Monday, October 18, 2010



This is a state i thought i could never be in.
I'm constantly moving, constantly restless,
constantly doing more than i can manage to finish
BUT somehow, now i feel comfortable in it.

I can now sit still and relax for a relatively long period
(meaning 5-10minutes at a time.....heehee).
It's rejuvinating!
Everyday i look forward to these minutes.

Try it. Feels great!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Power of Positive Thinking

Over lunch with one of my best friends, we talked about our desires in life
and decided that if we say it, think it and believe it, IT WILL HAPPEN!

So, Kris, IT WILL HAPPEN! :-)

Monday, August 2, 2010


Why is it so hard to attain this?

I struggle with balance every single day....
eat a balanced diet (sooooo hard to do);
balance kids on each arm when i'm at work;
balance work time and fun time (fun time suffers a lot when i try to take on ten thousand things at the same time);
and balance on one foot at yoga class (geeeez)

Ketut, the Medicine Man said "To find the balance you want, you must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the earth that it's like you have four legs, instead of two. That way you can stay in the world, but you must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart, instead. That way, you will know God." ---- Eat Pray Love by E. Gilbert

I can't balance on one foot but i can do a head stand ... does that count?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Frustrations of a Tutor

What is a baby turkey called? How about the baby swan? And a baby ant? Really now!!!!! How about, create a gameboard using the circulatory system...Yikes! I hope you never see any of these homeworks in your child's diary.

I am first and foremost a teacher and i understand what it feels like to want to be creative, maximize use of each child's multiple intelligence and be faithful to the term progressive education, BUT there is a limit as to what a child can do at a particular age. I really don't believe that kids do difficult homeworks on their own or that they even contibute to doing any of it at all. Just because everything is a click away doesn't mean a child does the homework.....Everything is just a click away for the parent, which makes doing the homework of their child a much easier task.

Don't get me wrong, i get it. I really do. The teacher wants to be creative, the parents want a near perfect, if not totally perfect score, and the tutor suffers. It's unfair anyway you look at it, especially for the child who should be the one learning, right?

I have been teaching for almost nine years now (big school and small school combined) and I am proud to say that i have never given a homework or project which i thought was too difficult for my students, maybe projects that required commitment, yes but not impossible to do. Let me share with you that instance.....When I was a CLE teacher several years ago, i found out that a couple of mommies, of my then grade one students (who are now first year girls...OMG! It says a lot about my age!), did the project of their kids. Here's a little backgrounder....all CLE teachers were asked by the department to give an alternative trimestral exam. So in lieu of a test, we had to give a project which was to be done over the holidays. I forget now the whole theme we used, but the project i assigned was a three-part project: 1) Pray the rosary everyday. The only catch is, they had to have a proof (according to my coord) in a photo. I thought it made the praying fake, but i needed a picture so that was that. 2) Write a daily journal for the coarse of the holiday and 3) Do something good for the poor. It should have been an easy project since Christmas is a time for giving right, boy was i wrong! Come January, perfectly made projects as in type written ones were submitted to me. At that point i knew already that a number of the students did not do their projects. Can a grade 1 kid really type a 2-week journal? And the kids themselves squealed on their parents during our discussion in class. I asked simple questions like, Did you really pray the rosary everyday? One of my super honest kids even raised her hand and volunteered the information " No, my mommy said pose for the picture and kneel down." Come on! Then when i asked if they wrote on the journal everyday during the whole vacation, another kid said "We only did all the days last night!" There were even a couple of kids who didn't do any activity with the needy because, according to the parents, it was weird that the kids were being graded for it, so they didn't do it. Duh! Getting a grade for the praying and the giving made it seem superficial, i know, but the kids have to start somewhere...and it's not as if the rubric includes length of praying time or amount given to the poor. They already get a perfect score for accomplishing the task, the grade just varied according to neatness and creativity of presentation of the actual written report.

