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Royce and Singapore.

My ombre nails are ready to see my husband in Singapore tomorrow. Just like the good times, we will be “rendezvous-ing” in Singapore. I just committed a crime right there for “verb-ing” a noun. Wait, make it two crimes. But it feels right at this moment so I am sticking my tongue out at you! ๐Ÿ˜›

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That’s a nasty pair of lady’s feet. That’s what happens when you work for six years with closed high-heeled shoes on. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Moving on, I will be taking home with me my favorite chocolates in the world—NAMA!!! For me, Royce and Singapore have almost become synonymous. I cannot be in Singapore without buying a few boxes of Nama (Royce) chocolates for take-home.

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NAMA is a very exquisite chocolate brand from Japan that tastes like no other. It melts in your tongue and you get that explosion of velvety chocolate, and then it is over before you know it. Because it is very sensitive to the body temperature, it doesn’t even get to your throat. But there will be no disappointments. It will only leave you asking for more.

I have tasted a few brands of expensive gourmet chocolates like Godiva, but Royce is a league of its own. One has to try it to know what it is all about.

This is one weird combination but very tasty.

This is one weird combination but very tasty.

So I would like to give away a Nama chocolate box and another pack of Nama chocolate-coated chips to a lucky reader somewhere out there who will say hi to me at the comment space below. I have never given anything away for readers (let me pretend that I have readers other than my school friends and my husband), I would like to try it for the first time. This is my No. 1 favorite chocolate in the entire universe so this giveaway is personal to me. Since I will be in the Philippines next month, I will be handing this over to the winner in person.

This chocolate is very hard to ship because it melts easily. It even comes with its own cooling gel pack. So this is only open to anybody in Manila or Dipolog, friends or not. Leave your name, then come back after a week, which would be the 8th of May, on a Wednesday. My husband will pick the winner because he will be buying it for me ( he does not know it yet). ๐Ÿ˜‰

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scrapbookneeds.com

To Royce fans in the Philippines, it is wonderful news to us all that there are several stores now in the Philippines that sells Nama chocolates. That is a lot of stores of Nama. For about P550 a box, the Philippine economy must be doing fine.

ROYCE’ Power Plant Mall Shop
Stall 318A R3 Powerplant Mall,
Rockwell Center, Makati City,
Philippines
TEL: +63-2-492-5051

ROYCE’ Greenbelt 5 Shop
Level 1 Greenbelt 5,
Ayala Greenbelt Complex, Makati City,
Philippines
TEL: +63-2-489-6946

ROYCE’ Trinoma Shop
Third Level (Mindanao Side),
Trinoma, Quezon City,
Philippines
TEL: +63-2-394-5242

ROYCE’ Eastwood Mall Shop
Level 1, Eastwood Mall,
Quezon City,
Philippines
TEL: +63-2-409-1354

ROYCE’ The Podium Shop
Ground Floor, The Podium
Ortigas Center, Pasig City,
Philippines
TEL: +63-2-379-3224

ROYCE’ BGC Shop
Cake Club,
Bonifacio High Street Central,
Upper Ground Level North East,
Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Taguig City,
Philippines

If you happen to pass through the New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido, Japan, Royce even has a chocolate factory and museum inside the airport. Check this out.

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Valentine’s Day 2013

Found this really neat photo of an Emirates airplane that is very appropriate for Valentine’s day.

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While I could not say that we are the best airline in the world, we are definitely one of the top bests. If you are looking for valid reasons to fall in love with us, I would say, check out our in-flight entertainment system and well…have a look at our cabin crews. Ahem. ๐Ÿ™‚

So, today is Valentine’s day. For this year, hubby and I planned to keep our Valentine’s Day celebration simple. Instead of splashing serious cash on a dinner outside, we have decided to just stay at home and cook our dinner specialty. But that cannot be done without the help of a chilled bottle of Moet et Chandon rosรฉ Champagne sitting in the fridge right now. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you hubby for surprising me with the bubbly.

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Meanwhile, our V-day started early at the JBR beach.

Starting the day early at the beach.  Time check: 0630 in the morning.

Starting the day early with a little picnic by the beach. Time check: 0630 in the morning.

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Breakfast at IHop across the street.

Swiss Mocha coffee for her and French Vanilla coffee for him.

Swiss Mocha coffee for her and French Vanilla coffee for him. Plus a large plate of hot breakfast on the side.

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With that, my day is more than solved!

We also received a precious love note from our little Cupid from faraway. We love you too our one and only.
Love, Mom and dad.

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My first official party planning.

After a mad rush from my Sydney flight to try to get into a flight to Manila, I started my one week planning for my son’s 6th birthday. This meant the world to me because it was my first time to actually be there during my son’s birthday. Sigh. Just one of those 3rd-world parents dilemma.

I felt like Bridezilla all over again, picking on little things and becoming a monster at the last minutes. Oooops. Sorry. But it was all worth it even with a massive financial hemorrhage in a matter of ten days. Tsktsk. My son loved his party. His little guests had tons of fun. My relatives and friends came over. It was a success. It was more than a success that our Kuya Fin told me “Mommy, I want to have more than one birthday party in a year.” Wow. That’s going to hurt my pockets. Hahah!

As a school tradition, we hosted a “feeding” in his classroom where the birthday celebrator treats his classmates for a delightful snack.

January 11, 2013. A day before his birthday.

The loyal nannies of Yugster. Nanay Mimang, the lady on the left has been with our family for more than thirty years. If that's not enough for a proof of true loyalty, all of her kids are names after me and my siblings.

The loyal nannies of Yugster. Nanay Mimang, the lady on the left has been with our family for more than thirty years. If that’s not enough for a proof of true loyalty, all of her kids are names after me and my siblings.

Feeding time at Kuya Fin a. k. a. Kuya Fin’s classroom.

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Kuya’s classmates enjoying their little snack.

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Kuya’s bubbly bestfriend, Nico, who actually requested to have his photo taken. I asked Buyog, “Is Nico good in class, baby?” To which he replied, “He is not very good in Math but he is friendly.” Hahah. Kids can be ruthlessly truthful.

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THE PREPARATION

The birthday boy ribbon and the coloring book that I personalized and bound painstakingly.

The birthday boy ribbon and the coloring book that I personalized and bound painstakingly.

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The birthday boy opening his outfits for the day.

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My two baby boys

My two baby boys

My D-day coorinator/ the ultimate housewife of Dapitan.

My D-day coorinator/ the ultimate housewife of Dapitan.

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Bithday banners by Little Crafts.

Bithday banners by Little Crafts.

Mommy Dardar's little helper.

Mommy Dardar’s little helper.

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Must-haves at the kids' table.

Must-haves at the kids’ table.

A lot more things to do.

A lot more things to do.

Team Kuya Phoenix.

Team Kuya Phoenix.

Tita Bubblegum's project--the birthday board.

Tita Bubblegum’s project–the birthday board.

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God's birthday greeting to Kuya Phoenix.

God’s birthday greeting to Kuya Phoenix.

Tadaaah!

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THE SNACK BAR

Water bottles with name tags for the kids. I used colored paper, a black cartolina and chalk to make the personalized labels.

Water bottles with name tags for the kids. I used colored paper, a black cartolina and chalk to make the personalized labels.

I thought painted clay pots filled with candies and coins were more fun than the pinata.

I thought painted clay pots filled with candies and coins were more fun than the pinata.

THE CAKE

The super moist chocolate birthday cake which was not super moist or moist even. The Shadow Hedgehog did not even manage to stand and eventually melted apart into three pieces before the blowing of the candles. We had to stake it with toothpicks just to keep the legs together with its body.

The super moist chocolate birthday cake which was not super moist or moist even. The Shadow Hedgehog did not even manage to stand and eventually melted apart into three pieces before the blowing of the candles. We had to stake it with toothpicks just to keep the legs together with its body.

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THE SWEETS

Cupcakes, gourmet jellybeans, egg sandwiches, peanut butter sandwiches, M&Ms, Reese’s, cotton candies, etc.

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THE CUTEST VISITORS

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Maรกm Christine, the party host.

Maรกm Christine, the party host.

Our litte visitor from Norway, Kiva Viktoria.

Our litte visitor from Norway, Kiva Viktoria.

Haven't seen each other for, I think, five years.

Haven’t seen each other for, I think, five years.

Windy's husband and daughter came to party.

Windy’s husband and daughter came to party.

Our sweet Kuya Finn.

Our sweet Kuya Finn.

Xoxo from JD to you.

Xoxo from JD to you.

The cutest little teeth ever.

The cutest little teeth ever.

Scene at the kids'table.

Scene at the kids’table.

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START OF THE PROGRAM

Message from the parents. I am scared of the microphone so thank you Ric for saving me.

Message from the parents. I am scared of the microphone so thank you Ric for saving me.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, OUR KUYA YUGZ.

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May you wish will come true, Anak.

May you wish will come true, Anak.

Our loving Kuya caring for his younger cousin.

Our loving Kuya caring for his younger cousin.

Fresh from the pool.

Fresh from the pool.

THE LECHON IS READY! AND THEY ARE READY FOR THE LECHON. ๐Ÿ™‚

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THE PHILIPPINE VERSION OF PIร‘ATA—THE CLAY POT, FILLED WITH MANY GOODIES.

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THE DAY AFTER

We would like to thank all of our friends and families for coming over and celebrating the day with us. All the wonderful presents and warm presence are very much appreciated.

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The Ukay-ukay chronicles.

For some lame reason, I always find the drive to keep myself busy and be productive when I am running out of time. Like right now. I have free internet in my hotel room here in Madrid, unfortunately, I couldn’t find my trusty international adapter beneath the ordered chaos that is my suitcase.

So here I am, trying to race against the ebbing life of my laptop.

Two weeks ago, I organized a rummage sale in Dipolog during my week-long vacation in the Philippines. All proceeds will go to a very special Christmas party for the street children in our city. Knowing myself, the plan only materialized less than five days from the actual day of the event. I scampered my way like a rat in sending pleas to friends for unwanted clothes, shoes and bags from their closets and asking permission from the Mayor for the needed venue.

It was not easy. Not many Very few people have it in their hearts to genuinely want to help others. Much fewer people have it in their hearts to genuinely take action to help others. I still considered myself very lucky. I got enough friends and families who donated a portion of their closet. My mom’s closet almost went empty. And our very loyal babysitter for thirty years was very glad to be our first customer.

I have always have poor planning skills. So I was very doubtful of myself to make my event a success. It would have been impossible for me to pull it through if not for my sister Micky who hustled her way through the very stingy crowd, our neighbor Lynnette who spread the word to her friends to donate and buy as well, our other babysitter Dada who took my place in selling the wares because the outdoor air makes me sweat (kidding!), an old friend Michelle who patiently responded to my e-mails and contacted her friend for my venue, my mom for clearing her closet for my rummage sale, my father for his clothes even when he does not know it yet, our lovely donors Donna, Kitz, Divina, Hannah, Lynnette, Aunt Christie, Cheska for offering to donate some of her clothes without me asking her, and to Katrina for replying to me even if we have never talked or met before.

Good morning! Make way for the rummage queen!

Good morning! Make way for the rummage queen!

My sister, Attorney Maricon.

My sister, Attorney Maricon.

Crazy Lynnette

Crazy Lynnette

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We managed to get four thousand pesos. I will match it with four thousand pesos as well. All that will take care of the expenses for the Christmas party of fifty street children in Jollibee, complete with its mascot. This would be my first charity. It is very simple. It would last for less than a day. It would feed the kids for only one lunch. But this one lunch could be their only beautiful memory of Christmas. This one beautiful Christmas memory could be their nicest memory in their lifetime. It would be very sad if that is the case, but that is the truth. The truth is often sad to many of these street children.

I intend to keep this event a tradition. So for next year, my lady friends, mark your calendar and say good bye to some of your old clothes please. Thank you very much.

This event is not going to be my last. A lot of ideas are brewing in my mind and they make my heart muscle jiggly with excitement. And just to be clear, this post is not to brag. Well, maybe, a little. But beyond that, I hope this post will inspire many others to do good deeds, just like the way some of my wonderful colleagues have inspired me to do the same.

Be the change you want to see in the world. – Mahatma Gandhi

I wish the world to be a little kinder.

Cheska

Cheska

After all the hardwork and temporary loss of dignity from selling all those ukay-ukay in front of St. Mary’s Academy, along the Dipolog boulevard and outside of JRMSC, the event called for a celebration. I capped the day with a dinner with that gorgeous lady in the photo and a lovely friend of ours that proved to be quite a delightful company–the decent bottle of sparkling white wine. Finished the whole bottle in less than three hours. Not bad.

P. S. Cheska, next time, please inform me beforehand if I should wear my heels or not. If I had not worn a dress that night, I would definitely stick a fork in my eye over dinner for sitting next to you.