Dec 29, 2008

So How Was Your Christmas?

So how was your Christmas? Did you have a lavish noche buena? Were you able to complete the nine day (or early morning) simbang gabi? Did you get to attend all those parties, reunions and happenings? Did you get to visit your Ninongs and Ninangs? Yes, all of these are part of the long celebration of Pinoy Christmas.

Hope you all had a nice one, and lets all hope for a better one next year!

Merry belated Christmas to you all, and have a safe and happy new year!

Dec 23, 2008

How to Compute Your Witholding Tax for 2008

Do you know how to compute your withholding tax for 2008 given the recent BIR ruling? I made a spreadsheet to check my tax refund for the year so I was not surprised when my pay for this period comes out a little higher than usual. I also found this site which gives step by step instructions on how to compute your witholding tax very easily.

Enjoy your tax refund!
Or hope that your taxes are really working for you in this country!

Dec 22, 2008

Divisoria in December

Of course, you have been to Divisoria this December. With prices of everything going up and our meager salary staying the same, we troop to Divisoria in search of gift items for our inaanaks, parents, friends and loved ones. But how is Divisoria in December? It is a battle zone , I tell you. If you have been to Divisoria during May-June, in time for opening of classes, you can imagine the number of people there. Now, multiply that number by ten. Yes, thats how crazy Divi is this time of the year. But you can buy really cheap stuff, and get the most out of your money if you are wiling to brave the battlezone. When I saw the sign below, I had to take a picture. I only managed to take another one before my mother glared at me to put the phone inside before some somebody grab my phone!

Dec 16, 2008

Bibingka, Puto Bungbong and Simbang Gabi

Today is the start of the Simbang Gabi or the Misa de Gallo, the nine-day dawn masses that also marks our long celebration of the Christmas season. It is one of the most important Filipino Christmas tradition, the Novena to ask for special graces and to show faithful devotion. After the mass, it is always a treat to eat the delicacies being sold near the church, such as bibingka and puto bumbong.
Early this morning, my husband (he didn't go to mass since last night was my company's Christmas party and we went home late) went out to buy bibingkas, one special and another regular, and 2 puto bumbongs. I was so touched, since he knows they are my favorite, so I forgot to take photos before we started eating them. Siempre, when I remembered to take pictures, there was nothing left, except for the niyog! Anyway, here are yummy and nice photos from the Pinoycook.

Now, there is a small lifting of my post-Bohol holiday mood and I am slowly beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! There is really nothing like food to usher the holiday!

Dec 15, 2008

Unholiday Mood

Its 10 days before Christmas and I'm not yet in the mood. Christmas came early for me when we went to Bohol so I'm still suffering from post-holiday depression. Maybe, today's payday will lift my spirit though!

Also, have you noticed the kind of gifts you get from corporate clients this year? Its now almost the last week of work but I have only seen 2 desktop calendars so far. No umbrella yet. He he. Sure sign the economy is really bad.

Dec 10, 2008

What I Hate About Manny Pacquiao Winning...

... the biggest fight of his career, is the endless interview with his mother, Aling Dionisia. I am so sorry, but I either turn the TV off or switch to another channel whenever she is on. To tell the world that you are worried about the fight and proud of your son after his win is fine, but praying the rosary, complete with fainting spells and all her other antics, just grate on my nerves! Pramis, nakakainis na talaga!

Dec 2, 2008

The Blogger is in BOHOL!

We are off to Bohol for a week-long vacay, and I leave you to vote for this magnificent place to make it among the New 7 Wonders of the World!

Nov 28, 2008

Forward of All Forwards

From Me To You,

I want to thank all of you who have taken the time and trouble to send me your damn chain letters over the past few years. Yes, thank you, thank you,thank you from the bottom of what's left of my heart for making me feel safe, secure, blessed, and wealthy. Because of your concern...

  • I no longer can drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.
  • I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.
  • I no longer drink anything out of a can because I will get sick from the rat feces and urine.
  • I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.
  • I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.
  • I no longer use margarine because it's one molecule away from being plastic.
  • I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.
  • I no longer receive packages from UPS or FedEx since they are actually Al Qaeda in disguise.
  • I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a stupid number for which I will get the phone bill from hell with calls to Jamaica, Uganda, Singapore, and Uzbekistan.
  • I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me. Thanks to you, I have learned that God only answers my prayers if I forward an email to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes. (Geez, the BIBLE did not mention it works that way!)
  • I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl who is about to die in the hospital (for the 1,387,258th time).
  • I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive the £15,000 that Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program.
Yes, I want to thank all of you soooooooo much for looking out for me! I will now return the favor.

