September 30, 2006


Mother Nature must have been seriously dismayed (or rendered vengefully envious....BwaHaHa!) by my Miss Tourism photo because less than 48 hours after I published my post beckoning all and sundry to come hither into my quaint country paradise, she unleashed a ferocious storm called Milenyo (international codename: Xangsane) upon our hapless metropolis and beyond. It wasn't so much the heavy rain but the merciless wind that wreaked fantastic havoc everywhere. Old, stalwart trees were viciously uprooted from the ground, cement walls crumbled like caked bread to the earth, sturdy vehicles fell over as if they were flimsy toy cars, big billboards instantaneously transformed into lethal weapons as they came crashing down streets.

Since Thursday's terrible typhoon - the worst we've had in ten years - much of our city has been shrouded in darkness. The power company people continue to work frenetically to repair the vast damage caused by toppled electric posts. In the meantime, throngs of familes are flocking to the hotels and malls to seek refuge from the cloying heat and mind-numbing boredom.

We are still fortunate. My husband (just call him MacGyver!) ingeniously found a way to tap into our apartment building's generator system so that, apart from having only the usual emergency lights on at our unit, we also have our electric fans, fridge, and computers working. We also have running water. My parents and brothers from across town are going crazy because they have no electricty and water.

Although we have had computer access, my blog has admittedly been neglected because my full attention has been stolen by our toddler who is suffering from withdrawal symptoms brought about by the sudden absence of airconditioning and the unfathomable disappearance of Sesame Street, Barney and Blues Clues DVD-viewing in his everyday life.

Imagine my surprise when, upon finally checking my blog this morning, I found that my Pregnant Pauses has been chosen Bestest Blog of the Day ! WOOHOO!

Bestest Blog of the Day: 09/29/2006
Pregnant Pauses Julie from "Flip This Body"

Pregnant Pauses, by blogger Irene Tuazon, is a cornucopia of fun, sassiness and humor. A self-proclaimed, "Photographer's Muse / Loony Stage Mother", Irene blogs from The Phillipines with a voice that is fresh and extremely funny.

Irene's blog description states, "A pregnant pause is a momentary stillness laden with significance. It is rich, prolific, provocative, wow. It is a threshold for ideas and can translate into one to one thousand emotions. It welcomes imagination and brims with untold possibilities. Sometimes, it is even pinched with humor. Life's most unforgettable moments are highlighted by pregnant pauses. Now, I gladly share with you mine."

Wow is right. If the description hasn't already sucked you in, try her post on her run in with WWE Smackdown's Big Dave Bautista, or the pics of her baby being cooked alive!! But, on a dime, Irene will turn around and hit you with a sentimental photograph/ poignant quote combo that's heartfelt and true.

I really enjoy visiting Irene's site because you never know what she's going to do next. She keeps you guessing, in a really good way!

posted by Bobby Griffin @ 12:07 AM

Special thanks to Getting-Sexier-By-The-Day Julie and the marvelous Bobby Griffin for the rave review. And thank you so much to all of you for your amazing support. Love yah!

Truly, this is a blast of light and cheer amidst the deluge.

Now, please excuse me as I have to perform my gazillionth song and dance number to amuse my restless wild child.

September 27, 2006

Miss Tourism

I admit it’s awesome having my blog visited by more and more people from every nook and cranny of the globe.

However, I’m pretty sure most of my international cyberfriends can't help but harbor some form of (morbid?) curiosity about the Philippines, that mysterious exotic location out of which the loony wife and mommy of Pregnant Pauses was borne.

I am aware – as most Filipinos are – that majority of the news that reach abroad from our shores have been grossly exaggerated by conspiratorial media forces, depicting my country as a frighteningly war-torn, poverty-ridden, cockroach-infested (thanks,
Claire Danes!) inferno selfishly run by blatantly corrupt government officials propelled into power by illiterate island savages.

Well, I'm telling you now that this is not true.

We definitely have more mosquitoes than cockroaches.


Kidding aside, the Philippines isn’t all that bad. Really. Most of the foreigners who come here for the first time are almost always pleasantly surprised at what they experience and find themselves wanting to stay longer, if not, forever.

I thought I’d do my own part, as infinitesimal as it may be, for my native land by sharing with you a series of images taken by my photographer husband. Hopefully, they will allow you a glimpse of some of the beauty that lies in the Philippines.

Bohol Beach Club

Panglao Island Resort

El Nido Resort, Palawan

Club Punta Fuego, Batangas

Inside The Ayala Museum

Makati City Nightscape

Greenbelt Lifestyle Mall, Makati

Malarayat Golf & Country Club, Batangas

Boracay Island Sunset

So what do you say?

Still not convinced?

Then maybe this will change your mind:

Don't hesitate. Grab that phone and call your travel agent now!


September 24, 2006

Critical Point

The great Billy Mac of Critique My Blog! had this to say about my Pregnant Pauses:

I have to say that the first 3 posts of this blog from July are some of the most beautiful posts I've read so far. Touching and sincere. What a wonderful thing to read about real love in many forms. This is an inspiring blog with cool insights into life and love. Nice work!

posted by Billy Mac @ 9/23/2006

Many thanks for the support, Billy Mac! You have my heartfelt appreciation and gratitude. MWAAAAHH!

September 23, 2006

Movie Madness

Lizza, my blog-tag temptress, sent me this insanely irresistible piece to fill out. Of course, my movie-crazy self could not help but get going on it right away.

Ready, set, action!

1. The last movie you saw in a theatre, and current-release movie you still want to see.

I last saw: The Devil Wears Prada

A refreshingly fun flick! Meryl Streep lets her magnificent eyes do most of the acting and they hit home perfectly; she is a pure delight to watch. Anne Hathaway transforms from naïve ingénue to delicious fashion plate wonderfully. The gazillion fantabulous clothes, shoes, bags, and accessories that spice up the screen scene after scene are more than enough to send scintillating shivers up every shopaholic’s spine. If you’re up to your ears in work and dying for a little break, stop what your doing and see this movie NOW.

I currently want to see: Monster House

A couple of little kids stumble upon an old house that is alive and hungry. How can this not be riveting?

2. The last movie you rented/purchased for home viewing.

Meet Joe Black

I’ve seen this already but I got the DVD so I could view it again.

What is the story? Let me see….. Hmmmmm. Oh! I don’t remember!

And honestly, I don’t care.

Just watching
Brad Pitt sizzle in this movie is entertainment enough for me. BwaHaHa!

3. A movie that made you laugh out loud.

There's Something About Mary

This must be one of the most ridiculously funny films ever. My husband and I were cracking up so hard inside the cinema that people were beginning to give us strange looks. Well, we thought they were the strange ones for not laughing more.

Other belly-achingly crazy movies I enjoyed are Zoolander, the American Pie series, Liar Liar, and Top Secret!

4. A movie that made you cry.

Lorenzo’s Oil

This was gut-wrenching. The gigantic lump in my throat ached the whole time and I had terrible difficulty trying to stifle my sniffles inside the movie house. By the time I left the theater, my eyes were swollen red and my date’s handkerchief was damp with tears.

To think I was not even a mother yet when I first saw it! I honestly don’t know how I can take watching this again now that I have my own son.

5. A movie that was a darling of the critics, but you didn't think lived up to the hype.

Brokeback Mountain

I mean, really now.

Need I say more? :p

6. A movie that you thought was better than the critics.

The Passion of the Christ

This movie was riddled with much controversy. No matter what, I personally found it powerfully moving and profoundly meaningful.

7. Favorite animated movie.


Tell me. How can anyone resist falling in love with such a darling ogre?

8. Favorite Disney Villain.


If you’re going to be bad, you might as well be REALLY bad. And Ursula from The Little Mermaid is definitely one of the baddest, most kick-ass villainesses in Disney history.

9. Favorite movie musical.

The Sound of Music

I never get tired of watching this classic over and over again. Whenever I see it, I am sixteen-going-on-seventeen again, fondly recalling my favorite things, joyfully singing along to do-re-mi and feeling the hills come alive with the enchantingly beautiful sound of music.

