And before we head on another trip, here’s a short summary of my Hong Kong trip last July (I know, late as usual!).
I have been wanting to go on a solo trip for years. Moms need to recharge, you know.
And for this particular trip, I intentionally identified Hong Kong because of three reasons:
1. I kind of spoiled our own family trip two years ago, because of work that had to be done while on the trip.
2. My goal was to walk, eat, sleep. Nothing more.
3. Because Disneyland. Yes.
But God had even better plans, adding up to the list above.
1. My college friend hosted me (praise God for their family!) so I had no problems with accommodation. Plus, their place is in an MTR line, and with a mall–with an outlet store!
2. Her husband treated me to Disneyland (yay for perks!).
3. I chanced upon the Closing Ceremony of the Belt and Road Choral Competition, wherein my Ninong Mark Carpio (of the Philippine Madrigal Singers) was part of the jury. And this: The Vesna Children’s Choir performing a short program. Uh-ma-zing!
4. IKEA!!! Bought pasalubong for my home–bed sheet, toilet stuff, among others. And before I know it, an IKEA store is opening soon in the Philippines, just in front of our church! (calm down, heart and wallet!)
5. And slept for eight hours STRAIGHT each night I was there. Such grace.
And so there you go. I was able to tick off my goals, plus got some bonuses.
I am just so grateful that this trip happened, at the right time, at the right situation, and right context. I literally needed a break, and it was a perfect one.
So, here’s a clip I made to remember my first ever Serendipitrip (love the play of words there!). CLICK HERE to watch on Youtube. And don’t forget to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE for more travel vlogs! You sure would not want to miss the next ones.
Thinking about studying abroad? Begin your school hunt with this fair.
Last year, my singing group called Perfect Blend, was invited to open the activities with the Philipoine National Anthem and the EU Hymn. Looking forward to attend this fair once again next week. And here’s why.
The 2018 European Higher Education Fair (EHEF) is set on 10 October 2018 at the Grand Atrium of Shangri–La Plaza in Mandaluyong City. Organized by the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines, together with EU Member States’ Embassies and Cultural Groups, and in partnership with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), EHEF 2018 will feature universities and higher education institutions (HEIs) from EU member states.
This year’s theme “Sustaining Innovation and Excellence” continues to promote EU as an outstanding center of quality in higher education. EU Ambassador Franz Jessen said:“The universities and education institutions in Europe offer the charm of Europe’s history as well as cutting edge, innovative education. The EHEF aims to bring both excellence and diversity to a growing number of prospective Filipino students.”
Do you want to specialize in business, engineering, sciences, and the arts? Check out this year’s participating universities/higher education institutions:
University of Antwerp
University of Hasselt
Mendel University in Brno
Study in Prague Consortium, made up of the following institutions: Czech University of Life Sciences; Czech Technical University; Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design; Academy of Performing Arts; Charles University; University of Economics; and University of Chemistry and Technology
Technical University of Liberec
International Business Academy
Audencia Business School
IESEG School of Management
INSEEC Business School
Universite Catholique de l’Ouest
Vatel Hotel & Tourism Business School – Bordeaux
University of Regensberg
WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management
Central European University
Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
IHE Delft Institute for Water Education
Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) Erasmus University Rotterdam
International Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Maastricht School of Management
TIAS School for Business and Society
IE Business School
Universidad Catolica San Antonio de Murcia
Universidad de Navarra
Joint Development of Niche Programmes through Philippines-United Kingdom Linkages (TNE 10)
Learn more about the EU educational system and way of life through lectures and direct interaction with university and HEI representatives, alumni volunteers, and past Erasmus+ scholars. There will also be country presentations from each member state to showcase all the best reasons to pursue higher education in the EU.
Admission to the fair is free. Interested parties can pre–register online via www.ehef–philippines.com.For more information, visit @EHEFPhilippines on Facebook, Instagram, and on Twitter.
A cookie can make a big difference. And with the Tim Hortons Smile Cookie Campaign satisfying a cookie craving also goes towards helping a good cause.
“We are encouraging everyone to help make a difference for charities or organizations that are helping those who are in need or are marginalized by supporting our Smile Cookie Campaign,” said Stephanie Guerrero marketing director of Tim Hortons Philippines. “As we continue to grow our presence here in the country, we also want to be able to make more contributions to the communities we serve. This campaign is our way of doing that.”
Now in its second year in the Philippines, the campaign continues to spread joy through the generosity of the coffee chain’s customers. This year, each Smile Cookie purchased for Php50 at Tim Hortons stores will benefit the recipients of its partner organization Action Against Hunger Philippines.
The Tim Hortons Smile Cookie Campaign will run from September 21-23 in the Philippines. Support the campaign and have a reason to smile by purchasing Smile Cookies at Tim Hortons stores. All proceeds will go to the partner organization.
Store locations are Tim Hortons Glorietta 4, Tim Hortons Insular Life, Tim Hortons I-Care, Tim Hortons One Central, Tim Hortons San Lorenzo, Tim Hortons The Link, Tim Hortons Pearl Plaza, Tim Hortons Blue Bay, Tim Hortons Venice Grand Canal Mall, Tim Hortons Eastwood, Tim Hortons Kia Theatre, Tim Hortons Greenhills, Tim Hortons Market! Market!, Tim Hortons Net Quad, and Tim Hortons Uptown Mall.
For the first time, the Smile Cookie campaign will now be celebrated globally with many Tim Hortons locations participating around the world including Mexico, the UK and UAE.
Smile Cookie Campaign is a fundraising event for Tim Hortons restaurants worldwide. The campaign was established in 1996 as an effort to help raise funds for the Hamilton Children’s Hospital in Ontario. Today, the campaign continues as a major fundraiser for the brand where 100 percent of the proceeds goes to its local charity, hospital or community program of choice.
Action Against Hunger Philippines is an arm of the global humanitarian organization that takes decisive action against the causes and effects of hunger. To date, AAH has helped 299,284 people through its nutrition and health programs; water, sanitation, and health programs; and food security and livelihood programs.
About TIM HORTONS®
TIM HORTONS® is one of North America's largest restaurant chains operating in the quick service segment. Founded as a single location in Canada in 1964, TIM HORTONS® appeals to a broad range of consumer tastes, with a menu that includes premium coffee, hot and cold specialty drinks (including lattes, cappuccinos and espresso shots), specialty teas and fruit smoothies, fresh baked goods, grilled Panini and classic sandwiches, wraps, soups, prepared foods and other food products. As of December 31, 2016, TIM HORTONS® had more than 4,700 system wide restaurants located in Canada, the United States and the Middle East. The TIM HORTONS® brand is owned by Restaurant Brands International Inc. (TSX,NYSE:QSR), one of the world's largest quick service restaurant companies with more than $24 billion in system sales and over 20,000 restaurants. To learn more about the TIM HORTONS® brand, please visit the TIM HORTONS® brand website at www.timhortons.com or follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TimHortonsPH, Twitter: @TimHortonsPH; and Instagram: @TimHortonsPHL
About TH Coffee Services Philippines Corporation TH Coffee Services Philippines Corporation is a joint venture company established under Restaurant Brands International, Inc. aimed to grow an iconic brand, TIM HORTONS TM in the Philippines. As the master franchisee, it is set to enable TIM HORTONS TM to expand its reach outside the US by providing exemplary service and valuable products that are relevant and customized to the needs and tastes of the local market.
Every two years, Toy Kingdom puts up a huge event to showcase toys from well-loved brands. And it’s coming this weekend!
It’s the biggest toy event of the year as Toy Kingdom brings together the most amazing selection of toys in this year’s Toy Expo 2018 on August 24-26 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City.
Get the chance to have a first look at the newest toys in the market, retail prices, and kick start your Christmas shopping early. You can enjoy great deals of discounts and exclusive promos for the duration of the expo.
Toy Kingdom also joins in SM’s 60th Anniversary celebrations by treating kids to 60 exclusive Meet and Greet sessions with their favorite characters like My Little Pony, Play-doh, Hatchimals, Hello Kitty, Shopkins, Littlest Petshop, Paw Patrol, Superwing and many more.
There are also fun booths with games, themed areas with life sized character statues and exciting activities where kids can explore and play with their family and friends.
Give your kids the perfect weekend treat and check out Toy Kingdom’s Toy Expo 2018 on August 24-26 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex Pasay City. Event is open from 10am to 10pm, admission is free.
For more updates follow ToyKingdomPH on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
After a yet another long hiatus, I am back to my blogging mojo!
And what better way for a comeback is to post a new entry in my passion project, #KoristaAko.
Our korista for this edition is quite an interesting ball of musical energy, and I got to meet him for the first time not as a chorister, but a band player. And what an interesting encounter it was, with their band winning the top prize for an international band competition held in our country for the very first time.
So, meet our korista, Efraime Mallari. But first, this video, which I am sure you have seen around Facebook.
NOTE: This funny video is a spinoff of a segment of a late night comedy show. No copyright infringement intended and just for pure korista laughs.
His musical journey is quite interesting, and proves that music heals. He tells of his beginnings as a wind player here.
I joined the band in 2005, playing the clarinet. Hindi ko talaga plano magbanda noon. But it was doctor’s advise for me to study any wind instrument or mag-sports. Pinili ko ang pagtugtog since, music lover po talaga ako noon. Then lumipat ako ng flute nung 2009 and nag-UP ako nung 2010 as Flute Major. Because of competition sa slot sa Orchestra and other opportunities, lumipat ako ng Oboe. Nagshift ako to oboe major since kaunti lang ang oboist sa Philippines. Then ayun po, dagsaan na ang opportunities dahil nga po sa pagiging oboist ko. Kaso nung 2012 po, nagkasakit naman ako kaya ako nagstop. Then nahirapan na ako makabalik so nung gumaling ako, nagwork na lang po muna ako. Teacher sa isang music school for a year then, naofferan ng work sa government so pinush ko na. 2014, naging conductor po ako ng banda namin kasi umalis yung conductor namin papuntang Bahrain, and nagwork naman yung assistant niya sa call center kaya naiwan ako. Nawala din po yung ibang members namin after ng Malaysia Competition namin. At first, ayoko po talaga. Unang una, 20 years old lang po ako nun, pangalawa, nakakapressure po kasi dahil nga po medyo kilala ang banda namin, baka di ko kayanin ang pressure. Plus the fact na puro bata ang mga naiwang members. So as in back to zero talaga halos. Then ayun po, kinaya naman at kinakaya pa rin till now. Paunti unti, sa tulong at support na rin ng mga matatanda naming members, nakaka-ahon ahon. Nakakasali and nakakapanalo rin naman po ng mga competitions here sa Luzon and including sa Davao. Hanggang sa eto nga po, nakasungkit ng championship sa international competition. Sobrang saya po lalu na’t arrangement ko yung ginamit namin sa competition na yun. Cooperation lang po talaga ang key. Lalu po’t sobrang dami namin.
And that arrangement he was talking about is this:
The Citizen Brigade Band of Dasmariñas won the Marching Showband Category of the Bacoor International Music Competition held last June here in the Philippines. I was fortunate to witness this, as I was invited to work behind the scenes for this competition. Such a great place to be in that time, and learned a lot about band music and competitions.
Now let us get to know more about Efraime the korista here in #KoristaAko.
Name: Efraime Amoroso Mallari
Current profession: Office Clerk at Dasmariñas Water District
– Francisco E. Barzaga Memorial School Children’s Choir (2004)
– Koro Ecclesiano (2008)
– Dasmariñas Chamber Singers (2016)
– Philippine Vocal Ensemble (2017)
– Sing Philippines Youth Choir (2018)
Why did you join the choir?:
I’m in a children’s choir when I was in grade 5, so I’m already singing when I was young. Singing is my first love and playing instrument just came after that when the doctor advised me to learn wind instrument for my asthma. Since then, I focused on my instrument till college. I took DCPMA major in flute and shifted to oboe in UP Diliman although I’m already a Madz fan since 2007. Then in 2016, I suddenly missed singing in a choir. I love our band but there’s this different fulfillment that singing gives me. So even though it’s hard, pinagsabay ko. I joined Dasmariñas Chamber Singers, then Philippine Vocal Ensemble and Sing Philippines Youth Choir Batch 3 and the rest is history.
What was that something or someone that influenced you?:
The Philippine Madrigal Singers. Since I’m a fan of the Madz since High School, may special part na rin talaga sa puso ko ang singing kahit nakalimutan ko siya after many years of playing instruments. Then came 2016 when I began singing again and kept on singing.
What is your favourite song arranged or composed for choir and why?: Marami eh pero ang most memorable is Riveder (le Stelle by Z. Randall Stroope). Nagpupunta pa ako sa Computer shop noong high school just to listen to that. Second is “Sa Kanyang Paglalayag” of Ily Matthew Maniano.
What was the hardest piece you’ve studied?: Lahat mahirap lalo noong kababalik ko pa lang sa choir but the hardest ones are the German lalo na sa bulol na tulad ko.
Any choir/s or vocal ensembles you look up to and why?:
Given na yung Madz. So after Madz, I look up to UPLB Choral Ensemble. Halos lahat ng kilala kong galing UPLBCE have this discipline and every time I hear them, I’m always moved by their singing. The most memorable was the repeat performance of the AOV Choral Fest last year when they sang “Daluyong” which was the obligatory piece that time.
What is your most unforgettable choral moment?:
When we (Dasmariñas Chamber Singers) qualified for the Grand Prix in the 2018 Orientale Concentus International Choral Festival. Maraming mas magagalingsaamin. Marami rin kamingpinagdaananbagomakaalis at habang competition kaya hindisumagisaisipnaminnamakakapasok kami. Also, my experience with SPYC (Sing Philippines Youth Choir–an every other year choral program by the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Madz) Every moment of it is very memorable.
#KoristaAko dahil: It opened SO MUCH opportunities for me and may something talaga sa pagkanta na bumubusog sa puso ko. I can’t explain it but it always makes me happy.
This year is quite a milestone for me and my husband.
To begin, this is the tenth year since we both graduated from the premier State University. Exactly as this post is being done–April 27th.
And to celebrate, this photo I had to unearth from an AVP shown during our wedding reception.
I was in the middle of my Bachelor’s Degree in Music (eight long, fun, music and travel-filled years, no regrets!) when he began taking his Masters degree in Technology Management. So you see, he had ALL the reasons to be with me then– to fetch me after choir rehearsals, or I’d wait for him to finish class.
It was a sunny, sunflower-filled Sunday, April 27, 2008. We were called the Centennial Graduates, as UP was then celebrating 100 years. And with both our families around, we marched together to get our degrees. He even had his parents come to Manila from Iloilo. Why? Because two days after this, namanhikan sila. A Filipino tradition of formally asking for the hand of the woman in marriage by the whole family of the man. We got married seven months after my college graduation.
Ten years hence, here we are. We just wrapped up prayer time, and the Gospel reading today is so timely. John 14:6, where the name of our beloved Shrine of Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life was taken from. We got married and had our daughter baptised in this church. We are blessed to be serving this church through the one thing that made us first meet–music.
More Ten Years post next time! Just had to let this happy feeling out, before the day changes.
Since 2016, I got into writing Filipino haikus and accompany them with a nice photo of a place I am in. Check out my simple (and I hope not so trying hard!) Haikus on Instagram (search for hashtags #HAInaKU or #Touringkittywrites).
Last month I have been meaning to post something for Women’s Month, and was supposed to do on the last day of it, but Holy Week was jampacked with work and church activities. So here I am with the poem I finished the eve of Palm Sunday.
Buwan ng Panitikan naman ngayong Abril. Pasok pa rin ang pagkakasulat ko nito dito.
Let us welcome 2018 on the blog with love, love, love!
It was a heavy January (let us save this for later), but February is sure heartwarming. HeARTS month it is!
So, here’s a little story about our engagement 11 years ago.
“Lord, a smart guy will do. Kahit hindi gwapo.”
He gave me a #Mensan, a high IQ guy. The good looks came as a welcome bonus.
October 2007 when he asked me if I was ready to take our relationship to the next level. I said yes. Nothing fancy schmancy. But I was in for a surprise.
December 2007, Ton and I visited MV Doulos, the oldest passenger ship and now a floating bookstore. I was clueless of his “paandar”–a cookbook with a paper on page 143 which says “Will you marry me?” Then on bended knee, he showed a small box with the engagement ring. We were alone in that area–the cookbook area–and it was a perfect moment for just the two of us.
We celebrate ten years of our marriage in November this year. As a post-Valentines date (never on Valentines Day), Ton and I visited the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale. Reminisced the engagement scene (took photos at the cookbook section) and shopped for books (yet again, since he and our daughter “dated” here already a few days ago).
I am happy to be married to Ton. I know that we are together come hell or high water. And we will overcome many more, as long as we are together, and with God as our Center.
One of the outstanding qualities of mothers is their devotion to providing quality nutrition to their children. This is primarily done by preparing healthy foods and giving effective supplements to sustain and nourish their growing family needs. Nutri10Plus Syrup, a multivitamins packed with Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF), Taurine, Lysine, Zinc and Vitamins C, A, D3 B1 and more, had been assisting mothers all around the Philippines in developing children with strong bodies, active brains and healthy appetite.
In the effort to help our co-mommies and their children in the war-stricken village in Marawi, 100 Mommy bloggers from Mommy Bloggers Philippines community had collaborated to bring boxes of Nutri10Plus Syrup, DayCee Vitamin C Syrup and several toys, to a hundred kids in Marawi through SinagTala, a non-profit organization headed by Ms. Kaye Koo. SinagTala had been sending help to villages in Marawi since the war erupted and it had sheltered hundreds of children inside the Playroom which served as the mini-school and play area of the children.
Through the Nutri10Plus Syrup, DAYZINC vitamins and toys, we wish to help uplift the children’s spirits and restore their health as they start on picking up the pieces of their lives as families.
We all thank WERT for this campaign, Kaye Koo of SinagTala and all the staff who have helped in sending the vitamins to Marawi.
We are grateful to the mommy bloggers who participated in campaign using their blogs to bring hundreds of pouches of Nutri10Plus Vitamins full of nutrition for the children in Marawi. Find out more about our lovely mommy bloggers and their experiences as they document their life journeys in their mommy blogs.