Jul 27, 2010

Child Labor Two

Since we're well into the subject of employing child labor building character, here's a sneak peek at the boys hard at work in GrandmaB's farm.  Secret's out. Now you know who's actually looking after all that arugula. 


Heigh ho, heigh ho...

Jul 26, 2010

Child Labor

This week in crazy parenting. We had child nudity--oh Tato. I'll remind your Mama to put it down in due time. But not yet! Hehe. Now, we move onto child labor--poor Bear. This is what he does some Saturdays...

While Pappy is out biking, he helps clean his dad's pond in our terrace, down to every last pond stone. When Daddy dear is back home for lunch... voila... pond is clean and fishes are back home ready for a feeding--Chicha's job this time.

He actually enjoys helping out with this chore so no one really has to report us to the authorities, okay?

Jul 23, 2010

Barely Ready For School

My early morning dose of cheekiness cuteness.

Gotta love Fridays.

Note to self: please take down in seven years or you are d-e-a-d

Jul 17, 2010

Go Barbie!

Have you seen Toy Story 3? I found it hilarious when all of a sudden Barbie gave evil Lotso Bear that anti-fascist speech. So nope, she's not just a pretty face, okay? OMG, Barbie did not kill feminism. My Barbie-loving little girl and I even caught her raising funds for a cultural cause. Barbie modeled couture by Filipino designers and proceeds from the auctioned dolls went to Ballet Philippines.

By Mitzi Quilendrino-Bustos

These pictures were taken at The Podium a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, the exhibit is over, but we're showing you some of our favorites...

By Ivarluski Aseron

By Louis Claparols

By James Reyes

Chicha liked this dress with really loud orange flowers--probably meant for the Santacruzan. I didn't get to take pictures of that though because it made my eyes hurt. Here's another favorite of hers, which I didn't mind shooting...

By Patrice Ramos-Diaz

So if you look past the perfect face and impossible body, Barbie isn't such a bad role model. The little girls do love her, the clothes, the long blond hair and the pink dream house. Still, Barbie does have to thank certain moms and dads -- and some smart, funny folks at Pixar -- for putting her in context.

Jul 13, 2010

The Magic of Children's Books

I've been meaning to get my hands on this book.  I hear it's a real gem.  One  question.  "What children's book changed the way you see the world?"  Okay, okay... maybe two questions because more importantly Anita Silvey asks "How?" 

Of course there isn't just one answer (is there ever?) but over a hundred by notable leaders and figures from different fields. Business, politics, arts, medicine, journalism, sports. The works.  

William DeVries, who helped develop the world's first artificial heart chose Wizard of Oz thinking about the lines of Tin Woodman many, many times over his lifetime. "For my part, I will bear all the unhappiness without a murmur, if you will give me a heart." 

Nona, I know Chicha loves Ezra Jack Keats'  Snowy Day.  Looks like she's not alone. Author Sherman Alexie chose this one for the very reason that "it was pretty much the only protagonist with dark skin..It was the first time I looked at a book and saw a brown, black, beige character - a character who resembled me physically and spiritually, in all his gorgeous loneliness and splendid isolation"  leading him to believe  "People might want to listen to me too." 

Kinda makes you think what yours is, doesn't it?

Jul 11, 2010


There's usually a garden-plucked flower lying around our house, often haphazardly lain on my bedside table or on my work desk. It's the kids. Sweethearts that they are, they often bring home a kalachuchi or other colorful bud they find outdoors. "For you mama," they'd say. Sigh. Kids ages 6 and 4... these are the wonder years.

Sprig of bougainvillea above was plucked by our little girl. Glass container, arrangement, and off-center placement on the dining table all her idea. She did it all by herself too. Whatever you want, little Martha.

Jul 8, 2010

Remembering Charlotte

Mak is currently our in-house Mr. Nosy who wants to know everything about everyone. First it was birthdays, then ages, then weight. Lately he's been asking what MacDaddy and I were up to "two hundred years ago when we were small". First movie we ever saw? Blame it on all that anesthesia or the aging process or that it sometimes does feel like two hundred years ago, but I'm blank. I can't remember. I gave him a lame answer like Jaws but I'm pretty sure that wasn't my first flick ever. MacDaddy has no problem remembering his. We're not supposed to forget our firsts, after all. His is Charlotte's Web, the 1973 screenplay adaptation of E.B. White's book. One of his all-time favorites, he says. Busted. Bike-riding, golf-playing, run-happy Macdaddy, as it turns out, is a sentimental one. And because they are plain nosy, Macdaddy is forced to dig deep, clear his own cobwebs and tell them all about Wilbur the Pig and Charlotte the Spider and all the trouble she goes through to keep him out of being the main enchilada on the dinner table. He tells them about one of the most beautiful pieces ever written about friendship, trust, sacrifice, birth, life, you know the rest. Even I'm all ears.

Fifty eight years later, we can all still learn a thing or two from Charlotte. "You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what's a life anyway? We're born, we love a little while, we die. A spider's life can't help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone's life can stand a little of that."

And then in classic MacDaddy fashion he ends with ".. and then Charlotte died. The pig was sad. The End". And I see pure shock in my little boys' eyes because mommy usually ends her stories with ".. and they lived happily ever after" and I am once again ever so grateful for MacDaddy who keeps it all so real.

P.S. MacDaddy is determined to find the DVD. Our search is on. In the meantime, this is the best I can do. Happy reminiscing, MacD. This one's for you.

Jul 5, 2010

Tegan and Sara

If you like the music of Tegan and Sara well, FYI, they will be touring Asia this year. Pappy discovered the facebook survey going on to see if enough of us in Manila would watch them. Shall we? Let's go. Here they are at Coachella 2008. In lieu of Coachella... November 2010 in Manila? Say yes to the survey and it could happen.

For the kids... Alligator "sanitized" for a live performance on Canada's Mamma Yamma show. Cute. But as Bear points out, "There were no bad words in the real version... why'd they change it?"  Yes son, it had no bad words, but there were sex-related metaphors and descriptions of obsessive love. 

Of course I didn't tell him that!

They've been remixed by everyone from DJ Tiesto to Passion Pit... but my favorite is by these young guys from RAC/Remix Artist Collective. Press play to hear the track. Click down arrow to download. Free.

You're welcome!

Jul 1, 2010

Iron Chef

I'm not particularly fond of the kitchen. I don't think the kitchen likes me back either. Thankfully this isn't about my culinary misadventures but those of a four-year old over here at our home. While many kids lug around their favorite dinosaurs and cars, he carries a recipe book. While most kids his age would have chosen a basketball clinic or swimming lessons for the summer, Tato asked to go to cooking class. Because apart from wanting to be a construction worker to help build his brother's future safari, he has decided he also wants to be a "cooker". I can't quite place when he first fell in love with the idea. If watching MacDaddy roll pizza dough did it for him or if that time the chef in the teppanyaki restaurant (with those fancy samurai knife moves) gave him his aha! moment.

This is Tato with Project: Biko. Sticky rice, coconut milk and a whole lot of love. Not quite priceless. This one priced at one peso per platter. Free delivery included.

The life of an Iron Chef isn't complete without the world's best partner-in-crime sous chef. Who happily helps buy the ingredients. Who wipes every plate clean. And who guarantees two thumbs-up for every dish well done.

Down with tonsillitis a few days ago, the only thing he wanted to do to cheer himself up was cook chapjae for all of us. Hell, we aren't complaining over here. He didn't exactly have to twist our arms to try the spinach ricotta dish he took home from cooking school or munch on those extra brownies lying around the house. Step aside, Mario Batali. Move over, Flay. Oh... and you're not alone, Oprah. We've got ourselves an in-house chef. And he's free!