Friday, November 30, 2012

Some strong words

Whenever I read this, I remember my mom reprimanding us when we'd complain about how bored we were. Those were the days. Now, she scolds us for always having something to do. Hehe, parents.  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dalawang Bayani

What would happen if Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio collaborated in one work of art? 

In this Palanca award-winning one-act play, Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio puts the two key figures in Philippine history together in a dialogue that gets them to talk of their joys, sorrows, hopes, loves, and special vision for the Nation that they both dream of passing down to the new generation of Filipinos.

The Catechists of Calayan (Catc:H) invite you to watch Teatrong Mulat ng Pilipinas in a rare restaging of Dalawang Bayani, the 1995 winner for One Act Play in Filipino in the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. Proceeds will help send a catechist to the 2013 World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Watch Dalawang Bayani on September 8, 2012, at 10am or 2pm, at the Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio Teatro Papet Museo, 64 Mapagkawanggawa St. Teacher's Village East, Diliman, QC.

Tickets are pledge cards that may be bought for Php 300, 500, 700, or 1000, depending on whether the person wishes to Share a Step, Go in Strides, Take a Leap, or Fly a Catechist to Brazil respectively. You may also support us by sponsoring a child from the urban poor communities of Bgy. Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City, or public school students from Ramon Magsaysay and Rizal High School to watch the play for free. Whichever way you would like to help, you’re sure it is for a good cause!

Contact Nicole at 0916-341-3366 or email nikkobautista at gmail dot com.

See you there!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Some interesting reads

As a book lover and reader I advocate study. And I don't mean ABCs and Do Re Mis, I mean really looking at issues inside and out before forming an educated opinion on things. That's why lately I've been very dismayed when people take so much stock in their own logic and not bother to dig deeper into the real story. Then they criticize those who study the facts as if all this boils down to is feelings. It's so unscholarly, so shameful.

So, quick post here to give some interesting reads some spotlight.

Going extinct is no fun
This is about the effects of the strict population measures Singapore implemented in the 1970s.

Sotto bares foreign agenda behind RH bill.
It's unfair that Sotto is getting all this flak lately. Instead of picking on him, try listening to what he has to say first, please?

Freedom from Catholicism
Let's promote true freedom :-)

"There is no excuse for those who could be scholars and are not."-St. Josemaria Escriva

Monday, June 25, 2012

It works :-)

I recently came across this video--it's an anti-smoking campaign by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation. And while it's simple (no artsy camera angles or fancy picture quality), the message comes out pretty strong. Watch it and see for yourself... and remember that sometimes, we need to look at how it could be bad for kids to see better how some things could be bad for us, too.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Chic and Green!

Lately, I've been delving into all sorts of small enterprises (as well as all sorts of events and projects with my friends) to earn some extra money for next year's World Youth Day. I'm pretty excited for it, and while I'm still at 2 percent of my goal right now, I'm being optimistic that with hard work, teamwork, and not being afraid to do things I don't normally do, we will all make it to Rio.

One of those fundraising endeavors happens to be in tie-up with my mom's newspaper bag biz. She's really a darling to let us sell their bags for our fundraising! The bags are woven out of newspaper and are waterproof (they laminated them). Some bags are painted by my mom.

Right now, I have three of the CCLTJ bags with me for fundraising. I have only one piece of each design so, if you like something, better buy it before it goes! Please email me at nikkobautista at gmail dot com or text me at 0916-341-3366 for inquiries.

1. Z-pattern bag - PhP550.00

This bag is a bit like a bayong, except it has a shell-shape and a snap-on magnetic clasp. It has twine trimmings and black pleather handles. 

2. Red banig-weave bag - PhP 550.00

This bag closes with a red pleather string, and has red handles and trimmings to boot. Pretty roomy inside too--enough space for a lightweight bag organizer. ;-)

3. X-pattern banig-weave bag - PhP550.00

This bag has bronze pleather trimmings with buckles in the handles. It's more of a handbag than a shoulder bag, actually.

For those who are interested but can't meet up, you can still snap up these bags by taking care of the shipping fee. :D Thank you!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Think pasitib

"You're never fully dressed without a smile!"
The past weeks (and especially the last few days) have been teaching me a lot about optimism, particularly in keeping my spirits up even when so many things are uncertain. The key is to remember that everything that happens is all for the best, and really, God has good plans for us, even when it isn't quite obvious at this point in time.

