Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Break

I envy my friends who can produce heartfelt, emotion-filled entries with 3,000 lines well-spent. When I start writing something, I stop mid-sentence and flash the events back. I get warped to the scene that cause whatever feelings I have and get lost in that dimension.

All I can type of right now are about teas, books, movies (or series), travel spots, and music. Oh yeah about life as well but entries that are taken from the strongest vein in my body that can make your heart skip a beat? I'll pass. I can write out dialogues, scripts, lines, those that can be movie-worthy (self-confidence, yee-haaaw!) but anything that is really from my own? Nah. Someone please pass the popcorn, I'm watching Revenge and re-creating the whole thing in my head.

See, the only thing I could say now is how anal I get inside music and bookstores. I have been spotted arranging the CDs at a popular bookstore when there are multiple copies of the same artist distributed all around. What ever happened to categorizing or having them arranged alphabetically?! No one wants to flip all the CDs over just to know if the artist they've been searching for is just behind the Justin Bieber hair-covered album cover staring them in the eyes?

One win moment I had when I went to Fully Booked was when my friend shouted at me, really confident that the book I picked up (in a motion to buy it) was fugly. He swore that I must not purchase the book just because. That book has been on my list for so long and this person is spitting venom into my face by saying it's not worthy of being bought! Turns out 2 of my most wanted titles are what he got me. Yaaay!

Here we have a Maximum Ride novel and also one from
Jonathan Safran Foer. It's a Merry Christmas indeed!

MORAL: Want something? Ask but do not expect that much. :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Thing

These short paragraphs glued together in one entry were drafted last Dec 24, 2010. Wow, almost a year of being stuck in my phone!


This would be my most expensive Christmas so far. I'm not setting up the electric chair just because  of the cash out that occurred. I just computed my expenses, that's all. Recomputed it and still yielded the same numbers. My brother told me it's okay - it's my first Christmas with my own earnings. Good enough.

Seeing gifts from me and for me at our gift area (no, we didn't set up a tree this year because we're all getting fat already) makes me excited for Christmas. Presents I get from friends are left unopened till Christmas. Such a kid. Self-control is necessary to restrain one's self from violently tearing those neatly wrapped presents. Family members are writing each other's names, with my brother the surprising revelation as he's giving stuff now (Edit: now that it's 2011, he freaking bought an HD media player for everyone).

Honestly, I don't know why my family still give me something. Them helping me all the time and just being there is a present I thank God for everyday.

MORAL: It’s Christmas season. Since there's no Thanksgiving (holiday) here in the Philippines, this season would be the perfect time to thank people who are important to you or those who may have touched your life in one way or another. In giving (presents or tokens of appreciation), we are thanking them. :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

We're in the Russian Parliament, Baby!

When my boyfriend ultimate favorite (former) tennis player decided to go into politics, I thought maybe he was a little sexy-mad that time. Then poof. He freaking won. Marat Safin is part of the Russian federal parliament. Although he's part of Putin's party which is currently the target of 140% voters-turn-out jokes, in my heart I know a lot of people voted for him. So shut the crap up and believe in Marat Safin! I wonder how many tables or chairs would be smashed when he's mad. Incredible Hulk. You no make Marat mad.

MORAL: When you're a retired professional athlete, either go into show business or politics. It works.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Vanessa Carlton - Carousel

Of course, when I realized I posted Michelle Branch's music video, I searched my blog if I have also included Vanessa Carlton's. Holyfreakingmotherofnine!
(And music/videos are my instant posts if I haven't blogged for so long. :| )

One of my favorite artists should never be missed out. Dear friend, you'll get back around. Believe Vanessa Carlton. :)

For all you broken-hearted lovers lost
Go find another one
Cause you know time won't wait and you'll be late
White rabbits on the run

But the goodness is something you don't have to chase
Cause it's following you

And all you'll hear is the music
And beauty stands before you
And love comes back around again
It's a carousel, my friend

Monday, November 28, 2011

Kate Voegele - Impatient Girl

I ain't never been a patient girl baby
I ain't built like this
The way you're taking your time has got me jumping ship
And I won't lie let's call this what it is
An impatient girl waiting on an empty wish

I'm an impatient girl

Kate's a little too thin here and her hair is... ho-hum.
Yet the video is good with a little (or miniscule) mix from Foster the People :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Glee - Rumour Has It / Someone Like You

Glee Season 3 was initially dubbed as for the Broadway fans with songs far from the mainstream crowd, unless you are cultured enough to be exposed to the musicals (which unfortunately I am not hahaha). Yeah Britney, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry songs as well as their mash-ups propelled their ratings last season but they pretty much failed to make a dent in their premiere for Season 3. The world is united in saying that story/plot is obviously not a priority for Glee writers (if they really have one), so it leaves us with performance and song selection to get the audience hooked to the show like bloodsucking leeches.

