Monday, August 27, 2012

Club Manila East, Taytay, Rizal

Yesterday, my family went to Club Manila East (CME) in Taytay, Rizal province. It was a Sunday, our travel time was less than an hour, Makati to C5 to Cainta to Taytay. It was a nice place. Entrance fee is P375 for adults and children, babies free entrance.

This is the view from the top of the winding slide. The cordoned area on the right is where one will splash from the slide.

The main attraction of CME is this -- the kiddie pool. It's wide, lots of water fountains, deepest part is probably only 1 1/2 feet. There's an artificial waterfalls, and a small, short slide for toddlers and children. My two young girls enjoyed this part a lot.

Lower photos are the trees, shaded area in front of this kiddie pool. Going towards the slide and swimming pool for adults.

The covered or shaded pool for adults. Lower photos, the lower tower where the zip line ends. I don't know how much is the fee for the zip ride, I did not try it.

View from the kayak area, it's wide. Kayak ride is free, it's part of the entrance fee.

The main attraction for adults in CME are these artificial waves area. They have two or three. The waves are huge, they offer surfing lessons. I heard it's P1,500 for the lectures plus two hours actual ride on the waves.

Lower photos, left side of this huge wave area, there is another artificial water falls. Right side is purely for surfing students. See the note. 

Additional photos. Upper right is where my two girls enjoyed the waves in the morning. In the afternoon, this place is closed and CME turned on the waves in the second, much larger wave area.

Lower photos, the four-storey cubicles for day time guests, and the higher tower where the zip ride starts.

I will post photos of my two girls and wife in my next blog entry.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mayflower Renaissance Hotel, Washington DC

I stayed in this hotel for four days and three nights, November 9 to 12, 2009, when I attended the Atlas Freedom Dinner to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and hence, the collapse of communism in Europe. The Atlas Economic Research Foundation organized the event and they -- through Dr. Jo Kwong, then VP of Atlas -- gave me a travel grant as I was one of the panel speakers on Day 2. I first wrote about this hotel on my first night there, Mayflower hotel, Washington DC, November 09, 2009. I posted only three photos there.

Posting only now the four other photos I took. Upper right photo below is from the web, the rest are my old camera phone, which has already retired. These are the exteriors of the hotel. Lower right photo is the hotel lobby. It is a famous hotel in DC.

From upper left, clockwise: the corridor leading to my room, fascinating; my bed, very comfy; TV and the wall mirror; and my work area.

My total travel time, from the time I entered Manila airport to the time I got out of the Reagan airport, was probably about 25 hours. Delta Air's route: Manila-Narita-Detroit-Reagan/DC, I changed plane three times and had several hours waiting at Tokyo-Narita and Detroit. But despite those long hours of travel, I think I hardly slept on my first night as I was busy replying to emails and facebook to some of my Filipino friends in the US whom I did inform beforehand that I would be going to the US again.

That was my third trip to the US that year, my "record". I was in NYC in early March that year for the Heartland Institute's 2nd ICCC, then to Los Angeles a month after for the Atlas Liberty Forum, also sponsored by Atlas.

My special thanks again to Dr. Jo Kwong. She has left Atlas in 2010.

Friday, August 24, 2012

ArtEconomics, September 18, 2012

For lovers of the arts and painting, here is a good chance to pick really wonderful artworks from 20 different artists. Just look at the design below, really creative and artistic.

The event will actually run for a week, the 18th is only the opening of the exhibit. This is a fund raising activity  for my alma mater, the University of the Philippines School of Economics (UPSE), initiated by the UPSE Alumni Association. I finished my AB Economics and Diploma in Development Economics from this school.

Here are more details, released today:

Over 125 Artworks, 20 Artists Featured

The UP School of Economics Alumni Association (UPSEAA) announced today the launching of ARTECONOMICS, a major fundraising effort for the benefit of the Jose P. Encarnacion Endowment Fund for Faculty Development and for the UPSEAA Scholarship Fund.  ARTECONOMICS, an art exhibit is slated to open on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at Galerie Joaquin Main in P. Guevarra st., Addition Hills, San Juan and runs until September 25, 2012.

Over 125 paintings and sculptures from more than twenty top modern and contemporary artists will be featured in the project. The artworks are by renowned artists such as National Artist Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, National Artist Arturo Luz, National Artist Abdul Mari Imao, Presidential Medal of Merit awardee Juvenal Sanso, sculptors Ramon Orlina and Glenn Cagandahan, modern masters Angelito Antonio, Mario Parial, and senior artists Lydia Velasco, Carlo Magno and Dominic Rubio. Other artists are Jerry Morada, Vincent de Pio, Aileen Lanuza, Karina Baluyut, Aldrino Abes, Jovan Benito and many more.

UPSEAA hopes this will be a welcome opportunity for its alumni and friends of the alumni to acquire good quality art and at the same time be able to help their alma mater.

A website, will be available for this project by the first week of September.  Before that, the organizing committee of ARTECONOMICS will be sending images of the selected artworks as they become available via email and Facebook.

Various methods of payment are available to interested alumni and alumni friends. These can be via credit card, PAYPAL, check, telegraphic transfer or cash. Installment plans via accredited credit card companies can also be availed of.  Even foreign based alumni and alumni friends can participate in this project and avail of any of the artworks offered. Shipment arrangements can be done by UPSEAA and the cooperating gallery. Interested parties can reserve or acquire the artworks as soon as the images become available 


As for me, I don't have sufficient wealth to purchase possibly any of the paintings there, but I will attend the opening of the exhibit on the 18th. Please pass the info to your friends, whether they are UP alumni or not.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Elle Marie in Negros Occ.

Elle Marie is the 8th grandchild of my parents. We are five siblings and all of us have kids, between one to three. As my two girls are growing up, my parents are getting older and weaker. Our house is in a barrio about four kilometers away from Cadiz City proper, Negros Occidental. Cadiz City is 62 kilometers north of Bacolod City, the provincial capital.

These two pictures were taken April 2010 or more than two years ago. Elle was 3 1/2 years old then. She had that always smiling, always laughing face, beside Lolo Ben and Lola Consuelo. My parents were relatively healthy that time too, it was nice.

These photos were taken on April 2009 or more than three years ago. My wife, Ella (white shirt) was about three months pregnant at that time for Bien Mary. The girl beside my Mama is my elder sister, Manang Lilibeth and the girl beside Elle is my niece, Lois Oplas, the daughter of my younger brother, Bobong.

Lower photo, Marvien, holding my mother, is Manang Bebeth's only son.

Here, Elle sat on a truck that hauls sucarcane. Also her first experience to hold a sugarcane. And she enjoyed playing with my parents' two dogs.

When we were young, we would enter a sugarcane farm almost anytime we want and get some cane to munch. A sugarcane field was just about 15 meters away from our house.

I got a temporary playmate for Elle in our 2D/2N stay at that time. The two children are real barrio folks, but at least the girl could read some English sentences. But Elle would go out to look for the two dogs and play with them.

Below, upper left photo, with Tita Gemma, the wife of her Tito Bobong, and Lois. The two girls here are my niece, Krizza and Nessa. Their father, our eldest in the family, Manong Nestor, died of prostate cancer more than five years ago due.

Lower photos, with her Tita Bebeth. Manang Bebeth has a flower garden beside our house, Elle enjoyed picking up different flowers from it.

Below, after her Santakrusan parade in Lapaz, Iloilo last May this year, Elle and I crossed the sea and we went again to my parents' house in Cadiz. Elle here posing beside a sugarcane farm. Upper right, Elle posed with Joshua, the son of our helper in Manila, their Ate Cheche. Elle and Joshua are of same age. Here, Elle was playing with a puppy.

Lower photos, Elle tried to help her Lolo Ben tilling a small vegetable plot behind our house.  My Papa was planting some tomatoes and other vegetables in these small plots.

Elle seemed to have enjoyed touching the soil that morning. That was several hours before we would go to the airport for our flight back to Manila. 

My younger brother, Bobong, the sleeveless guy standing in lower photos. Final photo ops before we boarded the car that would bring us to the airport.

More photos: with Lolo Ben, then Tita Beth and Ate Lois, they brought us to Silay-Bacolod airport for our flight back to Manila. Elle with her weak Lola Consuelo.

