Tuesday, December 30, 2008

CEBU: A destination close to heart

Speaking of starting the year right, my feet will take me back to Cebu come January 6 on business.

Called the Queen City of the South and located about 365 miles south of Manila, Cebu is the site for the second temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Philippines. Having a temple in Cebu would blend in so well because Cebu is blessed with numerous museums and churches.


I am privileged to be involved with the Cebu Temple project, handling all the legal aspects in the purchase of site and the construction.

That involvement is one of the reasons for my frequent business visits to Cebu. But Cebu’s numerous beach resorts and exhilarating historicity, are enticing enough for me to always couple business with pleasures.

In fact, it is one of those visits to the Magellan’s Cross that my prince found me charming enough to ask me for a date when we returned to Manila. That was one and a half years ago by January 5, 2009. With that, Cebu will always be close to my heart.

As for shopping, Cebu offers a lot of souvenir ideas from export-quality fashion accessories and clothing, handcrafted guitar, shellcrafts and handicrafts to dried mango preserves, sugar coated biscuits and peanut wafers. And for my family, my visit to Cebu would always mean CNT Lechon.

Cebu’s biggest festival is the Sinulog Festival that is celebrated on January 21 of every year. Villagers take to the streets with masks, instruments and performing the quaint Sinulog dance all over the city. A Grand Parade follows suit.

Cebu also features various points of interest for the adventurous visitor. I particularly enjoyed my visit to the Butterfly Sanctuary. Come January 6, I will also be meeting in Cebu my friends from Guam – the Colliers, who will be picking up Rizza, the four-year old girl that the Inter-Country Adoption Board (ICAB) have approved for adoption after two years of waiting. The adoption really meant a lot for Tisa and her family, as she herself was an adopted child from the Hospicio de San Jose. With Rizza’s adoption, Tisa is giving back the favor and the blessings given to her when her American family welcomed and embraced her as their own child.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

12 Great Blessings in 2008

New Year for me is a time of reflection, looking back and counting my blessings. As New Year’s day approaches, I looked back to remember the blessings I received in 2008, which comes in terms of new places visited, new-found friends, healthy lifestyles, new groups organized,strengthened family relationships,re-uniting friends and friends successes. Here in capsule form the blessings that I received each month and for which I am thankful for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ:

With Mark atop the Great Wall Of China!

1.January 2008 – Conquering the Great Wall (literally and otherwise!)

While the whole family is welcoming the New Year at their respective houses in the Philippines with the usual bang (fire crackers at neighbors, that is!), I welcomed it in a much different, quieter way inside the train with my prince. Mark and I decided to take the overnight soft sleeper train from Shanghai to Beijing  (China), so I would wake up and begin the New Year feeling a great sense of accomplishment – conquering the Great Wall! 
Literally, it was a dream - come true for me to see the Great Wall, as it seemed inconceivable for anyone like me to imagine seeing the Great Wall knowing it would cost me much. But I did! 

Another sense of accomplishment in that, however, is to conquer the barrier of communication (like a Great Wall that divides) between me and my prince. Since Mark and I were then on our six – month together as sweethearts (January 5), the experience taught me that open communication is the key and the only way to resolve any conflict. I also learned that if I want something, “hinting” doesn’t always work. And if my hinting is ignored, I should not interpret it as lack of love. Since it was my first time to be missing the usual loud celebration of New Year with family, I was hoping that Mark would make up for it by surprising me with flowers and kisses at exactly 12midnight (I saw that on fairy tales hahaha). I was hinting him of that by telling him how my family does it, and all that. But at 10 minutes before midnight, Mark was sound asleep. I was disappointed. Looking at him, I knew he wouldn’t be awake to greet me a ‘happy new year’. I cried. And when he heard it, he came to me and he coaxed me to tell him what was wrong. For the first time, I found myself pouring out my sentiments to him in an honest, outspoken manner. It was a great way to start the year (and my prince will know how I worked my way to overcoming that weakness in communication through out the year!)

