Saturday, December 29, 2012

2013 Year of the Water Snake

2013 Year of the Water Snake

Here are some inputs that I have gathered for the coming year…
Welcome to Year of the Water Snake! Snake is the Yin to last year's Dragon Yang. With that said, Snake does not settle for mediocrity, either. We're likely to see significant developments in the area of science and technology this year. Research and development are apt to flourish. This is a Water year as well, the element most closely associated with education and research, making 2013 a very special year for scientists and scholars. Snake is a great sign, a positive one, with energy that can help us face all of the challenges ahead of us. Let's take advantage of this vibrant influence to improve our lives -- and our world!

The Chinese Year of the Snake is usually a year of significant change, and 2013 promises to bring new opportunities and challenges for many people. Enjoy the good times, which promise to be very good, but try to mitigate the bad times, which may be rather difficult to handle.

Chinese Astrology – Horoscope for 2013 Year of the Snake
 The Chinese Year of the Snake starts on February 10 2013. Discover what the Year of the Snake holds in store for each sign of the Chinese Zodiac.
Many followers of Chinese Astrology believe that two people are only compatible if the Chinese New Year of their births, and hence their character traits, are compatible. Such people often consider their compatibility with another person before starting a romantic or business relationship.
Due to the importance of the Chinese New Year to Chinese culture, its celebration is a significant event both in China and around the world.
Chinese Astrology makes forecasts, or predictions, for the new Chinese Year in general (which is The Year of the Snake in 2013), and for people who belong to each Chinese Zodiac Sign in more detail.
Those in a relationship should find 2013 a good time to try new ideas to deepen their bond, whilst the opportunities for singles to find someone special are strong, particular if they change some of the routines they might have settled into.
Horoscope for 2013: The Rat
People born in the Year of the Rat, need to be financially careful in 2013, not all attractive looking investments are as good as they seem at first sight. Hard work, particularly high quality work, should lead to career improvements.
They must pay attention to their health this year, taking time to look after their own well being.
Horoscope for 2013: The Ox
People born in the Year of the Ox will stay true to their nature in 2013 and continue to work hard, pushing to complete every task. Financial rewards can be expected to follow there efforts.
They must be aware that this behavior can be detrimental to their relationships, and they should try work as hard at their social and love lives as they do at their careers.
Horoscope for 2013: The Tiger
People born in the Year of the Tiger should be careful to ensure that their quick thinking is used carefully in 2013 as it can lead to problems if not tempered by due consideration.
By concentrating on their own affairs, they can have a good year for both their careers and their relationships.
Horoscope for 2013: The Rabbit
People born in the Year of the Rabbit , face a challenging year in 2013, with the possibility of many difficulties to be overcome. Hard work may be needed to keep their career on track.
They should resist their tendency to make fast decisions, taking time to think twice, or even three times, before making decisions. Extra diplomacy may bring good rewards in their relationships.
Horoscope for 2013: The Dragon
People born in the Year of the Dragon may find that 2013 is tumultuous. The highs might be very high, but the lows might be very low. Many might face a forced career change, they should try to be proactive and make the change on their own terms.
They should be careful that their strong personalities do not dominate their personal relationships, with some needing to consider if their partners would be better off without them.
Horoscope for 2013: The Snake
People born in the Year of the Snake, might expect 2013 to be particularly good for them. However, they should expect a year of mixed year. They may need to work very hard to keep their career on track, with some seeing progression, some just standing still.
They should fight their natural tendency to be suspicious as it may cause issues in their relationships, which should flourish if they work hard to be open and loving.
Horoscope for 2013: The Horse
People born in the Year of the Horse will have to have to deal with a series of ups and downs in 2013, it does not promise to be a quiet year. They natural ability to be adaptable will help them in what is likely to be a year of many changes at work, but career progression is not guaranteed.
They tend to flit from one relationship to another, but this year may be a good time to settle down with a compatible partner, maybe with a fellow adventurous soul.
Horoscope for 2013: The Sheep
People born in the Year of the Sheep may face career upheavals in 2013, including a change of positions. Hard work should see them through a year of ups and downs, but a positive outcome is achievable.
2013 is not likely to be good year to start a new relationship due to the pressures of their careers, and existing ones that are not very strong may fail.
Horoscope for 2013: The Monkey
People born in the Year of the Monkey should expect 2013 to be a busy year. Hard work will bring success in careers, whether in a new or existing position. Those wanting a career change should make positive moves to make it happen.
Their relationships may be lively at times this year, but those that get through the tough times will emerge stronger. Singles will meet many prospective partners this year, but they should be careful in their choice.
Horoscope for 2013: The Rooster
People born in the Year of the Rooster must expect to work hard in 2013 just to maintain their current career position. They might need to accept that they do not receive the attention and recognition that they feel they deserve. They should be careful about their finances this year, but should enjoy some luxuries at times.
They should be careful that their loyalty in their relationships do not see them stay in partnership that isn't good for them. They should ensure that their partners support them too.
Horoscope for 2013: The Dog
People born in the Year of the Dog should find that hard work will bring its rewards in 2013, but they have to make an effort to ensure that their contributions are given their due credit.
They are usually successful at maintaining a sensible work/life balance. By doing this in 2013, their relationships should flourish.
Horoscope for 2013: The Pig
People born in the Year of the Pig are strong team players, but in 2013 they should ensure that superiors in particular are aware of what they contribute and how valuable they are. They should resist the urge to carry weaker members of the team where it might be detrimental to their own work performance. They should research carefully before investing any spare money.
They should be careful that they are not doing all the work in their relationships as their openness and trusting nature can be taken advantage of.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Year's Day Celebration!

