Look at that! Christmas time went by in the blink of an eye. It’s been years since we had our shoebox project through our wedding 2.0 in 2015.
In lieu of the usual congratulatory gift, we encouraged our guests to make a kid smile by bringing a decorated, unwrapped, regular-sized shoebox full of children items.
Much to our surprise, our humble request was met with an overwhelming response. Shoeboxes filled with numerous children’s items were pouring in during the wedding 2.0 event. Some people even gave cash which we used to purchase additional items like toys, school supplies, and personal hygiene products. Our guests were amazingly generous. Once again, our heartfelt gratitude to all of you!
The shoeboxes were intended for the kids in my Barangay (a.k.a. community) back home in the Philippines where we had enlisted my parents, siblings, nephews and sister-in-law to help coordinate and hand the gifts out. Logistics took longer than we estimated, and it became a Valentine’s gift instead of a Christmas gift. 😀
Since then, it has become an annual tradition for my husband and I to participate in the Operation Christmas Child (Samaritan’s Purse) shoebox project. We figured, instead of buying Christmas gifts for friends and extended families, we will focus on the Operation Christmas Child.
Ten (or more) countries are working together to give gifts to children in more than 100 countries… isn’t that amazing? The shoe box not only brings a smile to a kid’s face but also gives hope. Click this link for more details. (Disclaimer: This is a personal advocacy without profit involved.)
Oopsie! I unintentionally hibernated… again. 😉 I wrote my travel bag post around February 2016 and meant to tweak and post it before the beginning of March but it didn’t happen. Sigh… I know, I’m terrible. -_-
I campaigned for Duterte via Facebook. Yup! I’m one of his social media and prayer warriors… To be clear, I didn’t get paid for it. Yeah … yeah… I’m a die hard Duterte supporter (a.k.a. Dutertard)! Deal with it! :p
(I’m elated that in a short span of time, Duterte has already accomplished a much needed overhaul in the government… It’s a long way to go but I know he can deliver! Duterte surely deals with things like a BOSS!)
Went gallivanting around North and South Carolina together with the gigglers (a.k.a. Little Miss Wanderfuls). Why gigglers? Well…find out for yourselves…;)
I watched all 10 episodes of Season 6… I must say, it’s one of the best shows ever! Who are my top three favorite? Jon Snow, Arya Stark and Daenerys Targaryen. Oh! I also like Lyanna Mormont. She’s a badass! Need I say more? :p
I’m not a green thumb but my husband is! (Yes, I do have a husband. lol) I’ve been just messing around with the garden. Last year, I was in charge of planting and I might have been too generous with the carrot seeds . -_-
Planning to do a revamp and keep up with the times. My blog looks so 90’s. Ha! I’ve been researching for blog platforms…. It will take some time but I can make it happen. 😉
Sebastian Benedict is his full name. I’ve been checking his Facebook page almost every day! He’s so adorable! I also like SamSam, his little brother…. 🙂 It makes me smile whenever I see new posts about them. Keep spreading good vibes!
One day…. I’ll be able to post consistently…. One day. 😉 For now, I’ll continue sorting my photos and work on one blog post at a time. Gotta get this going! Aja!
… and I do hear you… I will do a blog post regarding the tidbits of my wedding 1.0 and wedding 2.0. 😀 You’ll be like.. “What? Two weddings?!?” Yes… two weddings. Details soon kiddos. 😉
Is basketball only for tall people?
Think again…. 😉
Filipinos love for basketball can be likened to Canadians innate love for hockey. Every street corner in the Philippines is an impromptu basketball court… and people play the game whether they are wearing flip flops (a.k.a. tsinelas), sneakers, leather shoes, or even barefoot!
You betcha! I remember when I was 15 – 19 years old, I used to be a basketball announcer whenever there was a tournament in our community; that was one of my tasks as part of the youth council.
One basketball player was always assigned to sit beside me to help me interpret the referee’s call and the names of the violations committed during the game. In other words, he needs to make sure that I don’t screw up! 🙂 All I had to do was announce what’s going on in the court, joke a little bit to liven up the game, and speak with conviction regarding the violations.
The tournament was something similar to the photos below:
It’s fun and at the same time scary… especially if the intensity of the match was too high! Whew! Even though the games were a frenzy, they never broke into riots.. there were no cars being set on fire like during the Vancouver Stanley Cup riot. :p We know how to keep it under control. 😉
Filipinos are playful and creative by nature, especially when it comes to coming up with children or shop names. Combination of several names with “h” thrown in between the letters or a parody of a controversial personality or issue, and even brand names is one of the favorite techniques.
This playful naming game applies to the specific Philippine ethnic groups too… each stereotyped with a name based on the common characteristics of the people who belong to that society.
Here’s few examples to illustrate:
Ilocanos are known for being stingy (a.k.a. kuripot).
There must be a grain of truth to it but I can confirm that not all are like that. My Kapampangan, Ilonggo, Pangasinense, and Cebuano friends are pretty good with their finances and do not shop all the time. Some of them are even thrifty! For my Ilocano friends, some like to splurge on branded clothing, handbags, and jewelry.
Let’s face it, not all people are the same. Whatever ethnic group or country you belong and whatever “name” you are known for… your own principle and belief still rules out! :p
For me, I’m a practical spender. The question that I ask myself when I need to purchase something is, “Is it a luxury or a necessity?”. If it’s a luxury, then no go. However, if it’s a necessity, no matter how expensive that is… it’s definitely a go.
By the way, I’m an Ilocano and proud to be one! 😀 Ta ta for now! 🙂
Ever heard of a landfill site (a.k.a. waste/ garbage dump) being reused and converted into a park? That’s Mount Trashmore Park in Virginia! Can you believe that? Hmmm…. I wonder if that can be adapted in the Philippines… Transforming Smokey Mountain into a park or some sort of tourist attraction… Knock knock PNoy… Watcha think? 😉
Moving on, let’s have a quick tour on some of the tourist spots in Virginia :
One Friday afternoon in 2013, with zero knowledge and background on skating, I excitedly joined the VendAsta troupe on the public ice skating rink downtown in Toon City.
I grabbed a chair in order for me to get movin’ which also helped me balance and not stumble while skating. The most challenging part for me was climbing a REALLY tiny hill to get up to the rink… I got stuck on that spot.
Nathan P had to help me tighten my skates so I could skate “better” and gave me a push to get me over the hill.
After my first lap, I decided I’d had enough skating for that day and opted to hang out and chat with my colleagues.
In any case. watching Michael Christian Martinez* and Kim Yuna** effortlessly glide, spin, jump and do other complicated techniques on the ice skating rink makes me wonder… how in the world did they do that?
* Michael Christian Martinez is the only figure skating athlete from South East Asia in the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 and the Philippines first Winter Olympics representative ever. Coming from a country without winter, he’s absolutely amazing! More support from the Philippine government please… Michael deserves it!
** Kim Yuna is the figure skating representative of South Korea. She took home the figure skating gold and silver medal in the Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010 and the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 respectively. I had goosebumps while watching her perform. Such passion and grace!
With the excitement building up at the campsite, the group also can’t wait to head out to the beach to hang out during the day and watch the fireworks at night.
At first, I was baffled because I can’t find the usual white sand and big waves that I was accustomed to. I guess, I have somewhat a different definition of the word “beach”. Don’t shoot me please? I grew up in a tropical country wherein it’s summer all year round and beaches with white sand and big waves are all over the place. Oh. Did I just define “paradise”?
As a typical Asian, I have this love and hate relationship with the sun. Yeah, I always find myself hiding from the harmful sun rays since time immemorial. At the beach, Nathan R’s shirt served as my improvised umbrella. TP thought I looked funny. I must say, so long as I have a “shade”, it doesn’t matter if I looked weird.
Anyway, TP lent me her fancy “semi-tent” (i think, it’s called a montage) when we went to the beach the second time around. It certainly made a world difference from the “umbrella-shirt”. Totally cool! Ha!
Before we went to Palliser Park Marina (the camping site), there’s been a big mystery on what supper will the Executives’ (a.k.a. Execs) prepare on the Saturday night of the company outing.
Two execs kept the whole employees guessing… The anticipation heightened when one of them mentioned that it can either be the perfect supper ever or a complete disaster. Ha!
Questions kept popping up especially when people saw one of the Execs digging a pit within the campsite. Eventually, someone let the cat out of the bag before the first camping night was over. So much for the secrecy. 😉
Apparently, the “special” supper is part of a tradition done in Hawaii and it is called luau. Therefore, the Execs decided to have the VendAsta version of luau for the first company camping.
Here’s the summary on how it was done… the VendAsta way:
Being real troopers, that did not dampen the Execs’ spirit. Plan B was thought of in a flash. And the VendAstians helped out to make it happen.
Output: Tasty deep fried whole chicken and grilled pork
(Err… I don’t eat pork so I just had my share of the delicious deep fried chicken which reminded me of the Philippines’ Langhap Sarap Jollibee endorsed by Sarah Geronimo and Gerald Anderson (a.k.a. AshRald) 🙂 )
On a side note, the Philippines has it’s own tradition of roasting pig. The roasted pig is famously called “lechon baboy” and it’s present in almost all occasions like family reunion. Click here to read family reunion article.
See Related AshRald articles: birth Sasa & Gege
I just want to let the whole world to know that I’m now an official AshRald member!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m on number 585. (Note: I understand I’ve been a member for more than a month now. No, this is not a delayed reaction… it’s a delayed upload! Arghhh!!!! My apologies my beloved AshRalds, it’s been really crazy for the past few weeks. )
My social media identity:
Twitter Handle: krungkrung4u
PEX Account: krungkrung4u *** Note: It’s my first time to be in a forum and I’m still working my way in the PinoyExchange (PEX) portal. Please bear with me. I’ll do my best to be active the soonest. 🙂
Alternate Email: email@example.com Facebook: email me if you want me to add you on my FaceBook. 🙂
It’s absolutely insane because I’m too old for this and I’m not really into this kind of things. I do read celebrity articles but I’m not an avid fan of anyone until Sasa and Gege (a.k.a. AshRald) became one and even sang “Back at One”. Ha! That sounded like a poem.
Allow me to get this off my chest:
I so love Sasa and Gege and the whole AshRald group!!!
Whoa! The extremely powerful energetic waves that are transmitted is so contagious even if we are all thousand miles apart. Let’s live up to the AshRald name! Be classy, chic, and open-minded. We all know that bashing is for barbarians, right? Let’s continue to spread love and “ultramagnetic AshRald” super duper mega over positive vibes.
Never Gonna Let You Go by Kate Joaquin
*** You’re an excellent writer. I understand sometimes it’s difficult to do self motivation. I also get lazy in updating my blog. LOL One thing that keeps me going are the readers. 🙂
*** I hope we can also be friends on twitter. 🙂
What Love Is by JecaMarieGeli
*** Did you know that I’m not fond of Enchong Dee but because of your story, I’m beginning to like him. Ha! You are indeed a powerful and “moving” writer.
*** I hope we can also be friends on twitter. 🙂
AshRald Fan Fiction by MakaAshRaldAko
*** waiting for update 🙂
AshRald FanFic: My Ideal Man by TheSuperBatgirl
*** waiting for update 🙂
Fallin’ (Short Story) AshRald Productions by KateJoaquin
*** I hope it becomes a “long” story. 🙂
I haven’t read the English stories… for some reason, I prefer reading the AshRald Tagalog WattPad stories. What’s wrong with me? Maybe the twitterpated (“kilig”) factor is more intense if it’s in Tagalog? Not to worry, when I get the hang of it, I’ll start reading the AshRald English WattPad stories.
Just thinking out loud… maybe we can set a schedule and have a worldwide AshRald Connection day eh? I prefer to call it AshRald Connection because in my point of view, we are not just supporters, we are family… connected because of AshRald. Does it make sense? 😉
How? 1. Set a time and day (in which both Sasa and Gege are free)
*** We may be on different time zones but we need to consider their busy schedule 😉
2. Lay out a program / games / Q&A wherein AshRald and AshRaldTOS can participate (which also includes the Popstar Power Couple)
3. Send an email blast to all AshRald and AshRaldTOS members regarding this momentous event and consolidate who can make it and those who can’t.
4. AshRald Philippines will gather in one place together with Sasa and Gege
AshRaldTOS will figure out how to meet up in one location per country. If it’s not possible we have to content ourselves in the comfort of our homes and make full use of the power of technology. 😀
5. AshRald Philippines and AshRald TOS will all gather via Skype or FaceTime whichever is more appropriate.
It would be great if a committee will be formed to organize this event. I know it’s a crazy idea but we’ll never know. Miracles do happen. 😀
Thoughts anyone? 🙂
P.S. My heartfelt thanks to the following: Nicole (@gabriella0225) – for helping me out in the AshRald application
Wendy (@wendelyndianne) – for mentioning my blogsite on twitter and most of all for continuously writing the ever inspiring “Slowly But Surely” fan fiction. You rock! 😉
AshRald President Ro (@RoroRoar22) – for starting up the AshRald community and for being so accommodating with newbies like me.
Kate (@imissshockends) – for being so kind enough and incredibly patient in answering my silly questions.
kalabaw moo (@kalabaw_moo) – for being so bubbly and friendly.
Abby(@AbbyDenniel) – for being my new twitter friend.
@AshRald and @AshRaldTOS for the warm welcome.
And to all AshRalds who followed me on twitter even if I hibernated for quite sometime… I will make sure that I follow you back. Let me know if I’ve unintentionally missed anyone. 😀
So… Am I a drunkard now? Nah… Just wanting to spice up my life. Ha! :p
The 7th birthday party of Zane Matthew (A’s son) turned into “oldies” soiree! As usual, I was oblivious about the details of the affair. Shhhhh… my attire was kinda out of place. Anyhow, I did manage to pull it off. Thanks to the Lia Sophia bling-bling. I must admit, it did give a “classy” impact on my chic rocker (a.k.a. rakista) babe look. Come on Chris W., I know you agree. 😉
The after party left a feeling of deja vu! (click here to read related article -> “paralyzer”). I think, I should change my name from “the curious me” to “the clueless me”? The after party was held in A’s residence. It was lightened up by her gorgeous “Pakistani” daughter, S. Whoa! S is so fond of Pakistan and sure has a talent in mimicking the Pakistani accent (no pun intended). She’s totally amazing!
In no time, the tequilla (+ bacardi) session started rolling! And what do you know, the topic was directed to my single status! It can’t be helped… they all have partners and I was the “lonesome” spinster in the group. Ha! All I can say is, most of the time, it pays to enjoy “singleblessedness” before converting to “couple trouble” status. (click here to read related article -> wedding)
Thank goodness! The hoopla about my single status got diverted when they all started doing the videoke. Filipinos love to sing and can definitely carry a tune more than anyone else in the whole Universe (Ignore me. It’s innate for me to be patriotic! ). And Ellen DeGeneres surely agreed! :p
I was cooped in my dungeon while quietly enjoying my Sunday when my cousin called and requested me to attend an affair on her behalf and accompany other relatives as well. I was hesitant at first because I was too lazy to go out and I was in the middle of proofreading my articles. In any case, she did manage to convince me.
After fulfilling my “duty” in the said event, I was eagerly preparing to go home and continue where I left off. However, I was “abducted” (in a good sense) and required to attend the impromptu after party in MG’s abode. The spur-of-the-moment fun and exciting shindig was abruptly cut off because most of us need to go to work early the following day. Before we all parted, a second round of “paralyzer” session was scheduled to be held on a long weekend.
Moving forward, we all met up in “SongBird & Dance Diva’s” chic mansion for the second round of “paralyzer” get together. The “gossip girl” within us seemed to be unleashed after several sips of the famous “paralyzer” drink. The discussion suddenly revolved around the celebrities in the Philippines.
(Note: If North Americans love hockey, football and soccer, majority of the Filipinos love basketball, boxing, beauty pageants and showbiz “news”. 😉 )
So as not to waste the night away talking about the Philippine entertainment industry, we all headed to Beily’s ultralounge for some “jiggy moves” . Ha! We had a blast mingling with the younger generation. Though, the youngsters sure become ferocious with too much alcohol in their system. It’s my first time to see people getting kicked out from a bar as well as a “bottle breaking contest” with matching shouting match. It was so exciting!
(Ignore me, I’m not a party animal, hence these were all new to me.:p )
With all the commotion, lost claim stub and lost coat… we all went home safely. Thank goodness! 🙂 And sorry to disappoint you, we were not drunk. :p
P.S. I’m not sure on how the name “paralyzer” was derived but the drink was a mixture of vodka, milk, and whatnot. It does taste a lot like Bailey’s.
It felt like a million years had passed since my last post. Ha! Did you miss me?
We had a long weekend last week but for some reason, I did not manage to write even a single article. I was able to rest, recharge, and unwind for a bit though.
Anyhow, last Sunday night, I was fiddling with my phone and checking some Filipino YouTube videos when I saw Sarah Geronimo and Gerald Anderson’s production number in ABS-CBN’s variety show, ASAP. Their “electrifying chemistry” was so evident that I felt some goosebumps while watching them. Sarah and Gerald (a.k.a. Sasa & Gege) are both famous celebrities in the Philippines (and all over the world where there is a Filipino channel).
So, why am I blabbering about them? Honestly, I’m not an avid fan. However, after spending 3 hours of my Sunday night and 12 hours of my Monday searching YouTube videos about them, I was completely hooked! It’s crazy! I can’t stop giggling and smiling while watching their interviews, production numbers, the “Sasa & Gege” web show, and most especially the series of enchanting videos on the Sasa & Gege “love” story made by the Ashrald (group of avid Sasa & Gege fans). I was totally impressed!
I’m fully aware that I’m too old for this twitterpated (a.k.a. “kilig”) moments but what the heck. I can’t help it! :p Watching Sasa and Gege is a perfect stress reliever! What I find it endearing is that, they emit sparks and positive energy without being sensual. It’s similar to NOT wearing revealing clothes yet you still exude x-factor and undeniable appeal. You know what I mean.;)
Sasa and Gege is such a refreshing pair. I like Sasa because she’s the epitome of a true blue Filipina. She deserves to be happy and free. My fondness for Gege started when he made Sasa smile again.
Truly, Sasa & Gege is a birth of a new smile… new hope… and new love(?). 🙂
The December 2010 family reunion of our clan (father side) was extra special because it’s the first time that we hang out with our cousin Kuya Jimson. He returned to the Philippines from Korea after 20 years. Ha!
The reunion was “planned” out of the blue.
I just came back from Singapore when my brother kept asking me if there’s a family reunion. When I got tired of him bugging me, I contacted Kuya Jimson and asked if he wants to organize the reunion and at the same time request the rest of the clan to chip in.
Kuya Jimson readily agreed. The preparation was not smooth sailing because there were mishaps and misunderstandings which is very normal in every family. The reunion took place in Auntie Remy’s house exactly during Christmas day. The food and drinks were absolutely overflowing!
After eating, we were all bored and sleepy. Somebody mentioned about games… however, we don’t have prizes. Our cousins and other relatives eagerly reached out from their pockets and handed me some fat bills when I went around to “solicit” for prizes. Thank you so much for your generosity!
With Ronnalee and Jillian’s help, we decided to have longest line, Pepsi drinking contest, water refilling contest, trip to Jerusalem, direction dance, and of course, our version of Eat Bulaga’s Pinoy Henyo (click here to check how Pinoy Henyo works). Thanks to Alvin for taking the pictures. Below are the captured crazy moments:
So far, it was one of the happiest reunion that we’ve ever had! It was soooo spontaneous!!!!!!! #It’smorefuninthePhilippines indeed!
When I went to Ontario, my “little sister” Fritchie, included apple picking in the itinerary. I was thrilled because I haven’t seen an apple tree yet. Ha! I don’t know how it came about, but apple or apple trees seem to be a big thing on the other side of the world (Philippines) where I grew up. :p
On the day of the apple picking, Bob (Fritchie’s husband) drove us to find a particular apple farm. While Bob was giving me a crash course about Canada, Fritchie noticed that we were driving in circles and can’t seem to find that elusive apple farm.
It’s kinda funny because we ended up going to a pumpkin farm. -_- To maximize our time, we decided to go to Badlands as well. Moreover, we also had fun driving up and down the hill (a “roller coaster” ride!) in which it surely made Charles giggly. Hahaha!
Bob searched for another good apple farm near the area where he grew up. The next “apple picking” itinerary got pushed back several times. Nonetheless, we were able to do it on my last day in Ontario. It’s weird because Charles decided to get cranky during that day. He was weeping while we were walking in the apple farm. It was so loud that we can even hear the echo! Maybe he can sense that it was my last day in Ontario? Or he was just pulling our leg? Hmmm…
Anyway, he did stop crying when he got tired. And we all enjoyed picking (and eating) apples! I thought apple trees are tall like pine trees. Good thing it’s not, or else, I won’t be able to reach any apples at all. It does resemble the guava tree that I used to climb when I was a teenybopper back in the Philippines.Ha!