Wednesday, December 30

To firecrackers or not to firecrackers...

Is that a question?

There are some places in the Phil that doesn't allow firecrackers and for good reason.
They don't make firecrackers like they used to anymore. It more destructive and it ends quicker. The only firecracker for me is sparklers. Only sparklers.
They don't make sounds. They only light up and twinkle. There are some sparklers which are nasty and stinky and they occasionally explode.

Yesterday, I saw a pot-bellied man set-up a table selling firecrackers of the worse kind. Everything cheap and easy was piled high on the table. Then directly behind it, (as in!) he was cooking sidewalk foods. Open flame, mind you. While he let his dish simmer, he lit up a cigarette. Three steps away three children about five or six-ish were lighting up Pop-pops and throwing them around. this was in a depressed area so the streets were the only place to place. they threw it indiscriminately to the streets. THIS WAS A DISASTER WAITING TO HAPPEN!

So, constant vigilance to fire fighters and ordinary folks. Looks like they're spending new year on top of the fire truck.

Tips peeps: Don't spend too much on fire crackers. They're not worth it anymore. When you buy them, keep your candles controlled and at a safe distance for houses, dried plants and anything flammable. This will include electric poles!
Wear a tight jacket and some thick gloves if you can.
Wash up after handling fire crackers. You might not die of an explosion but ya can dies of poisoning.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 20

Avatar Movie

Today, we watched Avatar.

Formulated story but well executed.

Ok, the plot was typical. He's sent to infiltrate but he meets girl, fall in love with girl, falls in love with people, save people, become one with people. Yeah but it had cool effects. Felt like watching a discovery planet documentary only there were blue men along with Dinosaur looking creatures.

They had their own language and customs. It feels indigenous. Like natives but it was consistent.

I love the planet!

Is it a must see movie? Yes.
Very entertaining and I would watch it again but perhaps not in 3D anymore. 3D is too costly to watch.

Monday, December 7

Suicide November is Over!

Yup, my november is over.

What I did:
  • Talecraft Character builder workshop - plan, execute, the works
  • NaNoWriMo - completed 50,081 in 30 days
  • Fashion Palooza
  • Poveda Fair
  • UP AME Jindai
  • My opening of Baby Moon Lifestyle Store
  • Make Stocks
  • Inventory Stocks
  • Shop for stocks!

Tuesday, December 1

Wednesday, October 28

CARP law is CRAP law


Did you know that if you have more than 6 hectares of farmland, it's CARPable? It used to be just rice and corn then extended to pineapple and coconut. But now it is any farmland idle or not.


Think about it. The land will be taken from owners and given to farmers but farmers won't have enough money to rent tractors and buy seeds and fertilizers. In desperation, they sell the land cheaper. A rice person buys it all and naturally doesn't want it CARPable so he turns it into gollf course or resort. It won't really click but he tries anyways. After it fails, he sells it to real estate peeps who turn it into housing or highrise.

Result: We have dwellings we can't afford to live in and we still don't have enough food.


Saturday, August 22

HK Shopping

HK Trip

I'm back! Yes, another travelogue!
We sistahs promised each other we would have one local trip and one international trip once a year. This is our international trip of the year!
Hong Kong and Macau!

We stayed at a clean but strange sort of Hostel in the heart of Cuaseway Bay. When you get down from the building, you are beside Stefanel, Armani and DKNY.
Read more to see tips and tricks in a five day HK trip!

Time Square! We were surrounded by malls, shops and brands!
There's Sogo, Watsons, WTC, Laforet, Timesquare and Fashion Walk!
Yeah, there brands and brand all over. it's something I noticed. HK fashion Designers are not as well known. i tried to find some local brands but all I see int he local mags are international brands.
If you don't want to spend that much in shopping, go to the bazaars. There are lots of them all over. Each station has it's own. Cuaseway has a few. Central has a lot. For cheap market, go to Tsim Sha Tsui.
If you want brands concentrated in one area, go to Macaua Four Seasons and Venetian. Fashion Walk and LCX and other Japanese fashion centers are located in Causeway Bay.
They have it all!

Yes, Japanese fashion is quite popular. Laforet and Sogo are close to each other here.
Beware: Hongers tend to discriminate Minalanders.

Food! Their cheap food might not convert well in our money value but let me tell you, it is so good! The food in the street is nothing you can eat in our street. Hongers have a different taste in fashion and food. Here we ate in the night market street where ever six o'clock, it is lined with tables and food is served hot. Yummy!
Caution! Not for the sensitive tunny for it may seem a little unsanitary.
Don't worry, I didn't get sick!
Disney Disney Disney!
Man, I felt like a kid!
I ate and ate and ate, rode rides, bought some souvenirs, ate again, drank this, ice cream there. Oh, yeah, ate and took home some Disney food to the hostel.
Hongers don't clap much after every performance. Disney staff who are Hongers don't smile much either. It mgiht be a cultural thing. Don't be offended. You can smile all you want. Hey, it's Disney land!
Yeah, people might say HK Disneyland is small but Disney is Disney. It won't disappoint.
Bring about HK$500 with you. That would cover food, beverages and souvenirs. Price range for drink is $20. If you go inside a fastfood area it can be only $18. If you buy it in the street cart, it can cost up to $24. Food price is about $40 to $60 per meal. Snack like the burger meal at Orbit Cafe is $56 with drink. Orbit is the cheapest so far.
The Mickey Tiramisu from Maxim Bakery is only $22.
Souvenir key chain or candies might cost about $50. Stuffed toys are about $200.
FWI: There is a HK Disneyland store in the Airport. It is cheaper because it is tax free but not all goods are available. Buy your goodies in Main Street. it's the most complete. If you want buzz Light year goods, buy it in Tomorrow Land.
Tip: Bring umbrella, extra shirt and comfy shoes/slippers.

The Venetian Macau
We had one day of Macau via Cotaijet. Ticket costs about $134 going and $170 coming back. Last jet leaves Macau at 11:30pm. Buss is free going to Venetian.
Don't worry about converting to Pataca(Macau Money). You can pay in HK$ but expect some change in Pataca.
The whole day, we spent it at the Venetian. there is so much to do. They have a food court if you find restuarants expensive. Food is about $50 to $90 per person. Serving is big so three people can share two orders. There is a wide choice of Aisan food and two western restaurants.
The venetian has twoo floors of stores. Everything is high end brand stores like Coach, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Bvlgari, etc. it was sale the time we went there.
Don't worry about entertainment. There have 3 canals where you may ride the gondola. Hey, it's venice. The wall facade immitates the old Venice world. There are lamp posts and shuttered windows. Most of them are just decoration.
The highlight of the Venetian is the street performers. They call it Streetmosphere. There are mimes, jugglers, stilk walkers, musicians, living statues and singers.
You'll never get bored!
To crown it all off, there is Zaia, the Cirque du Soliel performance only at the venetian. Licket is a little pricy. Get ehn at a travel anget's to get discount. Buy ahead of time. It's worth seeing! Show starts at eight. Ends at nine thirty. Buy some souvenirs if you wnat or just browse through their souvenir shop. They, you may take the bus back to the ferry port and go home. Passport ready!
Caution: Do not buy ticket from individauls selling you tickets outside teh ferry terminal. Go inside the terminal and buy it inside. Don't beleive the sellers who sell it for $100. It mgiht be fake. Tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable. You need to show your Passport to buy.

This is a fascinating restaurant. I found out about it on our last night. I instantly announce we had to eat there.
Since we were already full from dinner, Achi Terry, Diki and I decided to get some poopie ice cream.
Yes, they serve it in a toilet bowl. Price of ice cream is about $45 each. It it big and you may have to share with someone and not even finish it. Drink is about $29. You may want to share this as well. Service is good. They charge 12% service charge.
There are two branches: Cuaseway Bay and Mongkok. We ate at Causeway Bay. It is at the 4th floor of Watsons. There may not be signs but you may ask people.

All in all, our HK trip was wonderful. A bit tiring but owrth it.
Caution: Culture Shock everyone. They may seem a little rude but that's just everyday for Hongers. When eating, they suddenly take your plate away, it's aqueue to get out. For them, it's eat then skidadle. They don't talk after eating or make friend with the next table.
Tips: Wear comfy shoes. Train rides are fast but you be standing a lot then running around the station can make your legs big. Oh, if you can, ride the tram wherever you can. If you ride the front of the second floor, you get a panaoramic view of the city. also, it is cheap. It consts only $2 any where.
Leave the hotel 3 hours before departure time. They won't let yuo in 1 hour before departure. It takes 1 hour to get tot he airport since it's in another island. It takes 1 hour to find your way around to check-in and then you wait int he pre-departure area for 1 hour. Lots to eat and lots of shops to see. It is a little pricey. Go to the thrid floor. Burger King is probably the cheapest meal to eat. Go buy a Ben & Jerry's. It's worth it. A scoop is $30 each. Yummy. I tried 3 flavors. We so stuffed by the time we borded.

Good luck travelers!
Hope this way insightful!
If you have comments and additional info, please comment!

HongKong Trip 09

Click here to view these pictures larger

Saturday, August 8

Lord, take care of me...

I was counting what i have and balancing what my accounts have. Man, I don't have enough. So, I decided to bring cup noodles to HK since I really didn't have budget.

So, I prayed it was enough. HK$1,000, hopefully it was enough. Then, I decided to clean up my drawers. I haven't since the flood so it was high time i did.

Oh, look. I forgot about this pile. It was my Honor Medals and Mother Marie Eugenie Medal. Then under was St. Benilde and St. La Salle Certificates. In between all of them fell Php3,700.00 a one dollar bill and three old ten peso bills. Thank you Jesus! Thank You St. Benilde, Las Salle and Marie Eugenie!

Now I have extra for HK!

Tuesday, August 4

Typical Scenarios

This story, you may have heard before. Not that we know of the same person but this scenario takes place in a lot of families. Some scenes I combined, compressed and probably furnished a bit. I don't want to write their lives verbatim.

