Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

       That is probably one of the greetings I've been wanting to receive for myself (hehehe).   Unfortunately, I do not fit the title, for I am not a mother (still) :-/ .  Anyway and obviously, this is not and cannot be a post about me.  This is for those who have  had it harder, rougher and without complain; our mothers..

       While all of us are the sons/daughters of our respective parents, being a parent however, is a special task that just cannot be casually handed to anyone or everyone.  And while we didn't need to do anything to become someone's child, our mothers have to constantly work hard and sacrifice a part of  their being in order for us kids to have a good life.   I don't need to be a mother myself to be able to say that, but by just being a daughter, I can categorically state that to be a mother means so much more..
Being a mother is a profession, and it is permanent and irrevocable.  You cannot be a mother for a day, or for a year, or for a brief moment you may choose to have. From the very day when a child is born,  a mother is also born. And the work starts there. And it never ends.
A mother  is never alone in her thoughts.  She may have allowed you to go out with your peers, or you may have decided to live independently, but a mother's thoughts always go where her child is.
A mother's love is the only force I know that cannot be repelled. You may have disagreed with her a couple of times or you may have disappointed her with your decisions, but a mother's love never ceases to exist no matter the arguments and disappointments.
     To be a mother is to be in love forever with your child.  And for all their selfless love,  forever is probably not enough to show our mothers just how much we love and appreciate them...  Happy Mother's Day to my Mom and to you (if applicable) and to yours! :D

"Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother." -- Lin Yutang

Sunday, May 6, 2012


       The moon has often been said to stir some romantic feelings within us (ever heard of a lovers' moon :-p ), or to be the cause of natural disasters (tsunamis, tidal waves, earthquakes). Some find a full moon lovely, while others think of it as creepy (imagine a halloween witch on her broomstick flying across the night sky with the full moon as her background hihihi!).  In movies,  a werewolf's transformation is often associated with a full moon;  and this  is just the kind of bad news a vampire doesn't need (har har!).  Thus, a moon can be one's delight, and another's dilemma.

       Our moon, with all  the fuss and attention it frequently gets,  ironically looks rather plain and boring from an earthling's point of view (white with black/gray areas, nothing more).  Be that as it may seem, however, the moon remains a  mystery (alien life-form inhabitants, don't you think?).

       Oh, by the way, if you haven't heard or read yet, we're having a Supermoon tonight! That means that this is when the moon is closest to earth (or perigee); and thus, appears to be at its largest. And since no moon blog would ever be complete without an actual snapshot, I went and took a supermoon picture. So, which side of the supermoon do you see? Is it pleasantly romantic, or halloween-like horrific? :D

supermoon 2012

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Hunger Games

      I have purposely avoided seeing the movie version of The Hunger Games. Not for anything, really, it's just that for a change, I would like to read the book first before seeing its film adaptation on the silver screen. And as I have already finished the book, maybe I could go now and see the movie, although I'm not sure if it's still showing in theaters. hehehe. Briefly now, here is my account of The Hunger Games, a novel by Suzanne Collins.

     Katniss Everdeen, the 16-year old female protagonist, volunteered to join the year's Hunger Games, taking the place of her younger sister, Prim. The Games, which are held annually, require the 12 districts of Panem to send their representatives to compete in the contest that would test the skill, strength and resilience of the players. Each district chooses its representatives (2 for each district, a girl and a boy aged 12 to 18) by way of lottery. The Hunger Games serve as a yearly reminder of the Dark Days, a period in time when Panem's districts revolted against their Capitol, and that this should never be repeated. The contestants from all the 12 districts, or tributes as they are called, are brought to an outdoor arena and are left there for several weeks to fend for themselves. There will be no decent homes nor dwellings, no food served on a silver platter, and the only clothing they would expect to have are the very same garments they had on on the first day of the games. The tributes fight it out with each other to survive. And the last tribute standing is proclaimed the winner. Victory means a better life for the winner and his/her family; an opportunity to escape the hard life brought about by all the natural and man-made disasters that were inflicted on Panem (North America, before all these devastations happened). Losing, on the other hand, means only one thing - death. The Hunger Games is televised all over Panem, and the terrifying reality show is eagerly anticipated and viewed by everyone as a festivity, even if it means that losing is tantamount to dying.   Katniss adores her little sister so much that she just could not allow the 12-year old Prim to participate in the battle in the arena. And so, when Prim's name was drawn from the lot,  Katniss frantically offered herself to be District 12's female representative instead.
     With Katniss as District 12's representative is Peeta, a baker's son who has had a crush on her since they were small. Katniss would often dismiss Peeta's apparent affections for her and would always conclude that since The Games was televised as a reality show, Peeta was just trying to get the viewers' interest. In her mind, she and Peeta are actually enemies in the game, and that means either one of them would have to kill the other eventually in order to win. But a sudden twist in the Hunger Games' rules changes Katniss' mind and  (probably)  heart...

