Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Visualizing Holy Week

It only happens every once a year and we do know as a Christian nation in Asia that Philippines do have ways to celebrate Holy Week. The month of April is really hot and we do know that during this Lenten season, offices are closed to commemorate the sacrifice of Christ to His people. But what is the real essence of Holy Week? Is it only the time to pay tribute and respect and be holy? Is it only the time to think about the things we have done and asked God for forgiveness and fast? I think not. Every day we should be thanking God for His goodness and His mercy. Every day we should live a life pleasing and holy to him.


When you ask the youths of this generation, they seem to focus more on summer vacations, having fun under the sun, sand and sea. Sure evident is when people do travel; you can find them on their favorite tourists’ spots and unwind. I don’t have any problems with that like being with the family and the bonding time they spend with each other.
But isn’t that also obvious that people were just living in traditions during Holy Week when they don’t eat meat products and pretend to be holy when they parade with their saints or pray aloud where people can see and hear babbling words, a repetition of words but useless and meaningless because it didn’t even come from the heart but from the mind that memorized it. People who try to imitate what Christ has done on the cross gives me the idea of them mocking God and claiming that doing this will cleanse them from their sins which is really a big slap for what God have done 2000 years ago. Think about it, self-flagellation to attain salvation? What is that an act of self-righteousness? bribe?
This is my own perception of what is always happening back home. I have nothing against any religions and beliefs here since this is my blog and I just wanted to express what I do feel. Visualizing Holy Week is nothing but a regular pagan practice because it comes with customs and traditions, which has nothing to transform the inner man as what is really important.
Transformation or change can only happen through the saving power of Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit. In 2 Cor. 5:17 it says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come which means, you need to turn away from your sins and do the Will of the Father which is in heaven. Change can never happen in one night, it will be a moving progress, an improvement. People will see the change when you truly obey and follow the Word of God.

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saving Money in this Crisis Situation (Part 2)

Practical ways to save:
1.Skip a Movie Date – You can save money if you can just skip on going to movie houses. If you think that you can live with that, then consider watching tv or reading books to alter that hobby.

2.Minimize your dining out- You eat outside you pay also for VAT. Always remember that once in a lifetime you get to enjoy dining out, but in a crisis situation like this, refrain from being vain and glamorous on eating out on those fine dine restaurants.

3.Skip on buying your branded products- Be it a beauty product or what you regularly consume or use, it is still best if you read the labels well. Give local products a chance particularly if the prices are cheaper than your usual branded product. It is up to you if you will do this, but it can help a lot especially if the Price is Right!

4.Impulsive Buying is a No-No- Be sure before you leave the house, you already have a list on what to buy so that you won’t get tempted on the things you will see in the grocery or market. Stick to your budget and buy what is only necessary or important. The things you need is first, the things you want, well forget it at the moment.

5.Be Careful of those Buy-1-Take-1 Promos – If it is not on your grocery list, then don’t. Most buy one take one items is not particularly the thing you need. Some of these buy 1 take 1 promo are cheap but the quality is also the same. It only tempts you to buy and the price range is not what you think it is that you have saved more. Quality comes in first before quantity right.

6.No Shopping for New Clothes/ Shoes - I am not kidding. Do you think that you needed brand new clothes? New shoes? For what? Is there any occasion? If there is well you can at least use your still good to wear clothes and shoes. I can only think of buying new clothes if I am really lacking clothes or there is really a big occasion. But during crisis times and you go around the mall, never ever shop on items which you think is LESS important. Food is necessary and people need to eat, but clothes or shoes, I think not. Kids can also help their parents if they will not be choosy on clothing. What is important is the inner being, not just the outward appearance.

7.Recycle Items/ Products – Yes; recycle things which you think is necessary to be recycled like plastic bottles, magazines and newspapers. You can create a lot of good things in these items aside from keeping them and sell them on junk shops. About food, well practically speaking left over food are to be re-heated and can be eaten again if you think it is still good to eat. Just don’t waste anything.

8.Correct usage of Phone Calls/ Text Messaging- Don’t be a one liner guy if you can send more than 250 characters on that SMS. Saying Hi, then later on you will text message again to ask how someone’s day is really not practical. People should learn how to save money. Send only messages that are important and limit your calls. It is up to you on how much can you save money before reloading again for a new one. Youths these days should remember that their folks earn that money through blood, sweat and tears. They should not burn money by just texting useless messages. Not unless you are already working and you know how hard money is earned.

9.Using Cash more than using your Credit Cards- Credit cards is good when you are paying your bills online. But it is a No-no if you use it on purchasing items online since it is also not that safe. About using your credit cards on malls, well you should know that you pay not only the amount you swipe that card but also you pay for the interest and take note, you also pay extra amount if you miss paying the previous debt. It is much wiser to just pay using cash because you can still save some dough if you do this.

10.Live on your means, don’t envy others who can afford to buy- You saw your neighbor bought a new Flat screen television and you wanted to do the same so that you can be someone who others thought you can afford and boast. Well my dear, the answer is live on the things based on your means. Do not envy others, it is a SIN. You should never compete on someone by just placing yourself in a situation where you borrow money just to pleasure yourself or others. Be simple, live a life which is more pleasing to God. Remember that the love of money is the root of all evil. Money is neutral and should be used according to God’s plan, not just your own plan because it will never succeed.

Being happy in life even if life these days are hard can be attain as long as we are content of what we have. There are so many things to think of saving money, but this will start with you. One golden rule I can share also with you here is that DO NOT BORROW MONEY, not unless your into emergency BUT, there is a BUT there, borrow money which you think you can RETURN BACK. Anyone who borrows money is a slave to the Lender. You will also not prosper if you don’t pay back what you owe to people.
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Friday, April 15, 2011

Saving Money in this Crisis Situation

Gasoline prices ballooned for the past months and prices of commodities followed along. In this crisis situation, what are the things that you do to save money? It is really difficult if only one in the family is working. In this generation, the parents should be both working or their children who are of age should be helping their families in order to sustain the daily expenses. If kids go to school, their parents would also be shouldering their daily fare and food budget. About electricity bills, well this summer will be expected to be more expensive because you will be using electric fans or air condition more. But we can do something to save money so that we can still buy what is important or needed.

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Here are a few tips on how to save money in this crisis situation:

1.Saving for Electricity – You can unplug appliances that are not in use, in this way you can save money because even if you turn that appliances off, the meter will still move. Don’t use all the appliances all together. If you’re using the washing machine, you can turn off your fridge or your television for the mean time. Using the computer to watch is cheaper than to use your colored television. Another thing that you can conserve electricity is to schedule your daily chores like washing, ironing and cleaning for the week. Keep all the dirty clothes in the laundry bin and just wash clothes when in bulk so that it will be in just one go, that is also applicable in ironing clothes. Keep the door of the fridge close.

2.Saving for Food- You can save money by buying fresh veggies and fish in the local market without going too far where you will spend gas or fare for traveling. It is okay to buy and eat red meat once a week but this depends on your budget. Skip on buying frozen foods or cured foods, it is not safe for your health. Get only what you can eat, if that is rice then start from half a cup to one cup so that no one in the family would be thrashing off left overs. According to the latest survey almost 4B pesos of foods particularly rice are wasted because of left overs. If you want to go for the second round, make sure you keep your plate ample enough so that you won’t waste anything, don’t be a PG (Patay-gutom) Dead hungry for more, it’s really unethical.

3.Saving Gas/ Gasoline- Walk if it’s just near anyway it will be beneficial for your health. In this way you can save fare or gasoline if you have a car. You can also save a lot on your gas tank (cylinder) if you don’t boil water for taking a bath. You better take a bath in the morning of afternoon where water is good. Avoid cooking foods that needs a lot of time for boiling or preparations. Always turn off the knob of your cylinder tank so that it won’t leak any. If you wanted to travel with your family and you want to use your car, just go to nearer places so that you can still save a mile for fueling your tank.

to be continued...

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Pizza and Pasta Time

I don’t have anything to cook or prepare on my birthday and that is why we went out to dine at Pizza hut and ordered their Fettuccine Creamy Spinach Mushroom. I was really craving for white sauce pasta and I think that it would be lovely to pair it with pizza. Not that impress about the pizza here in India, but at least there is one thing in it that will never be in our own delectable pizza back home, which is SPICY!. Yes, definitely if you order a pizza here, it will be with spice, kinda hot but tolerable and lovely.

