The Birth Story of Baby Gian

November 29, 2013. 5:30 a.m. My water broke.

It felt like a dream at first. After all, baby and I were still at 36 weeks and 3 days according to my LMP. We were still scheduled for our ultrasound on December 9. A million other things were running through my mind at that moment, but one thought clouded everything, “I am definitely giving birth today.”

I jumped out of bed, ran to the bathroom, instantly rousing my husband from his sleep. I calmly told him that I think my water broke. It was him who panicked! I had to put some sense into him, while I took a shower and cleaned myself. “Call the doctor.” “Call my mother.” ” Call my brother, my sister.” “You take your shower.” “Pack your bag to the hospital.” “Don’t forget your wallet.” “Take a large trash bag to protect the car seat from my water.”

By 6:30 a.m., I was in the labor room, hooked to the baby monitor, waited for my contractions to come. I was still able to eat a heavy breakfast and a light lunch.

4:00 p.m., after several tv movies and morning shows, my contractions were still mild to moderate, dilation was only up to 4 cm. I can still smile.

Because of my slow progress, my doctor decided to induce my contractions. Boy oh boy, did it become painful! I was starting to dread every contraction. I had chills.

Come 8:00 p.m., I was still not progressing at 5 cm dilation. In addition, my baby’s heartbeat was dipping, which was not a good sign. I was taken out of the medication, but still baby’s heartbeat dipped.

Doctor decided stat CS. I signed a couple of consent papers (while in pain!), and off to the operating room, I went.

I was given the spinal block, then I was out for some time. I could hear the doctors’ and the nurses’ voices but I was out because I couldn’t remember when they started cutting me. I became alert when a small cute baby was placed to my cheek. I kissed him. They took our first picture. Then I started to shake uncontrollably (chills!).

Our baby Gian Angelo was born at 8:56 p.m. It was the happiest moment of my life.

Gian Angelo's birth


December 8, 2013 at 8:13 am Leave a comment

Fino Pre-Christmas Sale 2013


This news is a bit late, but anyway, I got a text message from FINO Alabang Town Center last 18-Nov.

Their Pre-Christmas sale is now ongoing in all branches. I think this is until the end of the month, or until supplies last.

I checked the ATC branch today. Small items were up to 50% off, while bags were up to 40% off. 🙂

I was so tempted to buy a canvas bag that could double as a diaper bag (I’m 8 months heavy), but I reckon, I’d save the money until baby comes. 🙂

(P.S. I just love Fino, I’m not being paid to do this.)

(P.P.S. Photo grabbed from google images. I do not know the origin, because there are a lot of this image out there.)

November 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm Leave a comment

What I Felt During the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Trimesters of My Pregnancy

I know I have not been very active in blogging nowadays.

However, I’d like to break this (for now) by listing the things I felt during my pregnancy for the sake of posterity. I’ll be entering my 8th month this week and I’m pretty sure I’ll be having a blogging hiatus again, with the baby and all. I’ve been busy reading about labor, birth, newborn care, etc. I’m excited and scared all at the same time.

Anyway so here are the things I felt in every trimester of my pregnancy.


– Slight cramping of the back on some days

– Fatigue

– Nausea all day (I didn’t have morning sickness. I had ALL-DAY sickness.)

– Weepy and emotionally sensitive

– No appetite

– Hypersensitive sense of smell (I hated the smell of almost everything. From the smell of cooked rice to bath soaps!)

– Sleepy all day

– Developed a nasty rash on my thigh

– Tummy is not showing yet

– Can still fit into my regular dresses and shirts

– Cannot fit into my skinny jeans anymore


– Regained my appetite

– My sense of smell returned back to normal ( I can cook now! Yay!)

– Fatigue and sleepiness eased a little bit

– The nasty rash went away

– Still weepy and emotionally sensitive

– Tummy is starting to show a little

– Can’t fit into most of my clothes now

– I can feel my baby move now.


– Feeling a bit heavy now.

– Tummy is large!

– Difficulty getting comfortable when sleeping

– Fatigue sets in again

– Sleepiness sets in again

– Thirsty all the time

– Easily gets full

– Can really feel baby’s kicks now that sometimes it hurts!

– Water retention (hands and feet), I took my wedding and engagement rings off. (Means I need to drink more water!)

– Clumsy and forgetful

– Frequent urination

– Pubic bone pain ( now walking with a duck-like gait)

I may have forgotten some things, but I think I got most of it.

I am hoping to carry this baby full term and to deliver normally in December! I’m excited! (And scared!) 🙂 But I love this baby very very much!

November 3, 2013 at 11:16 pm Leave a comment

Current Like: Fino Bags

I have taken a liking to nice leather bags lately.
Those Pradas and Chanels in my instagram feed sure gets my attention almost always, but they are quite heavy on the pocket. Tempting, but not now.

However, for us ladies who want quality sans the heavy price tag, we have a great Filipino brand that just gives us that.

Fino Leatherware. They’ve got good quality bags that could compare to those designer bags I (we) lust about.

Good news is, they give lifetime repairs for your bags.
Plus, a minimum 10k worth of purchase in one visit entitles you to a 10% lifetime discount on regular items on your next visit, valid in all branches. Talk about customer value, right? 🙂

Here are my loot so far. Three nice bags for much less than the price of an entry level LV, say, a brand new Neverfull. 🙂
Not bad.

This one’s a gym bag, but it makes a great hand carry luggage.
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This is a nice, sturdy office bag. It comes with a long shoulder strap.
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This one is a roomy bag, great for casual wear. (But, I sometimes use it in the office when I’m too lazy to rearrange my stuff.)

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Each bag comes with a dustbag and a paperbag when bought.

August 21, 2013 at 10:35 pm 9 comments

Baphuon and Phimeanakas

The Siem Reap Trip Series

The Making of our DIY Family Trip to Siem Reap-HCMC
Trip to Siem Reap
First Glimpse of Angkor and the South Gate of Angkor Thom
Visiting the Bayon Temple

27-December-2011, Tuesday.


A couple of minutes northwest of the Bayon, we saw an imposing stone mountain, called the Baphuon. This temple predates its more famous neighbor, the Bayon, as it was said to have been built at around middle of the 11th century.

The temple was quite imposing but what struck me the most was the long elevated causeway leading to the temple. It looked ordinary from afar, when in fact, the columns were almost as tall as an adult person.

To be able to climb up and enter the temple, one has to be appropriately dressed. No short sleeves nor shorts are allowed.
The steps going up were steep so our mother decided to just stay behind while we (siblings and I) explored the temple.

This was the what we saw after the first landing.

West side of the pyramid is a reclining Buddha. I really didn’t make out the Buddha. I just took a picture of it when later, I found out it was a reclining Buddha after I read the book I brought home. When I look at it now, I think I can make out the face.

Aside from the usual “templ-y” photos, here are couple of interesting things I saw around the temple.

(1) A lady sitting quietly among the stone rubbles.

(2) Weird tree with vertical roots.


Moving along, we stopped by Phimeanakas and the Royal Palace Grounds. We did not explore the temple anymore since we felt a little bit templed out at this point. Nevertheless, here were some photos of the place.

 The restored side of the temple where the entrance is.

 An unrestored side of the temple. I liked this side better.

Some tourists opt to bike around the Angkor Complex so they can take in history and the feel of the place at their own pace. Here’s one tourist biking along the banks of one of the Royal Palace ponds.

April 16, 2012 at 11:11 pm Leave a comment

Rugged Rocky Shores – Sisiman, Mariveles, Bataan

I found out about Sisiman Bay while searching for possible prenuptial pictorial locations in Bataan.

I was “googling” around for rugged shorelines in Mariveles town, and Sisiman Bay always came up among photography forums. I checked out some photographs taken by enthusiasts posted online, and indeed, the place was picture perfect.

A remnant of a light house used to stand at the edge of the rocky shore. This fragile monument had been the singular subject among photographers who visit Sisiman. Unfortunately though, the structure gave in and fell during typhoon Pedring in 2011.

I felt sad when I found out that the lighthouse wasn’t there anymore. Nevertheless, I still pestered my fiance in bringing me to Sisiman, because I may have fallen in love with the notion of visiting a place in which, perhaps, only a handful knew of.

Sisiman Bay did not disappoint, just as I imagined it to be, and more. In fact, when time permits, I wanted to have our postnuptial pictorials there. (As we never did the prenup in Bataan. Instead, we shot it in Bacolod.)

Here are some snapshots of the place. Do visit. The locals are very pleasant, too. 🙂

 The highway going to Mariveles.

 The local industry was fishing. I love their boats. They look festive.

Kids of Sisiman.

An abandoned structure. This serves as the “parking lot”, though we didn’t make use of this anymore. The kids would open the gate and offer you the space for a small token. They’d “watch” your vehicle while they enjoy themselves, playing. 🙂

 Beautiful tree on top of a hill.

 The beach.

Roofless cottage. I suppose the cogon roof was blown away by the typhoon.

 It was already ten in the morning when we arrived. It was very hot since the place lacks shade, but the water was cool and perfectly blue, that we really didn’t mind the temperature.

 The shore reminds me of the “cantelado” shoreline off the Mediterranean Sea in Torrevieja, Alicante, Spain. I was so tempted to swim, but I didn’t have any swimwear, nor extra clothes, with me.

We have to content ourselves with dipping our feet in the cold seawater while taking in the view and savoring the sea breeze.

 I love Sisiman so much, even the weeds are beautiful.

April 8, 2012 at 12:09 am 12 comments

Hagdang hagdang Palayan Part 3: Visiting the Village

Hagdan hagdang Palayan Part – 1: Journey to Batad
Hagdan hagdang Palayan Part – 2: Trekking to Batad

We ordered lunch as soon as we arrived at Simon’s Inn. While the food was being prepared, we were taken to our room assignments and settled in. I slept for a bit so I will have energy for our trek to the village.

Lunch was simple – chicken, mixed vegetables and rice- but filling.

Around 2:30 pm, everyone was ready. The group had 2 guides, ours was Kuya Vicente.

Just below the inns in Batad is the only school in the village, Batad Elementary school. I asked our guide where the children take their high school classes. He said, you have to go to Banaue if you want to study high school.

Here are some of the pictures I took.

 View of the terraces from the trail.

 Mini falls along the trail. Falls such as these gives continuous water supply to the rice terraces below.

 Rooster in one of the village homes.

 Another community on top of a small hill.

 Yellow wildflower along the terrace walls. Kuya Vicente said they use this as fertilizers for the rice.

 This is Kuya Vicente, our local guide. I told him I will be posting his picture in the internet. He gamely posed for me.

 Sadly, our rice terraces succumbed to the forces of nature. This part of the Batad rice terraces collapsed during typhoon Juaning in July 2011. Forty-three rice paddies owned by thirty owners were destroyed.

 Our first pit stop was this hut in the middle of the ampitheater. Notice the dog. 🙂

 Kuya Vicente pointed out an interesting fact about this hut. Look at the foundation.

 The whole structure sits delicately on top of the rice terraces’ stone wall.

 Grave of a rice terrace owner.

 We finally arrived at the village.

Huts were built on stilts. The lower part serves as the owner’s workshop of some sort.

 I am amazed by this mortar. It is completely carved out of stone.

 Cute kid with his mother. I asked permission first before taking their picture.

 The village walkway.

 Kuya Vicente pointed at this pile of stones (covered by weeds) beside our trail. He said it is actually a grave about 20-feet deep into the mountain.

 Almost two hours of walking and we were tired. We needed some rest and a beautiful view.

 Remember the dog at the hut earlier? He followed us throughout our trek, acting as our second guide. 🙂

 See our canine friend climbing up the steep trail? 🙂

 At the end of our trek, we were rewarded by this view of the mountains.

Given the chance, I’d go back here and enjoy some more of the community, the history, and the view.

Next up is Part 4 – The morning in Batad.

January 23, 2012 at 1:32 pm 2 comments

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