Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Good bye 2014 ... Hello 2015

A Year End Post:

Bigyan natin ng isang magandang farewell party si 2014. Its been a roller coaster ride for me, ang daming loops, ang daming up and down at most of the time pa nga puro down lang. Pero kahit na its been a rough year for me there are many things that I should be thankful for and I should feel bless. 

Before 2013 ends I'm already broke, financially, emotionally, physically?!?! Basta! But nobody knows it, no one out to notice. So, maybe it was not a good start for me for the year 2014 and thus the chaos continues through out the year.

The earlier part of 2014 was a big struggle in my almost more than 2 years fairy tale love story. I will not tell all the details about it but all I can say this relationship taught me a lot of lessons and experiences that will help me to be a better version of me. 

It is raw and it is so damn real you want to run away just to soak it up and take it in. The soul mate. The one you feel vibrate when they are a thousand miles away. The one you hear whisper when they think about you. The one who lets you move freely but embraces your shadow from afar. That one. The one you feel like you have known for a million years.
- from

While I'm having a major heart break, family issues arises alongside at may humabol pa nga bago matapos ang taon. No one knows that I even suppressed my own happiness to resolve such issues. It is always family first motto. Calamities hit the country and even us experienced it. It was painful seeing your family in that situation. It was hard to see them suffer and made me realized that being heart broken is not the most painful thing you can experience in this world. 

Then there are my friends who had been struggling with their own issues too and being their best friend they counted on me and their struggles became mine too. At dahil tingin nila pusong bato ako they don't know that I'm having my own struggles too! Pero, keribels lang. They needed me!!! Si Superwoman nga daw ako. hahaha.... people at work...basta!!!

...and before the year ends another heart break, another family issues....what's new?!?! I'm almost used to it.

...All year round I'm almost like a walking zombie. Nobody knows that I'm struggling a lot inside, that I'm almost crying everyday, that I almost give up!!! But I'm proud to say that I know God is with me. He made me strong enough to face all those shits in my life. Even me can't believe how I managed to get through it, how I can just joke around about it. Maybe I should just be thankful that my Dear Lord gave me this strong personality and I should be thankful that He sends me people who gave me advises and comfort those crying days.

So, now instead of counting all those bad things that happened to me I will instead count all the blessings, experiences and lessons that I had this 2014. Also, I will take this opportunity to say "THANK YOU!!!" to all the people who never leave me in my journey.

First of all, I would like to thank my soul mate!!! hahaha...You know who you are! Though you have been my greatest heart break you know I still consider you as one of my trusted best friend. I still appreciate your friendship after all those shits that happened to us. Thank you for teaching me the real meaning of LOVE. Thank you for being part of me and letting me be part of yours as well. Thank you for making me realized my worth! I will still hire you to be my tour guide in Atacama and in Easter Island. hahaha...see you in the future! ;)

Next, to the 3 best people who have been my virtual confidant, since I'm too weak to show my real feelings in the real world they are the one who absorbs my crying moments. To my long-lost sister in Taiwan, my pretty dear Tin-ting Chu, I owe you big time!!! Thank you for being there, for being the median between me and him....hahaha....Thank you for trusting me, for sharing me your own life too. I'm still hoping I can visit you someday. Stay pretty always and keep the fighting spirit alive! :) ...To my Granny Goose (Papi Terrance) big thanks to you. I know you have been pissed with my bullying...hahaha...forgive me, you know it is just my way of showing how much I love you. But seriously, thank you for always being there, for the advises, for the not so kind words that stopped my craziness, for always making me smile. Thank you!!! I'm always including you in my prayers. I know you will be bless soon and your own struggles will be relieve too in God's will. Lastly, to my "BIG man", Gonzalo, thank you very much for being a good man. You never failed to put smile in my face. Thank you for everything. I will never forget your promise that you will adopt me when I became an old maid....hahaha....I will always be your little MJ forever. :)

To my all my real friends, you know who you are. I may not be able to mention all your name here but deep in my heart I'm always grateful that you have been part of my life and you made me your friends too. To all the people I've met in my gala moment / travels, thank you too. More gala to come and may we build real friendships too.

For the people who hate me. Thank you for always thinking about me. hahaha

For the people who think I hate them...uhmmmm...I love you all!!! hahaha

For the people hurt by my words or by actions please accept my sincere apology. SORRY!!! You know I'm just joking around most of the time and yes I admit sometimes I am really tactless. 

For the people who have done no good to me, to those who betrayed my trust, I already FORGIVEN you.

...and to 2014, THANK YOU!!! May you rest in peace! Please let 2015 give me a good year.

P.S. Dear friends...

Don't be makulit! Huwag n'yo ako pilitin magkwento. hahahaha. You know that I'm not good in telling my own stories. Basta pagnagyaya ako kumain or gumala samahan nyo na lang ako. Alam nyo na yun kung bakit. I just need to unwind. 

The Highlight of Year 2014 (yun mga tumatak sa isipan ko)

- Major Heart Break (hahaha...major talaga!!!)

- My First ever SOLO travel (in Bolinao, Pangasinan...soon I will blog it...pag sinipag...hehe)

- Ang Binondo and Si Meisum

- The controversial Enrichment Program in Patnanungan and Jomalig Island in Quezon Province

- Ang Bagyong Glenda

- D'Project in Patyay, Mayoyao, Ifugao / Meeting Andy in person / Meeting Dojie and adding as friend...hehehe / Meeting Ma'am Brenda and the people of Patyay and the Belinda Dance / Meeting Madz and family

- First Career Orientation Talk to High School Students (Akalain mo yun, ako nag-talk?!?! hahaha)

- First-time na Speaker in one of the Scholar's Assembly (nagiging madaldal na talaga ako...ginagawa na ko resource speaker :P )

- The lugaw in PUP / The Psycho Test

- The Malabon Food Tour / Meeting Sir Migz este Sir Jun in person (the crispy pata) / Adding April, Sir Librero and Boy 'kulit' Tokwa in the list of "new friends"

- I did something that I thought I cannot do (my deepest secret....wahahaha....huhuhuhu)

- Another heart break. (this time I'm the one who move away...I just wanted to make it right this time...nyahaha) far, that's all I can remember.....

Happy and Prosperous New Year Everyone!!!

See you again next year!!! :)

-----  Au revoir MJ 

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Majestic Bantay Belfry

     After strolling around Calle Crisologo we decided to go to Bantay Belfry. Going there you can ride a tricycle or a calesa. For us, we choose the calesa to complete the experience. 
the bell tower on the top of the hill
     Bantay Belfry is the most famous bell tower in Ilocandia because the classic movie "Panday" starring FPJ was shot here. But before Panday pulled the sword through the bell in this belfry the tower already had a big part in our history. The belfry stood there since the 1950's together with the St. Augustine Church. It was built on top of a hill and it is said to be the people’s watchtower which is part of the city’s defense that helps in alerting people or warn them against possible enemies. In our history it is said that Bantay Belfry is where Diego Silang and his troops were said to have fought with the Spaniards in 1763.

Bantay Belfry & St. Augustine Church
the belfry with the statue of the Virgin Mary
  >>> going up <<<

      Bantay Belfry is made up of bricks and the stairs inside are made of wood. The spiral staircase going up from first floor to second floor is still made of bricks but on the next level the staircase is already made of wood as well as the floor at the top of the tower. I'm not afraid of heights but I'm getting paranoid because the wooden floor creaks whenever we walk around. I was thinking that when people are not careful and get overloaded at the top floor the wooden floor might collapse. So, it was good that we are the only people up there at that time.
 >>>inside the belfry<<<
at the staircase made of bricks going to the 2nd floor
the wooden staircase
"The Bells" (too bad, they are already victims of vandalism)
          On one of the tower's windows, you can see two mountains meeting together and also the town’s cemetery.

The Mountains & The Cemetery
The Cemetery as their background
My most favorite shots...........

The "Pang-teleserye" Pose
 >>>The St. Augustine Church<<<
at the entrance of the church
inside the cathedral

the altar
     The Saint Augustine Parish Church, commonly known as Bantay Church, is a Roman Catholic church in the Municipality of Bantay, Ilocos Sur province in the Philippines. The church is also known as the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity (Nuestra Señora de La Caridad) housing the miraculous image of Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Charity, crowned as the patroness of Ilocandia on January 12, 1956. The church was named after its patron saint St. Augustine of Hippo.

     The old historic belfry of the church known as the Bantay Tower, which served as a watchtower for pirates back in the Spanish colonial era, gave the town its name - bantay (meaning to guard). Established in 1590, the church is one of the oldest in the Ilocos Region. (from wikipedia)

part of the Biyahilo sa Norte - Escaped in Region 1

-----  Au revoir MJ 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Picturesque Calle Crisologo: No Filter!!!

     The first thing that comes to our mind when we hear Vigan City is the Spanish-style houses and buildings in the cobblestone road of Calle Crisologo. This well preserved street has been declared a World Heritage Site because it retains its look and feel from the Spanish colonial period. Though it is located in the city center, only calesas and people are allowed to traverse in the road. At daytime, you'll see souvenir shops along Calle Crisologo. Some of the century old houses with stunning architecture were transformed into commercial shops, hotels and restaurants. 

     You must explore Calle Crisologo by either walking or renting a calesa to get the complete experience.

