Wednesday, 30 April 2008

A relaxing MAY DAY TO ALL! International Workers' Day or Labour's Day, however you may call it. Still is a long week end for every one to enjoy.

Just knew it now that here in Europe, the celebration could be traced back even during the medieval times. Its marking the start of spring and the end of gloomy winter.

Cheers to all our hardworking laborers. Are moms included? If you want to hehehe... How come Mother's Day is not a non-working holiday?

Tuesday, 29 April 2008


When I was pregnant with my second son, Marley And Me a book by John Grogan, gave me company. I was just browsing it when my husband brought it home from work. Till I ended up reading and loving every page.

Clients from the hotel where my husband works just leave these books when they're done. Unlike us, so sentimental with books we read, we leave them piling up in our spare room. A room where you can't move anymore because of so many "memorabilia" hehehe... Doesn't surprise me when my sister Ica prefers to sleep at my other sister's house. "Avalanche of printed and bound works"(hahaha)can give "bukol"(contusion) too, ya' know.

Back to
Marley And Me, its a story about a dog and the author. I thought it was all about this fury cuddly creature on the pics but it wasn't. Its about a couple whose starting a family with a "neurotic" dog that is adding up "zest" into their life. Another read I want to pass, so, go and buy, barrow or steal one(lol). And, I almost forgot, they're making a movie out of it. Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston are in the lead role.

We can't have a dog here, its not allowed in our village. If I could only keep it a "PUPPY" forever, I'll be a stubborn and own one. I can just ignore if someone complains and I'll talk out the 'carabinieri'(police) if it gets that worse. But, thinking of walking it out 3 to 4 times a day scares me off. And, the boys tagging along aaarghhh...and its winter...if we go for vacations, who stays with it?.... Why does it have to be so complicated?

Friday, 25 April 2008


No school today for Lukie. Aside from the Chickenpox he acquired from school, it is also a national holiday. It is the celebration of the Anniversario della Liberazione (Liberation Day). life in tells us more:

Celebrated on April 25th, it commemorates the liberation of Italy by Allied troops in the Second World War. The holiday is meant to honor all those who died during the war, from soldiers fighting overseas to civilian victims of Allied bombings and atrocities committed during Nazi Germany's bitter retreat from its former ally's territory. The lives of those who served as partisans in the Italian Resistance are especially honored.

lukie's "S"...

Lukie who says "chicken pops" came home yesterday from school and after putting his plates, shoes and jacket in place, he took something from his back pack and hid it behind his back.

LUKIE: Mama, I have an "S"(waiting for me to guess the word) for you!

MAMA: "Surprise"...

LUKIE: 'Brava!' (still holding his surprise but hidden behind him).

MAMA: What is it? Let me guess, another "designo"(drawing).

LUKIE: 'Si! Echo.' (yes, here it is).

MAMA: Ohhh very nice, 'sai bravo amore'(you're great my love)... What is it?

LUKIE: ELEZIONE POLITICHE 2008(Politics: Election 2008).

MAMA: Ha! Ha! Ha! You're really great!

LUKIE: I know!

MAMA: What did the teacher say?

LUKIE: She laughed!

Italians have elected their Prime Minister weeks ago and every six year old kid would care less. But, not my son with his sample ballot, rolled and taped by the teacher for mama and papa to see:

Wednesday, 23 April 2008


with mama, dad and nung rudy

"Dove ce tanti bambini?" (Where there are a lot of kids?), that is how my son Lukie remembers "BURNHAM PARK". His face lights up every time he recalls his last visit there two years ago. Then he will tell you about the "tanti"(many)children riding bikes, on the see-saw and swings of this famous park of Baguio City.

in the middle with my icy

My father who is turning 65 this year once told us that when he got hold of his first allowance as an altar boy, he bought pants for his 3 brothers and took them to Burnham Park. He was only on his first year at SLU Boy's High back then. More on this story here: DANIEL: Ramon's Son.

blue flats

The little girl me who wishes everyday was a Sunday, lives on counting the weekdays to pass quickly. Most of the time, Sunday for my family back then is a mass at the Baguio Cathedral or San Jose Parish Church and a picnic at BURNHAM PARK. My most anticipated one hour ride from our hometown Tublay were during those days.

