Archive for April, 2013


How Great Thou Art

Dear Diary,

Most churches today prefer to use upbeat modern Christian songs in their praise and worship sections, but I grew up singing hymns in church and I appreciate them more because they are not drowned by the beat of the drums.

My favorite of all Hymns is “How Great Thou Art”. This is my grandmother’s favorite too and my cousin and I sang it on her funeral… Ok, I think I just choked on the lyrics during the whole time while crying my eyes out…

The lyrics always moves me. It lets me acknowledge that God is truly awesome and great.

How Great Thou Art

O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works thy hand hath made,
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed;

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
when I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
and hear the brook, and feel he gentle breeze;

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

And when I think that God his son not sparing,
Sent him to die – I scarce can take it in,
That on the cross my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin:

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home- what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim, my God, how great thou art!

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

Carrie Underwood’s rendition of the song is my 2nd favorite version, my grandmother’s version is my first favorite but we never got to take a video before she died…

Carrie Underwood – How Great Thou Art

Ephesians 2:4-5
New King James Version (NKJV)
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

Have a blessed week!
AvA_Martini

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Iron Man 3

Dear Diary,

This was supposed to be this week’s Fridate Movie, but we had an appointment with the technician for our internet provider on Friday so we watched it on Thursday instead.  Yes, most movies come out early here in the Philippines.

Here’s a little information about myself.  I love reading comic books.  So I never miss movies of comic book characters that I love.  I’m not a purist, so I don’t really care if they changed the story a bit.  I just like that the characters come to life.

Iron Man 3 did not disappoint me at all.  I will watch it again in 3D and in 2D and then buy the DVD 6 months after its release so that it’s cheaper and watch that numerous times.  Then I’ll have a marathon of Iron Man movies.  Then I’ll marry someone named Anthony whose nickname is Tony. Oh wait I already did that last part…

Ok, back to the movie.  It had a lot of funny moments injected here and there.  And I always appreciate movies that make me laugh out loud.  Robert Downey Jr, plays the part perfectly.  I loved the Stark and Rhodes tandem.  I loved how Pepper Potts finally gets to kick ass here.  The villains here were tough ones and it’s amazing to see how Stark is able to deal with them with and without the Iron Man suit. 🙂

My favorite part was seeing all of Stark’s Iron Man suits join the fight.  The action was non-stop.  And the funny scenes and lines were what we kept talking about after watching the movie.

If you’re a fan, then don’t you dare miss this movie.

Trivia:

Stan Lee has a cameo here too. I’m sure the fans won’t miss him.

~~~~~~~~

From Wild About Movies

STARRING: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley, James Badge Dale, Jon Favreau
DIRECTED BY: Shane Black
STUDIO: Walt Disney Pictures
RATING: PG-13 (For violence, language, adult situations)
Iron Man 3 Official Website: marvel.com/ironman3

~~~~~~~~

Love lots,

AvA_Martini

Added to my 2013 List of Movies

Fridate Movie: G.I. Joe 2

Dear Diary,

Last Friday, hubby and I watched G.I. Joe 2 for our Fridate.  I of course insisted we watch another film (preferably something romantic) but I just couldn’t convince him to watch a local film so he won and we ended up watching G.I. Joe instead.

I didn’t watch the first movie and I never watched the G.I. Joe cartoons.  I always thought the G.I. Joes were those green plastic soldiers in the Toy Story movies…

Surprisingly and reluctant to admit that I actually liked the movie.  Ok, there were some ‘duh’ moments where I think the writers were too worried on giving more airtime on the action parts that they forgot to make foiling the bad guy’s ultimate plan for destruction a little more challenging…  But I won’t give away anything more.

I was really amazed by the action.  If it was a book, it’d be a page turner.

So because I liked it so much, we went and bought the first movie on DVD.  I liked the 2nd movie better than the 1st.  There was too much CGI on the first that it felt more like a sci-fi movie than an action film.

It’s not really a romantic movie, but as long as we had fun, that Fridate was a good one.

~~~~~~~

From Wild About Movies

STARRING: Channing Tatum, Bruce Willis, The Rock, D.J. Cotrona, Byung-hun Lee, Ray Park, Adrianne Palicki, Jonathan Pryce, RZA, Ray Stevenson
DIRECTED BY: Jon M. Chu
STUDIO: Paramount Pictures
RATING: PG-13 (For violence, language)
G.I. JOE 2 Official Website: www.gijoemovie.com

~~~~~~~

Love lots,

AvA_Martini

 

Added to my 2013 List of Movies

Share Your World – 2013 Week 16

Share Your World – 2013 Week 17

Our internet has been down for days, which is the main reason for my lack of posts and also the reason why I’m combining the two weeks here. 🙂  I felt bad missing week 16 and I then I realized I didn’t have to miss it. hehe

WEEK 16

Are you awake before dawn?  Or are you awake before noon?

I stay up late.  So often times I find myself still awake at dawn.  And most of the time I’m awake before noon. 🙂

Are you usually late, early, or right on time?

I am usually early.  I get anxious at even thinking I’m going to be late.  I wake up from nightmares of me arriving late at meetings, work and school…  I just don’t like the feeling arriving later than what was discussed.

For your potato chips do you prefer ridged or flat ones?

I think I prefer the flat ones.  I think the ridged ones are too salty.

If you could inherit a vacation home anywhere in the world in which you could spend two months a year, where would it be?

Oh gosh, this is a hard one.  I would choose Maldives.  I’ve never been there, but the pictures make me want to spend two months a year there. 🙂

 

WEEK 17

When writing by hand do you prefer to use a pencil or pen?

I often write with pencils during college note-taking days.  I also notice that I have more entries written with pencil on my journals and diaries.

Would you rather be given $10,000 for your own use or $100,000 to give anonymously to strangers?

I’m gonna have to be honest here.  I’d rather be given that $10,000.  What if those strangers were to just use it to buy drugs or something?  I have relatives that I prefer to give it to first than to total strangers.

Would you rather take pictures or be in pictures?

I would rather take pictures.  I’m really picky about pictures of myself that get posted online…

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a princess.  Then I found out my mother and father had to have royal blood, so that dream went out the window…

 

Don’t forget to check out the other answers by clicking on the links above. 🙂

 

Love lots,

AvA_Martini

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Which Ways – Featuring Steps or Stairs

I don’t often pose for the camera. I prefer being behind the camera than in front of it. But when you’re getting married, well that’s a different story. Months before getting married, we decided to have an Engagement Photoshoot (or also known as Prenup Pictorials here). And here are my two favorite photos taken on some fancy staircase. 🙂

Don’t forget to check the other posts by clicking on the link above. 🙂

Love lots,

AvA_Martini

Caramoan Islands

Dear Diary,

As promised, here is the post about the 6 islands that we went to during our Caramoan Island Hopping.

Lahos Island

This was my favorite island out of the 3 that we went to on our first day. There are two beaches on this island. The one where our boat docked was littered with rocks, corals and shells. This is the part where I am happy about the decision of getting me and hubby a pair of aqua shoes each. The other side is hidden because the middle part of the island rises a bit and hides it from view. Once you make your step over to the other side, you’ll get smoother sand here. Although, it’s not powdery, the rocks are much further out. It started to drizzle and so we decided to eat our lunch during this time. We didn’t want to eat in the boat, so we tried to look for a spot to hide from the rain. Hubby found a place by investigating the other side of a small opening from the nearby rock formations. Of course, he was actually getting there the hard way and we found a safer way after he pointed the place out to us. So we camped out there and ate our packed lunch on the sand. We spent around 2 hours here before we decided to move on.

Matukad Island

The island just across Lahos. From afar, we could already see that there were a lot of tourists on this island. After seeing the powdery white sand and the clear waters, I could see why. We were told that there was a lagoon on top of the rocky cliffs but after looking at the climb I decided against going up or letting anyone from the group go up, because there was no safety harness and unless you were in great shape or a mountain climber, I would not recommend it. Although, I have seen the photos on the internet of what the beach looked like from the top, I’d rather be safe than sorry. I’m sure nobody got injured badly climbing it, probably just some bruises and cuts, but I was responsible for my younger cousins and I did not want anything bad happen to them on my watch…

We went around the beach to look for less populated areas and we did find a spot at the other side of the beach. I had to take off my aqua shoes so I could feel the sand between my toes. 🙂

Minalahos Island

Our last island of the day was located across the famous Gota Island. We decided not to go to Gota Island because they had an entrance fee of P300 ($7.50) to use their beach. This is where Survivor often films their show and which is why it’s pretty famous. This is also where Hunongan Cove Resort is located. Gota Beach is free to use if you’re checked in to that resort. So we docked at Minalahos instead. We ate our snack here and just waded in the water near our boat. A bit further out, the beach is full of seaweeds. And I’m not really keen on swimming with all those dark spots under me, freaking out when something slimy brushes my ankle. So I stayed away from that area. At around 5pm, we decided to go home since we were also kind of tired from the long trip and we didn’t want to get stuck in the islands when it gets dark.

Cotivas Island

For our second day, we first went to Cotivas Island. The trip to get here took almost 2 hours so we were really relieved to finally get off the boat. The sun was out today. No signs of the dark clouds that we encountered yesterday. RDS paid for our cottage (P50=$1.25) where we parked our stuff and where some of us decided to stay under for a while. The rest of us headed to the beach. It was low-tide and getting lower. We were at the left side of the island. We had to walk a bit to get to a part where the water was at our hips. After some time, we decided to head back to the cottage so we could eat our lunch.

After lunch time, we wanted to check out the other side of the island where we could see a sand bar from afar. We had to hike through ankle-deep waters to get there, occasionally stopping to get some pictures with the starfish. There are some sea-urchins on this part of the island, so it’s best to look where you’re going.

When we got to the sand bar, we were the only ones there. The others were either in their cottages avoiding the sun or moved on to other islands. But it felt like we owned the place. It’s probably why I have the most pictures taken here…

After some time, we decided to head to the next beach. When we got to the boat, we noticed that the people from the boat were pushing us out to deeper waters. So our boys decided to help push. We could here the boat dragging on the sand. One of the guys unfortunately stepped on a sea-urchin. And if you think you can just pull those spikes out, well they’re really deep inside and you have to coax them out with something acidic like vinegar, calamansi juice or your pee @_@ (that’s what they told me).

Manlawi Island

Our second island had a wider stretch of sand bar. We could see that there was long hike to get to the shore. So we chose to rent one of the floating cottages for P200 ($5.00) and just stay at the deeper end of the island bar. Deeper meaning below-the-knee that is. We greatly appreciated the shade the cottage offered to us. After basking in the sun at our previous island, we just lazily dipped our feet in the water and occasionally got out of the cottage to sit in the water under the shade. We had our snack here that RDS packed for us. One of my cousins even took a nap. We didn’t want to leave our cottage. If only we could get the boat to just drag us all while in the floating cottage, that would just have been perfect… But we had to move on.

Sabitang Laya Island

Our last island. The waters were now waist deep. The sun was slowly setting. After a while, the beach was all ours. The sand was like powdered milk. I wished we could have stayed longer. I wish I could have seen the sunset. But we didn’t want to ride the boat while it was dark and the waves were getting higher. So we had to say goodbye.

Gota Island

Even though we couldn’t go to the island, I was still able to capture it while our boat was maneuvering to Minalahos Island. 🙂

Pictures During the Boat Ride

Since some islands took a long time to get to, we still had a lot of scenery to keep us occupied. 🙂

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AvA_Martini

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

*Photo Credit: goodreads.com

Divergent

The number one rule to making a good dystopian book is to make sure that the dystopian society, that comes after a crisis strong enough to bring the earth or a place near extinction, is believable.

So what do the people do in this story?

They form five factions, each based on a value.  Abnegation for people who are selfless.  Erudite for people who value intelligence.  Candor for people who value honesty. Amity for people who value peace.  And the Dauntless who value braveness.

Forming a faction based on one value is not something that people will come up with, unless all that’s left on earth are singlie-minded and have low IQ.  But since it’s such a stupid system, as predicted, it does not hold up well for people who can’t contain themselves to just one faction.  Thus, the title, Divergent.  This kind of reasoning reminds me of Deliriums’ “Let’s remove love from people because that’s what’s causing all the problems” premise.

But despite the weak dystopian society, I find the character development strong.  Tris is not a whiny, clingy and annoying 16 year old.  There is no love triangle.   There weren’t too many mushy parts to roll my eyes on.  You will love and hate the characters as the author intended.

I gave the book 4 out of 5 stars in goodreads because, I liked it and am interested in finishing the whole series.  Minus one star because I really didn’t like the factions idea.

 

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

*Photo Credit: goodreads.com

Insurgent

Book two of the Divergent series.  My reaction after reading the book?  “So, it does get better…”  I couldn’t get over the fact that people would actually agree to dividing themselves into factions from book one. Now it actually seems possible and no longer idiotic.

And now I’m I want to know more and can’t wait for the 3rd book.

The story is a bit similar to Ember and to The Giver (which are both really great books) and I have really high hopes for this series now.

 

Free Four: Tobias Tells the Story (Divergent, #1.1)

*Photo Credit: goodreads.com

Free Four

This is just a short story in Tobias’ point of view during the same timeline as book Divergent. Personally, I would have preferred to not have read this because I like the mystery behind how Tobias thinks. But it is still well written and is a nice development to his character.

* Added to my 2013 Book List

Dear Diary,

Recently, hubby and I have made a pact to always have a “Fridate”, every Friday we’d go out on a date.  So for this Fridate we watched Tom Cruise’s new movie, Oblivion.  Both of us being sci-fi fans, it was no surprise that we both loved the movie.   Yes, there are some loopholes as most sci-fi shows have if you scrutinize it.  But hubby and I usually just watch movies to be entertained, we don’t really question the correctness or the science behind it.

The movie takes place after the war between humans and aliens who were trying to invade earth.  The humans win the war but has greatly devastated the earth that it is no longer deemed safe to live in and now all human beings live in a huge pyramid shaped craft out in space.  Tom Cruise’s character is a tech in charge of taking care of the drones that hunt the aliens still on earth.  And I won’t tell you anything else so that I won’t spoil the movie for you.

Tom Cruise’s acting is similar to how he acts in Mission Impossible.   The other casts were suitable for their roles.  I just think there were moments that might have needed some funny/witty lines.  The movie was a bit too serious with few LOL moments, but the action is intense.  Also, when I heard the background music, first thing that came to my mind was that it sounded a lot like the soundtrack from the movie Tron.  And after reading the description from wildaboutmovies.com, I saw that it was directed by the same guy that directed Tron. 🙂

All in all, let’s just say that even after the movie, hubby and I talked about it a lot because we both loved the story and would recommend our friends to watch it.

*Details below are from http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2013_movies/Oblivion.html

STARRING: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Melissa Leo
DIRECTED BY: Joseph Kosinski
STUDIO: Universal Pictures
RATING: PG-13 (For violence, language, adult situations)
OBLIVION Official Website: www.oblivionmovie.com

Added to my 2013 Movie List

Love lots,

AvA

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Which Ways – Featuring Roads

I was going through my old pictures looking for roads and realized that I also had some collections of signs.  So here are my entries.

Pare in English is to remove the skin of a fruit, Pare in Filipino is slang for "buddy", and in Brazil it means STOP...

Pare in English is to remove the skin of a fruit, Pare in Filipino is slang for “buddy”, and in Brazil it means STOP…

Share Your World – 2013 Week 14 & 15

If a movie was made based on your life, what actor/actress would play you?

I don’t really think people would watch a movie about my boring life… I’ve never had any paranormal activities.  I’ve never been taken.  And all those other things that seem to be plots for interesting movies…  But my life could pass for a TV Comedy Sitcom.  So I choose Courtney Cox to play me.  🙂

Photo Credit: Vanity Fair

Show us a couple of your favorites photographs?   If you are not a photographer, think of a favorite scene in your life and tell us about them.

My favorite photos are candid pictures of my husband.  I’m always holding the camera so I snap pictures of him when he’s not looking…  Of course he tells me not to post them on Facebook, but he never said anything about posting them on my blog. 🙂

What do you like most about home?

It’s our first home.  We chose it together.  We paid for it together.  We decorated it together.  I like that it’s ours.  But if we’re talking about the physical aspect, then I love our bed…

IMG_7704

it’s not always this neat… hehe and the shelves are now filled with books and other things…

What is one of your quirky traits?

I am obsessed with keeping my hands clean.  I always have hand sanitizer in my bag.  I do not like the sticky feeling of food when I prepare it and most often keep washing my hands while I’m cooking.  I don’t like touching dirty stuff.  (Hubby takes  care of the garbage…)  I have nightmares of public restrooms that are dirty.

What has surprised you about blogging?

I used to have an old blog I’ve kept for years.  No one reads it (except for occasional friends or relatives who stumble on it).  It’s just me ranting about stuff.  Then I started this one.  And I got my first like.  And then another.  And now, I still can’t believe strangers are reading my posts… 🙂  Plus, I now have cyberspace friends. 🙂

Which do you prefer sweet or salty?  Or both at the same time?

Sweet is my answer.  I can live without salty.  In fact, I don’t like salty.  I cringe when it get’s too salty.  So I usually buy the lite versions of chips.  Sweet and salty like kettle corn is acceptable.  As long as sweet is the dominant ingredient… I know I should lay off it, but I’ve thrown out my dream of becoming a supermodel since I was 9… hehe

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lotsa love…  Don’t forget to read what other people answered! 🙂

Share Your World – 2013 Week 14 & 15

KJSO

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