I Am Raincrystal

A Mom, Daughter, Photography Enthusiast, And An Internet Marketer

Happy Birthday Ma!

This post actually comes a day late. Mom’s birthday falls on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6th. We usually just celebrate at home, esp. if the day falls on a regular weekday, since it’s also more convenient for us all.

This year Mom turns 71. I’m just super glad she’s still celebrating with us. After all, we did lose my dad almost four years ago. He was just 65. It’s never easy when one loses a parent. It somehow makes you change a lot about your mindset about life and living. I know ‘coz that’s what happened to me. Time stopped for a while and I halted all my other plans to take a long hard look at life and how I really wanted to live it. I’m happy where I am right now.

happy birthday mom

Mom loves the color yellow. Can you tell? Tee-hee-hee! It’s also cool that her cake is also in the same color — Mango Roll Cake from Red Ribbon. Yummy! My daughter and I were not in the photos as we were the ones taking the video and photo as Mom blew the candle on her cake. πŸ˜€

happy birthday mom

At the end of the day, we’re just happy to be celebrating another year. I wish Mom good health so she can still be with us for a longer time. And I pray that I will be able to take good care of her when old age does set in.

birthday toast

Here’s a toast to Mom’s birthday celebration! And a prayer for many happy returns of the day! Till next post… ta-tah!

Rosyel Sawali signature

Ride All You Can at Star City

It’s the last weekend before classes resume on Monday.Β And we have these two Ride-All-You-Can passes at Star City that we got from The Malayan Plaza when we stayed there last weekend. It was part of the room promotion. We stayed there for the block screening of Boy Golden, but details will be shared on a separate 18 destinations post.

Ride All You Can at Star City

So there’s my daughter, Bea, who didn’t want to waste the passes. She thought of planning our Friday riding the afternoon and evening away on fancy and exciting rides. If you’re not familiar with Star City, it’s one of the oldest and known amusement parks in the Philippines. It’s located not too far from our place so we often take it for granted to go and visit.

crowd at the entrance

It’s been a while since I’ve been to an amusement park. There are rides that I enjoy and some that I don’t fancy too well. Thinking that she needs a riding buddy, I suggested to her to invite her cousin, Janelle. So there I was officially tagged as the photographer — and videographer — of the day’s adventure.

Ride All You Can Tags at Star City

Since it was still vacation time, it was not that surprising to find a big crowd lining up at the ticket booths. Boy, I never realized that amusement parks are still the “in” thing to be in the city. I guess it beats going to the malls. The girls got themselves ride-all-you-can tags while I just purchased myself an admission ticket (P65).

Star City Park Map

We haven’t been to Star City in a while, so we needed to reacquaint ourselves with the map and the list of rides available. It turned out that the Star Flyer was the main attraction with the longest queue. It probably took us (I was with the girls the whole time) almost an hour and a half before they finally got on. I believe it was worth it and I wouldn’t want them to miss it! Time was when we were just happy to get on the roller coaster. This was an upgraded version of that ride.

Star Flyer at Star City

There were many other fun and exciting rides like the Surf Dance — I thought it was crazy! –, the Blizzard — fun with shorter queue too! –, wacky worm — kid friendly –, happy swing — just a giant swing –, and many more. In addition, the girls also walked through a few walk in attractions such as Peter Pan, Land of the Giants, Time Tunnel, Gabi ng Lagim (Night of Terror), and the Dungeon. If the queue was any shorter, we would have enjoyed so many more!

Star City Pricelist

Last two rides of the night were the Pirate Adventure — loosely based on Pirates of the Carribean — and the classic Grand Carousel which brings out the kid in many of us, the girls included. Alas, it was an amazing and fun way to spend the last Friday of vacation time. Plus, the ride-all-you-can tickets were worth it! So if you’re tired of going to the mall, you can always check out the nearest amusement park. In our case, that’s the Star City!

Life is short! Enjoy it while you can. I had fun writing about it. Hope you had fun reading about it too! Till next time… ta-tah!

Rosyel Sawali signature

[18 Destinations] Fashion Is Adventure

Flashback Friday. Destination #12 was Skydome at SM City North Edsa. The event … Just Delivered Jeans of SM Men’s Fashion. The highlights … models Daniel Matsunaga, Hideo Muraoka, Fabio Ide, Rafael Do Prado, among others.

Skydome SM City North Edsa

2013 was truly an exciting year. My daughter and I came up with her 18 destination adventures to celebrate her 18th year. This fashion show event happened way back in August 2013 and it’s included in her 18 destinations list.

