Hongkong will always be a very memorable place to me. It is where I had my first out of the country experience! I took so many pictures and now I'm having a hard time choosing on what to put on my blog. SOS! jk :)))

My 4-day trip was a roller-coaster experience.  I'm so happy that I had this kind of opportunity, of course thanks to my dad for sponsoring this trip. :)

Top Ten HK Experience:

1. arrival at HK International Airport. Since it is my first out of the country trip, I felt very excited when I stepped in HK's airport.

2. strut the streets of HK! I realized that when you're in HK, you'll never get tired of walking. Just enjoy walking the happy and lively streets of this place.

Tsim Sha Tsui.. Maritime Park.. Shanghai Street

3. Avenue of Stars. It reminds me of Eastwood's Walk of Fame but the difference is, Avenue of Stars is a scenic spot by the bay.

4. Wax Museum. This is an incredible one for me! The wax replicas of famous personalities look very real. They are really amazing. It seems that you already met them in person. Good job for those who made these wax statues!

guess who are these famous personalities 

5. Victoria Peak. An overview of the city plus the magnificence of the lights took my breath away. I would enjoy the view more if I'm with the one I love (yuck! here I go again: my hopeless romantic side!)

6. my favorite shot: JUMP SHOT! 

7. Disneyland!!! Of course, my trip won't be complete if I don't go to one of the happiest places in the world! :)) I felt like I was a little kid again while I was in Disneyland. The feeling is incomparable!

8. meet new people. I'm so lucky to meet fellow Filipinos in HK. The families that I met are very very kind especially Tito Ed and Tita Carmen.

biggest pic: dinner at Pleasant Palace Seafood Restaurant. Upper right pic: with Tito Ed and Tita Carmen Salinas at the Aberdeen Fishing Village. Lower right pic: a Filipino family based in Singapore (I forgot their surname)

9. food trip! california maki, japanese style rice, dumplings, noodles, burger and my favorite drink: milk tea! :)

10. shopping is <3! on my first day, I went to Maritime Square and Ladies' Market; the next night, had a walking adventure in search for Cotton On Store at Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui (Kuya Ico asked me to buy him 2 shirts) and on my last night, had shopping and pasalubong buying at Ladies' Market again and Temple Market.

P.S.  I didn't go alone to HK. I was with one of my travel buddies, Ate Vanessa Zarate. :))


Happy Birthday Julia Gimena :)

Before, it was only me and Bianca who are the girls in our cousinhood. And we would usually tease our uncles and aunts that their next child should be a girl but unfortunately, boys are dominating us. Until time came when God gave us a very pretty girl named Julia Gimena, the daughter of my Tito Hilbert and Tita Pam.

I've been waiting so long to have a baby girl in the family because Bianca and I are no longer kids. That's why I was so happy when I heard the news that Tita Pam is going to have a baby girl. May 25, 2008 marked the birth of this pretty baby girl.

It was also on 2008 when their family came home in the Philippines but unluckily, Julia was still inside Tita Pam's tummy. It's just so sad that I haven't see her in person since she was born. But I've heard so many stories about her during her growing up years, my relatives would tell us that she's so talkative and talented which makes me miss her more. Thank goodness we have modern technologies because I am able to talk to her through Skype. She's such a sweet girl. :)))

Here are the photos of I Julia that I collected (thanks to Tita Pam and Mikkel's albums in facebook):

She enjoys the swimming pool.

oh no! don't bite the umbrella! it's not delicious

in her Halloween costume, my favorite pumpkin!

I love her outfit! she looks like she's going to dance a flamenco. (but wait, who's that boy chasing her??? NOOOO! hahaha)

cute smile :)))

hahahaha I love this maldita smile!!! :))))

Julia the nerd!

wow! she has a modelling potential. nice! :)

To my pretty cousin, HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Hoping to see you soon! I miss and love you so much Julia!!!! :)))))


Happy Birthday Andre and Andrew!

May 21, 2000, God has blessed us with an identical twin in the family. They are Andre and Andrew Medrano. And oh, these two are one of the cutest boys in the universe!

*sigh* Years go by like weeks or even like days. Years ago, they were just the little boys who came home in the Philippines and now they are grown-ups already. They're 11 years old already!!! Time flies so fast.

Still, I wish the both of them a HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

You will always be the most special twin in my life. I love you so much Andre and Andrew. This blog post is dedicated for you.  :))))

Andrew and Andre, when they were still babies. How adorable! <3

grumpy Andre :)

cutie patootie Andrew :)

aww, they look so tired. hahaha

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANDRE and ANDREW!!!! Lots of love from ate yanyan. Sending you my virtual hugs and kisses. :))))



I feel weird and nervous right now. It all started when Keempee, Tel, Moti and I started to have a conversation about the end of the world this May 21, 2011 when we were in Lattetude Cafe . I HOPE and PRAY it isn't true. I love my life. I still have many dreams and goals to achieve. But I have a strong faith in GOD. He will not forsake us. :) PRAY.PRAY.PRAY. It's the key to enlighten my feeling.

*Keempee, Tel, Moti- my orgmates in UP Diliman; my fellow Sandiwans.

P.S. I'm sorry for this "I am paranoid" blog post.



At last! I already had an experience of going to a famous festival here in the Philippines - Pahiyas Festival! I didn't intend to go to this festival because I have no companion but at the last minute my friend Mia invited me to  come and witness this very colorful festival! :)) When it comes to travel and adventure, I am easily convinced. So without having second thoughts, I said yes to her.

Things you shouldn't miss once you go to Lucban Quezon for the Pahiyas Festival:

1. Eat pansit habhab. As much as possible, do not use fork or spoon when eating eat. :)

habhab moments with ate lei and ate mia ( my friends in UP)

2. Eat the colorful kiping: either fried or grilled. But I like more the grilled kiping because it tastes like nachos.

fried kiping!

3. Visit a friend or someone you know who is in Lucban.

at the house of Sir Ringgo Dela Paz. From L-R: ate lei, me, Sir Ringgo, our UP professors: Prof. Cecilia Dela Paz (dept. of Art Studies Chairperson) and Prof. Felipe de Leon (NCCA Chairperson)

4. Pasalubong shopping: native handicrafts, broas, apas, puto seko, otap, etc. (sorry I wasn't able to take pictures of the other pasalubong) and of course the ever famous Lucban longganisa!

5. Certainly, take a lot of PICTURES!!!!!

It was a tiring yet fun-filled day! One Philippine Festival down, many to go!!!! I will definitely find a way to witness all the other Philippine Festivals. Anything for the love of traveling, exploring and adventure! :))


Simple Words and Simple Deeds

Before my feature essay, I would like to share some photos from the exhibit opening of 8 Filipina 2011 held last March 25, 2011.

1. paying tribute to Chief Magsalos for his environmental advocacy. On the stage with Ma'am Norma Liongoren (owner of Liongoren Gallery)

2. photo with my co-researchers for this project, from L-R: Me, Hemer Dimacale, my assigned honoree (Chief Magsalos), Lori Palma and Christina Pangan. We're all students from UP Diliman.

3. lastly, the mixed media installation of Goldie Poblador (assigned artist to honor of the Police Chief's environmental advocacy)

So here it its, my feature essay on Chief Magsalos and Goldie Poblador for the 8 Filipina 2011. Hope you'll like it and you'll learn something from it :)

Simple Words and Simple Deeds
Gimena, Aliana Grace Z.
(on Chief Magsalos and Goldie Poblador)                                                                                

            Fat, big stomach, frightening – these are some of the stereotypes associated with a policeman. Senior Superintendent Romeo Magsalos breaks all these labels and proves through his action and appearance – formidable, tall, upright posture, well-toned muscles - that he is not your stereotypical policeman.  Born in the province of Bukidnon, Chief Magsalos has worked very hard to be the man who he is now. For years, he has been serving our country which is evident in the different positions he held as a policeman.  He became the Chief of Police of different PNP Stations like in Candon City, Narvacan City, Marikina and now Bicutan.
Aside from his commitments as a police, Chief Magsalos rendered his service inside the academic institution. He served as the Vice President for Administration and Finance and Vice Chancellor for Mindanao State University System Main Campus in Marawi City.
However, the most interesting fact about this Police Chief is his artistic side. Way back into college, he was a theatre group scholar. This theatre group “traces its origin from PETA as introduced originally by Mr. Frank Rivera, whose pioneering works catapulted Mindanao State University’s Sining Kambayoka as for once the Best Theatre group of the Philippines coming from various awards and recognition.”[1] As a stage performer, he appeared in several original plays and various adaptations of renowned dramatists, both local and foreign. The stage was not his only platform as a performer; he also ventured in the film industry may it be main stream or independent. He had an appearance in the movie “SIG 357 Baril Mo Ang Papatay Sayo” by Val Iglesia. Of course, his character was a Chief of Police. In addition, he played a part in a CineMalaya Film by Eman dela Cruz entitled “Ang Gabon”. Whether in the field of law enforcement or in the stage or film domain, Chief Magsalos stood out in all aspects. Indeed, he is a polymath.
But what is more striking about this Police Chief is his soft heart for the environment. Veering away from the typical responsibilities of a policeman, he advocated an environmental campaign when he was at the Marikina PNP Station. Known to everyone, Marikina was one of the severely affected cities during the Ondoy typhoon. “Ondoy (international code-name Ketsana), killed about 500 people (believed to be higher), damaged PHP11.2 billion worth of crops and infrastructures and wrecked nearly 154 000 houses.”[2] He himself and the whole police station were victims of the said typhoon. In my interview with him, he recalled the damages that this disaster has caused in the whole police station. He showed me the marks left by the flood inside the station and he narrated to me that during their rescue operation, all he can see are countless plastics floating all over the place. This catastrophe spurred Chief Magsalos to act. “I felt we had to do something.”[3] In his PowerPoint Presentation, he showed a list of the most wanted people in Marikina but on top of the list is not a person, but “plastics”. From there on, he considered plastics as the number one public enemy.
Chief Magsalos’ words were translated into actions which resulted to the strict implementation of an anti-plastic campaign at Marikina PNP Station.  “A policeman caught bringing a plastic bag into the police station will have to do 20 push-ups as penalty. Jail visitors on the other hand, are stopped whenever the desk officer spots food carried in plastic bags.”[4] Everyone in the station is encouraged to use alternative containers when going to the market or grocery stores. Instead of using plastic bags, old newspapers are transformed into trash cans.
Even though he is a higher authority he did not take his position for granted. He knew the defining lines of the implementation of this campaign. Starting with himself and banking on a multiplier effect via all 300 policemen and other workers inside the Marikina PNP Station made his campaign raging in action. His advocacy shows that it is possible for government employees to exercise political will and set an example.
Goldie Poblador, an artist who is a graduate from the UP College of Fine arts, honors the Police Chief’s exemplary work. Instead of doing a portrait, she drew on her preferred medium of installations grounded on collecting and ephemerality. In her early works, she collected scents and then she moved on to making and collecting jars. Poblador interprets Chief Magsalos’ work by setting up an installation made up of 12 jars of waste and 12 jars of flora collected from the environs of Marikina. The waste materials like the plastics that clog our drainages is a representation of the garbage we amass; the ephemeral flora collection, which will go through the process of deterioration during the exhibit run, reminds us of the inevitability of decomposition. On the other hand, the glass jars also remind us that the ecosystem is fragile and is in fact steadily weakening amidst our wasteful and indiscriminate ways. Therefore it should be handled with care.
The example of handling nature with care set out by Chief Magsalos  - nn engaging person and a policeman at his best – which could be the start of an ordinance for Marikina,  has inspired other policemen. Police Officer 2 Dhonnie Deladia said “We were told that change must start from us, and we must also teach our children to do the same.”[5] If Chief Magsalos’ simple deed was able to influence over 300 policemen, why not an ordinary student like me? I admit I am guilty in using plastics. It’s just so hard to resist using these materials because they are readily available. But after witnessing Chief Magsalos’ work and Poblador’s interpretation, I was awakened by my wrongdoings. They left a striking image on my mind and that image is something I should work on. It shall not remain as purely thoughts but should be laid into actions. Artist and honouree embolden us to become vigilant eco-vanguards, mindful of the ways by which catastrophes like Ondoy can be minimized by simple words and simple deeds that simply say: “No to Plastic”.
Chief Magsalos and Goldie Poblador are one of the pairs featured in the 2011 Walong Filipina: Parangal sa Alagad ng Kalikasan, which opened at Liongoren Gallery last March 25 and will move to Pinto Gallery in Antipolo in May 22 to ____. This edition also commemorates the life and works of two stellar historical figures: Jose Rizal, the unheralded environmentalist, whose 150th year of birth we are celebrating this year, and Leonard Co, the botanist who was slain while in the field, allegedly because he was caught in the crossfire.  
Walong Filipina (Eight Filipinas) is an annual project by Liongoren Gallery, and has shown the works of close to a hundred women artists and other notable women from various disciplines from the time it was first held in March 1990. In 2010, the project honored the contributions of eight Filipina environmentalists, whose life and works were portrayed by eight male artists. (http://walongfilipina.wordpress.com/).   This time, it is the other way around: eight female artists honoring eight male environmentalists.
The seven other honorees are: Fr. Augusto Albor, forest conservationist; Mr. Gonzalo Catan, inventor and advocate of organic products; Dr. Metodio Palaypay, zero waste management worker; Lutgardo Labad, cultural worker; and former Marikina Chief of Police; Andy Orencio, artist and gardener; Dr. Warlito Laquihon, sloping land technologist; and Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan, former secretary of Health, herbalist and traditional medicine practitioner.
The seven other women artists who paid tribute to these exemplary men are: Lena Cobangbang, Marika Constantino, Marina Cruz, Hermogena Borja “Nene” Lungay,  Jeannie Tan, Josie Tionko and Pam Yan-Santos.
Continuing the practice started in 2010, eight researcher-writers composed of University of the Philippines art studies students, their professor and Walong Filipina co-curator Flaudette May Datuin and guest writer Malen Dulay team up with each pair. I am one of the student-writers.
There will also be an essay writing contest, details of which are to be announced later.
For updates and more details, log on to: http://walongfilipina.wordpress.com/ or call Liongoren Gallery 9124319.

[1] Online material sent by PSSUPT Romeo Magsalos. 30 April 2011.
[2] Datuin, Flaudette May. The River Project. “For the Birds”.
[3] Interview with PSSUPT Romeo Magsalos. January 2011.
[4] NiƱa Calleja. Inquirer.net. “Plastic bags banned in Marikina cops’ headquarters”. Accessed 28 April 2011. http://services.inquirer.net/print/print.php?article_id=20101119-304202
[5] Ibid.


Have you ever experienced being so mad at a person and you reached the point that even you just hear that person's name, your temper is bursting and it will ruin your day? YES! This is what I am experiencing now. I am so hating this person/classmate of mine in UP. He did so many bad things to me, everything piled up already: a.) he made me look stupid b.) he disclosed my secret c.) he embarrassed me and so on. ugghh! grrrr! I'm so mad at him. Just a single word from him, I don't even wanna hear. I don't want him to be around or near me. I might lose control of my temper. He irritates me badly! This is the first time I felt this intense anger and irritation. I don't want to feel his presence nor hear his voice! Whenever he speaks in class, it ruins my day terribly! ugggh! why can't you evaporate just for a couple of hours??? (even just during my class wherein he is my classmate) Or better, why don't you just graduate already? Oh forgive me but I almost forgot, how can a delinquent student like you graduate on time? like hello? who are we fooling?? You've been in UP for how many years already. can't remember. gaaaahd! I regret the day that I let you intrude my life. We should never been friends in the first place.  Forgive me for saying these words but I am really annoyed, irritated, angry, mad, etc. I hope I won't see you around in UP!

I know time will come that it'll pass but not anytime soon. And even though I FORGIVE, I NEVER FORGET!


Sorry for ranting about this for the third time but I really had a bad night again! I don't get it why there is a brown out in our place. And it's happening between 9-10pm. What the hell is Meralco's problem?! Been having terrible sleep for three consecutive nights. Thank God it's Friday today and I'm going home to Tarlac.

