Looking at the recent photos I took of me (yes, selfies ahermm..) and with my kids, I suddenly felt an emotion I can't explain. It was like being transported into another time, and the past flashed in my mind. I took time to be alone, and reflected on the recent activities that I have been on.

I have been feeling edgy the past week, because there are certain issues that I can't seem to face and I still cannot come to terms with it. And when there's something bothering me, I can sometimes appear "bitchy" to those who don't know me.And that's because there are so many things in my mind that needs sorting out. I think, it's normal for a woman to feel that way especially when it's the time of the month. And it takes an extraordinary man to understand our moods. :)

I realized that almost all my pictures have me with my teeth sticking out, meaning, I'm smiling, I'm happy. Flashback two years ago, I could barely smile. Even before my life-changing moments, I was unhappy and I realized it only when I was already at the brink of losing my sanity.

I could not really explain why I was unhappy. I always blame it on depression. You see, the things I have now, are the same things I had before. And I should have been happier before because there was a man who "loved" me. But I guess the relationship was the thing that was making me unhappy. I felt like I was trapped, had nowhere to go. Or maybe there was really nothing wrong with the relationship, but the persons in the relationship. Or most probably, it was really me and my bouts of depression that was pulling people away from me.

Last Friday, at our prayer meeting, I was blessed to hear a friend's story about how she also at some point in her life, suffered severe depression, also took anti-depressants, much like what I was prescribed before. I never thought that there would be one more person who suffered the same things as I did in battling depression. And as I have always said it before and will say it again, you will never understand depression if you've never been to that place.

As I was looking through my old photos, I saw the very photo that always reminded me of what it was like to be in the dark, and inspire me to continually make myself happy simply because I don't wanna go back to that place again. It's not a pretty sight, and it is a very,very dark place.

Left: Me in the hospital and how I looked like waking up after almost 2 days from the effects of overdosage from
the sleeping pills I took, after the doctors pumped charcoal into my system to flush the toxins.
Right: My latest photo with my signature grin, an affirmation that I am now learning to enjoy life.

I confess,there are times that I feel like I am one step closer to becoming depressed once more. I know it and can see the signs as early as from the moment I wake up in the morning. There would be mornings that I would feel melancholic, but I try my best to fight it off. Good thing I have work to shift my attention to.

Clinically, my doctors have not really cleared me from depression, because I also have not gone back to see any of them after my last psychological assessment on my capability of taking care of my children and for trauma to domestic violence. But it is my personal choice to stop seeing psychiatrists and to stop from taking any medication. I realized that I cannot put my children at risk for the side effects of the medications will have on me.

My biggest suicide attempt was a side effect of abruptly stopping anti-depressants. When I learned from my OB-Gyne that I was pregnant, he immediately ordered me to stop taking the medicines for the baby's sake. But I knew of the effects, so i wanted to consult first my psychiatrist for recommendations to my OB.There must be another way to not compromise any lives, mine or the baby's. But unfortunately, she was one of those doctors who does not give their numbers to their patients but the secretary's only. And I was informed that she was out of the country.

I have to choose to sacrifice one, and I chose mine and so I stopped the medication for the sake of the baby's development. At that time, it was what I thought was the sanest thing to do. My OB-Gyne was already insisting that I stop.Of course, he doesn't know how I seriously needed the medications at that time. Barely a week after I stop taking the medicines, it happened. I cannot really recall everything that happened because sometimes, my mind has a way of shutting down painful memories as a defense mechanism.But that's how it happened.

Depression attacks the mind.As long as you do not take control of your thoughts, it is very likely that these negative thoughts will try to poison your thoughts and slowly eat up your whole being. But science has a different take on depression, saying that it is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. If you keep believing that that's just what it is, then it is. But I chose to think differently now and I am positive that eventually, I will be able to control it without medication.

I thought that if I change my mindset, and be more spiritual, then I will be able to overcome this condition.Which in so many ways true. I am lucky to have been called to the Light of Jesus. Under Bo. Sanchez's leadership and simple talks, I was able to rediscover the beautiful person that I am simply because I am God's own.  I have learned to love myself and that there is always somebody who loves me unconditionally.

Depression is most of the time feeling worthless and unworthy and looking at yourself so low. In my opinion, once you change your mindset and know that someone needs you and someone loves you, then that is one step closer to being free from the condition.

Now, I always try to think of my children at all times especially when I feel so low in the morning. I would always say a prayer that all these negative thoughts be gone.

Thought for the day:

We may always think that we have total control of our lives. But sometimes, life throw a surprise at us and our characters would be put to the test. When you think that you are slowly losing grip, there is still someone up there whom we can call upon to take charge of our lives.

Photo: youthvector.com

I think I'm in love again! (ooh,how I wish!)

Is it alright to say that I think I am falling in love again?

Or does the word still exist in the vocabulary of women like me?

I am 30+ years old, separated from a partner of four years for just a couple of years, with 4 kids. Well, 3 kids because the other one isn't a kid anymore and is not living with me. So, is falling in love with someone still possible ? Or the reason for having a partner is only about companionship, having someone with you to grow old with, not necessarily in love with each other, but good enough partner that will stick with you until your last days.

I am a hopeless romantic, and an idealistic one too. I give credit to these two the reasons why I can't seem to find happiness from my previous partners. I have had two relationships, one that almost brought me to the altar. Maybe because of the expectations I have for the relationship also, but more on not really knowing what I want out of life that got  me confused all the time including my relationships.

I am still open to the possibility or thought of getting married someday although I always try to deny it every time that question is brought up. I am not worried about that because I know my kids would understand eventually. What I am worried though is that I might get my heart broken again.And so sometimes,I try to deny myself from feeling special feelings to certain men that I met lately after the separation. But there are feelings that just won't go away and the more you suppress it, the more intense it becomes.Just so very much alike to what I am feeling right now.  The last time I felt this alive was when I met my last relationship. You know the usual stuff, butterflies in your stomach, or the silly grin on your face after reading his messages either from emails or texts. Is this still even normal for a woman my age?

