100 Ideas 2013: Patintero

This post is in connection with an e-swap for Swap-bot, the details of which you will find here. (Please refer to the navigation bar above or widget bar on the right for a link to the page.)

43. Recall your favorite childhood game.

I grew up in the Philippines where I was sometimes allowed to play out in the streets with the kids from the neighborhood, but most of my “play time” was spent before and after school in an all-girls Catholic school.  We had what we called a “Social Hall” which was one whole wing of the four-sided building which was meant to be an assembly hall for the students by grade level.

It was a long hall although with low ceilings, with an elevated platform on one end where the nuns used to address us.  In the mornings before school started, the length of the hall was empty with the seats stacked neatly on the far side.

It was perfect for a game called Patintero where the players were divided into two groups.  The team, usually a group of 4 girls each, were assigned “levels” to guard or defend, with one player allowed to go parallel and cross the levels but only in the center.  This was always the first player defending the first line.

The point for the “offensive” team was to cross to the back and then return to the front without being touched or tagged by the team defending the “lines”.

At the start, everyone in the offensive splits themselves between the left and right sides, considering the first level defender can only defend a side at a time.  The strategy was for the second level defender to stop anyone who went through and so on and so forth.  If any member of the defending team touches you as you cross but not after you have crossed, you were called “out” of the game.  Depending on how good the strategy of the team is, most teams would “distribute” themselves over the various levels and allow one to go back and score a point.

You could only move forward or sideways but never back to a level you had passed.  The teams switched when the offensive team gets all tagged out, or the last untagged player makes it back to “home base”.

We enjoyed playing this game every morning before the flag ceremony, much to the chagrin of our teachers and the nuns.  As it involved a lot of running, we ended up all dishevelled even before the school day had begun for us, and it was deemed too boyish a game, unfit for young ladies as we were being molded to be.

But it was a lot of fun, and it made for many sweaty but fun mornings before we tackled the serious business of school.  I miss those days and look back to them with very fond memories. 


100 Ideas 2013: 10 Things I’d like to do everyday

This post is in connection with an e-swap for Swap-bot, the details of which you will find here. (Please refer to the navigation bar above or widget bar on the right for a link to the page.)

59.  List ten things you’d like to do everyday.

1.  Pray at the start of my day. 

2.  Read (as in read a book or a full-length article).

3.  Write a blog post in my two blogs.

4.  Walk outside or to some place quiet and just sit a while for 10 minutes doing nothing.

5.  Do some personal art.

6.  Write and send out a postcard.

7.  Throw away something I don’t need anymore.

8.  Exercise.

9.  Call, text or email my family back in Manila. 

10.  Do something to help keep me healthy, be it cutting down on my soda intake consciously or excercising.

100 Ideas 2013: The things I do to escape

This post is in connection with an e-swap for Swap-bot, the details of which you will find here. (Please refer to the navigation bar above or widget bar on the right for a link to the page.)

84.  Write a list of all the things you do to escape.

“Escape” is such a generic word but I’m trying not to overthink it.

1. Doodle.
2. Watch TV. (Criminal Minds, for all its gore, actually relaxes me.)
3. Write. (Blog, e-mail, write longhand..)
4. Look outside my window.
5. Close my eyes and think of happy thoughts.
6. Do crafts. (I love to make jewelry.)
7. Knead/condition polymer clay. (There’s something about putting pressure on that clay that releases the stress.)
8. Look outside my window and stare at the view outside — Midtown Manhattan from 41 storeys above.
9. Roam the aisles of Michael’s. (My boys tolerate me by waiting outside the store in the car, knowing I literally get lost in the store once I walk in.)
10. Walk into one of my notions or jewelry supply stores off of Sixth Avenue.

100 Ideas 2013: 10 Most Important Things

And I thought this swap wouldn’t be due until the end of the month…  I need to do 20 by the 23rd which is — uhm — days away. This is in connection with a swap on Swap-Bot.com for which I have a page dedicated to here in my blog under Journal Prompts.    I do intend to do the whole list, hence, the page.  But for now, I must complete 20.  So you’ll see me doing the easier ones, and reserving the more difficult prompts for after the swap deadline.  Please refer to the page for a listing and their corresponding URL.

58.  List your ten most important things, (not including animals or people.)

Suddenly stumped… hmmmm.  Okay, here goes, in NO PARTICULAR ORDER!  And I am going “practical” not “profound”, so if my answers may appear shallow, I’m speaking from top-of-mind.  And I don’t consider religion a thing, or a principle a thing.  I’m following the intstruction to the letter and sticking to “important things” not including animals or people.

1.  My Blackberry / Cellphone.  I know.. I didn’t want to write a tech device as the first item on my list of 10 but I have to admit, it’s indispensible to me.  First, it’s my mobile phone.  (Go sue me, I’m cheap… I use my company PDA as my phone.. )  Secondly, it keeps me connected not only to work but to my family here and in the Philippines.  I feel kind of “vulnerable” without it and would usually go back home to get it if I happened to have walked out without it.  It’s more for practical purposes than for anything.  I’m not picky — give me another PDA/mobile phone and I’ll take it, blackberry or not.

2.  Lipstick.  Vanity, I know.  While dressing up to me means going out of the house made up, my morning ritual makes it necessary for me to do my make up AFTER I have left the house, but I do dab on some color on my lips just so I don’t go out barefaced until I can paint it on while on the bus.  This is important to me because I consider my physical well being important to my own self-esteem.  It helps boost my confidence more so when I am in a work environment.  I consider looking good part of being professional which is a requirement at work.

3.  My house keys.  How will I get into the house if my son’s not there to open the door?  It’s another one of those things which make me feel “incomplete” if I happen to leave the house without them.

4.  Money. I’m not talking about lots of it, but for practical reasons, I try not to leave the house without a token amount of cash because you’ll never know when the plastic will be useless to you.  Say when you want to get an ice cream cone, a tiny-weeny thing at the store, or you end up someplace where plastic is NOT king. 

6.  Food.  (No, I don’t carry food around) I make sure we have food good for a couple of days at a time and that I have something in the pantry that we can have as a meal if electricity and gas fail us.  With a growing boy and two other mouths depending on what’s in the pantry, I try to stay on top of this.

7.  My Identity-related plastic.  Right now, I have two.  Since I don’t drive and I’ve been so lazy renewing my non-driving state ID, I have my greencard (alien permanent resident card) good for another year (which means either I try to renew or I seek the red, white and the blue by converting citizenship) and my employee badge which gets me in and out of the green glass building in Manhattan.  It gives me a semblance of legitimacy.  It says who I am.  (I don’t carry my passport everywhere and unfortunately, it’s expired at the moment.)

I am stumped once again and tempted to look at other responses, but I want to keep going from top-of-mind.

8.  A roof over our heads.  10 years ago we made a choice to buy the place we currently live in. It’s been our little nest eversince, and I like that it’s small enough that you just have to holler to get everyone’s attention.  It gives me something to go to at the end of the day and lay my tired head down to rest.

9.  Pictures.  I’m a sentimental gal, what can I say?  I have a thing for the printed over the digital, so over the years, I have brought home pictures from my youth to New York from trips back home to the Philippines. Those I couldn’t take, I have resorted to taking digital pictures of just so I don’t lose those memories.

10.  Medication for the little ills of someone getting older.  I always carry a small bottle of Aleve (equivalent of Naproxen for those not on this side of the world), and I’m proud to say I haven’t taken any for more than a week.  So considering how hectic my life has been the last 2 trying to get the boss to the other side of the world to see Boris and Igor, that’s a feat!  I think I derive some sense of security in knowing physical relief is just a pop away in my bag.

Organizing this corner of the web

30daysICONI know I should’ve done it sooner, but with another journal/blog prompt project coming up, I finally put up a 30 Days of Blogging Prompts page which is a subpage of Journal Prompts which you will find on the menu up in my navigation bar. 

I successfully completed the printed version but just now realized I did not get to post all the entries I meant to post online. I’ll try to do that in the next couple of days.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to complete my first 20 of an online swap off of a hundred ideas/prompts from swap-bot. That’s the swap requirement but I’m hoping to do more.

Why all these blog/journal prompts? It helps to make “spontaneous” even more spontaneous by “steering” me in a different direction from what I would normally take. It challenges me to go outside of my comfort zone and try something new. And it comes in handy when I’m in a creative rut. I can just pick up a prompt and move from there.

There’s only so much that one can write and squeeze out of one’s thoughts based on a day-to-day existence.  It helps me draw out something else beyond the feeling of the moment, whatever that may be.  Others do it through drawings, I do it through words..

So I might yet finally finish one of my Journals on  Journey soon, as I think I’ve come to a “size” that I’m comfortable with.  One of the most difficult things for me to decide when creating a journal from scratch — as in literally putting the book together — is deciding how big or how small or how compact or thick it will be.  I was at Barnes & Noble over the weekend and I was almost tempted to grab one of the smaller notebooks..  I stopped myself only when I get reminded I can actually make one of those. =)

Tonight I have to keep busy with something else, but at least I’m starting to get organized here.

Advertising the Philippines in the streets of Manhattan

I was on my way back to the office from an afternoon at some consulate on the upper east side (which, for obvious reasons, I cannot name) when I looked out the window and I saw this bus with a huge photobillboard on it of the Philippines.
More Fun in the Philippines in a NYC Tour Bus 5

I was sooo proud and had to immediately fish out the bigger BB to take these pics.. I momentarily forgot that I  was rushing back to the office and trying to catch the boss who was presenting at a nearby hotel, around three blocks away.

More Fun in the Philippines in a NYC Tour Bus 3

Then the traffic started moving and my cab started to pull away… but I tried to cach as much of the bus as I can.
More Fun in the Philippines in a NYC Tour Bus 2A huge”Philippines” was actually emblazoned on the rear of the bus that’s why it caught my eye.  It was a literal eye-popping ad in a perpetually colorful New York City.More Fun in the Philippines in a NYC Tour Bus 1 .


Proud to be Filipino indeed!

