Christmas is in the… skyscrapers

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THIS IS not a particularly good photo if I must say so. However, considering that I took it with just my iPhone camera through my car’s windshield while driving on top of the Buendia flyover… I’d say it is not half as bad after all.

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A white-washed anniversary get-away

IT IS also known as Marinduque’s Elephant Island. Bellarocca is an island resort characterized by white-painted buildings and villas that has the look (and supposedly feel) of the famous Greek island of Santorini.

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My family went to Santorini, I mean Bellarocca, to celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary in December 2011 (almost exactly a year ago). It is an idyllic, picture-perfect place for a family vacation. It is the perfect place if your idea for a vacation is to lie down lazily under the sun or dip the whole day in the pool or in the sea while sipping margarita. Read more

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.

HAPPY 12TH ANNIVERSARY, MOMMY!

Now Reading: Don’t Look Back: The David Bussau Story

I just finished reading THE BILLIONAIRE WHO WASN’T, the biographical account about Chuck Feeney, a few days ago.

I was so impressed and inspired by it that I decided to immerse myself with more stories about selfless giving and the people who made it their life’s goal to share their blessings.

I remember I have another book about another philanthropist by the name of Davis Bussau. I rummaged my huge pile of still unread books, and is pleased to report that I found it!

This one is actually quite special because it was personally signed by no other than David Bussau himself. My ex-girlfriend met Mr. Bussau in person less than 2 years ago when he visited the Philippines for some of his advocacy projects in partnership with Pepsico.

It promises to be another interesting read. I am hoping it will be as engaging as THE BILLIONAIRE WHO WASN’T.

I enjoy reading most biographical narratives so this should be no different. Having already sampled a few pages, I am quite happy to note that Ms. Tyndale’s storytelling style is light and easy, which should be good.

I’m quite optimistic with my prospect of completing this book, which is a good thing because my list of yet unfinished books is already getting quite long.

Among world’s most beautiful hospitals

I CAME across this online article quite by accident while searching for certain medical terms. It ranks St. Luke’s Medical Center in Bonifacio Global City number 11 among The 25 Most Beautiful Hospitals in the World.

The main criteria for the ranking, it appears, is the incorporation or integration of a hospital’s functionality with aesthetic design.

<Click here to read the full article and see the complete list>

Of course, St. Luke’s is quick to grab the opportunity to trumpet this around by posting an article about this article in their website.

<Click here to see what St. Luke’s has to say about this>

Now, that’s another reason for us, Filipinos, to be proud about.

When I was small

THIS IS probably my oldest still surviving photo. I was six years old.

I have a very vivid recollection of when this photo was taken because it was on the sad occasion of Inang Maring‘s death.

Inang Maring was my grandmother on my father’s side of the family. She succumbed to ulcer. It may be difficult to comprehend now but way back then people, especially in the provinces, actually die of ulcer.

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This photo was all but ready to disintegrate when I digitized it by scanning some time last year (2011).

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.

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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.

 

TRIVIA: What does Apl.de.Ap mean? Anyone?

MY BOSS, Ed Delgado, posted a photo of himself with apl.de.ap of the famous The Black Eyed Peas in his FaceBook timeline yesterday with this caption:

I met with Apl de Ap when he did a fund raising with the YPO WPO group last Nov 17. He is a true pinoy and a patriot. Mabuhay! Allan Pineda Lineo (Apl) de (of) Angeles Pampanga (Ap)

I was like… “WOW! I didn’t know that APL.DE.AP actually means something!”

I know (assumed, actually) that apl.de.ap is somehow a derivative of his real name, Allan Pineda, in the same way that will.i.am is just WILLIAM (William Adams) corrupted with a couple of dots. Nothing but a naming gimmick to make their names “in tune” with the Internet age.

Apparently, there’s more to apl.de.ap than a simple corruption with dots. Read more

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

Flying high in Chang Mai

I WAS sorting through a pile of some old stuff a few weekends ago and look what I found?!

This photo was taken in Chang Mai, Thailand.

I can no longer seem to pin down the date, however. In my recollection I was attending a regional conference conducted by the IBM Software Group at the time. Cross-referencing it against my job history in my CV I am guessing that it was some time between 2001 and 2003.

Nobody knew where I was and what crazy stuff I was doing at that very moment – not my family, not my colleagues in the conference, no one.

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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. :)

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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