I’m broke but I’m happy!

Just as I thought that nothing much significant would happen this Saturday, I was very wrong. I’ve been debating for a long time whether to buy a new telescope for msyelf or a sewing machine for my mother, when I finally decided on the latter. When we went to Trinoma a month ago, I passed by Western Appliances and saw their selection of Brother sewing machines. I had my eyes on a particular model (BM-2600) and I knew that that was the exact one I wanted to give to Mama. She has been hinting on this since last year and I have promised her as well to buy one soon. Well, that soon became almost forgotten and Mama did not even bother reminding me but she was still secretly hoping I’d get her one. LOL

Gift for my mother - a Brother BM-2600 sewing machine

 

I called Western Appliances after lunch to confirm with the person in charge of the sewing machines that I would be passing by earlier this evening to get a unit. I had alraedy saved up for this, so there was no point postponing the purchase again. I just want to get it over with. Out of the three available models, I decided on this one — and then the demonstration of its features happened. It took about 20-30 minutes to show every single function of the sewing machine, from changing the stitch up to the making of buttonholes. My head was kind of heavy with all the information, because I was used to our VERY old and dilapidated Singer sewing machine, which only had a single running stitch function. =D Good thing it included an instructional video in a DVD because I have honestly forgotten more than half of the functions he discussed.

But before we event went to Western Appliances, we had passed by Cutting Edge on a whim to oggle at their selection of telescopes. However, it might have been a wrong call because I can’t stop stressing over the Celestron telescopes on display and I seriously considered buying one, especially as these units do not always show up in their stores. To cut the long story short, I eventually bought a new telescope!

A Celestron telescope from Cutting Edge!

 

Don’t get me wrong, I love my Meade ETX-70. And eversince I bought one (secondhand) exactly a year ago, it has been serving me well. However, it was really frustrating to look at some of the planets because of the faulty base, making it extremely difficult to focus on an object. Higher magnifications exasperate me so much, but it was really good in viewing asterisms or other wide-angle subjects

When I got inside, Cutting Edge had four types of Celestron telescopes on sale but I instantly got ‘infatuated’ with the Celestron PowerSeeker 127 EQ. It cost Php 1000-more than the 114 EQ so I thought that it was no-brainer to pick the 114 over the 127 at that price. LOL I went to the cost-efficiency route in judging with the added mm in the aperture.

I'm broke but I'm happy - Brie with the sewing machine and the telescope

 

I went home with an emptier pocket, but I was happy. =D Mama was extremely happy and giddy and I immediately said “Belated Merry Christmas! Advanced Happy Mother’s Day! Advanced Happy Birthday!” Hopefully, she’ll give the hinting a rest because I already bought her new sewing machine.  As for the telescope, I thought that if I keep on putting off getting one, it will continue until the end of the year and I have no time for that. If I were to empty my pocket, I might as well do it now so that I’ll have time to focus on more important things for the year — and that includes being more serious with Ebay etc!

Food trip to compensate for the ‘lost’ Baguio trip!

We did NOT push through with our Baguio trip. There I said it. However, as it was not that well-planned, it was no surprise for us that we did not continue with it. I only began searching for guesthouses yesterday but all of the people I asked had no vacant rooms. It then took me a few hours to realize the reason for this — it was Panagbenga Festival season in Baguio City now. How did I miss that crucial part? Maybe because I was under the impression that the festival happens on the summer months (i.e. March to May) but I was honestly not that enthusiastic to visit Baguio when there will surely be a lot of tourists around. We could have gone yesterday but decided to just spend the day together and eat, eat and eat. =D We can always go back to Baguio on the latter months of the year, when Ikle will be back in the country, finishing his graduate thesis.

We first got our tickets for our 7:25 PM movie in the fourth floor. Good thing we reserved our seats the night before on SureSeats because aside from the number of people queuing for tickets, all of the seats for Jackie Chan’s Chinese Zodiac (a.k.a. CZ12) were either reserved or sold already. We then went to Super Bowl of China to have our early dinner. We ordered food enough for the three of us, because we always tend to over-order and end up forcefeeding ourselves just not to waste food and money. We had crispy noodles, lemon chicken, steamed fish and fried rice. It was not our first time to order this set because it was our fail-safe choice of dishes. Ikle mentioned that these dishes were much better than the food he eats in China, imagine the irony of that. He had a kidney problem two months ago because of the extremely greasy and salty Chinese food. If his friends were to come to the Philippines in the future, he asserted that he will definitely bring them to Super Bowl of China.

