A whimsy and quirky place in Lubao, Pampanga

Prado Farm – A whimsy and quirky place in Lubao, Pampanga

“Seeing how beauty and functionality have been coaxed out of chaos, perhaps accounts for the sense of magic that one feels for Prado Farm”. ~Mariel Francisco~

It is a rare occurrence that I get to find things that are new to me. Things that inspire, fascinate and drive me to move forward. Even slowly but surely getting where I want and who to be.

Over the years, I have explored in my own little way and maybe more in the coming years if I can afford them already. A few friends inspire me too, pushes me to my limits because they know and desires seeing me making my big dreams come true.

They knew what’s it like how to place random items together and uncover a new-born artistry. They don’t just know how, they feel it.

Targeting a place somewhere in Bulacan, as I do my research, I went farther north and landed to a farm in Lubao, Pampanga. Thanks to fellow bloggers, they unveiled to my senses a place that arrested my attention.

I researched further if those who wrote about it are professional photographers as their photos are really amazing and soulful. It reminded me that it takes two to create beautiful pictures. Someone who’s got the eye for it, and the subject itself. I didn’t include a modish dslr, cool tripods/ monopods or even gargantuan lenses. All it takes are young convivial hearts that are unafraid, seeking and lovers of fun with their up-to-the-minute mobile phones. And voila!

So their photos brought us one weekend to Pampanga. A few hours travel by bus and we reach our seasoned and whimsical destination.

Prado farm is located at Siongco, Prado in Lubao, Pampanga. It is strategically situated in the main road and can easily be spotted if you have your own vehicle or just riding a bus.

The gate that’s made of old gas tanks was the only thing that I wanted to see in my own eyes, but Jen introduced me to several Instagram photos that there’s a lot more to it. Seriously, I don’t know what inspired the owners but the place is a mixture of anything which results into a very bewitching place.

I even got a vintage coaster which has a “1930” stamped to it. There’s a lot of grizzled items but they’re a bit pricey. Just to get there is sufficient to me already and to shop is something I candeal with another day soon.

I must say the 5-hectare farm is truly a “wander and wonder” thing to me.

The Facade

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The Souvenir Shop

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The Blue House

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The Old Train Station converted into a Museum

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On our way to the Yellow house

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The Yellow House

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On our way to the Hotel

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I opted not to visit the pool as like a mermaid I might plunge into the water instantly, rather, listed in our bucket an overnight stay with them soon.

Junk architecture, sustainable designs, vivid colors, a vast flora, unique innovativeness, organic food, a set of artworks here and there that are literally surprising, country and vintage feel, a place that brings you back in time, giving you feelings of incredulity yet reckon that they are real right there in front of your eyes. All quirky and whimsy. =)

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If you want to visit the farm, their address is: Km 94 -95 Jose Abad Santos highway, Prado Siongco Lubao, Pampanga. You may call contact them at: 0920 903 0964 and you can visit their website too: http://pradofarms.com/

 

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LUCINA Home…

Lucina Home

“An artist cannot fail, it is a success to be one.” ~Charles Horton Cooley~

Christmas is my favorite season of the year. I remember myself as a child helping my father in putting up our Christmas tree. He will assign me to neatly hang all the embellishments and he will be in charge of the lights. I look up to it.

Now that he’s gone, it is our 5th year celebrating the season without him. And me putting up the tree alone.

Despite of that sad part, I still am excited to put up my tree. I collect photos of the grandest trees and search for places where can I get my decors. I also wanted to create “DIYs” as my trimmings. I assign what color to use each year.

Come November, I was able to visit this shop in Tagaytay which I’m eyeing for years now. Lucina Home.

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This caught me while I was about to enter the shop…

I have talked to the owner last year that I am visiting them for a project,
however said project didn’t push through for having a full plate during the “ber” months.

So I made time for it. I can’t wait to see their items. And when I did? I can’t get enough of it. I hoarded decors for my tree,

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It’s that time of the year when you’re excused for splurging.

I bought some for my boss too, a cute notebook for my foodie buddy, gifts for friends and I promised to come back for more.

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All the cute stuff are here..
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Even repros of famous paintings..
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Even millennial stuff..=)

What made the visit sweeter is the manner of their attendants tending to guests, Paul, whom I have been talking to since last year was there. Paul was busy unpacking and arranging stuff which I must assumed has recently arrived.

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You can find best finds from all corners..

They also introduced me to to Joey. Both were meticulously checking their displays, inter-acting with guests, and giving me discounts!

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I saw from google a chandelier filled with Christmas baubles, and then I saw this. It is beautiful..

Yes, Joey even gave me one of my best finds for free! It is a unique dream catcher without the real feathers on it as the whole thing is made of stainless steel.

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(–,)

I accidentally saw it while I was waiting for them wrapping the items I’ve bought. And I shrieked (sorry) upon seeing it. It was glaring in front of me hanging on one of their stands and instantly grab it, head to the cashier’s counter to add it to my purchases.

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I think this is where I found the dream catcher..
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And this is where Jen found the lighthouse..
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I actually eyed this for our porch..=)

It was such a surprise when the cashier told me that she was instructed by her boss (Joey) that the dream catcher will be free. Awww! it was really sweet.

There’s this one attendant too who is such a good up-seller. He knew what I wanted and kept on gathering similar items and giving them to me.

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Christmas stuff..
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Jen hoarding!
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Such a cool idea, egg shells, painted in pastels as Christmas wreaths and can be used for Easter too.. =)

Leaving with shopping bags on both hands, I knew then that there’s going to be a second visit, and a third and a fourth. I think you know what’s it like to find something you’ve been looking for. It’s like “Eureka”!

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Vintage, shabby and chic..
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All the elements you need for Christmas..
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They have furniture too..

I’ve been hunting for a shop like theirs in the country for so long. An array of what I want, shabby chic items, vintage, quirky, artsy, bohemian and unique finds. Actually, I’ve taken photos of some that I intend to get soon.

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Don’t you love that gilded mirror?
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How about that cabinet?
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And that pastel chair..

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They sell hand-painted furniture too. Something which I will be saving for. A piece in pastel pink or two will absolutely spell happiness. Until then.

What’s with COASTERS?

What’s with Coasters? 

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.” ~Eckhart Tolle~

At a time when I see tables in veneer or solid wood everywhere. Our house then, all tables of which are in glass tops instead. It was specifically chosen by my father.

He was also very particular that it must be clean and preferably shining all the time. We always have a supply of Pledge. He wants to make sure that they are clean, dust-free and glossy.

It is also his rule that guests if offered a drink must be provided with coasters. We have all kinds. Glass, wood, cork board, laminated sheets, etc.

My father was the most influential person in all of my life. Ironically, we used to argue most of the time. I see myself in my son, as we also quarrel and argue a lot over petty things more than the more important things that matters which I guess is worthier.

This training from my dad is where my fond of collecting coasters began.

While I was still young and adventurous and fearless. I would dare asking from restaurants if I can bring home one of their coasters as souvenirs.

I remember that Italianni’s even offered something to us since our order took more than the usual waiting time before they were served. The Manager was very apologetic and asked if we want something else from their menu for free, but we declined since we appreciated their humility enough that we let it pass when others might take advantage and grab the offer.

As the Manager was about to leave our table, I saw an opportunity. I called her back with the sweetest smile that I could give her, I requested from her if I can just have one of their coasters as a souvenir. =) And without batting an eyelash, she gladly offered me one. I was so happy then.

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I got this. I intentionally requested for this since I am also collecting Coke souvenirs..

During my travels, I make sure I bought coasters if I find one. I got a set from a Designer turned full-time housewife in Tacloban but since her artistic side is something she can’t sacrifice on top of being a wife. She put up a business. A souvenir shop where all items came from her numerous travels too, and that is where I got those shabby chic coasters which I instantly eyed from her collection.

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Shabby chic..

One Christmas, I even bought dozens of it from Starbucks and gave them as Christmas gifts to my office mates.

Then I wished for a wooden type with a peacock engraved on it, however, the price of it is shocking. One weekend, my foodie travel buddy surprised me with a “no occasion” gift and its a coaster! Wooden and engraved with a peacock! This soul mastered the art of pleasing me all the time. I was so grateful.

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Peacock!=)

I find them very stylish as well.

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Loved this!
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This one I often use everyday because of its’ depth..

My house is not the Zen type “less is more” type of dwelling. It now looked like a gypsy’s abode with all the trinkets and knick knacks and decorative pieces, souvenirs from my travels scattered all around. Though I make sure they’re not an eyesore yet as my mom will really reprimand me about it. As when you get to see our home, they’re just full of colors. All of it, vivid. I am bored with white or anything monotonous. I want happy colors and so is my house.

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Some from Starbucks and personalized ones from a Flea market I’ve been to years ago.

Passion comes close with alterations at times. I saw one of the most unique coasters. It has a very simple design as oppose to my usual preferences like floral, shabby, full of colors and the like. And they are very expensive too. I immediately bought them before I come back to my senses. For a change I got stripes in black and white. Very “Kate Spade” kind of design. And literally those coasters are from Kate Spade.

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Gave in to this..

Of course, I’ve got a set that’s Shabby chic too, it came with a case.

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Total of 6..
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This one came from my son as a gift..
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Very simple..
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Souvenir from my son’s prom..
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This one is made of ceramic, it used to be gilded on the edges, they were erased by time.. #wearandtear
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Freebies..
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From Bubba gump..=)
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From Peperoni Pizzeria

I plan to make my own soon, a quilted one. A lot I’ve seen which instantly inspired me. =)

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Courtesy of: https://www.pinterest.com/varbizu/beezycrafts/
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Courtesy of: criss cross http://www.sleepingbearcrafts.com
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Courtesy of: gedcarpizo.com

Like some who collects like the sky is the limit. I am the other way around. Its not like “I can’t get enough” thing. There’s a moment when it felt like “Okay this is enough”. And I’m happy about it. Besides it is not just coasters that I collect.

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I have like hundreds of coasters at home.

Getting strained from life’s realities, collecting some of the stuff I am fascinated about gives me an uplifting feeling especially upon seeing them surrounding me. In my bedroom, in our living room, dining room even in our bathroom. It uplifts me from within. It is very important that I follow what my heart and soul is dictating me. Otherwise, I will be very bored.

As Kurt Vonnegut said: “Enjoy the little things in life because one day you`ll look back and realize they were the big things.”

Chair as my lair…

Chair as my lair…

“We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents” ~Bob Ross~

We often tend to overlook the substance of most things. While watching “The Passions of the Christ”, one scene became very memorable to me on top of the film showing the Lord’s sufferings which swollen my eyes the first, second and even the third time that I watched it.

The lighter scene that caught my attention was when Christ demonstrated to His Mother the sole purpose of a chair.

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Jesus with His Mother – Mary, telling her about sitting on a chair..=)

It was enthralling to me. And as I looked at every chair around me. I kept this admiration of the inventors during the old times of things that are ordinary to us now. And in what way can we ever articulate our gratefulness when they made our lives easier. And what impetus pushed them of these momentous thoughts and transported each to veracity. Things like the telephone, the television, the aircon, the car, airplane, furniture inside the house, the ships, erecting a super mega tall building that would endure the strongest earthquake, the list might be endless.

And in all these inventions, mankind has never curtailed in innovating. Stretching their intellectual muscles to come up with something better, the dire need to enhance, improve, innovate, elevate, for the world’s appreciation and benefit at the same time.

One invention that has a very special meaning to me is the chair. I did not have any appreciation of this item not until I joined an office furniture company 2 decades ago. Being there for almost five years, working directly with the owner who brought brands such as: ICF, Masterpieces from Alivar, Bauhaus collection to mention a few in our country, made me appreciate the wonders of a chair. Its’ rudiments, its’ life, its’ beauty. And its’ purpose to the human race.

And it is not just simply “salumpuwet”, the tagalog term for a support for your precious derriere, but something that is ergonomically designed and will provide the user the kind of comfort our body requires whatever way we want to sit. Be it slouching or crossed legs or prim, chairs were designed to lessen discomfort and make us happy while we are sitting. Isn’t it so boring to be sited the whole time? And something  is twinging somewhere?

Below are some of the chairs I fell in love with:

Courtesy of :

ICF Chair

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Courtesy of Designworks..

Humanscale 

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Courtesy of: http://www.roomandboard.com/catalog/office/humanscale

Valanz of Merryfair by Espacio Diseño, Inc

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Check it out – to see is to believe! =)

Fritz Chair

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Courtesy of: Design link

Egg Chair

Egg chair Courtesy of: http://www.lamaisondudesigner.com/1975-fauteuil-egg-chair-.html
Egg chair
Courtesy of:
http://www.lamaisondudesigner.com/1975-fauteuil-egg-chair-.html

Daphne’s Chair

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Daphne’s chair Courtesy of: http://daphne.ph/furniture

Quilted Chairs

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Source: Pinterest

Beach Chair

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Source: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/colorful-beach-chairs-dana-edmunds.html

Vanity Chair

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Courtesy of; http://propcellar.com/products/title-of-tables-dressers-product-1/

Ghost Chair

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Violet ghost chair! Courtesy of: http://www.houseandgarden.co.uk/interiors/furnishings/top-50-best-chairs-for-the-home/chinese-elm-chair?next#ViewImage

Our very own – Cobonpue’s The Bloom

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Cobonpue is one of the country’s pride in the international furniture industry.
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Courtesy of: http://www.heimastore.com/

Delphi from Merryfair by Espacio Diseño, Inc.

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In my almost 20 years exposure in the Office furniture industry, I am so in love with this piece…<3
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Intricate details…

After 2 decades, venturing into 2 entirely different industries, my soul sister cum friend cum confidante cum boss re-introduced to me this industry that has always been close to my heart, by welcoming me to join her company that offers office furniture. It felt genuinely good being with the same industry where I started off at the young age of twenty something. It is just worthy to find out that there are still familiar names and well, lots of new names too!

My former boss even told me: “Allelee remember during our time, there are only more than 10 competitors that we knew of, now? There are hundreds!” And I just meekly replied that because it is a huge industry. True enough, No office can be put up without the owner providing their people chairs to sit on where they stay longer than the hours they stayed at home. Definitely, the bosses owe us something really comfortable.

You see, there are even songs about chairs! Can you imagine the world without a chair? I can not.

Chairs will always occupy a special place in our homes and in our hearts. In my heart undeniably. (Above and beyond, selling chairs have become my bread and butter for years now..)

As a tribute. I made myself a special chair depicting my own personality. I’d like to believe that the chair has a soul too.. How about you? Are you happy with the one that you’re sitting on now?

I am. (–,)

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(–,)

Mirror, mirror on the wall! <3

Mirror, mirror on the wall!-Full-length & huge mirror junkie! (–,)

“Life is only a reflection of what we allow ourselves to see.”

Gone are the days when you need someone else to take your pictures! Mobile phone companies came up with innovations like phones and cameras with capability of taking pictures from the front and back. The sensational “selfie” trend hasn’t died despite of several claims that it is a mental sickness, people (including me) continue to take selfies at every chance. I personally oppose it’s a sickness, because loving oneself or appreciating oneself despite of known flaws or imperfections and looking at the prettier side of oneself is the only key for us to love another.  Unless a person is no longer productive due to addiction of taking pictures of herself 24/7! That’s the only time I will refer to it as a sickness. However, this issue I believe is “To each his own!”

Personally, one of my habits that’s really hard to break is to take picture of myself every time I see full length (and/or huge) mirrors (or ask my friends to take it for me)! =)

Unlike popular celebrities taking their OOTD on a daily basis. I don’t have that chance. I take selfies on these huge mirrors only if I feel like it. And mind you there are instances that there is a full-length mirror and yet I was not able to take my pictures since there are other people in that area. It felt too awkward for me! ahaha!

Just the same, waiting for people to leave doesn’t hurt that much, I was just like a Pink panther sneaking my ownership of that huge mirror! Ahaha!

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Courtesy of: http://imgarcade.com/1/pink-panther-sneaky/

Here are those instances!

1. At our favorite shop in Rockwell..

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While shopping at Rockwell..

2. Bellevue hotel..

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Attended a wedding in Alabang! ❤

3. At an Art Fair

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The mirror isn’t just huge, it’s so fab!

4. Before checking-out, I had to stand beside this round mirror! ❤

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Soho lobby..

5. At an Art Fair again..

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I so love this mirror!

6. Mind museum..

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Mind museum..

7. With my college buddies..

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With my BFFs!

8. Somewhere in BGC..

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On my favorite striped pants..

9. In Alabang..

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In a French patisserie..

10. Somewhere in Ilocos..

At a vintage mansion in Ilocos..
At a vintage mansion in Ilocos..

11. Somewhere in Shaw..=)

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Somewhere in Shaw..

12. Bay Leaf hotel

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(–,)

13. Manila Ocean park

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At the Manila Ocean park… Souvenir shop..
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Far shot..=) Still at MOP…

14. In Laguna

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At Patis Tito Garden Cafe..

15. In Cebu..

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While waiting for the concierge..
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Inside the waiting area of the loo..
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Dining area of Balay Indang has a mirror in the ceiling. We decided to take this pic out of fun! =)
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Another vintage mirror is located in one of the dining halls.. =) This is in Balay Indang, Cavite.
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Sulyap Gallery cafe..
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Shangri-la EDSA…
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Commerce center Alabang..
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We’re like kids!

You see I would not really accept that I’m sick out

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Pablo Picasso’s famous painting.. Source: http://www.leninimports.com/pablo_picasso_ca.html

of taking my own pictures, for all I know, each one of us  are picture addicts and those who are not comfortable taking their pictures are the ones that I think that needs treatment. It is a beautiful world after all! ❤