Friday, September 18, 2015

The AsiaPop Comicon experience

One of the items in my bucket list is to go to San Diego Comic Con, the biggest geek-out fest in the entire world. But since that's not going to happen in the near future (still gotta think of my kids first, of course!),I was so excited of hearing that there'll be an asian version, albeit not as cool and famous as SDCC. That would do for now.

The very first thing I did was to follow their FB page for updates and for possible free tickets, and I was right. Well, not exactly a "free" ticket, but industry day (Day 0 -17 September) was set to allow all the industry-related people to mingle and for the event to gather as much contacts, so there was a thing tagged as 'Pro-Pass' Day. All you need is a company ID and a business card, and you're all set to enter the realm. So I swiftly signed to their site and voila! Free entrance is here!

At the venue entrance, I was amazed at the giant screen showing the
Marvel movies and animations, plus the life size statues of Captain America, The Hulk, Ultron and Iron Man. Then comes a slew of Marvel,  Star Wars, and other dioramas (like the super-creepy Aliens vs Predator display) all around, complete with booths of our local artists with their works. I spent a few bucks buying their stickers, postcards, keychains, comic books and shirts - so amazed by their God-given talents. And yes, I support anything local!☺

Not to be missed are other comic con participants like toy and collectible booths by Tokidoki, Ban Kee Trading, Ban Dai, Filbar's and Lego, service-oriented companies like GrabTaxi, PLDT Home, and Worlds of Fun (WOW), among others, are also present. There are even exhibitors who flew from other parts of Asia to join this event like Comicave Studios from Singapore.

There are also photo-op and table arrangements set for well-known artists as highlights of the event like Whilce Portacio, Lieniel Yu, and others.

The venue is almost empty due to the day being an exclusive one and a sneak peek of what people will see as it opens to the public the following day, 18 September, Friday.  I spent most of my time enjoying the sights and am glad that I was able to do so before it gets crowded for the next 3 days. I was pretty much excited to see Paul Bettany and Missandei from GoT but this would do for now.

There are different ticket prices to those who would like to visit. If you are a huuuge fan of Star Wars and anything Marvel,  I suggest you attend this gathering - one of the coolest events for us geeks :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Sensible school practices for Buwan ng Wika

All schools recently concluded their "Buwan ng Wika" celebrations as
part of their calendar of activities. This is done every August to celebrate our Filipino language, heritage, and culture. My daughter was also able to participate with the festivities and I am so glad that for this year, her school decided to go practical. For us parents, what a better way to save up on money and effort to prepare for another batch of Filipiniana costumes, but opting to use the students' same costumes last year! :)

On the right was the same costume she wore on both her presentations on second and third grades. Last year, their entire second grade level did "Bulaklakin" (Dance of the Flowers),
complete with a blouse, dress, props, and even a "bakya" (wooden footwear)! She totally enjoyed doing the dance as she wasn't able to do any of this on her previous school in Manila.

Then the image on the left shows her presentation this year, called "Himig Sa Nayon," a dance that has the girls paired up with the boys, unlike last year where they had an all-girl dance number. I feel so grateful that the school administrators decided to spend less and make do with the kids' old costumes; it lessens the pain for parents to go looking everywhere for their children's attires.

Yep, if a school administrator happens to chance upon this specific blog entry, then I DARE YOU! I dare you to think of ways on how private schools can minimize parents' spendings but still come up with a successful activity.

If you ask me, here are a few suggestions:
  1. Do a documentary or multimedia presentation showing all things related to this school celebration. The students need not have to dance in front of everyone; they can still learn about the traditional dances, songs, the history of the celebration and other literary pieces thru videos complete with narration.
  2. You can introduce Filipino culture by exposing them to the traditional games and past times of the yesteryears. Again, no need to spend on costumes, just their PE uniforms would do.
  3. Do trivia games about the local Filipino food, as well as the Tagalog translations of words we do no longer get to use that much. Example would be 'salumpuwit,' which means 'chair' in English. Most younger students would find it funny, I know, but sure that they will learn something WITHOUT the huge spendings.
How about you? Any inputs to your kids' schools on how to celebrate this in a budget-friendly way? :)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Fun Runs are supposed to be fun, right?

As my post's title says, isn't that how things should go during these events? :)

Early morning of August 1st, I woke up my daughter to get ready for a 5:30 AM call time. This is for an early fun run organized by the school as well as the organization the school's affiliated with.

With an excited L in tow, we were at the venue at 5:30 AM on the dot. Lots of grown ups are doing their usual exercise routines, accompanied by their kids. The place was already swarming with people, expecting the start of the fun run.

Then the day turned to be sunny -- make it TOO sunny. By 6 AM, K and I were thinking that it's almost ready to start. Imagine our shock when it started at almost 7 AM! The kids were in line since 5:30, but by the time the event started the kids were soaking wet.

Well, the picture says I am about to get pissed off. The speakers used for the event are so soft I can even hear the shouting of the kids during the opening program. Nobody was paying attention. Children are lined up under the scorching sun, and it looks like they just want to go ahead and be done with it.

After their runs, no kids were smiling; they were pretty agitated, I can tell. My kid is not an exception. She just sat for 5 minutes, then asked if we can go home. She had the courage to tell me that she won;t be attending such activities anymore if the sun will kill her (That's skin cancer, FYI).

This post is not meant to berate the organizers of this specific event or any similar event. This is to let them know that such activities should take into consideration the welfare of their participants; in this case, it's the kids who are at the receiving end. Perhaps we are used to the Filipino time, but please exclude these children from that excuse. These fun runs are supposed to be fun, after all.

Sunday, August 2, 2015


Yesterday, we got a chance to go on a road trip to Laguna to do some pigging out and frustration-venting. Pals have been planning to do this for a long time due to various rants I am hearing for months. Of course we found a way to let out all these hard feelings, and that is to go to a Taksyapo place. We were supposed to go to Tarlac for that, but then we found out this spot in the South.

"Taksyapo" is an old Kapampangan word for "bwisit," which means 'a nuisance'. The term is now given a whole new meaning by having a place where you can shout the word at the top of your lungs while smashing ceramic plates, mugs, even old television sets, which, of course, come at a certain item price. The bigger the item, the more expensive it is :)

The writings on the wall pertain to people, events or things, and I need not guess, but I am sure my friends got a kick out of hauling the plates and glasses to specific spots in the area. 

Apart from all the growling and shouting, we also got the chance to try their food and check out the place. They got elephants, cartoon characters from tv and films, and statues ala-Thai mermaids. They even have a huge (and I don't mean life-size, just plain HUGE!) gorilla at the center of it all! That's gotta be King Kong. 

The food was also great. Their guests stay at nipa-huts around the area and order native Filpino dishes. They get served the traditional way, I can't help but to eat with no utensils and do it by hand :)

I snapped a few photos from the trip. Apologies for the bad shots, I really don't have the photography flair in me. 

Overall, it was a great experience. If you are someone who loves to try new places and take lots of pictures or selfies, this can be one of my recommendations. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Breakfast Buffet Challenge?

While reading my Facebook feed one weekend, I happen to see that KFC's offering another chance for patrons to try their Breakfast Buffet on the 3rd of July. Thinking this would be the perfect opportunity to reward L for being a good girl over the summer, we decided to sign up and get early tickets for the three of us, leaving my 17-month old boy at home.

Fast-forward to the day: we were at the nearest KFC branch in our area by 7 AM. We were in line and piling up our plates the minute we stepped at the buffet station. The selections were pretty limited: egg omelette, sausages, hash browns, pork tocino, tons of rice, chicken, toast, chocolate sprinkles, strips of mango, peaches, marshmallows, and their pot pie. The little girl was so excited to try everything out.

One thing I instantly noticed was the salt proportion on most of the breakfast items (except the dessert components), I am not sure if it was intentional or not. I was able to go for my second helping, but then K and L are too stuffed right away to go for another plateful.

My verdict: this is a fun activity, but putting in a lot of salt to ensure that customers will eat less and get bloated due to too much intake is not cool. I have heard stories of people eating food that tastes like cardboard during buffets, but this is a different scenario.

Not sure if KFC is up to doing this again in the future. In case they decide to do this again, I hope that their Quality Assurance people would try it first before inviting customers for sales' sake.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Remembering Daddy...

Today marks my Dad's 69th birthday - supposed to be. He passed away almost 5 years ago, but I still can't help but feel sad and thankful whenever I remember how he was taken away from us. Sad that he is not with us anymore, but thankful that he is now free of sickness and is happy up there.

He had lung cancer. Detected by doctors while vacationing in Sydney, Australia, I can say that the news left the family speechless. Oncologists said that he only had 3 months to live - but he got to stay with us for almost a year. And I was very fortunate that I got the chance to take care of him, and let him know that I love him so much.

That time was also the lowest point in my life - I was forcibly resigned from the company I worked in, I separated from my ex-husband with no support given to my then 8 month-old daughter - but my dad served as my head cheerleader. He reminded me that material things do not matter as long as you are happy.

I was not close to any of my parents while growing up, I tend to keep secrets from them in fear that I would get a beating if I went out of our usual conservative upbringing. But as time goes by, I realized I was closer to him than to my mother. We have the same likes, especially in movies. He even introduced me to the macabre world of Stephen King and the awesome spy world of James Bond via betamax and VHS tapes via the nearby rental store.

Though he was not one to express his love to us through words, he just made sure that he provided everything we need and that was fine with him.

Wherever you are, Dad. I miss you.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


I have experienced, multiple times in my life, situations where everything is just meant to fall into place. For instance, before I met K (again, cause he was a grade school classmate and we had been to several reunions), I saw his photo in a magazine a few weeks before he chanced up on me on Facebook. Another example was in college - the bag I was using for school ended up with a slash made by a pickpocket the same day I bought a new bag to replace the former.

Just last Friday, on my way home, I planned to get to the north-bound side of the train station to just go up another flight of stairs to the south-bound area. I usually don't do this since north-bound is just too crowded, and most people are heading that direction. I always cross the street to get to the other side. I don't know what came over me but I was already walking that path.

Imagine my surprise when someone just pulled my arm out of nowhere. Being the street-wise person that I am, I was poised to hit that person square in the face using my elbow in case he/she turns out to be a baddie. But I was shocked to see that she is a former colleague way back 7 years ago, and also a close friend! Turns out she started work the very same day and was headed home too.

This is all too coincidental - this was the first time I went out of the office at 5:30 pm  (around 7 PM is much more like my usual off from work), but I found out that she goes off work at 5:30 PM and her office is just a 3-minute walk from mine.

Of course, I am glad to see her again. We lost contact after I resigned from the company we both worked for in 2007  and the last time I saw her was in September 2012, in a kid's birthday party, and we never get to chat longer. Now, I am looking forward to more coffee breaks, lunches and dinners together. :)