If you don't send this e-mail to at least 1200 people in the next 60 seconds, a large bird with diarrhea will crap on your head at 5:00 PM this afternoon and the fleas of a thousand camels will infest your armpits. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of my next door neighbour's ex-mother-in-law's 8th husband's 2nd cousin's 3rd husband's ex-wife's mother's beautician!

from our forwarded emails department, what else can we do but forward :-)

Nov 27, 2008

Manny Pacquiao Is Part Of My Vacation Plans

We are off to Bohol for a week-long family vacation. Since this a budget travel, I scoured the net for best deals on resorts and tours. I was lucky to find such deals that fit my budget. For the beach resorts, to save on money, I opt for a non-air conditioned room, since we are by the beach anyway and the resort also has a pool. My husband and I agreed on this. On our fourth night, we decided that we will move to a hotel in the city, and this is where Manny Pacquiao become a part of our vacation plans. See, my husband wants a room that has cable TV because the Pacquiao-Dela Hoya fight will be aired on December 7. Not that its difficult to find one. Its just that plans for that whole day would be confined to 1. going to mass and 2. swimming by the hotel's pool while my husband is holed up in the room, watching the fight. I told my husband that he can watch the fight once we get to Manila since it will be replayed for sure. Oh well, not that I am not rooting for Pacquiao, because I am. It's just that I was hoping to get the most out of this vacation and I don't want Pacquiao to be part of it.

Well, lets just see who wins. Me or my husband. He he.

photo from GMA News Tv's Dream Match

Nov 26, 2008

Blogging is Not Fun When Even Feeds Wont Run

My other blog, To Be, To Be. Tutubi is under major re-construction. See, my feeds wont work. I tried everything I know (mainly, emailing Jhay, he he) and still the feeds there still wont update (see link below!) I even deleted that post hoping that it will re-direct somewhere else. Anyway, I am hoping to do a major overhaul and delete and reinstall all my widgets and see what made the error. Hay, this is turning to be an eye-opener. I should learn something about html and not just rely on free templates and wysiwyg editors.

If you can help me, just comment below, PRETTY PLEASE!

Nov 25, 2008

Jhay's Online Logs

The blogosphere is a weird place. Sometimes, you are lucky to find nice blogs and behind it, even nicer people. One such blog is Jhay's Online Logs. With a blog like his, you would think that Jhay would be so busy and famous and won't have time to answer my er, stupid question. You see, I have zero knowledge about blogging, save for writing. I use free templates and copy and paste codes using blogger easy to use template. So when my feeds wont update, and desperate for clues, I emailed Jay! And surprise, surprise, he very kindly told me what to do. Pero since di nga ako marunong, my feed still doesn't work. I ping-ed and ping-ed,pero ayaw niya talaga mag-update. Sorry, Jhay!

If you want to help me, just leave a message here and give me a tutorial. Oh, the blog in question is To be, To Be. Tutubi. If you put me on your blogroll, you'll see it doesn't update.

Again, thanks Jhay for the help and more power to your blog!

Nov 21, 2008

Elsewhere In The Blogosphere

Sorry guys, I have been remiss in promoting your sites in my blog, so here is a little link-love! I found all these sites from PMT and I am green from envy because their designs and contents are sooo nice!

Money Making Sites Sources

Electro Magnetic Popcorn! C'Mon!

The Filipino Nurse

Jhay's Online Logs

Nov 17, 2008

I Want Hawot For Christmas!

Okay, to make things easier for you, here us what I want for Christmas!

Get your own shirt here!

Nov 14, 2008

Test Your Eyes

Weary from looking at your computer the whole day? Why don't you test your eyes?From our forwarded emails department:

Can you find the B (there are 2 B's)?


Once you've found the B

Find the 1


Once you found the 1..............

Find the 6


once you've found the 6...

Find the N (it's hard!!)


once you've found the N...

Find the Q.


Did you find it all?

Nov 10, 2008

My 35-Peso Body Bag

Meet my P35 body bag. I fell in love with it at first sight.
Bought the bag at Penniwise Trading located at the ground floor of Quadrillion Mansion, N. Domingo, San Juan. A very good find indeed.

Nov 6, 2008

Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton dies at age 66

Michael Crichton, author of Jurassic Park died November 4, after a courageous and private battle against cancer, news reports said. His book, The Andromeda Strain is the very first sci-fi I have read when I was in high school. I still have the book with me, yellowish though the pages have become. I also like his book The Rising Sun.

