High caliber husband and wife event stylists Ace and Kit Mandac (of Ava’s), and myself were invited by Red Dot marketing manager, Ace Joseph Rumbao, to judge the company Christmas party fashion show and cheers/yells contest last night. How could I say no to the creative and nice people behind the trendsetting Red Dot of Laoag?
I found out that this year, at the back of the Christmas-emblematized theme, the staff had to stick to the strict rule of upcycling only something borrowed and something old (as in unusable stuff from the company storeroom, etc.) It amazes me that with the imagination given full play, fun and glint are attainable despite the fact that the general mood of this particular season is moderation. In hindsight, the Christmas season is unchangingly a totality of getting together, remembrance, giving thanks and pats on the back.
Little drummer boy came in close to top placer uncut Christmas tree, while the Plains and Prints Pangasinan team won for their unitary cheering savvy. Ace would have comfortably landed among the finalists for his Victoria’s Secret angel wings, but he was presenter, so he’s the dynamite of the season:)
Taking the opportunity to give my congratulations to Visionaire, Inc. for being awarded the top recognition for overall performance by Terry S.A., Inc. Cheers to Bernard and Me-Ann and everyone at Visioniare! Thanks and merry Christmas, Red Dot!
If it’s a sin to covet my neighbor’s goods, then let me sin religiously in the name of starvation. Blame it on the insane aroma of newly baked bread around the block.
The one month old Baker’s Percent store right next to the building where I live hasn’t stopped tossing pizza breads and long Johns in their classy eco-friendly bags. I eat them morning, noon and evening, especially when I’m writing.
They have personal size cakes, rolls, uraro, egg pie, hopia, tikoy roll, ensaimada, pork chicharon, macaroons and a lot more.
The Bantay Bimmaboy of our childhood grows with age. But better. In August 2, 2009, a new culture was born. This sandy part of Sunshine City Laoag blossomed into the first ever playground for Ilocos’s indigenous sandboarding and offroading adventure. I think writer Eleanor Leyco of View Travel and Lifestyle magazine October 2013 edition got her geography all wrong when she wrote “Paoay [a town south of Laoag] is the only place where this kind of natural sand formation exists.” In the spirit of fairness, Ilocos sand adventure was born in the Laoag La Paz Sand Dunes.
I had a blast with local kids last Sunday. My dear Raine Calucag brought along Norman Cualteros to enjoy sunshine before he gets swamped at his post in the Senate this week.
Brought Alexa for her first 4×4 adventure. I never even noticed she hasn’t rode the toughest FJ40 on earth (hahah, still hunky after 4 years of continuous service). Eugene and his elementary friends were also there. Nina Luis helped me relive memories of our first 4×4 rides in La Paz pre-sandboarding era.
Norman, the hardcore sandboarder:)
Raine’s photos of us are cool. You might want to check out her glossy blog named Soveraine. We are planning on our next adventure with Marianne Pasion, another talented young photographer in Ilocos.
Mom and dad are in town from Los Angeles. To refresh their taste buds as well as their memory of local delights, brought them to Herencia Cafe in Paoay and La Moda Panciteria in downtown Laoag. There’s really no place like home, I always hear that from balikbakans anywhere.
Brandon’s fish kilawin and Alexa’s carbonara pasta. My dad got cooled with Filipino strawberry ice cream and my mom colorful halo-halo.
Mom and daughter.
Bought Ilocos burger with longaniza and sunny side-up egg at the snow cone stand outside. Decidedly good without being fancy!
Look! Crispy bagbagis (fried pork intestines) and lechon de carajay at La Moda Pancteria. We went heavy with meatball soup, camaron rebosado, fried calamares and pancit guisado. Mom was pleased with the homestyle cooking. Happy they can still enjoy a little of everything.
A few days ago, Ava Ventura, daughter of Cesar Ventura, left a comment in this old post. Though Ana Ventura-Remigio is a FB friend, I think I’ve never met her sister Ava. In my lifetime, I’ve talked to their dad only once, at a kids’ school program when he was still mayor. The former mayor of Laoag City left to be with his creator today.
Before sand adventure in Ilocos (La Paz, Laoag, to be exact) became a big hit, the dirt road leading to the Devil’s Drop, where most of the action takes place, had a sign that read Ventura Highway (check out the old post for the street sign post). This year, the road built by the late Cesar Ventura has already been improved to the tune of millions, but the beat-up Ventura Highway sign was never replaced.
When I was researching for the old post, I couldn’t find any article connecting to the Ventura project. I followed my instincts. Why is it so hard for other people to give credit where credit is due?
Times may change, but history can never be altered. To many of us who have regarded La Paz as our weekend home, the legacy of the late former mayor Cesar Ventura remains.
Thank you, sir, for your vision of the La Paz Sand Dunes.