lifestyle, tv and movies

The Mommy Lawyer Over at Inhumans Forever

I sent the site owner of Inhumans Forever a link to my post about how we can save the godawful Inhumans series. Thanks for sharing the link with your fans DocGold13! 🙂

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lifestyle, tv and movies

Marvel TV’s The Punisher on Netflix: Down the Rabbit Hole of Vengeance and Violence (A Review)

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

(Disclaimer: Not familiar with the comic book version of The Punisher.)

The Punisher. Image courtesy of Google


In this day and age, if you want to see an angry guy with high powered guns on a killing spree then all you have to do is turn on the news. Mass murder has become the norm and not the exception of late, sadly.

Here’s a spoiler: Frank supposedly eliminated every person involved in the violent and brutal deaths of his wife and children (unlike the past Punisher movies where he spends the movie hunting them all down). That all the gangs have been eliminated by one man was established early on in the premiere, so with that out of the way, what is Frank angry about now?

The first episode was in fact, a bit ho hum for me, with the not dead Frank Castle (watch Daredevil Season 2 for context) keeping his head down and sleepwalking through life as Pete Castiglione working in construction, channeling his rage by tearing down walls. He tries to take the high road until a totally predictable and generic encounter was designed to push all his buttons and lead him down the rabbit hole of vengeance and violence.

Instead of the usual mafia mob wars, however, we have a high level conspiracy from Homeland Security all the way to the CIA. More important is a moving look at the life and suffering of war vets who are out of sync and forgotten by the country they served, and the relationships they have with each other and the world at large.

Avatar of Death? Image from Digital Spy.

While off to a fairly slow start, the Punisher is compelling, gritty and very violent in large part thanks to the intense, high octane performance by Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle. He is in part genuinely terrifying, spooky even when he mumbles, and at his best when he talks (nay, screams) in his ‘war voice’ that I’d love to imitate to scare the heck out of my fat, lazy cat when he poops on the floor. He is the best Punisher yet – spooky, fueled by rage especially when he kills, gruff but oddly gentle and paternal at times, simple and loyal to a fault to the few people he trusts.

Continue reading “Marvel TV’s The Punisher on Netflix: Down the Rabbit Hole of Vengeance and Violence (A Review)”

lifestyle, tv and movies

How Marvel TV’s Royal Mess, The Inhumans, Can Still Be Saved

The Inhumans (L-R): Gorgon, Karnak, Black Bolt, Medusa, Crystal and Maximus. Photo grabbed from Screen Rant.

Anyone who’s slogged through the eight-episode first season of Marvel’s The Inhumans (currently with an 8% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes) can no doubt attest that the show is a disaster, something virtually unheard of in Marvel’s hugely successful cinematic run thus far. However, The Inhumans and the widely panned Iron Fist share the same show runner (well, not anymore in the case of IF), Scott Buck who appears to lack the imagination and competence to share Marvel’s vision for these characters on the small screen. Worse, the ambitious move to have a movie-tv hybrid by premiering the first two episodes of Inhumans on IMAX backfired. Then again, it was by Roel Reine, a director whose biggest success is direct to video work … who watched The Scorpion King 3?

In a nutshell, the show is barely watchable thanks to clunky writing, very slow pacing (Maximus mostly giving speeches to anyone who listens), a comically over-acting Anson Mount as Blackagar Boltagon, a lame storyline, subpar special effects and a very poor translation of the Inhumans story from the comic books to television. Iwann Rheon (a.k.a. Ramsey Bolton in HBO’s Game of Thrones) who is the biggest name attached to the series makes for a poor version of Maximus, relegated to delivering speeches to a dwindling population of Attilan – lazily pronounced by the characters as “Ah-tul-lan.”

The show’s saving grace is Lockjaw, the giant teleporting dog, who is ironically mostly CGI. Runner up is Serinda Swan who plays Medusa, Queen of the Inhumans and who delivers the heart and soul of the show.

Lockjaw the Inhuman Teleporting Dog and Black Bolt (image taken from

The show may be renewed for another season similar to what happened in Iron Fist even with disastrously bad ratings and reviews. However, if Scott Buck, its showrunner, will not be taken off the project, then expect more of the same next time and say goodbye to any chance of redemption. However, should cancellation of the series be imminent, then there is still another way that the show can be saved and a way that it can also help out another show.

