Posts Tagged ‘picdump’

I am a happy person, most of the time. But there are days when the saddies attack and we can’t help ourselves from succumbing to the blues.

Creating a list of things that make us happy is one way to motivate us when we are feeling down. It’s one good trick to make us appreciate the small things in life and to remind us that we can always retreat back to our happy place whenever we need to.


As a kid, I was not much of an explorer. I was content with my good ol’ little town; with its fair share of beaches, falls and historical spots. I never even dreamed of venturing out of Luzon, much more out of the country.

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, Burgos Ilocos Norte

Paoay Church, Paoay Ilocos Norte

Everything changed when I started working. It’s like a switch suddenly came on and I became a wanderlust. Maybe it’s the thought that I would be using my own (must I mention hard-earned) money instead of my parents’. Maybe I just wanted to reward myself for finishing school with a trip somewhere far, or at least farther than the farthest I have ever gone. Or maybe the tales of some officemate’s latest exploits poked at my curiosity. Or maybe it’s a mixture of all these factors.

UPV Summer Outing, Laiya Batangas

Parasailing at Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Whatever it was, it completely changed the way I look at the world and life in general. Those places whose names I can’t even pronounce became places I needed to explore someday. Those cultures that were once too bizarre to imagine no longer freaked me out; instead, they poked at my curiosity. The unfamiliar no longer scared me; instead, it made me want to know more.

Camping with 25C girls at Nagsasa, Zambales

Ligpo Island, Batangas

Nothing compares to the pleasure a getaway brings. When I travel, I temporarily forget about the things that are not going right in my life. It’s also a good way for me to clear my head and think straight. And when I’m not travelling, I usually catch myself daydreaming of the next place I would visit. The desire to travel just won’t stop. I don’t think I will ever get tired of travelling; whether to discover new places or revisit old and familiar ones.

Ruins of St. Paul's, Macau

Universal Studios, Singapore

What about you? Do you like to travel? What’s your favourite among all the places you’ve ever been to?

After our very filling authentic Singaporean dinner, we went under food comma and immediately succumbed to sleep right after cleaning up.

The (official) first day of our Singapore trip was reserved for Universal Studios. Armed with maps and instructions from our friends working in SG, we trotted our excited bums off to USS.

USS facade is one hell of an eye candy, literally and figuratively.

Just a few more steps and we saw the world famous “Universal” globe a-spinning, complete with usok for special effects. LOL.

We got there pretty early so getting in was no fuss. We had zero idea on how to go around the park though so we did a quick trip to the Guest Services building to pick up some maps and program guides. We saw that a show was about to start on a nearby building so we ran to catch the “Monster Rock – Live Rock Musical”. We got lucky and caught one of the street performances where 3 scantily clad waitresses were singing and dancing to some 70’s songs.

Then we checked out Steven Spielberg’s Lights Camera Action where they do a reenaction of a superstorm scene in one of his movies. I was (un)lucky enough to be standing at the front rows so when one of the hanging boats dropped to the waters after an explosion, I was splashed. I walked around with the left side of my upper body obviously wet. We also saw Manilyn Monroe but we didn’t wanna line up for a photo op so I just snapped a shot of her with one of them tourists.

We walked around some more and took pictures of rides we were too chicken to try. Battlestar Galactica both Human and Android(?) versions were too scary for me. I look up and it’s all twists and turns. All those screams from up there did not help either. So we just took pictures near the entrance and pretended to have tried it already. LOL.

Moving on, we entered the Egypt part of USS. Humungous stone carvings were everywhere. There was also an indoor rollercoaster but we declared we were too hungry to enjoy it and passed up on that too (read: chicken bokbokbok!).

But seriously, we were really hungry already so we grabbed some grub from a nearby cafe…

I’m cutting my USS entries into parts because I want to show you everything! LOL.

We dedicated our second day at Macau to exploring the Senado Square and visiting the world famous Ruins of. St. Paul’s. But first, breakfast was in order. We badly wanted rice and were ecstatic when we found a restaurant just across our lodge.

The menu looks great, doesn’t it?

Sadly, rice meals are only available after 11 so we had no to choice but to go for noodles instead.

It might have been the best food decision we have ever made this entire trip. The noodles were perfect, the beef so perfectly moist, and the broth was nothing like I ever tasted before. It was so filling we weren’t even able to finish our bowls.

After being satiated, we headed back to Senado Square and took more pictures of the plaza. The serene vibe exuded the night before was lost with all the people, tourists and locals alike, roaming around. However, Senado Square did not lose its charm in the light of day.

We followed the signs leading to The Ruins. If one’s not good with signs, it is always the best decision to follow where the throngs of people are heading. Along the way, we passed through alleyways filled with stores selling local goods of all kinds – pork bun, egg tart, jerky, etc.

Not long after, we were afforded with our first glimpse of The Ruins. Our pace instantly quickened; eager to see The Ruins in its entirety.

We went through the façade and climbed up to the viewing deck which offered a nice view of the city.

After feasting our eyes with the scenery, we made our way to the underground museum which contains varied religious artifices.

Just somewhere around the corner, we checked out a small temple and part of the old city wall.

Seeing that we still had some time left, we headed to Macao Museum thinking we could finish touring it in an hour. Turned out the museum was too big to zoom through in the span of one hour so we just checked out the garden on top of it.

Then it was really, really time to go so we grabbed some quick lunch and headed back to our lodge to pack up and board the ferry that will take us to Hong Kong.

Next up, the Hong Kong leg of our trip.

I love camping! If only I could go home every summer to attend our church’s week-long Summer Camp I would. But then, work and other responsibilities get in the way. The closest thing to camping I have ever done as of late is spending the New Year’s Eve at the beach drinking lukewarm beer.

Then came summer outing with 25C Girls. It was a toss among Ligpo Island, Pinatubo Trek, and Nagsasa Cove. Ligpo Island was dismissed due to some shite by the Taal Volcano. Pinatubo was never my choice coz I didn’t wanna tire myself out during a vacation. So Nagsasa Cove it is!

We left the Metro hours past midnight of Friday. We arrived at Pundaquit just before the sun rises Saturday morning.

From Pundaquit, we took an almost hour-long boat ride to the island of Nagsasa. We passed through Anawangin along the way which was barely 15 minutes away from the shores of Pundaquit.

Toblerone Island

Sperm Whale Island

Upon arrival, we set up our tents and cooked breakfast. Cooking took a long time because we went hardcore back to basics with stones and tree branches and all that shite. I also may or may have not burnt some of my hair in the process.

After eating, we slathered ourselves with sunblock and plopped our satiated selves under the trees to play some good ol’ Pusoy Dos.

Binibining Espasol 2011

Manong sorbetero passed by and we were amazed by the presence of ice cream on a far away island that we just had to buy from him. Not to mention it was scorching hot. Of course, like other things in the island, his ice creams were overpriced.

Then the heat became unbearable so we headed back to our little kubo to play cards some more and eat our very delish lunch.

To cap off our very filling lunch, we took swigs of beer and Tanduay Ice (as if the heat from the sun wasn’t enough). We passed the time with heart to heart talks and status updates. Finally we couldn’t contain ourselves any longer so we decided to take a dip in the water.

Jing and Nero stayed behind and explored around. They came upon a lake which was also very picturesque.

We stayed in the water until the sun set and our fingers (and some other parts) got wrinkly.

We bathed in the only communal latrine and the next thing we know, it has already gone dark. Lo and behold, we didn’t bring any lamps! So bonfire it is. We barbecued some pork, hotdogs and devoured tons and tone of s’mores. Aaaaahhhh life is good!

The next day, we were supposed to go to Capones to check out the lighthouse. However, we loved our found “spa” too much that we decided to just stay in Nagsasa and drink tequila by the beach.

Then finally it was time to go. Again we took the hour-long boat ride back to Pundaquit where our van was waiting to take us back to Manila. I terribly, terribly enjoyed my time at Nagsasa and will definitely be going back there at the first chance I get.

There are days when the craving for Chinese food fills my mind. And for a taste of some authentic Chinese cooking, Philip, Janmae and I hauled our asses off to Binondo. We braved the LRT crowd and boy was it a crowd! You see, I’m not really used to hardcore commuting. Sure, I ride a jeepney to and from work everyday, but that’s nothing compared to riding the MRT/LRT. Much more taking a bus! I just panic and shut off when the train doors open. It’s ridiculous really, but I just can’t help it. Anyway, thank God, we got to Binondo in one piece.

None of us has ever been to Binondo so we were clueless where to go. Good thing we saw a street sign of Ongpin and we decided to just walk along it. And what do you know, the next thing we know, we were in front of the store that sells the famous fried siopao.

Upon first bite, I instantly understood how it gained its popularity. It’s just super tasty! And unlike those that are sold in convenience stores, this one was very meaty. They didn’t thrift on the meat filling. The store also sells other products – siomai, kikiam, etc.

We moved along happily munching on our siopaos. Until we saw another restaurant in our list: Masuki. They pride their selves with having the biggest siomai in town. They should also claim to have the biggest menu, literally, haha!

See? HUGE menu!

We ordered their special mami and those huge ass siomais. With the noodle dish, they gave us a serving of their special siopao sauce. Yes, you get to mix your soup according to your own liking.

After finishing our food, we walked along further until we came across Wai Ying Fastfood. They also have a separate store specifically for take home orders.

We ordered fried dumplings, curry beef siomai, roasted duck congee and their awesome awesome milk tea.

We were already very full by this time and we didn’t manage to finish the congee – also, because the roasted duck in it tasted too strong for our taste. So off we went in search for a store where we could buy pasalubong. Sadly, Shin Tai-Shang Foods was already closed for the night. We wandered around some more until we found a bakery.

Overall, I had a spanking time walking and eating around Binondo and we swore to each other that we’d go back to try the other restaurants in our list. And next time, we should go there early to make sure that the stores don’t close up on us.

Join me next time, yes?

