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Thunder Shirt

New Year's eve celebrations are always fun in the Philippines.  Last year - Midori, Char Siew and I walked over to the Fireworks party in Makati.  This year in Baguio - we will most probably just stay in our house and make noises out of our pots and pans.  

New Year's eve celebrations can be very stressful to my two girls: Midori and Brita.   They're afraid of loud noises.  Midori shivers from fear and Brita tries to hide in our cupboard.  One tool that we will definitely use this year is the Thundershirt that I got for the four legged babies.  It was very effective in calming Midori down during thunderstorms.  I'm hoping that it will have the same effect for fireworks.

Giant Santa

Is it just me or does this Giant Inflatable Santa at SM City Baguio look like a burglar?

Lago de Oro

The queens and some of my friends from high school went on a road trip to Calatagan Batangas for one  of my high school friend's wedding.  It was a lovely wedding - and the reception was fun.   We decided to book a room at Lago de Oro ( it was actually the only resort around the Calatagan area which was available ).   The resort mainly caters for Wakeboarding enthusiasts.  So the rooms have the bare necessities (bed, bathroom, TV).

If you are into wakeboarding, or sheep ( yes they have sheep on the resort grounds ), and fantastic sunrise and golden sunsets ( which is why it's called Lago de Oro ) then head out to Calatagan and check it out.

Star Rangers and Snow Leopard

Now that I have a tripod, a wireless shutter trigger, a flippable screen on my Canon 60D - I can easily take self-portraits.   These two pictures showcase items that I got this Christmas as gifts or items from the local flea market. 

The Star Rangers T-Shirt and Star Rangers mug are gifts I received from Christmas. 
A friend gave me this Star Ranger T-shirt and the Star Rangers mug.  I loved this series when I was young.  I'd watch them every afternoon - and looked forward to the characters kicking this football like thing to defeat their enemy.

The Snow Leopard Hat - I got from the Harrison Road Bazaar in Baguio

Was I cold when I bought this silly hat?  Nope - I just wanted it because it was fun to wear.  I actually saw a "pack" of teenage friends wearing these on Session Road.   There's actually an added bonus to wearing the hat - Brita goes crazy when I wear the hat.  It actually looks funny when she goes bonkers. I wonder if she thinks the hat is an actual animal?!?

Beaglehood of the Traveling Yodapants

There is a traveling Yoda costume that haunts Beagles around the world.  It all started in Amsterdam with a beagle named Hunter.  All the Beagles in Twitterworld ( along with their humans ) had a good laugh seeing Hunter's pictures.  Hunter decided that he can't be the only Beagle wearing the Yoda pants - so he decided to send the yoda pants to a journey around the world.   The gallery of Beagle Yodas is posted in a blog called "When We Was Yoda".

It was Midori's turn last Summer to be Yoda for  day.  We decided to have the pictorial in our garden.  The pictures turned out really well and Midori was every bit the professional model that we trained her to be.  These are her best shots form the Photo shoot.

Saint Louis University Annual Lantern Parade

A colleague alerted me to the annual Saint Louis University annual lantern parade.   The queens trekked to Session Road to grab some shots of the event.  There were too many people at lower session road - so we decided to stay at upper session road where the parade starts.  I'm happy we did ( we caught it where there's a bit of a zigzag on the road - which allowed us to capture s-shaped lights.

Next time you're in Baguio in the month of December --- try to catch the event.  It starts on Upper Session Road and ends at Burnham Park.

Merry Christmas from the House of Queens

Christmas 2012 is here.  We're celebrating this joyous occasion in our home in Baguio.  My family is driving up from Manila.   When we were young,  our parents have always intended to spend a Christmas or two in the city of pines -- to experience the chilly weather ( without flying overseas ).  So today - is a day that everyone in this household has been looking forward to.

To the readers of the House of Queens - we hope that you are enjoying this holiday with your family and friends.   Please continue to drop by our blog - as we intend to revive the regular posting schedule - so you can keep up with the stories of the queens and the household fur-babies.

An image of the Holy Family depicting the first Christmas more than 2000 years ago.

Brita is Her New Name

Back in September, we fostered a German Shorthaired Pointer named Sugar.  We offered to foster her  and bring her to Baguio - where the climate is cooler than her former home: Manila.  I already have a Shar Pei named Char Siew and a Beagle named Midori.  Having a third dog was not in my plan.  So the plan was to keep her until we find her forever home.  Two months into the adoption - we decided to give her a forever home.  We also gave her a German name: Brita.  She's a shy dog - and the other fur-babies in our house tend to mark their territory against her.  Overall - she has settled in and she seems to be really happy with her new home.

The sofa is no longer the sole territory of Beagle.  GSPs like getting on furniture.

Brita loves running around our garden.

This is the signature stance of the GSP - they use it to point to birds that they help humans hunt.

She's very curious.

The sunny weather in Baguio brings out her brilliant spots.

This is why we decided to adopt her.  Look at those eyes.  How can you say good bye to those eyes?


I first heard of Sugar - a German Shorthaired Pointer - from my parents on their last trip back to our home in Manila.  They spoke of a new dog that has been fostered by our uncle and aunt.  My uncle and aunt, bless their heart, love animals and their family is composed of their children and fur children ( both cats and dogs ).  Sugar ended up in their home after one of their friends offered to give her to them.

When I found out that she is a German Shorthaired Pointer - I remembered how big they are and did some research.  I found out that they are highly energetic dogs and living in a townhouse in the city might not be best place for them.  Of course my Aunt and Uncle realize that as well and were happy when I told my dad I'd like to give Sugar a home in Baguio.  We can keep her and care for her and treat her as my own.

She moved in with us last weekend and has been trying to adopt to our household.  Midori and Char Siew are of course guarding their territory --- actually Char Siew than Midori.  Char Siew had always been territorial.  So we keep watch to ensure that Char Siew does not bully the sweet Sugar.

Sugar has discovered the cool weather of Baguio and the toys that Midori and Char Siew has.  She's just a year and half years old.  I plan to have her trained,  I also plan to have her spayed.   

My friends tell me that I might end up just adopting her.  We'll see.  As I said - we'll treat her like family but I also know that if there's a better home for her - I'd be happy to give her that forever home.

More pictures from Bangalore

I planned to go around Bangalore to show my readers more sights.  Unfortunately, I got hooked in my shopping and ended up with Cashmere shawls and a Persian rug and ended up not having time to go around Bangalore.  So I am going to share more pictures of the city from our hotel.

From our window we can see Ulsoor lake.

This Hindu temple is small but it reflects the many Gods of the Hindu faith.  I had a conversation with my colleague where I was asking them to help me remember the name of one of their Gods.  We were having a hard time identifying her since there are hundreds of Gods.  It wouldn't even help if I say that the God I'm thinking of is a She because that's half of them.

Near that temple is this Hindu structure similar to the Thai and Siem Reap structures.  

Lastly,  I would like to share the picture of this railroad track which runs through the city.  This is pretty new.  Apart from the airport, this is another product of the rapid development of Bangalore - a light rail transit.


Infinitea was a referral from one of my colleagues from Bangalore.  It is primarily a tea shop with great tasting food but at the center of it all is tea.  The owners have a tea plantation and the tea they sell is grown from there.

They have a wide tea selection from oolong, to green, to floral, spicy, fruity.   However this is India so I'm here for the Indian tea which is Assam and Massala.  Both of these variety can be bought for 150 Rs for 250 gram pack.  That's a real bargain but my Indian driver still thinks I lost money on them.

If you find yourself in Bangalore,  I suggest that you check it out.  It's found on Cunningham Rd,  For more information on their tea varieties visit the Infinitea website.


Doggie Bath

NOTE:  A blog post by Char Siew the Shar Pei

I don't understand humans.  Why do they give us doggies a bath when we obviouslg don't need it.  We smell good enough with our doggie scent.

Can you tell that I'm suffering through this ordeal?

The water is nice and warm but still - I hate water.

Gotta shake it off.

Yum.  At least the toothpaste tastes like Chicken.

Why do you touch my ear?

Hmpff.  I know - I look all handsome after a bath but I still don't like it.

G-Connect Hard Drive

On my visit to Dallas, I bought so much gadgets and most of them are useful and I'm happy over the purchase even if my credit card was hurting after that trip.  I think that of all the gadgets I bought, the most useful amongst all of them ismy G-Connect hard drive.

The G-Connect hard drive has a 500 MB capacity.  What sets it apart from the other hard drives out there is that you can access its content wirelessly.  The content is not just accessible to my PC and Macbook, it's also accessible to my iPad, iPhone and any other iOS device. This is important to me because I want to be able to see all my videos and photos through my iPad.  The on board 64G in those devices is just not enough.

That's not all - I think the most useful feature of the G-Connect for someone like me who travels a lot is that it can also function as a WiFi router.  Hotels typically allow you to connect via WiFi but not all of them have WiFi in the rooms.  You will need to plug your computer to the network to access the internet.  This of course becomes problematic when you have your iPad or iPhone which can only connect via WiFi.  The Macbook can easily share its network connection but it's a pain having to carry the Macbook and my work PC all the time.  The G-Connect is ultra portable and if you use it as your portable hard drive it really is not adding a lot of weight in your luggage.  The G-Connect allows up to five devices to connect to it.   

One caveat that I have about the G-Connect is that it does not have an internal battery.  You will need to plug it into the wall socket or you can also plug it into the USB socket of your computer.  Another alternative for power is to buy a portable battery which has an output ot 5V or 2.0 A.

For more information on the device,  visit their product site at: G-Connect