My 2018 Songs

What was your song last year?  What melody, lyrics and tempo fused into one that moved you and can be considered your best representation last year?  What was that tune in 2018 which you would consider your song?

I got two.  One is a song that I personally did not chose until someone told me it’s me.  My sister after we both have watched the concert of Calum Scott in Manila uttered that No Matter What was so me.  “It fits you” she uttered without me asking her.  Those 3 words she said got stuck and will seem to be forever embedded in my wits! 

My 2018 second song is Para Sa Akin.  Fittingly a Tagalog song, which implies a longing for someone, an aspiration and hoping to be lucky that someone will fall, a promise to be good in case someone falls and without tension and strain letting someone’s affectionate heart beats for me.  I am middle aged, yet, finding someone special is still the ultimate thing that I have yet to receive from the heavens.  Thus, Para Sa Akin (translation: For Me) simply befits me. 

 

You what is your 2018 song?

Drama-dramahan ang peg sa post na ‘to… 

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2018 Reflection and 2019 Aspiration

We have now reached the time of the year when we start to reflect on the year that was.  The compilations are starting to come out for the best songs, movies, Facebook and Instagram posts, fashion and all other bests for the year. 

It is also the time for reflection on a personal level: new people we met, new food we have tasted, amazing new sites we’ve visited, new skills we’ve learned, virtues we’ve acquired or maintained as well as the surprising circumstances we have encountered along the way.  It is also the time when we reflect how we’ve been as a human being and what we want to be in the next year.

As for me, I guess all I can do is be the best person that I can be to those who need me.  And to those who don’t need me, just wait and see because sometime next year you would realize that you do crave and long for me.  Hahaha!  I may not have a new set of resolutions but I will definitely do my very best to stay out of the treacherous waters that would be swirling around next year. 

It is the end of the year and it feels like a lot of people are tired and need a break.  I hope that next year would be more peaceful, meaningful and fruitful for everybody.  Let us hope for the best! 

happy new yeaar from sweet nengkoy! 

happy new year! welcome 2019!

Happy New Year and lots of love from me and my mother, Nengkoy!

Yumaman sana tayong lahat!

Christmas 2018 at Nengkoy’s

photo taken by rachelle (nengkoy’s executive housekeeper)

Like any other Christian family, my family every year is at the heart of Christmas.  2018 Christmas celebration is no different from the yearly revelry that occurs at Nengkoy’s abode.  This year though is a little different because there is a little additional member of the family, my 8-month old grandnephew Arziolo.

And as usual, I am the designated person to take photos of the party.  There were so much photos I took last Christmas Eve that I was able to create a short video out from it.  Enjoy watching… 

From Nengkoy and my whole family, let me again greet everybody a very Merry Christmas!  And since this post covers a YouTube video, let me express how vloggers would invite viewers by saying: “Hi guys!!! Don’t forget to press the like button and subscribe in this channel!”  Hahaha!

Mag bayral sana…

Seeing the Lady of Guadalupe Cloak on My Birthday

Last year on my birthday, I went to the Love Valley in Cappadocia, Turkey, and surprisingly met an angel in disguise.  This year on my birthday, I went to Mexico City and saw the cloak of Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin.

My birthday this year was really special because I got to visit the Basilica de Santa Maria de Guadalupe! The basilica that houses the very popular cloak in which the image of our Lady of Guadalupe has been miraculously been impressed and printed so as to authenticate Virgin Mary’s apparitions in the area. 

seeing this was for me a miracle already

amen!

My birthday this year fell on a Saturday yet there was a Holy Mass service held in the basilica when I arrived.  This gave me the opportunity to hear a Mexican Holy Mass and say humongous thanks to the Lady of Guadalupe for the rare travel gift of experiencing the amazing city of Mexico.

The modern Basilica de Santa Maria de Guadalupe is vast and massive complex.  It is the most visited Marian shrine in Mexico because it houses the cloak containing the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  It is interesting to know that the new basilica was only completed in 1974.  The old basilica (finished in 1709) on the other hand is just adjacent to it but is already sinking.  Its floor has got some deep slope and its façade has evidently tilted.  It looks like it will dangerously fall and crumble anytime.  

notice how tilted the old church is?

selfie with the Lady! 

