Sunday, January 30, 2011

New Testament Lesson 4: Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda



"The Lord is well aware of our mortality.He knows our weaknesses.He understands the challenges of our everyday lives. He has great empathy for the temptations and earthly appetites and passions. - Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

Monday, January 24, 2011

Pangasinan Road Trip 5: Urdaneta City, Cleanest,Safest and Greenest in Pangasinan

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda



I have been in Urdaneta City,a number of times and I couldn't missed noticing how strategically located this second class city of Pangasinan.

Approximately 186 km from Metro Manila and 70 km from Baguio City, travelers dubbed Urdaneta City as the "gateway" to Baguio City and other Northern Luzon provinces.



So what did I uncover during my recent road trip?

Well, I was surprised to learn that Urdaneta (w/c became a city through Republic Act 8480,on January 10, 1998 / approved March 21, 1998), does not have any natural tourist attraction unlike its neighboring towns.

And yet, traders, businessmen and families still prefer Urdaneta City. Ask why? It is because of the city's undeniably good environment for business and peaceful community.



That's right, Urdaneta City has been recognized by the Regional Development Council as the "2008 Cleanest, Greenest & Safest city in Pangasinan and is second in Region 1 in the annual Search for the Cleanest, Greenest, Safest City and Towns in the Region. The search is enshrined in Section 16 of the Philippine Constitution which gives impetus to the protection of the environment, a provision that was incorporated in the Local Government Code.



The City of Urdaneta is optimistic in maintaining this status as they continue to create programs geared towards the environment in the midst of its rapid transformation as an urban growth center and dynamic investment hub in central eastern Pangasinan.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

New Testament Lesson 3: Unto You Is Born ... a Saviour

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda



"Just as Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man (Luke 2:52), my purpose in mortality is to apply the patterns of the Savior's development to my own life so that one day Heavenly Father will be able to say,"Thou are my beloved daughter; in thee I am well pleased."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pangasinan Road Trip 4: Dagupan City, The Bangus Capital of the World

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda



Dagupan City, Pangasinan is dubbed as the "Bangus Capital of the World". But since I don't eat bangus (milkfish) or any kind of fish due to my allergy, I was glad to find that this first class city of Pangasinan is also charged with the existing aroma of various cuisines.



Star Plaza Hotel located at the heart of the business district, is one of Dagupan City's best dining places. Seafood and Chinese cuisines are served at their Star Ocean Restaurant. The selection was very appetizing and served professionally.



I was truly satisfied with our dinner, really sumptuous and mouthwatering without breaking the budget!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Pangasinan Road Trip 3:Binmaley, the Seafood Capital of the North!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda



Binmaley is a first class municipality of Pangasinan in between Lingayen and Dagupan City. The municipality is represented by a large crab statue, an apt symbol since Binmaley has the distinction of having the most fishponds in the entire province of Pangasinan.



Because the municipality is richly endowed with the largest aquaculture land in Northern Luzon, Binmaley has acquired the title "The Seafood Capital of the North". So a week from now (January 26 to February 2, 2011), Binmaley will be celebrating its first-ever Sigay Festival. The word "sigay" is Pangasinan word for “harvest from the sea”.



During the Sigay Festival, a wide range of activities will be held like a fluvial parade, a boat race entitled "Banca Carera", grand seafood cookfest, the coronation night of Bb. Binmaley, a colorful parade of street dances, and nightly parties for the different sectors of society. Barring work schedule, I hope to be back in Binmaley to catch the fun, excitement and taste of the mouthwatering seafood delights!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pangasinan Road Trip 2: Lingayen, Most Romantic Capital

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Provincial Capitol of Pangasinan

Lingayen is a first class municipality in the province of Pangasinan. It is the capital municipality and the seat of government of the province of Pangasinan located along the Lingayen Gulf.

Lingayen Gulf 

Because of the calm and clean atmosphere of the Lingayen Gulf, Lingayen is considered as the “most romantic place in the Philippines”. As a first time visitor to Lingayen, I was impressed at the exhilarating pleasures of watching the sunset touches the sand, walking in the very fine sand and feeling the cool breeze on the beach as I sat on the cottage huts!

huts along the Lingayen Gulf and nearby the Provincial Capitol

The Lingayen Gulf is an extension of the South China Sea that stretches 56 kilometers. The famous Lingayen Gulf Landing of General MacArthur is celebrated every January 9.

Pangasinan Provincial Capitol Complex

The municipality has many other beautiful attractions and the Provincial Capitol Complex is one of them. Built in 1917, the Capitol is one of the architectural treasures of the Philippines as declared by the National Commission Culture and Arts. It is also the center of the provincial government.

Hotel Consuelo in front of the Provincial Capitol

We stayed for the night in Lingayen at this hotel in front of the Capitol Complex. As I leave for another town of Pangasinan, I know that like Mc Arthur who said the famous line "I shall return", I know that I will surely come back to Lingayen to enjoy a dip on the clean water of the sea!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pangasinan Road Trip 1: A Jump Start

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda



I jump start the new decade by hitting the road to and around Pangasinan, Philippines.

The province of Pangasinan ( meaning "a place of salt" or "where salt is made" ) is easy to get to, convenient and packed with places to explore. Located on the west central area of the island of Luzon, Pangasinan is subdivided into 44 municipalities, 4 cities, 1,364 barangay, and 6 congressional districts. The capital of Pangasinan is Lingayen.



Today, begins my month-long, weekly road trips to and around the province, visiting its capital Lingayen and the neighboring cities of Dagupan, Urdaneta, and San Carlos. I will also take a scenic tour and drive along the municipalities of Bayambang,Binmaley,Calasiao,Rosales, Almaninos City, Sual, Basista, ,and Sta Barbara.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Batch '89 After Pre-Reunion Get-Together!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda



Batch '89 was one of the smallest group at the Osmena High School Kamustahan 2011 last January 15, with only 12 attendees. Well, it was good somehow as it was easier to catch up on each other’s lives. You see we haven’t seen each other in 21 years and hugging and swapping contact details during the 5 - hour gathering was not enough to get rid of the two decades' gap. La Mesa Grill at the Mall of Asia came to mind!



As the reunion was progressing, Elma, Lanie, Angie, Alice, Dolly, Feliza, Rhoderick, Nelson, Kuya Mike and I had an escape to continue the sense of excitement in a more fun atmosphere. We ate, drank (mango juice for me and my brother of course), listened to music and shared the best of the past and the best prospects for the future. After awhile, the 21 years' gap was replaced by the same old, strong camaraderie among us like in the high school days.



Though we are not so young anymore (between late 30s to early 40s still in denial haha) one thing remains. We are all "young at heart" and knows how to have a great Saturday night!

New Testament Lesson 2: My Soul Doth Magnify the Lord

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda



"And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour." (Luke 1:46—47). To "magnify" here means to increase "in our estimation" - that is, to praise or extol. As a name sake of Mary, I hope to follow her example to always praise God and be "great in the sight of the Lord."

Saturday, January 15, 2011

High School Reunion After 21 Years

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda



Oh how I look forward to this day - to return to the roots of my success (not that I'm very successful huh), my high school alma mater - President Sergio Osmena High School (PSOHS) in Gagalangin, Tondo Manila.



Roughly 800 alumni turned up from Batches '64 to 2011 for the Kamustahan 2011, filling the grounds of the new PSOHS building with red,yellow,blue and green shirts. There were 12 from Batch '89, ten (10) were my good friends whom I could easily recognized despite the past 21-years that had passed.



It was such a gathering - a celebration of youth and its memories. It was so much fun to see old friends (and see how young looking Batch '89 were compared to the younger batches who attended (peace!). I think Elma (our class valedictorian), Lanie, Anj,Alice, Dolly, Abraham,Nelson,Roderick,Feliza,my Kuya Mike and me included, have aged well! Felt good to look back on remarkable memories and laughed at those memories that might otherwise have been lost forever.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Volvo C70 In A Hot Seat

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda



The news of President Noynoy's recent car purchase has put me in reminisce mode. Well, I have not had a Porsche yet that put me in a hot seat,but I had been lucky to take a seat in another luxury vehicle - 2008 Volvo C70 during my Sweden trip in August 2007. My good friend Beth's hubby already owns this Volvo car before it was available in the market!



Because this Volvo C70 is a hardtop convertible, it offers two styles in one, top up and top down. I was able to document the transformation of this modern, classy, refreshing and comfortable Volvo C70 revealing the attractive laminated oak trim interior design.













We used this car, loaded with all the luxury you could ask for, during our road trip to Trondheim, Norway. To date, that had been one superior ride and a satisfying driving experience!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Testament Lesson 1: That Ye May Believe That Jesus Is the Christ!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

I get to teach New Testament this year as a Sunday School teacher again for the adult class of the LDS congregation in Deparo Ward. I am so happy for the opportunity to learn as I prepare to teach each Sunday's lesson. After our introduction lesson last Sunday and the encouragement to have a scripture journal, I thought I would have a blog entry of the quote or lesson I learned each Sunday that is especially meaningful to me and related to traveling or my comings and goings, anyway I don't travel on Sundays!



"We need not visit the Holy Land to feel Him close to us. We need not walk by the shores of Galilee or among the Judean hills to walk where Jesus walked. In a very real sense all can walk where Jesus walked,when with his words on our lips, his spirit in our hearts,and his teachings in our lives, we journey through mortality."
-
Pres. Thomas S. Monson

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tiger Look at 2010...Wink... Wink (Part III)

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

As part of my new year tradition, I took the opportunity to do a tiger look (i.e examine intensely,I mean) on how the year of the Tiger went for me. Generally, I can say that 2010 was a good year, with Travels, Friends and Family standing out as common themes.

Today, I write about how my family has been during the year of the Tiger as the last part of my look back on the year Tiger 2010.


Family.

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Last year was memorable largely because of the many happy occasions that I celebrated with my wonderful family. Of course, the most notable was our family sealing after 23 years of waiting on November 9, sporting vacations in Subic in February, flying out to Cebu for a five-day tour, beach and temple work in November, and annual reunion with camping and outdoors tree-planting theme in May.



Though a little short of being called a family, I count the many wonderful memories with my prince during the year in this section. We celebrated our 3-year relationship on July 5 and met in Taipei after a long break! I am lucky to be in a wonderful relationship with someone so nice, warm, loving, understanding, honest and dependable not to mention handsome wink...wink. in love!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Tiger Look At 2010...Wink Wink (Part II)

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

As part of my new year tradition, I took the opportunity to do a tiger look (i.e examine intensely,I mean) on how the year of the Tiger went for me. Generally, I can say that 2010 was a good year, with Travels, Friends and Family standing out as common themes.

Today, I write the second part of this series and focus on how 2010 been for me as it relates to friends, those people whom I interact with, bring camaraderie, contentment and joy into my life.

True to what the Tigers sign is known for - friendly and loving, 2010 has been a year of happy occasions involving friends,reunions with old friends and meeting strangers (read as friends I haven't met).

I wouldn't forget the get-together with friends I haven't seen in ages during the beginning,middle and ending of the Tiger year. On January I had a reunion with church friends from Acacia Ward (Roy, Kaye, Liezel,Nida, Lloyd,Issel, and families), then in May, about 16 young single adult friends from my former ward Don Antonio, Fairview Stake came over for a summer fun-over night swimming-birthday party for Delilah Fernandez at my place, and in December, meeting my high school bffs (as in best friend forever Lanie,Anj and Alyz), dining with law students (now Attys. Yancy, Caron, Merz, Butch and Cheng) and wrapping the year with a dinner with law school friends (Jon, Joel,Liza and Aizel) .

My professional circles has also been enlarged through my participation as Secretary -General and then as Chair -Elect (starting August)of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society - Philippines Chapter,a member of the worldwide organization of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) lawyers and law graduates and those who believe in the mission statement professing religious conviction, public service and professional excellence.

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Noted also in 2010 was the increase of new friends I met through Couch Surfing both as host and as guest. I have tons of friends now in Canada, Vietnam, England, Australia, Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu, Cambodia, Taiwan, US, Singapore, and in the Philippines. Indeed, Couch Surfing is the best idea of conecting people and making new friends!

And well, what could have been a happier occasion involving friends than being in their weddings. For 2010 I have attended and participated in five (5) weddings either as principal sponsor, host or guest - cousin Lineth in April, Dale Tumulak in June, law students Jon Bernardo and Michelle in August, church friends Gracielle and Joseph Matthieu in November and Jojo and AA Riquera in December.

With all these wonderful people in my life, I couldn't help but feel lucky and ever grateful to Heavenly Father for the gifts of friendships He let me enjoy during my life's journey.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Tiger Look At 2010... Wink Wink (Part 1)

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

As part of my new year tradition, I took the opportunity to do a tiger look (i.e examine intensely,I mean) on how the year of the Tiger went for me. Generally, I can say that 2010 was a good year, with Travels, Friends and Family standing out as common themes.

I will write about these themes in separate blog entries to have a shorter more reader's friendly write up over the next three days.

Today, I am happy to share how my travels had been during the year of the Tiger.

Travels

The year of the Tiger was filled with travels around the country and bunking with locals in Asia on a monthly basis except for the month of September (my busiest month work wise to allow a birthday leave for the whole month of October!).

Tiger kicked off with my first ever Butanding adventures in Donsol, Sorsogon, a visit to Mayon Volcano in Albay, and another volcano in Talisay, Batangas with my long awaited Taal Volcano crater tour during a trip to Tagaytay in January.

February rolls in with a quick flight to Bohol, a tour of Pampanga (Clark and Lake Shore) and Manila (Ocean Park,Rizal Park and Intramuros) and an almost daily road trip for ten days around Subic, Tarlac and Zambales to watch my friend's Reid participation at the Tour of Luzon cycling competition where his team Kelly Benefits Strategies winning the Championship.

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March was the start of a full blast CS experience when I and friends Jean,Arlene and my brother Allan, bunked with the locals of Ho Chi Minh City, enjoying Vietnam's biggest and busiest city, tasting delicious pho (soup) and saying "Xin chao" ("Hello") to those we met as we explored pagodas, Reunification Palace, War Remnants Museum and a trip back memory lane to Cu Chi Tunnels.

In April,I was quite busy with work that required me to stay put but still I was able to have series of road trips towards the end of the month to my hometown in Camarines Norte for my cousin's wedding, Camarines Sur and Naga for my Papa's birthday on April 29 and immediately traveling back home for our family reunion in Paradise Ranch in Clark Pampanga from April 30 - May 1.

After breathing in a little, I traveled to Cebu City mid of May to attend the LDS Temple VIP Open House and for the first time indulging in a beach experience in Maribago and Tambuli resorts.

June is noted for a couple more road trips to Dasmarinas, Cavite for a friends' wedding and to Sta.Maria, Laguna to attend the Oath taking of my friend Atty.Tony Carolino as the town's new elected Mayor while July stood out as the month for my dream come true Caramoan Island get-away and gutsy attempt at Naga's CamSUr Wakeboarding after my failed US Trip.

In August I was back in Pampanga to visit Nayong Filipino as part of the tour for the second day of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society Anniversary Conference.

The highlight of October was of course my birthday trip to the capital of Sabah state in Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu, indulging in street food and night entertainment with CS friend Chel, tasting the beauty of the countryside and letting our hearts pumped with the flying adventures at Sapi Island.

The birthday fun was immediately followed by a trip to Taipei,the capital of Taiwan first to experience CS traveling around Danshui,Keelung and Banciao with CS Chloe and wrapping up good with a rendezvous with my prince,scaling Taipei 101 in November.

Another highlight for November , was my vacation in Cebu City with my whole family on board the Cebu Pacific airlines, and explored the beach and the city's vibrant tourists spots, nightlife and street food.

And before the Tiger year came to a close, December ushered my first of a series of trips in Pangasinan for a special work assignment.

With all these trips I consider myself lucky and ever grateful to Heavenly Father for the blessings that allowed me to enjoy life to the fullest and to grow through the beautiful places I see and the wonderful people I meet on the journey.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's 2010 Celebration

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda



New Year celebrations in the Philippines means fireworks and making noise. One can hear a constant eruption of fireworks for the entire duration of the first two weeks up until the New Year's day (one reason I am normally on travel immediately after Christmas up to New Year).



I decided to stay home this time for a change as I have just been on travel last October and November and trying to save up this time. I am happy to celebrate New Year 2010 with my loving family and enjoyed the celebration right at our terrace, getting a good view of all the fireworks display without embracing risk normally associated with fire crackers.For want of snow, I took a picture with Coca Cola billboard shown above.



Since our family does not use firecrackers, I bought colorful torotot (trumpets)for all the kids and adults alike for the New Year’s Eve party called Media Noche. I was joined by my parents and my brother Allan's family (who lives in my home) and shared food like carbonara, hamon, grilled fish, lechon manok, biko, bread and fruit salad. We also have on our table a basket of 13 kinds of rounded fruits (we were told by the fruit vendor in Cubao that 13 round fruits is luckier than 12 since there is in fact a 13 month. Makes sense coz who wouldn't want the 13th month pay,right?). So, I bought apples, pears, orange, melon, guava, mango, grapes, water melon, kiwi, cherry, honeydew, kiat kiat (small oranges)and persimon.



To wait for the clock to hit twelve,we played darts wheel where one can win an amount from P10 to P200, with crispy P20 bill denominations or P10 or P5 coins as prize. At 12 midnight we gathered at the dining table for a prayer and started eating, cheering, jumping,shouting and greetings love ones.



For New Year’s Day, we were joined by kuya Mike and Joel's families for the family lunch and more games. We played the New Year's Wheel, guess the coins and Pinoy Henyo.

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