Friday, June 29, 2007

The Suspense That's Not Killing Me

So the Visa Application Papers K and I have been waiting for finally arrived last night at 8:30. We were out watching Transformers.

Still on a high from the 9:15 screening, we got home past midnight (it's 2 h 24 m) and were surprised to find a specially-delivered package on our kitchen table.

It was an official-looking brown envelope that held an official-looking letter addressed to K.

List of requirements now needs to be fulfilled, i.e. securing of more official, government-issued documents plus the paying of the filing fee of almost US $ 400 or its peso equivalent. When all of this is done, we will officially be at Step Two. Here's what Step One Point Five was like.

Still haven't figured out how to pay for this and still don't know where we're heading to in the US of A.

All I know as of now is that I'm leaving end of August and K might have to stay behind.

Please keep us in your prayers.

Love and happy thoughts to you.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Aaaaaand... Here's Another New Blog Toy!

In my continuous scavenging and rummaging through cyberspace for cool blog finds both for myself and the office blog I maintain, I have come across some pretty neat stuff.

Sometimes I'll purposely be looking for something, but most of the time, my finds are serendipitous. And whether my searches are for work or self, when I find something that I think will add value (or cleverness by way of "What a cool trick!" exclamations) I immediately give it a try, implement, and use on the work blog. Or here.

Like today. I had been meaning to spruce up our conference blog so I ended up tinkering with the layout and widget choices available on Typepad. (It's forced me to become proficient at it despite the fact I'm not on Typepad myself.)

I was happy to discover Snap Shots. It came as a default function on my Wordpress so I immediately set it up for the office blog.

They have an option for Blogger so naturally, I got one for here!

Simply hover over any link and you immediately get a preview of what the link is. You can then either click knowing where you're going, or not.

And if you decide to get one yourself, click on the Advanced Options to choose specifics like adding a search bar, etc. Readers can always choose to turn it off by clicking on the upper right portion of the Snap Shot window.

In the meantime, my mind is filled with our world conference, the halftime shows we're organizing and of course, moving to the US!

Still waiting for the Visa Packet to arrive at home for K. Petition Approval letter arrived the other day with the note that "this approval is not a guarantee of a visa approval..."

Thinking happy thoughts.

song playing on itunes: finale b of rent

Monday, June 25, 2007

"It was a dark and twisty blog..."

The one thing I enjoy about blogging is its therapeutic affect on me. Of course as I putter around cyberspace more and more and discover amazing finds in the blogosphere, I can't help but ask myself, "Why don't I do that with my blogs?"

You know what I mean? When I come across something that is short or funny or highly informative or downright provocative or truly uplifting or... I get the feeling that I'm not writing what I should be writing.

But then again, that's the joy that is blogging. I write for myself. Anyone who reads me and connects or resonates with me is a bonus. A bit selfish though it may seem, I blog because I want to. I need to. And if one day I actually do write a book, I'd like to think I've gotten enough practice from all this word-weaving. Hopefully by then, I will have collected earth-shaking life revelations that people will actually want to read!

One of my former bosses used to tease me at my first job that I wrote too seriously. Or rather took myself too seriously.

"Thelma, can you write a Press Release for me for one of my artists?" Arsi requested.

My attempt was greeted with: "Too flowery! Just stick to the facts! None of this, 'It was a bright and sunny day...' kind of writing, Thelma!"

Wounded, I returned to the drawing board. I got it right after three more attempts.

Here I am fourteen years later looking at my eclectic resume that includes having been published (a stranger copy/pasted my piece!) in a nationally circulated newspaper, the Philippine Star and in an online magazine. (Zuula rocks!)

But as I face the prospect of moving back to the US, I struggle with the possibility that not only will I have to start from scratch, I just might have to work at a Dean & Deluca or a Starbucks as a friendly neighborhood barista before landing in something I have either done in Manila or truly love doing.

In true me fashion, I would do that. Or anything else, for my child. Well, anything legal that is.

My current state of mind is the opposite of yesterday's dark and twisty blog.

Today, I choose faith. I make a conscious effort to look at the bright side by being thankful for at least three things.
  • G3's wife and daughter have just been issued US visas!
  • Mikey called me out of the blue because he misses me. *sniffle*
  • Carol from Malaysia is going to New York to study at Berkeley College.
So yesterday was a bright and sunny day after all. I just couldn't see it.

Sometimes, all you really need to do is open your eyes. Or write a new post.

song playing on the networked itunes: signal fire by snow patrol

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

vaccination against: icould'vedonemoreitis

petition got approved. wow. things feel so "official."

it really is happening. i just realized that i'll miss a lot. from philippine mangoes, to commuting, to the people i care about. so, right now, i'm trying to make the most out of everyday here in my beloved manila. i do, after all, have only a few months left of living here (hopefully.) and i don't wanna get the icould'vedonemoreitis syndrome.

i'm gonna try my best to enjoy commuting. try to spend more time creating memories with people. and, of course, eating all the mangoes that i can get my hands on!

Almost Step Two

I called the US Embassy in Manila on a whim yesterday to ask if they'd allow me to follow up on K's petition.