Here, some tips on staying positive:
1. Have a motto. I keep repeating omnia in bonum to myself whenever something not very good comes along, and I think it helps! If you just remember that it's "all for the good," what could bring your spirits down?

2. Count your blessings. Yesterday, I got stuck in the rush hour crunch. I was in the MRT station without a ticket so I decided not to take the train. Walked to the other side of EDSA in hopes of catching a bus, but somehow there was a long line there too (first time I've seen a line for the bus actually). So instead, I walked all the way to Glorietta's Ayala exit to catch a bus there. When it arrived, it was standing-room only, so I held on for dear life clutching the metal bar behind the driver's seat. Bus rides are rougher than the MRT, so if I didn't have the strength to hold on, I would have splatted on the windshield at some point. In retrospect, I really I have to be thankful that I'm pretty macho for a person who can run only 200m.

Also, of course, I have to be thankful that there was a bus I could take, and that there were no snatchers in Guadalupe, and that in the end, I managed to reach my stop in one piece. Instead of dwelling on how annoying it is that a lot of men pretend to sleep on the bus so they don't need to offer their seat, I can be thankful for that one guy I saw offering his seat to a girl. Chivalry is not dead. :D

3. Have a supernatural outlook on everything, and remember that there's no way God didn't think this through. He knows you're strong enough to handle it, and besides, who says you can't offer it up in prayer? Sufferings make us closer to the Cross--that means, instead of complaining and being miserable, we can say, "I will do this hard thing for the love of so-and-so." It will really mean something in God's eyes (not to mention ring louder in His ears).

4. Decide to stay cheerful! It's really your decision to wallow in misery or not. Remember, you'll accomplish more things with a smile.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Just a friendly reminder.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Spare change

I went to buy groceries with my mom last weekend, and she said she's bringing her yellow booklet along. She's had it for a long time, she said, but this is the first time she decided to use it. The yellow booklet is the QC senior citizen grocery discount booklet, and in order to use it, the buyer of the groceries should be 1. A senior citizen (duh), and 2. Buying meat, fruits and veggies.

My mom said she doesn't really use it because the discount is so little, but then she thought that, hey, it's a discount, and she might as well take advantage of the privileges given to her generation. I said, yeah why not? and so we ended up at the grocery with a yellow booklet; she went to shop while I (and my ate) went to enjoy the aircon and help her carry later on.

At the cashier, my mom showed her yellow booklet and the lady at the counter promptly applied the discount--for about P3,000 worth of groceries, my mom got a... P65.00 discount. She chuckled at the measly amount, saying, "Only 65?" to the similarly amused salesclerk. Just then, the couple in line behind her, also in their senior years, joined the conversation. The gentleman showed his own yellow booklet, and told my mom, "Well, that can buy you a liter of gasoline!" And my mom said, "That's true!" and they all had a good laugh about it.

These days, when everything seems expensive, I think people can grow a lot in the virtue of poverty. It's not about going around looking ragged and kawawa, but about being detached to material things, and being willing to give up certain luxuries from time to time.

Like in the story earlier, my mom saved 65 pesos. It's so little, it's just spare change! But like the old man said, P65 can buy you a liter of gasoline. It can also buy you an Adarna book, a bar of Magnum, a fast food value meal, a few trips on the MRT, six turon from the jolly jeep, 26 pieces of fishballs, 65 pieces of Mentos. In other words, P65 pesos can go a long way if you know where to put it. The virtue of poverty, after all, is also about planning where your money goes.

On a related note, a prudent person can get an extra P65 a day if she just knows how to find it--like by taking a bus instead of the usual taxi, by not switching on that aircon when there's a good fan, by making your own iced drink at home instead of lining up for bubble tea, and by taking advantage of your suki points whenever you can get them (but remember, don't shop to collect points, rather collect points when you shop).

Oops, time's up... more thoughts on saving, fundraising and poverty in another post. GTG!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Yay for Avengers!

It's Ex Libris Scholarship Project season once again, and this year, we're inviting you to a special first-day blocked screening of the most-awaited superhero movie of the year!

Watch THE AVENGERS and help send UP Students to school! Here's the snippet from our official E Libris website:

Ex Libris Philippines invites you to a special blocked screening of “The Avengers” at Rockwell Power Plant Cinema 2, 7:00 p.m., April 25, 2012. Tickets are at Php 500.00 each.
Please help spread the word!

This special blocked screening of “The Avengers” is the fourth fundraising project for the Ex Libris Philippines Scholarship Project. With your help, we will be able to continue sending students to school.

