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The Sound of Music at the Newport Performing Arts Theater

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Who has not watched a movie or performance of the Sound of Music? Well, me! It's so funny. I had it confused with Mary Poppins which is what I watched over and over in my childhood. I was telling my friends that I was going to watch it with the Twerp and asked them what the story line was about. They were incredulous! Like, what?? You've never seen the Sound of Music?? Well, never. I know Mary Poppins and Polyanna. I said Mary Poppins is about a singing nanny taking care of several kids and played by Julie Andrews in the movies. Isn't it the same story?

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Anyways, we were fortunate to get tickets at a discount to the Sound of Music performance at the Newport Performing Arts Theater. It was fifty percent off so I said why not? Via will like the singing. I looked up the story on the internet so I could explain if Via had any questions about it. Indeed Via enjoyed the show, especially the scenes with little Greta. Sometimes she would stand and dance to the singing.

Not being familiar with the theater, I didn't know the actors except for Captain von Trapp played by Audie Gemora as the lead. However, it was Ariel Rivera who played the captain this time. I think he was good at it. The children were all adorable and Maria, Joanna Ampil, was marvelous. I also loved the butler and the maid who provided the laughs. I enjoyed it as much as Via did. I remember my mother bringing me to watch ballet and other performances at the Cultural Center when I was Via's age and how amazed I was at everything. I do hope there will be more shows for children to come.

Just before the intermission, Via said she was hungry. Gosh! It's been two hours and we hardly noticed. Food and drinks were not allowed and I did not bring any with me. During the intermission, we went to buy snacks. All they had were cookies and such. Via chose a small pack of wafer, probably because it was pink. Do you know how much that thing cost? P60! What did I expect? :) At least it appeased Via's hunger and she was able to concentrate on the rest of the show. The whole show was three hours including a fifteen-minute intermission.

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I'm curious though, do you think the von Trapp family made it across the alps into Switzerland on foot?

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Sunday Market at Centris Walk

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I like Sunday markets. There are always interesting finds in these markets. I have a friend who frequents these markets. She brings lunch from home tow work and sometimes she would share and say, I got this from the Sunday market. It's really, really good. And it is! Whatever, LONGGANISA, DANGGIT, fruits, etc. So, she was telling us how this Sunday market she went to moved to Eton Centris and it's bigger now and that we should go.

So, off we went my friend K and I with the TWERP in tow. It was late when we got there, around 10AM and it was HOT! T wasn't kidding. There was so much to see! We decided to just walk and stop if we find anything interesting. Right away I saw these long dresses that's looks really comfortable and cool to wear in this summer heat. I bought a YELLOW dress for P100. Too bad there weren't really nice dresses for Via. I did buy her one dress for P50 but well, for fifty pesos it was okay.

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Then we moved on to the food section. There were a lot of cooked food that was very hard to resist since we can smell how GOOD they would taste :) Still we restrained ourselves. We came upon the BACKYARD CHEF. I loved what this stall was selling. I bought one container of the Queso Kalabaw with Shiitake Mushrooms. I thought it was expensive but I love cheese so I bought one. It's mixed with olive oil to preserve it. The BACKYARD CHEF had other variations with of the Queso Kalabaw. I am definitely coming back here to try them all. He also had this Tamarind sauce that's good as a dip or as a salad dressing.  We were really interested in his food stuff that we asked him if he was a chef by profession. No, he said he was a retired engineer and this is his passion. I ate the Queso Kalabaw with toasted sourdough bread. It was super. I think it would also go well with crackers or to mix with pasta.

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Next we went to the produce section. The vegetables were fresh and healthy looking despite the heat. We bought DUHAT for P65/half kilo. Was disappointed though because it wasn't sweet.

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Our last stop was the plant section. K bought two indoor plants for only P100 each. When the plants at home die, which they will because they don't get enough sun and air and whatever plants need, I'll buy plants when we come back. You might be thinking why buy plants when I expect them to die. Well, a Feng Shui person told me I had to have plants in the kitchen and this part of our house that was a "portal" for spirits. I don't super believe in it, well maybe a little bit. She asked if I felt fatigued all the time which I was. Once I put place those plants where she told me to and put up some pictures of the woods and mountains on the wall separating the bedroom and the kitchen, I did feel better. No more fatigue. She said the proximity of the kitchen to my bedroom was draining my energy. Okay, so I need to have plants in the house. The lady who sold K her plants said that those thrived indoors and hardly needed sun and water. So that's what I will buy. Hopefully, we can keep it healthy.

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We didn't stay very long because of the heat and because we were very hungry but next time, we will come a little earlier so Via could try the slides that we saw as well as be able to look at  the other areas we didn't get to.

