Sunday, 29 May 2011

Doors Open Toronto 2011

For anyone the least bit curious about Toronto, its history and architecture, this is the event of the year. It's the one weekend when the public is invited to visit buildings that are usually inaccessible. This is what I read in one of the fliers -"Since it was in 2000, Doors Open has enabled hundred of thousand of Torontonians to explore some parts of the city and in that way claim their own. So far, there have been more than 1.9 million visits to Door Open sites."

Lito and I only explored The Distillery District from 1800 and some buildings and structures along the way. A time off from the kids and a little history of Toronto.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Lemon-Herb Marinated Steaks

We are preparing for the hot summer days and more outdoor dinners, so we tried our new BBQ with the Lemon-Herb marinated steaks today.

Here's the recipe:

1. Mix the ingredients first then put everything in ziploc:

4 pieces steaks
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 onion minced
1/4 tsp oregano
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp ground pepper

2. Marinate for at least 2 hours.

3. Set the grill for 400'F

4. Sprinkle steak with garlic powder, salt and pepper while grilling.

5. Cook until "medium rare" or "well done" depending on your preference.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Front Row seats At Toronto International Circus Festival, CN Tower et al.

Today is Victoria Day and I consider it a victory day too because we accomplished so much. It's Mama and Dadilo's first time to try the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) buses, subway and streetcar when we went to Toronto Downtown this morning. I showed them the route going to downtown as this is where most of the Toronto's attractions are located so that they can go back anytime when Annabel arrives or when we go on a long holiday in Summer.

We stopped at the Museum station and had photo ops there. I found this station the most creative and appropriately designed and because it's holiday today, we were the only ones there to freely pose before heading to Union Station.

We arrived 10 minutes before 11:00 am, the start of the circus events at the Red Path stage so we took photos in the board walk with the lake and CN tower as our background.

The first act we were able to watch was a chainsaw and machete juggler, a unicyclist and a comedian in one:

After the first show which was interrupted by rains, we proceeded to the WestJet stage for the main event. We were seated on the front row and waited for about 10 minutes before the show began. My kids were excited, the first show were from kids as young as Miggy and they were very good. The stunts were amazing.

The next show was another hit, a mixture of acrobatics, opera and comedy in one - so entertaining that we were laughing and screaming for excitement as more challenging stunts unfold before our eyes. Even Lex clapped his hands after each set. It was so eccentric that I realized later that compared to last year, the event is getting better and more entertaining you would want to come back again. Here are some of the videos Lito took from this event. Mama and Dadilo surely enjoyed this. Sa Pinas, me bayad na ang ganitong show at pag front seats, mahal siyempre, dito libre lang :)

More photo opportunities at CN Tower, Union Station and the subway ride home.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

A walk in the park with AJ, Mama and Dadilo

This is the second time that my parents enjoyed the parks here in Canada. Although Bloordale Park is not comparable to High Park, we all loved the greens and the flowers blooming this Spring. It was also a perfect time to walk with the son of Henry - AJ who's less than 1 year old and enjoyed the playground with the kids. Mama and Dadilo really liked the Dandelions and the different colored flowers and trees we saw on the way to the park. It was already 7:30 pm when we went back because we didn't notice the time, the sun is still up when we started walking back home. The kids had a blast in the playground and the pictures tell them all:

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Kids' swimming @Etobicoke Olympium

My children started their swimming lessons last March and it ended today and we were all happy. Miggy finished ULTRA 2, Kyle and Lex finished their lesson called Guardian with me joining them. Our schedules every Saturday were pretty tight and it's comforting to note that Lito and I have also graduated. Dadilo will take over in bringing and fetching them to swimming lessons in Summer.

I didn't have the photo opps with Miggy and Lex so I have only taken pictures of Kyle but I am proud of them all. Kyle's report card says "He has improved a lot, swimming independently towards the end". I just remembered how Marifi was telling me that Kyle didn't want to listen to the instructor last year. He was always crying or just playing and not following the lessons. But now he can do all the stuff like bob, bubbles, starfish, rocketship and he can float, glide and jump as his entry to the pool. Here are the photos taken with his instructor Andrea and also the video of his starfish (back float) skills. I'm so proud of my Kyle:

Thursday, 19 May 2011

What is integrity?

I have not been very active in blogging not only because I am busy but also I have become choosy in the things I want to put here. Our tongue can build up and bless others, rather than curse or tear men down. Learning to use our words wisely comes from focusing more on inner life than on the tongue itself, more on the source than its outflow. (Learn more on the bible - James Chapter 3)

So what is integrity? I have seen this in our Corporate Values and it looked like a simple word but there's more to it really and we can learn from this and apply it in school, work and at home:

Integrity is -
- Being honest, trustworthy and incorruptible
- Maintaining steadfast adherence to a strict code of moral, ethical or artistic values
- Being consistently truthful and fair
- Following your convictions, rather than reacting in the heat of the moment
- Demonstrating that you can be counted on and trusted
- Being truthful and sincere

What does integrity look like or sound like?
- Thinking about the best option or solution to a problem and discussing
different opinions until a solution is found
- Telling the truth, even if it means admitting a mistake or knowing that it may not be accepted by others
- Having the courage to do the right thing, even if it may mean losing a friend, a job, or the acceptance of a peer group
- acting and speaking in ways that reflect your own values
- Keeping a promise
- Not making promises that can't be kept
- Accepting the consequences when a mistake is made
- Not abusing a position of power for your own interests

May this virtue be upon us.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Gifts and Flowers for Mom

I received my early Mother's Day gift a week ago when Lito installed the Kinect and XBox and when I received the news that Mom and Dad got their Temporary Resident Visa here in Canada. God is so good. He showered us with all these blessings.

After a week, my prayer request was answered when I met my Mom and Dad at the Pearson International Airport. They came just in time for Mother's Day. I remember it was one of the reasons that I put in the invitation letter - to let her come here as my Mother's Day gift for her. I felt so happy seeing them so happy too especially when they saw their grandsons.

Their second day was Cherry Blossoms Day. We went to High Park to see the Cherry trees with the flowers blooming. The weather was great. Although Mom and Dad could use more inner layer for the chills when the sun goes out. We brought our picnic mat and had lunch in the Park with a nice view overlooking the lake and the Cherry Blossoms on our left. The ducks also frequented our area so the kids were ecstatic to see them while we eat.

They loved the flowers, my kids loved the animals in the zoo but for me, I love this day that God gave to see and appreciate His creation. And I especially love this day that I am reunited again with my parents - to whom I owe what I am now today. It's their time to enjoy Canada. We will have lots of adventure to do this summer and fall. For now, let us just enjoy spring because it just started.

Here are my Mother's Day and Welcome Mama and Dadilo photos: