Cruising by the Statue of Liberty — free?

The answer to that question:

The Staten Island Ferry

The Staten Island Ferry

It’s free, it leaves every half hour and its not filled with tourists clamoring to get a great view (many on board are commuters).  It may not come so close to the Liberty Statue as the Liberty Cruise does, but hey…its free!!!

And one more thing to consider, Liberty Cruises only run until 4pm. The Staten Island Ferry runs 24 hours. Sunrise!!! Sunset!! How awesome is that?!

thanks Herb, for looking into this!

view of Liberty Island, Lower Manhattan and Queens on board SIF

view of Liberty Island, Lower Manhattan and Queens on board SIF


The Ultimate Chinatown Dimsum Cart

If you dont care much about aesthetics (I’m talking about slight chips in the chinaware), but do care about getting a hearty, satisfying array of dimsum and a bang for your buck, I would recommend Ping’s Seafood Restaurant, located in Chinatown (by Mott and Pell St).

Dimsum carts run from 11-3pm. Forget the weekend…there’s usually a line of people going outside the place, waiting to be seated. I go here on weekdays, if possible.

A few days ago, I took one of my best buds Herb and her friend Samir, who were both visiting from Japan.  I have taken Herb here before during her ’07 trip to New York, and much to my surprise, she requested THIS place.

Ping's Seafood in NY Chinatown (by Mott and Pell)

Ping's Seafood in NY Chinatown (by Mott and Pell)

to start off...

to start off...

keep going!

keep going!

Beware though, I have eaten here, when the place was so packed, they seated me and a buddy at a table with other patrons. It might not be your kind of thing, if you feel uneasy sitting with strangers. To me, it felt no different than eating at a wedding reception (sans the formalities! yeah..we can slurp and smack our lips here…its quite acceptable). In addition, I’ve carried some animated conversations with tourists during that one time. So, it wasn’t so bad at all!

For people who don’t care much about the afternoon dimsum carts, I have heard (and read) from other reviews that Ping’s serves a delectable dinner menu. They are known for the fresh Hong Kong-style seafood (like freshly killed).

The service might not be as excellent as some reviews say. Not many of the waitstaff can speak good English. If you are doing the dimsum carts, just point which one you like, or practice your charades skills. Kidding aside, in my past experiences with Ping’s, they have been pretty accomodating. Here’s one dining tip, I can give to you, and it would apply in general: They will be nice, if you are nice.

Comprehensive ways to help the Ketsana victims

Today is not about New York. It’s what New York (and other nations) can do for others.

Your help is greatly needed. The death toll brought about by the typhoon Ketsana in the Philippines alone has reached 240, affected nearly 2 million people and forced the evacuation of 567,000.

The tropical storm hit the capital last Saturday morning, and in a matter of 6 hours, poured a month’s worth of rain. Since then, it has traveled to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, devastating more in its path.

Please continue to pray for the victims. A lot of people have lost their homes and their possessions. If you would like to donate anything (clothes, medicine, blankets, slippers), listed below are some places you can bring your donations to.

SHARE! Spread the word! Mobilize and activate!

*reposted (thank you to whoever started this list and somehow got passed to me)*
and updated* /hc

Comprehensive List of Centres and Ways to Donate for Ketsana Victims — US, CANADA, UK, AUSTRALIA, UAE, BELGIUM, MALAYSIA ETC


for those in the UNITED STATES:


Manhattan: Pandayan Center,
406 W40th St. Between 9th & 10th Aves. New York, NY 10018 10AM-9PM.
Contact Leah 646.247.7200, Chevy 646.290.2281, or 212.564.6057.
The center will take tropical clothing, shoes, canned goods, medicines and cash.

