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Saturday, June 17, 2017

I Still Believe Promotional Items Work

It has been ages since the last time I wrote something about promotional items and we know the importance of branding when you have a business to grow.  It is no longer a secret that these promotional merchandise will always continue because social media nowadays is the trend to promoting these items, most specifically in the business sector.

I believe that the promotional industry will never die as long as there is business, as long as there are trade shows and events.  Both promotional products and social media are equally important, they work together to promote the business.

In spite of what happened during the past few years when promotional industry decline, but now it is up again and continue its legacy.

Let's see what would gonna happen in the next few years as we keep an eye to this sector on the promotional items and see how it is going to continue to grow.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Revisiting Liliw, Laguna

I have been looking for a cheap getaway online and I have been eyeing Sta Cruz and Liliw, Laguna for the past few weeks.  I remember, the last time that I was in Liliw was almost 20 years ago,and  it was my friend Benjie who took me to this spot and I can still recall that we ate at the carinderia which Sta. Cruz  has to offer a famous Binalot -A rice, a viand of adobo or fish and a red egg wrapped in banana leaf.  That was before we proceeded to Liliw, Laguna.  I can’t remember all the details since the stint was just short for us to stay in both towns.  But one thing I couldn’t forget was the red church in Liliw, The St. John the Baptist church.

Front view of St. John the Baptist Church

Few days ago I read about the Tsinelas Festival and saw some photos where colorful umbrellas were hang-stringed on the posts which made me more attracted to visit Liliw.
Yesterday, April 23, 2017 was a perfect day to go to Sta Cruz knowing that Sunday is the only day without traffic and I left home around 8 in the morning.  There are buses along Edsa in Ortigas going to Sta. Cruz.  It was a two and a half ride to this town and from there, and approximately 30 minutes to Liliw via jeepney ride.

Umbrellas and footwear stringed atop for Tsinelas Festival

On the side where tsinelas boutique can be found

Liliw was a laid back town, and if you want a quiet and a relaxing place, I think this town is simply perfect and beautiful.

I walk at the streets and surprisingly and I saw a lot of visitors having some photo opt including some bike riders, there were also some people which they wore the same shirt designs which indicate they are indeed in one group.  I saw some posters that Tsinelas Festival starts April 26.

Hanged footwears as part of the festivity

White House Restaurant

One thing I noticed is the vendor selling fruits on a bike and I met Mang Romeo who sells a wild berry it is called Liputi or Lipote.  I tasted both the fruit and the wine and that was really an experience to reckon in this place.  In some corner were vendors selling some pasalubong and I happened to buy a binuro na santol.

Liputi or Lipote Wildberry

Me testing the lipote wine

Romeo the fruit vendor

Lipote Wine

Binuro na Satol

But along the streets were some boutiques which they sell slippers or “tsinelas” and footwear and this was the place that was famous of.

And who can forget the red church, St. John the Baptist which is the landmark of Liliw.  So I took some photos of the church outside but I couldn’t go inside because there was a funeral mass service.
Liliw is situated at the foot of Mt. Banahaw and it is one of the highland town forming the southern extremity of the province.

Well as for my experience, Liliw is one of the places that is worth visiting for when you love the road trip and my travel one so timely since we are celebrating the “Earth Day.” It remains unspoiled, unpolluted and very simple living.  It is closed to Nagcarlan, and it’s just 2 kilometers away travel distance.

I will definitely come back in this place and would recommend to my friends about its serenity,  and the simplicity of this town.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Bataan: Mt Samat and Dambana ng Kagitingan

When I see a big cross on top of the mountain, it reminds me of Holy Week and passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, because the cross reminds us our faith and Christianity. I have some travel in the past that I see shrines in the mountains and that reminds me of my meaningful experiences.  Maybe because Holy Week is just few days away and going to the big cross which involves hiking has significance too.  First, the cross reminds us about Jesus and second, the Araw ng Kagitingan or Araw ng Kagitingan is April 9.

Yesterday has no exemption not to see a big cross especially that Mt. Samat in Bataan was my first getaway for this year.  I've read a lot of blogs about Mt Samat National Shrine and Dambana ng Kagitingan or Shrine of Valor as this gives me insights about the historical significance during the World War 2.  So I won't discuss further about the Dambana ng Kagitingan but I'll just share my experience in going to this historical place.

During the past few days, me and my friend Jake planned to have a getaway and originally we were suppose to go to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan but unfortunately for some reasons the plan did not push through so we proceeded with our Plan B with some researches about this destination, Mt Samat and Dambana ng Kagitingan.

Jake and I met at Coffee Bean in Gateway as early as 7 a.m. and first we had breakfast at KFC.  From there we walk to Aurora Boulevard until we reached Bataan Transit located in Edsa which is just few walks away from Gateway where buses are available going to Balanga, Bataan which is just approximately a 2-hour ride.

Balanga terminal was the jump off point going to Mt. Samat in the town of Pilar.  It was almost lunch when we arrived Balanga and from there, we decided to have lunch in Mcdonald's

We went to the terminal and ride Cabog-Cabog and along way, you will see a big cross on top of the mountain and this reminds us that we are close at the intersection to Mt. Samat in Diwa, Pilar,

You'll see the ark sign "Dambana ng Kagitingan" when you reach your destination.  At first we are suppose to hike the mountain but in the tricycle terminal, we given an advice that going to the museum is an 8-kilometer walk that will take you around 8 hours to reach the shrine.  So we decided to ride a tricycle as walking is time consuming.

Upon reaching the gate, we paid the entrance fee to the museum that cost 30 pesos per head and we climbed the ladder till we reached the top of Mt. Samat which the big cross is located.  There is a kiosk there where you can buy some snacks and souvenir items. When you're in the shrine, there's a 180 degree view where you can see the seas and the mountains.

We went inside the museum and saw some memorabilia like photos and arms used during the World War 2.  Unfortunately we were not allowed to go up of the museum to see the wall writings as they were painting it in preparation for the Araw ng Kagitingan on April Night.  At the stage, we saw that President Duterte would be the speaker during the celebration and that's why the closed some points because of the preparation for the upcoming event.

At past 2 we decided to go back as the tricycle driver we hired was waiting for us at the gate entrance.

We reached gateway at around 5 p.m. and we decided to to get some coffees at Mcdonald's in Kia Theater (formerly New Frontier Cineme), Araneta Center.

How much does it cost you to go to Mt. Samat-Dambana ng Kagitingan?

Bus - 200 pesos one way.
Tricycle to the terminal is 10 pesos but you have the choice to walk to the terminal which will take around 5-10 minutes.
Cabog Cabog Jeepney ride to Pilar - 19 pesos
Tricycle - 200 pesos 2- way.
Tricycle to drop off going to the terminal is 20 pesos plus tricycle to the terminal is 10 pesos.

Please take note that going back to the terminal in Balanga from Diwa, Pilar will take you quite long to wait for the jeepney ride, so you can take a tricycle and haggle the price.  Normally for 2 people, going to the bus terminal would take around 80 pesos, but we were able to haggle the price to 40 pesos for 2 people because we were 3 in one tricycle.

I hope this helps to those who are planning to go to Mt. Samat and Dambana ng Kagitingan in Bataan.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Summertime is Here

I know this is the last day of the month and tomorrow is the fourth month of the year and that is April.  Time flies fast though, it's something that we could not avoid and yet every single day remains to be a memory.  I seldom write a blog post since I have limited number of travel.  Well that is because I spend a lot and have no extra cash for my next travel destination.  I have so much plans yet, some places I haven't been there yet and LUZON is huge to travel at, on different destination.  But the major ones like Batanes, Calayan Island, Baguio are just some few places I have been to.  But I really do hope to explore Sagada and Mt. Pulag because I know from the beginning that this sounds very interesting.

How I wish I was rich and become the master of the traveling destination. But one thing that I really aspire for is to try adventure on different countries and experience the exotic lifestyle that it has to offer.  Just like Tibet, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, maybe India too.  But what about South America too and the Amazons! Well that sounds interesting! All I want is just to write blog about these beautiful places.

Summertime is here again and it's so 2017! Hot and enervating that I almost don't like to go out because of the heat of the sun.  But the best place to cool down is when you go to the mall!

Since it is summertime, I can figure out where to go some nearby places and maybe as far as the Quezon Province.  I still have to explore Quezon and what if I try to visit some of the oldest church in town.  I know this is a good idea but let's see what I can do this summer.

Okay just to close this writing, I need to finalize everything yet and hopefully 3 travel destination this summer.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Staying Strong

I've been monitoring my blood pressure for almost one month now, when I learned that I was diagnosed with a stage two hypertension and the doctor gave me a lifetime maintenance.  Since then, I was conscious about the foods that I eat and I do a lot of walking as part of my exercise.

But one thing I could not really avoid is the emotional stress that I have, maybe because I am not a robot and a human being.  Honestly, some things affected me so much and it had to do with my own state of mind, and emotions.  My worries, sentiments, grievances, those are the contributing factors why my hypertension triggered.  Maybe because I am just like this.  Maybe because I always dealt with my emotion.  Things could not resist to make me sad although I tried to shield myself from all my worries.  It persistently affecting me but I don't want to put the blame to anyone.

I think too much. And I care too much. Maybe because of this, it led me to what I have right now, developing anxieties and having a high blood pressure.  God knows that I do not want this as this has been added to another challenge in my life.  I was fighting to what I would like to become - my dreams and aspirations, I have not gotten them yet.  Now I am facing another challenge in my life and this time it has something to do with my health.  I did not expect this, though I know that hypertension runs in my family.

Now two things are what I am fighting for, all at the same time.  First, for my dreams and aspirations, and second, is my health.  I know it's hard to surpass the stage and you almost give up.

I want to shine in spite of what I am experiencing right now and to continue what I have started since the beginning.

And if only God is reading this I know that a warrior sometimes may fall down and drop his sword.  A warrior has a feelings too no matter how strong he is.  He is just soft inside and cry for a while.

Let me share this quote to the one reading this:

"You are the warrior of the light, HEAL yourself, Fight for LOVE, and SAVE the earth..." - Anonymous

Monday, February 6, 2017

I Was Diagnosed To Have A Hypertension

Last January 18, I found out that I already had a hypertension through a clinic located in SM Mall of Asia or MOA.  The nurse measured my blood pressure with sphygmomanometer  three times at first and second it was 140/100 and the third time it went up top 150/100.

Two days when I came back with the result of my medical examination, the doctor re-examined my blood pressure and surprisingly it was more than 180/100.  She immediately diagnosed me that I have a stage 2 hypertension and gave me a prescription for a lifetime maintenance.

In the mall, I went to Watson to re-check my blood pressure and it does not go down to the normal blood pressure.

It was a surprised on my part since I don't feel anything as someone to have been suffering from hypertension.  And through family history that I learned that I also suffer the same ordeal.

And when I learned about it, I became so conscious and tried to monitor my blood pressure from time to time, get rid of the salty foods, pork, beef and something to cause your blood to rise high.

I was hesitant to take the medicine which the doctor prescribed me, instead I took some lemon grass trea and garlic as my alternative use instead of these synthetic medicines.  Because I know it has some side effects if I continued to take the medicine.

But most of my concerned friends advised me to take the medicines which lately I have followed them.

I have no choice but to follow it.  I know that this ailment is a life changing moment for me.  I know that things happened for a reason.  I am no longer young and I get to justify that it's not only me who is suffering of this ailment.

There come to a point in your life that when you are suffering from something, you will get to realize that this is a life process and it gave me more reason to appreciate life.

One of my self realization is that I am no longer interested in material things, being wealthy cause I know that health is really important.  I came across also that this may change my perspective that in spite of the ailment, it gives you the opportunity to know God better, and it gives you more wisdom that you can share these things to other.

I know that God will never abandon me and there's a reason for me to keep my faith high to the Lord.

But I hope this life changing moment experience would bring me the opportunity to share this to others that we have to learn to value life the best way we can.

What Made Me Think to Write Again

It's been five months since my last writing in this blog. But to those who read my blog, please allow me to greet you a Happy New Year, and to be more profound, I would say Happy Rooster Year! I know this sounds ridiculous because it is already the first week of February.

I have seldom right blog over the past two years, but I really want to congratulate myself since my personal blog existed in 2009 when I was in California where I used my card to buy this domain.  This domain was actually repurchased that year because originally my domain name was purchased as early as 2006, a time when I still work at the Business Process Outsourcing or BPO Comapny.  It was discontinued a year later then tried to buy it back in 2009 which fortunately this domain became available again.

Several reasons I want to write again.  First is to bring on my travel experience, Second is to share any topic that I may found quite interesting.  And finally my blog serves as an outlet to burst anything that has something to do with emotions.  In short, it is quite obvious that this is also a hub for something that is personal for me.

I always wanted to say that nothing is wrong to write personal things and what I just said is this will always serve as my outlet.

From the point when I seldom write until today, I have learned so much things.  The things that made me change, and perhaps becoming a better person, some things are my personal experience in life.

In that period of lying low to writing, I've seen myself grow, the moment when I stumbled and fall, the good things that came which God gave me to appreciate, small or great, the people who came into my life, the people who came back to me which all of these inceptions have so much learning to beacon.  Also this is not to say that writing is about I, ME and Myself only.

In the last two years, there were dreams and revelation where time and space collide and made me think deeper.

I want to write again, and this time all of the profound experience that I can share with because I know there are also people out there who may resonate with what I am going to write.

Well it feels like I am a better writer now and it's time to be that person of someone that I can write things better than before.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Finding the Right Spot in Photographing Manila Bay

A month ago I found a niche where I could spend time to practice my landscape and night photography. I usually go to Angono Eco-Park in Rizal province which is just a few minutes away from our home.  Since I have been there for a couple of times, I decided to find another place on taking pictures.  I saw the website of one of my Facebook friends, and he was also my colleague on Chasing Lights landscape photography 5 years ago, who had photos taken in Manila Bay showing some buildings at the back of the sea front .  So I got curious and visited Manila Bay for a few times and unfortunately I didn't get some good photos due to the bad weather happened for two weeks. It was cloudy and obviously most of the time it was grey and the setting sun did not show up.  My goal was to use long exposure.

A few attempts of my shot at the Bay Center

Since I got the clue where to take these photos showing the buildings on the sea front,  I decided to walk all the way down to the CCP Complex (Cultural Center of the Philippines) till I get to what they call the Bay Center, a place where you can see some coffee shops and restaurants.  When you get to the Bay Center, probably you might be seeing some people fishing and photographers too.  So I made it there where Bay Center was also a photographer's delight taking pictures during sunset.

Long Exposure in Black and White

Another Facebook friend posted a picture the same location but different spot showing some buildings across the bay. I learned she took it at Paseo Palisoc

Paseo Palisoc is a few walks away from Folk Arts Theater.  It was beautiful there.  So this is where they run the cruises and Air Juan.

At Paseo Palisoc
Finally after several attempts of getting to the right spot, Paseo Palisoc is just few walks away from Manila Bay and it's good for taking long exposure shots because of the compositions of the scene that you would get when taking some pictures.

Friday, August 5, 2016

The Sampaloc Lake in San Pablo

I seldom take some photos on sunrise unlike when it's sunset which for me can be easy because I find waking up early as quite uneasy.  But this can be new activity for me and that means a different perspective taking some shots before the sun begin to rise.  The same endeavor but different time, and a new location that I can go since sunrise is an opposite direction to sunset.

I had no idea where to shoot sunrise until one of my Facebook friends posted a photo showing sunrise at Sampaloc Lake in San Pablo City Laguna.  Since I love sunrise, I had few days to prepare and I did some researches about Sampaloc Lake.  I never tried shooting landscape through long exposure beyond 30 seconds.  Just a day before the shoot I bought a shutter release for long exposure and a new tripod.

I took the bus in Edsa through Lucena Lines on the night of August 3 and the travel time was short taking a one and a half time to my destination.  I arrived San Pablo Medical Hospital which is the jump off point if you wish to go to Sampaloc Lake.  Since it was only 1:45 a.m. I decided to stay at 7 Eleven store at the high way which is a walking distance from the hospital.  Actually there are lots of 7 Eleven store in San Pablo City even when you cross the hospital there is one store there.

A man parking his bicycle at the park

Exercising at the park is usual

Municipal Hall leading to the lake is a few distance away

At 4 a.m. I went back to the hospital because at the other side of the road on the left you can ride a jeep going to the main city proper where Jollibee and Mcdonald's operate 24 hours.

I took a walk for 20 minutes till I reached the lake and waited for the sunrise.

According to the locals and to my researches, there were 7 lakes in San Pablo and Sampaloc lake is one of them and the biggest lake among the 7.

I immediately packed up at 7:30 after taking some breakfast in the park just near the lake.

Overall the trip was fulfilling as shooting the sunrise is a seldom activity for me, compared when it's sunset.

How to Go to Sampaloc Lake

1. There are buses at Edsa that go to Lucena, Quezon, you can ride Lucena Lines or JAC Liner.  Lucena Lines is run by JAC Liner and has a free wi-fi access.

2. Tell the conductor to drop you off in San Pablo Medical Hospital, but I think that Lucena Lines go to the main city proper where you can stay either at Jollibee or Mcdonald's when you arrive at past midnight.

3. If you drop at the hospital, go to the left road and ride a jeep and tell the driver to take you to the Capitol which is the jump off point going to the lake.  Tell the driver either to drop you in Mcdo or Jollibee.

4.  Either you can walk going to the lake or ride a tricycle and if you decide to walk you call see the Municipal Hall and a park leading to Sampaloc Lake.

I hope this helps but it's pretty easy to find when you get to the city proper.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Majestic Mayon Volcano

At last I was able to capture the perfect cone of Mayon Volcano, when I visited the province of Albay.  I went to Legazpi, the capital of Albay.  Several attempts have been made to capture the volcano without hiding in the clouds.

I captured Mayon Volcano in two different time of the golden hour, the first one was sunset and the second one was during sunrise.  Although there are several spots to capture the majestic volcano, I decided to stay at the port, in Legazpi boulevard.  Coming from Naga City for a two hour ride via van to Legazpi, I was able to make it 30 minutes before the sunset.

I asked the tricycle driver to bring me to the boulevard where the volcano is seen during sunset.

When I went to the port, I have seen these guys fishing so I think this was  a good capture while it was sunset.

When it was already dark, I went to downtown and spent the rest of the hours strolling to the mall and on the streets.  I went to the internet cafe which operates until 4am and spend some hours on the internet.

Occasionally, I go to Dunkin' Donuts and ordered some donuts and coffee there, it was open 24 hours and the place was safe to stay, aside from a free wi-fi access.

At 5am, I had a 30 minute walked to the boulevard waiting for the sunrise.

I thought I had some bad captures on the volcano and when I posted the picture on my Facebook account, I received a lot of good comments.

The whole experience was worthwhile. And finally I was able to capture the volcano without the clouds covering Mayon.

There are so many spots to capture the volcano in different towns of Albay and the easiest way is when you go to the boulevard.