July is my birth month. And this year 2015, I turned 40. For the longest time, I subconsciously disliked celebrating my birthday. I would prepare parties and surprises for my husband and kids and friends, but when it comes to me, I would rather let the day slip by quietly. I would be content with heartfelt greetings from friends and a hug and kiss from my family.
I want to be honest to you because I want to encourage you, my dear readers. If there is anything among the information that I have shared here in my blog that I would want to stay with you–that would be the lesson that I have learned the hard way. You see, I am a complainer—a big-time complainer. I think that had been my foremost occupation for as long as I can remember that I have become a professional. If only I get paid to complain. Yes, I complain a lot. Though I do not have a newspaper column or a TV show, I grumble a lot—either to God, to my husband, to myself, even on Facebook. I complain about anything and everything—the weather, public transport drivers, government, insects, allergies, services, heat, weather, product, TV show—you name a subject and I have a complaint for everything. One time I asked my husband why he doesn’t complain that it was so hot while I kept on mumbling and sighing every five minutes about how hot the weather was. He asked, “If I complained, will it become cooler?” God bless him for such a positive attitude. Sure I don’t voice out most of my complaints, but honestly, you would be flabbergasted at the language that goes on in my head if they are even vocalized or published.
It was some time last year that I started taking on an attitude of gratitude. It was a real conscious effort to stop myself from complaining over the things that usually irk me and then turning that supposed rant around into a prayer of thanks. Yeah, I would mumble a simple prayer thanking God that despite this or that, I am this or I have this or whatever. It made me rethink my situation that I am more blessed in so many ways and I should not grumble over a single one.
I am not here to tell you that I have been “blessed” because of gratitude because that would be an entirely different theology. All I am saying is that, because of the attitude of gratitude that I have adapted, things have become easier for me to accept and things have been easier for the people around me (a.k.a. my immediately family) because I am so much less grouchy. I have also MADE A DECISION to free my Facebook from complaints. Instead I have decided to focus on the positive, on beautiful things, on things that build, on sharing information that will help others. And all that positivity has brought forth fruit.
Being thankful is actually a command from God, much like “Do not worry” and “Do not fear”. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 we find: “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” It is not a request but a command. Yes, in times of plenty or lack, in joy or sadness, in health or sickness—there is always something to be thankful for.
So now, I want to say, Thank you Lord for everything, for all the 40 years, the highs and lows and all that have happened in between. And the rest of this story is a thanksgiving post to all those who made my 40th birthday month so memorable! You may call this as something that the universe has conspired for to give me the best birthday ever. But for me, I just think that the change in attitude has paved the way for God’s blessings to come pouring in. This may be a long post but please indulge me.
THANKFUL FOR 40+ THINGS
1. Family. Foremost, I have the sweetest, most thoughtful, most loyal husband and best friend. He always has my best interests at heart. I remember back then when I asked him how much he loved me and he replied, “With all my heart.” And I just know how deep that statement is. Secondly, I have two daughters who for me are the smartest, most beautiful, and most talented (haha allow me to brag, alright?). They are the apple of our eyes and they have brought so much joy to our hearts. Then of course, there are my supportive parents and brother and my in-laws. I couldn’t ask for a better set of parents-in-law. They are indeed gifts from the Lord.
2. Home. We may not have our own house just yet (and God knows when), but we always have a home to come to home to. There is always a roof over our heads and abundant food during meal times.
3. Writing and advertising. I have always been passionate about writing and sharing information. After all, I finished Mass Communications in college from the University of St. La Salle. And at present, I can say that I am enjoying the best of both worlds.
4. Work from home. For the last 13 years, I had been unemployed. God has provided for my family and myself through different forms—writing, events, and odd jobs here and there. And this came in handy when I started having kids. Working from home allows me to watch over my household and still earn at the same time. Taxing, yeah, but this set up is just temporary while the kids are still small. So yeah, thank God!
5. Health. I may not be in the fittest shape, but thank God that I do not have major ailments. Yeah, I do get aches and pains and low energy sometimes, but His grace is sufficient.
6. Respect in the local business community. Because of my passion for sharing new and interesting information about Bacolod to my followers and friends, I have realized that people trusted my opinion about many things. So I kept on sharing even without getting paid just for the sheer love of it. Eventually, companies have also discovered what I had been doing and started trusting me, too.
7. Getting back into the groove. It’s been a while since I had been out of the loop with motherhood and hands-on parenting. But the kids are getting older. While I am feeling a little separation anxiety that my youngest may be weaned soon, I am also getting elated at the prospect of going back in the game.
8. Breastfeeding. One of my greatest blessings in the recent years was being able to successfully breastfeed my second daughter. It had not been easy, but there had been people who helped me along the way and now, I am just a couple of weeks shy of breastfeeding for 2 years.
9. Friends. I have a lot of acquaintances but a rather small circle of close friends who I trust. They are my confidantes, my girl-friends, and also fervent prayer warriors. Thank you. You know who you are.
10. Food trips. My friend Stifany Araneta greeted me for my birthday and wished that I will be able to eat all the food that I want. Well, her wish for me came true! Since last year until now, local businesses have recognized the Negrense Blogging Society, which hubby and I are a part of, so we have been invited to many different events—from restaurant openings, to anniversaries, to food tasting opportunities, and so much more! Dieting had never been this hard! haha
11. Affirmation. Among the many greetings and well wishes that I got this year, one stood out. It came from Alexandra Anuales-Si—the Fairy Craftmother of Bacolod. The keyword, “Proactive”. Wow! Only last year, the term proactive could only be a dream. But instead of just keeping on moping and feeling down in the dumps with every trial, I decided to do something. With God’s prodding and wisdom, I got up and took stock and did something. So thank you Alex, for the wonderful affirmation.
12. Health Reminder. When we went to Cebu, my husband’s aunt weighed us in using her Herbalife scale and the numbers didn’t look too good for us. While we didn’t start the Herbalife program because it is rather heavy on our budget, it gave us the nudge to live healthier and to avoid certain foods that could aggravate our current state of health. So thankful for that, 7e!
Some Dreams and Wishes
Still on the thankful note, I feel so indebted to people and companies for favors big and small favors. I thank the Lord for them and I have prayed that the Lord will multiply their blessings and successes as well.
13. Glamour Photography. I am not the kikay type. I had always been a wash and wear kinda girl. Low maintenance. But I do like to dress up sometimes—when the occasion calls for it. But, despite that, I have always wanted to have a makeover, to look nothing out of the ordinary, and to have this look captured on camera. And yes that finally came true. Thanks to some newfound friends, we were able to pull off a makeover, a shoot, and ended up with wonderfully manipulated photos. Thank you so much Kez Sayat-Pedroza, Ronald Alvarado, and Evento Weddings and Events for making this dream a reality.
Nouveau Management is a full service management company that specializes in fashion and events. They hold workshops to hone models, designers, stylists, and makeup artists in order to raise the standards of the Bacolod fashion industry. They also sell cosmetics and tools. It is their dream to make Bacolod City as one of the new premier fashion destinations of the Philippines. Their shop is located at the Art District, Lopue’s Mandalagan, Bacolod, with mobile 0927-7358149. Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nouveaumanagement/
14. New birthday outfits. Although this is a glamour photo shoot for my birthday, I have no intentions of having it in my birthday suit. Thanks to Carla Cuenca of Saranggola Boutique, I got two different outfits in classic designs!
One of the longest staying fashion boutiques in Bacolod is Saranggola. They sell good quality clothes and accessories for young ladies up to the golden girls. Their collections are continually updated to showcase the latest styles and they also have sizes from XS to XXL, which is the reason why many mother and daughter teams shop here together. The have two branches: at the 2nd floor of Robinsons Place Bacolod and at the ground floor of MC Metroplex (beside Doctor’s Hospital).
15. Pearl necklace. I have always fancied a pearl necklace. And this wish came true through Eva Lizares Si of Bead Bugz, who gifted me with an 18” grade AAA freshwater pearl necklace. Thank you!
Bead Bugz is a beading and craft supply store with a comprehensive collection of beads, stones, straps, clasps, and even tools. You may also order hard to find beads through them. Visit them at Door 6, ACLER Bldg., beside UNO-R Church,Lizares St., Bacolod, Mondays to Saturdays, 9am to 6pm. Or you may contact them at Mobile: 09228295223. Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bead-Bugz/1415101272099919
16. A wrist watch. One of my favorite things is a watch. I don’t collect fancy branded ones, just the ones that work well for a long time. Thankfully, Lazada Philippines came through with a silver Casio watch for me. It is my new favorite timepiece at the moment!
Lazada Philippines is an online mall that offers effortless shopping to its clients. You can browse through thousands of different items from clothes, kitchenware, gadgets, furniture, to toys—anywhere and everywhere. They offer secure payment options (including cash on delivery), fast delivery, risk-free shopping, and free returns within 14 days.
17. New shoes. Would I go barefoot in the shoot? Of course not, thanks to Footsie Toesie Bacolod. They provided me with the most comfortable metallic black snakeskin flats to wear! Thanks so much to the three lovely mommies behind this venture.
Footsie Toesie Bacolod
Footsie Toesie Bacolod is new line of comfortable but really flat footwear. Owned by three lovely and busy mommies who really know what it’s like to do many things all days, they know that they can go the extra mile with comfy shoes. Their products are available online and at the Weekend Souk at The District Ayala North Point. Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Footsie-Toesie-Bacolod
18. New bag. And of course, every lady needs her bag, which was graciously given by Kitkat Cusi-Lobaton of Kiculo Crafts. It is an elegant blue handbag made of pandan with metal accents. Beautiful and export quality. Thank you!
Kiculo is a unique line of carefully handcrafted fashionable bags. A collection of vibrant products made of pandan, a versatile indigenous material, with accents of leather, colorful beads, and metal hardware. Their products are proudly made in Negros Occidental. They are members of the Association of Negros Producers so their products may be found at the Showroom at Robinsons Place and Lacson St. In Manila, they also have a display at Tesoro’s Philippine Handicrafts. Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KICULOphilippines
19. Beauty Treatments. Just before my birthday shoot, I underwent beauty treatments—facial, diamond peel for face and neck, and IPL hair removal on my legs, all done by YSA Skin and Body Experts Bacolod. #YSALovesMeBetter indeed.
YSA Skin and Body Experts Bacolod
YSA Skin and Body Experts Bacolod is a derm clinic located at Robinsons City Walk. They specialize in facials as well as other face and body treatments with the use of modern equipment. They have highly trained registered nurses on staff as well as an in-house dermatologist who can cater to your needs. Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ysabcd
20. New eyebrow shape. I know that I needed to have my brows groomed because over the years, doing it myself had caused them to look rather asymmetrical. I passed by our neighborhood salon and they did a good job with brows, thank God! It was the first time that this lady did my brows and she did well. Will definitely go back to see her for grooming next month.
21. Birthday party. For as long as I can remember, my birthdays passed without much fanfare. But this year, thanks to Island Spoon Restaurant, I had a memorable KTV birthday dinner with my immediately family. The place was perfect for our needs, the sounds were great, and we enjoyed the food so much. Thank for being a part of my special day, Island Spoon!
Island Spoon Restaurant
Located at 9th-Lacson Sts., Island Spoon Restaurant is right smack in the middle of cosmopolitan Bacolod. They have a restaurant that serves delicious and affordable meals and they also have three KTV rooms for rent at consumable fees. They also have a spacious garden for outdoor events. Island Spoon is open from Monday to Friday, 8am to 12mn, and 8am to 2am during Saturdays and Sundays. For reservations, call (034) 441-6160 or 708-0857.
22. Flowers on my birthday. For the longest time, I told my husband to hold off on the flower thing, though if given the chance, he would whip out money for a beautiful bouquet at any time. So I was really thrilled when Sir Ricco Makilan and Sir Boyet Benavidez of Bacolod Cupcake Café dropped by for my birthday dinner with a bouquet of white flowers. Thank you so much!
23. Birthday cakeS. Not just one but two beautiful cakes from two of the best personalized cake makers in Bacolod. Bacolod Cupcake Café sent over an elegant blue and white cake with floral motif that is beautiful enough to become a wedding cake. Meanwhile, Quino’s gave me a Paris travel-inspired pink fondant birthday cake. I felt like a debutante! Haha Thanks much!
Bacolod Cupcake Cafe
Bacolod Cupcake Café had been generously providing the personalized cakes for my family’s special milestones over the past several years. They specialize in designer cupcakes and event cakes, but they also serve some of the best sandwiches I’ve had. They also have big orders of pasta and coffee. Visit them at their shop at Hilado St., in front of Hua Ming, Bacolod. For inquiries, please call Tel. No. (034) 435 2171. They are open daily, from 8am to 8pm. Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BacolodCupcakeCafeInc
Quino’s Cakes & Cupcakes
Quino’s specializes in personalized fondant cakes, designer cupcakes, and thematic dessert tables. They have opened shop last year and now they also offer pasta, sandwiches, blended ice drinks, as well as their new line of homemade ice cream. Visit them at Unit # 5 Centro Ascalon Bldg., Mandalagan, Bacolod City with (0922) 818-8275. Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/quinoscakes
24. Online winnings and freebies. I joined some online contests last month but the results were only announced this July. And in 2 contests, I won! Also got some nice freebies and also won in a raffle during a media event. Thank you, Lord!
25. White “Sambo”. During the birthday party of my daughter’s friend Coby, Mommy Crix and Daddy Charles Ea prepared “white sambo” because that is what their kids like and I am sooo happy! What is white sambo? Actually, it is the white part of the dessert popularly known as black sambo. My mother makes a mean black sambo and I have always asked her to make the white one only but she never really obliged so far. So I was so happy to know that I am not the only one who liked the white part. I literally screamed! Yeah, I know, mababaw ang happiness ko. haha
26. Beach vacation. Thanks to Villa Iska Beach Resort, we are soon going to have a beach vacation!
Villa Iska Beach Resort
Villa Iska Beach Resort is the only white sand resort in the beach strip of Pta. Taytay, here in Bacolod City. It features a big adult pool and a smaller scenic kiddie pool, a restaurant, and hotel rooms for longer stays. For reservations, call them at Tel. No. (034) 476 8523. Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Villa-Iska-Beach-Resort/234839303372822
27. Pampering. As always, the ever gracious mother and daughter team Vicky and Chinky Que has gifted me with four gift certificates for foot spa. I am a frequent customer because of their proximity to their home. So thank you so much!
Grand Royal Spa
Grand Royal Spa is one of the most pro-active and well-maintained spas in Bacolod. They provide affordable relaxation and therapeutic services. 12nn to 12mn. For reservations, please call (034) 435-0933. Also visit their branch at the 2nd floor, Villa Angela Arcade (East), Burgos St., which is now a DOT-accredited spa in Bacolod. Please follow their FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grand-Royal-Spa-Bacolod
28. Kitchen Tools. Cooking and feeding my family with good food has always been a passion. I had been watching a new nonstick pan and a paella pan for our kitchen but never go to buying them. Thanks to SM City Bacolod, I am not a proud owner of two new shiny pans! Weeee Follow them on Facebook for the latest offers: https://www.facebook.com/smcitybacolod
Thank you for your trust!
29. Earning the trust of a national company—Chemworld Fragrance Factory. Thank you Sir Fred Reyes! Their Bacolod branch is located at the 2nd floor of SM City Bacolod north wing expansion.
Chemworld Fragrance Factory
If you want to start your own business with little capital but with high return, it’s time you consider perfume making. Chemworld Fragrance Factory has made perfume blending simple and accessible to anyone wanting to enter the perfumery business. Chemworld provides high-quality training and continuing guidance to all would-be perfume entrepreneurs.
A Chemworld store can be likened to a perfume wonderland, with hundreds of fast-selling fragrance oils, essential oils, and other “mystery” ingredients, as well as broad selection of perfume bottles that will fit every market niche. Chemworld has also added label design and printing services because good packaging is important to help sell your own brand of perfumes. Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fragrancefactoryph
30. Support from Globe Telecoms. Thank you so much Ms. Cat. Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/globeph
Rounds of Gastronomic Adventures
31. Ka-birthday ni Krispy Kreme. Krispy Kreme turned 78 on my 40th. Wow, almost double my age. Anyway, they had a celebration and it looked like I had my own party at their Bacolod store. Weee Thank you!
32. Quan Native Delicacies. I have a long-term working relationship with Quan Native Delicacies spanning maybe almost two decades now, either for their business or personal needs. And their family has always been very kind and generous.
Quan is the only restaurant in Bacolod that sells native delicacies, party bilao, and many other baked goodies. They have branches all around the city, including Robinsons Place, Mc Metroplex, La Salle Ave., and Lopue’s East Centre. Thank you very much! Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/QUAN-Delicacies/228243650549464
33. Delicioso Wine Food Coffee. My family and I had a post birthday treat at Delicioso through Ms. Julia Javellana, assistant mall manager of SM City Bacolod.
Delicioso Wine Food Coffee offers a varied and international menu ranging from the Mediterranean peninsulas of Spain and Italy to a worldwide selection of fine wines and liquors, all within a casual and ambient setting. They are open daily from 10:30 AM to 10 PM on weekdays and 10:30AM to 12 midnight on weekends. For reservations, please call 4350504 or 7090702. Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeliciosoWineFoodCoffee
34. Rau-Ram Vietnamese Cafe. We always have healthy and delicious meals at Rau-Ram Vietnamese Cafe.
The owners are gentle souls who have become our good friends. From their simple backyard café that used to be named Saigon Cafe, they have built a beautiful restaurant just across their old lot—a symbol of God’s goodness to them. And we are so glad to be a part of their journey. They serve authentic Vietnamese dishes at affordable prices. Visit them at Zone 2, Purok Marapara, Brgy. Bata, Bacolod. For reservations, please call (034) 708 9036. Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rau-Ram-Cafe/470560299661735
35. Fresh Start Organic. I had worked with Fresh Start way before the owners, Ramon and Francine Uy, got married. So happy how the company has grown and changed many lives–both of farmers and consumers.
Fresh Start Organic has been on the forefront of changing the way people live in Negros Occidental with their organic fertilizer and produce. Plus, they have helped the lives of many Negrense farmers with fair trade practices. Fresh Start organic products are available at their shops in Robinsons Place City Walk and The District North Point as well as at the Robinsons Supermarket. Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/freshstartorganic
36. Virgelio’s Grill. A couple of times, my family has enjoyed a filling dinner buffet dinner there.
Virgelio’s Grill is a new restaurant player in the city owned by Chef Jhun Celis. They specialize in themed eat all you can buffets for lunch and dinner daily. Every MWF and Sunday, they have a lechon buffet while on TThS, they feature a seafood buffet. They are located at B.S. Aquino Drive, Villamonte, Bacolod with Tel. No. (034) 709 9489. Everything is served fiesta-style for only P170. They are located at Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/virgeliosgrillchef
37. Margie’s Cakes & Pastries. I used to remember having Margie’s treats for snacks whenever I was at a neighboring printing press. Now, my daughter loves their garlic toast and I, of course, still adore their hopia.
Margie’s Cakes & Pastries is a long-time Bacolod brand for baked specialties and native delicacies. They have been making cakes and pastries but their product that has gained national attention is their hopia. They also serve healthy meals daily, for lunch and snacks, at corner Burgos-Lopez Jaena Sts. Tel. No. (034) 4349375. Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MargiesCakesandPastries
38. Munsterific Grab n Go. Owned by family friends, Munsterific has always been our go-to place when we needed something at night and everyone else is closed. We also love their soft ice cream and iced coffee.
Munsterific has been the most successful locally-owned convenience store chain in Bacolod that operates 24 hours daily. They have so many branches in the city, including several along Lacson Sts., in Villamonte, along La Salle Avenue, in Sum-ag, and more. Munsterific is also open from franchise. For franchise inquiries, please send them an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
39. Tita Ping’s Restaurant. Serving delicious home-cooked meals in buffet or plated settings, Tita Ping’s has gained popularity because of their affordable packages, personalized services, and flexible arrangements in serving their customers. They offer catering services all over Negros Occidental for a minimum order of 50 pax. At their restaurant at Hilado St., they have function rooms for small to medium gatherings. Please call them at Tel. No. 434-4390.
40. O Hotel and O Residences. Owned by humble and hardworking people, I am not sure when I started working them, but each time had always been a pleasure.
O Hotel has one of the best hotel restaurants in Bacolod. They have comfortable accommodations at affordable rates, even though they are located in the heart of the city. Another development that they have right now is the O Residences—a high-rise residential and commercial building along Lacson St., beside Robinsons Place Bacolod. Almost all units have been sold out on Phase 2 and pre-selling for Phase 2 will start very soon. Contact: 0917-322 2082. Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BacolodOResidences
41. Merzci Pasalubong Dumaguete. When I was still single, I used to help Merzci for their marketing and I am so happy to see how they have grown through the years.
Merzi Pasalubong is one of the leading Bacolod pasalubong stores in the city with many branches all over the province of Negros as well as dealers all over the country. They are best known for their biscocho, piaya, tarts, napoleones, and even their chicken siopao. They just recently opened their newest branch in Dumaguete — the Merzci Lee Plaza. They are soon going to open two more branches in the Negros Oriental Capital, located at Colon and Cervantes Streets. Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/merzci.pasalubong
42. Pepper Lunch. Yummy steaks and other dishes served on sizzling platters have always been my weakness.
Pepper Lunch is a “fast-steak” restaurant concept that originated in Japan in 1994. While it has been in the Philippines for some time now, it was only this year that this brand was brought to Bacolod. Their restaurant is located at the Robinsons City Walk, Mandalagan, Bacolod.
43. May’s Organic Garden and Restaurant. I have written articles for the family that owns this place for the longest time. I couldn’t even remember when I started. But it sure is a happy time going over there.
May’s Garden is a four-hectare garden estate complete with an organic demo farm, swimming pools, and a restaurant that only serves meals made with organic ingredients. Their picturesque surroundings make it an ideal venue for weddings and other special occasions. Located at Sitio Aning, Pahanocoy, Bacolod. For inquiries, call (034) 431 3800. Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maysorganicgardenresto
44. Quali Tea. I met the owner of Quali Tea when we were still in high school but we only got reconnected several years when she opened Quali Tea. I think it is safe to say that they have the yummiest milk tea in Bacolod.
Quali Tea. Perhaps Bacolod’s yummiest milk tea, Quali Tea is a Bacolod original brand that has grown because of its delicious milk teas, happy service, and hard work. Aside from milk tea, they also serve sandwiches and shawarma. They are the same owners of Shawarma Habibi at Hi-Strip 4. Quali Tea has a branch at 11th-Lacson Sts. and at Burgos St. (near Lopue’s East). Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Quali-Tea
45. Ana’s Grill
Ana’s Garden Grill & Seafood is a casual dining restaurant that offers grilled and ala carte dishes. You may choose from a wide selection of seafood and barbecues to be cooked for you, just the way you like it. They have ample parking space and a large function room that can comfortably seat up to 150 people. Or you may want to hold your function at the garden area. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Located 6th-Lacson Sts., Bacolod City. Tel. Nos. (034) 4351080 / 09173060415. Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anas-Garden-Grill-Seafood-Bacolod/334335873423165
46. Ading’s Palapala. Ading’s Palapala institutionalized the “paluto” style of serving food in a restaurant setting. Open daily for lunch and dinner, Ading’s is located at the old pala-pala area, Bacolod City. They have an air-conditioned dining area and function rooms that can accommodate up to 250 persons. For reservations, please call (034) 458 1594. Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adingspalapala
This had been quite a long story! Thank you for reading and thank you to the sponsors of SigridSays.com for all the support! The happiest 40th birthday to me!