Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Big Apple - New York

NYC, a city forever in flux, is impossible to “see” in one visit. You just have to resign yourself to that fact, unless you move here (and maybe not even then), you’ll only barely scratch the surface! However, there are ways to make the most of the limited time we have. So, as I get ready to leave NYC after living here for 3.5 years, I want to give you my suggested four-day itinerary for your next visit here:

Day 1

Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island
 Though the line for the ferry from Battery Park is long, if you get there early, you can avoid most of it. (Come late and you’ll have to wait a few hours.) The Statue of Liberty is spectacular to see up close (she’s as big as you imagine), but the real highlight of this combo is Ellis Island, where you can learn about the immigrant experience and get a sense of the people who helped build NYC (you’ll even find my family’s name inscribed on the wall!). There’s such a great sense of history there that you can’t help but to be impressed.
Tip: If the line’s too long and you don’t want to wait, take the free Staten Island ferry for photos of the statue and harbor.

 Wall Street

 Take a photo with the famous bull and then walk to Wall Street and see where all those bankers destroyed the economy. There’s heavy security in the area, but you can sit and watch people whiz in and out of buildings on their way to cause some other financial disaster.

 Trinity Church
 Trinity Church is one of the oldest churches in America. The original building burned down in 1776, but the current church is still beautiful, with an ornate gothic style structure. The church is most famous for its colonial graveyard, where you’ll find many famous Americans, including Alexander Hamilton, one of America’s founding fathers.

World Trade Center & 9/11 Memorial and Museum
 The recently opened “Freedom Tower” gives you a panoramic view of the city, and there is also a lot of information about the 9/11 terrorist attacks. On the elevator up, you can also see images of the historical development of NYC. At the bottom of the tower is a park commemorating the victims of the attacks along with an extensive museum. The museum houses moving exhibits about the significance of 9/11. For an additional fee (on top of the entrance fee), there are guided tours.
Brooklyn Bridge
 Right near City Hall (see the next entry), the Brooklyn Bridge offers an easy 25-minute walk into Brooklyn and the waterfront park on the other side. Stopping to take photos and meandering along the way will make the walk about 40 minutes. You get a lot of wonderful views of downtown as you make your way across (and especially from the park). I enjoy doing this walk at night, when downtown Manhattan is all lit up.

 Empire State Building
 After you finish up with lower Manhattan, jet up to this historic landmark in New York City. The 1930s art deco interior is beautiful, and the view from the top is breathtaking. You can get a real feel for how densely populated New York is as you stare out at the city. Get here early or during lunchtime to avoid the lines and tour groups.

 Grand Central Terminal
 Grand Central Terminal is the city’s historic train station. It was going to be torn down in 1975 but was saved by Jacqueline Kennedy, who raised money for its preservation. There are free historical tours on Wednesdays. I love coming to the main concourse and looking up at the “stars” in the ceiling and people-watching as everyone races to and fro. All those people — where do they go? What do they do? Also, there’s an amazing eatery in the basement called the Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant. And for fancy (and expensive) cocktails, visit the Campbell Apartments and step back into the 1920s (dress code enforced). The space was once the office of John W. Campbell, a member of the New York Central Railroad’s board of directors and finance tycoon from the 1920s.

 Rockefeller Center

 This area is always filled with hustle and bustle. Wander around Rockefeller Center to see where they film The Today Show, shop, snack, and take the elevator to the “Top of the Rock” for another bird’s-eye view of the city (which I personally think it better than the Empire State Building, since from the top of here you can get that building in your picture too!).

 Times Square
 No matter when you go to Times Square, it will be packed with people (usually other tourists). There are pedestrian areas where you can sit and hang out. If you aren’t shopping or eating or seeing a show, there isn’t much to do in the area (and no New Yorker hangs out there), but it’s still a fabulous place to people-watch for a few minutes from the top of the red steps of the TKTS kiosk.

 Central Park
 The perfect way to relax in the city and leave the crowds behind is to spend the day in Central Park. It’s free, there are lots of paths to walk (or run), bike lanes, lakes to row in, and a zoo. Since the park covers over 150 square blocks, it’s easy to spend hours wandering around. During the summer months, there are often free concerts and theater productions (line up early for tickets to Shakespeare in the Park). From the late spring to the early fall, there are free guided walks run by the parks service on Saturdays at 11am. I’m a big fan of laying out in Sheep’s Meadow on a hot, sunny day with a book, some food, and a bottle of wine.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A different kind of Valentine

There is nothing worse than being single in February. The buildup to Valentine’s Day can be absolutely excruciating. Flowers start popping up in windows, isles of chocolate appear in convenience stores, not to mention the red and pinks hearts plastered everywhere. It can feel as though the entire world is mocking you, shining a spotlight on your marital status. These things can get especially frustrating when you’re not just single, you’re a Christian single.

