Thursday, October 11, 2012

Red Days, Not Always Bad Days

Girls often refer the menstrual cycles of the month as their "red days". This has been a literal name-calling to such because of  the red color of the fluid that comes out of the body (and you already know what I mean). And with the red days coming, we often experience difference feelings. We tend to have mood swings, hassle now-and-then changing of pads, and to top it off, the phenomenal abdominal cramps. This is the reason why girls' red days are bad days.

But for the Chinese families, like us, red is a lucky color. It signifies happiness, good luck, and prosperity. We may not be the typical Fil-Chi family who speaks Mandarin Chinese at home and has Buddha images all over their place, but we still pay tribute to the tradition my father's family had.

T-ice and T-bday celeb

At home, I am called "Di-chi". In Chinese, it's the name used for the second daughters. However, we still use the "Ate" and "Kuya" for my elder sis and bro. It has also been a tradition in my father's side that during birthdays and special occasions, we would be using RED as the color of the day. So, last October 5 (for my 21st birthday), I asked my guests to wear red.

Some of those whom I invited asked me, why red? And so I told them the reason... that red signifies happiness. We often greet celebrants a happy birthday, so red should be the color! Haha!

A group photo. Most of the guests followed the dress code. Haha!

The epic cupcake toast! (me ganun?! lol)

This baby is trying to color her cutesy lips with the gumpaste cake decors! So cute and funny :)

He and She.
We were about to eat the cake decors. He actually designed the cake himself. Wow! :)

Lucky though, that my Mama and I went to Cebu the other week. We got the chance to shop for some clothes and I was able to pick some dresses for myself. I had this red dress bought, too. My birthday celeb was just the right time to wear it! Yea. \m/

Well, it was just a simple dinner... with family and friends. It was a formula of:

 beautiful people + lechon + dinuguan + some other Mama putahis + cake + buko pandan + T-ice + band playing on the background + laughter + smiles + red = happy birthday to me! :)

Us girlaloos.

Pardon the photo watermarks which say "sosweetsuzette". This blog entry was intended to be published at but I changed my mind and had this published here instead. Will find time to change those, soon. However, I still claim ownership of the photos, since I am the owner of both blogs (Exotic Expressions and So Sweet Suzette).

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Almost 21

Hey friends! It's been weeks since I last posted a blog entry here. Sorry, I got a little busy with my other blog, So Sweet Suzette. Anyway, today is the third of October .. and do you know what that means? It means I'm 2 days away from getting a year older! Waaaaaah!

I will be sharing to you my thoughts on being "almost 21".

Girls often celebrate their transition to being a lady at the age of 18. And for me, girls start to enter the stage of womanhood at the age of 21. But of course, it would be kinda difficult to tell at what exact age does a girl really mature and become a "woman". It really varies from person to person.

As for me, I think I still can't say that I am that independent woman which is expected from a 21-year-old girl, aw, woman, I mean. :)

First of all, I do not have a job. I graduated Bachelor of Science in Nursing last April. It has been about 6 months now and still I am here.. 100% tambay. I am not really degrading myself just because I am unemployed and still living with my Mama and Papa. But I know sooner or later, I would need to stand on my own feet.

Second, I still love to sleep. Who doesn't love sleeping? Haha. My Mama often shouts every morning that I am lazy. So, there, I need to work on my super-sleep habit! And maybe, to spend more time trying bto learn new things.

Third, I can't drive. Ok, my Papa has been forcing me to have my driving lessons but I don't run out of excuses! Hehe. I really am a bit scared of driving. However, I know that the skills would be very helpful to me in the very near future.

And lastly, I am still immature. I whine over the littlest sad things and jump for joy over the tiniest piece of prize!

But besides all this, I am happy. I am happy with the family and friends I have. I am happy because the Lord never failed to surprise me with great great blessings. I am happy because I'm still given the chance to celebrate my 21st birthday in good and gorgeous shape! :)

photo taken by Rodel Ryan Yana

I am almost 21, but not almost happy, because I am happy, have been, and will always be. :) :) :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pista sa Amo

Feast days or fiestas are one of the occasions Filipinos are most interested in -- one which cannot be erased from the Filipino culture and traditions. Here in our AWESOME province of Bohol, we celebrate most fiestas during the month of May. Some folks even say, "Kada Mayo, delikado maunlod ang Bohol" (Every May, Bohol is in danger of sinking unto the waters). The very reason why they are able to say that is because, every fiesta month, all roads of Boholanos lead home, plus the "mga mamistahay"!

As for today, September 14, we celebrated our barangay fiesta, with the feast of our patron, Sta. Cruz de Exaltacion. In our household, we celebrate fiestas or "hikay" twice every year -- May 10 (Calape's town fiesta) and ofcourse today.

It's been awhile since I last witnessed our Sta. Cruz fiestas. I was always absent because as I was still a BSN student, my week is often full-packed. I had hospital/CHN duties and classes. And the fiesta days fell on weekdays. So now, it's like having a little sense of 'come back'.

We prepared the house and everything since Sept. 12, as we invited guests over for the bisperas eve and the katumanan wholeday. Glad we had friends and relatives who helped out. Mama's sis, Tita Ilde and my everdearest Merpy Angeli slept over since the 12th to help us out for the preparation. Plus, reinforcements like the cooks and Mama's very loyal friends and pipol came over. :)


the parade that somehow graced the fiesta air (but is actually a parade for the Civil Service Month opening. hehe, just in time for fiesta though)

some people (mamistahay) who came over for lunch

I should say more people are coming to join the salo-salo during our barangay fiesta, compared to our town fiesta. The only reason I can think of is the fact the fewer households celebrate the barangay fiesta, so people  crowd over a house or two to get a share for the meal. Interesting, isn't it? :)

and of course, we had our share of fiesta happiness too! :)

I hope all Calapenhons enjoyed the fiesta days and nights! Aside from thanking God for all the food and drinks we had, let us always remember that the gift of friendship and of each other matters most. 

Happy fiesta!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Goodbye Eric

Today is a sad and painful day for me and for my relatives. This afternoon, we officially bid goodbye to our kapamilya, Eric Stephen.

Eric, who is my second degree cousin, is a quiet type of guy. He is shy and humble. Well, I hadn't really known him much since I am more "kaberks" and closer with his younger siblings, Euf and Earl. Dodong Earl is my younger brother's playmate since birth (Ha, justkiddin'), but well, since they were very young. Euf or Dayon, on the other hand, is my sister-in-Christ in YFC, and we've grown closer because of the organization. But, Auntie Neneng (their mom) and Mama Grace are superdooper close, when in fact, Auntie Neneng's cousin is my Papa and not my Mama.

I always remember Eric to be the "errand boy" of Auntie Neneng - and even of Euf and Earl. When Auntie Neng comes here in our house to talk with Mama, most of the time, Eric's the one who sends her (through a motorbike) and the one who fetches her too. The same story applies to Dodong Earl, when he was still young and can't drive yet. Eric comes here and serves as a "driver" and "yayo" of Dodong Earl.

The bad fateful night still remains in my memory. I am an insomniac, and usually stays up late at night doing different things. But on the eve of August 27, I decided to go to bed early - just with no reason at all. I was already in bed at around 11:30pm. Before i closed my eyes, I sent Mama (who was in the U.S. that time) a text message about some stuffs and told her to just send a reply thru FB, and not to call anymore because I was about to sleep. Twelve midnight came and I'm still awake. Then the phone rang. In my mind, I was kinda annoyed, and said to myself, "Hagoa ni si Mama ui, nanawag jud bisag giingnan nako na matog na ko!" But after 3 rings, the phone stopped making any noise. So, I got back in bed and tried to sleep. After about 3 mins, the phone rang again. This time, I waited for it to ring 4 times before I went out of the room. It actually kept on ringing, and I had the same expectation - that it was Mama. So, I answered, "Hello? (with a tired voice)". "Hello day," the other line said. I replied, "Hello, dili ni si Inday, si Gayle ni." "Awh, Gayle, mata pa imong Papa?" Then I recognized the voice the voice to be Auntie Neneng's. "Natog na raba Auntie. Nganu diay?" I could now sense that there was something wrong. Honestly, I've known Auntie Neng to be a very kind and concerned relative. She does not disturb us during sleeping and resting hours without any reason. Then she answered me, "Naaksidente si Eric day, ingna palihug imo Papa." So, I immediately told her, "Akong pukawon si Papa Auntie. Teysa." Just when I was waking up Papa, his cellphone rang. It was Sir Dodong Guibao, a family friend and the current administrator of the Calape Mother and Child Hospital. His intent was also to inform Papa about Eric's accident. Then afterwards, we called the hospital. I texted Euf asking for Auntie Neng's cp number (because we weren't sure what number she was using), but she did not reply. Fortunately, just a minute after we talked with the hospital staff, Auntie Neng called Papa's cp. They talked. At first we thought we can ask the ambulance to stop here outside our house so Papa can take a look at Eric's condition, but they were already in Loon. The doctor in duty ordered the immediate transport of Eric because, according to them, his vital signs are weak.

Papa and I did not go to sleep at all. We just talked and made ourselves awake. He called his friend surgeon, Dr. Buac and even some other doctors he had known just to make sure Eric would be well taken care of. He didn't mind disturbing them because, again, it was an emergency. We both waited for updates and for Auntie Neng to call again once they arrive at the hospital in Tagbilaran. At around 1am, Auntie Neng and Papa talked regarding Eric's refusal for treatment. I was just on my bed, praying for Eric that time. After a while, Papa learned that Dra. Edulan arrived there. So, eventually, Eric consented for the procedure. Papa was already kinda relieved that Doctora is there for Eric. "Ayo ra niabot na si doktora, naa nay tigbadlong ni Eric ug tigsubay," said Papa. Before I went to sleep, at around 1:30 am, I receied a text message. it was from Euf, giving me a cp number of her Mama (which I asked of her earlier). Then I aked her where she was. She said, "na ko bhouse." Reading that message made me realize that she doesn't know anything about what happened. So I aked her, "Kahibaw ka naaksidente si Eric?" She replied, "Eric? eric ahung kuya?" So, I was right, she really did not know about it. I then texted her the details - where her Mama and Eric are, and that she and Earl should go there.

Before I went to sleep, i sent a GM (group message) to my cousins and friends, asking them to include Eric in their prayers. Kuya Dodot and I texted some friends too, who could be there in the hospital to check Eric or help out.

When I woke up in the morning, I received a bad news from Euf: Eric in coma. Hours after that, at around 9:50am, Auntie Eyen called and asked if it was true that Eric is already dead. I called Papa to verify and he confirmed it true. It was sad. And quick. And shocking. And heartbreaking.

I know this story is kinda long. But please bare with me. It really is a long story which happened quickly - without any warning signs and pauses.

Last night was the necrological service or eulogy for Eric. It was organized by Sir Dodong and the CMCH staff. By hearing the different stories from Eric's friends and coworkers, i have learned how genuinely good he was.

He was that kind and generous Kuya, the anak who listens to her Mama, the anak who never demands from his Papa for anything, the concerned and caring manghud, the protective and loving uncle to his niece, the courageous and helpful co-worker, the knowledgeable and responsible nurse, the best of a brother-in-Christ, and the perfect ERIC he was to everyone.

As Auntie Felma always says, "Eric lived a full life."

So, for now, I gues it's time to say, Goodbye Eric.

Photo credits: Rodel Ryan Yana

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Never an Easy Job

The other night, August 30, was the pageant and coronation night of Miss Bohol Island State University (BISU) - Calape Campus.

I was invited more than a week ago to be one of the judges of the said beauty pageant. I readily said "yes" since I do not have anywhere else to go to on that night. So, the next thing I thought about was what I should be wearing and how I should look like. Ate Jill, the pageant organizer and committee chair, told me that I need to look good and presentable; to wear a dress with matching make-up (char!).

Since it was an outdoor evening event and because I didn't want to get 'conscious' about dress stains and dirts, I opted to wear black (which is also by the way, following my Papa's suggestion). It isn't really a new piece. It's actually a gift from my sister in the US.

So here's what I wore:

All-black :)

Well, I'm not really that into fashion. But at least I pulled off some effort for this. lol

The night went well. The pageant officially started at 8pm. The board of judges were composed of three people: Mr. Rodel Ryan Yana, Hon. Leonora "Inday" Rulona, and myself. I was somehow amazed with the electronic tabulation of scores for the pageant. Well, Ate Jill already told me beforehand that it's going to be electronic, but wow, not all beauty pageants can do that -- to mention, very efficiently and with no hassle at all, thanks to the Computer Science Dept of BISU-Calape. The judges' role is just to enter the scores on the score boxes and submit them. Actually, it was not my first time to judge, but my first time of using the electronic sheets (for scoring).

The first part of the pageant was of course, the production number which was a cosplay inspired one. It was followed by the swimwear competition where they wore sexy leopard bikinis, then the talents competition followed. The beauties did well during that time, and I was amazed at how unique their talent performances were. It was actually hard to tell who really was "winning". Then it begun to rain. And remember we were on an outdoor event! Well, the stage had a roof. But we, the judges, and the audience were all under the sky. What concerned the organizers most was actually not us getting wet, but oh the laptops! And I completely understand them (haha!). But anyways, they provided us right away with umbrellas and umbrella holders (people holding our umbrellas). ^_^
After the talents, the evening gown competition followed. Then, my favorite part did come - the Interview or Q & A portion. This has been and will always be my favorite part of every beauty pageant. This is actually the perfect time for the ladies to prove that they are not just good at flaunting their wonderful bodies and pretty faces. It is the time to show the wit and intelligence they have.

Regarding beauty pageant interviews, I really do not believe that the most intelligent ladies always get to have the best answers. But of course if you are smart, it is an edge and an advantage. However, being overly clever can be your disadvantage too. I've seen this myself (I'll be posting another blog entry for this, so you should watch out for it *winks).

