Little Baguio Of Antipolo

My parents and I have been discovering remarkable places with scenic views around Rizal. Each trip never fails to give me a pleasant feeling and an attitude of gratitude that my senses are perfectly fine despite my inability to walk. 

After our trip to the grocery and a quick lunch we got via drive thru, off we went to another adventure. Last week, my father and uncle came to the same place but were not allowed to pass through. I whispered a silent, "thank you, Lord" when the security guards allowed us to get in after a short interrogation. 

The road - very charming with tall and lush pine trees lined up on both sides of the two-kilometer (or so) stretch. My eyes were delighted to witness a view I don't get to see on a daily basis. My ears were happy to hear the sound of cicadas as if they were welcoming us once I brought the vehicle's window down. The breeze, cool, although the sky abounded with feathery clouds.

There were many other motorists who, like us were excited to see the beauty of Antipolo's "Little Baguio," situated on Sapinit Road, Barangay San Juan in Rizal. Many lingered a little longer, got out of their vehicles and spent time posing for a photo. One family was having a picnic as they comfortably sat on a mat that was spread on the grass and leisurely ate the food they brought. Others walked along the road, with their pets and kids on their bikes. It is a conducive place to spend time, enjoy the fresh air as well as the magnificence of the place. 

On the right side is the view of the Sierra Madre Mountains. The opposite is dense with many other trees akin to a mini forest. We also found a nursery that abounded with ornamental plants. 

We learned from the security guards that the property is owned by the Araneta's. Although it was unfathomable for me to initially understand why this endeavor was done, I was glad they did! It's open to the public only this year. It's an added attraction too to those who prefer to discover and reconnect with nature (rather than the usual trip to the mall).  I also learned that some residents are selling the rights of their properties. It would be ideal to have a small house in such environment, like in a quaint painting. Well, I can only dream about it but I'm grateful to have the opportunity to visit, even for a fleeting moment.


Shopee: The Best Online Shopping Platform Around

With the continuous development of technology, our lives have become easier. Home appliances have evolved through the years. Manufacturers have incorporated the inverter and the "smart" technology. These features have significantly lowered our electric consumption and saved us much money in the process. There's Skype, Zoom, FB messenger applications (among the many others available) that are used for faster communication. All you need is a stable Internet connection and you can have a video call or chat with a co-worker, a family member or attend a virtual church service which is timely due to the pandemic. 

Shopping has also become a breeze these days. We need not go out to purchase an item which one can conveniently do at the comfort of our homes. Everything we need is actually sold online! And Shopee has become my go-to for the following reasons:

Photo from seeklogo.com

1. Find Similar - allows one to search for the exact product with the lowest price possible since the difference is truly huge! You  can view this under "My Likes" (after you ticked the heart icon). Most of the time, you'll see a variety of the same item too that ranges from the cheapest material to the sturdiest. 

2. Return Refund - enables you to return the product or make a refund if the item  delivered is wrong. Once, my father requested me to buy a tubeless tire for his scooter. The description says the same and it was shipped overseas. When the package arrived, the tire had a tube! Shopee will process your refund as long as you provide the necessary evidence that the item you received was wrong. 

3. Payment Options - aside from cash on delivery (COD), credit/debit card, you can also link your savings account with Shopee and is guaranteed safe. COD was not accepted when I tried to send several packs of face masks and alcohol bottles to a teacher in the Bicol region. This is a convenient way to order for others or if you intend to give a present without going out of your home.

There's Lazada which I used to adore in the past. There's Zalora (and a couple more online shopping sites) but I have not explored its platform. Admittedly, with the rise of patients affected with the virus, shopping online will be the safest way to get your needs and everything in-between. I might have a missed other features. Care to share?


Honesty: An Important Trait

Loyalty, humility and kindness are some of the characteristics I find attractive in a person. Aside from these, honesty is an uncommon quality possessed by very few people especially in these trying times.

Last February, we sought for an electrician who can fix the lingering problem of our light fixtures: a flickering pin light even after the bulb was replaced, the diagnosis of two other pin lights, two chandeliers and the replacement of two receptacle holders outdoor. It was quite a job!

Before these were done, I asked around for their professional fees. One charged P500 per light while the other, a hefty P700 per unit. Whoa!

The guy who did all these only charged us P1,000. On top of that he is an experienced electrician and has a certificate course on the subject.  More so, he was honest enough to tell us the problem, what needs replacement and those that can be remedied by tinkering.

Yesterday, I threw a working steam iron which we barely used. My mother and I were once victims of the scheme "as seen on TV" and the seemingly easy way of manipulating the item but once we tried it, it wasn't and regretted buying it! My father saw it and thought of having it repaired. He shared the news today that he managed to have it fixed and did not realized that the man charged him though it was not broken!

"He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much." Luke 16:10


Kape Natividad Roastery and Cafe

Situated in a quaint bahay kubo-like structure without walls and with the view of the Sierra Madre Mountain ranges as well as the Laguna de Bay, my parents and I nodded in unison to have a late lunch here after our short trip to the grocery. We drove a little more than 40 kilometers away from our home to discover this new place I fortitiously found from Google.

Click for a bigger view and appreciate the beauty

This is a fairly new branch that opened only this January after a successful set up of their coffee shop on wheels. Yet many go all the way to Marilaque highway in Tanay to enjoy what they have to offer. They used to have a restaurant along JP Rizal in Marikina but is still close since the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) started last year.

For weeks now, I have been imagining the taste of the photos posted on their FB page and rereading the menu and reviews of their clients. Admittedly, I fell in love with our initial order (because we plan to visit again soon), with the fresh cool air and the picturesque view of the mountains and the lake.

Pugon baked meat lovers pizza

Crispy kare-kare

Mushroom burger

Strawberry smoothie

The food in their menu weren't that many but I now know the reason why people keep on coming back despite the distance from the city. The pizza was really appetizing, oozing with a lot of melted mozarella cheese, pepperoni, smoke bacon and honey ham. The kare-kare's meat was indeed crispy and tender. It had a strong taste of the peanut sauce which makes this dish distinct, was tasty even if you forego the bagoong and is best paired with rice. The mushroom burger was shared by my parents. I think they liked it. It was a healthier option (I hope) from the burger fastfood chains we see everywhere. For the beverages, strawbery smoothie and iced cappuccino (not in photo) were as delectable.

Photo from kathyevec

Though the road to Kape Natividad was long and winding, we had an enjoyable time away from our usual routine and definitely a relaxing way to prepare us for the new week's grind.

Kape Natividad FB page 


Covid-19 Pandemic: Introspection and Lessons

 Lost lives, joblessness,  poverty,  mental health disorder  and  uncertainty of tomorrow are the obvious results of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

To this day the hype about it continues along with the increasing number of people inflicted with it. Throughout these nine long months of community quarantine, I learned these things:

The importance of saving is paramount than acquiring a luxurious lifestyle. Many were financially unprepared. Companies have to close down because they were at the verge of bankruptcy. Some requested their employees to be on a skeletal workforce. Consequently, people are hungry and the economy continues to look bleak.

There were a lot of generous individuals who shared their blessings to the frontliners and to the  families that were greatly affected. Getting support solely from the government was unthinkable because of their poor fiscal management.

Staying at home even for a long period of time is indeed possible. You  just need to look around. The chores are endless. You can also try a new activity to add meaning and joy to your life. 

The government may enforce rules and restrictions  related to the pandemic. However, let us not forget the importance of assemblying everytime the church is open for services. While practicing the proper health protocols, it is vital to obey God's mandate. His protection will surely be upon us and He will be very pleased.

Staying physically healthy is one of my priorities now. It's not just losing weight but being stronger, sweating more, trying hard to eat in moderation (despite the tempting food during this season) and hoping to maintain this lifestyle. It is educating myself and making healthier choices until my body craves no more for junk food.

The year is about to end. Typhoons, earthquake, deaths and this pandemic have shattered countless lives. Nonetheless let us continue to put our hope in Christ and to run the race with patience and gladness.