Family First: Reasons to Spend Time with Family


“The family is the test of freedom; because the family is the only thing that the free man makes for himself and by himself.” –Gilbert Chesterton


With your perpetually busy schedule, have you ever stopped and thought of giving even just a fraction of your time to bonding with your family? Despite your best efforts in making a living and providing for them, have you ever truly justified your reason for pushing family time aside to make room for your work tasks and responsibilities?

If you have answered “yes” to both questions there is a likely chance that you are not spending time with your family at all—even in the barest minimum. Each day you decline to spend time with your family, you push them further away. And by the time you will have realized all that you have missed, your children will have grown distant and your spouse cold. Then, you ask yourself: Is it truly worth it? Sure, you might have provided for them more than adequately but none of those could ever compare to the warm and loving presence of a parent or a spouse who is physically there. At the moment, the realization might fail to register but once you are old and grey, you will begin to wonder what else you have missed when you spent all that time at work. When you are old and grey, would the extra time away toiling at the office make up for the ones you have already lost with your family? Spending time with your family is more important than you think. After all, you only have one so you might as well cherish the bond that you have. Form a relationship with your kids and solidify it or you might regret it once you are old and grey and would likely forget to spend time with you as well. Besides, spending time with family can be very beneficial—and not just in forming familial ties.

While strengthening family ties by spending time with your spouse and kids is a given, it has also been shown that there are many more profound benefits. So, if you have been wondering if you should catch up on extra work this weekend, you might want to hold that thought and book a family weekend to Sandbox Alviera or elsewhere.

In any case, here are some of the most compelling reasons why family time is incredibly important:


Builds self esteem

Understandably, children who spend more time with parents tend to be more confident than their less-parented counterparts. After all, by spending quality time with your kids, you are building a relationship with them. By going to their school plays, attending their school activities and presentations, you are showing them that you believe in them. As a result, these kids will develop high-esteem and self-confidence which would ultimately redound to having them build better relationships with others. When you spend time with your family, it shows them that you value them.


Nurtures positive behaviors

One of the best reasons why you should spend time with family is that kids will consequently develop positive behaviors because of this. You have better leverage on what they are influenced by and can gauge how well you are executing your parenting skills. More importantly, you will be able to keep a keen eye on what sort of behaviors your children will develop and correct them if needed. In fact, it has been shown that adolescents who spent more time with their parents tended not to abuse illegal substances and alcohol.


Creates bonds

Of course, spending more time with your family will inevitably lead to forming familial bonds with them—which over time, you can nurture and strengthen. If you and your family members constantly get involved in group activities and enjoy together, you will develop strong relationships and be able to handle stressful situations with ease. Understandably, making time for family can be quite a challenge to do in this perpetually busy age. In fact, time away from work might even be considered as luxury by some parents. However, know that no matter how difficult, always find a compromise and try to spend time with your family—your children more importantly. It teaches your kids valuable lessons which they would prove useful to them later in life.


Creates fond memories

Once you are old and grey, do you really want to look back at your life and reminisce about all the times you had spent time working extra hours at the office? Of course, you would want better memories to cherish and immortalize. By spending time with your family, you will be able to create memorable moments worth reminiscing over and over again. By the time you are grey and old, you will look back at those memories fondly and come to the conclusion that you have indeed lived a rich and full life.


Relieves stress

Spending time with a loved one—no matter how long or short—will always relieve stress. Telling them about your day and what happened at work helps you unwind and relax. More importantly, by allowing you to vent without judgment, you are given a momentary breather from what could have been a potentially taxing week. So reduce your stress, be open about your worries and anxieties. Spend time with your loved ones and watch them do the same for you. Money can always be made but you only have one lifetime to spend with your family.


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Philippine Adventures: Compelling Reasons Why You Should Try ATV Riding at Least Once


“It is great adrenaline rush, especially running waterfalls. The feeling of dropping off the edge can be thrilling and terrifying at the same time.” -Anna Levesque

It has been said that you have never truly lived until such time that you experience that rush of adrenaline that takes you to new heights.

