Sunday, October 31, 2010

Batanes, Here I Come!

Picture from Wikipedia

Batanes, here I come!!!
Lj T. Salceda

I can not specifically recall the time my traveler’s feet have been awakened. Perhaps it was when I started participating at Girl Scout camps in grade school. Probably whenever I watch adventure films or browse through travel magazines in the library. Maybe when my family transferred to three different houses and I moved to three different schools in one year. My memory fails me in many occasions, however I do remember my passion for travel and adventure started at a very young age.

What they say is true, “If there’s a will, there’s a way or ways.” Being born in a solo-parent household in the province with limited resources trained me to exercise my feet and my faith. I was able to attend numerous religious, summer and girl scouts' camps all over Luzon and Visayas with the help of family, friends and even strangers. During my high school and college days, I baby sat after classes and during weekends, knocked on politicians and businessmen’s offices to solicit and worked as a service crew to earn money for my education and for extra-curricular activities like camps and seminars. I even borrowed bags, sweaters and shoes because my family couldn’t afford any unnecessary expenditures.

Now that I’m working, I scour airlines for budget-friendly fares, work on holidays for extra cash and join contests like this one to travel for free or at a minimal cost. I have been to some of my dream destinations both here and abroad such as Palawan, Boracay, Bohol and recently the USA in spite of my meager income.

There are times when I wish I could just travel to have a good time, to relax and to forget about work, stress and problems- but I can’t. No matter how much I try, I simply can’t.

I always bring work, family and friends with me. Not literally though, more like figuratively speaking. When I go to a new place I always have this “what can I share to our listeners and how could I incorporate this experience on my radio show?” mentality. My mind automatically shifts to research, program or writing ideas and mental notes. Except for pasalubongs, I always ask what is something good and positive or beautiful in my trip or destination that I can bring back to my people or my work?

My itinerary always includes a lot of picture-taking (earning me the title of a photoholic c/o of my boyfriend), bonding with the locals, trying delicacies, immersing in their culture and swapping stories about my place or my life. I even record interviews or conversations with their consent for future use or as references on my show and my blog.

Traveling is both a gift and privilege I believe. God used and continue to use different people and organizations so I could do what I want and reach my dreams. I vowed to thank God and honor these people for their sacrifices and help by being a responsible traveler and by sharing my experiences. This is one of the reasons why I often write about my journeys on-line and my personal journal.

Traveling has always been an integral part of my life. It excites me. It inspires me. It enlightens me. And it has enriched my life beyond measure. Now that I only have a few months left in the Philippines before I join my future husband and start our own family overseas, I want to grab every opportunity to explore and be awed by my beloved LuzViMinda and its Creator.

If I will be given a chance to go to Batanes, I will consider it an answered prayer, a present to be treasured and a dream come true.

This is an entry for SeaAir's Batanes Winter Bloggers Tour. To vote for this entry, like the link on SeaAir's FB page. Thank you very much and Dios Mabalos!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Picture Perfect Bohol (Part 2)

Lj Salceda
Read Part 1 here.


Day 1
After the church service in the morning bags in tow, we rushed to the airport, grabbed our super expensive lunch at the terminal (we should have eaten elsewhere, but we didn’t want to be stuck in traffic and check-in late) and waited for our flight. We arrived in Tagbilaran on a Sunday afternoon and the sun was almost gone. Since it is Sept, sunset is typically early in Bohol. We only had a short time left for a little picture-taking, checking the beach, dinner at the nearby grilling station where they have the most delicious fruit shake I’ve ever tasted, before trying Dumaluan's pool and hitting the sack for the day.

Day 2
We woke up at 8am, ate our breakfast (not much to choose from, but it was all you can eat) and prepared for our country side tour scheduled at 9am.

Our itinerary included the Blood Compact Site, Baclayon Church, Tarsiers, Man-made Forest, Loboc River Cruise, Chocolate Hills, Butterfly Farm (don't forget to try their unique ice candies made from carrots/durian/kiwi etc) and Hanging Bridge. After the tour, we decided to drop by at a nearby mall to buy some supplies- bottled water and snacks because they are expensive at the resort.

The nice thing about getting a package is you need not worry and arrange for the tour or look for a vehicle/driver for transpo (public transpo is rare in Bohol), entrance fees and even our lunch for the Loboc River Cruise because these were all taken cared by the resort. Sometimes, our driver also acted as our tour guide and photographer. Don’t forget to give him tip (P100) after his full day service especially if he has been nice and helpful to you.

For dinner on our second night, we tried the nearby Bohol Beach Club's menu and their swimming pool. We were too excited to taste their food since the first night we passed by the place they had a buffet at the shore and a great number of Koreans were lined up. So we settled for their group meal made up of sinigang, grilled seafood and meat, mixed veggies and rice. Disappointingly it wasn’t worth our money. Don’t eat there! The meat was hard (makunat), the seafood was stale, the broccoli was yellowish and the soup wasn’t hot when it was served to us.

Probably the reason why they had very poor lighting (candlelit lang) at the resto area- so we won’t see much of what we’re eating. We had a few miscommunications with our waiter who wasn't well-verse in Tagalog. They do have an appealing resort and a better shore, but the food is not worth it. We (non-BBC guests) were required to pay P300/person as entrance fee which is consumable and non-refundable- P200 goes to the food and P100 for the use of pool. After dinner, we went back to the grilling station beside BBC to have another round of fruit shake, before going back to BBC’s pool (included in our entrance fee.)

Day 3
Our third day consisted of Dolphin Watching, Island Hopping and Snorkeling- but we decided to forego the latter in order to try the zipline and cable car at a nearby site.

Smaller islands in Bohol are quite distant from each other, it would take between 40 mins to an hour to get from point A to B. We were bored in between; all we can do was to take pictures since conversation was not possible because of the loud motor of the boat. Instead of spending longer time at the Balicasag island, where snorkeling and lunch are offered, (Btw, another tip I got from bloggers don’t eat on this island unless you have baon or packed lunch. Price here is outrageous! P350/kl of any seafood or meat, plus P250 cooking charge. Not practical.) Although, I later found out from another blogger that there is a nice diving resort situated here. We decided to cut our stay here short and head to The Virgin Island. Now this one, you shouldn’t miss! There’s a sand bar where you can walk, swim, take pictures, eat fresh sea urchins, drink refreshments and buy souvenirs from Manong who owns a small mobile store here.

After a lengthy boat ride, we went back to Dumaluan for lunch and inquired from the reception area about a nearby place that one our driver's told us that has a zipline and cable car (this is different from the one in Danao.) The resort staff said, we might want to avail of their Panglao tour instead of just renting a vehicle which we readily took. In lieu of the usual itinerary, we suggested to our driver to scrap the church-visits and Hinagdanan Cave and go to the Ostrich farm, Adventure Park and Bohol Bee Farm. Tip: Talk to your driver and make your own tour/schedule.

The Ostrich farm is a small backyard with caged animals like albino python, turtles, fish, birds and other reptiles. You need to pay P20/person as entrance fee. Here you can also take pictures alongside life-size images of Dora the Explorer, a gigantic tarsier and the ostrich.

Afterward, we went to a very new adventure site (some areas are still under construction but it is already operating) near the Loboc River. They offer zipline, cable car and horse-rides. It costs P350/person for the zipline and P250/person for the cable car. However if you avail of both rides, you will only pay P500/person. It was one of the highlights or our Bohol trip, so give it a try it if you’re not afraid of heights.

After an exhilarating ride, our last stop was the Bohol Bee Farm. I wished we had more time at BBF which is also a resort cum restaurant and souvenir shop. There are so many things to do and buy there! You can pay a minimal entrance fee for a farm tour. You can see the bee house where their honey is produced, you can watch them make ice cream at their factory, visit their green house where most of the veggies and food are grown and even make your own bag or keychain at their souvenir house/livelihood center.

I was considering housing us at the BBF, but I read that they didn’t have a shore only a viewing deck, a good number of mosquitoes and ants reside in the place and the road to and fro BBF is still rough. They are also situated above a cliff, so they are a little farther away from the airport and other tourist spots. We only had time for a little picture-taking and food-sampling at BBF. Dinner consisted of a vegan pizza and a meat pizza, halo-halo topped with malunggay, ginger, mango, buko and chocolate ice creams, muffins and their famous flower salad.

Btw, we paid an additional P2500 for the van/driver for our Panglao tour because it wasn’t originally included in our package.

Day 4
On our 4th and last day, our short time was spent packing, settling our bills, taking a few more pictures and eating breakfast before checking-out and driving to the Tagbilaran airport for our 10am flight.

All in all, our trip was a memorable and fun time for me/us. It wasn’t without slip-ups, but you can choose to see the good/positive side in every situation.


1. Don’t buy souvenir items at the souvenir shops inside or near the resorts. They cost 2 to 4 times more than the ones available outside the resort. Buy from the stores near Blood Compact Site and the stores near the Hanging Bridge. Bohol shirts cost from P300-400 at the resort, the same shirt will only cost P100-150 elsewhere.
2. If you have the time and space in your luggage buy/bring bottled water, food and other necessities at the mall. A small water bottle costs P30 at the resort, when you could only get them for P10-15 at the mall.
3. Bring cash or prepare your credit card. There are no nearby ATMachines in Panglao area.
4. Bring more than one pair of bathing suit. Most resorts don’t allow people to use their pools without wearing proper swimming attire. If you plan to do a lot of swimming and picture-taking and don’t want to use a dripping/wet suit bring as many swim suits as you can.
5. Don’t forget to bring your sunblock, cap/hat, pamaypay and insect repellant. Mosquitoes and other insects abound in Bohol. Although, I haven't heard of anyone getting dengue there.
6. If you want to try jet ski, banana boat and other water sports, you will have to pay a considerable amount. 15 minutes of jet ski costs around P1500 (1-2 persons), while 30 mins of banana-boating costs P2500 (group).
7. And don’t forget to store extra battery or your camera/video charger.


Bohol is a picture perfect and postcard destination. But Tagbilaran airport still needs improvement, there are cunning drivers/businessmen and the way to the resorts are the typical provincial scene- lush trees/plants/narrow roads/cows grazing in the yard etc. Don’t expect perfection, we live in a fallen world after all.

If you see trash, pick them up and throw them in garbage bins. Be considerate to the next traveler/tourist. Arrive on time. Keep an open mind. Don just have a good time, make lasting memories. The Philippines is such a blessed country, enjoy it while we can with the people you love!

(More pictures on my facebook account.)

Picture Perfect Bohol (Part 1)

Picture Perfect Bohol (Part 1)
Lj T. Salceda

The Philippines is such a blessed country. This I realize every time I travel. We have beauty, treasures and endless potential from Luzon to Visayas and Mindanao. I've witnessed and marveled how God has been SO generous to us Filipinos and even foreigners who come and enjoy our 7,107 islands, our people and our culture.

