Sunday, August 14, 2016

To one of the bravest and loveliest souls I have ever met, happy birthday! Cheers to 95 years of existence! I will always be your number one fan Lola (grandma)I love you! 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Trip to Baguio (Part II)

Before anything else, my apologies for being MIA for almost a month. Been very busy for the past several weeks because of work, attending conferences, and reviewing (again). Also, I broke my plug-in, the USB-like thing that I used to connect to the internet, and I still haven't gotten a new one. Thus, to have a good internet connection, I can be found sitting in coffee shops after work or during the weekends (exactly what I'm doing right now).

So this one is a long overdue post. It's a continuation of our trip to Baguio last May. For the second day, our first stop was at the Botanical Garden. It was actually a perfect way to start our day. It's relaxing walking in paths lined with pine trees and seeing gardens filled with blooms.

There were also some small shops selling souvenir items - from clothes to bags to home wares to paintings! 

We also experienced wearing traditional clothing worn by Igorots, the ethnic group living in the Cordillera mountains. Here's a picture of me, my mom, aunt, and uncle getting a feel of what it's like to be an Igorot.

After spending the whole morning exploring the Botanical Garden, we headed to The Mansion - the summer residence of the President. There's really not much to do here but have a picture with the mansion as your background.

Or the gate as your background? But my mom and dad seemed pretty happy.
But the thing that I loved here was that I get to buy strawberry taho. Taho is a Philippine snack consists of silken tofu, sugar syrup, and sago pearls. But it's only in Baguio that one can buy strawberry taho because it's the only place in the Philippines where strawberries grow. Say hello to my first strawberry taho! Yum yum!

Okay, I think I'd better stop here. There's still a lot to share but let's reserve that next time. By the way, I just noticed now that while writing a post about Baguio I'm wearing the shirt that I got from none other than... Yep, you guess it right! =)

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Welcome Change

When you get to see a simple and heartwarming commercial like this coming from a fast food chain... With a beautiful rendition of a song dating back from the 90's. So much feels! 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Trip to Baguio (Part I)

Baguio City is a famous summer destination here in the Philippines if you want to escape the summer heat in Manila or other parts of the country. It's located in the northern part, specifically in the mountainous terrain in Benguet. It's high altitude means it has cooler temperature all year-round compared to the rest of the country.

So I'll just be sharing our activities and the places we've been to. =)

The morning of May 15th was spent attending mass in Baguio City Cathedral.

Next stop was Burnham Park - perfect for relaxing, seeing beautiful blooms, and of course, riding a boat!

I just had to take a look and buy some souvenirs. Some items, such as key chains only cost P10!

We also visited the Pink Sisters' Convent and Chapel. My mom and I attended another mass and I'm just glad we did. I love how silence is strictly observed and you can just sit there and pray and reflect. 

For lunch, we headed into The Other Office, a restaurant suggested by Manong driver. He was actually not only our driver, he was also our tour guide! How cool can that be?! And the view was definitely breathtaking - green lawns and pine trees!

The afternoon was then spent at the BenCab Museum, which I featured in the previous post.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

BenCab: Haven of Art, Culture, Tradition, Nature

Sometimes you have to go somewhere else to explore, to de-stress, to appreciate, or, basically, to just breathe in. And all those I did when my family and I went to BenCab Museum in Benguet on the 15th of May. I've been seeing it a lot online and even the movie That Thing Called Tadhana filmed some scenes here. It's not the usual big, old, historic museum. It's modern, with just the right space to house several works of local artists and that of Benedicto Cabrera, the owner and an artist himself.  He holds the distinction of being a National Artist not only because of his art works but also because of his efforts in spreading out art appreciation and preserving the Cordillera culture by helping in establishing the Tam-awan Village. For more information, you can click the picture below (and zoom it in).

So after traversing the narrow road in Km 6, an unlikely place holding a museum, we finally arrived at BenCab. At the front, you would think it's just a one-storey building. However, houses and buildings in Baguio and the nearby areas have stairs that are instead of going up, go down. So this one is really a four-storey building. When you get inside, the stairs  going down lead to level 2. Another stairs lead to level 3. And then to level 4.

Below are my favorite works of BenCab and other artists.

Aside from the paintings, sculptures, and other art works, I am in awe of the beauty at the back of the museum. It's so green, the mountains are filled with trees (which I hope they maintain because it's really calming); there's a lovely garden below with a nipa hut in the middle of a pond, rice paddy, a small area planted with strawberry; and on the right side, there's an open space where you get to see the sun set. Such a lovely, lovely sight!

Far beyond, the sun is setting in.
(But this view is way better in person. I swear.)

So in this last picture, here I am flashing a big smile. Deep inside, I am jumping for joy! I have to say our visit to BenCab was really one for the books! Such a wonderful experience!

Thank you Sir Benedicto Cabrera for this little piece of heaven! Every corner is filled with love for art, culture, tradition, and nature.

*all pictures by me except for the ones I'm in which were taken by my mom

Sunday, June 5, 2016

A Work In Progress

Life has been pretty much stagnant lately. Though there were a few adventures, when I look at personal accomplishments, there's pretty much nothing at this point in time. I used to think that being in late twenties equates to being successful in the field that we're in. We already surpassed the early career stage. Almost a decade has gone by after graduating from the university and quoting Mace from the movie That Thing Called Tadhana (Translation of Tadhana: Destiny), "Aren't we supposed to be great by this time?" Whether you're 28, 29, or 30, we're supposed to be doing great things already. But looking closely, the reality is different. Life doesn't always happen the way we want it. Or maybe, we're just too eager for LIFE to happen. We forget that sometimes, we need to be patient and wait...well, not just wait. We need to have focus and work hard.

I am already 29. Expectations include being on top of my career as a scientist and being in a relationship with someone and eventually marrying him and starting a family. Reality is being a researcher struggling to get into a PhD program and living a life of singleness/singlehood whatever term you call it. Forgive me if I'm being so negative here but that is the truth. I'm also struggling with anger management. I hate to admit but recently, I feel that I'm VERY quick-tempered. When a problem or misunderstanding arises, it doesn't matter who I'm with, whether family or friends or people I don't even personally know, I will get angry and show it in the worst possible way. I'm having a hard time controlling my emotions. And honestly, I don't know what will happen if I tried suppressing them. I just have to get those emotions out of my system. The end result? Hurting other people's feelings and realizing that I should've not done that. I should've handled the situation in a proper way, in a way an adult deals with it.

However, I don't want to punish myself for being like that. I want to change. I want to learn how control my anger. I want to learn how to voice out my side without being aggressive. Also, I want to focus on my goals and achieve them, one by one, slowly but surely.

I want to be better.

I may not be the person I'm expecting to be at this age and time but I'd like to think that I'm a work in progress.

I'll be ending this self-reflection/rambling with these lines (again from the movie That Thing Called Tadhana ):
Mace: To the great people we could have been.
Anthony: Parang ayaw ko naman yatang mag-cheers dyan. (Translation: Looks like I'm not agreeing with that.)
Mace: To the great people we are today.
Anthony: Sinungaling. (Translation: Liar.)
Mace: To the great people we will be?
Anthony: To the great people we will be.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Lobo Beach

In this part of the world, summer is already in its full blast (March-May). The heat is unbelievable so you either face it head-on or put your back against it and go to a cooler place! Now, let me share the first part, facing it head-on by going to the beach and enjoying the summer heat. The Philippines has a lot of beaches and you'll never run out of options, be it white sand, brown sand, gray/dark sand, strong waves, still waters, marine sanctuary, etc. I've been to white sand beaches in Calaguas Islands (see my previous posts here and here), Samal Island (see post here), Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte, Apo Island in Negros Oriental (it's a marine sanctuary and one of the best places where I've seen a lot of schools of fish and corals), Matabungkay in Batangas, and the gray/dark sand beaches of Bagasbas and Del Carmen in Camarines Norte.

Now, I'm sharing the brown sand beach in Lobo, Batangas. We had our team building last May 2-4 in Almalin Beach Resort (website). It was a nice, little place situated far from the hustle and bustle of major towns. It may not be as picturesque as the white sand beaches but it was lovely nonetheless.

Now, this is me smiling like a little kid. You see, when you're in a place like this, you just can't help but be happy.

I've also discovered my new favorite activity, paddle boarding. Getting up early in the morning, paddling while the sun rises, seeing the wonderful view of the sea, sky, and mountains - everything is just serene. I get to witness the beauty of God's creation, reflect about life, and just take in every single moment of it. Ah, this is life!

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