image by Google images

Just thought of writing a quick post from my sick bed since I am temporarily relieved of my mommy duties.  But as mentioned, this has to be a real quickie lest my world begins to spin again and I start to throw up all over my laptop.

I’ve always had a high tolerance from pain.  A whole cabinet of thermos and jars fell all over me when I was six, my right foot broke when it got stuck between concrete pavements when I was nine, dental procedures, menstrual cramps, one CS operation, and countless eyebrow threading (yes, this counts too :)) and I never complained.   Trust me to still get back on my feet in no time as if nothing happened.  BUT a  headache is my Achilles’ heel, my waterloo.  My BFF on times like this is a paracetamol from the Philippines called Biogesic. It’s safe to take even on an empty stomach so I pop two tablets at a time, take a little nap and I’d be fine.

But the last couple of days was unbelievable!  I ran out of Biogesic and the headache was even paired with vomiting therefore very little or no food intake at all.  And since this condition has deemed me useless, Dear Hubby has taken on the domestic diva duties.  Supervising the kitchen, preparing the Little Boy’s school snacks and his school uniforms, helping with the homework, etc.  And of course, providing me with some TLC through soothing massages at night.  Never mind if I haven’t had a decent shower in two days (I couldn’t get up, hello! *defensive*) and never mind if I smelled like wintergreen ointments, he still says he loves me.  Did I mention that he cleaned up that basinful of puke the whole time? Aaahh, true love!  I guess this is giving young couples, especially newlyweds,  a sneak preview of what marriage could be like.  As KC Concepcion aptly said it, “Hindi lahat nadadaan sa kilig.”  This is the very thing we actually signed up for, in sickness and in health.  Well, a little role-playing could work too, you know…

This sickness has caused blurred vision but I still managed to see my McDreamy... Thanks for the TLC, doctor!

He takes the other shift...



image by

I’ve always been a simple village dweller.  Having lived in my parents’ house in the city suburbs all my life, I remember growing up climbing the fruit bearing trees that my late father himself planted.  I remember picking Gumamela from my mom’s garden and pound them to make bubbles.  Even in the absence of the cellphone, all the neighborhood kids would promptly converge on the streets  every afternoon to play traditional Filipino games like patintero, shato, tumbang preso, taguan, agawan-base  and a lot more games rough enough to later on leave marks of this awesome childhood on my legs.   After the games that seemed like the Olympics for us, we would race on our bikes to get to the corner store and buy ice cold Sarsi.  This is the same neighborhood where I have been chased and bitten by  the Azkals (mongrels) long before they were named Phil, James, Anton and Neil.

My world made a complete turnaround when I, together with Dear Hubby and Little Boy, made the big move to an apartment building in Jakarta.  I’m one who embraces change and welcomes the unfamiliar so I’m thinking this could be good too.  Okay, let’s make a pros and cons list:


  1. Security.  If you’re not a tenant you can’t get inside any of the elevators without going through the guards. And even if you are one,  you’re allowed access only on your residence floor.  Celebrity Diva lang ang image and this social climber is enjoying it. 🙂
  2. Repair  & Maintenance.  I wouldn’t have to call those Tuberos whose idea of advertising means their names and numbers on tin plates plastered all over the Manila lampposts. A call at the front desk  is enough.
  3. 24-hour Running Water. Now THIS is definitely a pro for someone who used to live in a household  where running water  is only available on specific hours of the day. Though this experience has taught us a great deal of discipline and time management, I’m sure my mom won’t mind if I enjoy the long warm showers over here.
  4. Swimming Pool.  As a child, I only got to swim during summer outings and this would be in crowded resorts somewhere past the tollgate areas.  We never had one of those inflatables but my dad  improvised our laundry area such that it became our makeshift  “bathtub”.
  5. Gym.  I’m not really sure if this should be under “pro”…. Darn, no more excuses for not being fit!
  6. The View.  It’s not exactly the view of the alps but it’s a nice view of  the city nonetheless.  Neighbor-watching has been one of my favorite hobbies lately, this reminds me to get binoculars.
  7. Air-conditioned rooms.  This is surely an upgrade from our good old rickety bentilador (electric fan)  back home.   A welcome relief  for someone who spent her summers  mostly in front of the fridge.


  1. I can’t teach the Little Boy how to do an ober-da-bakod without breaking a bone.
  2. No more malunggay leaves from mom’s backyard to cook tinola with.
  3. Can’t ask from neighbors when I run out of kalamansi or asin.
  4. In case of a fire or an earthquake, getting out alive would be a challenge.

