Monday, May 31, 2010

the best DAMN reason

I almost bit my travel agent's head off. 

This month of May is all about a TO DO LIST for the Pharmacy that  tributes  its 1st year of existence.  A Happy Birthday to the store and to the team!   Since I have been swamped with a really long   list for the past few weeks, I took the risk (for the first time) to buy a ticket to Bacolod from  a mall-based kiosk named Philippine Explorer.  Agents were easy to deal with, and must mention  for a fact that rates were comparable with net-posted rates. 

On May 21, I finally accomplished my on-the-side To Do task.  I was booked for a May 29, 9 am, Manila-Bacolod flight.  Ticket fully paid.  And enough time to dwell on two things:

ONE .... the mushy moment with J. Bond right smack at the exit door of the  Bacolod airport.  I arrive at 10:15 am while he arrives from Cebu 50 minutes earlier.  With his frequent business trips, it has been my realization that there is not much difference between an overnight and a long-term physical separation .... well, except for the duration.  But the magnitude of the "MISSing" part is just way the same.   So here's the vision .... I see him. He sees me.  We run towards each other. Embrace. And smack (with twinkling glowing hearts floating around us).  A planned and manipulated vision that played in my mind over and over again.

LOL!  Truly a mushy-cheesy moment to its extreme level.  But hey. When you miss someone, there is no longer such thing as rationale thinking.  Crazy Love sets in

and TWO .... enough time to condition myself to remove the bangles that wang before I pass through security check.

All set with a beaming smile. I was at the airport earlier than the instructed check-in time, ready to shove my ticket and hop on the plane.

Then, the DAMN thing began. 

The check-in crew says, You have no booking confirmation number.  All that appears in our screen is 0.00. You have to call your agent to make the necessary bookingDAMN 1!

I then call my agent who I assume was awaken from her blissful sleep by my continuous calls, without probably having thought that she was then about to enter a horrible nightmare. My exact words, How in the world can you ever forget to book a flight? A tearful apology followed.  The agent commits to fix the mishap and says, Promise, I'll work on it as soon as the mall opens at 10 am. What?! I gasped for breath while  the May 21 lengthy and precise discussion with her on my preferred time flashed right before my eyes. I was particular about time, and much  more particular about the manipulated mushy moment.  DAMN 2!

The  situation I found myself in shook my world. Even with a series of mobile calls and text messages, we ended with a no choice situation since flight re-bookings are heavily dependent on what the agents call "the system". More so, phone calls are absolutely not  problem solvers.  It fulfills its purpose as being a means of communication, but that's just IT.  A face-to-face confrontation would tremendously put an end to a battle.

A screaming howl was the only thing I wanted to do at that moment, hoping it would reach the other side of the spectrum where J. Bond anxiously waited for updates.  We were both in sorrow.  Yet, the little voice in me says there is a reason.  I was left with only one option -- grab my bag, go back home, wait for the clock to hit 10 am  and zoom really fast to the mall to have my flight re-scheduled to a later time. Yet, it is a fact that anxiousness equates to hurdles.  An equation which I am adamant to tear apart. I was anxious. My system only spoke of tension.  And it was TRAFFIC!!!  NOT MOVING. BUMPER-TO-BUMPER.  DAMN 3!

Patience no longer existed at that point.  The darkest cloud loomed right above my head, and the cab driver's head (and tongue) as well.  We were both stuck with  a sabotaging mood for the same reason.  I reached home at exactly 10 am, dumped my bags, and drove straight to the mall.  I was ready to throw a fit, set free a raging stampede and demand for justice.  Seriously! The financial aspect was a teeny-weeny issue I can easily deal with.  But the broken emotional anticipation for a mushy moment with J. Bond is irreplaceable. THEN ... a teary-eyed agent faced my unspoken rage.  My heart sank. She apparently received a huge lashing from the big boss for  2 unbooked flights -- me and another poor soul. In a nutshell, I failed to materialize the raging plan.  DAMN 4!

