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. 







9.13.2013

Berto: Back from Majayjay Laguna

Berto's finally back from Majayjay, Laguna, woot! This is the third time this year that we've been away from each other. The first time was when I went to Ilocos with my friends, and the second time was when Berto was away for two days and went to Baler, Aurora with his fellow photographers from Wedding and Portrait Photographers of the Philippines (WPPP). This trip to Majayjay is also a trip organized by WPPP. The picture I used isn't one of Berto's. I still have to ask for some pics from him so I can post them here.

Photo by Richard
This time, the trip was only for a day and night. Berto surprised his girls by coming home earlier than expected! Woohoo! Call us corny, but we're never used to being apart for very long. I even asked him to leave his used shirt beside my pillow so I can smell him at night... yes, parang baby lang. hahaha.

We celebrated his homecoming by ordering KFC streetwise 6-pc chicken box and having instant noodles as soup (this is Bea's current favorite).


Together again! yey! Will post some of Berto's pics from his Majayjay trip soon!

9.11.2013

Kwala's Day Out: Pizza, Pasta and OTJ with Friends

On the first Sunday of the month, my college friends and I met for a much needed day out. We decided to meet at the St. Pio Church in Libis to hear mass together. Sadly I wasn’t able to make it since the temporary nanny that we got for Bea arrived late. =(

Berto and I met my friends in the parking lot and I joined them there. Apple, Hazelle, Che, Pinky, Rhona and I have been friends since our college days in Miriam College; but our paths have somehow crossed way before that. Che and I have been classmates in grade school, while Pinky was my classmate in high school. Rhona’s cousin was my sister’s best friend. Apple and Hazelle were also classmates in high school. We have been together through most adventures in college: through hard exams, free cuts and terror teachers. Now, we are further bound together by being kumares for life, standing as godmothers for our children. We used to just meet at least twice a year, for our barkada anniversary in July (just us girls) and for our annual Christmas party (with our families). This year, we’ve so many times, not that I’m complaining! I do love these girls, and I really enjoy the chika and laughter. Correction, we don’t just laugh, when we get together, hagalpakan ng halakhakan! Hahaha! Too bad Rhona has since migrated to the states so we haven’t been actually complete for years. Maybe next year? =)



Back to my story, Pinky couldn’t make it so it was just us four.  We still had time for lunch before our movie so we went in Ristorante Bigoli in Eastwood City. It’s a nice place that serves Italian fare. We ordered  the 4-pc Italian Chicken Platter – P250. We also each ordered Pasta and Pepperoni Pizza Combinazione. You get a slice of pepperoni pizza plus a pasta dish of our choice. You can choose among Spaghetti Bolognese, Fettuccine Alfredo and Spaghetti al Pesto.  Prices range from P135-P150 depending on your pasta dish. I chose my favorite, Spaghetti al Pesto. The chicken and pasta was delicious! The pasta was just ok for me. 


We then proceeded to see our movie. We decided to watch OTJ. This was sort of a compromise. The other girls loved to watch Filipino movies, me, not so much. I’ve been burned so many times before. I just end up tsk, tsking the whole movie, thinking how I’ve been robbed, how the movie is just not worth it. For OTJ, I had to make an exception. I heard  the movie won foreign awards and was graded A by the film board. I decided to give it a shot, if it turns out bad, at least I got to spend time with my friends.

Boy, was I glad I let myself talked into watching OTJ! It was a beautiful movie, in all aspects! The actors were great! Even those stars who got only a few minutes exposure shone! Joel Torre: OMG! I’ve always been a fan, this movie gives me more reason for being one!  Gerald Anderson: I never knew he could act, he did great in this movie! Piolo Pascual: Well, I’m still not a fan, but he also acted well. The only thing that bothered me was Joey Marquez. His acting was ok, his sincerity was obvious and vital in the movie.  It’s his voice that I found distracting… and annoying. The whole movie was great! Go see it!

After the movie, my friends and I decided to go for coffee and doughnuts. We went to J.Co Doughnuts. As usual the long line was irritating. Ugh! We each ordered an Al Capone doughnut plus coffee. I also ordered a dozen doughnuts to take home to Berto. More chika about the movie and plans for our next get together.

 At around five, we wrapped up our fun day together. Day off lang ang peg. 


Berto was already waiting for me in the nearby CBTL. When he saw the box I was carrying, he instantly forgave me for leaving him alone the whole day. (hehe) He loved my pasalubong for him and couldn’t wait to eat them with McDonald’s brewed coffee, our favorite! 


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