SM Men's Fashion

The weather was at odds that day. We almost didn’t make it to the event as SM City North Edsa wasn’t exactly that near to us. However, we were just glad that we made it anyway.

Skydome stage

It was still a bit early when we got there. The stage was set and the crowd was waiting. Primary objective was to enjoy the fashion show and take some good photos, esp. of Daniel Matsunaga, whom I admired on TV series TV5 Misibis Bay. It would be my first time to see him in person too.

Daniel Matsunaga

I’ve got to give credit to SM Management for a well-organized event. Marshalls were effective in crowd control too. Bianca Valerio was a fun and entertaining host. Plus, we discovered that DJ Samir was pretty cute. Bea even had a photo taken with him!

Hideo Muraoka & Fabio Ide

The event featured men’s fashion, but the male models were such eye candies for the ladies. The great part was the meet and greet after the event. We just lined up to get our chance to have photos taken with the featured male models. I’m super happy to have had my photo taken with Daniel Matsunaga! Yey! πŸ˜€

Daniel Matsunaga & Rafael Do Prado

Destination #12 was a success! Six more to go… with five more waiting to be drafted and posted. Till next time… ta-tah!

Rosyel Sawali signature

Boy Golden Block Screening at Podium Cinema

Boy Golden is one of the film entries to the Metro Manila Film Festival 2013. It is an action-drama film loosely based on the life of 1960’s real-life gang leader Arturo Porcuna, alias Boy Golden.

Golden was previously known as Boy Anino. However, he and his whole family were victims of a supposed rubout by rival gang members headed by Tony Razon. His whole family was killed, but he survived and later on re-surfaced with a new identity — Boy Golden. He was on a mission of revenge against his rivals who failed to eliminate him.

Β Boy Golden block screening

It’s a gangster movie so expect a fair share of violence. And no, it’s not my usual type of movie genre to watch, but this time around, one of my most favorite artists KC Concepcion stars as the main leading lady, Marla de Guzman (a.k.a. Marla D) so I made an exception.

Β KC Concepcion as Marla D

credits to owner

On my previous post, I mentioned about signing up as a member of the Global KaChooChays. The block screening of Boy Golden at Podium Cinema is one of its projects as well. Since I haven’t even met KC Concepcion in person, I knew I couldn’t pass up this chance of viewing her latest movie as well as seeing her in person for the first time. My daughter and mom also tagged along. (This post is related to another one under the 18 Destinations category.)

Before watching Boy Golden, I made it a point to read reviews about the film. I must say I found a number of favorable reviews about it, esp. from known film critics. I also waited news about the MMFF Awards Night as I’d wanted KC Concepcion to bag the Best Actress award for her role in Boy Golden. I was rather disappointed that the movie didn’t win any major awards — only the Best Float award. I was resolved to form my own conclusions about it, even though I was excited to watch it.

Β KC Concepcion

The night of the block screening came and I was indeed star struck upon seeing KC Concepcion at the theater with us. She addressed us fans and I took some photos and a video. After the movie, I’m happy that I was able to give KC my gift and get a kiss and hug from her. Plus, Mom & I were fortunate to have been included in a group photo with KC. Yey! πŸ˜€

My verdict: Boy Golden is one movie that must not be missed! I was totally impressed with the cinematic presentation of the film. The 1960’s was not an era I know, but it seems that I was taken back in time to enjoy it. KC Concepcion was such a revelation in the movie. She did her drama, action, and fighting scenes too well! I think she deserves more meaningful TV and movie projects!


KC Concepcion with Global KaChooChays

credits to owner

Production design and cinematography of Boy Golden are awesome! Direk Chito Rono did the scenes too well! And if you think that the movie was just all about gangsters, there’s the love story of Nanay Puring and Atty. Sagalongos (played by Gloria Sevilla and Eddie Garcia respectively) that would touch the hearts of the audience. I loved how their story was told with flashbacks.

Overall, do make it a point to watch Boy Golden. This movie is one for the books. It is fun and entertaining. I hope that the local film industry will keep making more quality films. We, the audience, do deserve the best! πŸ˜€

Rosyel Sawali signature

Welcoming 2014! Good-bye 2013!

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” as the line of a song goes. Yes, it’s the season wherein some folks spend a bit more, share a bit more, and even give a bit more. However, I sometimes turn into a grinch during this season. It’s not that I don’t believe in the spirit of Christmas. It’s just that I’ve been a bit tired of the overemphasis on materialism and asset acquisition associated with the season. For indeed, why do you need to wait for December to buy yourself something new? Or even to treat yourself or a loved one? Or to be generous or giving to others?

Anywho, for the past few years, it has been our tradition to spend Christmas and the New Year at home. My daughter and I have set an annual tradition of watching fireworks up on the roof top and taking videos or photos of them. Then, I share the photos on Facebook and Instagram, the videos on YouTube.

Whereas Mom is in charge of Christmas Eve preparations, I like to experiment on some salad dish or two during New Year’s Eve. Last year’s experiment was a bit of a disaster, but I’m mighty proud of this year’s result. I call it my Homemade Holiday Salad.

There’s nothing too fancy about it. I made use of ingredients that are already available on hand.

Homemade Holiday Salad

Homemade Holiday Salad

Romaine lettuce, cut into small pieces
Cucumber, cut lengthwise then seeded
Apple, cubed
Grape, sliced in half
Cashew Nuts, chopped

Romaine lettuce

Asian vinegar dressing

4 big Tbsps. vinegar
1 big Tbsp. soy sauce
3 scoops sugar
dash of pepper
small ginger, minced
garlic cloves, minced

Asian vinegar dressing


  1. Make sure you wash all the salad ingredients to be used (i.e. the fruits and veggies).
  2. Cut the Romaine lettuce into smaller pieces and place in a bowl.
  3. Cut the cucumber lengthwise. Then use a teaspoon to remove the seeds. Slice into smaller pieces. Add to the bowl.
  4. Cube an apple. Remove the core and seeds. Add to the bowl.
  5. Slice the grapes into half. Seedless grapes are preferred. Then add to the bowl as many as you want.
  6. Prepare the Asian vinegar dressing by adding all the ingredients in a separate bowl. Add dressing to the salad mix bowl.
  7. Finally, add in chopped cashew nuts.

Voila! You now have a serving of your very own homemade holiday salad! πŸ˜€ I hope you’ll like it. Feel free to add your own variations to it!

Well, it’s the start of another year. I hope and pray that 2014 will be a better and brighter year for the entire planet. May peace and goodwill reign over the world!

More updates to come in the next post! Happy New Year! Good-bye 2013! Hello 2014!

Rosyel Sawali signature

[18 Destinations] Merry KaChooChay Christmas

I guess I’d need a bit of an introduction for this post. This is destination #11. Actually, there have been other adventures that we have done prior to this one, but since this one’s in season so it gets written first.

A belated Merry Christmas to one and all. Now, it’s more fitting to greet everyone a Happy New Year! 2013 has indeed been a challenging yet fulfilling year for me and my daughter. It’s within this year that we started on her 18 Destinations journey. I’m admittedly behind in updating my blog, but we’re almost at the end of the 18 adventures we have set out to accomplish before my daughter’s 18th year is up.

The Global KaChooChays

The Global KaChooChays(GKs). I finally mustered the courage to join a solid KC Concepcion fan group. You see, I’ve admired KC since she first became a model for Human. Gosh, she’s just in her teens then. If I remember correctly, it was her first ever endorsement too. There’s a bit of a long story here that I would skip ‘coz it’s not related to this post. Anyway, I’ve been following GKs account on Twitter and Instagram and made a comment about wishing to meet KC Concepcion in person. It’s one of the items on my bucket list. (The other one is to have a solo photo taken with her.)

I was told to send an e-mail to GKs to register to join the group. My daughter joined too as we both like doing things together. As it turned out, the group was planning a Christmas dinner cruise when we signed up, so we got invited to join them. It’s GKs second anniversary too, but it was our first time to join. I was both excited and nervous ‘coz I would be meeting a number of new people. I haven’t been in a group in a while as I find life to be a lot less complicated when I’m by myself and family only. But I suppose it wouldn’t hurt if I were to expand my horizons a bit this year. So Bea & I marked our calendars and decided to join our first ever dinner cruise!

Realship Corp.

December 21st. It’s the day of the Christmas dinner cruise. We’ve been praying for good weather, but on the way to the venue, we got rained on… pretty hard at that! But since I’ve done my part in praying, I wasn’t worried much about the outcome. It turned out we got delayed a bit as the yacht was still being prepared for the party once the weather cleared a bit. Worry not as the rest of the party went on smoothly and the weather stayed clear for the entire night. Awesome, isn’t it?

M/Y Shanti

We were to go on board the M/Y Shanti, better known as “the party yacht.” Boy, Bea and I were too excited as it’s also our first time to board a yacht. So we also did a little bit of exploring and took photos of every area we could. Boy, the M/Y Shanti was pretty huge! We knew then we’d have a great time… so thankful we joined GKs for the party.