Pa-sweet lang - Super Bowl of China, Trinoma

Waiting for the food

Super Bowl of China dishes

Forty-five minutes before the screening time, we headed back to the fourth floor to eat dessert: crêpes from Café Breton. Ikle had no more ‘available compartments’ in his stomach but I urged him to eat even the simplest crêpe just for the spirit of eating together. At that point, I felt like the witch forcing Hansel to eat. LOL

Menu of Cafe Breton, Trinoma

Somebody fell under the soporific spell of the flash =D

Ikle and I - Café Breton, Trinoma

They have a pretty lighting here - Café Breton, Trinoma

Eden, La Pinay and Almond and Honey crepes from Café Breton - Trinoma

While waiting for the movie inside the cinema, Mon got an amazing news — his sister has passed the UPCAT and got her chosen course of BS Mathematics in UPLB! She was the same sister whose UPCAT test permit I had personally applied for in June 2012! We were so delighted over the news that we got stinkeyes from people sitting in front of us as we were that noisy — sorry for that. In spite of the big news, our mood was temporarily dampened when Mon mentioned that there might be a problem because their father might not be too happy with the prospect of their daughter studying in UPLB. But we dealt on that over coffee after the movie.

Didn't know what this slice of cake was called - KoCCo, Sky Garden, SM North Edsa

A bunch of cakes from KoCCo, Sky Garden, SM North Edsa

So from Trinoma, we went to the Sky Garden of SM North to have coffee and cake in KoCCo. I forgot what KoCCo stands for but it was our favorite place to hang out, before Ikle went to China in August 2011. We then went on brainstorming on how to best persuade their father to permit her sister to study in Los Baños. She can transfer to Diliman after a year, provided she conditions herself to study VERY hard and not be too comfortable there. We just felt so bad over the idea of her giving up her slot and letting the opportunity to be a UP student pass (yes, opportunity). I was also running searches on my cellphone over reconsideration procedures in UP Manila and Diliman. However, based on what I’ve gathered, Diliman does not allow reconsideration, while UP Manila might reconsider her.

U.P. Diliman: 2.2 – no reconsideration
U.P. Manila: 2.285 – 2.5
U.P. Baguio: 2.659 – 2.574
U.P. Tacloban: 2.7 – 2.7
U.P. Cebu: 2.7 – 2.7
U.P. Iloilo: 2.7 – 2.7
U.P. Mindanao: 2.75 – 2.75
U.P. Los Banos: 2.42 – 2.8

Looking at the widely available list above, she might be reconsidered for UP Manila because she was admitted in UPLB, wherein a UPG 2.42 is needed. If their father’s concern is the proximity question, we were hoping that she can hopefully get in UPM and let’s just see what’ll happen next. But the best solution will be for their father to allow her to study in UPLB, so that they won’t have to go through the tedious reconsideration process, which usually takes until the last week of May/first week of June. Not a lot people have patience for that, and other universities might be already starting their respective classes. I think she’ll have a strong case, considering she is an UPCAT passer, asking for reconsideration, contrary to those who did not pass wishing to do so. But who knows? As always, the pain of waiting is indescribable, but nevertheless, congratulations Lot for passing UPCAT!

The last Saturday before Christmas

Yesterday, Mon and I were ready to face the daunting task — Christmas shopping on the last Saturday before Christmas. On our way to Trinoma, we were already discussing and making a list on our cellphone the things we need to buy for our loved ones and godchildren. I technically have six godkids but as only two were present (one’s already grown up, while the others: M.I.A.), I only had to buy two.

First stop was by the Barbie store in the second floor and I was able to finish choosing the items I wanted to buy within the first five minutes. Mon, on the other hand, had a hard time choosing what clothes to buy for my niece, Brie, who happened to be his goddaughter. Next stop was Toys R’ Us. We had a longer time looking and deciding for what toys to buy for the other kids. Towards the end of our shopping, though, we decided that it would be much better if one of us would get in line already while the other search for other last minute purchases.

The queue in Toys R' Us Trinoma on the last Saturday before Christmas

Well since I was already done with my things-to-buy list in this store, Mon had to run around and look for other toys to give to his godchildren. Again, the queue was insane and bladder-challenging. The lady in front of me asked me if I can hold her position in the line ‘for a moment’ because she had to rush and get something. I gave a non-committal “Yes.” with a blank look, so she’d rush as I did not entirely feel comfortable doing it for her. And I was right. I don’t know about other people but if  I said that I’d hurry up to pick something, it will be for a minute or two just to snatch whatever it was that I have forgotten. The lady in question, however, took a long time to get back on the line. She’d passed by my side, walking back and forth, and Mon even said that she was talking to somebody on the phone, while choosing for things on a shelf. O_O Had I known that such practice was okay, I could have fallen in line the moment I enter the store, ask the person next to me to hold my position, do my shopping and come back just in time to pay. =P Needless to say, she did not have her position back because… uhmmm… I did something interesting.

Going to the gift wrapping section of the store (because they wrap gifts for free as long as an item costs Php 300 or more), we were shocked to hear that the waiting time was six hours! Wow! That was a long time to wait just to have your gifts wrapped. But it was understandable, though. You can clearly see in their counter that the area was brimming with toys. They were literally slaving away and I hoped that other customers won’t give them a hard time because moments before, a cranky lady was throwing a fit in the cashier. Bless her little heart. Anyway, we had a lot of time in our hands since it was still 3:30 PM when we finished our toy shopping. We looked for gifts for the grown-ups and had a 6:30 PM screening of ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”. So 9:30 PM just flew by fast.

Last minute shopping - Christmas rush

After the movie, we went back to Toys R’ Us to claim the wrapped items. I think they had barely finished wrapping the gifts, and there was still a long line of customers waiting to have their items considered. When will they get their gifts? The following day? Most of them got discouraged and just asked for the free gift wrapper.

Coming from Trinoma, we ‘flew’ immediately back at home to freshen up a bit because we were to meet some of my high school friends, one of them was Chelli, who I unexpectedly met when eating in Mashitta almost two months ago. Spent until 2:00 AM talking and laughing our heads off over the funny and foolish anecdotes we had from high school until present day. Then today (or few hours ago), I just came from another get-together of high school friends in Jannet’s house. Only five came again and we could have all gotten together on a single day but alas, their schedules did not match and they already have prior commitments. I had to go to Jannet’s place, though, because I needed to hand out my gift for his son and my godson, Aleph.

High school friends on a Saturday and Sunday

Tomorrow will be a very relaxed day. I intend to just eat and drink and sample the cooking of my mother for our Noche Buena. Perhaps catch up with with niece and nephew, and give my dog a bath. =P Barely two days before Christmas and I can’t wait until the kids open their gifts. We’ve been annoying JB since this morning that he will be receiving pick-up sticks as a gift. He had no idea that I have just given him his first toy telescope, so that he won’t bug me to go outside and lug my heavy telescope just to go stargazing. Well, he did nit initially know about it because when he was enumerating the possible content of the box (prior to me telling him that it was pick-up sticks), he said “small telescope” and we were all dumbfounded. =D

Oh Christmas. So stressful, especially to the wallet but I know it will be worth it. =D I missed nobody on my list and I was very happy.

Mooncake Festival and my luck

While fixing the bag I used earlier, I’ve noticed that I have already accumulated a handful of coins. The lost of my coin purse a month ago has pushed me to be reckless with the loose change. The handful of coins did not help because my bags are usually heavy to begin with.

A handful of Philippine coins

To celebrate being free from the rashes of the previous month, I finally wore shorts today. But since I still got a few issues by my left foot, I decided to skip the flip-flops and wear these sneakers to cover them. In spite of the imminent downpour, I still wore light-colored shorts.
Check polo shirt, khaki shorts, red Jack Purcell Converse sneakers, black Coach metropolitan briefcase messenger - Manila, Philippines

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