Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Empowered Women Of Achievement Award 2012

This photo was added to the cover of Vanity
magazine along with the other Awardee.

Photoshop is an amazing tool. They placed
all of us to look like we were all in the photo
shoot together.
I feel truly honored to have been one of a select group of women chosen to receive the Empowered Women Of Achievement Award 2012. The event is organized by an independent group of Filipino artists and fashion designers. The first gown designed for me, sight unseen, was truly remarkable. But then you be the judge.

Photos taken by Toné McGuire. He made the photo shoot so fun and brought out the best in me. It's so different to work with a photographer who gives you feedback and direction.

Hair and makeup by David's Salon on Rizal Ave., Puerto Princesa City, gown by Goullee Gorospe, location: Hotel Centro, PPC, Palawan.

Click any photo on this page to enlarge.
There will be an actual Award Dinner this coming Dec. 15th in Manila. I am hoping I can re-arrange my schedule so that we can attend!
Many thanks to the panel of judges for choosing me along with all the other remarkable women on the magazine cover, who I am looking forward to meeting!

What is amusing to me is my placement on the magazine cover. I am probably the shortest lady there at 4'10" ! The gown was at least a foot too long. I am actually standing on the stair above the bottom of the skirt. Postulating that my legs were on the lower step, it would truly seem to the viewer that I must be a long legged gal. It just goes to show you not to always believe what you see.  I am thrilled about it, as for once in my life, I see what I might have looked like taller.

The occassion of me being invited was through Facebook initially, then through cell texting. I have not yet met the organizer nor the designers!  They asked for my measurements and designed the beautiful gown around that. It was then sent by overnight courier from Manila to me, where I live on beautiful the island of Palawan.

Cleavage courtesy of Nubra adhesive,
strapless bra cups!
Although the gown was so clasic with the tulip skirt, it was actually about 4 inches too tight in the back and wouldn't even begin to close. My 86 year old angelic mother, sewed ribbons on the back so that they could be tied to keep the top from falling off me.

Thanks mom, what would I do without you?  And while I am on mom, I wouldn't be the woman (a senior citizen now at that) I am today without her. Her loving support all my life gave me the strength I needed when I was feeling in the depths of despair. The fact is, that I have stellar parents without whom none of this would be possible. They have been my pillar of strength, inspirations, my heroes. It is remarkable to grow old with both parents and I am eternally grateful.

It has not always been an easy road to follow, learning online e-commerce, as well as trying to learn new sustainable ways to re-use, reycle, harvest rain and eventually grow our own vegetables in our personal lives. Since we live in the countryside now, with a nice slice of Mother earth to tend to and nurture, I am excited about learning to grow vegetables in a controlled greenhouse using aeropinic and vertical growing techniques. We are already supplying night lights via solar charged batteries and are starting to harvest rain to preserve the well water so as not to drain it.  The island of Cebu has been a big lesson to me in preserving water, as they already import most of their potable water since their watersheds have not been properly managed.
Our temporary loft apartment above
our workshop. One of these days we will
get the energy to build the master
cottage. In the meantime, rest, relax
and enjoy the clean air and
ubiquitous green vegetation
everywhere I look.

I never tire of learning new things and I hope that more people will always be curious about our world and try to nurture and sustain it in their way as well. It is a beautiful mother, our Earth, and we each must do what we can to preserve it's natural beauty for our children to enjoy and the generations after them.  Each of  us is responsible for the dire conditions our poor earth is in.

On a lighter note, it's so fun to be able to play dress up. Living in the countryside as I do. most of the time it's practical clothing, cool and comfortable and not glamorous at all. Yet as fun the occasions are to dress up, I so adore my bohemian lifestyle now in our native abode on this gorgeous, pristine island of Palawan.
Empowered Women of Achievement Awards in Philippine National Inquirer Lifestyle section Dec 9, 2011

Gown by Goulee Gorospe

Check out my personal website for more events and information.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Blogging Away

My blogging headquarters for now.
Luzviminda, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines

Here I sit with hair still wet from just having had a nice refreshing shower, blogging away.

After a lot of work on both our parts, Dave and I finally have built a cozy place together. I am sitting here on my cogon thatched roof native deck, happier than I have been in, well I just can't remember, except perhaps the time I had another farm in high up in the mountains and far away Montague, California in the early 80's.  From the cool clean alpine abode in Northern California, and miles away from my desert home in Tucson, Arizona, I have finally landed where I want to be. Back in my native Philippines. Where I was born and raised.

Our adopted stray kitten Ming Ming,
AKA Ms. Stinky butt.
Though not in my hometown of Batangas, I feel very at home here in little, sleepy Luzviminda.

I am feeling so happy, content, blessed and grateful. It's so good that I want to pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming. Even though there is a whole palate of landscaping to do, herb gardens to sow, I feel no dire urgency, only the lovely tingle of anticipation of how things can be with our combined efforts and those of our fabulous staff.

Our mini Chihuahua. The name he came
with is larger that he is, Shakespeare, and
Ming Ming the newly adopted stray kitten.
Now I am sitting here waiting for our guests to arrive for lunch. Dave just set out driving to the Mangingisda Pier to pick them up. There's a large banca ferry coming and going till 5pm from Baywalk in City center to Mangingisda! No need for guests to drive here! The ferry only takes between 20 to 35 minutes depending on the water conditions. Then it's just a 5 minute drive in the car to pick them up.

When they pave the road all the way to the pier we will be able to take our electric Trikes there and back! What a joy that will be.

Slivers of carrots, jicama,
cucumbers, thai basil in a pureed
red pepper, olive oil, garlic and lime

 dressing. It doesn't look that great,
ut it was tasty!
I made Chicken Picatta, slices of potatoes baked in olive oil and dill weed, a salad of thinly sliced carrots, jicama and crisp cucumber (thanks to friends at Bahay Kalipay who brought them for lunch the day before), with a fresh sweet bell papper, mustard, lime and olive oil dressing. I can't wait for them to get here so I can dig my chops into the Chicken Picatta which is one of my favorite meals.

Eveyone was so hungry when they arrived, I put out the Chicken Picatta and it was wolfed down before I could get a photo. It was very tasty indeed.  I also made a side dish of mung bean sprouts and okra tortas.

Side of mung bean sprouts and okra tortas

A good time was had by all. It has been so wonderful to be able to relax and enjoy the company of new and old friends and family. Already one of my very close cousins has already come and "camped" with us! We've had more company here than over the whole year or two and it's out of town and a bit of a trek. With the holidays coming soon we are in a festive mood. And to think, we have just been here 1 month!

Alysha wanted to be a kitty cat
for halloween.
I think it's a wonderful place for Alysha, our soon to be 4 year old daughter In fact it's 11/11/2007! What an auspicious date! Speaking of her, it's time for me to put her to bed and hang out with her before she slips into the dreams of childhood.

Here are some scenes of my surroundings.  Clicking any photo on this page will bring them up in a new window much larger.

Shower, original eating area. The decorative
banana plants have more than tripled in 6 months. The rear
right roofs are our cogon thatched roof deck and thatched covered
Akapulko blossoms and shrub tree. The leaves and flowers
are both used as treatments for skin rashes, insect bites etc.

Christmas wreath in November. The cogon thatched roof of my
deck and blog spot for now until we build the main house
when we recover from building this.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Life in Luzvviminda, Palawan

Our loft apartment above the barn/workshop/
kitchen/shower commode area downstairs.
 I feel like I am living in one of Tarzan's lairs.
So indoor outdoorsy....I'm listening to and
watching the rain fall outside the deck.
Wow, as of September 21 we started staying out on our land in our loft apartment above the barn/workshop/kitchen area. It's in Luzviminda, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines! Whew!

It's quite a switch from our elegant Subic Freeport digs. It's sort of my tree house, although not built in the trees, we are at tree level when looking outside. A wall of green surrounds me, so peaceful, quiet and so very relaxing to live here.

It all started as a huge barn to house the materials we needed for the master bedroom cottage we were initially going to build. We didn't want the building materials exposed to the weather while gathering supplies so we built this huge tin covered barn. Building materials aren't always easy to get out here.

The upper storage deck wound up so tall and large that we both measured for height and made a apartment above the barn to live in without waiting to build the main house or master cottage we wanted.
Our bedroom. Up at the tree line
overlooking th bamboo grove and
young coconut trees. (CLICK TO

I am so happy. I feel like I am camping without the discomfort. Thanks to my hubby Dave's amazing array of handyman, IT, hi tech skills, we have Solar lighting all over the property, Satelite TV, aircon in our bedroom, internet, and every other appliance in a modern kitchen you would need. We are trying to be as self sustained as possible.

We have one room that is our bedroom which is finished in simple materials where we can escape to if it gets too hot and turn on the aircon wherein I had a commode built so I wouldn't have to trek downstairss to the loo! A separate sink inside the bedroom allows someone to us the bathroom and someone else can brush their teeth without interferin with the other.

We call it living at the farm, or "we are heading to the farm" although we don't really grow much of anything yet. We do have a slew of chickens which we are letting breed so eventually we will have our own eggs.
We have begun to harvest the rain because the water wells out here run dry awfully fast it seems. We also use water from our own creek to water the flowering plants, orchids and miscelaneous citrus, coffee and other fruiting trees.

Click to photo to enlarge.

Our little daughter will be turning 4 years old on 11-11-2011 this year. What an auspicious date, and what a lovely plae to spend it at! Being 4 she wants to have it at the "farm" with nanny's kids and the children the other workers, but of course, she wants Shakey's Pizza or Jollibee chicken to be served.
One of the many yummy meals at the "farm".

Alysha wanted to be a cat on Halloween so I painted her up as best I could. What a great childhood she is having with nature so close by.

We took her to a waterfalls yesterday with nanny's kids and a couple of friends with their toddler.  What a surprise that journey was. We caught a fleeting sight of a huge Monitor Lizard and two troops of monkeys, as well as many little streamlets along the way.

When we got to the falls, what a wonderous suprise that was as well. So beautiful. It was a rainy drizzly day so it wasn't warm enough for me to dive in, but we will be going back to Salakot Waterals in Napsan, Palawan.
Salakot Waterfalls, Napsan, Palawan, Philippines
I loved the beautiful rain forest plants. Huge tree ferns dotted
Approximately 4 KMS from our place is the Mangingisda fish port, though it's not much to speak of, there are bancas that go to and from there to the fish port wharf, at Bay Walk in Puerto Princesa City proper. You can't beat the price at 35.00 PhP per person 1 way. Less if you are a carded senior citizen.
Mangingisda Pier
If you get there early in the morning and sometimes in the late afternoon towards sunset, you can buy fresh caught fish from the local fishermen.

But then I get ahead of myself. I was talking about living at the farm and so here are more shots around and about.
My native living room deck, showing stairs and my little
toy chihuahua and Ming Ming the stray kitten we took in.
We do have all the comforts like flat screen TV. With Dave around, every
comfort is available. Solar lighting, internet, hot showers; on and on it
goes. The man is the handiest person I know.

Decorative bamboo was just two tiny little
plants in pots. This is 6 months growth since
we planted them in the ground!

Thanks to Dave, we drive electric tricycles. This is my cousin Alex
Limjoco, Sr. who came to visit us and drove around with us on the etrike.
My desk right side of deck over looking the trees. (dark wood)
My native open kitchen with all the appliances I need! That's my 86 year old mom Helen cooking up some breakfast for my 92 year old dad Ramon.  She drives the 30 kms. here 30 kms and back. That woman is amazing.
The lower tin roof is our barn area, and the upper roof is our bedroom. At the end is our cogon covered thathed roof and bamboo floor deck.  The small hut in front is the first hut we build from our own bamboo groves and houses a pump for the water well a large shower area and a long dining area outside.

If you are a city person, don't move to Luzviminda, Palawan! There are no restaurants, and only little Sari Sari stores here and there where you can get staples like rice, soy sauce, vinegar etc! However, since we are a self contained village, in that we enjoy each others' company and like planting things and exploring nature, this is a perfect Haven for us!
Yummy fresh lobster from the San Jose Public Market

Blog of Diana J. Limjoco of the Clan Limjoco