Thursday, January 11, 2018

Hanbok That Day

Friday, December 15, 2017

Tinu-ay Falls, Surigao

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Enchanted River

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Sohoton, Surigao Del Norte

Friday, November 10, 2017

SURIGAO 2017 edited by Earl Hendrix Reyes

#SurigaoEscapade2k17 edited by my 2 Miguel's: Miguel Bernad and Miguel ...

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Bayon: The Temple of Many Faces

My apologies for taking so long in writing this continuation of my Cambodia trip series.  To answer the question from my previous post, the grandest attraction inside Angkor Thom is the Bayon Temple which stands enigmatically at the very center of the walled city.  (Sacred Destinations)  To initially unlock its mystery, the strategic location of the temple symbolizes an intersection between heaven and earth, a depiction of Hindu belief and Buddhism in one as the official state temple of Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII.  (Wikipedia)
bayon temple
Located just a few meters away from the south gate of Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple embodies a baroque style of Khmer architecture.  And just like the leaning tower of the gate, towers of the temple also has the many faces of Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, symbolizing its omniscience and omnipresence.  According to our tour guide Te, there are about 54 towers each with 4 gigantic faces so that makes a total of 216 faces!  With downcast eyes, wide nose, and thick lips curled in a mysterious smile, the Bayon is often regarded as the "Mona Lisa of Southeast Asia".
bayon temple
Aside from the many faces, there are also bas-reliefs carved on the walls depicting scenes of mythological and historical events just like Angkor Wat's.  One of my favorites are the dancers.  They look so beautiful, reminding me of my aunt who is an international dancer.  It's still fresh in my memory when she uniquely danced as a Khmer with all those weird facial expressions for a ten-year old me during my mom's batch hosting of their alumni homecoming.  Anyway, to tour around, it is advisable to start east, turn left to the first gallery, then go up level by level.  Or better yet hire a clever guide for perfect timings in avoiding crowds at vantage point pictorials.
Talking about vantage points, Mr. Te found us a nose to nose with one Buddha face.  Trick was just to bend down and tilt the camera up a bit for that perfect shot!  It was preposterous to do such gesture considering that the place is sacred but we complied as per tour guide advise.
Another advise in touring around, watch your steps for you might stumble upon a crumbled stone.  There might also be some falling debris 'coz the temple is already centuries old.  There are crammed areas with wooden steep staircases which will do as ladders so we didn't dare at all!  Moreover, there are also tiny recesses which invites you to play hide and seek.  With narrow passages, it adds more to the mysterious effect of the temple.  But you may also feel the need to use 'em as a quick shelter from the rays of the sun or when it rains as was our case.
Just like Angkor Wat, Bayon Temple also has mysteries of its own.  It enthralls you, captivates you, amazes you!  Explainable or unexplainable, there are really some things here on earth that are beyond our comprehension.  Sometimes, we just have to accept such things 'coz they are better left unexplained so just let go.  #hugot  Haha!!!
There are still more mysteries to unravel around Angkor Thom so stay tuned only here on The Other Side of Mae! :) #tosomtravels
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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Saving My First Kiss

Being a teenage girl with raging hormones - I missed out on that.
Going to the prom with a date - I missed out on that.
Receiving love notes, flowers, chocolates - I missed out on that.
Having hatid-sundo - I missed out on that too.
Oh, there are just so many things that I've missed out! However, reading books like this makes me realize that I'm not the only person in this world who misses out so much! So instead of ranting, I have to appreciate that:
I was that teenage girl who earnestly sought God rather than going out to the world (but I backslid these past years and that's another story)!
I actually go on plenty of dates with my varied circles of friends (teens who are my students, colleagues who are younger than me, batchmates of my age, single titas who are older than me, and sisters in Christ who are my sounding board to keep my sanity)!
I'm having a fair share of love notes, flowers, and chocolates every now and then from my sweet students/anaks (if I haven't became a teacher, I would not have received any)!
I'm enjoying the privilege of having my Papa as my driver who supports me in all my laags and patiently waits for me while I'm out there partying (though he keeps on reminding me of our 10 PM curfew)!
And so the list continues as there are still more things to be thankful for! Now I understand what is meant by saying, "the perks of being single". Yes, at 33 (going 34 next month), I'm proud of this status! I'm proud and loudly saying that I'm still NBSB 'coz I'm #SavingMyFirstKiss for that person God has in store for me! (I'm practicing purity ever since I've heard about my late Pastor Kuya Linus' preaching on the 3 M's - Master, Mission, Mate almost two decades ago). You might be blown at this revelation so I'd like to also say that I am not of this world. I am set apart for my Master! #tosomreads
Thanks to Lisa Velthouse, a mighty woman of God for sharing this book to all single Christian ladies who are also saving their first kiss for the man God prepares for them at the altar! :)
P.S. Thanks also to my new sister in Christ, Jessa Mier Cos for the book and to my forever atsi, Ann Sharon Lee for the berry sweet Japanese treat!

