Thursday, December 22, 2011

Resorts World Manila: A Night of Ballet

Photos here were captured during my cute inaanak Nicole's ballet recital at Newport Performing Arts Theatre at the Resorts World Manila last December 16, 2011. The presentation entitled "A Dance Offering" was made possible thru the Halili - Cruz School of Ballet. I will blog more about this soon, for now enjoy the photos.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ganoderma Mushroom Plantation Tour

3 months old ganoderma mushrooms
It is just fitting that we end our Asian trip to the place why this trip was made possible, visiting the business that started it all. Our last day in Malaysia ended with a tour inside the Gano Excel Plantation in Alor Setar. There we  get to appreciate our business more, with the plantation tour headed by no less than the founder himself, Mr. Leow Soon Seng. Below are photos I took during the day tour. We also visited the headquarters  afterwards where we also had our lunch.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Malaysia Hotels: Alpha Genesis, First World, Hotel Royal and Leverage Hotel

night view from our Alpha Genesis Hotel room
It's been years since I drift off in a luxury hotel, that's why my trip to Malaysia was nothing but pure bliss as me and the rest our tour group were provided with great rooms from four different hotels during our 4-night stay (we stayed the last night at Alor Setar and KL airport for our 10pm and 1am flight back to Manila). It’s always a treat to retire to a soft comfy bed and clean inspiring rooms like those good quality vacation rentals being offered by Airbnb. Fellow travelers will surely agree that there’s nothing quite comforting than resting your tired muscles after a long day’s walking trip. Without further ado, let me share those Fab 4 Hotels.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Malaysia - Georgetown, Penang

view of Penang as seen from our hotel room
After a chilly night at Genting Highlands, we packed our bags just before lunchtime, drove down the zigzag road they fondly call "bituka" and made our way to a butt tiring long hour drive to the charming town of Georgetown, Penang

Monday, November 28, 2011

Malaysia - Batu Caves

staircase leading to another cave full of monkeys
Sharing this set of photos during my visit to the Batu Caves in Malaysia. It's one religious tourist attraction nature lovers will surely love. After climbing the steep 272 steps and feeling tired but proud of the small accomplishment, I can't help but admire and be mesmerized at this religious site and its Hindu Community.  

Friday, November 25, 2011

Malaysia - Genting Highlands

Foggy Genting

Right after our Batu Caves exploration, we drove up the hills and dropped by Genting Skyway where we are scheduled for one big ride of our life. Personally, that was my first ever cable car experience and I totally fell in love with the whole experience. Being up there is pretty exciting yet also calming as you fly above forest trees while being surrounded by misty fog. I will be blogging more about this trip in my travel blog. Meantime, here are some more photos of Genting highlands:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Malaysia - Beryl's Chocolate Kingdom

What makes Beryl's chocolate heaven in your mouth? Beryl's uses only the highest quality cocoa beans from Ghana to make the best chocolate in Malaysia. Stopping by at its shop in Seri Kembangan meant being pampered with free tastes at every corner, shopping for chocolates has never been this fun!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Malaysia Trip - Kuala Lumpur

Petronas Twin Towers
Being the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is rated as an alpha world city, and is the only global city in Malaysia according to the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network. During my recent stay, I find KL pretty welcoming, clean, conservative yet vibrant progressive city. Furthermore, it is known to cradle the famous and now the tallest twin buildings in the world, the Petronas Twin Towers. Kuala Lumpur is a centre for finance, insurance, real estate, media and the arts of Malaysia. Below are some more photos I captured along the city center (daytime and night time) in the course of my short 2 day KL stay.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Malaysia Trip - Putrajaya

Seri Wawasan Cable Suspension Bridge

Got the chance to visit Malaysia last week and stayed there for 5 days touring Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, Genting Highlands, Penang and Alor Star. For this post, let me share with you some pictures I took in Putrajaya (read my blog post - An Afternoon Trip to Putrajaya). We visited a few tourist spots, among which were the Seri Wawasan Cable Suspension Bridge, Office of the Prime Minister and Putrajaya Royal Palace.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Partying with the Black Eyed Peas

Last October 25, I was lucky to finally catch one of my favorite groups of all time at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds, the Black Eyed Peas. We danced and sang to our hearts out and partied the night away.

The concert was a surprise invitation from a friend who offered me a free ticket on the day of the said concert itself. I was working on my usual online routine, something like that of Tim Ferriss 4 hour work week when I received her message. Thanks to my "no-definite-schedule" kind of work, I agreed to the invite of course, without much thinking. Who wouldn't want to see Fergie, Will.I.Am, Taboo and our kababayan pride Apl de Ap perform live?
Black Eyed Peas at the SM Mall of Asia concert Grounds
When we finally set foot on the concert grounds, my excitement was shortly cut with disappointed as we realized we're too far from the stage area and we can't see what's really happening on stage. They're like ants, so boo for the bronze section! But I couldn't complain, a free concert ticket is already a steal. Finding a good spot in a jampacked concert ground was tricky, but nevertheless still possible. Surprisingly, we found a better spot when we moved even further, now I can see the stage! Still small but with the heart pumping good music, perfect weather and when everyone around you is jumping and singing, what more can you ask for. Would love to take more photos but the beat is so irresistible, I can hardly stay still. Partying in a concert like this is also a good fun tip on how to gain muscle mass fast. Really, try jumping, dancing and singing for 3 hours and you'll see immediate results :)

This is definitely a good night! Check out a short video I took during the concert and know what it feels like to party with the B.E.P.

Sadly, later that evening, Fergie announced that they'll be taking a break. There was a short sad moment on stage as she started to shed tears, hugging his BEP brothers but the group wanting to continue on with the happy-party-vibe started singing with "I Got a Feeling". And it was definitely a good night with the concert ending with an impressive firework display.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Money Matters

A few weeks ago, my friend and I attended a seminar about investing in the Philippine stock market. I was a bit hesitant at first about stock trading since I find it too slow compared with my current investing strategy where I get to invest directly on the business and not with a publicly listed company. I can still remember the time I got my first stock certificate, I was so excited but consistently reminded myself that investing is not an emotional thing. Trading in the stock market was not an immediate step I plan to take but has always been considered as an option. Maybe why I've always wanted to attend a seminar about stock market investing because I always welcome new ideas. I am a firm believer that money matters and the more we openly discuss about it, then we all stand to have a better chance to getting that financial freedom. It's also good to look at other alternatives like Forex trading and penny stocks if you don't have much money to put like that of Tim Sykes penny stocks. 

How Do You Invest?

My idea of investing started after I read the book Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki when I was 22 years old. My first investment was for my health insurance but it was a different kind of health plan, then I invested for my pension plan. So my first two major investments were basically insurance, for security and protection purposes. Now I take more calculated risk, currently in constant partnership with other relatives in doing business with health related stuff as well as real estate. I still have a longer way to go but it feels good to have started early and in believing in delayed gratification. But if when I decided to put some money on the stock market, I would be surely aiming for green stocks. Why? Watch this.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

From Sunrise to Sunset (Views Back Home)

A Highway's Sunrise
This shot (above) was taken a few months ago when I got the urge to wake up really early to do some online tasks. Little did I expect to see something as magnificent as this outside our window from where our desktop sits. What an early morning surprise, a bloody red sunset that can also be seen at the highway (our house is just a few blocks from south super highway).

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Garden Shots: Colours in Bloom

closer look at yellowbell
Had a hunch to get my camera one misty morning and just roam around the garden and take some gorgeous blossoms. The digital macro feature of my Canon Ixus 80IS did a really wonderful job.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Abstract Photography

abstract: Moist
I shared about my memories of my photography class on my last post. One of the assignments given was to photograph "Abstract in Nature". From my experience, I find abstract photography as a very creative approach when you want to try to capture some stimulating images. Plus, all you really need is a camera and some wild imagination. Think about colors, form, patterns, close ups... Keep your eyes open and look beyond what the normal eyes can see... 
Abstract: Land Before Time
You may check out some amazing examples of abstract photography at this link. Now let's go practice!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Memories on My First Film

Back in college, I took up Basic Photography class as part of my curriculum. It was one of those subjects I dearly enjoyed and missed - the assignments, the fun and frustrations while shooting our subjects in focus, the  growing excitement to see the developed prints and my first clicks on my first ever manual slr, a Nikon FM10 model. Unfortunately, I only got to take joy of the newly gadget for a brief 2 months time because it was stolen during our shoot for our Drama Film. It took me weeks of continued stress before I could actually get over and move on (imagine enduring the anger of my parents, the pressure to find the cam and the crook all while studying for my finals and working til dawn for my major projects in Media Production). 

Kodak Black and White Film
Still feeling blessed, I managed to get myself back on track and pass the said subject with flying colors and still was able to enjoy my last year in DLSU-D despite the unlucky incident. My group was awarded the Best Narrative Film for our short film "Cuckoo" during the annual student video competition, it was definitely one of my proudest moments. Working behind the camera is one of my passion that ultimately helped me land a job in ABS-CBN.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Canon Ixus 80IS Digital Macro Shots

One of my favorite camera feature from my reliable buddy, the Canon Ixus 80IS is the digital macro. Symbolized by a flower, one can use this mode to shoot close-ups of flowers or small items. Image Area at Minimum Focusing Distance from End of Lens to Subject

  • Maximum wide angle setting: 35 x 26mm (1.4 x 1.0 in); Minimum focusing distance: 3 cm (1.2 in)
  • Maximum telephoto setting: 102 x 77 mm (4.0 x 3.0 in); Minimum focusing distance: 30 cm (12 in)

So when do I usually use the digital macro feature?

Digital Macro on Food
Just like my beef caldereta recipe, I always shoot using the digital macro when taking shots of my cooked food to be published on my Food Blog, Cook this Recipe.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

On Finding Love Online

My dad has been working abroad for the past 10 years or so. Since then, our family witnessed and experienced firsthand the communication between OFWs and their families and how it has evolved, from post mailed handwritten letters to a now short easy PM's, chats and even voice calls online. People’s fascination of the internet has just been anything but pure bliss, making the life of an OFW and families left at home much more stress-free.

Dad feasting on Kebab | side pictures taken during his unforgettable mission in Iraq (yes, that was scary!)
It is with this reason why finding lasting love in the virtual world may be no less certain than in the real world. But there are so many single and ready to mingle adults and ehem, even the not-so-young adults turning to matchmaking sites in hopes of meeting Mr. or Ms. Right. You see, you can easily choose even your preferred nationality of your ideal mate, not to mention you get to see their faces very quickly without even booking a flight, an affordable webcam would do the trick! 

Finding love online today doesn't just mean finding your future partner from top dating sites. With "Facebook" and "Youtube" evident on just any household these days, it's much easier to connect and rekindle with loved ones from afar.
Dad working abroad
I am personally grateful for these so-called social networking sites. Gone are the days where mom and I would still commute all the way to Makati just to send out some letters or packages for dad and to receive a couple of printed photos from him. Now, we're just a hand-clicked away from knowing each other's current happenings.

Friday, August 5, 2011

On Behind the Camera

Life behind the camera is not all that glam and glitzy as to what most people generally thinks. Just like any other job, it entails hardwork, perseverance and tons of fighting spirit! So if you're someone who've always wanted to work on TV and be surrounded with hundreds of artistas, here are some things you could expect:
My past TV Shows
1. 24 working hours (straight). Sometimes less than 24 or it could be more! This can be experienced during an ordinary taping day. Which usually starts around 6am pullout from TV station and ends a.k.a “pack up” in the morning. For those who want to get into TV Production,

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Zoom Effect

One morning I got inspired to practice a technique posted from one of my favorite photography website, the Digital Photography School. The technique is called the Zoom Effect.  In essence, the zoom effect is a picture which look like the subject is either moving towards or away from you with motion lines. For sure this kind of effect can be Photoshop but I tell you, it's a lot more exciting doing it right through a camera click.  

I read carefully the tips shared and started moving and swinging my camera right on the computer keyboard as my subject til I got the shot I wanted. Using my point and shoot camera Canon Ixus 80IS here's one of the images I was able to capture.
Zoom Effect on Keyboard
I like how the letters from the keyboard looks like they're about to leave the keyboard and they're sort of releasing a mystic smoke. It takes a lot of shots, a steady hand because you're manually doing the zoom and practice to master this kind of effect and I've got a long way to go. I think I would be using this technique more often especially on my out of town trips to get more interesting photos.

Here are the details for this particular shot:
Digital Macro
ISO 80
F-stop 2.8
Exposure 0.8sec

To learn more about Mastering the Zoom Effect, click the link below:

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Mystic Glossy Swiftlets

The Glossy Swiftlet (Collocalia esculenta) is a species of swift in the Apodidae family. It is found in Australia, Brunei, Christmas Island, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Thailand, and Vanuatu. It is shiny black-blue above, including its rump; sometimes looks black and hooded. Chest black; belly to flanks white with fine black speckles at margins. Wing tips are rounded; underwing is black. Tail rounded with shallow notch and tiny white panels. It is similar to the White-rumped Swiftlet, that its upper- and underparts must be seen to identify it. It is 9-11.5 cm. Its voice is a soft twittering. (wiki)

The photos below were taken at Balben Family Cove in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Just For Fun: The Rocker Monkeys Belts out their Latest Single

A few days ago, my father went home for his twice a year vacation from work overseas. And just like any other overseas workers, we were all gifted with huge boxes of stuff – clothes, food, accessories and other imported essentials. Talking about fast, free shopping :)

Among the many pasalubongs Dad bought home, here's one we definitely fell in love with - two monkeys all dressed up rocker style singing "You are my Gummy bear, You are my Gummy bear..."

singing monkeys (rocker style)
We couldn’t help but laugh and get crazy after we’ve seen them perform, definitely an interesting stuff toy even adults could play once in a while. It helps get rid of stress, I tell you!

Aside from the fun song this duo performs, one couldn't ignore their funky fashion statement! I may not consider myself a fashionista, but their rockin' metallic vests, eccentric hairstyles and stylish sunglasses make me want to go shop for some chic online eyeglasses as well. These two cutie monkeys make me feel so embarrassed of my closet! I bet it’s fun to make a fashion statement with avant-garde pieces that become conversation-starters.
The style...

The music and the moves...

I think no other creature on earth could best sport that outfit except for these talented rockers, don’t you agree?
the singing duo sneaking at the sleeping Jewel
Our puppy named Jewel gets easily annoyed every time she hears these two cute rocker monkeys sing. Could they be out of tune?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Is your Smartphone Smarter Enough to be Genius?

image source
What does it really takes to become a genius? Wiki says the word Genius is something or someone embodying exceptional intellectual ability, creativity, or originality, typically to a degree that is associated with the achievement of unprecedented insight.

Given the complexity of life today, from working as a domestic diva to being a model employee, one thing's for sure - that ordinary people, like me, can find ways to make everyday struggles into something GOOD. Much like being the entrepreneur who finds solutions to man's problems. One company certainly knows this. The company that believes Life's Good but they're always trying to make it even better.

For our family, LG has certainly become more than just a household name, we live with it!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Davao: DECA Wakeboard Park

Posted below are pictures from my brother's recent trip to Davao DECA Wakeboard Park. A cousin who recently acquired a house at the DECA Homes invited my brother Arthur to come over and enjoy the waterpark. I've come to know about Davao's then much anticipated waterpark years back as I got curious as to how far it could be it par with CWC CamSur Watersports Complex.
Davao: Deca Wakeboard Park

Monday, June 6, 2011

Davao: Samal Island

I've been to Davao just twice. First was in 1994 where the whole family along with other relatives from Manila enjoyed an overnight stay to one of the beaches near Davao City immediately after arriving at Davao International Airport. The second visit happened 3 years ago but for just a short day visit. Let me share with you some photos captured by my brother who visited Samal Island last month with some of my relatives in Mindanao. 

Samal Island (Bluewaters Beach Resort)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Going Gumasa

The photos below were taken by my brother during his recent trip to Gumasa, Glan in Saranggani Province. I have been yearning for so long to see for myself and enjoy the beach locals often referred to as the "Boracay of the South." In the meantime, I have these photos as inspiration. :)
Gumasa Glan

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Davao: Monfort Bat Cave

The Monfort Bat Colony, located in the Monfort Cave on the Samal Island on Mindanao, Philippines, is the largest colony of Geoffrey’s Rousette Fruit Bats (Rousetteus amplexicaudatus). As per an estimate from Bat Conservation International in 2006, the population in the Monfort Cave was approximately 1.8 million.
Bat Colony

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Superferry: Welcome Aboard!

These photos were taken last 2008 during my trip from Manila to General Santos aboard the Superferry. Thank goodness t'was a nice comfy ride. Read about my Superferry trip here.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Top 3 Things I love about Canon Ixus 80IS

Last May 2008, few weeks before my birthday, I decided to buy my first ever digital camera as a birthday gift to myself. I have always looked forward to replacing our family's Canon Prima BF 800 - it's just too old, boring and soooo outdated! So upon checking out a few digital cameras at SM, my eyes got captivated at this stylish, slim, silver 8 megapixel digicam - the Canon Ixus 80IS. It was Canon's newest offering at that time. It was priced at Php18,000 plus freebies. I thought, "Ok, you're way too pricey compared to my Nikon FM10 SLR, but I'll get you."

Days after I went back with my hard earned savings. But this time, the silver color is no longer available so I just contented myself with the available pink. I'm not much fan of pink colors but as I stared long at it, I actually began to love its candy pink touch. And immediately after I swiped my atm card, I found myself at the Folded and Hung Store getting my Summer freebie :)

Fast forward, this slim and sexy gadget has been my travel buddy for 3 years. Although sometimes I tend to get frustrated, I'll give my pink digital camera Canon Ixus 80IS an A grade. Especially when I use it during those quick snapshots. It's just too handy and friendly. It's not like those DSLRs where you have to think twice before using it during boat rides or too-close-to-the-beach moments.

Top 3 Reasons Why I Love Canon Ixus 80IS:

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Photos from TRQ 2.0 Seminar

During the last quarter of 2010 I had this rare opportunity to see face to face the country's well known people when it comes to Financial Management specifically in the fields of Real Estate, Internet Marketing and Wealth Attraction.
Trace Trajano with TRQ 2.0 attendees
The second Think Rich Quick seminar held last October in Makati were attended to by hundreds of Filipinos who wanted to learn Trace's unconventional way of investing in real estate, from finding good deals to marketing properties. Something average real estate agents and brokers may have probably no clue about.

Prominent speakers were Jomar Hilario, John Calub and Larry Gamboa together with his son who also talked about the benefits of having an application to manage real estate business as well as his then upcoming comic book about Manny Pacquiao.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Admiring Full Moon

There seems to be some sense of mystic when one sees a full moon. The night is much brighter and the dramatic blend of colors from the clouds would a just make one wonder with awe. My eyes recently wandered to the night sky 2 days after the famous "supermoon" phenomenon happened. The photos below were captured as usual using my canon ixus 80IS with the help from it's digital zoom feature, a 2 sec exposure time and a steady hand. I certainly recommend using tripod when you want to capture the night sky with a much lower ISO, say 80 and play with exposure.
Full Moon
 2 days after the supermoon phenomena

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Farewell AJ

Ate Sarah pack up na ba ako?
One thing I missed hearing from AJ is every time he would ask me if he's done for the long day's shoot.

AJ's surprise birthday cake at Abt Ur Luv, Ur Lyf 2 set

The very first time my Executive Producer handed me the cast list for an upcoming teen youth oriented show, Star Magic Presents Abt Ur Luv, I was stunned to see the long list of artists. It was like being handed down by your school principal the list of students you'll be teaching for the whole school year! Except for Rayver and Shaina, the rest of the cast were relatively new. You can only imagine the confusion, we, the production staff experienced during the first taping day. We needed to memorize all 20 plus of them, their roles, real names and faces.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Splashy Summer Treat

Was able to secure ebay coupons for this year's splash island swimming. Regular price costs Php500 per person but thanks to ebay got my ticket for only Php250 including bbq meal and paid only Php150 each for my younger sister, brother and cousin (student discount), thanks again ebay!
Splash Island

Monday, April 18, 2011

Our Jewel of the House

Here are some of photos of our jewel at home, nope not those precious gem stones, but it's definitely valued 10 times more than expensive stones because this dear jewel is adding life and fun to our family. Most of us are not much into wearing fancy accessories, we, however named our half Japanese sphitz half aspin as Jewel as it was the name my dear Aunt Lily wanted. We're actually planning to give her a Japanese name, but we all agreed "Jewel" fits just right.
Jewel, our cutey half Japanese sphitz half aspin petdog
My uncle dropped her off at our house last January. And although she's probably exhausted on her first long drive, she began to run and hop around the house and made her first pee...inside! Oh yeah, her first mark of control! She came from mom's childhood friend, Tita Elreca, who have been tending some dog breeds for years and Jewel is their youngest. Realizing that our family wanted to own one, she was really kind to gift us Jewel. Surprisingly, one of the photos I have on my vision board is a cute full breed Japanese sphitz and although Jewel here may not be of full breed, I know she's an answered dream and I'm extremely happy for having her :)

The above photos were taken when she was just 3 months old. Someone said she looks like a fox slash guinea pig! But just like the tale of the ugly duckling, we notice that Jewel is looking more beautiful each day.  Here she is right now at 5 months old:
it's play time for Jewel!
Jewel at 6 months old
Jewel at 8 months
our beautiful Jewel
I just found myself recently too engrossed into taking photos of our dog that I'm thinking of making a photo blanket with her pictures on it before she grows too old. I know it's too mushy but what can I do, I love Jewel!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pagudpud: Saud Beach

Tagged as the "Boracay of the North", Pagudpud lies 45 miles north of Laoag city. It's a charming coastal resort town in the northermost tip of Luzon, and about 12 hour drive from Manila.
Pagudpud Saud Public Beach at 6 in the morning

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bangui Windmills and other Breathtaking roadside views on the way to Pagudpud

cramped bus going to Pagudpod

Below are some photos taken on our road trip from Laoag to Pagudpud during a 2 hour drive inside a cramped non-aircon bus. But outside are endless views of  fantastic sceneries, more like larger than life masterpieces. Most notable of all is the province's most famous tourist spot, the first ever wind farm in the Philippines and also the biggest in Southeast Asia, the NorthWind Bangui Bay Project popularly known as the Bangui Windmills.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Vigan: More Kalesa Tour Photos

We had a great time strolling around the streets of Heritage Village and Baluarte. To continue on, here are some photos taken during the latter part of our Vigan Kalesa Tour. Tourist spots include Pagburnayan, Bantay Bell Tower, St. Augustine Parish Church, St. Paul Cathedral.
Pottery making with Mr. Fidel Go, National Folk Artist (right)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Vigan: Baluarte

Baluarte is a must-see attraction for first time visitors and perfect bonding time with kids.The resort complex lies in hectares of land that stretches from the rolling plain towards the hills, where former governor Chavit Singon's multi-storey house sits with a grand view of Vigan and the South China Sea. Within its private area is a landscaped garden complete with its own nature pools. However, the area open to the public has plenty more engaging attractions that visitors can busy themselves with aside from the mini zoo. There is a butterfly farm, a track for horse riding and a skeet shooting range.
Dinosaurs of Baluarte


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