My boss Jim and Bonnie Pollock at my house

2.February 2008 – Jim and Bonnie Pollock’s visit and Healthy Living.

To be healthy is a great blessing. And for me, my road to a healthy living started in August 2005 when I met Jim and Bonnie Pollock. Jim was my former boss at the Office of General Counsel - Asia and his wife Bonnie Pollock is a USANA distributor. USANA HEALTH SCIENCES is a world leader in cellular nutrition and skin care, and the quality of its supplements has helped me with my vertigo, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), MVP (Mitral Valve Prolapse),among other health concerns. Since then, being in a hospital has been a thing of the past. 

Last February, Jim and Bonnie came back to the Philippines for two reasons - go around the Philippines and try "the Farm" in Batangas, a place synonymous to "health" and "vege diet". Secondly, to introduce my family and friends to USANA, which is expected to open market in the Philippines later. And they are right. Come January 19, 2009, USANA will open in the Philippines for the enrollment of Distributors and Preferred Customers, and for the sale of products. A grand-opening ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, May 24, 2009. The official Philippine business name is UHS Essential Health Philippines. This is a fabulous opportunity for me and for all those who will decide to build a remarkable business with me.

Bridal Shower for Leily in Makati 

3. March 2008 – Leily’s Wedding

Since the adversary’s battle rages against family, it is always a joy to know that a friend is getting married coz that means she has won against Satan who undermines young people’s attempts to marry. So when I learned that Leily is marrying Phil in the Georgia, USA temple, we couldn’t be happier. I know that they will be able to mutually strengthen and bless each other as they make higher covenants in the temple. There is nothing more fulfilling than a successful relationship!

Kids as McDOnald Kiddie Crew at McDonalds, Robinsons - Novaliches 
4. April 2008 – Strengthening Family Relationships 

Everything revolves around the family and efforts were put in to strengthen family ties this month. The whole month is a celebration with loved ones starting off with the kids becoming a McDonald Kiddie crew for a week at Robinson’s Novaliches, James birthday, Scrapbooking workshop at National bookstore and my father’s 56th birthday celebration.

GIRLFRIENDS Reunion at the Mall of Asia 
5. May 2008 – Friend’s Reunions (Renewing ties with Old Friends)

This month is all about friends and renewing the bonds with them through reunions. I am blessed with lots of friends I’ve known in the - elementary, high school, college, law school, mission, offices and church (former ward). I am truly blessed to have wonderful friends. After fifteen (15) long years, the Girlfriends (Erma, Aileen, Rose, Rhola and Millett)finally rekindled the bond we had at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM). I am also privileged to meet another school mate at PLM, Erwin Heger, who is now working at the US Embassy. In the same month, I had a reunion with the JURIS (an organization of students I helped organized while in law school), a sleep-over with Rose Vallestero (my friend from Fairview Stake), meeting my bestfriend Dearie’s mom, mommy Diola who was visiting from the US, a visit to my former ward Don Antonio to watch the Stake Road show, to bond with the young women I used to lead, and met and enjoyed some time with my mission friends (Jean Marcaida, Karen Villarmino, Arlene Quirante, Judith Mayocyoc and later in the year, my trainee Rogelyn Naraja – Espiritu). Since friends are wealth, I consider myself as one of the wealthiest person and I want to keep the wealth through regular contacts with them via facebook and Friendster.

My nephew Kenneth's Family

6. June 2008 –Pagudpud & the Gift of Serenity and Peace

It is enough blessing to enjoy the serenity and calmness offered by the beautiful waters of Pagudpud, which I am privileged to see upon invitation of Kenneth’s family. Kenneth is the 10 year old son of my brother Joel with his then estranged girlfriend Juries. Because of immaturity and differences, Joel and Juries' relationship has not ripen into marriage and years back, the Ojeda and Agullana families are ripped apart. But this year, everyone’s hearts have softened and bound the wounds and forego the stubborn grievances with each other. Anyway, both Juries and Joel are happily married now, and it would be for the best interest of Kenneth that they are at peace with each other. On my part, it is a greater blessing than the beautiful Pagudpud is the sweet peace that comes from forgiveness and reconciliation.

