Experience Hot Spring in Pansol Laguna

My friends and I went to a Hot Spring Resort last month and oh boy was I shocked! I was so shocked to find out that this is what Hot Spring in Laguna looks like:

But that’s just a tiny swimming pool! LOL. I am sooo naive. All these years I was thinking of something else. I thought we’d go to a cave or a secluded area like a forest or mountain with a hot spring in it!

I am not used to swimming in a warm water so the experience was quite a surprise for me. I like it so much. I was wondering how the water got really warm, I thought they were using raypak heat pumps to warm it but that process might cost a lot of money. I didn’t realize the water was coming from the mountain.

I am definitely going back to Pansol to experience this again, but not any time soon. Summer is here and my next destination is Bora/Cebu/Bohol but due to schedule conflicts (and financial crisis lol), I might just go to Puerto Galera again.

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People’s Park In The Sky Needs A Repainting

Palace in the Sky now known as People’s Park in the Sky is situated atop Mt. Sungay, the highest point in Tagaytay. It was supposedly a guest house for US Pres. Ronald Raegan during the the Marcos regime, but was never completed. It’s now open to the public as a nice sightseeing viewpoint.

What to expect:

Old and rusty structures

Not so well maintained garden

Cold and windy weather

Breathtaking 360 degree view of Tagaytay and neigboring provinces. You can also see little bit of Makati and/or Ortigas Skyline from there.

What to do:

There’s soo many things to try other than just walking an uphill climb and taking lots of pictures. My friends went all gaga doing a Lady Gaga dance cover and videotaped it so we’ll have something to laugh about when we get back to our hostel. It’s also the perfect place for exercising/jogging. There’s a shrine too, if you want some quiet time. We saw one couple celebrating their, probably, monthsary together. Sweet!

Some foreigners visiting the place, mostly Koreans, annyeong! Entrance fee here is only 15Pesos!

The People’s Park signboard ala Hollywood.

You know, I think the Luge and Skyride would be awesome here. Yes, that one in Singapore! Imagine this – enjoying the fantastic view as you board the Skyride and then having an exciting ride as you go down on a luge. Sayaaa! Let’s all dream about it!

This lumpia tastes really good so I asked Ate for her Lumpia Recipe – very thin and small slices of Singkamas, Carrots, Sayote and Camote (no need to pre-cook or blanch your veggies). Mix all ingredients then wrap in a lumpia wrapper. No need to add seasoning. Then deep fry. Nasa sawsawan (suka with some toyo, sugar, sili and other spices) daw ang secret! I tried it once but failed. The veggies has to be cut into very thin and small slices so it wont take too much oil when you fry it.

This is the garden area. A few cottages perfect for picnic to celebrate the good life.

Another shot of the garden, with Taal lake and Taal volcano, nice view as a backdrop.

Someone should propose a re-development plan to preserve the structure itself. Sayang! The first time I visited this place (many many years ago), water was leaking through the ceiling.

I kid you not but this place can be developed as our version of SENTOSA SINGAPORE! Calling calling DOT or whoever is responsible for the beautification of my country LOL. Let’s just hope, if it ever comes to a reality, God will not allow that tiny volcano to erupt yet.

There’s even a mini ampitheater.

This is literally The Kalawang In The Sky. A repainting would be nice, di ba? We need Boysen In The Sky NOW na. It doesn’t even look “historical” hahaha, more like DIRTY.

Tagaytay Highlands? Not sure, I’ve never been there. Since this is the highest point in Tagaytay, CABLE CARS would have been perfect here.

Be awed by God’s beautiful creation – mountains, lakes, clouds, sunshine, sunset etc. Thank you Lord for your amazing grace.

Pampam’s hair flipping moment! Had lots of fun with the wind blowing our hairs. Fresh air whohooo!!!

A short trip to People’s Park in the sky offer a great bonding experience between families, friends and lovers. I’d choose this place over Picnic Grove any day. This is one of those cheap activities that’s worth a try, for just 15P and you’ll have the privilege to see the beauty of this world. Priceless.

How to go to People’s Park in Tagaytay : From Cubao, ride San Agustin Bus bound to Nasugbu (100P fare) > drop off at Olivares Terminal (just before Tagaytay Rotonda) > From Olivares Terminal ride a jeepney going to People’s Park. 17P fare.

