Sunday Poem and Photograph: Hello July

Hello July!

You surprised me with your coming.

Did June say goodbye?

I didn't even notice it left.

Please tell August to knock before entering

So I can welcome it with a smile. 

By: Balut Manila on waking up on a cold July morning in 2012


Versatile Blogger Award

I was innocently blog hopping when I came across this post from Joanne's Blog and I was really surprise finding my name among the list of awardees (as in surprise!)

My very first blog award! Tadaaah!


This award has three rules (that you should follow or your blogs will be forever doomed)
Note: Words in parenthesis are baseless facts

The Rules:
  1. Thank the blogger who gave you this award.  Don’t forget to link his/her blog.
  2. Post seven random things about you.
  3. Give the award to 15 other bloggers you love and let them know you gave them this award.
Joanne violated Rule # 3 by not informing me about the tag and she tagged eight people only.  Therefore she needs to comply to a punishment which is to post 100 more random things about herself (wider evil grin)

So here we go…
1. Thank you very much Joanne for this award.  I almost burst into tears upon knowing that while I’m stressing with my very first give away you are doing evil things against me (LOL).  
Seriously,  I appreciate it much.  I believed that if your name came in the mind of a fellow blogger, that means that you are important to her/him (naks!).

2. SEVEN random things only?
I  posted all the (elaborated) random things about me.  You can find that ”short post” here (evil grin).

3. For me, every blogger is versatile so I wanted to tag y’all.  However, this time I chose to tag these bloggers that I haven’t tag before and some who have “wronged” me. You will know the difference on who are under the new tags and the ones that have wronged me LOL. 

Here are the versatile bloggers who should carry the “Blogger Torch” and keep it burning. (forgive this olympic filengera).
    1. MEcoy of I am MEcoy
    2. Arvin of Written Feelings
    3. riChie of One Man World
    4. Marco of The Soul Explorer
    5. Wrey of Fashion Moto
    6. Mhie of Travelentz
    7. CheekeeGirl of Sound of Life
    8. Lucky Vixen of The Lucky Vixen
    9. Irish of D' Explorer
    10. Sam D. of There's No Place That Far
    11. Lawrence of  Colors and Grays
    12. Red of Muhon
    13. Super Maryo of Unplog... – I know you’ve been tagged but not from me and not from this one.  And because you have a new toy, photographs are required from you! Smile with tongue out
    14. Virgo of Virgo's Gadgetry - this is my second time to tag you (no reply) so I’m tagging your other blog Smile with tongue out
    15. Lester of Celebrations and Festivities - same reason with Virgo Smile with tongue out 
There you go people! Good luck!

Sunday Song and Photograph: Happy Together

♫ Imagine me and you, I do
I think about you day and night, it's only right
To think about the girl you love and hold her tight
So happy together
If I should call you up, invest a dime
And you say you belong to me and ease my mind
Imagine how the world could be, so very fine
So happy together
I can't see me lovin' nobody but you
For all my life
When you're with me, baby the skies'll be blue
For all my life
Me and you and you and me
No matter how they toss the dice, it has to be
The only one for me is you, and you for me
So happy together ♫

VI 2012
photo taken April 2012 during our Vicita Iglesia


__ years and still counting!

Anybody care for some fun again and guess how many years that we’re “happy together?  Clue: it was five years after the movie “Happy Together” (starring Patrick Dempsey and Helen Slater) is shown with this song as the movie sound track also.  This song became one of our “anthem”. (yay we’re old LOL)

And yes I’m typical! I’m a June bride Winking smile

♫ Ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba
Ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba ♫

Acknowledgment to YouTube and “padfootprong” who uploaded this video :)

Attending A Media Launch From a Blogger's Perspective

Registration In-charge: Good morning Ma’am, from what publication please?
I’m a blogger
Registration In-charge:
Oh great! can I have your name please?
And my name is printed on a name badge along with my blog's title!  I look around and I’m wearing the same name badge worn by members of the media. Then I was ushered to sit among the professional reporters from leading Philippine newspapers and tabloids. From Manila Bulletin, Philippine Star, Remate, name it and they are all there.  I’m elated, really elated!

