March 28, 2023

The Song

Just this week we watched “The Song” movie, an American romantic drama film in 2014. The film was inspired by the book Song of Songs and Solomon’s Life. The story is about Jed King; a struggling musician and son of successful country music legend, David King. 

At a festival, he met Rose, the daughter of a vineyard owner. He fell in love, married her, and wrote a song about her wife. This song became an instrument to his stardom but because of his fame, it affected his marriage and life choices. 

I like this song, it can be a wedding song too. 

The Song (Awaken Love) by Alan Powell 

I'd been waiting on you to come along 
Seeing notes on a page but not the song 
Had a hole in my heart and a pain so strong 
Only a woman like you could take me on 

There's a plan for us, a hand divine 
The waiting was worth it now you're my wife 
We've been taking our time and doing this right 
But tonight I'm not gonna just kiss you good night 

You, the song my heart sings 
Awake love I want you to know we're making love 
Deeper than our bodies you are written on my soul 
 You're eyes like the dawn you are beauty 
The touch of your skin consumes me 
You shine like the sun pure and lovely 

Set me as a seal upon your heart 
O love stronger than death 
Flashes of fire with purest desire 
No waters will get quench 
Awaken love awaken love 
No riches or power appeal 
All will find they are truly alive 
In Love as it was meant to be 
This is love as it was meant to be

Love is the power that heals 
Love is the power that heals

March 22, 2023

Recycling in Norway

A year ago, we were in Norway so almost every day, Facebook reminds me of my memories including my “Recycling Experience in Norway”. Every time I visit my mom, hindi nawawala yung “reminders” sa first few days so at least we are updated with the new changes just like how they manage their waste. 

If you will visit Norway, for the first time, you will immediately notice the cleanliness and iba na ang simoy ng hangin, fresh air talaga. So I was not surprised when Norway is always part of the Top 10 Cleanest Countries in the world. 

According to the World Population Review site, cleanliness is not just about the look but it should lead to a better and longer life by having clean air, pure water, waste management, and effective sanitation for human health. 

Denmark - 82.5 
Luxembourg - 82.3 
Switzerland - 81.5 
United Kingdom - 81.3 
France - 80 
Austria - 79.6 
Finland - 78.9 
Sweden - 78.7 
Norway - 77.7 
Germany - 77.2 

Pant System 

Based on the article, Norway scored a perfect 100 score for Sanitation and Drinking water, which is true because you can drink their tap water. No need to buy bottled water. But of course, there are occasions when we still buy bottled water, juice, or soft drink pero hindi madalas kasi ang mahal.

In addition, there is an extra fee every time you buy bottled juice, water, or soda, and soda or beer in cans, the rate is ranging from 1 to 2.5NOK. This fee is called “pant” or deposit in English. I remember when I was young, uso pa dati yung “deposit” kung bibili ka ng soft drinks na nasa glass bottle. So you need to return the bottle in order to claim your deposit. 

In Norway, they have pant machines at the entrance of the supermarket so it would be easy for people to return plastic bottles and cans. The rate varies depending on the size of the bottles and cans, sometimes meron pa nare-reject so make sure in good condition yung isosoli mo. The machine will total your returns and will give you a receipt which you can use to pay for your groceries or if you are generous, you can just donate it to charity using the machine too. 

This is one thing that I wish we have in the Philippines before I used to collect plastic bottles and cans and visit junkshops but I stopped doing this because I realized, mas malaki expense namin sa pagpunta sa junkshop kaysa sa nakukuha. But I still collect them in a separate trash bag pero sa garbage collector ko na binibigay. 

Waste Management 

As far as I can remember, there are only two trash bins during my last visit to my mom so I was surprised when I saw 3 trash bins last year. So may nagbago na naman, so they have bins for plastic packaging, food, and organic leftover and general waste. On top of that, they still collect paper, metal, glass, and other loose and oversized waste; this waste needs to deliver to a recycling station. As well as garden waste should be delivered to waste disposal points. 

Textiles, Clothes, or Shoes 

If you have clothes, shoes, towels, curtains, bedlinen, and others that you are not using, you can donate them to Salvation Army. In Norway, there are collection bins where you can put this stuff. Every time we visit Norway, marami ako naiiwan na gamit ng anak ko because I know malalakihan na niya yun and hindi na magagamit pa. So kapag wala mapagbigyan mama ko, she will drop my son’s stuff in these collection bins.

