Archive for June, 2008

urban refuge at half the usual price

Posted in architecture, interior design, lifestyle, locales with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2008 by mijodo


There are days and times when you need to get a place that has all the essential elements of being like home but will not be costly on a daily basis. I then humbly present  to you my family’s little refuge that has been leased out by foreign guests at times for months.

Our place is a little bigger than the usual hotel unit, and has its own kitchen area where the microwave oven can be put into good use. There is also a set of tableware which you can utilize on the marble tabletop that can seat four people. And or course the area has the usual split type airconditioning, refrigerator, cable television, and heated shower.

The place is not in the most fashionable area (and not even in a fantastic building). Our place is near the corner of Roces Avenue and Quezon Boulevard. But it has access to many points as my unit is just 20 steps away from the main artery (Quezon Boulevard) of Quezon City. One can go to Trinoma and SM North, Quiapo, Cubao and MRT Station using public transportation. You may want to enjoy the night life near the area such as in Timog and Morato Avenues. Laugh your blues away at the comedy bars along Quezon Boulevard and Timog Avenue or go gaga over Pinoy stars at the nearby ABSCBN.

There is a variety of food that you can have downstairs. One can have the usual fast food stuff with Jollibee, Dunkin Donuts and Chowking nearby. But you can also have carinderia fare such as karekare, menudo, adobo or kaldereta at extremely low prices such that there is no need to cook food at all. There are 24/7 groceries even like 7-Eleven and the newly opened Ever Store just steps away. Of course, there is a laundry shop, like Metropole beside the building.

All of these and more at less than half the cost of the usual hotel price. For inquiries such as price and how to go there, please call or text me at 0917-8339894 or at 4180776.

You may want to check this unit as well:

Bonus: For minimum 10 consecutive nights check in, you are entitled to a P500 discount once you purchase an Urbanities Lifestyle Laptop Bag.


Posted in locales, nature, people with tags , , , , , , on June 23, 2008 by mijodo

They say “butterflies are free.”  I say “butterflies are fleeting.”

As I took pictures of many of these butterflies at the World of Butterflies at Marikina Heights, Marikina City, I thought that I could take photographs of them in flight. Alas, I was not able to. They glided from one leaf to another, and then they fluttered from one plant to another. They maneuvered themselves such that my camera just could not be fast enough to focus. Of course I tried to do multiple consecutive shots, yet I was just not able to predict their flight path. Thus if I was able to take good shots of them staying in one place for more than a second, it could be precious.

Mr. Fabrial Tayag, breeder and guide of the said center, commented that many of the butterflies, after going through the stages of eggs, larva, and pupa, live only for just weeks (as short as two weeks even).  He added that the male adults die upon mating, while the females reach death upon laying eggs. I am not quite sure about the veracity of his claims, but it only shows how these beautiful creatures are truly ephemeral. Butterflies just come and go to make our world a little more colorful, a little more wonderful. The trouble though one has to be fast enough to capture their beauty.

the flag to its nation

Posted in artifacts, events, locales, people with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2008 by mijodo
Author’s note: I am featuring an article I had done for the new website, (  I hope the readers here enjoy my other articles and the other articles written by my fellow writers in the said site.
The flag was just not cooperating. I was about to take this supposedly great picture for Philippine Independence Day, but the flag was too lifeless to create a searing picture that could stir up one’s patriotic fervor. Alas the wind  was not helping.
As it has been told, ours is the only National Flag that can convey that the nation is at war. Once the flag is hoisted having the red horizontal band as its upper part, then war is declared with another state such as when the Commonwealth was against the Axis Nations, like Japan during World War II (1941-1944). The red is known to mean courage while the blue section – peace and unity.
But in relatively calmer times, it has been a rallying point to many Filipinos, most specially in international sports and competitions. The victorious boxer drapes himself  in a cloth that had been  created originally by Marcella Agoncillo for Emilio Aguinaldo’s Declaration of Independence from Spain (1898). The Filipino audience sees the blue and the red, and claps for the new hero that has just made the whole islands of  Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao proud as symbolized by the three stars in the white triangle part of the Flag.
In modern history, the flag has been used to bear witness in creating social changes either made in peaceful revolutions or tempestuous conflicts. The need for reforms is made more consequential, once the National Hymn or even Bayan Ko is performed in public gatherings such as in EDSA or secret hideaways in the boondocks and hills of the provincial areas . Afterall, the flags eight rays of the sun represent the first eight provinces that revolted for independence in 1896. These were Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pampanga, Bulacan, Cavite , Batangas, Laguna, and Manila .
But to the youngster, it is where they make their solemn pledge of allegiance or “Panatang Makabayan” on a daily basis. After reciting a daily prayer to his Creator, the school kid stands up erect in front of the waving flag and makes the oath to be the good citizen that is expected of him by his family, his school, and his government.  And the flag’s emblematic sun shows how the Filipinos have shone through to build progress for their nation despite the incredible odds and chaos through the years.
And to just instill life to the flag for the photoshoot, I asked my assistants to toss the flag a little bit. Let their hands be the propeller of action to the almost motionless nation flag. Lo and behold, with the help too of nature’s wind, the flag started to undulate and reveal its glory.  The flag was able to make its own dance – carefree and confident. The Philippine flag was already ready for its own close-up.

paradigm shift

Posted in lifestyle, locales, people with tags , , , , , , on June 16, 2008 by mijodo

After 25 years of creating tresses in Metro Manila, Mr. Mhel Quita has chosen to settle in the swanky part of Sta. Rosa, Laguna, particularly in Paseo De Sta. Rosa with his salon, Paradigm. Effortlessly, the hair wizard makes the already beautiful ladies of Laguna and Tagaytay become even more exciting, even more stunning. With his expertise, Mr. Quita has developed a loyal set of clientele that makes his salon very popular, particularly during Saturdays and Sundays despite the high-priced services. Many habitues, both in Sta. Rosa and Tagaytay seek out Mhel’s personal hair treatment as part of their weekend vacation habit.

And in coming months, Paradigm will even switch gears by getting a bigger and better place in the vicinity, as the salon creates more superstar hairstylists, only Mr. Mhel can develop. To avail of the salon’s services, please call (049)5440394, and look for its able manager, Tony.



creating the patriot

Posted in artifacts, events with tags , , , , on June 12, 2008 by mijodo

Happy Independence Day.

In a recent visit to Banaue, while my companions and I were at Banuae Hotel, just languidly waiting our time for departure to Manila, in its main hall, there was a curious assembly of public school teachers from many parts of the Philippines. Apparently, the mentors had a one week seminar on how to create national pride in their students, particularly when the students sing the National Anthem and recite the Panatang Makabayan. During that time, the teachers had to sing the anthem properly (and in tune). Also they were tasked to create ways on how to propagate love for country among the young students.

I could not believe it. I was elated.  Yes, it was the teachers themselves who gave much time for this extra work when they were supposed to be enjoying still their own summer vacations. Moreover, the participants themselves even paid for their own accommodation in Banaue’s poshest place. The teachers needed to prepare a big budget for this vacation seminar, I presume.  Thus, it was sadly expected that many other teachers had not been able to come because of the added expense on them.  Just the same, hurray for all the coordinators and teachers for their deep concern about how to encourage patriotism for this nation.

More specially now, that many don’t even get to sing the exact lyrics of our National Anthem. Not even those professional singers who miserably bang up “Bayang Magiliw” just before a special boxing fight, featuring Filipino pugilists-heroes. Thus embarrassingly, the following day, these singers have become side stories themselves in the newspapers’ front pages.

a lookback at an academic familiar

Posted in architecture, artifacts, events, locales with tags , , , , , , , on June 9, 2008 by mijodo

It is school opening once more. And with the tight economic squeeze, many are just lucky to be still at school.  Even luckier are those who get to be students of the University of the Philippines. As most Filipinos know, UP gives out subsidies or even free tuition to many worthy individuals. And some of the scholar graduates have already become superstar stalwarts in many different fields, and yet many have chosen to quietly give back to society  – somehow what the University has been encouraging its graduates to do. Some have even opted to work for government and non-government organizations and get paid measely.

I was part of this institution, specifically, UP Diliman for many years – as undergraduate and graduate student of Psychology.  And pretty much everyday, I would passby the iconic sculpture and architectural masterpiece that would welcome all students, teachers, personnel and visitors, getting into this esteemed learning institution at Quezon City.

Admittedly,  just like, I guess, many of the UP scholars, I would take for granted what seems to be familiar to many Filipinos – the UP Oblation and the Quezon Hall created by National Artists, Guillermo Tolentino and Architect Juan Nakpil, respectively. My own personal recollection about this area is limited to me buying my “sablay” in one of those cubicle offices at the basement of Quezon Hall for my Masters graduation, and drinking some Cali Shandy (still remember that) at night with some classmates at the footsteps of the same hall, after a crazy Statistics examination.

As the whole University of the Philippines Community celebrates its Centennial, I make my own little ode through these images to an academic familiar, symbolic of a special place that has given so much to me.


let’s play ball

Posted in locales, sports with tags , , , , on June 5, 2008 by mijodo


Summer of 2008 has ended. And usually it is in summer when many of the kids participate wholeheartedly in games and sports. But instilling discipline among the youth should be a never ending affair. And what city in Metro Manila aspires for more control and regulation but in Marikina where present MMDA chief, Bayani Fernando had started to make his presence felt as then strict city mayor.  Now it is his wife, Marides who continues the reputation of Marikina being a very orderly city. And this kind of discipline is carried through in the Marikina Sports Center where the youth can flex their muscles, challenge their abilities yet have fun being in sports. Again, even when it is not summer.


Posted in architecture, artifacts, locales with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2008 by mijodo

I have been to Iloilo many times, yet know so little of it. Since it is my parents’ province, I only get to be there usually during their town fiestas which limit my visits to meeting relatives and playing some mahjong. But the last time I went to this Southern province, I insisted to see places I have never been to. Instead of being chauferred driven, I asked my cousin to take me to some of the famed churches of Iloilo using public transportation. (There is nothing like using jeepneys and buses to know intimately a place.)

Thus after an early morning flight, we were off to one of the most precious spots of Iloilo, the church of Sto. Tomas de Villanueva of Miag-ao. At first glance,  the whole church seemed to be covered in chalk dust – yellow chalk dust.  Apparently, thick slabs of yellow sandstone have been used to create the church which acted also as a fortress from year 1797. Somehow the architecture looks unique, particularly when other Philippine churches try to reach the skies; this time, the Miag-ao Church squats on its own hugeness.

But still the whole edifice albeit short is imposing and regal. With the two bell towers, flanking the main part on each side, the image turns into something else. It is as if the church could be used as someone’s throne. Now, maybe my comment is too much of a hyperbole. Or maybe i am just a little stoned.