Dramatis Personae:
(Names not real. As in I changed it!)

Pads- He's the patriarch. Characteristics: Consitidor, can't take charge of family.
Maddy- She's the matriarch. Characteristics: take-charge attitude.
Atz- Eldest girl Characteristics: Social climber but scared of making it big.
Budz- Middle child, boy. Characteristics: Goes with the flow. weakling.
Wetz- Youngest. Characteristics: Weakling. Spoiled.

Other characters: Boss, Supervisor, Atz's husband Mac, creditors, etc.

Part 1

Pads is a part-time janitor of Big Company. Since big is a big and sharing company, it wants to take care of its employees. Pads took up night classes. Boss finds out and helps Pads in any small way he can. Soon, Pads graduates from a two year night course in typing and secretarial. He's then promoted to a low-level office worker. With Pads' new job, he's entitled to benefits like a health care, SSS, housing plan and educational plans for his children. The house is located near Big Company. In fact, Big owns the subdivision and is helping each employee rent to own properties. This is a big break for Pads. From an informal dweller, he's soon to be a titled home owner. Best part is, it is in a safe and secured subdivision. His children will be safe from drugs, hooligans and other canto-happenings. With the educational assistance, he's able to send all three children to school even if it just a cheap school.

Everything seems to go well for Pads and his family. They have friends in high places, good neighbors and everything to live comfortably. A few years later, his eldest girl graduates and applies for Big Company. Since she had good educational attainment, she at once got a white collared job in Big.

We think that Pads and his family are having a happy ending? Nope. This family is now heading for their destruction and it all starts with one mistake compounded by another mistake and to be followed by more mistakes.

Pads income is enough to support his family. His wife is a housewife since they married and refused to work thinking she's too old. Atz is supposed to be making more. She's entered a position higher than her fathers. She's also entitled to an extra benefit: the credit card.
Now, Atz is having more friends but somehow she grew up insecure because they used to be informal dwellers(squatters). Now she wants to rise above her friends. She maxed out her card in less than a month. Thinking she can pay it little by little, she pays the minimum. Sadly, Atz doesn't understand how Philippine credit cards work. Paying minimum will not erase the debt. It is still there and will keep being there until the full payment plus interest is paid.

Because Atz wants to shop and go out to have some fun, she uses up her savings. She fails one payments and now the bank is putting penalty and surcharge. In less than a year, the original amount is now five hundred percent. pads and his family refused to pay for the debt. They stop ansewring calls from creditors. The creditors, being the sharks that they are, went to their house and their work place. Pads and his family were forced to move away and hide from the creditors. Atz was fired because she refused to answer phone calls and most phone calls were the creditors hounding her. She was given an ultimatum: fix it or get fired. She gets fired for failing to fix the problem.

Now the family is back to a single man income. Pads is trying his best to find a sideline to earn some extras. His supervisor takes pity on him and gives whatever he can to support Pads. On weekeends, Pads does oddjobs in Supervisor's house as extra. Supervisor's wife is a school teacher and has agreed to let Budz and Wetz in her classes for free. Bubz drops out eventually because he felt he was too old for the class. Wetz stays but is asked to help out after classes.

Part 2

Pads and his family are now living in an informal community. It is not safe and far from his job. This eats up his income. Commute money is bigger now and rising oil prices steadily increases the fare prices on public vehicles. He is also paying more rent than in the Big Company Subdivision. He should have been able to own the house in a few years but now that he's moved away, his payments are forfeit.

Since they are in an informal dwelling, Atz gets herself pregnant. pads gets her married and quick to her boyfriend. The child in question is undetermined if the current boyfriend is ther eal father but Pads wanted to save face. He asks his Supervisor to be the Ninong of the wedding. He asks other employees in Big to sponsor some things for the wedding. They weren't too happy but they they wanted to help the poor man. The wedding was grand. Pads had to borrow money from Supervisor just for they wedding.

Atz finally gave birth. Luckily, Pads insurance covered for his daughter's hospital bills. Unfortunately, Atz' husband, Mac, does not have a stable job. Mac is a carpenter and is only hired when the contractor needs extra hands. Since Mac has no special skills, he's not always called to do a job. he keeps a cellphone just in case his supervisor would call him but he can hardly put load in it. He often have to ask Atz to ask Pads. By the ways, MAC LIVES WITH THEM. Why? Because he can't afford to live on his own. He's also an informal dweller. He thought he was marrying into a well-off family but lo and behold, he married to a class like him and is even in debted and runnign from creditors. He tries his hardest to find jobs and support is starting family. Whatever extra hemade was supposed to be put in to pay for the debts but his father-in-law advised against it. The money was sued to move houses again when the creditors discovered where he lives.

Budz falls into bad company. He roams the street, does drugs and hang with the wrong crowd. His father had to bail him out a few times when he was caught shoplifting with his friends. Once it was suspected of using drugs. Another time it was disorderly conduct. He gets a girl pregnant. Pads wants him to marry the girl but they have no money. The girl demands support. Pads has to send money for the child's hospitalization. This couldn't be covered by his insurance. Pads had to borrow monay again. Budz soon runs away and never shows up again unfortunately, the girl with his child still demands money.

