Around Laguna Lake in 11 hours! Yahoo!

Finally, together with some of our friends, we were able to complete a day trip to the Laguna area via going around the Laguna Lake! This is the first time I tried it last Black Saturday. We left Manila at around 8.30am, had a stop over @ petron in south super h-way to grab big chill and jamaican patties. Then we proceded to Calauan Laguna for to visit Field of Faith at around 11.30am. After an hour in FOF, we left Calauan at around 12.45pm enroute to Exotik restaurant for lunch @ around 2pm. After 2 and a half hours, we left the restaurant and dropped by the famous Paete Church. Most of the shops are closed because of Black Saturday in Paete but you can still see some wood carving shops in the middle of the town. After praying for 3 wishes, we head back to Manila via Rizal @ around 5pm. We arrived in Ortigas at around 7pm — woohoo! Still have plenty of time to have dinner @ Metro Walk.

The map above is courtesy of
See the collection of photos from me, Maong, Diwat —> Pictures of Laguna Lake Caravan



Exotik Restaurant — worth it if your eating exotic foods

Try it out! Exotik restaurant is located in Longos, Kalayaan Highway in Laguna. It is about 4 hours drive from Manila and you need to pass by Pagsanjan and Caliraya (yes, it is that far). From the field of faith, Exotik is about 1 hour away and some of our friends are hungry already when we left Exotik at around 12.45pm and we arrive about 2pm in Exotik. The food is Filipino and I like their Sinigang, Tuna sisig, grilled Tilapia, grilled squid. The food is great! (specially if you are hungry 🙂 One funny thing though, we did not order any of the exotic food this place is known for. Our billed turned out to be P3,500 for the a group of 9, so we had to pay P400 each — and I think that is expensive priced for tourists! Even the pasalubong place who sells espasol for P45 which could be bought easily at 3 for 100 with the same quality. The ambiance is really nice, it offers a few of the Laguna lake, and one of the attraction is Samantha (a pet anaconda shown below). Check it out if you happen to be in the Caliraya area. This is definitely a place for tourist to eat exotic food!

Click here for more photos–> Flickr Photos: Exotik Restaurant Longos, Laguna


Field of Faith — a healing garden in Laguna

Highly Recommended!

When our friends were looking a place to visit last black saturday, my friend Maong stumble upon this Inquirer Article (3/21/05): Field of Faith offers solitude, rosary garden. We were inspired by the story and we decided to visit the place. Upon arriving, you are greeted with a wonderful view of a fountain and the main chapel over a backdrop of coconut trees. The place feels fresh, peaceful, and it is like you are transported to a magical garden.

Click here for more pictures –> Flickr Photoset: Field of Faith Pilgrimage, Calauan, Batangas

The best part of the garden is the rosary path where you could see inspiring quotes on the concrete road, find a comforting meditation spot, reflect on the joyful mysteries in resin and metal, meditate on the sorrowful mysteries depicted in wood carvings, or pray in the cement and glass cross on top of the hill. Also, you can pray the stations of the cross on the right side of the entrance with the stations wood carvings nailed to trees.

We were awed-inspired when we visited and I’m sure to come back to this place this time to meditate and pray (instead of taking pictures and acting like tourists). The place was designed to find God and find your inner strenght. To the Singson family, thank you for sharing this place with us.


For more information about the Field of Faith:

Field of Faith is 2-3 hours (with traffic) drive from Manila. You should watch out for the pansol area and los banos junction traffic. There is no entrance fee but food and drinks are not allowed so that you can buy from them (one way to augment costs). The CR is clean according to the women and this is worth mentioning. There are alot of good restaurants within the area including Samaral and Kamayan sa Palaisdaan.

Please call Nene Quintos, 0919-378-1664 or 721-0081, or email [email protected]
Directions: Download Map to the Field of Faith.doc (463.5K)

Travel to Heaven

Fr. Armand’s 7 Last Words — Awesome Homily!

