Japan, the Land of the Rising Sun

Anime.Sushi. Cherry Blossom. Manga.Ramen. Geisha. When you overhear these words, there is always a smile on your face if you are infatuated with anything Japanese. And this is how my daughter, Ina grew up, she loves  Japanese stuff weirdly. It began with “Anime”.

Japan Travel – October 2015

We have planned our tour to Japan and save up the money needed in 2 years time. My travel buddy, no other than my youngest daughter, Ina had organized it. She then traveled from the Philippines and I departed from Dubai.

1st Stop – Osaka

We booked our accommodation as usual via airbnb.com. Ina flew a day before me and while waiting for me, she visited the Universal Studios.

 This is her selfie at USJ
A glimpse where Ina stayed at Osaka for 1 day
And we met at a room in Osaka the next day….500 meters away from the nearest train station.
Something happened to me while I was at the Immigration at Kansai International Airport. I was not able to get a copy of the accommodation print-out with the address. I only had the property directions. As a result, I was told to stay in the queue by the immigration officer. Stupid me! The officer requested me then to asked assistance from the staff guiding the tourists in the queue. They were not familiar with the place shown on the directions sheet either. The officer then directed me to call my daughter but my Dubai mobile number had not been activated to roaming mode at that time.A wifi was not available as well and I was then stationary for 25 minutes. With a little of disbelief, the officer called my attention and directed that I must  write all the details pertaining to my daughter. I had a feeling that he had realized that holding me that long is of little worth. So then I was permitted to leave. But there was a  consequence, I had to show them all the stuff in my luggage. Banzai!
  Ready for our sightseeing in Kyoto
Kyoto Journey
At Kinkaku-Ji Temple
At Nara
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Ina was captivated with all the fussy things she encountered in Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Tokyo, Chiba & Narita.

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At Tokyo Tower Ground

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At Harajuku

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At Chiba, persimmon tree at the background….
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Travel To Remember

My dream of visiting New York was fulfilled….It was really my dream as a child to see New York. This took place in April 2012. Have a glimpse!

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My friend, Johanna brought me to Serendipity Restaurant and ate this ice cream sundae…so yummy!

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A tribute to John Lennon…at Central Park.

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Another view at Central Park.

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Who would not want to see the NBC News Building?

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The Wall Street

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 Broadway. We watched Sisters Act, it was a fun and lovely evening with my friends, the very first time I have viewed a broadway musical. A night to keep in journals.

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Empire Estate Building. Just took a photo while traversing the road nearby as our tour did not include going inside the building.

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Fashion Avenue at night. We did not miss to go around here even it was so late at night and shops were closed.
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Statue of Liberty, a view from the cruise ship.
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Times Square view.
Indeed a visit that can not be erased in mind.

I love books!

Sidney Sheldon. James Patterson. John Grisham.Elizabeth Gilbert. Paulo Coelho.Danielle Steel. Adele Parks. Stephen King. Anne Rice.Martina Reilly. Barbara Taylor Bradford. Sophie Hannah. Helena Firth Powell.Dale Brown. Emily Barr. Dan Brown.Victoria Alexander.Koji Suzuki. Holly Peterson.
These are the authors of my book collections.
Step on a crack, break your mother’s back…this is a myth!

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I enjoyed reading this book. Maybe you all know that James Patterson is a master of the suspense genre. I like his way of injecting mystery to his novels….How brilliant!
This is the plot as exactly specified in the book: Patterson and Ledwidge introduce a new hero in an exciting thriller set in the heart of Manhattan. NYPD detective Michael Bennett is concentrating on getting his family through a particularly difficult Christmas: he and his 10 adopted children are facing the loss to cancer of his brave wife, Maeve. But a major crisis calls him away: the funeral of a former First Lady at St. Patrick’s Cathedral goes horribly awry when men storm the church and take hundreds of attendees hostage. Michael is asked to try to reason with a sinister man named Jack. Jack releases all but the most famous people and makes his demands: he wants several million dollars from each celebrity hostage, including the mayor, a popular comedic actor, a beloved talk show host, and a pop starlet. Once Jack starts killing, Michael realizes he’s up against a truly diabolical foe. Patterson has a knack for creating genuinely likable heroes, and Michael fits the bill. As readers rapidly turn the pages to learn how the tense hostage drama plays out, they will also be sympathizing with Michael as he faces the agonizing loss of his wife. Totally gripping and downright impossible to put down, this is a promising start to a potential new series. (credit to the author)
My review:
Awesome book. Great characters. Brilliant story line. I recommend this to suspense thriller lovers!
I am blowing my own trumpet….I have visited St. Patrick Cathedral in July 2014. The church where the hostage took place (NYC setting). Here are the photos I have taken:
It was undergoing construction at the time we dropped by at the cathedral. Goosebumps!
I will be featuring other books soon.

On Herbal Teas And A Chum

I have discovered a lot during my eleven (11) years stay in Dubai, among other things, good herbal teas that suit my taste. Not to mention the benefits that would contribute to our health.

I am most fascinated with hibiscus tea. It was my friend, Janice (IG: jhanizelopez) who introduced it to me. Many thanks to you, my favourite dongsaeng! You have showered me the best of things during the months that I had encountered a number of challenges in my life, just when I needed a chum to be near me. I really did appreciate you standing by my side despite working overtime with work and family.

Janice and her family have already migrated to Winnipeg, Canada. I sorely miss her and her family. Though we chat over FB and IG.

