Wednesday, October 31, 2007

How shocking!!!!

Why did it happen?
How did it happen?
Still can't believe it happened!!!
Ohmigosh! It really happened!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Do as I do

One requirement in my basic foods class is for each student to cook at home a dish similar, if not the same, with what they had just done in class and submit a report (written or oral) about it. Oscar, ( yes, there are several Oscars in my classes) for this week, topped it all for not only preparing a recipe (recorded in pictures that his mom took) but engaging his 6-year-old cousin to do the recipe with him, as well.
Another moment that convinces me to stay on teaching!!!
NOTE: His set of pictures show the steps from measuring the ingredients to cleaning up.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Once Upon A Time - III

Once upon a time last summer I was in high school again with Baby, Paskie, Victor, Kinnie, Odie, Dolly, Caying, Bong, and Silvio.
We all met at Silvio's place where we had a sumptuous lunch prepared by his wife, Enggies. Then we proceeded to the new high school site to see the new walkway that members of our graduating class helped build.
=================The way we were
===========The old high school building - a former farm shop for college students.
========= The new University of the Philippines Rural High School building in Bay, Laguna. Under the walkway that our class donated. Do you see the yellow bell plant with red flowers? That was propagated in the UP College Agriculture. While waiting for or walking to their rides, the covered walkway will help students from the rain or too much sun.
===========The teachers that helped us shape our future.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Colors along the Sideways

One prominent change I saw in my homeland is the abundance of colors along the highways. In my youth, the only colors I can remember whenever I traveled were green, gray and brown. Some pastels, maybe. But now - WOW! Oranges, electric blues, lemon yellows, blood reds, emerald greens and more. Six years ago, when I saw a house painted in bright primary colors among the neutral ones, I thought - NO WAY! But last summer, when houses in candy colors are clustered, they actually looked nice - bright and happy! Filipinos have gone around the globe and from their trips they bring back new colors and shapes that help create a pleasant landscape.

These are the sights that caught my eyes: three ladies in their rainbow-colored attire enjoying a morning chat by the sidewalk; purple shallots and white garlic complemented by the color of the market walls; patterns formed by the arrangement of cut woodbranches; a horse-drawn carriage (calesa) competing with tricycles and cars; a richly colored tricycle any Ferrari would envy; the rust-orange roof of a house sunk by lahar from the Mt. Pinatubo eruption; and of course - houses in their delicious and glorious colors!!!

Even the clothelines changed!!!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Friday, October 19, 2007


Today has been another exciting and happy day. Thank God it is Friday!!!
To emphasize how yeast acts as a leavening agent each group prepared a recipe for pizza dough yesterday. Today they finished the activity with their choice of toppings. Everyone came on time, some even came during nutrition and lunch break to start prepping. It was also a very busy day because the FAME SLC teachers were meeting and requested that we prepare an Asian lunch for them. As usual, Oscar acted as my Sous Chef. Very efficient, if I may add.
Bon appetit!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

AN AWARD FOR ME ?!?!?!?!?!!

Julie of teacherjulie surprised me with the Egel Nest Blog Award, an award started by Bradley Egel who described it as an "award to blog of excellence (eggscellence)". (only hope my blog is excellent enough) Thank you very much, Julie, for finding my blog inspirational. I am very much humbled and also sincerely grateful. My wish and hope is that I can inspire more. I proudly share this award with: Nancze - I feel her gentleness and caring ways everytime I read her posts. Rondah - she shows that working from 9 to 5 and beyond is no reason why one should stop pursuing a dream and still be an excellent full-time mother and wife. Virginia - her posts push me to think about writing, what to write, how to write, and to write, write, write..... I am sure she inspires so many more. Rachel - for being Rachel - soulful, thoughtful, inspiring, loving, caring ........ Yvonne - because of her site an intelligent and insightful community of bloggers is brought together.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Once Upon a Time........ Part II

The Churches of the North
I was always interested to see the old buildings of any town so when our vacation plans were finalized I told Ed that we should go to the North because it is noted for its old churches and buildings. And I was not disappointed. Please forgive me if I couldn't remember some of the churches' names. St. Augustine Church survived an earthquake while San Guillermo Church was almost buried in lahar from the Mt. Pinatubo eruption. The way bricks were layered and cemented together to hold the structure would seem crude by today's building standards but anyone will be amazed simply by seeing and feeling the strength within each block.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Once Upon a Time Last Summer - Part I

