Wednesday, March 27, 2013

LTO 2013 : Student Permit

Last Tuesday, I dragged my older daughter from her bed to LTO,  to get her a student permit (driver's license) so early before 8am. That day she had to attend classes start at noon and didn't have a good night sleep. Hence the cranky face ( photo ).

Before which, I goggled around the net about requirements. The official website of LTO was down ( I thought so ) and only found some from personal blogs which are dated and I didn't find any with the  present year. I couldn't rely on dated blogs cos as we all know, government agency like LTO changes its rules from time to time. So upon entering the nearest ( to my home)  LTO branch ( Las Pinas) , I went straight to the requirements wall area and had confirmed the following rules :

For Filipino Applicants :

Qualifications :

> must be at least 16 years old
> must be mentally and physically fit to operate a vehicle
> must be able to read and write in Filipino or English

Requirements :

For 18 years old and above

> original and photocopy of birth certificate
>  in the absence of bc, you can use any government issued ID/documents : SSS, TIN, passport,etc.

For minor below 18 years old

> include a written consent of a parent/ guardian w/ xerox copy of ID

Basically those are the only infos that  I needed to know for my daughter. She's already 18 years old and only needed a xerox copy of her birth certificate to go with the application form.

A staff ( the man in green/ photo) who monitored/ facilitated the customer service area was very attentive and upon knowing our purpose,

he immediately handed my daughter an application form to be filled -up. He guided us to the sitting queue which luckily was not yet heavy at 8 am. LTO official business hour starts at 8am. Daughter was # 18. Not bad.

30 minutes, to 40 minutes at the customer waiting area but the transaction windows were still closed. After us, the q was beginning to grow heavy. The facilitator said to wait for further announcement cos at the moment this branch was still offline. Before 9am, an announcement was heard, suggesting transfer to nearer branches like Muntinlupa & Paranaque which were already online or if not in a hurry wait until the branch got online.
Daughter couldn't wait cos of her classes. I asked if this LTO would still be open the next day ( almost a Lent holiday, holy Wed.)
Yes it would be. So we quit the q and headed home.

So yesterday ( holy Thurs. ) was a take two of the previous day. We were at the same LTO at exactly 8am. Look, it was breezy ( photo ). Very light crowd, heaven! The semi-holiday (Holy week) worked to our advantage.

Daughter was #8 of the q that was already moving. Yay!

Took just 15 minutes max at the customer waiting area, then daughter moved to the next q for evaluation. After another 15 minutes, daughter was called to the image capturing and electronic signature window.

Beside the girl ( photo ) doing electronic signing is the window for evaluation where documents and application are being evaluated. Also there,  the applicant is asked to read aloud an oath ( in English or Filipino, your choice ), with right hand raised ofcourse.

Daughter almost done, with only two steps left to do_ payment and claim. We did our favorite diversion while waiting _ phone camwhoring! haha. Out of nowhere a handsome man appeared walking infront of our seat. #swoon, hahaIt was local actor/celebrity Jomari Yllana. Now Jomari passing by us and we thought we had captured him in the background, haha. Failed!

Then daughter was called for payment. Total = P317.63 only.

Subsequently, she was called at the releasing window. Finally her student permit was released!!! Very happy cos it only took exactly one hour for the whole process!

We rewarded ourselves for the job well done with hearty breakfast at the nearest fastfood.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Casa Manila

One of the houses inside Plaza San Luis Complex inside Intramuros, Manila is Casa Manila.

The house museum  showcases a life style of the Illustrados - the rich Filipinos during the 19th-20th century, who were given almost equal privileges as the Spaniards who ruled our country then.

It has a beautiful courtyard which presently is a popular choice for wedding reception venue and other events. 

The house is huge and now a days it could easily be mistaken as a hotel. But during the 19th-20th century, it was just but a typical home of an Illustrado family. Inside are authentic antique furniture of the said era.

It was a Monday ( photos taken in 2010 ). The museum was close. Cousins were very insistent. I suggested we used the exit stairs to enter the house.

A guardia civil ( guard in character of Spanish soldier ) suddenly appeared by the kitchen window and stopped us from entering the premises. haha. 

Oh well, have you noticed?_ I knew quite well my way in here? Hold tight cos I'm going to reveal to you one of my secrets...

I used to reside in this house.. eerie? haha. It's me! 16 years ago! Relief?.. that I didn't say hundred years ago? haha.

Fact is : I was assigned there for couple of months when I was an employee of Dept. of Tourism. How's that?  Yes my dear, yours truly was once a bonafide government employee ( for a long time actually). 
Now, I'm not going to just give you a peek of the museum but also of my shameless vintage photos, taken pre-digital years, haha.

A blast in the past!

Right here ( daughter & me photo) my older daughter was only 3 years old.

 There was a period that I didn't have a nanny so I had to sneak her in and brought her to work everyday. Haay, the story of my working mom life. Now, this girl is turning 19 next month. Can you believe it?

Yes, I had to sport sets of authentic Filipina dresses of 19th-20th century as daily uniforms.

If you're going to visit the museum these days, the included exhibit of the 19th-20th centuries Filipino dresses during my time, is ofcourse not there anymore. It was just a season exhibit which was also why we were assigned there for a certain period only.

I actually attempted to give you a short tour of the house and wanted to share something about the specific parts shown on the old photos. Mind you, we memorized a scripted 5 pages tour of the museum and had them recited everyday for every visitor/group , countless times a day.
So here, after 16 years, approaching (if not there yet, in denial?) old age, I couldn't grasp a word . I couldn't even remember the parts of the room.

I just hope the vintage photos somehow gave you a glimpse of what's inside, and hey  Casa Manila museum is just there in Intramuros , in case you haven't been there and keen on a heritage tour.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Baby Dedication

My newest godchild is such a doll. Looking at her in this pic, right now I feel like I want to squeeze her like a marshmallow, haha. Soo cute! Notice how awkward the way I held her? 

Excuse me, but my youngest daughter is already 13 years old. Should I explain further? haha.

Two months ago, I attended this Christian ceremony as one of the god mothers who are actually long time friends from my daughters' school. My newest "kumare" ( my godchild's pretty pretty mom ) has her older kids going in the same school too. So technically, they are my co-parents. But more. I mean, my friendship with them has grown big as our kids grew from pre-school to... my golly, some of our kids are actually in college now! 

Although I'm a Catholic, this was not my first time to witness such. I had attended a number of  my in laws' ( who are mostly Born Again Christians) similar event, but only as a ( eating, haha! ) guest. Hence I didn't really have a good grasp of the significant of the ceremony being that different from our baptismal in Catholic church.

First of all, this one is not called " baptismal / Christening ",  but "dedication". I gathered that the rite is somehow a public statement by the parents, dedicating their child in the Christian faith. When the child reaches a certain age,  when she's matured already to place her faith in Christ, then that's the time she would be baptized. 
Hmm, that makes sense to me.

Oh well, I'm not really going to dig further. I know_ don't talk politics and religion in public, especially if you are not religious like me, haha. 
Makes sense????

I actually dedicate this post to my beautiful god child with a beautiful name Haley Thiarese. I know you can't read this yet, but when you grow-up in this highly virtual world, when you stumble-upon this blog ( if blogspot is still around, fingers crossedxxx ), I hope this would take you back to the day of your dedication when I begun to partake in a pixel of your life. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

How Are You : Catanauan Cove

Sometimes, it took me months ( even over a year ) to find and reply  comments in my old posts cos I don't get to read them right away, unlike those who comment using blogger account. I would only find them when I get to revisit my old posts. Nevertheless, however late and futile already_ I still reply.

Like_ just today I found this almost a year old comment (above screenshot) in my Catanauan Cove  post. The resort post itself is already almost three years old (2010). I thought of doing a sort of update about the resort which brought me back to  my old post. There I found the comment which I replied right away.
Well, the sad part is the comment is full of disappointment about the resort and quite contrary to what I was claiming in that post. The difference is I came to visit Catanauan Cove in its earliest phase. In its almost virginal state.

Personally, I've long wanted to revisit this private resort in Bondoc Peninsula (Quezon Province). I wanted to see how it progressed since my visit in 2010 when it was still relatively undergoing construction and found it to be a paradise of a beach. If only I had not gotten negative feedback from one of my bestfriends when she & family came to experience the place last Nov. 2012. I would have had revisited it by this time. Above photo was actually hers, taken during her visit. Oh well, I stole it from her FB and the rest of the photos coming below, haha. She'll never find-out anyway. She doesn't read my blog, haha.

this infinity pool, overlooking the ocean, was not yet there during my visit. nice!

I don't remember the resort having this area either, I guess it wasn't there yet too.

But I remember there were already activities for rent like kayak even then.

From this view, seems the beach is perfectly alright..

Not quite obvious with this photo of the beach she took, the reader's comments above, echoed and reaffirmed my friend's disappointments towards the resort. She exactly told me that the water was dirty and full of jelly fishes. I actually felt a little of guilt here cos I highly recommended the place to her. Expecting that the place must be more beautiful by that time cos of added structures like the infinity pool and whatnot. My friend also added the isolation she felt with fear cos she & family was the only overnight guest that time. It was a holiday in November. They stayed in a cottage by the beach.

I feel a little sadness here cos I truly feel concerned. I was happy when I discovered that there was a high-end resort in my home province (Quezon), I also love the proximity of it from Manila and that it's only takes a short  road trip. I really thought I would come to frequent this resort on its full blast.. but well, hearing these low maintenance buzz..

I wonder why the resort can't get motivated by their tree.. imagine 130 years old and still strong and beautiful. The resort is barely three years and already maintenance is an issue. Catanauan Cove is I think going for members only when it reaches its full capacity and temporarily open to the public.

Sad :(