The Makings of a Chinese Lantern

Ever since my boys were young, this mother had to be “tortured” annually whenever Chinese New Year came around because I had to help all of them make one Chinese lantern each. Their school, being Chinese-Filipino, used the lanterns made by the students to line the hallways.

So, it came as a great relief to me that my two high school boys decided this year to do the lanterns on their own. (Woohoo!!!!)

Actually, they did so with grunts and rants (and I was just waiting for them to give up and ask me to jump in to help). But, to their credit, they hurdled the test which I call the Test of Extreme Patience, and worked on their lanterns (with a little help from big sis and yaya). As of this posting, M1 had already finished his and M2 is almost there.

Just to give you an idea of what this mother had to go through year after year, let me give you a synopsis:

Materials You Would Need

1. Lots of RED Japanese paper and cartolina (be sure to beat the rest of your school mates to it at National Bookstore or suffer from lack of supply)

2. Glue (Elmer’s Liquid Glue is too wet; Elmer’s Glue Stick is too dry. Heck, I don’t know what kind of glue is best!!!)

3. A pair of scissors, paper cutter and cutting mat (the mat will spare your floor from potential disaster like permanent deep cuts here and there)

4. Ruler (to ensure the distance of the pattern lines from each other are exactly the same)

5. Scotch tape (to hold together the parts that accidentally rip if your luck runs out as you are halfway through the pattern)

6. The pattern for making a red lantern as shown below (Note to parents: Be sure you have good co-parents willing to share this with you AND keep this pattern in your home vault as you will surely use this until your kid graduates from high school!)

7. Yarn

8. Last and surely not the least — a willing victim or two (I mean, helper/s — which was moi in past years)



1. Cut 80 pieces of the lantern pattern using Japanese paper and 2 pieces using cartolina.


2. Draw lines down each piece of paper following the pattern’s lines.

3. Get one paper and glue down alternate lines (I refer to them as lines 1,3,5,7 and so on). Lay this paper down flat on the floor (the side with glue facing UP).


4. Get a second paper. This time, glue down lines 2,4,6,8 and so on. Lay the paper’s side without glue EXACTLY on top of the first paper with the glue.


5. Get a third paper. Glue down lines 1,3,5,7 and so on. Lay this paper EXACTLY on top of the second paper.

6. Keep going till paper #80. Don’t forget that the papers have to be glued on alternating lines (following the odd-even pattern in instructions #3 & 4 above).

Now you know why I call it the Test of Extreme Patience?

7. Once all 80 papers are glued together, the cartolina pieces are glued to the front and back as the opposite ends.

8. Punch holes through the entire stack of papers following the hole locations in the pattern.

9. String short yarn through these holes and knot them.

10. Hold both ends of the lantern and slowly open it up like an accordion.




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What’s In a Name? (lotsa laughs!!!!)

Ever since we were small, our family name (Tenefrancia) was always misspelled by people. The most common misspelling was Peñafrancia (after Our Lady of Peñafrancia) and it became a family pet peeve of sorts that we constantly had to spell out our name….until my Mom discovered a better way to deal with the situation.

She decided to take up a collection of all possible variations of our family name — misspelled — and turned it into a hobby.

By last count, I think she has assembled several hundred variations, including, would you believe…TONY FRANCIA!!!! And whenever she did an enumeration of new findings, we got such good laughs out of them. Believe it or not, she’s still going at it up to today.

Well, my married name now (Uymatiao) isn’t exactly the easiest or the shortest either. Once again, I am spelling and spelling and spelling. There are days when it does get to you and I just say to people especially in stores: “It’s JANE UY!!!” Now THAT they spell correctly immediately!

One day, years ago, I got an envelope from my Mom. She had sorted out used envelopes I had passed on to her for recycling and she painstakingly cut out all those which were misspelled. I remembered all the kicks we got out of her odd hobby so when I got those cut-out envelope labels with my own misspelled married name, I simply continued from where she left off. So here goes my list as of now. PLDT takes the cake for being the WORST speller!