Nov 5, 2008

US elections and back office chatter

We at the office were closely monitoring the results of the US presidential elections. And a little after 12nn, the US had its first African-American president, Barack Obama. As with usual office chatter, imaginations turned wild and comments became wistful, hopeful and sometimes hateful:
  • what if we were a US state, how many electoral votes would we have? How long before they know the results of the election from here? Paano ang dagdag-bawas? Fiesta athmosphere pa din kaya?
  • what if something bad happens to Obama between now and January 20 when he will be sworn to office? Who will take his place, his vice-Joe Biden or the 2nd runner up? Parang Ms Universe no? The role of the runner up is very important. If anything should happen to the crowned Ms Universe...
  • our Comelec officials were closely monitoring the US elections. Some I think are even abroad to observe. Tapos pagbalik naman dito, ano mangyayari? Sa palagay nyo ba e magiging computerized pa ang voting sa Pilipinas? Paano? E lahat ng nasa puwesto e umaasa na puede silang makapandaya so sino ang magpupush ng computerization?
  • ang galing no, election kanina pag pasok mo sa office, pag lunch break mo may presidente na. Sa atin isang buwan pa bago mo malaman. At minsan, panalo ka na, pagdatingng boto galing Mindanao, biglang lamang ng more than 1 million votes.
  • pati yung mga madre at pari dito sa atin , binidindisyunan pa ang mga ballot boxes. At saka ang atmosphere, parang fiesta.
  • hay, kailan pa kaya tayo makakarinig ng presidential candidate sa atin na nagconcede? Dito kasi, lahat ng natalo, nadaya. Well, they should know, gawain nila yun e.
It was nice to be part of an unfolding history, even only from TV and internet. And as we continue to chat about what the result of Barack Obama's victory would mean for us Filipinos here and abroad, we also continue to wish na sana, magkaroon tayo ng leader na mahihiya na sa buong mundo, and would usher na the modernization of our own electoral process.

Nov 3, 2008

Western Union Gold Card

I was at the Western Union branch in Galleria during lunch today to send money to my boss' friend and saw that they were giving away this FREE Western Union Gold Card (just fill up the form). I have read in various forums that Adsense also pays thru Western Union and this card will surely make it easy to get your earnings. I'm sure next year I will reach my first USD100.00 and I will be able to use my Western Union Gold Card. I can wish!
Anyway, aside from being able to get adsense earnings, the gold card also offers various discounts to these establishments (minimum purchase required):
Abenson-P500 off
Abenson-Homeplus-10% off
Barbie & Kids Depot-10%
DHL Express-Free DHL stuff toy
Electroworld-Free USB Flash Drive
George Optical-Free Eye check-up, free multicolored lens (min. purchase req.) , 5% discount on lenses
Goldilocks-Free sandwich bread
Greenwich-Free Greenwich Double Ham and Cheese Pizza
HBC-Free gift
Informatics-P300 off
Timezone-Plus P40 for every P160 purchase
Waltermart Supermarket-P50 cash voucher
Waltermart Shopping mall-Free 3 hours parking
Discounts and gifts are also available at A-1 Driving school, Center for Pop Music Phils, David's Salon, Friendly Care Clinic, Kodak, Mr Quickie and Extreme Magic Sing.
So, what are you waiting for? Go to your nearest Western Union branch and get your own Western Union Gold Card today!

Oct 31, 2008

Imbestigador Ruined My Breakfast

Did you get to watch the Imbestigador ads during Unang Hirit this morning? Ewwwwwwwww! I was having breakfast and after seeing the dead man's face with uod, I threw up a little in my mouth! Could'nt get another bite. During lunch today, while eating my fried tilapia, I kept seeing picture of the uod in my head. Good thing, I had somebody to talk to, which kept me busy and kept my imagination from running wild and kept me from seeing uod in my tilapia. Yes, it will probably ruin my dinner also.

Again, are they allowed to show such scenes on TV? Imbestigador will feature funeral parlors , their costs, their rackets and all in time for this Halloween celebration. Pero goshes, utang na loob! Wag naman ipakita sa TV habang may kumakain. During 24 ORAS, whenever a sensitive item will be shown, Mel Tiangco or Mike Enriquez would make pasintabi. At least, prepared ka. But this morning talaga, I swear, KAKADIRI! You might think na umaarte lang ako, pero sige nga, ikaw nga imaginin mo to: mukha ng patay na lalaki, with the wife na nagrereklamo sa quality ng pagkaka-prosess sa patay, then makita mo nga yung mukha ng patay na may uod!

Eww, even while writing this, kinikilabutan pa din ako.

