Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sailing in Ras al-Khaimah

Another post before the year ends, but this one took place last November (just that too lazy to dig in my files for the pics hehe). This time we went northern part of UAE - Ras al-Khaimah (meaning The Top of the Tent).

Call time was at 730am, met with 3 friends at Rashidiya metro station for an hour ride to RAK. We reached the place 830am, too early for the trip thoug, we stayed awhile enjoying the morning at poolside of Hilton's hotel with the nice view of Arabian sea.

Come 9am, we boarded for the sail, and guess what our ride looks like:

We're served with a sumptous breakfast of eggs, fish bernard fillet and fruits, plus overflowing Arabian coffee. But too bad they haven't stayed much time on my stomach as an hour after consuming them, i got sea motion sickness :-(

Hours passed and as I got used on the motion of the boat, we've anchored 22 meter-deep part of the sea and swim. Much glad to enjoy the sea altogether but a friend did'n't joined us as she hadn't got over the motion sickness and slept all throughout the whole sailing trip instead :-(

Sailing the whole day then was not too bad, as i enjoyed the view of nearby islands and other sailers passing by. It got me at pace with the calm view, the good sun on my skin that makes me warm despite the gushy wind, I rekindle childhood memories of the beaches I've been too back home with my family, I wish they're with me that time.

I was supposed to join friends to try scuba diving but my anxiety attack of deep waters didn't subsided then, just then contented on watching them over the boat.

Nearby islands of Rotana:

Went back to coast at 530pm, tired of the day's event but happy. We grabbed a bite at the town's mall and have coffee as well. Driving back, gazing around the Emirates road, friends are yet planning again for a trip come January, a desert-camping perhaps? Naah.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I Heart Julia

For a friend who loves catchy lines, here's something for her from the movies of my favorite actress Julia Roberts. I hope to brighten up a piece of your day Belle :-)

Vivian: You're late.
Edward Lewis: You're stunning.
Vivian: You're forgiven
(Pretty Woman)

Ed Masry: What makes you think you can just walk in there and take whatever you want?
Erin Brockovich: They're called boobs, Ed.
(Erin Brockovich)

Anna Scott: After all... I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.
(Notting Hill)

George Downes: When you kissed Michael did he kiss you back?
Julianne Potter: What do you mean? We were lip to lip.

George Downes: Maybe there won't be marriage, maybe there won't be sex, but by God there'll be dancing!
(My Best Friend's Wedding)

Isabel: You look tired.
Jackie Harrison: I hate when people say that. It's like a polite way of telling you that you look like shit.

Danny Ocean: Do I look 50 to you?
Basher Tarr: Yeah.
Danny Ocean: Really?
Basher Tarr: Well, I mean, you know, only from the neck up.
(Ocean's Twelve)

Lee: And if you're in love, you should just go for it... The way you went for this breakfast.

(America's Sweetheart)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Justice for the Victims of Ampatuan Massacre

Just got a doze of news from the Philippines, few headlines made me furious. No, not the Manny Pacquiao-Krista Ranillo affair. But the massacre of 57 people in Maguindanao due to political rivalry, victims are mostly women and journalists. Just how dirty politics in the Philippines are, people are willing to kill people just to be on top, as the alleged suspect behind the massacre is no other than the reigning Mayor of Ampatuan. The victims are supporters and family members of Vice Mayor of Buluan, Toto Mangudadatu, about to file his candidacy for a governatorial seat in the 2010 elections. Maguindanao, one of the province in ARMM (autonomous region of Muslim Mindanao), was known to be ruled by a political dynasty of Ampatuans. The reigning governor is Datu Andal Ampatuan Sr., a known ally of PGMA, grooming his son, to take over his seat in 2010. It disturbs me a lot to know it was planned long before the act, as graves were known ready made beforehand. Some victims are found raped, beheaded and some even tortured to death. Such heartless acts only monsters and demons could do, I pray for equal justice for the vitims, whoever the perpetrators are, time and destiny will condem your deeds and Karma will go next.

Arz Lebanon in Jumeirah

Been a week since I arrived here in Dubai, but still everything seems new. Thanks to newfound and old friends, I'm coping up. Haven't got much difficulty moving around, the place I'm staying in right now (Al Barsha) is peaceful and safe, taxis and buses are very accessible to our flat. And to start up, what could be better getting through into new place than trying out their cuisine? Dubai is the melting pot of Middle Eastern cuisines, as within the metro, restaurants keep popping out to cater the ever growing population of expats and locals. For the first restaurant review, Middle Eastern section, we went Lebanese: Arz Lebanon.

Arz Lebanon is a chain of restaurants within Dubai. While scouting for a flat along Jumeirah, we got a chance to dine there since I'm requesting them to have a local cuisine for lunch. The Jumeirah branch is a two-storey restaurant, with family rooms on the second floor where arabic music was played live. We opted to have seats outside the restaurant, enjoying the Jumeirah view and since its November, cool wind breeze even at midday can be felt in Dubai.
For a start, we're served with a complimentary appetizer of pickled olives and peppers. However, I'm not a fan of pickles eaten raw, I rather have them mixed with sauces or other dishes, so I left my piece untouched. Then came our order of mixed Arabian dips (45Aed), served with Arabian bread, on which I can only tag Hummus as one of them. I forgot to ask the waiter the names of each of the dips, but I like them, not as spicy as what I expect.

the pickled ones...

an Arab bread, looks filled up, but deceivingly airy inside.

the mixed platter of dips, goes well with the bread.
For the main course, as what you expect us to order, we had mixed Kebab (36AED), chicken biryani (32AED), and grilled fish fillet (48AED).

mixed platter of Kebabs
Chicken Biryani, my new rice favorite.

Grilled fish fillet with tartar sauce.

All in, our orders could feed a group of 4-5, but us 3 managed to finished them all since we haven't got breakfast that time. Service is good as they are attentive on to every customers. I rate them a 9 for an overall dining experience. Definitely worth of a second visit. :-)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Emerald Garden Restaurant - not your Jewel in Manila

Back on my restaurant review. No matter how poor a review is, a publicity is still a publicity. As much as possible, I dont want to post a negative post, but B requested an item on this one. We had a not-so-pleasant dining experience in this particular restaurant.

Last Nov 13, we've decided to have our lunch in Emerald Garden Restaurant (along Roxas Blvd, Ermita, Manila), as I'm craving for Chinese cuisine then, and the place is near the ticketing office for my next week flight. Getting inside the establishment, the 80's era of a typical old Chinese restaurant of plain wall paint and aluminum chairs. Since we're not hefty diners, we've decided to minimize our orders to fried spare ribs, sweet & sour fish fillet and Yang chow fried rice. For the drinks we ordered iced tea.

Orders arrived after some time. The fried rice is nice, consisting of generous cuts of fried egg, veggies, chinese sausage and meat. We find the the fried spare ribs more salty, and the fish fillet more sweeter than the usual. We find the staff so unattentive of our needs, as B needs to wave and call them repeatedly for their attention for a glass of water they failed to provide in the first place. We got billed for the iced tea that was never served. We left the place unsatisfied and will never return again, we cant help thinking maybe the reason for these was that we are not their valuable client, as we observe some customers orders more than what we have, thus billed more of course. Some customers are observed in high end clothes compare to us in just plain casual shirts that might give them an idea we're not generous tippers, hence the "dedma" effect...But a customer is still a customer regardless of the bill...I give them thumbs down for poor customer service... :-(

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

God sent me an Angel again :-)

I'm in HK airport while working on this one, pardon the draft look. I've never been so thankful on Filipinos around the world helping each other especially abroad. I'm bound to Dubai in 30 minutes from now for another project. Its my first time in the Middle East, and still had no idea on everything (from accomodations, transportation, etc). A good-hearted former colleague offered their flat for sometime until I was able to find one for myself, plus she'll be fetching me at the airport. Talk about convenience. I'd be forever grateful for people like her, and will be glad helping her spread the compassion virus :-)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Indulgence 101 - Soothing Massage

Am so excited over the coming weekend. A college friend just came back from work abroad, and as practiced, get together was set for a day of catching up on each other's lives. This time, we'll be having another eating-out session but I encouraged them to try also one of my indulgence and will be forever part of my life routine ever since Day 1 I've discovered it - a trip to the spa.
I'm a self-confessed nerve-wrecked every after project. Perhaps it comes up with age, as I don't get used on constant pressures and stress as I used to be. Getting through a week or two of sleepless night projects, I see to it I get my well deserve reward for a work done. I de-stress myself on a soothing massage. Its my 1-hour escape from the busy world. Just how addicting holistic massage can be more ever when you discover not just how good it feels afterwards but also its health benefits.

(Taken from Libratherapeutics)

Regular massage can, in the long-term:
1. Improve nerve communication and relax the nervous system to alleviate anxiety
2. Improve muscle suppleness
3. Improve circulation
4. Boost the immune system
5. Lower high blood pressure
6. Assist the digestive system to operate in a more efficient manner
7. Improve skin elasticity
This is by no means an exhaustive list, and there are other physiological effects of massage, for example:
1. Massage can help to improve skin tone and colour
2. Massage can reduce localised swelling by encouraging better lymph drainage
3. Relieve muscle fatigue caused by exercise or heavy physical work
4. Improve articulation of stiff joints
5. Promote general relaxation
6. Encourage sleep, helps insomnia
There are also psychological effects of massage. Massage is a wonderful antidote to stress. Stress is of course well known for its dangers, but even in its mildest forms can have a draining effect.

During the course of the massage the effects of stress can be alleviated in a number of ways:
1. Massage releases endorphins - natural painkilling and uplifting hormones
2. It stimulates the part of the nervous system that slows the body down, encourages deeper more relaxed breathing, slower heart beat and restart sluggish digestion
3. It stimulates the immune system which can be weakened by constant stress
4. It can help address depression and low self-esteem by producing a feeling of well-being and hence improved self-worth
5. It stimulates the body’s natural repair work at the lowest (cellular) level

Muscle tension
Massage can relieve many types of muscle tension. Without realising, many of us habitually clench our teeth or sit hunched leading to tense muscles. The appropriate massage technique works to release tension by working directly on the muscles, whilst other techniques work indirectly by affecting the nervous system to allow the muscles to relax.

Muscle fatigue
Vigorous exercise or sustained physical work both create a build up of waste toxins in your muscles which leave you feeling tired and sore. Massage increases circulation, removing the waste and bringing in healing nutrients.
Massage can help the healing process in injuries such as tendonitis, as well as ligament sprains or muscle strains. Massage reduces inflammation through increased circulation to the affected area, removing waste products and brings nutrients to injured cells. Certain massage techniques can limit the formation of scar tissue in new injuries and can help to increase flexibility in scar tissue from older injuries.
It goes without saying that you should only consult an appropriately qualified practitioner.

If you are suffering from high blood pressure but are not presently taking medicine for it, consult with your physician before attempting medical massage therapy, due to the fact that massages work to raise the blood flow--which could potentially result in severe problems, such as the distension of the blood vessel walls and severe bleeding in the case of an accident.

As for me, on every after a massage, I feel light and refreshed, or should I say my perspectives are back on the normal good view point. So why not reward thyself of a soothing moment after a hard day's work. Trip to the spa doesn't always costs you much nowadays, I frequent a salon near our home that offers a massage for just Php300, but the services are fine for me. Try to find one that suits your budget, and I bet you will never be the same old negative ion again.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Who doesn't Wants to be a Millionaire?

So exhausted from work, got a project the whole night I've been working at. Thank God we've finished one. On my line of work, some of the tasks are usually done at night, as not to affect much of the services our client provides to their customers. I remembered while still in Colombia, one instance while on a travel back home from site due to work finished late at night. I'm on a near sleep on the car seat that time, when suddenly, out of silence, a colleague brought out a statement (maybe out of exhaustion from work) that made me awake and got me thinking.

"why money was invented after all...."

I joked back. I said, "Well, we're luckier today, at least you don't have to pay a sack of rice or wheat for a burger."

We're in the times of convenience. Before, when paper money was still unknown, people learnt to trade in order to meet their demands. On our history books when people trade just about anything for a change of their goods - farm animals, gold, hand-woven clothes and even their slaves. Life is simpler then, but too heavy for me. Simpler, for you only have to meet basic demands of your family to survive - food and a shelter. But times change, and people change. Its not enough for today you bring home a bread for dinner, or build a home for the kids & the wife. You have to keep on track of the fast phase. Today, you get a job based on your skills and could earn more. You can start paying for a car, have your house renovated, and buy things that pleases you.But it doesn't stops there, it makes you want more. Though Life is easier now but much more complicated, different needs are constantly piling up, majority of them caused by money. We keep on working longer hours than required to earn more. And even work away as far as half of the globe for same reason. I can't blame my friend for his sentiments, but neither I couldn't complain of the present situation today, for I chose to stay on the rat race.And it's all because of money.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Leaving for Awhile, and I promise to be Back

Just got a new job, new challenges to face. I'm having jitters right now; it’s like the first time I left Ph for work. This will be my third assignment out of the country, but now, I got it with a burden in my heart. As soon as I received my contract, mixed emotions came pouring in. I'm glad for being selected despite numerous CVs around with same competency and could even be more of an expert than Iám, and so thankful to God for giving me another chance to prove myself of the things I could do better. He did answer my prayer. But at the same moment, I got sad for leaving again.

I'll miss people at home.

It is our nature on keeping wanting more than what we needed. On a reality check, we really never get contented. We kept on wishing for things on different reasons, be it for your own goals, for your family's future or simply out of your previous work's boredom. You earn more, and spend more. You thought your work does not appropriate you, and keep on wishing for a task you might find yourself better fit into. As for me, I gave up my former job due to financial lures on working abroad, but have to pay the price though - working far away from my loved ones. I may be well compensated, and a chance of living in another country is not possible, but isn't my family at home is the reason for all of these in the first place? So I set myself a limit, and be sure to be with my family every after a contract, for its not forever I'll be with them. It may lose me a few months’ salary, but spending moments with them is priceless, and being able to do things for them personally is incomparable. I may have some idle moments that I yearn to work again, and my prayers didn't fail me. And true, work does come in to people who strive to find them. God do provide you what you basically need, one at a time.

My heart will be heavy until I leave in two weeks, but am hopeful that it will only be for awhile. Until I see their smiles and be able to touch them again. Dear Lord, please help me to get through.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Get a Chance to Win Ugg Boots

Sure, i won't be able to wear them here in Tropical Philippines but sure is handy on my next travel to *tweet*tweet* ^_^.

Bloggers get a chance to win a pair of Ugg boots by simply reposting their badge on your page.

So wish me luck.

Here's on how to join:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

On Ugly Yubin

Another hate remark from an earthling like us:

I pity her, she seems afflicted with ADHD syndrome. Maybe she'll realize her mistakes later on. Yubin, you are not ugly, you're damn ugliest! Laughing over someone else's misfortunes is rude, I hope it'll not go back on you harder.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Whatever We Imagine by James Ingram

Don't be afraid
I can meet you half way
We cant always know
Where the road ends up
But with some luck I know we can go
Where-ever we imagine
Why should we wait
Later on maybe too late
Cause where can we run
When you see there's half a chance
That we might really become
Whatever we imagine
And I imagine you and me
Just taking shots at what we see
And if we falter
Take away the dust
And just outlast them all
You ought to see
All your heroes in me
But if we get wise
We can break the walls we make
And you can see in my eyes
Whatever we imagine
And I imagine you and me
Just taking shots at what we see
So let the walls go down
And we can try it again
Cause nobody can stop us now
Dont be afraid
Cause I'll meet you half way
You're not far behind
If we climb this hill
I know there's still a chance we can find
Whatever we imagine in our life
We can make it there baby
Ohhh, Whatever we imagine
Dont you see baby
It's all in our minds
I'll meet you halfway
Whatever we imagine (faded)
I'm on roller coaster ride of emotions these days, and found this song for a refuge. Just how soon is so soon? Isn't it ironic on things that what we've been wishing all this time but find them just too much once it's recieved? I'm happy for a new challenge coming in but why feeling sad on leaving again?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

No Smoking Please

I've always been against smoking. I hate the smell of nicotine, the smoke scent clinging on my hair and clothes once you're exposed to it. You might find me drinking wine occasionally, but you'll never catch me smoking. So what must a tobacco-hater like me to do about it? Stay away from a smoker, that is. Easier said than done, especially when you're left with no choice but to be with them.

I'm deeply concerned on children living with smoking parents, as kids could inhale the second-hand smoke. Its like smoking first hand, with the effects as much as lethal. On an instance when I happened to ride on a public transportation, sitting next with a guy carrying a child on one hand, and holding a cigar on the other. I'm not a parent yet, but I guess, any normal adult know that children exposed to smoke could alter their development, physically and mentally. Children look up on their parents as someone they could be like on times they're developing awareness around their environment. See a father hurting people, and more probably, expect his child to be a batterer as well. Moreso on smoking, as children could develop the habit, turning themselves into the same addiction their parents have been to.

Some got into the habit through peer pressure. I knew someone who's been into a group who smoke during their break from work. She eventually turn herself into smoking for blending in. I always ask her to stop, and will never stop nagging. Would you let your loved ones keep hurting themselves?

I want to help people stop smoking. Everyone else know there's nothing good in this habit. Some did realized it later and had been successful on quitting, but some just got in late. Just like my father. He succumbed to a sickness caused by almost 2 decades of smoking. Though none of my siblings smoke, isn't it bad enough to lose someone so soon? I tried a stick once, but thank God it didn't turn out fine, I choked bad on first puff.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Reposting a Cool Quote

Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she'll give you a baby. If you give her a house, she'll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit.
(Author Unknown)

Enough Said.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

My Vote for a Change

Amidst the devastating typhoon our beloved Philippines has endured, there is still hope despite of it all. As people all join hands in sharing everything and providing relief donations in any kind, the spirit of Bayanihan lives on. I'm glad a Filipino made it to the 2009 CNN's Top Ten Heroes, setting another example of nothing too small of a help that can uplift lives of others especially on our future generations - the Filipino kids.

His name is Efren Peñaflorida, Jr. A once an out-of-school youth and later became a school teacher despite of poverty, now extending his hands on unfortunate kids through his "Kariton Classrooms". He established the group Dynamic Teen Company, an organization he started out since he's sixteen, and now a 10,000 member group on a goal of getting poor kids into studying as a tool for progress, by providing free tutorials on basic reading and writing.
Let's help Efren made it to CNN Real Heroes award by voting online, and let everybody know, Change is really Possible. Click here to vote:
You might want to see the videos of him featured on CNN:
God bless your unselfish heart Efren! Winner ka! ^_^

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Two Reasons to Love Malabon

What comes first into your mind when you think of Malabon? Flood. Yep, it is forever a part of the city. But on foodie people like me, Malabon has a share of fame for authentic Pinoy cuisine.

My brother and his family will be visiting us tomorrow and Atcha wants me to buy something they'll take home with. This is sort of a practice in our family, that on every visit, a take-home goodie was always present. So I went to Concepcion, Malabon to buy some Dolor's Sapin Sapin and Quekiam...
I didn't know any Kakanin as good as Dolor's, with their famous native dessert Sapin-Sapin (layer pie made of pasty rice flour, cooked with coconut milk, eggs and milk). Just recently they opened branches in SM malls (Megamall, North Edsa, Sucat, Southmall, Sta. Mesa, Fairview, Manila) and one in Trinoma foodcourt, a good move on catering their ever growing fans of their products from all over the Metro. Not only they sell Sapin-sapin but also on variety of rice cakes, kutsinta, halayang ube, the ever famous Pansit Malabon and others (I heard they're into commercial baking also of pastries). Shelf life is 2-3 days in a ref, but I bet this one won't take long in the fridge once you've tasted it, harharhar!

Very rarely you'll encounter in your near grocery stall this type of Quekiam that is common in markets of Malabon. These are good to eat with the sweet and sour garlic sauce. For the know, Quekiam is a Chinese dish, consisting of ground pork or shrimp and vegetables, wrapped in bean curd, fried to a golden brown. I'm a rice lover so I'd like to have this with yang chow rice, měi wèi de!

You think how lucky our visitors will be on having them? I got envy though, so I bought mine as well ;o).

Monday, October 5, 2009

My Mood on a Full Swing

Feeling dull today. Gloomy just like the skies, as the weather is still unpredictable as well as my mood since I viewed my account this morning and saw my bloody red portfolio on my share holdings. Damn.
Later that day, I was supposed to go outside and meet someone for dinner, but changed my mind in an instant, i cleaned my room instead. Its always been a outlet for me to sweat out my annoyed soul. The conversation that started as a simple text message ended up into heated banter again. Just that I realized again for the nth time, what made me a monster today?
Could I blame it on my PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome) since yesterday? The intolerable pain on my lower torso, that's been slaving me to Ibupropen for the past 2 decades of my life? Plus the perks of headache, nausiness and acidity associated with it.

Or could it be on the down shares I availed recently? This morning, it was jockeyed lower into all other holder's terror. Too late for me to cut loss then. One holding that's been added again on my lists for a longer term harvest.Talk about patience, tsk tsk.

Or, just things didn't went out as what I expect? There has been arguments again between me and him. As oppose to what "some" friends and family members see me as a normal girl, B really brought out the better, sweeter and also the monster of me. Our heated discussion went again from a simple catching on a day's work to the nth time of topics on prioritizing things. Brought out on a norm living, sorrounded by good-natured friends, developed my attitude of expecting things as they are planned on. I'm currently into a relationship testing the waters of endurance, patience, understanding and acceptance. He's still a different person and has been like that before we even met. I'm still on the amateur part despite the 5year term, perhaps to stitch the seventh year line? Until when will I learn to accept, and until when He'll understand?

Let's see on what painkillers and the market movements can do tomorrow. Should the typhoon winds change direction heading to calm, so is my agitated mood to relax. Care for a mood management with me?

Friday, October 2, 2009

This One's to a Rose

To the woman who smell the sweetest scent, whose the most beautiful creature God has given on earth, whose smiles can take away pains of wounds, whose hands can heal and soften a heart, who cooks the best dishes, whose face a morning angel, whose name the heart always calls upon...Nanay, Happy Birthday. Though you're not with us anymore, it will take a lifetime to cherish you.

Keeping Yourself Busy

Found yourself alone? There's this time in your single life when you just feel away on empty space. On my case that since I've quit my full time job for seasonal projects, there's been some difficulty meeting up my boyfiend, friends and relatives who do their regular 9-5 shifts or simply occupied with their own family. On most days that I have my free time, that's also the days I'm most alone. Also on friends with grown-up kids with a world of their own at school, being left at an empty nest didn't mean full isolation, but a chance to rediscover oneself and make use of it. I'm not ms. List for nothing so here's my own list to shoo away boredom from you.

1. Develop a hobby you've been yearning to do. I'm a frustrated writer back my younger years, my catch on English has noticeably been dwindling due to my previous work abroad and mingling with locals (hence, learning their native language as well). Aside from outpouring my thoughts and emotions, what a way to have a grip of practice on English since I can't speak them here at home.

2. Join an organization/group at your place. Be it on environmental concerns or a sports team, its also a way of getting to know more of your next-door neighbor who shares same passion as you do.

3. Volunteer Work. This one your extra time do mean a lot to other people you've helped up. Recent calamities that needed extra hands for repacking relief goods, or help building a shelter for homeless families, the lists of volunteer work are endless.

4. Travel. Find this one too expensive? Not at all if you plan ahead of time, you can save a lot booking your flights on early reservation promos the airlines offer, and do your research on hotels/inns that offer cheap thrills for budget-conscious traveller. This one is better if you join a backpacking club.

5. Visiting old folks. Rekindling family ties by simply dropping by your old relatives house will do good on your old folks health.

6. Redecorating your home.

7. Study. Life is like an endless pages of a book just awaiting to be explored, be it on religious aspect or on practical things you want to get on through, like being a Chef, its always nice to learn anew.

8. Get yourself a make over. Before when the only luxury my hair gets is a comb, I've got more time to fix it and get on hot oils. Due to time demands I had from my regular job that a quick shower is enough, I began to develop some "me" time during bath, with the luxury of time on my hands. Trips to the spa now is possible for a soothing massage i tend to include on my bi-monthly routine. I cannot tell until when "Me" time will last but I do get a grab of it while its mine, until some of my Life list is accomplished (like having a partner or a child, or getting into work again).

I have these options working on me, I hope it goes well with you also. :-)

Monday, September 28, 2009

My own Life List

I've always been wanting to publish my Life list. Reason was that some of them couldn't be simply done alone, much better having someone to accomplish them and share them. :-) We only have a one precious lifetime, so I want to fulfill all of them as much as possible.

1. Donating my blood (done, but was transformed into a Life pledge, as I plan on letting out every year).

2. Travel 2 days on a row by plane (done).
3. Visit Taj Mahal.
4. Visit Macchu Picchu (done)
5. Visit Great Pyramids of Egypt.
6. Roam around Europe.
7. Ride on an old train (done)

8. Backpacking in the Philippines.
10. Bungee jumping
11. Scuba diving
12. Ziplining.

13. Having a blog with hundred hits daily. :-)

14. Do good on stock trading. (started, but currently in bad portfolio)
15. Master the forex trading.

16. To be a chef.
17. To bake 3 tier wedding cake.
18. Provide my old folks their well-deserve break.
19. Own a car.

20. Settling down with the man of my dreams.
21. Bearing a child.
22. Adopt a less fortunate kid.
23. To help out a relative finish school.
24. Own a beach front property.
25. Swim with the dolphins.
26. Learn the art of quiltting.
27. Learn the art of pottery making.
28. Having a tattoo on my left arm.

29. Support causes for children and women's welfare.

I hope to finish them all. :-)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

We Need Your Help

We live in Navotas, a city known for frequent high tides, but we are thankful to the Lord we are spared in a calamity that strucked Metro Manila. It rained hard yesterday, and water did leaked on the first floor of our house. By 6pm the time the rain subsided, so did the tide. We finished cleaning by 730pm. My sisters' in Malabon had their appliances moved up to the second floor for the water keeps on rising on the first storey of their house, with electricity and water supply also cut by authorities to prevent further damages and contamination, caused miscomfort for 2 days, but still little fortunate so to speak, because our fellow countrymen's houses in other municipalities were not spared, and even caused tragedies to some.

Yesterday, September 26th, NCR & Northern Luzon were hit by tropical storm Ondoy (international name: Ketsana) and caused the far most devastating flood since 20 years ago. State of calamity was declared and people on certain cities are forced to flee their homes as water rises continuously submerging everything from cars, homes and even hospitals.

Here's a sample video of the tragedy:

Though the storm subsided, and is now noted leaving Philippines area of responsbility, people from affected cities are still in despair since most of them are displaced and currently staying in evacuation centers. Help in any kind are needed, and we're appealing on your generosity for this one.

Ways to donate:

Monetary Donations


Please send cash or check donations to the PNRC National Headquarters in Manila. Checks should be made payable to The Philippine National Red Cross. We can also arrange for donation pick-up.

Account Name: The Phil. Nat’l. Red Cross

METROBANK Port Area Branch
Peso Acct.: 151-3-041-63122-8
Dollar Acct.: 151-2-151-00218-2
Type of Acct. : SAVINGS
Swift Code: MBTC PH MM

Peso Acct.: 4991-0010-99
Type of Account: CURRENT
Dollar Acct.: 8114-0030-94
Type of Account: SAVINGS
Swift Code: BOPI PH MM

For your donations to be properly acknowledged, please fax the bank transaction slip at nos. +63.2.527.0575 or +63.2.404.0979 with your name, address and contact number.

Credit Card
Please fax the following info to +632.404.09.79 and +632.527.0575:
Name of card member, billing address, contact nos. (phone & mobile), credit card no., expiration date, CCV2/ CVC2 (last three digits at the back of the credit card), billing address, amount to be donated.

For online donations you may also visit our website at .

In-Kind Donations
Please send in-kind local donations to The Philippine National Red Cross – National Headquarters in Manila. We could also arrange for donation pick-up.

Send a letter of intent to donate to the PNRC
A letter of acceptance from PNRC shall be sent back to the donor
Immediately after shipping the goods, please send the

(a) original Deed of Donation,

(b) copy of packing list and

(c) original Airway Bill for air shipments or Bill of Lading for sea shipments to The Philippine National Red Cross–National Headquarters c/o Secretary General Corazon Alma de Leon, Bonifacio Drive, Port Area, Manila 2803, Philippines.

The PNRC does not accept rotten, damaged, expired or decayed goods. Though we appreciate your generosity, the PNRC also discourages donations of old clothes as we have more than enough to go around.

SMS and G-CASH (Globe) SMS text REDAMOUNT to 2899 (Globe) or 4483 (Smart)

Most urgent needs
Food items: Rice, noodles, canned goods, sugar, iodized salt, cooking oil, monggo beans and potable waterMedicines: Paracetamol, antibiotics, analgesic, oral rehydration salts, multivitamins and medications to treat diarrheal diseases

Non-food items: Bath soaps, face towels, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, plastic mats, blankets, mosquito nets, jerry cans, water containers, water purification tablets, plastic sheetings, and Laundry soap

Rehabilitation Programs: Shelter materials for house repair
Call Hotline 143 or 527.0000

Let's be a blessing to others.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Vegetarian Chicharon Anyone?

Pardon me for another post about food, but this one is what me & Atcha has been raving about since we first tasted it. And its the only junk food I allowed Atcha to have since she's watching her weight and been limiting herself to fish and veggies.

Who doesn't love chicharon? Before, you'd be having second thoughts on consuming one especially with freaking weight watchers. In the Philippines, its usually a pig or chicken skin deep fried to perfection. Best eaten with vinegar, bagoong, liver sauce or atchara (pickled papaya), I even love chicharon with rice. And it goes well with beer, soda or juice and considered staple in your next-door "inuman" session. However, it does give its fair share of calories you wouldn't want to indulge on. Studies say "its found that a half-ounce serving (about a handful) of rinds has 80 calories, 9 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat. That is more protein and less fat than in a half-ounce of shelled peanuts. Rinds are not loaded with cholesterol, coming in at less than 20 milligrams a half-ounce, as against 200 milligrams in an egg ."

Not until we found this local variant of chicharon that's not made of pork, its made of veggies (got the solo pack for Php4, the bigger one in Php16). You wouldn't notice you're eating dried green peas unless you read its ingredients. It does tastes like the real thing without the dreaded fat. Just watched out on its sodium content, for every 26g solo pack serving (0.92 oz) you got 230mg. Hence with everything in this world, get this one with moderation.

And so, my fave list just got longer...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Makansutra Asian Food Village

I'm a self-confessed foodie. Ask me a topic you want me to discuss all day long, its food! As I grow older, my mind inevitably revolves around it. With all the places I've been, its their local cuisine a must try for me or else my tour would be incomplete. And mind you, how adventurous my palate is, I'd be willing to risk a Hepatitis or Gastritis for my stomach to savor a local delicacy. For my first post of a resto/food review, its Makansutra Asian Food Village. The foodcourt was owned by KF Seetoh, founder/author of Singapore food bible Makansutra (its a Bahasa term for Eating (Makan) and Guide (Sutra).) It's not a fine-dine in type of resto, but of stalls catering Singaporean, Malaysia, Indonesian, Philippine, Thailand and Chinese cuisines. I'm an avid fan of asian dishes, I consider them melting pot of all the flavors you'd be wanting in your plate.

Interior of the place, its of mixed Chinese and Spanish furnitures. Theme of the place is the hawker concept.

Here's another shot of the hawker stalls. Food are surprisingly cheap compared to other restaurants.

For the entree, we ordered siomai (Php40, 4 pcs). BF Bong ordered Onion & Ginger Fish Fillet (Php130). Since I've been to Singapore and have eaten in their local hawker center, I ordered their national cuisine Hainan Chicken Rice (photo inset. Php90).BF's verdict on his fish dish is 5/10, since he's more of a salty eater, and he said he find his dish a little bland :-(. My verdict of the Hainan Chicken Rice? Its 7/10, btw the taste of this dish matches our local Tinola, minus the soup. The dish does resemble the one I've had in Singapore, just that I wish the condiments we're more generous. The rates we had on said dish doesn't represent the whole menu though.By the way, we'll do a second visit to the place to try Laksa & other dishes (maybe going Thailand cuisine next?). Overall experience is a nice one because hawker concept place is not common while you're in Manila.
How to get there: Makansutra is in the Mall's second floor of Manila Ocean Park, entrance fee not required. MOP is located behind Quirino Grandstand, Luneta, Manila. Opens 11am-9pm daily.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Yes, I'm Single and Fabulous.

Yesterday, bumped into a friend from highschool and she invited me to join the rest of our former classmates to play badminton on weekends. Before, I'm an antisocial psychopat. I've been dreading on reunions like these. Not that we don't have a nice experience before during highschool, but on one common question i always encounter during meet-ups:

"Are you still single?"

Yes, and those former classmates of mine are all married, with kids. Such question is expected for i'm just 3 months away from being 3-0, and they're quite aware i'm into a long time relationship. Since I'm currently in the Philippines, being single and in a relationship at 30 bothers people around me. Its a norm to our society for people of legal age to be married, except for priests and nuns. Especially at weddings, getting ridiculed is normal, as they would always tell me I'm next to get married. As if not so rude enough to give them back the same joke during funerals, I'll be doomed.

Not all people understand staying single is a choice, and some on a noble reason. For instance is my Aunt, who nursed for our grandparents until their dawn. She also took care us when we got orphaned. Wasn't she any better than a married mother who left her children on the street dying of hunger? That's what other people didn't see. We also have relatives that got married to wrong people just resulted to infidelity and violence at home. Being single is a matter of being responsible and fair to your future offspring not to give them a life they dont deserve.

However, for me, I'm not on staying single forever. Its just that, me and my BF are not into a hurry. We don't bother on a single piece of paper, but on the love that prevails even after countless years. I simply can't get tied down just mainly because everybody else is into it, marriage is sacred and it does takes two to tango. And yes, I understand I have a biological clock to run after for bearing a kid, but it's definitely not a primary reason for me to tie a knot, for I dont mind adopting one. For now, I'm enjoying sleeping and waking up late, without getting on toe every minute for the baby and the piled laundry, for that would be another chapter.

They Build.Design.Renovate

will post some samples of his portfolio when i get some. Here's his calling card for your housing needs (construction, exterior & interior renovation) and very affordable. Should you need a very good contractor, he's just an email or sms away.

MMDA's Trip Tracker

This information is handy for abusive drivers that I guess will be rampant for the coming "bonus" season.

I-text sa MMDA Trip Tracker

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

To My Favorite Doraemon

Who wouldn't love Doraemon? A japanese manga series of a robot cat who travelled back in time to help a schoolboy named Nobita on his misfortunes to alter his future. Shown in free channel and translated in our local language, its stories tackle and teach lessons of humility, respect for elders, young love, friendship and enviromental concerns. Its light and funny, and you don't have to worry on the kid watching it for it does not show any violence. And it does keep me amazed how a simple cartoon like this one does have life's quotes.I'm reposting my favorites:

"Walang mangyayari sa'yo kung uupo ka lang dyan at iiyak!!"

"Wag ka ng mag-isip at bigyan ng dahilan ang isip mo para isipin siya. Masaya ang mundo kaya mabuhay ka ng masaya."

“Hindi porke kaya mong gawin ang isang bagay ay dapat mo nang gawin.”

"Hindi mo kailangang magkaroon ng special powers para magkaroon ng kaibigan!"

“Mahirap maging matanda. Wala nang mas matanda na titingin sa’yo.”

“Huwag mong ipakitang malungkot ka sa ibang tao kung wala kang balak mag-share ng problema. Para kang nag-alok ng hopia pero hindi mo naman ibibigay.”

“Hindi mo dapat iyakan ang nakaraan. Isipin mo, bakit nasa harap ang mata? Ito ay para lagi mong nakikita ang hinaharap.”
Nobita: Bakit maski isipin ko na kaya ko gawin ito, di ko pa rin makaya?
Doraemon: Simple lang yan! Kasi iniisip mo lang, hindi ka naniniwala.!

"Ang talagang makakapagpasaya sa atin ay yung taong naging dahilan kung bakit tayo nalungkot."

Im on my Feet now

Passing by a shoe store and looking at those nice, slim-stringed sandals make me stop with amazement. Being a normal girl with love on shoes (and bags, and clothes, and jewelries, hehe), I just couldn't stay away from finding myself a perfect sandals to get along with, especially on casual walks on the malls. I mean, who wouldn't just love complimenting your nice fitting jeans and shirts with a perfect pair of shoes. But I stayed away on buying those oh-so-nice sandals. Overpriced? No. Its my feet who bother me the most!

I'm a type of person who always think of other people's thoughts on my looks. Reason for my so plain looking style is that I always on caution and a bit uncomfortable standing out in terms of dressing up. Also, its my poor feet who's a culprit for that. My toes are so slim and boney, and callous seems a forever attached to it, no matter how I moisturize them everyday. Enlarged veins did cover up the rest. Its emotionally unacceptable for me to disgrace a very lovely open toe sandals by wearing them.

But those feet of mine that went all with me through all my hardships and struggles. I remembered back in high school that I used up all my money paying for copies of a book I needed for a project, and I walked home for an hour from the library so as to avoid embarrasment for not paying jeepney fare. I recall wearing ill fitting shoes because we don't have enough money to buy a new pair. Its my feet who did helped me land my dream job by walking around the metropolis passing my CV onto every company, being able to go around the house helping my aunt. They've been with me when I travelled Indonesia, Singapore, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador, and will definitely take me someday to my dream countries Turkey and France.That's a lot to be thankful for. And we'll surely have a long way to go.

Yes, Iám indeed greatful for my feet but still embarrased to wear sandals or go barefoot in a beach. Though not all people care on how your feet looks like in a sandal, it wouldn't hurt selecting a footwear that's not exposing all of your feet. Choose best fitting shoes, just as how you choose a dress. But see to it your nails are well trimmed and cleaned beforehand. Moisturize it daily and give them a nice scrub during bath, it does work gradually. However, Iám still a mile away on my dream footwear, but I learned to accept my feet as they are, and I'm just so freaking paranoid.