The man I spoke to asked for her name... silence... keyboard typing sounds... "G..H..I..J..K..L (K's full name)... Yes. This was approved last... June 4. We sent it to the Immigration Section June 8. You can call this number to follow up with them."

"Wow! Thanks!" I replaced the receiver and stared at my Twitter page. Tears welled up in my eyes.

*screaming and jumping up and down* 17's petition was approved!!!!! from web

I whispered a silent prayer of thanks and proceeded to send an SMS to my closest friends.

The waiting continues though. This time, for the papers to arrive at our house.

But I'm not complaining.

My petition for my daughter's been approved. That's all that matters at this point.

Sigh of relief.

Monday, June 18, 2007

ClickComment Coolness

I just had a brush with great customer service.

I signed up for ClickComments a few days ago after stumbling upon it when I chanced upon this post that included one of my pastors in their list of Christian blogs - Steve Murrell who has been living in the Philippines since 1984.

All the blogs and websites that sign up for the service get featured here in the main showcase!

So if you are the type who is shy or too in a hurry to leave a comment, the ClickComments icons are a great way to express yourself.

Especially if you're here on Blogger. I can't say the same for those on, which is where I maintain my other blog. I still signed up though in an attempt to see if it would run and as expected, it didn't.

But since I knew it wouldn't, I wasn't bothered.

Lo and behold, today I was pleasantly surprised by this e-mail from the people behind ClickComments.


We noticed that you signed up for PostReach ClickComment for your blog on However, does not allow you to install your
own plug-ins. If you want ClickComments you will have to contact by logging into your dashboard and sending
them a message in their ‘feedback’ section of the dashboard.

We hope to make the ClickComments plug-in available on with
your help.

Hans and the PostReach team

Isn't that great?

I love pro-active customer service.

Why did I sign up for

Oh yeah. Pretty themes.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

17 Photography

I freelance as a writer for hire these days. I get gigs outside of work because I have editor and writer friends here and there. The real job though is a priority so I have had to turn down some pretty cool assignments. A motoring media challenge in Baguio was among the most recent.

My last gig involved reviewing Creative and Olympus products for their local distributor. Too bad all the photos I took of the NU 107 Rock Awards disappeared along with the rest of my stolen iBook last December. The E-330 was the coolest camera I ever laid my hands on. Thank God it wasn't taken along with my laptop.

Soon after returning it, I was given an Olympus mu-725 SW to test-drive. We lovedet. And the fact that I had it for four months made us all the more attached to it.

Sigh. Our real camera is a crappy Kodak EasyShare CX 7220 2.0MP that I got Kyera for Christmas four years ago. Since trying out the Olympuses, she despises our poor digicam.

At least we both got to experience the wonders of Olympus.

Guess who learned how to use the Self-timer functions and got really good at it.

We need an Olympus for real; 17 needs a ballet school in the US; and I need a writing gig that will hopefully take me out of town and get my mind off waiting for the US Embassy to tell me if my daughter's petition has been approved.

Le sigh. Le sigh. Le sigh.

song playing on kyera's ipod: it's beginning to get to me by snow patrol

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Permanence Until Further Notice

Found out from the Philippine Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID) that I don't have to downgrade to Tourist status after all. Yay! I was told that I can stay in the Philippines until I leave provided that I simply surrender my Permanent Resident Card and my Immigration Card when I exit the country for good.

I guess it's kind of like a Green Card holder in the US giving up the green card.

My busyness in real life has more to do with our single computer at home. I just had to start blogging regularly a few months after my laptop got stolen. Perfect timing. K and I have ended up having to share our poor old PC and that hasn't been easy. Ms Writer Mom and Miss Ballerina Seventeen are learning to share the blogging love by taking turns.

I'll live. I console myself with the thought that when I get to the US, I'm buying a 15-inch MacBook Pro, baby!

In the meantime, I decided to test-drive a new comment thing below. I stumbled upon it (Like A LOT of stuff I find on the web!) when surfing for work. Seriously. I got it to sample it for the work blog I maintain.

When you click on the question mark, it takes you to a site where you can get your own ClickComment code. The cool part is that it pools users' blogs into a showcase so others can find you. There are so many services like this, but this is the first time I've actually signed up for one. Looks simple and is easy to set up. We'll see how it goes.

I made us a Tag Cloud!! Isn't it pretty?! I got it from my friend over at Frivolous Motion. Click here if you're on Blogger and want this awesome looking widget. Follow the instructions properly and you'll be on your way.

In case I get tired of either of the new toys, I can always revert to the default. (Not likely though!) The cool thing about blogging is the luxury of hitting 'Delete'.

If only real life were just as simple.

song playing on itunes at work: showtunes genre from jj mandac's networked itunes. i <3> networked itunes!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


hello there. it's kyera. yes, i'm finally blogging. mom has been bugging me to blog and i decided to finally go and do it. i explained in my other blog that i've been having a "writing drought" hmmm.. do you get that? heh. anyway.

we're supposed to hear from the embassy next week. how exciting! i've been feeling really good about this whole move. i wasn't expecting i'd feel this way about it. but, i realized that when you know that you're meant to do something, all fears fall away.

i'm still searching for a ballet school. hope i find one soon!