Events, Anniversaries and what not…

It’s a gloomy day today. Well, at least it was, till it rained cats and dogs! This is just the kind of day that makes me want to just lay on my bed, doing nothing … but today is just different!

I finished a whole round of the Metis set and 110 situps.

I went out early, to hand my extra seeds to a friend.

Washed my dirty baseball cap.

Meditated…

And these are not the things that I do on a regular basis.

Sounds like a miracle!

And even with the gloomy atmosphere, I cannot help to notice my sunny disposition. Today is just a special day for me. It’s my fifth month being a happy Catapulter, and therefore, I am now a regular employee. I did not expect to get a raise … so, read my lips:

R.A.I.S.E!!!

you get the idea how much that is.

And now, WordPress just congratulated me, because I signed up with them a year ago. Imagine that! WordPress remembered, and I did not. hmmm… Could that be a sign of something?

I don’t know.

You tell me. :) 

‘love you, Folks! but bye for now…

see yah!

It’s a Jungle out There! — Part I

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Zombie apocalypse, WW3, a Life of Pi moment, Hunger Games, an airplane crash into the Amazon — and you’re the only survivor thingy, The End of the World, and what not …

those were just some of the ideas that got to our head.

Whatever it is that we are preparing for, I do not know really, but our group has signed us up for a Disaster and Survival Skills Training for two Saturdays this month. It was not compulsory and it’s not for free, but of course, I signed up. Why would I not want to survive?

And who better to train us than the experts of this field? RAPID, or Rescue Assistance Peacekeeping Intelligence Detail, Inc. is a group of volunteers, with only one Motto and that is to save lives.

I took up the training, especially now that I have joined a trekking and spelunking group. The skills would be useful, should we stay in the mountains overnight (or more days) – or if unfortunately we get stucked in the jungle somewhere. Well, hopefully not! So, this is just in case disaster strikes, we’ll know what to do.

The first part is more on the classroom setting: how to get food and water, how to make a shelter, to guard against hypothermia or make snow shoes and improvised sunglasses, how to tell whether a plant/animal/insect is edible or not, water purification, how to start a fire without use of matches, life-saving skills, etc…

our small group of Survivors

our small group of Survivors

one life-saving technique taught to us

one life-saving technique taught to us

What I love most is the part where we teamed up, went outside and got dirty. :D

each team member was bound to each other, as we looked for fuel and stuff that we can use for our cooking

each team member was bound to each other, as we looked for fuel and stuff that we can use for our cooking

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we're proud to be the first team to start the fire and cook our food

we’re proud to be the first team to start the fire and cook our food

and built an underground oven too

and built an underground oven too

our improvised water purification system

our improvised water purification system

Survivors!

Survivors!

I don’t usually believe it when someone says, “Believe me!” because I am the type of person who’ll first try it out. But yeah, BELIEVE ME, the food we cooked tasted great, especially the fish we cooked in our underground oven. The leaves and the trapped smoke has brought out a kind of smell that made the food soooo delicious as it reaches the palate.

And so, here I am, looking forward to next  Saturday of more survival fun. I anticipate hours of running after chickens, killing them (ewww, don’t know how!) and cooking. Also perhaps the actual making of a shelter, and so much more!

Do you think that maybe I should take up Archery, too? (for a Hunger Games-type of survival) :D LOL.

And lastly, here’s what I learned and will always remember.

It would take 3 weeks for us to live without food, 3 days without water, 3 minutes without air — but only 3 seconds of panic to die.

So whatever situation you are in, always think, think and think. Don’t lose that head.

Thanks for stopping by…

see yah for Part II!

Happy Fathers’ Day

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Father,

Head of the Family

Daddy, Papang, Tatay, Papa, Tati, Pappi …

however we call them,

I wish you a Happy Fathers’ Day!

And on this day, I remember mine though he’s no longer with us. I’ll  remember him as the silent one, soft-spoken, patient, loving and kind father I’ve always had.

Papang and me

Papang and me

And like most fathers, you’ve provided and cared for us, seen us through our difficulties. You were always there for me, in school, in Life… Gave me a beautiful and comfortable life, but it was just me to leave so early and face the outside world. That was when I had to earn my own living and raise my Kids on my own. It was you who visited me often, and I hated how you’ve seen me during my lowest moments and yet, you stood by me.

Thank you, my dear Papang!

At times I miss you, and I know you are just there and so, you still make me smile! :)

I love you, ‘pang and know that to me, you are perfect!