Another Christmas passed and everyone is now looking forward in celebrating the noisiest time of the year. It has been a tradition for Filipinos to celebrate the New Year with a bang. I admit, I have that crazy passion for fireworks and next to food for the New Year’s Eve I usually prepare my set of fireworks as well. Last year we had a set that lasted from 11pm ‘til the change of the year. I hate to admit it but I do spend quite a significant amount just for buying stuff that booms my ears. Also, aside from celebrating this event, we are also celebrating my Dad’s 74th birthday. So I have more than one reason to celebrate (which also gives me the excuse of buying more fireworks! LOL).

The same way Americans enjoy Fourth of July fireworks, we all go out with the noise on New Year’s Eve. Pots and pans are clanged to scare away evil spirits. Cars and truck horns are honked to cause as much noise as possible. Empty cans are dragged all around using bikes and motorcycles and whistles are blown.

We also have different tradition during New Year’s Eve like all doors must be left wide open to allow good luck to enter. Some people dress in polka-dots because the roundness signifies prosperity. There are also a lot of people cooking sticky rice (malagkit/biko) so good fortune will stick around throughout the year. Pockets are filled with round coins, which are jangled to attract wealth. Coins are also left on top of tables and in drawers. Also there is a belief that when the clock strikes exactly 12am, children jump as high as they can because they believe this will make them taller. There is also this belief that the house must be tidy before the new year because this will be the case for the entire year. And lastly, don’t start the year off by spending money or else you will be spending for the entire year.

So, let's make sure to keep our pocket full of those hard earned money during the eve of the New Year so that we will have a lot to spend for the rest of the year!

Manigong Bagong Taon!
Happy New Year!

Bank Accounts for Kids in the Philippines

Another Christmas day has come to pass and most, if not all, kids are surely happy with all the gifts that they have received. Of course among the things that kids received are “Ampao” aside from the most awaited toys in their wishlist. Both my kids opened their gifts Christmas morning and believe me when I say that it took all my powers in trying to convince Kenn to wait and be patient and not to open the gifts until its Christmas. Santa Claus came, as he does every year and Kenn was so eager to sleep after we went to Nanay’s house because he was thinking that Santa Claus might not be able to deliver his gift if he finds him still wide awake on Christmas Eve. He was so happy with the gift he received for this year.

