WPC: Rule of Thirds II – Rachel’s portrait


This time I thought I’d follow the Rule of Thirds by Jen Hook, for this week’s photo challenge.

This is an unedited photo of Rachel, a S.O.O.C. Rachel is a co-worker. She’s everyone’s favorite where we work – always watching our backs and taking care of her friends. She’s one reason I look good with my bosses because she always make sure I get my job done right away and done right. She’s just amazing!

We all love her to pieces and I wish her the best when I leave or even before I leave.

Thank you Rachel for everything! I am grateful to have you as a friend.

Posted in At the Zoo, Friendships, Photo Challenge | Tagged | 2 Comments

Travel Theme: Energy


When the water is angry like this, I seem to be mesmerized and I could just sit there on the shore and watch but I keep a safe distance. I like listening to its thundering sound as it pounds the shore. It feels alive and looking to release its anger beckoning you to come close and feel its strength.

Posted in California, Photo Challenge | Tagged | 3 Comments

Remembering our Dad

Monday would have been our Dad’s 85th birthday but he passed away in 1996. Mom always made sure we remembered him on his birthday and on the date of his passing. This time, one of my younger sisters prepared a special lunch for us in her apartment.

It was a small gathering, I also invited my childhood and close family friend Rebecca and her beautiful daughter, Isabela. We haven’t seen each other for almost a year so it’s nice to finally get together with them.

Rebecca and I grew up together in the Philippines. Her parents were my parents’ principal sponsor at their wedding and Rebecca is the godmother to my brother. For a year, we also shared an apartment here in Chicago, after her graduation from college in St. Louis.

So I can say Becky (that’s her pet name) has been my friend forever. From grade school even though we went to different schools but we lived next door to each other.

Sometimes one loses a friend and some, they are just there always. I had a friend here in Chicago once and we were really very close and then we lost contact when she got married and we went separate ways. I met her once at the Manila International Airport as we were flying back to Chicago and no matter how much we intended to reconnect again, it didn’t happen. Maybe that’s just it, our friendship ended there.

Anyway Becky is not just my friend, our parents went way back from a different generation so it’s fitting that she’s at my Dad’s birthday celebration. We had time to catch up with our lives and get to see again her daughter.


Posted in Family, Friendships, Philippines, Remembering Mom | Tagged , | 7 Comments

WPC: Rule of Thirds

Harley-Davidson Museum

Harley-Davidson Museum

The challenge for the week is Rule of Thirds. Digital Photography explains it this way here.

Using Rule of Thirds, I find the above photo more interesting than the second one. The first is more informative and gives you an idea what to expect if you take the elevator. The second would just be a plain picture posted on the wall and it ends there.

Breaking the rule

Breaking the rule

Tell you what, I often break the rule.

Posted in Family, Photo Challenge, Vacation, Wisconsin | Tagged | 8 Comments

A Word-A-Week Photo Challenge: Frame

Sunset at Mallard Lake

Sunset at Mallard Lake

My entry to Sue Lewellyn’s challenge for the week, the word is “Frame“.

A fiery sunset at Mallard Lake last summer framed by the silhouette of bare trees.

Posted in Midwest, Photo Challenge | Tagged | 10 Comments

Valentine’s Day with my sisters

This has been the first time that I went out with my sisters and it fell on Valentine’s Day. Trying to avoid the evening Valentine’s dinner crowd we decided to go to lunch at the River’s Casino in Rosemont. Their buffet restaurant is called Canopy.

Am not a big fan of buffets. If the food is great am willing to pay the price but most of them are mediocre at most if not sub par which in that case they are not worth it.

My sister has been eyeing to try the Canopy. Last time I discouraged her because the reviews I read were not impressive so instead we went to my favorite Chinese place – Chef Ping. But when you are asked the second time and she’s paying the bill (for her birthday treat), you’ve got to give in.

At first I was impressed. Small in size compared to the Las Vegas buffets but the decoration is modern. The buffet table was long and there are several stations – seafood, Asian, Southern, Italian, American, salad bar and a huge array of desserts. I was ready to concede that it’s better than the Chinese buffets we’ve been going to.

But not too quick. I love seafood and the salad, smoked salmon and steamed cod were average. The fried perch was very salty though, so was the Asian barbecued wings and the fried chicken, I hardly ate it. My sisters raved about the ribs but I want my barbecue to be tender and juicy, theirs was very dry. There were many dishes I didn’t try, even the prime rib and I love a great steak. It wasn’t appetizing enough for me.

The mesclun mix salad needed some seasoning. The crème brulee didn’t have any flavor. But okay, the mango gelato saved the day!

In the end, we all decided for $20 per person, the Canopy is not worth the trip unless you are there for the casino. There are other restaurants in the vicinity where you can get your money’s worth like the Brazilian steak house – Fogo de Chao and the Mediterranean Rosewood. In-house they have Hugo’s Frog House.

For sisters’ bonding time, it was good though. We were there early enough before the crowd came and the service was very good. And they have a covered parking attached to the casino.

Even though I go to the Chinese buffets only when invited, I must say that the salt and pepper shrimps and the Manila clams are better value for the money than the Canopy.

Posted in Battling the bulge, Chicago, Food | 6 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Symmetry


Still in San Juan de Bautista mission house, they have planted a passion flower which carries a significant meaning to the church. I didn’t know it until I saw it the history of the church.

Here is a link that explains the symbolism of every part of this flower.

This is my entry to Cheri Lucas-Rowland’s challenge for the week: Symmetry.

Posted in California, Churches, Flowers, Garden, Photo Challenge, Vacation | Tagged | 4 Comments