The masks are inside the Silay-Bacolod airport, Elle tried one just for fun. The famous annual fiesta in Bacolod is called the Maskara festival, done during October I think.

I told my Mama to hang on as we will visit them again, either this October or December. I will bring along Bien Mary.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Radisson Narita Hotel, Part 2

Nope, I did not go to Radisson Narita twice. I went there only once for an overnight stay last May 25, 2010. See my earlier posting, why I and other Delta Airline passengers stayed there that night, Radisson hotel, Narita,

Rather, I am posting here some photos which I did not include in the earlier posting. Some photos though were reposted here. Below, the hotel lobby, the big restaurant adjacent to the lobby.

Nice ceiling design. Although we arrived at the hotel late that evening, and we have to wake up early the next day to resume our Tokyo-Manila flight, it was nice to roam around the hotel. Lower left photo, the elevator's ceiling. It looks weird but imaginative.

Ahh, the most important of all, my bed. Really nice. And my work table, with free fast internet connection. The toilet is high tech, Push button to wipe your a__, can choose cold or warm water to sprinkle and clean it.

 The lawn outside the lobby, cool. Lower photo, that's the view outside my room.  I think those were greenhouse or hydroponic farms.

Japan is nice and very clean. But everything is expensive. Lucky that we paid nothing for that overnight stay with buffet breakfast, and free airport-hotel-airport transfer. One of those things why being stuck in a foreign land because your airplane has suffered some mechanical troubles and cannot fly can be a blessing.

Lead Team Get Together with Gov. Butch

Yesterday, we had a small get together of former Lead Presidents, RY 2006-2006 of RI District 3830. Modest reunion, we just met at Starbucls in Fully Booked, Bonifacio High Street, Fort Global City in Taguig.  It was a nice occasion. The last time we had a get together was last December, our former Gov. Butch Francisco treated us to watch "The Sound of Music" play at the Resort World, near the airport terminal 3. I did not write a blog article about it. My last blog post about our Lead reunions was in February 2009, there were many of us then, about 40. See photos and story here,  "Sea bass regal and a fellowship",

One of our group photos before Gov. Butch arrived (above) and with him (below). Standing from let to right: Classmates Patty Naoe, Edwin Afzelius, Lilibeth dela Cruz, Charlie Fuentes, Palmy Layug, Palmy's wife Nini, Rose Acoba, me. Sitting from left: Archie Jimenez, Amore Isip, Fely Rosales, Luz Reyes, Barbie Rivadeniera.

Above, the three right most: Maling Francisco (Gov Butch's wife), Maling Mom, and Gov. Butch.

Among the big revelations yesterday was classmate Inky Reyes' really slim look (upper left photo, white shirt). He used to be fat and bulky. He must have lost at least 50 lbs since many months ago. I kidded him that his house must have been severely flooded recently that he was not able to eat for three days or more. He said he was gulping this particular enzyme that really enhances the body's metabolism, so that almost no fat is  stored even after eating lots of food.

Pa-cute, hehe. Beside Tess. Tess is a medico legal at MMC. Said she does not know how to facebook, haha. 

When Gov. Butch came, he invited us to a nearby resto, also at the 3rd floor of Fully Booked, The White Hat resto. Nice place, not crowded unlike Starbucks.

Gov. Butch ordered many food at The White Hat. Yummy yummy. More chika-han. 

I left about 7pm, had to go to the MOA signing, my club's sisterhood partnership with RC Diliman North of RI D3780, near Pantranco, Quezon City.

Thanks for the endless good camaraderie, classmates. Thanks for organizing the get together, classmate Rose Acoba. Thanks for the nice food, Gov. Butch.

It's unfortunate that two of our classmates in the District have already joined our creator. Emil Sanglay and Lorenz Tato. Lorenz died only last month of a heart attack.

One more reason why I join reunion with various friends whenever my time would allow. We don't know who will be gone next.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Kimberly Clarke, Tagaytay

These pictures I took last July 21, 2010. Nope, I did not stay in this hotel, I attended one meeting by the DOH Advisory Council meeting that day. Since it was my first time to see that hotel, I went there.

It's beautiful. It's not most of those hotels in Tagaytay fronting Taal Lake though. Perhaps about two kilometers from the highway with overlooking view of the lake.