That feeling that gives you an inexplicable sensation is unlike any other brought about the slight risk in what you are doing. For this reason, a slew of people would literally chase death-defying activities that would more often than not, cross the boundary of what you would consider as daring enough. However, what about those of us who would wish to experience that very same kind of rush sans the risk involved? Well, ATV (all terrain vehicle) riding might just be an activity that addresses your need.

In a nutshell, ATV in the Philippines is pretty much just like driving a small motorcycle or car insomuch that you have pedals to break and accelerate. Perhaps the biggest difference lies on the kind of terrains you would be driving on. All terrain vehicles are specially designed to function in all types of terrains and seasons. With this in mind, you are sure to have that rush of adrenaline. Indeed, while a semblance of risk is involved in ATV riding, it is a calculated one. More importantly, if you invested in a set of appropriate safety gear, the chances of anything untoward happening to you are pretty much mitigated. In any case, if you needed more compelling reasons as to why you should try ATV riding at least once, take a gander at the list below:


It takes camping up a notch

If you have been camping for a while, it can feel like you have been doing exactly the same thing every single time insomuch that the monotony of it all tends to take away the fun of camping itself. Forget about doing scavenger hunts, stories and songs around the campfire and take it up a notch by injecting a bit of fun into it. Go ATV riding instead and bring them with you. Explore the wilderness with your ATVs and you are guaranteed to have an even better time scouring the woods than you would have been had you been simply on foot.


It beats expensive vacations

Sure, expensive vacations can mean a lifetime of memories, little trinkets and souvenirs from your trip. But after it ends, what are you left with? More importantly, kids tend to get a little restless and fidgety when you are traveling by always asking where you are going next and if you have arrived yet. Instead of taking another fancy vacation, why not take yourself and your family on an ATV ride instead? ATVs can be a medium for spontaneous adventure and fun where all you would need in is simply to hop in, find a good terrain and be on your merry way.


Great exercise

This might have escaped your notice but ATV riding actually makes for a very good exercise. While some might think of it as a bit of a stretch to compare it with lifting weights and going for a run, it does get your heart pumping. More importantly, it works your muscles as you have to be tight so as to have better control over the vehicle.



ATV riding is an incredibly liberating activity for many. In fact, it is an avenue for stress-relief by some. With everything that is currently happening in your life at the moment, it is imperative to stop and focus on the now. If you feel locked and have lost motivation in your work or just need a little dose of inspiration, simply going through the woods on your ATV would help you feel free. It would help you relax and get rid of anything that might be bothering you–at least for the time being.


Better than therapy

Sometimes, you just need a good outlet for your frustrations. Unfortunately, everyone is different and sometimes, it takes more than just talking within the four walls of a room to feel better. Maybe what you need is a healthy dose of adrenaline rush–one that takes you to see the sights, enjoy the beautiful landscapes while feeling the air against your skin. Indeed, ATV riding is an excellent way to feel rejuvenated.

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Movie Magic: Four Modern Innovations that Changed the Way We Watch Modern Films

“I intend more of a kinship with silent films than more modern film. I like the old cinema. My films are more of a hybrid—a different style of filmmaking to what I call talking head movies. Some people do not get it–especially the more academic types.” –George Lucas

With the rise of video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, IFlix and the like, it is any wonder why anyone would still go to the cinema nowadays.

Personally, I find it more satisfying to enjoy a film in the midst of strangers and in a darkened chamber rather than in the confines of my bedroom or living room. To me, it just gives cinematic releases a more authentic feel and would elevate the entire experience. Not to mention that there is just something about movie theater snacks that would make the film even more appealing—but hey, maybe that is just me. In any case, there is still so much truth in the fact that the film industry is somewhat declining nowadays as people rarely bother going to the movies. Apart from the rising prices of movie tickets, people seem to find it more convenient to wait for it online to watch and in the confines of their home rather than get out of the house. However, before we get to all that, one should know that back in the day, movies were enjoyed differently. In fact, if there is one industry in the world that has been expansively affected by technological changes, it is none other than film. After all, just compare the effects of movies decades apart and you would see just how far we have come. Apart from that, mechanical and digital innovations have influenced everything from equipment to distribution which changes how films are made and the manner in which we consume them.

