My Potpourri


Year 1998 when I was in fourth year high school that I started to be serious with my studies.  Not that I haven't been serious at all but with the wits I have, I always maintained to be on the top section ever since I started schooling.  And that I did without making much effort in listening to my teachers and in studying profusely.  I wasn't the "trying hard" type ever!  I was just pretty doing what was needed to be done and just lazed around being passive at all times.  But not until we were required to have a scientific calculator for our Trigonometry and Statistics subjects.

Right at the start of the school year when former president Joseph "Erap" Estrada was inaugurated to be the Philippines' centennial president, Mama and I went to Gloria Bazaar to purchase the said calculator.  I was so shocked by its huge price which amounted to six hundred pesos plus!  I never imagined that a calculator would cost that much!  I was so hesitant in buying one but I didn't have the choice because we needed it for our classes.  Then Mama bought the cheapest model which still amounted to six hundred pesos.  I was not too happy for letting her spend for such a thing but I had to accept it and thank her for her graces.

When we got home, I went straight to my room and opened the plastic bag of my brand new scientific calculator.  As I got it out from its box, I held it in my hands and said a quiet prayer for God to help me take good care of it, that I will never lose it, and that it will have a long life.  Then I promised to myself that I will give Mama all line of nine grades for my last year in high school.  I said to myself that I will do away with recreational activities so I can focus in my studies.  I said to myself that I will develop a study habit that will make me into top ten percent of my class!

Truly, I became part of the top ten by second grading period!  And that was my very first time!  I was so glad that I made into keeping my promise to make my mom proud!  And by the end of the school year during deliberation for the top ten, I did not make it unfortunately because of my 75% grade in Geometry from the previous year.  If only I had known that third year grades would be carried over, I should've started being serious in that year.  But who knows that I'm gonna try to "try hard" all because of a certain calculator.

So I told myself, it's OK.  Better luck next time and there is still college awaiting for me.  I also didn't foresee that my scientific calculator would still be of good use to me.  For who would've thought that I'm gonna be taking up an engineering course!  Then my calculator turned out to be a very busy one - busy with Calculus, Chemistry, Physics, Engineering Sciences, and Chemical Engineering.  And as I always said, I loathed these subjects and my scientific calculator was always my outlet in showing my disgust of these nerdy stuffs.

Then my scientific calculator was battered!  From time to time, I smashed it, banged it, punched it, and threw it!  It's not that I was so brutal or cruel.  It's just that, I needed something to let go of my animosity.  You know, of the bitterness I had for not pursuing what I wanted and just settled down for what was at hand.  But, goodness still prevailed in my heart that I also often talked with my calculator to help me out with my quizzes and exams.

Finally with the fleeting of an eye, six years in college passed by then off I went for the licensure exam review.  Before the review class started, our instructor told us to purchase the newest model of scientific calculator at that time that could carry out a lot of engineering functions.  Again, Mama and I purchased one at National  Bookstore in Cebu.  With the second splurge she spent for my sake, I promised to myself not just to pass the board exam but to make it on top ten again.  

So I did my very best to keep that promise but I didn't make it again.  Definitely, the Chemical Engineering exam was one of a hell of an exam and I was just so lucky to get 79% and be part of the 353 passers out from 725 takers.  I was just so happy to have finished my quest in engineering that at long last, I can get away from it!

But as what I had said in my post Oh, the Weirdness of Things!, I really couldn't get away from engineering!  It is my world and it is my life!  I could say that, I'm bound for this.  And though I have the second calculator for board exam purpose, I am back into using my oldest calculator.  Because that old stuff had kept me into battle.  A battle of determination to give my mom happiness and to make my whole family proud of me.  If only this calculator could talk, it will tell of my journey in becoming who I am today.  Because this calculator made me not just to become an engineer but to be a determined, strong, and persistent individual.  I am who I am today because of this scientific calculator.  Now my prayer is for God to give this calculator a longer life.  More than a sentimental value, I still need this as I am going back into studying and teaching for the love of engineering!

Letters to words
Words to sentences
Sentences to paragraphs
Paragraphs to stories

I first learned my ABC’s from my preschool teacher, Mrs. Caang at Misamis University.  Going to school at that time was so exciting because I had the chance to meet new playmates, know some stories, memorize some poems, and sing some action songs.  Ma’am Caang was so patient with us that by December, we already mastered singing the Christmas Alphabet during our school’s Christmas program.  That was my first public exposure for I had to recite solo some lines first before we sang.

Constructing sentences was my grade school teacher, Mrs. Carmen Guangco’s specialty.  She always made us write, write, and write.  Aside from writing, she also trained our tongues.  Proper pronunciation and diction were always a must to her and with that, I am forever thankful.  Ma’am Guangco not only trained us academically but she also molded us to be good persons as what all of us are today.

Writing stories started when Mrs. Salve Te Roa came into the scene.  She was the one who introduced Journalism to me.  Then my writing passion sparked because of her.  My first ever published name was in our first ever elementary school paper, the Pilot Herald.  It’s just so sad that I lost my copy of it when I brought it during high school to show it off to my new classmates (hehe).  Yes, Ma’am Te Roa was so strict as a teacher but I learned a lot from her.  She is a big part of “Rosalie in the Making”!