Although it didn't initially hit the right spot (what do you expect from a decreasing audience share?), this episode has brought back the enthusiasm of their initial fan base. They were able to redeem themselves in their 50th episode titled "Mash Off" bringing in a lot of songs both classic and recent hits. Hello, Blondie, Lady Gaga, and Van Halen? They brought out the missiles! Adding that since I am biased for Santana (wuhoo Naya Rivera!) and as agreed by my friend, it can be announced that Santana and Mercedes (Amber Riley!) basically "saved" the whole season with their mash-up of Adele's "Rumour Has It" and "Someone Like You." Adele needs to have an altar somewhere. I'll bring the candles.

This has been on replay since the day it was shown. Yes, it's included in my daily routine. Rhythm, dresses, coordination, overall performance. The Troubletones wins over New Directions in a heartbeat.

"What did you just tell her??"

You know how the episode goes. :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Light's Beautiful Surprises

So it was mentioned how I'm not much of a fan of sunlight and bright lights but being a fan of lomography and toy cameras means I have to go and embrace the killer cancerous UV lights daylight while wearing my protective ring (yes I still believe I am a vampire up to this date so just go along and don't let me use my compulsion prowess on you).
Tian Tan Buddha
Whenever we go out in broad daylight or when my parents drag my carcass somewhere else (they pull me by the hair), I always bring along Zumi (the size of a credit card) and get some shots whenever I can just so I can make this camera fulfill its expensive destiny. We're into purpose-driven life here, ya know.
PS: I am still looking for a wrist strap and camera case though. If you know where I can purchase message me!
Fishies from our aquarium slash hand washing area. I kid.
The shots might come off as a surprise even though there's an LCD screen in the middle of the camera for reviewing your photos because practically Zumi's viewfinder is as useful as your appendix. Best shots result when there's more light (sing "Sunny daaaaay lalala....") because the colors are more exposed to the camera. Good photos is equal to bad skin.
Eastwood Mall indoor shot. In Monochrome Hard filter.
I admit that Zumi is no match to DSLRs or other point-and-shoot digicams when it comes to zoom, megapixels, focus, sharpness, etc. Making this toy camera seem to be more impractical and "expensive" are the camera applications available in iPhone and iPod Touch's that can capture clear and "fun" photos as well.  Hmph. I'll still keep my sumptuous, saturated, daylight-loving, vivid camera. Nothing can replace the fun factor it has, the beautiful mistakes that could come out from the shots (versus the "perfect" photos from the lomo apps), and not thinking of post-processing anything at all. Unless you want to put fangs on your sister's normal portrait shot. I know I do. >:]

MORAL: Don't think. Just shoot. It's about time you have fun. :)

I'm not missing my film camera anymore. This thing is making me happy, really trigger happy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bandwagon - Going Elsewhere

Everyone's hating on Twilight, so I'm going to watch Breaking Dawn when it premieres.
Everyone's all crazy over the trailer of The Hunger Games so I'm going to wait for the 2nd release of the trailer or just wait until March 2012 - the premiere of the movie.
All the folks are queuing at milk tea stores and raving how much they love it. I'll just go mix and sip my own Thai milk tea.
Everybody's writing their own travel blog. So I won't. A travel blog that's all about the writer? S/he should have just written about his/her life then include, "oh wait I went to Antarctica because it's sooooo cool there."
Everyone takes photos of everything. I snap a few and keep the moment in my mind. A lot of great experiences are missed just because you took a photo of it (and you were looking at the screen).

Everyone's travelling and going elsewhere. Promo fare here, voucher deal there.

Even if everyone's doing it.

Seeing the world and all the differences, beauty, and unpleasantries included make up for amazing stories you could amuse yourself with. The excitement and danger (yup!) are part of it. How many times have you dropped your jaw in astonishment? Have you thought about life when the sun is setting and the cool breeze is sweeping by? Plus the life lessons you'll learn, the experiences you'll encounter, the time you'll kill, the money you'll burn spend, the people you'll meet, the languages you'll murder, the photos you'll take, and the memories you'll keep - priceless.

Don't brag about your trips, don't feel insecure of the number of hot spots your friends have been to (quality over quantity!). Take one island at a time, one country at a time. The world is for your taking. :)

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Michelle Branch - Loud Music

We're making loud music.
You and I.
So loud. So loud.

Michelle Branch.
Still my favorite after a decade. Good times.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Time to Be Personal Again

This thing has been in the drafts for too long. I don't know why I haven't published this. It's now freaking October and the items are for August/September!!! Well October brought about a lot of issues so it might still be applicable. :)

Now is the time!

Time to make the blog personal again! > This one really sounds similar to a computer company's ad slogan before and yet it is exactly what I need. I don't keep a diary/journal of my life - imagine if anything's supposed to be a secret, you must leave no possible evidence behind! So pretty much all items I have are open to public reading and scrutiny. Read: Evidence = Paper Trail = Diary.

Friends summed up August for me and since we work in the same place, the career thoughts are also similar:

- Trusting the wrong people or "friends." Bullies never grow up. They have deep unseated insecurities in life. Awww. Tss. -.-
There will be bullies wherever you go. These are people who need to instill fear in the consciousness of people in order to assert their so-called influence, or to protect such influence from becoming irrelevant.
But at the end of the day, these are simply individuals filled with insecurities that they can only cover up by making others submit to their will.
I don't get why people put up with such behavior but I do understand that it's better to be on the safe side because there are perks to that. It's okay to just keep quiet or laugh along with their "witty" jokes making fun of other people rather than being on the receiving end of their wrath.
To that I say, what the fuck! We're simply reinforcing their actions if we don't question them and it further gives them a license to treat people in such a way. It's like explicitly allowing colorum buses to run wild in EDSA. It simply shouldn't happen.
No one has to go through the experience of being shamed through negative tweets, offensive status messages, and maybe direct confrontation and no one has the right to subject others through those things. 
(Bondoc, 2011
- Frustrations are not like the existence of rain showers and thunderstorms in a tropical country which just pop out like zits and you can't do anything about it. It's because one has set certain expectations and disappointment is part and parcel of that. I have set the bar high and I'm willing to work my tendons to not just reach it, but go over it. Competitive as agreed, which is why I willingly endured all sacrifices (lifestyle according to pay, time, and work requirements) all for the sake of experience and better opportunities. Maybe I got the experience right, although I'm not sure on the opportunities part. Maybe we have different priorities in life and posting an ultimatum on getting things done might or might not work for me (hello it may even backfire!). I don't want to just go with the flow and let life take you as you ride along to its course. Control freak much? Boohoo, unlucky me.

I am not fond of waiting. I never was. It has always been similar to "what I want, I want it now" or okay if not now, maybe a little later but it must be in the time frame that I can still remember (because I might be matampuhin and ditch the whole idea if I don't get it right away). If this is the time I have to learn how to wait, well, hopefully this is that part already. Patience is keeping a positive disposition while waiting. It is a virtue after all. :|

Maybe I have to be a little loose. Learn to sail with the wind and use it to my advantage, because I'm sure as tweaking my own propellers to go in the same direction.

MORAL: Aside from getting a regular font, thanks Rach for the life lessons you have shared.

Take away all the people (and things) that make me sad, disappointed, and worried. I will take away all the negative vibes that this month brought into my life. I will take away expectations, unrequited love, people with so many issues, and irritating/negative ones. So, if you're one of the ones mentioned above, I'm sorry but I do not have room for you in my life :) Again, I do not need lots of people to share this journey with, I just need the right ones :)
Take one day at a time, one role at a time, one friend at a time, one project at a time, one boy at a time, one experience at a time, and I am sure, things will be way better than this month :)
Surround myself with people who make me happy and inspired, of people who want to be part of my life, with people who care enough with what I'm feeling, and with people whom I can trust.
(Dimaculangan, 2011)

Yes. Life's too short to feel all crappy about crap (people include). These lessons aren't like pills wherein you just need to swallow to feel better. Having this kind of disposition would take time to develop, well at least for me, and yet I know this would yield a better world in the perspective of a mermaid.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Captivating Coron

Thanks to Mary for the title. October 20-22, 2011

My previous trip was last July where we went to Puerto Princesa, Palawan. After more than two months of travel-hiatus, I am now back on track! Since this was already planned long before the schedule of my project was released, it hit straight into the middle of the testing period. I wonder if my PM hated me because of it. Hmmm.... I swear I must have bought more cashew tarts...

Where did I bring my stuff to? Coron, Palawan!

Zumi's shot of Palawan. And we haven't even landed!
Packing my hiking bag and trotting along my near-retirement sandals, Coron is definitely the place to be when you want to cry on the inside because of being awestruck with beauty. Coron is located at the northern part of Palawan. It has its own small airport (much like Caticlan's), Busuanga's Francisco B. Reyes Airport. From the airport, there are a lot of transfers to the town proper. Standard fare is PHP150 whether you arrange for pick-up or just ride when you're there. Just tell them your lodging and they'll drop you on its doorstep. Travel time is around 20-30minutes depending on how crazy your driver is. 
And you'll think you're in New Zealand with the cows roaming around like a boss.
We stayed at Coron Gateway Hotel. It's pretty popular with the locals because when they ask where we are checked-in and we say the name of the hotel, they never fail to say "Oooh," then add, "Mahal dun ah." If only they knew we were on promo. 

First on the list is the famous Mt. Tapyas. There are 724+ steps to reach the top and see the giant cross that lights up at night. Better bring a bottle of water because you'll be in for a ridunkulous climb. What's interesting here is that you can get to fully appreciate Mt. Tapyas once you start on your island hopping adventure. You can see from afar that there is really a "tapyas" in the mountain - which our local refreshment vendor shared - a bomb hit that side of the mountain. Uh-huh.
724 steps? Worth it.
Before you give your legs time to realize it's already aching, you can speed off to Maquinit Hot Spring. Word of advice is to NOT jump in as the hot spring is Take time to adjust to the temperature and it will be a relaxing treat.