With Mark in Kamayan in Tayabas, Quezon

7. July 2008 – Our Fairy Tale Romance on its First Year

My prince and I celebrated our first year anniversary as sweethearts. I consider this a blessing, coz even though the road to our fairy tale romance will still be a long way, my hope for a happy ending has increased as we overcome the dirt roads and thorns on the way on our first year. I am so lucky to have this wonderful relationship with Mark whose intelligence, ingenious ideas, generosity, sense of humor and worthy character are truly admirable. He makes me feel like a real princess in every way.

JRCLS -Philippines Chapter with Mike Jensen

8. August 2008 – Grand Launching of J. Reuben Clark Law Society

To be happy is a blessing and the way to be happy is to be involved in something worthwhile. This was my main reason for organizing and serving as the Secretary General of the Philippines Chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society last May 21, 2008. The responses of the handful Latter Day Saints lawyers I contacted through email was overwhelming that at exactly three months later (August 21, 2008) we were ready for the grand launch – with Executive Officers (Chair, Chair - Elect, Secretary General & Treasurer) and Committee chairs & officers (Membership – Luzon, Membership – Visayas & Mindanao, Legal Aid, Ways and Means, Government Relations & MCLE) being completely filled – up and functioning. During the launch, it was a joy to behold the thirty-three (33) founding members to commit to strive through public service and professional exercise the promotion of fairness and virtue founded upon the rule of law, pursuant to the law society mission statement.

Water Show at the Wynn, Macau 
9. September 2008 – Rediscovering Great Pleasures in Macau and Hongkong

One of the great blessings I received this month is the opportunity to see Macau and Hongkong again and enjoy the pleasures of just being with the one I truly love, who out of his generous spirit and love for me has planned a week-long rendezvous as a birthday gift (September 27 to October 3). Since I wasn’t able to get my visa to see him in Beijing, he suggested that we meet up in Macau and cross Hongkong, just so we could still spend time together. I appreciated every bit of this experience. With my prince planning the trip, nothing could go wrong. And I was right! I found great pleasures in watching the water show, prosperity show, sceneries inside the Venetian, picture at the Grand Prix while in Macau and enjoyed the country side, uncharted path in the New Territories and the luxury of steam bath and sauna while in Hongkong.

"Lucky Me" Winning Essay in Philippine Star

10. October 2008- Creative Work & Winning “Lucky Me” Photo and Essay Contest

Being able to create something of real worth gives me satisfaction and happiness and this is the blessing I received on my birth month. I joined the FaMEALy Values: What I learned from the Dinner Table, Lucky Me Photo Essay Contest. My article got published in the October 26, 2008 (Sunday) issue of the Philippines Star as an exceptional story for the week. At the conclusion of the contest in October 31, 2008, two of my entries: Family Dining Tradition and Raising Healthy, Happy kids at the Dinner Table (based on story of my sister –in-law Belenda), were chosen as two of the only five runners-up winners.
Speaking of creative work, it is in October that I started this blog and enjoy sharing my thoughts and my life’s journey to friends and families since then.

Mami Cristy Blowing Her Cake

11. November 2008 – Mama’s 60th Birthday

My mom turned 60 years old last November 14, and still very strong and beautiful. To me that is a great blessing from above that she is preserved and her days are long. For the last forty years, my mom has been a great mother to me and my three brothers, and now to her 11 grand children. She is an excellent homemaker, she cooks delicious meal, she washes our clothes, sew beautiful piece of clothing, and always willing to give up her own comfort for our benefit. It is my joy to be able to give back the comfort she has unselfishly given to me, in the ways I know how.

