Friday, April 27, 2007


The word Shangri La comes from the novel The Lost Horizon by the English writer James Hilton who coined it to give a name to a mysterious country hidden in the Himalayan heights; "a place of harmony, happiness and joy".

This word has since become a symbol of a paradise on Earth.

And the Philippines own shangri-la is Sagada.
(this picture was taken from wowphilippines)

tonight, we'll be leaving for Sagada, and am I excited? in my case, the word excited is an understatement as i've dreamt of the place a couple of nights already (i thought i saw caves, trees, and morbid as it may sound, coffins! the hanging coffins' what i am thinking of the latter). having dreams of the place is what i get from thinking so much of it and bombarding myself with so much informations, tips and pictures that i could possibly get from the net.

i started packing as early as sunday, but some of friends have their baggage/s ready two weeks earlier! see? our group's not really excited no? hehehe.

last night, i double checked everything, from what to wear on what days (including sandals, beltbag, cap, jackets, yes, jackets), to gadgets (camera, batteries, spare batteries, memory sticks, flash drive, tripod, chargers, ziplock cases, USB cable), to trail foods (remember the belvita episode? hehe), toiletries and other necessities (flashlight, swiss knife, notebook, pen, even extra plastic bags).

so far, so good.

and it's also good that the couple who backed out yesterday (due to complications with leave schedules or something) will join us once againn eventhough they have to go back to manila by sunday and be there in the evening, at least the original group is still intact.

haa, a few more hours and it's hello fresh air, hello mountain tea, hello red rice, hello yoghurt house, hello hanging coffins, hi echo valley, hello caves...

and hello icy-cold water! (balita ko P40 ang isang timbang mainit na tubig)

hehehe, and good luck to me, sana di ako sipunin.

*excited, excited, excited!*


Pahabol na post: i'll be back on May 2, or May 3, or May 4, basta, hahaha, feel free to leave something here, i'll get back to you as soon as i can, or maybe i can blog from there... *grins*

*excited, excited, excited!*

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


while browsing the pba website this morning, a banner advertisement caught my attention, something like a picture perfect photo contest and as i clicked on the link, i was lead to Picatoo, a company that specializes on Digital Print Services, Photo Creations and even sells digital photography books.

what really interests me and made me completely ignore and/or forgot the contest was the Photo Creations that includes PictureBooks, a photo album that is way more than being a photo album. here's a little backgrounder for picturebooks:

PictureBooks are a new, fun and unique way of preserving your precious memories as captured by film or digital cameras. Instead of the usual way of taking pictures; developing it; then filing in an album, you just send us the digital images. We will arrange it into an album- or book-like format measuring 7 inches wide x 5 inches tall (or the same size as a 5R photo) complete with captions and artistic effects. The pages will be professionally binded using a spring or wire bind to maximize the viewing area, while at the same time, making it easy to flip the pages.

A single PictureBook can contain up to a maximum of twenty (20) pages, and can have up to eighty (80) photos. Photos are arranged in different ways based on pre-designed templates. You use the PictureBook Maker to choose the layout you want, and to tell us which picture goes to which location.

PictureBooks are priced affordably starting at PHP750.00. That is cheaper than developing 80 x 5R photos and buying an album to store them!

for other infos, you can read here.

i have read about some digitally printed photo album with the feel of a coffee table book, and even saw some professional photographers work/products on a similar set-up, but i haven't tried them as they're expensive, period.

but with this little discovery that i have (it may have been around for so long but i don't mind hehe), i am glad that i can have it for only P750.00, and as described above, it's way cheaper than developing an 80 5R pictures with the standard rate of P13.00 a piece, or a savings of almost P300 plus the cost of the album.

i don't know anyone who have tried this, but i am interested, very interested. the only thing that holds me back is the maximum of 80 pictures only policy. you see, from at least 200 shots that i may take on some getaways, around 140-150 of those will be printed (andami no? OA kasi ako basta picture hehe) and the remaining shots "may still be considered" so i might have every shots printed. expensive no?

i know, i know that i can just stored them on cd or thru a web album, but nothing beats the feel of seeing and touching those pictures in an old fashioned way di ba? so if only 80 pictures, i might have a hard time, very very hard time choosing the best 80 shots, dilemna yun! hahaha.

i might try it with the pictures i'll take in our upcoming Sagada trip this weekend, hopefully i can a get a good panoramic shot considering the limitations of my four year old digicam, parang ang ganda siguro nung i-spread on two pages. haah, i can always dream on these things hehehe.

meanwhile, here's a couple of sunsets i've taken on two separate days while riding a bus and passing the Coastal Road on my way home (i just used my phone on both pics)

heard of PictureBooks? do you want to try having your pictures printed on those?

Thursday, April 19, 2007


yesterday, when i reached the mrt ayala station from market! market!, i was greeted by the usual looong line of people, but aside from the usual lines for both the ticket booth and the entrance, there's another one (actually three!) and it's rather noisy, parang palengke. and the usisero in me took over.

aha! eto pala! Buy P100 worth of Belvita products and get 1 can of Oreo FOR FREE!!!

when i saw the word FREE, syempre pila agad ako. never mind kung ano man yung belvita products na yun, basta me libreng Oreo hehe. yung mga nasa likod ko, ginaya na lang kaming nakapila, tapos magtatanong-tanong, ano yun? ano yun? pumila, di alam kung para san! hahaha, ang mga pinoy talaga sobrang mapagbiro hehe.

1 minute, the two lines on the right are moving, ours is not...
2 minutes, the other lines are still moving, ours just moved a bit (or does it?)...
5 minutes, i am now near the counter and then the sales rep shouted: "last eight pieces! last eight pieces!" huh?! with my eyes bigger than its usual size, i immediately count the persons on the other two lines and those in front of me, one, two, three, four, five... yes, abot pa ko! and when my turn came, goodbye to my P100 and hello to this:

i was like a child who was given a new toy, and later on realized do not know what to do with the toy. ha! now i have five packs of Belvita with six pieces each, a huge can of 40 pcs single packed Oreo cookies, i handed them a 100 pesos, now what? tingininginiiiing!

was i impulsive or what? this time, i think i am. i did not even consider the reason why they're giving away free oreo, baka naman malapit nang mag-expire! i checked on the expiry date, buti meron and it's best before December 2007. yes, pwede to! ngayon, ano nang gagawin ko dito?

hmm, it's only later in the house that i thought of our upcoming Sagada trip next week, these biscuits/cookies can be a good trail food on the hike! yes. even though you are too sweet for now, oreo, i think we'll love you up there in the mountains. oreo and belvita you can be the partners the sagada coffee/tea has been looking for. hahaha, pathetic me, i'm just consoling myself for an almost worthless impulsive buying.

buti na lang me Sagada next week or else mapupurga ako at ang mga officemates ko sa binili ko hehehe.

and speaking of Sagada, eight more days and our group will be shouting at the Echo Valley, hanging out with the hanging coffins, wetting ourselves in the cave and falling in love with the big and small falls and hopefully raise our historical and cultural knowledge about our forefathers! basta, overly dramatic na naman hahaha.

Banawe, bontoc, sagada, here we come!

am i excited? not really, i didn't even bought this bag (at 40% off) for this trip. hehehe.

Any impulsive buying lately? have you been to Sagada? how was the experience?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Lifehouse - Everything (Final Fantasy IX Tribute)

i thought of sharing something from Lifehouse, one of my favorite bands. i've been listening to their songs for quite some time already (three years i think) and i can never get enough. these guys are so good, enough proofs are the heartfelt lyrics and the melody/musicality never fails to amaze me.

the song Everything is one of their best, listen and you'll know why.

(and enjoy the Final Fantasy IX tribute video.) :)

Friday, April 13, 2007


this morning, i woke up 30 minutes earlier before my two alarm clocks (yes, i have two, i am quite a sleepy head) can strike me with their endless ringing, the reason? cats!

no, not my own but my neighbor's cats, i don't own one as i am not really a fan of these little hairy creatures we fondly call muning!

at 4:30 in the morning, while still in dream island with a dream i can no longer recall, a loud screeching sound followed by a thunderous running on the roof of my house snapped me from my bed, and even with my eyes still half-closed i tried to figure out what had just happened. and lo! and behold, me nag-aaway/naglalambingan/naghahabulan/nagti-tsismisan at nambubulabog na mga anak ng mga pusang pusa!!! pusa naman!!

sus! kung di ka ba naman... (insert expletives here hehe). i was able to play mister cool on a previous encounter with the third kind but this time, the table was turned, these cats are testing me and making a fool out of me by just staring at me while i am talking to them, they didn't even have the courtesy of turning their backs and run away from the crime scene, instead they just said: "miyaaw, miyaaw".

forgive me, but i threw water at them making them fled as if i just unleashed a nuclear bomb. and then there was silence. hay salamat, doon ko lang napansin nasa likod-bahay ako wala pala akong tsinelas hehehe.

i went back to my bed and enjoyed the remaining minutes of my supposed seven hours of uninterrupted sleep and then there's noise again.

(eyes rolling) it's my alarm clock! the first one, the other one will make its turn in five minutes...arrgghh!

i have to get up or else i will be late, being a sleepy head i move in slow mo in the morning (o tamad lang talaga ako hehe) which i think is okey as i already prepared my things (including my baon) the night before and i just have to sip coffee for that perky morning touch. but this morning, i had more than being perky, i was pestered and i think i was jerky, salamat sa mga pusa.

and speaking of, when i thought they're already gone and back in their cave licking their wounds for their interrupted early morning happy hour, guess who are making a race track out of the roof of my house? them.

hay, this time, i just ignored them (gising na kasi ako saka para magising na rin yung mga kapitbahay hehehe), maybe this is the only time they can do these things as they are very busy during the day making a marathon catnap.

got a similar cat-astrophic experience?


(starring in the picture above are four of the seven cats in our house in quezon, all of them are stray cats who my sister just feed one time and then after that, they just stayed in our house, one of them was pregnant, don't ask me who the father is, and then gave birth to three more kittens).

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

how was your Holy week?

mine was quite productive. aside from the Maundy Thursday reflections (!!!) and the Good Friday procession with the family (my dad opted to stay in the house, walking around the town non-stop is quite tiring), it was an unusually fruitful loooong weekend for me.

here's how the week goes:

WEDNESDAY: braving the storm

a little past 4 pm, that's how EDSA Guadalupe (southbound) looks like, it's still moderate, a few more hours and then it's chaos! i didn't rush to the bus terminal, instead i went to SM Makati to buy some pasalubong and some gifts for my nephew who graduated red honor (valedictorian ata katumbas nun) from nursery and for another inaaanak for his birthday (malaki utang ko dito, 3 yrs ko nang di nakikita hehe). as i thought it was still early and if i go to the bus terminal right away, rush hour might just catch me and the oh-so-heavy alabang-slex-sto.tomas batangas combined traffic at this time of the year might send me to boiling point, i decided to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (hehee) and though it was just okey and visually appealling, it was a nostalgic ride down the memory lane for me (and how i was hooked on the cartoon series in the early 90's). at 10 pm, i was already in the Lucena bound bus terminal and after 30 minutes and eight buses full of passengers, i was sitting inside the 9th bus with Hed Kandi's Beachhouse playing on my phone and despite the late night and/or early morning traffic, i reached Lucena 3:30 am and hopped into the next bus and it's another two hours of travel (one hour standing, one hour sitting uncomfortably next to a snoring guy haha).

on glorietta with the moon

THURSDAY: just stayed in the house, played with my nephews, do some errands, a few moments of reflections and then i sleep.

