Sunday, December 26, 2010




Date Taken: Dec. 26, 2010 at 17:18
f/stop: f/5.6
Exposure Time: 1/10 sec
ISO: 200
Focal length: 55mm
Metering mode: Spot
No flash fired




Date Taken: Dec. 25, 2010 at 18:01
f/stop: f/4
Exposure Time: 13 sec
ISO Speed: 200
Focal length: 18mm
Metering mode: Spot
No flash fired

I live near Nuvali but I rarely get the chance to spend some time and do some photo shoots in this place. Good thing I was able to bring my tripod and make try some long exposure shots. This one turned out well (for me anyway). Hehehe.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Yeah, I'm such a loser. I have this feeling that I'm the only living person in Manila who hasn't gone to Forever21 yet. I've been wanting to go since its opening and only had the chance yesterday.

The moment I entered the store, I was in euphoria. I felt I was transported to a fashion planet. I wanted to grab every item I find. But no, I wasn't hyperventilating or in drools. I'm way too classy for that. Haha!

The mall's parking lot was filled so we left hubby to park the car on his own and proceeded to SM Megamall's 2nd floor. He told us he'll meet us inside the store. Moments later, I got a call from him and the first question he asked was, "Where in the hell will I find you guys? This store is so huge!".

We spent the next two hours browsing every nook was able to buy some stuff. There was this one dress which I really love but luck's not on my side that day since they don't have my size anymore.

Pam and Belle, my teenage stepdaughters, were able to score some tops and I bought a plaid long top, white polo top, white basic sweatshirt and a camisole top.

The store was packed and there was a long queue for the dressing rooms and checkout counters. I love how organized this place is. You don't have to get out of the dressing room to get your size (in case the one you have won't fit) and you don't have return the items you don't want yourself. You just hand them over to one of the assistants and you can continue shopping or head out to the check out counter if you're already done.

Too bad, we didn't have the time to check out their accessories section. We still have to grab Anin's outfit since they don't carry children's clothes and we still have to get Hael his haircut. I promised myself, the next time I enter F21, I'll head out to the accessories section first. =)

I'm not a big fan of crowded places but these inhibitions were quickly ignored the moment I stepped inside the store. I was totally overwhelmed with lots of fashionable items and my trip to F21 has transported me somewhere magical and enchanting. Now I'm an overreacting loser. Haha!


Variety of gelato choices

Cara Mia Cakes

After I have initiated my hubby with authentic Italian Bolognese, he can't stop craving from it. Before we met, he won't eat pastas or pansit canton but then things have changed a lot since then. Our meals has became too predictable since he would dragged the family to Sbarro or Italianni's to have that pasta.
On one of our trips to Alabang Town Center, I urged him to try Amici. Since we were not the type of "adventurous" eaters, we ordered their Margherita Pizza (Php280),
Spaghetti Alla Bolognese Pasta (Php185) and a pitcher of soda. My daughter Anin and I had Pistachio gelato for dessert.

All the while, we were summoning the waiter here and there without knowing its Self-Service policy. The waiter was so courteous to attend to our needs and he never told us about their policy. We later found out after reading one of its posts on the wall. Haha!

The waiter got a big tip from us considering his efforts and demeanor. Other service crews would have pointed to us that we have to serve ourselves right from the start.

Hubby was so impressed with their menu that he dragged us back there last week. We ordered different food this time but hubby ordered their bolognese spaghetti still. We had Insalata di Cesare/Caesar Salad (Php140), Cappricciosa Pizza (Php280), Spaghetti Alla Bolognese Pasta (Php185), Pollo Arrostito/Baked Rosemary half Chicken with veggies and some gelato for dessert.

I was hesitant to try out their baked chicken at first since it appeared to pale and too saucy. It was totally different from how it looks like from their menu. I was expecting it would look like the Italianni's version of their baked chicken. But then after an eeny weeny bite, I was surprised on how tasty it was. It was delectable and very tasty.