So now that we are preparing for another year, it is time again to save up. Kenn is now 8 so he can already start opening a savings account with a bank. I was searching the different options we have for an account for kids and here are the things that I have stumbled upon:

Metropolitan Bank  and Trust Company
Or widely known as Metrobank, has an exclusive savings account for kids and teens 7-18 years of age. This is a better way of teaching them on the value of saving.
 What are the requirements? See below:
·         Two (2) 1 x 1 recent ID pictures
·         School I.D (must have at least 2 photocopies)
·         Birth Certificate Xerox Copy (bring along the original for verification purposes)
·         Php500 for the initial deposit (and also the maintaining balance)
·         Php4000 balance to earn an interest

Banco De Oro (BDO)
Junior Savers Club
Is a savings account for children who are 12 years and younger.
Initial deposit requirement                          PHP 500.00
Minimum monthly ADB requirement         PHP 100.00
Minimum balance to earn interest PHP 500.00
Interest rate per annum                               0.3750%
 Service Fees and Charges
Account closure within 30 days                  Php 300.00
Below minimum balance                             Php 300.00
Withholding tax for interest earned            20.0%

Power Teens Club
Get a passbook and an ATM Debit card that can be used as a shopping card at selected establishments. Available for teens 13 to 19 years old.
Initial deposit requirement                          Php 2,000.00
Minimum monthly ADB requirement         Php 2,000.00
Minimum balance to earn interest PHP     2,000.00
Interest rate per annum                               0.3750%

Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)
They do not offer any applicable account for kids like Kenn but just to give you giuys a heads up, here is what they have:

Initial deposit requirement                          Php100.00
Minimum monthly ADB requirement         Php1,000.00
Minimum balance to earn interest PHP 2,000.00
Interest rate per annum                               0.3750%

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC)
 W.I.S.E. SAVINGS ACCOUNT is open to children ages 7 – 14 years old. For children below 7 years of age, account will be opened as an ITF or In-Trust-For account.

Initial deposit                                                 Php500.00
Maintaining Balance                                     Php1,000.00
Balance to earn interest                                Php5,000.00
Interest rate per annum                               0.5%
Minimum initial deposit to get a FREE Personal Accident Insurance     

Cool Savers Kiddie Account is a savings deposit account for children ages 0 to 18 years with a minimum required initial deposit.

Minimum Initial Deposit:                              P 2,000.00
Maintaining ADB:                                      P 2,000.00
Interest Earning Balance:                           P 2,000.00
Interest Rate:                                      .25% p.a.
Withholding tax:                                            20%
und Access:                                   Over-the-counter/Internet Banking Facility/Mobile Access
Transaction Record:                                      Passbook

Friday, December 21, 2012

Miss Philippines Janine Tugonon 1st runner up in Miss Universe 2012

Miss Philippines almost brought home the bacon when she landed 2nd place in the recently held Miss Universe 2012 Pageant. Miss USA Olivia Culpo took home the Miss Universe 2012 crown during the pageant that took place at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Here are the winners according to place:

Miss Philippines (Janine Tugonon)           - 1st runner-up
Miss Venezuela (Irene Sofia Esser Quintero)      - 2nd runner-up
Miss Australia (Renae Ayris)                            - 3rd runner-up
MissBrazil (Gabriela Markus)                           - 4th runner-up

Completing the Top 10 are Miss France, Miss Hungary, Miss South Africa, Miss Mexico, and Miss Russia.

Although our country did not get the crown for this year, 1st runner is still the best place to land. Miss Philippines Janine Tugonon, was the only Asian candidate who made it to the Top 10. She was wearing a powder blue gown by Alfredo Barraza  and Janine answered fashion photographer judge Nigel Barker's Twitter question during the Q & A portion.

Question:  "Should speaking English be a prerequisite to being Miss Universe as an international ambassador?"

Answer:  “For me, being Miss Universe is not just about knowing how to speak a specific language. It’s being able to influence and inspire other people. So whatever language you have, as long as your heart is to serve and you have a strong mind to show to people, then you can be Miss Universe."

It could have been a winning moment for her, but hey, she still won right? Because she won the hearts of everyone! =)

Congratulations Miss Philippines Janine Tugonon
Miss Universe 2012 1st Runner Up!!! =D

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Kenn's Christmas Party 2012

Before going to a long Christmas Vacation, Baby Third Ken School Celebrated it's yearly Christmas Party at SM Muntinlupa. The party food was from Jollibee and was also hosted by the crew.

I would like to share with you some of the highlights from the event.