WM blacked
my "media" badge :)

Media launch is not new to me. Having worked in a corporate job with affiliates in the entertainment industry for years, media launch and other media-related functions has been a part of my job.  But not as guest or attendee but as part of the organizing team.  I am one among the people working behind to make such functions possible and successful. 

Through my blogs also, I am able to get to be invited on trade fairs, shows and exhibits.  But this is the first time I attended a huge function as a "media" (allow me to call myself).  It was an amazing experience and let me share to you the awesomeness that happened during the media launch of the 36th  Milo Marathon at Bayview Park Hotel on June 21, 2012.

I was sitting in one of these tables among the professional reporters from the leading Philippine newspapers


Upon entry, we were provided with the copy of the press release and a souvenir flash drive.  We were also invited to have our photos taken in their photo booth wherein your picture will come out looking like you are running among the kids shown in the stage back draft.  We were also given free race registration for the 36th Milo Marathon in any distance category of your choice.

Then the usual program ethics follows, the prayer, introduction/opening remarks and opening number.

The flash mob type dancers.  Coming from the crowd on casual outfits then exposing their MILO singlet as they dance towards the stage in Milo’s jingle
“I’m getting ready, getting ready”

Lunch Buffet

The ever humble and accommodating Coach Rio dela Cruz of Runrio Inc. (Race Organizer Head) delivering the good news that the MILO Marathon is now a member of Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS).

During the question and answer portion with the audience and media.
Atty. Eugene Yap (Bayview Hotel General Manager),  Robbie De Vera (MILO Sports Executive), Andrew Nerie (MILO Sports Executive), Coach Rio dela Cruz (Runrion Inc/Race Organizer Head),  Ritchie Garcia (Philippine Sports Commission Chairman),  Pat Goc-Ong  (MILO Sports Consultant)

Manila Bulletin reporter asking questions to the MILO Marathon organizing group.  It was a delight listening to his concerns/questions about the presence (and domination) of foreign runners (Kenyans) in the Philippine running events.

The media photographers from the Philippine newspapers taking photos for the official photo opps (while me taking the photos of the photographers  – LOL).

At my table amidst the classy goblets, MILO chocolate drink in paper cup is served.  This paper cup has its classic purpose…

The ceremonial toast. For a bigger and better 36th MILO Marathon Cheers!
(yep that's my left hand holding my Milo paper cup joining the toast
while my right hand taking the photo)


And here’s the official photo of the ceremonial toast provided to me by the very efficient organizing team
MILO Marathon Press Release pic1.1

When I came home I asked myself why I had the honor of this invite.  I did some clicks and found that my running blog is one among the sites on Google’s top page under the Milo Marathon niche (and also on other site page ranker -

I realized that I have been blogging about the MILO Marathon since I started my running blog.  It was at the same time since I started joining this country’s most prestigious running event. It sort of been my passion to blog about it thinking that in my own little way, I am able to support its noble cause.  No one encouraged me to do this nor pay me anything while I’m doing this.  It is just my pure voluntary passion of supporting this cause. I also remember that I always say on my blog posts and through social media,

"When it comes to Milo Marathon, let me be your media!" 

So do you think I deserved this honor to be invited?

If you want to know the detailed information of this media launch, you may check it from my running blog here.  Cheers!

And oh, I get to take home these stuff Winking smile
(sorry I wasn’t able to include the cute souvenir photo)


Sunday Lyrics and Photograph: Dance with my Father

If I could get another chance
Another walk
Another dance with him
I'd play a song that would never ever end
How I'd love love love
To dance with my father again

Loiz n Pop

My daughter and hubby dancing together during her 7th Birthday in her Tinker Bell inspired kiddie party. 

My hubby and daughter are not fans of formal dancing but they obviously look like having fun while dancing. The boys at the background waiting for their turn added to the cuteness of this scene and takes away the sadness from the lyrics of this song.

Happy Father’s Day to all you great fathers in the world!

From Rizal Park to Boracay to Bohol - It’s More Fun in the Philippines!

Independence Day is a national holiday in the Philippines that means no work for our "nine-to-five" tax paying heroes.  My BFF is one of them (and I used to be one also) so I had the chance to have bonding time with her on a weekday holiday!