 Valentine’s Day can be hard on singles. There’s the anxiety of being alone, the jealousy of watching couples celebrate, and the fear that God is leading you toward a future without marriage. In all the commotion though, never forget that Jesus loves you. He loved you enough to die for you (John 3:16), and he wants nothing more than the best for you. Whatever form that may take, never forget that you are loved this Valentine’s Day.

Thursday, May 5, 2016


San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez and two scions of the Ejercito-Estrada will team up in the up-coming election. Gomez is seeking re-election for her third and final term, while Councilor Janella Estrada is running for vice mayor. Former councilor Jana Ejercito, who’s gunning for the city’s lone congressional seat. An Outstanding Woman Leader awarded by the National Council of Women in the Philippines and Girl Scouts of the Philippines; and a recipient of Herstory Centennial Award given by the National Centennial Commission-Women Sector.
That is the mayor seeking for the last term seat in San Juan

San Juan Councilor Jana Ejercito, who is a daughter of Estrada’s brother movie director and producer Jesse Ejercito, is running as congresswoman of San Juan. Known for her ordinances for housing in St Joseph ville along side financial assistance to those people who have lost their houses, Jana has been getting the popularity in San Juan by involving in the civic works in every baranggays and meeting one on  one San Juanenos to get their needs.  A recent held free school bags was given to the day care program. A young and an aggressive advocate of change and improvement in San Juan is her main goal when gets elected as a Congresswoman.

 Janella is the daughter of Sen. Jinggoy Estrada who boasted of the infrastructure projects initiated during the different Ejercito-Estrada administrations, such as the San Juan Medical Center and city hall. One candidate for councilor running under Gomez’s ticket is political neophyte Janella Ejercito, daughter of Sen Jinggoy Estrada, JV's half brother. Janella's main goal is to establish "Serbisyong may PUSO at TATAK ESTRADA!" to the people of San Juan. Dugong maka Masa Tatak Estrada. As she said in the Quote ""Leaders don't create followers. They create more leaders". She want to continue the good legacy of works in the Estrada administration when she get elected as Vice Mayor.

“The people are the final judge. The father is a performer. As long as they are doing their job and they will do their job well and they are not using guns, goons and gold or the so-called three Gs, then let the people decide,” Erap Estrada said when asked to react on the anti-political dynasty measure. This are the front line of the Partido Magdiwang culminating their filing of certificates of candidacy

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


With the up-coming election, few may have probably known the incumbent Mayor of San Juan - Guia Gomez and how she was able to turn San Juan into a progressive city. Perhaps we can track back how she begun her career in the Politics alongside the help of his Son Senator JV Ejercito and the Estrada.

Guia Gomez was born in Bacolod City to Silaynon Doctor Dominador Gomez and Paz Guanzon of Ilo-Ilo City. She was the valedictorian during her elementary years at the University of Negros Occidental - Recoletos (formerly Occidental Negros Institute) and completed her high school studies at the Philippine Women's College in Davao City. She graduated from the Philippine Women's University with a degree in Business Administration and a major in Accounting.

Her career started when she joined the politics in 2009 declaring her intention to replace her son, JV Ejercito as mayor of San Juan City. In line with this, she formed her own political party, called Partido Magdiwang. She serves as president of the party while her son serves as the chairperson. It is a "San Juan-wide local political party with offices and chapters in majority of its barangays local wide. She later won in a landslide, with over 42,000 votes, approximately 75% of the total vote. 

Awards and Programs:

During her tenure as Mayor, San Juan City was recognized by the Department of Interior and Local Government as the Top Highly Urbanized City in the country in terms of governance for 2011. It was the second ranked in the country in 2010. One of her most important programs, is the transformation of San Juan City into a vertical green city, with "elevated sidewalks, monorail, high-rises and greenery". This is in response to the danger of floods in the city.

A mother and Woman in San Juan

Within her is a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity and ageless wisdom. She touches the soul with humble simplicity. Her leadership is servitude first and last. With intense humility, she offers her selfless dedication to a cause greater than herself: a cause that is magnanimous, honorable, and noble. As a woman and mother, her involvement in different organizations that aim to uplift the quality of women’s lives and their families’ is remarkable. Her brilliance and intelligence have caused great impact on the development of the society and people’s lives.

She is the leader behind San Juan City’s honor for being the Philippines’ No. 1 Top Performing Highly Urbanized City for 2011, and Excellent in the Implementation of Anti-Red Tape Act in 2012; named Meralco’s 2013 Luminaries Awardee for being an Outstanding Local Government Unit; and the visionary and implementer of San Juan’s effective programs on Kaunlaran, Kabuhayan, Kalusugan, Katahimikan, Kalinisan, Kalinga sa Pamilya at Kalikasan, the Honorable Guia Guanzon Gomez, City Mayor of San Juan.

