Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010...

As usual, my year was a roller coaster ride. I shed a few tears, shared a few laughter, angered myself, hated and loved... I can never generalize a year as a good or a bad one. Most of the time, I am just grateful for life. Grateful for blessings. Thankful for the strength and power to handle trials. I am always appreciative of friends and family. 2010 was a roller coaster ride. I am not sure how ferocious this one was, compared to the past years, and how cruel the next one will be... but always I just carry on knowing that I am not alone.

2011 is going to be phenomenal! I cannot wait to share another year with you, all... but before this year ends I would like to look back at the past year...

  • You & Your Teeth sure had a great year. Bon and I, decided to hire an assistant, and Monique has been such a great addiction to the clinic, ever since. It was not easy being the dentist, the secretary and the dental assistant at the same time. We did that for two years and Monique was our reward.
  • I also turned 29 this year and soon, my age will be off the calendar. 
  • This blog has also been through a lot of changes this year. First, it had a layout change and before the year ended it celebrated it's second year, got it's own domain name and a new header from Calvin.
  • The May 2010 elections gave us a new president. I am not a fan of the new President, but I remain hopeful.
  • My lowest moment came when I found out I had a myoma. I felt much too young to be faced with such a problem, but God gave me strength and support. I was surrounded by friends and family. My myoma was taken out successfully and now I am "good as new".
  • On a lighter note, let's not forget that time I offended a CELEBRITY. After this, I never tweet about celebs using their real names, anymore.
  • And then, just before the year ended, I got a chance to be on television. I'm not sure if I'd be able to get a copy of the segment but those who saw me on tv said that I looked pretty and I sounded really good. I reckon everyone's just being nice.

My year wasn't so bad right?
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

God Gives You Opportunities...

"God please give me patience"


People pray for different things. When people call out to the Lord, they do so either to show gratitude, to say their praises... but most of the time, people come to the Lord to cry for help. I do that. I cry to the Lord asking for help with my day-to-day problems. I cry to the Lord to help me deal with my disasters. I cry to the Lord to help me go through the twists and obstacles.

Believing in the power of prayer is a challenge to a lot of people (even for me, sometimes). People think that God is like a vending machine. You put coins in, and the "goodies" come out. You press the button that will give you a can of Coke and out, it comes. Unfortunately, prayers not granted that way. God uses a different method to bless us and most of the time, we are not aware of it --- but He is already blessing you.

My life is not exactly easy. This blog does not exactly reflect the real drama of my life, and for years I have always asked for the same thing from God... and that is PATIENCE. Patience will sum up all that I need to go through all the things in my life and sometimes, when the going gets too tough, I wonder if I've prayed enough. I ask God: "But Lord, haven't I endured enough already? Do I not deserve something better, now?"

A few weeks ago, at church, the speaker spoke of opportunities and prayer. He said that when you ask God for something, He does not really give you "exactly what you asked for" (and I knew that). What he said next was what made the difference for me. He said that, for instance you ask God for the gift of courage, God will not say: "Child, unto you, I give the gift of courage", instead He will give you the perfect opportunity to be courageous, either by putting you in the face of danger or a big quandary that will require for you to go against your fears. When you ask God for the gift of faithfulness, God will give you the perfect opportunity to be faithful, by bringing you to a situation that will test and challenge you. At the same time, if you ask God for the gift of patience, he will give you the opportunity to be patient... and not exactly patience in wrapped beautifully in box, with a bow.

"But Lord, haven't I endured enough already? Do I not deserve something better, now?"

I did not even realize it, but I have been given countless of opportunities to be patient. God has been touching my heart and working in my life. I admit that I am still quite weak, but now I understand that God is teaching me something. The mere fact that I still ask that question above means that I am not ready. When that would be, I don't know, but I am willing to see that day.

God is giving me the opportunity to be better than I am, and I grateful...

“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow – that is patience.”

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Monday, December 27, 2010

The Day I Was On Television

The other day, Christmas Day, I suddenly remembered that I still don't have a copy of the segment I did with Umagang Kay Ganda on television. I felt sad because my parents and sisters weren't able to see it.

I tried my “very” best internet skills, but my attempts were useless. After a few hours of playing with keywords in Google and YouTube, I was about to quit, and that was when an idea came to me: "What if I pay for it?" I thought that if I went through the proper channels, I would be more successful. I went to the Official ABSCBN website and I was directed to TFCNow. The site is quite organized. I went through the list of television shows and then clicked: "Umagang Kay Ganda"


I signed-up by filling out a short form and then I paid $2.00 for a 2-day subscription. With that, I was able to download the entire December 13, 2010 episode, and was able to show it to my family. I showed it to my mom, dad, my three sisters, our two yayas, my dad's helper, Joseph, and our dogs.

On the morning of December 13th, I woke up at 5:30 (because I was told that UKG starts at that time). I was so tired and could barely keep my eyes open, but I waited. I even dozed-off a few times and thought that I'd missed it already. At around 8:15am, however, it came on. I usually wake up at 8am, but I woke up two hours earlier to see myself on television --- and I realized I shouldn't have bothered. I woke up two hours earlier than usual because wanted to be the first one to see it. I didn't know if I would ever get a copy and I didn't want people to say: "Hey I saw you on television" and have no idea how I looked or sounded like.

Anyway, when I saw myself on television, I totally blanked out. I only managed to listen to myself, but I did not even see my face. Actually I did, but when the segment ended, I couldn't remember a thing about it. I just froze in front of the television and went on some weird trance. I received texts and messages on facebook from people, telling me that it went well --- I was so worried they were just  being nice. I even told Bon about what a patient had said about it and he told me: "Ah, you're right... she's really nice!" Gosh!

I had been aching to see it again, just to see how it really went and I finally did --- thanks to TFCNow. In the process, however, I found out that ABS CBN has very strict copyright on their stuff so even though I did all I can to convert, save, download and cheat the system --- it can't be done! My entire household has seen it, over and over again, but I cannot upload it here. I can’t even save it on my computer. I only bought a two-day subscription, so it’s not even available anymore. 

Marisse of Dentiste’ said she will definitely give me a copy, but in case I don’t, here are some screencaps:

Sadly, you can’t judge me on my interview. You cannot make fun of my answers and my voice. You, however, can make fun of my face. Bon was so worried about my "nose",  but I told him it's the least of our problems... my cheeks were massive!

Have fun but don't be too harsh!
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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Cooking for Christmas

Before anything else,  Bon and I would like to share with you, something we rehearsed...

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Whew! Now, back to normal programming!

I only cook on special occasions and when "I feel like it". Soon, I will have to cook on a daily basis, and I ought to be ready for that. For now, everyone will have to make do with my "occasional" cooking; and for Christmas dinner or what we call "Noche Buena" here in the Philippines, I decided to cook the following:

Beef Stroganoff

pork sirloin strips
red bell pepper
sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
beef broth
  1. Melt butter, add some flour, then combine the 1 cup of beef broth and stir until fully mixed properly. Set aside.
  2. Melt butter, add oil, brown beef and sauté with garlic and onions. Add mushrooms and red bell pepper.
  3. Combine broth and beef. Cook in low fire for 10 minutes.
  4. Add sour cream.
Cheesy Baked Macaroni

elbow macaroni
ground beef
spaghetti sauce
cottage cheese
sour cream
cream cheese
mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Half-cook macaroni
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  3. Prepare meat sauce. Sauté ground beef with garlic and onions. 
  4. Drain oil and then add spaghetti sauce. Set aside.
  5. Prepare cheese sauce. Combine all cheeses together. Adjust to your taste preference.
  6. Layer all in. Macaroni, then spaghetti sauce, then cheese sauce on top.
  7. Bake it for 35 minutes!
Gnocchi with Cheese, Butter and Thyme

olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Boil potatoes
  2. Mash potatoes. Add cheese, plus salt and pepper.
  3. Shape potatoes into balls or rods (whatever shape you want) using egg and flour.
  4. Heat oil. Fry potatoes in low fire.
  5. Add thyme

Instead of trying new dishes, I decided to perfect these three. No, I am not a great cook, but I enjoy "pretending" to be good at this. Mom and the yayas prepare ham and buttered shrimps. We also had roast chicken and my sisters worked on the desserts. How about you? What did you guys have for Christmas Dinner?