Queens: BAYANIHAN Filipino Community Center,
40-21 69th St. Woodside, NY 11377.
Call (516)901-1832 or email

Brooklyn: my friend Gem is organizing a drop-off point at Starbucks (86th and 5th in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn) on Friday night and Saturday… any donations can be dropped off there.
you can get in touch with her via


Drop-Off Points:
1) Sinugba Cafe – 561 Westside Ave. Jersey City, NJ 07304
2) Casa Victoria – 691 Newark Ave. Jersey City, NJ 07306-2803
You can send CASH through Metro Bank acct. 3 189 14540 1 For BAYAN’s “BALSA” (Bayanihan Alay sa Sambayanan)

CALIFORNIA – Island Pacific Supermarket is gathering donations to be shipped to the Philippines

Filipino Community Center
4681 Mission Street San Francisco, CA 94112

Liwanag Kultural Center
Hillside Park Clubhouse
222 Lausanne Ave. Daly City, CA 94014
MTTh 3:30-6:00; Wednesdays 3:30-8:00

Asian Pacific Islander Youth Promoting Advocacy & Leadership
Attn: Armael Malinis, AnakBayan-East Bay
310 8th Street, Suite 215
Oakland, CA 94710

Stanford’s Pilipino American Student Union (PASU) is also collecting donations to be sent to the Philippines to help victims of Typhoon Ondoy (international name Ketsana). If you would like to make a donation, please contact AV David at
You can also call (650) 491-4561 for more info.

for those in CANADA:

Starting Monday, visit any CIBC branch and make a donation to the following account:

AFCM Temporalities Account
Transit #7012
Account #56-24010

For more information, contact the Philippine Independence Day Council.

WINNIPEG – the Philippine Community Centre of Manitoba here in Winnipeg Canada started to raise money for the victims today

Multicultural Helping House
E32nd Ave. And Fraser.

Goldilocks Bakeshop
E11th st. And Main.

Also check out: <a href=””> </a>

for those in SINGAPORE:

– dropoff for relief goods is @ airfreight lucky plaza #03-09. can call 62351011, they are open up to 7pm.

for those in JAPAN:

My good friend, Herb and her friends are organizing a Charity Potluck this Sunday! check out:

for those in SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA:

– you can deliver relief goods to 303/5 Stromboli Strait, Homebush Bay 2127. you can also contact through twitter at @allorange if you want to arrange for a pick up in the city

for those in BELGIUM

– from @SayChiz, they can contact Shiera Catalan at +32485328811 if they want to donate goods for typhoon relief

for those in Bangkok, Thailand: The Philippine Embassy will be receiving only donations in kind (ie., used clothing, shoes, blankets, and the like, and canned goods) …anytime between 9am-5pm until Fri. For queries, please contact the Philippine Embassy at (02) 259-0139 up to 40 or (08) 992-65954, or at

for those in KL, MALAYSIA
LBC is accepting any kind of donations, goods or cash.
The number is 2026-8536 / 2070-0557. Lot G-13, Kompleks Kota Raya, KUL (10AM – 7PM).

for those in United Arab Emirates
University of the Philippines Alumnae Association – UAE UPAA-UAE will be setting up boxes for donations to be sent to PH for Ondoy victims. Those who want to donate,pls let us know. See for more details.

for those in United Kingdom

Drop off donations @ the following places in London:
A) EAST LONDON – Hackney contact : Jamil Reyes 07732404545 or RJ Fernandez 07506681522 email

B) NORTH LONDON (Collindale or Kingsbury) 0208 205 89900208/ 205 0449
88 Hay Lane, KingsburyNW9 0LG, LondonEngland
look for Sharon (HIGHLIGHTS EXPRESS)

C) WEST LONDON (South Kensington)
please call 07872962575 in West London

D) Lourdes Faberes can pick up donations in kind on Friday. Txt 07788 921 432. Alternatively, you can drop them off at the Philippine Embassy (6-8 Suffolk Street,… London, SW1Y 4HG ), dropping stuff off for transport to Manila.

for those in Austria
Charmaine Taus ( she’s having a benefit concert on October 22!
concert details to follow.