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This is Janice and me when we had coffee at Mikel Dubai few days before their flight to Canada.
The Hibiscus Tea

Janice usually asked me to drop by her flat and as always, she made it a point that she prepares something over lunch or dinner that her family will enjoy (including myself ha ha!). That was where/when I discovered about this amazing tea. One time, after having our lunch, she served this tea.The color was so attractive. She has prepared it with lemon slices which made it more refreshing to my taste buds.

 

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credit to the owner of this photo
According to her, she used to drink this after lunch or dinner when fatty foods are served. In a nutshell, this tea is good in lowering bad cholesterol in our body. The hibiscus tea (she prepared) were made out of dried flowers (of hibiscus), See the image below (credit to the owner).

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We call it “gumamela” flower in the Philippines. There are a lot of varieties of Hibiscus by the way.

After this encounter, I began searching for hibiscus dried flowers. She bought them from Farmers’ Market On the Terrace during its season in 2015 at the Emirates Towers. When the Farmers’ Market opened in April 2016, I tried searching for the place. At that time, it opened in Business Bay Avenue just at the side of the Taj Hotel. Unfortunately, hibiscus dried flowers were no longer available.

One incredible story that Janice told me, which she kept on mentioning: An old lady in her neighborhood once revealed (to Janice) about her problem in blood pressure, so Janice thought about sharing some of these dried hibiscus flowers. After awhile, she came to her asking where to buy these stuff as after drinking it and finishing them, her BP has improved a lot. Amazing, right?

This story proved that the researched studies about the health benefits of Hibiscus are true.

Hibiscus tea health benefits cover relief from high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol, including digestive, immune system, and inflammatory problems. It aids to cure liver disease and reduces the risk of cancer. This tea may also speed up the metabolism and facilitate a healthy, gradual weight loss.

Please go to:https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/beverage/hibiscus-tea for further information about hibiscus benefits.
Hibiscus tea packs sold in supermarkets or grocery stores are herbal teas made as an infusion from crimson or deep magenta-coloured sepals of the Hibiscus sabdariffa flower. It can be prepared both hot and cold. It has a cranberry-like flavour, and sugar is often added to have a sweet flavor.
Since I have not found any dried flowers to buy yet, I just have to be contented with the Lipton label for the time being. I bought some in Dubai where herbal infusion teas are abundant.

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Incidentally,we have some hibiscus plants in our garden. I am collecting the withered ones and when the sun comes up (it is raining these days), I will have to dry them up and voila, I will have an organic tea on my breakfast table.

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My observation:
This is also good for treating infections. It helped me relieved with my urine infection a month ago. So grateful that I discovered Hibiscus. Try it…..

How Archery Affects the Life of A Person

I came across a lot of blogs about Archery. And I feel the urge to read more about it. Some find the sports therapeutic, some find it costly to have it as a leisure pursuit. It is a form of relaxation to many. For me, it is an out of the ordinary hobby. But anyone can take Archery up, you will never know that this can be the sport that you have a natural aptitude of. Discover it buddy!
At the outset, I have gathered some information from a Newsletter about Archery. Thus,I can say thatArchery is a sport of balance.By engaging with it, you will have a great sense of balance to show on similar activities.  I came to know as well  that you can learn discipline and patience if you indulged with Archery or hunting. You gain patience because Archery is about precision and not speed. Precision means it will take time.
Moreover, they may say that it is of elite kind of an interest but benefits such as above are incomparable.
Not to mention that this sport needs considerable strength,endurance, and focus. This then will aid you to keep your body fit and healthy. And the focus as a reward from this said activity may help manage high-pressure conditions that you may encounter in your day to day life.archery-images-2
   (credit to the owner of the image)
It is also interesting to note that the basic archery steps can be learned without the assistance of an instructor. The basic steps are:
ü  Stance
ü  Nocking the Arrow
ü  Set-up
ü  Draw and Load
ü  Anchor
ü  Transfer and Hold
ü  Aim and Expand
ü  Release
ü  Follow Through
The mere mentioning of the moves,I feel so alienated and sounds like I am still wet behind the ears.
Stay focused – this is a constant advice from trainers when playing Archery.(As I mentioned earlier, one of the benefits of Archery is developing a positive focus.) Archery leaders believe that by doing this you can develop proper archery shooting forms and techniques. And that according to them, the sole effective way to shoot well  is thru a  solid and consistent anchor position. Those who are no longer new in Archery can attest to this.
Citing great archers in the world. I would like to share this news and updates.
Do you know that in East Asia, Goguryeo,one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea was well known for its regiments of exceptionally skilled archers? And that South Korea now, has a lot of  brilliant archers who excel in Olympics Games? I can name three of them.
A couple, Park Sung-Hyun & Park Kyung-Mo both won medals in the Olympics. They made to the World Archery’s list of the greatest Olympic archers of all time.park-sung
 Park Sung-Hyun (credit to the owner of this photo)
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Park Kyung-Mo (credit to the owner of the photo)
They are both coach professionals currently and in the recent Rio Olympics, they represented SBS TV Channel as commentators.
Archery champion (Women’s event) during the 2012 London Olympics is also a Korean by the name,Ki Bo Bae. She once commented by exposing one of her techniques: “Keep your balance from the moment you lift the bow until you let go of the string like feeling both your arms are falling away.” She mentioned as well  that an archer must train with running and weightlifting in order to achieve the best shoot.

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   Ki Bo Bae aiming her shot  (credit to the owner of the photo)
Incidentally, I do love Korean culture and its people. They are loveable.
On that note, I conclude my topic in Archery and I hope to share a blog about hunting soon.
http://hunthacks.com