I also love Grease, Moulin Rouge, Chicago and Evita.

10. Favorite movies of all-time (up to 5).


Everyone should see this movie. It truthfully depicts what our world has come to, and what our world should not be and be.

Father of the Bride

The Daddy’s girl in me stirs and smiles whenever I see this film. I am very close to my father and I am reminded of our special bond every time I watch it. My Dad even gave me the DVD a few days before I got married. It will thus always be special to me.

As Good As It Gets

The script in this movie is pure genius and the acting in it simply superb.

Love Actually

This movie with a huge stellar cast wittingly brings to light the greatness of different kinds of love. Anyone with half a heart would be delighted.

Dead Poet’s Society

Here is poetry and humanity interwoven in a cinematic masterpiece, reminding us of what is truly important and leaving us with the overwhelming longing to “suck the marrow out of life.”

If you haven’t seen this, you must.
Carpe diem!

Fellow movie buffs, I’m now tagging you: Jenni, Pam, Maite, Menchie, Arvy and Julie. You’re IT... as well as everyone else who wants to join in on the fun! Just promise to let me know what you come up with, okay? (",)

At last, the time has come for me to blog-holler.....CUT!!!

September 22, 2006


"Mothers are fonder than fathers of their children because they are more certain they are their own."

September 21, 2006

Dance of Life

"Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we should dance."

September 20, 2006

Ophelia the Exotic

I tried The Exotic Dancer Name Generator (who in heaven's name thinks up these things???) and I was christened Ophelia.

Irene's Exotic Dancer Name Is...



I admit Ophelia is not such a bad handle; it sounds slightly mysterious with a teeny tantalizing tinge of sexiness.

But then again, Ophelia is also the name of the tragic Shakesperean character who loses her sanity and drowns in a stream.


Now, you try it! c",)

September 19, 2006

Tagged! (Bookworm to Bookworm)

Thanks for the tag, Lizza! You got me good.

Books, glorious books! How can I not join in on the fun?!?

1. One book that changed your life - the hardest question first.

"The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton.

This book was a milestone in my coming-of-age years. I was a wide-eyed twelve when I first read it. With each page, I felt my sheltered self open up to an electrifying, angst-ridden adolescent world rife with rebellion, violence, triumph, loss, friendship, love and hope. It was so different from what I knew, yet the same. Its reality melded into my own. My heart went out to the remarkable characters. I rooted for Ponyboy, fell in love with Sodapop and deemed Johnny to be a hero. To this day, I remember: “Things are rough all over...and “Nothing gold can stay...”

I read this book a gazillion times; I’ve practically memorized it. Unfortunately, I lost my copy when I was in college. I’ve scoured the bookstores and have yet to find it again. Do give me a heads up if you unearth a copy.

2. One book that you've read more than once.

See above.

3. One book that you'd want on a desert island.

“PostSecret” by Frank Warren.

With a collection of postcards by me, maybe I won’t feel so alone and abandoned. I’d have all those heartfelt messages from people from all over the world to keep me company.

4. One book that made you laugh.

I tend to see humor in everything so I’ll just cite the latest book I read that made me guffaw: "Handbags and Halos" by Bernadette Strachan.

fab friend
Jennigirl gave it to me for my birthday. It is a refreshingly witty chronicle of a shallow woman’s desperate attempts to make herself a deeper person. I laughed until I cried.

5. One book that made you cry.

Disclaimer: This will be irredeemably mushy.

“The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks.

I was weeping almost the entire time I was reading it because I was overwhelmed with the realization that my husband is my Noah. He truly is. And this made me feel incredibly lucky and joyful – knowing I would have him to grow old with.

Are you done cringing? Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

6. One book that you wish you had written.

“Pregnant Pauses: The Mind-blowing Adventures of A Loony Wife and Mother” by Irene Tuazon.

I’m still wishing it would be written.

7. One book you wish had never been written.

See above.

8. One book that you are reading at the moment.

“Kafka on the Shore” by Haruki Murakami.

Strangely enough, I can't get past the second chapter. Usually, I can finish a novel in one sitting.

It must be those
Prison Break DVDs hogging my attention as of late. Damn that Wentworth Miller! Doesn’t he know better than to look that hot???

9. One book that you've been meaning to read.

"Three Filipino Women" by F. Sionil Jose

I really, really want to read more books by Philippine authors. We have so many highly talented, wonderfully creative writers right here and it would be great if we could all throw more support their way. Don’t you agree?

10. Five others (or more) that you’d like to do this.

My favorite bookworms:
Jenni, Pam, Menchie, Arvy, Dean, and Maryanne. You’re it!

Let me know when you’ve posted your lists so I can take a peek.

Booklovers of the world – unite! Woohoo! c”,)

September 17, 2006

True Success

"To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

September 16, 2006

Don't Call Me Tita

I was in Embassy last Friday.

You don’t have to tell me. I’m thirty-something and I’m married. I know it was bizarre of me to dare step into that infamous lair of wanton adolescence, where skimpy lingerie is considered a complete party ensemble and flowing alcohol is served to babies masquerading as adults. But it was the birthday night of a very dear friend AMV and I couldn’t refuse his fervent invitation to go barhopping after dinner.

I thus found myself squeezing my way through the gyrating labyrinth of barely-clad bodies around me, praying no daughter of mine would ever enter such a den of iniquity, and hoping against hope I wouldn’t see someone I knew who would have the audacity to call out to me: “Hi, Tita Irene!”

Suddenly, I stopped in my tracks as I hit something hard. I thought it was a wall because it felt so solid. When I turned around, I was astonished to see that it was a man. Nay, a GIANT. His muscular arm was a tree trunk; his incredibly thick neck could have been someone’s waist. Truly, such a superbly built creature would be powerful enough to smash the building and everyone in it to smithereens. Could he be a real-life superhero?

Within moments, I noticed the crowd around the mystifying behemoth I touched swell rapidly. Then, there was rhythmic chanting intensifying: “BA-TIS-TA! BA-TIS-TA! BA-TIS-TA!”

It turns out I had just brushed shoulders (or, more accurately, head to biceps) with
Big Dave Batista -- the 290 pound, 6 feet and 5 inches tall Filipino-Greek American professional wrestling god of Smackdown!

I immediately text-messaged my WWE-addicted brothers and their blood curdled deep green with envy. They said they wished to heaven they were there instead of me, their old gloating sister.

Club owner Tim Yap proudly announced the presence of the smiling colossus on the microphone and the throng of revelers went wild cheering and clapping. Batista stayed a while to pose for pictures and take in the scene.

Before long, I found myself loosening up, kidding around with my companions, enjoying my drink, and swaying to the pulsating house music.

Hence, it came to be that my first foray into Embassy proved to be quite the cool experience. I had a close encounter with a world-famous superstar wrestler. I had fun with friends. And, thank God, nobody called me Tita.

September 15, 2006

What's Cooking?

What happens when you bring your baby to the kitchen of celebrity Chef Gene Gonzalez???




Want some to go??? (",)

September 14, 2006

Risking It

"Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it. . . . It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more."
-- Erica Jong

September 13, 2006

Can You Spell That Please!?

I already posted compilations of interestingly unique names, both local and international, last April.
But this particular family deserves special mention – nay, Grand Prize – for the stupendously concocted appellations of their clan.

In alphabetical order, the names of the six children are:


My good friend Pam was lector at the wedding of her sister to Zeigyspholkhanthreister. You can just imagine the daunting challenge that befell Pam as she announced the list of entourage members.

And who, you demand to know, are the parents of these offspring?

They are Jimmy and Juanita De La Cruz.

The couple was fed up and frustrated with the commonality of their own monikers. They thus made it their aim to exercise creativity and bestow upon their offspring distinctive names to set them apart from the crowd.

Mission accomplished, wouldn’t you say?

And it doesn’t end there.

The family’s first male grandson has been titled Gulsvertbralzermcster.

The people in Starbucks will have to construct huger cups to write these names around on.

Oh well. At least the young brood will have perfected most of the alphabet by the time they learn to write their names.

September 08, 2006

Oh Brother!

Our loony family’s big baby bids a permanent, albeit slightly melancholic, farewell to his teen years by turning twenty today. After blog-roasting our mother on her sixtieth, it is but fair that our brother also get his due in commemoration of his special day.


Here’s a list of twenty things that make David Maria Angelo Vistan Castillo the superbly extraordinary individual that he is.

1. Mom had David when she was almost 40. I was 14 and my other brother Don was 11. When Mom announced she was pregnant with Dave, my brother Don and I were very shocked. Our simple minds just couldn’t absorb the outrageous idea that our parents were still doing IT.

2. At the last minute, our parents inserted the name “Maria” in David’s birth certificate because he was born on the same day as the Blessed Mother. To this day, Dave bewails the feminization of his full appellation.

3. When he was in kindergarten, he adored The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. (He even had a real turtle named Michelangelo as his pet.) He badly wanted to be one of the Ninja Turtles for Halloween. Unfortunately, the turtle costumes were out of stock in the department stores so Mommy bought him a caterpillar costume instead. Poor little David could not fathom why there were antennae sticking out of his (supposed) turtle outfit!

4. David has a vast collection of academic medals and awards. All that Playstation must be doing his mind some good! (Or maybe he just takes after his sister. BwaHaHa!)

5. One sunny day, our Mom and our helper went to pick up David in school. Mom had our maid in uniform alight from the car with an umbrella and get David, who happened to be hanging out with his grade school classmates at the ledge. Naturally, his friends all jeered as he left. Dave, who is the epitome of cool, was incredibly upset and made Mom promise that she would never, ever do that again. Thank God she has held true to her word.

6. He used to pronounce the letter “W” as DAVOLYU.

7. David is by nature a peacekeeper. Strangely enough, he is also an avid wrestling fan. (Hmmmm… Could it be he is plain bewitched by the WWE Divas??) He and my brother Don can give Triple H and The Undertaker a run for their money. They are always at it – flipping each other on the bed, kneeing each other, pinning each other down. Lately, they have excitedly found a protégé in the form of my toddler Niccolo…. to my inevitable alarm.

8. Being the family’s youngest, David can get away with a lot. He successfully hosted secret beer parties at our house while our parents were away in Europe. Our Dad and Mom only found out months after they returned from their trip. And wouldn’t you know it? They did not get angry. They actually laughed in amusement. Dave will always have my undying admiration for this triumphant coup.

9. David is a Master of Reverse Psychology. When he wants to buy something and our parents hesitate, he will immediately say: “It’s ok. I’ll just save up for it with my own money. I don’t want to impose. No problem.” This quickly melts the heart of our sympathetic folks and they immediately give in. I admit…this phenomenal style of his works on me, too.

10. From time to time, Dave also manages to convince me and my husband Allan to get him stuff, like a new Playstation, a celfone, DVDs, CDs and even presents for various family members. He does this by earnestly offering to help pay for the things with his allowance on an installment basis. Upon receiving the items, he will pay us a small amount (ranging from Php50-Php100) once. . . And then that’s it. We fall for this ingenious scheme every time.

11. David can be really dense when it comes to girls. Really. Do they have to spell it out for him???

12. He is always on the computer. His favorite excuse is that he is checking to see if Mom has received any email. The thing is nobody even knows what our mother’s email address is or if she really has one. We have no choice but to take Dave’s word for it.

13. Dave is forever attempting to join his 11-years-older-brother Don in his night escapades. And Don is forever trying to dissuade Dave from joining him.

14. When he was 5 years old, silent tears would fall from his eyes whenever he lost in a computer game to Allan or me. Because of this, we would take pity and let him win. We are now wondering if he wept on purpose to get us to lose to him.

15. Until now, he is trying to find out if I am his Santa Claus. HOHOHO!

16. When David is around people, he usually hangs around unassumingly. But beware! His sponge of a brain is actually absorbing every word and building his elephant memory so that he can use what you say against you when you least expect it.

