I Am In Ketosis

Let me formally announce to the planet that I am in ketosis.  Yes.  It has been since February 26, 2019 that I decided to try ketogenic diet.  And it has been a grueling struggle to keep under ketosis.

Reason behind this is because I live in a country that is infested with sugar and carbohydrates, the two fatal enemies of this zany diet.  Filipinos like me will definitely go insane if their meal does not include rice.  Rice is in every Pinoy meal from breakfast, to lunch to dinner and even up to midnight snack.  Even desserts of Filipinos can be made of the scandalous rice!  For Filipinos, rice is life!

With regards to sugar, the Philippines has the sweetest varieties of tropical fruits on the planet and only a limited number of cooked dishes are not laced with sugar here in my country.  In fact, it is a well-known fact on the entire planet that only in the Philippines can you find a sweet spaghetti.  Hello Jollibee!  And even the world renowned Filipino Adobo, for it to taste even better must be spiked with the notorious sugar.

Philippines also is so unlike the western countries where keto friendly food and dishes are easily available.  Hello Whole Foods Market!  Aside from being so insanely expensive, It is really a struggle to maintain and retain under ketosis.  In fact, for the last fourteen days that I have been in ketosis, I have survived four social events – including that of Nengkoy’s big birthday party – where cakes, pastas, rice meals and sweet drinks were highlighted.

starting to learn how to cook this expensive keto friendly noodles…

I can actually consider that my reduction in the consumption of sugar and carbs was even harder than when I stopped smoking.  It is because I was born and grew up consuming these that resulted to an autopilot sagacity of my whole persona for rice and sweet treats.  It is unlike smoking, which I started when I was an adult and ceased puffing nicotine also during adulthood.  It is therefore not surprising that I had the worst cold turkey when I was starting ketogenic diet otherwise known as the keto flu for the ketogenic language!

But I guess for every struggle, there is like what Ms. Universe Catriona Gray consider as the “silver lining”.  It has been only fourteen days yet I already lost a whopping 12 pounds!

hope to achieve my ideal weight soon…

Nakaka-aning aning sa hirap!

I Wanna Sing In A Pub Choir!

I think I am a rare Filipino breed.  Reason behind this is because I cannot sing!

When I was in Jerusalem, I was able to meet a bunch of cool Jews in a coffee shop who were celebrating Purim. My sister Ester who toured with me decided to stay in the hotel to read about the Holy Bible’s Queen Ester, her namesake.

These young Jewish people were surprised to know that I was a Filipino travelling as a tourist in their country.  One guy then uttered to the group that Filipinos seem to have the genes for good singing voice. The whole bunch of these cool happy people then started teasing and entreating that I should sing a song for them.

a stock photo of my trip to jerusalem… it’s not rare meeting cool strangers in that city

I tried doing it but they obviously did not liked what they’re were hearing.  I stopped and did not finish.   I was like Cameron Diaz singing “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” in the movie My Best Friend’s Wedding.  After my singing, they were gracious enough to clap their hands while doubting if I am really is a Filipino and simply moved on and continued on with the Purim revelry with me.

I remembered all these when I happen to bumped into a fascinating YouTube video regarding a joint where hundreds of strangers inside the pub would learn and sing together a popular pop song.  Watch this…

Internet indicates that Pub Choir phenomenon started two years ago in Brisbane, Australia and the fun and fascinating concept/activity has been booming and expanding all throughout the Land Under. 

And if this phenomenon would finally arrive here in Manila, I would be one of the few Filipinos who could not sing would enlist and would definitely sing my heart out in this event. I and my rare kind of Filipino breed would definitely unleash the Cameron Diaz in all of us!

Handa AWIT!

 

 

 

Malou’s Prayer 2019

In my country, the Philippines, any corporate event or gathering will not be complete without the Invocation otherwise known as the opening prayer.  It is as if the event will not be successful if the organizers chose not to supplicate and plea to the heavenly spirits for guidance, strength and protection while the affair is on-going.

Surprisingly, one of the most popular posts I have in this blog is an Invocation.  I often see my blog’s stats sour high during Christmas season because folks assigned to lead the prayer in their respective event, program or party seem to search online on samples of beautiful prayers.  I can attest that Malou’s prayer has been so popular in the past few years! 

needs to have my photo before the whole stressful yet fun event starts!

malou & edwin, the designated hosts of the program

Last January 21, being the yearly designated organizer of a company’s Employees’ Night Grand Ball, I again designated Malou to compose and lead a gorgeous and inspiring prayer.  Despite having so much going on in my head that night – anxiety, pressure, worries and apprehensions – to ensure and make the party a success, Malou’s pleasing prayer consigned my being at ease.

And because of that, I again requested Malou for a copy.  She said okay when I told her that I am to post it in my blog.  Here it is…

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the blessings of 2018.

Thank you for bringing us together tonight and giving us another reason to celebrate our successes, our friendships, our teamwork, our lives.

We thank you most of all Lord for giving us 40 fruitful years and may we be blessed with so much more.

As we face the New Year, may You grant us the strength and the courage to live each day to the fullest, being a reflection of Your love to each other.

May you grant us the wisdom to perform our daily jobs and bless us with the inspiration to carry on each day.

Deliver us Lord from everything that will destroy us and help us to put our trust into your perfect care.

May we be to each other a beacon of light, a loving and forgiving friend, a strength to hold on to, a joy to look forward to, and an inspiration to keep us going.

May You bless our company with another 40 years of success and may we be a blessing to the people we serve.

All good things are not possible without You, Oh Lord.

 All glory and honor be to You Lord God, now and forever, Amen!

 

Gondohhh, di ba???

Shimmering Soumaya Museum

Modern and present earthlings’ visit and holiday to Mexico City would now no longer be complete without visiting the Soumaya Museum.  Hailed as a new landmark, this weird looking building in the city is a private museum owned by the richest living earthling Carlos Slim. 

Named after the wife of the owner who passed away in 1999, Soumaya Museum building is one of the weirdest-looking modern architecture that I have ever seen!  It is so weird that I could not actually ascertain its geometrical shape.  Add to its weirdness is its being windowless and that the whole building glimmers and sparkles when hit by the rays of the sunshine!

And since the owner is filthy rich, admission inside the museum is free. Only the blind would miss the bronze cast of Rodin’s The Thinker upon entering the open airy lobby.  There’s also a colorful mural (considered to be one of the last works) done by Diego Rivera pointing toward the restrooms.

the lobby!

 

la puerta del infierno (the gates of hell) Ang taray ng title!

look at how tiny the people are at the bottom of this photo

Art collections found inside Soumaya Museum are all so grand and ostentatious.  It is dominated by the great works European artists, including El Greco, Van Gogh, Degas, Matisse and Picasso.  There are also a spectacular section of religious art which includes the Mexican portrait of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the Spanish painting of the Virgin of Toledo and surprisingly intricate ivory sculptures of Jesus hanged on the Cross done by Filipino artisans.

And like in any other museum, it has been my tradition of choosing a collection that I am most impressed with.  Soumaya Museum had three amazing collections that enticed, engrossed and charmed my wits.

El Pansador (The Thinker by Auguste Rodin). I need to have a photo with this masterpiece

Joven de Bou-saada (Young Girl of Bou-saada). It looks so real, it scares me!

If art feeds the soul, Soumaya Museum would definitely have you so full! This was indeed a very enriching adventure! 

Hugis ano?

Castillo De Chapultepec

A castle is the last thing I am expecting to find when I decided to tour and visit Mexico City.  But expect the unexpected because I found Chapultepec Castle or Castillo De Chapultepec which is also unexpectedly located in the middle of a very huge park, the Chapultepec Park.  This park is so big, it is even bigger than the famous Central Park of New York City.    

The funny thing is, while roaming around the castle area, I am reminded by a number of things and I am telling myself that I have seen such place in the past.  And then I realized that this was the place where some scenes were shot in the 1996 movie Romeo & Juliet starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Clare Danes.  It was the set of the Capulet Mansion in that movie! 

The castle has been home for different purposes throughout its long history.  It has been a military academy, a presidential home, of course the royal residence, as well as an observatory.  Now it houses Mexico’s National Museum of History.      

It is the only castle in North America ever actually used as a royal home.  It was the residence of Emperor Maximilian I and his wife Empress Carlota.  And during such time, it was still considered to be in the outskirts of Mexico City.  This emperor then wanted to connect his castle to the main city.  He then ordered the construction of a road so as to link it to the energetic city.  That road now is known as the bustling and affluent Paseo Dela Reforma. 

paseo dela reforma

 The construction of the castle started in 1775 and in 1806 it was purchased by Mexico City’s municipal government.  It was mostly abandoned during the Mexican War of Independence.  But it rose to prominence again with the story that is probably the most famous event that has taken place in that castle, the Niños Heroes (or Hero Children). 

Niños Heroes are six Mexican boys who defended the castle against the U.S. soldiers invasion of the castles in September 13, 1847 during the bloody Mexican-American War.  These boys are now permanently honored throughout the grounds of the castle through massive sculptures, artifact exhibits and a commemorative mural painting.  

Besides the beauty of the castle itself, there are lovely gardens and grounds.  You also got fantastic view of the city and the park’s surroundings.  And since it is now the National Museum of History, there are also historical artifacts, exhibits and furnishings that I really enjoyed seeing.

Chapultepec Castle caught me in such a big surprise, that it is one site that I would recommend seeing when in Mexico City.  It was one lovely and surprisingly enriching visit.

Mapapa-biba Meksiko ka sa ganda!

Wowed by Biblioteca Vasconcelos

If you don’t know me yet, and though I don’t look like one, let me tell you that I absolutely love books and reading.  That is why when I travel, there is always a book that I would bring along with me.

So when I heard that there is a unique mega library in Mexico City and even though it is not included in Tripadvisor’s the top 15 destinations to visit in Mexico City, I know that this would be a place that I have to check out.

It’s Biblioteca Vasconcelos!  I didn’t know really what to expect.  But when I walked in, I literally let go of a massive gasp.  It was so loud,  a bunch of quiet people inside the building knew that there is an elated first timer who has just entered.   

This place is unlike any other places that I have been to.  The architecture is incredibly unique and it is not just like any other library but unlike any other place I have ever seen!  And the more entire I went, the more incredible it becomes.

After the first initial wow impression, the next thing I noticed is just the sheer scale and size of the building.  The uniqueness is that you would see people around: beside you, beneath you and above you.  Some of the floors are actually thick translucent glass.

Biblioteca Vasconcelos opened in 2007 and has over half a million books.  It got its name after Jose Vasconcelos who is a Mexican philosopher, a former presidential candidate and was also the president of the national library of Mexico.   

I noticed that the walls are transparent and that the floors seem mismatched.  It also have very intricate staircases and balconies, it reminds me of the movie Inception in a scene where things were folding on to each other.  I really felt like I was in a sci-fi novel.  It gave me the feeling of being set in the future which not many equally awesome buildings could do.

Biblioteca Vasconcelos is called a mega library because it is actually 5 libraries merged into one.  And each one library is dedicated and pay homage to Mexico’s great thinkers.

One thing that really takes center stage inside this library is the massive white whale skeleton done by an artist named Gabriel Orozco.  The whale’s skeleton, fitted onto a metal armature and inscribed with granite rings and circles, hangs suspended in midair.  It seem visible from almost all sections and every point within the library.

The library is so massive, there are tons of areas where people can sit and work.  Entrance of course is for free and there is free wifi.  And what is best is that Tripadvisor seem to have yet discover this place as one cool tourist destination. 

If you are a book lover like me or an architecture fanatic or just want to see a really unique place within Mexico City, then Biblioteca Vasconcelos is definitely worth a visit.  

Waw as is WAW!

A Visit at Mexico’s Biggest Museum

If you are a tourist in Mexico City, a visit to a museum seem inevitable.  Reason behind this is because this city has the most number of museums in the world.

For an initial Mexico City museum salvo, let me then feature not just any type of a museum.  Let me introduce to you the Museo Nacional de Antropologia or the National Museum of Antropology.  Reason why it is so special is because it is the most visited and the biggest museum in Mexico.  It’s a staggering 8 hectares all in all!

After walking through the humongous and vast entrance area of the museum, the first this that any visitor of this museum would notice would be this…

its called “el paraguas” the umbrella

The museum since it’s so big is divided into 22 different section halls.  I started with section 1 of course, the Introduction to Anthropology and planned to finish all sections in one visit.  But after an hour and a half of marveling at various features (I reached half of section 4), I started to feel some sensory overload.  I started to feel so overwhelmed that I can’t seem to take in so much anthropological stimulus and information anymore.

Since I have seen so much, I started to slow down.  And instead of trying to see everything, I tried to just really focus on few specific things.  I then decided to head straight to the section where there are most number of people.  That is at the Mexica section or the hall number 6.

I was not surprised anymore that this seem to be the section where there are lots of people.  It is because this is the hall that houses the most emblematic exhibit of the museum, the Piedra Del Sol or the Sun Stone.  This is so special, that I think I will write separately on how I felt seeing this Aztec sculpture. 

piedra del sol (the stone sun)

 

Other exhibits that caught my attention were… 

the super massive… aztec goddess coatlicue (the mother of the gods who gave birth to the moon, stars and the god of the sun and war) taray!

brasero chicomecoatl (the goddess of corn)

stone of motecuhzoma

I highly recommend this place to those who are interested on human societies that thrived, lived and existed in Mexico or simply being a tourist in Mexico City.  The National Museum of Anthropology is located within the Chapultepec Park in Mexico City.  And lucky me, it was free entrance for everyone on the day I visited!  With the grandiosity of this museum, I was all but willing to pay the seventy Mexican pesos entrance fee!

the usual and common design on mexico souvenir shirts

 

Grabe! Oberwelming!