Thank you for your support! :D

Monday, March 26, 2012

I say, study it!

Last Sunday I heard mass in the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice in UP and when I stepped out, the first thing that greeted me was the No-to-RH-Bill stickers that the church community must have posted around the area. It was a nice reminder to be vigilant, and to continue fighting for the true meaning of love and marriage.

But upon closer inspection, I noticed the stickers had been vandalized--some people crossed out the "No" and jotted in "Yes" in its place, others wrote "Dumb," and still others, with black permanent marker, wrote "F*ck the Pope" on the face of one of the stickers. :-(

I know UP is not a Catholic school, so there really will be people in the community who are not Catholics and do not study Catholic doctrine or try to live Christ's life. But you don't have to be Catholic to know respect for others, their freedom of speech and their freedom of religion. And you don't have to be Catholic to study the facts and figure out for yourself that the culture of contraception can impact our family-centered Filipino culture in many negative ways.

I found a very good article in Business Insider on the effects of the 1960s sexual revolution on our culture today. An excerpt:

How else are we doing since this great sexual revolution? Kim Kardashian's marriage lasted 72 days. Illegitimacy: way up. In 1960, 5.3% of all births in America were to unmarried women. By 2010, it was 40.8% [PDF]. In 1960 married families made up almost three-quarters of all households; but by the census of 2010 they accounted for just 48 percent of them. Cohabitation has increased tenfold since 1960. 
And if you don't think women are being reduced to objects to satisfy men, welcome to the internet, how long have you been here? Government coercion: just look to China (or America, where a government rule on contraception coverage is the reason why we're talking about this right now). 
Is this all due to the Pill? Of course not. But the idea that widely-available contraception hasn't led to dramatic societal change, or that this change has been exclusively to the good, is a much sillier notion than anything the Catholic Church teaches. 

Read more:

In fact, I think you should go ahead and read the whole article. It's not too long. 

I studied in UP, too, so for anyone else who is tempted to say something along the lines of "We in UP are Pro-RH," I say please stop generalizing. :-( I also suggest studying the whole issue and trying to see where we as citizens and as families fit in the picture. Think: What kind of world do you want to raise your own kids in?

Monday, March 19, 2012

You're invited!

Amelia Lapena-Bonifacio's Papet Pasyon

April 1, 2012 - PALM SUNDAY
3pm and 5:30pm
Amelia Lapena-Bonifacio Teatro Papet-Museo
64 Mapagkawanggawa St. 
Teacer's Village East, Diliman, QC

Pasyon for kids
In 1984, Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio wrote a puppet play that sought to bring back the Pasyon to the younger generation. The puppet play was premiered in 1985 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The Pasyon is a Filipino cultural tradition full of music and poetry performed during Holy Week for the love of the story of the Passion of Christ. It stands as a reminder for townsfolk to bear witness to the life of Christ, making the Lenten Season more meaningful.

This year, let the events of the Holy Week come to life in puppetry! Watch Papet Pasyon, the annual production of Teatrong Mulat ng Pilipinas, the country’s homegrown puppetry troupe and children’s theater. Papet Pasyon is now on its 27th year.

Admission is free on April 1, 2012, Palm Sunday, 3pm and 5:30pm, at Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio Teatro Papet Museo, 64 Mapagkawanggawa St. Teacher’s Village East, Diliman, Quezon City. For details email or call/text 0918.903.2040. Bring your palms, and see you there!

Monday, February 13, 2012


I got my hands on a volume of Oishinbo a la Carte by Tetsu Kariya and art by Akira Hanasaki, thanks to sopraninigabi, who lent it to me. Now I want to eat Japanese food in Japan. It doesn't help that my Ate went there last week and wouldn't let me stuff myself into her luggage.

Oishinbo is a Japanese manga about cooking and eating. The manga I borrowed is an English-translated compilation (like a "best of") printed by VIZ Media, and the volume is called, plainly enough, "Japanese Cuisine."

But the book is far from plain! It makes you appreciate the little details that go into the humdrum task of cooking ordinary food (for in Japan, the sashimi, the miso soup and the rice are all "ordinary" fare.)

Did you know that making sashimi is not merely a process of cutting fresh fish and serving it on a fancy plate? It requires long hours of practice with a knife to get the fish sliced while keeping it firm. And here I am just eating my sashimi without thinking about how hard the person who put it on my plate practiced just so I can get my fill!