Continue reading “How Marvel TV’s Royal Mess, The Inhumans, Can Still Be Saved”


Me, Too



The ongoing Harvey Weinstein scandal was only the beginning of an avalanche of revelations of sexual harassment and assault committed by men in positions of power. Most of the victims speaking out are women – some aspiring actresses at the time who’ve made a name for themselves since then, while others have chosen to shy away from the industry altogether due to the trauma they experienced.

I remember reeling from shock last year when dozens of accusers revealed a very different side of Bill Cosby, a powerful and revered 80s icon, who, for decades, plied young actresses with Quaaludes and proceeded to rape them while they were asleep. As someone who grew up with the characters on the Cosby Show it was a shock, to say the least.

The “Me, Too” campaign initiated by women as a form of solidarity and support to fellow survivors by sharing their own experiences of harassment and assault has sparked a widespread revolution of sorts and has since expanded beyond Weinstein to name and shame other perpetrators hiding behind their fame and resources. The proliferation of “Me, Too” experiences speak an alarming truth as to how common these experiences are for women regardless of age and station in life.

Though I wasn’t able to join the “Me, Too” campaign at its peak (I never got around to finishing my own post on Facebook, sadly), the short version is that I’ve had some experiences with unwanted attention and advances myself, including close calls with pedophiles in the mall where I used to hang out as a kid.

Continue reading “Me, Too”


The Oilbu-Lawyer Chronicles: Do Essential Oils Really Work?

IMG_0068I love buying pretty roller bottles and I love the mixing – not so much the simple math behind it though. I love toying with diffusers and carrier oils and I dream of making my own soaps and hair products using some of these oils one day. But do essential oils really, honest to goodness, work?

A simple, unqualified “yes” would create unrealistic expectations of what oils can and cannot do. A simple, unqualified “no” would not be accurate or fair either, based on experience. (This is what you get when you ask a lawyer!) How about both yes and no?

There is no Holy Grail of oils that will magically cure all the world’s problems

I tried oils mainly because I wanted to find a cure for my husband’s chronic shoulder and back pain, and a magical blend or blend(s) that I imagined will get my super active Bear whose energy out-energizes the Energizer Bunny, to calm down when she’s mad and to sleep when she can’t or won’t. Of these goals, I think I was able to find something for my husband. As for the Bear, I’ve come to accept that no oil will ever have that effect on her!

As for myself, I just want an oil that will make me perky in the mornings when I still want to go back to bed and snooze, and hopefully one that will help me not forget things. (I misplaced the memory blend I made for myself and didn’t know where it was for weeks!)  So far I have not found one that absolutely works 100% of the time yet.

… this is because essential oils may not always have the same effect on people

Lavender is widely regarded as the ‘swiss knife’ of EOs, an extremely versatile oil, and a key ingredient for sleep and relaxation blends. However, for some reason, I am incredibly sensitive to the smell of lavender EO – in a bad way. Too much exposure to the scent gives me really bad headache – and one time, the smell even ‘reactivated’ a dormant toothache. I am the only person that I know who literally cannot stand lavender – at least not too much. Meanwhile, my mom caught a whiff of it from one of my roller blends and she said the smell was relaxing. Since then, she’s tried oiling, too, and she’s been happily using lavender in her diffuser for a good night’s sleep. Most people I know swear by lavender for a whole bunch of things – from insect bites to sleepless nights.

Based on my experience so far, some oils have immediate effects while others don’t seem to make an impact. Does this mean they don’t work? Not necessarily. Some take time to work, others just take easily. Some just don’t jive like me with lavender solo. Experienced oiler gurus have reminded us newbies that consistency (in applying the oils) is key for the oils to work over time. It’s also important to remember that oils are not like medicine which are developed and formulated to address specific ailments or concerns; oils have a broad range of potential uses and effects.

… However I’ve seen *some* oils actually work

By work , I mean I’ve seen some of the oils have a positive effect on myself and others – whether it’s to address a skin problem, or change one’s mood.

Continue reading “The Oilbu-Lawyer Chronicles: Do Essential Oils Really Work?”


The Resurrection of the Nokia 3310 and Ten Reasons Why It Should Be Your Next MomPhone

The navy blue 3310 back in 2000 was all the rage. This is the 2017 version.

Depending on how old you were, before Apple and Samsung took over the mobile handset industry, back in the day, Nokia dominated them all and the Nokia 3310 was one of most sought after mobile phones in early 2000s. Back then, dressing up your 3310 was all the rage and people changed cases a lot, and enterprising phone technicians installed “backlight” and basically hacked into the phone to customize its look and features. HMD Global, the start up company that is licensed to make Nokia handsets, resurrected the 3310 this year in a very smart move to revive interest in the Nokia brand.

Well, if HMD Global had an ideal customer in mind, that was definitely me, the X-ennial buying into 80’s to 90’s nostalgia like it was the most precious commodity in the world. As soon as I laid eyes on it, I didn’t care about the price or what the phone did – I just wanted to relive the memory of being a college kid who felt really cool when she bought the 3310 with her hard earned money from part time work.

Strangers struck up a conversation with me (as well as my husband) while we were at the cash register  – how much, how cute, where did you buy it, etc. One even said her mom was looking for one – and I cautiously asked her how old her mom was. Out of curiosity I also asked the seller who usually buys the phone and she said, “halos matanda” (almost old people). My jaw dropped and I wondered if I counted as almost old so I asked her for a specific age range and she said in their early 50s. Well, I was only in college at the time so definitely I’m not that old yet.

Snake on light grey matte edition. There are two other colors but I’m not into glossy red and yellow.

Having no need for a second phone, I created new and necessary uses for it, and came back for the navy blue version the next day. I bought cheap prepaid SIMs from other networks, enrolled in a bunch of call and text promos and realized I may be spending way too much on my postpaid plan. After using it for the past week or so to call and text Smart/TNT/Sun numbers, I quickly rediscovered the convenience and beauty of a basic phone.  I see it as a MomPhone (or KidPhone) and I have no less than TEN reasons why it turned out to be a good buy.

Doodle Jump on the 3310 navy blue matte edition – the closest you’ll get to the original color.
  • It’s eye candy with a purpose. The Nokia 3310 takes the best elements from the original look, making it a standout among the boring old glass and metal of today –  it’s prettier than your basic feature phone plus it is refreshingly and unapologetically colorful and cute amid the nearly identical generic smart phones of today. Kids who were born long after the Nokia 3310 was in general circulation or who were too young to remember it love the design. I can attest to this, judging from the oohs and aahs of my husband’s nieces and nephews (one is even asking for one as a gift). Who wouldn’t, in this “screen size conquers all” kind of world?
  • Adults love it, too, especially those who were born around the same time I was. Snake is back! And a slightly modern version of the trademark Nokia jingle. I suspect that a number of us X-ennials bought into the whole nostalgia gimmick, too. No regrets here!
  • It’s a good and reliable second/first phone for kids. It will not be cluttered with games and selfies or questionable apps, for that matter. I doubt that kids would use it for web browsing either, but there is a built in Opera browser in case they do. Plus, thanks to its iconic design, they wouldn’t mind being seen in public using it.
  • It doesn’t have video. My soon to be toddler plays with it, too, and mercifully she can’t play 100+ videos of “Finger Family” on it. Plus, I’m wary of letting my kid have too much screen time at such a young age so if this phone is enough to entertain her, I’m more than happy with it.
  • It is durable – not as heavy as the original, but it can withstand a playful and impulsive toddler. To be safe though, I put mine in a case since I don’t want the exterior to be chipped by accidental or intentional drops.
  • Battery life lasts about 2 to 3 days without charging – based on my very unscientific assessment. I do know that my iPhone cannot make it through the night without being plugged in.
  • It’s a great second phone for me. When my phone was stolen, I was only so lucky that I had a pocket wifi and my iPad with me, which enabled me to contact my husband through Facebook Messenger. This lightweight, dual-SIM mobile is discreet and safe enough to commute with (unless the pickpocket loves the 3310, too).
  • It’s affordable – I got mine for P2490. Add to that a sturdy plastic case and a customized screen protector, and I spent about an additional P300 for it. There are plenty of cheaper basic phones or even smartphones out there, but none with this iconic look and functionality (battery life!). Back in 2000, I got mine for P8900.00 – very steep for a college student! I also spent even more on backlighting and all them fancy accessories, and changed cases a lot. (Note that you can’t change the phone case or shell unlike the original) Due to its popularity and limited stocks, the price fluctuates anywhere from P2500 to almost P4000.
  • For moms of toddlers who like mom’s smartphone a lot, a second phone will let you make that much needed call or send that important text. Because it’s colorful, it will be a welcome toy-looking distraction to your child.
  • The earphones are comfortable and decent. Since the baby Bear nearly ripped my stock iPhone earphones to pieces, the one that came with the 3310 has let me watch  Netflix on my phone again. I also used it all day without any issue.

