Monday, December 7, 2015


Hello everyone!  I know I have been neglecting this small space that I share with you all for almost a year now.  There's been a lot of things going on which I will be telling you soon. For now, I just want to say hello.  I hope the holiday season has not pushed you to edge of insanity...  I know it almost did for me.  It's crazy out there in the city jungle with all the Christmas shoppers.  Traffic is horrendous that my normal travel time of 30 minutes from my house to work is now 2 hours or more!

Insanity, I tell you!

Anyhow, hang in there, folks!  And hello from my side of the world. :)

Photo credits:

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Manila Ocean Park Tips

To add to our earlier post about the Manila Ocean Park, I am  giving you some tips for your visit.

Summer is definitely the best time to drop by if you are going to bring the family to the water park.  Because you can take them even on weekdays, the parks will not be as busy and jampacked as it normally is on weekends.  You can roam around freely and stay as much as you can.  There is no time limit. 

We were a party of twelve when we went there last Saturday, March 21st.  Days before that, I checked the park's website for special rates.  They have various promos which you can check out here.  I found the Summer Bundles affordable - you can even choose on the packages to get, depending on what you want to visit.

Taken from the Manila Ocean Park website

Because we were on tour with the kids and kids-at-heart, it was definitely a must to visit  Yexel's Toy Museum.  So I called the reservation office to see if they have other packages available.  I was able to talk to Renalie Lamboon, MOP Account Executive, who gave two packages to choose from.  I chose Package 2 that includes 9 attractions, including the toy museum, for just Php600. Definitely a good buy especially for a big group like ours! 

The nine attractions included are the following:
  • Ocenarium
  • Jellies Exhibit
  • Penguin Talk Show
  • Birds of Prey Kingdom
  • Sharks & Rays Dry Encounter
  • Trails of Antarctica
  • Fish Spa
  • Symphony Night Show
  • Yexel's Toy Museum
If you want to get the same package, you may get in touch with Renalie at +63906 467 2760 or at

Friday, March 27, 2015

Spending Time at Manila Ocean Park!

Hello everyone, I’m back with more pictures.  You missed me I’m sure.
What, no?  Not even a little bit?
Sad.  But that’s all right, because I’m not here today to talk about me.  Today I want to tell you about a trip I took with my family to a place called Manila Ocean Park.
Now if you live in Manila, chances are you already know what this place is.  For those of you who don’t, let me start off by showing you this:

Already you know it’s not a swimming pool, right?  And since I haven’t embedded a creepy audio file written by John Williams you’ve probably guessed it isn’t a movie studio, either.  Bravo. 
It’s actually an aquarium located on Manila Bay that’s full of fish and birds and mermaids and fountains and talking penguins.

Talking penguins, yes, you heard that right.  I’ll explain later.  For now, have a gander at what you’ll find should you decide to visit:

We walked around this place for half a day, and believe me, there was plenty to see.  Once inside, you will pay a brief visit to an office, where you’ll be given a sheet of tickets that get you into each of the individual attractions.  From there you make your way to each attraction in turn, in any order you like, and for as much time as you’d like.  My favorite was the Ice Village—because it was cold, man!  Below freezing cold.  I was finally home again, if only for a short while. 
(note:  we could not get pictures of this village, as the cold tends to frost over camera lenses)

As for the kids, they had other ways to define their fun.

These shots come from inside a museum dedicated to what I can only think of as movie pop culture.  What it’s doing at an ocean park I’m not too sure, but it is damned cool (check out Vader and those storm-troopers, all life-sized!). Naturally, the kids went nuts, especially for the superheroes and the minions.

By the time we left the museum it was nearing dark.  At seven p.m. we attended an outdoor light and fountain show, but on the way to that, there was the talking penguin.  There are no pictures of this oddity here, either, as the show took place inside a movie theater, where documentation with our gadgets would have been rude.  But let me explain it by saying that a cartoon penguin walks onto a movie screen and interacts with an audience of 100 people in real time.  How exactly this is done I’m not sure, but of course there is a guy sitting somewhere out of view, chattering away with his guests whilst the penguin makes appropriate gestures onscreen.  Again, the kids went nuts for this.  Portia even tells me it was her favorite part of the whole day.

If you’d like to see this place for yourself, you can find out how to get there by visiting the Manila Ocean Park homepage here.  It’s worth it, even with all the traffic you’ll fight.  For less traffic, try going on a weekday (of course), or rig a mini-gun on the hood of your car and watch ‘em all scatter when you squeeze the trigger!

Okay, ignore that latter suggestion.  I just got done watching the Machete trailer on Youtube and am feeling a little cheesy.  (Do NOT click that link if you are not old enough).

Getting back to the family fun, you’ll love this place if you love seeing your kids laugh and watching exotic fish of all types and sizes brood at you from behind thick aquarium glass.  Check it out.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Richwell Summer Kids Craze Haul

In my earlier post, I shared with you that Richwell Philippines is having a summer Kids Craze Sale happening on the second and third weekends of March 2015.

It was extremely difficult not to give in, since Pot's birthday was coming up.  She's been begging us to get her Shopkins (blame it on those Toy Review Channels in YouTube).  At first, I was against it because they are small but pricey little toys.  Alas, I couldn't anymore.

Pots and I traveled from Alabang to Quezon City on Saturday morning.  Since, my 5-year old was sleeping over my sister's house, we decided to just use public transportation.  Saturday traffic is always a pain.

So after more than an hour of traveling, Pots was shrieking at the lobby of the building all excited.  At first I told her that I was just visiting a friend... no toy store!  She didn't really say anything but you can see her eyes droop.  Imagine my delight when the elevator opened to a floor full of toys!

The reaction was priceless.  She was running around like a silly little hen!  We got what we came here for:


Monday, March 9, 2015

"Not Everything Rose Wants, Rose Gets"

... This is probably the best thing my grandmother has taught me when I was a little girl. 

Back then, I could not understand it. Why can't I watch TV when it was just a matter of a flick of a switch? Why can't we get the toy that I want when we can afford it? What's one more cookie when there's more than enough inside that jar? Why do we need to wash our clothes to get extra money?

Were the grown-ups at home just scrimping? Tipid-tipid? Maybe. More than anything though, it was because that's the best sword they can give us in life.

I can also imagine how difficult it was not to give in to us kids that asking for a lot of stuff. It surely is tempting these days to give what the kids whine about. 

Now that I have my own children, I understand better why I often heard that phrase - Not Everything Rose Wants, Rose Gets. It helped me allow for things to slide.  If things doesn't go according to plan, oh well.  As long as I tried, I'm often okay.  It saved me from a whole lot of heartaches and fights. It helped me accept.

I hope I can share the same with my girls.  The generation is a lot different now - it is the age of instant gratification.  To borrow a scene from Barbie and The Secret Door:

Video from YouTube:  Cartoon Arts DMH en

Here's hoping we parents find a healthy balance of giving and holding back.  They will thank us when they are older.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Richwell Sale 2015: Summer Kids Craze

If you are following Richwell Club on Facebook then you probably know that they are doing a Summer Kids Craze sale for two consecutive weekends this month!

Be it starting early on your Christmas shopping or just pure joy on giving in to your kids' indulgence, driving to their building in Quezon City is a must!

Toys like Monster High, Barbie, Hotwheels, MegaBloks, V-tech and the biggest collectible toy, Shopkins, can be bought on a discounted price.  Stylish clothes and shoes from Big & Small, Orange Juice, Barbie, Ollie among others will also be on sale!

Some of my affordable finds in my years of shopping in Richwell Prime's warehouse sale includes a stroller, a bike, a truckload of Barbie and Monster High dolls, V-tech toys for back when my girls were still babies, kids' story and activity books, a lot of clothes and shoes.

The sale will be for the next two weekends - March 13-15 and March 20-22! Discount ranges from 20% to 80%.

I am sure my almost 8-year old birthday will do anything to shop for Shopkins here.  It's great that they are including them this year considering they are hard-to-find in local toy stores.

Have fun shopping!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

*NEW!* Portia And Nemo Visit The Fun Ranch Playground!

Earlier today my kids went to a dentist in Alabang to get their teeth cleaned.  The experience turned out to be surprisingly brief and painless for them both; as a matter of fact, they thought it tickled.  This sure isn’t how it goes for an office visit in the United States, where dentists often chide their patients for having bad teeth and then proceed with at least an hour’s worth of drilling and picking and pulling.  A piece of advice for all Filipinos:  Do not go to a U.S. dentist unless there is sign on the door that promises No Judgments (you will find these if you’re willing to look just a little bit, trust me).

Oh...I can't wait to see what happens next.

As a treat for surviving the experience, my wife and I took them to a playground near Alabang Town Center mall called Fun Ranch and Big Red Barn.  This is a giant playground/restaurant-type place that kids beg their parents to take them because the pizza and ice tea are so good.  Rigghhht.

I just love the coloring paper