Overall, the dining experience at Amici was a delightful one. I'd give this resto my nod. Kids will not enjoy the pizza and pasta but the wide variety of gelato they can offer. The staff are friendly, courteous and very accommodating. I should say you should visit one of their branches and try out their menu.

I'll definitely try their Italian Sausage on my next visit. =)

Amici has branches at SM Megamall, Greenhills, Don Bosco School, Tomas Morato, Alabang Town Center and SM North Edsa.

I'm sorry but I was only able to take pictures of their gelato and cakes. The food vanished right after it landed on the table.


Cuts 4 Tots Hair Salon (SM Megamall)

Cuts 4 Tots Hair Salon interior (SM Megamall)

Hael, almost done with his haircut.

My son, Hael's first haircut was done in one of the barber shops here in our village. The experience was too traumatizing for him so his next haircuts that followed would mean screaming, lots of crying and too stressful for him and us both.
I told hubby that I won't let him get a haircut unless it's from a salon that would specialize on handling kids.
After a long shopping day at SM Megamall, we brought Hael to Cuts for Tots. This is his second time to visit this salon however his first one was at SM MOA. This kiddie salon's located on the 5th level in SM Megamall. We were 5th on the list, so we had to wait for a little while. I talked to the receptionist and specifically asked for someone "experienced" to handle Hael. I told her, handling Hael won't be easy and I want someone who knows how handle kids someone like my son. The receptionist was accommodating and reassuring.
When it was Hael's turn, the sobs started and the next thing we knew, he was crying so loudly and was attempting to jump out of his seat. I was amazed with the lady who handled my son's haircut because she seems so unaffected, constantly reassuring my son and tried to pacify him. Though her efforts were in vain, she was done in just a couple of minutes. The haircut was just perfect; no nicks or cuts on my son's head. We were amazed how she was able to accomplish this considering my son's behavior.
I'd give Cuts for Tots ( SM Megamall branch) a two thumbs up. I am a very satisfied customer indeed.

Haircut -- Php280

Monday, September 27, 2010


MY FIRST PAIR, PIETRA BRONZE (pictures from Google)

I first heard of this pair from a Multiply contact. Apparently, she was on the lookout for a comfortable pair of flpflops fit for a preggy mom. Being an online seller herself, she launched a preorder line for Fitflop.

When I did some research on the internet, I found the pair too bulky for my taste. I prefer slim and feminine types of sandals or flipflops and my collection of Havaianas is mostly composed of the slim models. Only when I visited an outlet store of Fitflop I was surprised the pairs are very lightweight contrary to what I initially thought. From then on, I wanted one for myself.

There are different of styles and models to choose from. The price ranges from Php3490 - Php5990. The price can be pretty hefty but I guarantee your money's worth when you have one. I would usually get achy feet and legs with just a stroll in the mall but I was really amazed I never felt any joint or muscle pain when I wore this pair the whole afternoon in MOA!!!! Not to mention, I was carrying my one year old toddler from time to time!!! Now I found the HG sandals fit for my lifestyle. I got the best of both worlds... I own the most comfortable and stylish sandals in one. Who wouldn't want that, right?

For more information, please visit FitFlop's website, or visit their Facebook account at Fitflop Philippines.



FitFlop footwear is biomechanically engineered to help tone and tighten your leg muscles while you walk in them. Studies at the Centre for Human Performance at LSBU show that normal walking in FitFlop sandals* can help:

  • - help increase leg and bottom muscle activity (up to 30%). (so you feel less ache in your hips and knees) ,

  • - absorb more shock than a normal shoe (up to 22%),

  • - help realign ground force reaction closer to your joints,

  • - reduce foot pressure and pain from heel spurs and plantar fasciitis.**

The muscle activation benefits in
RED are derived from case studies conducted.

