Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Forget Me Not


This incident of my forgetfulness is one that I could never forget.   I have been forgetful since my high school days.   But what happened last month was the funniest.  

I was at city hall.  Pat was somewhere in the city center.  Instead of him fetching me at the office, we decided to meet up at the market to buy some food items.  After I left city hall, I texted him twice so he will know where I am already.  First text,  "I am now near Land Bank." - about 10 minutes (including traffic jam) from the market.  My second text, "I am now at Sabayle St." - about a minute from the market.   Few seconds, after I sent the second message, the vehicle passed by the gasoline station.  I was lost in thought.  Thinking about the letter request I am going to write.  After about a minute or so, I saw Pat standing by the side of the road (left side), looking at his cellphone.   I told myself, "Hala, si Pat ay.  Nag unsa man na siya diri?" (Hey, it's Pat.  What is he doing here?).  I got confused what he is doing there at this time of the day.  Then my vehicle passed by him but he did not see me as he was still looking at his cellphone.  And when I turned right, I saw something that made me snapped into the present...  


And Pat was there because we were going to meet up.  Sheesh!  I can't help but laugh at myself.  And I can't contain myself so I told Pat what just happened to me.    He smiled and hugged me.  And jokingly told me that next time, he will prepare an ID for me to wear wherever I go so in case I get lost and forget who I am, where I live or who my husband is, I'll have something to show someone to assist me.  :-) 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bungee Trampoline, Anyone?

During the Fam Tour of Iligan last August 7, 2011, it was the first time that I swam at the lagoon of Tinago Falls.   But.  That was not the first first I had for that day.   It was on that day that I also had my very first bungee jumping, or should I say bungee trampoline.   :-)

Nevertheless, I have to gather my guts to really try the bungee trampoline for the first time.  It looks so easy watching someone else do it.  At the same time, it looks scary.   I already have mixed thoughts even when I was just watching them do it.   How does it feel?  What would I feel up there?  Would I not faint?  What if the rubber tubes snap?  And so many other things.   

I was the third one to try the bungee trampoline.  And as I was watching my two friends before me, I keep psyching up myself, " I can do it.  It's really just easy."   At the same time, trying to control myself from shaking.   You see, even if I was still just watching, my body already knows I will be doing it.  So my muscles are like also excited and at the same time nervous.   What's on my mind, my body responds to it.    :-)

Watching Lai and Richard, I still have second thoughts - to do it or not.  But when Richard finished, I know this is it.  I have to go now or there might be no second time chance.   I was excited.  Nervous.   While the crew was putting on me the body harness and adjusting the rubber ropes, I have to divert my nervous thoughts.  And I keep telling myself to keep calm , that this is gonna be ok.  That Pat is just near in case something happens.  

 After all the preparations were complete, I had the first jump. It was still ok since it was not yet high enough. It was just to test the rubber tubes.  

 Then finally, I was tossed up by the crew.   And I was like, "AHHHHHHH".  
I can't describe exactly how I feel.  

 It felt so wonderful to be high up there.  To be looking over the place.  With the people below already a bit small.   I said, "Wow, this is so cool."  No wonder many adventure-seekers always try this out.   The air up was good.  Refreshing.  It's like standing on top of a tall building, looking below.   And I like the feel of adrenaline rush when going up. 

 BUT.   The going down was another story.   After the few seconds suspension in the air when I am at the peak and then I start to go down, my stomach gave a different reaction.   It's like my internal organs were turned upside down.  And I had butterflies in my stomach.  And my muscles started to tense a bit.  I have to really SCREAAAAM! Shout my lungs out to relieve the tension in my muscles and so as not to feel so much the butterflies in my stomach.  

 See my face?  I was shouting hard.  hehehe....
I think, I was tossed up more than 4 times.  But as I was doing the bungee, the more I get of it, the better I felt.  As I got used to the sensations, the butterflies in my stomach slowly disappeared and my muscles started to relax a bit.  And even with the nervousness and the butterflies and the tensed muscles, I can't help but laugh all the time.  During the bungee, I am supposed to touch the trampoline in going down so I could kick and be up again.  But what's so funny was that I'm having difficulty touching the trampoline.  And I go around in circles instead of landing on the X spot marked in the trampoline.   I don't know why.   We don't know why. Maybe I just don't know how to really do the bungee thing.  Maybe there's a technique. 

 Ahhh, so tired.
After many jumps and many screams, I finally stopped and told the crew it's enough.  My throat got so dry from the screaming.   And I got so thirsty.  Actually, if not for the thirst, I would have still continued.  I already enjoyed it very much.   But when I felt the thirst, I told myself I have to stop now or I might faint from dehydration.  :-)

Below is the full video recording of my bungee trampoline courtesy of Pat, my ever supportive husband.  :-)

As I already enjoyed the bungee trampoline, my wish is to have a chance to do it again next time.  And on that next time, I'll try to do a somersault.   That would be my another first.  :-)

PS.  Thanks to Lovette Jam for the photos.  :-)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Iligan Bloggers Society : Now Official!

The morning of August 26, 2011.

The very day the members of the Iligan Bloggers Society has been waiting for.   Pat and I got up early so we could be at the function hall of SMC-HRM Laboratory before 8 o'clock in the morning.  

Everyone got busy for the last minute review of their presentations and speeches.  The tension we felt grew as time ticked and only a few guests have yet arrived.  

Eventually, at around 10 am, the program started when the guests who are part of the program were already in.   

 Arlene Collado gave the invocation and I led the singing of the national anthem. 

 Richard Celeste welcomed the guests to the event.   
And it was the first time I heard Richard give a speech.  As a young toastmaster, it was a good welcome address.   :-)

 Lovette Jam Jacosalem oriented the guests about IBS and how it all started to be.  
With her concise message and lots of pictures, I am pretty sure the guests understood pretty well what and who IBS is.  

What are bloggers without their blogs?  Richard presented the blogs being authored by some of the IBS members.  He also spoke of the other Iliganon bloggers who are not yet IBS members.  As well as a non-Iliganon (BobNewYork) who loves to promote Iligan ever since he visited the city about 4 years ago and kept coming back almost every year.  (photo courtesy of Explore Iligan)

Prior to this event, the IBS members have already done some activities to keep us excited and enthusiastic and be able to create as many blog posts promoting Iligan as we can.   One of the major activities was the hosting the Google Mapping Party.  Lisa Marie Mirasol gave an overview of what Google Mapping is and what IBS had accomplished so far for Iligan City.

The major event that IBS will be doing this year is the hosting of the 5th Mindanao Bloggers Summit.  This will be held on October 29, 2011 in Iligan City.   Michael Lagcao gave the overview of what Mindanao Bloggers Summit is all about.   He also asked for the guests' support for the summit.  For the success of the summit does not solely depend on the members of IBS but as well as the cooperation of every stakeholders in Iligan City - the city government, the businessmen, the drivers and even the vendors.  
(photo courtesy of Explore Iligan)

In behalf of Mayor Lawrence Ll. Cruz, Councilor Marlene Young gave an inspirational message.   It's heartwarming to hear her say that we, the IBS members, don't need her  inspirational message, for we indeed inspire them with what we have done for Iligan City and will be doing in the future.  Thanks  Mam Marlene for the kind words.

  The most important part of the event was the induction of officers of the Iligan Bloggers Society.  We were inducted by Madam Queenie B. Picardal, the daughter of Congressman Vicente "Varf" Belmonte, Jr.  She represented her father for the Congressman was very busy with other appointments.  
(photo courtesy of Explore Iligan)

Charmaine Xy-Za Yape, as the inducted Executive Director of Iligan Bloggers Society, gave her acceptance speech.    She said, "The first set of officers will be carrying with me the torch of the organization and we'll be setting the standards of what a blogger society should be."    And Xy-Za ended her speech with "Not everyone in the Society are born Iliganon.  I, myself, is not a born Iliganon.  But, I blog Iligan and I "heart" Iligan."   Woohoo.  Very well said.  I hope IBS could become an inspiration to the other residents of Iligan to be proud of and promote Iligan to the rest of the world instead of writing negative things about her. 

One of the highlights of the event was the awarding of winners of the MyIligan Blogging Contest organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation of Iligan, Inc.   Michael Lagcao announced the winners together with Ms. Emily Pascua, President of CCIFII, Mr. George Hamoy, member of the Board of Directors, and Mr. Sol Erwin Diaz, one of the sponsors for the prizes.   There were 6 finalists and I was happy to be one of them.  :-)   The winners are :  Lisa Marie Mirasol (1st prize), Charmaine Xy-Za Yape (2nd prize) and Lovette Jam Jacosalem (3rd prize).    My congratulations to them for a job well done. 

Ms. Emily Pascua, President of CCIFII, also gave a message to the IBS members.

Madam Queenie B. Picardal delivered the message of Congressman Varf Belmonte for us IBS members. 
I was so caught up listening to the message of Sir Varf.    A few statements caught my attention.  The first states, "May I extend then my hand in partnership  to the Iligan Bloggers Society as we walk the path of development.  Congratulations and may your tribe increase."   Wohooo!  And the other statement, "I am one with you in this aspiration of bringing out the best of our city and it's constituents specially the youth.  I am very proud that through your organization, the Lone District of Iligan City will be able to facilitate in uniting Mindanao and showing to the rest of the country that One Mindanao is indeed possible."  Wow.  That sure made my day.  And sure one big responsibility for an organization. 

A photo of the IBS members with Madam Queenie, Ms. Emily, Councilor Marlene, Mr. Sol Diaz, Ms. Cathy Tan (manager of Cheding's Peanuts),  Ms. Agnes Maingat (City Tourism Officer), and Mr. Doodz Dalangin (representing Vice Mayor Henry Dy) 

I thank all the guests who have graced our launching and induction of officers.  Without their presence it would have not been a success.   

And not to forget, Lisa Marie Mirasol and Alexander Singcol.   What would the program be without the Masters of Ceremony?  It was a job well done for both of them.   Even with the tension and nervousness, they did well.

And with that, August 26, 2011 becomes a historic day for the members of the Iligan Bloggers Society.  Now IBS is officially an organization who will not tire promoting Iligan to the rest of the Philippines and the world. 

Congratulations IBS!  Am proud to be one of them.   :-)

PS.   August 26 is a Friday.  And what am I doing there instead of being in the office? As usual, I took a leave of absence from work.  Of course, it's an IBS activity  and  a historic one at that.   A launching of IBS only happens once.  I wouldn't dare to miss it, hehehe.   And thanks to my boss, Archt. Gil R. Balondo, for allowing me to take a leave and for being there to show his support to IBS.   :-)    

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Launching of Iligan Bloggers Society and Induction of Officers

It's been ...mmm... 3 months and 4 days since the first Meet and Greet of the members of Iligan Bloggers Society (IBS).   And so many things have happened since then.  

We've had meetings.   And meetings.  Strategic Planning.  And meetings.  Hmm.... that seems boring, huh?  

In between meetings, we also had our share of fun.  Even as we're doing some work, we don't forget to have fun.  


Visit to Hindang Cave and Hindang Falls.


But the biggest event yet that we are preparing for for about a month now is the day we will officially launch Iligan Bloggers Society.  

On Friday, August 26, 2011 will be the schedule of IBS' launching and at the same time the induction of the officers of IBS.   It will be held at the HRM Laboratory of St. Michael's College better known as the mini hotel.  We have invited some city officials and business establishment owners/managers from hotels, inns, restaurants, cafes as well as from the industries and tourist destinations.

The Iligan Bloggers Society was organized with the goal of promoting Iligan City not only to the rest of the Philippines but to the world.   We hope that with what we have done and will do in the future will help bring in more tourists and investors to Iligan City.  

Maayong Iligan!  Maayong IBS!  And as BobNewYork says..."Iligan City, Simply Amazing!"

Monday, August 15, 2011

Videos of Maria Cristina Falls while Ziplining

It didn't took so long for me to have another zip line ride again.

Last August 7, 2011, me, Pat and 9 other members of the Iligan Bloggers Society went on a Fam Tour of Iligan City.  And NPC Nature's Park was one of the destination.  And again, I decided to ride the zipline.  This time my goal is to take a better video (as compared to the previous ones I made) of the zipline ride with Maria Cristina Falls in the background.  And I was so happy that my ride on the 2nd span of the zipline went smoothly.  I did not anymore stop in the middle of the line.   :-)

We were so blessed with the good weather during our trip.  And the water at Maria Cristina Falls was so abundant. And since it has not rained for the past few weeks, the water was so clear and so clean.   It was so inviting that it made me want to dip into the water.  We could feel the mist even from the distance.   Below are the three videos I took while ziplining at the NPC Nature's Park.