Well, I have already designed an exit plan for the last item so I refuse to worry about this.  Emergency cases happen whether you’re in a building or in a house anyway.

This move is quite a big change but as they say “Change is good”.  It doesn’t matter if  you live in a building or a bungalow, what’s important is you make good  memories in it and YOU DECIDE that it is the perfect place for you.

So, how about your place?

Home sweet home

The closest buildings from ours.... I really need to get to know my neighbors better... Binoculars, anyone?

*Sigh* No more askals (mongrels), no more street games...


I never played any sport (unless patintero is counted as one) but I’ve always been surrounded by people who played competitive and exhibition sports.  And while they struggle for those elusive scores or beat the hell out of their opponents, I’m there cheering them on.  Wearing whatever  required color, memorizing the chants,  and waving those official banners.  Cheerleading at  its finest, baby!

Basketball is not new to me.  Okay, I may not know all the mechanics and not understand all the referee’s calls but I can always bug my seatmate to translate the jargons 🙂  When you regularly watched the inter-school UAAP as a student and  used to work for a company that has three basketball teams in the professional league, you somehow get educated on this.

Dear Hubby and I were privileged to have watched the Sinag Pilipinas team win the gold medal for the men’s basketball division here at the Jakarta SEA Games.   Though I’ve seen live basketball action before, I could still feel that this experience  was different.  We played against Thailand so the Thais cheered for their team and the Pinoys cheered for Sinag.  Nothing unusual.  What I was surprised about was the other nations watching AND cheering for team Philippines!   They were cheering for the right team alright, team Philippines did not disappoint.  Even our Indonesian friends are amazed at how Filipinos play basketball.  “They can actually dunk??!”  To which we just reply “What football is to you, that’s what basketball is to us Filipinos”.

The DUNK that never fails to elicit "ooohs" and "aaahhs" from the crowd. Hah! Warm-up pa lang yan!

The RP bench. Yes, that's THE coach Norman Black right there!

Look, South East Asia. This is how we do it!

The real thing!

And this is how WE do it! Upper right photo shows a big group of Filipino teachers based in Jakarta, lower right photo shows a group of Pinoy expats. And the one on the left is, well, the ultimate groupie.

The Thais came in well-prepared. Darn, I should've worn a "Singkil" costume!

But our boys were better prepared... we got the GOLD!

Not to be left behind are our Women's Basketball Team winning the SILVER!

It all didn’t end at the awarding ceremonies, little did I know that there were more surprises waiting for me that night…

CYNTHIA TIU, the Team Manager of the women's division who also happens to be our wedding sponsor was there!

My cousin ALBERT ROLLE who's also the rapist, err, Therapist (P.T.) of our men's basketball team was there too!

He was gracious enough to let me wear the gold medal for some photo-op. Thanks Abet!

WARNING: FAN GIRL MOMENTS ahead… You may skip if you want to 🙂

Girl power right there!

Asian special from Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia

This is Bobby Parks' little big boy, Bobby Ray. One of the highest pointers in the game and I think he's cute too! Parang Will Smith. Watch out for this boy...

Aaand who doesn't know NORMAN BLACK of San Miguel grand slam fame and the four-peat coach of the Ateneo. I refused to go home that night without shaking his hands, the photos were just a bonus. Once you go Black, you'll never go back!

It was indeed a glorious night not only for sports fans but for all Filipinos as well.  To quote my Twitter entry that night…

“Singing Lupang Hinirang in a foreign land with the Philippine flag raised above two other nations’… Surreal! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!!!”


International photographer Romeo Gacad taking a crowd shot as I waved our flag in victory.

As promised in my “Manny Mania” article, here is a post about my so-called international “stardom” as an aftermath of the Pacquiao-Marquez bout.

No one believed it but I knew I was destined to be a star 🙂 As a little girl, I daydreamed about being in the Little Miss Philippines contest. It never happened.  As a teenager, I fantasized about being a cheerleader and be the one on top of a human pyramid.  Never happened.  I even imagined myself being in those nice TV commercials where pretty girls in flowing dresses blow bubbles and run in the field.  I guess you know by now that it never happened too.  But at least I got to be in advertising and work behind the scenes. Puwede na.

Then it finally came.  Hah!  It pays to never stop believing that I’d someday be famous.  Well, almost.  Here’s how…

As you all know, the result of a Manny Pacquiao fight is always big news in the Philippines and in any part of the world where boxing is popular.  And thanks to international photographer, Mr. Romeo Gacad, my face somehow made its way to the Monday news both online and on print!  A friend in the U.S. sent us a link to GETTY IMAGES – Agence France Presse where she found the news bit (and our photo).  Then our friends back in Manila had been excitedly telling us that they saw us in the major broadsheet, The Philippine Star.  Likewise, the same news item was in Yahoo Sports News.  International exposure, baby!

