Saturday, May 29, 2010

And The Answer Is… And The Winners Are…

To all well wishers, commenters and just plain lurkers, I thank you for your untiring visits. To those who didn’t get the answer or too lazy to even try solving the puzzle, here’s the solution:

From my comment page, you’ll think that ever of Pamatay Homesick was the first commenter to get the answer right. That’s what I thought too until I opened my email’s inbox and read this:

The email came from atticus of Tales of a Backpacker. And if you looked at the email’s date and time stamp, she was clearly the first to solve the puzzle.

For the second slot, I gathered all the correct answers (sorted in order of comment) and they are:

1. ever of Pamatay Homesick
2. sheng of Anything goes…
3. Ms.Jo of Wits and Nuts
4. Pope of Palipasan

Using a small program I made, I called Random Generator, the result of the raffle and the winner is… (drum roll) number 2!!

Congratulations to atticus and sheng.

I thank those who participated and to those who didn’t make it, better luck next time.

Monday, May 24, 2010

2nd Anniversary Special

I should have done this last April when my blog turned another year old. But because I was on vacation and busy doing other things beside blogging, it was delayed for a month.

Anyway, would you like to see yourself in cartoon form, like my picture in the sidebar? All you have to do is solve this puzzle.

Hint: The truth lies underneath ("pick" the image to enlarge).

As simple as that. Cut-off time will be 4 days from today. I’ll gather all the correct answers and pick the winner by using a simple random program. The lucky winner may send his/her picture to my email address ( And please include a sentence or two, telling me something about yourself (like your profession or hobby). Just to make the cartoon look interesting.

Good luck!

Just to be fair, I'll pick two winners. The first commenter to solved it will take one slot. And the rest who also guessed correctly will be raffled in my random program and will get the last slot.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Our Hectic Summer Vacation (Part II)

Not all our vacation was spent on shopping, complaining about airline policy and the sweltering summer heat. To get them off my back, I agreed to my wife’s suggestion to enroll our daughter on a ballet class. I’m not expecting she’ll dance like Lisa Macuja. But it’s a good way to spend her extra energy. Besides, I don’t like my wife and daughter bothering me while I attend on some matters regarding my parents’ estate.

As usual, my wife took photos. She wants to document every stage of my daughter’s formative years.

The class includes callisthenic and stretching exercises. But being over-weight, her teachers have to assist her in some of their work-outs.

Ballet supposes to teach children balance and poise. But losing extra two pounds in three weeks of class did her good.

To escape the summer heat, I made it a point to go somewhere during weekends to cool-off. Our usual destinations are the beach and swimming pools.

At Hawili beach with some cousins.

At Sampaguita compound (Precious Moments) with friends.

At a local hotel swimming pool.

Before we returned back, we went to Tagaytay with some friends from Riyadh.
We spent the whole day visiting all its scenic places. Actually the scenic views are the same. It’s all overlooking Taal Lake.

My daughter’s first horse back riding. She wasn’t afraid at all unlike other kids her age. In fact she enjoyed the ride, squealing in excitement all the way.

Well, so much for my vacation. Back to reality and will resume regular programming on my next post.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Our Hectic Summer Vacation (PAL-MALL Blues)

It was a long hot summer but a short vacation, in my assessment at least. It seems like yesterday I was packing and checking our baggage and travel documents. And in a snap, I’m sitting in front of my computer trying to summarize what I did in my 35 days of absence.

For sure, my wife and daughter have a swell time. Bea enjoyed it very much that she wants to stay in the Philippines nalang while wifey, I think, went to almost all the malls shopping until her feet hurts. She even made a last minute (hour?) side trip to MOA on the day of our departure back here.

Malls are basically alike in terms of products and entertainment offered. What makes them unique from one another is their architectural “set-up” and ambiance. Of the 2 or 3 malls I went to or tag along, Trinoma is the least “shopping-friendly” for first-timers like me. Unlike other malls which have maps that show which stores at what level and a big arrow that says “YOU ARE HERE”, Trinoma didn’t bother to put one. Atticus was right. You’ll get lost in that mall easily if you don’t have a GPS unit. I had to ask several security guards before I could meet my family in our rendezvous point. Don’t ask why but I hate to ask for direction.

We could buy all the things we need in one huge mall like MOA or Ayala Center in Makati where several malls are clustered together. But it took my wife four days and half a dozen malls to complete the items we need. Perhaps some items are cheaper in other stores but I find the difference negligible if compared to time wasted traveling from one mall to another. Not to mention the physical stress of carrying those blasted plastic bags. And if that isn’t enough, I find cashiers annoying when they keep asking if I have an “advantage” every time I pay for a merchandize. A negative response will surely elicit an “Ay sayang, hinde nyo ma-avail”. Advantage in what? Ma-avail ang ano? But I didn’t bother to ask those questions.

All these goods we bought surely put us in trouble with PAL. We choose PAL when we went home for the sole purpose of availing on their domestic connecting flight benefit. You see, international flight baggage is carried over on your domestic flight if you fly PAL in both flights regardless if the maximum weight allowed in domestic flights is only 20 kilos/person. But since our international flight’s ETA is one hour after the last domestic flight schedule to our hometown, our domestic flight was booked one day after we arrive. The problem starts when ground crew at the check-in counter won’t honor our connecting flight because it was booked the following day. They have this notion that domestic connecting flights should be in the same day as our international flight. I had to lodge my complain to their manager before they relented. The question is; what if that happened to another OFW who doesn’t have the tenacity, poorly informed or too meek to complain?

Another thing; we’re allowed 35 kilos/person in our flight from Riyadh to Manila. Logic dictates that the same benefit should also be applied in our return trip. But no, they only give 20 kilos/person (25 kilos max) on our return trip. Alangan namang iwan namin yung bagahe naming espesyal na daing at saba na saging. Fortunately, one passenger doesn’t have a baggage except for a hand-carried backpack and the check-in personnel was kind enough. He transferred our excess baggage to that person’s ticket. To that kindly personnel and fellow traveler, I give my deepest thank you.

Enough of my rants. Next time I’ll post good things naman about our vacation with matching pictures of course.