Weight Gain On Christmas Season

Note to self: Do not ever gain weight this Christmas season or you will get back to box training like you will be going on a match against Pacquiao and will also have to get back to running like your butt is on fire.

Christmas season is a season for partying and bingeing that only a few stayed on their weight as the new year enters. I know the feeling and I hated it but also, there was a few Christmas seasons that not only did I maintained my weight but actually lose some. What did I do?

Sure, I tasted the party food but just tasted not eat them entirely. In some instances, delaying the gratification worked because the food disappeared after I delayed eating them (thanks to those who were not mindful of what they pick). And even if the gym always looked stranded during this Christmas season, working out was a must. No matter if the party is on the next hour, hitting the gym to burn the fat. It worked.

Hopefully, there will be a repeat for this year. Already, the aerobics time was doubled to two hours mixed in with a few boxing sessions and a few runs around the gym’s running track.

Meantime, let’s not forget that Christmas time is not party time entirely but it is a celebration of the birth of Jesus. Like going to the gym, sharing our blessings and helping our less fortunate brothers is not an option but a must.


Even The Monkeys Cried

The truck and the grotto were the only ones left standing while the roaring winds blew everything off in their way. They hide and secured the baby inside the grotto while most of them crouched low and prayed hard inside their military truck. They were experienced soldiers used to attacks, skirmishes and ambushes but Pablo’s fury was totally unpredictable and unmatched that one of them said that never did he pray so hard in his life until this typhoon came along.

After the winds calmed down, everything was so eerily quiet except for a few human stirrings of life and a few animal sounds of howling probably, animals keening for their lost loved ones. When the wind and rain settled, they saw that the devastation was so indescribably massive that one soldier said that he could even hear the monkeys crying after Typhoon Pablo decided to move away.

I passed through these lands innumerous times through the years. The green and undulating terrains dotted with big swath of lands of rice, tree and fruit farms were such that their nature’s beauty during those travels were expectedly familiar to me. Mostly agricultural with dotted forest covers, these areas of Mindanao were not only fertile farm lands but also, rich with minerals. Not so, when I came back today.

The unfamiliar horizon that lay before us was monochrome-like, humid, forlorn and outworldly. Trees were thrown helter skelter like toothpicks everywhere, electric poles were transferred right in the middle of the street, ruined houses like they were made of chopsticks while some stood bare-roofed and not a few of these roofs were thrown some distance away. People, young and old alike, extend their hands begging by the roadsides.

Those were the scenes that greeted us as we made our way through the Compostela Valley Province, one of the provinces hardest hit by the Typhoon Pablo (international name: Bopha) on the first week of December. Our target destination was the small towns of the Municipality of Monkayo. Prior coordination with the military personnel assigned to the area was made and designated towns were targeted. We had about 500 relief packs of 2 kilos of rice, a few packs of noodles and canned goods. We also brought shoes and slippers and used clothings.


 A girl waiting while her mother lined up to get the relief pack.

The travel to the military detachment that served as our relief distribution area was just about 15-20 minutes away, if they were good roads. But potholes created by the typhoon were like craters so big that they could easily fit the military truck. Debris of fallen trees, crumpled houses and downed electric posts punctuated the roads that we reached the area after almost an hour of bone-jarring, teeth crunching ride.

The people were already organized by small groups by their own local officials and by our military personnel escorts that only the weather of confusing interchange drizzles of rain and sudden hot sunshine made the orderly relief distribution much more eventful. A lot of them walked through the mountain roads to reach us and yet, they did not complain about it. Some were recognized by the soldiers as their rebel enemies but the relief packs were given equally without discrimination. We know that what we brought will only last for a day or two but the people were just as thankful and some even readily shared their typhoon stories to us.

A soldier said that he used to look out at the mountains and could not even see and hear what or who was out there in the forests but now he could actually see clearly so far that any rebel doing a reconnaissance on them is an easy target.

I could never reconcile the scenes I have seen today to what I have grown used to see on my previous travels to these lands. Probably, relief packs will arrive to these people from time to time to help them somehow get through their daily sustenance but recovery of their lands will take at least a year and some miracles to happen.


Sunday Stealing#132

Today we ripped off a blogger named Zoe from the blog Mama Geek. She states that she got it from Mummylish. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Take the time to comment on other player's posts. It's a great way to make new friends! Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!

The idea of the 11 Questions Meme is that you are given a set of 11 questions to answer by a fellow blogger , and then once you have answered them you have to think up 11 questions of your own to ask, we consider that part of the meme a bonus and optional, so.. feel free to come up with 11 questions, ONLY if you feel like it.  Fun stuff. 

Sunday Stealing: The 11/11 Questions meme

What is your favorite possession?

Hmm..Nowadays, the photos I took during our European trip.

 Do you like to read? If so, which books do you love best?
I love to read. I keep an eye on those bestsellers and see if I like them.

Do you have any pets?
We have 8 cats, one dog at home.

What was your favorite food as a child? Is it the same now?
It was hotcake but not much now.

What is your favorite thing about blogging?
What I like blogging is that I can pick any subject/topic I like and talk about it. 

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Aside here in my home country, I'd like to live in Spain.

What is your favorite number?
Favorite number is 4, 7 and 8.

Which of these things would you find hardest to give up for a year? Chocolate, reading, coffee or smoking?
Reading and coffee.

If you could make your life into a movie, what would you name it.. and who would you want to play you?
Boring question..hmm..next!

If you had £20,000  for a shopping spree, what would you buy?
I'd buy a travel package for me and my mother.

If you could eat lunch with one famous person, who would it be?

Obama and Gandhi.


Help For Mindanao

Mindanao has always been a typhoon free part of the Philippines. We were proud of it considering that most part of the Philippines have always been battered by 30 to 40 typhoons a  year. We grew up in this place content with heavy rains and recently, a few surprises of flashfloods. In fact, we had more bad press from rebel situation news than about weather-related ones. It started to changed recently though. Flash floods took over some parts of our city more than a year ago leaving death and devastation. Last December, Typhoon Sendong's wrathful waters caused landslides and flashfloods during Christmas time last year. But slowly, reticent as always, our people picked up the pieces and rebuild.

This is now being challenged. Typhoon Pablo (international name: Bopha) came in packing 160-more than 200 kph winds and made landfall in some parts of Mindanao that have long been considered typhoon-free. Pag-ASA and the local government units prepared and warned the people to evacuate and brace themselves as this strong typhoon promised to be one for the books. Indeed, after making landfall in some parts of Davao Oriental and the Bukidnon area early this week, Typhoon Pablo left such huge devastation that left thousands of Mindanaoans shellshocked and homeless.  There are now more 300 people confirmed dead and about 500 people that are still missing.

These typhoon victims could not live and could not go on with their lives without help. Let us help our brothers and sisters who not only lost their homes but also their loved ones. A few peso could go a long way for their basic needs. We could delve from our Christmas shopping budget to help provide for the typhoon victims' basic needs: food, shelter and medicine.

To help, there are several ways but I would rather recommend Philippine National Red Cross and Gawad Kalinga. Both are actively coordinating and helping for the delivery of relief goods to the typhoon victims.


Sunday Stealing#131

1) What do you think is the best costume for Halloween? Vampire and some other creative, scary costumes I've seen through the years.

2) What would an alien think of humans if it came to Earth on Halloween? That they have come to the right place.

3) Who Would you haunt? My worst enemy.

4) Are you afraid of the dark?  Not really.

5) Do you pass out candy, or hide with the lights off? Pass out the candy.

6) What Scary movie do you like best? None, I don't like scary movies.

7) If you had to wear a costume for a week, what would you be? For halloween costume, vampire costume.

8) What do you think about Ouija boards? I have classmates using it, it was a scary hobby.

9) Have you ever told ghost stories around a fire? Yes, kinda.

10) Trick? or Treat? Treat!

11) Have you ever been in a haunted house? Yes.

12) What would you do if you saw a ghost? Freak out!

13) Question 13, should we have skipped this and jumped to 14? Not really.

14) Are you brave enough to walk into a grave yard after dark on Halloween? Heck, no.

15) Do you like chocolate? what kind:I like the white chocolate.

16) Who would look better in a clown costume? Obama or Romney? Romney.

17) Are you in the path of Frankenstorm? Thank goodness, no!

18) Post a link to any other blog: My travel blog is here.



Tuesday Travels#44 Cultural Center of the Philippines


The grand stairway of Cultural Center of the Philippines.

DSCN0124_zps7dfd41d2A Cultural Center of the Philippines is one of the projects attributed to the former First Lady of the Philippines, Imelda E. Marcos.  Considered as premier center of the cultural and arts of the country, it is located at the reclamation area along Roxas Boulevard.


Sunday Stealing#130

Sunday Stealing: Stealing's Last Meme with Bud
Welcome to the my last Sunday Stealing. We are thrilled it will go on without us. Let's go!!! Today we ripped off a blogger named Dark Trinity from the blog Sparking Beach. He states he got it from DA. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves would have taken some time. Take the time to comment on other player's posts. It's been a great way to make new friends! Sunday Stealing: Stealing's Last Meme with Bud

Maria, Teray..etc.

I don't have one.

43. BEST DATE YOU'VE EVER BEEN ON? (IF MARRIED, before your present spouse)
With a very good friend.

 I got so upset with my niece. Felt disappointed after all what my family had done for her and her sister.

24-hour shift. To finish work for an important employer-client.

Too many but the one I can recall now is the Transformers.

Hmm..was on a choir a few years back. We sang during office events or every time we got invited.

The usual family fights.

 My purse.

Cellphone and personal computer.

Yahoo, Facebook, Blogger and some more.


Yes, it did.

Not really.

My mother.

It was about my tennis schedule for today.

Tank top and shorts.

We only have two seasons, dry and wet. My favorite is the dry.

I don't know yet.

I think, it's cool not overrated.

Chill and relax. A visit to my father's grave is must though.

Happy and successful.

Did not do much of what I had planned years ago.

Recalling some fond memories.

Europe, first. USA, to visit a very good friend.

I tried playing guitar years ago but I did not  have the patience.

Yes, a very good friend of mine and my father.

Last week.

I just knew that it's ending today and there is someone who's already taking over.


Tuesday Travels#43 Let's Indak-indak!

For years now, Kadayawan Festival's popularity has steadily risen. The festival started in the mid-80s and was originally called Apoduwaling Festival. A combination of three words, Apo (which pertains to Mt. Apo), Durian (the king of fruits) and Waling-waling orchid. All three can be found in Davao and its surrounding areas.

There are several Kadayawan festival events that make people from all over the world visit Davao City.  Indak-indak sa Kadalanan (streetdancing) is one of the top draws. Participant-dancers from all over the country come and showcase their colorful native costumes and native dances.

Photos were taken during the Indak-indak sa Kadalanan (streetdance) last August 18, 2012.



Sunday Stealing#129

Today we ripped off a blogger named ChibiNatsumi21 from the blog  The Unfulfiller of Expectation. It’s 88 questions, we will do it in parts. She does not state where she found the memeBut, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Take the time to comment on other player's posts. It's a great way to make new friends! Link back to us at Sunday Stealing

23. Why do you think so many people cheat?
Some people cheat just because, some said they cheat out of necessity while others cheat because they feel good about it.

24. Tell me what's on your mind?

Right now, I am missing a friend, wishing I can choose relatives and wishing my father is still alive. 

25. What are you looking forward to in the next three months?

Europe travel. 
26. Have you ever worn the opposite sex's clothing?

Yes, mostly tshirts because they are comfortable.

25. When did you last talk to your BFF? 

Just earlier today. 

28. When is your next road trip?

Probably November.

29. Do you have someone of the opposite sex you can tell anything to?

Yes, a good friend.

30. How's your heart?

It's ok but it has undergone some rough roads.

31. Have you ever felt like you weren't important?

Several times.

32. Do you think somebody's secretly in love with you?

Don't think so.

33. What are you planning on doing after this?


34. Last time you yelled at someone?

Today, one of my nieces.

35. Have you told anybody you loved them today?


36. Who do you not get along with?

Some relatives.

37. What does your most recent text say?

"Where are you?" 

38. What are you wearing right now?

Houseclothes. T-shirt and shorts.

39. You're locked in a room with the person you last kissed in high school, how is it?


40. When's the last time you had a grilled cheese?

Years ago. I wish I have one right now.

41. What's your favorite boy and girl name?

Alex for the girl, Michael for the boy.

42. How did you feel when you woke up?

I felt good.

43. Do you wish someone would call or text you right now?

Very much so.

44. Do you think Clint Eastwood would have been better talking to a table?

Hehehe! yeah.

45. What were you doing yesterday at midnight?

Updating my blogs.


Philippine Earthquake And Tsunami Warning

Dinner was ongoing at home when the ground started to shake tonight at almost 9:00 o' clock in the evening. Initially thought that it was the common shaker we experienced previously but it got stronger and stayed on longer. We rushed out of the house carrying nothing. Along with the neighbors we spilled out in the street, prayed and waited. My mother was trembling while praying. Eventually, the ground got steady and we slowly got in. I know it was strong quake and true enough, the news confirmed that it was 7.9 magnitude with the epicenter at sea located at the Eastern Samar.

Tsunami Warning is up at these areas.

Update: As of 1210am September 1, 2012, tsunami warnings for the Philippines has been lifted. Philvocs advises that aftershocks may occur.


Where Is Davao?

Early this month, we traveled the Philippines for just a little less than two hours.  We were at SM Mall of Asia’s SMX Convention Centre attending the Philippine Travel Mart 2012.  The entrance venue was P50 and it was worth it because there were giveaways, promo packages and there were booths and pavilions that beautifully showcased the different parts of the country.

We had fun having our photos taken at the Banaue/Sagada booth along with the real Igorots in their G-strings and their wooden scooters.  We marveled at the Higantes and stood beside the Roman soldier-dressed and masked guy of the Moriones festival. We pretended we were newly weds at the Bohol area and then, played with the windmills of Ilocos region but where is the Davao’s booth? We wondered. Retracing our steps, it took us a while to find it. Pearl Farm Resort had a small booth and it was an ordinary-looking one and that was it?? Undaunted, we searched more only to find out that the Region XI Department of Tourism booth was right there beside Pearl Farm Resort’s booth. Except for a long table and several handouts on it, the DOT Region XI booth was almost bare. Taking its picture was not worth it.   What a disappointment! What happened to the organizers of the said booth?

The other region’s pavilions or booths were really cool. They really showed the attractions of their provinces and it was obvious that they really prepared for their respective booths/pavilions. Can’t say the same to our region’s booth though. Hopefully, they shall do better next time. If they shall not, it is already a big injustice considering Region XI as well as the whole island of Mindanao has so much to offer to visitors from all over the world. The negative flak sometimes gets


Tuesday Travels#42 Sayaw Mindanaw 2012

Every 3rd week of August, all roads lead to Davao City. Flights and hotel rooms are fully booked months ahead and the city streets of Davao are colorfully decorated with the colors of the Kadayawan festival.

One of the major events in the Kadayawan festival is the Sayaw Mindanaw (Mindanao Dances). The event showcases the Southern Philippine dances as presented by different group-participants from all over Mindanao.

If not for my photography group, I would not have gotten into this particular event much less into the first row of the venue. I really thank God for the opportunity. I saw first hand how beautiful, amazing and colorful our native dances from the South were. I am truly proud of all the participants who came from all over the Southern Philippines just to showcase our beautiful heritage.

This year's Sayaw Mindanaw (Mindanao Dances) was held in connection with the Kadayawan Festival at the SM Davao Annex last August 16, 2012. There were about 10-15 group participants. The performances were really intense, fast-paced, intricate and fascinating. The costumes and the props were beautiful, indigenous and colorful. What made me really more proud was that most of the participants if not all are in their teen-age years. I am now more hopeful that our native dances will survive for far longer into more generations.

Here are some photos of the participants:

 First Prize winner (Open Category): Kadanao Theater Collective of Butuan City

One of the participants in the children's category. 


Busy With Kadayawan

This year's Kadayawan festival feels somehow different for me even if I'm always excited about it. There's pressure this year. Our photography group is one of the assigned groups to take photos of the festival's events. So, as members we were assigned events to take photos of. Unlike before wherein I can just take Kadayawan photos whenever and wherever I like, now I have some assignments. Ugh! pressure!

 So, I should be at Sayaw Mindanao (Mindanao Dances) on August 16, 5-8pm at the SM Davao-Annex. On the next day, the Hiyas ng Kadayawan finals shall be held at the Davao City Recreation Center (formerly Almendras Gym) at 7pm. Of course, the Kadayawan weekend events are the most anticipated ones so I should be there no matter what. On Saturday, August 18, is the Indak-indak sa Kadalanan (Kadayawan street dance). It shall start around 8am along Roxas Ave and will culminate at the Rizal Park. In the afternoon, the participants will present again at the Rizal Park for their final performance. Sunday, August 19, is the Pamulak sa Kadalanan (floral float parade). Again, the same route as that of the street dance.

My, what a tiring schedule. But hey, am having so much fun!


Tuesday Travels#41 It's Kadayawan Month

It's August once again. Rainy days are here. The city is always flooded because of it. But, the celebration is moving along as the Kadayawan festival's week-long celebration officially started last August 3. The opening ceremony was led by no less than the City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte. Along with the tribal leaders and city officials, the colorful opening ceremony was held at the People's Park.

Here are some of the photos I took on the said event:
 Mayor Sara Z. Duterte leading the opening ceremonies for the Kadayawan festival. There was an amusing moment when she was about to start her speech though. She was facing the audience so the photographers were scrambling for an angle but she realized that the light was at her back. So, realizing that it was a disadvantage for the photographers, she moved around to face the lights commenting that it's all about documentation.

 The bounty basket, touted as the biggest in the world. I'm inclined to agree cause at about 6 feet in height, the fruits inside the basket went deep right up to the ground.

 One of the Hiyas ng Kadayawan paritcipants being presented to the media at the opening ceremonies of Kadayawan festival.



What to expect aboard the Norwegian Epic

You may already know some of the basics about the the Norwegian Epic, the newest, largest and certainly the most extravagant ship within the Norwegian Cruise company's fleet, but let's see if we can't inform you a little further. First of all, as its name suggests, the Epic is a substantial craft to say the least. It stretches out to over a thousand feet in length, sits 28.5 feet wide and can cater for up 4,100 guests at any one time.

And the scale of the Epic means it can accommodate a vast array of attractions and activity areas designed to keep every member of any family, couple or group of friends more than happy for the length of their stay. Naturally enough, the destinations that the ship visits and the excursions you can choose from on dry land will contribute to much of the excitement on-board but nonetheless every effort is made to make sure guests are as well looked after and entertained as they can be.

Another important element of the Epic's offering is its capacity to more than match the energy levels of even the most boisterous young children. There are clubs and activity areas designed especially for them and Norwegian is the only cruise line to have enlisted the help of none other than 'Sponge Bob Squarepants' to keep children and perhaps the more incorrigible adults entertained. Meanwhile, there is a quite splendid variety of dinning options for adults and families to choose from and you could comfortably pick a new restaurant each evening and still leave more to try when you return another time.   

Of course, Norwegian isn't the only cruise-line out there offering enticing package holiday deals and UK consumers should perhaps always consider the latest offers being made on Royal Caribbean cruises, wherever in the world it is you're hoping to visit next time around.


Sunday Stealing#128

Today we ripped off a blogger named Metalmom from the blog I Don't Want to Hear It. We will do the fifty questions in two parts. She explains that she got it from Robin from the blog Libra GirlBut, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Take the time to comment on other player's posts. It's a great way to make new friends! Link back to us at Sunday Stealing! 

Sunday Stealing: The Too Tired to Think Meme, Part 2

26. What type of errands do you like running? 
Buying groceries.
27. Have you ever eaten snow? Nope. 
28. What color are your bedsheets? Blue and some more colors.
29. What’s your favorite flower? Sampaguita, rose.
30. Do you do ballet?  Would love to but I'm too old for that.
31. Do you listen to classical music? Rarely.
32. What is the first TV Theme song that pops in your head? Hawaii Five-O
33. Do you watch Sponge Bob? I don't like it.
34. What temperature is it outside right now? 29C
35. Do people consider you smart?  So they say.
36. How many piercing do you have? three, all on my ears.
37. Are you signed on [to] AIM? What's AIM?
38. Have you ever tried gluing your fingers together? Accidentally.
39. How do you feel about your family? I love my parents. 
40. Do you have an iPod? I wish. I wonder who is going to buy me one.
41. What time do you go to bed? Usually, midnight.
42. What CD is currently in your CD player?  Nothing there, for now.
43. What movie do you know every line to? Heck, none. My memory isn't that good.
44. What is your favorite salad dressing? Ceasar's
45. What do you want for Christmas this year? iPad or new computer.
46. What family member/friend lives the farthest from you? Where? Some relatives who are living in US right now.
47. Do you like hugs? Depends whom I'm going to share it with.
48. Last time you had butterflies in your stomach? Last June while I was having classes.
49. What’s the way people most often mispronounce any part of your name? None, it's easy.
50. Last person you hugged? Not person but one of our cats, just now.


Oh No, Kirsten

Am a fan of the Twilight books and subsequently, the Twilight movies. And while I may not had been one of the shrieking fans of the vampire-couple, Bella and Edward, I was one of those who were quite happy to learn that the vampire romance movie became real for the actors, Kirsten Stewart and Robert Pattinson. The said couple was quite private in their love affair but photos and news about them confirmed the relationship through the years.

The recent news of Kirsten Stewart having an affair with her former director, Rupert Sanders,  was quite a jolt though. The affair may not be uncommon in Hollywood but usually, it starts with the guy not with the girl. For now though, both guilty parties issued their respective public apologies to their partners. It'll be interesting to know how the aggrieved ones will react.


Public Smooches And The Like

There is something about public displays of affection that reactions could get selective. At least, from my point of view. I cringe on public display of affection if the protagonists are couples at the very young age (i.e. teens, students especially while wearing their school uniforms. Somehow, those public smooches make me say “eeeew!” and almost always, I just can’t stop wondering if the youngsters involved ever considered the consequences should the smooches advance into something more judging by how they get passionate with their public smooches.

I remember our first foreign travel years and years ago. We were in Hongkong and oh boy, it was a culture shock. Not only there were some public displays but there were some couples who would rather not wait to get to their own bed. A standout was a couple of high school students who were passionately exchanging saliva at the back of our seat while we were riding the public train. We could see them through the mirror and the trainful of people was oblivious to the “exciting” event. On the other hand, we were busy trying to get a glimpse as the girl started to sit on the boy’s lap. Can you believe that? Heaven knows, what could’ve their parents done if they saw what was going on.

I also cringe at couples who look like they are married. Not to each other but to somebody else but still are not shy about showing their affection to each other publicly. That’s another eeww!

Old couples’ public displays of affection are another matter for me especially those small, tender moments that show that indeed real love after all those years together could happen. Am sure, they had their bad moments together and it is more common for old couples to get cranky at each other (I had seen my share from my family members). So, if they are still capable of holding each other’s hands while simply talking or walking side by side even through rickety, old knees and short fuse of patience, I am so encouraging them than those young, still-got-milk-on their-lips couples who had no qualms in showing off their passion to each other publicly.


Stock Market Earnings

In college, lessons about stocks and bonds made my head swim.  Let me read a lot of books but not about these topics. I know people get rich from it but I also know that a lot had their life changed for the worse because of it. Thus, my interest on stocks waned before I even started getting interested. But, a few years back an officemate's stories on stock market earnings made me think twice.

So, when an oil company offered its initial public offering years ago. The chance to invest in stocks seemed attractive enough for me to buy the minimum just to test the waters.  Unfortunately, my first foray into stock investment did not do good and my discouragement deepened.

Fast forward into the future...one of our teachers in our recently concluded almost month-long study was quite knowledgeable in stock investments that my interest started again. The renewed interest was triggered  when he said if he wanted to, he could retire comfortably enough just living out from his stock market earnings. A lightbulb came up. Well,  that should be lightbulbs judging by the questions thrown to our teacher about the stock market investments and stock market earnings. He was quite nice enough to give a few helpful tips and now, I am now visualizing how to retire comfortably just from my future stock market earnings. Hopefully, I won't get burned again.