They move again.

This time, the informal dwelling is even farther. In desperation, Pads steals from the office. When he was found out, he begged and pleaded with Boss. Boss was a kind-hearted man who beleived in second chances but he also beleived in punishment. Pads was demoted to being janitor again. His bennefits were taken away but Boss decided not to cut his pay as a means to help Pads.

Part 3

Wetz is being teased in school. She is fat from eating junk food instead of healthy food. She is also not the prettiest girl so she is insecure. Since she is "poor" and has to help after classes, she feels like she is being treated as a "maid." Teacher begs her to stay on and complete her education. It would only be a few month before she can finally finish highschool. Wetz quit. She stays home. Unfortunately, where her home is, it is even nastier than their previous informal dwelling. She gets knocked-up by some random boys in the street. Months later, she is found pregnant. she can't tell who the father is because there were multiple men and none of them she knows the name.

Maddy has had it. Atz is working again in a different company with no bennefits and very little pay. She is owrking all day and Maddy has to take care of the child. Budz' child is given to her by theunwilling mother. She has to care for two children and now a possible third. She goes to Quiapo and buys an abortive. She tells Wetz to drink it.

Wetz drinks the abortive. Unfortunately, since she is a little fat, nobody knows how many month she along. She's actually seven months now and refused to tell her mother. When she takes the abortive, she unwittingly forced labor and the child was healthy enough to survive. She gives birth by herself in her room. In a panic, she dumps the child in the trashcan and covers it with papers. Since she doesn't know what to do and there were complications from the abortive, she bleeds profusely. She calls out to Maddy. Maddy lays herdown the bed. she sees lots of blood and thinks it's done now but the bleeding won't stop. She calls her husband in the office and tells him of the emergency.

Pads hears the enws in the middle of the day. He has to rush home. Supervisor drives him himself and they rush to Pads' house. No ambulance has been called since it was too expensive. Plus, the abulance couldn't get in the tight alley ways of the infomal settlers. Pads and Maddy help Wetz to Supervisor's car. While the couple helps their daughter, Supervisor notices something moving and making sounds in the trashcan. He uncovers it and finds a struggling little baby. He picks it up and guessed what had happened in the room. They all drove to the nearest hospital. Supervisor had to take care of the bill since Pads had no money at all.

Maddy returns home and locks herself in her room. She refused to face reality. Supervisor's wife takes time off her work to comfort and help Wetz. She thinks Wetz is suffering some psychological trauma and wishes to help the girl. Wetz is catatonic for days. The baby is premature and had to be incubated. It was a miracle that is was alive and struggled to make tiself known even when it's air passage was still blocked.

Wetz snaps out of it days later and was able to go home. She wants to keep her child. Now there was three children at home to take care of. Supervisor want to file abortion charges against Maddy but Pads begs him not to.

Maddy dies some months later by some unknown desease she has kept from everybody. They burial expenses is very expensive, even the cheapest ones. Atz, Mac and Pads spare all their saving just to bury Maddy.

Pads is still in debt and can't run from these creditors. He's borrowed money from a lot of people form the Big Company. If he quits his job, he has no other means to support his family. It was the only job with big pay for a janitor. He adviced Mac to be an OFW.

Part 4

Pads develops a text relationship with someone's wife. She happens to be wife of a person in Big. For the girl it's just a texting game. Pads takes it seriously. he begins to call her and text non-stop. He gets big phone bills. People in the Big Company notices. He inadvertedly make s amistake when he miss-sends the messgae to his love to his Boss' number.

Boss can't take it any longer. Pads is fired for misorderly conduct. He is out of a job.

Finally, he gets a job nearby as a "tig-boy" and part-time driver. It requires him to live with his new boss. he come home only for the weekend. Still, he has to pay a monthly rent for his house in the informal dwellings. Wetz stays home and refuses to get a job or an education. Atz wants to be a stay-home mom. Mac finally gets a job abroad.

Mac goes to Saudi. Everything's arranged and he had a job waiting for him. He bid his wife and in-laws a goodbye. He goes toa faraway land with other contract workers like him. He earns good money but has to send a big bulk of it to pay for Pads' debt and a way for Atz to live on. he send money home for a few months. One day, he stops and cuts all communication form them. He thinks he can do better. Mac decides to start new and debt free.

Atz coulnd't beleive Mac abandoned them. He never really loved her. She enver really loved him. She just wanted to get away and now she is stuck. She gets a job, small paying and no benefits. Pads comes home on a weekend and soemtimes he doesn't. Fortunately, he still pays for the house and all the bills that comes with it. Wetz takes care of all the kids because it's the only contribution she could give.

That is their story up to date.

Yes, they are still living.

They might be closer than you think.

Is this a typical story? Yes. They are hundreds of stories similar to it. This is the real State of the Nation.
Sad but true.

Wednesday, July 22

Thinking of him...

My Alonzo, can't help but think of you.

Why am I taking your death so hard? I haven't taken anybody else's that hard. So many people was lost to me last year but it didn't make me cry. I was sad but it didn't feel as gut wrenching as yours.
I wanted to throw open the door and see you sitting in front of the door, your usual outpost. But all that's there is your grave. There are lots of three leaf-clovers growing. I hope there's a four.

It's hard to get close to the other kitties now. They are not as smart as you. They are not as lovable as you. I tried to train them but they didn't have your zest or appeal.
I wonder if you left me some kitties somewhere. I just want a piece of you again. When you died, I threw out everything of yours. It hurt to look at. Now, I wished I have something to cling to...

I miss you and it seems hard. I'm emotional but my sibs tell me to put a sock in it.
They bonded with you the same way i did but they didn't grieve you as I am still doing now.
Why is that, Lonzo-kins?

Why am I not over a death of a cat?

You know my secrets, my feelings, my dreams. Sometimes I wished you'd go on forever but you didn't. Now that you're not here, I need you even more.
Nobody could understand that.

Monday, July 6

The Reason for Alonzo

I did not Live Until today... How can I live when we are parted? Tomorrow you'll be worlds away...

I loved Alonzo. He was the eldest, the Alpha Cat.
What was the reason of his existence? Why was he here then gone?
Diki (Marie) told me he had a purpose and I began to ponder the reasons of his existence and death.
My Alonzo was not entirely mine. He was first Jade's cat. But she doesn't take care of him. He then attached himself to Diki. We often joked that Alonzo is Diki's secret lover. He kisses her, even marked her.
Alonzo's good looks made him very popular among the cats, especially his SIZE.
Don't you love a big cat?
Can't really determine his breed. Whoever his father was, had to be foreign or bred.
Fortunately for all cats, Alonzo shares the lurve. He is bisexual.
No kid. Saw him hump a girl cat and a boy cat.
He had his endless share of quirks but it endeared us to him.
We called him the Don because he took care of his little pride. He adopted Pepper and raised him. As in, made sure to raise and teach him. Then hump him when he got old. Ah... Alonzo. That was disturbing.
Then, he made sure female cats and baby cats get fed before him. then the other male cats could join in.

So what was the reason for his existence?
He inspired me. He loved this family. We grew attached only these past three years. I never knew the side of him to be loving. he only showed it behind closed doors, literally.

The reason of his death? Also to inspire me.
We'll never know how strong our love is until we loose that person. He had become a person. In his way, he communicated so much to us.
You can understand Alonzo. He can understand you too.
I'll miss him. My love for him is something that won't die.
He broke his cat ways just for me and my family. He became a guard dog, a playmate and a companion, especially late at night. he made sure there was somebody beside me during midnight when I'm busy with my projects.
He even died in the house so that he had every moment with us.
I'll never forget it, hard as it was but I can only feel his love. How he felt part of the family and how he wanted to stay but time was up. Death was upon him.
Alonzo, I love you.

Friday, July 3

A tradition Forgotten

The Baro, a traditional wear of Filipinas. It is not worn anymore unless on special occasions. Once upon a time, it was a daily wear, an identity stamped through strife and discrimination.

When the Spaniards colonized the Philippines, linen and other fabrics from Europe were not readily available tot eh colonizers. The Filipinos introduced a new material to the melting-in-heat
Spaniards. It was the Piña and the Jusi. Both are made of piña fibers and sometimes mixed with abacca or silk. It was breezy and light. Embroideries were added for clothes of the nobility. Mostly, the people who wore these were the Filipinos themselves. the Spaniards insisted on the nearly see-through material so they could see of the person was concealing weapons.
Time flew and the baro evolved into what it is today.

Tuesday, June 30

When Wearing a Big Shirt

What to do when wearing a big shirt:
Whether T-shirt or Polo shirt, do you see yourself in the left or the right?
Yeah, huh. Some girls who think they're big wear the one on the left. baggy shirt with baggy pants. Trust me, this is not androgynous or laid back. It's lazy wear! It looks like a hobo picked it out for you. You want to look chic? The get-up has to get off the planet!

Don't throw the shirt. Not just yet. Try this exercise on a new outlook on big shirts.

Follow step by step:
  • First, waer something tight underneath like skinny fitted jeans or colored leggings.
  • Open the shirt. Wear a bright tank underneath. It adds to the overall effect.
  • belt it. Show your waistline. The belt is not only functional in setting your height but also an eye candy. Make sure it's bright! Get a big buckle too!
  • Lastly, roll the sleeves. It looks better.
Voila! You have transformed the look.

