Sunday, January 31, 2010

Because funny is always in fashion

Tina Fey will be on the March cover of Vogue!

I can't wait to see this, Tina Fey is one of my ultimate girl crushes.

Friday, January 29, 2010


En route from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, our van stopped over at Kampong Thom, a province two hours from Siem Reap. A stall on the sidewalk had crickets...

crickets in Cambodia

and beetles (or what I hoped were beetles and not roaches):

crickets in Cambodia

I don't really care about edible insects, I was more interested in the persimmons and pomegranates in the next stall.

persimmons and pomegranates

Abet, however, wanted to get the crickets. He sampled some and liked them, so we bought a small plastic bag for 7,000 riel--around P80--for pulutan in our hotel room later that evening. They weren't too bad, actually. Perfect with beer.

crickets in Cambodia
Please excuse the girly fingernails--he's a guitarist.

crickets in Cambodia

On the way back from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh (towards Vietnam), we passed by Kampong Thom again. This time, we bought a tarantula for 500 riel (P6). Neither of us ate it. We'll stick to the crickets next time.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bet you didn't know that...

From one of my daily reads, Learn Something Everyday.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My best impulse buy ever...

which was also the most expensive, was worth every single cent.

I just bought a guitar.

It's not for me, of course. It's for Abet. There's this guitar lent to him by his friend Joseph who is based in China. Abet's been using it for several months now, and he really loves the sound of this particular instrument. Now, with musicians like Abet, finding an instrument that one is really kasundo with is no easy feat. It's akin to finding a girlfriend or boyfriend. He is partial to the sound of this guitar and wanted to buy it months back, but the owner wasn't selling.

Last week, the owner offered to sell him the guitar, but Abet declined. He said he has other expenses to prioritize; he has a trip to Bangkok (short-term) and our wedding and beyond (long-term) to save up for, and that guitar wasn't in his priorities right now.

Of course, I couldn't let that offer pass up, could I? It would just absolutely break my heart--and his, for sure--if that little piece of plywood spruce and glue and varnish would be sold to someone else. So I did what any supportive girlfriend would do: I e-mailed Joseph and offered to buy the guitar behind Abet's back. It cost as much as our budget for one person for our 6-day/5-night trip to Bangkok with accommodation at a 5-star hotel this June. Pikit-mata akong nagbayad, and I paid for it as soon as I could before I could change my mind.

Lest you guys think that I'm Abet's sugar mommeh, let me say that I paid for it from our joint money. I did some quick calculations and realized that we can afford the guitar. I know I should have discussed such a major purchase with him before I made any decisions, but if I did, he would have hesitated and talked me out of it. He's as worried about our wedding and our post-wedding finances as much as I am. Besides, his face was priceless--just priceless!--when I handed him the deposit slip today. I didn't tell him what I did, I just let him figure it all out. He actually teared up a bit, much like how my sister May teared up when Abet gave my family a beautiful guitar two Christmases ago. Oh, he was so happy! It was all worth it. Honestly, I was a bit worried about how he might react. I did have to promise him that I won't ever do something like that again, though. I won't, I promise. I don't think that will be allowed once we're married.

He was so happy today, he gave me impromptu guitar lessons. I think it's about time I learn--the guitar is half mine, after all.

The boyfriend had a violent reaction to this blog post. It's spruce daw, not plywood. Foyn. :P

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Money, money, money...

must be funny in a rich man's world.

I just realized that I'll be thinking about money everyday for the rest of my life starting now. :-/

Abet has decided to stay here for his MA instead of studying in Japan, the pros of staying here outweigh the cons by a ton. This change of plans brings us back to our original plan: get married next October on our 5th anniversary. Our original date was October 16, 2011 (we decided on this just after being together for a year), but Abet had decided to study in Japan and he wouldn't be home on that date. We were to push the wedding to April 2012. Now we're back to the original plan.

Which means we'll get married in 21 months.

Which means that we have only have 21 more months to save up.

Which is too little time, really.

We actually started saving together in 2008, depositing an equal amount monthly. Yes, we went where angels fear to tread: the joint savings account. We do have some money stashed away (in BDO in MoA, to be exact), but we counted our money and made a wedding budget earlier today, and we realized that we don't have enough. We won't have enough if we put in the same amount we've been putting in all these months. No, wait. We'll have enough for the wedding we want, but that's it. No money for the 1 month advance, 2 months deposit on rent, no money to buy a refrigerator and a dining set and 400 thread count sheets (¡Que horror!), and no money for a honeymoon (an even bigger ¡Que horror!). We'll have to amp up our savings.

My goodness.

I've never really thought about money as obsessively before. I make some, save some, pay my credit card bills, and spend the rest. The only thing I majorly saved up for and spent was travel. Now, I have the wedding to think about. I'll probably obsess about this--what we can and can't afford, what nice-to-have's to let go of, what to prioritize with our budget. After the wedding, there will be the rent and bills and groceries. Then we'll have to buy a car (I don't want to be a pregnant woman a-commuting). Then we'll have a baby. And then another baby. (And maybe still another baby.) Then the babies will grow up and go to school and go to college. Of course one of our ultimate dreams is to have a house of our very own sooner than later, so we'll also have to work on that.