FRIDAY: it was such a quiet day. quite right for the mood that Good Friday should be, and it suites the moment as we reflect that Jesus died on the cross for the salvation of mankind.

SATURDAY: the second batch of palay (about 6 sacks) just arrived and it only mean i need to stretch my bones and be ready para magbilad ng palay.

when i was still in the province, summer means palay-drying. we used to harvest the palay ourselves (at ilang beses ko rin nahiwa ang mga daliri ko ng karet, aray!) but since we all became busy, we let the caretaker to do it for us.

the sky was not consistently clear, but it was a hot day and we manage to dry up three of the six sacks.

at around 3 pm, a little rain fell and it's a good thing that we already put the palay inside the house. i also need to prepare as i have to attend a children's party with my nephew.

i was supposed to attend the Salubong later in the night but the palay drying and the children's party gave me a little headache so was on bed early (was 9:30 pm early?).

SUNDAY: Easter sunday! ang pasko ng pagkabuhay. i don't know, but i have so much energy to start my day by, well, unloading the yet to be dried 3 more sacks of palay (i am wise enough to put them one by one on a trolley, papahirapan ko ba sarili ko? hehe).

the whole day was like that, and while drying the palay, i managed to do the laundry and get some mangoes at the backyard, the green apple mango's just right with sweet and spicy alamang (naglalaway nako hehe).

it was a tiring day but nevertheless a productive one. and i am glad i get to do again the things i used to do when life was still simple...

MONDAY: went back to Manila and the supposedly five hours of travel to Alabang was unfornately became seven hours thanks to a barangay fiesta in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, haay (ranting, ranting...)

how was your loooong weekend? :D

Monday, April 02, 2007

the EB Babes with Shrek and his gigantic pimple

last saturday was the long awaited and twice/thrice postponed EB with two of blogosphere hot mamas, Verns (in stripes) and Hazel (in green). together with lyn, we met the two EB babes in Greenbelt 3 for a late afternoon coffee in starbucks and later on, an enlightened night at World Light Expo.

Verns and Hazel earlier met at 3 pm as I told them the day before that I will be coming after 5 pm as i still have some errands to attend to in the house. after the usual introduction (wait, did i introduce myself? parang hindi yata), it's chatfest to the nth power although, most of the time, they do the talking hehehe and i am just giving my half-cent worth of blushing as they asked me how's the 300 sit ups a day (i can only do half! kainis na 300 movie yan ha, kelangan tuloy ngayon me abs bago mag-beach? sheesh) or how's the pimple? lol.

seriously, the starbucks and tokyo tokyo episode was fun as we talked about blogs, Sagada, rats, blogs, comments, migrating, blogs, banana boat, blogs, movies, books, blogs and more blog comments. totoo pala na kahit first time na magkitakita, spontaneous pala talaga yung reactions as if matagal na kayong magkakakilala dahil sa mga pinoposts at pinagko-comment sa mga blog ng isa't isa, when you see each other, ayun, me connect agad!

we later on went to the World Light Expo in Roxas Boulevard/Macapagal Avenue to see how millions of bulbs are making Meralco richer by the day until April 22 (it was my second time going there, the first was like this and this.

so how's the world light experience by the EB Babes and pimple man? take a look...

oh, we also had a blast by people watching at the expo, it was funny looking at people doing wacky poses, so papayag ba kaming sila ang nakakatawa?


i should have kissed the terra cota army replica/statue kaya lang ambaho eh haha

the cute hanji dolls (paper dolls made from mulberry trees) were also impressively done, and we even saw jang geum and lady han (of jewel in the palace). wala nga lang dun si jumong! lol

after watching the water screen laser light show and a little fireworks, we went home at around past 11 pm, happy and looking forward for more bloggers meet, and maybe a bigger one with more bloggers joining the prey, err... fun.

will you join us next time?


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