Thursday, June 11, 2009

Signing Off

I have decided to end the pochanginamo blog.

Rama is growing and changing so fast. Somehow, it just doesn't feel right anymore to be so out-there with life with her. Besides, most of what happens to us these days are delightfully unremarkable.

The 300++ posts in the archive remain as a record of her early, eventful, learningful years. We went through her 5th, 6th and 7th birthday on this blog!

Feel free to poke around. It's a fun read, I've been told. Some of my personal faves:

Our very first post, the hirit that inspired me to document this precious wit.

On her first BFF.

She helps her adults cope, as posted here.

She loves her dollies.

We took videos, too. Doing covers of Doo Bee Doo here, and Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah here.

We went to Disneyland - and talked about that here and here.

We dealt with bullies.

We moved halfway across the globe.

And we're still hanging on to Filipino.

To think that she kept messing up her English when she was still starting to learn it.

I have not quit blogging completely - we may stumble into each other again sometime on the interwebs, who knows?

A big shout out to people who have been coming here faithfully or unfaithfully - thank you.

Let's see- here's the first picture I posted ever, in November 2006.

And here's what she looked like this morning, waiting for the school bus.

That's all, folks!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Sole Purpose Of This Photo...

... is none other than to freak out her lola in Manila. "Delikado yaaaaaaaannnnnn!"

Monday, May 25, 2009

Rama, Meet Carlos

It's not like they haven't met before. Rama met Carlos on a few occasions in Manila. And she still recognized him after all these years. Last weekend, I took her to see the famous Intramuros tour... in Toronto!

The performance. When Carlos was talking about adobe - in the context of available building materials in Manila then- Rama got a bit confused: "I thought he said adobo."

Rama described Carlos as "hilarious." Even as she looks so serious here. 

During the intermission, I went to the second floor of the venue and took this. The space was a garage-by-day-artspace-venue-by-night. Very improv, and therefore, very Pinoy. 

For the finale, halo-halo for everyone!

Post-performance. Both of them were distracted by another kid playing (and popping) balloons. 
Loved the show. Loved seeing Carlos again. Loved that Rama got a taste of Manila in Toronto. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

So Gay

Nighttime cuddles.

Rama: I love you so much. Sooooooo much.
Me: What color is your love for me?
Rama: Rainbow! With glitters!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Kitschy-Crafty Melts Heart

I was Rama-less all weekend up until 5 pm on Sunday. And then, when we meet at the park, she runs toward me and I get presented with this. Each "petal" - not the pink ones, but the paper petals attached to the paper plate - had a message on the other side. "Pick one!" she'll say. One said, "Mom, I will help wash dishis." Another said, "Mom, I will help fix the bed." Her favorite, which she always turned toward me, read "Mom, I will love you always and for EVER." 

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Birthday Sunday

Today, Sunday, was her actual birthday.

We started the day easy, eventually making it out of the apartment. 
And headed for our usual brunch place for her fave, toast soldiers.

After that, we hit the park. 
This is Rama's can-you-please-get-the-camera-out-of-my-face-and-let-me-play-in-peace look.

After the park, we went home for a quick refuel -  grilled cheese sandwich, fruit and fish sticks.

Did more riding outside, this time on bikes. The destination was the playground closer to us. No pix here, as I was on the bike, too. 

Just chilling now at home, watching Nemo. 

Before we sign off, another Melanie Marquez moment from today.

Rama sees a little girl on a bike, in full safety gear - helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads, the works. In full neon colors, too. Rama, of course, takes notice and is slightly envious.

Rama: Aw, I wish I had knee paddles.

ANO DAW? Knee pads pala.


So Rama turned 7 this weekend. 

By noon, I had already put up the party decor at the apartment. True Love is blowing 4o balloons by yourself (I actually bought 50, but I thought 40 filled up the apartment quite nicely).

Birthday girl dons her dress, which was the same dress she wore last year when she turned 6. And also during Halloween in '08. We're not divas that way; we will repeat outfits. She accessorizes with the crown, naturally, and shell jewelry from Boracay. 
First stop for the party peeps is the theatre in our building. We watched Tales of Desperaux (Rama's choice).

Then the party moved to the pool. 
And finally, we headed back to the apartment for snacks and the blowing of the candles. The girls loved the pizza, pasta and other treats. Piece de resistance was this lovely tiered cake. Rama originally planned to have the faces of all her guests photographed, printed and somehow crafted so the cake was decorated with pictures of guests. We didn't manage that - she got shy and didn't want me to go to her school to take pictures. But the cake had princess figures as sugar cookies and everyone got a princess.
We hosted 8 girls. It became difficult for her to stick to the 7-guests-only rule. Her party was the talk of recess and people were asking to be invited. Her guests also included a couple of grade 2 girls, which surprised me. 
The highlight for me was overhearing this exchange, after the guests saw her room, our place, the spread:

Guest: Rama, you are so lucky.
Rama: Thanks, I know.

