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Am I Dreaming of a White Christmas?

Am I Dreaming of a White Christmas?

After almost a decade of seeing a Green Christmas and mild winters, finally we are going to have a White Christmas. True!  Mild weather is out and the colder weather is here.

It’s a welcome sight especially on the last day of school for students yesterday and start of Christmas Break and vacation on SNOW DAY although it didn’t come easy since it snowed followed by freezing drizzle and melted snow turned to ice, making driving and even walking on the sidewalks so dangerously slippery. It was a great time for skating though it was so cold and we had to bundle up (Winter coat, with scarf, hat and warm gloves).

At the Riverdale Park in Toronto the kids with their parents went tobogganing and enjoying the Snow Day. We had our first snow fall last week and it was still Autumn. Now that it is officially winter on the 21st of December, 2017, we are excited to get 5 to 10 cm of snow in the GTA. Hello old-man winter for 2017-2018. I can’t wait for Spring in 2018.

Last Christmas we almost had a White Christmas but all the snow that fell a few days before Christmas day melted because of the mild temperature that followed so it was still a green Christmas but this year, hopefully the snow stays around for Christmas Day, Yohoo!!!  White Christmas, a dream no more, it’s true and it’s here to stay.

Happy Holidays to ALL!

Can you believe it? My wish for a white Christmas comes true but ‘sometimes be careful for what you wish for’, so they say ‘because there will be some consequences to deal with!’ Yeah, that’s the truth. My wish is here and it’s a white Christmas BUT we got more snow, freezing temperatures, heavy snowfall and an icy blast from the windy snowstorm, a vortex effect!

Wowie! A Wish is a wish no matter what comes with it, we have to deal with it in such a way that makes us all happy not sad and that’s really bad. We can go skating or cross-country skiing and downhill tobogganing. I will leave the downhill skiing to the Olympians and athletes in this sports. So for now, let me wish everyone a Merry ‘White’ Christmas, HOHOHO!

Santa Claus

Photos Courtesy of lakbaypilipinas.ca


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Arran & Beverly’s Wedding at Shangri-La Hotel Toronto September 28, 2014 – Part 4 in B/W only

Arran & Beverly’s Wedding at Shangri-La Hotel Toronto September 28, 2014 – Part 4 in B/W only

(In Honour of their 3rd Wedding Anniversary)

The Wedding Ceremony at the Shangri-La’s Museum Hall

The Wedding Reception at the Queen’s Park Ballroom

The cocktails was held at the canopied outdoor garden patio where all the guests enjoyed the cocktail drinks and hors d’oeuvres before the wedding banquet reception at the Queen’s Park Ballroom.

Photos Courtesy of LakbayPilipinas.ca


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Where have all the ‘Autumn’ gone…

Where have all the ‘Autumn’ gone…


Another season gone by and this time Autumn seems to have just disappeared. It came out of nowhere and was feeling more like the Summer that never was and now the Fall season just wants to go away and let Old Man Winter take over. So here comes the first snowfall of the season. It came as a surprise but it didn’t last too long. It has come too soon and gone right away, melted by the rising temperatures. So where have all the Autumn gone? Beats me, it will probably be a very short fall season now that the falling leaves are scattered all over the ground and the cold season is ready to take over.

Christmas is just around the corner. The 113th Santa Claus Parade will happen on the weekend. On Sunday the parade starts early in the afternoon. There will probably be some snow flurries and very cold temperature, forecast at Zero Degree Centigrade and cool breezy day to meet Santa Claus on his arrival to town. Yes, Santa Claus is coming to town with all the great gifts complete with a Magic Sleigh and a group of Reindeer at hand.


Watch out for the 113th Santa Claus Parade on my next blog, See you…


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A Day at the Don Mills Center Shopping Mall!

Having Lunch at A&W Root Beer Restaurant at the shopping mall.

We went to the mall and had Lunch at A&W Root Beer Restaurant at the fast food section of the shopping mall. Since it was the weekend, there were lots of people shopping there. When all of a sudden, the A&W Root Beer Mascot, a huge brownish lovable bear with an orange sweater and hat came around having a wonderful time with the kids and all of us, too. We posed with the mascot bear and got lots of ‘beary’ tight hugs!

The family was having lunch, of all places at the A&W Root Beer Restaurant so the mascot came right at us and started to show how lovable he really was. We all got hugs from the bear and he got hugs from all of us, too. As you can see on the photos, he was the center of attraction and who wouldn’t be? He was very lovable as ever! Then he went around the mall area to spread cheers and hugs all over the mall.


After lunch, we went for a short drive and ended up at the cookie factory where they sell day old cookies and imperfect cookies that they don’t include in their packaging for products to be sold at stores and supermarkets. When the cookies are done and baked some of them don’t retain their entirety as a whole and those with imperfect shapes are separated from the perfectly shaped ones and sold in bags by the dozen. One dozen is a dollar, two dozens are two dollars and three dozens for two dollars and fifty cents.

cookiesChocolate Chips Cookies

Boy, three dozens are a lot of cookies. Usually well-packaged cookies only have two dozens and they cost over three dollars each package so buying these imperfect cookies is really a good deal. We usually buy two  bags of three dozen cookies that’s good for a few weeks supply. They only open a few hours of the day to sell these ones from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm and then the factory outlet closes for the next day of sales. Chocolate Chips Cookies anyone?

Photos Courtesy of lakbayfilipinas.ca


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The Beauty of the City of North York in Metro Toronto

The Beauty of the City of North York in Metro Toronto

After Dusk view from our balcony overlooking the City of North York.

Blue, blue skies can be seen early evening on our way to the birthday celebration.

We passed by the towering glass building of the biggest financial institution in Metro Toronto.

The Red Lobster Restaurant in Richmond Hill Suburb, North of Metro Toronto is one of the best seafood restaurant in the city.  Here Families and friends gather to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and sometimes just a night out to enjoy their great cuisine.

After having a dinner party at the restaurant, my sisters and I decided to cap the night with a short trip to the Woodbine Slots Casino and have some fun before we end the birthday celebration on my honor. We did have lots of fun and winnings so we all went home delighted after our casino trip.

I’ve lived in the City of North York even before it was amalgamated into the City of Metro Toronto. Amalgamation was done in 1998 when six municipalities comprising Metropolitan Toronto – East York, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, York, and the regional municipality of Metro Toronto were dissolved and amalgamated into a single municipality called the City of Toronto by an act of the Government of Ontario.

The new City of Toronto became the fifth largest municipality in North America after amalgamation only trailing behind Mexico City, New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles. When you visit Toronto, you will find out that it is one of the cleanest cities in the world next only to the Swiss cities; like Zurich, Bern, Lucerne, etc. which are the cleanest in Europe.

Old Bus Stop

This is one of our old bus stops, just a post with info on bus schedules wrapped around the pole; while other bus stops have modern glass shelters to shield people from weather elements like rain and snow, even strong winds on windy days!

New Modern Glass-Enclosed Bus Shelter

Although our TTC Subway system is quite old compared to other cities in the world, it is very modern and there’s additional subway lines constructed to compliment the old subway; like the new Wilson Subway line which is actually an extension to the northbound west subway line and the most recent Sheppard Subway line added to the Sheppard subway going Eastbound to the Don Mills Road Extension. I will show you our underground subways and subway trains and blog about our TTC Subway System later on.

I took a photo of the TTC Hybrid Bus on the right side infront of our Toyota Lexus car that was going 60Kph city speed limits! In the future, the underground subways will probably be extended again, while the Wilson Subway line will also be extended to accommodate the West end where the York University is located. The plan is to connect that subway line also to the airport area to give access to travelers who wants to take public transport instead of the Airport Limousines that service the airline travelers. Our subway system is expanding to meet the needs of the general public and there’s also plans to add surface public transport in the form of Metrolinx (Rapid Transit Train System) this is to compliment the already existing surface TTC Streetcars and TTC Buses that serviced the whole city. 

This fiery sunset photograph was taken by me while we were on the road with no flash, filter-less, tripod-less, inside a moving car behind the windshield on passenger side, how cool is that?

(Photos Courtesy of lakbaypilipinas.ca)



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My Travels in the Motherland, the Philippine Islands

My Travels in the Philippines!

When I lived in Dipolog, Zamboanga del Norte, I traveled to so many different towns and cities in the Philippines.  I have here a short excerpt from my older posts, “Dipolog, the small town by the sea where I lived my happy childhood and spent most of my great school days in elementary and high school have grown into a big city now after the many years that I’ve left and moved to another country to find better job opportunities and lead a better life. When we moved from Luzon to Mindanao, the place that they called the ‘Promise Land’, little did I know that I would learn to love this town like my own birthplace. I wasn’t born here but I grew up to call this my own hometown”.

I have been blogging about my travels for over a year now and some of my blogs are about my personal thoughts in life. It was suggested that my comments would make a good article to post about our certain ways of life  back in our homeland. I picked him up on that suggestion and here’s what the new post is all about, my travels in the native land, the Philippine Islands.

I had tears in my eyes after I have read my friend, Christian’s latest post in his travel blog “Moments | Speak in Tongues“, I felt some very poignant memories had awaken certain intense feelings that I’ve experienced in life not because I felt so indifferent when people here in Canada noticed my foreign accent even when I spoke fluent English but rather felt some kind of real national pride being a  true-blooded Filipino. Of course, I’m so proud to tell them that I am a Filipino-Canadian. Yes, maybe I have a Canadian passport but deep down inside of me I am still a true Filipino. So when I found out that there’s a Republic Act in our own country that allows natural-born citizens to have dual citizenship, I was very glad to avail of that privilege right away and having dual passports is awesome. Now, I can truly say that I am a Filipino-Canadian, that is speaking internationally.

What about in our own native land? Yes, I have come across some regional discrimination as a Dipolognon because of my Bisayan accent, although I can disguise my Tagalog accent in Manila and they will never know I’m from Mindanao where I grew up and speaks fluent Bisayan dialect. Though I’m very proud to be a Cebuano because of our great heritage. Then of course, I can speak other dialects with their own accents; like Kapampangan, Ilocano, Chavacano and our National Language, Tagalog. I was born in Tarlac known as the melting pot in Luzon where people speak so many dialects and to me that didn’t matter much.

What I’m trying to say here is that even in our own country there is regional discrimination. That is a known fact, we can’t deny and it’s such a disgrace to discriminate on others just because they are from other regions and speak another dialect with a different accent than the one we are used to. We should just learn how to accept regional differences and live with it, then have so much pride as Filipinos like I’ve always done myself for years now.

I have traveled so  far and wide, where I have met people of different cultures but I’ve never been more discouraged than what I’ve experienced traveling in our country from Luzon, to the Visayas and to Mindanao. If you speak their dialect in their accented tone, they accept you and if not, sorry to say that you are on your own. it’s easy for me to adapt because I can speak so many dialects fluently so I’ve never really felt out of place on any towns and cities that I’ve visited in our country. What about others who can only speak one dialect? If only people will travel often then maybe they will learn to be more considerate of others. With all of these said and done, I rest my case. I do hope we can learn a good lesson from our travel experiences in life. “Daghan kaayong salamat”, (Thanks so much) what a great post that I’ve come across from a friend. Bravo!

Images Courtesy of lakbaypilipinas.ca


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A & B Wedding at Shangri-La Hotel Toronto September 28, 2014 – Part 3

Arran & Beverly’s Wedding at Shangri-La Hotel Toronto
September 28, 2014 – Part 3

(In Honor of their coming 3rd Wedding Anniversary)

The Wedding Celebration at Shangri-La Hotel Toronto

The Wedding Ceremony at the Shangri-La’s Museum Hall

The wedding ceremony held at the Shangri-La’s Museum Hall and officiated by a minister started on time after the Wedding Entourage marched down the aisle. The Bride and Groom proceeded to the stage after the Father of the Bride gave away his daughter’s hand in marriage to the Groom with his Dad by his side. There were so many blissful moments on this wedding day that we will always remember through the coming years. This is one memorable wedding day when we get to meet all our dear relatives and close friends, then enjoy the pleasure of their company.

Then the Cocktails followed at the canopied outdoor garden patio where all the guests enjoyed the cocktail drinks and hors d’oeuvres. From there all the guests proceeded to the banquet ballroom across the outdoor garden patio located on the third floor. The Banquet Luncheon was served at the Queen’s Park Ballroom for the Wedding Reception. After the Luncheon Banquet was served and enjoyed, the program presentation was started with a Solo song rendition of “Close to You” by my niece, Anne Marie. The Banquet was also a 3-Course Luncheon served and enjoyed by everyone with their choice of red or white wine to go with it.Then the Cocktails followed at the canopied outdoor garden patio where all the guests enjoyed the cocktail drinks and hors d’oeuvres. From there all the guests proceeded to the banquet ballroom across the outdoor garden patio located on the third floor. The Banquet Luncheon was served at the Queen’s Park Ballroom for the Wedding Reception. After the Luncheon Banquet was served and enjoyed, the program presentation was started with a Solo song rendition of “Close to You” by my niece, Anne Marie. The Banquet was also a 3-Course Luncheon served and enjoyed by everyone with their choice of red or white wine to go with it.

The Wedding Celebration at Shangri-La Hotel Toronto

The wedding celebration continued with the Father of the Bride Opening Dance at the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto Queen’s Park Ballroom Dance Floor. The Father of the Bride was beaming with pride and the Bride was all smiles. Everyone looked so happy watching the Father and Daughter dance on that polished dance floor.

When the Father and Daughter dance ended, the handsome Groom came to the dance floor to have the first dance with his lovely Bride. Since I already got the prime spot at the edge of the dance floor, I just stood there taking more photographs. Every move, every step and every turn was perfect and the dance ended with a dip and a kiss. WOW! Everyone applauded with their approval and after that all the guests were invited to the dance floor and join them. I didn’t bother to exercise my dancing heels because I was so busy taking pictures here and there.


Photos Courtesy of Lakbaypilipinas.ca


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The Summer of 2017 that never was . . .

The Summer of 2017 that never was . . .

It’s the first day of Fall 2017 and we are experiencing extreme heat. It’s called an “Indian Summer”! Three consecutive days of over 30 degrees Centigrade weather means a heat wave alert and we only got an extreme heat warning for today. In July, we had 3 days of 30C separately so it didn’t qualify as a heat wave and no alert was issued. In August, there was a day of 30C weather but now in September, wow! A heat wave alert maybe but we just ended up with an extreme heat warning. No heat wave alert but it was still a scorcher, hot and humid day.

The Summer of 2017 was cooler than normal this year compared to 2016. The temperature hovered between the 20’s and 30’s C mark, never exceeded the 30’s except for a few days while Europe sweltered in the 40’s and 50’s C temperatures. Here in Eastern Canada, we are enjoying the Indian Summer weather, while Edmonton, Alberta already had their first snowfall of the year, up to 10 cm of snow. What a bummer! Summer, Fall or Winter, take your pick, jk. Last year we had our first heat wave before Summer even started, at the end of spring. And in the Summer of 2016, we had heat wave after heat wave which lasted all summer long. It was a real scorcher, the Summer of 2016 and this year was such a relief when we found out that summer will be cooler than normal and Autumn will be warmer than usual, isn’t that an irony. Now that Autumn is here, the winter season is not too far away, come December 21st, 2017. You know what that means. It will be Christmas soon. Hoping for a White Christmas this year. Just for now, let’s enjoy the beautiful and colorful autumn trees and falling leaves…

The Canadian Autumn of 2017


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The Truth and Some Lies about Travel Blogging

The Truth and Some Lies about Travel Blogging

Toronto Skyline Sunset

Travel blogging, yeah. It’s not for everyone, I know that for sure. The real question here is, why do you write travel blogs or better put it this way, why do you travel and blog? Simple enough, right? Nope! Everyone have a reason why they write, then publish their travel blogs and some have their very own “reasons” or “lies” why they travel and blog about it.

They’ve often said that they QUIT their jobs to travel and blog. Is it True or false? True that they quit their jobs but unfortunate because how long do you think they can survive without a source of income when the FOC’s are all used up and gone? In their travel blogs, do they have adsense, affiliates or sponsors? Chances are they do, but is it enough to survive on their continuous travels? You have to pay your flight/fares, pay for transport, sleep at hotels and eat at restaurants. Is it sustainable to really quit your job? No way, maybe find another job online or in the real world to be able to afford it and travel again, truth or dare? You tell me.

The truth and the real reason that I blog is to keep a record or journal of my past, present and future travels, fair enough? Right and mainly because I blog for leisure and not for financial gain. For me, blogging is a passion; like a hobby and I don’t rely on my “travel blog” as a source of income or even second income for that matter, since I already have an income to rely on monthly for the basic necessities in life. I can certainly monetize my blog, but why bother for now, maybe when I need a second income, will do just that.

