Today’s Fashion

I’m feeling kinda lazy today and I’m just too tied up with work – with meetings, deadlines, and transition trainings that I just don’t have much energy to write today. Don’t worry; I intend to fully charge my batteries come weekend as I have lots to tell you people.
Here’s what I wore today by the way:
blazer and checkered skirt, Maldita; shoes, Heatwave; bracelet, Salsatrends at the Ramp

I’m really loving this blazer. Makes any outfit serious enough for the office, even this dress which I would normally wear while lounging around the clubhouse at our condo. Haha.
Well, gotta go. Still have a long day at the office until my laaaaaaaaaast day on the 15th of next month. Ciao!

Sunday Church

While waiting for mass to start this morning, I can’t help but notice a couple of things,good or bad.
The old couple seated in front of us – they couldn’t be less than 75 years old, judging from their looks and how they stoop while standing. And yet, they brought tears to my eyes when they kissed each other during the “peace be with you” part. And how the husband would fix his wife’s chair, or lead her hand back to their place after taking communion. It amazes me and touches me to know that true love can really survive the test of time. I had to cover my eyes coz the tears started welling up.
A girl/young woman seated two rows ahead of us – I am guilty sometimes of showing too much skin, but never inside a Church or while attending mass. This young woman was wearing micro miniskirt, a sleeveless top. Sleeveless was bad enough but it came with a plunging neckling made even worse with three buttons at the top, with the top left unbuttoned. I was so surprised that no one stopped her from taking the communion.
Collection total – since the Sunday mass was celebrated weekly at our condo’s clubhouse, we naturally have some sort of council which accounts for all the collections. I was again surprised that weekly collections only amount to around 2,000-3,000. I can’t understand how with more than a hundred people, we only managed to come up with that amount. No – I don’t think for a minute that someone has been underreporting the funds. It’s the fact that we, baptized Catholics, can’t even part with a couple hundred a week. Imagine if the hundred adults there each gave Php 100, we would have raised Php 10,000 weekly. No wonder our churches are in dire need of repair, or that our parochial schools can’t afford to hire good teachers or facilties.
These observations make me sometimes envy the other sects ( I dare not call the most of the other beliefs as religions; i consider them mostly as sects or cults) – how they can command their members to show up in respectable outfits on Sundays and commite 10% of their hard-earned money to their church.
Wake up fellow Christians!

Cyma: Greek Food Tripping

I have always loved Greece and anything remotely Greek – Greek mythology, poetry, architecture, heck, even Grecian-style dresses. In fact, Greece ranks somewhere in my top three places to visit before I die. So naturally, I was dying to try out Greek restos here in Manila.
Which was something I was not to get until last week. Ipe, huge appetite notwithstanding, is not really adventurous when it comes to food. He eats the same things over and over again but last week, he finally gave in when I suggested we try Cyma at Trinoma (I think he was forced to agree, since the mall was jampacked with the salary weekend crowd and Cyma was one of the few places where you can still get decent seats).
Since it was both our first time at a Greek resto, we ordered based on what looked yummy in the pictures:
First off, we decided on Htipiti, a tart feta bread with spicy cream cheese dip.The word literally means “that which is beaten” apparently because to make this bread, you have to keep beating it to make it more tarty. Anyhow, the taste was marvellous – the spicy dip was the perfect foil for the bread. Ipe and I had to stop from stuffing ourselves full before all our food were served. I think the dip came with six or seven feta bread which was filling enough on its own. I’ve always loved cream cheese but never thought of serving it with chili so this was really nice.
Up next, we had a chicken gyro and greek potatoes, which we split into two since it was quite too big for one person. Gyro is a type of sandwich consisting of meat, tomato, onion served on a pita bread. In our case, meat was chicken. It seemed somewhat a variation of the hero sandwich, except that it is much tastier, owing to the presence of various sauces and the slices of tomato and onions. I was so preoccupied with the gyro though, I forgot to taste the potato.
Finally, Ipe and I turned out tastebuds to the moussaka, which if I am not mistaken, is some sort of national dish in Greece. It consisted of eggplant with minced meat and melted cheese on top. I admit I am an eggplant person (personally, my favorite veggie meal is the tortang talong – if I had my way at home, this would be served on a daily basis) so this one is just pure heaven – I was getting my eggplant fix AND my cheese! How’s that for a meal?
Needless to say, I am now a certified Greek food fan. And Cyma’s offering are quite cheap – htipiti is only Php 180, gyros at Php 160, potatoes at Php 100, and the moussaka at Php 250.
There were a lot more on the menu I wanted to try but Ipe and I were too full after finishing off the moussaka. So expect to see me back at Cyma one of these days. ;P
PS: Check out Cyma at http://www.cymarestaurants.com/. Menu/prices are also available on their website.

Shallow Water

I am a firm believer of the saying that shallow water makes much noise. My personality reflects this, I am one to keep quiet, speaking only when all the others have subsided or when I am asked specifically. Even as a child I was of this disposition. Not that I was shy or, at the other end of the spectrum, that I thought I was superior to others. It was just my nature to keep to myself.
I am a self-confessed loner. I often prefer going to the movies alone, shopping alone, thinking alone. I never shared a room until I got married (but then, no point in sharing when there were three siblings to share four rooms in my parents’ house).
It is this nature, I think, that has kept me from most squabbles and petty quarrels.
But sometimes, being quiet just won’t do. The loud or outspoken people are the ones who get noticed, at school or at work. At school though, you have the written exams to do the speaking for you but at work, even if you prepare the best reports or work your ass off, it simply will go unnoticed unless you learn to blow your own horn.
And that’s a very important lesson. You should learn it. I should learn it too. After all, no one gets to the deeper part of the ocean without going through the shallow part first.  

Accountants = Boring

A few weeks ago, during our usual coffee break cum ranting session, a good friend of mine remarked that accountants are the most boring people. This she said, was according to a book she’d been wanting to read – Belle du Jour: The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl, which was a true to life account of a high class prostitute’s life (by the way, many years ago, this same friend and I were fans of the Belle du Jour planner – but after we learned of how this planner came to be, we immediately thought, hell no, we don’t want that planner).
Naturally, I was curious to read the book. She didn’t want to buy it, worried what some people might think if they catch her buying it – same thoughts ran through my mind but curiosity got the better of me and the same week of our conversation, I was happily browsing through the book at home.
And there it was, right on the first page where Belle explains and justifies why she became a prostitute, instead of say, an accountant, that single sentence that generalized and dismissed an entire profession as nothing but a triviality in life: “Accountancy trumps even academia inthe unsexiness stakes.”
A doctor, who hears such an insult to his profession, might take up arms and feel hurt. I, on the other hand, could not help but agree with her.
Ask any accountant why they decided to be one, and most likely, they will respond with either “I don’t know” or “coz it’s the most practical course.” Both true. In any given university in the country, accountancy is the most applied for course (although Nursing and Education might be on its heels).
Why? We can answer the why with the two responses together – Accountants are needed in any field or industry. A restaurant may not need a nurse or a doctor, but they will always have an accountant. Always. And so, for any undecided youth going into college, accountancy is a normal fallback. The subjects are mostly general and easy enough to understand. As for the practical aspect of it – well, how can you argue with a course that virtually guarantees you with a job after graduation? Plus, if you work abroad, you’re bound to rake in the dough – accountants/auditors are one of the highest paid professionals (anywhere but in here actually).

But very few, if any at all, will tell you they took up Accountancy because they love it or because it’s exciting.

Now, going back to my main point which is basically that accountants are boring – yes, I agree. Accountants spend their days poring over things that have happened, things they cannot change anymore. Accountants can usually accomplish their work by themselves, holed up in their cubicles poring over pages and pages of transactions done. The only encounters accountants would have are with their fellow accountants when they consult together, or if they do ask questions around the office, it would be invariably related to some boring fact that someone has missed.

It’s different with say, a doctor. Every patient has his own drama, his own sickness, and you get to meet various characters. And in most medical situations, emotions run high and you got yourself the best recipe for a soap opera. 

If there’s any drama at all with an accountant’s work, it would be probably over some mistakes made in booking an expense, or some other mundane thing that doesn’t really affect a living individual, just the company. Drama would be the staying late during audits, or during fiscal closing (or whatever closing) or budget period. Drama would be when you can’t reconcile balances, and you can’t figure out what treatment to use. Drama would be figuring out the IFRS and connecting this to your local GAAP requirements.

I can state a number of reasons and justify why accountants are boring. But really, one thing I can ask you to lay the matter to rest: Just about every profession has been portrayed in movies or in television series – doctors, journalists, lawyers, nurses, teachers, engineers, restaurateurs, cooks, flight attendants, soldiers. Heck, even housewives. But can you honestly name one series or movie about accountants or auditors? (No, that John Lloyd-Bea Alonzo movie doesn’t count; Lloydie’s being an accountant was not the focus of the movie).

No? I thought so.

Loved the book by the way.

Speed of Thoughts

I sometimes wonder why I can only manage a few blog entries every month when every day, I think of something or something happens which I can write about. It’s not that I don’t want to write or don’t know how to – it’s should be obvious by now that I love writing and I’m not exactly clueless about it (no, I’m not saying I’m the best, but I’m not the worst either).
Time can be a big factor; sometimes, there is just not enough minutes and hours in a day to squeeze in an organized line or two. I’m trying to eliminate this reason by the way, resorting to typing out my blog on my E71 phone when I’m commuting on my way home or when I can’t sleep and just sending it via bluetooth the next day to my laptop.
Then I realized something. I don’t write so much because my hands can’t quite keep up with the speed of my thoughts. Sometimes, my mind has already raced to the end but my fingers are just typing the prologue and in that space between point a to c, I lose interest and giveup altogether.
Wouldn’t it be quite nice if someone invented something that can write out your thoughts for you? But then, it would be freaky as well…

On Shoes

It’s a known fact that women love shoes. For some, it’s a toss up between bags and shoes, but generally, women are obsessed with shoes. Owning pairs of shoes you can count with your fingers are unheard of; unless you’re flat broke, you’re bound to have one pair at least for each day of the month.
Is that such a big shock? A boss once told me (and this a boss I know to be very frugal; though he is also generous at times), a man can live on three to four pairs. All he needs are two pairs of black shoes, one pair each for brown shoes and rubbers and that’s it. Honestly, who notices a guy’s shoes? I do, but not to the point that I notice when he last wore it and with what. I only care about the scuff marks and if looks like good quality leather.
Now, a woman cannot live on four pairs. Perhaps, this is because women have more choices on clothes – the more clothes, the more shoes you need since the shoes have to match the clothes. Always. Otherwise, you’ll end up a walking talking fashion victim. Although of course, if your clothes are only on rotation basis or on the same make and color palette, then you probably don’t have to worry about shoes.
Personally, I am more a shoe person than bag person. I can survive on a rotation of five bags for the year (of course, they are of different styles and colors so I can mix and match them with piece of clothing I have). In fact, I buy a shoe before thinking of an outfit. My shoe dictates what I will eventually wear for the day.
Why do put such an importance on shoes?
a) Shoes (Help) tell the world what kind of woman you are. Take a look around your office on any given day: the one who wears the sensible loafer-style pair is either a tomboy or has no fashion sense, the one wearing thong sandals or flats are generally fuss-free individuals, and those wearing the cutest and tallest stilettos are deemed the fashionistas of the group. Sometimes, the whole aura of a person can be judged just by looking at the shoes – look past the stilleto-d feet and these women are usually made-up and dressed to kill, looking like they stepped off a fashion editorial. It sends of a signal on whether you’re a power player or someone who can be bossed around.
I often think, shoes also show a woman’s pain threshold. God knows how hard it is to wear 4-5 inch heels five days a week and any woman who can do that deserves a medal.
b) Purpose. There’s a different type of shoe for different activities. If you expect to go malling later in the the day, you either pack a pair of flats or flipflops, or you start out of the house wearing the cutest sandals. Walking for five hours in a mall on four-inch heels is suicide, believe me. And on another note, ballet flats or round toe pumps are perfect for when you missed your pedicure and are hiding those chipped toenails.
c) Social and Economic Status. Shoes come in different size, shape, color and price tags. Unfortunately for most, the best looking pairs usually come attached with mind-blowing tags. So, you can judge a woman’s bank account (or her man) by gauging if her shoes came from a well-known designer or from the department store.
d) Shoes make you feel better, without the calories and the high price. When a woman is depressed, she would go through any or all of the following: binge-eating, hairstyle changes, shopping. Binge-eating results in many unwanted pounds (and pimples), drastic haircuts can mean weeks and months of agonizing ridicule and waiting for it to grow out if the cut does not suit you, and shopping can jack up your credit card bill. I personally prefer shopping though. And compared to splurging on a new designer bag which can seriously suck dry your already anemic wallet, a new pair of shoes will only dent your pocket.
Shoes won after a long battle are the fashion equivalent of acing a major exams, or passing the board. Or getting a nice job. For someone like me who has size 9 feet living in a majorly size 6-7 country, it becomes a daunting task to find that elusive pair. Most shops carry only one or two pairs in my size and I have to compete with the other big-feet ladies. (Which also explains why I only got three pairs in SG while my officemates bought more than a dozen). So when you do lay your hands on that pair, you know you gotta keep it.
e) The shoes carry you. This is perhaps the most important reason why we should love our shoes and spend many hours finding the perfect pair and even more hours obsessing how to make them last. The shoes carry us through the day. Heck, they carry us through the night even. The shoes can and will make or break an outfit. A perfect dress paired with so-so shoes is nothing. But a plain dress worn with killer shoes – now, that’s for the books. The right pair can lift up your mood and when you’re in a good mood, you can conquer the world.
I own around forty pairs of shoes (this after I got rid of about five pairs last month and not counting the Havaianas I have lying around). Some bought after a hard day of stressing over work (hmmm… no wonder I accumulated more than half of that number when I became a tax accountant), some given by my significant other, some bought by necessity (like that time when I was walking along Makati Avenue and my stilleto broke – I headed straight to Glorietta to buy a new one). There’s nothing that makes me happier than a new pair. Imeldific? Nah, just normal.
Oh well. There’s a saying that whoever dies with the most stilletos is the winner. I couldn’t agree more.

Hotel Weekend

Sorry that I have kind of neglected my blog the past week. It’s just been a hell of a week – it’s quarter closing and for the accountants out there, it means hell. More so if the company you’re working for is using a calendar year. (On hindsight, I think I’d prefer that. No fun in not getting to celebrate my birthday for the last two years).
Anyway, Ipe and I decided to hole up at the Manila Pen for the weekend, courtesy of a GC I won at our company Christmas party.
Obviously, Joey enjoyed the outing very much. From dinner at Mr. Jones Greenbelt, to buffet breakfast at the hotel, to shopping at Greenbelt. He didn’t even want to leave the hotel, saying, “Mom, I love our new room!” 
Must be the king sized bed. We only have a queen at home. 😛
As for Ipe and me, well, it was both our first time at the Manila Pen. And suffice it to say that we weren’t really that impressed. We were expecting something grander – we can’t help but compare it with the hotels we’ve stayed in in Europe, US and even around Asia (Ipe has stayed in a seven-star hotel). And it kinda fell flat.
No dvd (you can request, but you have to pay), and no toothbrush/toothpaste. Service was good though. And the buffet breakfast was at least at par. Hehehe.
Besides, it was all for free so I can’t really complain. Can’t wait to check out New World.

Why I Love Christmas Breaks

Bonuses and gifts aside may be the more tangible things we all look forward to during the holidays, but I love Christmas even more because it gives me that rare chance to see my friends. Christmas gives you an excuse to get together and since most OFW friends are home for the holidays, then all the more reason to have mini-reunions.
Here are some photos from the last round of get togethers over the holidays:
with my college best friend, Noreen (who was also my maid of honor when I got married), Pepper Lunch, Greenbelt
with Varsitarian friends – Carli, Lynda, Leah, me and Ipe at Starbucks Gateway
with my elem/high school friends Lei, Frelda and Jilou at Mesa, Greenbelt 5
with my Philam Properties friends at Krocodile Grille, Greenbelt 3
I’ve always said that blood is thicker than water; but sometimes, water washes away blood. This holds true for affinities and relationships – you are bound to your kin by the blood you share, but there are times when you know your friends more than your relatives. Plus, you really don’t have a choice in relatives but with friends – you grow close and learn to love them as time passes and you realize you’re all chips off the old block.
I’m looking forward to more years of friendship with you guys!