Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pack Buddies

Hmmm. At present, I'm still doing the Ziploc and rolled shirt style of packing. I still pack more stuff when doing overnights compared to when I fly out to some foreign place. Maybe because I take the check-in and hand-carry baggage limits as a challenge. For my last two international trips, I didn't check-in anything (well I did for my toiletries - body wash, shampoo, lotions/moisturizers/sanitizers, etc.- since my companions have check-in baggage) in the airport and my liquids were all below 30ml anyway. Travel light! Travelling with strollers/bad-ass luggage is a real pleasure (plus hearing the beautiful sound of those tiny wheels) with no weight on your shoulders/back and you can basically dump everything inside. However, when there are buses (not a fan of the compartment on provincial buses), subways, and lots of roads to cover, I still prefer the weight of the world on my back, it's like trekking to the mountains all over again. Or maybe I'm just in love with the whole idea of "backpacking" who knows.

Taken from TravelDudes.org and OneBag.com (link goes to the image/diagram), they are debunking my rolled shirt packing! This bundle packing method is something new but you have to remove everything when you're at your destination and try to repack everything the same way again. I think this works when there's actually space for where you will be staying. Let's say if you're travelling for a couple of months and is going to stay at a specific place for quite some time. Otherwise, this is going to be tiring unless you have OCD which is perfectly fine by the way.



Initially, you would really pack way (way) more than you would ever need. Three days outside of your house and you're carrying clothes good for 5 days, plus footwear for more than 3 occasions, which obviously you don't and won't need.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Calaguas Island - Vinzons, Camarines Norte

And the summer is not yet over. It was the last chance for a beach trip under "summer season" here in the Philippines. June is officially the start of the rainy season whether it actually rains or not due to climate change. Nonetheless, the weekend was filled with sun, sand, and crystal blue waters of Camarines Norte.

Calaguas Island is a two-hour boat ride with practically no electricity, signal, and other establishments save for the nipa huts that would shade you from the heat of the sun. The sand is very fine and white while the water is really crystal blue. Not for those who want a resort-like getaway, because you'll be sleeping in tents and water is from the deep well. The place is divine, I just hope the tourists are responsible enough to keep the island as virgin as it is right now.

So you think it's not possible?

The Nipa Huts!

Sunset from a hill.
My friend ninja-surfing at Bagasbas.
How to see the beautiful island of Calaguas:
Contact travel organizers for that hassle-free trip. We got Northlink Travels (+639175012250 - Sir Darius) who offers a cheap package to be honest. PHP 2,000 (inclusive of transfers, food, alcohol, snorkel gear, kayak, skim board, alcohol, entertaining guides, tent, water, whatever you might need except additional snacks) plus PHP 1060 (bus fare back and forth).

So meet-up at Cubao at DLTB bus station at around 8PM Friday then you'll be in Daet by 6AM the next day depending on how fast and barubal your bus driver is. Van transfer to the port for that 2-hour boat ride to Calaguas Island. After your intense camping, they will bring you to Bagasbas, Daet, Camarines Norte for that surfing experience. Not included in the package are surfing fees - board and/or instructor (well it's optional after all).

No other person can say it best other than Marian Rivera, "Walang tubig, walang pagkain, walang signal, sumayaw nalang tayo!!"


Uh-huh.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It Was A Good Weekend

Another boring post just so I could increment the number of May entries I have. ._.

It was a good weekend. I didn't open my work laptop nor did I check my mail (via phone). Saturday was supposedly for my high school friends but the weather wasn't friendly when we were about to go. Instead, I made time for exercising and running then dragged my cousins from their beds to grab some noodles which eventually led to just having milk tea at those Taiwanese stores at Wilson Street, San Juan City. I had Oolong Milk Tea and I can say I was happy with it because I can taste the distinct Oolong tea and the price of Share Tea can compete with the more expensive fares of other milk tea stores such as Gong Cha, Chatime, and Serenitea among others. My cousin's not really fond of Share Tea's Winter Melon Rock-salt Cheese and she said it really tasted like "gulaman" while the rock-salt cheese froth was too thick without any hint of rock-salt. Amusing thing was that while she was silently complaining mentioning this to us, her wifi connection was being cut-off while her brother and I were still browsing and Tweeting effortlessly.

Share Tea's Winter Melon Rock-salt Cheese and Oolong Milk Tea.
The next day (Sunday) was kinder, I woke up full of energy for some reason and wasn't complaining that my blockmate asked for a lunch meet-up at SM Mall of Asia (hello, Pasay!). I entertained cousins who were at our house first and then left with the sun shining at its peak. The drive to MOA alone was fine except that the South-bound EDSA lanes were really painful. Too many potholes to count and curse at! In the end, it was a major foodfest. My blockmate was already complaining, "Kakain na naman tayo?!" because there was actually nothing much to do as initially we planned to watch a movie but the movie list is not really nice....for me. I'm waiting for Snow White and the Huntsman (can we keep Kristen Stewart dead?) and it's not yet showing until June.

Round 1 was Italian food. Well, my goal is to eat at places I haven't been to whether it's a shala place or a purita place. So we went to Gotti's for Italian food since I haven't been inside that place. It took us a long time to decide what to order and I believe we were the happy group at the small spot of Gotti's Ristorante. Their single serve is enough for a hungry person and the price is tolerable. Their menu doesn't cost much and the food is worth the money. I can hear our voices from the kitchen. Haha. Doesn't matter, seemed like we were on a diet at that time.


Round 2 was milk tea. Since previously I had Share Tea's Oolong Milk Tea and my cousin had Winter Melon Rock-salt Cheese which she didn't really like, I tried to taste Winter Melon on my own. This time at Gong Cha. I prefer Gong Cha's house tea specials with their cream/cheese froth on top of a regular brewed tea over other beverages they offer. As for the Winter Melon Tea, it really tastes like gulaman! It's actually a vegetable/fruit juice coming from no duh, winter melon. Then try to mix it with the cream and foila, you have milk tea. Sad thing here is that I won't be able to recreate winter melon as it doesn't come in leaves. :|

Gong Cha's Winter Melon Tea.
After mindless walking looking for that energy tube, we had ice cream for Round 3. Swensen's is a good ice cream parlor with nice interiors and hassle-free ambiance. It's a bit pricey but it's not every day you're going to eat here, unless having diabetes is your goal. The water glass is soo cute! This place is definitely worth a try when you're visiting SM Mall of Asia. I had a wonderful time with my Waffle Ice Cream at PHP170 while my friend had the American Tower at PHP140. A scoop of their ice cream costs around PHP90, so better have the other desserts they offer to have the full Swensen's experience.

Waffle Ice Cream! That's a chocolate shot right there.
That's an American Tower and a scoop of some berry ice cream I forgot.
Their glasses are really nice!

It rained and while we were running amok inside Fully Booked, I thought I was going to barf. I believe it was due to overeating. My blockmates saw me quietly standing near the cashier and slowly walking around, not in my usually giddy self. They told me I should probably go, instead of them entertaining that I barf at them. Even if the traffic was really bad and I didn't get home immediately, my stomach found peace and so I ate again once I got home. Yes, that's how sinful my Sunday was. Gluttony. Plus, my sister even asked me to go pick her up at Bonifacio High Street. Zooming at 11pm never felt that good. No barf Sunday accomplished!!

Share Tea
Wilson, Greenhills
Pioneer, Pasig
SM Megamall - Cyberzone 4F Bldg B

Gong Cha
SM Mall of Asia- G/F EM170 Entertainment Complex
SM North Edsa- 2/F Skygarden
Glorietta 4- 3/F Food Choices
SM Megamall- 2/F Atrium
RP Manila- 3/F Midtown Level

Gotti's Ristorante
SM Mall of Asia
SM Megamall
SM Bicutan

Swensen's
SM Mall of Asia - Ground Flr, South Wing

Monday, May 21, 2012

Control Issues

I have long been in denial that I have control issues. I'm not one of those who can/will jump without really knowing what's underneath. Well, I've been fooling myself that I am a free-spirit and is adventurous beyond myself. Obviously I have been wrong.

A few moments I can remember that suggest that I'm not as free as a spirit I think I am include our trips - both domestic and international ones. If someone's given the task to do the itinerary, I'll let go. However, when no one seems to be handling it, I'll research and do the computations just so we have a solid idea of what to expect on our trip. I can't be at peace knowing that all of my companions are fine with spending some time rummaging for a map at some point of the trip and dubbing it as an adventure of a lifetime. Or okay, I can go with that part but I will have with me a secret answer key to the city, ready to be pulled out if we're really getting lost.

Another is driving. Ahhh, I said I would be going all around the Metro and even out of town when I start driving. This is not exactly true as I still ride the cab and utilize the public transportation. Well aside from the cost of gasoline and carpark fees, it's mostly due to I don't want to get lost. I immensely dislike the feeling of not knowing what's on the other side, what's at the end of the road. I need clues and previous research. Someone who at least has an idea that it's a one-way street. Otherwise, I'll be hailing a cab.

Wearing my wristwatch all the time (save when I'm at home) is also another form of control. Time is really my companion in good times and in bad times. I have been notorious to the last minutes (even seconds!) just because my digital watch allows me to. "Hey, I can even spare a few minutes before the meeting, time to prepare coffee!"

So what am I going to do now? I would be leaving my watch behind during weekends (time in my phone should be sufficient) and I would be willing to drive elsewhere even if I haven't been there (of course I'll die if I don't search Google Maps prior). Baby steps, baby steps. Well, yesterday I drove to and from MOA and then went to BHS on my own, although I can't still have in mind the feeling that I have no clue to which roads I'm going to tackle, a little Google Maps search will keep me from being stressed out.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

I Really Love You, WFH

For the longest time, I've been raving about WFH - work(ing) from home. You just need to be available online through the Office Communicator, attend virtual meetings/conferences, and still perform your work well. It doesn't matter if you're in the office, in the bathroom, or elsewhere, as long as you are reachable and you deliver. I've been doing this for quite sometime ever since we moved out of our office in Ortigas (I dearly miss you SMPC) and stationed in McKinley Hill, Taguig City. It's a good 20-to-30-minute (if traffic!) drive but getting home of course is easier as 10 to 15 minutes via EDSA is a done deal.

So occasionally, once or twice a week, I WFH. This saves me gasoline and parking fees. This also saves the office some bandwidth and taxi reimbursements (when I decide to ride a cab instead of driving to work), as well as hot water (I drink like a camel) and all the other utilities they have accounted for, aside from the non-work noise I add to my group of friends. Anyway, that's a different topic.

Since hell was opened a few weeks back and I was one of those pushed to the crater of the volcano, I have been in the office for 3 weeks for more than 12 hours each time and when I get home, I still need to finish work. Everyday, my finances has been suffering because I go more than 12 hours in the parking (which is PHP120). I lost 5lbs in the process (eating and sleeping habits are hurt) and this is the most tiring work ever. Out in the afternoon and back in the wee hours of the morning - I haven't had the chance to interact with my family at all. Boo me, this feels like Kinder stuff. Hahaha, but hey, it's so weird that I actually missed them in just 3 weeks. Losermei. 

The whole point I initially wanted to convey is... I can't believe I'll miss my family and my life so much. Hahahaha. My mom's been feeding me like crazy. She cooks whatever she gets her hands on, and gives me food - both healthy and unhealthy ones. Hello, chocolate chip cookies, pizza, and chocolates? Guess she's trying to help me regain the 5lbs. Oh well. One more week without Yaya Belle and Yaya Susan. I think I'll be doing the laundry tomorrow. Hmmm.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Me Bore You Yeah

Lately I've been really boring. Really. My posts were all about CDs, weekend getaways, and music videos.
It's similar to me just reporting whatever happened to my day or about whatever that made my day. I'm currently in that phase where I'm at the bottom of this cesspool of crap. I'll lift myself out from here, wait for me. Have patience! Be hopeful. Have faith.