Thursday, March 29, 2012

Why, March?

Two grandfathers in 10 days from the Sto. Domingos. One from the Fajardos. Two dads from the office.

March, this is totally painful.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Notebook Versus Blog

Since TV series became a luxury for me now (I can only watch during weekends!! Such a pity.) I got the chance to stay up-to-date with The Vampire Diaries. They have a humongous bookshelf full of the records of their lumber company and of course, the personal journals of the characters there (I can say the quality of those notebooks are really superb, lasting for a really really long time) were highlighted (Samantha Gilbert's and Stefan's journals). Hence, the thought of writing in a notebook/journal sparked again. Should I ditch my blog and start writing? Or keep the blog for references to other sites and of course, photos and music links, while totally ditching the writing idea (not everyone will last a few centuries to read it again!)?

Then the easy solution to my unworldly problem? Do both! Write in a journal and blog as needed/necessary (when times are rough and the stakes are high). Would there be a decrease in the content given I don't even blog that much anymore? Make the journal a "companion" to the blog or vice versa! There are a lot of pros and cons in writing vs blogging. Not my problem anymore!! Time and energy would be the challenge now. o__o

So this makes it more personal now huh (if it is not even personal yet)? Although I reaaaaaaally have the feeling my soon-to-be-formal-journal will be just a bunch of scratch papers bound together with a cover.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ellie Goulding - Your Song


It's not often that I fall in love with a song... but when I do, I fall really hard.

I believed in love the moment I started falling in love with songs. Well, I got "falling in love" or "fall in love" or even "love" incorrectly but it doesn't matter now (if I look back to my Theology days, my professor would hit me with books).

Ellie Goulding and her big blonde hair has been mesmerizing me for a couple of years. Make it 2 years since I "fell in love" with "The Writer" back in college and OMG it has been 2 years since I have graduated. Her album has been out for a while (anyone coming home to the Philippines soon? I need to "Amazon" it.) and for some reason just early this year, her songs have haunted me again. They have managed to creep back into my life to the point I'm being coerced by Ellie Goulding's hay-thick blonde hair to buy her album. Maybe it's because I was digging through my hard drive for songs and then her voice just mesmerized-haunted me all over again. I've watched her drumming to the beat of "Starry Eyed" while her incredibly thick-volumed hair sings with you. Yes, I know her hair has a life of its own but it's her crowning glory so no one would mind, aside from me.

This song included in the re-packaged album "Bright Lights" is meant to be sung to someone else. 'twas originally sung by Elton John and was also performed by Ewan Mcgregor at Moulin Rouge (adorable rendition). All versions are just plain beautiful and perfect, just the way the song should make you feel. :)




Your Song

It's a little bit funny this feeling inside
I'm not one of those who can easily hide
I don't have much money but boy if I did
I'd buy a big house where we both could live

So excuse me for forgetting but these things I do
See I've forgotten if they're green or they're blue
Anyway the thing is what I really mean
Yours are the sweetest eyes I've ever seen

And you can tell everybody, this is your song
It may be quite simple but now that it's done
I hope you don't mind, I hope you don't mind
That I put down in words
How wonderful life is now you're in the world

If I was a sculptor but then again, no
Or a girl who makes potions in a traveling show
I know it's not much but it's the best I can do
My gift is my song and this one's for you

And you can tell everybody, this is your song
It may be quite simple but now that it's done
I hope you don't mind, I hope you don't mind
That I put down in words
How wonderful life is now you're in the world

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hong Kong and Macau - The 2nd Time Around

