Cemetery of Negativism


In a recent trip to Baguio City, my beloved husband and I made it a point to visit a different kind of attraction – the Cemetery of Negativism, also known as Lost Cemetery or Pet Cemetery, located at the Historic Core of Camp John Hay.

It is said that in the early 1980s, base commander John Hightower, the one who designed the graveyard, invited all camp employees to identify the negative thoughts and attitudes that hampered their productivity at work. Continue reading

Marks of Grace



October 2010 | Lemlunay, Maasin, Sarangani Province

Sixteen years ago today, I sustained 2 gunshot wounds that left me with broken bones and shattered nerves. It was the price I have to pay to get out of a vicious relationship that drained my spirit. It was a near-death experience but God spared my life. Continue reading

Magandang Gensan!


"Beyond the Bay - from metropolis to the hills - is the new tourism campaign for Magandang Gensan showcasing the city's natural wonders and metropolis thrills. " ~Egai Cadiente


There are a lot of things to discover in Magandang Gensan!

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My Top Ten Emerging Influential Blogs for 2011


I could not afford to let this month pass without beating the deadline for the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs for 2011 Writing Project spearheaded by Janette Toral. My nominees are blogs from SocCSKSarGen that are making waves beyond Mindanao. Continue reading

Ready for the Big Splash!


General Santos City, in commemoration of its 43rd Charter Anniversary, is ready for the Big Splash! My beloved city is celebrating the 13th Tuna Festival on August 26 to September 5, 2011 with oozing vitality.

I will be one of the hosts of the Opening Ceremonies. The opening salvo, according to writer-director Egai Cadiente, “is a theatrical tribute to the sea through metaphorical portrayals of man’s interaction with its waters.” He declared, “Blessed with the ocean’s riches, the city pays homage to the element of sea water that continues to yield harvest for its people.”

Mr. Thomas Bebot Haw, Festival Director for Administration, and Mr. Ronald Velasquez, Festival Director for Operations, are making sure that all the details are going to add to the pizzazz of the celebration. This year’s theme is “Exploring New Depths, Conquering New Heights”.

Come and enjoy the big splash with us!

Manila Ocean Park Adventure


A day before our Singapore trip, my husband and I decided to make our Auntie Susan’s birthday week special by going to Manila Ocean Park. We were glad to find out in the park’s official website that there are special treats for the season. We unanimously decided to avail of the Sun Up Special Mid-year Savers promo at PhP600 per person.

Since we had more than two hours before the Sea Lion Show, we decided to proceed to the Oceanarium. The diverse species of marine creatures in the giant aquariums made us gasp in amazement.

We were surrounded with fishes of different colors, shapes and sizes. Since no flash photography was allowed inside the facility, my husband and I captured some images by maximizing the available light using 50mm/1.8 lens.

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Kissed By A Sea Lion


One of the highlights of my family’s recent trip to Manila Ocean Park was the Sea Lion Show. We were at the area 15 minutes before the show, giving us time to choose the best seats. While waiting, we were able to check out the poster outlining the difference between sea lions and seals.

When the show started, I felt like a curious 9-year old Girl Scout trapped in a 39-year old body. Relishing every moment of the show, I almost forgot I was with my mother, my husband and my aunt-in-law. Good thing I remembered to capture moments like this…

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Preoccupied


I was out of the blogosphere for more than two months because I got preoccupied with offline priorities. Convinced that I would have more stories to tell and more articles to write if I allow myself to be engrossed with my key relationships, I decided to focus on what I deemed valuable. As relationships and responsibilities screamed for my attention, I decided to set aside certain things like shopping and blogging. Continue reading

I’m Back!


Photograph of General Joana and her brother Jacimar from the 1970's

It was on purpose that I took two months off from blogging. I decided to take an enriching ride around town and experience life in a different perspective. I made the choice to  be offline right after Valentine’s Day so I can nurture my most valuable relationships. My family was given the attention due them.

But after two months of hiatus, I’m back! I cannot afford to let you come to this site without reading something new. I just have to make this one short and sweet.

Hey, even my comeback date is on purpose. April 14 is exactly a month before my birthday! This early, I invite you to celebrate with me! I’m back in circulation and we are going for a great ride, not just around town but around the world!

Happy Heart’s Day!


Extreme Adventure at Crown Regency Hotel, Cebu, Philippines

What pleasant surprises are in store for us today? Will it be a romantic dinner or an extreme adventure? Will there be mint chocolates or mushy notes? Will there be a creative blend of the 5 Love Languages?  Excitement is mounting! Continue reading

In the Arms of His Love


Today, we can work with optimum strength without being exhausted. The tasks and responsibilities may get quite complex and convoluted but we can take courage and comfort in the presence of our Lord and Savior. In His presence, fears will not be cultivated, worries will not be entertained. With Him, we can go “placidly amid the noise and haste” and experience serenity in the midst of troubles. Continue reading

Memories of Love


Mr. and Mrs. Jose Regala Banting

Thirty nine years ago today, my father and mother got married despite the odds. My maternal grandmother’s strong opposition posed a lot of obstacles to the romance between the handsome Kapampangan and the lovely Ilongga, but the trials only made their love stronger. Continue reading

Love Your Enemies


“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. Continue reading

Bankrupt Without Love


Photo by Mosler Paul Lapore

This entire month, I am going to meditate on what the Bible says about love. I want to understand the kind of love that honors God. The first chapter that comes to mind is 1 Corinthians 13, the New International Version of which I have committed to memory. Wondering how it is rendered in the Message Translation, I immediately checked my favorite Online Bible. Here’s my favorite love chapter in Message Translation, a version that I will read aloud every morning for the entire February:

1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. 3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

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A Hope Fulfilled by Love


It is the first day of the Love Month and I am curious. Are you in a relationship? If yes, I rejoice with you! If no, are you hoping to be in a relationship? Do you refuse to give up the hope of being pursued and loved? How long have you been waiting for the answers to your longings of love?

I understand how it is to remain hopeful in the midst of pain from a broken heart. I know how it is to wait for years for the answers to prayers. And I experienced how it is to have a hope fulfilled by love.

Here is a love letter I have written in 1996, ten years before I got married to Mosler Paul Lapore. Little did I know that ten years after crafting this love letter, these lines would be spoken by Hazel Lynn Maghuyop as introduction during my wedding ceremony in December 30, 2006 .

Read through, my friends, and realize that God has a way of fulfilling our hopes beyond what we expect or imagine.

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Strut the Fuchsia Line: A Debut Like No Other


Thank you, Michael Chan, for this photo.

Chito and Junith Bogayong presented their bunso, Eugeremi Justine EJ, to society on January 29, 2011 through a fabulous fashion show themed event.  Through the creative collaboration of EJ’s elder sister, Ehlaiza, and Gensan’s premier event directors, Egai Cadiente and Bing Cariño,  the guests witnessed the rituals and protocols of a traditional debut with a twist. A runway was constructed in Phela Grande Convention Center where the guests were honored to review the creation of Mindanao’s foremost fashion designer, the multi-awarded Emi Alexander Englis. Continue reading

Infectious Smile


I can’t help but smile. Even if the sky is gray. Even if a storm is brewing. Yes, there is so much to smile about even in the midst of challenges!

My students make me smile.

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable. ~Joseph Addison Continue reading