How About A Trip To Pluto?


Do you want to go to Pluto? I want to! But only given that there's enough oxygen in there and that I can come back to Earth alive! Haha. The awesome Jhanis of The Vanilla Housewife tagged me to answer some random questions and said that we'll probably be shipped to Pluto some time soon if we participate. Now off to the questions.

1. Are you named after someone? 
Oh yes, you know the typical Filipino thing that when you're the first born child, you'll most likely be named after your parents or grandparents. My first name REA was derived from my father's name Rey and my second name GENE was derived from guess where? My mother's name! Which is Genoveva! Ohlalaha!

2. When was the last time you cried?
Last night. But that's because I had to put eye drops on. LOL. It's an eye cleanser and it stings for little while then it feels good after.

3. Do you have kiddos?
Kiddo. A three-year old toddler.

4. If you were another person, would you be a friend to yourself?
Most definitely! I think I can be a terrific friend! 

5.  Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Chocolates. In fact, I'm eating a giant chocolate bar right now.

6. Do you like your handwriting?
I'm self-indulgent when it comes to this because I love my handwriting so much. I've been the class president and secretary since grade school and I was always tasked to write things on the board when our teachers felt sick and lazy. Hah! Plus I'd always buy a cute notebook and a nice pen just so I can write anything and brag about it to myself. Sorry I just have to say a lot about this! Haha!

7. What’s your favorite cereal?
When you say cereal, I can only think of Koko Crunch! 

8. What’s the first thing you notice about people?
The way they dress. 

9. What is your eye color?

10. Scary movie or happy endings?
I'm always for happy endings! I'm not a fan of scary movies. 

11.  Favorite TV show?
Gossip Girl. But it already ended. It's the only show I've watched from the first to the last season where if you ask me, I can still memorize the characters even the minor ones.

Photo here

12. Summer or Winter?
No winter in my country so summer all the way!

13. Hugs or Kisses?

14. What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home?
Baguio City - The Summer Capital of the Philippines! That's when I attended a writing conference. No photos were kept since those were the days when digital cameras were only for the rich and famous.

15. Do you have any special talents?
I can last an entire day without eating. Is that a talent? And then eat like there's no tomorrow the day after.

16. Where were you born?
General Santos City, Philippines

17. What are your hobbies?

18. Do you have any pets?
I don't think I'm patient enough to own pets. We have 3 Japanese Spitz here though and I think they're my son's pets.

19. Favorite movie? MOVIES! Haha.
TITANIC all the way! I'm all for Leonardo.
Les Miserables and What Dreams May Come. Emotional movies. 
The Hunger Games/Catching Fire, the only movies that had instances of killing people that I managed to love and watch.

20. What color is your car?
I don't have a car. But I have a photo of a nice ride I like.

21. What do you want to be when you grow up?
A full-time mother and housewife. Like I want to be that by the end of this year.

There you go! I'd like to tag the people I haven't heard from for quite some time now. No pressure though! Have fun fun fun!!

Natasja of Eyes Painted Black

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5 Things I Love About Home


There's truly no place like home. And two weeks ago, I was home with Reiko. I only get a chance to visit my hometown once or twice a year and it never fails me. It's a small city but vibrant yet quiet and I can get the best sleep ever even if it's just for 3 to 4 hours. I love home. In fact, I can think of a hundred and one reasons why I love it. But today, I'm going to narrow it down to 5. This, my friends, is HOME. ♥

1. Waking up in a wonderful and quiet morning with birds chirping. No yelling around, no noise. Only birds. Typical bamboo fence, green grasses, coconut trees, aaahhh love it so much. 

2. Meditating while drinking warm milk in a mild rainy morning by the large window. Dreamy. With my Milo marathon uniform (that I borrowed from my sister, haha!). Which can lead to one good point -- I love going home without worrying too much on how many clothes to bring because I can always borrow from my mom and my sister!

3. Reiko enjoying his morning swim.. and playing with my little cousins.

And of course, what you see below is not our swimming pool :)

4. Reiko loves the mall and the colorful fountains! It's never crowded, you'd ask where did all the people go? He doesn't want to stop running until his little legs hurt, which never happens by the way so I had to carry him just so we could go home.

5. And of course, the arcade. I swear I had a very hard time convincing him to leave. Thanks to M&Ms, we made our way out!

So you see, a lot of the things I love about home has something to do with my son. And that's because I think, back home is a great place to raise him and watch him grow. Now, if I can only make that happen and be home for good... (hello husband!).. 

What do you love most about your home or your hometown?
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Let It Go...


My vacation is almost over. Ten days was the longest I've stayed in my hometown since I moved out and I was beyond happy that I got to spend more time with my family. On Monday, I'm officially back to work with an update training class waiting for me. Life is good! But before all those good times happened, there was one bad time, and never in my life did I imagine something like that to happen to me. But it did. I guess I just have to believe Murphy, if something can go wrong, it will. But I wasn't prepared.

April 6, Sunday - Reiko and I were scheduled to fly to my hometown at 8:10am. Knowing that it's hard to wake Reiko up so early, I checked-in online the night before our flight so I wouldn't have to rush the next morning. To my surprise, I wasn't allowed to check in and the reason was not indicated at all. I double-checked the requirements - it's up to 72 hours before the flight, Reiko is no longer an infant, and there are only two of us traveling so why the heck wasn't I allowed to check in online? Then I called the airline's customer service and they told me that I still have a payment due for around Php5,000 or around $115 and that if I wanted to pay it, I can pay at the airport. 

After a couple of text messages and phone calls to my friend whose sister booked the ticket for us (it was a ticketing office), I was told that they're already fixing it. I panicked for 5 minutes.. no actually, I panicked every time I thought about what may happen and did not get enough rest that night as I was waiting for a response from them. 

Morning came and off to the airport we went 2 hours before our flight even though I wasn't so sure of what's happening. I prepared extra cash to pay off that payment due whatever that was and thought of just asking a refund from the ticketing office that booked our flight. I just had to explain to the airline personnel that I booked the flight a month ago, I paid in cash, then a ticketing office booked the flight for me. The itinerary receipt was sent to me a month ago with a CONFIRMED status and I wasn't informed of any changes. So why were they saying that I still have a payment due? Clearly, there's a disconnect and I just couldn't figure out where. 

My husband already left us inside the check in area since only passengers were allowed and he didn't have his phone so I couldn't contact him right away. I lined up at the check-in counter and much to my horror, the personnel told me that I still have a payment due of Php19,000 or around $430?! Seriously?! So it turned out that whoever booked our flight booked us an entirely new flight on that same day and that's why they're asking me to pay Php19,000! Sounded really absurd so I went to the cashier and told her that I'm gonna pay the original flight booked for us for Php5000 only but she insisted that I needed to pay Php19,000 instead! I asked why I still have a payment due and she told me that the transaction was suspicious and it was a fraudulent activity so it was charged back by the bank and was never paid! Although I completely understood what she meant by a charge-back and a suspicious transaction, I was still in confused mode and for a while I thought of yelling at her but I was sure it would do more harm than good. And well, I'm really not that kind of person. 

I asked the cashier if I could book an entirely new flight using my debit card and she tried to look for one on that same day but it was already very very expensive. What was I thinking? So with Reiko running around from time to time, my luggage, and my heart on my throat, I decided to just go home and think of what to do next. I called my mom and told her everything and despite how upset she was, she told me that maybe there was a reason why it happened and that she would do her best to book a new flight for us instead.

I felt really really really upset about what happened. It was the worst inconvenience I've experienced so far. I was nearly in tears, or I think there were a few tears or I wasn't sure, it must have been sweat from my eyes? I didn't even bother argue with the cashier, she must have been right you know and I was too scared to embarrass myself. I was still feeling blank but I couldn't just sit there and do nothing. I could do something right? So what I did was go home and let go... let go instead of regretting I ever booked a flight through someone else in the hopes of getting a discounted fare. I didn't expect that it was to the point of fraud or something like that, had I known, I wouldn't have booked our flight through them. Wrong move. 

Well, this story fortunately had a happy ending. But no, we didn't get any explanation yet from the airline as to why they're asking us to pay the Php19,000 instead of the Php5000 only even after 2 hours of being on the phone with them. Yes, I got refunded half the ticket price by the ticketing office and I'm still waiting for the other half. No, I still did not know exactly why it became a suspicious activity or fraudulent transaction although I have some ideas. And yes, we were able to book a new flight to our hometown and we arrived exactly on Tuesday to celebrate Reiko's birthday there. It was a 10-day vacation well-spent. 

