Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Three -, Philippine News for Filipinos

Three -, Philippine News for Filipinos

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Coffee, aging and me

Coffee, aging and me

Last night, I met with my friend Zha at Glorietta. We had dinner at Sbarro’s. Then we head to Landmark to do a bit of make-up shopping. I did a bit and got a new eye pencil which I totally love. I love the color and it makes my eyes look bigger. Hahaha Zha did THE SHOPPING. She will be attending her cousin’s wedding on Saturday.

After shopping, we headed for Starbucks Glorietta, the one inside Debenhams. Then we started talking about how we always end up having coffee when we meet and every time we feel stressed out.

To start with, I am a coffee drinker. Zha tolerates coffee-based drinks like cafĂ© mocha, frappuccino and macchiato. My friend Jho likes frappuccino. My ex-Starbucks buddy (hehehe) Anton doesn’t drink coffee but he enjoys hot chocolate and caramel frappuccino. So coffee shops, in all names, shapes and sizes, are refuges.

Coffee has a very relaxing effect. The caffeine content in coffee stimulates the central nervous system and restores alertness. That makes coffee a good excuse when you feel stressed. It clears the cobwebs in your mind and lets you think straight.

Then Zha said that meeting friends for coffee is a sign of aging.

Then we looked back at how we spend our time before and now. When we were in college meeting up revolved around watching movies and dining out. Now, we still do that but we always preferred talking over a cup of coffee. We can spend hours in a coffee shop just talking and laughing.

Gone were the days of partying. Movies and dinners are still on the list but coffee is always a must. I guess it’s because we don’t see each other that often and catching up with each other’s lives is best done over a good coffee. We talked and laughed about the past, complained about the present and hope well for tomorrow. Trips and reunions are planned during these coffee chats. And I must say, I always look forward to every coffee meeting I have with my friends.

Having coffee with friends may be a sign of aging. Sounds dreadful? Maybe. But then again, I think I am aging well because I never run out of good friends to have coffee with.

Until my next coffee chat. See you soon.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Nothing beats good old things.

In this age of digital cameras, sandbox, picasa albums and what-have-yous, nothing beats looking at old, tattered photographs. Last Sunday, my family and I had such a great time looking at our old pictures. What prompted this? We were looking for old pictures of Ate Ana, a cousin of mine who will get married this December. Her wedding coordinator wants to prepare an AVP for her and her husband-to-be. And when we say old, the photographs were really really old.

Most of these photos were taken in my grandparents’s house in Sta, Cruz, Manila. I spent my first three years there. I grew up with Ate Ana before they migrated to California during the early 90s. In this photo, Ate Ana was about 5 or six years old and I was probably two. I know, I look like a baby boy! What the?!?!? And before I even used Cheng as my nickname, among family members, I am Chenglou.

Here’s another picture of me and Ate Ana. We seemed to have a fascination with “bed shots”. Hahahahaha Oh! I grew a bit of hair here so it made me look a bit girly. I guess. Ate Ana maintained the same apple-cut. I think I was three in this photo and Ate Ana was 7.

I know… This photo reminded me of the movie “Chicken Little”. That’s me at 3. After I managed to grow a bit of hair, my mom decided to give me a shave. I didn’t know why. Maybe I complained so much of the heat or when she put a lot of hair clips on my hair. This photo has an 8R-framed version at home. I guessed my mom had a grand time making fun of me when I was a kid – the curse of being the firstborn! But looking at this now, I am quite happy that my mom did that. Precious memories I would love to share to my kids someday. Will I shave their hair? I don’t think so. We’ll see. Hahahahahaha

And this is my favorite childhood photo of all. This is my Lolo Gemo, paternal grandfather. I was barely a year old in this photo, around 9 or 10 months. Just learning how to walk. See how happy I was when he showed me the beer bottle? Just kidding. I hate beer. I can drink just one. I just don’t like the taste and the smell and the heavy feeling it leaves me. I’d prefer margarita. As far as I can remember, I was very happy to be carried around by him. When I learned how to walk, he would always bring me to an ice cream parlor a few blocks away from their house. I always looked forward to this trip. Then when my parents decided to get the house in Binangonan, Rizal, where we currently live, my Lolo would visit us once a week and he would bring me in the backyard and taught me how to tend the plants.

