Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Superstition

The old folks have so much influence when it comes to superstition. The Philippines has many superstitions pertaining to the New Year. Most Filipino superstitions derive in hopes for blessings, particularly the abundance of food and money. Looking back, they make me laugh. As far as I remember even my mom has been doing some of those creeds since I was a kid. Though I don't really think those certitudes will affect the kind of life you'll have in the coming year, I still respect the idea being passed from one generation to the next. It just so happened that I was born in a new era otherwise I will continue such beliefs and maybe influence my American husband as well. Hahahaha...

1. Filipinos believe that at New Year's eve, the doors and windows should be open for blessings to come into the house. The logic behind this is that if the windows and doors are open, it will invite good luck to flow into the house.

2. Wearing polka dots on New Year's eve will bring lots of money throughout the year. This superstition derived from the belief that polka dots are a symbol of money, particularly coins. Round fruit is also a representation of money. Putting twelve different kinds in the table means more financial blessings in the coming year.

3. If someone were to put money in their pocket on New Year's eve, he or she will have money for the rest of the year.

4. When I was a kid, the moment the clock struck twelve, I and my siblings were asked to jump as high as we can. The act is supposed to make us tall.

5. During December 31, mom is very specific in having the whole house spotlessly clean. This is supposed to make our home clean the whole year round.

6. Also, all the containers at our house are filled to the brim - coffee, milk, sugar and creamer containers and even our rice dispensers so the whole year, we have an abundance of such.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Look For the New Year

My friend and I had our hair cut today. We really did not plan of getting one but while strolling around the mall window shopping, we saw this big banner in a salon. They are having promo for the rest of the week. A simple hair cut costs only $13.00. Not that bad huh? It is rare for this kind of promo considering the very low price. We did take advantage of it. It is very cheap compared to other salon which I have inquired near our area. Most salon have the same price range of $40-$70, excluding the tip. So we decided to have our hair cut and have a new look for the new year.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

My Virgin Friends

Finally, my two dearest friends are married and settled. They are my close former colleagues who are very conservative, the prim and proper type of girls, and they are certified virgins. Well, I'm happy for both of them. I'm sure after saving themselves for marriage and for the right person, they are now tasting the pleasure of sex. Hahaha... I guess, it's worth the wait for the two of them. What is so funny about this whole thing is they got sick after the first night. Maybe they were not able to managed it? Or shall I say practice makes perfect. And honeymoon isn't over yet.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Emails from Supervisors

I was very much surprised when I opened my yahoo account and saw two emails from my two previous supervisors. The company that I've applied with a week ago really wanted to check my work performance on my recent employment. I gave them my last company's phone numbers but it's too impossible to reach my former bosses because of the time zone difference. They are 13 hours ahead of us here in the US. Thank God, my bosses are so cooperative and supportive and I'm glad they don't mind putting them as one of my character references in my job applications. I know they are quiet busy in the office and the evaluation attachment took them time to fill up. The forms consisted of three copies and concerns on my strengths & weaknesses, attendance, punctuality, interpersonal skills, communication skills, quality of work, and my overall attitude and performance. With the help of my previous supervisors, I really hope I will land a great job soon.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I Really Miss The Beach

I am a certified beach bum! Never mind the swimming skills because unfortunately I don't have them. But the thought of just spending time in a resort for days, relaxing and hearing the sound of the seawaves is nothing compared to traveling in a new place or city. I really love the beach and now I miss it. My hubby sometimes called me an island girl. Hehehe. You see, I came from the Philippines which consists of 7, 107 islands. If Hawaii has seven islands, we have thousands in my country. I have been here for months and there is no beach here in Maryland as calm and as nice as my hometown's. Well, we have the ocean city but the waves are so scary just like when we had our trip to Atlantic City, New Jersey. I am not a swimmer and big waves frighten me to death! I guess, I just have to be contented with bubble bath for now.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I Miss Riding In A Jeepney

The jeepney is one of the Filipinos means of transportation. Aside from bus, taxis, minicab, the common people and the public ride on these jeepneys going to places, to work, malls, churches, market and even to long distance travel destinations. Some people (middle class and those who can afford the rising cost of gasoline) own cars and SUV's but for more practical reasons, jeepneys could be a substitute especially for short distances. The last time I took a jeepney about a year ago cost me less than ten pesos (Philippine currency) which equates to
$0.25. With that amount, you can already go to places.
The first few months was so hard for me because I do not have the state license to drive. They have busses here but they have schedules what time to arrive and leave at a certain destination. And now that I am driving, I still miss riding in a jeepney. Sometimes when I am stuck in traffic in the highway or gets tired driving in a freeway or interstate, I remember our jeepneys back home. Being a passenger, you do not have to worry about maneuvering the steering wheels nor get nervous every time there is a police car behind you. A jeepney can accommodate 16 passengers and it's fun because you will meet other people also. If you are close to your destination, do not forget your fare so you will never hear a complain or a scream from the driver. LoL. I really miss it, the stress-free ride.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Santa delivered lots of gifts today! We exchanged presents after having a sumptuous lunch in my mother-in-law's house. I was quiet astonished of the numerous stuffs I got from them. It's different here when it comes to gift giving. I was totally shocked and very much surprised when I had four gifts from hubby's brother and five from my mom-in-law and they were individually wrapped. I'm glad mom loved my gift plus the greeting cards with check. We really did have a great Christmas this year.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Out of Town for Christmas

It's been a long day. We woke up early for my job interview at 9:00 am. My ever supported hubby drove me to the location and patiently waited in the parking lot for almost two hours. I took a series of tests (data entry & customer service case scenarios in a call center setting) after the quick interview by the staffing supervisor. I guess I did well because she mentioned calling me in a week. A good sign though but I won't expect that much. It was so weird because of the many offices in that huge building, seemed like they were the only suite open. After leaving the establishment we bought a card for my mom-in-law and headed back home and arranged our gifts. We were on the interstate hi-way late in the afternoon going to hubby's hometown where we intend to spend a night for the following Christmas day celebration. I got so busy helping with food preparation and making of my favorite desserts (chocolate and cheesecake). We had them all ready for tomorrow plus turkey, ham, mashed & sweet potato, bread rolls, mixed vegetables and sweet corn. I was happy to call my family back home in the Philippines and greeted my sisters & some close relatives. They were very much grateful of the package I sent two months ago. Deep inside, I felt joyful as well, knowing that I made a lot of people happy with my gifts. I had been shopping for them since April. I know it's worth it. Anyway, it was the first time my mother and hubby's mom was able to talked on the phone. I hope someday they'll meet in person. I'm sure it would be a perfect out of town Christmas to celebrate.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Last Minute Shopping

It was an extensive day shopping for presents. As always, I had a great time with Yvonnie. Hubby dropped me in her apartment around 8:30am. I met her friend Cecilia who is a Biology teacher in Baltimore. Together with Yvonnie's family and Cecilia, we attended the 9:00 mass inside the military base in Fort Meade. The Catholic chapel is gigantic and I was quiet surprise only few people were there, very much different to a typical Sunday mass in the Philippines. Majority of the Filipinos are Catholic, and religion is an important part of every individual. After the mass we ate Philly's cheesesteak and went shopping for sale sweaters at PX (base shopping center). I purchased four long sleeves shirts for myself and two blouses for my mother-in-law. Wanna guess the price? It's $2 each. Unbelievable right? Hehehe. The things that we bought were not enough so we headed to Arundel Mills. I don't really care how crowded the mall is as long as I have the right company. I bought dress coat which was sold for 50% off, got Victoria Secret thongs (hubby's favorite), sweatshirts for my sweetie and brother-in-law, slippers and Hanes T-shirts at Wal-Mart where hubby picked me up. Actually, this is my very first Christmas in the US and I have to take note when is the right time to shop. Everything is on sale or discounts. Last minute shopping during Christmas really pays off.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Canon G9

What a surprise from my hubby! A new digicam! I really love it! It's 12.1 mega pixels (the highest in the camera market today), with 3 inches LCD screen. It's a very advanced camera. Couldn't ask for anything more as a christmas gift. Well, he's always been like that, full of surprises. I'm just so lucky. Ever since, luck is always with me.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Nephew's Birthday Bash

It's my adorable nephew's 2nd birthday today! How I missed him. He was still very little when I left but his recent pictures suprised me a lot. He is now a big boy. How I wish I'm there to celebrate with him this special day. I'm glad my gift, which I ordered online arrived just in time, exactly on his birthday. I got him a red remote controlled car and winnie the pooh bubble maker. He will surely love those toys. It's quiet sad though not seeing his growing up years, play with him, and answer his silly questions as what most kids do. He's very much loved by everybody. He is the first grandchild of both sides. I hope he wont grow up to be a spoiled brat. That's all I'm wishing for on his big day.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hmmmm... Yummy!

The long wait is over! This is one of the desserts that I've been craving. I planned to make Leche Flan a month ago after I got the ingredients. I thought I had all the necessary ingredients until I found out I didn't have the vanilla. I'm getting forgetful these days. Hehehe... We had grocery last Saturday and I really made sure vanilla was on top of my list of things to buy.

I found simple and easy to follow recipe on the net. It's really delicious.


1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water

12 egg yolks
2 cans (13 oz.) evaporated and condensed sweetened milk
1 tbsp. vanilla

1. In a large bowl, combine all custard ingredients. Stir lightly when mixing to prevent bubbles or foam from forming. Strain slowly while pouring caramel lined flan mold.
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
3. Cover mold with tin foil. Put molds into a bigger tray filled with water.

