Prayer 99

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My favorite prayer. It was shared to me and I love to share it with all of you. Please read carefully just like when you are praying.


Dear Lord,I thank you for this day.I thank you for my being able to see and hear from you this morning.I'm blessed because you are a forgiving God and understanding.You have done so much for me and you keep on blessing me. Forgive me this day for everything I've done.said or thought that was not pleasing to you. I ask now for your forgiveness. Please keep me safe from all danger or harm. Help me start this day with a new attitude and plenty of gratitude. Let me make the best of each and everyday. To clear my mind so that I can hear from you..please broaden my mind that I can accept all things. let me not whine or whimper over things I have no control over. let me continue to see sin through God's eyes and acknowledge it as evil. And when I sin,let me repent and confess with my mouth my wrong doings and receive the forgiveness of God. And when this world close in on me. let me remember, Jesus example,to slip away and find a quiet place to pray. it is the best response when I am pushed beyond my limits. I know when i can not pray you listen to my heart. Continue to use me to do your will.Continue to bless me,that I may be a blessings to others. Keep me strong that, i may help the weak.keep me uplifted that i may have words of encouragement for others. I pray for those who are misjudge and misunderstood. I pray for those who do not you intimately. I pray for those who don't believe. But I thank you that, I believe. I believe that. God change people and things. I pray for all my brothers and sisters,for each and every family member in their households. I pray for peace, love, joy in their homes and that they are out of debt and all their needs are met. I pray that every eye that reads this knows and believe that THERE IS NO PROBLEM,CIRCUMSTANCES GREATER THAN GOD.EVERY BATTLE IS IN YOUR HANDS FOR YOU TO FIGHT. I PRAY THAT THESE WORDS BE RECEIVED INTO THE HEARTS OF EACH EYE THAT SEE THEM AND EVERY MOUTH THAT CONFESSES THEM WILLINGLY. THIS IS MY PRAYER IN JESUS NAME.AMEN.....
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A Lower rent, a new AC machine and a new supermarket? :)

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Do you feel happy when you hear good news? Who wouldn't eh?

The good news is our landlord decided to give us a lower rent for 2012, isn't that good news for the new year? About more than a year ago back in Dubai, I used to write letters to my landlord asking for rent reduction telling him all the reasons why he should reduce my rent. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you may have read about our move to Sharjah last year. No need for that letter this time, when we went last Saturday to our landlords office to renew our apartment lease agreement, we were told that they are deducting a favorable amount from our rent this year, it is confirmed then cause we heard it from other tenants as well and its true, we will be paying LESS this time.

Another good news is the maintenance company of our building are changing all the air conditioning machines in all the flats, I remember our ordeal with this ac problem, what a sigh of relief.

The third good news is a supermarket opened one of its branches in the building where I work. You can't imagine how happy I was to purchase something there for the first time. Call me nuts, why be happy when a supermarket opened in your building? That's because  we wouldn't have to walk to the next building more than 500 meters away from our building when it is damn humid and hot or freezing cold outside. When we feel lazy packing our lunches the night before, we can always get a sandwich, fruit, salad, milk, yogurt etc from there. And when I feel like cooking something for dinner, I will save time on shopping for the ingredients because I can do that while waiting from my car lift.

I have so many reason to feel happy about today and the things I mentioned above really makes me feel super happy. These things are the simple thing I am thankful for today.

Happy reading!
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Pinas Vacation 2011: Roque Astig Family Reunion

"Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present and future. We make discoveries about ourselves." -Gail Lumet Buckley

The Roques Astig Family Reunion was a revelation to me. It was first time to meet them all in person. What a great way to know your husband line of relatives in one special day eh? My husband's dad past away many years ago in an accident in Libya along with one of his brothers and the rest of his dad siblings who are all aunts of Ferald are very much alive and with their own families. All are present at the grand reunion which we are priveleged to attend to. The reunion was well planned with the theme super heroes including red carpet and photo ops.

It was a fun filled day with games and raffle draws. Each family also prepared a number either song or dance. Part of the reunion was the gift giving and the kids lined up to received ther presents. My daughter and my son are so thrilled with this as they keep on receiving presents from their grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles and cousins.

