Sunday, August 14, 2016

Five Random (vol.6)

It's been a long time since I last posted. The only reason for this is due to the fact that I kept myself busy with other things. For one, there's my book project (which is a huge improvement compared to last year's. We'll tackle more on a separate post), and there's my never-ending quest for the Arts. I actually created a separate blog just for that in Wordpress. ArteAmor

I was in Cebu for a week by the end of July. This was taken in Lapu-Lapu City (for Cebuanos, you'd know you are in LLC if you find the streets filled with multi-colored walls).

With a very short schedule, one of my many tasks at hand was to put up the wall project. The supports were from Ikea which I brought with us in May, and were installed sometime in June. I had been long wanting to filled it with photos so the one-week in July gave me the opportunity to do it. Most of the frames are from Ikea that I hand carried with me. Good thing they did not break. I hoarded frames from Ikea because they're cheap and lightweight.

Another part of our small house that was slightly revamped was the mini-library. I decided to arrange the books by color, and added my framed artworks. The frames here are all from Metro Ayala because I ran out of Ikea frames. When it comes to variations in terms of size in frames, Metro Ayala has better selection and more stock.

The light blue chair (a.k.a. the blue throne) was bought from Mandaue Foam way back December 2015. The pillow and its cover are from Ikea.

Of course, I spent quality time with Amber. At 4, she's a little grown up and chatty. For that whole week, we were late for school, haha. It had to do with the challenges of waking up, getting ready and breakfast. The setting was new to me all over again. Amber, like me, is not much of a breakfast eater but we want her to eat considering her tiny frame. Not that she's very thin, she's healthy but like any other parent, we encourage her to eat breakfast to gain enough strength and nutrients to get through the day.

And a week after my arrival back in Japan, I finally decided to buy a new laptop, a MacBook Air. My dear 10 year old HP laptop is still alive but can no longer connect to the internet because it's still powered by Windows XP, whose support had long stopped effective last year.

I saw it coming. Though an OS update would have been an option, I knew the time has come to purchase a new one. I would even have chosen an HP as replacement because the brand has proven its longevity and reliability but I'd like to try Mac this time, being an iPhone user myself. The reviews of Mac are all praises so I am confident Mac and I will go a long way, maybe not 10 years but hopefully it will be. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

One Week in Cebu

It would be really too depressing to bid farewell at the airport so I had it planned to go along on their way back to Cebu and spend a week there. 

As it happened, our flight was on Mother's day and a day before the Presidential Elections. The whole election bruhaha was about to end and was looking forward to the end of political posts in my Facebook newsfeed (i miss shallow posts!).
As it turns out, Rodrigo Duterte won. I failed to vote because of my failure to register. If I did though, my vote goes to Miriam Defensor-Santiago. Even if her chances are slim, i'd still give it to her because among all presidentiables, she was perfect, super-achiever and not corrupt. Though her health was an issue, i do think it will not affect her capabilities to execute such job.
Something Filipino. I love Filipino foods; so it came as a no surprise that every time I go back to Cebu for a break, I always look forward to spoiling myself with it. This amazing photo of a ceiling was taken at Kan-anan by Lantaw. I love their interior and the food was not bad at all. 
Flashback to the 90s. 
These are just the only Sweet Valley Twins' books that I personally bought. The rest of the series that I had read were from the high school library. I was introduced to reading novels because of SVT and  Nancy Drew, while at freshman in high school. Luckily, our school library had tons of teen novels, from Love Stories series to Hardy boys (which I never read), and even old Time and Life magazines in binder files.
My default Cebu phone is a Nokia 105. Bought it brand new in 2013 at less than 3,000 PHP. I bought it because I don't allow my iPhone to do roaming for the charges would be too costly. With this cheap phone, it is functional and inconspicuous. I have been using this for two years now and its basic functions of call and text are all I really need while on break.
Summer is terribly hot and humid in the Philippines. The temperature in Cebu felt like around 33degC (according to my last check). Without even the slightest move and even after a very refreshing shower, I still get sweaty after a few minutes. In Amber's case, she sweats a lot, too; that I end up bathing her for the second time in a day just after dinnertime. 

Inset photo was taken at Plantation Bay Resort & Spa. It was my first time there, and our impression was that it felt like being trapped in an island paradise, like a Disneyland resort even. It's very different from the usual resorts around Mactan. What I love here are the many shallow pools suitable for kids, restaurants are many, and the maze-like feature of  the whole resort allows one to navigate and discover little nooks to hang out.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Amber's Japan trip

Amber and T came to Japan just in time for the long Golden Week holidays. With the many activities we've done, which were next to perfection because everything went according to planned -- a rarity in life, I cannot go into great details to blog about it. Hence, i am posting only some. 

On the next day of their arrival, we went to Anpanman's Children Museum in Yokohama. This is as per Amber's request. It's amazing that she's still a fan, to think she left Japan a year ago at barely 3 years old. Even back in Cebu, she prefers to watch youtube videos of Anpanman & Friends. I was expecting she'll forget soon but well, she still holds them dearly along with the Frozen sisters. 

Day 3 was a Tuesday, so i decided to take a personal leave and spent it at Tokyo Disneyland with them. Amber's second and better than the first because she's older and got into more kid-friendly rides. 
Day 6 at Shinjuku Gyoen National Park. Her first jump shot! It took many takes but she understood the concept. 

Day 7 was spent at Fuji Shibazakura

Day 8 at Kawagoe, Saitama. This she didn't get to enjoy since she slept the whole time on her stroller while the accompanying adults were busy roaming around the narrow streets.
Day 9 at Ueno Zoo. Amber loves animals. Her favorites are the elephant and giraffe. She likes zebra, too. So while at Ueno zoo, we skipped the reptiles, nocturnes, and birds; and focused only on the major ones. 
Day 10 at Tokyo Skytree tower. Probably the tallest observatory we've been to looking over Tokyo. 
Day 12. Amber on board the Odaiba Giant Sky Wheel. She was brave enough to conquer the heights while I was gripping onto dear life. 
Enjoying her ice cream by the beach. The ice cream treat was getting seldom because of me. 
Day 13 at Tokyo Sea Life. T took her there while I reported to work. At her age, the sight of fish that many was awesome.
Amber, at 4, was such a trooper. I made sure her activities for the entire duration of her trip were educational and fun. She'll probably forget most when she gets older but the whole thing was for her to see the things she can't or won't experience back in Cebu. I do wish we had more museums and parks in Cebu for kids to enjoy.

I look forward to enjoying more time with Amber. The times and plans may change but i will always do my best to make time for her.