Monday, April 30

My updated Labayan Score.

I had it updated last December 2010. Almost a year and a half later, I'm still at C-

My Lakbayan grade is C-!
How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!
Created by Eugene Villar.

I guess, I need to save more money so I could travel around the country XD.

Thursday, April 26

Events to go to on May 26

I still have at least one more month yet, I'm already confused which event to attend to. All three events I'm posting here are worth going especially on a Saturday. 

1. Yummy Eats 2012: I've been looking forward into this since my last year's attendance. I really enjoyed my food trip and I hope I could take my wife and daughter with me when Migmig can walk. With a lot of food booths to go to, I'm sure I'll go home stuffed. XD

Taken from Google

2. Summer Komikon 2012: Since I've heard this event from last year, I've been so curious in finding out what's in store for me there. I'd say its kinda similar to Animax or Toycon or probably any cosplay event that I know of. I may be wrong but I had to check it for myself.

Taken from Google

3. Digital Photographer Philippine's 6th Anniversary Event: This would be my third if I will choose this one (and I may choose this over the two XD). Its an event for photographers from all walks of life and from all classes from newbies to seasoned professionals. You won't miss some of the free lectures given by the top pros in the country as well as some shoot-out with them with a fully-dressed models. And to recap the event, the live judging of selected photographs to be criticized by top photographers together with some free booze to boot. XD

Taken from their facebook page

Why oh why! All of these events on the same date with three different locations opposites from one another. Its like the ends of an XYZ-axis. Come on, you can't be serious right? Let's just have this one at a time. XD

But at the end of the day, what matters is you enjoyed it once its over.

Monday, April 23

A 5-hour Transport Show Shootathon.

Last Friday, I went to SM Megamall to attend the 21st Transport Show. Knowing that my camera could be subjected to scrutinizing by the security guards, I made sure to keep it at the bottom of my bag. 

I arrived at SM at almost 3:00pm. So far, so good. I head straight up to the Megatrade Hall so I could start shooting cars first. After taking pictures of most of them, its time to take photos of the models. 

I think there were more new faces than the old ones as I make sure to take a quick snap or to on them. Most of the crowd (photographers) are on the Premiere Vixens booth as the Vixens were game to pose in front of the camera.

Since the venue of the event wasn't that spacious compared with World Trade Center and SMX Convention Center in Pasay, you would be able to enjoy the transport show in 2-3 hours. 

Photos to follow soon. XD

A tiring Aliwan Fiesta 2012

Taken from Google

In 2010, I got my baptism of fire when I attended my first Aliwan Fiesta 2010. I missed last year's Aliwan Fiesta 2011 because of my work schedule. I made sure that my leave was approved so I won't be having any worries while taking pictures. Now on its 10th year, The Aliwan Fiesta is an annual event organized by the Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) showcase various street dance numbers performed by the best of the best in each region which is I guess, well represented.

I arrived at the Quirino Grandstand at 12:00pm. It was really scorching hot but I'm quite prepared to take the heat. 

I got to witness the opening of the Street Dance Competition though I took shots from the sides instead of the front which where the action mostly happen.

This time, I was by my lonesome as my friends rather skip this event. Anyway, I was still able to take pictures of the participants from various parts of the country. From Nothern Luzon down to Southern Mindanao, I was able to capture some candids while waiting for their turn in performing.

Pictures to follow as well as my other thoughts in my second time here at Aliwan Fiesta 2012 XD. 

Sunday, April 22

The week that was (April 15 - 21)

Sunday: Got up early as I had to take Migmig out for some fun in the sun before having breakfast. When we got back home, her mom was ready to give her a bath. Then it's photoshoot for her as she needs decent pictures for her upcoming birthday party. After the quick shoot, she took a nap while my wife and I got ready to hear mass. Unfortunately, we were late as my wife was at her usual slowness in getting ready (I hope Migmig won't inherit her mom's slowness in movement XD). instead of heading for mass, we went to Jollibee in Mendiola to settle our down payment. Then we took a cab going to The Frazzled Cook but I don't recall any landmark on where its exactly located. My wife got upset but I was able to determine how to get there the quickest. When we got there, we stayed for around 2 hours for our late lunch (I'll be writing a blog post for this). After lunch, we head off to SM Megamall to buy Migmig's dress for her birthday. But my wife told me that its best if our daughter has a high-chair so it would be easy for us to feed her. I felt so tired after buying the high-chair as I feel that its so heavy. We took a cab home so Migmig could have her beauty rest. My wife fell asleep as well while I read Sunday's paper before going to bed.

