It’s the merry month of May

Hello there!

It’s been over a year since I last posted something in my little corner in the internet through this blog. Nothing much has happened, it has been a continuous stalemate (for lack of word to describe my current state of person), save for holiday preparations and some minor stress caused by both significant and insignificant people who comes and go in my life.

Project Purple1

Since February of this year, I have set up a private blog, for my own personal musings akin to an online diary and mainly for personal consumption only. It should not be confused with my blog posts on old churches, old houses and everything in between. I will really try harder to post the churches I have visited this year (some new and some revisited) and the long overdue temples of the Angkor complex in Siem Reap among many others.

You will notice that pictures which were taken by me and subsequently posted in this blog page will be water marked Project Purple. It is my so-called project for this year as I journey and hack my life and simply moving on forward. Additionally, save for quite a number of my old Siem Reap photos which will be posted here, most of them were water-marked “iamjoannroyal.wordpress” since I made it before my Project Purple, but was not able to post it on time.

hello may-pp

Hello May! Hello my old blog! Hello again.

By the way, that is the locally grown dama de noche flower from my neighbor’s garden.


Hello March!

hello march

It’s already the third month of 2013 and I go “Anyare” (Filipino slang for Anong nangyari? Or What happened?) Indeed, the days are long but the year is short. For this month, as I welcome the summer months here in the Philippines, I am hoping for the better days to finally come on my little corner.

For this month, as the fruit trees grow and as the flowers bloom, I hope to achieve these and will definitely aim higher (as suggested from the Project Happiness book I am reading)

Carbs1. Loose unnecessary weight and eat healthy.

2. Exercise, it indeed does wonder with the endorphin to make people (and me) happier.

3. Read at least three books for this month

silverlinings_fbGet a copy and read The Silver Linings Playbook

I got these two books from a thrift shop I know it is from 2005 (and upon checking the net, there are current revisions) but just the same, I bought it, simply because, I am fascinated with old houses and old churches and the guide books have drawings and explanation. For the updates, I can always check and supplement it from the net.

DK-PragueDK Eyewitness Travel Guides-Prague

DK-Florence& TuscanyDK Eyewitness Travel Guides-Florence and Tuscany

4 . Update the blog frequentlypencil shading copy5.  Practice pencil shading. Yes, I got these practice books from the nearby bookstore and it is a stress-free session even if it’s simply shading. And I now know the different uses of the labels in the pencils. 🙂 For someone with a relatively poor eyesight and did not excel in art classes in grade school, I am doing good right now. 🙂

6. Learn something new— Creative writing perhaps? *winks* A new recipe perhaps.

7. Do my Church project—write ups and pictures of  the nearby churches near my location.

8. Visit nearby towns

cavite map1

Kawit, Cavite (Aguinaldo Shrine again, St. Mary Magdalene Church)

Imus, Cavite ( Imus Cathedral, City Hall, Town Plaza)

Bacoor, Cavite ( St. Michael Archangel Church, Town Hall, Digman Halo-Halo)

sta rosa map

Sta. Rosa, Laguna (Sta. Rosa de Lima Church, Ancestral Houses, Town Plaza, City Museum, City Arc and Cuartel de Santo Domingo)

garden9. Refurbish the garden.

10. Read, re-write, re-examine.


Here’s wishing you a happy and productive month ahead. See you around.

LTstars March2013

Photo Credit:

Hello March photo from

Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs- credit to the owner (I saw it from my friend’s re-post in Facebook)

The Silver Lining Playbook from Fully Booked Facebook page

DK Eyewitness Travel Guides-Prague and Florence and Tuscany both from

Cavite map from

Sta. Rosa map from

Better Days © Noha

Little Twin Star-March 2013 calendar from

Our Little Angel Iah


+ Maria Victoria M. Quijano, January 10, 2013

Victoria is a girl’s name of Latin origin. It means victory and conqueror. Victoria is an ancient Roman goddess who smiled on the Romans for many centuries, and the early Christians adopted the name due to Saint Paul’s praise of “God which giveth us the victory.” God indeed gave our family the victory of having our sweet little angel. Our angel has conquered and triumphed over death, and has left us a memory which our family will always treasure. As the Bible has said: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to search and a time to give up…a time for war and a time for peace.” The family finds comfort in knowing that you are at peace and in good company in heaven our dear Iah. Iah, if you hear Tita Ninang and Ate Gila sing, do clap along with Lolo Pogi for us. And as what Tita Ninang Mai has said, “Spread your wings little one and whisper our prayers to Papa God.” We love you our little angel.

This is a late blog post for my still-born niece Victoria. Words cannot express how saddened all of us, most especially for her parents Yeng and Unard. And I, myself is completely at lost on how to comfort my cousin Yeng and her husband Unard, and all I can do is hug both of them and pray for them. Baby Iah, do pray with us, most especially for your Mom and Dad, and yes, I do find comfort that you are at peace and in good company in heaven. Thank you our little angel Iah.


Photo from:

2AM Random Thoughts and Memories

For something to do and while waiting for sleep to come, here are my 2AM Random Thoughts and Memories on the 9th day of 2013—


Phantom of the Opera

Let your mind start a journey to a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the life you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be. Only then can you belong to me. ♥ (Phantom of the Opera, Manila-September 22, 2012)


“Atashin’chi” 🙂

 I can relate with their everyday conversation. It reminds me of my family in anime version. I highly enjoyed it since I chanced upon my brother watching the “tagalized” version. Photo from a Tumblr blog.


Corona Beer

I answered just for the heck of it the Facebook status question which goes: “What’s going on, Joann?” And I replied cheekily: “In times like this, I am thankful that I am not an only child. nyahaha! I have a built in beer buddy :p On other days, uhmmm, sige na nga payag na ako na may kapatid ako. bwahaha! (Translation: Ok, fine I agree to have a brother.) And I add, I also have a built in movie and TV buddy. I get to enjoy his Asian favorites from animes to Korean TV show to food. Yes, admittedly, I enjoyed western TV and movies having been a 90s kid and him, he’s an anime kid having grown up in the 2000s.


Gila’s Strawberry Salad

This is Gila’s strawberry salad. Mommy and Ninang finished this whole bowl in one sitting last New Year’s eve, then Gila was looking for it the following day. haha! Sorry, Gila, nasa mabuting tiyan na ang strawberries mo. (Translation: Sorry Gila, the strawberries are in Mommy and Ninang’s {Godmother} stomach.) We owe you one kilo indeed. haha! (Photo from Mommy Mai)

adamAdam Levine *swoon*

This photo was taken from a local clothing store. And for two weeks, it’s Maroon 5 in the earphone. Yes, I am crushing on Adam Levine. Haha! And I said in a previous post: “I can’t help it, surreptitiously took this picture and was going back and forth in this area even if I don’t have anything to do with it. haha! Yeah, make a joyful noise (and be swooned) xxx”

blue copy


I am still crushing on A and his abs. haha! The Blue-bubble picture is from Who’s A? I am not answering. Haha!

inoxcrom fountain pen

Inoxcrom Fountain Pen

I want a new fountain pen and a blue-black ink. I used to have four in the past, but for all the weird reason, I ended up throwing and breaking them. Picture from:


I think, I am ready to finally read Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns, after crying a bucket for The Kite Runner years ago.

Will buy and read the following (as per my BBC Book list)

1) Atonement – Ian McEwan 2) The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger 3) The Color Purple – Alice Walker 4) Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell 5) Brave New World – Aldous Huxley 6) His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman. I have to add (I already have a copy): 7) The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald  8) Life of Pi – Yann Martel (before watching the movie which will come out this week in Metro Manila theaters) 9) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl.

Will read John Green too 1) Looking for Alaska 2) An Abundance of Katherines 3) The Fault in Our Stars

I should have a reading plan— both for leisure reading and for my attempt to write a “training material”

***Silay4calea cake copy


I wanted to visit Bacolod again. I don’t know, but for some reasons, I feel connected with this city. Actually, this house is the Balay Negrense in the nearby town of Silay. And the chocolate cake is from Bacolod’s famous Calea.

pearl farm 3 copy

Pearl Farm

I wanted to go to the beach, perhaps Pearl Farm again, or Panglao, Bohol.


Or maybe Boracay once more, this time to enjoy the night life. haha! Last time, I visited, I just want to enjoy the sun and the sand, and said to myself, it’s far off my mind to visit it again, till I was reminded by someone about it, perhaps the fruit shake convinced me.


January 9- Feast of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo

January 9- The Feast of the Black Nazarene. It was dubbed as the “biggest Catholic feast in the country (perhaps in the world). An overnight vigil every January 8 is held annually in the Luneta Grandstand, and  grand procession will follow, which usually lasts ten to twelve hours. Masses are held in the church and a high mass at 6AM will be celebrated by Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle at the Quirino Grandstand. I was fortunate enough to take this picture amidst all the suspicious looking characters in the area during my Visita Iglesias in 2008.

And finally, a picture quote from All Famous Quote’s Facebook page.


Hello 2013!


I am still lost for words on what to write here is really an understatement. I’ve been attempting feebly to organize my thoughts in two notebooks— the pink and blue notebooks. The pink notebook is supposed to be for love stories I’ve been trying to make since 2008 and as of late last year, it had four character changes, and it still remain as an outline of the stories. Another flimsy reason why these stories are shelved out is maybe I am still having internal debate of whether or not ten out of the fifteen stories will have a happy ending. Meanwhile the blue notebook is more of the “editorial/opinion” type regarding the issues I’ve been meaning to give my thoughts since 2010. Assuming that I will be able to write something about it, there will be developments like that of the RH bill, now the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Act of 2012 (yes, I am pro-RH), the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, the impeachment of Chief Justice Corona (oh my, it’s almost a year), and even the “ flash points” in the Middle East, among other things. I also remembered making notes in my mobile phone about my daily thoughts, of the places, food, movies and books, some outline about my 2012, my recent Indochina trip and the old churches. I think I should set-aside some days to re-organize all of these, pictures included.

The world did not end as what the Mayan’s predicted and was taken out of context by some, instead a new cycle begins. As it unfolds, I am setting my sights this year to be the year where dreams come true, braving new heights, dreaming some more, laugh and love some more, and definitely the phoenix will raise once more. And I just have to agree to what @rapplerdotcom tweeted last January 4 “#ThoughtLeaders Now is not the time to delay ambition, nor settle for the mediocre. Here’s to daring greatly in 2013!” As always, I will be taking it one day at a time. I have resolved that I will do more this year, and do things that will make me happy, after all making a conscious effort to be happy is really the way to be, because you and I deserve it, after all it’s still a happy place to be (despite of and in spite of). And yes, we should not forget to have a thankful heart.

I will definitely take what the Phantom said… “Let your mind start a journey to a strange new world…. Let your soul take you where you long to be.”

Here’s wishing you a happy and blessed 2013.

Saying Thank You

thank you1

* Maraming Salamat (Filipino)* Thank you (English) *Gracias (Spanish)* Obrigado (Portuguese) Danke (German)* Grazie (Italian)*Merci (French)* *terima kasih (Malay)* teşekkür ederim (Turkish)*cam on ban (Vietnamese)*Okun Charan (Khmer)* ขอขอบคุณคุณ (Thai)* शुक्रिया (Hindi)*شكرا (Arabic)*

Saying thank you is perhaps one of the most beautiful things in the world. It evokes sincerity and fills your heart with over-flowing gratitude and warmth that you can hardly explain how it feels. Well, it simply feels good. And I have to agree with Sister Karol in her Book of Spells and Blessings when she says that thank you is a prayer in itself, because you bless the person you’re saying thank you to.

It took me by surprise when someone asked me to write her own thank you speech for her birthday. I go like, “What?” She gave me her what I think is a flimsy reason that she is not a writer, blah, blah thing and I am more adept in writing. I am restraining my eyes to roll backward and thanks to what we call composure, I nearly fell from my seat when she even sends her specification about the speech. As in ohemgee! Anyway, in the spirit of the season, I obliged and sent it to her just this morning. She sent her thanks and even told me that she was moved and touched by the speech.

Before I started the so-called speech this morning, it just occur to me that yes, people like politicians, dignitaries and even some celebrities have speech writers to write them speech. Well, after all they’re entitled to a so-called “communication officer” but when one delivers it should be filled with sincerity and at the least, these “high-profile” personalities should be briefed about the speech to make them knowledgeable and doesn’t look goofy on stage. But with the rest of us, who lives in our ordinary day-to-day existence, having a thank you speech is easy to do, especially if the occasion is close to your heart, like birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and the like. It is easy to say thank you if it comes from the heart and it is filled with sincerity.

I just hope that she can deliver it well on her birthday, knowing that I hardly know what she’s been through and knowing that at times, she may lack the “naturalness” to say it, because somebody is saying thank you for her behalf. And yes, all I can do is sigh.

Say thank you whenever you have the chance to say it. Believe me, it definitely warms the heart and uplifts the soul when thank you comes from your heart and you will say it personally.

Picture from I placed the thank you words on it. Thank you words in different languages from Google Translate

Merry Christmas!

Christmas tree 2012

It is that time of the year where family and friends gather together, strangers smile at each other and the Christmas air is filled with love and gratitude. It is truly the best time of the year. From my family to yours, Maligayang Pasko!

PS: Someone’s getting good at doing her domestic diva duties. Well, except for doing the photo collage and doing the flower arrangement, but I did bought and chose the flowers. haha! Merry Christmas!

2012 achievement

Christmas is indeed a gift of love and giving, a gift of joy and good life. May these priceless treasures stay in your hearts today and always. From the Philippines, Maligayang Pasko po! Merry Christmas everyone.