Sunnysideup: I Choose to be Happy!
(is now back in Manila!)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sunnysideup perspectives: The Art of Letting Go

It's been a while since my last blog entry, and from then to now, so many things have happened. Here's a quick but incomplete summary: I was on a 1 month vacation in my hometown, completed a splendid workshop, made new friends, took a lot of photos, discovered I lost my wedding gown, flew back with my husband and arrived home to discover that several of my favorite social sites were blocked - including this blog site.

Well, it's okay. Yes, if there's one thing I've learn it's rolling with the punches (vis a vis changes), and living each day one day at a time. Yep less time blogging (actually more of no blogging), and less surfing, but more time with books, cooking, language lessons and photography.

So that's it. In case you're wondering why there's not much activity on this and my other blogs - I can't access them. In the meantime, I'll continue to take photos and journal my thoughts. I'll share them with you as soon as I can get back online.

Note: To all my blogging friends and guests, thank you for the friendship, visits and comments. I'll be back online someday. Take care everyone.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thank you series: Drowning in Love and Positivity

I just completed a one week workshop, hence my blogging silence. (Good thing I saved the dates so will be publishing post-dated blogs in the next few days.

The workshop was deep and intense. I am glad to meet another set of friends who were in the same wavelength as me. The openness to new ideas and sharings taught me so much about life and reminded me of truths about myself. I also feel blessed to meet Jim Paredes and become his student. I appreciate how he patiently listens and answers our questions. I also really admire his mind and creativeness. Damn! The man can do so many things - paint, draw, sing, compose, teach, take photos, write, inspire...

Anyway, I am back blogging and am pleasantly surprised with several tags and awards. Thank you so much fellow bloggers! I will be posting them soon. :)

Gosh, I just feel high. I am surrounded by lots great people who inspire me.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Thank you series: The Creative Universe Workshop

Just came back from a workshop: The Creative Universe by Jim Paredes. It's a 6-day, 2-hour per day session that helps a person deal with their creative blocks. I discovered this through blogging; I chanced upon Mr. Paredes' blog which I am now following.

The workshop is just as I expected. It's held in his house in Loyola Heights, Quezon City. On a side note, I like his house. It's a good venue for this workshop, and it really does showcase the creativity of it's owner.

Check out the site and syllabus to see if it may be a seminar you will be interested in.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sunnysideup perspectives: A Night without hubby

I arrived in Manila midnight of April 29. I will be in Manila for a 1 month vacation. Lot's of things on my calendar. I'm planning to attend a workshop, catch up with friends, undergo a complete medical check-up, and work on some errands.

Maybe it's a bit selfish of me to take a trip this long without my hubby, but I just felt the need to. It's something I need to do for myself. I have to admit though that it was not easy. Days prior to this trip I was torned between excitement and sadness. I look forward to the long to do list I have in Manila, yet I feel sad that I will be leaving my hubby behind. My first night was also terrible - I did not sleep. I am now no longer used to having all the bed to myself. Now I have more understanding and respect for the hardships felt by our OFW's who are far from their families and children.

If there's one thing, I am reminded of the fact that I'm so greateful and lucky to have such an understanding husband. I am also reminded that my decision - to take a sabbatical from the corporate world and be a trailing spouse to support my husband - was worth all the sacrifice!
When I return to China on June, I will be a better me - refreshed and rejuvenated!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thank you series: My greeting on the Morning Rush!

Finally, after years of listening to Chico and Del I finally got to hear them greet me. Well thanks to Twitter, it's so much easier to send a message. Twitter is so much easier than calling their (very hot) hotline or sending an SMS. :)

More power Chico and Del! You always make me smile in the mornings. When we were in Manila you kept us sane during traffic, and while we're here in China you keep us company with your top tens and your conversations - the "winner hirits".

Note: If you are a fan of Chico and Del's The Morning Rush, you can join them at Twitter.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

sunnysideup finds: Hannah Montana and The Climb

I'm not (yet) a fan of Miley Cyrus, but I got to watch the Hannah Montana movie yesterday. I didn't expect it, but I liked it! :) I especially appreciate two songs on the movie: 'The Climb' and 'Butterfly Fly Away'. I like the huskiness and rockstar quality of Miley's voice, and the words/lyrics were excellent.

The Climb

I can almost see it
That dream I’m dreaming but
There’s a voice inside my head sayin,
You’ll never reach it,
Every step I’m taking,
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking but I
I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an up-hill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

The struggles I’m facing
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes might knock me down but
No I’m not breaking
*I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I’m gonna remember most yeah
Just gotta keep going
And I, I gotta be strong
Just keep pushing on

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an up-hill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an up-hill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

Keep on moving
Keep climbing
Keep the faith baby
It’s all about
It’s all about
The climb
Keep the faith
Keep your faith

I'm now listening to it online and I'm now looking forward to checking out (even buying) her album, also want one from Taylor Swift. You can watch the official music video at

Monday, April 20, 2009

Thank you series: Fruit, Fruit, Fruit Juice

My hubby and I went to the market last Saturday to buy fruits for our planned diet. This is part of our "serious" desire to lose our winter weight/bulge. Not only are we now getting regular exercise daily we also drink more fruit juice.

Anyway here's what we bought for this week: 20 apples, 10 large carrots, 15 oranges, 20 bananas, 7 corns, 20 large tomatoes, 1 full bowl of cherry tomatoes, 7 stalks of celery, and 1 small bowl of wild berries.

All this for 100RMB (that's 700Pesos or 15USD).

Fruits are just so much cheaper here in Zhongshan, and that's one thing I enjoy! I've been a fan of fresh fruit juice even when I was in Manila. I love drinking them shaked with lots of ice cubes or just juiced/concentrated, but I always have it without sugar. Well, except in Jamba Juice! :)

My fave fruit juice places are:

Jamba Juice (US)
Juice Avenue and Fruit Magic (Philippines)


of course our house for my own blends. :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

sunnysideup finds: Yoville is fun!

I just discovered Yoville through Facebook. I've gotten tons of invites and only yesterday did I succumb to my curiosity. I have no regrets, so far.

It's a fun game that allows you to live in an online village. As a Yovillian we can:
  • make new friends
  • work in a factory and earn (Yoville) money
  • customize and dress-up our characters
  • shop for clothes and accessories
  • and best of all...furnish our apartment!
Now all I need to do is figure out how I can earn more. I really want to see how my Yoville dream apartment will look. :P

On my first day at Yoville, this is all I've got - still so much to buy and see.

Monday, April 13, 2009

sunnysideup finds: Ka-blogs

Calling on all fellow Pinay/Pinoy bloggers living abroad!

I just found Ka-Blog (Blogs ng mga kababayan sa abroad) , it's a blog that aggregates and collects Filipino blogs for listing.

Join and be part of this group. As Jim Paredes said on his blog, "Our OFWs can be the storytellers, narrators and witnesses of how the lives of ordinary Filipinos can move ahead if the system only allows them to. Their very lives are testimonies to this. Where for years, their dream of becoming something had not been possible in their homeland because of the social inequity and lack of opportunities, now they are proud, productive and prosperous people."

Let's share our stories!

(PS. I also read that they acknowledge and award inspiring bloggers. Read the details here.)

Thank you series: A Typical Filipino Sunday

My hubby and I spent Easter Sunday in Macau, and with us was his colleague, Dada. We attended morning mass in Igreja de Santo Agostinho (San Agustin).

The mass was celebrated in Tagalog/Filipino, and for an hour, we felt we were in Manila. I miss attending mass and at church I sang my heart out. It was a special day for me - my Filipino and Christian spirit. (If you want to know the mass schedules in Macau, you can read it on my past posting.)

Later that day, we also did some shopping and picture taking. It was another great opportunity for me to practice on photography. (For photos, please visit my photo blog).

We capped the night with a foot massage to relieve our tired muscles. This is specially good for me and my hubby as we have been running, walking and exercising for days. (Our "serious" effort to lose our winter weight.)

PS. I also got an Easter tag from Amy. It's a cute one; feel free to grab it! :) Happy Easter everyone!

Friday, April 10, 2009

sunnysideup perspectives: There's a Time for Everything

Today is Good Friday, and it's time for us Christians to pause and find the moment to honor and reflect on God's love.

He just needs us to listen, pray and make time for Him.

As written in the Bible, "Give therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."

Have a blessed Holy Week everyone!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

sunnysideup perspectives: Holiday walks with Hubby

I'm feeling so much better. No attacks and stomach pain for past few days. Even better my hubby had a long holiday weekend so we were able to spend more (quality) time together.

One of the things I cherish most are my walks and talks with my hubby. I just relish and enjoy such moments. I think it's a girl thing. Most women love the attention, the time and the listening ear. Maybe not all women will agree, but I really think that "attentive listening" is one of the best ways for a man to show his love and affection towards their spouse.

It's the "small" things that really matter. A compliment and a listening ear goes a looong way. :)

Anyway, we had a great time. We visited another pagoda here in Zhongshan. We walked and talked for hours, had a plateful of Sushi for dinner, and took lots of photos. By the way, lately my hubby has been influenced by my interest in photography. It's another activity - aside from eating - that we both love. We are now practicing together. Well he is using our point-and-shoot digital camera, while practice on our new DSLR. :)

Here are some of our pics, but I will upload more of them on my photo blog.

sunnysideup tagged: More Blog Awards

I'm so bad with tags; I'm always late. So Sorry. :(

Needless to say though, I am very thankful and appreciative of all the tags and awards I get. To all of you fellow bloggers, my online friends, THANK YOU so much. My cyber world is just the way I love it - filled with friends and sharing. Now all we need is a cup of coffee! :)

OOh, before I forget, I would like to thank Amy for the 'I heart your blog award,' and Beth for the smart blogger award. They are two great people I've met on the web. Both of them are inspiring and lovable women who spread sunshine - both online and offline.

So here's the rules:
1. The winner can put the logo on his/her awesome blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of those you’ve nominated!

Accordingly, The recipient of this award is not your everyday blogger, if you visit their blog, one thing for sure, you will learn something that is really worth the time you spend reading their post. Their post is always well-written, with good grammar, very insightful, inspiring, thought provoking and you always wish that you've written it. They always have a great stories to tell,either about life, about themselves, or their family. Once you read their blog, there's one thing that will stuck to your head, that they are absolutely, no doubt, a Smart Blogger!

Link the one who gave this award and let them know you posted it.

Pass this to as many Smart Bloggers as you can think and make sure to write something about them, like what makes you think they are Smart.

Let them know they have an award.

Now I want to pass on both awards to Kat. Her wedding blog is simply. . . awesome!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Thank you series: Happy Birthday Daddy!

It's my dad's birthday today, and he's turning __! He said he's now over 40 hahaha :)

I wish him a long and healthy life of bliss and blessings. May God bless you always!

This is me on top of my dad's shoulders.

This is me as a - flower girl - on his wedding. :)

Love you Daddy-kins! You're the best! I'll see you in Manila soon.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sunnysideup Perspectives: In Sickness and In Health

Last Friday, March 27, I had an attack of severe stomach pain. I think it was Gastritis. It's the same symptoms my hubby got last year. I also recall that, as his wife, was the first time I took him to the hospital. Anyway, last Friday was also the first time I ever had trouble with my stomach. It was terrible. My stomach was ultra sensitive to red meat and other types of food. I resorted to safe diet of oatmeal, banana, boiled egg (whites only) and lots of iodized water. One mistake in food intake would result to stomach pains and throwing up.

I will be seeing a doctor soon. I am going home to Manila for a complete check up.

Anyway amidst all this, I'm thankful and lucky to have a hubby who loves me. This reminds me of our wedding vows, "For richer or poorer, in sickness and in health...." We have committed and vowed to loved and cared for each other, and now he is taking care of me really well. People tell me that I have a great husband, and yes, I definitely agree!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Thank you series: Dogs First Birthday

I know my last post was sad so I'm posting a happy one.

I just want to greet my dogs Lilo and Champagne on their first birthday. They just turned one today! :)

16 days old Lilo and Champagne

1 month old Lilo

1 month old Champagne

I wish I was there to see them. Soon, I will! I will also get to play with our new puppies.


(I did not know she was pregnant when I took this photo)

Champagne with her 6 new puppies, born last March 8.
(She had puppies even before she turned one. Tsk Tsk!)

This is Miki, father of the puppies, and our little "stud muffin." :P
(He's a boy dog ...with ribbons.)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sunnysideup Perspectives: All Dogs Go to Heaven

Warning: This post is not a happy one, and is not recommended for people who don't like dogs. Please bear with me as I mourn the loss of my pet.

A dog is a loyal, loving friend and pet that any person can have. Losing them is another thing, it's tough and feels like losing friend and family.

Today I just heard that my favorite pet has passed. Yuri has gone to heaven last March 14, 2009. I know that correct grammar tells me to use "it" but bear with me please as I cannot bear to use this on him.

Taken last year, Yuri was 8 years old.

In this photo he is playing with my pup Lilo.

My pet dog Yuri, is one one best dogs I ever had. He is not a dog of breed, but he is smart, loyal, loving and funny.

I remember how I got Yuri. My cousin, Jeff, gave me the pup. He asked me to choose from the bunch. I observed and then I saw this thin and scrawny brown pup. He was so small then, and I saw him hauling watermelon skin. I said to myself, "Hey that pups smart! He takes the food and goes away from the pack so he can eat more... alone." He was different and I decided that he was the one for me.

From that day on, Yuri always managed to make me smile. He had so many antics, sometimes I even forgot that he is a dog. Allow me to reminisce.


- loves to look at the mirror (he looks at his reflection, baffled thinking about the "other" dog)

- loves attention. One time when my dad and step mom were in a deep conversation. He stole their attention and jumped on my dad. My dad and step mom, wanting to play with him, pretended to hug, after seeing that Yuri... got all the more got excited. Seems like he wanted to be part of the hug.

- seems to always understand a conversation. He is also very naughty and would do the opposite of what I ask, then wag his tail as if to let me know he is joking. But he also knows when I am mad and serious, so he follows immediately.

- is emotional. I know when he is sad and hurt. He manages to let us know. He won't go near or even look at us when he is hurt. He would look at us sideways and never go near us. I remember when I had to go to the US for 2 months. He never approached me when I arrived. I knew he was hurt because I didn't say goodbye and was out for a long time.

- is very protective of me and our family. He is such a great guard dog. He knows when to be friendly and when to be tough. He is very friendly to our guests, as long as we let them in first, and that they walk with us.

- is a good dog for children. One of our old maids had a child who lived with us. The child, a little girl, was still a toddler who always clinged to Yuri. She would grasp Yuri's skin very tightly. Even hit him as if he was a toy. Yuri never hurt the child, although, he did love sleeping in the child's folding bed. Tsk Tsk! We just laugh when we see him on the bed.

- is a great predator too. No stray cats, chickens or frogs can leave our backyard alive. One time we even joked about him being so useful, he can probably just find food for all of the dogs :)

- can be picky with food sometimes. I remember, before, he would not eat bread if it had no spread in it. He also leaves the rice on his bowl if there is no more sauce or meat left.

- loves to stay under an umbrella, especially when it's raining. If you take the umbrella he will look at you with questioning eyes.

See how cozy and comfy he is under an umbrella.

The last time I saw him, I knew that it was the last. I said my goodbyes and I can feel that he was really sad. (You see I am now based in China and I cannot be with him most of the time.) In my two recent visits, he was very sweet and always wanted time with me. Every time I leave the house I see him at the gate, looking at me until our car can no longer be seen. The most touching part, was the last time I visited. Our maid even said that he is very sick and seemed to just be waiting for me. He never rose or walked, he only does when I am around. He walks to go to me. He died 5 days after I left Manila.

I can't stop crying, and as I write this post my tears keep falling. It still falls even if I know I said I was prepared for this, and I already said my goodbyes to Yuri. I even told him he can rest if he wanted to. My only consolation is the thought that maybe all dogs go to heaven, and that Yuri is no longer in pain.

Goodbye Yuri. Thank you for all the memories and thank you for being such a great friend.

sunnysideup tagged: Friendly Blogger Award

Got this award from Jeng. Thanks sis!

"Let's Spread the Spirit of Friendship to all the Blogosphere all over the World."

This is a picture of me taken yesterday morning.
My hubby and I woke up late and decided to have breakfast in the clubhouse.
(Note: Notice how my hubby focused on the food not me? Hahaha!)

Here are the rules for this award :
1. Take a Photo or install one now .
2. Do not change clothes,do not trim the hair, the main image is to be captured (we want to see the real you...he..he..) .
3. Post a picture that is in edit.
4. Post these instructions (required).
5. Tag people to show appreciation to them that touch your heart because of their friendly attitude (required).

Now, let me pass this award to . . . Mae, AC, Nortehanon, Artist Chef, Vicky, Payatot.

sunnysideup tagged: My Birthday Wish

Got this tag from peppermayo, a fellow blogger with mostly the same wishes as I have. Anyway my birthday is still on October but here's a sneak peek of my wish list.

I wish:
  1. to go to back Disneyland (Anaheim), but this time with my hubby.
  2. to revisit and travel to Italy and France (with my hubby).
  3. to own a Chihuahua (that has a passport and free airfare so I can bring it everywhere I go).
  4. for my own business.
  5. to lose weight and return to my size 5 years ago. Well...maybe I can just wish for a faster metabolism. :)
  6. the same wish (above) for my hubby. We really need to lose weight!
  7. for health and long happy life for me and my family.
  8. for continued marital bliss and blessings.
  9. for lots of shopping money! hehehe :P
  10. for peace on earth and happiness for all mankind. (I really do!)
The Rules

1. Make a list of what you want for your Birthday.
2. The list should be 10 numbers.
3. Include the image of this Award on your Post.
4. Give it to 10 Friends of yours.

Now, I want to pass this on to the Artist-Chef who is celebrating her birthday this April.

I also pass this on to all birthday celebrants, feel free to grab this tag!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Thank you series: Canon 450D

Wahoo, I finally got my Digital SLR yesterday! :) Finally moving up from my Manual SLR and Digital Point-and-Shoot. My hubby and I went to an authorized Canon distributor in Macau to search for my first DSLR.

It has always been my choice to get a Canon. I'm so used to Canon's buttons and didn't want to adjust. I also like the idea that Canon's body is versatile and to accommodate even other lens brands. However it took a long time for me to decide between getting a 40D or 450D, I like both. I think it was fate that led me to 450D. Canon 40D was no longer available, all the shops said that it is no longer available.

It's ok though; I'm very happy with my new camera. Got a good deal, warranties, and I even got freebies with it - 4G memory card and a Lens cleaner set. Even my hubby is so excited with it. I think I've influenced him into being a photo enthusiast himself. Now, I need to play with my camera and all it's features.

PS. I also love the camera bag we got. It's a red Crumpler called 'The six million dollar home'!

Thank you series: Hotpot dinner with friends

It was bitter sweet.

Last Friday, we had one great dinner but we had to say Bon Voyage and Goodbye to our friend, Chalito. He's my hubby's colleague and soon he's leaving to look for better opportunities.

We will miss him here. He has been like the big kuya for Noel, Dada and my hubby. We will also miss his witty jokes!

God bless my friend.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

sunnysideup finds: Guide to Jetting

I chanced upon this brilliant ad campaign of Jet Blue. I just read that it's creating waves, and I can't disagree. It's so witty and relevant. Watch it!

You can watch all three chapters at YouTube, just click on the links below.

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sunnysideup finds: 7 Tools of Happiness

I'm subscribed to Bo Sanchez' blog and mailing list, and today I read an article about happiness on the my mail. My blog is all about happiness, and that is why I want to share this with you.

Bo Sanchez said:

"Pleasure is an outside job. But happiness is an inside job."

"Happiness isn’t an emotion either. Happiness is a way of life."

He also came up with a list of seven great things He see's in extremely happy people. He calls them the 7 Tools of Happiness. Here they are:

#1. Happy people create their destiny
#2. Happy people like themselves a lot
#3. Happy people nurture connections
#4. Happy people find delight everywhere
#5. Happy people embrace change
#6. Happy people trust deeply
#7. Happy people work their purpose daily

Choose to be happy everyone! :p

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sunnysideup Perspectives: Traveling and Toilets

We call them Toilet, Bathroom, Restroom, Washroom, Comfort Room, Lavatory, Ladies room, and Little Boys room; No matter what name, it is one of the most important service and part of any house or establishment. When we are out or traveling we would like to have convenient access to one. We want one that's clean, odor-free and complete with tissue and liquid soap.

TIP: If you are traveling to mainland China soon, the words W.C, washroom, and 'see-saw' will be very useful to know. It is advised to also say this with hand gestures - put your hands together and act as if you are washing them.

One more thing I noticed in China, particularly the provinces of Zhongshan and Zhu Hai, most of the public restrooms are not western style. By the way, I also noticed this in a few restrooms of the Taiwan airport.

Toilet Bowl in one of the Public Toilets of Zhongshan

TIP: To have access to western style restrooms, I suggest you head off to the nearest hotels, or some of the posh restaurants of the area.

Toilet Bowl, with automatic bowl cover dispenser, in one of the Resto's of Zhongshan

Even has a TV (only thing is, movies are all in Chinese)

However, my Macau and Hong Kong toilet experiences were all convenient. Most, if not all, of the establishments had clean and accessible restrooms. I was also impressed with the number of public portalets prepared by Macau in different areas on New Year's eve - so going to the toilet was never a daunting task for me.

Lavatory Macau Airport

Note: My best restroom experience so far, are the public restrooms in Paris, France. I had to pay but it was ok - they were automated. The doors will automatically open and close; I think each person were given 3-5 mins to complete their 'duty'. Seriously though, I was told that limits were established to prevent illegal activities inside the toilet.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Thank you series: Homemade Pizza

My hubby and I love to eat! If you see our current body and compare it with our wedding photos a year ago, you'll agree! :)

And so, I have so much fun cooking here in China. I just think that food is a lot cheaper here as compared to Manila. I just can't get enough of the fruits and vegetables. I also think I've adjusted perfectly to the food choices here: Noodles, Hotpot, Seafood, Fresh Fish. Fresh Vegetables and Fruits.

Once in a while, when we do miss donuts, fastfood and pizzas, we create our own. Thing is the fastfood, pizza or pasta's sold here are not quite the same. Here's a sample of our homemade (none oily) pizza!

Close up

Full view of 1 slice ( we were able to make 2)

The Crust (we bought from the grocery for 3RMB or 21Pesos or 46Cents).

The bread we got was superb! One thing, I've noticed here in China is that their bread is always good. So far, I've never been disappointed with all the bread I've eaten.

As for our sauce, it boiled a bowl of tomatoes with onions, spring onions, garlic, pepper, and a little tomato paste. The tomato paste is use for thickening the sauce. I no longer added salt because I'm sure the cheese would contribute enough saltiness to it.

Note: For donuts, we just stack up and buy during our trips to Macau and Manila. Unfortunately, we don't know how to maje this yet. If you have the recipe, do drop us a note and share it with us :)