Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I’m a Pirate and I’ve Joined the Mafia

My Mafia stats
Yes! Are you either, or both?

I’ve been giving my Facebook account some lovin’ lately, and along with it inadvertently came the opportunity to become a pirate and join the mafia. Who doesn’t need a breather, eh? I’m turning a year older in less than 2 weeks, and in between personal and career stress, there are a thousand things running through my mind that I’d rather not disclose. I’m sure you know the pressure of growing a bit older each year, so I think you get the idea.

While I'm counting the days until the day, if you’re already on Facebook and you feel like plundering and doing some hitlist jobs in your free time, then why not join my Pirate Crew and Mafia Family? Just drop me a line here or click on my Facebook badge to add me up.

This should be fun. :)
KCee de Guzman's Facebook profile

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Always a Bridesmaid

I've never been married, and I really wouldn't mind being called the perpetual bridesmaid or maid of honor. But my least favorite part of being on someone else's wedding is being forced to wear a dress, just because it matches the bride's favorite color or the wedding theme.

To end this dilemma, I promised myself that the next time I'd be given a chance to be part of the bridal entourage, I would recommend a store that doesn’t only have the best bridal prices in the market, but a wide range of beautiful designs as well that no bride could resist.

Now, that would make me a happy and helpful bridesmaid, for a change.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Lessons of Easter

I hope all of you had a very meaningful Holy Week. The long weekend passed by so quickly. I just thought I’d share with you my memorable Easter celebration this year.

My Little Lady took part in the recently held Parish Easter celebration as one of the angels who sang in the traditional Salubong, where the images of Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary, reunited in front of the church coming from two separate processions, to dramatize their union after Christ’s resurrection.

In last year’s Salubong, Chestene was part of the choir of angels; but this year, she was chosen among more than 20 children to be the ‘Queen of Angels’. She was made to sing the Latin song Regina Coeli Laetare, and she got the part. I was surprised and honored to know that she was chosen.

The group practiced for 3 days. I went with her to the 3rd and final practice where I almost had a heart attack watching her more than 10 feet high in a makeshift stage:

Chestene at the topmost center

The stage rehearsal took almost 3 hours, so just imagine how nervous I was, praying the whole time that she wouldn't slip. She also had to practice lifting the veil of the Virgin Mary through a hole just at the back of her spot. Although tired, she was still happy and excited.

We went to church 4:00 am, and the rest is history, as they say. Except for a minor technical problem with the microphone, the unveiling and the song went very well.

The "Salubong"

After the program, I overheard the teacher saying there’s supposed to be another angel who will sing with the Little Lady during the program, but was not given a microphone. Then she remarked, “Siguro, siya (Chestene) talaga ang gusto ng Diyos” (Maybe, God really wanted her).

The last line lingered on my mind. Yes, I also believe God had chosen her, and I'm thankful for that privilege. It could have been two angels leading the song, but that part must have been really meant for her alone.

Suddenly, I realized it’s like God’s message for me wrapped in a different context, and yet, it hit me right on the spot: No matter what, if something is meant for you, then it shall be yours in His perfect time. Sometimes I forget that all I need to do is trust and wait. There are times when I get impatient rather than eager and thankful, of the blessings that are yet to come.

This Easter has been truly memorable, not only because of my little queen of angels, but with the important lessons God reminded me of today.

Happy Easter, everyone!

'Queen of Angels', Easter 2009

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Charter's April HDTV Giveaway

How would you like to take home a lovely 22” flat screen HDTV for FREE? Better yet, set aside some space in your home’s entertainment area for a brand new 52” LCD flat screen HDTV and a Home Theater System?

Sounds too good to be true, but it’s not! You can actually own these, when you join Charter Communications’ HDTV-a-Day Sweepstakes, where there are 30 units of 22” Samsung HDTVs to be given away daily for the month of April, plus a 52” Sony Bravia HDTV, Sony Home Theater System and one year free Charter Digital Cable® with HD programming for one lucky grand prize winner!

Charter Communications, in its continuous effort to adapt to new trends and cater to the growing needs of consumers, regularly offers its customers quality services with extra perks that make purchasing their products truly, money well spent. They gave away laptops, game systems and a 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid last year, so it’s not really surprising if they’re back with another fabulous contest for this year.

The giveaway is open to all new and upgrading customers. All orders for the month of April will automatically qualify for the giveaway upon installation. Hop on now to their website to know more about this generous promotion.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Where is the Manager?

One of the vivid childhood memories that I have, is fun weekends with my family. As a military officer, Dad had a lot of provincial assignments then, so whenever he’s in town with Mom (yes, she went with him all the time), he made sure that we spend our weekends with fun activities.