While I was preparing for the book fair and the book launch, I knew I will need a vacation after a such a stressful and hectic schedule. So an out-of-town trip is a must! My boyfriend was also coming to support my book- another reason to go on a trip/vacay.

I was torn between – Davao or Bohol. Both are in my list of “places-to-visit,” unfortunately I can only go to one place since I have a limited budget and time. I excitedly started doing research for my next trip. In any vacay or travel, planning is an integral part. Personally, I don't mind doing the leg work because I both love traveling and planning. I asked friends, read reviews and contacted resorts. After a few weeks of taking down notes and consultation (there were 5 of us in the trip, 2 of them have been to Davao before), we unanimously decided- it's time for a Bohol Adventure!


Since I am a PAL Mabuhay miles member, boarding a different airline company was not an option for me. I used my accumulated miles and only paid P900 for a round trip ticket. But I had to pay P3,000+/person (round trip) for the rest of my companions. All in all, our airfare totaled P14,000 (5 persons). For your travels, remember to set aside a budget for cabs to and fro the airport (if you don't have a car/someone to drive you off), airport fee of P200/person and other possible expenses like food or drinks. Avoid eating at the airport if you're on a tight budget. The food there is pricey and it’s not worth your hard-earned money. Just to give you an idea, a regular rice meal with adobo as viand plus soda costs a minimum of P250/order. You could grab something to eat at a nearby fast food chain before checking-in.

Three weeks before our target date, I went to the PAL Office in Cubao to purchase our tickets. I later found out that if you use credit card and book online, you’ll save more moolah. That’s a difference of almost P500/ticket. Problem, is I don’t have a credit card, so I pay everything in cash.

Btw, from years of personal traveling experience one of the best times to go on a vacation or tour (domestic) in the Philippines is during the month of September. Although this time of the year is still considered rainy season, most islands in the Visayas or Mindanao areas don’t get rains/typhoons during in September. It’s not a peak season either as classes are still on-going and resorts usually offer Rainy Day packages. Some things to consider when you’re looking for flights: the weather, travel (peak) seasons, budget and even your airline’s arrival/departure time.


After securing our flight, we needed a place to stay. One of the good things about Bohol is there’s no shortage of accommodation. You can choose from the pricey, 5-star hotels or resorts to the affordable, basic yet still comfortable bed and breakfast inns. Majority of your budget will also go to accommodation especially if it's a package you want to get.

I asked friends and turned to travel blogs on-line for ideas. I narrowed my list to three possible “temporary homes” while in Bohol: Dumaluan Resort (as suggested by Ate Haydee, Ptr. Jay and FB Friends); Panglao Island Nature Resort and Spa (as suggested by Ate Maloi) and Bohol Bee Farm (from the reviews I’ve read on-line).

Things to remember when choosing for a place to stay:

1. FACILITIES - What are you looking for in a resort/hotel? Do you want it to have spacious rooms, a big pool, a stone-throw away from the beach, wi-fi accessibility, souvenir shops etc?
2. PRICE RANGE – Is it under your budget? Do they have packages/promos?
3. FOOD and DRINKS – Most resorts have canteens and restaurants, some even have bars, but not all of them have good food. If they don’t have satisfying or affordable food, can you get it somewhere near? Can you cook in your room? Is the resort located near a store/grocery/market?
4. SERVICE – Are the staff accommodating, friendly, helpful, respectful etc.? Can they offer alternatives or ideas regarding tours or transpo or other things you need?
5. ACCESSIBILITY – Is it near the airport or the beach or other tourist destinations? Do they offer transport service (airport/seaport pick-up)? If not, are they near public transpo/terminals/rentals? Is the road safe and comfortable for travelers?
6. OTHER OFFERS – Do you want to have a massage? Jet-ski? Banana boat rides? Snorkeling gear?

After weighing in all the options, I decided to avail of Dumaluan Resort’s Rainy day package which covers rooms, use of facilities including the pool, airport transpo, tours and daily breakfast. I deposited half of the total amount of our package to their bank account 2 weeks before our arrival.

Since we wanted to try everything that Bohol has to offer, we decided to add another day to our package. We paid a total of P30,000 for 3n/4d, 2 rooms, 3 tours for 5 people for our stay in Bohol. Lunch and dinner excluded, except for lunch at the Loboc River Cruise (part of the package).

Part 2: Itinerary and more tips from our Bohol trip.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


(pic from this site)

Lj T. Salceda

“I’m getting old,” I complained to my guy. “Who isn’t?” he jokingly answered. Oo nga naman! May tama s’ya dun!

Age is an accumulation of days/time. That's why we have sayings like, "age is just a number." Sabi naman ng iba na ayaw magpabuko ng edad, "Kalabaw lang ang tumatanda." (According to some who don't want to reveal their age, "only carabaos/water buffalos grow old.")For some, age or life is a collection of experiences or lessons or accomplishments or victories. Unfortunately for some, they do not only make a career out of being miserable but worst, they also devote their lifetime to failures, defeats, problems and what-if’s. I’d rather not. I choose to see the glass half-full. Life is too beautiful and too short to be missed out.

In a few days I’ll be celebrating another 365 days that have passed (will pass). Before I reached my 30’s, I listed 30 of the things that I wanted to do/accomplish before I officially turn 30. A milestone for me, since I’ve always thought I will die young because I’ve been sickly as a child/teenager.

