Monthly Archives: December 2011

Everything But the Kitchen Sink

I love traveling. It doesn’t matter where I go as long as I get to go. As luck would have it, I’m married to a man who prefers not to leave the comforts of home. The result: in the last 4 years, I’ve been to Singapore 5 times (or is it 6?).
Not that I’m complaining. Singapore is our happy medium: Pao is very comfortable with the city (it has Kinokinuya after all) and it also fulfills my desire to get out of Manila.

Taken in Singapore when I was 1.5 mos pregnant - look at those arms!

Before Meia, I feel the urge to travel at least 3 times a year: during my birthday week, our bf-gf anniversary week, and our wedding anniversary week.

Boracay, 15 lbs ago

Unfortunately, since I was put on bed rest last November 2010, the farthest place I’ve been to is Pasay near NAIA (and that was for a job interview!). Hindi manlang ako umabot ng Alabang! (I know it’s part of the city but you know what I mean). It’s been more than a year since I last left Manila. 😦
So… I’ve been bugging Paolo to let me book a trip to HK with the bear. She is now the proud holder of a passport after all. Pao just keeps on looking at me like I’m insane.
And after today, I’m starting to believe that he’s right (for once).
We’ve booked a room for New Year’s Eve to get away from the smoke. December 31 is still a few days away but since I’m OC, I decided to prepare my packing list early. So far, the list is already 2 and a half pages long, with the first 2 pages devoted to Meia’s things. I have no idea how we’ll bring everything with us — did I tell you our yaya will not join us for New Year’s Eve? Lagot.
And to think we booked a hotel 15 minutes from the house.

Posted by on 12/28/2011 in Uncategorized


Happy Holidays from our family to yours :)


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Posted by on 12/24/2011 in Uncategorized


WWE: My Favorite Soap

Four months into my pregnancy with the bouncing bear, I started to spot. My doctor told me to observe the bleeding and if it repeated a few more times, I needed to go on bed rest. The instructions were not to go back to work until 2 weeks pass without any spotting. Needless to say, I didn’t see the office again until after I gave birth.

Back then, I worked in a mid-sized law firm in Makati. I was used to the busy, fast-paced work environment, having had been in law firms for the past 4 or so years. I was just recently promoted and work was piling up and I loved it. So you can imagine how I felt when all of a sudden I had to stop. I wasn’t used to doing nothing all day.

I immediately bought a 1000 piece Beatles Abbey Road jigsaw puzzle to keep me occupied. I paced myself – I only allowed myself to put together 100 or so pieces each day. After all, it was supposed to keep me entertained for 2 whole weeks. No cigar – by day 6, the puzzle was completed and I was bored out of my mind.

And then I rediscovered wrestling.

I used to watch WWE (then WWF) back in grade school. I got the habit from my mom who was a huge fan. I remember I even watched the Undertaker and my crush, Adam Bomb (don’t look at me that way, I’m sure you’ve made lapses of judgment as well) in Araneta when they came here.

The WWE kept me sane during the remaining 5 months of bed rest. I even remember watching WWE in the labor room, while they doctors were trying to stop my labor (the bear wanted to come out 8 weeks too early). Back then, I loved seeing Randy Orton in action. I swear, Meia would kick every time his music played.

I got Paolo hooked on WWE as well. We love watching it so much we bought the bear official merchandise.

Meia wearing her Awesome onesie

Meia’s now 9 and a half months old. Paolo and I are still watching WWE religiously. Much has changed in the WWE since Meia was born. CM Punk and Daniel Bryan are now the champions (WWE Champion and World Heavyweight Champions, respectively), Zack Ryder (WWWYKI) won the USA Title from my current fave – Mr. Perfect meets Shawn Michaels Dolph Ziggler, and Cody Rhodes (bless his heart) is finally wearing knee pads. One thing that’s still getting to me though is the absence of Brodus Clay. I really like Brodus Clay. He reminds me of Benjie Paras, don’t you think? 🙂


Posted by on 12/21/2011 in Others, Uncategorized


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Four Years Later

Four years ago, I made the worst best decision of my life.
Fast forward to today, I think we’re doing pretty well. Paolo is now a Palanca award winning author and has 2 titles out on Amazon (High Society and Alternative Alamat). I, on the other hand, have recently left firm life and am working for a good company that gives me the work-life balance that I need. More importantly, we have been blessed with a bouncing bear who always keeps us on our toes.
A few months before we got married,  I forced convinced Paolo to join this blog contest. The prizes were pretty substantial – I think they were worth over P20k. Unfortunately, we lost, but Paolo’s essay was considered as a “selected entry” and was likewise featured.
Anyway, I just remembered the entry Pao made last night while trying to put the Meia to sleep. Below is the full text of it, for your reading pleasure.
I swear motherhood is making me soft. Now, I’m blogging about our anniversary.
by Paolo Chikiamco
I honestly think that there is no greater indicia of love, than that scintillating, trembling desire to take your partner in your arms – and wring her neck.OK, so, maybe that’s not very normal of me. Then again, my relationship with my bride-to-be is not very normal either, which suits both of us just fine. I’m one of those uncommon male forms who would much rather sit in a corner with a book than go out drinking with even the most beauteous of women. As for Shaps, her idea of a perfect day would start with a trip to the zoo, detour to a Lewis Black comedy cuss-show, then end with a jump into the mosh pit at an Aerosmith concert. Those descriptions might seem to place us squarely within the “opposites attract” couples sub-genre, but as usual looks can be deceiving – there is a happy overlap to most of our interests that accounts for the fact that I will enjoy her perfect day almost as much as she herself would, and vice-versa.That is not to say that we never disagree, but the very fact that we can actually engage in pointed, passionate and quite heated arguments is a cornerstone of our relationship. As lawyers, neither Shaps nor I are the timid, reticent type, and it is refreshing indeed to be able to argue to the best of one’s ability, pulling no punches, because you know your partner is not likely to be swayed merely by your fancy vocabulary, nor the force of your personality. I know I’m quite often wrong in my positions, but it is a rare thing to find someone who can weather my oft-bombastic tirades and also fire back with succinct arguments as to just how and why I am wrong. Shaps, bless her heart, makes it a personal mission to prove me wrong. Frequently… and with evident glee.To this day she never makes me forget that, technically speaking, she’s never officially agreed to be my girlfriend. She has etched in her memory those painstakingly crafted words that my younger, quite nervous self asked her those six years ago: “Shaps… will you consider becoming my girlfriend.” Which means, she points out, that I have basically been undergoing nothing but a lengthy probation.Apparently though, I have acquitted myself well enough to convince her to give me her “official” assent when we get married this December (or not… it wouldn’t be completely out of character for her to say ‘I don’t’ if I manage to screw up before then, for instance by once again failing to put the “_” in my “^_^” smiley face). As long as no one forces her to wear a veil (“Do you not want to look at my face?”) or march down the aisle to anything other than Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters”, I’m sure we’ll be fine, and well on our way to years of marital bliss, detouring inevitably into the occasional mental neck-wringing.
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Posted by on 12/16/2011 in Others, Uncategorized


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Alternative Alamat – Now Available

Cover for "Alternative Alamat" by Mervin Malonzo

It’s with great pride that I would like to announce the release of Paolo’s anthology: Alternative Alamat.

Alternative Alamat“, is a digital anthology of stories inspired by Philippine mythology.

From RocketKapre‘s press kit:

“Philippine mythology is full of images that ignite the imagination: gods of calamity and baldness, of cosmic time and lost things; the many-layered Skyworld, and weapons that fight their own battles; a ship that is pulled to paradise by a chain, and a giant crab that controls the tides… yet too few of these tales are known and read today. “Alternative Alamat” gathers eleven stories, by contemporary authors of Philippine fantasy, which make innovative use of elements of Philippine mythology.

None of these stories are straight re-tellings of the old tales: they build on those stories, or question underlying assumptions; use ancient names as catalysts, or play within the spaces where the myths are silent. What you will find in common in these eleven stories is a love for the myths, epics, and legends which reflect us, contain us, call to us–and it is our hope that, in reading our stories, you may catch a glimpse, and develop a hunger, for those venerable tales.

“Alternative Alamat” also features a cover and interior illustrations by Mervin Malonzo, a short list of notable Philippine deities, and in-depth interviews with Professors Herminia Meñez Coben and Fernando N. Zialcita. 

The digital edition of “Alternative Alamat”, co-published by Flipside Digital Content, may now be purchased for US$4.99 at the Kindle store ( and for PHP235.00 at (, and will soon be available at the Apple iTunes and Barnes & Noble Nook stores.”

Get your copy of Alternative Alamat now! 🙂

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Posted by on 12/14/2011 in Uncategorized


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Beyond Being Thin

“Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (December). For this month, we want to honor breastfeeding for having enriched our lives and blessed us, maybe even empowered us, in a way that only breastfeeding can. Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants.”

I was a fat kid. I wasn’t cute, healthy, or big boned. I was just plain fat.

As a child, I would always get clothes from the pre-teens section. As a pre-teen, from the teens section, and as a teen, from the ladies department. My only saving grace was that I was tall for my age, so I didn’t look that horrible.

Then one day, when I was in grade 4, I stepped on the scale and saw that my weight hit a whopping 140 pounds. To put it into perspective, I was 60 pounds heavier than the average girl my age. My weight was the equivalent of almost 2 11 year olds!

It was at that point that I decided that I needed to lose weight. Yes, at 11 years old, I went on my first diet. I also tried sports – there was a new taekwondo class being offered, and I decided to enroll.

It took a while but eventually, I started to shed the pounds. From then on, I was always on a diet. Here’s a picture of me on my wedding day, I think I was more or less at my thinnest then:

i'm such a ray of sunshine

At this point, I was 10 pounds less than my ideal weight according to those height and weight charts. However, despite being underweight, I never really felt thin. There was always a body part to tone, a bilbil to get rid of. While I knew in my mind that I was no longer my grade 4 self, I was always afraid I’d get back to it if I let myself go.

Then Meia happened. When we decided to have a baby, I promised myself that I would start dieting right after I gave birth. I would eat a lot during my pregnancy but that was okay, there was a little one inside of me that I was eating for as well.

7 months pregnant

Then I decided to breastfeed. This is what I didn’t account for in my get-back-into-shape-right-after-giving-birth plan. Dieting was a big no-no, as I would feel weak and dizzy if I didn’t eat a lot. Exercising wasn’t an option either — while some websites say that it’s okay for me to exercise while breastfeeding, I realized that it severely affected my milk supply.

Today, nine months in, I’m still 10 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight, and light years away from my pre-pregnancy body.

What I’ve realized during the past year is that my body is no longer my own. I am in charge of taking care of it, of making sure that it’s healthy, but it’s not mine alone. I currently share it with Meia, who is getting her milk only from me. Because of that, I realized that I needed to push away my fear of being fat and concentrate on nourishing Meia for the time being. So what if I have a pooch in my belly? So what if I still don’t fit into any of my favorite prepregnancy clothes?

Don’t get me wrong. I still feel fat every now and then. But you know what? It’s more than worth it because I have this in return:

a happy 9 month old bouncing bear

Breastfeeding has freed me from my fears. It has made me realize that my body is beautiful because it has performed and continues to perform a beautiful function – it has produced the most wonderful baby in the world and continues to nourish her even outside the womb.

Do take the time to check out all the posts in this month’s carnival:


Posted by on 12/13/2011 in Breastfeeding, Parenthood, Uncategorized


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Life is Good

It’s been a couple of weeks since Pao was hospitalized. (He had atypical pneumonia and sinusitis. No dengue, thank god.) We were stuck in the hospital for a week and he was on bed rest for another week after that. It was a hectic 2 weeks for me, to say the least. But that’s over now. Pao is on the way to full recovery — he still gets tired but not like before.

So last Sunday we finally had our family pictorial. This was originally scheduled for November 7, but we were only being discharged from the hospital then so we had to move it back.

We just received the pictures from Sheila Catilo, and when I was going through them, I can’t help but feel how lucky I am. Let me count the ways:

I have no reason to complain. Life is good.

Thanks again, Sheila for the awesome pics!

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Posted by on 12/04/2011 in Parenthood, Things to Do, Uncategorized


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