So there, the rain actually didn't last that long. Series of awards were given to the candidates and certificates were also given to us and to the organizers, who really deserved applauses and recognitions.

Then, the announcement of winners commenced the activity. I knew very well that being a judge doesn't end there, and I was absolutely right. As I arrived  home and later opened my FB, someone actually asked me about the scores of the candidates because (I guess) they were not happy with the results. I could only give her my honest answer of "I don't know their total scores because we were not the ones who totaled the points we gave them". I think it was actually a good way because biases can be avoided. The candidates were all beautiful and each one has a strength and a weakness. But of course, there will always be that one winner who stands out.

As for me, it really is never easy to be a judge. But it's fun! Questions regarding the results can't be avoided because they have their supporters and friends who would always want them to win. And I sincerely get that.

I'm also happy to have been there during the event and to somehow represent my Papa, who was invited but was not able to come.

"Our life can be likened to a beauty pageant. It has many portions... some lets us flaunt our strength but the other portions can test our weakness. Whatever happens, we must always possess the grace under pressure and poise with confidence... not for the judges nor the audience, but for ourselves and for us to be the inspiration to others." - gaylee 

The night was filled with beauty, confidence, glitz, and happiness. I am also happy to be one of the judges. Congrats to the lovely ladies (not just to the winner but to all of them), the different performers, and the organizing and working committees!

Outfit details

Dress - Pink Rose
Bag - Betsey Johnson
Watch - Fossil
Necklace - Charlotte Russe
Peep toe Wedge - Mossimo

Special thanks to my sissy, Gay Sophia (bag, dress, shoes) and to Mary Ann for my makeup.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

NOT the usual debut

What comes to your mind when you hear the word "DEBUT"?

-- Well, usually it is about having a fab dinner. Then there are gowns, flowers, dances, and it is usually celebrated for a girl's 18th birthday.

Yes, oftentimes only the girls are celebrating their debut parties -- with the formal nothings, etc. But what about the boys? Well it would be stereotyping if the society won't give the boys a chance to celebrate their very own debut. Debut, by the way means a formal introduction or entrance into the society. And both the boys and the girls are entitled to that privilege!

That is why, it has been a tradition that while the girls celebrate their debut during their 18th birthday, the boys will have theirs on their 21st.

So, what I really wanted to share to my readers right now is a little sneak peek on how my boyf's debut party went. He officially turned 21 years old last August 20, a Monday. And celebrated the parteeeyy on the 25th (Saturday).
This is the official logo for the party and the very image we saw at the entrance gate of the venue.

The party's theme was SHADES, as the celebrant is often teased by his friends to be a "shadesboy" -- wears shades or sunglasses most of the time, if not always. His Mommy also agreed to the theme because according to her, "Tama yang theme na shades, kasi naka-shades talaga yan kahit hindi naman mainit!"

The guests were asked to bring shades, but not necessarily wear them the whole time because the party was set at nighttime, and the attire was simply casual. The party place was filled with guests and the food was superplenty!:) Decors were beautiful and the lights and sounds were amazing!

Photo taken during the debutante's grand entrance. ten-te-nenen! ;)

There was also a brief program. If a girl's debut usually consists of 18 candles and 18 roses, Nicklous' debut had 21 shots and 21 kisses . And of course, sweet messages and intermission numbers were never out of the way. Psychocentric Band and Mr. Neil Lumantas were among those who entertained us with their lovely song renditions.

the Psychocentric band

Christian Neil Lumantas on his acoustic performance

After the program, the guests were reminded to take photos with the celebrant and also to take photos at the photo corner. Then, time to shake some b*tts and partey-partey!

Ta-da! The party turned out to have a touch of the GANGNAM STYLE! The song itself even remained playing inside my head for the rest of the night until the next day! And I know I was not the only one who had a blast during the party, but our friends as well!

Happy 21st birthday, Kikoy!

Venue: Gardenville
Behind the party photos: Longski Calape, Kent Evasco, Tristan Ramos
Lights & Sounds: Nistal Audio System
Decors: David Lumisay, Mommy Lalaine's friends
Tarps: Lani & Sonny Navalta
Program emcees: Emilee Bantugan & Zoila Jean Cenabre
Program in-charge: Lara Salve & Gayle Suzette

i'm back! :D

after a long long time (literally!).. 3 years, to be exact, EXOTIC EXPRESSIONS is back to business! i know i only had a few posts before. but now, i will try to write blog posts every now and then.

it was also kinda fun reading my posts before. never knew i was that kind of a writer. haha!

the truth is, i was really planning to start a new blog, instead of resurrecting this one. and also to actually make the blog title sweeter, but anyways, i'll stick to what i have. *winks

so, lemme welcome myself back to to EXOTIC EXPRESSIONS! :)