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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Realizations at 29th

TWO + 9 Life lessons

I started my day with a prayer. I thanked my dear Heavenly Father for giving me the best life! Then I read my scriptures. I looked for a section of the Doctrine and Covenants which was recorded during October, and it was section 66. It was a revelation for Brother McLellin. It was recorded there that "faithful ministerial service ensures an inheritance of eternal life". I realized how this message perfectly suited for my 29th year on earth because we are currently serving as couple missionaries for BYU Pathway. I was also recently called the new stake YW President. Our 2017-2018 is going to be a year of service.

Then I cleaned the house. I ate breakfast.  Zephrine woke up. We took a bath and got ready for our movie date and Birthday dinner. I made 2 boxes of chocolates (1 for the web team and the other for the GA team) for my Quickstrike Family with a note that says "Thank you for being a sweet part of my life! We dropped them off at the office on our way to SM San Fernando.

We arrived at SM San Fernando around 3:15 p.m. I started a new tradition for my birthday celebrations.  It is to watch a movie that will inspire me to be a better person, empowers family relationships and will redirect my priorities to the things that matter most. Nanay Sofie accompanied me to watch "Seven Sundays". It was a great movie! It's about remembering our parents no matter how busy we may become as we grow older and as we take on more responsibilities in life. It taught me the importance of "helping between siblings".  It also taught me the importance of open communication in the family and being sensitive to the needs of your family members. I loved it.
Finally, we had my birthday dinner at Vikings as planned by Michael. He was really excited about this because it was my first time to try this restaurant. It was good. I personally enjoyed the foods and the service.

Here are my important 2 + 9  realizations at 29th: 

*** TWO ***

1. It's okay to fail in all of them than to fail in my motherhood calling. Being a working mom plus all the other responsibilities drags me down at times. The thought of "I can do better than this", my many if's and then's and the stresses around me can turn me into a grumpy, negative woman. This lesson brings back the peace of my heart, redirects my priorities and invigorates my mind. 

2. Your relationship with your spouse gives the greatest degree of confidence. A wise man once said, Marriage is a gift from God, and the quality of our Marriage is our gift to God". I find myself most ineffective when I have a misunderstanding with my husband while I am most inspired (beautiful) when we are united in love. A happy marriage is not an overnight magical thing. It really requires a lot of hard work and diligent nurturing efforts.

*** NINE ***

1. The fastest way to recover is to accept it. When bad things happen, when we fall short or when challenges come, we have two options, we can solve them or simply we cannot do anything about it. Acceptance switches our attention to the right solutions and righteous resolutions.

2. Hold on to the iron rod also means hold on to your righteous desires. Being a good person is never easy. There were times in my own life when I wanted to quit. But quitting also means letting go of my chance to live with God again. So instead of giving up, take a break. Recharge yourself and continue the journey with your lamps full of oil. 

3. Love: I once jumped off a cliff expecting the man beside me to do the same. He didn't. He wanted to save me instead. But I didn't want to be just a friend. I wanted him to join me down there or I should say, I wanted him to love me back. For love to go to the second level which is Marriage, two people should have a united choice to jump off together at the same time. If he didn't jump with you, look around. Maybe the right man is already there just standing behind you. 

4. Love is something you give. You never withhold it. There will be times when people who are dear to you will make wrong choices, hurt us or sometimes the hardest view is to see them living beneath their worth (potentials). No matter what the circumstance may be, to love them is the best we can do. For love is the most powerful influence in this world. 

5. Integrity saves. People will love us. Some will dislike us. Others will admire us. Few or more will put us down. I learned that no matter what people will say about us either good or bad if our life is founded on honesty, strong moral principles and the gospel of Jesus Christ, our true color will radiate may be right away or sometimes in due time.  So never let anything or anyone redefine you. Be good but do not waste your time proving it. We must seek proper appreciation from the right sources. 

6. Setting "Financial Goals" makes each day a little closer to "Financial Freedom". Oh yes! It's not how small or big your salary each month but it's more about how you manage your resources. If you have financial goals, all the saving tactics will follow. You can read some of my tips at my-10-tips-on-financial-management

7. Responsibility + Commitment = Spiritual Maturity. Spiritual Matter doensn't only pertain to religion. We were created with a body and a spirit. Life is governed by timeless principles such as what you sow, you will reap. To experience growth in taking on a responsibility requires commitment. Anyone can be a father or a mother instantly but you will not fully understand this responsibility unless you commit yourself to fulfill the associated tasks or roles with it. The responsibilities we embark ourselves on broaden our understanding in the magnificent scope of life and truest meaning of success and eternal happiness. 

8. Take time to exercise, meditate and just breath. I fell in love with Exercise since I was in my primary years. A doctor advised that I should lift weights for my bones. I do a lot of meditation when I read my scriptures (bible, the book of Mormon) and other books or when I stare at random things (which my husband finds really weird! haha). But I only started to enjoy the beauty of breathing recently. I should have done this long time ago. Mindful breathing is so refreshing. This teaches me what it really means to live. To breath increases my appreciation & gratitude to the giver of life even our Father in Heaven. 

9.  I started my journey to refinement on my 29th birthday,  and I share my experience @refinedwomanhood (IG and Fb Page at My Journey to Refined Womanhood). To be refined is my goal before I turn 30 years old next year. Refinement is about purification and sanctification. It is being able to possess a higher level of self-control, being cultured in appearance, becoming more Christ-like and to gain wisdom. I actually got a bit nervous about this goal because I remember a quote from a friend that goes like this, "I asked God to make me strong, then God gave me trials." I pray that whatever challenge or tests that will come along the way I'll trust on the enabling power of the atonement of Jesus Christ wholeheartedly.

Cheers for 29 years! Birthdays are a new beginning...

My 10 Tips on Financial Management

This blog is one of my Two + 9 Realizations at 29th!

1. Set Financial Goals. We learned from BPI's financial training the importance of writing down and setting a specific timeline for each of our goals that involve finances.
Example: A dream house should be at least 5 years to complete. It is not advisable to exceed more than that. So I completed a worksheet that has our age, target year of completion, goal and the action plan in line to achieve it.

2. Combine salary and all other sources of income. We used to have one account and it messed up our budget from time to time, so we decided to have 3 bank accounts: a joint account, my personal account and my husband's. The joint account is our monthly revolving fund, my account is for our Savings and my husband's is for emergency and travel funds.

3. Save up & Live within your means. It is important to use the money you earned today for the expenses of today. Never borrow from your future salary for what is due today.

4. Create a Budget and Monitor it. The monthly revolving fund (or a monthly budget) gives us a warning signal: stop, wait or go when we buy and pay bills. It is wise to set an amount for your monthly budget. (Ex. 10,000/month). Then train yourself and the family to never go over that.
I have a notebook to monitor our expenditures. I will take a photo of my working budget sheet later.

5. Envelope System.  We try to pay everything online but there are still things that we need to pay in cash. The envelope system is my personal petty cash system. You can visit my instagram @refinedwomanhood for photos and for more details about it.

6. Create Funds for specific goals. Here are some of the funds we are still building up:

  • Emergency Fund - My boss' number 1 financial advise given was to have this fund good for 1+years. The many years the better. But you can start with at least a revolving fund good for 3-6 months. 
  • Travel Fund - This will determine if we are capable of traveling. 
  • Sinking Fund - A fund for a specific short-term goal. We keep this in a jar (Alakansya). We save 5 peso and 10 peso coins. We use this as our instant emergency fund or for buying Christmas gifts. 

7. Buy Insurance Plan. This will save us from poverty in case something really bad happens. This is also our retirement savings for now. Maybe after we pay for our insurance plans we can focus on saving and planning for our retirement. I chose Kaiser through IMG because it's not expensive compared to other insurance providers. It also comes with a Health Insurance good for a lifetime.

8. Open Saving accounts for Children through long-term investments. We planned not to spend a lot of money for birthday celebrations, gadgets, "luho" or items of clothing for our kids. I had a roommate at BYU-Hawaii who developed very well a habit of saving. She shared with me that her mother doubled the amount of money they were able to save in a month and deposited it to their individual bank account. This ignited their excitement for saving. Each of them started to set a monthly target amount to reach their yearly savings goal. I chose COL financial for Zephrine because it's easy to monitor online, reliable and most of all it's cheap.

9. Increase cash inflows (money coming in) and decrease cash outflows (payments). I learned this principle from my Finacial Management classes and from IMG. I am still looking for ways to increase our cash inflows. I guess online selling is one of the most famous ways to do it while at home or working. For now, we are investing slowly through my father-in-law's farm.
We cut our expenses by keeping our bills at certain levels/amount (ex. electric, gas, house rent and etc.) I can write a whole blog about this. But the main point is to get as much discount as you can. It's more fun to pay less than the original price.

10. Share your blessings by giving back. We give back through paying our tithings and generous fast offerings. We started paying them through BPI online and it's so much more convenient for us. I think another way we do it is when we celebrate our birthdays by choosing a group of people we would like to share our blessings with for each year. We are still not capable of putting up a big party. We can also give back by helping those in need and even the strangers around us.

BONUS TIPS. The tips take time to be perfectly part of our daily routines. I am still in the process as well.  Sometimes I disobey number 4  because of laziness and busyness but as they said, the way to perfection is constant and diligent practice.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

This is how I gained my Self Confidence

Paano ko napalakas ang aking "Kumpiyasa sa Sarili"? 

My husband and I were invited to be guest speakers last YM & YW A Night to Remember of the Angeles 2nd Ward. Our messages focused on strengthening our Individual Worth and Self-Confidence. I asked the youth kung "Sino sa kanila ang natatakot kay Bishop? or kay President Bondoc?" And there were few who raised their hands. Napakahalaga na habang youth pa lang ay maka-gain na tayo ng healthy self-confidence dahil the choices we make while in this age are crucial to what lies ahead in our future. When we are confident, most of our choices will lead us to eternal bliss. 

Doctrine & Covenants 121:45 teaches us, and I quote,
"...and Let Virtue garnish our thoughts unceasingly, then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God..."

Confidence for me is a state of mind. What you think defines and becomes you. I love this scripture verse a lot. If we can face the Lord confidently, then we can talk or interact with everyone. When I was in my youth, lagi akong kinakabahan pag Dance Socials. Lagi akong out of place because I was mostly "bangko". My skin color was not attractive to the YM. Excited ako sa mga other youth activities pero pag dating sa mga sayawan, I just wanted to stay outside. 

Years passed. The blessings of having a healthy self-confidence are exciting! I was able to dine with great men and women, established friendships with people from all walks of life and found a great job because I keep myself ready to face the Lord. As I mentioned earlier, "if I am confident to meet God, I know I can face whoever comes along my way". There are three tips I shared with the youth that night kung paano ko nadeveloped ang aking "Self-Confidence". 

1. Believe in Yourself. If you don't believe in yourself, nobody will believe in you. When I was in my 1st grade, my mother kept telling me that I am a smart kid although I was a slow learner. My teacher grouped our chairs into 4 rows. Row1 was the smartest kids in class, then row 2 were the good ones, row 3 was 50-50 and row 4 students were the ones who needed additional learning assistance. I was in row 3. I was bad at Reading. And because I believed my mom, I eventually believed in myself. I ended up the Class 1st Honor that school year. There is so much power in believing in ourselves. Parang lahat ng impossible biglang nagiging possible. Believing in yourself also means trusting in yourself. When you trust yourself, we also trust our Heavenly Father who is our Creator. His creation is never mediocre. Never doubt, only believe. It's like how miracles work through our faith. 

2. Invest in Yourself. Because I wasn't pretty in the eyes of the world during my teen years, I focused on developing my talents and I studied very hard. I told myself that if I weren't pretty, I should be a smart and a talented lady. I learned how to play the piano and the guitars.  I also joined theater clubs, dance groups, and choirs. I involved myself in various leadership opportunities both in school and at church. I finished my Personal Progress and graduated from Seminary. Investing in yourself means making yourself valuable. Gusto kong paramihan ang mga talento at kaalamang binigay sa akin ni Heavenly Father. Michael and I were the opposite when we were teenagers. He was Mr. Popular. He won Mr. Engineering, 1st Runner UP while I was an ugly duckling. 

3. Love Yourself. To gain a strong self-esteem, we also need to learn how to be a good friend and to make friends. Friendship is a foundation of love na ating magagamit sooner when we are finally ready to meet our Eternal Companion. We need to establish friendships hindi lang sa kapwa babae or kapwa lalaki natin but also our opposite sex. Bilang babae we need to learn how to mingle with men and not to look awkward or suplada when we are with them. I learned na hindi maganda ang maging too loud sa isang babae. Kailangan din tayo maging mabuting kaibigan sa kapwa nang walang kompetensiya. There will always be someone who is better than us, prettier than us, smarter than us or sexier than us but we should never feel threatened or jealous. A good friend helps us become the best version of ourselves. It is always best to appreciate than to diminish others. For example, if someone is prettier than you, instead of hating that person why not seek beauty tips from her? The world will be a happier place if we uplift each other. Love and accept yourself. Love the things you have, you possess and the things you can do. Accept those you cannot change. Aspire for continuous growth in all aspects of your life; emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual.
The way you love yourself is how you will love others. 

I pray that each of you dear young friends will remember who you are all the days of your life. You are special and you can do a lot of good things on this earth because you are a child of a powerful God. We have the power to create and our potentials are limitless especially when we believe, invest and love ourselves. 

Have a good night!

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Blessings of "Fasting"

Isaiah 58 recorded the most beautiful promised blessings when we fast.
8. Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward.
[The light is the enlightenment of our minds in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We will have a strong mind, a healthy body,  righteousness of hearts and the Lord will be our rearguard. ]
9. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
The Lord will hear our cries. He will be there to give us knowledge. He will comfort us when we are sad. He will empower us when we are persecuted. Our capability to resist temptations will get stronger.  The yoke is a symbol of any sins, habits or wickedness we will be able to overcome when we fast. When we pray we ask the Father of something we really need. When we add fasting, we show him more eagerness and seriousness of our petitions.

Elder Bowen taught, "Our Father will free us from the bands of wickedness. He will lift our heavy burdens, and He will let the oppressed go free. In fact He promises to empower us to break every yoke. What an enabling promise, to have the power to break every yoke!"
10. And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:
[When we fast, we also give our generous fast offerings. Our fast offerings will be used to help the needy and the afflicted. Our good examples will shine forth.]
11. And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. 
[Wow! The Lord will be our constant companion. He will help us gain self-control in all things. We will never run of energy, we will always stay fresh and beautiful as the flowers in the Lord's garden.]
 12. And they shall be of thee shall build of the waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shall be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
We will be strong builders of Zion. We will help in the raising of the next generations. We will the Lord's instrument so He can do all His jobs on earth.

Elder Bowen asked these amazing questions from his talk Fasting with Power by Elder Bowen ,
"What if there were a way to overcome our habits, addictions, and burdens? What if there were a way to gain sufficient confidence in the Lord that you could call down the powers of heaven? What if there were principles you could teach your loved ones that, if applied, would allow them to overcome personal weaknesses and draw closer to God? As we properly understand and live the law of the fast, these desired blessings can be ours."

 He also added his explanations of Isaiah 58's promised blessings when we fast. He taught, A true fast, however, requires more than just going without food, as the following principles illustrate.
Principle 1: A generous fast offerings blesses others. 
Principle 2: Fasting invites enlightenment and the companionship of the Holy Ghost. 
Principle 3: Fasting helps us subdue the natural man. 
"Fasting requires discipline. Fasting helps us accomplish one of the vital purposes of life: developing self-mastery.King Benjamin referred to this self-mastery as overcoming the natural man. He taught that the natural man is an enemy to God, always has been, and ever will be. If we don’t overcome the natural man in this life and become “a saint through the atonement of Christ” (Mosiah 3:19), we will never live with our Father in Heaven again. Our physical bodies are created in such a way that we can have a spiritual victory over the natural man each time we properly fast.“When a person starts a fast, biochemical adjustments begin in the bloodstream to compensate for the lack of food. A carbohydrate substance known as glycogen is released from storage areas in the liver and the muscles. The body uses glycogen as food to keep cells supplied with energy. After 24 hours this food source is used up, and another source of energy is needed.“Dr. Siegfried Heyden of Duke University’s Department of Community and Family Medicine says when this happens, the body starts looking for other energy sources. ‘The first thing happening after a 24-hour fast is the breakdown of fat cells. And these fat cells, when they break down, produce ketone bodies, as they are called. And these ketone bodies seem to have an effect on our psyche in that they make us no longer hungry.’”1After 24 hours without food or drink, the body (the natural man) submits to the spirit (the spiritual man). When the spiritual man is victorious, we experience greater sensitivity to the influence of the Holy Ghost. " - Elder Bowen
Principle 4: Fasting intesifies prayer. 
[I learned from the mission that a complete scripture study begins with a prayer. But when we pray, fast and study, there is more wisdom learned during the reading and pondering.]
Principle 5: Fasting prepares us to bear our testimony. Elder Bowen explained, " Those who have prepared carefully for the fast and testimony meeting won't need to be reminded how to bear testimony should they feel impressed to do it in the meeting. They won't give sermons nor exhortations nor travel reports nor try to entertain as they bear witness. Because they will have already expressed appreciation to people privately, they will have less need to do it publicly. Neither will they feel a need to use eloquent language or to go on at length."
[When we share our testimony while fasting, the Holy Ghost will guide us what to say.]
 What a beautiful cure. What a beautiful reminder!

Monday, October 16, 2017

When we failed.

Today, I was very annoyed. Things didn't go the way it supposed to be. There are days when I wake and I feel so lazy to move my body. Times when all I want to do is to lock myself in a room. Days when I feel I am only a human. There are mornings when I feel like I am a superwoman. I wake up, pray and read my scriptures, then I do some stretchings. Ideally, after my personal time, I clean the house, do laundry and buy groceries. I shower. Then, Zephrine wakes up. I played with her. I feed her and bathe her. I get ready to work. Michael comes at 10:00a.m. to pick me up. This is what a good day for us is. After work, we go somewhere for snacks. 

But today I failed. I woke up feeling overwhelmed. This is a time when I feel like I am running out of time. I feel miserable. I used to hate this fact but as I learn to accept when I fall short, the healing comes faster. I know I should move on. Try again and hold on a little tighter to the iron rod. 

"No temptation, no pressure, no enticing can overcome us unless we allow such. If we make the wrong choice, we have no one to blame but ourselves…We have all made incorrect choices. If we have not already corrected such choices, I assure you that there is a way to do so. The process is called repentance. I plead with you to correct your mistakes. Our Savior died to provide you and me that blessed gift."
- President Thomas S Monson

I opened my facebook and I found this comforting words from our living prophet today. I should have guarded myself better. I should have prepared myself against the adversary. He wanted me to fail. He rejoices when I feel pain and discouraged. 
When I was younger, I remember telling God that I am giving up. I used to complain a lot. I even tell myself many times that I am tired of trying to be good. I couldn't hold on one more day. I thought I reached the end of my endurance. 

However, it came to a point that I realized that if I give up, I am also giving up my greatest hopes in life. So I promised the Lord that no matter how what and why I failed, I will stand up. I will do it over and over again. I don't want to waste Christ's atonement for us. I admit that there are days when I feel I am a hypocrite. But if I believe all the negative thoughts the Devil is telling me, I will never reach the peak of my potentials and return home safely to my Heavenly Father.  

There is no perfect situation in this world. But with a perfect knowledge that there is a God should sustain us to keep pressing forward. His love has no end. He knows our hearts. And He will never forsake us. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Our September Highlights

We went to the temple on the 1st day of this month. We went to Ihap Chan for lunch. We came home early and rested.

September 2 and 3 was our Stake Conference. I was the pianist during the Sunday Morning Session. We were sustained as service couple missionaries for the BYU Worldwide Pathway Connect. I was also called to be the new Stake Young Women President of the Philippines Angeles Stake. My set-apart blessing was given by President Querido. Twa's one of the most spiritual experience I had for this year. I felt a power given to me. I became more in-tune with the Spirit. We also met with the youth leaders from the wards. It was very nice.

This month I was able to do more multi-tasking. I do the laundry and wake up early to buy groceries and food at the dirty market (Talipapa). We were able to save more $$$. I finally picked-up my BDO atm card the second week of this month. Seriously, it's my first personal bank account  in the Philippines after coming home from the US.

We visited Ozamis unexpectedly. Yays! It was so fun! We were there from September 9 to 16, 2017. I will blog about the experience soon. Ate Iroal picked us up from the airport on September 17. Then we went straight to Bulacan and Michael met us there.

We missed our first Thursday Gathering for BYU Pathway but we enjoyed the second week. We finally met the students assigned to us. We have 7 amazing brothers and sisters in our class. This program is so inspired. I am personally learning a lot from them.

September 18, we had a videoke night during our Family Home Evening. We posted a video of us singing "Can't help falling in love". Yays!

September 23 was a date day with Nanay Sofi. It was my first time to buy groceries in APO while Nanay was in the parlor. We decided to go here for Agnes Salon. It was recommended by our neighbor. We were so happy to have found it. And yes!!! She cut very well. She really took time to make sure her clients love their hair. Nanay felt loved.

September 24th, we had our sunday after church walk at the Airforce City Park in Clark. We passed by the Eiffel Tower in Clark and took some photos. It's a time to reflect.

September 30,  we concluded this month with a short tour at Nayong Pilipino in Clark after attending the National Family week at church in the morning. Wow! Ofcourse! We are so grateful for our national heritage. We are proud to be Filipinos. By the way, this past week was the NAtional Family Week so there were activities at church for the whole week. I attended health training and the mobile photography class.

September is so blissful. I love it! I really enjoyed this month. I am excited for the upcoming month. It's my birthday month. Yahoo!!!

Subic 2017

12 August 2017

Because of too much stress, we decided to go to Subic for the next weekend. I love shopping there at Harbor Point. We ate at Kuya J's restau. This is now one of our favorites.
It was Zephrine's first time in the ocean. We went to the Inflatable Island. We also had our little tour in Olonggapo City where Michael spent his elementary days! Then we concluded the day with a Stake Leaders and Youth Leaders Dinner at Tabehoudai. 
Inflatable Island is a bit pricey. It's super cool in photos but I don't think you will enjoy for the whole day if there's a lot of guests with you. 

Isabela 2017

I realized that when we travel, we go to places with a purpose. This trip was unexpected. We went to Cauayan, Isabela for Michael's cousin, Sherizzah. We planned to attend her sealing last Saturday at the Manila temple but we woke up late so we decided to go to her reception instead. We left our house at around 2am and arrived there at 11am. It was a smooth travel.

Michael loves to attend family reunion and gatherings. That is one thing I admire about him. I feel the spirit of Elijah through him. Tita Bing was there too who came home from USA. Tita Virgie was beside me. This travel was special for me because I regained peace by creating fresh memories with the Burgos Clan. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Singapore 2017

Our first out of the country family trip. 

We went to Singapore because my best friend Eloisa lives there with her husband. We celebrated our friendship there together with Von and his family. Eloisa, Von and I were bff's since high school. It was our reunion. It was very special because now we are all married and Von has a partner and we reminisced our teen years. My best friends are few of my life's treasures. Even though we live miles apart now, every time we see each other, it seems like high school life was yesterday. I love them so much. They also finally met our baby Zephrine. We stayed at Eloi's apartment that's why we saved a lot of $$$. If it weren't for that, we wouldn't be able to visit this beautiful, expensive city. 

Day 1: Arrival and dinner at Marina bay with the Montesurs. This place is so magical. There were live shows, water shows and bubbles every where. We ate pizzas. Cedrick picked us up from the airport. Day 2: We experienced Singapore Zoo and River Safari. Wow wow wow. This trip was really for me and my husband. We enjoyed this zoo so much. My personal favorite was the elephant show. Michael's favorite was the white lion. I love the giraffes, the hippos and the kangaroos. 
Zephrine's reactions during this whole trip was priceless. She was so friendly to everyone. We rode the bus the whole time we were there. 
Then we ate dinner with Von who just arrived with his family at Marina bay again. 
Day 3: Church in the morning and along our way to Sentosa, we discovered the route via cable car!!! Yes! We made it! haha! Sentosa is an island where most adventure parks are located. We spent the whole afternoon with the crew at the Adventure Cove. We swam with the fishes. This Island is amazing!!!! Then dinner at a Singapore restaurant. 
Day 4: We went to Universal Studios for the whole day. Oh! This place reminded me of Disneyland!!!!!!!!! Woah! The shows are incredibly world class. Zephrine watched the Sesame Street Play. Michael enjoyed the rides. 
Day 5: China town, Japanese and Chine Gardens. We shopped at China town and we relaxed at the gardens. We met with Ayo and her family for dinner. 
Day 6: Departure. We packed and get ready. We enjoyed the amenities of the airport. Then welcome back clark.

Here's some of our photos: 

We love you Singapore! 

Palawan 2015


We spent 3 days and 2 nights in Palawan. We arrived there Friday, January 9th. We had our city tour on day 1. We went to Baker's Hill, Crocodile Farm, Butterfly Garden and Tribal Village.
Palawan for me is the most beautiful island in the Philippines. It's clean and most of all the people there are so friendly. We didn't have any hotel reservations but it wasn't hard to find a cheap, cozy hotel. The Tryke's prices are posted every where so there's no corrupt drivers. They are honest there. 
We weren't able to go to the last part of our City Tour. It supposed to be a dinner at the shore during sunset. We were so tired and sleepy. 

On day 2, we went to the famous "Underground River". We had to ride a boat to go the river. Then we passed a jungle/forest where there are monkeys roaming around. Then we finally arrived at the river. There were lots of tourist at that time. It was amazing!!!!! It was one of the longest caves in the world. 

Day 3 was our island hopping adventure. We went to three islands, the Lilu (lulubog, lilitaw island, Star fish Island and Cowrie Island). Each island is so unique. 

Honeymooners in Palawan!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Ilocos Sur 2016

We spent the Christmas holiday  last December 2016 in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. We arrived there late Saturday evening, the 24th. It was a long drive but it was worth it. Little Zephrine was very cooperative. She was fine the whole drive. We stayed at this hotel in Bantayan. After we checked-in, we went straight to Calle Crisologo for dinner. 

On Christmas Day, we attended church in Vigan 3rd ward (I believe so). Then we roamed around the city. The following day, Monday, we went to Plaza Burgos, back to Calle Crisologo, and Pagburnayan where we made pots. After lunch, we went to Baluarte and Hidden Garden. It was a fully loaded day. 
We visited Bell Church, Bantayan on Tuesday. Then back to Crisologo and we headed home to Tarlac to meet with the Vreeken and Lugo Families. 
It was fun to get to know Padre Burgos who is actually Michael's ancestor.

Calle Crisologo at Night

Vigan Chapel 

Merry Christmas Everyone!