And So That Was Christmas… Happy New Year!

Image00001And so that was Christmas,
And what have you done?
Another year over
And a  new one just begun


And so that was Christmas
I hope you had fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young.

A very merry Christmas
And a happy new year
I hope it was a good one
without any fear…

Thanks to this John Lennon song for giving me the perfect set of words on how I wanted to wish or ask everyone during this holiday.  "How was your Christmas?"

It also perfectly put into words what I am thinking as of this moment  that the year is about to end and the holiday cheers will soon fade away.

I hope everyone out there had a good holiday!  Happy New Year everybody! Cheers!

New Year’s Eve in Manila Philippines! 
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And oh just a thought… 349 days more and it will be Christmas once again.  Another reason to say CHEERS!

Meeting Good Old Friends During The Holidays Made Yesterday A One Great Day!

I hope that this will not be my final post for 2013 because I have lot of pending stories (random and rants) that I have yet to share.  Though I know it’s kind of  impossible for me to post all of them because there’s just three more days to go and 2013 will be gone.

Anyway, I just can’t help but share my so happy moments on my yesterday’s meet up with good old friends.

Kids party at a venue that I love with a good old friend and gym buddy.

First part of the day is meeting with my former gym buddy Baby whom I started to build friendship way back some ten years or more.  Her granddaughter is celebrating 7th birthday at Gerry’s Grill in Blue Wave Mall.   You see, I can afford to miss personal invitations and parties for myself but when it comes to kids party invitation for my daughter, I am really trying to find time for such invites.  I don’t want her missing the privileged of being invited and her chance for enjoyment and socialization for her young life.

More so this time it is being hosted by one dear friend to a venue that I always like – The Blue Wave Mall (Gerry’s Grill).  I like The Blue wave Mall because of its location and ambiance.   It is not too crowded nor too empty.  Also, being a Filipino food lover myself, Gerry’s Grill is one of my fave resto!  Yesterday’s kare-kare was soo yummie!

My young lady enjoying the magic show.
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So I had the chance of having catching up time with my good old friend and gym buddy (and she’s still looking great as usual) to an awesome venue with great food and my daughter enjoying her day – I can not ask for more right?

Guess who called and came by for dinner?

While on the way to the kid’s party my phone rang and I was so surprised to hear the voice of another good old friend working overseas (that's what I know until this phone call).  She’s a former colleague who became one of my “BFF”.  Our friendship started about 25 years back and we see each other just once a year or every time she comes home.  But every time we meet it’s just like we were together just yesterday.

So apparently my friend is back home through an unplanned homecoming and now she's telling me over the phone “let’s go meet-up”.  I was so guilty because it was her birthday just before Christmas and I haven’t greeted her jeez!  But for the record I did not forget her birthday, I just did not get online during those times (#guiltyme).  And I said “OMG I haven’t greeted you and now you’re home!” for which she replied “That’s why I came home so you can greet me personally now!” (#evenmoreguiltyme).

Anyway, I’m really glad that she came home for the holidays.  A few weeks back I saw her hopping from one awesome part of the globe to another.

My very humble dear old friend Elvs having fun in Switzerland. I hope she won’t kill me posting this photo which I stole from her Facebook profile. LOL
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So we’re supposed to meet at Mall of Asia with another good old friend whom she fetched (and surprised) from Quezon City.  This other friend never fails to visit my family at home annually during holidays just to deliver gifts for us.  The two of them by the way are god parents of my daughter.

Our meet up did not happen at the mall which is a good thing because we were able to spend quality time for this “instant reunion”. My two awesome friends came to dinner at home instead with bring-along foods that we so enjoy gobbling while catching up on each others lives.  I did not include our faces on the photo because we all look so oily while enjoying the food ha ha.

Our randomly prepared dinner table filled with take out foods. 
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Old friends are among life's greatest treasure and spending time with them during the holidays is I consider one of the best part of the season.  It makes you feel blessed by just simply having them in your life.

Happy holidays everyone.  Go check out your good old friends!

Sunday Quote and Photograph: When Disposable Plastic Cups Took My Breath Away

As I step in Café Cesario at the Cebu-Mactan International Airport to have a quick breakfast before our flight back after a weekend trip, something caught my attention.

This!

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In spite of my hunger, sleepy/heavy head caused by trying to catch an early morning flight, I can’t help but pause from my quick breakfast, stood up from my table and examine this piece that is hanging above the central ceiling of the café.

Obviously it's a Christmas decoration but what caught my attention is how and what material it is made of.  It is made from disposable plastic cups and its craftsmanship really took my breath away. 

My camera did not even give justice to this awesome piece but just the same I want to share it with you and so do with this quotation that I chanced upon…
“And when we give each other Christmas gifts in His name, let us remember that He has given us the sun and the moon and the stars, and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans—and all that lives and move upon them.  He has given us all green things and everything that blossoms and bears fruit and all that we quarrel about and all that we have misused – and to save us from our foolishness, from all our sins, He came down to earth and gave us Himself”. ~Sigrid Undset~

Happy 2nd! Thank You So Much!

