Thursday, June 30, 2011


My everdearest Lola,

Twelve years have passed but the time hasn't healed the wounds yet. God knows how much I try not to break down and cry every time I think of you and how much I miss you. There are so much things I'd like to tell you and so many stories to tell. I'm sure you'll be fascinated and at the same time, frown on some parts of it.

When I think of how you ran your fingers through my hair or how you cuddle me whenever I go to sleep, I couldn't help but wish I was that little grandchild again. I have never been easy to look after to but you had the infinite patience and that overflowing love to understand me and accept me in spite of all my shortcomings.

I will always remember how you limply walked your way through my principal's house to confront her of  her deception. You tripped and fall on your way but you were determined to fight for me. You believed I deserve that Valedictorian medal and you shamelessly fought til the end. You taught me one valuable lesson that night. To fight for what I deserve and worked hard for no matter what the cost. You gave me dignity and I will always be proud and thankful for that.

I didn't grow up as righteously as you would have hoped for. I made a lot of huge mistakes and God bless your heart, if you were here right now, I know I'll never get a judgement from your end.  

You should see your two great grandchildren now. Anin's a little mini me but far more trendy and feisty at times. She's a consistent honor student in her school and every time I go up that stage, I always wish you were there to see it all. I know you'd say, she got her genes from me. Hehehe.

And there's Hael. Once you see this kid, you'd realize bringing me up was a piece of cake. Haha! This kid has the energy of ten football players but very very affectionate in his own little ways. He's very smart for a kid his age and I bet he got his genes from me, too. Just kidding, Lola. 

It's really sad they weren't able to meet you. I know they'd love and adore you. Everybody does. You were the family's protector. You always made sure everyone got along and I can still remember how much it tears you apart when they don't.

You have always been loved by your great heart. You were the kind mother who would do absolutely anything for her family. And when I say anything, I mean ANYTHING. 

When a family visits you from out of town, you stay up no matter how late it is and when I look at you, I always see that contented smile to see them home and I know how happy that makes you to see them gather together again.

Your joys were simple and so uncomplicated and I envy your pure heart.  I pray to God He has welcomed you in His kingdom free of pain and suffering. God knows, you deserve it, Lola.

I miss you terribly.... I always do. There will always be that nagging pain that will never go away. I hope someday I can forgive myself for not being there to say goodbye and for not being there when you needed me the most.

Thank you for taking care of me whenever I got sick. Thank you for letting me know that boiled Coke or Royal Tru Orange can cure fever and that "Gabun" leaves work wonders for that cough. I never win that war when it comes to refusing taking those herbal medicines you make me take. You always win and I always get well.

Thank you for patiently enduring my refusal to eat those vegetables you cooked. You always threaten me with a tree twig just to eat those nasty veggies but you never hit me. You always chase me around the table with it but I would just laugh because I know you don't have the heart to cause me pain.

Thank you for always making me a warm Milo drink every breakfast though I throw it in the sink behind your back. Don't let me start with those oatmeal you made for me. They also end up in the sink every time. But thank you for all those efforts, I know how hard it is but you keep them doing anyway everyday.

Thank you for teaching me how to cook rice the old fashioned way. Whenever I'm out playing in the afternoon and hear someone screaming my name, I know it's time to cook rice for dinner... at 5:30pm.

Thank you for financing my first mini sari-sari store when I was just a kid. I ended up eating all my merchandise but you never got mad. I was a happy and very much full kid for a day.

Thank you for teaching me how to kneel and pray the rosary every night. Yeah, I do fall asleep in the middle of it and you'd always nudge your elbows to my side for me to wake up. Your friends told you I'd become a nun someday. They should see me now. I am way too far from becoming one. Hehehehe.
My list could go on and on but I couldn't be grateful enough. I always think back at my childhood days and I know I had the best one. You were a part of it and you made it happen for me. 

Thank you for teaching me independence, self-reliance, love, patience and understanding. Thank you, Lola for being my hero. We all miss and love you very much.

Missing you everyday,

PS: They don't call me Michelle nowadays, Lola. I'm known now as Micai. Cool huh? Hehehe.

Monday, June 20, 2011





 Super Papa!

The persistent rain can't stop me from celebrating this day. Yab truly deserve a treat for all his hard work. I promised myself to take him somewhere he has never been before and just enjoy the whole day munching ongood food.

I took him to the Bag of Beans and we availed the Brunch Buffet for only php400/adult and php200/kid. The place was packed as usual and we had to share a table with a family. Later on, we found out that we shared a table with the owner herself.

I was quite disappointed at first because there were no plates available and most of the chafing dishes are empty (we arrived around 1pm). We settled having a soup but it was surprisingly cold. 

I was pacified when I was able to taste the food. Everything was delicious and you can't help but to forget some of the shortcomings. The waiters were very polite and courteous in spite of the fact it was such a busy day.

It was a consolation that Yab enjoyed his late lunch very much. Just like me and the kids, we loved everything. Every food was delectable and sumptuous.

Was it worth it? Very much. Will I ever go back to the Bag of Beans? Definitely. I want to have some of their Shepherd's Pie next time.

Total Bill:
Buffet (2 adults) - php400 x 2 = 800
Buffet (1 kid)     - php200 x 1 = 200
EVAT  10%       - 100            = 100
 TOTAL                           PHP1100

Bag of Beans' Website:

Sunday, June 19, 2011





The four of us are the only ones who made it that day but we had super fun anyway. The plan to shoot ended up as having a great talk and an endless munching of food. Typhoon Egay literally rained on our parade but it gave us four to bond ultimately. 