Manila Bay sunset

It was almost sunset when we started sailing. The view was totally magnificent! I had a grand time taking lots of photos of the scenery. Oh how I love taking landscape photos! πŸ˜€

M/Y Shanti interior

The cruise went around Manila Bay. We started out from the CCP Complex Bay, Terminal Bldg. B; then proceeded as far out as Solaire Resort and Casino. Our main destination was, of course, the awesome fireworks display at the bay side of SM Mall of Asia. It happened daily at around 7 p.m. I even got to take a video of the fireworks!

Dinner was served once the cruise got back on the dock. Overall it was a satisfying and appetizing dinner! I was careful not to eat too much as I wouldn’t want to ruin my diet. LOL! I do have my weight maintenance goal to stick to.

Manila Bay dinner cruise view

After dinner, there was a short program and a raffle with prizes ranging from some tickets to the Boy Golden film that stars KC Concepcion, a few accessories from KC Concepcion’s garage sale, and a few items of pre-loved clothes from KC’s closet too. Our table was pretty lucky as all 5 of us ladies there won prizes… 2 won tickets, 2 won accessories ( I won a coral colored bangle!) and Bea won a denim jacket! How great is that! πŸ˜€

Everyone stayed on for a few rounds of videoke singing and dancing. Bea & I, however, left before the party was over. We walked to a nearby Starbucks shop for our nightly recap and found some sort of merriment happening along Roxas Blvd. There was a stage set up and some bands were performing live. It was indeed a memorable night for Bea & me! Destination #11 is done! I have six more waiting to be drafted and posted. I really should step up in my blogging habits. That is something that I’d need to work on for the coming year.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my story. Till next update… have a safe and wonderful New Year’s celebration! It is the last day of 2013! Good-bye 2013. Hello 2014! Ta-tah!

Rosyel Sawali signature

Project Team Bata (United Megan Young Fans) : Realizing a Dream

It all started from a Facebook (FB) call from one young lady. I didn’t know her beyond the name and the profile on FB. We belong to the same group that supports Miss World 2013 Megan Lynne Young. The team is known as Team Bata Official. (Twitter: @teambata_PH)

Honestly, I didn’t know how serious the call was, as there was a previous attempt to organize that didn’t quite push through. And I never heard from the supposed organizer again. Anyway, this time around I was just lurking in the group and kept at bay till I was sure this young lady is determined to see this through. You see, in my frustration the last time, I decided to volunteer alone at Philippine Red Cross (PRC) – NHQ. I was truly glad I did as this was something I have been dreaming of for quite some time now.

Philippine Red Cross - NHQ

Philippine Red Cross – NHQ

Heizen Nyra seemed really serious as, even after a week, she was still urging members to join her in donating and volunteering at PRC – NHQ. So I decided to ask more about her plans and find out how I could possibly help. Once again, I’m glad that I did. Don’t get me wrong, but we’re not happy that a devastation as horrible as Typhoon Haiyan (local name: Yolanda) could wreak such havoc in central Philippines. How we wished we were organizing a project in better times and for better reasons! However, the damage has been done and we wanted to do what we can to help.

Project Team Bata

Heizen was in charge of collecting the funds and I would assist in finding a supplier from whom to purchase the goods for donation. You see, I live within the Divisoria area. Plus, I was to set an appointment with PRC – NHQ. Finally, the dates for purchasing the goods and volunteering have been set.

Philippine Red Cross relief goods

It truly wasn’t an easy task as there were down times and a few glitches so to speak. I was able to canvass the amount needed and we were all set. However, on the day that we were to make the purchase, the supplier was unable to entertain us as they have a Christmas party scheduled later that afternoon. We were really determined to push this project through and gladly found ways to find new suppliers. “If there’s a will, there’s always a way.” Praying helped a lot too!

Team Bata members

At the end of Saturday, December 14th, we had 1 box of sardines, 1 box of instant noodles, 1 box of crackers, and 2 boxes of bottled water, all set and ready to be taken to PRC – NHQ the next day.

Project Team Bata success

Then there was the problem in the number of volunteers. We scheduled for at least 5 – 10 members, but got more than a few last minute cancellations. In the end, we were just glad that the afternoon of volunteering in repacking relief goods was well worth it! I’m thankful for the chance to help and to meet new people. Thank you, Heizen, Ciara, Gesele, and Yadni for an afternoon well spent! And yes, I do believe that social media can be used to do a lot of good. Plus, it somehow restored a bit of my faith in young people such as Heizen, perhaps youth is not wasted on the young after all, at least not all of them.

Project Team Bata

Project Team Bata is a success! I’m happy to have shared the experience with fellow TeamBata members. Till next post… ta-tah!

Rosyel Sawali signature


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