winter hiking

Growing up in a tropical country makes me extra curious about winter activities. My first-hand experience in snowboarding and skating got me pumped up to try winter hiking in Johnston Canyon (Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada).

Powered up with a hearty breakfast, we set out on our hike. We hadn’t made it ten feet out of the parking lot when we realized how slippery the trail was. Jellybean, my husband, had to help me navigate the path and kept me from slipping.

I was still on high spirits as we walk passed the sign, but my excitement was quickly overshadowed by my clumsiness and fear of heights. 😱 There were icy patches all over the trail  and the treacherous cliff made my knees weak.

To avoid the scary path, I decided to walk in the deep snow which was  “conveniently” located up the “hill” from the trail…  Lucky me, I made things worse because I had trouble going back to the trail when I reached a dead end.  Jellybean had to rescue me and get me back on track. 😅

With all the struggles that I went through on our way up, Jellybean, Mike and Shara encouraged and supported me even though I felt like I was being a nuisance.. 🙁 While I was looking like an idiot, Shara was gingerly walking on the slippery path like it was a fashion runway. 😲

Surprisingly, my fear disappeared on our way back and I managed to enjoy the walk… errr… slide. Learning how to traverse the icy path made a world of difference. 


The amazing view, the breathtaking winter water falls and the awesome company made the winter hiking a memorable experience.

See you again, Johnston Canyon!


I first met Charles five years ago when he was almost two years old. He’s such an adorable kid…  and I so so so love him dearly! 😀

Click the links below to read the related posts:
Mr. Anderson                                Where’s Charles?

Up to this day, Fritchie (Charles’ Mom) and I still shares a good laugh whenever we recall Charles’ funny antics. 🙂 Here are some new ones that are truly remarkable. Read on!

Charles got an award in school. Sensational Speller

 chaz-Christmas  charles-

Charles: Mommy, I can spell anything now! My level is grade 3 level… that’s what Ms. Whiteside said
Mommy: I know Charles, you did a really good job in school and we are so proud of you.

(as Charles enters the house…)

Charles: Daddy… Daddy! I got a trophy! I’m the best speller in our class, grade 3 level. I can spell anything now.
Daddy: Ohhhh really? Spell “anything”
Charles: E N I T H I N G

Mommy and Daddy looked at each other stifling a laugh and they both tried to sound out  the word “anything”.

Charles: I know! I know! A N Y T H I N G   I told you I know!

In bed… Daddy was snoring, Charles couldn’t sleep, and Mommy was pretending to be fast asleep.

 chaz  Charles

Charles: Daddy, Daddy… I’m bored… I can’t sleep… Can I have the remote please?
Daddy: Go to sleep
Charles: I can’t. I’m too bored. I wanna watch TV.
Daddy: Count the holes on the wall
Charles: What? There’s holes on the wall?
Daddy: Pretend there are holes on the wall and count it.

(Mommy was trying hard not to laugh because she’s supposed to be fast asleep.
After two minutes)

Charles: But Daddy I can’t see the holes. Can you please turn on the light?
Daddy: Charles go to sleep

(After few minutes….)

Charles: I can’t really sleep. I need the remote.

(Daddy ignored Charles)

Charles: Can I watch TV now Daddy? I will sleep if you give me the remote.

(Then, Daddy eventually gave him the remote)

After ten minutes of watching TV, Charles’ finally fell asleep.




Mommy: Can you write a card for Mlle. Dorman? We will go out tomorrow to buy her a present.
Charles: Ok Mommy. (then he proceeded to get his markers and paper)

(After 10 minutes, Charles went to the kitchen to show his work of art.)

Charles: Mommy I did it. I even did it in French and I made the letters in patterns like red and green.  (He also drew a Christmas tree)
Mommy: (wondering) Charles, how did you know the French words for Merry Christmas?
Charles: Mommy I searched it in Google. Everything is in Google you know, Mommy.


See??? Isn’t he adorable? 😀 See you again soon! 


“bullet holes”

One windy weekend before Christmas (2012), my three cousins (Vilmor, Raymund, and Freddie), teenage niece (Reichelle) and I (thecuriousme) went to Washington DC for a day trip. The search for a parking spot slowed to a snail’s pace because we were deeply overwhelmed by the grandeur of the White House. All of a sudden, a cop on a bicycle appeared out of nowhere, motioning us to pull over… we haven’t even noticed he was on our trail!

photo courtesy of

photo courtesy of

The police officer grilled Vilmor and Raymund regarding our visit to Washington DC. He cited that driving slowly around the White House in a van covered in bullet hole decals raises suspicion. The atmosphere inside the van did not help either; three guys wearing toques and leather jackets (which pretty much projected a “gangsta” image) were the only ones visible from where the cop was standing. Reichelle and I were partly hidden.

“bullet holes”

“the van”

Nonetheless, Vilmor explained that we were in Washington DC for a day trip and they were showing me around because it’s my first trip to the US. The cop relaxed a bit when he saw me and my niece, transitioning from a stern police officer into a friendly tourist guide. He suggested other tourist spots in the area and directed us to a few parking spots. Also before we took off,  the cop politely requested Vilmor to remove the bullet hole decals from his van.

bullet hole decals

We were shaken but that did not dampen our spirit to have a great time in Washington DC and get a glimpse of the White House from the outside.

Reichelle & TheCuriousMe


“I declare chocolate as the international dessert!”

“One currency for all nations!”

I must say, whoever designed the bullet hole decal, you’re the man!:D

Mr. Anderson

Fritchie (Charles Anderson’s Mom) and I were chatting about the good old days when she related some adorable episodes with Charles.

Mr. Anderson 🙂

Read on! (Lost? Click here to read related article, “Where’s Charles?”)


Charles: Mommy!!! Happy Birthday!!!!! Happy Birthday!!!!!
Mommy: (pretending to be surprised) Happy Valentine’s Day Charles! I love you.
Charles: I love you too Mommy! Mommy, Daddy got a surprise for you in the kitchen and it’s a flower! Don’t go to the kitchen ok? It’s a surprise!

Mommy: Oh really Charles? I want to see it!
(Note: Mommy already saw the dozen of red roses the night before Valentine’s Day when she came home late from work.)

Charles: No Mommy. It’s a surprise from Daddy. We made it last night
(Charles meant they put it in a vase).

Mommy: But I wanna see it. And since it’s for Mommy…

Charles then agreed and he accompanied his Mom to the kitchen.

Charles: See Mommy? Surprise!!!
Then he opened the card and spelled the words, “I love you Mommy”
(Note: Charles knows his alphabets and numbers now. He can’t read yet but he can spell. He will be 3 years old next month!)

Mommy: Oh! I love you Charles!
Charles:No. I love you more Mommy!

Fritchie & Charles

Awwwww! Such a charming little prince! Right on Charles! Make your Mommy proud! 😀

fire truck

Fritchie and her friend Edna (a.k.a. Ninang) were talking on the phone when Charles butt in.

Charles: Ninang, I wanna go there.
Ninang: Your Daddy borrowed your Mommy’s car. So, she can’t drop you off because she doesn’t have a car right now.
Charles: But Mommy can drive my fire truck Ninang.
(Note: Charles was referring to his toy)

Ha! He sure has a unique method of providing solutions. Way to go Charles!

Thanks Fritchie Anderson for sharing! 😀

songs & lyrics

I have this uncanny thing with titles and lyrics. It all gets mixed up in my head and the next thing you know, it becomes a “new” song. :p

Hence, requesting for a song is such an ordeal for me (or should I say to the DJ on board?).   Check out the crazy moments whenever I request a song via Wave radio with DJ Mitch on board:

radio booth: before show begins

TheCuriousMe: Please play “Burn”
DJ Mitch:            Ok.
(Then she plays “Burn” with the lyrics “I want you to burn, Burn for me baby..”)

TheCuriousMe:  No, that’s not right song.  The lyrics should have  “… watch me burn…”

(Note: I was referring to Rihanna/Eminem’s song, “Love the Way You Lie”)


TheCuriousMe:  I want to request a back to back song, Bad Romance and Rhumba.
DJ Mitch:               What do you mean Rhumba?
TheCuriousMe: The song with, “lalala rhumba, lalala rhumba”

Note: It turns out, the title is “I know you want me”. 
            At least I got the “Bad Romance” right. hahaha


TheCuriousMe:  Please play “Galileo”
DJ Mitch:                Galileo what???
TheCuriousMe:  I don’t really know the title but the lyrics has a Galileo in it.

(Note: The Galileo I was saying should be “Gotta let go” and the title of the song is Dynamite)


TheCuriousMe:  I want to request the song with “kiss” in the lyrics
DJ Mitch:                How the hell will I know that?
TheCuriousMe:  The song has humps and kiss. You know that song. It’s one of your favorites last year.

Note: That “humps & kiss” should be pumped up kicks. :p

There you have it! Now, who wants to challenge that creativity in jumbling up titles and lyrics? Are you up for it Justin M? 😉

P.S.  DJ Mitch, kindly play any Air Supply song. 😀

DJ Mitch: “tea?”


I had a great and restful sleep so I decided to do the following in one shot:

*** cook arrozcaldo


*** grill (broil) chicken


*** “cook” perogie


*** heating food in the microwave

It’s indeed a “cooking spree”!  When I opened the oven to check the chicken, after few minutes the alarm went off! It scared the hell out of me! At first, I thought it’s the oven that’s making that crazy sound, so I immediately turned it off.

“the accomplice”

However, the alarm did not stop. I was going nuts figuring out what’s happening. Good thing, Hyan (my housemate) woke up and helped me out by fanning the smoke away from the smoke alarm. He also opened the window for a moment, to let the “snow cold” air in. Miraculously, the sound stopped. Whew!

It turned out, the smoke alarm was triggered because I was cooking so many things at the same time! Considering that the windows and doors are closed and the heater is turned on (it’s Winter!), the room temperature just shoot up to the “hotness” level!


Lesson Learned:
Open the front door and the windows when cooking a lot of dishes all at once!

go kart!

We, the VendAstians went for a Go Kart race yesterday; I was included in the heat 27 and 31. As a newbie driver and first time Go Kart racer, I was incredibly nervous. Even so, I did my best to play it cool and enjoy the race.

my “gears”

When it was heat 27’s turn, I chose the number 10 kart. And my “agony” began due to the following impediments:

  • I cannot properly reach the break and gas pedal
  • The seat can no longer be adjusted
  •  Solution: Step on the side (edge) part of the break and gas pedal
getting ready… (photo courtesy of Allan Wolinski)

My left leg seem to be shorter at that time because I could hardly press the break pedal. As a result, it was a total nightmare for me during the heat 27.

  • It was a big challenge for me to work on a smooth turn especially the “S” section

  • I got pushed to the side while making a turn (I was stucked for few minutes)

  • Instead of going to the “finish area”, my kart “was out of control” and would like to continue the race.

As soon as the race started, I was already wondering when will it end. I was earnestly waiting for the checkered flag (signal for the last lap) to be waved.

Moving forward, in heat 31, I chose kart number 8 instead of kart number 10. I was amazed when I was able to sleekly reach the gas pedal and the break; well, it’s not the way it should be, but it was enough for me to control both pedals. This time, I was able to truly enjoy the race and  was even contemplating that the time should be extended!

go kart (photo courtesy of Allan Wolinski)

One more thing, I was able to park the go kart into the proper location when the race was finished. Yipey! All I can say is, mission accomplished! 😉


The July sunny weather prompted me to wear my “skort” (a.k.a. short pants inside a skirt) in going to the office. I consider it as one of my “prized” possession because I’ve had it for 13 years. It’s classic, chic and comfortable. A total gem eh?

skort – front

Anyway, I was so happy wearing it… until I felt that the zipper malfunctioned. Darn! For a split second, I was rattled and worried. Good thing I was inside the washroom when it happened, thus, I was able to come up with an unconventional solution. Whew!

skort – back

I switched the position of my “skort”, this time the zipper was placed in front. Then, I zipped my jacket and pulled it down to  temporarily keep my skort in place. I must have visited the washroom a number of times throughout the day to check the “condition” of my skort. My colleagues must have been wondering if I was suffering from stomach upset.

On the other hand, the strong summer breeze on my way home was a blessing in disguise. I would have looked like a fool wearing a thick jacket during a sunny day. Ha! Let there be wind!

A jacket surely comes handy in times of “crisis”.  Aja!


ogre & dwarf

Last Friday, ML, Scott and I were in our workplace’ tiny kitchen preparing our morning “wake-me-up” drinks. I was inching my way towards the teakettle when I blurted out to Scott, “I feel like a dwarf standing beside you.” Then Scott replied, “and I feel like an ogre.

ogre & dwarf

ML and I burst into laughter. The image of Shrek suddenly flashed into my mind. It’s certainly a good way to start the last day of the work week.

FYI. Scott is 6 feet 4 inches tall and I’m 5 feet tall. Ha! I can’t help laughing whenever I remember that scene.

seat belt!

I knocked off from work few minutes early for the required actual driving lesson. It’s a must to take the 6-hour in-class and 6-hour actual driving. I already finished the in-class and I was on my third hour for the actual driving lesson.

My driving instructor (DI) picked me up in the office and then he drove to  a quiet area. My nervousness during the first two hours shifted to eagerness.  Soon, when I was behind the wheel, I did the following necessary routine:

  • adjust the seat
  • adjust the three mirrors
  • took a deep breathe

With the DI on the passenger seat, I zoom away like a bird with the speed of a turtle.  The DI kept bugging me to speed up especially on the main road and the busy area. And when I speed up in the residential area, he asked me to slow down. Such an oxymoron!

For half an hour, I was driving like an excited little teeny weeny pumpkin. Then when I was about to do a left turn, I realized something. I slowed down and stopped on the side. The DI looked at me with a puzzled expression on his face. And the conversation went this way:

DI: Why did you stop? I did not tell you to stop.
Me: I forgot to put on my seatbelt.
DI: You were driving for 30 minutes without a seatbelt?
Me: Yes. (With an embarrased smile.)
DI: Good thing we did not run into an accident. I should have checked.
Me: Sorry.

At that time, I was more scared being caught red handed by the police. After letting out a nervous laugh, I put on my seatbelt and continued driving.

On my 5th hour, I forgot to put on my seat belt again. This time it was the DI who noticed it after I drove for 5-10 minutes. Darn! I need a car similar to my cousin; an alarm will set off if the driver or passengers don’t have their seat belts on. How I wish… Sigh… Maybe in the near future? Aja!

My avid readers were asking why I did not post an article yesterday. Sorry, I fell asleep before I can upload this article last night.  I was too exhausted driving and remembering all the rules of the road and traffic signs.

courtesy of

mistaken “nationality”?

After eating a mouthwatering lunch at Yip Hong, a famous Chinese Restaurant in this side of the world, we decided to go to Superstore to buy weekly food supplies. With my nephew in tow, I was grinning while pushing the cart when I saw a Chinese lady looking and smiling at me.

I thought she’s the same lady that I often had a chance encounter whenever I go to work but I was wrong. All of a sudden, she stopped near our cart and asked me something. The brief conversation went this way:

Lady:      Hi! Are you from Huangzhong?
Me:          Sorry?
(I had a clueless expression on my face… I did not quite catch what she said)

Lady:    Huangzhong, China.
(Smiling with a twinkle in her eyes)

Me:          No. Do I look like a Chinese?
(I was laughing while talking.)
Lady:      Yes.

I just smiled and then we went separate ways. I still have that smirk on my face when I turned to my nephew, James.

Me:        Do I look like a Chinese?
James: No. You look like a Canadian.
(Looking at me with an incredibly serious expression on his face)

That did it. I can’t stop laughing while pushing the cart. Merci Beaucoup James! You’re such a sweetheart.

One last note, it’s really strange because I got that all the time…wherever I go, whoever I meet. Ha! I’ve been asked if I’m a Dutch, French, Latin American, Indonesian, Malaysian, Singaporean, Thai, and Chinese.

I must be a human chameleon? What do you think? 🙂

Proud to be a Filipino 🙂


Arnel phoned to inform us (Juvy and I) that he needed to pick up first his “lady friend” before going to our hotel to fetch us. He further mentioned that his college friends will be joining us in our night out (a.k.a. gimik).

Gimik Venue: Metrowalk (Ortigas, Philippines)

Arnel, Reyn, Juvy (the “Singaporean”), NoliPogi, Deo, Cynthia, Rosvie, Elma and I met up in Metrowalk. It was  Reyn and Juvy who were the lovely guests in our gimik because majority of us graduated from Lorma Colleges so in a way, we all know each other either by name or by face.

Elma was late and was mumbling unintelligible excuse when she arrived. By that time, the early birds were already enjoying a “kilometric” babble and exchange of demure smiles.  Little did we know that Elma will become the “star” of the night.

She practically stole the limelight with a “thunderous lightning strike” (if there is such thing). L How? See for yourself. Below is the excerpt of the group’s powwow with the unconventional and spontaneous remarks of the “star”:

Elma: (Looking at Juvy) How do you find the Philippines?

Deo, NoliPogi, Arnel, Cynthia, Rosvie, Reyn, Juvy and I exchanged confused glances for few seconds and then we instantly realized that Elma assumed that Juvy is a Singaporean (I came from Singapore at that time and Elma concluded that I brought Juvy “the Singaporean” with me.)

Juvy just smiled sheepishly.  (Then she looked at me and we exchange knowing looks. )

Elma: (Speaking in Ilocano, a language used in Northern Luzon (Ilocos Region), Philippines) Apay haan na ammo ag English?
(Translation: She doesn’t know how to speak English?)

Cynthia: (Speaking with certainty) Juvy can speak English, she’s a bit shy. She’s the daughter of TheCuriousme’s boss.

Elma: (Turning to Juvy) I went to Singapore last year. It’s a very beautiful country. I saw the Merlion. You know the half fish, half lion.

Juvy: (Smiling) Philippines is also a beautiful country.

Elma: (Speaking in Ilocano) Hayna! Agparigatak nga ag English! Nose bleed**!
(Translation: Geez! It’s so difficult to speak in English!)

**Nosebleed is an expression in the Philippines. It’s normally blurted out when you’re talking to a foreigner or any English-speaking person and you’re running out or pretending to run out of English vocabulary.

Looking at Elma’s expression, we can’t help but let go of hearty laughters that we have been trying so hard to suppress.

Elma: There were so many Indians in Singapore. Give them “tawas”*** as a gift when you go home. They will absolutely love it.  (Speaking in Ilokano) Hayna! Pirmi met ngatan ti “banglo” da. (Looking at Juvy) Baka met maka awat Ilokano datoy.

(Translation: Geez! They really smell “good” (referring to Indians in general). Maybe she can understand Ilocano.) TheCuriousMe Note: No Pun Intended
***Tawas is a white powder used as deodorant.

Cynthia whispered something to Juvy. Shhhhhh… Apparently, Elma’s ex boyfriend was an Indian.

Juvy: (Taking the cue from Cynthia) That’s perfect! Can you accompany  me tomorrow? I’m going to buy an enormous amount and give to my boyfriend. He’s an Indian.

This elicited an ear piercing chuckle from the group.

Elma: (Looking alarmed) Oh! Don’t do that. Don’t tell that to your boyfriend. (Speaking in Ilokano) Hala! Kasatnu ngayen data. Baka agapa da.
(Translation: Oh no! What should I do. What if they will end up fighting?)

Juvy: But why? You said Indians love “tawas”?

Elma: (Looking so helpless and worried) No. Please don’t. Ignore what I’ve said earlier.


Oppzie! Let’s end it now. This is becoming a “novel” (as usual). :p

I have no idea how the conversation was diverted into different mirthful topics and the “tawas” issue soon became a thing of the past. One thing is certain though, the exchange of banter and Elma’s facetious rejoinder tickled our funny bones to the maximum level! She really made our night memorable. Ha!

Up to the moment when we bid goodbye, Elma was still in the dark on the real “identity” of Juvy. By now, Cynthia and Rosvie must have told her. I wonder what her reaction was? 😀

Way to go Elma! You’re such a great sport! Until next time… Remember, don’t be late. See yeah!

From Left: NoliPogi, Deo, Arnel, & Reyn

Clockwise: TheCuriousMe, Cynthia, Juvy, Reyn, Elma, & Rosvie


It was a busy day when a cute little 3-year old boy named Jack, dropped by in our workplace together with his Dad. Jack’s Dad is one of the executives in the company. While his Dad was having an informal chat with a visitor, Jack made sure that his presence is felt by joining the conversation every now and then.


I can’t help but hear his endless chatter because my area was like three steps away from his Dad’s. When they were preparing to go, Jack saw me.

The conversation went this way:
Jack: Dad, can I say hi to her?
Dad:  Of course Jack.
(With a wide smile on Jack’s face, he walked gleefully towards my direction.)

Jack: Hi!
(I stood up and went to introduce myself and shook his hand)

Me: Hi Jack! I’m TheCuriousMe. How are you today?
(Jack looked absolutely delighted to be treated like a grown up.)

Jack: Where is your little boy? (with a wide grin on his face)
(Whoa! That caught me off guard!)

Me: I don’t have a little boy Jack,  can I take you home instead?
(Jack shook his head and gave me a big smirk.:D)

Dad: That’s a personal question Jack. Sorry, my little boy is a bit shy.
Jack: I’m not shy!

And the day ended with resounding laughters. Bow. 😉


I was seated not far from the two ladies who were chatting happily (one lady was holding a bouquet of flowers and a card). As usual, I had an invisible bulwark set up around me as I prepare myself to take a “travel nap”.  My barricade was shattered when the lady holding the card animatedly asked her friend about something.  It’s loud enough for all of the passengers inside the bus to hear.

“travel nap”

The conversation went this way:
Lady 1:  Do I look like 59?
(TheCuriousMe Note: Lady 1 was holding the bouquet of flowers while reading the card… It’s obviously her birthday.)

Lady 2:  No.
Lady 1:  Oh! Thank you!
(TheCuriousMe: She’s absolutely delighted with her friend’s answer because she flashed a bright smile! Oh boy! )

In my little corner, I nearly blurted out, “No, you look like you’re 70″. Good thing I controlled my mouth, I don’t want to burst her bubble. I don’t even know them. Bad me. :p Though my “travel nap” was boorishly  severed, I was still grinning mischievously. Darn! I must be going berserk. Am I making any sense?  This must be the effect of not having a restful sleep.

Until then! Mwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwa!