Friday, October 29, 2010

I Want that Trip to Le Soleil de Boracay!

I haven't been to Boracay. As is not even once. Second to Hongkong Disneyland, this trip is one that I am really looking forward to have. And because I'm a blogmonger, I chanced upon the Free Boracay Packages offered by through one of the blogs in my list, Mapanuri. And because I have the certain belief that I'm a bit lucky as a rabbit's foot when it comes to contests and promos, I got enticed to try my luck and join. Enter this Contest for a chance to Win A Free Boracay Vacation Package to LE SOLEIL DE BORACAY only from - WOW Philippines Travel Agency, Inc.

Le Soleil de Boracay - Win a Free Boracay Package only from - WOW Philippines Travel Agency, Inc.

WOW Philippines Travel Agency, Inc. is one of the most respected and trusted names in Philippines Travel, arranging short trips and family vacations to any of the 7,107 Philippines Islands. We have been specializing in all inclusive packages since 2005 to top destinations like, Boracay, Palawan, Bohol, Cebu, Puerto Galera, Baguio, Tagaytay, and Manila as-well-as other island destinations.

WOW Philippines Travel Agency, Inc. is the 1st travel agency in the Philippines to offer FREE VACATION PACKAGES to BORACAY ISLAND, the number #1 Philippines Tourist Destination. Now everyone has a chance to WIN a FREE all expenses paid vacation to Boracay, and all you have to do is to enter the contest is to CREATE a BLOG and paste this info into it, that’s it, it’s just that easy.

Enter our Free Boracay Vacation Package Giveaway at –

3 Days / 2 Nights - Le Soleil de Boracay Hotel

Enjoy this staying at this luxury resort in Boracay located in station 2 where all of the party action is. Le Soleil de Boracay hotel specializing in pampering their guest with beautiful rooms, delicious food, and excellent service from their professional staff.

Flights to Boracay - Manila to Kalibo Airport via Philippine Airlines

No true vacation package is complete without having the air-fare included. WOW Philippines Travel Agency, Inc. will be including ROUNDTRIP AIR-FARE from Manila to Kalibo and back to Manila. Once you arrive at the Kalibo airport you will be greeted by SOUTHWEST Travel & Tours, and transported to Boracay Island via a tour bus.

Boracay Island Transfers - Kalibo Airport to Boracay (roundtrip)

SOUTHWEST Travel & Tours is the OFFICIAL transport company of WOW Philippines Travel Agency, Inc. SouthWest Travel & Tours has been in business for over 15 years, and is considered one of the safest carriers in the Philippines.

Daily Breakfast – Buffet Style

The winners to this Free Boracay Package will also have included a daily breakfast, served buffet style at the beachfront restaurant of Le Soleil de Boracay resort.

Boracay Activities - Island Hopping Tour

For one full day our winners will enjoy a tour around Boracay Island that includes snorkeling, as-well as visiting surrounding beaches. (does not include entrance fee into Crystal Cove).

My choice is Le Soleil de Boracay. I've heard and seen the place but just on TV, through sitcomes and TV programs. At least I had a few ideas of what to see and where to go through the help of my brother's then beau April who once went on assignment in the scenic spot. Ironic though, the prizes will be awarded during the rainy months. But like what one said, it's Boracay, not to mention that the roundtrip flight will be through Philippine Airlines.

Oh please, I hope my dream trip will soon come true.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Two Things on My Birthday Wishlist

As of the last count, I am about to turn another year older in about a week and two days. Unlike the previous birthdays, I don't actually feel so excited to be honest. Though feeling a bit frightful when October started to settle in, I didn't really gave becoming another year older much thought.

My best friend Apple had been asking me about my plans for that day since two weeks ago. Actually, that part has remained blank until now. I'd like to think that it's reality. You'd reach a period where you tend to prefer celebrating in solitude, if not in the simplest way possible. And contrary to last year where I came up with a wish list here and there and celebrated my birthday over an informal blind date that I eventually ditched, I only have a thing or two for this year:

Flowers. I've long had a penchant for roses particularly the red ones. Even this blog's background has that design. More than giving that lady-like feeling, this is already enough to make my day -- breezier and brighter. This was from the website of Holland Tulips on Multiply, thus there are yellow and peach ones. As for me, I'd prefer the red variety.

Despite being in the office sometimes days in succession, I haven't been to MMLDC's The Pavilion lately. And so, among the things that I am missing is my ultimate favorite, strawberry banana smoothie. Though I have my own set of comfort food, this one tops my list when I am at the office. The last time I had a dose of this was with my friend and co-writer Beth. Second to cakes and ice cream, this is one that can win me over.

These are just a few shallow birthday wishes. The rather serious ones I am yet to reveal until maybe the night before the 5th. I might probably be working on some projects when that day falls.

photos courtesy of Google and Holland Tulips.

I'm Cheering for Jeff and Teng!

That's because these two guys joined the Great Migrations photo contest of National Geographic Asia. Now, I'm while I am not that good at photography (despite trying to befriend my brother's Canon EOS 400D), I still opted to vote for their entries (with or without the messages :-D).

To vote, click here.

Like this? Then, click here.

These are just two of my top picks among their entries. With themes Born to Move, Race to Survive, Feast or Famine and Need to Breed, you can show your support to your favorite entries by becoming a fan of National Geographic Asia on Facebook and click on the like option found on the photo entry's page.

While I don't have any entry to the contest, I suppose that this simple act of participation would already enable me to do my part. Being a conferred member of the National Geographic Society for ten years now, participating on this activity in a simple act as this would be a thing, if not the least that I could do to as the society puts it, diffuse geographic knowledge.

If you get to chance upon this, I urge you to vote too. Jeff's other entries can be found here while Teng's photo entry is in this link.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Today, I went out to cast my vote for the second time -- for now, it's the Baranggay Elections. I had to check out Comelec's Precinct Finder for last minute confirmations on changes; and indeed there was. I was transferred from my old precinct number to a new one. But the good thing there, my name is now on the voter's master list.

Now, the only silly, little concern I have is the photo above. I'll be bound to the office tomorrow with a significant dirt on my fingernail. That's going to be there in a few weeks-- if not a moth.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Blog Hopping

Second to books, blogs are among my penchants. And though I am busy with articles one after the other for our fourth and Christmas issue at MMLDC Highlights, I still find a few minutes to browse and skim the pages for their latest blog entries.

So, what are my blogs of note? Here are some of them:

Kwentong - My friend Mikhaela first introduced me to this blog back when I was still an ESL teacher in Ortigas. This blog is actually a chronicle about the misadventures of the author named Badoodles (who chose to remain anonymous) in the Philippines and that of his humorous experiences in the Land Down Under -- all written in native Pinoy style.

Strange Fruit - If you're an avid listener of Chico and Delamar's The Morning Rush on RX 93.1 you might as well be familiar of their segment Morning Rush Top Ten. This blog of RX DJ Chico Garcia never fails to make me laugh. I normally don't get to listen to their radio program in the morning so this compensates the deal, at least.

Hearty's Haven - Before I had the chance to personally meet Roch through a blogger's event early this year, I have been reading her blog for some time. It was through Nuffnang that I first found out about her when she was chosen as Nuffnang's blogger of the month last year. If you're into lifestyle, movies and a foodie by your own right, I recommend you guys visit her site -- she writes so well about those topics and more.

Topaz Horizon - Contrary to the simple design, this blog has lots of things in store. I first discovered this blog at the time I was following the now-defunct blog Disparate Housewife owned by former Cosmopolitan Philippines editor Ianne Evangelista. This blog is owned by OK! Philippines editor-in-chief Frances Amper-Sales filled with wonderful topics from fashion, Hollywood, the world of magazines and her life as a wife to Vince and a brand-new mom to Vito.

Jessica Rules The Universe - If you've been amazed with her Twisted series, wait till you read Jessica Zafra's blog. Filled with witty posts and creative illustrations too, among my favorites were her entry about an appeal inspired by a controversial boo-boo and above all, my favorite creature in the world -- cats!

Mapanuri - The author says he can't come up with such a catchy title to name his blog. But ask me what comes first to my head and I'd say Kim Atienza :-p The entries are bilingually written and again fit for foodies (complete with photos that will really give you that hungry feeling). Oh, before I forget to mention, it's written and owned by one of our newbie writers at MMLDC Highlights, Jeff Zapanta.

Fishball Perceptions - This goes last on the list. Fishball Perceptions has been my original online journal when I first got into blogging through Friendster five years ago. And a journal indeed as this blog contains five years worth of different stories about me, because while I have Zone of Solitude, this one housed the cheesiest events that I felt shy (if not embarrassed) to share. I have kept the site semi-private (so you can't really trace it in Gogle) and I just got into the habit of updating it lately after receiving comments for an avid reader from the Big Apple. Yes, from someone in NY.

There are so many blogs I'd love to read but then I got just so little time -- for now. Cyberspace has a lot of emerging blogs and hopefully, I can visit more of those new pages to add to my blog roll.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

They Did It...and So Do I

Aside from the rainy days and becoming busy with projects, there are two other things that is making my October:

That's what LEVEL-UP means!

From receiving a bronze award in 2006, MMLDC moves another notch higher. This year, they won second place in the Gawad Kaligtasan at Kalusugan of the Department of Labor and Employment. Such award just proves that the company is serious when they mean business -- including the initiatives on the aspect of occupational safety and health. Not all of the institutions in the country are fortunate to have been conferred with such award and to the company and its people, being awarded with one is an absolute bliss while being motivated to continue the value of excellence.

The other would be this:

The third quarter issue of MMLDC Highlights is out! And what's causing the giddy excitement? One, recent LP senatorial candidate Atty. Alex Lacson is one of our feature wirters with a very interesting article on the Filipino today and two, I just did the two "prominent" sections. Ever since I wrote for the magazine four years ago, I never believed in transforming wishful thoughts to reality. But now, I come to realize, I unconsciously made it -- again. Back then, I thought of the idea that time shall come when I'll be doing the cover story, and shrug the whole thing off my head, reasoning out that it's too ambitious and simply moved one assignment after the other. The themes nowadays are far different but I still find it challenging. We're now on our last quarter issue for 2010 and we're in the process of filling it with lots of ideas about preparing for the holidays and suggestions for the travel junkies out there, in case you plan to spend the season away from home for a change.

How about you, what is making your month? Drop me a comment, I would love to know.

photos courtesy of MMLDC fan page on Facebook.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Jay-Ar's First Art Achievement

Just before the past week came to an end, I found these items at home. This was actually my brother's prized possession after becoming one of the finalists in the 43rd Shell National Students Art Competition.

Weeks prior to the announcement of winners, I remember him telling me that he has a feeling -- that he qualified for this competition. Just a month ago, he also qualified as a finalist for the Maningning Miclat Art Awards. The previous weeks were hectic with me helping him out on his school requirements so we never talked about this.

This is the (backside) of the medal that he received for being among the finalists. I remember telling him, "iba ka; yung tatlong medal ko sa competition ng CHED, isa lang ang katumbas sa yo -- sa Shell pa!" (You're different. Compared to my three medals from CHED, you got one -- but from Shell!). This is one of the biggest achievements my brother had just before he graduates from the university. Last year, his friend Francis Jerome also qualified as a finalist for the oil/acrylic painting category.

I'd like to happily think that his hard work paid off -- and like what he said, Batman is on his side. Before Shell, he tried his luck thrice for another competition, ArtPetron, but this has to be where luck and talent really brought him; out of the 1,000 entries, they're just picking 100. So it must really be a huge stroke of luck to get in. Now I know, I have something against artists. But just for this time, I will be biased. After all, the one who has this moment is my brother.

For those interested, the 100 winning entries will be on exhibit at the ground floor of the Ayala Museum, Makati Avenue cor. Dela Rosa St., Makati City until October 30, 2010.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Quarterlife Syndrome

Quarterlife crisis. It's a thing no scientific nor thorough study has ever dared to explain.

A few weeks ago, one of my friends O, confessed through a posted status on his Facebook wall that he might be going through this syndrome now.

It was a relief for me that I (hopefully) had been way past this stage. As early as January 2009, when I was still 24, I had started manifesting the symptoms of this emotional turmoil. I remember whining to my other friend JT about these dissatisfied feelings I had as if nothing "functional" has been happening in my life.