17. He makes the funniest greeting cards for all-occasions.

18. Our clan is not ordinarily of the touchy-feely kind. But David is as thoughtful and cariñoso as they come. He does not hesitate to utter the sweetest things and give a hug or loving pat when he feels like it. He is sure to make some girl very lucky.

19. He is 20 going on 35. Dave’s high degree of maturity, fierce sense of responsibility and strong level of self-discipline never cease to amaze us. Our youngest can sometimes act the oldest and wisest.

20. He is the family’s eternal favorite baby….next to Niccolo! c”,)

HAPPY 20TH BIRTHDAY, KUTO!!! Love yah!!!

September 03, 2006

I Love Lucy!

Making her debut in 1952, just two short years after the Peanuts comic strip first ran, Lucy Van Pelt burst into the popular daily, becoming the high-voltage catalyst to ignite the comedic fire under the lovable members of the original Peanuts gang. Lucy's take-charge attitude and annoying self-confidence immediately cast her as one of the favorite characters of the strip as well as an unlikely, but powerful, role model for men and women alike. To ardent fans of the strip, she is best loved for being bossy and for her charmingly crabby disposition that is solely her own.

Of all the Peanuts characters, I admit to identifying with Lucy the most. Here are some of the most memorable words the famous fussbudget has boldly uttered

This is a hard world to get along in. I feel sorry for all the new little babies.

It's hard for a critical person to go to sleep if she isn't allowed a brief word of criticism!

By the time I've grown up, we'll probably have a woman president. You know what that means, don't you? It means I won't get to be the first one. BOY, THAT MAKES ME MAD!!

I never made a mistake in my life. I thought I did once, but I was wrong.

I'm worried about a little boy who sits in front of me at school. He cries every day. This afternoon I tried to help him. I whacked him one on the arm... There's nothing like a little physical pain to take your mind off emotional problems.

Can I help it if I have crabby genes?

I think you should work hard to improve your character, Charlie Brown. Once a child gets to be five years old, his character is pretty well established.

It's a scientific fact that girls are smarter than boys! And do you know who discovered it? WOMEN SCIENTISTS!

Each generation must be able to blame the previous generation for its problems. It doesn't solve anything, but it makes us all feel better.

Try not to have a good time . . . This is supposed to be educational.

I'm intrigued by this view you have on the purpose of life, Charlie Brown. You say we're put on this earth to make others happy? ... What are the others put here for?

I'm frustrated and inhibited, and no one understands me.

You can't drift along forever... you have to direct your thinking. For instance you have to decide whether you're going to be a liberal or a conservative. You have to take some sort of stand. You have to associate with some sort of cause.

Big sisters are the crab grass in the lawn of life.

Have you ever seen an X-ray of a hiccup?

You think being average is enough, don't you? Well it isn't! What shape would the world be in today if everyone settled for being average?

People who prefer sunsets are dreamers! They always give up! They always look back instead of forward! I just might have known you weren't a sunrise person! Sunrisers are go-getters! They have ambition and drive! Give me a person who likes a sunrise every time! Yes, sir! I'm sorry Charlie Brown. If you prefer sunsets to sunrises, I can't take your case. You're hopeless!

We critical people are always being criticized!

I hate playing with a poor loser, but I can't stand playing with a good loser!

No one wants to turn my jump rope for me. They all say I'm too crabby. They say I complain too much. They say I complain when they turn it too fast and they say I complain when they turn it too slow. No one understands us crabby people!

Life is too short to waste it listening to some person who doesn't know when to shut up! Time is too valuable!

Gee. Do they still make wooden Christmas Trees?

What do you mean nobody's fault! It has to be somebody's fault! Somebody's got to take the blame! Find a scapegoat!

No matter how hard you try, you can't build a rainman.

Just remember, I can take anything that life throws at me! (A ball lands on her head.) That was a hit, not a throw!

You DO think I'm beautiful, don't you, Charlie Brown? [pause] You didn't answer me right away. You had to think about it first, didn't you? If you really had thought I was beautiful, you would've spoken right up. I know when I've been insulted. I KNOW WHEN I'VE BEEN INSULTED.

Happiness is a warm puppy.

Being crabby all day makes you hungry.

All you really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.