Thursday, December 11, 2008

enlightened perspective

They're written by Andy Rooney , a man who has the gift of saying so much with so few words.

I've learned.... That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

I've learned.... That when you're in love, it shows.

I've learned.... That just one person saying to me, 'You've made my day!' makes my day.

I've learned.... That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.

I've learned.... That being kind is more important than being right.

I've learned.... That you should never say no to a gift from a child..

I've learned.... That I can always pray for someone when I don't have the strength to help him in some other way.

I've learned.... That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.

I've learned.... That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.

I've learned.... That simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.

I've learned.... That life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.

I've learned.... That we should be glad God doesn't give us everything we ask for.

I've learned.... That money doesn't buy class.

I've learned.... That it's those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.

I've learned.... That under everyone's hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.

I've learned... That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.

I 've learned.... That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.

I've learned.... That love, not time, heals all wounds.

I've learned.... That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.

I've learned... That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.

I've learned..... That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.

I've learned... That life is tough, but I'm tougher.

I've learned.... That opportunities are never lost, someone will take the ones you miss.

I've learned.... That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.

I've learned.... That I wish I could have told my Mom that I love her one more time before she passed away.

I've learned.... That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.

I've learned.... That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

I've learned.... That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, that you're hooked for life.

I've learned.... That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.

I've learned... That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.


got this from my email and made me ponder about a lot of things. indeed the author managed to deliver thought-provoking words that directly affects us in a way or another. something that is worth sharing.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

mobile passporting - another stressful yet successful event

*breathes out a good long sigh of relief*

after more than a month of intense preparations, our quarterly mobile passporting is finally over. this mobile passporting is held regularly on a quarterly basis to cater the passporting needs of marikina residents and people of neighboring towns.

being the coordinator of this project, i felt like the whole pressure is on me. even though i have a team working with me, of course i feel liable for any major mistake they might commit. thankfully, there's none. a few problems arise every now and then and honestly, i never really expected i would be able to solve them myself. it really helps to believe in yourself and your capabilities. and of course with your team.

starting from coordinating with the DFA, (good thing my DFA counterpart jasor is about the same age as i and so there's no need for some formalities you have to give to senior coordinators, and so working with him is a breeze) to preparing the necessary papers (voucher for foods, etc.), to checking passport applications and being the "last line of defense"... the whole thing is indeed a herculean task.

and so today the mobile passporting was held. i was filled with mixed emotions. and i was soooooooo busy running around like hell to even remember these feelings. we started out at 9 am and finished at about a little past 3. minor problems arose again but then i let the DFA people solve these.


i am now tired. so tired. i felt it when i sat down. the adrenaline rush that kept me moving in the morning subsided. i am even more tired to think. i declined my friend's invite to go malling. i just wanna go home and hit the sack early.

because tomorrow we'll be going to tagaytay with my friends. and i have to get up early.

come february and this event shall happen again. at least i'm already used to these kind of activities.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

night of the living grouch

with what happened i can make oscar the grouch a tamed monster.

so here's what happened thursday night.

1. we went to sta lucia to pick up my digicam which was repaired due to lens error. it was gently hit on a table when i was using it in our seminar about a couple of weeks ago. so when i picked it up i tested it right at the store to see if it's already ok. as i was taking pictures i noticed that while at shoot mode, the pictures appear to be too bright and so i showed it to the technical personnel of the store and he just reset it to default settings. i tried it out again and it still has the same result so i thought it was just because of the store's lighting which was too bright. i decided to just try it out in the morning when there is natural light. i tried it out again at home and the results are still the same. i get the same over exposed pictures. to make the matters worse, even the pictures i took in the morning has that same picture quality. damn, off to the dissecting table this f*cking camera goes again.

2. we ate at chowking to fill up our grumbling stomachs. i ordered spare ribs with large iced tea separately. my bill was P104. my friend ordered the same for only P75. what the hell? we ordered exactly the same and yet was billed differently? i "almost" argued with the cashier and she said that it was because i ordered it separately while my friend ordered what they call "sarap meal or tipid meal" i forgot what it was called. the hell with that store when i looked out for that tipid meal in their menu it was posted at the side of the wall where it was quite difficult to see and not to mention the size of it which was just about like an index card. i asked if it cannot be refunded and my argument was futile. and so very calmly i went back to our table and tried my best not to make a scandal out of that incident. why, it is their responsibility to ask me if i just want to order their tipid meal since i ordered the same food as that of their promo, right? we left that store with me having a disgruntled face swearing not to eat in that fastfood again. ever.

