Apr 29, 2012

Random Affairs

How do you catch up with cousins who are based in Geneva, Toronto and Doha? How do you meet with friends after not seeing each other for a while due to busy schedules? How do you spend time with relatives based in different cities in the Philippines? Doable but not easy. The amusing thing is, I got to see most of them in one day and saw relatives in another city a plane ride away.

Sometimes, unplanned get-together or chance meetings turn out better than painstakingly organized events. :)

All in good time...


--- At Starbucks Ayala Center Cebu ---

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--- At Shi Lin, Alabang Town Center, for lunch ---

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these two boys had a funny story (about their orders)... lol!

--- At Cibo, Alabang Town Center, for coffee and desserts ---

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Philippine Landmarks Made of Lego

On display at the Northwing Atrium of the SM City Cebu is a 30 x 20 ft. map of the Philippines made of Lego. And more interesting than the map itself are the famous Philippine landmarks rendered in these colored bricks.

This is a fun way to showcase the beauty of the Philippines which everyone (not just the Lego aficionados) might enjoy seeing. The exhibit runs from April 21 to May 10, 2012.

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Paoay Church and Bangui Windmills, Ilocos

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Banaue Rice Terraces

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Fort Santiago and Luneta

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The tarsier and the Chocolate Hills

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San Juanico Bridge, Samar and Leyte

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Subterranean River, Palawan

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The Pearl Farm, Davao

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Siargao Island

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Sitankai Houses, Tawi-tawi

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Plaza Independencia, Sto. Nino Basilica, Magellan's Cross

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The Shangri-la Hotel

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The Radisson Blu Hotel



And of course, after viewing the miniature Philippine landmarks, we had our afternoon fill of pastries and bread at Leona's :)

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Apr 25, 2012

20th Anniversary



My thoughts on our 20th year of union...

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Less me...

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...more we

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“Married couples who love each other
tell each other a thousand things
without talking.”
(Chinese Proverb)


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"A great marriage is not when the 'perfect couple' come together.
It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences."
(Dave Meurer)


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"Don't marry the person you think you can live with;
marry only the individual you think you can't live without."
(Dr. James C. Dobson)


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"Whatever our souls are made of,
his and mine are the same."
(Emily Bronte)

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The 20-year couple...

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...and there's our youngest "squeezing" himself in the pic


@->---

That was the first installment of pics during our 20th anniversary celebration at the Marco Polo Hotel with the boys...

The celebration continues!

Apr 23, 2012

Pushing Our Weight Around - Week 1

Relenting to the request of my teenage sons to enroll them in a fitness program, my hubby and I decided to join them. We got 1 month unlimited access just to find out if they would be able to sustain it. You see, I was thinking it would just be another flash in the pan and they would eventually get bored with the routine. Also, it would be quite challenging to stay on course while having all kinds of distraction like seeing friends, going on trips, playing online, watching movies etc...

Surprisingly, week 1 was good. We only missed a day to celebrate our 20th anniversary. The rest of the days we were sweating it out on the cardio and toning machines for an hour and a half per visit. When one of us was feeling lazy, there were 3 others who would egg everyone to go. Thankfully, it has worked for us. Plus, it has become a good time to bond with the elder sons.

Truth be told, I'm actually loving this new daily activity. It's something I would like to keep doing with the boys beyond the 1 month access. Whether they like being seen with me in the gym or not, might be a different story though. Ha-ha. For now, on to week 2 of family time and fitness...


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Apr 18, 2012

Summer Shades

Being born to a family with poor eyesight, I have been using eyeglasses since I was in grade school. The first time I noticed my vision deteriorating was when I started squinting to see better what was being written on the board. I thought nothing of it which, of course, didn't help my case. When we had my eyes eventually checked, I was diagnosed as having a grade of 150 on both eyes and was ordered to wear eyeglasses to prevent the grade from progressing.

At first I thought it was cool to wear glasses. However, as the days wore on and when I couldn't engage in activities like playing volleyball without worrying about my glasses falling off from my face or getting hit, I thought it was time to try using contact lenses. And so I did. Back then, they were not mainstream, thus, were very expensive.

With the contact lenses, I could use shades to protect my eyes from glare, a convenience I didn't have with prescription eyeglasses. However, I was lax and was not very careful with my contact lenses. Sometimes I slept without taking them off. And because I slept with them, I'd lose them the moment I open my eyes in the morning. They'd be crisp and almost brittle and needed a lot of soaking. Too much of a hassle, so I decided that the contact lenses weren't for me.

About two years ago, I was introduced to the transition lenses. The kind that turned dark when used outdoors. The brighter the sunshine, the darker they became. Now this was something I found very useful for my day-to-day use, especially when driving. Because the lenses can be fitted using different kinds of frames, I have a wide selection to choose from... from the big brand names like Prada, Gucci (not that I'd buy them!) to the more practical WarbyParker, name it.

And because the sun is intense in this part of the world, not to mention that it is summer time now, I would have very good use for my transition lenses. That reminds me to check the mall if there's a sale going on. Maybe it's time for my third pair.


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That's me with my transition lenses while goofing for the cam

Water Woes

It's summer in the Philippines and here in Cebu where I am, it's perfect beach weather almost all-year round. Since we've been seeing cloudless blue skies for the past how many days it sure makes us long for times we could just laze around soaking in the rays. This weekend could be it...

Summer doesn't come without it's disadvantages though. And our mini garden in the patio is taking the brunt of the summer heat. My potted horse tail turns brown the moment its container dries out. And the small plot of grass we have in front of the house show brown dried out patches on days when it is not watered enough. No wonder our water bill has gone up.

We try to use gray water or recycled water to clean the car, flush the toilet, etc. just to minimize consumption. However, this does very little in saving on cost. It makes me wish we had something like what I saw on the internet that talks about replacing real grass with temecula synthetic turf by Install It Direct. Maybe this would help significantly in reducing expenses. I will check our local home depot or garden suppliers if they have something similar... If there is and it is everything it claims to be, I might get sold to the idea.

Apr 14, 2012

Pork Crackling - A First Taste

While doing our grocery shopping, I chanced upon a pack of chicharon or pork crackling near the produce section. And being the label reader that I am, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was "microwavable". Ah-ha! :)

To cut the story short, thinking it was less greasy a. k. a. less fatty or less artery clogging, we bought it and gave it a try.

It was actually good. Here, have some...


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Apr 8, 2012

Islands Banca Cruises

We stayed in town this year and attended the church ceremonies (confession, stations of the cross, masses) for Holy Thursday and Good Friday. On Black Saturday, we went to try the sunset cruise of Islands Banca Cruises with the Kho family. It was a last minute decision to replace our original plan to drive to Oslob to see the whale sharks ("butanding").

The reservation didn't go through on our initial attempt as we were told all the boats allocated for the cruise were already fully booked. It was peak season after all. However, after following up via text and calls, a confirmation was made 3 hours before the scheduled cruise. Photo finish. :)

We were at the dock 30 minutes before the cruise to make sure we don't get bumped off. And while we waited, we took pictures and had take-out halo-halo and peach-mango pies in between.

The weather was just perfect for goofing around.


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halo-halo and peach mango pie

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with D

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Jake checks out a hermit crab


The boat got to the dock a bit late. And because the tide was low, the boarding was quite tricky.


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the outrigger boat painted in white and furnished with cushioned seats and bean bags

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being assisted by the crew

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chivalry is not dead :)

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all aboard!!!


We were off in a few minutes. Fortunately, the sun was up long enough for us to take photos of the Mactan channel scenery, the view of the Marcelo Fernan bridge and the old bridge.


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approaching the Marcelo Fernan Bridge

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up close

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and under

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approaching the old (1st) bridge connecting Mandaue City to Mactan Island

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taking a video using this

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getting off the boat


Taking the sunset cruise was a good way to spend an afternoon with family and friends. For one, it doesn't take much to book a reservation (P295 per person for the 1.5 hours cruise). You get a nice view of the channel, bridges and city lights while you feel the cool sea breeze as you sip a glass of iced tea and munch on peanuts.

This is not a sponsored post but you may want to check out the cruise provider: Islands Banca Cruises...