Kuya Kenn starting to enjoy the party!

There was also a magic show...

The food of course from Jollibee...

and there's also a give away for everyone!

Daddy Jon had to be on the 2nd floor the whole time, you'll see the reason why as you scroll down... LOLz!

This was actually one of the best part of the event. Most, if not all the mommies present at the event were called to go up the stage without knowing that they will be dancing the "Gangnam Style"... and with the look on their faces, i would think that they did enjoy the dance number! =D

And the best part of the show (of course being the mom! LOLz)... Kenn and his classmates during a dance number...

And lastly, this was the reason why Daddy Jon had to watch the show from a distance... Little Enzo was in never never land as everything happens... =D

Merry Chirstmas everyone! =D

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Start Of Simbang Gabi (Night Masses)

In preparation for the incoming celebration of the birth of Christ, Filipinos (like me) have always looked forward to attanding "Simbang Gabi" (which is literally translated in English to "Night Masses"). Sometimes it is also referred to as Misa de Aguinaldo (Gift Mass), while others prefer Misa de Gallo (Mass of the Early-Morning Rooster), although this term is applied by most to the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, which is the culmination of the novena that begins every 16th of December. Tomorrow is the start of the 9 day novena and people will be heading off to the nearby churches as the dawn breaks.

“Simbang Gabi” has been a tradition that has been passed on from generations to generations. This is also a time for the family to pray together and bond. People usually wake up at around 3am to attend the first mass at 4am. Church schedules are now pretty flexible as there are some churches that offer anticipated mass at night instead of early dawn, which works for people like me who usually goes off to work early. Then after the last day of Simbang Gabi, which happens to be Christmas Eve, families gather in their homes to celebrate Noche Buena and feasts on various delicacies like queso de bola, bibingka, puto bungbong, or a drink of salabat or hot chocolate.

This is how a typical fisrt day of Simbang gabi looks like, jam packed

Fondest memories left by Lola were the times when we used to go to church together and almost all of her friends were there and everyone was so nice plus there was  this wonderful feeling of the Christmas Yuletide and everyone singing Christmas songs and all the happy faces. Christmas will always be special and having to celebrate it with the people you love adds more meaning to the occasion.

Tomorrow will be the first day of Simbang Gabi and I am looking forward to going to church with Jon and the kids.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pacquiao - Marquez 4 Fight

Last Sunday's boxing match between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez  was indeed a defining moment to seal all speculations that Marquez was unable to beat Pacquiao. Although we were saddened by what happened to Pacquiao, we still consider it as one of his best fights. Manny is known for his powerful punches that he was able to showcase during the game, but, as what his mother said: " Manny is not made of steel, he is a human and he is my son. I took care of him and raised him to be a good person". This statement actually got me thinking. She was right, Manny is not a fighting machine. We were all saddened by the turnaround of the fight but hey, it's a game and everyone's bound to lose at times.

The fight ended up at round six after Manny received a blow near the jaw that shocked the world as he fell down for a knockout. Pacquiao went faced down and was motionless for a while, before eventually sitting up. Judges called a technical knockout and Marquez was eventually declared the winner. Marquez has also said that he believed he needed to score a knockout to put all speculations to rest.

Funny but if we try going back to their previous fights, photographers were able to catch a few techniques exhibited by Marquez (just reminiscing the old golden times). Here are some of the pictures from their previous fights...

Those pictures were actually the reason why they came up with a new shoe concept (which I dont think was ever considered by Nike) LOL!

Presenting the Pacquiao special edition Nike brand Boxing shoe!

Just for fun guys... LOL! =D

Congratulations to Juan Manuel Marquez!

Friday, December 7, 2012

How can you recognize your soulmate?