Happy 2nd Anniversary to this blog!


This year’s celebration will be very simple. No countdown, no wishes, no surprises and the likes. But of course there’s a BIG THANK YOU for all of you who supported this blog in any way.

Thank you my readers, followers, fellow bloggers, sponsors, advertisers, affiliates and to everybody!  You are all the reason why this blog is continuously succeeding.

Cheers to more years of celebration!  THANK YOU!

Moving On… Just Sharing Some Random Thoughts.

“Bangon Visayas”

It’s good to see that our brothers from the Visayas are now moving on from the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda.  Slowly… but at least they’re moving on.  Thanks to the kind hearted fellow Filipinos who instantly united into an unplanned  “bayanihan”.  Much thanks also to all the foreign countries who automatically sent in their aid and assistance.   My prayers now is that the collected funds and relief goods be handled in the most honest and righteous manner and that it will be used solely for the typhoon victims.

To those who has evil plans and who will mismanage the funds and the relief goods for the Yolanda victims,  I wish that Typhoon Yolanda come back to just selectively whip you all into oblivion (forgive me).

May the odds be ever in your favor champ!

Congratulations and thank you also to Filipino boxing champ Manny Pacquiao for that great come back fight against Brandon Rios.  Once again you made us Filipinos proud! 

I may not like or agree with Pacquiao in the other aspects of his personal and political life but my respect for him as an athlete is at the HIGHEST.

It is but just sad knowing that he is facing one great battle right now – against the Bureau of Internal Revenue ( BIR).   I may not also know all the circumstances behind the BIR issue but I am pretty sure that no ordinary Filipino citizen will not be in his favor as of right now.  So my wish of good luck that he may be able to recover all that hard-earned money which he all earned by risking his life in the deadly boxing arena.

May the odds be ever in your favor champ!

Pacquiao when he was still a nobody
manny_pacquiao_01

Birthdays and Thanksgiving!

Before November ends I would like to greet three fellow bloggers who celebrated their birthdays this November. Happy Birthday to Fiel-kun of Fiel-kun’s Thoughts blog,  Anthony and  Bino of Damuhan.

Bino

Hope that the three of you had a great one!

Happy Thanksgiving to all Americans! 

We don’t have a particular date to celebrate thanksgiving here in the Philippines but for me everyday should be thanksgiving.

So Happy Thanksgiving everyone!



Photo credits: Google images

Where Do I Begin? Wordless in November.

This is by far the longest period that I did not post an update for this blog.

I was supposed to publish a post on the first day of  November but the subject is quite sad.  It talks about death.  I delayed the posting of that draft.

I then revised the said draft.  I successfully added more sense to it plus a bit of happiness (and celebration) on this post that first drafted as “sad”. 

Then came typhoon Yolanda (International Codename: Haiyan) – with the unbelievable and heartbreaking devastation it brought to my “kababayan” particularly in the Eastern Visayas. 

I followed every news update about typhoon Yolanda’s aftermath in spite that sometimes it is unbearable to watch.  Each time that I watched, heard or read about it there’s an instant urge to write something on how could I be of help even in my own little way.   But each time I tried to draft I also became instantly wordless.  Frustratingly wordless. Perhaps this is the same feeling that the concerned people who wanted to reach to the calamity victims are experiencing.  Theirs is just multiplied a thousand times.

And if the people who wanted to reach out to the calamity victims are being enveloped with such frustration and hopelessness how much more could it be for the victims?  I don’t have an answer for this question.

Usually when a calamity happened in any part of the Philippines apart from sending my personal donation, I also make my blogs useful by posting information on how people can send donations to the victims.  I collate information and spread them through my blogs.   If there are fund raising events for calamity victims I usually promote these events.  

This time I honestly don’t know where to start.  For several days now I was posting statuses in my social media accounts talking about (making fun of) unrelated matters as if I’m not witnessing the reality of what is going on.  But the truth is... I am in painful silence. 

Yolanda came three weeks after the Cebu and Bohol devastating earthquake and a day after the “most hated pork barrel scam face” of Janet Lim-Napoles appeared in the Senate hearing. I was wordless as well on both the earthquake and that senate hearing.  They are all overwhelming.  They somehow temporarily broke my minimal talent in expression.

As I try to find ways to contribute in my own little way and while restructuring my minimal talent let me just share the only manner that I can be of help right now.  Please join me in saying this…
Prayer in Times of Calamity 
God our Father, look kindly on us in distress.
May we come nearer to your presence to seek true refuge in this time of calamity.
May we continue to trust, to hope and to love, giving each other comfort and encouragement. 
May generous people come to the aid of those who are most in need – those who lost loved ones and homes.
Let your spirit strengthen us to face all the hardships and difficulties of the present and of the days ahead. 
We remember the counsel of Jesus, your Son,
“Let not your hearts be troubled.  Have faith in God and faith in me.”
Help us to turn to you always for you know all our needs and you always provide for us.
Amen.
pray-for-the-philippines


Source: “Prayer in Times of Calamity” from my personal prayer book “Moments with God”.

