Friday, August 31, 2012

Nature photography using iPhone 4S and Instagram Filters

Taken at Tagaytay Highlands.

I admit. I am really into Instagram photography. I just find the application really convenient, useful and fun for a wannabe professional photographer and blogger like me. And you can guess again that my favorite filter is X-Pro II. 

I am already having second thoughts about buying a DSLR.

Taken at the back of Starbucks,Tagaytay City overlooking the Taal Lake and Taal Volcano.

Taken at View Point, Tagaytay City overllooking Batangas.

Taken at View Point, Tagaytay City overlooking the Taal Lake and Taal Volcano.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Flower photography using iPhone 4S and Instagram filters

Lo-fi filter

Just trying out how versatile a camera an iPhone 4S can be. I took photos of these flowers around my grandmother's garden and I am impressed about the result. I used some Instagram magic here just to add a little drama to the photos taken by a wannabe professional photographer. By the way, follow my Instagram here. I can say that iPhone 4S + preset lens filters is the closest thing to owning a DSLR. Remember my post about the 10 things I will accomplish before the year ends? It includes owning a DSLR. Since iPhone 4S already impressed me, I would really really like to have a macro lens or SLR mount for a more professional looking photos. I am dying to have them!

Amaro filter

Lo-fi filter

X Pro II filter.

Amaro filter

Amaro filter

X Pro II filter

Monday, August 27, 2012

New Blog: Online Kitchen

So... I have a new blog called Online Kitchen.

I love to cook and I have a lot of stories to tell about food. I have been posting some of the dishes I cooked and I guess it is the high time to separate it into another blog. I am not a chef nor a cook by profession. I just love cooking and serving my loved ones with home cooked meals whenever I have time--usually weekends.

I hope you'll find time to visit Online Kitchen. Share me your stories about your life in the kitchen, your cooking, your dining experiences... everything about food.

Happy cooking, eating and storytelling!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

More Tagaytay Highlands

The Taal Lake viewed from the golf course of Tagaytay Highlands. The heavy clouds signals a downpour .

I still have a lot of amazing Tagaytay Highlands photos to show you. Go ahead, click on the jump to see.

Fine Dining at Tagaytay Highlands

The tomato soup that tastes very Italian because of the herbs, spices and cream cheese.

Roasted chicken with herbs, a serving of mashed potato and buttered vegetables as the main course.

For dessert, mocha cake topped with whipped cream, shaved chocolate, kiwi and cherry.
After the tour of Tagaytay Highlands, we indulged in a simple yet fine dining experience at La Belle Restaurant in Tagaytay Highlands Golf & Country Club. We had locally brewed coffee after the meal.

Random Clicks: Tagaytay Highlands

The landscaped view from the country club. The only road that leads to the exit/entrance of Tagaytay Highlands.

As part of our Marketing Management course for MBA, we had a tour in one of the most exclusive leisure parks and residential estate in the  Philippines--Tagaytay Highlands.

Tagaytay Highlands is located at Tagaytay City, Cavite--a three hour drive from Manila. Tagaytay City is known to be one of the premiere tourist destinations in the Philippines. The area is famous for its colder climate because it is elevated at 2,100 feet above sea level. Tagaytay Highlands is nestled in the area's highest elevation.

It is an exclusive leisure park and village that began its operation 18 years ago. Today, there are more than 7,000 members from the A-list group and all shares are now sold out. A member can experience world class facilities and services--from golf courses, recreational facilities, spa, restaurants and banquet areas.

Tagaytay Highlands has four major areas--The Golf and Country Club, The Highlands, The Midlands, and The Greenlands.  The latter three are the residential communities. You can find log cabin residences in Highlands. The Midlands offers country themed residences and parks like the Japanese zen garden, Mexican pueblos and English gardens. The Greenlands offer Western-inspired residences that will remind you of plantation houses of Southern US.

Click after the jump to see more breathtaking photos of Tagaytay Highlands...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Just like the old times...

I treated my son for a dinner with accompanying toy for making me a proud mom again. I could not remember the last time we had dinner date in his favorite restaurant... I have been very busy in my work and my MBA class that I have missed quality times like this. He's growing up so fast and it's passing by right before my very eyes... I should go back to my senses and do the things like we used to do because in a few years time, he probably will not enjoy the same things with me but with his friends.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I am a proud mom...

