Friday, April 29, 2016

Pampanga: Angeles City, More than Finding a Place to Eat.

It's on the evening of our Zambales trip. After an ala Amazing Race run looking for that custaroons in Marquee Mall, we were all hungry. Our last meal was the early lunch we had at Mang Kiko's place.
With the help of Mr. Waze , we started navigating for the first food place, 19 Kupong-Kupong. Well, its a discreet place, that has bahay kubo inside and staff dressed in Filipiniana com Katiponero/Guardia Civil. haha sorry for the description but that's how they look. We took a table, first thing I noticed were foreign men with young Pinays, and the Gabriel Silang in me grrrrr. I went to the toilet and BOOM, I have eavesdropped into a conversation of two young girls, talking about just taking in the situation she's in because she badly needed the money. Hearing that, I wanted to get out of the cubicle and talk to them, talk to them that there are other ways to find money, a better way. But then I was again overcome by fear, that they would disagree with me. I went out of the toilet just in time our group were standing and about to leave the place.
I felt bad after that, I have not done the assignment our Father asked us to do. Then we continue looking for another food place, a pizza place that we never found where.
Tita Vangie continued driving around Angeles City, passing through the red light districts then we came upon a street full of Korean restaurants. Yup, its a buzz in Angeles City, Korean stores, farms, schools, churches and restaurants. Finally we found a place to eat, a Korean buffet restaurant that I forgot the name.

Travel Date: February 29, 2016

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Zambales: Camayan Beach Resort and Zoobic Safari

Blessing is all over us. My Pampanga trip is a blessing for a wanderlust like me. Tito Eddie and his family were so kind to give there time driving us around. On our last day in Pampanga, Tita Vangie arrange that we visit Subic in the Province of Zambales.
Happy to be back in Subic, almost a decade now since the first time I visited SBMA, courtesy of Coach Rey, for making me a part of the group assisting barangay officials and local business men in an exposure trip on freeport zones and coal fired power plant.
For our Subic trip we went to Camayan Beach Resort and Zoobic Safari.  In Camayan Beach Resort, the staff were kind enough to allow as to take a walk around the beach area for free. But we have to go in 3's. Camayan Beach Resort is a laid-back beachfront that sits along the Subic Bay. Meters away from the resort is the Ocean Adventure, since i was able to experience Ocean Adventure, Miya was kind enough to choose Zoobic Safari instead.

Zoobic Safari is part of the 50 hectares being developed as a Forest Adventure. We took the tour package that includes 12 stations and an animal show for Php 595.00 per person. When got inside the animal show is on going so we waited for the tram to arrive that will bring to our first stop. Kids will surely enjoy the tour, but it failed me in a way, because I expect for a better service and facilities. The Forbidden Cave and Zoobic Cave, where real stuffed animals are on display, is not propely maintain, some stuffed animals don't have eyes or some part are falling apart. And having visited, Davao's Crocodile Park and Malagos, I was saddened to see the condition of the animals and commercialism all over the park. I know the park can do better with the fee that comes with it.

As I write this, I remember what my little Browie once told me, if you do not have something good to say, better keep it to yourself. But then my heart says otherwise, with the truth, a better park there will be. I hope for a well maintained Zoobic Safari in the future.

Travel Date: February 29, 2016

Pampanga: Aluminum Kitchenware Shopping in Floridablanca

Food and cooking is life. While helping in the preparation of food for the fiesta, Mama Nette notices the aluminum kitchenwares of Tita Vangie. There we learned that she bought those big "kaserola" from Floridablanca.
Floridablanca is a first class municipality in Pampanga. Aluminum kitchenware is one of the products that made Floridablanca known for. After visiting Porac's Sandbox, we passed by Brgy. Mabical in Floridablanca. Right after the welcome arch and the bridge are stalls selling aluminum kitchenware. I get to take a hold of a "syanse" as big as my face! But what makes their products unique is that it is hand made using the "palpag" technique.
Blessed again to have Mama Nette, she bought me two big "kaserola" and one big "kawali," perfect for more cooking in Aurora's Kitchen.

Travel Date: February 28, 2016

Pampanga: St. James the Apostle Church (Betis Church)

Check my trusty yellow notebook on my Pampanga trip, number one in my list is Betis Church. St. James the Apostle is the "Sistine Chapel of the Philippines." Known also as the Betis Church, the name came from the tree that stands in the location of the church, and the timber of the tree was used in the construction of its bellfry.
Betis Church is in my bucket list for one reason, I want to see and experience myself the beauty of its ceiling making it comparable to the Sistine Chapel.
Built for about a century, from 1960-1970, according to its history, it took that long because the number of inhabitants whom voluntary labor was seccred were small. 
As we enter the side door of the church, I do not know if they still open the front door, we read the history and how and who made the ornate mural in the ceiling of the church. Evident also in the ornately carved wooden door of the church is the artisinal skills of people of Betis, which they are also known for, wood carving. 

We went to the church twice that day, first was before going to Sandbox in Porac, but we were not able to enter because the main church was closed. Yes, churches  must always be open, but I agree to the rules of the church because of the history of thieves taking religious images of great importance and value. It's a sad reality this day, the place where we are free to enter and express our faith needs to be secured at all times. 

No matter what the circumstances that comes with the experience, I am in awe, looking up the beauty that lies above the ceiling. Beyond words, looking up for a long time hurts my neck, what more of the painter who made all these beauty. The murals were painted by Simon Flores, depicting important biblical events.

Travel Date: February 28, 2016

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

What's in Your Hand?

God's mighty power was all over me this morning. As I read my daily devotions for busy women, todays word struck me.
In the past days, I pray for wisdom in the choices I will be making in the coming days. And at this point, we are most susciptible to temptation and we fail to see God's plan for us.
Until this morning, God answered my prayer. Like Moses, when he doubted his abilities to lead the Israelites. God asked him. "what's in your hand." "A staff," he answered.
"Use it," said God. (Exodus 4:2)
We have it in our hand. I have it my hand. I just have to use it.
Yes Lord! I have it and I thank you for letting me see what I got.

 Now that God shows me what I got. May I be able to bless others with what I got in my hands.