Archive for March 2012


Thursday, 29 March 2012

A fruit.
A bird.

A currency.

Tomorrow, a memorable adventure. :)

One more day to go, woohoooo!

Can't wait to gallivant with hobbits, elves and wizards! Come join me!


Chimes. Bells. Sirens.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

I wish my heart could easily tell the difference.

Mani(a)c Monday

Monday, 19 March 2012

Forgive me. I just have to let this out.

Oh this day! Woke up feeling sick but since I made a commitment to fly to Davao for a workshop on LGU sustainability, I mustered all my strength to rush to the airport, only to be left behind and forced to pay more than P3,000 in rebooking fees from my own pocket (ouch!) :c

After rebooking to get on the next available flight, I inadvertently left my personal laptop on one of the seats at the airport ticketing office. About five minutes after realizing what had just happened, I made a mad dash from the other end of the airport to retrieve my lappie. Good thing one of the guys I lined up with recognized me as the owner and assured me that my gadget was still there.

And so I waited for some five hours for the next plane to arrive and tried to squeeze work in between. Upon check-in, I found out that my gate will be the one at the very end of the terminal, just beside the smoking area. There I was, sick to my stomach, trying to deal with the suffocating smell of second-hand smoke entering my uber sensitive stomach. What's worse, the airport was full! Zero seats available, ergo no other place to stay. Well, technically there were some, but they had bags on them which meant they were reserved (yes, I checked, because sometimes, nakakapika that bags are the ones sitting down instead of people, di ba?).

Boarding time came and I got on the plane, found my seat and settled myself without a hitch.  I thought that was the end of this manic series of unfortunate events, but I was sorely mistaken.  Because of air traffic, we had to wait for an hour to get the go signal that we were ready to fly.  An hour, seriously. I fell asleep abruptly from exhaustion only to wake up and find our plane in the exact same spot.  By this time, I was already nauseous. My eyes had already gone so dry from the air that when I tried to open it, my contacts nearly popped out, good thing I was able to save it.

When the plane finally took off, one of the overhead compartments opened. It appears it wasn't thoroughly checked by the FAs on the flight. Our ascent was a little too fast and steep than usual, so I was just relieved nothing fell off.  There was a quite a bit of turbulence throughout the whole flight so I wasn't very successful in completing some writing assignments while inside the aircraft.

I was ready to throw up again with my sugar level at super low, so I asked the FA if they have anything sweet for sale---like a chocolate bar or candy just to help counter the nausea. Guess what? All she said was "no Ma'am, we don't" and didn't even take time to look for anything to relieve me even though she knew what state I was in. Goodness me.

And for the top two highlights of this day:

The guy sitting on my left must have been so anxious during the whole flight that every time we would encounter turbulence, he would make a sign of the cross (which was totally fine) and.... discreetly jack-off in between. Thank heavens he didn't lay a finger on me otherwise, I would have probably whatever energy I had to drag him to the toilet where he can do his ritual privately (if that really is his way of coping)!

Our pilot also overshot the runway.  I felt that something was wrong because we were coming in too fast and too strong. We missed our first chance, the captain had to do some explaining on the speakers to assure passengers that everything was under control, circled the skies for a few more minutes, before landing.

Sigh. Now, the silver lining.

I still made it safe and sound back to my beloved Davao.  I  headed straight to our field office a little shaken but when I arrived, my colleagues were all so welcoming that I couldn't help but get energized.  We were able to wrap up our preparatory meeting immediately, and even got to eat the yummiest chocolate cake and ice cream because it was our area manager's birthday. Exactly the sugar rush that I needed! Weee! :)

Now, off to bed for a 4:30AM call time.

At Hotel Tropika, Davao City. Must. Crawl. Bed. Now.

Koronadal-bound in a few. Hope tomorrow and the rest of the week will turn out to be fantastic (less tiring, preferably) for me and you.


Tayo ba ay buhay?*

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Just finished a training for health service providers (HSPs) on Interpersonal Communication and Counseling (IPC/C). Part of the project I'm currently affiliated with's mandate is to provide technical assistance on health promotion for behavior change to national and local partners. This recently-concluded 5-day Training of Trainers (TOT) aimed to build the capacity of HSPs to better meet their clients' needs and generally improve the health system.

It is not enough for frontline HSPs to know technically-correct health messages.  As sources of information, they are also entrusted with the responsibility of effectively delivering these messages to communities.

The training focused on developing the HSPs' skills on building rapport, correctly assessing health problems, providing options, referring and summarizing messages for clients. Participants are also introduced to various IPC/C tools that they can use in their work.

The training uses various fun learning exercises to keep everyone interested.
I just love the participants' superb energy! :)
On the last two days of the TOT, the HSPs are given an opportunity to apply what they've learned through individual return demonstrations.


Several years ago, conducting capacity-building activities with stakeholders comprised a big chunk of my work. I was no stranger to the physically exhausting preparations before each training. Some people might think that it's just a matter of packing pens, metacards and other materials but it's definitely not! It's about finding that one important image to inspire participants.. it's about searching for that simple song that will facilitate reflection and commitment... it's about doing one's best to encourage participants to apply skills long after the training session had finished.  Pre-training preps are in a way, an OC person's heaven, and possibly, a newbie's worst nightmare.

Despite the demanding preps, carrying out this activity can be quite fulfilling. In this recent TOT, seeing the relief on the participants' face after they finished their demo was just priceless. Everyone just had fun listening to stories of how some participants had to stay up all night to review, call loved ones for inspiration, and pray, even visit a nearby Church the day before just to release tension prior to their presentation. Talk about being dead serious! :)

Observing how well last week's TOT turned out to be (inspite of some minor, 'surprise' hiccups) just made me so happy. I'm glad that the HSPs' comments were positive too. In fact, one of the participants was so thrilled, she surprised me with a kiss on the cheek! (O di ba, parang Katy Perry's song lang, "I (was) kissed (by) a girl... and I liked it." Haha =p )

The 40+ year old female HSP was in a mild state of panic before her presentation. Despite being experienced in the medical field, she told me that IPC/C is something that she still has to master. So, I tried to be as helpful as possible by running some of the concepts that weren't very clear to her. Before and during her presentation, I just kept on smiling as a way of cheering her on. After she successfully finished her demo, like a doting aunt, she approached and thanked me for the experience. Awww :)

Seriously though, I think I should be the one thanking her and the other participants/facilitators for making me realize just how much I missed the training environment.  I really hope that I am also learning and growing my skills so that I can share and better serve in whatever way I can.

I particularly like one of the chants used during the training which goes:

"Tayo ba ay buhay? (Oo)
Ipakita ang buhay! (Sige)...
Ahum, Aha, Ahum-Ah-Ah"*
(chant from IPC/C Training)

Opportunities and moments like this affirm that yes, I am alive* and that I have people to meet, lessons to learn and several meaningful tasks to do. :)

Have a great week ahead everyone!

Whip My Hair

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Early last month, I heard that Willow Smith, the girl who became famous for her song "Whip My Hair" (back and forth!), just shaved her head.  Weeks after, Will and Jada's 11-year old daughter then colored what's left of her hair bleach blonde, because she was... depressed (atleast that's what the radio jocks said).

{Via HERE}

Now if this were true, I'm a bit worried. I wonder what caused her to be depressed at 11, but then again, maybe depression doesn't have anything to do with age. I also wonder whether it's safe to subject such a young person's precious locks "to dye," but maybe the process her hair underwent for her old dreadlocks was much more intense.

Maybe she just wanted change, something to shake things up.  Doing something new to her mane was probably her way of coping.

I know this holds true for me too. I like coloring my hair or getting a radical cut every once in a while when I'm sad (e.g. old love woes, heavy day at work, etc.), but I also do these things when I'm extremely happy (e.g. there's a special occasion, upcoming vacation, etc).

Looks like I might need to update my own cut soon for a mix of these reasons.

I was so swamped with work the other day when my boss called me up to visit her office. As soon as I entered her room, her first line was:

"Parang medyo magulo ata ang buhok mo ngayon Rhea, toxic ba?"

I must have turned as bright as a red tomato. I realized that in the "haggard-ness" of the day, I forgot all about the usual after-lunch ritual to check if at the very least, I still look decent. It's a good thing I have such a cool and supportive boss, I never got offended by her question. I immediately apologized, discreetly combed my hair with my hands, and we both ended up laughing the whole thing off! :)

I've been so physically and emotionally drained in the last few weeks that "self-sabunot moments" (as a friend fondly calls it) have become common.  Unfortunately for me, I never regained my "balik-ayos" hair from grade school ever since my mom and I drastically decided to snip my waist-length hair and convert it to an ultra-short bob. I think I even had a wee bit of 'undercut,' which was the vogue back then (UGH. What the heck was I thinking?!)

Valuable lesson learned:

"When you are stressed out, you want to whip your hair because you're feeling grumpy, 
first make sure to secure your hair with a scrunchy."

Sigh. I badly need to apply what I've learned weeks ago on how to style my hair.


According to my teacher, some stylish girls from Japan even wake up as early as 4AM just to fix their hair. What?!

With my classmates. I was so jealous of their long, voluminous hair.
Mine was so difficult to style, good thing
our mentor  was patient enough!
Hmmm, for now I think I'd rather sleep :D

All photos courtesy of my super pretty teacher, Myr Lim (second from left).

Check out Myr's Sunday classes at :) She's the nicest ever! Promise, super worth it. You'll surely learn loads from her!

Mi Familia at the Villa

Sunday, 4 March 2012

To express gratitude for Dad's safe return, we visited the place where he and Mom got married 29 years ago--Villa San Miguel, more popularly known as the Archbishop's Palace, Mandaluyong City.

Last time we visited the place as a family, we were randomly chosen to do the offertory in a Church packed with other attendees. That was particularly special since we were there to celebrate my parents' wedding anniversary and my youngest brother's birthday.

This time, however, we found out too late that their Sunday masses now end much earlier. We missed the mass; good thing the caretakers were nice enough to still let us in.  After all, it's a very rare occasion when we're together because Dad's mostly out of the country for work. Together, we said our prayers, looked around and snapped a few photos.

After the visit, we headed to Burgos Circle for dinner.  Finding a restaurant that will satisfy my family's requirements is a constant challenge for me. Good thing there's Cafe Juanita. I've always wanted to try this place, known for its kitschy/charming interiors (depending on your taste) and Pinoy food selection, but I've always found the directions to its original branch in Mandaluyong a tad confusing.

Cafe Juanita at the Fort was perfect! It suited Jr's "meat" and Mom's  "dapat may sabaw" requirement (i.e. homemade cooking), made Dad nostalgic because of the old music and even allowed my little bro time to practice his photography skills. As for moi, the designated driver, I was just happy I didn't have to scour Mandaluyong to look for the original branch and parking too.

We had fun catching up over really good food! :) My parents particularly enjoyed the Malunggay Chicken dish, my brothers ate almost everything, and I loved loved their vanilla ice cream and toffee pudding. Yum!

Mom was the only one in pink, haha, definitely Team Blue's muse :D

After dinner, we went to Sacred Heart Church, Makati to catch the 8:30 P.M. mass. Mission accomplished.

Thank God for family! :) Can't wait for our next weekend date.

I feel great at 28! :)

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Birthday lunch with my lovely officemates, 
dinner with J, weekend dinner with family, and a 
couple more lined up with friends! :)

Thank you all very much for your well-wishes!

I am overwhelmed. I am humbled. I am filled with so much joy. Your greetings make my heart conscious of its treasures. I am deeply grateful for another wonderful chance to live and love! Here’s to fruitful relationships, to fulfilling and building new dreams on my special day!


“Thou that has given so much to me,
Give one thing more–a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if thy blessings had spare days;
But such a heart, whose pulse may be
Thy praise.”
– George Herbert


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