Winding down at night, she was still playing with her balloons. It was a very good day. Lucky we are, indeed. 

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rama Sings!

Can you tell how she loves to sing? 

She asked me, though, not to show my friends. Uh oh. Sneaky me. Don't tell. 

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Peeling Off The Layers

We are just loving the milder weather.

Waiting for the bus ride home last Thursday. The purple down jacket stuffed in the backpack.

Especially when just in March, it was crazy-cold like this:

Waiting for the bus to school.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Rama: You know how big the heart is? Like your fist.
Me: Kasya ba ako diyan sa heart mo?
Rama: No. But you're not here. You're in the heart in my brain. That's where I love you really big. 'Cause I think about you all the time.... If you're in my heart here (points to chest), hindi kasya, it's that big, my skin will rip!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tagalog Lessons

Everyday, I struggle with holding on to Filipino. Every chance I get, I try to get her to speak. I'm pretty sure she understands, because she seems to enjoy Tagalog movies, and follows my instructions. But it's really difficult, because she already thinks in English. But, I persevere.

Our morning lesson today, while cuddling in bed:

Me: Ano sa Tagalog ang horse?
Rama: Kabayo.
Me: Ano sa Tagalog ang dog?
Rama: Aso!

And so on. Until it was time to get up and prep for breakfast.

Me: Ano ang kakainin natin ngayon?
Rama: Gulay!

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Friday afternoon, I got a phone call from Rama's teacher. I don't know if it's a parent thing, but it's one of the rare times that I got a terrible sense of dread and fear, just upon hearing who the caller was. I really thought Rama - or I - was in trouble. (That day was potentially trouble, because I thought I had messed up the dates when Rama was supposed to NOT bring baon and have lunch in the daycare. Rama and I went back and forth about it - she's saying she needed lunch, I insisting that no, your daycare will have lunch for you. I thought she went without lunch that day. These were the thoughts racing in my little paranoid mind. But I digress.)

The actual reason for the call was actually cause for joy.

Teacher: Rama has been working so hard lately. She is Student of the Month. Please come to the General Assembly on Monday so you can be there for the awarding. Bring a camera. Congratulations.

Thanks, I stammered. 

When I picked her up that afternoon, I had to verify with the teacher that it was a surprise. So Rama had no idea she was receiving an award on Monday.

Monday morning, still playing cool, I took her to school, rather than her taking the school bus. (My excuse for taking her to school that morning was that I had to see a classmate whose hair - or weave - fell off. Which Rama brought home. Why a first-grader is wearing a weave, I don't know. Rama doesn't realize it's a weave, of course. She just thinks that "Ashlyn's hair fell off. It wasn't painful.") 

Anyway, after seeing the kid-with-the-weave, Rama shooed me away. I just hung around, and when the entire assembly entered the gym, the venue for the event, Rama and her classmates must have figured out that she was getting the award this month.  

It was a simple enough ceremony, with teachers in every grade level calling up the Student of the Month.  Here's her certificate of fabulousness, in their words.
And then when all the kids had gone back to the classrooms, the students of the month had their pics taken by the principal for posting on the honor wall (behind her in the pic below), where all past students of the month have their mugs. 

At the end of the day, when I pick her up, I ask, Gusto mo mag-pasyal? Celebrate tayo?

Rama: Celebrate what?
Me: Student of the month!
Rama: Oh. 

She had already forgotten. So we went to a nice restaurant  downtown, Terroni. It used to be an old courthouse, and the grandness is still there. Our table was in this skylit room. 

The high points for Rama were the chandeliers...

And the fancy-shmancy washrooms... 

And the pizza, of course. Which disappeared quickly, so didn't get to take a pic. She polished off all-but-one-slice of the pizza. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

National Anthem

Rama sings to me O Canada.

Me: Alam mo pa yung sa Pilipinas?

She proceeds to hum the melody.

Rama: It's beautiful. I don't know the words. But I know the story. There's a war. And somebody died. And it's your fault.

She was remembering the last line, "ang mamatay nang dahil sa 'yo."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour 2009

I didn't want to needlessly lecture Rama about Earth Hour and Saving  The Earth; I figured they had somehow already talked about it in school. Indeed, they had. She already knew about it. And then some.

Me: Earth Hour tonight. Do you know what that's about?
Rama: Ya. You turn off the lights, everything, for an hour, to save energy. Because the earth needs saving.
Me: Korak.
Rama: But I think it's not enough. The earth is too big to be saved just by lights.

I don't think she fully appreciates how bang-on her statement is. 


Rama: Mommy, I love you so much. When you die, can I have this?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Gimme A Break

Sunday night, the last night of Spring Break. Tomorrow, back to school

Rama: I think I have to do homework.
Me: Wala. You were on break. Your teacher won't give you homework over the break.
Rama: Why did we have a break?
Me: Everyone needs a break, every now and then. It's good to rest and not do anything or worry about anything.
Rama: Why don't moms have breaks?

Motherhood, a 24/7 gig. A fact that my little one appreciates. Yes!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I know it's your 50th, dear Barbie. But, sorry na lang. Rama has issues.

Me: Rama, lapit na birthday ni D (a friend, 9 years old). Ano kaya gift natin?
Rama: What do girls like? Barbies! Except me. I don't play with Barbies. I only play with stuff that can stand up. Barbies can't stand. They just do this (proceeds to demonstrate falling forward). Ya, they just fall. 

I just thought about all the arguments against Barbie, that the dolls set unrealistic standards of beauty for girls. If she were a real woman, with her proportions, Barbie wouldn't be able to stand. Turns out, Rama gets it. 

Monday, March 9, 2009


According to Rama, her mom is now "payatot-er."

Friday, March 6, 2009


Rama: After summer, I'll be in Grade 2?
Me: Yes. And then Grade 3, Grade 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and then you're a teenager! 

Feigning despair. Waaaaaa! 

Rama: Remember my promise? Even if I'm a teenager, you can still kiss and hug me. 
Me: But all teenagers do is play on their DS (Nintendo) and never talk to their parents. Waaaaa!
Rama: I don't even have a DS. 

And then she proceeds to comfort and reassure me. "I decided I don't want a boyfriend. And I'll still talk with you. I'll spend more time with you than my friends... We'll still kiss and hug Etc Etc."

A couple of hours later, I plop on the couch with the laptop. Silently surfing, mumbling absent-mindedly when she says something. Rama notices.

Rama: Hey, what are you doing? You're like a teenager. 

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Super-Uneventful Weekend (With Lots of Pictures)

As the title suggests, it was a wala-lang weekend. Holed up on Saturday. This is what cabin fever can do to someone.

Rama rounds up the usual suspects.

On Sunday, after breakfast, we manage to pile on the layers for a walk outside. 

Spotted a tagged swan. This was number 155. 

Didn't go over that bridge. Instead, went under it. This bridge crosses Humber River. This area is where the river meets the lake. And the riverside path (biking, running trail) is an ancient First Nations' trail. We like the metal animal sculptures embedded in the walls - turtles, snakes...

Rama likes picking up rocks along the way. Some of them made it home with us. 
Lunch was take-out pizza from the local trattoria. This was apparently a highlight for Rama, as I read in her journal. She still managed to write enough to fill up a page, even if we really didn't do much. 


So up here in Canada, Tim Horton's is a national donuts-and-coffee chain. At this time, they're running their annual Roll Up The Rim promo, where you can win a boat, a car, or other prizes - you find out by rolling up the rim of your coffee cup. Rama's papi won something and was quite enthused while telling us about it over breakfast at home.

Papi: I won a free cup of coffee!
Rama: How?

And a brief, animated discussion of the promo ensued. By this time, coffee was ready and I set it out on the counter.

Rama: There's your coffee, Papi. It's free.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Birthday Party: The Guest List

So her birthday is coming up. And it looks like she's having some difficulty keeping to the number-of-guests rule. Whatever age you're turning is how many friends you can invite. Seems she has more than 7 friends now. And so the questioning begins.

Rama: Why is that rule like that?
Me: Because whatever your age is just how many guests you can handle at your party.
Rama: So when I was a baby, I handled only 1 person?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Well, Well, Well

On one of our walks, we noticed a manhole cover. It wasn't on a concrete path, but set apart. So Rama thought it was a well.

Rama: A well! Just like in Coraline!
Me: Yes! A lot of stories have wells. Coraline, Enchanted...

Rama: Also Sadako.

I was surprised and a little concerned that this was top of mind.

