Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bukidnon's Tricycle: In Transit

Bukidnon is considered by Filipinos to be the food basket of Mindanao because of the province plantations that produces rice, corn, pineapples, bananas and sugar cane. I have seen this for myself and even walked through the long plantations.But what I personally considered to be an experience in Bukidnon was riding the colorful tricycles.

Bukidnon commuters take the tricycle - small sidecars attached to motorcycles - when they travel around and in between smaller streets.Although, I have ridden tricycles in Manila, I am fascinated by how colorful the tricycles are in Bukidnon.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Eric and May's Ring Ceremony Program

The first time is always memorable, right? And we always want to remember our firsts...Well, last night (April 25), I have another addition to the list of firsts. It was my first time to host a Ring Ceremony. And what makes it more special is that, it is a ring ceremony of my dear friend May Merdegia. Since she is on a fiancee visa, she cannot have a wedding in the Philippines before her actual marriage in the US. So we came up with the idea of a Ring Ceremony. Below is the actual script that I wrote based on the program that May wants. Although of course, it wasn't exactly what had transpired or what I had actually said, this will at least gives you a fair idea of what a Ring ceremony is and how special it is for me to be the emcee at Eric Rogers and May Merdegia' Ring Ceremony Program.

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen. May I have your attention please. We are about to begin our program: Eric-May Celebration of Love - Ring Ceremony, so please find a seat and make yourself comfortable.

Mhe-anne: Tonight is a momentous occasion. So without any further ado, let us all rise and give our warmest welcome to the Entourage for this Ring Ceremony.

Opening Song: instrumental Jim Brickman (YOUR LOVE)
Escort: Kim Jae Wook

The handsome groom, all the way from Hawaii. Let us give a homecoming welcome to Mr. Gregory ("Eric") Rogers

Principal Sponsors
Let's give a round of applause to our most distinguished set of principal sponsors.
Pease welcome Mr. Arthur Bautista (represented by King Bautista) and Mrs. Norma Bautista. .
Ladies and gentlemen lets welcome Mr. Toribio Juan and Ms. Hyeon Ju Shin.
Friends lets give a big hand to Mr. Noel Ferrer (represented by Vicente Ferrer) and Mrs. Eugie Montalbo..

Groomsmen and Bridesmaids
For our groomsmen and bridesmaid.
Ladies and gentlemen lets welcome Mr. Gabby Gatchalian and Ms. Songa Lee.
Friends lets give a big hand to Mr. Joon Agmer Merdegia and Ms. Jennefer Francisco
So there you have it ladies and gentlemen, our set of groomsmen and bridesmaid.

Matron of Honor:
Friends lets give a big hand to Ms. Jennifer Merdegia

Bride's Mother
Ladies and gentlemen, walking on the aisle, it is with great pleasure to introduce to you the beautiful mother of the Bride, Mrs. Delia Ferrer Merdegia, . A big round of applause please.

Bible Bearer
Kyan Patrick Kim
(to hand over to Jennefer Francisco)
Ring Bearer
Nathan Forest Kim
(to hand over to Jennifer Merdegia)
Coin Bearer
Erastus Aaron Merdegia (guided by his mom Shean) to hand over to Songa Lee
Father of the Bride
Agapito Merdegia
Flower Girls
Aaliyah Jash Nebab
Irish Gabrielle Morandarte
And of course, let us give a big hand to the beautiful Bride, Ms. Neriza May Merdegia.
Giving Away of the Bride

Mhe-anne: Welcome Address
A very good evening to everyone and welcome to Eric and May’s A Celebration of Love: Ring Ceremony . I am Mhe-anne Ojeda, a friend of the bride and I had been given the task by May to be your emcee for tonight. We thank you all for gracing this joyful occasion especially to those who have traveled many miles just to be with us. In behalf of Eric and May and their parents, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for your presence at this memorable occasion. It is indeed a pleasure to have you all tonight.
Let us begin this celebration with a prayer. May I call on Ms. Elmey Soberano Liska, a friend of the Bride, to give us the invocation.

Opening Prayer : Elmey Soberano Liska

Mhe-anne: About Ring Ceremony

I'm sure many of you are wondering what a Ring Ceremony is and why Eric and May decided to hold a Ring Ceremony instead of a wedding ceremony ? A Ring Ceremony is a where the couple exchange rings without the presence of an officiating priest or solemnizing officer, and invited speakers will give light on the importance of love, marriage and the couple's relationship with God.
A wedding is an auspicious event in everyone's life and so it is with May and Eric. But since May and Eric will have to tie the knot in Indiana, USA and most of her family and friends will not be able to attend, they decided to have a Ring Ceremony in the Philippines and invite all of you to refresh the family ties and friendship that would have gone stale and would have almost forgotten against the toll of time and distance. So tonight is indeed a special night and I'm sure this will forever be etched in the memory of Eric and May. For tonight marks the first event where Eric and May will be sharing with their family and friends before their actual wedding abroad. With that lets give ourselves a round of applause.
So our program will proceed as follows:
I will be the first speaker and I'll be followed by Mr. Michael Anthony L. Ojeda, a friend of the bride and the bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Deparo Ward, Novaliches Philippines Stake.After him, we'll hear from the following principal sponsors for their advice to the couple-to-be: Ms. Norma Bautista, Shin Hyeon Ju, and Eugie Montalbo in that order.

I. Talks
Mhe-anne Ojeda
When I met May, she readily intimated that today's occasion will be called a Celebration of Love. So let me share some thoughts on the word Love. What is love? I'm sure like me, you have been asked this question a number of times. Remember all those slum books or slum notes in high school? and the usual answer to this question would either be: Love is Blind, Love is the beginning of marriage, or Love is the many splendor things. For my part I would answer in a way of a tongue twister. Love is a feeling you feel when you feel that you are feeling a feeling which you feel you have never felt before. But I still wonder which of these definition is the correct definition of Love . Love. How a simple word for such a complex emotion.
Love comes from God. The love which man possesses for the opposite sex came from God. This is the love we are witnessing tonight. The love Eric has for May and the love May has for Eric.This falling in love of a young man and a young woman is the prelude to love, and staying in love is the vitality, the very breath and life of marriage.
The Bible in 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 teaches us about the noblest , perfect kind and everlasting love. It is called Charity, the pure love of Christ. The verses teach us the attributes of Charity. It teaches us that Love is patient, love is kind. it does not envy, it does not boast. it is not proud. it is not rude. it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered,it keeps no record of wrongs. love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. it always protects always trust always hopes always perseveres.
It is love so great that we are willing to give a part of ourselves to others in showing them what with what thoughtfulness, consideration, and compassion we regard them. It is easy to say "I love you". But love should not only be declared; it should be proved by actions. Love unless demonstrated, is only a crashing cymbal or a booming drum which deafens the ears and does not soothe. Love, then, to be true love; include sacrifices on the part of both the giver and receiver. This is the love I know and wish to be continued to be shared by May and Eric through out their married life.

Michael Anthony L. Ojeda

II. Advice from SponsorsNorma Bautista
Shin Hyeon Jue
Eugie Montalbo

III. Coin Ceremony
To Talk About Symbol of Coin - Shean Merdegia

IV. Bible Ceremony
To talk about the importance of Bible - Jennefer Francisco
Bible Verse Reading - May Merdegia (Bride)

V. Ring Ceremony

To talk about the symbol of Ring - Jennifer Merdegia
The wedding ring symbolizes that the bride and the groom will stay together for a lifetime. It symbolizes the start of a new bond. Eric and May will recite their vows as they exchange the rings. The groom first gives the ring to the bride and then the bride approaches the groom.

VI. Exchange of RingsReciting of the vows: Eric and May

V. Parents SpeechDelia and Agapito Merdegia

VII. Closing of the Program

VIII. Closing Prayer: Coco Pumar

Closing SongI love you More Today than Yesterday

At this point the newlyweds would like to take this opportunity to take a picture with the entourage and guest
Bride and Groom
Recessional: couple will exit down bride's isle. Groomsmen and bridesmaids will come to the center facing audience, link arms and follow couple out.
Thank you all for coming. The wedding party will be held at the reception.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Catching Up with Old Friends

Seeing old friends always means unending chatting to catch up and update. This is exactly what happened when I got reunited with my friends Jennifer Merdegia and Elmey Soberano. We haven't seen each other for more than five years. Thanks to May Merdegia's wedding that made it possible for us to be together and have a sleep over to chat and chat and chat...

