The SM City Fairview Annex Atrium was jam packed with moms, dads, kids, kids-at-heart, babies in strollers, mascots, as well as all kinds of cartoon character goodies this Friday afternoon. We quickly circled the entire area to find entrances, and to get an idea of the event’s general lay out, so we knew what we needed to do in that sea of people. Stage and audience area on one end, the booths and play centers in the middle, and the gift shop on the other end, next to the registration booth and main entrance to the cartoon fest. Check!
We went around the booths as the characters were being introduced one by one onstage and the booths were still empty. We found a booth that Lia loved at first sight: the Barbie Ballerina booth, where there was a table for coloring pages and activity books, as well as a table where she could get her nails painted. My 4-year old daughter did not like the idea of having her nails painted, but took a seat without a moment’s hesitation on the activity table and started coloring Barbie pages.
She had to stop coloring when Spongebob went onstage and shrieked with delight upon the explosion of the confetti. Confetti that kids would love throwing onstage, up in the air, and at each other, afterwards.
At five o’clock, the characters went to their respective booths one by one so kids could come meet them, or have their photos taken with them. Lia, upon going through all the booths, also one by one, and overwhelmed with the mascots’ sizes, said they were all scary so we went around the shop instead. And here is where she found the most joy, amidst the Barbies.
It was a really fun Easter activity for the kids last Sunday at the Greenhills branch of Young Artists’ Studio.
Lia had been really looking forward to this egg painting activity and she was delighted to see the venue. The Young Artists’ Studio is located inside Sound Learning Therapy Center on the 3rd floor of the Promenade Bldg. at the corner of Wilson St. and P. Guevarra St., Greenhills, San Juan.
January 2013 was a very eventful month. And truly, it defined how the rest of the year is going to be for me. I know this year’s only been three months but it was the most difficult time of the year. So far, at least. And when things are difficult for me, I run to my refuge, back to where my heart is, to the place I call home.
I love riding my bike in El Nido. On one January afternoon, I concluded my ride by having a glass of shake and some food at Stunning Vistas Beach Resort in Corong-Corong and happened to have caught this. <3
Stunning Vistas Beach Resort
Lugadia, Corong-Corong, 5313 El Nido, Palawan http://www.elnidostunningvistas.com
Contact numbers: +639217515783 or +639995660888
If you are looking for more accommodations in El Nido, here is the link to the most updated list of accommodations, with contact numbers, links and a map. Click HERE.
I said, “Welcome back to me, Photoshop. Long time no everything,” because it is only now, in the past three months, that I have opened this application to work on my photos. So long that I have, I believe, forgotten how to use it.
If you notice, I have a new watermark, and I am trying to do justice to it by putting it on photos that I am proud of myself and amusing myself with its placement every time.
If there are some differences in the ways I process my photos now, I have the following to thank for:
1. Mark Terence Sy – for the mentorship and the workshop last December where I learned a few camera tricks and tips, as well as how to use Adobe Bridge in some ways, among other things, of course.
2. My workshop classmates who basically taught me the existence of some, as well as how to use, awesome Adobe Photoshop plug-ins. I have not mastered them as I have not been sitting long enough in front of my laptop in the past months to effectively learn anything.
3. Some cheap filters that I acquired in November 2012 that I have also not mastered enough but yes, I will get there, that because they are cheap and I do not know anything, have also taught me how to use my camera in such a way that I shoot with the knowledge that I will crop the vignetted edges.
4. Some people and experiences to draw inspiration from. Not to mention infographics brought to me daily by my fantabulous Facebook feed. More
It is my first day back in Manila, after spending almost 11 days in the Visayas area – mainly in the islands of Cebu and Bohol. I have a lot of catching up to do: four months worth of photos and quite a number of blogs. My blog has been eerily quiet for the past three months. The days fly by, as do my thoughts, and my life. I try my best to keep up and basically live my life as quiet and productive as possible.
I have a lot to write about, a lot of people to see, a lot of places to go to, and it seems the days aren’t enough. Or even me, there is not enough of me. But again, I try my best to keep up.
Sometimes I do not know what exactly is happening, but I try to do things, always with my fingers crossed and hope and pray that what I am doing is right, or at least leads to something useful and worthy of the time I spend on it.
In my wanderings in the past months, I have managed to lose friends, and make friends, at the same time. Some of these friendships, I have surprisingly, managed to keep and nurture, regardless of time and distances. This gives me something to be proud of, despite many failings and shortcomings.
There have been a lot of changes in my life or the way I live it, but I am more inclined to wish that there are some changes too in the way I think and approach things, which I consider more important, for what is the purpose of changing things, when my heart and mind do not?
It made me think about the many people that have been in, out, and around my life, and can only marvel at how much I owe them what I am. I am what I am right now because of these people, who have shaped me, and I cannot be grateful enough. I can only hope that they are as happy to have me in their lives as I am to have them in mine. All that I am, think, and do, have been shaped by the many people and things that I fit into my life, no matter how fleeting or enduring, and deep or shallow.
In the coming days, I hope to be able to post the photos from the following events since December, in my website, or my Flickr, or even in my Facebook. I have not really posted anything much. A friend messaged me last week to inform me of his observation, “How are you? You have been quiet on Facebook of late.” More
As a new chapter of my life begins, allow me to look back at how we have spent the last four years together.
We used to spend every waking and sleeping hours together, just you and me. But now, there will be less time for you and me to be together because you are growing and things are changing. Soon, you will be four years old, going to school more, and spending time with more and more people outside the family.
Before you came, I was hard at work on my master’s degree and was close to taking up a 5-year doctoral degree at a university abroad. I was also a [highly-paid] Drama teacher at a prestigious all-girls high school. I had more money than I needed. But I was lost.
Only when I had you did I find purpose in life. Indeed, you are the best thing to ever happen to me, and without you, I would have been living a successful, and yet, empty life.
Because you and I will be spending significantly less time with each other, I could not help but look back to the time you came into being until now, to this. The time of being primary and sole caregiver, stay-at-home-and-hands-on mom has ended as I now go back to working full time.
But know that I am your mom and I will always be here for you. I love you in ways unimaginable. You have made me a better person altogether. For all that you have done to me, I am grateful.
Our journey has not been easy but it had been very exciting. You are my daughter and my best friend, and I could not ask for more.
I had loved traveling with you.
July 2008 – Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay and Catanduanes September 2008 – Siquijor, Negros Oriental, and Negros Occidental November 2008 – Camarines Sur
At Lake Buhi Resort, Camarines Sur. November 2008. 16 weeks.
January 2009 – Cagayan de Oro and Camiguin
At White Island, Camiguin. Photo by Ver Estotsenberg. January 2009. 28 weeks.
At White Island, Camiguin. Photo by Ver Estotsenberg. January 2009. 28 weeks.
February 2009 – Guimaras and Iloilo March 2009 – Pangasinan
May 2009 – Camarines Sur
At Surfer’s Paradise, Pasacao, Camarines Sur. May 2009. 1.5 months old.
When this site started out, it was really a very personal blog – a space for all my ruminations, intellectual masturbations, thoughts on family, motherhood, activities and photos with and of friends, short stories, and emotional creative output. It was basically a more permanent version of my Multiply site and a repository of my very personal blogs from Friendster written all the way back from 2005.
This was not meant to be a blog that was supposed to make an internet personality out of me, or make money for me, or a landing page for information the general public might find useful. I was into travel and sharing information for other travelers like me, so I put out a site specifically for that, onetravelstory.com. Maintaining two sites became too tedious though, that in the end, I merged both. And with the expansion of my interests, friends, and activities, this site became a catch-all for everything related to my own personal lifestyle; and subsequently, put me in that category. That being said, I have tried to avoid posting personal blogs. I have not written one, in my effort to avoid putting myself as the person that is me in the limelight, but instead, putting myself as a purveyor of useful information.
I have not written any personal blogs in a long time, but this is the day I will. Because I just need to.
I am at a crossroads of my life. Today is the day I move out of the house that in paper, fifty percent of which I own. Today is the day I officially begin a new chapter of my life. More
Having finally decided that Lia and I will never come back to live in Bicol, we embarked on a road trip to haul all of our stuff back to Manila. We used to travel together every two weeks when Lia and I were both based in Bicol in 2011 but this was Lia’s first return trip to Bicol after leaving nearly ten months before. We allotted two out of the three-day long weekend for just driving the 900+ kilometers back and forth, and only one day to stay and roam around the area. This mainly meant having coffee at Starbucks Magsaysay, dropping by Bigg’s Diner and Red Platter, having kinalas and puto bucayo. Of course we could have done more but with the limited time, we had to prioritize the ones I missed the most.
I have always wanted to go up and visit Stonehouse Gardens, and because we had no plans of ever coming back, it was imperative that we go this time.
We arrived a few minutes before four in the afternoon on the first Saturday of December. The sun was nearly at the horizon and behind the clump of trees by the fence. After refreshing ourselves with glasses of juice served by the resort and take-out food from Bigg’s Diner, we went on a walk around the place and took photos. The setting sun gave just the right light for what would become some of my favorite photos for the year 2012.
Welcome to Livin' High and Takin' it Easy. Thanks for dropping by! I'm sorry about the missing blogs, categories, tags, and links. My site crashed last June 2011 and had to go through a painstaking process of revival. We are slowly trying to bring back all the site features and formatting but going through nearly a thousand blog posts just isn't that easy. Thanks for understanding. Cheers!