The mood changed.  I faced the agent with a cool and smiling face.  It took her 10 minutes to re-schedule my flight, and gave all relevant details for DAMN SITUATIONS like this. This time, my little voice says Justice has been served. Move on. There is a reason.

As soon as I tucked my newly printed ticket in my bag, J. Bond called and gave the reason ...We missed our flight We arrive Bacolod at 4:30 pm. 

Ooh! I could have arrived at Bacolod at 10:15 am, but for an awful damn reason, my flight was not booked.  My flight was re-scheduled to 3 pm, and for a good damn reason, J. Bond missed his flight.  I arrived Bacolod at 4:15 pm, and for a  better damn reason, J. Bond arrived at 4:30 pm. 

And the best damn reason of all, I was spared from the long wait!

P.S.  The planned and manipulated mushy moment did not happen.  As soon as I exited the airport door, I soothed my nerves at Cocoon Spa.

Friday, May 28, 2010

See you in BACOLOD

Friends say Bacolod is all about food. Think "Pig-Out" on grilled items. 

But a few other suggestions were much enthusiastically shared by a dear friend who until this very day has not gotten my name right. He calls me either "Trish", "Trisha", or "Triccie" .... Well, he got the first 3 letters right. Bravo! But never the right name. At this point, I have gotten so used to it and therefore I just let it be. 

Here are the suggestions on his list ...
  1. Mambukal Hot Spring Resort
  2. A Fish Spa
  3. Have coffee at Bob's Cafe and enjoy the  free wifi
  4. A visit to the association of Negros producers for my bead requirements
  5. and the best suggestion of all, hang-out in MCDONALDS-Capitol Branch to observe the lifestyle and behavior of "Bacolodnons"
Way to go.  Thanks for the 5 suggestions, mls.  But I'll stick to items 1-4.  Have had too much McDonalds for the past few weeks.  And a reminder, it's been a year and a half since I retired  from lifestyle observations and market research.  In other words, stepback exercise!

Anyway, en route to SMILE CITY this weekend for new discoveries and a change of scenery.  My first time ever to visit.   All set.  Except for this travel concern.

Remember the blings that wang?  Where I go, these go.

Yes, it is all about bangles.  I love bead necklaces, but I go crazy over bangles.  I prefer them big, and should always come in two or three at a time.  No bangle is the same, yet must  blend in color and design.  

 I will stick to the risk of another loud wang rather than store the bangles in my check-in luggage.  For the meantime, a mental note to take off the bangles is what I'll do before tomorrow comes and especially right before I pass through security check. 

Otherwise, next travel will be all about this .....

Stay cool.  See you in Bacolod!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

TWO complicated

Tala-Black Star

How about a blue and a white to make it absolutely "TWO" complicated?

Tala-Blue Star

Tala-White Star

Peace, J. Bond!!!  xoxo

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Status: It's Complicated

J. Bond  arrives home and says ..... It's Complicated!

He declared this unsolicited "status" last night while his eyes glared steadily at this .....

I get it.  His glare said it all.  Greeting him in my extra-large floral night wear, enhanced by a black and gold sparkle, was an absolute clash of print and an absurd thought of  accessorizing one's sleep. With my knack for either contradiction or reinforcement,  I reinforced the glare by saying ... Why not?  A new way of sleeping.  Good night!

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is  actually a two-step practice I have long observed to test my bead creations.

Step 1.  I wear (plus pull, squeeze and bend) the bead necklace at home for quality check purposes.

Step 2.  I model the bead necklace in a mall to check its marketability.  The gauge: Glances and Stares.  A few times, queries from strangers.

When all is well and set, I sell.

But with J. Bond's complicated declaration, my mind is  now in  a state of twirl.  Is it really  complicated???    A necklace will always be a necklace. As much as a bead will always be a bead.  If we talk about time frame, it only took me an hour to design and create this latest Tala design. Unlike this year's Flora, it takes at least a day to create only one. Yet, I don't see it complicated.  A stiff complication to my back, yes.