The benefits in BLUE are derived from the hundreds of FitFlop sandals wearers who have reported relief from plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, chronic back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis, RLS, scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, and a number of other conditions. Read wearers’ reviews.


FitFlop footwear features patent-pending, muscle-loading Microwobbleboard™ technology to increase the time that your muscles are engaged every single time you take a step.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I had my very first taste of Conti's in a friend's party where he offered us the much famed Leche Flan. Since I hail from Cebu, I was totally clueless what the rave is all about. The moment I took a bite, it was love at first taste.

Then Conti's opened a branch here in Nuvali Sta. Rosa, Laguna (where I fortunately reside) and I didn't skip the chance to experience their other cuisine. If I remembered correctly, I ordered a Lasagna and a Moist Chocolate Cake and from then on, I always buy their cakes and Leche Flan on special occasions.

This afternoon, Yab and I took our family to Nuvali for a leisure walk and some family bonding. When it was getting dark, Yab suggested to have dinner at Conti's and of course, the whole family got excited. We are in serious craving for a delicious meal and surely, Conti's didn't disappoint our picky palate.

Everybody was happy with their meal of choice, especially me. Every bite was heaven. The food were nicely presented and the staff were very accommodating and friendly, too. Some meals come in two different sizes (To Share and Solo) which I find convenient since my daughter usually has a small appetite.

I definitely want to celebrate my upcoming birthday dinner here. =)

My stepdaughter, P.'s appetizer:

(Homemade Caesar dressing on a bed of iceberg lettuce topped with bacon bits, parmesan cheese and bread croutons)

Yab's meal:

(Slices of beef in mushroom sauce, served with buttered vegetables and mashed potato or garlic rice)

A.'s and H.'s (my kids) dinner:

(Wide lasagna noodles layered with bechamel sauce and oregano inspired meat sauce, topped and baked with mixed cheeses)


(Crunchy pork belly with liver sauce, served with fresh lumpiang ubod and steamed rice)

Dessert (we had to share since everybody's full already):


The Menu:


Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Yeah, our Bicolana bet could have nailed it after she has successfully made it to the top 5 finalists in the Miss Universe 2010 which was held in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 24, 2010. That was until the Q & A portion.

William Baldwin: What is one big mistake you made in ur life and what did you do to make it right?
Venus Raj: In my 22 years of existence, there is no major, major problem that I have done in my life because I am very confident with my family and the love they give to me. Thank you so much that I am here. Thank you so much.

I was like, "Huh?, That was it?". I then got up from my seat and walked away from the television set and resumed working. I knew from that moment on she has lost it. Just one more hurdle and she lost it.

Inspite of it all, I'm still proud of our Pinay. Nobody has made it this far since Miriam Quiambao bagged the Ms. Universe 1999 1st runner up title. From the ricefields in Bicol, Venus Raj made it all the way to the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Not to mention the adversities she has to go through to fight for her crown. She was stripped off her crown a month after winning due to her questionable birth records. However, BPCI took back their decision and gave her back the crown if she can present them her passport and for humanitarian reasons. This Pinay went through a lot and she faced them head on. That alone is a tough act to follow.

Scrutinies were expected after she ended up being a 4th runner up. And the first ones who cast the first stone were her fellowmen. I would be a hypocrite if I won't admit I was disappointed. Every Filipino was rooting for her to win after the hostage incident yesterday. Every Filipino wants her to redeem our reputation. That we are a country of beauty and brain, too and we are not a country full of rogue cops and incompetent SWAT team.

My former colleague even commented we should have sent Manny Pacquiao to the Ms. Universe pageant. He always beat the Mexicans, he always does.

Venus Raj did her best and it was evident right from the start of the pageant. She couldn't have done a better job. She gave us something to be proud of to say the least. Blame it on her nerves, the pressure or blame it on Melay. She has influenced Venus Raj on her "Over, over" phrase that she has to say "Major" succeedingly in her answer.

