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Heeding the Siren Call (Updated)

A few weeks ago, when my friend Tin was in Cebu, I had this dream:  I followed to Cebu, then we rode a bus supposedly going somewhere else in the province, but instead ended up at the Boulevard in Dumaguete.  It was nighttime and it was brightly lit, with all the lampposts glowing.

I played Freud and interpreted it as:  Dumaguete saying, “You have to come back SOON!”

I’ve always been a good listener – and a good seat-sale customer, so…I’ll be back in Dumaguete in March.  It’s PAL’s 777 sale’s fault, haha!  But seriously, it’s really on my 2010 travel calendar.  I won’t be spending a lot of time in Dumaguete itself this time around.  We’re going to Antulang (finally!),  so we’ll probably just go around the city on our last day, before we head to the airport.


On other travel news….

I’ve been on a wanderlust diet the second half of this year, and now I’m making up for it!  Bataan at the end of this month; and Banaue-Sagada at the end of December.  It will most likely be wicked cold on the latter trip, so I’m excited!  I’ve been thinking of how I miss wintry temperature recently, so the Sagada trip comes at the right time.

The Gypsy’s going back on the road. 😀



Ok, now it’s Cebu Pacific with a One-Peso seat sale.  I was able to book a Singapore trip for August – after trying for different countries on different dates.  Our original plan was an Indochina (Thailand-Cambodia-Vietnam) trip for August, but no promo tickets were available on the schedule we wanted.

Yay! Making up for the wanderlust diet, indeed! 😀


Sunday with the Fam



Haven’t had one of these lunches in a long while.  The kids growing up and going in different directions had a lot to do with it.  In fact, most of them are not present here!  We jokingly dubbed this as the “seniors’ lunch”.

It was a nice lunch, and I especially enjoyed catching up with my niece (the one in white), who’s actually more like a cousin/little sister to me.  We’re only 7 years apart and tell each other things that we could never tell other members of the family, haha!  We went for a massage afterwards, which capped off a quiet, relaxing weekend for me. Saturday was spent at the salon for a haircut and foot spa.

Looking forward to another good weekend.  Some retail therapy may be involved. I hope not, hehe.


Random photo of the day


It’s late Friday afternoon, my brain is already on weekend mode, so I just took this photo of my desk in its current state.  Note the presence of two food items.  One I’m eating, the other an unintentional decor.  Can you guess which is which?  Haha!  Ok, ok, that fruit will be eaten soon, I promise.  Happy weekend, everyone!


My new online desktop toy. 😀


I love this!  Another time-waster, haha!  I downloaded it to use for work – really! But of course I had to test it on my accounts first. 😛  Seriously now, I’m going to add our brand’s Twitter and Facebook accounts as soon as we get them in shape.

For those still not aware of what TweetDeck is, check out their website.

Storm before the calm

Typhoon, flood, exploding transformers and sub-stations, ergo, blackouts… Disaster seems to be raining down Eastern Metro Manila!

Just as we’re picking up the pieces from Typhoon Ondoy’s onslaught, us residents of Marikina, Pasig, and Rizal are now facing several days’ worth of long power interruptions.  First, it was due to a transformer that exploded in Tanay.  Then it was compounded by the explosions of three sub-stations!  We just got our electricity back last Thursday night, and barely a week after, we’re facing darkness again.  All we want is for life to get back to normal as quickly as possible since it’s the best way to recovery.  This recent round of disasters is making it difficult for us to go back to the comfort zone of our routines.

Sorry, I’m just whiny today.  These recent events are really stretching my nerves to the limit.  It’s heartbreaking enough to see what has happened to my beautiful city over and over again as I travel to and from work every day.

More than ever, I am reminded of the importance of faith.  We just have to believe that this too shall pass, and that something REALLY good is waiting for us after everything we’ve experienced.  We are not given trials that we cannot bear.

And now it’s our brothers in Northern and Central Luzon that are experiencing what happened in Manila two weeks ago.  I really believe that one disaster after another could only lead to something exceptionally good. Can’t wait to see what it is!

September 26, 2009

Goldilocks popcorn for breakfast. Will now get off Twitter to get some work done. Have a nice stormy day! 🙂9:54 AM Sep 26th from web@cezhernandez Not yet flooded, thank God. But the water’s just a few meters na lang from the chapel. If it reaches there we’re flooded na.1:34 PM Sep 26th from web in reply to cezhernandez@cezhernandez How are you doing? Stay safe.1:35 PM Sep 26th from web in reply to cezhernandezMarikina flood report: Just a few meters and water fr Mrkna river will already reach Sta. Elena chapel. Some residents already evacuating1:52 PM Sep 26th from web water already on our street. logging off now . 2:10 PM Sep 26th from web

That was my series of tweets before the first time floodwaters ever reached our street and our home.   How fast things could go from wonderfully mundane to the worst day of our neighborhood.  Water eventually reached waist-deep inside our house and almost chest-level on the street.

We were having some work done on our house so we had two carpenters with us that afternoon – Bambam and the aptly-named Joseph.  What a blessing those two men were.  Kudos to them for still reporting for work in spite of the storm.  Without them, we would have lost a lot more than just a few desks. They hoisted the refrigerator and the gas stove onto heavy tables to minimize submersion in the floodwater.  They also took care of the furniture and all the other appliances.

Here was the order in which I brought stuff up to the second floor:  our dog; the storage bin filled with my favorite books and lots of new books; my Mac; food (including cooking ingredients), water, dishrack, and other necessities.  Our maid was very efficient in using big palangganas and boxes to haul other stuff.  I was actually surprised that almost no books got wet, except for a few that were accidentally dropped in our hurry to bring them upstairs.  My dad was great in pulling out drawers to save the items inside and at the same time use them to haul more things.  So now we have more drawers than desks, haha!

By 3.30 pm, with the water already thigh-deep and power already out, we finally went up and began the vigil at the top of the stairs, waiting to see how the flood would rise.  We nervously watched as the water covered step after step, finally topping the 5th of our 14-step staircase, before eventually subsiding by midnight.

We were also nervous while waiting out the flood because of the thought of how bad the situation could be for other people in other more flood-prone places if we had been flooded that deep! We have NEVER been flooded before, so we were already imagining the worst.

We eventually settled down and began to think of the next hours.  Dinner was the priority.  We had some cooked rice and raw lumpiang shanghai, with cooking oil and frying pan, but no stove to cook it in.  I even made the desperate suggestion of putting the pan over a lighted candle.  Then we remembered that our next-door neighbor’s living quarters are all on the second floor as their first floor serves only as a garage.  Our helper climbed out our window, walked on the roof over the first floor of both houses, and knocked on our neighbor’s window to ask if she could cook our food on their stove.  To her surprise, she found a number of other people inside – our neighbor took in some residents who live much closer to the river and whose houses were almost totally submerged.

The evening passed uneventfully after that, and the flood eventually subsided by midnight.  It was probably the worst 9 hours of our lives.  But still, it was nothing compared to what many others went through – are still going through as I write this.


We’re ok – after the first floor of our house (in Marikina) got flooded, waist-deep. Will post in detail (including some photos) in the next few days. Still no power. I’m at the office now to charge cellphone battery and use the Internet – and get some work done as well.  Will go home in a while to pass by the grocery.  Very few stores are open in our area.  We really need help with the garbage situation!  I’ll update again tomorrow.

Sorry, blog

I’m currently a neglectful blogger.  My blogging time has been eaten up by other things – such as new online drug Twitter and a steadily growing pile of unread books – not counting Tin’s library, which I will soon raid.  Add to that the undue stress at work.  Let’s just say that someone forgot the “design” half of the job title. And it’s the more crucial half!  I hope to get my blogging rhythm back soon.  I really need that, the way things are going.  I’m just glad that other areas of offline life are going well.


In other news…I’m getting the new iPod Nano as a just-because present from my cousin!  Her parents are coming over from New York in October, and they’re bringing it with them.  The video cam, voice recorder and FM radio totally sold me on it.  It’s now a perfect travel must-have.


The cousin mentioned above also told me an endearing story about our nephew.  Jollibee New York opened several months ago, and is still getting long lines until now.  Our nephew was born here, but moved to the States when he was about 10 years old.  He now goes to Cornell University.  On his Winter break, he, along with his Pinoy Cornell friends and his brother, stood in line for 2 1/2 hours in freezing temperature just to get their Jollibee fix! This is an endearing story for me because my nephew is such a, in colloquial terms, “conyo” kid.  I never imagined that he would fall in line that long for a Jollibee meal.  It’s really nice to know that he still has that kind of Filipino-ness.

My cousin, on the other hand, still couldn’t find the patience for the long lines in spite of her endless craving for sweet spaghetti.  This is the cousin who asked for sugar and added it to her spaghetti while dining in a five-star hotel. How the waiters were horrified, haha!  However, she wrote something in her email that really made me laugh:  “Pero pag may Max’s Fried Chicken na dito, makiki-pila na din ako!!!”  I could sooo imagine her making a beeline for it first thing in the morning. 😀


Well, that takes care of this week’s blogging.  Hope to be back sooner than I’ve been doing so these past few months.

Dear Aling Koring

Your “fiance” already gave way.  Please just shut up now.  Tsk tsk tsk.  People will now be wary everytime you “help” them.  You may just throw it in their faces, just like you did with Sen. Pangilinan, whose only crime was to respectfully disagree with Mar on some issues.

To paraphrase a line from The Parent Trap:  “You want to know the difference between you and Mar?  He has class and you don’t.”

Do your own big sacrifice.  Back out of your wedding.  But we’re just asking too much of you, aren’t we?

In the weeks after President Cory Aquino’s funeral, I found myself searching for yellow ribbons still tied around posts all over the city.  It was a tiny, if not superficial, way of reassuring myself that the reawakened spirit of EDSA is staying longer.

And now Mar Roxas gave way for the possibility of Noynoy running for president.  I was still a bit ambivalent about it, but the recent words and actions of other opposition wanna-bes canned it.  The biggest let-down was Chiz Escudero.  According to his Twitter page:  “What I said was ALL OF US, including noy, should be willing to step aside bcoz no one person or party has a monopoly of good intentions.”  Hmm…if all of you would step aside, who would then step up?  And then, shortly after, he said that he’s not backing down from running for maybe even the presidency.  I’m sick and tired of everyone saying that they’re willing to step aside for the good of the country. Just do it!!!  Or just don’t say anything at all.

Whatever else I may have thought of Mar and his infomercials and that Korina thing, I deeply admire the man for what he did.  No matter how some quarters dismiss it as strategy, there was still a great amount of sincerity behind it.  I’m actually liking the words and actions of the other members of the opposition.  Aside from the amusement value, I think it will eventually turn out to be good for Noynoy and Mar, as long as those two stay on the right track.  I just hope Noynoy doesn’t overdo the “following in my parents’ footsteps” thing.  Oh, and Kris, you’re not going to be the First Lady – remember that.