May 29, 2020

40 Days

“Time is deadly when you are sad. Time is endless when you are in pain.” 
It's been forty days since my sister passed away and no matter how busy I am, I still think of her. I don’t know when my grief will end because no matter what I do to move on from this heartache, deep down inside I know that pain never leaves. If my life is a puzzle, there is a missing piece that no one can refill.

It is hard to move forward but I need to move, I need to heal and I have to accept the fact that I need to continue living without her. I have to get used to it, I can no longer see her, talk to her and our canceled trips can never be rebooked. Our future travels will never happen. RIP to my sister, Return If Possible 



Don’t judge one survivor’s healing by how fast another has to let go. Healing is not a competition. Everyone needs to heal at their own pace and at their own time. - Nikita Gill

May 19, 2020

Starting our Own Fruits and Vegetables Garden at Home

Gone are the days when gardening is only for old people. Nowadays, a lot of people are getting interested in this hobby especially now that we have a pandemic concern. We are stuck at home and we need something to relieve our stress.

What nice about gardening is you don’t need a big space because you can do container gardening or vertical gardening. You don’t need to buy a lot of materials because you can recycle plastic bottles and cans. You don’t need to buy seedlings because you can start planting from the ingredients that you have in the fridge or pantry.

I can still remember when I was a kid, I wanted to have a home with a garden. I wanted to have my own space where I can grow flowering plants, herbs, and spices. When we moved to our home, my late grandmother used to give me plants and we bought some bluegrass, plants, and even trees in Victoria, Laguna so we can plant it in our small garden.

After a few years, I realized that gardening is not for me. I don’t have the patience to maintain it, I don’t have a green thumb and I feel sad whenever a plant dies. So I give up my dream of having my own herbs and spices that I can use in my kitchen. I stopped gardening and let my husband maintain our small garden.

For the last several years, my husband tried to plant some seeds like tomato but it never blooms, calamansi but it never bears fruits, sitaw that died after 2 or 3 harvests, and camote. Camote was successful because my husband used to harvest the camote tops. He steamed the camote tops and paired it with shrimp paste.

Last year, when my son and I were on our summer trip, my husband decided to chop our palm trees and pine trees. Wala na kami shade pero at least wala na rin nalalaglag na dahon lalo na pag may typhoon. He hired someone to do this. Slowly, he started his home gardening hobby. He removed old soil and rocks, cleaned, and prepared our garden. He started planting and making his own compost. 


After our The Farm at San Benito trip, he planted tarragon, peppermint, and another type of mint plant. Then last holiday, we went to Tagaytay to buy dragon fruit cuttings and poles. When Community Quarantine started he bought this Sinigang Veggie Seeds, the pack includes okra, sitaw, tomato, radish and kangkong. So far, we were able to harvest Kangkong na and use it for Sinigang na Buto-Buto.




I know this is just a small thing compared to other home gardens but I would like to celebrate small wins. At least, may naharvest na rin kahit papano. Gardening takes time but it can relieve stress, it is a good family bonding and you can save money too. My husband spent most of his free time in the garden and when he has a business trip (before lockdown), nireremind pa niya ko na diligan ko halaman niya. Minsan nagseselos na nga ko sa halaman. Hehehe!


"Watching something grow is good for morale. It helps us believe in life" Myron Kaufman

May 11, 2020

Where to Stay in Norway: Scandic Kristiansund

Exactly a year ago, we had a Weekend Getaway at Kristiansund and my mom booked a one night stay at Scandic Kristiansund. Scandic hotels are a hotel chain in Scandinavia, you can see their hotels in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and few hotels in Germany and Poland. It is one of my options when I was having a hard time looking for accommodation in Sweden.

Read: Where to Stay in Sweden: Hotel Generator Stockholm


Scandic Kristiansund has a good location, it is situated in the middle of the town center, near harbor view, 15 minutes away from the airport and walking distance to some tourist spots. It was built in 1987 so the hotel and rooms look old already and probably need some improvement.


If you are traveling by car, there is parking space but it is not FREE. If you have big luggage with you, it is better to drop your luggage at the hotel entrance before going to the parking lot because the hotel doesn’t have a service elevator and you have to climb the stairs.






We arrived in the evening so checking-in was easy, we were offered a room with a view but since there is an additional fee, we declined. We can see this view when we go out so why pay for it. This was our view from our room.


What you see on the website is what you get, so this was our room. We have two single beds, an office table, television, couch, mini-fridge, and a cabinet. The following morning, I found out that my mom and aunt’s room have coffee and tea set while our room doesn’t have. We already arrived late but our room was not complete pala, I did not request for it since we won’t stay long.




The bathroom looks old but it has a bathtub and hairdryer but no bidet. They offer complimentary FACE Stockholm toiletries


We left ├śrland at 2PM and it took us more or less 5 hours travel time to reach Kristiansund so after check-in we had dinner at Bella Napoli Restaurant. Since it was raining and we’re already tired, we immediately went back to the hotel after dinner.

Read: Dinner at Bella Napoli Restaurant

Breakfast Buffet at Restaurant Sans 

The room includes buffet breakfast at Restaurant Sans where they serve traditional Norwegian buffet. Breakfast starts as early as 6:30AM on weekdays and 8AM every weekend. It was Sunday so I have no choice but to wait for 8AM breakfast time.


When it comes to breakfast in Europe, my expectation is low because I know that the buffet spread is limited compared to buffet breakfast in Asia. So I was really surprised when I arrived at the restaurant, Scandic Kristiansund did not disappoint me because they even have more food spread compared to Radisson Blu in Trondheim and Oslo. We were happy with our buffet breakfast at Restaurant Sans.





Read: Radisson Blu Hotel Trondheim Norway 
Radisson Blu Hotel in Oslo Norway  

Restaurant Sans 

Breakfast: Mon-Fri 06:30-09:30, Sat-Sun 08:00-11:00
Dinner: Mon-Sat 17:00-22:00, Sun Closed
Bar: Mon-Sat 17:00-00:00, Sun Closed

After breakfast, we had a quick Walking Tour at Kristiansund before we went to Atlantic Ocean Road.

Trivia: “Hang up your towel and make mother nature smile”. Did you know that it was one of our team members who once came up with the idea of hanging up towels to reduce washing? A solution that’s become the standard for hotel rooms across the world - one that saves thousands of liters of water and four tons of detergent each year. Only at Scandic.

Scandic Kristiansund 
Storgata 41
6508 Kristiansund, Norway

Watch the video here

May 07, 2020

3 Easy Ways to Get PSA Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Death Certificate and CENOMAR

PSA certificate is one document that we always need, we use this for our own personal copy, employment, school, passport, travel, claims, loans, and any other purposes. Getting a PSA birth certificate, marriage certificate, death certificate, and CENOMAR is easy because there are different ways to get these documents. It depends on your preference, time, and budget.

I can still remember the days when I have to go to Quezon City just to get my NSO birth certificate. It will take me hours of falling in line just to submit my application and go back to get my copy. I was so thankful when I learned about NSOHelpline.com many years ago but it was only year 2006 when I first tried their service.

At that time, I live in Laguna so I don’t want to go to QC just to get my NSO marriage certificate. If I remember it right, I placed my order online, made my payment in Metrobank, and after few days I received my marriage certificate. Yehey! I saved time, effort and I did not file a vacation leave for that.


Today, a lot has been changed and improved; I have tried getting our PSA certificate by visiting PSA Serbilis Centers, SM Business Center, and ordering online at the PSA Serbilis website. Whatever ways you will choose, make sure you know the required information before requesting for PSA certificate.

Birth Certificate 

* Number of copies you are requesting
* Name (maiden name if married female)
* Sex * Place of birth
* Date of birth
* Father’s name
* Mother’s maiden name
* Date of registration, if the birth certificate was late registered
* Purpose of your request
* Your relationship to the birth certificate owner
Birth certificate requests must be duly authorized as per The Child and Youth Welfare Code (P.D. 603)

Marriage Certificate 

* Number of copies you are requesting
* Name of husband
* Maiden name of the wife
* Place of marriage
* Date of marriage
* Date of registration, if the marriage certificate was late registered
* Purpose of your request

Death Certificate 

* Number of copies you are requesting
* Name of the deceased
* Sex
* Place of death
* Date of death
* Date of registration, if the death certificate was late registered
* Purpose of your request

CENOMAR 

* Number of copies you are requesting
* Name (maiden name if married female)
* Sex
* Place of birth
* Date of birth
* Mother’s maiden name
* Father’s name
* Purpose of your request

PSA Office Memorandum No. 2017-050 Marriage Certificate, Death Certificate, CENOMAR and Advisory on Marriages can only be issued to: 

A.The owner himself or through a duly authorized representative.
B. His/her spouse, parent, direct descendants, guardian, or institution legally in-charge of him/her, if minor.
C. The court or proper public official whenever absolutely necessary in administrative, judicial, or other official proceedings to determine the identity of a person.
D. In the case of the person's death, the nearest kin.

3 Easy Ways to Get PSA Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Death Certificate, and CENOMAR 

1. PSA Serbilis Centers 

As I mentioned before, a lot has been changed and improved, as of now, there are more PSA Serbilis Centers where you can visit to get your PSA Certificate. One advantage of visiting the office is you can get your certificate within the day. Four years ago, I checked the internet and the nearest Serbilis Outlet in our place is in Muntinlupa. You can check this link for the list of PSA Serbilis Outlet in the Philippines.

PSA Muntinlupa
2nd level East Parking,
StarMall, Alabang
Muntinlupa City 1772
Telephone: (02) 831 9882

My husband called the number and he was advised that we can get the documents within two hours. So after my husband's dental appointment, off we went to StarMall but I was so disappointed because there is a cut-off time, we were late by a few minutes. I just can’t remember if 1:30 or 2PM is the cut off time. They should inform us about the cut-off time kasi sayang talaga ang time and effort sa pagpunta. If you choose this option, it is better to be early.

Bring the following when visiting a PSA Serbilis Center 

A.Your Valid ID
B. Authorization and ID of the birth certificate owner if you are requesting a birth certificate and you are not any of the following.