My 10 Halloween-Related Wish List. A Re-post with A Special Birthday Greetings

I’ve been seeing a lot of bloggers posting about their bucket list and wish list.  I have my own list too but I ‘m not sharing it yet because I am looking for a perfect time to post it.

But, I have another wish list that have been kept in my trunk.  I am sharing this not only because Halloween is trending but because this wish list is real.  Who knows, some of you maybe interested in helping me out to make these wishes come true (wink*wink*).

Here is my 10 Halloween-Related Wish List:
  1. Attend a Halloween Costume Party in a real scary costume.
    No cute costume please!  A zombie will do. I will not talk to anybody during the entire party.  I will just be lurking around while giving everybody a creepy look.

    zombie
  2. Go Trick or Treat as Addams Family.
    "Trick or Treat" was not popular in the province where I grew up so I did not had the chance to experience the fun.  Maybe I could do it this time as “Morticia” and be sweetly addressed by Gomez Addams as “Cara Mia”.  And oh, we are a family of four only so we will be needing an “Uncle Pester” - anybody wants to volunteer as Uncle Pester? I promised we’ll split the candies!

    AddamsFamily
  3. Host a Halloween Party.
    Again, I will be Morticia Addams welcoming the guests in a gorgeous black outfit.

    Morticia
    Guests will be fetched from their home by a black hearse.
    It’s my dream to design a dining table that looks like a slaughter table but everything on it are edible. The menu will mostly be anything like liver, brains and same stuff. The beverages will be anything that looks like fresh blood and will be served by Frankenstein pumping from an IV bag. Something like that…

    halloween-brain-food
  4. Play/Pose as a “White Lady” on a bridge from my home town which is known as being haunted by a “white lady”.  This bridge was featured in one of the Halloween edition of  a Philippine TV show "Magandang Gabi Bayan"

    I will document the people’s reactions.  Hmn… I’m wondering what would be the perfect scare line… “Boo?”
    m_090812_32151582_30081956
  5. Interview a vampire that looks like Louis de Pointe du Lac or Lestat de Lioncourt (Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise from the movie “Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles”)
    Not Edward Cullens please. He looks like a malnourished kid rather than a vampire.

    brad n tom
  6. Witness a human transform into a werewolf.
    No, no! Not Taylor Lautner!  I want to see the fangs and Taylor's abs is very destructing. LOL.
    Taylor-Lautner-Jacob-Black-Twilight
  7. Do Spirit of the Glass with Piolo Pacual (local actor).
    I’m not a fan but I like that he's a runner.  I just want to know if he can outrun me when things started to be real scary and who shrills err screams louder. Duh!
  8. Explore a real haunted house with fellow bloggers.
  9. Photo walk with fellow bloggers in a cemetery.
  10. Eat/Taste a real pumpkin pie.
    The real and especially-baked pumpkin pie please not the cookies or whatever cheap representation of it (I haven’t tried it really).
Who wants to join me?  Don’t worry I’ll start with number 10.  It’s doable eh? Bwa ha ha ha ha! (evil laugh).

***
And speaking of party, this reminds me of a gorgeous blogger friend  Zai of Zai moonchild who is celebrating his birthday today October 30,  which I think is a perfect date to host a Halloween party ha ha!

Happy birthday my dear Zai!




Photo Source: Google Images

Movie Review: Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 (Repost)

Lately I am seeing a lot of horror and mystery movies being shown on cable channels one of which is the "Twilight" series.  Oh it's Halloween that's why!

Though I don't consider the "Twilight" movie series as a horror movies series.  For me it's more of a love story rather than horror.  Anyway let me share my personal review about  the last installment of the Twilight movie which I originally posted last November 2012 to my other blog "The Lucky Blog". 

***

MACKENZIEFOY1I’m glad Aro backed out or I’ll never forgive him for snapping the head of Carlisle Cullen – the vampire character I love most in this saga (next is Emmett).  I might ended up as a Volturi hunter.  Whoops! I’m definitely been carried by the vampire hype.

Ok before we go further, let me mention that I will not be using review scores here like 8 out of 10 or something like that.  My movie reviews will all be based on what goes on my (un)opinionated movie-lover brain and heart.  I’m not an expert in doing movie reviews but I’m giving myself the authority to make my own review simply because I like watching mixture of movies and analyzing them afterwards.  Consider it us my outspoken personal views.

Now, the problem with movies that are based on novels or books are, you can’t give them a perfect score if you are using one.  You will always have the tendency to compare them to the one you read right?  And it’s quite impossible to put every bit of details that we read from the book into a two-hour movie especially if it is a saga.  I’m sure everybody will agree that “bestseller” is an understatement for this Stephenie Meyer creation.