He’s now very old and weak. He just stays in bed. I just miss him so much and our good times together. I hope someday we could that again.

Last Sunday, my family and I had a fun and nostalgic trip down memory lane. And I loved it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Why I don't rent in a boarding house?

I have nothing against boarding houses, dormitories, bed spaces, room for rents and what-have-yous. As a matter of fact, I fancy living in one. When I was in college, I fancied how it was like to live in the school dormitories or rent a bed space in Krus na Ligas. I imagined myself waking up 30 minutes before my class. During my time, and I guess until now, the traffic in Katipunan is just soooo crazy every morning that during my first year, I really cursed my 7:00 a.m class. Years passed and until I graduated, I never got into finding a dorm or a boarding house.

Then came my time to work. I am working in Makati since 2005. I live in Binangonan, Rizal. Geographically speaking, the distance is relatively near. The travel time is usually 45 minutes to an hour. That is, traffic excluded. I know, realistically, you cannot exclude traffic so when added… 2 hours! Tada! I travel for two hours everyday. Then when it rains or there’s a freak road accident somewhere in C-5, travel time doubles or triples. Serioulsy! I experienced getting stuck in the traffic for 6 loooong hours!

I contemplated on renting in Makati. I asked around. I talked to friends. I computed my expenses. I asked my parents. The works. However, I still decided to endure the 2-hour travel to and from work, every single day.


I always look forward to going home - to my family, to my cats and dogs, to my bed, to my books, to dinners, to family “joke time”. After a long day’s work, the comforts of my own home are enough to wash all the stresses away.

Is it not a refreshing feeling when you get home all stressed and find out that your mom cooked your favorite food? Is it not relaxing to see your dad playing with your pets? Is it not a stress-buster when your favorite dog in the world excitedly barks and welcomes you? Is it not a comforting thought that you always go home to people who always believe in you and give you strength to go on no matter what?

Sometimes I arrive home and notice some problems or little fights here and there. During these moments, I thought that if I am in a boarding house, I won’t hear any of these. Then again, how can I be of help?

I know I may be missing a lot because I am not living independently. However, any time soon, I will have my own family and definitely, I will have to move out and join my husband and start building our own home. It will be a new home that I will look forward to. But for now, I will cherish these moments with my family.

I have nothing against boarding houses, it is just not for someone like me.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Back pains are killing me

I have disregarded my back pains for the longest time. Now, I am suffering the consequences of such neglect. I am already 26 and back braces are no option. Surgery? Spine surgery? Like inserting stainless metal to straighten my back? Oh no! I am so scared I think I might die. Alternatives are very much welcome now. I just had a talk with my doctor and he told me about chiropractor. I think it's a kind of theraphy. I will do my research on this one. I'd rather have several theraphy sessions that undergo surgery. Right now, I just want to lay still, with my back flat on the floor. No mattresses. No cushions. I dread to go back to work and sit for eight hours. For an uneven-legged girl like me, it's torture! I will have a good back massage tonight! Hopefully, it will comfort me even for a moment.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy Thursday!

I'ts a Thursday and I just feel a little happier than yesterday. hahaha While I was having breakfast this morning, I noticed myself humming to Andrew Gold's Never Let Her Slip Away.  This is one of the old songs I love.  I consider it old because it was released in 1978, about 5 years before I was born. I first heard this song from my cousin back in the late 80s.  It's a simple song about the theme: love at first sight.  The music is feel good.  If you do not know the song, here is the lyrics and just google the mp3. Enjoy!
Never Let Her Slip Away
Andrew Gold
I talked to my baby on the telephone, long distance
I never would've guessed I could miss someone so bad, yeah
I really only met her 'bout a week ago
But it doesn't seem to matter to my heart