Happy Fathers’ Day!

The Empress’s New Dress

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Helloooo there!

A while back, I have been busy making clothes for friends, clients and the Kids. So busy that even though I have thought about making one for myself, I actually have no time to do it!

But thanks to the holidays, the longer weekend have provided me extra time for a much-needed addition to my wardrobe. You see, I am not a work-at-home mom anymore. I go to an office now, and this requires me to get up at a specific time of day and be at work on time. And also that I dress the part.

For me, it really is simple.

All I need to do is, to rummage through my stash of fabric. I know I’ve got everything in there to make a dress. And yes! I found a jersey (stretchy) type, print fabric that has shades of pink and black.

I decided on a simple cut, where I don’t have to put darts on the bodice, and the sleeves are continuous that I don’t have to attach them to the whole piece later on.

What I really like about sewing my own dress is that, I can choose my own design and execute them, and I won’t have a problem with the fitting, or unwanted accessories. Unlike buying from stores, I won’t need to resize or adjust something from it.

me!

me!

This one has a slight high-low (mullet), lettuce hem with a v-neckline that I like, because it elongates my neck a bit more. It’s so simple that I was able to finish it in just about 2 hours, and when worn, you have the option to use a belt on it or not. Either way would be just as good.

I am thinking of making a peplum blouse as my next for-me project, and perhaps also, another dress… I just hope I’ll have more time to do all these and also to go back to sewing as a business. My previous clients have all been bugging me already, asking me when I’ll take their orders.

In time…

for now, my clients are my Kids and myself, and to share with you guys.

:)

Wish you all a Happy 5% Friday! (Why 5%?)

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will tell you all about it next time.

Thanks for stopping by… See yah!

The Song of the Mountains

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This is more like a dream-come-true for me and I’ve been at it for a while, thinking and wanting to do what the others have been doing for some time now.

My friends, in the past months, have been inviting me to get on a life of adventure in the mountains with them.

At that time, it was just impossible. Aside from work and family, I have entered a student’s life, as I have been into my German language studies again. Well, it was only for 3 months and when it ended, I have decided it’s high time to train the body. (Remember my New Year’s resolution?)

For what good is a brain, when the body is … weak? LOL. That’s just a passing thought. Of course, we can do anything and everything when we never give up.

And so, for the last 4 weeks I have started with Aerobics and Strength training, strengthening my body and increasing endurance for physical activity. I use FREELETICS. It’s a free workout, without having to rely on gym equipments. And it is what I really like, because then, I can do it anytime and anywhere.

So yeah, I have started 4 weeks ago.

And I thought to try and check myself by joining my friends, trekking and spelunking, on the last day of May. I let my Kids join, too! I know that it’s the kind of adventure that they would go for.

We started out very early in the morning, as we had to travel 30km from the city. Our starting point was at the middle of 2 of our destinations, and started off at 8:30 in the morning. We went by 2’s on motorcycles, to the main path going to Balao cave. We got there and geared up, and walked for a good 20-30 minutes.

We had to go through a narrow, muddy path (since it rained the night before)

We had to go through a narrow, muddy path (since it rained the night before)

along farms ...

along farms …

and through some forest!

and through some forest!

At the very sight of all the untouched nature, my heart leaped and sang! I want to cry with an indescribable Joy I felt within. I’ve wanted to SING to the mountains!

“It’s AWESOME“, I roared when we finally got to the mouth of the cave!

DSC_0037You would need to crouch here, to enter the cave, which I didn’t mind doing. This was not my first cave visit. The first one was so much bigger than this one, and you just walk right in, like it’s a house. Inside, is like a Cathedral though.

the descent into Balao Cave

the descent into Balao Cave

rock and crystal formations inside the cave

rock and crystal formations inside the cave

my young spelunkers!

my young spelunkers!

Balao Cave is my daughter’s first cave and I am glad she was not afraid to get in, even when it was so dark inside.

I could not remember how long we stayed inside this cave. I was in awe of what I saw. It’s beautiful! It’s just sad that we saw some writings on its walls and a few broken crystals/stalagmites, probably made by the others who’ve been there.

The hike back (to the small road) was easy, at least. But from that part of the road going back to where we first started, it was a good 45-min walk. It was a long, winding road … going uphill, then down… and my shoes were killing me. I went crazy! We made a few stops, to rest and buy some water, as we’ve consumed all 2 liters of what we brought. Then in the last stretch of our hike, I couldn’t take the pain, I hailed a motorbike-for-hire. And then I realized, we were just around 10 minutes away. :D But it’s done, I cheated on that hike. Damn shoes, they were an old pair that I haven’t used for a very long time.