Parenthetically, it’s got a bunch of other features you don’t really need – a 2 megapixel camera, some other games (like some racing games and Doodle Jump, but to be honest, I just want the monochrome Snake, to be honest), an expandable memory card slot, a music player and radio.

His and Hers. Sharing contacts via Bluetooth – didn’t work when I checked this morning. Boo!

Although there are many good reasons for getting a 3310, please manage your expectations. Fans are divided on the design – which I am personally fine with, but I think most dislike the version of Snake they installed. I can’t disagree with that. Other than that, please know that cases aren’t removable, the phone doesn’t feel as solid or sturdy as before (see clear plastic case on the navy blue version) and really, you can find cheaper “dumb” phones and smarter phones at the same price points.

However, if you are sentimental like this one, then you’ll check it out and end up buying the 3310 even for no reason at all!


Oilbularyos, Unite! 5 Lessons from my First Essential Oils 101 Class

Last weekend was particularly hectic with the oath taking and induction of the new officers of the IBP Tarlac chapter (yay for us!), a dev pedia check up with Dr. Paula David and a free intro to essential oils class sponsored by a fellow schoolmate from UP Law,  Atty. Joyce Lara-Tioleco at her lovely home in San Fernando, Pampanga. Aside from Fluffy Pwets super mom Atty. Tina de Guzman in attendance to give tips and advice, Dr. Tina Langit-Bagro was our oily guru. 

Merienda before the start of class!

The ideal scenario for a newbie to EOs such as myself was to have attended class before jumping right in. Nonetheless, any information – especially medical related advice is helpful regardless of where you are in your  oiling journey. 
A Tale of Two Tina’s: Doc Tina (in black) and Atty Tina (in white)

The class was an opportunity to check out essential oils not in our standard kit and load up on roller bottl s, spray bottles, inserts and other goodies sold by The Oil Natural Project. In between yummy merinda we shared stories about how certain oils worked for us, traded tips and recipes.
Fina: Are you old enough to drive? How old are you? The Bear: Seven!
While us moms were in class, our wonderful and supportive husbands and super dads kept our bulilits busy. Joyce’s house is so beautiful (should be a separate blogpost!) with an amazing play area inside and outside that if I were a kid, I wouldn’t want to leave. In fact, the Bear refused to go home and kept going back to the playroom!

My random takeaways from my first EO class:

1. Essential oils are meant to complement and not act as substitute for medicine. Medicines are specifically designed to treat a particular ailment while EOs do not target specific body parts, organs or ailments. Thus, you can’t rely on EOs when you need to see a doctor. While there are plenty of anecdotes where EOs seem to work well enough without taking medicine but again, it’s still best to consult a doctor

2. The story behind Young Living’s most famous blend called “Thieves” – it is a reference to actual events during the Plague where grave robbers and thieves managed to steal belongings from the dead yet escaped death because they covered themselves in and protected themselves from the plague through essential oils.

3. Inhaling some Peppermint / Lemon oils or rubbing them on key parts of the body will wake you up and energize you when you are sleepy. Perfect to use on long drives or sleepy workdays!

4. Ingestion is a hotly contested topic because debates are raging on whether essential oils are too potent and therefore unsafe for consumption in one’s food or drink. Anyway, as Doc Tina said, many of reported ingestion related injuries occur because the person ingested too much and/or did not follow proper safety precautions. As always, I think it’s best to consult a doctor first before trying it on your own. This should also apply to all ways by which we interact with EOs, such as through diffusing or topical application. 

