Colors of 2010

I could write about the stuff I did, the adventures I braved, and the lessons I learned the whole year.  But I'd rather tell you the best way I know how--through photos :)
January.  Explored the breathtaking crater of Mount Pinatubo.

Dear Marsy and Danielle...

Soul siblings.  (L) Marsy and (R) Danielle
lost in their own little playworld.
Being a kid is the easiest thing in the world.  I should know.  Ate Ains (that's your mom, Danielle) claims it was easier for me because I was allegedly the spoiled princess in the house ( I still contest but for the purpose of this blog, I will concede in the meantime!).    How I wish I had enough senses then to appreciate that "easiness", because if I had, I would've probably done everything I could to prolong my childhood.

Anyway, before you ask your sometimes-loony but gorgeous Ninang Koryn what's the point of this entry (You cannot argue with the gorgeous part or else no gifts for you in the future! Haha :p), I'll get right to it.  Contrary to popular belief, I've more than shopping tips and The Art of Drinking lessons to offer to you both (Although, you can rely on me for that too! Oops.  I hope your parents aren't reading this hahaha).

Anyway (again), here are some advice I hope you find sane enough to follow in the future.

Don't take your afternoon naps for granted.  I know I used to.  I remember going to my room, faking my sleep, and then sneaking into Ate Ainna's room to read her Sweet Valley pocketbooks (That's how I got hooked to the series!)  I used to think, sleeping is such a waste of time! Twenty years after, I wish I still had time for afternoon naps.

Nowadays, I'm lucky if actually get six hours worth of sleep at night.

There's a virus going around

And it's called "childhood memories".

Kudos to whoever thought of that cartoon-character-as-profile-pic  gimmick in Facebook.  Last night, I saw a friend change his profile pic into his favorite cartoon character from the 80's with the caption:

"Change your facebook profile picture to a cartoon from your childhood and invite your friends to do the same. Until Monday, there should be no human faces on Facebook but an invasion of memories. This is for VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN :)"

And in no less than15 minutes, I saw at lest 35 profile changes (me included!).  I had an inkling the the "violence against children" part was just a hoax.  But people were fast to follow the trend.  Why not? It's fun!  My office mates and I kept track of the changes and for every cartoon character that appeared, there was a corresponding childhood memory for me.  It made me feel warm and fuzzy all over (Yes, I'm cheesy that way :p).  I remember staying up during my supposed siesta time to watch cartoons.  I also remember my sister and I taking reign of the remote control and ejecting our parents from the sofa so we could find out where the "Flying House" would take us next or which Bible story would "Superbook" tell.

Up to now, people are still changing their profile photos and I suspect it's because they're also enjoying the "invasion of memories".  Here are some of the top favorites (Let's see if you still remember them!) :


I had a date with two sharks this weekend

There's a calming feeling to it, being underwater.  I remember when I was a kid, instead of floating on my back, I'd rather float facing down the water.  Also, I'm not an excellent swimmer but I learned how to skin dive as early as 12 years old.  There's just something about being submerged in water, seeing nothing but the deep blue, and hearing nothing but the humdrum of moving water that gives me a sense of peace. 

Anyway, I've always wondered what it would feel like to stay underwater for more than a few minutes.  Hence the interest in scuba diving.  My sister was actually the one who got me interested in it in the first place.  She's been a diver for what, five years now?  She treated me to an intro dive some three years ago and since then, scuba diving has been a long-running contender in my to-do list.

But because of budget, time constraint, blah blah blah, I never got to try it out.  Until this year.

It was an impulse decision.  Some of my friends got certified a month earlier.  Then one of my closest friends from college said she wanted to give it a try.  So I thought, what the heck?  Why am I bending myself backwards over work if not to be able to do the stuff that I want to?  So, dismissing any second thoughts, I called up my sister's dive instructor, Rob, and arranged for my friend April and I to take diving classes.

And so two classroom sessions and two pool sessions later, we finally headed out for our check-out dive.


When in doubt, pray

"Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things that I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference."

I think tonight answered just about every bit of question I had about what to do next.  I got my sign.  A glaring sign at that.

I want!

The "BER" months are in!

Okay, fine.  So September's been around for 13 days now.  I'm late, so sue me haha.

Anyway, it's that time of the year when I, being the sometimes obsessive-compulsive freak that everyone knows, begin drafting my Christmas List.  I was having fun listing down what to give people for Christmas when I got distracted with the things I want for Christmas.  Okay so I've always wanted these things even if it ain't Christmas.  Whutever.  What's the diff? :p

Anyway (again), lest I forget my priorities (and in case my dear siblings are reading my blog hahaha), I'm listing down the things that I want to buy for myself (But really, if you want gift me with any of these soon, like next week maybe, I'm fine with it LOL).

1.  Crumpler Karachi Outpost Bag
A sturdy laptop AND camera backpack--so I can lug around both Perseus (my laptop) and Bono (my DSLR) minus the aching shoulder muscles.

Letting the stamps tell the stories

The Manila Metropolitan Theater.  The Post Office Building.  Intramuros.  These are just some of the places in Manila that we pass by almost every day but don't really pay attention to.  Places whose history goes way back to the early 1900's (or even earlier) and whose significance Filipinos have forgotten. And, shamefully enough, I'm one of those who have become detached to the historical significance of these buildings.

But, luckily, I got the chance to revisit these places and the rich stories that make them Manila's landmarks.  Thanks to Lawrence Chan's Postal Heritage Walking Tour.

This isn't your ordinary walking tour, though.  Lawrence is a stamp collector.  And using his collection of stamps as a map to these hidden gems of the past, Lawrence does not only revive the history of Manila but the art of philately as well.

And the best thing about the tour is--IT'S FREE.  All you have to bring is your enthusiasm and genuine desire to learn.

Malaysia: A culinary tour

You've never really been to a country unless you've tried their local cuisine.  So everytime I go on a trip, FOOD is always the first order of business.

During our trip to Malaysia, we had a couple of hits and misses with the dishes we ordered.  Except for the Nasi Lemak, Malaysia doesn't seem to have a lot of cuisines they can really call their own.  Nevertheless, the Sister and I enjoyed trying out different stuff.

Nasi Lemak.

This dish is considered a national heritage in Kuala Lumpur.  Because of its versatilty, the dish is served even during breakfast.  That big red glob on the side of the plate is actually chili.  I find the Nasi Lemak best eaten by combining a slice of chicken meat with rice, chili, boiled egg, cucumber and dilis.  While the chicken actually just tastes like our very own kaldereta, the chili, and dilis makes it more flavorful.

Nak Muay

BLOGGER'S NOTE:  As of 2011, Nak Muay has already closed down.

I love discovering new places to eat at.  And it's a bonus if the dishes are delish but cheap.  A good example is this Thai restaurant that recently opened near our office--the Nak Muay.

The term nak muay refers to the practitioner of the sport muay thai, Thailand's national sport.

"Muay Thai is a hard martial art from Thailand.  It is similar to other Indochinese styles of kickboxing, namely pradal serey from Cambodia, tomoi from Malaysia, lethwei from Myanmar, and muay lao from Laos."

In my case, the only sport I'm good at is eating, hahaha (I wonder if they have an official term for that? :p).  Anyway, Nak Muay's ambience is far from the more popular Benjarong restaurant at the Dusit Thani hotel in Makati.  But their tasty and affordable dishes make up for the average resto interiors.

For dinner, my officemates and I ordered varying dishes.  But of course we couldn't do without Thailand's version of the Pinoy sinigang--the tom yam.

 Tom yam goong.  Php135, good for 2pax. 

Project 365

It's 365 days of Koryn and everything in between!

Yep.  You read it right, folks.  365 days.  But don't worry.  This project ain't gonna be all about me.

So what IS Project 365?

Well, the idea is you take one picture everyday of anything and everything around you.  Yeah, seems tedious but I realized, Joei is right.  It's an interesting way to remind yourself to slow down and breathe.  AND, if I can commit myself to this one for a year, who knows what other ventures I can commit to?

For this project, I'm housing my photos over at at 'coz FB and other networking sites do a lousy job of compressing photos.

You'll also see a slideshow of my photos on the widget box over there at right side of this blog.

SO.  Enough yada-yada.  For the launching of my project, do check out my first photo here.  Enjoy and watch out for 364 more days of shutterbuggin'!

Koryn Iledan is now back to her regular programming

Sorry folks, the past month has been uber busy what with all the election stuff going around.  Sleep didn't seem to be an option.  Neither was rest.  So forgive my cyber-absence.  Looking through my long "To Blog" list, I feel so ashamed for neglecting my site for almost a month *covers face then cowers in a corner*.  But I'm back!  And I feel pretty inspired.  Aside from my pending posts I'm also cooking up a new photography project.  So sit back, relax, and watch out for my upcoming inanities ;)  Ciao!

Choose wisely

Seven days 'til the elections.  Have you made up your mind yet?

You don't need to be an election officer, a watchdog volunteer, or a media man to be a part of history this coming elections.

Read up on your candidates.  Think.  Rethink.  Choose.  Then go out.  Vote.  And then become a part of the change that will shape our history.

Remember the date:  
MAY 10, 2010.

The deer farm

When going to the Caramoan Peninsula, I learned that the Deer Farm is usually part of the itinerary.  Located four kilometers up Mount Isarog in Ocampo, Camarines Sur, the Deer Farm is home to different Australian breeds such as the Blackbuck Antelope, Fallow Deer, Chital Deer, Red Deer, and Elk.  Just don't ask me to identify which is which :p 

The Deer Farm was our first stop on the way to the Caramoan Peninsula.  At first, I wasn't even interested at all.  But it turned out to be an interesting pit stop.  It felt like we were in an entirely different country.