My goodness, I am a very sensible woman but sometimes when emotions overpower my logic, then that's were the problems begin. But I have learned from my past mistakes not to expect too much so it won't hurt that much when I finally realized that I'm just chasing after a hopeless dream.

And speaking of dreams, I had once dreamed of a man where  he kissed me on the left cheek and said "I love you". I don't know what the dream meant, but it sure did made me feel good the whole day if not the whole week just thinking about it. What do you think it meant? Well, whatever it meant, I don't really care. One thing's sure though, it made me feel good about myself. See, the last time I had that kind of dream was before I had my first child, college.

I don't know which one I am more afraid of happening, if someone eventually tells me everything I wanted to hear, or if I realized he is better off with someone else with less complications in life. Either way, it's going to need a lot of soul searching for me, whether to let my heart rule over my head or remain with being reasonable.

Just need to take it slow.No need to hurry. :)

As I continue my quest to perfecting the art of cooking, I started another blog which initially was supposed to  be private until I find the right time to "launch" it. But, as usual, I got so excited I can't wait to tell the world about it. I call that blog Pots and Pans and will basically be only about my experiences, good or bad in cooking. Coincidentally,  I watched an old Stephen Chow movie called God of Cookery, again shared to me by a friend. Thank God I was able to write the post about cooking earlier or else this movie would have influenced or change my mind about cooking! :)

Anyways, the first blog post in Pots and Pans is to try Apple and Bees Lemon and Pepper Chicken Breast. The next post is about the result of the challenge which I must say was a bit different from the original recipe because I have to improvise. I had some problems gathering the complete set of ingredients. I decided on short notice, so I didn't really got to prepare for everything. But I was determined to push myself to the limits.
After a bit of improvisation and using whatever I could find in my kitchen, I had my own version of it and I called it Pan-Grilled Lemon Chicken in Pepper and Basil.

I just have to ask this: if I jumble the titles of these recipes, will it still be the same dish or will it be a totally different new dish? Clueless me.

I really think that I need to learn more, read more about cooking if I wanna perfect the art. God heard this soft silent prayer I had, which leads to the other reason why I started a cooking or food blog. After months of praying, almost abandoning the possibility of a cooking show, somebody called out of the blue and was more than willing to sponsor the proposed cooking show.Someone is willing to sponsor a cooking show for 8tv and I am lucky to have a part in it. What's even better is that being a part of the show, I will be learning techniques from the chef himself. I can't really discuss all the details at the moment as everything is still under negotiations and I pray to God that this push through.If it does, then it's going to be another dream come true for me.:) Ain't God the greatest?

Thought for today:

Mastering life is a lot like mastering the art of cooking. We need the ingredients that complement each other and we leave the ones that don't. Sometimes we make mistakes, missed an ingredient, or put on too much of everything. What's important is that you never stop trying until you finally get that one ingredient that will give your recipe that certain "oomph". Creating balance is the key to mastering the art of living.

God is great. He knows the deepest desires of our hearts. He can hear even the softest prayer. He gives everything we could ever wish in this world, if we just trust in Him and surrender to His will.

Check out www.allaboutevenetwork.org for more women stuff.

I've always wanted to write a book, but I don't know how and where to start. Finally, I have an idea. Tailored to Eat, Pray, Love, I would like to write my book how life was for me, in the past and in the present and how I would like to see myself in the future. To make it simple, writing it in a form of blogposts would be much easier for me to do, since blogging do not give me the same pressure as writing a book. Blogging is always spontaneous. And so, I would like to retain the same title and this blog would serve as the manuscript for my book.

I know that I may not be famous, or people may not even know that such a book exist, but I'm gonna have to give it a shot. It's now or never.



Finally, after hours of sitting idly and letting my mind wander with nothingness, I finally got something to write for the song I am supposed to do within a week. I am not sure though if I can still get it done till April 25 for the deadline. I was tossing and turning last night thinking and searching for inspiration. Somehow, this is one of those very rare moments that caffeine don't work.

And then around midday, it hit me. In between translating Russian song verses, I was writing my own song too. The Russian song was about love, dark chocolate and sweet tea (which happens to be my favorite things, not particularly in the same order) so I thought, why not write something about love too? I mean, love is universal, and it's the easiest thing to write because at some point in my life, I fell in love , not just once, but many times. :) And I know that it is something everyone can relate to.

The next problem was trying to get the beat done. I may need some help from friends with this, since it may take me forever to have it done since I am on a deadline. But at the very least, I was able to complete the lyrics and the melody of the song. You won't believe what I was doing during the time the title popped into my head. Unexpected ideas comes from unexpected places. The idea may be generic, but the process of where the idea was born is often the selling point for some artistic creations.

I may not be the world's greatest songwriter, but I am proud of this. As soon as I get the music done, I'm sharing it so the lyrics will be appreciated. The title really doesn't say much about the lyrics. :)

Colours of Love

I never thought I could be this way
My life has never been the same
I thought that life would be forever blue
Until the day that I found you.

I think of all the things that I’ve been through
The countless tears I shed you never know
And then you came into my life
And took me out from the rain.

Coz you bring back the laughter into my life
Promise of a happy ever after
'Coz you brought the sun to shine into my life
To keep me warm all through the night.

'Coz you bring back the laughter into my life
Promise of a happy ever after
And you brought the sun to shine into my life
To show me all the colours of love

I never thought that I could change
The frown I used to wear seemed to disappear
You taught me how to live my life again
And make all my dreams come true
Repeat Chorus

And when you came into my life
Never too early, never too late
Just right in time , oh just right in time (2x)

To show me all the colours of love
To show me all the colours of love.

Thought for today:

No matter how others think it is  impossible for you to do something, just do it and you'd be surprised at the wonderful things you can do.

Please don't laugh. If you want to listen to how it sounds, click here. Okay you can laugh. I was laughing at it too anyway. :)

Because I love movies, I will practically watch something that a friend would recommend and tell me that it is a nice movie, in any language, as long as there are subtitles to it, language barrier solved.

I recently watched a Russian movie, on YouTube. Just because I need to watch it so I would be able to understand more the Russian translations I am currently doing as part of my work. And maybe learn Russian along the way. 

The movie is called The Irony of Fate,  a very nice classic romantic comedy movie, set in old Russia. Being a fan of romantic comedy films, I loved it. I think this is where my other favorite American films like Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, Serendipity were patterned after. These kind of movies are loved because it's something that makes you feel good after watching it. And it is about love and romance, the universal language.   

Purely Russian without a hint of English words , unlike Philippine films that would be almost 50 percent English and 50 percent Filipino, I found it amusing and even developed a liking to the language. But it's different when you understand the language because sometimes the subtitles can mislead the whole essence of the movie. I remember watching a movie in Taiwan, I was surprised the Taiwanese were already laughing yet the dialogue spoken in English wasn't funny. And me and my companion were like, "what the...?"  :) And it's hard concentrating on the movie while reading the subtitles. 

It's also a good thing that Filipino humor is almost the same kind of humor Russian films have, so I was able to ride on with the exchange of funny dialogues and even the irony of it all. I just can't seem to understand "black humor'.

The movie gave me a different perspective on how I see Russian as a language. It's different when you see it written , which looks complicated, from hearing the words. Especially when the woman (Nadya) was speaking it, it's like a song. She has a very feminine voice and I love how she delivers the lines. I like hearing how the "r" is pronounced, how the r's are rolled.  I like the dialogues. Well, they were translated to English. I don't really understand the language, but there are words that are becoming familiar now like no, not, dear one ( the one in the songs). 

I particularly loved the lines like..."I'm a surgeon, I'm supposed to make people hurt so they can feel better.." that sort of thing. And how he said he once proposed to a girl but then the thought of her living in his house kept flashing before his eyes, on and off.., it just made me laugh so hard..Commitment issues, I can totally relate. 

The plot is also great, and that's why many people loved this movie. But it has a political undertone to it. It was some sort of a " subtle attack" to their government at that time about constructing the buildings with the same designs up to the littlest details like the doorknobs and having the same street names and villages in every city. That would only be the probable reason why a drunk man can think he is in his own house while in reality he was thousand of miles away from his real home, with a little help from fate of course.

The story is about a shy surgeon Zhenya, in his late 30's, obviously with commitment issues and has a fear of proposing marriage, as with every man I know. Finally, he gets to propose and was engaged to be married on New Years Day. But in a sudden twist of fate, after going to his high school friend's ceremonial bath ( in Russia it is their culture that men go to bath houses as a form of socializing, more of like a "sauna bath" here in the Philippines.) And so after a series of toasts for the shyest guy and his bride, they had more than enough drink and they all got drunk. Being drunk and all, his friends forgot which one of them were supposed to go to Leningrad the next day and got him on the plane instead. Because the landscape and the streets were exactly the same in Moscow where he lived and in Leningrad , he thought that he was still in Moscow. A girl named Nadya lives in the exact same address as he had. 

Initially, the two had a certain animosity towards each other which eventually changed when they get to know each other more. Since he had nowhere else to go to before his flight back to Moscow, they were stuck with each other. Because their respective partners, Nadya has a boyfriend named Ippolit, and Zhenya's bride-to-be, Galya do not understand and believe what really happened, both ended up losing their partners. Amid all the confusion, they decided to part ways. And that's when Nadya realized that she has to go to Moscow to follow her heart's desire. After all they share the same address.

I used to believe that fate was the one responsible for where and what we become in life. But then as I mature, I sometimes would argue with that and say that we are the ones responsible for what we become in life and fate is the outcome of those decisions. But to make life less complicated, so I can focus on the more important things in life, I leave something for fate to work on like finding my life partner. :) 

That or signing up to Match.com. :)

Moral lesson- Vodka, beer and chocolates on an empty stomach don't mix well. It's a lethal combination. :):) I've had my own share of bloopers with vodka and after that incident, I never drank one sip of it. Ever.

Words to ponder on:

The opportunity to find love is ever present. How soon or how late we find it depends on our willingness to go beyond our limits. More importantly, as Aileen Santos, relationship coach said, " Yes God wants the best for your love life, but you have to want it for yourself too. Want it enough to actively take the risks,make the journey and grow into the person ready for love."

So, are you ready for love?

You can watch the movie here: 
Enjoy the movie and have a good laugh!

Embedding is disabled so I can't embed it here.

Ирония судьбы или С легким паром 2 серия Irony of Life Part 2

Photos from : kinobuff.com

Current State of My Mind

Bloggers, can you really post so much blog in a day? Or is it just me? I feel like I am in a manic state right now as I feel I have the need to write or blog all these things that are in my mind. I can't really concentrate much with work because all these ideas seem to pop in my mind all the time. I need to put them put them into writing because otherwise, I won't get any sleep.

I wanted to write a book, but then when I started to think of the first sentence, I get writer's block. You can't really write a book with scattered ideas, can you? That's why I love blogging because I can write one topic and then another different one in a different post. If I have enough posts,then I might just think about making a compilation of my posts and turn it into an ebook. 

On the other hand, this is better than having a "ranting or nagging" spree. :)

Back to my previous post, The Ironies of Life, I actually wanted to write a separate post about that because, if you have read it, I talked about how I felt guilty of being "trigger-happy" in committing suicide in the past. Yes, you can call me crazy now. I am past that stage. If you call me crazy at that time, I may have poked your eye. I was such a war-freak.

I thought that it was at last the end of my love-affair with suicide. I was wrong, it was just the beginning. After that post in 2008, there was a series of episodes wherein I really wanted to die, up until 2009 where I thought I got my wish come true. I was rushed to the hospital for overdose on sleeping pills. Those were prescribed to me by the way, but I felt I needed more so I won't wake up anymore. Until 2012 where I was placed in a situation that I need to survive for the sake of my children who needed me.

I posted another about how ashamed I was of always wanting to die when other people were struggling and fighting to survive. I wrote about it in Farewell to May , my way of saying goodbye to a cousin who succumbed to leukemia. And that's when I realized how selfish I had been.

I was surprised to know that I was able to blog about nonsense in the past, much of like this particular one. Maybe again due to my manic state of mind. 

Here are some of the posts I wrote. Feel free to read through them and see if it teaches you a valuable lesson in life.:)

Facebook Me- yes, I did my own review of the movie. Hahaha! That was in 2010. Fast forward 2 years after, I actually know one person who was personally involved in the movie. Shh..he doesn't know I know, but he hired me as a researcher, so these things would eventually pop up in Google.

Bet Your Life- this is crazy! This is a post about how people  and how much money  people are betting on Manny Pacquiao.

Pacman's Fight: From a Woman's Point of View- eeek! What was I thinking ? Read for yourself!

Moody Me- this one's my favorite because I got responses from people who could relate to me at that time. 

I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing. I talk too much, but I write more.

I am presently doing a project translating Russian to English as a part of my job. Transliterating actually because what I do is to literally translate word by word. I am done with translating very simple Russian songs, and now, fiction. I googled it, and it's a Russian romantic comedy television film. I've not really looked at the whole script because I am still on the first couple of parts, but I have already a bird's eye view of the plot. It's a very light story about two people accidentally falling in love in a twist of fate which ended in a happy ending.

Speaking of ironies, I suddenly remembered that I have once blogged about the ironies of life, mine particularly. And I started looking for it. I realized I have written so much post in different blog sites before and it was because I forgot the password/username combinations, and that's why I would start a new one again. Or maybe during that time I was in my manic state..Just like where I am right now. I am presently in a manic state of writing. All these ideas coming in to me at once, sometimes it is difficult to keep up. ( I'm not admitting I am bipolar :))

Finally, I saw that blog and it was published in typepad account, previously Vox.com. I was surprised to see that I have been blogging since 2008. And that was when Friendster started the blog in social networking sites. I have one post, and that is called How Ironic Could Life Be which I reposted in my typepad account.

And so, I also found out that I have actually 12 blogs in Blogspot, 2 in Wordpress.com and 2 in Typepad. I wanted to preserve my posts in those sites because the posts were very much important to help people reading my blogs now understand where I am coming from. And so I imported all the posts and made another blog in my paid Wordpress account. And I called it A Day in the Life of Anne, The Untold Stories because some of the posts, if not most of the posts were things that no one in my present roster of friends have read it. And the comments that I got back then were from people in the blog community that I never got to meet or have met before. So those posts and encouragements are very important to me and how I was able to manage through my darkest moments.

So here is an excerpt of How Ironic Could Life Be and if you want to read through the whole post, you can do so by clicking the link.

"Years ago, i was so depressed that i have contemplated suicide each time i got a big problem. I was such a diva that i thought every thing that happens to me was catalogued out of an episode of a soap opera.Funny how i would always stretch every issue and think that things are worse.I needed drama in my life.I was such a pessimist.Thank God i’ve overcome that phase in life.
Waking up with a numbness on your body changes the way we see life. Four days ago, i woke up with a numbness on my right face, and a pain in my arm going all the way down to my leg. The first thought i had was i may be having a stroke.Thanks to all the forwarded emails on how to determine a stroke or an attack. I remember massaging my face and trying to smile. Yes, i could still smile.So the idea of a mild stroke was out."
Feel free to read also some of my other posts. You just might stumble into some very important lessons in life.

Marriage, living together or any form of union between two different personalities need a lot of hard work to make it a successful one.  But unfortunately, real life stories do not always end with a happily ever after. Some women will be forced to face the harsh realities that they may have to bear like being abused. Can anybody really tell in advance if your prince charming would turn out to be the devil in disguise?

And then all of a sudden, the dreams you shared with your prince charming pre-marriage are shattering before your very eyes. It turns out that he was a wolf in sheep's clothing and everything changed to the worst situation you've ever been.

A lot of abused women do not have the courage to stand up and fight for their rights, mostly because of fear. Another reason would be because they really do not know what to do. Educating women about their rights, most especially in the rural areas, would help a lot in preventing more abuse. Knowing what to do in situations like this would mean that there would be less crimes women commit to defend themselves.

One time while I was at the community center or barangay, during the process of trying to fight for the rights of my kids, I was able to witness how, women in their confusion would opt to go back home for the sake of their children. Some would also choose this option because of fear that the perpetrator would hurt her other family members and relatives.

There was this woman, and she was crying with some bruises on her face. She was telling everybody at the station including me, how her husband punched her in the face because she wanted to go home to her parents to visit. But she couldn't go because the husband would not let her take their child. And the guy was such a big guy when the authorities brought him in. I literally saw the fear in the woman's eyes, but she chose to go back home with her husband and did not press charges, or even filed a report. 

My heart went out to her and so I slipped into her hand a calling card of the persons helping me which she immediately slipped into her pocket. And then she left with the husband. After they left, the officer on duty asked me if I still have an extra calling card which they can give or refer these women too. According to them, the most cases they have reports on aside from robbery and theft is domestic violence. But this is something that they cannot do anything about when the woman won't press charges, they said, because the perpetrators will be allowed to leave the station and get away with what they did. 

