Saturday, January 28, 2012

Amazing List 2






1. Kiddie parties!!! It’s hitting two birds with one stone – our kids have fun, and Ches and I get to catch up with our friends.

2. Popcorn!!! (And sometimes I actually luck out and not burn the entire pack. And that, dear friends, is the full extent of my cooking skills. Haha.)

3. Michelle Obama. I started reading her biography after Yoshi and I saw her at iCarly, being both regal and silly. Did you know that she is descended from slaves, her father worked as a janitor, and she did ballet in high school? How eternally cool is this woman?

4. Pinoy goodies, like inasal chicken tail and liver, and The Most Winner Item on The Menu – the bottomless tsokolate – at Chicken Bacolod Inasal

5. Being able to buy stuff for people you love, and them loving what you give

6. Old-time home favorites, like the Vigan-style longganiza from my Lola Donnie

7. Winging it thru toxic meetings where the big bosses somehow expect you to solve all of the company’s problems. (Last time I checked, I was just a lawyer, not a goddess. Duh.)

8. A reliable pedia who doesn’t mind dispensing emergency (not to mention free) medical advice over SMS. (You won’t get how amazing this truly is unless you’re a mommy.)

9. Friends who from out of the blue send you a text just to thank you for being a good friend. (Thank you, too, Robby. We love you.)

10. Free laughs from the prosecution’s endless legal blunders in the impeachment proceedings. (Far be it from me to claim to be a brilliant lawyer, much less a seasoned litigator, but I’d like to believe I don’t give UP Law a bad name. Or at least not publicly like that. Haha. It’s a good thing we have the brilliance of UP Law alumni Cuevas and Enrile to be the saving grace for our beloved law school, lest people think everyone from Diliman is a bumbling idiot. I don’t agree with their politics, but even I am amazed how these two men know their law in their ripe old age of 80+.)

11. Finding something new and unexpectedly good in an old resto – like Sancho’s chocolate in Dulcinea. (I’m so having this all the time now.)

12. Being small enough to fit in clothes from the kids’ section. The prices are lower there, and the designs often funkier, too. (I lucked out on these lovely tops and belts from Zara Kids. The Zara belts are actually for boys! Yoshi and I share them. So cool. I don’t have illusions of being petite – I myself prefer big women – but somehow I fit into clothes for nine-year-olds. Seriously. Even Ate gets most of the stuff she gives me from the kids’ section.)



13. Squeezing in a date with your husband at least once a week despite the 60 million things at home and at work

14. A staff that is comfortable enough with you to tease you about all your bloopers and vices. It says something about the kind of boss you are if your staff jokes with you to your face than behind your back, right? (It all started last month when I felt bad about how one of my favorite executives was treated, so off I went to get me a polka dot Hello Kitty bag. They were all like, I’m sure Favorite Executive feels so much better now that you have a new Hello Kitty bag. So now every time I lament about how I pity someone or the other in the office, they make bets that I will show up in a new dress or new shoes the next day, to show my support to Pitiful Officemate. Hahaha. Crazy girls.)

15. UCC fudge brownie sundae. Still hands down The Best Brownie Ever, since the time the Fort branch opened many years back when I was still in QT, and I would go there all the time and blow my salary on the blessed brownies. Groan.

16. Enduring friendships with old college friends. (Ches and I marveled at how, after all these years, Nico is still the only one who says stuff like, ‘In the past month, I’ve been to three weddings in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao’, and ‘It’s the first time since 1983 that I don’t have a US visa bcoz it’s expired’. He also buys tickets for him and Lei to travel abroad on 12/12/2012. These are so Nico. Ches and I call them Nico’s Book of World Records. Haha.)

17. The famous sansrival from Dumaguete, a giant slab of which Nico and Lei gave to us. Winner.

18. Movies that are so well-made and perfect in every way that you remember all over again why you’re such a movie fanatic. (The Descendants is so worth the hype. I wanna go to Hawaii bcoz of it.)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Mary Janes


I just found The Most Perfect Mary Janes at Dorothy Perkins today. That makes them the Dorothy Perkins Mary Janes. If you were a pair of shoes and you had a grand total of four proper names, how can you ever go wrong? Haha.

I’d like to believe this pair is good karma for the Mary Janes I gave to Rosa bcoz they were a half size bigger for me and fit her well. I loved that pair – it was Randy who convinced me to get it when we saw it at Debenhams. It turned out to be one of those shoes, tho, that are just a little bit smaller or bigger than how you want it to fit.

This pair is also a fitting replacement to the made-in-Italy Mary Janes that I lucked out on at an ukay-ukay in Baguio. That pair was so fabulous yet so comfy and I wore it all the time in SM. (I was so corporate in SM. Part of my pretense of being a VP. Haha.) I wore it forever and ever until it was beyond repair. Sigh.

I love Mary Janes bcoz they’re classic and funky both. They go well with everything, too – dresses, skirts,pants, shorts (altho that last bit would probably look good only on Forever 21 kid types, and will not be age-appropriate for me haha). I have visions of bad old me conquering the world in my Dorothy Perkins Mary Janes.

So there may be no such thing as a perfect life, but it’s entirely possible to have the perfect shoes. And for the likes of me that is always enough.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hugs



Here’s what I learned about hugging, from The Little Book of Hugs by Kathleen Keating:

1. Huggers stay younger longer. Hugging slows down aging. Seriously.

2. Hugging helps curb appetite. We eat less when we are nourished by hugs – and when our arms are busy wrapped around others. This is an entirely novel and cool way to diet. Haha.

3. Hugging provides stretching exercise if you are short, and stooping exercise if you are tall. Not rocket science. Haha.

4. Better hugs than drugs! Hugging offers a wholesome alternative to drugs, alcohol, and promiscuity. Makes sense, right?

5. Hugging is ecologically sound, energy-efficient, portable, and democratic. Anyone is eligible for a hug =)

6. Hugging makes happy days happier, and impossible days possible.

7. A hug transforms a bleak setting into a lovely place.

8. Hugging fills up empty places in our lives.

9. Hugging prevents war.

From now on, I’m so hugging often, and hugging well. If you need a good hug, you know where to find me =)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Amazing List

In honor of Garci The Amazing Comeback Dog, I’m changing my happy lists into amazing lists. Only time will tell if they turn out any different from the same old ones. I highly doubt it. Haha.

1. An office that lets you watch Episodes 4 to 6 of the old Star Wars movies for three straight days in the first week of work, as a prelude to the Star Wars-themed 2012 kick-off party. We not only got to watch the fun movies during working hours; we also got bottomless chips and drinks while at it. If that isn’t worthy to start off an amazing list, I don’t know what is.

2. Business meetings in Makati where I get to eat at yummy places like M Café and can wait for Ches in Greenbelt where we pretend to be rich and eat somewhere swanky like Felix.

3. An always available hot date who oh so willingly goes with me to all my jaunts in Galleria or Greenhills or wherever, and all the bribe he needs is a lot of food and anything dinosaurs.

4. Kate Torralba’s clothes. So funky. I just LOVE them.

5. Pinoy humor. And it’s brilliantly captured in The Best of Chico’s and Delamar’s The Morning Rush Top 10. (This book is so funny I just had to go and buy three more, for my siblings and Kaye.) I think, more than anything, it’s Pinoy humor that makes it More Fun in The Philippines.

6. Imported goods that actually add value to our dreary Pinoy lives. (And by that I’m referring to milk teas in general, and Gong Cha’s wintermelon milk tea in particular. Hahaha.)

