The Benefits of Oregano

Oregano (Scientific name: Origanum vulgare) is also known as Wild Marjoram, Mountain Mint, Origanum, Wintersweet and Winter Marjoram.

Hand of Hope: Samuel Alexander Armas

A picture began circulating in November. It should be "The Picture of the Year," or perhaps, "Picture of the Decade." It won't be. In fact, unless you obtained a copy of the paper, you probably will never see it.

Tracey Connelley, Baby P's Evil Mom, Shows NO Remorse

I have never been affected by any story as much as Baby P's story has affected me. Yesterday evening, I found myself sobbing twice! I just can't get over the sheer horror of the story.

Baby P's Murderers -- Why Are They Being Protected?

In my country, it has never happened before that the media and the people have been forbidden to actually reveal the names and faces of TC and SB, the murderers of Baby P.

That Winter The Wind Blows Finale: Did Oh Soo Die?

Over the holy week break, I spent the entire four days just watching the 15 episodes of this Korean show. Yes, I am a self-confessed Korean drama addict. I already have my favorite actors and actresses; albeit, I don’t know their names.

Jul 30, 2009

Caramoan Island Hopping and Adventure

It was a cheap trip. From our calculations, we didn't spend more than P1,500 each. But it was helluva fun!

We left at 8 in the morning from CBD to Sabang Port. Because there was no bus or jeepney avalable, we decided to take the van. Settie and I hated it. I hated it more because I ended up vomiting my guts out. No, it wasn't even a long trip. It was a 1-1/2 hour ride. The driver was forced to open the van's windows because of the stench. I'm not proud of it. I have a very poor stomach when it comes to traveling. The fare was P90.00 per head.

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We arrived in Sabang Port at about 9:30 in the morning. We then had to ride on the boat to go to Guijalo Port. The fare was P120. There was a low pressure area at that time, so the day was gloomy. Erbe was nagging me to get inside because he was afraid I'd catch cold from the rain. Settie and I, however, took off our skirts and decided to brave the rain. It was a 2-hour ride. We were so excited, so the 2 hours felt like forever.

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We arrived at the Guijalo Port at 12:30 in the afternoon. We then had to take a jeepeney to Caramoan (Centro). The fare was P20.00 per head, and the ride took about 30 to 45 minutes. We spent the time ribbing Bonn (Set's brother) over his HUGE luggage.



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Because I already checked online where to stay, we had the driver dropped us at Villa Juliana. I was the only one who bothered to check for accommodations online, so nobody questioned my choice of inn. Villa Juliana is actually the cheapest place in Caramoan (Centro). We got a huge room good for six - we were six all in all - and we got the room for P750.oo, so we had to pay p125 each for the room. There were only three beds, so we had to share. The inn is clean, comfortable and airy, so if you are on a tight budget, it will definitely do. The room is clean. It has a television and an air condition unit.

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Mr. Rogelio Reyes, the proprietor of Villa Juliana, is everything that you will read online. He's helpful, solicitious and kind. He got us our tricycle driver, Marcelino San Pablo (0918-585-4864), who serve as our chauffer. :)

If you are planning to go to Caramaon, you should look for this driver. He is very helpful. He will also act as your semi-tour guide. We had our lunch in Lutong Bahay, a turo-turo. The food is cheap, but I'd recommend the restaurant, adjoining the Bed and Breakfast, in front of Lutong Bahay. The food is better. The restaurant and bathroom is clean and relaxing.

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After we had our lunch, Mr. Marcelino drove us to Bikal where we will hire a boat to bring us to the islands. Sussette was pissed off with the rates. We couldn't get a boat for lower than P1,000. Finally, we agreed on P1,300 from P1,500. Sette felt that it was a rip off because we only had 3 hours or so to kill. The day was dark and rainy. We could have let it spoiled our fun, but we didn't. It ruined some of the views though.

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When visiting the islands, you have to choose whether to go East or West. It'll cost you P2,500 to visit both sides. The East offers Gota Beach, Matukad Beach, Lahos Beach and the island that I can't pronounce the name. The other side offers islands, lagoons, caves and that big statue (okay, I'm not really good at this...I'd be better though if I'm getting paid for writing this.)

Our first stop was the Matukad Beach, a really, really gorgeous place. One of the best islands in Caramoan. We were lucky because the show Survivor from Serbia had already finished shooting for the day, so we were able to go to the island.
We kind of disturbed a couple of lovers who were snorkeling though. I think we pissed them off because they packed up and left several minutes after we arrived. We stayed there for half an hour - yes, we timed ourselves - and then we left for Lahos Beach.

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Lahos Beach is equally beautiful. There was no one around, so we had the entire beach for ourselves. We stayed here for about 20 minutes, and then we decided to go to the next island.

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It was at this juncture that the boat's engine stopped for about 5 minutes. When the engine started again, the boat's driver, Tony, took us to Gota Beach. We weren't able to land or look around because it was prohibited with the Survivor Serbia staying there.
Anyway, we didn't go to the third island. We just looked at it from a distance and said, "Oh, is that it?" It was just like the first two islands only waaay smaller. Anyway, we decided to go back to Matukad to try rock climbing. We wanted to see the lagoon smacked right in the middle of the towering Matukad cliffs. We were informed of the HUGE bangus we'd find in the lagoon.

Bonn and Set were able to climb up without any trouble.

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I was scared shit.

Erbe didn't want to climb up, but since his wife was clambering up, he decided to do the same. I kept thinking, "If I fall here, I'd die. If Erbe falls, he'd die. Paige would have dead stupid parents!"
Tinay followed suit. She had the assistance of the lovestruck boatmen who climbed along with her. When we reached the top, I was dismayed to discover that we had to go down the other side just to get to the Lagoon. It was scary! The rocks were wet and we weren't so sure of our safety.

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The three of us (Erbe, Tinay and I) decided to climb back down. The huge bangus is not worth the risk. Tinay and I figured - and even argued with the boatmen who were urging us to continue - that we would just look for a huge bangus in the supermarket.

Anyway, we climbed down and settled on enjoying the waters of Matukad. We stayed here for about an hour. And we decided to go home at 5:00 in the afternoon.

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We reached Caramoan (Centro) at about 6 in the evening. We took our bath. The hotel management opened another room, so we could use the bathroom. And then we looked for food.
We decided to eat at the restaurant adjoining the Bed and Breakfast located in the main street. What was the name of that restaurant Tinay? They offer a wide selection of delish dishes. The service is a bit long, since they "only start cooking once you place your order". But the food is worth the wait

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After dinner, Settie, Erbe, Bonn and Tinay spent the night drinking beers and playing Tong-its. While I and Ate Let drank our respective San Mig Light bottles and hit the sack.

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...to be continued...

My Favorite Caramoan Pictures















Caramoan

I haven't blogged for a while.
Several reasons actually -
a. I lost my blogging MOJO.
b. I am swamped with work.
c. I am addicted to six Facebook games.
d. I hate STALKERS especially other people's stalkers who get their fix through my blog.


Anyway, I just want to post these videos here.



video

video

Jul 22, 2009

Paige's 3rd Birthday

Paige's 3rd birthday was a blast. It was a fun day. Too bad, she was grumpy the whole day, and I don't think she will remember it as vividly as I would. Anyway, here are short clips of that day.

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We went skinny dipping. It was really funny. Jinx, Tinay really made me proud. She actually went nekkid! You would have laughed your ass off. Erbe took our pictures. His reaction was hilarious. Anyway, this is one of the reasons I love him - he never fails to make me feel stupid. He loves the outrageous side of me. Well, anyway, he's near to perfect - that's what I've always thought anyway.

The skinny dipping though made us feel invincible. Tinay and I agreed to get a tattoo. How about doing it next week Tinapay? You really have to think of a good design, you know.

Jul 20, 2009

Talking about Trains and Poems

I used to write poems. I think I wrote poems for every meaningful person in my life.

My sister sent me this via email. I knew I wrote this, but I couldn't place for whom until after I was reading halfway through.
Ah yes, Mr. Train -- the guy I remember every time I'd hear the train whistle blows.

He was my huge, huge crush in college - and I was friends with him as well.
He's married now.

We used to talk on the phone 'til the wee hours in the morning.
His house was near the train station, so I could actually hear the train arriving and going.

What's funny is that - he'd hear our dogs barking!

So, while trains remind me of him...
...he's reminded of me when he hears dogs barking!

'Twas insulting if I didn't have such a huge crush on him.
He even gave me a dog figurine.
That reminds me... where the heck is that figurine?!

Oh, well.

P.S. How the heck did my sister get hold of this?!
She's in UK for crying out loud!

Here's the poem.



Trains were not but trains.
And the whistle echoed on empty walls;
ignored;
unrecognized.
Yes, they were but trains,
until you.
For now as the train whistle blows;
and fades to oblivion,
oblivion of night’s silence;
your memory stays
and echoes on
as i listen.
For again i hear your voice;
and i’d hear your laughter,
mimics the train’s quiescent rhythm.
And then i’d curse you
because you came
and made me feel again
and like the train’s resounding threat,
you, too, would leave then.
And i’d find myself thinking of you
again.
Always.
An insistent thought.
The first thought that comes with the dawn’s rising;
the lingering thought that does not subdue
even with the twilight’s need of stillness.
Thoughts like the call of the sun-kissed field;
a chant like that of a haunting prayer;
a need like that of hunger,
that’s how i think of you.
And so the train’s threat teases me;
teases me with thoughts of you;
teases me of things i once dreamed of,
and damns me more to you.
Yes, it was a train,
as it has always been,
but it means more now
because of you.

Happy Birthday Paige!


Earlier this evening, I was trying to get some sleep with my daughter snuggled closely beside me. Her papa was cooking some of the dishes that we are going to bring tomorrow. And she was forced to lie next to me, willing herself to sleep as well because I didn't have the energy to play. I was awake for 19 hours already and I needed to sleep badly.

I could hear her chattering though, and sometimes, I'd mumble an incoherent reply.
She'd asked, "Mama, love mo ako?"
And I'd faintly answer, "Opo. Sleep na."
She'd continue, "Si papa, love ako?"
And I'd answer, "Opo. Sleep na bi, ma-swimming kita tomorrow."

She has certainly changed my life.
Erbe considers her God's PERSONAL gift to him because everything fell into place for him when she came along. Perhaps, that's true.

She's three years old today.

It has been three years of magical days -
of discovering that Barney is actually fun
of seeing the flap of birds' wings as if for the first time
of Peter Pan, Tinker Bell and the Lost Boys
of Mary Poppins and her Sound of Music
of feeling like you have never experienced water running through your fingers
of moons and stars
of angels and fairies

I am living through everything once again, discovering the magic in things because I see them in her eyes.

That's her gift.
That is why it's completely magical.
She's magical.


Jul 19, 2009

Sassy and Almost Three

Earlier this morning, Paige kept asking for us to assist her in the bathroom. I was working, so her papa had no choice, but to go with her.

He'd come back every time complaining that she was lying.

When Erbe left to go downtown, I had no choice, but to accompany her to the bathroom when she once again said that she wanted to poo-poo.

And once again, she was lying.

After several minutes she once again asked to go to the bathroom, exasperated, I threatened, "Ma wiwi ka na talaga ha! Ta kung dai lagot ka sako!"

Paige looked at me and frowned.
She just stood there frowning up at me.
I knew she was irritated with me. I was anticipating a witty comeback from her - and she didn't disappoint me.

Still frowning up at me, she threateningly said, "Aaaay... Ma-a-anggot ka na naman ha?!"

Stunned, I couldn't hold on to my exasperation or irritation, I just started laughing and laughing.


Jul 18, 2009

PITSIL!

One Off the To-Do List

Back in college, I wanted to get hair highlights, but I didn't like how it looked in many people. Bessie dissuaded me from doing so. But all these years, I wanted to get it, so I finally did.

It feels good.

Tattoo and curly hair is up next.

Pretty soon enough, I'd get to the skydiving part.


I swear! The contraption with all the hair sticking out looks weird, funny and downright nasty!

See???

There! That's how it looks like now.

Erbe's Take on Angels and Demons

Is he liking it or is he liking it???


"hala ka dian, yaon na si kalaban!!!"


"ah, yan palan ang anti-matter..."

His funniest face - and he doesn't even know it!


Dear Auntie Kris

I'm turning three now.
Where's my gift?

Love,
Paige