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Toronto, Canada in Solidarity with the World against Violent Attacks!

Toronto, Canada in Solidarity with the World against Violent Attacks!

Standing with the victims of the tragedy in Toronto

Today, the 23rd of April, 2018, Toronto is in solidarity with the World against violent attacks. When somebody deliberately struck down innocent people who were just walking down the sidewalk in their own neighborhood in the middle of the day enjoying the glorious sunshine, it’s a horrible crime scenario but today it sadly happened in the place where I’ve worked and lived in uptown Toronto. Today, the neighborhood where I’ve worked for years was the target of a deranged man who played a major role in the catastrophic killing spree of innocent pedestrians out for a walk in a blazing sunny day.

The weekend before last there was a wicked winter blast here in the city ravaged by the ice storm and blustery winds but today all that misery have melted, blown away replaced by the much awaited spring’s glorious sunshine on a very clear and sunny day.

And then the unthinkable happened…

Same kind of disastrous events that happened on the streets and sidewalks of London, Barcelona, Berlin, Nice and other famous cities but who would have thought that it can happen right in your very own backyard unfolding before your very eyes. After that brutal attack of pedestrians on the sidewalks of North York district in uptown Toronto, a place so familiar to me where I’ve walked on these sidewalks, crossed these streets and now this?

Right in the midst of a crowded area comes an over speeding rented white moving van ready to slaughter all these innocent souls walking on the sidewalk. If you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time then that “twist of fate” will probably become the end that you never expected to happen to you at that very moment. The lucky people escaped unharmed and some were hurt and injured but the unfortunate ones were killed, run over and struck or even dragged by an over speeding van whose driver was crazy enough to mow down pedestrians, one after the other. Lucky for us that the Summer Patio Dining Season haven’t started yet, otherwise there would have been hundreds more casualties where these restaurants would cater to the lunch crowd at their patio and outdoor/sidewalk Cafe.

Eventually the van driver was caught and arrested by a brave lone police officer who was even taunted by the attacker and murderer to shoot him but instead he was wrestled to the ground and arrested, of course read his rights by the officer. Now that culprit is in jail and will probably spend the rest of his life paying for his hideous crime to humanity. And sadly enough I’ve watched the aftermath of that disastrous event on Live TV coverage all day. I will be praying for the recovery of those who were injured so badly and for the peace of the souls of those who died. Rest in peace brave souls.

Why did it have to happen, no one knew and now the authorities are tasked to investigate and find out why? And why the rampage; why the killing spree? While everyone is in great shock, the EMS paramedics, the police and all those good Samaritan who tried to help and save everyone who were hurt and injured in the rampage, sadly some of them were killed instantly. Will the killing ever end? Only time can tell…

 

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4th Day of April – My Anniversary Freedom of Life Day

The 4th Day of April – My Anniversary Freedom of Life Day

Today, the 4th of April eons of years ago, my family and I arrived in Toronto, Canada and it changed my whole life from that day onwards. I will call it my freedom kind of day! I have escaped from the oppressive years in my beloved country. I could have stayed and suffered like the rest of our country people but my family have chosen to leave and find freedom in another country willing to give us the opportunity to experience a better life where oppression is almost unheard of and lots of prosperity abounds.

Would I ever come back to my native land? Perhaps I will be back now that there’s complete freedom and the years of oppression eradicated by brave heroes willing to die for their country and earn that coveted freedom in life. The “Martial Law” years is over and will only be back to protect the rest of the country from oppressive, evil and venomous enemies again. Let’s get rid of oppression and martial law, then live in peace for good.

Toronto Sign at TO City Hall, Nathan Phillips Square

I can still remember that cool spring day in April when we set foot in my new homeland, Canada. All our dear family members and close friends were at the international airport to meet us on that joyous homecoming day. Some of my sisters that I haven’t seen for years on end were present. Yeah, we kept in touch through letter writing and long distance calls but seeing them all in person that particular day, made my dear heart sing aloud songs of happiness! It was heavenly and very fulfilling to be reunited as one big family again. We lost our father in the native land when he passed away. Our dear mother is with us now and the family is almost complete except for the missing loved ones. And the new life begins for us, the new arrivals.

During those years, all of us were living together in one huge condominium apartment rented from a family friend. It had three bedrooms with two bathrooms and a huge living room with a dining room and a nice kitchen area. We stayed there for a few years, then moved on to rent our own apartments in same building a few blocks away from our rented place. Most buildings have their own indoor or outdoor swimming pools and some have tennis courts, too.

All of us were working on our own chosen careers and bought our own cars to drive to work instead of taking a crowded bus and packed transit subway trains. Some of us moved to the suburbs buying our own homes and others have chosen to live downtown in rented apartments which later on we left downtown to buy our own condo apartments uptown. Renting is such a waste of money so we decided to save for down payments and bought our own homes and condos. If you own it, you will have invested your money wisely instead of just renting your place of residence. After years of working hard, we finally reached retirement age and decided to retire and start travelling to other countries, like Europe, South America and Asia.

Skyline Toronto, Canada

Life in Canada is wonderful, but you have to work hard to fulfill your own dreams in life. You have some sacrifices to do and some accomplishments to cherish. You can even go back to school in college or university level and upgrade your education to complement your jobs. Work and leisure go hand in hand. We work all week and have weekends off to be able to enjoy life and learn more skills like skiing, biking, driving and living life to the fullest. There are some bumps and turns that will come along the way but you will learn to overcome them and be successful in life.

When you move to another country, you have to work more and learn to live a happy and productive life. You also have to give in order to receive blessings. You practically learn to balance your way of living to suit your needs and happiness. Such is a good life. You learn to love someone dearly and spend the rest of your life with them living a family life full of love, happiness and good memories.

“Take it easy. Live life one day at a time. It is only when we add the regrets of ‘yesterday’ and worries of the ‘future’ to the ‘present’ that we end up complicating things.” ~Anonymous

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Holy Mass with Pope Francis from San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy 17 March 2018

Holy Mass with Pope Francis from San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy 17 March 2018

Catholic Sat
Published on Mar 17, 2018

Pastoral Visit of Pope Francis to San Giovanni Rotondo, in the Diocese of Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo, on the centenary of the apparition of the permanent stigmata of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina and on the 50th anniversary of the death of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina.

Votive Mass of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, from the Parvis of Pilgrimage Church of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina. Presided by Pope Francis


Holy Mass with Pope Francis from San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy 17 March 2018

 

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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).

 

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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.

A&W

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