For the love of postcards

Do you still believe in postcards?

I ask this question now because as of late, I’ve been travelling a lot.  As of late, my niece Machiko Skye has been learning to write.  With a command of language and comprehension beyond her years, she never fails to ask for a postcard whenever she would hear about my departures.

Source:  Instagram - @margoks

Source: Instagram – @margoks

My Paris trip definitely amped up my creativity.  The City of Lights were not short of picturesque postcards.  I immediately sent her a couple, and if it weren’t for the faulty postal service in the Philippines, it would have arrived before I came home.

Source:  Instagram - @margoks

Source: Instagram – @margoks

Source:  Instagram - @margoks

Source: Instagram – @margoks

During my NJ visit, Machiko wrote letters for her cousins.

Machiko Skye New Jersey Postcards Letters

The NJ kids enjoyed it so much, we actually had a letter writing day just so they can reply to her!  And she was more than happy to read them!

Source:  Instagram - @margoks

Source: Instagram – @margoks

The advent of technology is phasing out the relevance of stamps and mail couriers, but there really is no better way of practicing handwriting, communication and interpersonal skills more than letter writing.  I’m very blessed to have so many of my family still in love with old school pen and paper.  Even the little Jared Franco.

Source:  Instagram - @jannicasusi

Source: Instagram – @jannicasusi

So… do you still believe in postcards?


Meet Olivia Mackenzie

So here’s the thing with this trip:  not only do I get to be with Le Beau again, I also get to meet the newest addition to the family.

I remember that excitement; it’s definitely a different kind from the one I felt on my way to claiming my luggage.  I was just giddy.  I wanted to meet her already, and from the pictures I saw at the beginning, I believe she has my cheeks.

Le Beau was laughing.  “You’re much more excited to meet her than to see me!”  Of course that wasn’t true.  But at the same time, it was.

He was saying we’ll pass by the Goethals Bridge.  I have no idea what that was.  But when we turned the corner to that street in Elizabeth, I wanted to leap out of the car already.

And there she was, in all her sleeping and yawning glory.  She smells like milk and feels like cotton against the skin.  Beautiful limbs.  Ten fingers, ten toes.

Hi Olivia.

Meeting Olivia

Cutesy prospecting!

Dylan and I attended the birthday of a really good friend.  We made friends with his family when we were just starting out, so when his wife gave birth, he got Dylan as one of the godfathers.

So while celebrating — over fantastic shabu-shabu, if I may add — we saw this little Chinese girl at the other table.  Dylan’s godson, Jenchi, immediately started jumping up and down, as if trying to catch her attention.  It was the cutest thing ever.  Dylan, being the good godfather, immediately whispered advice to the kid.  I know!  He’s so adorbs. :)

This is the end result.

We’re expecting a wedding invitation 20 years from now.  Hahahahaha.

Kids are endlessly adorable. :)


Teens and social networking

It’s no question:  this is the techie era.  Should your kid not know about Facebook or how to navigate the computer with a mouse, automatically that kid is shunned.  It’s not a surprise.  My nephews can even tell me which browser — Mozilla?  Chrome?  Safari? — can their applications run better.  Somehow it scares me that kids know that much.

Looking back though, I can’t really be that scared.  After all, I was quick to jump the bandwagon when social networking sites started popping up.  Friendster, MySpace, Hi5, Multiply were more popular in my day.  I’ve also resided (as in blogged) thru LiveJournal before moving here.  When Facebook and Twitter came, the first three were almost immediately dropped.

I’ve always regarded my networking page to be my personal space, so everyone who attempts to attack me thru my wall/comments immediately gets a hacking of a lifetime.  I am THAT protective of my content online, so I naturally assumed that the kids today are quite protective too.  But this article caught my attention while doing my daily Yahoo! run.

10 things you don’t know about teens and social networking

Here are some items that completely bothered me:

“I feel safer online than I do offline.  So I do things online that I wouldn’t do in real life.”  –Sadie, 14 years old

“Social networking affects all the things you do in real life now.  Like, if you go to a party, one of the most important aspects of going to the party is to document yourself for online posts.  You have to prove you were looking good, you were having fun, and that you were actually there!  It’s not about the party anymore but about the pictures of the party.”  –Caroline, 14 years old

“My friendships are really affected by social networking. You have to constantly validate your friends online. And everyone’s like ‘Where were you?’ ‘What have you been doing?’  ‘Why haven’t you commented on my picture yet?’ So you have to be online all the time, just to keep track, so you don’t upset anyone.” –Jasmine, 13 years old

First and foremost, A FOURTEEN YEAR OLD PARTIES!?  When I was fourteen, I was reading Little Women!  Are you shitting me?!

Secondly, I am not… as shocked.  I remember my cousin Bianca a few years back.  She was not eating much then and I always asked her why (there was a time when I lived with them in Antipolo, Rizal).  I’m the pusher you see; I push food down her throat and make her eat as much as she can because to me, she looked quite frail.  Then she said, “I don’t want to be fat.”  So I asked her where that came from.  She promptly replied, “There’s a fat girl in class and they always tease her, and even Ate May (another cousin), the boys (our boy cousins) tease her a lot.”  No need to worry, she now has a bloated tummy and her older sister Marga is working on making her join sports to strengthen her torso.

I’m worried how my kids wil be when they discover social networking.  I’m worried how my kids will react to the fact that I have been blogging since 2004… and profoundly cursing since.  I’m worried that I might be embarrassed and ashamed and be called irresponsible, only because I chose to chronicle my life in a way that other people can see it.  So in a way, I’m worried that I’m not far off from being 14.

Marga refuses to let Chuchi face the TV screen.  She has resorted to the traditional learning tools:  books (both chewable and readable), building blocks, playing mat, rattles, squishy toys and the like.  I have a feeling our little Chuchi will become a bookworm like her sexy foxy aunt (EHEM).  My hopes to have my other nieces and nephews (all in NJ) to fall in love with books and reading and creating their own adventures will always be high.  Their parents have been constantly urging me to go there and make them read, but sincerely, I don’t know if I can handle it when all hell breaks loose.

Social networking… can be good and bad at the same time.  We have to constantly play close attention to the kids, without making them feel that we’ve stifled their freedom of expression (God knows how much information kids get from Google nowadays).  Just make sure that they don’t cross the line between being friendly and attracting pedophiles.  These sites can break a person’s self-esteem as easily as it can build them.  So keep a close eye.

I know I did.  Still am, always will.  And they’re not even my kids.  :)



Day 14: Eyes

This was a tough one.  Not only is it hard to shoot eyes; it’s also hard to find a person willing to stare at my camera for awhile.

Since we had visitors last night, I decided to make her one of my subjects. :)  Of course for a moment there, I felt like the mean aunt, because in this photo, she just finished crying her eyes out.  I think she was sleepy at the time.

I am planning to redo this soon, prolly when I have more time.

And I know it has been a pretty long period since I last touched on the subject of completing the photography challenge, but I’m still determined to do it all the way through, in spite of the overwhelming amount of paperwork in the office.

Oh, and her name is Madison Sophia. :)