==================A farm scene that never stops to elicit nostalgia==================
Finally, a blog about my summer vacation! My summer vacation was capped with a 4-day tour of the northern provinces in the Philippines. While touring I would often talk loudly about my problem in remembering places and names and added that I might not be able to write about the experiences. My goddaughter Princess (yes, her mom named her after me!) heard me and offered to "recall” things for me. So mostly in her own words, this is how those 4 days went
==============================Patapat Bridge======================== July 19, 2007 One hour past midnight, we left Batangas and headed for our long trip to the Northern regions. Passing through the cities of Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan and Nueva Ecija, we approached Nueva Vizcaya after cruising along the mountainous roads of Santa Fe. The cool, crisp morning breeze and the rays of the morning sun greeted us as we approached Solano, Ed’s hometown. Because they knew we would arrive just in time for breakfast. Roben, Ed’s youngest brother, and his wife Mafe, were ready with a hearty table of fried local longganiza, eggs and tomatoes and of course, rice. After some catching up with lost time, and visiting Ama, everybody took a short nap, had a hearty lunch and were off to Cagayan.. After 3 hours of driving through long paved roads sandwiched between carpets of green rice fields, rolling velvety hills, undulating mountains, towering trees and whispering creeks, we reached Tuguegarao. We were worried we wouldn’t find a good place to spend the night but Ivory Hotel didn’t disappoint any of us.
July 20, 2007 After a sound night rest, we packed and headed for another long trip ahead. But first, we had to eat! But where? Well, where else but at a Filipino’s favorite – Jollibee. After finishing the last drop of our piping hot coffee and some Kodak moments at the rotunda, we’re off again to the other side of the North – the Ilocos Province. The trip to Ilocos will not be complete without cruising through the Patapat Bridge. It is a suspended bridge where you see the vast ocean on one side and the mountain wall on the other side. I learned from my bro-in-law, Seibert, that military men built this bridge. It is quite a sight. By lunchtime we reached the famous virigin beaches of Pagudpud, Ilocos Sur. We had lunch at Saud Beach Resort (quite expensive, I think) after which we hit the blue waves. Indeed, it was a traveler’s dream destination . The sight of the powdery white sand against the white foamy waves on blue waters as the wind brushes against your face was very soothing and relaxing enough to put one to sleep. No wonder local and foreign tourists want a glimpse of this breathtaking scene. A memorable moment occurred when giant waves lashed at Ed unexpectedly forcing him to fall on his knees. Unfortunately, it happened so
quickly my camera couldn’t capture it. For the night we stayed in a “Homestay”. A house, more often that of a retiree, is rented out for a day or a week while the owner stays in a back room or with a relative. During our stay, a lady “entrepreneur” even came to sell necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings that she painstakingly handcrafted from local stones and shells. Dida, Tet and Marivic had a great time trying the trinkets!
July 21, 2007 Today seemed to be a very very long day. Woke up early, had breakfast and started driving towards the town of Bangui where we saw 15 generating windmills that provide hydroelectric power supply to nearby towns and provinces. Through Tet’s research work, I now know that this is the first generating windmill farm in the country. Amazing! Against the shoreline, those white giant windmills were a sight to behold! (Unless you are on your way to San Francisco via Hwy 101 or 5)

After enjoying the spectacular sight and picking some shells and stones, we then proceeded to a historical landmark in Burgos, Ilocos Norte – the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse – the highest lighthouse in the Philippines above sea level and built from locally made bricks. There are about a hundred steps to the tower and once there one gets a panoramic view of the beach and mountains below. Climbing the steps is not for the faint hearted.

