a 6 year journey into patience and perseverance

i received a wonderful gift today and i am so grateful to God for it because believe me, along the way, i had doubts that He would give it to me. i doubted Him so many times about this but God is truly faithful even if i was not faithful all the time.

i was never a patient person. in fact, i am surprised i stayed this long. but God planted a dream in my heart, and that dream gave me the grace to be patient and to persevere.

i remember well, after 4 years of waiting, i was getting restless. i asked God if all my hard work is all worth it. He answered it with a Yes, but He would not give me what i really wanted. Yet. but i had faith that God planted me where He wanted me to bloom. a year after that, i asked Him again. it was still a No. and by some miracle, i came through an inspiring article about seeing everything in life as a preparation. God is not saying No to me. God is asking me to prepare, learn as much as i can, plant all goodness and believe that He will grant me the overflowing abundance He promised me. crazy as it was, I said yes. and it was the best yes of my life.

in fact, 2011 has been my year of "Yes" to God. i said Yes (in the form of I Do, he he he) to the wonderful man He gave me. i said "Yes" to being a Mom to Saree. i said "Yes" to a huge financial opportunity. and now this: a "Yes" that I've been telling Him 6 years ago.

When i attended the Kerygma Conference this year, Bro. Alvin Barcelona's talk touched me the most. he talked about the need to go through everything. he shared that why we need to dream more. and that moment, i felt God was telling me, your "Yes" is My work. and i want you to love more with your "Yes".

i am still far from my harvest season. i am still in the process of planting goodness and good works. and i know God is with me, every step of the way.

that is why, give your "Yes" to God. it'll be the best of "Yes" of your life :)

thank you Lord for everything. this is for You, my Great Provider.

Christmas is for Christians only?

i witnessed something this morning and it really made me sad, to the point of being frustrated.

a Badjao was asking for alms and approached a car that was parked in front of me where i was standing and the man sitting inside shouted:

"Kristyano ka? Dili ka Kristyano! Pang-Kristyano lang ang Pasko!!!" (are you a christian? you are not a christian! christmas is only for christians!!!)

and he did it twice, because another Badjao tried approached him.

i seriously wanted to punch him in the face and tell him how dare he use Christianity as an excuse for his selfishness. but that would be un-Christian too. i do not give alms for some reasons (because i do not want to encourage them in the streets) but i do not shout and demean them. instead, i memorized his plate number and said a silent prayer. and every time i see that car, i will always say a prayer for him.

that scene made me sad. because we have forgotten what we have been called for as Christians. Christ came to this world for all of us, not only for Christians. as Christians, we have a bigger calling to be Christ-like.

and when i was going back to the office, i witnessed another heartbreaking scene while riding a puj. an old lady was trying to cross the street and she cannot seem to reach the high step of the alley. a Badjao approached her and helped her. i wanted to cry right there and then. yes, we have indeed forgotten who Christ is and why we are are Christians.

and this is why i am reminded of this quote of gandhi:

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."(Mohandas Gandhi)
i believe that Christmas is for everyone. i do not even consider it a season. i consider it an everyday celebration because God gave us His Only Son, not to be served but to serve us. and that is our duty as Christians: to let others see Christ in us.

it's a daddy's girl :)

yes, Dash is a girl :) and yes, we are keeping the name Dash, even if it sounds like a boy. haha. i prepared a name for a boy and now yos and i are a bit confused on what to name her. but it's going to be a play of creativity since we really want to keep the name Dash for her :) so be ready world, our Dash name will rock your world :)

anyway, i went for another ultrasound today because i can hardly keep my not-knowing-at this point of time for my baby's gender. yos and i were hoping for a boy, but a girl will be most welcome. and it is indeed a girl :) and i bet a Daddy's girl. i guess i've already flooded my blog how Dash always want her Daddy around her all the time.

last sunday, i read to her Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone..i've been reading to her that book since she was still 13 weeks. i don't know, i just felt that she can hear me somehow. anyway, this time, yos wanted to participate. so i get to be the narrator and at the same time, i read the lines of female characters and yos reads out the lines of male characters. when yos read out "gryffindor!" (yes, we are already in the chapter where they are doing the sorting), Dash kicked. such a smart smart kiddo. she already knows her daddy's voice and her favorite house. hahaha. anyway, she kept kicking whenever she hears yos' voice and i got tears in my eyes because of it. oh our little wonderful family. it's such a beautiful feeling :)

now that i know it's a girl, i quite understood the fascination for Kim Chiu and Laureen Uy. whew, a fashionista in the making. great job Dash. i cannot wait for us to go bonding and use all Human Nature products. and of course, you are going to be the star in mommy's new adventure in life - which i will reveal a few days from now.

going back to the ultrasound, i am so thankful that Dash is well and very healthy indeed. of course, Mommy is well-fed, because Daddy cooks nothing but healthy stuff. and her heartbeat is OK. and she sure is very active. the OB-sonologist said my baby is quite "malikot". i guess she got the energy from her daddy who is used to hiking miles and miles and from mommy who is ever active in everything. and thank you so much Lord, my placenta is now OK. my first ultrasound showed low implantation but now i had no remarks of such. thank you so much Lord for my healthy pregnancy.

i am so looking forward now to our child birthing classes on January. and of course, on april, when we can finally meet our Dash :)

thank you Lord for this beautiful life :)

Dash at 20 weeks
(it kind of took a while to see her gender because she kept moving her legs - so "malikot")

this is why i am a happy, healthy preggy :)

to be perfectly honest, i am not a kitchen's friend. i am not exactly bad at cooking (hey, i can follow instructions well and i used to bake in high school..), it's just that i do not have the patience for it. anyway, for the time being, my husband is the official chef of the household :)

and it is for this reason that i am a happy, healthy preggy :) yos cooks nothing but the healthy stuff for us. we still have canned goods but it's not without the veggies. there was one weekend where we only had eggs for breakfast. he chopped up some cucumber and i had scrambled eggs topped with chopped cucumber. and mommy and dash loves it :)

anyway, some of our weekend dates at home are yos' cooking adventures. yos is trying to make his own version of stuff we usually eat at restos. and he really is doing great at it. we visualize our home to be where our friends would exclaim how they had sumptuous dinners :) and we are mentally preparing for our little one's appetite. i know kids are picky eaters and we want our kids to start eating healthy at a young age. just imagine, our unborn is still 5 months in my womb and we are planning his/her meals as a kid. hahaha.

his version of kabab :)

fusilli in basil & shrimp

and now that we finally have our own digital cam, we can post more of this goodies :)

it's 5, 5, 5!

whew! enrollment week and enrollment tasks just dragged on and on, making me miss writing about my pregnancy fun. and finally, i have a few evening with internet connection and i am making the most of this.

happy 5 months to me, daddy and dash :) four months more to go and we will be meeting each other face-t0-face and yos and i are just so giddy with excitement. anyway, just a few stories to share :)

:: finally, my distate and dislike for the taste of fish and other stuff is gone (i think!). yos tried to cook me fish soup and the fish didn't taste funny, nor the veggies. yahoo! and right now, i think i am experiencing "the hearty appetite" symptom. my hunger is now an hour or two hours apart. oh well, as long as dash is hungry, i'll eat my best for my best. :)

:: i've been told several times (actually, told to make me feel scared, hehe) regarding this "kikik"stuff. (note: "kikik" is a mythical creature in philippine folklore that preys on pregnant woman and eat their unborn) ... our fellow tenant told me that they've been hearing sounds of this creature and asked if we heard them. i said no. at the back of my mind, i was thinking, yos and i sleep to our heart's content because we wake up at 5 in the morning to go to work and finish our morning chores. anyway, i told her that i don't scared easily and she gave me tips on how to avoid them. i told yos and i was actually surprised he got scared about it. so now, we have a new routine: i wake up in the middle of the night to pee, and he does too. i feel bad about waking him up but he really is up for it. daddy really loves us, i'm actually welling up with tears while typing this. anyway, my mom was pretty much scared about what our neighbors told me and she made us put garlic in our windows. oh well. there are times i don't feel scared but if it's to protect our dash, i'd be more than willing to do what i'm asked even if i don't believe in it too much.

:: nothing is more exciting than waiting for our healthy little genius to come out and finally holding him. i've been told of the sleepless nights, mommy duties demands and probably everything scary but i don't feel scared at all. which is also scary. our little one is a good boy/girl. (i always keep thinking that our little one is a boy... i don't know, yos and i are confident he is a boy.) anyway, dash will be an easy baby. if he's not, he will still be easy to take care of. and of course, i know the lolas will be there to the rescue. i think they are as excited as me and yos. right now, i am imagining dash as a very smart kid, who loves to read books, loves to run with us and probably everything a kid enjoys to do. yos and i may be crazy to be so optimistic about raising our kid but we just want him to grow up happy and responsible.

:: i've been getting mixed comments regarding my baby bump. some are expressing how huge i am for my month - to the fact of suggesting i'm carrying twins, some are saying how cute i am to be carrying a baby bump. it's so crazy and mind boggling! i mean, i'm trying my best not to worry about my weight gain. i've been gaining 1 kilo a month constantly and for someone who used to be watching her weight, it's not an easy thing to accept. i weighed 40 kilos before i got pregnant and now i am around 45...which is actually pretty low for my age and height.i've already made terms with the need to gain proper weight and there's no need for people telling me how much big i should. that's why i decided to listen only to my mom, my mother-in-law and my OB and my husband who never fails to tell me how lovely and how sexy he finds me everyday (though he can't help but laugh at my bulging stomach sometimes, haha!)... as long as my OB says my weight gain is nothing to worry about, i won't worry about it. but i want to thank everyone who's been kind to share me some experiences of theirs. but to be perfectly honest, i love being pregnant. and i am enjoying every moment of it.

i'm an adult, eh?

just a quick one for today. i just realized ..... i am really an adult now.

a wife. soon to be mommy. a businesswoman. and everything else God has willed me to be.

have i been enjoying life too much that the weight of all the responsibilities has not made me realized i am an adult? i mean, i have to take care of my husband, take care of my coming little one, take care of my career and my living ... everything is in my hands.

if you ask me, yes or no. i love my life now. even the gigantic responsibilities that are looming are not worrying me.

or do i have too much pride knowing that i can handle them?

i need to re-think. right now, i miss talking to God everyday. i pray everyday, together with my husband but i personally need to reconnect with Him.

our mommy cat

our female cat (the one at my mother's house and the only who is busy at being productive cat) gave birth a month ago. and she lost her babies after 3 weeks i guess.

would it be possible for mother cats to go through depression? she has been acting a bit weird lately. on the night she lost her kittens, she kept circli
ng our house, meowing as much as she can, looking for her kittens. it went for a week. then after a week, she went back into some kind of regress. she's pla
ying around like crazy, wrestling our other unwil
ling cats (except for one of her kids, who is now as big as her) and just being crazy.

and now, she is making her grown-up kitten a baby again. this morning, i saw this. she is treating her former kittens as her babies. in fact, she is voluntarily nursing him. and she is actually treating him like a kitten, bringing him wherever she goes. a bit weird, i must say.

aya, our cat, has always been weird. but it amazes me. even animals have motherly instincts. she's a cat but she knows and remembers she is a mother. poor her.

An A for my First Trimester

Praise be to God for a very healthy and memorable first trimester! congratulations to me, daddy yos and dash! i passed my first trimester with flying colors! i am now on my 17th week and a few days away from my 18th week :)

for my first trimester, i am giving our happy family an A. of course, a perfect score for me, my husband and our healthy genius little one, Dash.

no scary morning sickness except for a few dizzy spells and nauseous feeling. i did throw up a few times but nothing really major - few actually means less than five fingers. my mom was even surprised that i had no throw up drama. she got hospitalized during her first trimester and here i am, the exact opposite.

i learned to deal with hunger pangs by eating in proportions. i make sure to eat fruits everyday, eating more of those that help me in my bowels. even if i dislike the taste so much, i make sure i eat green and leafy veggies. daddy cooks most of the time so i get to eat nothing but healthy stuff. though i ate less fish because my nose just can't take it's smell - made me nauseous all the time. but i do eat fried fish - if i don't smell it first. i have nothing against fish. its just that the smell leaves an unpleasant taste in my mouth and no matter well cooked it is, the unpleasant smell is what i taste. weird but yos and i dealt with it.

i found myself eating and drinking more of this though: sampaloc candy, potatoes and carrots, minute maid, crackers, fita biscuits, wheat bread, guava, papaya, ripe mangoes and a whole lot more. i indulge sometimes in sweets, fastfood stuff like KFC, jollibee and fries, ice cream, a little junkfood - but i make sure i drink a lot of fluids after.

no weird food cravings - i just tend to dislike some food if i eat them more than five times. my first well-known victim is pomelo and second is banana (which are actually my favorite fruits). however, one peculiar thing i crave for is my husband. i always want to hug him, kiss him - to be always beside him every time we are at home. i always feel sad before he leaves for an out of town trip. i even cry in the middle of the night on the day before he leaves. i always find myself smelling him and his clothes. hehehe. but i've read through some discussion boards that such attachment to the husband is quite normal. in fact, i think my husband likes it secretly, he just won't admit it. hahaha.

i do feel tired most of the time but i made sure to get enough rest. i take naps every lunch hour (especially if i don't have any deadlines or meetings) and i sleep early. all social gatherings are limited and i schedule them on days that i can wake up late the next day.

over all, i love being pregnant. in fact, i've never felt this so ..... excited and happy. i just feel wonderful and exhilarated, i cannot describe it. opportunities and blessings are pouring in - our event organizing is raking in clients and soon, an exciting business venture is coming my way. i was afraid at first that my baby bump will lessen my productivity but it's quite the opposite. God gave me a lot of angels: in the form of my husband, colleagues, family and friends. i never thought i would be able to handle everything. if you've been reading my blogs, you must be aware that everything happened so fast to us. after a month of getting married and just settling on our own, i found out i was pregnant. of course, we were happy. but i was the one who was happily scared. i was afraid it would affect my new position at work, my plans - but i told myself, God prepared me for this - so i just said, "Yes Lord, we are ready." and God gave everything we need :)

i look forward to a very productive second trimester with my happy family. so many, many plans: move to our happy home (our own home, at last), child birthing classes, my new business, more events to organize for Accents Events.

Yes Lord, we are ready to do your work.

mommy's thoughts to her 14 week Dash

dear Dash,

right now, you are forming your toes and fingers in mommy's womb. mommy and daddy is looking forward to hold them, kiss them and play with them.

oh, so many wonderful things we can do with our hands Dash.

we can draw a lot of things: trees, animals, houses and every little thing that comes to your imagination.

we can build toy houses, sandcastles and when you are older, you can build homes for our fellowmen - which is actually building their dreams, as well as our own.

we can plant trees, take care of animals, throw our wastes properly and take care of our environment with our hands.

a touch is a gift and it is something mommy and daddy wants you to learn to share.

and oh, so many wonderful and amazing places our feet can bring us to.

we could travel the whole Philippines, explore every city, every beach, mountain and shore.

we could go to places to share our time, resources and talents.

but most importantly, your hands and feet can do so much.

you can hold our hands and comfort mommy and daddy.
you can touch our faces, and heal our long day.
you can run and give mommy and daddy a hug.

so many things in life that is beautiful and wonderful to share with other people, with our hands and our feet.

so grow strong inside my womb my sweetheart. mommy is doing her best to make you strong and healthy.

this is you at 13 weeks and 2 days

mommy and daddy

my love story: an exclusive (naks! hahaha!)

i always imagined myself to be writing this piece in the morning of my wedding day. you know, a little piece of something to share with all the girls. but it was not possible. my mind was held captive over the whole wedding details, despite the fact i have 2 coordinators. hehehe.

so i am writing this (as i am so inspired..this pregnancy is so expressive.haha.) as my thoughts about love and relationship. i don't claim to be an expert. everything i am sharing here is God's grace.

i always remember when i was an awkward teenager, i never really cared about boys (crush, yes, to the point of silliness but it was just girlish silliness) until friends of yours had admirers and manliligaws. believe me, i had a lot of pretty friends and ordinary looking me started to question why boys won't have a crush on me. probably the highlight of my girl-y existence is somebody greeted me with a sweet message anonymously in our school paper. (though until now i still think it was a prank by some bored people, hahaha!) i never realized it until now but God was already working on me. yeah sure, i had self-image and boy issues, but with the grace and love of God and everyone who surrounded me, i never gave in to them. God gave me down-to-earth friends (who are still my bestfriends until now) to keep me company and enjoy life, a very supportive family, a zest to discover myself and about life - i never really had trouble being a suitor-less teenager. though i was a bit hurt, of course. hahaha.

came college. whoa. 3 out of 5 girls has a boyfriend. i had a very pitiful experience. hahaha. but i felt i had a chance to be noticed in college. i thought, "ang dami kayang lalake sa college, impossible walang magka-gusto sa akin." hahaha. but, it was not the way God wanted my love story to go. i graduated not having a boyfriend at all. i flirted, i tried to be close to boys, i swear - i even went through the phase of wearing slutty clothes - i tried to be aggresive and take the first move - nothing worked. that would have been depressing, but it was not. i had a lot of friends, i was busy with a lot of school activities - if i think of it now, trying to get a boy was just a bonus in everything i did in college. sure, my bestfriends and i would buy a galloon of ice cream and wallow in our boyfriend-less status, but it was not sad. ice cream was yummy, and the company was great. hahaha.

when i was on final year in college, i went through a phase of mild desperation. i really, really wanted to experience having a boyfriend. i never really shared it to everybody before, but i got myself a little fling. but as people would describe it, "it's complicated". even my best of friends were mad at me. he was involved with someone and he was a known chickboy. (hey, is chickboy still a valid term? hahahaha!) anyway, we spent time together alone, texted each other sweet stuff and the likes. my conscience bothered me a lot. it never felt right. and it never made me happy - not even once. it was kilig sometimes, yet it faded easily. deep inside my heart, i knew it was not the way i wanted.

when i graduated, i focused on my career. i was young and i wanted to learn everything i could that would make me successful. i am always thankful i got a job that taught me a lot of values - particularly patience (but that's another story, i guess, hehe..) and i learned from a really great boss and teacher. anyway, i was a dedicated worker. i literally worked my a** off. and honestly, i'm not getting any date invites. honestly, i kind of clueless how it feels to be asked out on a date. hahaha. it was probably my snobbish and and strict look. guys would be afraid , um, i think. haha. anyway, they really teased me that nobody would have a crush on an ogre. hey, i just remembered...oh gee. somebody actually confessed to me. he was a really great friend, we spent a lot of time together and he just confessed he was in love with me but he would not ask me to be his girlfriend because he is not yet ready ... i got so shocked with such confession, i avoided him for like a month. it was because i didn't know what to say. but, when i finally came to my senses, i told him that i just wanted to be friends first and we'll see. and we really did remain good friends until now. see, i told you i'm not an ogre. hahaha. anyway.....

and one summer, God introduced me to my soon-to-be husband. he was younger than me, and he managed to piss me off. hahahaha. i did not have a crush on him nor i had interest, but we had a summer outing planned that time and i was told that he cannot be reached through phone and i was like the one who strongly tried to find a way to be able to reach him. just to be clear, i was not interested in him. i just wanted all our volunteers to have a good time after the whole summer's hard work. and as they would say, the rest is history.

we became friends, fell in love and seven years later, got married in a very beautiful ceremony and a month later we were blessed with a new life inside me :) (writing this is actually giving me tears in my eyes, hehe..)

so ladies, always have faith that God is writing your love story. God's timing is always perfect. sure, i had my share of unrequited love but i chose to move on and believe in better things to come.

second, never compromise your values. i could have gone wild just to have a boyfriend or any guy. i could have jumped to any guy who i think is interested in me, regardless of his intentions. but i did not. because i loved and respected myself too much. always believe that you deserve better. that relationship is always a choice - walk out if it makes you feel trapped and if it's not making you become a better person. yos and i always gave each other enough space to enjoy our individuality and discover our similarities.

third, make a mental check of things that you will never tolerate. for me, i never make an excuse for any mean attitude especially to waiters, to gay people and to other people. second, i always like a guy who is involved in activities that have social impact. and i would never tolerate a guy who reacts violently to petty things. even a guy who cannot control his vices. do you get what i am trying to say now?

fourth, enjoy life to the fullest girl. never think being in a relationship is the best of life there is, because it's not. give yourself enough time to discover who you are, meet a loooot of people, keep really good friends, be a good citizen of your country by volunteering and keeping yourself involved in activities that help other people. in short, love yourself - who you are, what you can do, and what you want to become. be a happy, positive person. only a positive person atrracts positive things.

looking back, i realized that everything is through God's grace. changing ourselves - especially our priorities, our financial decisions, our dreams - has been God's work. and we will always be thankful we were given the courage to allow Him to work through us. and we are still far from perfect, especially now as husband and wife, and soon, as parents. the task has increased a ten-fold. and everyday, it is a constant work for our relationship.

so dear girl, never fret. God is the perfect author of a love story. if you just let Him write it. we did and living the greatest story of all time :)

one of my favorite poems. i read it over & over again to remind me how precious time is.

How To Kill Time
Leo Rock, SJ

How do I kill time?
Let me count the ways.

By worrying about things
Over which I have no control.
Like the past.
Like the future.

By harboring resentment
and anger
over hurts
real or imagined.

By disdaining the ordinary
or, rather, what I
so mindlessly
call ordinary.

By concern over what's in it for me,
rather than what's in me for it.

By failing to appreciate what is
because of might-have-beens,

These are some of the ways
I kill time.

Jesus didn't kill time.
He gave life to it.
His own.

why i've decided to go organic...Go Human Nature!

right now, i am completely confident that my skin and the environment only gets the care it deserves. and more especially now that i am pregnant. it's been a year since i've decided to go organic and use only Human Nature products for my personal care products.

i'm not trying to push the idea of doing the same thing as me & my husband did, but try to read the chemicals you find in your shampoos, cosmetics and the stuff you use everyday - it is always good to be informed and make your choice :)

for more information on Human Nature products - products with a heart for the Philippines and the environment, click here.

special thanks to Ms. Joanna for sharing this over twitter. you can find the full article here.

The A to Z of Beauty Baddies

A for alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA)
Found in a wide range of skin care products, alpha-hydroxy acids, or AHAs, are usually derived from food products such as sugar cane. Products that contain AHAs cause shedding of the skin, although the extent to which it works depends on the concentration. High concentrations of AHA products are used in chemical peels and the Food and Drug Association (FDA) warns that that they can increase the skin’s photosensitivity.

B for benzoic acid (benzyl)
Widely used in the fragrance industry, benzyl is an aromatic alcohol that is also used as a preservative in other cosmetics. It has been cited as a cause of a wide variety of health problems and can be a respiratory irritant. Subsequent to an evaluation by the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials Expert Panel (REXPAN), the International Fragrance Association set a standard that restricts the use of benzyl in fragrances.

C for chlorobutanol
Commonly used as a chemical preservative in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products, continuous use of this nasty, which is usually made up of chloroform and acetone, can cause skin or tissue irritation. High exposure to chlorobutanol also carries a small risk of neurotoxic side effects.

D for dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
Once found in nail polishes the world over, evidence of the deleterious health effects of DBP were so convincing that an EU Directive has since banned its usage in the cosmetics industry within the European Union. Despite this, it is still in use by the big name cosmetic brands in the United States, where many nail polish products on the shelves still contain it.
E for ethoxylated surfactants
These are used as foaming agents in soaps, shower gels and shampoos and can be identified on the label by the inclusion of ‘PEG’, ‘-eth’ or ‘-oxynol-‘ in ingredient names. They are prone to oxidation and once oxidised their products can act as a skin irritant, while frequent exposure can cause eczema.
F for formaldehyde
Formaldehyde is an impurity released by a number of cosmetic preservatives and has considerable health concerns attached to it. Formaldehyde was a widely used component of nail polish until recently, when EU health bodies limited the permissible concentration of formaldehyde in cosmetics to 0.2 per cent. Through inhalation of the vapours it releases, formaldehyde can cause breathing difficulties in those exposed to elevated levels and even trigger asthma attacks in those susceptible to it.

G for glycerin
Commonly used in the skincare industry for its moisturising and hydrating properties, in actual fact, glycerin has the opposite effect; drawing moisture from the lower layers of the skin to the top layers where it is held on the surface. In the name of keeping outer layers of skin moisturised, skin is literally dried out from the inside.
H for hydroquinone
Hydroquinone products are used for reducing age spots and blemishes; and it is also used in skin whitening products. Hydroquinone cream used to be used as a bleaching cream but has since been banned in the EU market due to it’s high levels of toxicity.

I for isopropyl alcohol
An additive that is mainly used in body creams, aftershave lotions and perfume, Isopropyl Alcohol can compromise your skin’s natural pH level and fatty acids, which acts as the skin’s primary defence mechanism against viruses, bacteria and fungal infection. High exposure to this ingredient has been linked to central nervous system depression.

J for jargon
Companies often mention the use of collagen and elastin as well as other well-known and impressive sounding additives, but they often have dubious effects. The reason for the marked increase in medical sounding terminology is its ability to dupe the consumer into thinking they’re buying into proven science when actually, it couldn’t be much further from the truth.

K for kajoic acid
The fact that this originates from certain types of mushroom and fermented rice means it is often seen as being a ‘natural’, and therefore harmless by-product. Marketed as a safer alternative to the hydroquinone as used in skin whitening products, it’s not without its drawbacks. Skin sensitisation is one such problem and can in turn lead to dermatitis.

L for lead
Lead is toxic contaminant and is found in a wide variety of lipsticks. The problems associated with lead include interference with a number of the body’s processes and its toxicity to organs and tissues. Concerns have also been raised about accidental ingestion through licking or biting lipstick-clad lips, although the lead levels are relatively low in most lipsticks.

M for mineral oil
Don’t let the name fool you; this additive has its origins in crude oil and is used by heavy industry as a metal cutting fluid. It can inhibit the oxygenation process of skin, hindering the release of carbon dioxide and resulting in skin that dries out all too easily. Particularly alarming is its use in a wide range of well-known baby oils.

N for nitrosamines
Although nitrosamines commonly crop up in cosmetics; due to the fact that they are impurities, they are not listed on product labels. The UK Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform has classified nitrosamines as more toxic in more animal species than any other category of chemical carcinogen. It’s found (as an impurity) in a wide range of beauty products, including shampoos, and when washed down the drain, it enters the water cycle causing concern about traces of it in drinking water.

O for organic
Organic beauty products provide a viable, safe alternative to the chemical laden conventional sort. Labelling can often be confusing but the best way to be sure if a product is really organic is to see whether it is marked with the Soil Association symbol, which requires a 70 per cent minimum organic content. What’s more, it also ensures that no petro-chemical based or GM ingredients are used.

P for parabens
Parabens are used for their antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. However, they have been proven to penetrate the skin and shown to mimic the body’s own hormones, disrupting important endocrine functions. The biggest risk posed by parabens comes from long-term exposure, including regular use of skin creams and lotions. Be warned: methylparaben has been linked to the premature skin aging. Oh the irony.

Q for quaternium-7
Not only is it toxic and highly allergenic, it also causes the release of formaldehyde. A 2009 report by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics entitled No More Toxic Tub, presented third-party laboratory results showing that many baby care products are contaminated with this hyper-toxic ingredient.

R for resorcinol (also dihydroxybenzene)
A carcinogen found in a wide variety of products, including shampoo, acne treatments, cleanser and aftershave, resorcinol can have neurotoxic side effects and is particularly damaging for the liver. It’s also an irritant and worse, is hugely poisonous for marine life if washed down the plughole. One to avoid at all costs.

S for sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS)
Is a chemical that can be found in shampoos, hair conditioners toothpastes and body wash- so predominantly in products you would expect to ‘foam up’. It has been known to cause the skin to flake and to separate and cause roughness of the skin. By denaturing skin proteins SLS can have a drying effect. The reason why such a damaging chemical is used in things such as shampoos and toothpaste is for the sole reason that it is a cheap additive that causes that familiar foaming.

T for triclosan
Added to products to fight bacteria, triclosan is widely used in hygiene products. In Britain alone, we use between 60 and 90 tonnes of it per year but its safety credentials have come under scrutiny due to a study conducted by the USA's Virginia Tech University, which showed that when mixed with chlorinated water, it produces chloroform gas - lethal in high doses and a probable carcinogen. Don't panic too much though: the amount generated was less than the concentration present in a swimming pool.

U for urea
Rarely do the worlds of agriculture and beauty collide, but in the use of urea – a compound found in urine – they do. In farming, it’s used in fertiliser as an additional source of nitrogen. In beauty, it’s used as an antibacterial preservative and is found in just about everything, although hair removal creams such as Veet tend to contain higher levels of it. Although the amounts used in cosmetics aren’t high enough to cause problems, concerns have been raised about urea’s ability to alter the structure of skin; allowing other chemicals through in larger amounts.

V for VP-Methacrylamide
A polymer used in mousse and hair gels, VP-Methacrylamide isn’t particularly worrisome in itself, but is often contaminated with toxins, carcinogens and other things you definitely don’t want on your skin. Although it’s still used in the USA, Europe has banned it.

W for white petrolatum
A close relative of petroleum jelly, white petrolatum is made from – unsurprisingly enough – crude oil. While it does have proven protective qualities, its close relationship with non-renewables along with unconfirmed reports linking it to breast cancer make it one ingredient that’s best avoided.

X for xanthan gum
At its most basic level, xantham gum is a type of fermented glucose with astonishing powers of thickening – a trait that’s made it an invaluable tool for beauty product manufacturers. Often found in food stuffs under the name, E415, xanthan gum is problematic for anyone with a wheat allergy, and can cause cramps, bloating and diarrhoea in sufferers.

Y for yohimbine
A naturally occurring substance found in Yohimbe and snakeroot, yohimbine is used in diet products and anti-cellulite creams. Often sold as a herbal diet pill, and frequently as an aphrodisiac, it has significant side effects including anxiety, nausea and insomnia. In high doses, it can cause seizures and renal failure.

Z for zinc acetate
A chemical compound commonly used in acne treatments and nappy creams, zinc acetate is closely related to zinc oxide (found in sunscreens) but not nearly as harmless. Along with having a negative impact on the immune system, it can also cause asthma attacks and aggravate underlying lung conditions.

just to share personally, there are actually products out there that claim of being natural but check the ingredients. it still has the chemicals that are listed here. then it's not natural. Human Nature declares all the ingredients use and always include their natural seal, which makes it more credible. after a year of using, my skin feels better now. even my husband can attest to that. so make that choice of being healthy and at the same time be proud of your country's world class product :)
i can actually go on and on about Human Nature, so just ask me if you are interested :)


on giving birth videos...UNLIKE.
lately, i found myself watching some documentaries regarding pregnancy. i am always curious as to what is happening inside my Dash's world and i want to know as much as possible to make it comfortable for the both of us. and i can't help but check some birth-giving videos which i should not ever, ever, ever do. after watching 2 videos of a woman giving birth, i think i got so nervous i got scared. what was that?! i usually don't get scared or get sick over gross videos, but those videos were really scary...for me. alright, i won't do it again. i promise to think only of good things about giving birth.

on food.....LIKE and UNLIKE. my taste buds are not in their usual state. i hate the taste of fish especially if they really smell bad to me (but i have a liking for fish fillet, hahahaha!), the taste of pomelo is not so good anymore, even veggies? i am starting to get the feeling of not wanting to eat them. but i still eat veggies because i know Dash needs them. i just have to eat a little longer because i have to settle them in my stomach. just this morning, we had steamed veggies of squash, string beans, ampalaya, eggplant and okra. i had to cut them up so that i could just eat them. and when i arrived at work, i just had to vomit. *sigh*

no salt. a mom told me to stop eating salty food to avoid bloating.

less sugar. this is more difficult. i'm suddenly scared of getting gestational diabetes. *sigh*

so much to learn still. i am still in awe how my mom handled everything :(

Love on the 8th of July: Wedding Details (just a few)

i have a few wedding details to share (and it's actually 2 months ago..hahaha!) ... anyway, been really busy blogging about my baby bump so i guess i wanted to blog about something new. i miss preparing for my wedding and i miss looking for ideas. ok, i need to coordinate a wedding now. haha. all photos courtesy of my friend photographer, Ronald.

my hubby's footwear
it was supposed to be a kind of formal thing but there was no available shoe size for him and truthfully, his feet does not look good on the suggested footwear. so we thought, why not go a bit unique? and it really looked good :)


my bouquet
one of my favorites from my wedding. i super, super love my bouquet. honestly, i am not a fan of flowers. up until now, i cannot remember the type of flowers they used in my wedding, except for the roses, i guess. when i hired Ronald (a really good florist), i told him that i will not be picky on what kind of flowers he will use, as long as he use the white & green combination. if he wishes to combine colorful ones, it's OK as long as its colors of spring. i have not been disappointed.

the bridal gown and groom's suit
for this really beautiful creation, i would like to give a round of applause to my friend, Frida. i have no design in mind actually, because i did not want to look so trying hard to copy bridal gowns. so i placed the fate of my gown to Frida. just so you know, i met Frida in a school activity and she has been making me designs just for fun and i never thought she'd actually design my bridal gown. it was so simple yet beautiful. and really, really inexpensive.my gown is lace and i really love it. and i love it because it showed my butt very well. hahahaha. i picked the design of my hubby's suit in a bridal magazine. i wanted both of us to be white because i wanted everybody to be in earth colors. so the bride and groom really stood out from everybody else :)

our stage
i always loved the vine thingie from our Human Nature events that's why i asked Ronald to make it for me. haha. our stage is really nice. i love the earthy feel and how natural it looks. even yos told me that he felt bad annoying me for paying such amount to the florist. so guys, don't ever try to fight a bride when it comes to floral arrangement decisions. hahaha.

but what i really love about our wedding is that all our suppliers are our friends. it made arrangements with them easier. it was so fun working with them. that's what made our wedding preparations fun. i still have a lot of details from other other photographers, i'm just waiting for my copy.

kinds of movie watchers you should not watch a movie with.

my patience usually runs out while watching a movie with this kind of people:

1) people who take the suspense out of the movie (it’s either they have seen it and watching it again with people who have not seen it yet): “hala, hala, kana na sunod…mao na jud na..!” “tan-awa na, mao na ang pinka-lingaw diha..”

2) people who ask a lot of questions despite the fact that they are already watching it (is it because they cannot understand the movie? or out of habit?): “ha? unsa daw ingon niya? ngano na daw to? unsa iyang ingon?”

3) people who wants the movie to be narrated before they watch: “unsa ending? mamatay siya? magdayon sila?”

4) people who ask this question at the end of the movie as if they haven’t watched: “ha? naunsa to? ngano to?”

forgive me, but you are taking the fun out of my movie.

now i have an answer to the question, kinsa imong ginapaglihian?

it's been two months and people always ask me if i am "making lihi" over something. and i am proud to say that i am not. but who would have thought i'd have an answer on my 11th week? haha.

yos is going on a field work starting sunday (yesterday) until saturday this week. and would you believe it, i cried like crazy last sunday dawn because i did not want him to leave. and on that same day, i always wanted my husband beside me. i hugged him like crazy the whole morning and i felt really sad when he left the same morning. *sigh*

and i felt really low that day. evening came and i was watching a chick flick and when a sad scene came, i was engulfed with an unexplainable sadness and longing...for my husband. i did not finish the movie and cried myself to sleep because i really miss him. our Dash really wants his daddy. and the really thing is, i could not sleep because i want my husband.

well, that answer the unending question. hahaha. but i'm really feeling a bit low today, i swear. just want for friday to come.

the most beautiful sound in the world

i just wanted to share that i went to the doctor's for my monthly check-up and i just heard my Dash's heartbeat today. it took a while to find it but praise God, we did. deep inside i was a bit nervous and i kept telling myself, "Come on Dash, let us hear it..." and we did :)

i wanted to cry when i heard it but i got shy with the doctor so i saved my sentimental reactions going back to the office. hahaha.

it was indeed the most beautiful sound i ever heard in my life :)

oh Dash. you are really there. mommy and daddy is going to take good care of you :)

i think i have super powers..and other stories in 9 weeks!

i have learned to deal with the hunger pangs. i eat as much as i can.

i managed the frequent need to pee. i am now used to waking up twice every night.

but the most amazing one i have that i cannot seem to decide to love or hate is my heightened sense of smell. it's useful and sometimes, it just gets in the way. haha. lately, i am loving the smell of durian. it just smells so sweet and delicious. in fact, i was getting my afternoon nap that i woke up to the smell of durian. and it was just a fruit shake. impressive, huh? (i seriously feel like i have a super power smell! haha!) but one of the unpleasant thing about this "super power" is that a certain smell could just send me off. i always lost my appetite during lunch because of a very nasty smell that our plastic containers seem to carry all the time. my husband doesn't notice but i had to chance containers just to get away from the really awful smell.

i really have aversion to the smell of rotten food, uncooked seafood and other rotten like scents. huh. nothing is missed by my super powered nose. even the slightest smell is caught. hubby is testing me sometimes, just for the fun of it. hahaha.

i don't have morning sickness BUT i have a very selective taste buds at this point. i hate eating anything for 3 consecutive times. i hated the taste, smell and sight of pomelo. and it's supposed to be my favorite fruit, (and add to the fact that it helps my very erratic bowel movements..), i could not stomach it. but i got back to eating it because i read somewhere that our bodies don't store vitamin c, so we need to restore it everyday. oh dear. our Dash just loves variety. that's why i told yos not to constantly feed me carrots, i might hate it for the next 6 months.

another change that i am so worried about is - my low tolerance for cold. i am actually very proud of myself - i can take a bath at 4AM with pure cold water. even if it's raining that time. i can swim in a beach at dawn, without getting any cold. and i would even wear a two-piece suit.

but now?

i get chilly even at 10 in the morning - with all the sun. it takes me 10 minutes to settle myself in the bathroom, just to get used to the chilly air. hubby is complaining i take too long to take a bath. i cannot even stand airconditioning. i usually wear a jacket inside the office. friends who already gave birth told me that it's usually very warm for pregnant women. but not for me. i get upset stomach even with the slightest cold. *sigh*

so many things to learn for mommy, Dash.

the new symptom that i wish would just go away..

after two months of hassle-free symptoms, i just experienced this morning a very scary type of dizziness and nausea-like feeling. woke up to the crying baby of our neighbor at dawn and when i tried to sleep on my side, oh my gooodneeeesss - THE WORLD IS SPINNING! i returned to lie on my back position and it disappeared. what was that?! i slept back, thinking that it was just dizziness caused by sudden movement.

hubby woke really early. i tried to stand through going to my side - THE WORLD IS SPINNING, AGAIN! i stayed in my sitting position and closed my eyes, the scary dizziness is still there. i tried to get up, i swayed. what was happening? i tried to stand straight, it got ok. but everytime i look down, everything is spinning again. i tried to look up, the same thing. i really fought it. i cooked rice despite the fact that i was swaying while walking. i tried to lie down, but the crazy dizziness was still there. i closed my eyes. hubby is now worried because as i've said, i never had any ill-like symptoms before. i took a bath, just being careful not to fall down. ate a really good breakfast prepared by my husband: corned beef, mashed potatoes and steamed eggplant. after a hearty meal, that was when i really felt throwing up. no way!

thank God i arrived at work without getting faint or throwing up. i even brought a container for me to throw up, in case. LOL.

now, i'm still getting the dizzy and nauseous. but i kept telling my Dash, no throwing up please. i really loved what your Dad prepared for breakfast, i want to stay it in my stomach. so let's hold it up there, OK?


thank goodness for my blog. i've never been this active in blogging ever since i got pregnant. my little Dash is going to be a genius of words, believe me.

so what are my thoughts in this a little relaxed afternoon?

1: i cannot understand my baby bump (or if it's that how i should call it now). it's there, but it's not. ok, you don't get it. the book i'm reading "What to Expect when You're Expecting", says bumps usually show at 11 weeks. and i think i'm a bit huge at 8 weeks that i'm at the point of worry. my sides are a bit full and i feel soooo bloated. my bump is not that hard but it's huge. i think it's a huge huge flab! *sigh* sometimes i think i'm not pregnant but with the series of pees and hunger pangs i'm feeling, i am indeed pregnant. i wanted to buy clothes already but i've decided to buy once i've grown. we'll see next month.

2: i am so annoyed with a certain observation that i just cannot let go of it. i usually don't get annoyed with little things but this one is just too much for my hormones. last august 20, a friend of my husband (a guy) asked how many weeks i'm getting on and somebody answered, 8 weeks. and then the guy said, "but they just got married last july, how come she's on her 8th week?" and the guy "sort of" speculated that i was already pregnant when we got married. the other friend defended us (thank you so much!) and told him that they planned their wedding for a year, they wouldn't make such crazy thing. what an ignorant prick! just to be clear (and you better listen to this you, you....basta ikaw!) i had my last menstrual period on june 26. you start counting weeks of conception based on that. not on the wedding date. i am so pissed off. honestly, if i was not pregnant now, i would laugh at this insane annoyance of mine but because i am, i would not. just you wait till i announce my pregnancy in social networks and i will really, really clarify this. just to be mean, i did not get married the way you did. ooppss. sorry, but that's the truth. and no pregnant bride, even if she's on her 1st month would fit my mermaid styled gown. i placed myself on a diet for 2 months just to fit it. hmph.

3: my mom has a superstition not to keep on watching stuff with ugly faces or anything unpleasing. how would i explain the fact that ever since i've had Dash, i always wanted to watch animal features in National Geographic?! well, my Dash is not only a genius of words but a lover of nature too! woo hoo! and also the fact that i am having so much fun reading Pugad Baboy?!

4: some people think it's weird that i have no weird cravings for some food. well, i eat when i'm hungry and i eat what's available. Dash is a really, really good kid. not fussy, would prefer to eat healthy stuff like fruits and veggies. and he knows mommy is really busy and would rather not cause some discomfort. Good for you, Dash! although this constant peeing is really bothersome. i cannot stand for an hour without getting the strong urge to pee. i stand for 10 minutes, and the urge comes. and repeat cycle. i cannot process papers at NSO because of such peeing problems. *sigh* but it's OK. i can get through this.

random thoughts while feasting on a pomelo

tee hee. first i had the Kasal, Kasali Chronicles and now its about my baby bump! (which is not yet a bump but more of stored fats, hahaha.)

> didn't feel drowsy at 10:30 which was my pattern during my 1st month. im still entering my 8th week so who knows what Dash is up to. oh by the way, we call our unborn Dash. well, i love Dash in The Incredibles and i guess the other reason is self-explanatory. LOL.

> really excited about my baby shower. HAHA, i can't help thinking about it and i am mentally planning it. might hold it on my birthday. ah, the gifts. hey, don't tell me you were not thinking about them while planning your baby shower..haha. is there a baby shower registry? that would be a GREAT idea for moms-to-be.

> mixed emotions for the visible bump: will i look good or will i look too big like i've eaten a whole watermelon? LOL. but, looking forward to the fashionable looks i've imagined.

> looked up for some baby names on my 10 minute break. well, i have no second name for a girl but i already have the name for a boy. decided on the name for a boy a loooong time ago. hahaha.

> went to the grocery section and i salivated (literally) at the junk food section. i wanted to buy a pack of Lays. but no, i have a pack of Oishi potato chips at home. that will have to do. hahahaha.

anyway, this is all for today. Dash and me will feast on pasta and meet her soon-to-be ninangs tonight. but we will miss Daddy's cooking :)

my ignatian contemplation

one of the best thing about being part of the ateneo de davao community is our annual 3-day retreats. it allows us to take a break and be reunited with God and fill our spiritual needs. for this year, i purposedly did not join a retreat group with people that i know. i wanted a different perspective this time, one that will allow me to reflect and really be intimate with my God. being married for barely a month has changed my usual prayer routines and i felt a bit different.

i listed myself in the retreat group entitled "Inner Struggles, Inner Grace". but what really caught my attention to sign up in this particular retreat is the speaker. he is the director of the jesuit volunteers of the philippines. i am always inspired by the life lived by volunteers and i want to learn from this man whose life is of passion and service.

surprise, surprise! our retreat venue is one of the coveted venue of all addu retreats and i am so blessed to be there. our venue is a privately owned mountain resort of a former administrator in addu, and it located in kitaotao, bukidnon. we were told to bring our "winter" clothes because the weather over there is really colder than in the city. upon arriving, really cold winds greeted us. heck, it was even colder than the car airconditioning, haha. we were given almost 3 hours to settle down and enjoy the scenery. so here are some of them..(sorry, just from my phone cam..)

the view from our retreat hall

the view from the hut below this

our assembly hall

the resthouse of the owner

the walkway going to the assembly hall

we had our first input, and we were told what were doing until friday. we were going to do an ignation contemplation, "to be present to a scene in which the scene will take its effect in the depth of our hearts..." an ignatian contemplation is just being intimate with God through being in the scene with Jesus.

our retreat master shared his contemplation of the nativity scene: he is the donkey on which Mama Mary rode going to Bethlehem. and during the ride, he felt Mama Mary's heartbeat and a second tiny one, the heartbeat of our Savior. upon hearing his story, i suddenly felt scared. will i contemplate that well? i was a bit "pressured", to be honest. anyway, our retreat master assured us: everything that happens is a grace of God. whatever comes up from our contemplation is a gift from God.

view from my window in the early morning of august 4. slept with socks on, a thick jacket and bonnet and wrapped myself in a fleece blanket. brrrr. still so cold. hot showers here is heaven.

for our morning contemplation (which is the nativity scene, given to us the night before), i chose a corner in our retreat assembly hall and tried closing my eyes. honestly, im not sure if i was dreaming or was i awake, but i could clearly see all the images: i was taken to a scene of a town plaza, and i was a woman fetching water. everyone was going to a certain direction, probably because of the governor's order to enlist. and i saw a donkey, refusing to continue on his journey and it was the donkey of mama mary and st. joseph. i rushed to give their donkey a
drink and i looked at the blessed couple. such a sight. mama mary is so beautiful. she was in fact, wiping the sweat from st. joseph's brow. their donkey still refused to walk so i offered them shelter and then mama mary suddenly touched her stomach - she must have felt a
contraction or something and lo, and behold - I FELT A PAIN IN MY STOMACH. and i was awake or out of my concentration. but the pain in my stomach is still there. i had to go back to our quarters and lied down to settle and reflect on the pain and the whole contemplation experience. was i imagining it? am i really pregnant? (i took a pregnancy test and tested positive 2 days before the retreat period but i was still in doubt. you can read my previous entry, at 6 weeks!) when i woke up, the pain was gone. but whatever it was, it a deeply touching experience. i felt so intimate with the Infant Jesus that time, i felt His kick or whatever it is, before He was born.

i have other contemplations but i will make a different entry for them. but, my first ignatian contemplation truly brought me closer to God and His Son and Mama Mary.

thank you Ateneo de Davao for such a beautiful experience.

at 6 weeks!

yes, it's true. this is actually my first public admission that i am, indeed, pregnant by 6 six weeks! (by the time i blog this, i might be on my 7th week..) most of our families know and some of my close friends, but we have no "social network" announcement yet. hahaha.

my OB actually teased me of having a "honeymoon" baby. and the fact is, we didin't even go on a honeymoon trip. yos and i stayed in the hotel for 2 days to rest from the 6 months of wedding planning and plan our move-out. we are so blessed to be gifted with a baby :)

i was expecting to have my period on the last week of july and when it didn't, i knew (or rather i strongly felt) that i was really pregnant. i was actually feeling sluggish, overly tired, hungry and peed most of the time. but i was blaming such symptoms to stress and adjustments - living on our own meant doing ALL the household chores. yes, i was just stressed out. i even went on a beach overnight with friends at the end of the month. i didn't drink alcohol because i wanted to make sure that IF i was really pregnant, i didn't want to cause any harm to our baby. i took the 1st pregnancy test on the 1st week of august and it was invalid. LOL. well, i really didn't know how so i took again the next day. well, it had 2 pink lines, but a very faint one. i decided to take one again - after our retreat. then something happened in our retreat that really touched my whole being (read "my ignatian contemplation" entry) and i was truly looking forward to taking that pregnancy test again. and here is the result...

two pregnancy tests, taken on 2 different days and both have the same results. i guess there's no more denying it, i am indeed pregnant. however, i am still in doubt because my PT's were all not the same: the photo above had a faint pink line at C Line. the other one had a faint pink line at T line. i went to the doctor first thing that week and i've been given sets of vitamins to drink and then come back the next month. she thinks i had taken too many PT's. hahaha.

honestly, right now, i am still on the process of comprehending this new adjustment that has come into my life - rather, our life. yos and i were just getting used to the fact of our "bahay-bahayan" and next year, our lives will surely be different. wonderful and exciting of course, but still different. i still can't help but worry about a lot of things. right now, i am worried about my state of wardrobe, my weight, labor pains and of course, will my baby be healthy? but i will be ready. yos is very helpful. he cooks most of the time, so he prepares nothing but healthy foods. he reads the food section of pregnancy books to know what kind of food to prepare (though sometimes i cheat whenever i am in the office, haha)..i am not yet feeling those mood swings they are talking about in books but i always try to be happy all the time, despite the heavy feeling of drowsiness every 10:30 in the morning. i am going to make most of this pregnant experience. i can hardly wait to shop for baby clothes, use baby products from Human Nature and be the coolest pro-phillipines and pro-environment mom ever.

thank you Lord, for the wonderful gift of life inside me.

The Arab Dog vs. the Israeli Dog

HAHA. got this from dr. jardiolin's blog :) so funny, i swear.

The Arab Dog vs. the Israeli Dog

The Israelis and Arabs realized that, if they continued fighting, they would someday end up destroying the whole world. So, they decided to settle their dispute with an ancient practice: A duel of two, like David and Goliath. This duel would be a dog fight.

The negotiators agreed each side would take 5 years to develop the best fighting dog they could. The dog that won the fight would earn its people the right to rule the disputed areas. The losing side would have to lay down its arms for good.

The Arabs found the biggest, meanest Doberman's and Rottweiler's in the world. They bred them together and then crossed their offspring with the meanest Siberian wolves.

They selected only the biggest, strongest puppy of each litter, fed it the best food and killed all the other puppies. They used steroids and trainers in their quest for the perfect killing machine. And after the 5 years were up, they had a dog that needed steel prison bars on its cage. Only expert trainers could handle this incredibly nasty and ferocious beast.

When the day of the big dog-fight finally arrived, the Israelis showed up with a very strange-looking animal, a Dachshund that was 10 feet long!

Everyone at the dogfight arena felt sorry for the Israelis. No one there seriously thought this weird, odd-looking animal stood any chance against the growling beast over in the Arab camp. All the bookies took a look and predicted that the Arab dog would win in less than a minute.

As the cages were opened, the Dachshund very slowly waddled towards the center of the ring.

The Arab dog leaped from its cage and charged the giant ''wiener-dog''. As he got to within an inch of the Israeli dog, the Dachshund opened its jaws and swallowed the Arab beast whole in one bite. There was nothing left but a small puff of fur from the Arab killer dog's tail floating to the ground.

The stunned crowd of international observers, bookies and media personnel let out a collective gasp of disbelief and surprise.

The Arabs approached the Israelis, muttering and shaking their heads in disbelief. "We do not understand," said their leader, "Our top scientists and breeders worked for 5 long years with the meanest, biggest Doberman's, Rottweiler's and Siberian wolves, and they developed an incredible killing machine of a dog!"

The Israelis replied. "Well, for 5 years, we have had a team of Filipino plastic surgeons from Vicki Belo working to make an alligator look like a Dachshund."

Happy 1 Year Human Nature Dealership Anniversary to me!

ooooh, i just remembered that i celebrated my 1 year anniversary as a Human Nature dealer last month (july 2011). well, i was really busy last month so, i guess it's better late than never :)


what can i say? IT WAS THE BEST PARTNERSHIP - EVER! my 1 year relationship with HN is probably one of the most memorable time i had in my life.

i was really looking for something worthwhile to do with my free time at that point in my life: i was missing my busy days of volunteering for school and GK. i kind of lost touch with GK - i did not fit with the students anymore. God really has His own way of sending you people and opportunities. enter sir igy and mam pam (whom i believe God sent as "angels" to answer my prayer) and my love affair with human nature began. it started with a strawberry body butter (which made me really sad that it was discontinued) and the citronella bug spray. i initially signed up as a dealer for personal consumption, not to sell. but the opportunity to share something so good is easy. i shared it first with tiny (who of course became my 1st downline, hehehe) and my other chica, batet who became my highest buyer awardee last december. haha. and as they say, the rest is history.

and there was karina, the dealers relations officer, who was tagging me endlessly in FB about human nature, where i was also ignoring (sorry for that kar, we could have been partners longer, hahahaha!) (who i also believe is another "angel" sent to me for my human nature love story...) karina and i were already friends way back she was in college so i guess it was a match. haha.

enter the Human Nature Search for the National Ambassador. i was joking to karina i wanted to join and i was repeating to her that my vital stats (at that time..hahah!) would never pass. but she persisted and i gave in. at that time, there were two of us who were vying for the local ambassador spot. i remember my prayer that time; i asked God that would it be too crazy for me to ask to make me an ambassador. deep in my heart i wanted it, but i was also scared because i was already 28 and i was never an ambassador slash beauty representative (using the term beauty queen seemed a bit excessive, hehe) to be one.

enter the call of tita monique (including tita joy and tita sylvia and tito iky, who are also my "angels" in my human nature story) - and that was it. i became the Local Ambassador for Human Nature-Davao City. i was so happy, i was crying while talking to tita monique and i was crying still after.

and everything happened: i went to manila to represent davao in the first human nature summit, met a lot of inspiring people like Mr. Tony Meloto, the Global Ambassador Rachel Grant, the people behind Human Nature especially Ate Anna, Kuya Dylan, Camille and Joanna. then in a year, i had my first appearance in the human nature brochure. an experience that i always dreamed and God helped me make it come true. i am truly, truly blessed and Human Nature is part of it.

and my personal life as well is human nature-filled: i got married and my wedding was all about being pro-philippines, pro-poor and pro-environment. i have a separate blog about it actually, i'm just trying to find time to write it. hehehe. and being a dealer of human nature has made me more concious and aware of my everyday decisions (together with my husband who share the the same advocacy), how i can help our country and our environment.


i could go on and on about how human nature has changed my life but it all sums up to this: I AM A PROUD DEALER and i look forward to more fruitful years with HUMAN NATURE. and in addition, congratulations to Tita Monique, Tita Joy and Tita Sylvia in their new branch located at Plaza del Carmen, Obrero Davao City. i urge you guys to visit. it's so chic and cozy. mapapabili ka talaga. hehehe. okay, some photos of course. haha.

my brochure appearance. this is truly a dream come true for me. hehe.

with Karina, a good friend and former Dealers Relations Officer

GK Visit at GK Pueblo Antonio at Catigan - home our passion fruit :)

Love on the 8th of July: Pre-Wedding Photos

one of the best perks of my wedding is that i did not hire photographers from studios. one, they are a bit pricey. there are a lot of freelance photographers now who are as good (even better, i suppose) as those in studios. two, yos and i wanted a photo shoot where we would feel really comfortable with each other and at the same time, feel comfortable with people who are taking snaps of us.

we agreed to hire our good friends as videographer and photographer: Joy Libre, worked in a photo studio for almost a year - so she pretty much has a background in how these kind of photo shoots go. Rona is my friend and at the same time, my "personal" photographer. he's the one whom i always call whenever i feel vain and need a shoot. LOL. the other photographer is Sir Igy, my first photographer in my first ever glam photo shoot. sir igy also took my glam photos for my human nature stint so i am really comfortable with him and i really know he is good in what he does. sir igy's photos are not here but i'll post his photos too :)

it was a good decision. our photo shoots were all fun. yos and i can freely suggest what we like and what we don't. here are some of my favorite shots from our pre-nuptial photo shoot taken last february 2011 and may 2011.

and what i really, really love about my pre-nup shoots is i did the make-up myself, using Human Nature Love Minerals Pressed Powder Foundation and Human Nature Love Minerals Blush. i also used the tinted lip balm on my groom. the love minerals eye shadows were still not available (or i have not yet bought?! am not sure...) lol.

anyway, enjoy the photos. i'm a bit sad not being able to post all the photos because they were really all nice, but i got to choose :)

what i love about this photo is the "anime" feel. hehe.

yipee! i love how fun this photo is. this is actually our couple shirt. i bought this from zamboanga city as a pasalubong to yos. we had it since 2005. i actually laughed when i saw this.

taken at GAP Farm Resort, may 2011..this photo was used in our reception.

my favorite - the bubbles! haha.

sweet ;)

L-o, L-o-V-e

i love the feel of this photo - very vintage.

this too..

thank you guys for the beautiful photos :) special thanks to batet, hehe.

it's 5 days after our big day :)

hello everyone! am so happy to be back online. i didn't go on a honeymoon because yos and i decided to take care first of our house before we go on vacation which is not happening anytime for the next months. hahaha.

anyway, i'm looking forward to seeing all my photos & videos. i should have the time to see my videographer and photographers. hahaha.

will be busy posting photos next week, i hope :)

so, this is how it feels like...

it's two more days before the big day. and i'm a nervous wreck. this is how it feels like, huh. anyway, just relaxing while doing some errands. still have to pack for tomorrow.

excited but nervous.

Morena & Proud!

Morena and PROUD!

Be part of Human Nature’s Morena and Proud campaign. We deliberately do NOT sell whitening products because they are harmful to your health and we believe God designed Filipinas to be naturally beautiful!

So now we're looking for beautiful morenas to prove it to the world -- from today until June 23, post your photo on our Wall with the caption "Morena and Proud" and get a chance to win a set of Human Nature mineral make-up (foundation, blush, eyeshadow and lipstick) in a raffle draw. PLUS, you'll receive a voucher code entitling you to a 53% discount on our Boracay Bronze Mineral Pressed Powder Foundation, specially formulated for morenas! That's right, 53% discount! Get it for only P199 instead of the usual P425 when you share your Morena and Proud photo.

So come on ladies, show off that island beauty! ♥

1st Day of the Month, June is about Human Nature

hello everyone!

i look forward to a LOT of things for the month of June. one of them is new products from Human Nature! yey!

i am a believer and supporter of organic and philippine made products and Human Nature (company is Gandang Kalikasan, Inc.) is one of them. GKI is a social enterprise, who produces organic and safe personal care products with the philosophy of being pro-Philippines, pro-Poor and pro-Environment. it is closely linked with Gawad Kalinga (aside from the fact that it's founders are the children of GK hero, Tony Meloto) as it aims to source out all raw materials from the Philippines, thus providing sustainable livelihood to GK communities. for more information and to shop, you can visit Human Nature site at: http://humanheartnature.com/main.html

anyway, what's making me excited?

1) New shampoo: Natural Moisturizing Shampoo with Cream Foam
i have a thing for hair products as i can truly attest that only Human nature products brought back the shine of my crowning glory that's why i can't hardly wait to try them all....

2) Bug Shield
i loved the citronella bug spray but i have a problem with the grease sometimes and having a choice for the lotion type is heaven. yahoo! tough luck for the mozzies. can't wait to share the bug shield with a lot of moms..

3) 100% Natural Hydrating Lotion (with passion fruit oil)
another reason to spoil my skin...my human nature mango body butter is looking at a serious competition. lol.

it's the 1st of june and waiting is not that long. hurry stocks, hurry.

- FriendS -