We have different stories and the amount of courage we have in us differs from one another. But how long can women live in fear? Women can’t go on living with their abusers or else they are risking their lives every minute that they stay with them. To help, I have made a list and links of organizations that will be able to help them. Also, I have listed a step by step guide on what to do at that crucial moment.

Tips and Guide 

1. If he has a history of hitting you, know your local police station's number and have it handy. In the US, it is as easy as dialling 911. In the Philippines, you can always dial 117. 

2.  Try getting women's crisis centers and social workers offices' numbers. It is also the right time to start counselling.

3.  If he hits you, immediately get your children (if you have) and run to the nearest police station or community centers/barangays.

4. Have a medical examination in a government or state owned hospital or clinic, depending on which your country requires. In the Philippines, victims of VAWC (Violence Against Women and Children) are requested to go to government hospitals and clinics rather than in private institutions.

5. Prepare yourself for the confrontation when he gets arrested. Some women melt at the sight of their husbands or partners behind bars and would immediately forgive them.

6. If the situation requires you to hide your whereabouts from him, it's always best to go to organizations that cater to this kind of situations like the Women's Crisis Center and they will be the ones to settle you and your children in safe houses.

7.Consult a lawyer for advice on your rights.

Below are agencies or institutions that help women in fighting against violence.
Be reminded though that the organizations listed below are non-government organizations and they may charge based on your capacity to pay.

For Legal Advices

#19 Naranghita St. 
Brgy. Quirino 2-A , Project 2,
1102 Quezon City. Philippines
Telefax : 63-2-352-7972

Look For: Ms Marian Garlit
Lawyers : 
Atty. Claire P. Luczon - Executive Director ( Referred to me by a lawyer friend/classmate as an expert in handling gender issues)
 Atty. Leavides G. Domingo-Cabarrubias (The person I would forever be grateful to, a brilliant lawyer- a product of the University of the Philippines- with previous experiences working at the Public Attorneys Office.I know I wasn't able to pay much but let this be my way of thanking you and honoring your advocacies.)

G/F Hoffner Building, Social Development Complex
Ateneo de Manila University
Loyola Heights, Quezon City
Tel. No. (632) 426-6001 loc. 4858-4860

Look For: Ms. Gina Morales

Crisis Centers:

 3rd Floor ER-Trauma Extension Annex Building
East Avenue Medical Center, East Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City
P.O. Box 2150, NIA Road, Diliman 0830 Quezon City
Hotline Numbers: 926-7744 / 922-5235
Telefax: 436-5088
E-mail address: wccmanila@gmail.com 

Look for : Ms. Anna, Beth, Tere

Final word:

We cannot always blame our fate or destiny for whatever misfortune that happens to us. Instead, we should acknowledge the fact that at some point in our life, we made a wrong decision, mostly because our logic was overpowered by our emotions. But the good news is that we can always pick up the pieces of our lives and strive to make it better. One thing for the women in these situations though, you need to have an extra amount of strength to be able to do this. Pray. God listens.

Please check out my site www.allaboutevenetwork.org for more women stuff.

"No rewinding, no replay
The chance we lose today
Will be gone, when it's gone
We'll never be quite as strong
Nor as young as this again
Make them last, make these moments last
Right now."               -Jose Mari Chan, No Rewind, No Replay

I've always loved Jose Mari Chan's songs because all his songs really pierces through the heart. Simple lyrics, easy to follow melody, but very meaningful and would always have the listener relate to the song.

This morning before I start working, this song just came to my mind and I searched for it in YouTube. I found one with a very beautiful message at the end of the video. It really got me teary-eyed. And I wish that I can freeze time so I can hold the moments I have with them forever. But that is wishful thinking.

If you have kids, you will surely relate to this song because this reminds us that we are forever evolving. Our kids will eventually grow up, have families of their own and as parents, where do we go from there?

I have a fear of growing old, of being left alone by my kids when they're all grown up. That is one issue I have not really thought about because I have always evaded the thought. You may say that  it's too early to be thinking about that when my youngest kid is just turning 4. But hey, it's not too early to be thinking about  how we want to retire.

There are times when we feel as though we are on a never ending task of parenthood. Well, at some point it is true. We sometimes feel overwhelmed by the piles of laundry, the stacks of pots and pans that never seem to stop piling up even though doing the dishes is all that we seem to be doing every now and then.

I am not a perfect mother. And I never did wanted to be one. Because a perfect mother only existed in books, in magazines and in the imagination of the advertisers who want to use that fantasy to bring in more revenues to their products.But I always do my best to become the best mother my children can have.

To call myself as a perfect mother would be akin to denying myself that I am a normal person, with my own set of flaws and shortcomings. But this doesn't give me the excuse to be a bad one either.

Me and the kids back then
There were times that I try to do what I think was best for my children and that included working on holidays for lack of being productive. But because I work from home, I have plenty of time to look after my kids while I am working.  And so, even on holidays, I would inform my boss that it is a holiday here in the Philippines, but I would still be working. I thought that doing chores and motherly duties wasn't productive. Thank God I have a very understanding boss, he said that we should balance work and play. Even though I would insist that I would still be working, he would always tell me to spend the extra time with the kids. And I would always argue that I am working from home, that I am always spending time with the kids. I realized what he meant by that was to bond with the kids.

The kids now..
And so back to the song, it made me realize that no matter how busy we are, we should always take time to listen to our children, to attend to their needs. We should enjoy every moment with them while we still can because we can not rewind everything that is happening now and relive it when we are old.

Sometimes we find ourselves caught in a dilemma where we have to choose between two important things, family or work. I cannot speak for everyone because we have different priorities in life. What I can only offer to say is, choose the one closest to your heart. For me , it's my family, my children especially. After all, the reason why you are working so hard is family right? What good would all your efforts and money be when you lose the people that matters most.

But then this is not only for those with kids or families. For my single friends, if you have a special person that you want to share more special times together, let them know, for we cannot afford to lose the chances we have right now. Life is short. Let's make our moments together special all the time.

