Random Venus’ Top Picks ft. Baby Shutter (Samsung PL20)

July is when I met my baby shutter. It wasn’t love at first sight though because I was dreaming for a different camera. I bought this for 3 reasons:

  1. It’s less expensive compare to my dream camera which was the Samsung NX200
  2. It’s 14MP which is close to some DSLR with 16MP.
  3. And of course, it’s SAMSUNG!

I became a huge fan of Samsung since my first Samsung phone which was Wave GT8500. I love that phone so much because although compared to other phones with higher specs and popularity, that phone can do more than what I have ever expected. It can read doc files and I’m so lovin’ the camera because of its ability to capture what my eyes wants to. Okay ‘naf of the dramas. And you might ask where did that phone go? It’s a secret. Hahaha! But to make it short, it’s no longer with me.

This camera is the memory (lol) of my previous company.

I love this baby so much I can’t give up on it yet. It’s not perfect like DSLR or cameras with higher specs. But it just takes a little bit of edit here and there… adjustments her and there and my photos are good to go!

Here are my top picked photos that my baby shutter took. Hope you’ll like them too. ;)

The specs I love about her (and yeh, she’s a she.J ):

5X Zoom: Samsung Zoom Lens extends up to 27mm (Though sometimes, especially when the lighting is bad the contrast and the pixel of the photo losses.)

14 Mega Pixels

Smart Settings Feature

Normal AF and Macro Settings which is a good way for too distant and too near subjects.

Happy Clicking!

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RIL* Part 2: Holy Trinity Shrine & San Vicente Ferrer

*Religiously In Love

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After the visit to the miraculous Mama Mary of Simala, my Mom’s friend invited us over for lunch at their house in San Fernando. I didn’t expect such a surprise to their house because I thought they’re living at the town proper. And voila! Great surprises are great!

We were picked up at the church by Aunt Jocy and her future-son-in-law. We rode a motorcycle going there and wasn’t aware that we’re heading up to the hills until I saw the scene in front of me. When I looked behind me, I was so amazed that I couldn’t help but say “woah!” as the landscape grows even more wonderful in front of my eyes.

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After lunch, Aunt Jocy toured us at the Mount Calvary at Holy Trinity Shrine. It was a perfect day to visit the Calvary hill because it was cloudy. No heat of the sun. But not also pouring. It feels so great to visit such a Calvary hill. The one I’ve visited in Leyte when I was there for the Holy week was far dull compared here. And still the breath-taking scenery from the hill won’t blur in your eyes because it’s marvelously beautiful!

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The visit at San Vicente Ferrer is mainly just to pray and give thanks for the day that was given to us. And it has been a tradition in the family that whenever we visit a place new to us, we should drop by at the church to give thanks for the bestowed and blessed day.

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Thank you Auntie Jocy and her Mom for the invitation and for the warm-very-familiar welcome! Until the next visit! xxx

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RIL*: The Weeping Mama Mary

*Religiously In Love

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A castle built at the hills of Simala, Sibonga, surrounded by high and strong walls of love and armed with faith.

A religious castle  so enchanting, miraculous and beautiful; this is how I could best describe the place, but if there are other even more astonishing-perfect words that can describe it, they’re out of my head for I am truly out of words to describe Marian Hills until now.

Located at the highlands of Barangay Lindogan of Simala, in the poblacion of Sibonga, Cebu Marian Hills Church is built in 1999 during the Dengue phenomenon in the place. Built and founded by the Marian Monks after the first apparition of Mama Mary in 1998.

If you’d ask the people living in this place especially the elder one’s, they’d describe the place as nothing but hills back then. In fact the place before has problems with water and they’ve strive to survive, even more when the people of Simala were hit by Dengue in 1999. But soon enough they’ve recovered because of a miracle: Mama Mary had shed tears right before the eyes of the Monks. This was already predicted by an elder man somewhere in the 60’s. But the people didn’t believe for the man is old and thought this was just some ageing issues, until the Monks have seen it.

There were a lot of times also that the people have witnessed such miracles. In 1998, Mama Mary’s statue has shed tears 4 times excluding the first shedding of tears in September of that year. And on September 8, 1999 which was her birthday, the same statue has shed tears. Until now Mama Mary continue with her miracles. Thousands of Filipinos; Cebuano and non-Cebuanos believe in the miracles that are happening. In fact you can even see it around the church: testimonials of the people who have witnessed the shedding of tears and appearances of Mama Mary on some photos, the blood that ran through the white candle and all the prayers and wishes that were answered- from board and bar exams to healing miracles.

I for one don’t believe in just miracle. My formula for a miracle is: MIRACLE= HARD WORK + SCIENCE/EXPERIENCE * FAITH (self and God)2. But these people probably could prove me that miracle with faith alone is possible!

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TIPS IN VISITING THE MIRACULOUS MAMA MARY:

  1. Wear comfy flats or slippers. The renovation of the church is still on progress. But you’d definitely want to have a walk at the east wing of the castle.  And yes, I could not just describe it as a regular church because of its structure and design. And walking in high heels can be a challenge, especially in ascending and descending the stairs.
  2. I quote: “When God builds a church, a demon would build his chapel around”. So don’t ever believe in those people who would sell you some miraculous water or etc., because honestly the church does not sell them.
  3. Did I mention, DON’T wear boots or shoes that could be difficult to remove? I was wearing my favorite fringe booties when we visited Marian Hills and I had a hard time untying and removing them when I get there. You’ll be asked to remove your foot wear before entering the part of the castle where you could have a closer encounter with the miraculous mother.
  4. Dress decode: Follow the church’s dress code. No mini-skirt, leggings, sleeveless and strap-less and revealing clothes. If so, you won’t be allowed by the guards to enter the church.
  5. NO PICTURE TAKING at Mama Mary’s altar! And some people either cannot see the sign under the bridge of the altar or just ignoring it. Your visit’s main purpose should be to pray and not to just take pictures because this is a place for prayer and not for photo shoot! 99.9% you can disturb the people who are praying especially when you’re camera’s flash is turned on.
  6. PEN & PAPER. Prayers have answered. Letters have read. And if you’re grateful and generous enough, drop off a letter for Mama Mary. You could either write it before you get there or an impromptu like ours.
  7. You could also bring some food if you want to spend the entire day there. There are cottages at the main gate along the path way going to the church for re-creation or gatherings. Rest rooms are also available inside.
  8. If you wish to kiss Mama Mary’s statue, get there as early as you can. Main gates are open at 8am. And if you don’t want to spend longer hours in the line of devotees be there early.
  9. MAKE A WISH for they really come true! Just BELIEVE.

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HOW TO GET THERE:

Private/Personal vehicle:

(A). From the city proper, take a southern drive going Sibonga. It’s easy to detect if you’re already in the town. Look for the Simala Municipal Hall, in front of it is the Simala Church. Drive around 100 kilometers forward (or even more, sorry can’t really calculate the distance and I didn’t see signs). There is a little corner where you could enter to take the drive to the highlands. You could spot this corner, because there are vehicles and drivers around. -> You need to drive up for another around 200km or more. Actually you won’t be lost getting there because there are a lot people around whom you could ask and a lot of vehicles on the way.

(B) Call a van and hire them. It’s easier, right?

Public Transportation:

(A) via BUS  [Fare table below]

> Take a bus from the South Terminal (Colon, Cebu City beside e-Mall) bounding Sibonga. Just inform the “kon-doktor” to drop you off in Simala.

> You will be dropped off at the corner going to the church. You could choose to ride a tricycle or a motor-bike.

*Amounts are based on Philippine Peso

South Terminal – Sibonga

65.00

Sibonga – Simala

 

20.00 / 30.00 (from Simala Church)

(B) via VAN

There are van and bus companies that offer service directly from Cebu to Marian Hills and vice versa.  Though am not sure if they’re for contact or not because we went there via bus.

