A Blessed New Year!

What better way to welcome the new year than by reflecting on this beautiful song Through It All by  Hillsong taken from their Blessed Album.

Through It All 

You are forever in my life
You see me through the seasons
Cover me with Your hand
And lead me in Your righteousness
And I look to You

And I wait on You

I will sing to You, Lord
A hymn of love
For Your faithfulness to me
I'm carried in everlasting arms
You'll never let me go
Through it all

Hallelujah, hallelujah
© 2002 Sony


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Redefined Simplicity @ Joey Pepperoni Pizzeria ♪♪

The resto was a tapestry of pale grays and indigenous browns bathed in a generous glow of natural light. We were the first ones to arrive that day. And the subtle shimmer from an array of ingeniously crafted paper lamps greeted us warmly.

It felt like we were in a deserted island taking refuge in this oasis-like pizzeria. Warm, fragrant soup served in an immaculately white porcelain pair made me blurt out in thanksgiving for life's undeserved gifts: delicious food shared with my most favorite people in the world.

Velvety Asparagus Soup (PHP 110).
Thick n' creamy, this bisque-like soup is simple and unadorned yet generous with fresh asparagus sprigs swimming in a sea of velvety smoothness.

Classic Caesar Salad (PHP 110).
An overlay of fresh goodness: crisp lettuce, bacon bits and crunchy croutons topped with parmesan cheese and served with luscious Caesar dressing.

Joey Pepperoni Pizza (PHP 325).
The freshly baked dough is loaded with Pepperoni, ground beef, peppers, mushrooms, onions and olives. Its distinct flavor is both delightful and tempting to to the senses.

I didn't realize that another sinful indulgence was lurking around somewhere. When I was confronted by it, my throat became dry.  These rainbow-colored frozen concoctions were just so pretty to ignore.

I chose my all-time favorite Pistachio-Flavored Gelato (PHP 65) to calm down my crazylicious craving.

It was as if the assortment of frozen delights was begging me to indulge for more...

I gave in to the Mint with Chocolate Flavored Gelato (PHP 55). Traditionally, gelato has a lighter texture than ice cream but still carries with it a tinge of  the creamy goodness intrinsic in frozen delights.

If you're looking for an assortment of embellished-free yet tasty dishes, Joey Pepperoni Pizzeria is most certainly for you.

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Korean Ice Cream Part 2 ♪♪♪

I have always wondered what's inside a Korean grocery. Last Sunday, out of sheer curiosity, we finally visited one along Timog Avenue.  It boasts of an assortment of noodles, nori or seaweed sheets, snacks, cold cuts, drinks and of course ice cream.

The store assistant was full of smiles! He even asked how old Tutapel was and showed great enthusiasm while talking to him.  The store owner is truly blessed to have such a loyal and engaging staff. Even though we were there just for the ice cream, he assisted us with utmost respect and courtesy. By the way, I went there to look for Melona Ice Cream, Rain's favorite. Unfortunately, they don't carry that brand at all.  I settled for these three ice cream bars instead and was quite happy with the taste.

Enriched Chocolate Bar (PHP 25).
Reminiscent of our own pinipig but with an extra twist: delectable chocolate lurking in the middle of the ice cream bar.

Coffee Flavored Ice Bar (PHP 25).
I love this the most for its nutty, semi-sweet shell, oozing with an enriched coffee taste.  Perfect for those looking for a mild caffeine punch.

Cookie & Cream (PHP 25).
With its signature creaminess and crunch, this bar is truly a must -try frozen delight.

How about you, what's your favorite Korean ice cream?

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My Very First Stilettos

I never realized that a Christmas gift can raise my OC nature up a notch. Recently I received the most unexpectedly gorgeous gift ever--a pair of  4 inch stilettos. Yey!Skype Emoticons

Now I'm trying to crack the code to make walking in them a much easier task. I found some rather simple tips from wikihow.com that I can consider:

1.  Step with the heel first for it is the strongest part of the shoe.

2.  Simply put one foot out in front of the other. Start with the foot you're most comfortable with to help raise your confidence level.

3.  Swing the hips in a circular motion to balance off the leg movement.

Easier said than done, right? Well, I guess I need to double the effort to help me reach my goal in half the time.

Thank you so much "U & H" for the wonderful gift and for creating my very first resolution for the new year. Facebook smileys

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Madame Tussauds @ The Peak Tower in Hong Kong ♪♪♪♪

A DIY Hong Kong Tour can be quite exhausting yet extremely fulfilling. At least for those four days we spent in HK, we felt like locals caught in the crossfire of raging city life. However our next destination proved to be a difficult one. For it required us not just to ride a taxi but to take the ferry and the bus as well.

After much research, we managed to get on the Star Ferry that took us from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island where The Peak Tower is located.

It was my toddler's first ferry ride and he was wide-eyed with amazement for the next 15 minutes or so.  There were some foreigners with us on that short n' sweet ride. I wondered if they too were headed to The Peak.

It was a glorious sunny day filled with wondrous possibilities.

Just a few meters away was the bus stop geared for The Peak. Thank goodness the commuters that day weren't that many.   

That's the Peak Tram Station alright...

As expected, there were a lot of foreigners headed to where we were going. We waited for almost half an hour for that elusive bus.

The wait was totally worth it especially when we saw the booth.  

We bought our ticket worth HKD 175 or PHP 995 per head...
and a Guidebook for HKD 30 or around PHP 200.

We were greeted by the Peak Tram Historical Gallery that chronicled over 120 years of tramway excellence.

Just being there got me all giddy with excitement.

Imagine all the history surrounding this place. After all the Peak Tram signifies Hong Kong's sparkling past and its enduring legacy to the world.

This particular tramcar though has been modernized in 1989 to accommodate 120 passengers. Since the Peak Tram is 396 meters or about 1,300 feet high, I felt that all the structures we passed by were leaning during our journey.

Despite looking haggard and all, I was still so ecstatic when we reached our destination.

Madame Tussauds Hong Kong is a favorite attraction at the Peak Tower.  It features over 100 local and international wax figures with amazing audio-visual effects and interactive add-ons.  It is open daily from 10 AM to 10 PM and is located at P101 or Level P1.

No one stopped us from pursuing our favorite stars. How great was that? Indeed we had a glimmer of what it would be like to see the most interesting personalities in history up close. Here are some of the wax figures that we managed to get our photos taken with. 

Bruce Lee (1940-1973) as portrayed in 2001. Considered to be the most popular Asian action star in history, Lee died very young at the age of 33 from cerebral edema just a few days before the premiere of his most popular film of all, Enter the Dragon.

Barack H. Obama II as portrayed in 2009. Sworn in as the 44th president of the United States on January 20, 2009 amid joyful celebrations never before seen for a long time in US History.

The museum was filled with interactive experiences such as this podium bearing the seal of the President of the United States.

Brangelina-pet name for stars Brad Pitt (portrayed in 1997) and Angelina Jolie (portrayed in 2007). Considered a power couple in Hollywood, both are known not only for their popularity but also for their philanthropic works. Pitt, an undeniable heartthrob got his first Oscar nod for Best Actor in the film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.  Jolie on the other hand has replaced Oprah Winfrey as the most influential celebrity in 2009, according to Forbes Magazine, thanks to a string of cross-cultural adoptions and philanthropic involvements. Even without a publicist, she singlehandedly cleaned up her reputation as the third party in the publicized separation and ultimate divorce between Pitt and well-loved Friends' star Jennifer Aniston in 2003.

Leonardo di Caprio continues to make his mark as one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood.  His role in the box-office phenomenon Titanic catapulted him to super stardom overnight.

This photo was taken with A-lister Nicole Kidman as portrayed here in 2009. Before she was just known as Tom Cruise's other half.  Now her accolades and humanitarian work have made her one of the most popular and highest paid actresses in Hollywood.

Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962). Do blondes really have more fun? Although her movies glamorized this line of thinking, her tragic death in 1962 debunked the thought entirely.  Still Monroe is considered to be one of the most fascinating actresses in Hollywood history.

Madonna as portrayed in 1990.  Her legend precedes her in the same manner that lightning comes before a thunder.  Her albums and music videos continue to influence artists 30 years her junior which helped solidify her iconic status around the globe.  

Michelle Yeoh as portrayed from a sitting in Hong Kong in 2000. Of Malaysian descent, Yeoh is considered to be one of the highest paid female action stars in the world--thanks to hits such as the Bond Movie Tomorrow Never Dies and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. 

Chiling Lin as portrayed in 2009. Considered to be Taiwan's most famous supermodel, Chiling is seen here as Xiao Qiao in the epic film Red Cliff. 

Bae Yong Joon as portrayed from a sitting in Seoul South Korea in 2006.  He is considered to be one of the most popular actors of his generation with a solid fanbase not only in his native Korea, but  more so in Japan.  Through the Korean drama Winter Sonata, Bae rose to meteoric stardom earning him not only a throng of Asian followers but also a number of high-profile endorsements. 

Aaron Kwok as portrayed from a sitting in Hong Kong in 2006. Considered to be one of the Four Kings of Cantopop, Kwok has performed in sold-out  concerts and has garnered numerous awards and accolades for his memorable songs and cool dance moves.

Nicolas Cage is a popular American actor, producer and director who has appeared in over 60 films. He got his first Oscar award for Best Actor for the movie Leaving Las Vegas opposite Elizabeth Shue. 

Princess Diana (1961-1997). Portrayed from a sitting at Kensington Palace, London, England in 1996. A well-loved royal not only for her marriage with the first in line to England's throne but also for her fashion sense, candor and humanitarian efforts.  In a sad twist of fate, her seemingly fairy tale marriage ended on December 1992. Her tragic death sparked public uproar against the paparazzi in general for a couple of years. A decade or so after her death, her admirers from around the world continue to regard her as the people's Princess by immortalizing her in films, books and documentaries.

The Royal Family. (Left to Right). Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as portrayed from a sitting at Buckingham Palace, London, England in 1994.  His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh as portrayed from a sitting in 1992. Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal as portrayed in 1994.

Ip Man or Yip Kai-Man (1893-1972).  Yip is referred to as the first martial arts master to teach Wing Chun to a number of students including famous actor Bruce Lee. He used his skills to help defend his country against the invading Japanese during the Second Sino-Japanese War between 1937 and 1945. 

Elvis Presley (1935-1977).  His iconic status has earned him the title "King of Rock n' Roll" for decades now.  His distinct music lives on and continues to make a mark among the younger generation around the world.

The Beatles as portrayed in 1997.  These four talented artists from Liverpool, England created a global pandemonium between the 1960s and early 1970s. Their sold-out concerts and string of hits earned them the title "Most Iconic Entertainers of the 20th Century" as presented by the American entertainment industry magazine "Variety."

Michael Jackson (1958-2009).  His undeniable musical ingenuity has produced a plethora of  works that have become  the benchmark for present day recording artists. Considered to be the "King of Pop," his 1982 Thriller album remains to be the world's best-selling album of all time.

Tiger Woods as portrayed in 2006. A child prodigy at best who changed the course of golf for the next decade or so.  Despite the scandal that threatened to obliterate his legacy, Woods proved determined to clean his image and aspire for more glory far beyond that which he has already received: 4 Masters, 2 US Open Titles and 2 PGA Championships.

Liu Xiang as portrayed in 2006. He is considered to be the "King of Hurdles" in the world of track and field. His rise to fame started when he won the Olympic Gold Medal for the 110 men's hurdles in Athens in 2004. In an unfortunate accident, he was unable to compete in the 2008 Beijing Olympics to the disappointment of millions of Chinese fans.   

Chiyonofuji Mitsugu as portrayed from a sitting in London, England in 1991. A well-loved Sumo wrestler known for his bestial fury despite his somewhat inadequate height. He has won 31 Grand Sumo Tournaments in his 21-year career earning him the respect of his colleagues and the position of head of the Kokonoe-beya, an association of wrestlers upon his retirement.

Muhammed Ali (Cassius Clay) as portrayed in 1964. He was the first American boxer to garner three world heavyweight championships titles.  His battle against Parkinson's disease has inspired him to lobby for a cure not only for himself  but for other patients as well.  Surely, his sparkling feats will forever be imprinted in the hearts of boxing fans and critics around the globe.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955). The acclaimed German-born American physicist is Time Magazine's Man of the Century in 2000. His specific and general theories of relativity precipitated the modern atomic bomb (H-bomb) which changed the world's military landscape forever.

What can I say? Astroboy is clearly the prototype of the now famous anime characters that have gripped the interest of manga fans across Asia for the past 30 years or so.  

No one can deny the fact that almost all of the wax figures can pass for the real thing. You'll be interested to know that the artists' secrets in making these life-like wax figures are revealed in a brochure available at the ticket booth. Don't forget to purchase a copy before entering the museum.

*  To help navigate your way to The Peak, here's a scan taken from The Peak brochure.

Madame Tussauds Hong Kong
Opening Hours:
10 AM to 10 PM daily
Tel: (852) 2849-6966
The Peak Tower
P101, Level P1