From layette to lingerie?

I used to buy dresses like this for Maia when she was a baby and we were living in Iligan City. There was a store called Trendline where I would go to for her baby clothes, and we went there so often because she would quickly outgrow the ones I bought just a few weeks ago. Buying clothes for Maia seemed more fun than buying stuff for myself, because there was so much more to choose from, and baby’s clothes always looked a lot more beautiful than grown up clothes.

These days though, Maia is more into Barbie looking clothes and stuff that she sees on the internet. For a time she was into costumes, but except for a desire to replace her Belle costume that was ruined by Typhoon Ondoy, she hasn’t been talking about it much. We took her underwear shopping a couple of weeks ago and when we passed by the women’s lingerie she wanted to try on the bras.

Then we passed by the swimsuit racks, and this time she wanted a bikini. I told her she could have one when she turns 16, which is the same age I told her she could have her own Facebook account.

Going UP

It’s been a while since I’ve looked in at my son’s boarding house in Baguio, in fact I don’t think I’ve been up there since first semester enrollment back when he went into UPB as a freshman.

But now that I have a bit of time on my hands I figure I should go up there again, to check on him, make sure he’s got enough supplies, food, and if he’s getting his laundry done. These are things that a mom worries about, especially when he comes home for holidays so thin I really wonder if he eats at all while he’s up there. If there’s anyone who needs NOT to eat, it’s me, with a dose of apidexin to boot.

Of course Baguio is also a great place to take photos but with the weather these days I’m not so sure about that. I gave my son one of our old 5mp digicams and he’s come up with a few good snaps. I’d like the chance to walk with him.

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Hello everyone!

This blog was down for a few days — almost a week, actually — due to financial constraints on the part of yours truly. Hosting fees need paid but then again so do second semester tuition, boarding house rent and allowances. Hay, story of every parent-who’s-got-a-kid-in-college.

But we are back and boy do we have some pent up blogs to post! Posts to blog! Whatever! :D

It’s good to be back.

Visita La Union

Bauang Sunset

The Gaerlan Family finally had our outing to La Union last weekend. A long planned and oft postponed trip, but at long last it happened. Maia had been nagging at us to take her to the beach, and it had been a long time since we visited Daddy Toming’s grave. My camera, although a year old now, has never shot San Juan, the Gaerlan hometown, and so there were several reasons for going.

Accommodations was never the problem, it was finding a way to get there that proved to be difficult. We appreciated the Gaerlan house, although partially unfinished and did not have any Kohler kitchen faucet, which was quite comfortable and convenient as well.

San Juan Church

From there we could walk to the Plaza Amparo and to the Church of San Juan, and it was only a short ride to the beach and the watchtower.

We didn’t spend as much time there as we wanted. We left Manila early in the morning of Saturday, stayed overnight into Sunday and was back in Manila shortly after midnight on the following Monday. Next time we should plan a longer stay.


One plus one

More and more often these days I find myself wondering if online math help would have been much different a decade and a half ago, if Internet at home had been available to me and my young family. Math help would have been a boon with my sons growing up and in school.  I was a young and unemployed full time mom at the time, and could have appreciated all the assistance that an online math tutor could provide. Ever since I started to be on the Internet on a regular basis I found that it was the best, if not only at times, source of information for me, especially in times that I needed free online math help.

My daughter and youngest child Maia, now five years old, learned to read on the internet. It was on a site called which I now recommend to all of my friends with pre-school kids who have access to the internet at home. She learned not only to read, but to count and to do simple addition through its online math tutoring section. The only disadvantage to online tutoring is that my daughter did not learn to write by hand, actually holding a pencil to paper, because she had become accustomed to typing her letters and numbers out on a keyboard.

But that’s been remedied by going to kindergarten school, starting June of this year. Now her handwriting is quite legible, and coupled with reading on her books and on the internet I believe she has taken in far more information than her classmates who are less exposed to the internet. Of course, internet learning should not completely replace parent- or teacher-supervised learning. Human interaction, after all, is probably the best teaching tool a young person can have.

Where to buy United Nations Costumes in Manila

Maia represents Austria in her school's United Nations PageantIt’s been the question midway through September. The next month meant United Nations celebrations in most schools in the Philippines, and more often than not it consisted of the kids dressing up in various native costumes of countries around the world and saying a greeting in that country’s language.

Maia is representing Austria in her school’s United Nations pageant late this month. Preparation for her costume involved quite a bit of internet research as to what the national costume of Austria looked like, and how to find such a costume in any store in Manila. Having one made to order was already out of the question. Most tailors required a month’s notice for such jobs.

Last week I tried the malls. I spotted costumes for Korea, Japan, the US and some Polynesian ones but zilch for Austria. In fact the malls had more Halloween costumes than United Nations costumes. Halloween in the Philippines is something I am not very keen about but that’s another blog post.

Cris did some research himself and came upon this mom’s support forum where one Mom mentioned a costume and textile store in Quiapo that specialized in United Nations costumes. She could not recall the street it was on, but gave enough directions to her co-forumers that Cris knew where to find it.

Echague Bazar

The store was on what used to be Echague Street, parallel to Hidalgo, on the farther side of the Quiapo Church. In fact from Sta. Cruz, following Echague Street will take you into Quiapo Ilalim. Echague Street is now known as Carlos Palanca St.

Echague Bazar Owner with Cris

We found our Austria costume at the Echague Bazar, ran by William Uy and Christine Cheng. They sell all kinds of embroidery, barong, ladies bags, kimonas, long gowns, costumes, wedding gowns and table cloths. They also accept made-to-order barong, gown etc. I got that bit of information from the business card the owner gave us. Maia’s Austria costume cost us P350.00.

United Nations Flags

Echague Bazar is at 163 Carlos Palanca St. with phone numbers 314-7890 and 733-6357. It’s on the same side as Excellent chain of stores where people in the know get their hams and quezos de bola for the holidays.

Additional directions: from Manila City Hall take España Bridge which will lead you to Plaza Lacson. Immediately after the bridge on the right is Carlos Palanca St (Echague). At that corner is Plaza Fair, behind it is the old SM. Just keep going past the camera shops, looking to the left and you will see the Echague Bazar.

After Ondoy

cleaning up after the flood

The cleanup has started. Three days after Ondoy struck, signs of life from the local government has been detected in the form of a water tanker and hose held by the barangay street sweepers as they attempted to clear mud and debris from our streets. This is more than I can say for some places in Cainta, San Mateo, Pateros and Marikina, still inundated by flood.

Water was chest deep inside our house, which meant it was neck deep in the street right outside the house, and consequently way deeper than that in the area that one must pass in order to enter the area. This is where most of the informal settlers have two-storey houses. They know about the floods that visit the area. The second floor is not so much as an extension of the house as it is an evacuation area when the floods hit.

how deep was the flood in our house?

My husband and I decided to leave the house when the water was chest high inside, in order to bring our daughter and our helper to the covered court by the barangay hall which was on higher ground. The flood started at around 9am, and was highest at half past 1 in the afternoon. When the water was obviously subsiding around 4pm we decided to bring Maia and Bebing back to the house. There was one bed that was more or less dry. We retrieved whatever was usable from our furniture that had been floating about for more than three hours, had the earliest dinner we recall and was asleep before 7pm.

When Bebing and I woke the next day at around 4am the water had subsided, but most of the furniture had been rendered useless. Most of our tables were made of wooden pulp, the kind that didn’t take kindly to inundations.

But we are luckier than most. We still have the house and most of our appliances have been found working after two days of drying out. We are all healthy, none of us have been adversely affected by standing and wading in the flood for several hours. We received several calls from Cris’s brother Masons, and text messages from my photography group the D60KREW. We are fortunate that people care for us, and have been praying for our safety. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts.