Category Archives: Family

Hello Canada! – Golden Princess Cruise Day 7

We spent most of our 7th day on the ship since we weren’t scheduled to arrive in Canada until later that evening. To keep us occupied, we checked out the different on board activities that the crew had prepared.  We saw that there was an outlet sale at the Bernini Dining Hall so we went to check it out



I mostly looked around but didn’t end up buying anything. My parents bought a couple of souvenirs.

After this, we decided to head over to the Princess Theater where the Head Chef and Maitre D’ were holding a cooking demonstration to promote the ship’s cookbook.



They put on an entertaining show because the Maitre D’ kept teasing the Head Chef during the demonstration. The chef seemed seemed like a really serious person and the Maitre D’ made it his mission to get a rise out of him


After demonstrating a few of their recipes, they called the waiting staff up on stage to introduce them. Jerome, our waiter at the Canaletto Dining Hall, was there too of course.  When the show was over, we were invited to take a tour of the ship’s kitchen.




Very clean, as expected.  I was hoping to see a bunch of cooks preparing food but the kitchen was pretty empty during the tour.  We mostly just looked at the equipment they used.   However, they did have a few culinary art on display



 Check out the details on this watermelon rose



When the tour was over, we made our way back to our rooms to rest


At 6pm, all the passengers who were asked to obtain a Canadian Visa were asked to gather at Vista Lounge .  A Canadian Visa was one of the requirements for this tour since a stop in Victoria was part of the itinerary.  It didn’t matter if you planned on staying on the ship during the stopover, you still needed to have a Canadian Visa because they check everyone’s passports during Day 1.


The reason we were asked to gather at the lounge was to make it easier for the Canadian immigration officers.  The process was simple but it took a while.  We were there for about 3 hours before we were allowed to leave.  After making it through immigration, we gathered at the Princess Theater for our tour of the Butchart Gardens



We signed up for two tours that day, but they had to cancel the Butterfly Garden tour since we were a little behind schedule.  We were reimbursed of course, but it’s still a shame since we really wanted to see it.



 Hello Canada!

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Totem Poles in Ketchikan, Alaska – Golden Princess Cruise Day 6

On our 6th day in Alaska, we explored Ketchikan, AKA The Salmon Capital of the World:



Like the newsletter tells us, Ketchikan is a great place to see authentic totem poles, so we signed up for a tour to the Totem Bight State Park.



 We debated on whether to see the Lumberjack show too, but we figured one tour was enough for the day


 We were fortunate enough to find ourselves on Rusden’s bus.  He’s definitely one of the best tour guides we’ve had.  He was funny, knowledgeable and very passionate about Ketchikan’s history.  He clearly loved what he does.  He even baked cookies for us the night before!  We were his first tour group for the season, so we were a bit special ;)

On the way to the park, Rusden pointed out something very interesting about Ketchikan – apparently, they have a lot of these stairway streets in town:


Do you see it? They’re actual streets with street names and everything, but they’re essentially just a flight of stairs.


 Here’s another one

Totem Bight Park was a short drive away.  On our way there, we enjoyed the view while Rusden told us stories about his experiences when he first moved to Ketchikan


We arrived at the park shortly




 It was extremely cold that morning!  We were totally unprepared!  I mean, I know that we’re in Alaska and all, but so far all the other places we went to (aside from Glacier Bay) had been pretty warm. I thought Ketchikan would be the same so I just wore a dress and stockings.


 My poor mom shivering in the cold while she listened to Rusden’s stories.  He gave us a brief history of the totem poles and explained what each one was used for.



 He also showed us the clan house where the Native Americans had their banquets, feasts and meetings




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Looking back on 2014

I’m finally posting this.  As some of you may know, I write a wrap up entry every year here on my blog.  I do it so I can look back on the important and memorable events which took place in those 12 months.  Here’s my entry for 2014.  Some of the items on my list are linked to blog entries I posted previously.  I’m still catching up on blogging so some of the later events don’t have entries yet.



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  • My highschool friends, Eugene and Cherry, were visiting the Philippines at the time and I was able to have dinner with them :D
  • IMSP held the first IMSP All Stars Concert to celebrate our 30th foundation day. I’m not much of a dancer but I had a lot of fun performing with the people I work with.



  • My first two thesis advisees successfully defended their work and passed, yay :D
  • Celebrated April’s birthday by having lunch at Baan Thai
  • Celebrated Ezra and Kurt’s birthday
  • Went to California for the summer.  Kurt took us to Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica and Little Tokyo on our first weekend there






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Awesome 2014 – SKDR Films Compilation

I’m still working on my 2014 wrap up blog entry (it’s almost finished, I promise), so for now here’s an awesome video that Kurt made for his YouTube channel. I’m present for most of it so I told him that this could serve as my 2014 highlight video as well.

