January 31, 2012

The China Challenge



OMF Philippine Home Council would like to invite you to The China Challenge on Feb 25, 2012 (Sat), 7:30am to 5:00pm at Quezon City Sports Club. The guest speaker would be no other than Rev. James Hudson Taylor IV. Aside from him, there will be five other speakers who will cover topics of their expertise.

This interesting workshop will discuss about missions. This will explain why Christians do missions. In this workshop, you will get to understand the Bible as one book --with one introduction, one story, and one conclusion. You will see in a new way how the Bible presents the big picture of God’s heart for all the nations and what your part is in the big picture.

Four areas will be covered as follows :

Business as missions.
Medical and health care
Youth Ministry and English teaching
partnership missions

For those who are looking for some worthwhile things to do, those who are seeking for a change in heir lives, maybe this is a chance to get involved in something that will enable you to find your heart.

Registration is on until February 15 for Php300 inclusive of a lunch, snacks and hand outs. For those who will register on February 16 onwards, fee would be Php400.


You may contact omfevents@gmail.com or (02) 9520545 or 09052778644 for further inquiries.

January 29, 2012

Vietnam's "Pho 24"





Have you heard of Pho 24? It’s one of the most popular food chains in Vietnam having it’s beef noodle soup as it’s signature dish. I’ve been traveling to and from Hoh Chi Min City in Vietnam as this is only about 1.5 hrs ride from my job site. But I’ve never tried the beef noodle soup or “pho” at Pho 24. My colleague who also visits Hoh Chi Min a lot told me that their soup is really worth a try.

Last year, when I brought my kids for a vacation at Hoh Chi Min City, I really took the time to visit Pho 24 just for the experience. Of course, I’ve ordered their famous beef soup while the kids tried another dish. The soup wasn’t at all bad but it wasn’t able to satisfy my palate. I admit, I was a bit disappointed coz I’m really having high expectations after I’ve heard so much about this place. Although my kids said their foods were okay although not that great. In fairness, their facility and service is good. The place is clean, cold and having a free wifi.

The price ranges from $3 to $5 and about $2 for the drinks. Not so bad but since I didn’t enjoy the food that much, I would rather spend that amount elsewhere. Hoh chi Min City had numerous restaurants and you will never fail to find a good one that will suit your discriminating taste. Some foreigners who are more adventurous would prefer having the beef soup on the street stalls where you have to squat in a little plastic stool while having a taste of their authentic Vietnamese style “pho”. In fact, some Western people prefer the taste of the soup on the street stalls. I wanted my kids to have the experience of trying some street foods which I consider acceptable but they were a bit hesitant at that time. Nonetheless, they managed to eat at one of the food stalls at Ben Than night market in an open air which were being flocked by tourists.

Overall, Pho 24 is still worth a try. It has a number of chains within Hoh Chi Min City, Hanoi and I’ve heard that they have opened the franchise and this food chain can now be found at Cambodia and in The Philippines, as well.

My share for :



FTFBadge

January 26, 2012

Happiness Is.... The Success Of My Kids


I always tell my kids that their success is my success! My source of inspiration and happiness is the thought that I was able to raise my kids well. From the time that they were just toddlers until this time that they are already entering the adolescent period, I always take pride in their accomplishments. They brought me to the school stage numerous times in the past as they received their medals of recognition for their exemplary performance in school and winning in different school competitions. For a Mom like me, nothing can replace the joy of watching my kids medals neatly stored in a finely crafted display cabinet in our living room. More than the medal itself, it's the story that it represents that's truly remarkable. Behind every medal is a story of sacrifices, hardships and struggles that my kids went through just to make me feel truly proud of them.

For me, that's what happiness is all about....


My week's entry for :



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Sitting Alone At The Park


We all love to hang out with family and friends, but I discovered that I could also find a great pleasure spending time with myself. Sitting alone at the park on a one fine day helps me to take time out for some moments of self reflection. This is where I can have an account of what I have done and what I have failed to do. The serene environment with only the sounds of the birds in the background and the cool wind touching my skin on a bright afternoon, while having a sight of a beautiful garden is indeed truly relaxing.

January 23, 2012

My Own Version Of Pancit Malabon

This is the simple version of Pancit Malabon minus the squids, shrimps and oyters. This is just good for a daily "merienda" in the house.

One of my favorite "merienda" during "high tea" at home is the traditional "pancit Malabon". This type of pancit originated from malabon City Metro Manila, Philippines. I used to buy this from a nearby food shop specializing in "pancit Malabon" and you can order from them for take outs in the native "bilao" of various sizes. Believe me, it's so yummy. It comes with so many toppings like pork chicharong(cracklings) , tinapa flakes, squid, meat and "taba ng alimango". Because of this, I tried my best to learn how to cook my favorite dish. I did asked a recipe from a friend and voila! I was able to cook it by myself. Although mine was just a simplier version. If this is just for a normal "merienda" in the house, I just put the basics like ground pork, tinapa flakes, pork chicharon, boiled eggs and onion leeks. Just squeeze some calamansi on your own serving when you are ready to eat it, and it's perfect!

My ingredients :

Pancit luglug noodles
ground pork
pork chicharon
tinapa flakes (smoked fish)
hard boiled eggs
onion leeks
garlic
onions
Magic sarap mix
atsuete (for coloring)
fish sauce (patis)
ground pepper

Procedure:

Boil water and add luglug noodles. Pour magic magic sarap mix. Set aside. Saute garlic, onions and ground pork. Pour some atsuete in water, drain the seeds and pour the said water on the pan. Allow it to boil. Add the luglug noodles and mixed thoroughly. Season with fish sauce and ground pepper. Add some tinapa flakes. Mix well. Add some pounded pork chicharon. Set aside some for toppings. Mix all the ingredients well. Add fish sauce according to your taste. Place the cooked noodles in a platter. Topped with sliced hard boiled eggs, the remaining pork chicharon and onion leeks. Serve hot. Best served with puto.

Optional:

You may want to add fried shrimps, adobong pusit ot taba ng alimango as toppings. It's all up to you. Anyway, these can be cooked separately and just add as toppings or you can saute it together with ground pork.

January 20, 2012

Happiness is......... Going On a Plane Ride With The Kids

Waiting for our flight at the boarding gate


Mikz inside the plane prior to departure


Edmar having his snacks during the flight


When I first informed my kids that I will bring them for a vacation in Vietnam, they were really excited and happy. They cannot contain their excitement the day before our scheduled flight and on the day itself. They were so excited when they packed their things and "baons" for that particular trip.

I could see smiles on their faces as we get board on the plane. They were really excited as they have seen from the itinerary that I've prepared that we're going to see a number of theme parks and historical places at Hoh Chi Min City.

As a mom, it is indeed an accomplishment to be able to treat your kids for a much awaited vacation. I cannot describe my happiness even if it means spending quite a big amount of money. After all, no amount of money can match the happiness that we had during our bonding moments.

My share for :



January 18, 2012

Flowers In Full Bloom


This is one of my favorite photos from my photo archive. This was taken during our vacation trip to Vietnam summer of last year. The first time I saw this spot at Damsen Theme park at Hoh Chi Min City, I immediately asked my son to take my photo but requested him to consider the full view. The result, it looks like I am just the background!(lol)

I really love those colorful flowers planted in clusters. How I wish I could have the same spot in the house, but that seems to be impossible coz I have a very limited space. Besides, it's really a pain on the back to take care and maintain such a huge number of flowering plants. But really, if you see this in person, you will be delighted by it's wonderful view.

My share for :




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January 17, 2012

In Search For A Healthy Lifestyle

I've made a post on my main blog, Life's Tips And Tricks about what's in my list for 2012 and my number one item on the list is to focus on my health. I've mentioned there that I want to stick with my routine check up either once or twice this year, get a regular exercise and appropriate vaccines.

Well...in my quest to successfully implement item number one in my list, I wanted to begin by being conscious with the foods that I eat on a daily basis. I'm not staying in my house so I have to limit myself on some quick and healthy meals. For a start, I never get away with a daily serving of fruits and green salads. I must make sure that I am getting an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables each day. If I have to skip on a vegetable meal or salad, I have to make sure that I take more fruits for that day.



I also stocked up my pantry cabinet with instant oatmeal, non fat powdered milk and herbal teas.


When I was fixing my cabinet the other day, I found this very simple skipping rope that I always use before, so I decided to clean it and make it available for my daily 30 mins exercise. (lol)

Well...this is only for a start. I still have other health practices like taking the right kind of vitamins that my body needs. Currently, I am taking ENAT Vitamin E and Fish Oil capsules. My doctors says, fish oil is really good for the heart while vitamin E is good for the skin and rich in anti oxidants.

Hmmm...we'll see how far could I go with this goal. I know it takes a lot of discipline and determination and there's no better time than to start NOW!

January 14, 2012

Cebu Pacific's Seat Sale Alert!


I was thrilled after seeing that Cebu Pacific is offering another seat sale tagged as "My Juan And Only". Hongkong and Kuala Lumpur are included in the seat sale and I'd been eyeing to go to these two exciting destinations. However, at this early, I still can't figure out what should be the exact date of my vacation, so I couldn't take this opportunity. At any rate, for those of you who are interested, Cebu is offering seats sale on some international destination such as Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Brunei, jakarta and Hongkong ranging from P800 to P2,500 while exciting fares awaits those who would like to visit some of our local destinations like Cotobato, Davao, Surigao, Butuan and Zamboanga from P288 to P888.

Go and check out Cebu Pacific's website for more details. Seat sale will be until Jan 15 or until seats last for travels on Feb 15 until May 31, 2012.

January 13, 2012

Memories Of Our Zoobic Zafari Adventure!

It has always been my practice to take my kids to one tourist destination every time I go back home in the Philippines for my vacation. Since, we are staying in Subic, it is just proper that we begin exploring our very own attractions in Subic. It's always the three of us on most trips since their Dad works overseas. Nonetheless, the kids are already used with this kind of arrangement so this never kills the fun.

Photos below were taken almost 3 years ago and I can't believe how my daughter Mikz had grown taller in just a matter of 3 years. Our Zoobic Zafari Adventure can be considered as one of our best. We've stayed in the area for almost 4 hrs and had gone through so many adventures. You can get the chance to feed the tigers and crocodiles. We were also able to watch an animal parade and show and this had brought so much fun to everyone.








For those who wish to visit Zoobic Zafari, it's just nearly 2 hrs drive from Manila to Subic via SCTEX. Entrance fees varies depending on whether it's peak season or not. However, promo packages are being offered from time to time such as one here below :


My share for:


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January 11, 2012

Sweet Indulgence


My son Edmar had requested me to buy for him some of his favorite chocolates in Vietnam and there you go, I bought him some Toblerones,  Almond chocolates and  VanHouten.  While for Mika, I bought some M&M's with peanuts, Hersheys Chocolate Bars and Crunch Bars which is her all time favorite.  These two are not much into sweets except for those few items which they really loved.  During the first year that I worked overseas, I just kept on buying any chocolates that I see on shops and groceries at Cambodia and Vietnam especially those with very cute packaging, but these two are quite choosy with chocolates.  So, the chocolates would normally end up "untouched".  They will only eat what they used to eat and that's it! (lol)

However, during my recent vacation, we were lucky to receive some presents and "pasalubongs" from our other "balikbayan" relatives, thus the result? "Sweet Indulgence".     




We also had this box of sweets from Max restaurant courtesy of another relative. This contains an assortment of goodies like special "polvoron", chocolate cookies, tarts, caramel bars, etc.  I especially liked the packaging which is complete with a very nice box, ribbons and ornaments.  This is supposed to be for Mom but at her age, it's not advisable to eat much "sweets", so we ended up to be the ones feasting on all those goodies.      

Luckily, I didn't gain much weight as a result of feasting too much on cakes and sweets during the last holidays.  Now, I have to go back to my usual boring foods again as I am already back to work. Anyhow, there's those pics to remind me how I've enjoyed a lot during my short vacation in the Philippines.

Linking to:


Praybeyt Benjamin


Does this video looks familiar to you? This is the top grosser film Praybeyt Benjamin with no other than Vice Ganda on the lead role.  He plays opposite to Derek Ramsey who is an equally talented actor.  When I got back home for vacation last December, my kids kept on pushing me to buy a DVD of  Praybeyt Benjamin.  My son would always tell me that this is a block buster film and a top grosser even outshining the film of Anne Curtis and Christine Reyes, "My Other Wife".  So out of curiosity, we waited for a DVD copy to be released in the market and  there we go, one fine night at home, we watched Praybeyt Benjamin.

The film was really all fun.  No doubt, it is the undisputed comedy film of the year.  Well, it's not really a very special movie and the story itself  is not really that special or unique. You will be entertained not by the story itself but by the usual antics of Vice Ganda which made her way to the top. You will be laughing on most scenes and on most dialogues and for this, I find this comedy film really entertaining.

This film by Vice Ganda was successful in making the movie goers really entertained although it's not a film for those who are looking for quality and depth. Nonetheless, the fact that it made us really laugh is enough to say that it's all worth it.  After all, we watch films to get away from stress and forget about our problems even for a couple of hours.

Have you watched it? It's worth a try!



   


January 9, 2012

Fun For Every Juan

Cebu Pacific is up for another seat sale until January 12 or until seats last. Exciting seats await you for both domestic and international destinations.

Have you seen that unbelievable seat sale from Kalibo to Hongkong for P8? Oh my, is it true? This is such a huge sale.  You may want to try their newly opened flight from Manila to Hanoi, now it's being sold for P1,288.  What a treat?

So what are you waiting for? Plan for your 2012 trips and book your seats now before it's too late.

Beating Stress By Getting Organized

 Photo Credit : HGTV

Over the past years, I was able to sort out that one of the top reasons contributing to my stress is lack of organization.  I easily get irritated whenever I see clutter whether at home or in the office.  This made me lose my focus and motivation to work.  It is indeed very true that a clean and organized place can bring forth positive energies and therefore create a working environment that is less stressful. In my home blog, I have one category dedicated to organizing and I especially love it whenever I feature some organization tips in the bedroom, kitchen, living room or even in the bath room.  While it is often said that stress is normal, too much of it can interfere with one's productivity.  I guess the first step to being stress free is to be organized.  Believe it or not, when you have a clearer picture of where you want to go, how you want things to be done, what you want to accomplish and what is your timetable for every task at hand, you feel more at ease going through with your tasks and later, you could notice that you can be productive without stressing out too much.

The key to being stress free is to get organized! So how do we begin?  In my case, I always keep a journal at hand and I would always jot down my tasks and numbered them according to it's priority.  This way, I would have a clear picture of where to begin with.  Sometimes, we love to have those thoughts of accomplishing so many things and whenever we failed to fulfill that goal, we are often left stressed out.

At home, I have my own filing system.  I have a drawer specifically for important documents like birth certificates, marriage contract, employment certificates and other pertinent documents filed and properly labeled in an expanded plastic envelope.  I also maintain another file for lot documents like lot titles, property taxes, etc.

When it comes to budgeting, I also have some envelopes where I used to put and segregate the bills and the corresponding budget allotted for each bill.  I also printed out a copy of the monthly bills with their corresponding due dates so this would be a one quick reference for me to be reminded of deadlines and due dates.

In my laptop, I took advantage of one feature in Windows 7 which is the sticky note where I can jot down some reminders or urgent appointments that I have for the day or for the week and it is always being shown at the desktop every time I open my laptop.

It really pays to be organized.  Getting rid of the clutters in your home or office could do a lot of wonders for you.  Uncover your space by removing unnecessary supplies or gadgets and make your desk clear at all times and this will help you concentrate on your work.

Beating up stress is quite easy.  All it takes is a little bit of patience and a great amount of discipline.       

January 8, 2012

Why Do We Serve Fruits On New Year's Eve?



It is a common practice in the Philippines and perhaps in other countries as well, that dining tables shall be filled with different kinds of fruits as we welcome the new year.  Why is that so? Is there anything that fruit symbolizes for new year?  Well, I've read from several feng shui books and magazines that fruit at your table during the new year celebration symbolizes new life and new beginning.  If you had been to other countries in Asia especially those Buddhist countries, you will notice that fruits are used as temple offerings.  They also made use of fruits as an offering in the prayer altars in their homes.  For the others, fruits symbolized abundance and prosperity.

I noticed that orange is the most common fruit on display on every table during new year's eve.  This is because orange is a symbol of good fortune.  Mandarins in Chinese means gold, thus to them this clearly stand for prosperity. Other fruits have special meanings, too. Apples for peace, bananas for brilliance and melons for family unity.

Whether these things are true or not, I admit that I am also following these traditions.  For me, there's no harm done, so why not?  So during the last new year's eve, I also made sure that we have some fruits on display at our dining table.  Apart from fruits, it has also been my habit to have candies or chocolates on a serving tray to be placed on the dining table together with the assorted fruits that we've prepared.  I was just thinking that candies are sweet so it symbolizes my simple wish or prayer for a sweeter year. :)

How about you guys? Did you also serve fruits on your tables last new year's eve?

January 7, 2012

My New Blog For 2012

 Photo credit : fotosearch.com

Hi friends! I am writing this post to welcome my new blog site for 2012,  "HIGH TEA".

Why HIGH TEA? Well, I wanted a personal blog where I can freely discuss anything and everything under the sun.  The phrase High Tea first originated from England.  This pertains to a meal usually eaten after sunset.  It is an English meal that gained popularity in 1600's.  Originally, cakes, cooked meats ans stews are being served during high tea.  However, in today's modern times, a high tea becomes synonymous with a coffee break.  Now, it refers to traditional teas served with light meal, cakes and pastries.

Now, why I have chosen this for my new blog?  It's because it is during high tea that discussions usually take place.  Normally, we would invite friends for a high tea and it is during this time that you and your friends would engage in a friendly discussion on various topics.  That means, I would like to share here my views, opinions and thoughts on anything and everything and i hope that you could share yours, too. :)

So please join me in my journey for another year of blogging and I hope that through this, I can gain more friends in the blogosphere.

Happy 2012 to all!!
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