7. Officemates who treat you out, with or without an occasion

8. A big sister who knows exactly what to say to cheer you up when you’re having your sad days. (Thank you, Ate. I love you =)

9. Sweets that are so, so blessedly good and instantly make your day, like the pastillas from Chocful of Nuts.

10. Lucking out on promo fares you badly need. (Cape Cod, we are so coming!)

11. Bosses who thank you ‘for fighting the good fight’ with a Le Pliage. So EDC gifts Paula with iPads and iPods and moolah that she uses for travel - I get fabulous bags. Happiness.

12. BlackBerry Messenger, which makes it so easy to stay in touch with old friends like Jon and Rosa.

13. A niece passing the UPCAT on a snooty course like Bio. Woohoo!

14. Being able to regularly hang out with old friends from your previous jobs, and having so much fun with them like you never even left.




15. Low-maintenance friendships, like with the PMS kids who spend their long weekend just chilling out at our home.

16. Cheap thrills like Grill Queen and massage at your neighborhood spa. Again, It’s More Fun In The Philippines bcoz everything is cheap here if you’re not too picky.

17. Unconventional films that make you cry, laugh, or wonder, like 50/50, 30 Minutes or Less, and The Invention of Lying.

18. A husband who still romances you with a bouquet of gerberas on a regular workday, for no reason at all other than maybe he’s still in love with you. (Haha. I love you, too, Chestnuts.)

19. Round-the-clock, live, free entertainment from two little boys. (Bootsie calls my and Ches’ legs not just ‘pata’ the way I refer to big legs, but ‘garapata’. As in, ‘Wow, Mommy, your garapata looks nice in your flower shorts!’ Plus, Yoshi’s Maldita Comment of The Week: If you were a dinosaur, you’d be known in Bootsie's books as Malditasaurus. HAHAHA.)



Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pretend

You can pretend to be all serious and dignified and lawyerly in the office bcoz your job calls for it.

But only for so long.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pauline

Guess who's back with our little family after over two weeks?

Garci, no less.

It was pure serendipity how it all worked out. Ate Ann is friends with the Ilonggo manong who mans a nearby sari-sari store. She just happened to mention to him that Garci ran away on New Year's Eve. It turns out his boss, also a lawyer, came across Garci in the streets and brought him home. So the manong actually took care of Garci for two days! He fought with their dogs, tho, so he was given away to another neighbor. (This is so typical maaway Garci. Hahaha.) This other neighbor complained coz he barked too much (yup, that's our Garci, all right), so he was again given to another neighbor. This neighbor is also a dog lover, and a good man, it seems, bcoz Ate Ann said he wouldn't accept the reward we wanted to give him. Ate Ann gave it to his daughter instead.

Ate Ann said Garci made a ruckus when she called him. Like a little lost child seeing his mommy again. Hahaha. The really funny thing was, the daughter (whom Ate said is about the same age as Vada) told her, Ate, hindi Garci ang name nya - Pauline!

Hahaha. Now that's just crazy. Randy said, no wonder Garci was throwing a hissy fit all around - imagine being called Pauline when you're a boy dog! HAHAHA.

To think that Garci was just living four doors down this whole time that we've been going around and around calling his name out. (Well, Vada and Boots actually called out 'Garcia Jr.!' instead of 'Garci'. Crazy kids.) But I guess he couldn't possibly have said 'I'm here!' even if he heard us calling him, right? Hahaha.

All of us were overjoyed at his homecoming - including Mama, Rino, Ate, Randy, Thom, and Pie. The boys, too, of course. Yosh has been bugging us to get another pet for some time bcoz he missed Garci, while Boots has been putting on this routine since the start of the year, of barking when our car entered the garage so that it's as if Garci is still around and we wouldn't be so sad, he said. Owww. He's so sweet and cute, right? Ate was heartened that there were still good people who loved dogs and didn't see them merely as pulutan. I so agree.

Thank you, Garci, for coming back and giving us another chance to take better care of you. Thank you, Lord, for blessing us with yet another miracle and bringing Garci back to us.





Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lunch With Ate Ann




As if it weren't enough to work so close to home, my office location also allows me to play hooky and join my MWC friends for lunches, especially when we have balikbayan friends around. Last year it was Didoy, this time it's Ate Ann. Paula was envious bcoz she works way over in Ortigas and hence not as free as me to be so into these social events. Hahaha.

It was so fun to catch up with everyone, especially Ate Ann. I love her. I was telling Thom around Christmas I missed her bcoz it's the first year she and her daughter Therese are not part of my gift list. I'm so glad she and her family are doing so well in Canada. She deserves no less bcoz she's one of the kindest persons I know. Two words: good karma =)

It was just like the old times, too, when we'd have lunches with our more senior friends who have all been together since MWSS. Paula is proud of the fact that we - with Thom, Regie, Liz, and Didoy - were probably the only group of young people in MWC who counted the oldies as part of our gang. I agree - it is something to be proud of. It's a lot like being barkada with your own parents. Hahaha.

After a super heavy lunch in Le Ching, Thom our resident photographer got us to do all sorts of crazy poses around Technohub.

Paula comments on the pix: Hindi ba sumakit yung tiyan nyo? (referring, of course, to the jump shots right after lunch)

Thom: Why, do you have a bad experience with Le Ching? We eat there all the time, ok naman.

Me: So slow, Thom.

Hahaha.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Six-Word Memoirs

I read about the six-word memoirs craze when I was still in SM, but it was only last year when I saw the book in Powerbooks. Since I finished reading the book that Karen got for me for our Secret Santa, I’ve been hooked and been coming up with my own crazy six words. It’s easy peasy – just put together six words to describe your life or yourself or something you believe in. Or whatever at all. Haha.

1. Fun, feisty female. Vicious when provoked.

2. A little sweet. Lots of bite.

3. Didn’t talk till 3. Overcompensating since.

4. Married my college sweetheart. Epic bliss.

5. Happiness is marrying your best friend.

6. Thrives under my boys’ tight hugs.

7. Sleeps with dinos, zombies, three boys.

8. Claim to fame: two Lamaze births.

9. People amass wealth. I collect friends.

10. Defined by the friends I keep.

11. Blogging and bitching are my hobbies.

12. Lawyer by profession, maldita by choice.

13. Home early always trumps hefty salary.

14. Dogs can still break my heart.

15. Still looking for my inner chef.

16. Endless, passionate love affair with books.

17. Prefers to watch movies than move.

18. Saves to travel and see world.

19. Dreams of living in sunflower field.

20. Will work for new Cath Kidstons.

21. People care. People share. I shop.

22. Forever Hello Kitty. Down to undies.

23. Ches adores me. I adore shoes.

24. Moon Leaf. Bon Chon. Happy meals.

25. Still XS despite buffets. Epic metabolism.

26. Chocolates work when human beings fail.

27. If nothing else, Best in Smile.

28. No to Photoshop, warts and all.

29. (Mommies/lawyers) don’t have to be ugly.

30. Do good, or else look good.

31. Why live when I can sleep?

32. Sometimes good, often nasty, always real.

33. Pretends to be cool. Secretly OC.

34. Believes in power of holding hands.

35. Still blindly waiting for Eraserheads reunion.

36. Still a crybaby at age 36.

37. Aspires to be well-read, well-bred, well-scrubbed.

And this is Ches’ own chosen six-word memoir: Hot, rich, bitchy wife. Lucky bastard.

HAHAHA.

Monday, January 09, 2012

The Best of 2011





2011 was the year Bootsie started going to school, Jon and Donemark were promoted as partners, and we got our US visas. It was the year I learned to wear flats, kept my hair super short, and won as Ascof Natural Super Mom (hahaha). It was the year Ann introduced us to group buying sites, and all of us in Legal promptly got hooked. It was the year I fell in love all over again – with Cath Kidston, Moon Leaf milk teas, and Jake Gyllenhaal. Hahaha.