Oct 29, 2008

Masamang Gising

Wala ka pang ginagawa sa umaga kundi idilat ang mga mata, napi-feel mo na agad na today is not going to be one of your better days. Then you turn the tv on and you would hear news about Joc-Joc Bolante and the circus that his arrival has created. Then you hear Raul Gonzales and his disinterest in pursuing the case against Bolante and you would wonder why you even bothered getting out of bed. How may more punches can we Filipinos take before we rise against the rampant corruption in our country? Kaso, hearing Loren Legarda in her campaign ads makes me nauseous e. I mean, she has the power to do something about this, pero ano na ba ang nagawa niya. Hay. Puro lip service. For all our sakes, sana makinig siBolante kay Lozada. Para may managot naman.

Kapagod. Kainis. Kabuwisit.

Magtrabaho ka ng maayos, hindi ka umasenso. Tapos yung mga nangungurakot, malaya. Hay buhay! Ang sama ng gising!

Oct 20, 2008

Loco over LaLola

My household is now loco over the newest Kapuso Show, La Lola. Its a local version of the same show from Argentina where Lalo becomes Lola (you get the idea?). Its been airing for a week now and I have watched maybe 3 minutes of the the whole show, only looking up from re-reading the book, Assasini (mala Da Vinci Code) . It think its funny, judging from the giggles I keep hearing and the violent reaction I am getting from my mother whenever I tell them to shut the tv off. Kainis lang, na it started when its Drexelle's and Danniels exam the following week. Me, I lost any real interest when that DOM-personified, Eddie Garcia told Lalo about the the 3F (F nga ba or is it L?) on dealing with girls. I cant remember what those three things na nga are anyway.
I like JC De Vera, Iza Calzado (I like her!) and Rhian Ramos. They are nice to look at and Keempee de Leon is funny but, he sometimes try too hard.
Oh well, I will let you know once this show captures my attention like it did Encantadia before.

Cristy Fermin Deserves Her Suspension

I saw that episode of The Buzz where Buy Abunda made Cisty Fermin answer line by line Nadia Montenegro's accusations. I dont know what made me sit there and watch (I am Proudly Kapuso, not that I watch all their shows but if it was a choice between the two, well, then channel 7 or patayin na lang TV and lets read a book; but they were on a commercial break and I was channel surfing and I have no more book to read) her made those statements and the whole time I was cringing while being -1. sorry for Boy Abunda (can they really make him do this?) 2. sorry for Nadia Montenegro (whether the accusations were true or not, I pity her and her family for havong been subjected to this trash) 3. sorry for Cristy Fermin (whatever made her become a sad, bad person?) and 4. sorry for myself and the whole Philippine TV viewers for having to bear these kind of shows. It was a sad, sad day for Phil TV really.
Now the latest news is that ABS-CBN finally suspended her contract. Prior to this, there were already bloggers calling for sanctions to that very irresponsible and malicious interview.
Hay, napakagulo talaga ng showbiz. I don't usually watch shows like this. I prefer to just read or if walang choice, just watch cartoons, travel or cooking shows and it was indeed a rare occurence for me to watch that whole interview without flipping channels. The whole time, I was like, is this for real? Can she really say these things on TV? Is it true? Why is Boy Abunda still there? Hindi ba siya nahihiya sa mga itinatanong nya at sa mga isinasagot ni Cristy Fermin? That very irresponsible. She has no right to cast those malicious remarks about Nadia's children. It was sad that it took her station two weeks to suspend her pero better late than later (ang MTRCB kaya?).

Oct 15, 2008

Napansin Nyo Ba: Ukay Ukay is Killing the Local Garment Industry

This was the topic this morning in Unang Hirit's Napansin Nyo Ba Segment by Pareng Oscar Orbos. And yes indeed, I personally believe that Ukay Ukay is killing the local garment industry. There are certain economics behind this but for me the simplest explanation is that of practicality. When people have money, they can afford to buy more pricey garments. However, in these times of economic turmoil, pragmatism calls for looking for alternative means of stretching the budget to meet the needs of our family. The budget or the income is fixed, but the needs varies. Woe to the mother whose job is pagkasyahin ang kakaramput na budget! Though I am very sorry to hear that the garments industry is receiving a beating, the government should indeed work to give more incentives to them to make them more competitive in this market.

So yes, I still love ukay ukay.

Oct 10, 2008

What is Ukay Ukay?

To the uninitiated, Ukay ukay are second hand items, pre-loved or hand-me-downs or, well, you get the general idea. The word I think comes from halukay which literally means to dig in or to scavenge from a pile.

