Teacher Wanderer: 8/1/18 - 9/1/18

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Monday, August 27, 2018

After the Storm at Lake Michigan


Watched the sunset at the White Lake Channel (Montague Side) 

A storm pummeled Muskegon last night and left behind a trail of colossal destruction. The heavy downpour of rain flooded some areas and caused power outages to thousands of homes. We’re lucky enough to sleep through the night with power. The deafening thunder was so loud that the whole house trembled so many times.

However, just like in every storm, there’s calm after. It was a beautiful sunny day and we watched the sunset at Lake Michigan!

The water was calm and this man was doing the kite sailing. 

Amazing view of the man doing the kite sailing right before the sunset. 

He jumped so high out of the water so many times! 






Saturday, August 25, 2018

Asian Buffet or Red Wok?


Personal favorite?

A typical day cravings for Asian cuisine usually bring us either in Asian Buffet or Red Wok. The cultural contexts that the selection of the two restaurants embody are truly amazing and sometimes it’s hard to make a decision which one to go.


The two offer a wide range of selection that are mostly stir-fried at high temperature gastronomies surefire to suit all kinds of palate. Do not be deceived by the names because both restaurants actually include American food in their choices. Ham, steak, pizza, onion rings, fries and mini beef patties that are described by my husband as ‘scrumpdelicious’.

I personally consider it a luxury to be able to fuel myself with dumplings, egg rolls, chow mein, fried rice, egg foo young, lo mein, and other authentic Asian cuisine thousand miles away from home. They also have sushi ala carte and their shrimp varieties include sweet and sour, hot and spicy Szechuan, and shrimp with lobster sauce.


My husband and I like the wider selection of Asian Buffet but we prefer Red Wok because the owner and the servers are always so friendly. Mary Dillon couldn’t make it any clearer when she said, “I learned from McDonald’s that we can do great things from a marketing and advertising perspective, but if the experience at the restaurant isn’t superior, it might not matter.”

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Crazy Rich Asians Review: Too Asian It Really Made Me Cry


All the media hype of Kevin Kwan’s best-selling novel, Crazy Rich Asians did not fail to deliver. The trailblazing romance comedy movie with an all Asian cast was rife with vibrant and free-spirited characters that our jaws hurt from laughing so hard. It was an extravagant display of power and brazen wealth while trying to resolve imperially an all too conflicting familial duty against the desires of the heart.

The opening scene was brief but sufficient to convey a strong message. Old money fixes everything- even a callous case of racism. Perhaps it also gives us a glimpse of the constant struggles that people of other race face even in a simple case of staying in a hotel.

Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) and Nick Young (Henry Golding) were effervescent in their characters. There is a hint of biased since I am an Asian but I think they won the movie-goers with their indomitable spirits. The theatre was not full but the whole two hours was filled with laughter and loud reactions.

The gentle tug on my heart came when I saw the familiar Singapore Changi airport. I suddenly missed home so much that seeing a recognizable place almost made me teary-eyed. The sight of so many familiar Asian cuisines as seen in street-stall delicacies like satay, dumplings and curry made my stomach growl at the same time made my eyes a little bit misty. The ‘lah’ at the end of the sentence reminded me of my former Singapore and Malay co-teachers and elicited a bit of a chuckle.


The movie was a treasure trove of cultural display. The rich ethnicity of Chinese people was so distinct and although humor was injected in most of them, the truth is palpable. They favor their own people and Rachel is just too ‘American’ to belong to their family. The movie painted a dazzling picture of Singapore and Marina Bay Sands hotel was majestic and grandeur as expected. 


The underlying issues with Rachel’s plight were brought into what might be cruel but the truth nonetheless- she will never be enough. It is not just the question of wealth and power but also tradition and culture. Eleanor, Nick’s mother, exudes this aura of opulence and it is difficult to dislike a mother who thinks she knows what’s best for her son. Chinese culture goes deeper than the world-defined hierarchies or imperial influence and the movie clearly depicted that.

Crazy Rich Asians brought me into nostalgic reminiscences of my visits to Singapore. I caught myself exclaiming several times, "I've been there!" The places, the food, the people made the movie too ‘Asian’ that my eyes got misty thinking of the other part of the world I call home.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Wyze cam Home Security Video Review


Wyzecam is so little yet packed with everything you need! 

The iconic five-year-old viral Internet princess Claire Crosby and her dad Dave Crosby brought us to the discovery of this tiny video camera. If the names are not familiar with you, check out one of their viral videos which has been viewed over 37 million here. Claire’s dad owns the Wyze cam company and we were so impressed with the video quality that we thought of giving it a try. It’s currently making a wave in the home security technology amassing more than 600,000 units sold since it became available online.

So, what’s in the box?


The package was the tiniest I’ve ever received in the mailbox. In fact, it’s the only package that we received that fit in the mailbox. Packaging was so efficient that I was really impressed how the camera, the charger, and the magnet fit in a tiny box. I downloaded the app before we got the camera so installing took only about five minutes.

The camera doesn’t work in 5G wireless connection so you need to make sure that your Wi-Fi has also 2G capability. I didn’t know this before purchasing so thankfully, we have two choices for Wi-Fi connectivity.

Considering the price which is $19.99, the tiny camera takes vivid images. In fact, 1080p full HD. It has live stream with 8X digital zoom and it also works with Alexa. The enhanced vision delivers clarity up to 30 feet away. It has also magnetic base that you can mount it anywhere.

Check out video quality here.

Whenever a motion is detected, I receive a notification on my app. Its advanced algorithm also recognizes the sound patterns of smoke alarms and CO monitors. In addition, there’s a built-in speaker and microphone to listen and talk to. A 360 degree capability is available in different unit- the Wyze Cam Pan and it might be worth a try.

With its affordable price, you can actually have several of them in your house! The picture quality is so good that I could see my husband eating jalapeno poppers and cheetos at the middle of the night even though it's pitch dark.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

My Husband Almost Had to Cut My Engagement Ring!


So, it happened while I was sleeping deeply. I woke up with two welts on my ring finger. Apparently, mosquitoes sucked my blood while I was sleeping. I should have known that any bites would always result in swelling and blisters. But, I didn’t see the worst coming.

By late afternoon, my finger was indescribably red and swollen. I tried taking off my rings by using soap and lotion but I only managed to remove the wedding ring. My finger turned unrecognizably huge that the more I tried removing it, the more I got panicky. The puffiness and redness deformed my finger so badly it looked like it's taken directly from the E.T. movie.

While mosquitoes inside our house are fairly rare, we do have a lot outside. How they managed to get in was a mystery. Somehow, they got inside in the middle of the night and feasted on my finger. I was in too much pain and feeling so feverish that my husband decided to cut my engagement ring!

He was so determined to do it since he was worried that blood circulation might be affected. He assured me the ring could be replaced or fixed but, I still didn’t want to do it. I’m sure nobody would want to have their engagement ring cut into two!

For some reason, I was able to convince David to wait at least a day for the swelling to subside. I still have the blisters but my finger is a lot better now- not to mention my engagement ring is still in one piece!

Top secret revealed: Michigan's mosquitoes are the biggest I've seen ever!


Saturday, August 11, 2018

I Played at the Casino (For the Very First Time)

Photo Credit: Katrina M. Vogler
Little things in life are easy to overlook. But, when you are a Filipino who lives thousand miles away from the Philippines, spending time with other Filipinos pulls a gentle string in the heart. So, I was definitely thankful to spend our ‘Fridate’ at Little River Casino with fellow Filipinos-the beautiful as ever Katrina, the regal Ate Myrna O., the ‘luck-streak’ Susan, the caring Ate Vennie, and the sweet Ate Evie.

Filipinas in Michigan.

The seafood dinner buffet was as ostentatious as ever- a wild array of textures and tastes that featured International gastronomies. The queue was an attestation that the food and service was something worthy of visit. 


I got David's share of lobster since he doesn't eat one.

The night was full of fun- picture taking with friends, listening to a live band, and enjoying the company of Filipino friends and my husband. Most importantly, I got to try something I have never done before- play at the casinos slot machines. I wasn’t as lucky as Sue who won $37. David and I won several times but at the end lost $20. I guess casino was not our cup of tea.

Trying something I will never do again.


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Inspirational Articles/ Daily Blog

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Thoughts/ Opinions

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

The Best Ice Cream Place in Muskegon is in Whitehall!


Everyone knows that old saying, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream”. Well, not me. I don’t scream for ice cream. I am not a fan. Seriously.


David brought me to many places trying the different flavors of ice cream and I always end up not liking it. The problem? My palate is overwhelmed with too much sweetness. The swirl of colors and flavors are not appealing to my penchant at all.

So, imagine my surprise when a night of my husband’s sugar cravings brought us to the small ice cream place in Whitehall. The banana strawberry shake finally got me. Smooth dreamy real flavors rolled into one! This summer rush under the sweltering heat of the sun can be cooled down by the amazing blend of subtle sweetness available at Dairy Treat. They also have a treat for your dog so bring an extra two dollars!

Our happy place! 

Malt or shake? 

Don't forget your dog's treat! 


My husband said this is an antique picture. 

Monster sweetness! :D 

Sunday, August 05, 2018

River Tubing Adventure at Ludington State Park


Tubing (also known as inner tubing, "bumper tubing" or even toobing) is a recreational activity where an individual rides on top of an inner tube, either on water, snow, or through the air. The tubes themselves are also known as "donuts" or "biscuits" due to their shape.


The idea of a river tubing was something I didn’t really think about until I moved here in the United States. I was more of into boating and river rafting. It was my first time last year and so glad to be able to do it again today!

Sitting back in the inner tubes (except I had a tiny raft) while floating at the relaxing water for about two hours certainly belongs to everyone’s bucket list. The adventure treated us to the vibrant display of green trees and beautiful sceneries.







After the tubing, we were greeted by the beautiful water of the great Lake Michigan! Waves were so high but the water was so shallow so we had a lot of fun swimming. For the first time, the water was warm enough for my ‘tropical body’.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

How the Jellyfish Sting almost Killed My Sister


The death of a seven-year-old Filipino-Italian Gaia Trimarchi because of a jellyfish sting during an island-hopping tour in Caramoan (Philippines) brought back the memory of how my sister almost died because of having the same experience.

The little girl who was a gold medalist in swimming competitions in Italy died in her mother’s arms on the way to the hospital. She was stung by the box jellyfish, the world’s most poisonous creatures which kills 20-40 people in the Philippines every year.

The sea is treacherous and it was a painful lesson my friends and I learned several years ago…

I was awakened by a shrill of scream that penetrated the depth of the night. My eyes riveted in the darkness that shrouded me. But, no…it was more than that…the cry was familiar…I chilled when I heard it again. I wasn’t dreaming…


It was almost end of the summer when my former classmates in elementary agreed to spend an overnight swimming in a nearby town’s beach resort. Many of them were in their last days of vacation and about to be back in Manila for their studies.

I decided not to join them since I needed to finish the University requirements the following day. My parents were also quite adamant to permit us. However, after several “conscience pleadings” from my friends and prodding from my sister, I finally relented.

After dinner, one of my friends and I spent our time walking along the shore while others were swimming. Not long after, she decided to join the rest of the group and I fell asleep in the cottage.

The trip immediately turned into a nightmare.

I was trembling when I scrambled on my feet trying to figure out where the sound came from. Then, I saw a friend running while shouting my name. She told me that my sister was stung by a jellyfish also known as salabay.

I saw the group pouring her water and struggling to remove some tentacles that perforated her skin. She was screaming so loudly that I could still hear vividly the terror on her voice. She also fainted several times. We immediately brought her to the nearest hospital after being told by the cottage owner she didn’t have anything for first aid.

When we reached the hospital, she was still unconscious and her arms were swollen as if painted with ugly red lines. Her legs were also full of red stripes.

Time occurred in a haze. When we finally got home, my sister was writhing with fever. Her arms were so swollen. My friends explained to my furious parents what happened while I was in shock the whole time. She was crying non stop and she was brought again to the hospital. She stayed there for about two days but her condition only worsened. She had on and off fever and her blood pressure was so high.

It was the second night when my parents were warned my sister could not make it. We brought her to a bigger hospital in the city and she was given 24 hours to live. Despite of the pain relievers administered, she was constantly in pain.

My sister survived that traumatic accident. However, the tentacles left permanent scars on several parts of her body. Her skin was severely damaged and until now the ugly red blemishes are still visible. Don't be deceived by the beauty of the sea. Always take precautions and bring something for first aid.

What to do when you get stung by a jellyfish? Click here.

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