Missing Pilipinas, Again

Rama was really ill a couple of weeks back (cough, cold, fever, the works). She's better, fully recovered now. But that threw us off our routine for a while. Because of the illness, the meds and general discomfort during the night, mornings were extra-difficult - we were both groggy and slow. As a result, we often missed the bus. We missed her school bus a few times. And, a couple of times going home, she was slow and tired so we also missed our usual bus. Worse, we see it pulling away from our stop, we make a dash for it, and we would still miss it, much to my chagrin.

This morning, still sleepy in bed, perhaps dreading another panicked run to the bus stop, she mused:

Rama: Don't you wish we were in Pilipinas? There, you'll never miss the jeeps. They're slow.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Sunday was groceries and a haircut for Rama. One of our purchases was this "kikay" set of SmackersTM lip gloss ("ice creamies"), lip gloss ("ice creamies fresh strawberries") and lip frosting ("whipped cream"). They all smelled delicious. We were putting them all on and raving.

Me: Ooooh. Sarap nito. Amoy.... mamon! Ang sarap...
Rama: This one, bubble gum. No, it's cake!

Yummy yummy. On and on.

By the way, it also came with the bright pink nail polish.

Me: Yan, ano amoy?
Rama (deadpan): Amoy gas.

Random Musing: Sick Pet Fish

Not sure really how this discussion came about. We were just talking about animals and what would make good pets.

Rama: Fish. Hard when they get sick. You can't find out. You can't put the thermometer in their mouth. And, they don't have kili-kili.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Gaiman Saturday

We're pumped about seeing Coraline (in 3D!) later today. We viewed the trailer online and poked around the movie's official site. Hence, the button eyes above.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Rama: Mommy, what do you want me to draw?

We've drawn princesses, meals, food, furniture... So I thought I would spice it up a bit.

Me: Can you draw my butt?

Rama comes back with this:

This was more flattering than the actual thing; I inherited my mother's wide, ample hips. So I checked with Rama how she really perceived my backside.

Me: Uy! Ganyan ba kapayat?
Rama: Hindi lang kasya sa paper.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Rama Realizes Something

Rama: You're the best mommy ever! Uhm, it's not like I have a choice, right?

Scents of Pilipinas

Rama catches a whiff of barbecue on the trip home.

Rama: Do you smell that? Doesn't it remind you of the hot place?
Me: What hot place?
Rama: The hot place with a park. It's the same smell.

She meant Salcedo Market. She would always be too hot there and we would just cool down with a smoothie. Never realized the barbecue smell registered.

So what else is there in the hot place?

Rama: Food. Smoothies. Loud people. It's just like where Jasmine visited, the marketplace.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Breakfast this morning, waffles.

Me: C'mon, Rama! Let's have waffles.
Rama: Why do you say wah-fols? Tagalog people say it like that, wah-fol. I'm from the Phiilippines, but I can still say waffle... Or even, Niagara. Honey says Naya-gara. She can't say it like Niagara. She should just say 'water falls.' It's the same thing.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Rama's Christmas Wish 2009

Rama is already thinking of Christmas 2009. She wrote a note to Santa.

Dear Santa Clos.
I wood like a real majik wond.
From Rama

Me: Ano naman ang mama-gikin mo with your wand?
Rama: What would YOU like to have?
Me: Hmm. Nothing really. I have everything I need.
Rama: I didn't say need. I said LIKE. Ok, what's your favorite thing?
Me: Our books!
Rama: You want more books? Like books that we still don't have here in our house?
Me: You're funny.
Rama: What about a spy-er? Like you ask it, what's happening in the whole world, and it will show you?


Sunday evening. We are watching Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah Zee Movie. Got a new DVD copy during our trip to the Philippines. The first copy wore out after pretty heavy rotation on our DVD.

Watching the movie again sparks some curious conversation.

Early in zee movie, Ada is so sad after meeting Lester. I was just testing whether Rama could follow the story.

Me: Why is she sad?
Rama: Lester left her. He went to a different place.
Me: Why?
Rama: Because Lester's mom doesn't want him to have a bakla girlfriend.
Me: Oh.

She goes on.

Rama: Me, I won't be sad if my boyfriend leaves. Because I won't have a boyfriend. Ever. I don't like boyfriends. I mean, I like boyfriends, but only if they're not my own.
Me: What do you mean?
Rama: Like Tita Pepper. She has a boyfriend, Tito Mark. Oh, wait. No, he's her husband now.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Weekend Round-up

We finally got around to checking out the Jurassic exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum. Did other fun stuff too: simple things like rolling in the snow, paper crafts indoors, etc.

When Sunday evening came around, Rama posed a question that I think everyone I know could relate to: Why is the weekend only two days?