To Quit or Not to Quit

It's home, but it doesn't feel like.

I started my career in teaching IELTS and ESL. We had a 2-day training where I did mainly observations on how classes were conducted and lessons presented. Although I do not have professional experience in teaching, I knew I could do it (especially after observing the teachers handle each class. I'm telling you, if they could do it, any of my friends can ... lol)

So, what gives me heavy feeling about the job? It's the environment. It's as cold as the ice glaciers in Alaska. (I'm actually freezing to the bones as I compose this blog on my Treo here in the lobby ... lol). Maybe because the old timers are not as accommodating and welcoming? Intimidated or threatened, perhaps? For whatever the cause, it just gives me a heavy feeling everytime.

One more demo and it's either a yes or no for me, they said. Should I quit before I get myself trapped in this horrible environment? I'll give myself 1 more day to discern.

I miss NY. I miss Canada. People from my workplace there were far more warm, friendly and professional .. and they're not even Pinoys! (rolling eyes)

"If we cannot be clever, we can always be kind." ~Alfred Fripp (

I'm Outta Here!

(My letter to International Language School, Inc.)

To whom it may concern:

I have decided not to pursue my application with your institution.

First of all, the environment seemed as cold as ice. It gave such a heavy feeling the whole time I was there. Some of the teachers were not as welcoming and accommodating. There was a feeling of enmity and antipathy in the air. It would have mattered little to me. I was there to work and not to please them. Besides, I do not get intimidated as easily. As a Law graduate, I had proudly survived my share of barbs and scathing remarks from law school professors as well as from judges in civil courts when I did my practice. However, I do believe one can never be as effective in a workplace if she is not happy with the situation and the overall environment she is in. And I certainly believe that I would never be happy in your institution by the manner shown me during my initial training.

This resolve was even strengthened by the fact that one of your teachers extremely exaggerated the classroom incident where my opinion was solicited and I, in turn, asked if it was alright to give comment or even participate. Surely, it was ok to ask, right? Being new and not knowing all the protocols, I just wanted to be sure that what I was doing was admissible. I did not intend to be rude or arrogant. I was actually enjoying that particular class. I guess it had slipped my mind that I am now back in Philippines where most people are overly-sensitive and usually gives wrong meaning to some words or gestures.

And what's even worst was that the Headmaster sided with the teacher without getting the facts straight. Again, having a legal background, I am a strong upholder of justice. There are two sides to every story, and one should always be presumed innocent until proven guitly. But as was put quite bluntly, I seemed to have lost any chance of survival should I decide to go on because, and I quote: "we put values to our old teachers".

It's disappointing, but it leaves me no choice but to altogether 'stop fighting a losing battle', so to speak. I cannot be a part of something I do not believe in. Like I've mentioned during my interview with the Manager, I am very professional. I pursued my application knowing fully well that the job would not really meet my salary standards. I did not put great weight on its financial aspect. It was never about the money. Rather, it was more because I wanted to learn the ropes of, and see if I have a knack in, professional teaching, as well as to enrich myself with additional knowledge and skills so I can put the same to practical application. This aspiration is squashed by the fact that some people there needed a crash course on 'New Employee Welcome' or even on 'Smile is Free' program.

With all that being said, I do'nt harbour any remorse towards anybody. The whole experience actually made me realize how far more better I have become as a person.

So, I sincerely thank you for the opportunity. I also would like to acknowledge the teachers who have made the 'ordeal' bearable for me ... those who offered genuine smiles, help, encouragement and light conversations (you know who you are and God bless your kind hearts).

Baguio is a small place. There is a possibility that our paths will cross. Rest assured that I will sincerely offer a genuine smile (and might even extend my hand as a friendly gesture).

"Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that. But the great ones make you feel that you, too, can become GREAT!" - Mark Twain

The Patriot

I’m amazed how my kids quickly pick up the Filipino language now that they’re enrolled here in the country (Don Bosco School, Baguio). I remember in Canada, well-meaning (and not-so-well-meaning) people were telling us to teach our kids to speak Filipino (and implying irresponsibility on our part as parents if we don’t).