I’ve worked so hard and have some savings for my travel expenses whenever I get the chance to take a vacation from work and also prepare for my future retirement. Yes, during our time as Baby boomers, we worked hard and worked our butts off, for what? For lots of reasons and for so many things in life, i.e. like buy a house or a condo, buy a car, travel and meet your soulmate along the way, get married, have kids and live the circle of life. It may sound mundane and a bit boring but that’s what life is all about.

Compare that to the other generations, like Gen-X or the Millennials for example. We have kids in our circle of friends who are Millennials. They are lucky that their parents are Baby boomers who are well off and hard workers. Most of these young people belong to the Fall of the infamous Wall Street and the deep recession of the 21st century.

When the economy recovered, they were out of luck, out of jobs and burdened with student loans taller than themselves. I’d refer to them as an unfortunate but lucky generation. Unfortunate because they can’t get jobs even if they have college degrees. There’s simply no jobs available anywhere unless they create it and become Entrepreneurs themselves. Lucky because they have mostly well-to-do baby boomer parents who have allowed them to live at home for now and support them while looking for jobs. The Gen-X’ers couldn’t wait to fly off the coup as soon as they were ready to face what’s out there waiting for them, be it jobs, people to live with as roommates or just go out in the world to live their very own lives to the fullest, as the cliché goes.

Back to travel blogs, sometimes the real truth hurts no matter how you splice it, the outcome still hurts so bad. Lies, bitter ones that sting so badly and why do they lie so much about it? Perhaps to console themselves or to pretend and make believe that travel blogging really pays off is somewhat ‘fake news’. Maybe some of them try to hide their failures in life with some colorful “lies”.

Yeah, some bloggers are creative with popular sponsors and have great talents in choice of good paying ads and affiliates. That’s how they make enough money online. Maybe a few or some can make the cut, it’s a sad story but let’s be realistic. Travel vloggers on YouTube probably make more money in ads and patreonship, than travel bloggers who are somewhat successful in their own ways.

There are some of us, travel bloggers who really have to work for a living and then travel and blog about it. These are the “realistic” ones who knew all along that life is not “a bed of roses” and there’s no such thing as “FREE lunch” anymore. So let’s be real for once. With all of that said and done, I rest my case.

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Percé Rock in the Gaspé Peninsula, Quebec, Canada

The Legendary Percé Rock

The famous Percé Rock is a 5 million-ton monolith and was formed over 350 million years ago. It rose from the depths of the sea as many have told legends about it. The early explorers mentioned two holes in the rock; one of the arches crumbled on June 17, 1845 so there’s only one remaining hole to date.

The Famous Percé Rock at the Gaspésie region in Quebec.

The name Percé Rock means a rock that’s been pierced with a hole in it. When we visited and strolled around Percé, one of Québec’s loveliest coastal villages, we saw the cafés, boutiques and art galleries lined its streets. In the Gaspé Peninsula where Percé is located, you can’t miss the magnificence of the Rock and shouldn’t skip a tour of Bonaventure Island, home to North America’s largest colony of northern gannets and other seabirds .

The Famous Percé Rock at Lowtide, you can walk and view the rock up close.

We have driven along the scenic road to Percé Rock, a limestone behemoth in the Gaspésie region where 110,000 northern gannets and 250,000 other seabirds live on a single island, and where a 5 million-ton monolith rises from the sea and at lowtide you can walk the pathway leading to the rock and literally touch it, but then be careful and make sure you go back on land before the tide rises so high that all you can do is swim ashore.

The Village of Percé in the Gaspé Peninsula, Quebec Province.

Exploring the awesome Percé Rock with it’s magnificent view.

We walked the gravel pathway and took some photos but did not stay too long for fear of the tide rising so fast in the early afternoon. We spent some time in the pretty villages, and relived history. We didn’t have enough time to climb the region’s numerous lighthouses. We enjoyed surprise trail encounters with wildlife and there were some sea kayakers alongside the cliffs and coves to see North America’s largest gannet colony. All in all it was a great sightseeing day trip to the Gaspé Peninsula in the neighboring province of Quebec near the border of New Brunswick. We went to visit the Village of Percé after our trip to Quebec City where we also visited the Basilica of SainteAnnedeBeaupré, in Quebec City set along the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada.

The Gaspé Peninsula reaches out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence and on this map the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula is shown (Photo Courtesy of The Gaspésie Tour Quebec Maritime).

Photos Courtesy of http://lakbaypilipinas.ca/