You have been warned. This is a TYPICAL scene/view in Coron.

So what is Coron all about? The bluer than blue waters and amazing rock formations that are just  around the corner. First is the post-card friendly to-die-for Kayangan Lake. Getting there would already give you the "Ahhhhh....." and then you'll die again when you reach the lake after a short trek.

Welcome to Kayangan Lake! Where the water is so clear you need to stop and pray, thanking God that there are still places like this.

Stop in the middle of the trek to bask in the beauty of the scenery.
And no editing needed. It really looks like this.

Start crying.

Friday, October 14, 2011


August showed me how difficult people can be. Those whom you think are your friends suddenly shoots you and broadcasts it to the whole world - even if they're holding on to wrong information.

September showed me how difficult it is to be on the receiving end of a client that throws tantrums like crumpled paper. It also made me realize the real meaning of "clingy" and "needy" and this is even related to work. Yes.

October showed me that no matter how awesome you feel or how superhuman you can be, there are only 24 hours in a day and you can only do so much. It's both sad and humbling.

Oct 13 has been really something. I threw the can of Pringles on the floor, shouted at that moustached-face and then snapped back to reality and continued what I was doing. Being chased by a lot of crazy people and then accepting that you have to delegate tasks even if it might mean more work for you (teach, supervise the work, and re-check the final output) is no easy feat and yes I tried to squeeze them all in. I was decided to go to the office but I had a heavy heart. I prayed to God to help me see the balance in everything, the good in the bad.

What happened after I prayed in the car, the emergency lights in our garage turned on meaning we don't have electricity. So it was a good decision to go to the office huh. Halfway, rained poured like a waterfall. The good? My car won't be nominated in the "City Cars That Look Like It Traveled in the Desert" category. Not to mention God made me not lose hope in humanity even after all the shenanigans that happened (see August and September paragraphs above) because of the REAL friends I have in the office. 

I still pray to God to make me accept that things really do happen for a reason and that we're not under the power of luck.

MORAL: Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed; courage to change that which can be changed, and wisdom to know the one from the other, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Colour Missions

Adidas Colour Missions are 4 tracks available for download at wherein the soundtrack will keep you running and running to complete your mission. There is a voice over telling you to slow down into a jog, run as fast as you can, and egging you to continue running to either avoid being caught by the police or to be on time for your performance. It's like being part of Grand Theft Auto except you can't ride anything (or hit anyone) as you'll keep on running and running in your mission for about 15 minutes.

There are 4 missions to choose from:
Colour Mission Yellow - The Getaway > You're a bank robber making your getaway.
Colour Mission Green - The Mothership > You're racking to make contact with a UFO.
Colour Mission Blue - Rock Star > You're a rock star late for a gig.
Colour Mission Red - Before Dawn > You're being chased by vampires.

So I tried listening to the missions while working, and all I can say is.... nothing. Maybe it would feel different if I try it out on the road?

Side note since we're into Adidas anyway, while I'm still a proud owner of Adidas Fluid Trainer Light, my next target would be Nike Free Run+ 2 and they're pretty heavy on the wallet! Wait wait, Adidas Climacool Ride is also a good prospect in blocking my bank account. The red CC (yes we have monikers now) Ride is definitely making a print on my mind! Both running shoes rank high in reviews and in the price department. *tears start to well up*

MORAL: Run, walk, jog. Whatever it is, chase pavements and let your heart rate rise.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Ang mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan (Bob Ong)

So Bob Ong has 8 books scattered across the Philippine Literature section of National Bookstore. I used to follow his books religiously and agreed with what he shared in his printed works. Then I realized that... Wait. 


Naalala ko na may entry na pala ako sa aking blog tungkol kay Bob Ong at sa huli niyang librong aking nabasa - Kapitan Sino. Sa nakaraang buwan, bigla ko lang nabasa habang naghahanap ng oras ng UAAP Finals na may isa pa palang librong nailabas si Bob Ong pagkatapos ng Kapitan Sino. Ito ang "Ang mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan" na kumalat na noong 2010. Nalungkot ako na hindi ko man lang nabili kaagad ang libro noong nakaraang taon, pero nagpabili naman ako kaagad nito matapos kong malaman na iba na ang ikot ng kwento ngayon. Hindi na tungkol sa mga nakatatawang jokes at pangangaral ang ginawa ni Bob Ong. Unang subok niya ito sa horror o di kaya'y supernatural na genre. 