Thought for the day:

Our lives are not like the movies. We cannot hit the replay or rewind button when we want to re-live those special moments with special people. Instead, we have the ring button that we can always press when we want to spend time with our loved ones.

Please visit my website http://www.allaboutevenetwork.org for more women stuff. TY.

[Post edited today, April 16,2017, 4 years later than the original post. ]

Date a girl who blogs and you'll see life in a different perspective, a little bit crazy, but perfectly sane.

A girl who blogs has the passion for everything, as everything is worth blogging. The rocks, the leaves, the water, and even the air we breath will find its place in her blog. Not because they run out of ideas to write, but they just believe that every single thing has its own story worth sharing.

This was previously published in my other blog, which I have already deleted, and I want to repost this as this is one of my favorite events. This event happened in April 2010. This is by the way post #50. Hooray!

If I cannot cook or bake it, I buy it. 

And if I can’t afford it, attend a free tasting party!

The  best things in life always comes with a price. But what if it’s free? Consider yourself lucky!
That’s how felt when I was given the opportunity to have a taste of heaven (literally speaking) when I joined in the product sampling of La Patisserie de Clementine of Japan here in Manila. For three nights, I was able to eat all the Nico Nico cheese cake.It was sort of like a "family affair", with me, my brother, cousins and aunt, wife of the owner all worked together to make this a success. We had to, the booth costs a lot! Because it was in the high-end district, the registration was about P15,000 per night more or less. But I think it was worth it, because the neighbors were Kris Aquino's (yes, the ever annoying President's sister) celebrity bazaar.

La Patisserie joined the Bohemian-style market at The Fort and people were given the chance to sample the company’s best-selling products like the melts-in-your mouth Nico-nico cheesecake (Japanese cheesecake), delightful macarons , rich chocolat and  the delectable confitures. People lined up to have a taste of French pastries and goodies.. Local celebrities were also present at the event and were just as delighted. 

Spotted were Ms. Tessa Prieto-Valdez, Serena Dalrymple, Former Bb. Pilipinas-Universe Abbygale Arenas-de Leon and husband celebrity photographer Jun de Leon among others.

Simultaneously, there was a mini concert featuring bohemian artists. Firedancers awed the crowd with their "hot" dance.:) And there was also a non-stop showing of Indie films (independent filmakers).

 And oh, yes, the chef is Japanese.

La Patisserie de Clementine is one of Japan’s renowned pastry shops. People line up in their counters  for their sweet treats. Located in Narita , they offer different cakes and goodies for different occasions. Chef/owner Osamu Morishita is a success story.

 We had the opportunity to introduce a different product, one that can only be found in high-end establishments such as The Fort, Serendra and Greenbelt 5.

Below are some of the highlights of the Bohemian night market.

Men Who Cook
Yesterday, i got an email from an unknown sender. The title somewhat caught my attention. I usually do not open emails from senders that I do not know.The subject was ” Explore Your Hidden Talent”. It could have been a virus but I opened it anyway. It turned out to be an apps that you can share on Facebook. It was the usual question and answer, multiple choice type of application. So, I religiously answered all of it and guess what my hidden talent was?
Cooking! Yes, i could not believe it either. It said “Taste drives you. Sight of food compels you. Food is compulsory to survival, and you posses the means to make it lively.”
 I don’t know how it managed to come up with that answer since the questions were really irrelevant, but I want to say that it was right.More so, I don't know whether to be happy or sad about it. True, I like the sight and smell of food, and I have wanted for so long to cook the way chefs cook. Sometimes, I have my lucky day and make a surprising dish. But most of the time disappointment hits me.But who knows, it might be a hidden talent waiting for the day when it might be a fully developed talent.
Prior to this, I have been reading articles that has a lot to say about passion in life, how to fuel it and make it a source of happiness and income. I have been wondering where I am good at and what talents I might have which I could really develop and use. This application seemed to answer my questions. Maybe, I really do have a passion for food, (aside from devouring every mouth watering dish I can afford) but then, why is it that my family members (of course they are the only ones who got to enjoy my cooking) say that my dishes lack taste, either bland or salty to some (that's their polite way of telling me my cooking sucks).But to me, it’s just perfect! And what hurts the most? When you try to make your kids eat what you cook and they go asking, who cooked? And then I say, I did, and they go..oh okay. Maybe I just need a lot of practice.
I remember when I was younger, I used to collect cut-out recipes from magazines and would make a scrapbook and put all those beautiful pictures of food and recipes together. I even collected peel-offs from canned goods. There are a lot of practical recipes you can find in food packets and cans.

I love recipes. Well, I just love reading it or just looking at the pictures and drool over those mouthwatering dishes. I do not really apply what I read because it gets me frustrated more when the outcome of the food I cooked does not look in anyway similar to the recipe I just followed. Don't you just hate that? My grandma has boxes and boxes of recipes, in index cards, some with pictures and she got this big one from Reader's Digest. I remember trying to imagine the smell of the food on the recipe and I would actually put it over my nose and sniff. Haha!
And I love watching cooking shows, cook-offs like Master Chef and Iron Chef, even Hell's Kitchen.  I even got excited when a local TV show started a cooking show with a twist that has the papalicious Chef Rob Pengson going to  viewer's kitchen and cook whatever the viewer requested. I even had the crazy idea of writing to the network if I can have Chef Rob come to my house to cook for my birthday, as a part of the show. Thank goodness I wasn't that gutsy and crazy before as I am now.
Wouldn't it be nice to have your own Jamie Oliver or Curtis Stone or even Anthony Bourdain in your own kitchen all the time, cooking for you 24/7? Or, it would be even better to snag yourself one of those men who can really cook. :) Like the three men above. 
And so, I’d like to spend a bit of my time focusing on trying to check if food and cooking is indeed my passion in life. I’ll be posting my experiences and development in trying to cultivate this hidden talent of mine. Then I would decide if I let this so-called passion for food is worth pursuing or let it die a natural death. I wish for the day when my kids will say, mom, you're the best cook ever!