My son gave me another reason to be proud... He got three perfect out of six exams. The other three are 90, 96 and 97--which are not so bad, too!

I think I am going to buy him the toy he's been telling me for weeks now.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Head Injury

I had a serious fall earlier this day. It was raining and the floor was slippery. I lost balance and fell on the left hitting my head hard. I heard a nasty "thud" sound. I was not able to get up quickly because I passed out for seconds. When I was able to see, although blurry, I immediately got up but it felt different. I had difficulty breathing. I went to the kitchen and sat for a while. After a few moments I passed out again. My grandmother had me lay down while she was wiping dirt off my head and leg. I had scraped my leg and bruised my wrists. My head hurt so much.

I went to the hospital for a check up because it was the first time I hit my head that hard and the first time I got drowsy because of a fall. The doctor asked me several questions including if I vomited and still feel dizzy. The doctor requested me to have a skull x-ray just to check if I have fracture.

After a few minutes of waiting for the result, the doctor said my skull does not have any fracture. I gave a sigh of relief. For extra precautions, he instructed me to come back if ever I will vomit several times and feel extra sleepy within 24 hours. He ordered me to take medicine for head ache.

Head injury is a trauma involving the scalp, skull or brain. It can be categorized as closed or open head injury. The first category does not have fracture while the latter involves fracture and visible wounds.

Suspect a head injury if the following symptoms are present:
* Becomes very drowsy or dizzy
* Behaves abnormally
* Develops severe headache or stiff neck
* Loses consciousness even briefly
* Vomits more than once

To know more about head injuries, click here.

And be careful when walking on slippery roads and pavements.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My Magnum Buddy

Just another memorable Magnum night with my buddy. I cannot thank my Buddy enough for making me feel good everyday just by accompanying me to my simple guilty pleasures. You are the best!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Would you return a jewelry that your ex gave you?

Kim Kardashian's engagement ring from ex-husband Kris Humphries. A 20.5 karat  Lorraine Schwartz ring that costs $2 million. He demanded Kim to return the ring.

A generous boyfriend would give the sun and stars to his beloved if only it is possible. Close to that is giving his girlfriend a jewelry, not necessarily an engagement ring.

I know most of you have received or have given jewelry as a present to your loved one. There is nothing wrong with that for as long as it is not stolen. But, what would you do if the relationship comes to its bitter end? Would you still keep the jewelry? Or would you return it?

When Kim Kardashian decided to end her 72-day marriage with Kris Humphries, she was demanded to return the $2 million worth of engagement ring. Did she or did she not return it? I have no idea. But, according to Lizzie Post of Emily Post Etiquette, 18th Edition, he or she should return the wedding gifts if the marriage only lasted in less than six months and if the items have not been used or are not personalized. In Kim's case, the ring is hers to keep since it is a reminder of her short-lived marriage because technically, the ring symbolizes a promise to get married--which she did--so it is just rightful for her to keep it and do whatever she wants with it.

In the case of boyfriend-girlfriend relationships, if he or she demands you to return the jewelry, by all means, do so. And do it politely. If the jewelry is a family heirloom, give it back even if he or she doesn't ask you to do so, just as to show respect from the family who hoped once upon a time to have you as their member.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dream Interpretation: Ghost and Demon Child

I was so tired yesterday that my body asked me to sleep early--which I did. I slept at around 9PM.

I immediately fell asleep. After just a few minutes, I had a dream... it was actually a nightmare. 

The first scene was I am walking on a subdivision road. There were tall grasses and houses were in rows. It looks like a low-cost housing project. I could not remember how I got there. As I walk towards nowhere, I saw from a distance a figure of a woman. She's wearing white. As she gets closer, I began to recognize who she is. She has a long hair in a ponytail. She was smiling at me. I smiled back. Before passing by each other, she whispered something in my ear. It sounded eerie and gave me goosebumps. It was then that I noticed that she's not walking but floating on air. She's a ghost!