After the wedding reception, we all went to May's house in Montalban (and let May stay at the hotel with Eric) and satisfied ourselves with so many updates all these years. 

Jenny is married to a Korean,lives in Busan, Korea and she now has two boys. She is sooo awesome, and still the funny and energetic friend when it comes to story telling.

Elmey is also married, lives in Palawan and with two children, a girl and a boy. Her husband is a branch president. It was soo good to see my two friends and take a cue from them and take a toll about motherhood.

Ok, now there's only one friend I want to see to complete the circle- Melody Ann Castanos Lesa. The last time I heard from her she was in New Zealand. I hope my travel bring me to this neck of the woods... When that happens, I would be the happiest!!

Shangrila Lunch Buffet

This is an experience for my family to have a buffet lunch at Shangrila - of course given the expensive cost of the meal per person. But we are fortunate, not rich, so we have this experience.To start with, the kids ages 6 below is free and the between 7 to 12 years old is half the cost. I have 6 nieces and nephews who are ages 6 and below (Shane, Shanara, Kyle, Frannie, Kaelah, and Jay - A ) and 4 who are between 7 to 12 (James, Jay-M, Ian and Mitch). So only I have to pay for the adults 11 of us including my friend Elmey, a sister-in-law cousin Joy and my driver Mario. But another lucky strike is that I have 8 Gift Certificates that I won from the Lucky Me: Photo Essay Writing Contest in November 2008. So that left me paying only for 5 people!!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My Vanity Corner

I have what every woman's niche in the house - a vanity corner. Mine is not elaborate, but one that was created without spending even little cash but out of pure creativity. I was inspired to do it when I read the article Vanity Fair in the Candy Mag last October 2007. I found a small basket in the kitchen that I used for corraling little tubes and bottles and hang my earrings.Then as an outlet for my creativity, I used a photo from magazine and put my head on it - it looks real that everyone (esp.my litle nieces and nephews who comes in my room) would say, wow, "sexy Tita"! The other side of the frame are my fave pictures mounted on a mag page.

Camarines Sur: Playground for Water Enthusiast

Camarines Sur has earned a reputation for being a playground for water sports enthusiast! At Camsur Watersports Complex (CWC), you don't have to be a pro to enjoy wakeboarding, wakeskating or water skiing in a world-class fashion. Start with free lessons from residents instructors using basic equipment.

Wakeboarding or Cable Ski is a surface water sport which involves riding a wakeboard over the surface of a body of water behind a boat. It was developed from a combination of water skiing, snow boarding and surfing techniques. The wakeboarder glides thru water using a board that is being pulled by either a speedboard cable or cable lines.

Annually, the CWC is host to Wake Park boarding Championships and I was privileged to watch one in July 2008. I love it!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Shanghai: China's Fascinating City

I had always wanted to go for an adventure and after seeing Tom Cruise's movie, Mission Impossible 3 in 2006, Shanghai topped my list of places I wanted to visit. With my adventurous spirit and a promise by my then special guy (good grief he didn't make it there!), it came at the spur of the moment to drop by Shanghai before going to Hongkong last May 1 to 7, 2006. I had a map and that was it! All alone, I found myself lost in Shanghai and discovered it as an ideal tourist destination. So in December 2007, my prince and I decided to meet up in Shanghai!

From what I saw in the Mission Impossible movie, I can confirm that Shanghai is an international metropolis at par with New York and Paris! Regarded as the 'Oriental Pearl', Shanghai has a unique and rich heritage worthy of exploration. The city also has historical landmarks and tourist destinations that you will not have second thoughts about visiting. I particularly like the Bund, Huangpu River, Pudong skyline including the Oriental Pearl Tower, Yuyuan Garden and the various bustling commercial streets and shopping centers in the Nanjing Road, Huaihai Road, North Sichuan Road, Xujiahui Shopping Center, Yuyuan Shopping City and Jiali Sleepless City. Shanghai indeed is a shopping paradise!

