Thursday, August 31, 2006

August 31, 2006 - Closure

Finally, after 3 years, I got what I was waiting for.  This long-standing issue has finally been put to rest.  TIme to forgive, and move on.

Everything in its own time, and last night, its own time arrived.  Now, all is good.  Miracles do happen when the hand of God reaches out and touches you.

I can breathe again.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Lea's Kiddie Pics

I had a bunch of old photos on my hard drive, so I thought to post them here. He he, man how time flies.

August 28, 2006 - Evolution

My daughter is fighting a cold, which means that she isn't her most jovial, cheerful self.  Diaper changes mean a bazillion decibels of piercing screams (man, this kid's got a set of lungs), which take their toll on her sleep-deprived father.  Nursing sessions mean she's a fussy butterball, squirming as I try to calm her down enough to start eating.  If anything, we've learned that patience is indeed a virtue... the level of which, albeit slowly, is constantly rising.  That's good... by the time she's 15, I'll need it.

I'd like to think that, as time goes on, I'm getting better at living life, that with each passing day, hour and minute, I learned something.

Life is a constant learning experience.  We each accumulate lessons over the course of our lifetimes.  We learn about how to get along in this thing called life without disappearing... how to retain a sense of humor when all hell breaks loose... how to reel in a friend who's lost the way... how to tell who your friends really are and who aren't... what love is really about... that the only people we can change is ourselves... which fights are worth fighting... that patience is something one learns... how to have fun and be stupid, yet still retain one's dignity... that respect is earned, not freely given... and that laughter will get us through it all.

By the time I'm old and gray (if God has it in His plan for me to get there), I'd love to say that I've lived my life for all it was worth.  If I continue my journey the way it's been going, I'll get there, with heaps of great memories to keep me company (I blah blah'd this, I blah blah'd that), listed in a book that only I will get to read.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Nicole's Latest (as of 8/26/06)

Here's a new batch of pictures! She is getting so big now, and heavy (almost 13 pounds). That smile lights up our lives everyday... I'm just glad we were able to capture it.

Friday, August 25, 2006

August 25, 2006 - Sniffles...

Yep, Nicole has a cold and an ear infection.

Her nose is stuffy and I can hear all sorts of junk... unfortunately, the junk cannot be sucked out with the little rubber bulb.  Her pediatrician prescribed a mucolytic to loosen things up, as well as antibiotic ear drops to deal with the infection.  She's her more normal self, and hasn't needed the anti-fever medication for the last two days.  My mom watched her the last couple of days, and the yaya is becoming more adept at handling her.  Aiding her is Gerard's old yaya, who always tries to sneak in a carry and a kiss when she can.  I love it!

I truly appreciate the caretakers that help us care for Nicole... they do so with lots of love and patience.  In a way, they are extensions of us, extra pairs of arms when we need a rest.  Nicole seems to enjoy all this extra attention!  I wonder how she's going to deal with just Mommy and Daddy when we head for the States next month, for a month.

We are going to die.  Already my husband utters, "I'm going to miss the help."

I have a funny feeling we're going to end up in Manila.  Things have been very good for us... the friends, the golf, the food... the life.

Speaking strictly for myself, I'm very happy here.  And my heart will not be going anywhere.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

August 22, 2006 - Nothing much...

It's 1:25 am and I can't sleep...

We spent the weekend taking care of a baby with a fever (nothing too high, 38.2 degrees C at its peak).  She's now fast asleep in her crib, following a two-day regimen of acetaminophen and ibuprofen.  I prayed that she wouldn't be allergic to the ibuprofen... I kept my eye on her for a half hour following the first dose, and thankfully she was just fine.  Her fever went down and she's now her normal, smiley self.  While she was sick, she was clingy, crying, almost inconsolable, poor one.  I'm taking her to the doctor later this morning to figure out what the cause of her discomfort is. 

Parenthood.  What a trip.  And we're only 3 months into it!!!


August 21, 2006 - Ninoy

It's been 23 years.  Has anything changed?  I wonder what he, if he were still alive, would think of how our country has turned out.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

August 19, 2006 - We have no men!!!

Okay, allow me to further elaborate on my blog entry's title.

Last night we spent a good few hours at dinner (People's Palace ROCKS!!!) with wonderful friends over wonderful food.  The discussion moved through quite a few topics -- people that were no longer friends anymore by virtue of their being "the devil incarnate", some of the latest showbiz chismis, an upcoming production of one of our dinner companions (and her growing weary of telling the show's office staff to get the show's music in the right key), and that casting the male lead in another show is getting to be a huge pain in the ass because, we have no men.

Yes, that's right... WE HAVE NO MEN!

We have such a dearth in leading men for musical theatre.  We wracked our brains for hours and hours last night, and couldn't come up with a name.  We enumerated just about everybody, and couldn't think of even just one person that possessed the qualities and skills required for that particular role: handsome, arrogant, sexy, who can really sing (it's a pretty big role).  It was sad... those that we knew could sing the role didn't look right, and those that looked right couldn't sing it.  It was so frustrating!

I remember the first time I ever saw Hugh Jackman... it was in rehearsals for Hey, Mr. Producer in London.  He was going to sing "Oh What A Beautiful Morning" from Oklahoma, as he was just about to open in that production at the National Theatre.  From the moment his offstage voice resonated in the house, I was hooked, and the moment he actually appeared on stage, that was it.  Tall, talented, and handsome, with stage presence and sex appeal to spare.  None of the women in the theatre could take their eyes (and ears) off him.

Yes, I use Mr. Jackman as an example, but in truth there are more like him trodding the West End and Broadway boards night after night, show after show (I've been fortunate enough to perform opposite a few of them).  For the life of me though, I don't understand why there aren't men like that here.

So unfortunately, I don't know how my friend will cast her show.  Maybe someone will drop from the sky like an angel and save her from this casting hell.  Hey, you never know; angels have been known to exist.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

August 17, 2006 - Brain... Shut... Down...

I think my brain has suffered a complete and utter meltdown.  Or shutdown.  Or whatever you wanna call it.

At a rehearsal last night for a three-song set that I will be performing tonight (no, not a public gig, hence it hasn't been announced), I grabbed my things and headed out of the studio, when I suddenly remembered that I had to retrieve my water bottle.  I went back into the studio looking for it... couldn't find it!!!  Where did it go?  I then went outside to the lobby where the engineers who were manning the rehearsal had congregated... asked them where my bottle had gone.  Then, one of the security people pointed to my left hand... I raised it... there was my bottle, hanging from one finger.  WHAT THE F**********CK?!?!?!?!?

This wasn't the first time my brain decided to go on vacation without me...

A couple of years ago, I was feeling a chill in the air so I decided to raise the temperature.  I headed downstairs to where the thermostat was, but by the time I arrived, I completely forgot why I was there.  So I thought to watch some TV, straighten up the living room, play video games... then I felt the chill in the air, and went to raise the temperature.  It then dawned on me: THAT'S WHY I WENT DOWNSTAIRS!!!  WHAT THE F**************CK?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Nowadays (since I gave birth), conversations are a little more difficult to follow.  A friend will tell me something, and five minutes later, I'll have to ask for him or her to repeat what he/she said.  Or I'll get dates confused, thinking that two weeks from now is next week.

I swear, one of these days I'm going to forget my own name.

Strange... I can remember scripts, lyrics, melodies without trouble, but for the life of me I can't always remember where I put my purse, umbrella, keys, sunglasses or whatever else I'm carrying, what someone told me just moments earlier, or the dates on a calendar.  How utterly annoying!!!

Ah well, such is life I guess.  Perhaps over the course of many years because of my work, there were parts of my brain that were used more often (and thus got more exercise).  I'm sure there are other things that moronize me from time to time...

The truth is, I don't mind the occasional shut-down.  As long as for the most part I'm able to function and remember what is most important in my life, I'm in a good place.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

August 16, 2006 - Survey Time!

I have an early appointment tomorrow, but thanks (or no thanks) to the coffee I had this afternoon, I can't sleep.  So.....

I stole this from NiƱa's Live Journal site... the questions looked fun.  Here we go!


1. Do you still talk to the first person you ever kissed romantically?
Nope, I do not.

2. Have you ever seen your best friend naked?
Hmmm... I probably have at some point... definitely saw his bare, beautiful behind.

3. What did you do in 2nd grade when you weren't in school?

Ballet, piano practice, rehearsals for Rep shows, playing board games, reading until late...

4. What is the best thing about your job?

Besides the work itself, the travel, the people I get to meet and work with, the friends I've made?  That sometimes, you're paired with a totally hot leading man and you get to make out on stage in front of thousands of people!  Mwahahahahahaha, joke only!  In truth, just the satisfaction that I get to make a living doing something I really love. 

5. Do you like more than one person right now?
Oh absolutely!!!  I definitely like more than one person in my life right now... I do have more than one friend.

6. Are you against same sex marriage?

No... in fact, I am all for it, the Catholic Church and the Republicans be damned!  If two people who truly love each other want to spend the rest of their lives together, let them.

7. Did you vote for Bush? (gawin nating gloria ito)
Oh heck no.  Even if I was a US citizen, I wouldn't.  I'm a Democrat at heart.  As for Gloria, I didn't register to vote, so no.

8. Where are you going on your next vacation?

Definitely at a Philippine beach.  BORA!!!

9. Have you had sex with any of your top 8?

My top 8 what?

10. Are most of your friends guys or girls?

Many gay men, a few straight men, quite a few girls.  Definitely more feminines in my circle of friends!

11. Do you own any furniture from Ikea?

Who doesn't?

12. Last book you read?

I can't remember... must have been a baby name book or baby manual of some sort.  I haven't had much reading time lately.

13. If you could have one super power what would it be?

The power of flight and the power of speed, to get more done in the day.

14. Where have you lived most of your life?

Manila, by a few years.  I've lived abroad for 16 years.

16. Where do you see yourself in 4 years?

At 39?  Thinking about how to celebrate my 40th birthday.

17. What's your favorite smell?

It depends... freshly showered skin, cologne on said freshly showered skin, my baby's breath, food.

18. What is your favorite sound?

A whispered "I love you".

19. Are you moody?

Not really... not even when PMS hits.  I'm very even-tempered and keep a cool head about me.

20. Favorite movie of all time?

Oh man!!!  Singing in the Rain, The Wizard of Oz, The Others, The Ring, The Incredibles, most of the Disney animated features.

21. Have you ever done anything hurtful to a friend?

Oh yes... who hasn't?

22. Have you ever one of the things good friends are for but actual clinical type therapy I have not yet had the pleasure?

Okay... this defies explanation.  Anooo tohhhh?

23. Have you ever played spin the bottle?

Ohhhhh yeah... pero puro truth lang eh!  No one dared to choose a dare.  Que lame oye!

24. Have you ever toilet papered someone's house?
I've never had the pleasure.

25. Have you ever liked someone but never told them?

Oh yes... only because there were times when I revealed myself and got teased.  Quiet na lang ako.

26. Have you ever gone camping?
Nope, too many allergies and I'm not the outdoorsy type.

27. Have you ever had a crush on your brother's friend?

Oh heavens no...

28. Have you ever gone to a nude beach?

Nope... I'd go to look, but not to participate.

29. Have you ever gone streaking?

Uhmm, nope... never will either.

30. Have you ever had a stalker?

I can't say that I have, fortunately.

31. Have you ever gone skinny dipping?

Yesssss... in complete privacy.  Sarap!

32. Have you ever laughed so hard you cried?

Almost everyday.

33. Have you ever gone to a party where you were the only sober person?

Yep... during my pregnancy.  Man, I can't wait to get wasted again...

34. Do you want kids?

Let me rephrase... do I want MORE kids?  Yes!!!  Number one is soooo adorable, I want more!

35. Have you ever felt betrayed by a best friend?

Not by a best friend, but yes.  It's taking quite a while to forgive him.

36. Have you ever lied to your parents?

Of course!!!  What church-going self-respecting human being hasn't?

37. Have you ever been out of the Philippines?

Yes, oh yes.

38. Have you ever thrown up from working out?

Almost!!!  Too many pirouettes.

39. Have you ever gotten a haircut so bad that you wore a hat?

Thankfully no.

40. Have you ever eaten 3 meals from 3 different fast food places?

As in breasfast at McDo, lunch at Burger King and dinner at Brother's Burger?  Nope, my system can't handle it.

41. Last song you listened to?

Something by Mozart... I play classical music a lot for the baby's developing brain.  As for the iPod, last albums listened to were... Sandwich's Five on the Floor... The Dawn's Prodigal Sun.

42. Have you ever spied on someone?

Nope.  Never felt the need to... although I have snooped in the email inboxes of ex's and read their mail.  I don't do that anymore... there are things better left unread.

43. Have you ever slept with one of your co-workers?
Nope.  Kissed a few of them though!

44. What do you think of the person who posted this survey?

Beautifully perfect face... sensitive... very artistic... I don't know her enough to have a deeper opinion.

45. Who was the last person who called you?

My mother... to check on a work thing I had to do for her.

46. When was the last time you slept for more then 12 hours straight?

I can't remember!  Maybe when I had the flu at 18... really bad.

47. Have you ever been arrested?

Never have... and never will be (I hope!).

48. Have you ever stolen anything?

No... but I did get something back that was stolen from me!

49. Have you ever drank egg nog?

YESSSSSSS!  Sarap!!!!!!!!!

50. If you could be anywhere right now where would it be?
In a loving embrace.  No better place than that.

Monday, August 14, 2006

August 14, 2006 - Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my mother's 70th birthday.  Well, we think it is; her birth records were lost when the municipio at her place of birth burned down.  She could be either a year older or younger.

My mother is a woman who has weathered storms, both literal and figurative.  At a tender age she was tossed about on a boat headed to Manila from Bacolod, losing her shoes in the process.  She nearly died when she rolled down the stairs (pushed by her sister who didn't know better... they were both really young kids at the time).  She's endured less-than-perfect familial and romantic relationships in her lifetime, raised two children almost by herself (my father had a lot on his plate, and I do mean a lot) and managed a couple of showbusiness careers.  She emerged a strong, feisty, you-better-not-push-me-around kind of woman.

What many people don't know is how soft she actually is.  Sometimes, even I forget that side of her.

I know how easy it is to make her cry (it doesn't take very much at all).  I've seen the tears fall at heartbreak, be it her own or someone else's... I've seen the front she puts up to show the world at large, and I have also seen it fall, behind closed doors, only for her family to witness.  She's tough, but only on the outside.  Given what she's had to go through, I can't blame her for protecting her delicate interior.

The only thing I can wish for my Mom on this special day is happiness... in her life, with her loved ones, with herself.  If I went through what she's had to, I'd be dead by now.  That she's still standing and able to smile earns my absolute respect and admiration.

I love you, Mom.  Have a Happy Birthday.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

August 09, 2006 - Why???

Tonight at a dinner, we found out that a friend of ours, a vivacious, generous, full-of-life lady named Rosaline passed away from breast cancer.  The news knocked the wind right out of me.  I knew that she was battling the big C, but I didn't know that she lost her fight.  Her husband supposedly said, "She ran a good race."


My mind then started going at a mile a minute... fuck... it's the good ones... it's always, always the good ones...

The first time I met her was in LA, at the apartment of another friend who was also battling breast cancer.  She blew in like a ball of thunder.  Somehow, this pixie of a woman seemed to contain enough energy to power the city of Las Vegas.  She was lively, funny, and happy. 

Why?  Really, I wanna know why.

There are people in this world that deserve to die (and in some cases, die a slow and painful, excrutiating death).  Why not take them, the rapists, child molesters, the warts and pimples blemishing the complexion of this good earth?  Why take the ones who still have a whole lot of life left to live?

The Lord works in mysterious ways... and perhaps we each have a list of lessons to learn during our time here.  Maybe, once each item on our list is checked, that means time is up and it's off to the great beyond.  Perhaps there are those who live a long life, because they still have something more to learn.

I don't know... I'm babbling... it's 2:45 am, and my mind still asks the question why...

My faith holds that Rosaline is in a much, much better place... and maybe that's her reward for the good life she led.  No more pain... no more hardship... just her and her balled-up energy for the angels to enjoy.

With every day that I awaken and am alive, I'd like to think that God still has a plan for me... a lesson for me to learn or teach, something to pick up or drop off, something to give or take... an opportunity to right a wrong, find glory or fall from grace... a chance to live, love, and laugh to the fullest...

I have time... I still have time... blessed, wonderful, glorious time.  5 minutes, an hour, a day, each moment a gift that cannot be wasted or taken for granted.  I have years left (I hope)... I cannot waste them...

So... what will you do with the time you have left?

More Nicole

These were taken very recently... and her looks are still changing! Hope you enjoy these... we certainly do!

Monday, August 7, 2006

August 07, 2006 - 4 Days To Go...

... to my first gig in nearly 7 months.

My last public singing engagement was last January 25... at the time I was already experiencing "technical difficulties".  So this Friday I'm starting slowly, with songs that won't force my body to do what it may not yet be ready for.  However at the end of the month I have an 8-song gig to prepare for, which means it's time to get into singing shape.  That means singing to my stored voice lessons (thank heavens for my iPod) and getting some aerobic exercise.  Yeaaaaaah.

Honestly, I'm a bit... well... scared.

I know, I know, things will go okay, and I have to trust in my abilities, yadda yadda yadda.  I'm just thankful that it's not a huge gig that I'll be doing, in order to ease my way back into work mode.

In any case, wish me luck.

Friday, August 4, 2006

August 04, 2006 - Friends

Yesterday was the first time the sun came out in days, and that made me happy.  That overcast sky and clouds of grey were actually getting to me, in as much as I love the rain.  More than the weather was causing my spirit to lift though, as it was lunch time with Bobby, Chari, Girl Girl and Jett.  Bobby's here for a little vacation from Disneyland, so he asked us to join him for a meal.  There were many stories shared and plenty of laughter to spare, not to mention great food.  Of course as always, the time spent together was not enough, and soon Bobby will head back to Mickey Mouse.  Well, if nothing else, I look forward to the time we are able to see each other, but I do miss him when he's away.

For many years, that was kind of the life I led, long chunks of time spent in one place, which meant long chunks away from another.  It was helpful that I had friends in every home base, which made me feel less homesick.  What I did find wonderful was that when I did return to a place and see my friends, it was as if no time was spent apart and we were just picking up where we left off.  It was incredibly comforting.  Still is.

I don't know if that'll be the life I still wish to lead... now that there's a baby in the picture, structure and permanence is what's called for, not the gypsy life.  On the other hand, while she's portable and not in school yet, it isn't a bad time to go from homestead to homestead, to see what the future holds for me and my little family.  I know that there's a tour on the horizon, which means a really nice opportunity to travel through the Asian region, something that I've never had the chance to do before.  It's exciting, to be sure!


After all is said and done I'd like to make my home here.  I've lived in a lot of places and have at times been determined to stay away from the Philippines (for reasons of privacy, ambition, whatever).  Now, life has changed (for the better, I must add), and my heart feels that it wants to stay here.  At least for right this minute, that's what it wants.  My head thinks it's a pretty good idea too.

I know that I want to live here... I know that I want to die here.  This is my homeland, and something in me is saying that it's time to stay.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

August 02, 2006 - 'La lang...

It's 12:02 am, and I'm sitting here at my laptop with the hugest smile on my face.  It happens from time to time, and I love it when it does.

That's all... time now for me to get some sleep.


Tuesday, August 1, 2006

What Does Love Mean?

I got this via email and thought it was so sweet I thought to post it here.


A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8-year-olds, "What does love mean?"

The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined.  See what you think:

"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore.  So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too.  That's love."
Rebecca - age 8
"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different.
  You just know that your name is safe in their mouth."
Billy - age 4
"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."
Karl - age 5
"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs."
Chrissy - age 6
"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired."
Terri - age 4
"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK."
Danny - age 7
"Love is when you kiss all the time.  Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more.  My Mommy and Daddy are like that.  They look gross when they kiss."
Emily - age 8
"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."
Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)
"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate."
Nikka - age 6
 (we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)
"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday."
Noelle - age 7
"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well."
Tommy - age 6
"During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared.  I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling.  He was the only one doing that.  I wasn't scared anymore."
Cindy - age 8
"My mommy loves me more than anybody.  You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night."
Clare - age 6
"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken."
Elaine - age 5
"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Brad Pitt."
Chris - age 7
"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day."
Mary Ann - age 4
"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones."
Lauren - age 4
"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you." (what an image)
Karen - age 7
"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it.  But if you mean it, you should say it a lot.  People forget."
Jessica - age 8
And the final one -- Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge.
The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child.
The winner was a four-year-old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.
Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.
When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said,
"Nothing, I just helped him cry." 

New Nic Pics

These were just recently taken... she's growing!!!