12.28.2013

Happiness is a Delivery of Pizza Hut Family Pizzas

Stuffed Crust Bacon Cheeseburger and Cheesy 7 Pizza Hut Pizzas

Berto and I looooove pizza. Not a very healthy statement but it is the absolute truth. It is our ultimate comfort food. Early on in our married life, we used to get the Pizza Hut Palm Card regularly. We'd get one then after 6 months it would expire and then we'd get another one immediately! That's how addicted we were to stuffed crust pizzas!

Then one day, we decided this habit of ours is not really helping our weight-loss goals, not to mention our financial goals. So we stopped cold turkey. We gave away our Palm Card and just stopped ordering pizzas.

Then a few years ago, we started ordering pizzas again. hehehe. But we resisted getting the palm card, so we wouldn't start thinking that we're wasting the card by not ordering more pizzas. We figured a pizza night every few weeks or so wouldn't hurt. 

We had such pizza night last night. I was feeling a bit down with my painful back and all (yeah, that's my lame excuse!) so I chided him into ordering pizzas so we can eat while we watch a movie on cable. 

So Berto immediately called the Pizza Hut hotline 911-1111 and ordered our favorite Bacon Cheeseburger Supreme. Then the lady on the other line started offering promos. Like the Buy 1 Take 1 Family Pizzas for only P409. It was tempting but customers are limited to only three flavors to choose from. So Berto just said we'd just get a regular order of pizza. Then the lady again told us of another promo, where we can choose the flavors of 2 family size pizzas for P499. It was a great deal since a family pan pizza already costs P429! Another bonus is that they had an all-cheese flavor available, the cheesy 7 where the pan pizza is covered with 7 different kinds of cheeses! Wow! I was immediately sold! I just love cheese-flavored pizzas! We also asked for a stuffed crust upgrade for both pizzas! Yes, that's how much I love cheese!

When the pizzas arrived less than 30 minutes later, our hearts were fluttering and our tummies were grumbling... giving our ulitmate comfort food the warm welcome they deserve! Woo hoo! PIZZA!!!

After this, I'm going on a diet... or maybe I can just start next year. Hehehe...

12.26.2013

Our Christmas 2013

We spent our Christmas the way we usually do every year.  The only difference this year is that Bea didn't play an angel as part of the Christmas mass celebration.  This year we welcomed a new parish priest and well ...  Let's just say he isn't too much into plays and pageantry.  So we went to mass earlier to avoid the crowd.  Before that,  the little girl and I sang our hearts out with our almost decade old Wow Magic Sing.  Yes,  I think I finally passed on the singing bug to her!  Hahaha!  It started when we attended my barkada Christmas party and she heard her 6yr old friend sing Got to Believe in Magic.  Now that song is all she wants to sing! So cute!



After mass,  we had a simple dinner then just watched TV,  waiting for Noche Buena time.  Bea refused to sleep.  She was too excited to open her gifts to even feel sleepy.  And she didn't even have a nap that afternoon.  I swear,  sometimes I wonder where she gets her energy!  After our Noche Buena, (which was comprised of the usual fare: special fried rice,  ham with pineapple sauce,  barbecue, kaldereta, hot chocolate and hubby's buko Pandan surprise),  we opened our presents.  I got a Starbucks planner (weeee !) while Berto got a hot and cold mug (oops forgot to take a pic)  from my sis. Bea received lots of presents this year,  though slightly less because no more gifts from her ninang from my former job  I didn't get to meet up with them before the holidays.  I admired Bea for her determination!  She really didn't open her gifts until it was time.  *clap clap clap!
After playing with her new toys some more,  Bea finally plopped on the bed and asleep in less than a minute.



On Christmas morning,  we didn't get to have breakfast together since I woke up late.  :( Berto woke me with coffee in bed,  telling me that visitors will soon be coming and I should start getting ready.  Argh ! Sure enough,  they came.  Inaanaks I only see every Christmas who don't even bother to greet me when I see them on the streets (hay).

Then our family from my mom's side began to come.  Yey !  Reunions can be pretty tiring but I do miss them sometimes. This year,  some of our family from Tacloban joined us.  They were also ravaged by the typhoon Yolanda and had to come stay here in Manila until this become normal in their area.  It's a sort of blessing in disguise since we wouldn't have had the chance to meet that side of the family if they didn't relocate here.  :)  *focus on the good stuff I always say. 

The rest of the afternoon was spent singing,  eating,  exchanging gifts,  and then singing and eating some more.   Berto set up our photo booth and had our annual wacky shots taken.  Here is a photo booth pic of me with my crazy cousins and of me and our family.





I love the photo!  And it was Bea's idea too!  I posted it on my Facebook wall with the greeting : 'Tis the season to celebrate LOVE and FAMILY.  Merry Christmas from our family to yours!  Cute huh?


How about you guys,  how did you spend Christmas this year?

12.24.2013

A Very Merry Christmas 2013


Thank you dear God for this blessed occasion.  Thank you for saving us and loving us through your Son,  our Lord Jesus Christ.

Have a very Merry Christmas to everyone!  Enjoy this season and don't lose sight of what we are really celebrating...  God's great love for us!

May our hearts be always filled with joy... Merry Christmas!

Berto, Kwala and Bea

12.18.2013

How To Book A Hotel Room at the Hotel H2O, Manila


Berto and Kwala at Hotel H2O

Last week, Berto and I celebrated our anniversary. We decided we wanted to spend some quality time together, alone. Yep, for the first time in a very long while, we decided to leave the little one behind for just one night.

The first order of business, where should we go. Berto and I love to go on road trips. We sometimes enjoy the trip more than the time we spend at the destination itself. We automatically decided a road trip is the way to go. But where should we go? Our choices were down to Tagaytay, Subic  or good ole Manila. The day before our anniversary, hubby wasn’t feeling too well. I reasoned that he won’t enjoy a long drive, so much to our disappointment we opted to just stay within Manila. We agreed that although Manila hotels charge a bit more, we should also consider the fuel we saved for forgoing a long drive.

Next, we had to decide which hotel should we book. I really wanted to stay in Manila Hotel, but it was just too expensive, they didn’t have running promos at that time. Berto remembered that his cousin got married in one of the hotels along Roxas Blvd. The hotel has a good view of Manila Bay, plus the rates are really affordable! We went to the website www.booking.com and was about to book a room when out on a whim, I decided to check out Hotel H2O.

A few years ago, we got the chance to stay at Hotel H2O when my sister took us along their office summer staycation. That time, we got an aquarium room where one side of the room is one huge aquarium. This time, I thought a bayview room would be more romantic. An overnight stay plus a buffet breakfast costs P4,800 plus sales tax and service charge, net amount is P5,856. I booked it! They didn’t charge my credit card just yet, but they did ask for the credit card information just for assurance. We will still pay at the hotel. At the last minute, I decided to check the hotel website. I was shocked when I saw the rooms’ published rates. They were double sometimes triple the price at booking.com. I clicked on reserve now and was brought to the reservations page. Apparently they always had a promo going on. I saw the bayview room and it costs the same as the one on the booking.com website, same terms and additional charges. It  was aptly called the Best Available Rate with Buffet Breakfast for 2. (true, promise!) I decided to just book at the Hotel H2O website, just so I wouldn’t have to deal with a third party. 

I went ahead and booked the bayview room. I got a confirmation mail, and I was happy. BOOKED! We are actually going to celebrate our anniversary at the hotel! I even emailed the reservations office, requesting for an anniversary greeting on the TV in our room. =)

After a while, I noticed website had another option. It was called the Last Minute Special Full Prepayment rate. This option costs only P4,320 ++. Total cost is P5,270.40. Cheaper than the rate I just booked, for the same room! Waaaah! I wanted to pull my hair out! The only difference was that they’d charge my card immediately, instead of just holding the info for security.  It’s ok with me. We were sure with our booking, I didn't mind if they charged my card now, I want the extra discount!!!

I immediately called the hotel… at 12:30am. Understandably, they front desk told me he couldn’t do anything about it. He advised me to call the reservation office in the morning. 

At promptly 9:00am I called, the phone was answered by Ms. Nicole. I told her about my predicament. She asked me to call back, since her supervisor is not yet there. I called her two times more before I finally got an answer, she told me they would accommodate my request, and that I should only go back to the website and modify my booking! Woot woot! The practical girl in me rejoiced! We saved a couple of hundred of pesos! It was definitely a sign of great things to come!! 

12.15.2013

Love Comes in Different Forms

For some it may come as a vow of undying love in front of loved ones, for others it may come as fighting off sadness and loneliness as they work abroad for their families here. Still for some, love may come in the simplest of forms.


Last night, I wasn't feeling very well. I was tired from the two days straight photo coverage plus my back cyst still really hurt. My sweet hubby offered to make me my current happy food, Champorado! So after hearing mass, he cooked 10 cups of champorado and we ate that for dinner! Considering he was tired too, actually he's more tired than I was since he's the main photographer plus he's also got a terrible toothache but despite all that, he still offered to make me my favorite food. Awwww. So as I transferred the digital photo files from our past two events (a wedding and a birthday party) I feasted on wonderful chocolatey goodness from White King and Bear Brand Powdered milk! 

Love comes in different forms. Last night love for me came in the form of a random act of thoughtfulness. I'm such a lucky girl! 

12.11.2013

My Birthday Celebration 2013

Last November, I turned a year older. I’m not one to throw a party for myself to celebrate. I do want to feel really special on my special day. I’m not picky, a dinner date plus something from National Bookstore would make me a very happy girl! Give me something from Fully Booked and I’d be even happier! 

Days before my birthday, Bea kept on bugging me if we can check into a hotel and swim in the pool, just like what we did last year. Although I didn’t want to spend much on my day, I had to relent. Bea just had heart into it! We checked-in a simple hotel near our area, and let Bea splash around in the tub till she tired herself out. =) Bea swam / splashed while Berto and I watched Fast and Furious 6 on DVD. (Little did we know that this would be a premonition of sorts since Paul Walker died 2 days later. )

Our simple feast.

The next day, on the way home, we passed by the White Plains area in Quezon City and bought Pancit Malabon (P230 for the smallest bilao), Maning’s Lechon Pugon (delicious oven-baked lechon at P630 per kilo for classic flavor and P640 per kilo for adobo flavored) and Jacinta’s Kutchinta(really yummy since they are topped with langka, around P90 for a box of 9). I opted not to buy any cake. I thought I’d just put a candle on one of the kutchintas. =) 

Jacinta's Kutchinta instead of cake

We went home and had dinner with our family. My sister gave me a big tub of Nathaniel’s Buko Pandan. It was the first time I ever tried their Buko Pandan, and it was soooo heavenly!
So that’s how I celebrated my birthday, with my family, with people who matter most in my life.  =)

Contact info:

Maning’s Lechon Pugon and Jacinta’s Kutchinta
83 Katipunan Road, White Plains Quezon City
0917-7213411 / (02) 502-0390

Nathaniel’s (order online, click the link)
ITC Commercial Bldg, Timog Avenue, Quezon City
Store Hours:
Mon - Sat: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm

By the way, I was so tickled when I went to Google Search on my laptop and found the Google word shaped like cakes. I wondered what was the event for the day, birthday of a famous baker? Founding of a known pastry? When I passed my mouse on the page, I found Google greeting me!! *Kilig*


Happy Birthday from Google!


12.10.2013

Happy Anniversary: Berto and Kwala

That's our reflection on the window, ATTEMPTING to form a heart. =)

21 years ago, Berto and I became boyfriend and girlfriend. We were graduating high school students, both active in C.A.T.. Although we basically lived in the same community and were schoolmates since second year high school, we really became close while training in the C.A.T. (Citizen's Army Training for the young ones who have no idea what I'm talking about).

We had our church wedding in May of 2001, but we actually celebrate our December anniversary more. I don't really know why. Force of habit perhaps? More memories? I'm not sure, we just do.

This year, we really didn't have anything grand planned. We usually just go out for dinner and a movie. A usual date. But this year is different.

We decided to make it really memorable. We really wanted to go to Ilocos, we didn't have enough time to prepare. We ended up choosing a staycation in a hotel in Manila over a road trip plus hotel stay somewhere in the north. Will do a blog post for that.

Berto and I really believe in the concept of investing in your relationship. It doesn't always have to be expensive vacations and fine-dining restaurant dates, for us it just means consciously setting aside time for just the two of us.

It was really refreshing, after a week of rushing 4 album layouts and barely sleeping! Haha.

Happy anniversary hunny!

12.08.2013

Updates.