In this regard, we should be able to appreciate today’s films better seeing as the art of perfecting them was a long process. So, before checking Solenad Cinema schedule, you might be interested to know these little technological tidbits that made movies the way they are now. You might just not know it, but it would probably make you appreciate the way you enjoy 3D movies viewed in IMAX today.

Movie Camera

Most of us tend to neglect moving pictures which we call films and shows today because we are used to them. Today, they are commonplace but back in the day, a camera that could capture a sequence of photographs into a filmstrip in quick succession was basically nonexistent. The invention did not come to light until the 1800s and without it; we would not have the visual medium that we all enjoy viewing in dark rooms. We might not pay it much heed in films today, but back then, it was said that the audience allegedly ran away from the screen after mistakenly thinking that the events that unfolded on the screen were real.

Synchronous sound

If you are a film enthusiast—even somewhat loosely—you should know that back then, silent films were the thing. In fact, silent films enjoyed a long run before sound could be simultaneously captured to picture. This era was known for over the top slapstick acting as actors had to compensate for the absence of sound. Apart from that, there was also the use of intertitles (titles between shots) and live-music accompaniment to films in theaters which meant that there were obvious limitations in narrative. As a result, complex storylines were basically a nonentity.


Before the introduction of color into films, movies were enjoyed in black and white. This is not to say that there is something wrong with good black and white films—after all, many films filmed entirely in black and white have received accolades. More importantly, black and white films have been shown to provoke an emotional experience in today’s audiences which can elevate the cinematic experience. However, color did change film for the better—not because it gave movies a pop of life and allowed it to mimic life realistically but it segued to better narratives. One such way that color was cleverly utilized was in The Wizard of Oz in 1939 which depicted the film in two segments: black and white in Kansas while Oz in Technicolour.

Green screen

While it might be a bit difficult to believe, early digital compositing started way back in the 1940s with the “traveling matte” process. Essentially, it utilized blank colored walls as backdrops which they would then superimpose images. Screen colors might have changed throughout the years, but the process and the effect have largely remained the same. With this technique, actors would then be allowed to perform “anywhere in the world” without having to be physically there. More importantly, it gave science fiction and fantasy films a better and more authentic film to them.

The internet

Many of you might be confused as to how the internet made it to this list. But no matter how you look at it, there is a grain of truth to it. After all, the internet has drastically changed the way we see and consume movies. Today, most of us would be viewing movies on our phones or from our personal computers. Incidentally, new formats have emerged and resultantly, ways of accessing them (streaming and downloading) essentially shifting the power from the industry to the consumers.

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Buffet Etiquette: Four Ways to Conduct Yourself Properly When Eating at A Hotel Buffet


 “One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating”-Luciano Pavarotti


In the Philippines, eating at a buffet pretty much mimics the scene of a knight laying siege to a castle insomuch that every food item offered is seen as another enemy soldier to be taken down.

Indeed, grabbing a meal at a buffet may resemble a war zone as more often than not, people are often in fear that the food will be taken away before they even get the chance to sample some of it. In other cases, they are afraid that someone would monopolize all of the buffet’s choice items leaving them to take the crumbs. In this regard, many of the buffet diners are of the belief that they should take more than necessary so as to sample as much food as they think their money is worth. After all, they have already paid a premium just to sample a smorgasbord of scrumptious food, why not take advantage of it to the fullest?

Unfortunately, it is this very mentality and irrational approach that deter many prospective diners from eating at the hotel’s buffet. Hotel guests would be of the belief that other diners would behave in such a way that makes them seem like they have not eaten for days (and in some cases, that might just be true). However, this kind of mentality needs to be put to rest as not only is it incredibly unbecoming, but it increases the likelihood of food wastage from all the uneaten excess food you have taken. So, if you have been planning to visit any hotel buffet soon whether that may be in any of the Pampanga hotels or elsewhere, here is what you need to keep in mind:



Some hotels open their buffets before the food is prepared and served. In this regard, guests can freely seat themselves and get comfortable before they start perusing the food offers of that particular day. However, once the food starts rolling out always remember to never sample any of it until the buffet is officially open. Sure, arrays upon platters might have been set out but until the servers tell you that you can begin eating, do not touch the food. Taking food before the buffet is officially open would only stress out the serving and kitchen staff, so be patient. Once a server tells you that you may now commence your meal or if you see a queue by the tables, then go ahead and fall into line. Remember, status and privilege do not apply here, so do not cut in line and wait your turn.


When a food item is short in supply, do not hog all that is left and just take a piece and then move on. Taking everything that is left is an easy way to annoy those who waited in line behind you and can ruffle the wrong feathers at the buffet station. Relax and go easy on it, chances are it will be replenished within the next few minutes or you can ask the server to bring a serving to your table. In taking food items, never use your own utensils and use the serving spoon or forks provided for the dish. After your done, remember to put the serving utensil next to the platter or chafing dish and never leave it on the hot serving tray as it can get hot and burn the fingers of the person next in line to you.


Eating at the buffet is not a contest of who can pile their plates the highest. With this in mind, do not stress your plates by overloading it with food. Take only what you can finish and go back if you wish to have seconds or thirds. Similarly, you should never take a whole plate of food for others in your table as that runs counter to the idea of the buffet. Apart from being unnecessary, taking a plateful of food for others would increase the likelihood of food wastage as there is a likely chance your company would be getting the dish for themselves as well.

Serving Stations

More often than not, hotel buffets have designated special serving stations that would cook hot meals for guests such as the case of the pasta and pizza station. However, keep in mind that there is a limit to what the attendants can provide. Essentially, they cannot realistically prepare all of your special requests. However, if they are straightforward and uncomplicated, special requests can be accommodated so long as the ingredients are in sight, well-stocked and readily available.


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Five Need-to-Know Tips for ATV Beginners With Quad Cars


Racing atv is sand.


“There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”-Nelson Mandela


ATV in the Philippines has been recently gaining quite a following. It is a type of sport wherein people have found themselves developing an interest in. After all, there is nothing quite like the pure exhilaration and the rush of excitement you would feel when you first get on a quad.

In some cases, the rush of being on a new vehicle is too much that you would be tempted to run it like you stole it. However, this is not necessarily a good idea—particularly if you are still a beginner. After all, it is always best to get a feel of the vehicle first before riding it to its full capacity. Furthermore, as you are technically still a novice, it would be best if you took some safety precautions first. So, if you are planning on going on ATV riding this weekend, here are some of the need-to-know basics you ought to keep in mind:



Get to know the quad

If you have recently taken home a new quad, know that the first thing you should do is to read the manual. Unfortunately, like most new car owners, most individuals who own quads would think that manual reading is negligible and not really all that important. However, reading the manual is pivotal to the proper care and maintenance of your ATV. After all, your vehicle is likely a significant investment so you would want to ensure that it is adequately taken care of. You do not have to read it from cover to cover but at least orient yourself to the features of your quad car, the functions, maintenance schedules, and proper break-in procedures.

Inspect and top off all fluids

While taking out your new ATV or quad car for a test ride might seem like a tempting prospect, you should hold that thought until you have already checked the lifeblood of the motor. Keep in mind that most common mishaps which would consequently damage your motor’s internal organs can easily be avoided simply if you took the extra time to check on your vehicle’s motor. Much like how you would routinely check a car if it has enough water, so should you for an ATV. Twist off the cap and ensure that the engine oil, coolant, and differential fluids are all at the proper level.

Tighten Lug Nuts

More often than not, ATVs would be packed tightly into crates when they arrive at your local dealership’s shop. In this regard, no one would exactly know for sure what happens during shipments. In this regard, it would be best if you tighten the vehicle’s lug nuts and torque it well on all four wheels. You do not want to be braving the dirt roads only to have one of the lug nuts coming off which is a potential accident waiting to happen. Besides, it does not take much of your time to tighten them, so take the extra time to do so.

Check the tire pressure

Having enough air in your tires would mean ease of ride. Furthermore, knowing the tire pressure is crucial to the handling characteristics of your vehicle. There are dangerous consequences posed by tires running out of air and if this were to occur to you, facing all kinds of difficulties would be a possibility. However, you should not run with too much air as well as this well lead you to consequently bounce uncontrollably on your quad. While lower pressure might mean that a tire would be easier to puncture, it allows for more traction in softer soils. On the other hand, high pressure would mean higher durability and predictable sliding. However, there is less traction. Your job as an owner is to find the balance between these two. You can always start with the manufacturer’s recommendation and pump in or out air as you wish and as you deem suitable to your riding needs.

Engage the clutch

Engaging the clutch takes no more than a few seconds to do and in turn, would give you a more convenient and comfortable ride. Setting your clutch in the position it engages allows you to pull your clutch lever with two fingers which means your other two fingers can hold on to the grips. In this regard, you can handle difficult terrains better and still have a good grip in your hands.

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Compelling Reasons Why You Should Still Book a Hotel as an Accommodation


“Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations.” –Oliver Goldsmith


George Bernard Shaw was once quoted to say that the great advantage of a hotel is that it is a refuge from home life. However, with the myriad of accommodation options available to travelers—all of which are relatively inexpensive in comparison to hotel bookings—it would be no surprise as to why they would opt for the more practical and economical alternative.

Indeed, various types of accommodation come with their own respective advantages and disadvantages. However, hotels remain as a reliable, comfortable, straightforward and easy option insomuch that it might just be the first thing that pops into a tourist’s head when they are scouring for accommodation options. If you have been wondering whether you should stay in one of the Pampanga hotels or elsewhere during your next excursion as opposed to staying in an inn or dormitory, here are some of the reasons why hotels remain to be the best travel accommodations—regardless of where it might be.



Hotels are always known for their exceptional service regardless of how many stars a particular hotel has attained. After all, if you are in the hospitality industry, you would need to capitalize on the quality of service you can render to your guests. Although the types of businesses in this industry run the gamut from extravagant resorts to hostels, you can expect a degree of service from each of them. With this in mind, you would know that you will be in good hands and that you can have a relaxing and comfortable stay.

Worldwide availability

Spontaneity is a characteristic distinct to most travelers. Resultantly, many of them would not plan every detail of their trip and would just end up where their feet might take them. While this might be admirable, it could potentially put them in a travel snag wherein they would not have a place to stay for the night unless they are open to the idea of camping out. Fortunately, hotels are available wherever you might be in the world. Whether you are discovering the nooks and crannies of a major city or exploring the hidden gems of the countryside, you can always be assured by the fact that a hotel would be not too far away. A little caveat though: Hotels in far-flung areas typically do not feature the same amenities and services with the ones found in major cities unless they are run by the same chain.


When you are not out touring the city or exploring any nearby towns, it would be great to spend some time at your accommodation. However, cheap accommodations only have the bare essentials covered such as a room to stay and a place to eat. In some cases, there would not be any restaurants in sight depending on where you are. Staying in a hotel guarantees that you have something to do during your downtime apart from staying holed up in your room. You can either enjoy an afternoon dip in the pool, go for a jog, get a workout in the gym or check out their bars. Moreover, hotels have housekeeping which ensures that you do not have to give a thought about daily chores. From room services, internet access to laundry services, a whole range of services would be available to you. In this regard, relaxation should be the only thing on your mind.

Diverse dining options

Top notch and luxury hotels offer their guests a variety of restaurants that have their own foreign specialties. However, if you do not wish to dine out and would rather stay in, you can have food sent up to you as well.


Most hotels are located in proximity to commercial establishments or tourist areas. In this regard, the possibility of getting lost is mitigated. Furthermore, transport hubs and important sights would just be within your reach and the airport would not be too far away either. If you need directions, you can always ask the trusty front-desk manager for them. Lastly, hotels have shuttle services should you need to go to other areas which would make it easy for you to find your way back to the hotel.

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13 Outdoor Activities to Entertain House Guests

picnic in the park with guests and friends

It’s rare to have visitors come to your home. On the occasions you have guests drop by your house at Vermosa, you always end up going out. You head to the expensive restaurant in the town center. If not, you stay at home and catch up. But, there’s only so much you can talk about in one seating. You run out of ideas and news to share eventually. You’re lucky if they visit you for a few hours. What are your plans if you have them as guests for a week?

When that happens, you’ll need a diversion. You must have a few activities in mind for the restless kids and adults who are looking for adventure. That way, you can separate your unruly visitors from those who want to take some time off. Outdoor activities are a great way to take your guests around town. It’s also one way to get quality time. Use the activities below to come up with activities to entertain guests. You can also do them with your family if you’re feeling stuffy indoors.

  1. Go to a dog park

Bring your guests to a dog park nearby to watch the different pets do tricks and play with their owners. If you have a furry friend, you can take turns walking, and playing fetch. While at it, use your time at the park to talk with other dog owners to get insider tips on how to take care of your pet.

  1. Visit the playground

Don’t let your kids play with tablets or gaming consoles the whole day. Take them to the playground. Most playgrounds are free and open to all. The adults can get their caffeine fix while the kids run around the place. If the playground isn’t available, you can go to an open court. Don’t forget to bring a ball that you will use.

  1. See the animals

You can visit a sanctuary or a preservation area to see some animals. You can look at different species of animals and see how they act when in their natural habitat. It’ll make you appreciate how unique each animal is. You can also visit aquariums and oceanariums if you’re into underwater creatures.

  1. Volunteer at a shelter

Use your spare time to do something good. You can visit a rescued animal center or a place for the homeless. Their families and owners often abandon the people in these shelters. Show your love and care for others by bringing some food or showering them with affection.

  1. Watch the town’s Christmas tree lighting

Most towns come up with different ploys to make their Christmas tree lighting eventful. You should drive to your town center to watch the big tree come to life. You’ll feel twice the excitement for the holidays when you have other people looking forward to the same thing as you are.

  1. Try ice skating

Having to entertain guests gives you an excuse to try out new things. If you haven’t gone ice skating, then you should bring everyone to the ice rink. You won’t feel ashamed of slipping and falling on your butt when everyone is also out of balance.

  1. See a historic site

Don’t be a stranger to your hometown. Know what makes the place unique. Going to different historic sites don’t only help you get you cultured. It also makes you appreciate what your hometown has to offer. Most of all, knowing the story or little details about each place preserves its history.

  1. Build a snowman and have snowball fights

Don’t think that the only thing you can do during winter is to stay holed up in your home. You can still have fun even when it’s freezing. Relive your childhood days and build a snowman. Complete the look with a scarf, top hat, and a witch’s broom. If that’s not your thing, you can divide yourselves into groups for a snowball fight. Be sure to wear thick coats, gloves, and knit hats to protect yourselves from the cold.

  1. Have a picnic in the park

Prepare your favorite sandwiches, snacks, and salads ahead of time. Pack a cooler with a variety of frozen drinks so you won’t have to pack ice. You bring foldable chairs and tables, or you can spread some sheets to sit on the grass. Before heading out, you should check the weather forecast. You don’t want to pack up in the middle of your meal.

  1. Go on a hike

Those who love going out and taking a sweat are sure to enjoy hiking. If you don’t have experience in hiking, you start with beginner trails. That way, it won’t be difficult on your way up.

  1. Fly a kite

Flying a kite requires skill which a lot of people don’t possess. You should invite your family and friends to try kite flying. It’s a great outdoor activity that allows you to de-stress and breathe some fresh air.

Before you invite your guests to outdoor activities, you should be clear about the expenses. Some of the things on the list are free while others require you to spend on materials and entrance fees. Talk to your guests first if they are open to a few expenses before you go over your itinerary.