So Behind

coming home means being busy meeting old friends, eating native stuffs or just sitting while watching the kids play. i love being home.

i know i am so behind my blogs, but i hope to catch up when i have chance to use a good computer. my son’s laptop is making that 50-50 chance to live 🙂

Pack-All-You-Want Challenge

9 more days…(from the time of this writing)

it has been 5 long years that i haven’t been back home. time flies so fast!
i still have my son (4 year old then) with me the last time i took an airplane. now i got another kid, my 2 year old daughter to fly with. i always take it as “a challenge” everytime i travel. i need to beat the “nausea” or the “vomitting effect” each time i take a ride. be it a car, bus, or plane. i haven’t took any ship, so i can’t say i am seasick. train is the only thing i can successfully travel without having been nauseated. i always utter to myself “successful!” when i got home in one piece & normal state of mind.
i’m used to taking Lufthansa airline every time i went for vacation. yeah, i know, it’s expensive! but, that’s the point, you have that “more”confident feeling of going home safely and soundly, without having too much hours for stop overs. Why not try Singapore this time? It’s now a hit among Pinoy workers when going home. Wouldn’t hurt. Nice schedule: leaving 1pm from Milan, arriving 1pm in Manila the other day. cool! since it’s vacation season, you have to book in advance to have a good plane price. We paid in cash since last March.

850euro each- for adults
750euro each – for kids

we got the total of 3,200 euro plus the taxes

luggage allowed: 40 kilos each, 7 kilos hand carry

Now, how do i pack the luggage?

That’s the challenge. When you got kids with you, it seems you need to bring your “home”.
As they always say, “travel light”. Darn it. When you’re from Europe you got to use that 40 kilo privilege. sayang naman. =)
4 persons x 40 kilos = 160 kilos, plus some hand carry bags. yes, i can!
i can put every angle of my house =)
we got 5 big luggages waiting to be packed. i did my checklist of what to put, what to bring, mga pasalubongs and abubot. i might need 10 luggages!
sa huli, for sure, me maiiwan pa! =)
“unahin yung mga padala…”

Jaki: (translated in english) “Mamma, can i bring all my PSP games?”
Me: Ok, only few ha, only your faves.
Jaki: “this, this, this…oh this….”(almost 10 psp)
Me: bring 5 will you?
Jaki: (sigh..) ok..but can i bring some playstation cd’s, i can play back there. i will use kuya CJ’s…
Me: nope, you can’’s PAL system here, NTSC back home..your cd’s will not play there.
Jaki: (sigh)…silence….I got an idea Mamma!…pack my tv!
(my hub and i laughed)

while we’re packing the luggages the little Zendra is “pesting” on the chocolates.
“Zen..alis dyan! madedeform ‘yang chocolates, hay naku!” (that’s me howling) =D
now, she’s packing her hello kitty mini luggage and get to her own affair.
..ooops, enough of writing for now =)
i will dish myself if i missed a thing to put in the luggage. see yah around.

1 Hour

If i am not mistaken, we met at Facebook first by the month of January, 2011. She was not yet on my list, i am just a fan of her page. Then i saw her Blogger site. it all started when i “explain/help” her how to edit her blogger page –> valentinamantovaniphotography
She was new to the Blogger site then. Now, she got more beautiful page than mine =).
Anyway, i continue to always read/look at her pictures on her blogs. Amazing! She seems like a professional photographer, yet she only got her Nikon camera 5 months ago. (not to mention she was only 18 years old)
Thru facebook comments and messages, we became at ease with each other and became friends.
She adores my daughter!

From that thought that we somehow talked about Zendra being her first child-model.

To cut the long story short, she came to Milan on June 26, 2011. We are supposed to meet at Bar Castello in Cairoli a Milano, just across the Sforzesco Castle Fountain. But, since it was her first time to go to Milan, being lost on the road is a norm, especially when she have no navigator in the car.
I was worried too if she can make it, so i continue sending her messages, asking where she is at the moment, calling her, teaching some directions. Our planned time to meet was 4 o’ clock in the afternoon. Around 5:15pm, she said she’s walking towards Piazza Duomo. Poor Vale, she almost walked, along with her sister and parents for around 40 minutes or so, with that heat, i don’t know how they survived. Tough!
While waiting for her, my daughter Zendra had fun with her bubble gun at piazza Duomo. it’s almost 6pm when i called again Valentina. Finally she was at Piazza Doumo and saw her for the first time! I’m glad to meet her whole family: her mom is so young (almost like my age), her dad is cool and her sister is pretty too, like Valentina. Lovely family!

Fotoshoot Challenge: how to compress an hour during the pictorial?

After some quick chats with her family, my Mom, Zendra and Valentina went right away down the subway to go to Cairoli. We left Valentina’s family in Piazza Duomo so they can stroll around while we’re having the fotoshoot. Duomo is just two stops away from Cairoli. In 10 minutes we found ourselves at Sempione Park where we intended to have the fotoshoot.

Zendra was so shy at first with Valentina. Of course, it’s her first time too, to see her. I picked some pink carnation flowers to make Zendra at ease. She loves flowers!
Then, Valentina begun to click the Nikon camera!
Amazingly our little model didn’t have tantrums during the session. We changed outfit 4 times!
The bubble gun helps a lot, too!
In 1 hour Valentina had 200 shots i guess. WHEW!
We headed towards piazzale Cadorna (train station) and we had this only 1 foto together, taken by my mother. Then Valentina bid goodbyes and kisses to Zendra. I asked my mom to go home first because my daughter could be tired. It was so hot!
Valentina and i headed again to the subway going to Duomo. It was only almost an hour that we were together. We had fun and some chit-chats, and she surprisingly gave me a souvenir from Verona (her home town)
I hope when she returns to Milan, she’ll have the chance to go around the city; much longer time and we’ll have a chance to eat pizza or something together.
It was really an unforgettable Sunday!

On Flickr

Comments and faves

  1. (24 hours ago | reply)

    Lovely Shot

  2. Leentje32 (23 hours ago)

    So sweet! Beautiful portrait!

  3. Domi Rolland  (23 hours ago)

    Adorable et Jolie

    Toute mon Amitié


  4. Domi Rolland  (23 hours ago)

    Merci Beaucoup pour cette beauté

    Toute mon amitié


  5. Fran-cesca (22 hours ago)

    Adorabile anche qui! 🙂

  6. cctrilla (21 hours ago)

    Lovely photo

  7. Raya Willoughby(15 hours ago)

    So cute 🙂 Great shot!!

  8. ♫ missfreddie84 ♫(15 hours ago)

    che tenerissima!!! 🙂

  9. Lisa Gordon Photography (13 hours ago)

    Questa è una fotografia di Valentina veramente prezioso!

  10. Ilaria Corda IlaMila (10 hours ago)

    Bellissima lei, l’espressione,la foto! Bravissima!

  11. teena_22_milan(a moment ago)

    bellissima. grazie valentina.
    Thanks to ALL of the compliments for my little girl



My daughter’s on Flikcr logo!!! Wow. Grazie Valentina Mantovani.


Getting Excited!







TayTay Falls

Lucban, Quezon, My hometown

laguna Hot springs Resort

NUvali:Lakes & Restaurants

Iloilo – husband’s hometown

Enchanted Kingdom


(God &) weather, time & budget permits, i’ll be exactly where i planned to be!


COUNTDOWN: 14 MORE DAYS to go home….tic toc tic toc… =)

First Day of Summer Sale

Summer sale has started today. It’s a very sunny Saturday and what a very nice time to shop!
Zendra is wearing a Bimbi Belli dress. I guess she’s been a little taller since we bought this dress last February. We went out around 1:30pm. The bus stop is just in front of our building.
The bus timer says: “6 minutes”. Not bad.

First stop: Bimbi Belli Abbigliamento 0-14
Corso Buenos Aires 75
We arrived around 2:45pm. the saleslady who said to my daugther: “oh, so here you are little one..i only saw you on computer fotos/magazine, i’ve been looking forward to see you in person, now here you are in front of me…so adorable”
(that’s the english translation of what she said)

As usual, Zendra headed to the table with some toys and feel “at home” while i looked around to check new stuffs. i grabbed some clothes and ask Zendra to fit it on. and she doesn’t want to take off the clothes anymore. That’s why (in foto) she dressed differently. =)
On the glass wall, 2 big posters of the Fragolita collection. One of the models, Carlotta my friend’s daughter. Very pretty indeed. I have met this girl in person…very blonde. Zendra had fotos with her when we accidentally meet here inside the store.
I called my hub and asked him if he can meet us after his work. We met at piazza Duomo and ate at McDonald’s. Too long lines! But McDonald’s now have this special machine as “quick orders”. You just have to use your credit card or atm cards, touch the screen and order for yourself. Then give the receipt to the “quick order cashier” and whallaa!! order’s there already! Real fast!
First stop: H & M. it’s too crowded. i have been bumped into, several times.
I have been looking for lady blouses that i saw before the sale. they’re not there! Uff!
Hub got interested in their pants, fit some, but he bought none. They have good sale, polo shirts for 14.99euro, pants, from 20euro to 55euro. The men’s section is more crowded than the women’s. I didn’t buy anything for myself.
Second Stop: GAP Store. Lots of “GAP Milan” shirts were hanging. The first thing you see when entering GAP is the women’s section. a lot of plain shirts, for 9.95euro. Very plain, not my type. I love the Gap sweat shirt, dropping from 54euro to 35euro. The women’s section is not so crowded as the men’s section downstairs. Gigantic posters of Gap Models (really good looking) behind the cashier. You might forget in a sec your card pin code when you stare at them. =) I love the GAP poloshirts on sale. I bought 1 for my dad. My hub bought 1 polo shirt and 1 normal shirt (with the GAP Milan print), and a brown short pants. Again, i didn’t buy anything.
3rd Stop: Zara. Upon entering Zara (Duomo), you will pass a big black guy (the guard in suit). The women’s section has a normal crowd. I can’t find the blouse i saw before the sale. Do they hide the nicest ones during sale?
Hub and i decided to go downstairs at kid’s section. Whew! Are they selling pancakes there? i saw 3 long lines at the cashier, and lots of mom’s with strollers, kids running, kids fitting shoes, kids crying…etc. i saw a lot of 6 to 7euro clothes. I bought one black polo shirt for my elder son, CJ, and a dark blue polo shirt for Jaki. only 7 euro each: 50%! And, also a nice rubber/sandals for Jaki.
I convinced Zendra to try the beautiful shoes and sandals for girls. She doesn’t care. Instead, she points out all the Hello Kitty bathing suit and stuffs. Oh my, someone’s got to stop her. hahaha.
This time, my little girl don’t insist in buying something. Third time, i bought nothing for myself.
4th Stop: Tezenis. I just entered and found out i can’t move inside anymore. Too many shoppers. I quit looking around.
5th Stop: Terranova. I almost found what i want. When i fit the blouse…ooops…it’s small. Arrggh. No more L size. Why do they keep on making Medium clothes like it’s XS? =) (Just sour-graping). I really need a diet. Well, i better buy nothing than give up eating luxuriously =)
6th Stop: Alcott. I bought some t-shirts here for my CJ before. No where to be found. They put the “you-have-to-buy-clothes-because-it-costs-less”. in other words, cheap looking too. OK, stop!
7th Stop: LEVI’s. My hub wanted to buy a pants. From 80euro to 40euro. We converted to Phil. Peso. Almost the same. Straight to the door. Out!
8th Stop: Carpisa. So here you can see the real “sale” ALL 50% in all the bags. We bought a leather brown bag. Some sales ladies had been fond of my daughter, so they danced along with her. Their store stereo is a hit! The bag shoppers are alive. In the end, my daughter bagged a Carpisa wind vane, as a gift.
9th Stop: Benetton. I just looked. The Piazza Cordusio Benetton branch isn’t much. It’s small and you don’t have a lot of choices. I headed towards the door out in 5 minutes.
Guess: just a glimpse at the window. i love the bag carried by the mannequin. 150euro! whoops…sigh.
Prenatal: I didn’t walk in. I’m sure even if it’s 50% sale, the clothes are expensive still.
We’ve been tired of walking and glancing and being bumped or bumping at someone.
Destination home.
21 minutes said the bus timer. What?
we changed route and take the Tram 1. We stopped at Via Arona. Hub headed to buy some milk, while me and Zendra sat at the bench.
Finally home by 8pm. We’re starving. I fried some chicken and hub cooked some chicken soup.
So the shopping winners are my boys and my little girl.
Tomorrow, Sunday, the stores are open too. Who knows i might have been the big winner-shopper.

…" crasssshhh"

Warning: some incomprehensive language due to rants =)

(mug from Nice, France)

every mug souvenir for me is like a jewel.
i love collecting them. everytime i go to other cities/towns/places/countries, i don’t miss searching/buying for a mug, aside from postcards or t-shirt.
i arrived home one night and my son told me, “Mamma…your mug is broken.”..
“oh my………..@^#%????***!!!
i guess my heart beat faster and my blood pressure raised!
“who f@(£*§?!…” did this?”
Jaki: “it’s zendra’s fault… i saw her climbing by the toy box and accidentally hold into the mug and she fell down.”
Jaki: “Mamma, don’t worry, i picked all the pieces and got my scotch tape, then put them together.”
it was incomplete though, but i guess my son is intelligent enough to do that.
the question was: who’s looking at my kids? or where?
it’s not Jaki’s nor Zendra’s fault.
But, since i cannot complain i threw my rants to the wind.
I look stupid murmuring/shouting silently (how did i do that?) —%@è§**@——
i am angry….hell angry…
..not just because of the precious mug broken, but the risk of my kids, knowing that i was at work and expecting people in the house to at least look at my kids when my husband and i were still out.
what if it’s not the mug? what if, it’s a mirror or a glass?
———-i don’t want to think about it——-
the hardest thing to do is to “feel comfortable or confident” to some people you think are helping.
i could have said more here of what i said last wednesday…
but, i will stick to the “general patronage” blog rating of mine. =)