1. The year of the great travels. Omigosh, we went everywhere last year. Singapore, Cambodia, and Vietnam with QT friends, La Luz with just us, Baguio, Tagaytay, and Balai Isabel with my side of the family, Boracay with my in-laws, Coron with Robert and Eycee. I also had that business trip to Singapore that I turned into the One-Woman Historical Walking Tour. It was definitely a winner year for travel.

2. Favorite movies. Rakenrol, Zombadings, Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank. I would have watched more indies if they were shown in the mall theaters. For the foreign films, I liked The Station Agent, Let The Right One In, Things We Lost In The Fire, Three Idiots, Burn After Reading, and Same Time Next Year.

3. Favorite books. One Day, Room, The Art of Racing in The Rain, Norwegian Wood, Life of Pi, The Shack, Then We Came To The End. I don't get new year's resolutions that involve reading two books a month. What's so difficult with that? I easily do two in a week. Haha. Modesty is so dead. My Top 2 favorites for 2011: Six-Word Memoirs and This is A Crazy Planets (yes, with an ‘s’). I followed Lourd De Veyra after I read Umasal Lamang Nang Ayon Sa Ganda. It became like my mantra for 2011.

4. Best old friend: Kaye. She deserves special mention bcoz we really got to re-connect last year, thanks to her regular, kilometric emails, and the Skype with Phoebe after Christmas. And as if I could forget – she pulled off one of the biggest surprises of the year by sending me the lovely pink Coach bag and Ann Taylor dresses. (Thank you, Kaye. I love you =)

5. Bonding with the Legal girls (and Ardo). I got really close to my girls last year. We'd troop to Ann's car Liit and go everywhere together. There were the Tower Club planning sessions, Redbox videoke night, Bulacan road trip, raffle and midnight buffet at Diamond Hotel, Circles party, our surprise birthday party for our boss, and theirs for me. It was also the year we got their promotions and service awards. Happiness.

6. Most yummy discoveries. There were the Hainanese chicken and laksa in Tao Yuan, foie gras burger and spinach pasta in Lusso, Robby's Zensho buffet treat, Toast Box Hainanese chicken and noodle soup, Hero sausages, pasta, pizza, and salads at Chelsea, Florabel’s award-winning adobo, Dali’s Spanish goodies, Claw Daddy clam chowder, Hyphy’s tuyo pasta, Kanzhu pulled noodles, Sambokojin (less chaotic than Yakimix), DiMark’s Italian fare, Dome, Friulli, the Dusit buffet, our last date at La Scala, my birthday dinner with the PMS kids in Mercato. Manila Pen is not new, but we loved the shublig and halo-halo anniv promo. Bon Chon is our favorite new fried chicken. Ardo’s MBA friends apparently did a study and they found that Bon Chon will not make it good in the Philippines. Obviously, those guys did not interview me and my boys, us fried chicken monsters. Haha. (I know, I know - I eat way too much year after year. Groan.)

7. Most yummy sweets. Moon Leaf, Gong Cha, Cha Time, and Happy Lemon milk teas, the custaroons, pistachio sansrival, and chocolate cake from Parvati, Classic Confections cupcakes, Friulli gelato cakes, Figaro sansrival, Florabel’s walnut balls, Five Cows’ marble slabs, Chocolat Death by Tablea cake, and the calamansi muffins in Boracay. My epitaph would probably read: death by sweetness. Haha.

8. Most fabulous shopping finds. Freeway national artist shirts, Promod dresses and bling, Michelle Lim dresses, Debenhams pretend rich sprees, the F&H and CD outlet sales near the office, and major, major wedges from Zara and CMG. I loaded up on Hello Kitty goodness, too, as usual. With all the retail therapy I did, Ches is incredulous that I met my savings target for last year. He's convinced I did some dirty lawyer deed with our household budget. Hahaha.

9. Our choice spas. Organic Rituals in Greenhills, Toccare in Makati, and the major production number that was my birthday treat at Neo Day Spa. Ches also likes Shui in Eastwood. We vowed to continue with our monthly spa visits this year, and do away with too many buffets and eat-outs. I have no doubt Ches can give up good food just like that, but major good luck to me. Haha.

10. Favorite moments with the boys. All our trips to Fun Ranch, Active Fun, the beach and pool, where they’re happiest. When Yoshi dishes out his maldita wisecracks, and Bootsie gets obsessed with PvZ and dinosaurs. When Yoshi looks out for his little brother and Bootsie lets him. When I get insomnia and one of the boys is still up and we can just cuddle and be sweet together. Weekend mornings when we all just stay in bed and chat forever before getting up. Long, quiet dinners with Ches, and holding hands wherever we go. My boys always top everything that is good and happy in the world. (Thank you, Lord.)

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Cath Kidston Christmas

Ches got me Cath Kidston bags for Christmas. I chose the bags, but he paid for all of them. He gave me a budget - and I ordered away. Woohoo! On top of everything, my husband is also perfect. Owww.

This was the first thing on my order list. I’ve had my eyes set on this birds design since the new collection came out. It’s just so Audubon. And omigosh it is even more beautiful in person. One word: stunning. Of course, I also love that it came as a day bag, my favourite out of all the Cath Kidston styles bcoz the size is perfect for daily use – neither too small nor too big. Even the inside of it is lovely.




I also love the design and shape of this bag, called the park rose handbag. The huge, bright flowers are just so striking against the chocolate brown background. You can also button the sides to make it into an entire new shape. This bag is enough to contain all my office paraphernalia, and I can even throw in a shawl and a pair of flats - since I'm always cold and always out malling, respectively. Hahaha. I love.




I finally have the iconic shooting stars design in blue. I already have a shooting stars gadget case but it’s in cream. Now this blue one is just so Cath Kidston. If you see it, you know it’s Cath Kidston. I also love that the book bag is a lot bigger than I thought. It’s perfect for all my lawyer documents in long folders and envelopes. This bag is definitely gonna add a lot of beauty to my otherwise dull lawyer life. I have visions of my lawyer self going a long, long way with this bag, right up to the time I get disbarred. Hahaha.



I couldn’t have enough of the blue shooting stars so I also ordered the box bag. It was smaller than I thought but that’s fine bcoz I have a lot of big bags as it is. I can use this as a baon bag for the office, or a weekend bag. (The website puts in the dimensions of the bags and everything, but I can never estimate their actual size. I guess I’m so bad in math that when I see numbers my brain just automatically shuts off. Haha.)



This country rose design is my second favourite from the new collection, next to the British birds. It’s just so loud and screaming happy and too perfect. I got it as a carry-all bag again, bcoz I’ve been using up my first carry-all for our travels to Boracay and Coron and the boys’ field trip, and I love it. The size is just right for when I have to bring a lot of my mommy stuff like the boys' eternal gadgets and change of clothes and food. This new carry-all even comes with a pocket now. Sigh. Happiness.




All of these beauties came in a vintage design Cath Kidston Christmas packaging. And all these styles are so new I don't think anyone has had a chance to fake them yet, for selling in Greenhills. Haha.

Thank you, Chestnuts. I love you. You definitely made my Christmas.

(Babette said I should also have ordered this - the horns are perfect for me. She’s so right, of course. Hahaha.)

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Disney on Ice




Ches took us to Disney on Ice as a new year treat. I was admittedly more excited than the boys bcoz Disney can be such girly-girl stuff while my boys are tough all the way. Hence, next year, I’m taking Vada and Rain instead. Haha.

Bootsie did like the more recent characters from Playhouse Disney/Disney Jr./Disney Channel, like Rex the dino, the Toy Story peeps, and Goofy. He cheered for Goofy whenever he came onstage. He got scared of this part tho when Mickey was making magic and out came people dressed up as brooms and with their entire body covered in black. Haha.