Maraming salamat sa inyong pagtangkilik (Thank you for your patronage)

For the past couple of days, views from readers in the Philippines have exceeded views from this side of the world and elsewhere which I find heartening for many reasons.  However, I find it sad that I have yet to hear a peep from these kababayans who have honored my humble space here a visit.

Magsalita naman kayo at paunlakan ang aking paanyaya na kayo’y magparamdam sa pamamagitan ng pagsulat ng ilang kataga dito sa tahanan ni Pinay New Yorker.  (Please speak up and accept my invitation to have your presence known by writing a comment here in Pinay New Yorker’s home.)  And of course, the invitation is being extended to everyone else.. I’d love to hear from Saudia Arabia, Germany, Ireland (who is probably my fellow-Pinay, Mara)… I love all visitors, but fellow Filipinos — no matter wherever you may be — will always be special.  (Right, Lou and Mara?)

The new Michael's at Fresh MeadowsI’ve had a pretty productive weekend so far, but of course, I wish I could do more.    For starters, I visited the brand new Michael’s over at the corner of 187th Street and Horace Harding Expressway.  It is a rather huge store, but maybe because it’s newly opened, it didn’t feel quite as “fully stocked” as the bigger stores I go to in Long Island or in Manhattan.  Both were a trek for me (yes, even the one in Manhattan, considering it meant a commute from 42nd to 100th street!), and this is a welcome addition to the stores in the area where I live.

I’m hoping they eventually get fully stocked in the months to come, because I missed a lot of the usual items in the different departments.  (No ATC sleeves or cards, no Ranger DYC-33943 Dyan Reaveley’s Dylusions Collection Ink Spray, in Vibrant Turquoise that I was hoping to add to my set of ink sprays, very limited selection of rubber and acrylic stamps, etc.)  Let’s give the store a few more weeks to stock its shelves sufficiently.  All the same, I’m overjoyed!  I might finally get to take classes onsite like I had always hoped to,  but the Long Island branch was a 20-30 minute drive.  I did manage to grab some paper packs and polymer clay which were on sale for $1 each.  (Can’t beat THAT bargain.)

Happiness!  Can’t wait to get crafting again.  I’ve posted about the pressed flower experiment I did Friday which I can’t wait to “uncover” on Monday.  It’s not so much the actual pressing of the rose and hydrangea petals (which most crafters can do with their eyes closed), but rather the timing in the cut flower’s life that it is being done to produce a desired effect.  I pressed the rose petals while they were nowhere near dry to fully flatten them.  Do visit my craft blog, GOTHAM CHICK to read more about the craft projects in more detail.  (You can also keep track of new posts  there through the Gotham Chick widget on the right hand side of this space.)

I’ve just been sidetracked by a project / business my sister and I are getting into.  I’m helping her pull together a website to sell some items back home in Manila.  I hope to start work on a series of Mega (Big) Artist Trading Swaps that will be due end of the month.  I don’t want to be late, so I’m going to start on the backgrounds at least tomorrow.  I tend to do multi-process collage ATCs and the one I’m thinking of doing for this swap is something just like that.  It’s still a long ways away, but I don’t want to be late.

I had kept away from the ATC swaps because my two poor ratings on Swap-bot.com were a result of delays with ATC swaps.  That’s why I’m trying to get a headstart on the whole swap.  Click here to view some of the ATCs I’ve created.

I have two more posts here on draft mode so let me get going so I can get them published here eventually instead of languishing in draft mode.  I hope everyone’s having a good weekend… mine has been good so far. =)

So the rain finally stopped

.. just close to noon. I was ready to “brave” the building cafeteria which, mind you, is run by a reputable catering company. But like most denizens of the many floors entitled to use that cafeteria, I try to avoid going there as much as I could. The quality of the food against its price just doesn’t make the trip down two sets of elevators worth it. So I’d rather take the elevator going straight down to the ground floor and walk out.

Walk to a favorite deli, I did. I can almost “see” the sun taking a peek.

So I had to grab some postcards for a swap I need to catch up with and I headed to my favorite souvenir shop on the corner of 39th and 6th avenue, “Gifts on 6th”. This place is owned by a very friendly guy named “Mo” (which, I think is short for Mohammad) who always struck a conversation with me from the time he noticed I was Filipina. Every time I went there to buy a dollar’s worth of postcards, we’d chat. I grabbed $2 worth this time plus some magnets (again, for a swap) and he rang up my purchases.

Here are two more recent shots, one of which is actually a rendering of the Freedom Tower which, in reality, is still under construction.  The second is an updated Statue of Liberty postcard.

NY PC: One World Trade Center   NY PC: Statue of Liberty

I had been meaning to ask him to get some map postcards from his supplier for me (those selling for 10 for $1) and we finally discussed it and he told me he’ll wait for my sample. In the meantime, I got some extra postcards fresh from his yet unopened stash of my favorite Bethesda Fountain in Central Park which was awfully sweet of him.
NY PC: Central Park

Just goes to show that when you make nice, you get more.

If you are interested in receiving a postcard from me, please e-mail me at postcardmailbox at gmail.com.