From the
online tagalog-english dictionary: hal´ukay maghalukay, haluk´ayin (mag-:-in) v. to dig, to turn over and back either in search of something or to mix well. Hinalukay ni Maria ang aking mga kagamitan. Maria rummaged through my things.

There are a lot of reports/studies/articles in the net that seeks to explain Pinoy's fascination to all things okay and here are two of the most useful links:

Ukay Ukay by Dr Jaime S. Ong

First class finds from second-hand closets by Dinna Chan Vasquez

Sep 22, 2008

How to Go to Divisoria

Okay, so 2 people asked me directions on how to go to Divisoria. :-) So here goes:
From SM Megamall (you dont know where SM Megamall is?), take an FX going to Quiapo.
Get off in Mendiola then take a jeep going to Divisoria.
From Rizal, Cainta, Antipolo? Take the GLiner or RRCG bus going to Quiapo and again get off in Mendiola and tale a jeep to Divisoria. Or from Cubao, there are jeepney going straight there. For other places, just flag down a taxi and tell them to bring you to Divisoria!
Divisoria for me starts at the corner of Recto and Reina Regente or Abad Santos. Start walking from there and you will already see great buys like export overruns that sells for as low as P15! On your right would be the Tutuban mall and on your left, on the first street to the left would be the 168 mall. Further along, you will see Ylaya street, for those wedding gowns and wedding souvenir items. I personally like the old Divisoria mall, which is exactly like the new 168 Mall. On the street near it in front of Security Bank is an old building where only toys are sold. Yes, toys! If you are planning a birthday party for your kids, this is the best place to go to buy those loot bags, prizes, pabitin, pinata etc.
So, happy shopping!

Divisoria:Ukay Ukay Heaven

When Divisoria is mentioned, what images come to mind? Yes, shoes, dresses, great finds, lots of people, snatchers, give-aways, wedding dresses, toys and a lot more! Whatever you need, you will surely find it in Divisoria. That is why Divisoria is the Ukay Ukay Heaven!
I was in Divisoria last Saturday to buy toy prizes for my godson's 7th birthday party. (Sorry, I wasnt able to get any pictures since I didnt bring my phone with me). And I was again really overwhelmed. My last visit there was in May to buy school stuff for my kids. It was crazy then, and it was crazy again this time. There were already lots of people shopping for their christmas decors!
Here are some of my tips when doing your shopping in Divisoria:
  • Make a list. Of things you will buy and how much your budget is. And stick to it! Believe me, this is the easiest tip to give and the hardest to follow. See, even if you budget only 300 pesos for a shoes, you will be sorely tempted to get that next pair! And even if items are not on your list, once you see that cute hair accessories for 5 pesos only, yes 5 pesos, you wont be able to resist. And later on, your small buys will add up and eat up you budget.
  • Dress comfortably. Divisoria is jampacked with people. Even inside its airconditioned malls, you will have to tough it out with the crowd so better be dressed for battle. Especially, wear very comfortable shoes or slippers. Believe me.
  • Bring a small body bag for your money and a big shopping bag for your buys. You must secure your money and cellphone (if you really have to bring it!). Divisoria is also known for snatchers and pickpockets! Also, you dont want to be burdened by plastic bags for all items you bought so bring a big shopping bag where you can stuff them all. Preferably, a bag with zipper so your items are safe. There are kids selling plastic bags but sometimes they are pricey.
  • Dont get over-excited. You saw cute slippers for only 50 pesos so you bought a pair. Only to see that further along the road, the same slippers were being sold for only 25 pesos. Yes, sad indeed. However, don't take too long to decide. By hoping to see slippers being sold for 20 bucks, you may end up not buying anything at all or worse, having to go back and look for them all over again.
  • Learn from your mistakes. Ha ha, so you bought that for 50 pesos when you can have it for 20? So the sukli of the Manong is kulang? So you had blisters on your feet? Or worse, you lost your cellphone? These things could happen, so be sure to avoid them and if it inevitably happens, just learn from them.

These are just some practical tips that you may or may not follow. Some people I know go to Divisoria just to enjoy watching people. Some go there with no idea what to buy and end up lugging huge plastic bags of stuff they dont know what to do with anyway. You can't resist Divisoria, I am telling you.


Sep 19, 2008

Why, Oh Why, Oh Okay Ukay?


I do! Sometimes, we want to have that shirt or that dress or that short or that bag or that shoes (or sometimes even accessories) but the budget is tight. So what do we do, where do we go? Ukay!!! We all want to look good just like the next girl and I will share with you my some good finds and bad finds and Ukay shops where you can get your Fashionista gear in high spirit!