Tuesday 28 February 2006
A Busy Week of Hand Sewing
I have been helping Shane repair his hockey gear. I felt sorry for him when I saw his stuff and they are all falling apart! I had never really taken interest on his hockey stuff and I didn't even want to go near them as I can't stand their smell. He never wash them. Well, even if he washed them, after one use, the stench would be back. In-line hockey is a very physically demanding sport. I can only imagine how much a player sweats during a game especially in summer times like now.

Back to the gear, the straps on the armguards, shin guards are all loose now. I have to adjust the length to make them fit nicely again. The jockstrap garter had to be replaced as it was not elastic anymore. All of these I have to sew by hand. Wish I had a sewing machine. Would have been easier.

Would have been easier too if he just buy a whole new set of hockey stuff. The problem is, it's hard to get hockey stuff in Melbourne now. A lot of sports shops do not carry them. Choices are too narrow.

There are US shops online but you have to make sure you order the right sizes or you'll waste a lot of time in re-shipping the items back and waiting for the replacements.

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Monday 27 February 2006
On Forwarded Emails
I always receive loads of emails from friends and acquaintances. Forwarded emails, that is. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate it that I am in their mailing list and that they remembered me. But then, a lot of the emails have been forwarded many times over that the list of email addresses is sometimes longer than the message itself.

Do people forward emails just for the sake of it? Or is this the lazy way of saying hello and keeping in touch?

Is it too much of an effort to edit out the looong list of email addresses before sending out the email?


Saturday 25 February 2006
Footy Is Back!

Yes! footy is back. The 2006 pre-season competition, called NAB Cup, has kicked off last night with games between Essendon Bombers up against Brisbane Lions at the Carrara Stadium in Gold Coast and Melbourne Demons against Western Bulldogs in Darwin. Unfortunately for me, the Bombers lost to the lions by a point. Bugger.

There are new set of rules too. The following is an excerpt from the AFL website regarding the new rules.

The changes are as follows:
1 - Removing the requirement for defensive players to wait until the flags have been waved after a point has been scored, before bringing the ball back into play;
2 - Allowance of a shot for goal to be taken from directly in front of the goal for any mark taken, or free kick awarded, within the goal square;
3 - Automatic re-start of time-on from the time the umpire crosses arms to when the ball is bounced.

Further, the AFL Umpires will also be instructed on a number of interpretation changes to be introduced for the start of the 2006 season, as follows:
1 - Limit the time for players to line up for set shots to 30 seconds;
2 - Reduced tolerance of holding players up after a mark or free kick;
3 - Quicker boundary throw-ins;
4 - Less time taken to award a 50m penalty;
5 - Stricter interpretation of the deliberate out of bounds law;
6 - Stricter policing of holding and blocking in marking contests;
7- Greater focus on detecting infringements by tagging players.

There was no mention here about scoring system. When the scoreboard was flashed on screen, I was confused to see the 9 and 3 pts scores. What the! I had to go to the internet again! (Probably, if I was listening to the commentary right from the start of the game I would have heard these new scoring mentioned by the commentators, but I was busy with something else then.) Apparently, this new system is experimental and not yet part of the regular season scoring system.

The 9-point score is called a supergoal and is awarded if a player kicked a goal from outside the 50-metre arc. On the other hand, the 3-point score is still a blur to me. I didn't see it when the Lions was awarded their first and only 3-pt score for the night. Can somebody tell to me when is this score awarded?

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Sunday 19 February 2006
In The News, Yet Again
Philippines is in world news, yet again. But not good news, sad to say. The mudslides in Southern Leyte has put the country in the limelight again.

As of today, more than a hundred have already been rescued but there are hundreds more still buried. Hopes of finding these pepole alive are now almost nil.

It is so disheartening to know that these village people who have nothing else but their family have lost a lot of them.

How could this have happened? Was the mudslide inevitable? Could we blame this to illegal logging? Probably yes. This is the effect of long years of uncurbed illegal logging. I have traveled a lot in the Philippines (except in Mindanao) and it is very apparent that our mountains are becoming barren each year.

Whatever happened to the government's reforestration program? What is the DENR doing? Haven't we learned from the Ormoc, Leyte disaster?