My friend gave another thought that’s worth daydreaming about:  Imagine searching on Google and type “cheer”, “nationalistic” and “PRETTY FILIPINA”. Bam!  You see me. Okay, I know that’s far-fetched but I always dream big haha!  My face in the photo will remain nameless so the world will never know me.  There goes my stardom.  At the very least, my family and friends recognized me so they kept the newspaper clipping… under my instructions hehe.  I want to thank Manny Pacquiao and Romeo Gacad for giving me my five-minute fame 🙂

Here’s an excerpt of Mr. Gacad’s impressive profile (WikiPilipinas).  You can tell he’s really got an eye for great subjects 🙂

“Romeo M. Gacad is a Filipino veteran photojournalist and a three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee whose works have appeared on the cover of various international publications including Time and Newsweek magazines. He is the chief photographer for the Manila bureau of Agence France-Presse (AFP), the world’s oldest established news agency…

His photographs of the 1988 Olympics, the 2001 Afghanistan war, and the 2003 Iraq war earned him three Pulitzer nominations for journalistic photography.”


I’m not writing about how the Pacquiao-Marquez fight should’ve ended, or whether I agree with the results or not.  You’ve already got your Facebook, Twitter and  TV overflowing with opinions, I don’t want this site to stress you out. Mahal magpa-Belo 🙂  However, this post is still about the match and how it united the Filipinos here in Jakarta- one fine Sunday.

As if you still don’t know, a Pacquiao fight has always been a “sacred” event for Filipinos.  This is one time when Philippines has zero crime rate and the roads are miraculously clear of traffic.  You wouldn’t want to miss Manny’s bloodied face saying his victory message (in English!) with the Philippine flag waving on his background. Or Mommy Dionisia fainting.  Or Jinkee’s new nose, I mean, Hermes bag.

Anyway, Pinoys here in Jakarta wouldn’t want to miss the action so a group of friends organized a viewing/salu-salo in Demang Restaurant strategically located near Sta. Theresia Church, where Filipinos would normally start their day on a Sunday.  The place was jam packed not only with Pinoys but also foreigners  i.e. Indonesia (of course), Germany, USA, Sri Lanka, Belgium, etc.  By the way, there was also a lone Mexican guest who was brave and sport enough to watch the fight with us.  Let me take you there…

The banner announcing the Big Event. I erased Billy's and Luis' numbers, they've already got too many "friends"... and proposals 🙂

Our hardworking and very efficient friends manning the registration area.

Like a real Pinoy event, it all started with the national anthem and a prayer.

Fun games prior to the main event.

A German national won the beer drinking contest, must’ve had a lot of practice from the recent Octoberfest. San Miguel Beer Indonesia presented the award. Behind them was the lone Mexican guy in the room. Such courage and sportsmanship! 

And the action begins. I must say, this game almost gave me a heart attack!

Then the RP Basketball contingent for the Jakarta SEA Games arrived.  We didn’t know all of them but the ladies just shrieked and swarmed around them for photo-op.  Me?  Nah, I kept my cool the whole time… Wait!  Did you just say Chris Tiu?!?!?!?

Apparently our poor athletes didn’t have a transportation service going back to their hotel so the organizers asked if anybody could lend their cars.  I volunteered, Dear Hubby could take a cab 🙂

Oh it was an honor taking these boys to my apartment... I mean, to their hotel 🙂

How else do you celebrate a Pinoy event but with authentic Pinoy goodies

International photographer Romy Gacad taking this shot as I waved the flag in victory. His photo later on made it to local (Phils.) and international news. I'll have a separate post on this brewing international "stardom" next time.

A word from our sponsors. This event was made possible by generous Filipino expats in Indonesia (and the companies they're connected with) and by the Philippine Embassy.

Like any Pinoy gathering, the event was punctuated with lots of stories, drinking, singing and dancing. No, "My Way" wasn't part of the repertoire.

It wasn't just a gathering for nothing. The proceeds of this event was donated to the victims of recent typhoons back home in the Philippines. The donation was coursed thru our Philippine Embassy.

I’m no boxing expert nor a sports analyst.  All I know is that millions of  Filipinos all over the world are always brought together by one man- Manny Pacquiao.  Now to those still insisting for a re-match between Philippines and Mexico, see you at the Ms. Universe!


image by Royalty-Free/Corbis

If you’ve read the “About The Diva” page then you’ll know that before I took on being domestic, I was once a full-time corporate slave in the marketing rat race.  A job that requires frequent travels, late nights, crazy deadlines, stressful presentations, and regular visits to the salon.  No. I just made the salon thing up, that was self-imposed 🙂 My point is, I was a weekend mom– a term better than “absentee mom”, don’t you think?

