Weekly Photo Challenge: Free Spirit

This week’s photo challenge is guest hosted by Strauss Louw.

Free spirit is defined as someone who isn’t weighed down by the troubles of everyday life, is always themselves regardless of the situation and lives life to the full. With that said, best example would be ‘children’. So, here’s my take for the week showing pictures of my niece with her classmates during “Linggo ng Wika” celebration.

Enjoy and please read on….

I am a super mom and I am also a doting aunt. After bringing my daughter to school, I accompanied my niece, Andrea to her school Little St. Ignatius to celebrate Linggo ng Wika or National Language Week while my mom accompanied Aaron. This cultural event is very popular in the Philippines which is normally every first week of August. But because of the storm/monsoon rain that happened just recently, for Andrea and Aaron’s school chose to celebrate it today. Every little girls/boys needs to wear national costume, baro’t saya for girls, and camiso de chino for litte boys. They also have to speak in Filipino which is so hard for them to speak and understand, sad to say. Everyone brought Filipino food which was assigned to them good enough for everybody. Kutsinta was assigned to Andrea. This Filipino food  is a sticky rice cake which is so yummy and everyone’s favorite.

I am really happy that this little girl was comfortable wearing the costume. She did not complain at all during the whole event to my relief. This costume was handed down by Sam, my daughter, which was also worn for the same event, same school last year. School of my daughter chose not to celebrate it because they have to make up for the missed classes.

You might be laughing, she was wearing a national costume but at the same time wearing her ‘crocs’. Hahaha… ‘Bakya’ or wooden clogs should complete the outfit but we don’t have one as you can’t find any in the mall. Or, maybe we didn’t look hard enough. Well, foremost, we just want her to feel comfortable that’s why we decided to let her wear crocs.

Finally, here comes the kutsinta, so we were so ready to go.

Teacher Mimi

Program has started and to start off, we sung the National Anthem. Right after, School Directress Ms. Stella told a story in Filipino. At first, while Ms Stella was reading the story, the children weren’t reacting, not even a nod or a smile. Kids now a days are taught more of the English language so they can’t relate to the story. We can’t blame no one as they have to be competitive in the future. So there, given that, English translation was done after each sentence so that the kids would somehow understand the beautiful story.  After which, the kids showcased their talents. The nursery kids sung in Filipino and kinder performed a coconut dance.

After the performances, they had games for both children and parents. They weren’t able to force me to join as I said, I’m not a parent of Andie, just my excuse. They had a ‘pabitin’ which involves a lattice of bamboo sticks. This is popular in parties or fiestas.

Unfortunately, the battery of my camera drained so I have no pictures of the food… 😦

That’s it for now.. Happy ‘Linggo ng Wika”…



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SUNDAY POST :From a Distance (Anilao, Batangas)

What a nice theme for the week and it reminded me of the song ‘From a Distance’ by Bette Midler. I’m sure you all know this song. Perfect background music as well since it’s almost midnight. I want to do my share for the challenge right away coz tomorrow will be another work week for me. Yes, I have work on a Sunday and my off is Friday and Saturday. This schedule is actually my personal choice so don’t worry about me.

Checking on my archive of photos, I have a lot of long shot collections. Let me just share the trip we had in Anilao, Batangas, Philippines. We stayed in Outrigger Resort way back in May of 2009. It was just on overnight stay ‘coz we just want to take a quick break of the usual city life. Just sort of a ‘breather’ from all the stress, drama, problems that we had at that time. The place was really nice with friendly staff and good food. We had a clean and comfortable room. The price was not that expensive but not that cheap. Our room was 1500 per person,  it’s worth it.

Batangas is just perfect if you want to go to the beach and you don’t have concrete plans or you just felt the need to go right away. It’s only 2-3 hour drive from Manila. You’ll find a lot of 5 star resorts there. We’re actually planning to go to Acuatico, a 5 star resort with infinity pool.  Lovely place but oh so expensive. Need to save up for that.

Anilao is the best diving spot in Batangas. Read more about it here:


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Batangas is a first class province of the Philippines located on the southwestern part of Luzon in the CALABARZON region. Its capital is Batangas City and it is bordered by the provinces of Cavite and Laguna to the north and Quezon to the east. Across theVerde Island Passages to the south is the island of Mindoro and to the west lies the South China Sea. Poetically, Batangas is often referred to by its ancient name Kumintang.

Batangas is one of the most popular tourist destinations near Metro Manila. The province has many beaches and is famous for excellent diving spots including Anilao in Mabini, Sombrero Island in Tingloy, Ligpo Island in Bauan, these areas more popularly known as Anilao. Matabungkay in Lian, Punta Fuego in NasugbuCalatagan and Laiya in San Juan.