* the owner of the birth certificate
* his/her parent
* his/her spouse
* his/her direct descendant
* his/her legal guardian or institution-in-charge, if minor

2. SM Business Centers 

Most of the time, I order our PSA certificate at SM Business Center because it is much cheaper and convenient for me. All you need to do is fill out the form (3 Copies), pay the fees, and wait for the release date. The only disadvantage is, it takes time before you can claim your PSA certificate. I remember four years ago, they advised me that the release would be after one month so I decided to order online instead because I need our PSA certificate as soon as possible for our Japan Visa Application.

January 2019 

Last year, we will be applying for our Schengen Visa and we need to submit a birth certificate and marriage certificate. We only have NSO copy and we don't have a PSA copy of the birth certificate and marriage certificate so I went to SM Business Center to request for it. I filled out the form and paid P180 per copy. I was advised that I can claim my documents after one week.

January 12, 2019 - request for PSA birth certificate and marriage certificate
January 19, 2019 - claim the PSA documents but it is not yet available, balik na lang daw ko ng January 22 para sure. January 23, 2019 - just to be sure Wednesday na ko nagpunta but I was really disappointed because our marriage certificate is still not available. Balik daw ko ng 6PM. Waah! We just went home na lang at ayaw ko maghintay ng 5 hours at hindi naman sure yun.

January 26, 2019 - I went back to SM Customer Service and at last, our PSA marriage certificate is already available. Actually, I was not alone, kasi mga kasabayan ko din mga nagrereklamo na at nakailang balik na daw sila, wala pa rin. It took me two weeks to get my complete documents. Paano pa kaya sila na naabutan ng PSA offline from January 13-16,2019.

* I was contemplating if I made the right decision, mas mura nga sa SM pero nakakastress naman pala kumuha. I asked them kung gaano katagal and when they said one week. I filled out the form pero hindi naman pala totoo. Sa dami ng balik ko, parang mas okay na nag-online na lang ko at ganun na rin yata gastos ko kakabalik at napagod pa ko. I guess, if you are not in a hurry, go to SM but if not, it is better to order online na lang.

January 2020 

We applied for a Japan Visa last January and this was our second application so I thought we don’t need to submit our birth certificate and marriage certificate but unfortunately, the travel agency required us to submit again because it is a family application so I have no choice but to submit my only copy of PSA certificate. So after that, we went straight to SM Business Center to get a new PSA Birth Certificate and PSA Marriage Certificate, I paid P720 for 4 certificates, P180 each copy and I was able to claim our copy after one week. This time no more delays.

3. PSA Serbilis Online 

Four years ago was the last time, I placed an order online for NSO Birth Certificate and Marriage Certificate. Three years ago they changed NSO to PSA Philippine Statistics Authority so a new website and new process of ordering.

And because of community quarantine, I have no choice but to order online so we can get the birth certificate and marriage certificate as soon as possible. Just like NSOhelpline.com, PSASerbilis.com.ph is user-friendly so ordering certificates are not a problem. You can click here to learn how to request online.

Read: How to Request for PSA Certificate Online

You will be asked to enter the following information online: 

Your name
Your delivery address (with zip code)
Your telephone number
Your valid email address
Required information for the birth certificate, marriage certificate, death certificate, and CENOMAR.

Payment Options 

Credit card
BDO
UnionBank
Bayad Center

Effective November 29, 2019, PSA Serbilis online credit card facility will only support the following Internet browsers:

• Google Chrome version 30 and later
• Microsoft Edge • Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 and later running on Windows 8 and later
• Mozilla Firefox version 27 and later
• Apple Safari version 7 and later running on OS X 10.9 or later

May 05, 2020

How to Request for PSA Certificate Online

I don’t understand why frequently give an original copy of PSA Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, and CENOMAR. Hindi ba pwede show original copy and photocopy ang isasubmit? I’ve been checking my old blog posts and it seems almost every year na lang pala ko nagrerequest ng Birth Certificate and Marriage Certificate. These documents are not cheap and I used these for visa applications and passport renewal (minor).

There are 3 ways where you can get your PSA birth certificate, marriage certificate, death certificate, and CENOMAR. You can go to PSA Serbilis Outlet, SM Business Center, or order at PSA Serbilis website. Most of the time, I go to SM Business Center but if I am in a hurry, I go to PSA Serbilis website.

Read: 3 Ways to Get your PSA Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Death Certificate and CENOMAR


My sister passed away, two weeks ago so I am helping and assisting her family to claim my sister’s burial assistance and death benefits. I’ve been checking all the documents needed and lahat na lang kailangan ng Original copy of the birth certificate, marriage certificate, and death certificate. Fortunately, pwedeng Certified True Copy ang Death certificate but unfortunately, we need PSA copy of the birth certificate and marriage certificate.

We are on Day 51 of Community Quarantine and government offices are still closed. I checked PSA Serbilis and they are temporarily closed effective March 17, 2020 until further notice. Since we need the documents, I placed an order online for my sister’s family and I hope it will be delivered after the Community Quarantine.

The last time I placed an order was 4 years ago, NSOhelpline.com pa and PHP350 each ang rate so I’m glad bumaba ng konti ang rate nila. Requesting for PSA certificate is easy, I like this (new website) better because I can order different certificates at once. If I remember it right, before per certificate ang order and bayad so 2 transactions pa if I need a birth certificate and marriage certificate. Now I can order BC, MC, DC, or CENOMAR and pay in one transaction only. If it is your first time, check the steps below.