Note: Olivarez Terminal is just a few walks away from Tagaytay Rotonda (they’re not the same, pwede lakarin). Across the Olivarez Terminal is Olivarez Center/Plaza.

Looking for a place to stay in Tagaytay, check out JESCA LAKEVIEW

Want a romantic date in Tagaytay? Try Sonya’s Garden!

For a complete Tagaytay Itinerary, CLICK HERE

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Love Singapore!

 I was able to witness how diverse and multicultural Singapore is when I visited my cousins there last year. Their culture is a melting pot of Chinese, British, Malay, and Indian cultures. Amazing! I stayed in a hostel near the Chinatown, where old streets and Chinese-inspired buildings can still be seen, and just a  few walks away from there, you’ll find modern metal buildings all around the city.

Their food is also very diverse. There are lots of cuisines to try – Chinese, Indian, Malay, Western and even Fusion. One friend tried an Indian food called Mi Goreng (it’s like spaghetti only 1000x spicier) and ended up eating only a spoonful. I mostly tried Chinese food since I am more familiar with it. Malay dishes (mostly with coconut milk) are widely available too.

If you want an extraoridnary experience of multicultural life, visit Singapore! Can’t wait to go back next year!

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Rizal Was Serial Suitor of Women Around The World

He had crushes, flings, serious romances, a broken engagement, and at least one live-in partner. He must have broken many hearts, and we know he had his share of heartbreaks too, on several occasions.

Exactly how many ladies caused him to swoon? We may never know, but his letters and diaries, as well as the reminisces of his friends, are alive with references to women he pursued and eyed. Get to know the different women in our national hero’s life in this infographic.

Rizal Was Serial Suitor of Women Around The World

credits: GMANEWSTV

Really, he was a charming lover! So who do you ship Jose Rizal with? I like Leonor because I really adore Maria Clara, she is the epitome of grace and charm and was promoted by Rizal as the “ideal image of a Filipina who deserves to be placed on the “pedestal of male honor”. I wish he had marry, lived longer and had children. His superb genes shouldn’t have been wasted. Sayang! 🙂

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Kaori Kobayashi

I never really liked jazz music. Growing up, I always thought jazz is for “old peoples” only. One night, while browsing youtube, I saw this very talented young Fil-Am guy doing a sax cover of a popular korean song (ok, so i listen to KPOP whatever and I adore 2NE1 hahaha). I totally love it. He turned an acoustic song into something jazzy and fun and sexy.

So I browsed some more jazz videos and found this cute Japanese girl playing the saxophone – Kaori Kobayashi. Woowww I haven’t seen a female saxophonist this good.

Kaori Kobayashi Nothing Gonna Change My… by bernarddanger

Awesome lung power!!! I don’t think I can hold and control my breath that long which means I can never be a sax player haha. I swear by all the gods, I will let my kids learn to play piano, violin and sax. Wala lang.

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Rizal @ 150

I absolutely adore Rizal to death! Yes, Rizal as in José Protasio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda, our national Hero!! Sya talaga ang superhero ko next to Cha Seung Won / Dao Ming Su / Hyun Bin (nyahaha asian cuties win!!!).


credit as tagged

Truth to tell, there’s been no other Filipino who came close to what he has achieved (well, ninoy maybe).

He was a doctor (trained in ophthalmology at the universities in Manila, Madrid, Paris, and Heidelberg), poet, novelist, sculptor, educator, farmer, journalist and a polyglot (danggit! 10 languages?!). He mastered ethnology, sociology, economics, architecture, fencing, shooting etc. On top of these awesomeness…he was a dashing young fine man, in his short life of 35 years, he loved 9 women!

Segunda Katigbak Leonor Valenzuela and Leonor Rivera (Filipina)
Consuelo Ortiga (Spanish)
Suzanna Jacoby (Belgian)
Gertrude Beckett (British)
Nellie Boustead (English)
O-Sei-San (Japanese)
Josephine Bracken (wife, Irish)

Hello, we’re talking about 18th century here, the time when the power of sweet words and love notes and poems are your best weapon to steal a woman’s heart. In short…he was a CHARMING LOVERRRR!

So these past days, I’ve been reading stories about Rizal – winning lotto, living in dapitan, josephine bracken suing his mother, unsuccessful operation on the eyes of George Taufer (Josephine’s adoptive father) – ahhh soo many interesting stories proving the world that he is a human afterall! Didn’t you grow up with the idea that he was far too perfect to be human?

