Holiday Greetings 2010 From The Cruz Family

22 December 2010

Let us all remember that Christ gave us this special day of celebration...
Embrace the warmth of Christmas in your heart and soul and spread the goodwill all around.

Merry Christmas!
from: The Cruz Family

Christmas Ball for 2010

Every year, we are graced with one of the most prestigious, amazing and rockin' Christmas Party. We started joining this Christmas Party last 2008. It started with a Hollywood Theme that was held at the Intercontinental Hotel. 2009, was one of my favorites, it was a Pirates' Christmas Ball, and we were partying in a cruise ship.

2010,  my husband was part of the group who prepared for this year's theme. Those sleepless nights and tiring weeks of preparation were all worth it. Come to think again, it's always worth it.

The much awaited Christmas Ball for 2010: Titans' Christmas Ball.
We didn't put too much effort on our costumes... we've been busy with various activities for the past month. But still, we were able to produce outfits that matched the Titans' Theme.  

Hair: thanks to my sister Les
Accessories: from my mom
Make-up: no make-up at all 
 Photobooth here, there and everywhere!
It was a wild night of unlimited drinks, food and dancing. A Starbucks Coffee Bar, Fiorgelato, Krispy Kreme, for the coffee lovers and for those who has an appetite for sweets.
The band was great! It was awesome! We Danced The Night Away to the music of the 80’s (Pop-New Wave), 70’s and the 90’s hits.
Route 70 Band and The Authority Band lead by Juan Miguel Salvador. December 2005, the Authority Band won the Global Battle Of The Bands represented the country in London.
To complete the night, our World of Warcraft Guild was united, the best part, with new players. One of our guild members won the grand prize for Best in Costume, he came as the Cracken and won an iPad.

Now, that's totally W0W!!!

Baguio Trip 2010--- Green Baguio

18 December 2010

It was a long trip, but it was a relaxing. This trip was also my son's first time to travel up to the Northern part of the Philippines.
sweet nothings
Baguio City is known to be the "Summer Capital of the Philippines" because of it's cool climate and also famous being the "City of Pines" because of the Pine Trees found all over the city.
Baguio City, the only city in the Province of Benguet, is 250 kilometers north of Metro Manila. It is located in the south central part of Benguet and nestled on a 1,500-meter high plateau in the Cordillera mountain range of northern Luzon. The city, which has an area of 49 square kilometers of prime property, is highly urbanized. It has a rugged and sloping terrain dotted with pine trees.-source-

For the record, this was not my first time in Baguio. I've been traveling this land since childhood, with my family, some friends and now with my 2 boys. But it has been a long time since my last visit. I looked forward to this trip. Baguio has been the palace, the kingdom of Mother Nature for me. In my whole life, it's the only place I've traveled to with the coolest climate. I know there's a lot out there that can be the ultimate haven for Mother Nature. Baguio City is the one for now or at least until the moment I get to travel some place else.(LOL)
When traveling by land, one of the things I like to see is the spectacular view of nature. Like this waterfalls along Kennon Road. It was breathtaking. My son was amazed to see it up close, well almost. He would often see it in books, imagine the joy this simple body of water brought him. The nearest he could get to a mountain  which he can only see from a afar. The smell of fresh air and the sight of a clean environment. I really took note of the things that I greatly appreciate that my little boy can also connect to.
Greens we don't have in Manila.
sweet nothings
Every travel whether by air, land and sea is considered as a rare moment. Like what I've mentioned earlier, this was not my first time in Baguio, but this recent trip made me feel that I've never been to Baguio at all. That my friends made my travel more exciting.
There will always be something new waiting for us on our next trips even on our tenth visit. It was a tireless trip. Thank You Lord...  Nature has brought a relaxing vibe for both  my body and mind. Another thing I learned...

Nature is also food for the soul.

Total Encouragement

14 December 2010

Early today, I received another photo contest notice,  and it was already too late because I saw it 2 weeks after the closing period. This morning, a person close to my heart and who has been very supportive with my interest in Photography asked me to check it out again, hoping  it might still be open. I asked this person: "who's going to join this Photography Contest?" he said, YOU!  Okay... I was a little hesitant because I didn't know anything about it. And so I checked the link, the website I was given and found out that it was for National Geographic.

In all honesty, I was overwhelmed by this whole thing. Thing? because I couldn't even describe it. I was literally talking to myself: "Wow, really, me National Geographic?" I don't think I'll even make it (LOL). I need a better  set of equipments, but I know, the experience alone is going to be all- worth it. 

I joined one Photo Contest back in July 2010, it was my first, I didn't win the grand prize, but I was thankful that my photos were still chosen and it was quite a learning. Anyway, I would still have joined Natgeo photo if it wasn't too late. Everything has its tough process of getting through. But  I believe that there will always be a breakthrough moment for all of us. Maybe someday, a photo of mine will make it. 

For now, all that matters to me is the effort and support this one person has showered me once again. The encouragement coming from this special person pushing me to join, was outstanding.  He showed that he will always believe in my potential. National Geographic is one of the sources that pulled my interest in nature and life ever since childhood.  I didn't dream or see myself joining National Geographic, never in my life. One thing I've learned from this person  and in this fast, extraordinary and rare moment was to continue on believing in myself, to aim higher and use that mark as an inspiration to mature  for the betterment of my Being. So...
Thank you Dad...

For a time, I thought I was just good for the small community I grew up in. Now, once "chance" knocks at my door again, I must grab it immediately. Whether the outcome is going to be disappointing or successful,  I take every chance as an opportunity for improvement and learning.

Terrible Friday

11 December 2010

I had a long day... long day waiting, waiting in traffic. Katy Perry to my ears while staring at some bumper, well, I was hoping that if I were to stare at some bumper, an interesting sticker would light things up a bit. But so sad... it was just a plain, rusty bumper. My Friday was pretty terrible. I started my Friday like any of my ordinary Fridays. I woke up, prepared breakfast, woke up my son, he dressed up for school, ate breakfast, brushed his teeth. At 10am in the morning, usually,  traffic along Ateneo is light to moderate. But this morning, this morning was far different. Both lanes of Katipunan Avenue were heavy. It was so bad, the line of cars went all the way to White Plains, the tunnel going to Libis and even the sides streets were full. My usual 15 minute drive extended to about an hour and 30 minutes.

After our long journey going to school, we finally made it.  But my adventure didn't end there, I had to go back and do some errands, and these were very important errands. Groceries, Bank, Petrol, and I haven't even taken anything yet since I woke up. Friday is an important day for me. Not only because it's the start of the weekend, but at this day, I get to use the car. And we all know that having a vehicle around  makes those errands easier to accomplish. I was driving... then the school secretariat called and told me that they will be extending for the day.

Note: pull over if you need to use your cellphone.

I was thankful in a way because I will have enough time,  I know my son is in good hands with his teacher. I relaxed a bit, took a different route. I was about 10-15 minutes away from my next destination, when my car came to a halt and got stuck in traffic once again. This time, it took me another 1 hour. I can do the groceries some other time, the bank can wait, but I need to put in Gas and I haven't taken anything since I left the house. Since the traffic was not moving, I decided to park near a Sari-sari store, and bought some munchies. I had breakfast in the car while waiting. I was a few minutes away from our house, so I skipped the groceries and went straight back home.

I know I'll be dealing with the very same traffic situation by the time I  pick my son from school, so I whipped up some tuna, hot rice and a bottle of Coca-Cola just in case I get stuck in traffic again. This my friends was an extraordinary experience. Any street, any main road, any loop and turn you make, traffic was terrible. And my hunch was right, I ate lunch in the car. We got home  from school around 3pm.

Driving manual is the safest yet it is the most tiring with the constant shifting of gears. My plans for the day were ruined. All I wanted to do when we got home was to lay down on our soft mattress and hug the softest pillow on the bed. Left my blogs with nothing. I skipped Food Trip Friday, a restaurant adventure story from our Baguio trip, upload photos in my Multiply and even passed on acknowledging some friends on my last shoutout on Facebook.

I hope traffic will not be as bad for the rest of the weekend. I lived in Quezon City for almost 7 years and counting, but I've never encountered something this bad. To count, it's just 30 minute drive to and from my son's school at any day.

But today, life gave me an additional of 3 hours and 30 minutes to make a little of  my Friday extraordinary.

Can't wait for Saturday, I wonder what's in store for me?

Let's all have a wonderful weekend!!!

Thoughts On A Tuesday: No Bag and I think I left my ♥ in Baguio City

07 December 2010

I totally forgot! I promised a few weeks back that I will be posting about the bag I wanted to purchase as a birthday gift for myself. Well, I do apologize for keeping you. I've been busy, busy, busy. So much changes were made with regards to our plans this holiday season. So I started with a new list. Just over the weekend, I went out and shopped for some Christmas Gifts. Well, the malls are open until 12mn, but hell with the crowd. If you want to beat the weekend rush,  it's best to go shopping early in the day. Just like what they say: "The early bird catches the worm". Not only you'll have a relaxing time shopping, but you will also be the first to  dig in with new stocks. With that, my weekend was pretty productive since I started early. I was able to buy some time to visit the salon and I was able to shop for a dress for an upcoming party.

The bag? There's no bag yet. Since Baguio, everything was left hanging. By the time we got back, all I wanted to do was to unpack, rest a bit, and obviously, I got a little hangover. With the pine scent in the house, our cool morning and evenings.... I think I left my in Baguio City. 

New Knife Set

03 December 2010

In one year, I lost 2 Victorinox knife pieces. It's either I left it inside the cake box, then threw the box after, and sometimes, by just recalling, I throw it accidentally in the trash. It came in a set of 4. I use those knives for cake cutting, for steak and as paring knives. The sad thing, it was a good set from my mother-in-law which she handed over to me. I'm really bothered, I want to get new knife sets, same brand and style.

Pine Cones Make Wonders

02 December 2010

I spent my long weekend with my family in Baguio City. Also known as "The Summer Capital of the Philippines" and "The City of Pines". One of the things I looked forward to in our trip, was to be able to pick some fresh Pine Cones. It brought back some childhood memories.
I grew up with my mom arranging pine cones as Christmas Decorations. My dad as a traveler around the country, would often bring home large amounts of pine cones for my mom. Some we would sell, but most are for keeps. And when I finally got to travel with my mom to Baguio, of course, picking up pine cones has become a highlight and enjoyment.
This year's set of decorations are more personalized. While picking up pine cones, I even called my mom just to tell her "mom, I'm picking up pine cones!" Pine cones, as they dry up releases a certain pine scent. The colder it gets, the more they'll make your home smell like Christmas. To be able to preserve the cool aroma, I  use essential oil in pine. A few drops will make it work for another year or two.  Being able to travel to Baguio was such a blessing, especially when the Holidays are getting nearer.