Choco Chip Oat Cookies I Baked

12. December 2008 –Domestic Goddess

Becoming expert in baking and cooking is a worthy achievement for the year. My prince remarked that my improvement is from zero to a hundred percent! I do not know anything about “cooking” before I met my prince in July 2007, but now I baked delicious cookies, great desserts, and prepare main dishes. For Christmas, I baked choco chip oat cookies to give away to neighbors during our family caroling and I prepared the Mango Jubilee dessert and breaded prawns for our Noche Buena. Everyone who tasted my cooking said “it was good”! Now I can say that cooking is fun and the most rewarding work in the world!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Everyone is Accounted For!

Joel's children in 2008

Joel's family in 2007

Christmas is a time the Ojeda Family is accounted for (in addition to our yearly family reunion on May 1). Year after year, my parents and all my three brothers and their family gather at my house on December 24 for our Christmas eve celebration. The clan is growing every year. We are now 20 bodies. This year, there are two additions: 10 months old Mikaelah Alliune, the fourth child of my oldest brother Mike and Ate Amy and Kenneth Adrian, the 10 year old son of my youngest brother Joel. You will notice that Kenneth is not a new – born, but it was first time for the family to have him at Christmas this year. Kenneth mom’s Juries, left for London when she got married to her English husband Steve. We didn’t have a contact with him then, and Juries felt that it would be too early to tell Kenneth that Steve is not his father. When Kenneth turned 8 years old, being a really smart boy, he noticed that he looks somewhat different from his two other siblings John Paul and Ava (and now baby Samuel). He inquired who his real father is. Last year, he came back to Philippines with her grandma for a quick visit to look for my brother Joel. They were then introduced and spent a day of bonding, before Kenneth has to go back to London. This year, Kenneth’s whole family arrived for Juries to give birth to baby Samuel. Kenneth then spent lots of occasion with the Ojeda family including Christmas and his birthday yesterday, December 26!

Mike's family in 2007

Mike's family in 2008

Family Snapshot: Living a Balanced Life


Shane, Kyle, James, Ian & Me  Walking in Balance In Rice Paddies
This is one of my favorite pictures of my nieces and nephews, which was taken in our province (Vinzons, Camarines Norte)  in July 2007 during our visit for my cousin Carmela’s wedding. Not only do they look so cute in the picture, but the picture also reminds me of the importance of living a balanced life. According to Elder Robert F. Orton of the Seventy, Balance is a mental and emotional steadiness; it is to bring into harmony or proportion the spiritual, intellectual, physical, social, and economic factors. President Gordon B. Hinckley has pleaded that we keep a balance in our lives. He taught that we have a four-fold responsibility – to our families, to our employers, to the Lord, and to ourselves. I am striving to maintain the balance which I have obtained when I became a member of the Church. Maintaining balance, however, could be overwhelming as everyday challenges can upset such balance. But if we seek to have the Spirit with us at all times and be faithful in responding to His promptings, we will be blessed.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Deparo Ward Christmas Program


Christmas is not just about ligts, gifts, parties, and vacations. Foremost, it is about Jesus Christ and how His birth has created this most celebrated occasion in the world. This is the reason that the Deparo Ward has created "Come Let us Adore Him" the musical in shadow play (set in Tagalog), to remind everyone the true meaning of Christmas. Through the songs, and scriptures accounts of prophets Luke and Matthew with the "nativity" acted out by the primary kids, the characters loved by the world - baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Wise Men and Shepherds - we will be reminded of the events that transpired before and after the birth of Jesus Christ and we as the wise men of today will seek Him and adore our Savior Jesus Christ.

“HALINA AT SYA AY SAMBAHIN”
Isang musical at shadow play
[2008]

Starring: Casimiro Family, Del Rosario Family, Fernandez Family, Galang Family, Hornacion Family, Mejia Family, Ojeda Family, Sampang Family, Samson Family, Tumbokon Family, mga piling primary kids (Jay - A Ojeda bilang batang Hesus, Michelly Ojeda bilang Mary, B. Sampang (bilang Joseph), B. Tumbokon (Anghel), Jay M Ojeda, Ian Benedict Ojeda at B. Tumbokon (bilang Wise Men.
Pianist: Sis. Roselle Casimiro
Writer at Director: Sis. Mhe-anne Ojeda
Asst. Director: Sis. Aimee Fernandez

Pambungad:

Sisikapin ng pagtatanghal na ito na ipahayag ang tunay na kahulugan ng Pasko o “Christmas”. Sa pamamagitan ng awit at salaysay mula sa sulat nina propetang Lucas at Mateo, habang may mga larawan na ipakikita sa shadow, ang mga katauhan na minahal ng buong mundo – katulad ng sanggol na si Hesus, Birheng Maria, Jose, ang mga Wise Men at mga pastol (Shepherds) – ipaaalala sa atin ang mga kaganapan bago at pagkatapos ng pagsilang sa ating dakilang tagapagligtas na si Jesu Kristo.

Prologue: OH HOLY NIGHT
(Brother Jun Mejia)

OH COME, ALL YE FAITHFUL (First 2 verses)
( Sampang Family)

Matthew 1:18-23
(Brother Alfred Tumbokon)

OH COME, ALL YE FAITHFUL (Third verse)
( Sampang Family)

Luke 2: 1-7
(Galang Family)

O, LITTLE TOWN OF BETHELEHEM
(Annele Fernandez)

Luke 2:8-14
(Brother Earnest Samson)

FAR, FAR AWAY ON JUDEA’S PLAINS (First 2 verses)
(Casimiro and Hornacion Family)

Luke 2:15-20
(Del Rosario Family)

HARK THE HERALD ANGELS SING
(Fernandez Family)

PAGSASALAYSAY:
(Brother Aaron King Fernandez)

Hindi tulad ng mga pastol, ang mga matatalinong tao (o wise men) ay hindi pumunta sa sabsaban nung gabing ipinanganak si Hesus. Nakita nila ang bituin sa Silangan at naglakbay ng malayo upang si Hesus ay makita. Dumating sila sa Palestina mula sa Silangan, makalipas pa ang ilang panahon, siguro ay makalipas ang ilang buwan. Walang akda sa Bibliya o sa Banal na Kasulatan kung ilan ang mga matatalinong tao na sumamba kay Hesu Kristo.
Maaring tatlo, pito o di kaya’y sampu. Subalit kung ilan talaga ay di na masyadong mahalaga. Ang importante, ang mga wise men na ito ay dumating sa sabsaban upang iaalay ang kanilang mga dalang regalo at sambahin ang ating Tagapagligtas na si Hesu Kristo. Kailangan nating alalahanin na ang mga matatalinong tao sa ngaun ay patuloy na naghahanap sa ating Tagapagligtas.

WITH WONDERING AWE (First two verses)
(Mhe-anne at Aimee Fernandez)

Matthew 2:1-11
( Brother Alex Fernandez)

JOY TO THE WORLD
(First two verses)

BISHOP’S MESSAGE: Inaanyayahan namin ang lahat ng mga pamilya na gawin ang Paskong ito na panahon ng kapayapaan, kabutihan at pasasalamat sa pamamagitan ng pagpapakita ng pagmamahal sa bawat isa, hindi sa pamamagitan ng regalo bagkus sa pag trato at pagpupugay natin sa kanila.

Epilogue: SILENT NIGHT
(All)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Church Office Themed Christmas Party



I love themed parties. This is why I look forward to Church Office annual Christmas parties with great anticipation. For my three years stint as a Church employee, I enjoyed three unique experiences of a costume Christmas themed parties which all spell fun and went on like a breeze. Party on!Before I know it, the party is over and has become a fabulous memory.