Now, its quite ironic though - that we have so many children's park here in Italy but there are few or no children to make use of them. We have one in our compound, another is only a hundred meters away from our home. Then another big one at the center of Cavallino(name of our town) which is only a 15 minutes walk from our place. All these recreational parks are well maintained and "children friendly". But then again, you can't see five kids playing at the same time.

LISA of Baguio Insider had an alarming old post here: ALERT! P200 MILLION BUILDING TO BE ERECTED ON BURNHAM PARK . Its also very disappointing to hear from our family back in Baguio that big bucks of funds were allotted for the renovation of the said park but unsatisfactory works were done. A sum of money that could totally change every old see-saw, rusting swings and climbing bars into new modern ones. But, all they did were to refresh the paints and put sands all around. Read the discussions of residents and expats here: BAGUIO CITY ONLINE: Burnham Park

Its not in my system to complain but when something that has been a part of your childhood is "ill-treated", it is some one's childhood is also being denied. As I have said before, people concern in deciding for Burnham Park's improvement were once kids too. Did they not ever run around and held this park as something dear to their childhood? As Lisa said, "don't they care and love their children too?" Oh but... maybe because they can afford, their kids have their own private parks.

Sorry for being a "bugger" and my "yappy doddle do". These "misfits" of "dove ce tanti bambini", the same old slides when I was a kid and beautiful parks with just my kids are truly unfair. Maybe blogging it down will get it off me as I pass it to you hehehe.

Friday, 18 April 2008


When Boogie and Lukie went to the supermarket yesterday, our son saw a Ferrari toy he wants his father to buy. My husband did not give in thinking our boys have a lot of toy cars. It will just add up to the big pile of messy "props" that is soon going to bury our home (lol).

Boogie reasoned out that its too expensive and we don't have money for that toy.

Lukie: "I have 10 euros, Auntie Susan gave it yesterday. Mama and I had put it in my piggy bank, we can just get it back."

Papa: "Parla con tua Mama"(Talk to your Mama).

So when they got home, Boogie and I talked about how we're going to teach him about money while our son was riding his BMX outside. Lukie came in and asked me if he could get back his money from the "piggy" and I told him he can't open it till it's full and use the money for more important stuff. I told him its for his REAL car or motorcyle someday. We also told him about a "real paying job" we will give him soon and he was delighted about the idea. It took us the a whole night and a day to think what "work" is he going to do.

Lukie received his first "real pay" from his "first real job" tonight by fixing all his brother's toys scattered everywhere. Later, he swept the floor of the dining area(not with the vacume cleaner). Then he was more excited to mark the calendar about his "primo"(first)pay than to get the 1 euro from his Mama. shares us: Money101 Lesson 12:Kids and Money:

Top Things To Know:

1. When it comes to teaching kids about money, the sooner the better.
Up until they start earning a living, and sometimes well beyond that, kids are apt to spend money like it grows on trees. This lesson will help you put your children on the road to handling money responsibly.
Long before most children can add or subtract, they become aware of the concept of money. Any 4-year-old knows where their parents get money - the ATM, of course. Understanding that parents must work for their money requires a more mature mind, and even then, the learning process has its wrinkles. For example, once he came to understand that his father worked for a living, a 5-year-old asked, "How was work today?" "Fine," the father replied. The child then asked, "Did you get the money?"

2. Once they learn how money works, children often display an instinctive conservatism.
Instant gratification aside, once they learn they can buy things they want with money - e.g., candy, toys - many children will begin hoarding every nickel they can get their hands on. How this urge is channeled can determine what kind of financial manager your child will be as an adult.