It won't stop.

I wish I did some major splurging yesterday before I realized all these.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A rather late year-end post

I didn't plan on filling this out for 2009, I've been lazy with my blogging lately, but reading other people's 2009 surveys made me want to write my own. After all, 2009 was an eventful year--exciting, difficult, stressful, amazing, fun, tiring--and truly memorable.

Thanks for the memories, 2009. You were fun, but I'm glad you're over. I'm looking forward to more fun and exciting stuff for 2010.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before? Pray like I've never prayed before. Having our baby brother enter the PMA was extremely difficult for our family. We have very limited contact with him, all we could do was pray for his health and safety, and for him to be strong. The worst is over now, though. We're done being through a wringer, and we're immensely proud of Joe.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I resolved to travel more with Abet. Check! I also resolved to save more. Check! I resolved to take better care of my skin and figure. Check on the former, big fail on the latter. So for this year, my number one resolution is TO GET MY FRIGGIN' SEXY BACK! Dang, I used to be hot. I want to be hot again.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Vanessa gave birth to Gab in May, Jarwin's wife gave birth to Jaden in June, and Chris's wife gave birth to Marcus in August.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Humans, no, praise God. RIP to my three pet fish.

5. What countries did you visit? Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam, baby!

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009? Exercise, still!

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? I have three:

  • 19 March 2009, the day we found out that Joe got accepted into the PMA Class of 2013
  • 20 June 2009, Joe's Incorporation Ceremony, the day we first saw him since he entered the Academy in April--it was just after he finished two months of military training and we barely recognized him
  • 26 October 2009, the day I saw the sun rise over the Angkor Wat
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Planning our 11-day, 5-city backpacking trip! And being under-budget at that.

9. What was your biggest failure? Missing Joe's Recognition Ceremony because of our delayed flight home from Vietnam. I know it wasn't my fault, Typhoon Santi was beyond my control, but I'll always feel a tinge of regret whenever I think about this.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Just a bad case of

11. What was the best thing you bought? The backpacking trip. Every single peso I spent was worth it.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? This goes without saying: my brother Joe's. He's doing really well in the Academy. We are mighty proud of him.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? The Ampatuans.

14. Where did most of your money go? Travel and savings. No complaints here.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Every single trip to Baguio to visit my brother got me excited. I was also excited about our trip to Davao last March to attend my friend Maedeleine's wedding. It was Abet's first time in Mindanao, and I saw my dearest high school barkada who are some of my favorite girls in the world. Of course, we were excited as hell about our backpacking trip, we were counting down months.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008? Jai Ho, Nobody, and that "I don't care" song

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

  • Happier or sadder? Happier! (Yay!)
  • Thinner or fatter? Fatter! (Boo!)
  • Richer or poorer? Richer! (Yay!)

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Read, and see more of the Philippines.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Eat.

20. How did you spend Christmas? Joe can’t come home (or even go outside Fort del Pilar) for the holidays, so the family was in Baguio from the 21st of December until after New Year’s Day. My family was lent a lovely house with 3 bedrooms, a fireplace, and a gorgeous view of the mountains and pine trees. Christmas Day was spent inside PMA with Joe and the other Charlie boys whose families weren’t able to visit, and Christmas evening was spent in front of the fireplace.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009? I kept on falling madly, deeply in love, over and over again. He's wonderful. I love him so much.

22. How many one-night stands? None. Never have.

23. What was your favorite TV program? Glee! I've converted my family into Gleeks-even Abet, who has proclaimed himself president of the Quinn Fabray Fan Club

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? Yes. Let's leave it at that.

25. What was the best book you read? This book:

Her first book, Stiff, which is about human cadavers, is entertaining, funny, and informative and is one of my favorite books. This book about sex is even funnier. I got my hardbound copy at 50% off.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? None again. I’m outdated.

27. What did you want and get? For Joe to get into the Academy.

28. What did you want and not get? Still world peace.

29. What was your favorite film of this year? Disney-Pixar’s Up. This is now one of my ultimate favorite movies. I watched this with my brother Mako, my sister May, and Abet on Mako’s laptop in Baguio.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? On my 27th, I had food from Amber’s delivered for my officemates, watched the first 7 episodes of Glee with my mom (even if I have already seen them), had dinner at Teriyaki Boy and dessert at Mom & Tina’s with May and Abet, and then May and I got our third and last cervical cancer shot.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009? Still the "I'm wearing the first thing I grabbed from the sampayan and handed to Ate Inday to iron" look

32. What kept you sane? Abet and chocolate

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Michelle Obama

34. What political issue stirred you the most? The Ampatuan massacre

35. Who did you miss? JEMIMA!!! Still my buddy, Jemima.

36. Who was the best new person you met? All the new bloggers I’ve discovered! I’ve been privately (friends-only) blogging on Blurty, LiveJournal, and Multiply since 2003, but I just discovered the joys of writing on and reading public blogs.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009: Prayer and faith are really, truly powerful.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: Year after year, it’s this: You ain’t seen nothin’ yet...The best is yet to come, and won't that be fine...The Best Is Yet To Come, Frank Sinatra