Batangas is also where Taal Volcano, one of the Decade Volcanoes is located. It is also where the Taal Heritage town lies, a small picturesque town that has ancestral houses and structures dating back to the 19th century. ~ WIKIPEDIA

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban

This week’s photo challenge is guest hosted by Terence S. Jones of A Guy With a Camera. Read on for more about this week’s theme and his photography tips!

Urban. The idea behind urban photography is to photograph your city and the streets where you grew up as they are.

Let me cut the explanation to that and here’s my share…

This is basically the street (melchor st Katipunan) I grew up with since we moved in 26 years ago. Nothing so unusual, except that it was busier and became crowded.  Look, houses sitting next to each other and a lot of cars parked outside and it annoys me. Why would the new neighbor buy and live in a townhouse that has a parking lot good enough for 1 or two cars? We only have one, btw. They have 4 or more and they just park it outside. The wide street suddenly became so narrow and it is no longer safe to play outside unlike before. There’s nothing I can do about it and you just have to accept and live with it as it is. Sad to say. But don’t get me wrong, our village (Varsity Hills) is one of the safest as we have a guard house 24/7 and we also have the latest technology we all need these days, CCTV.

Even if I am already married, I am still staying here with my mom, daughter, nephew and niece. We Filipinos are family oriented individuals and we prefer to stay close to one another. Of course, you have the freedom to choose. My husband’s work is far and he is planning to work abroad just like the parents of my nephew and niece, who works in Dubai (their mom) and Kuwait (my brother, their dad). That’s the reality most of us have to give a better future for our kids. We have to sacrifice a lot for our children and you just have to explain to them what’s happening. Again, thanks to internet, being able to bridge the gap between distance and time.

This is inside our townhouse, see, the parking lot is only designed for 1 or two cars.

You might be wondering why I am dressed up. It’s not solely for this challenge, but because I (together w my hubby) attended a seminar hosted by my daughter’s school today. The aim is to give tips and guide to become a better parent. They gave workshop in between topics that you have to answer and share in 20 minutes. It only ran half a day so I only wish it lasted at least a day.

They explained the Magic of Touch.

1. Didn’t you know that spinal column massage can do a lot of good things to your child? I didn’t. It supplies more oxygen and nutrients to flow if you massage often in this area.  By doing so, it helps them to grow taller, healthier and happier kids.

2. Massaging two inches away from the spinal column can help calm your child. This usually works if your child is having a tantrum or she/he not feeling so well. Instead of tapping your child, you should stroke at the back. Tapping means suppressing them from their feelings which is not good.

They gave us the 7 packages for parent empowerment.

1. Recognize we are human. Be humble and maintain positive self esteem. We have to understand that we can only improve but we can never be a perfect parent.

2. Recognize we are playing a percentage game. Meaning, there are contributors outside the house that can affect our child’s well being. So, we have to use fair and consistent discipline.

3. Recognize our children are not the only things in life.

4. Recognize that parenting is an on-going process.

5. Recognize the power of being positive.

6. Recognize the need to be firm.

7. Recognize we need God’s help.

At the end of those pointers and strategies presented, they asked us what specific item/s do we need to focus more. So, what do you think?

By the way, I am so loving my dress which I bought in BAYO. It’s proudly Philippine made but they do ship internationally. They have added a new line Love, Bayo which aim is to target the teens. So why where they able to shoot me..hhehehe.


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Travel theme: Sunset

My song for today… Friday slow down.

This picture was taken in January of 2011 in Mindanao.

Remember my previous post when we went there for my lola’s birthday?

My brother was a newbie in photography by then and he wants to practice sunset photos. This picture was one of those he took. I told Sam to kiss me just to add sweetness, like a mother and daughter kinda thing.

This picture made me reminisce on what happened that night.  This place was an open area and you have to go down the long stairs to reach the point where we were standing. The road going there was so dark, ‘coz this area in the province doesn’t have any light post. So, we went there of course to see the beach and relax with the family. Finally, we went back and climb the stairs after shooting and bonding. We were almost home when I realized that I left my cellphone at the beach. We went there with a dozen but I went back only with one companion. Really scary ‘coz it’s so dark and I felt like someone was watching us and the road going back seemed so long. But I have to get my cp back coz my husband gave that to me as a Christmas gift. We searched the area and I was really getting sick and nervous. Sick because I’m getting worried as my daughter was crying when we parted and nervous that something creepy might really happen. I don’t know if you ever heard about scary stories in provinces. Anyway, luckily someone who lives nearby helped us. After an hour of searching.. voila, found it. It was on a rock where my daughter made peep. Since I got my phone back, all I care about was to reach home. We hurried back and careless on what’s around us. Finally, safe and sound at home. AND I did not experience those creepy stories I know. Or, was it only my wild imagination that made me crazy?

