Saturday, April 29, 2006

So how was your week?
Well not that anybody asked me that question but what the heck I will post about it. So that in the near or distant future when I have nothing better to do than to browse through the archives of my blog I will have an entry for this past week. Then I'll tell myself geez is that it, how boring?! Heh

  • I paid the usual monthly bills - the sky rocketing electricity (Meralco), the-spaces-to-park-2-cars dues and the I-can't-live-without-Internet accounts.
  • My sister and I had a very sumptuous lunch at Cafe Adriatico, Eastwood City in Libis. She had the delicious Cafe Adriatico steak while I had the mouth-watering-it-melts-in-your-palate Lengua. We had to discuss something quite important which has the potential to change our lives forever. It is a need to know basis subject and frankly you don't need to know what it is, right now. Teehee!
  • One I-don't-want-to-cook evening, we ordered take out from Almond Marina. Our favorite sandwich - their California Roast Turkey with French Fries.

  • I burned our Boracay pictures into a CD.
  • I downloaded whole albums from Limewire.
    Il Divo's self titled album and their Ancora album. Andrea Bocelli's Amore album as well as the OST of RENT the Musical.

  • I actually stayed awake to watch a horror flick. As well as survive through a chick lit movie without uttering a single sarcastic comment nor rolling my eyes in disbelief.

  • I updated my contacts/friends' addresses online over at this cool website.

  • Naturally, I caught my favorite TV programs:
    American Idol -> yay, Kellie "what is a cameo?" Pickler is gone! If you watched Jay Leno's show last night, you will know what I mean by that monicker "What is a cameo?" Gosh, she's dumb!
    The Amazing Race -> Fran & Barry were the last team to check into the pit stop somewhere in the land down under, Australia.
    Survivor: Exile Island -> lunatic Courtney the Fire Dancer was voted out by her tribe mates and she didn't even see it coming her way!
    Gilmore Girls -> Lorelei & Rory are still not on speaking terms!
    Grey's Anatomy -> I love, adore and worship Patrick Dempsey! Here's an article about the show.
    LOST -> very spooky now yet still riveting to watch.
    CSI: New York -> Gary "Lieutenant Dan" (his Forrest Gump character) Sinise rocks!
    CSI: Las Vegas -> this week's episode was about a hirsute almost werewolf like human being's murder.
    NYPD Blue -> to end my telly viewing week with its believable crime ridden New York City cop stories.

  • Now I leave you with this image:

    Optical Illusion

    Can you see why this painting is called optical illusion ? You may not see it at first, but the white spaces read the word optical, the blue landscape reads the word illusion.
    See for yourself!

    Wednesday, April 26, 2006

    Music & Lyrics by: Jonathan Larson
    Book by: Jonathan Larson
    Based on Puccini's La Boheme
    It is Christmas Eve on the lower East side of New York City. A group of friends come together and share the night in a special way. Over the next year, as relationships grow and change, they have to struggle with paying the rent, eviction, death, drugs, and living one day at a time.

    My favorite RENT song:

    Without You
    Without you, the ground thaws,
    the rain falls, the grass grows.
    Without you, the seeds root,
    the flowers bloom, the children play.
    The stars gleam, the poets dream,
    the eagles fly, without you.
    The earth turns, the sun burns,
    but I die, without you.
    Without you, the stars roar the breeze warms,
    the girl smiles, the cloud moves.
    Without you, the tides change,
    the boys run, the oceans crash.
    The crowds roar, the days soar,
    the babies cry, without you.
    The moon glows, the river flows,
    but I die, without you.

    The world revives, colors renew,
    but I know blue, only blue,
    lonely blue, within me blue.

    Without you.
    Without you the hand gropes,
    the ear hears, the pulse beats.
    Without you, the eyes gaze,
    the legs walk, the lungs breathe.

    The mind churns!

    The mind churns!

    The heart yearns!

    The heart yearns!

    The tears dry, without you.
    Life goes on, but I'm gone.

    Cause I die, without you.

    Without you.

    Without you!

    Saturday, April 22, 2006

    This past week in "twos"
    I re-read 2 books to draw in their inspirational quotes and witty charm to keep me in my positive frame of mind:
    "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho and "The 5 people you meet in Heaven" by Mitch Albom.

    I watched 2 movies at the cinemas:
    "Tristan and Isolde" for only P99 at the Shangri-la Cineplex (their special promo on Mondays and Tuesdays during the summer months).
    "RENT" which I loved because I am a big sucker for musicals.

    I binged at 2 of my favorite restaurants in town:
    Mini Shabu Shabu (Shangri-la branch) which is the only time I don't mind cooking my food. Heh
    Dencio's branch over at Harbour Square which has a panoramic view of the Bay walk and Manila Bay.

    I received emails from 2 people from my past which made me smile. =)

    Happy Weekend!

    Wednesday, April 19, 2006

    Handwriting Meme c/o Logtar
    A pangram is a sentence that contains all letters of the alphabet. Less frequently, such sentences are called holalphabetic sentences. One of the most famous one being "The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog." The object of this meme is just to see your handwriting.

    Go ahead and get a piece of paper, then write the sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog." Sign it with your first name or your handle (not your signature) and take a picture. Then post this and your picture on your blog!
    It is that simple.

    My handwriting

    Here's proof of my scrawny penmanship which I hate. I hardly do much writing with a pen nowadays except maybe to sign for my credit card purchases. Heh

    Monday, April 17, 2006

    Le Frigo
    Toni of Wifely Steps came up with the innovative idea of posting pictures of your refrigerator's door on your blog.

    Here's my frigo occupying prominent space in the kitchen of my tiny condo unit.

    Magnets galore

    It has magnets of the cities I've visited through the years. As you can see I no longer have any spaces left. The other magnets are on the ref door at my parents' house.

    Boracay bayong magnets

    The newest additions to my collection are these bayongs from Boracay. So cute! =)

    Sunday, April 16, 2006

    Taal Lake, Tagaytay City, May 2005

    EASTER is the perfect time
    to take a moment
    and count your blessings.

    May your basket be full of them
    today and always!


    Friday, April 14, 2006

    Ever since I can remember I've always checked R.C. as my religion --- Roman Catholic.
    My parents would regale me with stories of me being all of 2 years old and they would take me to hear Mass at the Manila Cathedral. I would totter up from the aisle all the way to the main altar where the priest was saying Mass and just explore away. Much to the embarrassment of my father who had to run after me to pry me away which in turn meant I would start wailing at the top of my lungs like a petulant brat.
    My parents enrolled me and my sister in Catholic schools from kindergarten up to college. So we got our education in institutions with names like Holy Child Auxillium (New Delhi, India); L'Ecole de Saint Joseph (Brussels, Belgium); St John's Academy (San Juan, Metro Manila) and of course UST (University of Santo Tomas, Manila)!
    During our travels to neighboring countries like Germany, France, Switzerland from Belgium where we are based in the early 80s, the first place we explored would be the churches. My mother taught me to say 3 'Our Fathers' in every church we visited for the first time, I admit I still do that to this day whenever I travel.

    So the highlight for a Catholic would be Holy Week.
    4 solemn days from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday.
    For my family, it means visiting 7 churches on Maundy Thursday after the Last Supper Mass for the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. There was a time in my now distant past when we visited 21 churches in one night. Back in the late 80s, right here in sunny Lenten week Manila which is peppered with churches - those forlorn days where you didn't have cable TV, the radio stations only played classical music, no Internet, no cellphones, the streets were deserted, the churches were still full and it was blasphemous to be spending Holy Week at the beach.

    Throughout my adult years, I've been weaning in my Catholic faith. I've began to question the teachings of the Catholic Church in my infinite quest to fully understand if religion serves any purpose and or plays any important role in my existence. I've also had this fascination with books which discussed the mysticism about the Vatican, the Catholic church as well as conspiracy theories regarding the life of Jesus Christ and his disciples. Books like "Angels and Demons", "The Day of Confession" and "The Third Secret" have fueled my extreme fascination and piqued my interest.
    But despite the fact that I don't go to Church regularly anymore and I've stopped receiving Holy Communion for reasons I rather keep private, I still look forward every year to our Visita Iglesia outing.

    This year we decided to stick to 7 churches, all of them holding much significance in our lives.
    Our first stop was the Manila Cathedral, the church of my early infancy. After the 2 hour Last Supper Mass officiated by Cardinal Rosales, we hopped over to San Agustin under a full moon shining down on us. It is just a cobblestone walk away. I like this church for it reminds me of the old Spanish edifices during an era of much turmoil in our rich historical past and the fact that it is located in Intramuros adds to its charm.
    Our 3rd stop was at UST, my alma mater. The chapel where I prayed during my tertiary education so I could pass every single exam I took during those 4 years.
    Cruising further down Espana street, you will run smack into the Santo Domingo church. My family frequented this church a lot during my childhood. It is quite spacious and has ample parking spaces within its premises.
    Exiting towards Araneta Avenue then crossing Aurora Boulevard near the SM Centerpoint, down Blumentritt Street in San Juan, you won't miss the Santo Cristo de Sanctuario church. Another church I'm quite fond of because it was just a few blocks away from my high school in San Juan.
    Next stop on our itinerary was the Santa Ana church located in Punta, Santa Ana. This tiny yet cosy church is where my parents became husband and wife, 38 years ago.
    Our 7th stop was at the San Felipe Neri church located in the Gabbys area on Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong. This ancient church was another refuge for me during my high school days. It is located on my route home so when I had some inner conflicts, I would drop by to pour out my woes to GOD.
    Since it was only 11:30 P.M and the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was still open till midnight, we dropped by St. Francis, the one located near the Edsa Shangri-la complex. We recited the 14 Stations of the Cross here. The place where I worship nowadays when I find the need to hear Mass to atone for my worldly sins in this age of multitasking, the Internet, materialism and numerous distractions which tempt us every single day! So I end this post with a quote I received by SMS:
    Let this season of Lent remind us that our life and our material possessions are just being LENT to us.
    We are all passing by. We are all pilgrims on the road.
    We bring nothing when we die. But we can leave behind the love, we have shared and the hope we have given and the goodness we have done. May we all have a meaningful Lenten season.

    Tuesday, April 11, 2006

    Boracay: Day 5 (April 7, 2006)
    Yes, I know I've gloated enough about my trip to Boracay last week but I swear this would be my last post about it. After all it is already Holy Week and I, despite being a 'heretic' still do solemnly observe this religious holiday with fervor.

    Our last day on the island was a meatless Friday. So our breakfast at Prince Hendrik restaurant in Boracay Regency consisted only of eggs, coffee and bread. So even if I was vacationing I still adhere strictly to the no.eating.of.meat.during.Lenten.Fridays.

    After breakfast, we went to the beach for a swim, just splashing in the crystal blue waters, soaking in the zenith of the sun, savoring the gorgeous scenery.

    Boat docked at white sand beach Boracay

    Boracay Regency beach lounges

    Clouds over White Beach, Boracay

    Boracay Island

    Much to my chagrin it was already 11 A.M so we rushed to our room, took a quick shower, packed our bags then checked out from Boracay Regency promptly at noon but we left our bags in the storage area of the hotel.
    My sister and I made the rounds of several establishments before finally deciding to have lunch at a seafood restaurant known as Sea Lover's Restaurant. We feasted on grilled fish, squid, prawns with plain rice.

    2:30 P.M. we took a tricycle to take us to Cagban port/jetty where according to a new rule all passengers leaving Boracay must now take a short trigger boat ride towards Caticlan instead of boarding from the 3 stations situated on the beach itself.

    Cagban, main port point of disembarkation on Boracay island

    4:45 P.M. we were aboard the Seair plane taking us back to the hustle and bustle of city life after 5 days of sun, sand and seafood.

    Seair propeller jet

    I may not be a beach bum but I've been to several beach resorts in my traveling lifetime. Bali, Indonesia; The Maldives and Jumeirah Beach, Dubai UAE.
    I am proud to say that Boracay now ranks the highest among all the beaches I've been to. I love the fact that the water is so calm, there is hardly a ripple or a wave to make you jerk up with shock. The white fine sand won't stick all over your skin when you get out of the water. I also like that it is a family friendly environment. It also caters to all classes of society. Station 1 will appeal to the elite/upper class with their world class resorts. Station 2 caters to the middle class while Station 3 offers affordable accommodations for the masa crowd.

    My only lament is it takes a lot of effort to reach Boracay itself. You take a small plane from Manila to Caticlan, then a tricycle from the tiny airport to get to the Jetty/Port where you hop on a trigger boat for about 30 minutes before you set your eyes on Boracay.
    We need more infrastructure development in our countryside to make our tourist destinations more accessible. To attract more tourists. But then again, I guess, some people like the thrill of going through all the rough patches and hassles in the journey before you reach your destination.
    I know I tend to compare too much and sometimes I am too critical about the shortcomings of our local resorts to provide good service and basic amenities. But I do believe we have the ability to make our tourist destinations much more attractive and at par with those found in Thailand. A country that strives on drawing millions of tourists every year. Well, I'm just thinking out loud. Because despite all of my 'complaints', I admit I'm now a Boracay aficionado!

    Have a meaningful and solemn Holy Week, everyone!
    Boracay: Day 4 (April 6, 2006)
    Feeling a bit better than yesterday, we went for a morning swim in front of D'Mall area before checking out of Hey Jude! Resort hotel at noon.

    Lunch was at one of the numerous seafood restaurants in Boracay. We had grilled lobster, black pepper crab, clam chowder, rice at a place aptly named Paradiso Grill. It was very yummy. A bit expensive but worth every single cent.

    Paradiso Grill

    By 2:30 P.M we checked into our 3rd resort on the island, the Boracay Regency
    Boracay Regency

    Swimming pool, Boracay Regency

    It was time to hit the beach again. Boracay Regency has this long stretch spanning about 2 blocks of prime beachfront property where guests of the hotel can have their own beach beds/lounge chairs and just enjoy the scenery.

    Boracay Regency beach front

    Boracay Regency beach beds

    Dinner was at the buffet spread of their beach front restaurant, Prince Hendrik Cafe. I had Marinara Pasta with Pepperoni Anti Pasti, a big chunch of Green Salad with Corn and Thousand Island Dressing and tiny Croissants.

    Since it was our last night in Boracay, we went bar hopping. First stop was at Cafe del Mar. We sat on their hammock like yet very comfortable chairs. Some island music blaring out of their loudspeakers. Then proceeded to check out Red Coconut but didn't stay too long. Naturally, we ended the night at Pat Creek Bar. Yes, I overdosed on Blue Margaritas yet again. I'm surprised I was still able to walk back to our room. Teehee!

    Pat Creek Bar, Boracay
    Boracay: Day 3 (April 5, 2006)
    I woke up at 7:30 A.M. with a hangover. I was also sneezing like crazy. My cold was back, my throat was sore and I lost my voice (probably from drinking all those cold milkshakes and blue margaritas).
    So it was decided to just take it easy and not go for a swim. My sister and I had lunch at a Japanese restaurant, Kaeseke located at D'Mall. We ate Miso Soup, Tempura, Tonkatsu, California Maki and plain rice.


    Next, we ventured towards that long stretch of coastline along the Station 1 area, walking at a steady pace with the white sand tickling our feet, the sun blazing down on our head, perspiring, melting like ice cream.

    sand castle, Apr 5, 2006

    We explored the numerous beach resorts and bars (Cocomangas, Club Paraw, Jony's) peppered on that side of the island.

    Station 1, Boracay

    We went as far as Willy's Rock before plopping down for refreshing Melon Milk Shakes at Jonah's. Yes, I know I had a sore throat but what the heck? I figured I only go to Boracay once in a lifetime I might as well drink all the milkshakes I could consume, right?

    Me, heavily bronzed from the sun near Willy's Rock

    It was time to head back towards D'Mall area. We decided to stride further down towards Station 3 for some shopping. We made it all the way to the new Talipapa area. Our stash included several sun dresses, bracelets and anklets. It was almost sunset by then. Of course my day won't be complete unless I took a picture of the fabulous sight. Isn't that a breathtaking view?

    Orange fiery sunset

    If you've ever been to Boracay you would know that walking from Willy's Rock all the way to the new Talipapa area in Station 3 is a very long sandy stretch. I was severely dehydrated, terribly tired and suffering from a sunstroke. A quick dinner at Hey Jude! Bar and Bistro ensued. I munched on Margherita Pizza, a Hungarian Sausage Sandwich, Salad and Mushroom Puree soup with Diet Coke. Obviously I was famished!
    By 8:30 P.M. we were back at our room at Hey Jude! Resort.

    Room 103, Hey Jude! Resort Hotel

    I could hardly move from exhaustion so I jumped on my bed to watch "American Idol", "CSI" and "Grey's Anatomy". I fell asleep and dreamt of Patrick Dempsey! =)

    Monday, April 10, 2006

    Boracay: Day 2 (April 4, 2006)
    I woke up early at 7:30 A.M. and headed over to Real Coffee for breakfast. I had the Calamansi muffin with a banana shake.

    Calamansi muffin from Real Coffee

    Then it was time to grab our colorful beach towels,

    Zuzuni beach towels cover every inch of our body with suntan lotion to splash away in the cool blue waters of the ocean, the sun not yet too hot as it was still early in the day. The scenery was picture perfect, you can't help but feel like you are part of a postcard.

    Blue skies of Boracay

    It was time to pack up our bags to check out of "Zuzuni" and transfer to our second resort, "Hey Jude! Resort Hotel" somewhere deep within the bowels of D'Mall. Quickly followed by an Italian fare for lunch at Aria Restaurant. We feasted on Caesar's Salad, Seafood Pasta and 4 Toppings Pizza with Diet Coke.

    Hey Jude!

    The rest of the day, we spent lounging on the beach, soaking in the sun, occasionally cooling ourselves in the ocean till it was time to watch the sunset over Boracay yet again and snap away pictures.

    Boracay Sunset

    Amazing Boracay sunset

    Dinner, this time was at Escondido Beach Resort to taste their speciality mouth watering Escondido crab, Lechon Kawali with Sweet and Sour Prawns. Then we eased our way into our favorite watering hole on the island, "Pat Creek Bar" to listen to the band regale us with songs that fit our genre of music. Songs by Duncan Sheik, 3 Doors Down, The Calling as well as Vertical Horizon. Just nice and easy listening without giving us heartburn or making us deaf with loud rave music. Of course, I drowned myself with Blue Margarita(s) to end my second night on Boracay with a toothy tipsy grin.

    blue margarita

    Sunday, April 09, 2006

    Boracay: Day 1 (April 3, 2006)
    I believe the adventure begins in the journey to get to your destination. If you live in the Philippines, your adventure starts on your way to the airport. My flight was at 10:30 A.M. so I needed to be at the airport 2 hours before boarding time. Ergo, I had to be up at 5:30 in the morning to get ready for my trip. If you are a frequent reader of my blog, you would know by now that I am a certified night owl who has erratic sleeping hours. I had also been nursing a cold a few days prior to my trip but even if I drank all the antibiotics in the world, I was still sniffing. Yet somehow all that seemed irrelevant, I hardly slept I was just giddy with excitement, my spirits were soaring high.

    The Seair small seater Dornier plane took off at 10:35 A.M. for Caticlan from the Manila domestic airport. From my window seat, I could see the propeller engine buzzing away.

    Up up in the clouds

    By 11:05 A.M., we landed at Caticlan on a tiny airstrip masquerading as an airport, got our bags then headed for the tricycle stand. About 10 minutes later we disembark at the port, paid the terminal fee as well as for the boat ride. I balanced myself on the plank connecting the trigger boat to the port and tried my darnest not to fall into the ocean with my 2 travel bags.

    Trigger boat at Station 1, Boracay

    I was sleepy, tired and sweating like a pig from the stifling heat. Yet once I caught the view of Boracay Island with its white sandy coastline, its green coconut trees swaying in the wind and the deep blue ocean waves splashing against the boat, it perked me up.

    White sandy beach, Boracay

    We disembark at Station 1. The initial jump into the ocean water tickling our feet wet was refreshing. The sun boring down on my skin, the sand sticking to my flip flops, my shoulders bearing the weight of my bags, I trotted along the sandy path searching for our resort. People we asked, barely heard of it, quite understandable as it has yet to be opened officially for business. "Zuzuni", a Greek term of endearment which literally means 'bug' or 'pest' is a 4 room beach front property situated between station 1 and station 2.

    Zuzuni Beach Resort, Boracay Station 1

    It was already past noon by then, I was so hungry I could eat a horse. We changed into more suitable clothes and made our way towards the restaurants in the area known as D'Mall. We went to Gasthof ordered their famous baby back ribs together with a soothing green mango shake and just soaked in the atmosphere. Then it was time to don the swimwear and frolick in the crystal blue ocean, get the white sands all over my legs and just floating around like a beach ball, the rays of the sun kissing my exposed skin. It was blissfully relaxing.

    White Beach, Boracay
    Soon enough, the time came for the sun to set over Boracay!

    The sun sets over Boracay

    Dinner was at the sumptuous seafood buffet spread at the Seawind Boracay Beach resort which is located at the northern tip end of Station 1.

    Seafood Buffet at Sea Wind Resort, Boracay

    Then on our way back along the coastline path, we dropped by Pier One for drinks. Indulging my blue margarita fix before I set my tired body on the fluffy pillows in a very comfy bed at "Zuzuni" with a big smile on my face.

    Zuzuni, Boracay

    Saturday, April 08, 2006

    I'm back!

    April 3 - 7, 2006, Boracay

    Sun kissed skintone, gastronomic delights, refreshingly cool fruitshakes, rocking nightlife, beach wear shopping galore, 3 different resorts, the fiery sunset + the calm deep blue sea with its white sand shoreline - is a short summary of my Boracay trip.

    Details to follow in subsequent posts.

    A bientot! =)

    Sunday, April 02, 2006


    White Beach, BORACAY pix c/o of my sister
    Tomorrow, I'll be here for 4 nights and 5 days of sand, sun and snapshots!