More than a month passed without a blog entry. Tsk tsk tsk. There goes my resolution to blog more often and more regularly. As I mentioned in my last post, Berto’s laptop problems caused us so much trouble. Imagine 2 photographers with tons of post processing to do, having to share one 4-year old laptop which also has its own quirks and lags.

Anyway, just an update. We finally decided to have hubby’s hard drive replaced, memory increased and everything else reformatted. We finally had it running by the third week of October.

I thought our creative life was going back to normal, and I can blog again. (no more Berto’s hogging the laptop!) then something really big happened. I mean really BIG! We’ve been hoping for this for almost years now and finally, progress! I can’t share it just yet, I’m too afraid to jinx it, but let me just say that it has a big impact in the future of our family. Nothing’s final yet, but we’re almost there. Law of attraction. *wink* I will share once we get the good news we're waiting for.

By the way, I turned another year older  and hopefully wiser last week. I wasns’t as happy and giddy as I was last year, but I was more grateful and appreciative though. I told you….wiser. hehe.

Will post my birthday kwento soon. In the mean time, I'm posting a happy photo of me with my Canon 5D MarkII! 


Please… blogging mojo…. Stay this time! =)

10.02.2013

Laptop Trouble

I've been wanting to update our blogs more,  but we've been having laptop troubles for the past month now.  Berto's laptop is younger than mine by a year,  sadly though it conked out on us already. So we've been sharing a laptop.  Being photographers who do heavy post processing, this is a big hassle!  We now take turns in using the laptop and sadly business comes first and blogging second.

It all started when his laptop begun to run so slowly  or hang in the middle of a project.  Hubby initially tried to just make it work but it got so annoying that he decided to just have it reformatted (thinking that a virus got to it.) we had it reformatted but it was still so slow, so we upgraded the memory.  It helped for a while until it developed booting problems.  Windows won't load.  So now we're thinking it's a hardware problem.  Argh! 

We'll bring it to a technician tomorrow.  For now I'm trying blogging thru my Samsung Note 8 while Berto is still hogging the laptop. 

9.30.2013

Runner Runner by Nuffnang and Globe

Two weeks ago, Nuffnang Philippines launched a contest in collaboration with Globe Telecoms. They had a “Runner Runner” movie screening blogger contest. They asked bloggers whether they preferred to Go Bigger or Go Better and write a post about it. Although I’ve been blogging for many years, I’ve never joined a contest before that’s why I decided to join this time. Click here to see my post about it. 

 After a few days, I finally got the email I’ve been waiting for, I won! I get to see the movie in Shangrila Plaza on September 26 for free and I get to take Berto with me! Wee! 


 Registration started at 8:30pm. Upon registration, we got a globe gift pack, 2 movie tickets and free snacks. While waiting for the doors to open, we were approached by one of the organizers. She asked if we were bloggers, when I said yes, she also gave me a stub for Print Social. They’re a special kind of photobooth, they instantly print guests’ Instagram photos live as long as you use a specific hashtag for that event, the hashtag was #GlobeGoBIGGERMovieNight. She told us that we can tag as many pics as we want as long was we use the hashtag. We got 4 prints! Hahaha, excited much! 


Inside the cinema, the organizers announced the name of a lucky blogger who got to take home a smart phone. Lucky girl! Although we didn’t get to take home a phone, winning the movie tickets was enough! 

Berto and I had so much fun that night! I think I will try and join more contests hosted by Nuffnang Philippines and other blogs. Who knows, I just might win!

9.26.2013

SOLVED: WIFI Connection Problems with Samsung Galaxy S4



My dependable Samsung Galaxy S3, which has served me so well in the past, has been showing signs of wear and tear in the past months. The upper part of the screen turns dark after hours of use, battery life is more horrible than usual and is has developed a crack on its lower casing (mini usb port). I am not usually one to sell my old mobiles just to upgrade. My old cell phones are still with me, rotting away somewhere in the house. I just get too attached. This time though, I decided to sell my S3 while it still has SOME value. 

I have no intention to upgrade. I'm perfectly happy with my Samsung Galaxy S3, but it seems absurd to sell my old unit to buy the exactly same old model. So I decided to just but the newer model, the Samsung Galaxy S4. To be honest, I feel the updgrades are barely noticeable, save for the 13megapixel camera from the S3's 8 megapixel camera. I was just afraid my old phone would die on me, and that would just be unacceptable!