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Feature Friday: Re Café

Photo Grabbed from Re Café
Feature Friday highlights businesses, people, fashion, and basically anything under the sun!
Word of mouth has it!  The rumored homemade burger in Circumferential Road is indeed a bomb!  The news has been spreading all over town since August but I had a hard time looking for the place 'coz it doesn't have a signage yet.  Well, as I've said "homemade", the café is just like a backyard hobby/toy of Ozamiz' renowned photographer, Laurence "Enshong" Miranda.  It is at their very own residence, right across Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses or let's just have Firm Foundation Christian Academy 'coz that's more prominent.
Anyway, I was so glad that Christ brought me to the place last Saturday for our One-to-One discipleship.  As we entered Re Café, the place was full of familiar faces.  Very familiar if I might add 'coz most of them were/are my students.  Getting a seat was also hard 'coz the space is small which is to be expected for a starting business.  I guess Laurence is still experimenting on being an entrepreneur as he is also experimenting in the kitchen with his very own goodies.
Speaking of goodies, there goes the burger which he calls hanbāgā.  Not his own word of course 'coz that's how to say hamburger in Japanese.  The owner is an avid fan of anime by the way.  As proof, you can also see some of his collector's item anime dolls in the place.  Anyhow, the hanbāgā is really big!  Jumbo bun, massive patty, whole strip of bacon, tomato, lettuce, and smothered with generous cheese.  At first, I thought I couldn't eat the whole burger but as Christ and I went into our discussion, I was surprised to have gobbled up every bit of it.  Mind you, it is not something that you'll easily get enough with.  The patty is so tender, made with real meat and no extenders.  You can say that it really is pure meat 'coz it falls into pieces once cut.  Additionally, you can also tell that it has no preservatives by the look itself.  It's freshly made, organic in my opinion, much more with the fresh lettuce and tomato.
To match with the burger, we ordered Oreo Milkshake and Banana Nutella Milkshake.  I had the latter.  One sip of it and I forgot my name!  Lol!  Seriously, it was heaven!  I really really love Nutella and the drink doesn't disappoint.  It is so smooth, not too sweet, and just has the right blend of everything in it.  Additionally topped with ice cream and I went nuts!  But wait, was it whipped cream or ice cream?  Duh!  It seemed like ice cream to me!  Haha!  For me it's superb that I almost had a brain freeze!  Hehe.....
Now thanks to Kring2x for suggesting Re Café to be our One-to-One venue.  I will definitely go back to have a taste of their s'mores and crêpe.  So that makes dining in Ozamiz Americanized.  Thanks for bringing this concept to the city, Enshong!  As for the menu, it's OK to stick with the choices at the time being however, more tables and chairs please......Hehe.....  More power to you and to Re Café as you share to us your homemade goodies delicately handcrafted with so much love! :)
Credits to Enshong Miranda for the Photo
Credits to Enshong Miranda for the Photo

Friday, September 16, 2016

Familia Olandesca Thanksgiving Celebrations

2016 is a great year for us in the family since we celebrated three big occasions for the first 2 quarters of the year!  As a middle class family, it is rare for us to host parties or even just to invite friends over for lunch or dinner at our house.  Though me and my sisters cook, we only have an open house once a year and that is solely during new year's eve.  Or maybe I can appeal for twice 'coz it is when two years happen at the same setting.  You know, saying goodbye to the previous year and welcoming the new year.  And since we do that every year, that already counts for two!  Hehe.....  Now back to the topic.  This year has been extra special for us 'coz we had milestones which call for thanksgiving!
To start with, Papa celebrated his 65th birthday twice last March.  He had it at PNB, the love of his life and at the compound with the pastors, the second love of his life!  When compared with us, it is Papa who always gets giddy for birthdays.  He plans, he invites, he solicits!  Hehe.....  Yes, he does!  He wants everybody to participate in the celebration so he gets everyone involved by hook or by crook!  That's how unique our Papa is.  Getting his own plans done, with the expense of anybody.  Haha!  That's why people came to love him!
Papa with His Fellow Retirees and the New Bankers
Papa's Celebration with the Pastors
A month after, our second sister April celebrated her 30th birthday and thanksgiving for passing the Singapore Nursing Board Exam at Bethany Gardens.  It was an exclusive party for immediate family and close friends.  But having gone out of Ozamiz for almost a decade now made us realize that she only had a few friends left in town.  So the party became extra exclusive so everybody were given more attention and the event was so intimate.  The party started with a brief preaching from Papa's bff pastor, Uncle Marion.  Everyone had a good laugh when he inserted that everybody must lay their hands up on us for God's blessing of future spouses.  Lol!  Good thing is, there's already a future spouse (God willing) on hand for our birthday girl!!!  Now that's an add-on to the thanksgiving!  Hehe.....
Then two months after, it was Mama's turn.  She had the grandest birthday bash for the first time of her entire life!  At 65, it was also her retirement party so her colleagues were all present as well as two of our honorable government officials.  Nevertheless, the party was jam-packed with relatives, friends, and friends of friends!  As lovers of ballroom dancing, we hired Sir Cleofe, Misamis Occidental's ultimate one-man band to entertain us with live music.  To get the party going, Auntie Bebot and company gave a dance number after our (the 3 sisters) opening number with the DI's.  Yes, we also hired dance instructors so we'll have partners on the dance floor!  Unfortunately, no photos of us dancing were taken 'coz the audience were all mesmerized by our dance moves!  Haha!
The night was full of fun for Mama 'coz she didn't expect to have that much guests!  No program was prepared and there were plenty of bloopers but we still managed to pull the night off.  What's important was she enjoyed entertaining her guests and well-wishers.  Moreover, the De La Torre gang made a running man video wherein Mama participated with her very own version.
Thanks to Ate Maritcha of Bethany Gardens and to Cakes by Roxannie for the dessert table!  Balloons and giveaways still from Fascino by Maria Rosalia!  :)
mamas-65th-birthdaySo this is how we celebrated for the first half of the year.  Of course there will still be other celebrations coming for the last quarter of 2016!  Thank you, Lord for all the blessings that You showered upon us!  Thank your for keeping us under Your grace all through these years! :)  Spend some quality time with your family, folks for it must be where your heart is! <3