Thing is, Pinoys oftentimes confuse use of Filipino language with Patriotism. Love of one’s country (patriotism) can be expressed in numerous ways. Speaking in Filipino is just one of these ways, but is certainly NOT the only way.

I say that English should be taught by every parent starting childhood, regardless of your stature in society (I know most rich families do, and perhaps that’s one reason they get ahead in life). English, and not Taglish, should be the medium of instruction in every school, public or private. There should be less Filipino subjects as well … Makabayan, Araling Panlipunan, Pilipino … What the heck? Can there just be one? Pilipino? After all, we speak the language most of our free time after school. We hear them on TV and radio. We converse with our friends and family using the Filipino language. I do believe our own language is actually overused.

I remember my own childhood days (I was born in the 70’s) when my favorite shows like Sesame Street, Looney Tunes, Voltes V, Daimos, Uncle Bob Lucky 7 Club, etc. were shown in English. We did not speak English in our family. In fact, the only other exposure we had in English was our time in school during classes, just about 5-6 hours a day. But I can tell you we understood what were being shown. And the fact that I knew and learned English well did not in any way affect my patriotism even when we lived in Canada. It actually gave us a better chance in adapting to Canadian culture.

Nowadays, most TV shows are either dubbed in Filipino or has a Filipino counterpart (like Batibot for Sesame Street, Tabing Ilog for Dawson’s Creek). I guess it all started when some no-good politicians in the past proposed a bill that Filipino language should be the medium of instruction, invoking nationalism and patriotism as their causes. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Like I said, Patriotism does not have anything to do with the knowledge or use of Filipino language. One may not know how to speak Filipino fluently but it does not necessarily mean he/she is not patriotic. Patriotism is love for, and devotion to, one’s country. Filipino language is just one symbol of our identity as a Filipino nation. .

Look at the result. A decline in English Proficiency among our people, even College graduates. Hence, outsourcing by North America to our country is limited. They mainly choose India, China and Russia. Philippines just come in fourth. My company, Bell Canada, the largest telecom company in Canada, has 3 Call Centers in India and zero (as in nada, nil, zip, NOTHING) here in the Philippines.

Whoa, wait … India, you say? Pinoys, wake up! I just mentioned India. Ooops, no offense meant to people from India (I have a lot of Indian friends). What I’m just saying is that if India can do it, why could not we? I mean, English has always been our second language since the Americans colonized us. Whatever happened to our knowledge and correct use of the language? We go back to those idiots who insisted that speaking Filipino is patriotism at its peak.

I have more to say on this subject but this can't be a novel-blog. So, to be continued.

"Unless our conception of patriotism is progressive, it cannot hope to embody the real affection and the real interest of the nation." - Jane Addams (


I was recently hired by an international company to teach English online to professional Koreans. They have a branch here in Baguio and there’s an opportunity for me to work from home coz I have a high speed internet connection, and with most online and call center jobs, that’s all you need to have. I haven’t started yet, so I have no idea how to do it (it's a first for me which was what got me applying for the job coz I know it's a challenge). I started searching the net and I found out that English teaching jobs are abound, and Korean companies are even shouldering the travel and lodging expenses. However, the opportunities are mostly for citizens of USA, Canada, Australia, UK, New Zealand, Ireland and South Africa.

Whoah! Hang on a second! Why would the Korean government make it exclusive only to the aforementioned countries when I’m pretty sure, citizens of other countries like the Philippines, are also capable, if not more than capable, of teaching English as well?

In any case, I decided to give it a try and send out my Resume, you know, just for the sake of challenging the idea. I mentioned that although I am not a citizen of those countries, I can very well assure them that I speak and understand the English language. I also mentioned my own personal experience with Canadians and Americans who, although speak the language fluently, do not necesarily speak it properly. They are fluent because English is their first language, but they are not particularly exceptional when it comes to its correct usage, pronunciation, grammar and even spelling. In one of my job stints in Canada (for a Test Marking), we had a very simple English exam on usage, grammar and spelling, and not all Canadians who applied (we were 8) got in. The ones that got in had Master’s degrees to their credit. My point is that being citizens of these English-speaking countries do not necessarily make them masters of the English language.

