his trick of light

As this has long been an overdue project, starting this month, the Corteses will be mentioning quotable notables. From friends, family, relatives or even online pals - a write-up of noteworthy individual(s) of the month will be recognized, so to speak.

Even with a bad start for the year, the month of January will always be rememebered as festive. And on that note, what better way to recognize a man who has captured the "essence of the festivities" - in his snapshots.

"the bigmakoy"

Mark Austin Ladanan

his are the works of an aspiring lens man, a fervent enthusiast of photography
a well-rounded musician, with an astounding talent for the drums
with his creative ideas, he is his own boss and works as an IT consultant
get to know the many facets of our man of the month for January
view more of mark's photos here and on his site

pictures of us taken by bigmakoy himself
grabbed from his lovely girlfriend's multiply site

final dose:
from now on, men, women and children will be featured every end of the month
criteria is based on the Corteses' personal standpoint.


posted by A.Cortes on 3:25 am under


links to this dose

a love-hate relationship

There might have been instances when you've heard people boasting about how they love their job and bragging about how lucky they are to have that kind of work, and you get envious since your own job sucks. Equally, there are instances when you hear people complaining about their job and whining about how they hate their work and wishing/wanting to hold picket lines to demand for the compensation they think they should be getting. Interestingly, there are also those people who, for some reason or another, just stay in between. Neither do they love their job nor do they hate it. Either they just keep mum or do not have enough guts. Either way, it's like practicing mediocrity.

I do not want to be included in the "in-between" list, but rather than complaining or to keep mum, I'll try to somehow think of a positive way to like what I currently dislike (hate is just too harsh a word). Enumerating the nice things your job brings is an excellent way to divert hatred towards work.

I'll try not to use love because "love my work" is just too much of a term to use.

  • i like my job because i get enough benefits

This could be one big reason why I'm keeping my work up until how long, I don't know how. the benefits answer the lack of other things I think I could be getting in some firm or the other way around in some cases. The company gives health insurance, which was such a big help in the hospitalization of little boy. Food and transportation allowance, health bonuses, performance incentives and company freebies among others. not to mention free coffee all day at that.
  • i like my job because of the people i work with

Getting along with the people in your office helps you to be in a good mood as you work. No one wants to be in a workplace with people they hate to be with. I understand my supervisor, I have no problems with my manager and most people in the company are around my age group. It's a hippie bunch of young professionals, etching their way in the corporate ladder and with a little love/hate relationship with some other departments, it makes the work environment a little more interesting.
  • i like my job because i get to strut my artistry.
Being able to express what you are most comfortable doing and to showcase the talent you possess is an opportunity for self-development, and it greatly encourages personal growth. The job description is not necessarily limited to the things which are defined. Given this opportunity, it was with pleasure that I have proudly helped create designs in our work area, company events and have even entered and won occasional competitions. Replicating the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel tower, constructing a full-sized robot and organizing parties and major events are a few of the self-fulfilling works my team and I have done.

Three reasons are more than just enough to stay sane in this industry. And if ever the big bosses get to read this crap, (which I truly doubt, but still I'm crossing my fingers big time that they won't) at least it's a noble way of enumerating the good things in our company. Sometimes the only reason I can think of liking my job is the mere fact that I have a source of income and am able to support my family, and that I don't find myself holding a placard in my hand, marching on the streets, joining unending rallies of whatever causes they are advocating.

final dose:
pictures are taken from this site and here respectively
above photographs do not relate to the post but speaks of the second reason


the way to celebrate

Save for the downpour of scattered rains, the annual Sinulog Celebration went, to say the least, jovial. By early morning the sun was in its blazing glory, so people who flocked to the streets never expected to get a cool shower from the clouds by early afternoon. Nevertheless, Cebuanos continued to celebrate with one beat, one dance, one vision. (Ok, that's basically the theme for the Sinulog.)

Because my memory still serves me right, I know for a fact that last year was little boy's first Sinulog and I am sure that he can't remember a single moment of it. This year would basically be the same. But then again, not really. We had more fun now and Angelo also had a pleasant afternoon, enjoying the company of relatives.

Even if the little boy won't ever mention this event when he gets to be, say five years old or so, here's a photograph to prove that he did get his share of face paint. Well, that's actually just some hypo-allergenic lipstick because, as protective parents, we don't want him to get a rash on his sensitive skin. (hehehe) Obviously, a show of his eagerness to have fun last Sunday is portrayed on the picture of him holding the wheel, eager to get going.