Tuesday Travels#40 The Oblation

Another dream came true for me, it was a long time coming but it did come true. I would have been happier if my father was around to see that indeed, I got to the school we both wanted for me to attend.  I stayed in the University of the Philippines Diliman campus for almost a month. A work-related study-training but I tried to take as much opportunity as I can to walk around the campus.

Of course, I could not miss the iconic Oblation. Never mind if most of the time, it was raining.  The monument is located in front of the Admin Building. The few times that I have been there, runners/joggers were there stretching out.

The marker near the monument is a passage from our national hero's book, El Filibusterismo. I have yet to translate what it says though.



Five Things I Want to Do Before I Get Old

Yes, am getting old but am not that old yet. At least, am not on the senior citizen category yet. However, I can already feel my cells slowing down even my body resistance is not the way it used to be. So, that's why am coming up with my sort of a bucket list of five things I want to do before I get old. Here they are:

1. Do the World Tour or at the very least, the Europe Tour. I almost did it two years ago but a family emergency made me cancel my Europe Tour reservations.

2. Scuba dive. The introductory dive lesson I had in Miniloc, Palawan years ago was just awesome. It was supposed to be 10-minute dive but because the instructor saw me really having a grand time, he extended the lesson to almost up to 30 minutes.

3. Sky dive. I know I might be screaming my tonsils out for this extreme activity but what the heck, I'll just do it anyway.

4. See a very good friend abroad.  Can't say more.

5. Have my own business. Reality is kicking in that I'm getting old and while I may have some retirement pay when I retire, I don't think it'll be enough last me through until my twilight years. Running my own profitable business will ensure that I won't be having financial difficulties during my senior years.

This post is part of the BC bloggers meme and the host is >ielenna.


Bargain Summer Getaways: Cheap Cyprus Holidays

Cyprus is definitely one of the most versatile holiday destinations in Europe. Whether you are looking for a cultured break away, a week of clubbing or a relaxing family retreat, find cheap holidays to Cyprus online for resorts to suit all holiday styles. 

Cheap Cyprus holidays offer year round sunshine. Although winter months are much cooler than the high heats of the summer, Cyprus has the best climate in the Mediterranean. Summer temperatures can reach highs of 35 degrees C. Although winter temperatures average 17-18 degrees C, you can expect them to hit up to 21 degrees with very little rainfall.

Culture lovers will be captivated by the city of Paphos. The 11 blue flag beaches in the region mean that days sightseeing can be complimented perfectly with lazy days by the twinkling shores. 
Romantic getaways and honeymoons can be aptly spent on the shores surrounding Aphrodite’s Rock. The sea stack in Paphos is said to be the birth place of the Greek Goddess of Love. Take a swim together around the landmark and be granted everlasting beauty. 

The harbour town is guarded by an old medieval fort, which lies within walking distance of the ancient mosaics of Kato Pafos. Once laid as floors for noblemen, the mosaics tell the tale of many Greek legends and mythologies.
The beaches and Aphrodite waterpark of Paphos make the region excellent for families, however Coral Bay, near to Limassol, is also an alternative option.  

Situated centrally south on the island, Coral Bay has superb sands and shallow waters which are ideal for smaller children. Nearby, Limassol’s Fasouri Water Mania Water Park has plenty of flumes, shoots and slides to keep children of all ages occupied. 

Party lovers are not forgotten on the island. The infamous clubbing scene of Ayia Napa is located on the east coast. 

Find cheap holidays online for the best deals on a range of budget Cyprus breaks.


Sunday Stealing#127

Today we ripped off a blogger named Hui Lin from the blog Conversations with an Imaginary Audience. It's 200 questions, so we will do it in parts. Lots of parts. She does not state where she got it from. But this is someone who could not come up a separate screen name and a blog name. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Take the time to comment on other player's posts. It's a great way to make new friends! Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!


101. Name 4 things you always have with you. 
Cellphone, comb, ballpen and purse.

102. How many SERIOUS exes do you have?

103. What causes you to you admire people? 
Being kind, smart, hardworking and humble.

104. Do you like sports? 
Very much

105. Would you have sex after marriage? Why or why not? 
Err..is this a right question or are you asking about sex with other person other than the spouse?

106. What is your favorite male name? 

107. Do animals go to Heaven?
I think so and I'm looking forward to seeing our pets when my time comes.

108. Last time you had a great time with your dad?
Hm..we usually have good time together while watching TV when he was alive.

109. What is your favorite hair style? 
Short one

110. Do you like your name? 
I used to not like it but as I grew older, I got used to it.

111. When was the last time that you quit your job?
Like two or three years ago..thought seriously about it.

112. When you wake up, what is the first thing you think? 
 "Thank God it's another day."

113. Have you ever pulled an all-niter? 
What kind of all-niter is it, anyway..

114. What is the perfect day for you? 
Sunny, no problems...

115. Last time you cleaned the bathroom? 

116. Have you ever failed a grade? Why? 
Yes, unfortunately. In college, am not good in Math and during that time, I had a lot of problems that it affected my studies.

