Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Letter of Apology in behalf of Filipinos

I got this from email - thanks to Faye.

"A letter from a teenage Filipino to the WHOLE WORLD"

I would like to share this patriotic letter from a young man Reigno Jose Dilao. He is a teenager, a student, and a Filipino who has a big heart for his country.

As you are reading this letter, I bet that you have seen/heard about what happened earlier in our country.

Tourists were hostages of a policeman here, Rolando Mendoza. After a few hours of the horrible crime, some of the victims were dead including the hostage-taker.

I wrote this letter not just to apologize but also to let everyone know that we Filipinos are not all like Mendoza. We are loving and good-hearted people.

For so many years, our country has been standing tall and surpassing every dilemma; be it small or big. Years ago (back when I wasn't born yet), you have watched us fight for what we think is right. We fought for the democracy of our nation.. The EDSA revolution. But that's just one out of many.

Second. We Filipinos have been serving other countries for our families and we treat you as our own as well. With all due respect, I thank you all for giving us the trust through the years. For helping us to become what we are now.

The Philippines is more than just a group of islands. We are a nation of strong and remarkable people. A country of beauty and love known to be hospitable and well-valued. I humbly apologize for what happened tonight. No one in this world would want something like that to happen for life should be valued.

I politely ask the attention of the world. Please do not judge and mistreat us just because of what happened tonight. I have been searching the net and found terrible things. Hong Kong advices to avoid travels here, China and HK bans Filipinos and that Philippines is the worst place to go.

I can't blame you for what you have decided but I hope that you could understand. Our country is now in a sea of problems. And I know for sure that we helped you in a way or another. Let peace and understanding reign this time.

I know that this letter will just be trash but I wish that you would understand. On behalf of the Philippine population.. WE ARE SORRY.

As a song puts it...

And I believe that in my life I will see an end to hopelessness,
giving-up and suffering. And we all stand together this one time then no
one will get left behind. Stand up for life. STAND UP FOR LOVE

Sincerely yours,

Reigno Jose Dilao
Catbalogan City, Samar

(End of Letter)

To Reigno, you are a young hero of the Philippines. I commend you for
writing this letter of trying to uplift the morale of the Philippines,
after this tragic incident. Kudos to you. You are indeed an idol to many
young Filipinos like you, and should also be an inspiration to many

Monday, 23 August 2010

I Love you forever

I love this book and I'm so glad to find the you tube video with the book being read by Mr. Robert Munschi himself. I don't have the book to read to my children but I use this link to let them hear and see the book on the internet. My kids love it but I can only carry and rock Lex before he goes to sleep. Sometimes Kyle requests me to open this link whenever he feels to be pampered like a baby. I hope you like it to as much as I do (and my children too) Happy reading and listening!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Craving for Cassava Cake

I saw in an Asian store flyer that the frozen grated cassava is on sale. It was an opportunity to make that Cassava Cake I've been craving for. Here's the recipe i followed from my churchmate, it's so easy to make, I can do it again and again.

Cassava Cake

You will need:

2 packs frozen grated cassava, thawed
2 eggs, beaten
1 can evaporated milk
1 can condensed milk
4 tbsp butter
1 bottle macapuno strings
grated cheese


1. Pre-heat oven to 400'C
2. Combine all ingredients.
3. Pour in a baking pan.
4. Put grated cheese on top.
5. Bake for 30 minutes or until top turns golden brown.

Serve while hot and enjoy.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

On Moving and Change of Address

We will be moving to a new apartment by the end of this month. We got lots of things to pack and thanks to our friends who provided the boxes that we can use for our knick-knacks. Some also have pledged to help us move. I didn’t realize that aside from organizing and packing our stuff, contacting truck rentals and movers, we need to inform everyone concerned about our moving and new address.