My prayer to the Lady of Guadalupe was all about my being thankful that I got to experience Mexico.  I did not asked for any miracle because my seeing and marveling over the beauty and holiness of the cloak during my birthday has been one major miracle for me already.

Santa Maria! Salamat!

Second Time in Istanbul Courtesy of Turkish Airline

I have always thought that airport transits and layovers are synonymous to pain, discomfort and boredom.  Sleeping on benches, agonizing people watching and killing time at a dreadful airport is no one’s ideal cup of tea.  I can still recall the throbbing soreness of my skinny butt during my 10-hour transit in Qatar airport when I was on my way home from Morocco in 2009.  But this preconceived idea I have with me about airport transits and layovers has been erased.

Thanks to Turkish Airline which offers free tour of their magnificent city, Istanbul! On my way to Mexico City from Manila, I have a 9-hour layover in Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport.  Instead of proceeding to the transfer lane after disembarking the plane and wait for my next flight, I instead proceeded to the immigration line to show my Turkish visa and have my passport stamped so as to enter Turkey.

After which, I proceeded to the Turkish Airline’s hotel desk/counter at the airport and told the staff that I would like to join the free tour of the city offered by their airline.  The staff then simply asked for my boarding pass and asked me to wait for my name to be called.

I was sipping my Starbucks coffee when my name was called.  And, viola! Goodbye airport and hello (again) dreamy Istanbul… 

with the other excited passengers who chose not to get bored

turkish airline is teasing me to revisit istanbul…

this is so turkish…

i miss dining at this kind of an eatery

yummy turkish delights 

my personal favorite, hagia sophia 

inside the famous sultan ahmed mosque

No one wants to sit in an airport for so long but almost all wants to see the world’s greatest cities and save some money while doing so.  This free airline stopover tour offered by Turkish Airlines can be considered one of the best money saving idea for a travel enthusiast like me.  Istanbul stopovers can now be considered a great travel trick for it can further expand a traveler’s destination.

And aside from that, I can now boast that I have been to Turkey twice!  The tour was brief yet Turkish Airline is giving me reason to revisit their mesmerizing country…

Nakatipid, nakalibre, nakagala at nag-yabang!

Calum Scott Don’t Know

Calum Scott don’t know that I belong to the multitudes of British Got Talent viewers who was so moved when he sang his audition piece and celebrated along when he got the Golden Buzzer as bestowed by Simon Cowell.

Calum Scott don’t know that I definitely identify with his audition song “Dancing On My Own”!  And if I am going to sing that song, I will be like him.  I will definitely not change the pronouns in the lyrics.

Calum Scott don’t know that the first time I heard his song “You Are The Reason” was through my Spotify while I was travelling in Turkey.  He of course doesn’t know that I am one of the responsible blokes why such a song has so many airplays in Spotify.

Calum Scott don’t know that we actually have a lot in common.  We both love our family so much.  Both of us are momma’s boy.  Both of us are assiduous HR practitioners.  And both of us are attracted to the XY chromosomes.  

i was with my sister… waiting for calum as the theater starts to get full

Calum Scott don’t know that I am such a fan and did some unthinkable efforts so that I’d be able to see his first concert here in Manila.  And I was super happy when he sang my personal favorite “What I Miss Most”.  He was super adorable that night! My favorite part was when we at the audience were singing along with him. 

Now Calum Scott knows…

Ngayon alam na nya!

Cool Coffee Print at Celia’s Cafe

Baristas spend years perfecting their latte art. Tons of milk and espresso has been spent so as to achieve a beautiful design.  But when you visit Celia’s Café in Alaminos City in Pangasinan, they actually have a machine that can actually have your favorite selfie photo be printed on your coffee.

I don’t know of a café in Manila that offered this same cool feature and going to Singapore or Hongkong would be too expensive if I wish to have my photo printed on my coffee.  That is why I did not missed my chance of having this coffee experience when I last visited Celia’s Café, my family’s favorite café in the northern part of the country. 

super cool…

Celia’s Café is located at SSS Building
Marcos Avenue, Palamis
Alaminos City, Pangasinan