Sunday, July 31, 2011


Then said the Lord unto me, Thou hast well seen:  for I will hasten my word to perform it.

~ Jeremiah 1:12


Matthew's Gospel confirms Jeremiah's prophecy.  "And they that passed by reviled Him, wagging their heads."  Even today some care not that Jesus, the son of God was hanging on the cross for them.  Indifferent sinners will perish.  Be wise!  Do not take a casual approach to your eternal destiny.  Accept the Lord Jesus as your Saviour today.  He died for you! 

~ E. MacLelland


Never more shall God, Jehovah,
Smite the shepherd with the sword;
Ne'er again shall cruel sinners,
Set at naught our glorious Lord.

~ Robert C. Chapman


For more inspirational/devotional readings, please click:  SOLEMN SUNDAY

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Oh boy, what happiness a pound off could bring ! :D

May 2011

June 27, 2011

July 27, 2011

I must be doing something right.  I just have to keep on and stay focused and disciplined.  I'm getting there :)


For stories regarding my weight concerns, please click the links below:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I mentioned in my previous post that I wanted to somehow put a "routine" into my blog, so here is my first entry for Tuesday Travel.  Self-explanatory; this category is dedicated for my past and current travels.  I welcome you to join me as I explore the world.


Vince and I went to New York this past Saturday.  Our friend, Donn, came along with us, and the three of us drove from Lebanon, Pennsylvania to Flushing, New York.  We had a quick stop at Jersey City, New Jersey to pick up another friend, Nats.  Our itinerary for the day included Ground Zero, Empire State, and Central Park.  If it's worthwhile mentioning, I should say that the weather was scorching hot at the time - 103°F.  We were advised by our New Yorker friends that we drive instead of commute as it can get really hot in the train/subway, so we drove from Flushing to downtown New York.

First attraction was the Empire State Building.  As usual, the streets in New York are crazy busy with people walking everywhere, vehicles making their own lanes, and cabs all over the place - just pure madness!  Even the GPS couldn't keep up with the streets in New York; it was totally confused seemingly to have lost its sense of direction.  Good thing, being 102-story high, there is no way you would miss the Empire State Building, so we didn't really have a hard time finding our way.  Next challenge is to find a parking spot.  Along the streets, there were line-ups of scratched, dented, fender-bendered vehicles.  We circled the area a couple of times in hopes to find a street parking spot, but it was simply hopeless, so we decided to just go for garage parking.  Ironically, the first garage parking we went turned out to be manned by a rude parking attendant.  The unfriendly comments from this guy plus the heat wave went to my head, and so i lost my temper.  We ended up leaving his garage and moving to the next one - a much cozier and safer spot - valet parking (about $15 for half-an-hour).  There were lots of tourists queuing to go up the observatory deck of the Empire State Building.  We didn't really bother going up.  We just took some pictures and then we left. 

We then walked to Madison Square Garden a.k.a. The World's Most Famous Arena, which is about two blocks away from the Empire State Building.  There was nothing really much to see from outside MSG.  We didn't stay long in this area as well.  Again, after a few pictures, we left.  When we got back to the parking garage, we found out we exceeded the half-hour limit for 3 minutes, and so we have to pay another half-hour for a total of $30+.

We were all relieved to have survived our first stop and to be going to our next stop - Ground Zero.  The GPS was still confused, and sad to say, we didn't find our way this time.  We sort of reached the area, however, there was a police barricade, that needed us to detour, and we thought it was just not worth it to go into circles, locate the exact address, find a parking spot, and basically repeat the experience we went through about half-an-hour ago.  It was also way past lunch time and we were all getting hungry, so we agreed to just forget about Ground Zero and move on to our next destination, Central Park.

Before strolling in the Central Park, we went for lunch at The Shops at Columbus Circle - a posh mall in the middle of Manhattan.  We found a good parking spot - safe, friendly attendants, valet parking - albeit expensive (monthly parking rate is between $600+ to $1000+ depending on the make/model of vehicle).

Lunch was very good and filling.  It was a "marche" style restaurant.  Surprisingly, our bill was only a few dollars short $100.  Even the cashier was surprised as she was expecting our bill would come up around $200 (considering there was five of us), which made me wonder afterwards if she did punch in the items correctly.  Too bad, Vince lost our receipt, so I didn't have the chance to verify it.  With the high cost of living in New York, I couldn't help but wonder every time I would come across something cheap.

Then, off we went to Central Park.  It was soooo melting hot that you'd find people either half-naked or barely clothed at all !  Funny is, there was this group of ladies and gents doing a photo shoot in the park, and you're not going to believe what they were wearing.  They were dressed up in Victorian era costumes, and I could just imagine how sweaty wet their undies were.  Hehe !  We burned a lot of calories walking around Central Park in that heat and finally when we had enough of dust and sweat, we decided to call it a day.  We said our goodbyes-see-you-again to each other as we parted ways - Donn, Vince and I headed to Flushing, and Nats and Aids to Jersey City.

Whenever I visit New York, the Torontonian in me couldn't help but compare it to Toronto.  New York and Toronto are the same with respect to the diversity of culture both cities offer.  The high cost of living is also comparable.  Toronto is relatively cleaner compared to New York.  I find that there is a lot more order in the streets of Toronto as compared to New York.  You can go to CN Tower through a nice, cool, shaded skywalk, or even if you walk on the streets, you can actually do it leisurely, without as much as hustle and bustle New York streets have.  You can sit around The Rogers Centre and Air Canada Centre and do some photography in a relaxed mood.  You can lazily lay on the grass of The Centre Island and get lost in your own world if you wish.

Anyway, if there is one place I discovered in my recent New York trip that I think won against Toronto, it's the Picnic Garden BBQ.

Picnic Garden Korean BBQ - Flushing, NY
I have yet to see a Korean BBQ Grill restaurant in Toronto that offers as much meat and side dish selection as Picnic Garden BBQ has, as well as the very prompt servers in this place.  New York won this one hands down :)


Thank you for taking time to read my first Tuesday Travel post.  Please come visit again next Tuesday for another escapade.  Destination?  The City of Fountains ;)

Monday, July 25, 2011


Vince and I visited our friend (and his wife) in New York who celebrated his birthday this past Saturday.  We had dinner at his place and there were about seven other guests who joined the party.  He and his friends in New York had a unique way of serving the birthday cake, wherein after the celebrant did the first slice, each guest took turns in slicing, however, in order according to one's birthday.  So the person whose birthday follows the celebrant's gets to slice next and so on for the rest of the guests.  That was the first time I've encountered such "practice" and it struck me as interesting, fun, "intimate" in the sense that it promotes bonding among friends, and also a good "ice breaker."

me with the birthday boy !
it's Vince's turn to slice !

Another first time experience for me was to eat a yellow watermelon.  It tastes the same as the red ones, only sweeter and juicier.  *Watermelon is my all-time favorite fruit!*

How sweet ! :D

More details of my New York trip will be posted tomorrow as I launch Tuesday Travel in my blog !  Thanks for dropping by :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I wanted to organize my blog and put a bit of "routine" into it, so I thought of starting a "Solemn Sunday" category, wherein I get to share Bible passages and Christian-related writings, and reflect on them too. 


But God raised Him from the dead. 

~ Acts 13:30


By an act of God, our Saviour arose from the dead, and lives eternally.  He is the only spiritual leader in human history who was once dead and now lives.  Many bore witness of His resurrection.  He will never die.  Every human being - past, present, future - has an inescapable appointment with the living Christ.  For many, that appointment is a happy prospect.  For all others, it bodes an awful doom.  Prepare now to meet the risen Saviour.

~ Doug Kazen


♪♫ He lives; He lives:  Christ Jesus lives today.
He walks with me; He talks with me, along life's narrow way.
He lives; He lives; salvation to impart.
You ask me how I know he lives; He lives within my heart ♪♫

~ A. Ackley


Dear Lord,

Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins.  Thank You for rising from the grave and fulfilling Your plan of salvation.   Through Your blood I have been redeemed.  Thank You very much for giving me the privilege to be Your child, and for the assurance that You live within my heart.

In Jesus' name, Amen.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Mii on Wii

My new toy has been pretty much keeping me entertained since, and I just wanted to post an update on what I have achieved so far in Mario Kart.  I haven't really gone very far in terms of winning cups and races or unlocking characters, ghost, bikes and karts, but I am actually making good progress :D

Meet my Mii, Seksi
Tip #1:  Earn a trophy in every cup for any one class. After the credits, you'll be greeted by a victory photo of your Mii hanging out track-side with Mario and Peach which you can then save to your Wii's Message Board and send to your friends.

Cheep Cheep !!!
Tip #2:  Earn at least a 1 star rank in all 50cc Retro cups to unlock the Cheep Charger.

Baby Daisy does not talk as much as Baby Peach
Tip #3:  Earn at least a 1 star rank in all 50cc Wii Grand Prix cups to unlock Baby Daisy.

Yay !!!
Tip #4:  Earn trophies in all cups to play Grand Prix.

Earn trophies in the Mushroom and Flower Cups to unlock the Star Cup.
Earn trophies in the Shell and Banana Cups to unlock the Leaf Cup.
Earn a trophy in Leaf Cup to unlock the Lightning Cup.
Earn a trophy in Star Cup to unlock the Special Cup.
Win all 150cc cups to unlock the Mirror Class.

Zip Zip !!!
Tip #5:  Win the 100cc Lightning Cup to unlock Zip Zip.

Mini roarrrerrr !!!
Tip #6:  Attain at least a 1 star rank in all 100cc Retro Grand Prix cups to unlock Bowser Jr.

This is Mii :)
Tip #7:  Win the 100cc Special Cup to unlock Mii Outfit A.

Other characters, karts and bikes that I have already unlocked but unfortunately didn't take pictures of include:

King Boo - Win the 50cc Star Cup
Diddy Kong - Win the 50cc Lightning Cup
Dry Bones - Win the 100cc Leaf Cup
Piranha Prowler - Win the 50cc Special Cup
Turbo Blooper - Win the 50cc Leaf Cup
Tiny Titan - Beat 50 opponents during Wi-Fi play or unlock one expert staff ghost
Magic Kruiser - Play Time Trial on eight courses

Here are my sources.  Check them out for a more detailed guide and walkthrough as well as videos and tricks:

Life is good !


My share for:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I was searching my email for some work-related stuff when I happened to see an old forwarded email from a friend in Toronto:



Gutom ako, gutom kayo, gutom tayong lahat, HUNGARY !

Ola viola kaserola, tinola saranggola arinola ni lola, VENEZUELA!

Boom ! Kaboom ! Kablam ! AFGHANISTAN !

Malay mo, malay nya, malay nating lahat, MALAYSIA !

Baha doon, baha dito, baha sa buong mundo, BAHAMAS !

Hindi sa'kin, hindi sa'yo, kanino sya?  KENYA !

One way, two way, there's no other way, NORWAY !

May sibuyas at  bawang, ano na lang ang kulang?  CHILE !

Not duck, not chicken.  Definitely, TURKEY !

Hindi tuldok, hindi kudlit, walang iba kundi, KUWAIT !

Para kay nanay, para kay tatay, para walang away, PARAGUAY !

Binulgar mo, binulgar nya, magkabulgaran na, BULGARIA !

Tama man kami o mali, tama rin palagi, CZECH REPUBLIC !

Kami, laging mali, MALI !

Ana Roces, Romnick Sarmienta, Shyr Valdez, LAOS !

Gaano man kalinaw mata mo, hindi mo mahahanap ang bansa ko, TUVALU !

Roooaaaaarrrrrrrrrrr ! MADAGASCAR !

Holdap 'to, lahat kayo, hostage ko, SOMALIA !

Pagkabilang kong tatlo, sasabog na ako, IRAQ !


Just for laughs, guys.  Peace out :D

Friday, July 15, 2011


I listen and type for a living (i.e., medical transcription) and in my job, there are two common sickness I usually suffer from:

1.  Ever had a day when it seems you can hardly hear dictations correctly?  Or on a Q/A level, did it seem like in every transcript you proofread, there are lots of "misheard" both medical and non-medical terms wise?  If so, then you were (or some typist was) definitely having a BAD EAR DAY.  Perfect example came up just now fresh from the oven.  A report I'm currently proofreading says pubic "synthesis" when it should be pubic "symphysis."  Hey there, Ms. Transcriptionist, should I introduce you to Mr. Q-tips or Mr. Google? Your pick.

2.  FRIDAY FINGERS - This term I conjured myself.  Don't get tricked by the name as this syndrome can happen at any day.  I am just a fan of alliteration and the happy thoughts that Friday brings particularly for regular employees like me, hence, the name.  Anyway, this syndrome I made up myself is about those days when my fingers would get "confused" and just keep on hitting the wrong letters in the keyboard.  I wanted to say it feels as if "they have a mind of their own" but then I really couldn't say that, because to begin with, my fingers do have a mind of their own.  That last part there might have freaked your Friday out, but hold on, I have a valid explanation for that.

Fun fact:  I am a Dvorak typist.

Let's say, you quiz me, give me a "blank" keyboard, and ask me to supply the blanks with letters of the Dvorak layout; and I can totally see myself go "blank" on that.  However, if you let me put my fingers on the home keys, they will surely find their way to the correct letters and type away 75 words per minute if you wish.