I am a fan and a follower of these words:  UNIQUE and PLAYFUL.  Two words I  practice to keep the fire burning, and much seen in these By Beaded Story trademarks:

1.  No hooks or locks.  Backs should be accentuated as much as the front.  So a bead is used to lock the arrangement. Scarves or Ribbons are a good way of accentuating the back as well.

2.  Multi-functional.  May be worn either long or short (or a hip accent).

3.  Play of color.

4.  Very limited in quantity (6 pieces max) to keep the arrangement unique.

So, how can that be complicated???  No sense in pushing this further.  As they say Men are from Mars, and Women are from Venus.

 To my dear "MARS-tian", I have taken note of your comment (with a little bit of heart.  lol.).  Your eyes may see "complicated", but  your "VENUS" sees her works this way ....

Monday, May 24, 2010

Flores de Mayo

Filipino townsfolk have long practiced celebrating the month of May.  For it is in this merry month when the dry spell ends and rains begin to pour.  Nature then comes back to life and colorful flowers bloom.

As rains bless the land, its arrival is celebrated with a festival popularly known as Flores de Mayo (Flowers of May).  The festival pays tribute to the Blessed Virgin Mary by offering her flowers brought about by the rains.  The festivities continue with the townsfolk congregating in a central plaza  as they feast together on their very own homemade delicacies.

Adding color to the celebration is the much-awaited Santacruzan.  Beautiful town belles who embody traditional feminine qualities (humble, meek, very lady-like, sweet)  are chosen to participate in this ala-pageant parade that pass through every dirt road in small  barrios, busy town thoroughfares, and major city highways. 

A festival that was then celebrated the whole month of May.   But in this day and age, the frequency has likely lessened. So it seems. I only get the chance to see this colorful celebration on TV, and now hyped by the participation of  popular celebrities and beauty queens. A grander way of celebrating the tradition but gone are those days when each and every community had  their own version.  I speak from where I am ... the city.

Alfonso is a town located in Cavite.  It is also where Sonya's Garden is situated.  After dropping off my new batch of bead necklaces at Sonya's Garden Saturday afternoon, J. Bond, my Mother-in-law, an aunt and I happily witnessed Alfonso's way of celebrating a Santacruzan ....

Pardon the bird p-o-o-p on the right.  My windshield is a magnet of tweet-tweets.  We watched the parade from the car.

The parade started with senior citizens dancing to folklore music which blasted  from the sound system installed on a white van. 


Family, friends and neighbors gave support to the celebration and its participants by joining the parade.  NOTE: The number of supporters were more than the actual number of parade participants.

Highlight of the parade -- The Town Belles who ramped along the narrow streets clad in their colorful gowns and hand-in-hand with their escorts.

Grand or simple, I adore watching colorful celebrations.  Grand celebrations, hyped with celebrities, bring about awareness and a reminder to us all that the tradition is still alive. Yet I have realized, as we slowly inched away from the parade, that it is in  small town-initiated celebrations like this where one may experience and witness the real essence of a community.  No celebrities.  Only participated by each and every member of this small town. 

The rains may  have not trickled on our dry land yet, but surely the tradition continue to live in places where life is simpler and involvement is great.

No one remained glued along that street.  As the parade passed each house, members of the household locked their gates and simply joined ... including those 3 teens shooting a basketball in their make-shift ring.

Friday, May 21, 2010

En Route to Sonya's Garden

I ask myself this question for the nth time.  Aside from Sonya's Garden, where else would I like to display (and sell) my beaded necklaces?  The answer -- No idea!

Sonya's Garden feels home.  And this remains to be the only criteria I hold on to.

En route to Sonya's Garden this weekend --

Except for the turquoise (scarf) arrangement, all others are only available at Sonya's Garden.  The turquoise (scarf) arrangement may  be viewed and ordered from  

Happy weekend!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tips from a Weight-O-Holic

Admit it.

We females are obsessed with that 6-letter word called W-E-I-G-H-T.   Those kilos or pounds that confront us after stepping foot on a  weighing scale either results to a disappointing dance of squirm or an ultra-ecstatic jump of glee. 

