our 2010 christmas card

We had started giving out our annual Christmas card. This has been our fifth by far, and as always we post our online edition to those who unfortunately are not part of our mailing list. And so here it is.

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And since our Christmas card is also our annual newsletter, we usually share the memorable stories that had happened for the year, but with this year's card not able to accommodate everything, we had only put in the significant milestones for 2010.


Now here is the extended version of our Christmas newsletter:

Time flies by so fast, doesn't it? It's the end of the year once again, and time for our annual Christmas Card to our dear family and friends.

In March, we went to Angelo’s school’s Recognition Day. His class “graduated” from Nursery and Angelo was awarded a Class Merit for Good Conduct and Behavior (much to our surprise).

School was out, and we wanted Angelo to keep busy over the summer, so we enrolled him in “Ninja School” aka Arnis classes. He went twice and played the whole time. We enrolled him in Swim School instead. He loved it. Loved his goggles, loved the water, and now isn’t afraid to jump into the deep end (using arm floaters, hehehe).

Two of our best friends got married and we went with them on their honeymoon on the first week of May. We flew to Manila, rode a bus to Batangas Pier, and took a boat to Puerto Galera. It was nice… nothing like Boracay and Bantayan, but a nice experience nevertheless.

After last year’s setback, Toni finally took his Architecture board exams in June. As most of you may already know… he is now Architect Antonio G. Cortes II. He has realized his dream at last, and is all set to change Cebu’s skyline.

July was a very hectic and family-filled month. It was my Aunt Fe’s and Uncle Manuel’s Golden Wedding Anniversary, and we were running around all over Cebu to finalize the wedding details while squeezing in as many family outings as we could. We squeezed in Angelo’s 4th birthday pool party, with just his cousins as guests. We were also able to squeeze in an island hopping trip to Pandanon, which both kids and adults enjoyed to the fullest.

Alli has been working for a different company since mid-November. She is now Senior Lead Foundation Trainer For Aegis People Support.

We have been very blessed this year, and continuously thank the Lord for good health, true friends and a wonderful family. This holiday season and for the coming year, we hope and pray that the joys exceed the sorrows, and that there is more laughter in your life than there are tears.

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final dose:
Merry Christmas, from our family to yours, and a Happy New Year!

 

tunes of the season



final dose:
Christmas season is definitely for kids

 

brave like bonifacio

Today marks the 147th birth anniversary of gat Andres.

I usually don't give much importance to holidays like these, except that it gives me a reason to be happy for not having to go to work. But this 30th day of November is a little bit more significant for me, and it merits a blog post.

Here's the story.

Today, I was brave. Brave enough like Andres Bonifacio was, but not in a sulong-mga-kapatid way. But I commend my bravery. For with my decision, I have marked the first step to getting out of the corporate architectural office.

I have just tendered my resignation. And that for me is bravery.

I have mustered enough courage to let go, without hesitation and reserve. Even without a new company to fall back on to. And because of that, I am excited to see what 2011 has in store.

Tendering a resignation sounds more like Jose Rizal, just as his pen was mightier than Bonifacio's bolo, so was the reason he is our national hero, and so is the reason I consider myself my own hero today. I strongly believe I have just saved myself. 'Nuff said.

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the picture shows no significance at all, just trying to amuse myself

final dose:
underlying statements, blurting out discreetly.

 

posted by A.Cortes on 6:57 AM under

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jobless like toothless

I let go of my safety net. I gave up the one thing that was my constant. It was a tough decision... a lot of tears, a lot of doubts, a lot of what ifs... but I made the decision, and I am living it right now.

Life is funny. It gives you a curve ball when you least expect it. I never expected to get pregnant, but I did, and here I am. I never expected to work in one BPO company for this long, but that's what happened. And then, I never expected to quit while I was ahead... but there you go.

Everyone keeps asking why... everyone keeps saying "Sayang..." the curious thing is, I too felt that it was sayang. I feel that I could have done so much more... become so much more... but hey, life threw me a curve ball, and it may have saved my soul.

I have to come to terms with the fact that my worth was not being recognized anymore. I started out wonderfully, full of zest, full of vigor. Always busy, at the expense of my family. But I was alive. I was doing what I wanted, and was loving every single minute of my job. It wasn't only a job to me then. It became my life. And maybe that's where my mistake lay. That I let my work become who I was.

But that's the only way I know how to survive. Total absorption. Otherwise, I'm disengaged, therefore dead.

All things considered, I hope and pray that I survive. That my soul survives. I've been idle for close to a week now, and it has been... an experience. I am worried about finances, worried about what tomorrow is going to bring... but what I am really scared of is that I find absolutely no reason to go on.

I know I must. And I will. For Angelo. And for his future.

final dose:
I am fat

 

to trick or treat & beyond!

Last year was Bumblebee, since the Transformers movie was showing that year. And with Toy Story three out this 2010, we just had to make our little boy - Zai Angelo into Buzz lightyear for Halloween, as he has loved Buzz ever since the first Toy Story movie.

He sure did enjoy trick or treating and beyond around our village.

our little boy in his Buzz lightyear costume
the Corteses wishes everyone a Happy Halloween
!

More photographs of Buzz Lightyear gone trick or treating this Halloween when you click here.

final dose:
one of the five P's that toni had to finish for the month of October.

 

kia ora!

Hi, my name is Zai. I am four years old. I was Mr. New Zealand in my school's United Nations' celebration, and I won as Mr. United Nations for the ECE level, I also have the best in talent award.

UN
me and Mardi, we represent New Zealand

My mom took a video of me when I was on stage for my introduction, she also made the speech that I said.

Hello everybody! My name is Zai Angelo Cortes, a K1 student of Marie Ernestine School – North Campus, and I represent the beautiful island country of New Zealand!
My country has many mountains, forests and volcanoes. Do you know the movie The Lord of the Rings? It was filmed there. New Zealand is rich with flora and fauna, like our national symbol, the kiwi. This is a bird that cannot fly.
If in the Philippines, you say Mabuhay, in New Zealand, the land of the long white cloud, we say Kia Ora!
Thank you, everybody, and Kia Ora!



that's me onstage, i'm glad i memorized what i had to say

I had so much fun that day. There are more pictures of the event on facebook.


final dose:
i sure made my parents proud

 

love in the time of chickenpox

You woke up mid morning of a Saturday, you forcibly woke me up just to show me the blisters on your body. You were getting all concerned, the red spots seemed to look like shingles. I asked you what you ate the night before, you reminded me that you do not have any allergies. My wife, you had chicken pox. We later confirmed it when the red spots showed symptoms of what a Varicella Zoster virus is.

Of course you went ballistic. It was a disease you and your sisters have tried to avoid all these years. Then I realized how lucky I am to have had the disease when I was still young, because almost every time when an adult gets chicken pox, they are in for one heck of a bad experience. But I did not want to rub it in; you're having it, so I might as well help ease the itch.

I don't quite remember taking medication when I had the pox, so it was a bit surprising to me that the prescriptions given by the doctor were that costly. But who am I to complain, you were in pain and was worried about having scars. At one point you didn't even want me to look at you; you were quarantined. I had to crack corny jokes about our vows, in sickness or in health, you may be pretty or ugly, I don't have a choice but to do what a husband has to do.

It was breakfast, lunch and dinner in bed all the time. I made that clubhouse sandwich extra special for you, though you seemed to have lost your appetite, I'm glad you made me finish it. I'm happy you liked the movies I downloaded. I appreciate how you listen sometimes to my incessant "don't scratch" reminders. The oatmeal bath, I have to admit, was a hassle and pretty messy, but it was a sexy idea of us taking a shower together, with me rubbing the oats into your body. At night, I thank you for still letting me hug you even if you despise how the red spots have scarred your legs.

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even with the red spots, it still is a sexy back

You were the queen (and will always be) for most of the two weeks and I was your happy servant. And if we ever go through the same situation again, without any doubt I will willingly do it, with great pleasure. And if there is one constant thing that I need to remind myself of, it is that I, your husband will do anything for you. Then I would also want to think that this is where the give and take saying will truly apply. LOL. Chicken pox and all, let me tell you that you will always be beautiful.

final dose:
love in all its majesty is what makes the world go crazy.

 

posted by A.Cortes on 2:00 PM under

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Oh tis October

The first week just passed without me noticing how busy it was, and at the rate that things are going, I think I'm up to more busyness in this festive month. October is a month that wifey and I hold dear, it was during this time five years ago that we devoured every bottle of beer we could afford. It was Oktoberfest, needless to say, and we ended up drunk, happy and nasty almost each night of the whole month.

This year though, the month started not quite right. Instead of festivities, October welcomed us with unpleasantries. Chicken pox for wifey and bacterial infection for the little boy. And with only myself staying healthy, I had to juggle time going from one quarantined room to the other attending to two sick people. Luckily, my whole immune system withstood it.

Interestingly, this month has five Fridays, five Saturdays and five Sundays which as I have been informed through SMS only happens once in 823 years. You may not believe it but I think this works to my advantage. Given this fact, I have more weekends to do all the stuff that needs doing this month. If the month gives me five weekends then equally I also have five P's to give the month too.

P for pox, to which I assume would end by the week's end.
P for pata, to the two pork hind legs that I just cooked recently to delicious hamonada.
P for party, to the parties lined up for this month, from birthdays to gatherings.
P for program, to which the little boy would be joining by the last week of the month.
P for project, to which I would devote the whole month doing.

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cheers! for it is October!

So it is October, even with the first week being so rough, the whole month still excites me, I may just have to end this blog and booze it up. It is Oktoberfest, needless to say.

final dose:
I wonder what paul the octopus' prediction will be about october 2010.

 

my thank you to the loser

For the last two weeks, wifey and I ended each week partying with friends over booze and good music. It was F.U.N.

It was fun until one such loser tried to make a move on my wife. I admit, back in the days I also went through a stage where you hang out in bars, waiting for an opportunity to meet nice girls and hope that one thing will lead to another. But I had the delicadesa to at least give respect to someone else's girl, I don't go barging in if she is with someone else.

But this loser has some balls... what balls he has to really go out of the way to get my wife's number even if the two of us were already heading to the car, honestly I could have smacked you with the beer bottle I had in my hand. But lucky for you I did not, because I don't feel a bit insecure. You see man, you don't need to remind me that I have a pretty sexy wife, but thank you anyway, you made yourself look like a dumb-a** desperate loser.

Thanks to you, because that night I went home happy, reassured and had a blast in bed.

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Allison - my sexy wife, drool you losers!

final dose:
be thankful to those who play dorks, they can be useful sometimes.

 

when zai begins (asking questions)

I have been posting some melodramatic stuff lately that I'm beginning to think that soon, a big beer bottle will fall over me. It's a healthy way though to release emotions. But today, I am not feeling that emotional; instead, I'm in a big wondering state.

You see, my son and I have this friendly-fatherly kind of relationship, which I think should be the case with all parents (as what has been lectured in the recent seminar I attended.) Our little boy can confide to us anything that he wants to share - he talks a lot, plays a lot and asks questions a lot, which I guess are signs that he's one smart toddler.

But what do you do when you're confronted with questions from a four year old, questions that you wouldn't be expecting from a four year old. Questions ranging from how I was made, when can I have a wife, what will I be when I'm a grown up.

So over lunch, Zai begins:
you know what dad, i think when i grow up i will not live here anymore, because like you, you are not living with lolo anymore. maybe dad, i'll be like you and i will have one like mommy and i'll share my toys with my son and i will do magic with my finger and my son will say wow daddy. so dad, how old are you?
And so I answered then he continued.
ok, i'm four years old. Then he started counting on his fingers. so i'm almost ten and then i'll be ten more and i'll be a daddy, i'm so near being a daddy now. how will i have a son dad? how to make my son?
I stayed silent and he keeps on talking...
dad i want to be a drummer and an architect and i want to dance also and sing and paint also. how to be a good drummer dad? i want to drum so hard so people will see me and they will say wow and i'll be onstage and people will look at me playing drums so well. i will eat this chicken so fast dad so i will be big soon and be a daddy soon. did you eat so well dad that you are so big now? what if i grow faster than josh and i'll show josh my son and josh will play with my son also and you will be lolo now and... and will you say wow to me dad? and you will say wow angelo you're bigger than josh now. are you so proud of me? i will be proud to my son also...
And I interrupted. Go eat now.

The only response I could muster was telling my son not to think about growing up so fast so he can play more with his toys. I was dumbfounded. In the middle of the dining table, my son bombarded me with questions. Which got me wondering, did I have these same kinds of questions too when I was four years old? On the other hand, it was ironically funny because at a time I should be giving answers to my son, he made me wonder at all these. So I told myself, I'm also just a boy and I thought I knew it all.

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zai angelo @ one, worry-free.

final dose:
when kids want to grow up, and grown-ups want to be kids, it's a crazy world.

 

please, no pressures

The palm of my hands sweat every time I need to beat a deadline; my boss notices how wet my computer mouse gets when he checks on my drawings. But my whole system remains focused and I deliver what is due.

In real life though, I shrug off pressures and act in a calm, Vito Corleone kinda way. That is my front. But deep inside I am struck, struck in a manner that leaves me speechless and stuttering.

A year ago on this very same month, I had the same dilemma and up until today, it is still without any concrete solution. Days will pass, weeks and months will pass too, and this shall also come to pass, but until it shall be fully dealt with, this will resurface time and time again. I will not give up; I won't lose hope.

We will get to where we want to be; you will have your time.

A year ago n this very same month, there was this conversation. Now another one has been added. This time, although innocently brought up, it still adds to what seems like a brewing pressure on my position. This shall be fully dealt with and the moment will come when we have aplenty. I only wish that hope will always be alive.

We will get to where we want to be, time is on our hands and within our grasp.

The palm of my hands may need to sweat, but I shall remain focused and will deliver.

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Zai & Alli, the picture will always look bright with the two of you around

final dose:
pleased to have these pressures

 

the year is 2010 and it has been great so far

This blog has been pretty silent for the past couple of months; the reason for that being with so many things going on, blogging takes too much time, but there's just so little to spare.

But yeah, it is 2010 and the year so far has been freaking great!

Compared to others my age, I feel that it's a little late for me to have achieved what I have right now... I could have had all these five years prior. But I did not and am no less proud. The blessings have come at the most appropriate time, where I can look back at my past and proudly say today - that despite what I have been through, I made it right back on track.

So yeah, 2010, thank you for this. You got me WHERE I've always wanted to be - happily married to a loving wife, doting father to a smart little boy and a proud licensed architect.

So what lies ahead . . . from where I am, the future looks bright. I am optimistic.

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allitoni @ The Manila Hotel during the oath taking

final dose:
in high hopes and gay

 

fantastic four

HAPPY 4th BIRTHDAY SON!

you have never ceased to cheer us up
though at times you may be stubborn
you have always been our source of joy and inspiration


you make mom and dad proud of you!

final dose:

keep on smiling 'lil boy


 

die hard die mannschaft

Being hemophiliac hinders me from playing contact sports but of course it won't stop me from being a fan.

The world cup just ended, undeniably the world's most popular sport. Although the Philippines think otherwise as we have always been basketball loving citizens. Let me share here how I have enjoyed the month long celebration of the beautiful game of 2010.

Weeks before the tournament was to start, I was busy preparing for my licensure exam but I sure did find time to at least read updates and news about the world cup, I have been in anticipation you may say. June 11, the opening day was also the first day of my board examination. And since I promised myself not to be distracted with the sport, I miss the opening salvo.


The moment I flew back home, I checked the schedule, especially that of the team I'm rooting for - Germany.

Good thing during the first round, most of Germany's schedule was between seven to ten in the evening. So it was pretty convenient to watch it live. But watching at home lack the flair I experienced four years ago watching it in a pub. I enjoined wifey to watch the game between Germany and Serbia live at Badger's, a sports bar just very near our village. Sad to say it was the only lost of my beloved team in the first round.
With wifey saying she may be the jinx in that lost, she never cared to join me again watching another game, I knew it was her lame excuse, she never enjoyed one minute of it.

So I went to Badger's alone, and every time Germany was playing, I never cease to wear my die mannschaft football jersey. In the course, I found new friends, those of whom are die hard German fanatics too. We were waving flags, wearing Germany's color, chanting ole, ole, ole, one even brought a vuvuzuela.

I was truly disheartened with Germany's lost to eventual winner Spain. Worst, the now famous oracle octopus paul prediction was amazingly accurate. getting the third place for the second consecutive time was a mere consolation for Germany.

It was fun watching my team, it was a great run for them -- when nobody expected them to reach that far, what with the German, the only European team who invested so much on young players while others relied more on their veterans. I was cheering with much gusto seeing how fast and entertaining they play. Bastian Schweinsteiger, Arne Friedrich, Mario Gomez, Lukas Podolski, Per Maertesacker, Mesut Özil, Thomas Mueller -- these are the players with an average age of 25, no one with superstar status yet they showed the whole world how they play beautiful the beautiful game.

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Zai rooting for Argentina with his authentic Argentina football jersey, moi with my fake.


final dose:
until the next world cup, when the world unite for the game, divided to stand with their colors!


 

posted by A.Cortes on 7:23 AM under

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i'm an architect, you know

so call me Architect Antonio G. Cortes II

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oh yeah! baby!

final dose:
to believe, click here

 

a letter to myself

Dear Toni,

You don't go start blogging now since you don't have much to write about anyway. The elections are done and your summer vacation trip to Puerto Galera was way over. So don't start thinking about giving new updates. Now this I say to you, in three days time you'll be flying again to the capital and hopefully, your two-week stay there would be more fruitful than your three weeks for none last year. I know you have mixed emotions, what with missing your wife's birthday and celebrating yours for the first time away from your beloved island, plus the anxiety of taking the most important exam of your life by far.

"This is for the future," think of it that way.

Now, talking about the most important exam you'll ever take, this is gonna be your make or break moment. Believe, as they always say, but don't be too complacent; you have the whole two weeks to prepare. Refresh your memories and you can handle it just fine. Think of the many opportunities that will come your way when you can make it. Sacrifice is one of the ingredients to achieve your goal, but hard work is always the key. Sometimes there will be "what ifs," but you can condition yourself after you have done the best that you can do. Don't let it bring you down.

Two weeks. It's just two weeks. Soon you'll find yourself in the loving embrace of your wife and son. When all of this is over, tell yourself to grab a beer and enjoy the world cup, but don't let that sport distract you in any way while you're in the thick of things, preparing. Focus.

Man, best of luck to you! I'll keep my fingers crossed, and please remember that you have your whole family supporting you. They're your inspiration and your determination is nothing but to succeed.


love,
yourself

p.s.
here's a lovely photograph to inspire you all the more

final dose:
one way to release the pressure...

 

MAITEPH

The 24th of April 2010 was the day our two best friends finally tied the knot after nine long years of being in a relationship. To Maica and Stephen, words are not enough on how to describe how we feel seeing you guys received the Sacrament of Matrimony.

You both are lovely together - Mr. & Mrs. Dioresma. BEST WISHES! and we expect to have babies coming soon. And so here's the video that we, together with Mhon and Justin made just for you. Oh, thanks to Fran for the editing. Enjoy!




final dose:
keep on rocking the bed!

 

swim school is cool

Needless to say, the arm floaters that we bought our little boy would now be rarely used. Angelo is learning to swim this summer and he is learning pretty quick.

When we looked at options on what our little boy should be busy doing this school break, swimming class was our first option. But apparently, those that we inquired about were too far from our place. We needed a more convenient activity, and so we went with Arnis lessons at Doce Pares, which is within our village. We had to condition our son's mind that he was going to ninja school, so that learning Arnis would be fun for him. But unfortunately, we saw that he had little interest and, no offense to the institution, but they train with serious discipline, which is way too much for our three year old. So after two days in ninja school, we just had to let him stop.

The good thing is, there's Sandtrap, located along Maria Luisa Road, and just a five minute drive from our place. They offer swimming lessons with a maximum of three students per trainer, and the best part is, we got to chose the 5pm to 6pm schedule. Very convenient.

Angelo is on his fourth session so far and he has quickly learned how not to be afraid to hold his breath underwater and do flutter kicks. As long as he is enjoying and learning, we don't mind buying expensive Speedo goggles for him. This might be the start of something big, who knows . He might just be the next Michael Phelps.


Zai Angelo learning how to swim, doing a friendly swim race with his classmate Matty

final dose:
swimming school is cool, so says our boy.

 

4yrsbaby!

For four years, we went through, we endured, we are still and hopefully going strong!

It has been another wonderful year, and each is surely sweeter than the last. Let's spend more of these together, happy anniversary to us!


Love is the answer, at least for most of the questions in my heart, like
Why are we here? And where do we go? And how come it's so hard?
It's not always easy and sometimes life can be deceiving
I'll tell you one thing, it's always ...
better when we're together

Let's go grab a beer and be nasty!

final dose:
the post is a little late, but the message is what matters

 

in search of eggs

When I was a kid, there were a lot of things I looked forward to during summer. There's kite-flying, beach outings, summer lessons, and the holy week fun.

Easter Sundays are one of the fondest memories of my childhood. All throughout the solemn holy week, my cousins and I wait anxiously for the weekend, when we get to paint the eggs that we will hunt for and get to design our bunny ears headgear, as well as our Easter baskets. And on the day itself, we get very excited after the Sunday mass. It's a reunion and a party, filled with unadulterated fun.

There is always that kid in you that wishes for the special childhood days once again. So I try as much as I can to also let my son experience what I went through when I was about his age. Even if we don't live in a compound with neighboring relatives, we made it a point to organize our own Easter egg hunt, even with just three kids involved.

the three cousins in their first easter egg hunting

So our Easter Sunday was just that, three kids - Vinzcarl, Raine and our little boy Angelo with thirty five painted eggs to find, it was the first for the three kids and I bet it will be a lasting memory for them.

final dose:
easter in itself is resurrection, resurrection of happiness

 

how to train your kid

School is out and summer is in. And our little boy is all play all day.

Zai Angelo just finished nursery school this March and we want him to have at least a fruitful summer. Two months of vacation is just too long for him to stay at home most of the time. We're thinking of having him enrolled in a summer class, but there are a lot of choices , so we have shortlisted the ones that we think are appropriate for him to enjoy and to learn.

So here are our options: there's swimming lessons, music class, art workshop, summer school and various sports clinic.

The swimming lessons are held too far from our place, music class will just bore him (methinks), summer school is too academic, I can teach him art lessons myself, sports clinics are for older kids. Now the good thing is we have the Doce Pares headquarters right in our village and they're giving arnis/martial arts lessons. So we're kind of leaning towards that.

angelo showing less grin, inspired after watching the movie how to train your dragon

We'll update as soon as we have decided.

final dose:
If plans will push through, I will envy my kid for going into martial arts training, I never had this when I was little.

 

finding the niche

There are days when I miss going to work in a big company that hires more than a thousand people. The scenes in the elevator, the queue in the pantry, the noise in the workstations. You see, I have a regular day job in an office filled with only five male employees, including myself. No gossip, no office love stories. Instead, we talk of sports, beer, of rock and roll, girls and porn. In an ordinary day, I busy myself with drawings, planning and even site visits, and the good thing is that I don't consider it routine.

Back then, I wrote in envy about not being in my chosen industry. Now, I have been exposed to my field, and have been learning for the past two years. I have been raring to explore much more of the tricks that will help me in my craft.

And on this month of march where new graduates will embark into the professional world, I am glad to have found my niche. I am glad that at least I am starting to find people who believe in my capabilities. Success though, will not be dictated by circumstance, but by attitude.

funnyteeshirts.blog.com

Passing the board exams in June would prove that I have the right attitude, and would cement my place in the world.

final dose:
this post is inspired by our new lawyer friends who recently passed the bar exams
to ATTY. HANNIYAH P. SEVILLA and ATTY. FRANCESCO MANUEL P. VALDEZ
CONGRATULATIONS to both of you!

 

the first step

So there he was, standing in line, waiting for his name to be called. And as soon as he took his first step onto the platform, I can't be more proud. The little boy, with his white shirt neatly tucked into his blue shorts, looking adorable, my son, just graduated from nursery.

Oh, I remember how fragile you were the first time I held you in my arms, but look at you now looking all grown up but still with the innocent face. And this, I tell you, will just be the first step to an even greater future, and all throughout, I'll try to be there with you. Always.

Zai Angelo showing off his certificate
Marie Ernestine North Campus, Cebu City


Congratulations son! You make mom and dad so happy and proud!

final dose:
Zai Angelo graduated with Class Merit award in Good Conduct and Behavior
exemplary classroom performance in Nursery Level, Academic year 2009-2010

 

my best shot

So our annual Valentine's vacation went on as planned. Though not as fancy as the previous years', our two-night-three-day stay at Bantayan Island was just enough. But let's not deal about the trip for now, this blog post is intended for another thing entirely.

The day before Valentine's, I went to Freedom Park with two things in mind. Freedom Park is located in downtown Cebu, a place known for selling flowers. One may compare it to the Arangke Market in Manila. My first purpose was not to buy flowers, but to take pictures for my entry(ies) to yugatech's contest. The night before that, I hurriedly made my own version of the intended sign. You see, this contest i
s aptly entitled "gimme your best shot," wherein one just needs to hold up the sign and take a picture of it in the most creative, most difficult, most crowded place that will draw the biggest impact. So I thought to myself, freedom park would have a huge crowd the day before Valentine's.


the yugatechcontest sign - quick! go follow @abeolandres and @ talk2globe on twitter

I was already at the location at nine in the morning, scanning for the best area, the nicest angle to take my picture. I was in the midst of people busy buying and vendors inviting you to buy flowers - with my camera and the big cardboard sign, hoping that this ordeal would eventually earn me something good. When I found a good spot to take the photo, I had to encourage the flower vendor to be my model, and she gladly obliged. Not content, I went around again for another spot, then had to encourage another flower vendor one more time. When I finally had enough, I just had to buy flowers from them, as my token of thanks. Thus fulfilling my second purpose. When I thought I was going straight home before noon, I passed by Cebu's famous landmark, the Magellan's Cross, and noticed a good crowd of tourists and locals in the area, I just couldn't resist stopping by and taking one more chance of getting a good entry for gimme your best shot.

I went home, happily gave my wife a bunch of flowers and scanned through my camera for the best shot(s). And below are the photos that I took, click to enlarge. Hosted them in flickr and photobucket.


shot taken @ freedom park, my first official entry to the yugatechcontest


shot taken @ Cebu's Magellan's Cross - my second entry to the yugatechcontest
other photo entries here, here and here

final dose:
going to freedom park was hitting two goals with one trip.

 

love deeply

It is the month of hearts once again!

And our plans for our annual valentine vacation will push through over the weekend. So this post should just be a teaser for the meantime, we will update when everything is ironed out.

toni and alli, dive the waters of camiguin, during last year's valentine

Here's hoping cupid will have his arrows as sharp as always, it might get a little different since Chinese New Year falls on the same date.

final dose:
wishing everyone to have a valentine and be happy

 

posted by A.Cortes on 4:40 AM under

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refreshing the child

The last two weeks saw the city of Cebu busy with the Sinulog festivities -- vibrant colors, bustling sounds and the distinct beat that makes the dance what it is. Sinulog is always celebrated every third Sunday of the first month of the year. And like most Cebuanos, we were there.

But for the last three years we really haven’t been able to get a good glimpse of the street parade, with our little boy in tow and the flock of people, we just had to watch the mardi gras from a distance. Good thing we live in Sto. Niño Village, which also has its own version of the Sinulog, celebrated a week after. Although less grand in scale, it still has the same festive spirit, and the best part is, the parade passes right in front of our abode.

the Sinulog parade

So we always make it a point to invite friends and family to our fiesta celebration. And last weekend was just that – our village’s own Sinulog fiesta.

Close friends, family and a bunch of kids came.


the Kids and Adults enjoying the Sinulog fiesta

Our little Zai Angelo had a blast playing and watching the parade. By late afternoon he was already flat tired but woke up around eight in the evening. And in between play and dinner he drinks REAL LEAF GREEN TEA, which methinks got him rejuvenated. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to snap the moments for photographs. We just had to make him pose drinking the REAL LEAF GREEN TEA and submit it as our entry to Miss Neomi’s blog contest as well as YUGATECH’s and also at Kubierto's. Fortunately though, he likes to make the pose equally as he likes drinking REAL LEAF GREEN TEA. He said: it’s like iced tea dad, and it tastes really good, too!

Here are the pictures.

Zai Angelo drinks REAL LEAF after playing, eating or while watching t.v

Final dose:
Hope everyone had fun during the Sinulog.
Have fun drinking REAL LEAF GREEN TEA, too!

 

mo siyagit og kusog

It's that time of year again when Cebuanos go out to the streets to celebrate the annual fiesta senyor - the Sinulog

And as true blue Cebuanos, we will definitely join in the revelry. Go out on the streets and enjoy the Mardi Gras.

Pit Senyor everyone!

♪♫ Sinulog, isyagit ug kusog; (Pit Señor, Pit Señor) tanan magsaulog
Sinulog, isyagit ug kusog; (Pit Señor, Pit Señor) tanan magsaulog

Sisisinulog, sisisinulog
pit senyor kang lolo kini
pit senyor kang lola kini
pit senyor kang tatay kini

pit senyor kang nanay kini
Gisugdan ni balanghay maoy atong dungog
Sayaw nga giparis pag lihok sa sulog

Pangadje ug manampit alang sa Santo Niño

Ihalad ang kinabuhi aron malipay pa ang Ginoo ♪♫


Zai Angelo blows his whistle during last year's Sinulog

final dose:
pit senyor kang Angelo kini

pit senyor kang
Alli kini
pit senyor
kang Toni kini

 

great expectations

For people with normal lives, the first working week of the year has just passed. Does it go without saying that when you start the year boring, well, it’s going to end boring? Nay!

2010 – What lies ahead?

I’m pretty sure everyone has been asked this question before -- “How do you see yourself ten years from now?” Not only is this question stupid, it’s ridiculous how we are so eager to say what we can be in ten years time. As we look back, we were never close to what we said long ago. Haven’t you realized that back in the days when the movies predicted flying cars and walking robots by the year 2000, but hey, it’s not happening and it won’t be for the next five years or so. It’s not a question of technology; it’s asking when this will be a reality.

So to be more realistic, I won’t be mentioning any resolutions, any promises that are hardly doable. Let me just give three expectations though for the year ahead.
  • This year, I expect our little boy to graduate from nursery school, and do it with ease and with flying colors at that. Zai Angelo has been enjoying his first year in school and has been learning a lot; it’s evident on how well he converses with other kids and adults, and damn, I’m just so proud of him. I expect him to stay as healthy as he can be, just like last year when he was never admitted in the hospital, as long as being good parents, we will continue to provide.
  • This year, I expect wifey to achieve whatever ideas she has in mind, whatever those may be. Allison has been constant with presenting new approaches, be it at work or in the family. I expect her to do even more, from being the hardworking trainer to a doting mom and a dutiful wife, as long as I’ll be by her side to support her.
  • This year, I expect to be an architect! If the PRC won’t deny my application again and if I’ll continue to have my inspirations – my only determination is to succeed. Now that’s bold.
our little walking robot - Angelo as bumble bee
during the Halloween costume contest at SM City Cebu

2010 – What lies ahead? – More parties, more celebrations and vacations, more love, more beer!

Final dose:
Expect nothing, live frugally on surprise. – Alice Walker

 

bring it on 2010!

New is the year,
new are the hopes
and the aspirations,
new is the resolution,
new are the spirits
and forever our warm wishes are for you.
Have a promising and fulfilling new year.

May the year 2010 be meaningful and prosperous

final dose:
Happy New Year everyone!

 

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