We can always make money but we can't always make memories. Travel while you still can. Enjoy life.
Friday, August 5, 2016
Thursday, July 28, 2016
New Books: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, The Shroud Codex by Jerome Corsi and The Genesis Code by John Case
|Some of the many books I own and have read. No particular genre.|
In every page of a book is an adventure waiting to happen.
I took a long hiatus from reading books because I am always busy reading reports. My regrets. It was Me Before You movie that motivated me again to read because I was so sad and I could not comprehend why one person would choose death over love and why would anyone permit that to happen. In my desperate move to understand the message of the movie and to "cure" my movie-induced sadness, I purchased the ebook version. And now I am back. I am so glad to be back.
I just finished reading The Genesis Code by John Case and The Shroud Codex by Jerome R. Corsi.
Both has a science and religious themes. I like the two books because of the extreme suspense like it was hard for me to leave the house with an unfinished book. I asked a lot of "whys" and "hows".
I love to cook. I also like to try different dishes and let my son sample my masterpiece. He's a pasta kind of kid and I thought of cooking aglio olio because I like it personally. So, I tried, and here it is. I can't say it is perfect but I think it is close enough to what I order in restaurants. Of course, I added extra Parmesan cheese.
Here is the recipe:
1 pound spaghetti
1/3 cup good olive oil
8 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup minced parsley
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a pot large enough to hold the 1 pound spaghetti.
3. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until it begins to turn golden on the edges. Do not overcook.
4. Add the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds more.
5. Carefully add the pasta and add 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt. Toss until evenly mixed.
6. Turn off heat. Add Parmesan cheese and parsley.
7. Allow the pasta to rest for 5 minutes for the flavor to be absorbed.
8. Taste for seasoning before serving. Add Parmesan cheese on the side.
Sunday, July 24, 2016
We are but a soul sailing the endless sea of thought.
We always seek answers that lead to another
Never ending cycle of questioning our beliefs,
Our morality, the essence of our being.
We are but a dolphin, swimming in the depths of our thoughts,
Occasionally surfacing to release air of emotions
And to breathe again the promises of life that is colorful
Wild, and free beneath the recesses of our minds.
Sunday, July 3, 2016
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
The heart of the Philippines is Marinduque, The hear-shaped island not only boasts its rich culture but also its stunning beaches with crystal clear waters... for free.
It will take you around 5 hours from Manila to reach the port in Lucena, Quezon and from there, another 45 minutes to 1 hour to get to Balanacan Port, Marinduque via ferry boat.
You will be greeted by a huge statue of the Virgin Mary when you reach the port. We arrived at around 10 in the evening and this was a sight to behold. It felt you were being watched to safety.
Marinduque is a rather small island with a land area of less than 1 thousand square kilometers that lies between Sibuyan Bay in the South and Tayabas Bay to the North.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Another task erased from my bucket list but I will definitely continue doing it--mountain climbing. This climb was special because I was with my 8-year old son and my sister and two aunts. He's so brave and strong!
Mount Batulao, Batangas towers more than 800 meters above sea level, with 11 peaks to brave before you reach the summit on the 12th, and although the guide said it was just a 5-kilometer trek from the foot to the summit, I think it was more than that. There are two trails but we chose the new one because it is the easier route. By the way, it's a 4/9 trail level so don't let its spectacular view fool you. For a beginner, it took us 2.5 hours to go up and 2 hours to go down. Not bad.
There are stores in every 3 or 4 peaks so you could recharge, have a toilet break, eat and drink. Camp sites are also available if you want to stay longer.
You wouldn't be lost along the way because it is the only way up on trail number 2. There are now trees which makes it the perfect mountain to have a 360-degree view of Batangas.
If you are planning a summer adventure, I highly recommend it. You will only spend roughly 300 pesos. Add 500 pesos if you want to hire a guide.
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
I had my cellphone subscription renewed and was able to get a free iPhone 6S in rose gold. I'm glad to wait 2 years since I really do not see the need to buy a new phone before my renewal. Of course the first thing I have to try if the thing works fine is the camera. Here it is, the first photo I took, of all things possible. It clearly reflects my happy and abundant relationship with food and my restaurant adventures with my pals.
Saturday, March 28, 2015
|The mansion of the Marcos family in Batac, Ilocos Norte.|
Other displays are about the love affair of Ferdinand Marcos and Imelda Romualdez. The photo above is a replica of the slippers Imelda wore when she first met Ferdinand. You will have a clear sense at how rich and influential the Marcos family is.
Downstairs is where the mausoleum of Ferdinand Marcos is located. Visitors are not allowed to take photos or use any electronic device for that matter. The guards which also served as tour guides explained that frequencies and light emitted by electronic devices affects the integrity of the corpse. He also said the once a year, an Egyptian embalmer checks the corpse. Although there are rumors that it was not an actual corpses but a wax figure, we will never really now.
|The Paoay Church in Laoag, Ilocos Norte.|
|The landscape that will welcome you when you enter the Hidden Garden.|
While in Laoag, we visited Hidden Garden where your eyes will have a feast of beautiful plants and animals and at the end of the trail is a restaurant where you can have a taste of authentic Ilocano cuisines like their famous empanada. If you are health conscious, they also sell herbs and medicinal plants at very affordable price.
|Facade of Malacanang of the North.|
|The large receiving area on the second floor.|
|The former president's office at the first floor.|
Another Marcos monument is the Malacanang of the North or Malacanang ti Amianan where the former president resides and holds his office whenever he and his family is in Ilocos Norte. It is a 5-acre property in Brgy. Suba, Paoay, Ilocos Norte. It was said that it is given by Imelda to Ferdinand Marcos on his 60th birthday.
|On display are family photos and antique furniture.|
|Large photo of Ferdinand Marcos' profile.|
The museum is currently under the care of the provincial government of Ilocos Norte. For a minimum fee of 20 pesos, you can get a glimpse of how grand the Marcos family lived during their regime.
More photos of our Ilocos Regio Tour can be seen here.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
|The white beach of Bangui Bay in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. |
Click on the photo for a larger view.
Summertime has officially begun in the Philippines and of course a vacation is not complete if you will not spend a day or two in one of the island nation's famous beaches. I was lucky to have the opportunity to take a day off from work and fulfill one task in my bucket list--visit the Ilocos Region. The Ilocos Region is composed of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, and Pangasinan provinces situated in the northwestern part of Luzon and is bordered by the South China Sea in the west and Cordillera Administrative Region in the east.
|This is the beach that greeted us on our first day.|
|Two of the famous Bangui Windmills overlooking the South China Sea.|
|The Patapat Viaduct along the rocky shore.|
Our next destination is the Patapat Viaduct--a 1.3 kilometer bridge in Pagudpud that connects the Maharlika Highway from Laoag, Ilocos Norte to Cagayan Valley. It was constructed during the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos and is considered the 4th longest bridge in the Philippines.
|The stream that is supplied by the Kabigan Falls. It serves as irrigation to the surrounding rice fields.|
Our third destination was the Kabigan Falls in Barangay Baloi. For only 10 pesos entrance fee, you will be guided to 30-minute trek before you could see the majestic 120-feet wide waterfalls. Along the way, there are stores where you can take a break and eat their famous carioca in case you get tired. There are also comfort rooms if you've loaded your bladder with plenty of fresh buko juice.
|The Kabigan Falls in all its glory.|
Going up seems like forever because it was such a long time ago since I trekked but the sweat and aching legs were all worth it when I saw for the first time the Kabigan Falls. I was so tempted to take a plunge. Although swimming is allowed, I did not bring any changing clothes, so, poor me. I could stay in the place all day but we have to go to another place.
|Ilocos Norte's famous windmills along Bangui coastline.|
Ilocos Norte tour would not be complete without visiting their famous Bangui Wind Farm facing the West Philippine Sea. The first 15 windmills were inaugurated by then Ilocos Norte Governor Bongbong Marcos in 2005 and by 2014, additional 11 turbines were completed which supply 40-50% of the province's electricity. There is no entrance fee. My tip before going here is to wear long pants because the sand is blown away by the strong wind and it hurts a bit when the sand hits the legs. It is like an army of ants biting your legs. Swimming is not prohibited but I didn't dare go near the water because of the strong wind and the even stronger waves. There are souvenir shops that sell miniature version of the windmills and shirts that sell between 150 to 200 pesos.
|The majestic Kapurpurawan Rock Formation that withstood the tests of time.|
|The rocky shore that nestles the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation.|
Click on the photo to enlarge.
|The century old lighthouse that still functions today for the international ships that enter the Philippine archipelago.|