On a happier note (gosh! why am I being bipolar now?haha), Vampire Diaries Day today! hello damon! hello Ian Somerhalder! :))

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Happy Birthday to my Daddy Homer and his son Renz! :)))) Love you both!


brown out last night for the second time. It was so damn HOT!!!!
I'm early in school now because I need an internet connection, I hope when I get home later the electricity is back. Btw, I wasn't able to change my priority status for enlistment so I'm still a "regular" student next sem. Sad..

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Happy birthday to one of the best titas in the world, Helen Gimena-Medrano. She's like my mom already. She took care of me when I was young. Thanks for everything tita! You're a great person! You're one of the reasons why I'm here today. I love you! See you next month with the twins! :)))

Tita Helen with her twins (Andre and Andrew)


The word "terrible" would probably encapsulate my situation last night. We experienced a brownout at home! What's worse is, while we were watching Mara Clara (ok I'm corny but whatever) and the scene is at its climax, that's the moment when the power is gone. ugh! Terrible moment! And then the brown out lasted for hours, just imagine the extreme heat! I didn't get a sound sleep. :( It was TERRIBLE! But thank God because I already finished my 3-page exhibit review before the lights went off. *sigh* Well at least, everything isn't terrible after all.

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Too many things to do today:
1. I need to get my TCG at CAL records section. (for my scholarship)
2. I must go to ate JT and ask her to evaluate my standing so my status will be changed from regular to graduating, I hope she'd allow me but hello? I only have 21 units left. (FINGERS-CROSSED.)
3. I'm going to SM North because my aunt asked me to buy something for her. (I might probably unwind for a few minutes, eat.eat.eat.hahaha)
4. I need to finish revising my 8 Filipina feature essay which is due on Friday.
5. I should download my fave TV series: One Tree Hill, Hellcats and Glee (too many!)
6. I need a BREAK!


Last night, I watched *Armageddon (okay I know I'm too outdated!). But I like the story, it reminded me of the 2012 catastrophe. Oh well, I hope it isn't true. I love everything about Armageddon. And oh can I just say? I love you Bruce Willis! The scene when he sacrificed for AJ was a tear-jerker! One of the bravest deeds I've seen in a movie. Can't help but cry especially when he was bidding good bye to his daughter.

On the other hand, I'm so happy yesterday because *Professor Datuin finally approved the second draft of my feature essay. She said it was good. What a relief! Few more polishing and I'm down to my final draft! yahoooooooo! She's one of the best professors I've had here in UP. She's really good in mentoring. Though there are other students who are afraid of her because she has this terror aura. But hey, once you've been her student, you will really appreciate her because she's so approachable and when she criticizes your work, she will say it in a nice way and she will really help you in improving your work. I'm really learning a lot from her.

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*Armageddon- a 1998 film starring Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck and many more.
*Professor Datuin- one of the dreaded professors in the UP Dept. of Art Studies' my professor in AS192: Art Criticism and AS193: Gender Issues in the Arts


brand new week! Monday again! I hate Mondays!!!! Will have a workshop again in my major subject and will be on the hot seat. ugggh! Can't help but get nervous. I hope the second draft of my feature essay will be okay already. After this, I still have to face two more papers: comparative analysis and an exhibit review. :( Don't give up yanyan! Go go go!!! Something better out there is waiting!


first of May

First day of the month. First blog entry for May. Woot woot! :))

I wanna share a cute text I received from a Chief of Police earlier. Just a brief background, I'm doing a feature essay on one environmentalist and an artist paired with the environmentalist. The environmentalist I was assigned to is a Chief of Police - Senior Superintendent Romeo Magsalos. His advocacy is about anti-plastic and styrofoam campaign. Few days ago, I texted him to give me additional information about his life aside from being a policeman but he didn't respond. Last night, I checked my email and saw that he sent me the information I've been asking him to give me so I texted and thanked him. Going back the text message stuff... early this morning, he replied in my text and said "snsya na for d delay ngaun lang talaga nagka time hehehe". It may look too shallow but it's just funny that a Chief of Police will text that way and take note there's a "hehehe". I just find it cute. This simple incident made me smile this morning. :)

Lesson learned: Even simple things can make us smile.
But I think this depends on one's personality. Well, I'm the "mababaw" type of person. I easily appreciate things.