Friday, May 25, 2012

Rigged?

That's basically what some say when the result of a competition/contest did not go their way...just like the result in the recent season of American Idol.

I did not vote. Not once. It's just not my thing. I watched the show a little bit whenever I could but I didn't sit down and wait for it. But that doesn't mean I knew nothing of what was happening. If anything, I knew too much for someone who didn't watch it religiously. I knew from the first time I saw & heard Jessica Sanchez that she had a shot in the title. I was in the Philippines when she got eliminated & saved by the judges but I kinda' had the feeling that's what happened...and I don't know why but I just had that odd feeling she was voted off and saved. Just like a lot of people, I was shocked she would get voted off that early in the competition. Good thing the save vote was still available.

Anyway, I posted days before the finale about my take on the possible winner. Of course I didn't know for sure who would win then but I had the inkling that Phillip Phillips would. Why? The 'X-Factor'. He has it. The voice, not so much. He's even off-key at times. But his stage presence makes up for it. The judges weren't always praising him to high heavens unlike Joshua and Jessica. That alone would have given us the clue that the other 2 were in jeopardy of winning. I don't know why but most of the contetants that they praise were either voted off too early [hello Pia Toscano, Chris Daughtry & Joshua to name a few] or didn't take home the prize [hello Adam Lambert & David Archueta]. Anyway, among all of the contestants this season, I think it was only Phillip who was never in the bottom three. Again, that's a clue that people were voting for him from day 1. Is it the music? Maybe. Is it the stage presence? Maybe. Is it the looks? I think so. What can I say...the audience is still biased when it comes to physical appearance. That's just a fact. As for Jessica....she'll soar. Like I said in my previous post....that girl can sing anything. Her voice is just out of this world. With the right materials, she'll definitely sell records. Let's just hope she gets a great management team.

So? Rigged? I don't think so. It just so happened that the guy has more fans than the gal right now. Who knows what the future holds, right? We just have to wait and see. Just like they say...this is just the beginning. The real competiton hasn't even began yet.

With that being said...


glitter-graphics.com

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Call Me Maybe...

This is my latest favorite You Tube video. I first saw it a couple of weeks when it had about 2 Million hits. Now, it already has a little under 9 MILLION hits. And there's a million and one other videos that either spoofed or copied this one. C'mon! Be original and come up with something else.

The video is that of the Harvard baseball team lyp-synching a song called "Call Me Maybe". It's a bunch of good looking college kids...errr men singing along with a girl 'teen?' sensation.

 Hawt maybe?  You be the judge.

Enjoy!

Accident Waiting to Happen

Now that I'm back home, I can't help but think of all the things I want to send to my family back in the Philippines. Just simple things that we here take for granted. For one, I want to send my sister some picture frames because the ones she has are still the ones I had when I was living there So the first thing I did when I got here was to locate all the frames that I've put in a box because I don't use them anymore. Another thing I want to get her is a tv stand with mount. She has a TV set in her bedroom which is on a stand which is an accident waiting to happen The stand is not so bad but I'm afraid that even with a very light tremor, that TV will fall over her when she's watching. At least when the stand has a mount, it will be more secured. There's probably a million other things I can think of that I want to send them but for now I will just send what I can come up with. I'm pretty sure my sister will be very happy to get whatever it is I can send her.

Slow

Before we left for our vacation, work has been slow already. This is true for both my work & hubby's work. That's basically the reason why we were able to take the vacation anyway. If hubby's work is busy then we won't be able to take a vacation because work has to be a priority especially with  this very unstable economy. Anyway, it's been almost a month since we came back from that vacation...and guess what? Work is still slow! There is work waiting to be done already but in hubby's case they have to wait on materials to do the job while in my case, we have to wait for the work to reach us because it goes through several processes before we get it. In the meantime, hubby is busy working on their company's website while I'm busy doing the usual nonsense stuff online. Ha! Today, hubby spent time looking for a fire hose online. For what? I believe it's for their landlord where they're renting their shop. It seems they need one for the complex. I guess the landlord is afraid that the county inspector may drop in on them again unexpectedly so he wants to have everything in order. I heard the fines for the violations as far as business place is concerned is quite hefty. That is if the place is even found to be suitable for business.

Road Trip Day 2 - Part 2 - Fort Ilocandia

After that refreshing boat ride we took in 100 Islands in Pangasinan, we continued with our road trip. This time around, it's a looooongggg road trip. I think we left Pangasinan before 6 PM and only made stops to eat and get gas but it still took us hours to get to our next destination which is Fort Ilocandia in Ilocos Norte. My brother used to work there so he was familiar with the place. He had an estimate as to how long it would take us to get there but because of the ongoing [neverending] road constructions as well as the usual traffic jams, that estimation flew out the window fast. How long did it actually take us to get there? Well, we got there around 2 o'clock in the morning the next day so go figure. Needless to say we were all pooped when we arrived at the hotel. Since we got in the hotel very late already, we spent most of the morning of our 3rd day snoozing.

The original plan was to spend part of the 3rd day in Pagudpud which is about an hour and a half from Fort Ilocandia. But because of the tiring trip we had getting there and also because we were perfectly happy with just exploring the place, we decided to stay put for the day. We spent most of it exloring whatever we could.


We can tell that the place was top notch during its hey-days. It had almost everything a tourist would want without leaving the place...including a mini-zoo!


Sadly, the place is no longer in its tip top shape. The grounds around the hotel are well-kept but once you go around, such is no longer the case.



We also saw a lot of signs pointing to a golf course, shooting range, boat rides, etc. but none of those places is in existence anymore. The tiki bars as well as the other restaurants around the vicinity are all closed for business. Restaurants can only be found at the hotel/lobby/resort itself. I can't help but wonder if the place will ever be the same again.

Anyway, we didn't dwell much on the things that were no longer there or the unkept grounds. Instead, we went to the beach.




As you can see, we had a blast just walking around. This beach was actually the deciding factor why we decided not to head to Pagudpud on that day. Just being that near to the water was very refreshing. I think I got sunburnt mostly from that walk we did along that beach. Added to nice view, we had the place all to ourselves. No one else was within sight while we were frolicking in the water.

After walking around the vicinity, we spent most of our time by the pool side already. There wasn't much left to do anyway since most of the other amenities which would have been fun are no longer available.

All in all, we had nice stay at Fort Ilocandia Resort. The place obviously needs some much needed renovation because it's really outdated. The rooms are kept clean but they obviously need some kind of upgrading. I have no idea how that's going to happen with the kind of economy we have right now but I'm hoping it will happen someday.

Next stop...Pagudpud, Vigan, Bangui Windmills, etc....

Monday, May 21, 2012

Another Week

...and in a few days MAY will be over. How time flies!

Our weekend was spent scouting for stuff...again. We were able to get a plant that we want to put beside our gardenia [rosal for fellow Pinoys]. This gardenia is quite finicky. It has a  bunch of buds right now but some have fallen off already and it's aggravating because I'm really looking forward in seeing and smelling the flowers. Apparently, it does not like too much sun. Our solution is to find a plant taller than the gardenia itself to serve as its shade. The plant we got is still short but we're hoping it will grow taller very soon to save some of the buds still left on the it.

In other news...I've been feeling a bit ill this weekend. I'm not sure if I'm coming down with a cold or I just lack some sleep or maybe it's my allergies acting up again. I really have no idea but I decided to take a couple of Alkaseltzer just to be sure. So far, the cold is not here and my allergies...well, it's always there. Am coming down with anything? I hope not but I feel better today. I have some aches here and there but I'll survive...I think,

Accident Prone

Not me, thank goodness [knock on wood] but somebody we know. First it's the arm, now it's the ankle. What's next? I really don't have any idea how this person can get into so much mishaps. With the arm, there's not much needed but a sling. But with the ankle, crutches are a must if he wants to be mobile. Or maybe he can rent one of those knee walker roll about I've seen online. Hmmm...that's actually a great idea I think since he's home alone most of the time and he needs to get around to do stuff, I should probably bring up the idea next time we see or talk to him since he would be in a cast for a few month.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Does it Work?

I guess that's the first question that comes to mind whenever we see or hear of weight loss supplements like decaslim. The next one will probably be: does decaslim work safely? Unfortunately I cannot really answer any of these questions since I haven't tried decaslim or any other weight loss supplements myself. I also do not know anyone personally who has actually tried one. Although I know of someone who is looking into it. She's getting married at the end of the year and she really wants to lose some weight before the big day. She wants to do it the old fashion weight but so far it's not yielding any results so she started talking about trying out one of the supplements. I just told her to do her research before doing so.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Road Trip Day 2

On our first night on the road we stayed at this hotel called  Mango Valley Hotel. On the outside, the hotel is not very attractive. It's just that building. But the rooms are very nice. Spacious, clean and well kept. There's 9 of us including our driver and we rented for 2 rooms. The rate is very affordable at 2,500PHP. The room can accommodate all 9 of us but it would be hard to fight over 1 bathroom so we chose 2 get another room.


After a good night's sleep, we decided to go to 100 Islands which is located in Alaminos, Pangasinan. Honestly, I wasn't sure what we'd see there. I was told it's just a long boat ride and I wasn't thrilled about that.

This was the first thing we saw when we got to 100 Islands


As expected, we were swarmed with vendors mostly of hats as well as 'middle-men [for the boat rides] as soon as we got off the vehicle. Our driver who's used to this kind of things did most of the talking with the middle-man. While waiting for our 'negotiator' we decided to choose a Sun Hat for me. I was the only without one so I got me one. A pink one! Ha!

Anyway, we were told that the boat ride could take up to 4 hours depending on what we wanted to do. If we only wanted to see the islands without getting off the boat, then it would only take about an hour. Since we weren't sure what we wanted to do, we decided to rent the boat for the whole afternoon. I was pleasantly surprise because the boat ride was very refreshing. I was kinda' expecting that it's going to be scary but it wasn't. The only scary part was the getting off the boat to see a couple of the islands up close. Here are some snaps we took while we were on the boat and while checking out 2 of the islands - Governor Cove & Cuenco Cave.

This was on the very top of the Governor Island. We had to climb some 200 steps to get to this spot. Needless to say we were all panting once we got up there. But it was well worth it because the view was breathtaking.


This is us still on top of Governor's Island buying some ice cream from the guy who was either waiting for us up there or was probably climbing with us on our way up....not really sure how he got there...but he had a good business going there because as my brother so rightly put it: IT WAS THE BEST TASTING Ice Cream ever. LOL...

Our rented boat


Since we didn't have a lot of time on our hands, we only checked 2 of the islands. We however went around to see the other famous islands up close but without getting off the boat anymore.

There was ne island there where people can pitch a tent and stay for the night. We obviously didn't do that but we saw some people there doing just that.

Next stop...Fort Ilocandia.


Jessica Sanchez Vs Philip Phillips

The last 2 standing on American Idol Season 11. I must say I wouldn't have it any other way. Joshua is a good singer but his style of singing can be irritating to the ears sometimes. I feel like some veins in his neck would pop everytime he tries to hit those high notes.
I must also say that the judges were overly generous with him whenever he sings. I just don't see why they have to give him a standing ovation as much as they did. But that's their choice and I think it may have hurt Joshua in the end resulting to his elimination. But then again...the last 2 are equally talented.

So who's going to take home the crown next week? Philip? Jessica? I don't think anyone can tell right now. As far as voice quality is concerned...it's Jessica for sure. The voice of that girl is just totally out of this world. But American Idol is not just a singing competition anymore. It's the whole package now. Philip is the more appealing of the two. And I'm not just talking about the looks...err...I am actually. LOL. Seriously, he is a musician. He can sing, play the guitar and just be cute. Ha! But unlike Jessica, his voice is only suited to sing centain songs. I guess we just have to wait and see then who's going to be the next AI champ then. But since they've come this far, they're obviously both deserving to win. But regardless who wins, both of them will land a recording contract....just like the past several seasons.



Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pleasant Day

Spring is supposed to be a very pleasant season. But so far, it hasn't be that pleasant. It actually doesn't even feel like it's Spring right now. It's more like summer actually. Wait. Actually, it felt more like rainy season here the past couple of days because it was raining for the most part. We were actually expecting some more rain today but for some reason, it didn't come. Hmm...I wonder if it's just waiting and will come maybe later in the day. But so far, it's been a pleasant day around here...weather wise included. Our gardenia is actually loving the break from too much sun. It has some buds right now and when I looked at them on Monday, they didn't look very happy. They're all droopy and dry because of too much heat. But because of the rain, they are now up and perky again. Hopefully they'll start to bloom very soon. I really like smelling them when they are blooming.

Unfulfilled Promise

Actually, it's promises since there's a quite a few. This is still in regards to our recent trip back home. Because of the time contraint as well as baggage limit, I wasn't able to bring everything I wanted during the trip like the scrub top I promised one of my nieces. They understand why but I still wished I was able to bring more stuff with me. Actually I already bought most of the things so I have them here right now. If only we had enough time to plan things for that trip, I would have sent a box ahead of us so we didn't have to carry so much with us but that wasn't the case. So right now I am putting all things I was supposed to take with me and will just send them, yes, in one of those big boxes I usually send a couple of times a year. Hopefully all of my unfulfilled promises to them will be put in that box I am sending soon.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Road Trip Day 1

This will be the first of a few posts I will be writing on this blog to chronicle our 5-day road trip along northern Luzon during our short 15-day vacation to the Philippines.

After spending a couple of days [on our first weekend] bonding with my family, we started our 5-day road trip. We really didn't have anything planned as far as what activities ~ side trips ~ we would do while on the road. We thought we'd play it by ear as far as that is concerned. Our main purpose was to see the terrain as well as some sights along the way. As far as the activities, we left that wide open. and let our driver Billie take us where he thought would be fun for us to visit.

Since I've been away for more than 10 years I didn't quite know what to expect as far as this road trip is concerned. I just knew we would be braving a lot of traffic jams along the way so I kind of braced myself for that. But that didn't come until the next day. During this first day we used the NLEX [I think] and it was a very pleasant drive. No traffic at all so we just sat back, relaxed and enjoyed the view.

Our first stop was Subic - of course! Amazing how similar the roads are in this highway to our roads here at home.


After about an hour of driving, we arrived to our first 'unplanned' activity. Yep, zip lining which is probably one of the more popular thing to do now for adventurers like me...NOT! The place is called: Tree Top Adventure and there are several things to do to choose from.


Being the daredevil that I am, I decided NOT to join in the fun. Surprise, surprise. Hubby wanted to do the 'Superman' [a 30-second zip lining experience] thing but decided against it because he'd be doing it alone...haha. Instead he opted to do the canopy ride with the little one along with my 2 nieces. It's a very slow ride over the trees just for sightseeing. I knew it wouldn't be scary but I just didn't feel like doing it so I didn't. My sister, my brother and my sis-in-law and yours truly decided to just sit around and wait for the rest of the group to come back from the 30-minute ride.


The waiting plus the ride took longer than anticipated [so what else is new. eh?] so by the time the group came back from the ride, we were all starving so our next stop...late lunch. Guess where we ate....Chowking! Yeah!

Anyway, it turned out that the Tree Top adventure would be our only activity for the day because it was too late to go anywhere anymore. We decided to swing by a duty free shop to pick up some supplies then headed to our hotel for the night. Next stop....Pangasinan's 100 Islands.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Tan Line?

That's what the hubby calls it anyway...but it's not the kind that one might think of though. It's actually on my left wrist where my watch was when we were in the Philippines a few weeks ago. I never took it off [yes even in my sleep] because it's the only way for me to tell the time at anytime, especially at night without leaving my bed. Since it's always on my wrist, that part of me is a lot, I mean A LOT, whiter than the rest of me. Anyway, it does not bother me simply because I've always had uneven skin tone eversince I can remember. The uneven skin tone is mostly on my arms and it starts from just above the underarm all the way around my arm. It never really bothers me because I'm usually wearing short-sleeved shirts so it's not visible to anybody when I'm out. I only see when I take a shower or change my clothes. I know though that as we grow older, having uneven skin tone on our face and other visible parts of our body will start to happen so I'm trying to take care of my skin as much as I can. I'm hoping I won't have to deal with it as I age.

Pagudpud & Its Beach


This is Saud Beach in Pagudpud, a small town by the northern tip of Ilocos Norte. It's a long drive from where we're coming from but it's well worth the trip especially if your aim is to enjoy the beach all by yourself. Aha! I have not been to Boracay or Palawan so I can't really say this beach is better but it's definitely comparable. We only stayed for a couple of hours to check it out and eat lunch but it's long enough for us to decide that if ever we'll get the chance again, we'll definitely stay there much longer. Since it's not as known as the other 2 places ~ Palawan & Boracay ~, it's not very crowded. As a matter of fact, it was just us and a few others [less than 10?] when we were there. Granted that was a Thursday, it's still amazing & surprising how very few people were there at that time. I'm pretty sure the beaches in Boracay & Palawan were probably bursting to the seams with people on that exact day & time. The accommodations are also very reasonable as well as the food in the resto [which is by the beach itself] we ate in. I'm just hoping that if and when we decide to go back there, it won't be too crowded just like this time.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Three Stooges Movie

Weeks before our trip to the Philippines, the little one kept asking me when the new Three Stooges movie will be shown. At that time the trailier only said it will be shown in Sprin so there was no exact date yet. Just before we left it was announced that it was opening in theaters on April 13. Well, we're away on that day so the little one said she'd just wait for the DVD release. I was fine with that but when we got back from our trip, we learned that the movie was still showing in a movie theater not far from where we live. So last weekend we decided to take her to see it. It's Parental Guidance so we had to go with her regardless.

There were very few people in the theater when we got there probably because it's on its 3rd week of showing already. Or it could be that the movie wasn't heavily promoted [as far as I know anyway]. The movie doesn't have any big movie stars [except for Jennifer Hudson?] as well so that may also be the reason why it's not jam packed. Or could it be that 'The Avengers' was opening that weekend as well? Anyway, the little one said she enjoyed it. She wasn't laughing out loud [like Dad] but that could be because she's shy to do so. She actually said she'd rather watch it on DVD. I guess we still have to get the DVD once it comes out even if we already watched it in the big screen eh.

If you want to see the trailier, I have posted it HERE.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

B-I-N-G-O!

                                            Here she is enjoying her first Bingo with some relatives

Bingo is a popular past time here in the US mostly for older people. It's usually held in a town hall or some place where people from all walks of life can join in and have fun. Back home, Bingo is something my family does quite regularly at home. It's all for fun of course and it's usually just them. So what can be a  better way to welcome our little one than introduce her to this fun game, eh? That's exactly what they did on our very first night there. The little one knew of the game before but never actually played it so it was a blast for her. They usually have money involve when they play [thye pay a peso per card] but I told the little one she could just join in and not have any money...you know, just for fun. But guess what?? She WON the first game! So even if she didn't place down any money, they still let her have the 'pot'. She was of course thrilled to have won the first round of the game. She would have wanted to play the game again but wasn't able to because she got busy playing some other 'kids' games. Ha!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Too Short

I guess that sums up our vacation. Just like any other vacation, eh? Everything was done in a rush...and before we know it, it's over. Still, I'm glad we went. It was only for a couple of weeks but we got to spend time with family which is the most important thing of all. That's why we went. I got to see my brothers and sisters [in-laws included] after more than 10 years. We've aged and gained some pounds but we're still the same. I also got to meet the 3 grandchildren I've never met before courtesy of my 2 nieces, as well my nieces respective husbands as well as my nephew's new bride.

Both weekends we were there were spent with family. The weekdays were spent on a road trip. Hubby wanted to see the terrain up north and that's what we did for 5 days...drove/rode to see it. The verdict? He liked what he saw...the terrain, I mean. What he didn't like...TRAFFIC! It was everywhere as expected. Road constructions are also on-going in almost all of the places we went to. The road trip was far from perfect because of the traffic and miscalculations of time of travel. There were a couple of times we were on the road until the wee hours of the morning. But like they say: Charge it to experience.

Obviously, one post is not enough to talk about the 15-day trip so I'll be posting more about it in the coming days or weeks, maybe months. I haven't recovered yet from all that had transpired. Needless to say, I wish we could have stayed longer. But then again, there's always a next time, right?