117. Have you met anyone online?
Yes, I did.

118. Have you ever smoked? 
Tried once, didn't like it.

119. Do you like celebrities?
Like how..I like them because they entertain us. That's about it.

120. Do you like traveling? 
Very much so.


Sunday Stealing#126

Today we ripped off a blogger named Hui Lin from the blog Conversations with an Imaginary Audience. It's 200 questions, so we will do it in parts. Lots of parts. She does not state where she got it from. But this is someone who could not come up a separate screen name and a blog name. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Take the time to comment on other player's posts. It's a great way to make new friends! Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!


81. What’s your favorite action movie? 
A lot. An all-time fave is the Chinese action movie, So Close.

82. Have (or are) you ever been involved someone much older than you? 

83. Do you believe in lust at first sight? 

84. Favorite type of venomous snake?
I can't say it's a fave. Cobra.

85. Do you drink alcohol?  
Nowadays, rarely.

86. If you wanted to talk to someone who'd lift your spirits, who'd you call?
A very good friend of mine.

87. What do you wear to feel sexy?
Sexy lingerie.

88. Do you like to learn?

89. Have you ever been hit on by someone who really overestimated their attractiveness?
Yes and it's so eeeeww.

90. Where did you last go on vacation?
Laguna, northern part of the Philippines. Visited the province's centuries-old churches.

91. Dallas (as in J.R. & Bobby) returns this week. What film or TV series would you loved to be resurrected? 
Charlie's Angels.

92. Explain your karma beliefs. 
What comes around, goes around.

93. When do you think that you have a hard life? 
During my younger years, from high school to college. 

94. Favorite comic strip? 

95. Have you ever broken a heart?
Inadvertently, yes.

96. Should pot be legalized? 
Legalized but strictly regulated.

97. Have you ever gone skinny dipping with someone that you shouldn't have?

98. What do you do when you're down?
Eat, shop, work out, take a walk, watch a movie.

99. Last time you were really angry?
Went angry to one of my  nieces. Can't understand her, she totally likes breaking the rules and not be sorry for it.
Cheese, coffee.


And Pacquiao Lost

Pacquiao could have retired from the brutal sport. But even if he started going into the politics, he stayed on in boxing garnering several awards and facing mighty opponents along the way. For several years, he seemed untouchable. Millions of dollars lined thick on his pockets but he continued with his quests. I could hear in my mind his mother's pleas to stop his boxing and concentrate on his other projects and political career. He continued training relentlessly almost ruthlessly.

This past Sunday, Bradley won over Pacquiao. A split decision. It was a shock and the entire nation howled their protests. Pacquiao himself was almost stoic. Sure, he is due for rematch again Bradley but the pride lost? Coach Roach is requesting for investigation. Like Mommy Dionesia said..I say, let's do the rematch! And knock him out good, Pacquiao!


Sunday Stealing#125

Today we ripped off a blogger named Hui Lin from the blog Conversations with an Imaginary Audience. It's 200 questions, so we will do it in parts. Lots of parts. She does not state where she got it from. But this is someone who could not come up a separate screen name and a blog name. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Take the time to comment on other player's posts. It's a great way to make new friends! Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!

61. Ocean or pool?
I like both but I've had more chance to get to the ocean than the pool.

62. Fridays or Ruby Tuesdays? 
Ruby Tuesdays because I've had good memories of it.

63. Did you want to go to college? 
Very much so. For me, it was a ticket out of poverty.

64. What did you last time at a mall? 
Look for rubber shoes and bought some bottled water.

65. Which close friend have you known the longest? 
Hm..somebody from high school days.

66. Why do you like the music you do?
Because it's upbeat.

67. Do you read much?
I would love to but don't have much time for it.
68. Favorite country? 
My own, Philippines.

69. What is something you wish you were better at? 
Public speaking.

70. What’s your favorite album/CD? 
It used to be one of Madonna's album but nowadays I don't have a fave one. 

71. What's a good dinner order? 
Something with well-cooked veggies, fish and rice.

72. Planes or boats?
Planes. Boats bore and scare me both.

73. One rumor that’s been spread about you:
That I don't like boys which actually was not true. It was just I don't like particular boys like those airheads and bullies.

74. Who is your newest friend?
Our adopted kitty, Ampy.

75. Have you ever sat on a rooftop?
Yeah and the last time was when I waited for the lunar eclipse to happen and took photos of it.

76. Was your last text useful?
 I think so.

77. Favorite soda? 

78. Do you like yourself? 
Sometimes, sometimes I don't.

79. The worst weather: Hot or cold?

80. Do you play an instrument? 
I used to play a bit of a guitar and flute but I doubt it if I still know how.


Banning The Overbooked Flights

Finally, the authorities are listening to the clamors, complaints of travelers. For a long time, overbooked flights have been the boon of the travelers. Imagine tensing up on a traffic jam, praying to all the saints, nibbling the fingernails while going through the usual inspection of baggages and then, while still trying to calm down the frayed nerves you would hear that you got bumped from the flight that you were trying to catch. A big bummer, huh! But it did happen to a lot of travelers and I heard it’s a SOP for the airlines especially the budget ones. Now, that the overbooked flights are being banned by the country’s aviation regulator, I hope these overbooked flights would be the thing of the past.


