A DIY foot spa realization: Happy Thanksgiving! What are you thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is a beautiful day. 

Woke up and started my day reading a page of "Our Daily Bread" as usual. 
Had a morning chat with mom and ate a yummy veggie breakfast that she prepared.

Now, I must admit that I have been in some period of burnouts. Every caregiver would understand the highs and lows of taking care of elderly people, which in my case is my own father who had a stroke 2 years ago. Before I could even start doing my other morning rituals, my dad - who is experiencing incontinence - signaled me that he wanted do number two's. 

After I was done with my dad's toilet routine, I sat on the stairs and my mom sat on her favorite "relax" chair. We were just chatting about stuff when all of a sudden, I thought of an idea to treat my mom with something special. I took Snoe Happy Heels Peppermint Tea, the foot spa therapy set that I bought on sale a few days ago, and instantly offered my mom a DIY foot spa experience. 

Snoe Happy Heels Therapy Set: What are you thankful for?
We had a very fun conversation. She asked me a lot of questions from the foot soak, foot scrub, foot lotion, to the foot spray. We talked about many things, and laughed really hard when we recalled hilarious occasions. 

When I was done giving her my free foot spa service. I felt good. REALLY good. That's because I saw my mom smiling, and feeling relaxed. 

The shower fresh scent of my dad, with his genuine smile while his rough hands touched my face; and the peppermint tea scent from my mom's feet, with her non stop story telling -- these are the moments that I realized how blessed I am, for having the luxury to experience these simple pleasures with them. The simple acts of giving back to them are so rewarding! 

Despite my physical exhaustion, the happiness I felt was overwhelming. I realized that I am being reminded of what I am really thankful for. The message of Our Daily Bread for me today is "Count your blessings. Recount if necessary." It was so true! One of my blessings are my parents, and they will always be a part of what I am thankful for. 

Sweet Says... so what are you thankful for? If they are your loved ones, what have you done so far to make them feel that you are grateful for having them around? It's never too late. You can start NOW. 

Act of Random Kindness: Starbucks (Trinoma) Barista to the Rescue

Two weeks ago, while in the middle of a serious conversation and enjoying my tall, hot Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks (Ground Level, The Landmark – Trinoma), a loud “Bam!” caught my attention. My mind couldn’t process what sound it was at that time. My guesses: a gunshot, a car crash (but no there wasn’t a screeching sound of wheels), a thunder, a bomb (?). What the heck, none of these were correct!  Apparently, the noise was caused by a man who accidentally bumped his face into the glass wall.

What happened was, he was walking towards I’m not sure where but was looking straight far ahead that he didn’t notice the glass wall. Maybe he thought that it was one of those coffee shop types where everything was open. Maybe he’s just thinking about something else that he simply was unaware of the things around him.

I couldn’t be sure, but he was definitely stunned. Blood drip from his right eyebrow down his chin. It won’t stop. I wasn’t sure if he intended to buy some coffee prior to the accident but the guard let him come inside. The baristas gave him ice but the blood still won’t stop. I saw him choosing from the sandwiches but wasn’t sure if he bought one.

Starbucks Barista: act of random kindess

The next thing I noticed, the girl barista brought a first aid kit and helped the wounded man. I was wowed with the gesture. I mean the man wasn't a customer, for all we know, he could just be passing by. But the Starbucks barista still decided to lend hand and put gauze on the man’s wound. It wasn’t her job but I really admired the effort she exerted to assist someone in need.

Sweet Says... Good Samaritans like you deserve credit. But, I apologize if I didn’t catch your name. However, I assure you that I will forever remember that compassionate moment. I didn’t take more (or clearer) pictures because I don’t want to look like some paparazzi. You know who you are, and YOU are certainly a Starbucks ASSET! God bless you!

You Just Have To ...

Have you been in a near-death situation wherein you saw your life flash upon you and got the chance to finally think if you did things right, if you lived your life to the fullest, or if you mattered to the people around you? 

If yes, what happened and what effect did it cause you?

If no, you should be grateful and pick up what you can learn from those who did.

To answer my own question, “No, I haven't.”

