Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Jellicious Growth of Friendship

Defying the common Botany books that say that ‘a plant needs the right blend of sunlight, water and air in order to grow’; I now hereby declare that a plant needs jellies and water to grow.

Yes jellies.

The main necessity for a special sprout called “Magic Jelly Plant”.

When my friend left for Singapore, she gave me this token to serve as the symbol of our friendship. It’s not just a mere souvenir, but a token that requires care and attention. Like friendship that needs time and effort in order to flourish, this jelly plant needs to be taken care of in order to grow.

Magic jelly is a ‘soil and water’ substitute for indoor plants, It has a capacity to absorb water and release water. Being non toxic and translucent, it can prove to be a great home décor. It is made up of water-absorbing polymer that expands over 400% - such a great way to reduce watering and irrigation frequency for houseplants by providing a reserve supply. Caring for it requires minimal effort. You just have to wash the jellies every 3 to 4 days (ensuring plant has proper moisture) and that’s it.

Even if I won’t be able to beat Jack and his beanstalk, I’m still determined to grow my pink jelly plant and the memories attached to it.

Goodbye Friend (Last 16 Nights)

Every time the year comes to an end, people get overwhelmed with stuffs to accomplish before the 365-day-closing period. This can be translated to multiple parties here and there, shopping madness, holiday leaves, heavy traffic, reunions, and so the list goes on…

But simple as it may seem, there is one thing I never take for granted – my beloved planner.*

Ok I admit it. My happy-go-lucky friends may roll their eyes on me, but yes, I so love planners. In fact I keep various planners in a year – my favorite theocratic planner (helps me manage ministry and theocratic schedule), business planner, and a private online planner (I update from time to time to input milestones in life, which proves to be very useful every time I want to reminisce so I can just toggle on the Search button and find a memorable event in history).

Have you ever felt dramatic as the last week of December approaches, since you know that you have to replace your about-to-get-obsolete planner for the closing year? Your companion since January 1st, the steward of all your secret rendezvous, keepers of memorable notes, and the everyday confidant will now be replaced with a new friend.

If you don’t feel that way, forgive my drama.

If you do, thanks for the empathy, dear.

Anyway, it’s mid-December. Planners of all sizes and shapes are already out in the market.Go ahead, grab one and enjoy the privilege of organizing and managing topsy-turvy life.But of course, don’t be too boxed up in your schedules because you can’t plan everything. Life is full of surprising events. Enjoy the planner but be sure to make some room for the unexpected.

To my 2010 Planner: 16 nights to go.

Monday, December 06, 2010

A Raw Post

110 years of service to the nation.
But wait...
Whatever happened to QA?

Disclaimer: I will still be an avid reader of your paper. ;)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Survivor Mode in Bicol – Caramoan Islands, CWC and the rest of Cam Sur

If you’re the adventurous type, wants to explore virgin islands, plus willing to be a “survivor” in places much isolated from home; then Bicol is the place to go to.

Bicol is the home to Camarines Sur - which houses the becoming-well-renowned Caramoan Islands.

Before, I’ve been told great things about Caramoan. Called the Philippines’ Secret Paradise, the island group in Cam Sur has a lot to be proud of: pristine shores of powdery sand (untouched unlike Bora), crystal-clear waters of teal and indigo, an aesthetically appetizing assortment of marine life and delicacy, an adventurous encounter of mid-sized cliffs and caves, and islands made for you to admire in awe and admiration.

Always game to experience these statements firsthand, we set off for Caramaoan. Boarding a 45-minute plane from Manila to Naga, I was psyched to have the time of my life. You have to undergo a long trek – van ride to the port, an almost three-hour boat ride to Guijalo port, and a 20-minute ride to Julia Villana.

"they finished before the fall of dusk..."

Lahuy Island

Pristine shores

Indulge in a sugar rush experience.


Another boat ride?

Survivor's tribal council

Remember: Always be ready to be carried by local boys on their shoulders whenever you “dock”, because there’s actually no docking point in the so-called ports. Of course, handing over a P5-service fee per head (or more) will make them beam with energy.

Ready, lift!

Caramoan trip is never complete without a visit to these islands:
1.Lahuy Island
2.Sabitang Laya
3.Hunungan Bay
4.Emerald lagoon in Matukad Island
5.Gota Cave

Gota Village

Caramoan isn’t the luxury lounging type of beach I used to, but it’s just what I need – a place that forces me to get under my skin and over myself.


Perfect Cone of Mayon Volcano

On our way back to Naga, we visited CWC. Cam Sur Watersports Complex, the favorite venue for most events, is the perfect place for sports-oriented individuals. If wakeboarding is your thing (or even for those who want to try), then CWC offers the perfect venue. An approximately 20-minute ride from CWC is SM Naga, the place where you can buy pasalubongs.

CWC poolside

To wake board or not?

Just in time for a series of events

As I looked out of the window after boarding the plane, I bid Bicol goodbye with a pang of sadness since I’ll be missing this secret paradise. But somehow, I smiled because here with me is a luggage full of unforgettable memories and adventure.

Northbound Sceneries

Hours away from home, we set off to the north and arrived at one of our destinations – BOLINAO.

Claiming to be Boracay of the North, Bolinao’s strip of land offers numerous resorts and hotels much to the delight and convenience of tourists.

Revisiting Bolinao, this time we went to Puerto del Sol.

Here are some snapshots of the place.

inviting pool

Ready for a relaxing massage?

Dewdrops on the flora

Canoe and sunset


the ultimate jacuzzi experience

Green, green grass of home

We also visited our old friend, the Lighthouse in Patar.

Puerto del Sol could have been a great resort, but the personnel are not so friendly to tourists and I do not suggest swimming in their beachfront during low tide. For those who want to visit Bolinao, I suggest you go to Treasures of Bolinao – perfect sceneries, strategic beachfront location and friendly staff.

Click here to compare with Treasures of Bolinao snapshots during our last visit.

Puerto del Sol's website

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Normi “Heard” It

This is Normi, my 56-year old Bible student who is a true meek.

Despite her poor eyesight, she is an industrious student who prioritizes studying the Bible despite many chores. She selflessly cares for her old mother who cannot walk and she has the initiative to serve their relatives wholeheartedly. A woman with a noble heart, she always beams at me every time she learns something new; and laughs wholeheartedly whenever she forgets last week’s lesson.

But one thing makes her stand out from the rest.

She is hearing-impaired, plus, she is illiterate (is not very familiar with alphabets and numbers).
Since birth, she wasn’t able to enjoy the gift of hearing life’s melodious music. But this doesn’t prevent her from hearing the word of God. She makes every visit to her place a memorable one for she always welcomes visitors and teachers like us with her sweet smile.

Being shy is one of the major traits of a hearing-impaired individual and most deaf run away from people whenever they are given attention. But not Normi. Eagerness to learn is seen in her eyes and she bravely tries her best to mingle with others.

The process of studying with an illiterate hearing-impaired is really quite a challenge. It’s like teaching a 2-year old kid the fundamental ABCs. But the effort is all worth it; for I know that time will come when Normi will reap great fruits of her labor. Soon, she will be able to hear the music of everlasting life in God’s new world.

I look forward to Normi and her family’s blissful condition in the future.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


What is a unique experience in Burgoo; which other restaurants do not have?

It is undeniably proven that Burgoo serves mouth-watering recipes for people of all ages to satisfy their craving palate. But a unique experience in Burgoo is the use of a large sheet of paper as substitute for tablecloth. Also present is a wooden receptacle with crayons so diners can express themselves through sketches, doodles and other works of art while waiting for the food to be served.

The waiter also introduces himself and writes his name on the paper.

Mishi, my niece, revealing her artistic side. :P

What better way to express love... :)

“The Barn” a former resto in Katipunan (infront of Miriam College) also provides this experience.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Camaya Coast

"Life is breathtakingly simple."

Here are some snapshots during our Camaya Coast trip.

Boating exclusively for Camaya.

top view


care for a trek?

cross the stilts

or cross this inflatable moving "bridge"

Feast for a king!

Tying the Knots

When I was younger, I used to see weddings as occasions when you can put on your most elegant dress, enjoy sumptuous food, and dance-your-heart-out with friends and relatives. Weddings gave me a chance to play “he loves me-loves me not” on petals of bridal bouquets, spread icing on my playmate’s face and pose for the cameraman to take snapshots of blissful moments.

I remembered walking down the aisle as a flower girl for less than ten times and as a bridesmaid for more than 5 times. I cherished these moments because back then, I believe that being part of the entourage is a great opportunity to make the wedding-of-a-lifetime successful.

Now, weddings have a deeper impact on me.

The latest wedding I attended was that of my friends, Jason and Haidee; held at Club Balai Isabel, Batangas. Aiming for a dream wedding everyone wants to have, they exchanged their vows after a marvelous sunset and partied the night away with butterflies (literally) also celebrating with the blissful crowd.

sunset ceremony

overjoyed groom and bride

exchange of vows

sumptuous dinner

I see weddings now as a more solemn occasion inspired by love and lifelong commitment.

These are the moments I now cherish during weddings:

Ø bride walking down the aisle with that teary-eyed-with-joy-look in her eyes

Ø groom awaiting his long-waited bride march towards him with a smile of triumph and awe

Ø Parents hysterically parting with their offspring

Ø Exchange of vows ( I listen to every word they said)

Ø Tips and advices of the officiating minister

Yes, I see not just the tangible part of weddings anymore – venue, food and merrymaking. I see the warmth of emotions and commitment. I see the tying of 3 cords – husband, wife and God. I see sacrifice, trust, love and the start of a new chapter in life.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Taming the Tiger in Zoobic Safari

Wildlife adventure awaits you in Zoobic Safari (Subic). For only P449, you can explore the wild on a 3-hour tour plus experience being chased by tigers.

Get a chance to visit the natural habitat of tigers, crocodiles, rodents, and experience how it is to be up close and personal with wildlife and Aetas.

Park is open 8AM to 4PM daily. For more details, you may check the Zoobic Safari website.
Here are some shots of our adventure.

Ready to enter!

You have to pay P50/head for this ride to take you from one section to another.

Be entertained by an animal show featuring dogs, monkeys, etc.

Up close and personal with hungry tigers - Feed them with chicken or let them chase after you!

Get a feel of the Aeta community - their dance, history and culture; plus have pitures taken with them.

Explore other wildlife - serpents, crocodiles, rodents, etc.

To test your courage, have your picture taken with a live "baby" tiger.

So experience the wild, go to Zoobic Safari for adventure. :)

Striking Zambales

Do you want to go out of town and enjoy the beach without travelling too far?

Then Zambales is the place to be.

An almost 2-hour ride from Manila, Zambales offers a venue for relaxation, adventure and bonding with your family.

Sharing with you striking shots taken in Zambales.

Zamba Silhouette

a time for meditation

Sunrise Leap for Joy

Cabalan beach sunset

flora in zambales mountains