4. Bake in oven for one hour or until mixture is firm. cool before unmolding on a platter.

For Caramel

Put sugar and water in a saucepan. Caramelize in medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Pour into flan molds or custard cups, tilting the mold to make sure the whole surface (about less than 1 cm) is covered. The more caramel you pour into the molds the sweeter the leche flan.

Put molds in a bigger tray/ baking pan filled with water.
Bake in oven for one hour or until mixture is firm. Cool before unmolding on a platter.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Essence of Giving

Finally, my box has arrived in the Philippines. It took 47 days of shipping. You might be wondering what box I'm talking about here. Actually, it's what we commonly called "Balikbayan Box", which contains any kinds of gifts. We Filipinos are the majority box senders around the world. We love to send almost everything from canned goods, toys, apparel, shoes, etc. Simply because we are very family-oriented people. Anyway, when I got the message from my sister they received the box already I felt so happy. Ironic, isn't it? Though I'm the one sending and giving something, the feelings I had was unexplainable. I guess, it's true. As the saying goes, "It's better to give than to receive", especially this Christmas season. I feel so lucky that I am able to share my blessings and made lots of people smile this time of year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Lost Soul

CONFUSION... It's never easy. I'm wondering how long would it take me to deal with this. It concerns about my career. I'm planning to take a 360 degrees shift. I don't know where to start nor certain if this is the right path to take. I have a Business Administration degree in another country. I feel like they(employers & recruiters) never recognize it here. Do I need to start from scratch? I can do that but the thing is until now, don't have any luck yet in my job search. I'm a firm believer that there's a reason for everything. I'm just clueless right now.

Then Nursing course came to mind. Yesterday, I got a call from the Assistant Administrator of South University (based in Georgia). She explained about the subjet courses, how long will it take and the tuition/application fees as well. We all know that nursing is a noble profession. It's a rewarding career because you can help and care for lots of people. In addition, the salary is relatively high compared to other average employees. Plus the shortage of nurses these days and the years to come make it more inviting for me to take the course. Now I'm really confused. I feel like I'm a lost soul in this world.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Another Favorite

A must see movie! Hubby and I just love it. Last Friday, we were so excited to see this movie and made sure to buy the ticket in advance online. We really didn't mind the long line at the automatic ticket machine and the long wait outside the movie house. It's worth it. One realization after watching it? As the saying goes "No man is an island". Guess, it's true.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Dream Vacation

Nothing really beats Carribean! Someday, we'll visit this place. The place is like a paradise.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Scammer... Beware!

I've been expecting a delivery of comforter set which I ordered online two weeks ago. While talking to my mom upstairs I saw the UPS driver heading to our porch. Surprisingly, what I got was a check containing my name as the payee with the amount of $1,970. I really don't have any idea why I got this money. Then I checked my email and found a detailed instructions on what to do with it. They offered 10% commission by simply encashing it and send the money to London thru money wire transfer. The message explained where the company got my info since I've been applying jobs online. Oh my gosh! I knew it right away I would be in real trouble if I would do business transaction with them. These days we have to be aware of scammer. With the latest technology and internet usage by the majority, they are taking advantage of people by their quick money scam online. Or in my case this is just another of the Advance Fee Frauds, a counterfeit check cashing scam. They'll mail fake checks to you, you deposit them in your bank account and then send them a money gram BEFORE the checks clear the bank. The bank will cash them and then hold you responsible when the fake is discovered weeks later. There is no legitimate company in the world (with ANY sense) that would use a free Yahoo email account as their contact email. Anyone can get a free email account like that.

As an advice NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION (bank account number, social security number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.) online. Beware if scammers, there's a lot out there.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tests & Interviews

It took me two hours and a half to get out of the establishment where I had my tests and interview. I was scheduled for 10am interview but when I got there I had to fill out papers (applicant's info sheet, contract & agreement for background check & W-4, for 30 minutes. To my surprise, the lady receptionist brought me to the skills testing room and I took three different exams and they were time pressured (data entry, financial, and excel). I should have known about these tests I should have studied. Then came the most awaited part, the interview by three Staffing Managers. The first American guy briefly asked me about my resume and he gave me the result of my tests. I did well on financial and data entry (90% and 92% respectively) but the excel part was worst. As far as I remembered, I always copy my seatmates file when we have practical exams in Excel way back in college hahahaha! I only know the basic MS Excel and that's it. Other commands and menu functions are not really my forte. He explained to me I got the passing score anyway. The second interviewer is a young black woman and she discussed my minimum salary rate and my job preferences. The third one is an American woman on her thirties and she's very nice. She was impressed of the financial scores I got and wondered how come I knew all those. Wow, I was so flattered but I remained humble. The interview was brief and very direct. It was so different with the interviews I had in the Philippines (which really takes a while like 30 minutes or longer).

Now, all I need to do is wait for a job offer from them. Hmmm, sounds it's gonna be a great Christmas present to look forward to.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Super Crowded Mall

I always love shopping. It's fun for me. Aside from the walking exercise I get while strolling around, I get to see lots of people from all walks of life. There's black, white, Chinese, Mexican, Asian and Indian, young or old. Well, I did't really have so much fun this afternoon because the mall was super crowded. People were buying gifts for the coming Christmas. I hate to shop when I there are many shoppers around plus the long line in the cashier. It only gives me headache. I had no choice today but to buy stuffs for my interview tomorrow. I need to impress the interviewer so I have to dress professionally. After four long hours I had bought everything I needed. I hope the long hours in the super crowded mall is worth it.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Favorite Sites

Here's a list of my most visited site. It's like everyday without a miss. Check this out guys!

1. - you can find lots of videos here broadcast by ordinary people

2. - best site to connect family and friends all over the world

3. - everything here is worth learning, life explained in all areas

4. - find all types of music with lyrics, from oldies to modern songs

5. - this inspire mes to work hard, save and invest in the future

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

First Touch of Snow

Finally, I experienced the chilling temperature outside. It's -8 degrees F today. I was super excited when I heard the weather news report last night on the snow forecast. Wow, it's unbelievable and I love it! Feels like heaven outside. Everything covered with snow-white. I enjoyed gazing the trees from our bedroom, the white covered roofs, the road, the grass which turned into a thick pile of ice. I even took many pictures in our basement. From there I had infinite poses with snow on the background because of our glass sliding door. Thank God I didn't have to go outside just for pictorial purposes. While I busied myself with my camera, a friend of mine from Florida called. She was thrilled of my snow experience because she will never see it there. :-)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


It's been five days since I made the mango float but it was still in the refrigerator almost untouched. I thought hubby will like it but I was wrong. I was the only one eating it until I decided to get rid of it. I made maja (Filipino dessert). I really miss those famous desserts in my country. I got the recipe in a pinay forum and the outcome of the recipe was perfect. I love it! I really do. Anyway, we had a great time watching TILA. We always look forward every Tuesday night because of the reality TV show TILA TEQUILA. It's about a bisexual girl who wants to settle down but confused on her sexual preference. She has bunch of lesbians and guys to choose from. It's always fun watching the dogfights and the catfights of the hopeless romantic lesbians and gorgeous guys.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Super Windy Day

Oh my God, the humming of the wind from the outside was very strong. It ceaselessly woke me up a couple of times while I was having a copious sleep. I got scared the strong wind might break the skyline glass window in the master bedroom so I transferred to the adjacent room. It's the same typical day for me but it was super cold outside when I checked some mails. I was freezing to death! I can manage cold but it's the wind that really annoyed me. Have to walk fast coz it blew my face like 50 mph. If only we can choose a tropical state and move right away. I'm sure life would be better, don't have to deal with super windy days.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Beauty and the Geek

Me and hubby had a great time watching our favorite reality show. We have seen season 1 and 2. My favorite part of the show is the transformation period and the complete makeover which the geeky guys have gone through. It really makes a huge deference when those nerdy guys in glasses waxed their hairy body, wear contacts instead of those thick glasses and cut their hair with a new look. We spent the whole afternoon cuddling and tickling in the couch during commercial break. I had enough of it but he makes it a habit of tickling me everyday. Seems like he has nothing much to do, no stories to tell or no jokes to crack or maybe he has ADD now? Oh my God! Does hubby need more attention? Am I not giving him enough? Hahaha... I have to ask him about that.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Craving for Milkfish

I've been craving for Bangus (as what we commonly call in the Philippines). I asked my friend here if she knew where could I possibly get those. She gave me the address of the Filipino Store nearby and right after I looked at the address in the map, we went there immediately and bought two packs of marinated milkfish. I was so happy and I can't wait to cook them on Monday. You might be wondering why not today or tomorrow? Well, for the very plain reason that hubby can't take the smell of the fried fish. He doesn't eat fish and no matter how much persuading I would do, he will never try it. Anyway, I saw some pinay there in the store. One pinay was accompanied by her husband. While I busied myself looking for the fish in the freezer, hubby noticed the husband is too old for the girl hahahaha. I felt the pinay was kind of embarrassed or shy, I didn't really know why she did not even said hello. I didn't seem to care at all. She's a bit snob. But there's was one pinay on her forties who said "hi" and I supposed she's the store owner. On the way home, I did familiarize the road landmarks and directions. From now on, there will be frequent buying of milkfish, my favorite fish in the worl!