Lessons learned: Know the people you'll trust. Let go of the bad things. And move on. There's no point crying over spilled milk.

Has something like this ever happened to you? What did you do and how did you feel about it? Hope you have a great weekend!

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Of Love and Gratitude ♥


My first three months of pregnancy was a blur. That was 3 years ago. It was full of anxiety and worry and I felt dead inside. I felt ugly. I felt every negative thing someone may feel in three months time. Fast forward to April 8 of 2011, I experienced the most excruciating physical pain I've ever felt in my entire life but it was all worth the pain. When I saw my child for the first time, every single negative thing was replaced with happiness! And so it was just right to name him after love and gratitude. As cliche as it may sound, the miracle of life is really.. surreal. But him.. my child, Reiko is just so real.

My love and my gratitude has grown into an adorable, sweet, smart, and charming boy. We almost didn't make it to his third birthday celebration with his grandparents because of our two days delayed flight but I did all that I could to make it real for him. For now, I'll just let some photos speak for themselves. 

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Thank God It's Friday Ask Away!


Happy Friday! I've been out since last weekend. All I know is that on my previous post, I wrote about the anxiety of flying with a toddler. Wait until you hear this.. I was supposed to leave last Sunday right? And we were on the airport waiting to check in with all our bags, no tantrums from Reiko at least.. but the worst I've experienced so far in my history of traveling just happened.. when we checked in.. okay, I'm gonna have to blog about it separately but to cut the story short, we were not able to check in, we were not allowed to.. so after one hour of being in the airport, I decided that we just go home and book another flight. Pure inconvenience. So we just arrived to my hometown last Tuesday just in time to celebrate Reiko's birthday. That's the latest.

Well, I don't wanna dwell too much on that and I'm just glad I'm gonna be joining Ask Away Friday again this week, my last time was still last year! So I thought I really missed this. Sadly though, I've just read that it will  be discontinued for now. What a lucky day to join Ask Away! This week I'm swapping questions with a pro-fitness mom, April from 100lb Countdown. I've gotten to know April when I started linking up in Countdown In Style, a blog hop she's hosting every week. She blogs about her journey towards being fit and healthy for her family. I love reading her posts about fitness especially that I'm someone who doesn't really put too much thought on it.  

To meet more awesome bloggers, visit our wonderful hosts to see who else are participating: Penny from The Real Housewife of Caroline County, Amber from The Bold Fab Mom, Tiffany from Mrs Tee Love Life Laughter and Stacey from This Momma's Ramblings.

So let's get it on. To get to know more about April, please head on to her blog to see how she answered the questions I sent her way. And below are April's questions to me.. 

A little about you...

1. I've been thinking a lot about Who Am I. A lot of people think I'm shy, but I'm not. What's one word that doesn't describe you now, but you want it to in the future?


2. Assuming money is no object, describe your perfect home, including location.

I'd still love to live for good in my hometown here in the Philippines. My perfect home should be in a safe and quiet neighborhood where my son can run and learn freely with other kids. I'd like to have a two-storey house with a big lawn or backyard with trees and flowers where my son can play. I'd have a cozy living room with a big couch and big television where we can watch movies together as a family, a really neat and simple kitchen that will entice me to cook everyday more than ever (haha!), and four bedrooms with my own dream walk-in closet. I can go on and on and on describing my perfect home but I'll probably never finish. To give you some ideas, below are some of inspirations from my Pinterest board. A girl can dream you know! :) 

White kitchen, although I'd probably have a hard time cleaning this. Good luck! Haha. Photo here

Cozy living room, ahhh life! Photo here

I'd love to have this for Reiko. Photo here 

I'm in for some outdoor dining. Photo here

I'd love to have breakfast here too! Photo here 

3. You just redesigned your blog. What's the one thing that you were the most proud to accomplish?

Considering that I'm not really a designer, it's hard to choose just one. But if I really have to, I'd say I'm most proud of the customized horizontal menu bar below my header. I've been wanting to achieve that kind of look every time I browse through other blogs. I first thought it was so hard to do but when I started doing it, it was really easy but it's the part where I spent the most time with. Thanks to this wonderful tutorial

4. I know you've been writing your blog for five years, do you consider yourself a writer? Will you write something offline?