March 16-19, 2012

Some places are meant to be visited more than once. This time it's Hong Kong and Macau. I have been to Macau just 3x already, well, it was a very pleasant trip 3 years ago. Saw some of the hotels then just being developed (Galaxy and City of Dreams) and now they're full-on bright and magnificent.
My trip to Hong Kong last November was for the first timers. We went to all the tourist traps- Disneyland, Ocean Park, Avenue of the Stars, Victoria Peak/Madamme Tussaud's, Ngong Ping Village (I love Tian Tan Buddha!), and stayed at Tsim Sha Tsui since it's smack in the middle of HK. We totally left out shopping which is also one of the main attractions for Hong Kong because of time (my brother would rather see Buddha than shop). Then the usual for Macau - Venetian Hotel and Senado Square (we were supposed to go to the Macau Food Festival but again, time wasn't being friendly).
Noon walking at Fisherman's Wharf.
Senado Square and St. Paul Ruins are mandatory.
Happy Lemon at the terminal.
For the return, out of my 5 friends, we only had one "newbie" to Hong Kong and 4 for Macau. Main objective was shopping (and I say culture!) and oh, Disneyland. Since Disneyland entrance fee is quite pricey (you can already have 2 dresses in H&M for that!) and most of us have been there, only 2 of my friends are all-set to see Mickey Mouse and his magical kingdom. There was a Flower Festival at Victoria Park which is just near our place. We rode a tram there (not the MTR!) so we're definitely on track for our "New Things to Experience/See in HK" goal.
We all had our photo moments at the flower...wall. :|
Flower Festival @ Victoria Park.
Victoria Park can be found near Tin Hau MTR station.
I still included Victoria Peak in the itinerary just because it's a pretty sight of Hong Kong plus I want our newbie (actually this is Rach) to experience riding the Peak Tram. I also want to try eating there aside from desecrating the wax figures in Madamme Tussaud's wax museum (ho ho ho, lucky me, David Beckham's there!!!).
William Shakespeare ready to sneeze any minute.
We shopped a lot on the 3rd day, it was time to visit TST (Granville, Cameron, Silvercord) and City Gate Outlets at Tung Chung (while the Disney Princesses go to Disneyland). We were like panic-buying everything, "Maganda ito! Ito rin! *converts HKD to PHP* Mura! Pwede na!" and ended up with sore arms and legs. Was also able to finally eat Xiao Long Bao at Din Tai Fung (the place looks so classy we thought the food would cost gold and diamonds) and also first time at Bubba Gump (haha I know we have this in the Philippines).
Granville Road is a curse. Hahaha.
Rach and Kim's Gong Cha treat to us for lugging around  their shopping bags
while they were away at Disneyland having the best time of their lives.
From "authentic" Cantonese food (complete with the banging and clanging of utensils) of congee and noodles, never-ending milk tea/nai cha and Xiao Long Baos, Charlie Brown Cafe and the rest of the Hong Kong MTR lines, shopping and touring the Venetian in 15minutes, to getting lost (hahahaha) and bullying each other, to laughing our hearts out loud and walking the entire time, Hong Kong Macau 2012 was a wonderful experience. First time to go out of the country with friends and teammates didn't disappoint. :)
Authentic noodles and veggies. Haha.
Snoopy sooo cuuuute!ΓΌ
Charlie Brown toast and Woodstock coffee!
Plus: I recommend Yes Inn at Fortress Hill, HK Island. The place is  being managed by Filipinos so if you don't like the distinct smell of other people (yes, every race has a distinct smell mostly because of the food they eat) and just want a "clean" smell, Yes Inn is good. The place is bigger than TST hostels so you have more floor area for rooms and elevators. :)

*Thanks Neth for the photos!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Road Blocks

Things I see lying in the middle of the road (particularly C5) are spectacular. Well, maybe you have seen better (or worse!) but I don't really care. Most common of course is the ever-popular "other" slipper left lying like a homeless pig smack at the center of the road. Next is the "other" shoe, yes complete with the shoelace. I'm still waiting to see a sock at one point. And just last week (March 8) a dingy teddy bear. Seriously, a teddy bear. WHY?! Wait, HOW?! A kid trying to cross C5 then heard some cars fast approaching so s/he ran for his/her life leaving Mr. Bear? Leaving your teddy bear makes you run faster? Okay, noted. :|

Then on my way home, this taxi (Arnaiz) had a neat LCD monitor for movie trailers and commercials (Hang Ten, Kenny Rogers, etc.) What's hamayzing is that it's the first time I've seen RE: Retribution, MIB 3, and Spider-Man trailers ever. Very clear copy. BR-Rip! Made me want to buy an LCD monitor and watch the movies!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Kate Voegele - Sandcastles

Still not optimistic on things. Running on reserved fuel for ambition. Acceptance is key. Acceptance is key.
I had this picture in my head
Of where I oughta be and when
But it's just like the good advice that John gave when he said,
"Life, it happens while we're busy making plans"
I'd rather make sandcastles
Instead of these wide-world decisions
I knew, I knew it all was catching up to me, yeah 
And I don't have a plan at all
But I got this six-string religion
And I do, I do believe a song can heal me
It's enough for me, yeah
Tell me more about it, Kate Voegele.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Quitter

When I blog a lot despite my stressful and busy schedule it means one thing: I'm ready to give up. It's when I want to release my grip on the rope whose other end is just tied on a hanging branch. It's not okay to fall but when the fire ants are attacking your hand, you just can't bite your lip and hold back your tears. (For the record: I haven't cried in the office yet. If that's any consolation to myself, I have just joined the workforce last June 2010. Still got many chances of crying.)

I don't want to think I'm being OA (over-acting) over this. It's not a one-time thing. It's a huge blow in my face. I was given a box, every one else was confident I can handle it, not knowing it's a box full of dynamites. I got stressed to the limit last Friday about the future bombs of the world, and today just a while ago, I got my own serving of molotov cocktails in my hands and face. This will be etched in my mind. It's easy to say accepting a loss makes you stronger, makes you smarter...

But there's pride. Ang sakit eh!

If you're competitive (on the inside but it shows with your work) and take pride in yourself, ouch much. Even saying that you can't take anything more is huge blow, too. It's like accepting you can't do everything. Sorry, kiddo, you're not superwoman. Image shattered. Confidence level on an all-time low.

And people like that, have the tendency to let go. To just let go. Not console one's self and say, "tomorrow is another day to fight some more." Or just hug and say while rocking, "I am special. I am special." Cut that crap, I'm not like that.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Tagaytay Highlands

Tagaytay Highlands is one of the relaxing places near the Metro. You don't have to slave over going to Baguio (6 hours or more) just to have cool air that's not from the aircon. Last February 18, while I was knocked out of consciousness with work (it's a whole new role for me so I have to make up with my innocence), family went to Tagaytay for a quick out-of-town. There were cable cars and funiculars (HK? bleh), pine trees, wooden cabins, putting greens (well it's a humongous golf course!), and fantastic view.

Cable Cars
Legitimate pine trees just hanging out. Or branching out.
Whatever.
They have nice and decent cable cars that would give you a great view of the highlands. There are a lot of pine trees and the air was chilly. Well, maybe it's because it was still February, definitely a far cry from the baking heat we are experiencing this March.

Cute ducks! These are from Ducks Unlimited. :p

Tagaytay Highlands is one big golf area/course, perfect for... no duh, golfers. Temperature is good, which won't impair you in the mental game of golf.

From the Chinese restaurant.
This tree has a funnel-like screen to catch all the falling leaves.
Why?
View from the Funicular.

This is the Funicular which will transport you from the Highlands to the Midlands. And yes, there are even more golf courses!

Church atop the Midlands.
View from the Cliffhouse. Always a requirement when you visit Tagaytay.
We ended the day at Cliffhouse, eating at our favorite hangout place in Tagaytay - Buon Giorno (their tarragon tea and mudslide shake are a must-try!). It was a perfect stress reliever even though I just slept the whole "roadtrip" time and yawned whenever the cool air brushed against my skin. It was still a very relaxing trip. Just walking around the place with le familia. Definitely beats staring at emails and spreadsheets!

GM Diet vs the PM Diet

Disclaimer: You wanted this! Author is not responsible for any physiological nor psychological damage that may come up in your life. I repeat, you dreamed of this. You asked for the moon and now you have the whole solar system to worry about. If you need help in your intergalactic adventure, look for Oa wherein you can find the Green Lantern Corps.


The ever-popular 7-day challenge of the GM Diet claims that you can lose as much as 10lbs if you follow their program. Seven days, not bad, eh? Better than Sadako pestering you for your life.

Basically it goes like this:
Day One - Eat all the fruits you want except bananas. It's suggested to consume lots of melons and watermelons.
Day Two - Today is veggie day! Stuff yourself with raw or cooked vegetables of your choice. There is no limit on the amount or type. You can also have 2 large baked potatoes for breakfast.
Day Three - Fruits and veggies any amount. No potatoes nor bananas.
Day Four - Bananas and milk! You can eat as many as 8 bananas and drink 3 glasses of milk.
Day Five - Beef and tomatoes. Hamburger is okay with 6 whole tomatoes. Yes, that much.  Increase your water intake, too.
Day Six - Beef and vegetables. Unlimited amount of beef and vegetables. Poor cow.
Day Seven - Brown rice, fruit juices, and all the vegetables in the farm.

Beverages that one may drink are water, black coffee (no cream or substitute, no sugar or sweetness haha), black tea, fruit juices (only on day seven). Ready for it?

How about the PM Diet? It's simple. No day one to eternity.