Monday: Got up early again to take my daughter out for some fun in the sun. After breakfast, we head back home so my baby could take her bath and get some nap. While she's sleeping, I was able to choose some pictures to be used on her birthday presentation this coming Sunday. By 4:00pm, I head out to SM Centerpoint to buy some diapers for my baby as she's almost running out of supply. After some shopping, I had some snacks before heading back home almost two hours later. I took over in taking care of Migmig until my wife arrived. I was able to free myself as she took over and enjoyed the rest of the night before going to bed.

Tuesday: Got up early and took Migmig out before having breakfast at Mc Donald's (the usual). Then its off to do my usual daddy-duties as Migmig's aunt was still in the province. I know I've been losing income by reporting late for the past couple of days, but I hope Migmig's aunt would be back very soon. By 1:00pm, I'm decided to go home in Bugtong instead of reporting for work as I had to give my birthday invites to my dad personally and see if there are a lot of improvements. Going there was quite okay as I fell asleep on the way there. When I got there at 4:30pm, my dad wasn't there as my cousin was taking care of our place. A few minutes after, my dad arrived from our home in Pacita Complex 1. He got really thin since the last time I saw him (last August of 2011). He asked me several question that I got to answer before before I handed him our invite. He was looking forward to see his apo after almost a year and I'm sure he'll be surprised when he sees Migmig. I left at 5:30pm and got on the bus almost 30 minutes later. I decided to drop-off at SM Megamall by 8:30pm and had dinner at Yabu Katsu. Their Katsu tastes moist and crispy without tasting much oil that I'll take my wife and Migmig sometime soon. After dinner, I was hoping to get some coffee but all coffee shops were packed with people so I just took an FX ride but went online at a nearby internet shop just to kill time. By the time I got back, my wife was busy preparing for Migmig's slideshow and I can't wait to see the finished video.

Wednesday: As usual, I got up early and let Migmig do some walking exercise within our apartment. Good thing her lola was feeding her with pandesal at the same time which helped me save some money for the day. After my wife gave our daughter a bath (and she went to Divisoria early to do some errands for Migmig's birthday), both of us fell asleep but she hasn't had her milk yet. When we got up, her mom wasn't home until a few minutes after. It was time for me to get ready for work even if I know I'll be late for the nth time this month. I had lunch at Food Extreme first before taking my LRT2-MRT ride going to the office. When I got there, my work station was still occupied so I used another and do a lot of things online. When I got to my workstation, its all work and more play for me. By 5:30pm, I went to Digiprint near RCBC building to have my unshaved picture taken. When I saw my pictures, I was surprised how unpleasant I look XD. I mean, I looked like a goon but I wished I wanted to have a portrait of myself with a longer hair. After my mug session, I went to ArmyNavy to grab a Starving Sailor steak sandwich and some freedom fries. My fries were gone when I got back to my desk as I start to finish my sandwich. Still The Cheese Steak Shop was way much better if you ask me as I do some task my boss ask me to finish and I finished it by the end of my shift not with the help of a Magnum Ice Cream Bar. After my shift, I went straight home though I feel a little bit dizzy. When I got home, my wife showed me the slideshow to be presented and I liked the presentation if there was music into it (I know my wife will add music somehow).

Thursday: Got up at almost 7:00am as my wife was cleaning Migmig's poo. When I got into my senses, I took Migmig down and had her walk for a few minutes. Before that while I'm putting her shoes, I noticed a dry wound on her pointing finger (both feet) and my mom-in-law told me that could have been because of one of her sandals that may have caused it. When I noticed her shoe fell off, blood was gushing out on one of her wounds. Hence, I took her out of the walker and washed her wounds before deciding to carry her out for some fun in the sun. Then we had breakfast at Mc Donald's which she ate a lot before heading back home and we didn't notice that we were out for an hour and a half. We went upstairs to wake her mom up before she prepared her bath. After taking bath and cleaning her tub, I had her fed before getting her to sleep. I noticed that my USB's cover (4GB) was there but the USB itself was missing. I asked my wife if she has it as she took it to Divisoria the previous day to have Migmig's tarp and frame printed. Unfortunately, she forgot it there. And there goes my more than 5-year old USB. I felt mad and upset about it but I'd just move on and get another USB instead and be more careful. I had to edit another picture for Migmig's slideshow. For the past couple of days, I've been contemplating on my lates as Migmig needs someone to take a look at her and her aunt won't be in Manila until the end of the month (I hope). I don't mind getting late for two hours a day as I won't be extending my contract anyways. When she got up finally, we went down when she pooped again XD. We went back up and cleaned her (this is the task that I hate the most XD) before going back down. Sensing that she's hungry, I made cerelac for her while waiting for her lola who got back at 1:30pm. That was my cue to finally get ready for work. I took a pitstop at Meyer's to buy an extra battery for my flash/digicam before taking the LRT1 ride to work. Good thing work is still okay so far as I got to do other things online XD. Knowing that I'll be working solo again on a Thursday, I had to be up on my toes for the day. So far, so good. By 7:45pm, I had dinner at BFast again as I wanted to eat as much as I could to keep me energized. After shift, I took a cab going home so I could be with my baby and kiss her goodnight as tomorrow would be her first birthday.

Friday: Got up early as were celebrating my baby's first birthday. I couldn't imagine how time flies so fast. My Project 365 (I'm still thinking of posting it sometime soon). We went to church first (with my mom) to thank The Lord for giving us our daughter a year ago. Then we had breakfast at Mc Donalds which she ate more than I expected. Then, the usual daddy duties again and I got to use our laptop for an hour or two before Migmig got up again. I had to wait for my mother-in-law to arrive back before getting ready not for work but for the Transport Show at SM Megamall (I'll create a separate post for it sometime soon). After staying there for more than 5 hours, I was looking for a good place to eat until my feet took me to Yabu Katsu again for the second time this week. This time I ordered their chicken katsu and it also tastes good. After that heavy dinner, I wanted some Donuts from JCo but I changed my mind at the last minute and took an FX ride to go online at an internet shop near our place. Then I'm home at 11:30pm and relaxed a little before going to bed with my wife and my birthday baby girl. ^_^

Saturday: Though I've been in my senses as early as 5:00am (I fed her as I felt she was hungry), I got up at 7:00am as my wife told me to give her some breakfast. Its off to Mc Donalds we go for some sausage platter. Good thing, our daughter was in a good mood for most of our stay there as she ate a lot for her age. When we got back, we went out again to kill some more time and have some fun. When we got back before 9:00am, her mom was already up as her lola prepares the bath tub. As she slept through the morning, I got top read one of the photography books I purchased before Migmig got up abruptly. Even with the air condition on, she decided to get a little bit playful and poo XD. Just as I was about to clean her mess, my wife has just arrived to pick-up where I left off. For a change, I left home a few minutes past 11:00am and head to Glorietta 5 to attend an intimate blogger's meet at Bo's Coffee (I'll create a separate post for this). After the event, I went straight to the office and started working. The day was quite slow (except for weekend server monitoring) until I got a call that resulted into a global outage. After escalating the issue successfully, I went out to have dinner but instead of getting something heavy for my stomach, I wanted something sweet. After some thought, my feet took me to Cold Rock and had a large milkshake for 289 pesos (with free toppings). When I got back in the office, I had another call and took the remaining hours to configure 3 lotus notes users to shared PCs and I got them finished with a little help from my boss. I left the office a few minutes before midnight and took a cab and in less than 40 minutes, I'm home. Instead of getting to bed, I went online again until almost 3:00am. I hope I would have enough energy to cover my baby's first birthday party come Sunday. ^_^

A tiring but successful First Birthday Party

Early this afternoon,we just celebrated Migmig's first birthday party. Being a dad, I can't help it but feel overjoyed as her party was a success despite almost all people I've invited didn't came (Thank God most of my wife's visitors have arrived).