In one chapter (or "course," as it is put in the manga), an artist called Miyasato invited the main characters Shiro, Yuko and Tomio (journalists) to a lunch at his place to settle the matter of a cover page illustration he had previously promised their newspaper. When they got there, they learned that the rival paper was also trying to get the same cover illustration for their Sunday edition. Miyasato said he could only choose one publication, so it all boiled down to who could judge best whether the cooking was good or bad (the connection being if they understood the food, then they would understand the art, too).

The men from the other paper flattered the artist, even if obviously the meal was plain home-fare, and nothing like what they serve at first-class restaurants. So Shiro took the honest route and said, "All the food we had today is home cooking. It's common, everyday food and there's nothing special about it."

Then he continues, "But it is a real gochiso. The word gochiso not only means 'feast,' but also 'to run' or 'rush.' The host rushes around to gather the ingredients, get them ready, and then cook the food. The vegetables and chicken were homegrown, and you must have sought out the halfbreak and quail yourself. Miyasato Sensei expended a lot of effort to treat us to this meal. The dishes we had are all common ones so that we'd easily be able to compare them with versions we've eaten before. For the wakame and green onion with miso, you pulled the onions out of your own vegetable patch, and you also used fresh wakame and homemade miso. And that's why it tasted so much better than usual. The care you've put into getting all these dishes ready is what made this a real gochiso."

"First course: The secret of dashi." Yamaoka Shiro demonstrates how to make kombu dashi. Kombu is a type of edible kelp. Dashi is a Japanese stock, used as basis for many dishes. (Read it from right to left.)

We can learn a lot from the Japanese in this way: if we put enough care into all our endeavors, we can make a gochiso of all the ordinary things we do--whether or not it involves cooking!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Fr. Brown

I got a sampling of G.K. Chesterton's Fr. Brown mysteries from the little grey and white penguin editions of classic short stories, and I've got to admit I'm hooked!

The mysteries are interesting, the detective priest very clever, and of course, the writing is just beautiful! Before I get into fangirling mode, maybe I should just shut up and share one story, so you can see for yourself. The link below goes to The Blue Cross. Enjoy!

The Blue Cross by G.K. Chesterton


My doctor told me to exercise, so I started walking in the morning. But that was not enough. I used to do yoga, but it burned a huge hole in my pocket, so I decided that getting fit need not be a financial burden. And now here I am doing Les Mills Body Vive, an exercise dance thing that came free with Nestle Fitnesse Cereal.

My friend lent her CD to me when I told her I needed to exercise. She said it was good because the exercises were doable, and more importantly, the instructors were dressed decently. The women were wearing jogging pants and shirts with sleeves--none of those midriff bearing little things--and the men were in t-shirts and pants. Of course, rubber shoes for all.

Looking good
What I notice about the fitness culture is how closely intertwined it is with looking good. Certainly, you work out because you want to look great--and you do, because it makes you healthy and strong. But the "looking good" I'm talking about now is that seeming need for us to "look good playing the game."

Want to be a cyclist? It's not anymore just a matter getting a bike and safety paraphernalia; somehow you are convinced that you need to wear sporty spandex and reflective goggle things. Jogging is not anymore merely putting on a pair of rubber shoes and hitting the pavement, suddenly you need state-of-the-art running shoes that help you burn more calories and some kind of state-of-the-art music player to keep you entertained (distracted?) while running. Yoga gives you a run for your money with yoga-bras, yoga-pants, or if you don't like pants, yoga-bikini bottoms. (I say, just wear leggings, a t-shirt that fits just right, and your normal underwear.)

Anyway, that just makes exercise a more expensive affair, when in fact exercise should be free and attainable by all. The best outfit for exercise is something that you can move in that's neither too tight nor too loose. If you want to look truly good, you have to make an effort to be decently dressed. Why? The most flattering effect of exercise is the glow on your face after a sprint... would anyone notice that if they're looking at your bare midriff or short shorts?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pure love blog

I’ve been thinking of concentrating on one “branch” of the pro-life cause for the past year already, and finally, a few months back, I started this new blog called Main Squeeze. It’s a blog for the youth, and it’s about pure love, chastity, and modesty in a world that says they don’t matter.

From my first post:

Pure love, or chastity, is needed so much nowadays, because many things in the mainstream media and the youth culture have made the impression that the opposites of chastity, purity and modesty are way cooler. This blog is not "free PR" for chastity. It's not here to sell the idea of chastity to unsuspecting youth. Instead, it is here to show that living the virtue is possible for anyone (singles, marrieds, and even those with a past)... and results in a person who is happy and free!
Hope you can visit!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Let's look at dresses

Preparing for my friend's wedding, I had to look at a lot of pegs (hairstyles and dresses) and it's pretty tedious... especially when nothing seems to turn up that is close enough to what you're looking for. Now that I've a dress already, I think it's time to just relax and admire other people's dresses and how they wore them.  

Nice detail on this one. Charlize Theron.

She looks so creamy but spunky. Emma Stone.

So elegant and sparkly! Evan Rachel Wood.

This is how you can wear regular sleeves at a formal event and still fit in: sequins and the right color. Kelly McDonald.

She looks so angelic hehe! Kirsten Dunst.

I like the color, and the dress looks so Greek. Laura Haddock.

Not too L but still elegant BD. The hair is so nice too. Shalaine Woodley.

This dress makes her look really tall. Zoe Saldana.

What do you look for in a dress?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Grace of the moment

It's funny how a well-planned day falls apart with just one hitch: just last Monday, I had the whole day dedicated to writing, but I couldn't get to it because I had to coordinate with other people about something urgent. I didn't finish the story, so I ended up re-planning the week!

Admittedly, there's hardly a day when things don't go wrong, but I think, with those things that we can do something about, it's worth trying our best to do them at the right time.Some friends of mine use the phrase "grace of the moment" to describe that little instant of grace that everyone can catch simply by doing what they planned to do at the right time; like getting up at 6am, or timing your preparations so that you leave the house on time, or even a setting a regular 15 minutes of your day for the Rosary.

It may seem a little thing, but even many little things make up a big thing! If there are activities within the day that you keep regularly (such as the ones mentioned above), then no matter how many distractions and hitches happen, somehow there will be something to use as a guide, to remind one to stop for a while and figure out the difference between what's urgent and what's important. Orderliness is a virtue, too. It's not about being OC! A person who is orderly ends up accomplishing more at the end of the week.

Now, it's time to plan for next week!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Convenience vs credit

You don't feel it, but credit cards are hungry little monsters that can eat all the bills in your wallet. How? When you let the lines blur between smart shopping and impulse buying, you make yourself vulnerable to financial disaster (ok, too much utang at least).

Credit cards are credit cards for a reason: they allow consumers to spend more than what they have on hand. Smart credit shopping differs from impulse buying in this way: a smart shopper uses the credit card for convenience, not credit.

For example, you get a phone bill, an electric bill, and a water bill every month. Instead of going to three different places, you can enroll them in your credit card and have them all in one paper. (Better pay off the whole amount in one go to avoid huge interests!) That's convenience.

Some comments on "convenience":

  • Convenience is not finding a dress on sale and swiping the card because you don't have enough cash on hand.
  • Convenience is not using your credit card to pay for your birthday blowout just because it's such a troublesome task to list down what you need and create a budget.

When you spend like this and find that you can't pay them off in one go, you'll see that you're actually spending more on credit card interest than you are receiving interest on your savings account. If you continue to plod on this way, don't be surprised when the cash you've worked hard for simply dwindles down to zero! Not fair, but that's life.

Smart shopping is about spending within your means, so don't fall into the credit card trap of thinking that a credit line increases your spending capacity. Remember, you can only spend as much as you earn, and you can only save as much as you keep.

Happy saving!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Cheer for 2012

Wow, is it 2012 already?

Whatever your plans for the year ahead, it's always good to start with cheerfulness. It's one surefire way of transforming the world around you. Imagine if all your colleagues were glum--wouldn't you be glum at the office too? And what kind work would you have done?

Of course, there are times when being cheerful is extra hard. When it's raining and you have to commute; if somebody is angry with you; when things don't turn out like you planned. Times like these, cheerfulness counts even more--because where is the challenge in being cheerful only during the good times?

When you make mistakes, laugh it off--and then learn from them. When friends leave you out, shrug it off--and invite them to do something else with you. When you feel you haven't accomplished enough last year, then make a concrete resolution to do something this year--and do it well.

You just can't be glum when you know that all you have to do to please God is say "Yes, I'll do it!"--look at what happened when Mary said, "Be it done unto me according to Your word."

That said...
Why should getting up early in the morning be difficult?
Why should smiling at somebody annoying be difficult?
Why should getting your work done (and done well) by 5pm be difficult?
Why should giving up Saturday mornings be difficult?
...why should anything be difficult?

The Christmas season ends today--but not the joy! Have a happy, energetic, and awesome new year everyone! ^_^