All Strings Attached

FIRST, I have to give credit to Marielle for creating this cheesy but quite appropriate photo art (using Photofunia, I assume).

Marie is actually complaining about this photo. She said that to be fair, Marielle should have also used her college graduation photo. But that would not have made the photo right either, because although Marielle used my graduation photo (According to her it is the only decent enough photo of me that she could find. Ouch!), it was actually taken during my MBA graduation just about 5 years ago.

Setting aside our frivolous complaints, Marielle actually made a photo that perfectly captures the very essence of the last 12 years. Yes, it’s been 12 years that Marie and I have been stringed and attached together. As far as I can tell neither of us is complaining. Or maybe I should speak only for myself, LOL.

Our life together isn’t perfect and between the two of us there are still many dreams that are yet to be realized. But our own personal dreams have now been set aside in favor of our dreams for – and the personal dreams of – our two wonderful kids, Marielle (9) and Johan (7). I guess you can say that Marielle and Johan are the strings that bind us together, forever.


Tech Kids

THIS PHOTO was taken approximately one year ago, some time in December 2011.

Back then, our kids, Marielle (8 at the time) and Johan (6 at the time) would still borrow their mom’s and dad’s iPads or laptops whenever they wanted to play or look up something in Google or You Tube. Now we practically have to borrow our iPads from them. They have also grown so comfortable and proficient with computers that they automatically just google stuff that interests them. Read more

Superb Cultural Dance Presentation @ Villa Escudero

Every day, the cultural dance troupe of Villa Escudero gives a world-class presentation to local and foreign visitors to this Filipino-culture-themed park near the boundary of Laguna and Quezon provinces.

My family visited Villa Escudero in May 2011. Villa Escudero impressed me a lot, so much so that I actually wrote and posted three articles about it in this blog. This one is the fourth.

I am very glad that my kids – Marielle (9) and Johan (7) and their cousin, Marian Rose (7), have been introduced to traditional Filipino folk songs and dances early on. And I am doubly glad that this introduction was by way of Villa Escudero, as it undoubtedly left only positive impressions on them.

Villa Escudero and its cultural presentation are definitely two must-sees by tourists and visitors. As a Filipino, they make me really proud.


In the photo with the the Villa Escudero cultural dance troupe members are my sister-in-law, Mary Ann (standing in the middle, wearing white shirt), my sister Orchid (seated, 2nd from left), Johan, my ever cool and beautiful Nanay Paz, my niece Marian Rose, and Marielle.


Revisiting PAHIYAS

I WAS married for just about half a year when I went to see my very first PAHIYAS Festival in Lucban, Quezon in May 2001 with my former girlfriend and now permanent ex-girlfriend, Marie. So I guess you can say that PAHIYAS was a big part of our HONEYMOON.

As you can see from our photos, the PAHIYAS seems an ideal event for honeymooners to go and see. At least it seemed that way to us some 11 years ago. :) Read more

A view from the pot

Pot Pool

Look what’s cooking?! Make that “Look who’s cooking?” or, to be more grammatically correct about it, “Look who is getting cooked?”

This is actually a very late post. Almost a year old now. I created it on first week of December last year, right after our family vacation in Pagudpud. Apparently I forgot to publish it and it was in my draft folder for the past 11 months. Silly me. Read more

The Extreme Water Slides of White Rock Subic

This will be my last blog post featuring my family’s recent visit in White Rock Resort in Subic, else other people may already think that I am being paid to promote the place. :)


STRICTLY SPEAKING, White Rock Resort in Subic is not a water theme park (like Splash Island along SLEx in San Pedro/Biñan, Laguna). But it offers a pleasant surprise to people who, not unlike myself, love the thrill of extreme water slides.

It features not one, not two, but three extreme water slides.

First is the Rampage Slide, which is simply a 45-degree slide from a height of approximately 50 feet (about the height of an 8-story building), and ends in a shallow pool.

Next is the Super-Bowl Slide, which starts from the same approximately 8-story platform of the Rampage Slide and goes down a long barrel slide which is about 80-100 feet long. The barrel slide dumps into a huge “bowl” where you continue to slide around a couple of times before getting literally flushed down the middle and into a 5-foot deep pool.

Lastly, there’s the See-Saw Slide which may look deceivingly “easy” to some, but guarantees a big scare with its initial “dead drop.” Read more

Missing Sagada

I FIRST visited Sagada with my xGF and our good friends, Eden and Justin Salimbot, way back in 2001.

I immediately fell in love with Sagada and vowed to visit it again in the not so distant future.

Well, it’s been 11 years. There had been attempts – or at least plans – to revisit Sagada in the past few years, but one way or the other it wouldn’t come to fruition.

Maybe what it takes is to get Eden and Justin to go with us again.


I wonder how much – or how little – the place has changed in the past decade. I do hope it hasn’t changed much. After all, the allure of Sagada is its ancient and timeless beauty. Read more

Some quarter of a century and 50 pounds ago

HERE’S another recent find I made from my pile of old documents and photographs. This one is already in a very bad state. A couple more years and I may not be able to salvage it anymore.

Hey that’s my ever cool Nanay Paz, looking like she was going to the “disco” with that skinny, drug-addict-looking guy beside her.

But wait… that skinny guy is… was… ME!



Revisiting White Rock

OCTOBER 13, 2012 – My family visited White Rock for the 2nd time in about 3 years. The first time was also our first visit to this popular Subic resort.

Generally speaking, not much has changed since our first visit, although a lot of renovations and expansions are presently going on during our second visit, presumably in preparation for the coming tourism peak seasons in December-January and March-May.

I did notice some notable additions.

Read more

Laughter and Gossip at Tapella. And food, too.

I haven’t been doing much of FOOD blogging for quite some time now. In fact I haven’t been doing much of ANY blogging at all since November last year. Time to break the dry spell. And what better subject to break a dry spell than food?

On Sept 28 I had a dinner date with five ladies at Tapella in Greenbelt 5. They are former colleagues of mine and I call them the xACIS ladies. Of course one of them happens to be my xGF, too. Read more

Cesar who?

“HOW DO YOU pronounce Cesar’s surname, Daddy?”

Marielle’s question came from nowhere. It’s one of those typical off-tangent questions from our kids that seem to be coming more and more often, challenging our wits and, at times, our sanity.

It was a usual Habagat-soaked morning in August and we were all preparing for the day ahead – the kids to school, their mom to her office in Makati, and I to where I fancy to work that day.

“Cesar who?” I asked absentmindedly, a bit annoyed.

“Cesar, the secretary?” Marielle replied matter-of-factly.

“Secretary?” This exchange was starting to annoy me a bit. Meanwhile, her disinterested mom wouldn’t care to butt in, and I couldn’t blame her. She knew she would be dragged into a potentially impossible conversation.

“Cesar, the Secretary of Finance.” She blurted out incredulously, as if wondering why I was so slow to comprehend such a simple, basic question that any 9-year-old is sure to understand. Read more

Stinky Cody – The New Dog in the House

Cody, our stinky, new dog.

Cody is our new pet dog in the house.

Cody is the realization of several months of painful contemplation on whether we will have a second dog or not. We’ve had protracted debates, my xGF and I, on whether to have a second dog or not. Are we responsible enough dog-owners? Can we take care of a second dog? Can we give it the same (or more) love and care we have given Mario, our first dog? Does Mario like to have another dog in the house?

Our primary consideration is Mario. Having been with us for almost three years now, we’ve always wondered how melancholic his days must have been without anyone to play (or even fight) with. My xGF and I see him only in the evenings and on weekends, and even then we can only spend very little time with him. Marielle and Johan, albeit they adore Mario, have become more and more busy with their school works and other enrichment activities. It breaks our heart when we see Mario sad and silent in a corner. So it’s been finally decided. We’ll have a second dog. Read more