Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Favorite Person in the Restroom

Weird?... yeah, I know but  believe me or not,  I really have one favorite person in the restroom.  She is Aling Milan of Petron SLEX (south bound).  I shared before that McDonald's and Starbucks are the places where I normally grab my breakfast whenever I have schedules in the South.  Apart from these resto and cafe, the restroom is the other reason why I always prefer to stop by in Petron.

The restroom in Petron SLEX is super clean, everything is automated: from the flush, faucets, soap dispensers, and the hand dryers... plus there is Aling Milan, always cheerfully greeting the people coming in, assisting with the Tissue, instantly cleaning each cubicle after every use, and filling the restroom with her timeless songs.

Aling Milan is already 14 years with this job and I guess she is happy with it.   She never fails to give assistance and still gives a warm smile no matter what kind of people uses the place, some are really unhygienic but she's still happy cleaning and making the whole place clean.    Her singing voice got my attention last year, I thought it's just a random happy moment for her but everytime I stop by the restroom she's as cheerful as always.  I normally stay for one or two songs and when I get out of the place, her happiness radiates me and her songs are my LSS (Last Song Syndrome).  

This morning, I reached Petron so early, grabbed my breakfast and stayed in the restroom to brush my teeth and do some girl stuffs.  As expected, Aling Milan was there to assist me and she was in the middle of the "Top of the World" song, continued to "One day in the Night(?)", and few more songs, stopping in between greetings for the other guests... until I finished my hair and powder.   I couldn't resist asking for her name and thanked her before leaving the place again.

Aling Milan - a reminder to always find happiness in everything we do.  

Have a happy Tuesday everyone!

Monday, July 30, 2012


I know for sure everyone of us had our favorite teacher in school.  I had few teachers that I liked but among all of them, Sir Joel Asubar was my favorite.  I was awed in Electronics when he became my teacher, he knew electronics by heart, not only in theories but in experience.

Sir Joel has previously worked in Nagaoka University of Technology in Japan as a Post Doctoral Researcher and now he is with Research Center for Integrated Quantum Electronics in Hokkaido University as a Post Doctoral Research Scientist.  Grabe talaga! he's a genius!

Molecular Beam Epitaxy
"Ang pinakahi-tech na pagprepare ng semiconductor kasi atom by atom ang deposition kaya nakakagawa ng quantum wells and quantum dots."... Nosebleed? Ako din... hahaha!

2 weeks ago, his wife, the prettiest and the youngest teacher in Mapua during our time added us to a group that are asked to take picture of ourselves holding a piece of paper with the "Happy Birthday Sir Joel" message.  It is for his 38th birthday celebration.

And this morning, I received a message coming from Sir Joel.... I was so flattered to receive this message from him.  He is super my idol until now... this surely made my day... Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, July 27, 2012


We found another restaurant along Katipunan, Quezon City and instantly became our favorite.  We discovered this place while looking for a street to avoid traffic in Eastwood.  There are two BANAPPLE branches in Katipunan and they are across each other in South and North bound lanes of Katipunan.

We were so hungry then and the traffic was also so heavy so we opted to grab a meal in this restaurant. We both have a sweet tooth (that was me before :P) and thought the cakes can get though our hungry tummy up to when we find a place where we can have our dinner.

We were surprised that this restaurant has different menu other than breads and cakes, they have appetizers, salads, sandwiches, pasta, rice meals, and of course pies and cakes.

The place is so cozy, the interior design has a homey and young design.
The walls, the ornaments, the frames and the furniture have very soft colors
in which made a relaxing effect when you are inside.

I ordered their Baked Creamy Cheesy Penne (P185) and their best seller Banana-Apple Shake (P90).
My dear boyfriend got himself the Salpicao Rafael (P190) and his ever favorite Ripe Mango Shake (P90).

The pasta was so delicious... I so love the taste of the cheese and the tomato sauce, the Hungarian sausage's peppery taste is a perfect combination and the pesto bread tasted like the Organic Pan de Rica breads from the Regina, compliments well the creamy pasta.

....The banapple shake... OMG! it's heaven! ... no wonder, when we went back here again to dine, BF ordered the banapple shake.
Feast your eyes!

Look at that bowl! The serving for the pasta is good for share but can you believe I almost ate them all?

And for dessert, they have different pies and cakes to choose from, it was really hard to choose but I guess they are all yummy.

My Romeo got the Banana Starry-Berry Custard Cheesecake (P110/slice) and I got the Banoffee Pie (P85/slice).  I must say, the banoffee pie was Ohlala!  It's super delicious I thought I forgot my name for a while.  I am not exaggerating, but this is really a must try!

Oh! Sweets!
They have different branches but the one nearest home is at Ayala Triangle which is always crowded and terrible traffic.  I learned that they will be opening soon in Market!Market! and I am looking forward for the opening. :D

Missed my babies

It was a month ago since I last saw my niece and nephew and I missed them so much.  I was so busy in my running career? (hehehe!) that's why I had no time to see my babies.  Finally, my training schedules were over since Wednesday and I got the time yesterday to play with them again.

Kids are playing trace the blocks.
Their cousin Samantha is doing the traces and

Yanis and Yui color them according to the model blocks.

Ate Yanis needed to go to bed early because she is always having hard time waking up in the morning for school.  So, I laid in bed with her and apparently, I fell asleep too.... :)

Digital Photography

When my previous company was about to close its facility here in the Philippines 3 years ago, they were generous enough not to leave us hopeless and empty handed.  It was really a great company to have given us a year to prepare and to provide us different livelihood and skills training.   One of the training I enrolled was the basic digital photography.  I can no longer recall the instructor but I believe he was a professional photographer.

I learned the basics but I wasn't able to practice the manual settings.  It is always fun taking pictures but I notice that I'm always behind the camera. I seldom have pictures and if someone is kind enough to get the camera from me, I seldom have good pictures.  I'm not photogenic I know, but it will make me look better if it is taken properly, like this one:

Chubby Mel.  Photo taken by Chris Balla
All settings are perfectly set.
I'm just not sure though if this will display  the same quality as the original photo.

And if you are used to using a brand of a camera, like Nikon, you'll have difficulty in setting the Canon, or vise versa.  So normally, it is best to use the automatic mode so you'll not waste any important moment, capture everything!

I came across this cheat sheet and this is awesome!

Manual settings of both Nikon and Canon DLSR.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


No one knows the story of anyone in the running world unless you are a celebrity, maybe some basic information and hobbies but not the too personal information.  But for the TIC group, I just know the story of Coach Jackie, slight, but not for everyone else.  When we are together, no one knows S-A-D-N-E-S-S, can't spell L-O-N-E-L-I-N-E-S-S, can't even remember W-O-R-R-I-E-S, and all we know is F-U-N, all we do is to L-A-U-G-H and S-M-I-L-E.

I have my own worries and frustrations but I don't remember them when I am running and when I am with the group.  I thought this is just me and the running thing that's making my life S-T-R-E-S-S-free.
Not until I read this post in facebook from one of our dear friend Ardee.  Ardee's post is an ice breaker for the group... we didn't realize the positive impact of running and how the Team Ice Cream touch our lives.   I know TIC is not just a running group, but a group of friendly and warm people who are willing to inspire and support each other.

I am happy to have discovered running, I am glad to have known these people and I am gratified to found a new F-A-M-I-L-Y.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Kissed by an Angel (edited)

We have the youngest runner in the Milo Apex Season 4, a 6-year old boy named Juan Pablo was enrolled by his dad in 5 kilometer group. He's been doing an excellent job on all the drills and circuit training, I can see that he's having fun in all the activities while us, the oldies are already having hard time following the program.

He's obviously the baby of all the runners so since the start, I've been meaning to kiss this little angel and this became my goal eversince that before the season ends, i should be able to kiss him.  Finally, last night I asked him if I can kiss him, he said ok and then kissed me instead.  Almost everyone wanted to kiss him afterwards and you know that the little boys who feel like big boys no longer want to be treated as a baby.  At least I got my kiss and I'm very happy with it, if only I can hug him and kiss him again.... whew! he's so cute and cuddly.    

Upper Left: Pablo and his dad, Upper Right: Coach Jim Saret explaining the routine for that night but look at us, still can't stop doing the post with Pablo, Bottom: Pablo doing the squat thrusts.

Pablo is no longer happy with the attention he's getting from us, who's to blame?  hahaha!
By the way, he already lost his teeth to allow the permanent teeth to replace his milk teeth  :)

.... All along, I've been calling him Paolo, I learned yesterday that he is Juan Pablo. :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mel in Pain

Yes you read it right, I am quite in pain right now from last Tuesday's training. I've got into a minor accident last Tuesday during the training for the speed and power.  I fell during the sprint... for a split of seconds, i just felt I was falling, i tried to control the momentum but i was feeling like paper that is being pushed by the soft wind.  I was still able to support myself using my knee and my right arm before my right hip touched the floor.  I was sliding like I was catching a baseball... my co-runners and coaches rushed towards me and then all I know I started laughing for what has happened.  While they are checking me up on the sides, another runner fell and I think she's more serious than I was.

Everyone was checking on me, asking if I am feeling pain or anything.  They were all so concerned but I really couldn't feel any pain, I was showing my arms that I am not harm in anyway.  When I got home and took a shower, that's when I saw the small scratch on my arm, my knee and my hip, I put on a cold compress to my hip and knee just to prevent them from swelling.  When I woke up this morning, I can feel the pain in my right hip, there's purple area on it and also on my left knee.

Had to use my Sick Leave for the first time and it's all worth it.. I've got to rest even for one whole day, of course I'm going to skip the Wednesday running session, but will surely be back on Thursday, kulet ko noh?

Mel conquers MNK Part II

So, here's the exciting part...

18 kilometers... never in my life I imagined running this far... I thought those who run that distance is not anymore making it a hobby, unless they're up for competition, they are crazy! ... and I am now one of the crazy runners who runs in the middle of nowhere and under the heat of the sun, imagine that?

Sarcastic Mel ... photo courtesy of Riza Aquino

But, there's no regret having the burnt skin and some blisters in my feet.  Although I am now being called as "NG" in the office, as in "Negra Girl", i will never regret the experience and the fun especially after the run.

Here's what happened...

We occupied the beach front of the Balete public library, two summer umbrellas towering the tables with the food especially prepared for us.  We burnt all the calories so we needed to reload, but what really happened was i think gluttony...  Here's our menu:  Daing na Bangus, Daing na Tilapia, Liempo, Red Rice, Itlog na Maalat, Puto, Dinuguan, Tuna Pasta, Adobo, Pork Binagoongan, LECHON!, Fruit Salad, Fruits and drinks, this is apart from the Ice Drops that we had from uphill.

The food were so delicious especially the Tuna Pasta and the Adobo that were prepared by Coach Jackie, the itlog na maalat and the liempo prepared by Coach Janette's crew.

Feast your eyes with these delicious food!

Ang Lechon, bow!
After having the feast, each of us found our own place to rest and appreciate the beauty of the nature. I really thought we were in the ocean, but I was wrong, we were are the beach front of the Taal Lake so the water is not salty.  
There were kids swimming in the lake and look! they are all nude!
Coach Janette and Mommy Normz couldn't resist the water so they joined the nude kids, the swimming kids rather... hahaha!

Take home girl!

There were still lots of food left so everyone got something for take home.

The dripping sweats, the aching bodies, the tan lines, the smiles, the fun, the food, the laughter.  Conquering the Mataas na Kahoy is indeed a once in a lifetime experience for all of us. Kudos to the TIC (Team Ice Cream), this is the best LSD ever!

For those who missed the first part, click here.       

Monday, July 16, 2012

Mel conquers MNK

I maybe failed to share before that because we are really into running, my boyfriend and I enrolled in a running clinic 2 months ago and this is in fact our 3rd month of training in MILO Apex Running School Season 4.  There are different categories available: 5K, 10K beginner, 10K advance, 21K and 42K.   Although we are just beginners, instead of enrolling the 5K, we wanted a stretch so we chose the 10K beginner.

We are grateful that we chose to belong to the 10K beginner group because for just a short span of time, the group developed a very close relationship as if we were friends since childhood.  It is a big mix in age group so we have daddies and mommy in the house. What I love the most in this group are the "kulitan", the never ending stories, the support and the encouragement, and the patience especially to me because I think I'm the weakest among all of them   :D

Anyway, since we are already on the 3rd month of training, everything is being stretched, the drills, the speed, the power, the run, and the distance.  And last Saturday, off we went to conquer MNK (Mataas na Kahoy) in Batangas.  Mataas na Kahoy according to Winkepedia is bounded by Balete and Lipa with Taal Lake limiting it's western side.  The name Mataas na Kahoy literally means "tall tree". The town is known for its cool climate due to its high elevation 379 metres (1,243 ft) above sea level.

MILO Apex Season 4 - 10K Beginner Group
Our route is to pass through all these Barangays, 9km uphill and 9km downhill.
The track for that day was quite challenging for all of us except for our coaches of course.  We needed to experience the uphill and downhill under the heat of the sun.  Here's what happened:

Warm-up exercise before the run
We started the run at around 7:00am if I'm not mistaken, I have no wrist watch so I just kept on asking for the time... maybe I need to buy one soon.
There's always pit stops for pictures 

A lot of beautiful scenery on our way up... Mataas na Kahoy as in super tall trees!
What we love on this track was the fresh air and the beautiful nature which somehow took our breaths away from our already heavy panting lungs.

We reached our turning point at 9 km of purely uphill for 1 hour and 35 minutes...
We were so spoiled by Daddy Leo that when an Ice Drop vendor passed by our rest area,
everyone got a treat.
Going down was another battle for everyone of us, it's half the energy we spent compared to the uphill but we needed to be careful of our strikes and needed to control our speed, else our legs might be injured.  

Our skin were burning from the heat of the sun, everyone was panting, always looking for cold hydration... and then, we reached our destination in no time.  We were all literally "wasak" after the training.

...coming up, the happenings after this 18K run... stay tuned!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Crazy over Adele

It's been almost a year since I got my car from our company but had no CDs in it until last week when boyfriend got me a CD of Adele, I just forgot the album title because I wasn't able to look at it and just played the CD and let it fill my background.

The CD is a live performance of all her best songs and I guess this is the CD cover.  The album has all original songs composed by Adele herself and she is just so talented to have written all of those great songs.  I think that we bloggers also have the same talent with Adele it's just that she knows how to play and put melodies in it. I just know how to sing but never tried reading notes, composing or even learned to play instruments, guitar in high school is an exemption because I think I can never recall how to play it again.

I still love her songs: Rumour has it, Someone Like You, Rolling in the deep, Turning Tables but I specially liked the Chasing Pavements, an old song but still always makes it the LSS (Last Song Syndrome) for few days now.

All her songs are for heart breaks and sometimes you can just relate to the lyrics...  I have to warn you though, don't listen to the whole CD in one seating else you will feel depressed afterwards.

...Another lunch time, past time moment here :)