Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Smile

Oh, my it’s been a while. There’s too many changes around here. I’m so pleased that Cee continued her own Photo challenges. One thing about WordPress, I love the “small” community of bloggers and photo enthusiasts.

So for this week, I present my dog Latte! Not only does she bring out the smiles in everyone – she really knows how to smile.

What a beauty…and those sparkling eyes – priceless!

Related Post:
Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge: Smiles



Look, Ma! I’m gonna fly. ~Latte

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Weekly Photo Challenge:”I’d Rather Be…Aboard a Train for an Adventure”



Trains have always fascinated me. And my idea of adventure is hopping on to see places I’ve only read about.

Nothing beats the familiar train whistle or the chug of the wheels as it hit the tracks. The long hours to a destination are just opportunities to bond with loved ones over a cup of coffee or two.

I was in the East Coast three years ago and since driving to Washington, DC is not something we relish – so, train ride it is! The landscape views, scenery, people I’ve met, smells and sounds are just some of the things that made train rides so fascinating.

And it didn’t hurt that there was WIFI on board – ha!

Train rides allow you to dream en route to your destination. It’s a mode of transportation that forces the body to slow down and enjoy the view.

Truly an escapist-mode of transportation!


Related Post:

The Daily Post: “I’d Rather Be…” Weekly Photo Challenge

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Why Fasting is a Feast for the Soul

The time for realigning myself with God’s priorities in my life is again happening this week. With the Christian churches scheduling fasting to help us with spiritual disciplines, it made me wonder about the relevance of prayer and fasting. Instant self-gratification is the default mode of many today, and fasting is such a direct opposite.

It’s a time of praying, hoping and waiting. What a wonderful way to start the year!


Vegetable and seafood salad platter poster

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5 Tips to Boost Your Immunity During the Holidays

It’s the Holiday Season and how do you plan to stay healthy and strong? Read on…


Lighted Christmas lantern

5 Tips to stay healthy this Christmas Season

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Review:White Ceramic Oil Fragrance Burner

This white ceramic oil fragrance burners really work!

White ceramic fragrance burner

Beautiful ceramic fragrance burner is safe to use. “Look Ma, no more open flame!”

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Free Christian Ebooks from a Legal Source

Source: Free Christian Ebooks from a Legal Source

Don’t you just love FREE Christian eBooks? Look no further! And it’s LEGAL!

David Cook Ebooks selection

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Gocery and sEATs: Two New Apps to Make City Life Easier @ ClickTheCity.com Sponsored


GOcery App on iPhone screen

Wonderful Gocery App for people in the BGC area.

Have you heard of these two new apps that promises to ease out the pain of our busy and cluttered schedules?

Source: Gocery and sEATs: Two New Apps to Make City Life Easier @ ClickTheCity.com Sponsored


Worth checking and reading!

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Review of Heneral Luna : Ongoing Tragedy of the Filipino Psyche

Calligraphy Articulo Uno letter

Image Credits: Jessica Olaivar via Instagram

Director: Jerrold Tarog

Lead Actor: John Arcilla as General Antonio Luna

Rated: PG-13

Official Entry: Best Foreign Language Film Category in the Oscars 2016

Heneral Luna is a movie I almost failed to see. One, I am weary of Filipino war movies and second, I thought it was a waste of money. Good thing, I was mistaken on both counts.

The movie opened with a pristine Filipino flag that seemed to be saying that idealism and hope are alive and well in the old world. The General was discussing uniforms and how this will somehow spark unity among an army of people deep into regionalism and self-service. I was thinking that for a military man honed in the skill of battle, he was naive in thinking that people can be changed from the outside; a change that is powerful enough to change what is within.

AND that’s exactly why I love the Antonio Luna in this movie. He was demystified and made unholy, yet devout in his ideals, bigger than the history books that depicted him and yet, sadly, small like a fly in an ointment of all pervasive greed, pride and politics (and not necessarily in that order!).

How do you Solve a Problem Like Heneral Luna?

For those that killed him, it should be quick, decisive and clothe in cunningness. The movie was building to a scene where you, as a voyeur would have no choice but to anticipate what’s coming, however ugly it’s going to be. Boy, it was revolting. For the talented crew whose objective was to make people feel “something”- disgust, sadness, repulsiveness or anger, thank you, we felt it all.

It doesn’t help that the movie was so polished and unafraid to show that black is black and white has no shades of gray. General Luna was a seasoned trouble-maker, the super killjoy of deceitful politicians who have no remorse, excuses or delicadeza; he can see right through the bull and had no compulsion to call anyone a traitor or a coward. Ouch! A lot of his contemporaries flinched.

A Different Kind of Storytelling

Hollywood cinematographers are one in saying that good cinematography is invisible. To say that a film is beautiful means that it has failed. For these artisans, cinematography becomes an art of storytelling; where the movie offers no distraction for its audience who were spellbound in the unfolding narrative.

It’s unsurprising why this movie has caught everyone by surprise. The audience didn’t know what has hit them so powerfully that it defied words. You are lost in the the moment where all it existed was you, the General and the unfolding drama. You realized you are vulnerable because this movie will change you and you might not like it at all, but nonetheless, you are unable to walk away.

The movie is so modulated that the shifting scenes eases sleekly from serious drama to comic relief, action to romance but always preserving the tenor of the cinematography which is in harmony with the changing crescent of the story. The various images have set the stage for the story’s tone, regardless of innumerable moods that the story may show. Truly a remarkable film!

Powerful Images and Symbols

I immediately noticed the use of bokeh in one scene depicting Heneral Luna on top of a mountain, all alone with his thoughts and religious faith. At a glance you understood the loneliness of being alone at the top, but this harsh reality was tempered with the effect of a blurry background. The sprinkling of soothing, glowing, colorful orbs with no jagged edges while showing a close-up of a pensive Luna is absolutely stunning. It tempers and comforts the audience into accepting that this is indeed the fate of people like the General.

The use of Filipino flag images make you think. The movie started with an image of an immaculate flag depicting idealism. Somewhere along the way, reality happened and we are left with a disturbing scene of a man, his back facing the screen and watching the same pristine flag slowly burn. Only when the flames have completely consumed the flag did he leave slowly.

You realized that this man burnt the flag in secrecy, methodically igniting from the bottom part, which is how it should be done as a sign of respect for disposing older and tattered flags. Yet, this flag burner didn’t have the courage to show the world what he had done, unlike the images we have today of massive protests shown in many media circus.

The end scene still showed the pervading mood of deceit, concealment and duplicity.

What Say You?

When I asked my daughter what she felt after watching the flick, she admitted feeling sad that things hasn’t changed in the last hundred years. I have to agree with her. If the General is alive today, it’s disconcerting to know that he will still suffer the same fate from the hands of his fellow Filipinos.

Sadly, an assassin’s heart transcends race and time. In the name of self-preservation, a human being will not hesitate to kill another, never mind if his intentions are clouded with greed and lust for more power. The animal kingdom is kinder and far more humane.

For me, the movie Heneral Luna sparked something within me. I found myself wanting what the General had – immense love for country, duty, courage, and all the things I had forgotten in the course of living. Hundreds of years later, this man is still rallying the present generation to his noble cause. I can hear him invoke his famous Artikulo Uno if we decided not to cooperate!

Thank you and rest well General. We had witnessed something bigger than us and it made us see ourselves for what we really are.

A similar storm is brewing in the horizon…another battle is just about to begin.

Heneral Luna poster

Heneral Luna is the official entry for the Best Foreign Language Category in the 2016 Oscars

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Reward | Reading & Children with Autism

Two young students reading books

Two young students with autism find enjoyment in reading picture books.

