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Monday, February 28, 2011

LDS Jubilee Celebration: Second Grand Rehearsal At Cuneta Astrodome Feb. 26, 2011

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

"Practice Makes Perfect" indeed!

Last Saturday was the second grand rehearsal for the LDS Jubilee Celebration Cultural Presentation at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City. There were more than five thousand performers of all ages consisting the dancers and the choir.

All the performers have improved a great deal in terms of dance moves, formation and costume! Well the greatest improvement to my knowledge is that of our own stake Novaliches/Quezon City Maskara Dance. From a black and white costume to a very colorful masks and dresses.Lovely!

My niece Mitch in their new maskara costume.

Truly entertaining and colorful number!

Mantones de Seda and Carinosa, another dance number from Novaliches/Quezon City Stakes

Sayaw sa Bangko

Sayaw Sa Kawayan


Pandanggo Sa Ilaw


Sunday, February 27, 2011

New Testament Lesson 8: A More Excellent Way!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

My Sunday School lesson today on Matthew 5 of the New Testament explains the reason for the constant, regular practices required for both the choir and dance for the forthcoming Jubilee Celebration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

“Mediocrity: it saves time and money and no one will notice until it is too late.”

"There is no place for mediocrity here. The Sermon on the Mount demands our best efforts in discipleship. “Good enough” will likely never be good enough. Our commission is to serve God with our hearts, minds, might, and strength" (Ted L.Gibbon - February 25, 2011 LDS LIVING NEW TESTAMENT LESSONS.

"But here we lay the foundation.Here is where we are taught these simple truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ,in this probationary state,to prepare us for that perfection. It is our duty to be better today than we were yesterday,and better tomorrow than we are today... If we are keeping the commandments of the Lord, we are on the road to perfection" (Bruce R. Mc Conkie, Doctrines of Salvation)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

LDS Jubilee Celebration In The Philippines: First Grand Rehearsal November 30, 2010

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

We are here in Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City for the second general rehearsal for the Jubilee Celebration of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS Church). Since we are too early, I write about the first general dry run at the Ynares Complex in Pasig City last November 30, 2010.

The Jubilee Celebration which will be held at the Araneta Coliseum on April 30, 2011 is in celebration of the 50th year of the re-dedication of the Church in the Philippines. There will be nationwide cultural performances that will take place which will feature dancing and singing. The youth and the young single adults from several stakes (LDS congregations) will be comprising the dancers group while the adults comprised the choir. I am very excited to participate in this milestone event as a member of the more than 1,000 members of the Jubilee Choir. I sing Soprano 2 along with those wearing red.

I enjoyed all the folk dances from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, some of which I don't know the names. Our stake (Novaliches Stake) danced the Maskara Dance and Carinosa/Mantones de Seda. My niece Mitch (who has just turned 12) is part of the dancers. I couldn't be more proud of her!

Maskara Dance

Carinosa and Mantones de Seda

Singkil and Pangalay

Sayaw sa Bangko


Sayaw sa Kawayan

Pandanggo sa Ilaw


The second rehearsal is expected to be much better of the first. I understand that the dancers group will already be in costumes. For the Jubilee Choir we will already be singing the folk songs before or after the folk dance. Let's wait and see!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

2011 EDSA Revolution: Visit To Cory and Ninoy Gardens at Paradise Ranch

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Today we commemorate the EDSA Revolution also known as the People Power Revolution, a series of protests that occurred from February 22–25, 1986, along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA). The popular nonviolent revolutions and prayerful mass street demonstrations culminated in Marcos conceding to Corazon Aquino as President of the Philippines.

After the death of Pres. Cory last August 1, 2009, I was one of those who mourned and grieved over the passing of the woman who brought down tyranny and authoritarian rule in our country.

So as a little tribute to Pres. Cory, I write about a place that reminds me of her legacy - the Cory and Ninoy Gardens inside Paradise Ranch in Clark Pampanga.

The Cory and Ninoy Aquino Garden sometimes called "Yellow Garden, is one of the many gardens found inside Paradise Ranch, dubbed as the biggest park in the Philippines. The green grass and colorful flowers of it's gardens will make you want to be a butterfly to live inside the Ranch.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bridal Fair Eye Catching Cakes

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

I attended the Weddings & Debuts 2011 Bridal Fairs at the SM Mega Trade Hall last February 19, 2011. It was an event I squeezed in my busy schedule not because I am getting ready for the big day, but largely to give in to my friend's invitation.Jojo and AA's wedding photo is one of exhibitors photo posters and I wanted to see it.

The exhibitor that featured my friends photo and 300 other suppliers participated in offering everything needed for perfect wedding and debut events - like cakes, video & photos, gowns, jewelries,invitations, entertainment and venues.

Taking pictures were not allowed except when it was closing time. I was impressed with the cakes.

Cakes by different cake designers were eye catching because of its various shapes and colors. I love the miniature cakes of various designs.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Precious Teddy Moment!!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

I saw this teddy bear at the Blue Magic store in Mega Mall. Oh how I love him and drool at bringing him home!! But store is close (and maybe no dime hahaha) so just managed to stop and take a pic! Then I remember the poem "Hug a Bear" so I instantaneously gave this awesome teddy my biggest hug!!!

Hug a Bear

Do you have a moment please
To give this bear just one small squeeze?
Cuz teddy bears need hugs to live…
So don’t you have just one to give?

~ Author Unknown ~

Precious moment!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Manic Monday Blog Post: Hotel Sofitel and GTS!!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

With a hectic week ahead, I am again singing a familiar song of the '80s called "Manic Monday". So before I get too stressed and keyed up with a heap of contract reviews and meetings, I think of something sweet and relaxing to write about.

And when I say "sweet" I mean it literally, as those "pleasurable experiences involving this basic taste - sweet!". And "relaxing" means "casting off social restraint, nervous tension, and anxiety" as in writing is so far my biggest stress reducer,coupled with a weekly massage, daily chats with my prince who reminds me to take it easy and being in a company of good friends!

I don't have to search too far back in the past for a sweet and relaxing time. I still vividly remember an unplanned dinner date with some of my former law students who call themselves Gorgeous Tenacious Superfriends (GTS) (who are now uber talented lawyers Yancy, Caron, Merz, Cheng and Budj) at Hotel Sofitel Plaza Manila in December 2010.

It was so much fun to be with GTS which used to mean Girl Talk Saturdays. With the addition of some guys like Budj, GTS evolved into what it is now - a super friends club! I felt right at home with them although it has been more than 5 years of no communication. They remind me so much of my law teaching days and how my students think that I am serious, terror and boring hahaha (but at least Yancy knows me better!). Also they disproved that friendships in law school are only skin deep (or last at least until graduation). They have a regular bonding time!

Hotel Sofitel Plaza Manila in Roxas Boulevard is a much - talked about luxury hotel because of its smorgasbord of international delights offered at its Spiral Buffet. There were multiple buffet stations, each one serving selections of different cuisines like my fave Japanese, Korean, and Mediterranean dishes. My taste bud was truly delighted!!

After a satisfying shrimps feasts - fresh, sushi type, dimsum, salads and fried rice, I jumped for joy seeing the incredible dessert station. I was too full, however, but managed to finish a plate of my favorite gummy bears!!!

So on busiest and most chaotic time as this week ahead, memories of time with friends like the GTS and a truly satisfying sweets is indeed a time well spent!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

New Testament Lesson 7: He Took Our Infirmities, and Bare Our Sicknesses

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

"Miracles, or these extra-ordinary manifestations of the power of God are not for the unbeliever;they are to console the saints,and to strengthen and confirm the faith of those who love, fear and serve God." - Brigham Young

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pangasinan Road Trip 8: Calasiao: Home To Puto, Kutsinta and More...!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Calasiao is a first class municipality in between Dagupan City and San Carlos City in the province of Pangasinan. For a month now, we have been passing by Calasiao for my weekly Urdaneta - Lingayen routing but only yesterday we managed to stop. Thanks to the invitation of my new friend (and mommy) Atty.Rubenita Bigol!

Calasiao is known for its puto (a bite size, soft white cake made from semi-glutinous rice) and kutsinta (a brown colored rice cake) which are locally sold along the Senor Divino Tesoro street. I ordered 4 kilos of puto and 4 kilos of kutsinta as a pasalubong for my three brothers' family and my parents.

Personally, however, Calasiao means so much more - one of which is a "feast" like this with a warm welcome that comes with it!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Pangasinan Road Trip 7: A Hundred To Myself!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

What are 100 plus things you can have or do in 3 hours? drummm roll...visiting the Hundred Islands in Brgy. Lucap, Alaminos City, Pangasinan!

Yes, the Hundred Islands National Park collectively comprises 123 limestone islands (124 during low tide), which are actually ancient corals scattered along Lingayen Gulf. Because we have to be back in Lingayen before lunch time, we arranged to see the three (3) most developed islands namely: Governor, Quezon, and Children's Island from 8am to 11am! We would have wanted to be in the islands as early as 7am but I overslept! (blame it on the sweet accommodation at Villa Antolin!)

Governor's Island

The Governor’s Island was our first stop after a 15-minute boat ride from Lucap Wharf. There is a short stretch of white sand beach and a canopy of trees perfect for eating our packed tapsilog (and bread/bacon) prepared by Villa Antolin. Because it was still early, no one is collecting the P20 entrance fee nor the P200 for picnic table rental.(Lucky us!)

After the breakfast, we went up to the view deck which offers beautiful views of the other islands. It was amazing up there! I took pictures at different angles as my eyes feasted on the beauty of the place!

I feel so lucky to have all these islands to myself!!

Quezon Island

After about 45 minutes, we sailed to Quezon Island,an island named after the former Philippine Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon.He has a statue on top of the rocks (near the nipa huts and comfort rooms) and so I imitated his pose overlooking the island.

Quezon Island is probably one of the most visited in the National Park and it is the busiest. The water is cool and crisp and so my driver immediately dived in. I satisfied myself with taking a hundred pictures reminding of my previous blog entry on Philippines Sea, Sand and Sky! Definitely this picture is a nice addition to the list of beautiful white sand beaches!

I truly heart Quezon Island and its best kept secret!

Children's Island

Our last stop is the Children’s Island, so called as such because of its shallow water safe enough for little children to swim. My kuya Mike and driver Cris enjoyed a dip in its water (which is not as clear as the waters in Quezon Island but perfect for swimming according to them).

I envy them so bad but I had to control myself (because I have to work in a while and may not be willing to leave after a few minutes in the water huhuhu). Well, I just went atop to lie down in a bamboo bed while taking more pictures of the beautiful islands.

Now, I have 120 more reasons to come back and enjoy cool crisp water, walk on fine sand and explore nature at its finest!!

Quotation of the Day

Travel Philippines

Travel Philippines

Travel USA

Travel USA
New York - View from the Empire State Building

Travel Australia

Travel Australia
Opera House - Sydney