I was searching the web for some inspiring stories about Soulmates and I would like to share with all of you an amazing article that touched the very core of my being... =(

When you meet your soul mate, you don't recognize the face. You don't walk up to that person and know by looking at that person he or she is your soul mate. Many times you are brought together by circumstances that seem like coincidence. It's about a feeling of being awakened. For me, I was totally taken off guard and, at first, was totally thrown off the rug had been pulled from under my feet. It is like you were asleep until you were touched by that kindred soul and then you are awakened and nothing is ever the same again. You now know that life before was not life but a dim existence and that up until that touch life was OK. If your feelings are so intense that it scares you and you run away, it won't last. I tried it. It felt great but it was also scary. I had never felt like that before with anyone...ever. There will be no denying it; you won't be able to get this person out of your mind and your heart. He or she is part of you now and nothing will change it. The thought of them will send chills down your spine. You'll know that even if you are apart trying to deny the feeling NOTHING that happens will change the way you feel. Just the touch of their hand on yours gives you a feeling that cannot be described. Being in their presence will give you a feeling that is unparalled. This person never leaves your thoughts or your heart. It will feel like that person is somehow imprinted into you now. A part of you that will remain no matter what. I believe that soul mates exist on a higher level of love. There is a strong connection that is present that is simply just there. You can almost communicate with that person without even speaking. You cannot always be with your soul mate either which can seem like a really cruel joke or something. Your soul mate may be married or there may be other circumstances where you cannot be together. In this situation, life can be quite miserable but you can learn to live with it. I am trying to do that now. However, it is not easy at all. There is a strong sadness and feeling of emptiness if you cannot be with your soul mate. There have been many times that I wished I never met my soul mate but it was never up to me. It just happened like it was something that was supposed to happen even though we cannot be together. It is very difficult for me to understand that and I question why I had to meet this person that I cannot be with. Fortunately, for me, I am very busy and that helps some but sometimes I get this sinking feeling and almost physically sick at the thought of never seeing this person again. Even though I cannot be with my soul mate as a partner, I was able to be around him on a regular basis for a while. Just being around him was better than not seeing him at all. It's been over a year now since I last saw him. It is very difficult and there are days that I feel like a part of me has died. The lights have been dimmed. I've always been an upbeat person in general but there is a sadness that seems to hang over me many days even though most people don't know it. I've gotten pretty good at hiding it from strangers and co-workers but my friends and family see it. You will absolutely know without a doubt when you meet your soul mate. You may not know immediately what is happening but trust me, it won't take long and you will know. For me, I was not even looking or thinking along the lines of meeting someone, especially in the situation that I was in when I met mine. I felt kind of emotionally ambushed but it felt really good. I will never be the same as I was before. I am happy that I met him and I am sad that I don't get to spend time with him at all. I miss him terribly and would do just about anything to see his face again, and just have a conversation of any kind at all! Maybe someday it'll happen. I've accepted that it may not.

I Was trying to find the information of the author but it was unpublished... kindda sad but that is what life is...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Morning Sickness in Pregnancy - Kate Middleton

Pregnancy of the Duchess of Cambridge was confirmed recently by the palace and this is not an ordinary pregnancy because the Duchess was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness that affects one in 50 women.

For some pregnant women, the symptoms are worst in the morning and ease up over the course of the day and the intensity of symptoms can vary from woman to woman, too. When I was pregnant with Enzo, I also suffered from this stage which lasted during my first trimester (first 3 months of pregnancy) which is also the most critical of all the stages of pregnancy.  
Bearing and the anticipation of the coming of the baby is both wonderful and exciting but if you are one of those who is suffering from morning sickness, you may feel that you are being robbed of the special moment this stage has. It can begin as early as 4 weeks. It tends to get worse over the next month or so and about half of the women who get nausea during pregnancy feel complete relief by about 14 weeks.
According to Baby Center You're more likely to have nausea or vomiting during your pregnancy if any of the following apply:
         You're pregnant with twins or higher multiples. This may be from the higher levels of hCG, estrogen, or other hormones in your system. You're also more likely to have a more severe case than average. On the other hand, it's not a definite thing – some women carrying twins have little or no nausea.
         You had nausea and vomiting in a previous pregnancy.
         You have a history of nausea or vomiting as a side effect of taking birth control pills. This is probably related to your body's response to estrogen.
         You have a history of motion sickness.
         You have a genetic predisposition to nausea during pregnancy. If your mother or sisters had severe morning sickness, there's a higher chance you will, too.
         You have a history of migraine headaches
You  are surely luckier than others if you did not have to go through this stage, but anyway, even with nausea, pregnancy is still the most wonderful journey every women will go through. =)