Monday, December 24, 2012

My Summer in My Baguio

It has been 20 years ago since I last visited Baguio City. Yeah, that long. And no matter where I have been since then, I know in my heart that I will always go back to relive happy memories.
A hillside village in Baguio City as viewed from OMG restaurant.

Baguio City is the Summer Capital of My Philippines. It is one of the most visited places in the country. Its cool weather maybe one of the reasons for being dubbed as the Summer Capital of the country. But I believe the warmth of the people is one important aspect why visitors like me keep coming back.
It is a city on top of the mountain - the Cordilleras. It is a city where happy memories are made. And it is the city that will always have a special place in my heart because my brothers and I shared happy memories there. It was there where we celebrated the 25th Wedding Anniversary of my parents. It is there where we spent some unforgettable summer with two of our cousins when we were young.
This summer of 2012, on my first visit to the Philippines since I left in 2007 my brother Japol brought me back to Baguio City. It was such a wonderful experience to go back and be amazed how the city was transformed yet was able to maintain the things I so long to see.
Our stay was short yet meaningful and memorable. We went back to those places we knew from the heart like the Burham Park,
 
Wright Park,
Mines View Park,
Sunshine Park,
 With Japol posing where our Mom and Dad posed more than 25 years ago.

the Session Road,
the Baguio Catheral,


the Mansion
 

and my brother brought me to new places I have not been to - mostly restaurants like The Cafe by the Ruins,
Zola,

and OMG - Oh My Gulay (vegetables).

And I will have separate posts for each one of those places so I can give you a little tour of those amazing places. Promise! [So help me, God!]

Yeah, our Baguio escapade was basically a yummy experience because all we did was eat... eat... eat!


PHOTO CREDITS: All photos without my watermark are courtesy of my brother Japol. Thanks Japol for the "raw photos".

Explore more of Baguio City through the following links.
1. Welcome to Baguio City
2. Go Baguio
3. Baguio: Summer Capital of the Philippines

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 This is regular weekly post for MY PHILIPPINES. For more interesting story about the beautiful "Pearl of the Orient"... click HERE.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Goodbye FB... for now?

Yes, I finally deactivated my Facebook account a couple of hours ago. I have been contemplating in doing so a hundred times even before the "timeline" got me. But procrastination and other things stop me from doing that very drastic decision. Then, after chatting with a former HS classmate earlier I just thought - oh well, what a heck, I think I want to deactivate my account. [No, it has nothing to do with my former HS classmate, I love her dearly.] And without second thoughts I hit the "deactivation button" and I'm done. I put on my running gear and went for a 7 or more-mile run for 3 hours.

So is it a big deal that I don't have a Facebook account when more than half of the planet is almost living in FB? Will I survive without FB when I know all the people I love and I want to get in touch with are all in it? How will I know about their updates and whereabouts? And do I really care?

FB has changed the lives of many people I know both in good and bad ways. For me, I spend less time with my hubby because instead of bonding with him I would spend hours browsing on FB and checking other people's status and photos. It was insane, so to speak. Time flies so quickly when I am in FB. I cannot finish any project I plan to do or even my regular chore. I have backlogs on my "to do list" all the time and new list is piling up.

And worse of all, I have overlooked blogging which used to give me my regular therapy from my  hectic schedule. Instead of blogging I will be facebooking and I ended up accomplishing nothing and sometime feeling jealous when I see other people's happy pictures and acquisitions. Arggg!

Now that I am finally free from the shackles and curse of FB [lol] I can now enjoy my freedom to express my thoughts and creative side [do I still have some left, I wonder?] and be "more productive".

Oh, I moved to google plus by the way. hahahahaha

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Mushroom Burger Fix

Our trip to Nasugbu, Batangas took the Tagaytay route. I felt so good to see that scenic place again after so many years. And speaking of Tagaytay, it will not be complete without stopping at Mushroomburger for my favorite burger in My Philippines.
The restaurant had a major renovation job as I see it. It was bigger than I can remember. But still busy as can be. Almost all motorists passing by stop for a quick chow. Good thing we didn't have a hard time getting a parking spot for as soon as we entered the parking lot one vehicle was leaving the place.
They also added a mini playground at the back for the little ones so they can enjoy and have fun while mommies and daddies are ordering the treat.
 My niece Erika with her American Girl doll in matching outfits at the playground.
 Erika again (photo taken by Uncle Japol) enjoying a sundae inside the resto.

Yes, these babies are made of mushroom which the famous restaurant cultivate themselves. It is the only restaurant you can find in the country that makes mushroom burger with branches in Katipunan and West Avenue, Quezon City.
It was another yummy adventure with the family as we feasted on these at the People's Park... which I will surely have a separate post about it. wink***


This is another entry for Food Trip Day.
Food Trip Day No. 14

For more exciting posts on Food Trip Day... Click HERE!



For additional information about Mushroom Burger check out the following links and blogs.
1. Mushroom Burger in Tagaytay City
2. Daddy and the City blog
3. It is all but written blog

PHOTO CREDITS: Thanks again Japol.
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 This is regular weekly post for MY PHILIPPINES. For more interesting story about the beautiful "Pearl of the Orient"... click HERE.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

I love you... Amazon Guys!

I am not really very comfortable buying stuff online. Though I have been doing it a lot of times now and have purchased a lot of items already, still I always have second thoughts on buying online. There are lots of online stores that promise a great deal of craps and rip-offs and luckily I had not encountered one yet. Not that I am praying to. The only not-so-nice incident that I had was when I purchased a cover for my Kindle Fire and I was given a totally different style from what I ordered. I could have returned it and I'm sure I can get what I want or my money back but the hassle of returning the item is another thing about online purchases that I hate.
 Good breakfast combo - eBook and coffee.

Now come Amazon. I'm pretty much sure that everyone on the entire planet heard or know what Amazon is. And in Bloggosphere.. Amazon is the mecca for online goodies.

Now here's the thing. I want to make it sure that you guys understand what I am doing here -  

THIS IS NOT A PAID or SPONSORED POST for Amazon.com! 

I do write sponsored posts for happine$$ but this one is NOT one of them! I am writing this post because I am a happy and satisfied customer of Amazon just to make it clear. And yes, Virginia there is such thing!

I purchased my very first Kindle Fire last February as a birthday gift... technically speaking. I just want to have one but my birthday is not until March so yes, I used it as an alibi to acquire the most coveted eBook device ever and I love it. I have been using it since then. It's the best electronic device I have ever purchased. Not that I purchased a lot but it's the only one I actually purchased because I am not really a techie kind of person. I just love it. I purchased a lot of FREE apps and books with it. Though I had to admit I had not finished a single book yet because all I do with my "Fire" is facebooking. LOL.
My brother Japol can't get enough of his Kindle Fire.

Three months later, I purchased 2 more for my brothers Gary and Japol as presents when I went home for a visit in the Philippines. They were happy too. When I came back from my vacation, my Kindle Fire broke down. I was broken-hearted. I didn't know what to do. I was afraid that I just wasted my money. I tried to find out how to contact customer service of Amazon but for some reason google sent me bunch of links that is not entirely related to what I was looking for. I even stumbled upon some reviews on Amazon and I was totally unhappy because some are totally negative which kinda gave me a little doubt about the company.
Japol, enjoying coffee over Kindle Fire

Finally, when I signed in to my Amazon account, I found the "contact button" and viola. Next thing I know I was chatting with an agent in... India. Yeah! The conversation went well, no round-about talkies. The guy immediately gave me assurance that I will receive my replacement in a week's time. The conversation went really well and the agent was very polite and knowledgeable. The service was quick and well organized. I received my new kindle fire replacement 5 days after. I was the happiest person on earth only to find out a couple of weeks later that it was a refurbished device! They sent me an old reconditioned device. I was broken-hearted for the second time.

So I got to return it again. I contacted the customer service again and talked to another Indian agent. She [or He, who knows?] confirmed that the device sent to me was a refurbished unit. I was transfered to another department and immediately I was assured that a NEW Kindle Fire device will be shipped to me immediately. I was impressed with their service. She was very nice and apologetic.

Before the conversation ended I asked if  - it can be possible for them to send me the new Kindle Fire HD (the one with a camera and dolby audio) instead of the regular Kindle Fire . I told her too that -  I'm willing to get charged for upgrade.

She replied - it isn't possible at the moment because the kindle fire I have is the regular one. Well, I totally understand because it makes sense. So, I told her that I am just happy to know that I will get a "new" one as replacement.

