MRT-3 Holiday Sched


Do you ride MRT-3? If you do, and you're riding the train on Christmas and New Year's Day, here's the MRT-3 sched on December 24, 25, 31 and January 1.


Just remember that wrapped gifts need to be opened for inspection. Such hassle, but is needed for protection and safety of the passengers.

Other things not allowed:

  • deadly weapons
  • bulky and long objects (my imagination runs wild on this part)
  • food and drinks
  • inflated balloons
  • flammable materials

Aside from the "no inspection, no entry" policy, those who are under the influence of alcohol and drugs will also not be allowed entry.

Dogs are Love


Model Victor Ross with a Maltese(?) photographed by Jenn Hoffman.


Dogs should be used in entertainment media just in purposes such as this. Not in violent scenes, no matter how they say "no animals are harmed in the process."

Dogs are to be loved. To be cared for like a member of the family. To even be hand-fed if they don't like to eat at some point.

They are not to be shouted at, or worse, to be hit or kicked.

They are to be given a bath every four days. Heartgard every month. Dewormer every 3 months. Vaccines as per scheduled by the vet.

(and did I forget to put Dear Sister at the beginning of this post? :D)

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McDonald's Danglers – I Want All Three!


I love cute stuff. And McDonald's Danglers are so cute I'm gonna buy all three when I go out tomorrow.


Get the McDonald's Danglers for only P39 each for every food purchase.

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Oxygen Holiday Sale Extended!


Oxygen's Holiday Sale is extended up to December 15 in all branches.


Enjoy up to 30% discount on jeans, blazers and more!

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Little Christmas Tree


Angel and I wanted to buy a taller Christmas tree but Nanay wouldn't let go of the three-feet tree we've had for nearly two decades now.

And yea, green walls for Christmas. LoL!

Keychain Poncho


Ponchos are one of my must-brings whenever I go mountain climbing (aside from that Kalisungan climb when I completely forgot to bring one).

I thought I have found the thinnest poncho in the Chinese branded yellow ones available at Ace Hardware for P29.75.


But I found something fancy when I went with my niece to Sportshouse in SM Bicutan last Wednesday.

keychain poncho

It's a ball key chain! You can open the ball and there's a poncho inside. Watch my video below.

I didn't unfold the poncho cuz I was afraid I wouldn't be able to fold it back that small. But it's actually just as thin as the yellow poncho from Ace Hardware. You just have to fold it the right way so it can fit the ball.

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Ariara Isle in Palawan is Named One of the World's Top Private Islands


Palawan has once made the country proud by putting the Philippines in the world map.


After the inclusion of Puerto Princesa Underground River in the list of provisional winners in the New7Wonders of Nature contest, an island called Ariara has been named as one of the World's Top 10 Private Islands by British newspaper The Sunday Times.

Ariara is one of the islets in the Calamian group of islands in Palawan. It was bought and developed by British couple Charles and Carrie McCulloch. According to the resort's website, the island's remote location made it "untouched by the negative influences of pollution, development or tourism."

160 miles southwest of Manila and 4 hours away from Hong Kong, they developed the island in a way that people "who don't do hotels" will enjoy the sun, sea and sand. The beach cottages and jungle villas are designed by renowned Filipino architect Jorge Yulo. "The property provides luxurious and spacious accommodation (25,000 square feet) for up to 18 guests."

For more info, you can visit the website by clicking here.

Joining Ariara in the World's Top 10 Private Islands by The Sunday Times are Boca Brava in Panama, Eilean Shona in Scotland, Henriksholm in Sweden, Jicaro in Nicaragua, Lankayan in Borneo, Philipkutty's Farm in India,Quilalea in Mozambique, Sovalye in Turkey and Taprobane in Sri Lanka.

Regatta Polos on Sale


Regatta would like us to welcome the Christmas season in classic polos in Holiday colors!


Starting today until this Sunday only, you can avail of men's classic polos for only P549 while women's are priced lower at P449. The promo is available in all Regatta stores nationwide.



The annual Run BGC (Bonifacio Global City) is coming this November 27, 2011 and they've put a twist to it by incorporating "Flag Football."

There's still the usual fun run but if you wanna take it a notch higher, you can try doing the flag football.


3km and 5km runners can choose either the route with Flag Football challenge or the regular fun run route.

Registration fee for the both the 3km fun run and 3k with Flag Football is P500, 5km fun run and 5km with Flag Football costs P600, and lastly, registration fee for the 10km run costs P700. There's no Flag Football in the 10k run.

Included in the race fees are Bib Number, Timing Tag , Singlet & Raffle Stub.

There are stores accepting registration but only until November 23 (12 nn – 8 pm). The list of stores are as follows:

- Level 1 Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Edsa cor. Shaw Blvd., Ortigas Center.
- Bldg. B3, Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.
- G/F Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City.

Planet Sports
- 2/F Trinoma Mall, North Ave., cor. Pagasa, Quezon City
- 2F Glorietta 3, Makati City

The Athelete’s Foot
- 3/F Robinson’s Galleria, EDSA Cor. Ortigas Ave., Quezon City
- 2/F Twin Cinema Arcade, Alabang Town Center, Alabang


1. Registration may end earlier than announced deadline therefore race kits may run out before November 20, 2011
2. A Valid ID must be presented upon registration. For group registration, a photocopy of any valid ID must be presented by the representative.
3. Singlet size availability will be on a first come first serve basis.
4. A timing device will be used by all participants during the race.
5. Exchanges shall be accommodated on the last day of race pack collection starting 3pm; it will be on a first come first serve basis.
6. Uncollected race kits after the race day shall be forfeited.
7. Race results will be available after two (2) days at
8. For question and inquiries, please contact (call only) any of the following Runrio hotline numbers from Monday to Friday (10:00am – 6:00pm):
Globe – 0916 5709220
Smart – 0929 7178164
Landline – (632) 703-1736

Or you may email your concerns to the following:

For Race Registration Concerns:

For Timing and Race Results:

For Pre-Race Kits Concerns:

For Other concerns and Feedback:

*NOTE: Race Kits are not yet available upon registration. A Race Pack Collection activity is scheduled from November 23 to 25 for the release of the BGC Run race pack/kit. Location will be at Bonifacio High Street. More details will be made available soon!

For more information regarding Run BGC, click here.

Dogs Need to Excise, Too


Here's a dog playground recently featured on the weekend news.

I've been wanting to bring Princess to a place like this.

Send Globe Messages For FREE!


Now you can text your friends using your Globe mobile phone FOR FREE with the all new Text Mo Libre Ko. Just type your message then send it to 2354 + cellphone number of your friend. Example: 235409179876543.


Your friend will be charged PHP 1.00 to receive and read your Text Mo, Libre Ko message on his/her Globe mobile phone; and another PHP 1.00 to reply to your message.

If your friend does not accept your message, you will receive a notification stating that the transaction did not push through.

You can send as many message as you want if you're already added in your friend's buddy list. But if not, you can only send as many as 3 messages.

To add friends, send ADD <MOBILE NUMBER> to 2354. (Ex. ADD 09179876543). This will cost you PHP 1.00 per transaction.

To block a number, text BLOCK <MOBILE NUMBER> to 2354. (PHP 1.00 per transaction). Note that when you block a mobile number, you will no longer receive his/her messages. To unblock, simply add the number again.

Text Mo Libre Ko is available to Globe/TM subscribers only.

For more info, click here.

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Mt. Manabu v2 (Solo Climb)


It is one of those days when you're itching to go out and you don't have anyone to go out with because they're either in school or just plain busy. In my case, my climb buddy wasn't available that day when I was so in the mood for a dayhike.

It was a Friday, August 19th, and life had been so good that I wanted to shed that extra energy I had in me the whole week; more so, I wanted to celebrate by doing something that I love best.

Because the previous night proved futile in looking for someone to climb with, I woke up quite late the following morning. It was already around 9:30 AM when I logged in to Facebook and hoped to find a hiking buddy among my online friends... to no avail.

But then I have done solo trips before. My first climbing experience was only with a guide up Mt. Romelo. So after feeding Princess, I packed my small backpack and got ready to leave. It's really a good thing when you already know what to bring. It makes packing very easy.

I was in Alabang by 10:30 AM. I had Manabu Peak in mind. I had been there before and it's the safest mountain I could think of to climb alone without a guide. Also, I wanted to go visit Mang Pirying who I failed to see the first time I went there.

It was a two-hour ride from Alabang to Fiesta Mall in Lipa. It's my first time to go that route and I must tell you it's easier to use than riding a Lucena-bound bus like my first time. Tricycles near Fiesta Mall will take you to the jump-off for P100.00.

It was already 1 PM. There was no trace of mountaineers at the jump-off. I went up to the store to buy something to bring Mang Pirying. It was a good thing I mentioned his name to the store owner cuz I was advised he was not in his home in the mountains that day. According to the store owner, Mang Pirying was fetched by some mountaineers early that morning. They'd have his eyes checked in a nearby hospital.

Such luck. It was my second time to go up Manabu Peak and I still wouldn't be seeing Mang Pirying in the flesh.

I was also informed that no one climbed Manabu Peak that day nor the night before that. I had the mountain all to myself! I was ecstatic. But it was past 1 PM and I knew it gets dark earlier in the woods. After changing into climbing clothes, I immediately set off. It was 1:47 PM.

The stillness of the forest started becoming eerie halfway through the trek. I remedied that by pumping up the volume of my earphones, but leaving one ear clear so I could still be aware of what's going on around me.


I stopped at the fork for a while and looked at the two trails, both going up the peak, one passing by Mang Pirying's hut, the other passing by the grotto. When I first climbed Manabu Peak, I used the Mang Pirying trail in climbing up then the grotto trail in going down. I told myself that just for a change, I would use the grotto trail this time, then pass by Mang Pirying's hut when going down.


Unlike the first time I passed by the grotto, it was clean this time. No more liquor bottles. No more plastic bags scattered around.

My stomach started making funny noises when I sat down for a while. I realized I haven't had lunch. The only food I had with me was a can of San Marino Tuna Paella. I wanted to take it out and eat but the summit was still far. I was so pressed with time that I disregarded my stomach and carried on with the trek.

It rained a little harder than a drizzle when I reached the grassland. It was the loneliest part of my climb. Moreso when I entered the trail between the grassland and the peak. It was the most masukal part of the climb and I was drenched in a mixture of sweat and rain.

I love going out alone at times but I've always had things pre-planned. This was the first time I climbed a mountain alone without even a guide and I was so pressed with time. I really had to get back to the jump off before it gets dark. I had my headlamp with me but even two headlamps wouldn't do for me considering I'd be alone in the middle of the mountains in the dark.

The cloudy skies were not helping. It was making the surroundings darker than what that afternoon could have normally been if there was no rain.


After what seemed like an endless walking, I finally saw a glimpse of the top of the white cross through the leaves. It was such a relief. The white cross was like a light at the end of the tunnel, or in my case, the goal after walking alone in the forest for the longest two hours of my life.


I took pictures at the summit, of course, using my cheap CDR King tripod. I went down to the campsite and brought out my tuna paella. I alternately ate and took jump shots. LoL! After finishing the can, I immediately headed down using the trek that would pass by Mang Pirying.


I was kinda hoping the old man would already be there. But the hut was so quiet when I reached it.


Reaching the fork made breathing a little easier. It had stopped drizzling that time, but the sounds of the forest was telling me it would soon get dark.

I was back at the jump off at exactly 5:27 PM. Exactly three hours and forty minutes after I left. It might have been so lonely being alone up there, but I found myself humming a little while I took a bath. I made it. My mountaineering friends might not be happy with my solo climb even if it was just Manabu Peak, but it was somehow a milestone for me.

Did PNoy Smoke on PAL During Flight Back to Manila?


Not only is President Noynoy Aquino being talked about because of his ex-girlfriend's upcoming wedding, he is also the talk-of-the-town for allegedly smoking during his 14-hour return flight from San Francisco to Manila on Philippine Airlines flight PR 104.

Jojo A. Robles
Manila Standard Today

One of the good things about being President is that you get to bend the rules in your favor, Noynoy Aquino is finding out. Take that very strictly imposed ban on smoking in a commercial airliner, for example.

We’ve been told that during his recent 14-hour return flight on Philippine Airlines flight PR 104 from San Francisco to Manila, Aquino was allowed to smoke in violation of international and local aviation regulations. The feat was pulled off on the PAL 747-400 jumbo jet by simply preventing anyone to go up the upper, first-class deck of the plane (where Aquino was) through the stairs while the President smoked.

However, because the passenger areas of the plane do not really have exhaust vents to remove the scent of tobacco smoke, the smell could not be kept from the other people below. That’s how the other passengers got a whiff (pun intended) of what was going on—including the smokers on board who were displaying the symptoms of full-blown nicotine withdrawal syndrome but who were, unfortunately, not President.

Those who were on the flight could have sworn that Aquino wasn’t the only one smoking. They surmised that the people with Aquino lit up, as well, just to ensure that their boss wouldn’t be breaking civil aviation regulations all by himself.

Health, safety (depending on the stage of the airplane’s trip) and anti-terrorist considerations prohibit smoking in commercial aircraft, of course. But when you’re the chain-smoking President flying the nation’s flag carrier on a long trans-Pacific flight, the skies can be unbelievably friendly.

Smart Releases the Samsung Galaxy Y Netphone


Smart Communications Inc. will soon release Samsung Galaxy Y Netphone, an entry-level Android phone to be added under the network's new netphone line.


It's good to note that Smart decided to keep the name of the phone's brand instead of calling it Smart Netphone <insert model # here>, just like what they did to their first release. Smart Netphone 701 is a ZTE Blade.

I think the reason is that Samsung is quite well-known here in the Philippines and many Pinoys actually trust the brand. By keeping the name, the network will attract more Pinoys to buy it.

Speaking of buying the Samsung Galaxy Y Netphone, Smart is accepting pre-orders from October 1 to 14, 2011. It's actually free at Data Lite Plan 500 and All-in Plan 800. But if you're on postpaid, its available for only P5,990.00. (Click here to reserve a unit.)

Specifications of Samsung Galaxy Y Netphone:
Android 2.3 Gingerbread
832 Mhz Processor
3G/HSDPA 7.2 Mbps
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
2 MP, 1600×1200 pixel camera
Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP
2.8 QVGA TFT Display
164MP internal storage
up to 32GB via microSD
FM RAdio
GPS w/ aGPS support
Li-Ion battery 1200mAh
TouchWiz 3.0

Converse Gives Up to 50% Discount This October


I love Converse. I didn't wear one until about 4 years ago, though. I love how versatile it can be that I wear it practically everywhere.


And that single pair is still in good condition up until now. Last time I wore it? When I sang at the wedding reception of a friend's brother last August. LoL!

Converse is holding a sale at the Olympic Outlet in Robinsons Pioneer the whole month of October. Avail of up to 50% off on selected footwear, apparel and accessories starting today!


I guess it's time for me to buy another pair!

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Ghost Story Writing Contest


In time for Halloween! Tara let's join!

I've always been wanting to write again. I think I'd start with this.


1. Contest will run from October 1- 31, 2011.

2. Contest is open to any Philippine resident and at least 13 years old.

3. Stories submitted should follow the theme of the book - True Philippine Ghost Stories.

4. Length of the story should be between 800-2,000 words.

5. Stories should be in written in English, Tagalog or Taglish and should not have been previously published elsewhere, in part or in full.

6. Entries can only be submitted by e-mail at

7. Entries should indicate author's name, home address and contact numbers.

8. ALL entries will be acknowledged with an email to the address from which the entry was sent.

9. Judges will be the editors of PSICOM PUBLISHING INC.

10. Entries will be judged based on:
- Originality - 40%
- Creativity / (Scare Factor) - 50%
- Grammar/Spelling - 10%

11. There will be 3 winners. Prizes are the following:
- 1st Prize : P 5,000 cash
- 2nd Prize: P 3,000 cash
- 3rd Prize: P 2,000 cash 12. All winning entries will automatically be published in the True Philippine Ghost Story Book Series.

13. All winners will be notified by phone and e-mail.

14. Metro Manila winners can claim the prizes at PSICOM Publishing Inc. office at 6 Yale St. Cubao, Quezon City on Nov. 29, 2011. For provincial winners, cash prize will be converted to postal money order for the account of the winning participant.

15. Deadline for submission of entries through e-mail will be on the eve of October 31, 2011. All entries will become the property of PSICOM Publishing Inc. and may be used for future publications.

16. All non-winning entries that will be published in future publications will have a compensation of P 700 cash.

17. A participant can only win once but may submit any number of entries.

18. Employees of PSICOM Publishing Inc. and their relatives up to the second degree of consanguinity are not entitled to join the contest.

For other details, log on to

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The Best of Anime 2011


The Best of Anime is an annual event for anime fan. After its successful debut last year, it is now one of the much-awaited anime event in the country.


The Best of Anime 2011 happens on September 17-18, 2011 at Function Rooms 4 and 5 on the 3rd level of SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.

This event is organized by Primetrade Asia in association with the Manila International Book Fair.

For more info on this event, like The Best of Anime on Facebook.

Likewise, you can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Of Feeling Young Again


Yesterday's lunch with my sister's family was unplanned. And because punctuality is a big issue with her husband, I arrived on the dot. They, though, arrived 20 minutes late. LoL!

I waited for them reading books at Booksale, and ended up buying 2 paperbacks for P45 each.

books 9-11 watermarked

After lunch, the long-planned movie date with the nephews finally happened. Juansen asked me to watch Captain America with him like 2 months ago but something came up. We would plan to watch any movie almost every weekend but their family dates always got in the way. It finally happened yesterday, though. We watched Fright Night with his brother Jansen. It's Jansen's first horror film, I guess. He kept on covering his eyes with the popcorn bucket and laughed through the scary scenes.

movie tickets

We spent much time, before and after the movies, looking at ballers in the tiangge area of Festival Mall. Hanging out with teenagers make me feel like one. I ended up paying for their ballers, and buying one for myself. No, make that 2 cuz I bought it in 2 different colors. LoL!


UP Mountaineers Talk About Preparation Safety


The demise of Adrian Alba brought mountaineering into the limelight. GMA News TV's On Call even brought in UP Mountaineers' Vice President for External Affairs Niko Francisco and his buddy Paul to talk about preparation and safety during climbs.

Watch the interview on the clip below.

Japanese McDonald's Ads


This is kinda old, but cute, nonetheless.

Japanese McDonald's TV ad.

And I hope Ronald looks this good:

Smart Introduces the Smart All-In Plans


There's something cool from Smart – the Smart All-In Plans!

These are postpaid plans that let you select services down to the last peso! You can choose any combination of Unli Call and Text Packages, Next Generation Handsets, and Mobile Internet Plans.

There are 6 plans to choose from - Plan 500, Plan 800, Plan 1200, Plan 1800, Plan 2500, and Plan 3500. You can then stack it up with features like UnliTalk, UnliText, UnliSurf and consumable browsing.

Existing postpaid subscribers can also adjust their existing plans to suit their needs, or switch to a plan that will give them full control of their monthly fee.

What's even better, you can fine-tune your plan each month depending on your needs.

Below are the available handsets for specific plans:



Don't Faint Just Yet


They all look hungry, don't you think? Especially the girl second to the left.


But then I think Philippines has a chance. She's actually leading in most of the independent polls even in other countries. She's also one of the most photographed among the 89 candidates. There's also a bigger chance for her because a Pinay in the judges' panel. I'm not saying Lea Salonga should be biased, though. All I'm saying is that who would best appreciate a contestant in an international pageant like this than someone from her own race?

I could imagine tabloid headlines would Shamcey win. They'd say she only got the title because there's a Filipino in the judges panel. But, of course, that's just wishful thinking... for now.

Here's Shamcey Supsup's national costume:


Looking like a winner, no?

Tuna Festival Ads


I found these videos advertising General Santos City's Tuna Festival. I know it's kinda late cuz Tuna Fest ended 4 days ago (August 26 – September 5). I just can't resist posting cuz I had a good laugh watching the videos.

Each vid features something/someone Gen San is famous for, like Shamcey Supsup, Manny Pacquiao, and the tuna itself.

Watch the hilarious vids below.


Suede is Love


I'm thinking of buying a bigger daypack. My 18-liter Hawk just won't do anymore. The bladder now takes most of the space inside the main compartment.

And then I saw this in my feeds just a while ago:


That's Ethan James for Heart magazine. Sadly, the suede backpack is not listed in the credits.

I know it's not an outdoor bag. But still.

Outdoor Addicts Issues a Statement Regarding Adrian Alba's Demise


Outdoor Addicts, the mountaineering group Adrian Alba was with on that fateful Sunday when he got swept away by the Wawa River, has finally released a statement via their Facebook page.

The group's "non-participation" during the time Adrian's body was missing is what Adrian's family has been so angry about. They wanted to get statements from the group their loved one was with, they wanted to know the full account of what happened, but none among the group would come out and explain.

This morning, though, at exactly 10:42 AM, Outdoor Addicts posted a note titled "Our Sincerest Sympathy" on their groups Facebook page. It provides some information about how Adrian Alba was swept away by the current while they were doing a rope-assisted river crossing.


The note reads:

Our Sincerest Sympathy

We are deeply saddened by the untimely demise of our comrade Adrian Alba. We were witnesses to his spirit of adventure in the short time that we were acquainted with him. His passing is a reflection of our own mortality which we so often take for granted in our quest for discovery.

Mountaineering is a risky undertaking. The advances in technical skills and equipment are no match against mother nature. The strongest of mountaineer equipped with the most modern tools could never conquer the mountain. The mountain conquers us.

Adrian is among the brave who wanted to experience the magnificence of God’s creation. He faced the risk head-on mindful that only those who dared are rewarded. Unfortunately we mortals are no match against the raging fury of the river that washed away the life of Adrian.

Adrian spent his weekend absorbing theories and techniques in his quest to become a better mountaineer. But the Great Creator has other plans for him. He was about to cross the river brimming with excitement that a new door of adventure has been opened to him. As he was making his crossing his backpack got tangled with the safety line which prompted him to take off his backpack. Alas, as the fury of the river raged, Adrian’s grip on his lifeline loosened. His comrades risked lives and limb trying to effect his rescue but it proved futile against the river’s wrath.

The accident that caused the untimely demise of Adrian has caused us to reflect and ponder on our own mortality as mountaineers. Advances in technology could never tame nor predict mother nature. The best efforts to minimize the risk did not result to eradicating deaths. At most, it only resulted to fewer deaths. It is very tragic that it has to happen to Adrian.

Adrian may not have fulfilled his dream as a mountaineer here on earth but surely he is now in a better place than us. He has climbed the mountain yearned for in the Book of Psalms, Chapter 23, “O send out Thy Light and Thy Truth; let them lead me; Let them brim me unto Thy Holy Mountain, and to Thy dwelling place.”

We extend our sincerest sympathy to the family and friends of Adrian. We could not dare to imagine the anguish that his passing has brought and we could only hope and pray that there is anything in our power that would ease their pain.


Missing Mountaineer Adrian Alba Found Dead


25-year-old mountaineer Adrian Alba was found dead near a hanging bridge on Wednesday morning, three days after he was swept away by strong river current of the Wawa Dam in Rodriguez, Rizal.


According to news reports, a boy saw an arm dangling near the banks of the river some 45-minute walk from the Wawa Dam. A group of barangay tanod, who was there to help in the search and retrieval operations, identified the lifeless body as that of the missing mountaineer's.

Search and rescue teams had been on the move since Adrian was reported missing last Sunday, September 4, 2011. He was doing a rope-assisted river crossing with a 22-member team when he allegedly got swept away by the current. Adrian was reportedly with the mountaineering group Outdoor Addicts. He was the group's guest climber that day.

To everyone's dismay, though, no one among the 21 other mountaineers Adrian was with that Sunday has come out to give a full statement of what has transpired.

The team reportedly paid a "gate pass" at the town's barangay office but skipped registering at the tourism office which would have required a guide to assist them in their activities. The tourism office is also responsible for allowing or rejecting any activities at the Pamitinan Landscape - which the Wawa River is a part of - depending on how strong the current of the river is.

Sir Adjhong, as he is fondly called by his mountaineer friends, has died doing what he loved. His remains lie in state at his residence located at Block 61, Lot 3, Mabolo St. Barangay Rizal, Makati City (near Market Market, Global City). For additional information, you may contact his sister, Ms. Faith Alba at the numbers 0920.223.7469 and (02) 903-0851.

My deepest condolences go out to Sir Adrian Alba's family and relatives. May his soul rest in peace.

Mountaineer Adrian Alba is Still Missing


Filipino mountaineer Adrian Alba got swept away by the strong current of the Wawa River in Rodriguez, Rizal while his team was doing a rope-assisted river crossing yesterday, September 4, 2011. Adjhong, as his friends call him, is still missing up to now despite various search and rescue operations done yesterday and today.


The Facebook wall of Adrian, 25, is now filled with messages from his friends – some are worried for the worse that could happen, while some are positive that the waters just brought Adrian somewhere and he's already safe. They know Adrian as a fighter, someone who doesn't easily give up. His close friends are sure Adrian wouldn't give up without a fight.

A news report said that the 22-member team was there for a Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC) with river crossing. And if that is Adrian's first BMC, it's just too bad that the hands-on came a little too early.

It has also been reported that the team paid a gate pass at the barangay office saying they would only do sight-seeing. The team also failed to get proper permits from the tourism office of Rodriguez, Rizal. Had they done so, assistance could have been given to them as it is part of the town's ordinance to give assistance to whoever will hold activities inside the Pamitinan Protected Landscape where the Wawa River is located. It is also the tourism office's role to give permission or reject any activities depending on how big and strong the river's currents are.

Latest news reports said that Adrian's backpack has already been recovered. Also the Philippine Coast Guard has already joined the operation, which has gone from Search and Rescue to a saddening Search and Retrieval.

A comment thread on the Pinoy Mountaineer Facebook page said something saddening. I'm not really superstitious but I have heard of places, especially bodies of water, that regularly take away lives, especially of strangers visiting the place for the first time. The commenter said the Wawa River is one of those places.

Right now, all we can do is hope and pray that Adrian Alba is safe somewhere along the banks of the Wawa River, just resting to muster enough strength to look for his way back home.

Through this post, I'd like to reach out to his family to say that I, along with Adrian's mountaineer friends as well as those who have just known him through this bad news, will continuously pray for his safety until the time he comes back.

Below is the video of the news report regarding the Wawa River incident involving Adrian Alba.

* I took the liberty to use one of Adjhong's Facebook photos. I hope he doesn't mind.

A Cup in Hand


I'm a sucker for cute things. And this morning, I found this cute Nescafe (freebie?) cup at the mug holder. I'm kinda sure it's Angel's cuz she loves cute stuff as well.

Nescafe cup

I couldn't resist to use it. Had breakfast alone cuz Nanay was in church. And I felt like singing

"a cup in hand you know it's worth your while...
a cup in hand let's sit and stay for a while..."

But honestly, I used the cup for Great Taste 3-in-1. Haha!

Hello, September!


Because yuletide in the Philippines starts with the arrival of the BER months, I should say that the Christmas season is officially on.

And with that, let me be the first to greet you "Merry Christmas!"


This is an old pic, as she's in no mood to dress up at the moment. Will post new Santa Princess pics soon.

Mt. Maculot's Garbage Problems


Mt. Maculot's campsite, as I mentioned in my recent post titled Mt. Maculot: A Not-So-Pleasant-Surprise, has a big problem on waste management. It wouldn't have reached that point if all of us "mountaineers" are disciplined enough to "Leave No Trace" and if we really care about the environment.


Judging by the pile of liquor bottles, I think that some (if not most) of the hikers go up Mt. Maculot just to drink and party. Have the mountains become the new venue of Friday/Saturday/long weekend night-outs?

Perhaps some would argue, "What are the registration fees for?"

Do you think P10.00 is enough to let the locals chase our garbage in the mountains? To leave behind our water bottles and butanes so our backpacks wouldn't be as bulky when we go down?

These mountains were in peace before men learned the sport/hobby of climbing. These mountains didn't invite us to go up and spend our nights in its wilderness for a thrill. But we climb these mountains, nonetheless – as environmentalists, as thrill-seekers, as tourists. For what we don't know, these mountains perhaps consider us as unwanted visitors.

But whatever purpose we have for climbing, let's just do the mountains a favor. Please do not leave anything, especially your trash, behind.

I took a couple of videos just to show how not-so-pleasant Mt. Maculot's Rockies campsite has become.

Take a look:

Windows Won't Boot Due to a Missing DLL File


Two days ago, my computer wouldn't log on to Windows. It would go as far as the "Welcome" screen then a notification window would pop-up saying "This application has failed to start because SCESRV.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may  fix this problem."

Since it wouldn't go as far as that pop-up, I couldn't do anything else but to restart the PC and hope that the notification would not appear on the next boot. But, of course, it appeared over and over again, with me already feeling hopeless.

I wouldn't wanna resort to reinstalling Windows and all the programs on the PC. That would be so much work on a Monday. Lucky me (and bless my searching instincts) that I found this simple instructions on a certain forum that I couldn't remember anymore.

The instructions were so simple I closed my netbook's browser and turned to the "malfunctioning" PC the minute I read it.

It's like this (given that your PC's first boot device is your optical drive):

1. Insert your Windows CD installer to your optical drive.
2. Press any key on the prompt: "Press any key to boot from CD..."
3. Press "R" on the first menu (which asks you if you want to Repair or Install a fresh copy).
4. Type which partition you'd like to repair. In my case it's "1" since I only have one partition.
5. On the DOS prompt, do the following:

type cd c:\windows\system32

press <enter>

type expand d:\I386\LSASRV.DL_

*replace .dll of the filename with .dl_
*change "d" to whatever letter you optical drive is

6. Type "exit" to reboot the computer and your done.

If new notification pops up and your PC still won't boot, just take note of the new .dll file on the notification and replace LSASRV.DL_ on Step number 5 with it, noting that .dll on the filename should be typed as .dl_

For the Love of Lomi


The first time I had a taste of a Batangas lomi was when Danilo and I traversed Mt. Maculot last year. We arrived so early in Cuenca, and with grumbling stomachs we walked inside the only open karinderia at that time. The lomi wasn't so nice, though, at least according to my taste buds. Thick, thick soup topped with big pieces of chicharon baboy wasn't really my type.

So when I attended a wedding in Rosario last April and the group I was with decided to try the lomi at the karinderia near the church while waiting for the wedding to start, I refused to order upon seeing that it was the same as the one I have tasted in Cuenca.


It was a different story in Anilao, though. I actually Googled about the place the night before I went there and read about how good Anilao lomi was. And since I was going near Philpan Dive Resort, someone recommended that I try the lomi of the karinderia to the left of Philpan. Knowing that it was different from the Cuenca and Rosario lomi, I ordered a bowl for P35.00 and was surprised.

The "presentation" made it look tempting, and the taste was as good as it looked.

Eggs, pork liver, veggies, chicharon... I was even surprised to see of hotdogs on it. The lomi came with slices of calamansi which you could use as much depending on how asim you prefer your lomi to be.

My small appetite wouldn't usually finish a bowl of noodles that big, but this one I almost did. And it was so heavy in the tummy that I passed on lunch that day.

Savoring the taste of Anilao lomi beside the window with billowing curtains overlooking the sea on a rainy Friday morning is something I would like to do over again.

And I guess I would really be coming back that part of Anilao someday soon. For the lomi, yes, but also for something else I failed to do while there.

Happy end of Ramadan to my Muslim friends and to all the Muslims out there!

Mt. Maculot: A Not-So-Pleasant Surprise


Last week of July, I learned that my young friends in MLQU Stallions Outdoor Club (MSOC) were planning to do a Mt. Maculot hike on the first weekend of August. I get invited to MSOC climbs most of the time so it was kinda automatic (especially with these young members) that I would be joining them on this one.

No one among those climbing that time had been to Mt. Maculot before, while I already did a traverse of the mountain September last year with my friend Danilo. So I was immediately appointed as the guide.

It was my first time to ever guide a group of climbers in the mountains, but as they say, there's always a first time for everything. My knowledge of the route, though, was Brgy. Pinagkaisahan – Grotto – Summit – Rockies – Brgy. Tiko. They were planning on a night trek to Rockies but I remember the trail as very easy so I agreed.

K (who is a member of MSOC himself) and I met the other members of the team around 9 PM at the Buendia bus terminal. We took a Lipa-bound bus cuz a road restoration was going on in Cuenca and no bus would go directly to the town.

The kids lingered for a while at McDonalds Lipa so we got to Cuenca a little past midnight. I had to ask someone from a Karinderia on how to get to the registration area cuz there were no tricycle that time of the night.


It drizzled on and off since we got to Lipa up to the time we got to the Rockies campsite. The trail was easy enough especially that we walked in a very easy pace. The kids wanted to enjoy it. It was, after all, their first climb since they graduated from the MSOC training.

I was surprised to see the camp site so different from what I saw last year. The lone small hut last year was now three big huts, and the small pile of garbage multiplied a hundred times. And that's not exaggerating because in one hut alone, we found two sacks full of garbage, not to mention those that were strewn around and plastic bags left hanging on roof of the huts. One simple word to describe the campsite of Mt. Maculot these days: kadiri.

I just wish all of us who love to admire the beauty of nature are all sensitive enough not to do the things that we know would harm what we enjoy seeing.

And then again that differentiates someone who loves to climb mountains, from someone who loves the mountains and nature in itself; a mountaineer from an environmentalist.

“This is not to suggest, however, that the mountain areas are free of environmental problems, notably deforestation. The more pragmatic view is that while there are inevitably conflicts between man’s activities in the mountains and the natural ecological balance, it is the extent of the resulting problems that has been overstated.” - Tourism Development and Environmental Management in Nepal

Back to the climb, the weather had not been so friendly even after sunrise. K and I attempted to climb the Rockies while the others were still resting but K wouldn't even attempt to go up with the thick fog and howling winds.

A few hours after, though, the fog had lessened and the wind became bearable. We attempted to go up the Rockies even if we couldn't even see a trace of the Taal Volcano through the fog. But then I thought it's better than to not bring them to the Rockies at all.

139_0112 139_0170 060820111457

It was a great climb with the kids. I was also kinda pleased that they were careful not to leave any of our garbage behind. After all, that's what MSOC had taught them to do – to "Leave No Trace."

*On how to get to Mt. Maculot, please refer to my first blog of the mountain by clicking here.


Just Like a Real Bottle


This Vapur water "bottle" comes in other colors and I don't really know why I chose purple. But, anyway, this water container caught my fancy because I can easily flatten and roll it up once empty. That way, I won't be "displaying" an empty water bottle at the sides of my backpack when going home from a climb.


Despite the 2-liter bladder I recently bought, I still bring water bottles along because 2 liters ain't enough. LoL! A 3-liter bladder is on my to-buy list but I'm still waiting for Sandugo Market! Market! to have one available. I don't feel like buying cheap bladders because I read somewhere that some of them are made of materials that mixes with your water and makes it quite health hazard.

Sandugo's bladders are the cheapest branded bladders I could find, and until they have 3-liter ones available, I'd just use my current bladder and this Vapur foldable bottle.

By the way, Vapur stands like a real bottle when full.

My Beloved Flamenco


My guitar and music stand was brought out of hiding last week cuz I couldn't find a karaoke of the song I had to sing for my friend's brother's wedding. It was a good thing I've been interacting on Facebook with a neighbor who is quite known for his guitar skills.


The wedding was Thursday afternoon. Diego was so kind to study the song Wednesday night. He didn't wanna perform with me at first because he hasn't mastered the song yet. I was only able to make him say yes around 11 AM of Thursday.

We met around 2:30 PM that day and went straight to the reception venue, simultaneously sound checked and practiced for the first time. He's a pro. But he didn't wanna use his guitar so I brought mine. Plus the music stand.

Guests arrived around 3:00 PM just when we were finished practicing. We performed in the early part of the program with a little glitch from me (I forgot a word LoL!) and from Diego, but it was fine. The song, by the way, was Brian McKnight's Marry Your Daughter.

Pocket Eating Utensils


I've always wanted to buy a pocket set of eating utensils. It's a great thing to bring when climbing cuz regular spoon and fork are too long to bring along.

I was tagged on Facebook by a random online seller one time and I found the item so cute I didn't untag myself. I ended up messaging him for the price and was glad to know it was cheap. The seller lives in my area so we just did a meet-up and I saved some money from paying for shipping.


It's a spoon, fork, "knife" with bottle opener combination. So cute. But I'm always careful with the orange case. It's made of cheap plastic and I'm sure it would break in two when dropped.

I actually bought two pieces. My climb buddy K showed interest on the item when he saw it on my Facebook wall that he even asked for its price. I thought he wanted to buy and would pay for the extra piece I bought. I didn't know he found it expensive and didn't wanna buy. I had no choice but to give it to him as a gift.

And yea, orange is cool but I would have picked another color if I had the choice. But anyway, it matches well with my camping stove case.