The Bund, located by the bank of the Huangpu River, contains a rich collection of early 20th century architecture, ranging in style from neo-classical HSBC Building to the art deco Sassoon House. I love the Bund early morning and enjoy watching early birds practice taichi, but I love it at night even better because of the lights. The view is so spectacular!

A number of areas in the former foreign concessions are also well preserved, and despite rampant redevelopment, the old city still retains some buildings of a traditional style, including Yuyuan Garden, a traditional garden in the Jiangnan style.

The Pudong district of Shanghai displays a wide range of supertall skyscrapers.The distinctive Oriental Pearl Tower, is located nearby toward downtown Shanghai.

Besides Shanghai's many attractions in the downtown area, there are places well worth a visit in the suburbs such as Qibao Ancient Town, Zhujajiao Water Town and Chongming Island for more of Shanghai's ancient Chinese traditions.

Dining will be one of the most enjoyable aspects of your Shanghai trip. In addition to Shanghai's dishes, restaurants in the city offer a wide variety of foods from other parts of China as well as a number of foreign countries.

The convenient transportation, comfortable accommodation and colorful places of entertainment will enhance your stay in this fascinating city. I wrote an entry about it in the Traveling Alone blog entry.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Kaangkan Festival

I was able to attend the Ribbon Cutting and the opening of the Marikina City Family History Center, a joint project of the Church and the City of Marikina, which coincided with the Kaangkan Festival or Festival of Clans celebration. From their program, I learned that the festival is virtually a family reunion of MarikeƱos from all over the country and those based overseas as well. One of the purposes of the festival is to provide an opportunity for the present generation to get to know their ancestors and acquaint themselves with fellow clan members. With this year's theme Ka-Angkan Ko Mabubuting Tao, having a way to do genealogical research with the microfilm readers provided by the Church in the Center, clan members will be able to learn more about their ancestors and would confirm that they are indeed good people. I am glad I am part of this joint project.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Wedding Related Stuff To Do Before You Die

During the last few days, I received an invitation to a wedding. One came from my childhood friend at Church, May and she wanted me to be an emcee at their Ring Ceremony to be held at the Coconut Palace on April 25.
The other is an invitation from a person we have taught the gospel when I was serving as a missionary in Tayabas Quezon. Corin is marrying at the Manila Temple on May 2 and she wants me to be the bridesmaid.The invites I got confirm that a wedding is an auspicious event in everyone's life and surely there must be some wedding related tasks in the book "2001 Things To Do Before You Die".

Here's what I've marked as completed.

Catching a Bouquet

The bouquet is a small but important part of a bride's ensemble. At the wedding receptions, one of the most fun parts is catching the bouquet. The bride gathers all the single women attending the wedding. She then turns her back and tosses her bouquet into the air. Legend has it that the woman who catches the bouquet will be the next one to be married. Well, I should say, that it is just a legend. I have caught a bouquet a number of times in the past and I am still single until now. Well, I see myself as getting married but there are surely lots of friends who have been married before me, and the two invitations coming from May and Corinne are just two of the proofs hahha.

Singing at a Wedding

Music is a huge part of the wedding reception. During Ate Ria's wedding reception in 2007, the Mangu consists of Akemi, Aries, Nilo, Corinne, Ruel, Mating, Del and myself rendered a special song number and a dance number. It was a great experience. I will upload the video here.

Splurge on the wedding dress of your dreams

Like most brides, I have said "I do" a number of times to the wedding dress of my dreams. I want to be able to wear a high end designer bridal gown that will make me the most beautiful woman of the day or night!

Easter Sunday Celebration

In our efforts to teach the young Ojeda kids the connection between the common Easter tradition and the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we celebrated Easter in a meaningful way, one that helped them to grow in love and appreciation of the Savior.

We woke up all the kids at around 6 am for an FHE. We explained that Easter is a time when we celebrate some important things that Jesus did for us - his suffering for our sins and resurrection or the Atonement.

In order to bring the Spirit of Christ into our family for Easter, the kids must strive to make sacrifices to bring each other happiness like by sharing their toys or the eggs they'll find. The eggs is a symbol of the resurrection. Then we explained that we have hidden 58 colored plastic eggs around the house. Some eggs have gummi bears, and some coins. They are to find these eggs.

Jay -A found 11 eggs, the most number of eggs and got additional P50.

Shanara found the eggs with most coins and she won additional P100.

After the egg hunting, we went to the Camarin Stake Center to attend the Conference broadcast as a family. It is so nice to see that the kids are sharing their toys and gummi bears to each other.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Before I Hit The Twig: Swim Under Water!

I love to swim and I've been swimming since I was young as part of my therapy. Since I have a weak heart I cannot do strenuous exercises. That was when we learn that swimming is the best exercise for the heart. In swimming all strokes and styles is a good exercise, but for best results, swimming under water is preferred. Whenever I go swimming in the pool or the beach, I try to swim under water. That's why I have marked this task in the book "2001 Things To Do Before You Die" as completed. I also scuba dive, and that is underwater swimming as well.

Swimming under water is easy. In the "How To" website I googled, I was surprised to know that there is in fact a step by step way to do it. Here they are:

Step 1: Exhale as much of the air in your lungs as possible, and then inhale as much as possible.

Step 2: Repeat the first step one more time, and then slide beneath the surface of the water, holding your breath.

Step 3:Push off hard (provided there is something to push off of) and streamline your body, with your legs together and your arms extended above your head. Point your toes and try to push your shoulders up to your ears.

Step 4:Pull your knees up to your chest, kick out and apart, and then squeeze your legs together. This is the same as the breaststroke kick.

Step 5:Turn your palms outward and pull your arms all the way down to your sides. Bend your arms and cup your hands to push as much water back as you can with your pull. This motion is done at the same time as your kick.

Step 6:Glide as far as possible in your streamline position.

Before I Hit The Twig: Spend A Day with A Toddler!

By: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda
Innocent Shan

Today is a holiday and I look forward to spending the day with my niece Shanara Mae. Shanara Mae is an 18-month toddler who lives with me. Her parents and siblings stay at my house and so I get a chance to spend a day with her and completing this task in the book "2001 Things To Do Before You Die". 
My Niece Shanara Who Calls Me Mommy!
I also have spent some time with my other nieces and nephews, eleven (11) in all but only with Shanara that I took particular interest in learning about toddlers and the wonders of their toddling years. With Shanara I learned a great deal of experiences that made me overcome the fear of being with toddlers.
Angry Shan Points to the culprit... 
Previously, I heard a number times that the toddler years are some of the most trying, because of the toddlers highly-charged and inquisitive young minds, frightfully demanding and beyond reasoning temperaments and their huge tantrums and sometimes absolutely unreasonable demands, but Shanara proved them wrong. She is simply amazing!! With toddlers like Shanara, I do not mind having 26 kids hahha.

Ojeda Family's 22 Years Church Membership

Last April 11, 1987, the Ojeda Family of six (parents - Lito and Cristy and 4 children - Michael Anthony, Mary Ann, Alejandro and Joel) accepted the invitation of the missionaries to be baptized into the Church. Now the family has grown, now totalling twenty (20) people.

(Mike's Family - Kuya Mike, Ate Amy, Michellyn (10), Jay-M (8), Jay-A (4) and Mikaelah Alliune (1)

(Allan's Family - Allan, Belenda, Ian Benedict (9), James Bernard (7), Shaznay Anne (3)and Shanara Mae (1) )

(Joel's Family - Joel, Imee, Kenneth (in England), Francine Kyle(4) and Franchette Anne (3)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Before I Hit The Twig: Buy A Sarong!

Sarong As Swimwear Cover
Sarong is a rectangular piece of cloth of varying sizes that can be wrapped in many different ways on the body and can be worn by anyone of any size and shape. It is is popular in tropical climates like the Philippines. It makes great vacation wear. A sarong can be tied in at least 45 different ways and can be worn together to create many different clothing pieces such as swimwear cover ups, skirts, tops, dresses, shawls and scarves. A sarong, in some form, can be worn for practically any occasion.

My sisters -in- law at our village pool

Sarongs are available in many patterns, colors and fabrics such as pastel mesh net and brightly colored batik prints. Some sarongs have fringes or other trims, although most have plain hems. Silk sarongs are especially luxurious and some can even be worn as wedding dresses.
Wearing A Sarong During Our Family Reunion in Shangrila Hotel

Sarongs are so versatile that their use need not be limited to clothing as they can also used as a table cloth, wall hanging , furniture cover, beach blanket or curtains.

Before I Hit The Twig: Eat Ripe Mango!

This one task in the book "2001 Things To Do Before You Die" is the easiest for me to do...and I have done this more than a hundred times because mangoes abound in the Philippines. Mango trees are evergreens that will grow to 60 feet tall and require hot, dry periods to set and produce a good crop. Philippines being a very tropical country has produced the best mangoes ever!!!

A comfort food, Mangoes really can make you feel better! Beyond being delicious and rich in vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, mangoes contain an enzyme with stomach soothing properties. These comforting enzymes act as a digestive aid and can be held partially responsible for that feeling of contentment we experience during and after our daily mango ritual. Yes, it is quite natural to crave for mangoes! I love it!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Before I Hit The Twig: Organize A Family Reunion!

By: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Every April 29 to May 1 for five years now, the Ojeda Family congregate for our much- anticipated family reunion. I started this tradition in 2004. And since I am the unmarried one (and still have the means), with lots of ideas and time to plan the reunion, I am in-charge of planning the reunion every year. A daunting task? It doesn't have to be. I consider what everyone loves to do and what our main objective for the gathering.

Our objective in our first family reunion is to make new memories and establish tradition. After a few days of brainstorming, we chose to all head out to the LDS Manila Philippines Temple dressed in white top and black bottoms and have our Family picture taken at the temple annex and temple grounds. While at the temple, we talked about our goal of actually being sealed as a family if we are to become an eternal family. After the temple trip, we headed out to Kamayan (along Edsa) for a buffet lunch. We have such a great time that we look forward to this time of the year.

In choosing the date for the reunion, April and May emerged as the run~away options for two reasons: (1) it is summer time in the Philippines and kids are out of school and (2) April and May have long holiday weekends - which includes the lenten season, labor holiday and Bataan day. For sentimental flavor adding to the choice of reunion date, our family was baptized into the Church in April - April 11 (me and younger brothers), 19 (my oldest brother Mike and father) and 29 (my mother).

And most importantly April 29 is my father's birthday. So to be consistent and help everyone remember, our family reunion is held anytime from April 29 to May 1.
Because of the success of our first reunion, the following year becomes a grander affair and involves travelling and the family's favorite activity: swimming.
We also keep on the color theme for added effect.

This year, our reunion will be a three-part event all in April.

Part 1-Celebration of 22 years of Church Membership (April 10 to 12)

-Since the lenten season, our Church 22 years anniversary and conference broadcast fell on the same date, we decided to hold the family reunion on April 10 to 12. The idea is to have everyone come to my house on April 10 and have a family dinner and a game of Scrabble, the Ojeda family passion.

Then on April 11, we will all head out to the Camarin Stake Center to view the Saturday Sessions of the 179th LDS Conference. In the afternoon, the family will head out to our village swimming pool for a night swimming. Barbeques and favorite food will be prepared and eaten at the pool side.

On April 12, Easter Sunday, the kids will have their egg hunt. I'll be planting colorful plastic eggs in the backyard and let all the kids go hunting for them after a brief Easter Sunday lesson. At 9am to 2pm, we'll be at the Stake Center again for the Sunday sessions of the Conference broadcast. After that, we'll have our traditional Easter Sunday lunch.

Part II-Buffet Lunch in Shangrila-Hotel (April 24)

- The family dressed out in green and yellow attire will head out for an ultimate lunch buffet at the Edsa Shangrila. Yes, it is one of the most expensive buffets! And with 20 people all together, you might be thinking that we are spending a fortune here. But it is not really.
The 20 people consist of 9 adults, 4 children ages 7 to 12 and 11 ages 6 and below. Shangrila Buffet charges half the cost to children between 7 to 12 and free of charge for those 6 years old and below. So for the 11 kids, I'll only have to pay half the price each. As to the 9 adults, we have won a total of 8 gift certificates for the two entries we have in the Values Learned At the Dining Table Essay contest of Nissin Corporation. There are 6 winners and we got the two runners up slots. And for more bonding moments with family a gift certificate for 4 is the prize. The certificate can be used from December 2008 to April 2009 so we planned to use it for family reunion.

