Category Archives: Events

Goodbye 3rd Cup. Hello Robinsons Mall!!!


At the turn of the year, talks were ripe that Robinsons Mall will finally be constructed in Zamboanga City. Earlier in 2009, Robinsons Management paid a courtesy call to the Local Chief Executive and the story was published in the local newspapers. I was cruising along Governor Camins going to Nunez Extension when I saw the popular cafe, 3rd Cup, being torn down. I said to myself, “What is going on?” After a couple of inquiries, I was told that the property where 3rd Cup was, along with the warehouses beside it, which housed the IPI Laboratories local outlet, is where Robinsons Mall will be constructed. Wow, great news.

Tsk.Tsk.Tsk. Where will 3rd Cup go next? Hopefully, it will be one of the tenants of Robinsons Mall, if ever there will be one. I said earlier that the cafe was popular because it was frequented by college kids with their stylish laptops and yuppies looking for a relaxing place to wind down after a stressful day at the office. It was a cool place to be. With luxurious furnishings and free WIFI service, no wonder it was packed to the rafters during weekends. I’ve been there quite a few times. After dinner with my office mates and a reunion with high school friends. We were even given a free treat by the very first owner of the place. I’m sure a lot of its patrons will miss it.

Hello Robinsons Mall. It’s high time that something as huge as this will grace the local landscape. Pagadian City is far better off in this area because they now have a two-storey Robinsons Mall right at the heart of the city. Good thing the local executives and business community have opened their minds about this. Hopefully, we will have a Robinsons Mall by the end of the year. Don’t worry local businessmen, I still prefer buying from you because of your cheap prices. Let the retail competition begin.


My Father, My Hero


He will turn 66 on September 12, 2010. When I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he replied “I just want to eat, enjoy and spend the day with you guys.” I was struck by his answer. I could not fathom how a simple answer could have such a profound effect on me.  And why not. Being the eldest child of four siblings, I knew what responsibility meant at an early age.

My mother went into long labor before I was born. So he went home for a while to take a bath. When he returned, the nurse congratulated him and said, “It’s a girl!”. And he said, “Oh, okay.” I know he wanted a boy he could name after him. But that did not deter him from bringing me up like a boy. No, I did not end up a tomboy. Instead, he shared to me his passion and zest for life. At a young age, I learned to love music. I remember playing the turntable to the tune of the bullfight of Spain while I cleaned our house during Saturday mornings. At the end of the day, we would listen to Chuck Mangione play his trumpet while we put up our feet and sink deep into the couch.

Every summer, my siblings would excitedly wait for him to take out the huge Betamax box full of Marvel and other English comic books. We would join the adventures of Superman, Batman and Spider-man while go to far away places immersed in the stories of famous authors. As I grew up, I shifted my attention to the Reader’s Digest and National Geographic magazines he has collected through the years. Yes, my father is an avid collector of a lot of things. Comic books, Reader’s Digest and National Geographic Magazines, ukay-ukay (surplus) clothes and shoes and digital music. He has a knack (or maybe he is just lucky!) for finding branded clothing and shoes. But, I think it is his perseverance that led to the discovery of those treasures. As far as I can remember, it has been twenty years since he started his love for surplus apparel (Ukay-ukayan at the Sta. Cruz market!). I distinctly remember him giving me three Lacoste polo shirts in red, maroon and white colors. When I was in college back in 1991 in Manila, my Manileña classmate said to me in her kolehiyala twang, ” Is that Lacoste polo shirt real?” I said, “Of, course” while I was giggling inside of me. I was wearing the white Lacoste shirt wherein the words Lacoste were stitched all over it. Anong tingin niya sa akin, can’t afford. Hahaha…When I went to the mall that weekend, I looked for the shirt to see how much it cost. My eyes rolled. No wonder she can’t believe it. One shirt cost P2,000 at that time, while I was wearing a P35 original shirt. Boy, was I laughing out loud.

My father is always hungry to learn new things. He learned how to use the computer at the age of 60, when most senior citizens his age or younger would dare not touch a computer. Translating his love of music to the digital world, he became internet-savvy and explored the wonderful world of the web to download his favorite music. Now, his digital music collections are in the thousands and counting. He is the Flying Dutchman (Davy Jones) of the Music World (a.k.a. pirata ba!hahah!). He has a Facebook account to keep in touch with family and friends. He is comfortable using Google and Yahoo in searching for any subjects under the sun. He is also an amateur photographer. He has tons of pictures in boxes waiting to be indexed and placed in albums.

My father may be simple, but he has great character. I look up to my father because I want to be like him, to live life to the fullest with the talents that the Almighty has given us. I have not achieved even half of what my father is, but I strive to be what he has become. He believes that I can always do better than the mediocre work I have shown him. He believes in me and the great things that I can achieve. And for that I am humbled and inspired.

This is a simple gift I can give to my father. Pa, in everything that I do, I always remember that I can do more and give my best because you believe in me. No words can express the impact you made in my life. I love you, Pa. Happy Birthday.

The Jeepney Chronicles: AIR SUPPLY…Live In Zamboanga City


When my friend texted me about the coming of Air Supply in Zamboanga City on June 26, 2010, memories of my high school days played on my mind. I distinctly remember riding the jeepney plying San Jose and Baliwasan with their speakers blaring songs from an Air Supply cassette tape. From WMSU to the pueblo, these jeepneys kept playing Making Love Out of Nothing At All, Young Love, Every Woman in the World, among others. Students alighting on the San Jose Area going to their schools would surely have the Last Song Syndrome of Air Supply songs on their minds…Ah, basta. Kapag San Jose-Baliwasan ang jeepney, Air Supply ang paboritong tinutugtog.

For today’s generation who does not know about Air Supply, it is a duo composed of  British guitarist and vocalist Graham Russell and Australian lead vocalist Russell Hitchcock who conquered the music world during the late 1970’s and the early 1980’s. Their music is composed mainly of the soft rock genre. Their hit songs include All Out of Love, Here I am, Two Less Lonely People in the World and The One that You Love which reached no. 1 in the Billboard Top 100 in the 80s.

The Air Supply World Tour Concert is sponsored mainly by the Ateneo de Zamboanga University (AdZU) and is in line with the AdZU Centennial Celebration in 2012. It will be held at the Zamboanga City Coliseum on June 26, 2010 at seven o’clock in the evening. This fund raising benefit concert is for the Ateneo Centennial Scholarship Fund.

For Air Supply Fans in Zamboanga City, don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the duo in person. Tickets are priced at P2,000.00 (front row), P1,000.00 (back row) and P400.00 (bleacher). Tickets are available at AdZU Scholarship’s Office, Planning Office, Grade School Office, High School Office and all College Units. For more ticket inquiries, please contact 991-0871 local 1006 and look for Sheila Pagotaisidro.

D’ Tale of the Dirty Finger…Phil. Election 2010


Today is May 10, 2010. Finally, I was able to cast my vote at 5:21 p.m. after having 80 people ahead of me. My parents, sister and I went to the polling precinct at 3:00 pm hoping to find that there will be lesser people voting. Earlier this morning, my aunt and nanny went to the polling place at 7:30 am. Nanny came home after 9:30 am while Aunt was able to finish at 10:30 am. At Nanny’s precinct, the voting went on smoothly despite the long queue. My Aunt’s experience was different, the PCOS machine did not work and it took awhile before it was replaced.

San Roque Elem School Cluster 6 Precinct



Since there were 80 people ahead of me, I decided to check out the other members of my family. This is a picture of their precinct. They did not have a lot of people waiting in line so it took them only 20 minutes to cast their vote.

I took a picture of my parents and sister casting their vote, feeding the ballot into the machine, waiting for it to say CONGRATULATIONS and having indelible ink  placed on their finger.

Below is a picture of me waiting in line after the long queue ahead of me. There were seats outside of the precinct where we sat waiting for our numbers to be called. Actually, when I knew that there were 80 plus people ahead of me, I went home to get my list which I forgot to bring. After harvesting and planting crops at my farm at Farmville, I went back after 45 minutes, just in time to have my number called.

Upon entering the room,I gave the small piece of paper where my precinct number, list number and line number was written to the BEIs where they looked for my name on the official list of candidate. When they finally located my name, I signed the list and affix my right thumb mark on it. Then I was given the ballot enclosed in a long, white folder and the pen provided by Smartmatic. The ballot secrecy folder is not the official folder which should be used, since the official folders did not arrive due to controversies in the procurement of such folders. I sat down and carefully marked the egg-shaped symbol before the names of the candidate. Earlier that day, I made a list of whom to vote with their corresponding number in the ballot so it did not take me long to finish voting.

This is a photo taken at my precinct. There are times when all the seat are filled up with voters. After voting, I returned the pen provided by Smartmatic to the BEI then fed my ballot into the PCOS machine. After 2 minutes of verifying my ballot, a message saying, ‘Congratulations. Your vote has been registered.’ Man, I was so relieved that my ballot went smoothly inside the machine. When my parents fed their ballots inside the machine, there was a paper jam. But, the ballot was read successfully by the machine after the BEI inserted the ballot further inside. I was so happy that I was able to cast my vote. In my excitement, I surrendered my thumb to the BEI for the indelible ink. She asked me for my forefinger and placed a small amount of indelible ink on it.

Above are some pictures taken of voters looking for their names on the list, and voters waiting in line to have their numbers called.In some precincts, voting started late in the afternoon due to some defective PCOS machines .  I hope that there will be no glitches in the canvassing and counting of the ballots. I also hope that the winners will truly serve our country and the losers will accept defeat gracefully. I am proud to be part of this historical event, the very first AUTOMATED ELECTION in the Philippines.



happy 35th birthday…this was what’s left of my birthday cake from red ribbons, a gift from my mom. next to the cake is a number five candle which i saved from my son’s 5th birthday last april 20. it took me this long to write about what happened during my birthday. it was a birthday celebrated with mixed feelings. i celebrated my birthday with my extended family the day before my actual birthday, which was a holiday since the independence day was moved to this day, because of the holiday economics proclaimed by the president. my brother was leaving for Pagadian City the next day, that’s why we decided to celebrate it a day before. For my actual birthday, I filed a privilege leave from work and spent the day with my husband and children.

the two days seem like a blur, just like the photo of my birthday cake. the day before my birthday, i had a vertigo attack. i had these attacks before but this one was worse. i felt my head spinning and losing my balance. i went to store to buy my son a bag for school. the good thing was my father was in the same store. he took me to my cousin, who is a doctor. after a thorough check up, she concluded that i had benign positional vertigo and i had to see an EENT doctor for further test. in the afternoon, my husband was free, so we went to a specialist. after the check up, he gave the same conclusion and prescribed SERC for two weeks. since we didn’t have time to cook, we just ordered take out for the party.

it was a simple party. we had beef with broccoli, seafood roll, buttered chicken, pansit canton, fruit salad and the birthday cake from my mom. my mom was not able to attend because she was not feeling well. my father, sister, brother and cousin were there. we took pictures from my father’s digicam and ate the simple feast. i forgot to take a picture of the food. all i had was the picture of the cake.

it seems that the cake symbolized what i felt that day. i can’t believe that i’ve reach 35 years. i thank God that I’m given another year to celebrate life, to share my blessings and love to my family and friends.

on the day of my actual birthday, i wen to to mass at the Cathedral and spent some time at the Blessed Sacrament. in the evening, my family had a simple dinner. i started writing in my journal, but up to now i only have two entries since that day. it seems i just can’t make myself to write in my journal often because of the hustle and bustle of everyday life…

i just hope that everything will be clear in God’s time…and with God’s grace, the truth shall set me free…


the big _5th


another birthday post…

i finally reached my 35th birthday…i hope i can make it until my 100th…

it was the most unforgettable birthday of my whole life. i don’t want to elaborate. i usually cook for a special occasion at home but this time i was not able to. i celebrated my birthday a day before. the same day i went to see two doctors, my cousin and an ENT doctor, due to vertigo. my cousin JOAN (bless her jolliness…) said it was benign positional vertigo. the ENT doctor concluded the same, and said it was due to a virus…hello…i have to look this up in the internet…anyway, the world was spinning around me and i could not walk straight (kiss my modelling dreams goodbye…).

and so we just ordered take out at our favorite chinese restaurant. these are what we ordered:
seafood roll, beef with brocolli, buttered chicken, pancit canton, and seafood in cream sauce. we bought grilled fish in our neighborhood flea market, by mom gave me a chocolate cake, and i made fruit salad…that’s it.

But, I can never thank the following people enough: God, who gave me another chance, and never gave up on me; my parents & siblings, who are always there for me no matter what, my husband and two kids, who are my life now and forever, my relatives and friends who have made my life an adventurous one…

sa inyong lahat, maraming salamat po…

until the next birthday….chow…

Ash Wednesday



“You are Dust, and to Dust You Shall Return.” (Genesis 3:19)

According to, Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, the 40-day period of fasting before Easter. On this day, ashes are blessed, mixed with either holy oil or water, and imposed on the head with the sign of the cross, or sprinkled on the forehead. The ashes are made from burning palm branches blessed the previous year on Palm Sunday.

When the priest imposes the ashes he says either “remember man you are dust, and to dust you will return” (see Genesis 3:19), or “turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel” (Mark 1:15).

The ashes serve a dual purpose. First, as the above words imply, we are reminded of our mortality and humanity as we begin the Lenten Fast. Second, the ashes are a Biblical symbol of repentance, sorrow, and humility.

Today, February 25, 2009, not only marks the beginning of Lent but also the 23rd year of the First EDSA Revolution in the Philippines. I attended Mass at the Immaculate Conception Church (now MCC) at 12:15 noon. The church was packed to the rafters. A lot of people were standing at the back. Some were seated outside. The ceremony already began when I arrived. I quickly made my way at the back. During the sermon, the Bishop apologized for starting the Mass earlier than the usual time, due to the length of the ceremony.

He explained that Lent starts today and ends in the morning of Holy Thursday. Easter starts in the afternoon of that same day. He emphasized that this time is an opportunity for us to reflect and repent on the wrongdoings that we have done and cleanse ourselves from sin by fasting and penance. He also exhorted us to be humble and obedient to God’s will.

The imposition of the ashes was done before the offertory. People lined up in all sides of the pews and took their turn as the lay ministers say upon imposition of the ashes, “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.” I made my way outside the church as I saw some vacant mono-bloc chairs. I was observing the parishioners as they lined up to have the ashes placed on their forehead. People from all walks of life came. Since it was during lunch beak , most people were from the office and stores around the area. Some were couples and families. Students also attended the Mass. I saw some familiar faces and waved at them. Since it was nearly 1pm, some people did not wait for the Mass to continue but left in order not to be late for work. Some stayed until the communion. While most stayed behind until the end of the Mass.

A thought came into my head. Is having the ashes placed on our forehead enough so as not to stay until the Mass has ended? I grew up in a catholic school and I believe it is but proper to stay until the end of the Mass. But, be that as it may, sometimes I am guilty of leaving just right after communion, and not waiting for the priest to say, “Go in Peace to Love and Serve the Lord.” Which is more important, Faith or Work? I guess it works both ways. “Faith without work is dead.” All work and no Faith makes Jane a dull girl…or something like that. We got to have both in order for it to be more effective.

Just as what happened 23 years ago in EDSA, it was the people faith in God and their will to stand up against dictatorship that made EDSA a success, more of a MIRACLE, because it was a bloodless revolution. So, it works both ways. FAITH and WORK should go hand in hand…

Have a holy and peaceful LENTEN SEASON to all…God Bless…

Food for School Program of the DepEd


I will feature a very laudable program of the Department of Education named Food for School Program. It started last 2006. The program aims to mitigate hunger of poor families and improve school retention. In the first phase of the program, only grade one students from selected elementary schools in areas declared as vulnerable provinces were given one (1) kilo of Iron Fortified Rice every school day for SY 2006-2007 and Summer of SY 2006-2007. Per our interview of the teachers from selected elementary schools in Zamboanga del Norte, the program was a big help to the families of pupils because it improved the attendance of their children in school and gave them rice everyday.

In one elementary school in Zamboanga del Norte, the teachers served the same rice to us for lunch, paired with sardines for ulam. We not only inspected the rice but ate it as well. For others, they are bothered by the yellow specks in the rice, but it is these yellow specks which gives iron in the rice. It is an eye opening experience talking to the teachers and recipient families about the program.

For SY 2007-2008, the recipients were expanded to grade two to six students. But it is still limited to one family per kilo of rice. Meaning, even if you have two kids, one in grade 2 and the other in grade 5, only a kilo of rice will be given, usually to the older child.

I hope that such program will continue and it will not be open to abuse and corruption by the people in government.

yummy seafood


On a recent trip to Dipolog City for an official travel, our team was fortunate enough to dine for lunch at Ann’s Seafoods. We were actually planning to eat at Grandma’s, another cozy resto that serves continental fare such as pasta and sandwiches. Upon the insistence of our teammates and hosts, they took us to Ann’s. The place at the ground floor was full, as it was past 12 noon when we arrived. We headed upstairs to their conference room.

Our group ordered grilled blue marlin, kinilaw, calamares, chopsuey, and fish tinola. It took a while before our orders arrived but it was worth the wait. I even forgot to take pictures before we devoured the food. Boy, were we hungry. I can see by the look on my friends’ faces that we were more than contented. Thanks Mam Evelyn for bringing us here. Thanks, also, Mam Meriam for the libre.Hehehe…

For all you travellers out there who will pass by Dipolog City, do try Ann’s Seafood. It’s the best tasting, freshest seafood dishes I have ever tasted. Bon Appetit.

my mid-30′s wishlist


I turned 34 this year. Looking back at my life, I can say that there are still so many things that I wish to do but have not found the time. You see, I’m a working mom. I have two gorgeous little boys aged 4 and 2. My husband also works. The only time we have for our kids are after office hours and during weekends. I have a helper but she’s just part-time. When we come home from work, we take over since she goes home, too. Sunday is her day off. I hardly have time for myself. Motherhood is such a challenging vocation. I would not label it as a “job” since the reward I get is beyond financial gain. When I was still single, there are two things that I love to do, read books and do some crafts.

I love to read books. When I was in grade school, I started with the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series. I was such a bookworm, that I would read Nancy Drew in class, cover it with the current subject’s book, and pretend that I was listening to the lessons at hand. Good thing the teacher owned the Nancy Drew book I was reading, so I didn’t get into trouble. Then, I went on to read Agatha Christie and Sidney Sheldon in high school. In college, my favorite author was Robert Ludlum. I love mystery books. I get thrilled when their books are turned into movies. There might be deviations from the book, but I don’t mind. When I started working, I was into the Harry Potter series. Nope, it’s not just for kids. It’s my favorite. There are still other books that I would love to read. But, time is not on my side. You see, when I read a book, I want the time for myself alone. I want to be in the book, to jump into the pages and be engulfed in the excitement of it all. But, with two active boys who constantly fight for my attention, no time for my books.

I love doing crafts, like cross stitching, making things out of scraps, and many little kikay things. But, alas, there’s a cross stitch project that is half done and gathering dust. My scrapbook project for our wedding album, and for each of my kids is still in the gathering stage, as in gathering only the photos and acecessories but not organizing it into a scrapbook. So many projects, so little time.

I love to cook, too. I’m a big fan of Lifestyle Network. I’m a closet Martha Stewart. I wish I was a stay at home mom but I can’t afford it. Even with both me and my husband working, the budget still gets busted. Again, time is precious. So here is my mid-30’s wish list:

1. Have time alone with my husband;

2. Read all the books I want;

3. Do all the crafts that I love to do;

4. Cook ala Martha Stewart style; and

5. Travel around the world.

Am I being selfish? I hope not. Calling all seasoned mothers out there, please help me. What should I do to maximize my time, especially between personal and family time? I want to bond with my family every chance I get. But, I also want some time for myself? This is what my husband says when he sees that I’m in the verge of losing my patience, “Sweety, the kids will grow up someday. And when they do, we will have time for ourselves.” Such a sweet husband. Well, maybe i’ll just wait for that time and hope my wishes do come true.