Living In A ShoeBox

It has been almost 2 months since I left my hometown New Washington, Aklan. I moved in a nearby city hoping to find better and more stable net connection. I really wished New Washington is more equipped and that it can provide its residents with a more upto-date facilities otherwise, I would’ve definitely stayed there for good.

I still miss the walk in the beach, the weekend stroll sa bay-bay, ang paglagaw sa plaza (stroll in the park) and most importantly being close to my parents. Leaving was indeed hard but I don’t have regrets.

Now that Im living here in a more “urban” setting, I have noticed the big difference. I got a connection of 1mbps plus wifi! This broadband plan is never available to New Washington residents. 😦 This alone is already one of the best decision I have made. Not only did it made a huge impact in my day to day life but it also helped me increase my productivity as an offshore virtual assistant.

Everything here is so accessible. Mall, market, hospitals drugstores and not to mention fast food chains! I can eat and order burger even at 8pm 🙂 (I know its still early compared to Manila but thats the latest time I can get it here). 2 months after moving in and I haven’t even explored the whole place 🙂

The only downside to it though is that we are literally living in a shoebox. Its more of like a mini-condo unit. No bedrooms, No divider, nothing! Im not really used to living in a very small and tight space. Plus 2 adults plus a toddler fitting in this room may seem impossible to some. The good side of it though is that cleaning is super fast and easy. It wont even last more than 2 hours for a general cleaning! Plus now I get to tame down my shopping urges. Why? Because before I buy anything I keep reminding my self about our problem with storage. 🙂

I miss my hometown, but being in a semi-urban setting makes me feel like I am back in the city 🙂

Dengue Cases in Aklan and How to Avoid it

Being a mom , I can’t help but worry about the increasing dengue cases in Aklan. According to the latest release of PIA, the dengue cases in the whole Aklan is now at 554.

According to PIA, Kalibo owns the highest with 159, followed by Numancia, with 84; New Washington, 61; Banga, 35; Malay, 33; Makato, 29; Batan, 29; Lezo, 18; Altavas, 17; Malinao, 17; Ibajay and Tangalan, 13 each; Balete, 12; Libacao, 9; Nabas, 6 and Madalag, 4.

But how do we truly protect our loved ones from Dengue fever? Here are some useful tips from eHow.com:

1. Use an insect repellent with 20-30% DEET. Any less is ineffective and any more can cause side effects. Use on any exposed skin, particularly during the early morning and evening hours when mosquitoes are most active. Spray aerosol outside and in well ventilated areas to avoid inhalation.

2. Wear long sleeves and pants if you are outside during the day and evening hours. This is particularly important if you are traveling to moist areas like rivers, lakes, swamps, and marshes.

3.  Spray insect repellent on clothing. Mosquitoes can bite through thin clothing. Be sure to spray clothing in the evening hours.

More tips can be found here: How to Avoid Dengue Fever | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_2325668_avoid-dengue-fever.html#ixzz0xtvgU8PB

As a mom, we have to be very cautious in protecting the health and wellness of our loved ones. For me I have to make extra precautions, clean our house and surroundings daily, I let her wear thick stockings at school. I buy organic mosquito repellent from human heart nature and I see to it when she’s outdoor she wears complete protection. At times I feel I am exaggerating but every time we visit relatives at the hospital, I am reassured that I am just doing my part.

What about you? Do you have any tips on how we can prevent Dengue?

True Beauty of Paradise: Zoe Mei Resort, Boracay

Living within the same province where Boracay is, I was blessed to be able to travel to Boracay almost ever year. It will only take us 1 hour and a half (2 at the most if commuting) to drive from New Washington to Caticlan. This makes it easier for me and my family to visit the paradise island if we want to.

This year (as you may have already seen in my previous posts) has been one difficult year for me and my family.There are probably no words to describe the difficulties, trials and stress that we have gone through.  We seemed to have moved on and coped with most of it. But as we travel the road to recovery, I still feel somehow lost, overwhelmed and empty.  I knew right then, I really needed a much needed vacation.

So last week we planned a weekend getaway at Boracay. I really don’t like to stay at the main beach since its crowded,  and too noisy for me… What we really need is a peaceful and private getaway… a place where we can think, relax, and rejuvinate. A client recommended, Zoe Mei Resort in Ilig-Iligan Boracay. I checked google maps right away for the location and saw that it was actually at the opposite of the main beach, perfect getaway for what I have in mind.

When we arrived at Jetty Port, we were welcomed by Zoe Mei‘s friendly staff.  It took us a 30-40 minutes drive from Cagban Jetty Port to the resort. We drove past the big hotels in Boracay and best of all my daughter enjoyed the view from the hills. There is a short road track that is not yet developed, since the resort is located at the top hill. (I wish the government would start developing it.)

But all the stress from traveling was gone when we arrived at the resort. The resort is peaceful and quiet in the midst of the mountain top. We saw monkeys from the trees which was actually a thrill for my 3 year old daughter. My daughter immediately asked where is the beach front. Good thing the beach is 81 steps below which prevented my daughter from heading straight to the beach front.

The rooms and accommodations are huge, and spacious, ideal for families! I didn’t have to worry for space where to put our things. The best part of it was the beach! The scenery was perfect, much like a photo in a Boracay postcards. Serene, peaceful and quiet.  The coral reefs are close! Great site for snorkeling! My daughter and I found aquarium fishes, star fish and even sea urchins! 🙂 They have nipa cottages right at the beach front, umbrellas and even beach resto…

Although the beach is far from the main beach line of Boracay, it doesn’t feel like it. I didn’t have to worry about security or stumbling upon sun bathing guests. we have the beach all by ourselves together with a few other guests. We didn’t even went to the main beach to bathe, we just went there for coffee! (Starbucks!!!)

It was one of the best weekend getaways our family had for a long time. It was truly a time for us to connect and renew our family bonds. We had all the time to chill out, relax, swim, do fun activities together… far away from the stress of real life.

I remember waking up and watching the beautiful sunrise and quietly asking myself whether it was real or still part of a dream. For 3 nights and 4 days, I was silently wishing it wouldn’t end.

We went home with sun-kissed faces, tanned bodies, and a slipper full of white sand. We will defnitely keep coming back!

Why Politicians Become Corrupt (Anatomy of Corruption in the Philippines)

I found this article posted in Aklan Forum and found it very timely. Reposting this article with just 3 days left before the National Elections. Hope we all vote wisely.

The irrepressible Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago came out with the reason for the mad rush for Senate seats, making them throw away millions, or rather hundreds of millions of pesos, just to be elected. People have always wondered: How in the world can anybody spend hundreds of millions of pesos for a position that yields only a monthly salary of P35,000. Indeed, there must be something about a Senate seat. Is it really just public service, or is there something more?

Consider this: The spending limit for a senatorial candidate is P225 million, or P5 per registered voter. And there are more than 45 million registered voters.

Read this: Apart from the monthly P35,000 salary for a senator, there is a fixed monthly budget of P1.7 million for office and staff expenses, and an additional P760,000 in foreign travel and additional perks.

Listen to this: Some senators hardly travel abroad. When they do, they do not only use the travel budget. They ask for more, even pocket money. And they bring their spouses and children, secretaries and girlfriends, doctors or even yayas.

And how’s this? Each senator gets P793,000 a month for staff salaries and another P998,000 for office expenses such as rentals, utilities, supplies and domestic travel.

If a senator is a committee chairman, he or she gets a similar budget of what she gets as a regular senator. And there is no rule requiring senators to return the money that has not been used. This means they have the option of pocketing the excess cash.

Do we wonder then why people are just so eager to be senators? It beats winning a casino jackpot or winning a lottery-it’s all tax-free.

Now read this and weep: Above all the things I just mentioned, a senator is given P200 million out of the P1.71 billion Senate budget under the General Appropriations Act.
Santiago speaks of 10 percent kickback from public works contractor to be given awards for infrastructure and from other awarded contracts for livelihood projects, social services, like health and education. Miriam is being conservative. The usual kickback given goes as high as 30 to 40 percent for contracts pinpointed by members of Congress.

Do you understand now why everybody wants to be a lawmaker? And why candidates will do everything, including spending money as though it were going out of style, just to get elected? Dole-outs to favored people are also unaudited. They are running for public service because their hearts bleed for the poor and needy? Aw, come on, don’t give me that BS. They run because there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, all at the expense of the Filipino people.

Pacto de Sangre: New Washington’s Finest Celebration

Guest Blogger: Mae C. Repedro

New Washington is best known in the province of Aklan for the Blood Compact Celebration or for its Spanish term Pacto de Sangre every 3rd of March. This tradition has been a significant part in the history of New Washington.
The annual celebration of the  Blood Compact is a commemoration for the Aklanon heroes who have sacrificed their own lives just to liberate their fellow Filipinos from the colonization of the Spanish forces. The Pacto de Sangre or the Blood Compact happened in Sitio Kuntang, Ochando, New Washington, Aklan on March 23, 1897. The Aklanon Katipuneros who fought the Spanish regime were Romualdo Dalida, Isidro Jimenez, Cornelio Delfin, Valeriano Dalida, Benito Motus, Albino Rabaria, Teodorico Motus, and Juan Dalida.
These heroes risked their lives to uphold the freedom and independence the Filipino people were fighting for. The Katipuneros wounded their wrists and used their blood to sign a document. This act is a sign of their grievances against the Spanish regime. The document being signed expressed their revolts against the Spanish authorities. Moreover, this blood compact has also been a considered as a representation of eternal friendship and brotherhood. The pact was then remembered as one of the most important events in the Philippines history and paved way to the annual celebration of commemorating the Blood Compact in the small town of New Washington.
The municipality of New Washington takes pride in celebrating this event every year. During this celebration, the entire poblacion offers a festive spirit through the lively music and decors. The local folks prepare lots of exciting activities. These activities include the main highlight which is the Search for Ms. Pacto de Sangre, wherein, different beautiful ladies representing the different Barangays comprising the town of New Washington, will vie over the crown. The search culminates a fireworks display after the winner is announced. There is a Food Festival in the plaza of the Poblacion, where you can find the different cuisines prepared by the people of New Washington. There are also some provincial bands performing during the Food Fest to let the visitors enjoy their time while eating. Lots of activities are lined up that will surely make the visitors crave for more. In addition to this, the people residing in poblacion prepared foods for the visitors who will come to their place.
The Blood Compact celebration is one great proof of how great the Katipuneros were. How brave they were to fought for the freedom of our country and how rich our culture is.

New Washington is best known in the province of Aklan for the Blood Compact Celebration or for its Spanish term Pacto de Sangre every 3rd of March. This tradition has been a significant part in the history of New Washington.
The annual celebration of the  Blood Compact is a commemoration for the Aklanon heroes who have sacrificed their own lives just to liberate their fellow Filipinos from the colonization of the Spanish forces. The Pacto de Sangre or the Blood Compact happened in Sitio Kuntang, Ochando, New Washington, Aklan on March 23, 1897. The Aklanon Katipuneros who fought the Spanish regime were Romualdo Dalida, Isidro Jimenez, Cornelio Delfin, Valeriano Dalida, Benito Motus, Albino Rabaria, Teodorico Motus, and Juan Dalida.
These heroes risked their lives to uphold the freedom and independence the Filipino people were fighting for. The Katipuneros wounded their wrists and used their blood to sign a document. This act is a sign of their grievances against the Spanish regime. The document being signed expressed their revolts against the Spanish authorities. Moreover, this blood compact has also been a considered as a representation of eternal friendship and brotherhood. The pact was then remembered as one of the most important events in the Philippines history and paved way to the annual celebration of commemorating the Blood Compact in the small town of New Washington.
The municipality of New Washington takes pride in celebrating this event every year. During this celebration, the entire poblacion offers a festive spirit through the lively music and decors. The local folks prepare lots of exciting activities. These activities include the main highlight which is the Search for Ms. Pacto de Sangre, wherein, different beautiful ladies representing the different Barangays comprising the town of New Washington, will vie over the crown. The search culminates a fireworks display after the winner is announced. There is a Food Festival in the plaza of the Poblacion, where you can find the different cuisines prepared by the people of New Washington. There are also some provincial bands performing during the Food Fest to let the visitors enjoy their time while eating. Lots of activities are lined up that will surely make the visitors crave for more. In addition to this, the people residing in poblacion prepared foods for the visitors who will come to their place.
The Blood Compact celebration is one great proof of how great the Katipuneros were. How brave they were to fought for the freedom of our country and how rich our culture is.