Spacious lobby, cool. Since this is Tagaytay, no need for an aircon in the lobby, the wind is cool enough outside and inside the hotel lobby.

Nice swimming pool too. But on a July, rainy season, few would bother to dip into the pool, Perhaps at noontime.

And nice, wide children's playground farther out. I remember they were expanding the adjoining areas of the playground.

That was two years ago. Perhaps this area is a lot wider now. Have not gone back to the place since then.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Elle Marie and Bien Mary Oplas

After the solo shots of Bien and Elle, here now are the photos of them together.

At St. Scholastica's Manila, during Elle's 2-weeks summer class three months ago. Bien would join me in picking up her sister after classes. Bien would run and shout "Ate, Ate" when she saw Elle coming out.

Various places.

Hugging time.

More hugs. Middle photos, Elle after her ballet class at CCP.

Bien just a few months old, Elle was an enthusiastic Ate.

Bien less than one year old here.

More photos in the coming days.

Some Olympic Moments

These are among the brilliant photos that I chose from Reuters, during the recent London Olympics,

A Spanish synchro swimming team, a US gymnast on a balance beam.

The agony of defeat. A German weightlifter, the pain of a punch.

A rhythmic gymnast, wrestlers inflicting pain on each other's legs, and mouth.

A souvenir photo of boxing technical staff, they're all floored :-).  And finally, a full moon completing the Olympic logo. Very creative.

The old adage, all pain, all glory. Cheers to all competitive athletes around the world.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Rotary Donations After Manila Flooding

Our Rotary Club of Taguig Fort Bonifacio (RI District 3830), through the efforts of President Rose Antonio, partnered with RC Makati President Reuben Valerio, in distributing food items to victims of flooding in Lower Bicutan, Taguig City, last Friday, August 10.

From left: RC Makati President Reuben Valerio, clubmate Carmen Penalosa, Rose's son, President Rose, me, clubmate Eric Lucero, and Past District Governor (PDG) Sid Garcia. Most of these photos are from President Rose's camera.

It was my first visit to the RC Makati building actually and I was impressed. Nice, clean building, with a good garden and wide parking lot at the back. It is located in Camia Street, Barangay Guadalope Viejo, Makati. At the back of Metro Club in Rockwell, and just beside the Barangay Hall and Health Center. The tall buildings of Rockwell Center behind the parking lot are not far.

Had a short chat with President Reuben. He said that for their club, money was not a problem as they received lots of cash donations from club members, also from their brother clubs abroad. District Governor-Elect (DGE) Robert Kuan for instance, who is also one of their clubmates, eceived a call from his classmate DGE from an RI District in Taiwan and asked how things are in the country. His classmate simply donated $5,000 just for the relief-donations. Cool.

There were four of us from our club, plus President Rose's son and driver. This is her pick up, full of food items for distribution. Eric's car is nice here, small but full of items for donation. I hitched a ride with him.

This is the small village in Lower Bicutan that we visited. The floodwater has not receded yet, two days after the heavy rains have stopped. Lower photo, these children are in danger of getting leptospirosis and other water-borne diseases as the water is muddy and dirty.

A short but orderly line of people, mostly mothers, came in front of the pick up. No disorder, people just lined up, got the food packages, and walked away.

The Barangay Health Worker (BHW), a city hall employee assigned to barangays to provide health and sanitation programs and services, estimated that there were less than 100 households in this area. The food packages we brought were just enough for them. Plus extra food packages for other affected families outside of this small village, delivered at the BHW office.

We were done distributing the goods in about 20 minutes. Thanks to my club, thanks to Rotary Club of Makati. We have done our small share in helping the flood affected families.

Our District 3830 through the untiring efforts of District Governor Sue Sta. Maria, also conducted various relief and charity work in other parts of Metro Manila and neighboring provinces. Before the new round of heavy rains last Wednesday afternoon, I delivered some used clothes and shoes to the District drop off point in Crown Tower, HV dela Costa, Makati.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Fun Photos: Skylab Motorcycles

Funny or entertaining photos here, of different motorcycles in the Philippines. I think some of these are from other countries.

Happy weekend.