A visit to Marian Hills is really amazing! When my eyes roamed around the church and the castle I was enticed by its unexplainable power that made my eyes wet and my heart trembling with over-joy. The after-visit feeling was so peaceful, incredible and magnificent!

**More photos**

Your random Venus writes her own letter to Mama Mary! ;)

Your random Venus writes her own letter to Mama Mary! ;)

P.S

I don’t want to overwhelm this post. But we actually had 3 church visits on that Sunday, June 16. Mom’s friend invited us for lunch and we passed by Holy Trinity Shrine and San Vicente Ferrer Church. They’ll be in a separate post. ;) xxx

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Lee Min Ho: My Everything 1st Debut Album Released!

Korean Superstar Lee Min Ho released his first debut album on May 24, 2013. This is due to popular demand. The fans had been requesting him to release an album since he started singing on tours and some shows.

Photo from JPopAsia

Answering to his fans desire, Lee Min Ho released an album entitled My Everything. This didn’t honestly surprise me, because he released singles in the past: My Everything in 20009 and Extreme for Cass 2X Beer Commercial in the same year .

The album contains 7 tracks including the song My Everything. This album is dedicated of course to his fans. JPopAsia said: “The actor’s new album serves as fan service rather than a serious attempt to debut as a singer.” Though it’s more like JUST FOR FANS and not to seriously get into the music industry, Lee Min Ho DIDN’T JUST sing. The actor (now a recording artist) worked with Korean Producer Hwang Chan Hee who has worked with various artists. And I must admit, I like the album as a whole:  the reason behind the release and the track listing.

I can also say that the album contains different genres. He didn’t just focus on Pop and Ballad. My favorite, Pieces of Love has a rock-ish element on it. On his song My Everything, his vocals sounds different to my ears. What I mean by different is, it got better. Except that I prefer how he pronounced MY EVERYTHING before.  But pronunciation don’t matter because for fans this release means a lot (like A LOT) to them.

What’s next for Lee Min Ho? Dance Floor heart-throb?  We could hardly tell.

But what’s in? For this year, Min Ho will have an Asian Tour, and it includes Philippines! No wonder my sister is saving up again. Seems like they didn’t have enough (and will never get enough) of Lee Min Ho after his Manila visit last November 2012 for #GlobalBenchSetter.

*Info Source: http://www.jpopasia.com/news/lee-min-ho-to-release-first-album-my-everything-tour-across-asia::13987.html

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Breakfast at Gapo. But why I wasn’t happy?

A beach stretching to the pacific ocean? Find one in Gapo Beach!

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Only a few kilometers away from the town proper, Gapo beach is another pride of Gamay…. Or if you would allow me to say, it used to be.

I am just very-VERY disappointed after this excursion we had one early morning.

On the photos you’ll see nothing but beauty. Well it really is beautiful… watching the sun rises and rays are striking unto the ocean… the water so cold… sea breeze so relaxing and you’ll hear nothing but trees swaying into the rhythm of the air and the waves singing.  Amazingly beautiful, right?

But what’s the horror? Beauty has it’s beast behind.

You see, I only took a snap of the seas, but you never get to see what’s behind me.

You’ll never believe that a beach, natural and undeveloped is NO LONGER A VIRGIN! Tell you why: One main reason, it became a dump site of wastes from around the town. I saw horror! Something, I didn’t expect when I was still younger.

When it was the time of Mayor Gomba, or was Mayor Odol Capoquian? There used to be a permanent dump site meters away from the beach. This is IF my memory serves me right. And IF not, Gamaynons, BE MY JUDGE. I would be humble to stand corrected.

This couldn’t be what I should be talking about in my blog, because one thing, I should be PROUD of what we have. But the people is destroying it breaking my heart! And it really pains me to see how dirty the beach  had become. My family used to enjoy it here. Now where would we spend our reunions and special occasions? Sure we can opt to use the house, which in fact we have been doing by the way for the past few years. But what if we want to celebrate somewhere; a place where we used to laugh, talk about those days and what’s in the future? Should a neighborhood town’s BETTER beaches save us? It definitely would be a SHAME!

I hope that this will make Gamaynons: ordinary citizens or government officials realize how terrible it is to see a pride turning to be an ugly one and how horrifying  it is to imagine it as the DISGRACE our our beloved hometown.

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P.S. Pardon my frustration and disappointment. Only to realize that my photos has “GAMAY MAHUSAY!” on it, which means Beautiful Gamay. What can I say? An early morning post written on the spot. Now you know that I edit my shots first before expressing my thoughts.

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Precious Moments Garden

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After the stressful election, mom and my aunt decided to go somewhere and chill out. It isn’t  planned at all, because initially we were dreaming for Brgy. San Antonio’s beach. But one Sunday morning, out of the blues Mom asked my younger siblings and cousins if they wanted to go to PMG (Precious Moments Garden). The kids didn’t think twice and screamed yes right then and there.

Located at the tip of the town, PMG is a haven. You can pass by this place before reaching one of the prides of  Gamay: the Nabunglayan rock formation.

My younger siblings and cousins enjoyed the playground and the mini-zoo. While Mom, Ate Lorna, cousin Cha and I enjoyed the karaoke until 4 in the afternoon. It felt like it was our very own concert. Haha!

Such activities can be done in this place. At around 4pm, when the sun is not already blazing, we decided to go kayaking… actually, just them because I was afraid of getting wet. KJ time! :D But I had fun watching the little ones having their various hilarious moments with the water and with each other.

A-BIT-OF-THING: Have to walk 50 meters from the garden to their port if you want to enjoy the sea. I guess a little renovation or touch up there can do magic and can turn the place really amazing. Because they’re using their port, it wouldn’t be nice for foreign guests to go swimming and kayaking with the huge ships around.

Allow me to mention the food. We had Pancit Bihon and it was ok. We also had fried chicken which became obviously the favorite of everyone. ;) As for the Tinolang Bangus, I guess if not for the bitter taste because of the fish’s internal organs, it could have been a one delicious tinola. But then again, we somehow enjoyed the food.

PMG also offers catering services for different events and gatherings. Also they have a little place for overnight spenders; for for those who want to enjoy the night far from the “sort of busy” town. At only 500php (Philippine Peso), a room is yours for 24 hours, and the surprise?  Room rates are based on per room, not per hour or per head. Can be a steal, right? And let me also commend the really nice and warm staffs. It might be because Gamaynons are hospitable by nature.

After experiencing the place, no more wonder for me if it became an instant favorite in town. PMG is such a cool place. A bit of touch ups here and there will definitely make the place even more amazing.

Precious Moments Garden

LOCATION: J.Balena Ent. Compound, Brgy. Baybay, Gamay N. Samar

ENTRANCE FEE: P50/head (includes a snack | Five years and older children are required to pay in regular rate)

GARDEN HOURS: 8AM-5PM ONLY

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Week028: Party Lights

Party lights by Random Venus

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The Best of Random Venus’ Childhood

Howdy!

My weekly list has been in a little hiatus.

The past few months has been a challenge for me. But I’ll soon get the hang of everything.. the language, the lifestyle and all that. But here I am sitting in front of the computer and just reminiscing the good old childhood days- blame my two wave mates who are huge fans of Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera. ;)

They’d say you don’t have a good childhood if you don’t know Spice Girls, Christina Aguilera and all the best of the 90’s and 2000’s era. Well… I would STRONGLY AGREE! haha!

My childhood was amazing! I was a Scary Spice wannabe then.  Brian Mcfadden was my dream boy, until I met Aaron Carter. :D And I think I could still do the dance steps from some of Britney’s MVs. Chos! :P

Here are the top picks that when played never fail to bring back the amazing young-er years:

And my very favorite…

And yes, I could still memorize the lyrics… and some of the dance steps of Genie in a bottle. haha!

If only my whole childhood playlist could fit in one entry, but of course I don’t want to stress you guys out with all of them. So let me just share my top 5 then. :D

What’s your favorite childhood playlist?

 

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Week027: Colorless Bloom

Colorless Bloom by Random VenusMy Baby Shutter is turning one this week. And I am thinking of sharing to you guys my top picks of my loves, because I’m a proud mama! ;)

 

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Week026: 5PM

Week026

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Fall in Love all over again with 2ne1’s latest single!

A big come back after a year of being held up? Probably not… yet! But wait for it…

YG Entertainment has announced that 2ne1 will have its single releases starting July to October of this year. And the new single “Falling In Love” is dropped to get the insane-hopefully-awesome releasing started before the big album!

The MV and the song is really cool- to start off. Allow me to enumerate what I love about this new single and probably point what I don’t like but not really hate, eh? ;)

Here we go…

The MV: I super love the cool summer inspired of the music video! And do I have to mention how good looking and charming our favorite girls are in those summer-inspired outfits keeping their fierceness while showing off their sort-a innocent charms? Or do I really make sense in pointing this out?  :D

The SONG:  The Reggae-influenced song is really cool! It added a new taste and twist to the usual genre and singing style of the girls. I just love the beat and the song as a whole. This definitely reminds me of summer!

Only a thing that I don’t like about the song,is how they made Dara’s voice too much of auto-tune. ;( l I like how they were able to keep their style but I don’t feel like liking the auto-tune on Dara’s lines. I don’t hate it either. There’s a difference between un-liking and hating it. Okay? ;)

Nevertheless, I’m still falling in love to this song! The fans are really looking forward to these monthly releases and the album. Exciting? Yes? Of course it is! :)

[Sources: Billboard.com | facebook.com/2ne1 | youtube.com/2ne1 ]

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KElectroPop Favorite: Humming Urban Stereo

Electro Pop music has its very addicting vibe.  And Humming Urban Stereo isn’t just some other indie artist!

 

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This Korean Electro Pop artist is surprisingly a band, though it only consist of Lee Jeereen who’s talent to music is outstanding, and some random female guest vocals who’s voices are too sweet it blends well to Lee’s arrangements.

Humming Urban Stereo is founded by Lee Jeereen in 2004. The most common vocals and is considered part of the band is Shina-E. Humming girl also was part of the band before she left to study in Japan and died in March 2012.

I met this band somewhere 2011 and got easily hooked with their songs especially Baby Love, Banana Shake and Hawaiian Couple. And now these songs represents my other blog (Dear Crush) as the perk-me-up-make-me-fall-in-love-all-over-again songs.

Here are my top favorites:

LOVE JAM is from the 4th and most recent Album: SPARKLE which was released in November 2012.

BABY LOVE [Album: Baby Love in February 2009]

HAWAIIAN COUPLE [Album: Purple Drop in March 2006]

BANANA SHAKE [Album: Very very Nice! And Short Cake in January 2005]

지랄 (Ji-Ral) (Okay, English totally says this is somewhat a swear: “BS”. And reading the translations gives the title more sense. Click here to read the English Trans.) [Album: Baby Love in February 2009 ]

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Hello Minions!

My babies have found new friends!

Hell Minions

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Week: 025

Friendship

I miss-counted my weekly photos! *snap* Previous photo should be Week 024. Oh I…

 

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Week 024

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Taken at Mount Calvary, Holy Trinity Shrine, San Fernando, Cebu City.

Related Article here.

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Week 023: Sky Rise

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Crown Regency Hotel
Fuente Osmena Blvd. Cebu City
Philippines

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Moving On… Letting Go: The bitter-sweet way

“One day I’m gonna forget your name. One sweet day, you’re gonna drown in my lost pain.”

- Sweet Sacrifice, Evanescence

“Change, open your eyes to the light I denied it all so long, oh so long. Say goodbye, goodbye”

- My Heart Is Broken, Evanescence

“I will break these chains that bind me, happiness will find me. Leave the past behind me, today my life begins… I can make it, today my life begins.”

- Today My Life Begins, Bruno Mars

“oh life goes on and it’s only gonna make me strong”

- Life Goes On, LeAnn Rimes

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