If you want to learn more stories about Rizal, catch up on these various activities to commemorate his 150th birthday (June 19, 2011). I’m definitely going, I wanna read those letters and diaries!

Rizal as a Literary Genius Exhibit
Jun01 – Dec31 2011
Rizal Library, Ateneo de Manila University
An Exhibit of Books By and About Jose Rizal. Curated by Fr. Rene Javellana, S.J.

Rizal in the Ateneo/ The Ateneo in Rizal Exhibit
Jun01 – Dec31 2011
Ateneo Art Gallery
Original artifacts associated with the National Hero and his times will be exhibited to remind Filipinos in the 21st century of Rizal in the 19th century Ateneo. Curated by Dr. Ambeth R. Ocampo.

Rizalizing the Future
Jun03 – Oct29 2011
Yuchengco Museum
Rizal exhibit at the Yuchengco Museum, RCBC Plaza, cor. Sen. Gil Puyat and Tindalo St., Makati City.
Museum hours: Mon-Sat, 10 am to 6 pm. Contact Carla Martinez, Tel. 889-1234

Over Rizal, Monuments to a Hero
Jun20 2011
UP Vargas Museum
An exhibit of Rizal monuments in the Philippines in 1905 to 1907. Curated by Prof. Robert Paulino.

Rizal in the 21st Century: Local and Global Perspectives
Jun22 – 24 2011
University of the Philippines

Rizal@150 : Photo Exhibit
May 30-June 30, 2011
3rd Floor Lobby, National Library of the Philippines Building
T. M. Kalaw St. Ermita Manila
For more details, please contact Malou Go or Maricel Diaz at 525-1754 and Jilven Amar or Nelly Fernandez at 524-2737

Rizal@150 : Film Viewing
Film Viewing Sessions:
June 1 “Jose Rizal”
June 3 “Rizal sa Dapitan”
June 8 “Jose Rizal: ang buhay ng bayani”
June 10 “Jose Rizal”
June 15 “Rizal sa Dapitan”
June 17 “Jose Rizal: ang buhay ng bayani”
June 22 “Jose Rizal”
June 29 “Jose Rizal”

Time: 9:00-11:30 A.M.
Venue: Epifanio Delos Santos Auditorium, 6th Floor
National Library of the Philippines Building
T.M. Kalaw St. Ermita Manila
For more details and inquiries, please contact Melanie Abad or Rose Chiong at 525-0926 and Jilven Amar or Nelly Fernandez at 524-2737

Rizal@150 : Storytelling
June 3, 10, 17, 20
Venue: Children’s Library, 2nd Floor
Visitors and guests may request storytelling sessions on dates not in the schedule. For more details and inquiries, please contact Melanie Abad or Rose Chiong at 525-0926.

Exhibit of Original Rizaliana Materials:
Noli Me Tangere
El Filibusterismo
Guillermo Tell
Ullmer Collection
Letters and Diaries
Postcards & Literary works

Date: June 14-17, 2011
Venue: Conservation Room, Filipiniana Divisionon, 3rd Floor
For more details, please contact: Anne Rosette Crelencia, Malou Go or Maricel Diaz at 525-1754; E-mail: do@nlp.gov.ph

Credits:
National Library
MyRizal150

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A Letter from Fukushima

NOTE: This letter was written by a Vietnamese immigrant working in Fukishima as a policeman to a friend in Vietnam. Not sure if it’s legit, but who cares. Read read read and learn the true meaning of sacrifice (and strong ethics too) from an amazing 9yo kid. I have no words to say, really got me teary eyed.

I read the fatalities reached 18ooo already. Many are homeless and suffering from hunger. Hoping things will get better for Japan and its people, soon.

Brother,

How are you and your family? These last few days, everything was in chaos. When I close my eyes, I see dead bodies. When I open my eyes, I also see dead bodies. Each one of us must work 20 hours a day, yet I wish there were 48 hours in the day, so that we could continue helping and rescuing folks.

We are without water and electricity, and food rations are near zero. We barely manage to move refugees before there are new orders to move them elsewhere.

I am currently in Fukushima, about 25 kilometers away from the nuclear power plant. I have so much to tell you that if I could write it all down, it would surely turn into a novel about human relationships and behaviors during times of crisis.