You will be asked to enter the following information online: 

Your name
Your delivery address (with zip code)
Your telephone number
Your valid email address
Required information for the birth certificate, marriage certificate, death certificate, and CENOMAR.

Birth Certificate

* Number of copies you are requesting
* Name (maiden name if married female)
* Sex
* Place of birth
* Date of birth
* Father’s name
* Mother’s maiden name
* Date of registration, if the birth certificate was late registered
* Purpose of your request
* Your relationship to the birth certificate owner
Birth certificate requests must be duly authorized as per The Child and Youth Welfare Code (P.D. 603)

Marriage Certificate

* Number of copies you are requesting
* Name of husband
* Maiden name of the wife
* Place of marriage
* Date of marriage
* Date of registration, if the marriage certificate was late registered
* Purpose of your request

Death Certificate 

* Number of copies you are requesting
* Name of the deceased
* Sex
* Place of death
* Date of death
* Date of registration, if the death certificate was late registered
* Purpose of your request

CENOMAR

* Number of copies you are requesting
* Name (maiden name if married female)
* Sex
* Place of birth
* Date of birth
* Mother’s maiden name
* Father’s name
* Purpose of your request

How to Request for PSA Certificate Online 

1. Go to https://www.psaserbilis.com.ph/Secure/OnlineApplication.aspx
2. Click here to request now
3. Click I accept
4. Enter Contact and Delivery Information then click next
5. Confirm the details that you have entered
6. On Request Summary, you can CHOOSE BIRTH CERTIFICATE, MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE, DEATH CERTIFICATE OR CENOMAR.

After choosing, you need to answer 2 yes/no questions and click next
1. Was there any correction or amendment done to the certificate you are applying for?
2. Were you able to previously get a copy of the certificate from PSA?

7. Enter details and click save
8. Click confirm
9. After placing all your orders, click submit.
10. Choose payment options - You can pay via credit card, BDO, UnionBank, and Bayad Center.
11. I chose “Pay online via credit card now” and click accept.
12. Click proceed to payment
13. Enter credit card details and one-time pin
14. You will receive Payment Acknowledgment via email too.
15. Wait for delivery

Delivery of PSA Certificate 

Delivery with the Philippines - 3 to 13 working days after payment
Delivery to other countries - 6-8 weeks after payment

PSA Certificate Fees 

Philippines
P330 per copy of Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, and Death Certificate
P430 per copy of CENOMAR

Other Countries
$20.30 per copy of Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, and Death Certificate
$25.30 per copy of CENOMAR

I only ordered 1 PSA Marriage Certificate 3 PSA Birth Certificates and paid P1320. Mahal siya because I only paid P720 at SM Business center for 1 Marriage Certificate and 3 Birth Certificates for our Japan Visa application last January. So I hope mag back to normal na ang government offices so we can order sa Serbilis Outlet or Business Center for more copies.

May 4 - Ordered online
May 18 - I received an email that they processed my order and wait for the delivery in 1-3 days
May 20 - I checked the tracking status, I was surprised because they already delivered the documents last May 16. Status is BAD ADDRESS and CONTACT NUMBER is unreachable. So I messaged them through email and Facebook Page. I gave them the address, landmark and 3 contact numbers.
May 21 - I received a call and the rider asked for landmark and fortunately it was a successful delivery.

Natanggap na yung PSA documents bago pa sumagot sa FB page na ifoforward yung information na binigay ko para madeliver ulit. Sa email naman, sumagot at humihingi ng information. Waah!

April 30, 2020

It’s Hard to Say Goodbye

I don’t know what’s with the year 2020 but this year was so heartbreaking. Three months ago, I posted this “Slowly, we’re losing someone we love and my heart is crying “Lord, I can’t take this anymore, this is too much”. I don’t know how much my heart can take because the pain of losing someone is not easy to bear.” And now, my heart was shattered in a thousand pieces and I don’t know how to get back up.

In a span of 14 months, I lost my grandmother, sister-in-law, father, and sister. My father passed away just three months ago and then just last week, I heard the very sad news. I feel so devastated because I lost my sister and my friend. It was so sudden and we were all in shock and how I wish we can pretend that nothing happened.

So soon, so soon, so soon... Why? I don’t understand why does she have to leave so soon? I can't find the words to say. I wish it was just a bad dream but too bad, it is a reality that I'm having a hard time to accept. I miss her so much and it pains me because I can't even see her. And because of this Covid19 pandemic issue and community quarantine, we cannot travel and my mom can’t even fly back to the Philippines. It aches our hearts because we cannot give her a decent funeral service.

Sino makakapagsabi na yung libing ni papa yung last na kita namin. Kausap pa namin siya, wala man lang signs na mawawala na siya; tapos gigising kami na wala na siya. She was not feeling sick but she mentioned that she has an asthma attack. She was not complaining so we just thought it was the usual asthma attack kapag nastress siya or pagod.

She has asthma since she was a kid and she said na nagnenebulizer siya for her asthma. Mas worried pa nga siya sa mama ko na may sakit and was on sick leave. But last Monday, nebulizer failed her and she was having a hard time to breathe so she was rushed to the hospital. It happened before (last year) so when my niece told me that she was in the hospital, I thought she was already okay but when I’ve read the word“nirerevive”, my hands were trembling and I can’t even type and I don’t know what to do. I called my brother so he can go to the hospital but he did not see our sister anymore.

God broke my heart because He always takes the best. Her golden heart stopped beating and her hardworking hands are now on rest. I love my sister so much and life would never be the same without her. She is a selfless sister. She is always there for me. I really appreciate her presence, lagi siya present if I need a family. She was there nung pregnant ako, nanganak, binyag ng anak, birthday, and any other special events of my life.

Growing up kami lagi magkasama and magkausap. Now that we have our own family, we seldom see each other because of distance pero lagi kami magkausap, almost every day. We're supposed to go to Taiwan pa nga last March kaso nacanceled and marami pa kami travel plans together na hindi na mangyayari pa. Now that she is gone, I don’t know how to move on and move forward.

The words "moving on" is easier said than done. They keep saying that time will heal but the pain just gets more real. It’s been 10 days since God called her home and our heart still aches and we don’t know until when. I kept on playing this song by Danny Gokey “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again”



“Let every heartbreak and every scar, be a picture that reminds you who has carried you this far. Cause love sees farther than you ever could. In this moment heaven’s working everything for good”

I’m praying that God will give us strength, comfort, and support that we need so we can survive our trials in our life.

April 19, 2020

Day Trip to Caleruega Church

We’re on Day 35 of Community Quarantine and for the past few weeks, I tried to keep myself busy. Even though I’m preoccupied with other things, I can’t deny the fact that I’m missing the old times. I love sharing about our travel trips and food trips but I’m not sure if it is okay to post it during the quarantine. But after contemplating, I guess it is the right time to reminisce and relive my past travel and food trips to reduce my travel depression.


And because it is Sunday, let us start with our Caleruega trip last December. Caleruega has been part of our annual trips because it is my husband’s tradition or should I say “panata”, so we always visit this every Holy Week. Though there are a few times that we were not able to visit this during Holy Week because we were in Norway. We’re visiting Caleruega since 2008 and during that time, my son was still inside my uterus and now he is already tween.

2008
How time flies, I can still remember that we did not celebrate our second wedding anniversary because I’ve been on bed rest since the first week of February. I was really bored at home so my husband decided to visit Caleruega. Though I am not Catholic I’ve been meaning to visit this place since I was in high school because I know that the place is really beautiful and relaxing. This was my first travel after bed rest so I was really excited.

2019
It’s quite traffic because it was Holy Thursday so it took us more than two hours just to get there. Good thing that we brought some food so we’re eating on our way to Caleruega church. There were a lot of people so parking was really difficult and mahabang lakaran papunta sa church. After our first visit, I understand why people always visit this church.


You can never get tired of this place; it is very relaxing and refreshing so it is not surprising anymore if couples want this as their wedding venue, schools choose this for their retreat and people love to visit this during holy week. We’ve attended a wedding here, my husband’s had their retreat when he was in High School and we are one of those people who visit Caleruega every Holy Week.




For the past 12 years, we’ve visited this place as a family or together with my in-laws and friends. Unfortunately, because of community quarantine, we failed to visit this last Holy Week. Good thing, we went here last December after our buffet breakfast at Balay Dako. We did not stay long sa church kasi may ikakasal so busy sila sa pag-aayos. There were few changes na rin, nalipat na nila yung station of the cross. Ang hindi lang nabago is, may entrance fee pa rin sila, hehehe! This is the only church na pinupuntahan namin na may bayad. Nakailang flyers na rin ako and sharing with you some information about Caleruega. (from flyer)


About Caleruega 

Caleruega was named after the birthplace of St. Dominic de Guzman, father of Order of Preachers. Wishing to honor and remember the legacy of their founder, he Filipino Dominicans established Caleruega with the hopes that it will, like the town of Caleruega in Spain, be a birthplace - a genesis for people speaking to and for the Divine Creator.


Silence, solitude, harmony, the majesty of creation, the freedom of Light and the passion to share God's word - this is Caleruega: the seedbed of preachers, the cornerstone of spiritual inspiration. Come, walk in His presence.


Caleruega celebrates the priceless gift of life and its Giver. Here, the lost soul finds direction; the weary traveler is shown the Way. every tree, flower, and brick is a testament to God's splendor and power.


Caleruega speaks through signs and symbols. It is a haven, a home, a sanctuary amidst the beauty of nature where pilgrims are open to prayer, to creative transformation, and to Gospel values.


Caleruega is really huge, you can stay here all day if you want to explore the place.

Relaxing and Refreshing Spots  

Plaza de Aza’s open space and roof deck
Tuktok and its charming gazebos
Garden Cafe’s refreshing delights
The plant nursery’s seedlings for sale
Lettuce greenhouse’s freshest greens
Shop of Delight for Caleruega mementos
Japanese Garden Cenaculum (refectory)
Kampo Restrooms




Must-see sights  

Transfiguration Chapel
Tent chapel of transfiguration
Fountain compass
The Dominicum’s grand stairway
St. Dominic’s Point
Manaoag Drive via Crusis
Our Lady of the Holy Rosary
Thy will be Done Sculpture
Koi Pond and its walkways
Hanging Bridge and Kampo Arriba
Kampo Terraces and Ampitheater
Worm Farm/Compost production


There are halls and accommodations for those people who wanted to stay and have retreats and recollection, team buildings, renewal workshops, wedding, and reception.

How to get to Caleruega:  

It is not difficult to reach Caleruega if you have your own vehicle.  You can follow this direction or just use a mobile app for your guide.

- from Tagaytay Rotonda turn right and take the National road going to Nasugbu, Batangas
- you will pass Taal Vista hotel, Royal Tagaytay and Petron Station.
- turn left in Evercrest Golf Club.
- then follow the signs going to Caleruega.

For commuters, you need to ride a bus going to Nasugbu and ride a tricycle to reach the Caleruega. Get the number of the trike so he can pick you up sa uwian. (narinig ko lang ito sa group of teenagers nung pauwi na kami, itext na daw nila yung trike driver para sunduin na sila).

If you are strong, you can walk from Evercrest Golf Club up to Caleruega, but it is really a long walk.

Caleruega Fees

Parking fee: P40
Entrance fee: P30
7 Years old below: Free of Charge
Senior and PWD: 20% discount

Though may free parking but slots are very limited, never pa kami nakapagpark sa free.

Caleruega
House of St. Mary Magdalene
Batulao, Nasugbu, Batangas
caleruega_philippines@yahoo.com
092127098990/09218304226

April 18, 2020

Mermaid Tails for Swimming

The Little Mermaid is a popular animated movie in 1989, the story is based in the fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen. Ariel is a 16-year old mermaid princess who wanted to experience life in the land. Remember the song “Up there they walk, up where they run, Up where they stay all day in the sun, Wanderin free - wish I could be, Part of that world”. Until now the lyrics of “Part of Your World” still lingers in my mind every time I see a mermaid movie or even mermaid tail.


It is not surprising that people love to be Ariel and until now, girl dreams to have mermaid fins for birthday party themes, photoshoots, cosplaying, or even swim with their own fun tails. And because of this, there are a lot of retail suppliers who offer swimmable mermaid tails like the fun mermaid tails from Suntails. Your dream to become a mermaid is not far from reality. You can just buy your own tail and use it on your beach or pool trip.

Suntail mermaid fins are designed for both sea and shore so you can swim, walk and play with your mermaid tails. It is a fun tail because it offers different colors, rainbow-colored and sparkly tails to suit your preference. You can just buy the mermaid tails or you can buy their combo package. It is available in different sizing, yes, from toddlers, kids, teens, and adults.

When this community quarantine is over, I’m sure your daughters will be begging you to buy a swimming tail. The mermaid tail is fun to use but make sure to keep an eye to your kids when swimming with their tails, whether in the swimming pool or open beach water.

April 16, 2020

Day 32 of Community Quarantine

Wow, we’re already on Day 32 of community quarantine. How are you really doing in these crazy times? I hope you are coping and holding up well. I remember my mom asked me, how I am coping? I paused for a while and try reflecting if quarantine has a big effect on my life. Now I can say that I’m pretty okay even there is community quarantine.


It is not easy to be okay in these trying times but it is better to embrace the situation and don’t fight it anymore. Stop blaming, start helping and change your mindset and attention. It took me a long time to process everything because at first, I was really disappointed. How I wish there is a fast forward button because I feel that year 2020 is not a good year.

Why not a good year? I lost my father, we experienced Taal Volcano Ashfall, my first JUNK (Just Us No Kids) trip with my sister and friend in Taiwan was canceled and my family was supposed to go to Osaka, Japan this summer. I guess no travel trip this year. Huhuhu We’re still waiting for our Taiwan ticket refund and good thing that we got a Japan Multiple Visa so at least hindi nasayang. Hopefully, magamit pa rin after the suspension of Japan Visa.


“Even when we can’t control the situation around us, we always can choose where we’re directing our attention” - Liz Stanley, PHD 

What helped me to cope? I stayed away from news and Facebook newsfeed so it won’t scare me. I even subscribed to Netflix because I thought I would be bored to death and I did not expect that I would be busy. I already canceled my subscription because I have no time to watch naman. Sayang yung bayad ko if I cannot maximize it. Back to VIU na lang ulit ako for my Korean Drama fix.

I keep myself busy and enrolled in different online classes. Brit+Co offered free classes last March and I was able to finish 48 classes. Actually, ang dami pa free online classes kaso nagstick na lang ko sa Brit + Co. Information overload but I’m thankful for the new knowledge and skills that I’ve learned. I enrolled in TESDA course but I haven’t started yet, pinapahinga ko muna utak ko. I also accepted some part-time jobs last week, imagine I was working during Holy Week. If walang quarantine, for sure nasa layasan ako at hindi nagwowork. Hehehe!


“Look for reasons to be grateful - even when you’re struggling. Taking time to give thanks for even the smallest blessings can help you appreciate the good things in life” - Amit Sood, M.D. 

There are so many things that I should be thankful for, small or big things.