Anyway, my son practically grew up with the nanny. We were so lucky to have one who was with us before the Little Boy came until the time when we had to move overseas.  She was ever dependable and I totally trust her with the boy so I felt no jealousy when he uttered Ate” before learning the word “mommy”…. none at all… Okay, I wanted to scratch her face when I first heard that but hey, she was taking good care of my boy while I was gone so I should be cool with that.  When weekends would come and it would be my turn to look after him, Little Boy would give me a puzzled look.  He was too young to talk so I could just see his thought balloon saying “Who is this woman???” to which I would reply, “Anak, ako ang tunay mong ina.” (Son, I’m your real mother).  That would be his cue to cry.  When the nanny would come home from her day-off, he would run towards her and exclaim “I miss you, Ate!”.  Again, no jealousy there even when he would only give me a wave when I would get home from a week-long trip.  And when he finally learned to talk, he even coined a nickname for his nanny: Ate Cute, while he calls me The Stepmother. Darn those fairytales!

Little Boy and Ate Cute enjoying Baguio City while I was attending an official event in Burnham Park.

Then Dear Hubby got an opportunity to get cross-posted overseas, a career break that was hard to resist.  I knew that a regional assignment was his biggest dream… second to having me as his wife, of course! “Living separately was never an option”, he said.  Making sure that family relocation was part of the package, he was bent on taking our little family with him.  Isn’t he the sweetest?  It took countless discussions (some of them intense) to finally got me packing.  You see, it wasn’t easy letting go of a corporate post handling breakthrough projects in the Philippines’ biggest manufacturing firm. But I was willing to give up career for love – showbiz??!! 🙂

I gotta give props to Dear Hubby because he got everything laid out when he made the relocation “pitch” to me– complete with a visual presentation!  And by presentation I didn’t mean a lap dance but snapshots of potential residences and their facilities, etc.  He had all my concerns covered i.e. double income in Manila vs. single income in Jakarta, education, safety and security, medical benefits etc.  And to make things convenient for me, he got me a brand new MacBook Pro so I could reconnect with family and friends back home. I told him it was too much and that I’d be happy with a Sony Vaio.  He just replied “You’ll love that, it’s idiot-friendly.”  Okay, I’m sure he didn’t mean anything by that, he just wanted everything to be easy for me.  Sweet ‘no?… He also got me an iPod to keep me company while alone at the gym, a BlackBerry for easy communication even while I’m mobile, and a large, hot pink, hard-luggage (this one nailed it!).  He is just sooo sweet! One more suck-up comment like this and he just might get me the latest iPhone or iPad this time… oh, but an iron curler will do 🙂

Well, here we are in Jakarta, Indonesia which the three of us call home (for now) building our new family life together.  We could be in another city in another country in a few years but still together and making some more memories.

How about you?  Any wonderful beginnings or breakthroughs in your life recently?

And the journey begins...

Day 1 in Jakarta, making a fresh start...


You will read a lot of family stories in this blog so let this post be an introduction of the “main cast”.  We’re not from the secret service or anything but I would be using aliases most of the time when I’m referring to them– no particular reason.  At this point, I see no reason concealing our identities because if you’re reading this now, you must be either my personal friend or my relative whom I begged to check this blog out 🙂

DEAR HUBBY a.k.a The Boss.  

Special Powers:  Whips up special meals, effortlessly.  Darn, he’s got better culinary skills than I do!  This Jamie Oliver wannabe brings home the bacon… and cooks it too 🙂  Did I mention he’s my technical consultant too?  Graphic design, Photoshop, photography, etc… how else can a geisha pay for expat-rate talent fees?

DEAR HUBBY a.k.a The Boss

LITTLE BOY a.k.a. The Boss’s Boss

Special Powers:  Melts your heart.  Just when you’re on a nerve-popping fit scolding him for a mess, he says “I love you my princess”.  He’s got will-bending powers over his dad too! He can make his dad keep still and not complain while he sits on his dad’s face and jumps on his chest, tell bedtime stories (original ones, not from a book) even after a long and tiring day at work, carry all of 20kgs of him when he gets tired from walking, .  Well, he’s not The Boss’s Boss for nothing.

LITTLE BOY a.k.a. The Boss's Boss

The Diva Fam

Thanks for getting to know this quirky fam.  See you around!

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: