A Letter To my Klongski in the Future ♥

I will be keeping a hard copy of this letter so that when my daughter turns 18, this will be one of the things that I will give to her as a gift. 

To my dearest Klongski,

You were only 2 years old when I wrote this letter for you. You probably do not feel like a baby anymore by the time that you read this, but trust me, you will always and forever be our baby.

By now, I know that we already experienced a lot of arguments. Perhaps you won't like me that much anymore and that's fine. I understand, because I was once like you. And there was a time when I also felt like my nanay, your lola, is unreasonable and overprotective. We may not see each other eye to eye on most things, I may not understand the things that you are into right now, but please, never forget that your tatay and I love you so much. We will never get tired of taking care of you until our very last breath.

Now that you are already a young adult, I have a written a list of the things that I want you to remember as you get on life's adventure:

I will let you go ( no matter how hard it is). I will try my best to let you go, to let you explore, to let you grow. I will try my hardest to support you if you want to color your hair purple, if you want to have multiple piercings (like your tatay and nanay, no doubt), I will let you choose the clothes that you want to wear. I will let you decide on the career path that you want. I will not do this because I want to be the "cool mom", I will do this because I want you to learn. I want you to be able to express yourself fully, I want you to be the person who knows what she wants. I want you to be able to face the rewards and consequences of your choices in life. I will only guide you, but I will never force you to do the things that you do not like.

You will make a lot of mistakes and wrong choices in life as you grow, but remember that it is an essential part of life. You will be faced with a lot of choices and temptations. When that time comes, I hope that your tatay and I did a good job in instilling values in you. Never hesitate to talk to us about everything. I will always be willing to listen to you.

Not all friends are friends. I have always been praying for you to meet people who will stick by you no matter what. I hope that you will find friends who will accept you for who you are and will respect you even if your choices and opinions are different from theirs. I hope that you will be able to find friends who will stay in your life until you grow old. Always learn to protect yourself. If you have doubts about a person, especially if you think that their intentions are not sincere, it is better to walk away. True friends will never pressure you to do something bad.

Believe in yourself, even if others do not. I hope that you grow up to be a confident young lady, a person who does what she thinks is right, says what's on her mind, and fights for what she believes in. I hope that you do not see the need to always conform to other people's beliefs and choices. I want you to explore life to its fullest. If you want to paint, go. If you want to teach, then by all means, teach. If you want to sing, let the world know how much you love doing it. I may have plans for you, but your life is about YOU, not about what your parents want you to be.

Never let anyone treat you badly. This goes for boys, and people in general. Always remember that you are precious. You are our princess, and you should be treated as such. You will find guys who will eventually turn into jerks in the long run, you will meet people who isn't as nice as how they appear to be, but honey, you should never let anyone bully you, abuse you, or use you. I hope that we were able to raise a headstrong girl who isn't afraid to say NO. If you do not want to be touched, speak up. (I swear, we will support you in punching any guy who tries to take advantage of you). If a person is mistreating you, speak up. You deserve to be surrounded with people who make your heart happy. Everyone does.

In return, you should also be kind to everyone. Do not be a bully. It is my job to make you as confident and as strong as you can be, so in return, you also have to respect others, even if their choices are different from yours. Be compassionate, appreciate the people who truly love you. Life will be so much better if you know that you haven't disrespected or mistreated anyone just to get what you want.

You do not need a man/relationship to be complete.  Again, your life is about you. Yes, being in a relationship is great if it makes you happy. But, if you still haven't found 'The One' at 35, do not fret. It is better to wait for the one who will truly make you happy, than be in a one-sided, abusive, or unhappy relationship. Do not feel pressured if your high school classmates already have their first kiss, first puppy love etc. Your time will come, or he will come at the right time.

You can still tell me  anything and everything. To me, you are my very best friend, whether you like it or not. I hope that even when you grow old, you will still feel comfortable in telling me anything.  Do not hesitate to tell me if you are crushing on someone, if you want to crush someone's face, if you are tired, if you are happy. Klong, no matter where life takes you, please remember that your nanay will always be excited for your stories. Your nanay will always have time to listen to you, to give you advice and to scold you if needed. <3

You are definitely going to break rules at one point.
You are Francis and Ea's daughter, so you will most likely be a bit rebellious like us. That's inevitable. We had our share of curfew-breaking, and a few cutting classes way back, I had my first beer when I was 17, your tatay was already drinking beer in grade school,  but we know our priorities. Your father and I are both happy-go-lucky (hopefully up to this day), but we also value our future. I hope that you are also like that. I want you to explore and enjoy, but always know your limitations. It's okay to bend the rules a little, if only to see more and learn more. As long as you are willing to face the consequences, and as long as it isn't serious rule-breaking, then I think I can handle that (just be ready for my endless sermon). :)

 I am 100% sure that I will be the nagging mom, I will want to know everything. I will relentlessly ask you if you have suitors, if you have already finished your homeworks. I will still buy you the cutest outfits even if you hate them now that you have your own style, and I will most definitely be the parent who grounds you, or cuts your allowance because of certain things, because I am stricter than your tatay, but anak, we love you so  much, flaws and all. I hope that we were able to be good parents for you, and I pray that you will enjoy the life that you are living now. Go and chase your dreams. Your nanay and tatay will continuously pray for you, support you, and love you. You always have us to run to in times of sadness and joy.

You are a gift to us, and I hope that you continue to be a blessing to others. Be the person that you want to be, and do the things that you love to do. We are just here to guide you. I know that you have grown to be a strong but loving person who does not allow others to put you down. ( I will make sure of it).

We love you, Klongski. (maybe you don't like to be called Klong Klong anymore). but no matter what happens, I promise to take care of myself so that I can take care of you longer (and hopefully your future kids too). Your tatay and I will always be proud of you no matter what.

Happy 18th birthday!


Your Nanay from 16 years ago ♥


Marrying My Best Friend

Ever since Klong came, I rarely blog about my husband. However, since it's his birthday next month, and since I really, really feel blessed to have him in my life, I decided to write something about my favorite man.

"I am lucky that I married my best friend".

Sobrang cliche nito pero this is really how I feel about us. We've known each other since we were in 6th grade. Admittedly, I had a crush on him because he was maputi, and he had really nice hair. He started sending me love letters, but I rejected him because I got turned off by his shoes. Ewan ko pero wala lang, ayun lang talaga yung reason. hahah.  In high school, we became closer. He would sit beside me and we would listen to my Parokya ni Edgar cd in my discman. He would tell me all about his new prospects/girlfriends/crushes, and I would rate them from 1-10. Girls from the other sections thought that we were a couple, and there was even a time when one of his exes confronted me inside a bookstore. I was furious. He just laughed and teased me. When we finally had our own landline (swear, big deal ang landline dati), he's the only one who knew our number. We would talk for hours about our childhood, about our schoolmates, about anything. We'd talk for 6 hours max.

On our sophomore year, I had a boyfriend (our relationship lasted for 6 years), while he had his first long-term girlfriend when we were in our junior year. Even if we were both in a relationship, the habit remained. In the afternoon, we would talk to our respective partners on the phone, and we made sure to end the conversation by 9pm. 9pm onwards, that's our telebabad time. That continued even if we were already in college. I would ask him for advice about boys, and he would tell me his problems too. I was the one who helped him plan for his anniversary, graduation and birthday surprises for his ex. For 8 years, we were that close.

When my ex broke up with me, I didn't want to talk to anyone. He was there to cheer me up. He made sure that I wouldn't wallow in self-pity. He arranged dates for me. He introduced me to his guy friends and played the matchmaker for a few months. I did not date his friends. I wasn't interested in other guys, but he helped me move on. He accompanied me on my OJT interviews, in my graduation pictorial. He made sure that I wouldn't feel so bad about being single.

When he and his ex broke up, we switched roles. It was my turn to make him feel better. Our friends started bugging us if we were already dating but we would both laugh at the idea. One time, we made a 'drunken promise' that if we are still single after 8 years, we would just marry each other. At least we know each other and each other's families. We even signed a paper to seal the deal. (a torn page from my notebook). I lost that paper. But after that night, we became a bit closer than we were before.

Gilligan's MOA ; Circa 2011

Beer Belly, Mandaluyong ; May 2011

We did not label our relationship right away, but we got used to being in each other's special days. The people around us need not to confirm if we are already a couple, I think they just knew.

*After almost 2 years*, we finally made it official.

2 years later, we got married.

It wasn't a breeze, I'm telling you.

Before we said "I do", we went through ups and downs. We dealt with criticisms, with breakup, with reconciliation, with personal dilemmas, but in the end, we chose each other.

Marrying my best friend also meant being well-versed when it comes to his dating history. I was his partner-in-crime in  planning surprises for his ex, and now that we are married, I would ask him why he does not surprise me the way he did to his ex. When I was very pregnant and insecure, I would get mad at him for not being as sweet as the Oppas in the Kdramas I am watching. I would accuse him of just settling with me because I am the only girl who has never left his side. At times, that would start a WWIII, most of the time, he would just laugh at me.

Marrying my best friend also meant knowing him for the longest time. Generally, it's a good thing. Sometimes though, it has its disadvantages. Being friends with him for almost a decade has made us so comfortable with each other, to the point that teasing each other is part of our daily life. I think that has become our own love language. I always call him "Iki" (butiki), and he will always be the first one to to tease me about being fat, or matakaw. We've always been like this even in front of our friends and family. But sometimes, I see couples who are all googly-eyed when talking about the love of their life. We were never like that. At times, I would ask him if there is something wrong with us, because we weren't as sweet as the other couples we know.

Am I giving you the impression that marrying your BFF is a bad idea? I hope not. Because personally, I think being married to the guy I have been friends with since I was little is really one of the best decisions I have made. The pros easily outweigh the cons.

For one, we know each other so well that we never really see the need to constantly impress or compete with one another. Since we were best friends first, we do not hold back on criticisms. I can always count on him to tell me his honest opinions, and he would not worry that he might insult or upset me.

We've been friends way back when elephant pants were super cool, and the "in" hairstyle for boys were kimpee and oasis. Now that we are married, he doesn't really need to impress me by bringing me to a fancy dinner, or giving me extravagant gifts. Of course, I am thankful that my husband exerts effort on special occasions, but really, hanging out is good enough for us.

Another thing that I like about being married to Iki is there are no skeletons in our closets. We know each other's deepest secrets and dark past, that surprises are very rare, if not impossible.

We have also been a part of each other's best and worst in the past, that's why now that we are married, problems are a little less stressful because I have my best buddy as my kakampi. We hate the same people, we like the same people, we almost want the same things (except longganisa and corned beef).

We know each other's dreams since we were young, and until now, Iki has been my most avid supporter. He will always be the one to cheer me on when I am stressed, I will always be the one to remind him of how awesome he is when he is feeling a little down.

Most of all, we share the same values in life. I saw how caring and loving he is to his parents, but he also does not let anyone put him down. He does not care what people think about him, but he also sees to it that he treats everyone with respect.

We have been through a lot together - from being bffs, to being a new couple, to being married, and now, being proud parents to our little madam. It isn't easy, and I know that there will still be bumps along the way, but I am happy that my husband is with me every step of the way. I am not saying that every girl should marry their best friend, it's just that I am not an easy person to love, let alone spend your entire life with, but Francis accepted me, my family, and my flaws without hesitations. He was there for me when I was at my lowest, wearing 6-pocket jeans and Presto rubber shoes. He liked me even when my high school crush doesn't even know I exist, and most of all, he shows how much he loves me by being the best tatay to our Klongski. I know that I am not perfect, but God still gave me a best friend and a husband in one, and I do not think I can ever thank Him enough for that.

So to you, my bff and my mister, advanced HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You are indeed my person. Klong and I are so blessed to have you in our lives. We love you.

To more mistakes, tampuhan, food trip, misunderstandings, bloopers, laughter and  adventures TOGETHER!


Our wedding day: October 18, 2014

Our first Christmas as a family: December 24, 2015


Klongversations: What's Your Name?

Me: What's your name?
Klong: Ayli
Me: No, it's AYLA.
Klong: Aytiii
Me: Hay naku, Ayla nga!!
Klong: Towtow nga!!

Fine >:(


Little Madam - Fashionista On A Budget

As a little girl, I love playing dress up (or at least the idea of it). I grew up watching  Lizzie McGuire, That's So Raven, and Parent Trap, and I always tell myself that I want to dress like them. I also like watching slumber party shows etc, but since I have no sister, and my cousins live far from where I grew up, I barely made it happen. I am also the only daughter, so most of the time, the toys and games at home are for boys.

When Klongski came, I promised myself that I will buy the cutest, trendiest clothes for her. I am not a fan of cartoon characters on Klong's clothes, and buying "pang dalaga" clothes are really expensive, because babies grow so fast they easily outgrow your last month's purchase.

But being the cheapskate that I am, I looked for affordable baby/toddler clothes for Klong's daily OOTDs. Most of Klong's outfits are from SM department store, tiangges, and our favorite - Taytay Market.

On paydays (or days when we feel like spending a little more on her outfits), we either have custom-made outfits for her from trusted IG shops, or we go to Old Navy and Uniqlo.
I am not too picky when it comes to the brand, so long as my daughter is comfortable in it, plus she looks cute. hahaha. :D

Here are some of my most favorite little madam outfits.

Top: Uniqlo ; Pants- SM kids; Shoes- H&M

Top - Taytay Market; Palazzo Pants - custom - made from an online shop
Jacket - hand me down from a cousin; Shorts - Old Navy; Inner top - Taytay Market

Very seldom do I dress her up with Cartoon Characters but this one is denim and I super liked it
Dress, bag and shades - SM Kids; Shoes - H&M 
Top (zebra onesie) & Bottom (zebra leggings + skirt) - gifts from ninangs; Headband -custom-made; Sandals - Taytay market

Cap - Robinsons Dept. Store; Shorts and top - Taytay market

Headband - custom-made; Top - Uniqlo; Pants - Mothercare

Top - Old Navy; Shorts - Taytay Market

Dress - SM Kids (from a ninang)
Top - Taytay market; Pants - SM Kids; Shoes - H&M

Top - Taytay; Shorts - Greenhills bazaar; Shoes - SM kids

Inner shirt - Old Navy; Shorts - hand-me-down from a cousin; Sleeveless hoodie - Pasig market

shaky photo because she cannot wait to ride the carousel

There are still a lot of photos I wish I could add, but this is getting too lengthy. I am really happy that my daughter loves dressing up as much as I do. Klong is growing up so fast and I know it won't be long before she would refuse to wear the clothes that I pick for her. So for the meantime, I would just enjoy these dressing up moments with my little fashionista on a budget. 



My 27th birthday

Last March 7, I turned 27. 

If I will be the one in charge, I would rather sleep the whole day. However, my husband still wanted a simple celebration, so off we go to the mall.

Here's how we celebrated my 27th birthday:

We decided to go to SM Megamall, because ever since SM East Ortigas opened last December 2, we never went back to Megamall again.

We had lunch at Bad Bird in Fashion Hall, Megamall. We ordered Dirty rice chicken plate. I chose one safe, and one spicy chicken, since Klong wants chicken too. Frans ordered one spicy and one chemical chicken. Honestly, the chemical chicken wasn't too spicy, much to my husband's chagrin. However, the dirty rice tastes awesome. Apart from the ordinary fried rice, it has bacon, chicken liver, tamago and kimchi. The serving is big, I couldn't finish it alone.

I was surprised that Klong loved the kimchi. HAHA.

We also ordered chicken nuggets with umami gravy for Klong, but she barely touched it, as she liked the spicy chicken more. (yep, she likes spicy foods). In my opinion, the nuggets tasted a bit bland.

If there's one thing that I really liked about Bad Bird, it would be the service. The crew were really nice. When we arrived, we were in the waiting queue, but the manager approached us and took my husband's mobile number. She told us that they will call us once our table is ready. Perhaps they noticed that Klong is a bit restless already.

After about 10minutes, they called to tell us that our table's ready. Note that their network is Globe and my husband is a Smart subscriber.

Also, they serve fast, and always with a smile.

Would I come back? Yes. The dirty rice meal costs P390 each, which is a bit pricey, but the service is A-okay! The chicken is savory and crunchy (a bit disappointed with 'chemical' chicken, though), and they have a cozy interiors. I am really happy that my husband took me to this restaurant. :)

After lunch, we went to Club Synergy so that Klong can ride the carousel and the coin-operated rides. Then we went straight to the hospital for Klong's check up.

When we arrived home, we did a couple of errands and chores because it is my rest day (the only time that we can do the laundy). We were still full so we skipped dinner . We had a few drinks with my tatay. (San Mig lights for Tatay, Red Horse for me and Frans), because what's a birthday without a beer?

At around 10pm, I thought we were ready to call it a night. However, Frans told me that we still haven't eaten dinner, and that he's craving for tapa. I thought we were going to the tapsilogan across the street, but he hailed a cab. We went to The Yard Underground. 

I have always wanted to go here since it's soft opening a few months back, but we couldn't find the time since we are always in a hurry to go home after work. We arrived at around 11pm on a Tuesday night, but it is still pretty packed. I wonder how jam-packed this place is on a weekend.

I was still a bit full because of beer and tokwa, so I let the hubby decide. Since he is craving for tapsilog, we went to The Good Tapa. I ordered tapsilog with extra chili.

I enjoyed the food. We got the juice from Birdmen, which is big enough for the two of us. I was so full and sleepy, so I asked hubby if we can go home right after eating.

Next time, I promise to try The Cheesery, The Potato Club and Ta Ke Ho Me. 

It was a tiring, but happy day as I got to spend the whole day with my family. I specifically asked Francis not to bother for my birthday, because in 5 days, it will be our daughter's 2nd birthday. I was thinking of just having one celebration for the both of us. But Frans still went out of his way to make me happy on my special day. I am one lucky woman, aren't I.

Oh, before I forget

Here's the hubby's gift for me. It was supposed to be given on my birthday, but he was hesitant of the size, so he gave it to me 2 days in advance. Woopie!


As I Turn A Year Older

I just turned 27. Whoop-dee-doo!
27 years is a bit short, I know, for me to be talking about life realizations and all, but hey, I am about to hit the thirties, so bear with me. (I kid).

No really, in the last 26 years, I faced a series of ups, downs, victories and defeats. I fell in love, I fell out of love, I got married, I gave birth, I achieved some of my goals, I got disappointed at times. Point is, life offers a lot of choices to make and lessons to be learned.

Here are some of the nuggets of wisdom, thoughts and whatnot that I gained over the years:

1. My dreams got bigger, but my ultimate wish is to be able to get 12 hours of undisturbed sleep.
Or maybe it's just me. HAHA. When I was young(er), I would ask for books or food for my birthday. However, last night, Francis asked me what I want for my birthday. Without batting an eyelash, I told him that it would be wonderful to sleep for at least 12 hours straight, while he takes care of Klong and do the chores for me. HAHA. (A girl can dream, right?).

2. Drinks after work? Are you nuts?
Back in 2011-2012, my parents would rarely see me because after work, I usually go and grab drinks with my former workmates, or go to my best friend's house and drink until the wee hours, because YOLO. (uhm?) Now, I have been in the same company for almost 2 years, and I NEVER joined them for drinks after work. Not even once. (Not because I don't like my office mates, mind you), but it's just that I don't have the energy for after work sessions anymore. Commuting in Ortigas is hard as it is, and all I want at the end of the day is to hug my daughter, watch Kdrama and call it a night at 10pm. HAHA. Yes, adulting did this to me :)

3. Deeper meaning of "Friendship"
Unconsciously, our real life friends list become shorter as we grow older. Before, the people you usually hang out with at school are your friends. Now, friendship has a whole new definition for me. It doesn't matter if I get to talk to my friends daily or once every three months. It doesn't matter if one lives in a different country or just across the street. What defines friendship for me now are the moments that we have shared together. That despite the differences of opinions, of life choices, I know that  they will be there for me no matter what.

4. It's okay to distance yourself from other people
I am not sure if it's because I am a self-confessed introvert, or life made me do this, but I tend to build a wall around me most of the time. I have been hurt and deceived a couple of times already, and it is not a sin to protect yourself from people who have ulterior motives, and people who have no plans of staying in your life for good. I also think that it is healthy to have alone time every now and then, to freely think, to breathe, to recharge.

5. COFFEE is life
I can't imagine what life would be without coffee. I cannot fathom the idea of battling through traffic and daily stress without a boost of caffeine. 'Nuf said.

6. Family comes first. 
During my teenage years, I would daydream about the day when I will finally be free to do things on my own. After college, after the first few paychecks, I realized that no matter where you are in life, your parents will always be your safe haven (at least for me, that is). When I gave birth to Klongski, I realized just how much a parent loves her child, and I learned to appreciate my parents more.

7. Not everyone will like you, and it's totally fine. 
I learned that in life, there will be people who won't like you for all the mundane reasons. I also learned that even if that's the case, it doesn't need to bother me at all, as long as I know that I didn't do anything wrong to that person. At 26, I am pretty confident with the people who are in my life that mere haters/people who try to burst my bubble just don't annoy me that much anymore.

8. Choose your battles wisely
We live in the social networking era and sadly, some are braver in posting rants and throwing shade at each other online than addressing the conflict face to face. I had my fair share of online war, albeit through private messaging and cryptic posts, but I realized that it isn't wise to comment back or react to every single issue thrown at you , or every post which you feel is directed to you. It will be a waste of time and a waste of battery. As I grow older, I started to master the art of 'deadma', and putting so much energy into something negative will never result to anything positive. So I opt to choose my battles more.

9. Don't be too hard on yourself
During my final weeks in college, I thought I had everything figured out. I will get a high paying job, I will wear this and that, I will have a hefty savings account by 30, etc. etc. 5 years later, I still haven't achieved most of the items on my list. Honestly, I am not bothered. At least not anymore. I have read this again and again, that it's okay if at mid-20s, we still haven't figured it all out. Yes, it may be disappointing at times, but hey, life is all about choices and chances, and as long as I know that I am doing my best to achieve my goals, I know that I'll be fine.

10. Learn to appreciate the value of things and moments
As I mature, I started appreciating the value of life, of things, of moments. I thought that if I started earning, I would be able to buy everything that I want, not just the needs. However, since I have experienced working hard for money, I learned to value things more. I learned that (like in number 1) sometimes, the best things in life are the things that money cannot buy, like sleep, and my daughter's kisses and hugs.

Being a married 27-year-old woman, may restrict me from getting everything that I want in an instant, like that spur-of-the-moment trip out of the country, the latest Iphone model  or the drink-till-you-drop gimik nights with colleagues, but I am sincerely grateful for the life that I live now. I have a wonderful little family that I can call my own, I have loving parents, who are willing to drop anything for their 'paboritong apo', I have friends, both at work and from school, who love me even if I am moody and anti-social most of the times. I still have a long, long way to go before I fulfill all of my dreams, but I know that I will get there, someday. I can't wait to see what my 27th year has in store for me. Lez do this! :)


Klongversations: The Hungry Little Madam

My daughter is turning two in a few days, and lately, she has been saying words that I can't remember teaching her.

Me: Klong, let's go!
Klong: Wait, ha? (with matching hand gestures)

Uhm, who taught you that anak? wah!

Here's another one:

Me: Klong, what do you want to eat?
Klong: Icken (chicken), rice
Me: Okay.
Klong: Papay (tinapay), fries, please?
Me: Wow ang dami.
Klong: Ice cream!

ay buffet anak?

I'm so happy that I can now talk to my daughter. I've waited for this for so long. However, I need to remind myself (and the rest of the family), to be very careful in our choice of words because the little madam will quickly pick up the words that we use at home. hahaha. How time flies! :)



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