The Caramoan Peninsula

I first learned about the Caramoan Peninsula back in 2006 while I was doing research for a summer special about the unexplored wonders of the Philippines.  Eversince, Caramoan has been on my list of "Must Go Places".  Finally, after years of waiting, I (along with some of my favorite people in the whoooole world!) got to explore the dozens of beautiful island found northeast of Camarines Sur.

And after two days of island hopping, all I could say was, "Ang ganda talaga ng Pilipinas!"

I'm still sorting through the gazillion photos I took from the trip (as well as the ones from our weekend with the  whaleshark interaction).  But for now, here are a couple of snaps which, hopefully, will not only entice you to visit the peninsula, but be proud of our islands as well :)

Eto pa!

I still remember that day, five years ago, when I entered that small, laid-back bar down Timog Avenue and was introduced to the sensual reggae beats of the band known as Brownman Revival.  That was the day  reggae changed my life forever...Hahaha.  A bit overdramatic, yes, but anybody who knows me knows how much of a reggae fanatic I am.  Actually, BMR-fanatic is more like it.  I used to spend every Friday night at Xaymaca and follow BMR's gigs around the metro and even in the provinces.  Heck, I even watched their performance at the SOP Music Awards with Angela, Patricia, Peter, and Jen!  My attendance was perfect.

Lately, though, I haven't been able to go their gigs as much as I used to.  And last night, when The Favorite Band launched their third album, "Eto Pa"--a mini-EP with six fresh tracks--I was stuck at work and missed the whole thing (which, I was told, was one helluva reggae party!).  Fortunately, my friends Madel, PJ, and Brix were there.  I was totally bummed about missing the album launch when PJ and Brix did the sweetest thing and got me a belated birthday gift--an "Eto Pa" CD signed by all the band members.  Whoopee!

Got it this morning and was super duper elated!

 Reggae high.  After "Steady Lang" and "Ayos Din" comes Brownman Revival's third album,  "Eto Pa". 

Shopping takes a back seat

The Sister is right.  Running helps clear your thoughts.  Whether it's the constant motion or the endorphins, it helps.  I normally turn to shopping for therapy.  But since I don't have time (not to mention the moolah) right now, running is the perfect sub.  Whenever I can, I wake up early and take advantage of that one hour of running (or brisk walking) which gives me the opportunity to think about something other than my current frustrations (Damn them frustrations! Haha.)

Oh, and rock music helps.

My current default playlist consists of your everyday head-bangin' rock tunes, some of which are from the early 90's.

Tainted Love (Ramones)
Selling the Drama (Live)
I Alone (Live)
Lightning Crashes (Live)
All Over You (Live)
About A Girl (Nirvana)
All Apologies (Nirvana)
Champagne Supernova (Oasis)
Wonderwall (Oasis)
No Rain (Blind Melon)
1979 (Smashing Pumpkins)
Interstate Love Song (Stone Temple Pilots)
Sweet Child of Mine (Guns N' Roses)

Mehn.  This ain't good.  The last time my Rockumentary playlist was on repeat mode, I ended up throwing soda bottles at the Baywalk beachbreak.  Haha.


I need 'em positive vibes soon.

Running in style.  I want--the Nike Free 5.0 V4 Women's Running shoes.

April Fool's Day

Twenty-eight years ago, a fool was born.  And the world was never the same....


Twenty-eight years of existence in this world, and I've still got so much to figure out about myself.  Yes, sometimes I worry that I may never fully discover what I'm meant to do or what purpose I'm destined to serve but then, I look around and I see the people I have in my life and the worries disappear.  For all the people I've lost, there are the new friends and loved ones I've gained.  And for all the people who've stayed with me through all my dreams, nightmares, and through all the beauty and ugliness of the past, THANK YOU.  Another year in this world means another year of exploring life for all its wonderful possibilities.

Love, love! :)

Pre-April Fool's Nomnom.  A celebration with my newfound sisters :)


We all struggle to make our dreams come true.  When they do, we feel like like a million dollars.  But when they don't, it doesn't mean life has to suck.  We just have to find another dream.  A dream that, maybe this time, will bring us to much greater heights :)

Feathers and blues

Daniel Fricke + Jennie Lee Nuptials

February 20, 2010

San Antonio de Padua Parish
Hacienda Isabella
Silang, Cavite

Wedding Coordinators:
ONCE Wedding Specialists

They're going to have beautiful babies, I thought as Daniel, a pure-blooded German, and Jennie, half-Chinese, half-Filipino, exchanged "I do's". It was a hot February afternoon. And I could see the couple's European guests, seated on one side of the church, fidgeting in their seats, probably due to the heat which they weren't accustomed to. But as the couple moved on to their personal vows, everyone was still--listening and getting teary-eyed with every word.