Anyways, after 2 days, I got a reply from the company, and I quote: “The unfortunate reality of the ESL market is that the governments of most countries require that individuals applying for teaching visas are citizens of English speaking countries. These are defined as countries where English is the first language and they are limited to the following: Canada, America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. This has absolutely NOTHING to do with your proficiency in the English language but is simply the government regulation.”

Whew! I guess I can accept that logic. At least they're not saying that citizens of other countries are no better.

"The English language is nobody's special property. It is the property of the imagination: it is the property of the language itself". ~Derek Walcott (

Perfect Day!

Sun’s up. It’s a little after 12. Make breakfast for myself. Leave the work for someone else. People say, they say that it’s just a phase. They tell me to act my age. Well, I am.


On this perfect day, nothing’s standing in my way.  
On this perfect day, nothing can go wrong. 
It’s a perfect day. Tomorrow’s gonna come too soon.  
I could stay forever as I am on this perfect day.

Sun’s down a little after 10. I pick up all my friends in my Mercedes Benz. 
Wake up. Don’t tell me it’s just a dream coz when I’m heading off you hear me say 
“Now don’t you try to rain on my …”(perfect day) 

Nothing’s standing in my way. On this perfect day, nothing can go wrong. 
It’s a perfect day. Tomorrow’s gonna come too soon. 
I could stay forever as I am on this perfect day. 

I’m in the race but I’ve already won, and getting there can be half the fun. 
So don’t stop me till I’m good and done. Don’t you try to rain on my perfect day.
It’s a perfect day. It’s a perfect day, nothing’s gonna bring me down.  
I could stay forever as I am.

Worth The Wait

SM Baguio’s ‘The Great 3-day Sale’ started today (Fri-Sun). I thought if we go today (Friday), it wont be too crowded, coz most people would still be at work. Well, I was sooo wrong! It’s already a madhouse by 12nn. Makes me wonder if all these people here are also unemployed like me? lol. You’d never believe our country is in a crisis, what with all the mad shopping that’s taking place right here, right now .(Btw, I'm writing this while we’re having lunch here at Cordillera Cafe. Not because I love the food here – they're good but just not too many choices – but because they have FREE wifi, which is sooo neat!. They’re 1 of 2 establishments that offer wifi in the mall, the other 1 being Starbucks, but what the heck can you eat in Starbucks?).

But why shop during events like this? Just a few reasons I can think of:

1. Prices really drop. A week ago I was scouting for a new pair of jeans (it's been a while since I wore jeans, and when I finally decided to wear one, I found out I don’t have any coz I've given them all away.) They range from P2000-P4000. Today, I got 1 for only P750 (not a Levi's, though. Stupid me coz I passed up a Levi’s sale in NY where women’s jeans were on sale from only $50. tsk tsk.)
-Disney shoes were offered at 50% discount. And as our princess (JM) was with me, she just had to have 1 herself. Girls! (rolling eyes)

2. A whole lot of freebies. Pinoys are suckers for giveaways. Well, at least I am.
-Globe telecom teamed up w/ SM and was offering free SIM card for each P200 single receipt purchase from the dept store. Well, I didn’t know it till I already paid for my purchases. I could have gotten a lot more SIM cards if I didn't pay all at once. lol
-There’s pick-a-prize when you buy P50 worth of chocolates.
-There were too many BOGO items on the Perfumery, Cosmetics and Entertainment (on CDs/DVDs) sections.
-From Supermarket, we got samples of Downy and Purex.
-Each participating outlet in the mall were giving away their own freebies and stuff.

3. Double the points on your reward cards, additional discounts (and interest-free) when you use credit cards from participating financial institutions like BPI, BDO among others.

4. Great prizes to win in raffle draws.
- SM (mallwide) has a raffle draw for each, $500 single receipt purchase from any of the participating outlets, giving away panasonic refrigerators and washing machines.
- SM Dept Store is holding its own local raffle draw every 2 hours. They are giving away home theatres and other neat prizes.

5. It’s fun to watch, and mingle with, the crowd. People are full of glee and it just gives you a happy wonderful feeling that you’re right there at that very moment. No worries, no problems. (That would come after --- when the credit card bills arrive. lol)

"Shopping is better than sex. If you're not satisfied after shopping you can make an exchange for something you really like." - Adrienne Gusoff (


Admit it or not, women in general find shopping therapeutical. And it does NOT have anything to do with one's financial standing. Regardless of how much $$ we have on our purse, our moods usually dictate when it's time for us, women, to hit the shops.

Thing is, the act of shopping itself gives us a kind of relief ... from stress, misery, or even just plain boredom. And if we're fortunate enough to get some really great finds, it gives us a deep sense of fulfillment... like we're ready to face another day, or conquer the world, or whatever!

Well, at least, that' s how I would personally describe shopping. Don't get me wrong. I'm no Paris Hilton or Tori Spelling (I wish I were, money-wise!). But I guess I'm not the only one who views shopping this way.

Thus, to stop myself from feeling so homesick that particular day, I had to focus on finding real bargains on shops along 5th Ave. Luckily for me, Banana Rep was offering 'additional 30% off to already reduced prices'. Wow! That's like going to an outlet store - but on 5th Ave!

As with every store that offers such huge savings, the real gems could be found in inconspicuous places (my expertise is based on years of bargain-hunting). I found two neat blouses on 2nd floor at the far end of the Ladies' Wear. They originally cost about $85 each (I know coz the s#$@*&^ cashier mistakenly took 30% off from the original price instead of the reduced price; I had to blatantly point it out coz I was sure I only had $40 in my bank account then ... lol).

But I got both blouses for only (hold your breath) .....


Now, doesn't that beat Dr. Phil's therapy? (wink!)
"Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping." - Bo Derek (

I Have Got To Shop!

My new notebook has Windows Vista which does not support my Treo's Quick Install, and thus, most of my older blogs are still stored on my phone. (I wonder what Microsoft was thinking? The new versions are supposedly better than the old ones, but it would seem XP is still the best). (rolling eyes)

I wrote the following blog last July 11, and I feel exactly the same way today (Sept. 25) coz it's been 2 weeks now since my Sweetheart went back home and homesickness just hit me hard as I was praying in church a while back.

I'm manually transferring the blog from my phone. Read on:

"Red, blocked nose, puffy eyes, looooong face .... that's how I look as I'm writing this, 30K feet above the ground onboard NWA. I'm on my way to NY and for the first time ever, I am not with my Sweetheart, which really breaks my heart ... and causes yet fresh flood of tears (wait, I need to blow my nose).

I wanted my hubby to come, but all things considered, it was best that he stays behind for the meantime (which thought brings me to tears again ... I'm such a crybaby).

My Sweetheart and I have always been together. As in ALWAYS! (Check out his article on our site That's why this trip, which is supposedly super-duper exciting since it'll be my first time to visit US, just gives me a so-so nice feeling. I mean, how exciting can it be when you don't get to share it with the man you love, right?

And to top it all, they're playing '27 dresses' on the screen ( a cute, romantic story) which didn't help at all alleviating my misery. (sniff, sniff)"

I miss you so much, Sweet! I'll be home soon.

"The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected". - Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook (

Charice Is My Idol

Talk about how DESIRE is so powerful in turning your dreams into a reality.

This is the link to the full video of Charice's duet with none other than Andrea Bocelli.

Makes me wanna dream big things again even though I say that my dreams now are just for my kids coz mine have all come true.

"Don't be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so." - Belva Davis (

Dreams Do Come True

I'm writing this blog here at Mid-Manhattan Library @ 5th Av. I always come here coz they have free wifi and it's a lot warmer than staying in Bryant Park (where wifi is also free).

I've been here since this morning and after long hours of just reading, studying, surfing and chatting, I was getting kinda tired and sleepy, and I just longed to lay back in my bed and doze off for a while. But the room I'm renting is about 40 mins from here (Brooklyn) so, not a good idea. I thought maybe I'd just unwind by watching youtube videos of Charice Pempengco. I haven't been updated with the latest happenings on this girl since she last guested on Ellen show coz the internet back in my place is erratic, so downloading videos could take forever.