Monday, June 29

Shape of the dress, a comparative

Compare left and right images.
Something is definitely wrong with the one on the left. I call this figure wearing a Nightmare Nightgown. Not that she's actually wearing a nightgown but it resembles it. If you find yourself wearing this dress, it's simple to solve.
The right figure is on the RIGHT. Dresses today are fun and shorter. I suggest a length of two to three inches above the ball of your knees. That gives you extra height. Next, cinge the waist with a belt. Try putting the belt just ABOVE the navel. It's a secret to adding height. Belts also gives accent to a dress, especially if it's monotoned. Try experimenting with a lively colored belt.
These small simple details change the overall look you are sporting. Do not underestimate cuts and accents. It can save your (love) life. Joke! But it changes your look and your look changes your outlook!

There! You shall find yourself very different from your nightmare.

Friday, June 26

Nobody Loves Me but the Cat

Maity here. I've been working on this story and would like to share with you an excerpt. Hope you all like it! The title is Nobody Love Me but The Cat. It is set in Spanish-Colonial Philippines. Circa late 16thC, when the Spaniards were a super power and the indios look up to Mother Spain.

The general gist is: Manolito is a Familiar who is tasked to guard Mariella. He must do everything he can to protect her health and happiness.
Mariella's parents know he is a cat but nobody else does. To Mariella, he is another suitor there to woo her.

Using Talecraft Storytelling Cards
Genre: Historical Romance
Characters: Lovable Rogue and Competent Man (additional: Ingenue)
Key words: Social Class, Test. Plotlines: Forbidden Love, Discovery, Pursuit

Chapter III.

Manolito de Anotnino y Salvo, such a dashing lad. His airs and ways are very reminiscent of his father. Don Rico remembered too well how he nearly lost his fiancé, now wife, to Megalito de Antonino y Sonsa. That fat bragger was like his son now, suave, confident and carried himself well. Maria Isabel was young then and she had full of spirits. She still does now. Back then, she wanted a man who was bold enough to lead her, bold enough to fight for her. Don Rico nearly lost. It was his determination that Megalito conceded and left the country. Maria Isabel did not mourn her lost love. It seems by standing up to Megalito, Don Rico captured Maria Isabel’s heart.

Now it begins again. Don Rico recalled the past. It was about this time of the year when that faithful day happened so long ago. The one and only time when Maria Isabel was to be Reina Elena, Megalito stepped into their lives and tried to woo Maria Isabel away from her rightful fiancé.

How would Manolito fare with his daughter? Manolito was lean, fair and well built. He was a beast of a man with his piercing green eyes, jet black hair and opalescent white skin. Megalito was fat but he had charms. He was a jolly fellow who laughed at danger in the face. His charms were old world, very courtly and could out-class the king of Spain himself. It seems Manolito has the same dynamic charms as his father. He was in the sitting room with the ladies charming them into liking him. His daughter and his wife were already enthralled.

Don Rico entered the sitting room. There was a fresh bouquet of flowers on top of the coffee table, obviously from Manolito.

Beuna Dias, Don Rico.” Manolito gave a slight bow.

No, Don Rico observed. Manoltio was not like his father. He was more reserved but equally as courteous. Megalito must have drilled manners into the boy.

“Oh look, father!” Mariella pointed to the books littered around the sitting room. Her sisters were busy browsing them too. “Manolito brought these over. Spanish Magazines with the latest fashion abroad. I will really shine on Santa Cruzan!”

Manolito was tactful too. He can’t get angry, Don Rico found out. He wanted to but he couldn’t. This gentleman brought such a big smile to his daughter’s face. Meanwhile, at the other end of the sitting room, the boys were huddled together looking at the girls at the far side. They felt very unwelcomed.

Ihjos,” Don Rico called them. “While the girls are occupied, what do you say to riding? I have good horses who can take on the rough terrain at the back forests.” The boys got up. They needed to stretch their legs. Don Rico had Spanish half-breeds to be boasted around. They were strong and fast.

Senior Manolito, do you ride?” Angelo walked up directly to Manolito. Intent was in his eyes.

“When I have to, Seniorito Angelo.” He deliberately bated Angelo with his tone.

“How about a race?” He challenged.

“A challenge.” A glint in his eyes told Don Rico that this man welcomed it. “What would be race for?” He dared Angelo.

“The first dance with Seniora Mariella during the Flores de Mayo Fiesta.”

“Hmm? If I am to be her escort, I will also be the first to dance her followed by her father.” Manolito drawled.

“Then be third! I challenge you, Manolito de Antonino. I challenge you to a race!” He said.

“I accept.” Manolito smiled. He followed Angelo to the stables to pick his horse.

“What is Angelo up to?” Mariella noticed the exchange of words. She got up letting the magazines fall to the floor and followed Angelo and Manolito. Her sisters followed her.

Maria Isabel smiled but she did not follow. She knew what the outcome would be. It happened to her a long time ago. “Megalito, thank you for sending Manolito. She needs him even for this brief time.” She whispered to the wind and began to tidy the magazines.

Outside in the stables, Manolito carefully chose his horse. Angelo’s brothers helped their brother pick a fast horse. They picked a muscled strawberry gelding. It was sure to give bursts of speed in no time. Manolito smiled. He chose a docile mare. She was going to run for him. Carefully, he whispered his intent to the horse. The mare complied.

