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The Great Wall of China in Mutianyu

The Great Wall of China is referred to in Mandarin as Wanli Changcheng (10,000-Li Long Wall or simply very long wall) BEIJING, CHINA- S...

Saturday, May 25, 2024

A Broken System: The Plight of Indigent Patients at PGH

Posted On Saturday, May 25, 2024 by Food Blogger 0 comments

The Philippine General Hospital (PGH), a beacon of hope for so many Filipinos, is facing a crisis. A crisis not of treatable illnesses, but of a lack of resources to treat them. Today, I want to talk about the shortage of beds and medical professionals crippling PGH's ability to care for indigent patients.

We all know someone who has relied on PGH's services. It's a lifeline for those who can't afford private healthcare. But what happens when that lifeline becomes strained? Patients, many critically ill, are turned away due to a lack of available beds. Imagine the despair, the fear, of being denied treatment because there's nowhere to lay you down.

This isn't just about beds; it's about the overworked and understaffed medical professionals. These dedicated individuals are stretched thin, unable to provide the level of care each patient deserves. Burnout and compassion fatigue become real threats, further jeopardizing the quality of care.

This situation demands action. I urge the Department of Health (DOH) to take a serious look at PGH's needs. Increased funding is crucial to expand bed capacity and hire more medical staff. We need a long-term plan to ensure PGH can continue serving the Filipino people effectively.

To our esteemed President Bongbong Marcos Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte, I implore you to prioritize the health of our nation. Investing in PGH is an investment in the well-being of countless Filipinos.

We cannot stand by and watch this vital institution crumble. We need strong leadership and a commitment to ensuring quality healthcare for all.

What can you do as an ordinary Filipino? 
  • Share this post. Let your voice be heard.
  • Contact your representatives and urge them to prioritize healthcare funding.
  • Donate to organizations that support PGH.

Together, we can make a difference. PGH's patients deserve better, and with your help, we can make it a reality.

#SavePGH #HealthcareForAll #SupportOurDoctors

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Temple of the Golden Pavilion

Posted On Wednesday, May 22, 2024 by Travelona 0 comments

Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺, lit. 'Temple of the Golden Pavilion'), officially named Rokuon-ji (鹿苑寺, lit. 'Deer Garden Temple'), is a Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan.

Saturday, May 18, 2024

De La Salle University: Full Scholarship for PhD Students with P35,000 Monthly Allowance

Posted On Saturday, May 18, 2024 by Food Blogger 0 comments

Good news peeps! 

De La Salle University (DLSU) is giving away a fantastic opportunity for doctorate students! They are offering a full scholarship program called the Saint Miguel Febres Cordero PhD Scholarship Program, which covers full tuition and miscellaneous fees. But that's not all! Scholars will also receive a monthly stipend of P35,000 for four years.

This prestigious scholarship is open to applicants admitted to any of DLSU's PhD programs, including both straight PhD programs and those following an MA-PhD track. The best part? Financial need is not a deciding factor! All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply, regardless of their background.

Here's why this scholarship is truly impactful:

Financial Freedom: Focus on your research and studies without worrying about tuition or living expenses. The P35,000 monthly stipend allows you to fully dedicate yourself to your academic pursuits.

Open to All: This scholarship program removes financial barriers, making a PhD education accessible to deserving students from all walks of life.

Prestigious Recognition

Being chosen as a Saint Miguel Febres Cordero scholar is a mark of academic excellence and will undoubtedly enhance your future career prospects.

Standing Out from the Crowd:

While admission to a DLSU PhD program is the primary requirement, an endorsement from a faculty member in your desired department can strengthen your application. Reach out to professors whose research aligns with your interests and demonstrate your passion and qualifications.

Beyond the Scholarship:

There's no mandatory service requirement after graduation, and you won't be penalized if your PhD studies extend beyond the typical four-year timeframe. The scholarship provides flexibility and support to ensure your academic success

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Visit the DLSU website for a complete list of PhD programs and to learn more about the application process. You can also reach out to the university directly at for further inquiries.

After all, pursuing a PhD degree with a scholarship program from De La Salle University could be the perfect stepping 
stone for you. Check the official DLSU website  to learn more about the application process and deadlines.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Kansai Pass or Bust: Conquering Kyoto and Osaka on a Budget

Posted On Friday, May 17, 2024 by Travelona 0 comments

Hey travel buddies!

We thoroughly enjoyed Japan's Kansai region, and we're here to spill the matcha on whether the Kansai Pass is worth it . Spoiler alert: it depends! But fear not, We'll break it down to help you decide.

No More Kansai Thru Pass...

First things first, the beloved Kansai Thru Pass is no more! As of May 2024, it's been replaced by the new Kansai Railway Pass. While it offers similar benefits – unlimited rides on trains and subways in the Kansai area – there are some key changes.

The New Kansai Railway Pass: Friend or Foe?

  • Price Hike: The new pass is a bit pricier than its predecessor. We're talking 5,600 yen for a 2-day pass and 7,000 yen for 3 days (ouch!).
  • Bus Blues: Sadly, unlike the Thru Pass, the Railway Pass doesn't cover buses anymore. This might be a dealbreaker if you planned on exploring further flung areas.
  • JR Trains MIA: Another thing to note is that the pass doesn't cover JR trains, which are a major player in the Kansai region.

So, is it worth it?

Here's our take:

  • For Budget Backpackers: If you're sticking mainly to Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara (all easily accessible by subways and private railways), and want to maximize your travel budget, the Kansai Railway Pass can still be a good option.
  • For Adventurous Explorers: If your itinerary includes places like Koyasan or Himeji Castle (which require JR trains or long-distance travel), the pass might not be the best fit. Consider buying individual tickets or a JR Pass depending on your specific needs.

June in Kansai: What to Expect

June is a great time to visit Kansai – the weather is warm but not sweltering, the rainy season hasn't quite hit yet, and the crowds are still manageable. Here are some highlights:

  • Hydrangea Heaven: June is hydrangea season in Japan, and the Kansai region boasts some stunning displays. Check out the Meigetsu-in Temple in Kamakura or the Hase-dera Temple in Nara.
  • Festival Fun: June also sees some lively festivals, like the Tenjin Matsuri in Osaka (a vibrant boat procession) and the Hozuki Festival in Kyoto (where people light paper lanterns).
  • Hiking Adventures: As the weather gets warmer, June is a good time for outdoor enthusiasts to explore the region's hiking trails, like those around Mount Takao or Mount Inari.

Our Kansai Pass Adventure

Since we focused on exploring Osaka and Kyoto, the Kansai Railway Pass worked well for us. We zipped around on the subways and private railways, hitting all the must-sees – Osaka Castle, Dotombori district, Kinkaku-ji temple, Arashiyama bamboo grove – without breaking the bank.

Final Thoughts

Whether you choose the Kansai Railway Pass or explore your options, the Kansai region has something for everyone. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and mouthwatering food, it's a destination that will leave you wanting more.

Have you used the Kansai Pass (or the new Railway Pass)? Share your experiences and tips in the comments below!

Happy Travels,

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Casio Watch Rings Are Back in Japan and My Inner Child is Screaming!

Posted On Thursday, May 16, 2024 by Food Blogger 0 comments

Hey everyone,

Remember those awesome Casio watches we all rocked back in the day? The ones with the catchy tunes and that somehow managed to survive numerous playground tumbles? Well, get ready for a major nostalgia trip because Casio's Standard Series is back, but this time in a much tinier form – watch rings!

Photo not mine CTTO 

Yes, you read it right. Those iconic digital, analog, and even calculator watches we loved are now a miniature replicas that double as rings! They've hit the capsule machines all across Japan, and let me tell you, my inner child is absolutely thrilled.

For those unfamiliar with the magic of Casio's Standard Series, these were the go-to watches of our youth. We had the classic F-91W with its digital display, the ever-so-useful calculator watch (hello, teenage math problems!), and the timeless analog designs like the MQ-24. These watches were about functionality, affordability, and a whole lot of retro charm.

Photo not mine CTTO 

Now, imagine these iconic designs shrunk down and transformed into rings! The second edition of Casio watch rings boasts six different models, including some new additions like the CA-53WF Databank watch (remember that one?). Each ring captures the essence of the original watch with incredible detail, considering their size. Plus, there's even a secret model waiting to be discovered – the thrill of the hunt is real!

Photos not mine CTTO

So, if you're ever in Japan and spot those familiar capsule machines, keep an eye out for the Casio watch rings. You might just score your favorite childhood watch in a whole new form!

Who knows, maybe I'll even do a follow-up post with pictures of my ring collection (fingers crossed for the secret model!). Until then, happy hunting, fellow Casio enthusiasts!

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Family, Food Finds, and Friendly Business Chat at IFEX 2024

Posted On Wednesday, May 15, 2024 by Food Blogger 0 comments

The last day of IFEX 2024 turned into a delightful family affair (with a dash of business thrown in)! After a big family event at the Marriott Hotel's Grand Ballroom, my brother Yummytales and I decided to squeeze in a visit to the World Trade Center. What a good decision that was!

IFEX, for those who haven't been, is a treasure trove of all things food and ingredients. It's a chance to discover new favorites and stock up on old ones. And guess what? We stumbled upon a small world moment right there at a booth!

We were waiting for our change after buying 6 Camalig pinangat (we missed this dish so much!). As fate would have it, my cousin-in-law (wife of my first cousin, whom we'd just seen at the Marriott) arrived with my nephew! Turns out, his wife is the seller at the booth!

They sell these unique, well-packaged pinangat for a very reasonable price. They even had a promo: buy 5, get 1 free! I ended up paying only Php 415 for 6 pieces. Bonus: these pinangat have a shelf life of a year if frozen! Needless to say, our 6-pack lasted a mere 3 days. Wish I'd bought more! Yum!!

Their recipe is fantastic. Not just because they're family (although that doesn't hurt!), but because it's truly delicious and super convenient. It can be steamed using a rice cooker or even microwaved (just add some water!).

Next stop? A booth from Aklan selling a variety of baked goodies for Php 499! And guess what? I even got my Php1 change back! ( Some vendors don't give change anymore) This delightful assortment included 1 pack of broas, 1 pack of garlic bread, 1 pack of egg cracklings, 1 pack of otap, 1 pack of biscocho, and small plastic of half barquillos filled with polvoron. They even have a distributor in Metro Manila – perfect for future cravings!

The day wasn't just about shopping, though. We were also treated to some delicious samples from a lovely couple from Tiaong, Quezon. They offered me a small VCO bottle and one sachet of coconut oil, and it seems they were giving them out to other customers who passed by their booth as well. What a generous couple! Thank you ma'am and sir!

Now, onto a different topic related to my business. While at IFEX, I had the opportunity to discuss a situation with Aice Philippines. They had a new reseller right across from our store, and I wanted to ensure fair competition considering our long-standing loyalty since their launch back in 2018. The conversation was friendly and informative, and hopefully, they'll consider the situation.

Finally, a quick shout-out to Ms. Luz Soriano. Unfortunately, it was closing time when we reached her booth, so we missed a chance to say hello. Here's hoping for an invitation to the next CITEM event, Ms. Soriano!

Overall, IFEX 2024 was a whirlwind of family, food finds, and a productive business discussion. It's definitely an event I wouldn't want to miss next year!

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

The Little Flower Retreat House in Baguio

Posted On Tuesday, May 14, 2024 by Food Blogger 0 comments

Baguio's magic lies in its ability to surprise you around every corner. This past trip, I found myself captivated by the Little Flower Retreat House – a stunning piece of architecture that whispered of a bygone era. The day started off peaceful, almost eerily so. On the way to Vanilla Cafe, we passed by an old retreat house. We find the gate open but the compound strangely quiet. We ventured inside, snapping photos of the beautiful facade bathed in the cool mountain air.

The silence was almost eerie, with the grand facade standing tall against the backdrop of towering pines. The lack of people added to the quietude, making the atmosphere feel almost mystical. We captured photos of the building's intricate details, its beauty undeniable.

A statue of St. Francis of Assisi stands tall at the corner. So we'd had some photos taken with the statue as well. His gentle gaze and outstretched hand offering a sense of calm amidst the quietude. In hindsight, the statue's presence might have even subconsciously influenced the atmosphere of our visit.

St. Francis, the patron saint of ecology and animals, is known for his message of peace and love for all creation. His presence at the retreat house feels deeply significant. Perhaps it serves as a silent reminder of serenity, a counterpoint to the initial unsettling feeling.

The Little Flower Retreat House continues to surprise me. It's a place of captivating architecture, a touch of mystery, and now, a connection to St. Francis of Assisi. This unexpected detail serves as a reminder to be present in the moment, to appreciate the hidden stories waiting to be discovered in the places we visit. So next time you're in Baguio, keep your eyes peeled for the Little Flower Retreat House, and who knows, you might just find yourself on a little adventure of your own.

Yearning for the Summer Capital's Chill

Posted On Tuesday, May 14, 2024 by Food Blogger 0 comments

NCR heat got you down? Me too. As someone currently residing here, all I can think about lately is the crisp, refreshing air of Baguio. Ugh, how I miss those cool mountain breezes!

Baguio always holds a special place in my heart. It's the perfect escape from the scorching Philippine sun. Just stepping off the bus and being greeted by that cool air instantly washes away the stress and sweat.

Don't even get me started on those cozy nights! Bundling up in a sweater, sipping hot chocolate with a view of the twinkling city lights - pure bliss. NCR just doesn't offer that kind of atmosphere. Here in NCR, it's just aircon all day long, which dries out your skin! 

I miss strolling through the strawberry fields of La Trinidad, the scent of those sweet berries filling the air. And who can forget the amazing selection of local crafts and Ukay at the night market in Baguio? Here in NCR, the ukay shopping options just fail in comparison.

Okay, maybe I'm romanticizing it a bit, but the truth is, Baguio offers a unique experience you just can't find down here in the lowlands. It's a place that rejuvenates the soul and makes you appreciate the beauty of cooler climates 💯 percent!

Anyone else out there dreaming of a Baguio escape? Please comment below and share your favorite memories of the Summer Capital! Maybe we can even plan a virtual trip down memory lane. In the meantime, I'll be here searching for the strongest fan and coldest drinks I can find.



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