It was a stressful time because i received so many written complaints and personal visits from parents and i got called to the office of the coordinator so many times to defend my grades..... which gives you an idea that, of course i flunked those kids. How could i not?! My coordinator just said that for as long as i can defend the grades i gave she would approve my grades. SO a lot of kids got low grades meaning from a 97 it became an 85 during the 2nd term...that type of thing.

Lessons were learned, thanks to that CLE project....Teachers, make sure you give assignments/projects which the kids can do THEMSELVES; Tutors, don't do everything for the kids, especially projects. Teachers are not dumb. They will know tight away if it was done by an adult; Mommies & Daddies, let your kids do their own work. Allow them to make mistakes. Let them color everything pink if they want to and don't be too OC with their school work. A high grade earned the easy way means nothing. It has no value.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Macau Trip with My Crazy Family :-) DAY FOUR

On the last day (Day 4) of our trip, there were still a couple of things on our To do, we packed early and went to Cafe Deco for our last buffet breakfast in Macau. Only 6 of us + the pastor and his wife, who blessed the condo unit, ate breakfast. The others scrambled to go to the shops in Old Macau for last minute shopping. We ate breakfast hurriedly because i insisted that i'm not leaving Macau without getting the chance to ride the Gondola.

On our way to the Gondola Boutique to purchase our tickets (88HKD each)

Enjoying the view with Bea, Tita Ems (took this pic) & the Gondolier

The Gondolier was very courteous and accomodating. She told us that she has been to the Philippines (Cebu, Sagada, Banaue & Palawan) and she's planning to go again. She also shared with us that they named the gondolas based on the upholstery.....there's Purple Haze, Black Death and Fire Red, i think. It was a quick but super worth it trip. Our stay at The Venetian wouldn't have been complete without the Gondola ride. BTW, the gondolier had an amazing voice. I couldn't understand any of the words, but the voice was great! After out gondola ride we rushed in search of See's, the store with heavenly chocolate! Sorry no pictures, i was busy trying out all the chocolatey assortments on display. Sarap!

After the sugar overload, we headed to Canton for lunch. The food was great! I've had just about enough of peking duck to last me a lifetime! This resto is also probably one of the prettiest restaurants i have seen.

Anyway, while having lunch, during the course of our conversation, the pastor (he joined again for our last meal) asked me "So, in what University do you go to?" and i was like, "Me?" I was a bit shocked and happily surprised that he thought i was still a student...or baka mali ako...mukha talaga akong teacher...... so i asked back "You think I'm still a student?" and he was like, "Well, yeah!" So i pushed my luck and asked again "So, how old do you think am I?" You know what he said......." Eighteen! You look eighteen!" See, he made my day! Then i had to tell him my real age to make 18 sound sweeter. When I told him i was 30, he said i don't look my age, maybe because i have a baby face.......and at the back of my head i was thinking maybe BABY FAT! Hah!

He made my day! See, I look even younger than the 23 years that i'm pretending to be. What a way to end my trip!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Macau Trip with my Crazy Family DAY TWO and DAY THREE :-)

Walk, Walk, Walk. That's Day two for you in a gist.

DAY TWO of our Macau trip started with a swim.........rewind.............DAY TWO of our Macau trip started with a loooooooooong walk to the pool side. After we had a big buffet breakfast at Cafe Deco, we decided to look at the pool and see if we can take a dip before the Tanders start calling attendace. TOURIST TIP # 3 If you're at The Venetian, you must eat at Cafe Deco! It's the best buffet breakfast i have tried and the widest assortment of food i have seen. How many kinds of breakfast food can you really think of?

We were able to swim for a couple of hours wearing suits we put together at the last minute since swimming wasn't really part of the agenda. It was also very hot in Macau (very much like Manila) so the decision to take a dip wasn't a very bad idea. Afterwhich, we had lunch at the pool side cafe (the name of which i really cannot remember) then walked the 330meters back to the elevator to take a shower in our room.

