were getting incredibly low attention levels. The kids were leaving the show. Levels would pop back up if the Muppets came back, but we couldn’t afford to keep losing them like that.” Lesser calls Palmer’s results a “turning point in the history of Sesame Street. We knew that if we kept the street that way, the show was going to die. Everything was happening so fast. We had the testing in the summer, and we were going on the air in the fall. We had to figure out what to do.”


Lesser decided to defy the opinion of his scientific advisers. “We decided to write a letter to all the other developmental psychologists and say, we know how you guys think about mixing fantasy and reality. But we’re going to do it anyway. If we don’t, we’ll be dead in the water.” So the producers went back and re-shot all of the street scenes. Jim Henson and his coworkers created puppets who could walk and talk with the adults of the show and could live along side them on the street. “That’s when Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch and Snuffalupagos were born,” said Palmer. What we now think of as the essence of Sesame Street –the artful blend of fluffy monsters and earnest adults–grew out of a desperate desire to be sticky.

Punta tayo

26 May

My brother, who’s quite a fan of Havaianas, sent me this info:


Havaianas makes a splash this summer with this year’s Make Your Own Havaianas (MYOH). With more straps, soles and pins to choose from, there are endless ways to personalize your flip-flops. The only limitation is your imagination.

This year’s MYOH goes POP ART with pin designs ranging from lomo cameras, vintage tellies, vibrant jeepneys and ice cream carts to other lifestyle frills. Let the colors and music of classic Pinoy culture and contemporary lifestyle fill your soul as your soles slip into your very own work of art.

May 28 – June 1, Rockwell Tent, Makati City

Hmm…I think I want to check it out.  Especially after some klepto stole my Cherry Havs while we were in a public pool.  I love it pa naman since it’s one of those hard to come by Havaianas.

Missing, size 41-42 (Yes, I have huge feet)

Missing, size 41-42 (Yes, I have huge feet)

Anyway, if you decided to go, read first the mechanics here.


15 May

Been back in Manila since Monday but haven’t done any follow up on my El Nido post.  Will do that later.  I’m writing just to ask you guys a favor:

Could you remind me again why I didn’t like X Men Origins: Wolverine?  Parang nakalimutan ko na eh.



Oh! Yeah! Right! It’s the Hagibis costumes.  And the screaming-one-last-aaaaaarrrrggggghhhhh when somebody dies.  And the all-too choreographed movements of the characters.  Plus all the other cliches found in the movie.

Saka sabi nga ni Mike, para siyang 300 na sinamahan ng Kung Fu Hustle.

Butt, erm…I mean, BUT anyway, I’ve always loved Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine.  ‘Wag lang kapag nagpo-pose siya nang ganito.

wolverine gay

Parang sasayaw ng “Careless Whisper” eh.