Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Book Review : The Prayer of Jabez

And Jabez called on God of Israel saying, 
" Oh, that You would bless me indeed
  And enlarge my territory
  that Your hand would be with me
  And that You would keep me from evil 
  that I may not cause pain."
So God granted him what he requested.
- 1 Chronicles 4:10 

If asked why I chose this book, I'd say, "I don't know. It just happened. I just saw it, I was intrigued and I told myself I've got to read it." I've read about Jabez's name somewhere in the bible and thought of Why not hear, er, read this to know what's his story like?. And as the book's tag line said, Do you want to be extravagantly blessed by God?, I know I had to read it. Of course, we want blessings. In less than four hours, I finished the 92 pages --- in tears.

Note: Be sure to say a little prayer before reading the book, like what I normally do when reading an inspirational one. Let the Holy Spirit enlighten your mind and open your heart so you could fully understand what's in it. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Glad I was at your Simala

Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see. 
It was their faith that made our ancestors pleasing to God.
Because of our faith, we know that the world was made at God’s command. 
We also know that what can be seen was made out of what cannot be seen. 
 ~ Hebrews 11:1~3

I am a pure Catholic. I have faith. I pray. I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe in Virgin Mary. So, sometimes, I do some pilgrimage to shrines and other holy places. My faith has made me who I am. I am stronger, I am confident, I am an optimist, I am a believer, I am renewed, I am loved!

I was hoping I'd visit the Holy Land someday; but of course, that would be a different story.This time, I will be featuring The Monastery of the Holy Eucharist or also known here in Cebu as "Birhen sa Simala". Situated south of Cebu,  the monastery is located in Marian Hills, Lindogon, Simala, Sibonga Cebu. It can be reached for about 1.5 to 2 hours (including traffic) by bus.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Beautiful Bohol Paradise

I am one damn proud to be a Boholano. Some people often judged Boholano people as "bisayang promdi" seemed to be living in secluded place, far from the modern world. Nowadays, Bohol has been getting a lot of attention with its usual beautiful beaches and improved tourists spots. Travel agencies have been including Bohol for their package tours which make the province seemed full during weekends. 

No one can best describe this paradise than someone living in one. I was  actually smiling writing this article. If ever I'd be born again and asked where I'd prefer to stay; I'd still say, Beautiful Bohol. Guides would sometimes prefer the tour would start from the center of the island; depending on where you're going to "land" in Bohol. Various sea ports can be found at Jagna, Talibon (from Pier 3 of Cebu) and Tagbilaran City (Pier 1 of Cebu) and an airport at Tagbilaran City and an "incoming new airport" at Panglao Island. These ports can be reached by fastscrafts (approx. 1.5hrs from Cebu)
like Supercat, Oceanjet and regular ships and ferries.

Vacation plans? Highly-recommended : Bohol, Philippines

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

I believe everybody would agree with me : that sometimes, there is a bad day or a good day. That some time at a given moment, you're either too happy or too sad or both. That so annoying feeling when your papers got jammed on your printer and you're in a hurry; when you're stuck in a traffic and end up a minute late at work; when you forgot to set your alarm clock and ended up waking at noon --- yes, those things.....

Like me -- yes, I have been cranky lately. Must have been the weather. Or this annoying traffic I usually get stuck into while on my way to work. Stress perhaps. Bored. Maybe. I'm not angry particularly at someone, or maybe annoyed by anyone. Maybe hormonal. I don't know.

 As I watched the closing ceremony of 2012 London Olympics, one performance caught my attention : Eric Idle singing his song Always Look on the Bright Side of Life which was featured in 1979 film Monty Python's Life of Brian. It occurred to me, that, somehow, I need to loosen up a bit! 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

When all else fails...

We all know darn well that life is not fair. Life is not always a happy song. Life has random happiness. Life has struggles. Life has issues. But, as always, beautiful. 

Even the bible says, on Ecclesiastes 9:11 ,"I also saw other things in this life that were not fair. The fastest runner does not always win the race; the strongest soldier does not always win the battle; wise people don’t always get the food; smart people don’t always get the wealth; educated people don’t always get the praise they deserve. When the time comes, bad things can happen to anyone!" Indeed, has its own story to tell. 

I am somehow, thankful, that most of the time, I don't exactly have everything; my parents sometimes cannot provide me everything I want and dream of having; that I am not too pretty to be elected most beautiful in class; a gifted child every parents want for their children; and the perfect little friend people hoped for. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

at a crossroad...


That awkward moment when life is at a contented state and all of sudden you end up in a halt which usually settles in confusion. 
Confusion may come quickly or slowly over time, depending on the cause. With this, you may lose the ability to think clearly (of course) and you’d end up weighing a lot of options and deciding how to proceed is so damn difficult.

Life, I know, has uncertainties. Life is always not that fair. Life happens to play games on you. Life has ups and downs. Life is a little hard to manage. Life can be so boring. Life can be so confusing. But most of the time, Life is beautiful.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I left my heart in Baguio City

Baguio City --- I can't help but smile every time I think about it. Those cool pine scent kissing my skin; those warm,culture-rich people whose contagious smiles make you even more happier; those long,tiring but rewarding journey; those magnificent pine trees with stretched branches catching the sun rays; with cool weather closest to heaven;--- it's so nice to be back! 

The City of Pines can be found at the northern part of Luzon with  an altitude of approximately 1,500 meters (4,900 ft) in the Luzon tropical pine forests ecoregion conducive to the growth of mossy plants and orchids. According to our guide, which, as confirmed by my own research, that Baguio came from the word bagiw in Ibaloi dialect meaning moss. Pretty interesting. Most of the street names, highways, and tourist spots were mostly named in American, mainly because Baguio was declared as the Summer Capital of the country in 1903 by the American government. It was known long time ago that during summer, most of the American government personnel flocked to Baguio to free themselves from the summer heat. Americans developed the place and so, it makes sense, with their works, bearing their names. Temperature here ranges from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius during summer, as compared to the usual 30~35 degrees Celsius from the rest of the country.

I was here about ten years ago. With the excitement during my youth, I wasn't able to fully appreciate the whole place : I was there with the rest of my college class and most of the time I had fun with friends, not with nature. I remember I said to myself that I , at some point of my timeline, must come to Baguio again : and it happened! This time, I was one with nature, amazed by the detailed works of God and thankful for giving me life to enjoy His wonderful works.

Baguio City : City of Pines

Victory Liner buses will carry you to Baguio City from Manila

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Drinking Changed My Life

"if drinking makes you angry, when I drink, I want you more and more and more...", a Dishwalla song blared loudly at my eardrum. I grabbed my headset controller to lower its volume.  I smiled for a moment and went on with my work. I can't help but think about it... 

My dad usually drinks and it's somewhat disturbing that I tend to do what he usually does. When I drink, I felt relaxed and my messy head seem to enjoy the comfort it brings. Don't get me wrong; I'm not a hardcore drinker like the one you have in mind; someone who's wasted and hanging around with heavy drinkers acting like life would end after the last drop of alcohol in their glass -- ahh, pretty nostalgic but NO, I'm not like that.  

In college, drinking was like a normal thing to do with the generation I was in ; drinking in between classes, going out after school, after group studies or working on our design projects (tough to be an engineering student, you know). Drinking seem to be a good company. I have come to realize that life back then was simple. So simple. Simple yet trying to survive.  When I graduated, I felt the pressure rising at the back of my neck. A different kind of pressure. A pressure to take care of yourself, develop the sense of independence since you can no longer depend on parents. I admit, I was a bit afraid, the future I was realizing when I was ten years old finally came and I remember the mixed twisted feelings dwelling and trying to eat me alive. I was like, I am not running away from something I don't want but rather running away from something I am afraid to want. What if I can't make it? Or what if, if I have what I truly want in life, can i keep up with it? I left out a chuckle, I was young then, and I remember it freaked me out.

But I survived. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Paradise called Panglao Island

It's pretty obvious that I love beaches; feeling the myriad grains of fine sand against your feet; those salty, cool water drenching your sun-burned skin; those salty beach wind that kisses your cheeks every time you try to marvel at God's good works --- simply paradise. 

Panglao Island is blessed with beautiful and friendly people,amazing  beaches, natural fine,white sands and an extremely beautiful underwater biodiversity. There are many beautiful resorts around the island but at this moment, I will be sharing Alona Kew Resort and Dumaluan Beach Resort since these two are the usual beaches  local and foreign tourists want to flock in. I have been here so many times that I wouldn't want to trade it to other beaches I've been to.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

and oh, of course, there's chocolate!

Oh I love chocolates! Those dark little cubes my mouth loves to relish. Those big bars that I cannot resist on having.Those coffee toppings I love sipping on. Those little crunchy cookies I love munching on in-between analysis and planning; those times when it seemed the world is against you; when experiencing the down side of life; those weaker moments, those days when the most pressing thing you have to do is nothing; those happy moments with family,loved-ones, friends and thyself --- chocolates seems to be one of my wonderful companion (oh well, next from coffee and ice cream).

Chocolates are mainly made from a seed  of tropical Theobromo cacao tree (so, I've heard). They are mainly fermented, dried, cleaned, roasted, then ground, then liquefied and experts knows what else are needed to be done;  I could care less how it was made, I am more interested on tasting them. Chocolates commonly comes in dark, milk and white varieties. Some are being used as cake toppings or on coffee. Usually branded as mood-enhancer or food for the goddess, I think chocolates have been one of my sources of simple happiness, and I am sure many girls would agree with me.

See how creative Japanese people are? Design :cookie-chocolate-cookie.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Many Faces of Kinilaw!

I have always been a lover of Kinilaw or Kilawin, (Philippine  delicacy in which the main ingredient is raw fish or meat marinated in vinegar, pepper, chili (preferably siling labuyo), chopped onions, calamansi,cucumber,turnip and other garnishes).

And since I am living in an island, filled with the gifts from the sea and a traveler, I will be sharing some photos I took during my food trip with Fish Kinilaw in it (this is obviously one of the first dish I'd pick when ordering). I prefer raw Tangigue fish (Spanish mackerel) than Pork Kinilaw. I dunno, maybe it has this sweet and cottony-feel-like texture when taken and of course, since this is taken fresh, you'd appreciate the sweetness of the fish even better.Preparation is also simple that even a small ten-year-old child can prepare this --- all you have to do is chop,chop,chop and combine all ingredients!

Penong's at Davao City : with chopped  green mango,turnip,cucumber,calamansi and  no tomatoes (photo taken by my good friend, Myla)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Being a daredevil for a while...

Everybody has this urge of wanting to experience extreme and not-so-normal adventure ^^.  That feeling of wanting to cheat life and being able to feel the strong wind against your face. Something that you could say "what if this thing broke?, what if I'd fall?, will I get lucky?". 

I am one of those who pretended to be a daredevil (well, at least I tried the minor safe ones). I've tried Skywalking and being in an Edge-Coaster on top of the tallest hotel in the city. And it was like --- I want more! ^^

Next was trying the Doce-Pares Mountain Training Park at Busay-Malubog Cebu. It has been a long-time dream of trying this adventure of being suspended on air with pulleys and cables for as high as several feet below the ground. The best part here was when you were all set, helmet and harness on, and then the guide would push you hard -- the thrilling ride starts. There has been a rise of your inner spirit at first and a few screams in between but once your cable advances and with the view below, you could say "wow! amazing!

Yeah I know, I know, that's me enjoying the view!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Davao City : Life is Here!

When I visited Davao City, super long time ago (probably about 15 years ago),I haven't fully seen the best of the place since my Aunt and I have been there for like 2 days and about half the time, we were traveling. I remember it was so quiet, with wide roads and only saw few people around. But finally after a few years, I was able to visit the lovely place with someone who practically lives there since birth, who knows Davao best, the one I love - Mark. He would always brag on how beautiful the place is, how disciplined dabawenyos are, low crime rates, growing skyscrapers, bigger malls, culture-rich people and of course, he wants me to meet his family.
For a local tourist like me, it's best to share how wonderful this place is. And as Mark says, LIFE IS HERE! ^^ and I believe him.

Mark brought me to this place called Penong's where his family and I had lunch.  This is his favorite resto and damn! I love the KINILAW! The best  kinilaw (kilawin)  I've ever tried. Different from the usual kinilaw since it has green mango in it (haven't seen kinilaw with green mango before).

 Mark's family and I went to this Philippine Eagle Center where I personally saw the THE BIG BIRD for the first time,situated in Malagos,Calinan Davao City. Though we reached there by car, Mark says anyone could ride a local tricycle from the main highway. Entrance fee is P50 and you could roam around big cages to see the Philippine Eagle, a mini-zoo and a few kite eagles at an arm-reach, a mini museum and enjoy fresher air. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sky and Starbucks et al : Bigger than Coffee

I have to admit I am a bit addicted to it. With my work where sometimes coffee is needed especially during those times when boredom, stress or sleepiness visits me, a cup of coffee just come in handy, may it be an instant 3-in-1 coffee, brewed,expensive or not. ^^ 

Aside from being an anti-oxidant, coffee just brings in the calmness I need and somehow it became my usual companion when I need one

I like it better with cream in it. Though when I was in college, having a mug of black one made me awake the whole night when a week of exam is on, now it seemed my cravings would usually involves something creamy. 

Surprisingly, my love for coffee has evolved -- various brands, flavors, cafe ambiance etc. Honestly when I was young and living in a remote place away from the chaotic but exciting city,  I've only known coffee as pure black, with coffeemate, milk, chocolate and simply coffee with sugar. Damn, I didn't know things like frap,espresso or latte or whatever you call it. Now, it seemed I have this urge to try 'em all! ^^ I started with Starbucks coffee. The brand, of course I know would costs more than my taxi fare, but still my adventurous urge wants to. ^^ I've tried their coffee from espresso, latte, tea, hot chocolates -- and guess what? -- I love it!!! Since then, I am beginning to look for other kinds or brands of coffee.

Starbuck's cold Green Tea Latte