2nd span of the 4-span zipline

3rd span of the 4-span zipline

4th span of the 4-span zipline

Below are series of photos of me taken by Pat at the 4th and last span of the zipline.  Yehey! Finally I have some photos on this span.  :-D

Now, my next mission when I zip again is to do some acrobatics, hehe.  Kaya kaya? I have been awed by other riders who seemed to have ziplining so easy.   I told Pat the next time I zipline, I won't be bringing any camera.  Instead he will record a video of me ziplining and doing some acrobatic movements. hehe...   

Hmmmm... when  would that be?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Google Mapping Iligan City

I have already seen Google Map and have used it already in the office, since I am with the Geographic Information System Section of the City Planning and Development Office here in Iligan.  And at times me and my office mates have been frustrated with the wrong data of Iligan  reflected in the Google map. 

Then last June, Lai, also a member of the Iligan Bloggers Society, told us during one of our meetings that we should do a Google Mapping update.   So,  Pat emailed Aileen Apolo-de Jesus, Marketing Consultant of Google Philippines.  He inquired about the Google Mapping activity the IBS is planning to do.   After a series of email exchange between Pat and Aileen and Lai, the group scheduled on July 30, 2011 the Google Mapping Party for Iligan City.  Google calls the activity "a party"  maybe so it will not sound so much like work, hehe.   
The IBS group then got busy inviting participants, preparing for the venue and other requirements for the mapping party.  At first, the venue was set at Jollibee (Tibanga) but when we had our dry run a week before we found out that the internet connection is very weak and that there is no internet access at their function room.  So we changed our venue and was able to get the approval for the use of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) Session Hall.  Thank God our request was granted at a very short notice.   Many thanks to the SP staff who facilitated the use of the venue.  And we were able to get an internet connection through the assistance of the ICTC staff under the  City Administrator's Office.  Thanks to Marvin for sparing us his time to set up the internet connection at SP Session Hall.

I had a try of the Google Map Maker at home based on the tutorial links provided by Aileen and also had some trial mapping during our dry run.  But then, I was assigned to document the whole activity.  So, on the day of the Google Mapping Party, I was not able to make the actual mapping.  Instead I took videos and pictures of the activity.   Below are some of the photos and videos I took during the Google Mapping Party :

Jerick Almeda, giving the orientation on how to use Google Map Maker

A portion of Jerick's presentation

For initiating to do the Google Mapping Party, Google Philipines, through Aileen, sent us some t-shirts.
Thank you Google. Thank you Aileen.

Lovette Jam Jacosalem, the secretariat

Lisa Marie Mirasol (standing), the Project Manager for this activity, assisting the participants

Marilou Alfafara, assisting Jerick during his presentation as well as our runner, in instances when we need to fetch or buy something

Jerick, after his presentation, got busy checking in on the mappers and assisting them

Lai, giving additional instructions to the mappers

Mappers busy at work

And since it was a mapping party, it won't be a party if we would only be doing the mapping  the whole day.  So, the working committee decided to order one layer of pizza from Calda Pizza as the afternoon snacks for the group.   We ordered the largest, 36", since we were many.   But when the pizza was delivered , we were surprised to see two layers of the 36" pizza.  Wow!  The manager (Pat's friend) of  Calda Pizza decided to sponsor one layer.   Yes! Thanks to Calda Pizza.   The mappers got so excited upon seeing the pizza, we then announced a pizza break before it gets cold.

With pork pizza
Special pizza, without pork  :-)
The two photos above courtesy of Rene Pernia, I joined in the picture taking, hehe.  But my camera was running taking a video of all the excitement caused by the pizza. :-)

The pizza break

We concluded the mapping party at 4:30 in the afternoon with an assessment of the output of the mapping given by Xy-Za followed by the giving of certificates to all who participated in the event, mappers and non-mappers.   It then ended with Lai giving her closing remarks thanking all the participants for their support.   But as Lai said, this is not the end of the mapping party.  We,  in the future as a group (and even as individuals), will continue mapping Iligan City's information. 

Some photos during the distribution of certificate of participation.

And of course any IBS activity will not be complete without  the group picture.  

P.S. I found a way to document the activity with me included in the picture.  Thanks to my tripod and the self-timer feature of my camera.  Below are some of my photos with me included.   :-)  

P.S.S.   It was such a tiring day for me documenting the event.  But I enjoyed it so much. :-)

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