Friday, August 13, 2010

De-Stress ME!

I apologize for my absence for sometime. Things in school has been hectic since we are nearly at the end of the quarter and a lot of activities has come up. I confess I'm guilty that I have lots of draft notes floating around here in the net that I haven't finished due to soooo many distractions coming up. I still plan to publish some but for now, I'm letting them stew there.

This post though I swear I'm gonna finish. I have to. Coz I'm starting to stress out coz its the end of the quarter and well, its that time for us teachers to encode those report cards! Honestly, its one of the LEAST favorite things for me to do. It kills me coz its long, its tedious, and its raising the hackles of my obsessive compulsiveness tendencies to check and recheck and triplecheck if I got those grades right. AND thats not all... making them is PAINFUL.. especially whenever I have to encode not so high grades.. or worse! I feel the pain and frustration of the student and it makes me crazy coz I end up wondering where it went wrong. Was I too strict? Was I not able to explain it properly? Should I have pushed him or her further to give their best?

Yes I know I might be over thinking this but I have to vent so I'm venting here. These are some of the questions that I don't normally voice out loud but I have to coz then I'd be stressing out mentally. Anyway, yeah.. I get like this sometimes when its grading period. So its due in 2 weeks time though next week I won't be able to touch it coz I'll also be at a seminar.

ANYWAY, I hope that I will shake off the blues soon. And also not bring the stress during class! hehehe. Not really a good idea. So recently these are the things that I've been doing to relieve me from this stress:

1. READ BOOKS. Yes I'm a selfconfessed bookworm! I love reading books. Its one of the most awesome way to transport myself into a different dimension and momentarily get lost in it there. :) Recently though I've been reading romance pocketbooks. Yes, self inflicted mental and emotional torture right there is the best way to de-stress.. hehehe. (I'm being sarcastically single.. LOL.)

2. PLAY FACEBOOK GAMES. Especially bejeweled! lol. It helps my mind space out just by clicking those sparkling things!

3. VISIT A BOOKSTORE. The atmosphere and the ambiance and those hundreds of books surrounding me calms me.  

4. HANG OUT WITH FRIENDS. They make you forget your work woes. A bff is a must! :)

5. EAT! There are times when I chuck my dieting principle out the window and give in to that one delicious bowl of dark chocolate gelato.

6. WATCH YOUTUBE or  uploaded videos from friends. There are lots of funny stuff, interesting stuff, and cool stuff that you can watch and learn. Here's one super cool video that I just watched and enjoyed a lot earlier.

Awesome drummer using eco-friendly man-made drums playing on the street!

So there you have it! My life so far since the last time I posted. :)

Friday, July 30, 2010

My Top Five FACEBOOK Games

Farmville. Castle Age. Fashion World. Cafe World. Mafia Wars.

If you are a religious Facebook user, those titles should definitely ring a bell! I for one admit that YES, I cannot go through a day without visiting Facebook and playing its very addictive games. Its my immediate relaxation & recreation instant fix. Its where I get a fraction of satisfaction when I take a look and see at my level, my high scores, and the things that I've harvested or accumulated in these games. Some even take pictures of their "handiwork" and proudly show it off on their respective Facebook profile walls! I don't know if people think we are weird or funny or crazy, but frankly I don't care what others think. This I know for sure, that playing facebook games is one of the cheapest source of recreation that I can get my hands on and it works. I love em so much that I would now like to list some of my favorite Facebook games that maybe you'd like to check out when you don't have anything to do and you just want to "play" mindlessly for your brain to relax.


5. Fashion World
This is now my most recent addiction. I LOVE THIS GAME! I've tried Fashion War, Sorority Life, and other "fashion" related games which I eventually lost interest in because it was too shallow, cheesy, or easy. But Fashion World caught my interest since honestly, I have come to realize that I'm a sucker for time management games. I guess the reason why I love this game is because I can dress up my character, choose the "clothes" that I want made, design my "boutique" where I will sell the "clothes" that I made, and hire other people as well to help me sell my stuff! Not only that, you are given a chance to visit your neighbors'  shops and buy stuff there and get free stuff as well to sell in your own store! I dunno, maybe its the girl in me but I really enjoy the "shopping spree" that I get to do with this game. Oh and what makes this game so unique is that you are also given an option to "design" an attire and make it and sell it! You get to express your creativity while you're at it! Definitely a game for those who are sick and tired of "cooking", "farming", and "killing" in other games. I greatly recommend this even to kids who are aspiring to be fashionistas or stylists! 

4. Cafe World/Restaurant City
Zynga has indeed acknowledged the fascination and satisfaction people have in earning "virtual" money through tasks that all you need to do is time it right and click click click on the appropriate time frame to earn MORE virtual money! Cafe World is a result of the success of another game that I will mention later. Restaurant City was also established to keep Zynga on their toes.. or stoves in this case! I love the whole buy, cook, and sell idea of this game and the fact that you can choose the menu that you will be selling. Its definitely a better alternative to those who are waiting for their respective farms to harvest.

