age-old flip-flops

Whenever my husband and I feel the need to spend some quiet moment away from the city, we check on our Must-Visit-Places list,
plan for our journey, break the piggy bank and pack our bags. On December 24 of 2007, feeling adventurous, we headed to Puerto Galera to celebrate the holiday season. We called it christmas the labski way because it was our first as husband and wife. Romantic, quiet and incomparable. Imagine celebrating Christ's birth in the absence of christmas trees but with the feeling of sand on your toes and the sea singing its own carols. To help us remember the sand and the sea on our first christmas, I took this photo of my age-old flip-flops with the beach in the background.

Title of the Photo: Age-Old Flip-Flops
Date Taken: December 25, 2007
Canon Powershot A530


i ♥ faces photo challenge - “on the beach”

It took me an hour, can you believe that! After scanning all the beach albums I have in my computer, I finally picked this one as my official entry in this week's
I ♥ Faces photo challenge. With week 29's theme as On The Beach, the photos submitted are amazingly stunning! To be honest, it left me with a sense of insecurity, I almost didn't join! Now, enough of that drama. Whether it gets to the top of this week's photo challenge or not, here is my entry.

I took this photo of a new friend in May of this year. This was taken at Anawangin Cove in Zambales, Philippines. It's a pristine and primitive island with no amenities. To survive, you pitch in your tent, cook your meals using logs and dry leaves. Read my entry on How to Survive Anawangin Cove.



Waiting is an act I have never been good at because I am naturally an impatient woman. Back in February of this year, during our Boholandia adventure, I had to practice my patience as we waited for our turn to board one of the floating restaurants. Isn't it ironic to see a passenger jeepney doing the same act I detest! I just had to capture the scene, as the jeepney patiently waited for passengers, with that tall tower behind it carrying a huge clock.

Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do
is the worse kind of suffering.

-Paulo Coelho

Title of the Photo: Waiting
Date Taken: February 16, 2009
Canon Powershot A530


i ♥ faces week 28 winners

Would it be a sin if I admit I felt a sudden rush of sadness knowing my photo was not part of the top 10 winners? But apart from the sadness, I felt glad for the winners too! To see the I ♥ Faces week 28 winners, go to this link. I have to admit another fact --- all those photos' compositions are truly remarkable! My all-time favorite is the one that says LOVE.

A first-timer, not being part of the top 10 photos in I ♥ Faces will not, in any way discourage me from joining the photo challenges. As a matter of fact, I have picked out my next entry for the coming week's challenge! I will be posting it tomorrow morning. For now, kudos to all the winners!


survivor israel in caramoan

Caramoan, a secluded paradise off Camarines Sur, has attracted every corner of the world after it was first featured in the Survivor French edition. After several months, the Bulgarians conquered the island next. Finally, curious of what the paradise truly offers, Survivor Israel has shot their own version of the reality show at the Caramoan Peninsula.

The shoot was conducted during the scorching heat of the summer months from March to April with a production cost amounting to a whooping $7 million. Survivor Israel brought in the Caramoan island 25 castaways plus a hundred-plus production crew. So what did the Philippines get from this reality show, aside from the world-wide exposure? Locals were asked to support the crew, with about 80 Filipinos coming from Manila and close to 200 native Bicolanos getting hired during the duration of the project. Now that's tourism at its finest, employing Filipinos while showcasing the country's vast and rich landscape.

Watching that interesting teaser above, my feet begins to feel itchy. It makes me want to drag my husband and friends to the island and have our very own survivor Caramoan experience!

Trivia: Survivor Israel will be shown (not in the Philippines) on October 2009. It shall be called Survivor Philippines, the first time ever for the show's season to be named after the host country.

UPDATE (July 28, 2009): As of press time, Youtube has deleted the teaser video.

be happy it's friday

Happier faces. Beaming smiles. Sunnier dispositions. Roaring laughter. What's the reason for all of these, you ask. It is the end of work week and everyone seems happier today than the rest of the week. It is Be-Happy-It's-Friday!

JellyMuffin.com - The place for profile layouts, flash generators, glitter graphics, backgrounds and codes

I'm sending out this Be-Happy-It's-Friday tag to 3 friends: Abie, Rocks and Khaye!