At 11:00am, my wife and I arrived at Jollibee Mendiola to see if the set-up was complete and it turns out that they're still starting. While my wife set-up the laptop and projector for Migmig's AVP, I took out my camera and took some test shots to see which settings would work for me. I still recall my shoot at Migmig's Baptismal Party and I felt I need to improve a lot more after that.

When the visitors started arriving, I started taking their pictures and check them once in a while. I find my shots much better than the first one and I took more photos until our daughter has arrived (courtesy of my mom-in-law).

The party has started and I got to take more pictures. One lesson here is that "you can't cover an event all by yourself". Even with a small event, to get all best angles, two photographers should be present. Anyway, I got the most important shots though I wanted some shots that I wasn't able to take at.

Come eating time, everyone has enjoyed the food so far as my baby's AVP was played. For some reason, I wasn't able to see it clearly. It could be with the lighting, but with everyone eating, I guess they didn't mind.

What's a party without a mascot? Migmig had Jollibee and Hetty entertain everyone there from the kids to the kids at heart (me included XD).  Everyone smiled and laughed out loud as they enjoyed the 2-hour party.

By the time the party ended, I was so tired and yet happy as one important milestone has been achieved by my daughter. The place could have been more crowded if all of our guest came but we still thank those who attended.

Anyways, here are some more pictures.

Note: Her actual birthday was on the 20th of April but we moved it on the 22nd so our visitors could attend the event without taking a leave from work.

Saturday, April 21

An Intimate Bloggers Meet-up at Bo's Coffee

When most people hears the word coffee, its almost synonymous with either Starbucks, Seattle's Best and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf as most office workers do flock there to get the freshest brew or just stay there to hang-out. Though I liked their coffee and for me, its difficult which coffee is which, I'm looking for coffee that I could be probably proud of. 

 With Joy Reynaldo (Chief Navigator of Magnetic North Enterprises), Eddy Widjaja (Logistics Manager) and Ms Ana Benitez (Assistant Marketing Manager),

Of course there are other other coffee shops that offer locally grown products to curious taste buds. That's where I received an invite from Bo's Coffee to attend their event just today at their Greenbelt 5 to join an intimate blogger's meet-up scheduled at 2:00pm. I was the first one to sign up followed by 6 more bloggers. Were only 7 all in all for an intimate talk on coffee and Bo's. 

Biscotti Amaretto

At an instance, you may think that Bo's coffee was from the famous preacher Bo Sanchez. But actually iot was founded by Cebuano Steve Benitez who at that time couldn't understand why they have to pay so much for coffee. You may also think that Starbuck's pioneered gourmet coffee in 1997, but actually Bo's did that first in 1996 though they have concentrated in Cebu (Starbucks started in Manila). And now on its 16th year, they already had 58 stores nationwide and they plan to expand further within the year.

Super Moist Chocolate Cake

The first Bo's Coffee in Cebu opened with a measly six tables and a very small operations. Its first three months of operations was challenging and even discouraging but Steve mentioned that it's not just about coffee. "It was about the experience of enjoying quality coffee with the people you love" Benitez added.

Then we were served with Biscotti Amaretto as the Summer beverage. It's a lended coffee with biscotti and Amaretto syrup topped with whipped cream, dark chocolate drizzle and crushed biscotti sprinkles. I liked its berry-like aroma that's really considered to be a stress buster for me. Though most of my bloggers find its sweetness just right, I find it too sweet. It could be I'm getting old that it tasted much sweeter perhaps XD. While sipping their summer beverage, we tried their  Supermoist Chocolate Cake which I liked it so much. Its not that sweet yet its moist enough to let it melt in my mouth.

When you look at their interiors, all (if not most) were Filipino made and exported worldwide. I wasn't able to take pictures of it as I got hooked on their food (my bad! XD).

We had some Q&A about the product, its history and how it helped local farmers produce more coffee among other things.

At the end of the event, They gave us a token of appreciation for attending the event (the paper bag contains their new brown coffee mug and their Fruits and Nuts Trail Mix) which I liked a lot. I'll be including them in one of my coffee shops to frequent to whenever I'm somewhere. And I'll spend some time at Bo's Coffee more often. ^_^

Taking down some notes. ^_^

Some more pictures for you to enjoy! ^_^

Friday, April 20

Swabeng Food Trip: Wifey's treat at The Frazzled Cook

Last Sunday, I told my wife that we will be having late lunch somewhere as my treat to her. I told her we will have it at The Frazzled Cook but I don't know if she would like it or not.

As we took a cab going there, I couldn't remember the nearest landmark as to where its exactly located. Even my wife got upset about it as the only thing I have was a map (and a strong sense of direction). Good thing I was able to determine how to get there as quickly as possible and before we know it we were already in front of the resto.

When we got inside, I looked for the best possible spot with a very good natural lighting so I could take food shots without much problems. Furnitures were mismatched but it was more pleasing to the eye that it hurts. Though I noticed some posters with Chinese characters on it.

I handed to them 3 cashcash pinoy vouchers (worth of 1800 pesos) to one of the attendants and I told them we were waiting for our other companion. My wife and daughter was already seated waiting for the food to arrive.

While waiting for our food, they already served us a pitcher of their famous Homemade Iced Tea (250 pesos). Don't let the look of the pitcher deceive you as it can fill up several glasses that I thought it has no bottom XD. And the tea was refreshing too, my daughter seems to enjoy it very much XD

To start with,I ordered two soups. The first was Asparagus Soup with Pecorino Romano Custard (160 pesos) and Potato and Basil Chowder with Prosciutto (150 pesos). My daughter loved the Potato and Basil Chowder with Prosciutto more than the Asparagus Soup with Pecorino Romano Custard and she almost emptied the entire bowl.

Asparagus Soup with Pecorino Romano Custard

Potato and Basil Chowder with Prosciutto

I don't want to take chances on the salad so next on the table was their famous Herbed Chicken Salad in Basil Vinaigrette (275 pesos). Its a grilled rosemary herbed chicken with the chef’s own vinegrette dressing which was tangy and fruity. The combination of the flavors were good that it could be a meal itself only healthier.

Herbed Chicken Salad in Basil Vinaigrette

A closer look at their salad XD

Knowing my wife as a pasta lover with pesto on it, she had Pasta with Fresh Basil Pesto Sauce (250 pesos). I didn't had much of it as she was able to finish it in no time XD.

Pasta with Fresh Basil Pesto Sauce

Wifey can only touch this XD

Our lunch at The Frazzled Cook won't be complete without their famous Wagyu Salpicao (510 pesos) on the plate. They were soft and tender plus the amount of roasted garlic included was generous as well. Though they could have done a better preparation on the dish itself as most foodies would really rave about it.

Wagyu Salpicao

This is what makes TFC famous. Swabeh! XD

Then I got Tenderloin Nuggets with Mashed Potato in Flat Bed (350 pesos) for me. Its a meat-lover's delight with tenderloin beef with button mushrooms on top of mashed potatoes in flat bread. I should have eaten this first over the wagyu salpicao for me to notice the difference between the two.

Tenderloin Nuggets with Mashed Potato in Flat Bed

Again, a closer look of Tenderloin Nuggets with Mashed Potato in Flat Bed

And to cap-off our long stay, I had Pancake Ala Mode (180 pesos) all for myself. My wife was already at her limit when this was served and she didn't like the idea of having her pancakes with burnt sides (I like mine with burnt sides).

Pancake Ala Mode

After our late lunch, I took some more interesting pictures of the place and how homey it is. How I wish I could live there so my creativity gets going as always. I just hope next time we don't get lost going there.

I'd be definitely go back there next year. Probably to celebrate my birthday there. XD Anyway here some more pictures that I took. Enjoy. XD

Well, whenever we eat outside, I pay unless its free =P


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