We went to the Mall of Asia (MOA) to register for the 36th Milo Marathon Manila Eliminations.  As usual, MOA never fails to entertain and amused me.  With my countless visits to MOA, be it a quick stop, mall strolling or jogging, I always find something interesting and exciting each visit.
This time the mall is bustling in the aura of the 114th year Philippine Independence Day celebration.

As we passed along one of the arcades, we chanced upon these two huge dioramas cum photo wall themed in two best tourist-attracting descriptions.  They are posted in Spanish era designed lamp posts (also a diorama).  Here’s sharing the subject of these diorama scenes and some quick shots.

Time Travel, More Fun in the Philippines

Travel back in time as you visit the best preserved monuments and buildings from several centuries back.  Step to the house of stones and bricks at Vigan’s heritage houses.  Have a glimpse of Rizal’s infamous life in Intramuros and Luneta Park and reminisce the day that we take pride in waving the Philippine flag at Aguinaldo’s house in Kawit.  These are just few of our historical sites that affirm our identity as Filipinos.

I’m at Rizal Park (Luneta)
  at my back is the Aguinaldo House in Kawit, Cavite


My BFF with the Spanish era designed lamp post where the diorama description is printed.  At her back is the Time Travel Diorama


Vacation in Style, More Fun in the Philippines

The Philippines is home to many fascinating tourist destinations.  From the amazing perfect cone volcano of Mayon, Boracay’s white sand beach, Visayas numerous stunning islands and diving spots, to Palawan’s exotic wildlife and to Davao’s Philippine Eagle.  Whichever you choose, vacations are always in style and more fun in the Philippines.

I’m in Boracay!


I’m with the Tarsier in Bohol!

A schedule of Cultural Performances around the mall is also posted.  But since this is supposed to be just a quick stop for us,  we were not able to watch the show.

It is just heart warming how Filipinos, ordinary citizen or huge organizations promote the beauty of the Philippines.  And it is really heart breaking when some people ruined it in an instant.  Just like that American who lived and worked in one of our beautiful island for three and a half years only to publish a video with his twenty negative nonsense. For all the beauty he can find in the Philippines he found his twenty negative nonsense!  Is that the thanks we got for adopting him here for three and a half years?

Anyway he is just one (nonsense) person.  I bet millions are saying that “It’s more fun in the Philippines!”

Inside The Home of General Emilio Aguinaldo–An Independence Day 2012 Special Post

The Proclamation
In the presence of a huge crowd, independence was proclaimed on June 12, 1898 between four and five in the afternoon in Cavite at the ancestral home of General Emilio Aguinaldo some 30 kilometers South of Manila.
Source: Wikipedia

As the Philippines celebrate its 114th Independence Day, let me give you a short tour INSIDE the house where the historical proclamation happened.  Here’s sharing some photos I took when I had the chance to visit the ancestral home of General Emilio Aguinaldo.

The Bowling Alley. The first bowling alley built in this town.


The bedrooms of the Aguinaldo daughters. 
  • The first room nearest to the stair is for Cristina Aguinaldo Suntay
  • The middle bedroom is for Maria Aguinalso Poblete
  • The largest of the three bedroom is for Carmen Aguinaldo Melencio
They are located in the family wing.  As was the fashion in the early 20th Centrury, furnishings and accessories were a mixture of European, Chinese and Filipino styles.  The ornate Ah Tay bed in Carmen’s room was made in the 19th Century: The Philippine Art Nourveau and Art Deco furniture in Cristina’s and Maria’s rooms during the 1920’s and 30’s.


Some parts of the daughters bedroom.


General Aguinaldo’s Bedroom.

The widowed General and his second wife, Maria Agoncillo occupied this bedroom.  There are secret passages in this bedroom. The hat rack near the second floor entrance is a secret door leading to this bedroom. Behind his closet is a wide opening, it is another secret exit.  Inside the bathroom, a floor panel and a door lead to the swimming pool.