It was playtime with my nephews and niece in our Subic weekend adventure in 2008. Armed with my point-and-shoot camera, I tagged along as they went to the playground of Subic Homes. On the green grass I sat, keeping an eye on them. Out of nowhere, I see this angle of Brandon enjoying the swing. I just had to capture it!

Title of the Photo: Dilaw
Date Taken: January 29, 2008
Camera: Canon Powershot A530


6 blogging tips

Congratulations! I see you have discovered the beauty of recording your musings through blogging. It is indeed comforting to be able to share with the rest of the blogosphere all of your heart’s reflections. But how does a blogger survive the world of blogging? Here are 6 blogging tips I have summed up based on my own humble experience.

1. FIND YOUR NICHE. If it is poetry, novels and other literary-related pieces, then write about it. If you are into photography, post your photos and talk about the hobby. If you are an expert in technology, write about computers and other gadgets. Let your blog stand out by posting entries that have the same theme! You don’t want confusing your followers on what your blog is really all about.

2. UPDATE. You want your readers to keep coming back, right? Then by all means, update your blog! You don’t have to write every single event that transpires in your life. But do update regularly. You don’t want your followers to keep seeing outdated posts.

3. KEEP IT SHORT BUT SENSIBLE. Did I say novel? No, I did not. I said it is a blog so keep it short but sensible. Avoid writing novel-type posts. However gifted you are at writing, chances are your long posts will bore your readers to death. If you can’t avoid posting long entries, divide them into parts. With that, you leave your followers something to look forward to. And they will surely come back for more!

4. LINK-UP. You blog because you want to build bridges. Hurry up, link your favorite blogs and ask them to link you back too! Think of it this way --- You scratch my back, I scratch yours. It is a simple gesture of paying it forward.

5. BLOG HOP AND COMMENT. It’s a blogger’s unwritten etiquette. You blog hop and make your presence felt by commenting. It makes you popular too. Remember, when you blog hop and leave some love, leave smart love! Don’t give dull comments. Otherwise, they won’t blog hop to you.

6. PROMOTE. Again, the idea is to create a following. So, promote your blog! Join forums. Comment on social networking sites. Personalize your email signature with your blog’s address included. Submit your blog to Google, Yahoo, Technorati and other search engines. Keep joining but always remember to share just the basic info.

Those 6 blogging tips will definitely boost your blog. It did mine! Now go and start blogging but don’t forget to show me some love and do numbers 4 & 5! Have fun!

a rare treasure

I call it A Rare Treasure. Having bought it from a local store for a Hundred Pesos and Fifty-Something, this emerald green square-shaped vintage ring is an enchanting gem to possess. It goes well with my Cleopatra look!

These gems have life in them: their colors speak,
Say what words fail of.

-George Eliot

Title of the Photo: A Rare Treasure
Date Taken: July 3, 2009
Camera: Canon Digital Ixus 80 IS

a deliquent blogger influences budding poets

Who, in her right mind, would have thought I , a deliquent blogger, could influence 2 of my friends to venture into blogging! And these girls are truly talented --- 2 budding poets hiding beneath those lovely smiles. Now that they are finally out in the blogosphere, they deserve to be mentioned in this little corner of mine, and be introduced to the rest of my blogmates!

Her smile brightens everyone's dull morning. Liway, a gifted Lower Grade teacher, always has something wonderful to say about Life and Love. Add to that, some Laughter too. Read her Injured Tales at Twenty-Plus and be inspired.

A blooming bride she definitely is. Whatever instrument you hand her, Olive is a genuine artist. Be it a pen and paper, a paintbrush and a canvas or a kikay-kit and a mirror, the artist in her will eventually emerge. Read her Life in a Nutshell and let her awaken your senses with her musings.

I am a deliquent blogger. But, aware of the influence I have on blogging, I have to gather myself up and ensure this nook of mine is updated every now and then. Who knows, maybe I could influence my nephews to start blogging too!


tagged:: adorable blog award

Eight long months after my blog was last tagged, it is such a joy to be tagged again! Thankies Kero for this Adorable Blog Award. I almost forgot how fun it is to be tagged and to tag!

I'm passing this Adorable Blog Award to my other blogmates namely Joanne, Mem and Olive! Grab it girls and pass it on!

a heavy load of logs

Patiently waiting for our boatman to sail us back from
Anawangin Cove to Pundaquit, Zambales, this young man caught not just my attention but my camera's snaps as well. With an arched back carrying a heavy load of logs and a yellow shimmery pair of beach shorts almost falling down as he walked, I had to capture the moment. Truly priceless!

Success depends on your backbone, not your wishbone.

Title of the Photo: A Heavy Load of Logs
Date Taken: May 2, 2009
Camera: Canon Digital Ixus 80 IS


an attempt of food photography

Amazed at how professionals artistically create mouth-watering photos, I have always wanted to try Food Photography myself. Armed with a point-and-shoot Canon Digital Ixus camera and a little amount of confidence at my photography skill, below is what I have on my first attempt on food photography. These are chosen photos from the buffet meal served to me and my husband in Balay Indang.

Here are 6 of the general tips I have read on food photography, some of which I forgot to consider.

1. Choose a setting that doesn't distract you from the food. Use a plain background.
2. Experiment and rotate the camera --- take shots from the top, left and right angle.
3. Zoom your lens and come closer to your subject to magnify details.
4. Use the rule-of-thirds to make the photo more interesting.
5. Take photos of colorful meals, forget about dull and earth-colored food.
6. Shoot and snap! Enjoy the shoot and take lots of it!

So there goes my first attempt on food photography. Would you be kind enough to give me some feedback? Oh, by the way, see how I made my watermark on the photos? I love it!

broken linkwithin widget

After almost 2 weeks of waiting, I decided to delete my LinkWithin widget. It said it would take them about 72 hours to crawl in my blog to search for related posts. With 2 weeks gone by and seeing no progress, what else is left for me to do but delete it.

I like the idea of seeing related posts after every blog entry. It will definitely boost my blog's rank. For now, I will just search the blogosphere for other widgets that would do what LinkWithin does. I am sure there something similar out there.


i ♥ faces photo challenge - “feet”

It's my first time to join the I ♥ FACES PHOTO CHALLENGE! What convinced me to join is this week's theme --- it's all about FEET! And how timely it is, I recently took a photo of my husband's feet in our weekend vacation. Candidly, I captured those feet as it experienced the intriguing Barefoot Walk in Balay Indang!

So there, my first entry in I ♥ Faces. Hopefully, it won't be my last!

food for the soul 07.2009

Your body is one of the most fragile things you own and must take care of. All too often, we allow sickness, stress, other people, etc. to run our lives. Not only will you feel better but other areas of your life will also improve if you work toward good general health. It's very tough to stay consistent as you pursue your goals if you're laid up or constantly fighting off sickness. -SPARKPEOPLE

Exactly what I need. Being sick the past 3 days has been a wake-up call. I am not getting any younger and I should be extra careful with what I eat and with what I do. I know have said this several times but I will still say it again --- that I am bound to live a healthier lifestyle, beginning today.

unable to do my regular routine

Although I often have cough and colds, I rarely get a fever. But when I do, it stays with me more than a couple of days.

Hit with a slight fever since afternoon of Saturday, I am still bedridden with a temperature that ranges from 37.2 - 37.4. The dry cough that comes with it does not help at all, as it adds to the agony of being unable to do my regular routine. (Well, at least I can blog, and it gives me comfort). I am only taking paracetamol, careful not to self-medicate on my cough. Thanks to my husband, the refrigerator is loaded with fruits. Aside from filling my empty stomach, I think taking fruits, is what's more important than drinking cough tablets.

There. I feel hungry again. With my husband in his office (I didn't want him to go on-leave today), I have to cook my own lunch. It's a good way for me to get out of bed too and feel less sickly. Oh, are those droplets of sweat falling on my temple? That must be a good sign that I am getting better! I will soon be back doing my regular routine!


bedridden with a slight fever

Enough of raving about typhoon Isang. It is now time to rant about it's rage, now that I am bedridden with a slight fever and dry cough. A day or two of heavy rain is ok. More than that is annoyingly insane.

Out of touch from the real world right now, we are here spending our weekend at my in-laws' house. With a busted desktop computer, I am blogging through my phone's 3G, bored at not being able to do anything aside from lying in bed. I've had warm soup and lots of fruits prepared by my husband. I've taken oral medications and glasses of water. We've monitored my temperature too. Now I just hope this fever and dry cough will leave me alone.


reasons to love typhoon Isang

If Typhoon Isang was furious yesterday, this time she is going insane! There are no buildings to see out of the window, just dark gray skies. Is it fun seeing it that way? Honestly, it is, for a couple of reasons.

Reason number 1, DepEd finally suspended classes early on. No need for students to wake up early and stay in school until their mid-day announcement. So unlike yesterday. Does this mean DepEd is finally past through their dreaded tale? I am hopeful of that.

Reason number 2, the weather calls for some warm and creamy chocolate drink with tiny marshmallows for breakfast. Just in time, we bought some in our recent grocery purchase. Bring out the left-over rice from last night. Fry it with egg, green peas and hotdogs. Fry some dried fish. What do you have now? An authentic Filipino breakfast on a cold morning!

Reason number 3, the cold weather is conducive for downtime. And what perfect way to spend the day doing nothing on a Friday. Download all you want. DVD marathon all day. Go facebook-ing. Read the latest scoops in hollywood through TMZ. Or just curl up in bed the whole day.

Some people (that could be you) may not agree with my list here. That's perfectly fine. I would suggest though, for you to blog about the reasons not to love typhoon Isang. Your reason number 1 could be the many Filipinos living in coastal areas. Let me know if you've written it. I am just here beside my computer, loving my authentic Filipino breakfast!


the dreaded tale of DepEd

When they need to, they don't. When they don't have to, they do. Such is the dreaded tale of DepEd in suspending classes in the Philippines. It is an all too familiar tale ever Filipino, who once went to school or is currently a student , knows by heart.

Just this morning, the storm was undeniably furious. We all thought classes will be suspended. Glued to our televisions and radio sets, we waited anxiously for their announcement. Bursting our bubble, they did not suspend classes! On we went with our day-to-day routines, unmindful of the strong rains outside our building. And just when every student and teacher were all focused with their lessons, they suspend classes. In most cases in the Metro, commuting home is the major problem students go through whenever DepEd suspends classes mid-day. In our case, it was the traffic as sedans, vans and SUVs begin lining up in our school grounds. So how did we manage the early dismissal this day? With every manager, teacher and staff up on our toes, I would say we did it excellently!

I wonder if DepEd's dreaded tale will ever come to an end. One thing is for sure though. There will be endless complains from parents later in the evening news!


manageable photo sharing site

Photography as a hobby has gained popularity the past years. To aide a booming number of beginners, online forums, journals and tutorials are made available to photo enthusiasts like me. In just a click of the mouse, as we learn the basics, photography becomes a truly addicting hobby. To encourage a photographer wannabe to keep clicking on his camera taking snap shots of every significant and not so significant moments, free photo sharing sites are made available online. What is nice about these photo sharing sites is that they are mostly for free!
These sites can even provide inspiration on various trends in capturing momentous events.

With a number of photo sharing sites made available through search engines, choosing where to sign up to place your photos may get rather confusing. So how does one choose where to place his gallery of photos?

The first factor one has to consider is how user friendly the free photo sharing site is. Does it provide users with a swift navigating system? Is the homepage organized and uncluttered? Does it allow easy access of other artist galleries? Is tagging of photos allowed? Are popular artists and galleries accessible?

If the factors mentioned above are the items you wish to consider when choosing manageable photo sharing sites, then www.picuna.com may just be the answer. Picuna is a free and unlimited photo sharing community where you can organize images with galleries and group galleries. With galleries, you can organize your photos. Group Galleries on the other hand are designed to share photos of the same topic. It is really easy to register. You only have to sign up, fill in some important facts about you and presto! You may start uploading your photos on your dashboard. Pretty easy? I would rather say it's a precise example of a manageable photo sharing site.

bully-proof: be nice, be kind, assert your rights

Bullying is never acceptable. The best way to respond to bullying is to stop it from happening.

This year's Grade School Anti-Bullying Campaign is called BULLY-PROOF: Be Nice,
Be Kind, Assert Your Rights. It says Be Nice because Bully-Proof students know how to listen to victims. Whenever you see a classmate being bullied, you support that person. You help him cope with the situation. But you NEVER, ever, tell him to retaliate. This year's campaign says Be Kind because bully-proof kids respect people. You celebrate diversity. You understand that we all have differences and you never bully your classmate just because he is different. This year's campaign says Assert You Rights because bully-proof students are smart --- they speak and stand-out. You walk away from the bully. You tell a teacher about the bullying.

The morning of the Anti-Bullying Campaign in Reedley International School, all Grade School students were given pins as symbol that Reedley students are bully-proof. They made a pledge as well, proudly raising their right hands as they vowed to stay bully-proof all throughout the year. Strongly believing these students will stay true to their commitment, we. the teachers, are hopeful that students in other schools will be bully-proof as well.

Be nice. Be kind. Assert your rights!

All photos courtesy of Gerald Diocades.


balay indang: a cozy retreat

Leaves playfully falling on the ground during daytime and cricket sounds filling the air at nighttime. I would call these nature sounds as beautiful music and only people who visit Balay Indang gets to experience it. This kind of music is what makes Balay Indang a cozy retreat to an overworked individual. With cabanas and hammocks beautifully arranged in the garden, you would naturally find your spot and take a breather in this soothing landscape.

An impressive array of interior with fine details will greet you as you enter the dining hall and its kitchen. Imagine the wall filled with mirrors in various sizes and designs. Imagine the dining hall ceiling covered with an oversized native banig, a large mirror and Christ's Last Supper.
While you lose track of time admiring the fine interiors, Balay Indang's amiable staff tells you it's meal time. In this very same dining hall, a tummy-filling set of sumptuous buffet meals is served on 5 occasions --- lunch, afternoon snacks, dinner, breakfast and morning snacks.

Just after dinner, it feels relaxing to go for a cold swim at the pool. With the stars watching over you, you would feel safe and at ease. You would naturally feel tired after a few swimming laps and would wish to retire in your bedroom. Just the sight of its clean bedsheets and rustic interiors makes you want to run to dreamland. With a well thought of interior, the room is amazingly big. The bathroom, designed with stones, unfinished flooring and white curtains, you would wonder if you're really in a bathroom. As you lie in bed, you would eventually ask yourself why you discovered this place of cozy retreat just now.

More photos HERE.

Balay Indang is located at Indang, Cavite, about 2-hour drive from Manila. By public transportation, you may reach it by going to Tagatay Rotonda. From there, ride a jeepney with a signage that says Indang. Tell the driver to drop you off at Balay Indang (also known as otso-otso). By private transportation, take Sta. Rosa exit in South Super Highway. Head straight to Tagaytay Rotonda. Familiar landmarks would be the Casino, Robinsons Mall and Mushroom Burger. When you see Mendez Avenue, turn right. When you reach the dead end, turn right again and drive until you see Balay Indang on our left. You won't get lost, just look for a big wooden gate with the number 88. For reservations, call 0917-8374261 and look for Sonia or Marge. Accomodations are as follows: daytour with buffet lunch and free use of facilities at Php550 per head, an overnight stay inclusive of 5 buffet meals, free use of facilities and room accomodation at Php2,400 per head.


pay per post version 4.0

With the global financial crisis we are all experiencing now, the idea of making extra income is the goal of every sane human being. Most of my affiliates are either into food-cart or clothing business. As financial analysts would often say, food and clothes are essential needs. Naturally, even with the prevalent crisis, a person would have to purchase food and clothes. So how do we survive our day-to-day lives with these financial issues? Pay Per Post version 4.0 Alpha offers bloggers opportunities to earn extra income.


Run by Izea, the interface of Pay Per Post version 4.0 is cleaner and looks more organized. A newbie at paid blogging will find navigating through the website hassle-free. But expect few paid opportunities as version 4.0 was just recently launched.

Like what our moms told us, patience is a virtue. And being patient for paid opportunities to come will surely be rewarded in time.

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