By the way, here's a link to an ebook, or should I say a recipe e-book, that someone shared to me. It's really a good way to start if you've ever thought of wanting to go vegan for health or religious reasons.

Vegan on the Cheap- Great Recipes by Vegan Planet.

If you want to follow my journey with cooking, please check my food/cooking blog--> Pots and Pans.
Hope you'll like it too!
Photo credits:
guidespot.com- Curtis Stone
cnn.com-Jamie Oliver
fotomagica.com-Rob Pengson

What's in a song?

Every person I know loves to sing. I do. And I bet you do too. I recently finished a Songwriting course at Coursera, but I know I won't be able to get a Statement of Completion because I have been very busy lately and wasn't able to do the quizzes on time. But I try to keep up with the video lessons and hopefully, I can still keep up until the last day of submission for the final song composition.

I wrote about song today because it's a coincidence that I started translating song verses from Russian to English as a part of my job. And it became very clear to me that it doesn't matter whether people write songs with the very simplest lyric or music. What's important is the story behind the song.

I wrote my first song when I was in my second or third year in high school and two classmates were very lucky to hear it sung by yours truly, before it becomes a hit. :). But I don't think they remember it or will they admit to hearing it.

At that time, I didn't have any formal training, but I know I already started writing poems which were never read or shown to anyone. And I can hardly remember the lyrics to the whole song. I can only remember fragments of it. And every time I remember a bit of the phrases, I can't help but laugh at the cheesy lines.Yes, I still don't know how to use the Thesaurus at that time. But I know the music by heart,And I won't bother sharing it today to save myself from further embarrassment.

I wasn't lucky enough to be given a special talent to play any musical instrument perfectly. I can play the piano, just because it was an elective in high school. And the piano pieces that I can only play are the pieces that I had at the recital (Love Theme from Flashdance by Giorgio Moroder) and a couple of practice pieces such as Blue Moon and Ode to Joy. And I can only play the major chords on an acoustic guitar, because I can't stretch my fingers or position it to the minor chords without having cramps.I envy people who can identify notes at a glance.

Songs are very important to us. It  gives balance to our lives. Couples share special songs that will remind them of the love they shared and the memories they created. I do recall sharing a special song with someone, just like everybody else. I have a song for every phase of my life, something that reminds me of the events that happened at that particular phase. I'm sure you will laugh at my selection, but here goes.

Sad to belong ( England Dan and John Ford Coley)
When I had my first boyfriend but I was in love with his best friend. The lyrics goes something like this..

  "...oh it's sad to belong to someone else when the right one comes along.." 

Need I say more? Hahaha!

Love of a Lifetime (Firehouse)

"...I've finally found the love of a lifetime. A love to last my whole life through.I finally found the love of a lifetime. Forever in my heart, I've finally found the love of a lifetime."

When I finally broke up with the boyfriend and ended up with the best friend. I thought I had the love of a lifetime and that's why i got pregnant with my first child. :)

And then because we thought that we would be together forever, he said the song below was a special song for us.

" There are times when i just want to look at your face, with the stars in the night.
   There are times when I just want to feel your embrace, in the cold night..
   I just can't believe that you are mine now..."

I think everybody is aware that the Philippines is a ballad-loving country. Filipino songwriters write the best romantic songs.And that's why among the three, this is my favorite.

Relationships are like songs. Any kind of relationship. The tempo may change from fast to slow, but as long as the music and lyrics are in tune with each other, everything's in perfect harmony.

A song is immortal. Relationships may end but the song won't but will remain a part of the memories created.

And so I thought, what's more important, the lyrics or the music? Both are but it doesn't really matter if your lines are cheesy and the music can only be appreciated by you.

What's important is that you relate to it. It tells your life's story..

To be continued...

Watch our for my song composition, fingers crossed I'm hoping I could get it done. :) Pressure much? I need it done by a week from now!

Every morning I take a walk to the convenience store just very near our place. Walking gives me the freedom to think random thoughts. In the busyness of my life, I seldom have time to reflect on things, one that I would really allot time for, so, what I do is to take short walks and that makes up my workout for the day.

I go to a store called Godsend, and I go there everyday I should be given shares of stock for free for the amount of grocery I spend on them every day. Why I like going there despite the fact that they are 3 pesos over the price from other stores is because of the songs that they are playing. They only play Christian songs and because of that I can sing along to the tune of "How Great is Our God" while busy looking for the things I need to buy.

But, that is another story.

So, while I was walking, I was absent-mindedly kicking the dried leaves that have fallen on the ground.And I thought, why are there still dry leaves on the ground at that time of the day, when the rest of us have already cleaned our front yards. And then a sudden gush of wind blew and swept away the leaves on the ground. It landed on the other side of the road.

And then I thought again, why did the wind not blew the leaves right off from the branch to where it's supposed to be blown away so that the leaves would not be scattered all over the place and would not suffer being crushed by big feet walking around.

 And that was an A-ha! moment for me. A big one.

Walking back, I saw that the area where the leaves were previously scattered was already cleared. I realized that the leaves fell from the tree when they were at the worst part of their lives. And it became worse because they were stepped upon when they hit the ground. And all they can do is to lie there on the ground being still and wait for the wind to blow them away to their next destination.

Something to ponder on:

We are like the leaves. Life gives us variety. Sometimes we are at the pinnacle of bliss, and sometimes we fall down. And this is the worst part of our lives. We hit rock bottom, people step on us more because we think there is nothing we can do at that specific time in our life. We think that there's nothing we can do unless someone picks us up and help us stand up.

But there is one thing that we can do when we hit rock bottom. We keep still and go back to the God that we know.