Linking up with Food Trip Friday!

Happy Weekend!

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Summer Camp for Kids

Monday, May 21, 2012

Why send our kids to summer camp? What would be the benefit? Via joined a summer camp for children last week. Participants were kinder, prep and primary school children who attend the Sabbath school. The camp's organizers were the Sabbath school teachers for the logistics while the activities were organized by the collegiate ministry made up of high school and college students. A lot of the activities can be done at home for your pre-schooler so I'll be describing some of them in detail for you to try out at home.

It turned out that only four kids from Via's kinder Sabbath school class joined.  They were the youngest participants. The children were grouped into four teams with the four youngest staying together and assigned to the pink team. Perfect team for my pink loving daughter. The two days were packed with activities and the little ones joined in all of it.

On arrival at the venue, Boso-Boso Highlands in Antipolo, Via saw this huge swimming pool and really looked forward to going swimming. It was a great place to hold a summer camp with lots of outdoors, trees and wide open spaces. There were outdoor activities like the obstacle course, playgrounds and swimming pools, lots of them and BIG too. The swimming pool in the photo below is only one of many. There's a big one for kids probably one-fourth an olympic sized pool and the water is only up to the knee for grown ups. For pre-schoolers, it was up to their chest. It had a circular slide in the middle.

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Like I said, they were grouped into teams and each of them were given a scarf the color of their team. That's her team color she's wearing on her head during the orientation and team grouping. The first activity was right after lunch. It was dessert making. A long table was laid our with fruits, nuts, marshmallows, candies and lots of other toppings you could think of to make your desert pretty. These were some of the dessert made by kids but the winner which unfortunately I wasn't able to take a photo of was very, very pretty. Via didn't make her dessert. She just got all the goodies that looked good to her and started eating.

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For the dessert making, lay out sliced fruits that hold their shape well like apples, bananas, melons. Mangoes are also good if they're not too ripe otherwise they will get mushy. Then have some nuts, marshmallows, M&Ms, cereals, colored sprinkles, wafers, whipped cream, condensed milk, whatever else you can think of. Also have decorations like little umbrellas, toothpics, etc. Then design away!

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The rest of the activities were outdoors. There were stations for each activity. I don't know how many stations there. It was quite a walk between stations, going up and down the winding roads and at one time, even crossing a hanging bridge. One of the activities was blindfolding the kids and having them touch items and identifying them. I balked when I saw this cup of worms. I wouldn't touch it for anything but Via did and when she found out later what it was, she was just fine with it.

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Via wanted her own candle for the lantern lighting but she was too little to join this one. It would have been dangerous. She had to be content with watching the big kids and the lit lantern floating in the sky. There was a talent portion during the bonfire which was participated in by everyone. The little ones, the four of them had the loudest cheers and clapping.

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There were more activities next day and the awarding and raffles.  Via and her little classmates got awards of course and after that on to the swimming pool. The activity below is the painting. Materials are cartolina laid flat on the table, different colors and napkins. Just bunch up the napkins, dip them into the colors and throw them onto the cartolina or you can dab them on there if you want to make a pattern. When finished, dry it out in the sun. If it turns out well, then it's a nice wall hanging for the kid's bedroom.

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Via had soooo much fun that I did not regret her going. I had misgivings before because she's the youngest participant and she had diarrhea just the day before but everything worked out. She went to bed as soon as we got home and woke at the next day at 7am. The little girl was all tuckered out but very happy.

Summer camp is great for children. For Via, she gained a lot of benefits from it.



  • She was able to meet many people, young and old, and interacted with them.

  • With some of the activities, she learned how to be careful. When to be brave, plunge in and when to be aware of any danger involved.

  • The activities opened up a lot of possibilities for her as well as learning opportunities.

  • She made new friends.

  • Learned skills that could not be learned at home.

  • Learned to appreciate the outdoors. We live in a building and being able to be so close to nature with lots of trees and mountains all around was a whole new world to her.

  • Confidence and self-reliance. I stayed in the background most of the time, only helping when she could possibly hurt herself.

  • This being a summer camp organized by the church, it was not all fun and games but included spiritual experiences.

I definitely will let her go again next year. It was a great terrific experience for Via and for me.

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Breakfast Buffets

Friday, May 18, 2012

What is it with breakfast buffets in hotels that make me forget my good intentions about eating moderately, choosing the right food, etc. We spent the Mother's Day weekend at Edsa Shangrila. This was our office outing which coincided with Mother's Day. Great timing, huh? We get two choices for our outing, an out of town/beach resort outing or an overnight stay in a hotel. I always, always choose the hotel. I don't really like the beach with the sand sticking to my skin and the heat and the water is itchy, anyway, I don't like the beach.

