Sunday, April 28, 2013


Aside from betting on the lotto, I dare say I'm not much of a gambler.  After all life itself is a gamble so why waste hard earned money on a risky maneuver? Having said that, from time to time, we indulge and head on to the bright lights of the casino to stake our claim.

Mostly it is only when my sister visits when we make our way to the land of slot machines. My mother is quite keen so it is imperative we keep a lid on her or else she would lose her entire savings.  Self control it seems is not a word found in her vocabulary. :D

So we ventured to explore the newly opened Solaire Resort & Casino in Paranaque. It is the first gambling site to rise in that reclaimed area to be known as Entertainment City. There were still a lot of ongoing construction in the parking building. You can tell from the smell of paint that invades your nostrils once you get out of the car. 

Once inside, you are immediately drawn to the vast arena of slot machines, poker tables and other games one can indulge in a typical casino setting.  There are also fine dining restaurants along with a food court center where they serve Asian and Western cuisine.

I also noticed these tall women dressed in black with red belt and high heels who are on display are situated in the main lobby. I figure they are guest relations officers who will guide you through the casino.  They didn't really make a good impression on me.  It came across as tacky and sleazy, but that's just me.

I guess I was lucky as I won P400 after I attacked the slot machines. I do practice self control as once I reach a certain amount I stop playing and pry myself away from temptation. :D

Friday, April 19, 2013

New earrings

Every time my sister comes home for a visit, she always has pasalubongs for me.  Lately, they have been earrings which she buys at the various jewelery trade shows she attends in her capacity as the editor of a magazine that features silver and gems.   The latest harvest is the biggest so far to add to my growing earrings collection.

The first 3 earrings have the amber gem stone.

A couple of dangling amethyst stones that are perfect with my violet outfits

Monday, April 15, 2013


After D bought a second hand but well maintained PC from his work colleague, I decided it would be a good idea to transfer his old PC to my former residence.  
So we had the tech guy reinstall Windows XP as its OS and brought the PC to the condo before my sister's Holy Week visit.  The thing is there is no DSL or broadband service there as my parents are not tech savvy it isn't wise to pay a monthly Internet fee, quite an unnecessary expense. 

The only solution is to use a USB Broadband stick which can be loaded with a card that guarantees 3 days of unlimited Internet service for merely 100 pesos.  Easy!  USB stick and prepaid card were at hand!  I always have an extra card in case our home connection conks out for whatever reason.


The main problem with this type of connection is it is quite unstable. My main issue is that it seems to hardly connect when I use it in my 12th floor condo unit.   Although,  I was connected without interruption the entire day on Holy Friday!  When you call the hotline number, the call center agent would give you a variety of reasons:
(1) the PC should be near a window.
(2) there are enhancement/maintenance works in the area
(3) the building is old so 3G cables are not installed
(4) try using the USB stick during off peak hours like early morning
(5) try using 2G (I did) but it was really slow like dial up service

After I made several calls to the hotline number and none of them help me resolve the problem, I decided to head to their business center and file a formal complaint.  The most recent call center agent suggested I should perhaps have the USB Broadband replaced with a newer version.  

I was number 88 in the queue when I got to the business center.  The number being served was 72.  But I'm patient, so I will wait as I really wanted to get it fixed, once and for all!     When it was my turn, the tech guy inserted the USB stick into his laptop, lo and behold, it works!  Of course, it would!  
Not to be taken seriously when your 'problem' works is something I totally hate.  I calmly explained (although deep inside I was really quite fed up and frustrated) the main issue I had with their product.  That I already called their hotline number several times and spoken to many of their agents who couldn't help me at all.  When I mentioned that perhaps a replacement was due, he merely shrugged and told me point blank, "why replace something that obviously isn't broken?"

To make the long story short, I simply gave up.  I did fill out a form lodging my complaint, they said they would call me with a feedback.  To this day, I haven't received any calls.  I was able to connect using 2G but it was really really really slow.  After a few hair  pulling minutes, I switched off the PC out of sheer frustration and watched TV. 
At least I am consoled by the fact that I was able to use the PC to watch some movies I downloaded.  I was even able to set up the PC so that my father could watch a few movies he missed at the cinemas.  My father, a fellow movie buff  was quite happy about it.   And if my father is happy, it puts a smile on my face, anytime!
So now that I am back in our apartment, the PC is covered and not in use. I taught my father how to switch it on and off but when I showed him how to use the mouse and click on the icons, he got confused and refused to learn more, saying that it was too complicated, pala. I understand it can be quite perplexing for a 76 year old to comprehend so I relented.  

By the way, the USB Broadband stick works perfectly well here.  So I suppose it is our condo building after all that isn't equipped with whatever cables or paraphernalia needed for a broadband connection.   Although like I mentioned above, I was able to connect during Good Friday without any disruption.  So it is possible, right?  I still believe the network company should be able to provide concrete steps to resolve the problem and not blame it on the building.
Either I put up with it or I should just switch to another brand which entails additional expenses, not to mention further bad service.  Even though I like to think I am quite a patient person, bad service is truly the bane of my existence because I won't take it lying down. 
Ask D, he knows I turn into a different person (an ugly version with a bad attitude) when I deal with customer service personnel who in fairness try their earnest best to help but end up not solving anything, only adding to my distress! 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Medical tests

My sister's Holy Week visit went well as always.  We mostly ate our meals at restaurants she missed so naturally the word 'diet' wasn't part of our regular vocabulary.

Together with the dining out moments, my sister includes shopping as well as medical tests in her must do list during her home visits. She hardly has time to go for her medical check up as she is always swapped with work (sometimes even during weekends).   Besides, medical tests are way cheaper here than in HK and it is easier to communicate with doctors here because they speak in the vernacular as well as in English if need be.

So during one of her doctor's visits, I decided to tag along and go for a consultation regarding my blood pressure levels.  You see in all of my 44 years of existence, I've never had any blood test to check my cholesterol, blood sugar and crea levels.  Naturally with my unhealthy diet and my sedentary lifestyle, I am bound by genetics to have hypertension.  But since I don't really feel bad or had any high blood panic moments, I just course through life medication free.  

The doctor who examined me was surprised I didn't feel faint as my blood pressure was quite high.He also ordered complete blood tests  to check everything as well as an  ECG to monitor my heart. This entails fasting for 10 hours before the nurse draws blood from you.  So last Friday morning, I was at the clinic by 9am for the requested tests.  The next day I had my test results in my hand and I didn't need a doctor to tell me that my cholesterol levels are quite high in fact totally off the charts.

I was prescribed maintenance dosage for my hypertension and high cholesterol. And for someone who avoids even taking paracetamol for a headache since I don't like toxins in my system,  I'm quite alarmed that I need to take these potent medicines for the rest of my life.  Reading up on the various side effects doesn't help ease my anxiety, but I guess I have no one to blame but myself for not staying on the healthy path.   It has been almost 2 years since I gave up trying to conceive.  In the span of that period, I was mostly depressed (although I put up a brave front) so I ate everything I avoided when I was TTC (trying to conceive).    

But I guess life goes on.  D & I are devising an exercise program we both can do together as well as reverting to our fish and veggies regimen. I am determined to at least bring my cholesterol to normal levels in 2 - 3 months time when I'm due for another check up.  

Bring it on, let's do this!