But to the people who were in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Thailand on December 26, 2004, their lives changed dramatically when the Boxing Day Tsunami occurred.

I happened to watch 7 parts of the “Tsunami – Caught on Camera” video from YouTube. It’s a compilation of amateur videos from first hand witnesses of the catastrophic madness of waves up to 35 meters high. The documentation made me see what happened that day from different vantage points. There were over 200, 000 casualties and 1/3 of which were children, making it the 6th deadliest earthquake in recorded history.  

via PosiTim
It was a devastating tragedy and a reminder to everyone how life could end in just a snap.  So I thought of my life, my fears, my contribution, my anxieties, my problems, and everything else that I could think of. I asked myself, “If I were there dying, was I able to give my best to live my life fully? Did I let the people that I love know and feel how much I really love them?”  

by Pink Sherbet Photography
I asked this because most of the time, even if it’s a given fact that our relationships are valuable to us, we seem to take people for granted. Sometimes, we think that they will always be there. But just like you and me, the people around us will be gone without knowing when for sure. Does a tsunami have to happen before you really make them feel how much they mean to you?

via Evil Erin
Sweet Says … I told myself that I am not going to wait for such a tragic moment to happen. I know that it’s a cliché. Some people may think that they have a lot of things on their plate and do not have the time to get a lecture from a blogger but I just hope you consider thinking things over. Will the things you do today matter to the people you love especially when you’re gone for good?

Why I Became An Instant Randy Couture Fan

If you know Randy Couture, I am pretty sure that you know exactly where I met him. I really do not understand the concept of hurting each other to entertain people or to compete for a title. Men in my life told me that its their nature. I still don't buy that reason. 

via Randy "The Natural" Couture FB page
When I chose Balls cable channel for the sake of my dad's afternoon leisure, Randy Couture happened to be on the screen. He was being introduced as the first fighter to hold two UFC championship titles in both heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions. It was a replay championship battle, UFC 68, with Tim Sylvia as his opponent.

I didn’t plan on watching but Randy Couture’s name intrigued me so much. My 10 year old nephew loves him together with at least a couple men in my life. I thought, “Hmm, let me see how this Randy Couture fights and how he earned the reputation of a legendary man in the Octagon world of UFC.

Tim Sylvia was intimidating with his 6’8” height. I personally thought that his reach and weight could destroy every bone of the UFC’s Captain America. When the fight started, I was immediately mistaken. Every punch of The Natural made my head veer away. I began to realize that I even hold my breath every time they attempt on submission.

via Randy Couture Official Site
It was the only time that I learned about having 5 rounds on a championship match. Defending his heavyweight title, Tim Sylvia showed disappointment as the first couple of rounds went by with a 9-10 Eddie Bravo Scoring in favor of Captain America. Randy Couture was 43 at that time as far as I could remember, and I couldn't imagine his determination to win the title as a remarkable come-back from retirement. Randy Couture won by unanimous decision that March 3, 2007 in Columbus, Ohio. 

via Randy Couture Official Site
The match was absolutely enthralling that it looked like a UFC version of the National Geographic Channel’s fighting king cobras episode. Joe Rogan told Randy Couture on his post-match quick interview that he is a fan and that he is speechless. The Natural’s humorous first line cracked a laugh on my throat “Not bad for an old man!” Mentioning who he wished to dedicate his victory to, I officially became an instant Randy Couture fan. He said “I want to dedicate this fight tonight to two people. Jesus Christ who died for our sins and the American G.I. who steps up and dies for our freedom on a daily basis.”

Sweet Says… We can never really judge a person’s faith by their profession. I may never fully understand men’s point of view when it comes to their choice of sports specifically boxing or whatever they do on the UFC Octagon, but I must say that I respect them more now. My admiration to people with strong faith simply reminds me of His Power to bless us all because we are His children.

How an Executive Optical Marketing Strategy became a Divine Intervention

Executive Optical did a marvelous marketing strategy, which I immediately acknowledged the moment I received my special freebie. 

During last year's shopping spree for Christmas, I went to National Bookstore to buy two copies of Our Daily Bread as my gift to some of the most important person in my life. For those who haven't seen it, it is a small book containing bible verses and short stories compiled for your daily usage throughout the year. 

It wasn't really expensive but I did not buy a copy for myself. I sort of just intended to borrow it from my gift's recipient. (ha! ha!) Then last January, I went to Executive Optical to buy me a new pair of eyeglasses so I can reimburse it before I resign. Upon paying for my purchase, the lady from EO handed me my freebie. I was ecstatic to receive a copy of Our Daily Bread! 

Executive Optical freebie: Our Daily Bread
In it are extra pages of Executive Optical ads on every month. It didn't bother me at all and I really thought it was fantastic! Why? Well, I got a great deal with my optics and got a freebie which I really liked to buy but never did. For me, getting something for free is totally a blessing. I honestly felt that God was telling me "That day you bought copies of this to give to others; I really wanted you to buy it for yourself because I want to talk to you. So when you didn't buy it, I made a way for it to be brought to you." 

God saves us, everyday. 
Right that moment, I knew God saved me. He blessed me with a free book. He blessed me by letting me save money because I do not have to buy my own copy. He blessed me with another means of a daily conversation with Him. I knew I started the year right. Every morning when I wake up, I would pray and then read my daily dose of Our Daily Bread. Every day I feel blessed. And just this morning, He answered one of my prayers.

You see, I have been experiencing some anxiety attacks every now and then. I think everyone who doesn't have clarity in their mind would agree that we feel anxious in not knowing what tomorrow will bring. When I read Our Daily Bread today, I knew God was talking to me. He reminded me of what I asked Him yesterday when I prayed a novena to St. Jude Thaddeus. That Executive Optical freebie is His way to tell me a quote from Gandhi "I know of your capacity to do great things, but I have yet to discover your capacity to do little things."

Sweet Says... Pow! The corners of my lips are up. I am reminded one more time of His plans for me. I am sure He has more plans for us. So why worry? I just need to work on the little things to prepare myself for the big things. God bless you, Executive Optical!

Valentines Day: Reminiscing Love Stories

I was not a fan of Valentine’s Day. The occasion was never a big deal but I've tried to exert effort in giving my parents some greeting cards, flowers, and gifts during my elementary years. But just this morning, while my mom was tuned in to DWWW 774 AM, I realized how people love to reminisce and talk about how their love stories started.

DWWW 774 AM interviewed couples who have been married for a long time. I particularly liked the story of Jun Catan Jr and Nancy Russell-Catan, who owned MAPECON, a company who offers the best solution to pest problems. They are now on their golden anniversary and have repeatedly claimed that it is God’s will that lead them to each other. Their differences in culture and religion did not hinder in the success of their relationship. They even joined forces to build their pest control company, MAPECON, which continuously grows into an endeavor blessed by God. Their practice of Christian principles and ethics in business made it possible to gain 42 years of experience with 38 award winning patents and 100% indigenous Filipino products that aids to create a pest-free environment.

More guests revealed their inspiring love stories. Some on their 40th year, some widowed, but all was moving just like watching Hollywood films or reading romance novels. Writing love letters, mixed marriages, strict parents, and even stowing away, were factors of these love stories.

Mom and Dad: Those Were The Days - "An Antipolo Date"
Reminiscing different love stories, specifically my parents’ version made me smile this morning. I remembered how mom met dad on a relative’s wake. I recalled how dad wooed mom after her shifts, how he was so attracted with her long black hair, and how I pictured the way dad looked like while wearing his bell-bottom jeans matched with a fitted shirt, its sleeves curled up to show the mighty biceps. Mom has a lot of stories to tell. You can expect a mixture of an awfully touching youth, exciting teenage years, struggling middle age era, and now a challenging yet hopeful winter phase.

It was mysteriously hilarious that my mom just nagged at my dad about why she never got flowers then the next minute she would sing him "You're the best thing that ever happened to me" But with all the heartaches, intrigues, and hardships, mom and dad’s marriage is still one of the best love stories I have heard.

Although DWWW 774 AM focused on long-term marriages, Valentine’s Day is not just for couples but to everyone who knows how to love.

Sweet Says… With all these love stories relayed over DWWW 774 AM, I must admit that I got inspired this Valentine’s Day. I realized, as cliché as it may seem, that it is an occasion to celebrate something very obvious but seldom affirmed, “Love”, and what we can do to make our relationships stronger. 

A Thing You Will Never Regret

I retweeted Positively Positive's quote from Zig Ziglar a moment ago and decided to blog about it. He said "Remember, you can earn more money, but when time is spent it is gone forever." Now that is something I deeply considered for a moment and then asked myself, "Do I spend my time wisely?"

I think I remember a line from a movie or was it from a song I heard or a book I read, I can't recall, but it says "Time is the highest form of  wealth"

Sure I have spent a lot of time watching my favorite TV shows, read magazines some of them about travel, home renovation and celebrities, dwell into sports or hobbies, go to the mall, even slept the whole day. The thing is, did you do all those with your loved ones?

If you watched TV with your partner and converse spontaneously about it, that's great! 
If you read magazines and planned to travel with your parents, or a make-over and a spa with your daughter, or a bedtime story to your son, then that's awesome!
If you played sports with your kids or create a hobby together, that's fantastic!
You just spent quality time with the people who mattered to you, and that's what really matters.

With the 24 hours a day that you have, how well did you distribute it on different aspects of your life? Did you spend half of it working? A quarter of it to parties or lunch /dinner-dates? A couple of it to sleep? The rest to travel back and forth to your house? At the end of the day, were you able to play with your kids  discover their new experiences and interests, or simply kiss them goodnight?

There are a lot of inspiring stories around us. There are also those that regret not having spent more time with their families when they are still together or even alive. How about creating your own story? A version where you read a blog about a thing you will never regret then decide to focus on your time management and live your life fully by spending your time wisely.

Sweet Says... When you do your best to share your time with someone especially your family, it feels warm inside. You sense the completeness of your being. When you spent a quality moment with someone that needs you, they appreciate it and cherish it forever. Your time is your best contribution to the world, because it helps to enhance someone's upbringing. When you give time to your parents, to your spouse, to your friends, to strangers, but most especially to your kids, their world is more colorful and worth living in. Spending your time wisely is a thing you will never regret investing.

CARA Cares: Compassion And Responsibility for Animals' Adopt A Cat Event

Animal lovers or simply pet owners would strongly support events that promote animal welfare. They know the importance of being a responsible pet owner and that the impact of being a good example will influence other people to nurture their pets more.

In the year 2000, a group of dedicated animal lovers formed CARA, Compassion And Responsibility for Animals. CARA is a non-profit and non-government organization determined to help the condition of animals in the Philippines. CARA is  entirely managed by volunteers who advocate animal welfare. 

One of CARA's rescued dogs
Their missions are 1) to educate the public on animal welfare, 2) promote compassion for animals and responsible pet ownership, 3) address animal cruelty and abuse, and 4) effectively control street animal overpopulation. 

If your heart desires to help and rescue some animals, here is a very big chance for you to do so.

CARA: Adopt A Cat Event
On February 25, 2012, CARA Welfare Philippines will be conducting an Adopt A Cat event sponsored by Greenbelt and Ayala Center. They have over 300 cats and dogs for adoption from 3PM to 8PM. 

A lot of people are asking why a payment is required. According to Pat Sevilla, a Facebook user who tried to explain its rationale, "The payment is for keeping the animal, in addition they (the animals) are already spayed/neutered, de-wormed, trained, rehabilitated and all those things to make re-homing easier compared to getting ones from the street or buying from the pet shop. Paying also ensures that those who are adopting the animal can actually afford to take care of it, plus it also serves as donation so the shelter can provide the needs of future animals going in. It's not that huge of a fee, especially if it's meant for the shelter to continue their work."

CARA is located at 2365 Singalong Street Malate Manila, Philippines

Sweet Says... Who says that only the poor people needs help? The animals around us need a voice. CARA is doing a noble job of fulfilling their goal to speak for those who don't have a voice. CARA president Nancy Cu-Unijeng together with her team dedicate their lives to animal welfare. If more people join forces to assist these kinds of events, their missions will continue to be accomplished and the act of love for animals will spread even wider. So who's joining to hear those "meows" and "arfs" on the 25th?

Think Green Innovation: Recycle Your Light Bulb

Innovation is something every people could do but most chose not to because of, well, different reasons or alibis. We are all born creative. It just so happened that there are people who are more adventurous when it comes to innovating stuff. They are more interested in spending their time for art's sake. 

What's interesting is, aside from being artistic, people especially those who are concerned with the current state of our environment, try to exert effort to think outside the box and contribute in fighting global warming in their own little ways. They simply "think green".

Here is a creative example of fighting global warming:

by HannahBe4 via Piccsy
Stunning isn't it? 

People who think green use energy-efficient light bulbs, or what we famously know as CFL short for Compact Florescent Light bulb. It lasts typically for 5 years. That means are not to change it very often. Aside from aiding with a lower energy bill, the mercury content is on its base, giving a lower health risk when cleaning it.

Sweet Says... I'm sure gonna try this at home. Would you?

To know more how you can recycle your light bulbs, click here.

Sometimes the ONLY thing you need is...

DSC05662Brendon Burchard (Photo credit: Ralph Zuranski)
It was my third day in a row to use my stepmaster equipment, Navigator Sports, and it was also the day when I watched Brendon Burchard's second video entitled "Homepage ATM" from the Experts Academy site. Yes, I was multi-tasking. What's wrong with doing cardio while listening to an online video? Anyway, Brendon is the founder of Experts Academy and author of the #1 New York Times bestselling The Millionaire Messenger

I encountered Brendon a few weeks ago, thanks to an email sent by my mentor, Jomar Hilario. Brendon who is also Jomar’s mentor made a huge impact on thousands of people’s lives including mine.

(So Brendon, if you’re reading this, you don’t need to ask yourself “Did I matter?” because you absolutely did!)

Brendon made numerous piquant points when it comes to different aspects of life. The concept was overwhelming that it will make you dig deeper to your core. From that video, Brendon challenged us to PLAY BIG.

Of all the things he said, “Play big!” marked the most.


The answer is because I have a lot of big dreams. In order to achieve it, I will have to play big!

A "Play Big!" reminder on my mirror

A lot of us will say “I want this”, “I want that”, “I’ll buy this, “I wish I have that” but never really exerted effort to actually have it. Maybe because we are so used to just receiving small things. We sometimes neglect the thought that we deserve the best. We do! After all, we are God’s best creation. The only thing we need to do is PLAN, then ACT.

Oh yes, we know that already, but sometimes the only thing you need is a REMINDER, because we keep forgetting our dreams. We keep getting stuck in a rut of our daily routine.

Be reminded that we can do it. Through God’s grace, we can. He will provide us everything we need. Just be open with His reminders. Who knows? That sticky note from your seatmate’s desk may say something like “God is with us”, a reminder to stay strong and have faith. That music played in the coffee shop where you’re reading your book at may be a song of praise, a reminder to be patient for He will answer our prayers. Just look around.

Sweet Says…  I am committing myself to PLAY BIG! You can too! Sometimes, the only thing you need is a reminder or a little inspiration to keep rolling.

What do you like most about your life?

Why was it that when I am away from the computer or no pen and paper in hand, a lot of stories keep bugging my head and blast it with ideas to write about. Stories that are worth sharing and spending your time telling others with. Now my mind ended up blocked. I don’t know which way to start or which word to write first. Fortunately, Positively Positive, one of the websites that I subscribed with from Facebook, posted a mind-boggling question. “What do you like most about your life?” Before I came up with my answer, I looked at some of the “so far” 2,001 comments. I wanted to know if someone would have a similar answer with me.

Here are what they have to say:
“Being Alive.” – Regina Clifton-Bailey
“That I finally found God.” – Thia West
“Being a mother. Period.” – Irene Day
“Being part of new days & smiling.” – Shenatta Weathers
“Sometimes, I get to help people from dying.” – Tim Johnson
“The good stuff outweighs the bad stuff.” – Joanna Barrett
“My family.” – Anna Gianelli Baltazar
“My freedom.” – Lelia Pray Newlan Carlson
“Just being able to experience happiness.” – Shruthi Venugopal
“Peace in my soul!” – Peggy Kinser
“That I get to be part of it.” – Chelsea Miers
“The people in it.” – Ashley Kays Moore
“I’m alive because GOD saved me!” – Robert Craven
“The endless possibilities.” – Diane Clement
“I get to be the star!” – Allison Hartke Nahoopii
“That I belong to the Lord.” – Mona Hardy 

TGY Chapel Podium 4 RCBC Plaza Makati

Sweet Says… I am so happy to know that a lot of people are still appreciative of the blessings that come to them. I am mostly overwhelmed with people who gave any of the three most common answers: God, Life, and Family. Now, asking myself “What do you like most about your life?” I certainly want to answer similarly with the rest but would just like to add "That I am forgiven by our Savior and that He gave us the gift of freewill".

7 Promising Movies of 2012

One of my favorite things to do is to grab some Taters' Texan barbecue popcorn and watch a movie. This new year, 2012, I have seven line ups of promising movies that I have been looking forward the most. In alphabetical order, these are:

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Starring Channing Tatum as Captain Duke Hauser, the G.I. Joe team faces off against Zartan, his accomplices and the world leaders he has under his influence.

The trailer seems to show us a glimpse of Director Jon Chu's promise that the G.I Joe franchise sequel will be better than the first one, in terms of cast, story, and action. I can't wait to see Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as Roadblock and Bruce Willis as General Joseph Colton.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation - Trailer

Men In Black 3

The film is the third entry in the Men In Black series. It is starring Will Smith as Agent J and Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K. Agent J travel through time to stop an alien in changing the history of mankind.

The trailer was unpredictably cool with the guns and the time-jump gadget. Having to wait 10 years after its predecessor, Men In Black III surely made its way on my list of promising movies.

Men In Black 3 - Trailer

Resident Evil: Retribution

Milla Jovovich as Alice will once again lead the battle with the Umbrella Corporation. This is the fifth installment to the Resident Evil film series based on the Capcom survival horror series Resident Evil.

What's exciting about it is, there will be returning actors and characters on this film. I don't know how but one of my favorites, Michelle Rodriguez will be back!

I'll post the trailer once ready.

The Avengers

Sneak peek first!

Hot! Isn't it?! 

When I first saw this featurette video shared by one of my friends on Facebook, I got exaggeratedly excited! Robert Downey Jr. was right when he said "That's the most ambitious movie I've ever seen". Joss Whedon who directed The Avengers conveyed his amazement with the unbelievable dream team that he have now by saying "I had a dream all my life and it was not THIS good!" 

Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division), assembles a team of super humans to form The Avengers to fight Loki and his various membered army to save the planet Earth. 

The Avengers - Trailer

The Dark Knight Rises

Former hero Batman (Christian Bale) was forced to rise up again when the terrorist leader Bane arrives and pushes Gotham City and its police force to their limits.

The tagline "The Legend Ends" basically gave us the idea of what will take place on the third installment to the Batman series. It was a good thing that Director Christopher Nolan and his brother Jonathan, with David S. Goyer, developed a story that they felt would be an unexceptional conclusion to the series.

The Dark Knight Rises - Trailer

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games Trilogy fans are surely excited to see the film adaptation starring Jennifer Lawrence as the role of Katniss, Josh Hutcherson as the role of Peeta, and Liam Hemsworth as the role of Gale. It is set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and a girl tribute from each of the twelve districts, and lets the whole world watch on live television how they fight to death.

The intensity of Katniss' volunteering as a tribute in replacement to her sister Prim was agonizingly dramatic.
But an exciting part will be Lenny Kravitz' role as Cinna.

I haven't watched The Hunger Games but is already excited with its Catching Fire sequel to be released in November 22, 2013.

The Hunger Games - Trailer 1

The Hunger Games - Trailer 2

Underworld Awakening

Kate Beckinsale as Selene, returns as the vampire warrior who escapes imprisonment to find herself in a world where humans are executing a war to eradicate both Vampire and Lycan clans upon discovery of their existence.

Underworld Awakening - Trailer

Sweet Says...  Popcorn anyone?