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February 28, 2009

Tough Four

Again, I was tagged by Dee to do this meme. It's a bit tough to choose the best answers as I love so many things. My answers are the first things that came to my mind and not necessarily my top four (4) favorites.

Enjoy reading and don't forget to tag your friends.

Four jobs I have had in my life:

1. Environmental Specialist, (DENR, Philippines)
2. Project Officer (Office of the President)
3. Laboratory Engineer (Schlumberger, Qatar)
4. Environmental Consultant, (Doha, Qatar)

Four movies I watch over and over:

1. The Sound of Music
2. Sex & the City
3. Titanic
4. Ghost

Four places I have lived:

1. Bataan, Philippines
2. Manila, Philippines
3. Pampanga, Philippines
4. Doha, Qatar

Four TV shows that I watch (or used to watch):

1. CSI
2. Sex & the City
3. Scrubs
4. Lost

Four CDs/songs I could listen to over and over:

1. Oldies by goodies music
2. Love songs
3. Our wedding CD
4. Danceable music

Four best places you have been:

1. Boracay, Philippines
2. Paris, France
3. Florence and Rome, Italy
4. Bruges, Belgium

Four of my favorite foods:

1. Pinoy
2. Chinese
3. Japanese
4. Italian

Four of my favorite beverages:

1. Diet Pepsi
2. Florida’s fresh fruit juices
3. Iced tea with lots of ice and sweetened with syrup
4. Water

Four things you are looking forward to the rest of this year:

1. Getting pregnant
2. HK trip with family
3. Weight loss
4. Achieving my savings goal

Another Meme...

It seems that there are more meme in Facebook. I was tagged again by Dee and ofcourse I answered the questions. Memes keep my blog busy while I am not in full blogging mode yet. Hehehehehe!!!!

* * * * * * *

Indulge me, really interested to know your answers :)

Post this list on your profile (in Notes) replacing my answers with yours. Tag 25 people to do the same thing. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you :)

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Yes, the perfume NINA RICCI

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Two weeks ago.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Yes, except when I am in a hurry.

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Luncheon meat? SPAM and SPAM and SPAM

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Still making one :)

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Yes, because I am
loyal and sincere.

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM? Sometimes, when one tries to use sarcasm on me ;)

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? So far, yes.

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? No, I don’t like extreme activities.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Muesli with lots of nuts and dried fruits.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Yes, because my feet are big and
difficult to remove shoes from my feet :)

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Authentic gelato.

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? The face – eyes, nose and lips.

15. RED OR PINK? Pink.

16. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? Fats in the "wrong" places
(copying Dee’s answer, hehehehe).


17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Right now, I miss nephew!

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO COMPLETE THIS LIST? Yes, if they can.

19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? White capri and black silk blouse,
house slippers.

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? None, I am watching TV while waiting for my husband.

22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Purple.

23. FAVORITE SMELLS? Fresh and crisp scent.

24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? My brother, he called a few minutes ago.

25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Yes :)

26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? None really but the last one I’ve watched is Tennis
during the 2009 Qatar Open.

27. HAIR COLOR? Black.

28. EYE COLOR? Black.

29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? I used to before I underwent LASIK.

30. FAVORITE FOOD? Pork, Pork, Pork. I miss so it much ‘coz there’s no pork here.

31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings, of course ;) I never liked scary movies.

32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Confessions of a Shopaholic.

33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Black silk blouse

34. SUMMER OR WINTER? Since winter here is actually the summer in other countries, I’d go for winter but my favorite is spring.

35. HUGS OR KISSES? Hugs only.

37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? I have no idea.

38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? I have no idea.

39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? None but I blog hop everyday if that counts in lieu of books.

40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? I have an optical mouse so mouse pad is not necessary.

41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? GMA news.

42. FAVORITE SOUND(S) old songs, instrumental music, etc.

43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Beatles, only because I know some of their songs.

44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? Europe / USA/ Middle East

45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Hmmm….Eating?

46 WHERE WERE U BORN? Bataan, Philippines

47. WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK? Everyone’s

48. HOW DID YOU MEET YOUR SPOUSE/SIGNIFICANT OTHER? He is a colleague from my previous work.

I'm not tagging anyone, although I tagged some people in my facebok account. Let me know if you did this meme so I can visit yours :)

February 23, 2009

Arrgh, it's back again!

I gained back those stubborn pounds again plus more! It’s so frustrating to try different types of diet, start an exercise program, which I can’t sustain, etc. I wish there’s a more effective solution to my never ending saga to lose weight. I am thinking of trying Acai Berry for a change. Any thoughts?

February 15, 2009

Hibernate Mode

I will be in hibernate mode indefintely to attend to some personal matters. I will still check updates and read e-mails but will be inactive most of the time. Talk to you guys soon!

25 Random Things About Me

I originally posted this in my Facebook Notes. If you have a facebook account, you might have been tagged also to do this meme. It's my first time to do "random things" meme and I had fun with this one!

1. I get upset when people make me wait for a long time (read: wasting my precious time) especially if we agreed to meet at a specific schedule.

2. I was born and raised in Bataan.

3. Me and my ultimate best friend have known each other since we were five-year olds. We were classmates in nursery and grade school and roommates in college. The only time we were separated for a long time (physically and geographically) was when I went here in Qatar in 2004 and eventually she went to the US in 2006.

4. I took piano lessons when I was in grade four and continued it in high school but never performed a recital and can’t play any piece now.

5. I passed PSHS's first screening exam but I am not able to take the second screening exam.

6. I went to an all-girls high school in Guagua, Pampanga.

7. I’ve always wanted to become a CPA but ended up taking Chemical Engineering at DLSU.

8. I took Master of Engineering major in Environmental Engineering and Management at DLSU but I’m yet to complete my project to earn the degree.

9. In 1999, I was chosen as Reyna Elena in Santacruzan held in Balanga, Bataan with Illac Diaz as my escort.

10. When we were steadies, I broke-up with Walter by writing him a break-up letter. We had no communication for two years until one day, he sent me a text message asking for some info and the rest is history.

11. My husband is also a Chemical Engineer.

12. My husband bought me a nice electronic threadmill so I can exercise at home. It’s gathering dust now.

13. My high school best friend passed away in 2005.

14. I used to have very bad eyesight (around -5.5) until I underwent LASIK surgery at Asian Eye Institute in 2007.

15. I love travelling. My ultimate travel goal is to visit all the beautiful places in the Philippines before turning 50.

16. I collect ref magnets of places (cities and countries) we’ve been to.

17. I used to be a COKE light (diet) fan but I am diet PEPSI convert now.

18. I enjoy baking. Part of my long-term goal is to study pastry arts, put up my own bakeshop and enter into food processing business.

19. Given the opportunity, I want to study MBA at Asian Institute of Management

20. I had a completely different outlook about my finances after my graduate school classmate introduced me to Rich Dad, Poor Dad book (by Robert Kiyosaki).

21. I want to be financially independent at 45.

22. I want to do scuba diving but I need to learn to swim first.

23. One time, somebody asked me out because he wanted to use his GC from a certain restaurant in Malate but he made it clear that it’s going to be dutch treat. Am I too assuming or he is just a cheapo?

24. I prefer home-cooked food anytime.

25. I want to retire in the Philippines.

After writing this, I felt like I'm a boring person. What do you think?

February 3, 2009

More Cravings...

I will not refuse a delish chicken empanda anytime...


Chicken Empanada


I baked this during the New Year...hoping to do some baking again sometime soon! Do you like chicken empanada?

February 1, 2009

Cravings...

I'm so craving for this...


Cassava Bibingka

...but I don't have time to bake yet. Are you craving for anything right now?

January 29, 2009

Priorities of a Good husband

I came across a blog entry entitled "Duties of a Good Husband" from A Good Husband. The post was interesting as it talks about what should be the order of priorities of a good husband according to Richard Moffat. Okay, I don't know who Richard Moffat is. I tried to google him but I didn't find relevant results. Anyhow, A Good Husband listed the following priorities in order of importance.

1. A Higher Power
2. Self
3. Spouse
4. Chruch/Volunteering
5. Career
6. Social

The complete entry is here. The post is interesting but it made me feel good seeing the spouse is third on the list while career and social are at the bottom. That means as a spouse I have every right to be given attention and importance before career and social. It's surprising though that the kids are not on the list. I assume spouse also means family.

I know some husbandsd can be very workaholic or have too much social activities like hanging out with friends 'til morning, bar hopping or simply chilling out. I hope every husband out there should not forget that their wife should be given more attention and importance than career or social activities.

Do you agree with listed order of importance? Are you a good husband?

Looking Ahead 2009

Last year, I wrote my goals for the first time. Periodically, I reviewed my progress in fulfilling them but unfortunately, I was not able to post any updates in this blog. In my previous entry, I revisited my last year's goals to see how much I've accomplished by the end of the year and I'm happy that I fared well.


This year, I am writing my S-M-A-R-T goals once again. I divided them into two groups: personal and financial. The fianancial goals include those that involve money while was placed under personal goals. Some of my goals are non-bloggable and not published here.


S-pecific M-easurable A-ttainable R-elevant T-ime-bounded

Personal Goals

- Consult a good Ob-Gyne and be diligent in follow-up check-ups.

- Threadmill exercise 3x per week, 30 minutes per day.

- Read at least four (4) good books by end of the year.

- Try at least one new recipe per month.

- Discover four (4) new places in Qatar.

- Complete the board interview for Project Management certification

Personal Finance

- Save at least X amount per month for my own (separate) savings account.

- Save X amount by end of the year to replenish our high yield savings account.

- Continue paying my credit card bills in full every billing cycle.

- Buy a term insurance.

- Add X amount in our Mutual Fund investment.

- Buy a new personal laptop by 4th quarter of the year.

- Travel to at least one international destination (where I haven’t been to).

- Travel to at least one destination (where I haven’t been to) in the Philippines.



Revisting my 2008 Goals

I know, this post is long due. Most people revisited their last year's goal as the New Year unfolded. But I guess it is still good to post how I fared in fulfilling my my 2008 goals before writing my 2009 goals.


Last year, I targeted to review my goals regularly and post the progress in this blog. While I am able to do the regular reviews, unfortunately, I am not able to post my progress. Nevertheless, I am quite happy with my last year's achievement.


Last year, I divided my goals into three parts: Personal, Work and Financial. The financial goals included anything that involved significant amount of money. Other goals went under personal and work-related ones went under personal goals at work. I pasted my 2008 goals here (bold) and wrote my accomplishments below each goal.

Personal Goals

Have a baby.
This is more of a hope/wish rather than a goal. Unfortunately, we were not blessed with a cutie little angel yet. This year, I plan to visit a good doctor back home for serious consultation.

Lose 20 pounds by end of the year.
I lost about 14 lbs and gained it back towards the end of the year! I have to persevere more this year.

Read at least one book per month.
I’ve read only four (4) but I visited lots and lots of blog. I haven’t really read any good book for a long time. I will add this again to my 2009 goals.

Do at least one different activity per month.
I did ten (10) new activities including (watching tennis games (men’s), trip to singing dunes, an afternoon at Wakrah beach, Dukhan beach, Zekreet, Fuwairit Beach, Fort Zubarah, attending 110th Philippine Independence Day, The Pearl Qatar, watching tennis games (women’s), Al Ghariya Beach. I also tried five (5) new eating places.

Personal Goals at Work

Complete at least one on-line training per week.
I started slow, letting the first few weeks pass not doing any training. When I realized that I am not progressing, I set a specific day and time for doing the on-line trainings. From then on, I consistently finished three (3) for four (4) trainings per week. By mid-year, I 've completed the all the required training for Project Management(PM) certification.

Complete the PM Curriculum.

This is related to the above. I've completed all the trainings required and I just need to pass the board interview (which is one of my 2009 goals) to become full-pledged certified Project Manager.

Personal Finance

Achieve my planned savings of _________ for 2008. Keep part of this amount in a high-yield savings account. Then a good portion of this will be allotted for a family trip to Hong Kong in 2009.
Me and my husband started saving a certain amount every month and we did open a high yield savings account, which was supposed to serve as our emergency fund too. However, we had to revise our savings plan when we found a lot property in a very good location. We did not achieve our original cash savings goal but I believe we've made a very good investment move despite the current global financial crisis.

Open a high-yield savings account in Qatar by 2nd Quarter.
I did open a high-yield savings account (cum emergency fund) but much of it was diverted into a lot investment. This year, we plan to replenish this account.

Start a financial investment (equity) in Qatar by 3rd Quarter.
I was able to accomplish this by second quarter of the year although I wish I did not do it too soon because by third quarter, the global financial crisis happened. My investments shrank almost 50%. But since I have a long-term outlook, I am not worried at this point.

Pay my credit card in full every billing cycle.
I was glad that in 2008, I did not incur any finance charge for my credit cards. I diligently paid all my credit card bills every month.

Repainting of my old car by 3rd quarter.
It costed a lot of money including other repairs but this goal was accomplished.

Travel to at least one international destination by end of the year.
Despite some hesitation, we went to France and Italy. I wish though, we went a few weeks later when the Euros weakened :)

January 28, 2009

LP - Lila, Kahel, Asul at Pula


Mga ka-LP, kumusta na? Hindi ako nakasali noong mga nakaraang linggo kaya eto at pinag-isa ko ang lahok para sa apat na Linggo.



Ube Cake with Halaya Icing





Ube Macapuno with Leche Flan Filling


Hindi ako mahilig sa ube cake pero noong naging OFW ako, lagi akong bumibili doon sa Pinay na na gumagawa ng made-to-order na ube cake kasi pinoy na pinoy sya. Kapag pasko ito rin ang ipinapalit ko sa tradisyonal na halayang ube. Yong unang larawan, halaya ang icing nya kaya parang may halayang ube na rin kami kapag pasko. Yong pangalawang larawan naman ay bigay sa amin yan noong pasko. Pareho silang masarap.


LP - Kahel

Ito ang kulay-kahel na sand dunes sa Dubai. Noong 2006, nag sand dunes bashing kami sa Dubai na talaga namang kakaibang experience. Nakakalungkot lang kasi ang daming kalat na naiiwan ng mga turista sa disyerto gaya ng water bottles. Noong December 2007, nag sand dunes bashing din kami dito sa Qatar. Pero hindi mala-kahel ang buhangin sa Qatar, mas maputla.


LP - Asul

Ito ay isang kite na ginagamit sa kite surfing. Magandang pagmasdan ang grupo ng surfers kapag sila ay nagsu-surf. Nakaka-aliw ang kanilang pag-glide ayon sa ihip ng hangin.


LP - Pula

Ang pulang gumamela na ito ay sya na atang pinaka-karaniwang variety ng gumamela na makikita kahit sa text books. Sinasabing ang gumamela ay complete flower dahil lahat ng parte ng isang bulaklak ay meron sya kaya sya ang pinag-aaralan sa science kapag parts of flower na ang lesson.

Alin ang nagustuhan nyo sa apat na litrato?
Bisitahin ang iba pang miyembro ng Litratong Pinoy.

January 21, 2009

Mileage

Sometimes, there are unimportant things that bothers me. One of them is the space after a period and another one is the use of word mileage to mean travel allowance or total distance traveled.


mileage

Pronunciation: \'mī-lij\

Function: noun

Date: 1754

1: an allowance for traveling expenses at a certain rate per mile2: aggregate length or distance in miles: as a: the total miles traveled especially in a given period of time b: the amount of service that something will yield especially as expressed in terms of miles of travel c: the average number of miles a motor vehicle will travel on a gallon of gasoline that is used as a measure of fuel economy

Source: Merriam-Webster


So what's the fuss? It's just that Qatar and Philippines are using metric system; hence, distance (especially distance travelled by cars) are measured in meters, kilometers, centimeters, millimeter and not miles. But then I guess, in the end it doesn't really matter as long as you can understand each other. Besides, I also don't know any word with similar meaning but less specific to the unit of measurement so I guess, I will still use mileage :)

*Updated Jan 26, 2009*

Oh I forgot, the air miles accumulated in air travel is also called mileage but that one is used properly because the mileage points is really calculated based on the distance travelled in miles. What bothers me sometimes is when car travel allowance is referred to as mileage when in fact the allowance is based on kilometers travelled (atleast here and in the Philippines). Also, when you have a car, you are usually asked "Ilan na ba ang mileage ng kotse mo" (how many mileage have you done already?) though the distance displayed is really kilometers.

January 20, 2009

Abandoned Cars in Dubai...

Last night, I was chatting with my friend who is based in Dubai. One of the things we talked about is how the global financial crisis is affecting Dubai and Qatar and their residents. I was shocked when she told me that there were hundreds of abandoned cars in the parking lot of Dubai International Airport. I cannot confirm the estimated number of abandoned cars because news articles are giving different figures from less than 100 to as much as 3,000. It appears that the owners left Dubai after losing jobs and unable to repay loans. She said the banks have stopped giving car loans. This says a lot about the real situation in Dubai and frankly, it's quite alarming!

So far, how is the global financial crisis affecting you?

January 13, 2009

Who is your first love?

When I saw this video from Reyna Elena. . . I watched it over and over again. I was so touched and teary-eyed right after. . .