If I may say, we can not put all the responsibility to the government. As citizens, we also have our own obligations to do something about our environment. We owe this to our mother land and most of all to ourselves. The littlest thing we contribute to saving our environment can make a big difference in the long run.

But then again, the government has the power to do more. There are laws and these laws must be enforced to all. Wala dapat pinipili. Wala dapat sinisino.

If only our leaders would stop pointing fingers at each other and work together. If only they would work for the betterment of everyone. If only.

I may be dreaming, but I wish this dream would come true. I so wish.

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Thursday 16 February 2006
I am a sucker for moisturizers. At any one time, I would have at least five different moisturizers in the form of lotion, cream, liquid spray or simply oil. I love to smother myself with these right after having a shower.

The picture shows my current collections.

My all time favorite is the Nivea Nourishing Care Lotion for dry skin. Since I have dry skin, it helps a lot to retain moisture. The downside is that if it's humid, you'd tend to feel sticky. (Though it seldom gets humid here in Melbourne.) I love this on winter.

The yellow tub is Bodyshop's body butter - mango flavor. This is also good for dry skin. My favorite Bodyshop moisturizer though is the Cocoa butter with Brazilian nut oil. This one is good on winter too.

A recent discovery is R+H Greentea+Avocado Nourishing Body Butter. I found this at Target. There is no sticky after-feel. Very good to use on summer when humidity is a bit up. Also mildly scented. And it is locally made. Best of all, a 250 ml tub costs only $10. It's a steal.

Also good to use in summer is the Nivea Ocean Mist Body Spray. It moisturizes as well as refreshes you on hot days.

For facial moisturizers, I use Olay complete, Bodyshop's Aloe Vera Daily soothing cream and Pure Wheat Germ Oil skin supplement.

I have also tried Bio-oil but really didnt like it very much. Didn't work well on my skin.

I once used Bodyshop's carrot moisture cream but the scent was a bit strong. Shane joked I was putting on fly spray on my face. :D

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Instant Noodles for Dinner!
Yes, that is right. We had instant noodles for dinner tonight. But with a bit of twist.

I miss having pansit (noodles) so I thought of cooking some for dinner. I do not like buying noodles from the Chinese food shops here because they cook them with too much oil and very little meat and vegies.

When I checked my pantry, I can't find any sotanghon (vermicelli noodles) but there were two packets of instant noodles left. Hmmm... maybe the instant noodles can be a good substitute.

Here is the recipe :

2 cups chicken strips
1 small size onion, chopped
1/4 cup water
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
1 medium sized carrot, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup string beans, cut diagonally, in thin strips
1/2 cup asparagus, thinly sliced
1 cup cabbage, in thin strips

On high heat , sautee garlic and onion in a tbsp of olive oil. Add chicken and stir-fry until brown. Add a tsp soy sauce while stirring. Adjust heat to medium, leave for a minute to let the chicken absorb the soy sauce. Add 1/4 cup water and simmer for a couple of minutes. Adjust heat to high and add vegies (carrot, beans and asparagus). Stir to mix the vegies and meat. Add the cabbage strips and contnue to mix the vegies and the meat. Remove from heat as soon as the cabbage just starts to wilt. Vegies are good hlaf-cooked.

Cook the noodles in a separate pot as per the packet's instructions. Be careful not to overcook the noodles as this would look soggy. Drain excess water.

Arrange noodles in a platter and top with the chicken and vegies . Serve and consume immediately.

Shane is not very fond of noodles but he did finish his plate. Hehehe... maybe because he just didn't want to disappoint me :D.

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Wednesday 15 February 2006
Cheers to the Aussie One-day International Cricketers

Congratulations to the Aussie One-day International Cricket team for winning the One-day International Tri-Series tournament against Sri Lanka. Once again, Australia has showed the cricket world their mastery of the game.

Shane once said to me, the English invented cricket but Australia mastered it.

So here's to the Aussie cricketers and fans, the cricket theme song.


Its been a long time comin'
To silence all that drummin'
To show them that it wasn't just a dream

They've beaten all the rest you know
And proven they're the best you know
The greatest team to wear the baggy green

Pidge is pounding down like a machine
Dizzy's scarin' batsmen - lookin' mean
Gilly's gettin' wickets
Punter's clearin' pickets
And Warney's just the best we've ever seen

Come on Aussie, come on, come on

Come on Aussie, come on, come on
Come on Aussie, come on

Night or day, they're out to make us proud
To keep our flags a-wavin' in the crowd
Even gettin' zereos
They'll always be our heroes
And keep us singin' come on just as loud

Come on Aussie, come on, come on
Come on Aussie, come on, come on
Come on Aussie, come on, come on
Come on Aussie, come on

See 'em spraying leather at the bat
Sweetly cracking winners threw the gaps
There not just getting runs there out there smashing tons
Spinning big time records back to back

Come on Aussie, come on, come on
Come on Aussie, come on,

All summer we'll go floodin' through the gates
To try and get a look at cricket's greats
No matter what the season
We always have a reason
To shout the come on Aussie with our mates

Come on Aussie, come on, come on
Come on Aussie, come on, come on
Come on Aussie, come on, come on
Come on Aussie, come on, come on

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Tuesday 14 February 2006
On Valentine's Day and Always
As we celebrate this day of love, I would like to wish everyone peace and love. Let us all love one another, today and always.

Below is Leah Navarro's song called Isang Mundo, Isang Awit (One World, One Song) which talks about love being the answer to the problems in this chaotic world we are all in.

Ngayon mundo'y gulung-gulo (Now the world is so chaotic)
At lahat tayo'y litung-lito (And we are all disoriented)
Pag-ibig sa kapwa tao (Love for fellowmen)
Sa daigdig dapat ituro (In the world, should be taught)
Kung bawa't puso mayroong pagmamahal (If there is love in every heart)
Kapayapaa't kasiyahan tiyak na makakamtan (Peace and bliss are sure to be ours)
Lahat tayo'y pantay-pantay (We are all equal)
Sa biyaya ng Maykapal (In the blessings of God)
Lahat sana'y akbay-akbay (May we all band together)
Handang tumulong kanino man (Ready to give a hand to anyone)
Kung bawat tao ay marunong magmahal (If each one knows how to love)
Ano mang kulay o salita (Whatever race or tounge)
Tiyak na makiki-isa (Will surely be as one)
Je t'aime, te amo, I love you (I love you in different languages)
Watashi wa anata o aistomasu
Ich liebe dich, iniibig kita
Gua ay di
Paano man sabihin (However it is said)
Ang mundo'y turuan natin (Let us teach the world)
Tanging lunas ang pag-ibig (Love is the only answer)
Isang mundo, isang awit (One world, one song)
Isang sigaw, Pag-ibig. (One outcry, Love)


Monday 13 February 2006
Australian Football League
The AFL 2006 season is soon coming up so I thought of writing up something about it.

Australian Rules Football, also popularly known as Aussie Rules Footy or simply footy is a kind of football game which originated in Melbourne, Australia. Footy dates back to the mid-1800's. It is the most popular spectator sport in Australia.

Footy is a winter sport but pre-season competition usually starts in February (end of summer) and the Premiere Season runs from March to August, with the finals held on September.

AFL comprises of 16 clubs, 10 in Victoria, one in NSW (Sydney), one in Queensland (Brisbane) and two each in South Australia (Adelaide) and Western Australia (Perth). There are twenty-two weeks of home-and-away games in the Premiere Season. The Grand Final in September is the culmination of a four-week finals series.

AFL Clubs at present in each state.

1. Essendon Bombers
2. St. Kilda Saints
3. Western Bulldogs
4. Carlton Blues
5. Melbourne Demons
6. Kangaroos
7. Richmond Tigers
8. Hawthorn Hawks
9. Geelong Cats
10. Collingwood Magpies

New South Wales
1. Sydney Swans

South Australia
1. Adelaide Crows
2. Port Adelaide Power

1. Brisbane Lions

Western Australia
1. West Coast Eagles
2. Fremantle Dockers

Rules of the Game
Each team consists of 18 players plus the interchange (or bench, as in basketball) players of up to four. The game is played between two teams in an oval-shaped grass field up to 165 x 180 metres, much larger than those used by other kinds of football. The game is fast, fluid and free flowing. It is not as tough as rugby or American football but is more physical than soccer. Note that the players do not wear any protective clothing except for medical purposes.

The game is divided into four quarters with approximately 30 minutes in each. The game is started with the Ruckman (Centre in basketball) going for the bounce or ball up (jump-ball in basketball). The ball is bounced at the start of every quarter in the centre of the field. The ball, which is also oval-shaped, can then be moved freely and in any direction by either kicking or passing using a clenched fist to propel the ball. This is called a handball. In under no circumstances can the ball be thrown or tossed.

A player can run with the ball but it must touch the ground every 15 metres by bouncing or by the player holding it on the ground. Opposition player may try to hustle and take possesion of the ball. This is called a tackle. If tackled, a player must get rid of the ball cleanly to avoid getting a penalty called holding the ball.

A free kick is awarded for a clean catch of the ball. This is called a mark. The game stops while the player kicks from the point in which he marked the ball. If the player kicks the ball inside the four posts, the game continues by having the umpire throw-in the ball. (In basketball, this is done by the opposition player).

Players' Field Positions
  • Full Back
  • Back Pocket
  • Centre Half-back
  • Half-back Flank
  • Midfield
  • Centre Half-forward
  • Half-forward Flank
  • Full Forward
  • Forward Pocket
  • Followers - the ruckman, rover, and ruck rover
  • Taggers
  • Interchange Bench
There are four posts at the end of each field. The two inside posts which are longer than the outside ones are called the goal posts. When a player kicks the ball inside these posts, he scores a goal, which is six points. A ball which goes into one of the two outside posts, called the behind posts is scored only one point. If a ball hits the post, the score would only be one point. There is no score if the ball is touched by the opposition player but still goes inside the any of the posts. The team who gets the highest points at the end of the fourth quarter wins the game. The score is usually in the form of number of goals and behinds. For example, 18.12 would mean, 18 goals and 12 behinds, equal to 120 points.

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Our First Wedding Anniversary
Yesterday, 12th February 2006 was our first wedding anniversary. We didn't make plans ahead so when Shane asked to take me out, I said take me somewhere I haven't been yet. So he took me to Sorrento.

Sorrento is in the Mornington Peninsula and is about 1.5 hours to the south of Melbourne via the Nepean Highway or if coming from Queenscliff, one can take the ferry across the bay. It takes 30-40 minutes for the ferry to cross the bay.

We explored the port and the surrounding area. Sorrento seemed to me a very peaceful place. It has a look-out where you can have a good view of the vast ocean. There's also a park where you can have a picnic. Shane even suggested, the pinoy group should have a picnic there. There's a heliport too for the rescue helicopter.

Shane took a lot of photos which I am going to post here separately.

We also watched Sorento-Queenscliff ferries come and go.

While there, we were also lucky to see yachts from the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006 crossing the bay. We didn't really know of this. We thought the yachts were just among the many other private owned yachts there. Thanks to some people (probably visitors like us) who were talking loudly, we can't help but overhear them.

After a few more walks, we decided to have dinner at the Sorento Hotel. Good food, very bad service. Oh well, I think service in Australia in general, sucks. Everywhere you go, a lot of establishments here are understaffed. But that's just me, I'm alwasy fussy when it comes to service. Don't take my word for it.

For the mains, I ordered the Trevally fillet in a bed of potatoes and green salad while Shane had the King George Whiting fillet with chips and salad. Both were good and worthy of its price. The desert we have is also worth mentioning. The flourless chocolate cake with ice cream and/or cream (your choice) was a guilty pleasure.

Shane looked flushed in his face from heat stress (which he gets after playing hockey) and was not feeling very good so we decided to go back home straight away after the dinner.

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Friday 10 February 2006
Talking Boony

We have a Talking Boony at home watching cricket with us all the time. Shane got this from Ian as a Christmas present. We are proud owners of this one cool talking doll.

Anyone who is not into cricket may not be familiar with Talking Boony.

Talking Boony is a small doll fashioned from David Boon which talks and gives special comments through out the VB Series cricket matches from January to February this year. David Boon is an Aussie cricketer from Tasmania during the late 7o's and the 80's.

Talking Boony is actually a marketing ploy of Fosters, the makers of Victoria Bitter beer. You have to get a cartoon of VB to get one Boony. Now that's clever marketing. It has become popular that people are selling/buying this on ebay.

Talking Boony is sound activated, and as such needs to be placed in the optimum position to have the best chance of working. It reacts to audible transmissions. As an electronics technician, I was curious as to how Boony is constructed (electronically, that is) that I wanted to dismantle it and see what's inside. But then, the leaflet that came with it clearly stated " Do not unscrew the Talking Boony base. This will cause the unit to malfunction." I took it as an ominous warning and didn't dare open it. I think Talking Boony is a simple transceiver. Meaning, it can receive and transmit signals within its frequency range.

Anyways, here are some words and phrases we heard from Boony.

1. Is it time for beer yet?
2. Today's code word is legend.
3. Have a swing mate.
4. I can bowl better than that.
5. Pass us a biscuit please. A Monte Carlo would be nice.
6. I feel like playing a table tennis.
7. Have you got a pool table?
8. Got any nacos? I like nachos.
9. Show us a replay of that.
10. Don't bother chasing that.
11. I'll drink to that.
12. Quack quack quack.
13. Hey, get me a VB the cricket’s about to start.
14. He’s seeing em like watermelons.

There may still be a lot that Boony says but haven't caught them all.

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Shane has been doing Wing Chun Kung Fu for a number of years now. He goes to Qian Li Dao Academy. I have joined him before but I stopped after two lessons. I find the drills too hard and I felt very frustrated with myself for not having able to learn the moves quickly. And I thought I was a quick learner :-(.

Now Shane is again prodding me join him.


Wednesday 8 February 2006
Euroa Motel
Shane’s father owns and operates Euroa Motel in country Victoria. Every now and then, we go to see him so I thought I’d put up the motel info in this site.

As per the Monash website, Euroa is a substantial township and rural district on the route between Melbourne and Albury. It is 130 km. north-north-east of

Euroa is situated on Seven Creeks, a tributary of the Goulburn River. Seven Creeks has its headwaters in the Strathbogie Ranges south-east of Euroa. The headwaters comprise seven streams - hence the name.

Below are the Motel details:


Contact details:

Ph: +61 3 5795 2211
Email: euroamotel@yahoo.com.au
Hosts: Humphreys Family

Location: 2 minutes North end of Euroa CBD off the Hume Freeway

Rating :

Room Features and Amenities:

  • Non-smoking
  • Reverse Cycle Air-conditioning System
  • Colour Television
  • Refrigerator
  • Tea & Coffee Making Facilities
  • Queen Size Beds with Electric Blankets

Other Features:

  • Outdoor Pool
  • Barbeque
  • Cot
  • Trailer & Truck Parking
Nearby Attractions:
  • Heritage Trail Walks
  • Wineries
  • Golf Course/Tennis/Bowls
  • Strathbogie Ranges Scenic Drive
  • Ned Kelly Trails
  • Museums

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Shoutbox Got Me Shouting, Almost

After a half day of working on this site, I have successfully added the shoutbox. I am not very good on computers, (esp software) but I have managed to do it after a lot of tinkering. Whew!

At first I thought it was easy, as was mentioned in the shoutbox website. But when I got to pasting the code to the website template, there goes the problem. On preview, I can see the shout box come up in my website but after saving the template and republishing the site, no shout box. What the!

At any rate however, I’m happy that I have resolved the issues without having to ask for help from computer geeks :-).


Tuesday 7 February 2006
The Swiss Master Reigns
(Moved from Friendster blogs, created on 29th January 2006)

We have been following the 2006 Australian Open Tennis in the past fortnight. It finally concluded yesterday with the Swiss Master Roger Federer winning the Men's Singles against the Magican Marcus Baghdatis.

World No. 1 Federer outclassed the unseeded 20-year old Cypriot Baghdatis in four sets 5-7, 7-5, 6-0, 6-2 here in Rod Laver Arena at the Melbourne Park.

More than 18,000 fans went to see the match. The sea of blue & white for Baghdatis and red & white for Federer. Obviuosly, the red and white came out louder as the world no.1 reigned over his younger opponent.

From the start and during the game, Federer looked so cool and composed even though he lost the first set to Baghdatis. All emotions came out at the presentation of the trophy. Federer was all tears and had to pause in between his speech to recompose himself. He is no iceman after all :-).

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My Second Aussie Christmas and New Year

(Moved from Friendster blogs, created on 5th January 2006)

2005 was my second Christmas and New year here in Australia. Boy, was I homesick on Christmas Eve.

We went to Shane's dad's place in Euroa. He owns and runs Euroa Motel, on the Hume Highway. He was alone (I just learned that he usually spends his Christmas day by himself). We had dinner while watching the annual Melbourne's Carols by Candlelight on Channel 9. When dad asked me if I was homesick, I just burst into tears. How I miss Christmas back home. Christmas here in Oz feels a bit different than at home. It's just too quiet here for me. I'm not saying it's quiet because my husband's family is to0 small, but because the mood is just different. In the Philippines, it seems everyone is just pumped, simply happy. I guess I just miss the exuberant pinoy attitude especially on Christmas time.

For Christmas lunch, dad prepared for us roast turkey.Yummy.We gave dad a trivia book for Christmas as he would have a use for it on his radio show at One FM in Shepparton. He like reading trivias to his listeners.

At about 2 PM, we headed back to Melbourne to catch up with Mum for Christmas dinner.We had our exchange gifts before eating.

On the 26th, Boxing Day, Shane took me to MCG to watch cricket, Australia vs South Africa. It was my first time to watch cricket live. The game was a bit slow but what was fun was watching other spectators making fun during the game. Aussie sports fans are just loud. Rowdy at times, if I may say.

On other days, we either just stayed home or saw friends.

New years eve was hot, it was about 42 degrees C. So off we went to the beach in Mornington Peninsula. The sun was scorching hot but the water was so cool, cold even for Shane. It felt very refreshing when you are in the water. As usual, I have gone from dark to darker in a few minutes. My tan lines from our Gold Coast holidays was covered with another set of tan lines. :) We later went to a park in Mornington and spent a bit more time there resting and enjoying the cool breeze.

Later in the night, we went to Shane's friend's place in Endeavor Hills where we waited for the new year to come.

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Queensland Getaway Part 2

((Moved from Friendster blogs, created on 19th December 2005)

Day Two: Seaworld Day (Sunday, 11th December 2005)

We woke up to a beautiful morning. The sun was up before 5:00 o'clock! Had a cup of coffee, then went down to the beach for a walk, a loooong walk. Shane loves to walk in the beach. Me? Well....

Back to the hotel, we had a swim in the pool for a few minutes then back to the room again to have breaky and prepare for our Seaworld trip. I was looking forward to see the seals, dolphins, and the new residents of Seaworld, a pair of orphaned Polar Bears. Wonder how they survive in a subtropical place.

Time to catch the bus to Seaworld. It's not very far from Surfers Paradise at all. When we get there, it was already hot.

Below are some of the photos we have taken.


At the entrance.

Img_1179_1A man-made volcano.
This one erupts but I wasn't able to catch the fire on camera.


The Flume ride.


The Polar bear. This is only six months old and it's already massive.

Img_1223A Queensland Grouper. The second ugliest fish I have ever seen.Wait till you see the ugliest one. The size of this fish is massive. The photo does not justify it.

One of the seals doing acrobatics during the Seal Show. Seals are funny creatures.

Img_1258The Stone Fish.The ugliest fish I have ever seen. If it is not moving, you wouldn't say it's a fish. It blends itself with the rocks.


The dolphins in the Dolphins Show.

At the entrance of the Dolphin Cove where the Dolphin Show is staged.

Stingrays in captivity.


One of the many rides.

One of the many species of starfish.



A view from the chairlift.


This is a lion fish. Another interesting specie.

Shark residents of the aquarium. Another shark specie.

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Queensland Getaway

(Moved from Friendster blogs, created on18th December 2005)

We have been invited to the wedding of my friends Janine and Ramille on the 17th of December 2005 in Brisbane, Queensland. Since we haven't had a time off work since I got here in August lastyear, we turned this trip into a holiday too.

