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The Baby Box
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One of my fantasies is to have someone just literally leave a baby at my doorstep, in swadling clothes and inside a basket.
It’s no secret I love babies and unfortunately can’t have more.
Sometime last year I got a call from a friend that a housekeeper in the next village was giving away her newborn son. I went and took a look and the baby was cute. I wanted to take him home.
What stopped me was first, the baby had jaundice. That meant it was my responsibility to put him under the sun twice a day until the toxins are out.
Second, our house is under renovation and a mess. We had no room for the baby.
Third, the boys didn’t want a new baby.

By using social media I found the baby a loving home. Tell you the truth, I cried a little after handing him over to the social worker who took him to his new mom.
I still fantasize about having a baby fall into my lap again, even just to care for a few months, being a licensed foster parent. What stops me from adopting another one, aside from my age and constant tiredness, is the number of recollections I have to attend as a parent. That is the part I dislike about being Catholic. Too many recollections, and frankly I feel uncomfortable sitting still for hours and listening to personal stuff with a bunch of strangers.
If there were no recollections, I’d say I’d love to have another baby.

As a baby lover this video makes me cry. Whenever I hear about a baby that was abandoned in a bathroom stall or duffel bag, I wish that baby had gone to me instead.
Watch this trailer and see how a simple box in South Korea has saved precious lives.

“The Drop Box” – Documentary PROMO from Arbella Studios on Vimeo.

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The chic Zamoras
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Prior to our Grand Zamora Reunion last December 29, where more than 800 Zamoras attended (including spouses), my view of Zamoras was quite limited.
Prior to the reunion, I would describe Zamoras as being curly-haired, near-sighted, being smart or smartass.
Zamoras love the latest gadgets as well as munching on chicharon and using cuss words.

After the reunion I realized that aside from lawyers and politicians, we also have a few singers (Paolo Santos and Rannie Raymundo are cousins), hairstylists (Piandré are also cousins), a couple of actors (Rem Zamora and Lance Raymundo are cousins), and at least one priest.

We have no beauty queens. We are not known for our looks, so whenever we spot a good-looking person in our reunion, the joke is, it’s an in-law!
My cousin Ana David Coscolluela, who led the planning of the grand reunion also compiled old photos of Zamora ancestors into a Facebook album. From these I was surprised to see a little bit of chicness from our family line.
Check out the girl in the tiered skirt—very Comme des Garçons

Zamora family photos

This family has that pre-war Hayao Miyazaki feel to it, fashion-wise

Zamora family photos

Simple styling and easy on the accessories

Zamora family photos

We love them veils

Zamora family photos
Cecile van Straten

True chic looks effortless (even if it’s not)

Zamora family photos

Now you know why I love things gay and Japanese

Zamora family photos
Zamora family photos

Even the lolas were chic

Zamora family photos
Zamora family photos

Let’s not forget the boys

Zamora family photos

Check out the shoes

Zamora family photos

White suits for men are from a bygone era I would’ve loved to live in. I still wear bobby socks myself

Zamora family photos

These girls were probably more daring than the usual

Zamora family photos

I see chic people

Zamora family photos

Of course nothing is chicer than studying painting in Paris—Juan Zamora, he also died in Paris.

Zamora family photos

Keri Zamora (below, left) is very chic in that she wears whatever she wants and always has great shoes.
My Japanese friends think she’s a doll. She’s also an in-law which explains why she’s pretty, hehe.
(I’m just kidding)

Keri

So now you know how fashion runs through my veins

Cecile van Straten

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Winners: Giant Oishi bags
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Sorry for my absence! I have one more event to attend to—my parents’ Golden Wedding Anniversary tomorrow.
I can’t wait for the kids to go back to school so I can have my life back. I can finally show you my new office at the Fort where I hope to be working on my blog more regularly.
I need to go back to work mode.
Meanwhile more than 350 people tried to guess the number of Oishi bags inside these mother bags up for grabs

Oishi Christmas

The correct number, according to Franco Santos of Bridges PR, is 186.
The three people who were able to guess closest to the number were:
Shiela Roxas (188)
Karla Erika Gavino (180)
Erika Fernandez (179)
I will email the girls on how to claim the giant mother of chips.
Meanwhile, wait for my next giveway!!

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How to prevent bill shock from Meralco
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As a mom that manages a household of 14 (family and househelp), I was concerned that Meralco was once again raising its rates.
Since my past issue with our electric bill, I’ve been careful about our power consumption. I didn’t want to get shocked upon opening the envelope so I did some research on this.

The Energy Regulatory Commission has approved Manila Electric Company’s Php 4.15 increase in its billing—the highest in Philippine history. The rate hike will be implemented in three tranches.
Meralco says the record rate increase is due to the scheduled maintenance of the Malampaya natural gas platform, which forced the company to get the bulk of its supply from the Wholesale Electricity Market (WESM).
Meralco will collect Php 7.67 per kwh in its December 2013 bill and spread the deferred cost over the February and March 2014 billings. That’s a bit of good news—better than paying the rate in one billing period.

The important thing is that every household to learn how to use energy properly.
For starters, you can download the Meralco app on your smartphone or tablet to give you round-the-clock access to Meralco’s services.

Meralco app
The app’s appliance calculator allows you to find the estimated cost of operating your individual home appliances while the bill manager allows you to know the estimated energy cost contribution of your home appliances to your total household energy cost.

Meralco app

The app also allows you to check your bill, find the nearest Bayad Center, get electricity tips, and more.
If yours is a high-consumption household like ours, try enrolling in Meralco’s Peak/Off-Peak rates program.
This is an alternative energy pricing scheme that is based on the time of day electricity is generated, and on the cost of supplying electricity during that time.
With this pricing scheme, Meralco customers can avail of lower generation costs in their total electricity rate during pre-defined off-peak hours.

Here are some energy-saving tips from Alfred Iporac, Meralco’s energy expert:

1) Using an HP inverter split-type aircon saves up to 50 percent savings versus a conventional split-type unit. It can reach the desired temperature setting faster, making it more energy efficient.

Inverter aircon

2) If your airconditioning unit is old (like ten years old), consider changing it as it costs more energy and money to operate an old aircon than to buy and operate a new one.
3) Did you know that lighting can account for up to 20 to 30 percent of your electrical bill? Use natural light whenever possible.

Light bulb

4) Maximize the operation of your washing machine. Use a water level appropriate for the size of the load.
If your washing machine doesn’t have different water level selections for different loads, always try to wash in full loads. Do not over-wash clothes. Different types of clothes require different wash cycles. That’s what those knobs are for,
5) Rice cookers have a keep warm function used for maintaining the appropriate amount of heat needed to keep rice warm after it is cooked. Prevent the unnecessary operation of the keep warm function by properly scheduling the cooking of rice in accordance to the eating time.

Rice is nice

6) Schedule clothes ironing to once (if you are a small household) or twice (if you have a bigger one). Some say it is cheaper to iron at night than in daytime. A friend also recommended not ironing pajamas or sleeping clothes—you will save a lot!
7) Unplug power cords of household appliances when not in use because keeping them plugged generates phantom electrical use that adds up. If you are too lazy to plug and unplug like me, invest in power strips with power switches that light up. These will remind you to turn off the switch when you’re not using the appliance.

a switched power strip

Luckily I didn’t get the bill shock this month. Hoping we will keep it down long after the ‘ber months are over.
And you? What are your power-saving tips?

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