I just spent a great holiday with my family and as expected it was fun yet very missing. I haven’t done this before — treat them to an amusement park — so it’s kinda new experience for us. You know, every time we decide to have time with each other, our choice were always food and malls, so we tried to put more fun and excitement to this rare time with my family, that’s why I brought them all to Star City Amusement Park in Manila.
Ticket prices are very reasonable. Ride-all-you-can tickets cost Php400.00 only, you just have to add a few bucks if you wish to visit the Snow World or experience the new attractions like the Lazer Blaster, 4D Theater Max Rider and Z-Planet. But to tell you what, the ride-all-you-can ticket was already enough to enjoy the park (includes the new heart-stopping rides like the star flyer and star Frisbee and the horror houses) and the once in a day ballerina show at the Aliw Theater. Of course, make sure you go there right at the opening time just to anticipate the long queue for each rides. Going there beyond 5 o’clock PM will get you stuck with more people.
(at the back was the Star Frisbee ride, one of the newest attractions. )
(Us on Star Flyer — a very cool ride. You’ll swear you got to ride this more than once.)
(Star City has a giant Ferris Wheel also… view from the top is amazing!)
(Ballet Manila in their Christmas Presentation Kutitap)
Actually, we were stuck with the bunch of people, perhaps it was because of the holiday. Even the food stores there had long queue of people which made us super hungry. So after watching the beautiful ballerina show, we went out of the park (even if we don’t want to) and took a cab to the seaside along Macapagal highway.
Seaside in Macapagal is a place where people can find a bunch restaurant. Fresh food are there. Just pay the food (seafood, beef, pork, chicken and veggies) per kilo that you wish plus the cooking fees, the food is ready after a few minute. Barkers are on the streets so you can ask them about their menus, if they have service charge, if they can cook the dishes you want or do they have videoke/function room — don’t hesitate to ask.
(Here’s my Dad, showing what he’s won in the shooting game while waiting for the food.)
(We ordered Sinigang na Hipon sa Sampaloc [above photo], grilled Squid with stuffings and Pinaputukang Tilapia)
We dine in at Igmaan. The best one cook restaurant I’ve experienced in Seaside so far. It didn’t take me more than Php2,000.00 to make my whole family super full.
After that, we had a long walk all the way to SM Mall of Asia (MOA) seaside. We thought it was just near because we can see the big globe from Macapagal highway. I swear the road, though, so please take a cab. (Hehehe!)
Well, we went there to see and ride the giant Ferris wheel. We weren’t able to get a chance though because — thank the long walk — it was already closing time and they’ve already served the last customer when we arrived. So, I ended up treating my family at Starbucks.
We had fun talking at Starbucks. It’s been a long time since I had a wholesome talk with these people. There I discovered that it was just my Mom’s first time to watch a ballerina play, first time to be at Starbucks with us, complete, and first time to stay outside super late just to bond with us and talk. It melted our heart, of course. I just promised to her that we will do this kind of bonding again in the near future — I just have to renovate the house, then we will celebrate again at star city and seaside and MOA — or plan something else more.
Anyway, I just wish that I could spend more time with my family this coming 2013. I’m very thankful that God is giving wonderful opportunities so I could give my family something that they deserve. I wish I could do more than this.
Happy New Year Everyone!
In the middle of the rough road,
I tuned into the song in the radio
I wonder I could not sing along
Perhaps it’s not an ordinary love song
I stopped, remember to say a little pray’r
But I don’t know what to say.
My mouth can’t find a way;
I only know is to sing it this way.
But does God listen to a rock song?
Heavy roar of the electric guitars,
Syncopated rhythm of the drums.
Oh Lord, do you hear ’em all?
I clear my throat, inhale the warm air;
I’m now ready to play the tape.
I close my eyes and hope nobody is watching
Here it goes, for the God of Rock above.
I felt the cool breeze of the air
Are those angels embracing my pray’r,
Or I’m just imagining the way God feels?
I wish the song praised him, that’s what it is meant.
Oh, Lord! Do you hear ’em all?
I know you’re the God of all music!
And so is this heavy metal I’m sing.
Oh, Lord! Do you hear ’em all?
Link to God Listens to Rock Music (version 1)
Picture: From my Facebook account — with my Church mates.
3 days ago, Ms. USA Olivia Culpo was crowned as the Ms. Universe 2012. I could not still move on, so as many Filipinos. Of course, in our hearts and minds, our very own Ms. Philippines Janine Tugonon should have won the title, because not only she answered the question gracefully but she just really deserve the title.
Different reactions came across our houses and offices as we stayed tune via all means – Facebook, livestream, text messages and Twitter. At the end of the day, we were all in silence. Actually, I treated myself for an ice cream just to coup up the frustration and the disappointment. But things has already happened, according to the Pinay beauty queen, it was the judges decision and we should accept it.
Janine Tugonon has competed with 89 other hopefuls.
She was called from Top 16 with the following candidates:
9. South Africa
And, Top 10 with the following girls:
8. South Africa
Ms. Philippines was the only Asian who made to the top 10 and got the title next to the Ms. Universe in this year’s competition. Despite of not bring home the crown, Filipinos and fans are still proud of her. In fact, she will be awarded with recognition in her hometown in Bataan, Philippines as soon as she arrives.
For me, everyone in the competition deserves to win, because that’s their purpose of being there. But we cannot remove the fact that people, rather than the judges, know the best. In Ms. Universe pageant, it just proven that Filipinos are already back on track to prove that we deserve to be recognized, not just with our beauty and talents, but also for what we are – the best among the rest.
We still hope for the crown next time, for sure our candidate will give their best shot.
Images are not mine. Follow these links for the source:
Admit it! Christmas is not only time for giving. It’s also time for spending money to buy a lot of stuff. And if you’re one of the people who gives rather than accept, then you might be also one of those thinking whether you will buy online or go to the shopping den.
Last minute Christmas shopping is inevitable, especially if you’re preoccupied by work or some stuff during pre-holidays week. Where is the best place to go shopping?
Right now, Divisoria, Manila is fully-loaded with people who are looking for the most affordable stuff. Divisoria is the common place where you can find and buy everything – food, fashion stuff, toys, home décor, outdoor goods, gadgets and etc – at low price you can’t imagine. However, this place is kind of risky because it is very crowded, as in once you visit that place make sure you are prepared to “literally” rub elbows with tons of people, and make sure your belongings are well-secured.
I grew near from Divisoria, so I shop there a lot. I just want to give you a few tips for you to know where to go and what to do first.
Number one shopping rule is to get a list of the items you need to buy. Don’t forget a thing. Once you’re done shopping in Divisoria, you’ll swear never to come back until the end of this season. Of course, not because of bad incident but it will drain your energy a lot. So, again, make sure you write everything in your list. And, make use it’s on a paper – not in your tab or smart phone (I’ll discuss it later).
Secondly, Divisoria has few parking spaces. Most of the streets are occupied by flocks of people and stores. If you’ll bring a ride, don’t expect you’ll be able to move. So better commute and maximize your walking ability. Don’t wear high heels, please.
Thirdly, don’t wear eye-catching accessories, bling-blings and even bring smart gadgets. These things are bad elements magnet. You don’t want to end up in the police station reporting stolen or missing belongings. If you can’t get rid of it though, make sure you keep it in your bag or pockets.
When it comes to your cash, make sure you have purse, ready to pull those riches. Spread your cash are spread all over your body – pockets, wallet, purse and, seriously, in your bras – in this way, if anything happens, you’ll have a back up. Better prepared than sorry. Also, withdraw your cash ahead of time because most of the ATM’s in this season are either box office hit or temporarily out of service.
Fourth, know the place where you’re going. These are the shopping malls that you can visit in the Divisoria Business District:
Tutuban – large space, there’s a few store available (since some parts are burnt), but there are organized, great finds here so you’ll know where to go if you need a particular item. There’s also midnight shopping that’s open from mall closing hours until 1am. During the last minute Christmas shopping, they extend their mall hours.
168 – If you’re claustrophobic, it’s not advisable to go here. But if you’re ready for a real great finds, this is the best spot that I would recommend. 168 never fail me so far. This is where I buy Christmas gifts and Secret-santa things.
999 – It looks more like 168, but it has wider “Paseo’s”. Mall’s air-condition works pretty well, so it’s more comfortable than Tutuban and 168. When I get here, I always get confused with exits and entrance and the
Lucky China Town Mall – You could never imagine that there’s a mall in Divisoria that has stores like Mango and popular and expensive. Well, I’m not talking about the unauthentic product, this is for real. If you want branded products, you can find it here. To tell you, the mall looks every similar to Eastwood City, QC. Starbucks and French Baker are also here, so you won’t get hungry.
Fifth, it’s always advisable to bring friends with you – 2 to 3, but not the whole gang – not because you’ll ask them to bring your shopping bags but it’s better if you’ll get second opinion from them when buying.
Lastly, try to watch “How to survive crowd stampede” on Youtube so you know what to do if anything happens in crowded place like Divisoria. Again, better prepaid.
The last time I’ve visited a zoo with my family was I think 8 years ago. It was our family day that time, and if I have not mistaken that was also our parent’s anniversary. As I reminisce, I remember how amazed I was to see the adorable animals there, like the Elephant and the Orangutan (I forgot their names), which I’ve seen first when I was so little, back when I first visited the Manila zoo.