We received billing and bank statements regularly. There are also subscription to reading materials and freebies. Most importantly, we received information regarding our tax incentives and latest updates from the Canada Revenue Agency and other government agencies thru the mail. I wish there was a one-step way inform them of our change of address. I stumble upon the US Postal Service and discovered they offer free service for people that are moving anywhere in the US. You just have to give them the old and new address then all the mails will be automatically delivered to the new place. The site also provides a checklist to help you remember all the people, utility companies, government agencies and financial institutions that you need to inform of your new address. I could use that list after we have done all the packing.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Nawies in Toronto

W@W and N@W - I have been a member of this egroup for a long time, since the day I planned my wedding (1st gen W@wie circa 1999) until now that my kids are growing. I have made friends with brides to be, new wives and new moms from all over the world. Even if we don't see each other and just exchange tales over email, chat and plurk, I feel a sense of belonging and bonding with these women. I love them all. Thanks to Benz and John for putting up this egroup. We all learn from each other's ideas, problems, rants and supplier ratings (yes, we all love parties!) We also love to shop especially those on Sale! I have met some of them back in 2005 and I'm glad I have found another N@wie here in Canada - Issa. I was surprised to find out that Issa and Faye used to share w@w moments while preparing for their wedding. They both got married in October 2005. We finally met last Sunday after sharing tips on migrating and moving to a new country. How I wish we could be neighbors in the future because our kids bonded as soon as they share toys and play WII. I know this is only the start of our real friendship (not only online) and God has a reason why they brought us together here. Issa, Nico and Miguel - Here's to online friendship and beyond, Cheers!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Miss Clearance

I admit I'm a shopaholic. Sometimes I just want to go to a store, browse thru the racks and check out the items. It started when I was stressed in the office or domestic and I found myself going to the shopping mall to unwind. You wouldn't believe that it gives me a different kind of high just hearing the sound of hangers and the cash registers LOL. It came to a point that I needed to hold on to my cash and cards but I didn't give up on shopping. Actually, it paved the way for me to discover the one part of the store that I've been ignoring but is worth browsing too - the clearance racks. I also learned about the ukay-ukay or second hand stores from the internet and bought items there like winter jackets before going to the US last 2008.

Now that I am here in Canada even if I have my own job and can purchase from my pocket, I maintained that frugality in shopping. Lito and I were not into signature brands (although I found out that the vintage stores here in Canada carry lots of cheap branded items) and are not picky when it comes to buying pre-loved items. We got our Joovy Caboose, Evenflo highchair and some branded toys like Little Tikes, Playskool, Fisher Price etc. for the kids from garage sales and second-hand baby stores.

I went to Goodwill->pre-loved items store last Friday where I found nice home decor items - IKEA frames for a dollar each and decorative mirror for our new apartment. I just hope these items are still there when I go back on Friday because it's additional 50% off on all items. My BFF Joy also told me about Value Village, also a pre-loved items store along Lawrence Avenue. This store is very nice you wouldn't think it's a used items store. The items are organized per category, per size and color. I liked the furnitures and I also found nice but big toys for the kids - kids bike for 10 dollars, a little tikes plastic bike for Lex worth 7 dollars. It will be hard for me to bring them home and besides, we'll be moving. Maybe next time. Here's the one toy I wouldn't pass up, when I saw it I already felt it's perfect for my Lex - an IKEA brand abacus toy, almost new and the price tag is wallet friendly (see the tag?) You know, a shopaholic like me never comes out the store empty handed hahaha.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

My first Taste of the Danforth

It was an accidental stroll around Toronto today. I just hopped on Randy and Gina's car to get the boxes from my friend on Queen Street and I found myself having my personal time off. We went to Woodbine area, grabbed my favorite French Vanilla at Tim Horton's and feed the seagulls by the beach. It was a relaxing sight especially when we went to the rocky areas, the sound of the waves soothes. I wish I had my family with me but it's also good to have a personal time to be recharged.

Before we head home, Randy reminded Gina to buy Gyros for their dinner at the Greektown - Danforth and I found myself joining her and lining up for the grilled quail and gyros. This annual event is frequently visited and most popular among the street food events in Toronto. The atmosphere is like a town fiesta but with all the food lined up on the street. The smell of grilled food entices me and I can't wait to bring to my palate my first taste of Danforth. Of course, the highlight here is not only to taste Greek and Mediterreanean food but also to purchase it in a low price. Imagine, Souvlakis for only CDN$5. My loot is the grilled quail which my boys finished thinking it was chicken and the 2 gyros were filling, Lito and I didn't have any other food for dinner. Truly, it was a new discovery and an event that will be looked forward to in the coming years.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Canada East Tour Day Three – Back to Montreal, 1000 islands cruise

It was a total of 7 hours for the trip going back. We headed early morning to Montreal, the first 2.5 hours, Lex behaved because he was busy watching CARS in our portable DVD player, but then the battery ran out so he was cranky before we reached our destination. After lunch, another 3 hours, we headed towards Ontario to Ivy Lea, this is where we will ride a ferry for the 1000 islands cruise. Lex slept before we arrived Ivy Lea and I was carrying him during the cruise. It was an hour cruise and we enjoyed the islands within the Canada waters and those from the US border. I noticed that both of these countries are patriotic, I wonder why in the Philippines, it is only on Independence Day that you can see our flags and only in strategic areas and not everywhere.

The cruise was our opportunity to rest, the cool winds and breathtaking views make us relax and reflect. What a nice trip! It was also a good time to bond and fellowship with one another. The trip would not have turned enjoyable if it weren’t for our churchmates who comforted and played with Lex when he was crying on the bus, and also looking after our other children while walking in the streets of Montreal and Quebec Cities where there are lots of tourists and chances of them getting lost is great. We’re thankful.
Our last stop was at the Big Apple Pie store then 2 more hours we arrived in Toronto. We arrived at home at thirty past nine, all tired and weary but happy and acquired more knowledge about Canada.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Canada East Tour Day Two – Montreal Olympic Park / Quebec City

After breakfast, we headed to La Basilica Notre Dame - a very spectacular church structure, a neogothic building dating from 1829, this is where Celion Dion got married in 1994. I liked Montreal Metropolis where Notre Dame is located. Thrice the size of Toronto’s Metropolis, I learned that many businesses held their offices and headquarters here before when Montreal was still the nation’s capital. But when there was uprising and political attacks were imminent, these businesses moved to another location (mostly in Toronto) and most of them transferred when the Capital became Ottawa. I also learned that the location of the province of Quebec which is surrounded by rivers was a threat to nation’s security that’s why the government chose another location.

Next stop - Montreal Olympic Park. This park was built for the 1976 Summer Olympics when Montreal was the host. There was this unique leaning tower on top of the stadium - 175-metre (574 ft) tower – the tallest inclined structure in the world, an attraction which could’ve been a hit when it was finished prior to the opening of the games but it was only after 1987 that the tower was finished. The Olympic Stadium with the Tower now finished looked liked a UFO from afar. Maybe it was really designed like that because Montreal Olympic Park was also called futuristic Olympic park. The view of Montreal from the observatory was spectacular. My kids enjoyed the ride going to the top via a funicular-type elevator.

Move over Montreal, make a way for Quebec City. I got excited on our way to Quebec City because I keep on hearing from the tour guide that the old Quebec City is the Europe in Canada. When we arrived, I was not disappointed. I saw a castle and the court yard reminded me of the many movies I saw that were taken in France. The old Quebec City has the quaint charm that is irresistible. The roads were made of cobblestones and the village overlooking the river is lovely. Like the streets of France, it is lined with patio restaurants, a violinist playing in the corner, artists painting, actors and jugglers performing and lots of tourists roaming around. The tiny shops with interesting merchandise and souvenir items abound and the atmosphere is eclectic. Even the French language added to the authenticity of being in France. I really like it here. I found myself saying bon jour and merci, hahaha.

Still smells like the same LUSH stores in Manila

Chateau Frontenac

What I didn’t like in this part of the trip was pushing Lex stroller on the rough and sloping roads but it was rewarded by his behaved manner when we were roaming around. I guess he too was mesmerized by the place. Good thing, on the wayback, there was an elevator/cable car we used to have another view of the city. BTW, I saw a store that sells Russian/Beaver Hats. Aloysius and I enjoyed trying them on only to find out that they cost a lot. Our day concluded with dinner at McDonald’s and upon checking in at Clarion Hotel for the night.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Post-Birthday Treat-Canada East Tour Day One

Long weekends here are mostly spent in trips and our family had an enjoyable trip to the eastern part of Canada on the Simcoe-Civic Holiday. Some members of our Church (Servants of Christ Ministries – Toronto) went with us for the 3-day bus tour to Kingston-Ottawa-Montreal-Quebec-1000 islands last weekend. My kids (except for Lex who was cranky in the long bus ride) were cooperative and excited they woke up as early as 4:30 to prepare for the long day ahead.

Our group availed the Taipan Tours package and the meeting place was at Spadina. We took the TTC to get there. We got good seats near the front so that we could hear the Tour Guide very well (although some of the words were challenging because of her accent) and learned a lot about Canada and the places we’ve been to.

First stop – Kingston. This is an old city and used to be the Capital of Canada in the old days. We passed by prison and hanging tower where they used to hang criminals, Queen’s University, and the downtown where architectural structures were amazing. We saw the oldest hotel in town and still open to public. The town center has market stalls selling fresh goodies from fruits, maple syrups, honey and other souvenir items. We enjoyed posing in front of the Capitol and in the marina.

Next stop is Ottawa/Parliament Hill. I remember during the orientation we had before coming here to Canada, the Canadian speaker suggested that every immigrant must make an effort to visit the nation’s capital and see the Parliament hill. This is where all the laws, decrees and decisions are made for the welfare of every resident of Canada. For a moment there, I thought I felt patriotic but the scorching heat and the little time we had to roam around the city didn’t make up for an opportunity to reflect and think of my new country. Anyway, there’s still a chance for us to come back here, I’ll just save that moment when I come up close and personal with Canada’s capital. Loved the Parliament Building!

Next stop – City of Gatineau / Civilization Museum. I loved this Museum, well I keep saying that each time I come out of a museum and learned a lot from a place. My Aloysius appreciated it more because he already knew some of those we saw from his History class. He was telling me who that person is, what is that thing for? etc. I now know who the Pioneers, the Loyalists and the Aboriginals were. I also learned about Upper and Lower Canada and why it was separated at that time (and until now? Hahaha). We loved the view of the river from this place and the back of Parliament building which can still be seen from here. The summer sun and the cool breeze added to the perfect afternoon on the riverside while waiting for our bus.

Bye Ontario, Hello Quebec province! A few hours later we arrived in Montreal, we went to St. Joseph Oratory /Basilica – the second highest church in the world. I was telling Lito that this is where the Smallville season ender scene was taken – because I remember the altar where Clark Kent was lying down to be sacrificed because the secret about him was exposed to Lex Luthor. There, we learned about a certain Brother Andrew who was gifted with healing powers and healed those with clutches – the clutches were donated to the church and were displayed on the walls of the church as proof of the many people he healed and how he helped in building this church or was the church built in his memory, huh I got confused there. Anyway, we had a nice view of the city because the church is sitting on a mountain.

By 7:00 pm, we checked in our hotel – Ruby Foo’s and some of our companions enjoyed the dip in the pool. Our friend, Jho De Gracia-Ochoco from SGS visited us and we had a chit chat for an hour. We hope to be back here when Tita Jo arrives for more Montreal discoveries. Hit the sack early for another day.