Don Rico watched the boys pick good choices horses. Angelo chose his favorite, Thunder. Thunder was named because his hoof beats sounded like thunder. He had power and lots to spare in a race. The girls joined their father under the shade and observed the show of raging testosterones.

Senior Manolito, you are not riding with saddles? Surely there are saddles where you came from?” The boys jeered at him.

Manolito smiled, taking off his gloves. He beckoned a kitchen boy to come. “There are saddles but I do not believe this horse wants any. Shall we ride or just compare riding gear?” He gave his cane, hat, gloves, jacket, shoes and socks to the boy. “Niño, hold these for me.”

“I’ll guard them with my life, senior.” The boy was awestruck by the imposing young man who would trust him enough to hold his personals.

“What is that man doing?” Cecilia wondered. Manolito was down to his shirt and pants. He partially opened a few buttons on his shirt. With the grace of a jungle cat, he swung on the mare’s back with ease. “He’s riding it bare? That mare doesn’t even do anything but eat and sleep. How can he pick that?”

“We race to the edge of the river beyond the forest. One must take a red flower that grows beside the river and bring it here to Mariella.” Manolito stated. Angelo nodded. “There is no other place where the flower grows so you will have to get it at the banks.”

Don Rico accepted the terms of the challenge. He would judge them. “On your mark, ready, GO!”

Angelo’s gelding thundered away followed by his brothers. Manolito raced behind them in a steady speed. They came to the forest. It was dense but the gelding was determined to run through it. Manolito’s mare came steadily from the side knowing that Angelo’s brothers would not let him through. They lost each other some time later.

Angelo and his brothers reached the river banks. There were flowers growing beside it but they were not red. He and his brothers began searching. Manolito was nowhere to be found.

“Over here, Seniorito Angelo!” Manolito called from on top of a mangrove tree. He jumped to a thick branch that was impossible to carry a man of his size. He swung with ease and climbed higher to reach the hanging flower. It was red orchid that grew on the top branches of the tree. He pocketed a flower and swung down. Like a cat, he landed on the ground on his feet. “I shall be fair and wait for you, seniorito.”

Angelo was determined to get that flower. He got off his horse and climbed the tree with the orchid. Slowly, he inched his way not looking down. The orchid was on the outer branches but Angelo was determined. He extended his arms as long as he can, grabbing the petals before slipping and falling.

“Aahh!” He came crashing into the river.

To his seething anger, Manolito just smiled at him, his arrogant, smug smile. Angelo got up and ran to his horse. No way was Manolito getting the best of him. He raced his horse, slamming his spurs into the animal’s sides while whipping its rump. “Ha! Ha! Giddyap!”

Manolito asked his mare to run back to the Hacienda in all haste. The mare complied and ran in all speed in hopes of food and a grooming.

Angelo’s gelding ran like thunder but like thunder, it was brief as a flash and it started to slow into a steady pace. Manolito’s mare ran beside him and soon over took his horse. “Ha! Hurry! Ha!” Angelo urged the horse.

The girls and Don Rico waited patiently for the boys to return. Mariella’s sisters were already betting their desserts as to who was to win the race. Would it be Angelo on his fast horse or Manolito on his awkward mare?

Manolito came out of the dense forest, his hair flying, no sweat on him. His mare raced down the path leading to the hacienda. The mare stopped in front of Mariella with not even a hard whip from Manolito. He merely directed the mare with his bare feet and soft words.

Mariella’s heart thundered as the hoof beats came neared. Manolito was a wild beast coming from the wilderness. He was animal and man combined. He took a red item from inside his shirt and hooked it behind her ear. It was warm from the heat of his skin.

The boys came bounding out of the forest. Angelo was wet. He came to her and deposited a wet, wilted crumple of red on her gloved palms.

“Red orchid?” Or what was supposed to be one.

Angelo nodded but said nothing. His pride was crushed enough as it was. Defeated, he came off his horse and walked to the house. Don Rico ran after him to make sure he was alright. The rest of his siblings too came in a procession.

Venido aquí, mi amor. Come with me.” Manolito reached for Mariella’s waist and pulled her up the horse. He reached for her shoes and gave them to the boy to hold. “The horse doesn’t want them.”

“You can talk to the horse?” She asked.

“No, I don’t neigh but anyone can feel what the horse is feeling. You just have to feel it.” He stroked the horse’s mane. “She doesn’t want the heavy bridle nor the feel of stirrups and whips.” Manolito explained. “Horses run faster without them.”

Mariella leaned on his chest. His heart beat a slow and steady rhythm. He smelled so fresh and warm, too much a man, too much an animal. “Manolito, I think I’m falling for you.” She whispered.

“You are falling, seniorita? I dare not let you. What would your father think of me if I let you fall?” He secured his arm on her waist and urged the horse to trot to the clearing.

In Manolito’s arms, she viewed the sunset beyond the hills. It was so romantic. Manolito was warm. His grip was firm, never letting her go. “Never fear, Seniorita Mariella. I’ll never let go of you.”