I have never fully understood the meaning of being still until I hit rock bottom.One woman would always repeat the same Bible verse to me every time I would start to cry to her. She would always tell me, "Be still , and know that He is God." I will never forget those words because those are the only words that I held on to during the darkest days of my life.

Being still is being silent. You can't be still when you are filled with the noise of the world. And only it is when you are silent that you can really listen. Listen to what, you ask? Listen to that little voice inside you that will tell you what to do. The voice is so small yet very clear, that you won't be able to hear it if you are not being still. It is a voice that cannot be heard by the ear, but by the heart. Being silent will give us the ability to listen. See how the same letters are in both words, S, I, L, E, N, T and L.I.S.T.E.N.

And just like the leaves, when the wind finally blew, it brought the leaves to their next destination. God is like the wind, He will bring us to our next stop but only after we have finished the purpose He set out for us.
Everything is according to His perfect will.

So the next time you see dry leaves on the ground, instead of crushing it under your feet, understand that wherever you are in your life right now, whether at the top or rock bottom, the leaves have so many lesson to teach us about patience and being still.

Or, you can start picking them up and put them to where they are supposed to be.:)

First, pardon me for my cheesy title! I'm just so overwhelmed. Please let me be. :)

I'm just so excited! Again, another answered prayer! I now have an official link to a fashion blogsite. I call it official because I was granted permission to link to it, just like my other links. This is great! I can now share things related to fashion through Apple Alagon's blog Apple and Bees. I am sure you will all enjoy and love reading about fashion through her blog. I'd say that she is one classy fashion blogger and I know you will be checking her site for updates.

And it just keeps getting better, I visited her blog and lo and behold! She had already blogged about her experience reading through my post.It is very heartwarming to know that what you say or post in your blog can inspire others and can be a source of motivation. Although it was really my main purpose, to inspire and empower, just as I was empowered by one extraordinary woman (I'll blog about her one of these days, I'm just waiting for her permission), I never really thought that it would touch hearts. My main "personal reason" was just to write about my experiences in life, as a part of my therapy,  it will always be with the purpose of telling my story, so people may learn from it and not do the same mistakes.

So, here is a screen shot of her post about what she thinks of Things That Make Me Smile,my blog post, and she calls her version What Makes Me Smile.

Thought for the day:

Sometimes we get so involved in the busyness of our lives, that we tend to forget the simplest pleasures. If you haven't noticed it yet, the simplest things in life are the things that bring out the greatest or the biggest smiles from us.

I remember someone once told me that the simplest persons are usually the happiest people, or something to that effect.(Hey, if you were the one who told me that, pardon me for my memory gap, haha!)
Makes sense, right?

There are so many things , so many reasons to smile about and be thankful for. I hope that reading through our blogs, you will also find your reasons to smile about. Open your heart and soul to blessings.Blessings are all around us. There was never a shortage of it, ever. You just have to learn how to discern and count your blessings.

Finally! After years of conceptualizing and going through a lot of procrastination, my dream website is finally up! And I am so happy how it is turning out to be. Right now, I think I am the only one reading through it, with the exception of some closest friends, who are turning out to be my avid readers. It's a start. I mean , you have to start counting from zero, right?

The best is, I was able to contact one of my acquaintances on Facebook. We have been attending the same praise and worship center, so at the very least, we share some similar views. She is a relationship coach and I personally wrote to her ( I have not personally met her, but we've had quite a few exchange of happy emoticons (smileys)  of our short interaction in my personal account in Facebook.) And what else can I say, I am a fan!

If there is something that I wish I could write to share to my readers, that would be about relationships. Sad but true, this is one topic I think I cannot write effectively since I have not been able to write the perfect love story for myself. I've been in two failed relationships, and I can say that at some point, I had my own shortcomings. Most of the problems came from both of them. (Haha!) I wish I could say that all the time, but yes, I confess, I too had contributed a lot to the crumbling of the relationships.

And this is where she comes in. Aileen Santos is one of the most recognizable, if not, one of the most prestigious relationship coach there is in the country.  I have asked her permission to add a link to her blog, which an RSS feed of her blog can be seen on the lower right-hand corner of my website. She is one of the most sought-after resource speakers or writers for radio and television programs as well as Cosmopolitan Philippines.

With this, I am hoping I would be able to give my readers some articles and insights on how to maintain great relationships with their spouses. This is not just written for women but to men as well.

Also, the site contain links to my favorite blogsites which I will feature posts once in a while. One of my favorite blogs is Memoirs of a Domesticated MD owned by blogger ChinChin Villero. We used to go to the same school, she's my brother's classmate and we starred in the same play in high school. She is a doctor by profession but she blogs about her favorite topic, her family. And I like it because not only it gives a glimpse of her life that's so different from the rush needed in her profession, but also it shows how we can find happiness in the very small things. Simple pleasures, really.

The other blogger that I like and feature in the site is from a woman who is an epitome of the word "ageing gracefully". She serves as the head for the Saturday Feast Alabang, the spiritual community where we both belong.I admire her for her deep love for God which is what her blog is all about and the practical ways of applying what the Bible says. She is also a writer for a magazine and a very creative "craftiste". She uses these talents as the Creative Head for the Saturday Feast. She is Mirella Santiago or Tita Lella or Sis Lella to some of us. Her blog My B.A.G of Miracles is one inspiring blog you sure would not want to miss a single post.

If again, there is another topic which I wish I could write, that would be Fashion. I like fashion, but not extremely a fashionista. I want my wardrobe simple, but sexy at the same time. But to write fashion, that I cannot do. How I wish I could find a blogger who would allow me to add a link to my site.

The website is now up and running with some occasional minor tweaks to make it more appealing to the readers. My website by the way is called All About Eve Network, which is created with the purpose of helping people most especially women enrich their lives through empowerment.

Thank you for reading through my blog. ♥

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