What I like most about the movie.
(Apart from Jacob Black’s abs) The fight scene!  It was magnificently cinematic! Vampires and wolves flying in acrobatic fights, head snapping then burnt whoa! that’s something new in the category called violence! lol.  However, the vampire’s unique abilities and defenses reminds me of the movie X-Men where each mutant possess a unique power.  So that point is not unique at all.

Michael Sheen’s (Aro) scene where he’s reading the mind of Ashley Greene (Alice) and knowing that he's going to be defeated by no other than the lover tandem of Edward and Bella was superb.  His backing out of the fight was entertainingly funny.  It got a lot of “I did not see that coming!” from the crowd.  Woot woot applause applause!

The image inserted here (Mackenzie Foy) is also my most like among the casts promotional photos.  Her face looks perfect for the role/name Renesmee.

What I like less about the movie.
(Apart from Kristen Stewart’s (no)acting) It has a very simple plot and it was drag down to an eternity of discussions and slow walks from the over dressed Volturi. I love the jackets of the Cullen clan by the way.  If in reality the vampire Alice is their fashion consultant, she really has a good taste.  Anyway going back to the simple plot.  The plot of this last installment could have been easily injected into the first movie or to simply say, it should have been just one movie for the last book.  The fans need not wait a year for this.  Their saga should have ended last year.  But for obvious reasons we all know why. 

I say this last installment is especially made to make Twilight fanatics swoon and go home happy.  And if you’re somebody who haven't read the book or watch the first movie installments I strongly suggest not to watch this movie because you will just end up frustrated.  It’s a prerequisite to do so.  Just like Harry Potter you will not totally understand and appreciate the movie version unless you read the book.

So finally the saga has ended (did it really huh?). That future scene envisioned by Alice with the beautiful grown-up Renesmee and Jacob is such a good start for another “weirdos” love story (half human/half vampire ♥ half man/half dog) that I’m sure hopeless romantic fans will all be oh so willing to embrace.

Ok that’s kinda big spoiler for those who haven’t watched it yet. Lucky me! I viewed it on the first day it officially opened in Philippine cinemas - exclusive screening it is courtesy of Nuffnang.ph and Wacoal! Thanks guys!



Photo source: Google images.

Ten Things: That I Want To Nag Myself About Right Now

1. Pick one post from your blog drafts, finalize it and then publish.  It’s already mid-October and you only have one post showing on your October 2013 archive.  What’s with the draft queue?

2. In relation to Number 1, finish all series of posts on your blog specially about "Churches". Let the world see those beautiful structures that you had the privilege of documenting.  And you are not alone in feeling heart broken on the collapse of the historical churches in Cebu and Bohol.

San Geronimo (St. Jerome) Parish Church in Morong Rizal or the Church of Morong is one among the beautiful churches I visited in 2010.    Its frontispiece and the belfry is built between 1850 to 1853.  This is just one among my collection of churches photographs that I’m supposed to publish on this blog.  The current earthquake in Cebu and Bohol that caused damage to historical churches reminds me of my collection and the plan to publish them.

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3. Rest.  You have fever and flu (again) because you braved that heavy downpour with matching lightning and thunderstorm.  The more sensible thing to do on such situation was to wait for the rain to subside.  Instead you soaked yourself in the rain after being in an air-conditioned room working all day without proper meal because you won’t give yourself a break.

4. Wait until your flu is gone before you run.

5. You have just ended one experiment so PLEASE don’t start another one. At least NOT JUST YET!

6. Find time to collect your pre-loved items that you plan to donate.

7. Mail those cards on your desk. It’s been almost a year now. You will end up adding new cards inside the envelope. It’s becoming too thick and it might be tagged as parcel instead of cards.

8. It’s a good thing that you are finding time to watch movies again. But when you write something about them make sure that you will publish them and not just on queue on your draft folder.

9. Avoid “qwerty nose-diving” while blog hopping. Either that you break your nose or your laptop and you don’t have a budget for the repair for both (LOL).

10. When are you going to realize that you can not adopt all the stray cats that will come along your way?  They can fend for themselves that is why they are called stray cats.  So be quick in finding new parents for your three (remaining) new wards.  Good job that you already gave away the other two.

few-days-old kittens that I’m temporarily adopting

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(Again) Make it quick because they may grow too adorable and you will end up semi-adopting them just like what you did on the first three (and their parent cats).

my semi-adopted “catketeers” temporarily named as “Normal”, “Puti” and “Star”

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Credits to: Mar of Unplog for the term "QWERTY nose-dive

A Day of Greetings as I Closed September and Welcome October

HAPPY TEACHER’s DAY

Happy Teacher’s Day to all you noble people in the teaching profession!