Next year's renuion will be in Lucban Quezon, I wish we can attend again. Hoping we can go for Christmas and New break this year.
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Laguna: Pinas Vacation 2011: Enchanted Kingdom

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This was our second visit at Enchanted Kingdom. The first was in 2006 and Lanna was only 2 years old back then so she did not enjoy much of the rides since she did not reach the height requirement. Now that she's seven years old, braver and taller, she could ride as much as she can. As for Prince, he has to wait a bit longer.

Since this was a family outing, we click, click and click our way inside the theme park

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Pinas Vacation 2011: Punchline Comedy Bar

Me and Ferald has been meaning to go to a comedy bar, an opportunity came in when his high school friends ask us to join them. We expected it and I tell you from the moment I sit and the time I stood up to leave, I was laughing. We were elated, I barely could feel the muscles in my face, it felt numb from too much laughing. The topic being discussed by the comedians were something very sensitive but are able to speak the truth and make fun of it. (Ano pa bang tinutukoy ko kundi *ex) I just wonder if they talk about the same thing every other night. Hmmm!

Everybody can be funny I guess but not everyone has the talent like these people with extreme sense of humor up to the point that it became their bread & butter. Read: I am proud of them, they are very talented. Every word that comes out from their mouth is like feather that tickles the crowd. Of course they do practice the act but the spontaneity when they go live and do some ad-libs is clearly one of their best assets. They are a crowd-pleaser. If you are feeling sad, lonely, bored and less appreciated, this is the place to go for you will be appreciated pag inokray ka na nila ;) hehehe!

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Pinas Vacation 2011: Tagaytay Horseback Riding

My daughter is a fan of Saddle Club-it is a TV series about three heroines - Stevie, Carole and Lisa who form the Saddle Club at Pine Hallow Stables. Each character has a distinctly different personality but all share an equal love of horses and a strong loyalty to each other.

Influenced by this, she wanted to go horseback riding in the Philippines-an idea given to her by my sister-in-law and we promised her that we will go on our vacation. From then on, Mica would always mention to us or to anyone that she will go horseback riding in the Philippines when she goes on vacation. To fulfill that promise, on our way to San Luis, Batangas-my husband’s hometown and province, we pass by in one of Tagaytay's horseback riding grounds.

We would have visited Picnic Grove if we have more time but since we are headed to Batangas, we only stayed for an hour in another horseback riding facility in the area, one or two kilometers away from the latter.

Compared to Picnic Grove (which is actually a park), we only have to pay for the parking fee here although it lacks in some necessities like a toilet and food stalls. There is a small shop for souvinirs though.

There are big and small horses, the small one above, a white horse (Mica's choice) is PHP 250.00/hr plus PHP 30.00 for an extra rider and the time will be cut in half (30 minutes) if there are two or more extra rider. They also have bicycles for rent and a Carabao ride.

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Pinas Vacation 2011: A High School Reunion

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My husband's high school classmates arranged a small get together when we were in the Philippines. There were only 7 of them and we are total 8 people including me. We drove for like an hour or two all the way to Manila from Laguna and our time was spent on laughing and his friends well including him reminiscing their high school days and catching up on things. It was obvious that they had a good time during those times. It was hard for me to relate but I am happy just to see how my husband enjoyed his teenage years with them. It was good old memories they carry in their hearts and it makes them smile just by thinking about it not to mention the humor that the Batangenos have-they are I think fun loving people. I couldn't help to think about my own high school experiences especially when they were talking about the junior and senior ball. I myself attended it four times from freshman to senior ball. How'd that happened? That's another story.

Anyway, so we reached Manila and we were all starving, with the way our tummy growls, we can eat anything served on the table (wag lang lason :)) How do you feed 8 starving people? With a Monster Meal

Suzette and I could not get enough of the chef’s salad, it is really good, and actually all is good and yummy. The meal was big enough for 8 people and we even have to take out the left over.

Three people are also celebrating their birthdays in January so it was more like birthday celebration high school reunion in one. We are thankful for another year given to you guys by our Almighty God. I really wish that you three will all be blessed. Ferald will turn 3* this January and I can only wish for good health, more success in career (promotion :) hehehe) and family life. May God always guide you and help you in all that you do. You know that we me and your kids will always be here for your no matter what.

I thank you guys for inviting me, I really had a good time and it was nice meeting all of you. I am looking forward to that another get together like this. (excited :)? konti lang po, masaya kasi

That's just the end of the meal, the night was not over yet for we headed to one of the most happening place in the city...Punchline up next.
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Pinas Vacation 2011: Butterfly Haven-Pulilan, Bulacan

One of the trips during our vacation in the Philippines I got most excited about was our trip to Butterfly Haven in Pulilan, Bulacan. I guess most of you, just like me, are fond of butterflies, their metamorphosis from an ugly caterpillar to a beautiful colored creature in something really very interesting even we've known it since grade school. My seven year old daughter who was raised in the UAE is fond of this beautiful insect but rarely sees it. Even I miss the times when I used to chase butterflies white and yellow near the stream in our hometown in Bulacan.

Butterfly haven is actually a private resort, a museum and butterfly sanctuary combined.

It was before Christmas that we went to see it, we had the place only to ourselves to explore together with a couple and their daughter. Entrance fee is 50 php, a higher fee is being charge if you would like to have a pictorial or you have a professional camera with you so it turned out Ferald entrance is 200 php.

We are not able to see the museum since it is close for lunch which we actually did not mind as we are there to see the butterflies but on a second thought it would have been a plus if it was open.

We were greeted by these elves by the entrance and some beautiful greenery and landscaping

The caretaker showed and explains to us and to the kids how a butterfly transforms from larvae to a winged creature. The kids were listening as they go along to see the eggs, the caterpillar, the pupa or cocoon and the butterflies in the cages one by one.


Afterwards, we were taken to a garden where some butterflies flies freely. We needed to catch one for a photo opp since they would not simply perch. Surprises really comes in different ways because one of it stay put on an orchid while Ferald was trying to get a good shot of it and it was really beautiful.

The place was more than just a butterfly haven, it is also a haven for people who are tired living in the fast lane and tries to slow down a bit to see and taste a different slice of life in the province, it was a very short visit but we could not get enough of the peace it bring to ones soul. I felt I was home, really home.

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Pinas Vacation 2011: Ube Haleya

Hi guys, it's good to be back, I have lots of stories to tell you from our holiday vacation in the Philippines. I am super excited about it I actually don't know where to start. The easiest way maybe is share to you a favorite dessert I cooked for the first time for my family for Noche Buena, the same dessert I used to have every Christmas and New Year holiday while I was growing up. I am a purist when it comes to this dish, the taste of this dessert is altered when added with an extender like sweet potato or pumpkin. For me it has to be all purple yam on it to get the real taste of haleya. Some people call it halaya, ube haleya, halya, jalya but I just love to call it haleya as how I have known it from my dad.

As I have said, it was my first time to cook this dessert, luckily my mom was around and she knew exactly what are the ingredients and how it should be done properly to get the very taste of the desert.

1 1/2 to 2 kilo of purple yam (available at wet markets) in the Philippines it is 60 php/kilo
4 cups of gata (coconut milk) or 2 cans of evaporated milk
1/2 kilo of brown sugar
1 can of condensed milk
2-3 tbsp of margarine
2 pandan leaves

1. Boil purple yam in water (skin on) in a casserole until its tender and then set aside to cool
2. Prepare coconut milk if this is what you are using
3. Peel the purple yam and grate it or mash it
4. Heat a cooking pot or a medium size iron vat for cooking (medium heat)
5. Melt margarine, add coconut milk, condensed milk, pandan leaves, sugar (add sugar gradually depending how sweet you like your haleya) and then the grated purple yam
6. Stir it all the time to prevent burning until it is sticky, when you find it difficult to fold, that signals you that it is cooked, you can fold it for some more minutes if you really want the haleya to be very sticky (makunat.)
7. Transfer to molding trays (llanera), let cool to room temperature and chill in the fridge then it is ready to serve
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