I Am Raincrystal

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

[Instagram] August Photo A Day Challenge

This won’t be a long post. I just want to share the latest #FMSPHOTOADAY Challenge for August 2013. Compared to last month’s list, I think this month will be a bit more challenging for me. But I do look forward to learning more about taking photos and sharing them. Perhaps in the near future I can come up with my own list of challenges. Well, till next time… Have a great month ahead! Happy August to all! Ta-tah! πŸ˜€

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FMSPHOTOADAY July Challenge — A Month After

It’s the last day of July. How time flies indeed! It’s been a month since I tried the photo a day challenge on Instagram.

I’ve joined the site for around a month and a half — since I got a smartphone for my birthday. I truly love sharing photos and to date have over 200 photos.

For the FMSPHOTOADAY July challenge, I do have some personal favorites. Not including the ones where I feature my talented and loving daughter, here are my Top 5 picks…

1. Perspective


I’ve seen lots of these types of photos but didn’t know that’s what they’re called. It’s a new technique and I’m happy to learn how to make the best perspective shots. I will keep trying till I improve on it.

2. Outside the window

Β outside the window

This reminds me how much I love taking photos from high above ground. I’d love to have my own place… preferably somewhere on the higher floor.

3. I drew this!

Β I drew this

A constant reminder that there’s more to life to be happy about! Isn’t it a good motivational reminder?

4. 3 things

Β 3 things

Not my best photo, but definitely one of the best moments in life… life’s little pleasures… ahh I do so love quiet moments by myself… just me, my book and coffee and my reading glasses πŸ™‚

5. I wore this!

Β I wore this

In my dreams for now… but it will remind me of my goal to lose weight and be fit. One day I will fit into one of these too. πŸ˜€

Well, it will be August tomorrow and I’m still contemplating about the next photo a day challenge for next month. Perhaps it will be good to give it another shot. A daily challenge helps one look forward to each new day. Till next post… ta-tah!


Β Rosyel Sawali signature


[18 Destinations] Museum Day Tours

My daughter thought that adding our museum day tours to her list of 18 destinations would be a fantastic idea. She has been to most of these museums as a kid, but this time around she has more understanding and more appreciation for these cultural heritage centers.

We actually split the tour into two days. I’m glad to say that we actually got to visit 4 of them in just one day… (1) Bahay Tsinoy (2) Fort Santiago (3) San Agustin Museum (4) Casa Manila.

Intramuros is truly a historical landmark. We’re so happy to live near the vicinity. First stop was the Bahay Tsinoy on Anda cor. Cabildo Sts. I’ve been to this one before and am so glad that I still remember the way. We trekked on foot from my daughter’s school to this location.

Bahay Tsinoy

Bahay Tsinoy showcases the history of the Chinese in Philippine Life. If you want to have an idea of how they lived during the early days, esp. in the Spanish era, this is a great place to visit. It seems a bit creepy though if you’re all alone with all the life-sized figures/statues around. It feels there’s always someone in the room with you. πŸ˜€

Fort Santiago

Next stop was the Fort Santiago. Inside is a wide open space with lots of green landscape in the middle. The Fort Santiago walls are undergoing renovations at this time but we were able to take some closer photos. However, we weren’t able to visit the Rizal Shrine which was closed due to ongoing reconstruction.

San Agustin Church and Museum

Our third stop was the San Agustin Church and Museum. Inside you’ll find big hallways and a staircase that kinda reminds me of Hogwarts from the Harry Potter movies. Antique relics and religious artifacts abound within the museum.

Casa Manila

Casa Manila was located just right across from San Agustin. That was the final destination for day 1. Inside the garden is a lovely fountain where it’s free to take some photos. You’ll need to purchase tickets though if you want to enter the museum. The interior was made to look like old houses during the Spanish era. You’ll see vintage and antique furniture and furnishings. It’s a good place to visit if you like history and culture.

National Museum

It was a tiring day but I’d say quite well worth it! Our second day trip was scheduled yesterday morning — Sunday. The main reason is that entrance fee is waived on Sundays and one can enjoy the National Museum for free. It’s a good thing we went earlier as there were a number of student groups who were also visiting the museum. The National Museum has a number of art galleries that feature the works of National Artists. It’s a great place to visit if you like art and artworks. Plus, I believe it’s required for students who are taking up Humanities courses. You’ll learn a lot about our national heritage and be proud of our national artists.

Well, that was destination #5… 13 more to go! πŸ˜€

Till next time… ta-tah! Have a great week ahead!

Rosyel Sawali signature

Love for Sharing Photos — July Photo a Day Challenge

Instagram logo

If you like taking photos and have a smartphone, you’re probably familiar with Instagram. I’ve known about it for some time now, but I’ve just recently joined when I got my own smartphone as a birthday gift. πŸ˜€

Follow me on Instagram: itsmeraincrystal

Since I do like taking and sharing photos, I’m going to join a fun and stress-free challenge Β — photo a day challenge for July. There are a number of groups running this fun challenge, but here’s the one that I chose.Β 


It’s a new challenge and experience for me. I guess it’s also a good way of motivating myself to look forward to a new day. Time flies! It’s my 2nd anniversary for this site. No fireworks for now… I’m just happy that I’m still around. πŸ™‚ Well, have a great month ahead! Stay tuned for more updates! Till next time… ta-tah!

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Defined as a person 90 years old or between 90 and 100 years old. Β Pretty amazing huh? I think so too, esp. since this nonagenarian person I’m writing about is closer to home…. she’s my grandma, my late dad’s mom. I am in a way a little bit flabbergasted that we celebrated her 90th birthday last Sunday.Β 

grandma's birthday cake

Grandma and I both celebrate our birthdays in June. Mine is on the 18th while hers is on the 22nd. My aunts and uncles scheduled the get-together for Sunday instead. It’s been a while since the family really had a reunion. I think it was three years ago when my dad passed on. This time around it’s a good get-together. πŸ™‚

grandma's a nonagenarian

I’m happy that we got to spend the day with my grandma. Although she’s only able to recognize only a few of us, it’s still good to see her beaming when all the grandchildren and great-grandchildren were having photos taken with her.

grandma's a nonagenarian

I was simply happy that the celebration pushed through as grandma was confined a few weeks earlier for suffering from a mild stroke. Apparently she fainted and bumped her head. It’s a good thing there was no major injury. I consider it a blessing when one is gifted with a long life. My dad was only 65 when we lost him. πŸ™

All in all it was a great day. Tramway Buffet Restaurant in Roxas Blvd. was the venue. We had buffet set up and food was okay. The function room was just a bit too crowded, but I think we had a good time. πŸ˜€

It’s the last week of June. I just got reminded once again of how fast time flies indeed. Sometimes it feels like I still want to accomplish more stuff, but time is limited. The weekend’s celebration is good reminder to enjoy and appreciate life every chance you get. I hope that we’ll have many more wonderful family celebrations to come. Till next time… ta-tah!

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[18 Destinations] Family Weekend Adventure

Very late post… that’s what I call this. Yup! The family weekend adventure happened way back in April of this year. You see my brother was using a voucher from his hotel membership that was almost expiring. We’re lucky to tag along to enjoy this overnight hotel stay.

Mandarin Hotel lobby

Destination #4 is Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Makati City. Technically, it’s not an out of town adventure. The hotel is just located in another part of Metro Manila, approximately an hour and a half away.

The experience is new for me and my daughter as we’ve never stayed at said hotel, so we thought we might as well include it in her dream list.

Mandarin Hotel suite

My brother paid a small additional fee to have the complimentary room upgraded to a suite. We got to stay on the 12th floor. (I love rooms on higher floors.) Our room, however, didn’t have much of a window view. I liked the bathroom, but the room itself isn’t as big as we expected. Nonetheless, we found a comfortable space to camp in.

Mandarin Hotel pool area

The pool is totally awesome. The water was just right — lukewarm not too cold — even though it rained hard before we could even take a dip in the pool. It made the swimming experience totally enjoyable.

Paseo Uno buffet

We enjoyed the dinner buffet at Paseo Uno.. again thanks to a voucher. I don’t usually fancy eating a lot, so I opted for a seafood dinner. I certainly left enough room for desserts! πŸ˜€

Paseo Uno buffet desserts

The following morning, my daughter and I trekked to the nearest mall before check out time. Overall, it’s a fun weekend experience! I hope that we get to do it again really soon! πŸ™‚ 4 done… 14 to go!

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Is There Really Hope for the Philippines?

I love my country. It’s the only place where I envision myself and my family to be. But that has not always been the case. When I was younger, I was frustrated with the state of the nation and wanted to flee. But that has changed in years that passed. I guess age does make a difference.

Why am I suddenly writing about this? I have always veered away from making comments on vital issues that affect most citizens of my nation. I guess I just wanted to reflect on the recently concluded local election that took place last Monday.

I Voted!

Ever since I became a voter, I made it a point to exercise my right to vote. So yeah, I have not missed a single local and national election since then. Each time around I have always adopted an attitude of hope… hope that change for the better is indeed possible.

Is there really hope for the Philippines? I admit I don’t have an answer to that question. I don’t consider myself that knowledgeable in terms of the state of local politics and I know that I am not without fault when it comes to choosing the right officials to lead the nation. But the result of the election in my locality elicited from me a series of mixed emotions… a range of emotions that began with shock… became disbelief… graduated into anger and eventually frustration! WTF??!!

I’m saddened that a vast majority of voters still have not attained the political maturity required to steer the nation towards progress. Pathetic indeed! πŸ™

I guess at this point only time will tell what happens next. I do pray for the City of Manila and the hundred thousand ManileΓ±o voters whom I pray did not make a HUGE MISTAKE in choosing the officials who would lead the city. God bless the City of Manila! ^_^

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