Yes! :) I consider myself a writer. Writing is my passion since I was in grade school. That's also one of the best things I can do to encourage and motivate myself to write. I've never written and published a book though but I do write offline and will continue to do so if there are opportunities. I was once a contributor for a local newspaper's lifestyle and literary section. I was also once involved in civic journalism where we write about our opinions on a certain issue and provide possible resolutions. It was a great learning experience. 

5. I see that you could've won Miss Congeniality in high school and have developed close personal friendships because of it. That's not me at all, I only have a couple of close friends and we may talk once a month. Now that I've moved, I'd like to make some new close friends. What's some advice you can give me? 

One thing I can tell you is what worked for me. Right after college five years ago, I moved to a new city.. alone with no friends yet at all. When I started working, I met so many cool and great friends in the workplace, one of them is my husband now. It helps to go out there and be with people. We can never expect to make friends if we hide from them. We at least have to try to engage in conversations and join a community with the same interests as ours. It's one way to test the waters and see whether we'll be comfortable befriending a person or not. 

Some of the first few people I met at work...

High school friends

For me, talking with a person a lot and through time getting to share my personal experiences often leads to a great and close friendship. It's also important to note that it's fine not to be friends with everyone and as friends we don't always have to have exactly the same hobbies and interests as they have. We can have so many differences but still be close friends. Most importantly, the number of friends you have does not really matter (for me). Right now, I know almost everyone at work and I consider them my friends but I only consider two people to be my close friends and one recently resigned so I'm left with only one close friend as of this time and it's perfectly fine with me. :) So give yourself some time, you may not feel comfortable right away with a certain person but that person can turn out to be your greatest friend. 

About Reiko...

6. Your son is so  adorable. When you go out with him, what's the one thing that you can't leave the house without?

Thank you! Well, aside from the necessities like extra clothes, diapers, milk, and baby wipes, I can't leave without his baby powder and rubbing alcohol. These two go together. Reiko is always on the go and he runs really really fast and in some cases, he doesn't want to change his shirt. Baby powder keeps him fresh and dry. The rubbing alcohol is more of for my own use. 

That's him in red..

7. Homeschooling is becoming ever popular in the States because of various reasons, including failing schools. Would you ever consider homeschooling Reiko?

I would! I've actually wanted to homeschool Reiko but I haven't done any intensive research yet. Homeschooling is not common in the Philippines and I don't think we already have a structured curriculum for it that's aligned with standard schools. So despite my interest to homeschool, I don't think it would be possible for now. I'm also thinking that since Reiko spent his early years with no playmates at home, it would be best to get him out there and experience playing and learning with kids his age. 

8. What's your favorite activity to do with Reiko?

I love watching kiddie movies with him or watch alphabets, numbers, and nursery rhymes on Youtube. I also love playing and running with him outside the house and do some outdoor activities like playing basketball. 

A little about cooking...

9. I grew up with Filipino friends and they used to share lumpia all the time. Living in the Philippines, what is one of the best dishes you've had?

Wow, great to know that you grew up with some Filipinos! :) I totally love adobo - it involves either meat, seafood, or vegetables marinated in a sauce of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, browned in oil and simmered in the marinade. Adobo is actually a Spanish word for seasoning or marinade. The cooking method though is indigenous to the Philippines. I prefer chicken adobo in particular!

Yum yum! Photo here

10. I see that you're learning how to cook. What's one dish that you really want to learn and perfect for your family?

Yes, I have sooo many failed attempts! Lol. Guess I just have to keep trying. One dish I want to learn and perfect is chicken adobo! Surprising? Haha. I figured that I have to master something my family and I really like to eat. I'm sure there are several varieties. I can't wait to try, fail, and then try again and again until I perfect it. I know it sounds pretty simple but for someone like me who didn't grow up in the kitchen, even frying and boiling an egg can be a daunting ask. Hah! 


Thank you April for your very interesting questions! It's been fun swapping with you on this last edition of Ask Away Friday! :) 

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