I know that I love her, I'm hoping that I never recover
'Cause she's good for me
And it would really make me happy
To never let her slip away

Feel like a kid with a teenage crush on a school date
I feel like the lead in 'Romeo and Juliet', yeah
I'm a little bit dizzy, I'm a little bit scared
I guess I never felt this much aware

That I love her, I'm hoping that I'll never recover
'Cause she's good for me
And it would really make me happy
To never let her slip away

I really only met her 'bout a week ago
But it doesn't seem to matter to my heart

I know that I love her, I'm hoping that I never recover
Yeah, she's good to me
And it would really make me happy
To never let her slip away

I love her, I'm thinking that I never recover
Yeah, she's good for me
I know it's gonna make me happy
To never let her slip away
Oh I know it's gonna make me happy
To never let her slip away

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I wrote this back in 2008.  Recently, a friend talked to me about his dilemma. I would like to think that this poem best describes his situation. Sometimes, you just wish to feel nothing. Forget about being too much happy because sooner or later you will have to withstand the pain.  But as Zha would always tell me, "what cannot kill will only make us stronger". I have my own share of happiness and pain.  I am not that strong but I am getting there.  So there.  Read on and enjoy.


P.S I would like to change the title of this poem so if you have suggestions, send them in. Thanks!




Watching the sunset

As it casts a shadow on two

Creating silhouettes

Familiarity dawns.

Seeing the moon

As it smiles on me

Hiding in the shadows

Reality stikes.

As darkness envelopes me

And the cold night numbs my senses


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Think Happy Thoughts (The Return of Ms. Maliksi)

Happiness is really a state of mind.  When you think happy thoughts, everything else just fall into their respective places.
I woke up from a funny dream this morning.  Let's just say that in my dream I was eating chess pieces made out of chocolates.  I don't know how to play chess but it seemed like I was winning because I kept on munching the pawns and the knights.  In my dream, I heard a door bell ringing only to realize that it was my alarm clock telling me to wake up.
It was five in the morning when I opened my eyes.  I checked if there were any leftover chess pieces. Sadly, there was none.  I got off my bed and prepared for work. 
I left the house at 6 a.m and got to the shuttle in a breeze.  After paying my fare, I dozed off throughout the travel.  It was a good one-hour sleep, which is a nice treat especially for someone who travels from Rizal to Ayala on a daily basis.
I clocked in 7:15. Ready to work? Hahahahahaha Not yet. Official time is 8:30 am so I still have a full 75 minutes for myself.
I happily settled on my work station and switched on my computer.  I prepared a cup of coffee while waiting for my computer to come to life.  I switched on my radio and tuned in to RX 93.1 Morning Rush. 
The first song I heard was "Knock You Down" by Keri Hilson ft. Kanye West and Neyo.  Now, that really made my day. *cheng stares at the ceiling and smiles*  If you haven't heard the song, Google it or listen to RX 93.1 or Wave 89.1  It's really nice.
Then Chico and Delamar (RX 93.1) were doing their top 10 for the day, "Top Ten Signs that You Are Not Yet Ready to Go Back to School".  The entries were so funny.  One said something like, "you're not yet ready to go back to school when you ride the jeep and say, 'Manong, isang Bora nga po'.  Plus Chico, Del and Suze of Radio 1 were speaking using this "sosyal" accent and some Spanish and French as well. 
After several laughing fits, I checked my computer time and sadly, it said 8:30 am.  I turned off my radio, checked my to-do list and started working. 
I was facilitating a lot of things this morning and I felt like I was Ms.Maliksi again. hahahaha The day went by pretty fast and as I am typing this, it's almost time to go home.
I just hope that I will never run out of good things to think about tonight so I will have a happy state of mind tomorrow. It's Ms. Maliksi all over again.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Exploring Eastwood City

Exploring Eastwood City


My friends (James, Eloisa, Jean and Sylvia) and I decided to hang out in Eastwood last night.  We had planned this last Sunday to celebrate two things: 1.) James new work as a professor in STI College and 2.) Jean's success in the recent board exam for Teachers