“Never. You have my heart to command, Seniorita Mariella, my very familiar heart.” He whispered to her ears.

Dedicated to Alonzo

Sunday, June 21

The day goes by...

l feel empty inside. I'm missing my Alonzo.
I yelled at Orlan (the driver) for stepping on my Alonzo. I clearly saw his footprint.
He said Alonzo was dead.
I don't care. He was special to me. I hate this house but I can't leave it anytime soon. It has my Alonzo.

I wanted to plant some flowers but dad said to plant some veggies ON TOP OF ALONZO GRAVE.
I love my Alonzo but I don't think I want to eat a part of him.

Baby-cat, why did you have to be gay? You could have left me with some kitties!

Saturday, June 6

The Flood This Year

First flood of the year and we were ready for it.
Still, each year, the house gets the damage. Plus it costs more in Zonrox and Lysol.

Poor kitties. It started to flood outside. The kitties were stuck in the window. By the time I had spare time, it was already flooding in the house. The baby kitties were in the shitty waters. Their little noses up but soon, they were going to drown. They were too small to understand flood. They didn't even mind the water. I got Burberry and put her on my shoulder as I scooped the two baby kitten. Then, I had to put then in the garage where they muddied up my box of tela.
Ok, Next cat. When I went back out, Muning got excited and jumped in to the water. Ay baby! Yucky waters! I really had to wade to get him. Good thing he rushed to the safety of the house as fast as he could.
Next cat, Mommy Blindy. She was tricky. I had to wade deeper to get her.
Domino was better. All I had to do was stick Burberry out of the door and Domino ran to her. Then I got her and put them all in the garage. Whew!
If I didn't love my kitties!

Got me thinking of Alonzo.
There was a time he stayed upstairs, quiet as ever until the next day. The next two years, when the flood happened, he just seem to disappear. I'd see him again when the water subsided. He brought Peppi with him.
But now, there is no Alonzo.
Peppi is outside the door beside Alonzo's grave.
I have no idea what Alonzo told him before he passed but it seemed Peppi hasn't left the front. Not for flood. He must miss him too. I do.
Peppi is loyal to his step-father. They have a strange relationship but it was genuine. I could tell.
Peppi misses him.
I miss him.

Caro Mio Ben

I like this song.

Lyrics | Giuseppe Giordani lyrics - Caro Mio Ben lyrics

Saturday, May 30

Grieving my Alonzo

How can I explain how I feel?
He was my angel. I half expect him to be just around the corner but that would be impossible since I buried him.

Last night, I had a dream about Alonzo. We were stuck on a drifting ice in the middle of the sea. The ice was cracking but we had to paddle to any direction to get to land. I lay resting, cold from the ice while my Alonzo paddled. Later, he rested and I took over paddling.
How very Lonzo-cat. He would always be the most loyal companion.
One thing about this kitty, he thinks he's a watch dog. Sometimes he smells like one.

Peculiar things about my Lonzo:
  • he's got a goaty.
  • he has 6 fingers on the front and 4 at the back.
  • he responds to his name.
  • his fave food is cheese and chicken
  • he demands a pillow to lie on.

I'm missing you, baby cat!

Tuesday, May 26

Don Alonzo

Ode to Alonzo

Loving Guardian and Friend

Not so long ago, your intelligent golden eyes watched me.

They watched me until late. They watched me so that I was not alone.

Alonzo, my dear, you had the keen sense of any familiar.

I wish we had more time.

You were there when I needed you.

How can one explain how we connected?

You knew if I were sad, depressed, sick or frantic.

You knew when I was happy.

We called you the “Don” because you commanded respect.

You never bullied the cats, just stared them into submission.

I love you because you are a gentleman.

Who would make sure the female cats get food before the males?

Only you, my love.

Alonzo, you are the ultimate source of inspiration.

Your little quirks and mannerisms are simply adorable!

I’ll always remember your smile, if we could call that a cat smile.

Nobody can forget the big and small things you do for this family.

It won’t be the same with out you.

I’ll always miss you.

There can never be another Don Alonzo Cattywampus.

tomorrow you be worlds away...

Thursday, April 30

O-Neg is the Real Deal!

Currently addicted to True Blood!

I like Bill with his clothes on than without.
He's less broody and more romantic in HBO's TrueBlood Series.
Love him!!!

Love this song too!

Lyrics to My Vampire Heart - Tom McRae

Darling I'm lost
Adrift in the dark
I'm clutching your words
To my vampire heart once more
So let in the light
Turn me to dust
If it don't end in Bloodshed dear
It's probably not love

Here we are
In the darkest place
My reflection
Shows only your face

Something is found
Something is lost
Went looking for clues
On the streets of old New York
And I spilled someone's blood
I broke someone's heart again
Someone you know
You're looking at him my friend

And the people in our lives
We all leave behind
Leave behind

Here we are
In the darkest place
To keep from forgetting
I picture your face
And I wonder
While we count the cost
Which is sweeter
Love or it's loss

So I curse you
My vampire heart
For letting me you love you
Love you
For letting me love you
From the start.

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