Year 2!
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Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Amazing Space
I've always known I was a geek, but I recently discovered that I am the worst kind -- the sappy geek.

Rein and I decided to check out the SM Discovery Science Center at the Mall of Asia the other day, and stood first in line at the Planetarium. While I could hear my dear husband gently snoozing beside me during the 30-minute NASA production entitled "The Search For Life: Are We Alone?", I stared up at the 180-degree dome screen and allowed myself to get lost in the wondrous tale of the universe, with its trillion suns, stars, planets, and even the possibility of finding life in some galaxy nearby, or far, far away.

As the camera moved fluidly from the depths of the earth and up into the starry, infinite vastness of space, tears suddenly sprang from my eyes unbidden! Surrounded by noisy, fidgety grade-schoolers on a field trip, my silent little bubble of emotion was a bit embarrassing. But there you have it -- outer space (and all its hidden realms and secrets) simply amazes me and leaves me speechless and overwhelmed, even when it's just experienced in a dark, 158-seat theater. I'm a sappy geek, what can you do?

posted by The White Rabbit at 7:13 PM | Permalink | 0 Speak Up!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
24-Hour Daycare in BF Homes, Parañaque!
As they say, it takes a village to raise a child. When a community comes together to address its own concerns, good things are bound to happen. Rein and I recently got involved in a dynamic, non-stock, non-profit community-based organization that provides solutions to very real issues. This is one of them. I am not yet a parent, but if I were, this would be something I would wholeheartedly support. And I do.

LIFELINE Parental Assistance Programme 24-Hour Daycare Center

To busy working parents: have you ever dreamed someone like Mary Poppins or Nanny McFee would appear at your doorstep offering their heaven-sent child-rearing services?

With the impossible schedules most working parents face today (particularly those working in call centers), resorting to leaving children at home in the yaya's care is inevitable. But reliable help in the form of nannies who will genuinely and properly care for your child are rare finds nowadays.

As parents, we want our children to grow up being influenced by properly trained people in a healthy, stimulating environment. How sure are we that our children are well taken care of? What kind of conversations do they have, or what kind of TV shows do they watch while at home with yaya? Is your child being treated well while you are gone? Are they being educated and encouraged to learn at an age-appropriate pace? These are valid concerns that we understand.

On March 15, Lifeline Foundation will open its doors to all parents interested in enrolling their children aged 0-9 in our Lifeline Parental Assistance Programme 24-hour Daycare Centre. Daycare services are divided into 12-hour shifts in which your child can join in programs and activities that are right for their age.

The daycare is headed by mothers who fully understand the need for having a safe, reliable and accessible daycare where parents can be assured that their children are in the best hands whenever they're away at work. With its safety-centered approach, professionally trained staff of educators, nutritionists and nannies, LPAP will provide round-the-clock daycare and support. Sounds expensive? You might be pleasantly surprised!

The following are features of the Parental Assistance 24-Hour Daycare:

  • Child-proofed home environment
  • All materials are safety-tested and routinely disinfected
  • Professionally trained and English-speaking nannies
  • Regularly scheduled enrichment activities (art, music, English, etc)
  • Physical activities (movement, coordination, dance, games, etc)
  • Nanny cams throughout the whole place, with access through Yahoo! Messenger so parents can check in on their child while at work
  • 2 healthy snacks per day
  • 24-hour daycare facility with 12-hour blocks
  • Manager and Security Guards on-duty
Finally, good, reliable, and AFFORDABLE childcare is finally in the neighborhood! Interested? Give me a call (0921-3501579) or PM me for details. You can also visit the Lifeline website at

*Text updated from the Lifeline Foundation brochure and blogsite.

posted by The White Rabbit at 12:51 PM | Permalink | 0 Speak Up!
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Tubig ni Maria Clara
My college buddies and I met up the other day -- the first of hopefully several get-togethers this year. Except for a couple of weddings, two kids, career turns, and a promotion or two over the years, things haven't changed much -- to my relief and delight. Everyone's as kooky as ever, with the same wry humor that first drew us to each other as freshmen at DLSU.

