Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Leyte: Sabin Resort

Ormoc, Leyte! Famous for its sweet and fresh pineapples. We we're able to enjoy this scrumptious fruit here at Sabin Resort where they serve pineapples as desserts every meal yum!

Aside from foodies, I personally enjoy the place for many reasons... Upon entrance to the resort you'll be greeted by its spacious entrance hall in checkered, black and white tile flooring, hanged as central pieces are various sizes of lights adorned with a circular-formed capiz.


Inside you can find a long and panoramic view of their swimming pool embellished with a man-made bridge, central bar in the pool, surrounded by coconut trees and different plants.


Facing the Camotes Sea and the Ormoc Bay, you can go for walk in the park or just sit back and enjoy the horizon.


The cottages and hallways are decorated with colorful, hanging lampshade which gives glow to Sabin at night.


The hotel also have restaurant facing the sea so visitors will not only enjoy the savory food, fresh fruits but also the lush surroundings.



Sabin Resort Hotel
Barangay Bantigue, Ormoc City, Leyte 6541
  • 053-255-3801
  • 053-255-3802
  • 053-255-3803

Leyte: Rafael Farm

About 30 minutes drive from Tacloban, we plan to take our lunch at Rafael Farm - a garden, farm, park, restaurant roll into one. We were so fortunate to arrive early in the place and enjoy the lush garden, picturesque landscape, serene lake, wooden platform leading to a gazebo in the middle of the lake, shady treehouse, man-made falls, cozy restaurant and of course the food :) 


Growing vivid green grass, variety of plants and colorful flowers, this is indeed a sanctuary to just relax, breathe fresh air and delight our eyes with nature.





RAFAEL FARM RESTAURANT
Brgy. Pagsulhugon
Babatngon, Leyte
Philippines

For reservations and inquiries:
0063.53.325.0729 / 0063.918.669.9909 / 063.915.920.032
inquiry@rafaelfarm.com / reservation@rafaelfarm.com

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2011 Praise Report :)

First, I thank God for the opportunity to share my praise report with our network and dgroup Christmas party yesterday at CCF.

I can't thank God enough this year for all His blessings, favor and reminders to me.

I got three items to share:

1. I remember last year 3 in my immediate family including me got hospitalized. September, 2010 when I was admitted for a suspected dengue it turned out it was an acute bronchitis. November, my tatay got stroked. December 24, my 2 year-old nephew was also confined and we spent Christmas in the pediatric ward. But this year I praise God for a healthy and safe year for me and my family.

2. Late last year until early quarter of this year I have the desire to leave my company and find job abroad for several reasons:
* most of my batchmates are leaving and I don't like the feeling of being left-behind
* I felt I needed a new environment, new challenges and in the back of my mind I felt I deserve a better paying job

So I asked God for direction, it was early February when I finished reading the first four books in the New Testament(Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) so I was thinking of either continuing to Acts or starting with the Old Testament(Genesis). Anyways I read Acts, and God led me to:

Acts 1:4 -- ... "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about."

No way! God knew this was the last thing I wanted to hear from Him that time because I really wanted to go. In my fear of reading more scripture regarding 'staying' I immediately turn my bible to Genesis and tried to justified it by telling God, 'Lord I really wanted to read naman talaga either Genesis or Acts eh, I think I'll go with Genesis muna' :D So off I started reading the Old Testament where God gave me:

Genesis 12:1-2 -- The LORD had said to Abram, "Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you ..."

Bingo!!! This was just the perfect verse that I've been waiting for. At first I felt relief but deep in my heart I knew I don't have the peace. So again I asked God to speak to me one more time and promised Him not to run from it anymore. I continue reading Genesis then, where He led me to:

Genesis 26:3 -- Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you.

That moment I already knew what God want me to do and this time I didn't bargain with Him anymore.

I praise God on how He speaks to each one of us in a personal way and how He guides us on our decision-making. I am now on my 5th year in our company, I met new QA friends and I thank God for the opportunity to bless and encourage them in my own little way.

3. Finally I thank God for making me a part of His big work in B1G 7, an annual single's retreat hosted by CCF. It was my first time to facilitate in B1G so I had fears and apprehensions, and God knew if I can think of a reason not to facilitate I could have invented one. But God knew me too well and He knows perfectly how to encourage me. He continuously reassure me in His word through the book of Joshua:

Joshua 1:9 -- Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 10:8 -- The LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand..."

Joshua 10:25 -- Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous..."