So as third year high school came, Miss May Arbole was so eager to have me write Journalism-style.  I was always excited for our Journalism class with her because I already had some background.  But my best wasn’t that good enough that I just got feature assignments.  So I just accepted that some of my classmates were better writers than me. 

But I had found favor in Ma’am Arbole’s eyes that I got promoted the following year as news editor!  I was so happy then!  I was so thrilled with my new post to finally write news!  I always enjoyed doing interviews, gathering facts, typewriting my articles, and beating deadlines. 

Suddenly, Brenda Jim Murga who was my proofreader at that time called my attention because I had so much flowery words in my news.  I had loads of corrections in my write-ups!  Then I realized that writing news is far too different from writing feature articles.  So I had to let it go.

I was disheartened but that was just a challenge.  All through these years, I could say that “my writing” has its ups and downs.  It’s not always that easy to find and write stories.  It’s not always that easy to satisfy readers.  And it’s not always that easy to pursue a passion.  But against all odds, my best reward is (as it has always been) gloriously staring at my name on paper!

I really wonder why I was fond of making funny faces when I was a kid...

Was I happy spending Christmas at my Gpa & Gma's house?

But here, I stronged!  Was I insecure with my cousin, Day2x for having her ballet recital?

Then off to church we went.  Was I lazy to walk for the procession?

Or was I unhappy during my birthday celebration?

Whatever the reasons were of my funny faces, may they be!  I'm just glad now that before Showtime's face dance trended, I already did my own fad!  And so I'd like to add my latest funny face...

Finally, was I secretly wishing to be the next bride?


I got acquainted with alcohol when my high school classmates and I hung out at Mary Grace “Grakkie” Vapor’s house after our graduation.  She let us taste her experiment of gin mixed with lime.  It was bitter and it burned my throat, esophagus, and stomach upon going down.  I didn’t like it.

I became friends with alcohol when my OJT friends and I hung out at Villa Lacida after their paydays.  That was the time when I tasted all sorts of liquors like vodka, rum, and tequila.  The kick of alcohol just let me break free from the constraints of myself and let me express the deepest emotions I have!

In Cebu, my alcohol-inclination leveled up for there were plenty of posh bars everywhere.  It was my landlady, Ma’am Neneng who introduced a very feminine and flirty drink to me – the margarita.  Margarita is a cocktail consisting of tequila mixed with orange-flavored liquor and lime often served with salt on the glass rim.  It was named after Margarita Henkel, daughter of a German ambassador in Mexico who first tasted the drink mixed by Don Carlos Orozco, bartender of Hussong’s Cantina in October 1941 (  Yes, October!  Maybe it was invented on my birthday.  No wonder why I got hooked with this drink!     

When I started watching the TV series Sex and the City, I got more enthralled to ladies’ cocktails.  And everytime I have margarita, I feel like I’m Carrie Bradshaw!:)

Then I had margaritas and more and more margaritas!  After a while of tasting different variations of margaritas, I tried to experiment my very own version of it – Vanilla-Infused Red Margarita.  I love strawberries ever since so I made use of it instead of lime or orange.  Plus, adding a hint of vanilla would make it pleasant-smelling that overpowers the smell of alcohol from the tequila.  My recipe:  tequila, strawberry juice, and vanilla extract!  But I’m not giving you the proportions.  It’s for you to experiment on and for you to find out!
Feeling Bartender
Talking with friends over margarita is a perfect bonding moment!  You could talk about everything under the sun without hesitations, without limits, and without boundaries! 

So if you wish to have an outlet, sip some.  But you’ve got to drink moderately or else, you’ll end up in the restroom this way…
Wasted Mae


Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses volatile plant materials known as essential oils and other aromatic compounds for the purpose of altering a person’s mind, mood, cognitive function or health (  I was introduced to this kind of practice when I was in a vacation at Lipa wherein Mommy Becky always lit scented candles and burned essential oils in order to freshen up the air in the living room.  According to her, it unwinds her while she’s playing the piano because she always has hectic days in the hospital.

When I was working in Cebu, I also had hectic days in the plant.  Throughout the day I was exposed to bad-smelling chemicals that always got me nauseated everytime I went home.  Then I remember Mommy and her aromas so I bought scented candles, oil burner, and essential oils.  Before I go to sleep at night, I lit them while imagining that I’m in a place far, far away from air and noise pollution.  With senses soothed and mind relaxed, I could have a very good night sleep.

Scented candles were a fad at the start of the new millennium.  There were plenty of them in the market in different shapes and scents.  I love the tea light candles because it is safe to burn them for they have the thin metal casing.  When the candle liquefies, it extinguishes by itself so I could just leave it alone while enjoying the pleasant fragrances it gives.

On the other hand, essential oils have their various uses.  Aside from burning them, they are also used as massage oils.  I never liked the smell of traditional massage oils because it makes me feel like an elderly so I didn’t want to have massages.  But when I came across with scented massage oils, I came to love having massages because it does not only relax my muscles but also heals my soul.

Then I got attracted to scented joss sticks in the scent section at the department store.  I experimented with one and I came to like it.  Joss sticks are a type of incense used by Chinese that I called as Chinese candles when I was little.  I love watching them while they burn and play with the ashes that fell.  And for me, I believe that they drive away evil spirits so I also included them in my collection.

Because of my flair for scents, I had come up with the idea of making it as a business.  I remember when I was asked of what was my dream, I replied “To have a fragrance store.”  So it happened!  I now have Fascino that’s why I also created the Aromatherapy Specials (see My Fascino – Aromatherapy Specials) to pay tribute to my sleeping buddies – the candles, essential oils, and scented joss sticks!

Photo from Web

Englishmen are fond of drinking tea.  Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by adding cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant to hot water.  It was first introduced to England in 1662 by Charles II’s Portuguese queen, Catherine of Braganza.  Then the act of drinking tea was daintily done in the court by mid-afternoon.  Afterwards, tea drinking quickly spread not just to the royalty but also throughout the country.  Since then, time for tea is an important part of British tradition that they lay out tea gardens and hold tea dances. 

But tea actually originates from China.  Chinese had been consuming tea since the 10th century BC.  They had tea for its medicinal effects and cleansing power to the body, mind, and soul.  They had also given birth to tea ceremonies wherein they employed traditional techniques and ritualized protocol of brewing and serving tea for enjoyment in a refined setting.  Nowadays, these are usually conducted during traditional Chinese weddings.
Photo from Web
Tea before had served as a luxurious drink for the elite.  But for me, tea acts as a “digester” for all the foods I eat.  My college friend, Cathy introduced to me the Oolong Tea.  It is a variety of tea that is prepared by wilting, bruising, and oxidizing partially.  It tastes woody with roasted aromas.  According to her, she drinks it whenever she really gets full after her meals.  So when I decided to lose weight for our JS Prom (see Home – Fitness First), I drank Oolong Tea every after lunch.

At first, I had a bitter time drinking tea.  I didn’t like it so I always drank it straight, bottoms-up.  I just ignored its unpleasant taste and thought of the goodness it brings for my body to trim down.  Then came such a time when I got used to its smell and taste that it’s already palatable to me.

Eventually, time for tea had become my habit.  I had tried various teas like Green Tea that is prepared by unwilting and unoxidizing.  It tastes green and fresh with a bouquet of aromas.  And Black Tea that is prepared by wilting, sometimes crushing, and oxidizing fully.  It tastes so strong and more caffeinated compared with the other tea varieties.

Photo From Web
Aside from that, I also tried some tea blends.  One is the Earl Grey Tea.  It is blended with a citrusy bergamot oil that gives it a tangy taste.  Another is the Peppermint Tea that has a hint of menthol thus, giving a refreshing taste.  And last is the Jasmine Tea with jasmine flowers that gives it a sweet taste and a very pleasing aroma.  

Then my boardmate, Jennifer introduced to me a brand of modernized teas and I went gaga over its wide collection!  They are of different flavors like apple, strawberry, lychee, peach, etc.  They are generally sweet – sweet smelling and sweet tasting!  We so love them that we always had time for tea with very long chit chats.

So my tea-inclination had widened.  Even in coffee shops, I order tea.  How I wish there’ll also be a tea shop here in Ozamiz!  I also wish to visit Serenitea Milk Tea Bar in Alabang Town Center wherein they serve a wide variety of milk teas.  Moreover, I often dream of having a tea party with my girl friends.  We’re gonna have it in a garden full of blooming flowers by late afternoon.  Then we’re gonna wear frilly dresses and brim hats.  I’ll make this come to pass for my 30th birthday next year perhaps because I feel like I was an English lady in my past life.  Well, maybe I was! And maybe, I always enjoyed moments of my life with time for tea!
Photo From Web


August 18, 2008 (if I’m not mistaken) when I crossed path with Dinah Torres Herrera at Medina Call Center.  We were aspiring call center agents that in no time, she became my supervisor when I was a team leader.  I didn’t know what she saw in me and another team leader, Anna May Hilot that she convinced us to join her organization.  It was the Junior Chamber International (JCI), Ozamiz Red Rose Chapter.

But I didn’t take it seriously.  I hadn’t heard of it but Ate Dinah told us, “Just see for yourself.  One thing for sure, you’ll enjoy!”  Then she invited May and me to her wedding anniversary dinner on January 30, 2009.  During the intimate dinner party, she introduced us to Ann Sharon Lee, Ozamiz Red Rose’s incoming president.  She was so loquacious!  Despite from being a wealthy Chinese, she was so down to earth that we felt at ease talking with her.  In addition, Maria Bernadette “Ate Bern” Herrera, Ate Dinah’s sister-in-law, Sharon’s best friend, and co-call center agent also showed us that Sharon had the best intention at heart.

Then we spent the whole evening talking about Jaycees.  Ate Dinah told us plenty of Jaycee stories for she was in the organization for years!  Sharon also said that in her two years of being a Jaycee, she had already learned a lot.  And Ate Bern also encouraged us to join because she’ll be joining too.

So on February 8, 2009 after the orientation, Ate Bern, May, and I filed our application forms and were officially inducted as baby Jaycees on March 28, 2009.  But after the induction, I said to myself, “That would be the last Jaycee event I am attending.”  I didn’t like it for everybody were “big” people.  There were politicians, managers, owners of business establishments, and the like.  I didn’t fit in.
Ate Bern, May, and I as Baby Jaycees 2009-2010
But Sharon didn’t left us.  She was so persistent in doing follow-ups and in holding fun activities for the group to enjoy.  And on April 2009, we went to Iligan to celebrate JCI Week 2009 together with the Iligan Jaycees Inc. Chapter.  To be fair, the Iligan boys also came here in Ozamiz for the other activities.  Our camaraderie with our twin chapter, Iligan Inc. strengthened that we supported each other’s activities for the terms of past president (PP) Ritche Rubio and PP Sharon.

So I didn’t left the organization and I just took heed under Sharon’s leadership that by the end of her term, I was awarded as the Most Outstanding Baby Jaycee.  Through that, I was inspired and I came to love being a part of the organization!  Then I held office as Secretary during PP Maria Carmel Mabanag’s term and Vice President-Internationalism during PP Lowela Silva’s term.

Then I had traveled to places, I had known “people”, and I had experienced friendship from all over the Philippines and not to boast, Asia!  I had also learned how to enrich myself, how to be a responsible Filipino citizen, and how to become a model leader.

With Jaycee functions, I had grown a wide collection of reds for we always have to wear red in honor to our chapter’s name.  Red gives our chapter its identity and represents the roses’ fiery personality.  I now have reds of all sorts!  Red dresses, red blouses, red T-shirts, red accessories, and even red underwear!  Because being a red rose means having a closetful of reds!

Red Hot Sexylicious Roses

As previously mentioned in My Potpourri – Archie and Sweet Valley, I started reading leisurely even as a child.  Also, as mentioned in Home – Fitness First, we always spent summer vacations in Lipa.  When I reached high school, I refrained from playing outside the house with my younger cousins and the other kids in the neighborhood.  I just stayed indoors learning how to play the piano, watching TV while helping in the kitchen, and started reading seriously a lot.

Mommy Becky influenced me into reading.  She said that when she was at my age, she always brought a little dictionary with her.  She would read it over and over again while waiting for her next class, commuting from home to school and vice versa, queuing for something, etc.  She had become a doctor because she read and read and read.  That’s why I had loved to read more and more because I wanted to be as knowledgeable as she.

On the other hand, my Gpa’s vocabulary was so vast!  He would always ask me the meaning of words I hadn’t hear of yet.  Then I got challenged.  I had to read to learn more words so I could answer him whenever he asks me again.

So I started reading my Gpa’s Reader’s Digest magazines.  He was a subscriber and he got loads of them.  I had loved reading them for its inspirational stories, features on the new technology, vocabulary, and jokes.  Aside from that, I also came across this book written by Dr. Ben Carson entitled Think Big: Unleashing Your Potential for Excellence.  I was so inspired with his story that prompted me more into reading sensibly.

But I was not that KJ (kill joy) after all!  I was not trying hard and nerd.  I just wanted to increase my vocabulary and I loved English so much.  So by the time I could absorb matured novels, I started reading Danielle Steel.  Her two books that marked in me were Wanderlust and Five Days in Paris.    
Wanderlust is all about a lady in her marrying age who had lived serving her grandfather and her sister.  One day, she realized that she had to live for herself so she decided to travel the world like her father did.  In her journeys, she had experienced a variety of things and met people.  But the journeys were not all about pleasure and bliss.  In her journeys, she also experienced wars, killings, and prejudices of the world.  Nevertheless, she had overcome them all for she found her one true love who served as her partner in all her undertakings.

On the other hand, Five Days in Paris is all about a married woman who had lived behind his husband’s political career.  She had become fed up with her life in time when she met an eligible bachelor in The City of Light.  A forbidden romance caught them and what they only got were five days in Paris.        

Those books tackled the lives of two strong women.  I admired their power that I always pretended to be the heroine of each Steel novel!

In 2002, I saw this movie that starred Mandy Moore.  It was A Walk to Remember.  The movie touched me so much that I cried by the end of it.  It was about an old-fashioned religious young lady who came to love a happy-go-lucky mean guy.  Fate got them together and fate also separated them apart for the lead role Jamie (Mandy) died because of leukemia.  Because of her, the love interest Landon’s (Shane West) life changed.  He became matured and responsible.

Eventually, I found out that the movie was based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks.  So I read it and again, I cried.  I felt like I was Jamie in the story.  I became obsessed by it and I bought my very first original VCD of it.  I also had its OST album which featured the songs Cry, Only Hope, Dancing in Moonlight, etc. that I played over and over again while studying in college.

Subsequently, I read another Sparks’ special Message in a Bottle.  It is about a writer (Theresa) who had found a bottle being washed out by the seashore with a letter on it.  She fell in love with the letter that she began searching for its originator.  In her search, she successfully found out the author (Garret).  The letters were actually for his deceased wife (Catherine).  With Theresa’s divorce and Garret’s lost, they found comfort with each other but they were in both ends of the world.  Wretchedly, Garret died in the sea but he left his last message in the bottle for Theresa.      

Sparks’ romances indeed have bittersweet endings.  It always left me crying and being sentimental.  Though I’ve cried, I could never forget every lesson behind his stories and how love could be so true and real to fight for.

Then my boardmate, Bunny Lou Marie Ocampos told me about Paulo Coelho.  She said that reading him would make you ponder on things.  So I started out with The Alchemist.  I got intrigued with its title for I was majoring Chemical Engineering.  Maybe I could learn things of the mystical form of chemistry.  Upon reading it, I was waiting for magic.  But then again, there was never magic for everything has its explanation (proven by science).  The only magic it did was it made me communicate with my soul, finding solace on what lies inside despite the turmoil of this world!

Other Coelho’s novels I read were The Zahir (about a lost wife in search for herself) and Eleven Minutes (about a young prostitute’s life).  Both books also captivated me into living life as simple as I can have it, eliminating my selfish ambitions that are out of reach.

Then came my favorite, J.K. (Joanne Kathleen) Rowling.  With her books, I was given the chance to experience childhood again.  Without further discussion of what her books were all about because they were all renowned, they were classics for me!  Harry Potter just rocks!  I loved being stuck with it for ten years!  From books to movies, I was overly engrossed!  It always enchanted me that I had lived and grew up with its characters.  It cast a spell on me and let me experience wizardville!        


As I was checking test papers last Friday morning at Medina, I tuned in to La Salle University’s FM station.  Suddenly, an old familiar song was being played.  It was a duet version of It Might Be You.  “Oh my, It Might Be You’s got another version again?!” I thought to myself.  Then the memories came rushing back in again….

I first heard this song when I was in third year high school.  It was the song being played on Wacks and Peachy’s first date.  Sounds familiar?  That was a Saturday afternoon and I was just oh so watching my fave TV show at that time, TGIS.

The following Monday, I asked my classmates of what was the title of the song.  Most of them didn’t know and it was only Janice Kaamiño, being a music lover who knew its title.  “It’s It Might Be You by Stephen Bishop,” she said.  “It’s the theme song of Tootsie.  My dad has a cassette tape of it.”  I was so happy and so excited!  On the following day, I had the tape on my hand!

I couldn’t wait to go home that day so I could play the song.  As I arrived home, I didn’t change clothes yet.  I directly turned on our karaoke and played the tape.  When the introduction of the song was played, it was like I was taken away by it.  The introduction was just so different from all the other songs.  It was like magic with stars falling and two hearts colliding.    

I played the song over and over again.  I even recorded it in a blank cassette tape back to back.  For months, I only played It Might Be You before I go to sleep at night.
Kirk Benjie Gonzalez and Sandy Steve Ian Villanueva Had Their Version of It Might Be You For
My 18th Birthday Party with Victor Chiong on Keyboard

After a year, Asia’s songbird, Regine Velasquez revived the song.  It was a slow version, making emphasis to how overly romantic the song was.  With the songbird’s touch, it became the song frequently sang in weddings.

And as the new millennium commenced, R & B music got its height.  Then, It Might Be You had an R & B version popularized by Kai, a Filipino American R & B group from the San Francisco Bay Area, USA.  It was so cool and refreshing for the modern times.

So, the It Might Be You obsession was not just mine but of the whole world also!  Moreover, it was such a craze in the Philippines for ABS-CBN Channel 2 created a teleserye bearing the same title.  It starred John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo.  This time, the theme song was rendered by Erik Santos and Marinel Santos.  For the first time, It Might Be You had its duet version.

From the slow beat It Might Be You’s to the fast beat It Might Be You’s, I have it all!  I collected all the versions of the song even the instrumental ones may it be in piano, saxophone, or violin ever since I had my computer.  I just couldn’t get enough of the song!  Maybe the song was composed on my birthday because Tootsie was a 1982 film.  Maybe I couldn't have that "you" because it's just always "might".  Whatever the reason of my obsession, I really so love the song and now, I have to find out who sang the latest duet version of It Might Be You.

Credits to fayearn2046 for the video.

I'M A CERTIFIED TV FREAK shows that the Philippines ranks second in the top ten countries where people watch the most TV.  Obviously, it is!  Since the experimental introduction of the television in the country in 1946 (Wikipedia), Filipinos had embraced it and made it a vital part in their lives.

The first official telecast in the Philippines was after 7 years of the experimental introduction of the TV in the country.  At first, DZAQ-TV Channel 3 of Alto Broadcasting System (ABS) just borrowed foreign cowboy movies and actual coverage of foreign events to show.  Eventually, Father James Reuter, a Jesuit priest produced the first play on Philippine TV entitled Cyrano de Bergerac (Wikipedia)And this paved the way to Filipinos’ TV fanaticism.

My memory of my first encounter with television is still clear until now.  I can still remember that I was playing outside my Tatay Toto’s house in Brgy. Triunfo.  There were plenty of adjacent houses in our neighborhood.  I saw people hurrying home to turn on their TV’s.  I was disturbed by the great commotion going on so I went from house to house to peep what was happening inside. 

I could see in the eyes of the adults hope, at the same time fear, expectation, yearn, and excitement.  There was a great silence for a while and after a few minutes, there was a loud roar of jubilation.  Everybody was so happy and they were hugging each other.  Some even shed tears of joy.  Then my Tatay found me, wrapped me in his arms, and threw me in the air!  Philippines got its freedom again!  That was the end of the Marcos regime.

I was 3 years old and a half at that time.  Television was in black and white with only one channel playing.  Years after that, me and my playmates spent 30 minutes a day watching Batibot.  It was an educational kids' show wherein we were taught a little Filipino, Math, and good moral values.  I can still sing the Batibot's theme song until now!  
My First Fave TV Show

When I was in Grade 4 – Grade 5, two cartoons were popularized by ABS-CBN Channel 2.  These were Sarah, Ang Munting Prinsesa and Cedie, Ang Munting Prinsepe.  These two shows were a craze that every boy and girl wanted to become Sarah and Cedie.  I even skipped a whole afternoon of classes just to watch the final episode of Sarah.

I was also in Grade 4 when the first ever gag show for youngsters in the Philippines was created.  It was none other than, ABS-CBN Channel 2’s Ang TV.  We always went home early after class so we cannot be late to our afternoon treat.  We then shouted, “4:30 na, Ang TV na!”  I was so fanatic with this show that I wanted to become an actress to be one of the casts.  I always dreamed of going to ABS-CBN to audition but never had the chance to do so.  Maybe this will just be a dream until the day I die.

5 & Up Original Reporters
We were having a vacation at my Auntie’s place in Cebu when I discovered another channel and a new TV show.  It was GMA Channel 7 and the show was Philippines’ first ever tele-magazine program for pre-teens, 5 and Up.  From then on, I always looked forward to 9:00 AM of each Saturday to watch it.  I enjoyed the show because it was so educational and not to mention, Atom Araullo was one of the reporters.  This show inspired me to become a journalist.  And I did wished of becoming one but fate didn’t allow me to be.  See this story in From One Career To Another, To Another, and Another of My Adventures.

Original Cast of TGIS
Third year high school came when a new teen show was aired in GMA Channel 7, TGIS (Thank God It’s Sabado).  It was something I could relate to being a teenager and everybody in my class was watching it.  It was so popular then that by Monday, we would be discussing it during recess.  The show also depicted boy-girl attraction and courtship that made us all “kilig”!  The love teams were so cute that we wanted to have our own love team too.  However, Angelu de Leon got pregnant at an early age that made a great controversy at that time.  So, the original cast of TGIS was being replaced with the newbies, Antoinette Taus (my idol), Dingdong Dantes, etc.  On the other hand, Growing Up (a new show for late teens ages 17-18) was given to the old cast of TGIS with the premiered Donna Cruz (also my idol).

When college came, I didn’t have that much inclination with TV anymore.  I was so seriously busy with school that I was separated with the world!

Super Women
After years of finishing college, Ate Dinah lent me her Sex and the City DVD series.  Going to maturity, the show introduced me to the real world of beauty, of fashion, and of sex.  It’s often a taboo to talk about sex but with what I had seen, it must be discussed and must be understood.  However, it was not all about sex.  It was about friendship, love, and the entirety of being a woman!

Wealthy Upper East Siders
Year 2007 came and there was Gossip Girl.  My first impression of the show was that, it was too bitchy!  It’s all about people minding other people’s lives, scandalously cruel, and full of hidden agenda.  But I got to enjoy it since not hypocritically speaking, we all have that “Gossip Girl” attitude in the dark side of our heart.

Fashion Icons

Recently in year 2009, the first ever fashion-forward "teleserye" aired in ABS-CBN Channel 2.  This was Magkaribal.  It showcased Gretchen Barretto's high-end fashion that never failed to mesmerize me every time I watched this show. 

From kids’ show to adults’ show, I had them all!  Television had educated me and gave pleasure to me.  From loving one TV show to another, I enjoyed everything TV has to offer.  And there’s this show that I still love watching until now.  It’s ABS-CBN Channel 2’s Wansapanataym.  It’s all about enriching Filipino values to kids.  I thank God for bringing it back in primetime!  

For a complete statistics of the top ten countries where people watch the most TV, visit


I woke up this morning with the very loud sound of songs playing from the house just two steps away from my room.  The joy of communal living, I thought!  It was my cousin Rio Fidgi who turned on their radio with such a blast that energized me to get up and start another brand new day!

As I was having my breakfast, I remembered the good old days again when music became a vital part of my life.  I remembered the person who influenced me to the world of music.  It was no other than my very first gay friend from grade school, Kirk Benjie Gonzales.  Gay, for he always exude joviality!

Way back in grade school, he sang a lot!  He was always present in the stage during school programs.  He was gifted with a good voice which was further enhanced by Juliet Reyes, Ozamiz’s top voice and music coach.  Though I’d loved to learn how to sing at that time, I couldn’t have voice lessons with Kirk for my parents couldn’t afford to pay for it.  So I just accompanied him and my other then best friend, Kristina Kardenas to their classes every other afternoon at Juliet Reyes'.

Kirk and me before he left for Australia to study and work 
High school came in a flash and this time, Kirk would drag me to DXDD’s FM station to send in his song requests and greetings.  We went there after class in the afternoon and when evening came, I would turn on the cassette in my room and wait for Kirk’s song to be played and his greetings be read.  I was surprised that indeed, it happened for I thought that the piece of paper Kirk submitted would just be ignored.  So the following day, I was the one who dragged Kirk to accompany me to DXDD to send in my song requests and greetings also.  And as expected, my song was played and my greetings were read.  I was so happy!  And that became our habit from then on – a sort of bonding moment for us.  Moreover, we also left vandals in DXDD’s rest room.  It was a fad then – writing on walls!  What kind of foolishness was that?

