Leyte 2013

14 November 2014

November 8, 2013 Typhoon Haiyan struck the Visayas Region with sustained winds of 315 km/h (195 mph) (unofficial) making it the most powerful to hit land.

A week after the typhoon struck, we were given a chance to help those who were badly affected by the devastation. The company where my husband works arranged a relief & medical mission, rescue & relief mission. There were 3 groups sent via land, air and sea all equipped with relief goods, medicines and extra transport particularly for the relatives of the employees who resides in the affected areas.

My personal contribution was to gather clothes and food that can last for months. I asked my family and friends for donations and my husband was the one who personally assisted with the repacking and of course, who went to Leyte to extend a helping hand.

Please bear if I didn't mention any names, particulars even the town's location, this is in respect to the privacy of the individuals involved in this mission. Let the pictures tell the story of my husband's life- changing experience when he joined a team of experts for this trip.
Relief and Medical Mission: Haiyan 2013

Briefing by the Mayor in one the towns of Leyte

The people gather at the town's park at night.
The municipality was able to preserve some fuel to run a generator that gave light around the small park where the residents gather. This was also for security reasons since there was no electricity, and  at that time, in other towns, there was rampant looting.

Medical Assistance

Haiyan may have destroyed houses and other structures that served as shelter and security to the people.

The only source of livelihood --- gone.
With the immediate help that came from the private sector and aid from around the globe, the people of Leyte and other affected provinces was given a chance to start all over again.

There's Hope

Time To Rebuild

A New Beginning Awaits
I know God will never let the Filipino people down. Even if reconstruction is slow, in our hearts we've already stood up the moment Haiyan left the country to build a stronger foundation and keep faith as a firm source of inspiration. Moving forward.

Collecting Legos

06 November 2014

My husband and I began collecting around 8 years ago. We feel like it has been that long because we were already buying Lego toys for our eldest son. Then comes the Duplo for our youngest. Frankie is very fond of Lego because he can literally create things with bricks without following any instruction manual. Watching my son build and create what he once imagined brings an amazing feeling for a mom like me.

From then on, we're on the look for Lego sets, mostly boxes of bricks. Since it's for playing, there are times when we lose bricks, and that's when we buy another box until the collection grew bigger. Our love for Lego expanded as we meet people with the same interest, and that's how we found out about PhLUG and other Lego items for collecting--- Legos for the young at heart.

Next on our list are Lego Books which we can display in our new home. We just found one or two that can also be useful in creating stuff, but we didn't buy it yet.

When The LEGO Movie came out, that's the time when we just want to gather what we feel we need to  collect. What we have is nothing compared to those who have been doing this for years.
The Lego Movie mini- figures was a set that's a bit hard to complete especially that toy stores here in the Philippines doesn't sell mini- figures as much compared to other countries. But we have our sources and we even got more than what we expected. There's a batch to be kept and there's a couple of mini- figures on display.
This is a must! An original The LEGO Movie: Everything is Awesome Edition (Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet Combo Pack + Exclusive Minifigure + Exclusive Content + Bonus Blu-ray 3D)
We bought our copy from a Lego collector. I drove all the way to UN Manila early in the morning  just to meet up with this guy. I was with my husband of course and we know the guy, so safety on meet- ups (check!)
 1980's Vintage LEGO Spaceman in Red, White, Yellow and Blue
We're now looking for a black classic spaceman.
 Benny the Blue Spaceman in The LEGO Movie
The Blue Spaceman is said to be the last color to be released. Benny is a special character in The Lego Movie representing the 1980's Classic Space Astronaut. Only, Benny's suit is scratched and his helmet is broken and has an excited turn- around face.
Lego sets from The Lego Movie
These were the first box sets we had from The Lego Movie. We only purchased one from a mall, the rest were ordered online from fellow collectors.
 Shell Station has released a new set of Shell V- Power LEGO Collection. The rules state that for every 1,500-up worth of Shell V-Power Nitro fuel you can buy a toy from the set for 150php each and you can only purchase 1 toy for every receipt. That's a full tank for most cars. You see, we can't burn fuel just to be able to fill up our tank again and buy another toy. So I asked my dad if we can take turns and whoever will go first to gas up a car, must buy a toy until we complete the set or even get 2 sets of the whole collection. We did this with Shell's previous promos. So, our car's tank is full and we got the Lego Shell Station. My dad messaged me and he got gas too and bought the red Lego car. In a week, we now have 2 from the 2014 Shell V-Power Lego Collection.  Ha!

The fun of dressing up your Apple gadget. I particularly love this Original Belkin Lego casing for the iPad Mini 2. How I wish that they also have something for my old iPad 2... and sorry I need to emphasize on "original" because sad to say, fake items are everywhere in our country.
A Lego piece from Japan. For some reason, anything from Japan is always something to look forward to and worth collecting.
We're part of The Philippine Lego Users Group

We became part of PhLUG through a friend who is a super LEGO collector and enthusiast. My husband visited their exhibit once and he continued until he made friends and became part of the community. On a regular basis, the group organizes an exhibit where fellow collectors can display and sell their items for a more reasonable price compared to the ones being sold in malls. Some are from travelers who intentionally go abroad to buy Legos and other collectibles. 

It is a wonderful community. So if you're in search of some hard- to- find Lego items or any Lego set here in the Philippines, try PhLUG. It's a fun way to buy the Lego toys you want and at the same time, make friends.

Growing Hydrangeas

05 November 2014

To be able to grow this flowering shrub has always been our dream. We had several attempts before and the plant won't survive after a week. At last, my mom's green thumb on growing Hydrangeas is finally working. First off, they bought the Hydrangeas near our place in Antipolo, Rizal. With that, the plant itself have adjusted to the climate and the total environment of the province. Unlike before when it was still being purchased from Tagaytay City, once the plant lands in Manila, it shrinks and it won't continue to grow anymore.

By the way, these were just bought from the marketplace (palengke). I must say that it's quite a find  for a public market. My dad bought a couple and to our surprise, it produced another flower and it continued. So they went back to buy some more.
The blue, lilac, and pink Hydrangeas were planted in front by the porch. The Hydrangeas we have are the "mopheads" and are branching out. Hopefully it turns into a Hydragrea bush, just like those in magazines and countries with cool conditions.

I have been doing a lot of research on how to grow Hydrangeas properly because I want them to last and I want this flowering plant to be healthy all the time.

Some things I learned:
  • Hydrangea thrives with half sun and half shade treatment.
  • It blossoms if the soil is fertile and with just the right amount of water and sunshine.
  • It is not advisable to plant Hydrangeas near trees. 
  • The color of the petals will vary with the pH level of the soil it's planted in.

Growing Hydrangeas here in the Philippines is not common except for flower farms which are located at the far off regions of the country. If you see a Hydrangea in full bloom from a local flower shop in Manila, that was probably ordered abroad. I'm just saying... and that's what I often encounter everytime I make an inquiry.
This particular Hydrangea was planted in a huge pot. It has blossomed a couple of times already.
These were the first ones that were used as basis if it will grow and survive in my mom's new home.
For the past month we have been feasting our eyes with the beauty of this wonderful plant. Of course, it made my mom very happy, because one of her dreams was granted again. Imagine, growing Hydrangeas in a tropical country!

Hydrangeas are so pretty. It's attractiveness is often linked to vanity with it's round shape and colorful petals. But for us, it symbolizes grace, serenity and simplicity. 

He has made everything beautiful in its time Ecclesiastes 3:11