5. It’s not a coincidence that the moms there are breast feeding, baby wearing, cloth diapering and co-sleeping moms.  As Atty. Tina aptly put it, essential oils is part of the natural lifestyle she wants for her family and herself, so I guess I wasn’t surprised to see familiar names in the cloth diaper circuit into oiling as well. The progression is almost inevitable – based on my experience 😂

Thank you so much, oilbularyos! Hope to catch another class soon! 


My Top 3 Hybrid Fitted Diapers (Made With Love) by Pinay Mompreneurs

We call them “cloth diapers” now because they are a prettier and fancier  – and more expensive version of the traditional lampin. They are easy to use (once you get over the daunting information available to you) and allow your baby to grow into them. While the initial outlay is expensive, cloth diapers are more colorful, fashionable, economical and environmentally friendly (versus disposable) in the long run. Read more about the benefits of cloth diapers here.

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In a Lizards shirt and diaper combo (FP rascals)


The Bear is turning 2 in a few months and I’m proud to say that while we are slowly trying to introduce her to potty training, her cloth diapers have served her well since Day 1 (a few weeks after she turned 3 months old) and she continues to wear them until she can use the potty on her own.

Now, before I proceed, I have a few disclaimers:

  1. I was not able to try all of the major ‘brands’ as recommended by other moms online, but I will list the ones that I have tried.
  2. The output of a baby increases as s/he gets older, as what I discovered. What worked when she was smaller is not the same now that she is more than a year old.
  3. I have only used pocket type diapers and hybrid fitteds so far, therefore I’m not familiar or knowledgeable about other cloth diapering systems. Pocket diapers are diapers with a plastic outer “shell” (or PUL in cloth diaper terminology) which means you stuff “inserts” to boost a diaper’s absorbency. Hybrid fitted diapers, on the other hand, can be distinguished from pocket types since the baby’s bottom is directly exposed to the soakers and boosters, while the outer shell is usually made of cotton materials, making it more ‘breathable’ than pocket type diapers.
  4. I think my recommendations will be more relevant to those looking into HFs as these are more expensive and varied.
  5. I consulted my husband on some of the criteria since he is the one who puts on the diapers and he has his own observations, too.
  6. Atty. Tina , the mompreneur behind Fluffy Pwets and I were classmates in Civil Procedure and Corporation Law at the University of the Philippines College of Law – although I only found out that she was behind FP when I saw her photo on instagram at an FP event. I consider her a friend and addiction enabler (LOL).
  7. Fritzie, the mompreneur behind the local arm of  Indonesian brand Cluebebe is a former colleague of my sister and a family friend. I also got to work with her many years ago on a marketing gig when I was still in college.
  8. I will not rank the pocket type diaper brands anymore since I found no significant differences in performance when it came to actual use. However, Cluebebe offers very thick and high quality inserts which you can even boost further since they also offer insert socks, which you can use to reinforce your pocket diapers.
  9. My goal here is to encourage fellow moms to support local WAHMs (work at home moms) by raising awareness of some good brands of locally made cloth diapers (Primm n Proper not considered when I made these lists) and other products. As many cloth diapering moms are very passionate about their preferences, I would like to emphasize, at the outset that it’s not A vs B vs C. Let’s support and love our mompreneurs and their various products.
  10. Mompreneurs on this list are constantly improving their techniques and upgrading the materials they use, so I may not be up to date on any design tweaks. Again, feel free to try as many brands as you to see what works for you and your baby.
In a Cluebebe tutu pocket diaper @ 4 months old

Also, this is by no means an exhaustive guide –  i know of other moms with bigger cloth diaper collections who will have a different ranking and set of criteria in mind.

Mompreneurs who want to clarify further why they are on the list or not on the list, or not ranked according to their expectations, feel free to email me. I do hope, however, that this post clearly articulates my own standards and preferences.

Based on my experience, let me share with you my favorite cloth diaper brands (specifically hybrid fitted diapers) and why I picked them.