3. the skies must have been upset too when we left. it was raining really hard. good thing i have my good ol' folding umbrella in my bag. but it proved no match to the sudden strong downpour when i was in the middle of my way home. when i reached the tricycle terminal the rain was at its fiercest. i was drenching wet in the waiting shed and the worse scenario was that there were too many passengers and a very few tricycles. and so when a tricycle parked right in front of me i immediately jumped at the back seat. so just imagine how wet i was when i got home. drenching wet, my shoes filled with water and i was able to literally squeeze out water from my socks. geeez. i used half a bottle of alcohol so sanitize my feet. lol.

gahd, hopefully this day's gonna be a lot better. in fact, ANY DAY is a lot better than this.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

new blog. new world.

so... blog hibernating season is over for me now. i made a new blog out of intent of doing some wisecracking in the native tongue. hope you guys visiting here, if any, would check it out too. and to those asking me through my shoutbox to add them up in my list, pls message me back through this blog or through my shoutbox so that i can add you up there. my shoutbox seems to be bonked out and i can't get to see the older messages to find the links. sorry for that.

anyway, with the "ber" season almost sinking in in my system already, hopefully blogging will be too. so many thoughts have been popping in and out of my oatmeal brain that i can't even remember what to blog about when i feel like blogging. weird.

see you at my other niche!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

my new baby

so after years of drooling, dreaming and writing letters to santa claus, i finally got myself a digicam. yes, i'm that very easy to please. it's a casio exilim z9 black camera. well it's a decent one i think... i won't bother buying myself a dslr like the ones my friends have. damn for a cheapo like me it costs a fortune already! well what are friends for if they won't lend it to me right? lol.

so anyway, here it is. click here for the specs.

wondering what will i call my new baby?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

on forgiveness

the Lord was asked how many times we should forgive and He said, "seventy times seven."

forgiving is perhaps one of the most difficult and noble thing to do. it is hard especially when one is being ruled out by his pride, rather than compassion and humility.

forgiveness is without conditions. otherwise it is not sincere at all. it is forgiveness of the mouth and not by heart and mind. what's the essence of forgiving when you can't let go of the grudges?

forgiveness means readiness to accept those who have wronged you whole-heartedly, giving out a fresh chance to everyone.

learn to forgive with all your heart. if the Lord can forgive us no matter how grave our wrongdoings may have been, what more for us humans? remember all the good things about that person to help ease out whatever negative feeling you have for them. after all, it is with a forgiving heart that we can see the good in everyone in this imperfect world.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

fhm philippines' 100 sexiest women

guess who just got kissed by lady luck last july 17? hehehe... i must admit i'm near-sighted but believe me when i tell you i didn't put on my eyeglasses on this one.

together with some friends we attended this year's fhm party themed "fhm underground". it was graced by the some of the country's sexiest celebrities as voted by the public (though someone beside me quipped the ballots may have been "switched" hehehe)

the show was started by different bands, i can't exactly remember the names because who would really pay attention to them when you are surrounded with gorgeous models? people were quite busy having their photos taken with these models. after the bands, the models of the different sponsors of the event started strutting out where again, their chance to be featured in the magazine lie in the hands of the text voters.

then came the main event... after hearing the sultry and sexy voice of host and this year's 25th sexiest, asia agcaoili, the venue was drowned with thundering screams and cheers of the wild audience.

then as the 100 sexiest were revealed one by one and some actually made it to the show, the crowd even got wilder, especially when they started walking down the ramp and posed sexily to the delight of the masculine-dominated crowd. asia agcaoili was a constant attention getter with her ultimately revealing "outfit", if you can still call it that. present at the event were fhm toppers katrina halili, jenny miller, alessandra da rossi, hazel ann mendoza, kitty girls, gwen garci, iwa moto to name a few.

the night was capped with the revealing of this year's no. 1 in an underground themed storyline. of course it's no other than GMA's prime princess marian rivera, toppling last year's katrina halili. saying marian's beautiful would be an understatement especially if you can see her up close. though her lower back's not that... uhm, fair-skinned?... but still her over all beauty, charm and sexiness outshines through.

pigged out on seafoods at the seaside dampa after the event.

fhm 2008 100 sexiest women in the world was held at hall A of the world trade center metro manila financial center area in pasay city.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

analyze your personality thru this color quiz

ColorQuiz.comdennis took the free personality test!

