What to give up this Lent?

I'm finding it hard to think about what to give up or sacrifice this Lent. It started last week on Ash Wednesday and still I haven't really fully-decided. Here are some that entered my mind so far:

  1. No Twitter/Facebook. This is doable. However, how do I disable the email alerts?

  2. Don't access takbo.ph. You know how much I love running. This website has helped me a lot in knowing the upcoming races/events and latest posts by my favorite running blogs. I've been browsing this site almost 5-10x/day. I have not been browsing this site since Ash Wed though. Reaaaaaally testing my will power right now.

  3. Don't run during Lent. Now, this is debatable. Lent means sacrificing something you love to do, mostly associated with eating, drinking, partying, etc. Running is something I love to do. However, when I run I get tired, even being at pain right after. Since Lent also means penitence, does running fall as something we need to do in order to be "one" with the Lord's suffering? Well, I'd still give up running for a few weeks since I need to rest my knees. It's been aching most of the time now. Probably runner's knee. Ice and rest lang siguro kelangan.

  4. Give up drinking Coke/Pepsi. This looks easy, although most of the meals/lunches I order come along with drinks being value meals. I have to remind myself constantly that, when I order, I should give up the soda. Pero, parang kulang ang value meal without Coke. Huhu.

  5. Give up rice during dinner. This has a two-fold effect: I sacrifice during Lent and at the same time reduce/control my weight, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Same as item 4, I have to constantly remind myself not to forget to give up rice.

Well, that's about what I have on my plate.

I'd really have to get this sacrifice thing started.



Feb14 2010 Date

The missus and I went on a yacht cruise again to celebrate Valentine's Day. Actually, the cruise was on the 13th but what the hey, it's still Valentine's weekend.

It was a different group this time (not Realship which we went to last year) and it's hard not to compare this with last year's cruise:

  1. 2010 was earlier, i.e. Sunset cruise. 2009 was an evening cruise
  2. 2010 had a buffet dinner while 2009 had a 5-course meal promptly prepared by a pro chef
  3. 2009 had a string quartet playing love songs while 2010 had an ipod plugged to the yacht sound system playing chill-out music

The definite edge of this year's cruise was the sunset, which the missus had been anticipating to witness for quite a while now.

It's interesting to note that one of our dates before the missus answered me in the year 2000 was on a boat cruise in Manila Bay as well (the more-affordable kind). We enjoyed the sunset there as well. Afterwards, we proceeded to Sofitel for coffee, which was how we ended up coincidentally this year.

The yacht cruise costs P2,000.00/person. Quite expensive but if you compare it with hotel dinners you'd practically end up spending the same amount. The plus-side here is obviously the romance the cruise brings.


To My Love

You're my peace of mind in this crazy world.
You're everything I've tried to find, your love is a pearl.
You're my Mona Lisa, you're my rainbow skies,
and my only prayer is that you realize
you'll always be beautiful in my eyes.

Thank you for being so wonderful, patient, loving and understanding. I've never known a woman who could be all these things at once.

Happy Birthday!


Your boylet ;-)



Greenhills still amazes me. Just a kilometer or so away from my office, I go there from time to time whenever I get the chance on my lunch break. Le Ching is always my destination there for food. Simple, fairly-priced, and oh-soooo delicious, the pork-spareribs rice toppings are to die for.

But the real reason why people go there is the tiangge shopping. Should Divisoria be inaccessible, Greenhills is a great alternative venue for bargain-shopping.

Foreigners and balik-bayans have been going there in throngs lately, buying their replica big-name clothes, bags, watches, and what-have-you for their pasalubong or personal use when they go back in their home country. No need for them to ask for a cheaper price since the marked price is already cheaper for their dollars. This is good news for the stall-owner, as always. I guess you can agree that Greenhills should be marked as THE must-see destination in the Philippines for every tourist who loves shopping and bargains.

Locals as well thrive the place for buying and trading-in their cellphones (they've even got Blackberry there now). Such is the importante of Greenhills to telecom operators that the indoor-cellsite layout there is planned carefully so that would-be subscribers have good coverage. Competition between the big 3 telco operators are very obvious with the numerous posters/ads/banners placed strategically in the cellphone stall areas.

Just watch out for pickpockets and the like, though. But hey, I guess that's the same for similar bargain-shopping places in Thailand and Malaysia.
Oh, btw, one must try the Baker's Fair diced-hopia. It's a good dessert to ease out the spicy flavor of Leching while you go about your shopping.



Yup, since I was born I had learned that men should go to a barber shop for their haircut. Parlors were exclusively for women.

I recall when we were still living in Makati that I'd often go to this one barber shop along the rotonda. The AM radio playing, the sound of the scissor blades in rhythmic succession, a group of guys outside playing dama or chess, and the discussion of politics have adorned this humble shop of hair.

I don't know why, but there were only 2 barbers although there were 4 seats. I've been accustomed to one of the barbers there. My request would always be the same:

"Barber's [haircut]. Nipis lang ng konti. Tira ng konti sa bangs."

As such, I would always go home satisfied (and with a smell of that green tunic that was as "tradition" as the barber shop itself).

Fast forward to last Sunday, I told the missus that I was overdue for a haircut and wanted to go to the barber at my parents' house (not that one in Makati). The missus wanted to have her hair done as well so I went with her to the recommended parlor near my parents' house. Rica, the gay barber resident, manned (or should I say womanned) the place. As Rica was cutting my wife's hair, I felt the urge to go out and have my haircut at the barber shop nearby. It was just walking distance I thought, so it would be a good time-saver instead of waiting there for her.

But laziness came over me so I just decided, "what the heck, I'll just have my haircut here." Should Rica try to do anything funny, the missus would be there to give her a good slapping. It was a bold move as I had only the faintest memory of having a gay guy cut my hair once, probably when I was in college. I didn't like the haircut that time since it lacked the "procedures" that a normal barber shop haircut entails. Probably times have changed, I thought. So I just threw my cares away and sat down on Rica's chair.

The instructions I gave Rica were simple: Barber's [haircut]. But since I loooong wanted to look like those European football players (think Fabregas of Arsenal, Ronaldo of RealMadrid, and of course, David Beckham), I went for it. I told Rica I comb my hair towards the front and would often put wax, but the long bangs wouldn't give me that footballer look.

She (alright for me to call her a "she," right?) thought of it right away, as if she already had a picture of those European players' hairstyles (or would she have thought more than that? hehe). Rica started to cut away. I was surprised that she also had the barber's standard razor to my delight. With occasional story-telling about her gay "sex addict" friend who was actually my parents' next door neighbor, the haircut went all ok.

Price of the haircut? P70.00. The missus and I gave her 200.00 total inclusive of tips.

Next day, Monday, I got the surprise of having a total of 5 people greeting my new haircut. To put it simply, they all liked it. Tuesday, I still got about the same number of comments.

Hmmm, the missus was right. Magaling nga ang bading sa paggupit. Probably I'll give Rica a bigger tip when I come back to her for a haircut next month. I hope she has new stories to tell about her exposes about our neighbor. Hehehe, Dad will surely get a kick out of it.