The feeling worsened as I neared my 25th birthday last year. It was then I confirmed without further consultations that indeed I'm going through quarterlife crisis. But weeks ago, going a year after that confirmation, I sat with the book Floundering at 25 by Michelle Meneses and I am now smiling my heart out. Before you reach quarterlife age, you tend to be IDEALISTIC. Just like the author, I confess I planned my life so much without anticipating that changes are inevitable. I, just like others hoped what they call "a healthy adult life" -- a prestigious career in a posh office, fat paycheck and with a fiance and Tiffany solitaire to boot.

Funny but what and who I am now is the exact opposite. Thankfully, I was able to surf through the syndrome well (I think). So, what did I learn from this point of my life and from the book that made sense? Here:

  • If you have dreams to realize, don't postpone them until much later.
  • If you're doing what you have always wanted to do, regardless of a tiny paycheck, be proud of it.
  • There is no such thing as a perfect job or a perfect career. You need to lower your standards and make the most of what you have.
  • Four wise advice: Sacrifice. Be real. Be smart. Be practical.
  • While we tend to use the paycheck as a measure of our worth, most of the time, it is the reality check that evidently matters to us.
ON FRIENDSHIPS (AND THE GAY FACTOR) This my dear college buddies R, G and H should read!
  • Gay men are much fun to be with because they have a different sense of humor -- without trying hard to be.
  • There's a safety factor. Being with them feels safe (if not so safe); it's like getting drunk with a man with precisely no fear of being taken advantage of (and you already know why).
  • They provide perfect platonic relationships.
  • When dating, behave like a chooser and not a beggar. Dating should be about selecting and not just settling. You should not compare a girl or a guy to a pair of Levis jeans that's on a 70 percent off -- you just grab and go as if it's the last pair on earth!
  • Date with ZERO expectations.
  • You really have to kiss a few wrong frogs before finding the prince.
  • Enjoy the moment. Dating should spell fun and not a roller coaster ride or else, you'll get really tired of it.
I suppose, quarterlife crisis is something that is actually a rite of passage some, if not all, of us wo through. For those who seemingly didn't mind or felt, lucky you. But if you're just like my friend who is presently going through it, keep your cool. It's just a phase and just like everything else, it will come to pass.

photo courtesy of this site.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

And I never thought we're doing it so early! These photos will prove it!

A Christmas wreath with two pairs of holiday stockings welcomes you to our home...

A small shelf still adorned with stockings, mini Christmas trees and stuffed bears...

In our home, it's not the elves that sit side by side Santa. We have Christmas teddies as his bodyguards!

And this is the one that I love to bits. As if we're not that much excited for Christmas!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

How About a Business?

What can I probably do with these?

This just came as a sudden thought to me last week. -- on my way home while inside the jeepney. I have been fond of keeping wedding invitations and wedding giveaways for the longest time I know. And for such a long time, I have been doing freelance stint which means I have the luxury of time to do other things.

It could be a good idea, right. I thought probably, I can venture in starting in this business of designing wedding invitations considering these reasons:
  1. I can do it at the comfort of my home;
  2. Despite the digital age, wedding invitations are still a staple part of such occasions.
  3. Gadget wise, I've got almost anything I need at home (though I need to have that Epson printer fixed).
  4. It does not need too complicated software to create one.
  5. Most of my friends and people close to me are getting married one after the other.
Right now, I'm going to need advice while I try to figure out the logistics of this kind of venture. Oh, and tons of wedding and bridal magazines (for trends and styles) too.

A single lady off to try something that includes weddings and couples? That's not bad after all.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Countdown Begins

Just when I was busy juggling with projects and articles one after the other, this one thing still made its way to my list of reminders:

I'm turning 26 in 27 days.

Yep. Since October came, I was a bit scared or kinda worried (just a bit, promise). But contrary to my move last year, coming up with a weekly wish list (I actually got one of my wishes, so not bad after all), I don't have any plan/s drafted yet on what I want to have or even to do for my 26th birthday next month. With my busy schedule, I need to attend to and finish them first.

And one more thing, I am having fun with the erratic time and assignments. Enough to keep me so occupied to think of it.

I might just post one wish that I would want on my birthday. And I promise, it's not going to be pricey. Curious? I'll be revealing that in my future post so you better be reading this blog to know.

I'm returning to my articles now. Have a great weekend everybody.