As sophomore year was about to end, a new FM station opened which was Y96 (owned by the late Mr. Alex Sy), the counterpart of DXDD.  With already two FM stations operating in Ozamiz, music in the city became so loud!  The two were in a healthy competition with each other.  Every Saturday, there would be the Top Twenty Countdown.  And among the trending singers/artists at that time were (not in particular order):

                                    Spice Girls
                                    Backstreet Boys
                                    Britney Spears
                                    Mariah Carey
                                    Celine Dion

I could still remember that Titanic’s Official Soundtrack “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion topped the hits for months!  It was such a massive obsession!

Eventually, high school ended but my love for music didn’t end.  Only a few had known that I studied for one semester at Misamis University wherein I took up BS in Journalism.  I loved to be a journalist and this is my frustration until today.  But I’m not gonna write about this now.  Watch out for my story of this some other time.

Anyway, my mom’s broadcaster friend, Tita Ellen of DXSY knew about it and she offered to train me.  She told me to go to the station on a Saturday so I went.  I was so excited to witness a live radio broadcasting!  I just observed her and after her segment, she told me that she’ll be giving me an assignment of Brgy. Annex’s evacuees.  The coastal area of Annex has just been stricken by a tidal wave.  I asked her, “Will my report be in English?”  She replied, “Of course it should be in Visayan, dear.  Your listeners are Visayans so you must talk to them in Visayan”.  And that sank my heart.  It’s not that I’m not proud to be a Visayan.  It’s just that, how could I be like Korina Sanchez if my practice is in Visayan?  After Tita Ellen dismissed me, I went out from the newsroom with a heavy heart.  But as I passed by the FM booth, I was so surprised to see Kuya Rio de Barras inside!

I’ve known Kuya Rio from the church I had been attending to, Word Foundation Christian Ministries (formerly the Bread of Life).  He waved at me and invited me in.  He asked me what was I doing there and I told him about my journalist-to-be career.  I also told him about the Visayan report I had to do.  He just smiled and said, “If you want, you can also come here in the FM booth for English training.”  Unknowingly, Kuya Rio was just hired as a disc jockey at Y96 and that lifted my spirit again!

So I went to the FM station every Saturday and every weeknight to observe.  Kuya Rio took time in explaining to me the “how to-s”.  He was so good in his choices of words that made him the famous DJ Taz (not from the renowned cartoon Tasmanian Devil but from his nickname Tasyo) who swept Ozamiz girls off their feet.  This also paved his way to event hosting.

One time, I had paired with him during my cousin Ompoy’s wedding in 2001.  It was impromptu!  He just automatically pulled me into the stage.  I didn’t know what to do and he told me, “Just play with the words”. 

So much about my hosting/DJ-ing/reporting career!  I quitted for I realized that it did not fit me.  I was so "yaya" (slow) and I could not modulate my voice well!  But still, Kya Rio’s lessons were learned and I do play with words up to this day.
Kuya Rio & his new DJ trainees, Eric Rada, Carl Antoni Lasiste (now DJ Carlo), Don Vito Garcia, & sorry I forget the other one
Sir Federico Araniego also joins us as he was the host for my debut
But my love for FM stations didn’t end here.  I still listened to music, watched out for the Top Twenty Countdown, and took time in memorizing the songs’ lyrics.  Though I’m not gifted with a beautiful voice, I still sing and do sing wholeheartedly!  For until now, music feeds my soul no matter what genre it is!

For music and voice lessons, visit Juliet Reyes-Rubin Music Studio at Laurel corner Zamora Streets, Ozamiz City.  Or join them on Facebook at

Currently, Kuya Rio is working part-time as a host at Cebu City.  He's truly a proud Ozamiz talent!  For bookings, add him on Facebook.  Just click this link:

From paper dolls and Barbie dolls to stationeries and hair clips, my interest shifted into reading Archie comic books.  My classmates in Grade 5 especially Brenda Jim Murga, Jan Michelle Lomanta, and Zharisse Lavendina if my memory is correct, introduced this new hobby to me.  We would go to Margueritte's together to rent the comic books at three pesos each for a night.

Margueritte's was haven to me!  It had a myriad collection of comic books and pocket books to choose from.  To name a few, there were Archie of course, Superman, Batman, The Hardy Boys, Sweet Valley, Danielle Steel, etc.  I loved our afternoons of going there!  It was located at Rizal Avenue, Ozamiz City near the Cathedral (nowadays, it's the WG&A ticketing office).

My fave pic of Archie with Betty and Veronica
In those days, we would just walk from school to Margueritte's.  It was quite a distance for Pilot Laboratory School was situated at Brgy. Tinago.  But we didn't mind, as long as we could rent another Archie for the night.  After Margueritte's at exactly 5 PM, we would hear mass at the Cathedral.  We always see to it that we're seating in front so Jan Michelle could have a good view of her knight of the altar crush.  And we talked and giggled but we also quieted ourselves during the sermon.

On the following day, we would swap our rented comic books in order to save another three-peso rent.  We would secretly cover our Archie's with our school books so our teacher could say that we were studying.  But upon asking us questions about our lesson, we could not answer her that led us to busted-doom.  So she went scolding us for playing tricks with her, threatening us to tell our parents about it.

However, that did not stop us from reading until somebody of us came across with Sweet Valley Kids.  She enjoyed reading her first one so she recommended it to us.  Afterwards, all of us were already reading Sweet Valley Kids.

