August 25, 2015

Urban Gardening: Growing Tomatoes (Part 1)

For your reference, here is a list of entries under the Urban Gardening series:



Several weeks ago, I decided to venture into another hobby. Albeit less expensive (hopefully) than fountain pens, this hobby would require more patience and skill. Ladies and gentlemen, my new hobby is...

...drumroll...

Gardening! The Sims IRL!

Courtesy of Google Images.

I've been putting off writing about this as I've yet to gather more documentation on my progress. Now, I think I have enough pictures, but I still have a long way to go before successfully raising a fully mature and fruit-bearing plant.

All these being said, allow me to narrate my journey on raising my first plant from seed: the tomato plant.

Day 1: Plant your seeds

You can by seeds in hardware stores (by the gardening section); there are supermarkets that have a section for seeds within the vegetable area. I was too lazy for those, so I resorted to removing seeds from a bunch of tomatoes I bought in the grocery and started planting them on a container.

My tomato seeds were planted on a rectangular plant box;
I've also tried planting them on a
DIY self-watering planter made from a Coke Zero bottle.

In retrospect, I should've planted the seeds in a proper seed starter tray (or DIY using an egg carton) so I have better control in spacing the seeds in preparation for sprouting. Needless to say, it is possible for even the most average of tomato seeds to germinate, given the right conditions.

August 10, 2015

Why there are no Stupid Questions

Consider the possibility that people are driven to respond, not to show that you are wrong, but to show that they are right.

May this perspective encourage us to openly express our curiosity. Chances are, the person who you are asking is too busy making sure that his answer is correct that he may not have the time to assess the intelligence of your inquiry.

Of course, common sense is another thing.

August 07, 2015

Meet my Fountain Pen Family

Hi, I am Iam. I am a penaholic, and here is my story.

My addiction started late 2014, when an office mate of mine gave me a Daiso fountain pen; a relatively inexpensive model. At first I didn't know how to use it, as it took a certain angle and pressure for the ink to flow. Eventually I was enjoying the pen, and I noticed that the callous I had on my right middle finger was subsiding. When the ink ran out, I made the mistake of refilling it with stamping ink. I inadvertently clogged the feed and the pen died.

Then on Christmas 2014, that same office mate gifted me with my first proper fountain pen: a Sailor Lecoule. Still an entry-level pen, but on the mid-range price range. I was using the pen during my grocery shopping for Christmas dinner when I accidentally dropped the pen, nib down, which bent the nib. I was able to service the pen at Scribe Writing Essentials (SM Aura branch), but it took an excruciating three months before the nib was replaced (albeit free of charge). Because of that accident, I got to research all about fountain pens, how to clean and maintain them, and what are the different types and brands. I also registered on local groups and forums of fountain pen enthusiasts, so I could learn more about the craft.

Needless to say, all these efforts brought me to where I was now: the happy owner of fourteen fountain pens.

I won't bore you with the technicalities of fountain pens, nor will I try to convince you of the superiority of this writing instrument over the regular ball point/ gel/ tech pens. I just wanted to share photos of my current acquisitions, and share some tips to those who are interested in jumping into the rabbit hole with me.

First off, let me introduce to you the pens I have that are currently inked.

L-R: Monteverde Artista Crystal, unbranded Taiwanese Pen from NBS,
TWSBI Classic (Black), Lamy ST, Pilot 78G


August 04, 2015

#SupportLokalPH: Ilog Maria Honey Bee Farms

Recently, I've been discovering a number of local (i.e. Filipino) independent businesses. Some of them I've discovered online (on Facebook or on Instagram), others in bazaars. I realize how challenging it is for them to compete with the global market--just look at the shops in our malls and you'll see that most of the brands are from foreign companies ("local" businesses are usually re-sellers na lang)--so in my own little way, I would like to help promote their brand by featuring some of my favorite purchases in this blog.

Ilog Maria

Honey Bee Farms

(Official Website: http://www.ilogmaria.com/)

Each time I get to venture south for a little R&R in Tagaytay, I would always make it a point to visit this hidden gem located at the outskirts of Tagaytay, towards Silang, Cavite.

Ilog Maria Honey Bee Farms has been in business since 1994 as an attempt to promote a better and healthier lifestyle. A family-owned business, they aim to improve the individual's well-being by creating all natural, chemical-free, and locally sourced products. Most of their formulations come from a 30-year old recipe (some even older), only adjusting the formula to accommodate seasonal variations (source).

I first discovered Ilog Maria products while staying at a B&B in Tagaytay. The toiletries they used came from Ilog Maria, and I was really impressed with the soap in particular. I think it was the Green Tea variety; I fell in love with the scent, the lather, that clean-but-not-drying sensation, so much so that I wanted to buy some for my own.

Front: Spearmint soap with remnants of Cinnamon soap
Back: Lavender soap

Spearmint/Cinnamon soap is recommended for the morning,
while Lavender soap is recommended for the evening.

Gamit na gamit 'yung mga sabon, diba?