Photo from 
The second scene was my son and I were riding in a car with our female neighbor driving. I was seated on the passenger seat while my son was at the back. I know the scene is still in the same subdivision. Ahead, I saw a child playing on a pile of dirt. He looked at me in the eye and I sensed something different about his smile. We passed by him and when I looked back, he was running too fast and his face changed into a demon. I was panicking and telling my neighbor to speed up but instead, she stopped and got out of the car. I was dead scared because the demon child is coming. My son tried to get out of the car but I immediately grabbed him and closed the door. The demon child was scratching and desperately trying to get inside. It was so scary! After a few minutes of attempt, it became quiet. I thought it was over and so I gave a sigh of relief but alas! When I looked at the windshield, the demon child suddenly appeared!

I woke up, panting and my heart was beating fast. I thought I'd have a heart attack. I immediately said a prayer.


Ghosts are representative of something that is no longer obtainable or within reach. It indicates that you are feeling disconnected from life and society. Try to figure out what the ghost wants or what is looking for. It may also be a calling for you to move on and abandon your outdated modes of thinking and behavior.

The ghost of a living relative or friend signifies that you are in danger of malice acts by that person.

To see demons in your dream represent ignorance, negativity, distress or your shadow self. It also forewarns overindulgence and letting lust give way to your better judgment. As a result, your physical and mental health may suffer.

[Source: Dream Moods]

Monday, August 13, 2012

You are entitled to your own happiness

Post midnight snack with my best bud who is one of the kindest persons I know.
When was the last time you laughed until you cried because of sheer happiness? I am just so thankful that there is one person who never gave up on making me laugh...

It is nice to have someone whom you can have a conversation with about everything under the sun, have small debates from time to time but never come up with a winner... you just know that you have your own opinions and that your respect and love for one another outweighs your differences.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Praises and Credits

"My grandfather once told me that there are two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to be in the first group; there was much less competition."
-Indira Gandhi

We had a successful business opening today. All the efforts and stress I have been through paid off. But, I know my work doesn't stop here. I still have a lot of polishing to do for the operation and I am hoping to survive it as well. 

A co-employee praised me for a job well done. I was deeply humbled by the praise but I can't take all the credits because I didn't do it alone. In fact, I can't do it alone. 

And I thank all those who helped and will continue to help. I salute all of them!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


"Listen or thy tongue will keep thee deaf."
- Indian Proverb

Although listening is one of the most important skills you can have, many of us finds it hard to listen. We need to listen because we want to get information, we want to understand things, we listen for us to be entertained and we want to learn. Having enumerated those reasons, we should therefore improve that skill.

Many conflicts were resolved because of listening and still more are not yet resolved because nobody wants to really listen. Listening is also an act of respect.

So, my tips to improve your listening skill:

1. Give individual attention
2. Avoid interrupting the speaker
3. Respect the right to share
4. Repress emotional responses
5. Pay attention to non-verbal messages

Employee Engagement

I work in a very dynamic and challenging company. Every day, we are challenged to do things that seem impossible to achieve. My boss is a visionary. He sees everything in different perspectives that we sometimes think he is already being too irrational. He frequently introduce us to different business models, giving us various formulas, adapting the TPS and so on. If there is one thing, though, that he really wants to point out is employee engagement. He wants us to feel that we belong to a special group. To ensure that each and employee feel that he belongs to a group, we conduct various seminars and activities that are enriching to the body, the mind and the spirit. He always make it a point during those gatherings to emphasize that we are one and that we carry with us a brand, hence, we should keep that brand tarnish free. Just recently, we had a seminar about accountability. A healthy work relationship is built on trust, motivation, commitment and loyalty. I believe that for a company to achieve its goals, it is important that employees believe first that they are a part of the team and that their individual contributions are vital components in the achievement of their vision.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Bad weather in the Philippines

Photo from

It has been raining for three weeks now and most part of Metro Manila and nearby areas are already flooded and death tolls are still rising. Many families are forced to leave their home to a safer place and evacuation areas. Earlier this day, the Palace declared no classes and no work to all government and private offices due to severe weather condition.

As of this writing, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) has not yet declared any typhoon. The heavy rain is just due to Southwest Monsoon and Tropical Storm 'Haiku' in Taiwan.

If you want to know the latest about the Philippine weather, click here.

If you want to help, the Philippine National Red Cross is accepting donations thru PayPal,, or you can coordinate with your local Social Welfare and Development Office.

Be safe everyone!

New Experience

I was invited by a friend to their church's activity. He is a Christian, I am a Roman Catholic. It was not the first time for  me to attend different religious activities of a different religion.

The experience, although short, was somewhat relaxing to the spirit. I just sat there for two hours, read Bible passages as their leader explain them one by one. The session was just an introduction to how they want their guests to know the truth. The leader emphasized that they are just instruments to expose the truth  based on the Bible itself and nothing else.

After the session, everyone shared a humble dinner. I felt the warmth and sincerity of everyone in the room. If time permits again, I would like to listen and know more about their religion.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Eight Norms of Conduct of Public Officials

Not intended to promote a coffee brand. I was just cold that I have to have something to keep me warm. We were allowed to have coffee, anyway.
I attended the last session of my Ethics subject for my MBA and we discussed about good governance, ethical standards expected of a public official and the like. One of the reporters said that a public officer should earn public trust--which I totally agree.

Another thing that was discussed were the 8 norms of conduct of public officials:

1. Common public interest 
2. Professionalism
3. Justness and sincerity
4. Political neutrality
5. Responsiveness to public
6. Nationalism and patriotism
7. Commitment to democracy
8. Simple living

If only these eight are being practiced by all government officials and employees, then, probably our courts will not trial a public official for graft and corruption.

Blessed is the nation whose God is LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
Psalm 33:12

The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.
Psalm 9:17,20

Friday, August 3, 2012

When was the last time...

When was the last time you said 'I love you' to someone?
- Yesterday.

When was the last time you kissed someone on the forehead?
- Last night, when I said good night to my son.

When was the last time you danced in the rain?
- A very long long time ago.

When was the last time you cried and laughed at the same time?
- Five months ago when I had a chat with my best friend. We were talking about some divine intervention.

When was the last time you gave a hug?
- This evening when I said goodbye to my colleagues.

When was the last time you dined alone in a restaurant?
- Three weeks ago. It was a Saturday during my lunch break.

When was the last time you wrote a letter and send it in the post?
- The last letter that I wrote and mailed via post was for my ex-boyfriend. Gee, that was nine years ago!

When was the last time you walked on the beach?
- Last April. It was one of the most memorable experiences. It was perhaps one of the best summers ever.

When was the last time you lay down on a bed of grass to watch the skies?
- I think six years ago. But, I always look up the sky to see the beautiful clouds.

When was the last time you gazed at the stars and the moon?
- Last month, I think. I was trying to look for all the constellations that I know. I am planning to stargaze again on August 12 to watch the Perseid meteor shower. I hope the weather will permit. I just love looking at everything above me--the sky, clouds, stars, moon, planets and all other heavenly bodies.

When was the last time you told yourself 'I can do better than that'?
- Yesterday. Just another office drama.

When was the last time you wrote a note for someone?
- Earlier this day. It was for my staff... a task that she'll have to do ASAP.

When was the last time you cried yourself to sleep?
- Three weeks ago. It was just a bad day for me. I felt alone and unloved. All dazed and confused about what was happening.

When was the last time you rode a bicycle?
- Three months ago. I tried riding my grandpa's bike to show my son I know how.

When was the last time you learned a new skill?
- November of last year. I learned how to drive and got my license on January.

When was the last time you said 'this will be the last time'?
- Earlier this day. I said it to one of my staff. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

In the spirit of the Olympics...

Photo from
It has been a bad Olympic moment for South Korean fencer Shin Lam for being defeated because of a defective timer. It was so bad that she  refuses to receive a special medal.

Photo from Divers who were photoshopped to appear they are doing the deed on the toilet.
The Olympic pressure is building up and we can't blame the participants and the committee as well if they are a lot pressured than usual... let loose, guys. Even for a short while.

Oh, and as of this moment China and US are tied with 30 gold medals and Japan with 17. Good luck to all the participating countries!

Hilarious narration of 50 Shades of Grey by Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen tries to narrate the erotic novel 50 Shades of Grey by E. L. James. Hilarious! Hahaha!


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