My mother and her iPad

My mother is modest.  She was never attentive to designer labels or overseas travels.  Not luxury cars or big houses with walk-in closets and large kitchens.  She has always been self-assured and has always known what she wanted.  And the things she wanted were simple.

Nanay portrait

The third among four siblings, my grandparents raised them in a modest household, where giving is a mandate and food is always shared.  I have never seen my mother — or any of my uncles and aunt rather — want more than what they can afford.  What they have always taken pride in was the fact that their family was raised by parents, who never even made it past grade school, that worked hard for them to finish college.

Nanay graduating

My grandfather passed away some years ago, but my grandmother just turned 90 this year.

Nanay in the province

My mother grew up in a household where cousins and second cousins stay and go for free.  They have shared clothing, housing, food, basically everything, without expecting anything in return.  They are the model family of selflessness; they are the change they wished to be in the world.  They have worked hard in making sure that we, their children, become as giving as they are.  We hope to never disappoint them in that respect.

So when we realized our mother is turning 60 this year, we only thought of one thing to give her:  an iPad.  She looooves the iPhone I handed down to her when I upgraded to the iPhone 5.  She uses it religiously, playing Candy Crush to relax after a long day at work, streams iWantTv whenever she misses her soaps.  She doesn’t really use it for the purposes it was originally intended to be — managing contacts, businesses, emails etc. — but it’s her source of entertainment.  And it’s such a small screen.

The iPad is the perfect gift for her.  Because she will never get one for herself.  Because she will just keep saying she doesn’t need it.  That it’s too expensive for her.  That there’s no need for it really.

But there is a need.  We need to make her happy.  We need that validation that, in spite of the emotional roller coaster of the past year, we can make her so damn giddy still.  That we can get her something she finds expensive.  That we can take care of her whims as she grows older.  That she can have whims now as we are here to get it for her.

AND IT WILL BE A CHALLENGE TO SURPRISE HER BECAUSE SHE IS A DETECTIVE TO THE BONE.  My brothers and I worked extra hard to keep the gift under wraps because the woman that is my mother — or rather ALL mothers — have this uncanny manner of finding out everything effortlessly.

My mother loves Japanese food so we took her to Mangetsu in Jupiter Street, Makati for dinner on her birthday last May 15.  She was completely unsuspecting.

Mangetsu 1

Mangetsu 2

I love the food here, and I’m happy that my brothers trusted my taste.  I ordered for everyone on the table.  Prepare to drool.

(L-R, clockwise):  Salmon Sashimi, Spicy Tuna Sashimi, Chicken Thigh Karaage with Three Kinds of Salt, Beef Sukiyaki, Pork Gyoza, Shio Ramen

(L-R, clockwise): Salmon Sashimi, Spicy Tuna Sashimi, Chicken Thigh Karaage with Three Kinds of Salt, Beef Sukiyaki, Pork Gyoza, Shio Ramen

My brother couldn’t wait anymore.  He was too excited.


So I handed over the gift box that she opened ever so slowly.  Ted captured it all on video:  Nanay and her iPad.

Nanay reading her card

I have never seen her smile so big in her life.  Moreover, WE MANAGED TO SURPRISE OUR MOTHER.  That is the true accomplishment for the night.

Nanay and her iPad

We filled the iPad with her favorite apps:  Facebook, Candy Crush, iWantTV.   Now, she wants Clumsy Ninja installed also.  We even arranged it in order of priority.  Hahaha.  We set up her Apple ID and put Facetime right on the first page so she can call our relatives in New Jersey whenever she wanted.

And of course, every single photo of our father that we can scour.

I think to date, she’s still in awe that we gave her something like that.  I mean, for some people, you’d think that a gift like this is easy peasy, but not for my modest mother.  She wouldn’t even think of getting one for herself.  It’s too much for too little a function for her.

Now, this is how she watches her soaps.  Hahahaha.

Now, this is how she watches her soaps. Hahahaha.  Lola doesn’t get what the fuss is about.  Hahahaha. 

But then, we all know mothers more than know better.  They deserve the best.

Happy birthday, Nanay.  You do not look a day over 40.

Working Nanay


My 2011 Holiday Wish List Part 2

I need the yoga mat for the days when I can’t go to the gym, so I can just do my circuit training at home.

I’m running out of book storage space for quite some time now, not to mention surfaces to put store them too.  This kind of book rack would just be perfect for my tiny room.

I envied Marga’s organized closet so maybe if I had these, my closet would be organized too.

I didn’t really notice it at first, but I seem to have a growing collection of belts.  I’d like a place to put them.

So there you go. My entire wish list. :)

My 2011 Holiday Wish List

I am making this wish list so that you don’t have to think what to give me.  I’d appreciate you making your own wish list too, so I’m sure you’ll like what we give you.  On a best effort basis of course. :)

Moleskine 2012 Weekly Diary – Horizontal
ISBN 978-88-6293-712-2

Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer

Refill for my Parker pen, ballpoint black please.

The Harry Potter color-changing mug (I know this is only available in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter but I really want one for the Holidays and though it would be absurd to make you go to FL to get this, it would be an injustice if I just ignored the awesomeness of this item!)

A good bag that’s both a shoulder bag and a handbag like this one

Noise-cancelling in-ear earphones in black

First Season of the best show ever FRIENDS

Graphic Notebooks, bound like books

A shoe rack!

Anything with polka dots! :)

(To be continued)

Early morning surprise

I came home pretty late last night (more on why later).  I think I came through the door at exactly 12:42 AM today, and it was nice to come in not alone.  Dylan took me home.  I was half-expecting him to spend the night, but he can’t really leave his ladies in QC now can he? :)

So I was hurrying because he had to leave soon.  QC is a long commute from Las Pinas.  I got him his water while he freshened up in the bathroom, and I quickly went in my room to take off my shoes, grab my slippers and tie my hair in a bun.  The house was surprisingly warm in spite of the time.  I noticed this little orange package in the corner, but did not mind it until Dylan left.

I became quite giddy when I took out that package.

When I opened it, I was squealing a little.

By now, I’ve already started my boogie dance.

I know right!  I was just complaining how I never get to run anymore and now, my mother just gave me another reason to!  Apart from health reasons of course. ;p

We gotta break this baby in!!!!

Fantastic way to start a Friday!  After my dose of Chuchi, I am definitely hitting the pavement with these.  :)