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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Caylabne Bay Resort, Ternate Cavite

When hubby went on a company sponsored 3-day summer outing at Puerto Galera, I felt depression setting in. Hey, I just gave birth barely a week and post-partum depression is a reality so i felt like i needed to be out of manila enjoying the sand,sun and sea never mind if hubby is not around. After all, he didn't invite the family to go with him. So i surfed the net for the nearest beach resort and i got Puerto Azul and Caylabne Bay both in Cavite. My first choice was originally Puerto Azul but reading about the comments of people who have there recently says that it has fallen into a state of disrepair and besides Caylabne has a better website so the decision on where to go is already made for me.
I called on the number listed on their website and eventhough it is saturday, somebody answered and entertained my call courteously. I didn't know that Caylabne bay is by membership only but this time they have a day-tour package for 5 persons for 2,500 inclusive of lunch and so i immediately booked 2 day tour package. Since we didn't have a car, hubby brought the car with him, again i surfed the net for vehicles for rent and i chanced upon a rent-a-car agency based in makati FILCAR(02-8178346). The rate was 3,500 for a 10-hour rent, the unit was an innova, i have to shoulder the toll fees, driver meals, fuel and parking fees. Overtime pay is at 200 per hour in excess of the 10 hours. Not bad since all the other numbers i did call offered much higher rates. Besides, they have been in business for so long and when i did visit their office in Makati their operations manager was very accomodating and assured me that their drivers have been with them for a long period of time and so are road and trustworthy.
Having accomplished my deed for the day, the family and I attended the anticipated mass at megamall and after which we had dinner at Kamayan. Early the next morning, we woke up early excited for the trip to Caylabne. The driver was prompt at 6:30, we stopped for gas(800), and also breakfast at the Petron Pit stop at Slex Mc donalds. We thoroughly enjoyed the drive towards Caylabne, especially the part in maragondon towards ternate, enjoyed Caylabne also, enjoyed everything even though i wasn't able to take a dip because i stayed with baby marga just enjoying the wind and the sights, and people watching. The kids are just so happy never mind the scorching sun. We went home tired but very happy. It maybe true that money can't buy you happiness but the experiences you get because you have money to spend is close enough to giving you happiness especially if the experiences are shared with your loved ones. Hey, i maybe a few bucks poorer and jobless at the moment but i totally don't regret these bonding moments. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Enjoy some photos that we took...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Setting my goals for 2010...

It's now 2nd quarter of the year and here i am just laying out the things i want to achieve this year. I figured it is better late than never having goals to look forward to achieving. Besides, putting in writing all of the things you want to achieve seemed like taking the first step to make your dreams concrete. I'm setting my sights a little bit higher this year probably because this felt like the best time to be gutsy. My goals for 2010 are:

1. Open up a lotto outlet

2. Get myself a brand new vios

3. Return to my pre-pregnancy weight of 110 lbs and lose inches on my tummy, arms and legs

4. Earn money online through blogs and odesk

I have been earning money online before but i have stopped. Lately, i have been blogging more often and today I have activated my odesk search for jobs again. Losing weight is a must for health and for my personal satisfactioncurrently at 125 lbs. I am My goals have never been clearer than at this moment. With God's guidance, hope and possibility abounds..


Yesterday, i went to the ICARE building in Makati to have my warts removed. Earlier yesterday, i already called icare if warts removal or cauterization is covered by my icare health card. Thankfully, it is up to 1,000 pesos only so i have only the warts on my face and neck cauterized. I didn't have to wait long except for the 45 minutes lead time for the anesthesia to settle in. After that, the cauterization just took below 5 minutes.

I also have a cocolife card as a retiree of San Miguel Corp but it doesn't cover warts removal. I have a healthway card courtesy of my husband but it also doesn't cover lab procedures so all in all, i am thankful that my company has icare.

What am i blabbing about? Well, when i went to inquire about facial treatments i was offered a package set of facials and diamond peels but before those peels have to be done, i was told to have my warts removed first. It's a good thing that the manager told me that if i have a health card, i might yet avail of the warts removal for free and so it goes...

I'm just saying that if you have warts and you have a healthcard, you might as well have it removed since warts are supposed to be contagious. There...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Of children and daughters..

I found this piece of advice when I was googling “amor con amor se paga”. The blogger “felicissima” wrote a very interesting piece about love but that’s another story. Anyway, this one offers an insight from somebody who longed for a daughter he never had and the things that he would tell her had he been so blessed to have one. This is close to my heart because I have three daughters and I could not have been more eloquent than the author. This exactly how I would want to raise my daughters and more. So read on …

(Speech delivered by President Vidal Tan before the U.P. Women’s Club on June 28, 1952.)

I would like to thank the U.P. Women’s Club for giving me the opportunity to speak before the female student body of the University of the Philippines. On this occasion, I will speak to you about a subject dear to my heart. You all know that I have not been blessed with children, much more a daughter. So I will tell you what I would do if only I had a daughter. If I had a daughter, I am sure I would love her dearly. I would take good care of her health, of her education, and of her morals. I would try very hard to train her so that the things she would ask for are not frivolous and foolish. I would try very hard so that she develops a sound appreciation of relative values, a desire to work with her hands, a non-too-materialistic attitude towards life, and a sincere friendship for those below her. I would encourage her to be seriously religious because I know that religion is the safest protection that I could imagine for her. It will tell her in a clear-cut and decisive fashion the things that she should do and the things that she should not do. It will be to her a guide in her norm of conduct, a rule which if she follows would insure her the greatest amount of peace of mind. I know that if she takes her religion seriously she will find in it a great source of comfort and strength, and will offer her the greatest feeling of security. I would be sure that if she is in trouble she would know what to do; that if she is in grief she would be strong to stand it. However, I would not want her to be fanatically religious. I want her to take up her religions with sanity and with reason…. Religion would be her most priceless possession, her strongest tool, her greatest guarantee to happiness. I expect my daughter to be charming, not beautiful. Indeed I would be afraid if she is beautiful; because more often than not, physical beauty is a hindrance rather than a help to her happiness. There is a danger that her beauty would make her selfish, vain, proud and lazy. I would tell her that not all women can be beautiful, but all can be charming. I would tell her that while beauty fades with the years, charm grows, mellows and acquires a rich bouquet as her hair turns from black to grey. I would tell her that the main ingredients of charm are sincerity, interest in people, a genuine friendliness for them, neatness, and physical cleanliness. Of these qualities, the most important is sincerity. There must be genuineness in her feelings, in her words, and her attitudes. I would send her to college in order that she may get a basic background of the fundamental experiences, that she may view life with greater appreciation and confidence, and the world with greater understanding and sympathy. I would want her to have education so that she learns to love books, because they are her best friends and because they would keep her growing, instead of falling into a rut or stagnation. I like to see her go to college, so that in case that she has to live through life alone, she can make a living and take care of herself. Before she falls in love with a boy – and I suppose someday she would and should – I would caution her about falling in love with a handsome boy just because he is handsome. Boys gifted by nature in this manner are generally spoiled and self-conceited. I would advise my daughter to look instead for a manly man who has energy, enthusiasm and ambition. He does not have to be rich, but he must be a man of promise and a man willing to work. She would not allow him any liberties, which in the eyes of other boys would cheapen her…. Girls who are popular among boys because of these freedoms are generally left standing by the aisle when the wedding march is played. How can you tell whether a boy means well or not? How can you tell whether he would make a good husband? Unfortunately, so far no chemical reaction or mathematical formula has yet been discovered that would answer this question. But these chances can be minimized by carefully observing the behavior of the man she likes to marry – whether he is honest, whether he is clean, whether he is ambitious, whether he is neat, how he treats the poor, how he acts towards his superiors, how he behaves under fire, in victory and in defeat… But one of the safest guides is whether he takes his religion seriously or not. While this is not an absolute guarantee that would make a good husband, it is the best one I know. I would tell when she gets married that she should learn to love her work at home, that being a mother is the most important role that any woman can ever expect to do. This is the most valuable contribution that any woman can make to society. The rearing of good children is her main task. I know that many a so-called modern woman rebels against the drudgery of cooking and dishwashing, against those periodic incarcerations when the beginnings of motherhood change her physical appearance and confine her to her home… If there are women who are successful in their professions and successful mothers at the same time, I feel that they are too few to prove a rule, sufficient to prove an exception. As far as I know, there has never been known a good substitute for a good mother to growing children. The crying need of the world has always been, is, and will be for good and wise men. Men without these Christ-like qualities have been responsible for most of the sorrows and for all the wars that have scourged the world. Who is going to produce these men with goodness in their hearts? Will it be the housewife who is making a vain attempt to be a mediocre doctor? Will it be the woman politician who goes home after the children have already gone to bed? Will it be the society matron who entrusts the rearing of children to “amahs”? If we want to make this world a better place for our children than it has been for us, then the women of every nation must be willing to do a certain amount of this disagreeable work as a price that they have to pay for that peace, just as men spend days and nights in the bowels of the earth, digging coal to keep the hearth warm, just as men spend hours in the hot sun tilling the soil to produce cereals that were once the concern of the women, just as men are willing to go through the hell of wars to win peace for their wives and children and themselves. This then is the picture of my imaginary daughter — one I will never have. Perhaps, God in His infinite wisdom saw it fit not to give me a daughter so that all of you — the women of this great University — will all be my daughters.

Making banking so much easier for you..

3 days after giving birth to Ann Margaret, I needed to go back to MMC for newborn screening. And since, I am already out anyway, i might as well do some errands which includes paying bills and groceries.

I went to Edsa-Shangrila Mall branch of Banco de Oro and proceeded to pay in cash my credit cards with baby in my arms. Ordinarily, i would be satisfied with their service but because the line is quite long about 5 persons before me and i am carrying a baby, and i saw their poster saying "making banking so much easier for you", i was suddenly dissatisfied. It is true, that they have an online facility for paying bills and although i am already enrolled in the service, i still c'ant pay the bills because i have to personally go to any of their branch, fill up a form to enrol a biller. Unlike Unionbank's online facility which just allows you to choose from their available list of billers. Unfortunately, i have no more money left in my union bank so i can't do online bills payment.

Anyway, there was one man before me who offered me to go ahead of him seeing i am carrying a baby. There was also a korean who also very kindly offered me to do my transactions ahead of hers. But what i really wanted was for the BDO staff to recognize the difficulty of carrying a baby and should have made proper actuations to "make banking so much easier" for me, for nursing mothers like me, for pregnant women and for all others with temporary or permanent disabilities, senior citizens, like maybe by setting up a special lane for us?

Or is that too much to ask from a giant corporation for the multitude of depositors and clients who are not as influential as their favored clients who have large deposits?

Monday, April 19, 2010

As you travel through life..

This is one post i got from that i'd like to re-post here. Hope he doesn't mind:

As You Travel Through Life….
– Author Unknown –

As you travel through life there are always those times

When decisions just have to be made,

When the choices are hard, and solutions seem scarce,

And the rain seems to soak your parade.

There are some situations where all you can do

Is simply let go and move on,

Gather your courage and choose a direction

That carries you toward a new dawn.

So pack up your troubles and take a step forward -

The process of change can be tough,

But think about all the excitement ahead

If you can be stalwart enough!

There might be adventures you never imagined

Just waiting around the next bend,

And wishes and dreams just about to come true

In ways you can’t yet comprehend!

Perhaps you’ll find friendships that spring from new things

As you challenge your status quo,

And learn there are so many options in life,

And so many ways you can grow!

Perhaps you’ll go places you never expected

And see things that you’ve never seen,

Or travel to fabulous, faraway worlds

And wonderful spots in between!

Perhaps you’ll find warmth and affection and caring

And somebody special who’s there

To help you stays centered and listen with interest

To stories and feelings you share.

Perhaps you’ll find comfort in knowing your friends

Are supportive of all that you do,

And believe that whatever decisions you make,

They’ll be the right choices for you.

So keep putting one foot in front of the other,

And taking your life day by day…

There’s a brighter tomorrow that’s just down the road -

Don’t look back!

You’re not going that way!

MMC Medical Records

With all the advances makati medical center made in terms of investments in state-of-the-art equipment and training of its medical staff, you'd think that there's little room for improvement now. Actually, there is still an area in makati med that needs improvement and i am referring to the services of the Medical Records department as well as the Admissions department which is responsible for the release of the certificate of live birth.
When i gave birth last April 9, 2010 ,i actually expected to get the certificate of live birth anytime before the discharge as what happened with my previous childbirth experience with other hospitals in the province or at least a week after discharge. Instead, we were given a certificate of live birth claim slip that says that we have to call mmc after a month for confirmation if a temporary copy of the birth certificate is already available. A month after and it's not even sure we can get the copy of a TEMPORARY birth certificate! When i called them up 8888-999 loc 3002 i was told it would take that long because the draft certificate of live birth we submitted will have to be typed and then signed by the attending obgyne. Also, they will have it registered first. But really, a month? For such a hospital like MMC who prides itself in providing first class service? Uggh...
Anyway, a day after discharge i needed to return to MMC for newborn screening. Since my philhealth benefit was not yet deducted from my bill, i was told by philhealth to get a delivery report as support for my updated mdr and filing of my claim for reimbursement. I decided to go the the medical records to request for such copy, i actually thought i will be able to bring home one upon request but i was told that i have to wait for 3 more weeks to follow up. During that time, i witness a client who was obviously very angry and not caring that she's scolding the staff for such lousy service. Apparently, she also requested a medical report and she already did follow ups(i dont know how many) but nothing came of it. She asked for the name of the doctor who made a surgery on her coz she wanted to talked to the doctor herself, and according to her, she didn't even know that a surgery was made on her. She told the staff at the counter that if she missed her flight, would mmc shoulder her plane fare?
It didn't help that the attitude of the MMC employee was like, he didn't know the status of the request. He can't even placate the irate client. When it's my turn to file a request, he asked for my name, asked for the date of delivery, consulted with a colleague after which he returned to me and just gave me a piece of paper containing a number with which to contact for follow ups. Maybe he is a new employee, or hungry because its nearing 1 o'clock and he has not had lunch yet, or maybe he just doesn't care.
Even if records management is not your flagship service, still it is important to us your client.
An update: This morning i had my follow up consultation with my obgyne and i proceeded to the medical records just to check if the requested delivery report was ready for release even though i was told the first time i filed that i have to follow it up after 3 weeks. I was pleasantly surprised when the report is ready and there was no hassle at all just after 10 days of my giving birth. It's a considerable improvement considering i was actually expecting to get it a month after. I'm conceding therefor that i may have been too hasty in my opinion and maybe that woman who i chanced upon loudly complaining at the medical records may have had a different problem with mine and perhaps it is an isolated incident. Also, when i went to Admissions a duplicate copy of the birth certificate stamped registered was ready when they said that it will also be available after a month. I would therefor conclude that i am now satisfied with the MMC's medical records and admissionn department but then again, they could still improve it perhaps a week after request of the reports? There's always room for improvement, right?

Friday, April 16, 2010


I have always believed in breastfeeding and all the benefits it gives to both mother and baby. Unfortunately, i am unable to enjoy it now because i have sore nipples which got some cracked on it. Blood oozes from both my nipples when i try to express milk and i guess when baby maggie sucks from me she also get a little of my blood. Talking about vampires and i wanted to name her isabella or edward if male from the twilight fame. And so breastfeeding actually makes for an extremely painful experience for me. I actually persisted to breastfeed for at least 5 days but i just couldn't bear the pain and so i had to succumb to baby formula, in maggie's case its similac advance.

At night, maggie does not sleep continously. she wakes up hourly on the dot and seeks to suck from my breast. Although, it is a natural urge for every mother to give her or his child what or he wants i just have to turn a deaf ear to her cries. She's like a newborn puppy who cant yet see the breasts of her mommy and so she moves her head sideways left and right with mouth open immitating the sucknling action. Just breaks my heart...but not enough to give in to temptation or to the pain. I have a low threshold for physical pain and anyway, i am giving my sore breast 3 days to heal. In the meantime, i am manually expressing my milk and whatever little i could get i feed it to her.

Also, let me just share with you a wealth of information i got from the pamphlets which makati medical gave me about breastfeeding:

What a mother should know about breastfeeding

Why breastfeed?

Breastfeeding is the best and safest way of feeding an infant. Breastmilk is the only perfect food for babies. It protects against infection. It also lays the foundation for the baby's healthy psychological development.

Breastmil is always in excellent condition even if the mother happens to be ill, pregnant, menstruating or undernourished.

what is the composition of breastmilk?

Breastmilk contains all the required nutrients a baby needs for the first 6 months of life. Breastmilk provides..

..the right amount of the most suitable protein and fat...more lactose(baby fat) than most other milk, exactly what a baby needs...enough vitamins, making vitamins supplements and fruit juices unnecessary...sufficient iron to prevent iron defeciency anemia...enough water for the baby even in a hot climate...the correct amount of salt, calcium and phosphate.

What are some advantages of breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding helps stop bleeding after delivery.

Breastfeeding on demand protects against another pregnancy.

Breastmilk contains colostrum which the breast secretes the first few days after delivery. Yellow in color and thicker than later milk, colostrum is a rich mixture of antibodies and white blood cells. Colostrum is exactly what the baby needs immediately after birth for the protection it gives against harmful bacteria and viruses.

Breastmilk is always ready to give. It needs no preparation.

Breastmilk contains lipase, a special enzyme which digest fat. Since breastmilk is quickly and easily digested, a breastfed baby normally wants to be fed more often than an artificially fed baby.

Breastmilk never goes sour in the breast if the mother stops breastfeeding for some days.

Breastfeeding is psychologically beneficial for both mother and child. It is important for their bonding or attachment to each other. Early emotional closeness to the mother can contribute to the child's well rounded development.

Breastmilk is free. You dont have to buy it.

Breastfed babies have fewer infections.

How does Breastmilk protect babies against infection?

Breastfed babies have fewer respiratory and middle ear infections and less diarrhea than artificially fed babies.

Breastmilk contains:

*immunoglobulins or antibodies for comoon infections. They serve to protect the baby's health until such time when the baby can make its own antibodies.

*leukocytes or living white blood cells to fight infections.

*a substance called the bifidus factor whichs helps lactobacillus bifidus , a special bacteria, grow in the baby's intestine. This special bacteria prevents other harmful bacterua from developing and causing diarrhea.

*lactoferin which binds iron and stops the growth of other harmful bacteria which needs iron.

Other important informations about breastfeeding:

Mothers even when tired can breastfeed because a mother's physical exertion or any other activity has no effect on breastfeeding or on breastmilk. However, it is recommended that the mother rest before breastfeeding so as not to block or inhibit the flow of milk.

THe size or shape of breast has no effect on a womans ability to secrete milk. Large breasts are due to fatty tissues. Essential for the breasts total milk production are:

..the amount of glandular tissue in the breasts...the babys feeding demands.
breastfed babies normally have soft stools. This indicate proper feeding and digestion. Soft stools also mean the baby does not strain. Formed stools are actually bad since they are due to indigested fat, calcium and other wastes. In a baby, diarrhea is characterized more by foul odor and watery consistency than soft stools.

eau thermal avene skin recovery cream

When i was yet pregnant, i had circular red spots in my tummy which i initially thought was ringworm. They were very itchy and grows bigger in circumference. In one of my pre-natal consultations i was referred by my obgyn to a dermatologist who prescribed cutivate cream and this skin recovery cream from avene. Now that i have given birth, the itchy spots are back.

Apparently, this is a product made from France and reading through the leaflet has not enlightened me a single bit about what it suppo isedly will cure. It says that it is a calming cream, it quickly calms irritations, strenthens the defense mechanism of the skin and provides effective and long lasting protection. With consistent use, this very pure, very pleasant to apply cream enables the skin to recover its natural balance and comfort level. Looks like its a moisturizer to me.

And the direction says to apply it to the face and neck and the doctor said to apply it to the irritations in my tummy 30 minutes after the cutivate cream is applied. In fairness, the irritations did disappear over a period of two weeks but i think it was the cutivate that healed it not this cream. Will it heal my stretchmarks?Hmmnn. Since it is a very expensive cream, i have decided to used it on my face and neck as was instructed in the leaflet and see if it really makes any difference to my pimple scars.But that maybe asking too much, so i'd settle for less wrinkles.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mommy for the 3rd time around..

The first day of my last menstrual period was July 15, i think. So the estimated birth of my baby will be on or before April 23 of 2010. I planned to start my maternity leave April 16, so that i will still be receiving a salary for the first half of April but by April 6, i was just too lazy perhaps because my discomfort in boarding a jeep is becoming unbearable lately. It would have been nice if a taxi is readily available but it is so difficult to get a taxi near our place.

Anyway, the latest appointment I had with my obgyne was April 5 and she said that i'm already 4 cm dilated. I also noticed that my mucus discharge has increased considerably. I have been expecting actually that my water bag will burst anytime soon but i was mistaken. Friday came and later in the afternoon i already found spots of blood with my mucus discharges. After taking a bath and making sure that i have everything i needed, we(hubby,my mama, and michelle) went to Makati Med. I checked in at the delivery room immediately at about thirty minutes past five pm.

Upon check-in, a nurse gave me a gown with which to change and a plastic with which to put my dress and underwear. I was strapped to a fetal monitor and some other equipment. The doctors and nurses were very nice and accomodating and careful as well as mindful of my inhibitions. Even after having been through personal vaginal examinations, and other tests, one really never gets used to having yourself exposed. Not unless you are Maria Ozawa, but that's another topic.

Anyway, My obgyne is Dr. Nora Figueroa-Santos and during one of my pre-natal consultations with her, i already stated my preference for the Spontaneous Vaginal Delivery package of MMC which costs 47,500 inclusive of a private room with tv, as well as an epidural anesthesia but expects some other items added into your bill because of other medications that will be administered while yet in the delivery room. The package calls for a 50% downpayment upon check in and the other balance payable upon check-out. In my 2 previous successful pregnancy and delivery, i never had an epidural. It was natural delivery all the way. In an epidural anesthesia, a local anesthetic was administered to me so that when the "real" anesthesia is inserted in between my spine it would not be as painful. The pain i felt was more than a prick but it really was bearable. I no longer felt any sensation in my legs and even my lower back, there was no pain except that i had uncontrollable chill which made me very tired as i tried to control my muscles especially my shoulders. I vomited 3 times, my bp shoot to 150/90, i had pain in the nape of my neck and i had negative thoughts which i refused to entertained. My normal bp even during pregnancy is only at 90/60. I remember i just kept on repeating praying the Lord's Prayer. Sometime during the night the effect of the anesthesia lessened and i felt the need to defecate which in an indication that i was near giving birth, finally.

Since i won't be able to feel the contraction when they will give me another dose of the anesthesia, they told me to listen to them because it will be them who will give me the signal on when to take a deep breath, hold it for about 10 counts and pushed. True enough, when they whirled me into the OR, i only gave me just enough time to set up the equipments and get ready for the birthing. In my second set of pushing baby maggie is already out. And i am just really thankful that me and my baby are ok and that God heard our prayers and the Novenas to Our Mother of Perpetual Help came through. I think Dr. Nora Santos did some repair stitches on me, and i have to say that she was really very nice to me during the whole birthing process, and also the anesthesiologist, the nurses and even the non-medical staff who helped me during the administration of the epidural. At first impression, i thought Dr. Nora was a bit stand offish and looks down on lesser mortals but apparently, I was wrong.

I stayed a little bit more at the recovery room after which they changed my gown in preparation for the transfer to my room. Hubby waited for me at the lobby of the 6th floor together with mama. I told him to just go home so that he could rest properly but he left only morning of the next day. Baby Maggie was roomed in with me. And i am just so happy seeing her. The kind of happiness which is warm, and content and calm. And i thought of AJ and Abby, and my joy just trippled. At that moment, all the sting of my other problems just seem like hazy thing of the past. And i dont have to think about them.

Praise God.