Category: Uncategorized

Gewang Gewang

We spent Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Black Saturday at my mom’s hometown in Pila-Pila, Binangonan, Rizal. This is one of the many towns of Rizal that hasn’t fully succumbed to urbanization yet. It isn’t that far from Manila, in fact we reached this place an hour after we left Cavite last Thursday since there’s hardly any traffic. As we were entering Pila-pila, I remembered the times when we would go here to visit my Lola. Pila-pila is at the foot of a mountain. When I was a kid, we used to travel here at dawn in our owner-type jeep. My sister and I used to marvel at how big and scary the mountain was with its big boulders and bamboos. My dad often regale us with stories about how they chased an aswang in that same mountain and how he saw a Kapre smoking a pipe on one of the big trees along the road. Of course all those stories were designed to tickle our imagination but I have to admit, we ate them up.:)
I was surprised to learn that Lenten traditions like pabasa, senakulo, penitensya and prusisyon are still practiced in this place. Whereas religious traditions have slowly faded into the distant memories of people in urban towns, they are still very much alive here. Last Friday night, we trooped to the Bayan to watch the prusisyon (procession) and witness the Gewang-Gewang. I heard so much about Gewang-Gewang from my mom. It is the highlight of their Good Friday procession. It is called Gewang Gewang because devotees of the Santo Sepulcro (Jesus Christ in his coffin) try to squeeze themselves closer to the Santo Sepulcro so they can help carry it. They believe that all their prayer intentions and petitions will be granted if they will be able to touch or carry the Santo Sepulcro. Because of the surge of devotees trying to get near the Santo Seplucro, it moves in a gewang-gewang (topsy-turvy) motion. It takes hours before the Santo Sepulcro enters the church again. There is a story going around that the Santo Seplucro will not leave a certain place if it stops in front of a house where the owner planted his anting-anting (amulet). It is believed that it is one way of testing if it is still working and unless the owner digs and removes it from the ground, the Santo Sepulcro and the procession will not proceed even if the carriers willed it to move forward. For some reasons, it will just move back and forth as if a magnet is forcing it to stay. The procession that night started at 6 am and the Santo Sepulcro was brought back to the church a little over 3 am because it kept on moving at such slow pace.





We had a good view from where we were. We saw how the devotees fought their way closer to the Santo Sepulcro. In the course of their struggle, they get hurt. One devotee shared that they don’t mind getting wounded and crushed since to them these are all part of their sacrifice. We saw how others stepped on other men’s arms, legs, shoulders and even faces in their desire to reach the Santo Sepulcro. Some men that night were seen being fished out and carried by others to safety. And most of them were gasping for breath as they try to push the Santo Sepulcro. One man even suffered heart attack that night. It was very much like the Feast of the Black Nazarene. My cousin who has been a devotee of the Santo Sepulcro since he was a teenager shared that all his prayer intentions are granted whenever he joins the “buhat” (carrying of the Santo Sepulcro). Most of the devotees I have spoken to share the same sentiments that is why it has become every man’s panata in this town to join the Gewang-Gewang every Good Friday. To others, it has even become their initiation to manhood.
After witnessing Gewang Gewang for myself, I can’t help but admire these people for they truly were never afraid to show just how far they can take their faith in God. I admire how they have kept this tradition very much alive until now. How through their deep faith in the divine, they have managed to preserved this part of our culture. I am glad that I brought my 10 year old daughter to witness this with me. In the event that this tradition die a natural death like the others, at least my daughter has it engraved in her memory.

Rest Stops: A Lenten Reflection

One thing I love about the place where I am teaching right now is how it gives importance not only to our professional formation but more importantly to our personal formation as well. Every year our institution encourages us to take a leave from work and attend close retreats to nourish our soul and to keep the fire of our relationship with the Lord burning.
I always look forward to my annual retreat because it has become sort of a rest stop for me. This year (by year I mean June-March, as a teacher, we tend to count years on that measure) has been an extremely difficult one as this is the year that my family went through the most trying time in our life. This is also the year where I decided to finally start my Masteral in Special Education. The year when BlancNotes happened and when my husband started his new business. I was struggling to be a lot of things for the past months and during the course of my struggle I have to admit that not only did my body took a hard beating but my soul too.
Last Monday, I left everything behind, my family, work, webpage, obligations, worries etc. to stay in the retreat house for three days of quiet contemplation. My days were filled with prayers, meditations and reflections. Although my family was never far from my mind when I was there, I welcomed the distance from them to be with the Lord. I bask in His careful attention and His company. I let myself be taken cared of in the most lavish way without the feeling guilty about it–sleeping in the quiet comfort of one of the best rooms and having the most delicious meal after meal after meal. I allowed myself to be guided by people who provided the best spiritual direction. The past three days were the perfect rest stops for my soul who, for the past months, has been needing the kind of nourishment that only the Lord can provide.
The Lord’s messages were clear during those three days. I know that His messages were not for me to keep but for me to share with the rest of you. He made me understand four important things:
We should never get tired of performing our norms of piety. What are norms of piety? Saying our morning and evening prayers, saying the Angelus, going to mass every Sunday, saying the rosary, etc. I have to admit that due to the overwhelming activities that I have entrusted upon myself, sometimes they have taken a back seat. During this retreat I realized that for me, this has been so because I have begun to look at these things as some sort of obligations that I have to perform. I have lost touch with my own divinity. I have forgotten that Mass is in itself a celebration of Thanksgiving to the Lord, that every bead of the rosary are rose offerings that delights Our Lady. The retreat made it possible for me to rekindle my personal relationship with the Lord. Having a healthy personal relationship with the Lord is important because it is only by having this deep connection with the Lord that we can perform acts of piety with consistency and with love.

We can see God in the most ordinary things.
We have to seek Him in everything that we do. It is not enough that we know Him, we have to let what we know about him to radically change the way we live our life. Like forgiveness, we know that God is a forgiving Father and so we must learn to forgive. We know that God would want us to choose to do the right thing, and so we make the right choices. We should always be guided by our knowledge of Him. As what Father Patio said in one of our meditations, “We have to let what we know about Him in our head to sink in our hearts and manifest itself in our life.”
We should have faith in the divine providence. No prayers are left unanswered. We measure time by days, weeks, months and years. God measures time by eternity. In answering prayers, God uses His own measure and not ours. Therefore, we should not say that God did not answer our prayers. God sometimes delays giving our intentions so that we persevere in our prayer, so that we grow in faith. Faith that God will see us through and he will reward our efforts. In answering our prayers, God will give what He thinks is best for us and not what we think is best for our self, in His own perfect time.
We should embrace our cross. We should learn to love our cross. Each of us have our own cross to bear, a person that we can’t stand to be with, a condition that is making our life difficult, a situation that we can’t seem to get out of. Yes is it painful to have, difficult to be with, annoying to be around but we have to learn to allow ourselves to “die little by little” everyday. It is a means by which we can experience Christ sufferings on the cross. And these little sacrifices are what we can offer everyday as acts of mortification for our sins, these are what will sanctify us and bring us to heaven. Like what St.Augustine said, “Life without a cross is life without living. Our cross is what will make us strong and closer to God.”
I left the retreat with renewed faith that whatever happens in my life, God has full control over it. It is not for me to question but for me to accept because whichever way blessings will come, may it be wrapped in hardship or sorrow, or handed in a silver platter, there’s always faith in knowing that it is all designed to make me ready for God in the end.
“I want to bring you to the end, not by your plans nor by your ways, but by Myself”

Proactiv Solution + Justin Bieber's Someday

Head’s up everyone, its “breakout” season once again for those blessed with oily skin. Yup, summer which is that time of the year when caring for one’s skin is right on top of everyone’s priority list, has finally arrived.
For people like me who are prone to acne, finding the lotion with the right SPF takes a backseat this summer season as we give more importance to keeping our face pimple free and ready for those fun summer get-aways.
Good news is, Proactiv Solution is finally available locally. As you know Poactiv Solution has been making “waves” (fitting for summer eh?) in the skin care department right now because it has proven to be very effective in killing ance-causing bacteria, leaving user with a clear and smooth skin.
You might be wondering what makes it different from other skin care products. Well for one thing, it has micro-crystal benzoyl peroxide which quickly penetrates pores thereby killing acne-causing bacteria fast. This small, fine particles also gently exfoliate and remove dirt, excess oil and dead skin cell that cause pores to clog.
It also uses natural botanicals that proactively clean the face from all impurities and excess oil. Since it is alcohol free, the face after toning with Proativ feels soft, fresh and clean rather than tight and dried out the way other skin care products do.
What is good about it also is that it addresses different forms of acne. It heals the blemishes you already have while preventing your face from further forming lesions.
This revolutionary product also uses the combination therapy system. Proactiv Solutions has successfully combined more than one of the common medications used to treat acne thereby setting the acne treatment bar high and tipping the scale of successful acne treatment in your favor.
What’s more, it is the only skin care product that can confidently assure you of success in acne treatment and after sales assistance and service as they are the only one who provides a Money Back Gurantee. If for any reason Proactiv fails to meet your expectations, you can simply return the containers (even if empty) within the allotted period together with the original receipt for a complete refund. It is that serious in giving you a lifetime of smooth, clear, skin without the risk.


So if you’re dead set in making your summer the best ever by having a clear, smooth, and healthy looking skin, join the ranks of Mandy Moore and (scream!) Justin Bieber! Purchase your own 30 or 60 Day Kit and start using it now. Justin Bieber owes his pretty face to Proactiv Solutions and he definitely swears by it.

Speaking of Justin Bieber, he recently released his limited edition perfume, Someday, and he teamed up with Proactiv Solutions in giving away a free bottle to one lucky fan/buyer of Proactiv Solutions’ 30 Day or 60 Day Kit. Here’s the complete promo mechanics:

PROMO MECHANICS

SALES PROMOTION PERIOD: April 1 – May 31, 2012
PRODUCTS PURCHASED:

  • Proactiv Solution 30-day kit: Php 2,495 (Equivalent to 1 Raffle Entry)
  • Proactiv Solution 60-day kit: Php 3,995 (Equivalent to 2 Raffle Entries)

WHO ARE QUALIFIED TO JOIN THE RAFFLE:

The promo is applicable to Philippine Territory only and limited to residents of the Philippines only. Customers who bought Proactiv Kit from the listed participating outlets during the duration of the promo period are entitled to join the raffle. One Proactiv 30-Day Kit purchased is equivalent to one raffle entry. One Proactiv 60-Day Kit purchased is equivalent to 2 raffle entries.

WHO ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO JOIN THE RAFFLE:

Employees of Top American Products Solutions Inc. and their relatives up to 2nd degree are not qualified to join the raffle. Suppliers, partners, and consultants of Top American Products Solutions Inc., are not qualified to join the raffle.
Anyone caught attempting to manipulate the results of the raffle is subject to immediate disqualification. Top American Products Solutions Inc., reserves the right to deactivate such raffle entries without further notice.
Only purchases made by individuals are allowed are entitled for raffle entries. Bulk purchases with the intent to resell Proactiv will not be qualified for raffle entries.

HOW TO JOIN

  1. All Watsons’ outlets or SM Department Store branches. Customers who purchased from any Watsons or SM Department Store must retrieve their Official Raffle Entry Forms from the following Redemption Branches.
    • i. SM Department Store Megamall
    • ii. SM Department Store Makati
    • iii. SM Department Store North EDSA
    • iv. SM Department Store Mall of Asia

    Alternately, for customers from Watsons that are far from the Redemption branches can still submit their entries by sending an email of a scanned copy of their Watsons Official Receipt to customer@proactiv.com.ph, plus the complete details as follows:

    • Customer Name:
    • Customer Address:
    • Customer Contact Number:
    • Customer Email Address:
    • Product Purchased:
    • Date of Purchase:
    • OR Number:

    Also, there should be a statement in the email: “I have read and understood the Terms and Conditions of the Proactiv Promo: Buy Proactiv Kit and Get a Chance to Win Justin Bieber’s Limited Edition Perfume.”

  2. For Proactiv Kiosks and Watsons customers, they must fill-out the Official Raffle Entry Form with the following details:
    • Customer Name:
    • Customer Address:
    • Customer Contact Number:
    • Customer Email Address:
    • Product Purchased:
    • Date of Purchase:
    • OR Number:
    • Signature of Customer:
    • Signature of Promodizer:

    The Official Raffle Entry Form must be submitted to the Proactiv Promodiser in charge to qualify for the raffle.

  3. Customer must buy Proactiv kit within the prescribed promo period. Purchases of Proactiv Kits outside the promo period are not eligible with a raffle entry equivalent.
  4. Customer must not return the product. If a customer avails of the standard limited Money back Guarantee that comes with every Proactiv 30-day or 60-day kit, this forfeits the subsequent activation of his or her raffle entry.

For every purchase of:

  • – Proactiv Solution 30-day kit is equivalent to one (1) Raffle Entry
  • – Proactiv Solution 60-day kit is equivalent to two (2) Raffle Entries

Official cut-off of the promo purchase period is:

  • First Draw: May 7, 2012, 11:59:59PM (for purchases made from April 1 to April 30, 2012)
  • Second Draw: June 4, 2012, 11:59:59PM (for purchases made from April 1 to May 31, 2012)

PRIZES:

There will be a total of fifteen (15) winners of Justin Bieber’s Limited Edition Perfume (P2800 each). Total of P42000 worth of perfume will be given away.

  • First Draw (May 8) – 7 winners
  • Second Draw (June 5) – 8 winners

CONDITIONS OF THE PRIZE

  • The Prize is not convertible to cash and or other Proactiv products.
  • The Prize must be personally picked up by the winner from the office of Top American Products Solution, Inc. located at 17th Flr. Tower 2, RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala cor. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City, Philippines.
  • For Winner(s) who purchased from Online Shopping Cart or Door-to-Door Delivery Hotlines, a valid ID must be presented upon claiming the prize.
  • For Winner(s) who purchased from participating Proactiv Mall kiosks and Watsons Stores, a valid ID and the Official Receipt must be presented upon claiming the prize.

HOW TO CLAIM THE PRIZE:

The winners will be notified via email or a phone call a day after the raffle draw. Prizes must be claimed until May 18 and June 16 for the first and second draw respectively until 5PM only, or these will be forfeited without further notice. Winner must personally claim the prize and must bring a valid ID together with the Official Receipt.

  • Winner must agree to have picture taken upon receiving prizes in addition to waivers, which must be signed upon claiming. Top American Products Solutions Inc., reserves the right to use winner’s information for all marketing purposes to promote Proactiv and unlimited media, in perpetuity.

If the winners avail of the Money Back Guarantee after claiming the prize, the actual cost of the prizes will be deducted to the refund value of the product.

DOH-FDA Permit No. : 0530 s. 2012

So what are you waiting for, purchase your kit now for a chance to snag Justin Bieber’s limited edition perfume.  Here’s you chance to not only have a clear, smooth and healthy looking face like Justin Bieber but to smell hot like him too.:)

Spyder Philippines

Last Friday night, I was invited to attend the launch of Spyder Philippine’s Spyder Assist Program at Festival Mall in Filinvest Alabang. Spyder is a brand known for their top quality and high performance multisport (swim-bike-run) and motorcycling gears in the country.

with Juda Paulo, Spyder's Brand Amabassador, and fellow blogger Eean of oureatdates.com

with the owner of Roshan Commmercial Corporation, distributor of Spyder Helmets & Optics

They recently launched their summer campaign dubbed, Spyder-Charge Your Summer which is a mall event where newbies were introduced to the discipline of multi-sport by offering the highest quality products such as helmet, shades eyewear, and other protective gears, and accessories. My husband, who is a bike enthusiast, had a field day trying on Spyder’s impressive line of products.

Nan trying on the helmet. 🙂

nan trying out the shades. Naks!

Spyder has long been providing their customers with excellent safety rated products that surpass international standards for its functionality and comfort. And true to their commitment of providing their customers with added protection for their own peace of mind, they came up with an innovative program called Spyder Assist.
Spyder Assist is a Personal Life Insurance coverage of up to 100,000 that protects its policy holders against injuries, including those arising from motor-related incidents, disability and even loss of life. It also entitles the policy holder a medical reimbursement benefit of up to 5,000 pesos for accident related injuries, and other moto-related accidents. Aside from these benefits, Spyder Assist also assures motorcyle owners an automatic 30% discount as crash replacement benefit on the purchase of their next helmet in the event of an accident or crash.
For every purchase of any Spyder motorcycle helmets, customers will now have the chance to enroll themselves under Spyder Assist Program. They only have to pay a measly 150 pesos to enjoy full insurance protection under the said program. The coverage is good for one year starting with the purchase date indicated in the official receipt. Customers who avail of the Spyder Assist Card are encourage to register their Spyder Assist card online right away for easy facilitation of insurance related claims and concerns. To register the coverage, one has to simply scratch the code on the Spyder Assist card that will be given upon purchase. Log on to www.teamspyder.com/spyderassist and complete the registration details there. A copy of the policy will be sent via email.
With Spyder Assist, Spyder has proven that it has its clients’ best interests at heart. If you are a motorcycle rider who values your own safety and protection, 150 pesos for a full coverage and for your own peace of mind is something that you wouldn’t think twice of grabbing. With the many road hazards that you are exposed to everyday, it is wise to equip yourself not only with the right gears and accessories but with an insurance policy that can take care of all your needs in the event of an accident, injury, or disablement.
Spyder Philippines is clearly changing the landscape of how sports houses extend after sales service to its customers, expect more high quality products and road safety innovations and protection such as the Spyder Assist Program from this company who promises to do nothing but provide you peace of mind as you travel the off-beaten path.

Jack's Loft at Festival Mall

My husband and I love to go on a food trip. You guessed it right, our favorite past time is eating. The other day, we were at Festival Supermall to try out Jack’s Loft. We were surprised to note that Jack’s Loft, My Thai and Phoa shared a common dining area. We opted to be seated at the My Thai/Phoa area since it has a more vibrant feel than the Jack’s Loft corner. I was immediately attracted to the pink and green chairs.

pink and green chairs

I just love how pretty the place looks like. One side of the wall is decorated with drawers and there are two fab white couches against it.

Since we were not up for some Thai and Chinese food, we ordered two main dishes from Jack’s Loft as originally planned. My husband had the Beef Tenderloin Stroganoff. This is beef tenderloin sauteed in mushrooms and red pepper, and topped with stroganoff sauce. The beef is chewy and tasty. I love the stroganoff sauce, it taste heavenly. I am a sucker for creamy sauces on top so this dish definitely goes well with my palate. They had medium size serving for this one though so it is good for one person only, if you opt to share with someone, it will be bitin.
php 315

I had the HK Style Baked Pork Chops. This is fried rice topped with baked breaded pork chop, cheese and tomato sauce. The porkchop was crunchy and fried to perfection. I loved the tomato sauce and cheese combination. This can be shared by two persons as they have generous serving of this.
php 230

In the end, we were too full to order dessert but of course, dining here wouldn’t be complete without paying the dessert window a visit.
tempting dessert

We will definitely be back for a slice or two of these sinful desserts. Jack’s Loft/My Thai/Phoa’ is at the 3rd level of Filinvest Festival Mall, near the Madrigal entrance. Do check out their food offerings, they sure taste good.:)

On Motherhood and Blogging

This is an official entry to Dainty Mom’s Bloggy Goodies Contest, in celebration of the Dainty Mom’s 2nd anniversary”
I see two words seamlessly intertwined whenever I think of myself these days—mom and blogger. I carry around so many titles, like most of you, but these are two titles that I am most proud of. I bask in the glory that motherhood and blogging bring. I’ve always believed that motherhood is the best thing that could ever happen to any woman. It is not falling in love, it is not finding Mr. Right, it is not getting married. It is having your own child. The greatest miracle in life is bringing into this world a child who is the best version of two persons.
Motherhood. There are so many things to hate about being a mother (sleepless nights, teething, boo-boos, poops, teenage drama) but then again, there are a lot more reasons to love being one too. I love how as a mother, I can make my child shine by providing her little and big opportunities to grow into the kind person that she would proudly call her “self.” I love how it has forced me to be at my best all the time–mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Fully nourished in body, heart, mind and soul so as to effectively give the best part of myself to my child and help her develop into the kind of person that we wish her to become. I also love the thought that through motherhood somehow, I am rightfully entitled to a spot in heaven for I was able raise a child who not only has grown confidently in faith and love but who is ready to conquer the world with her own brand of wit, charm, humor, and compassion.
Blogging. It is similar to motherhood in a sense that you do it from the heart. I love how blogging has expanded my horizon in ways that I never thought possible. I love how it has slowly opened me to a world of endless possibilities. How it has forced me to come out of my comfort zone and become involved with life itself. I love how it made me connect and reach out to people more. How it has allowed me to influence people to think, dream and become. And how through it, I can weave words into powerful thoughts from which big meaningful ideas can come.
Motherhood and Blogging, what’s not to love about them. They both have given me a sense of purpose in this world. They have made me realized that I do have something important to share, and what I do and say matter. They have made me richer in wisdom. Everyday, I wake up smiling because of them. They have given me good reasons to be proud of my own capacity to share and inspire others.

Proudly Pinoy: Streetfood Tycoon

There’s another game in the app store that got me excited. I am very proud and happy to share that this game was developed and released by a fellow Filipino, Erick Garayblas of Kuyi Mobile. Yep, this is proudly Pinoy made. It is aptly titled Streetfood Tycoon. As we all know, this type of food is very much popular here in the Philippines as this can be seen almost everywhere.

Streetfood Tycoon is an iphone game application that can be downloaded for free from the Itunes App Store. It is a management game where you have to fill in the customer’s order by combining the right ingredients while at the same time dealing with restocking, buying better ingredients and upgrading facilities.



The game is easy to play. The main objective is to earn enough coins by selling food. When a customer approaches the cart they will tell you their order through a picture bubble. You just need to tap all the ingredients as shown correctly in the picture to create an order. You then need to drag the order to the customer to complete the sale. In case you mess up and want to start over, you can tap the trash at the bottom left side of the screen to scrap your previous creation. There’s a time limit for every order, if you don’t respond right away, the customer will not accept the order and leave in a huff. There are also those little things like stocks running low, food spills, and left over crumbs that need cleaning-up that had to be addressed right away to avoid getting into a fix. You can only restock one item at a time, so you need to make quick decisions too based on what your business needs at the moment.

As you progresses in the game, you’ll be able to move to 4 new locations. You will also be able to upgrade your cart to serve more and better quality food (aside from corn dog and fries) such as kwek kwek and fishballs.


Visually, the background is pleasing enough to the eyes. It has a dreamy quality to it as it appears washed up. What I like most about this application is the cart itself. I love how the food are graphically presented. When you fill in orders you can see the food supply being reduced and when you restock, you can actually see it getting refilled. I like the animations too such as the musical notes and tipping jar. The character graphics though can still be improved as some have very sharp features. It would be better if they can make the features of the ladies appear softer and tone down the features of the men a bit too to make them look more friendly. Since this game can be played by not just adults but children and teens as well, it would be good to make them more attractive and less intimidating.

softer features please.:)

needs a little toning down.:)

The sound effects are on the mediocre side. It doesn’t do much to the game itself. In fact, it wouldn’t hurt to change this into a more lively and catchy tune to pump up playing time. The character responses are repetitive too, it is kind of funny the way a macho guy would suddenly let out a whiny “bye” or how an old lady would suddenly emit a manly growl before she leaves.
While playing, pop-ups with little instructions and suggestions such as this will appear on your screen. This will literally walk you through the whole application:

I highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in putting up her own food cart business or basically those who want to have some fun playing streetfood vendor. This is a good way of putting into practice the business skills you have acquired. It provides a venue where you can exercise your skill in making hard and fast decisions, managing finances well, increasing customer satisfaction, balancing restocking, and observing good sanitation.
With parental guidance, children aged 7 onwards and teens can easily enjoy the challenge of earning, spending and saving as nothing comes here for free. Everything has to be purchased with coins. Playing this game with your children is a good way of teaching them the value of handling money wisely and working your way up.
Overall, this is a great game to play. It is both fun and addicting. This game provides enough challenges that would make you want to play it again and again. With streetfood tycoon, you can be the savvy streetfood vendor in no time. Somehow, it exercises your brain to do more than flick your finger on the screen, it gets your mind working while you’re having fun.
Streetfood Tycoon can be downloaded using iPhone/iPad with iOS 4.03 or higher. To download, go to the iTunes App Store. Show your support to Filipino game developers by downloading and playing this game on your iPhone and iPad now.:)

Temple Run

Lately, I have been playing games in my iphone again. I recently downloaded Temple Run and because of that, my free time are the never the same again. Temple Run is an exciting running game released by Imagi Studios. The goal of this game is similar to many running games in the app store wherein with your control, the runner jumps over obstacles, slides under a tree or fire, and collect enough coins along the way to exchange for powers.

Unlike in most games though where the hero had to go through a maze full of traps, the runner here runs along a temple while being chased by vulture monsters. And unlike the single button approach, this uses an enhanced swiping mechanism. Swiping up or down will make the character jump or slide. Swiping left or right will make him turn. Tilting your screen will move the runner to the left or right making it easy to collect coins.
Although Temple Run is similar to other fast rhythm racing games, it creates enough suspense and has enough surprises that will have you hooked once you start playing. It provides lots of blocks such broken road, trunks, fire, etc.that the runner must dodged as well as sudden twists and turns that would keep you on your toes.



Scoring is standard, the longer the runner stays on track, the higher the scrore. Coins en route needs to be collected to buy utilities such as start-up boost and reincarnation, and power-ups which include coin magnets, invisibility (create bridges over gaps) and mega coin packs that can help you score higher.



Temple Run is a game of speed and sharp reflexes. It requires the player to run, jump and dodge quickly. If you dig fast racing running game, this will appeal to you as the outcome of the game will depend on the speed by which you flick your finger, and how keen you are on details as you need to make clever moves in an instant to avoid gaming over. The sound effects like the edgy background music and shrills of the vulture monsters are plus factors as they add excitement to the game. In the visual department, the use a third person camera made the game look three-dimensional. The playing environment though remains unchanged even when the runner has advanced. The graphics are a bit on the mediocre side, it has the same monochromatic hues from start to finish.
Nevertheless, there’s something about Temple Run that would really make you want to continue playing despite its shortcomings in the visual department. I find myself banging the table and stamping my foot whenever my runner gets booted out. I have stayed up late a couple of times too just to beat myself in the game. Whether it’s the desire to top your last score or accumulate more coins, you will yearn for the throbbing excitement that this game brings again and again.
This is perfect for kids in the pre-school age onwards as this can develop good eye-hand coordination. Likewise for moms like me too who need a respite from managing the household once in a while and engage in some hands on thrilling action.
Temple Run can be downloaded for free from the App Store. It runs on iphone 3G, 3GS, 4, 4S as well as iPad 1 & 2.

Win A One Year Supply of Proactiv Solution

I used to be an online contest fanatic. There was a year where I was winning on-line contest almost every month. Usually they were from contests where you had to answer a question or come with a witty remark for you to win. I was never lucky with raffles. But then, Blancnotes happened, so now most of my energy and time are devoted to developing this site and growing its community.
Whereas before where I would join all online contest imaginable, now, I only choose the ones whose products I really like and adore like Proactiv Solutions. I am happy to share that they have an ongoing contest on their facebook page right now till March 31.  The chosen winner will take home a year’s supply of Proactiv Solution (six-packs of Proactiv 60-day kit for a full 1 year supply).
Joining is so easy. You just have to follow this simple mechanics:

  • Post your most creative photo-with-text.
  1.  Enthusiasm – 50%  (demonstrates that you truly, deeply, urgently love and want Proactiv!)
  2. Creativity – 25%  (your answer is fun, engaging, and not boring!)
  3. Impact – 25%  (quality of response from the fan page community on your answer)

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The Sizzlin' Pepper Steak

Two Saturdays ago, my husband and I went malling at Trinoma. Since, we are from the South, it was sort of a big thing for us as we don’t normally go farther than Ortigas for gimmick days. Naturally, the first thing that we scouted was the best foodie place to have lunch. We wanted to eat in a place that we don’t usually frequent. One that doesn’t serve the usual fast food. We were looking for a casual restaurant that offers meals that fit our budget of 500 pesos.
The best choice was The Sizzlin’ Pepper Steak. We noticed how the overhead lighting made the restaurant look cozy and laid back. There were enough cushioned seats at the sides and bench tables in the middle. The service staff were extra nice, accomodating and courteous.


There were a lot of sizzlin’ choices to choose from. Pepper Rice Meals Ala Carte starts from php 192 to php 355 while Pepper Rice Meals with single served iced tea starts from php 197 to php 377. You can choose from a lot of food offerings such as Pepper Rice Overload, Sizzlin Steaks, Soups, Hamburgs, Salads, Pasta Specials, Furai Specials and Desserts.



We ordered both their Pepper Rice best sellers. Mine was the Beef Pepper Rice (php 208). The meat is tasty and tender. The Teriyaki sauce that comes with it has the right amount of sweetness, it goes perfectly well with the beef seasoned with salt and pepper.

Beef Pepper Rice

My husband, on the other hand, ordered the Pork Barbeque Pepper Rice (php 197 with single served iced tea) with an egg on top (sorry I just had to say that. hehe). Just like the Beef Pepper Rice, it is tasty. The barbeque sauce was heavenly too. It juicier and more tender than the Beef Pepper Rice though. My husband and I ended up swapping orders.
Pork BBQ Pepper Rice

As an extra treat, my husband ordered for me the New York Cheesecake because she knows how much I love cheesecake. It was super delish.
cheesecake!!!

The meals fit our 500 budget if not for the cheesecake. We will definitely be back for more of its affordable gastronomical treats.:)
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