This is the first of a series of posts about Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte, provinces in the Philippines I visited about a decade ago. Since we (my dad, sister and I) covered a lot of ground in the 3, maybe 4 days we were there, I thought it would be best to split the stories up into bite-sized portions. ūüôā

Sometime in 2005, the Philippine Department of Tourism produced several¬†music videos which encouraged¬†Filipinos to travel within the country. The video below (it’s in Filipino, but I’ll translate the words in a separate post) was the first of several, and I admit that it did make me want to travel.

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Pink Star Walk

Yesterday, some parts of the Wellington Waterfront turned PINK as several men and women braved the gale-force winds to participate in Est√©e Lauder’s Pink Star Walk, an event that’s geared to raise funds for the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation. There are three Pink Star Walks in New Zealand, one in the major cities of the country (Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch) and the first of the three walks kicked off right here in Wellington. Participants are called Pink Star Walkers and they have the choice of completing either a 5 km or a 10 km walk. They are trialing a half-marathon walk in Christchurch and if that’s successful they may include that in the Auckland and Wellington routes next year.

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A Picnic @ Otaki Forks

The Grizzly Bear and I went out for a drive last weekend because we wanted to make the most out of the glorious sunshine that bathed the Capital. It was decided we’d drive up the coast (Kapiti area) and find someplace to have lunch ,sit around a bit more and then drive back to the city. We brought enough food with us – we had half a chicken each, 2 bottles of Lemon Lime and Bitters, a big 2L bottle of water and a bit of leftover orange juice. I thought we’d be having a picnic at Raumati Beach or perhaps at one of those little rest areas you see at the side of the road. No. The Grizzly Bear, apparently, had something else in mind.

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Chocolate Zucchini Bread

We¬†have a weekly social activity at work called “Cake Club”. At Cake Club, one¬†person from the department would bring in a baked treat for the whole team to share.¬†It doesn’t matter if it was made from scratch or purchased from¬†one¬†of the many bake shops near the office – what matters is that the assigned person would bring something for everyone. We take turns and guess what, I’m up on Monday, 07 September.

The last time I was on Cake Club, I took the easy way out. I decided that I’d make everyone work for their baked goodies so, instead of baking brownies at home, I measured out all the dry ingredients, put them all in plastic bags (I made enough for everyone) and on the day itself, handed the plastic bags out and asked everyone¬†to add water, oil, stir and pop in the microwave for 1 minute (or so). Voila … instant¬†chocolate brownie in a mug¬†topped with yummy ice cream.¬†Anyway, I figured I should bake something this time around and found the perfect recipe while trawling through Facebook.

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My Two Previous Weddings

The lovely wedding I attended in early August was not actually the 1st wedding I “covered”. In 2012, a good friend of mine asked if I could be the official unofficial photographer on her special day and, after reminding her that I haven’t done this before and asking her to swear that she won’t kill me if the photos weren’t amazing, I said yes. Mum (she was my 2nd photographer)¬†and I drove up and documented the lovely beach wedding somewhere up at Northland. Here are some of the photos I took during the day.

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Embutido

Today, I tried my hand at making Embutido!

I haven’t had Embutido in ages and I’ve been missing the taste, smell, and texture of this “served-during-special-occasions-usually-during-Christmas” dish. I’ve been meaning to prepare this but haven’t had the chance to, at least until now. I decided that the sunshine, nor my so-called “fitness regime” would stop me from having Embutido for dinner TONIGHT.

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Tiramisu

No. This isn’t a travel related post. I don’t think I’ll be doing any more travelling in the near future (no funds, no leave credits) and I’m kinda not in the mood to trawl through photos of my ¬†previous trips and dig up stories from my memory box so, instead¬†of sharing a story about a physical journey, I’m posting a little bit about my culinary journey. This post is all about my very first attempt to make Tiramisu.

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To Have and To Hold …

On the¬†weekend of 07 August, I flew up to Auckland to attend the wedding of a couple of close friends … erm … in the interest of privacy, let’s just call them A & P, and my photographic skills were put to the ultimate test. I wasn’t just a guest, I was also their official unofficial wedding photographer. CRIKEY!

I haven’t really taken my camera out, except for the odd occasion when I’d snap pictures of the moon or something, so I really felt so much pressure to perform well. I haven’t practiced in months and all of a sudden – boom! I’m thrust right smack in a maelstrom of events where every little detail, every smirk, twitch, smile – are important.¬†All I can say is … HOMAYGAS!!! But, thankfully, I survived and have finished editing the photos I’ve taken. From almost a thousand digital files, I’ve managed to bring the numbers¬†down to a little over 400, and in the end, 212 made the cut. Whew …

Continue reading “To Have and To Hold …”

Playing with Flowers

No, no travel photos nor travel stories today. The last post on Versailles drained me. Hahaha. I, however, had some spare time on my hands recently and decided to try my mettle with the camera again. Someone told me to take photos of things I like / love most so, I took a few photos of a bunch of roses and tiny purple flowers.

Here are some of the rosebuds:

And a few up-close and personal ones too.

That’s it for the time being. Short posts while I’m finding out ways to¬†jump start the creative mojo somehow.

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