for those in Hong Kong
Ateneo Almuni Association HK is calling for donations to support relief efforts for the victims of Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) in the Philippines.
Contact: Mike Reyes at +852.67131869

for those in South Korea
PIKO (Pinoy Iskolars sa Korea) fund-raising campaign for the Ondoy flood victims in the Philippines. Let us all help by donating to KOOKMIN BANK ACCOUNT NUMBER (498101-01-232756). Your help counts!

for anyone else ABROAD who wants to help:

– you can call the ABS-CBN US Helpline at 1-800-5272820 for info

– also, you can donate through the kapuso foundation site:

– with your credit card, donate via the the abs-cbn foundation:
– you can donate through the paypal account link on this site:

– the official website of the PHILIPPINE RED CROSS has a complete listing of how you can donate to them:

– the ayala foundation is also accepting your donations through their website:

– you can donate through the kapuso foundation site:

– you can use your credit card to donate via the the abs-cbn foundation:

– donate rice through the UN’s World Food Programme through their official website:


NEED TO SEND YOUR DONATIONS? Mail & More, FedEx & Air21 outlets are now accepting donations. For locations please call 8794789 or log to their official website:

PAL IS OFFERING FREE AIRLIFT FOR DONATIONS. for details, click on the pal website:


marikina – 09209389914
qc – 09216555262
pasig – 09189356318
cainta – 09175606241.

DATABASE OF ONDOY VICTIMS AND EVACUATION CENTERS: click on the ateneotaskforceondoy website:

FOR CAR TOWING NEEDS: HONDA and NISSAN offer free towing! call 09228504452, 09224452242, and 09228997959.

DONATIONS ON WHEELS!! if you have donations to give but no means to transport, contact 09189791229, 09177974098, 09326991794. don’t worry guys, this is not a scam! its by friends of @jiggycruz!

WANT TO OFFER YOUR MEDICAL SERVICES? please submit your name and contact details to Dr. V. Gisbert 0917-8922807 and Dr. J. Sinon at 0917-5261345

if you are in the PHILIPPINES



– go to ateneo de manila university, katipunan avenue, and proceed to the college covered courts to volunteer. shifts are in three hour cycles. you can go as early as 6AM but it goes on the whole day.

– please bring packed/cooked food to 12 Denmark, Loyola Grand Villas, QC, and help @patriciahizon whose group was the only one helping the victims in tumana today.

– TULONG BAYAN, to volunteer, just go to Balay Expo Center in Cubao, Edsa cor McArthur, 8AM onwards. contact (02) 9137122 and look for Mary, May or Cam

– donations accepted in MIRIAM COLLEGE insa office.

– donations also accepted in UP DILIMAN student council office at vinzons hall.

– for the GMA Kapuso Foundation, you can drop your donations at Samar St. cor GMA Network drive, QC. Behind GMA complex. Beside Malayan Bank. Tel # 9284299, 9289351, 9827777.

– for those who want to volunteer for sagip kapamilya: call 4132667/4160387, or go to #13 examiner st., west triangle, QC

– the other address for sagip kapamilya is sct. bayoran corner tomas morato. look for Girlie Aragon or Jet at 0916-7227806 or 0929-5348176

– this is the REAL SAGIP KAPAMILYA ACCOUNT for your donations: banco de oro #56 300 20111 under abs-cbn foundation. to all those spreading fake accounts, please naman..


– DLSU along taft avenue will be accepting any and all kinds of donations starting 830AM.

– csb alumni also accepting donations at 9/f dls-csb school of design and arts building, along pablo ocampo street, vito cruz.

– UST is also accepting your donations, proceed to the Tan Yan Kee Student Center.

– donations can be dropped off at victory church in malate, call 5221212 or visit the victory website.


– MEGATENT, Meralco Ave, Ortigas beside Renaissance: need more volunteers and donations! Very big space! Open 24 hrs til Friday!

– according to @margaga, poveda school (beside galleria) opens 9AM tomorrow and is open to all volunteers and any kind of donations.

– according to @angel21kawaii, CFC Center in Ortigas is receiving donations in cash or in kind. Call (02)7270682-87 or 09195359036.

– donations can be dropped off at victory church in ortigas, contact 6311212 or visit the victory website.


– GAWAD KALINGA is accepting volunteers and donations, base is RFM gym in pioneer. Contact Raul Dizon 09178888109 and Felice Caringal 09178888304. for other GK sites you can help out, check out this blog.


– White Space in Pasong Tamo ext. / Chino Roces is in need of volunteers to pack goods

– you can drop of your donations at Assumption College, San Lorenzo Village, Makati

– you can drop off your donations at the following stores in rockwell powerplant mall: aranaz, luca, greyone social.

TAGUIG or FORT area:

– donations can be dropped off at victory church in the fort, you can call 8171212 or visit the victory website.

– you can drop off your donations in embassy superclub in the fort.


– @elizabacud shares that Manila Doctors College will also be accepting donations. Bring anything that can help at Speech Lab., Macapagal Blvd, PasayCity


– La Salle Greenhills, Xavier School, and ICA (right beside Xavier) are also accepting donations. Xavier will be accepting goods till 12midnight.


– Help needed in Fairview and Novaliches. Please send clothes, food, water, meds & blankets to the Divine Savior Parish in North Fairview.

SOUTH (alabang, las pinas, paranaque):

– drop donations or volunteer at DE LA SALLE ZOBEL. Contact Ms. Angie Brazan at the Social Action Office 0917-8597602

– you can drop donations at the ATC concierge, call 8422782 or 7721860

– san beda alabang in alabang hills village is also accepting donations

– you can help pack donations 10AM at st. james church, ayala alabang village

– you may volunteer at Red Cross Alabang – ATC along Zapote Road fronting National Bookstore call 8097131 for info

– CFC center in Las Pinas City is accepting donations. it is near Verdant and in front of the construction of SM Center Las Pinas. Contact 09174493154 / 8460809

– There are two new drop-off points for relief goods. Recipients will be various areas, including flooded Parañaque & Muntinlupa areas. You can get in touch with Jeff Tagle (09178875824) and Katrina Villareal (09175298332) respectively for details.


– donations can be dropped off at the ABSCBN Baguio Office

– donations are also accepted at the Baguio Convention Center Executive Room from 10am til 4pm starting tomorrow til Friday. Volunteers are urged to come.

– Organizing a soup kitchen. Baguio donating vegetables to arrive via Victory Liner. Contact Dave at 09178396179.


– RedCross bulacan accepts donations. It is located in Malolos Bulacan, near bulacan capitol 🙂


– send your donations to the kkp office in xavier university, ATENEO DE CAGAYAN.


– DLSU-Dasmarinas is also accepting donations, pls proceed to the 2nd floor of SBC Building


– DE LA SALLE LIPA is now accepting your donations, drop off point is at the college lobby.


– details on how you can donate are on noelle’s blog or the living for a cause blog.


– For your donations, drop off center is at the Coliseum in the University of St. La Salle. 435-3857

– CAFE BREIZH wil be a drop off center for donations. text 09193651101 for details.


– ATENEO DE DAVAO is accepting in kind donations for ondoy. drop off at the samahan office in jacinto campus.

– BANTAY BATA 163 davao located at matina,davao city is also a drop off point for any in-kind donations.


– ATENEO DE ZAMBOANGA is accepting donations. You may bring them to the SACSI office. Look for Alma Curesma, 991-0871, loc 2224 or 2225.

for PETS in need of aid:

– @kimmydeleon is announcing that PARC is open for animals. Click this site for info of PAWS for helping from the flood. for the official website of paws, click here

IDEAS ON WHAT YOU CAN ACTUALLY GIVE (in case you are stumped)

Food – Rice, noodles, canned goods (there are those that have a lever to open etc) sugar, iodized salt, cooking oil, monggo beans, bottled water, powdered milk, infant food, oatmeal, beef jerky, dried fruits

food containers and utensils (i have been told by my volunteer friends in the Phils that people are eating straight out of cans because they have lost EVERYTHING, of course including plates and such) – heck even your nice sturdy take-out containers will be appreciated!