Pity my shoes!

Pity my shoes!

After lunch and a half hour of rest, we headed for our second cave. They have called it the Golden Cave before, because of the golden appearance inside it. But we were told that it’s now called Misal, from the owner of the land where the cave is located.

the way to the 2nd cave was more forest-looking, with lots of thorny (rattan) plants

the way to the 2nd cave was more forest-looking, with lots of thorny (rattan) plants

it's a more difficult path than the one to the 1st cave

it’s a more difficult path than the one to the 1st cave

yet still, we made it!

yet still, we made it!

Misal Cave's narrow opening. This is how you enter it, legs first!

Misal Cave’s narrow opening. This is how you enter it, feet first!

Me, the Kids and the rest of the group, with our guide

Me, the Kids and the rest of the group, with our guide

the "doorway"

the “doorway”

on our way of the (2nd cave) mountain

on our way out from the 2nd (cave) mountain

Honestly, at this point when we were coming out of this mountain, I told myself that this is going to be the last time. I was so exhausted, all I wanted to do was to roll and roll, and sleep.

We were supposed to go to a third cave, the Dos Andanas, but I opted out. The rest of the group continued on, while me and the Kids changed and got ready to go back to the city. We grabbed some food on the way, got home and went straight to bed.

The next day, I woke up early and pondered on the happenings of the previous day. That’s when I realized I need to train harder, be fit so I will last in this kind of activity (and get a more comfortable pair of shoes too!). The Kids were okay, of course I asked them! And they want more of this. Me too!

It’s an indescribable feeling, a kind of high that you get when you go out and be one with nature. And I definitely want to finish that song I’ve heard from the mountains… The song that tells you who you are, where you’ve been, and that Everything in Life is awesome!

Just Add Fun (and Water, too!)

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Up where they walk, up where they run
Up where they stay all day in the sun
Wanderin’ free – wish I could be
Part of that world …

… Out of the sea
Wish I could be
Part of that world

I guess, a mermaid’s dream is to be part of our world. But at any point in a girl’s life, she dreams of becoming a mermaid too… Of being able to swim as fast as the fishes in the ocean, or to be able to breathe underwater, or to be just as mermaids are – – – beautiful!

Simply, beautiful.

And so to know how it would feel like having a tail, instead of legs, my daughter and I joined the Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy here at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City for a couple of hours of ‘mermaiding’ fun! (I wonder, is mermaiding already a word accepted by Merriam Webster?)

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My daughter, wearing a monofin, while practicing her dolphin kick.

DSC_0136-001I have taught swimming to kids and adults alike, some 14 years ago, and donning a fish tail made me feel just like a non-swimmer. I was totally conscious of the tail, which felt a ton-heavy! (or perhaps, it was because the monofin material can break and I was being cautious not to break it or else I pay a pretty nice sum!) It seemed to pull me down, but I got used to swimming with the tail on after a while, and that’s when the fun part kicked in. I am glad too that the excitement has brushed off my daughter’s fear for putting her head down into the water, and she’s now got the moves, like Ariel.

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Our session ended with a photo shoot, which we had to do in a hurry, because our photographer was already itching to be in the water! And I have to say, KUDOS to my son for taking such lovely pics.

there goes our photographer!

there goes our photographer!

Well, both Kids stayed in the pool after mermaiding class and the fun part did not end. For sure, I’ll donn the fish tail again soon or I’ll grow one, whichever comes first. As for Ariel’s song, we are indeed happy to be part of this world! Which one? Well, hers and ours, both! The switch is not too hard. In fact, it’s as easy as putting on your leggings. :)

So, till then folks!

Thanks for dropping by …

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Fun in Parenting

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Fun in Parenting

It’s been a while, ja? You guessed it right. I’ve been busy with this, that, and a lots of things. I really miss this. Writing. And so, perhaps, it is time to go back.

I am once again, a career mom, going out every day to work in an office. Honestly, it sucks. I wish I never left my home-based job. This way I spend more time with the Kiddos, and have time to write. And this really makes me sad right now, because I realize the corporate world isn’t where I should be, especially as a new school year’s going to open.

With the not-so-new work, I sometimes bring the Kids with me, and just recently the we had a company summer outing and obviously, the Kids were there too. I am just glad that the management approved it. If not, I wouldn’t have joined.

So here’s the thing about the photo… We sat at the bow (of the boat) while we were sailing, and after it was my highlight of the day, when the Kids kissed me and thanked me for letting them sit there. Their hearts raced a bit, for it was another adventure for them. They were excited to look down into the water and saw the corals and the fishes swimming around (and even jumping out of the water). They simply loved the experience.
As a parent, I would want them cooped up, and don’t want them to get hurt. But by doing so, they will not learn what needs to be learned. They can’t fly if they won’t spread their wings. So I have made it a point to let them try new things, but under my supervision. Under my protective watch, I let them discover the world and conquer their fears. And so we learn, have fun and live life … together.

Right at the Top

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On the second to the last day of 2013, the family has suddenly decided to welcome the new year somewhere outside the home. A first for us! And why not? It would be REALLY something to remember in the years to come!

So, we have decided to spend the last day of 2013, and greet 2014 at the top of the world (not really, but it is high enough).

Cebu City, abuzz with the preparations of the New Year, is blessed with the laid-back beaches and mountains nearby. And as we already had spent a day at the beach, we chose to go to a mountain resort this time. It’s a place located at latitude (10.370354) and longitude (123.876221) in Philippines.  :) (thanks to Google!)

That’s the Mountain View Nature’s Park in Busay, Cebu City.

Here’s what greeted us, while we set up camp (yes, we lived on a tent on our first day)

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Breathtaking, is it not?

We explored, and planned for the next days’ activities … Our first time on a mountain resort, and with all the walking/climbing, I think I know what my new year’s resolution will be… to get fit! :D

It’s more of a great playground for Kids and Kids-at-heart, and we loved the place, even as we first glanced at it.

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We all discovered an old jukebox…

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The hundred-worth of 5-peso coins (that we drop into the jukebox’s coin slot) was nothing compared to the sing-along, fun dance we shared in the cool, crisp dusk air amidst the stillness of nature. We had to cut our revelry short though, as we headed back to our tent, to rest awhile and then, prepare for New Year’s eve dinner.

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We didn’t dress fancy. We were, after all, high up on the mountain and doing things differently this time! We’re sure it’s not the first thing that people would notice as they enter the restaurant. Definitely, it is the beautifully gleaming city lights!

And here’s our view from the top, a little before and during midnight…

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We saw hundreds, no … millions of fireworks lit up one after the other, and simultaneously, as we greeted family and strangers alike, a happy new year. There was no more race, nor religion (some ladies donned the burka), but we were one people, happy and full of hope for 2014.

And on the 1st of January, we spent the whole day by the pool…

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and start the year, fresh! :)

We ditched the tent on our second day at the resort, and claimed some much higher spot on the mountain. And this is what greeted me the next day (our 3rd day there)!

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a city slowly waking up…

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and a lovely sunrise! (a sight to behold for aspiring vampires!)

And so, off we go to our next adventure…

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the Rope Course! yay!

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It was a 5-meter high, 16-obstacle rope adventure (made by Speedrunner) that blew us away and literally, made us breathless!

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 When we finished, we raced to the nearby kiosk for an ice-cold soda, but on our way there, we couldn’t resist the Indian clock vines calling us to stop for a while. :)

 and now, with recharged vigor, we decided to go by the hanging bridge on our way back to our room.

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It was an experience we’ll never forget, one of the first treasures of 2014!

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It’s now part of us,

and as we left the place, we vowed to come back into this hidden paradise.

:)

Welcome, 2014!

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Twenty thirteen had been a hard and trying year, not only for the Philippines, but also for our family. We have had our share of trials and sorrows, but they will, as always, be a part of life. A way to become a stronger person (and hopefully, a better nation). That no matter how difficult it gets, we always strive to rise up, stronger than ever.

So, SMILE! :)

Here is what I visualize for twenty fourteen

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Peace, fun, laughter

and most especially, LOVE

shared with FAMILY and Friends!

Happy New Year, to One and All!

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12 Games for Christmas

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12 Games for Christmas

To all worldwide, and intergalactic GAMERS out there, I bring good tidings

and good cheer,

here, there and everywhere!

So listen, one and all (read silently, if you must

share it to others, in you I trust).

:)

Allkeyshop is giving away 12 games of your choice.

That’s a year’s supply of your favorite PC games!

So, join now (by clicking on the photo).

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Good luck!

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