This particular lunch date was in celebration of a birthday (Me-an's), Christmas, New Year, and Valentine's Day all rolled into one. We unloaded gifts that had been in storage for goodness knows how long (it hasn't been easy getting together these days), and just generally caught up on each other's lives. Minus the mindless prattle about upper-classmen crushes (we're happily past all that!), the conversation was as scintillating as ever.

At the Greenbelt bridge pond:

Me-an: Oh look there!
Hail: Wow! Are those swans? (to David, Hail's 6-year old son) Look David, swans!
Annie: No, I think they're too small to be swans.
Me-an: Yeah, their necks are too short.
Hail: But they seem too big to be ducks.
Jennie: Oh maybe they're geese! They could be geese!
Annie: They're ducks.
Me-an: Yeah, they're ducks.
Hail: Ok then, they're ducks...(to David)...look David -- ducks!
Jennie: Well if they're ducks, they're certainly not pinoy ducks...

At Restaurante Pio y Damaso (Greenbelt 5):

Me-an: The Lengua sounds good.
Annie: Wow, Ostrich Beef! Let's try that.
Jennie: How about the Tapang Usa? The waiter said it's a bestseller.
Me-an: Please, let's not order anything that could be endangered.
Jennie: Why, what's "usa"?
Hail: Deer.
Jennie: Oh, yeah...I wouldn't want to eat Bambi.
Annie: Let's just order the ostrich.
Jennie: An ostrich attacked me once. In Subic. So yeah, let's order that.

Annie: What do we drink?
Me-an: I ordered a pitcher of Tubig ni Maria Clara.
Hail: What on earth is that?
Annie: Who cares?

Hail: Is there anything here a child can eat? I have to feed David.
Annie: Hmmm...what to feed David....
Jennie: Does he eat adobo?
Hail: Yeah, he can eat that.
Jennie: It says here that it's chicken, pork, and liver adobo.
Me-an: (to waiter) Can you serve that without the liver? I hate liver.
Jennie: Uh, Me-an...that's how they cook it, with the liver.
Annie: You don't have to eat the liver.
Jennie: And they just put that in for flavor. It's not the main ingredient.

The Adobo arrives in a small bowl that doesn't look like it can hold much...adobo.

Hail: There's still bringing in another bowl, right?
Annie: Uh, I think this is the only bowl.
Hail: What.
Jennie: Don't worry, David can have that one piece of chicken. I'll eat the liver.
Hail: Really? Thanks! At least the liver chunks are big.
Me-an: Ugh. Liver.
Annie: So where's the pork?

And so, except for the liver-filled adobo, we had a great time. We actually recommend the Ostrich Beef. But being who we are, we just couldn't leave without letting them know what we thought of our dining experience. Below is a note we wrote on the paper table mat addressed to Padre Damaso himself and signed by Peping and the three Gomburzas:

We ended the day with huge chocolately desserts at Max Brenner Chocolate Bar...

Hail: Wow, are all the waiters here really supposed to be bald?
Annie: Of course! That's because Max the brother of Yul.

posted by The White Rabbit at 7:58 PM | Permalink | 0 Speak Up!
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Samira's Grand Entrance

Hello world!

Here's our very first glimpse of beaut
iful Samira Gabrielle Kahn de la Peña! Isn't she perfect? I found myself staring in awe at this bundled-up beauty through the nursery window of St. Luke's hospital, with proud daddy Alvin beaming beside me and Rein.

New mommy Mitch -- exhausted, but strong and happy -- gave us a blow-by-blow account of the 12-hour journey that began when her water broke early last evening to the first time she laid eyes on her adorable daughter this morning.

I'm so proud of Mitch, who's been an amazing friend all these years. I can't count how many times we Trumpets girls imagined just such a moment, way back when we were single and had time on our hands between shows and rehearsals. And now that moment is here for her. What joy! And I'm really proud of Alvin, who has become everything we believed he could be and more. Sam-Sam is truly blessed to have such parents...and they are unbelievably blessed to have this lovely new gift from God in their lives.

CONGRATULATIONS to this fabulous new family!

posted by The White Rabbit at 6:22 PM | Permalink | 0 Speak Up!
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
So Long
I turned my computer on this morning and the first news that greeted me was that actor Heath Ledger was found dead in his Manhattan apartment. He was 28. I'm not sure why -- I'm not a huge fan or anything -- but the news kind of hit me hard. I spent a few minutes waiting for it to sink in. I guess it's because in the five or so of his films that I've seen, he showed himself to be a notch above the average Hollywood star. He seemed anti-Hollywood even, in his diverse choice of roles. Or maybe it's just never easy whenever another promising light is snuffed out. The last time I felt like this was for River Phoenix. I don't know. It's just sad.

posted by The White Rabbit at 6:06 AM | Permalink | 0 Speak Up!
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Lot of Livin' To Do

A blast from the past! Picked up this clip from my former Playshop student Mae's site and I was transported to one musical summer 3 or 4 years ago. I taught a teen musical theater class and decided to do "Bye Bye Birdie" for our showcase. I loved the film and the cast album and couldn't wait to get all that fabulous (and difficult!) music (thank you from the bottom of my heart ManMan!) and book on stage. It was to be my directorial debut and so was relieved to get quite a talented group of teens. Mae, for one, struck me as the perfect Kim MacAfee from the moment she auditioned. The other kids were just as perfect in their roles as well. Wish I had more pictures and videos! It wasn't an easy summer but I was really proud of my class, and of our show. Here's a little bit of it, a small showstopper called "A Lot of Livin' To Do"...

From the archives: Lot of Livin'
posted by The White Rabbit at 9:27 PM | Permalink | 0 Speak Up!
Friday, January 04, 2008
Curtain Call
2007 was tough, but it was also eventful. In the theater of my life, let me take a bow for surviving the year that was, as I bravely enter this new year. HELLO 2008!

Meez 3D avatar avatars games
posted by The White Rabbit at 6:13 PM | Permalink | 0 Speak Up!
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Have a Groovy 2008!

Love, Rein & Jen

Don't send a lame Starring You! eCard. Try JibJab Sendables!
posted by The White Rabbit at 3:17 PM | Permalink | 0 Speak Up!
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Meri Meri, Hapi Hapi!

Wow, it's been a looong while since I did anything here on Multiply, and that's because it's been an amazingly busy last quarter of the year. I had the best time being part of Seussical, and just being part of the whole theater scene again (even if it was just a mall show) after a year-long hiatus. I was ill for the most part of that run, and had a list of respiratory complaints as long as my arm, but I guess there's nothing like a good show to heal one's tired spirit.

I hope y'all had a fantabulous Christmas season like I did...and see you in 2008!!! (Cue fireworks)

posted by The White Rabbit at 1:33 PM | Permalink | 0 Speak Up!
Sunday, October 28, 2007
"Ask" by Alakpa

Cool music video. Cool band. Cool song. Featuring my cool niece, Niña Nuyda Defensor.

Alternative rock band Alakpa was nominated for the "Best Music Video" category for this November's NU107 Rock Awards, for the song "Ask". You can vote for them by texting: nuvote(space)alakpa and send to 291071.

Text as many times as you can!

Meanwhile, check out the video here:

posted by The White Rabbit at 6:15 AM | Permalink | 0 Speak Up!
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Dear Keira

Baby face, don't grow so fast
Make a special wish that will always last
Rub this magic lantern
It will make your dreams come true for you

Ride the rainbow to the other side
Catch a falling star and then take a ride
To the river that sings and the sunshine that
Brings blessings to you, it's all true

Pink elephants and lemonade, dear Keira
Hear the laughter running through the love parade
Candy kisses and a sunny day, dear Keira
See the roses raining on the love parade

If the land of make believe
Is inside your heart it will never leave
Theres a golden gate where the fairies all wait
And dancing moons, for you

Close your eyes and you'll be there
Where the mermaids sing as they comb their hair
Like a fountain of gold you can never grow old
Where dreams are made, your love parade

Pink elephants and lemonade, dear Keira
Hear the laughter running through the love parade
Candy kisses and a sunny day, dear Keira
See the roses running through the love parade

Your dreams are made inside the love parade...
Its a holiday inside the love parade...

On the merry-go-round of lovers and white turtle doves
Leprechauns floating by, this is your lullaby
Sugarplum fingertips kissing your honey lips
Close your eyes sleepy head, is it time for your bed
Never forget what I said...
Hang on youre already there!

Close your eyes and you'll be there
Where the mermaids sing as they comb their hair
Like a fountain of gold you can never grow old
Where dreams are made, your love parade

To my feisty, spunky, sweeter-than-light goddaughter Kirsten Soleil Marasigan, a.k.a. Keira....

As you turn a year old, I can only watch in amazement as you grow wiser and more adorable with each passing day. With a smile in my heart, I wish you candy-bright todays and sugar-sunny tomorrows. It's truly one of my joys to see you everyday and be a witness to your wonderful wonder years!

Happy happy happy 1st birthday!

To your parents, my dearest friends Peachy and Allan, thank you for sharing precious Keira moments with this smitten ninang. Be blessed always!

*Song (with tweaked lyrics) courtesy of a Madonna fave, "Dear Jessie"

posted by The White Rabbit at 11:03 PM | Permalink | 0 Speak Up!
Friday, September 07, 2007

For you I wish all the amazingly happy things you can imagine...

I pray for God's protection, assurance and wisdom to follow you wherever you go...

I pray for prosperity of spirit, as well as body...

I pray that I can be a blessing to you every day...

I pray that you will find heaven's lovely gifts strewn all over the path you walk...

Happy Birthday to you, my amazing husband and best friend...REIN.

I You!
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Monday, August 06, 2007
Happy 6th, MLH!

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Saturday, July 14, 2007
Some Days

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Sunday, July 01, 2007
Labor of Love

The product of a lot of long days and short deadlines, this High School Musical souvenir magazine is literally a labor of love. For one, the companies behind this production, Stages and Playshop, are very close to my heart. Playshop is the magical door (ala Narnia) through which I was introduced to the world of Trumpets, my theater homebase; and Stages is like a second family in which my love for performing was nurtured and encouraged to grow. Secondly, many of the kids from this Manila staging were once students of mine at one point or another in my colorful history as a Playshop teacher. So you can imagine why this project was special!

I say "labor" because with the impossible deadlines we were given, it was nothing short of a miracle that we delivered 3,000 copies of the mag on time at all. And I say "love" because...well, how could I ever say no to a "family" project!

Every major endeavor or task leaves me a little changed, and this one certainly did. Weeks before crunch time -- the tough, final week before printing -- my spiritual encouragements were all focused on faith. Not just any kind of faith, but trusting faith. The concept was burned into my psyche for weeks. Little did I know how much I was going to need it in that crucial week before everything fell into place and came together. My faith was tested time and again, and my confidence in myself and my colleagues was constantly under attack.

Needless to say, we got through it alive -- not a little battered and bruised -- and came out still smiling and exhilarated. It was really enough that we delivered on time and had a product to be proud of in our hands. But God saw fit to reward us further. Stages loved the magazine, and even better---so did the Meralco audiences! Friends in the Stages staff say they've never looked forward to selling programs so much before. That's because, according to them, it was selling really well so far. The lines to the souvenir program table at intermission proved it.

And so, we hope that all of you who will be dropping by the Meralco Theater this month to watch High School Musical, will also get a chance to enjoy our little labor of love. Don't forget to pick up a copy the moment you get there!

posted by The White Rabbit at 7:22 PM | Permalink | 0 Speak Up!
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Our House

This is my favorite part of our house: The corner with the hurricane lamp and the picture window beside it, a photo of Rein and me on our honeymoon, and framed baby pictures of us on the wall above. Like a shrine, I find myself passing by this corner everyday before leaving for work. It's like facing both the past and the present all at once.

It's hard putting into words what I feel about my life today. When it comes to marriage, some people gush and some people gripe. I do both from time to time, but on the whole, I wouldn't have it any other way. As always, I find myself looking to my favorite songs to express my thoughts and feelings. How do I feel about my life with Rein? Graham Nash says it best:

I'll light the fire
You place the flowers in the vase

That you bought today

Staring at the fire

For hours and hours

While I listen to you play your love songs

All night long for me

Only for me

Come to me now

And rest your head for just five minutes

Everything is done

Such a cozy room

The windows are illuminated

By the evening sunshine through them

Fiery gems for you

Only for you

Our house, is a very, very, very fine house

With two cats in the yard

Life used to be so hard

Now everything is easy 'cause of you

La la la....

I'll light the fire

While you place the flowers in the vase

That you bought today
posted by The White Rabbit at 10:24 AM | Permalink | 0 Speak Up!
Monday, April 23, 2007
I Was Here
My dear friend Rony celebrated a milestone recently, and chose to spend his big day among family and friends back home in Manila. I suppose I could describe the evening as musical, but it was really more magical than that. Theater music filled the air, and the voices of theatre angels took centerstage right alongside the music-maker himself. Nothing was rehearsed, as there was really no need. Anyone who has ever sung with Rony on the piano will know what I mean.

Taking my turn on the microphone brought back a flood of memories. Glittery evenings in hotel ballrooms, open air stages, nerve-wracking auditions, hilarious lounge gigs, intricately arranged melodies, forgotten lyrics, made-up new ones, voices soaring, voices blending in not one, not two, not three--but 5-part harmonies! Without a doubt, those moments made up some of the best years of my life. And Rony figured prominently in most of them.

Opening the show with a song he wrote himself, entitled "How Do You Open A Show?", Rony graciously gave the floor to his singing guests before ending the evening with a simple, but very touching rendition of a Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty showstopper called "I Was Here", from the musical The Glorious Ones. Check out Patti Lupone's version!

Take in the lyrics and see why theater people--who, in my opinion, are the greatest, most fabulous people on earth--do what they do. Why I do what I do.

I Was Here
by Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty

I've gone without bread. I've slept in the mud
I've given my best while they've screamed for my blood
I've begged and I've bullied for any small chance to perform
At nights I've awakened, my guts in a knot
Remembering how much I gave up and for what
Some paints and some costumes, a pitiful tent in a storm
A handful of coins, a trunk always packed
No family, no home, just this madness to act
Still I have a theory about this disease we contract
That most men are equally crazy as actors in fact

Why does a boy carve his name on a tree
Or the firstborn inherit the throne
What is a sculptor aspiring to be
When he spends half his life carving stone
Kings build their tombs for the ages
Poets and fools fill up their pages
What are we hoping for, what do we fear
I say we yearn to leave something that lasts
To be known for what little we've done
Men tell their children the tales of their pasts
And each man gives his name to his son
Something in song or in story
Something in blood, something of glory
Something that won't fade away in a year

Well, I will not flicker and die like an ember
Too many men flicker and die
I will leave something behind to remember
Somehow I must, don't ask me why
I have no wealth, at least none I can claim
And no patience for carving in stone
All that I have are my skill and my name
And this chance to make both of them known
This is my key to the portal
How I can leave something immortal
Something that time cannot make disappear
Something to say I was here!

Way to go, Rony! May I just congratulate Angel, Joshua, and all those who put the evening together for a spectacular job done, well. . . spectacularly! Here's to your 31st!
posted by The White Rabbit at 9:21 PM | Permalink | 0 Speak Up!
Thursday, April 12, 2007

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

- Mark Twain

posted by The White Rabbit at 8:48 AM | Permalink | 1 Speak Up!
Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Summertime is. . .when we hit the sunny beaches and occupy ourselves keeping the sun off our skin, the saltwater off our bodies, and the sand out of our belongings.

-Erma Bombeck paraphrased

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Monday, April 02, 2007
A New Friend
Photo courtesy of Keira's mom

Rein made a new friend today. Stopping by to pick me up after work, he found himself "hi-jacked" by this little charmer, Unicorn Child's 6-month old baby girl and my goddaughter, Keira. Look closely and you'll see who (or what) Keira would rather befriend! Like the cuddly magpie that she is, Rein's shiny silver watch is all she cares about for the moment.

As a staple of my daily My Left Hand diet (I see her everyday at work), Keira occupies a considerable chunk of my dinnertable conversations with Rein. He hears all about every new event in her life--her latest word-sounds, her sweet little outfits, her ongoing battle with solid food, her mood swings, and even the amount of muscle power it takes to carry her for more than 5 minutes! Today, he happily experienced some of that for himself. . .with the aching muscles to prove it! Today also marks a milestone of sorts as it is the first time Rein has agreed to hold Keira -- or any baby this small, for that matter -- in his arms. Like many uninitiated males, he always felt like he would drop them if he tried. But as this photo shows, Rein looks like he could ably take on fatherhood himself one of these days.

I can't wait.
posted by The White Rabbit at 9:37 PM | Permalink | 1 Speak Up!