Part III-Birthday Accommodation at Richmonde Hotel for Papa and Mama
(April 29 to April 30)

-For a little bit of a change and to give time for my papa and mama to spend papa's birthday on their own, I have booked them for a day accommodation at the Richmonde Hotel. The Richmonde is located in San Miguel Avenue near the Shangrila hotel. It has a heated in-door swimming pool and a nice deluxe room for their rendesvous. The accommodation also gives them a buffet breakfast for two.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Before I Hit The Twig: Drink Coconut Milk Using A Straw!

Coconut Milk or Juice is actually the coconut water inside of a coconut. In the Philippines, it is simply called Buko Juice, a refreshing and healthy drink for me. Since I am very sensitive to water (it has to be the real mineral water and not just filtered one lest my stomach would give me a grinding pain), and clear cola drinks like Sprite or 7-Up isn't good on an empty stomach, Buko Juice is the best option at all times.
Drinking Buko Juice in Cagayan de Oro with Leily 

There are many ways to get that natural delicious water from inside the coconut. One way is listed as one of the tasks in the book " 2001 Things To Do Before You Die" -that is: to use a straw. I have marked this completed.

Drinking Buko Juice at one Resto in Batangas
You can also choose to break it open in half so you, not only can get the juice out but taste that yummy pulp (the buko) as well...
Drinking Buko Juice in Tayabas, Quezon
...break the shell in half, save the juice and then eat the buko using the spoon made out of buko shell...
Drinking Buko in Laguna
Or you can even put a halo-halo flavor just like the Kagay-anons with their famous Buko Halo...
Drinking Buko in Cagayan de Oro 
Your options are just endless...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Before I Hit The Twig: Collect Seashells!

With Delilah Fernandez in Verde Island, Batangas
I am not really a conchologist (a person who studies shells) but I collect them whenever I go to the beach because I am fascinated with its variety and beauty. Shell collecting is so much fun and an enjoyable hobby. So whenever I head out to the beach, I spend sometime to find these gems myself. The beach is a treasure trove full of beautiful shells to pluck.

I have found tons of shells when I went to Verde Island in Batangas. Since there are fewer people around, there are more shells to collect. After an overnight stay, I have two bottles brimming with some of the most beautiful seashells that I love to gaze upon. Some small ones made it for my Sungca set.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Before I Hit The Twig: Hang A Hammock!

Hammock of Baguio City

One of the tasks featured in the book "2001 Things To Do Before You Die" is hanging a hammock in the living room. I haven't actually hanged a hammock in my living room (solely because of lack of space for it!), but I love hammocks and have one hanging in the front yard of my house. 

 Hammock of Bicol
It normally consists of one or more cloth panels, or a woven network of twine or thin rope stretched with ropes between two firm points such as trees or posts. 
 Hammock of Quezon Province
Hammocks were developed by native inhabitants of tropical regions like the Philippines for sleeping. 
Hammock of Bohol

There are currently a wide variety of hammocks available and popular in the Philippines usually for relaxation and used as a lightweight bed on camping trips.
Hammock of Boracay
Hammocks here are also use as seating, as beds, or as sleep-swings for infants.

Lakbayan Philippines Grade

My Lakbayan grade is A!

How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!

Created by Eugene Villar.

Trotting The Globe

Travel Map
I've been to 660 cities in 26 countries
Mhe-Anne is an explorer that:
does their own thing
doesn't mind roughing it
lives on the edge
Travel cred: high
I rank in the top...
0.1% most cities visited - Philippines
0.1% most cities visited - Brunei Darussalam
0.1% most cities visited - Asia

Travel Philippines

Travel Philippines

Travel USA

Travel USA
New York - View from the Empire State Building

Travel Australia

Travel Australia
Opera House - Sydney