I’ve always been a follower/fan of Fr. Armand (SDB, Salesian) who delivers awesome homilies — touches your heart & soul at the same time funny, full of anecdotes and alot of references to funny expressions in the commercials. I really missed his homilies during the 8pm Sunday mass in Don Bosco ever since he left his parish duties about a year or so ago. So when I hear the announcement last Sunday that he will be giving the 7 last words today, there is no doubt in my mind that it would be the best 7 last words that I would have ever listened to. No doubt, Fr. Armand does not fail to amaze us with his excellent funny delivery (for 2 hours) and I learned alot of things. I would like to share with you my reflections/insights on Jesus’ 7 last words:

1. Loneliness is the biggest suffering of Jesus and the 7 last words teaches us, how He finally triumphs over it. Contrary to Mel Gibson’s depiction of the Passion of Christ, the biggest suffering of Jesus is not the physical torture He suffered or being nailed on the cross; but, being alone through out His crucifixion. Judas betrayed Him, all His disciples abandoned him when He was arrested, and Peter denied him 3 times. This must have been very painful inside specially getting through it without your trusted friends or family.

2. Reflect. Pray. Find your inner strength. God, the Father, loves us so much that sometimes, He would prolong our agony — a little more that we can bear, so that we would find time to pray, listen and communicate with God. In the process, we would find the solution within ourselves and realize that God already gave us enough strenght through the Holy Spirit and He won’t be giving us trials that we can’t bear. This process might be longer than you would expect but He would send us the gift of our friends and family to help us through the ordeal. When Jesus said “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me”, He was not complaining but actually praying (psalm 22) to find that inner strength to overcome his loneliness on the cross.

3. To give life, you must die. When Jesus said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”, He was offering His life to God proclaiming that He was able to fulfill God’s will and save us from our sins by dying on the cross. This really touched me specially now that I want to change to a more healthy, pious lifestyle. I realized that changing for the better is not only about cultivating new habits but more importantly dying and burying your old self. You must say goodbye to your old habits in order to say hello to the new and better ones. Lastly, it is important that you strive to be a lifegiver to other people through encouragement, positive outlook in life, and touching people’s heart.


The 7 Last Words
“Father, forgive them, they know not what they do”
“I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise”
“Woman behold your son, Son, behold your mother”
“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me”
“I Thirst”
“It is finished”
“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”


I’m too sexy for my pinoy blog!

Mabuhay to all Singapore bloggers! What the heck, I succumb to my desire to join Mr. Brown’s I’m too sexy for my blog project and join our fellow asian bloggers with this craze. Here are some of the entries from the project: I’m too sexy for my blog: Part 2. Just for some background info, it started with the famous singapore blogger Xiaxue –> read on for the background of the campaign: Thank you from Xiaxue. Also, you can view all the photos @ flickr via the sexyblogger tag .


Juan Gabriel’s First Birthday Party!

For the complete pictures, click on —> Juan Gabriel’s 1st Bday Party

Last Sunday, we attended Juan Gabriel’s 1st Bday @ Serye in Quezon City Circle. It was a fun Sunday afternoon with Rache’s barkada. We can’t wait for Aidan to grow up and enjoy these children’s party. Check out the fun pictures, including Aidan’s first baby love @ first sight. Enjoy!

Todd & Mina – Thanks for the wonderful Sunday Party!


Jollibee Fresh Green Salad — Finally!

Originally uploaded by Where is Anton?.

I was in Super SM Sucat and after visiting the hypermarket, I was planning to grab a takeout so that I can eat in the car specially during traffic. I’m trying to lose weight and eat more healthy food but every where I go, its Carbo everywhere! Mcdo, Pizza Hut, Chowking, French Baker, you name it. Fortunately, I saw Jollibee and I wanted to try out their new salad. I was a bit hessitant at first, but I have no choice. I ordered the salad with Asian dressing and the new chicken torpedo. To my surprise, the salad tasted fresh at par with Wendy’s salads and the Asian dressing is perfect! Thank you Jollibee for innovating and leading the fast food chains in bringing healthy options. Try it out!


Costa Brava — Yummy Caramel Cake

OK to try . We ordered a caramel cake for Aidan’s 2nd Month anniversary from Costa Brava. The cake was yummy, not to sweet, addicting specially the yema-like caramel in the middle. It looks like an immitation of Estrell’s cake and it tasted similar. The round small cake above costs P300 and you need to pick it up in Bel Air. We feel that it is expensive but we like it because it is home made and kinda a secret. We learned this from one of the potluck dinners we attended last Christmas.

Below is the complete contact information:
Costa Brava – 12 Polaris St. Bel Air 896-1267, 896-6872.


Key Learnings from the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families


Last Nov.20, 2004, Rache and I had the chance to attend Dr. Stephen R. Covey’s on “Family!” seminar in Henry Lee Irwin, S.J. Theather in Ateneo de Manila University @ P1,000/ticket! It was an awesome experience seeing one of the most respected inspiring personalities that I admire ever since I was in college 10 years ago. It was also a very insightful seminar and complimented with the audiobook on 7 habits of Highly Effective Families (which I just finished listening this week), it gave me a new sense of direction on where we want our family to be. This is to share with you my key insights and I hope you learn something from them too:

1. Personal Management vs Time Management. You should manage your life based on what is important to you and aligned with your personal/family mission statement rather than managing appointments and activities. Your calendar should start with the personal and family events, 1on1 with people, relationship building activities rather than meetings, activities, and appointments. One of my favorite songs from the broadway musical, Rent, was able to capture this in the song Seasons of Love — “Measure your life in Love” (not in terms of seconds).

2. Eliminate the C’s and focus on the B’s. We should eliminate the emotional cancers of the family or relationships –> Complaining, Criticizing, Comparing, Competing. Rather, the focus should be on something you can Be — Be more patient, Be more forgiving, Be an example. Rache would always reminds me that we should not compare ourselves or whoever to another person. I realized that this applies to all relationship with direct reports @ work, family and colleagues. Also, in the past, my motivation is based on an endless competition to be the best among the rest. One of my key insight is really to focus on improving yourself and seek to be your Best self.

3. “Etos, Patos, Logos.” — The global philoshophy of influence. Often our influencing models is based on the fairness principle of give and take or based on position power. Power comes through honor & integrity and influencing through patience and gentle persuasion:
a). Being an example of Kindness and Trustworthiness — Always say Please, Thank you, Loved to served, I love You, How may I help? The absence of it, would surely be noticed and I’ve learned this from experience (i.e. when you ask a contact number from another person via text, sometimes we forgot to say thank you and this means alot to the other person; or in badminton, if somebody goes down because of losing his balance, the mere gesture of offering a helping hand means alot)
b). Seeking first to understand then be understood — Always understand first the person your talking to in their own frame of reference. Easier said than done, but it is truly rewarding if your able to do so. One of the ways to do this is to make sure that you truly listen to the person talking until she finishes communicating her point of view. Sometimes, we ended up thinking of a rebuttal already, respond immediately after a few sentences.
c). Changing people by changing their scripts — Each of us is a product of the scripting by our family upbringing — good or bad. The Holy Scriptures is a source of true scripts that we should follow to change any negative scripting we recieved in the past.

4). Emotional Bank Account Deposits — I’ve already been in a situation where I experience over withdrawing my emotional bank account with another person at work and it ended up with a word war III. It was a direct result of always withdrawing from the EBA by not delivering promises, not following through on agreements, and basically not understanding the person. At home, I also sometimes do this with my wife by being selfish, not being considerate, and not seeking first to understand. I learned to continously deposit through:
a). Listen twice as much as you speak – understanding the person from their own frame of reference. The example of the talking stick really helps alot to illustrate the power of this concept. We also need to understand that a deposit is different from one another and it is critical that we understand what is a good deposit for that person.
b). Sincerely apologize and acknowledge if you have apologized before for the same mistake. Initiate the apologies even if you are the one that have been offended by another person.
c). Don’t hold grudges by readily forgiving and forgeting. Simple but powerful concept if you truly honestly forgive and only remember the learning from the experience.
d). Appropriately Give and Receive Timely Feedback. It is important to give a timely feedback given with love to the person. Often times, specially Filipinos, we were not trained to give upfront feedback and this hurts our relationship.
e). Make and Keep promises. I find this specially important in marriage where you would think that you already have a huge emotional bank account that you can withdraw sometimes by breaking your promises. No wonder, there are marriages lasting 27 years but still ends up in separation.
f). Express Kindness and Courtesies by all means. Specially in this day and age of technology, expressing thank you and extending courtesies through text and email is extremely important when you don’t see the person just the message.
g). Spend Quality time with the family. I often neglect this specially if I’m engrossed on reading blogs or desperately needing a badminton fix. I forget that being at home is not the same as spending quality time.

5). The Essence of the Family — is to communicate people’s worth & potential so that they can also see it by themselves. Parents are still the most influential people to the young. The family should be brought up with the following scripting/ mental models:
a). Focus on intrinsic worth vs. a comparison based identity (never compare!)
b). Focus on self vs. on image (which is socially defined)
c). Peace of conscience (integrity) vs. peace of mind (external peacefulness)
d). Discipline is upfront agreement on natural consequences. To discipline without love is a form of punishment/ rejection.
e). Keep affirming them. ” I love you and I believe in you! “
f). Be a model, mentor, teacher, and organizer to achieve a beautiful family culture.
g). Develop a family mission statement to achieve the significance stage of family life.
h). Develop Family Traditions! — on birthdays, going on vacation, family rituals.


AA BBQ and Metro Sports in Cebu City

I’m in Cebu for a business trip and an account engagement in Metro G. What I love about my local business trips would be three things: Getting to know people, Great local food, and Badminton! I’m very happy that I was able to accomplish all there objectives aside from the business of course 🙂

1). Domeng aka Ricky Martin of CBD. I had a great time talking to the Domeng (the CBD Person assigned in Cebu) and I got to know him better. I’m always amazed at how colorful the lives of people. In fact, I just learned that Domeng married his long time girlfriend within a one month’s notice! (No she was not pregnant and that is the interesting part on why this happened). Second thing, I learned that he has three girls already spaced equally 4 years apart and his “bunso” (the youngest) was born on Jan. 18 — one day before Aidan was born, Imagine that? There has been alot of stories and I’m glad that I was able to get to know this person better. I was hoping to get to know another IT officemate, Tanya but unfortunately there was limited occasion to do so.

2). AA BBQ House the original — a must eat in Cebu for your sinugba cravings. At last, I finally was able to eat in the original AA BBQ house in Cebu. It erased my memory of the AA BBQ house in greenhills which serves cooked frozen fish and lousy sauces. I liked the sinugba fish and squid that we ordered together with their soy sauce in chili and sliced tomato. Don’t order the chicken. Our bill was 1,000 for the four of us and we ordered alot of fresh grilled food!

3). Metro Sports Badminton — home of Cebu’s badminton addicts. Playing badminton rejuvenates me but the downside is I’m awake for a couple of hours after playing (we ended 11pm). You have to pay 100 per person in the entrance which is consummable for either two (2) mineral water, or one (1) gatorade, or (2) potato chips. The courts are taraflex and 150 per hour. When we stopped playing at 11pm (when I took the shot above) there are still a few people playing. This is one of the badminton courts in cebu the opens as early as 5am in the morning and closes late until 12nn or even 2am according to Domeng.

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