From the lighthouse we proceeded to Laoag City where we saw the sinking Bell Tower of St. William’s Cathedral. Then off we went to Batac to visit the ancestral home of a former President, and the Marcos Mausoleum where he is laid to rest. Then we went to Paoay to see one of the oldest churches in the country, St. Augustine Church. A church wealthy of historical inheritance and distinctive architecture, it has been named in one of UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Moving on, we hurried to our next destination, the Malacanang of the North. Formerly the official residence of Former President Ferdinand Marcos in Ilocos Norte, it is now a museum open to the public. Vigan completed our tour of the Ilocos Region. Vigan is unique in that it is able to maintain its Spanish culture and heritage as in their churches, houses and public buildings. The only sign of modernization is the presence of fast food chains in the plaza. Calesas or horse drawn carts still attracts tourists to click their cameras. It was sunset when we decided we should make a side trip to Baguio since we were already “there”. We ran through a number of Ilocos and La Union towns and cities, then scaled through Naguilian Road until finally we could feel the cool weather and the smell of pine trees and we knew we were in Baguio City. We spent a restful night at the Prince Plaza Hotel in preparation for another day’s trip.

Friday, October 12, 2007

A Friend

============ ========== Larry and his beautiful wife, Fina ====================
This post is about a friend who always pushes me to do my best or else he'll be on my back! In my last post I used the word ZIT as a synonym to nil, nada and do you know what he did? He got a dictionary and this is what he wrote me:

Hi Ms, my teacher,

I am not challenging your proficiency in the English Dictionary but I just did more research on the word ZIT and all I got was it is a SLANG for PIMPLE OR BOILER ON THE SKIN. There is one word I encountered which means the same thing as NADA OR NIL. The closest to ZIT is the word ZILCH. Both ZIT and ZILCH originated in the U.S. Other words for nothing are ZERO, CIPHER, NAUGHT. English words are really confusing especially when they are giving DIFFERENT SLANG MEANING. Sorry and don't consider this as questioning your knowledge about words but I want to learn how I can use this word I just learned from you correctly.

My friend's name is Larry. He is a Principal Accountant with the City of Los Angeles by day and a Dance Instructor by evenings, nights and/or weekends. He is as good an accountant as he is a DI. Students sign up with him for years. He once told me that dancing will make him enjoy retirement when it finally comes his way, and right now, is a very good mode of excercise. During their annual trips, Chechoslovakians, Greeks, English, Italians, Mexicans, Bulgarians, Austrians, Germans, French and many more, had seen him and his wife, Fina, display their dancing talents on cruise ships and dinner halls. I still can not imagine that only about a little more than a decade ago Larry couldn't distinguish between a cha-cha and a waltz. Gloria and I used to teach him the very basic steps, but guess what, he is now our tutor for those latest ballroom dancing moves! And Gloria and I? Well, we still know the very basic steps!!!
One thing about Larry is that when he puts his mind into a thing, whether it is buying a Lexus or a leather sofa for their living room, studying a new hobby like dancing or going to a new place, he would spend hours and hours researching (Have you read the quote?) about it before he finally buys, does or visits! I have learned so much from him when it comes to thinking twice or thrice before buying or doing anything. The only one big thing between him and me is that he sticks to his plans while I don't (chuckle)! (BTW, I stand corrected and have edited my last post.)
As a friend, he is sincere, loyal and caring. For our twenty-fifth wedding anniversay, Ed and I decided we would not celebrate it because financially, we just couldn't afford it. Both of us lost our jobs and we just bought a house. We were surprised when on our anniversary day, friends and relatives from as far as Maryland, started coming with everything from food to dinner napkins, decor and music. Ed and I learned that Larry, together with Gloria, called them one by one and told them of our situation. That was the best anniversary we have ever had.
I am grateful to have you for a friend, Larry. I want to thank you immensely, too, for today, I have something to blog about (more chuckles!)

Friday, October 05, 2007


For the past whole week I've been having problems with my blog writing. Every morning as I drive to school, I make a mental list of what I will write about when I get home. But each time after turning on my computer and open up my blog, my thinking-writing mode goes nada, nil, zip! The composing side of my brain simply goes BLANK. Just right now, all I can write about is that I can not write about anything. (At least that is something I know at the moment.) I just visited Yvonne's weekend CAFE hoping to join in the discussion but I just couldn't think of what to write or how to comment. Same on Rachel's , so, after having the same experience on Nancze's I have to stop trying. Is this normal?