Sinulog is one of the many reasons why we love living in the vibrant island of Cebu. It's one big event that you can probably compare to the Parade of Roses in the United States, sans the uber-extravagant floats of wonderful flowers and of big Hollywood stars. Of course, Sinulog is a Pinoy tradition in touch with a religious festival. And hey, Cesar Montano, Sam Milby and Anne Curtis joined the parade.

If you're one of those lazy-boring-people-who-don't-know-how-to-party, staying at home and watching the whole event on television would be much better. You might not want to get stuck among the hordes of people dancing in the Mardigras and enjoying the street party. But unfortunately or say luckily, we're not those kind of people - so we enjoyed the whole Sinulog experience. From the glamour and glitter, to the fireworks displays and to the band performances. Indeed it was a day of merriment with family, fun, food and booze. Even if it means staying up late (or early) until five in the morning.

Sinulog, isyagit ug kusog; (Pit Señor, Pit Señor) tanan magsaulog
Sinulog, isyagit ug kusog; (Pit Señor, Pit Señor) tanan magsaulog
Sisisinulog, sisisinulog
So until the next year...oh wait, by the way our village celebrates it's own version of Sinulog a week after. So we still have another celebration to look forward to this coming Sunday. The partying never stops.

final dose:
hope you had your share of fun also.
more pictures soon to be posted on our multiply sites
pictures now posted.. view it here and here


a child will lead

Sometimes, a little "eye-opener" can be one great instrument for change. And it follows that the next big step depends on how one reacts, responds and interprets.

If there is any gauge on how prepared first-time parents are on having a child, we would have failed it. There were mixed emotions - we were excited and anxious, eager yet agitated - but the moment the little boy was born, these feelings vanished, and we were completely overwhelmed.

Life, suddenly, is different.

We work, not just for betterment, but with purpose. Our son, the heart and soul of our lives as we say, inspires us in everything we do and fuels our determination to succeed. Being a parent is tough. Motherhood and fatherhood are the hardest occupations, as it is quoted time and time again. There is a lot to worry about and a lot to work hard for. The upbringing of a child always reflects on his parents. There is the constant pressure of molding a little kid's life and of how varied his opportunities are in the future. But on top of all that, a child undeniably humbles an adult. His innocence and the way simple things make him happy always brighten up a day.

"The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
and the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
The sucking child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put a hand in the adder’s den.
[Isa. 11:6]."

We are taught to have child-like humility and we know that a parent is not likely to give his child a stone when asked for bread, a snake when asked for fish, or a scorpion when asked for an egg.

In time for the feast of the child jesus, we keep this in mind.

With the festive ambiance these days in the island of Cebu, people will flock to the streets this weekend to join the mardi gras. And as pure cebuanos, we join in the celebration. Not just for the fun of it but as a way of thanksgiving as well. In honor of Señor Sto. Niño, The Corteses wish everyone a happy Sinulog.

pit senyor!

final dose:
we hope to see you on the streets this sunday!


posted by A.Cortes on 1:07 am under


links to this dose

one with nature

At one point in my life I had wanted to be part of a mountaineering club. I went through this "initiation process" wherein we were asked to pack a bag with things that we think are the most essential for a mountaineer during a climb. Unfortunately, packing denim shorts together with Sunday clothes in a duffel bag did not help me become a member. That happened during my freshman year, but the thought of trying to join one more time did not ever occur in my mind again.

With that said, I never imagined I could stand at the foot of the tallest mountain in the Philippines - Mount Apo. On the second day of our holiday vacation in Davao, we went to this 80-hectare garden resort called the Eden Nature Park. Although only 40 hectares have been developed,it's amazing to know that about 90 percent of its' forest area is man made.

From the sumptuous lunch to the educational eco-tour, it was one fun-filled experience.

The Park offers a buffet lunch of delectable dishes, with the freshest ingredients right from their gardens; one can choose from a variety of greens to make a mouth-watering salad. It was so much fun watching the little boy enjoy the kiddie rides and run around the vast area of well-trimmed green lawns. Eden also boasts of clustered farms with varieties of different flowers and fruit-bearing trees. There are a lot of things you can do in Eden - go hiking along the stretch of forest trails, observe birds in the aviary, go swimming or play different games. Due to limited time, we were not able to go fishing inside the park, we could have either brought our catch home or have it cooked any way we want. The next time we visit Davao, I hope we can stay for at least a night or two in one of the log houses available in Eden Nature Park.

The mountain breeze, the fresh air and the serenity of the whole place got wifey and I thinking of how nice it is to be away from the bustling crowd, traffic and noise of the city. It was the vacation we (needed) wanted - to enjoy relaxation with the most important of people - family.

final dose:
view pictures of the little boy at Eden park here
more photographs when you click this link.


starting fresh

After an exhausting week of anticipation for the little boy to finally be well and be back to his old self, we're looking forward to giving ourselves the needed pampering (big grin). It was no letting up. Being very concerned parents, we brought Angelo to his pediatrician a couple of times this week. He had to go through more laboratory tests after what seemed like a hangover from his Bronchopneumonia, which was the cause of his hospital confinement. So just today, reading the diagnosis and test results, little boy is negative for everything we were scared he would have contracted.

Thank God.

As per the previous post - new year is always an opportunity to begin anew:

We went through an unfortunate new experience, but with enough grace and strength - we were able to surpass the challenge and learn a new lesson. Zai Angelo noticeably lost weight and had to change to a new formula and was also prescribed new vitamins. Alli is back at work, training a new class for a new account. Toni is just basically waiting for new assignments to design.

Speaking of design, we have finally decided to give this site a new look, as well as our multiply sites. In between the busy days of December, the husband was bent on creating a look that's simple and relaxing. Ommitting annoying advertisements, arranging the cluttered pictures and texts and finally coming up with a design that's quite unique. Although not the most techie guy around, Toni is proud enough to have tinkered with new ways of understanding computer language - like CSS and html codes.

Hopefully with the advent of the new design comes new posts and new stories. The Corteses can't wait to share the adventures and experiences during their Davao trip, together with other new things that will come this year.

final dose:
this photograph was taken in Eden Park, Davao City.


posted by A.Cortes on 3:25 am under

1 Comment

links to this dose

in high hopes

Happy New Year!

If we are to look forward to a better year, 2008 will be it. The number eight represents a good sign, it is supposed to bring good fortune and abundant blessings. Interestingly, each new year is always filled with hope and everyone has a chance to begin anew and amend what had not been accomplished during the previous year.

New Year's resolutions -- wishing you have somehow filled your list with some "do-able" resolutions for two thousand and eight. Allison has promised to at least be a little neater this year. Toni is targeting to land a good job in a decent architectural firm once he finishes his continuing studies. Angelo has not shared his own resolutions yet, but hopefully being able to talk clearer would be quite a simple task for him.

The year of the earth rat will officially start on the seventh of February.

If you are superstitious enough to believe that the end numeral for this year reflects a symbol of eternity, then this might just be your lucky year. But then again it is not on mere "beliefs" alone, it should also be coupled with tremendous hard work. Now don't get it wrong -- but if zero eight, based on the Chinese lunar calendar is the year of the earth rat, it is undeniable that there are some people that consider this rodent as a serious pest. Hopefully, we won't regard the year as a year of pestilence but rather look at the rat year as a year of opportunity and good prospects.

Seriously though, we have come to think that this year might be plagued with misgivings and misfortunes.

The first week of the first month has not been very pretty for us. After quite a relaxing and enjoyable holiday in Davao, Angelo was directly admitted to the hospital on the afternoon of the day we came back to Cebu. We were concerned with his constant vomiting, lessening appetite and high fever. Little boy was diagnosed with Bronchopneumonia on the 30th of December and unfortunately had to be admitted. We ended up celebrating the New Year at room 419 of Cebu Doctor's hospital and had to settle for watching the fireworks through the hospital window. We spent four days taking care of our little boy with a dextrose line in his hand. Good thing all expenses were covered by our health insurance. Up until today, Angelo is still recovering and have had on and off fever. He is scheduled to see his pediatrician tomorrow and we're definitely praying that Angelo will be back to his mischievous self.

New Year, new challenges.
Whatever resolutions, whatever beliefs, here's hoping the Rat Year of Two Thousand and Eight will be a good year for everyone.

final dose:
please include Zai Angelo in your prayers, that he may get well soon.
thankfully the little boy is well enough now and back to being playful.
thanks for all those who visited us in the hospital.