>>>>The postcard perfect Calle Crisologo<<<<

     Calle Crisologo was named after Mena Pecson Crisologo, an Ilocano writer and politician. Crisologo is also known as the Ilocano's Shakespeare.
early morning strolling
picturesque Mestizo District
some of the old houses transformed to souvenir shops
 >>>>The Calesas (Kalesa)<<<<

     A Calesa (also caritela/karitela) looks like an inclined cart, and is drawn by a single horse used in the Philippines. It was one mode of transportation introduced to the islands in the 18th century by Spanish colonisers, and was initially reserved for only nobles and high-ranking civic officials. These are today rarely used in the streets except in the tourist areas of old cities and some rural areas.
The Calesa
  >>>>The Souvenir & Antique Shops<<<<

     It is always expected in every trip that we buy "pasalubong" for our family, friends, love ones, etc. so it is good that some of the old houses in Calle Crisologo were transformed to commercial shops. You can already do your shopping while you stroll along the streets since almost all the authentic products Vigan is known for are available in every shop. 

Trying the "Salakot"
they've got it all for you...hehehe
Ref Magnets

      But if you are looking for authentic shopping finds at the best possible price for your pocket, the best place to go is to the public market. This is where you can find good stuff at affordable prices specially made by the locals. Shoppers can buy local crafts, food and almost anything else that are offered in Calle Crisologo at a much cheaper price. One must remember though that only cash is accepted and haggling is okay. Vigan’s Public Market can be found within proximity of the Partas Bus Station. You can reach it by riding a tricycle or a calesa.

 >>>>My favorite postcard shot<<<<
The Iconic street + Emoterang Frogs = Postcard perfect

Next time you set your foot here do your own iconic pose too.  ;)

part of the Biyahilo sa Norte - Escaped in Region 1

-----  Au revoir MJ 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

History 101 at Crisologo Museum

     After our tour in Baluarte we headed back to the city and our first stop is Crisologo Museum. The Crisologo Museum is found on De Los Reyes Street in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, the street after Crisologo Street coming from the Vigan Cathedral. Actually, we never planned to go here but since it's still early and we really don't know where to go next, so we just decided to enter the old house converted into museum in memory of Floro Crisologo. There is no entrance fee here but there is a donation box that will help in maintaining the museum and a very sweet old lady will be your tour guide (I forgot her name). She will explain to you everything about the house and the history behind it and the family who once lived here.

... so who is Floro Crisologo?!?!?!

      Floro Crisologo was a congressman who worked towards the ratification of the Tobacco Law and the establishment of Social Security System (SSS). He also authored the laws behind the creation of the North’s first state university, the University of Northern Philippines. In October 18, 1970, Floro Crisologo was standing in the communion line in Vigan Cathedral when a lone gunman entered the church and shot him in the head. The gunman escaped during the panic and the case is still unsolved up to now. It is believed that it’s politically motivated.
     At the entrance of the museum I noticed a small plant and then a signage explaining what it is and where the word Vigan came from.

 The Bigaa plant that was common on the banks of Vigan when Spanish came.
     The Crisologo mansion is consists of a large, old, solidly-built 2-storey structure with a ground floor made of brick. The walls of the ground floor are thick and the windows have iron and steel grills. On the other hand, the upper floor is made of concrete and hardwood and has colintipay windows.

     This lady is the caretaker of the house and will serves as your tour guide. She will answers all your questions regarding the house and the family very eagerly.

>>>FIRST FLOOR<<<     

     The first floor of the house contains a collection of antiques, heirloom furnishings, family memorabilia, vehicles used by the family, book collection, numerous news clipping about Crisologo's assassination.
some of the old vehicles used by the family; different kind or types of carriage;
Cong. Crisologo and his certificate of recognition & awards; old maps; news clipping;
The Library....
Book Collection; Pictures of the Past Presidents of the RP and of some National Heroes;
    The Museum....
     The central display of the museum focuses on the patriarch’s 1970 assassination. It includes the unwashed pants and shoes that Crisologo had been wearing when he was shot, with his bloodstains still visible. Black-and-white photographs of the incident are displayed above the clothes. There are also scrapbooks of clippings about the members of the Crisologo family starting from the 1950s.

Some equipments for farming and fishing...

The Office...
the desk used by Crisologo during his term as congressman

the grand staircase
The receiving area ("Bulwagan" am I right?!?!)

       maybe numerous party, celebrations, meetings and/or gatherings were already held here......
well ventilated because of the numerous big windows around the room

The Bedrooms....
antique beds
collection of perfumes

     One may enter the master’s bedroom and open the cabinets and view the family's clothing, shoes and other private possessions. It is kinda creepy looking at them, I'm imaging old horror films so I just glanced at them and not really intruded, I felt that the family was watching us that time.

The Kitchen....

Old Refrigerator and other old tools used in cooking
The Dining Area.....

Long Dining Table
Porcelain Display and Statue of an Igorot Lady
The other corner of the house.......

I guess this is there entertainment area; An old piano and stereo...
Family Memorabilia

they love table and chairs
some of the antiques

     Don't forget not to include in your itinerary the Crisologo Museum because you will learn a lot about our history and the house will be your time machine to time travel into the past. It is also good to be knowledgeable about the places we visited.

part of the Biyahilo sa Norte - Escaped in Region 1

-----  Au revoir MJ 
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