Wednesday, December 26, 2012

No Christmas decors this year

Despite life's recent sad stories, everyone in the family is moving on.  And not that I refuse to celebrate, packing has been my mode these days. Unpacking then re-packing is not a wise option.

By 2013, J. Bond, Bugsy and I are literally moving on.
I am excited and looking forward to start fresh and to feeling more inspired.  Finally, the dream I talked about in previous posts is coming true in 2013.
Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Vietnam Day One

This post surely comes late.  J. Bond has been pushing me to work on a thousand and more photos of our recent trip to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  He was so  eager to share and show family and friends all that we experienced and discovered.  But with my busy Christmas bazaars, I promised to work on the photos the week immediately after my last bazaar.

Now, I am late. Papa (J. Bond's pop) passed away while on my 2nd day  of the Alabang Hills Village Toys and Gifts Christmas Bazaar. He had seen only a handful of photos, and mostly about beads.  I knew Papa wanted to see more -- historical spots, war remnants, culture, food.  He was vocal about it.

Too much life stories, both high and low, have happened since our return.  But this point, I  could not still grasp the part that my project list for this week still says ...  finalize number of guests and menu for Papa's birthday celebration.

Anyway, I still hold on to my promise.  A part of me knows that Papa sees.  So PA, here are a few photos from day 1.

Upon arrival, we did a quick tour of attractions located along the way to the hotel.  First quick stop, Ho Chi Minh Post Office.

Post office interior.

Calling home from the Post Office. Our guide, "Thuy", loved directing our shots.

2nd quick stop, Notre Dame Cathedral.
 Our first taste of crazy motorcycle driving.

I love how these two pigeons have chosen the image's head and foot as their resting place.

 Shopping at the Post Office's gift shop. Shopping begun on day one.

Pretty colorful dolls.
We headed towards Ben Thanh Market immediately after checking-in.  No such thing as wasting time.
 At night, streets surrounding  Ben Thanh Market transforms into a Night Market.
More shopping on day one.  Bound by one mode of communication when shopping, calculator.
While I focused on beads, J. Bond was in pursuit for the B of his life...bikes (in all sizes).

Cute miniature bikes.

I'm sure Mother (my Mom) would have eaten here if she had tagged long. She is thrilled over food or dining joints found along the street.  Her claim, the dirtier, the yummier.  Lol!

Mother would have surely loved this.  Right, Ma?

Dinner was at Pho 24.  Months prior to this trip, a well-polished list of Ho Chi Minh attractions was shared by a Vietnamese/Filipina friend.  Pho 24 was part of her list.
Pho for dinner. 

Before capping off day one, I  had to take this photo.  Really crazy motorcycle driving.

Coming next:  Vietnam Day Two.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Assumption Bazaar 2012

Before moving on to the next Bazaar, Zonta Club of Alabang Christmas Carnivale Bazaar 2012, here are some photos of last Sunday's The Assumption Bazaar.

This photo shared by Craftan served as our invite to family, friends, patrons, and everyone else.  I shared a stall with Craftan.  Craftan promotes locally made embroidered Kaftan dresses and blouses.  I spoke about it here.

Set-up began at 5:00AM.  It's been years since I joined a bazaar in Makati.  I gave up on city life due to stress. So joining bazaars in the city ceased as well. Instead, I pursued joining bazaars that were geographically convenient (read:  near my residence).  But in this case, I said yes upon  Craftan's invite to share a stall.  Assumption is my high school alma mater.  Explains why I wore red. 

Our set-up (and pull-out) crew.  Read:  Husband.  Like in previous bazaars, Craftan and I chose to man the stall ourselves.  This way, we are able to interact with patrons and hear both their good and constructive feedback.

Ribbon-cutting with Assumption nuns and members of the alumnae  to formally open the bazaar.  My life revolved around these nuns for four years.

Mother's Heart necklaces.    While packing for the Assumption bazaar, it took days to finish my packing for this collection. The cycle went something like...I packed, unpacked, packed, then unpacked. J. Bond eventually took over to speed things up.  I was too attached to each and every piece and packing surely meant letting go.  Crazy, I know!

Cloth necklaces for kids.  I call them "Little Miss Cloth Necklace".

 My Little Miss Cloth Necklace model.

My faded Teddy (since a baby) model.
And my blue and white model.

Pretty embroidered Kaftan and a Mother's Heart necklace (Immaculate Heart of Mary).
By Beaded Story and Craftan together.  'Til the next Assumption Bazaar.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Autumn in Antipolo

I have a gazilion stories and photos to share.  Top of my list is my recent 5-day trip to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  I returned home still longing to explore and discover more. However, Christmas bazaar duties need focus and attention.  But in a nutshell, Vietnamese cuisine is really good and healthy. My kind of taste.  Lots of veggie dishes.   Coffee was superb (certified coffee addict here!).  Meeting with local craftsmen was truly gratifying. Of course, (bargain) shopping was awesome.  And, the sights and famous historical war spots were  interesting (and emotional).  With that, I have more than a thousand photos to share which unfortunately are still awaiting for my undivided attention.  After the  busy Christmas bazaars, I'm sure I'll be able to share more.
For now, let me walk you through on the day I chanced upon Autumn.   Starting off with my niece's Confirmation at Antipolo Church.
I was in their shoes decades ago.  I remember the solemnity of the affair, but with silent giggles and secret eye signals lingering around.  This time, I stand as godparent.  The wheel has surely turned. Yikes!

A lunch celebration followed at Vieux Chalet.   This was where I chanced upon Autumn. Hidden and tucked amidst the hilly greens of Antipolo, J. Bond immediately knew that this was my kind of place.  True!  And, here are my whys...

Hand-picked as one of the "50 finest food in 2012".

Some of the many dishes we had ordered.  I am no food expert since I have long been careful with what I eat.  Health reason first, then weight control comes next.  But surely, I adored each and every dish served.  After the hearty meal and lemongrass tea, my niece says "I feel healthy".

Dining felt like home.
Great view of Ortigas from the dining area.
St. Moritz Cottage, their bed and breakfast nook, surrounded by lush greens that I absolutely love.

Of course, a lot of charms and surprises may be found in every nook and corner.
 Dancing couples.

Lovely art pieces amidst dainty teapots.

Christmas trinkets on display.

 Cozy and chill spots.

Strolling pigeons by the poolside.
And, their quaint store with so many delightful treasures. I spent quite some time here.

Functional and nature friendly handpainted eco-bags. I bought one with a painted fairy seated on a quarter moon.  I used it during the Assumption Bazaar and almost lost it.  Stolen was my first thought.  But then, carelessness was what really happened (nothing new).  I found my bag on the other side of the fence.
 Pretty, colorful dolls.

Then, I found some interesting jewelry works.

 Like in any other case, I viewed each piece slow.  Until I came across the lady behind the works.

Meet Autumn.  She's 12.  J. Bond says I sound like her.  I'd like to think we're "kindred spirits". But how I wish I was as young as her when I discovered my love for beads.   Amazing!

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