Orange rules! :)

Irresistible Cuteness


I love cute stuff. National Bookstore has a lot of cute pocket notebooks that I could have bought a piece per design. But of course it would mean making unnecessary purchases.

I just picked the most appealing in my eyes. And trust me, it wasn't easy to choose just one from a pile.


It's something I can bring in my little travels; somewhere to write itineraries and important details of the trip especially that I find typing on cellphones very time consuming (as pretty as they seem, I now dislike touch screen phones).

I believe it's a scene from Venice, Italy, judging by the river and the structural design. And, but of course, the stamp says Italy. LoL!

Magnitude 5.8 Quake Rattles New Jersey and New York


A magnitude 5.8 earthquake centered in Virginia shook parts of New Jersey and New York 1:51 PM of August 23, 2011. Although no injuries or structural damage was reported, it caused buildings in the area to sway, causing fear among the residents.

The earthquake was also felt in Washington, D.C. and North Carolina.


U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter was northwest of Richmond, Virginia, about halfway to Charlottesville. Geophysicist Julie Dutton said an earthquake that big is rare for the East Coast but since quakes move more easily through the bedrock, the effects are widely felt in the region.

The earthquake was a shallow 6-kilometer deep. and the composition of the earth's surface in the East Coast is the reason why the earthquake was felt in a wide range.

There are fault lines throughout the East Coast but the location of the main ones haven't been identified yet.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Husch, chair of the department of geological, environmental and marine sciences at Rider University in Lawrenceville said that earthquakes in the East Coast are not common, but they are not unusual. The recorded magnitude 5.8 quake, though, may be the largest ever recorded in that area.


From Cake to Cupcake


The Firefox team received a cupcake from the Microsoft Internet Explorer team on the day Firefox 6 was shipped earlier this month. Mozilla's Firefox Engineering Director Johnathan Nightingale posted this picture in his Flickr account:


And this is the message attached to the picture:

"Every time Mozilla releases a version of Firefox, the IE team sends us a cake. They're cool like that.

"As the releases have gotten faster and leaner... so have the cakes."

"Rumor" has it that IE used to send a cake with every Mozilla version release. But when the releases became more frequent (therefore, lesser new features), the cake became... cupcake!

Tropical Depression "Mina" Update [August 23, 2011]


No storm warning signal has been hoisted due to Tropical Depression "MINA", but rains are expected over Metro Manila, Southern Luzon and Visayas due to enhanced Southwest Monsoon.

MINA Satellite Pic

In an interview with GMA-7, PAGASA Weather Forecaster Buddy Javier said that "MINA" will possibly become stronger but based on the direction its taking, it won't make a landfall in the Philippines.

Rains are expected until Saturday because "MINA" is enhancing the Southwest Monsoon affecting the Southern Luzon and Visayas. Metro Manila rains, on the other hand, is being caused by the Intertropical Convergence Zone. After Saturday, good weather is expected for the rest of the long weekend. August 29, Monday, and August 30, Tuesday, are national holidays being National Heroes' Day and the end of Ramadan respectively.

In a weather bulletin issued at 4:00 AM today, August 23, PAGASA said that:

"...Tropical Depression "MINA" was estimated based on satellite and surface data at 320 km E ast Northeast of Virac, Catanduanes (15.4°N; 126.9°E) with maximum winds of 45 kph near the center. It is forecast to move North Northwest at 07 kph.

"Forecast: Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao will experience mostly cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms becoming cloudy with widespread rains over Bicol Region. The rest of the country will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms. Moderate to strong winds blowing from the Northeast to Northwest will prevail over Northern and Central Luzon and coming from the Southwest over most parts of the county. The coastal waters throughout the archipelago will be moderate to rough."

Wedding Invitation


I was asked to sing at a friend's brother's wedding last Thursday, August 18, 2011. I can't resist posting a photo of the invitation. It is so cute.


The motiff was green, obviously. But not knowing it was of that color, I wore a plaid long-sleeved shirt in purple and black. LoL! What's more LoL is that I paired it with a drop-crotch jeans and chucks. Oh well, I was asked to perform and I wanted to wear something comfortable.

Nicholas Sparks to Visit Manila in October


Nicholas Sparks, the bestselling author whose novels have been adapted into movies, is coming to Manila in October for two-day visit.

Sparks is most popular for the books "The Notebook," "Message in a Bottle," "A Walk to Remember," and "Dear John."

Nicholas Sparks - The Best of Me

His visit to the country is in connection with the Manila release of his latest novel titled "The Best of Me" this September.  He will hold an autograph signing session on the two days that he will be staying in the country, as confirmed by Powerbooks in their Facebook page.

“Due to the large number of inquiries we have received, we would like to confirm that Powerbooks and National Book Store will be hosting Nicholas Sparks for a book-signing tour in October here in Manila," Powerbooks posted.

Nicholas Sparks also confirmed his arrival in his Twitter account by posting, “I don't know where my events are, but I'll be in the Philippines on Oct. 27-28th ... and yes, I'll be signing ..."

The author even made his PInoy fans more excited by twitting in Tagalog, saying that he has an aunt from Manila. "Aking tiyahin ay mula sa Maynila.Siya itinuro sa akin," Sparks twitted, then added, "I tried to say that my aunt is from Manila ... she used to talk to me and taught me to say some stuff. My aunt ... she didn't set out to teach me. I just listened to her talk to her mom and her sisters ... I know I get lots of stuff wrong ... and please, if I see you in Manila, talk slow so I can understand you ... I'm no expert ..."

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