And right now, to tell you honestly, I’m kind of curious on how the zoo looks like today especially that the animals are like aging by now.
This came to my thought because I just fulfilled my long time plan to visit the Virtual Zoo in Tutuban Mall, Divisoria-Manila. Ryan, my best friend, and I were actually in the middle of shopping gifts for this season. We just saw people coming at the 4th floor of Tutuban Mall and we found out that the Virtual Zoon was located there.
It wasn’t spacious like what I was expecting but it was really fun to be there. Check out these pictures:
(Click pictures to see larger view, and sorry for the shaky captures from my friend. Tee hee hee!)
Some paintings, like the Crocodile below, are hard to find its exact angle. It takes a lot of practice shot to perfect it, but unfortunately, we were unable to do it.
So as this turtle. But I think this shot was better than the crocodile.
My favorite was this one. At first, we thought the hammer-head shark has a weird background, that’s why I just did the surfer boy pose. We lately realized that you have to tilt the camera to perfect it. (see second and third picture)
This one is pretty amazing too. The whale looked like it really came out of the wall.
Second to my favorite photos were these. The elephant photo has a floating pale. You have to position your hand to make you look like splashing water to the elephant. While the boar, it doesn’t really have rope. We just also position our hands to the painting and whoala! Same thing goes with the ‘whipping the lion’ and the horse.
The cave below was pretty amazing too, although it doesn’t really echo.
This one here wasn’t an animal, but I think it’s one of the partnership products of this virtual zoo.
If you think, that’s all. Well, there are more to come in the virtual zoo since I’ve seen some wall with on-going paintings. We’ll try to go back there by next month and see what’s new. But if you wish to drop by here, Virtual Zoo located at the 4th floor of the Tutuban Centre Mall 2. Look for the Food Court and take the escalator to go upstairs.
I was supposed to be in the office yesterday but I filed my vacation leave to give way to this much awaiting Filipino Bloggers Worldwide Event – the Filipino Bloggers Worldwide 1st Grand Eyeball at the SM Megatrade Hall 2. This was the first event that I attended for the sake of my blog. I’ve never been to any event like this before where I’ve seen my fellow bloggers rubbing elbows with each other, and I didn’t imagine that it was really fun!
I registered and got my invitation to this event a couple weeks ago. I was actually nervous. I thought it would be a very intimidating event because, you know, I would be with the Philippine’s famous bloggers – you know, mine is just one of the blogs somewhere out there. Good thing, my friend Ron, blogger of Nite Writer, was also coming so we went there together.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t the early bird – thanks to the Friday night heavy traffic – I was there just right on time. Venue was held at the 5th floor SM Megamall Megatrade Hall 2.
I was expecting a few people to come but I’ve seen and met a lot of big time bloggers from the FBW group on Facebook. I’ve seen plenty of sponsors too. It’s too many to mention but I’ve recognized Ystillo (by Vina Morales), the thirst-quenching tea by Share Tea and the prize I was eyeing for, Manny O. wines.
The event was hosted by Admin Franc and the funny Ness who always noticed me laughing hard. They are the bloggers of “http://nessmercader.tumblr.com” and “http://francramon.com” and the people I mostly see on our Facebook group and my twitter feeds. At the beginning of the event, they introduced the sponsors and the admin of FBW and also the super early bird of the event.
Tasty buffet food was also served…
Plus, I get to enjoy the Share Tea’s Winter Melon and one of our bloggers’ cute little cupcakes! Unfortunately, there was no mochi. I was little expecting for it, but it was okay. :p
Highlights, Awards, Prizes and Giveaways.
One of the purposes I went there is to grab knowledge from co-bloggers on how to get blogs known. Fortunately, Jason Cruz of MRM gave us helpful insights on teaching bloggers how to blog. That was a short speech but it opens a lot of idea bulb on top of my head.
Aside from giving Jason Cruz the award of recognition, FBW also awarded the group’s top travel bloggers and the winners are:
1. The Chronicles of Love Mindanao
2. The Adventures of AdventuRoj!
4. Franc Ramon.com
5. Budget Byahera
6. South Cotabato
7. Vivi’s Random Ramblings
8. Traveling Morion
10. Journey ni Ikoy
But the much awaiting part of the event were the GAMES!!! Almost all won the prize – including me. Ha!
Here are the raffle winners:
I also brought home plenty of giveaways. This is the first event I went to where I bring home gifts – well, most of those are for girls. Perhaps, my sister will be happy tomorrow.
All-in-all I really enjoyed the event and I hope there would be another one soon. Nice to meet all the bloggers! It’s true when Orly Ballesteros said that “I always believe in this dictum: there are no strangers only friends you haven’t met.”