1. I’m glad that I’m used to being at home. I’m an introvert and I’m a full-time mom so I can stay at home for a very long time. This helps me a lot because there is no big adjustment in my routine.
2. I’m happy that I have no problem even my husband is in charge of wet market and supermarket duties. Siya naman talaga namamalengke, ever since ng kinasal kami kasi mabigat para sa akin ang magbuhat ng one-week menu. Medyo sablay lang sa grocery kasi ang dami binibili and hindi nagcocompare ng prices. Buy lang ng buy kahit mahal. Well, hayaan na lang, siya naman ang provider. Hehehe!
3. I’m thankful that my husband can work from home and for 14 years of marriage, ito na ang pinakamatagal namin na magkasama. We’ve been together 24/7 and no business trips.
4. I’m grateful that we can buy enough food supply so my husband doesn’t need to go out every week. We tried our best to stay at home and stretch our food supply for up to two weeks.
5. I’m thankful that I did not allow covid19 to take over my life.

I’m praying that COVID19 will end soon and life would be normal again. Even I feel okay, I miss our food trip, I miss going to the grocery, I miss summer vacation trip and lastly, I need to go back to my doctors, ang dami ko nacancel na labtest and check-up.

April 01, 2020

Hello April

Hello April!  Life is full of uncertainties and who would ever think that year 2020 would be like this. March flew by so fast and April is here but we're still staying at home.

I am not sure when the community quarantine will end. I hope soon! To keep me sane, I cut down on my social media time to limit myself from reading or watching covid19 updates.


So what happened?

18 - today is Day 18 of Community Quarantine in our country.
22 - I've been staying at home for 22 days already and would you believe that I haven't stepped out even outside our gate.
3 - when community quarantine started, I subscribed to Netflix and so far I've finished watching 3 Korean Dramas. I watched Hyde, Jekyll Me, Itaewon Class and Marriage Contract. You can check my Korean Drama Series List here.
2 - I've created 2 mood boards. I've been meaning to do this for a very long time but finally, I've updated my own mood board
29 - the number of classes that I took at Brit + Co site and you can still take their free classes until April 9, 2020. Yey!
110 - number of Pinterest Graphics that I’ve designed. 
40 - number of cupcakes that I have baked
5 - my 5 days trip to Taiwan was canceled
4 - notebooks that I upcycled

And the list goes on… just keeping myself busy so I don’t have time to think about the pandemic. How are you coping?

March 28, 2020

How to Donate your Globe Rewards Points

Day 14 of community quarantine and we still don’t know when this will end. I’m thankful that we are #SafeAtHome but of course, I can’t help but feel worried too whenever I hear or read some news. I’m praying that we can survive this health scare and one day the Philippines will be covid19 free.

Just last week, I've learned about Globe Rewards Donate Campaign so a few days ago, I informed my husband about it so we can donate our Globe Rewards points. We’ve been Globe postpaid subscribers since we started working and we’ve been collecting and redeeming points for the last several years.

I love using the Bill Rebate of PHP50 or PHP100 so less payment for my bill so I’m a little bit disappointed when they increase the amount to PHP300 and now PHP500 for BILL Rebate. I’ve never reached 500 points so for the last few years, we use our points for shopping (Bench) and free movies.


You can use your points for shopping, entertainment, dining, travel, Globe promos and lastly, you can also donate your points. You can donate to ABSCBN, Hineleban Foundation, PAWS Philippines, Save Philippines Seas, Virtualahan and now you can donate to Globe partner hospitals.

 "Your donation will help provide test kits, alcohol, and PPE to all health workers at RITM, San Lazaro Hospital, East Avenue Medical Center and Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Hospital."

So even you only have few points, it can help other people kaysa naman magexpire lang din points niyo, idonate niyo na lang. Last year, naexperience ko na rin maexpire ang points ko, I was not able to redeem my rewards because there was an error sa app and kahit sa website nila hanggang sa napagod at nakalimutan ko na balikan at nag-expire ng March 31, 2019. Now, I’m glad that I can use my points to donate.

Two days ago, if I remember it right, when I donated my points PHP50 pa yung minimum amount to donate and sabi ko pa, "sayang naman yung matitira kung mag-expire lang din, sana pwede yung ibang amount" But today, I've checked the Globe Rewards App again and I was surprised na as low as PHP1 pwede mo na idonate. Yehey!

How to Donate your Globe Rewards Points 

1. To donate, simply go to the Globe Rewards app
2. Click Donate or search COVIDHELP and you will see the list of amounts.
3. Click the amount you want to donate.

HELP500
HELP100
HELP50
HELP20
HELP10
HELP5
HELP1

4. Click Redeem
5. Click Confirm
6. You will receive a confirmation text regarding your donation or you can check your Globe Rewards App History.

Note: 

Globe extended the validity of Globe Rewards points that you have earned in 2019 from March 31, 2020 to June 30, 2020.

There is also a limit of 3 redemptions per day. I’ve got an error message of “Sorry, your request can’t be processed. You’ve reached the maximum number of redemption for the day. You may try again tomorrow, Thank you!” 

Read: How to Save Money by Using your Loyalty Cards

March 27, 2020

Dinner at Texas Roadhouse at Robinsons Manila

Day 13 of Community Quarantine and the last time I went to the supermarket was 17 days ago. We wanted to go to the grocery and pharmacy to restock but we were hesitant because the line was so long and the things that we wanted to buy are out of stock like fresh milk and vitamins.

I asked friends who already went to the supermarket and they took more than 4 hours just to finish. I’ve read that some people went to the supermarket as early as 7AM just to fall in line and went home past 1PM. Waah! So we really try our best to stretch our stock because we don’t know when we can go back to the grocery.



Anyway, while browsing my phone photos, nagutom ko bigla sa complimentary dinner roll of Texas Roadhouse. We dined here during our Staycation at Sheraton Manila Bay last January, which I haven’t blogged yet but you can watch the video here. This is one thing that I like in this restaurant, the free peanuts and dinner rolls.

Watch Staycation at Sheraton Manila Video 




It’s been 3 years since the last time that we ate here so we took our time browsing the menu. I ordered something but it was not available and the staff suggested Beef Ranchero P645 + SC but I did not agree because looking at the picture, for sure hindi ko siya makakain. Since hubby was still full, we just ordered Grilled 2 Chops P695 + SC and Mini Cheeseburger P325 + SC.

When they served the meals, we were surprised because they served the Beef Ranchero because as far as we know, we did not order it. The staff suggested it but we did not say yes so we informed the server about it. I tried my best to remember kung nirepeat ba niya yung order namin before he left. The server excused himself and went to the kitchen and when he went back, he told us that he will just remove the Beef Ranchero but my husband decided na huwag na lang alisin. Maybe the waitstaff who took our order is still new, baka hindi pa maregular.

Texas Roadhouse meals are not budget-friendly but they have big servings so you can really share food. My husband and I planned to share food because naka-2 servings din kami ng dinner roll while waiting for our order pero dahil nagkamali yung staff, ang hirap ubusin ng order namin so pinatake-out na lang namin leftover.


Beef Ranchero is a slow-cooked beef seasoned with their own spices, topped with Monterey jack cheese, cheddar cheese, ranchero sauce, and pico de gallo served over a bed of rice. My husband tried to finish his meal even he did not like it. The taste was not bad but it is not something that he will order again.


Mini Cheeseburger is from the Kids Ranger Meals. The meal has two small cheeseburgers with seasoned steak fries. My son enjoyed his burger. The Grilled Chops meal has garlic rice, peppercorn sauce, vegetables, and garlic rice. The taste is good but I was not able to finish this meal because the serving is too big.


Read: Lunch at Texas Roadhouse
Foodtrip at Texas Roadhouse at Austin, Texas, USA

As of this writing, I miss our food tripping so for sure after ng coronavirus health scare, mapapabuffet ako agad. hehehe!

Texas Roadhouse
Level 2, Midtown Wing
Robinsons Place Manila
Pedro Gil, cor. Adriatico St,
Ermita, Manila

March 22, 2020

Banana Cupcake and Banana Bread Recipe

It’s been 12 days since the last time I went out and today is Day 8 of Community Quarantine. I mentioned before that I have no problem with staying at home because this is my life for the last 12 years. I’m an introvert and full-time mom so I enjoy being at home pero iba pa rin pala yung feeling na hindi ka talaga makalabas ng bahay because of Covid19. I suddenly miss going to the grocery, lalo na ngayon na na nasa bahay kami lahat. Mabilis maubos ang food supply.

We always have bananas at home so my husband bought a bunch of banana day before the lockdown. I’ve been saving the few pieces of overripe bananas so I can bake banana cupcake but two days ago, my husband made banana smoothies so nabawasan pa. Waah! Since we don’t have loaf bread at home, I decided to use the remaining bananas so we have something to eat. If there is no quarantine, we can easily go to the market or grocery so we can buy other ingredients pero sa panahon ngayon, it is better to stay home and use whatever ingredients we have.


I started baking when I got married and I’ve been using this Banana cupcake recipe since 2006. I got the recipe from Yummy Magazine, good thing I copied it because I can no longer find the magazine; nasama na yata sa binaha nung Typhoon Milenyo. Anyway, I like this recipe because my cupcake is soft and moist and even I remove some of the ingredients, masarap pa rin siya. Most of the time, I don’t add instant coffee mix or cinnamon sugar. If I have available chocolate chips or nuts at home, I added it to the recipe.

Banana Cupcake and Banana Bread Recipe 

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
2 mashed bananas
1 + 1/2 tsp instant coffee dissolves in 1+1/2 water
1 cup + 2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Procedures

1. In a bowl, mix together ½ cup butter at room temperature and 2/3 cup sugar.
2. Add 1 egg and 2 mashed bananas.
3. Mix in coffee (1 ½ tsp instant coffee dissolved in 1 ½ water)
4. Add 1 cup plus 2 tbsp flour, ½ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, and ½ tsp salt.
5. Spoon the mixture into paper-lined muffin cups. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (1tbsp sugar and mixed with ¼ tsp cinnamon.
6. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit about 20 to 25 minutes or till sides are lightly browned and top no longer look wet.

Using the same recipe, I can also make banana bread, I just increase the baking time. It took me 45-50 minutes to bake the banana bread when I use the loaf baking pan. I doubled the recipe and was able to bake 32 pieces of cupcakes and according to my son same taste (meaning masarap) pa rin kahit kulang kami ng isang banana, instant coffee, and cinnamon sugar.