We decided to have dinner at Something Fishy.  We wanted to try out the dinner buffet but it was a bit pricey. (We should have gone there for breakfast or lunch).  Instead of the buffet, we ordered seafood platter, chopsuey, grilled pork and sizzling chicken. For a group of 5, we had a lot of food to munch. But we ate them all. Hahahaha 


Sadly, James had to leave early. So the four of us girls were left. We had Eastwood for ourselves. Hehehehehe


After dinner, we headed to check out Eastwood Mall.  But first, I brought my friends to Red Mango (located at the 2nd level).  I had them try frozen yoghurt.  This is a recent addiction, thanks to my good friend and officemate Anya.


I ordered medium original fro-yo with blueberry, kiwi and sliced almonds. Jean got medium original topped with blueberry, kiwi and mango.  Eloisa tried topping her fro-yo with blueberry, kiwi and grapes while Sylvia had blueberry, choco chip and sliced almonds.


After we got our orders and secured a seat, we relished the heavenly dessert in front of us.  And remarked in unison, "So good".  For the next sixty seconds, none of us were talking because everyone was busy savoring the taste our own fro-yo creations.  After a while, we realized that we had to take pictures so we paused and smiled.  We had two photos because we didn't want the dessert to wait for long. Hehehehe


After dessert, we went down to the fountain area and watched as the waters dance to the tune of Dancing Queen and Buttercup.  So new wave. We took pictures and videos.


Then, it was time to go home.


We had so much fun and I had a great time hanging out with my friends.  I used to go to Eastwood with Anton but he's now in Canada.  He has to see the fountain area and try Red Mango.  When he comes back in December, we'll go back here and bring another good friend, Jho to experience Eastwood City.


It's fun to explore Eastwood alone, but it's best experienced with great friends!  Until next time.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009




I wait in the shadows

For your return


For the promise

Of immortality

I never fear the unknown

The mythical

Only of losing you


Sheltered by darkness

A noble in hiding

Awaiting death

and eternity


I will be indestructible

Yet a prisoner of your memory.



Friday, June 5, 2009

A Kiss So Sweet

Being a UP graduate has a lot of perks and one of which, is knowing the best places to dine in the campus.  Chocolate Kiss is one of the best.  This is located at the 2F of Bahay ng Alumni.  The moment I announced to my family and friends that I passed the UPCAT (errr, nine years ago), one of my friends suggested I should pay a visit to ChoKiss.  Hers was not a comment on terror professors, difficult exams; rather a very light-hearted advice to check out the campus' famed restaurant.  Since then, Chocolate Kiss became a part of college life.  Devil's Cake is a must-have and the signature Chocolate Cake. Heavenly.  You can try these cakes with their homemade iced tea or brewed coffee.  They also offer something like a sampler – three square cakes of your choice for only Php 70.  They also offer Italian, American, Filipino and Spanish dishes.  The ambiance is good for meetings, dining with friends or even a romantic date. UP life is not complete without Chocolate Kiss. And when you graduate, you will find yourself going back to this charming little cake house.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian

My friend and I watched Night at the Musuem 2 the other day. It is insanely fun. And through most of the screening time, we were holding on our sides because of laughter. It was the ultimate stress-reliever.

Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) had a grand time when he used to work at the Museum of Natural History as a night guard a couple of years ago. He found out that the Museum figures come to life at night through a magical tablet from ancient Egypt. He became their friends and their defender. (By the way, I didn’t get to watch the first one so I’m kind of retelling his past based on the second movie) But life took a different turn and he ended up becoming the CEO of his business, inventing new gadgets i.e the glow-in-the-dark flashlight. He stopped working as a night guard and focused on his career, in the process, leaving his friends behind. Without realizing it, Larry also lost his happiness.

One day, Larry visits the Museum and finds out it’s under renovation. It has been decided that the old exhibits will be replaced by virtual ones to give a ‘real-life’ feel. The rest of the lot will be turned over to the Federal Archives. Therefore, everyone is heading to the undergrounds of the Smithsonian Museum except for Theodore Roosevelt (Robin Williams) and the tablet is going to stay with him, or so they thought.

The conflict comes when Dexter, the playful monkey, steals the tablet and brings it with them to Smithsonian. Larry receives a call from his friends asking his help because the evil Kahmunrah wants to get the tablet and rule the world. Larry will have to save his friends, bring down Kahmunrah and eventually, finds the reason that will make him really happy.

With the tablet at Smithsonian, the whole museum comes to life as soon as the sun sets. Larry came face-to-face with historical figures like Abe Lincoln, Ivan the Terrible, Napoleon Bonaparte, Albert Einstein, Al Capone and the pretty Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams).

One of the conversations we loved is the exchange between Larry and Kahmunrah a few minutes before the fight scene:

K: They did not call me Kahmunrah the Trusthworthy.

L: Really, what do they call you then?

K: They call me Kahmunrah the Bloodthirsty who gets what he wants at the moment he wants them…

L: They call you that?

K: Yes, but it’s shorter in Egyptian.

In the end, Larry succeeded in getting back the tablet, hurling Kahmunrah back to the underworld and returning his friends back where they belong, the Museum of National History. Larry also realized that happiness is doing what you love with the people that really care for. So he decided to sell his company and anonymously donated the money to the museum with two requests: to open the Museum at night and all exhibits will remain as it is. Larry went back to being a night guard. Never been happier.

Directed by: Shawn Levy

Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Amy Adams, Hank Azaria and Robin Williams

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sir Alvin's Send Off Party

Sir Alvin’s Send Off Party

We meet several people in our lifetime. But there are those who touch our lives and leave an indelible mark.

I am blessed to have met Mr. Alvin P. Manaois.

It all started in November 2007. I joined the marketing department after Sir Alvin offered me the position as Public Relations Coordinator. At first, I was reluctant. I was not sure if I could handle the responsibility. I could write, but PR is not writing per se. Despite my hesitations, he believed in me. So I joined in.

I never realized that I would enjoy this kind of work. And I would always thank Sir Alvin for this opportunity.

Also, I have met great friends in Marketing – people who never fear to speak their mind, to share their knowledge, people with great fashion sense, people who are passionate with what they do, people who never stop learning.

When he decided to pursue his vocation, I felt really sad. It will be a great loss for us. However, I knew that his decision will serve a higher purpose. Far nobler than our material goals. And seeing how happy and satisfied he is, I know that he’s making the best decision for his life.

A great friend and supervisor deserves a great party. So last May 18, we prepared a simple send off party for him. We invited all his friends in the office to share in wishing him the best in all his endeavors.

Cheers to Sir Alvin!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Why study literature? UP Circa 2004

Last weekend, I rummaged through my UP files and found this paper I wrote four years ago in one of my Comparative Literature classes. The course was entitled Teaching Comparative Literature a.k.a CL 191. I was amazed that I wrote something like this. LOL I miss school. I miss studying. I miss UP. I need to study again. Sigh.

Anyway, I am posting the paper I wrote. For posterity's sake. Read on....


Lucielle M. Hernandez
CL 191
Prof. Torrecampo

Why study literature?

When people hear the word literature, a mental image of thick books, thick-eyeglassed students, and a bunch of wierdos come into their mind. They think that literature and liberal arts are all about reading novels, stories and discussing morals. In the elementary level, children are introduced to fairy tales, stories with moral lessons and are taught to imitate the good characters and shun the bad ones. At the high school level, students are acquainted with the classics and the gems of Asian and Anglo-American Literature. Quite sadly, in the collegiate level, these traditional views on literature are carried over and propagated.
Some students enroll in literature classes because they think that the class would all be about ‘tsimisan’. They come and go without really learning why they need to read these novels, what its implication are then and now.
Liberal education, to be true to its sense, according to the essay Liberal Arts in a Technocratic Society “is a process of learning and unlearning: for it must submit to relentless criticism all assumptions and doctrines that men have imbibed through the force of authority”. This is so good to be true. For we know so well how politically motivates our system of education is. There is always politics involved in the designation of teachers, students and subjects. Most of the activities in and outside the classroom one way or another, serve the ruling class. In this manner, liberal education becomes a hoax. How can liberal education exist when any college or university is controlled by the ruling class? How can learning and unlearning be done if the discussion is limited to the teacher’s discretion?
Liberal education should enhance the ability of the students to think critically. I think, its main task is to help the students widen out their perspectives of people and culture. The study of literature, if handled properly, would help students to shed their prejudice towards the rest of humanity. Moreover, when reading, true advocates of liberal education help students to assess and reassess assumptions on certain issues and problems addressed in the reading material.
Now, another question is how do we teach literature?
I am not offering any step-by-step procedure of how to teach it. I would just like to comment on the essay by Isagani Cruz, Jr. entitled Criticism in the Classroom: Teaching Philippine Literature. In this essay, there are six fallacies mentioned that teachers of literature should be wary of. But mind you, there are two fallacies, which I do not wholly agree with. These I will discuss later. Let us go first through the four fallacies that one should be careful with. First is the “Fallacy of the New Critical Heresy”. Still, the New Criticism, in spite of the developments in literary theory and criticism, is continually embraced and revered by most educators of literature, especially the generation of the American New Criticism. In the advent of the various discussions in feminism, surrealism, post-modernism and more, there are those who, in some strange archaic way, separate the material being read from the social and political history of the time it was written. The material is put in a box and from there the discussion of organic unity, use of metaphors, rhyme, rhythm and other formal elements are satisfied, a good literature, they would say. But does it end there? Where can learning and unlearning be utilized? How can real education occur? If you were able to identify the parts correctly, what does it make of you? No learning occurs. The students leave the classroom without knowing what they had just read. Sad to say, such phenomenon permeates even among our CL classes.
Another fallacy is the “Footnote Mania”. I must admit, I have been guilty of this one. Every time a class requires us to submit a paper, students like myself, use too many footnotes.
Sometimes, the footnotes are inappropriate or wrongly applied. Secondary resources are there to aid the students, provide a springboard for their respective discussions. However, too much reliance on footnotes hinders learning and exercise of thinking. I am actually glad that our thesis advisers do not require specific numbers of footnotes. As a result, it helped us think in our own terms and assess what we have learned.
The third fallacy is the “Masterpiece Syndrome”. This addresses the problem of who’s who in the literary world. Usually, the masters or the members of the literary canon are privileged in classroom discussions. However, students should realize that even these authors of the canon did not finish their work overnight so it is such an oversight to consider them as demigods or someone to be worshipped. They can be criticized, their assumptions and beliefs can be questioned and if necessary and proven, their assumptions can be debunked.
The fourth fallacy, or appropriately called a myth is the “Monolingual Myty”. When my friends and I were asked what our course is, we always answered, “Comparative Literature”. A follow-up question was, “Eh di binabasa ninyo lagi sila Shakespeare, Edgar Alla Poe….yada…yada…” and a list of English and American authors flows. Sometimes we wanted to answer back and throw names like Balza, Flaubert, Schiller, Calvino, Fanon, Derrida, Sartre, Achebe and even Bienvenido Santos, Arcellana, Bulosan just in case they have not heard of European, African and Philippine Literature. There is a whole lot of literature other than Anglo-American. The problem that these literature have to face is the issue of translation.
They do not reach the number of readers as that of the scope of English Literature. The survey courses in CL compensate for this, yet, the depth of the discussion is limited because of time and resources.
The fifth and sixth fallacies are the ones I wish to comment against. The fifth fallacy is “The Fallacy of the Amateur Sociologist, or Psychologist, or Political Scientist or Whatever” and the sixth fallacy which is closely related is ‘Anti-Schizophrenic of Fear of the Double”. I think these are specifically addressed to Comparative Literature (CL) majors who profess to think they know everything. CL, by definition, is interdisciplinary and the beauty and breadth of CL lies in this nature. Through the study of literature, our knowledge of the various influences, connections and interrelationships of the the author to his environment, to a specific ideology, to other disciplines widens our perspectives expand when we read. Thus, it is important that we have the proper knowledge of the other disciplines and how they are related to literature. Yes, our main concern is literature. However, we know that literature does not exist per se. Thus, it is necessary for a teacher of literature to discuss politics, gender, psychology or anthropology depending on the material under study.
Liberal education and literature should help humanize professions. Again in the essay The Liberal Arts… “the liberal education should provide future specialists with a broad perspective so they can relate their respective specializations to the other aspects of human life, so they will be constantly alert to the probable implications of their work on the total human condition”.
The success and effectiveness of liberal education lies in the hands of the educators and the students as well. This requires cooperation and a deep understanding of the role of education in shaping the minds of the people.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Despedida Party (Finale)

April 24, 2009 – This was Anton’s last day in the office. A number of our officemates decided to join us for dinner. We held the dinner/farewell party at Friday’s Glorietta 3. Ms. Jess, Dennis and Dimple, Lyn, Jho, Che, Janine, Anne and Clarisse were there to bid Anton goodbye.

After dinner, we went to Ice Vodka, again. Well, you can say that it’s the official ‘despedida bar’ for Anton. Staff from Ice recognized you when we went there last time. Cool! I hope they would give us discounts.

Everyone enjoyed the night. A very perfect ending. *wink*wink*

We just hope that you enjoyed your stay in the Philippines. You will be missed. Keep in touch and we wish you all the best!

Anton's Despedida Party Part 1

It’s always hard to say goodbye especially when that person has become an important part of your life. You haven’t really figured out how it all started and this abrupt ending is most unwelcome.

Nevertheless, beginnings and goodbyes are life’s staples. And as they say, there is always something good in goodbyes. Maybe I’ll find out soon.

Instead of sulking and crying over the fact that our good friend Anton is leaving for Canada soon, we decided to give him a despedida party.

Date: April 17, 2009
Venue: Krocodille Grille and Ice, Greenbelt 3

Ms. D, Jho, Roco and I were present. Our other friends could not join that night so we just pushed through with the plans and decided to organize a 2nd party the following week.

Jho, Anton and I arrived in Greenbelt at around 6:00 p.m. Our dinner was at 7 so we spent a few bucks playing in Timezone to kill time. Ms. Di arrived at 6:30 p.m. She joined us in Timezone and as the ultimate dream catcher that she is, Ms. Di won a Pooh stuff toy for Anton. She is really great in this game.

We went to Krocodile’s for our dinner. Anton got his favorite Pork Sisig and I made him try Inihaw na Tanigue. I got Seafood Pinakbet which was really good. Jho ordered Krispy Calamares.

After dinner, we headed to Ice Vodka Bar. We got Tequila shots. Whoa!

It was a fun night. Roco got knocked down after three shots.

Watch for the Despedida Part 2.

Monday, April 27, 2009

It's a Girl Thing

April 25, 2009… Instead of waking up and preparing to see the beautiful Sabang Beach in Baler, I found myself snoozing my alarm and getting ready for our 6:30 am call-time at Bay Garden. Yes, I cancelled my surfing trip to attend two events. My friends almost killed me but as we know, sometimes you have to give up some personal time for the greater good. Sense of responsibility was harder to ignore that time.

My friend and officemate, Anya, knew that I was half-hearted in attending. Both of us decided that we should do something after the events. Anya has been recommending this nail salon in Eastwood City for ages – Nail Tropics. So, off we go to Eastwood.

We were so tired when we arrived there. But the sight of Nail Tropics is like seeing heaven on earth. With its pristine white-tiled flooring, high-ceilinged working area and soothing music, I already felt relaxed and cleaned. Since it was my first time to visit, the receptionist asked to fill out a form. After choosing the service I want, she asked me to sit on one of the lounge chairs. Instantly, I knew that I would be falling asleep pretty soon.

The service I chose was a mani-spa. Angie, my nail tech for the day, came to assist me. First, she asked me to soak my hands in a basin of warm water. A sweet, lemony concoction of hand scrub followed. Angie used warm towels to wipe off the mixture. It felt so relaxing. Then, she lathered my hands with honey. Yes, she used pure honey! Then she wrapped by hands. Included in the service is a complete head, scalp and neck massage. At this point, I was oblivious to the world. Sleep mode.

When I woke up 30 minutes later, Angie was applying cool minty lotion on my hands. Then the usual manicure. I asked for french manicure with barely-there base and fine tips. She is good. I loved my nails.

I still missed my trip to Baler but my Nail Tropics experience was good enough to make me realize that it wasn’t all a bad day for me.

Nail Tropics has two branches in Metro Manila, one in Eastwood and the other one is in Serendra, Bonifacio Global City. We highly advise that you call to get an appoinment. For Eastwood branch call 6671218, Serendra branch call 8560468.

Conquering Baler

Conquering Baler

Sometime in November last year, my college friends and I started to muse over the fact that after all these years, we haven’t gone on an out-of-town trip. We planned but nothing was accomplished. That time around, we decided that we definitely have to get away from the stress and give travelling a shot.

Now, where do we want to go?

At first, the likes of Boracay, Palawan, Cebu, Ilocos and Sagada came to our minds. However, we realized that for our first trip, these places are costly. So we decided to look around and compare tour packages.

Since I work in the marketing department of a real estate company, I had a good range of magazines to browse. Fortunately, I found this Sidetrip Magazine which featured Baler, Aurora – one of the best surfing spots in the Philippines.

The article by Bart Dumlao featured Sabang Beach which is known to be the birth place of Philippine surfing. Towards the end of the article, Bart mentioned that he offers tour packages to Baler.

I got his email address and mobile number. After countless emails and text messages, we were booked for our first trip to Baler on January 17-18, 2009.

My friends and I were so excited.

As soon as we got booked for the trip, we started planning our “To Bring” list. Just so you know, we are so fond of writing lists ever since we can remember. So this trip required a “To-do” and “To-bring” lists. I guessed Bart had a difficult time with us because even during the Christmas break, we sent him countless text messages asking the itinerary for the trip and what we need to bring. So much for being an OC.

Another thing that made us excited and scared at the same time is the fact that we were scheduled for a surfing lesson. Yes, surfing! Surfboard. Waves.

And I don’t even know how to swim well. I even asked Bart if I could wear a lifevest while surfing. He politely said no but I could sense that he was laughing at me. During the actual surfing, I realized how ridiculous it was if I wore a vest.

What did we do in Baler? Here is the itinerary of our trip:
Friday, 12:00 midnight: ETD Manila

Sat, 7:,00 am: ETA Baler, Aurora (Sabang Beach, Bay’s Inn Resort)
8:00 am: Breakfast
10:30 am: Batch 1: Surf Lessons
12:00 nn : Lunch
3:00 pm Baler Municipality Tour
5:00 pm Batch 2: Surf Lessons
7:00 pm: Dinner and Bonding Time

Sun , 7:00 am: Breakfast
9:00 am: Dicasalarin Cove
12:00 nn: Lunch
1:30 pm: Batch 3: Surf Lessons
4:00 pm: ETD Baler, Aurora
12:00 nn: ETA Manila
We never realized that surfing could be so much fun. The adrenaline rush, the fun and the accomplishment of standing on the surfboard were addicting.
Another highlight of the trip was the Dicasalarin Cove. It was a gruelling 2-hour trek to get to the cove but every step was worth it. The breathtaking view of the pristine blue waters and almost white sand beach front were enough to leave all of us in awe. We secretly prayed that such beauty will be protected.
All in all, our first trip was very successful. We met new friends. We learned surfing. We trekked. Above all, we fulfilled our wish to travel together.

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