The modern Dvorak Simplified Keyboard (US layout)

Another fun fact:  I had formal typing lessons in school when I was 11, and needless to say, my very young eager mind absorbed and retained all the QWERTY-ness that a manual typewriter offered.  (For younger generations who don't know what a typewriter is or have not seen one, please consult Mr. Google - or ask your parents.)

Let's say, you quiz me, give me a "blank" keyboard, and ask me to supply the blanks with letters of the QWERTY layout; and I can see myself being able to complete that task.  However, there is no way I will be able to type using a QWERTY layout.

One last fun fact for today:  Although I type with a Dvorak layout, I use a QWERTY hardware.

Logitech Wave - my favorite keyboard

So, that's what I meant when I said that my fingers have a mind of their own.
I know I probably lost you at Dvorak, which happened at least 98% of the time whenever I tried to explain to someone about my "weird" keyboard layout.  If only people way, way back then when computers were still unimaginable, had been more embracing of change and accepted the Dvorak layout as much as they did with QWERTY, more people nowadays would be aware of this alternative. 

Let me share you this clip I found in YouTube, explaining briefly the principle behind Dvorak and some of the disputed claims versus QWERTY. 

The Dvorak layout and the benefits it claims have come under much scrutiny through history.  Although a major test in 1956 conducted by the U.S. General Service Administration found Dvorak no more efficient than QWERTY, personally, having learned and used both layouts, I wouldn't think twice to choose Dvorak over QWERTY.

Anyweiz, today's Friday, so I'm intentionally putting my Friday Fingers on and ciao-ing for now (sometimes I wish I can call in sick and say I'm having a bad ear day or Friday fingers, dang!)

Happy Friday !

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


In line with the DREAM WEDDING GOWN CONTEST launched by the House of Fashions, Ms. Brenda Cruz recently made a big announcement regarding additional contest prizes.  Instead of one winner, the contest now extends its prizes, for a total of three winners!

Here is the breakdown of the prizes (*conditions apply):

1st PRIZE:

Dream wedding gown for the bride
Groom's wear
Maid of honor's dress
Best man's wear
Pre-nuptial photo shoot with Elgene Bautista Photography
Limousine service on the wedding day
Wedding cake

2nd PRIZE:

Dream wedding gown for the bride
Groom's wear
Maid of honor's dress
Best man's wear
Pre-nuptial photo shoot with Elgene Bautista Photography

3rd PRIZE:

Dream wedding gown for the bride
Groom's wear
Pre-nuptial photo shoot with Elgene Bautista Photography

*Please note that the above prizes are restricted only for participants whose wedding location is in the Philippines.  For outside Philippines, the winner's prize is limited to the bride's dream wedding gown.  Votes should reach 1k plus for winners to get above prizes.*

For more contest details, please click the links below:




Monday, July 11, 2011


WARNING:  Picture overload :D

When you are living in a four-season country (where winter, no matter what, seems to be always longer than all the other seasons), you ought to know how to make the most out of the warm season - SUMMER, and that's exactly what Vince and I have been doing.  After our camping (mis) adventures and other escapades last long weekend, we decided to go for another outdoor fun, so we went whitewater rafting yesterday!

It was last year when Vince and I first tried whitewater rafting.  We went to Lehigh River Gorge in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains, one of the most popular rafting sites in the country.  Along with four other friends, we enjoyed the experience of paddling through small waves and a couple of rapids, hitting huge rocks, falling off the water, and swimming in the river, as well as the splashing and waterfighting we did against kids and other rafters on the trip.

Lehigh River - July 2010

Our team this year was composed of seven people; the four of us (Vince, me, Chris and Joff) being second-timers at Lehigh; Donn and Maria as newbies; and Lillybeth, although first time to join us in Lehigh, is not quite a newby as she had previously gone rafting in Costa Rica.

Power breakfast before rafting !

This year, since it's already the second time for most of us, we opted to level up a bit and chose to raft on a "dam release day."

Ready to get wet !!!

There was a lot more water, stronger current, and bigger rapids along the 9.5-mile course.  Our paddling skills have actually improved as compared to last year, in that this year, we were able to perform more tricks with our raft like "pirouette" - rotating it (on purpose) while riding rapids, evading huge rocks, being able to get our raft out smoothly when sandwiched between rocks, parking our raft uneventfully, and directing our raft to where we wanted it to go.  

Chillaxing after a series of rapids

We got stuck on rocks only a couple of times (as opposed to last year, when most of the time, we were stuck on rocks and shallow parts of the river).  The quick fix to unstuck a raft from a huge rock is for the rafters to move away from the rock and "bounce, yeah baby, bounce" until the raft bounces off the rock and allowing water flow between.

Synchronized paddling captured on cam.  Good job, guys!

We switched sides a lot of times during the trip as paddling on just one side could get really exhausting.  We also took turns on being team captain - responsible for giving directions on paddling and for the steering and veering of the raft.  For the most part, Vince played the team captain - and wow, what a smooth sailing we did during those times.  Kudos to my man ! ♥

Not even the rapid ahead of us prevented us from saying cheese.  Hehe!

One thing we also learned from our experience last year is to pack a lunch!  We didn't know then that you couldn't get food nearby the river.  Only one person brought lunch so the rest of us shared on his lunch.  Poor us.  Hehe!  So this year, we made sure to bring enough food for all of us.
Pulling over at the Lunch Rock :)

Thanks to Donn for bringing a "mini-fridge" full of goodies.

Mini rapids on the background.  Cool !

Unlike last year where we had our chance to jump on the water whenever it's safe to swim, this time we weren't able to do that, most likely due to higher water and stronger current owing to dam release.  However during lunch time, some of the other rafters literally rode on the rapids, and Vince and I couldn't resist testing the waters ;)

♪♫ Proud (Vince and Karen) kept on rolling.  Rolling, rolling, rolling in the river ♪♫

The current was indeed strong that I had a hard time standing still when I stepped on the water.  It was a bit scary too because the rocks were slippery and once you sit on the water, God knows how far the current would roll you down.  Haha !  You'd know when to start swimming back to the river bank by the yelling rafters and tour guides standing on the bank and cheering on you to "keep swimming" when you've reached a certain point.  Since I am no salmon and was never trained to swim against the tide, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't swim towards the bank.  Eventually, one of the tour guides in kayak (seen partly in picture above) came to the rescue.  Vince and I grabbed the end of his kayak and he brought us back to the lunch rock.  There was this one tour guide who was holding a rope, on watch, and looking very much ready to rescue anybody who'd go merrily down the stream - which in that case, was me.  Hehe!

Later that day, we encountered a few more rapids - some small and others big - and we had good splashings too - some from other rafters but mostly from Joff and Donn !

Joff showing Donn some bucket love :D
The awesome "right-side" paddlers :D

Overall when compared to last year's trip, this year provided us a better experience - more thrilling and more fun - and since there were not much kids on the trip, there was lesser splashing and waterfighting, which we didn't mind at all ;)

After a whole day of being out in the sun, all of us came home one shade darker.

We hope to do it again and maybe a Grade 5 or 6 whitewater next year ;)

Vince and I hosted an after-rafting dinner at home.  We invited some other friends who didn't go rafting with us to join the dinner.  Below are some snapshots:

Dinner time !

Vince and I cooked chicken afritada, tuna casserole and maja blanca (corn pudding).  Guests brought drinks, shish kebob, KGC, Red Ribbon (from New York), fruit salad, and veggie salad.
Good times !
...and of course, we served fresh fruits !
Mario Kart Tournament after dinner

Baby Madeline having fun with tita Karen :)

So, there goes another fun-filled awesome weekend - thanks to good friends who made it all memorable and sweet.  Vince and I plan to have more and more of quality bonding time like this in the future ♥

♪♫ Do I love you, my oh my?  River deep, mountaing high! ♪♫


For more travel stories, please visit:  TUESDAY TRAVEL


This is my entry for Travel Diva's Wet September:

Smiling Sally


Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Guess what Vince and I did for Fourth of July?  Fireworks??? Of course, not!  We did something that's a whole lot more fun than that!  We went to Walmart and bought a Wii game console with Mario Kart game :D

Only recently did I learn to play Mario Kart but I can say that my "driving skills" have been improving ^^ In fact, it has only been two days since we got our own Wii, and I have already unlocked 50cc race cups, a medium kart, and a couple of characters (King Boo and Diddy Kong).  I searched online for walkthrough in unlocking characters, cups and karts, as well as other techniques and tips.  So today, we skipped gym and chose to "work-out" our dexterity skills instead.  Looks like somebody's going to be a gamer.  LOL. 

I'd love to hang around more and blog but I can hear that Vince is playing in our room, so I'm leaving now because I have to cheer on my husband ;)  Adios quezitos!

Wanna race with Princess Peach? ;)


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