The other day I ran into a Vietnamese-American. His name is Toan. He is an engineer working at the Fukushima 1 nuclear plant, and he was wounded right at the beginning, when the earthquake struck. With the chaos that ensued, no one helped him communicate with his family. When I ran into him I contacted the US embassy, and I have to admit that I admire the Americans’ swift action: They sent a helicopter immediately to the hospital and took him to their military base.

But the foreign students from Vietnam are not so lucky. I still haven’t received news of them. If there were exact names and addresses of where they work and so on, it would be easier to discover their fate. In Japan, the police do not keep accurate residential information the way they do in Vietnam, and privacy law here makes it even more difficult to find.

I met a Japanese woman who was working with seven Vietnamese women, all here as foreign students. Their work place is only 3 kilometers from the ocean and she said that they don’t really understand Japanese. When she fled, the students followed her, but when she checked back they were gone. Now she doesn’t know if they managed to survive. She remembers one woman’s name: Nguyen thi Huyen (or Hien).

No representatives from the Vietnamese embassy have shown up, even though on the Vietnamese Internet news sites they claim to be very concerned about Vietnamese citizens in Japan – all of it a lie.

Even us policemen are going hungry and thirsty, so can you imagine what those Vietnamese foreign students are going through? The worst things here right now are the cold, the hunger and thirst, the lack of water and electricity.

People here remain calm – their sense of dignity and proper behavior are very good – so things aren’t as bad as they could be. But given another week, I can’t guarantee that things won’t get to a point where we can no longer provide proper protection and order. They are humans after all, and when hunger and thirst override dignity, well, they will do whatever they have to do. The government is trying to provide air supply, bringing in food and medicine, but it’s like dropping a little salt into the ocean.

Brother, there are so many stories I want to tell you – so many, that I don’t know how to write them all. But there was a really moving incident. It involves a little Japanese boy who taught an adult like me a lesson on how to behave like a human being:

Last night, I was sent to a little grammar school to help a charity organization distribute food to the refugees. It was a long line that snaked this way and that and I saw a little boy around 9 years old. He was wearing a t-shirt and a pair of shorts.

It was getting very cold and the boy was at the very end of the line. I was worried that by the time his turn came there wouldn’t be any food left. So I spoke to him.

He said he was in the middle of PE at school when the earthquake happened. His father worked nearby and was driving to the school. The boy was on the third floor balcony when he saw the tsunami sweep his father’s car away. I asked him about his mother. He said his house is right by the beach and that his mother and little sister probably didn’t make it. He turned his head and wiped his tears when I asked about his relatives.

The boy was shivering so I took off my police jacket and put it on him. That’s when my bag of food ration fell out. I picked it up and gave it to him. “When it comes to your turn, they might run out of food. So here’s my portion. I already ate. Why don’t you eat it.”

The boy took my food and bowed. I thought he would eat it right away, but he didn’t. He took the bag of food, went up to where the line ended and put it where all the food was waiting to be distributed. I was shocked. I asked him why he didn’t eat it and instead added it to the food pile …

He answered: “Because I see a lot more people hungrier than I am. If I put it there, then they will distribute the food equally.”

When I heard that I turned away so that people wouldn’t see me cry. It was so moving — a powerful lesson on sacrifice and giving. Who knew a 9-year-old in third grade could teach me a lesson on how to be a human being at a time of such great suffering? A society that can produce a 9- year-old who understands the concept of sacrifice for the greater good must be a great society, a great people.

It reminds me of a phrase that I once learned in school, a capitalist theory from the old man, Fuwa [Tetsuzo], chairman of the Japanese Communist Party: “If Marx comes back to life, he will have to add a phrase to his book, Capital, and that ‘Communist ideology is only successful in Japan.’”

Well, a few lines to send you and your family my warm wishes. The hours of my shift have begun again.

– Ha Minh Thanh

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Random Blabbing

Good morning sunshine!

I have a cousin-in-law who gave birth to a cuteee baby girl a few months ago. They named her Universe. Ang ambisyosa!!! I find it super cool. I bet, their next baby girl will be named World, Earth, International and so on and so forth.

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Shoutout to Reynz –> Happy 32nd Birthday! I’m wishing you johooy and happiness, above all these…I’m wishing you…..a loooooveeeeeee….endaaaaayyyy will always…I will alwayss laaahhveee youuu!

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Wishlist for 2010: Canon SELPHY Compact Photo Printer

You rem those days when taking pictures was so much simpler and very limited to 36 shots only?

I have tons of pictures and videos saved on my computer at home and office, they’re causing me too much trouble these days. So this year, I will have them printed little by litte, maybe after each cut-off. I know, they’ll cost me a fortune. Mas tipid kaya if I just buy a photo printer (Canon SELPHY) na lang?

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Thank you to my ever gorgeous, ever kind and ever ever boss, Sir G! Thank you for your wonderful gift of starbucks planner. My life will finally be organized because of your good heart hahaha.

And to Ms. A. thanks sa cheesecake. Love it.

So soooo happy for TCP. He’s one lucky boy to have you HAHAHA.

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Missing you Mimi, a lot. AS IN.

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I don’t really believe in Horoscopes but this year, maganda ang prediction para sa mga Sheepers, kaya papaniwalaan ko sya.

Sheep people have both Moon Star and Happy Star appearing in the Metal Tiger year. This clearly means that your talent, performance and reputation bring good income for you in 2010. If you own a business, then you will see your business booming and your profit growing. The social and love relationship will bring you a happy mood in 2010.Sheep people have good luck in the year of Tiger.

Yeay! Keyword: $$$$$

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Lastly, let’s all give peace a chance! 🙂

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Visit to a Japanese Garden

I’d like to build my dream garden someday where I could spend most of my day having tea with my loved ones, reading my favorites books on early mornings and probably watching my grand kids play on afternoons. It has to be very cozy, with trees where I can put a hammock, with comfy outdoor furnitures (with outdoor furniture covers) and a nice playground for kids. I’m thinking of a Japanese inspired garden less the Koi pond.

Here are some pictures from a visit to a Japanese garden. Very relaxing place indeed. Enjoy!

Kunichiwaaa!

Me and my friends posing at the entrance gate

a darna-wannabe lols

peechur-peechur by sherliez

The Koi pond

love kois…they can actually bring relaxation to your outdoor living

Perfect photo shoot day

Tired from a long day of walking, we rested for a few minutes in here

I tell you, this garden is sooo relaxing and serene you can’t help but fall asleep haha

Everybody happy and fully charged now

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Welcome To My Barrio Siete

I’M BACK!!!!

Please come in and please sit down. I know you have all been waiting for this post haha charing lang. I’ve been a bit busy catching up on work and chismax. Anyway, this has long been overdue kaya eto na, let me bring you to my own barrio siete so you can experience one of a kind barriotic culture. Reydi na? Ok go!


My barrio is in a far far away island in the Easter Visayas region.


TO go there, you need to ride all types of public transpo available – from bus to bapor to banca to jeep to tricycle. The long journey to my barrio siete will end with this habal habal ride…


…traversing the long and winding Talahib Hi-way


Infairness ha, may mga magandang road din naman


Dito sa barrio, there’s plenty of bahay kubo (read: Poverty)


Pero laging may habag ang Diyos


..ang biyaya nya ay hinde nagwawakas. Naks. Biniyayaan nya kami ng plenty of puno ng nyog para gawing copra haha


and plenty of seafoods

and overflowing with the bounty of harvest time.

Maganda sa barrio.

…feel na feel kong ako si Ploning nun umuwi ako eh haha


…yung laging malayo ang tingin


…wala namang tinatanaw lol

KABUHAYAN SA BARRIO


Pagkuha ng tuba o lambanog, galing sya sa dagta ng puno ng niyog.


panigingisda…


at sabong haha

THE BARRIOTIC LIFESTYLE


eto ang usual gimikan


eto naman ang palaruan…


at ang water system.


at ang typical na cocina.

LEISURE AND ACTIVITIES


mag beach bumming

 


mag-picnic


mag-stroll sa baybay


at matulog sa ilalim ng puno

ANG PATRON


Patron (fiesta) is the most celebrated event each year.


Young and old gather together in the plaza for the SARAYAW.


sarayaw san kadam-an (cha-cha to the tune of GIKIMUT-KIMOT)


and watch the annual ms. barangay beauty pagent


Life in the barrio is soo hirap pero masaya lagi ang mga tao dito.

I hope you enjoy our quick trip to the barrio, kung gusto nyo sumama next year, let me know and I’ll think about it haha

WAIT!!! If you want to experience more of the barrio siete lifestyle, check out this newest site spearheaded by the Reyna Elena and her entourage. Come and social climb with the constantino, barangay tanods and the pompom girls. Enjoy!

barrio_siete_dot_com.jpg

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