Thursday, August 11, 2016

¡Feliz segundo cumpleaños, Junífera Clarita!

It's my youngest daughter's second birthday today! She is known to us as our miracle baby. Thank you GOD for giving Junífera Clarita a wonderful life and allowing her to experience this world. And thank you too for giving me my second life in order for me to continue loving and taking care of my beloved La Familia Viajera.

We celebrated her birthday here in San Pedro Tunasán, our adoptive hometown since 2004. Before eating out, we first visited San Pedro Apóstol Church to give thanks to GOD for her new year in life. Then we proceeded to nearby 
Álvarez Bakeshop, one of the oldest bakeshops in La Laguna Province. I bought a custard cake for Junífera Clarita. This cake is a must-try because the flavor is simple, not too sweet. Just right on the taste buds. It will definitely satisfy desserts. =)

Iglesia de San Pedro Apóstol.

Afterwards, we walked towards Maciang's Pancitan, an iconic place in our young city, for a simple birthday dinner for Junífera Clarita.

This popular eatery was named after its founder, the late Marciana "Lelang Maciang" Dolletón. It lost its signage during a previous typhoon.

Our kids just had their enrollment a few months ago. That is why we chose to celebrate Junífera Clarita's second birthday in Maciang's Pancitan. I wanted to celebrate it at home, but my hubby Pepe didn't want to. He wanted to celebrate it outside our apartment, especially since we call ourselves La Familia Viajera, hehehe!

It is said that birthday celebrations among us Filipinos is not complete without eating pancít. Maciang's Pancitan (also known as Pancít Maciang) is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, eatery here in San Pedro Tunasán. It has been around since the 1950s. It's an old place and looks like any ordinary eatery, but famous celebrities such as Alden Richards​, Charice Pempengco​, Efren "Bata" Reyes​, and Sitti Navarro​ have all been here and tried its strange but delicious pancít. Maciang's Pancitan serve mostly pancít, but what makes this place unique and special is that, aside from its age, it is the only place in the world where pancít bihon is deliciously served with fried egg, balún-balunan (chicken gizzard), and topped with catsup.

A lot of people busily walk around this place, but they will not mind you because the people of San Pedro Tunasán are some of the nicest people you'll ever meet. I have even learned to speak their unique Tagálog accent/dialect. I didn't study it. I just noticed that I'm already speaking like a native San Pedrense, especially since we've been here for the past twelve years, hahaha! Anyway, if you are a "cowboy" like me and the rest of my family, you will not have second thoughts of eating in a place like Maciang's Pancitan. And when eating there, you will feel that you are in a rural place. So if you happen to pass by our city and want to taste something different that will satisfy both your stomach and wallet, do try Maciang's "Special Pancít" for only ₱30.00Just drop by at the población and enjoy your unique pancít after a tiring day.

Click here for our complete photo album of Junífera Clarita's second birthday!

The custard cake from Álvarez Bakeshop.

We may not have given you a bonggacious birthday, my dearest 
Junífera Clarita, but what's important is that we are still able to celebrate it together, we are all healthy and happy, and we can appreciate whatever it is that we have. A simple yet memorable birthday, filled with love and care.

I love you my "pichiki-chiking", my "koala-baby", 
 my "baba labs"! Happy second birthday! La Familia Viajera loves you so much!!! More birthdays to come, and may GOD bless you always! ¡Muchos besos!      ♥ 

Mamá Yeyette

¡Buen provecho!


A mi querida hija,

Por el momento de leer esto, espero que ya seas fluido en nuestro idioma verdadero. Y mientras que estoy escribiendo este breve mensaje, quiero que sepas que estamos experimentando actualmente una terrible sequía financiera. Es por eso que no estábamos en condiciones de darte una fiesta dadivosa. Pero, como lo que tu mamá te dijo, lo que importante es que todavía somos capaces de celebrar juntos, estamos todos sanos y felices, y podemos apreciar cualquier cosa que tenemos. Para nosotros, todos los cumpleaños que nuestra familia celebra son memorables aunque sencillas, llena de amor y cariño.

Viva una vida sencilla y santa, al igual que tu patrona...

Santa Clara de Asís.

¡Te amamos mucho, nuestra Junífera Clarita!

Papá Pepe

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The 28th CCP Independent Film & Video Festival at Cinemalaya 2016

Last Monday night (August 8) was my first time to visit one of our country's most famous buildings, none other than the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). Why was I there? Because I attended the 28th CCP Independent Film & Video Festival (Ika‐28 Gawad CCP Para Sa Alternatibong Pelikula At Video) at Cinemalaya 2016.

"Yaman" is directed by Christian Baña and produced by Esmeralda Bucog.

As I have written last Wednesday, my hubby Pepe is part of the documentary film "Yaman" (treasure) which is one of the finalists at the Gawad CCP. It was produced by young filmmakers from the Colegio de San Juan de Letrán. Together with other finalists, it was to be shown only once. Since I am a proud wifey, I decided to be there to see my husband onscreen. You'll be surprised to know that I went there all by myself because my hubby had to attend to his night shift, our kids were at school, and the show started at 6:15 PM. I left our place very early, at 3:30 PM, to avoid rush hour traffic. Thank goodness I arrived early.

Right outside the Tanghalang Manuel Conde.

The moment I entered CCP, I was delighted and astounded by the place! I felt like I was in a big palace, and I couldn't help but smile in amazement while going up the grand staircase all the way to the second floor. I was truly amazed at the place! From time to time, I took photos of the place (and selfies, too!). Out of excitement, being my first time there, I asked some of the staff and other guests I encountered to take pictures of me, hahaha! =)

Roaming around while waiting for the film showing to begin.

A huge tarpaulin (left) and Cinemalaya souvenir items (right).

The show began on time. Like in all cinemas, taking pictures are not allowed inside the Tanghalang Manuel Conde where the documentaries where shown. That's why I wasn't able to take photos or even video clips of Pepe's several appearances in the documentary. As mentioned during my last blogpost, Yaman is a documentary about the Aetas of Zambales. My hubby was one of the resource persons interviewed since he is a historian.

I was shocked by my hubby's controversial statements in the documentary. I think what he had shared on the documentary about the Aetas and other indigenous groups of our country was the most frank that I've ever heard from a historian (before I watched the documentary, he didn't tell me anything at all about what he had said there). Sad but true for most people, but my husband is just exposing the truth about the indigenous peoples of our country and the Filipinos' Hispanic roots, according to what he had studied and researched, and that is why I am so proud of him. He is not scared at all to tell the historical truth about the Aetas of Zambales and the other indigenous groups of our country like the Ifugaos, T'bolis, etc. After the show, the audience gave a hearty applause. I even heard someone to my right who whispered to his companion, "Grabe si José Mario Alas." I'm happy and proud that my husband was able to give everyone inside the venue something to think about regarding our past and the truth about our national identity, and that we have nothing to be ashamed of who we really are. Those who were disturbed by what he said in the documentary shouldn't get mad at him because he is a historian who has carefully studied our past since his teenage years. He's just being honest and frank. So peace out! ♥ =)

After the show, I still roamed around the place, with an excitement in me that I couldn't explain especially since it's just my first time to have entered the CCP. I thought of the rest of my family. How I wish they were with me that night. I even imagined my hubby beside me, the two of us walking together and enjoying the ambience of the place... oh my, hahaha!

Right after the film showing. Bravo!

I was still on the mood to take more pictures of the place. There were still many people inside the CCP even if it was almost 9 in the evening. I also saw many famous actors and actresses. The antique chandeliers of the CCP fascinated me so much. Viewing them from the outside seems that you're in a foreign place. But I noticed that the stairs below the ground level are already wobbly, maybe because they're old. The design of the building is simple, elegant, and vintage (my hubby told me that it was designed by National Artist Leandro Locsín). Take note that you will not be tired of exploring every nook and cranny of the place because of the interesting designs, as if the building is an architectural park. You will feel relaxed even though it is old. Anyway, I love old structures and other heritage sites. ♥ ♥ 

I saw viewers falling in line to watch a full length film. I also chatted with some young people who called themselves "Team Ponching". They are so friendly and warm! I took pictures of them, including the ladies who were taking care of the free passes for the documentary films. ¡Muchas gracias a ustedes! =)

Before I left the place, I noticed the famous and more familiar water fountain. I was so overwhelmed with the view because there was a light rain. The raindrops added an effect to the view. I couldn't resist taking more selfies, hehehe! I asked another stranger to take a photo of me right beside the fountain with the façade of the CCP as my background, LOL!

The CCP Complex right behind me!


Cinemalaya started last August 5 and will continue to run until August 14. "Yaman" will not be shown anymore because all documentary films were shown for one night only! But there are still more films to be showcased during Cinemalaya 2016. All of them are definitely A MUST WATCH, from short films to documentaries full length films. Please visit the CCP when you have time. The place and the event will make you feel really good and proud to be a Filipino. The REAL happenings about our society are in Cinemalaya. All of the films are of great quality and intelligently written. Impressive cinematography and realistic conversation can be witnessed only in Cinemalaya.

I'd love to go back there next time with my whole family, La Familia Viajera! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

For more info or questions about Cinemalaya 2016, please call the CCP Box Office at 832-3704 or 832-3706, or call Ticket World at 891-9999. You can also visit the CCP website at and the Cinemalaya website at And for more of photos of my Cinemalaya visit, click here. And don't forget to Like Us on Facebook!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Ika-28 Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video presents: "Yaman"

Hi! We're inviting you to watch Point Productions' documentary film "Yaman". My hubby Pepe Alas is part of it! It is one of the finalists in the Ika-28 Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video, Gawad Alternatibo, for short (CCP Independent Film and Video Competition)! It will be premiered this coming Monday, August 8, 6:15 PM, at the CCP Tanghalang Manuel Conde as part of this year's Cinemalaya Film Festival. Yaman is a documentary about the Aetas of Zambales. Admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis. Let's support Filipino films! Patronize our own!

He's on the credits! I'm so proud! =)