Edsa Shangrila is a little old now compared to the new hotels like Marriott and H2O. I use the bathroom as gauge. If it's not glass all around or at least one wall should be glass, then it's old. However, the service is always good. I've never had bad experience with Edsa Shangrila. The only thing though, I wasn't able to use the internet. I don't know why but it didn't matter that much to me anyway. Thanks to free android apps, which I tinkered with as I was falling asleep. We mostly spent our time in the swimming pool anyway.

Via enjoyed swimming. We stayed in the pool until our skin wrinkled from the water and Via's teeth chattered. I guess even with the sun shining, she felt cold after staying in the water a long time. The life guard gave her a life vest which made her very brave swimming all by herself, pretending to be a mermaid.

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For me though, the highlight as always was the breakfast buffet of any hotel stay. I just love hotel breakfast buffets that offers up everything I could ever think of. I got a little of everything I wanted.



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Believe it or not, I ate all of it too.  I didn't eat the rest of the day. I was still full at bedtime:)

Linking up with Food Trip Friday!

Happy Weekend!

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Becoming Social

Monday, May 14, 2012

Since the Twerp is an only child, I've been thinking about her social development. I'm an only child and I've always been very shy. Even now I prefer a small group rather than an big crowd. I would like for Via to be more outgoing than I was. I was glad she had regular playmates when she turned 2, a boy and a girl. They live in the same building we do and they're all close in age. Only a month older than Via, both of them. However, the little boy had to migrate with his family last December. Now, the little girl will be moving away as well. It's a good thing she's going to pre-school now and she has a friend there.


Last weekend, we met up with relatives at the mall during a three-day sale. I wasn't planning on going anywhere near the sale but we hardly ever get to see our relatives and it beats the heat at home. This summer heat aggravates Via's allergies which she seemed to have inherited from me. I think she has my allergic rhinitis. I need to buy da buddha vaporizer for our home to help with Via's breathing problems at times. Anyway, Via got to see her cousins, a 6-year old boy and a 2-year old girl. She latched onto them and walked around the mall with them, especially Kuya. It's great how kids get together and understand each other in their own way. They had fun and a lot of loud laughter from all of them.


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So far, she's not showing any of the shyness that I had for which I'm really happy. She does have moments of crying when she can't express herself but for the most part she communicates well. It's really the right time to start pre-school.

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Avilon Zoo

Thursday, May 3, 2012

We planned this trip to Avilon Zoo on Labor Day, May 1, with my bestfriend's sister and her daughter. I had no idea where the zoo was. I thought it was near Tiendesitas but that turned out to be an indoor zoo called Ark Avilon. Ark Avilon and Avilon Zoo had the same owners but Avilon Zoo, we were told is located in San Isidro, Montalban. We were stumped! Ang layo nun! 

But since we planned a visit to the zoo that day and it was still early, we decided to go on to Avilon Zoo anyway. We saw a line of taxicabs at SM Hypermart. The driver agreed to take us but had to consult other taxi drivers where Avilon Zoo was exactly. They were all sketchy about the location and how to get there. Good thing for us. It was a slow day for taxicabs and the driver did not even haggle. He used the taxi meter. I have to commend 24/7 taxi by the way, I always use them when possible.

It was indeed very far. It took us an hour and a half because it was a holiday, and lots of asking around. On a regular day, the trip would most likely take more than 2 hours. We were excited once we finally got there.

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At the entrance, Via kept asking, where are the animals? Where are the animals? She wanted to see elephants and giraffes and kangaroos. The first place we came across was the animal feeding station where one can feed the guinea pigs vegetables like carrots, beans etc.

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From there, we came across the birds. There were so many different species. Some were very colorful. I marveled at how clean the zoo was and the animals were healthy. They were very well looked after. The zoo itself had several buildings where construction was going on. They really created it as close to the animals natural habitat as possible. 

Via enjoyed the big cats like the tiger, puma, cougar and the snow leopard which she recognized from watching Diego.

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I loved watching her watch the animals :) She wasn't scared at all and even had her picture taken with this orangutan called Trixie, holding her hand. She was really curious that she touched the tummy, face, mouth and the hair.

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We enjoyed our visit to Avilon Zoo but I doubt we will go back. It's just too far.

The entrance fee is P300 for adults and P200 for children 3.5 feet and below. Tour guides are available if you want one for P400. Picture taking with the orangutan, owl and eagle were P50 for two shots.


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