"His need to feel more causative and to have a wide..."

Click here to read the rest of the results.

dennis's Existing Situation
Orderly, methodical, and self-contained. Needs the respect, recognition, and understanding of those close to him.

dennis's Stress Sources
Feels that life has far more to offer and that it is imperative that he should find the responsive and understanding relationship he is seeking; he therefore follows up any opportunity which presents itself. However, he maintains his attitude of critical appraisal and refuses to be swept off his feet unless genuineness and integrity can be absolutely vouched for. Therefore keeps a strict and watchful control on his emotional relationships as he must know exactly where he stands. Demands complete sincerity as a protection against his own tendency to be too trusting.

dennis's Restrained Characteristics
Circumstances force him to compromise and to forgo some pleasures for the time being. Capable of achieving physical satisfaction from sexual activity.
Conditions are such that he will not let himself become intimately involved without making mental reservations.

dennis's Desired Objective
His need to feel more causative and to have a wider sphere of influence makes him restless and he is driven by his desires and hopes. May try to spread his activities over too wide a field.

dennis's Actual Problem
The fear that he may be prevented from achieving the things he wants leads him into a relentless search for satisfaction in the pursuit of illusory or meaningless activities.

dennis's Actual Problem #2
Intensely critical of the existing conditions which he feels are disorganized or insufficiently clear-cut. Is therefore seeking some solution which will clarify the situation and introduce a more acceptable degree of order and method.


almost a hundred percent accurate! dunno about that "sex" thing. LOL!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

me? for president? oh c'mon....

a friend forwarded this to me and thought of sharing this here. hehehe. kinda cool right?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

best habits of the happiest people

over more than 3 decades of analysing personal happiness, psychology professor michael fordyce identified 14 traits associated with increased happiness. volunteers who used these strategies felt happier even years later.

1. be more active and keep busy. get involved in activities that are:

  • enjoyable (sort of obvious, but when fordyce study participants thought about activities they enjoyed, as opposed to those they didn't enjoy, they learnt something new about themselves)
  • exciting and physically active rather than sedate and tranquil. (but there's a place for both)
  • new and unfamiliar
  • social rather than solitary
  • meaningful, not trivial

2. spend more time socialising.

formal clubs and organisations and informal relationships (family, friends, spouse) contribute strong feelings of satisfaction, support and a sense of belonging.

3. be more productive at meaningful work.

choose careers wisely, persevere towards commitments and goals and try to find meaning in work or voluntary activities.

4. get organised.

crack procrastination and take some lessons from the time management books to help work towards and refine goals.

5. stop worrying.

list your worries daily for a few weeks to observe your worry patterns: most don't come true and many are beyond your control anyway. learn to distinguish between worry and planning and see the planning ease the worry.

6. lower expectations and aspirations.

"how pleased we are with life is not merely determined by what happens to us," says fordyce. "it is also determined by what we expect to happen to us."

  • don't tempt disappointment: cultivate a modest expectation of daily life.
  • recognise that "success" may not be as key to your happiness as you've been led to believe.
  • don't wait to be happy - it's a way to travel, not a place to arrive, the present, not the unknown future, matters most.
  • select life goals that are within your ability to attain.

7. think positively and be optimistic.

it's not what you have, it's how you look at it. take a real situation (you didn't get the house you wanted to rent/ you missed the train) and see it in its most positive and and most negative light, and you'll get the picture. ultimately, says fordyce, it's about believing you can be happy no matter what.

8. be present-orientated.

there's more happiness in the "here and now" than the "there and then". savour the moment and keenly appreciate the pleasures of life.

9. work on a healthy personality. to get going in the right direction, try to:

  • like yourself - analyse your views about yourself and how these affect your happiness.
  • accept yourself, shortcomings and all.
  • know yourself: you need insight and understanding to make good decisions about what to do.
  • help yourself: cultivate self-sufficiency and being "inner" rather than "outer" directed.

10. develop an outgoing social personality.

you'll likely expand your social life with small changes such as smiling more, acknowledging others and initiating conversations.

11. be yourself.

get comfortable expressing yourself honestly and you are more likely to find others who like you "just the way you are".

12. eliminate negative feelings and problems.

seek help with problems such as addiction or depression. it's hard to work on happiness if your unhappiness is too encumbering.

13. close relationships are no. 1

healthy, loving relationships are critically important, whether with family, friends or a romantic partner.

14. value happiness.

fordyce says people who regard happiness as important are - quite simply - happier.

- healthsmart magazine of reader's digest

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

school's cool

it's school time once again and i can't help but feel a little envy with the students coming back to school this year.

what i miss about school are the times when i get to buy my school stuff and check out my new books, share updates with my classmates and talk endlessly about our vacation.

time really runs rather way too fast. just imagine that in the next year we'll be celebrating our 10th anniversary of graduating from high school. i hope the concerned bodies take the initiative to organize reunions this time.

if i'd be asked which part of schooling would be my favorite? that'll have to be college. yeah. not because it registers the most recent memories but also because it's the time i experienced freedom. freedom to decide on my own on certain things. it was also during this time that i've met most of my friends. i've experienced so many "first times" during college and these make me solicit a smile whenever i get to reminisce these memories.

these made me prove what i was often been told about before, to enjoy my student life because once i graduated and started to have a career, i'd definitely miss school. why is it like that, when you're still studying, you're already eager to get a job, and when you are already working, you'd be wanting to go back to school? oh well...

my advice to students who's coming back to school this year, enjoy and savor every moment of being a student. yes, it is really exhausting but it's where you are groomed to be ready for the real world. establish good relationships as early as now, it will be helpful in the future. remember to balance your academic and social life. most important of all, study well. dunno how exactly to explain it, when i was a student, i used to let it in then out of the other ear. only to prove later on that every advice given to me was right.

been there. done that.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

the marikina valley forums

are you from marikina? do you love interacting in forums? then this news you've got to hear. the marikina valley forums is now up and running. discuss anything and everything marikina and meet up with your co-marikenyos as well.

i joined this forums months ago upon the invitation of mhel, a good friend of mine. i was a bit reluctant at first but after joining in, it proved to be one of a kind forum experience.

since we are all from marikina, setting an eyeball is never a problem. almost everyone is just a text away. in about an hour or so, everyone is already at the meeting place.

these guys are really awesome. whenever we are together there is non-stop laughter. we share common interests, discuss different opinions and other bonding stuff.

more power to marikina valley forums and to the people who continue to support its aims and goals!!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

26 thank you's

26 years ago at exactly 1:43 am at e. rodriguez sr. memorial hospital, an eager cry of a 7.9 lb new born child echoed through out the delivery room. i was born. my parents were both excited to see the latest addition to the family while i wailed endlessly maybe because of pain or maybe because i was taken away from my mom's womb which has been my abode for 40 weeks (yes, my birth certificate indicates i "overstayed" for another month). it was probably because of uncontainable joy that my dad even got my name from an old newspaper that was used as a smoked fish wrapper (i wonder what that pambalot ng tinapa was doing at the hospital). enough of the personal history. in my 26 years of existence in this earth, there are inumerable things to be grateful for, great and small, values, things, people, and events that has molded me or has somewhat contributed something significant in my life.

1. my mom, who took care of me since i started to have a heartbeat. all these heartbeats are pounds of love and gratitude i have for you and dad.

2. my dad, despite deriving my name from a pambalot ng tinapa, i know you sacrificed a lot into bringing me up to what i am right now.

3. my family, for always being there. there's nothing really that can be compared to a family's love and concern.

4. my 817,689,600+ seconds of existence. man, that's nearly a billion seconds of God's gift of life. now that's what i call a true "millionaire"

5. my happy childhood memories. my playmates, my yaya amy (yes i still remember her) i remember when she had a fight with our neighbor. she was crying so hard and the only consolation i gave her was to let her watch her idol romnick sarmieta in that's entertainment. to my childhood friends, some of whom i still get in touch with. missin' you all.

6. my education. i am fortunate enough to complete my studies considering a small percentage of the populace are able to finish through college. to my teachers who indefatigueably devoted their time and my classmates whom i shared so many memories with.

7. the simple luxuries in life that i am able to afford.

8. the meals that i eat 3 or more times a day. just imagine those who consider themselves lucky to have even two meals in a day.

9. the places i've been to. some of which i never thought i would be able to go to.

10. my job. again, imagine how many millions who are jobless. imagine those people who wished they were in the position that i am in now. because in the long run, it is not really the salary that matters but the satisfaction you get from doing your work.

11. my good health. it is never really my desire to get filthy rich as long as me and my family are of sound mind and body.

12. my friends, old and new. friends in its truest essence. friends who have sticked with me come hell or high water. they may be a few but they add bliss and ease up my life's journey. also to short-lived ones, for without them, i would never truly realize the value of the true ones. it's like finding a gem in a pile of rocks.

13. my knowledge and wisdom.

14. my natural compassion for others. i tend to befriend more those who are lowly, meek and humble. those whom i feel i could give more than i can receive. the satisfaction i get from knowing that i helped even a little is what i value more.

15. my sincerity in dealing with others. often misunderstood and misjudged by those who barely know me, still, i show my sincerest feelings. i'm not good in concealing how i truly feel and i deal with an honest heart. if there's one thing i dont envy with others, it's how some hide their "masks" too well.

16. the recognitions i received. these things that inspire me to believe more in myself despite being a pessimist at times. this only goes to show that i am somehow capable.

17. my gift of a funny bone. it gives me great elation whenever i see that i made someone laugh. it naturally comes out in me whenever i'm at ease with someone i'm talking with, and it goes non-stop sometimes.

18. the courage to face adversities. my natural belief that everything in life is a test. many times we will fall. many times we will be defeated. the will to go on will help you survive through. i know that when everyone fails me, the Lord will help and there's nothing more to expect but win.

19. my appreciation for the small beautiful things in life. i don't dwell to much on the thought of pursuing big things. as long as i am happy and contented with what i have, it is reason enough to be happy and thankful. of course it's natural to dream and desire, but sometimes having too much of these make one discontented on what blessing he already has.

20. the failures in life. this is where true friends shine through. where you discover your true strengths. where you recognize your God and your frailty as a human.

21. answered prayers. God is really good. sometimes when i dont get what i pray for, He always gives something way too much better.

22. my optimism. i find life beautiful in general. there are lots of hindrances and obstacles along the way but knowing everything will be fine at the end of the day is really something to look forward to.

23. my steadfast faith. i may not piously go to church every sunday but my belief and faith remains strong and unwavering.

24. my being forgiving. there are lots of times when the people you would least expect to hurt you would do so. yes, i really forget the wrongdoings done to me. a mere "sorry" or a small spontaneous talk is enough.

25. the people whom, in one way or another, i've made happy. my favorite adage goes "the best way to cheer yourself is to cheer somebody else up." nothing is more heartwarming than knowing you made someone's day, made somebody happy with a small deed from me.

26. the future. what the future holds is always something to look forward to. everyday is like a gift wrapped in a box, you never know what to get inside. i'm just hoping the future would be better than the past.

these are just a few things that i am thankful for. i am so blessed.

as i start on to my real "new year", there is nothing really to hope for but for a better life in general.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


been quite busy for the past few weeks because of tons of paper works to accomplish. can't find the time to blog about some happenings that occurred recently. so these are what happened:


we had an outing with the MCF riders in a beach resort in bataan during the labor day holiday. the MCF riders are a group of motorcycle enthusiasts from the cityhall. we were originally about to go to san juan, batangas but there was a sudden change of plans, the reason why we travelled to bataan for a long and gruelling 6 hours. that's one problem if the trip is unplanned; no itineraries, so instead of spending more time enjoying the place, we spent more time looking for a resort to stay in.

our group have our own van so we left early from the beach to go to the dambana ng kagitingan in mt. samat in pilar, bataan. we planned about going there long ago so this was the right time to go there. we just made it in time before they close at 5 pm. the entrance gate is located at the base of the mountain and one has to pay a P20 entrance fee (P10 for children). you will then travel way up to the top of the mountain on a zigzag road passing through some lush greeneries.

after marvelling at the awesome sight from the mountaintop, we went up to the viewing deck located at the top of the cross. there is, again, a P10 entrance fee. in getting to the top, you have options of either taking the elevator (with an 8 person capacity) or through a spiral staircase. but mind you, taking the stairs up the 36-stories high structure is no joke. no wonder cobwebs are forming on the steel stairs. who in their right mind would climb the stairs anyway?

i was caught speechless as i look at the panoramic view from the viewing deck. it was simply awesome. the strong winds, the golden sunset, it was a perfect moment to contemplate. we took lots of photos before going back down. after descending the photo shoots continued until we decided to head back to manila at dusk.


it is the role of every local government units to provide the most convenient service to its constituents. as part of this, the city government of marikina through the local civil registry, in cooperation with the department of foreign affairs conducted a mobile passporting service in marikina to accommodate the passport needs of marikina residents and non-residents as well.

being the coordinator of marikina in this project, it is my duty to receive, check, and verify the documents and interview the applicants. we had 698 applicants where 641 got approved.

on the may 3 processing and payment day, everything turned out just well. even though this is my third time to handle this kind of activity, i still get nervous fearing an unexpected problem may arise. but because of proper planning and coordination with the concerned departments, possible problems were averted. i was congratulated by the DFA consuls present and the staff as well, whom i have known for some time already, and even joked about me transferring to their department.

this mobile passporting activity is held every quarter, depending on the availability of the DFA mobile passporting staff since many cities and municipalities also conduct the same activity.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

elementary reunion 3: success and fun-filled as usual!

last april 29, we held our third reunion with our elementary classmates at gerry's grill and starbucks at the bluewave mall. it was a bit more special since it was the first time two of our classmates abroad confirmed their attendance. being one of the organizers, richelle and i originally planned it on a weekend so we can spend more time even until the wee hours of the morning. but since the balikbayans' schedules would only allow the 29th where they can make it, so it was set as it is.

my classmate/cousin rexon (from papua new guinea) and francis (US navy) were both much too excited for the event. we had long chats through the net about this event and i can really feel their excitement and longing for their former classmates.

i arrived at the meeting place a little past 7 pm. another reunion first time attendee cinderella (who by the way prefers to be called just cindy) was already there waiting and was about to leave. good thing i arrived early and we just waited for the others to come. bryan, angelo, richelle and the others started to arrive one by one shortly after.

as we were ushered to our table, the thrill of the get-together is clearly felt. updates, exchanging of numbers and non-stop laughter was everyone's contribution. lucky me, i had a porcelain keychain pasalubong from richelle who just came from germany for a work-related trip. that's our little secret. i'm the only one who got a pasalubong. hehehe. but she brought a gummy cola for everyone, also from germany.

rexon texted richelle that he would arrive at about 9 pm. so we started ordering food, since the balikbayans promised to shoulder the bill. at around 9 pm, richelle got a text message from rexon. she went outside to look for him as we anticipated for his appearance. richelle then got back with an envelope and a startling news. inside the envelope was a letter printed from an email. rexon couldn't make it. he's still in papua new guinea and was unsuccessful boarding a plane since he was just a chance passenger. gahd, the day before the reunion we were chatting and decided to talk about other stuff when we meet up. he just asked his cousin to bring the letter and quite an amount of money for the food, and some starbucks coffee. lol.

and so we continued with our merry-making despite what happened. i jokingly quipped that the amount he sent us was enough for another round of beer buckets plus some take home food. after seeing that no more classmate would come, we took photos for souvenirs.

we were prompted by the restaurant staff that they are about to close so some of us called it a night. some went to the hospital to visit a highschool friend who was about to give birth, while some, i included, trooped down to starbucks nearby. we talked about future plans, reunions, and other stuff. i think that with the cooperation and enthusiasm of our classmates, there would sure be more get-togethers to come.

on my part, whenever we have this kind of gathering, it makes me thankful that we have reached where we are right now. i find it rather funny to look at my classmates now then imagine who they were and what they look like years back. oh those were the days...

went home at past 1 am.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

am i a dog in my past life?

this perplexing thought has come upon me as i was bonding with my japanese spitz. am i a dog in my past life? maybe too much bonding i'm having with my cuddly canine, or perhaps my "past" starts to connect with me, lead me to this thought.

anyway, before i chew on my shoe, these reasons made me think of such:

1. i tend to become too attached with people. dogs can be arrogant at first but once it has become used to someone's presence, they become attached to the person.

2. i am loyal. once you become my "master", you will have my unwavering loyalty. count on me thru thick and thin.

3. being too playful by nature. seldom do i take things seriously. for me, everytime is playtime. even if i appear dead serious, even if some people think i'm a worrier, bitt.. err, let's leave it at that. i'm playful. hit me with the ball and i'll hit you back. then hit you back again. and again and again 'till your patience runs out drought-dry. i may be serious but one can never know what's running on in my mind.

4. a dog's love and compassion for his master is incomparable. their sincerity towards their human friend is one of the most unquestionable, genuine and long lasting than any other relationships between humans and animals. my sincerity goes not only for my friends but also to other people.

well at least dogs are lovable. so am i. *whines* being compared to a dog ain't a bad idea at all.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

the great ilocandia escapade

what started out as a dream became a reality just a week ago - to experience ilocos. together with some equally eager friends, we travelled to this province of history, heritage, and beauty.

after a gruelling 12-hour drive and 2 gasoline full tanks, we arrived at our first itinerary, pagudpud. pagudpud is a sea-side town famed for its pristine beaches. dubbed as the "anti-boracay of the north" it is a good match to boracay, minus the night life and parties. it is about an hour drive from ilocos norte's capital, laoag city. we arrived at about 5:30 am and immediately proceeded to finding a good place to stay in. unfortunately for us, who took an advice from a friend who lived there, we got lost after not being able to locate the direction he's telling us. the darkness of the dawn made it difficult to see the markers and as the sun breaks in, we found ourselves a few towns away in the neighboring province of cagayan. exhausted and a bit exasperated, our group decided to stop over for a while to grab a quick breakfast where we also had the van's tires checked somewhere in sta. praxedes in cagayan. we proceeded back to pagudpud afterwards.

going back we asked for some directions from the natives who are all very congenial and helpful. we inquired for some nice resorts to stay in which led us to hannah's place beach resort in brgy. malingay, pagudpud. we asked about the place from the tour guide cum brgy. treasurer who's manning the outpost entrance to the said resort. we were not satisfied with the place so we scouted for another location.

this brought us to brgy. saud where the saud beach resort and hotel can be located. we found the resort nice contrary to the price of the room and cottage fees. we opted to billet ourselves to one of what they call "homestays" near the resort. homestays are private houses that can be rented

for P1,500 a day. with a little bit of negotiating, we managed to rent the house for P1,000. it has 2 bedrooms, 3 toilets/baths, living and dining room. an additional fee will be charged if you will use the oven.

after settling and a little rest, we started to stroll around. we found out that the public beach whose entrance fee is P20 and P50 for cottage fee stretches on to the private saud resort where entrance fee is P50 plus a mandatory P500 cottage fee. since no barrier is built, people can roam freely to and from the public and private beaches.

the beaches of brgy. saud are indeed very beautiful. sparkling clean, clear waters, white powdery sands shaded by rows of coconut and other trees caressed by the cool gentle breeze that makes the setting perfect. small fishes are visible on the shallow part of the water seemingly welcoming its visitors. one could not help but utter, "aaahhh... this is the life..." unlike boracay which has become too commercialized, pagudpud beaches are well preserved and maintained.

after swimming in the morning and having lunch, we decided to have some siesta. the adrenaline level resulting from the excitement has vanished and we started to feel tired. some of us slept at our rented house while i, together with two friends, decided to take a nap at our rented cottage by the beach. despite the discomfort of lying on the bamboo table, i easily fell asleep with the wind kissing my face and the gentle sounding waves being the lullaby.

at around 5 pm when the scorching heat started to mellow down, the people around started to flock in again. we strolled again along the beach taking some pictures before taking a dip. the sun started to set and the sight is simply awesome. perfect for a romantic moment.

the darkness started to envelop the place and we decided to satisfy our tummies to one of a few eateries nearby. foods are quite expensive so we brought along some canned goods and just asked the cook to at least heat it for us. we just ordered some rice and fried eggs to at least compensate for the amount of space we occupied. hehehe. after some long chats and good laughs together with the owner of the establishment, we headed home and just had some drinking session. a few hours later, we hit the sack and again eagerly anticipated for the next stop-over, bangui windmills.

early morning of april 7 we packed our things to set for another long journey ahead. after a quick walk to the beach for an early morning breeze and some photo shoots, we started our travel and decided to have breakfast somewhere along the way since the eateries are all still closed.

we headed to bangui, the town before pagudpud where the famed bangui windmills are located. there is a part in regine velasquez's video "byahe tayo" shot here. along the main road, one cannot see unnoticed the gigantic windmills standing majestically along the coastline of bangui beach. we turned right after seeing the signage, passed by a small quiet village, traversed along a two-way rough road headed straight to the beach.

we finally arrived and the sight is very much a scene to behold. these 15 23-stories high windmills standing side by side along the gray-sanded coastline attracts tourists for some photo opportunities. standing at the base of these towers and looking up high to see the propellers is really dizzying but that's nothing compared to the awesome feeling of getting to see the sight especially when you see the "giant blades" starting to rotate in unison. (trivia: these windmills provide 40% of electricity to the province). again after some wacky shoots and friendly chats with our co-tourists, we then proceeded to laoag for some breakfast before heading to vigan. took a brief stop over to the viewing deck by the highway to view the windmills from a different location and get a bird's eyeview of the town of bangui.

famous for its bagnet (somewhat similar to lechong kawali but a lot more tastier and delicious) and the ancestral houses, vigan is the capital of ilocos sur and is about some 2 hours drive from laoag. we bought bagnet from the market, (i was kinda surprised to see that the wet section of their market is located at the second floor and the dry section at the ground floor), drove around town then proceeded to the famous ancestral houses.

with the tourist information office fronting the famous street, we knew this is it. parking just within the vicinity, we eagerly started to stroll around.

the whole stretch of calle crisologo is where you can see the main attraction. vehicles are not allowed here so you have to park nearby and walk by foot. by the time you start walking along the street, it gives you a great nostalgic feeling as if you are being transported back in time. my imagination started playing tricks and started to hope i'd bump into maria clara somewhere behind the calesas but the maria clara i've bumped into was someone with a mega-gigantic, chemically-enhanced mutant breasts in microminis. i wondered if the katipuneros would mistakenly identify her for an alien with her way-too-far exaggerated "proudly japayuki" blonde hair. going back to my nostalgia, i've thought i should've worn a camiso-chino to complete the feeling of being able to feel what it's like back then.

most houses here were somewhat renovated where the ground levels converted into souvenir shops, cafes and other establishments. but there's still a few which were preserved from its original design. the interiors of the houses and compounds reflect a great spanish influence over the community. it is a meeting point of the past and the present where the old ages seem to manifest its presence in our modern day world. unlike other streets nearby where a few modern buildings are built, calle crisologo's heritage is much more preserved, and just rightfully so, so the future generations can appreciate and actually feel our great culture.

took some photos with my camera phone in sepia mode then bought some souvenirs and their famous korniks for pasalubong.

we then headed back to manila after a hearty lunch. all of us were happily recalling our experiences and rejoicing over the fact that we've finally made it through after almost not being able to go because of some last minute problems.

we had to cut short some planned itineraries due to time constraints and decided to settle for the main tourist attractions instead. some places we decided not to go to are those found not along the way like the tirad pass and mostly museums but maybe we can just go back sometime. when that time comes, we agreed upon travelling by plane where we only need 45 minutes to get there unlike the 12 hours of land travel.

the ilocandias are really a good tourist attraction. the unique sights and sounds prove to be an awesome experience which will make you want to come back for more. i strongly recommend you to come and visit these provinces up north to experience it yourselves.

as of now, we are planning for our next get-away. sometime soon.

arrived at manila by midnight. back to reality.