For more photos, check my Facebook: Binondo Foodtrip (full set)

I have been hearing about SOM’S Noodle House from officemates for the longest time but I never really got to try it until a few weeks ago. Thanks to Mike for bringing us there for his post-birthday dinner. ☺

We couldn’t get off work early enough then we got stuck in traffic so when we got there, the early birds already ordered our meal. No problem though coz I was never a picky eater, I could eat anything I am given as long as it’s not downright gross. Downside is I could not remember the dishes’ names! Haha! Thanks to Google, I (hopefully) correctly identified most, if not all of them.

For starters, we had Catfish Salad and Lumpiang Shanghai. The lumpia was forgettable, nothing notable about it. The salad, on the other hand, was a total hit. It had a generous mix of chopped tomatoes, onions, whole roasted peanuts, and thin slices of mango. To top it off were crunchy bits of fried catfish.

We also had two versions of their Phad Thai – pork and shrimp. To be honest though, I thought they tasted the same. Heck, they even looked the same!

Their Red Shrimp Curry was also good. Not too spicy but not too dull either. However, a serving is not ideal to be shared by a big group because it only had a few pieces of shrimps in it.

If my memory serves me right, below are the Red Pork Curry and Green Beef Curry. There was something about the green curry that I didn’t like. Maybe I’m not just used to the overpowering taste of the authentic spices in it.

The winner of the night for me was their Fried Lapu-lapu. Or at least I think it was lapu-lapu. Haha!

For drinks, most of us had their Thai Tea. It was too sweet for my taste and we kept asking for more ice cubes to dilute it with.

All in all, it was a very good dinner. Made even better by good company. ☺ I will definitely be going back to SOM’S to try out the other items in their menu.

Rio and her high school batchmates went to Tagaytay for a day trip and the kaladkarin in me became giddy with excitement when she mentioned that I could come along. This means though that I won’t be able to attend the Sunday mass and therefore break my self-imposed pact of hearing mass every week. So I went to UP on Saturday afternoon for the anticipated mass and also dropped off the race kits for Ate Joyce. She took my place in the Run for Home event because I sprained my ankle days before.

Come Sunday, Rio and the rest of the gang picked me up and we hauled our butts to Tagaytay. Good thing I already met most of her friends who came along and they remembered me so it was a lot less awkward for me and I didn’t really stick out like a sore thumb.

To thank Rio for the invitation, I thought of giving gave her a bar of dark chocolate. I still have another one at home and I’m not really a fan of sweets so I’m having a hard time finishing all of it.

Along the way, they pulled out a pack of Nutri Star and joked about how it was actually our ulam. The variant they had was lechon manok flavored, that’s why. I tried one out but didn’t really like it ‘coz it was too ma-umami for my taste, so yay! More ulam for them. Haha!

Ten of us were cramped inside JR’s car. I believe it was most torturous for four of us at the back because we had minimal leg room and head room.

Meet Mycah. As soon as we got to the park, she jumped off the car and started posing for the camera. She is not shy at all. Here she is barely 5 minutes upon arrival. I couldn’t count the times she stroke this pose that day.

Here’s JR and Rhea, the cute couple who owned the car we had. Later that day, I learned that they just got married and just had a baby. It is not evident on Rhea’s slim bod though that she’s already a momma.

The air in Tagaytay is definitely fresher and cooler that what we have in the Metro. Thanks to the lush greens all around.

Here’s Josh smiling for the camera. I actually met him months before but he doesn’t remember me. #creycreycrey Not surprisingly though, he remembers Henry, my camera.

With me in the photo are Diam and Milag. I have met Diam before but it was my first time meeting Milag. I was shocked by her boyfriend woes while we were on the road. Also, thanks to her we got a shitload of hotdogs to munch on.

Paola is one of Rio’s friends I am most familiar with. I was surprised her hair is actually that long. The previous times I’ve seen her, she has her hair bundled in a bunch.

Another familiar face for me was Pipoy. I remember that time when Timmy, Rio and I spent the night at his place, talking about inappropriate things. Haha.

I’ll just dump photos from here on and let the captions tell the story.

After feasting on giniling, chicken and hotdogsssss, we decided to walk around. The winds were really strong and here's Pao on a roller coaster. LOL

And now, here's Rio doing the roller coaster move. Ang saya lang niya. =)

Told you, winds were strong. Here's Diam's Sadako shot

JR took over the camera and took pictures of us from every angle possible

Because none of us was up for it, we just watched other people on the zip line

Potential album cover. LOL

There's a jam forming behind us. Do we look like we care? NOT!

The view was great, if not for the fog.

Just another shot with the wonderful view as background

Pipoy harassing a young tree =)

Mycah's infamous hair flip

Pao's perfect jump shot

Rio and I buying pasalubong. LOL. Kala mo ang layo ng pinuntahan.

Rio and I on a tree


There were stalls selling flowers for a very cheap price

Stop over at Colette's to buy buko pie

Photo op with Shalani at Paseo de Sta. Rosa. KANTANONG!

I’d love to go back to Tagaytay someday. I really had fun and I’m looking forward to more adventures with these guys. ♥♥♥