March 20, 2023

Unfinished Korean Drama Series

As of this writing, I already finished 179 Korean drama series and I also have a long list of unfinished Korean drama series. I am creating this post so that before starting a new series, I can look at this list and check if my interest has changed already. Kung nasa mood na ba ko ulit ituloy. 

My brain can’t remember all of these series so having a list is important. #signsofaging I hope this list won't be long, dapat mas mabawasan. :)

A Witch's Love Epi 7 
Beauty Inside Epi 2
Cafe Minamdang Epi 3
Coffee Prince Epi 7 
Dali & Cocky Prince Epi 5
Dear My Friends Epi 8 
Doctor Prisoner Epi 7 
Do You Like Brahms Epi 4
Faith Epi 5 
Forest Epi 14
Gaus Electronics Epi 7
Hotel Del Luna Epi 7 
Hospital Playlist Season 2 Epi 4 
I Have a Lover Epi 12 
Little Women Epi 2
Numbers Epi 7
One Spring Night Epi 5 
Queen for 7 Days Epi 9 
Red Sleeve Epi 8 
Run On Epi 6 
School 2017 Epi 3 
She Would Never Know Epi 1
Strong Girl Nam Soon Epi 6
Summer Strike Epi 10
Tale of the Nine-Tailed Epi 2
The Worst of Evil Epi 6
Thirty-Nine Epi 6 
Tomorrow Epi 3
Unlock My Boss Epi 1
Vagabond Epi 4
Wirst of Evil Epi 6
Youth of May Epi 3

Let me know which series is worth watching. 

March 17, 2023

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nowadays, I seldom buy baking ingredients because I rarely bake, sayang naman ingredients kapag naexpire lang. All-purpose flour shelf life is only 6 months so lagi na lang may natatapon kapag hindi ko naubos. And because of that, I only buy 2kg or less. 

Anyway, last November my son and his groupmates baked “Chocolate Chip Cookie” in school so I bought some of the ingredients (his share) and since konti lang naman need nila, I still have leftovers so after few months, sinipag ulit ako magbake. 

I used to buy Betty Crocker instant mixes so I have tried baking Oatmeal Cookie and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie, my two boys like the taste of these cookies. But last year, I started baking Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from scratch and it was a big hit. We prefer this compared to instant mix cookies. I baked these cookies before we flew to Norway and when I came back hindi ko na makita yung printed recipe ko.

I have Chef RV Manabat Recipe Book but his recipe needs shortening and I don’t have that so I checked Pinterest to look for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. I tried the recipe of Dessert Now Dinner Later and after trying her recipe, save ko na agad for future use. View the full recipe here


1 cup butter, room temperature  
3/4 cup brown sugar  
3/4 cup granulated sugar  
2 large eggs  
1 tsp vanilla extract  
2 cups all-purpose flour  
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats  
1 tsp baking soda  
1/2 tsp salt  
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

I don’t have vanilla extract and brown sugar so I only used white sugar. I also used dark chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet chocolate chips. My oatmeal chocolate chip cookies taste good even though I did not follow all the ingredients. My cookies only lasted for one week, may pagpipigil pa iyan. I notice, medyo light yung color nung cookies baka dahil walang brown sugar and vanilla extract?

March 14, 2023

3 Days Trip in Cebu

Even though Cebu is not our favorite place, we already visited this province a few times already. Why? Cebu has several flights in a day so whenever there is a seat sale, nakakabook kami unlike other provinces na limited ang flights. 

Last year, Philippine Airlines has a “Great Mabuhay Miles Getaway Promotion” so we did not waste the opportunity and we booked Manila - Cebu -Manila flight for 4500 miles + PHP2879 per person. I was shocked when I learned about the taxes and surcharges kasi wala pa PHP600 yung fee dati kapag domestic flight. But this is still a good deal because nowadays, airline tickets are really expensive.

Manila to Cebu 

This was our first family trip since COVID-19 happened so I was a little bit excited. We booked this flight knowing that my son has no morning classes but a week before our trip, the teacher changed their online classes schedule, nagkaroon na ng morning classes. Waah! I was glad that we book an early flight but I was still nervous, so during our trip, I was praying that there would be no flight delay so my son won’t be absent. 

Boarding is on time but it took a while because we need to ride a bus. We already ate our breakfast while waiting for our boarding so we did not touch the snack that was served. Ito na lang yung meal sa Philippine Airlines, hindi rin naman nakakabusog. I don’t know when they changed it, kasi bread pa yung food last Batanes trip namin. 

Fortunately, we landed at Cebu International Airport earlier than expected so my son was not absent from his first class. The perks of online classes so kahit sa cellphone lang pwede na magclass. Natagalan din sa pagbaba because we also need to ride a bus. From the airport to Sheraton Mactan Resort, my husband just booked Grab. 

Sheraton Mactan Resort 

When we learned that there will be Sheraton Mactan Resort, my husband has been saving his points for this resort so we were delighted when it finally opened before my son’s birthday. We’ve been to Shangri la Mactan Resort and Crimson Mactan Resort and Spa so I am looking forward to our Sheraton Mactan Resort experience. 

Compared to our previous Cebu trips, we did not do any tours and we just had Staycation at Sheraton Mactan Resort. We knew that this resort is not cheap so we want to maximize our stay. We were in the resort for 3 days and 2 nights. As usual, this resort deserves a separate post. 

Read: Birthday Staycation at Sheraton Mactan Resort

Cebu to Manila 

If our Manila to Cebu flight was on time, our Cebu to Manila flight was changed so my husband requested for late check-out. Our travel time from the resort to the airport was less than 25 minutes, it was my first time at the new Cebu International Airport, hindi pa ganito yung airport nung last na punta namin. 

Cebu Mabuhay Lounge 

Yung last Cebu trip namin, kami ng anak ko ang nakalounge, ngayon si hubby naman. My husband has lounge benefits so he ate at the Mabuhay Lounge while my son ate in one of the restaurants at the airport. We just ate snacks since we are still full from our late buffet breakfast (brunch). 

Our flight was rescheduled and it was also delayed so ang tagal ng biyahe namin. Nalipasan na kami ng dinner kasi same pa rin naman ang snack na binigay. 

Despite that, we still enjoyed our short trip to Mactan, Cebu. I just hope na may magaganda rin na resort na malapit lang para hindi na kelangan mag-eroplano pa. 

March 10, 2023

Bear Birthday Card

March is my mom’s birthday month. How time flies, parang kailan lang I was busy preparing for our Norway trip para umabot sa 60th birthday celebration niya and now, mag-iisang taon na pala ang nakalipas. I was thankful for that opportunity because I don’t know when it will happen again. It just so happened na online classes pa sa school ng anak ko so we were able to go to Norway. 

My mom lives across the miles, so nabibilang ko lang sa daliri yung times na magkakasama kaming magcelebrate. According to my blog posts, we were able to celebrate in year 2013, 2019 and 2022. Anyway, since we can’t be there for her birthday celebration, I just made a birthday card so at least yung card ko makaattend. Hehehe! 

The past few months, I slow down on crafting but I still buy crafting materials and tools. Well, “I am not a craft hoarder, I’m the curator of an extensive private craft supply collection”. hehehe! And because, I bought a lot of Distress Oxide, dies, and embossing folders, I am pressuring myself to use them. 

So just like our anniversary card, I designed the card using clipart, then print and die-cut. I also used my Distress Oxide to color the embossed paper. I am still practicing my blending skills using Distress Oxide.

Actually, I only need one card but I want to maximize the watercolor paper so, I ended up with 4 designs. The envelope can fit two so I sent two cards to my mom but I am not sure if it will make it on time. 

March 07, 2023

6 Days Trip in Cebu Philippines

This has been on my draft for the longest time, this is already an old post because this happened way back in 2016. In fact, nakabalik na nga kami ng Cebu last year na hindi ko pa rin nabablog. So before ko iblog yung Cebu 2022, let me reminisce about our 6 Days Trip in Cebu

Read: 3 Day Trip in Cebu

6 Days Trip in Cebu Philippines

My husband had a short business trip in Cebu and since it was summer vacation, we decided to join his trip so my husband filed a vacation leave so we could extend our trip. Our initial plan is to go to Bantayan Island but the stars were not aligned so we changed our plan. And because of that, we stayed in 3 three different hotels. 

Cebu City Marriott Hotel

For the first few days, we stayed at Cebu City Marriott Hotel, closed na itong hotel na ito and it is now Seda Ayala Center Cebu Hotel. We liked this hotel because it is near the shopping mall so we ate our breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the mall. You can read my Where to Eat in Cebu blog post for our food trip. 

Since my husband was busy working, my son and I just stayed at the hotel, there is no playroom so swimming lang ang activity sa hotel. But still, we enjoyed our staycation here. 

Cebu Parklane International Hotel 

We did not extend our stay at Marriott Hotel so after 3 nights, we moved to Cebu Parklane International Hotel para maiba and makamura din. My husband was already on leave so finally, we can explore Cebu. I wanted to visit some tourist spots that we haven’t visited during our previous trips. 

We’ve been to Cebu few times already so konti na lang pinuntahan namin. We visited and revisited some tourist spots like Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House, Heritage of Cebu Monument, Basilica De Sto. Nino Church, Magellan’s Cross and Taboan Market. 

Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan 

We had a Day Trip at Shangri la Mactan before so I decided to have a Day Trip at Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan but my husband booked an overnight stay instead. Yey! It was a good decision because even though we only stayed for one night, marami kami nagawa so sulit ang bayad. My son was still a kid so he had fun at CrimZone

Manila to Cebu to Manila Flight 

Another memorable experience for this trip is we experienced our first business class trip, it was our first Domestic Business Class Flight so kahit saglit lang biyahe sa Cebu, nabusog naman kami sa food. Check my Economy Class vs Business Class via Philippine Airlines blog post. 

March 06, 2023

Growing Older and Nearing Home

When I hit my 40s, I won't deny that there are times that I feel nervous or scared because it seems that I am nearing my senior year. I can't help but ask, do I still have more time to do what I want in life? Do I still have more energy to travel? Can I still eat the food that I love? Am I physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually prepared for my retirement years?

Speaking of growing older and nearing home, I would like to share the movie that I recently watched and a book that I've read about nearing home. 

A Man Called Otto 

Just this week, we watched "A Man Called Otto", it is a film adaptation of “A Man Called Ove” novel. This is a comedy-drama film starring Tom Hanks. He played Otto Anderson; a 63-year-old widower and retired man who lives in suburban Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After his retirement, he felt that he no longer has a purpose in life so he planned to end his own life but his attempts were always interrupted by his neighbors. 

This movie shows the struggles, challenges, or problems that we may face as we grow older. When that time comes, do we feel useless? Ineffective? Bored? Depressed? Whatever we feel, it is not a reason to feel hopeless, and let us remind ourselves that “God has a reason why we are still alive” 

Billy Graham Nearing Home 

Two years ago, I’ve read the book “Billy Graham Nearing Home” and according to his book, the best way to meet the challenges of old age is to prepare for them now, before they arrive. He said that growing older was not something to be denied or dreaded; it was to be embraced as part of God’s plan for our lives.

I always pray that I will reach old age because I have so many things that I want to do, so many places I want to visit and of course, I want to see my future grandchildren. I just hope that when I am old, I won’t be a grumpy old woman.

I will share my Top 11 quotes from Billy Graham Nearing Home book. 

“The gift of old age is remembrance” 

“Enjoy life - it has an expiration date” 

“We should never get too old to learn or too old to smile” 

“As long as we are still breathing, we are leading the way” 

“Retirement should not put us on the shelf. We should use this time in our lives to rest from our labors but lift up others who are carrying heavy loads” 

“Loneliness, loss of purpose, depression, feelings of worthlessness, anxiety, fear of the future - there and a host of other emotions are common among retirees” 

“Look for the Lord’s purpose in every circumstance and in every face or voice you encounter daily, for the time He has given you is not without purpose” 

“Retirement isn’t something that just happens if you live long enough, and it isn’t even a reward for your years of hard work; it is a gift from God” 

“One day you may not be able to do everything you once did or everything you would like to do. Instead of feeling guilty or frustrated or resentful, however, thank God that you can still do some things - and make it your goal to do them faithfully and do them well” 

“Life is seldom easy as we grow older - but old age has its special joys - the joy of time with family and friends, the joy of freedom from responsibilities we once had, and the joy of savoring the little things we once overlooked”

"People either seem to get better or to get bitter as they grow older"

March 02, 2023

Seas the Day at Solana Resort

Since we live in the South Luzon area, Batangas is our go-to place if we are looking for a quick getaway. We’ve been to San Juan, Calatagan, Lipa, and Mabini; you can check the different resorts that we have visited in this blog post. We usually go to San Juan, Batangas simply because, maraming options na resort but after our visit to Lilom, we decided to explore Anilao. So when my mom was here for a vacation, we planned to have a weekend getaway. 

I let my husband search for the resort and he discovered Solana, he inquired via call and email. Since we are a group of 4 people, the resort gave us two options per different types of room, we can choose a double sharing rate or a quadruple sharing rate, and we chose the latter. 

In Lilom Resort, fixed ang rate per head regardless of the number of persons in one room but here, they have different rates from single to quadruple. It is cheaper if we will share one room and we chose the cheapest accommodation which is Sea View Room. 

Option 1A: Sea View Room (2 rooms) PHP18,600 
Option 1B: Sea View Room (1 room) PHP15,800 

The rate includes 3 buffet meals, from lunch on check-in day until breakfast on check-out day. Additional PHP700 per head if we want to have lunch after check-out. To confirm the reservation, full payment is required within 48 hours via credit card or bank transfer. We need to send proof of payment and fill out the guest registration form. 

Solana Resort

On the day of our trip, we left after breakfast because my husband wanted to go to the mall first before going to the resort, he bought some swimming stuff pa. We arrived at the resort past 12NN, and the guard informed us to wait for the staff. We were all shocked when we saw the stairs because we were not informed na may ganito pala, I asked the staff kung ilang steps and if I remember it right, he said 250 steps. Waah! 

According to their website “Solana is nestled in the hilly, coastal peninsula of Anilao, Batangas” so ito pala meaning nun, para na rin kami naghike sa sobrang taas. Going down is easier but going up is not, good thing my senior mom is used to hiking. 

When we reached the reception, the staff asked us to sign a “Sports Activities Release, Waiver and Outclaim” paper and we were advised that we can take our lunch already. After few minutes, the staff gave our room key but of course, inuna muna namin kumain at naubos energy namin sa pagbaba. 

Buffet Meals at Solana Resort

I’m not really a fan of managed buffet, feeling ko kasi nasa birthday or wedding event ako na may naglalagay ng food. I was excited about our buffet meals pa naman pero managed buffet pala sa Solana so hindi ko na nakunan yung buffet spread, I just took note of the food and drinks that were prepared.

For lunch, we had corn soup, stir-fried squid, sweet and sour chicken, liempo, veggie lumpia, mango sago, banana, iced tea, and coffee. It is a complete meal but my son only ate liempo and I only tried the soup, squid, liempo and dessert. This was my husband's plate so may apat na ulam per meal. He likes the veggie lumpia. 

For our dinner, we had grilled chicken, beef kaldereta, fish steak, stir-fried pechay, pumpkin soup, kalamansi pie, and pineapple juice. I like all the viands for our dinner. 

For our breakfast, we had an egg of our choice, garlic rice, chicken tocino, embotido, daing na bangus, hash brown, bread, yogurt, banana, and four seasons juice. 

Solana Resort offers an a la carte menu too, so if you want some snacks, sandwiches, hot plates or desserts, you can place your order. You can see their menu in your room. 

Breakfast time: 7AM to 9AM
Lunch time: 12NN to 2PM
Dinner time: 7PM to 9PM

Sea View Room

After lunch, we went to our room. The room and bathroom are spacious so even if we are four people hindi naman masikip. There is a desk and wardrobe rack. The toiletries are complete, they provided shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, and even cotton buds. No coffee and tea but there is a jar of water. Wifi is free pero hindi abot sa room and data signal is also weak. 

We only stayed for one night at Solana Resort and we experienced rain showers but it did not stop us, because we still enjoyed the pool and sea. Mas okay yung trip namin last November kasi hindi maalon, nakapagkayak, snorkle and swim kami. 

Anilao is indeed a diving site, no need na magrent pa ng boat kasi marami ka na makikitang fish and corals kahit sa malapit lang. I saw a sign board "Sharks happy place, stay on shore so they do not swim away" may nakita kami na school of fish kaso ang layo so not sure kung sharks ba yun. 

We had no expectations when we booked Solana Resort but when we arrived, kahit nahirapan kami sa stairs, we had no regrets. Even though this resort is old, it is well-maintained. It has a saltwater pool, lounge area and free use of kayak. If you need swimming shoes or fins, you can rent them for PHP100. At the time of our trip, there are only 4 groups of guests so the resort doesn’t feel crowded. Wala nga kami nakakasabay na guests sa pool or beach. 

Overall, we are satisfied with the place, food, and service; the only thing that might hinder us to go back is the 250 steps. The staff said, there is another option which is a boat ride kaso additional expense. But if you are still active and young, I can recommend this place. 

Read: Lilom Resort 

Dive Solana Resort 
90 Sitio Aguada Brgy. San Teodoro 
Mabini - Batangas