Continue reading “My Top 3 Hybrid Fitted Diapers (Made With Love) by Pinay Mompreneurs”


Oil I Need to Know: How I Learned About Diffusers Because of My Cat

Note: I’m a lazy blogger. It takes me months, even years to update my blogs. However, the benefits of writing – even for personal and not public consumption, cannot be overemphasized. So, beginning today, I plan on a not so ambitious, bite sized plan to record my attempt to navigate the exhilarating and daunting world of essential oils.

Potpourri, aroma therapy, that sweet woodsy smell when you go for a massage.

A few months ago, a dear friend from law school contacted me with seeming urgency. To my surprise, it was about whether I wanted to give essential oils a try. As someone who doesn’t even like wearing perfume, the idea did not appeal to me so much. I didn’t like oils, too, she said, but these essential oils I’m talking about are different. They smell really good and they are good for you.

I was cautiously on board with the idea, but again, cautious because in my first year as a mom I cycled through addiction to cloth diapering, a bit of babywearing, attachment parenting and all these fancy terms we so-called “millennials” use nowadays. Although I have since proven to myself that cloth diapers are still the more economical and ecologically sound choice, I wanted to take a break from sleepless nights giggling over my addiction. When she said that a set of essential oils and diffuser would cost about $160 (exclusive of shipping fees from the US), I was even more hesitant.

… And what was a diffuser again? I asked her politely what she meant by diffuser (through chat) a few times.

Despite all the information and materials she generously forwarded to me, I could not make heads or tails of what a diffuser was and why it sounded like I needed to plug it in to use it.

Not wanting to ask stupid questions, I mulled it over for weeks by myself until I remembered my cat! Four or five years ago, when my beloved panganay (eldest), my silly boy BB was misbehaving – peeing and pooping in various places except his litterbox, I remembered desperately looking for solutions, one of which was an expensive cat hormone diffuser (about $100). Basically, you plug in and use a hormone diffuser for about a month to calm down your cat. As it is based on cat hormones, only the cat is supposedly aware of the smell but you can expect behavioral changes after a month.

Needless to say, while it seems to work for a lot of cats, it didn’t work on mine. BB, continued and continues to misbehave to this day – without any medical problems, mostly territorial and insecurity issues all in his head. No amount of cat hormone diffuser could change that.

Having thus convinced myself that since I spent roughly $100 on a cat hormone diffuser that didn’t work for my cat, surely $174 on 11 different bottles of essential oils and a sleek looking diffuser surely couldn’t hurt.

It would take me more than a month, however, to muster up the courage to hit the buy button and it was a particular life event that sent me to the Young Living Essentials page… a story for another time.


Interested in essential oils? Let’s discover them together! Send me an email at! 


Mother Holden

I am sharing with you this wonderful and insightful essay by a very dear friend. She published it as an untitled note on her Facebook. I am reposting it here.   p.s. I just made up the title of this blog post til my friend can give me a better title … She is far more creative than I am! Thanks for letting me repost this!

Image not hers, or mine. But it fits the piece perfectly!

“Mothers are all slightly insane.”
― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

By: Celia Peñaflor

Times like this, I feel like I am a modern-day Holden Caulfield, mom version though. I can say I have moved on from the quintessential teenage angst and quarter life crisis to the peaks and valleys of motherhood. I started my day today by jolting out of my sleep as I was about to be late for work. I could not even wash my face, brush my teeth, comb my hair and pin my fringe in place with a hairclip, because the precious remaining minutes of my life usually every morning are meant for preparing my cup of instant coffee and setting up everything for work. Yes, you read it right, “instant”, despite living in a place known for coffee.

So I work from home and during vacations especially this summer, it would mean working and at the same time raising, parenting, and educating my son. My break time is meant to address his needs, like preparing his food, washing his bum, answering his queries, reviewing stuff we study like this week we are learning to count syllables, going through our set of CVC cards, and so on and so forth. And my lunch time is meant for preparing lunch, feeding my starving self and of course my son, washing the dishes, sweeping , waxing, and polishing the floor and cleaning up a bit of the havoc my son has created by putting all toys on the floor, and resuming work. In short, I am at my wit’s end. How I wish sometimes my life as a slave to money is separated from my life being a parent or my life as an individual, like several hours of my day should be meant for work alone and no polishing the floor and washing the dishes in between, at least I could get to compartmentalize my tasks and responsibilities in life.

Continue reading “Mother Holden”