Today, I receive all God’s love for me. Today, I open myself to the unbounded, limitless, overflowing abundance of God’s Universe. Today, I open myself to your Blessings, healing and miracles.Today, I open myself to God’s Word so that I become more like Jesus Everyday. Today, I proclaim that I’m God’s Beloved, I’m God’s Servant, I’m God’s powerful champion, And because I am blessed, I will bless the world, In Jesus Name, Amen.

Featured Post

RUPTURED BRAIN ANEURYSM: Living with a Broken Brain

RUPTURED BRAIN ANEURYSM: Living with a Broken Brain. A unique insight into the fragility of the extraordinary human brain. A true st...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Magandang GENSAN!

August 27, 2010 marked my very first visit to General Santos City in Southern Mindanao.
Inside the plane, I was nervous (yeah, Filipinos smile the nervousness away), apprehensive and jittery.

Well, I am Luzon-born, so people from Luzon could relate with me. I don't have a hotel reservation, no specific itinerary and to top it all, I don't know anyone from GENSAN! 

The tuna festival was moved to September 18-26. I was disgruntled, and I can't think of anything to do in GENSAN after I learned that the Tuna Festival was moved to another date. My PAL ticket is a promo ticket which I got several months ago for P1,240 Round Trip. Promo tickets come cheap but you could not re-book or transfer them. 

So, I googled about the white beach in GenSan and found GLAN, Gumasa in Saranggani Province, where my idol Manny Pacman Pacquiao is the newly elected congressman. 

I thought to myself, here I come, I will be swimming non-stop for 7 days and my resolve to travel on a shoe string would be a thing of the past. The thought of shelling out more than P 20,000 pesos for my hotel accommodation made me shiver. 

Armed with my backpack, life vest and snorkeling gear, I was all set for GENSAN, Wish me luck~!
Meet Tita Aliza, a native of Koronadal City also known as Marbel, South Cotabato. She was my seatmate in the plane. She is a Muslim. She's kind hearted and offered to share the taxi with me from the airport since taxis in GENSAN don't use meter (that reminds me of Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, where taxis don't use meter and you have to agree for the fare beforehand. I hope Mayor Darlene would do something about this).

The usual rate is P300 (airport to Gensan proper). Tita Aliza convinced me to go to Lake Sebu, instead of Glan, Gumasa in Saranggani. I readily agreed. So I changed my destination to LAKE SEBU! I was so excited and nervous at the same time! From the airplane's window, I saw Mt. Matutum for the very first time. Yehey!
Then our plane smoothly lands at the General Santos International airport and we walked from the plane to the arrival area of Gensan airport.

After we disembarked @ GENSAN INT'L AIRPORT, we waited for our checked-in bags at the carousel. This took so long because suddenly it rained after we disembarked from the PAL plane. So, while waiting, I posed for posterity in front of the poster of the tuna festival inside the airport (see picture below).

After eternity or so it seems, our checked-in baggage finally came. We went out of the airport and saw a huge number of people waiting outside. Different mode of transportation were available pala. There are jeepneys, taxis, free shuttles of different hotels and habal habal (single motorcycle). We rode a taxi, and off we went to TOYOTA GENSAN branch, where we were supposed to pick up Tita Aliza's vehicle, which she left a week before. Service in that particular branch is super slow, so Tita Aliza had to come back another day. So, we waited for a YELLOW BUS which, they said, was the usual mode of transport going to and from Marbel town, then a non-aircon van pulled over and tempted Tita Aliza with a lower fare. So we got in, but the van stopped and pulled over whenever the driver saw a prospective passenger. Tita Aliza decided we will disembark in POLOMOLOK, so we can transfer to a YELLOW BUS. The bus ride from Polomolok to Marbel was smooth and comfortable since the yellow bus has an aircon. Tita Aliza instructed me to ride another yellow bus from Marbel to SURALLAH town. We said our goodbyes and off I went to the terminal across from where I alighted.
I hurriedly crossed the Ped Xing ( Pedestrian Crossing, in case you are thinking it is a Chinese term, lols) towards the yellow bus terminal and looked for the SURALLAH signboard from the lines of buses @ the terminal. Inside the Bus I met Tita Sally, a retired teacher who will be visiting her mother in Surallah. With her is her 78 year old aunt. According to Tita Sally, her mother is 80 years old and will be turning 81. She even invited me to come to the birthday party the following day.
When we arrived in Surralah, they instructed me to look for a jeepney with a sign- Lake Sebu @ the terminal. Inside the jeepney bound for Lake Sebu, I met Tita Linda Weaver, she's from T'boli tribe, and she is very accommodating. She was the one who helped me find a lodge and toured me around. We even visited her house and that of her daughter Lyn lyn.

When she showed me where to eat, Tita Linda brought with her, her granddaughter Moonie, who is so cute and bubbly. We ate fresh tilapia at a restaurant with the very picturesque Lake Sebu as a backdrop. Total lunch bill is around P250.00, inclusive of 4 servings of rice, 2 bottles of pop cola, 1 kilo of Tilapia. It rained while we were eating our late lunch, so we stayed put for a while inside the resto where Tita Linda had a concert @ the videoke machine to while the time away. After the rain we went to check inn @ the lodge ( P60.00/ head)
This is the P 60.00/ night bed in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato

After checking in, we went out and toured Punta Isla. Transport cost to and from Punta Isla is P130.00 (P 10 pesos from her house to the resto, then P120 going to the inn and then to Punta Isla then back to her house where we fetched her friend whom she invited to join us in the inn for the night, and then back to the lodge.) If you are alone, I think you will spend around P30.00 for the habal habal ( I learned that habal habal fare is from P5 to P15 only.) 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010



I arrived in Manila @ 4:30 AM my brother fetch me from the terminal and we immediately proceeded back to our town house. I catch an hour of sleep and begun surfing the net for last minute travel tips for kota kinabalu since we did not book a hotel in kk I am a bit nervous. My brother went out to run an errand ( job related) and instructed me to just take a taxi and off he went.

Catching a cab from our place is a bit challenging, but I found one. a TAXI WITH PLATE # TXF810 WHICH YOU OUGHT TO AVOID LIKE A PLAGUE. The good for nothing taxi driver took 2 hrs to reached our destination when normally it is just 30 minutes and the normal P 80 pesos bill became P 238.00 I handed him P 240 I know KARMA would eat him out. I almost missed our ride to Clark because of him. He was actually offering to take me to CLARK for 3 thousand pesos and I said NO, I am not going there via taxi he said a lot of his passengers, who reached the terminal late agreed with his rate just so they'll be able to reach DMIA on time for their flights. Hmmm, I sense some delaying tactics here and there so he can convince you to hire his taxi. AVOID HIM AT ALL COST!

After my horrific taxi mishap, let me proceed to my wonderful Kota Kinabalu adventure, thank GOD! Our Air Asia flight went a breeze. We then met Hans from Germany he is our seatmate on the plane so we shared a taxi ( RMB 30) going to downtown Kota Kinabalu hotel ten minutes away from the airport.

We checked in @ Lai lai hotel and called up kuya Nelson for our tour around kk. His contact # +60 16 803 4277 geez Lai lai management charged me with a whooping RM  47, kaya kayo wag na kayo doon, mahal na super pa kung mag charge ng local call! E eto naman kasi si kuya Nelson ang sabi sa akin wala naman daw bayad yun kasi naka check inn naman kami sa hotel nila. Disappointed ako, sobra wrong info and wrong ang hotel dapat mag post sila sa kwarto para wag gamitin ang telepono nila!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Miss Philippines 2010 Venus Raj Top 5 Question And Answer

We are still proud of you Venus in a major major way! Other Q's were about internet, fashion, death penalty and airport security. Personal yung tanong ni William Baldwin. Mahirap talaga sagutin.

Miss Phils Venus Raj's journey from the rice fields of Camarines Sur to Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas is a feat in itself. She made us proud!:-) Venus 4th runner up Miss Universe 2010 ◕‿◕
Maria Venus Raj obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Communications Arts, major in Journalism, at Bicol University in Albay, with Latin honors (Cum Laude). She graduated through the scholarship that she received from Francis Papica Foundation. She works as an Information Assistant for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Region V. In addition to this, she also works as a part-time fashion model.

Monday, August 9, 2010

This is a letter of Ninoy Aquino to his son, Noynoy, 36 years ago...

This letter was released by the Aquino family on 09-09-09 when Noynoy proclaimed his candidacy to run as President of the Philippines .

Noynoy's decision to accept the call for him to run for President is his reply to his father, 36 years after Ninoy wrote to him from his prison cell.

August 25, 1973
Fort Bonifacio

Mr. Benigno S.. Aquino III

My dearest Son:

One of these days, when you have completed your studies I am sure you will have the opportunity to visit many countries. And in your travels you will witness a bullfight.

In Spanish bullfighting as you know, a man, the matador is pitted against an angry bull. The man goads the bull to extreme anger and madness. Then a moment comes when the bull, maddened, bleeding and covered with darts, feeling his last moment has come, stops rushing about and grimly turns his face on the man with the scarlet "muleta" and sword. The Spaniards call this "the moment of truth." This is the climax of the bullfight.

This afternoon, I have arrived at my own moment of truth. After a lengthy conference with my lawyers, Senators Jovito R. Salonga and Lorenzo M. Tanada I made a very crucial and vital decision that will surely affect all our lives: mommie's, your sisters', yours and all our loved ones as well as mine. I have decided not to participate in the proceedings of the Military Commission assigned to try the charges filed against me by the army prosecution staff. As you know, I've been charged with illegal possession of firearms, violation of RA 1700 otherwise known as the "Anti-Subversion Act" and murder.
You are still too young to grasp the full impact of my decision.

Briefly: by not participating in the proceedings, I will not be represented by counsel, the prosecution will present its witnesses without any cross examinations, I will not put up any defense, I will remain passive and quiet through the entire trial and I will merely await the verdict. Inasmuch as it will be a completely one-sided affair, I suppose it is reasonable to expect the maximum penalty will be given to me. I expect to be sentenced to imprisonment the rest of my natural life, or possibly be sent to stand before a firing squad. By adopting the course of action I decided upon this afternoon, I have literally decided to walk into the very jaws of death.

You may ask: why did you do it? Son, my decision is an act of conscience. It is an act of protest against the structures of injustice that have been imposed upon our hapless countrymen. Futile and puny, as it will surely appear to many, it is my last act of defiance against tyranny and dictatorship.

You are my only son. You carry my name and the name of my father. I have no material wealth to leave you. I never had time to make money while I was in the hire of our people. For this I am very sorry. I had hopes of building a little nest egg for you. I bought a ranch in Masbate in the hope that after ten or fifteen years, the coconut trees I planted there would be yielding enough to assure you a modest but comfortable existence.

Unfortunately, I had to sell all our properties as I fought battle after political battle as a beleaguered member of the opposition. And after the last battle, I had more obligations than assets.

The only valuable asset I can bequeath to you now is the name you carry. I have tried my best during my years of public service to keep that name untarnished and respected, unmarked by sorry compromises for expediency. I now pass it on to you, as good, I pray, as when my father, your grandfather passed it on to me.

I prepared a statement which I intend to read before the military commission on Monday at the opening of my trial. I hope the commission members will be understanding and kind enough to allow me to read my statement into the record. This may well be my first and only participation in the entire proceedings.

In this statement, I said: Some people suggested that I beg for mercy from the present powers that be. Son, this I cannot do in conscience. I would rather die on my feet with honor, than live on bended knees in shame.

Your great grandfather, Gen. Servilliano Aquino was twice condemned to death by both the Spaniards and the American colonizers. Fortunately, he survived both by a twist of fate.

Your grandfather, my father was also imprisoned by the Americans because he loved his people more than the Americans who colonized us. He was finally vindicated. Our ancestors have shared the pains, the sorrows and the anguish of Mother Filipinas when she was in bondage. It is a rare privilege for me to join the Motherland in the dark dungeon where she was led back by one of her own sons whom she lavished with love and glory.
I ended my statement thus: I have chosen to follow my conscience and accept the tyrant's revenge. It takes little effort to stop a tyrant. I have no doubt in the ultimate victory of right over wrong, of evil over good, in the awakening of the Filipino.

Forgive me for passing unto your young shoulders the great responsibility for our family. I trust you will love your mother and your sisters and lavish them with the care and protection I would have given them. I was barely fifteen years old when my father died. His death was my most traumatic experience. I loved and hero worshipped him so much; I wanted to join him in his grave when he passed away. But as in all sorrows, eventually they are washed away by the rains of time.

In the coming years, I hope you will study very hard so that you will have a solid foundation on which to build your future. I may no longer be around to give you my fatherly advice. I have asked many of your uncles to help you along should the need arise and I pray you will have the humility to drink from their fountain of experiences.

Look after your two younger sisters with understanding and affection. Viel and Krissy will need your umbrella of protection for a long time. Krissy is still very young and fate has been most unkind to both of us. Our parting came too soon. Please make up for me. Take care of her as I would have taken care of her with patience and warm affection. Finally, stand by your mother as she stood beside me through the buffeting winds of crisis and uncertainties firm and resolute and uncowed. I pray to God, you inherit her indomitable spirit and her rare brand of silent courage.

I had hopes of introducing you to my friends, showing you the world and guide you through the maze of survival. I am afraid; you will now have to go it alone without your guide.

The only advice I can give you: Live with honor and follow your conscience. There is no greater nation on earth than our Motherland. No greater people than our own. Serve them with all your heart, with all your might and with all your strength. Son, the ball is now in your hands.



Travel & Leisure - Top Blogs Philippines

Monday, July 12, 2010

World Cup 'Psychic Paul the Octopus' Predicts Spanish Win

Paul the octopus successfully predicted Spain win over Germany. The "psychic" octopus, who has become a sensation in Germany for correctly predicting the results of all the country's World Cup games so far this year, picked Spain to win the semi-final game. Paul, who lives in a Sea Life aquarium in western Germany, made his prediction by choosing a mussel from a jar with a Spanish flag rather than one with a German flag, the BBC reports. Germany supporters can take comfort in the fact that one of Paul's predictions during the 2008 Euro cup proved wrong.



Viva EspaƱa campeon del mundo!!

The two-year-old celebrity octopus, who has accurately picked the outcome of all six of Germany's World Cup matches so far, quickly tipped Spain to beat the Netherlands. It took him only three minutes to make up his mind.

"That was fast -- it looks like a clear-cut victory for Spain," said Tanja Munzig, spokeswoman for Sea Life in Oberhausen. She was surprised by his speed in picking Spain. For some matches it took Paul 70 minutes to decide.

The octopus, considered by some to be the most intelligent of all invertebrates, got the choice of picking food from two different transparent containers lowered into his tank -- one with a Dutch flag on it and one with Spain's flag.

Reaction in Spain was swift, with the country's biggest selling sports daily website running the headline: "The octopus Paul makes us champions."

The container Paul opens first is regarded as his pick. On Friday he wasted no time in diving for the container on the right side with the Spanish flag on it.

Two German television networks interrupted their programming for live coverage of the two-year-old celebrity octopus's picks. Networks in Spain, the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe also broadcast Paul's decision live.

Earlier on Friday, Germans heaved a sigh of relief when Paul tipped Germany to beat Uruguay in the World Cup match for third place. There were cheers in offices across Germany after crowds of viewers tuned in to watch Paul live.

Normally he only picks Germany matches. But for the final Sea Life made an exception.

The octopus in Oberhausen turned into a global celebrity for correctly picking the winners of all six of Germany's World Cup matches -- including their two defeats to Serbia and Spain.

On Friday Paul first settled on top of the Germany container but after a few minutes shifted to the Uruguay container. Then after about 15 minutes he went back to Germany container, quickly opened the lid and ate the morsel of food inside.

Not an ordinarily superstitious people, Germans have become believers in Paul's possible psychic powers. The country was shocked and distraught when he picked Spain to beat Germany after tipping German wins over Argentina, England, Ghana and Australia.

Paul's selections have become top news across Germany and around the world. Some commentators even wondered aloud whether his improbable winning streak might have begun to influence some of the more superstitious players.

But after Paul accurately picked Spain to beat Germany in the semi-final, some Germans called for a public roasting of the oracle octopus. Newspapers and websites were filled with suggestions on how to cook and eat him.

Officials at Sea Life in Oberhausen have installed extra security to protect their octopus.

"Paul is in safe hands with us," said Munzig.

Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero was quoted in Spanish media reports saying -- in jest -- he was concerned about Paul's safety.

"I am concerned for the octopus...I am thinking of sending him a protective team," Zapatero said.

Spain's Environment and Fisheries Minister Elena Espinosa also said: "On Monday I shall be at the European Council of Ministers and I shall be asking for a (fishing) ban on Paul the octopus so Germans do not eat him."


Thursday, July 8, 2010

New Season Sale! at Latitude

It's time to celebrate the end of summer and usher in a new season – a new era, new leadership, new hope and new treats for everyone in the Philippines.

Enjoy the new season offering of Traders Hotel Manila’s Latitude restaurant - a special patriotic price of only Php760 nett per person for buffet lunch. Enjoy a selection of delightful flavors and new dishes ranging from starters to steaks to desserts that the whole family or your friends and colleagues will love. Get a free round of drinks (chilled juices or iced tea) if you come in a group of six (6) persons or more!

This limited offer is valid from July 5 to 31 only. Book now for your New Season buffet lunch at Latitude. For reservations, call 523-7011 local 2402.

National Shrine of St. Therese of Lisseux ( St. Therese of the Child Jesus)

Today, I met an angel beside me on the plane, Tita Nina Manalo, a retired teacher from Rawis, Legazpi City, she's still very active & strong at the age of 77 years old! With no maintenance medicine besides Centrum Silver! I also met her daughter Arlene and good friend kuya Rudy who fetched us from the airport, they have a very good heart, they toured me to the National Shrine of St. Therese of Lisseux (or St. Therese of the Child Jesus). The shrine is huge.  It stands tall, all of 6,200 sq.m sitting by the Villamor Air Base, across NAIA 3. This was the cross-shaped edifice one sees across the new airport, when one’s plane makes a landing. It could be a landmark in future.

I was amazed. Envisioned to be the center of devotion to St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Asia, the Shrine is well-equipped with features and amenities that make a celebration of faith truly enriching. Consider this:
  • Center for St. Therese relics
  • Stained glass featuring highlights of St. Therese’s life (itself a museum)
  • Ecclesiastical museum
  • Adoration chapel
  • Family prayer room
  • Complete with video and audio capacities
  • Fully air conditioned
  • Sound-proof 
  • Seating capacity: 1,800 seats 
  • Souvenir shop and a cafe
Where can you find, at least in Asia, an ultramodern shrine, fully-air conditioned, 3 level, with 42″ plasma TV for the psalms and announcements? Only at National Shrine of St. Therese of Lisseux (or St. Therese of the Child Jesus).

The church area itself has a sitting capacity of 1,800 people. Gee, a bride who will walk down its aisle would need to walk 50 meters from the church door to the altar, to display the gown and all in her beaming radiance.

Atop the main entrance of the church (3rd level) is what is called the family, where mothers with young children could sit, separated by glass, without disturbing other church goers.

It is entirely sound proof, such that no matter how many airplanes or helicopters fly over the area, or perhaps, even a coup attack, the noise would not be heard inside the shrine.



Travel, Photographs and Lifestyle Copyright © 2010 LKart Theme is Designed by Lasantha