Just kidding. Peace, Melay.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Photo taken from the internet

I have always known this hostage crisis initiated by Rolando Mendoza would end tragically by the time the Manila Police picked up his brother and relatives against their will. They accused his brother of conspiracy and accessory to the crime. Any person with a good grasp of common sense would know the situation will only aggravate the unstable emotional state of former Capt. Rolando Mendoza.

I have learned from the news that the reason why Capt. Mendoza held a tourist bus full of Chinese nationals in the morning of Aug. 21 was that he would like to be reinstated in the service and that the Office of the Ombudsman should review his case. Mendoza was dismissed from the police service after found guilty of extortion and allegedly asked Christian Kalaw to swallow a sachet of illegal drug known as shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride). Christian Kalaw, a chef, was allegedly arrested by Capt. Mendoza of illegal parking, driving without license and possession of illegal drugs.

The situation looks promising at first. Capt. Mendoza releases hostages every now and then. He seemed harmless enough when he was seen waving at the media after releasing some of his captives. Police were optimistic. They even speculated it would be over soon. He was open to negotiations and he has never hurt anybody even after declaring a deadlock at 3pm. It only took a drastic turn of events when the Manila police arrested his brother and a couple of relatives. Mendoza's brother, also a policeman, refused to be taken since he said he'd be killed by the police officers. This, I believe, has provoked Mendoza to turn amok and fire some shots inside the bus.

As I was watching the live news coverage, I was in rage. It only takes a simple analogy on what will happen if Capt. Mendoza will see how his relatives are dragged despite of their pleas. Minutes later, shots were heard inside the bus and I said, I told you so.

Later on, I saw the bus driver escaped through the driver's window screaming, "Everybody's dead!, Everybody's dead!". It took a while for the police officers and SWAT team to set themselves up, not to mention break a simple door alone.

Shots were further exchanged and later on, teargas was thrown inside the bus. Were they able to confirm if all hostages are dead? Weren't they able to hear any voices or cries inside? How can they carelessly raid the bus without any confirmation if there are still innocent lives at stake? Should the use of force needed at all?

The hostage ended tragically. Capt. Mendoza was shot to the head was found hanging dead on the bus' door. One by one, hostages were pulled out and no, not all hostages are dead. The SWAT team and the police officers threw a tear gas and open fired with civilians inside. How dumber could these guys get?

Please don't take me wrongly. I don't consent to Capt. Mendoza's action. What I'm saying is, the situation could have been handled carefully. Nobody has to die, nobody has to get hurt. The hostages' well-being should have been the utmost priority of these officers. A certain police superintendent told the media all the hostages have been killed when in fact, they weren't. You guys had an army of men out there and you can't confirm the truth? For God's sakes, you can't even bust a single door.

I later on learned that you had to take a quick practice at the back of the crime scene to learn how to handle the situation. Now, we'd be a laughing stock of the whole world again.

I have utmost respect for all policemen, soldiers and firefighters alike. What I don't really like is when I see a single policeman torturing an arrested suspect leading to his death or a group of policemen carelessly endangering the lives of innocent civilians.

Capt. Mendoza died fighting for his cause. He chose death over injustice. It's not everyday we see someone so passionate for what he believes in resulting to drastic actions. No, we there won't be any 21-gun salute on his funeral for sure. Others may regard him as foolish or idiotic but who are we to judge?

Only those who had been aggrieved would understand. Only those who had suffered injustice will see the reasons why. Only Capt. Mendoza could justify what he had done and why. But we can't hear his tale. The hostage drama which seemed to be promising to end peacefully turned out to be a disaster.

In the end, the question I ask, who really has done the most error in this crisis?

Sunday, August 22, 2010


It was a lazy sunday so I asked my hubby to take me and the kids somewhere we've never been to. I told him I had enough of malls and that he should treat me like a tourist and take me somewhere exciting and fun.
Manila Zoo popped into the conversation and being a self-confessed OC, I searched for the place in the internet. There were a lot of negative feedbacks about the place. Many say the place is low-maintained and the living condition of the animals are very poor. This I got to see, I told myself.

An hour or so later, we arrived in Manila Zoo and found the place to be packed with so many people, locals and tourists alike. We paid the entrance fee of Php40 (for adults and kids with height above 4") and Php20 (for kids below the height of 4"). There were 4 adults in our group (Me, hubby, my 10-year old daughter A. and two yayas) and my 17-month old son, H. Hubby paid a total of Php220 and off we go.

The first thing that caught my eye was the aging elephant banging a chain on the wall with his trunk. Hmmm, he must be having a terrible day, I thought. After taking a few pictures, we moved on to the ostrich pen. As we were nearing the place, I noticed a guy splashing a cold water on the poor ostrich and he was having the time of his life. The ostrich kept on dodging himself from the splash and I can't help but to give the guy a dirty look and so he stopped. I just couldn't help myself from reacting. That wasn't funny at all and even my daughter reacted on how mean and cruel the guy was.

We went from one pen to another and as hubby stopped to buy himself an icecream, I went to the nearest cage of crocodiles. I initially thought they were statue models of crocodiles but when this guy beside me (this is another guy from the one mentioned above) threw a pebble on one of the crocs, the harmed animal instinctly snapped his jaw, obviously hurt. He told his companion he needs to take a picture of it awake. I walked away from the pen, shaking my head.

Manila Zoo is not the upscale type of zoo you have in mind. True enough, living conditions of the animals could have been improved but what do you truly expect from local officials nowadays? What really bothered me about the trip was that how some people can be so cruel on treating these poor creatures? Lack of education is not an excuse. It's the lack of empathy.

If local officials will make these animals' habitat livable, how can they protect them from these kind of people? Living conditions is important, I agree but emphasis must be acted upon on how to treat these animals humanely possible.

There was one area in the zoo where you can get your pictures taken with all those exotic birds. There was a long queue and I could see from the distance how these birds were grabbed to be placed on the arms of the customers, and they don't even have any water or food available. They were simultaneously and continuously placed on one customer to another without any rest, water or food.

My kids had fun but I can't turn away from the ugly sight of mishandling these poor creatures. It was a heart-wrenching trip not because the animals were caged or confined but because, how we people can be so cruel. We are all made under one Creator and we should never think so highly of ourselves t0 we think that we the God-given right to abuse the nature and the animals alike.

Please let be us kind to all the things around us. Dyed chicks aren't cute. Would you like your body to be dyed in blue and orange at the same time. I don't think so.

Monday, July 5, 2010



"You can't always get what you want
And if you try sometime you find
You get what you need"

After the never ending of taking down notes and a series of late nights, I didn't get the job I was pining for. Yeah, it was depressing and very frustrating. Just when you feel confident, that rejection letter is a big slap on my face.

I could go on thinking about the answers I've made and what I did wrong but I always come up with the same truth. I AM STILL REJECTED.

Sure, the job doesn't pay much but it would have been nice to earn some extra cash while at home. I felt I have disappointed my family and most of all, I felt I've disappointed myself. How can I even begin to forgive myself for that?

R. said to take it easy, we don't need that extra money anyway and why am I being too hard on myself... Easy for him to say.

Who doesn't need an extra moolah? An extra money would have meant a new pair of shoes, a new set of clothes or a footspa appointment every month. That job could have validated my capacity to earn in this household. So sad.

To my frustration, I spent all my free time signing up to those PTC sites. A very dragging and slow process to earn (on my opinion) but it's better than nothing.

Goes I'm back to square one. I got to figure this out. Swallow the painful truth one day at a time to digest the truth that I have failed and it's perfectly NORMAL.

