Friday, August 29, 2008

I Love Texas Gulf Shrimps

The finalists for the fifth annual seafood cook off has been posted. I checked out the finalist's dishes from the website and I can say they're all pretty impressive. From all the recipes, I chose the Texas Gulf Shrimp from the Texas chef Mark Holley as the best dish of the five. Knowing me, I am big shrimp fan so anything shrimp is great for me. Chef Mark Holley's Texas Gulf Shrimp recipe is easy to follow except probably for that gastrique sauce that I am not so sure how to make. His recipe makes us of Texas gulf shrimps and having a locally grown shrimp makes the diners enjoy fresh, quality and tasty shrimps. I guess the advantage of using local ingredients is that it makes your dish taste better because you are using the freshest and best quality ingredients. Going back to Chef Holley's recipe, he paired the shrimps with a tomato relish which is an awesome combination of sweet, spicy and refreshing taste from the cherry tomatoes and cilantro with just enough acidity from the lime juice.

If I were to modify his dish, I would probably prepare it on top of steamed, hot, white rice to make it more hearty and heavy on the stomach. I am definitely a Filipino who can not really eat any meal without rice. Hehe. Or maybe I can pair it with nachos instead of the hominy arepas and black bean. I am pretty sure it will be a great snack on tv nights.

Check out site now and vote for the best recipe and chef for the Fifth Annual Seafood Cook Off.

Sponsored by Lousiana Seafood

You are invited...

This is to advertise Singles for Christ Arizona's Christian Life Program next month. If you have friends, family or relatives in Arizona who might be interested to join CFC-SFC, kindly pass this message to them. We would greatly appreciate if you can help us spread the word. Contact details are in the poster below or you can visit our website at

CLP Poster 2

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Unconditional. Love Deeply, Live Fully

Above is the theme for last weekend's conference in San Diego. It was a weekend full of LOVE. It was an awesome experience with 700++ brothers and sisters from all over the US. Words are not enough to describe how overwhelming, moving and empowering that experience was. I have met a lot of bros and sises from other SFC chapters. We praised and worshipped HIM. We listened to talks and sharings. We partied and danced the night away at the summer soiree party. I am already looking forward to the next SFC Conference in Maryland next year. =)

Is Dieting Effective For You?

Attaining my ideal weight is by far the my most difficult challenge to overcome. I have tried various types of diet regimens and some of them were effective. But then losing weight is just the tip of the iceberg. It is maintaining the ideal weight that is more challenging than ever. I have tried low fat diet, southbeach, atkinson's, etc. but still I was not able to get to my ideal weight and I would always end up ballooning my weight more because of the constant craving and deprivation during the time that I was on my diet. Funny thing was, after a month of stopping a diet, I would gain back the weight I lost and sometimes I gain more! Yikes! As you can see, I am not a success story when it comes to losing weight. I hate exercising so that's already crossed out of my list of things to do to lose weight. Living here in the US has added up to the challenge because of the availability of great, cheap and humongous size of food. Plus, the kind of life that I live is not really the "healthy" kind of lifestyle.

I've done my research over the internet on how dieting works. I guess it boils down to increasing your metabolism so that whatever food that you take will be burned fast and efficiently. Commercials on television about several diets like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers are tempting to try. They both claim to effectively lose weight gradually. As what they always say, when you lose it fast, you'll gain it back equally *mine is exponentially!* fast. But then these diets take a lot of time before you can finally feel their effectiveness. Knowing how difficult it is to be a disciplined eater already discourages me from trying them.

While going through some research, I found the site This Online Fat Burning Diet Generator guarantees weight loss of up to 10 pounds per week by following the 7 day diet plan. It is not a kind of starvation diet. This diet allows you to eat great meals and increase your metabolism. By eating more meals a day at correct time intervals, your metabolism increases therefore losing weight is the next best thing! The Online Fat Burning Diet Generator comes with an ultimate diet handbook to help you plan your meals. I am really considering to do this diet just in time for my vacation to the Philippines and go to the beach. =)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Food for Thought

Friday's feast chef is still out so I opted to answer Jodi's Food for thought questions.

Are you a morning person or a night person?
I am probably a night person. Although my brain starts to really work around mid-day, I think I am more attentive and hyper in the evening.

Do you like to shop? If yes, for what? Alone or with others?
Is this even a question? Haha. I LOVE TO SHOP! Well, I enjoy shopping alone because I don't have to rush whenever I am looking and trying on stuff.

What is something that really motivates you?
What motivates me right now is my family and my passion to really succeed being on my own here in the US. Yep, no room for errors. I have to live with my decision of moving here.

Midnight Snack
What is one thing you look forward to each day?
Getting an opp to blog about. Haha.

Recipe for this Week (instead of your recipe for life - what is it for just this week?)
UAT started this week for my Phoenix client. It's been a series of highs and lows and there's been a lot of stuff that I am learning because of the weird problems that we are encountering during testing. I just hope this project gets to production soon without any bigger problems.

The Pantheon - Rome, Italy

The Pantheon literally means "the temple of all the gods" in Greek. This Pantheon in Rome is one of the many pantheons that you will find around the world but this temple is said to be the most complete Roman structure on earth because it survived 20 centuries of plunder, pillage and invasion. Located across the Piazza della Rotonda, the Pantheon in Rome was rebuilt by Hadrian between 118 and 125 AD. A giant dome dominates this structure although it is not visible from the photos below. Right in the middle of the dome is an oculus, 7.8 meters in diameter, where sunlight seeps in and provides lighting to the interior. Rain and snow fall through this oculus but the floor of the pantheon is slanted such that it drains water if in case it's able to get into the hole. The massive columns found in the portico (porch leading to the entrance) were made using quarried stone from Egypt and were transported to Rome.

The Pantheon was donated by Byzantine Emperor Phocas to Pope Boniface IV and transformed it into a Catholic church. Masses are held there during special occasions. The Pantheon also served as a tomb for the famous painter Raphael, kings of Italy: Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I, as well as Umberto's queen, Margherita.

Piazza's in Rome are usually indicated by a huge obelisk in the middle with a fountain containing sculptures. Above is a photo of the Piazza della Rotonda's fountain where we hungout after a long day's walk touring Rome. Right of the photo is a medieval Roman in costume.

While resting by the fountain, I took a shot of this restaurant right across. Well, the real intention was to snatch a photo of this cute Italian waiter. Haha.

How Normal Do You Think You Are?

I was browsing through the Reader's Digest website and came across this article "Are You Normal or Nuts?" which is about quirky human behavior. So being quirky make me nuts? I have mentioned in an old post about some of my weird habits and according to the article, some of these compulsions are normal while others maybe signs of a deeper problem. Okay, now that made me a bit nervous! One of the readers shared about her shopping addiction. This reader said that sometimes she buys things even if she does not need them but is convinced to buy them just because she thinks she MIGHT need it in the future. Well, that same compulsion is so me! I admit I have shopping addiction. I have this pair of shoes that I bought in a store in Manila that I really, really liked. It was actually my favorite pair of work shoes because it was so comfortable, classy and matches most of my work clothes. Because of this extreme liking for this shoes, I bought 2 more pairs of the same exact shoes, literally the same brand, size, color and style, thinking that if the first pair wears off, I still have 2 more pairs to replace it with. But then I didn't stop there, I even bought all colors for that same style and brand of that favorite pair. I guess I have this certain attachment to things that I really like and it is very difficult for me to see them go so I tend to hoard stuff. Funny thing is in the Reader's Digest article, a psychologist said that this behavior is common when you feel at your low and needy and you want to pamper yourself by buying yourself a gift. She also said that it is a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) with a particular obsession for hoarding things. Yay! I knew I was OC at certain things like cleanliness and planning but I did not realize that this shopping addiction is a sign of this OCD. Haha.

This article in Reader's Digest website really is enlightening and funny in some ways. Human behavior is really difficult to fathom. How do you draw the line between being eccentrically unique and what is normal? Check out Reader's Digest articles in Advice & Know How and Reader's Digest Laughs and share with me your habitual oddities. I know I am not the only person who have these odd compulsions out here. So what do you think? Are You Normal or Nuts?

Sponsored by Reader's Digest

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Piazza del Campidoglio - Rome, Italy

The Palazzo Senatorio is the structure that you see in the middle. It used to house the archives of ancient Rome. It is located in the middle of the Piazza del Campidoglio, on top of the Capitoline Hill, which was the piazza that Michaelangelo designed. The piazza is an elliptical courtyard. Right at the center of the piazza is a replica of an equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius. On the left and the right sides of the Palazzo Senatorio are two opposite facing museums, the Palazzo dei Conservatori and Palazzo Nuovo. The flight of steps leading to the Capitoline Hill is called the Cordonata steps where the huge statues of Castor and Pollux decorate the balustrade.

Highly Reputable Collision Repair Experts

Few months ago, on my way back to Phoenix from LA, a huge chunk of a broken truck tire hit Kimi, my 5-year old Lexus IS 300. This broke the front bumper of my car, cracked the front right splashguard and made the right foglight stop working. It was a very nasty accident that caused me more than a thousand bucks to get fixed. I think the most difficult challenge right after the accident was to find a reputable company who can do repairs to my baby. I wanted to make sure that they will restore him to his great condition prior to my accident and will make sure that my car gets back into tip-top shape on the road.

Collision Repair Experts pride themselves for being experts in the field of restoring collision damages to vehicles to pre-accident condition. They provide a written lifetime warranty for their work, great customer satisfaction follow-up system, highly specialized facilities and equipments for performing auto body repairs, expertly trained staff and a reputable 10 years business experience. Finding them in your area should not be a problem because they have several associated auto body shops across America.

Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II - Rome, Italy

Otherwise known as the National Monument of Victor Emmanuel II or the Altare della Patria is a monument dedicated to the first King of unified Italy, Victor Emmanuel II. This lavishly decorated monument was constructed in 1885 with the design of Giuseppe Sacconi. It sits on the northern slope of the Capitoline Hill. Right in the middle of the monument is a flight of stairs that leads to the altar of the Nation where the colossal equestrian statue of King Victor Emmanuel can be found. Notice in the photos how tiny the people are compared to the gigantic statues. This monument is built with pure white marble with majestic stairways, tall Corinthian columns and fountains. On top of the buildings are two statues of the goddess Victoria riding on quadrigas. Quadrigas are chariots drawn by four horses and are emblems of triumph.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Coffee Talk

I am a caffeine-driven type of person. I need to have my two cups, fully caffeinated, hot coffee every morning before I start my work day. Some people start their day with exercising or reading the newspaper or eating breakfast but for me, it is my daily doze of caffeine! Well, it's really a preference. With the type of work I do, I usually don't get much needed 8 hours of sleep. My normal sleeping hours is between 4 to 6 hours only so waking my braincells up especially in the morning is quite a challenge. I don't know if it's just my perception but I think coffee jumpstarts my brain and pumps up my adrenalin which is very important for me when I start my work day.

Since I moved here in the US and got my project here in Arizona, getting my daily Starbucks fix has not been easy. The nearest Starbucks here is a couple of miles away unlike in my office in Manila wherein Starbucks is just a building away. So since I moved here, I have been brewing my own coffee at home and enjoy sipping my coffee before I leave home for work. I've been lurking around the internet and found Villeroy & Boch site who sells stylish coffee cups and mugs. What else can be better than getting my two cups of coffee in an ergonomic, modernly styled and classy mug? I love their NewWave Caffe collection! These stylishly created mugs give me a feel of living in a contemporary metropolitan lifestyle. I even found a left-handed mug! How creative is that?! I would love to have the whole set of NewWave Caffe tableware to match these ergonomic mugs. Oh by the way, these tablewares are dishwasher safe so no worries for busy *and lazy!* people like me. Hehe.


What's better than getting something you really, really want is getting a GREAT deal in something you really, really want. Villeroy & Boch is having a dinnerware sale of 50% off on this NewWave Caffe line this whole month of August. Start clicking your way now to the Villeroy & Boch site to get these awesome deals on their creative and unique tablewares.

Sponsored by Villeroy & Boch

Arch of Septimius Severus, Santi Luca e Martina - Rome, Italy

Left of the photo is the Arch of Septimius Severus located at the west end of the forum near the capitoline hill. This is one of the triumphal arches in the Roman Forum. Built in 203 AD, this arch commemorates the victory of emperor Septimius Severus together with his two sons, Caracalla and Geta, against the Parthians. This arch has 3 archways with sculptures of the different stages of the Roman war with the Parthians. It is one of the best preserved monuments in the Roman Forum.

On the right side of the photo is the church of Santi Luca e Martina. Originally, this church was dedicated to Saint Martina and was built in 625 under the commission of Pope Honorius. Later on, the church was consecrated to the apostle Saint Luke and was entrusted to the painter's guild or Accademia di San Luca when the church was refurbished.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Relief For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel is taken from the greek word "karpos" which means "wrist". The carpal tunnel is the tight space between the fibrous tissue in the wrist, known as the fibrous band, and the wrist bone. The median nerve passes through this carpal tunnel and it controls the sensations from the thumb, index and middle fingers of the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome is the condition wherein the tissue within the carpal tunnel squeezes, irritates or exerts pressure on the median nerve. Usual symptoms of the carpal tunnel syndrome is the loss of sensation, tingling and itching numbness of the thumb, index and middle fingers. Some cases of this syndrome causes a decrease in grip strength and some are unable to tell between hot and cold by touch. The treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome depends on the severity of the symptom. There are different types of medications that have been used to treat this condition but it is still unknown if these medications really work. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help in decreasing the inflammation and pain but these drugs have side effects such as gastrointestinal upset and ulcer.

IMAK orthopedic products are designed and tested to relieve pain and give comfort to patients who suffer from conditions such as the carpal tunnel syndrome. Whether you are suffering from wrist pain, arthritis, tendinitis, tennis elbow, back pain, neck, knees, migrain and sinus pains, IMAK has products that will give you relief and help prevent repetitive stress injuries. IMAK's SmartGlove can provide immediate carpal tunnel relief by encouraging ergonomic hand and wrist position while doing your work. It ensures proper wrist position, stability and support for the thumb to relieve thumb and wrist pain and it provides cushions to protect the underside of your wrist.


Carpal tunnel syndrome studies say that women are three times more prone in developing this condition because carpal tunnel is smaller in women than in men. The risk of developing this condition could be stress related, trauma or injury related, and even work related. I guess, we could never be too careful with our health and we should always take preventive measures to avoid these conditions.

Sponsored by IMAK

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Arch of Constantine - Rome, Italy

The Arch of Constantine is a triumphal arch to commemorate the triumph of Constantine I after his victory over Maxentius in the battle of Milvian Bridge in 312 CE. This was the decisive battle in Constantine's quest for power. This arch is one of the latest existing arches located between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill. In the upper middle portion of the arch, an inscription is written which reads:

Imp(eratori) Caes(ari) Fl(avio) Constantino Maximo
P(io) F(elici) Augusto S(enatus) P(opulus)q(ue) R(omanus)
quod instinctu divinitatis, mentis
magnitudine, cum exercitu suo
tam de tyranno quam de omni eius
factione uno tempore iustis
rempublicam ultus est armis,
arcum triumphis insignem dicavit.


To the emperor Caesar Flavius Constantine Maximus,
Pius Felix Augustus,
since through divine inspiration and great wisdom
he has delivered the state
from the tyrant and all his factions,
by his army and noble arms,
the Senate and the Roman People,
dedicate this arch decorated with triumphal insignia.

The arch is said to be a "spolia", meaning, parts of the arch were taken from earlier monuments from other reigns such as Trajan, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius and constantine. This arch is one of the three remaining surviving arches in Rome. I think that the lighting and view of this arch in the evening makes it a very romantic place.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Let's Test Your Flirting Skills

The worst pick-up line I have heard is probably this: "do you believe in love at first sight or should I walk past again?" Yes, it sounds funny at first but when I think about how serious the guy was when he delivered the line, I was like, how cocky is that?! If he were a bit smaller than I am, I would have slapped him. Haha. For me, it is a major turn off when a guy is over-confident about himself. Don't get me wrong... I like men who are comfortable about who they are, what they have and are able to carry themselves properly but self-confidence should be kept at a certain level. Well, at least not show-off too much of it especially on a date or if you are seeking for a date. That, I think, is a big NO, NO!

For more widgets please visit

Victory Hair is when you are able to outflirt *is there such a word?* your opponent in Ultimate Flirting Championship game. I have been playing this game for quite a while now and it is addicting. Besides being entertaining, it gives you tips on how to win a date by answering questions of the searchee. It's very much similar to a dating game only that it is done online. Join the fun now in Extreme Style by VO5 website. It is a great way to find out how effective of a flirt you are and get to practice those flirting skills. =)

Sponsored by Extreme Style by VO5

Thursday, August 14, 2008

When the Going Gets Tough

Wow! Almost a week of no blog update! Not even a paid post... haha. I've been extremely busy with work lately. This week, my big SAP EP project is going on UAT so all development must be completed by the end of the day today. Yay! Oh yeah, and I still found time to blog. Haha.

Also, I've been doing some stuff for SFC Arizona's website. I would greatly appreciate if you can visit the blog and send me comments about it. Positive or negative that is! Feel free to drop by SFC Arizona website here: It would be awesome if you can link it up to your site too! This is my way of serving the community. As what my friend kept telling me before, it is not enough to be a "lukewarm" Christian. You have to do something to serve and share the blessings that He has always given you. I just felt it was about time to give back all the glory and thanks to my God by serving his community.

I know this is crazy... I mean, maintaining 3 blogs... errr... make it 4 including my multiply. Let's see for how long I can sustain the life of those 4 blogs. I hope I can find time to always update all 4 sites everyday with these projects and deadlines at work. Goodluck to me!

Friday, August 08, 2008

A Solution to Weight Problem

For me, it is a struggle here in the US to live a healthy lifestyle. For one thing, food here is relatively cheaper than in the Philippines in terms of the availability of high quality food and how huge the servings are. Second thing is the kind of lifestyle I live. Most of the time I am driving even if the distance to where I'll be going to is just a couple of blocks away. *Guilty!* Third, I think I am not the only one who works more than 12 hours a day here so instead of finding time to exercise, I'd rather catch up on my sleep. I would think that working more than 8 hours a day is probably the norm here. With all these factors, it is inevitable not to gain weight. For a fact, US has the most number of overweight people in the world so it is really difficult to maintain the ideal weight for anybody living here unless otherwise you are very disciplined with your food intake and healthy living lifestyle.

One of the most effective solutions to control food intake and manage your weight is the lap-band procedure. This procedure is completely reversible and adjustable depending on your need. JourneyLite offers a LAP-BAND System which is a comprehensive weight-loss surgery program. JourneyLite's program will help you evaluate if this LAP-BAND procedure is right for you. They will even help you find an experienced lap-band surgeon to do the procedure and help you get your insurance approval. If you are interested in this procedure, you can check out their site here.

Who We Are

Singles for Christ (SFC) is a work for Christ which rises up and establishes Christian individuals committed to the work of evangelization and winning the world for Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. Focusing out to others by being global, holistic and catholic.

The CFC-Singles for Christ is a ministry of Couples for Christ intended for single men and women who are at least 21 years old.

Why is such a ministry necessary?

The single men and women of today face an uncertain future, without much to hold on since traditional support structures are starting to break up around them. Being on their own now, they experience tremenendous pressure to succeed, or perhaps for most, simply survive. They face the real world that may lead them in a path away from God. They chart career paths that do not consider God a priority and, worse, develop new activities and habits, including vices that make them turn away from God.

CFC-SFC intends to provide an environment for personal renewal. It is a support environment where God’s plan is revealed to us and where we can draw strength from other single men and women who are committed to love and support.

It is an environment where energies and talents can be developed and put to good use to serve God and His people. It is a place where we can be formed to prepare us for the next stage of life, to marry or to live a single life in total dedication to the Lord.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Keep Smelling Good

I am a perfume addict. I love smelling good and it makes me feel good when somebody compliments my good smell. Hehe. As opposed to what most people think that you should have a single signature smell, I love to smell a different scent everyday so I shuffle between my perfumes. My top three scents are D&G Light Blue, Ralph by Ralph Lauren and DKNY Be Delicious, in that order! Most of the perfumes I have were bought in the malls so imagine my delight when I found website who sells original and authentic perfumes at a way cheaper price. They ship anywhere in the world and for US shipping, they have a flatrate of $5.95. For orders $100 or more, the shipping is FREE! Besides perfumes, they also sell skincare products, makeup, hair care products, accessories and many others. I also found great eye cream products from Lancome, Clinique, Neutrogena, and many other popular brands. I think I am going to expand my fragrance collection pretty soon.

Singles for Christ Conference in San Diego

We have an SFC conference on Aug 22 to 24, 2008 in San Diego, CA. Most of us from SFC Arizona are going to this conference. If you are interested in joining this year's conference, information on registration, sponsorship, souvenir, contact information and other relevant info can be found on this conference website. CLICK HERE!

This is my first time to join an SFC conference. I'm sure it's going to be an awesome event of praise and worship.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

My Two Cents

The power of the media cannot be undermined especially in election campaigns. As what the old cliché says, any publicity is good publicity. Whether it is a bad or a good write-up, what matters is you are in the news and is making a big noise to get you noticed.

A debate topic has been raised in about the media blatantly supporting Barrack Obama's presidential bid. Although there are evidences of the media that says positive things about Obama's bid, I think generalizing the whole media's opinion is wrong. There are a lot of types of media that spans from television, radio, film, print, electronic, etc. The fact that not all Obama write-ups are positive, then I guess this claim is not true. What I am trying to say is that one type of media's opinion is not entirely and unanimously the same opinion of the whole media.

If you want to voice out your opinion on this topic, visit and post your insight.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, Roman Forum

One of the well-preserved structures in the Roman Forum is the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina. Built in the 141 CE after the death of Faustina, the wife of emperor Antoninus Pius, this structure was dedicated to his wife. This structure is located just across the Via Sacra which is the main road going to the Capitoline Hill where a lot of important religious sites in the Roman Forum is located. After the death of emperor Antoninus Pius and his deification in 161, his name was added to the inscription on top of the building to dedicate the structure to him and to his beloved wife. Thus the inscription reads "Divo Antonino et Divae Faustinae Ex S.C." which means "To the divine Antoninus and to the divine Faustina by decree of the Senate." The temple was converted to a church in the 17th century and was named church of San Lorenzo in Miranda.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Bitten By the IT Bug

As opposed to what most people believe that being in IT means a secured job and future, I believe that staying in IT is a constant learning experience and once you get stuck into a monotony of activities and stop learning, then job security is probably not a guarantee. Being in IT for the last 7 years has been a series of great and not so great experiences. There were sleepless nights during peak of the projects, extensive researches to investigate non-trivial software problems, and constant study for the best of breed technologies and frameworks to use. Ultimately, being in IT has been the most rewarding experience I've had especially when you know that hundreds or even thousands of people use the software that you built. And that makes me proud because I am helping people to automate their processes, make them more productive and build a quality process that eventually leads to improving their lives.

It is undeniable that the IT industry is one of the most consistently growing businesses around the globe. I guess in any job, if you are armed with a great certification, it is easy to get the job that you want. Cisco certifications are definitely one of these. Doing a career shift from a non-IT related industry to IT can never be easier with Cisco certification and trainings. They offer a wide variety of certifications that covers most of the IT industry fields and that gives you more options on what career path you would want to take. For entry and associate level certification, Cisco offers the Cisco Certified Network Technician (CCENT) wherein you can be be an network administrator, a network engineer, or a network analyst. The professional level Cisco Career Certifications includes CCNP (Network Professional), CCSP (Security Professional), CCVP (Voice Professional), CCDP (Design Professional), and CCIP (Internet Professional). These certifications makes you a great candidate for Senior Network engineer, project manager and IT manager positions.

There is an endless possibility on how far you can go with your IT career because of the certifications and credentials that you put under your name. I guess to be successful in IT, it is necessary to have the passion for this kind of job. It is definitely not an easy job just like all other jobs out there because it entails a continuous passion to improve oneself.

Sponsored by Cisco