I can do all things with God who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

What I am is a gift from God. What I become is my gift to God.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Psalm 23

I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:16.

Feb 29, 2012

Today I learned …

…that it is possible for something to go wrong however hard you planned and prepared for everything, especially if you are working with a group.
…to accept that not all people who receive my email will read it; some who read it will value its importance and follow the instructions but a few will ignore it (and there goes all my effort)
…that patience is a virtue but it also has a limit
…to accept that people deal with problems in different ways: some will find solution to the problem but others will find the person to blame and make a mountain out of a molehill 
...that indeed, some of the most important lessons in life is learned the hard way
...that some days will be tougher than other days but it is better to look at the brighter side of things
...that I should thank God because unlike others, I appreciate the value of people and their effort

..at the end of the day, 
all's well that ends well.

Feb 26, 2012

Life's Lessons From Traveling

Tell me and I'll forget,
Show me and I may remember,
Involve me and I'll understand.

Traveling is a great way to learn, to experience, explore and discover life and what it offers instead of reading a book or watching a video/documentary. You don't have to travel far to discover things but believe me, you should try exploring and discovering things with the whole family - it is a truly wonderful, amazing and rewarding experience. 

Jun and I enjoy traveling with our 3 kids - it is a great bonding experience and sometimes a test of each other's patience :) We believe that traveling is a great learning experience and our travel belief is summed up in a post by Theodora in her 9 Life Lessons Children Learn From Travel | Travels with a Nine Year Old .

Aside from the things she mentioned in her post, my family believes that traveling is a great way to learn from each other and to discover more things about each other.

Feb 19, 2012

Prague Cuisine: Czech It Out

Whenever our family travel we try to sample traditional cuisine a particular country has to offer. On our first night in Prague, we tried the famous beef goulash with bread dumpling.  We liked it except for the fresh onions.  Jun, River and I agreed that it tasted somewhat like "kalderetang Batangas" so we loved the Czech cuisine on our first try.  On our second day, Jun and I feasted on traditional Czech mixed grill platter for two which consisted  of pork, sausage, beef, chicken and duck with french fries, veg salad  and a basket of bread.   It tasted so good and we had a pig-out, the serving is so big that we had to share some of it with our kids.

Our last day in Prague was rainy and oh so cold.  We had the option to just stay in the hotel as we already covered the best places Bohemian style - never worrying about time and getting lost.  We covered Prague only by walking, just absorbing all its unique beauty and wonder.  We were unmindful of the map because each wrong turn leads to yet another unforgettable journey.  We were not surprised that the alleys and stone cobbled streets of Prague were still full of tourists when we ventured out armed with our umbrellas. When the cold got unbearable, we stopped for coffee - not in Starbucks or Costa - but in McCafe. Check out the coolest McDonald's outlet I have visited that offers Bohemia wine, candle-lit cozy tables, elaborate coffee designs and delicious Czech pastries.

On the way to the Lesser Quarter from Charles Bridge no one will miss the spot of a small pastry shop because of the sweet smell of fresh Trdelnik that permeates the air. If you visit Prague, don't forget to try this delicious treat.

The kids didn't want to join their Dad and me in roaming around souvenir shops so hubby and I ended the souvenir-hunting with a hearty early dinner date at the street restaurant of Hotel U Zlateho Stromu in King Road just a few steps from Charles Bridge.  The restaurant is very well-heated - each table has its own heater and customers can request for blanket.  We even had to ask the waiter to minimize the heat for our table even if the temperature was -4 ! We ordered Czech specialty - traditional roast pork made from fillet of pork with red cabbage and speck dumplings for me and a roasted pork knee for Jun.  He ordered Czech beer  (it will be rude to order Tuborg or Heineken) and that was my chance to try the hot wine (svarene vino) which I must say is superb.

Insiders tip:  
Check the beer prices in restaurants or pubs to get an idea about best food prices. Lower beer price = lower  meal prices :)

The food was great and the serving is big.  The roasted pork tasted great and quite unexpectedly, I liked the red cabbage.  I was not a big fan of the Czech bread / speck dumpling - it is so rich for me that imagining it now while writing this makes my jaw contract.  Oh, I love the pork knee! It was so tender, it melts in the mouth. Jun and I felt that we were in Philippines while savoring the food.  It was really quite nice of the waiter to ask if we wanted our photo to be taken :)

I learned that restaurants set up hot wine and hot chocolate stands like the one shown below during winter to attract shivering tourists :)  You have to inform them if you will have it in the restaurant or will take the order with you because it makes a difference in the price.

If you go to Prague, be aware that it is quite normal for restaurants to include a 15% service charge (servis) in your bill. So next time you are computing how much your food will cost, always add a 15% service charge so that you won't end up like a handful tourists that we saw arguing with the waiter or waitress. Some restaurants may add a cover charge (couvert) for bread and water which is typically a fixed amount per head at a table.  While waiting for our order, we received a basket of bread with butter which was not part of the order so cover charge is for that.

When in doubt of what to eat, there will always be a McDonald's for sure!

I recommend that you include Prague in your Places to Visit Before You Die list. You will never regret it.


Feb 16, 2012

Photo Sharing with Instagram and Statigram

There are so many photo apps available and I have tried quite a few. I am currently engrossed with Instagram which is a fun and cool way to take and share photos. With Instagram, a user can use multiple filters in a photo :)

If you're hooked with Instagram like me, I advise you to use Statigram. Now, this cool web service allows you to manage your Instagram account. It is a great web viewer for all your Instagram photos (view your feed, pictures, likes, followers and instagram popular posts).  Statigram also provides your Instagram account statistics and you can browse, like or comment on photos.  It allows you to share your pics via a public web address.  Finally, it provides snapshots of your account like this Instagram birth certificate :

Still not impressed with Statigram? Well, if you have a Facebook fanpage it will easily add a tab on it to display all your Instagram feed to engage your community.  If you don't have a fanpage but you are using timeline, Statigram can generate your profile cover with a patchwork of 50 of your latest photos.

Follow me on http://statigr.am/alice_ml