Sunday, November 29, 2009

Checklist: little acts...

Quick post. Here are 9 little things to do to be more charitable.

  1. Listen...and carefully. Look the person in the eye and don't keep looking at your watch or mobile phone. There's so much to learn; pay attention!
  2. Be affectionate. This depends on how close you are to a person. Of course, don't be too touchy with everybody--that would be creepy, hehe!
  3. Laugh. When something is really funny. But not at somebody else's expense.
  4. Write sincere messages and notes to friends. A well-written note will never be forgotten!
  5. Give sincere compliments. Sincere is the key word.
  6. Go out of your way to do something kind...every day. Do favors, and people will find it easier to go out of their way for you too; more importantly, happiness comes from helping others, not helping yourself.
  7. Get your "alone time." And give others theirs.
  8. Keep a cheerful disposition. When you're exhausted, get that hair out of your face and make an effort to look fresh and happy. It's not lying to yourself--it's just that not everyone needs to know of your woes. Maybe just your closest friends--even then, you can tell them without looking all torn and broken!
  9. Inspire. Don't think about this too much. Simply do what is just, admire awesome people, stay grounded, stick to the truth, and keep working hard. Hopefully by example, you'll get others to do the same (so you better be worth emulating!).
Happy start of Advent!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rise and shine!

Every day is a struggle of keeping to one's resolutions. Be more patient, check. Be more cheerful, check. Be more generous, less lazy, more goes the ordinary resolution list. The items on the list may seem insignificant, but who said the little things never helped a person much? In fact, it's the seemingly inconsequential challenges that slowly chip away at all those bad habits that people tend to keep coming back to.

Why am I talking about resolutions? It isn't 2010 yet! What most people forget about resolutions is that they can be made any time of the year, not just on New Year. (Anyone who has made many New Year's resolutions is probably aware of how they crack by March and dissolve by June--and that's being optimistic already.) Not choosing a special day for making resolutions (one definite resolution at a time is good) helps one continuously check whether or not the resolution is being kept; it gives a kind of outlook--one that takes every day as a battle, and every night as going through the spoils of war, thus strengthening the next day's battle plan.

What I notice about resolutions is they have to be examined and reexamined--in war, how does a warrior win by battle plan alone? The battle itself changes in many ways while it's happening; one has to keep up with these changes in order to end up winning the war.

For this post, I'd like to talk about the first battle of everyday: waking up on time. Think about this: how can you keep up the energy to pull through your resolutions if at the start of the day, FAIL is already stamped onto your forehead? That first skirmish of the day is crucial because it determines how well you will fight that day!

Victory at the first battle makes the following battles easier to face because of the undeniable boost in confidence ("Kaya ko pala ito!") it brings. And to taste this victory, you need a great awareness of what is important now. What's interesting about "the waking up battle" is that, pushing the "now" for "later" actually pushes everything you had planned the night before a step back. It's a whole day's schedule delayed and compromised, only because you didn't get up at the count of three.

So, on top of the day's resolution, try this:
I will wake up on time...and with a smile.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Blue shoes and the element of surprise

After looking through the pictures from this show (Peter Som, Spring 2010), I can't help liking the blue shoes! They're like a pleasant surprise at the end of a really good novel, or finding an old photograph in the most unlikely place. (I once found a photo of my sisters and myself in a library book in Poveda. The book apparently hasn't been borrowed/taken out since my Ate returned it some years back.)

Anyhoo, short of gushing over these blue shoes and wasting everyone's time with shallow kikay girl observations (obsessions?), I would like to share some ideas on fashion's ability to turn heads. There are two ways for a woman to turn heads by the way she presents herself. She can either look polished and elegant or trashy and wild. Both are effective but only the former commands respect.

I suppose one can't be polished and elegant all the time--how out of place that would be in the MRT, for example. For women, gaining the respect of peers and strangers is a matter of high importance, but to be dressed in what is normally presumed elegant and polished all the time would be ridiculous.

I'm still looking for words that would stretch "elegance" to suit casual days--and I mean a word that doesn't bring up the "manang" or "old maid" connotation to which the word "modesty" has been unfairly attached. How do you make dressing tastefully (that is, with none of the "too short," "too low," "too exposed" pieces to effortlessly get the head-turning action going) appealing to the regular Jane?

Blue shoes are a good idea--actually, anything that adds that pleasant element of surprise in an ensemble instantly creates a head-turning buzz! It can be a colorful bag, a long necklace, a quirky bracelet, bright-colored glasses, or even a thin striped scarf.

And of course, there is the person behind the ensemble, which should be the most interesting bit of all. She is respected because she presents herself well, and she is liked because how she conducts herself, how she deals with others, and what comes out of her mouth continuously prove that she is as much a lady as she looks.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Baby Magazine
's November 2009 issue is all about family budgeting. Read about how to rebuild anew after a calamity in this month's Family Finance column by Antonette Reyes. Save up on toys by making your own (the process of making your own playthings with the tot is actually helpful for his motor development!). Instill the value of saving in your preschooler. Having a baby? There are tips in the Preggy Days section about how to be financially ready to welcome a new member of the family.

Other interesting reads are a feature on the real solution to maternal mortality (look for "Pregnant pause" by Manny Amador on page 62), an article on how to pick a good pair of shoes for your baby, a feat on holistic medicine versus conventional medicine, and of course, the stories of this month's Working Mother (Denice Nillas-Price) and Involved Father (Mike Mapa).

By the way, the little charmer on the cover is Lauren Isabelle Lee Olalia photographed by Kristin Alfafara Rodriguez of Little People Lifestyle Photography.

Baby magazine is published by Marathon Publishing Co. and is sold at all National Bookstores, SM baby department stores, Babyland (Robinsons Galleria, Shaw Blvd. near Cherry Foodarama), Baby & Co. (The Podium and Power Plant Mall), Bufini, Procreation Shangri-la mall, Big & Small Co. Shangri-la Mall.

Friday, November 6, 2009


"The most important thing about beauty is to leave something to the imagination."
Kate Spade

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hello, what's this?

Guess what I found in my Watsons plastic bag yesterday? I didn't know they gave such leaflets to people looking for toothpaste and floss now. This just goes to show how much money some people are sinking in to get women to depend on oral contraceptives.

Quote from leaflet: "Oral Contraceptive Pills is the most popular contraceptive method because it is effective and convenient. It is an essential tool to women's reproductive health because it contains hormones to prevent unplanned pregnancy by preventing ovulation, thinning the uterus lining, and thickening the cervical mucus."

[Grammar error concerning S-V agreement is leaflet's.]

Oh the claims! "Essential tool to women's reproductive health"? It prevents ovulation! Why is that healthy? Isn't getting one's period every month healthy? Isn't ovulating healthy? And what's so reproductive about preventing ovulation?

And the last part just states exactly how the bitter pill is an abortifacient. A thinner uterine lining means a hostile environment for a fertilized egg--the new life (which starts at conception, not implantation) will not be able to implant, and so it is aborted.

Here are some links to:
how effective pills are
how healthy they make you

Explore the site too. Actually LifeSiteNews isn't the only source. If you want to read something scary, read the literature printed at the back of every contraceptive drug ad in those foreign women's magazines. Leaflets make things look easy and simple, because that's what leaflets are for!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hakuna Matata

The last storm blasted through Manila in a matter of hours. It rattled on the windows and everything vulnerable; my mom wasn't able to sleep a wink. She said storms made her so jittery, she could work in Pag-asa all night without needing a cup of coffee.

I, on the other hand, slept through it all.

Considering the winds didn't fell our building, this must be one of those rare days when sleeping too much like a rock for one's own good is actually, er, good. There was no energy wasted on worrying about something that didn't come to pass... etc etc.

If you know where the title of this post comes from, you know where this post is going. I'm constantly being reminded about that difference between caring and worrying... because times like these, one needs the skill to tell them apart. Why? We only have so little time to do everything we need to do that being able to tell apart the useless worrying from what we can actually do to make things better gives a person leverage.

Worrying is getting scared about something you think will happen, but not necessarily. A fear of the unknown, it makes you pace back and forth and expend energy without actually accomplishing anything. Caring, on the other hand, is knowing you're up against something and then preparing to face it, making a solution, doing all in your power to solve it--and then at the end of the rope, praying. One should care, or else it's just apathy in that noggin, which is as good as saying it's an empty noggin. (Methinks even worrying is more productive than being apathetic. At least worrying makes wrinkles.)

I don't know how to end this so here's a funny picture a friend found on the Net. It's something to look at if you want to lessen wrinkles at the brow and increase the ones by the mouth and eyes. But I guess it only works if you're a Lion King baby.