So I went home with the new phone, all happy and excited. I immediately tried to connect to our wifi router to download my apps. My new phone detected the router instantly, but as I was trying to connect, it got stuck on "Obtaining IP Address...". I tried everything! I restarted the phone, restarted the router, even reset the phone back to factory settings, to no avail! I was so frustrated! I tried to google the problem and apparently, Samsung acknowledged that there was indeed an issue with the Samsung Galaxy S4 and connecting to certain wifi routers. Ay naku! Buyer's remorse immediately set in! 

I found a solution online, apparently I had to update my router's firmware... and I had no idea how to do that!!

The next day, I immediately called PLDT, and the customer service patiently listened to my rantings. I asked him if they received complaints about Samsung S4 and wifi connections. He said yes, apparently the Samsung S4's system is so hi-tech, the router's firmware needs to be updated to recognize it in the system. 

The wonderful thing is, he updated the firmware remotely! He restarted the router and updated it from where he is. Amazing! And hassle-free! =)

After a few minutes, I tested the connection again and I was immediately able to connect! Woot woot! 

For those having similar wifi connection problems between the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the PLDT Prolink H5004N wireless router, don't worry. Here's the solution, just call the PLDT customer service hotline 171 and report the problem, they'll do everything from their end. And you'll be downloading and surfing again in no time!

Problem solved!

9.24.2013

Macky's Goto of Marikina City


Last Monday, classes were suspended because of the heavy rains... again. The good news is that we got to spend more time with our Bea. We spent the whole day rolling in bed, eating and watching TV. After lunch, Bea's tutor arrived. I worked on my laptop as I kept one eye and one ear on them. 

After the tutorial, we decided to drop by Marquinton for some supplies. Then, because of the wet and cold weather, Berto and I were inspired to try one restaurant we've been meaning to try but haven't gotten around to actually trying... Macky's Goto.

Located along JP Rizal St. San Roque, Marikina City, Macky's is always filled with people. Inside, there is homey feel, with wooden chairs and tables scattered about, the type you'd typically see in old households. 

Menu is quite simple and affordable. Goto - P25, Tokwa't Baboy - P30, Spaghetti - P32, Palabok - P30. Halo-halo - P30, Sago't Gulaman - P30, Hamburger - P28, Chili Dog - P40. Drinks: Miniral Water - P10 while softdrinks in can are P12.

Don't be fooled by the simple menu, the food was delicious! Goto was so tasty. No need to add calamansi to make it flavorful! Even Bea loved it, and finished her bowl immediately. This is also the best Tokwa't Baboy in my opinion. Instead of using boiled pork, they used crispy lechon kawali. Absolutely yummy! I wasn't too happy about the halo-halo though. I know, it was already cold but Bea wanted halo-halo so Daddy ordered it for her.

And the price is just crazy! They could've raised the prices even just a bit, but they chose to keep the prices affordable.



We arrived at around 6pm and were still served. However, customers that came after us were warned that there was no more Goto and Tokwa't Baboy since they were about to close! Whew! Lucky us, apparently we just about made the cut off! So if you're planning to try this resto out, come early.

Macky's Goto
JP Rizal St. San Roque Marikina City.
Just before Our Lady of the Abandoned Chuch

9.23.2013

McDonald's Concepcion Marikina is Open!



Early this month, our favorite fast food chain opened one of its branches near our place. McDonald's opened its Concepcion Marikina branch! It is open 24 hours and it has a drive thru window! Woot! Too bad thought that it doesn't have a McCafe but that's ok, who knows it might come in the future.

A few days within its opening Berto and I swung by and ordered some drive thru snacks. =)

After and before

The new McDonald's stands where the old Concepcion Market used to stand, before it burned down. Although an era ended when the Concepcion Market closed down because of the fire, admittedly that busy intersection is now much more pleasing to look at.

Hopefully delivery will now be much faster and cravings for premium brewed coffee and midnight snacks will now be satisfied effortlessly.

9.19.2013

Craving for Champorado


Yummy, easy-to-cook Champorado

Earlier, while watching KrisTV, I had the incredible craving for champorado. Good thing Berto and I remembered to pick up a White King Cham-O-Rado pack when we went to the grocery last week. All the food I see in Kris Aquino's show just makes me hungry!

           Here are the ingredients you'll need to make this chocolatey goodness:

  • White King Cham-O-Rado pack
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Powdered Milk or Evaporated Milk (depends on your preference)

         Procedure:
  • The box contains 2 individual packets that's good for 5 servings. We used both packets so that  it's good for 10 servings.
  • Boil together 10 cups of water, 1 cup of sugar and 2 packets of the champorado mix.
  • Stir occasionally to make sure the rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. 
  • Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the rice is cooked.
  • Serve with milk on top.

I love how this recipe is so easy to follow, because everything is instant! Perfect for someone like me. (I hate being in the kitchen). 

Berto and I prefer powdered milk on our champorado. It makes it more creamy. Berto prefers Nestle Bear Brand, and I just let him have his fun. =) That was my breakfast earlier, a bowl of champorado paired with a big mug of coffee. I cooked so much champorado Berto and I had 2 servings each in the morning and we also had this for snack in the afternoon. Bea loves it too! 

Ahh! Thank you Lord for the simple joys in life! =)



9.18.2013

I GoBigger and GoBetter with Globe


This year, my life went through so many changes. I quit my job, tried my hand at working from home, decided to try surviving without a nanny for my daughter and go full time with our photography business.  I must admit there are days when I feel I have so much on my plate, juggling too many balls, and overwhelmed with the daily tasks to be done.

There are days when there are just too many things to do! Aside from wifey and mommy duties, there are the inquiries from potential clients I need to reply to. There are days when my cellphone just won’t stop ringing and beeping! Sometimes calls come when I am in the middle of something and I miss them.  I have no other choice but to call clients back. Some clients would rather discuss photography packages through text messages. Do you have any idea  how long it takes to explain inclusions in our different photography packages through texts? For just one client, I’d have to send so many texts! And I have to reply to several inquiries in a day! You can only imagine how much I spend with prepaid load. I needed to look for a better solution to limit my phone costs.

Thankfully, only Globe Prepaid gives me Bigger and Better unli offers.

Go Bigger
GoCALL100 gives me more call minutes (500 mins) VS Competitors offer (200 mins). No need to use prefix to enjoy unlicalls.
– With GoUNLI30, I get real unlimited service with unli allnetwork texts, unli calls to Globe TM, plus the real UNLI-chat experience with the best apps available. It’s the real deal compared to competitor’s UNLI offer.

Go Better
- GoUNLITXT49 gives me the same UNLI texts to Globe/TM at a BETTER prices VS Competitors offer.
– With GoUNLI25, I get real unlimited service w/ unli Globe/TM calls and texts, plus unli Viber chat to the rest of my friends. It’s the real deal compared to competitor’s UNLI offer.



Which brings me to the question: should I GoBigger or GoBetter? After going through these offers, I’ve decided to GoBigger!  I think GoUnli30 is perfect for me, I can answer all the client’s inquiries through text messages (for all networks!)  or call them without thinking of my load balance (Globe / TM). I can explain to them fully the inclusions of our packages and hopefully close the deals with just as little as P30 a day! Cutting back on daily costs is very important for a business  owner like me who’s just starting out.

My husband and I have been loyal Globe Prepaid Subscribers since the very beginning, and we’ve been loyal to Globe ever since! So I think it’s just right that I take my husband with me to watch Runner, Runner should I win in this Globe Prepaid Promo.  He’ll surely love it!


You can either try to GoBigger or GoBetter  depending on your needs, and get value for your money! 





How about you guys? Would your rather GoBigger or GoBetter? Find something that will suit your needs and try it out!



Marikina Garden Spa

One of the things we love about living in Marikina is that we have almost everything we need within the city. After Berto’s trip to Majayjay Laguna, he has been complaining of aching muscles, so I decided to treat him to a relaxing massage at our favorite spa in Marikina, The Marikina Garden Spa located along Gen Ordonez St. Marikina Heights Marikina City.

Before going there, we called ahead to make sure that the couple’s room, The Butterfly Room, is available. Aside from the privacy it provides, we also like that the room has its own shower so we can freshen up before our massage.  Soap, shampoo, conditioner, towels and robes are provided. There is also hot water, which is a big plus! The butterfly room air-conditioned and has two clean massage beds. Linens smell so good!  It is decorated with simple lamps and butterflies. The intensity of the room light can be adjusted to one’s liking. While inside, relaxing ambient sounds are played to help you relax, even fall asleep, in fact they let you sleep for a bit after your massage, which is perfect!

Hot tea, cozy ambiance, comfortable room
An hour long massage costs only P350 but if you request for the couple’s room that will cost extra (P50). Additional charges also apply if you want to use the shower (P50).  We paid P900 for our massages, inclusive of the charges for the room and shower. 

We love that the staff in the Marikina Garden Spa is all friendly and courteous. They almost always answer the phone on the second ring. We got there a bit earlier than our schedule so they let us sit on the relaxing chairs and served us hot tea. 

We are not newbies in the spa scene. We love getting massages. What we do like in Marikina Garden Spa is their unique and consistent style.  Sure there are masseurs we prefer and request for, but their styles are basically the same. They kneed through our knotted muscles expertly and adjust the massage strength depending on your preference.

Aside from their different massages, they do offer other services like body treatments (scrubs), body treats (eyelash perming, ear candling, underarm bleaching etc.), special facials and waxing.  To complete the whole pampering experience, they also offer manicure/pedicure, hand and foot spa and other pampering packages. They also offer special Dermatological Treatments (peeling, Botox, anti-cellulite, whitening) and Slimming Programs. Don’t worry, they are supervised by a certified Dermatologist (MD).

Walk in clients are welcome, but if there are specific massage therapists you’d want to request or if you want to book the butterfly room, call ahead just to be sure.

By the way, they also have a cool events place called La Veranda where one can have their wedding receptions and birthday parties. Visit their website for more info.

Contact information:

Marikina Garden Spa 
181 Gen. Ordonez St. Marikina Heights, Marikina City
Tel Nos. 940-4811 / 941-5035 / 0923-3285898


9.16.2013

Movie: Bug


As part of hubby's birthday celebration years ago, we watched the movie "Bug". Recently we caught it again on video. It starred Ashley Judd, Harry Connick jr., and Michael Shannon. It is based on a novel and play about a lonely girl who lives in a dingy Oklahoma motel room and a creepy ex military spewing off conspiracy theories every chance he gets. This is such an intense film from the man who gave us "the exorcist" eons ago, William Friedkin. Michael Shannon reprises his role in the play as Peter Evans, the ex soldier who is convinced that the government used him as a petri dish and implanted bugs under his skin as part of a top secret government experiment. He gives a compelling performance as a delusional man who really believes that bugs are literally crawling and living inside his body. He exhibits enough vulnerability that makes you believe that he is a good, sane man victimized by the government, yet exudes dark force as evidenced by spurts of violence, either inflicted on himself or on others. Ashley Judd is such a revelation in this movie! I have always liked her, from the serious action/drama: double jeopardy, high crimes and twisted to the cutesy wootsie movie someone like you. I just like her... Her face, her acting. In this movie, she's not dolled up and yet you can still see how pretty she is. she gives so much emotion in the way she delivers her lines, her acting lets you know how it feels to be a simple-minded separated woman who lost her child in a grocery store 10 years ago and now feels that she has nothing to live for and no one to claim as her own. A desperate, sad woman who'd give anything to keep the first relationship she'd had in years.

I know not everyone will agree, but I loved this movie. They talked a lot, and usually that is a big turn off for me, but this time, the emotions and the intensity that flows between these two people having a conversation was entertaining enough for me. This is such a powerful movie about loneliness, paranoia, and well, shared insanity i guess. did they really have bugs in their skin? Was it all in their minds? You be the judge.

A simple creepy film with great acting. Definitely worth watching. Berto and I liked how it played with our minds. If you're into that, go and watch it.

St. Pio Chapel in Libis, Quezon City


When we were still working, I would often visit hubby at work in Libis and we would park the car at the nearby pay-parking space within the grounds of St. Pio Chapel. I would usually look at the chapel from the outside  wondering what it looks like on the inside. I was always intrigued but never had the chance to to take a peek. After years of just passing by the chapel, we finally got the chance.

To be honest, I didn't really know St. Pio except that he was a capuchin mystic and that he bore the wounds of Jesus Christ or stigmata. Also, early this year, they exhumed his body from his grave to find that it has not been corrupted even after so many years have passed. a true sign of a saint!

Upon entering, I found the chapel very cozy. It is small and airconditioned, and you can tell that it is properly maintained. it is designed like the one in San Giovanni Rotondo. Its facade is shaped like the Cross. It helped that we went on a weekday, so there were hardly any visitors then.

When we got in the chapel, it was so quiet and solemn. And when we approached his statue, I actually got goose bumps... His statue was so lifelike.




There was a pew set up in front of st. Pio's statue so that you can look at him as you kneel and pray and write down your petition on the papers provided. They also had the prayers for St. Pio ready for the devotees, with a replica(?) of his gloves framed, available to be touched by the devotees.

When st. Pio was still alive, he would wear gloves as he said mass so as to not frighten the people of his fresh wounds on the palms of his hands. Since these gloves were in direct contact with his hands and his blood, they were preserved and are said to have since became instruments to many miracles.


The walls of the chapel are adorned with numerous testimonials by Filipinos healed through the intercession of St. Pio. From addiction, to cancer, to dengue... there was even a testimony coming from a childless couple who were finally blessed with a child after becoming devotees of St. Pio.

The chapel is maintained by businessman Ramon Escobar Rodriguez and his wife Didi Cloribel Rodriguez on their property at 188 E. Rodriguez Ave., Bagumbayan, Quezon City. They were also recipients of God's grace through a miracle.

It all began when Ramon Rodriguez experienced St. Padre Pio’s miracle in 1979. At that time, Ramon was not an active churchgoer, even when he suffered high blood pressure of 240/130 that caused blindness in his right eye and blurred vision in his left, he didn’t go down on his knees to pray for help.

A friend then gave him a novena to Padre Pio, out of curiosity, he picked up the novena and wondered whom Padre Pio was. Unconsciously he was reading the novena and wondered why he was able to read it. When he went to his ophthalmologist and he was told that he was cured. He could already see clearly.

Right then and there, Ramon promised Padre Pio that he would pray his novena everyday and that he would venerate Padre Pio for the rest of his life.

In 1983, Ramon and Didi put up the Philippine Centre of Padre Pio. First, they used a space in their building and converted it into a chapel. Now the chapel has grown on a 2,000 sq m area that included a garden which is called the Padre Alessio Garden.



They also had the bloody and realistic crucifix that again gave me the goosebumps, and a statue of St. Pio.
It was said that a after the statue was placed there in the chapel garden, red liquid was found to have oozed on his head and nape. They had pictures, but they didn't really claim it was blood.

The new chapel was officially blessed on Sept. 23, 2007, the death anniversary of Padre Pio who died on Sept. 23, 1968.

Come and visit the chapel and experience it for yourself.

St. Pio Chapel
RER Compound, 188E E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave. (C-5)
Bagumbayan, Libis, Quezon City

Tel. No. (632) 634-3668 / ( 632) 634-3669
Contact persons:  Ester M. Calzo and Mona R. Ramos




Here are the Schedule of Masses:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday
4:30 pm Rosary and St. Pio Novena
5:30 pm Holy Mass followed by anointing of holy oil & veneration of the St. Pio’s relics

Wednesday
4:15 pm Rosary and Novenas to Our Lady of Perpetual Help and St. Pio.
5:30 pm Holy Mass followed by anointing of holy oil & veneration of the St. Pio’s relics

Saturday
(Anticipated Sunday Mass)
4:30 pm Rosary and St. Pio Novena
5:30 pm Holy Mass followed by anointing of holy oil & veneration of the St. Pio’s relics

Sunday
10:00 am Holy Mass followed by veneration of the St. Pio’s relics
12:15 pm Holy Mass followed anointing of holy oil
5:00 pm Holy Mass followed by veneration of the St. Pio’s relics
7:00 pm Mass followed by followed anointing of holy oil

Every 23rd of the month
12:15 pm Holy Mass followed by veneration of the St. Pio’s relics
4:30pm Rosary and St. Pio Novena
5:30 pm Holy Mass followed by veneration of the St. Pio’s relics

* The St. Pio Chapel is open daily from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm




check out their site: 
http://www.saintpiocenter.com/


* Pictures were taken many many years ago... hence the younger faces hehe. Information is updated though. 







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