We gave up on our original plan to do some long exposure and night shots at EK and proceeded to Nuvali to have dinner at Conti's sans Richard.

Dinner was great and the girl talk was the best. I was able to know my friends more and bond to the max. It was truly one of the greatest UBEs I've ever had in the longest time.




Sir Edwin Martinez (Immersion: Working the scene)

 Sir Dino Lara (Wedding & Photojournalism)

 Sir Manny Librodo (When Travel Meets Fashion)

 Sir Jay Jallorina (Immersion: Working the scene)

My ID Pass!!! :)) 

Since it's my first time to attend DPP's (Digital Photographer Philippines) Anniversary, I've been anticipating this for several weeks. I had to travel all the way from Laguna to Alabang inspite of being sick just to buy myself the #38 issue which contains the pass to the event.
I arrived at 7:30am in Bonifacio High Street and as expected, there was a long queue awaiting for me but I the organizers had this foreseen, so they have made all things fast and breezy.

After securing my ID pass, I was in great dilemma which seminars to take. The ones I wanted were being held at the same time. I chose the lectures in accordance to my current interest. I picked out Sir Dino Lara, Sirs Jay Jallorina and Edwin Martinez and Sir Manny Librodo.

I met up with Team D3k afterwards and we spent the whole day listening to lectures and taking down notes under the sweltering heat of the day. We were literally drenched in sweat but of course, no one's complaining. The opportunity to hear the masters of photography give out their tricks of the trade is just too good to miss out.

I wasn't able to finish the Photo Live Judging, which is the main highlight but I am more than happy just to make it. Not only was I able to bond with my friends, I learned a lot the whole day. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Pretty, isn't it? :)

In one of my grocery trips this week, I found this very cute collectible from Kitkat. It can serve as a pen holder, mobile phone stand and the lower back part is detachable and you can always store your tiny knicknacks like memory cards, sim cards or even your earrings in there. :)

It is inclusive of the 6 pack Kitkat chocolate wafers for only Php100.

Friday, June 10, 2011


The Dining Room Restaurant

Salad Bar

Leche Flan




Seasonal Fruits


First of all, I am not a fan at all of vegetables. In fact, I don't eat them and my parents have given up on me a long time ago. My first trip to Gourmet's was when our photography club, Team D3k had our dinner at Gourmet's Cafe after our shoot in Calatagan.

Our mentor, Sir Rolly Magpayo highly recommended this place and I was glad he encouraged the group to visit this place since dining in Gourmet's is truly an experience you wouldn't forget.

I could vividly remember I had Chili con Carne and their Signature Lemonade. Since then, I can't wait to go back to have a taste of that lemonade again. With their organic vegetables, I knew right there and then I had to bring Yab to this place since he's a big fan of salad and veggies alike.

This time around, I took the whole family to Gourmet and had lunch at the Dining Room. The whole place is totally different from the Gourmet's Cafe's ambiance. The moment you enter the place, you will have the feel of formal dining setting. The interior and the feel of the place is truly exquisite.

Yab and I opted for the Lunch Buffet at around php640/person if I could remember it correctly. My eldest daughter, Anin ordered a Spaghetti Bolognese ala carte. For our drinks, Anin had a fresh mango shake while Yab and I had the Signature Lemonade.

Their buffets consists of fresh organic vegetables for salad, a dressing of your choice, pasta, bruschetta, pizza, dessert and seasonal fruits. Since I don't eat veggies, I had a plateful of spaghetti bolognese, pizza and several rounds of their leche flan.

At the end of the meal, I had a very filled, happy and contented hubby. He loved everything and he fell in love with their lemonade too!

I have this feeling we'll be back again to Gourmet's pretty soon.

The Dining Room Website:


Rizal Boulevard


Cathedral of St. Catherine of Alexandria


Father and daughter tandem


I was here!!!

Silliman University

Dumaguete Belfry

Rizal Boulevard

Marysol, age 6, my newfound friend in Dumaguete City

Dumaguete truly lives up to its name, The City of Gentle People. I was alone for the whole day taking photographs and never did I feel intimidated for a second in my life compared to traveling to other cities in the Philippines.

Every person I met are truly friendly and you would always get that warm welcome smile wherever you go.

This city is pretty laid back. Though we only stayed for two days, Dumaguete made a mark in my life.

We were lucky enough to score a decent hotel just across the much famed Rizal Boulevard and I grabbed the opportunity to do my solo photo walk the entire afternoon.

While I was doing my solo photowalk, I didn't have to constantly look over my shoulder if someone might grab or snatch my camera off my neck. It's a refreshing experience to have the freedom to enjoy taking photos with no worry at all.

During my photowalk, a little girl caught my attention and I asked her if I could take a photo of her and she gladly obliged. Her name is Marysol and she became my first friend in this city. A little later on, a guy approached me and asked if I do photography for a living. He got curious since he saw me back and forth a couple of times taking photos of some people in Rizal Boulevard. The people in this city are just incredibly friendly.

On our second day, I asked Yab if he could accompany to some of the famous landmarks in Dumaguete. We spent the whole morning taking photos in Silliman and the Dumaguete belfry. Since we were cramped with time and we had to take the plane back to Manila after lunch, we had to call it a day.

They don't have supermalls in this city but this is what makes Dumaguete City a very special place. It's uncorrupted of superficial lifestyle and the laid back setting in this place is truly admirable.

I wished we could have stayed a couple of days more but I know this won't be my first and last visit to the City of Gentle People.