Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My 32nd B-B-B celebration!

Wasn't back yet to blogging when I celebrated my 32nd birthday last August. So, I would like to turn back time and marvel once again on how I celebrated my natal day with some special people.

Celebrating birthday the "negrita" style
This year was different because it was the first time I celebrated out of town. I belong to a family who value old traditions, and that means celebrating special occasions over a simple dinner in a small group of family and friends.   My birthdays were always celebrated simply.  No regrets though, because I enjoy simple pleasures and I have gone past the age of staying awake until wee hours of the morning partying. Ang last gimmick ko, 2001 pa. First job days. Alcohol free for 10 years! haha! Now, a bottle of San Mig light is meant to be consumed for 3 hours. Marami pang yelo yan!

This year, I together with my hubby and our couple friend, Ron & Vinay, went to one of the most sought resort in our local country, Bellaroca!
Elephant shaped Bellaroca Island
(elephant facing right partially submerged in water)
 Bellaroca is an elephant island in the heart of Marinduque.  It was called an elephant island because it visually looks like one on a side peripheral view.  An illusion of an elephant's body dipped in water. And just like an elephant, this resort really had humongous offerings.  Every bit of the 3 day stay was all worth it!   Kulang ang 3 days!

The famous arc where Bellaroca got its logo
Bellaroca has the highest standard of service amongst all the  boutique resorts I have been into by far.   Hospitality, customer service, amenities and of course the breath taking view were all superb.  Food comes in way too pricey though, literally pricey.  But the 4 of us managed to sneek in some good food from our own baon.  Buti nalang may dala kaming Transformer na Ref! haha! This is one memorable part, thanks to Ron!

Though this trip was deliberately planned to fall on my birthday, my hubby and his bestfriend Ron was still able to pull off a surprise.  For one, my hubby isn't really fond of surprises, so this one also was a first. :)

With the super maalagang Bellaroca staffs
who served us during the semi-surprise dinner in one of the open terraces
(1:1 ang service!)

The birthday dinner was a part of the many beautiful things in Bellaroca. 

Here are a few of the others -
Infinity pool inside the Villa room
Road way up
One of the Alfresco areas

Massage areas
(At our back is a Koi pond)

And that was my B(eautiful) 32nd B(irthday) at B(ellaroca).

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Happy Comeback

A Happy Return

After almost 3 months of personal time, I returned to the familiar place and faces of my then daily life - my Abenson HR family. 

And just like most homecomings, this one was a happy return.  

Thanks to this wonderful team who showed me their understanding support.  They who wished, hoped and prayed with me as I went through a personal endeavour and journey.   With their presence, I continue to keep a strong faith that God is preparing me up for something greater and bigger.  The cheerful smiles,  generous hugs and sweet surprises made the comeback a lot easier and happier than I thought.  :)

Thanks to these sweety-heads who work with me side by side each day -  Ron, Jam, Kaye, Ena, Hang, Via, Jehna, Beng, Marrie, Sheryl, James, Ria, Kate, Tonnie, Boyet, Nevs, Corine, Connie, Eb, Glenda, Avic, Bryan, Joel, Ronald (+ a name of our new guy to follow). 

I can't forget Ma'am Marian's motherly love for me of course. Siya talaga ang pangalawang Nanay ko. :)

I am all ready to hear the daily quirks, love-hate disagreements and even the noisy endless teasings!  I realized that a "day" is still different without you guys.

(I won't last a day without you?! haha)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Name Game

Taking a stub on my name.  Just for fun!

Come on everyba-deh!
Ah say-ah  let's play a geheym!

    Mary Grace Mariano-Zulueta

2. YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (first three letters of your name, plus izzle):  
      Marizzle , Graizzle - gangsta ba ito? parang disney name ata.

3. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color and fav animal):   
      Blue Terrier  - haha! mukha naman akong stuff toy, di naman to detective!

4.  YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, current street name):

      Mariano Hontiveros  -  WEH?!!  tunog cast ng Mexican telenovela. wag nalang!

 5.   YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name, first 3 letters of mom's maiden name):

       Zulmaman - ok! parang generic name lang ng gamot!

6. SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd favorite color, favorite drink):

       White Mocha - super nga talaga ito, super drink! haha

7. IRAQI NAME: (2nd letter of your first name, 3rd letter of your last name, any letter of  your middle name, 2nd letter of your moms maiden name, 2nd letter of your dads middle name, 1st letter of a siblings first name):

       Aliar – pwede na. 

8. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (father's middle name):


9. GOTH NAME: (3rd favorite color, and one of the name of your pet)

       Pink Butch

Hehe! Try nyo din, pangpatawa lang. :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lootbag: Purrr...Paalll

Yesterday, I received a "Just-Because-Gift" from my girlfriend Pizza (yes, that's her name) and her hubby Jayson.  No reason. No occassion. It's a just gift.  Happiness!

They decided to give me something they wish I'd grow to like..(like muna, pwede love after nalang?)

Purple and Pink Starbucks Thermal Tumbler

I missed buying one of the pink limited stocks last year and she even looked for one when she went to HK but we both weren't successful looking for one. I guess she remembered it and bought me this. Don't you just really love a dear girl friend?  

My favorite picture of Piz & Jay (yep, Jay is there)

Jay and Piz just celebrated their 32nd birthday this month, Happy Birthday to our dear-good-ol-couple-friend!  Love you both!

Thanks for the no-reason-at-all gift! And I know that that's a suhol to love The Purr-Palll!

For all the surprise thingies I suddenly receive, I'll name my entries of gratitude as A LOOTBAG! So this goes as my 2nd gift inside my lootbag. :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Lingering Scenes Saturdays (LSS)

Saturdays being our "movie day" of the week, I'll turn to my favorite scenes from my favorite movies across time.  I'll name this entry LSS. Just like how songs linger to my mind all day long.  These are lines and scenes from my favorite movies. And since I do movie reruns on a saturday, I'll tag it Lingering Scenes Saturdays a.k.a. LSS.

And so for my first entry:

LSS#1 - The Notebook

     Scene:   When Duke (Senior Noah) was reading for Allie and their children came to visit.

(photo courtesy of google)

Duke (to his adult children): "Look, guys. That's my sweetheart in there. I'm not leaving her. This is my home now. Your mother is my home."

How lovely and inspiring to witness how love can grow unconditionally, tested by time and even self-awareness.  Having to love someone with all your heart despite trials and not being reciprocated back because of memory loss. 

What I learned? True love is self-less.

Prayer for Peace of Mind and Heart (from a Prayer Book)

Eternal, Holy God, 
I come to you burdened with worries, 
fears, doubts, and troubles.
Calm and quiet me with peace of mind.
Empty me of the anxiety that disturbs me,
of the concerns that weary my spirit,
and weigh heavy on my heart.
Loosen my grip on the disappointments and grievances 
I hold on to so tightly.
Release me from the pain of past hurts,
of present anger and tension, of future fears.
Sometimes it's too much for me Lord,
too many demands and problems,
too much sadness, suffering, and stress.
Renew me spiritually and emotionally.
Give me new strength, hope, and confidence.
Prepare me to meet the constant struggles of daily life 
with a deeper faith and trust in You.
Let your love set me free, for peace,
for joy, for grace, for life, for others, forever. 


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

BookwArming? (meron bang word na ganun?)

My 2 months "Project Z*" leave gave me the liberty to 'work' on my books. (*A topic I opt to talk about at a latter time)

I have the habit of buying books even if I know I would probably just stack them on top of my shelf adding to the libraryish collection I have. (Read:  Magkaka-agiw at nakafile lang pero di nababasa).  Having many time to spare and as advised to have quality rest, I was able to grab the books and started reading, again.

Across time, I have found some favorites.   I usually read the self-help, leadership slash business books as I grow older.  Only recently, when I turned 30ish when I went back picking up literary fictions again.  Must be because of all the "day-dreamings" as I enter the mid-life-three-o.  To date, I have read 4 fictions of young authors. 

Today, I'm sharing my top picks for self-help. I'll do fiction after and leadership/business next, it's hard to choose! But mostly my influence is from John Maxwell and Francis Kong.

Top picks for Self-Help by far:

1.  Mars and Venus Together Forever - the first book used to be my favorite, but after getting hitched, this version serves me well the best.  This version tackles more on the lives of married couples.  Indeed, getting married is more than just putting a "-" dash in your name.  The quirks and the differences really comes full throttle after saying the "I-do's". I strongly recommend this to all married couples, newly weds or not.

2.  Why Men Can Only Do One Thing at a Time and Women Never Stop Talking - I must say that this isn't too much different from Mars and Venus Together Forever, only the delivery is more candid and illustrative.  Practical examples and stories come in each page showing cartoon like drawings.  I think the authors who are married, thought of writing it this way to make it appealing to the "male" partners.  Males we know are more visuals and only a few (1%) as we know really has the interest in reading self-help books.  Got my hubby to read this book, he bought our copy in fact. 

3.  Kokology - Maybe because of the influence of my education, getting in to my personal psyche and other else's interest me a lot.  In the psychology world, many of the human traits begets from one's childhood beginnings and upbringing experiences.  The concept of Nature and Nurture.  This book is a fun way of getting to know the many "Why's" of the human mind.  It has series of situational questions answerable in multiple choice, form of illustration or identification.  An answer key unlocks the reason of each of your choice.   A very fun way of self discovery & understanding behaviors!  I read it with my hubby and close friends.  I try to keep it with the closest ones first. :)

4.  What Would Audrey Do? - In a world full of commercialism and fads, sometimes it takes effort to keep manners and good etiquette in tact.  Flipping a women's magazine though published locally would already open you to (we must admit) the more LIBERAL ways of thinking.  Literatures on topics which were once considered 'taboo' are now readily published in magazines that are very accessible to public, others even teaching procedures or tips.  Call me conservative, but I am still more confortable doing it old style.  Feminine yet with zest.   And who else would epitomize grace and femininity other than the icon of elegance and style, Audrey Hepburn. 

Am reading more and more SH books, I think I may be able to add more good reads in time. I am after all starting go bookWARMING again!

And there goes my 2 cents on Self-Help books.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Saying "Sorry"

It's sad to know that there are people who find it very hard to say the word "Sorry".

A simple yet very meaningful and sincere word.  A wonderful "healer".

I pray for those who are, that they may find compassion and humility to accept faults and make ammends for those whom they may have hurt - in relationships of any kind.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Lootbag: Bambino

Yesterday, we received our first christmas gift from Tito Jojo & Tita Ditsy Sumpaico after our DW. At DW, we usually receive tokens from them whenever we share a talk.

A Bambino!  Bambino is a child/baby representation of the infant Jesus. 

I have been looking for a perfect image of the Bambino for more than 3 years now but to my disappointment, I couldn't get hold of one that is smiling and whose hands are not raised to form the peace sign, as all other Ninos do.  Bambino is a represenation of the infant Jesus without the symbolic raise of hand. IT is when our Christ Savior appears to be very meek and innocent, seem oblivious yet to the mission He is about to face for whole of mankind.

I was taken aback when I opened the box!  So happy and couldn't believe I'm holding the actual Bambino that I have pictured in my head for quite some time.  I first saw an image of Bambino from an article I read written by Ms. Lucy Torres-Gomez, at the time she was praying to conceive.  Her mother gave it to her after a pilgrimage and she held on to that image until their Juliana was born.   Hers I think though is bigger than this, and infant Jesus was a bit lying on his side but nevertheless, it's the closest image I have seen so far. The infant baby Jesus is smiling!

I can't help but smile.  A thought came to my husband when I showed him the Bambino.

A bit more, l'l itsy bit more.

Thanks Tito Jojo most especially to Tita Ditsy for choosing this token slash gift!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Journey B.D.

A Message and call received.

My heart leaped.

Thanked God.

Shared news.

Happy Heart.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pinyin - On Starts and Ends

Pronunciation: qǐqì

Meaning: the beginning and the end
In 32 years, I have been to a lot of "new to old", "start and end" and even the "game-over-go-back-to-start" episodes. From which I had either "AHA's" or disappointing, "NYAIKS!".  But if I have to review and rethink if I will be willing to go through it all over again, no doubt and without batting an eyelash - I WILL!

It sometime fears me to redo things or even to come up with something new.  God however has made perfectly sure that this weakness will be taken cared of. HE seemed to have designed my tour making sure I cross with the people who will make me more courageous.  

My Folks who tell me there is nothing wrong in failing, just as long as you get back up.
A husband who constantly reminded me that I could reach 1% greater than 100%. 
A coach who push me to my limits for as long as my lungs could breathe. 
A boss who is a mix of heart and mind.
And a few others who kept me walking despite my soaring ego. 

I used to be a scaredy cat and an ultimate worrier, often this defines my boundaries.  But then I noticed this mentality drives me nowhere.  I began to try small risks, without others knowing how awfully scared I still was. :) Then after so and so small risks then I have come to realize, "Wala palang hindi kayang gawin, basta ginusto mo".  So true.

In preparation for something that awaits me/us in the coming months, I'd like to share snippets of thoughts I have on starting something new.

My 10 learnings whenever I start anew:

1.  Always write your goals.   No matter how short or long term your goals are, it is important that you make it a habit to write them. And make sure you write them in paper where you can keep it handy and available anytime you need to revisit them. I used to ask, why it has to be written when I can simply recall them in my mind and still achieve them! In an old article on "How to reach your dreams" I read that this promotes the "Law of Attraction". The more you see them, the more you are drawn to them. I believe this is somehow true, but apart from this law of attraction, the act of writing your goals down, psychologically contracts you to motivate yourself in achieving them. It becomes a written contract you create for yourself. I suggest keeping a journal so you may track your progress. Me, I do. :)

2. Do it with a purpose. Think closely why you would want to try and accomplish this new thing. Is it about improving your health? Is it about keeping family ties? Fulfillment of a career goal? or a lifelong dream which you have been procrastinating for a time? Or simply wanting to stop a bad habit? This purpose will keep you going. I hope you're not doing something "Just because!" or because "Everybody's doing it anyway!". Also a fine tip i received before is that make sure your purpose is positive. Otherwise, the mighty force of the good-and-the bad will go against you. :)

3.  Start in a zero-based mindset.  Wead out any biases you have in mind. Allow yourself to try something new with less few worries, otherwise you'll stop yourself from a probable success.  Do this as if no one else has done it before and soon you'll find a formula that suits you best.

4.  Have an open mind + heart. Be flexible. Welcome feedbacks as well as constructive criticisms.  You can solicit it yourself or encourage peers and family to tell you to bits.  Anyway, you know in your heart if it's true or not, trash what think are not exactly true but don't let yourself be affected.  Shrug it off and continue.

5.  Keep the END in vision.  Commit to it. Nothing beats any quest than a strong COMMITMENT.  Check each day as "DONE" and see how close you are from reaching your goal.   Study your actions and look closely if it indeed helped you reach your goal.  Did it budge you a step closer to your goal? If not, cross out and make sure not to do it again.  And if by any chance you have failed or backslided, don't look back!  Set your eyes forward, sabi nga ng isang commercial. "TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY!"
6.  Take it easy (on yourself).  Mistakes won't kill. Quit being a perfectionist and be kind to yourself in committing few errors, you'll know better as you go along.  Mistakes anyway is what shows us what needs improving. Without it, how would we know what else we have to work on?  ("Saan? Saan ako nagkamali?" - an old OPM song. I suddenly remembered a former boss who used to candidly sing this to make her team laugh)

7.   Ask questions. From a close friend, family member, have a mentor if need be.   It's the most convenient and easy way of learning.  ASK.  It spares you from committing mistakes and learn from others.  Assess yourself and be true on things you have no mastery about. In my case, this has been my biggest google-ish weapon.  And am making sure to approach the Subject Matter Experts.   My Career? I have 3.  Our Marriage? A mentor couple and 5 couple buddies.  My Family? My Pop & Mom, the list goes on. 

8.   Pray.  Connect to a higher being.   Lift your activities to your Lord, whisper your every move and offer the step to Him. No matter how trivial it may be.  They say that we are nothing without Him, and it is through Him that everything else is possible.   Driving your way to your most coveted job interview? Strike a prayer for a safe travel as you make your way to the office of your dreams so you may be able to present your skills to the management without any trouble or delay.   And if you bag the job, don't forget to throw a mighty thanks to the One above. :)

9.   Celebrate Small Wins.  In a journal, list your achievements. A check in your "To-Do" list will give you the boost.  Be happy and enjoy what you have done so far, even if it's still far away from the real goal. This will keep you going.  It need not be an extravagant celebration, a simple Mocha Frap from Starbucks may do or a bar of Royce chocolates! yum yum!

10.  Be open for Plan B.  Don't force if it's not really working out.  After series of pitfalls or dead ends, re-assess and see if your plan is really feasible.   Moving on to another plan doesn't necessarily mean you failed. It may not just be the right time yet, or there are resources needed to be prepared.   Keep your plan in the parking lot and check on it once in a while, at some point in time you may be better equipped to finish finally.  Maybe your plan is sooo big at one point and you need to work on some sub-tasks first.  That sub-tasks may be your Plan B all along.  Want to land a writing job in a magazine company? Competition may be very stiff and some talents are more superb.  You may want to try writing a blog first, this way you not only get to practice your skills, but going on-line means getting your work published and wired for free! No portfolio and sample writings required and who knows, the Ed-in-Chief might just be hopping blogs and catch your blog by chance! (wishful thinking) :)

They say that life is full of chances but you get to pass a lifetime only once. Unless you are a cat.  So it may be wise to grab all the chance we can get!  Jump on the bus and consistently try to enjoy a NEW ride. Just be careful with the bumps and don't let it stop you. 

That's how I am living mine right now. teeheee!

In every ending, there would always be a new beginning. :)

Oh life, bring it on! I'm ready for you. Roar!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

20 Eleven

Have posted this from a long time ago, but wasn't able to write anything yet.

Our buddies whom we are  "growing-together".  The gang is growing! We will grow them more! :)