3. Seeds planted early bear fruit later.
It's important to work on your child's financial awareness early on, for once they're teenagers, they are less likely to heed your sage advice. Besides, they're busy doing other things - like spending money.

4. An allowance can be an effective teaching tool.
When your kids are young, giving them small amounts of money helps them prepare for the day when the numbers will get bigger.

5. Teenagers and college-age kids have bigger responsibilities.
Checking accounts, credit cards, and debt are as elemental to the college experience as books and keg parties. Teaching high-schoolers about banking and credit will make them more savvy when they leave the nest.

6. Even investing should be learned early.
High schoolers can and should be taught about the market - using real money.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008


Post 28: Lolo Ramon's Story

If I would be asked of things I remember most about my grandmother, it would be her tapey(rice wine), her childhood memories, her cooking and her great faith in God.

Back when I was eleven years old, My Lola Meding found me sited on the bench near the "dalikan" or "pugon" (where to cook making use of fire-woods) as she enters her kitchen backdoor. She just came from helping my dad in putting the chickens into their cages. She also made sure that my dad had sent all of us kids to go and play elsewhere away from her house.

"Ngantoy wada ka dyay"(why are you here)?", she calmly asked. I was expecting her to get angry at me for sneaking into her kitchen when I was suppose to be with my sisters. I didn't answer but stubbornly sat there and firmly showed her I'm not lifting my butt away from her bench. "I-aagit mo ngarud"(be quiet) and just watch she told me as she added more wood into the fire.

After neatly tucking in her hair into her knitted brown cap, Lola started to boil the red rice for the "tapey"(rice wine) she's going to make. It is for the canao (a traditional Igorot feast) we're soon going to have. This specific traditional feast we call "panayaw" is for my Mama who just died few months ago. Its our way of having our "babang luksa" (end of mourning) where we butcher pigs, cows or carabaos. The highlight would be for our departed to have "tayaw" (Igorot dance) performed by any of the immediate family. It is our belief that in doing the "panayaw", we're helping our newly departed's soul cross over into the next life.

When the red rice almost lost all it's water, my grandma poured it into the "bigao"( winnowing basket-tray ) to cool down. She then sprinkled the pounded "bubod"(local yeast)on it and mixed it thoroughly with his two big wooden ladles before the rice finally lost all it's heat. Then she covered the mixture with the banana leaves she had soften earlier by burning it a little directly into the fire. When all was set, she brought all the "bigao" inside the spare room where it was cool and dry. After four days, she will fill all the "coli"(jars) with the "sinaig"(the mixture:3 to 5 days old ) and seal it tightly to ferment further. After two months, these would be opened serving as our wine for the said Canao.

When she came back from the room where she stored the "bigao", I asked her, "Ngantoy kailangan yu a ikulong idama manok?" (Why do you have to cage all the chickens?). She explained that no one must fight, animals and people alike nor make some loud noises when she's making the rice wine so that when during the canao, there will no fights and all would be serene.

My father also added during my last call yesterday that during the tapey making, there should be no love making for the chicken nor dogs. And for the house hold members, no sex till the "coli" is sealed. It is an old belief that when this is not followed, any spouse member of the household might commit adultery.


Post 27: Lolo Ramon's Story

When people believe in what you do more than you do, you ought to give them back the benefit of putting that confidence in what you can do. "I must be doing something good", animates you sometimes and nothing is better than to just accept that - you really are doing something good.

I've started to write about my grandfather's stories and stopped when I was feeling the pressure of writing the next page better than the other. Its hard to maintain a pace where every reader must walk with you, talk with you and worst, feel you.

Call it a losser for ending up a story so as to be freed from the responsibility of "continuing". A coward for seeing it as a burden. It shamed me to know - I have become.

Had it not been for the constant emails and private messages of those people who responded with my grandfather's life, I would be at a lost. Lost in empeding what and where these stories would lead me and the next generations of my family.

Thus, while I still have the grace, I concur to the will of fighting my demons and start doing what(after all) I love to do - Indulge in reminiscence. Then My Lola Meding shines, the wife of My Lolo Ramon.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008


This morning, we were checking CNN to see what the world is saying about the recent winning of the new Prime Minister - rather, the come back of the former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. We "clicked" this first: Boy, bullied for singing.

Why Andrew Johnston for this article:"Italy's Berlusconi returns to power"? No comment.

Monday, 14 April 2008


Makes me laugh every time my husband says, "I'm in the zone" as he does the "rapper's thing" with his hands. I thought of starting with this "zone-zone" to keep me punching these keys and get back to the zone.

Before sounding like a nitwit, this blog's template is giving me a headache. I can't make it have three columns and in attempt of doing so, I lost most of the "blings" on the side bar. Help!

Wednesday, 9 April 2008


"Hey, get back here!"...My friend Lorna called her two kids, Feona and Lance, who were already 50 meters away from us. "Its not everyday that you get to wear those dresses, let me take more photos", she added when we finally reached them. Well, results are obviously shown in this shot, cute real expressions captured. Kids hehehe...and stage moms... Feona and Lance were just eager to go home for the party set for them (Who isn't hehehe).

When Lorna asked me to be her daughter's godmother for her first Holy communion, I was reminded of my godmother Auntie Gloria. She's my dad's youngest sister, the first in the family who lived far from home. She and my uncle Fando tried their luck and had successfully raise their family in Davao City.

As a reward for passing the board exam, I went to visit my "ninang" and its one of my most enjoyed and pampering get away. My uncle Fando even got me "sacks" of 'pomelo' from his friend's farm which I devoured all by my self during my entire stay. I also love their mangosteen which was not in season that time but was able to eat loads of it, thanks for my auntie who stormed the market just to buy me some.

When I went back home to Baguio, I left her a letter. I'll try to write it again and hope to to remember everything on my next post.


Not just one but more than 3 of my blog-mates wrote, "life gets in the way of blogging", after a long pause before updating their site. I don't know if a good book and a sleepy mood is considered a life. These two are comforting my love handles and bulges(lol) when there's so much to write.

Friday, 4 April 2008


Aside from the mumbling blabbing baby talks we can't figure out when Dylan opens his mouth, he finally said his very first clear word yesterday. He said BIRD when he saw the video of the feathered creature my husband took with the DV cam.

Birds are here again which means its spring and soon it will be summer. They wake us up early in the morning. For sure next month, at 4 A.M., these fowls will send us out of bed.

For our eldest Lukie, it was CAR. We used to live at Lido Venice that time where there are more cars compared to where we are now. Turned out to be his passion, specially the Formula 1 , which he memorized every tracks, race schedules and race drivers by heart.

It was BASKET 'ABOT-ABOT(holes)for my first word which was my parents business that time. They used to make baskets the farmers of Mountain Trail use as containers for their leafy vegetables.

Speaking of Mountain Trail, its actually a road but we Cordillerans got used of referring to it as a place. Instead of saying Atok,Benguet or Municipality of Buguias, we say Mountain Trail. These places are where most of our vegies in the Philippines come from. This trail is now called
Halsema Highway . Here's a video uploaded by my cousin Miss Buguias and you'll see where cabbages, carrots, potatoes etc travel before it gets to Baguio City or La Trinidan.

As usual from Dylan's first word to Mountain Trail. If Lukie's first word has something to do with his Formula 1 frenzy(hehehe), what would it be for a bird? How about the basket abot-abot? Think...think...


Half way reading this book: Tim Russert's ‘Wisdom of Our Fathers’ , I can't help but tell every one to grab a copy of it. This is not a sponsored post by the way. Please click the link and find out why I am recommending this amazing book.

Boogie and I are very grateful to Sir C.N. Candelario of Fallon New York for sending us Tim Russert's ‘Wisdom of Our Fathers’ along with the other book, Moving Zen. I am passing this gift by "nagging"(lol) you to open the link and avail or go buy/barrow/steal(hehehe) one.

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