As I went through the list one more time, I was overwhelmed by emotions- happiness, gratefulness, fulfillment, hope and excitement. There’s also a tinge of sadness and a bit of disappointment in some areas, but the positive feelings certainly outweigh the negative ones.

Almost half of what I listed had come to pass (YAY!), though there are still plenty that I have yet to fulfill. Two weeks from now, I’m glad that another item on my list will become a reality. It maybe a year delayed, but everything happens for a reason I believe.

After years of writing and with Church Strengthening Ministry’s help, I will be launching my first book: EATING WITH ONE CHOPSTICK: Growing-Up in a Single Parent Home.

So if you or someone you know is a:

1. SINGLE-PARENT (including separated/divorced/annulled individuals; teenage-mother/father; a mother that bore a child out of wedlock; spouse of a prisoner/OFW; a guardian of grandkids or nephews/nieces; a widow/er; victims of abuse/rape that resulted to pregnancy)
2. SON or DAUGHTER of a single-parent
3. PASTOR or LEADER of a solo-parent ministry or organizations
4. PERSON involved in a BIGAMOUS or POLYGAMOUS relationship (a mistress/other woman/man)
5. An ABSENTEE father/mother (including emotionally absent parents, alcoholic, womanizer, abusive parents)

Also, if you (or someone you know) is going through…
- break-up or relationship problems
- gender / weight / self-image issues
- depression / suicidal tendencies
- health concerns
- poverty
- bullying
- vices

Even if you are blessed with a complete, loving family please spread the word about...

EATING WITH ONE CHOPSTICK: Growing-Up in a Single Parent Home
Book launch and Autograph Signing
(With the rest of CSM’s local authors)
Sept 17, 2010 at 6pm
SMX, Mall of Asia
Everyone is invited!!!

Books will be available at a discounted rate exclusively at the Manila International Bookfair (Sept. 15-19). But will be out in local, Christian and leading bookstores very soon.

(my 1st birthday with Pa blowing my candle)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Mistress and Proud of It

pic c/o of this site

Lj T. Salceda

One night while I was surfing through the local channels I caught part of Bubble Gang’s (gag show on GMA 7) episode wherein one of the hosts said, “Bakit kaya ang mga babae ayaw na nambabae ang mga lalaki, pero pumapatol naman sa mga babaero?” (Why do women dislike womanizers, but still choose to be with a womanizer/cheater?)

A few months ago in an episode of the Tyra Banks show, Tyra featured women who deliberately look for and prefer married guys because according to one of the guests, “They (married men) are not scared of commitment unlike single guys.” To which Tyra replied, “What?!! Isn’t that an irony? They are married but they sleep with you or have affairs with other girls? It doesn’t say commitment to me.” Those are not her exact words, but that was the essence of her statement.

Today I read an article about Alicia Keys and Fantasia Barrino’s affair with married men. How each woman was being treated differently especially by the media because of their race, looks and background when they’ve both committed the same “crime”. I won’t focus on the media’s scrutiny/treatment to both artists, I would rather talk about the M-word. Mistress. The other woman. The third party. Women purposely and openly getting involved with married men even though they are aware that these men are TAKEN.

I don’t have to name names, but we don’t have to look farther. Has any of our local celebrities been charged or sued or convicted of adultery, concubinage or bigamy? I haven’t heard of any.

It’s not new and it doesn’t happen in Hollywood or among celebrities alone. It’s very real and it is prevalent (I doubt if anyone will admit esp in a conservative country like the Philippines) to women regardless of age, race, economic status or religion.

I’ve been fatherless most of my life, so forgive me if I will hold my Pa's "other women" responsible why we grew-up in a solo-parent home. After all it does take two to tango. I know some men can hide to some extent their marital status, but it really breaks my heart and bothers me when women intentionally choose/sleep with/have affairs with married men.

However, I am aware that some women are also victims of abusive, manipulative and selfish men. They’ve been in the relationship even before they knew of their husband's or partner’s marital status or past. I also understand how difficult it is to be entangled in an unhealthy relationship, how even more challenging it is to get out and start all over again. So I am not here to pass judgment. I am not here to play the blame game or project a “holier-than-thou” attitude. I am not here to make matters more complicated. I am simply making an observation and a plea- for us to guard ourselves and save our families.

Our perception and tolerance have changed when it comes to sin, lifestyle and our morals. Now, being a mistress is no longer a taboo or even a sin or a crime. It’s no longer just a story in a best-selling novel or the theme of a controversial movie. It is now a badge. A status symbol. A cool thing to do/have. Sins are not dealt with anymore. Crimes are not punished. We've let things be the way it is now.

Whatever happened to the sanctity of marriage? Whatever happened to good values and right conduct? Whatever happened to women being the (one and only) beloved wife? Whatever happened to fathers being role models to their kids? Whatever happened to us? Respect, honesty, faithfulness and loyalty where are they now?

The line that separated good from bad; right and wrong; legal to illegal is too blurry for some people to even notice nowadays. Sad part is, it will still get worse.

"But a man (woman) who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself.”
- Proverbs 6:32 New International Version

Never Take Love for Granted
15-16 Do you know the saying, "Drink from your own rain barrel,
draw water from your own spring-fed well"?
It's true. Otherwise, you may one day come home
and find your barrel empty and your well polluted.

17-20 Your spring water is for you and you only,
not to be passed around among strangers.
Bless your fresh-flowing fountain!
Enjoy the wife you married as a young man!
Lovely as an angel, beautiful as a rose—
don't ever quit taking delight in her body.
Never take her love for granted!
Why would you trade enduring intimacies for cheap thrills with a whore?
for dalliance with a promiscuous stranger?

21-23 Mark well that GOD doesn't miss a move you make;
he's aware of every step you take.
The shadow of your sin will overtake you;
you'll find yourself stumbling all over yourself in the dark.
Death is the reward of an undisciplined life;
your foolish decisions trap you in a dead end."

Proverbs 5:15-23 (The Message)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Jeje + Mon = EVIL?

Jeje + Mon = Evil?
Lj Salceda

Kung may FB account o cellphone ka, malamang nakatanggap ka na ng ganitong babala:
based on research: word jejemon came from 2 Greek words....JEJERIUS-means follower, the doer of the command of someone by writing and MONNIUS- means the believers of Satan who have the capability to empower the mind of JEJEMON means follower of Satan who empower the mind of the people by writing.. spread the news…

Mga kapatid, hinay-hinay lang sa pagba-brand at panghuhusga sa mga tao at bagay.

Hindi dahil ‘di mo maintindihan ay sa dyablo na.
Hindi dahil ‘di mo alam ang pinanggalingan ay sa demonyo na.
Hindi dahil ‘di ka maka-relate ay masama na.
Higit sa lahat hindi dahil sinabi ng iba na kay Satanas ay sa kanya na nga ito.

Totoo may mga bagay na ginagamit ng dyablo, pero ang SALITA- kakayahang magsalita, makabuo, gumamit at mag-interpret nito ay galing sa Diyos. Dahil S'ya ang may lalang sa atin.

Ayaw ko rin sa jejemon, pero I don’t believe that they are of or from the devil. Iisa-isahin ko ang rason bakit ayaw ko sa jejemon:

Una, ni hindi nga natin ma-perfect o ma-improve ang ating gamit sa English o Filipino language, nag-aambisyon pa tayong haluan ito ng ibang salita? Kamusta naman yun?

Pangalawa, kung ano ang madalas mong i-practice, yung ang magiging habit and eventually lifestyle mo na. Paano ka magsusulat ng matino sa klase, sa opisina, sa church kung jejenese ang gamit mo?

Pangatlo, isang salita o lenggwahe na nga lang ang gamit natin pero di pa tayo nagkaka-intindihan at nagbabangayan pa dahil sa misunderstanding o miscommunication o misinterpretation, dadagdagan mo pa?

At panghuli, tumatanda na talaga ako kaya plain and simple wala ng “attraction” sa akin ang ibang lingo. :)

Sa kabila ng mga rason na binigay ko, ni MINSAN di ko sinabing sa DYABLO ang JEJEMON. Bakit? Una, buhay at makapangyarihan ang mga salita. Pwedeng jejemon ang uso ngayon, bukas makalawa iba naman ang pangalan nito. Pangalawa, dahil 'di ko pa napag-aaralan at wala akong basehan para gumawa ng konklusyon. At higit sa lahat ayaw kung manghusga dahil hindi yan ang role ko sa mundong ibabaw.

Kung nakinig ka sa interview namin kay Komisyoner Carmelita Abdurahman ng Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino, ginawa n’yang halimbawa ang salitang “lagay”. Sa salitang Waray ito raw ay genitals ng lalaki. Samantalang sa mga Tagalog, ito ay tumutukoy sa kondisyon o suhol (negatibong gamit o kahulugan). Kaya kung gagamitin mo ito sa isang tao o lugar na Waray ang salita siyempre iba ang intindi nila rito.

Sa pagkaka-alam ko hindi GREEK ang pinanggalingan ng JEJEMON at hindi rin naman mga GRIYEGO ang nagpasimuno nito kundi mga kabataang Pinoy. (Correct me if I’m wrong.) Wikipedia has its own origin and explanation about this phenomena. Totoo, may mga kahalintulad tayong salita sa ibang lenggwahe pero, iba ang gamit at konteksto nila sa mga ito, bakit ito ang gagamitin nating panukat sa ating mga kababayang Jejemon o Bekimon? Bakit mo gagamitin ang “root word” na Greek (jejerius/monnius) sa Filipino context? Siyempre iba ang meaning ng JEJEMON sa kanila kumpara sa atin.

Sa Bicol ang salitang “antak” ay sitaw sa Tagalog, sa Pampanga ay genitals din ito ng babae. (O yan, sex education na tayo!) Pero bakit ‘di natin sinasabi na sa dyablo ito? Dahil may iba-iba tayong gamit sa mga salita at letra depende sa grupo ng tao at sa lugar. O eto, alam mo ba ang kahulugan ng ababa-shi-kata-baba-andi? Di ko rin alam, pero yan ang ilan sa mga salitang naririnig ko pag may nag-i-speaking in tongues na walang translation. Kahit di ko maintindihan, I respect those who speak in tongues at kahit ‘di nila i-explain I won’t call them evil unless sabihin ng Diyos na evil sila. Baka, speaking in-tongues is their way of being intimate with the Lord or expressing their thoughts/emotions to God.

Sa mga close na magkaka-ibigan o magkakakilala, may meaning ang kung minsan ay ordinaryong salita na sila-sila lang ang nakaka-intindi dahil may sarili silang gamit dito. Halimbawa sa magboyfriend/girlfriend, nagtatawagan sila ng gummy bear ('di dahil makunat sila) o tawag ko sa isa kong kaibigan miswah ('di dahil masabaw s'ya.)

Ang salita ay salita lamang hanggat bibigyan mo ito ng kahulugan o meron kang i-a-associate na isang bagay dito. Ang bawat tao at lugar ay may kanya-kanyang kahulugan at gamit sa mga salita. Hindi dahil masama o negatibo ang isang salita sa iyo ganun na rin ito sa iba.

Pag-aralan muna natin ang mga bagay-bagay. ‘Wag basta padalos-dalos sa pagkakalat ng maling impormasyon. Sa halip na magka-unawaan at magka-isa tayo lalo lang tayong nagkakahati-hati at nag-aaway. Sa halip na maka-akay tayo, tayo pa ang nagtutulak sa iba palayo. Sa halip na maging instrumento tayo ng pag-ibig at kapayapaan, husga at panlalait ang nangagaling sa atin. Ano ba naman yan?

Hinay-hinay lang kaibigan. Kung masama, ipaliwanag natin bakit ito masama. Kung mali, baka naman spelling lang ang mali o ang utak lang natin ang 'di maka-gets.

Is Jejemon or Jejenese evil, I don’t think so but being judgemental is. (James 4:11)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What Did You Say?

(pic c/o this site)

What Did You Say?
Lj T. Salceda

Name it and I’ve probably been called by it- pangit (ugly), Agta (comparing me to the native people with darker complexion), Britney Spears with a frog in her throat (describing my singing voice), snake (when someone saw the patches and scales on my legs) and just recently immodest (because I was wearing an off-shoulder t-shirt). The rest will get a PG-13 or PG-18 rating from MTRCB so I wouldn't even include them here.

It’s not new to me. Being called names, criticized, bullied, being the butt of jokes have all been part of my childhood and even my adult life. I used to hide and cry to deal with them, but I’ve learned to laugh them off or sometimes I “join ‘em” since it’s futile to beat them.

It hurts me. Who wouldn’t be? I would be a hypocrite not to admit that. There are times when I still want to lash out or to get back to whoever is saying mean things about me no matter how true they are. I am after all every inch a human. It’s only been lately that I’ve learned to stand up and toughen up. Not violently though. When I say toughen up, I try to explain to people "you might mean well, but the way you said things was painful to me. I wish you’d do it in a nice way next time especially if we’re not close or since you don’t know much about me." Or if I’m close I make “bara” (colloquial: answer back jokingly.)

No excuses, I am as guilty as everyone else. A year ago, while a friend and I were fixing ourselves inside the ladies room in preparation for our hosting job, I told her there’s something different with the way one of the back-up singers look. My friend told me, that’s because she had something done on her face. And I without much thinking blurted out, “Oh that’s why she looks like a gay!” Uh oh... Too late. My intention was not to bash gays (I have the highest respect for them) or to even derogatorily compare her to gays. What I meant was the cosmetic procedure highlighted her masculine features and made her look altered and not in an aesthetically pleasing way. That wasn’t even the worst part. Before I could explain what I said, an old lady came out from one of the cubicles and gave me an “I’ve-heard-what-you-just-said-missy-look.” I didn’t need to put much blush on on my cheeks because I was red all over. So I learned the hard and embarrassing way that night.

As an announcer and a writer words are part of my day and my life. Sans them I couldn’t even think what life would be like. This page will be blank. Airwaves will just be airwaves without radios or TV’s. No magazines, no songs, no SMS, no prayers, no phone calls, no movies and no Pinoy Henyo. We could draw and paint pictures to communicate but that would take a long time. We could dance with just beats and no lyrics but that would be too taxing. We could mime, point with our lips, use facial expressions or even whistle to communicate but would you really do those everyday, your entire life?

Words – the ability to form and use them, the gift of expression, the extension of one’s self – these are all blessings. You don’t need to have my job to know how important and powerful words are. Let’s use them wisely and responsibly.

(I also wrote a short devotional article about handling criticisms in the Recharge book published by ICI and APMM. Available at NBS branches and Christian bookstores.)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I like!

I like!
Lj T. Salceda

I have been meaning to write a review about some of my current fave products. DISCLAIMER: I am not paid to do this and results/your taste may vary, NO one is allowed to SUE me. Peace!

So here’s a list of some of the things that got my "thumbs up":

1. Mineral Powder – I am NOT a make-up person. I am only forced to use them when a.) I have a speaking/hosting/performing engagement/photo shoot or 2.) when I wake up 2 hours before my usual waking-up time which happens once in every 5 years. Lol! After I was given some product samples by one of our guests on Pinoy E, I was hesitant to use them since I still bear the marks of a few commercial products' effects on my sensitive skin (believe it or not!)

+ It’s cheaper than the commercial counter-part.
+ It’s so fine you only need a few amount to dab and apply on your face.
+ It smells good, actually it smells yummy!
+ If you buy it from people like Ruth, you’ll help working-students to finish their studies. (Ayos sa plugging.)
+ It hasn't caused any irritation or allergies on me, so it has my seal of approval.
+ It is the first and only mineral make-up in the Philippines from what I've heard.

- The brand/line is still new and limited. Unlike other cosmetic lines you can only order this from suppliers/sales rep of the company/brand. They are not yet available in some malls/stores. You can check their site for the list of suppliers and other deatils.

2. CARICA Herbal Clean For Sensitive Teeth Toothpaste – My brother recommended this to me and gave me my first tube. For years I have been using Hapee’s Sensitive Teeth/Gum toothpaste due to my periodontal condition. This is CARICA’S answer to the growing demand of specialized dental products.

+ It doesn’t taste like medicine or herbs. The first time my brother told me about this product my first question was, "Does it taste like herbs?" He said, no it tastes like regular tooth paste but mildly. He's right, it's not overpowering or bitter.
+ It’s the same price range as my previous brand.
+ It’s locally made. Patronize our own products! I know the owners/makers. In spite of our connection, I am not paid/forced/bribed to write this.

- It doesn’t produce much bubble. Lol! I just like bubbles even when I’m brushing my teeth.
- My tube lid doesn’t close well and I’ve had the contents spill inside my bag twice. (My bag smells like toothpaste now.)

3. Caramel Snack Bar(Pasalubong) – If you think Max’s teeny-weeny caramel bar (on the side of every meal) is muy delicioso and you are bitin consuming just one piece, then you will absolutely love this because you wouldn’t know the difference. They do taste the same! I tell yah!

I just bought my fifth pack earlier today containing 10 pieces from the canteen. Good thing we have supplies now, we ran out the last time. Thanks to Mommy Auring for introducing this snack bar to my palate.

+ Not too sweet for a pastry or dessert. Perfect for health conscious people.
+ The size is just enough for me- 2 or 3 bites and you're done. I usually consume 2 pcs/day. I just hope they won’t shrink it, once it becomes a “hit.”
+ Affordable at P10/pc.
+ Mommy Auring said she knows where it’s made, so less worry about hygiene/source/quality. According to her, it’s the same factory that supplies Max’s restos. How cool is that?!

- It’s not yet commercially available (which is also a good thing), only a few stores/canteens sell the bar for now.
- Because it’s super yummy, it makes me eat more!!! Ugh, my figure.

(picture c/o FoxTVAsia)

4. White Collar (TV Show) –
Ok it’s not a product/thing, but I am hooked! I’ve always been a fan of “police/crime-busting shows,” so it’s already a plus factor that this show is about an FBI officer and con-man and their adventures/operations.

According to this site, White Collar is about the unlikely partnership of a con artist and an FBI agent who have been playing cat and mouse for years. Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer), a charming criminal mastermind, is finally caught by his nemesis, FBI Agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay.) When Neal escapes from a maximum-security prison to find his long-lost love, Peter nabs him once again. Rather than returning to jail, Neal suggests an alternate plan: He'll provide his criminal expertise to assist the Feds in catching other elusive criminals in exchange for his eventual freedom. Initially wary, Peter quickly finds that Neal provides insight and intuition that can't be found on the right side of the law.”

If you like Catch Me If You Can, NCIS, Law and Order, CSI, Criminal Minds and other “police or detective movies/stories,” you will surely love this.

+ Very unlikely tandem of the show’s main characters, but it works! Even if you weren’t able to watch the previous episodes, you won’t get lost (it's only on its 2nd season) and you haven't missed much yet unless you want to know the background/history of the characters/story. Makes me wonder if Kate is really a protagonist or antagonist, hmmm...
+ Matt Bomer is a hunk! Tim De Kay is believable. They both kick-b***. (Can I say that here?)
+ I love the plots in every episode. It's funny. It has enough mystery to keep you waiting for the next episode. And its not too "gross" like CSI or too disturbing like Criminal Minds.

- I’m watching it on Channel 9 (Solar/RPN9), as expected they are late. I’m actually watching “old episodes.” In the US, they are already airing the 2nd season, so don't spoil it for me.
- It's another addition to the overly-populated crime-busting shows available on TV. I won't be surprised if they'll come up with a spin off one of these days.

Consume at your own expense. :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Scrambled Egg with Veggies and Meat


When I was in the US, one of our staple breakfast food was egg. I've tried almost every available type of recipe/cooking method on the menu when I was there - sunny side up, omelette, scrambled, boiled on salads (except for poached).

One of the recipes that I really like was the scrambled eggs we had at this resto near Disneyland. I said to myself I can easily make this one!

Here is my humble attempt of copying their scrambled egg recipe:

Scrambled/Omelet Egg with Veggies and Luncheon meat


5 pcs eggs
cooking oil (olive/regular)
1 medium onion
2-3 cloves garlic
spinach or green bell peppers
red tomatoes
¼ (can) cubed ham or luncheon meat or sausage (mushroom as alternative)
salt and pepper
quick-melt cheese or feta cheese (optional)


1. Wash veggies.
2. Chop/mince garlic and onions. Cube bell peppers and tomatoes. Remove spinach’s stem. (You can blanch or boil spinach first before adding.)
3. Add seasoning (salt and pepper)to the eggs before beating.
4. Heat the pan, put oil and fry luncheon meat. Set aside.
5. Using the same pan and oil, sauté onions, garlic and add tomatoes.
6. Add the luncheon meat and the veggies bell peppers/spinach.
7. Add egg (scramble).
8. For omelet: Remove the veggies/meat. Make an egg crepe first before putting the filling.
9. Add quick-melt cheese while still hot before serving.

Tip: Serve with rice, bread or potatoes.

Serves 4-5 people
Cost: P150-200

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Blogging for a Week :)

Blogging Daily for A Week
Lj T. Salceda

My boyfriend challenged, er, encouraged me to write an article a day just a couple of weeks ago. “You have a gift,” John said. “I wish you’d do it everyday,” he added.

Does he know what he’s talking about?!! Lol! How could I refuse such a sweet, supportive and appreciative guy? I told him, ok hon, if I'll be able to finish the second draft of my book, I’ll give it a shot. (Just a little background: When I finally decided to become an official resident of the blogosphere, I only required myself to write at least an article a week. Many times I failed to do that. So this is really a leap.)

Anyhow, after finally submitting the second draft of my book last week and in honor of our first year as friends (John and I were introduced by a common friend- Jesus through the inter-net on the first week of August last year. That’s what I usually say when people ask us how we met…) here’s to a week of blogging!

The week that was – hectic, eventful and exhausting.

Monday - I was part of the DZAS team that covered PNoy’s first State of the Nation Address.
Highlight: PCEC head Bishop Ef Tendero treated us to a sumptuous dinner at a nice Korean resto after a long, hard day.

Tuesday – work day/staff meeting.
Highlight: Ate Maloi’s birthday, kaya may salo-salo!

Wednesday – lent a hand (and an ear) to 700 Club's Lahat Posible, Magtiwala Ka!
Highlight: being a blessing to others and getting to know celebs who are also bros & sis in the Lord!

Thursday – my TV night! Watched Modern Family, White Collar and NCIS.
Highlight: NCIS tonight was a C’mas episode! (pic c/o of this site)

Friday – attended a memorial service for our late Chinese host Ate Tessie Veloso.

Saturday – wrote the entire day.
Highlight: scramble c/o Ate May! (sayang di ko nakunan ng pic, naubos ko agad...)

Sunday – church, cleaned, walked for an hour, wrote some more.
Highlight: burning all the Mozzarella Garlic Pizza that I ate while watching the skies being lit by lighting!

Monday, July 12, 2010

From Luzviminda to Uncle Sam: Reflections on my US Trip (Part 2)

From Luzviminda to Uncle Sam: Reflections on my US Trip (Part 2)
Lj T. Salceda

My friends were right, 17 days were not enough to discover and enjoy all things bright, beautiful and stateside (as we say in Filipino) in the US. However I tried to maximize my time and made a list of some of the things I’ve realized and experienced during my first overseas trip. This is in no particular order:

1. Visited the FEBC office in La Mirada and re-acquainted with some of our foreign staff.

2. Rekindled the child in me with the rides in Disneyland and the fireworks in the evening- spectacular!

3. Took pictures of the various types of flowers and plants in SoCal. The giant roses and magnolia trees were adorable. My favorite spots are Balboa Park in San Diego, The Arboretum in Arcadia and my hosts’ neighborhood.

4. Strolled in Santa Monica park/beach and saw plenty of potential talents, cool tricks and pricey souvenirs. But what intrigued me most was the number of homeless people scattered everywhere even in the Beverly Hills area. I never expected a first-world country like the US to have so many of them.

5. SoCal is heavily influenced by Latin Americans, one proof is the name of their cities/streets, pero hindi siyempre pahuhuli ang Pinoy. Check this out!

6. Americans LOVE sports! They are festive and loud whether it’s the NBA finals or Superbowl or the World cup. Please don’t start talking about the Lakers with my man. Lol!

7. Their small bowl of teriyaki is equivalent to our big bowl. Drinks (especially sodas) are usually refillable or as we say in the Philippines bottomless. Almost everything is super-sized, from strawberries to flowers to fast food.

8. The weather there is almost perfect, not too hot and not too cold. But my skin is used to the humidity (or probably pollution) in Manila, as a result my lips were always parched and my skin was always breaking. Ouch!

9. Cost of living is high, so high you either need to have a stable job/s or a rich relative willing to support you for life! Car is a necessity and gas is expensive (triple the price in the Philippines), so are movies ($5 during the day, $7 at night), Filipino food/items are imported = meaning pricey (half of a small papaya for tinola costs $1). Thank God for Japanese restos where I satisfy my rice cravings!

10. One of the things I appreciate about the US is they allow the elderly to have jobs that in Philippines will only be given to younger people. If someone can still do a job well regardless of his age, why deny him the right to be productive?

11. America is pampered. Very pampered. They have Tivo, washing machine and dryer, dishwasher, the nicest schools and libraries, the latest gadgets, almost every type of products, services and accessibility to information. However, they pay high for these too, literally and figuratively.

12. I saw a squirrel, rabbit, hummingbird, eagle, possum, raven, horses and peacocks without going to the zoo.

13. An hour drive in the US is loooong and faaaaar. Unlike in Manila, an hour drive means spending 20 mins in traffic jam, 10 mins waiting for passengers and 30 mins traveling. I rarely doze off when I travel in the Philippines, but in the US I slept quite frequently on the road.

14. I saw Indians, Persians, Turks, Chinese, Africans, Mexicans, Europeans and other nationalities without going out of state. I’ve met some of the most generous, hospitable and godly people on this planet in the lives of my hosts, my boyfriend’s family, friends and even strangers.

15. Possessions, work, money, citizenship is not synonymous to JOY or SATISFACTION. I saw a lot of tired, disgruntled, hopeless, empty, sad Americans. They’ve got problems there too. Recession. Divorce. Homosexuality. Pornography. Addiction. Materialism. Name it, they’ve got a brand for it.

16. Good thing is, they’ve got Jesus there too! The churches are alive. Christians are on-fire. Christian bookstores are still on business. I saw a shirt that says “Let’s share the gospel while it’s not yet illegal.” Let’s pray for our brothers and sisters in the US.

17. Finally, you don’t need a fat bank account, connections or illegal activities to fulfill a dream, to reach a destination and accomplish a goal. All you need is to obey. I only had $300 in my wallet (I don’t own a credit card) when I went to the US and no, it wasn’t from my politician relative. But that’s another story that I have to write when the creative juices kicks in again.

For now, its mission accomplished. Until my next travel assignment, Lj here standing by.