Three days after that conversation I received a package from Amazon. It was a black box. It was totally different from the usual 5 Kindle Fire boxes that I already received so far. This one is slimmer and black.
 
The black box.

I opened it right away and I was totally blown away when I saw what was inside the black box. It was the new KINDLE FIRE HD!
  The new Kindle Fire HD shipped to me as replacement for the old one I had.


I contacted Amazon Customer Service immediately and asked for the return address link to be printed out so I can return the old device. Before we ended the conversation I typed - "I got a Kindle Fire HD instead of regular Kindle Fire." 
 The Old and the New Kindle Fires

Then I continued typing without waiting for instant reply... "I know you guys said it's not possible for me to have an upgrade. I was wondering if this is a mistake and if I will be charged for it?"
Enjoying Taylor Swift music in my new Kindle Fire HD via Pandora.

The agent replied - "You will not be charged for the new Kindle Fire HD we sent you. It is the replacement for the refurbished devise we sent you earlier. Enjoy your new Kindle Fire HD and happy reading."

 Love the camera feature of this Kindle Fire HD.

And just as I thought I will be losing it instantly if it was a mistake, I was ready to go berserk. Whew! Then I remembered something that says - ask and you will be given. I typed back - "I love you Amazon guys!"

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Green is Cool

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Miracle-Gro for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I don’t have green thumb.  So I thought. I shunned away from gardening all my life until this summer when I started making good and healthy food choices. I started planting my own salad bowl. Wink* Well, technically speaking. It’s my hubby who actually did all the dirty work and all I did was “giving directions”. That’s what I am good at, anyway. But eventually, I learned it and turned out I love gardening especially when we started harvesting.

So just like any hobby that I got into, I started doing research on gardening and one of the best websites where I learned a lot was the Gardenieres where real-life green thumbs and gardening enthusiasts share their gardening experiences. It is there where I get inspired in doing more than giving directions. I am now more hands-on. In short, I do the dirty jobs now too.

Now that fall is here, and with the kind of harsh weather we will soon have here in New England, I am getting more information on fall and winter gardening. I am thinking of doing some potting projects that I can nurture even during winter time so that I can still see green when everything will be covered in snow. And with this I will still use Miracle-Gro® products since this product helped my plants grow healthy and beautiful.
(1) Miracle-Gro
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Feeds plants through leaves and roots
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For Planting Trees & Shrubs
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Yes, so if you are like me who are a gardening newbie or a pro… check out Miracle-Gro or “like” it in Miracle-Gro Facebook page where you can find fellow gardeners and share stories with them.  Let’s go green this time, literally because green is cool.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

My Beach, My Family

You have not been to My Philippines if you have not been to one of its gorgeous beaches. It's not a cliche. It's a fact.
Philippines being an archipelago has 7,107 islands. It sits in the Pacific Ocean. It boasts of its abundant marine life and scenic beaches.
The ocean water which is warm all year-round and forever blue captivated the heart of my Mikey before me. LOL. This is one thing about the Philippine waters that my Hubby loves aside from what he enjoy underwater.
I enjoyed it's beautiful sunset which I miss so much. I may be partial but I am so proud of my Philippines' sunset because it's breathtakingly gorgeous.
 
It's gorgeous beaches are truly paradise on earth. Nasugbu's fine peach sand is truly a big change from what I am now used to here in Maine shore.
So, during my summer vacation my family went to Nasugbu, Batangas. I had a truly wonderful time with my them whom I have not seen for 5 long years.
With two of the most important people in my life.
With Gary
With Japol

We stayed in one of the resorts there and had a wonderful time swimming and enjoying its 80 degrees water...
 
 
 
playing and horsing around with each other...
making sand castles...
 
and simply strolling in its peach colored sand.
 
 
Nasugbu is only one of the many beaches in the Philippines. And since I have spent only 7 weeks there is no way I could go to every single one. And since Batangas is the closest we can go to, it was the best choice for us that time. Maybe when I come back for another visit in the future, I will go see other exciting places that offer exciting water activities.


Photo Credits: Thanks to Japol for all the other photos posted here (all those without my watermark).

Additional Information about Nasugbu, Batangas:
Explore Nasugbu, Batangas on the following links.
1. Nasugbu, Batangas
2. Beaches in Nasugbu, Batangas

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 This is regular weekly post for MY PHILIPPINES. For more interesting story about the beautiful "Pearl of the Orient"... click HERE.