Monday, April 30, 2012


by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

INFORMED. (being knowledgeable and educated). Awhile ago, we watched the State of the Nation Address by Jessica Soho in GMA News TV Channel 11 from 9pm to 10pm. One of the segment during the airing was Ms. Kara David's Pasalubong  ( Tagalog word which literally means "something meant for you when you welcome me back"  and can be any gift or souvenir brought for family, loved ones, or friends after being away for a period of time or any gift given by someone arriving from a distant place). I learned that bringing Pasalubong is one of the most distinctive and widely practiced Filipino traditions of which I embraced. I now have more than a hundred of  stuffed toys from different countries, tee-shirts, caps, knick knacks, postcards, bills and coins as Pasalubong so I was interviewed and featured as stuffed toy collector in this segment!

*This is part of a series of 2012 Monday post inspired by Leigh Anne Jasheway-Bryant's Stop DoingStart Being article on Family Circle Magazine April 1, 2005 issue. What she said about having so many "to-do" list and trying hard everyday to check off the list hit so close to home! I agree with her that what I need is a list to help me be who I want to be, both for myself and others.Click on START BEING Monday Series to see other list of cool virtues we could emulate!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Papa's 60th Birthday and a week-long celebration!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

It's my father's 60th birthday today April 29, 2012! My niece Francine Kyle gave him his only wrapped birthday present. It was a necktie which he was very happy to have! (it is a family secret why he was extremely happy to have this necktie! lol)

Since Papa's birthday fell on a Sunday this year it is the quietest birthday for him. To keep the Sabbath day holy, we can't have our usual 3-day out of town trip on his actual birthday until May 1 (our family reunion). And although we earlier planned on staying at an ancestral house in Malasiqui, Pangasinan (courtesy of a good-hearted rich new friend) and travel to Hundred Islands from May 26 to 28, the plan fell through because I got sick. Anyway, we decided to have a 10-day celebration to make it a rewarding experience for him when I got well on Friday. 

April 27 (Friday) - I brought papa and mama to my appointment in Manila so we can dine in my fave resto (because of their unlimited best tasting gravy and blueberry cheesecake). It was so nice to see my papa smiling so sweetly after his crying spell a week before due to my mid April crisis which affected him.

April 28 - (Saturday) - Papa and mama was able to go home to their house in Bulacan to take a rest, pack for the forthcoming days as part of the birthday celebration.

April 29 -(Sunday) - attend Deparo Ward Church service as a family where Kyle gave him the necktie, then a simple family lunch and dinner together.

April 30 - (Monday) - Family Home Evening for his birthday. 

May 1- Have an "All You Can Eat" dinner at Kangaro Jack in Cubao near Araneta Coliseum. Last year we already celebrated Papa's 60th birthday in this resto, which after the dinner we realized Papa was only 59! (haha)

May 2 - Watch Game 5 of Basketball Finals - Commissioner's Cup at Araneta Coliseum. The last time we watched PBA game was 25 years ago when I was still in high school and the games were held in Ultra.

May 3-7 - Travel to Camarines Norte for a wedding where he is the sponsor and meet with his siblings and other relatives family. 

We love you Papa! You are actually not 60 years old but $59.99 haha...Oh well, actually you are the best epitome of 360- degree turn around - a mighty change of heart!! We are proud of you!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My Meals In Bed While Wallowing (A Sampler)

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

When I had the mid - April crisis (ok I created that word! lol), I declared a self-imposed bed rest or better still a "me - wallow" time (rolling oneself about in a lazy, relaxed, or ungainly manner) camping out inside my room. 

I just wanted to cry and cry until the tears won’t come out anymore. I want to  grieve and mourn about the loss of a beautiful relationship without calling much attention to myself (except virtually!), or being forced to appear brave or having a good time, even when I'm still feeling like it is the end of the world.

At least in my room, I can be myself, cherishing the good times and the good memories, no pretensions whatsoever and yet I can get to do "business as usual" (being a location independent lawyer!)  while getting some pampering from my mom (who chose to stay at my house for 10 days) and my sister-in-law Bhebe.

For two weeks (except for two Sundays for church service, Wednesday during the first week and Friday during the second week) I was (and still being) treated to a "breakfast, lunch, snack & dinner - in -bed" (you read it right - not just breakfast -in -bed but a full day meal in bed!!) 

My meals-in-bed fare is simple and small but creative, fun, my faves (shrimp, soup, and various drinks) and healthy. The food and drinks are on an easy-to-carry striped blue and yellow tray, that I can put on my lap, or on the bed or on the laptop table depending on what I was doing when it was mealtime. 

Then when it's time for another meal, my mom or Bhebe get the tray and put on another set of food. I just eat whatever I can (during the more than 30 meals served to me!) so I stay slim (hehe).

I truly appreciate my mom and Bhebe for this very nice gesture. The two-week wallowing time helped me to focus on "me", stay healthy (slim down actually), and keep busy (taking pictures haha). 

With my meals-in-bed, I had a "wallowing" time in the truest sense of the word - alone time in stinky pajamas "swallowing" what I want, while letting the pain and crap fly out!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Travel Memories (Part V): Fun In The Sun From U to Z...

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Alright.All good things come to an end (or rather will reach its last part) and so is my Summer Alphabet FUN IN THE SUN Series... after ABCDE, FGHIJ, KLMNO, PQRST, here's to the last part - the UVWXYZ of my favorite, fun summer activities as I travel around different countries ... 

U – Underwater & Water Adventures  

Underwater and other water adventures abound in the summer much more than just scuba diving. In fact, my memory book contains an array of fun activities at the bottom of the ocean, river or lake where I  met water creatures eyeball - to - eyeball like my Butanding Adventure in Donsol, Sorsogon (where I found myself head-on with the gentle whaleshark), Snorkeling in Mindoro and BatangasSwimming around the beautiful beaches of the Philippines (i.e. Calaguas, PagudpudPalawanHundred IslandsCebu, Cagayan de Oro, Samal Island, Camiguin Island) or around the neighboring countries in Asia like in Kota Kinabalu, Hongkong and Guam. I also had a share of water activities atop the water like my Water skiing in Bearlake, Utah (USA), Whitewater rafting in Cagayan de Oro, Waterfalls adventures in Cateel, Davao,  Sagada, Pagsanjan, Dolphin watching in Bohol, Maid of the Mist in Niagara Falls (USA), picknicking in McNears Beach in California, sand playing in Point Reyes Beach in California...oh the list is Looong like summer

– Vagabonding in Cambodia

Summer is about vagabonding or wandering wherever I please and discovering  the world on my own terms. Such was the case with the Sunset River Cruise in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. There were 17 people on the boat, of varying nationalities and ages, whom I met for the first time, except for my brother Allan, friends Jean, Arlene and CS host Elma. Yet we had so much fun mingling, eating, singing and dancing macarena (I was instant dance instructor and I'm not even a dancer hahaha!) . Well, this experience tells me that an enjoyable summer requires spontaneity and independent spirit - marks of true  vagabonds

Wakeboarding or Cable Ski is a surface water sport which was developed from a combination of water skiing, snow boarding and surfing techniques . Here the wakeboarder glides thru the surface of a body of water using a board that is being pulled by either a speedboard cable or cable lines like the one in CamSur Water Sports Complex (CWC) in Pili, Camarines Sur (Philippines). It was hard at first, but I had soo much fun!


Other than those involving water adventures, my summer is also characterized by adrenaline-filled thrills that involves the sky, the wind, the mountain, the sunlight and being at a peak where I pushed my physical and mental limitations a bit more so I could check off No. 9 (take a physical risk) of My Journey to Gutsiness. For one I have been in Xtreme Park inside Sunway Lagoon in Malaysia where I crossed the long bridge (overcame my fear!) and tried the Buffalo Bills Coaster ride. Then there's the Luge and Skyride in Singapore the Sky CoasterViking and Roller Coaster rides in Tongdo Fantasia in Masan, South Korea,  Gondola Ride in to Aspen, Mountain climbing in Kota Kinabalu, Hanging Bridges crossings,  Trekking, Hiking, Climbing up and down hundred steps and Reaching the Peaks  - Twin Peaks in San Francisco (USA), Hollywood Peak in Los Angeles (USA), Victoria Peak and Giant Buddha in Hongkong and  Philippine Peaks like in Baguio, Dipolog and Mindoro among others. 

Y – Yoga with Buddha in Vietnam

You don't need to go as far, because Yoga according to blogger Judi England  is all about taking pleasure in the everyday thing and feeding the spirit by seeking out positive people and spending time with them. This was exactly what I did in Vietnam one summer with my brother Allan and friends Jean and Arlene. We have so much fun taking delight in getting to know Ho Chi Minh City and beyond, meeting the locals, tasting their food, absorbing their  relaxing culture like water puppetry and coffee shops, going through the Cu Chi tunnel and doing the best summer activity that is free and easy -  walking. Of course, despite the jam packed summer itinerary, many times I did slow down to recharge - like when we spent the night in The Farm (Lipa Batangas) and had a massage in Sonya's Garden in Tagaytay

Z – Zestful Summer in Singapore

Summerlike the alphabet, no matter how looong will end  with a Z for Zest!  And like Singapore Flyer, (a magnificent wheel capsule standing at stunning 165m, with a height of a 42-storey building, treating every rider to a visual 360° feast of iconic and historical landmarks of Singapore at every turn), my past decade long summer is a complete round of sunshine- a real FUN IN THE SUN

- This is the last part of the series, but It's Not The End-  I can definitely do the Summer Alphabet all over again... after an equally adventure-filled Winter (lol)! And because I can't get enough of this summer, I am making Blog Pages for Global Summer Alphabet and Summer More Fun In the Philippines Alphabet (watch out for it). Thank you for following my Looong Summer AdventuresWith that I say ---I truly had Summer Like No Other! I hope you all do too. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Travel Memories (Part IV): Fun In the Sun From P to T...

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

With my ABCDE Aspen Summer Culture, Blueberries Picking, Cruise Vacation, Diving, Easter Fun - FGHIJ - Fantasizing in Disneyland, Gold Rush, Hula Hooping,  Island Hopping,  Jumping Craze - KLMNO - Kayaking, Lake Viewing, Magayon Fest,  Norway's Midnight Sun and Ostersund's Moosing Around --you know that I had A Summer Like No Other. But my Summer Alphabet is far from over coz theFun In The Sun series continues with PQRST of my favoritefun summer activities over the years, as I travel around different countries ... Drum roll for ---

Parasailing is a breathtaking and thoroughly enjoyable adventure that is better experienced in the summer. I had my first stint of this exhilarating human kite -suspended- in- the -air experience circling around Sapi Island while enjoying the spectacular view of the city of Kota Kinabalu and the other islands of Manukan,Mamutik, Gaya and Siulog. It was unparalleled fun!!

Q – Quacking Water Fun In Malaysia 
Ok, maybe I'm pushing it with this one – but I couldn't think of any summer activity beginning with other than Quidditch which I haven't tried yet! Well, ducks quack and so were we, while in Sunway Lagoon located at  Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. With its Water Park there were so many options to just swim like ducks or challenge ourselves to dive in the wild Waters of Africa  raising our heart rate and toning our muscles creating noise which sounded like ducks Quack Quack Quack.
R-Rock Climbing in Colorado

Another summer favorite is quite a demanding sport - Rock climbingSo when I was in the Rocky Mountains Colorado (USA) in the summer, I maximized my two-day vacation climbing the castle -tower shaped  Rock Park  which is just a stones' throw - away from the home of my friend Tess and Justin Bridgman in Castle Rock. I also hiked up the steps of the Red Rocks  in Denver, like how it was in the Amazing Race!  Both climbs were rocky (pun intended) and steep but the breathtaking, panoramic views of the Downtown, I-25 corridor, Pikes Peak, Front Range and the City of Denver were all worth it! Summer's rock!!

S- Spelunking in Sagada 

Known as Spelunking in the United Statespotholing in United Kingdom or simply going caving among us Pinoys could never be wrong when you do it in Sumaging Cave in Sagada (Philippines). Yes! I described my  spelunking experience in Sumaging Cave as involving more than two hours of grueling, exhausting and slippery walk, butt aching, wall climbing all under a very cold temperature. Yet, it is to date one summer adventure that I have already done twice and still wanting to do it again and again and again. All the hardships going though a dark, muddy and slippery rocks descent were all worth it seeing and feeling the smooth limestones and calcium formations called pigpen, elephant heads, the Queen, turtle head, the king, the chocolate cake and the curtain. And of course, if you aren't scaredy cat like me (who is scared of cold water!) then you can get a dip inside the cave's swimming pool. 

T- TannforsenWaterfalls Side Trip

Tannforsen Waterfalls in Are, Sweden is the biggest waterfalls in Northern Europe with its more than 30 meters height. In the summertime, about 700 cubic meters of water is hurled over a sheer drop of 38 meters making that roar, which is the reason for being nicknamed the Niagara Falls of Sweden. Visiting this waterfalls during our summer road trip is one of the best side trips I ever had!

Monday, April 23, 2012


by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

abounding in vitality; extremely joyful and vigorous, overflowing; plentiful). I collect stuffed toys, caps,  shirts, postcards and bills to remind me of the places  and countries that I have been to or want to visit someday. I now have more than a hundred of each items, mostly from friends "pasalubong". My collections are the physical reminders of Heavenly Father's  goodness and blessings to me so they keep me Exuberant!

Because of my collection, I was interviewed awhile ago for the "Pasalubong" segment of the State Of the Nation, a nightly news program of GMA News TV being hosted by multi-awarded journalist Ms. Jessica Soho.Unlike the usual news program, SONA features several guests to analyze the country's issues deeply in segments, as well as featuring exclusive reports and the insights and rundown of the day’s top news stories. I am thankful that I became a part of the show through the "Pasalubong" segment by producer, Ms. Lea Paz Torre, cameraman Red De Jesus and assistant cameraman Christian. State of the Nation currently airs on Channel 11 from 9pm to 10pm and worldwide via GMA Life TV. I am not sure yet when my feature will be shown, but maybe this Thursday night, so watch out for it! 

*This is part of a series of 2012 Monday post inspired by Leigh Anne Jasheway-Bryant's Stop DoingStart Being article on Family Circle Magazine April 1, 2005 issue. What she said about having so many "to-do" list and trying hard everyday to check off the list hit so close to home! I agree with her that what I need is a list to help me be who I want to be, both for myself and others.Click on START BEING Monday Series to see other list of cool virtues we could emulate!

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