Anyways, so here I was watching the whole segment (many thanks the uploader, ayawgloria, who 'kept' the link alive) and I just couldn't hold back my tears. Darn! I wasn't prepared for this so no tissue or hankie. Just imagine me here in the library, sniffing in a corner. Kinda embarassing. I'm beginning to get a headache as well from trying hard not to cry so much.

Charice made drawings of herself singing with her idols when she was a little girl. Now, she's living her dream ... the very same dream she drew on pieces of paper a long time ago.

Watch these videos , if you haven't had the chance, or even if you have, just watch them again, coz im telling you there is so much to learn here. And besides, it's so worth your time coz this girl is AWESOME! - follow the uploader's instruction on the main page.

"Maybe dreams come true when you draw pictures of it. Maybe that's it. You know? I've heard of vision boards. That's pretty amazing!" - Oprah

This Just In

I got my Bank of America checkbook in the mail today. Can't wait till I deposit my millions there.

That reminds me ... I gotta check my lottery tickets .... (wink!)

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort". ~Herm Albright, quoted in Reader's Digest, June 1995 (

My Scrapbook

Watch this video and tell me if you're not blown away:

I actually followed what Mike Dooley did and made my own little scrapbook.  And since one of my goals was to open a US bank account even as a visitor, I cut out and pasted Bank of America logos (any bank would do but Bank of America ads were the easiest to find on mags).

A few weeks before that though, I have applied for ITIN (Citibank requires it), and got refused, coz IRS needed a proof that I have indeed opened an account. Hello? Bank says to go get an ITIN first, then IRS says to go open an account first. How the heck am I gonna do that? (rolling eyes!)

Moving on ...

Then , one day, I was leisurely walking along Times Square, and on impulse, just decided to go inside the Bank of America branch there and asked about their requirements. Well, you probably guessed what happened next ...

that's one goal OFF my list! How cool is that? (wink!)

"Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal." - Joseph Cossman (


Oh, Canada!

My husband and I never got to practice our profession, but we learned most about Canadian Immigration Law (thanks to this wonderful lady Cecilia who gave us the opportunity to do so).

Now, we just want to help people who want to come to Canada and want to get some free info on how to. We know from experience that there are a lot of thieving agencies out there who promise the moon and the stars but only give you hell.

So, we are devoting a page on our family website, JMJ Family Enterprise, about Canadian Immigration, particularly the Live-in Caregiver Program and Permanent Residence. Note that the links are mainly for Philippine applicants, but other nationalities are free to email us at and ask info as well. We promise to get back to all emails received, answer all questions and share our knowledge to the best of our ability. And for those who would love to add input, you are most welcome to do so.

"Happiness is not so much in having as sharing. We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." - Norman Waceman (

(NOTE:  Some links may have been broken as we have not updated the pages for quite some time, but the information remains the same. We'll update the broken links as soon as we can.)

The Universe and I

Today, I'm challenging the Universe once again.

I'm sitting here in Burger King (near Empire State), having my brunch while doing my blogs, when this deaf-mute guy handed me an Alphabet sign language card, and naturally, asking for donation. I don't normally give alms to bums anymore, but this guy gave me something useful, so I thought "why not?"

So, I gave him all the cash I have ( a repeat of our St. John's, NL experience).

It's half-past 3 on a Tuesday afternoon, so let's see what happens.
"Think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege." - John Rockefeller, Jr. (

My Great American Dream

Ever since as a girl, I have always wanted to go to America. I came from a family where colonial mentality is at its best (or worst, depending on how you view it). We looked up to Americans, we watched American programs, we loved imported goods ... it didn't matter if it was just Maxam toothpaste so long as it was bought from abroad (yeah, I know, we sound like losers). The all-time favorite imported goods would of course be the chocolates ... Toblerones, Hersheys, Cadburys ... hmmm yummy! I remember one summer we even went to Olongapo City (where one of the American bases used to be) just so we could buy from Duty Free shops there (rolling eyes!)

Year 2001 was when I thought I would finally fulfill my American Dream coz my husband and I were granted 10-yr multiple US visa. But then, we found ourselves living in Canada instead. And we fell in love with Canada, and we stayed and I totally forgot about my American Dream thinking 'what else could US offer us when we're already basking in the beauty and glory of Canada'? (We've lived in Vancouver, St. John's, Toronto, and traveled to Niagara, Montreal and other major cities there so I kinda know what I'm talking about).