Seven things

There's a new blog fad going around.

It's called the Beautiful Blogger Award. Kisses back to Joei who gave me this award... *tear* Hahaha.

And so with every online award are corresponding rules:

  • Thanks and link up the person who gave you the award.
  • Pass this onto bloggers whom you think are fantastic.
  • Contact the bloggers and inform them they've won this fantabulous award.
  • State seven things about yourself.
And so I pass on this award to my fellow bloggers who, in their own rights, are beautiful wordsmiths and beautiful people: Jen of Sexy Nomad, Atticus of Tales of a Backpacker, I Gotta Go! of , well, I Gotta Go!, and Rain of Litol Figgy Went to Market.



And as for the seven things about myself, here are some insy-winsy Truths About Koryn:

  • I don't litter. It's something I actually feel guilty doing.
  • I'm addicted to stickers, post-it's, arts and craft materials, and colorful notebooks (even if sometimes, I don't have any use for them at all!)
  • My favorite Breakfast McDo mea: Sausage McMuffin with egg plus hot chocolate!
  • I like wearing colorful underwear.
  • No bland food for me. Either sweet or salty. Nothing in between.
  • I get cranky when its hot and I'm not at the beach.
  • Flip-flops are my staple footwear.
I could post more the rules require only seven :p And some of my other quirks, I'd rather keep to myself. Hihihi.

The loves of my life

They scream, they bite, they run, and they can turn a neat living room into a war zone. And I just love them to death! Meet my nephew and niece--Marsy and Danielle. They're living proofs that good looks and a few loose screws do run in the family...Hahaha!

Perseus got a dent :(

You know how it is when your gadget's new and you notice every minuscule dust, scratch, or fingerprint on it? Well, my boytoy, Perseus (a.k.a my one-month old Compaq Presario) got a dent :( I don't know how he got it, but it's there. It's not really that noticeable (it's not even a centimeter long) but I can see it every time I pull up the monitor. Boo.

Sorry, Perseus, baby. I'll take better care of you, promise.

Yogurt madness

I have a new favorite dessert--FROZEN YOGURT! It's not exactly new in the market but it's only recently that several fro-yo franchises opened in the Philippines. And last weekend, I got my fill of yogurt goodness from two of the more popular stores in town--Red Mango and The White Hat.

Red Mango: Authentic Frozen Yogurt.

For this round, I wanted to try the green tea flavored yogurt. But they ran out so I ordered a 60z regular-flavored fro-yo with kiwi toppings. Man, it was delish!

The sweetness of the kiwi paired well with the yogurt. Every spoonful was delectable!

My friend, Abby, ordered a 4oz strawberry-flavored fro-yo. I was enjoying mine so much, I forgot to try out hers. (Note to self: Order the strawberry flavored fro-yo next time.)

Fro-yo fun. Abby and I enjoying our tubs at Red Mango in Greenbelt 3.


Everytime I watch Glee, I fight the urge to stand up, dance, stretch my vocal chords, and sing! Sure, it's pretty stupid how Mr. Schuester didn't realize that his wife was faking her pregnancy 'til the last episode or how Finn believed he actually knocked Quinn up because his sperms swam all the way from his side of the hot tub to his girlfriend's ovaries, but hey, all the entertainment value makes up for the plot flaws.

And I just love how the producers seem to have the perfect song for every scene. I've long ago finished the whole season and still tune in to ETC every Sunday to catch its reruns. It's the perfect feel good series that would reenergize you and wake the performer in you (if there is one haha). Oh if only I had Rachel Berry's voice!

Anyhu, here's my GLEE-diction for the week. True Colors performed by the cast of Glee.



No other word can describe how I've been the past few days (or is it weeks already?). I wake up, I go where I'm supposed to go and do what I'm supposed to do. I don't have the drive to do more than what is asked of me. And I hate it.

I detest feeling like I'm just going through the motions. That is so unlike me.

There'll be times when I'd tell myself, no, this day should be different. Today, I'll be more productive. And for a couple hours, I'll feel revved up. But after a while, the energy dies down. I'm listless again.


I need motivation. Better yet, I need a vacation.

*Image taken from

And so i blog again.

Oh, and it seems so long ago since I first set foot on the blog-o-sphere, ranting, raving, and talking about practically anything and everything my mind could put a twist to.

And I miss it.

So here I am, finding my way around the blogging world again, ready to unleash my thoughts and pollute cyberspace. Hahaha.

So stick around. And I might just tell you some of my deepest, darkest (and most hilarious) secrets ;)

Other stories you might be interested in: