4 Pagbabalik – A Featured Song With A Story Behind It

Music is known to be a medium for every generation, whether you are old or young, it doesn’t matter. It was proven to tame a wild heart, to shed light over darkness, to give words to the mute, to give meaning to the pointless and answer the things that can’t be explained.

On this article, I have another song to feature that is best expressed by my above statement. This time it is not just about the song (although it’s a good one) but it’s about the story behind it. Before I go on, let me tell you the song that I am referring to, it is “Pagbabalik” sung by Gab Cabangon, Reese Lansangan and Vica Hernandez.

Have you heard about the “Rock Ed Philippines“? It’s actually a group of people, mostly artists of different nature and genre that shares and gives their time to educate the youth of the Philippines. I actually like their slogan on their Facebook Page, “Rocking society through alternative education.” As to what I understood of this is that they are trying to reach the youth by means of an alternative approach which is through music and arts (as we all know, young people tend to listen and accept things that has this concept) without sacrificing the traditional way of education.

I actually admire them because even though most of them are already successful in their respective careers, they still have the heart and determination to help the less fortunate by means of their craft. That is why I am featuring them and not just the song in this article for they deserve all the credits.


Song and featured image are not a property of this blog/website. Credits goes to the artists and organization involved.

12 Life, Seen As A Body Of Water

Everyday we have to deal with things that gives us joy, inspirations, stress, sadness that whether we like it or not, defines our personality and who we are. A beginning in which we do not know how it started but believed it was there, a present that we try to make the best of because we can dictate how it goes and a future that we fill with hope and only exist in our mind. This is what I call “Life”, a journey from a time we know but haven’t seen, yet we believe because we are experiencing it now, and hoping to leave a legacy of our own in days to come before it ends.

sea in between 2How do you see your life? I see mine like a body of water – coming from a place I don’t know but knew it’s presence. When I think about life now, I can define it as to what I see but if I try to look beyond, there is more to it.

pier smearedLike a body of water, it has its ups and downs, serenity and storm, smear and cleanliness that we still love and cherish.

 Alcatraz 2Like a body of water defined by shades of color, dark because it’s deep and light because it’s shallow – always unpredictable but still we get to sail on it as we move on.

Bay Bridge 2Like a body of water that represents 75% of the world we live in, our life also relies on 75% of body fluids to survive.

lakeview 2Like a body of water that is only beautiful if we accept it as it is, go with the flow, because it is meant to be.

0 Food Review – Sushi Ichi (Authentic Japanese Restaurant)

My wife and I are fond of trying different cuisines for we do like to eat outside oftentimes during weekends (because it is our day of relaxation after a week-long stress). After coming from an exhibit we visited, we thought to try this Japanese Restaurant called “Sushi Ichi” about a couple of miles from our place. We’ve heard that this restaurant serves authentic Japanese food and since we haven’t eaten any Japanese food for a while, we have decided to give it a try.

We arrive at the vicinity around 5:20 PM and luckily was able to find a parking spot near the restaurant. The parking lot is is a private lot which is average in size and shared by a few establishments. I’m guessing that during at night this is full as most of the establishments here were restaurants.

Inside the Restaurant Reserved Upon entering the store, I was somewhat surprised because I was not expecting it to be small (approximately 7 tables and a Bar) yet I find it very clean and well organized. The waiter greeted us and I have noticed that all the tables were “Reserved” except for one, which is a good thing because we were seated at that last table that wasn’t reserved. I later realized that before coming here, you have to call first for reservation because if you are unlucky you don’t have a chance to sit and eat (which in our case, we were lucky to have the last spot). It seems that this place is frequented by patrons as the waiter asked us if this was our first time here and I also noticed that they already knew some of the guests.

 

 

Upon seating, he gave us the menu and while deciding on what to order, he asked us what drinks do we want and we just ordered 2 Sodas. On the menu, you will find the typical Japanese foods that you normally would see on other restaurants, so in this case we were somewhat familiar (although not an expert) with some of the foods they offer.

 

 

Miso Soup

 

 

We first ordered a Miso Soup, this is a must for me, it is as if my meal won’t be complete without this. Their Miso Soup is ok, I am actually not expecting more since (as far as I know) this serves only as an appetizer before eating the main dish.

 

 

 

 

 

Yellowtail and Salmon Sushi For our main dish, we ordered the Yellowtail Sushi ($6.50) and Salmon Sushi ($6.00)which comes in pairs, perfect for couples. We waited probably around 5 mins. for it to be prepared by their Sushi Chef at the bar. When I ate my piece of the Yellowtail Sushi, I should say, I was really satisfied. Unlike other Japanese restaurants, the Yellowtail Sushi here tastes really good and fresh. It doesn’t tastes too fishy but instead there was a pinch of sweetness on the fishmeat and you will notice the texture to be firm and not saggy nor slimy. This goes along with the Salmon Sushi, both having the same quality.

 

Spicy Tuna and California Roll

 

Next we ordered the Spicy Tuna Roll ($5.50) and the California Roll ($5.00). This are the traditional rolls that you can find in any Japanese restaurants and to my surprise when I ate them, I don’t know if I am just hungry or it really tastes different. It is tasty and flavorful not a typical bland roll that I am used to.

 

 

 

Fresh Salmon Roe We were already full but we have decided to try a one last sushi flavor and we ordered the Salmon Roe Sushi. The waiter asked us if we would like to try the chef recommended or the normal one. We asked what is the difference and he said the Chef recommended is a fresh Roe while the normal is not(probably came from a bottle). Since the difference is only two dollars, we decided to get the Fresh Salmon Roe ($8.00). As expected, it was not disappointing, it was fresh indeed.

 

 

All in all, my experience here is great. Customer service is great as they were all accommodating and courteous (they even said goodbye in Japanese – all of them). Food was really fresh and served at a normal pace. The only thing that might hurt you is the price because it was somewhat expensive, although they reciprocate it with the quality of food and service. I recommend this place to anyone who would want to try an authentic Japanese food.

 

Sushi Ichi is located at 633 South Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena, CA 91105. Reservation is a must and their Tel. Number is 1-626-395-9977. Their operating hours are Mon-Fri 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM / 5:00 PM – 9:30 PM and Saturday only 5:00 PM – 9:30 PM. They accept credit cards for payments. If you have a toddler with you, you might not try this place since I don’t see any hi-chairs around.

8 Hot Air Balloons (Citrus Classic Balloon Festival – Part 2)

As promised, here is the 2nd part of the article about the Citrus Classic Balloon Festival that was held last July 26 – July 28, 2013. If you have missed the first part of the article, you can also see “An Amazing Car Show (Citrus Classic Balloon Festival -Part 1)”, to give you an idea of what happened earlier that day.

We were really excited because the time has come for the main reason why we’re there – the Hot Air Balloons! So upon seeing that one by one the trucks that carries the different balloons were entering, we went to the center field and look for a spot where we can view the balloons from afar. We still waited for 2 more hours because the schedule says that the show will start at 8:00 PM( and it was only past 6 PM that time), so while waiting we decided to grab a couple more snacks and enjoy chatting while sitting on the grass.

Finally, the long wait is over, the announcer at the stage announced that the event will start. I was really very curious on how they will set-up the balloons and would like to see it up-close so I told my wife that I would get near the balloons and take some photos of it. So upon reaching the balloons, here are some photos of what I have seen:

 

Balloon Festival 3

 

 

Deflated and scattered on the grass, making sure everything was in place.

 

 

 

Balloon Cockpit

 

 

This is the big basket for the passenger laying on the ground beside a big fan. The fan will be used to blow air inside the balloon initially before using the blow torch.

 

 

Getting Ready

 

 

Two ladies holding both ends while the fan is being used to blow air inside the balloon.

 

 

 

 

Inflating the Balloon Inflating the Balloon 2

Slowly the balloon is filled with air. Good thing the persons responsible for the balloons were kind enough to let us get near as long as you don’t hinder what they are doing.

 

 

Inside the Balloon

 

 

But I still managed to sneak my camera inside the balloon and took a photo when I had the chance.

 

 

 

 

 

Flame On Flame On 2

Flame On 3 Flame On 4

 

And it’s time for the “Blow Torch” to do its job. It was really nice to see the happenings this up close because of the excitement it brings.

 

 

 

 

Balloon Festival 4

 

 

I have decided to go back to where my family’s at and see the other balloons from there.

 

 

 

 

Balloon Festival Balloon Festival 2

It was really fun and nice to see the different colors and designs of the balloons especially when they blew their blow torches at the same time. It was already dark and you can see the sky filled with colorful lights as the blow torches emits their flames.

We were really satisfied and thankful to be here in this festival. My son was so amazed and you can see his face light up while watching the balloons. Since this is a yearly event, we might return and do this again next year, as we know, we don’t get to experience this everyday.

1 An Amazing Car Show (Citrus Classic Balloon Festival -Part 1)

Summertime is Festival Time! Last weekend, after eating at the oldest restaurant in Los Angeles, we traveled to Santa Paula, CA to attend the 6th Annual Citrus Classic Balloon Festival. This is a 3-day event which started last July 26 – July 28,2013. We decided to go on a Saturday since most of the activities will be held on this day including the Glow N’ Show Car Show aside from the main event which is the Hot Air Balloon Show. This is going to be a 2-part article so that I will be able to share with you the details of each event.

We arrived at the venue around 2:00 PM (since it was a 1.5 hr road trip from LA with traffic) just in time for the Car Show. The weather was great, it was sunny and yet the cool wind breeze balances the heat. Upon checking in at the ticket booth, we went on right ahead to the entrance and you can already see the line of cars being showcased at the festival. I was so overwhelmed because of the different models and makes of the cars shown, there were vintage cars and even modern cars. I was actually surprised because I did not expect that a lot of cars will be participating in this event, I think approximately 100 cars were present.

.

The venue was remarkable, it’s a big open field that can accommodate lots of stalls for food, bazaars, kiddie rides and playground and also a stage for live performances.

Open FieldOpen Field 2 Kid's Corner Kid's Corner 2Kid's Corner 3 Bubble RollerLive Act

One filler for the whole day festival is the sky dive, my son was actually amazed to see a man landing on the ground with a parachute. It was a first time for him to see one, seeing him smile made my day, it was totally worth it.

Sky Dive
It’s so nice to see everyone having fun, especially the kids playing on the kid’s corner. It was really a family fun-filled event and we are glad to be a part of it.

By 6:00 PM they concluded the car show and started clearing off the field. My guess was, this is where they are going to set-up the balloons and I was right since one by one the crews responsible for balloon set-ups were slowly entering the gate. I shall share with you the Hot Air Balloon Show on the part 2 of this article this week. I do hope that you will look forward to it because I am also excited to share the photos and things I have experienced to you guys.

7 Eating At The Oldest Restaurant In Los Angeles

Main Entrance Who loves sandwiches?! I know for a fact that I do and recently I have visited a sandwich restaurant here in Los Angeles. Normally, I share reviews during weekends but I have decided that this time I will share my experience in eating at one of Los Angeles’ landmarks, Philippe The Original. I will tell you a brief history of this establishment, it’s actually one of the oldest restaurants here in Southern California, established in 1908 by Philippe Mathieu. Being famous for its “French Dipped Sandwiches”, it was said that Mr. Mathieu accidentally dropped one slice of a french roll in a roasting pan that is filled with juice. Instead of throwing the slice, a customer said that it was ok and he would take that slice anyway. The customer liked it and returned the next day with some friends thus, giving birth to a tradition which is now called the “French Dipped Sandwich”.

Inside the restaurant 4 Front Counter 2

Front Counter 1 Front Counter 4 My wife and I have been planning on going to Philippe’s in such a while and last Saturday we have decided that this will be the time to take a visit since it’s brunch time and as to what I have heard this place is usually packed during lunch hours. We arrived at the place at around 10:30 am and I think it was a perfect time because there were still a few seats left although you can notice that people are building up already. After finding a seat, I went to fall in line just in front of the counter and was actually satisfied with how fast the server can attend to customers (I guess she’s used to serving a long line).

 

Lamb Sandwich I ordered the Lamb Sandwich, knowing that this is one of their bestsellers aside from the Beef Sandwich which is what my wife want. I got our son an apple pie which is for a fact one of the kid’s friendly food. As expected, since the lady at the counter is fast in tending to her customers, our food was ready in a short while. I was really ready to devour and YES! devour was the term I used because I was really hungry and excited (but still managed to take a pic to share with you guys, hehehe) to taste for the first time this sandwich which was actually a “talk of the town”.

Lamb Sandwich upcloseKnowing that they also offer their own home-made mustard sauce which is a must to be partnered with their sandwich, I started eating my sandwich. So here is my thought on the Lamb Sandwich, it was actually good but not to a point that I will get crazy over it. I was somewhat expecting a bit more of it from what I have heard from friends and saw from other reviews as well. All in all, if you will ask me about the Lamb Sandwich, I liked it and will still order it if I come to eat here again.

 

Beef Sandwich

 

 

I also tasted the Beef Sandwich which my wife ordered, as she gave me the half of her sandwich in exchange of quarter of mine. I like the Lamb Sandwich better as the meat is more flavorful compared to the beef one.

 

Beef Sandwich upclose

 

 

The texture of the meats were good, they were juicy and easy to chew (probably because of the dipped bread). I can’t explain the flavor of the dip but all I can say is, it’s unique and actually blend the flavors of the meats used, although it’s not that distinct in my opinion, the sandwich wouldn’t work without the dip.

 

 

 

After finishing my meal, I took some more photos of the place while waiting for my family to finish their meal. I was really amused by how rich this place is pertaining to memories.

 

Memorabilia Corner Memorabilia Corner 2 Memorabilia Corner 3 Memorabilia Corner 4

 

It has its own corner for it’s memorabilia of famous persons that came to dine here.

 

 

Sawdust Floors

 

 

You will also notice that the floors were filled with sawdust to let you mesmerize and imagine the simplicity and casualness of the place.

 

 

 

 

Inside the restaurant 3 Inside the restaurant

Inside the restaurant 5

 Looking around, you will see some old photos hanging by the wall showing its heritage and history. You will also see some baseball jerseys hanging by the wall as it was known that this was a place were people go after watching a Dodgers game or perhaps after playing baseball.

 

 

 

Weighing Machine

 

 

Upon thinking to myself, I realized that it’s actually not just the taste of food which makes this place outstanding and great, but instead it was those memories and traditions built and made since it was established. Those memories is what makes this restaurant survive the times and be well known. Now I know why their food tastes great, because it has an ingredient that no other restaurants have.

 

 

 

If you’re planning to visit this place, it is located at 1001 N Alameda St  Los Angeles, CA 90012. Open everyday starting from 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM. Mode of payment is CASH Only. They have their own parking lot so parking won’t be a problem.

2 An Afternoon Trip to the Farmer’s Market

organic1 organic4It was a Thursday afternoon, having a good weather and the craving for some unique pastry, my wife and I decided to visit the South Pasadena Farmer’s Market. There is never a bad time in visiting this place because of the friendly atmosphere, lots of fun activities, clean street foods of different specialties and culture and most of all fresh-organic fruits and vegetables that you can buy.

 

The venue is located at the Meridian Avenue and El Centro just adjacent to Metro Gold Line Station in South Pasadena. They closed down the intersection of both streets every Thursdays at 4pm. Finding the place is easy as it is at the heart of the small town, the only problem that you will encounter here is looking for a parking space. Since this is also a residential area, street parking is the only option for its patrons. There are a few small parking lots that you can use if you’re lucky enough.

 

organic2 organic3 spices 1 spices 2 Samples

As you enter the market, you will find different varieties of food that are being sold under the tent stalls like organic fruits and vegetables, different spices and even breads. There is also a sample table for the fruits that they sell that looks like a salad bar.

 

 

food court

 If you get hungry strolling around or if you want to take home some foods for your family, there is also a part of the farmer’s market that looks like a food court where you can find different foods that you won’t normally see at home nor at a few fancy restaurant.

 

 

 

 

menu pupusa

 

An example of this is the “Pupusas” , a grilled pastry filled with meat of your choice. I ordered Pork-Beans & cheese and Beef & Cheese with a matching Raspberry Lemonade, a very good combination on this mild-hot weather.

 

 

 

children's place

If you have little ones tagged along with you, there is also a place at the side that looks like a park where families gather around and have some picnics. This is also a spot where the children play with other kids or watch a person making animals with balloons. On this spot, you can also have some good relaxing music from street performer’s at the front.

 

 

 

This place may be crowded a little bit, but it doesn’t matter because nothing beats the experience of not having a dull moment whenever you’re here.

0 Drifter – Song Cover by Kenny Cook(McLeansboro FGBC)

I have another featured song to share with you guys and this time it is a Christian rock ballad. It was originally sung by DecembeRadio and is actually one of my favorite Christian songs. I was searching for this song entitled Drifter which led me to this awesome cover by McLeansboro FGB Church and sang by Kenny Cook. I was truly grateful for finding this amazing cover because I have been looking for a cover of this song that has a different twist from the original and it was really good.

This song tells us a story of making mistakes, being alone and confused as a person and still able to pull the best in us because we can by God’s grace.


This blog or website does not intend to reproduce nor make a profit out of the featured song. This featured song is for the purpose of entertainment and information only.

6 Achieve Life With Less Regrets

There are so many things in life that we often ignore, give too much attention, adapt and neglect that makes it very complex. We usually say that “everything happens for a reason” but what do we actually mean by that? Is it just our way to justify all the things that we don’t intend? Or perhaps a manner of self-denial to things we cannot accept? I, too, cannot answer these questions but yet have a thought to symbolize this way of thinking, this is what I call “Regret”. I cannot say that at this age of mine I already have plenty of regrets because (I am still on my 30’s) I still have time to reverse or do what is necessary. So at this point in time, it comes to my mind that I might regret a few things in the future if I don’t do something about it.

 

  • I might regret not doing the things I wished I have done.

She

At this point, all I can think of are my dreams – a house of my own, a career that I will love and enjoy, and being the best person that I can be. These things are all possible depending on my decisions and ways I have to do in life. I am sure that we oftentimes have to take risks to reach a goal or we can say that things would not be that easy. The good thing about this is, we tried, it may not result to things we want but at least we tried and did our best – all the way we can, to achieve our goal. This will nullify this part of regret because we have the answer to our “what ifs”.

 

  • I might regret doing the things that I shouldn’t have.

"The Bean"

Even though we are still young, it doesn’t mean that we don’t care about the things that we have done when we were younger.  It is normal for a human being to commit mistakes because that is where we learn things to be better. That is how we mature and later on becomes a basis of how to handle and face life. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that we leave the tracks of the past because I am sure it will certainly hunt us in the future, for having said that committing mistakes are normal alongside with it comes having a conscience is also a part of being human. That is the good thing about now because we can still do something to clean and straighten those mistakes so let’s grab that opportunity to avoid having this regret.

 

  •  I might regret not using my TIME.

Frustrations

It’s simple, we still have the strength and we still have the time to explore and do all the things that we can do, maximize ourselves and enjoy life. Try to do it in a way that others would love to do it with us. This is what we call “harmony” – make our lives a living music, a living melody.

 

These are just simple thoughts that we might encounter as we go on in life,  give it a thought then we can say that a fulfilled life is a life achieved with minimal or less regrets and hopefully no regrets at all.


Featured image used courtesy of korafotomorgana – flickr

2 Food Review – O Dae San

My wife and I obviously love food and we see to it that every weekend, we go out and try some of the well-known restaurants here in Los Angeles. So let me ask you, are you fond of grilled, fresh foods that will be cooked in front of you? If yes, let me share with you our experiences and review in this Korean BBQ restaurant near Central LA called O Dae San. You can find many restaurants here with the same format but we chose this due to the fact that most of our friends recommend that we try it.

 Outdoor Menu

We arrived at around noon, so we were expecting a lot of people here since it is already lunchtime and it is also a Saturday but I guess we were wrong. As soon as we arrived we were greeted by a valet attendant and were instructed to leave the keys and just proceed to the entrance of the restaurant which we immediately comply. Upon entering the door we were greeted by one of their waiters and asked us how many persons, we told him two but we requested if we can sit by the couch-like bench since our son is still asleep. He was somewhat hesitant because the tables with couches were assigned for group guests which I totally understand but the owner was kind enough to say that it was ok and instructed his crew to place us on our desired table (which I am really grateful off).

 

 

Dining Area

 

So we were seated at the first bench on the left side and we were given our menus. I will say that I like the ambiance of the place, everything was clean and shiny even the grill in front of us looks very clean and I will definitely not hesitate to cook my food here. There is a TV set in front although too bad the show was Korean and I can’t understand but it’s ok because I came here to eat anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

food 1

 

We ordered the lunch special which consists of 2 slices of pork bellies, lots of pork briskets and lots of side dishes and white rice. It didn’t take too long for the waiter to serve our food and he was even kind to assist us in placing our raw food at the grill.

 

 

 

 

KimchiWhile waiting for the briskets and pork bellies to be cooked, I already started eating some of the side dish appetizers. I should say these are authentic Korean recipes because of the taste, flavors and manner they were prepared.  I started with the Kimchi which is one of my favorites, although not all like this because of the texture and the smell but for me, you are not in a Korean restaurant if there is no Kimchi. I should say it was rightfully seasoned and prepared, not to spicey and definitely not tangey. Vegetables are somewhat crispy, which I was actually surprised, because I know they have to be fermented for a couple of days before serving. My say to this is, it was ok, nothing special, it tastes as what I have expected.

 

 

 

side dishes1

I didn’t try all of them and just tried those that I am not familiar with. Next is the white Jelly thing with chili sauce, I asked our server (which was really kind) about this side dish and he was grateful enough to tell me the name and where it was made of. He said it is called “Mung Bean Jelly” made of fat-free and sugar-free starch. To tell you the truth, I actually liked it. The chili sauce, which only has a pinch of spiciness’ in it, added a distinctive flavor to it which made it special. I shall say it was really good. Another side dish that they have was the steamed broccoli that has sesame oil flavor in it. I am actually familiar with broccoli and butter but this one was actually great.

 

 

 

 

Omelette soup

 

They also have this Omelet Soup that was cooked nice, although it became dry in the end probably because the egg and heat has sucked up all the liquid in it. I should say, it was ok, but nothing out of the ordinary.

 

 

 

main dish

 

So immediately, when we noticed that the meats were already cooked, we started eating the main dish. It was ok, not too salty nor bland but I can say that it was good. It might not be the best but I am satisfied.

 

 

Overall, food was fine and suits its price for $9.99 per person. If you will ask me, if I will come back and eat here again, I will say yes, since I had a fun and good experience. It might not be the best but with the price, I shall say it is worth it.

For more info on O Dae San, you can click here for their website.