Thanks for including lots of clips of me in your compilation video Kurt!  I look forward to shooting more videos and creating more memories in 2015! :D

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INSTABITS : December 2014

First of all, let me start this entry by greeting everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR!  It’s about a week late and I’ve already posted two entries on my blog this year, but it’s still the first week of the year so I want to wish everyone a joyous 2015.

I meant to have this as my first post for 2015 but I decided to get the Christmas party blogs out of the way first since some people were waiting for me to post the pictures from those.

December 1 was Joybel’s birthday and as a treat, she bought two GIANT pizzas to share with us.  Thanks Joy!

Red velvet cupcake and iced tea from Cocina.  I needed a break from all the checking so I asked Eden and Thea to come with me for a quick afternoon snack.

OOTD. Polka dots and lace. Two of my favorite things :)

I know I usually share the books I read at the end of the month, but this one is so amazing that I couldn’t wait :)  I posted a review of this which you can read HERE.

Another random OOTD

I received this adorable Charles Darwin coaster as pasalubong from Dustin when he went to Thailand for a conference.  I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to put a mug on that face.  I’ll probably just use this as decoration since it’s too cute :D

Alex called this my “pang-binyag outfit”

December’s arrival  meant that it was time for our family’s annual visit to the churches in Kalayaan and Santa Cruz.  Ezra and I passed the long car ride by sleeping in the backseat and occasionally taking selfies XD

I was craving cheesecake one afternoon so my roommates and I went to Dalcielo for merienda.

The girls of C208, taken during IMSP’s Christmas party

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Christmas 2014

As per tradition, our family held our Christmas lunch on December 24th.  We were worried that our guests wouldn’t be able to make it because it rained all night and some of the roads were flooded.  It took Mary Grace and Tita Bebeth almost 3 hours to travel from Santa Rosa to our place because the roads were practically impassable. Raffy and his dad made it to Calamba (from Marikina) but they were forced to turn back around because they were worried that they would end up stranded in the middle of the water. Our other guests from San Pablo were spared from having to pass through the flooding in Pansol but they were greeted by mini-river on their way over.  Our house is located at a higher elevation so we were fine, but apparently all the water gathered at the entrance of our subdivision, making it very difficult for people to enter/exit the place.  My uncle’s tire guard was actually ripped off his car because of the water current.  But at least they made it safely.

Of course, we had to take some group photos before digging into the food:



The Tan cousins, minus Grace who was still stuck due to the rain

We remembered that we had tons of Santa hats so we decided to wear them:


Someone suggested that we take a wacky photo, and this happened:


Over the years it’s become accepted that “wacky” translates to “let’s all cover Ezra’s face

As usual, the adults stayed in the dining area to chat while we young ones occupied the living room to play Wii Sports and Guitar Hero.



While the others were busy with Guitar Hero, I asked Deus and Gilbert to teach me how to play a real guitar.  They’re both really good at it while I have no clue what to do.  Amie had given me this adorable pink guitar for Christmas (since she knew I wanted to learn how to play), and I plan on making good use of it.

Ezra insisted that she didn’t need lessons because has a natural talent for guitar and singing.


Somehow I don’t think Deus believes her

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Iyah doesn’t seem to agree either


Poor cousins had to suffer


Deus’s and Ezra’s fake selfie, lol.  (I was holding the camera, but she stuck her hand out to pretend that she took the picture XD)


Here’s our version

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Glaciers Galore! – Golden Princess Cruise Day 5

The fifth day of our cruise was another sea day, which meant that we stayed on the boat all day.  However, instead of simply being out in the open sea, our cruise took us to the Glacier Bay Basin.

Only two cruise ships are allowed to enter the basin each day to ensure that it is preserved. Rangers from the park were allowed to board our ship that morning so they can provide the guests with facts and trivia about the place.

When we entered the Horizon Court that morning we saw this right outside our window:



We were excited to get a closer look so we quickly inhaled our breakfast and went out on deck


Guidelines for the tourists

The view from the deck:

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There were lots of people out on deck taking pictures of the glacier



It was pretty cold that day.  The crew set up a small shop near the ice cream bar where you can buy jackets and other winter gear in case you forgot to pack yours


There were also crew members going around serving drinks to warm people up

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That’s the Margerie Glacier behind us

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Occasionally we would see parts of the glacier breaking off and falling into the water


The ranger told us that the falling ice tells us the direction of the glacier’s movement


We were also told to watch out for birds flocking around where the ice has fallen. (I forgot why. Something about the ice disturbing the water, which causes the fish to gather there or something …)

It was very cold out on deck.  And it was raining too!




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