Nov 24, 2011


There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.
- author unknown

Nov 23, 2011

We Were on a Break

...the two-week We-Time MacDaddy and I promised ourselves we'd find time once a year to do until we're old and grey.  Leaving the boys behind still isn't the easiest thing to do even after all these years but it helps they're surprisingly supportive and really cool about the whole deal. Plus MacDaddy is the world's best travel buddy.  

Rewind to months before we were off

Me: Mak, Tato, remember Mama and Papa go on a vacation once a year?  We're going in November.  You'll have fun things to do also here in Manila.  You'll go to the beach with Lala, and live some days with Nani and Dada.  You're even going to have a sleepover with your cousins. I'll call and I'll email you all the time and Papa will take lots of photos to show you. 

Mak:  Where are you going?

Me:  We're going to Paris and Prague and Munich and ....

Tato:  Munich! Munich!  Yes!!!  Can you buy me the Bayern Munich jersey of Neuer!  Yay!  Yes!!!

And there I was ready with the "it will be a quick trip" / "we'll be back in no time"/  "we'll miss you but  we'll have lots of stories to tell each other after"  speeches but I didn't need them.  Sweet.  

So I guess We-Time was now "We" on a mission to find new football jerseys. Sweet. 


and the only photos we have together this time 

Nov 17, 2011

Super 8

Very early this morning Bear crept into our bed. Half-asleep I said, "good morning birthday boy." To which he replied so sweetly and so earnestly, "thank you mama, thank you…" with the warmest cuddle and hug. 

Good Day Sunshine! from Nikka Santos on Vimeo.

Thank YOU baby bear. My heart is much bigger, my mind more open. Hope and happiness are mine… thanks a huge part to YOU. 

Nov 13, 2011

Hugo Cabret

It's a picture story...

It's stop motion art... It's a graphic novel...

It's The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Whatever you choose to call it, this piece of historical fiction written and illustrated by Brian Selznick is great for kids—one of this year's top favorites for our resident boy and girl. As in, they themselves would cut down post-dinner TV time because they couldn't wait for the next installment of the Hugo Cabret weeklong readathon. It was that enthralling.

Apparently, Martin Scorsese was also enthralled. Soon we'll be able to watch Hugo, The Movie. Directed by Scorsese, himself! This makes sense also because the story touches on early film legend Georges Melies and Scorsese is quite the passionate film historian. Can you tell someone's a Scorsese fan?

I thought I had to wait years and years before watching a Scorsese movie with my kids. Nope. Behold...

So the genius behind deeply dark and unflinchingly violent films like Taxi Driver, Casino, The Departed and Mean Streets is finally making a movie for children—and in 3D at that. Maybe that format will finally find some meaningful use. Clocks and automatons in 3D sound good to me. 

Nov 1, 2011

A Very Curious Child

I'm about halfway through Walter Isaacson's very long Steve Jobs biography and I am riveted. 

Although this is Jobs' officially-sanctioned biography, it isn't completely flattering. Apple's founder was a 21st century visionary unlike any other, but he was also a strange, petulant control freak. History can be juicy reading indeed. 

It's fascinating to see how pot-smoking LSD-taking visionaries have shaped how we use electronics and computers today. Aside from the biggest eccentric Jobs himself, you'll meet the Atari CEO, a mentor to Jobs, who would hold meetings in his hot tub while smoking dope. Or that Apple engineer who absent-mindedly drove his car into a truck nearly killing himself trying to figure out how to make those overlapping windows that are standard in any Mac today. 

So far, one of the things that stands out for me is how Jobs way of thinking was so out of synch with the traditional education system. Of his first years in school he said, "I encountered authority of a different kind than I had ever encountered before, and I did not like it. And they really almost got me. They came really close to beating any curiosity out of me." According to Jobs, both his parents "knew the school was at fault for trying to make me memorize stupid stuff rather than stimulating me."

His father had a passion for restoring old cars and re-selling them for a little profit. He'd often let his son tag along looking and bargaining for parts.  Meantime, the young Steve showed an early fascination with electronics indulged by Heathkits—those do-it-yourself kits that would let you build radios or oscilloscopes. Jobs said, "I was very lucky, because when I was a kid both my dad and the Heathkits made me believe I could build anything." Ah really, there is nothing like experiential learning especially for visual learners like Steve Jobs. Or Einstein. Or Oppenheimer, whose mind was allowed to wander and flourish in a progressive school. 

And what a testament to child-centered education when one of the greatest minds of the 21st century considers one of his grade school teachers as his most significant. "I learned more from her than any other teacher, and if it hadn't been for her I would have gone to jail." 

So if you love your iPod, Macbook, iPhone and iPad you should also be grateful to Ms. Imogen "Teddy" Hill. She was Steve Job's 4th grade teacher. 

Anyway, back to reading the book!