I need an expert opinion on a bad dream
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I just woke up from a bad dream and I need your opinion.
It was 2 PM and our yaya and I were in Alabang, starving. We decided to stop at an inasal restaurant to buy food but the place was filthy.
We were led to a dirty table.
I told him, I can’t sit there. It’s filthy.
Yaya and I walked around to look for a cleaner spot but all the tables were filthy and covered with liquid, soda spills, etc.

As a restaurant owner I really hate seeing dirty tables and idle waiters. So I screamed and lost it.
I was so mad, I threw a ball that hit a grocery cart which started to move. A car avoided it and crashed into another car.
I thought of escaping with my yaya, but I knew it was wrong. So I stayed until the police questioned me.
Unfortunately I woke up before the lawyer could tell me what the settlement was.
Can anyone guess how much the settlement should be? Nobody died or was hurt, but two cars were damaged, both small. One was an old rickety model, and one was brand new, similar to these:


Thank you for any expert opinion.

Winners: Back to school giveaway
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Thank you for more than 700 entries to my latest giveaway!
Ten winners were chosen via

Five of them will receive a junior balikbayan box filled with Oishi’s newest snacks and notepad.

chuvaness giveaway

They are:
• Rolyn Novero of Makati
• Diana Ross Villanueva of Antipolo
• Leilani Sonza of Quezon City
• Ara Padilla of Quezon City
• Albert Lanot of Pasay City

Another five just won lunch kits filled with school supplies

chuvaness giveaway
chuvaness giveaway
chuvaness giveaway
chuvaness giveaway

They are:
• Malou Samodio of Bulacan
• Wheng Lizaso of Bulacan
• Elldon King Arabit of Binagonan
• Monalisa Arquiza of Davao
• Melanie Pacer of Angono

Winners, please check your email for address verfication.
Thanks to Oishi, National Book Store and Tickles for the prizes!
Please watch out for my next giveaway very soon.

Why I don’t pressure my kids to get the highest grades
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I graduated at the top of my kindergarten class during the ’70s. I got a gold medal—just once, and then no more.
From a promising bright student, I became an average, mediocre student—although in all my years, I had only failed two subjects: Physics, where the teacher brought my 75 grade to 74 after I cracked a joke during class. And CMT (military training) after I cracked a joke concerning a military officer’s sword.
Truthfully, my jokes have gotten me so much trouble, I wish I didn’t joke so much.
In the end I did graduate with two degrees—in Journalism and Fashion Design. I like to think I didn’t end up so bad.

My student ID

In contrast, my Dutch husband Jeroen also didn’t do well in school but he was a happy kid. After school he would play Tarzan with his friends, climb trees, and fall in the mud. His mother was an angel who didn’t freak out seeing mud on the floor, or even when Jeroen fell from a tree and broke his arm (she was a nurse, after all).
At a very young age Jeroen knew he wanted to work with his hands and food. At first he wanted to be a lettuce farmer, but upon the encouragement of his parents, he became a chef.

Silveren Spiegel, 1995

Since both of us didn’t do well scholastically, we don’t pressure our kids to be the best in class.
In the beginning, Ben and Markus brought home high grades and honors, but as they grew older, the grades became average, sometimes barely passing. None of them—not even Christian—has ever flunked a subject and I thank God. Because after waking up early to beat the traffic, hours of school and tutor after that, all I want for them is to relax and feel at home.

Ben's graduation

How I wish they would hit the shower as soon as they get home, stinky and filthy from a day in school, but all they want to do is lie down and watch their iPads.
Video games are allowed only on weekends.
I really hate it when they’re given homework that need help from their parents, because even though I consider myself a hands-on parent, I am done with school. I don’t want to do my kids’ homework.
How I wish they had no homework at all.

My husband didn’t have homework but he had a stress-free childhood. And now he is the head of a company that employs hundreds. He didn’t end up bad at all.
So I’m sharing this Michael Moore video in hope that schools in Manila would take notice.
Homework isn’t all that. It’s about happy children, happy families, happy homes—which is, in the end, what really matter.

Forget Carrot Man. Meet the cleaner looking Muji Man
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When I first went to Rome as a teenager, my jaw dropped at the number of good-looking men on the street. I’m not talking about actors or models. I’m talking about ordinary people like newspaper boys and cops.
Italy has so many good-looking men, this is what a priest looks like. Note: this is a real priest featured in Calendaria Romano.

Roman priest

The same thing happens in New York. I can’t tell you how many good-looking men I spotted within five minutes standing outside the MoMA store.
Now the Philippines is a different story. While we have produced three Miss Universes, finding a cute guy on a regular day is next to impossible unless the Brapanese model imports are having a go-see at Greenbelt 5. (sorry!)

This explains the hysteria behind Carrot Man.
Last February, cake decorator and business owner Edwina Bandong was traveling from Benguet to Sagada, when she and her friends spotted carrot farmers on the road.
Among them—a dusky young man with long hair, dimples, wearing a soiled grey hoodie.
Her friend urged her to photograph him, which she posted on Facebook.

Carrot Man

The photos went viral. They called him Carrot Man.
Real name: Jeyrick Sigmaton.

Carrot Man

Some people—including a Korean TV show—compared his looks with Korean stars like Lee Min Ho.

Carrot Man

Soon he was all over the Internet and television.
He has appeared on TV shows like Sunday Pinasaya and Bubble Gang.
After an extreme makeover, he became an endorser of a local clothing brand.

Carrot Man

In a word: Afraid.
While I’m happy this kid can make much more money in showbiz than a lifetime of carrot farming, I’m afraid it will be a short-lived fantasy for Jeyrick.
I mean there are only a few roles he could possibly play with credibility:

1) Local version of Jungle Book

Jungle Book

2) Remake of The Son of Tarzan

Son of Tarzan

3) Or if he can do bold, Machete III


Carrot Man is not my type. I am really afraid!!
Now Muji Man is another story.
I was at Meal Muji in Tokyo last week to buy soft cream for me and Christian, when I spotted this cute cashier with gorgeous eyes.

Muji man

I suddenly forgot I am a mother of three. I couldn’t take my eyes off him.
It was difficult to take stealth photos but I was able to do so with the help of my sons. (It made me miss my sister Ana who usually takes the stealth photos.)

Muji man

Don’t worry, my boys already know their mother is crazy.
So if you’re in the Yurakucho area, drop by the Muji flagship store next to the giantLoft.
Order soft cream, and don’t forget to look for Muji Man.

Muji man