Archive for May, 2010

Faith Walk

Sundays aren’t always extraordinary. But it is a much-needed gathering of God’s people around his word and sacraments before heading out into another week where we will certainly need his grace.

– paraphrase from The Morning After
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The Magalawa Island

Last weekend, May 22-23, 2010, my husband, I and our office friends went to Palauig, Zambales. It is a much-needed vacation for all of us. Magalawa Island is the perfect getaway to unplug ourselves from technology (save for our cameras! ;)), go back to Jurassic times, be one with nature, relax and not think about work (weh! :P) and other pressures for once. How did it go? I think the pictures will say it all. 🙂


We had the chance to meet the owner of the beach front area of the Island, Mr. Reynaldo Armada. This down-to-earth man, known as Boy Armada to the locals, had been a Kagawad in Palauig for almost 12 years, assigned as Chairman of the Committee of Fisheries and Agriculture. He said they’ll be doing some renovations on their rest rooms and shower rooms, and will add other Bamboo Huts for visitors who do not wish to camp. But other than that, they’re keeping the Island’s original beauty. He also said that the government will put in a mini-airport just behind his property, making it more accessible to many.

Island’s Contact Info
Should you wish to go there, you may contact Ate Grace Armada (Manager of Magalawa Island) on the following numbers: 09398707413, 09995193383 and 09212773369.

You may also check out the following links for more information:

P.S. Pictures in this post  c/o Aaron Sarte and Jon Lombredas.

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Getting that Elusive 9: Speaking

So how do IELTS Niners do it? Below are the links to the articles I’ve been reading from the British Council site  that I think will be useful for our preparation for the speaking part. Hopefully this will all help us get that elusive nine for whatever reason we are trying to achieve them.

  • Most Important Speaking Skill – This article provides information on: (1) The areas assessed during a Speaking Exam; (2) Tips on Pronunciation; and (3) Possible band scores relative to pronunciation.
  • IELTS Interview Skills – This provides situational what-to-do videos. Sample videos are: (1) What do you do when you didn’t catch the facilitator’s question? And (2) What if the question seem like a yes-or-no question? I’m sure you’ll find the information here, interesting 🙂

There. I hope that helps. If you have other suggestions or pointers to share, post them on the comments below so we can help one another get that elusive 9.Ü

Categories: Work Tags:

Faith Walk

We are created in God’s image and likeness.
We are tougher than we think we are.

Carmi Salas-Sarte

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Invest In You

I’ve recently read an article that gives tips on what to do with a tax refund (not that employees have efficient tax refunds in the Philippines). I just might use Mary Hunt’s suggestions when I get my mid-year bonus, 13th-month pay or whatever incentives I get from my good “deeds“. Below are her suggestions:

  1. Treat it like a paycheck.
  2. Put it to your contingency or freedom account.
  3. Fund your retirement.
  4. Reduce your credit card debt.
  5. Replace a failing furniture/appliance.
  6. Get car maintenance.
  7. Buy necessary sale items in bulk.
  8. Invest in You

Invest in You? She even added:

What do you need: a trip to the dentist; a couple of hours with a good therapist; a day at the spa? If that renews your joy, it might be the best money you’ve ever spent.

I’m quite sure I’m not alone in my surprise. For breadwinners, spending money on some of these luxuries for ourselves were unnecessary and impractical. There are times we thought we need it, but we put it off because we thought we can spend the money on something more important. Most likely, the moment we get around doing it is when there’s an absolute need for it or when we’re at an emotional low that we tend to spend impulsively.

But you know what? It just dawned on me. It’s okay to treat yourself. You need to take care of yourself. Rewarding yourself for all your hard work makes you more efficient and creative. Feeling good about yourself puts you in a better position to take on challenges.

Hmmm! I think I should go out and shop and get myself a cellophane. As Samantha Jones of Sex in the City put it, “Let’s go spend some of my hard-earned, Hollywood money.” You deserve it.

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Getting that Elusive 9: Writing

So how do IELTS Niners do it? I’ve been going though some review materials and this is an update of the things I’m learning. Hopefully this will all help us get that elusive nine for whatever reason we are trying to achieve them.


  • Just like any other section, this is a timed test.


  • Task One is  report based on some graphic information. It could be one of the five forms: line graph,  bar graph, pie chart, table or diagram illustrating a process. The shown information must be described in a report of no less than 150 words.
  • In this task, you are not asked to give your opinion. Just describe the graph objectively.
  • You might want to use the following Guidelines in crafting your answer:

    Does the report have a suitable structure?

    • Does it have an introduction, body and conclusion?
    • Does it include connective words to make the writing cohesive within sentences and paragraphs?

    Does the report user suitable grammar and vocabulary?

    • Does it include a variety of sentence structure?
    • Does it include a range of appropriate vocabulary?

    Does the report meet the requirements of the task?

    • Does it meet the word requirements?
    • Does it describe the whole graph adequately?
    • Does it focus on the important trends presented in the graph?


    • Task Two is an essay based on given topic. You should be able to create a writeup of no less than 250 words.
    • The essay should have a structure: introduction, body and conclusion.
    • Focus on the topic and avoid inconsistencies.
    • Structure and cohesion should be evident within and between paragraphs and within and between  sentences.

    There. I hope that helps. Next post will be for speaking. If you have other suggestions or pointers to share, post them on the comments below so we can help one another get that elusive 9.Ü

    Categories: Work Tags:

    Faith Walk

    Jesus  took the sinner’s place upon the cross, becoming for all sinners all that God must judge, that sinners through faith in Christ  Jesus might become all that God cannot judge.

    – R. G. Lee

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