1. Mrs. Jane E. Uymetiao (envelope from IRRI)
2. Ms. Mary Jane Uymatias (letter from a childhood friend)
3. G. Ugmatiao (name tag-ugggh!!!)
4. Mr. Jeffrey Uymachiao
5. Mr. & Mrs. Geoffrey Uy-matiao (nope, NO HYPHEN please!)
6. Oy matiaw (receipt from Savory Restaurant- HELLOOOO! Who would name their kid Oy!)
7. G. Diumateo (PLDT bill-ha?)
8. G Uymatel (PLDT bill – maybe they thought of Bayantel, no?)
9. E. Uymateo (PLDT bill)
10. G Matiao (PLDT bill)
11. J Yumatiao (PLDT bill)
12. G Uy Matias (PLDT bill)
13. U Ymatiao (PLDT bill)
14. J Uymapiao (PLDT bill)
15. Y Tiao (PLDT bill – come again????)
16. R Uy Matiao (PLDT bill – not 2 words; one word!)
17. J Yumadiao (PLDT bill)
18. J Tuimaeio (PLDT bill – grabe, pinahirapan pa niya!)
19. G Uy Matao (PLDT bill)
20. G Imacho (PLDT bill- sus!)
21. G Oymatiao (PLDT bill)
22. G Uymachao (PLDT bill)
23. G Alimachao (PLDT bill- *sigh*)
24. Jane T. Uymattad (from a stamp club)
25. Mr. & Mrs. Geoffray L. Uymatio (Catholic daily digest)
26. Mr. & Mrs. Geoffrey Uy Matiao (again….just one word please!)
27. Ms. Mary Jane T. Uymatyao (letter from a relative in the USA)
28. Mr. Geoffrey Mymatiao (letter from friend- ok lang, friends parin kami)
29. Ms. Jane Uymatia (hey, who dropped the last letter???)
30. Geoffrey L. Uymariao
31. Jane Uymattiao (from a friend – 1 too many T’s, my friend!)
32. Jane Uy Madiao (Reader’s Digest label)

So there! My own oddball collection of our misspelled name. Ha ha.

Have you ever had your name terribly misspelled? Be thankful if your last name is Go, Dy, Ong, Tan, Lim or something like that.

Abangan ang mga updates….kung meron pa…


1. Machao (on a bottled water receipt) – April 2008



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Has Crime Become THIS BAD?????

I had not walked home in a while so today, as I was coming from the boys’ school, I saw this new sign on one of the trees along our street.

We have had a spate of robberies around our area. Some houses have been burglarized, motorcyclists riding in tandem have snatched bags and cellphones around our area. We have actually been quite concerned about the rise in such incidents and have brought this up with our barangay heads. But this sign is something else!

Do you think this is a genuine MMDA sign?

(WARNING: Robbers or those who swipe side mirrors attack at dawn. They ride motorcycles in tandem or go back and forth before attacking. If any of you see or catch them, please beat them up first before putting them in jail – MMDA)

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My Day with Happy Slip

Feb. 7, 2008, Mag:net Cafe Bonifacio High Street, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

I was not familiar with the place and had to ask some security guards where Mag:net Cafe was. It was just a little before 11:00 and thankfully, the place was not yet full. After registering at the entrance, I made my way into the cafe and reserved the nearest table I could get. Dine and Noemi were still at Krispy Kreme and they soon arrived together with Tin Mandigma of WikiPilipinas and that made up our table of 4.

Christine arrived promptly but to the disappointment of many of us bloggers, she was immediately whisked to an open area of the cafe for media interviews. Thankfully, lunch (FREE!!!!) was served so we had time to socialize and catch up among bloggers. I went around meeting those I knew virtually but was seeing in the flesh for the first time (people like Manuel and Angel Viloria, Anton, Jayvee, Juned and Ivan Henares).