     The book is engaging and full of suspense. The events in the arena are well described, graphic and clear. I would gladly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good read. Anyone except if you are under 17. Now, That is the problem. Because The Hunger Games is a novel written for young adults, suitable for ages 12 to 17. The killings in the arena are so brutal that I get goosebumps and feel the hair stand up on the back of my neck everytime I come across the killing of a particular contestant. And I get that feeling even when I am way past 17. tsk tsk.  That being said, I still think that The Hunger Games is superb and a must!  Oh well, perhaps 17 is the new 25, and 12 the new... 20?  hehe... But I'm pretty sure you're over 17 anyway so go and get your copy! :D

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Caleruega Church
Caleruega Church (front)

     I first came to know of Caleruega Church from a friend, pictures served as my secondary introduction to the place, and my third and final encounter with it finally happened face to face.

     Legend has it, and so i was told, that the first guy who would take you to Caleruega Church would eventually end up as your husband... hmmmm... a really interesting prospect if you have someone in mind to either prove or disprove this myth. hehehe. but having seen the church's pictures, regardless of the story that has preceded it, made me want to see it for myself.

     And so one sunny weekend, I went there with three others. At first I thought it was in Tagaytay, but it turned out to be in Batangas. I was lucky enough not to be driving, and i was there just to enjoy the ride.  It took us less than two hours to reach Caleruega Church. And when we finally arrived, it was in time to witness a beautiful couple getting married. The scene was straight from a fairy tale book, and I was briefly transported to dreamland -- the radiant bride, with her ivory skin, glistened like diamonds in her elegant gown. She looked like a princess on her special day! And the groom was dashing in his dark suit, the perfect prince for his princess bride!  I resisted the urge to take their pictures, I wasnt there as a paparazzi and so I wanted to respect their privacy.

     I suddenly remembered where i was, and lost no time taking pictures of the exhilarating sights the place has to offer. The church was not like a cathedral in terms of its size, it was more like a chapel, comfy and intimate. Sitting capacity is probably no more than a hundred. Also, the church is surrounded by beautiful landscapes and breathtaking views. The air smells clean and the place is serene and calm. From atop the hill where the church proudly stands, one is treated to a magnificent overview of the city.
     I will always remember how it was like being at the Caleruega Church; feeling the cool breeze touching my skin as i savour the sights and sounds of nature. I pretty much enjoyed my visit. Go plan that trip and see for yourself :)

Caleruega Church
Caleruega Church (side view)

Stained Glass Windows Inside the Church

Beautiful Landscape

From atop the hill where the church stands, one is treated to this magnificent overview of the city

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Miss (Mr.) Universe

     Surpise! Surprise! The highly coveted Miss Universe beauty pageant is now accepting candidates who were born male to represent their respective countries in this world wide search and have that once in a lifetime chance to be crowned as the most beautiful woman in the world!  There. Were you as surprised as I was? I hope so.

     When and how did this happen? Well, it all started when Jenna Talackova, Miss (Mr.) Canada, was finally allowed to compete for her country's spot in the search for Miss Universe for the current year. Talackova was previously disqualified to take part in the competition after it was found out that she was actually born a male but had undergone surgery to become a female.  According to the Canadian model, she decided to have the sex-change because she was born in "the wrong body".

      I have nothing against gays or bi-sexuals or transgenders. In fact, some of the nicest and coolest people I know happen to be gays. They are talented, caring and generous both with their time and talents.  They are good friends and reliable confidants. I respect them and their sexual preference and wish for them nothing but happines and yes, fair treatment and equality, among other things. However, I find it a bit queer (pardon the pun) that  someone who was born in this world a male (with the male anatomy of course), would be entering a beauty contest, which was specifically designed to search for the fairest, most beautiful woman in the universe (possessing all those womanly attributes, of course).  It is like being a commercial model for a hair shampoo when your hair is not your own but a mere transplant, or modelling for a toothpaste advertisement when you have false teeth, and yes, parading in your swimsuit when the body parts you are actually displaying happen to be... implants?

     "Equal Opportunity" for all  does exist. But the line has to be drawn somewhere somehow. Maybe transgender people could have their own world wide beauty pageant wherein all the beauty hopefuls would be on equal footing; none of them would have to be disqualified for what they are nor questioned for what they are not, but each and every contestant would be allowed to shine without the unnecessary controversy. Or perhaps, sex-change women could start a new beauty search that would promote awareness and their full acceptance to society. Whatever they choose to have, it should be without pretense or cover-ups and more importantly, it would tell the whole world their capabilities and  highlight their contribution and significance to humanity.

     Oh, I can't wait for this year's Miss Universe!  May the best (fe)male...uhmm... contestant win  :-)

photo credit:!/JennaTalackova

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Luneta Children's Playground

     After more than 2 decades since my last visit here, nothing much has changed. Except that everything seemed to be smaller now..  This was probably what Alice in Wonderland felt!  It was pretty much like being in a dream; seeing things again after such a looong time but wondering why they've become so tiny now. Maybe because i've grown bigger, taller (and older!).. but when did all these start to happen? he he he.. i really can't tell...

     If you've frequented Luneta's Children's Playground as a kid,  then you might recognize these lovable characters too. It's amazing how after all these years, they have managed to survive; still looking just the way they used to. Except that, yes, in my adult eyes, they have now become smaller in size,  but nevertheless,  will always have a very big place in my childhood heart...

I used to sit between these  'froggies'  and  everytime i do, I remember my feet dangling and could never reach the ground. now, the adorable kermits just go past my knees, a little over 3 feet perhaps.

the pumpkin house. if only i could go in, the way i used to, just like this little boy. right now, i wonder how i could manage for im almost as tall as the pumpkin!

When i saw this little girl, i got nostalgic. she was the one who welcomed me everytime i went to the playground. still situated right after the entrance, she held a drinking fountain (no bottled water then) where, aside from drinking, i would often wash my hands and face whenever i felt them getting dirty. she seemed so tall then, i had to tiptoe if i wanted to reach for the fountain... but now, i had to look down to get a better view of her. and sadly, the fountain is no more :(

as a kid, i would often slide my way down from these colorful slides and it seemed like forever before i reached the bottom sands. well, seeing these now, i realized the slides werent that long nor wide nor endless :p

The shoe house is a must for every kid visiting the Children's Playground. and just like this little girl, i would often get in, walking upright, and climbing my way up the window. but now, if i wanted to get in, i would have to crawl... thanks, but no thanks. :D

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mount Mayon

Several years ago, work sent me to Bicol for two weeks.. yes, two long weeks of not being able to sleep in my own soft, fluffy bed, 14 days of not being able to type on my beautiful, newly assembled pc (naks!), and half a month of not being able to see my wonderful friends... but in exchange for all that seemingly sad occurrences, i got to see Mt. Mayon again after so many many years...

I remember first seeing this Wonder of the World a decade ago while on board a passenger bus. It was around 6 in the morning and i can vividly recall that day when i had barely slept because i was not really accustomed to travelling by land overnight. I was suffering from headache, my limbs were numb and my stomach was now growling from my 7-hour trip that already seemed endless! I was growing impatient and was sooo dead tired. Thus, i took a peek from the window on my side to see where the bus had already taken us.. Lo and behold! There she was, Mt. Mayon in full glory!
Twas a clear day, not a cloud obstructing my view of Mayon.. I could very well see her crater and that perfect cone-shape that has made her famous worldwide! She actually looked graceful and mighty at the same time.... oh how could that perfectly shaped, natural wonder be so wrathful as to bury a whole town (Cagsawa) with its massive volcanic eruption?.. yes, beauty and strength combined; serenity and ferocity in one... I was in awe. Seeing Mayon at that moment made me forget all the discomforts i was experiencing.. I wanted to see more, but ironically, the bus, which was previously travelling at a snail's pace for 7 hours, had suddenly acquired wings and was now soaring like an eagle, leaving behind the magnificent view of Mayon, much to my dismay.

That was more than a decade ago.. too bad, camera phones were unheard of back then. But Mayon's beauty was imprinted on my mind like no other 10 mega pix camera could ever capture...Fast forward to the time when, after so many years, i was sent to Bicol because of work... But this time, I was already equipped with my ever ready cam-phone and certainly, i wouldn't let the opportunity pass me by the second time around.. Here she is, a bit cloudy, but still, our world's ultimate wonder, Mt. Mayon...

Only the belfry of the Cagsawa Church can be seen after Mt. Mayon mercilessly engulfed the whole town with its lava following a massive eruption some two centuries ago

Me and Mount Mayon