The usual routine was to go shopping first, and then eat in our favorite Chinese restaurant, The Bamboo House (in Cubao) where I usually end up unzipping my jeans due to a bulging tummy full of sumptuous Chinese dishes. After a hefty lunch, we head to the movie house and watch a Superman, James Bond, Jet Lee or Jackie Chan movie. The last stop is at the carnival for some games and rides.

It’s easy to remember the fun part of those memories, but along with it came the lessons that I didn’t know I had taken by heart.

“Where is the manager?” I heard this question too many times in my lifetime, and it always comes from Dad.

He’s never the loud and fussy type, but whenever there’s a need to call somebody’s attention whether it’s due to a major complaint such as poor service or a minor inconvenience encountered in an establishment, he asks straight for the big guy always. And every time, I noticed that his concerns were always easily addressed when he talks directly to the manager.

My sister and I learned through his example.

My Turn

I don’t always ask for the manager. I’m typically the patient and persevering customer; generally forgiving of slight slips and inefficiencies. So the moment I open my mouth or start writing what I’d rather not verbally express, that’s when you’ll know that I’ve been pushed to the limit.

Some situations do not merit verbal confrontation, even if the concerned individual/group displays the most unprofessional behavior. It’s too tempting to indulge in one; but is it really worth it? Sure, it would feel good to spew words dipped in venom, or tell somebody to crawl in a hole and get a life or something, if only to release an emotional rage. But as a civilized individual, one has to rise above that and stick to the fundamentals of being objective.

The wise thinks before he acts. It takes breeding, composure and a lot of deliberation to muster the self control needed to avoid stooping down to somebody's level. This actually makes me remember a scene in The Parent Trap, where the well-bred Lindsay Lohan twin delivered in British accent: “I, have class, and you don’t.” True enough, those who have class, won’t.

I would normally compose a two-page complaint letter that narrates the situation in detail, how the inefficient act was committed, suggestions on how to prevent its future occurrence, and the mandatory recommendation for the concerned staff/group to undergo a refresher course in customer service.

So far, I received immediate responses from biggies like French Baker and Jollibee who I believe value the importance of delivering customer satisfaction.

When to call the "Big Boss"

It’s easy to manage these day-to-day inconveniences. But life is not like a business establishment where you can call the manager to fix a situation when things don’t live up to your standards. In a broader aspect, when it’s hard for humans to render sound judgment to life-changing issues, when it’s easy to be emotionally beaten, misjudged and persecuted, when all else fails and there is no one to turn to, it’s comforting to know that we can always call on the "Big Boss" to serve perfect justice.

This Holy Week, we are again given the chance to set aside a few days from work, not to go on a fancy vacation, but to ponder on how we’re leading our lives according to the higher plan. We must ask ourselves: Have we done our own share of misdeeds to others worth complaining to the Big Boss? Are we the victims of those who rejoice in the misery of their neighbors? Are we ultimately living the life our Creator wants us to lead?

You know who you are. You know what you’ve done. You know what you’ve failed to do. You know what you must do.

Have a meaningful Holy Week. :)

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Enjoy 75-80% Off from Sears

I am not called a bargain hag if I don’t have the eye for a good clearance sale. As with most online and offline finds, I always try to share with you, dear friends and readers, how to spare some cash - even cents for that matter, by giving sale alerts whenever I can.

It’s always a pleasure to search for fab finds at more than half the price slash that translates to great savings. Well today, Sears takes this sweet spotlight because they have an ongoing sale happening at their stores. Yes, they are taking away a hefty 75 up to 80% off original prices on their fall and winter apparel until April 18, 2009! As any smart shopper would advise, it’s always best to do shopping during season sales, so stock up and hoard if you must.

I browsed through the selections and here’s a favorite pick for my little girl - the Southpole Girl’s Velour Butterfly & Logo Hoodie. As you all know, I love pink in all forms, and this girly piece is quite irresistible with the soft fabric and pretty butterfly embroidery all for only $3.99 - definitely a steal from its original price of $36!

You too can penny-pinch while picking a little something for the whole family from a wide range of categories, so visit them now before stocks run out.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Earth Hour 2009

Last Saturday, March 28, at exactly 8:30 pm, we turned off the main power switch to join countries across the globe in observance of Earth Hour. It was the shortest, yet the most meaningful hour I shared with my family for a good cause.

While all the neighbors went on with their usual activities, wondering why it was 'brownout' in this particular house, we explained to the little ones why we had to turn off the electricity for a while. We wanted to instill the significance and impact of the event in their bright young minds.

Earth Hour Kids

So how did you spend Earth Hour 2009? Did you vote for Earth? This is how the Philippines joined the global event:

Earth Hour 2009 Philippines