All That Jazz

All That Jazz!...Coastal Dance's first annual studio revue....

...the review on the revue...true teamwork and love of dance manifested.

There were a total of 35 dance numbers divided into 2 acts. The dancers gave their best, performing with energy and enthusiasm up to the finale.

Isabella performed 5 dance numbers, 2 of which she learned in 2 days. A tap dance number, (Shake, Rattle and Roll) and a ballet dance number (Babes in Toyland/March of the Toys). Thanks to a great teacher and director, Kathy Schultz, for her passion for teaching and dance. And thanks to a wonderful friend, Sonja, for her time practicing with Isabella the day before the performance...true teamwork, indeed.

A Cute New Family Member

Meet Butters our cute new malti-poo. Immanuel bought him in Pismo Beach while we were in the Philippines. He knows I will not allow it but how could I refuse now. I have to admit he's cute. lucky dog.


I woke up to a gorgeous day today, but my feelings didn’t match the weather. I didn’t get a good night’s sleep last night after having another heated discussion with Immanuel. I was so enraged to my core that even Isabella’s happy disposition irritated me.

Immanuel is so convinced that there is nothing wrong with his spur-of-the-moment, inconsiderate actions. It was as if he wants to prove he does not need guidance. I am so furious I couldn’t change him and make him understand to see things my way.

Then I started having stomach pains and I discovered I have my menstruation. I opened my daily devotional given to me by mom’s angel friend, Tita Rose. On my bookmarked page where I left off before we left for our vacation, it read: “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”. The writer was sharing a similar experience she was having with her child. As I read, I felt a release, a moment of understanding, and I realized my own narrow-mindedness and rebellion. I wanted so much for Immanuel to see things my way that I closed my heart and forgot to trust God.

Then I called my friend Paz and shared the experience. As the mother of Immanuel's girlfriend, and having teenagers of her own, we are both walking the same path and going through the same difficulties. She also shared similar experiences personal and otherwise. The conversation provided much needed additional comfort and enlightenment.

Dear God,
Please forgive my rebellion, for wanting things my way
Thank you for sending angel friends and for an uplifting book serving as a reminder.
Please give me the strength I so need to not give up on Immanuel and to have enough left to care for the rest of my children.
Please give Immanuel, myself, and my husband, the strength, patience and wisdom we need to understand each other.

Philippines Vacation 2007

Hello Everyone! Mabuhay!

We’re back from our wonderful month-long vacation from my fabulous homeland, the Philippines!

We came back last Friday, August 9th. I have been dying to tell you all about our blissful vacation but I got sick the day before our flight back (cough and asthma). Now that I am back in the world of the living, let me give you the full coverage.

Our blissful vacation started July 9th when we left from San Francisco via Philippine Airlines.

First Week - At the Condo

We experienced a slight impediment upon arrival in our condo unit at The Galleria Regency. We failed to bring our keys! We called a locksmith to rescue us from this minor hurdle. The wait seemed much longer than it really was as the hot weather began taking toll on our jetlagged state.

Once inside our home sweet home in this side of the world, we scrambled to look for the A/C remote. Then I was in cleaning mode despite my jetlagged state. The refrigerator and bathrooms were first on my cleaning list. I can't believe my dear mom did not call anyone to come and help us this time around.

The first week was spent meeting relatives, paperwork needed for the condo, banking, and just simply enjoying the condo i.e. swimming, fitness, cleaning, decorating, and shopping for furnishings included in the simple pleasures.

Second Week - "Beautification"

Second week was used for “beautification” i.e. hair, nails and body. We searched for and found a cosmetic surgeon for my mom’s long awaited eye bag removal. We also visited the Mall of Asia where the kids enjoyed some ice skating.

Third Week - Quezon Province

Russ and Immanuel arrived Friday, July 27th and we were off for some “roughing it”. We went to a vacation home in the Quezon Province that Saturday. Russ experienced shopping in a “real market” provincial style. We enjoyed eating fish fresh off the boat and coconuts straight from the tree. Immanuel caught a bad stomach bug on their first day and was miserable most of the trip in Quezon. We headed back to the condo on Monday.

We had one day of rest at the condo before we left for Aklan, my mom's birthplace.

We departed to Kalibo via PAL on Wednesday. We visited my aunt and cousins in Altavas where we stayed for one night. Talk about roughing it. Adaptable Russ adjusted very well as expected. He even asked my cousin to go out to a karaoke bar. He had a blast as my cousin's husband bragged that he’s from the group Air Supply.

Fourth and Last Week - Boracay

We woke up very early the following day to wait for the bus that will take us for a two hour trip to Caticlan, gateway to Boracay. I was not surprised to see Koreans on the bus. It seems to me like there are more Koreans in Boracay than Filipinos. Russ and Belle enjoyed the rugged and rough bus ride, likening it to a roller coaster ride. After the “roller coaster ride”, we were off to a boat ride, then a taxi van that took us to our hotel, Boracay Regency.

We had two rooms, a family room and a superior room in their newly constructed garden section.

We enjoyed four blissful days in this breathtaking island of white sand and the ever so blue and warm water of the pacific ocean.



Side trip to....

Sampaguita Gardens

We had a change of plans on our last day in the province of Aklan that resulted in a very pleasurable side trip. Our change of plans took us to a very pleasant and unique resort in Kalibo called the Sampaguita Gardens. The resort is owned by Sam Butcher, the creator of precious moments.

Everyday is Christmas at Sampaguita Gardens. Their Jojo’s Christmas Cottage is the first all-year round Christmas store in the Philippines.

Sampaguita Gardens’ Butterfly Farm is the first in Western Visayas

And we were off to Kalibo airport the following day back to Manila.

I got sick upon arrival in Manila (cough and asthma) and I forced myself to go shopping the next day for the kids' shoes and other stuff. The kids went ice skating at Mega Mall while Russ and I went shopping. Russ managed to go on another night of karaoke bar escapade. Phil and Immanuel accompanied him in this adventure as I was too sick to go out at that point. Russ and Immanuel left the next day and I was sick in bed.

Departure Day

The following day, the day of our departure, I forced myself to go out for last minute “beautification” i.e. hair, nails and massage. The massage helped my ailment a bit enough to endure the short trip to the airport and the lengthy check in process. I took a potent cough medicine with codein in fear of being quarantined due to my nasty coughing spells. The medicine was so potent that I forgot to pack and bring some important things...things we shopped for, food and presents, my video camera, belle’s glasses and other little stuff were left behind.

Well, that's all of what I can recall. I had to take a vacation from our vacation:)

Now I'm refreshed and ready to take on the next school year. Immanuel is moving with us to Pismo and will be attending Cuesta College.