Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ayala Center Cebu - Christmas 2007

Ayala Center Cebu decided to put up a giant Christmas Tree between Linea Italia and Marks & Spencer. It was so tall its tip reaches the third floor level. Men, women, and kids enjoy taking their photos with the giant Christmas tree as backdrop...

There used to be a fountain here (basement 1 level), but the management decided to let it go and put instead a giant chocolate cake (not real of course...). Can be viewed from the glass elevator.

Noticed the difference between this year's decors and those of last year's? We did! These ones are hanging above the activity center and can be viewed from the food court...

This year 2007
Last year 2006

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Are you coming home this December?

It is December and I remember while I was still working in Makati, I would brave storms, traffic, human multitude in the airport, sleeplessness, and aching back just to get the chance to come home to my parents and siblings. In October I would already file my leave since I am not the only one vying for the December vacation schedule…

Anyway for those Cebuanos who’ve been away for more than 10 years, when you come back these are some of the things that will greet you:

1. You will find that dili na suroyanan ang Colon. People now flocked to the huge cold supermalls (SM City Cebu and Ayala). Grabe, world class na ta.

Colon Street

2. You thought you are still in Cebu City, but realized nga miabot na diay ka sa Carcar. Yes, Talisay and Carcar are now cities. From N. Bacalso Ave up to Minglanilla, commercial buildings are lining up the streets on both sides. You can not deny progress.

South highway is so wide already we need crossing points and bridges to get to the other sides. Kapoy kaayo mosaka pero kung mohasi jud ka ug tabok, daku ug chance nga maligsan ka sa mga suicidal nga drivers (daghan ni sila), resulta - patay ka.

Fuente Osmena Cebu

3. Talisay and free beaches are now just memories. Congested na ang Talisay sa kadaghan ug people. Resorts na ang uso sa Lapulapu, pero dollar lang sab ang bayad. Kung gusto gihapon ka ug libre nga payag-payag lang, go further as in further to the South or North. But I am not sure anymore if there are places left unexplored because even Bantayan is now frequently visited. If you still have provinces and relatives maybe it is better to stick there.

4. You will also find that global na ang Cebu. Although a lot of our young and not-so-young work force are leaving us, napulihan man sab ug mga foreigners. Many of our dalagas and not-dalagas are getting married to foreigners, thanks to the Internet. Some of them are staying here in our beautiful islands. So do not be surprised if you see a lot of fair-skinned men holding hands with our morena beauties.
Alegre Beach Resort

5. Grabe kadaghan na ug mga tawo, in fact mora na ug Manila kay sobra na sab ka-traffic. Daghan na man gud ang naay sakyanan. I think this is probably because of the proliferation of second hand units from Japan and Korea, which offers prices much lower than the brand new and branded ones. Ang uso karon, multicab. Pero naa sab mga Mitsubishi, Toyota, ug Isuzu SUV's (for the rich).

People have also flocked here because of available jobs. Once upon a time the big two in MEPZA were Timex and Fairchild, now MEPZA is so full of business locators. I should have been happy. However I have reservations that perhaps developments are too much for the area. It is showing signs of congestions. But still there are many businessmen still interested to put up their business there. That’s just my personal opinion.
Okay, I think I will just have to stop here. There are probably a million things I have missed. everybody is welcome to add their piece…

Photo credits: Google Images

Monday, November 05, 2007

Stone Steps...

It is not our home... It must have been built sometime in the late 50’s or early 60’s because it has stone steps. When bungalows became a fad in Cebu in the mid or late 60’s, slowly in time outside stone steps were scraped off from house designs. Houses were either flat or 2 floors, maybe even higher, but without stone steps and porches anymore. I think that one of the most probable reasons is perhaps because lots are becoming more and more expensive these days and there are not enough spaces to include those things in the house designs. Or simply because maybe they have become passé and perhaps impractical. I don’t know…

I love stone steps and even porches. But today only old houses have them… and old houses like old people are slowly dying out from our sights. How sad! I wish heirs to these old houses should (if possible) try to maintain or if not preserve these heirlooms. There are still people (like me) who may not like living in old houses but are quite appreciative of their aesthetic values.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

PayPal Is (Finally!) Here...with Union Bank

What I actually mean is the complete circle of Sending and Receiving features since only the Sending facility was initially available...

A few days ago I received an email from PayPal that new Withdrawal and Receiving features are (finally!) now available here in the Philippines! Well alleluyah!
I think Union Bank should be given credit for innovative products. Long before online banking system became common, Union Bank was already breaking grounds by introducing the first bank account to be opened via the website with zero deposit. That is the EON Cyber Account, and that was sometime back in 2000 I think. I also remember they were perhaps the first to offer online inquiry via the internet. What was probably experimental, must have hit off and shook the grounds, because everybody seem to follow suit including the giants in the banking industry. Anyway, go check out Union Bank EON at their website Something might just interest you...

Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Road Where We Live...

One day our lord and mistress (the Baranggay Captain and the Congresswoman) were finally able to grant us that grace that we have been wishing for quite sometime already. Our old stony not to mention very dusty road was replaced with a concrete one. The plan to make it concrete was actually conceived some ten years back, but it sat in the City Engineer’s office waiting for the right signature, the right time and most importantly that much needed funding. 

Finally after 10 long dusty and muddy years, after 2 Baranggay captains, a few elections in between, and perhaps 2 meteor showers (which were probably instrumental in granting our wish), our road has finally underwent a facelift and became concrete.

The kids immediately showed their appreciation, took control of the road, and played to their hearts' content. Thank God, these kids chose to forego the internet games and decided to play street games instead. Or else they would have missed enjoying the freedom and the highs that comes from running around under the clear sunny skies...

Friday, August 31, 2007

The Eight Commandment

An Ode to Dan and Agnes D.

Our neighbor Nong Tering raises turkeys which he allows to roam across the sprawling vacant lot behind his house. The turkeys actually love to parade around the lot and even lay eggs among the bushes. But Nong Tering has a mother cow and a calf as well, and that keeps him busy sourcing for banana peels or fruit peels and grasses which he gives to the cows as additional feeds. What he does not know is that he is not the only one watching over his turkeys, especially when he is not around.

One day, as he was coming home bringing a sack of banana and nangka peels, he chanced upon a man just a few meters from his house carrying a turkey in his arms. Now the turkey looked very very familiar, while the man of course was not! In our baranggay, nobody wants to get Nong Tering’s ire. He can be a good neighbor but a hell of an enemy. I guess the thief must have known this because he threw the turkey and ran as fast as he could before Nong Tering could react. Nong Tering was lucky. He got his turkey back.

Not all of us could be as lucky enough to get back what we may have lost. I know of a lady named Shirley, who trusted a man named Dan who promised a possible job in Canada for her daughter. Her story turned out to be the usual sob story.

Dan has credentials, he is also a Pinoy, has a staffing agency in Maryland (which boasts of an infinite resources), and the trust of a friend of the family who happens to be a priest. Dan according to the priest-friend gave the assurance that if nothing will materialize with the application, the placement money will be returned. Of course, we all know how it ended. Pffftt…Shirley will never get her hard earned money back.

In the first story the thief was an ordinary man, probably hungry or lazy, and that probably propelled him to steal. But Dan on the other hand, gave the deed a more sophisticated touch which made it more grave. In the society that he moves around, he pretends to be this nice man who supports church projects and other good causes. How pathetic! Hey! Be a MAN and find a fair match, not old ladies who could not fend for themselves.

"Sakit man gud palandongon nga isig ka Pilipino ra sab ang mounay ug ilad sa iyang isig ka Pilipino." Although it is something that has happened to many Filipinos. It is a sad fact that it is still happening to a lot more (one can not say we have learned our lessons). Sadder still is that , eventually it is still going to happen over and over again.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Must Have Been 3 Months...

Must have been 3 months since I posted my last entry. And I think that's quite a long time really. Yeah, I truly missed tinkering with my blog. The feeling is like leaving home for a little while, and coming back. And you are greeted with mixed feelings of familiarity and unfamiliarity, of a certain sadness and a little joy, and a whole lot more... The feeling I guess is more like coming back from a vacation and wanting to clean your room so it will go back to that state you left it in... crazy? I hope not. Okay then, let's rock and roll! Start things rolling once more...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Here Comes The Rain...

End of summer?

I've seen it coming... for the last few days there were... Soft rains in the afternoon...early morning drizzle...morning mists...wet grasses and wet leaves in the early mornings...

But because the mornings would still turn hot and sunny, I haven't officially declared that summer has already ended. And besides the month of May is not over yet...
But today, the skies are dark and cloudy. And a continuous rain has fallen...Maybe gotta accept, the rainy season has definitely arrived!

Friday, May 18, 2007

A Sari-Sari Store

We go to a sari-sari store for just about everything! Shampoo, soap, rice, soy sauce, vinegar, cooking oil, cigarettes, soft drinks, biscuits, sardines, ready-to-cook noodles, and probably a thousand other things (would you believe even a Biogesic!). Taken from the word "sari-sari" which literally means, assorted. It is a miniature supermarket, has almost everything that a supermarket sells, but the only difference is – everything is sold a piece. We can buy a sachet of shampoo, a bar of soap, and if we ran out of cooking oil, vinegar, or soy sauce, they are re-packed and sold in smaller volumes.

We (as a culture) have totally embraced the concept of the little store, that it would be unthinkable not to have a sari-sari store in the community! Aside from being the source of just about everything, a sari-sari store in the community is also the information hub of the baranggay and landmarks for directions. Anybody who would like to find somebody or an address could always enlist the help of the tindera or storekeeper.

There is however a little catch… the little sari-sari store can horrifyingly replicate itself, much faster than a blink of an eye, and can not be stopped.

This road is just a few meters long however at the end of it is...

Lo and behold! Another sari-sari store...

Actually I have already lost count of the sari-sari stores sprouting in our area... Nobody seems to mind anyway.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day, Shirley!

Words are not enough...Cheers! We love you...

We pray to see you up and about soon...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Time Warped?

Feels like being transported back in time...

Balay Nga Tisa  Carcar, Cebu

Are we back in the Spanish era?

Argao, Cebu

But what is that black thing below?

St. Michael Archangel Parish  Argao, Cebu

My goodness! It's a Karaoke occupying the center stage of the altar...

St. Michael Archangel Parish  Argao,Cebu

Inspite of the seeming antiquity of the place, a modern thing stuck out like a sore thumb and held court!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Pulpit

Behind the beautifully handcarved chair, as we can see, is the pulpit. It is now rare for a church to have this kind of pulpit, and the fact that it is still beautifully preserved, deserves some credit. I think the only remaining pulpits can be found in old churches in far flung towns.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

December - May Affair?

Whether they went blooming last December... or whether they have just bloomed this hot summer month of May... doesn't matter. What matters is - they look beautiful!

I love orchids, but for me, they are vain little creatures. I have tried to pamper the few that I bought. Shower them love and care, but alas they would rather sulk and wilt. Now these flowers that you see here are not mine. One belongs to my mother's loving care, while the others basked under my Auntie's attentions. Because I haven't found success on these spoilt creatures, I have turned my attention on colorful wild perennials who are just too happy to be watered. My reward? I get fresh new blooms every morning. Unfortunately they would not last the whole day... I guess I became sentimental on flowers because May is our month of flowers.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Abstract of Sio

"The Great Divide"

"The Pain Within"

Taken from the Art Exhibits of Sio Montera. I'm not actually the artsy type, nevertheless I was struck by the vividness of "The Pain Within", as I stood in front of it. It is quite imposing too because it is somewhat large measuring 139 cm x 183 cm. It is more of the type that is hung in foyers or lobbies of buildings. (If you are the type who goes for the abstract, you can check Sio's works at: ). I guess the Cebu artists are emerging to be world class players.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Onli N Da Pilipins (The Trip continues...)

While marvelling at an altar of an old church in Argao which looked uncannily similar to the altar of Basilica Del Santo Nino De Cebu, we chanced upon a wedding...

In the mean time, the rest of the guests were waiting outside the church in a truck. After the church rites, they shall be heading off to the most awaited activity, the much-anticipated wedding reception.

In fact we witnessed the bride climbing up at the back of the truck in her wedding gown, but unfortunately we were not fast enough to record it.

The Driver's Seat

Summer isn't over yet. So let's take a break and get out of the city for a while...

Going to Argao...

Going to Boljoon...

For those living abroad, don't you feel like coming home and bask in the hot summer sun?

What! It's Been a Year Already?

A year ago I wrote: "Hey, I am new here! In fact I am groping blindly (as in literally) around the site. I am not sure what I am going to write on my blog and how to go about it. But it does not matter anyhow because I am excited, and learning can be a lot of fun. This lady here is trying to enter into the blog scene!" Didn't notice it's already been a year since then. I guess my blog is still a work in progress...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Perpetual Succour and the GSIS Hospitalization Program

On the third day after our mother suffered a stroke, upon the approval of her doctor we moved her to Perpetual Succour Hospital because (my mother who is a retired school teacher) we wanted to avail of the GSIS Hospitalization Program initiated by Atty. Winston Garcia. Thus we were able to avail of considerable discounts in Room Rates, CT Scan and 2D Echo procedures, a little of laboratory exams, but most important of all, we were able to enjoy I think a whooping 30% discount in medicines bought from the hospital pharmacy. (Why don’t hospitals put an extra ER in their pharmacies so buyers who felt like gasping for breath or experiencing fainting spells upon seeing the medicine bills can easily be assisted?) Anyway, I just want to acknowledge that the GSIS program is a big help but I wish it should be the government’s thrust to launch similar programs nationwide and not just on selected sites.

Monday, April 23, 2007

That Monday, and North Gen Hospital

On March 26, I woke and heard Nanay (my Mother) calling me from her room asking me to help her stand up. Warning bells immediately rang! We were used to her rising up ahead of us in the mornings, having her breakfast alone, before moving on to tend to her little garden. Suddenly she was asking for my help? When I tried to move her up and she slid down back to her bed, my niggling fear was confirmed. STROKE! Our cousin was kind enough to bring us to the Emergency Room of the Cebu North Gen Hospital. And thus our journey begun...

I now look back to that day and pondered on the impact of a mere single event, that totally and probably irrevocably changed long-time practices or patterns in our daily lives. Sometimes a family member's sickness, and perhaps death, can take some time to sink in and be finally accepted. And that's what happened to us too. My sister and I went on for a week with little or no sleep at all. And to top it all, we have to contend with the daily battle of astronomical medicine expenses. All these aggravated our already taut nerves, and I thought that perhaps we were already near our breaking points. But the heavens gave a little mercy, and gave us little strength everyday to cope with all the worries. Perhaps our only regret was that we were not able to thank the staff of North Gen Hospital properly, because we left in a hurry to move to Perpetual Succour Hospital. We felt that they truly cared for us during those times...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Squeeze That Butt In!

Take a peek into an ordinary life - a tricycle ride! A motorcycle that is supposed to carry only 2 or a maximum of three people can now accommodate 7 passengers excluding the driver. A contraption is attached to the bike that seats 4 people while 3 others are asked to sit behind the driver. Comfort is definitely out of the question, and nobody is complaining. Rather than walk a long way, people would rather suffer to squeeze their butt in to fit in the small claustrophobic space.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Nice To Be Back!

I feel sluggish like someone who just woke up from a deep sleep. After a lengthy period of absence (thanks to the internet connection problems) and also due to some projects which piled up during those times, I am now finally back!

But because it feels like starting all over again (can you imagine 2 months of inactivity!), I am at a loss for words. But one thing for sure, it feels nice to be back! Yeheey!!!

There is a little peeping flower up there. Because there's already a hint of summer in the air (can not ignore the dusty roads and the heat...)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Cleaning the Christmas Clutter...and the Virtual Tsunami

I have taken down the Christmas lanterns from my site now that Christmas season is officially over. At home, the task was more backbreaking (okay its exaggerated, but partly true). I don't know why when the decorations were set-up, I haven't noticed that it was a tiresome task. In fact, it was even enjoyable. But the cleaning-up after is another matter. It took twice as long to get the decorations and the lights back to their boxes than to put them up the tree. I can not understand why I seem to put items in the wrong boxes. Its frustrating actually. Okay, maybe in truth I am just lazy. hehehe... But my mother has this knack of not only matching items to their boxes, but she can even return them properly as if they have never been taken off from their individual boxes. Yeah, thats right. Much as I admire her for that, no please, I am happy being myself.

The year 2006 was good for me, but the opening salvo of 2007 was not quite welcoming. An earthquake in Taiwan brought havoc to internet connections, and our connections went dead. As of writing, although there have been sporadic connections and seeming normalcy, connecting to sites is still much slower than the usual normal speed. I have called Globelines probably a million times to air my frustrations, and switched back and forth from being glumly despondent to being a raving lunatic. I realized, Ahaa! these reactions clearly pointed out that my addiction for internet surfing and blogging is probably deeper than I thought. Got me into thinking that maybe it is time to re-evaluate my fondness for the wide world web. It is not my intention to go overboard. Therefore I decided to include in my new year's resolutions (there are none actually) to go easy on surfing and blogging. Thats all that I can say for now.