Sunday, August 28, 2011

Peek to some unique pieces

I wasn't planning to write anything today. I intend to finish that long overdue research and delete some unnecessary files in my slowly processing netbook. Time to get a new one? Oh, NOT NOW! To my dearest netbook, please don't give up on me. ;-)

The bulk of space in my hard drive is occupied by my media files, music, movies and pictures. I deleted some of my movie and music files and I was left with thousand of photos. In my attempt to throw the unnecessary pictures, I ended up seeing interesting pictures I haven't posted. Here are they,

A basketball ring turned to a side table owned by my Boss. I stole this picture when we were still staying in the other office. A great idea for those who have male kids. A old basketball ring, net and a circular glass top turned to a unique side table

A boat shaped bench and table! These two pieces are so functional because they have storage spaces too. The table has a hidden opening which leads to a space ideal for magazine, books and other utilities. This paired piece belongs to the reception area of Club Balai Isabel, one of the best resorts in the Philippines. The wood and the design are very Filipino. 

In the Philippines, we call this giant shell as kabibe. The giant shell was turned to a sink, a unique and great idea. This piece can be seen in Caleruega,one of my favorite places in the Philippines. I want to own something like this too.

I am linking this post to Kim of Savvy Southern Style's Wow us Wednesdays


P.S. The Philippines has been stricken by typhoon Mina over the past days. Thank God Manila was not badly affected. Rains and heavy winds were all we experienced here. To my fellow bloggers in the USA who are affected by hurricane Irene, I hope and pray that you are all in a safe condition.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I was badged!

I thought it was an ordinary workday today. I did my regular blog tours before starting all the paper works in the office. The last blog I checked was A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson. I read her post and found out that I was awarded with this badge,

Hooray, this completed my day! This is the first appreciation badge I've ever received.

Thank you Mrs. Olson!

I wanted to spread the happiness so I am passing this badge to other deserving bloggers. In no particular order, here are some of my blog friends who deserve the Versatile Blogger award. 
Duni of Duni Studio

Duni is a crafter, self-taught designer and entrepreneur from Germany. She designs and produces flirty sleep wears, sleep masks and bags. Her selling pieces are made of high quality, stylish and comfortable cotton fabrics. If you love floral and other refreshing colors in your sleep wears then Duni's shop is meant for you. You can view her Etsy Shop here.

Shelia of Note Songs

Shelia showcases her beautiful and happy home in her blog. Aside from her incessant passion of maintaining beauty in her home, Shelia is a music lover. She always ends her posts with a lively and a heart-warming song. If you feel sad or tired, try to visit Shelia's blog. Shelia never fails to leave a smile to her readers.

Jannelle of Of Pinks and Fairy Tales

Jannelle is a fellow Filipina blogger. She is a dedicated wife, working mom, and a great crafter. In short she is a superwoman! I wonder where she gets the energy to fulfill those roles. She specializes in upcycling, accessories, toys to clothes. She designs and makes clothes for herself and her daughter. Visit her blog and be amazed by her great creations.

My name mate, Diane of Lavender Dreams

Aside from being my name mate, I will never forget Diane because she was one of my first followers. I maintained this blog for months without followers. I met Diane through the One World One Heart campaign sponsored by Lisa of A Whimisical Bohemian. Diane loves books, decorating her home and traveling. My name mate never fails to share the beauty of each place she discovers to her followers. If you want to go places, visit her blog and take the "blog ride" of your life.

Betsy of Salvaged Treasures

An old door knob, useless keys, old newspapers, who says that these things are junk? Well Betsy is the best to save the day! I have been amazed by how she transforms vintage stuff to wonderful decorative items. Visit her blog and discover how her creativity spread beauty in almost every useless thing you see.

Ricki Jill of Art at Home

Meet one of the best mom bloggers I've ever met. I have no idea what is it like to be a mother and wife. I'm glad I met Ricki because she gives me the real image of motherhood. She would share pictures of her adorable home in Alabama, stories about her kids and experiences on family life. Visit Ricki and discover the wonderful world of motherhood in blogging.
Yadira of Crafty Adventures

Yadira is one of the newest blogs I follow. Her blog logo will give you an idea of what Yadira specializes. Yadira is in to sewing bags, wallets and other beautiful pieces. She loves colors and incorporates them to beautiful and useful pieces.

I used to love painting when I was a kid. I would love to draw and experiment with my water colors. I lost the interest in painting as I grew up. Good thing there's Jen. Jen brought me back to the world where I learned to dream and express beauty. If you want to see paintings made from the heart, visit Jen's blog and revive the kid at heart in you.

Christina of Calej d'Art

Christina is one of the few Filipina bloggers that I follow. Christina is into arts and crafts too. She draws, produces accessories, and other decorative items. Aside from showcasing her creativity, I admire Christina's  Christian devotion and involvement in the community. She and her family engage in activities aimed to empower our less fortunate brothers and sisters.   

Mercedes of Liberty Biberty
I can't recall how I found Mercedes' blog. Perhaps I stumbled on her in one of the blog parties I have participated. Mercedes is a miniaturist from Australia. She particularly produces the cutest and elegant miniature of doll houses. Visit her site become a big fan of her small but beautiful pieces of art works. 

I hope I could literally pin this badge to my fellow bloggers.

If it is not too much too ask, I would like to ask a simple favor from my awardees. Please pass the Versatile Blogger Award to other equally deserving bloggers. Let us spread the award, love and happiness in the blogosphere.

Have a great day!

P.S. All the pictures used in this post are not owned by the author. Pictures were taken from the site of the respective bloggers. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

See the wonders of wood!

I have always been amazed by places and pieces made of wood

This is Pan de Amerikina, a rustic and shabby restaurant in my hometown. Aside from the sumptuous meals they offer, the place is known for it's vintage theme.
Most of the restaurant's materials and interiors were made of antique wood.
Inside the restaurant are wooden benches, tables and huge tree trunks which I believe serve as actual posts of the place.

One of the attractions in the restaurant is a hanging bridge that connects two old trees

Not a picture perfect hanging bridge, but notice the wooden branches attached to the terrace's railings.

Some of you might remember these pictures

These were taken from my last out of town vacay at Puerto Galera. These relaxing furnitures belong to the owner of the resort that housed us for three days. I believe the owner is a fan of wooden furniture. Most of his pieces were made from varieties of Philippine wood.

The two comfortable couches were made from Philippine rattan. The bed that overlooks the beach was made from trunks of old trees and scraps of heavy wood.

The other wooden furniture pieces that mesmerized me are these

I'm joining Mod Vintage Life's Mod Mix Monday

Mod Vintage Life

Savvy Southern Style's Wow Us Wednesday


and Vintage Thingie Thursday of The Colorado Lady.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A weekday feast

I live in a country where most people are Catholics. The Spanish colonization in the Philippines that lasted for hundreds of years is highly responsible for making most Filipinos as Catholics. Much of the beliefs, principles and way of life of Filipinos were highly influenced by the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Though hundreds of years have passed, the Catholic way of life is still evident among Filipinos. A lot of the places in the Philippines have been named after saints. The usual practice was a town or a city will be named after the name of the saint whose feast day coincides with the place's inauguration date. Aside from saints, some towns in the Philippines were named after places in Spain. So if by chance some of my dear followers visit the Philippines, expect that most places are bearing Spanish names.

Aside from names, feasts and celebrations are another tradition we inherited from the Spaniards. Each town in the Philippines has its own fiesta or feast day. Towns that were named after a saint have their fiesta during their saint's feast day.  During the fiesta, the local government spearheads themed parades, programs and each house has overflowing food. It's like Christmas for a day in a specific town. Today, fiestas are seldom observed in the city. Fiestas are more evident in provinces and suburban areas such as in Marikina, my hometown.

Last Tuesday, Anna invited me to their family's house because it's their town's feast day. Though I am deprived of sleep and tired of checking papers, I dropped by Anna's place to join the celebration. A typical home celebrating the fiesta has this


I failed to make a close up shot to each food because I was starving when I arrived at Anna's place. :) My mind tells me one thing,  EAT NOW!

We Filipinos are used to heavy meals. Our staple food is rice paired with a viand made of pork, chicken or vegetable. Most Filipinos can't say that a meal is full unless it has rice. Some can't even last a day without any rice intake. Aside from rice, there should be dessert during fiestas. And dessert should be something that is cooked or baked.

When all the food is there, what comes next?

Friends and stories!

Anna's house is so modern and elegant. Their house was renovated two years ago and I just love its architecture and interiors.   I wanted to take pictures of their place but they have a lot of guests. By the time their house is free, I was all tired and sleepy. ;-)

Today is Sunday and as I am writing this post, I still have a lot of things to do. Check papers, record the scores of my students and that one big research that will determine my fate. I hope everyone has a more relaxed Sunday. Wishing everyone a great week ahead!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Customer feedback is a blessing

I spent a considerable number of years working for the Research Department of a school. And in those years of experience, I have been exposed to the importance of research and customer feedback mechanism to any organization.

We don't need to argue that customers serve as the lifeblood of every company. Customers bring sales and these sales figures later translate to profit and earnings for the company. Hence, each customer is a step closer to the company's goal of continuous and growing profitability. In that case, each customer should be treated as a key ladder to the company's success.

Sadly, some companies see customer feedback as a mere communication platform. Customer feedback is often perceived as a way for irritated customers to burst out their complaints. The truth is that customer feedback gives companies an early signal that something in their system is malfunctioning.

A customer complaining of poor product quality or service is already too many. Companies should bear in mind that customers today are given a lot of convenient means to express their dissatisfaction. The presence of technology based communication platforms such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, provides customers more than enough ways to tell the world that something is malfunctioning in a particular company. A tweet, blog entry, status update could reach hundreds to millions of potential and loyal customers faster than a blink of an eye. If the message conveyed by the customer spoke about dissatisfaction, imagine the number of loyal and potential customers who might as well be dismayed and driven away. One lost customer is unfortunately more than a step backward to the sales, growth and future of the company.

My fervent appeal to all companies is for them to take customer feedback SERIOUSLY. If there is a need to establish a separate department that will specialize in handling customer complaints, then invest and make things work. I hope companies realize too that a properly handled customer feedback facilitates a win-win situation. A dissatisfied customer is compensated and the company is able to detect and remedy a malfunctioning system at an early stage. Everyone is spared from further and harm and damages.

At the end of the day, customer feedback, may it be positive or negative, is always a blessing to any company.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I love libraries

They are pictures of the interiors of modern libraries. I have already written a long post about modern libraries some months ago. In fact that post happens to be one of my most read. Hence, I believe the pictures are worth sharing again.

Some people are claiming that libraries are becoming obsolete and they will soon die because of the rise of the digital age. In my own opinion though, I believe that the libraries will continue to live as long as there are people who are interested to read, learn and enrich themselves in the universe of unlimited information it provides.

I'm joining Mary's Little Red House Mosaic Monday

Photos are not owned by the author. Sources of the photos can be accessed in this post.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Weekend with Nanay and Kenji

I realized that I should do this more often.

Yesterday was a day with Nanay. (Nanay is the Filipino term for mother.) We wanted to watch Eugene Domingo's indie film. But to our surprise, the movie wasn't anymore showing in our favorite malls. :-( We instead went to SM Marikina and spent the afternoon together.

After a tiring walk, I treated Nanay to Burgoo. It was her first time to try the restaurant.

Food at Burgoo is quite pricey but they compensate in the amount of servings and extensive food selections.

Aside from great good, their SM Marikina branch is my favorite because of the creative and modern interior design. The red and orange colors of the furniture make the place so alive and attractive. The wooden floor also balances the atmosphere by giving it a homey and classic look.

I was fascinated by the series of light bulbs in the ceiling of the entrance area

Nice, but I think this consumes too much electricity. ;-)

In the Philippines, Burgoo is known for the paper linens and crayons provided in each table. Guests can doodle and entertain themselves while waiting for their orders. As evidence to this practice, I believe the management compiled the art works of some hungry kids waiting for their food ;-)

Before I call it a day, I finally had the chance to see my nephew from my cousin.

Remember this kid?

I wrote about him in this post. I finally saw the kid in person yesterday.

Kenji has already returned to Japan and it would take months before I will see him again. I'm looking forward to see you in December baby boy. Be a good one ;-) And I hope on that month, I have accomplished something I will never regret.

As I am writing this post, it's a Sunday and in a few more hours it would be Monday. I still have a lot of things to do. The research paper that would determine my fate on the next months is due on September. When will I able to finish my paper?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Predigital days

Don't blink, be still, ready, 1, 2, 3, say CHEESE!

These are the words I often hear during the predigital days. I'm sure most of my followers have experienced taking pictures that are expensive, time consuming, and is a hit or miss attempt. A typical Kodak camera would need rolls of films (12, 24 or 36 shots), AA batteries, and a photo processing center. You have to pay for the developing fee and wait for hours before to finally catch a glimpse of the most awaited pictures. And while waiting for the pictures, you pray that you didn't blink while the shots were taken. Otherwise, you will appear to have closed eyes and a wide open mouth in print. And you know what happens next. Your hilarious face will be the object of everyone's laughter. On the contrary, beautiful shots will make you long for a recopy. You suddenly search for the negatives, raise them against the light and take note of the number assigned to your once in a lifetime perfect shot.

Picture taking before meant no delete, auto preview, and editing functions. What was taken was taken and it remains forever. And why am I suddenly taking about the predigital days? It's because I found some scanned predigital pictures in my netbook. Instead of letting them become idle in my hard drive, why not share them? Anyway the people in the pictures are not familiar of my blog life. They will never know that I posted their embarassing old pictures. ;)

I believe the oldest predigital picture I have are from my paternal grandparents.

The vehicle behind them is a jeepney, the famous form of public transportation in the Philippines. Jeepneys were the main source of income of my grandparents. According to my Daddy, this picture was taken in Antipolo, where the family attended a Sunday mass and have the brand new jeepney blessed by a priest. Antipolo by the way is the next city to my hometown. Antipolo houses the parish of the Our Lady of Good Voyage. Most Filipino Catholics bring their brand new vehicles to Antipolo to have them blessed since the parish is the home of the Our Lady of Good Voyage.

Here are pictures of my paternal cousins.

The three kids are my elder cousins who are siblings. I wasn't born yet when this picture was taken. This was around the late 70s. The kid who is enclosed in a circular wood is my special brother. The circular wood is called andador, the Filipino version of a baby walker.

Finally, I was born :). The picture was taken during my 3rd birthday and with me are my paternal cousins.
Look at my bangs and pig tails! The pictures prove that ever since I was a kid, my most hated ginormous cheeks were already evident.

Me and my maternal cousins

Taken in the late 90s, my nephews from my cousins. This was my brother's 21st birthday celebration.

Dear Micaelo and Patrick, please don't get mad to Ate Diane. The two boys who are blowing the cake are now grown up gentlemen. They will be college freshment next year.

I hope you were entertained and not annoyed by our predigital pics. ;-) Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Do you want new books?

I hope my name mate Diane of Lavender Dreams and Ricki of Art at Home would be able to read this post.

Few weeks ago, I shared Book Sneeze, a website where book lovers and bloggers can receive free copies of books in exchange for a review. If you are interested to join Book Sneeze, click this previous post.

This afternoon, I discovered another site that caters to all book lovers. While Book Sneeze requires a blog and prior approval for membership, this site does not.

Welcome to Book Mooch!

Book Mooch is a community that facilitates the exchange of books among book lovers. If you have books which you no longer use and would like to trade them for new books, then this site is for you. Signing up for Book Mooch is easy and no blogs or any evaluation is required. All they need is a valid email address and some of your personal information.

I joined Book Mooch and I currently have four books in my inventory. You can view my profile and my books in this link. If you want any of my books, then sign up and submit your request.    

P.S. This is a non-sponsored post.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Reading is De-Stressing

Today was not a good one. Though they were minor problems, they all connived and agitated me to the fullest. I still have papers to check so that means that I have to sleep late again.Talking about perfect stress timing...

Right now, I just want to rest on my bed and finish my book. I am currently reading Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.  

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest is the last installment of Larsson's  novel series. I'm not really a fan of books and novels released as most awaited sagas. This perhaps explains why I lost interest to the Harry Potter books. I didn't expect to become a fan of Larrson. I read his first book, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," for the sake of fulfilling my curiosity. I got interested over Larrson's works because his books are one of the best sellers in the Philippine market.

I purchased his first book from a thrift book store. I bought a cheaper book to save myself from saying that I just wasted my money. ;-) When I started reading the book, I realized that I have misjudged Larsson. The book kept me hooked. I love the way Larsson crafted the plot and the characters. The series of events were perfectly coordinated. The story yields  the perfect blend of suspense and curiosity.

As I was starting to love Larsson's works, I learned that he already died in 2004. It was an unexpected death brought about by a heart attack. I got sad because at such young age, I believe he still possesses that burning passion to produce more great works. He was still at the peak of his career. Reading more articles about him made me discover issues that arose after his death. Apparently, there is a conflict with his father and brother vs. his long time partner on allegedly the fourth installment of the book. You can read further details about this issue in this site.

The three novels evolve on two main characters Lisbeth Salander and Michael Blomkvist. Both came from different backgrounds, but twist of fate in work connected Salander and Blomkvist. Salander is a psychiatric patient blessed with superb intelligence and internet hacking skills. Blomkvist was a respected journalist who was trapped under a libel case. The two worked to search for Harriet, the lost niece of Henrik Vagner, the CEO of the famous Vagner Corporation. Harriet has been missing for 40 years but there were no concrete evidences pointing to her death.

If you love crime, detective and suspense stories, then Larsson's three books are for you. The only weakness I have observed over the book is its length. The book is around 800 pages on paperback, relatively thicker over the average 400-page novels I normally read. And another thing, the first two books don't manifest closure on the story's ending. You'll experience having unanswered questions not until you read the succeeding books.

Those who are interested with the story but doesn't have the patience to read the lengthy work, you might be interested over the US version of the film.

It's 10:11 PM on my watch and I still have papers to check. Hopefully this post helped me alleviate my stressful day.

I hope you had a better day on a Manic Monday. :)

Places of 2011

It's been a while since I've last joined a blog party. To start the week right, I decided to join Mary's Little Red House Mosaic Monday Party.

My mosaic showcases some of the beautiful places I have visited in my country for this year. My target is to visit at least one new place within the Philippines every year. And each new place I will discover will be documented and shared in the blogosphere.  The Philippines has 7,107 unique and beautiful islands to enjoy. So you see, I have thousands more islands to visit in my entire lifetime. Could I really accomplish that? ;-)

The mosaic shows Club Balai Isabel, Puerto Galera and the Caleruega Church. If you want to know more about these places, just click the links and discover what my country has to offer to everyone.

Have a great week ahead to everyone!  

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The best movie about best friends

Aside from my family, my friends are my life's greatest and priceless treasures. I may sound so cliche and cheesy but at the end of the day, this is reality. Part of my life is about them. They made me the person I am today.

I am blessed and thankful to have few friends. Yes, I meant few and counted. One of the things I learned about friendship is to place high respect to it. In effect, I don't use it for my personal gain or advantage, especially in the workplace. This is perhaps the main reason why I have few friends and most of them belong to the segment of rank and file employees. As much as possible, I don't easily befriend powerful and influential people. I don't want to be the person labeled as the deceitful Miss Congeniality. Call me a sadist, but I prefer to work things the honest though hardest way. 

One of things I enjoy with my friends is watching movies. My usual movie companions are Anna and Anne. And this reminds me that I haven't seen them for like months already. Time to catch up with you guys! I wasn't a movie fan before. I prefer shopping and eating out not until Anne started inviting me for movie dates. Most of the best movies I've watched come with memories of her companionship. After Anne introduced me to the movies, I also developed the hobby of collecting DVDs. And this hobby is of course not healthy for my wallet. So you see, sometimes friends become bad and unhealthy partners in life. hahaha!

Great movie and friends, they form a lethal combination of happiness. What if movies talk about great friendship? The result is best felt in one of my all time favorites

Beaches is the story of C.C. Bloom (Bette Middler) and Hillary Whitney (Barbara Hershey). The two girls were best friends for more than 30 years. In that span of time, they have shared everything. Love, happiness, tragedies, they were together as each significant stage in their lives unfolded.

I will not spoil you with the details of the movie. What I could say is that this movie never fails to make me cry. It's a must see film to all girls and their troop of ever loyal girl friends. 

Happy Weekend to everyone!

Among the many, I chose you

Among all the flat shoes I owned, this one is my all time favorite

Aside from the fact that it's so comfy, I love them because
CMG Ballerina Flats in a Pouch

Unfortunately, I have abused this pair so much. It no longer exists in my closet :-(

How I wish I could own a similar pair again.

Have a great weekend to everyone. :)