I've always thought that I was Angela Chase. I loved the show so much that I have specific memories of answering slum books with FAVORITE SHOW: MY SO-CALLED LIFE
Having rediscovered the series again somewhere, and have recently concluded watching all episodes over piles of hand washed laundry, I just can't help but feel nostalgic. Really, my understanding of the series way back when it was shown over at RPN 9 was nothing to how great this show really was! Or maybe because I was only 12 at that time that I can't possibly understand most of the issues presented there, like, Angela's attraction to Jordan Catalano???!!! That is one of many perspectives change age has given me. To just enumerate 6 things as how I saw them then, and how I saw them now:

1.) THEN: Jordan acts like a loser, why is he Angela's love interest?
NOW: I had crushes, but once anybody treats you like trash wouldn't you just feel defensive and stay away? I did not like gorgeous looking boys even before, they look like trouble and every instinct of my body tells me that a miss match is a no match. But when I saw Jordan Catalano again, oh my gosh! He does look like love! Now that I know love and how he was pictured in the eyes of Angela Chase. Despite being the thinker that I am, I think I did eventually chose heart over logic. I think I can say I chose the Jordan Catalano of my life over the Brian Krakows... just because the heart follows no one

2.)THEN: Patty is like my mother, I want as much distance physically and emotionally as possible!
NOW: Eww, now I am Patty Chase. trying my best to be a responsible parent. Trying so hard that you forget you can't possible exercise control over all things. I still love "The Zit" episode, it will be one of my forever favorites. But now I can understand Patty's perspective as she unconsciously tries to hold on to her past self. Sometimes we just become, old, and it's not always easy to move on and accept gracefully with open arms. And as a parent there is nothing wrong with wanting our kids to be better versions of ourselves... but then again, what about what they want? They don't want to be us, they want to be who they are, even despite the fact that they don't know who they are.
3.) THEN: Rayanne Graff is exaggerated.
NOW: I can see now how Angela was attracted to Rayanne. Not because she is cool and different, but it's because she complements Angela. Like Yin and Yang. I also had various friends in highschool. I wasn't cool, or anything, but I did mingle with the cool ("dangerous") ones, now realizing it is because I get energized by one that is completely opposite. They awaken a part of us that is already there but is dormant. I was a wallflower, so hanging out with people who are not afraid to express themselves is, like, addicting. Other than that I also realize now that the issue of teen sex, alcoholism and addiction is very real. I think I was more innocent in that sense that I never really went full blast into their world to actually see it... 
4.) THEN: Poor Brian Krakow.
NOW: To be as sensitive and smart at that age is not a curse. It is a gift. And to not have the maturity to express that at your teenage years is normal. Brian is not the least of the characters but is has in reality, the best of it. In his future, when his emotions have matured, he will finally be able to express himself and get into a decent and serious relationship with quality real women who will, at time, be over immature highschool jocks and would bet any day on the smart, sensitive and rich one. All these minus the emotional damages he could have gotten by getting into too serious a relationship early at his teens.
5.) THEN: Patty and Grahm are boring, skip their scenes and grab something to eat.
NOW: Marriage is very tricky, and it does require constant vigilance. I learned a lot watching the show again. I find myself saying, no Patty, you should not let Graham get too close to any other woman, not even the business partner, that's too dangerous! (Boring much?)

6.) THEN: Angela Chase is me, awkward on the outside yet deep in the inside, woe to our tortured souls!
NOW: Oh Angela, I'm glad you are who you are. I'm glad you were awkward and that you thought too much and you cried too much. I'm glad you held on to your principles and had the strength to accept loss and not fall under pressure. Though I, unlike Angela, did not have a boyfriend in highschool, I feel in the same way, I followed my own standards and not felt like I had to get into something because a boy told or asked me to. Or that because everybody seems to be in a relationship that I should be also just because of the fact. Not that I was so mature to have known all that, thanks to my awkwardness I think I had a fairly less amount of pressure than the prettier ones who were "pursued" more. But you know, I thought I was weak then, but looking back, I think I had enough self worth to hold my own because the security of family and love gave me that.
The show did end prematurely, having low ratings... against F.R.I.E.N.D.S. (duh low ratings, not because of the show's poor content)! I saw a lot of fan fiction continuing the story of Angela Chase, but I did not read any of them. Because in our own way, we [fan girls, or whatever] feel like we are Angela Chase. But we, unlike Angela, all continued on with our lives instead of ending with a cliffhanger. In as much as their lives were their own version of Angela's story, I also have mine. So pretty much, in my humble opinion, I already know how Angela Chase ended up... and I'm not so worried. ;)
First of all, Happy Chinese Mooncake Festival!

Such festive times bring us excitement... and more excuse to party and eat; as we Chinese play our traditional dice game and exchange moorcake treats. I actually had to restrain myself from consuming for myself the whole can of mooncake treats given for the family.

But I'm not blogging about food this time, more on this creative project I was blessed to have been part of. You see, I got commissioned to make these  GIANT DICES for a mooncake festival parteh of a company. How exciting is that!? They needed 6-8x8 inch dice for playing and as party props. Because they are for play and not just display I have to make them sturdy. Yet, they will be played with by kids so they need to be light. They actually gave me a peg, the dice used in Landmark Trinoma. I, of course, cannot replicate those to a T because those were probably ordered in bulk and special cutter machines were used. So, off I went to get the main base material that would become the dice. I went scourging through divisoria, 999 mall and Ilaya (my love-hate places). It was soooo christmasy already there!

The Craftventure begins!

My special base material proved to be hard to find, as expected really. I was almost about to give up as I near the end of the school supplies strip in Juan Luna when I got to talk to this Manong at a school supplies store for help (basically begged, he must have felt sorry for me haha). He directed me to a FISHING STORE, where he said he saw something like what I was looking for. So off I went to the corner of Juan Luna and Sta. Elena., lo and behold there they are!!! Amidst the fishing nets and life jackets, there they are!
I could have done a dance right there but instead I made a my I'm-not-that-interested-unless-you-give-me-discount-poker-face and asked the tindero for their price and if they can give me 6 of these 10 inch styro balls. They were smooth and sturdy, made for the mighty sea. I love them!

How these balls were turned to dice

1.) I wanted to use a solid base rather than gluing or folding pieces of materials together. Since they will be thrown around, I want to avoid the risk of a piece falling off due to force. From the Styro balls, I had to find focal points (like geometry!) for the 6 faces of the dice
2.) I used these focal points as base for a protractor and then marked 6 equal circles around the ball. 
finally putting highschool math to good use. study your math kiddos!
3.) tricky part : cutting those circles. I used some guitar wires mounted on wood and charged them with a car battery charger. Voila! Instant Styro cutter, DIY from items around the house. THANK GOD FOR HUSBANDS who have the tools. I initially planned on using a hand saw, but that would have taken ages! But using my homemade cutter posed one challenge, getting that even surface. Thus the fourth step...

4.) Paper Mache coat. This would make the surface look smoother. I only neglect not being able to put more layers on it, otherwise it will become too heavy for the kiddos.
drying them out, statring to look real pretty here :)
5.) Painting over them! This was the fun and less stressful part. :D I just used white and black acrylic. Then I coated them with varnish so they are more dirt and water resistant when thrown (I assume, on the floor). After which they already look like real giant dice!
packing all 6 for delivery
I wasn't there at the party, but my friend Nap, who endorsed me to the company was. He said the kids were able to enjoy playing with the dice. That was the best part really, more than the joy of making these crafts is to know it served it's purpose of making the event more enjoyable for the guests. 
photo credits to Nap Ching :D
It's been a while since I was able to enjoy the sea, given the pregnancy and all. So I was excited for this Anniversary Trip we planned. At the same time I was torn to leave the baby behind, I will miss the little monkey. But I realized, he won't really miss us at all, an my husband and I needed quality time -- you know with real quality, far from responsibilities... just for 3 days. Miguel is pretty independent and enjoys his time with yaya and his grandparents anyway,

It was the perfect time to go to La Union! This is the season where the sea swells perfectly for surfing. Joseph wanted to check out this nice hotel called Thunderbird Resort in Poro Point, the surfing plan just came after when we were thinking of what else we could do there. And everything just came together perfectly! What made it even more perfect is that we recently crossed paths with an old schoolmate of Joseph who now lives there. So we even had someone to point us to all the right places to maximize our stay. I really think we were able to succeed in that!

So, the 10 Things we did for our Anniversatrip:

1.) Left home at 4:30am - best time to go because we were flagged that there will be traffic because of the ongoing roadwork along Mc Arthur Highway. Right on decision this was! The trip took us 6 hours. With stop overs and getting lost already factored in there.

2.) Got lost. With this we now know how to get there the proper way (via car) next time. For readers here it is for you: take the NLEX to Pampanga- option to use McArthur Highway to Tarlac OR SCTEX (if SCTEX, exit Concepcion) - back to Mc Arthur Gerona- Paniqui - Moncada - Villasis - Urdaneta - Pozzorubio - Rosario - Agoo, Aringay - Caba - Bauang - San Fernando (destination)
If you plan to go there by buses tourism ph says you can ride Partas busesDominion Bus LinesFarinasMaria de LeonPhilippine Rabbit and Viron. I'll let you know if we're successful in doing that next time. :D Cool thing this online bus booking site that is already functioning. If you're anything like me who easily stress when you get to the bus station and find you need to wait for hours for the next available slot, then this is a good idea for you.

3.) Ate Lunch at Halo Halo De Iloko :D. This was a wonderful experience! Because of one, the fact that the place was filled with all these decorative details that's perfect for pic taking tourists like ourselves, and two, of course, great food! We had Vigan Longganisa (which is even better than the ones I've tasted from Vigan), Sinampalukang Manok in heart carved coconut (must try), bagnet, pinakbet and the highlight --> special halo halo with yema milk! 

We also treated by our friend, 2 bottles of their Okoy Suka as pasalubong. :9
4.) Enjoyed the company of a friend. Paula (Joseph's schoolmate) showed us around and ironically instead of the plan to go to the Macho Temple we had a different religious experience as she showed us their family business and the beautiful chapel that they built as thanksgiving for all God has done with their lives. It was really refreshing to hear someone share their faith with so much passion. If it so happens though that you haven't got friends there, look on the brighter side --> you can always make one. :)
5.) Checked in to Thunderbird Resort. It was beautiful there to understate. And the staff were nice and the food was good. It looked exactly the same live as it does in the website. So, no photography "enhancements" there (as some resorts tend do). They provide excellent service too. The beachside, well we never got there really, but I don't think they've quite developed it. The seashore there is really not swimming friendly. You could be content with the pool though, it's "infinity"! You might recognize the place if you care to look beyond Anne Curtis' swimsuit bod in No Other Woman.
6.) Ate a Romantic Dinner at Olives Restaurant. I  don't think there are other fancy places there, so we opted to officially celebrate our Anniversary at the hotel restau. It was pricey, as hotel restaurants go, but the serving was big enough and they have Greek food on the menu, so that was something new. You have the food and the ambiance, might as well use a little imagination and pretend you are in Greece. :D
7.) Went Surfing and Eating in San Juan. We contacted San Juan Surf Resort otherwise known as Billabong Surf School for lessons. It was a 15 min drive to their resort from Poro Point. We took a 1 hour session with instructors for P400/head. We scraped both knees, got slapped (hard) on the face by the South China Sea, bruised around places, swallowed some waves... but it was all worth it for the thrill! I really hope we could do it again next time. The one hour was almost bitin, but I already felt slightly sea sick (darn this sensitivity to motion sickness) while waiting for my wave so I had to give it a rest. Just when I was finally getting the surfer stance going. :P  
We were surfing there, might as well have lunch at the same place. Their platter meal was a surprise. It took a long time for them to prepare, but it was worth it! We had grilled tuna, ensalada and adobong baboy... on a bilao platter!
8.) Dinner at Midway Grill.  The restaurant serves a mix of American, Filipino and some other Asian dishes. Big serving, affordable price and yummmy! I had their baby back ribs and it was meaty and tender. <3
9.) Bought dried fish along Rosario as pasalubong. Try not to get stressed when you get harassed by the dozen or so Ale(s) who all want to sell you their daing. We particularly bought the "espada" which are the 10-12inch long dried fish. I wish we could have bought more, because I really enjoyed them with the Okoy suka. :)
10.) Coffee At Mc Cafe Rosales. We were only really able to appreciate Mc Cafe here. We never really had coffee from this place in Manila because of easier access to Starbucks and the like. But they serve surprisingly good cappuccino and mocha frap. It's a good place to stop over should you feel your lids slipping down south and you are in dire need for some caffeine (100 or so, kms more to go, ya know!) . Next good coffee place would be at Tarlac already, so if you really must stop, consider some twister fries at this place.
Other chow places which were originally on the itinerary which I'll just reserve for next time (no time, sadly)--> Mommy Lu's (near Midway Grill), and  Isdaan in Gerona Tarlac. 

I must admit I actually over ate on this trip and upset my stomach. But nothing could damper your fun if you really want to have it. Yes, I actually have a philosophy that you can plan as much as you want about your trip, but if the plan doesn't happen you leave it be and choose to enjoy whatever it is you have at the moment. Because we are here to enjoy life and not to be a critic of it, judging whether this one is good or bad... so to end this post I'll just leave you  with this quote:

                "Fun? Fun is what you bring with you!" -D. Barrymore as Bev in Riding in Cars with Boys