Friday, June 18, 2010


READING TIMELINE: Read June 15,2010; Done June 18, 2010

Pages: 423

Where I got it: Powerbooks in Festival Mall Alabang

Price: Php309 / somewhere around $6.87



Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. In just a few weeks she'll have the operation that will turn her from a repellent ugly into a stunning pretty. And as a pretty, she'll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun.

But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to become a pretty. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world - and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally a choice: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. Tally's choice will change her world forever...


When everything's too good and too perfect to be true, it probably is.

The plot in this book was set sometime in the future humans are referred as Rusties and the place where they used to live in is known as Rusty Ruins. Cars do not exist anymore and is replaced with Hovercars and the authorities are known as the Specials.

Before anyone is turned into a Pretty, they live in a small town named Uglyville and wait for their turns to turn sixteen and be transformed and move to Pretty Town.

Tally is a normal 15-year old who can't wait to turn into pretty and join her friend, Peris. Just when she gets too lonely, she met Shay and made the waiting a breeze.

But Shay doesn't want to become pretty and ran away before 16th birthday, coaxing Tally to join her. The Specials offered Tally a now or never proposition and her future of becoming a pretty would depend on it.Tally is then torn between keeping her promise to Shay and her desire to become pretty and join her friend, Peris.

This is a story of friendship, love and sacrifice and everything in between. Tally may appear to be shallow in the beginning but she redeems herself in the end.

This is a different genre from what I usually read and I'm not really a sucker for Science Fiction Lit but I enjoyed this book anyway. The second book of the series is "Pretties" and yeah, I might buy it. =)

RATING: ♥♥♥♥


Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Schuyler Van Alen wants an explanation for the mysterious deaths of young vampires. With her best friend, Oliver, Schuyler travels to Italy in the hope of finding the one man who can help--her grandfather. Meanwhile, back in New York, preparations are feverishly underway for the Four Hundred Ball, an exclusive gala hosted by the city's wealthy, powerful, and unhuman--a true Blue Blood affair.

But it's at the after-party, a masquerade ball thrown by the cunning Mimi Force, that the real danger lurks. Hidden behind the masks is a revelation that will forever change the course of a young vampire's destiny.

Rich with glamour, attitude, and vampire lore, this second installment in the Blue Bloods saga will leave readers thirsting for more.


This was certainly a fast read for me not to mention the cover's really pretty. =)

The story started about Schuyler's quest in Venice to find her grandfather, Lawrence upon Cordelia's order before she died.

Schuyler's quest may seemed futile but in an interesting twist, her grandfather appeared in New York to redeem himself and I was so happy that Schuyler will never have to be alone anymore.

Like a doting grandfather, Lawrence helped Schuyler develop her powers as a new kid in town appeared in the person of Kingsley Martin. This guy was described as the new hottie but with a lot of tricks on his sleeve. ;)

In these series, Bliss is coping with her transformation of being a vampire and is still uncertain on what really happened to Dylan.

Mimi is still her true self. Selfish, vain and vindictive. She has sworn Schuyler as her main enemy.

Jack still refuses to acknowledge his true feelings to Schuyler but has remained loyal to his family and his obligations.

After reading the book, I was already looking forward to the next sequel, "Revelations". This series has certainly kept me entertained and want me begging for more. =)


Monday, June 14, 2010



This weekend proved to be such a high for me. R. was feeling generous and offered to loan me some money to buy one of my luxuries-BOOKS!!!

Due to raving reviews of Michelle Zink's "The Prophecy of the Sisters", I decided to grab this book in a heartbeat. I loved Melissa de la Cruz' "Blue Bloods" series, so I got the second book, "Masquerade". =)

On our unplanned trip to Festival Mall in Alabang, I just have the urge to stop by at Powerbooks and voila! I saw one last copy of the "Uglies" and decided to get it along with the "Help Me" bookmark. I'll post the pictures pretty soon. The bookmarks were absolutely cute!!! I saw it in Bookmarked blog site and since then, I vowed to get one too.

There are still a lot in my wishlist and I just can't wait to complete the list! =)