Behind the smile and humility comes with a great responsibility on her hand. Now on her 3rd and last term running mate Janella Estrada as Vice Mayor, San Juan will be able to continue the legacy of works and improvement  San Juaneno needs.

The People of San Juan will decide if she still the best and qualified one for the position.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Baguio City - A Place for Relaxation

Baguio is one of the most visited places in the country. Tourists and locals alike take the 4-hour drive up North (with help of the new TPLEX) for the weekend just to hangout and enjoy the cool weather that is missing in Manila. More than that, people always look forward to the awesome food that can only be found there. Here are 15 cool new places to add to your ‘Must Try’ lists on the Booky app for your next visit to the summer capital of the Philippines.


Manila – Baguio
Air-conditioned bus trips to Baguio leave Manila daily in an hourly basis. Popular bus lines en route are Victory Liner, Partas, and Genesis among others. One way bus ticket would cost you P400 – 450, and travel time will be approximately 6-7 hours.
Luxury bus trips are already offered by some bus companies like Victory Liner (Deluxe) and Genesis (Joybus) for a non-stop trip to Baguio that will just take 3-4 hours. These buses have their own toilets, wifi, two TVs, wider seats that will allow you to recline fully to rest, and snacks and drinks offered by the bus stewardess. Fare rate is around P650 – 720.
If you are to use your personal car, best to take Marcos Highway going up to Baguio because it is safer than Kennon Road which is sometimes closed due to rock slides in the roads.

 If you’re visiting Baguio any time until the 8th of March 2017, make sure to check out the Panagbenga Flower Festival activities going on there. It’s one of the most attended festivals in the country held every February, featuring dance parades, flower-embellished costumes and floats, fireworks and other activities. Check out details here.

 Nestled in the vast mountains of the Benguet, Baguio City, the Summer Capital of the Philippines, uphold its picturesque mountain sceneries and breath-taking destinations tourists love to visit from time to time. Discovered by the American colonizers in the 1900s, Baguio City has grown from a hill station for the American soldiers into one of the most popular and most visited tourist spots in the country. Known for its climate that is comparable to other western countries, Baguio City endow its people with a biting cold, invigorating breeze that is a perfect venue to escape the summer heat

 Baguio offers plenty of attractions and destinations that showcase its rich heritage, indigenous culture and thriving flora and fauna. Highly urbanized, it already became the center of commerce, education and tourism in Northern Luzon. Commercialized as it seem as developments are fast transpiring, Baguio City still embody the Cordilleran culture by representing it through traditions that are still widely celebrated through festivities, and inculcating culture as a solid part of the modern society. 

– Bring wide array of wardrobe as the temperature varies from extremely hot (noon-time) to extremely cold (night-time).
– Best months to visit:
February – Panagbenga Festival
April – May – summer months
December – Baguio Lantern Parade, Christmas in Baguio
– Beware of pickpockets especially in crowded places.
– Best to jog in the morning to feel the cool breeze
– It is advised to walk when visiting tourist destinations in the town center because they are actually close to each other and it will save you money.
– During peak seasons, it is best to have a map (either paper map of electronic map) with you if you are not familiar with the places because heavy traffic is expected and it is to avoid getting lost in the midst of travelling.
– It is advised to do an early reservation in hotels to avoid much hassle. If budget cannot afford a hotel, transient houses and lodges are available city-wide.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Love and Trust In a Relationship

A relationship is easy to make but it is so hard to make that relationship stronger and lasting. A long lasting relationship is very easy to establish if we put the spirit of trust and love in our hearts.because love and trust is the requirement in a relationship to make it lasting. When these two character leaves from our relation then that relation becomes weak. Relationship is the only thing on the basis of which the whole human being is lasting so if we think logically we can see that strong relationship gives born to a enjoyable living.among different types of relationship there are some specific relationship which should be strong and lasting to lead a better life.
Firstly Love :love is nothing but the greatest gift in the whole world. We can not define love specific. But we the people misuse the word "love". We misinterpret love with possessiveness and is of different types. Each unique relationship has its own type of love.

 Secondly Trust :after love trust is the second requirement of a lasting relationship. When we love anyone then we trust him or her. Trust is the implied value of a relationship. We choose to trust our partner only for this trust. Trust is that thing which is broken on time is broken forever. Sometimes we think that trust can be picked up again but it is not true. When we lose trust from anyone we can not gain trust about him should be maintained by each side of a relationship. Rebuilding trust is the hardest work in life. It can be compared with a glass. When a glass is broken it's pieces can be picked up and can be joined again but the perfect glass can never be maid because the sign of broken pieces will alive.
After all, trust and love are as tightly intertwined as strands on a rope. When trust is broken, love is diminished and damaged. But when trust is diligently maintained, love grows stronger and stronger.
Relationships in which two people trust each other at the deepest levels have at least four priceless assets.
First, they have the reassurance that someone will provide support and stability through the hard times of life. All of us experience frustrations and failures—and what a comfort to have someone who will stand by you through them all.

Second, trustworthy partners know that every investment they make in the relationship will pay dividends. If a man and woman trust each other, they can build a partnership that will not be confronted with the greatest emotional threats of all—betrayal and abandonment. They’re confident their relationship will last, so all the effort to deepen it will reap rich rewards.
Third, rock-solid trust means the individuals don’t have to spend their time and energy being suspicious. There isn’t any need to second-guess their lover. What this person says to them is truthful and reliable.
Finally, these partners can have genuine peace of mind. When you fully trust your partner, when there is no need for suspicion of any kind, you can have one of the greatest prizes in the world: inner peace. It is the prize for those who are deeply committed to each other and consistently demonstrate loyalty. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Happiness of Pursuit: 7 Steps To Accomplish Anything & Enjoy It Along The Way

If anyone has ever read a post written by me before, listened to an interview or simply had a chat about self improvement, they will know I am frequently asked (and address) the common question – ‘what is the most important aspect to self improvement’ – my answer, without hesitation, is always the same: take action. There are 7 steps that will change (or start) your course. Something that will help change your thinking (as it did mine) from simply pursuing happiness, to finding happiness in the pursuit.

1. Find out who you are and what you want

This is the basis for everything. You are the basis of you. This is perhaps the most scary part on the whole list – finding out who you truly are – but it is also the most crucial. You have to take the time to ask yourself the hard questions, even if you’re afraid of the answers. But it is only by truly knowing who you really are that you can discover what will truly makes you happy. What excites you? What are you good at? What makes you want to get out of bed early and will keep you buzzing to stay up late? What matters to you. Be honest.
Once you have drilled down to a handful of criteria, you can start mapping out your plan.

2. Set your goals

Dreams are nothing without goals. Goals make dreams (and you) accountable. Write them down. Where do you want to be. How are you going to get their. With a succinct set of goals there is a clear vision for where you are and where you want to be. This literal interpretation, in the form of goals, is the blue print or map you need, to be able to chart your course.

3. Break those goals down into mini benchmarks

Once you have you’re larger ‘plan’ in place, it is necessary to break those larger goals (or goal) into palatable bite sized, mini benchmarks. For instance, it is a novel goal to sail across the ocean (as a young teenager does in The Happiness of Pursuit) but without breaking that loftier goal into baby steps, it’s almost impossible to make happen. What training do I need? What equipment do I need? What case studies do I need to memorize?
It’s called doing the upfront work and there is no shortcut. Again, here I am reminded of Yoda’s words. You are accountable to only you when it comes to living up to your full potential. ‘Do or do not. There is no try.’

4. Go DO It

If you’ve gotten to this part, you’ve already done most of the heavy lifting. You are prepared. You have learned. You are already better because of it. So know that. This is the where the adventure really begins.
Action is the foundational key to all success’ – Pablo Picasso
It’s here where it’s time to jump of that metaphorical cliff. Unchain yourself. Take action. Doing is the only thing that does. What else is there to say. You’ve done the work – so dive in. This is the ultimate award. This is where true happiness jumps off the page and onto the stage. This is where one finds the happiness of pursuit.

5. Measure your success

Once you’ve taken the leap, it will be contagious. Trust me. It doesn’t mean everything you do will be a success, but this is how you learn. This is where you learn to find as much joy in failure as in success. Learning is success.
This is where it is important, however, to make sure you are on the right track, so it is important to check in and measure how you’re doing. How you’re feeling. Where you can pivot and when to keep attacking.

6. Be open to a course change

One of the great things about finding joy through the process is that it allows for perspective. Of course you should always keep your larger goal or quest in mind – that’s why you’re doing all of this after all, but remember: things change, people change, circumstances change and ultimately, your goal can change or alter slightly, if you’re conscious and aware of the process. Be open to the unexpected outcome or emotion – this is how we learn and grow. This is what the journey is all about – not just getting to the end but all of the unexpected magic that happens along the way. So be flexible and open to the whatever experience comes your way, knowing you’ve done the work.

7. Do it all over again

Life is a system of cycles. We can always be learning, growing, enjoying. Once you have accomplished whatever quest you’ve set out to conquer, don’t rest on your laurels. Set new goals. New standards. Press on. Start again. Feel scared and unsure – this is the very essence of life – working through all of this. So, while I doubt I’ll have much convincing to do (the thrill of the pursuit of accomplishment, itself is more than enough of an incentive) – I will end as I started: ‘A body in motion, stays in motion’ and who the hell wants to be stuck?