Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mines View Park Hotel in Baguio City: A Cozy and Classy Baguio Accommodation

Mines View Park Hotel, located on the road to Mines View Park in Baguio City is a great option for accommodations in city of pines. Many of the hotels in the city are situated in busy streets while this hotel is right next to two of the popular destinations in Baguio – the shopping area and the view at Mines View Park; and just a few meters further, the Good Shepherd Convent where many go to purchase “pasalubong” from this city in Benguet. The Mansion house and Wright Park are also very near this place.

If you are looking for cozy and classy bedrooms for accommodations, Mines View Park Hotel has them. Their four-level hotel can hold up to 120 guests all at the same time. The most basic room has two single beds (that are each big enough to accommodate two people), one toilet and bath room, an LCD TV, and a veranda which provides a good view and free wi-fi. They do have a few rooms that have more than two beds and these need to be reserved earlier because they are not as plenty as the other rooms.

For special events or corporate gatherings, Mines View Park Hotel offers a function hall that can accommodate 100 to 150 people. They also have a New Board room that can accommodate smaller groups of 15 to 20 people. In the same building where this room is located can be found different amenities or services like a spa, gym and salon.

When checking-in or visiting this hotel, make sure to try their specialties, the Bibingcrepe and the Bibingcrisp. This is available at their HalfMoon Asian Café.

At the hotel’s main dining area known as Zenz Restaurant, you should try their Strawberry Sinigang, where freshly picked strawberries are added to the broth of pork, beef, shrimps or fish sinigang.

Mines View Park’s contact information:

Baguio office
Telefax: (6374) 442-1559
Telephone : (6374) 424-1088
Mobile Number: +63922 888-6392
Website: www.

Manila office
Telefax: (632) 372-3984 to 89 local 133

Mines View Park Hotel is located at 1 Apostol St. corner Outlook Drive, Mines View Park, Baguio City.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thank God for PayU2Blog!

Last week, PayU2Blog sent in many jobs and I was glad that I was able to finish all the tasks they sent. Working as one of the bloggers of PayU2Blog really is great because they have two paydays.

On those days when they give out plenty of assignments we expect a lot of blessings two weeks after that we can pay off a big part of payday loans we got. Thank God for PayU2Blog!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Relaxing at Mines View Park Hotel

It is my first time to stay here in Mines View Park Hotel in Baguio City and I would say that I find their rooms impressive. Their most basic room has two beds, a bathroom and an LCD television. Beds have three pillows and are big enough for twin sharing so a room with two beds can actually accommodate four.

This hotel is right in the area of Mines View Park. I’m not sure why this area was called that. Maybe because there used to be some mining gold or loose diamonds going on in the area, I’m not really sure. The area here is peaceful and quiet – a good place to relax. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing more about Mines View Park Hotel.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Jobs I Have Tried

It's getting to know me time and in this entry, you will find out the different jobs I have been in. These are jobs wherein I worked and had a boss. But basically, I'll write down every work I did that earned me money. I'll try to put all of them in chronological order but that would be depending on how much I remember them.

1. Donut vendor - I used to walk around the streets of Project 2 & 3, Quezon City selling donuts which my father made. I can't remember when I did this but it was one of the summers during my 2nd to 5th grade years.

2. Children's party crew - I worked on weekends at Kids at Work at SM Megamall (when it was still there). Weekends were the busiest because all time slots for the parties would usually be filled. I helped prepare the party rooms every after another party and received good tips aside from our basic pay. I did this during the mid 90s.

3. Church Music Team Coordinator - I was hired by our pastor to help build our church's music ministry. After seeing that my weekend job as a children's party crew lessened my music ministry involvement, I was given a job offer to drop my weekend job and work for the church instead and help build the music team (recruit and train band members) and I received a weekly allowance for it.

4. Peidcab Driver - I remember one summer during my college years (I think I was in my third year as a BS Mechanical Engineering student), I rented a pedicab from a friend in our subdivision (Marikina Greenheights in Nangka, Marikina) and paid a boundary of PHP 15 to its owner and the money I earned above that, I used for my allowance for my evening classes.

5. Academic and Drums Tutor - During the regular semester, I took part-time jobs either as an academic tutor (for Math subjects) or as a drums tutor (I taught basic drum lessons and notation).

6. Part-time Bank Teller - I applied as a part-time teller for Bank of the Philippine Islands. I went through the same application procedure as the graduates and passed. As a part-time teller, I worked under a year's contract and was allowed to renew but the only limitation was I could only stay in one branch for each one-year contract. So, even though I could have been absorbed automatically as a probationary employee and eventually be regularized if I graduated before my contract expired, I resigned because I was going to be assigned, for the contract renewal, to a branch that was quite far from where I studied. I studied near SM Centerpoint back then and was assigned to BPI Wilson branch during my first contract.

7. Forex Trader - During college, I had to work to support my studies and sometimes had to stop from school to work when I couldn't find a part-time job. I worked as a full-time forex trader in Makati. We sought out individuals who wanted to try forex trading and I learned about the company's Forex trading software, fundamental and technical analysis. It was a financially fulfilling job because we earned in USD. But, marketing wasn't that easy especially after the Asian crisis hit in late 1997 and early 1998. I remember trading in the USD-JPY and my client lost so much money after the JPY fell.

8. Account Manager - The next job I landed was an account manager for a supplier of office supplies. This was in the middle of 1998.

9. Sales Executive - In the latter part of 1998, I worked in sales and earned only by commission, selling the Encyclopaedia Britannica. In this job, I learned how to go from house-to-house to sell the product. It was not a financially fulfilling job but I learned a lot from it.

10. Church Youth Director - After my job as a sales executive, I volunteered for Breaking Point Foundation and helped the youth organization, that hosted the team from the US in 1999, follow up the young people in schools of Marikina, through campus ministries. I was given a weekly allowance doing this.

11. Breaking Point Foundations Philippines Director - In January of 2001, on the third missions trip of the Breaking Point Foundation in the US, I was chosen to be the director of the Philippines office. This was my entry to full-time ministry.

12. Youth Pastor - Since I was working with young people, it was just natural that the youth ministry of the church be entrusted to me as well. I wore two hats - one as the director of Breaking Point and another as the youth pastor of Sumulong Baptist Church in Masinag.

13. Missions Pastor/ Church Planter - After working full-time for two years, in May 2003, me and my whole family were sent out by our mother church to start the church in Makati which I pastor until now.

14. Call center agent - When my wife became pregnant with our son in 2004, I worked in two call centers (JP Morgan Chase and Sykes) to save some money in preparation for our son's birth.

15. Part-time Blogger/Web-content Writer/Internet Marketer - At present, I work full-time as the pastor of Sumulong Baptist Church Makati and the director of Breaking Point Foundation Philippines, but, part-time, earning from blogging and internet marketing. This has helped provide for our son's education, our family's growing needs and the ministry as well.

For both professions, my wife and I have gained exposure in print media: as bloggers in Good Housekeeping Magazine last March 2010 in an article entitled "Blogging For a Living", and as ministers, also in Good Housekeeping, September 2010 issue, in an article entitled "Make Your Marriage Work" (see the pictures here).

In all these jobs, I have seen how God has molded me into the person I am right now and I know that He is not finished me yet. I have followed His calling; doing, what I believe, He has called me to do. Knowing that I am not perfect, I strive to reach the ultimate goal of my life - to give glory to God our Creator with my whole being and to let others know about the saving relationship with God.

A Sponsored Trip to Baguio City

In a few hours my wife and I will be traveling to Baguio City with other bloggers. This trip is sponsored by Mines View Park Hotel and they will be providing transportation and accommodation to this city in Benguet.

I should actually be sleeping already but my wife and I still have online tasks to do. As I write this entry, she is doing some research on 3 insomnia treatment reviews. But, we do need to rest, even for just a few hours. It would be a nap time before our trip and we’ll just sleep on our way to Baguio City.

Yoga in Baguio

I'm going to try yoga exercises for the second time. The first time was in Power Plant mall and the second time will be in MinesView Park Hotel in Baguio City. The yoga exercises are part of our itinerary for the visit to the hotel which they also sponsored. I will surely try yoga out which I’m sure beats even the best weight loss supplement available.

Add a Venue in Foursquare!

I just became the mayor of YSA Skin Center (in Foursquare)! If you have no idea what I'm talking about then I guess you don’t have an account with Foursquare yet. If you own or manage a restaurant, a shop or any place you want found, foursquare can help you find new ways to connect with people who visit your venue. Visitors can check in to your venue and regular visitors have the opportunity to become its mayor.

According to foursquare...

A mayor in foursquare is the user with the most number of *days* with check-ins at a specific place within the past 60 days. Only one check-in per day counts towards your mayorship tally. If you have a lot of check-ins that seem fake or consistently far away from where you are checking in, these check-ins will not count towards the mayorship total.

As a member, you can also add venue s. You can also integrate foursquare into Facebook and Twitter.

I became a mayor of YSA when I visited the venue with my wife when she availed of a deep peel treatment. Now that she’s done she is just waiting for her face to peel. After the peeling, she will be seeing good results on her face and she may look like she used an anti wrinkle serum.

So, create a foursquare account now and add your new venue.

Adding Sit-ups to My Exercise Routine

Lately, I have added crunches and sit-ups to my regular daily exercise routine. Since joining the Nike contest I have been doing regular push-ups – at least 40 straight push-ups, sometimes even up to 60. Most days, I easily do 40 but sometimes I stop at 35. This type of exercise is not comparable to using the p90x equipment but it helps tone my muscles and build some definition. Right now, I am targeting my abs and I’m hoping that in a few weeks I will be seeing some results.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Watch out for My Book Review of "Outlive Your Life" by Max Lucado

I received another book from BookSneeze (Thomas Nelson) and it is Max Lucado's new book entitled Outlive Your Life. This is the fourth book I have received and will be reviewing for them. Becoming a book reviewer for BookSneeze has helped facilitate my one-book-a-month reading goal. I haven't actually read 8 books yet, maybe about 5 books but at least I am able to read some books this year. Last year, I can't even recall having finished a book (for personal reading).

Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson)

I do read for studying for the things that I preach and teach, but I do not count those readings as part of my mental growth plan. I am so thankful for this opportunity that BookSneeze is giving for bloggers like me because now I am able to read new stuff, for free! Watch out for my review of "Outlive Your Life" by Max Lucado.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Youth Center Opening

On September 28, 2010, Tuesday, we will be opening JIVE Youth Center, our youth ministry’s venue for members and interested young people. We will be offering activities like free drums and guitar lessons, free tutorials, and students are free to bring their peers and play bard games, chess, etc.

The youth center will be open every Tuesday and Thursday from 1:30 to 6:30 pm. Right now we are investing on equipment and game materials, office furniture, long tables and rebuilding our table tennis sports equipment to provide interested students in the area of Kalayaan Ave. near barangays Guadalupe Nuevo, Pitogo, Cembo and South Cembo in Makati.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Our Low Cost Travel to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I celebrated my 35th birthday at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last week and I never thought I could travel to Kuala Lumpur at a relatively low cost! It was a great experience especially because it was our first time to travel together as a family out of the country.

We booked our flight via Air Asia last November 2009 and got two-way plane tickets for PHP 3,376.68. Nope, that's not per person but that's total for 2 adults and 1 child - cheaper than Wicked tickets. Me, my wife and 5-year-old son traveled to Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) in Clark early Monday last week (my birthday) and parked our car for three days. Park and fly service is available in DMIA for only PHP 90 per day and regular parking is PHP 35 only, so we spent a total of PHP 215 for the three-day parking (2 days overnight and one day regular parking).

Our flight to the LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal) in Malaysia took almost four hours. There are two airports in Kuala Lumpur and they are the LCCT and the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Airlines like Air Asia which are categorized as low cost carriers use the LCCT. Anyway, from LCCT, we took a bus to the nearest train station that will take us to KL Sentral station. KL Sentral is 45 to 60 minutes from LCCT via a short bus ride to the nearest station (Salak Tinggi) and train from Salak Tinggi to KL Sentral. I thought that taking these two rides was faster than taking a direct bus ride from LCCT to KL Sentral because of traffic and stops at bus stops and toll plazas.

We were advised against taking a cab by friends who have been to Kuala Lumpur because they said it could be very expensive. But a significant impression I had about Kuala Lumpur is that they had a very reliable and efficient transport system (bus or train). So in our three days and two nights stay in the city, we went around using the train and the bus which my son really enjoyed.

We stayed at the Holiday Villa (that's how it is popularly known in KL) which has a new name - D' Villa Residence. We booked this nice hotel which also has apartment-type hotel rooms (with a refrigerator, kitchen, living room, dining area, toilet and bath room and bedroom) via Agoda and it cost us only USD $120 for the 3D/2N accommodation. This hotel is located along Jalan Ampang about 2 km from is on the same street as the Petronas Towers.

Holiday Villa

Our first destination was no other than the Petronas Twin Towers. Visiting the Sky Bridge (the bridge that connects the twin towers) is free but you would have to line up early morning to secure your time slot for the visit. Visit time slots are every 15 minutes starting at 9:00 am. We arrived around 8:15 am and the line was already very long but it was a good thing we were still able to secure 3:15 pm for our Sky Bridge visit.

After getting our tickets, we took photos outside the majestic structure and then spent some time in Suria KLCC, the mall right below the Petronas Twin Towers. We then walked to Temple Kun Yam Thong which is a nearby Buddhist Temple and took photos.

From there, we traveled by train to Chinatown and went first to Sri Maha Mariamman Temple a Hindu temple founded in 1873. It is the oldest and richest Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur and is situated at edge of Chinatown in Jalan Bandar.

After taking photos, we walked around Chinatown and did a few shopping. The tip that I read about shopping in Chinatown was that you must bargain about 50% than what was first given by the seller and this worked for us.

Jalan Petaling in Chinatown

Our next destination was back to Suria KLCC. We rested our feet and our tummies at the A&W restaurant in that mall and we each enjoyed a mug of A&W rootbeer float. Around 3:00 pm we walked to the Sky Bridge visit reception area for our 3:15 pm schedule.

We were showed an introductory video about Petronas and their mega structure and then were ushered to the high-speed elevator which took us to the 41st floor (where the Sky Bridge is located) in less than one-minute. Our batch of visitors was given about 10-15 minutes on the Sky Bridge which allowed us enough time to enjoy the view of Kuala Lumpur and to take photos.

View of Kuala Lumpur from the Sky Bridge

We then proceeded to Pavilion, a big mall in Bukit Bintang, via train from KLCC to Dang Wangi the transfered to the mono rail and traveled from Bukit Nanas station to Bukit Bintang station. We had dinner at the Food Republic, a place in the mall where they sold Penang street food. My wife tried the Prawn Mee and I tried the Pan Mee Curry Chicken. Each meal cost only MYR 8.50 and MYR 9.90 (around PHP 117 and PHP 140), respectively.

Prawn Mee

Pan Mee Curry Chicken

A mono-rail ride, a train ride and a bus ride were what it took for us to get back to our hotel,but not before taking some more photos of the Petronas Towers. It is quite a sight at night.

This was not a very expensive trip at all. In fact, it cost us a little more than PHP 20,000 (USD $465) for this whole trip to Kuala Lumpur inclusive of airfare, travel tax, terminal fee, hotel accommodation, city travel and food. Over all, it was a great birthday getaway with my family and a real budget travel to Kuala Lumpur. You can view our other photos here and here.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"The Boy Who Changed the World" by Andy Andrew: Book Review

"The Boy Who Changed the World" by Andy Andrew is a children's book with an inspiring and challenging content. It contains historical information about people who literally changed the world – the lives of so many people – through their own little ways. It also inspires its readers to think about their own lives.

For a children's book, the effort to communicate the great message is commendable and without the great colored sketches by Philip Hurst I think it won't be very successful in holding the attention of a child, depending also on the story teller. The principles shared from this illustrated children’s book that is a perfect addition to the selection of bedtime story books are not too early for any child to learn about. But personally, I think the story teller, if this is to be used in story-telling, should be dynamic and must use the illustrations perfectly to keep a child’s attention. Over all, I would recommend “The Boy Who Changed the World" by Andy Andrew.

Disclosure: I received this book from Thomas Nelson Publishing for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"The Butterfly Effect: How Your Life Matters" by Andy Andrews | Book Review

When I read Andy Andrews' "The Butterfly Effect: How Your Life Matters" it challenged me and inspired me with the historical information about a hypothesis made in 1966 that became popularly known as ‘the butterfly effect’ and how this has been proven scientifically and historically. The stories which include important events in America’s history and individuals who changed the world through their contributions to each other’s lives are eye-opening.

I enjoyed reading the book because it was so easy to read (I actually read it in one sitting) and the pages are so colorfully designed that will get one who easily gets bored with historical facts to continue turning the pages. I also like how this book can challenge anyone to consider everything in life and how it can make a difference in others and the whole world. This book inspired me to look at the bigger picture of things. I would recommend "The Butterfly Effect: How Your Life Matters" by Andy as a quick read.

Disclosure: I received this book from Thomas Nelson Publishing for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Family Trips

It was a blessing being able to book a flight to Davao and back for May 2011 for only PHP 270. My wife and I decided to get tickets for my relatives and it was successful. We also booked another flight for another week in May. It was to Tagbilaran to get to visit Bohol and our plan was to buy tickets (at the same rate) for Jennie’s relatives.

We were not able to buy tickets for everyone because her parents and uncle can’t travel because of her uncle’s mental condition. He is not a person with disability so he’s not like those entitled to Medicare part D plans in the US.

We were able to book for her sister and brother-in-law but we sure would have enjoyed if all of us went to a trip together. I guess with the situation in the family we either need to accept this limitation or try to work around it (which would take a lot of sacrifice for many concerned). I am still remaining hopeful that someday we'd all be able to go to a trip together.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Greetings and Service

Everybody enjoys great customer service. In the last pizza place my wife and I went to, we experienced being served by a lady who served with sincerity, patience and great service.

As soon as we arrived, she greeted us, ushered us into good seats, gave us each menus to pick out what we want to eat. She excused herself for a while to give us time to think about what we were going to order. In many restaurants we’ve been to we encounter waiters/waitresses who pressure us into ordering right away, that’s why I really preferred how the lady in this pizza place handled our situation.

After ordering a couple of “bunch of lunch” and a drink (perhaps that will give you an idea what pizza place I’m writing about), we did not have to wait too long before our food was served, although we were advised as to how long it would take them to prepare our food. While eating, we were revisited and constantly checked by her to see if we needed anything else and to ask how we liked our food – I find this very thoughtful and friendly.

When it came to getting the bill, she was quick to give it to us that we did not have to wait long. She was also patient enough to explain how their point of purchase displays were not working that’s why she was giving us hand written bills instead of the usual print out. Because of all these efforts, my wife and I felt that she deserved a good tip and that their restaurant deserved for us to come back to.

All these made me reflect upon how ushers and greeters in church can make an impact among visitors, returning visitors or regular attendees who are not close to anybody around. If people who are gifted with friendliness, warmth, sincerity and love for strangers, use their ability or skill to reflect God’s love and openness to even just a few people sitting in the church, how many would change their minds about not going back. Sometimes it’s not just about the preaching, the music or the facilities but the friendliness of the people in church that make people decide to come back. Just think about it…

"Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it." Hebrews 13:1-2

C! and Union Bank’s GT+R Track Day

Last Saturday was the C! and Union Bank’s GT+R Track day where they awarded winners in their promo “Unionbank’s Frand Free Autocross” at C!’s 2010 Annual Buyer’s Guide. Twelve of their winners were awarded PHP 20,000, PHP 75,000 off on their auto loan (if they choose to avail of a loan at Union Bank to buy a car), and a year’s subscription of the C! magazine.

Participants were asked to sign waivers for the protection of the drivers and the expensive cars (Mercedes Benz’s E series, a Subaru sedan, a Hyundai Eclipse, a BMW 523i and a Nissan Sentra). Winners were given free racing lessons by professionals from Orange Performance so that a car insurance like the 5th wheel insurance wouldn’t have to be used.

The Unionbank GT+R (Great Treats + Rewards) auto loan is positioned as a high performance auto loan in terms of exciting perks and benefits, great rates and ultra-long terms of up to 72 months on select car models.

Friday, September 3, 2010

AirPhilExpress Promo for the 21st Philippine Travel Mart

Waiting in line to book a flight to Davao and Bohol for May 2011 and avail of AirPhilExpress' promo for the 21st Philippine Travel Mart, I got tired and asked the person behind and in front of me to save my space. Among the travel deals available in this travel exhibit, this was obviously the most in demand. I fell in line around 6:45 pm and as I write this blog entry, I am halfway the long line of those trying to avail of the promo.

The best deal offered by AirPhilExpress for the 21st Philippine Travel Mart is their PHP 88 fare promo (exclusive of VAT and airline secutiry fee) to all their domestic destinations (except Manila-Caticlan and Cebu-Caticlan), travel period is April 16 to May 30, 2011. They have other travel deals and the next cheapest is PHP 288 fare promo (exclusive of VAT and airline secutiry fee) to all their domestic destinations (except Manila-Caticlan and Cebu-Caticlan), and the travel period is February 16 to March 30, 2011. The rates are exclusive at the exhibit and not available online.

You can check out other travel deals, hotel accommodation packages from other participating airlines and travel agencies at the 21st Philippine Travel Mart at the SM Megatrade Hall from September 3-5, 2010.