Making the most out of it

•February 15, 2010 • 5 Comments

Hot Air Balloon Festival

We attended this year’s hot air balloon at the Clark field in Pampanga. I have been anticipating this event as early as november. I have slept for less than 3 hours before departing to pampanga at 4am. Balloons were already at flight when we arrived, but the sight of these huge fabrics floating above were enough to satisfy one’s excitement.

Chinese New Year

Tikoy galore! enough said.

Last day on Programming

Yesterday was the last day of my programming class. I was able to submit my assignment regarding the bubble sort all thanks to google. The day also went smoothly as I was able to cope up with the lesson concerning different functions, arrays, structs etc.

UP Fair Concert

Coinciding with my last day of programming was the last day of the UP fair. Rex, and joseph along with their partners were my company during the event. Event was great thanks to lots and lots of booths, food, wall climbing (which I never dared to do), fireworks thanks to enchanted kingdom which was one of the sponsors, and a concert featuring a LOT of bands. So for those who wasn’t able to attend this said event or wasnt able to accompany me, here is the list of the bands that youve missed and was scheduled to perform: Rico Blanco, Sugarfree, Sandwich, 6cyclemind, Imago, Itchyworms, Callalily, Silent Sanctuary, DeLara, Paraluman, Pedicab, Blue Ketchup, Soapdish, Markus Highway, Ciudad, Aurora, Tanya, Ernville, Up Dharma Down, Chicosci, Kjwan, Giniling Festival, Moonstar88, Zelle, Stonefree, Top Junk, Brownman Revival, Rocksteddy.

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Life is what you make it indeed and being single is not an excuse for someone not to enjoy this weekend. You just have to look for things that make you happy not just because you need to but also because you enjoy to. I may currently not have the best of everything, but I will certainly make the most of everything I have right now.

A day at Binondo

•February 5, 2010 • 2 Comments

Binondo is a place in Manila inhabited by chinese merchants long ago. It was a place where trading plays a major role in its history. Various items are sold here from jewelries, to trinkets,  charms and talismans that are supposed to provide luck, chinese ornaments, chinese herbs and medicines and of course chinese food.

Me and juriz’s first stop was at quiapo. She bought another season of some gory scene stuff from CSI and from there we walked up to binondo passing sta. cruz. After walking for minutes, we stoped at a branch of eng bee tin and bought small mooncakes. We were hungry that time for we didn’t ate anything for our breakfast since we considered pigging out ourselves with chinese food.

Our itinerary was to go in 5 restos (masuki, mañosa, wai ying, big bowl, and estero) so our game plan was to just eat some light dimsum on our first stop.

mukhang maliit ung mami pero malaki talaga yun

The first Chinese resto we entered was a place called wai ying. Place was small, interior was just painted in plain blue with few tables and a kitchen near our table. We ordered the usual dimsum siopao asado, siomai (forgot what type), and a beef wanton mami. I wanted to try some congee but hesitated thinking that “lugaw lang naman un saka baka mabigat na sa tyan”. I was wrong to have thought that this will be a meek dimsum just like those served in the malls/convenience stores. The serving was HUGE!!! But size wasn’t the only thing, taste was also impressive! Served with a very soothing tea, their dimsum was probably the best ive tasted so far and so was the noodles that was packed with beef chunks and shrimp dumplings. We were both so full after the pleasurable experience we thought we couldn’t eat anymore.

We treaded the streets of binondo again to kill time (saka para pababain ung kinain hehe). I saw a number of chinese locals carrying a bottle of soya milk. Out of curiosity I also bought one from a local supermarket. Outside the supermarket, we bought refreshments lychee green tea for me and Caramel Milk tea for juriz.

Tired feet caused us to pause to our second stop, Tasty Dumplings. We were still half full after wai ying but since were already on another resto, might as well try their dishes ayt? We ordered hongma rice, steamed kuchay dumplings, wintermelon juice for me and an iced tea for juriz. I ordered a rice meal since it was already past lunchtime, but Juriz only ordered dumplings saying she was still full. Place was a lot better compared to wai ying, but food weren’t as delicious. Kuchay dumplings were so-so, hongma was like a sweeter version of asado, and wintermelon juice was way way way too sweet. Diabetes patients who wandered here in binondo, be wary. For us, the plain-looking wai ying did outshadowed the posh tasty dumplings resto.

After that we decided to call it a day but we still bought home tikoy for pasalubong. I enjoyed our foodtrip and the next time I return here, ill surely bring along a bigger stomach to fill it with an another round of chinese goodness. Kiong Hee Wat Chai!

my choco-cinnamon pancake a la mode

•January 19, 2010 • 3 Comments

One bored and hungry guy who’s totally clueless in the culinary department sometimes do hit the kitchen grounds and when it does, something’s really bound to happen.

It was just a pancake at first til ive decided to put in more and more items. Hmm cinnamon? why not, cocoa? maybe, ice cream? hell yeah! After a while im in an exuberant trance throwing anything edible and sweet that can be placed in my ongoing operation. Good thing i am somehow able to produce an unexpectedly good result (at least for my preference that is). Have you ever made something and the entire time you’re making it you’re thinking, “I am a genius!” That was me.

Hence i am able to make this cinnamon pancake with choco-hazelnut spread topped with marshmallows, dried mangoes, ice cream (cookies and cream), cashew nuts drizzled with a generous amount of maple syrup and sprinkled some more cocoa and cinnamon powder :)

simbang gabi

•December 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Woohooo just finished the 9 novenas for the simbang gabi last night! It wasn’t easy but I managed to complete it despite the hectic work schedule, christmas rush at the malls, and numerous events I’ve been to but thanks to that i was able to visit some new places, churches that is.

I usually attend the mass in Parokya ng Pagkabuhay since it’s only a few minutes walk away from our place but due to some instances where I need to (or want to) be in some place,  I was able to go to some other church near and far away from our place like the 3rd simbang gabi which was at the Sto. Niño Parish Church at Bago Bantay, Quezon City after I bought gifts at SM North for our christmas party; 5th simbang gabi was at Our Lady of Mercy Parish Church in the downtown of Novaliches after attending lester’s wedding; and 9th simbang gabi was at the Shrine of Jesus near Mall of Asia.

Glad that I was able to attend all 9 novenas. A good perspective for the year to come, positive outlook in life, warmth of home, the love of family, company of good friends and continuous blessing from god. Now I’m all set up for christmas and new year. Merry Christmas to all!

busy mid-december

•December 23, 2009 • 1 Comment

It has been a very busy mid december for me, too busy I wasn’t even able to update my blog (or was just too lazy). So if you were curious on what I have been doing (haha as if!), or mad that I haven’t been able to upload the pics, or just doesn’t have anything to do and decided to peek into my life, ive put up all the activities ive been to in this entry.

BS Math mini reunion – mini reunion lang daw kasi konti lang ung planned na pupunta but good thing na mas marami ung dumating than those weve expected to come. Nonetheless it was a nice dinner with buddies back in college. Also unang beses ako nagpa picture sa outside grounds ng mall jologs na kung jologs! Good thing my classmates were there and kahit papano di masyadong nakakahiyang mag pose.

Community outreach – christmas was said to be the season of giving and keeping true to the said spirit during this season I volunteered to be a part of a community outreach by a group of nuns at fairview (forgot what their name was, will update soon). Recipients were children from litex and commonwealth area. It was exhausting yet satisfying specially the smiles of young kids who were enjoying during the program thanks to our efforts.

Work, work, work – end of the year, last days of the year slowly passing yet work seem to continuously pile up.

BAS Christmas Party –BAS’ Christmas party was held at the vacant and dilapidated 7th floor (tinitipid ata kami ng Ben-lor building!), performed tunog-tao during the presentation which was definitely one of the most embarrassing things ive done here at the office, never won any of the raffle prizes though

SMRD Christmas Party – masaya sa BAS ang tagal ng Christmas party. But this time its only for our division’s personnel instead all of the bureau’s. Food, games, exchange gifts, kids were the events here. And also di pa rin ako nanalo sa raffle haha! 2christmas parties yet no raffles won?! Hmm santa may really be readying up for one big gift for me this christmas

Bulacan – did a short visit to bulacan to buy some fireworks for Christmas and new year. Fireworks were bought at sta. maria bulacan (mas mura kaysa sa bocaue since sa pagawaan kami bumili) but disappointing since nagmahal talaga paputok kahit san ka magtanong. Pampalubag loob, namakyaw na lang ako ng chicharon sa bocaue. Masayang-masaya mga tindero ng bulacan sa amin.

Lester’s Wedding – si bilog kinasal na! lester/bilog is a classmate back in highschool. May small reunion din with classmates (and unfortunately teachers). Good to see familiar faces again and exchange different opinions from those I haven’t seen or spoken in the last 7 years. Un lang wag lang isama usapang “kamusta na anak mo/asawa mo?”. Akala nga nila nasa ibang bansa ako, di nila alam magsasaka ako dito sa office hehe.

MJ’s christening – ninong na naman ako! A grandparent of a child was supposed to be a good example of god’s creation right? Hmm then I must be a really really good person to have been chosen as a ninong by so many children.

Baler baby baler!

•December 8, 2009 • 4 Comments

Why Baler? Curiosity, desire to go on vacation alone, wanting to travel to places I haven’t been to, sounds a fun place, and I just wanted to have some time alone.

From cubao, i took the Genesis bus which goes directly to Baler. Didn’t check the time but it was around 7-8 hours to baler. Contrary to what the people of Genesis were shouting at the terminal we didn’t pass the SCTEX, instead we headed thru the busy roads of the downtowns of Bulacan (false advertisement!). Starting from Pantabangan, the trip was a tiring 3-hour long, zig-zaggy, bumpy, landslide prone with matching ear-popping songs from a marathon of Aegis songs. The scene from Pantabangan up to Maria Aurora was very beautiful to say the least.

There were minor setbacks along the trip. What I have were only places to go to and from the terminal, I was clueless on where I was. It’s a DIY vacation with only one night of preparation so i took a ride to the munisipyo and good thing there’s a university near it and where there’s a university, there will always be an internet shop.

If you’re lost in some place and is afraid or shy to ask the locals, internet is your bestfriend. I quickly browsed the sites I’ve previously checked (but forgot to have a printout) to get some infos. After browsing for a few minutes, a group of college guys requested me to join their game in DOTA since they lack 1 more player to have a 5-on-5. I haven’t played it for ages but hey they’ve asked for it so I just generously gave them what they were asking. Little novices didn’t stand a chance against a Manileño who grew up playing that game after all. After the brutal beating, I was able to have a little chat with them. Napagkamalan pala nila akong college student din sa school nila. They were kind enough to give me directions, infos and suggestions on my itinerary. Infos from the locals were far more accurate than those found in the internet indeed.

I stayed at Bay’s Inn which is just along the coast. Beach in sabang doesn’t have the white sand found in some popular beach spots I’ve been to but being exposed to the Pacific Ocean, the waves in Baler were big enough to make it popular among tourist surfers.

Did I surf? Oh yeah! There are numerous surfing schools along the coast which offers surfing lessons. The lesson was 300pesos per hour (surfboard included) but since it was on the off peak season, they said that they’ll let me use it for as long as I want (too bad I don’t have the time for “as long as I want”). They’ve taught me the basics from paddling, to the control, the positioning up to the standing and balancing. Surfing was hard for someone who doesn’t know how to swim (what was I thinking!) so I was careful not to stray of far from the coast and if something does happen, there are a lot of lifeguards and a lot of swimmers/surfers around to save me. After much perseverance and numerous bump to the head by the surfboard I was finally able to stand up (or maybe just squat) on top of the board (and from my memory) for about 5seconds or 3 or 2 or 1. The fact is I was able to get up with my 2feet!

I didn’t have problems adapting to Baler. Locals were friendly and good thing they don’t speak ilokano or any provincial dialect which will definitely make it harder for me. Prices are still the same. Taho, fishball/squidball, kikiam, tukneneng, bananacue, and internet shop rental costs the same here in manila.

Around the munisipyo of Baler was the Quezon Memorial Park in honor of the late President Manuel Quezon, the museum Museo de Baler, the house of Manuel Quezon and outside was his car parked beside the house, and the Baler Church.

I attended the sunday mass at the Baler Church and gave thanks for the continuity of good health and safety of the people dear to me after that I ate my breakfast and resumed my adventure.

I was also able to visit almost all the places I planned to go to thanks to Kuya Adrian (trike driver). Ermita hill which offers a great view of the town central, Sabang Beach and the different islets around the coast of Baler; hanging bridge at zabali which is the most terrifying hanging bridge I’ve ever been to; the different islets from zabali, cemento and digisit; and the 600year old the biggest tree in Asia the grand daddy of all trees the balete tree in quirino, maria aurora.

The trip back to manila was totally different from the trip going there. Rather than passing thru the towns in bulacan, we used the SCTEX this time. And instead of heading to pantabangan, we passed thru the Sierra Madre. I have some small complaints on the condition of the road from pantabangan to maria aurora before for I didn’t know the status of the road in sierra madre. This was far far far more rockier, bumpier, rougher, scarier, more zigzags, more prone to landslide good thing its the scenes here was more scenic. I can safely say that during my Baler trip, the scenes here in the Sierra Madre was the most beautiful.

I was alone during the trip but thanks to the infos posted on different sites (aurora.ph, provinceofaurora.blogspot.com, trishabiik.multiply.com, sorry forgot the others) and my officemates (rhona, asley and john) who were patient enough to entertain me on my questions about Cabanatuan, my trip was a safe and successful one.

The experience of having gone to baler was truly an enjoyable one it was short but a very much needed vacation. There was so much to see during the trip. Keeping the excitement all to myself wasn’t easy but giving yourself sometime alone in a lovely place really is a great experience. Probably the only frustration I have was not being able to have more time in a place as beautiful as that.

smile

•November 17, 2009 • 2 Comments

by just simply spreading the lips one can already display the most wonderful expression an individual posses. it’s a simple gesture yet it can really give bliss and warmth upon reaching the eyes of the receiver. A mere reflex of muscles can nurture a friendship and can even redefine the meaning of life. So smile for every reason and smile even for no reason :)

 
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