My favourite part was the villains number. I LOVE the female Disney villains – Maleficent, Cruella, Ursula, The Queen. They’re fabulous, powerful, and oh so fierce. I bought an Ursula shirt from Mango for Bootsie’s Superheroes party in Fun Ranch (of course, I just had to dress up as a villain! hahaha), and have my eyes set on this new Maleficent shirt again from Mango. (How cool is Mango that it puts the villains rather than the usual princesses on its clothes? Mango is LOVE.)

Maleficent is my absolute favourite among all these villains. She’s gorgeous and unforgiving. If you didn't know - she cursed the baby Princess Aurora bcoz she wasn’t invited to the baby's christening, and that was how Princess Aurora became Sleeping Beauty. (See, the eternally useful stuff you learn from my blog. Hahaha.) I definitely already have the unforgiving part; I just have to work on the gorgeous part next. Hahaha. (Ate, now you know why I’ve been bugging you to get me a Maleficent full-fledged costume =)

Of course I love my seven Disney princess dolls from Ate. As characters, tho, I think they’re so blah. What spectacular thing have they done to deserve little girls’ adulations, other than be born rich and pretty and wait for some prince to rescue them? Out of all them, I think only Cinderella and Belle ever had to do any work. I do like Belle bcoz she read a lot and took care of her father. I like Ariel, too, mainly bcoz of the funky songs Under the Sea and Kiss the Girl (haha). Mulan is my favourite bcoz she’s Asian and Reflection was sung by Lea Salonga. But like I said, I like my villains a lot more than the princesses. Hahaha.

For his part, Ches really liked the Princess Jasmine in this show – she was so hot in her bustier costume and daring moves on the ice. Hahaha.


Monday, January 02, 2012

Waiting for Garci

We lost Garci on New Year’s Eve. We were gone for only a couple of hours for dinner till midnight at my parents’ house, and when we got back home he was gone with his leash and all. Ches went looking all over for him, and all of us including the boys and Vada did the same the following morning. Ches and I also went jogging around the neighbourhood at night, taking turns in calling his name out in every street. All to no avail.

It’s a sad way to start 2012, definitely. We love Garci. He has been a part of our family since Yoshi was a baby. He has outlived Heaven and Hunter and is the last of Dharma’s babies (that she gave birth to by caesarean section). Mom was especially sad bcoz Garci was all we had left of the legacy of Dharma and Ally, our favourite pets who were with us for decades, our babies before Yoshi came along, who slept with us in our beds, and whom we brought to Tagaytay and Manaoag and the beaches and all our other road trips, before they both passed away last year. Even Ate follows up on whether we’ve found Garci.

I told Randy and Thom bcoz they are my dog lover friends, and they both tried to cheer me up by saying he could still come back. I know for a fact that dogs do that, bcoz Mom’s and my other favourite dog, Babba, ran away for a few days and came back home just like that. I told them I just hope nothing bad happened to Garci, and if anyone tried to hurt him I hope he cut their fingers off like a firecracker would.

Garci was perfect for us bcoz he’s so low maintenance, small but oh so fierce. He never got sick, too. We all remember how he used to scare away Hunter, who was a Labrador and easily double his size. We also remember how he fought with this much bigger dog when my dad-in-law took him out for a walk, and the vet had to stitch up like his entire thigh which was skinned. He lived thru that without too much drama, like he carried his wound as a badge of courage rather than a serious injury. That's Garci for you. Daddy is also sad that Garci’s gone, bcoz he knows how well he has guarded our home thru all these years.

He has been with us thru so much. We were still in our old bungalow when he came to us, even before Boots was born. He had all the qualities that make dogs so perfect - he guarded our home loyally and was always so happy to see us when we got back home, and he never asked for anything much. He was just there to greet us heartily everyday when we got back from work, or from our travels. It’s true what they say – with a pet, you never have to feel unloved.

I’m definitely thankful for all the years he spent with us and completed our family, but somehow I’m not prepared to say goodbye to him just yet. We move on, but without Garci life is a little less happy, a little incomplete.

Come back home, Garci. We’re all waiting for you.