Saturday, March 28, 2015

Staycation Ideas for the Holy Week

For those planning on staying at home for the long weekend, here are some suggestions for you to still feel relaxed yet productive at the same time.

1. De-clutter. The feeling of accomplishment I experience every time my closet and other cabinets have been recently decluttered is priceless. My stuff look fresh, my closets are more organized, and I have things to donate.

2. Rotate your kids' stuff. This is the best time to keep those countless books and toys that your children no longer find fun to play with, and the time to bring out the "new" toys you've been putting off letting them use. Rotation indeed does wonders. They find it fun to see old toys in a different light.

3. Movie Marathon. Watch movies online, or download them, or buy/borrow DVDs. Time to catch up on those TV Series your friends have been talking about!

4. Try out new dishes. Either you cook your old specialties, or try out new recipes.

5. Put away your child's books from the previous schoolyear. And donate them to those in need.

6. Clean up your computer. Uninstall those apps you no longer use, declutter your hard drive, and organize those files.

7. Do some gardening. My husband's been wanting to start a pocket garden for the longest time. I wonder if he'd do it this year.

8. Bond with your kids. Play games, bake, have a musical afternoon, read stories, go to the neighborhood playground. The possibilities abound!

9. Catch up on your friends' lives. Either through facebook, or give them a call. Know what's going on in each other's lives.

10. Do a spring cleaning. Or for Filipinos, we call it "general cleaning." Time to clean those electric fans, the aircon filter, change bedsheets and curtains, clean up the attic, throw away those unused shoes and maybe even repair those furnitures!

11. Make some memories. Have those millions of photos printed and face your photo album backlogs. In my case, I bought vouchers online for our family travel pictures.

12. Be techie, make videos for the family. With more time now, you can try your hand at putting up and editing your family travel and events videos. It's fun to share them on social media, too.

13. Most importantly, pray and reflect. Read the Bible and know what God wants to let you know. Start a Gratitude Jar, or a Gratitude Journal and be thankful for what you are blessed with. Have unhurried Devotional Times and bask in the presence of God.

14. Plan your Easter Sunday family party. Or prepare contents for the plastic eggs for your kids' Easter Egg Hunt!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Revisiting Hinulugang Taktak

My mom wanted to go somewhere last Sunday. But because we had little time after the church service and the usual Sunday malling, we decided to go up Antipolo. Hinulugang Taktak was the decided upon destination.

Ever since I was a child, I've been familiar with the song Tayo Na Sa Antipolo, where Hinulugang Taktak was mentioned many times. But honestly, I've never been there. My mom though said they've brought me there as a child, but I really don't remember. Anyway, I've been hearing about how poorly maintained it's been so I wasn't looking forward to visiting. I googled about it, though and learned that it's been declared National Park a few years back and that it's been rehabilitated and managed well again.

Trek to Antipolo we went Sunday afternoon. It's only a few minute-drive from Ortigas, but I don't think public transportation can access this road leading to the famous waterfall.

There is no entrance fee. Guests just need to register at the gate, including name address and age. There are quite a few steep steps that senior citizens might not find comfortable. There's a ramp though but it's quite steep and narrow as well.

For my daughter to see a real waterfall for the first time was momentous. She even asked it it's God-made or man-made.

Now I would say the gushing of the water and the sound of it MUST be wonderful... however, the malansa smell somehow ruins the experience. We did have our photos taken with the waterfall as the background, but we were hurrying to get done with the pictorial because the stench somehow gets into our tummies.

There's an adult and kiddie pool that, I may say looks nice and clean. But because it's open to the public, it can it get too crowded and well, "not clean" right away. There are no vendors inside except for the few chips being sold at the gate. There's an ice cream vendor at the entrance and another lady who sells suman and cashew nuts.

For those who want to stay longer have a picnic, there are a lot of cottages and areas where you can place your mats to relax. All in all, our visit didn't quite last long. It only took us less than an hour for strolling and picture taking.

To complete the experience, we had halo-halo in Antipolo proper and bought suman and roasted cashew nuts.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Celebrating Art in Island

Welcome to the newest art museum in the city! Art in Island in Cubao started operations only on December 25, 2014 yet it's become a popular destination among family and friends. Art in Island is actually a two-storey building along 15th Avenue, Brgy Socorro, Cubao Quezon City. It's right behind Cubao Expo. If you are familiar with Ali Mall, it is only within the vicinity.

Imagine a building loaded with 3d paintings that "come to life." Have your photos taken with these works of art as background and you look like part of the paintings themselves. Okay, I can't give justice to the paintings with my description... so let me just share some of our pictures.

Art in Island is open daily and the entrance fee is P500 for adults and P400 for kids (present student ID). If it is your birthday (not birth month) you get inside for free. Allow at least 2 and a half hours inside to really enjoy the place and pictorial.

Some tips:

By the way, shoes are not allowed inside so I suggest baon a pair of socks. You may go barefoot but the cement floor's kinda cold. try not to bring a huge bag because they can get in the way of the photo session. A slim slingbag will do. But if you really have to, like for mommies of toddlers who have to bring their diaper bags, better leave them in the car, or at the deposit counter at the lobby.

Monopods and tripods are not allowed. Make sure you check out the stickers on the floor that tell you the best angle to take the pictures. There are also sample poses on the walls but it's always better if you get more creative with your originals.

Be conscious of your framing. Avoid the ceilings and the people/bags/paintings around, to achieve more authentic-looking photos.

Try not to pick a fight with other guests as the place can get crowded on weekends and taking photos can be such a challenge for those who, like me, are a bit impatient with those who take so much time before leaving a particular scenery.