Sit down, open your laptop, have meetings for breakfast, real work for lunch, and issues for dinner. And while you're at it, your counterparts think you're not doing enough, so you extend your hours and lo and behold, the sun's shining again. What's that you can feel? Earthquake? It's your stomach trying to digest itself! But you're so tired to eat, you'll just sleep. Repeat cycle. Beverages you can consume? The sky's the limit with coffee, tea, water, and energy drinks. Good luck! :)

Now you think Sadako's worth a shot instead, eh?

Friday, March 02, 2012

A Not So Horrible Horrible Day

Oh snap. I forgot to thank the world for a wonderful day. Well, a semi-wonderful day.

From the time my brother ordered a computer for mommy (in exchange to her laptop), the pick-up date has been pushed twice. The original date was such a hassle time for me (Wednesday is my number-coding day) and then when it was moved the next Wednesday, I was packed with meetings and picking it up gives me the same stress like detonating a bomb with the timer ticking 5 seconds left. Then the 2nd time the date was moved, I realized my friend (yes now I'm acknowledging Tara as a friend) also ordered an item (hers was a high-end laptop) meaning I have someone to accompany me to Makati (that horrible horrible place *if you watch 2 Broke Girls 'horrible horrible' is a funny term*)! Yay no need to be frazzled with the parking and timing.

1.) It was such a hot day. Seriously, summer is really here.

2.) Traffic was a bummer and parking in Makati is a very good challenge of patience and self-control. When we got to the carpark area near the Enterprise Center, they told us that the carpark is already full and if we're willing, we have to wait inside. We agreed and after 8 minutes of driving around, we decided we'll get the hell out of that hopeless place and try our luck at the Enterprise Center. On the way out, the parking attendant was charging us Php45 even if we were not able to park. "Kasi lumagpas na po kayo sa 2mins na grace period." "WHAT?! Pwede bang discount?" We pulled off a Christopher Lao, "We were not informed  na may 2mins grace period! Sabi lang sa amin full na and waiting." We were not able to park, just drove for 8mins, and then we're going to be charged? My friend was not in a foul mood so no violence ensued but she was willing to pay it at a discounted price. So instead, they asked her to writer her name and contact number just in case they're going to be questioned why we didn't pay (maybe because there were a couple of cars behind us). So we were able to park at Enterprise Center like a boss with no hassle. Suddenly, life became wonderful again. :)

3.) Going to Robinsons Summit Center to get the computer was easy. I remember Enterprise Center and successfully navigated the area to RSC (which is just across haha). Lo and behold, I'm going to carry this big box all the way back to the carpark. Friend just had a laptop box to tote around while I'm a kargador wannabe. The box was heavy but that was not my issue. (Hello all those time in the gym for nothing?!) The plastic straw which was supposed to be the "handle" hurts like crap! So I lugged my huge box across Ayala Ave's underpass and then to the building and dumped it (brother, if for some reason you read this, I dumped it really gently) inside the car.

4.) We walked all the way from Enterprise Center to Greenbelt to get the replacement iPod. However, dear friend forgot the receipt so we can't claim it. YAY WALK BACK ALL THE WAY AGAIN!!! </sarcasm>

5.) Milk tea was the solution to everything. Not to mention seeing someone from the other team meeting a friend, plus our new hire parking beside my friend's car. I was excited when I saw someone parking near the car, "Bilis check natin kung magagasgasan ka nung nagpapark." Then oh, it's my teammate. Nevermind. Haha.

And yes, I'm ditching the MORAL part in my entries. The experience is the moral after all!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Hullo, March!

We're on the 3rd month of the year already. Surprisingly, my tank still has some ambition left to keep me running and sane. Are we fast-tracking time now??

Life is unfair especially if things don't go the way you want it to. It gets exhausting, searching for the answers that may never be there. I'll just stay put. Telling yourself how unlucky or unfortunate you are gets tiring - the negative repetition just doesn't help. I know someone whose colleague told her that she deserves to have more than what she has right now, and that she should tell them (her bosses) to move her around. I was surprised she declined the suggestion and said, "I know my time will come." Patience, Lord. Grant me the patience and positive heart this girl currently has. Or from my present state right now, I'm starting not to care anymore. I don't know if this is just a result of a stressful month but I'm sure it's not PMS.

When you start not minding whatever they say.
When their good news nor bad news don't affect you anymore.
When you purposely try to shun all the other events/happenings around you.
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. (Amen, Kelly Clarkson.)