When we vacationed in our home country after 6 years of living abroad, I was not as thrilled, especially coz my only family (my Mom) is in Chicago and I only had my aunts and cousins to say hi to there in the Phils. But mostly because I knew we had to stay in Mt. Province where my husband's family lives. Don't get me wrong. I love their place. It's heavenly ... weather is like springtime in Canada (cool and breezy), view is awesome with high mountains, lovely waterfalls, tall & majestic trees, rich gardens full of all kinds of vegies and beautiful, rare flowers, clean springs... just awesome.

But being a city girl, 2 weeks in that oh, so heavenly place already felt like a decade. And I just had this crazy thought one time I was talking to my Mom to actually go to US for a visit.

So, I did.

And now I'm here basking in the beauty and glory of USA (I've been to Chicago, Washington, NJ and NY so I kinda know what I'm talking about .. lol). (wink!)

My Great American Dream has finally come true!

"Dreams do come true. Without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them." - John Updike (

1 Neat FREEBIE For You

Dr. Joe Vitale gave me a free e-book entitled "The Greatest Money Making Secret in History". It's a very inspiring book that everybody must have or at least read. It changed my whole perspective on money and generosity.

Grab your free copy HERE.

One great lesson I learned from that book is the art of joyful giving (emphasis on the emotion, coz if you don't feel joy when you give, you are sending a negative vibration to the universe).

I learned generosity as a virtue from my Mom early on in my childhood. I remember her giving alms to peasants on the streets, putting aside 10% of her earnings and donating it to Church, helping family and friends with whatever they need. So, naturally, I was influenced to do the same.

After reading the book, I've come to realize I was not really doing it the proper way. I've had experiences in the past when people took advantage of my generosity and I felt trapped in the emotion of guilt and a sense of obligation. (Very similar story as that on page 16).

Now, there's a new meaning to my Giving. I now give to people (or churches/orgs) who have given me spiritual nourishment like Bro. Bo Sanchez, Dr. Joe Vitale, etc. And I absolutely feel good about it.
"Love must be the guiding principle in all our giving." - James A. Decker

P.S. Hey, download a copy of this book now for free.

I Want 8 Kids!

Whenever I tell people I want 8 kids, I never get any positive reaction. None! As in zero, nada, nil, nothing, nix! They'd give me this horrified look, with their eyes bulging out of their sockets (secretly thinking "this girl is definitely a loony"), and shamelessly ask "Are you out of your freaking mind?"

Which is, of course, totally understandable. I mean, c'mon, this is the 2oth century. For most people (in the 20-30 age range), a lot of kids would be more than ZERO. Yeah, that's right. Go ahead; ask them. They'll gladly tell you they don't want any kids at all. Those in the 30-40 age range would probably tell you 1 kid is enough. And if you keep asking about 500 people or so, you'd be lucky to get a reply of '2 would be ideal'.

For the enlightenment of those who do not know me personally, the reason behind this 'craziness' is that I am an only child. There. That should justify it.

People can think and say all sorts of things. I don't ... and won't care. All I know is that with 4 kids (I'm halfway to my goal... lol), I've never, ever felt like I had too much on my hands. I love being a Mom. I love everything about my beautiful, happy li'l perfect family. And it shows on how gorgeous I still look! Hey, I just borrowed the words of my husband. (wink) :)

I'm Back

I've been very laxed since the last time I blogged and I feel it's about time to get back to it. This will be like my online diary especially of the daily blessings I receive (no matter how little or big it may be).

My mind's racing with so much thoughts and ideas that I needed to convert them into something I could see and review every chance I get ... to keep me inspired and awakened. And that's where Blogging comes in.

My upcoming blogs would be about:
1. The Secret (A movie that was released a year ago. Trust me, once you see this movie, you will never be the same again).
2. Gratitude series (I will be thanking specific people that have made a positive impact on my life). So, friends, watch out for your names on the blog title because you deserved to be honored.
3. Everyday occurences, reviews, tips, quips or any topic under the sun