WTD2

Special greetings to my fellow bloggers who are in the academe.  They are Jonathan (Metaphorically Speaking), Yccos (Saturday Thoughts), Anthony (on blogging hiatus), Rona (Rona’s Review) - Happy Teacher’s Day guys and also to other teachers in the blogosphere that I failed to mention!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

To dear blogger friend Mak of Christian Song Lyrics who celebrated his birthday sometime in September. Happy Birthday Mak and thank you for always being supportive to all my blogs.

Mak

To (one of) my favorite blogger and person, Super Mario of the blogosphere Mar of Unplog who is celebrating his birthday this month of October (1st October if I’m not mistaken).  Happy Birthday to you my (self-proclaimed/LOL) favorite.

Unplog

I wish both of you all the wonderful blessings in life and I wish to maintain friendship with both of you beyond the blogosphere.

CONGRATULATIONS

My dear Philippines goes gaga when our very own Miss World 2013 candidate MEGAN YOUNG bagged the coveted title besting 128 candidates from around the world!

“Congratulations Megan Young”  status flooded the stream of social media prompting myself to jokingly replied to my social media friends like this…

“Thank you this is for all of you (teary eyed) “

… claiming as if I’m Megan Young. Ha ha that was fun!

So why are we so extra happy? Because not only that this is Philippines’ first ever victory for the Miss World pageant, but it also granted the Philippines the pride of having one crown each in the BIG FOUR of pageant.  That is one crown each for Miss Universe, Miss International, Miss Earth and now Miss World.  So huge of Megan’s achievement that it prompted Senator Chiz Escudero to file Senate Resolution No. 281 to honor and recognize her victory.

A special Filipina deserved a special place and special greetings in my home - CONGRATULATIONS Megan Young!

Megan  
Oh wow what a colorful way to end September and welcome October!  Is there anybody else that I missed greeting from here? Let me know!

(Photo Credits: Google Images)

Photo Talk: The 34th Manila International Book Fair (MIBF 2013)

In spite of the heavy downpour all day long that Sunday, the 34th MIBF is still jam packed with crowd during it’s last day until closing time.  I supposed due to its loyal crowd such as my family plus it coincides with a weekend payday sale at the nearby SM Mall of Asia plus the UAAP cheer dance competition which is happening also at the nearby MOA Arena.

The Crowd

Name a book store and publishing company – you’ll surely find them at the fair.

The Giants

Book signing from local authors, writers and illustrators has always been a major part of the annual MIBF.  We spotted journalist, poet and musician Lourd de Veyra trying to be incognito from the crowd while DJ and writer “Papa Jack” is having a book signing on the same publication where he will be doing book signing too.

The queue to Bo Sanchez book signing is as usual among one of the longest.

Aside from signing my daughter’s book, illustrator Dom Agsaway made a quick drawing of my daughter’s face on the same page where he signed.

The Faces
Almost everything was on sale! And they are not limited to books.  Pens, stationeries and a lot more is on discounted prices.

THe Frenzy
Unlimited fun was in every corner.  Story telling and book reading of course is among the most favorite activity plus lots of educational competitions. There’s no corner that you won’t find something to do apart from reading and shopping.
 
The Interactive
 The Gimiks

The Walls

One of the most attended event is the “The Best of Anime 2013” cosplay event.  It has separate entrance fee though and is being done at the second floor of the SMX Convention Center.

The Cosplayers

My two book worms of course had the time of their lives enjoying the activities and buying their favorites and annual picks.

What Young Ones

I restrained myself from buying anything for myself this year.  I kept reminding myself that they will just pile up on my reading queue. I still have a stack from last year’s fair that I haven’t read yet plus some from the "floating bookstore" and some gifts from friends.  But it was a tough battle when I needed to buy something from Anvil Publishing (one of my favorites).  I was not able to restrain myself from peeping on Jessica Zafra’s books especially the “Twisted” series.  I picked two books and supposed to queue at the cashier.  It was a real battle before I finally decided to return my picks back to the racks (sigh/LOL).

What caught my eyes

My annual favorite bet in the “Best in Booth Design” – Rex Bookstore came in second place this year. The 1st place goes to C&E Publishing with a very modern booth design.  My camera did not do justice to C&E’s entry.  It really looks great in person.

The Winner
If there’s one disappointment that we had during the fair is that we only had four hours spent at the fair.  Jeez!  we almost missed it.  It was already crunched time when our messy family schedule finally blended.  It was already 3PM of the last day (Sunday) when we finally succeeded going to the fair.  Unlike the previous years that we almost spent a whole day.  There were even some years that we went for two days.

But as always we had fun! Can’t wait for next year’s event!

Music Exposure Part 1: When I Was Little

BeatlesI have a generation gap with my older siblings, particularly with my oldest brother and sister (Kuya and Ate).  Being born the youngest from the brood of eight, my exposure in music is influenced by the different genre where my other siblings belong.