We went to Gold Coast, Queensland a week before the wedding. Gold Coast is only about an hour travel (to the south) by train from Brisbane.

Below is my travel journal. This is just day one. I will be posting my other journals in separate blogs.

Day One : 10th December 2005

The Drive : We left home (Cheltenham) at about eight-thirty-ish in the morning for the airport with me on the wheels. We used my car and left it in the long term open car park at the airport. It costed us $75. It was more economical than taking a cab as we would have to pay at least $140 for the cab in coming to and from the airport.

We arrived alive !

The Flight : Check-in was a breeze (Virgin Blue) and the flight to Coolangatta, Gold Coast wasn't much of a drama. I didnt' notice the time passing by as I was busy squeezing my brain with Soduku puzzles. The travel time was about two hours.

The Bus Trip : We decided to take the airport shuttle bus instead of hailing a cab from Coolangatta to get to Surfers Paradise where we have booked a hotel. The bus trip was a bit of a nightmare. No, actually, just hilarious :). The 30-minute or so ride turned out to be two hours! First, one tire at the left rear side of the bus blew. We had to disembark and move to another bus. That is after looong minutes of waiting. The second bus arrived, thought we'd already be ok. Alas! the bus has its own problems- transmission. Apparently, it has troubles on its second gear. D'oh ! Ah well, we'll get there one day.

The Hotel : After a few phone calls by the driver, we moved yet again to another bus. The third one! Thankfully, no more dramas. We finally got to our hotel, the gorgeous Crowne Plaza in Surfers The_view_from_our_room_3 Paradise. (It is actually located in the border of Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach.) We were given an ocean view room in the 21st floor as was requested during booking. Cool.

The view from our hotel room was spectacular. We were able to see the ocean, (hence, the ocean view) and all other sights around us. The beach looked so inviting.

The Beach : After af ew moments of rest, we changed and headed for the beach. The long stretchShane_at_the_beach_1 of creamy white sand was simply beautiful. The surf though was always up (at least for me) so it is difficult to just float and play in the water. You could always get slapped by the big waves.

The Weather : Reportedly, it was 26 degrees C. It was just fine except for the high humidity. It was not as humid as Manila but you can certainly feel the change especially if you came from Melbourne where the weather maybe a bit unpredictable, but it seldom gets humid.

T'was a very good day. We were exhausted when we finally retired to bed.

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Cinderella Man

(Moved from Yahoo 360, created on 4th October 2005)

We saw Russel Crowe's latest movie, Cinderella Man, last night. It is the life story of a boxer from New Jersey named James J. Braddock. The Cindmanmovie is heavy drama with some actions provided by the fight at the ring in boxing matches.

I found the movie very intense and moving. It depicted the lives of poor Americans in the depression era. Actors in the movie were all good. Russel Crowe and Renee Zellwegger's acting were superb, as always.

There was a scene in the movie where James (Russel) went to the office of the boxing moguls and beg for $18.something to augment the money he got from the emergency relief center to pay for their overdue bills and to get their kids back whom Mae (Renee) sent to her sister as they do not have gas and electricity (and it is winter) in their rented apartment and one of the boys is already sick. I was really moved by that scene. I cried. I got so carried away.

The fight scenes were also intense. I was holding my breath in all the boxing match scenes.

The lighter moments were provided by Jame's manager cum promoter cum agent cum friend Joe (played by Paul Giamatti). I thought he was good too.

From one to ten, I would give the movie a seven.


My First Snow Adventure

(Moved from Yahoo 360, created on 24th August 2005)

I went to my first snow adventure in Mt. Bawbaw on Saturday, the 20th of August 2005 with my friend Janine, her fiancé Ramille and Ramille’s cousin Jun. Shane was supposed to drive us up there but unfortunately he caught a flu on Friday night. He was sick as a dog. So Ramille ended up driving.Snow_1

Mt. Bawbaw is about 2.5 hours drive to the east from Melbourne CBD . It is the closest downhill ski resort from the city.

We took the Princes Highway route as it seemed easier. We left our house in Cheltenham at about 7:00 in the morning. Took Nepean Highway, then Lower Dandenong Road en route to Princes Highway. As Shane mentioned before we left, there is tricky part in Dandenong and we might get lost in there. Alas! He was right. Instead of going straight to Foster Street to get into Princes Highway, we turned right and ended up in Stud Road. I am bad in directions and I can’t read maps so I wasn’t any help at all. Ramille has to pull over to check the Melway with Janine helping him.

After a few Melway pages and u-turns, we managed to get to t highway. From there, the trip went on smoothly.

Janine was a revelation, she can read maps and she doesn’t get carsick!

We got to the top (Mt. Bawbaw Alpine Ski Resort & Village) at around 10:30ish after stopping a few minutes to hire snow chains. The place was already starting to get busy it took us a while to rent walking boots, waterproof pants (which turned out to be not so waterproof) and toboggans.
I expected to see everything in white but this did not happen. The snow was not that much to cover the entire area in white. I wasn’t really overwhelmed or anything but was still happy to finally experience snow. You see, I came from the Philippines where it is always 30 degrees any day of the year.

We rented two toboggans. A toboggan is a long, narrow, runnerless sled constructed of thin boards curled upward at the front end. What we had was made of plastic and there were strings attached in front and at the sides which you can hold when you are sliding.

The tobogganing area was already busy with kids and adults alike enjoying sliding in the snow with their toboggans. After a few minutes of playing with the snow, I had my first toboggan ride or should I say slide. Whoa! I didn’t fall. I made it all the way down. Ang saya-saya! LOL..

We later moved and explored other areas and took lots of photos, went to the café for some chips and tea ( tamang pares ba ‘to? ) and finally headed home at 5:00 PM.

We had a great time.

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Aussie Rules Footy
(I originally write this blog at Yahoo 360 on the 18th of August 2005)

I have been following Aussie Rules footy since 2003. It's only now though that I have decided which team to back. I used to like Western Bulldogs for the reason that the first ever live game I saw was their game against Shane’s (my then fiancé, hubby now) team, Essendon. I just thought it would be more exciting and interesting if I cheered for the other team. I can't remember now who won that game.

I am a person who loves sport, being a participant or just a spectator. I was an avid follower the Philippine Basketball Association back in Manila. Been rooting for Alaska team for many years. I reckon their coach, Tim Cone is the best PBA coach there is. It’s great watching the team execute the triangle offense popularised by NBA's Chicago Bulls when Michael Jordan was still with them. If Phil Jackson is to NBA, then Tim Cone is to the PBA.

I played softball, volleyball, basketball and badminton in my college and high school days. I love the high you get from winning in a sport competition.

Back to footy, I have decided to follow Essendon now. I didn’t make any research and gathered facts about which team to follow. I just based my decision on how I feel when I watch games. I have noticed that I was getting so involved in the game when watching Essendon play. I am happy when they win and get upset when they lose. This is probably influenced by my hubby as he is an Essendon supporter and also because I like Essendon's player No. 18, Matthew Lloyd. Love his legs. He he he… babaw ko ano.

I remember when I was in Manila, I would watch delayed broadcast of footy games on ABC Asia Pacific Channel. I would entice my dorm mates to watch the game with me by telling them, “never mind the game, just look at those powerful legs of the players”. He he he.....almost always they would watch the game with me.

We (me, Shane and people from work) have been in the Agilent Technologies’footy tipping competition for two years now. We didn’t finish top 3 but I could say that I did well for a newbie. At the present competition, Shane is equal leader with two other tipsters after 20 rounds. I am somewhere in the middle.

Sport in general is big in Australia. Here, people take their sports seriously. Melbourne, being the sports capital of Australia has so much to offer for sports lover like me. There’s the Australia Tennis Open, F1 Grand Prix, Footy, netball, golf and the not-so-popular (now) basketball. And of course, cricket. I almost forgot to mention it.

Weekends are never boring even if you just stay home. TV will always have some sport for me.

Update : Matthew Llyod is now the captain of Essendon Bombers. 07/02/06

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Isn't Taz cute? This was taken at the Looney Tunes Village in Movieworld Theme Park, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia Posted by Picasa

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No, it's not my husband. It's Batman at the Movieworld Theme Park in Gold Coast, Queensland. Posted by Picasa

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