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Picturing Marawi at SM Supermalls

Revisit the tragic backstory of the Maranaos at SM's Picturing Marawi Photo Exhibit featuring the heart-tugging photos of the Marawi siege aftermath immortalized by former journalist Mylah Reyes Roque from June 3 to August 31 in select SM Malls.

 Ms. Mylah Reyes Roque
"The exhibit memorializes the tragedy in Marawi with the aim to engage mallgoers and help them have a greater understanding of the conflict," said Jonjon San Agustin, SM Supermalls Senior Vice President for Marketing.

Picturing Marawi narrates the aftermath of human conflict through images of buildings, homes, and mosques that are deserted by the war but nevertheless speak of the community that used to make it alive. These are stories of  a siege fought in close  quarters.

Catch the photo exhibit in the following SM malls : Megamall (June 4 to June 11), Southmall (June 24 to 29), Sucat (July 22 to 28), Rosario (August 5 to 11), and Telabastagan (August 25 to 31). This endeavour is in partnership with National Museum.

The Marawi siege was an armed conflict that took place in Marawi, Lanao del Sur - a city filled with pulsating energy that was silenced by war. The battle started on the 23rd of May 2017 and lasted for five months - leaving the city in ruins and ending the lives of many Filipinos.

For more information, visit 

Old San Juan Hotel and Restaurant : A Blast from the Past

If you are looking for a place to eat if you are going to Laiya, Batangas, I recommend Old San Juan Hotel and Restaurant located in San Juan, Batangas.

We were on our way to Laiya for our "Huling Hirit sa Tag-Init 2019" summer family outing and we decided to eat here for breakfast. Walang masyadong tao when we arrived at around 8am, and we felt like we rented the entire place.

The Ambiance

The  Old San Juan Hotel and Restaurant lets you experience an extraordinary urban escape and would bring you back to the old days. 

Naalala tuloy namin yung luma naming bahay sa Quezon City. Nagbalik tanaw kami nuong panahong lagi kaming nag aabang sa bintana sa pagdating ni Nanay. Yung capiz sa bintana, yung kahoy na sahig at higit sa lahat yung hagdan.

And the best part, halos lahat ng kanto rito is IG worthy. 

The Food
With its distinctly Filipino features, syempre lutong Pinoy din ang aasahan natin. We ordered Silog meals with Kapeng Barako for breakfast. The food is just alright for an average of 120 to 150 pesos per meal.

They offer the following for breakfast : 
Pork Tocino with egg
Longanissa with egg
Bacon with egg
Hotdog with egg
Beef Tapa with egg
Dried Fish with egg
Daing na Bangus with egg
Ham with egg

The Hotel
The Old San Juan Hotel and Restaurant offers accommodations with the following amenities: Spa and Wellness, Beauty Salon, Private Room for Karaoke, Coffee and Tea Bar, Swimming Pool and Gym.

About Old San Juan Hotel and Restaurant
Address : Javier St., San Juan, Batangas
Phone : (043) 5755400

Sulit ba? YES. Sulit naman na considering the price for breakfast sa isang themed restaurant. I heard na masarap and best seller din ang sisig nila.

Sa akimg muling pagbalik, paghahandaan ko na talaga ang OOTD ko.

Atag Ng Pakil Para sa Laguna De Bay : A Multi-Sectoral Pakil River Tributary Clean Up Kicks-Of on April 14

The Manila Bay's restoration, although in its initial stage, and the Boracay rehabilitation is definitely a great success.  The project inspires eco-volunteers, government agencies, LGUs, NGOs to do the same for their own cities and provinces. 

This time, let's talk about Laguna de Bay.

Laguna de Bay is the largest lake in the Philippines and third largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia.  It is located between the provinces of Laguna to the south and Rizal to the North.  The lake is blessed with rich natural resources and plays an important source for fishing and for irrigation.

Save Laguna de Bay

Pollution, Squatting, and industries are major factors that accelerate the death of Laguna de Bay.   Informal settlers and the illegal structures of businesses can be found all over Laguna de Bay which contributes to the pollution from untreated sewage and industrial waste.

As a concerned citizen, what can we do to help?

Atag Ng Pakil Para sa Laguna de Bay : 
A Multi-Sectoral Pakil River Tributary Clean-Up
Maiden Launch of Zero Debris Philippines
Estaca (Pondohan), Pakil Laguna
April 14, 2019
Zero Debris Philippines, in cooperation with Zero Debris Pakil Chapter, will launch its first clean-up project in Estaca (Pondohan), Pakil, Laguna on 14 April 2019.

The program aims to bring eco-volunteers together toward a common goal of safeguarding our water sources and saving Laguna de Bay.

For people who feel the spirit of volunteerism, this is a good chance to save the bay. Get involved and join us in protecting our water resource ecosystem.

For inquiries, please message Zero Debris Pakil Chapter President, Mr. Rudel San Gaspar.


I. Processional & Entrance of Colors
II. Entrance of Participants
III. Invocation
IV. National Anthem
V. The Singing of Pakil Tourism Song
VI. Guest Speaker
VIII. Reading of the Core Values
IX. Oath of Allegiance
X. Speech by the Mayor
XI. Zero Debris Philippines Go Signal
XIII. Presentations 
XIV. Recognition of Partners
XV. Awarding of Certificates
XVI. Closing Remarks

Zero Debris Philippines Pakil Chapter, Mr. Rudel San Gaspar
during the interview with DZJB 1456 Radyo Calabarzon
Photo Credit : Roderick Palatino
About Zero Debris Philippines

Zero Debris Philippines is a Non-Stock and Non-Profit Organization involved in the development and management of viable and sustainable social micro-farm enterprise business model designed to strengthen and form the rural communities as agricultural backbones in support of agricultural diplomacy.

Estrellas de Mendoza Playa Resort : An Honest Review

A few days before our early summer family trip, I started searching online for a beach resort in Laiya, Batangas. One of my criteria is that it should have a nice pool and should be beach-front property.

We ended at Estrellas de Mendoza Playa Resort.

Situated at Laiya Ibabao, San Juan, Batangas, Estrella de Mendoza Playa Resort is a Mediterranean-inspired resort sitting on Laiya Beach. 

The Entrance Gate
 Price Points
We booked the premier room (39 sqm) for 2 adults and 2 Kids (below 12 yo) for 6,800, but we ended up paying an additional of 1,000 since my 15-year-old daughter is considered an adult already. It comes with a free buffet breakfast for 4 and the use of amenities including the pool and the beach.

I think that the rate of 7,800 per night for a family of 4 is too much if we consider the room and the buffet breakfast only.  It is a little expensive for me since the room is not that well-maintained. I can find a lot better 5-star business hotel in Manila for a price of 7,800.

The Facade

Rooms / Accommodation

-  Has a veranda facing the pool and the beach which we love. 
-  Spacious room
-  Good parking space
The view from our room
- Aircon too noisy in Room 309 (wahhhh!!! hirap matulog). They should replace it with a new unit immediately. I am not sure with the other rooms if ganun din. 
- The rooms are quite old and not well-maintained
-  Yes they have TV inside the room but you cannot use it. (pang props lang ata!)
- No wifi inside the room

The Beach

- We love the beach. We love it during high tide and low tide. I find it nice that I was able to walk about 300 to 400 meters first just to be able to swim during low tide. :-)
- Clean beachfront
- Kayak, Banana Boat, Jetski, Boat ride are available
- kid-friendly beach

High Tide

Low Tide

The Pool

- nice blue infinity pool

- sharp pool flooring. 

The Restaurant

The buffet breakfast includes standard Filipino breakfast such as bread, eggs, tinapa, corned beef, chicken adobo, sopas and congee. The breakfast comes with an unli coffee as well.

The food is so-so and nothing to rave about.

You can also order snacks and have it delivered in the poolside and beach area. 

We had our PM snacks delivered here.
Estrella de Mendoza Playa Resort is ideal for families, especially those with young kids. During our stay, we saw toddlers playing at the beach (during low tide of course!) and they were really having lots of fun playing and wading in the water.

More photos

 How To Get There

1. The best way to the resort is to drive via SLEX which connects to Star Tollway. This will cut your usual travel time by approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour by skipping the traffic in San Jose, Turbina Highway. This will be approximately 132 km from Magallanes to resort itself, and will take you about 2.5 hours depending on traffic.

2. Take SLEX all the way to where it connects with Star Tollway.  

3. After exiting, veer to your left for a 2.5 kms drive to reach an intersection with sign pointing to Rosario, then turn left at this intersection, while on this road, you will notice the municipal hall of Ibaan on your right, while the church will be on your left. After passing the church, you will reach a forked road. Turn right at the road sign poining to the town of San Juan. This will be an 8km drive on this road going to Rosario town proper.

4. At the town proper of Rosario, you will notice a Jollibee outlet. Drive past it and the road will lead you all the way to San Juan town proper which is approximately 23 kms away.

5. At San Juan town proper, you will notice a Dunkin Donut sign in your right and proceed straight  until you reach the Municipal Hall of San Juan. There is a road immediately to your right. Turn to it because this is now the main road to Laiya. This is a concrete road of about 20 or so kilometers going to Estrellas de Mendoza Playa Resort.

6. When in doubt, use waze :-)

Pag-IBIG Fund holds 'Araw ng Pag-IBIG' for more than 1,500 couples


Today, February 14, Pag-IBIG Fund holds its eight "I Do. I Do! Araw ng Pag-IBIG," a mass wedding for Pag-IBIG member-couples.  More than 1,500 couples are expected to participate this year in 13 venues nationwide.

"This is how we celebrate Araw ng Pag-IBIG on Valentine's Day.  The mass wedding is our way of helping couples formalize their union and reminding them that Pag-IBIG Fund membership comes with benefits that can help in their lives.  We are one with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's directive of helping  Filipino families make the most of social benefits provided by government institutions like Pag-IBIG Fund," said Eduardo D. del Rosario, who serves as the Chairperson of both the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and the Pag-IBIG Fund of Board of Trustees.

This year's " I Do. I Do! Araw ng Pag-IBIG" will be simultaneously conducted in Pasay City, Mandaue City, Davao City, General Santos City and Zamboanga City.

"Since 2012, Pag-IBIG Fund has assisted 20,297 Filipino couples through this activity.  The "Araw ng Pag-IBIG" is a lighthearted way to capitalize on our name but there is the serious objective of encouraging more Filipinos to enjoy the benefits of being a Pag-IBIG Fund member.  It is our vision for every Filipino worker to save with Pag-IBIG Fund, so they can have access to high-yield savings and affordable home loans," said Pag-IBIG Fund Chief Executive Officer Acmad Rizaldy P. Moti.

The "I Do. I Do! Araw ng Pag-IBIG," was awarded with the 1st Philippine Quill for a Government Communication Program in 2013.  It also grabbed the Bronze Award for Advocacy Communications under the category of Responsible Parenthood at the Araw Values Award, and cited by the TV show, Philippine Book of Records, as having the "most number of couples in a nationwide mass wedding'" in  2014.