After the media interviews, Christine’s also famous cousin, Josh Verdes, who composed many of the songs featured in her videos, sang 3 of the more popular ones on YouTube (Save Me, Home, and Love At First Sight). Then Christine gave her opening remarks, gamefully answered some questions (sometimes acting out her other family members — to everyone’s delight), and spent time with each and every one of us for a short chitchat, autograph signing, and pictures.

When I got to the front of the line, I told Christine that my 2 girls felt bad that they had to be in school and could not come with me. But she accommodated my request to personally write to them (and a niece) using stationery that I had brought along with me. She also autographed a picture of herself in Luneta which provided all of us.

Towards the end, as everyone got their moment with her, I was able to go back to her with my videocam to get a personal message for my girls (and she cheerfully did, to the delight of my girls). Josh was also able to give them his own message so I think my mission was more than accomplished that day.

We were one of the last to leave Mag:net. We watched from the 2nd floor as Christine was mobbed by adoring fans while she was in her coaster. This is what is amazing about this bubbly girl. She was all heart for everyone she met. Even while inside her vehicle, she went all the way to the back and continued smiling for the small crowd that had patiently waited for her on the street since they could not enter the venue. Waving, smiling, pretending to cry (to show them how she wished she had more time to meet them). And when her coaster sped away, she continued waving from the rear window of the coaster. Such a wonderful, beautiful person inside and out….

Now that she is back in the States, we sit back to wait eagerly for her to edit what must be volumes and volumes of footage from her trip to the Philippines. I am sure what will come out of that will be hilarious at times; but more than just funny, it will be videos filled with love, warmth and sunshine….because that is what we saw from the real Happy Slip.

Christine, no doubt about it…you are one heck of a Philippine Ambassadress. We hope you can come visit more often to get to know your heritage. You bring Philippine sunshine and warmth with you wherever you go and likewise, we will always carry you with us in our hearts.

I will upload YouTube videos of her opening remarks and Q & A portion soon. Watch out for it here.

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Family Mortal Enemy #1

If there is one thing our whole family hates to pieces and considers as #1 mortal enemy, that is the ugly, dirty, no-reason-to-exist ROACH!!!!

Yes, our disgust over this lowly creature has been handed down from generation to generation. My Mom’s side.

You see, my Mom is one sturdy lady. She was our disciplinarian. And she took care of most things around the house and in school. You’d think she was always cool and collected. But if there is one thing that scares the hell out of her, it is the cockroach. Her peripheral vision and instincts are so good that the moment a cockroach takes flight, she would scream bloody murder and run out of the room faster than anyone else.

Is it any wonder then that I have inherited that part of her DNA that absolutely loathes this creature? And my kids feel the same?

Just last night, one of the kids let out a bloodcurdling scream. Even before I rushed to the room to check on them, I already had a feeling the ENEMY was sighted once again. It has gotten to the point where “the ultimate weapon” (in other words, Baygon roach killer canisters) is now located upstairs and downstairs, within reach of us all. And last night, one of them indeed used the weapon against the enemy, sending them all out of their room (due to the toxic fumes) and into our room (where they killed time till the smell dissipated).

I have always believed that everything happens and exists for a purpose. But….WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A ROACH?

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Andy Capp – Humorous Reality

One of my favorite comic strips is Andy Capp. Andy and his wife Florrie live in Northeast England. Andy is unemployed and terribly unmotivated to do anything but go to the pub or just lie around the house. This is looked upon with disdain by Flo and this is evident in their repartee.Andy Capp

The wry humor in these strips show a somewhat negative view of their marital state but surprisingly, it is well received by the international comic readership. This series has in fact been translated into 13 or 14 different languages. While the setting is very much England, the character represented by Andy is oftentimes portrayed in Pinoy movies where the supposed man of the house is jobless while his wife has to do everything at home PLUS go to work. Come to think of it, this kind of marital setup can be found in many other countries as well! Continue reading

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