So, don’t just leave your things anywhere and unattended especially if your husband (or boyfriend, yaya ) is not around to look after you. 🙂

More shots from that evening…

My sis-in-law

My eldest brother, Kuya Jing and his wife… (the one who took the picture was my 3rd brother, Kuya Martin, the 2nd, Kuya Mao, wasn’t here as he was staying in Dubai that time)

This is in response to the weekly theme by Ailsa.

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SUNDAY POST : Black & White

Gotta love this song…


My background music while making the photo collage for this week’s challenge.

I used the Muzy.com application and it’s super fun. Try it. These pictures were only taken on Aug 18th for my nephew’s birthday so it’s pretty new. I chose old, rustic, black and white background just to add drama. Thinking that today is in the year 2042 while looking at these pictures, like 30 years ago. Me and my crazy idea.. hahahha… That’s the effect of the music background. 🙂

My nephew, Aaron turned 5 that day. Good thing the sun was up, another answered prayer. We went to Fun Ranch which is located in Pasig. It’s an open area so it’s really a good thing that the sun cooperated. We ended the tiring but fun day at home for a quick dinner. While on the road, rang Shakey’s for pizza and had a drive thru at Mcdonald’s for the kids.

Anyways, I hope you like my entry for Jake’s Sunday post.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge

This week’s photo challenge is guest hosted by Gary Ng of Gnostec Photography. Read on for more about this week’s theme and his photography tips!

Merge. The world is made up of many things. There is a saying that opposites attract, and this is true for relationships and other things. What about photography? Many surprises can come out of merging two different entities into one. Sometimes this fusion of the elements is what we call art.

This is my version of Merge. See how lovely art, culture and people merge in these pictures.

According to Wikipedia, Fiesta, a Spanish word that means “party”, “feast” or “festival“. Our country is so rich in Fiestas. It is a part of Filipino culture. Every provinces has their own scheduled Fiesta. Actually, each month we have one. Some are really known attracting tourists to come. Who wouldn’t resist this kind of feast? You’ll see parade of street dancers with beautiful costumes, painted faces and loud native music. Houses offer food to share to everyone in some provinces, like the one I attended in Mindanao. Some have pageants, dance contest and costumes.

According to Alejandro Roces of Phil Star, What the fiesta does is tell the story of localities, and in doing so it tells the story of the Philippines. The fiesta is living tradition.

If you are interested, you are most welcome to visit us. Here’s the list of Philippine Fiestas and choose what suits you:


When: April 16, 2011

What: Aliwan Fiesta

Where: Roxas Boulevard CCP Complex, between the CCP Complex and Quirino Grandstand

Photographer: Martin Lambo

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Sun is UP

Aren’t we so blessed…. the sun is up! FINALLY, you are here! I’m not gonna let you go! Everybody is waiting for you to come out. I have been praying for a good weather the whole week because today is our schedule for passport renewal. The new DFA (Dept of Foreign Affairs) is too far from where we live, so we definitely need the sun. And of course, we should not forget, some parts in Manila still have floods. So we need sunshine and hopefully it will now continue to subside. There is always a rainbow after the rain. All the storms will go away, I know.

So happy, me, my daughter Sam (red umbrella) and my niece Andrea (blue umbrella) went out and embraced the heat before leaving. Thank you Lord!

Ever so ‘kulit’ Andrea.

Go model your new shoes Sam.

Cute dimple baby!

Pretty Sam!

What happened Andie..hahaha

The sun is shining on us and please don’t go away quickly. Hopefully tomorrow it will be as bright as today coz it’s my nephew’s birthday and we are set to go to Fun Ranch.

Before I end my post, let me just comment DFA for a job well done. The new system is so stress free. We only stayed less than an hour. You will just have to take 3 steps and you are done. Since you are scheduled to go, the place is no longer crowded unlike before. The staffs are so friendly especially window 12 of the receiving, encoding desk (step 1). I forgot his name, sorry. I left with a smile and am I so surprised. Usually, if you are gonna get government documents, the experience is always horrible. But this is so much different. So, congratulations, well done guys! Now, the only question I have in mind is, Will I get it on time without any delay?

If you want to apply for a new, renewal or lost passport, just simply click the link below:


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