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Showing posts from May, 2010

A Taste of Bali

I wish it were the real Bali! Early this morning, we headed up to Tagaytay, a mountain city south of Manila. It was our company's annual team building, and despite my initial (strong) misgivings, I went anyway.

The venue is called Bali Village Hotel, and as the name implies, it is patterned after Balinese architecture. There are slight similarities, as you can see from the photos below.

Tagaytay is known for being windy and its cool atmosphere - it was a tad windy, and a bit cool, but it wasn't the same. The hotel premises were pretty nice, though.
That's the ceiling of the pavilion where our main activities were held. I thought the lamps were pretty cool.That's the pool - no it wasn't that dark. I just don't know how to adjust the light settings! I didn't bring my suit with me so I had to be content with being dry all day.

I want a house with a yard like this.
Oh yes, there was beer - lots of it!
An afternoon of good company and SML...what more can you as…

F1 in Singapore!?!

Am going out on a limb...I think that's the major theme of my life these days. Things are changing, and I am getting out of my comfort zone - not in a bad way, though.
I just wrote about purchasing tickets to Siquijor to enjoy the beach for a week. Now, I just made concrete plans to go visit another "S" - Singapore! This is another city that I have been wanting to visit, but haven't been able to. For 2 years now, I have been trying to get to the city to watch the F1 night race. Guess what? The Year of Tiger is THE year!
Right now, I am down with something so I am focusing on vitamins, cough medicine, and Berocca; but I am not bothered really. At least it's not prenatal vitamins (or some other medicine that will keep me from traveling in the next year) that I have to deal with!
Anyhow, September is something to look forward to. The F1 night race is the first of its kind, and even if I wasn't able to go to the first ever race, at least I'll get to ex…

Siquijor Finally!

I have been wanting to go to this island in the middle part of the Philippines for quite some time now. When I got home from work tonight, I saw an e-mail from Cebu Pacific - SALE!
Naturally, I had to check out the fares, and guess what? I can finally go to Siquijor! This is what awaits me:

Hopefully, this is where I will be staying:


I don't care if I have to starve for this vacation. I don't care if I can't shop for anything else. That beach is worth it!
I am already imagining myself lounging in the sand...sitting on the porch...far away from the condo...far away from the office...no buildings...no elevators...no exit alarms...nothing but the sand, the sea, and the SUN!
The best part is that I can still do my work while at the beach...ah, I am finally getting to live my life!

Becocca

Nope, that's not a typo. I've been battling a bug since the weekend, and a friend recommended high doses of Berocca to beat it. So off to Watsons I went to get myself some of this magic fizzy things.
Yes, despite it being called a placebo by some people, I think it has been helping. I still need more energy, though, so I added more coffee to my diet.
Berocca + coffee = becocca!
Seriously, this is one of those diets that work. Long hours at the office plus after work activities tend to take their toll, and with a cough and a cold, it is not easy. I would endorse this combination to anyone who cannot afford to become bedridden because of the flu, though. It's been almost a week and I am still standing. ;)

Little Projects

I am a person who works best with bite-sized pieces. Don't get me wrong - I love huge chunks. In fact, I often bite more than I can chew (both literally and figuratively). I do realize, however, that I get better results when I break down things (and food!) into smaller, more manageable portions.
So...today, Monnette and I came up with little projects that we can work on in the next few weeks. (The idea came about as we were trying to ignore the fact that we were melting inside the cab that was stuck in horrible traffic all the way from Makati Med to Cubao to Eastwood. You'd be surprised at how much you can talk about in these circumstances!)
Project 1: Go find Dr. Arroyo and pay him regular visits again. Dr. Arroyo was our dermatologist when we were in college. (Yup, Monnette and I have known each other for a while.) We had skin problems back then, and well, adult acne still wants to be best friends. Tomorrow morning - I will have recovered by then - I shall try and trac…

Hogs, Hammocks, and Halalan

This post is long overdue, but I hadn't had the time to download the pictures from Garcia (my trusty old camera that's starting to conk out).

On May 10, the whole family (plus Nikki) trooped to Laguna to exercise our right to vote. The "excursion" was kinda weird, especially since I was actually home. I did have some fun experiences, though. Number one: it was so laid back! I loved it!
We went to the farm first, before we voted. It's a little piece of land that my parents are renting. They're raising and breeding some hogs for a living:This pig's a feisty one. I bet he loved that cold shower!
Silas and Gio feeding the same pig leaves. See him posing for the cam?
Silas doing a cowboy dance.
What's that face for, buddy?Nikki wanted to give the hogs a shower.
LOL - I couldn't help it. This pregnant sow was peeing, and I just had to take a picture.

Mom and Dad are also into vermiculture. It's breeding worms for excellent soil. Here are the bed…

Brownmen and A Little Kid

I had decided on going home that night. Of course, as fate would have it, I ran across Ren 50 steps from the condo. That meant one thing: I had to go out with them.
It was kinda good that I did because we ended up at 70s Bistro again. This time, though, I was very much in control of myself and behaved very well. It helped that we had this cute little girl with us - Chuchay. She's such an angel and we all had good clean fun that night. See, she got me doing all these silly poses:



B52 time, courtesy of GP.
Crappy camera. Good times.
Ah yeah, there was a band - another one from our past: Brownman Revival. Ren and Angelique reminisced big time while watching this guy perform.

It made me realize something: I really am getting old. I never really loved their music, but Thursday night, sitting there, I enjoyed myself. I am mellowing down...

At The Crossroads Again

Three decades into my life, and I am beginning to think that life is a series of crossroads. Countless times, we find ourselves having to make decisions - some of them minor, some of them gigantic. Decision-making is a scary thing. In many cases, you hold a certain power over your future, and you don't want to make even the tiniest slip.
I think, however, that worse than having to make a decision is having to wait at the crossroads. I have always thought that when you find yourself in this position, you have to act immediately. I think that's the control freak in me.
These past months, I am learning something else about being at the crossroads: sometimes, you just have to sit still and wait. And for me, that can be much worse than having to make a decision.
Last weekend, I found myself at the crossroads in two different aspects of my life. I took different paths.
In one aspect, I went ahead and made my move. I am going to experience a major change in my life. It is scar…

Eat, Pray, Love

So I am getting back to my old habits, right? One of them is reading. I've always been a bookworm, but I have always leaned towards fantasy and magic.
When a friend visited last month, she adamantly told me to read this "really good book" titled Eat, Pray, Love. For the life of me, I could never get the title of the book right. I would ask for it in the book store and say "Love, Eat, or something" (and some other weird combinations). I couldn't even remember the author. Needless to say, I had a difficult time getting my hands on a copy.
After a couple of weeks of searching, I forgot all about the book. Then last weekend, I went to Fully Booked to get my mom a Mother's Day present. As I was paying for her book, I suddenly caught a glimpse of this colorful book cover on the shelf behind the counter. It said "Eat, Pray, Love."
And just like that, I found the book.
I haven't gone past the first part - when Elizabeth Gilbert (that's

The Tummy Strikes Back

Perhaps I should rename my blog and call it the Tummy Chronicles. I'll start writing about how my tummy acts up on a regular basis and disrupts everything. I bet I will have tons of writing material if I did that!
Just the other day, after having a normal lunch of roast pork, my wonderful tummy started making its presence felt. I felt like I had eaten chunks of rocks, and they were coming up my esophagus. Then I felt like the rocks were stuck in my throat.
Naturally, I couldn't eat even if I was so hungry that I could eat a horse. The only good thing that comes out of these episodes is that I do not need thermogenic fat burners or any other similar products. Just the thought of the pain I'd experience if I ate would turn me off of food.
Of course, the moment the pain goes away, I start eating again. Oh these trifling things that I worry about!

Dragons and Princesses

This week is turning out to be more difficult than I thought it would be. I thought that as the months of this year go by, I would feel better and better. Unfortunately, that is not the case. It seems that nothing much has changed, even though a lot of changes have been occurring.
I hang on to the thread that makes me get up in the morning, follow my daily routine, and go back home to rest. I hang on to the good things in life that, little they may seem to be, make everything worthwhile.
Thank God for writings of people who are infinitely smarter and wiser than I am. Thank God for their insights that keep me holding on.
Tonight, I am grateful for Rainier Maria Rilke and his work, Letter Eight, written in August 12, 1904:

And if only we arrange our life in accordance with the principle which tells us that we must always trust in the difficult, then what now appears to us as the most alien will become our most intimate and trusted experience. How could we forget those ancient myths t…

Cafe Bola @ The Araneta Center

It was the perfect meal to end the day filled with novel experiences. The LRT ride from Recto brought us right back to Gateway, so we decided to eat there. Initially, I thought we would go to Binondo to get some Chinese food, but I guess the Quiapo experience had drained us by late afternoon. So Gateway it was. The first blast of air conditioning was more than welcome, and by that time, I forgot all about Chinese food.

We ended up at Cafe Bola, which is located just outside the entrance to Gateway, in that row of restaurants surrounding the Araneta Coliseum. Apparently, everyone had been there before - except for me. I didn't know what to expect, but I found the decor quite interesting.
The pictures on the walls were taken when the Coliseum was being built decades ago. Apparently, the owner of Cafe Bola is one of the Aranetas.
I passed the time looking around while waiting for the food, which, when it came, was simply orgasmic. Maybe I was just starving as I hadn't had lu…

The Crystal Adventure

Saturday proved to be yet another adventure for me. Earlier last week, the girls at work started to develop an interest in crystals, thanks to our newest team member, Olive. The result was a decision to pay a visit to Quiapo, the part of Metro Manila where you can find practically everything.

In order to get there, you can drive or take a cab. I suppose buses and jeepneys can also get you there, but you'd have to know the route. We decided to take the LRT instead. From Eastwood, we took a cab to Gateway Mall in Cubao, where the LRT-MRT station is. While it was NOT my first time to take the LRT (contrary to what some people kept saying :p), I found it quite exciting.
There was a plethora of food stalls at the station. It was more than enough to make your head spin!
Ticket-dispensing machines that, for some reason, would not take my 10-peso coin. The fare from Cubao to Recto is 14 pesos. Compare that to more than a hundred if we had taken a cab!
You get to see all sorts of peo…