old clothes- (like how many pairs of your jeans do you actually wear?) Winter is around the corner, so maybe you’d like to get rid of some summer clothes you only wore once (and will never see the light of day outside your closet again)

slippers (people are walking barefoot now)
medicine (tylenol, advil (any kind of fever reducers), anti-diarrhea medications, throat lozenges)
Bath soaps, face towels, towels, shampoo
toothbrush, toothpaste
plastic mats, blankets, mosquito nets, jerry cans, water containers, water purification tablets,
laundry soap
feminine hygiene items
old schoolbags (kids need to be able to go back to school but they would need supplies again)

Happy Giving Everyone! Bless your kind hearts!

“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7)

my best friend sonia’s wedding

Last week, I had the privilege of being the Maid of Honor, Witness (technically the sole written witness) and photographer for one of my best girl friends. She was not cute. She was DROP-DEAD GORGEOUS.  As simple as her wedding was (court wedding), I must say, THIS was the wedding of the year for me. It was super intimate (there were only 2 guests: myself and the groom’s aunt), it was meaningful, smart (it didn’t cost them an arm, a leg and five years worth of debt), we had a lot of fun, minimal amount of stress! My friends Sonia and Jonathan endured a lasting courtship (both in close proximity and long distance) and are marrying for the right reasons: they love each other, they have placed God first in every situation they were in, and now are confident and fully committed to stay together. God bless!







the judge and the couple

the judge and the couple

the Word

the Word









to the brooklyn bridge!

to the brooklyn bridge!

we are marching

we are marching



motorbike crew

motorbike crew



smooching by the brooklyn bridge

smooching by the brooklyn bridge

toast! (ginger ale)

toast! (ginger ale)

more smooching

more smooching



princess sonia

princess sonia



lesson learned: you don’t have to have an expensive wedding.

Starbucks culture

2009-09-15 17.48.06

my almost finished mocha frap no whip

Admit it…you’ve been suckered more than twice into buying a drink that cost more than what you realistically  can pay for.  People would probably be mad at me if I say Starbucks has been teaching society to live beyond your means, one coffee cup a day. Go ahead, react. You know its true! But hey, I admit, I do like my mocha frap or strawberry banana vivanno fixes…guess I get suckered into this too!

Anyway, I’m not writing to talk about drinks at length. I wanted to mention the “seating” culture that I’ve noticed here in New York….uh..what seating culture?? There are hardly any seats available! Grabbing a seat at a Starbucks is like finding gold in a coal mine.  I find it rather amusing how people have come up with methods to “save” their tiny table and chair.

After work today, I headed toward this Starbucks close by, where I am always fortunate enough to find my corner spot available.  I’ve known it enough that there is a person who regularly sits in a spot and who would leave (like clockwork) between 5:20-5:30 pm. Where is this Starbucks? If I tell ya, I’d have to kill ya. mwahahahaha.

Nuf said, while I was sitting comfortably, a nice young mother came strolling in with her two children: a little boy of probably 4 years old and a baby, most likely about 9 months. She’s gotta have her fix, ayt? Can’t leave her tiny hand bag of course, can’t leave the 4 year old (he’s too hyper). Instead, and much to my amusement, she parks her 9 month old, strategically by her spot, but somehow closer to me.  Hmm…instant babysitter. I guess looked pretty harmless (and no chances of me taking her baby out through the window by process of osmosis). Baby slept, gurgled and shifted once in a while, and I found myself looking and checking too (sigh). Mommy came back with her caffeine cup of joy, didn’t even look at the tot for the next half hour. She happily drank her coffee, her son munching on a brownie and the baby, parked in front of me. yay.

2009-09-15 17.47.46

starbucks culture. anything for an expensive cup of coffee….tsk tsk

Prayer in the Square

header_prayerTomorrow, September 20, 2009 is Prayer in the Square.  From 3pm to 4pm (EST), we will be gathering at Times Square, New York City to pray for one hour for our nation. Last year, fifteen thousand Christian believers representing 200 churches across the nation joined us to pray, intercede, praise and worship. This year, the third and final year, we are coming together once more to pray.  What a great opportunity it would be to come before God to ask and believe for healing and greater things? At a time when  great trouble has been so pronounced across the world, and the moral decline has been so significant, only God’s hand can make things right, not by human intelligence or ingenuity.

Prayer in the Square will be broadcast live via webcast at

See you there!

if only…

I just thought this was extremely amusing.
you wish!
you wish!


Saturday Fun Shoot

Despite the Saturday’s rainy conditions, 2 of my good friends and I set out on a mission to do a photo shoot. Get the cameras clicking, flashes flashing and try out our new passion for  high dynamic range photography. HDR photography is pretty new to me, since I’ve been so accustomed to using ambient lighting. I realized that if I seriously want to grow in photography, then I should embrace making use of all technology and lighting that goes with it. Once you’ve seen the use of dynamic lighting in your photographs, you will fall in love with it. As Joe McNally said in his book “Hot Shoe Diaries”:

“Now you’re making pictures, not just taking them”

The night before, I got my first flash, an SB 600…it’s not the latest but for my trusty D50, it will do (my camera is quite old now and this is the best that I can use for it).  I have to say, playing with the flash is still quite a learning curve but hey…there’s plenty of room to grow in this area!

Here’s a sneak peek. I can’t post all of them yet. 🙂



Erik doing post prod (he took some great shots too!)

Erik doing post prod (he took some great shots too! I think better than mine!)

the most fun shot of the day (erik's camera)

the fun shot of the day (captured by erik)

2 hours later….

Shabu shabu!!!!

Shabu shabu!!!!

We had the best shabu shabu we could find in Flushing. Eat all you can for 2 hours. Naturally, we ate like there was no tomorrow.

Erik with his cheesy grin

Erik with his cheesy grin

rainy weekend

I received my flu shot last Thursday…sad to say, I think I actually got sick from it!

I’m feeling a lot better this morning, thanks to Advil (my friend). I mean, I can stick it out, grin and bear the feeling of unwellness, but why should I, if I can smile and feel fine with a little help from what’s available? I know, I know, people will beg to differ. But I’d rather not be a nuisance to the surrounding public.

Anyway, I’m off to a fun day of photoshoot! My first New Yorker profile of the month!

Watch out for it!

Ja ne!

The Lighter Side of Dental Visits

In the nice world of dentistry, we are spoiling our patients more and more…but of course, this is mutually beneficial for everyone.  Patients benefit when dental visits are more pleasant, and when every effort is made to reduce fears related to dental appointments. Healthcare providers benefit, because it makes our job easier when patients are pleased and feel well-cared for.

Though I’m not an advocate of constant TV watching, i must say patients LOOOVE the cable TV in the room. I hand them the remote and tell them, “You are the boss of the remote!” Result? Distraction. You should see the children. It works wonders.

Patients who like watching Cash Cab, absolutely tickle my humor. I do like the show, but it never ceases to amaze me how patients can try with all that they’ve got to say the answer while, 1: My mirror is in their mouth, 2: My sharp instrument is in their mouth, 3: My suction is in their mouth and 4: (sometimes) a cotton roll is in their mouth.

On top of that, I actually understand what they are trying to say. ^.^

A patient once told me, “I am the best jeopardy player…on my couch.” Aren’t we all?

Lighter Side of Dental Visits 1.1

Lighter Side of Dental Visits 1.1

Lighter Side of Dental Visits 1.2

Lighter Side of Dental Visits 1.2

Lighter Side of Dental Visits 1.3

Lighter Side of Dental Visits 1.3

Hey, I do throw in my answer every now and then, and so does my boss. We’re in cahoots.

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