Friday's 10 Happy Things 4

I'm joining Helga Weber's Friday's 10 Happy Things where bloggers list ten things that made them smile this week, so we can start the weekend on a more positive note. Here are my 10 happy things, in no particular order :) Thank you Helga for hosting this!

Haven't done this list in a while. I was thinking of the things I did and saw the past few days that brought smile and these came to mind:

1. My heart melted with this photo.

2. Elections 2016- We went to MECO last Sunday to cast our votes. Sadly, it was a manual voting system. I was too excited for the PCOS machines, but didn't see any.

3. Our church group was treated to a special tour of the Treasures from Heaven exhibit at the National Palace Museum. We were happy to have Msgr Ivan as the tour guide. He was also part of the team who brought all items from the Vatican to Taiwan and organized this exhibition. 

4. Was finally able to check out the Upside Down House. It was too crowded the first time we went and was told that the waiting time is around 2 hours. Went there early Saturday morning and waited just a few minutes. Too cute inside!

5. My colleague has been telling me to try this matcha roll at a cafe called The Lobby of Simple Kaffa. It had a nice deep matcha flavor and the cake itself was moist. Service was a little slow though, with only 3 people manning the cafe.

6. I've been pretty consistent with my yoga practice lately, but Una's class left me powerless last night. I like the pacing of her Vinyasa class. but my body's not in proper condition yesterday. Haaay need to get back on track. 

7. Filed my taxes- It took me less than 10 minutes to file my tax. I'm always impressed with the efficiency of this little island.

8. I was so amused when I took this bus filled with stuffed toys after church. I just had to take photos. It would be nice to be able to catch this bus if you commute from work during rush hour.  Might take away your stress, even for a few minutes.

9. Cutest rice cooker ever.  But too expensive :(

10. The Philippines will have a booth tomorrow at the World Carnival fair inside Nat'l Taiwan University. We are preparing chicken adobo, turon and chopsuey, while the design committee takes charge of decorating the booth. Sobrang effort at team work! That's me and my friend Abby wrapping turon hehe. Cant wait for tomorrow!

Ditz Revolution

Weekend Whirlwind

It's funny how I always tell others to slow down and take a break when life's too much. I don't practice what I preach. No matter how exhausted I am, I want to get things done asap so as not to waste time. The start of April has been a whirlwind.

I flew home to spend time with my brother who is vacationing from the Middle East. My brother and I arrived on the same day but different flights. Mom picked us up from the airport and I've never seen her happier. Nothing really can replace home and the warmth of togetherness with family members. I tried not to pack my schedule with meet ups so I can have more quality time with the family. My mom prepared breakfast spread for us each morning- a variety of longganisa from Batac, Vigan and Cagayan (haha I know! take your pick!), eggs, hotdogs, and garlic rice. I was able to just lay down in bed and watch Food Network without thinking about anything. I used to watch Food Network a lot back in college days, to unwind and imagine what my future kitchen would look like.

I promised my brother that we'll watch Les Mis together and so I bought us tickets in early January. The show was fantastic and left my heart aching. We were lucky to watch Rachelle Ann Go as Fantine because my brother said she's been sick for sometime. She did really great and had a well-deserved standing ovation.

Before the show, I was able to squeeze in a short meet-up with my Go cousins who I haven't seen in ages and my Taiwan friends Bea and Diet who's also visiting home. Diet's now based in Singapore, and Bea went back to Manila after her 6 months of Mandarin studies in Taiwan. These two were my source of strength and happiness when we started our Taiwan journey in September 2009. I remember I would always cry to Bea and she'd do the same. Then we'd eat our hearts out and feel better again. Gosh the glory days. We've remained great friends since.

Above photo with Go cousins, below with favorite people Diet and Bea

I missed home so much despite the traffic that drives me and everybody else insane, despite the noise of Metro Manila and the smell of Tondo, for it won't be home without all these. They make up the heart and soul of the place I grew up in and each time I come home for a visit, I always ask myself where I really want to be. Drama to be continued...

After arriving from Manila, I left for Hanoi, Vietnam the next day for our preparatory meeting with our host organization for the annual bankers conference in November. I've only been to Ho Chi Minh so I was excited to see Hanoi. I was glad that the meeting went smoothly after only few weeks of coordinating with the host org. They took us to the proposed conference venue in Ha Long Bay, which was around 3.5 hours away from Hanoi. Ha Long Bay was just so dreamy, no wonder it's named as one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. I wish I knew what God was thinking when He created Ha Long Bay. It's really so serene and beautiful.

I'm leaving you with some photos from Ha Long Bay. Wishing you all a nice weekend!

Taipei Series: English Mass Schedule in Taipei

This is for expats and tourists visiting Taipei who are looking for Catholic Churches with English Mass (台北天主教英語彌撒), or an English-speaking community. I compiled the churches with their addresses in both English and Chinese, as well as their nearest MRT stops for your convenience. I hope you find this helpful.

Holy Family Church

Holy Family Church (台北聖家堂)
50 Xin Sheng South Road Sec. 2, Taipei (新生南路二段50號)
Schedule: 09:45 am
Nearest MRT: Daan Park Station, Exit 2
Click here for Google Maps directions
*** Holy week services***
Holy Thursday 04/18/2019 7:30pm, 2F Parish Hall
Good Friday 04/19/2019 7:30pm, 2F Parish Hall
Easter Vigil 04/20/2019 7:45pm, 2F Parish Hall 
***Christmas Services***
Christmas Eve Mass 10:00pm
Christmas Day Mass 9:30am 

Kuting Sacred Heart Church (古亭耶穌聖心堂)
22 Xin Hai Road Sec. 1, Taipei (台北市辛亥路一段22號)
Schedule: 11:00 am
Nearest MRT: Taipower Station, Exit 1
Click here for Google Maps directions

St. Christopher's Church (聖多福天主堂)
51 Zhong Shan North Road, Sec. 3, Taipei (中山北路3段51號)
Saturday Anticipated Mass in English: 05:00 pm
Sunday English Mass: 09:00 am, 10:30 am, 06:00pm
Daily English Mass: 12:15 nn
Nearest MRT: Minquan West Road Station, Exit 10
Click here for Google Maps directions
Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve Mass 8:00pm

St. John Bosco Parish (聖若望鮑思高天主堂)
123 Min Sheng East Road, Sec. 3, Taipei (民生東路3段123號)
Sunday English Mass: 10:30 am
Nearest MRT: Zhongshan Junior Station
Click here for Google Maps directions

Holy Rosary Church (天主教南港聖玫瑰堂)
113 Sec. 1, Academia Road., Nangang, Taipei (研究路1段113號)
Sunday English Mass: 11:00 am
Nearest MRT: Nangang Exhibition Center, Exit 5
Click here for Google Maps directions