Let me start with, "When I was little" (lol but seriously), my father has this business of buying imported stuff from American people in Subic Base back in the days that it wasn’t yet a free port.  He used to bring home a lot of imported stuff, from food,  kitchen utensils, furniture to appliances.  We smell like Americans I tell yah. LOL!  Calling my father “Hey Jo!” up front was the ultimate dream joke for me and my siblings.  But it remained just a dream joke.  My father, in spite of being exposed to the western people is the typical conservative Filipino father.  He is super strict and disciplinarian.  Kissing his hand (Mano Po) was the “must do” when he comes home from work. 

One day, my father brought home a stereo that made all of us exclaimed “Holy Cow!”  Everyone of us were agape while that “gorgeous huge piece of American technology” is being unloaded from the delivery van.  It was so sophisticated (during that time of course)   that I ‘m not sure if I can describe it perfectly in writing.  I also tried searching for an image from the net but I can’t find an exact one.  The photo below is a bit the same but ours is more sophisticated.  But at least it will give you an idea how it looks like.

an old American stereo.
Ours is more sophisticated, with piano finish top in varnish color and the edges are artfully curved.
american stereo

I don't think that even the richest people in our town own something like this.  It is the kind that you can only find from imported glossy magazines.  It has lots of features including two sliding door compartments.  One for the control panel and the other one for the record keeper. The records during that time is called “Long Playing Album” (LOL). Between the two compartments is a huge speaker that produces the best quality of  stereo sound.

There are lots more unique features this stereo has, but the one thing that really fascinates us and all the people who saw it, is the record player.  It is also the one thing that stuck in my mind and still fascinates me till this day.  The record player has a robot-like function.  It can hold up to ten long playing albums, and then it automatically queues the record one after the other.  Fascinating isn’t it?

LongPlaying
So my Kuya (brother) feasted on this sophisticated stereo.  As you know how the older siblings are in the family, they dominate or set the trend in the house! Yo! Ooops! It was “Peace Man” during that time.  My brother is one proud teener in the hippie genre, owning the coolest sound system in town!  His room was strategically adjacent to the living room where the stereo is displayed.  A mock-up divider separated the living room and my brother's head board.  He will queue a maximum of ten long playing albums to the stereo, go back to his room and sang his lungs out with the Beatles, Bee Gees, Elvis, The Doors, Santana, Black Sabbath, Cat Stevens, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Crosby Stills, Nash & Young and all the 70’s greatest. 

Past forward to present... 

The food - till this day I am not fond of eating those huge jarred pickles, canned goods, chocolate covered marshmallows and cookies and the likes.  I sort of developed a food fatigue on those food stuff.  To think that “PX” was still rare and a real big deal at that time.

The music - all I can say is that I can join the game "Name that Tune" and I promised you I could win the championship in the 70's category!

And this was just the beginning of my “no way out slavery" of listening to music.  Tag along with me as I go along with life saying “Rock on!” 

Photo credits: Google images

Note from the author:
This is originally published from my former blog "The Lucky Blog" .

The 34th Manila International Book Fair (2013)

Yey! Here comes that time of the year once again that we are all feeling excited for our annual book bonding - The Manila International Book Fair!

What is more amazing is that it’s now on its 34th year!

September 11 – 15, 2013 ● 10AM – 8PM
SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex
Pasay City, Philippines

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To have an idea on how fun it is to be at the MIBF event you may want to check our annual book bonding adventures from this posts:
And if you wish to know the detailed schedule of events of this year’s MIBF you can click on this link.

See you all there!

Happy 1st... of September! (Re-post: 95 Days Before Christmas)

Happy 1st of September everyone!

Today I started downloading my favorite collection of Christmas songs and add them back on my playlist.  I am playing the Ray Conniff selection while editing this post.

Please don't be confused with the content/title of this post.  Today, 1st of September is technically 113 days more before Christmas.

The following content is a re-post from my former blog "The Lucky Blog" originally titled as "95 Days Before Christmas"...
~

It kind of surprised me big time when I heard from today’s morning news that it is just 95 more days before Christmas!  I can’t help but utter the over used but oh so true phrase “time flies so fast”!  And it flies more faster when you are so caught up with the daily rushes of life that you missed to savor the moment when the most anticipated season of the year is fast approaching.

For those who’s been following my blog posts, it is so obvious that for almost two months now, I am having one helluva time.  My schedule is so messed up and the mess directly affected my blog postings.  Though I manage not to be in total blogging hiatus, I was not happy either on the way I am managing my posts lately. I love blogging, I love writing!  However, sometimes there are far more pressing responsibilities that one needs to take care of and in the process, some things are needed to be given up for a while.  In my case I need to sacrifice some of my blogging time to accommodate more pressing and important matters.   I’m not happy though.  Thus, in spite that my schedule is almost unmanageable, I’m still trying very hard not to neglect my blog sites. It saddens and touches me at the same time when blogger friends are commenting that they are missing my posts. How I wish that I can post like I used to.

