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Thursday, October 9, 2014

How About A Nice Fresh Air At LA MESA ECO PARK...

One Sunday morning and bored of strolling at the mall... we decided to have an old-fashioned way of family bonding. We romped around the Eco (logical) Park at La Mesa Dam in Fairview, Quezon City.
Its been 3 years since our last visit to this park and we were delighted by its improvements. 
It was a lovely day when we arrive. The surroundings were all green, tall trees were all over and flowers were beaming with pride. We toured around and found other amusement facilities which were not seen the last time. There were the zip line site, bungee fun adventure site, a new swimming pool and a new boating site. 
There were several nipa cottages where you can rest after a long walk. For nature lover, it is a nice place to frequent and commune with our Mother Earth. There you can find tranquility amidst the merriment of guests. Kids frolicked while the grown-ups were fishing or swimming. We even spotted one family celebrating grandma's birthday. 
For Catholics, Sunday Masses are schedule every 10:30 am to 11:30 am at the Ipil Grove Pavilion. We were able to attend it and afterwards continued with our wandering.
The trekking to the spot of the La Mesa Dam was tiresome but the site was wonderful . It was a good exercise for our lazy bones. There were bikers, joggers, friends and students having fun and taking photos. My youngest kid was complaining and grumpy over the long climb. 
And as we found an ice cream cart at the foot of the steps, he was thankful for his reward. For enduring the climb, an ice cream cone with his favorite flavor.
As we continued with our hiking, we saw one funny guy in green all over pretending to be a statue of a toy soldier but was actually a person with a device in his mouth to make him squeak when he spoke. We found another two in red and blue near the souvenir shop. They were so entertaining with their antics.
Some eateries/restaurants were also present to augment the needs of empty tummies.  
It was an enjoyable strolling and we stopped at the Drilon Orchidarium (donated by Senator Franklin Drilon) were several families are, just like us, having family bonding. Tired, we rested and ate our baon with gusto.

The freshness of the nature was engaging. It offers good subject for several photographers. There were also some soon-to-be married couples having their pictorial for their theme photoshoots. Students were also having their camping. A couple of kids were having fun with horseback riding. It was a never ending adventures for kids of all ages.

For all nature lovers who don’t want to go out of Metro Manila, I recommend this amusement and leisure park for a difference.  

It is located at the back of the East Fairview, Quezon City. One can use the Winston St. or the Pearl St. and traverse the gate in Dunhill St. Tricycles are also available for special trip but some teenagers and joggers took it by just plain walking or jogging.

Admission rate :

Persons above 3 ft. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  P50.00
Persons below 3 ft. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Free
QC residents (w/valid proof of residence) . . .  P40.00
QC Students (w/ valid ID). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P20.00
QC Senior Citizen (w/ valid ID) . . . . . . . . . . . Free

Enjoy our mother nature! And God Bless!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Foam Party at JCRV Penthouse.

Every girl dreamed of celebrating their 18th birthday in a special and memorable way. Well, mine was not posh but it was spent with my close friends or BFF. We “made merry” over a plate of banana fritters or Baduya and a family-sized bottle Coke which my friends paid for. How can you ever forget an event like that, huh? It was a special celebration in a sole and unique way.

My niece had her celebration in an amazing way… A Foam Party at the Penthouse of JCRV Bldg. Tomas Morato corner A. Roces Avenue, Quezon City.

Being the only girl of the siblings, “She is favored” as her father said. It was compensatory to her since she is a God-fearing, jolly, diligent, charming and obedient young lady. She had never been a headache to her parents [nor to her brothers] and she was a good cousin to my children. She has countless friends, neighbors and classmates, old and new.

The debut party started with the usual friends’ gift-giving and small informal speeches of what the gift represents, the dancing with eighteen roses, speeches of the parents, picture takings here and there and lastly food was served. 

The buffet was elegantly prepared and served by the Star n’ Sun Catering Services. I commend them for a very fine presentation, extra-ordinary good and sumptuous food.

... And after the dinner, the soap suds at the poolside beckoned to us. My girls and boy enjoyed the soap suds, afterwards my girls changed their attire and proceeded to the pool to enjoy their swimming but not for my little boy since we figured it was too cold for him. He was envious but amused by the exuberance and energy. 

The guests, young ladies and gentlemen, were bantering, cheering, enjoying a short game of Beer Pong, the music of Aqualite Mobile Bar, sipping beer and cocktails and literally throwing their friends to the pool. They all have fun in a friendly way.

The parents, on the other hand, were at the main reception room having friendly chat with relatives and acquaintances.

Finger food, chips, nachos and mini sandwiches were also serve.

The party was a blast and vivaciously enjoyed by the birthday celebrant and guests.

It ended at 1:00am in the morning.

I can imagine my niece in bed, asleep with a smile on her face.

Happy Birthday sweet girl!

Friday, September 26, 2014

An Entry To Last Year's Young-Writer-Summer-Program.

I know what my daughter did last summer… she submitted an entry, a poem/song, through the Inquirer-Young-Writer-Summer-Program. But, we heard nothing from them about the result of the contest. So, let me share with you my 14-year old daughter's composition. 

Despair for Me, O Loved Ones
A song by Jana F. F. Magadia

The protagonist’s note to his mother:

Dear mother, I’m off to a faraway place
But you needn’t despair for me;
I’ve heard ev’ry man who has come to this place
Becomes a shadow of peace.

The protagonist’s note to his father:

                                    Dear father, I’m off to a faraway place
                                    But you needn’t despair;
                                    A loaded gun for the shield of your son
                                    I shall wield for this journey.

The protagonist’s note to his wife:

                                    Dear darling wife, the love of my life
                                    You shan’t cry of me, not morn or night,
                                    But darling, please, watch over our child
                                    As she ages with her dreams of dark and wild.

The wife’s letter to the protagonist:

                                    My dear, you’re insane, I suggest you rest,
                                    And yes, I shan’t cry at dramatic events
                                    Our daughter is safe from the wildest of dreams
                                    She now plays with the heaven’s seraphim 

A note found in front of the daughter’s gravestone:

                                    Dear child, sleep well, I will be there,
                                    We’ll play with the angels soon.
                                    We’ll rejoice in the light of the One who gives light,
                                    The light of the sun and the moon

The protagonist’s letter to his wife as he arrived in the said destination:

                                    My dear, I’ve arrived in this wonderful place.
                                    There I maiden greeted me.
                                    Her eyes were dark and yet they sparked.
                                    Darling, rejoice for me.

                                    I knew you despised me night and day,
                                    Your eyes showed bright and angry flames.
                                    Now I’m to depart from all I loved
                                    To repose in the mountains and beyond
                                    Go find a man to bring you peace,
                                    Remove me from your memories.
                                    Make love to him and cook him game,
                                    Marry and forget this shameful pain.

The wife’s letter to the protagonist:

                                    I’ve found a man with a noble name,
                                    And love, I’ve made love to him!
                                    I’ve accepted his offer, made sons and a daughter
                                    But by the act of sin.

                                    I haven’t been a faithful wife
                                    You dissatisfied my lust.
                                    I had no choice but to go off
                                    With the man I truly love

A letter from the protagonist to his wife after staying in the said destination for a few days:

                                    Her skin was pink, her hair was fire,
                                    Her lips showed me lust and desire,
                                    Her breasts were full and bathed in gold
                                    And when we kiss, her wings unfold

                                    And there I felt the love where obsession and death conquers.
                                    She laughed a pretty laugh when she threw me to the fires
                                    Where I thought I’d meet our child but our daughter wasn’t there.
                                    Then I was blinded, not by the light, but by the darkness of hell.

The unfaithful wife’s first husband was found dead in his study. A pistol was lying on the floor and its muzzle pointed at the door. When his holed head was lifted from a blood-stained blueprint, it was said that the sheet had a sketch of an unknown pentagram. 

Yes, yes, yes! I know it and  I admit it, she is a better writer than me. If you want to read her other works, check out her wattpad account Dreamshard.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

TatyStar Bakery's Toasted Siopao, Anyone?

While I was munching on a piece of Toasted Siopao, I began to reminisce my childhood days and since Bicolandia recently celebrated the Fiesta of Our Lady of Penafrancia, it is only fitting to write about this Bicol’s all-time- favourite snack. I believe that this kind of siopao originated in Bicol. 
Surprisingly, a number of small bakeries, having this as one of their best-selling products, started to sprout in Metro Manila.

And I found one that almost replicates the taste of our homeland Toasted Siopao. Now I don’t have to wait for some of our relatives to visit us bringing along this pastry or for us to go to Bicol to bite one. 

The Toasted Siopao is not the usual siopao in a steamer but rather, bread with filling of pre-cooked seasoned ground pork and half a slice of boiled egg.  A piece of it is enough for a good merienda or snack although the version of it in Metro Manila is much smaller than the original piece in Bicol. So go ahead and indulge as many as you can with your favourite drink. 

Tip: The product is best eaten while it is still hot and freshly-baked. Left-overs should be kept refrigerated. 

TatyStar Bakery is located along Anonas Extension corner Madasalin Sts. in Quezon City. It makes me smile and I feel proud that the word “Toasted Siopao” is much bigger that the name of the bakery itself. No billing problem from the owner J
It is just a small bakery but a lot of customers queue for a box or two or even six. The cost is  Php9.00/piece.
The bakery is manned by several personnel in red… busy staff but attentive to customers’ need. I asked one of them if the owner is a Bicolano but she said no and utter another region that escapes my mind.
Aside from the siopao, they also have the Spanish Bread,  Cinnamon Bread and Maligaya Bread to name a few. Maligaya Bread is a pastry with red sweet filling. Also called Panderegla and Kababayan in other regions in the Philippines. 
And Wow!, they also have the classic “Tinoktok” or our native “Pinangat”, a non-bread item and another Bicol delicacy. It is made of thinly chopped seasoned shrimp and grated coconut meat wrapped in Gabi Leaves and cooked in coconut milk, some like it chilly hot while others the regular flavor.
For people who are looking for a new kind of food to discover and for Bicolanos whose taste buds are longing for Bicol delicacies, ease your agony and have a box of TatyStar Bakery's Toasted Siopao or Maligaya or Tinoktok.

Happy Eating and God Bless Everyone !!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Real Fun at Fun Ranch!

It was a Saturday afternoon. My friend's sons Jacob and Yuan's birthday party was scheduled from 2:00 to 5:00 pm.

But my watch said 2:30 pm and we were still caught in the traffic at C5. The sun was hot and my kids were excited. "Are we there yet ??" They asked me for the nth time. The reason for their excitement... birthday, FUN RANCH and how do kids rule here?. 

After 45 minutes... Yahoooo!!! 

The long wait was over as we saw the signboard "This way to Frontera Verde. 

It was in the middle of the game when we arrived at the Skye's Room, located at the second floor of the main barn or the BIG RED BARN.


Balloons were all over and kiddy decorations too. The huge place included a mini basketball court and a mini target range on the side for sporty kids.

The motif...  the different Super Heroes. 

Latecomers' exasperation vanished when they started to mingle with friends, joined the games, enjoyed the delicious food  and watched the magic show with the cameo role of the white phyton (my! scary). 

The magic was fun and so my "tattoo" paint. 

  The food was great, awesome and abundant. 

People, young and old had a great time.

When the party was over, it was the beginning of the kids' unlimited thrill at the Playdium where tons of indoor fun are ready to be unraveled...

...while the mommies and the daddies can now relax and have a good chat with friends. 

The ranch also offers other rides like the Bumper Cars, Red Baron Plane Ride, Swing Ride, Balloon Flight, Pirate Ship, Roller Coaster and many more to discover.

One more commendable thing about this place, it was not congested at all and so... I did love my stay here and I did not feel exhausted. It was indeed a memorable Happy Birthday not only to Jacob and Yuan but to all of us as well. I definitely recommend this leisure place for your kids' next adventure, party or for your family bonding.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Kamay ni Hesus Shrine and Its Serene Ambiance.

Every now and then, we need to make amends with ourselves. Not that we squabbled with or hated ourselves but the mere fact that we allowed ourselves to be stressed out by our everyday existence. Not everyone thou experience this but I personally get into it. I use it to measure the longevity of one of my virtue... that is patience. Being in a public service is a tough job. The meager income, for one, will tests your very and many "ways" of life. The opinions of "haters" or the "bashers" of public servants or sometimes we call ourselves "public slaves" make us defensive in a way, is another test to endure. We cannot blame them nor judge our fellow employees for each actions. Each has his or her own reasons on why show such demeanor. 

In such time one of my goal is to look for a solemn place to commune with our Creator. One of my officemate who was from Lucban, Quezon suggested that we visit Kamay ni Hesus.

So, off we go to Lucban. The Kamay ni Hesus Shrine is located in the vast area of land and mountain. In front of it is the Batis Aramin Resort where anyone can also enjoy the fresh air and the cold water of the pool. On top of the mountain is the huge statue of the Jesus Christ with hand stretched out as if welcoming everyone or showing us the infinity of His Love for us.

As we start our hiking, it was like we were immersed in the old testament. On the ground are located the "replica"of the Noah's Ark with the different animals, near the entrance of the hiking area is the statue of Adam and Eve and near the exit was the Pieta. 

We passed more than a hundred steps before we reached the peak of the mountain. It was not a straight stiff steps thou. As we arrived on a certain level, we went to the other side passing different works of art of Mary and the Apostles.

There were showers of rain and it was exhausting when we reach the highest part of the shrine. But as we finish contemplating on our personal concerns by praying fervently, we were amazed by the refreshing views of the whole Lucban, Quezon. It was green everywhere and the air was fresh. It was awesome!

When we started to descend, I discover that for me it was harder to go down than to go up the mountain. Call it nearing the sign of old age...

The place is a very nice venue to celebrated the Holy Week where regular  and  healing masses for the sick are held and celebrated in the chapel. I gladly recommend this serene place to all the pilgrims.

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Enchanting Batis Aramin.

It was almost 2:00pm, I was in front seat of the van. It was hot inside and I was perspiring. My back was soaked with sweat and I was worried that I might get sick. We were traversing the South Expressway, when our boss sent a message in my cellphone that we need to stopped by the first gasoline station after Alabang. 

Three cars in a convoy and some of us have not taken their lunch yet. Since we will be spending travel time of almost 5 hours before we reach Lucban, Quezon, it was a good idea to gobble some burgers. I was right, my blouse was wet so I headed to the comfort room and with the help of an officemate who happen to follow me, dried my blouse on the blowdryer. 

It was my first time to go to Lucban. We have been planning this event for a couple of weeks already and we were all looking forward to a refreshing team building activity. The destination was BATIS ARAMIN Resort and Hotel.

After our quick stop, we begun our journey...lo and behold! The weather became favorable and the aircon of the vehicle was getting colder. My back was dry and I was enjoying the sight... traffic, sun, rain, sun again, lots of trees, rice fields, cows, carabaos, crows, tricycles, cars, bus, people, old, young, gasoline station, cr, plants, zigzag roads, Calamba, Pansol, Los Banos, Bay, Pila, Sta. Cruz, Pagsanjan, Cavanti, Luisiana... and its getting darker... and atlast we reach LUCBAN. I saw the statue of the Kamay ni Hesus on top of the mountain and smelt the fresh air.     

We passed by some joggers and were awed by the beauty of the mount Banahaw.

 We were exhausted but happy when we reached Batis Aramin. 

We were billeted in Anahaw Room. It was a fully air conditioned room with 2 queen size beds, 6 double decks, 2 bathrooms and a 32 inch flat TV with cable. It was well lit, clean and comfortable. 

The swimming polls were of different shapes, sizes and depths. But what I like the most, the place has lots of trees. It gives us the needed shelter and protection from the sun rays. 

They said that the water was cold but some of us were able to enjoy the night swimming while the others were belting out their favorite songs.

After breakfast we went around and we saw the hanging bridge, restaurants, reception halls, souvenir shops and ...the adventure camp... we tried the zipline, wall climbing and rappel.

After which we rest at the mountain overlooking the 
Mount Banahaw then back to our room.

The adventure was fun, exhilarating and it was what we needed. 

All of us had a good time... our next stop was Kamay ni Hesus.