Saturday, November 30, 2013

Constant As Northern Star

Who was that who said nothing is constant?

This month is something that I can tell about bummer when it comes to my side career here in this blog. While I wanted to post as much awesome reports of my recent whereabouts, things seemed outrageous for me. 

There are instances in life that are too annoying that writing a memory of such will only make myself more annoyed that I would prefer to keep them to me. What is more important to me now is that I am kicking once again.

I am still not discouraged. As a matter of fact, I am back with a renewed passion for my creative pursuits. Priorities change but nothing can put down best laid ones. People move but I am definitely here to stay for good - constant as the northern star.

Nothing is constant? Well, think again.

This shot is not mine. Credits to www.phys.org.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Weekend Bummer

I was in seventh heaven. I was supposed to write this post last weekend after a fruitful day until the epic suddenly failed and my nirvana went down the drain...

Last Saturaday, I set out for a dental appointment in GenSan. I went with my former land lady, who I haven't seen for a while. I promised her for a dental cleaning as I also had my dental makeover for the attrition in my two front teeth.

I also had a good chat with Dr. Rosalie Abanto who is very open and kind. Our conversations unexpectedly went from health and business to career and family. Maybe what made our instant friendship is the fact that we are both MSUans and she is even prouder of it.

Photo credit to www.skyscraper.com.
After over an hour at the clinic, I and my land lady decided to stroll around the new Veranza Mall, which is an annex of fashionable restaurants and boutiques. I love the wide brimming waterfalls and the bay ambiance effect one would experience while having an outdoor stroll on its sidewalk.

We entered Moon Cafe and ordered Pizza Jalapeno Diablo for merienda. Aside from the chorizo, tomatillo and quezo, one of its distinct toppings is a kind of pepper which is called jalapeno. I think that the more slices of green eggplants was just a substitute to the few jalapeno pepper in order to give the local diners just a smidgen of spice.


I spotted this at www.foodspotting.com.

I was telling my land lady that the peg of the place is something Mexican because of the colorful ruffled outfits of the waiters until I noticed their sign that simply said Moon Cafe: Mexican Inspired Restaurant. I took a second scan of their menu and found more Mexican sounding food.

And of course, a GenSan visit would not be complete without a plant shop. We dropped by the city garden and strolled there for a little while. After having second thoughts on price, we finally went back the stall and I bought two new beautiful spiky plants as a new addition to my cactus collection.

I got this image from www.ancientsandresorts.com.
  I went home a little late. As the bus was heading the terminal, we were entertained by the spectacle of fireworks exploding in bright colors amidst the black darkness.

I felt it all made my day perfect, so I went home with much eagerness to write about my adventure for that day in my blog as an proud kid would ecstatically narrate to his mother. But my excitement suddenly all fell flat...

I looked at my broadband modem with a sigh and consoled myself. Christmas is coming and I think our internet connection is on Christmas mode as its signal lights keep on fluctuating exactly like those flickering Christmas lights outside.


Friday, November 22, 2013

That Small Can Over The Counter

I did an early grocery shop this afternoon to avoid the holiday rush and budget constraint in the month to come. While I thought of these things for my family at home, I pondered for those of the unprivileged children when I saw this small can over the counter...

Photo credit: shelf3d.com.

It is the "Barya Mo, Buhay Ko" Coin Bank of the Bantay Bata 163, a charity program of the ABSCBN Foundation that does not only rescue abused children and support indisposed children, but also provide home and therapy for them. 

Aside from its noble cause of advocating the rights, welfare and protection of children, Bantay Bata has been visibly conducting medical support for those diseased children and legal assistance for those abused children for many years now.

Sometimes we feel hopeless in life, but other times we just have to look at these unprivileged children in the orphanages and streets, so that we would realize that we are still very lucky after all.

There is that small can over the counter. In small ways, we can show our brotherly love by dropping something for these abused and diseased children.I just did again. 

And how can we help more? For information, visit their website in this link here.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Loveless

In the bright wake of a daybreak
There is no hope for the loveless
For what is meant to be a remake
When the heart knows its mistake?

In the whimsical stanza of a verse
There is no sense for the loveless
For what is meant to be a reverse
When the heart is under a curse?

In the meaningful words of a friend
There is no lesson for the loveless
For what is meant to be a mend
When the heart can just pretend?

In the sweet melody of a music
There is no rhythm for the loveless
For what is meant to be romantic
When the heart hums monotonic?

In the glorious sunset by the bay
Only there is peace for the loveless
For at the conclusion of passing day 
Stops torment of the heart so lonely.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Blue Haven Resort and Durian Park

Okay, I know this blog is not all about travels and reviews, but it just happened that we have been hopping to various places recently. For this week, our school was slated for Computer Literacy Training held at Blue Haven Resort and Durian Park in Banga, South Cotabato. 

Aside from I the fact that I really had a great deal of experiences, I also took the opportunity to explore the place that could be worth the tag as a nature heaven. I would rate the place with four and a half stars as an awesome venue for seminars, retreats, weddings and other occasions. 

As a plant enthusiast, I particularly love the diversity of plants in the resort. It was just sad to say that their array of plant collection was for the eyes only. However, I still appreciate that place is very spacious for its gardens, ponds, aviary, cottages, halls, and rooms.

We have been camera crazy lately, so I will allow selected pictures below to speak vicariously of the fun we had today.















To contact Blue Haven Resort and Durian Park, call 083 239 1153 and 0920 7229736. Have a wonderful trip!


Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Review for Punta Isla

Looking for a great sojourn not far and wide? Don't miss Punta Isla in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato - the once dubbed Summer Capital of the South. I have been there thrice with the most recent trip last week and I really had a great time.

Five stars for the cool ambiance, which could probably be the most romantic, a hidden gem in the province. It is situated on top of a  hill, overlooking the serene lake, which in a sense, makes you feel as though you are the captain of a little world wandering past and just chilling out.


Four stars for the service. I understand that the purpose of the two lines during meal queue is to minimize waiting time but the staff did not inform. The buffet setting was one long table with two same menu through both ends, so we had to actually line in two at the center instead of the usual. Other than that, the inquiries and requests were all fine.

Three and a half stars for the food. Aside from the garlic beef and their famous chicharon tilapia, I cannot remember something great in their cuisine. Some may have not liked fresh vegetable salad but for a person watching the weighing scale, I actually liked it. Cleaned the plate, as they say.


Three and a half stars for the accommodation. The traditional motif of the rooms reflect how culturally substantial and naturally inspired the locality where the resort is. This resort is clearly unique but I would only suggest some minor physical make over to hide the undeniable age of the resort, especially the for rooms.

And three stars for the amenities. The highlight of the resort trip was boating. A trip to lake resort would not be complete without the half hour lake cruise. Our problem cropped though when we needed to take turns by fifteens because only one boat was available at the moment. There is also a floating restaurant by the lake, but the swimming pool in the knoll seems not for swimming at all.


As a whole, Punta Isla Lake Resort is a worthy nature haven to spend vacation or hold seminar. If you are around the province and planning for short travels, it is a the place to visit - great ambiance, friendly staff, fair accommodation, and amazing cruise. Bring a great company, and you're in a winning day!

Worth the fourth visit next time!


 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Lips of Napoles and Eye of Yolanda

NAPOLES and YOLANDA are two names that will forever be etched in the catacomb of our minds , if not in the pages of history books of this nation.

The official mugshot. Photo credit: en.wikipedia.org.
Janeth Lim Napoles, a businesswoman, became a national sensation after being pointed out as the mastermind of the alleged pork barrel brouhaha involving five other senators in a financial fiasco.

She faced the senate yesterday where she was stewed in juice of queries, cajoled to divulge the truth, and interrogated to drop bomb by naming the people believed to be behind the pork barrel scandal. 

But all the efforts of the senate fell flat as the matron played her game with all her nicely put denials against accusations, well crafted tendencies to forget details and invoking her right against self incrimination again. After all, it was her show.

It is a good move that we are slowly tracking this bandwagon of people with negative motives over the common good, so that this malpractice can be nipped in the bud before it becomes an unspoken norm in the world of politics.

But in the end, we only got more delusion than justice. I agree with the sentiments of the common people. A person like Napoles betraying her country by lying under oath and insulting its people in the process deserves to be thrown behind the bars forever. That would be fair for a gross transgression of justice to our nation.

And as frustrating as that senate proceeding, we are also disheartened by the super typhoon locally named as Yolanda whipping and devastating the provinces in central part of our country at the moment.

According to ask.com, a super typhoon is a classification given to a very strong storm that can be paralleled to five hurricanes by severity. It means that its wind can reach up to sixty five miles per hour.

I am personally desolated to witness the destruction made by Yolanda, washing away not only trees and homes but also lives of many innocent people. My heart goes out for all the victims of typhoon and my fervent prayer is for them to recover very soon.


There's a rainbow always after the storm. Photo credit: www.globalpost.com.

But sadder even is amidst this test of resiliency where our government units and good samaritans extend their hands to our depressed countrymen, there have been reports of lawlessness with people taking advantage by pillaging commercial establishments.

This case of Yolanda brings the bright and dark of the affected people as much as that case of Napoles shows the good and bad of this sad, sad country.


Friday, November 8, 2013

Ton of Guts + Dash of Talent = Concert

I have been ranting about how this semester break turned out to be a still busy week until this training held out of town came as a gleam of hope for me to escape from the rut of living before going back to the grinds. 

And while the Training on School Based Management held at the scenic Punta Isla Resort, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato still meant business, I took the opportunity as an act of saving myself from the verge of insanity. Lenka once said: Just enjoy the show. After all, nobody wants to be miserable, does one?

And speaking of show, your blogger must label this comeback post as shameless one after a period of another hiatus from this blog. Shameless singers, that is, I must warn you before making a return sweep to read the next lines of this piece.

I and Shiela were on our pajamas and just wanted to take a few pictures around the resort before going to bed. When we came back in the function hall, I felt envy to this small circle of female teachers singing their hearts out with the videoke flashed before the big screen on stage. I suggested to my chum that we stop a while and sing once before we leave.

Just as I was about to belt out the chorus, the group of female teachers decided that they retire to their quarters. Godofredo, a jolly fellow from the other district, came in and we were amused and inspired by his gutsy vocal prowess that we kept browsing the song book and enter codes in the videoke machine. After a couple of chats and rounds, he kissed good night.

Another bubbly fellow Laurice joined not a little over. Since she really didn't want to sing, she grabbed the other microphone and mocked singing on stage for a silly pictorial. I swear I have never seen anyone having fun on stage like her that her own ecstasy contaminated me and my friend.

We choreographed our moves and projected our images like real trio concert performers on a live show before a rolling camera. And the rest, as most stories always spin the yarn, was history... 




We felt like real concert performers in the eyes of our crazy audience - both real and imagined. Sometimes it takes a ton of stage guts and just a dash of vocal talent in order to be concert performers. Now, this is what we call shameless at its worst.