 If we see ourselves do the squirm, we grip our minds  with  a decisive thought that we shall SOON subject our bodies to food deprivation. We also commit to a regular exercise regimen that will further boost the weight decline.  But who are we kidding?!  Most often, we culminate with a super brain-power exercise  on top of a squirmy body.

Those who have reached their ideal weight, on the other hand, obviously do the jump of glee.  Yet there are those who belong to this blessed group who long for more.  Oh c'mon!  Isn't good job or congratulations enough?  Give chance to others.  Better yet,  share the blessings!

Half is the target.  If only we can slice ourselves in order to cut the weight, I'm sure this will automatically become an instant craze that will put all forms of diets, weight control medications and perhaps exercise to a halt.   Just a wild thought!

I sometimes wonder how this "THIN IS IN" mindset really came about.  But with my chin held high, I admit and swear that I, too, am a true blue "weight-o-holic". I dance the squirm when I see the plus, and I jump with glee when I get a minus.  I would say that I am currently in a state of "have done this, have done that" situation.  I was really never consistent and disciplined about a regimen. So I fluctuate.

But I do have my own set of action plan for moments the plus sign brightly flashes right before my eyes.  Ooh!!! Some tips from me which I bravely share with you ....

1.  I stopped the gym regimen ... which I painstakingly endured for 5 "sweet" months.   I'd rather do the MTV Grind right in my bedroom, clad in home clothes and jumping up, down, sideways in my squeaky no-longer white keds sneakers.

2.  I DRIVE to inject the system with loads of adrenalin.  A Manila driver's mindset:  I AM THE KING OF THE ROAD.  And so are everybody else (including pedestrians).  No minding of rules. A game of hide n' seek most especially when traffic officials are around.  After the swerving, criss-crossing, overtaking, honking, squeezing, a flexible body is what you will absolutely achieve.

3.  I release the sweat by Cooking.  A new-found technique I realized at the height of the El Nino phenomenon.  It's really easy.  All you have to do is cook! And stand right smack in front of your stove.  For sure, that heat will shed off the sweaty toxins from your system.  If not a fanatic cooking-advocate like me, just  think sauna.  Absolutely a cool and inexpensive way of building a sauna right in your kitchen.

4.  I BEAD.  Well,  believe it!  With all the knotting (and disentangling), beading helps develop well-toned arm muscles and a firm grip.  Definitely a plus for those planning to be part of a game called  tug of war. If you're not into beading, just do the "knot exercise" -- knot a rope (the thickest the best) then stretch hard from both ends.  Surely works!

5.  and last but not the least, I say my prayer!!!

Just keep believing and do what you feel is BEST for your body.  With a positive attitude, right guidance and proper steps of course. One day, that target weight will come along.  If not, pray!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Vote Generika

The beading has temporarily stopped since Mother's Day.  And I am now on the brink of a panic attack. A new batch of necklaces is supposedly due for delivery to Sonyas Garden this Saturday!  Unfortunately, the count as of this morning ain't just enough. 

But hey, I justify the move with a valid reason (excuses! excuses!) .....

The Pharmacy will  soon celebrate its 1st year of existence. Ergo, my mind, body and soul only think, speak and breathe Pharmacy these days.  We're almost there. Just a few remaining tweaks and a couple of meetings.  Then, we're set. 

Though still quite early to share with you the nitty-gritty, we are so ecstatic with our concept.  Let's just say that the recent Philippine elections had a little bit of influence.

But this time ...  WE campaign the GENERIKA-MOLINO BRANCH way!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Solar Sunday

When I said adios to my black & white corporate world a year and a half ago, I also made it part of the plan to put an end to my city lifestyle and slowly shift towards country living.  The ultimate dream is to live further south,  on top of a mountain hill, surrounded by fruit trees, herbs and flowering plants.  Think (semi) recluse!

Something like this.
A house I came across along the mountain slope of Mount Makiling.

Reality check! --- I haven't even reached an inch of this plan.   Not to  mention the dead plants that are still on display by my window.  The only saving grace is my current southern residence address which is a teeny weeny bit further from where I used to live ... say 10 minutes away!  Lol!

But with a twist of fate, the plan made a turn Sunday morning.

1.  ... begin with age.  By the time we hit the dreaded age of 40 --- Oh! Make that 40-45 years old. --- the relocation should have transpired. Talk about pressure.  But yes! A blood pact that J. Bond and I  made as soon as we opened our eyes to the 6:30am smiling heat.

Note:  We pegged the age 40 to buy us enough time to save!  If we don't hit our target, there's still the next phase of 40 ... 45!

2.  ... 2nd part of the discussion covers the design.  With very limited ideas on architectural design, I'm very much sold on the idea of living in a quaint cottage.  Cozy and easy to mantain.  The photo below best show what I have in mind .....

This is precisely it!  A small cottage with a white picket fence, amidst hectares of Sunflowers (less the hill, herbs and fruit trees).  With J. Bond tending to the flowers of course.  While I bead inside the cottage.

J. Bond, however, had something else in mind which he was vocal about.  He broached the idea of building a solar house.

Me and my Spontaneous Reaction: 
A solar what??? If it has something to do with the sun, no way!  There's just TOO MUCH SUN going on.  But if sunflowers, ok!

To make me understand and get his drift, he said,  Watch this ... Reminds me of you and your plan .... 

That's J. Bond.  Ever prepared to defend a proposal knowing the humongous probability of me taking the other side of the fence.

Ok. Ok. I get it.  And I absolutely welcome his proposed idea despite the obvious fact that tending plants have already flown into oblivion since the massacre.  But at the end of the day, I know that there is a major need for J. Bond and I to transform our way of living for Mother Earth's sake and survival.

At this point, a lot of research and studying (and SAVING) need to be done.  A task which J. Bond is very much willing to take.  On my end of the  bargain, I am for the meantime faced with a simple yet most daunting task --- how to care for plants! 

May the SOLAR force be with us! :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

My My! I Could Never Let You Go

Photo taken at the height of my creative bead block!

Thanks to my sisters. I celebrated my birthday with Mamma Mia .... and a snoozing husband.  Gosh!  Except for the swaying head seated on my right and the five minute interval nudge on the rib, I  enjoyed every single scene. At the end of the play, I gave a standing ovation.  And so did J. Bond. Lol!

Songs of ABBA continue to live on ......

for my beads ..... "Mamma Mia, now I really know. My my, I could never let you go." 

Happy weekend!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Paper Thoughts

Paper planes don't fly far.  But thoughts do. 

Courtesy of

Here you go ... my random thoughts written on imaginary paper ... transformed into a plane ... and aimed towards your way.

TO .....

NY fam -- Good!!! Now let's be happy!

far away relatives and friends -- How are you? Hope to hear from you.

Senior Citizens -- You light up my days!!!

B=RAVE dude friend -- Thank you for the new boxes for my bead works. Your cause to recycle is truly admirable. Will settle the bill on your next "goof golf" session with J. Bond.

By Beaded Story's clients -- Your words of appreciation sent via email make me smile (really wide). Thank you for your patience and for  understanding the reason why I have chosen to go slow with my bead works this year.

the incoming Philippine President  -- Good Luck! ... and may the FORCE be with you!

MR. GILBERTO TEODORO  -- Thank you for the great inspiration.  It took someone like you to awaken my dampened spirits for our country.  Finally, I do care.  You have given me hope that one day we all get what we truly and rightfully deserve.  I repeat what I posted on your page ... Nothing ends unless we choose to.  I salute you!  ... p.s. I find it so difficult to change my profile photo in Facebook.  Not just yet!

J. Bond -- Ok.  I will fly with you to Bacolod.  But before that, a quick trip to Tagaytay is what WE NEED to do.  Two stops:  Visit Mary Ridge and deliver new bead necklaces to Sonya's Garden. Pleeeaaaaaase!!!

my readers -- Thank you! Thank you!  I wish someday ... somewhere down the road ... I meet you in person.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

So far this 2010

By Beaded Story's bead neck pieces since the block broke in January 2010. 

details are posted on this multiply site

And the journey continues ..................

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

May 10, 2010 Philippine Elections

May 10, 2010 was the DAY we Filipinos casted our votes.  Having talked about which presidential candidate to vote for in this blog, my indifference a few months ago have later on made its transformation into the most intense level of patriotismI think?! 

In a gist, the candidate I rooted for was clear, concise and straightforward with his realistic and achievable plans for the country.  He has inspired me on how he ran his campaign -- clean, black propaganda strictly prohibited, no emotional "ek" nor a telenovela  story.  Unfortunately, as of today, it ain't his time yet.  One day, I know the right time will come along.

Anyway, here's a few tidbits on my voting experience yesterday ....

First.... I followed the rule.  As much as I wanted to accessorize my wrist with the baller band, I didn't.  Use of campaign materials (including  baller bands, t-shirts) ended on the eve of Saturday.

But there are other ways we can show support, right? 

Green bangles without the baller band.  Go GREEN!!!  and Second .... Notice the blue file folder? Well, it contains these....

Proves how obsessed I was to vote.  Brought along all important documents making sure I had proof should my identity be questioned.  Talk about absurd thoughts!  But just making sure :)  Peeping below is my list of candidates.

So off we went to the voting precinct at 7:30 am.  Chose to vote early to avoid the long line and the 10 am scorching heat.

With my senior citizen aunt in tow, we were amazed on how organized the road of the voting  precinct looked. We were early anyway. A 2-3 minute walk from the start of this road is where the voting precinct (a basketball court) is located.

Yes, it's this HOT at 8am.  To vote in the Philippines, make sure you are well equipped:  Bring a Jug of cold water, a Hand or Wash Towel to wipe off the sweat, a hand fan (the biggest the best!), maybe sunblock (or suntan) lotion (a new way to sun bath) or if scared of the sun, bring a huge umbrella.

A little bit closer to the voting precinct.  Wow!  And I thought I was the early bird.  I thought wrong.  Obviously, everyone else wanted to be an early bird.

First step:  Make sure your name is listed.  Aside from the name, know by heart your NEW precinct number.  Apparently there is a "silent" rule that states:  Precinct numbers change without prior notice .... even if you have this precious number forever embedded in your voters affidavit and voters i.d. 

Second step:  Ask for your cluster number.  Another precious 3-digit number you will refer  to once you enter the voting precinct.

But before you are allowed to enter the gates of heaven the voting precinct, LOTS OF PATIENCE is needed to endure the 3-4 hours of your life in this .....

LONG line ......

 Really LONG LINE .... under the close to 9am SCORCHING HEAT .... and

Cars rolling along this road despite the swarm of voters around the place. 

On an entrepreneurial mindset, a handful of these vendors grabbed the opportunity to station themselves along this road, enticing heated voters to quench their impatience and burning anger with "dirty" ice cream.  Why dirty? They say dirty because of where the ice cream is made and where it is sold.

More than two  hours on the same spot (exact time 10:12am) .... confusing lines .... not a slight movement ....

I said adios!  My aunt, who was lined up under the priority lane for senior citizens,  was already situated right in front of heaven's gate.  So she stayed on. Yet, it took her a total of 4 hours to vote.  No matter how prepared and gung ho I was,  I gave up.

Apparently,  I was not alone in this white flag situation.  The news announced the low turnaround of voters due to long waiting hours, disorganized system and malfunctioning computers.

But hey, why put my vote to waste.  Most especially that I am so passionate and inspired by my candidate.  The first time I ever felt this way.  So I went back to the voting precinct at 3pm.  Lo and behold ....

I went through the voting process for a max of TEN (as in 10!) MINUTES only.  Lesson learned ... Vote in the afternoon!  Better to be a "Late than Never bird" more than an "early bird".

Despite the count posted as of today,  I am HAPPY that I was able to cast my vote for him .....

and FULFILLED that I exercised my right to VOTE!!!!

P.S.  By the way, BRAVO to yesterday's hardworking volunteers who endured the heated blows!!! 

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