3. Farmtown/Farmville
Ok so this is one of the oldest type of games that I've ever played here on Facebook which I really was addicted to for more than a year. I think the reason why planting and harvesting farms became a hit as a game is because you can immediately "see" the results of your supposedly hard work! Again, patience and time management skills are put to the test in this game and I had definitely enjoyed playing it. Designing your farm, buying stuff, and well for me I think these two games-- most especially FarmTown has indeed proven its worth because not only do you enjoy the game but you learn something new from it as well!

Mafia Wars
2. Mafia Wars
Hands down, this is definitely a game that will not die down! With the very nature of the game itself, of course Mafia Wars drew the attention of most of the male Facebook population. Basically you have to create your own "gang" empire through stealing, killing, doing illegal businesses, and fighting--all just by clicking a button. Recently though I've been thinking about it and I'm a bit bothered by some aspects of the game especially the whole idea of the "killing" aspect of the game and plus the moral issue of stealing, crime, etc. about it (yes this is the teacher in me talking). But I guess thats what drew most people to it.. the whole gory and violent aspect of it. Definitely the biggest money maker business of Zynga, they even sell Mafia Wars Godfather points card at Walmart!

Castle Age
1. Castle Age
Now this game is my personal favorite. Maybe because I've been playing this for so long and its one of the facebook games where my level is quite high! But I guess it all just boils down to the simplicity of the game, the fantasy aspect of it, and the various things and strategies one has to do to earn points, level up, and gain more "gold".  I guess one of the things that I like about it the most is the fact that staying connected to your  castle age friends or "army" helps you a lot. It even allows you to interact with other players of the game which makes it unique. The "rewards" system of the game also encourages you to stay -- they lure you with new items and leveling up opportunities. This game for me is definitely the winner!

So if you have your own personal favorites, violent reactions, or suggestions please feel free to do comment and post your recommendations as well. :) I would like to try it out and see if its good as you say it is. Happy gaming! :)

Monday, July 26, 2010


This is it. This is final. ONEMANGA is officially saying goodbye to all the manga scanlation fans out there. According to the site announcement, 

"It pains me to announce that this is the last week of manga reading on One Manga (!!). Manga publishers have recently changed their stance on manga scanlations and made it clear that they no longer approve of it. We have decided to abide by their wishes, and remove all manga content (regardless of licensing status) from the site. The removal of content will happen gradually (so you can at least finish some of the outstanding reading you have), but we expect all content to be gone by early next week (RIP OM July '10).

This news comes somewhat of a shock. Well actually, not really. I already sensed that sooner or later onemanga, like mangafox, will have to do something about their sites because of the recent clamoring of manga publishers and writers over their stand on manga scanlations. I thought that if ever, they will just remove all the manga with licensed. But to drastically remove EVERYTHING is quite staggering! The thought that I won't get any manga fix anymore is making me sick! I feel like I'm watching one of my old friends die right in front of me. Yeah I know I'm exaggerating but I can't help it! I've been quite attached to onemanga for years! Yes, despite my advancing years, I have never fully let go of my love for anime and manga. Ever since I was in college, anime and manga has fascinated me.. It has opened up my love for reading in a way whole new dimension! LITERALLY! But buying manga was out of the question. It was too expensive for me. But then I stumbled upon reading manga online. I was ecstatic! Finally, a place where I can read to my heart's content! Onemanga has been my daily destination for my manga fix. It has been there for me for more than 5 years already. So this news about onemanga slowly removing all manga from their site is killing me. I have to say goodbye to all my favorite mangas that I'm currently addicted to. 

The teacher in me acknowledges the rightness of their decision to stop hosting scanlations. I am perfectly aware that what is really happening is unfair to manga writers and publishers and is an infringement on their "rights" to their manga. I UNDERSTAND that it is necessary and legally this is the correct way. I understand but that doesn't mean I can't be sad, frustrated, and feel bad about it! I know that there are probably hundreds.. or maybe thousands out there on the net who are probably have the same panicky, frustrated, and bewildered feeling like mine wondering how on earth can we survive without onemanga!!! 

Anyway, I just needed to screech.. to rant.. and to vent out my frustration. I wanna cry.. I have no idea how I"m going to finish SKIP BEAT.. one of my favorite mangas! *sighs* Today is a dark day for manga addicts. I will now mourn for Onemanga's passing (though they will keep the forums alive according to the site).  To my fellow manga readers out there, if you have any way for me to access at least Skip Beat (yes I'm that desperate!!!!) let me know. 

So if you don't see me online this week, its because I'm going to spend my precious free time this week with the last remaining days of Onemanga. Let me end this post by echoing the site admin's melancholic sentiments..."There is an end to everything, to good things as well."

Goodbye Onemanga. I enjoyed our 5 years together. May you rest in peace. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010



A Teacher’s Link Exchange Project by Ms. Vernz. 
Basically this project is a solution for those who want to have a number of link exchanges in one sitting. 

HOW TO JOIN? Here how it works:

Make a blog post of this project with an anchor text  'A TEACHER’S LINK EXCHANGE PROJECT' linking to this post. You can invite friend bloggers, especially those who have new blogs to join, more posts, more invites, more URLs, more links.

Have the project badge in your side bar during the duration of the project. Just copy the code here.

Comment on this post saying 'Link Me' and the link of your blog post.

Fill up the form with your valid email address and the blog URLs in HTML format you wished to be included in the links HERE. (see format HERE)

Blog URLs submitted not in this format will automatically be deleted. You can submit all your blog URLs at one time submission.

This project will run until August 25, 2010.

All links will be collated and will be sent back to the email you used in the form. 

Good luck everyone!

Personally, I think this is an awesome idea! As a fellow teacher, I do would like to be connected with others like me. :) Hope to see you all there!

Join BC Bloggers Links

Hey guys, here's a great new way to get connected! I read an article about this and I have decided to join. Its very easy! Here are the details:

Are you new to blogging and is finding it hard to gain links to your blog?
Are you tired of exchanging links one blog at a time?
Are you looking for friends in the blogosphere?

If you said yes to all of the above then you have come to the right post. BC Bloggers will help your blog gain those precious inbound links in an easy and systematic way. It is also a cool way to meet friends in the blogosphere.

So what do you need to do? Just follow these simple steps and you’re in.

1. The success of BC Bloggers depend on the number of people joining. So please spread the word about BC Bloggers 4 and invite other bloggers to join.

2. Put the BC Bloggers badge shown below in your sidebar. You can find the code at Paula's site.

Want some links? Join BC Bloggers 4!

3. Make a page dedicated to BC Bloggers where you intend to post the links. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the navigation bar or at the sidebar as long as it is linked in the homepage.

4. Once you have done steps 1, 2, and 3 fill out the Application Form. One blog for each form. Deadline of application is on August 12.

That’s it. Spread the word everyone and let’s cross our fingers for the success of BC Bloggers 4!

Let's get all those links together, join the BC Bloggers 4 now! Get more information and the application form through Paula's blog. :) Join now!  More people means success! :) Visit Paula's blog now! :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Coach - YSL, Poppy, CHANEL Giveaway

Since I'm actually a bit new on this whole blogging business, I was pleasantly surprised with all the wonderful opportunities and freebies that are given away online!

 One of the amazing freebies that I just recently stumbled upon is from Elle of the Ball COACH - PUPPY, YSL, CHANEL Giveaway Contest. I saw this from Vernz blog and I was amazed how simple it was to join this $300 giveaway contest! All you have to do is visit and CLICK HERE for the details. Its that easy! So join now and get a chance to win these awesome stuff! Contest is open internationally and will end on August 25, 2010. I just joined and now I'm crossing my fingers and hope that I will win this contest! :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Facebook as Top Online Destination in the Philiippines

Facebook is top online destination for Pinoys | ABS-CBN News | Latest Philippine Headlines, Breaking News, Video, Analysis, Features

Again, another news report on how popular Facebook has become. I don't know if I should be happy or sad with the announcement that Facebook (FB for short) has become the top site to visit online. I won't be hypocritical about it since I know that I do spend a considerable amount of time on FB. Let's face it (no pun intended!), FB is one of the perfect places to go where you can play online simple games (o__O dang Fashion World & Castle Age has been so addicting!), chat with my friends online, show off your pictures, and get updated on what's happening with your friends! You get it all there with just one click. Its that easy!

Aquino gov't to catch corrupt via Facebook, Twitter | ABS-CBN News | Latest Philippine Headlines, Breaking News, Video, Analysis, Features

And this other news update also makes sense. I mean, what better way to put FB to good use but to catch bad people who are stupid enough to brag about it online! LOL. Actually I think what they really want is to encourage FB users to use Facebook or Twitter as forums for the public to report crimes. I don't know how effective that will be but hey its worth a try right?

Still, Facebook is not always the best place to be. I mean yeah it had all that great stuff, but then there's always a dark side to it especially when people start using something that was meant for good into something bad. I've heard stories of a stalker posing as one of my previous students then adding her friends and then started posting outrageous, malicious, and disgusting stuff that alarmed her friends. As of now, the matter hasn't been resolved despite it being reported so she has already warned all her friends that this certain profile wasn't really hers.

Another downside to FB is the appalling lack of privacy and proper conduct online. Friends, couples, and coworkers announce their spats online dragging everyone else into viewing their nasty comments, flames, and online fights. I mean, do you really have to let everyone know about that! I know there are times when you really have to vent out your frustration but I don't think FB is the venue for that. BLOG it! Thats what I do. I have a specific blog that is only for specific circle of friends where I can rant, rave, and furiously type out the feelings which at times I can't say out loud.

And as a teacher, I must protest as well with the indiscriminate prolific distribution of indecent, inappropriate, and violent photos or videos on Facebook which unfortunately is sometimes plastered over one's own wall. I was so shocked the other day when one of my old students (ok so he's a graduate but still...) had a wall photo of a group of women showing their naked backsides (and one full frontal) with a caption on the bottom taunting gamers to choose them or their games. I accidentally saw this on my FB recent news feed and I wouldn't have clicked the picture if I had known what it was. My point is, ANYBODY or any child can click the picture and view these inappropriate photos. Also, I find it annoying to see those things on my newsfeed or be tagged on something that I don't agree with and it being automatically plastered on my wall for all my friends to see and I only find out later when I log on. I know that there's a feature somewhere where you can screen tags or something like that but c'mon, I don't have the time and patience to check each and single tag or comment if its decent or not to be posted on my FB!

And lastly, I guess I can assume most teachers have the same problem with how FB or social networking has sooo taken up the time of our students that has made them lax in their studies, in attendance, and in class participation! I have students who stay up til late in the wee hours of the morning because of FB or maybe other internet or computer-related activities. I mean, I wouldn't be complaining much if it was school related work but if its not and you come to school like a zombie.. I don't think that's a good idea neither a healthy one for that matter.

So what's my point? My point is that we must take appropriate measures in using Facebook. Its a tool that we can use for good and sometimes for bad. We must educate our students--our children-- in the proper use of the internet and Facebook. If your child spends too much time on the net or on facebook, talk to your child and warn them about the things that they should and should not do (or rather post). If you parents have noticed the failing or low grades of your kids, check your kids' internet life. How much time do they spend on the net than studying? Talk to them reasonably and set limits. I know that all students (especially highschool and lower grades) would probably protest at this but this is now an issue about their health and well-being. Its hard for some to understand but understand this guys.. this is being done for your own good. I'm not saying to completely take away Facebook altogther.. I'm just saying LIMIT yourself. And be a responsible netizen.

And thats my two cents on the current popularity of Facebook.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer at the BEACH!!!!

Its been a while since I was able to post here. I apologize and blame it on my jam packed erratic summer schedule! And yes, I feel wonderful to be able to say that. Its been ages since I actually went out somewhere worthwhile during the summer. For several years already, I stay cooped up in my house busy with summer work and basically lazing about. In fact there were times when I didn't even go swimming! But this 2010, I made up for all those years of being cooped up!

 The very first major outing that I went to during the summer was at one of the beautiful beaches at Aurora Quezon. I forgot the exact name of the place but it was sooooo pretty that just watching the beautiful panoramic view soothed out all the aches and pains of the whole school year that just went by. LOL. It was indeed a refreshing experience!

Getting there was tough! We had to travel through unpaved rocky rough paths to arrive at this picture perfect beach paradise. I was pretty shocked to find that there were places like these on this part of the Philippines! I had always thought that the best beaches in our country were only those near Boracay or Palawan. I was with some friends and family when we went there and we all felt that this beach was the Perfect Find! There were also a lot of nearby corral where you could actually walk and wade towards it and explore... and some of the fish and sea urchins and star fish found there were quite unusual!

Me, I ended up lying and relaxing on the sand under the cool shade of the palm trees by the seashore. No I didnt really swim. Just being able to relax and listen to the wonderful soothing sound of the ocean on the beach was heaven to me! Definitely this is a relaxing place that I would like to go back to next summer. :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

The ins & outs of TUTORING!

Yes I've got teacher blues lately. And no, its not about my class (its our summer break right now so hooray coz we get a vacation as well!). I'm blue mainly because of money problems. Unfortunately for me, here in my country professional teachers don't get paid a lot. Its a sad fact that I just have to live with which is quite frustrating. Most of my fellow countrymen, some best educators in my country, have even opted to migrate and work in another country just to get better pay! And to top it all off, I've been teaching for more than 5 years and at private schools for that and yet the salary that I get is still much much low compared to other countries. So yes, this is a part rant.. that I really REALLY wish that a teacher's salary (most especially mine... hehe) would be increased this year. Because frankly, I barely survive with my current salary. In dollars I earn like less than $300 per month.

I'm also quite sure that there are a lot of very frustrated, hard-working, and humble teachers out there who are in the same boat as me! But thank goodness that we Filipinos are a resourceful lot and we end up looking for other ways or means to earn extra money on the side BESIDES teaching in a school or institution.

So I will be posting a series of articles talking about sidelines a teacher can do to earn more! If you aren't a teacher, well, you can still look and see if you can do it yourself. Anyway for the first of my article series, I'm going to talk about the number 1 "sideline" of a teacher - TUTORING!

TUTORING. Ah the famous failsafe plan of any teacher to earn extra on the side! Why not use the talents and abilities as a teacher and USE it to earn MORE on the side? Personally, I've tried this for several years. It has its perks and drawbacks as well. For those who are excited to earn extra through tutoring, you should consider some of the following:
  • Age of student & Grade Level of student - preschool, elementary, highschool, college?
  • Subject Material - Is it Language, English, Math, or Science? 
  • Hours - How many hours a week? Will it fit your schedule without disrupting other responsibilities?
  • Environment - Where are you going to tutor the student? How far and how long is your travel time?
These are factors that you should consider when you are going to tutor. Sometimes the fee that they will offer sounds lucrative then you later find out that their expectations of you are too much for you to handle and the travel time and EXPENSE is not worth it! I had that experience where I shelled out a lot for my transportation (assuming that you are commuting) which in the end did not really compensate for all the hassle and hard work that I gave.

Typical pay that you can get? Well it usually depends on the factors above! AND the capability of the parents to pay you. REMEMBER you can dictate your terms and from there you can negotiate. Don't sell yourself short! My dad had to drum that in to me because I was really hesitant and shy in giving a quotation of my fee. Consider your educational background, your experience, and of course, your ability to be be able to deliver what you will be saying to your "client".

Here in the Philippines, the typical fee that you can charge per hour is almost a day's wage for some. I started out with Php 250 per hour. Some public school teachers charge lower than that! But I was able to charge up to Php 550 per hour and I was tutoring a preschool child 2 hours a week. For timetable of paycheck, its up to you to dictate when you want to be paid. Others want to be paid on the same day they tutor, while others opt for a weekly or bi-monthly mode of payment. Disadvantage of bi-monthly or weekly is that you aren't sure that other factors won't disrupt your schedule and you might not be able to get your money right away or worse -- the family suddenly plans a vacation and you won't be able to see them until the next time they come back.

So here are some factors to consider. Other teachers opt for working in a Tutorial Service Institution. There you are assured of clients but the down side is that you only get a portion of the fee of the payment of the student.

As for me, I have stopped tutoring. Mostly because of lack of spare time for tutoring. But I have found other means for me to earn more on the side, which I will share later on my next article. Do share your tutoring experiences! I'd love to learn more tips and tricks from you.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Coffeeholic's Secret..

Ok so yes I admit it. I have tried various ways of losing weight.. the easy way! I've tried various diets like Atkinson's Diet, the 7 Day Diet, and the before 6 PM diet. And well, nothing works! Or sticks rather. I mean, yeah I do lose several pounds but then it flatlines.

So basically, I had come to the point where I had to either shape up or gain more weight. With my brother's wedding looming ahead, I basically had to kick my butt into action and really do something to lose weight. It wasn't an easy choice, because honestly I HATE TO EXERCISE. With asthma and all, exercising is a pain. LITERALLY! Then my brother's fiancee suggested to us (me and my brother as well coz he's chunkier than me!) this new slimming coffee that she was using which helped her lose weight. I of course grabbed the opportunity!!!

COFFEE that helps you LOSE WEIGHT sounds too good to be true. But it worked wonders for me! I lost several inches off my waist and lost more than 20 pounds! All I had to do is drink the coffee 30 minutes before I have breakfast. I started drinking January 10 up til now. And the results were amazing!

The coffee helps suppresses my appetite, doesn't let the fat get absorbed by my body, and increases my metabolism. I had no diarrhea side effects. It did made me thirsty and sometimes I experienced headaches and nausea especially in the first few weeks but I didn't let that stop me from drinking the coffee. For motivation, all I had to do was stare at my reflection in the mirror! I still drank my regular cup of coffee afterwards, drank vitamins to supplement my less food intake, and ate lots of fruits and veggies to improve my diet.  My coworkers noticed the difference immediately when my tummy suddenly trimmed. And then my pants and clothes became looser and I felt lighter! People I know started to comment and compliment me on my drastic change of appearance.

Honestly, I had no idea that I was THAT overweight last January. I knew I was overweight but I lied and blinded myself to the fact that I was really REALLY over weight. I think I was at my heaviest at that time. Talking about my weight was a very sensitive subject for me. I get defensive, touchy, and sensitive whenever my weight or figure would come into the limelight. I used to just brush it all off with jokes and laughter but deep inside it was painful for me. So losing weight like this is really a victory for me. I never thought there will come a day where I will be willingly and publicly announce my weight. Yes, I was 154 pounds. For a 4'11" gal like me, thats a lot! And I tell you, watching my fat, my pounds, and my waistline melt away was so encouraging. After years of battling with the weighing scale... this really changed my life! I never thought that I'd be able to do this.. and in only 3 months time. And the best part of it all was, NO EXERCISE. Exercising has never been appealing to me because of my asthma. So there, now I'm 130 pounds. Proud and promises to self that I'll never go back to the old me! I know that I can't forever stay dependent on this coffee and I know that eventually I have to exercise (believe me I'm starting to opt for walking then commuting ever since I've lost weight!) more regularly and be more active. I know also that I have to arm myself with the proper knowledge of the right food to eat to keep healthy and slim. However, I am still grateful for this immediate reprieve that was given to me by this coffee. I think so far this has been the most personal post that I've made. And I'm glad that I finally shared this.

So there.. that's my lil secret.Wanna know exactly what it is? Let me know and I'll let you in the secret!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Horrors of Asthma Attack

I hate getting sick. I hate getting stuck at home because I'm sick. Bedridden because I'm sick. Not able to go online because I'm sick. Yes, you heard me right! I hate getting sick especially when my asthma suddenly surfaces out of nowhere! 

So now that I'm stuck at home and disobeying the rule of "complete bedrest means no online activities!" I decided to research more about asthma. Honestly, I've had this since I was 10 years old but I haven't really paid much attention to it or armed myself with knowledge about it because the attacks are not that often anyway. According to the National Heart and Lung Institute, "Asthma (AZ-ma) is a chronic (long-term) lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. The coughing often occurs at night or early in the morning."

This describes exactly how I feel or experience whenever I have a major asthma attack. Its more like I feel I have a violin in my lungs which really is disturbing for me coz I can't sleep because I can hear myself wheezing. And wheezing is bad.. very bad!  It just means that I've got lots of phlegm or mucus in my lungs and this irritates my airway and is very bothersome. If you look at the picture, the airways get swell and inflame during an asthma attack which was probably triggered by inhaling irritants or due to the weather. Its not that difficult to describe the horror of inflamed lungs. It feels like someone tied up your chest/lungs giving you only a short space for breathing. You end up breathing through short gasping breaths. Plus you also feel as if you are drowning! So the tendency is I end up sleeping half seated and half lying down. Its really very uncomfortable. 

One of the most horrible asthma attacks that I experienced was when I was in my first year of college. I was over fatigued with the hassle of getting my clearance, grades, and lining up at super long lines in a hot and not well ventilated gym to sign up for a PE class. When I got home, I already wasn't feeling well and in the following morning, I could barely stand up nor breathe properly! I felt like my chest was going to explode in any minute.. the short breathing gasps that I was doing wasn't enough.. my oxygen intake was too low and my parents rushed me to the hospital! (Which is another thing that I hate, getting stuck in the hospital.. so boring!).  My asthma attack was so bad that I had to be injected with steroids to alleviate the pressure and inflammation of my lungs! I stayed there for a week until my breathing and my lungs were back to normal. And thank God that this has never happened again. I'm praying that I will never reach that stage again!

Now I have what we call 'maintenance" medication to "discourage"  asthma attacks before it even happens. My maintenance medication is called FLIXOTIDE and is an anti-asthma metered dose inhaler. I use it once every evening and it helps prevent asthma attack the following day. BUT when I do get a mild asthma attack, my first resort is the VENTOLIN inhaler which also is an anti-asthma inhaler but immediately arrests the attack. The only problem is when it can no longer suppress or stop the asthma attack. Thats when I have to use a Nebulizer, which is an air compressor machine which turns the asthma medication from liquid to a mist. This helps the medication to work faster. Which is now what I'm using at the moment and is also the main reason why I'm stuck at home. The nebulizer is too big and I can't very well lug it along with me to work right? Hopefully, I will be more ok by tonight so that I don't have to depend on the nebulizer for my medication any more and I can go to work tomorrow. 

So what I have learned from this attack? KNOW MY TRIGGERS. Since asthma can be avoided if you can avoid having it triggered, I should be armed with the proper knowledge and know-how on how to address or avoid my asthma triggers - which is basically, change of weather/temperature, over fatigue, allergens, and strong smells (like overpowering male perfume!). Here the old saying that "knowledge is power" comes in real handy. 

So there you have it! A little bit of asthma facts and triva and a little research has helped shoo away my boredom of being stuck at home as well. Now I'm off to bed for an afternoon nap to help regain strength and hopefully say bye bye to asthma in my dreams. :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Social Networking Craze - a fad that stuck!

FACEBOOK has slowly taken over my net life. Seriously! My rare moments online are now being consumed by my fascination on my source of online relaxation, recreation, and socialization. The advent of social networking really has crossed over boundaries and society through leaps and bounds. Technology really grows and evolves so fast!

It was only 6-7 years ago when I opened my very first social network account while I was still in college. I was killing time during the hours in between classes. Ok so I don't kill time that often, I usually spend my "free time" either with my friends or at a library. But this was a rare semester where most of my friends had classes during my free time and well, I was fed up with the library (which was a rare occurrence being a bookworm and all!). So there I was surfing on the net huddled in my own little "space" in a dimly lit, poorly air conditioned, small room which was fitted with as many computers, tables, and chairs in what we call an internet shop/cafe. I had made my decision that I will succumb to the dictates of society.. yes, I will join the masses in their what I deemed as a "crazy fad" or the "in" thing to do which was to make a FRIENDSTER account. LOL. Yep, everyone that I knew (well most of my classmates anyway!) had or was in the process of making their own account. And being the dutiful social being that I was, I made one! And the rest is history!

It took time for the "fad" to become a normal part of our society. I knew that at that time, myspace was making waves around the world and was more widely known. But I decided that I would start with Friendster and probably branch out from there. During those times, just the fact that you have a place where you can show off your photos and message other people or friends were fine enough. Ha, I even remember the time when "comments" were called "testimonials." And like dutiful and obedient people, we really made honest to goodness testimonials about your friends--giving glowing and positive remarks about them. Then it evolved into a public inbox where people say stuff so that other people can see.

Then people wanted more "things" or "gadgets" to show off! Personalized layouts, widgets, music and video incorporated to their profiles. Myspace, Tagged, Multiply, Hi-5 (not the kid show! LOL), and eventually FACEBOOK surfaced to address the clamor, demand, and "needs" of users. And I'm just so much amazed with how things have changed and improved since that time.

The only problem now is how to STOP from visiting all these sites and maintaining all of them! I solved one of the problems by basically dropping all of the other accounts that I made and stuck to the one that served all my preferences. FACEBOOK. It has the works! It connects me to my friends, it has games that I enjoyed (I know that they started the trend which the others picked up!), and I can control my privacy and at the same time show my public photo albums. I'm pretty much sure most of you have found old old friends in one of the social network sites that you have an account with. Its one of the awesome benefits that I got because of Facebook and the like. Now I have also slowly adopted the strategy to reach out to my students using Facebook. I can get to them faster using this tool! The downside is, I find out a lot of things about them which sometimes I prefer NOT to. LOL.

Anyway, what I basically want to say is that I'm grateful for technology and the evolution of how people can communicate faster than before. And with this gratefulness also comes the awareness of the possible dangers people face while using networks such as this. So my advice is enjoy it but at the same time keep your eyes wide open and make sure that you know what you are doing before you post, say, or do something that you will later on regret or cause you trouble.

Now back to my Facebook games. :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

National Day of Prayer Cancelled

While browsing the web, I stumbled upon this news. Apparently the National Day of Prayer in the U.S. was cancelled according to the instructions of President Obama himself. The National Day of Prayer which was established by President Truman and made permanent by President Reagan was usually held on the First Thursday of May, which meant that it was supposed to be held on May 6 of this year. According to some reports, this is due to him honoring the suggestions and complaints by atheists and some other groups.

I find this to be a bit saddening and disappointing. Yes I am aware that people have a right to voice their opinions, however why does it have to come to a point that a National Day of Prayer has to be cancelled as well? Don't Christians have a right to voice their opinions as well? Plus, it doesn't say "The National Christians Day of Prayer".. so that means other religions can also pray for the nation at that time. I don't see the point of it being cancelled. I think that praying for a nation will be beneficial for everybody, especially with the economic crisis and natural disasters happening not only in the U.S. but all over the world. With all these recent "acts of God" going around the globe, it is all the more urgent for us to pray not only for ourselves but for our own respective nations.

Blast from the Past at Glenn's 50's Diners

Ok, so I like summer but there is such a thing as too much heat! So this week I made an escape to one of our country's favorite summer escape from the heat, BAGUIO CITY!!! Actually, the real reason I went there was because for a summer retreat. But what I didn't expect was the added bonus of the cool and sometimes chilly air that we had while we stayed here at Baguio City. So yeah, the temperature only became cool during the night and early morning, still it was so much better than the sweltering heat of manila throughout the whole day.

While at Baguio, I happened to eat at 50's Diners at 92 Upper General Luna Road, Corner Brent Road, Baguio City. AND so far, this has been one of the best restos that I've eaten! Ok, so the ambience still needs some improvement but it has all the elements of a 50-ish diner. It has a LOT of posters of old Hollywood stars like James Dean, Rita Hayworth, etc. And of course, old movie posters like CASABLANCA, The Attack of the 50 ft. Woman, Psycho, etc. Then there's a jukebox in a corner (I'm not sure if its working though), neon pink lights, and all the waiters and waitresses wearing the appropriate costume!

But I guess the best feature was the food. It was delicious, huge serving, AND most importantly super affordable!!! I mean, this beats all fastfood servings and prices! When I went there, I was with a group of friends and workmates and we ordered a lot not knowing of the huge servings! And boy were we shocked by the amount of food served and the total cost of it all. I ordered a Fish Fillet Sandwich (which I think costs 95 pesos) and my bestfriend ordered TLB Sandwich (80 pesos) and both sandwiches had french fries on the side. The fries weren't even the commercially and artificially made ones but actual potato slices that were deep fried. The food was perfect! We also had a real strawberry shake -- coz you can't go to Baguio without having a taste of strawberry here and there. And I loved it! It only cost us like 70 pesos.

Overall, I rate this restaurant with 5 Stars! So if you do ever go to Baguio, don't forget to drop by the 50's Diner for an awesome and affordable food experience.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Coffee or Tea


It has been a heated and debated subject for some time already. Being an avid fan of coffee, I have been one of those who strongly insist that coffee is BETTER, if not the BEST. In fact, one of my longtime online friends argue about it and we often end up discussing about the finer points of each side's health benefits.

A part of me remotely acknowledges the more widely known benefits of tea, but I just cannot let go of coffee. Given a choice, I'd choose coffee in a heartbeat! (and yes, just in case you don't know, coffee is good for your heart.. antioxidants remember?) That was my initial preference until I succumbed to tasting CHAI TEA LATTE from Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Yes, I admit that I gracefully and sweetly ate every single word of disdain that I labeled on Tea as I washed it down with every sip of the divine soothing drink.

Me and my bestfriend (also an avid coffee drinker!) decided to try it after hearing a lot of rave reviews about it. Plus the fact that we were both tired from work (we are both teachers!) and wanted to sit down and sip something relaxing... which means definitely not coffee! So upon the recommendation of many, we both tried Chai Tea Latte... and fell in love!

So yes, I now enjoy a cup of Tea Lattes every now and then (only if its from Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf!) when I want to relax and have a good night's sleep. Another recommended Tea Lattes from CBTL would be Moroccan Mint Tea Latte. I recently tried Starbucks attempt on making tea lattes but it sucked real bad. I think they should just stick to coffee and their frappuccinos.

Still, my first and foremost love will always be COFFEE.

So what's your addiction? Coffee or Tea?

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Coffeeholic Solution to Summer Heat

Summer has really made its presence felt here in the Philippines. So spending an afternoon cooped up in my room with a temperature of 34 degrees Celsius is not my idea of a holiday! The worst part of it all is that my body is craving for some caffeine. Sipping freshly brewed coffee in this heat is so not appealing. Drinking an iced coffee blended drink would be just perfect--if only I wasn't dieting!

Being a Starbucks Frappuccino fan, I was shocked and disappointed when my brother broke to me the news that drinking a Venti-sized Dark Mocha Frappe (my current favorite) is equivalent to the ideal number of calories alloted for a person for one meal. Not only that, a venti sized drink here is also quite pricey. PLUS I have to haul myself to a mall or a nearest Starbucks store to get my drink. Which I'm not that keen on doing because I don't want to commute. So as a solution I decided to opt for a less calorie, cheaper, iced-coffee drink which I made by myself which I'd like to share with the rest of you!

First, brew your favorite batch of brewed coffee. If you don't have a coffee maker, then use your favorite instant coffee mix. Next, mix in your favorite creamer and sugar while its hot. Make sure to taste test it though! Then let it cool for a while and you may now do one of the following:

A. IF you want to drink it NOW, first make sure to make your drink a bit more stronger than usual. Then pour your coffee drink in a plastic tumbler with lots of ice. Like A WHOLE LOT OF ICE. And then shake shake shake until you're satisfied with its icy frothiness!!! IF you have a blender, the better! Coz then all you have to do is blend the ice and coffee drink until you reach the right consistency.

B. For those who don't have a blender and is willing to wait, pour your coffee drink in a clear or transparent plastic. You know, the one that is used in making or storing ice in the freezer? AND YES, you are supposed to freeze it. This drink takes time because you have to wait for it to be a bit solid as if it has an outer shell of ice with the inside still liquid. When it has reached that point, you can now enjoy your drink by breaking the plastic and putting everything in your favorite tumbler. You can shake it too if you want to have a bubbly or frothy look.

And FINALLY, the moment you have been waiting for--go ahead and take a gulp of your delicious iced coffee! Its cheaper (because you already have it at home!), less fattening (no whip cream!), and yes it will satisfy the coffeeholic in you coz it surely satisfied me.