Counting Stars by OneRepublic, cover by Johan Saculles (video)

A NO-GUILT plug for my kiddo’s great performance during the Summer Voice & Piano Recitals at Merville Sacred Heart School.

Please watch and share. Thanks.

And please bear with the bad lighting. That’s the lousy videographer’s (me) fault. :)

Manang-mana sa pinagmanahan!

Stinky Cody – The New Dog in the House

Cody, our stinky, new dog.

Cody is our new pet dog in the house.

Cody is the realization of several months of painful contemplation on whether we will have a second dog or not. We’ve had protracted debates, my xGF and I, on whether to have a second dog or not. Are we responsible enough dog-owners? Can we take care of a second dog? Can we give it the same (or more) love and care we have given Mario, our first dog? Does Mario like to have another dog in the house?

Our primary consideration is Mario. Having been with us for almost three years now, we’ve always wondered how melancholic his days must have been without anyone to play (or even fight) with. My xGF and I see him only in the evenings and on weekends, and even then we can only spend very little time with him. Marielle and Johan, albeit they adore Mario, have become more and more busy with their school works and other enrichment activities. It breaks our heart when we see Mario sad and silent in a corner. So it’s been finally decided. We’ll have a second dog. Read more

“Nanny” for a Day

THE WORD NANNY has always assumed a female gender, and there really is no word for its male equivalent, is there? I googled it just now and all I got is “male nanny.” I guess I’ll just stick to “nanny” in referring to myself in this very short tale I would like to share. After all, it was just for a day. Only for a few hours on August 5, actually.

Parents and nannies waiting for their wards in a pre-school in Paranaque City

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Happy 2nd Birthday, Mario


Johan and Mario

MARIO celebrated his 2nd birthday on July 28. Marielle read somewhere that a dog year is equivalent to approximately seven human years.  That would make Mario 14 years old!

Johan finds the idea that Marielle is no longer the eldest “kid” in the family somewhat amusing. My ex-exgirlfriend and I suddenly realized that we have an adolescent in the house, and find the idea somewhat unsettling. Are we supposed to be worried?

Mario, meanwhile, has grown much bigger and heavier. We never thought a shih-tzu would grow that big.  But of course Mario is not just a Shih-tzu. He’s a Pug, too.

At two years of age Mario behaves much like a 14-year old adolescent would; He gets excited every time a lady dog is nearby; He would pick fights with other male dogs, even those twice or three times his size; He eats a lot; He has a bad case of body odor; And he is as adorable as ever.

Happy birthday, Mario. And no, you cannot bring girls home. And yes, you have to take a bath more often.


Two birthdays in May. There should have been three.

WE CELEBRATED two birthdays at home in May — for my beloved Nanay (May 3) and for my niece, Mhaio (May 27), who is currently staying with us.  We did the celebration for both on May 26.

There should have been one other birthday for us to celebrate in May.  My father’s birth date is May 11, and we used to celebrate his birthday at home, too, together with my mother’s. He passed away in October last year, however.

We sorely missed Ama.  Marielle would often sob in her sleep when she dreams of him. Johan would remember the activities they did together. But Ama is no longer with us and we have to move on with our lives without him.

There were only two cakes last May 26 when there were supposed to be three.  Even our photos seemed incomplete and lacking in color.  We all felt sadness deep inside, for in our hearts Ama left a gaping hole.  But there were enough reasons to celebrate and be happy. So we celebrated with lots of food and even more laughter. Ama would not have wanted it any other way.

Two Bored “Aliens”

WAIT these are not aliens.  These are my kids, Johan and Marielle!

These are the sort of stuff that one might get while in a 3-hour no-frills flight with two bored kids and a MacBook.

I quite accidentally discovered these in my Mac’s hard drive when I was wondering why my storage usage seemed approximately 2GB more than expected.

I randomly chose these from almost a thousand of photos taken from my Mac’s Photo Booth.