I was really hoping that Puno parin ako ng pag-asa na hindi na gagawin ni Bob Ong ang mga shortcut niya sa pagsusulat. Alam kong maraming tumatangkilik sa kanya at mga simpleng "niya" "siya" na nagiging "nya" "sya" ay nakukuha ng mga mambabasa na marahil ay paniniwalaan nilang tama. Grammar Nazi ba ako? Hindi ah! Ako ay concerned citizen lamang. Nabigo lamang ako, namimilipit ang aking mga paa tuwing nababasa ko ang "sya." Balik na nga lang tayo sa libro. Parang journal-type ang style ng pagkakasulat, nagsasalaysay ang bida ng kanyang mga karanasan sa Maynila at makalaon,  sa probinsya kung saan naroon ang kanyang lola - si Mama Susan. Kaya nating paganahin ang ating mga imahinasyon at alam natin ang tagpuan ng mga kinaugaliang horror movie, kaya sapat na ang mga detalye para makita mo ang nakikita ng bida sa istorya. Hindi ko ikukuwento kung ano ang nagyari sa libro (baka gusto mo pa basahin, go lang!) pero masasabi ko lang na hindi nakatatawa ang libro (malaking kaibahan sa mga unang naisulat ni Bob Ong) at kahit hindi masiyado pulido ang istorya, saludo ako at sumubok ng ibang genre ang may akda.

Aral: Mayroon pala talagang mga libro na maiisipan mong sinayang lang ang mga puno sa paglimbag dito. Isipin mo, PHP150 din yung libro ah, parking fee ko na iyon sa 3 araw. Kung gusto mong basahin yung libro, hiramin mo nalang sa akin.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Band Perry - If I Die Young

I've always known I won't live that long, to the ages when I just count leaves that fall from the trees, or dust being swept away by the wind. Don't mistake me for being scared of senility. Growing old doesn't appall me but I really believe I'm not the type of person who wants to experience Earth revolve around the sun a little more than 60 more years.

I may have missed the point of this song but it's really such a beautiful one. And no, I'm not dedicating this to my current project nor lifestyle. :)

If I die young bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in the river at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

Lord make me a rainbow, I'll shine down on my mother
She'll know I'm safe with you when stands under my colors, oh and
Life ain't always what you think it ought to be, no
Ain't even gray, but she buries her baby

A penny for my thoughts, oh no I'll sell them for a dollar
They're worth so much more after I'm a goner
And maybe then you'll hear the words I been singin'
Funny when you're dead how people start listenin'

The sharp knife of a short life, well
I've had just enough time

Lost and Found Identification

So when Rach was complaining about blogging and how she misses it (maybe because of work), I told her it was like I was cramming my blog entries for the past few days - obviously I'm doing my best not to let a month go by without posting anything (yes no one needs to remind me I missed posting entries for February and April this year). I don't know what to post for September 29 aside from I brought a really late gift for a friend and that pretty much sucks if it's the highlight of my day.

I was really looking forward to the project celebration when I returned to our office area. I found out that my ID was a goner! I even walked all the way back to McDonald's across our office just to trace back my steps. No ID holymotherofhebejeezus! I talked to the guards and also to the receptionist about it and the latter gave me a paper to fill-out. It was a report of loss form and it had too many fields. So while I was down and about to give up, one maintenance personnel approached me in our workspace and handed me my ID. He mentioned that when he saw the ID, he noticed the photo, realized that it was familiar, and thought that he recognized the person. So he went straight to me ending his speech with, "Buti ma'am ako nakakita." I wanted to hug manong right then and there!!!! Then my officemates asked me how come he knows me. Good question, since I've been staying on the 7th floor for almost a month and was a no-show on the 5th floor (where manong approached me). :| Nonetheless, manong saved my day from being ruined at 4:30pm!

So I won't mention here that I ate a lot during our project celebration, got really sucky emails from this horrible person, that I almost hit more than 12 hours in the parking lot (Php 100 will burn like fire), and that it was the first time I reached 110kph driving on the road (EDSA-Ortigas FTW!) that is not a freeway, plus I still ate after going home. Hahaha such a pig, a stressed out pig.

MORAL: Share a smile with strangers. You don't know how vomit-inducing their day has been. :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011


September means new and returning series for everyone.

So aside from the multiple tv series (Grey's Anatomy, The Vampire Diaries, Nikita, Glee, Desperate Housewives, did I forget something else*?) I am copying and downloading and not sharing any information about how good they are, there's a new MTV series I'm getting my hands on and it's...

Awkward. (That's the title!)

This is probably the last still that Jenna Hamilton looks like this
because she becomes fabulous afterwards and no, it's not makeover.
They thought that social outcast Jenna Hamilton tried to kill herself wherein she just got into an unfortunate accident and this event begins her rise as a celebrity in her school (as the recipient of the negative kind of attention). The cool, err, crazy semi-retard guidance counsellor is a great source of hilarious-WTF moments while her friends fart witty banters left and right. Awkward has a very decent soundtrack (no duh, it's from MTV) and a humor not everyone will love - and it perfectly works for me. Sad part is that it only has 12 episodes per season and I'm not sure of its longevity.

"Oh look a dead girl playing Dead Stacy. Congrats, Jenna. You just became a cliche of yourself."
"Cliche means stupid, right?"


Where's my The Walking Dead and secret-violent-or-murderous-something series?

MORAL: Be afraid. Be very afraid of the teenage American culture.

*Oh yeah, New Girl starred by Zooey Deschanel looks promising, too, but only because it's Zooey. Would probably write about it when they have excreted more episodes.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sink or Swim - Sinkholes!

Ever since I saw the photos of the urban sinkhole in Guatemala, sinkholes have taken my mind to another level. And when there was another touch point of sinkholes in my life - thanks to Grey's Anatomy season 8 - from sinkholes I have moved on to reading about hyperventilation, mammalian diving reflex, shallow and deep water blackout, and freediving.

One minute you're driving in the city
then the earth crumbles then... POOF!
While sinkholes in the middle of cities are extremely mind-altering, there are those that can leave you awestruck. Here's one sinkhole from Oman (you can find a couple more in the link below). I don't know the name but it's still beautiful (and accessible!) nonetheless!

Of course, with freediving comes greater measures of wonder. Others have their dream vacation spots (hello, Santorini!) and here lies the Top 10 Coolest Places to Swim - our sinkholes definitely included in the list (not the Guatemalan sinkhole you coke-freak!).

I'm still hesitant to learn scuba diving because I fear that I would go crazy on it and blow off my money on diving so I'll settle for the Devil's Swimming Pool on top of the Victoria Falls in Zambia. Well, I'll probably be a homeless person for the airfare going there anyway! Look at the natural infinity pool that has a to-die-for (pun intended) view from the top that is not brought about by latest true-to-life LCD television screens.

Devil's Armchair. love.

See the Top 10 Coolest Place to Swim here.

MORAL: This world is amazing and we are forever living in mystery of its beauty. So don't freaking blow the mountains, the coral reefs, or uproot all the big trees you can find.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Run To You

Would probably update this with the photos of the singlets, no?

While I was dying with all the stress and time-sucking corporate activities, a friend managed to slip a fun run into our busy schedule. Yes I know I haven't posted much for August and September (funny I didn't have any trips scheduled on both months, too) and we're fast approaching October! Geez, I can still remember things that transpired last March (where is my Korea post/entry?!) and when I look at the time, holy heaven geebeezus, it's REALLY almost October already!

Back to the fun run topic, the last five runs I have joined, was forced to join, was threatened to join, are all for charity - or at least their advertisement says so. I only have 2 requirements when joining fun runs - for a cause and singlet inclusive (whether it fits me or not I do not mind anymore).

1st - December 12, 2010 - EcoRun 2010 at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
My first 5K run, I initially just wanted to try running a 3K because I have been running in the gym (hello treadmill) for about a month. However, my friend Troy said we can pull off a 5K so we upgraded our registration (no extra cost anyway) and ended up running an extra half-kilometer because we got lost - we were running the 10K route! Well, a lot of people got lost because of the lack of marshals! After joining a few more runs, indeed, this is one of the poorly organized running events - very few hydration stations, late gunstart (the sun was sharing UV rays already when we started) and lack of marshals.
Running for: more trees!

2nd - April 30, 2011 - Skyathon Boracay Beach Run 2011 at Boracay Island, Aklan.
This is also my first beach run and my first time in Boracay (loser me). Well, there are not much beach runs anyway. I swear I'll be coming back to Boracay! Two of my officemates and I ran the whole 5K with our barefeet and the sand was really fine. Surely any callus you have will be one with the white sand, which the early beachgoers will rub onto their skins, haha. There were a lot of sponsors for this event (best loot bag EVER), free food, and they even had a disposable timing chip for the run. A very memorable run as we drank a lot the night before and had no sleep. Hahaha! Not to mention the singlet fits perfectly. Way to go, Skyathon organizers!
Running for: beach clean-up!

3rd - July 03, 2011 - Vision in Motion Fun Run 2011 at MOA, Pasay City.
First 5K fun run with my new running buddy, Taliztae. No sleep from the night before! We just watched movies and brisk-walked to and from the venue, perfect warm-up and cool-down. Worse singlet fit ever I had to wear my Adidas tank underneath!
Running for: Ideal Vision's foundation and "Save Your Sight" campaign.

4th - August 07, 2011 - HP Fun Run 2011 at McKinley Hill, Taguig City.
We're leveling up! Taliztae and I have been running around McKinley for a couple of times already, with all the uphill and downhill challenges the venue gives us. So running 9K would be easy, right? NO. We have to run around the area 3 freaking times, with crazy uphill and downhill on both ends. Good thing is that there were a whole lot of hydration centers in this race, not to mention it freaking rained a few minutes before the event and drizzled during as well. First wet run! Fuuuuun. Running in the raaaain!
Running for: PGH Wards 9 and 11.

5th - September 25, 2011 - Fam on the Run 2011 at McKinley Hill, Taguig City.
First 10K run! Since we were not able to get any map for the race, I initially thought we're running the same course as the HP Fun Run last August. WRONG. This 10K run starts at Venice Piazza fountain area then all the way up to Fort Bonifacio and onwards to Bayani Road reaching Heritage Park and back. The fail part here is that I thought it would not start on time like what happened in the last run. So I ran far from the starting area to change clothes and then went up to our office to deposit my things and then back to sprinting uphill all the way to catch up with my friend. She noticed how red I was and I was so parched (where are the dang hydration areas?!) I wasn't able to speak until after our slow jog, actually I thought I would black out there from sprinting uphill and not stopping at all haha. There were lots of freebies, too, not bad!
Running for: The Medical City's Department of Pediatrics Charity patients.

What's next? Improving my 10K time! What's the ideal time to finish, anyway?

MORAL: Don't just run for the singlet, run for the challenge and the cause! Yes, running for charity makes it easier to say, "even if my time sucks, it's okay, it's for a good cause anyway." So you won't beat yourself over and over for running really slow on the event.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

City in a Forest - Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Still going with the Pasalubong Guide, Itinerary, Budget, Tips, and Contacts part.

This was supposed to be set last May but my PM then suggested that we schedule our trip to July. So there, we had our Palawan adventure last July 7-10, 2011. A bittersweet nature trip it was.

Puerto Princesa, Palawan is one of the most beautiful places I have seen. It is the cleanest city as well as considered to be the "last frontier" from non-sustainable urban development. It is a marvel to see such a wonderful place in the Philippines. Amazing flora and fauna. Truly breathtaking.

From Puerto Princesa airport we were picked up by our transfer and brought straight to Manny's Guesthouse - a backpacker's haven. The rate is very affordable and if you're travelling with friends and decide to get the 3 rooms on their 2nd floor, you can have the supposed-communal kitchen and bathroom all by yourselves. Mr. Manny is a very kind person (you can ask him of the good spots to eat and place to buy souvenirs).
Ka Lui's!
Suggested restaurants are the Balinsasayaw for real bird's nest soup and Ka Lui's for their good food, great interiors, and homey feel that's not overpriced. It was pouring when we started out our tour, visiting Plaza Cuartel where there were memorial markers for the American Prisoners of War. Afterwards we visited the neighboring church and while the heavens were dumping water on us, we just went to the tiangge-tiangge for first shot of buying souvenirs. Here, truckloads of cashews, magnets, keychains, and pearls can be found.
A marker for those who were starved and burned to death.
Someone's looking for pearls!
Next stop is the Binuatan Creations. Don't forget and hesitate to try out weaving. If you're such a cheapo or not in the mood to purchase bags but is feeling guilty that they let you try out the machine, you can purchase pretty 15-peso bookmarks. Yes I did, so quit snickering.
It's fun to use those machines!
Apple really wanted to see the crocodiles so she was ecstatic the moment we got to Palawan Wildlife and Rescue Center. This is also where you can buy/order nice shirts that can be personalized (put your name or whatever you like such as scientific names). Picture-taking with a baby croc costs Php 30 while they also sell crocodile sisig and sausages. Don't forget to have a photo with the fruit-loving bearcat.
Biggest croc caught. That's really big. Promise.
Long live these hung-over crocs. Don't you dare drop your cam.
Next in the list is Mitra's Farm. It has a nice view perfect for couples. Yes it ends there. Hahaha. Next would be the nearby Baker's Hill wherein you can stuff your mouth will crinkles and get a real sugar high.
Fresh air!
Afterwards, off we went towards Iwahig River for a short visit to Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm (open prison!) and go Firefly Watching (an awesome display of natural Christmas lights). The mangroves and the population of the fireflies here are amazing, so are the guides. They really know their work. Here is where you have to apply 10L of insect repellent lotion because I got the worst mosquito bites of my life.
You can't get in, just stop to take a photo.
Iwahig River
We basically prayed the whole night for sun the next day and if we can, we'll blow away those cumulonimbus clouds as we're going to our Honda Bay Tour (snorkelling and island hopping). Dang it! This adds intensity to the already amazing Puerto Princesa.
This is just a parking lot for the boats. PARKING FREAKING LOT.
Three places only: Pambato Reef for the corals, Snake Island for the sandbar and the fishes, and Pandan Island for swimming and sandbathing - basically just rolling over the white fine sand of Puerto Princesa. There are other islands that can be visited for the Honda Bay Tour but those three were the ones we got for our tour.
Pambato Reef
Snake Island
Pandan Island

