( I follow everyone back who follows me. ♥ )

Mt. Timbak - Scaling the third-highest Peak in Luzon

Scaling Mount Timbak was really such a great experience! Meeting with new folks, be inspired by the locals, sharing insights and laughing over silly jokes with the Conqueror Outdoor Club it was indeed a meaningful and fun experience that I will treasure forever.

Cagbalete Island Experience - Php 1,200 Cheapest Budget Ever!

Glad our CAGBALETE ISLAND Trip was a success. Thanks to Ms. Tess of Villa Cleofas who answered all of my inquiries and to Josiah Sicad of Lakas Trip. I'm glad that I stumbled upon his blog for this made our journey possible in the cheapest way.

Calaguas Island - Beach Bum's Paradise

What I love in Calaguas Island is its shimmering grains of powder-white sand and its awesome turquoise waters. No doubt, these make me want to go back again!

Dare to Climb a Mountain?

We face a lot of challenges everyday of our lives. Some are easy to handle while some may seem too much for us to take. And as I gradually became fond of climbing lately I realized that Life is.. Life is also a mountain to climb!

From Religiosity to Relationship

I was very sincere in seeking God. But I also saw the reality that my religiosity in church did not carry over to my life at home. I got angry at my nieces and pinched them whenever they touched my things, gave my mom, my ate, a weeks/ or month of silent treatment in rebellion to their strictness, spent hours devouring novels and giving way to my imaginations. I was selfish and self-centered.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Rummage Sale - Glad it was a Success!

We had our first EVER garage sale last weekend! And I was really glad it was a success! Woo-hoo!

The idea of doing this is to learn to let go, to make money and to donate some percentage of the proceeds to the chosen charity.

Last January when I started cleaning out my closet. Y'know, cleaning out your closet to make room for new things! :) It actually feels nice to be honest with what you will actually wear and what you won’t. No sense holding on to things that just take up the limited space in you're closet.

Indeed, having a rummage sale is a great way to get rid of things you no longer need and raise money for a cause. :)

If you're planning to do a garage/ yard/ rummage sale, here are some tips to help you.  Happy Selling! :)

Set the Date and Stick to it.
This is the first thing that you should do. By sticking to your date, you start planning other details such as "where" and "what" with greater confidence.

Choose and sort all the things you want to sell. A couple of weeks before your rummage sale, start thinking about what you want to sell. Just open your closet and you will surely find a lot of things that you can sell. Ask yourself, "What clothes do you no longer wear?" And instead of thinking “you might need that someday”, think about how great it will be to turn the item into cash! You would also be surprised at what people buy.
We ask the participants to make a list or a copy of their ledger of all the items that they want to sell
I did a major clean out and it feels soO good...

After you’ve gone through the motions of sorting and choosing, now you need to make sure everything is clean.
Wash, iron and neatly fold or hang all clothing.

Ask for a Permission
Check to see if your homeowners association or Brgy. Municipality has rules about conducting a sale.  Call them and inquire if there are permitting requirements.
Get ready with your "Letter of Authorization".
Consider finding a rummage buddy
This will also help to keep you motivated. Ask your friends, or neighbors if they are interested in having a sale of their own.  Remember, two heads are better than one. Two group - can get twice the traffic. And, just like in SEO, the more traffic, the more sale you have!
We invited friends via Facebook Event Page, where it becomes easy for us to communicate and share ideas.
From left to right: Me, Eden, Pinky, Joy (participants)

Be certain to secure a tag to each item and record the costs on a sheet. This will assist you in keeping track of what you have sold and if for some reason the price tag should fall off.

If you are having a joint sale, be sure to mark your items with your own color/name tag.
I suggests that you start pricing your items a day before your rummage sale. Put initials on the price tag to credit who owned it. So you can still keep all like items together.

Advertising Use signs, balloons, flags and banners and get them high enough off the ground for the average motoring public to see. Use a map on your street signs to assist potential customers in finding your home.

On our case, we printed 2 tarps. The other one was placed in front of the village gate.
So people can easily locate our place.
It would also be best to create flyers that you can hang around the neighborhood or just anywhere that they’ll let you distribute it.

Create a layout that makes it easy for your customers to move around. Label everything clearly and group them together in a way that is visually appealing and easy to shop from (all clothes together, accessories, books together, etc).

Consider having some mellow background music to help with the “ambiance”. Keep the volume to a just-audible level though.

Lastly, smile as you greet your customers. A great smile and a likeable attitude will get you great sales and maybe even new friends!
Lesson learned: Just because you own something, it doesn’t mean that you have to keep it forever. :)

>> Check out the items that are still up for grabs 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Third-Party widget can slow down your Site

Cbox are just one of those many free third-party chat widget that you can add on your website. Adding this widget, you can have the chance to do real time interactions with your visitors - which  I love most! Unfortunately, when I added this widget, my blog site started loading too slow.

I noticed that third-party widgets can slow my web pages down the most. Its true. When I browsing my site, my page loads first then takes a few seconds to load the Facebook fan button, google+ button, adsense, live-chat widget etc. So I as much as I wanted to retain the latter, I have no choice but to remove it.

Here are other reasons why your site may be unresponsive or too slow:
  • Usage of heavy images and videos everywhere. Use lighter images and sorter videos if possible. Images directly from your digital camera can be too big. Take time to re-size before you upload it on your site. 
  • Usage of JavaScript and Flash too much. It is best to avoid flashy images as it will slow down your site. 
  • Usage of third party widgets that may connect to other sites to load.  Keep third-party applications to a minimum. I all want my web site to be filled with interactive widgets and sidebars filled with cool content, but I realized that some apps that pulls from the database can be a potential threat. Verify the necessity of each widget and remove the unnecessary ones.
Note to self: Unless they are absolutely necessary, don’t install them
  • Heavy theme. Use a theme that are more of HTML, CSS.  Avoid using of images for background. Noticed that I've only use color for my background. (Press CTRL + U, to inspect code)
  • Slow server. Choose the right hosting provider for you. If you are not into shared hosting, you can use VPS and Dedicated servers instead, price is quite hefty though.
Google includes website loading speed as an important metric in their ranking algorithm. If you want your blog to rank high in the search results, you need to make sure your blog loads faster than others.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Connect Page to Twitter?

Wants to Connect your Fan Page to Twitter?

1. Logged in to Facebook and proceed to: https://www.facebook.com/twitter/
2. Click > Link a Page to Twitter. An option to Link it to your profile will also be prompt.

2. Select the page where you want to link you're twitter.

3. Authorize Facebook to use your account and and voilĂ ! Any updates you post on your page will be also posted on twitter!

4.  Undo, edit the settings anytime you want.

keep wandering,

Jek /hihi

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Kwebang Lampas 2012 - No longer a property of Lukang Family

Kwebang Lampas is always on my bucket list. That's why I'm so happy when it comes down to reality. Still remember the first time I saw it was on Lakwatsera's blog and since then, I promised myself that I would also go here! I guess, if you just really want it so bad, you’ll do everything you can to make it happen. And it will eventually happen. ayt!
Kwebang Lampas aka Lukang Beach, Pagbilao Grande Island
So, one Saturday morning of February, together with my three colleagues I embarked on my second trip to Quezon, to see the well-known Kwebang Lampas.

11:30PM Friday, when we arrived at Kamuning Jac Liner Station. We depart from the terminal at exactly 12AM . Less than 3 hours of travel with no stop-over, we finally reached Lucena Grand Terminal. I was quite worried when I soon found out that Jeepneys and Mini Bus bound to Brgy. Polo will start to arrive at 6AM. Therefore, its either we choose another route or wait for hours until the mini bus or the jeepneys arrived.

SoO glad that people in Lucena are naturally helpful. Some of the locals suggested that we could take the ordinary bus bound to Legaspi which will leave by 3AM. According to them it will also pass to Pagbilao Town Proper which from their we could walk or ride a trike to Pagbilao Market. So then we opted to ride a bus bound to Lucena, signboard: Guinayangan Caluag-Legaspi, Fare is 12php.

I asked the bus conductor to drop us at Pagbilao Town Proper. (Your landmark would be the Municipal Hall of Pagbilao which is right beside the waiting shed.) It took us only 20 minutes to get there. From the waiting shed there are already some tricycles that could drive you to the Jeepney terminal bound to brgy. Polo which is quite near the Pagbilao market.
Since its still dark outside we agreed to ride a tricycle. Luckily there are 2 tricycles lining from the waiting shed. Less than 5 minutes, we reached the Pagbilao Jeepney terminal only to find out it's still closed and will be open at 6AM. Aside from the two roving tanod we are the only people around. I feel a bit anxious, so I asked manong driver to stay for us for a while while were figuring out what to do. According to him, the Market starts to open around 4AM as some vendors may start to arrive. Hence, if we do not wish to wait for the first jeepney trip we could hire a trike for 350php. As we really wish to catch the sunrise on the beach we opted for the next option. Manong driver has been really nice to us. He even bring us back to the waiting shed where he called a tricycle for us to take us to brgy. Polo. From 350 we haggled it down to 300php.

3:30AM, Street lights were gone and there was dense darkness on the road to Brgy Polo. In the middle of that almost an hour-trike ride, I was then reminded of the verse on Psalm 118:6.  :)
Trike-headlights on dim
 (The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?)
Soon we reached the boundary of Brgy. Polo.  I was riding at the back of the tricycle and one of the first thing I noticed was how beautiful the sky is. The night was clear and the sky was filled with more stars than I could have ever imagined! At that very moment, I felt a sense of peace :)

We passed on four small and big bridges until we finally seen the Pagbilao Power Plant at the left side (the landmark of Kwebang Lampas). Manong driver dropped us off near the main gate of Pagbilao Power Plant.

(Click the image to get a better view)
Dito kami binaba ni Kuya mismo. That was him, waiting for us, whereas talking with the guards of Powerplant.
Its around 4:20AM and quite dark outside so we decided to have our breakfast first at the nearest eatery that is already open that time while we also wait for the dawn.
Me while making chicka to ate Leah, owner of this humble eatery. 
Ate Leah is very accommodating and friendly. She even instruct us an alternative route for a cheaper fare if ever we decide to go back  :D

5:20AM, we were off for a trek. Some tricycle drivers offered 100-150php to drive us to the parking lot, (near the green lake) which is the jump off point to Kwebang Lampas/ Lukang Beach. But since we're on a tight budget, we refused. Bwahaha!. Well, I guess the best way  to enjoy the scenery is on foot. :p  Lots of local stores are within the area too but none of them are open yet except for Ate Leah.

Vamanos! Face the police detachment at the corner near the plant gate then follow the road to your left.
Don't be confused! Lokang Beach is just same as with "Lukang Beach" ^^
It was a real good decision to go for trek.
Starting from concrete, the road will become asphalt, then broken asphalt, then gravel road. About 970m from the police detachment there will be a junction where you should turn right. >>

Turn right.
Then, follow the road for another 935m, which passes through acres of prairie and tall grass.  Walk alongside the wooden fence, 'til you pass a concrete boundary wall on the right.

Keep on following a trail until you reach the residential area.  This is where you have to pay for a parking fee, ONLY if you ride to get here. But since we took a walk, we just paid for our entrance fee which is Php100 for an overnight stay plus P20 for a two-way boat ride.

(Note: Kwebang Lampas NOW allowed overnight guests! ~as of Feb 25, 2012).

This is what the Parking area looks like. (click to enlarge)
I was a bit surprised when I realized that Aling Divina is no longer the caretaker of the resort. It is said that there was this long-standing dispute over land ownership between the Lukang Family and the former Vice Governor Ed Rodrigo. Possibly the reason why it is Aling Gemma and kuya Lando who greeted us.

After paying fees we took a 3-minute boat ride crossing a small lake to get to the other side from where we will start a short trek to Lukang Beach.
Green Blue Lake. Yeah, one of my fave shot.
Walk on a paved cement and traverse this rocky shoreline.

Aww! how I love Sunrise!!
 Turn left at the grassy area then take a short walk along a forest trail to the beach. No worries, there's numerous signs along the way. 
The trail goes through lush forest
Follow the signs to stay on the trail
Past 6 o'clock when we reached Lukang Beach aka Puting Buhangin/ Kwebang Lampas. "It was beautiful!" Kwebang Lampas is a place to relax... Albeit the sand is not as fine as the one in Calaguas, yet the waters were crystal clear. I really enjoy swimming! It is so calm - no waves, I'm not a good swimmer so its really great for me! :) 

The Opening of the Cave
Lukang Beach

I was expecting that there would be a lot of visitors in the afternoon, but only a few came. Cristine Jacob and her family are one of those .:)
yeah, I should have use the zoom.. :p

Look what we've got! Orange & purple starfish!
Note: We put the starfish right away back to the sea after taking photo.

Me, standing across the opening of the Cave

Overall, it was an awesome trip. I love the pristine beach, the warm water inside the cave, the locals which are very helpful to us, but then, its more than the alluring beauty Pagbilao, for me, it was another journey of faith and trust.☼
Lesson learned - have Faith. Trust. Be kind, yet be wise, also.
  • Aling Gemma & Kuya Lando are the new caretaker of the resort. You may contact them at 0947-5911630
  • There are restroom in the island.
  • Cottages are completely open, not good to stay overnight. It would be better if you bring your own tent.
  • No source of fresh water in the island.
  • Budget: 1,000-1,200php

>> How to go to Kwebang Lampas?
>> Inside the Cave?

Joseph Kony - The Worst Criminal in the World

Joseph Kony is the notorious leader of Uganda's rebel guerrillas. He has an army and what he does is he takes children from their parents and gives them a gun to shoot and  makes other shoot other people. And for 26 years Kony has has been kidnapping children to his rebel group that called LRA.

Joseph Kony
Turning the girls into sex slaves and the boys in the child soldiers.
Turning the girls into sex slaves
Turning boys in the child soldiers
He makes and mutilate people faces and He forces them to killed their own parents. Since his reign, Kony has abducted more than 30,000 children using ruthless tactics.
Kony mutilate faces

In 2002, the International Criminal Court (ICC) was started to find and demand the arrest of the World's worst criminals, and Joseph Kony is number one on their list. Although there are lot of warlords, murderers and dictators in the world  (Abdullah senussi at Muammar Gaddfi are just one on the list) the perversity of Kony's crime made him first on the courts list. These are the crimes that are against humanity and war crimes committed against the civilian population including slavery, rapes, abductions.

Kony is the first guy indicted by the ICC (International Criminal Court)
Its obvious that Kony need to be stop, BUT the problem is many of us doesn't know who he is. I hope you could take time to watch and share this video. (https://s3.amazonaws.com/kony2012/watch_the_film.html)

I am shocked and almost cry watching this video. I actually feel the need to share and create awareness to those who doesn't know Joseph Kony. I am joining the movement to help capture Kony and stop the LRA, and this is my little way to help Jacob and the invisible Children. To spread the news and help make Joseph Kony famous NOT to be celebrated but to be stopped.

Use the 'post a comment' section at the top of this post to share your thoughts. Your comments are what makes this thing fun! I LOVE to hear from you and do my best to respond to everyone! THANK YOU!
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