2008 Wild Wild West

The recently concluded Wild, Wild West Christmas Party last December 12, 2008 is a classic. Simple "WANTED" poster invitations on our office doors few days before the event quickly got everyone in the right mood. employees were requested to come in blue jeans (forget the office attire!) on the day of the event and that made us fit right into the venue (PBO quadrangle) transformed into a Western town with signs and other decorations. Many employees came and felt like sheriff, cowboys and cowgirls as we squared-dance, lined dance and participated in the fun.



2007 Retro -DO THE HUSTLE party. With my Afro wig, love beads, tunic golden top, and hippie glasses, I had fun "hustling" to the finish line and being chosen as one of the best dressed female. The party made me flashbacked to the groovin’ in the 60s and getting funky in the 70s.


2006 Filipiniana Party

There’s really something about the 2006 Church Office Christmas party where females wore Filipiniana dresses and the males wore the Barong Tagalog - that is subtle elegance!Needless to say, the 2006 Filipiniana party spoke of Church employees patriotism.For many of us, wearing Filipiniana is not just carrying a style, but wearing a legacy. As if the dress wasn't patriotic enough, add the venue transformed in Bahay Kubo and the traditional pinoy delicacies served as refreshments. I always recall this Filipiniana party with pride and dignity.

Ojeda Family Christmas Tradition

Christmas time is a great time for the family. We have Christmas traditions - Monito monita, Christmas Bingo, Neighborhood Caroling,

My Parents with their grand children
Mike's Family

Allan's Family

Joel's Family

Allan's Family

Mike's Family

Me with my Parents

Joel's Family

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Physical Facilities Dept. Idol is a real Idol Experience!



I am a big fan of any singing competition especially the "Idol" search. When I was in the US, I followed religiously and voted for my bet in American Idol Kelly Clarkson who was declared the ultimate winner in the 2002 search.



Last year, Philippines has its own version with its "Pinoy Idol". I watched it every night, and even bought a tv for my car so I won't miss it in case I work till late in the office (which happens almost every night!). My favorite is the Kapampangan's Pride, Jay-Ann Bautista. During the Finals I cajoled my prince to watch it with me. I was very thankful when he agreed and got a gold ticket for the show at the SMEX, Mall of Asia.
.

So, last night, with the Physical Facilities Department (PFD) Idol search, my Pinoy Idol experience in August 2008 flashed back. I was privileged to be one of those outside the PFD Department to see the PFD Search for the First ever PFD Idol. Wow! It was a great show - from the stage design, vtr, backstage arrangement, lights, sounds, hosts, and the props, I couldn't tell the difference from the Pinoy Idol Finals!Kudos to the people who put it up. I really enjoyed the performances of the 11finalists. The hosts Ricky Cuenco (aka Raymond Gutierrez) and Joval Fulgar (aka Karylle and Rhian Ramos) are superb! They are like professionals in their hosting stint. And well of course who would forget the witty judges - Roland Gaspar, Joy Cabanting and Raymond Ruiz (aka Si-mon Cowell!). I enjoyed their comments after each performance. Just like a real Idol search, the fate of the 11 brave souls was turned over to the PFD employees (around 150) who cast their votes written on their stub at the designated ballot box. After a few minutes, Jeff Corpus (Contestant No. 5) who sang "Delilah" emerged as the very first PFD Idol! Contestant No. 3 - Aniceto Zabala won the runner-up.

Jeff Corpus (sitting, in white long sleeves) and Chito Zabala (sitting, in red) with host Ricky Cuenco (standing, middle) and other PFD hopefuls.

Sagada: Unthinkably Beautiful Surroundings

My friend Judith Mayocyoc visited me last month and shared with me pictures and video of Sagada, her province. (Yea, Judith is an Igorot). The pictures made me reminisced the many beautiful memories I have of Sagada.