Fettuccine in Creamy Spinach and Mushroom Sauce with Garlic Bread
pizza hut 1

I didn’t want to order much since I don’t like to waste food which I am sure my tummy is limited only on what to take. So we ordered in Creamy Spinach Mushroom pasta and Florence Chicken Pizza, extra garlic bread and some Mango delight for drink. That mango drink is combined with passion fruit which I really don’t like the combination, anyway I didn’t order that drink. It was hubby that liked the idea. I am just plainly satisfied with water and that’s it.
We waited for 10minutes before the pasta arrived followed by the pizza. The drinks of course came first but not to let the tummy be full, so we just chat a bit and waited out for the completion of our meal. Once the orders arrived our table, we took pics and dig in for the goodness of the taste which our nose can smell.

Florence Chicken Pizza
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The fettuccine pasta was just aldente and fine and it was perfect to match the creamy sauce of mushroom and spinach. I really do like to increase my intake of spinach or healthy veggies such as spinach because of my pregnancy. So far so good, I can eat pizza and pasta. But to some foods, I can really feel the bitter taste of my mouth.

I got full already eating half the plate of my pasta so I gave it to hubby to finish. I still wanted to finish my two slices of pizza and there you go, all jam packed inside my tummy. I was really satisfied with what we ordered even if after that, I keep on burping and still can taste what I ate.

Birthday girl enjoying her meal

Well, that is just simple and not so extravagant way of spending my birthday. I don’t have cake for this year but it was just fine since I can have it any other day I want. This day will be just different and I have spent it with my beloved. We went to shop for our food supply after we dine in at Pizza hut. It was still early night but I rested a lot because I don’t need to cook food for dinner because we are already full. But there is one thing that I can comment on what we ordered. It was the garlic bread; it was brownish or toasted as what I don’t like it that way. Even if it was served hot and crispy, I still would prefer if they have put some more garnishing into it like butter and some herbs.
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Monday, April 4, 2011

What’s Your Take on Air Travel?

It is the most convenient way to travel particularly if it was a far and distant place compared to riding a bus or a train. But you might say, yeah I can see only cloud and landmarks from afar but if you’re into nature tripping, you will definitely enjoy a bus ride or a train ride, well it depends on someone’s taste, mood and timing.
If we really are in a hurry or if there is no other way to travel but plane, then enjoy it. Just make sure you select the best airline company that serves quality food and hospitality during your flight. I have been travelling for so many years and I have tried at least 5 different international flight carriers and 3 local flight companies. I have seen and compared the qualities of each airlines and I can say that not because it is expensive means it offers the best. Some airline company offers affordable ticket prices and yet the service and quality is really high.

Food served during the flight
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We always book our flights online and thanks to the very accommodating sources online; we can compare which ticket is cheaper or which agency offers a promo or discounted rates. Certainly I don’t like a very long lay over time to wait for my connecting flight, but I don’t like too short time that I feel like I am going to miss my connecting flight. Well there are cheaper tickets which offer a very long lay over time and just see to it that you will get to the gate number in time or rest a lot.
The most traumatic for me is the Hongkong International Airport where it is so huge and you cannot just ask any person that speaks bad English, errr I mean you can’t get what they try to say in terms of pointing directions. As much as possible, I do avoid stop overs in HK and prefer other countries if I go from Mumbai-Manila flight or vice versa.

Not that extravagant, but its ENOUGH!
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But one thing for sure, Cathay Pacific does give the best quality food and service. Although Singapore Airlines does the same thing and I don’t have any complaints with them. I also like their food and their service even if I am on economy class (cheaper). Well, just don’t pack a very bulky baggage particularly your hand carry if you don’t want hassle. There was this lady who came from Hongkong and she was carrying a very heavy and bulky bag which the flight crew inspected was so heavy and she was asked to limit her baggage. I mean what in the world is she thinking? The compartment looks smaller than her hand carry? Hand carry is supposed to be 5 or less than 5 kilos, not to exceed or else they won’t allow you to board the plane. The sad part is, we were all boarding that time and she was barred from the plane, poor lady.
Anyway, about food service some airlines offer not so good food that you wanted to choke. Some offered the most disgusting wine. Anyway, as long as you ask the attendant politely, they will surely give you what you need like coffee, tea, water or any beverage. Some do even ask even if the plane is just going to take off. Well, the word is DECENCY. You are not in a restaurant which is EAT ALL YOU CAN, mind your manners too. Can’t help to notice someone seated beside me who are just so PT (Patay Gutom) pardon me, I mean DEAD HUNGRY for more. As if they are in a hurry for a LAST MEAL? Duhh! Even if you said hey I paid for it! Hmmm, makes me think why every now and then they go to the toilet to pee.
Can’t help a seat which is bumping your knee, the space is not enough, the aisle is narrow and some planes are really smaller than what you think. Just be sure you check in and select your seat ahead of time to avoid the unexpected. Which side would you like? I know the Window side of course where you can view outside the plane. But if your alone travelling and your uncomfortable to pass by your seatmate while going to the toilet, then the aisle seat is for you. What is your take on Air Travel?
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Sunday, April 3, 2011

One Enchanted Afternoon (An Enchanted Kingdom Experience)

We did plan that the whole family would enjoy Enchanted Kingdom but as what we know, not all plan succeeds or happens as to what we expected. But I know that there is a purpose why it did happened for a reason. It was a very hot afternoon that day that we visited Enchanted Kingdom in Sta. Rosa Laguna.

Entrance at the Enchanted Kingdom
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It was my second time to visit this place. I was with my friends on my first tour to E.K. but at the 2nd time around, I was already married and I visited this enchanting place with my hubby and my youngest brother. Actually there are so many rides that I like to try but due to a very long queue of kids having their school outing, we weren’t able to ride those that I desire to ride.
To tell you something about Enchanted Kingdom, well you can visit their site and call their number to ask for their latest promo. They have pick up points if ever you wanted to go there and just commute. Their weekday rate is P400.00 pesos while weekend rates are P500.00 per head. But if you’re with a child who’s 36” to 47” in height the rates are P250 (weekdays) and P320 (weekends) and those who are below 35” are considered FREE.

Wristband with stamp.. this is where they stamp for re-entry also...
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At that time we visited, their opening is at 11am and closes at 7pm. You can just recheck their schedule because they also announces when they are closed for private functions. They seem to change their opening and closing sessions. Anyway, the only word I can say if you are there is HAVE FUN!

Caution...Decide first before you ride
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If you are opt for extreme rides then you can try Space Shuttle Max, Anchors Away, Jungle Log Jam, Flying Fiesta and the latest ride which will separate your soul to your body called EKstreme. By the way EKstreme ride is not included in the regular ride. You need to pay extra P80.00/head on that extreme ride.

Who would want to miss Anchors Away.. well that was me, I chickened out!
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If you have kids, then you can go to Boulderville and enjoy the rides such as Air Pterodactyl, Boulder express, Bumbling boulders, Dinosaurus , Stone Eggs and the Grand Carousel which is one of the main attractions and center at Enchanted Kingdom.
Most of the rides that you will enjoy will be the favorite of all is the Rio Grande and prepare to get soaked and wet. It is also a long queue at the Wheel of Fate that time and we missed riding it. The Roller Coaster ride was just a mini ride so it will be a so-so. About the Swan Lake ride, well you need strong knees and legs to pedal that since it is difficult. My folks who are at their prime age would never like to ride such so beware the Seniors not to ride that. Well, as for totality the only ride safe for Senior Citizens would be the Grand Carousel because I don’t consider the rest okay because it is not for poor and fainted hearts.

One of the Most Thrilling Ride at E.K.( Enchanted Kingdom)
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If you have brought snacks along with you, chances are you would need to hire a locker because if not, they will confiscate those foodies at the entrance gate. Don’t be sad, there are lots of food kiosks to be found inside. You just need to go to Portabello where you can have great hotdogs there some foods are in the Jungle Outpost where you can find the Nestle Ice Cream Scoop station and Pitamania Shawarma and lots more if you roam the place.

The Enchanted Kingdom Mascott Symbol
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The last thing that you need to remind yourself when you are there is to buy something at their gift shops. From souvenirs caps to mugs and t-shirts, you can choose something to remind you how enchanting Enchanted Kingdom was.
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