Merry Christmas everyone!
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

I Used to Run Around the Streets of Camp Aguinaldo...

Do you remember your playmates from years back? I was lucky enough to have remained friends with my childhood playmates and while we are equally preoccupied with our own lives now, we still make time to be there for each other... especially during the holidays.

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My friends and I have all grown up. Years ago, we all used to just run around the streets of Camp Aguinaldo. We might have annoyed some people. We were very noisy kids.... the street was our playground but we also invaded people's garages... without permission. Many years have passed, since, and I dunno how many times I've mentioned this here, but I think I've reiterated enough that I was such a tomboy growing up. People found it difficult to accept that I had grown up to be a lady because I was too boyish... too awkward... far from the "Crickette" you all know, now.

"Pfffft! Every girl's a tomboy growing up!"

You must have thought I was just using the line, but I really was. So, after much thought and contemplation, I have finally decided to humiliate myself in the web and post this most embarrassing photo from my not so distant childhood.

IMG_1140Oh yes, Crickette in 1995 or 1996. Short-haired, loose red shirt, baggy shorts, sneakers. I think I'm more handsome than my guy friends.

Speaking of friends. A lot has changed since. My playmates have all grown-up to be adults and although we still poke fun at each other, like kids, on a daily basis we live our lives seriously. I, for instance, work on people's root canals and wisdom teeth. We have all achieved our individual "pending" successes and the most recent of this is Slow Fade's nomination. In a previous post, I talked about "Slow Fade", the film my friend produced.

With all honesty, I find it truly amazing that Verchie is now making a living out of producing films. Growing up, we all thought that Verchie was going to be a soldier, like our dads. Dressed in camouflage every Halloween and obsessed with war films, Verchie used to spend leisurely hours reading "The Art of War".

Actually, If one day, Verchie becomes really famous and any one of us is approached by the likes of Boy Abunda, with the question: "Did you expect this from Verchie?", I am sure everyone would say: "Oh hell no!" I have always known that Verchie would be successful (in high school, whilst I obsessed on boys --- well, just one boy, really ---- he was already playing the stock market), but I never imagined for him to be in the Entertainment business.

Well, look back at the old picture above (Verchie, by the way, is the guy in the black shirt), a "boy" in that photograph is now a dentist. The skinny girl beside me is a doctor. One has already gotten married and the  other just got engaged. When you're young it's hard to imagine your playmates as adults, but now that were "older" it's quite amazing to look back...

Anyway, here's a photo from the premiere of SLOW FADE at Robinson's Galleria, last Monday. Of course, I had to force Verchie for a photo with Diether Ocampo & Precious Lara Quigaman...

IMG_1124 IMG_1125

I am so proud to be your friend Chie,
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Shi Lin: Because I've Always Been a Fan of Noodles and Dimsum

My sisters and I, perhaps due to my mom and dad's influence, grew up loving dimsum and noodles. Sundays are sacred family days and they are always concluded with 6:30pm church service at CCF (Christ's Commission Fellowship) and dinner (usually at The Podium, Megamall or somewhere around the Ortigas area). During weekdays my sisters are at the condo and during Thursdays and Fridays, I invade the condo, as well. School and work has made it impossible for us to spend time as a family, so we really take advantage of Sundays.

A few weeks ago, my dad and my sisters found out about this new place at The Podium called, Shi Lin.


The dimsum and noodle place, had just opened, so for two consecutive Sundays we ate there for dinner. I actually feel very lucky that we ate there again last Sunday because I forgot my camera the previous week. I tried taking pictures on my phone, but it's just not the same. I guess it was fate. When we ate there a week ago although we loved the food and the price, we did not appreciate:
a. how hard it was to get a table
b. how long we had to wait for our food to arrive
c. how hard it was to call the attention of the waiters
d. how few the waiters were

Exactly a week after (this Sunday), we decided to eat at Shi Lin, again and we were surprised because:
a. they added more tables (outside)
b. food came within 5-10 minutes after placing our orders
c. the waiters were more alert and attentive


The food was still YUMMY and the price is just UNBELIEVABLY CHEAP! I do not want to pressure them into adding more choices in their menu, because they're fairly new, but that could be something they ought to work on (as soon as they have settled in at The Podium, perhaps).

Noodles with Spicy Sesame and Peanut Sauce (Php130)
I had this for two Sundays (and I promise not to order it anymore --- maybe) because it’s just too yummy! The spiciness is just perfect and the hint of “peanut” is such a surprise!

Noodles with Shrimp and Pork Wonton (Php165)
Since I am allergic to seafood, I cannot give a true testimony, but my sister ordered this again this Sunday and she really loves it.

Stirfry Native Spinach (Php90)
I would have preferred it to be more garlicky, but it’s still yummy. My dad requested for “oyster sauce” on the side, and I would suggest you do that too!

Xiao Long Bao (Php108)
This is such a fun thing to eat
(and they even equip all tables with written instructions).
1. prepare your “dipping sauce” of sesame oil, vinegar, soy sauce and ginger
2.  poke a small hole or bite into the wrapper and drink the broth
3. take a few shreds of ginger and lay it on top of the Xiao Long Bao
4. dip it into the sauce
5. eat it

Vegetable and Pork Dumpling (Php128)
I combined this with my “Noodles with Spicy Sesame and Peanut Sauce” but it’s perfect on it’s own.

Do you think we'll eat there again next week?
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Shi Lin
3/F The Podium
Ortigas Center

Monday, December 20, 2010

Yes, I Moisturize Now!

I can't even remember how many times I've mentioned it here, but I have no skin regimen! I am the type of girl who doesn't really care much about make-up and all the make up I own can fit into one MAKE-UP bag. For years, I have been doing nothing to care for my skin. I wash my face with water and that's it. Born lucky, I never had problems with pimples, but my age is clamoring loudly in my head now. Well, I know 29 is not old, (or is it??) but I know that if I want to keep my skin healthy, I should work on it now. I am not getting any younger and soon, it will show on my face.

It's not really my first time to moisturize. I made several attempts to start a habit of it, in the past, but I was only able to do it for a while. I have a thing about beauty routines --- I cannot commit to it. At night, I cannot wait to retire on the softness of my bed and I'm much too exhausted to remember routines. I get so lazy to go through the whole "dab this and that on your face" routine --- so nightly rituals always fail for me.

Thankfully, I found an alternative!


I have been using L’OREAL White Perfect for two months now and I am happy to annouce that I have been religiously applying moisturizer on my face, every morning. A day cream, I discovered, is best for someone like me. Since I am not much into nightly routines, I had to find an alternative, and L’OREAL White Perfect proves to be perfect for me because I spend the most "me" time in the morning. After bathing:

a. I go through my wardrobe to pick an outfit to wear
b. I put my contacts on, so I could drive like a "pro" and see cavities easily
c. I apply lotion on my legs and arms (sometimes I forget)
d. I apply scar ointment on my “operation scar”
e. I comb my hair (I dry and iron it if I am going somewhere important)
f. I apply make up (if I'm going elsewhere, other than the clinic)

Nowadays, I also make sure to moisturize with L’OREAL White Perfect and in just two months, I have seen great results. I really feel that my skin has softened and smoothened. My face has this kind of "glow", even without any make-up, and I love it (especially since I hardly put make-up, at all). I realized day creams are best because I have a more "extensive" routine in the morning. So I’ll definitely continue doing this, until the wrinkles come…

It smells good
It is not sticky on the face
It does not make my face look oily
The consistency of the cream is nice and light
It's affordable

I predict that as I continue to use this, I'll have to dig into the pot and that will be messy on my finger. A squeeze tube, I think, will be better, but then again, this is more "travel" friendly because squeeze tubes are accident-prone. So, I guess my only “con” is not much a con, really

I have been doing a lot of "girly" things lately. For instance, I go to have footspas and pedicures at Nail Craft more often now (because I love their service, it's walking distance from my clinic and their work is just flawless). I get my eyebrows threaded more often now, too, and do not wait until they grow forest-like, anymore. Soon enough, I'll pass more, for a girl! So, please, I deserve a “congratulations” and some “claps”, please…
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Friday, December 17, 2010

The Best Way to Make Peanut Butter N' Jelly Sandwiches

Bon and I are bread people. I do not look for rice, like a normal Filipino; it is no longer my staple food. Ever since Dentistry school, I've gotten used to hurried meals. In clinic, you do not have time to eat and lounge (Well, for me at least) because you'd rather work in the clinic to be able to complete all the tasks. My 5-minute meals consisted of waffles, footlongs and a bottle of drink; and it was very seldom that I really enjoyed a proper lunch hour.

In College, I never had enough time to eat breakfast, and I had gotten used to that kind of life. I'd wake up at 5am (regardless of my class schedule) because I always wanted to be in school before 7am. Without breakfast, I attended to my classes or worked in the clinic. If I'm lucky, I could enjoy real rice meals, but on a typical day I would just have quick bites, and then head to work on my patient. Dinners are my favorite meals. So in college, Bon and I used to love going out and we pigged out and ordered for three people (sometimes four).

Due to this habit we developed, I have come to "not need" rice. I still eat it. I don't really stay away from rice; but since I do not look for it, I don't bother at all. Bon is the same. So although we are big eaters, we don't really need rice to live. Monique finds this weird because she "needs" rice everyday. In fact, when I give her spaghetti, she doesn't know what to do with it because for her spaghetti is "snack food". Hahaha!

Anyway, in the clinic, we always have bread. As I said, we're bread people, and since last week, we have been snacking on PEANUT BUTTER N' JELLY sandwiches.

I have nothing against GOOBER. I came too know PBJs because of it and I used to really love it. Once upon a time, I do not remember when, where and how, I found out that the best way to make PBJs is to make them yourself: meaning you get your own peanut butter and jam, and then you combine them. So, from then on, I said goodbye to GOOBER and said hello to DIY PEANUT BUTTER N' JELLY sandwiches that are absolutely yummy!

You do not even have to buy the very expensive peanut butter brands, but just don't get the very oily "cheap ones". For the jam, I guess it does not matter, really. If it tastes good for you, then it should be okay. What matters is that you combine enough amount of peanut butter with strawberry jam. Otherwise it would be too peanut buttery, or much toooooooo "strawberry" sweet.

Let me show you how I do it
(and please pretend that I am showing you something truly useful):

I get two slices of bread.

I put peanut butter on one side
Then I put strawberry jam on the other side.

If like Bon, you like to have three pieces of bread you will have, two sides of peanut butter and two sides of strawberry jam.

Happy eating!!!
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

You Can “Slow Fade”

For quite some time now, Philippine indie films have been doing well in the international scene; and as a matter of fact, many of our artists have come back home with trophies. It is an honor... It makes me proud... However, as much as these accomplishments are impressive and all, they depict only three repetitive truths about our culture:
  1. We are an openly gay nation
  2. We are dealing with heavy poverty issues
  3. We are a violent nation
No offense to the films... many of them are truly brilliant (hence the awards), but wouldn't you like to be famous for something else other than those three? Our indie films are brilliant, but international film critics have stereotyped us, already. I say it is about time that we portray another side of our culture…

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A year ago, Brainchild Studios under the leadership of Verchie Totanes and Bernard Dacanay, won a one million peso grant to produce "Slow Fade". Cinemabuhay, which is a program of The PLDT Foundation, saw potential in the "would be" masterpiece, and while winning such a project is a blessing on its own, a month ago they found out that the film, which is starred by Diether Ocampo and Precious Lara Quigaman, has been included in the MMFF (Metro Manila Film Festival: Indie Film Category).


Breaking through the norm, and proving that it is possible to bridge the gap between mainstream and indie films, I say this without bias and "friendship influence", SLOW FADE should be on your "must-see" list.


You know what? My friend Verchie used to just bully us around... now he's a film producer. My bestest friend in the world, used to be the girl that Verchie bullied the most, and now she’s now a doctor. I used to be bullied by Verchie a lot, and so I bullied him back… and now I am a dentist.


For some reason, bullying had a positive effect on us… What do you think?
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Guess What??? I'm Going to Be on Television

I've been on television, twice, before:
  • The first time was when "Salamat Dok" (Thank You Doc) needed Dentistry students for a medical-dental mission, and a couple of my classmates and I were chosen to go. This is quite insignificant, though; Bon said I just came on screen a few milliseconds or so, and the only reason why he knew it was me was because I was wearing my scrub suit and it was printed.
  • The second time was when I was an associate at Zen Dental Spa/Lapid Dental Center and we got featured at "News on Q". I had no speaking parts. It was my boss' time to shine but she chose me to be the dentist who pretended to be treating the patient. I totally regret this because my hair got in the way (hahahahaha!).
I am going to be on television, for real, this time. Last week, I received a call from a representative of Dentiste'  nighttime toothpaste, and she asked if it was okay for me to do an interview with them.

Me: Regarding what?
Dentiste': Well, it's just going to be about oral hygiene...
Me: I guess it's okay
Dentiste': But Doc, this is going to be on television, at "Umagang Kay Ganda"
Me: Oh, wait...
Dentiste': Don't worry it's going to be a short one. The whole segment will just run for two minutes. Initially they were planning to invite a dentist to do a live interview, but now they will come to you, so they will shoot in the clinic
Me: Oh wow! That's really nice!
Dentiste': So do you think you can do it?
Me: Are they going to interview other dentists too?
Dentiste': No Doc, just you...
Me: Oh no!

I paused for about 10 seconds and I thought: "Crickette you are going to be on television and "You and Your Teeth" will be featured , as well. Plus, it's a morning show... everyone's still asleep!" And then I spoke again...

Me: Okay! I'll do it!
Dentiste': Is it okay if I drop by the clinic to discuss the whole thing?
Me: Yes please, that'd be nice...

Days before the shoot, I was both excited and scared. I was worried about how I'd look on television and how I'd sound. I wasn't so worried about what I'd say because it wasn't going to be live and if I say something stupid, they can easily edit it out. Also, the whole segment is not about me. It is about this brand...


Dentiste' is a nighttime toothpaste and their target market are couples. It is herbal and in contains 14 natural extracts, as well as these four very important components:
  • Xylitol: which is a natural sweetener that is known to neutralize the pH of saliva and fights tooth decay, plaque as bad breath
  • CDX (Cyclodextrin): doughnut shaped molecules that eliminate odors like cigarette smoke, alcohol and bad morning breath
  • Micronized Silica Complex: a grinding ingredient that soothes sensitive teeth
  • Stable Vitamin C: that keep the gums healthy and restores destroyed collagen fibers
No, I am not an endorser, but since I was going to appear on television I thought it best to really study the material (in case).


The shoot was last Thursday. I taught my assistant how to take pictures, and my specific instructions were to take pictures of me, looking pretty.  She attempted to take lots of photos but was only able to take two. (Hahaha! Oh Monique!)

I was told that they were going to provide me with a copy of the script (with the questions) but UKG was not able to send DENTISTE a copy. For that reason, the entire interview was an ambush, so I hope I still sound smart on television. Monique said that my face was all “red”, so that means I have to quit hoping I look pretty on television. My heart was pounding violently when the camera started rolling, but the UKG staff was very nice and understanding, so I was able to relax, after a while. They asked a few basic “dental” questions and then they shot me “pretending” to do an oral examination on one of their people (so that you don’t have to look at my face the entire time).

I saw the raw footage after the shoot but I was still rattled to pay full attention so I am crossing my fingers until MONDAY, December 13 2010. Yes, they are showing the segment on Monday and if you happen to be awake already, please do not judge me. I think I will be able to post a copy of it next week because Marisse Kho of Dentiste’ promised to give me a copy of the edited shoot.

That’s moi and Marisse after the shoot.
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P.S. Once upon a time, while watching a Colgate commercial, I told my sister: "One day, I will be the PDA President and I will be on television". Hahaha! So, I did not become the PDA president (and I realized since I passed the board examinations that I do not want to be one anymore) but I sure got myself on television!!!