Formal Dining Room (The Grand Table)

Aguinaldo’s special guests dined on the large wooden tables during important occasions and parties.   On the ceiling is the relief map of the Philippines.  Above the window are paintings on glass portraying his wives and children (no images here)


The Family Dining Room. The Kitchen

To make a quick escape, one raised the heavy table top revealing a passageway to the underground shelter.
Conveniently beside the family dining room are the kitchen and the servant’s quarter on the mezzanine.  Iceboxes are built into the wall.

In the kitchen, eight different recipes were prepared at the same time.  The largest gatherings were held for the annual Independence Day celebration every June 12.  Veterans of the Revolution, from Luzon to Mindanao, flocked to the Aguinaldo mansion.


The Sala

It is adorned with symbols of the revolution. The walls are decorated with photographs of Aguinaldo and American presidents and paintings relating to the General’s life during the revolution.


A ceiling wood relief depicts a sun with eight rays and an inscription at the center that says “Agosto 30, 1896, Ley Marcial Contra las Provincias de.”


Bomb Shelter

At first, this concrete shelter was a short well that had an underground tunnel leading to the church.  Soon, the well was cemented and turned into a mere shelter because strangers would go to the well and enter Aguinaldo’s house.


Kris and knives given by the datu, father of Princess Tarhata to Gen. Aguinaldo during the revolution.

And here’s some more…

I intentionally did not include in this post the outer part of the house because I remember that I commonly see them in other blog posts.  What I shared here are the ones that are less mentioned from other posts about the Aguinaldo House.

Also, I did not make any improvements on the photos.  I don't believe in camera tricks, photo shops and the likes when it comes to this kind of story.  They steal the reality of the scenes.  The "dim atmosphere"  in these photos are real.  They are exactly how they look when you enter the Aguinaldo Home.  Mysterious isn't it?

There is so much history in the Aguinaldo House and it's impossible to cover them in a single post.  I hope I could share more to you in the future.

The Aguinaldo House in Kawit Cavite is one of the most visited and well-preserved historical landmark in the Philippines.  It is under the management of the National Historical Institute.  It is open to public from Tuesdays to Sundays except holidays, between 8:00AM - 5:00PM.

Sunday Quote and Photograph: Summer is Gone

Soon t’will be a memory,
these lazy days so hot and free
Mother nature has the rule,
and kids are soon back in school.
Summer dust that winds did blow,
hasten Autumn’s amber glow…
Summer’s gone… where did it go…

Location: Guimaras Island

Winners! 10 Sunglasses from Firmoo Optical Store for Giveaway


Congratulations to these ten (10) lucky winners from my fist ever giveaway!  Each of them will receive a pair of sunglasses of their choice from this selection from I’m posting here a screenshot of the Rafflecopter result.

Firmoo Winners

I’ve already sent notices to your respective email addresses that you encoded in the Rafflecopter.  So for those who are not yet responding I need to hear from you ASAP.  If there’s one thing that I wish to see in the coming days in your blogs is a photo of you wearing your prizes – that would be an awesome sight!

I would also like to thank all those who joined and supported my first ever giveaway.  Anything that is FIRST IS EXCITING BUT STRESSFUL.  Thank God I am gifted with the kindest batch of participants and the most awesome bunch of blogger friends.  All of you helped me ease out from this first hosting.  If I could just make everybody win.

Allow me to especially mention and thank these blogger friends:
  • Gracie – I know that joining giveaway is not your style plus the PC problem and all. BUT you made a post in your blog to promote my hosting without the desire to win.  I’m speechless my friend.
  • Virgo – I know that you are too lazy with this kind of stuff but you joined to support my first hosting.  I am really happy to find a blogger friend and a running buddy in one!
  • Mhie – I’ll just give you a wink sis “alam mo na yun” Winking smile
  • Rona – we are just simply lucky to have someone like you in the blogosphere.   I need not ask from you my dear – you instantly offered support.  Hats off to you sis on how you treat your fellow blogger. You are truly amazing.
And of course I would like to thank my awesome sponsor!  Thank you for the trust and confidence you extended to my young blog.  You have been wonderful from the very start.  You deserve the success that you are having right now and I wish you further success in all your business endeavors.

To everybody, ThankYouGiveaway

Photo Credits: Google images


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