Working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders has changed my perspective on teaching, student engagement and patience.

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) “are a cluster of developmental disorders  characterized by social-interaction difficulties, communication challenges and a tendency to engage in repetitive behaviors. However, symptoms and their severity vary widely across these three core areas.” (Symptoms of ASD can be found in the Autism Speaks Website  here.)
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Photo Challenge: The Rule of Thirds


Trees and flowering shrubs

Lovely Norfolk Botanical Garden boosts of magnificent trees and colorful flowering shrubs.

The Rule of Thirds is a photography concept that puts the subject of the photograph off-center.

This photo was taken at the Norfolk Botanical Garden in Virginia Beach, Virginia USA last May 2014. Beauty was everywhere and everywhere was beauty!

I can still feel the crisp, morning air and remember the scents and sounds that came with just enjoying that moment. I’ve never seen such abundance of exploding colors, it hurt my eyes. Kudos to our Creator who made everything for our enjoyment.

The intricacy of every floral design as well as the woodwork of the trees, made me appreciate the joy that our Lord must have felt in the creative process.

It’s all good!

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5 Love Is…Quotes That Can Change Your Views On Marriage


Couple with heart title in the middle

Getting married is easy. Now comes the difficult part – staying for keeps.

When I was a young girl, I enjoyed clipping those adorable carton clips which featured couple Kim and Robert. Drawn by Kim Casali, a cartoonist from New Zealand in the 70’s, it never failed to make my younger version wonder: “why don’t they have any clothes?” or “what is true love?” Continue reading

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Just 7 Ways to be Content


Growing older doesn’t necessarily mean growing wiser. But as I do, I learned more of being contented in my own skin, in my abilities and accepted my frailties with grace. Continue reading

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Love Him Who Deserves it Least – The Daily Positive

Love Him Who Deserves it Least – The Daily Positive.

Reblogging this for the New Year! I know that if there are still semblances of bitterness or unforgiveness as a carry over from 2013, today is just a waste.

Love Him Who Deserves it Least

This quote ends with the words “because that’s when he needs it most.” As we pass by the friends, family, and strangers who have either betrayed or offended us, let’s use this as an opportunity to fortify our ability to forgive.

Let’s see these moments as a time to strengthen our skills of empathy and  to show authentic pity for their brokenness. Remember, we are all a result from, or a reaction to, the people we meet. Those who are hurting have just met some of the wrong folks.

In my years of dealing and leading difficult people, I have found 5 simple steps for loving those who are hard to love.
5 Steps for Loving the Unlovable: 

  1. Recognize Abuse & Brokenness – We must remember that hurt people, hurt people. These individuals have likely experienced abuse which has caused brokenness and pain.
  2. Don’t Reinforce Their Brokenness – As a broken person myself, it’s rare that I don’t recognize my own brokenness. Talk about their strengths. Broken people need less awareness, and more healing.
  3. Be Patient – Healing does not occur in a day. Broken people can be unpredictable, irrational, and frustrating. Limit your time with them, but when you are with them, be patient.
  4. Let Go – It’s not your job to control people. Know that when you enter the realm of a broken person, you are willingly meeting them where they’re at, not having them come to you. Relax, it’s their life, not yours.
  5. Forgive Them – Extend grace and forgive them even if they’re not sorry. These people are hurting and the experience of grace and forgiveness will only help them on their journey of healing.

What has helped you love broken people?

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Restaurant Review: Ramen Cool


Everything is cool in Ramen Cool!

I first heard of Ramen Cool from my daughter Kat as this great place in Kapitolyo, Pasig City sometime this year. So my ever reliable and willing bff Rhycel and I decided to give it a try.

The place was packed with hungry families, a few dating couples and groups of officemates when we arrived. Be prepared to park on the street beside the restaurant because their parking space is suitable for just a very few cars. The guard was very helpful, taking the time to show us where we can safely park. I realized that this small area in Kapitolyo, Pasig is fast becoming a favorite dining spot for people living near and for those who just want a different and new food experience.

The interior of the place is cozy and welcoming. A bunch of Japanese pop paintings on the wall and an LCD screen playing music at the background completed the decor. In one corner was a nice painting of Sakura flowers which I appreciated and that’s where we seated ourselves.

Pop art posters on the wall

Japanese Pop Art

The menu was presented simply and it was surprising that the prices were affordable. Some dishes can be shared by two people: either both women who are not famished, on a partial food diet, an adult with a child or an adult male and female on a date. For two, normal and hungry couples, forget sharing and order individually.

Colorful food menu

Eye catching menu.

The Verdict:


(Php 230)

The serving size was good for 2-3 people and it was served hot with the usual raw egg. The beef slices were plenty and the soup was, (thank goodness) not that sweet, unlike other Sukiyaki versions I’ve tasted. They didn’t go overboard with the sweetness and the soup was tasty! There were a lot of mushrooms and big white onions plus the vermicelli was cooked just right. The food server was courteous enough to ask us if we want her to mix the egg for us and for weakness due to hunger, we readily said “yes,please!”

Sukiyaki dish with beef and egg

Sukiyaki overload!

Tuna Spicy Mayo

I was looking for something other than California Maki and found this! I loved the sauce that accompanied it. The mayo was combined with the Togarashi and a bit of Kikkoman  for a spicy sauce that you can dip the maki in. There’s still the wasabi to reckon with so just imagine the kick that all of these spices does to your senses! ( Calling the fire station…)

Delicious Maki and special sauce

Maki + Mayo + Togarashi = wow!

Cold Noodles (Hiyashi Chuka) (Php 190)

I’m fond of cold noodles and if you haven’t tried it before, now would be the time to try it. Ramen Cool’s Hiyashi Chuka uses yellow egg noodles and not the green ones that I prefer in other Japanese restaurants. The dipping sauce (as I call it) often accompanies the dish and yes, you just dip the cold noodles in and yum!

Noodles with kani, vegetables and tofu

Cold noodles with kani sticks and tomatoes. Image courtesy of foodspotting

House Tea (FREE!)

I love their house tea simply because of the container. I like that the temperature is just right and the double walled tumbler makes sure that it stays that way. Though not as good as the roasted house tea of Shinjuku Ramen House in Makati Avenue, still, it’s free and refillable and helps my tastebud appreciate all the different flavors of the food. Aids in digestion, too!

A glass of green tea with cup

House Tea

The food personnel of the restaurant are all courteous although I have to get their attention a couple of times before they came to the table.  I don’t know if they are understaffed but I do love a restaurant that is at the beck and call of their customers, don’t you? But overall, it was a great gastronomic experience for us. The food was affordable, the place is clean and it’s now on my list of favorite ramen places!


Ramen Cool is located at:

25 East Capitol Drive, Brgy. Kapitolyo Pasig

(02) 636-0972
Business Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily

Get directions HERE

Accepts cash and credit card.                    Parking: limited                      Delivery Service:  None

Children Friendly: Yes                                  Pets: Not Yet

Ramen Cool Rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars!

Ramen Cool Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars!
Image from Foursquare


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Pixar’s 22 Rules to Phenomenal Storytelling

To write a story is hard…to do an exceptional way of doing it takes a lot of talent and practice. Pixar started out as an animation studio and became the most interesting storyteller of our generation. From the first Toy Story, their films got better and better. My personal favorites are of course Finding Nemo and the Incredibles.

These set of rules are by far, the most innovative.  It makes you rethink how you could write a better story with unforgettable characters who have a lot of flaws, yet came out as winners in the end. Rule #12 says it well:

"Discount the first thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th get the 
obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself."

Yes, there’s still a lot of plus points for those much needed happy endings and ever afters.

Categories: Inspirational Musings, List, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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