Saturday, April 19, 2008

Camille and Gail

Goofing around with my godchild Gail and her older sis Camille:                                                                                                                                 

The photos were taken using a (really) low-end point-and-shoot cam and tweaked in CS3 and Paint Shop Pro XI to make it look "professional." I think I've nailed down on how to add character to my otherwise ordinary shots. It's just the watermark that I have to work on. 

Gail didn't like having her photo taken, so I goofed around, trying to get a "stolen" shot of her. These two love to play games on cellphones, and it didn't take them more than a minute to figure out how to play Alexa on my S500i, a game that took me about 45 minutes to learn (haha). 

Kids nowadays are so different, aren't they? They pick up on tech stuff quickly. I have another godchild who is about 5 years old but he knows his way around a laptop already. This is a child who yet has to learn how to read, but can already understand the basic complexities involved in turning on a laptop and making it do what he wants to do- get online to play Yahoo games. 


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Compassion vs. Principle

After work today, I went to the local department store to buy a couple of things for my trip to Cebu tonight. I stopped by the school supplies section to buy a highlighter, which I cannot function without. I always must have one handy whenever I read a book or a magazine. I’m a compulsive “highlighter”- I have to mark every passage that I find interesting. (Granted of course that I own the book or the magazine I happen to be reading).

So I picked the Faber-Castel neon green highlighter. The price tag said 23.50. I went to the counter to pay for it. When the cashier swiped the item, the price that popped up in her computer said P24.90. She then explained that the price must have changed. “Well, how come the price tag says 23.50 if the price has changed?” I asked. “They weren’t able to change the price tags yet,” she concluded, referring to the salesgirls in charge of the said items.

Now, I work for a government agency of which the main task is to inform people of the laws. I wasn’t about to let this pass. “Okay, Miss, there’s a law called the Price Tag Law, and that law says that in cases like this, where there are two differing prices for the same item, the price that is marked on the price tag should be the price that the customer will pay for,” I insisted. (I’m not really sure if that’s what the law stipulates as I might have confused it with the “lower price prevails” clause, but I know it was somewhere along that line).

So the cashier huddled with a salesgirl who then waved over another salesgirl and pretty soon the huddle became a group of blue and white-clad salesgirls furiously whispering among themselves about, and I assume, who’s to be blamed for not changing the price tags right away.

Pretty soon, they called another lady, who I presumed was their supervisor and she confirmed what have already been obvious from the beginning. “Oh, Ma’am, the prices were changed today as you can see on the computer,” she announced.

Wow, thanks for pointing that out. “Yes, I can see that. But the price tag clearly says 23.50,” I said patiently.

“The price tag hasn’t been changed yet,” she said, again, pointing out the obvious.

“So? I’m only going to pay according to what’s on the price tag. That’s what the law says,” I replied, hiding the fact of course that I wasn’t that sure that that’s what the law actually says.

Bitaw, bala-od na (Yes, that’s the law),” she muttered, and turning to the guilty salesgirl, said “The price difference is going to be deducted from your pay. You will be given a voucher for this.”

When I heard that, I was a little taken aback. She’s going to pay for it? But why? I looked at the price again as the supervisor said to the salesgirl “Your deduction will be P1.50.”

At this point, I was about to retract my earlier stand as I pitied the salesgirl. But on the other hand, it’s only P1.50. Now, if the difference in the price were, let’s say, 100 pesos or more, then maybe I would have acquiesced and just let it pass with a stern warning to the salesgirl to avoid committing the same mistake.

However, money is not the point here; it’s the principle of the thing. Consumers have rights, and stores, especially one as big as this (dare I name it? Lee Super Plaza), should do some sort of mitigating measures to ensure that situations like this must never happen. Like, maybe, whoever was in charge of changing the price tags should have pulled out all the items from the display and put them back only after the necessary changes have been made.

So I gritted my teeth and held my ground. My father has always been after me to stand up for my rights so this is a perfect time to listen to him, I thought. So without another word, I paid for the item and walked away.

When I was out of the store though, I started having second thoughts. I admit I don’t have nerves of steel and most of the time, my emotions shoot down my logic. I can’t stand being responsible for something unpleasant happening to another person, even if I’m the one in the right.

So maybe I should have just let the whole thing pass. What if the girl gets into trouble because I insisted on not paying P1.50? What if she loses her job? But heck, nobody would get fired over P1.50, surely? Besides, it’s going to come out of her pay. Now, that’s another issue too. Why should the employees pay for that? Shouldn’t it be shouldered by the store? I find this policy quite unfair.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Honeylicious Wallpaper

Taking a break from my biz card designing to post here my new wallpaper: 


That's Honey, a half-Dane and half-Boxer in her pink Easter Bunny outfit. Such an adorable mutt isn't she? Chris and his sister picked her up from a pound and when Chris took her out for a walk, he said she kept biting her leash and growling, in a playful way. She likes to do that. She looks aggressive in the photo but she's really a darling. 

My friends know how much I love dogs. Which is why I would never dare step into a dog pound or a pet store. It would break my heart to walk away from it without bringing all of them with me!

Biz card in progress

I started making my business card last night but I'm all out of inspiration. I want it to look nice in a whimsical way, kinda like my blog's theme (by 

I always turn to flickr for design inspirations but I'm having problem opening their site right now. I found this one featuring really creative, think-outside-the-box designs. Most of the cards there are made to look as close to the product that it's selling as possible. I especially like the one about a farm. It's got a small fluff of wool actually pasted on the body of the sheep drawn on the card. Really cute! In there are also two business cards from dentists, one with teeth impressions on it and the other a teeth floss (not so cute haha). And a rubber business card! Can you imagine? You have to stretch it in order to read the details. It certainly makes an impression but I don't have to keep stretching it in order to see the phone number. 

So many creative minds out there that are stretching design concepts to its limits. On second thought, is there a limit to design? Design - in whatever medium it is applied to - has no boundaries, I think. It's only up to your imagination.

Ok I'm off to hunt for more inspiration.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

New blog design

... again! Like I said in this post, I'm bound to change this blog's design frequently ;-).

I am a bit fickle-minded in that way. I love my previous blog design which was courtesy of Gisele Jaquenod, but there are times I just feel like a change of "working" environment. The current theme is from (check her out, she's also got tons of gorgeous blogger themes).

My taste in blog templates leans towards whimsical, girlie flavors like Gisele's birdie series. In fact, I downloaded all of her birdie themes, so I would be likely rotating my themes around her templates soon enough.

Right now, I'm making my business cards, the design of which I'm planning to work around my current blog design. Soft grays and tiffany blues with a pop of hot pink. Will post the samples once I finish them (I tend to make around 3 designs which I spend days mulling over, choosing which to stick with).

One thing's annoying me though. When I was changing my blog's template, everytime I hit "view blog" I still see the previous blog design. Is it Blogger? Or is it my browser? I'm using Firefox, but I also got Safari installed (which I did not download by the way, it came along with an iTunes update). Could it be having 3 browsers- the third being IE- installed in my computer is somehow messing up my monitor or something? Sounds kinda far-fetched, but it could be possible. I read from a Flickr forum about how different browsers show the same uploaded photo in different colors.

Oh I hope it all works out in the morning. In my experience, weird as it may sound, but most digital hiccups I encounter get smoothed out in the morning. We'll see.

Update (the morning after): Everything's A-Ok. Checked my site first thing today, and it looks just as it should. There's something quite not right in my header, though. What do you think? Hmmm. I'll be tweaking it again today :-) 

Friday, April 4, 2008

Made you look

It's 10:54, says my clock. Time for me to hit the sack. But I just finished a 6-page layout for my Dad's newspaper and my mind is still fired up though my eyes are telling me otherwise.

So to help my nerves quiet down (hopefully), I'm posting a quickie here about one of my favorite softwares: Adobe Photoshop which recently launched its online version- the Photoshop Express.

It took me awhile to get get my hands on the goodies I was expecting to find and read about this online version of what I believe is the best photo editing yet. I use Photoshop CS3, and I'm so loving it (also Corel Paint Shop Pro). So I had really high expectations on its online version.

Anyway, like I said, it took me awhile to get an account (since it's on a beta release, you can sign up there for free). I must have signed up for like 6 times already using all my emails but 3 days passed and still no confirmation email from them. I assumed it's because the beta release is available for US residents only, and the site is rejecting my application since I'm from outside the US (maybe, not sure about this though).

So I asked my friend Chris to sign up for me (since he lives in NY) and in less than a minute, I got a confirmation email. Figures. (Thanks Chrissie! :-p )

Now, after giving it a try, I'm sorry to say this but Photoshop Express is all bark and not much of a bite. I was really expecting more. Obviously, it wasn't meant to duplicate the powerful image editing features of CS3. But for beginners, amateurs and those who find CS3 way too much of a hassle, then Photoshop Express will be a breeze as it will do very basic enhancements on images in just one click. And when I say basic, I mean really really elementary level one-click touchups. Aside from this, you also get 2 GB of free storage, and you can also embed or link the photos you uploaded on your blogs. It's also got a slideshow (really simple one).

Oh, you also get to have your own gallery's url, in which you can publicly show off albums. Mine is

But don't take my word for it. Head on over there and see for yourself. Here's the link.

By the way, I like the website's interface, which is all Adobe Bridge with its sleek gray background.

Ok that's all for now, getting way sleepy now. Will try to talk more about Photoshop stuff in the days to come.

Oh also, way to go Yankees, which took the finale from the Blue Jays. Hurrah! You can watch the home runs here. (Thanks, Chris, for the link. Feels weird for me calling you Chris. But I don't think the name that I'm used to calling you is appropriate here *wink*).

G'nyt, folks!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

This is my Dad

... and it's his birthday today. His 73rd. We had a small at-home celebration during lunch today, the three of us- me, my Mom and Dad. We had tuyok manok (chicken barbeque), breaded shrimp with tartar sauce (my favorite, from Imay's) and for dessert, a Concorde cake from Ana Maria.

My Dad is an amazing man. Not all daughters can say that about their fathers so I'm really, really blessed. He's funny, smart and strong. There's a steeliness about him that tells people he's not to be messed around with, but inside him lurks a gentle soul that never turns down a relative or friend in need.

When I need solid advice, I turn to him. When I need to let go, I can weep on his shoulder. When I need a laugh, I can count on him to goof around.

He's passed on to me the love for reading and writing, the thirst to know more about the world around me and the belief that I can do anything I want to do and I can achieve them if only I believe in myself.

He is so much more than just the man who fed me and raised me. He is the man upon whom I measure myself. I don't mean to wax emotional here, but it's just hard not to when I'm talking about the person whose life revolves around making me and my Mom happy. He's a hero, in that way, that he always puts my Mom and me before him. In return, I always do what makes him happy. Well, I try to, although he may refute that! :-)

I can only thank God for blessing me with wonderful parents, although there are times when we get on each other's nerves. But hey, all families have drama. Mine does, all the time. There may be just three of us in this family, but believe me, our family arguments can be quite explosive. It's my Dad who is the voice of reason in this family.

Dad, happy birthday! We love you todo-todo!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

How we spent Black Saturday

I got tons of stuff that I'd like to write about here, but I also got even more tons of more important stuff to do and blogging right now isn't what I should be doing. But I want to be done with this tonight since I don't know if I'll have the chance to post these photos here later this week. I'm looking at my organizer and I'll be swamped with work later on, so I better get this over with right now.

As promised earlier, I'm putting up some of the photos I took on the day before Easter Sunday, or Black Saturday, or Sabado de Gloria for the Catholics. WARNING: pixel heavy!

It was a clear, beautiful day when we stepped out of the house to begin our walk around the city.

These streets, on any other day, would have been crowded with motorcyles and cars, either parked or speeding along.

My Dad, beneath the ONLY overpass in the city, located in front of Silliman University High School (my former school).

He specifically asked for a photo with the 1-km marker. Don't see what's so special about it though!

The daughter of my Dad's eye doctor (and a good family friend) Dr. Florencita Jordan passed the Nursing Board Exam this year. That's her name on no. 141 on the list of nursing board exam passers of Silliman University. Good work, Janice! (By the way, she also finished Cum Laude).

Signs, signs, signs everywhere!

Silliman proudly waves its colors (don't you just love flags waving along the streets? Something very festive about it).

Stopped by Jollibee's for a hearty breakfast of longganisa, sunny side up and rice with coffee. We needed the fuel for the long walk up ahead of us.

A cuuuuute dog parked by his owner in front of Jollibee's. (I know, he's far from cute but I adore big dogs). I don't think any vehicle would be parking anywhere near him :-) The sight of him is enough for even the city's most erring drivers to follow the street sign.

A couple of street kids (Badjaos) waiting outside the fastfood. I bought three tuna pies so I can give it to them later when we leave Jollibee's. But by the time we were done, they were nowhere in sight. My Mom ended up giving a pie to an old lady who was waiting outside the door begging for food. Sigh.

My Mom waving her latest "find": a 20-peso bill on the street. This always happens to her. Later in the day, she found a dime beside the road. Probably because she's always looking down when she walks :-)

Amen! I couldn't agree more :-)

Beautiful view of the mountains.

Uhmmm... not so beautiful view this one. The result of a small city getting more and more crowded as the years go by.

I asked, and found out that the circle around his eye was drawn. But still, cute isn't he? He lives near where I work and I have seen him cross the street many times, even at the height of rush hour.

Passed by Daro, the "clay town" area in the city. It's like clay heaven over there.

Stopped by at the rummage sales (not sure if this is the right term for what we locally call as ukay-ukay). My Mom walked away with a kilo of white lace curtains for much less than what the sign says.

Anyone care for some caprE pants??

You could be on camera! (A sign painted on the gate of a house we passed by).

After almost 5 hours of walking, time for Coke zero at Jo's by the Sea Restaurant in Sibulan.

Jo's is a restaurant along the beach that's popular for their chicken bbq (really juicy and tasty). That's quite a unique concept they have- turned bangkas (boats) into chairs. So cute!

Plus look at their interior design. Exotic, warm and inviting- the kind of atmosphere that wood and bamboo can exude. I especially love those hanging lights encased in basket cases.

I heart the Philippines, but not the bottled water. Plastic destroys the environment, people!

This is the view you get while munching on tasty chickens. Even if the food turns out to be crappy (which wasn't), the view will make you want to keep coming back.

More of the beautiful view.

This is how Pinoys beat the cruel summer heat- buko halo-halo (mixture of shaved ice, milk, sweet beans and fruit bits put inside a coconut). Yummy, but I didn't have any (forgot to bring my lactaids!)

Facing the restaurant is this giant-sized statue of Mary built by the owner of the same restaurant, reportedly after she was healed by a vision (she purportedly saw Mary in a dream).

Entrance to Jo's By The Sea in Sibulan.

  © Blogger Template by Emporium Digital 2008

Back to TOP