The first Sweet Valley I had ever read!
At first, I did not want to rent a Sweet Valley because I was afraid I couldn't finish it overnight.  My rent, now five pesos for Sweet Valley, would just be wasted.  But as Brenda lent me hers, I came to have fun with Elizabeth and Jessica.  So, that started my Sweet Valley life!  Sweet Valley Kids when I was in Grade 5 and 6, Sweet Valley Twins and Sweet Valley High in high school, and Sweet Valley University in college.  I literally grew up with the characters in the stories.  I learned from them, I could relate with them, and I so loved them!  It was as if Francine Pascal designed them to be my barkadas also.

For at times, I pretended to be Elizabeth's best friend and hated Jessica.  On contrary, I also pretended to be Jessica's best friend and hated Elizabeth.  They are twins who are in both ends, one you'll love and the other you'll hate.  But at the end of every story, they're still sisters.  Sisters who love each other no matter what circumstance would come their way.  Moreover, I learned of good values and love from them.

In conclusion, I am so glad I had Archie and Sweet Valley as my reading stuffs when I was younger.  They had somehow molded me of who I am today.  Without them, I could not have known the vast words I knew today.  Without them, I could not have tell stories as what I am doing today!  And without them, I could not have valued forgiveness, love, and compassion to others.

When I was still a child, I was so skinny.  I was so choosy with the foods I ate.  My mom always experimented with multi-vitamins, milk, and food supplements just to boost my appetite but there were no effects.  She gave me Nutroplex, Bear Brand, Sustagen, Milo, etc.  But I was still frail, still sickly, and "somewhat" undernourished.  It was all because I never ate vegetables and fruits.

What I just loved eating were:

1.  Chiz Curls - I always had this every time my mom went to work at her office at Ortega Building.  We bought this at Progressive, a grocery store just at the ground floor of the building.  I loved this because of it's cheese flavor and crispiness!  I just loved every bite of this!  
Fave # 1
2.  Kiamoy - I always bought this at Bethany Pharmacy, a Chinese-owned drug store just across our first residence at Gomez St.  I had this at 3 pieces for 1 peso only!  Though I feared the Amah who was selling this, I still bought because I loved its sweet, sour, and salty flavors wrapped into just one bite!
Fave # 2
3.  Haw flakes - Together with the Chinesey Kiamoy, I also loved eating this Chinese delicacy.  And this time, my mom bought this at Geegee, the first mall native of Ozamiz.  I called this "kalawat-kalawat" (Eucharist in English) because of its round, thin shape.  But it's just of different color.
Fave # 3
4.  Lipps - I really loved this candy because it gives a very sweet taste of strawberry plus it would color my lips red.  I used this as my very first lipstick!
Fave # 4
 5.  Pretzels - From the above favorites, you might think that I was really a junkie as a child.  But aside from these junks, I also ate some valuable foods such as this.  They're chocolate-coated biscuits that can fill me every time I was hungry.  
Fave # 5
6.  Yakult - I always snobbed the Bear Brand, Milo, and Sustagen my mom always gave me but this health drink was always present in my lunch box for school everyday!  I loved its different taste - it's somewhat tangy and delectable to my taste buds.
Fave # 6
So, I was not that too bad a junkie after all!  In any how, I also craved for the yellow cereal (like Cerelac) and borgor (like Oatmeal) that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) served during their occasional feeding programs.  Believe it or not, I would line up just to get a bowl of these goodies!  They were so yummy for me but I didn't know their names and I couldn't describe what were those foods. The reason I couldn't have my mom buy them from the grocery for me.  Of course, I also looked forward to my Tatay Toto's rice topped with brown sugar.  It was always my merienda after a hard afternoon of playing outside!  

All in all, I wasn't healthy as a child.  I was "lampayatot"!  But as I think about it today, it's just OK.  At least, I had an indulgence to these forbidden foods.  They were heaven to me and were such pleasures as every child should have.

As a member of the female species, I'm always fascinated with pastel colors, cute little things, and glitters. I was always the "girly" type. I'd love collecting stationeries, hair clips, stamps, and a myriad of trinkets. When I was a kid, I had paper dolls and Barbie dolls with their vast wardrobe collection.

I always enjoyed playing with them with my sister April, cousins, and friends. We made clothes for them, bartered their stuffs, and made them ramp in our created miniature runway. I could still remember our judge that time, Kuya Boots. He was the first ever judge that I have in my life. His comments were so constructive that gave me an eye for stylish fashion.

Then I started drawing sketches of gowns, cocktails, and the like. I drew a lot of clothes for my paper dolls. This didn't cost much because all I needed were just paper, pencil, and crayons. Take note, my color combination skills were also developed at that time!

But I have to admit that I can't sew until now. I just had my couture, Ate Bebeb who was so patient making dresses for my Barbie dolls. She never failed to give me the dresses I wanted for them.

Until now, my paper dolls and Barbie dolls still exist. My youngest sister June Ann had even played with them also. We are still keeping them like they’re our sisters too. Though they’re not human beings, they gave joy to us when we were little girls and they can still make us smile now that we’re already big girls. They are family to us, worth keeping and worth remembering!

So, take care of your previous toys – may they be cheap or expensive. They are memoirs of a childhood that marks carefree and innocent days!

My Barbie with her knitted & sewn dresses plus pillows