Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Concert for a cause!

Our NGO, Ex Libris Philippines, a SEC-certified, non-stock, nonprofit organization of book enthusiasts, is raising funds in order to help send deserving but financially challenged UP students to school. Our last two fundraising projects held March 2007 and April 2008 have funded the education of seven deserving students at the University of the Philippines, Diliman.

We are now holding our third fundraising project for our NGO's Scholarship Project. This year's fundraising project is a Concert for a Cause, with performances by professors, students and alumni of the UP College of Music. All funds to be raised will go to the Scholarship Project. The concert will be on May 21, 2010, Friday, 6 p.m. at the UP College of Music, Nicanor Abelardo Hall.

Treat yourself to a night of music and magic, and help out in a good cause, too! You'll be helping send students to school. Please also help spread the word to your friends and family, and invite them to come as well!

Tickets are at Php 300.00 each. For tickets, please contact Tata Francisco at 0920-947-08-61, or Gabi Francisco at 0920-947-08-35. You can also email us at, or

By simply forwarding this to your friends, you'll be helping us A LOT already. Please help us spread the word about this Concert For A Cause! Thank you so much.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Umbrella for (more than) the sun

It hasn't been raining, but my mom gave me a new umbrella because she thought my old one made me look pitiful--the handle was gone and the cloth was sewn (and re-sewn) on the frame. The red color was fading at the folds too.

I found it a bit amusing to get a new umbrella at the height of summer--an El Nino summer, to boot--but I wasn't surprised because, here, the umbrella is used as much on sunny days as on rainy days. I'm not very fond of using my umbrella in the sun because sometimes it's such a hassle to open it up and then fold it back again, but there is wisdom in using that parasol (beyond preventing skin woes, I mean).

My last great commuting adventure was when our car wouldn't start and I had to pick up two things for work. I found myself thrown into a commuting route I hadn't yet thought about; I usually asked somebody (like my dad or a friend who commutes) for the best and easiest route to take, but that day left me no time for a pep talk. No matter; I had (I hoped) my wits, and my new umbrella.

What was so important about the umbrella, you ask? Well, I expected to walk a lot that day (and I did); I needed the umbrella to keep me as un-melted as possible as I tried to make it alive at each stop. Thirty-nine degrees out and three destinations (photographer's house for photos, boss's house for the page-guide, and the office for the day's work)...without an umbrella, you can't expect to still be on your feet after a walkathon!

In this way, an umbrella plays a part when it comes to looking presentable when on the move. Sure, you can always say you can't help looking like a train wreck when the wind blows your hair out of place; or when the sun is so hot it pastes every last strand of hair on your head flat on your scalp, face and neck. But it doesn't have to be that way. There's still the end of the road to think about, and the success of the trip is not merely getting there alive, but getting there looking alive, too. What a pity to make it to your destination only to be sent to a corner because you don't look up to the task!

Hence, not only on planned treks, but also in every crazy turn of events this wonderful world decides to rain on you, it's important to look ahead to be able to master the art of adjusting to bizarre situations accordingly. Prudence and resilience go hand in hand in times like these--and more than just being "a trooper," a person can come out of misadventures with genuine cheerfulness, and still alert enough to take on some more.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Why the sad face?

Have you ever noticed those big yellow stickers in buses and bus-stop waiting sheds that remind bus riders to let the elderly, the disabled, the pregnant, and those traveling with kids to get in the bus first? Those yellow stickers were made by the Rotary Club of San Juan Del Monte, and I think they're a good reminder for seat-hungry people to have a little charity.

I just found it odd (in a slightly amusing way, because this observation is so very... trivial) how the illustrations in the signs struck me as slanted. There is an illustration representing each person whom one should be considerate of. The old woman and the crippled man are smiling but the pregnant woman and the woman with kids are not. I may be reading too much into it, but I think it's unfair to show that having kids or being with kids pastes a perpetual frown on a face. In fact, commuting with (talkative) kids can even be very amusing.

I hope people would stop suggesting or associating children with doom. For homework, read this post from Generations for Life. Watch the video too. Good to know these things.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Papet Pasyon!

One more peaceful Sunday before Papet Pasyon, Teatrong Mulat's annual Holy Week show! This year is special because it marks the puppet play's 25th year. (Papet Pasyon was first shown in 1985.) So, if you want to see something different (cultural! historical!), how about forgetting the mall for one day and dropping by our teatro in Teacher's Village? Bring the whole family! (And, if you've just gone to mass, bring your palaspas!)

(the Philippines' 1st and only children's senakulo in puppetry)

March 28, 2010/Palm Sunday
3:00 & 5:30 pm
Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio Teatro Papet Museo
64 Mapagkawanggawa St., Teachers Village, Quezon City
for details call 921.9773, 929.0895, 0918.903.2040

Directions from Quezon Memorial Circle: Take Commonwealth Ave., RIGHT on Masaya St. (before Mercury Philcoa; corner w/ tricycles, Ministop and Bank of Commerce) LEFT on Maginhawa St. go straight until you see Holy Family School. Theater on the left side in front of Talleres de Nazaret.

From Katipunan: Take CP Garcia, go straight when you see National Stud Farm turn LEFT. RIGHT on Magiting St. when you see Ministop turn RIGHT (Maginhawa St.). Next street to your LEFT is Mapagkawanggawa. Theater on the left side in front of Talleres de Nazaret.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The March 2010 issue

Such a happy baby on the cover, no? That little girl in the blue dress is Star Baby Alyssa Claire Belmes, photographed by Ralph Alejandrino.

March is about preparing for your first baby! The March issue is always our pregnancy issue because in March fall two important days: International Women's Day (March 8), which is probably why this month is also International Women's Month, and the Day of the Unborn (March 25). Women + unborn babies = pregnancy, if you can follow that logic! hehe!

I always learn a lot of things, working on a new issue. Not just because I need to be able to write informative articles on pregnancy, childcare and parenting, not being a parent myself, but also because I meet interesting people! This issue, we worked with Richelle Balbieran, a pretty mom on the family way (she gave birth already, congrats!), who taught me a few things on priorities when it comes to fashion (without meaning to, actually!).

During the shoot, Richelle shared that she was the type to melt easily in the heat, and during pregnancy, feeling hot was one of her most common discomforts. But while the heat was something to contend with, Richelle's own clothing choices proved that clothes that flattered mattered more--no spaghetti straps for the hot mom! Instead, a bright-colored peasant-style blouse was what she donned after the fashion-filled afternoon; it was festive enough for the party she and hubby Ron were attending later that day, and cool enough to beat the early heat wave of the year. Truly, when you know what matters more (presenting yourself well), you won't make "quick melting" an excuse to wear something less than suitable for any occasion.

Here are some pictures I took of the fashion shoot. The one right above is a picture of Richelle with EIC Diana, who was here giving some sample lines to help our mommy model get into the role of "Mom conquering the unexpected." To find out what that means, how about getting your own copy of our pregnancy issue? There are so many good reads in it to help a mom (and dad) face the daily challenges of family-rearing.


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.

Monday, March 8, 2010


My friend Sunnyday has this dream of making some really nice Pro-Life statement shirts, and while I like thinking of slogans for them, I really have no idea how wearing a shirt can make a change--especially if nobody gets the point. (Right now, there are so many shirts with "Vote" on it that I find it rather sickening. While I'm convinced that I have to do my civic duty, I don't want to make my right to vote a fashion statement.)

But yesterday, I saw a man in church wearing a Pro-Life shirt. It was blue and it had a list of "10 reasons to love life" at the back, with the tag-line "Choose Life" after the list. And, you know what? I felt so heartened when I saw it! Haha! I was too shy to say anything about the shirt to him (he was maybe like my Dad's age) so I just said a prayer for him to keep wearing the shirt around. Amazing what one shirt can do.

So that's how I figured that it isn't quite useless to have a Pro-Life shirt made, after all--because it is one way of promoting life, everywhere you go. It heartens people with the same strong convictions, and it makes people who don't ask some questions they would otherwise not have bothered to ask....

I found this shirt design from the Generations for Life blog, and I think it says a lot in so few words. Maybe we could have some t-shirts made for March 25 (The Day of the Unborn)! Is that too soon? What do you think?