I sound frustrated yeah?  Another reason is that, I failed to do one personal tradition that I annually do.
I love to wake up in the dawn of September 1st, tune in the radio and wait for the first Christmas song to play, then be one among the first to greet everyone a “Happy Christmas!”
Do I sound overly dramatic? And yeah I know this may sound too early for some people especially for non-Filipino.  Well I have my reasons. 

Christmastime is a joyful season that brings hope to people.  Something to be anticipated for, a time when wishes are given chances and followed by hope for something new and prosperous – the New Year.

And since I talk about music in this blog, let this be my venue to greet you all here through this beautiful music video that I traditionally post in my social media accounts every 1st of September.


HAPPY CHRISTMAS everyone!

Dilemma of a Blogger. On Which Bay Are you In Right Now? What Memory Will You Choose to Keep?

This random post is brought to you by my disorganized thoughts.

It’s been days now that I can’t decide on which among my drafts should i post. Top on the list is of course my rant post about my internet/phone provider and another rant about the PDAF issue. But these posts/topics and the reason why I cannot post them are all intertwined together. I sort of blaming these intertwined reasons why I am having a disorganized thoughts.

First on why I’m not posting my rant about my net/phone provider.  As of the current plight that my dear country is experiencing, the typhoon and flooding coinciding with the “heat” on the PDAF issue my concern is just a minuscule one so I shut up (until further annoyance).  As of this writing my net service is working but my phone is out of order for (effin-sorry) eight days now.  That is excluding the four days that I first complained about.  Breath… keep calm…

You see I created this blog to induce positiveness in people’s lives which is really a one-hell-of-a-tough-thing-to-maintain because I’m just human with temper and all.  Another reason is that I am hoping that even in my own tiniest way I will be able to let everybody outside the Philippines to know that life is really more fun in the Philippines.  I am catering to an international audience and even if I have just two non-Filipino audiences I want to tell them that it is possible to enjoy life in the Philippines.  That is in spite of the net/phone provider that sucks, the typhoon and floods, the pigs and crocodiles a.k.a  our government officials who misused our taxes that we paid from our hard earned money.  The… enough!

It is not covering up the flaws or turning my head away from the reality but it is my way of being optimistic and positive in spite of all the adversities.

Enough? Okay enough!

Well then let me just invite you to take a look at these short videos that I randomly recorded.  Imagine that you are on these bays.

Peaceful Bay
With the wind gently blowing, kissing your face and playing with your hair..
With the magnificent rising sun with its rays kissing the calm sea…
With the gentle waves kissing the shore and swaying the anchored boats gracefully…
With the presence of the seagulls gracefully gliding and chirping while doing their own fishing… 


 Stormy bay
With the gusty wind that whips your face and tangling your hair…
With the dark horizon overpowering the sun from rising…
With the violent waves rocking the boat and slapping the shore
With the littered sea that drives away all living creatures…  


I am lucky to witness the bay in both moments.  The same way that I am lucky to experience the same moments in real life because I learned from both moments.  It is my choice now on what bay and moment I will have in the future and of which moment I will choose to keep in my memory.

How about you? On which bay and moment are you in right now?  And what moment will you choose to keep in your memory?
~
“For whatever bit of good I share to the world will make it a bit better world to be in”  
© Balut Manila

Time Out!

Thanks to my genius provider I was out of internet and phone for four straight days.  Work and everything related piled up.  I am currently cramming to finish everything the soonest while I’m trying my best to shake out all the negativity and being pissed off!




A regular post is coming soon and I have the feeling that it will be in the form of an ugly rant!

My apologies to my blogger friends also for not passing by your blogs.  I will visit you all as soon as my online life is back to normal schedule.  Meanwhile, you are all free to blame my internet/phone provider.

Wrapping Up July While I’m Lost in August.

Eight days after August and I’m still lost with it.   But the good thing is that it started well and fine for me.  Before my August gets too exciting let me take a quick look back how I ended July.

Starting a new adventure as the month ended
As July came to an end I started on a new adventure.  This adventure is officially called “job” but I prefer to call it that way.  So you won’t see me online as much as I was for the last three months.  But of course blogging is still on top of my priorities.

Ending July with a Run.

I shared the story about the Media Launch that I attended for this year’s (37th) Milo Marathon. I was one among the 40,000 runners who joined the Manila Eliminations leg.  Just like with my other runs I usually bring along with me a camera all though out the run so I can document the event and my own run.  The difference this time is that a media badge is also hanging in my neck. And after finishing my 10K run I still yet to attend the press conference afterwards. Yay! the “BloggerRunner” in me!

This has always been an important event for me because it is a sort of a traditional run for my family and friends.  As I always say and I’m sure most Filipino runners will agree with me if I say that your running life would not be complete unless you joined a Milo Marathon.  My running struggles and progress plus the detailed story about this run is on my running blog.

Joining the 40,000+ runners at the 37th Milo Marathon as I race against myself for the 10K distance and attending the event's Press Con afterwards,
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The King came Live in Manila but it was the Princess Birthday

I received one of the most exciting news in July when I learned that my basketball idol Lebron James is coming to Manila.  But sad to share I was not able to see him in person.  The reason actually is not because I was not able to acquire a ticket.  I can move mountains if I really wanted to watch James just the way I did when my football idol David Beckham came to Manila.  But the truth is that I intentionally did not acquire a ticket because I knew that I will not be able to watch him.  James meet and greet date coincides with my Princess birthday.  And this occasion is far more important to me. Anyway James promised to come back so I’ll just see him then the next time. 

Better late than never! Another July celebrant.

Another dear blogger friend celebrated her birthday on July and I want to greet a HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Leah of Travel Quest!  Hope you had a good one dear.

TravelQuest

TRIVIA:
I am celebrating two birthdays in a year. In March which is my birth month.  And in August which is the month when I sort of "came back" after I almost died on one July.

How’s August is treating you by the way?

Before July Ended and August Came, A Summer Escapade and Media Launch in June Happened. Plus Trivia

So July ended without saying goodbye just like what its elder siblings did.  More so, a younger sibling by the name of August showed up on my door without knocking!  Why these months always do this? Ha ha kidding!

Before August can drag me to another spinning roller coaster ride then leave me dizzy the way July did, let me share some fun events that I missed to share last June.

Spontaneous summer escapade

Sometime in June before the summer ends and the rainy days started we stole a day from it and had a spontaneous summer getaway.  A sort “Huling hirit sa tag-init” (last summer escapade) before the kids start school and also an advance celebration of our wedding anniversary.

We headed to one summer destination. I will not disclose the name of the place for now because I am hoping to share a full story sometime along the blogging way. But I’ll share some teaser photos (LOL) of the place.  The kids wanted to swim in a pool and yet wanted to feel the sand as well so we went to a place that has both.

The elevated swimming pool overlooking the beach.
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The serene and peaceful beach on a sunny day in June.
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Who wants to make a wild guess where this place is? The clue is the word “spontaneous” - it can’t be too far from Manila (wink*).

TRIVIA:
I'm a June bride.
I love looking and staying at the beach and I could stay there for a whole day just reading or strolling along the shore but I prefer to swim in the swimming pool.

37th Milo Marathon Media Launch
I used to feature a lot of events in this blog but since my schedule has been chaotic lately I temporarily limited my attending of events.  But one event that I can't say no to is anything that involves MILO Marathon.  I'm sure most of you are aware that I have a passion for running.  More so I support MILO’s “Help Give a Shoes” advocacy.

The 37th Milo Marathon Media Launch happened on June 20, 2013 at the Bayview Park Hotel.  I was invited for my running blog BloggerRunner.com (Run! and Keep on Running)

My press kit and media tag/badge. Sorry I need to conceal my real name.
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The ceremonial toast being documented by press and photographers from PH leading newspapers, tabloids and sports magazines
Leading the ceremonial toast were Mr. Robbie de Vera – Milo Sports Executive; Ms. Shereilla Bayona – Business Executive Manager of Nestle Beverage Business Units; Coach Rio dela Cruz – National MILO Marathon Race Organizer; Mr. Andrew Neri – MILO Sports Executive; Mr. Tonisito Umali – Asst. Secretary - Department of Education; Atty. Eugene Yap – Bayview Park Hotel Manager
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Joining the ceremonial toast – that’s me with the green wrist watch.
I love documenting “ceremonial toast” of every occasion so I went to the back and took a photo shot for my own souvenir.
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With PH most famous running man and race organizer Coach Rio dela Cruz of RunRio, Inc.
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TRIVIA:
The National MILO Marathon is an annual marathon event open to amateur and professional runners.  From its humble beginnings in 1974 as a single marathon race in Metro Manila attended by 747 participants, the National MILO Marathon has grown to be the biggest, longest grandest national running event in the country attracting more than hundreds of thousands of runners across the country.

Being techie via the AppsGeyser
I also wanted to thank fellow blogger Gracie for introducing me the AppsGeyser.  I have been reading this “apps blah blah” but I’m not paying too much attention until I read from her post how helpful this thing is for android users.  For a more technical “how to” and “what for” details check out Gracie's post from here.

Look! I now have my own and you may want to download this so you can easily access my blog (wink*).   I am temporarily displaying my blog’s QR Code at the side bar of this blog but the location may change from time to time.  Let me know if you have yours too so I can scan and download it.

QR Code for this blog.  Scan this and you can download my blog’s app.
BalutQR

What about you? Anything special happened in June or earlier that you missed to share with?

SPAMMERS NO SPAMMING!

No CLICKABLE LINKS PLEASE.
A single link is okay as long it says something about your comment or related to my posts. Apart from that I'm sorry I need to delete your links. THANKS!
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