So what is Puerto Princesa all about? The finalist for new wonders, the Subterranean River National Park aka the underground river with basketfuls of bats. It's really so beautiful you may want to cry.
Another beautiful docking area.
Just a docking area for the underground river-bound boats.
Just passing by.
The outside of the Underground River. :)
Pretty pretty. Batman and Robin would be so proud.
Fall in love!
And then the Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour wherein you can see lizards (you have to be sharp to see them so eat your carrots) and get the chance to have a close-up on those centuries-old mangroves. Those trees are hardcore I tell you, flexible but sturdy. Also, don't forget to have a taste of the local woodworm (tamilok).
Tamilok in vinegar. Just like oyster. Hum!
Planking on a log in a swamp.
Must be from Pandora [Avatar].
The last leg would be of Ugong Rock. Spelunking plus zipline equate to a perfect end of the trip.
My really thin friend Ryan on ropes. Haha.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Welcome to the Family: Liam and Zumi

Two new additions in my trash bag are Zumi and Liam. :)

I love Moses to death, he's been loyal to me since the start of my college life. He's my default companion whenever the benches are full and he made commuting and walking (whether along Katipunan or inside Ateneo) tolerable. Then there's the thing about me enjoying the whole running phase. I don't know, I think I can run farther when I'm not listening to music, I don't know. Well, a bank company sent me an instant credit card and their promo is a discounted 6th Gen iPod Nano with a watch/wrist strap. So now, I have Liam, the iPod Nano six generations younger than Moses! I pretty much ate my words as I said I'll just switch iPods if mine's not working anymore. Moses still has the guns, I just need to update him and he's up to par with Liam, even if the latter's memory is more than twice what Moses can handle.

Liam in a red wrist strap. You have to guess his real color, though.
Ever since I sold my Holga, I'm still attached to the whole lomo-effect, complete with vignette, saturated colors, vivid effects included. So what's the next best thing? When I was able to have a few bucks to spare (which I could have donated I know) and news that the lens company is not producing more of the lens they use in this camera, I was all set to march to where I can buy this digital "lomo" camera. Hello Zumi, the Digital Harinezumi 2+++ (triple plus!) camera by Superheadz imported from Singapore! Expect random photos included in the posts courtesy of Zumi.

Zumi's camera-shy. So settle for the photo he took. :p

Hullo Liam and Zumi, you both were the results of my bereavement. And both are pretty painful in the wallet.

MORAL: If you can't sleep because of it, if you can't eat because of it, if you can't breathe well because of it, it's just one thing: infatuation. Or in this case, gadgetoholism. Shut up, I just made that up, okay?! August has been really tough on me, really, really tough. I'm just holding on.

The Submarines - Brighter Discontent

Got a brand new roof above my head
All the empty boxes thrown away
I rearranged the place a hundred times today
But the ordering of objects couldn't hide what's missing

All these things, should make me happy
Make me happy to be home again
All these things, should make me happy
Make me happy to be alone again

Got myself a bottle of red wine
Got a night with nothing else to do
I think I might know what I really want
But is a brighter discontent the best that I can hope to find
Got a big black television set
Now I can watch just what I want
But I'm here staring up at pictures on the wall
Where are you, you're still stuck inside 'em all

But love is not these belongings and surroundings
Though there's meaning in the memories they hold
A breaking heart in an empty apartment
Was the loudest sound I ever heard
Got a desk, I'll write myself a note
Pretending that it came from you 
On hotel stationary, from the time we first met
Whatever I can do, 'cause I won't throw my hands up yet

But love is not these belongings that surround you
Though there's meaning in the memories they hold
A breaking heart in an empty apartment
Was the loudest sound I never heard
But I'll be fine if I don't look around me that much for what's gone
If only I could wait here just a little while and let time pass in my room

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ilocandia Trip - The Best of Ilocos

I'm trying to improve my Trips and Tours page so now I'm adding new features such as Pasalubong GuideItineraryTravel Tips, Budget, and the most important Contact Numbers at the end of the post/entry. Enjoy!

My college friends and I caught a plane (Cebu Pacific) to Laoag at lunchtime to start our exciting long weekend last month. It was certainly an adrenaline-filled Ilocandia trip as upon arriving, we just had a good lunch (hello Poque-Poque Pizza!) and then went on to ride our 4x4's en route to Paoay Sand Dunes for our sandboarding experience.
Poque-Poque and Dinardaraan Pizza on the menu!
A 4x4 ride to the Sand Dunes to meet our fate!
From sandboarding about 2-3 hours, we rode a bus to Pagudpud and basked in the glory and beauty of Blue Lagoon (Saud Beach is the more commercialized beach in Pagudpud, we opted for the privacy of the former).

Sandboarding down the dunes.
Waking up to this scenery that is the Blue Lagoon. Fall in love!
We stayed at Pagudpud (Agua Seda Beach Resort) and started our tour. Yes, Blue Lagoon is as beautiful as you can imagine it to be. It is secluded and only a few establishments are in the area. Nonetheless, the sand is not as white and fine as Panglao nor Boracay, but it serves its purpose.