These words gave me courage and peace knowing that I've got God on my back and I'm doing His will for me. True enough when we obey God He will never disappoint us. In B1G, I met four beautiful ladies who encouraged me and together we learned how a perfect God loved us despite our imperfections and how He sacrificed to pursue us to be His children.

I was reminded by His word,

Philippians 4:13 -- I can do all this through him who gives me strength. 

To God be all the glory!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Exchange Gift Idea: Gift Grabbing


I had the craziest exchanged-gift ever! with the craziest people I ever met and their craziest white elephant gift =D

Rules of the game:
1. Participants should bring a white elephant gift(please see white elephant gift definition on my link above) properly wrapped.
2. Participants form a circle while organizer collects all the gift and pile it in the center.
3. Organizer prepares sheets of papers with numbers depending on the total number of participants. Each of them picks a number to determine who goes first.
4. First wave: Whoever gets #1 has the first chance to pick a gift from the pile, opens it and shows it to all.
5. Second wave: #2 person has the option to either grab the gift from #1 person or pick a gift from the pile.
6. Third wave: #3 person has the option to either grab the gift from #1, #2 person or pick a gift from the pile.

Note:
* If a gift is grabbed from you, you'll have a chance to pick a new gift from the pile.
* Once a gift is grabbed twice, it reaches its "safety haven" and the second person who grabbed it becomes the final owner.

The last step goes on until all the participants have picked/grabbed a gift.


Exciting/Winning/Crazy gift items:
1. Julie's "pamana" shawl from her lola =D
2. Bernard's historic 1st notebook in Exist! almost 5 years up-to-date with signature pa. Classic! :))
3. Ayee's memorable umbrella still wet :D
4. RV's token wrapped in fancy but empty paper bag =D
5. Janice grabbing the iron box with Naruto toy inside =)

Have a great Christmas everyone! =D





Thursday, December 8, 2011

Leyte: MacArthur Landing Memorial Park


 

Located at Red Beach, Palo, Leyte, this monument was built to commemorate history where General Douglas MacArthur landed with the American Liberation Forces in October 20, 1944 to accomplish his promise to the Filipino people:

"People of the Philippines: I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God our forces stand again on Philippine soil — soil consecrated in the blood of our two peoples. We have come dedicated and committed to the task of destroying every vestige of enemy control over your daily lives, and of restoring upon a foundation of indestructible strength, the liberties of your people. "
-Douglas MacArthur



These bronze statues of the liberators stands more than twice my height ;))

Leyte: San Juanico Bridge

The longest bridge in the Philippines that connects Leyte (Tacloban City) and Samar (Sta. Rita) spanning across San Juanico strait over 2.16 kilometers (1.34 mi). Construction started in August 1969 and was completed in December 1972.


The bridge is shaped like the letters L S which stands for Leyte and Samar.


Also called the Bridge of Love because it was (allegedly) a gift of Ferdinand Marcos to Imelda Romualdez(originally from Leyte) and to the city of Tacloban.


Before I only got to see this huge infrastructure in my textbooks back in my elementary days. Now it's for real and it's amazing! =D

Leyte: Sto. Nino Shrine and Heritage Museum

Our 2nd stop in our Leyte tour - Romualdez Museum also known as Sto. Nino Shrine and Heritage Museum.

After settling our fees, we were requested to remove our footwear and use these colorful slippers in red, blue and green upon entrance to the shrine for the duration of the tour.



The ground floor consists of a chapel dedicated to Sto. Nino and 13 themed guest rooms, each room unique and exceptional as it exhibit different places in our country.


During the tour we were captivated by the splendor and luxury of the entire house from the grandiose ballroom, majestic living rooms, enormous dining areas, floorings, walls, furnitures, chandeliers, antiques, paintings, ceramics, dioramas and even the smallest ornament display.









Sto. Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum
Address: Real Street, Tacloban City, Leyte
Contact Details: (053) 321-9775

Schedule:
Monday - Sunday
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Entrance Fees:

Monday, December 5, 2011

Exchange Gift Idea: White Elephant and Mr. & Mrs. RIGHT story

Last year we(Exist - QA group) tried the White elephant exchanged gift idea combined with 'Mr. and Mrs. Right' story.

First let's define a white elephant gift. This is a possession unwanted by the owner but difficult to dispose of or something with sentimental value to the owner. (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/white+elephant)

Instructions:
1. Participants will form a circle holding their white elephant gift.
2. Someone will read the Mr. and Mrs. Right story found below. Every time the word RIGHT/LEFT is mentioned all participants will pass their gift to their RIGHT/LEFT.
3. At the end of the story, whatever gift participant holds will be his exchanged gift. :)

Enjoy! and advanced Merry Christmas everyone!


Mr. and Mrs. Right story

Christmas was almost here, and Mother RIGHT was finishing the Christmas baking.
Father RIGHT, Sue RIGHT, and Billy RIGHT returned from their last-minute Christmas errands.
"There's not much LEFT to be done," said Father RIGHT as he came into the kitchen.
"Did you leave the basket of food at church?" asked Mother RIGHT.
"I LEFT it RIGHT where you told me to," said Father RIGHT.
"I'm glad my shopping is done," said Billy RIGHT. "I don't have any money LEFT."
The hall telephone rang, and Susan RIGHT LEFT to answer it.
She rushed back and told the family "Aunt Tillie RIGHT LEFT a package for us RIGHT on Grandma RIGHT's porch.
I'll go over there RIGHT now and get it." she said as she LEFT in a rush.
Father RIGHT LEFT the kitchen and brought in the Christmas tree.
By the time Susan RIGHT returned, Mother RIGHT, Father RIGHT, and Billy RIGHT had begun trimming the tree.
The entire RIGHT family sang carols as they finished the decorating.
Then they LEFT all the presents arranged under the tree and went to bed, hoping they had selected the RIGHT gifts for their family.
Now I hope you have the RIGHT present for yourself, because that's all that's LEFT of our story.....
Except to wish you a Merry Christmas....Isn't that RIGHT?

Monday, November 14, 2011

B1G 7: Finding Rest in God

B1G picture
11.11.11
chateau.royale.batangas

721.participants
285.volunteers


I had one of my most defining weekend in my life. This 3-day, 2-night appointment with God made a life-time impact on me. I saw joyful faces with humble hearts serving God, was inspired with true-to-life testimonies from singles, savored praise and worship songs, was encouraged with inspirational talks from the pastors, witnessed people surrender their lives to God, found solitude with the Lord, met new friends, was reminded by the love and sacrifices of our Savior, experienced true rest and shared God's love only by His grace :D

I am overwhelmed with all the things God has taught me in this retreat and forever grateful for the opportunity to be part of His work. Being a facilitator for the first time brought about anxiety, insecurities and fear on my end. I knew myself well, I am not good at people, I like to do things on my own, I'm not comfortable sharing with strangers, so how can a timid person like me facilitate a group of ladies with different personalities. But God encouraged me in His word,


"Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous."
--Joshua 10:25

 Sharbs, AJ, me, Badette and Eigh =)
Now I understand how God enables us to do the work in spite of our weaknesses. I met four beautiful souls (Sharbs, AJ, Badette, Eigh) and together we learn how a perfect God loves us despite our imperfections; His sacrifices in pursuing us to be His children; how God could fill our hearts with overflowing love that compels us to love others just like He first loved us. I will always be thankful to have known these ladies whom God send my way to encourage me.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 
--Philippians 4:13

Indeed B1G (Be one with God) event has never failed to amaze me every year on how God intentionally works in transforming lives of His people.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

10 Best Fat-Burning Foods

A post for healthy-living :)

1. Low-Fat Dairy Products Calcium is a metabolic trigger. Skim milk and yogurt are rich in complex carbohydrates, which boost your metabolism by keeping insulin levels low after a meal. High insulin levels signal the body to hold onto fat. A study of dieters done at the University of Tennessee found that those who ate 1200 mg of calcium a day lost twice as much weight than those who avoided dairy.

2. Hot Peppers Capsaicin, the chemical in jalapenos, habaneros, and cayenne peppers gives them their bite. It speeds up heart rate and boosts metabolism. A study reported by AOL Health found that eating just one spicy meal a day boosts metabolism by up to 25%, and the calorie burn lasts for up to three hours after the meal.

3. Green Vegetables They’re a dieter’s salvation because they’re high in fiber and low in calories. In addition to their numerous health benefits, their slimming powers come from the fact that the more you eat at a meal the less room you’ll have to eat other foods that might not be so wonderful. Asparagus is especially good because it’s a natural diuretic that flushes out the system and minimizes water retention. Studies are also showing that it may play a role in fat breakdown.

4. Good Fats Olive oil and avocados are great sources of heart-healthy mono unsaturated fats. The oleic acid in olive oil stabilizes leptin (also called the satiety hormones). Avocados are also a great source of fiber.

5. Berries Blueberries contain more antioxidants than any other fruit. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and grapes are also good. Aside from their many other proven health boosting claims, a cup of fresh or frozen berries contains about 6 grams of filling fiber.

6. Nuts Almost all nuts qualify: almonds, walnuts, pistachios, etc. contain protein, fiber, and “healthy fat” that helps keep you feeling full. Snacking on 24 almonds will keep you feeling far more satisfied than snacking on the same number of rice cakes. Nut butters count, but buy ones that don’t have added sugar. Peanut butter is particularly good because it’s high in Niacin, which prevents bloat.


7. Tea (Hot Or Iced) In a Swiss study, tea drinkers burned 266 more calories per day than non-tea drinkers. Green tea is the best; it has a chemical called EGCG that causes the brain and nervous system to run faster, which burns more calories even while the body is at rest. Black and white teas are also good. Avoid heavily processed bottled and canned tea drinks and brew it yourself.

8. Coffee (Caffeinated) Caffeine speeds up your heart rate and helps burn more calories. Even though the caffeine in the Mocha Frappuccino counts, it’s full of sugar and fat. It’s best to get your caffeine with low fat milk and go easy on sweeteners. It’s been shown that taking caffeine before a workout helps you last longer and consume more oxygen during the workout. The more oxygen you use, the more calories you burn

9. Whole Grains These are a great source of complex carbohydrates and fiber. Look for “whole grain” or “whole wheat” products. If the label says “wheat,” there’s a good chance the processing has stripped of its fiber and nutrients.

10. Grapefruit It’s been praised as a diet aid for years. Grapefruit is high in pectin, which breaks down body fat. WARNING: Grapefruit can interfere with many medications, especially blood pressure meds. Check with your doctor, pharmacist, or the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide updates.

source: Thirdage.com

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ace Water Spa Escapade

We wanted to relax and maximize our 3-day long weekend due to the declaration of PNoy for November 7 as regular Philippine holiday to celebrate our Muslim brothers’ “Festival of Sacrifice,” also known as Eid’l Adha. So we've decided to do a spontaneous escapade :)

Me and my officemates met at SM Megamall and had our late lunch there until 2:00PM then off we go to Ace Water Spa @Rosario, Pasig with a collective goal - to pamper our mind and body...

We opt to visit Ace Water Spa, Pasig for one it's more accessible than the QC branch, second it's a newer facility which opened only last May, 2011.

Regular Fees:
Adult - 550
Kids(4 ft and below) - 250
* Maximum of 4 hours

We reached Ace at 2:45PM, settled payment at the lobby(P550), where we also got our locker keys and headed straight to their locker rooms. Here are some of their house rules:
1. Cameras are not allowed
2. Customer must wear fitted swimwear ( Board/beach shorts, undergarments are stricly prohibited )
3. Bring your own bath towel
4. Wear swim caps ( courtesy of Ace )

Ace Water spa utilizes "Ultrasonic Jet System" that massages specific areas of the body with its aquatic jets strategically located to relax and soothe tired and aching muscles. This treatment is best done in heated water.

Ready to plunge in water?! We were more than excited! :D Here are the list of services we find at Ace Water Spa:
  • Kid's Area: Kid's Pool with Slide, Floor Fountain, Bucket Splash and Lazy River
  • Soft Massages: Bubble Bed, Bubble Pool, Bubble Massage and Hydro-Acupuncture Bed
  • Moderate Massages: Rainfall Acupuncture, Eight Nozzle Shower, Hydro-Buoyancy Massage, Buttocks Massage, Jet Chair and Jet Chair with Foot Massage
  • Hard Massages: Head & Shoulder Massage, Waterfalls, Multi-point Massage, Chest Jet Massage, Waist Jet Massage, Upper Body Jet Massage and High Pressure Massage
  • Hot Herbal Pools: Mint Pool, Jasmine Pool and Lavender Pool
  • Cold Pool: This is the fastest way to cool down after using the hot herbal pools, steam or sauna.
  • Lapping Pool: 8 lanes, 25 meter indoor swimming pool is ideal for swimmers and soon-to-be swimmers to practice their "winning strokes.
  • Steam and Sauna
I personally loved their Hot Herbal Pools sooo relaxing ;) It has four options:
  1. Hot Pool – classic one, no scent ;)
  2. Mint Pool – has the temperature of 36 C.
  3. Jasmine Pool – will surely make you invigorated while relaxing your muscles. This pool is marked at 38 C.
  4. Lavender Pool – is the hottest pool with 40 C as its temperature, while the lavender scent keeps the skin soft and smooth.
We stayed @Ace for 3 hours and for our entire stay we we're not disappointed :D We felt sooo soft and clean, refreshed and rejuvenated :)

They also have Coffee Lounge which serves eat-all-you-can lunch/dinner with unlimited red iced tea which we didn't try because it's a bit pricey for P899.

To sum up we were all trilled with our first Ace Water Spa experience. Location-wise - check, facilities - check, cleanliness - check, service - check, price rates - check (unless you got deals in discounted price check check check :D)

Ace Water Spa
United St. cor. Brixton St. near Pioneer St., Pasig City
Contact No.: 330-7776
For more details visit their website http://www.acewaterspa.com.ph



Thursday, November 3, 2011

2012 Philippine Holidays

Have you been planning your 2012 get-aways? Last quarter of 2011 is the best time to start planning about it. First, check 2012 holidays, wait for seat-sales(optional but practical), book your flight and frantically wait for the travel date.

I'm looking forward to a bright 2012 with 6 holidays scheduled on a Monday and Fridays which gives us  6 long-weekend to schedule our trips :D

Enjoy your vacation!

Philippines - 2012

Jan 01, Sun - New Year's Day
Feb 25, Sat - People Power Day ( School Holiday )
Apr 05, Thu - Maundy Thursday ( 5-day long weekend! Apr 5-9 )
Apr 06, Fri - Good Friday
Apr 09, Mon - Day of Valor
May 01, Tue - Labor Day
Jun 12, Tue - Independence Day
Aug 19, Sun - Eid'l Fitr
Aug 21, Tue - Ninoy Aquino Day
Aug 27, Mon - National Heroes' Day ( 3-day long weekend! Aug 25-27 )
Oct 26, Fri - Eidul Adha  ( Possible 3-day long weekend! Oct 26-28 )
Nov 01, Thu - All Saints Day ( Possible 4-day long weekend! Nov 1-4 )
Nov 30, Fri - Bonifacio Day ( 3-day long weekend! Nov 30-Dec 2 )
Dec 25, Tue - Christmas Day
Dec 30, Sun - Rizal Day
Dec 31, Mon - New Year's Eve ( 3-day long weekend! Dec 29-31 )

For more travel date tips check Awesome Planet post.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Isip-Bata: Cellphone

Happened yesterday while talking to my 5-year old niece through the phone.

( Aizel sounds like doing something on her end )
Aizel: Asks 'Tita nahihilo ka?' ( You feel dizzy? )
Girlie: Hindi, bakit mo natanong ( No, why do you ask? )
Aizel: (Giggles) Kasi iniikot ko itong cellphone eh ( Because I'm rotating the phone )
Girlie: =| (toinks)

Well, expect the unexpected! That's how kids sees it =D

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Isip-Bata: Spelling

Me teaching my 4-yo niece to spell three-letter words in preparation for their Monday exam:

Girlie: Aizel, spell dog
Aizel: (trying to pronounce each sound)
duh duh - D,
do do - O,
dog dog - G
Girlie: Tama! Good job!
After sometime of giving words while my niece tries to spell them, my younger brother buts in
Gemson: Aizel, spell tv
Aizel: (pause.. looks at our television, pause again.. with uncertainty tried to spell the word) T - C - L
Girlie: (bursting into laughter) Ang galing mo beh? (looking at Aizel)
Aizel: (with innocent and curious face) tama tita?
Girlie: LOL

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Basic Mandarin - Lesson 3

Vocabulary:
Xiānshēng - mister
Cuòguò - miss
Wǒ - I
Ni - You
yě - also/too
Qù - to go
nǎlǐ - where
Xuéxiào - school

Phrases:
mister wang - Wang xiānshēng
miss lee - Lee cuòguò
i'm fine - Wǒ hěn hǎo
how about you - Ni nǎ
i'm fine too - Wǒ yě hěn hǎo
where are you going - Nǐ qù nǎlǐ
i'm going to the school - Wǒ qù xuéxiào

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Moving the impossible...

Image courtesy of google
There was once a skinny young man trying so hard to push an enormous rock for 30 days because God told him so.

He pushes hard but the rock did not moved a bit. Satan discourages him proving that the task is close to impossible and the effort is worthless.

After 30 days true enough the rock practically moved no where. But the young man improved his muscles, boost strength and earned good health.

Lesson:
It's not how we move things/circumstances/people, it's how we obey God, cause it will definitely nourish our souls =)