Then it was time to go on a tour. We didn't join other tourists, we rented our own coaster which was very convenient. First stop: Tito Ding & Tita Carmen's brand new condo unit in Old Macau. Since there was already quite a number of relatives present, they decided to have an on-the-spot house warming. Buti na lang the Pastor was a phone call away and was available right at the moment.

View from the Top (of the condo unit)

Look at them pose. L-R: My Mom, Tita Carmen & Tita Dodie

After the house warming, we went to St. Peter's Ruins. This is one of the tourist spots. Maybe a clean version of Divisoria with nicer stores. One of the most famous shops here is the Pastelleria Koi Kei. You should never leave Macau without a bag of their goodies. They have the best Tapas!

Our trip to the Ruins was quite short, 1 hour to be exact. HB na ang mga Tanders from all the walking so we didn't have time to shop. We literally just breezed through the whole area.......sooooo the next day, DAY THREE, we (me, Bea and Tita Ems) decided to go back on our own. Yipee! Right after our big breakfast, we hit the streets, hailed a cab and went to shopping haven. I don't even remember the name of the mall we went to first, basta hanap lang ng mabibili. Haha! The first thing i bought was a pair of Chucks na velcro strap for my brother, super cheap, something like 220HKD then i bought a couple of cool shirts for Aris (2 for 100HKD).

Then we had to head back to the hotel to rest and freshen up for the ZAIA show, a Cirque du Soleil production. The show was set for 7pm, which meant we still had time to shop. We saw kasi a big SALE sign na 70% of in Next. So we went for a quickie shop meaning, i was able to buy a pair of wide-legged pants, shorts and 2 tops in less than 30 minutes. Hindi pa nakuntento, we decided to buy na our Cirque souvenirs before the show.....Excited eh! See our pre-Zaia (as in we took it on the morning of the show) and post-Zaia shots (with red balloons) ....

The Zaia show was superb! TOURIST TIP # 4 One must watch a Cirque du Soleil show at least once in his life time! Truly an eye-candy!

One more day, and then time to say bye to Macau. . . . .

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Just as it in all other parts of the world, there were plenty Pinoys in Macau. It was very nice to see them working proudly, whether at the front desk, house keeping, security or as an artist.....

It was funny how they would stop and greet when they hear one speaking in Filipino.... There was one instance, while we where by the pool (more kwento about the facility itself in DAY 2) kunyari making laps to burn off all the food we ate, but really just bumming around having cocktails, a food server passed by, stopped in his tracks, turned around and started heading towards us......The first thing Chy (the food server) said was "Sabi ko na nga ba Pinoy kayo eh! Nakalagpas na ako nung marining ko kayong nagsasalita." And ofcourse our first inpression was, "What?! Narining niya tayo, eh nagbubulungan lang tayo eh." Hahaha! That was really funny.... ang lakas pala ng kwentuhan namin to think we were talking about this girl in the pool (buti na lang tagalog ang conversation namin. Yikes!) who had Rapunzel hair sa pits! Iba talaga!

My other funny encounter was with an artist (I would like to call them that). All over The Venetian, there were jesters, opera singers, this guy on stilts and ofcourse the white statues. It was amazing how they could hold a pose for hours on end. Anyway, we chanced upon a white statue and my kamag-anak incorporated started saying "Magpa-picture ka na. Sooo cute. Go na." And the duwag that i am, i said "Ayoko nga, baka gumalaw yan!" After several more minutes of persuading, i went. And the freakin' thing started to move! Kakahiya talaga how i started running away from the thing.....I later on figured out na the reason why that statue moved when it was my turn for the photo op was because PINOY SIYA! He could understand everything that i was saying!

Super gulat talaga!

This was attempt number 2. Different guy naman. Ofcourse, this time the strategy was to keep my mouth zipped while we were having our picture taken... but my kulit family started shouting "Lapit pa!" when i was near the gut na. So gumalaw ulit! Grrrrrr!

After this was taken, I refused na talaga...never mind the picture! I just took pictures of other Pinoy artists.

The Violinist

and the opera singer.