Party Dress

Sofi has this dress from her lola Tarits which has been dubbed her party dress, duly worn for special occasions. I don’t recall this day being particularly special but she wore it anyway. We went to a sanctuary for a quick bird watching trip. I only saw two birds (not maya). Anyway, sofi had the most fun, per usual. She sort of just ran around and giggled in delight.





Sad to go.


I didn’t really look out for birds, just took photos of Sofi.




There are a few dolls of Sofi’s that I would say are remarkably special, a couple from my paternal grandmother and few that she’s owned since she was born. Now she has a new one to her list (or my list haha) and its this doll from my friend Jaclyn. Which she completely made herself. I was floored! I can’t even sew rags together!



Sofi named the doll Poccu and squeezes it a bit too hard. She also made Poccu a blue gingham blouse and skirt (with help of course– but not from her incapable mother).




I love Poccu’s hair! Ombre lang ang peg!


Need More Beach

I was going to post some photos from our last beach trip but I think it’s all saved in Emmanuel’s laptop. So here are a few beach photos from months months months back (as in Sofi does not fit in that suit anymore)  when we went to Anilao, Batangas. The resort was called Eagle Point but it wasn’t quite beach front. You have the dock, the sea and a bunch of rock — no sand! So we took a boat out to nearby islands because what’s a beach without sand?

Didn’t really take much photos because we went snorkeling. I need one of those digipac things!





Hello, summer is almost over! Anyone want to go to the beach?

Toe Live in Manila


Emmanuel and I usually don’t work together, even though our fields often cross paths. He makes videos and I take photos, sometimes its the other way around, mostly we do both at different times because we share the same gear. I actually wasn’t very comfortable using the rented camera because the knobs were all placed differently, but I didn’t really have a choice. So here is the result of some team work but it really just means we shared our lenses and about a few times I’d shoot some video and he some photos.

I’m really proud of my son’s husband’s video (watch in hd!):

Off to some photos!






“Wow that’s a giant laurel wreath!”



“Thank you Manila!”


“Thank you Toe! Encore!”


“Sure! Why not?”


The concert was epic. My favorite was the drummer, it was just like he was exploding the whole time.


The Manila Review

I helped shoot a couple of videos for the online publication, The Manila Review. Luckily, I was still able to come away with a few photos of my friends (some of the perpetrators) behind it: Mara, Leloy & Carina.




When they told me about their plans of starting this publication, I thought it was about time. How many book reviews out there just tell us what is, what isn’t and what we should buy? Many reviews have become little more than yellow star ratings. I remember a short-lived (as in they didn’t publish anything I wrote/drew) stint in writing for our high school newspaper. Tasked with writing a book review, I thought it was just a summary of the book that ends with whether I liked what I read or not. Later on, I realized that reviews like these don’t make much for anything. I was drawn to reviews that compelled me to ask questions, that dared to say more than the book’s premise or expressed more than just the critic’s predilection. This may just be an afterthought to the intentions of The Manila Review and its audience of intellectuals, but this publication could possibly introduce to people that a higher level of local criticism actually exists. If it were around way back, then my high-school self would have known better.

Emmanuel, my well-versed counterpart, actually wrote a piece in the first issue. He’s basically someone who was plucked out of Vancouver and thrown into Manila with no concept of who’s who around here. It gave the review a different standpoint and sparked interesting discussions, which I think is the whole point of the publication. This makes me look forward to the next issues!

Going Feral

When I catch Sofi playing by herself I sort of loom around her and eavesdrop. She personifies many inanimate objects and talks to ‘them’ directly. Lately, she’s been talking to Mr. Sun a lot. One very early morning, she was wiggling in bed beside me. This woke me up, of course. ‘Mommy, Can I wake up?’ ‘No’ I grumbled. She instantly justified, ‘But Mr. Sun is awake!’

I listen to all the make believe stuff, her little story arcs and songs. She’d be so engrossed in talking to her toys/markers/Mr. Sun that she would not notice me, even with a huge camera in tow. Like this one afternoon when she decided she didn’t want to wear her gown anymore:



She wanted to sing to the world and fidget with the blinds.



She finally found her stalker of a mother. She shouted ‘HEY!’ at me. She’s a very busy lady.


Im happy she uses her imagination. I heard it’s hard to come by now that we’ve got ipads and other computer things. We don’t own one so Sofi’s not quite adept with it, nor computers (she’s not allowed to touch). I don’t know if this is a good or a bad thing because the world basically demands people to be very computer literate, I’m assuming even more so in the future. What do you think?

On the Ice

Sometimes I worry about Sofi’s consumption of values and the preoccupation of corporations in pre-conditioning our daughters. So when I’ve reached my paranoia limit, something like this happens:

Me: Sof, what do you want to be the most? Pretty? Smart or Funny? 

Sofi: Funny!

Me: Okay! (but really I mean, great answer!)

While she plays with her Barbies:

Sofi: Look, my Barbies are getting married! (she doesn’t have a ken doll)

Me: Oh wow! Congratulations! Girls can totally marry girls!

I might be over-thinking this but then again, I don’t want her to be confused later on or worse, have unrealistic expectations for herself. At the same time I don’t want to alienate her from things that really make her happy. Besides the dinosaurs, animals, collecting rocks/sticks/bugs are still in the mix.

So Emmanuel and I didn’t think twice about watching Disney on Ice this month as we’ve gauged that it could do no harm. Besides we watched last year and Sofi was so happy she pretended to skate all the way home. This year was special because Rapunzel, Sofi’s favorite character, was going to be in it. At 2:00 am the night before she was still wiggling in bed beside me. When I asked her why she was still up she said she told me she was too excited.


We brought a long my little brother Matti, who is beginning to be like our second or something on trips like these.


In her Rapunzel outfit (We had to draw the line on wearing a wig) Front row and ready!



Michelle Obama, is that you?


Really great set piece but it frightened all the kids.



The best part was Little Mermaid’s segment…




So don’t miss Disney on Ice, they have a show every year during the Christmas/New Year holidays at Smart-Araneta Coliseum. Lower Box Seartsre fine and you really get to see the special effects/tricks play out. This year we bought VIP Patron Seats and it was worth it because the actors really interact with the kids in the front row plus Sofi totally got to ride King Tritan’s Boat (so it was called, I don’t know what the algae girls are called). I don’t recommend buying merchandise and snow cones, they’re overpriced and overall useless.