March 30, 2012

TGIF Laughs

With the work week officially over ...
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March 26, 2012

Monday Inspiration

There are a number of keys to happiness ... here's one of them.

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March 25, 2012

Graduation Day

Today, we are the proud parents of a high school graduate. I find myself at a loss for words for my heart is filled with so much joy in this momentous event in our eldest daughter's life. Four years flew by so quickly, it seems. For now she is a young lady torn between staying with all that is familiar and yet eager to face this newest chapter in her life called college. 

Happy Graduation Day, Moochie ... and Congratulations! You remain as our pride and joy with who you are and what you hope to become. Mommy loves you so much!

March 23, 2012

TGIF Laughs

Literally, for my eldest who is all excited to get primed tonight for her high school graduation ball. It's going to be a whirlwind weekend for us, as we prepare for the graduation ceremony on Sunday. More importantly, this milestone is sure to bring out a number of precious moments and emotions for us.

How is your weekend going to be? Do share in the comments section below :)

March 22, 2012

Photo Op: Puerto del Sol (2008)

With my recent stay at Puerto del Sol, I felt a bit nostalgic and searched my files for the pictures I took in November 2008 when I first stayed in the resort. Even back then, I found the resort to be classy and chic. 

The pool looked so inviting and seemed to beckon us into hurrying with our official duties. 

If only I wasn't here on a business trip, I would have wasted no time and lounged on these by the poolside.

Late that afternoon, we had time to stroll down the coast. The tide had not come in and the water was just ankle deep. The breakwater was a few hundred meters off the shore but the roar of the waves could be heard even with the distance.

A few minutes passed and the horizon was ablaze with the sunset. Nature's way of ending the full day was simply awesome.

It took me three years and three months to go back to this serene place. Click here to read about my latest visit to Puerto del Sol. I vow to myself that the next time I set foot here would be on a leisurely break with my family.

March 19, 2012

Monday Inspiration

Still on the topic of gratitude - because there is much to be grateful for.

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Have a great week ahead, folks!

March 16, 2012

TGIF Laughs

Social networking much? 

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Have a happy weekend ahead everyone!

March 12, 2012

March 9, 2012

TGIF Laughs

There's something about cats and dogs which soothes the weary soul  Here's something which I hope puts a smile (at the very least) on your face on the last day of the work week.

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Have a great weekend, everyone!

March 7, 2012

March 5, 2012

Totally Not Despicable

Just to share (and document) that right this very moment, our home is bursting with laughter and rocking with the singing of my girls, ages 16, 12 and 8, while watching this cute trailer of Despicable Me 2. 

Gru, Margo, Edith, Agnes and the minions will be back in 2013.  This promises to be another fun-filled movie to be enjoyed by kids and kids-at-heart. 

Much Love Monday

This heart melted my own heart upon receiving it (on top of tight hugs and much kisses) from my littlest kid when I came home from my business trip last week

And this for me is nothing but love.

What are you loving? Shake away those Monday blues with 

Monday Inspiration

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Here's to a happy week ahead!

March 4, 2012

Our M/V Logos Hope Experience

The M/V Logos Hope, touted as the world's largest floating book fair, is currently docked in Pier 15 at the Manila South Harbor.

Yesterday's family bonding activity was centered on our love for books. We caught the book fair on its last few days of berth here in Manila. Our two youngest girls got in for free while the rest of us paid the requisite 20 bucks entrance fee. Once inside, we were ushered into a briefing area where we sat and viewed an informative short video about the MV Logos Hope's journey and mission of "bringing knowledge, help and hope."

Right across the briefing area, a display wall of photographs and timeline could be found.

Inside, the books were arranged by category. The books may be purchased and were tagged in "units." One unit is equivalent to one Peso.

Pardon me for the lack of photos on the ship's layout and the exhibit of books. There was quite a number of people, I had to take out my fan on one hand and my other hand had to hold onto my youngest daughter for fear of losing her in the crowd.  She was so giddy with the selection of children's books. We spent about an hour poring over the various titles. It was just too bad that the ship's airconditioning system was not enough  due to the sheer volume of people inside. Nevertheless, I was impressed at the number of people who were flocked to the ship. The crowd was a mixture of book enthusiasts and the curious.

Unfortunately too, the hubby, who is asthmatic and allergic to dust, sneezed about a dozen times and had watery eyes from the musty smell of the books. But that didn't stop us from filling our basket with our finds. He volunteered to fall in line at the cashier to distance himself from the dust.

After paying for our books, the girls sat down for a "magic show" by one of the ship's crew. 

Right before exiting the ship, we saw this wall of Post-Its filled with messages of hope ...

... and a world map which chronicled the MV Logos Hope's destinations.

It was well dark by the time we got out of the ship. While the older girls pestered their dad about dinner, the littlest one just had to ask: "Mom, are they coming back next year?" I need not ask if she had a good time.

The MV Logos Hope will be docked in Manila until the 13th of March. It will then proceed to Subic from March 15 to April 8, 2012. Entrance fee is PhP 20 but children aged 12 and below may enter for free, provided that they are accompanied by an adult. The ship is open to the public from Tuesdays to Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The fair is closed on Mondays. (source)

And oh, by the way, we went home with these:

Jumbo Tacos

Located along the National Road in Barrio Barretto in Olongapo, The Coffee Shop Restaurant is quite known as the home of Jumbo Tacos. Locals and foreign visitors alike flock to this place for a fill of this Mexican dish which was given a different twist to satisfy those with huge appetites.

Northbound, this is the sign to look out for so as not to miss the restaurant.

Inside, expect a no-frills set up of standard tables and monoblock chairs.

But the tacos, which is its prime attraction, did not disappoint.

 The huge taco salad topped with sour cream (hot sauce added). 

The famous Jumbo Taco.

Best of all, the prices were very reasonable.

In case you'd like to know, I was unable to finish my jumbo taco :)

Photo Op: Puerto del Sol Beach Resort

Nestled in the coastal town of Bolinao in Pangasinan, Puerto del Sol is a chic but homey resort/hotel boasting of AA Classification from the Department of Tourism. The resort offers an elegant ambiance as well as friendly and efficient service.

Last week, I was on my first business trip for 2012 and this resort was our first destination. The road trip took about five hours via STEX and the national highways of Tarlac and Pangasinan. We traversed the towns of Camiling, Mangatarem, Bugallon, Alaminos and Bani before finally getting to Bolinao. 

Upon our registration at the front desk, we were welcomed with a  necklace of tiny shells and given a glass of buko juice for refreshment. After almost half the day on the road, the drink was quite a welcome treat. We were then ushered to our room, passing through a walk covered with bougainvilleas in full bloom.

a canopy of bougainvilleas leading to the rooms

the Mansion Villas

lower level Mansion Villas

The rooms were simply furnished with the basic amenities covered. There were two double-sized beds, a mini-bar, provisions for instant coffee and/or tea, hot and cold shower, and WiFi internet inside the room.

our room

I didn't stay long inside the room though and chose to stroll on the grounds and observed a few fine additions to the resort compared to my first visit back in 2008. I noticed a game room, a dining set up by the pool area and some few cabanas were added. The souvenir shop found at the entrance of the restaurant had more stuff to offer.

trinkets, native crafts, home decor, shirts and dresses available

I parked myself at the La Playa, the resort's dining area by the beach, another new addition. After a few minutes, I was rewarded with a glorious view of the sunset.

With the fresh sea breeze blown in my face, all the stress associated with the city life melted away. Indeed, communing with nature soothes the tired and weary soul. 

Refreshed from a full 7-hour sleep, I woke up early the next day and savored the tranquil atmosphere. The resort staff were inconspicuous as they cleaned the pool and prepared the resort for another bright and sunny day.

the pool

I ventured out to the beach for a stroll along the coast...

beach entrance enjoy the breathtaking skyline.

view to the left ;)

view to the right ;)

During breakfast, I noticed these guests who were onto a great photo opportunity for their Facebook album perhaps ;)

kayaking in barely knee-deep waters

... make for a great picture nonetheless

Seeing that made me wish I was with my family vacationing here instead. Pretty soon, we will. 

For more information about the resort amenities, rates and other offerings, view Puerto del Sol's website.

Disclosure: The company I work for has a business relationship with the owners of the resort. We were given free accommodations for our overnight stay. However, this post was made without either party's knowledge.