Ordinary things that make life extraordinary.

Ordinary things that make life extraordinary.

Category: Holidays

Monday Mellow Yellows: Gown

In December 5-8 last year, the whole city of Roxas and province of Capiz celebrated Sinadya sa Halaran. It is one of the much-anticipated festivals in the province and one that is steeped not only in tradition but also in fun and merrymaking for all Capizenos here and abroad. This festival is held in honor of the province’s patron, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

A month after the festival, I took my sons and my two nieces to a local resort in Roxas City for a dip in the swimming pool there. It’s a nice, family-friendly resort with lovely gardens. We like going there for some quick R and R.

On our way to the receptionist’s counter, we were greeted by this lovely mannequin at the lobby. It was dressed in a lovely yellow floral gown.

Apparently, the mannequin and some posters that were up on the hotel’s walls were part of an on-going exhibit of sorts displaying the faces of Sinadya sa Halaran.

A mannequin dressed up in a lovely yellow floral gown.
A mannequin dressed up in a lovely yellow floral gown.

The lovely gown features an intricate floral pattern, all embroidered by the skillful hands of the women of Capiz. The butterfly sleeves were decorated in what looked like cowrie shells to me. We were told by the staff that it was the same gown worn by the festival queen. It is really pretty and colourful, but my youngest son got scared of the mannequin he wouldn’t go near it.

Monday Mellow Yellows

Monday Mellow Yellows 052: Firefighters

My boy and his younger cousin, Chappi, riding on a fire truck. This is still in the playground at San Antonio Resorts. It really is a great place to bring your kids.

monday mellow yellows fire truck

The two were role-playing. They said they’re off to save Bopbop, Chappi’s elder sister, who was “trapped inside a burning house”, or so they pretended. The role-playing was completed with Bop’s cries for help and a loud siren/alarm that, of course, came from the “firefighters” own mouths, hahaha.

Monday Mellow Yellows

Monday Mellow Yellows 051: Hi-ho, hi-ho!

Still at the San Antonio Resorts in Brgy. Baybay in Roxas City…

I was surprised at how nice is the children’s playground there. Filled with the usual see-saws, slides, monkeybars and swings, it is large enough for kids to play and run around. There are lots of trees and flowering plants, and the grass are wonderfully trimmed. There are benches/chairs, too, that you’d normally see in parks where the oldies can relax, read a book or watch the kids and while away the time. There also pockets of areas like this, where you see duwendes (dwarves or gnomes) that don’t look spooky at all.

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The kids – Joshua, Beebop and Chappi – lovingly named these gnomes after them!

After the initial chaos of assigning which one is whom, they all agreed that the gnome with the green hat is Joshua,  the one in yellow, on the left, is Beebop, and on the right is Chappi.

And the three began singing … hi-ho, hi-ho.. it’s off to work we go…

Monday Mellow Yellows

Monday Mellow Yellows 050: The diminutive burrito

Look who’s wrapped like a burrito!

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My niece, Chappi, the striped-burrito. The other kids scampered away when I aimed the camera at them, lol.

In December last year, the whole family stayed at San Antonio Resort, one of the popular resorts in Roxas City, days before my younger brother’s wedding. Everyone was having a great time there.  The place is well-kept and they have a great playground for the kids. The oldies in the family enjoyed the drinks and karaoke, while the kids were in the swimming pool.

The only problem was getting the kids out of the pool when it’s time for bed. They would not not get out of the pool even if we told them that it was already closing time. The thing with the kids, especially with this one that you see on the photo, is that they have the power to make you wait for five minutes. I tell you, that was the longest five minutes I had experienced in my life, lol.

Monday Mellow Yellows

Mellow Yellow Monday 048: Yellow beak

Just saying the Angry Bird fascination has not yet waned. Here is the little boy with his red Angry Bird headgear with a yellow beak:

apad mellow yellow monday angry bird
Joshua, Chappi, Grandma with the yellow-beaked Angry Bird at the airport.

Here is the little boy with his little cousin, Chappi, at the airport. This was the day we flew back to Manila. Behind them is their Grandma, my mother. The little boy is holding back his tears when I took this photo. He didn’t want to let go of Chappi and Grandma coz he said he’d be missing them when we go back to Pampanga.

Happy New Year my dear blogging friends!

Mellow Yellow Monday 047: Cousins

While on vacation in Roxas, my son and my nieces have been reunited after almost one year. They were shrieking in delight when they saw each other! From then on, they were inseparable.

This photo was taken on the eve of my brother’s wedding. Here the kids are playing at the resort’s playground where we stayed the night.

Terrible three - but very happy together! You can't imagine how many times they got into mischief together.
Terrible three – but very happy together! You can’t imagine how many times they got into mischief together.

These kids have been growing very fast! I just wish they remain close as they grow up. That’s all I ask for.

Mellow Yellow Monday 030: Baguio sweets


Goodness, if only I could I would bring all of these home the last time my family had vacation there, lol. These are strawberry products and other sweets made in Baguio City.

Baguio sweets to take home to your sweetie-pies.

These sweet delights are distinctively from Baguio City. You can never leave the city without them, trust me.

Christmas eve feast and some reminders

It’s the Christmas eve now here and the house is abuzz with activities!

First, I am happy that today and tomorrow are my days off, how great is that?!? What’s better than this? Well, my sister is also not working on these days! So this means that we will celebrate Christmas all together.

As I am looking at the food being prepared now, my plan to lose weight will have to be set aside. I mean, come on, give this working mama a break! I’ve been working on graveyard shift for how many months now and, because I’m always sleepy and tired when I get home, I could not make the food that I want to eat. We rely on the easy prito (fried) or instant, packed or canned. Not really great for someone like me. So since today and tomorrow are holidays, I am allowing myself to eat what I like to eat especially during holiday season. I know many of you can relate to this feeling. Tonight, for our Noche Buena, we’ll have the usual pancit canton (braised egg noodles), menudo (sort of like pork stew), tacos, among others, and brownies, and buko-macaroni salad for dessert. Oh, these dishes may be modest, or common, compared to others with extravagant spread on their tables, nevertheless, my mouth waters by the mere mention of these foods.

Ooh, sugar, cholesterol, fats, you say… I know!  Aside from agonizing about how to lose weight, I also have to give attention to the bad cholesterol from the holiday foods later on! But I’m not panicking yet because this online article cited several tips on how to lose cholesterol. So, to those who have high cholesterol or someone who just wants to know how to have a healthier body with low cholesterol level, I’m sharing you some of the tips:

1. Eat more fruits and vegetables. EVERYDAY. Fruits and vegetables are low in saturated fat and are rich in fiber that prevent cholesterol away from the heart and its absorption. They are packed in nutrients and anti-oxidants that are great for the heart!

2. Avoid fatty foods, especially trans-fats that come from most dairy products, fat from meat and poultry, especially the burger, fries, pizza, and fried chicken from fast food. Use healthy oil such as canola oil, olive oil, and grapeseed oil. Try to avoid using  butter and margarine.

3. Garlic intake. Studies reveal that consumption of garlic can lowers the bad cholesterol and increases the good cholesterol in our body. Garlic also helps to thin the blood, hence, preventing heart attacks. Garlic is good, after all.

4. Eat your beans. This includes lentils, chickpeas that are low in saturated fat and rich in soluble fiber that is so heart-friendly. They also contain lots of iron and Vitamin B.

5. Eat oats several times a week. Whole oats are much, much better than quick oats as they provide a more heart-friendly nutrients such as Vitamin B and with lots of fiber that help lower cholesterol and prevent heart diseases.

6. Lastly, go nuts! I mean, eat more nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts and pistachios are highest in unsaturated fats and lowest in saturated fats. Also, remember to choose the unsalted varieties.

So there you have it.
The holiday feast is upon us but please eat moderately. Afterwards, let’s go back to our healthy diet and, take note, to have a healthy heart, just remember the five tips I just mentioned.

So anyway, just before I get busy just like everybody else, allow me to greet you all a very merry Christmas and a wonderful new year!


Shadow Shot Sunday 008: Virgin Beach

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Went to Virgin Beach in my hometown of Capiz for my son’s birthday. White sand, blue waters (yellow tint is actually a result of enhanced saturation level after editing), very few people… that’s how we wanted it to be. We had Virgin beach all to ourselves and my son had a blast!

shadows on the beach Love the shadow of the coconut tree… it is as if extending towards my son (left) to give him shade. On the shore and under that comforting shade, we shared a hearty lunch of seafood freshly caught from the same waters and peddled to us by the fishermen.

It was a good day!

Mellow Yellow Monday 008: TinkerBop


This is my niece, Beebop, goofing around at Paradise Ranch/Zoocobia:

She said with her golden hair and wings she is now TinkerBop, a little fairy in Neverland and Tinkerbell’s bestfriend!

So cute! Look how scrunched her chubby face was – she’s not yet tall enough to reach the spot yet. LOL.

Shadow Shot Sunday 004: African buffaloes

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Visited Lake Nakuru last year with expat friends. It was my first visit to Lake Nakuru, a shallow body of water in the Rift Valley that attracts thousands of flamingos and pelicans and also provides refuge for the rhinos.

The most popular image of Lake Nakuri has always been the breath-taking swathe of pink flamingos feeding on algae that carpets the lake-bed. However, Lake Nakuru has more than flamingos – it is one of Kenya’s major national parts and is an important sanctuary for black and white rhinos. The entire park is also teeming with game – zebras, giraffes, waterbucks, impalas, warthogs, hyenas, baboons, among others, and, of course, the African buffalo (below)…

My first encounter with African game animals was a mixed-bag of emotions. Nervous, excited, and frightened at the same time. Moreso when we’re told that leopards and lions seek refuge in this park.

I used to watch these animals on television and I could not believe it that I was actually looking at them with my own two eyes, within safe distance, of course. I could not forget how giddy I was 🙂

I thank the Lord for the opportunity He has given me (and continues to give me)…  to go to places where I’ve only dreamed of going, to see things that I never imagined I would be able to, and to meet fantastic people from all walks of like.