I visited Sagada about 8 years ago, with my bestfriend Ate Dearie, Jean Palapala and Angie Launico. The four of us were looking for a place where we could find silence from the hustle and bustle of modern life, and Judith recommended her own province Sagada, with a sense of pride. And Sagada did not fall short of our expectations. We found ourselves in an unthinkably beautiful surroundings.

Judith (a friend from mission) gladly accepted to be our tour guide and provide us free accommodation at her parents house in Sagada. She has been staying in Baguio so we first went up to Baguio to meet her then it took us about six to eight hours from Baguio to Sagada.

The Baguio-Sagada trip began early in the morning, and passed through rocky but by no means comfortable road. But the scenery made us forget all of the discomforts. We were treated to a fantastic mountain landscape, of rock face and green forest on one side, and a sheer drop hundreds of feet down on the other.

Just a 30-walk from the town square is the Sumaging Caves - among Sagada's most popular tourist attractions. Tread carefully in Echo Valley, as this place serves as the burial grounds, where the "Hanging Coffins" - small wooden coffins in which mummified bodies are placed, and then lodged in the limestone crags - can be found. This valley is also just a short hike from the Mission Compound's cemetery. A little bit more effort will bring you to a nature lover's dream destinations. The small but nevertheless charming Bokong Waterfalls. Here, you see mountain vistas that spread out to infinity, silent forests, rolling fogs, and, when you wish it, the opportunity for solitude. It is not hard to see why Sagada is also a favorite destination for soul - searchers. There are many reasons to come to Sagada. I want to go back there and stretch my legs, and stretch my senses!
video

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Some Things About Me...

My friend Samantha Mass inspired me to have this List. This is one way to tell something about myself in a simple, less writing needed. This is fun...so may as well have your own list..

10 years ago I was:

1. I was serving a mission in the Philippines San Pablo Mission
(I'm blessed to have Jeremy as my District Leader and he is my fave!)
2. I passed the Philippine Bar while on my second area
3. I started my first lawyering job at the Bureau of Immigration a day after my released from the mission field
4. I was granted a 10 year multiple visa to the US eventho there is 99% denial for young and single and broke like me! (Visited 7 States on my first trip to the US and L.A is my first US States)
5. Had my first serious relationship and first real heartaches

5 Things on Today’s To Do List:

1. Check my Facebook to see if I have 200 friends!
2. Finish my budget for 2009
3. Pencil push on the setting up of my law firm by end of May when I step out of Church employment.
4. Clean my room so it will be fresh the whole year round
5. Take out all my Yellow shirts and shorts, the family motiff for the New Year's eve.

5 Snacks I enjoy:

1. Chocolates (I have tons in the fridge. I love all kinds esp. Ferrero and Cadbury)2. Choco chip oat cookies I baked
3. Mango Jubilee dessert I prepared
4. Rainbow Jello (my original recipe last night and enjoyed it)
5. Mixed Fruits and Nuts (esp.the one from Kirkland)

5 things I would do if I were a millionaire:

1. Pay off my house and add a recreation room with all the sports/recreational gadgets therein
2. Renovate my parents house (based on the design they've chosen - a Boracay inspired house)
3. Help my prince pay off his school loans - Law school is very expensive!
4. Build a vacation house in an island so I can always host my friends, at least once a month.
5. Buy an airplane so I could travel around the world with my prince without having to buy tickets.

5 Places I have lived:

1. Camarines Norte, Philippines
2. Quezon City, Philippines
3. Southern Tagalog, Philippines
4. San Francisco, CA
5. Provo, Utah

5 jobs I have had:

1. Girl Friday for Cong. Butch Abad (Batanes Congressman).
2. Tutor for Koreans for 6 years
3. Elementary & High School Teacher at the Holy Rosary School of Quezon City
4. Law School Professor at San Sebastian & Law School Book Author
5. In-House Counsel for Almeda Inc.l Bureau of Immigration, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Friday, December 5, 2008

Pinoy Olimpiks (9/20/2008): Hep hep! Orange!!


PBO Pinoy Olimpiks 
It was a perfect sunny Saturday when I was transported to a time when life was just the way I had always wanted it to be. It was a time when patintero, habulan, piko and Chinese garter were the craze. Yes, it was the time I attended the Church office Pinoy Olimpiks, the theme for the Employees Day. It was the time I enjoyed the freedom to jump, run, and sweat out my joyful energy outdoors thru simple traditional Filipino games.

Malakas Team (Orange) Cheering Squad

It was a great sight to see all teams of different colors spread all over the quadrangle trying to generate the most number of points in the Patintero, Piko, Pinoy Golf (jolen), Luksong Lubid, Motocross, and Pukpok palayok. There was also a cheering competition at the start of the program where Malakas team creatively performed their skills and sounded well during their cheering presentation.


Pinoy Motokros Relay -Motorcycle tires were racing in the grass track powered by the fastest and skillful individuals.

Luksong Lubid made most of the team members, if not all, jump in unison attempting to get the most number of participants jumping in the loop.

Mhe-anne Playing Piko
Piko game reminded me how to play it right.

Pukpuk Palayok -Adults felt and acted as young again picking up the prized candies from the broken pot as teams competed to be the first to hit the pot.

Opening Program at the PBO Quadrangle 
At the end of the day, my team Malakas (Strong, Orange) was the pulled away winner overall. Matiyaga (Diligent, Yellow) and Matatag (Firm, Sky Blue) teams emerged 2nd and third neck-to-neck winners, respectively.

It was indeed an action-packed and fun-filled occasion. Not only I was able to perspire my stored calories off but at the same time gave me opportunity to associate and mingle with others working in the office in a different social setting.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Paris France: A Dream Come True

Eiffel Tower at Night
I have long dreamed of visiting Paris, France and finally my chance came in August 2007. My prince, who was then in London for a law school conference and I decided to meet up in Paris during my first Europe trip -Sweden, Finland, Norway and Amsterdam leg. I grabbed the idea and we ended up celebrating our first monthsary in a place that is synonymous with the word style, romance and history!


Eiffel Tower in the morning
I arrived in Paris in the afternoon of August 3, ahead of my prince flight. Knowing that Eiffel is just a few miles away from the hotel, I went to see it after checking in. The view was great. But the view at night makes it clear why Paris is called the City of Lights. The lights look like diamonds as they twinkle. It's the loveliest sights on the planet.

Streets of Paris 
Since my prince had been to Paris previously, we toured Paris like locals do. First we chose a hotel right next to the Eiffel Tower. Without a doubt, I love the Eiffel Tower!It's beautiful from every angle, from any distance, day or night. I told my prince that so long as I see Eiffel Tower, the other sights he will bring me to would just be bonus.
The Louvre 
The Louvre
Home to Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, the Louvre is considered the world's greatest art museum, with an unparalleled collection of items covering the full spectrum of art through the ages.
Notredame Cathedral 
Notredame Paris
This famous cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture on which construction began in the 12th century, stands on the Île de la Cité and is the symbolic heart of the city.
Opera National De Paris
Opera National de Paris
This performance hall hosts opera, ballet and chamber music performances.


Arc de Triompe
Arc de Triompe
This world-famous landmark structure has served ever since the days of Napoleon as a symbol of victory for triumphant French troops returning home.The triumphal arch honors those who fought for France, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. On the inside and the top of the arc there are all of the names of generals and wars fought. Underneath is the tomb of the unknown soldier from World War I.

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Trotting The Globe

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I've been to 660 cities in 26 countries
Mhe-Anne is an explorer that:
does their own thing
doesn't mind roughing it
lives on the edge
Travel cred: high
I rank in the top...
0.1% most cities visited - Philippines
0.1% most cities visited - Brunei Darussalam
0.1% most cities visited - Asia

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New York - View from the Empire State Building

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Opera House - Sydney