Tuesday Travels#39 Davao's David

It caused quite a furor when it was erected years ago. Conservatives wanted him covered decently while freedom of expression lobbyists lobbied for its original state wearing nothing but his birth suit. Also, several issues came out about its location but after a lot of hullabaloo, its owners won over and development around its area continued.

Nowadays, the statue of David located along the Times Beach of this city is a favorite hang-out among the locals.  It has become a sort of a must-see place too among the city's visitors.




Sunday Stealing#124

Today we ripped off a blogger named Hui Lin from the blog Conversations with an Imaginary Audience. It's 200 questions, so we will do it in parts. Lots of parts. She does not state where she got it from. But this is someone who could not come up a separate screen name and a blog name. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Take the time to comment on other player's posts. It's a great way to make new friends! Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!

 Sunday Stealing: The Imaginary Meme, Part Three

 41. Growing up, who was the easier mark: Mom or Dad?  It's my mother.

42. What is the stupidest pet that you ever saw? Stupid is a harsh word for a pet.

43. Tell us about a band whose every CD is a “must have”. It used to be Black Eyed Peas.

44. Where you surprised when Jim Parsons came out? Who is he?

45. Have you ever shoplifted? Nope, to scared to do it.

 46. We currently have a person who plays both this meme and Saturday 9 who signs in to Mr. Linky every week. Yet, if you click on that link, you are told that only “members” can read the blog. Why do you think that person even bothers to sign in or for that matter, do the meme? (Don't misunderstand, we have no rules and we aren't angry. But it is damn peculiar, no?) Agree to that!

 47. Have you ever driven a Ferrari? I wish for a real one. I've played a matchbox Ferrari though.

 48. What do you call those little plastic things on the ends of shoelaces? Hrmmm...shoelace ends?

 49. Have you ever walked more than a mile? Oh yes, part of my workout regimen.

50. Do you believe in magic? I should and we should. If we couldn't, life could be boring and harsh.

 51. Have you ever been arrested? God forbid.

52. Have you ever skinny dipped? Yeah. Fun!

53. Explain what you think about hippies. Happy go lucky and kinda strange.

54. New York or California? Both, they have different charms.

55. Have you ever been dumped? Yes, it hurt like no other.

 56. What are you wearing right now? Pink sleeveless shirt and light green shorts.

57. John Edwards had a mistrial. How do you think he conducted himself after the verdict? I don't follow US politics.

58. Did you watch the series finale of House? There's already a finale? Hmmph..I haven't seen it yet.

59. You may need to go back a long way if you are old like Harriet. Who was the last person who asked you out? (Or that asked you out. Same dumb question either way.)   A friend.

60. Do you have any collections? I used to collect songbooks then went to collect keychains and magnets from places I've visited, mementos from my travels and lately, postcards.


Excited To Have Bourne Identity

Finally, it is going to be shown worldwide this coming August 3, 2012. I am quite excited about it especially that I’ve seen its movie trailer showing scenes from Manila streets such as that of EDSA, Sta. Ana area, Leveriza and those tight alleyways. Bourne Identity is helping bring Philippines to Hollywood and international attention. I am excited about it and am sure, a lot of our countrymen too. Not only will it bring to light a country differently (hopefully, positively) but it has also been a very good learning experience (as based on the interviews of Filipino actors, actresses and crews hired for the movie). A big bonus is that I’ve read and liked all the Bourne books and so far, the previous movie installments with Matt Damon as its lead actor did not disappoint. So far, I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Jeremy Renner’s previous acting assignments. Thus, waiting is long to have Bourne Identity this coming August.


Tuesday Travels#38 Sulyap Gallery Cafe, San Pablo, Laguna

I wanted to experience the old world of the Philippines and what better way to do it by going to places where our heritage has been preserved. Stepping into Sulyap Gallery Café is like stepping back into time. Sulyap Café’s abode is a restored stone house built during the Spanish period. It is one of the two preserved houses inside the Cocoland Compound. Brgy. Del Remedio, San Pablo City, Laguna.

The cafe is brimming with artifacts and antique that waiting for the food went by so fast. Above photo is an example of such antique objects.

While the art objects are food for the eyes, Sulyap Gallery Cafe's food offering is guaranteed mouthwatering. We tried Kulawong Puso ng Saging as recommended by our tour guide, Illuminati Travel and Tours' Joel Aldor and the Tuna Pasta.  Both dishes are unique (at least, for my taste buds) and really good-tasting.

Aside from the cafe, Sulyap Museum and Casa Obando Bed and Breakfast are just within the compound for a very interesting and worthwhile trip. 

To check out the place for their interesting antiques, art objects, food and ambience, here are the contact details:

Sulyap Gallery Cafe
Casa Obando Bed And Breakfast
Tel. nos. 5629735 / 5629740
Mobile nos.:  Smart - 0920-9519185
Globe - 0917-5968760
Email: roy@sulyap.net