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Belfast: Tour Highlight

April 7th, 2014 No comments
King William in Carrickfergus Castle

Decided to give Belfast a try before summer starts. It's cheaper and not that crowded.
I went with my mates (guys) who  at least can claim some lineage with the emerald-isle (binge drinkers). hehe
Northern Ireland is peculiar as it reminds me more of Scotland than Dublin but that's probably because of its proximity.

Stayed in a budget hotel in the city center - Premier Inn. It's about a ten minute walk from the actual city center (shops, pubs) but for the price it's pretty good.

So here are the highlights of the coach tour we did. First, we stopped
at Carrickfergus.
It has a statue (allegedly life-sized) of King William III and is important in the history of Ireland.

Game of Thrones: Castle Black
 One of the exciting bit of the tour for me was sites used in the HBO series Game of Thrones. Being a bit of a fan, I didn't mind the Game of Thrones side notes one bit., na-ah!
The rest of the tour was a scenic drive around the coast. It was actually still quite nice despite it being a big of a foggy day at the start, the views were stunning.
What a quaint village. I wonder if I can retire here?

Scenic and winding drive

...and it's on the left side of the road!

Ruined Castle

The Giant Causeway 

One of the main points for me, especially as it was on my bucket list was the giant causeway. Originally, because it looks so unnatural. In nature, you see a lot of round and smooth objects and this is where the  uniqueness of the the millions of hexagonal rocks in the Giants Causeway stands out.

It's not all hexagonal rocks, though.
There's this camel shaped mound which kinda reminded me of what used to be called the Elephant Island in Marinduque. Of course now, it's called Bellaroca and it's very, very pricey but I'm digressing.
The site is operated by a group called the National Trust

You get a brief science lesson and the fable of how the Giant Causeway came about.
Tectonic plates, moves me.

It would have been nice to see the sun set among these rocks but the drive to Belfast would take about two hours and we had booked other stuff to do that night.
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March 19th, 2014 No comments

I wonder if people will notice if I wee here?

Oh Daet, with your long and winding roads and corrupt officials, how many barriers must you set up  for my goal to learn to surf.
Bagasbas beach, on the other hand, seems well maintained and organized (to a degree).
They have got a system set-up and it seems to be working.

My friend, from Daet, told me the beach used to be stony and  unkempt when they frequent the beach back when they were younger so kudos to the local people for its efforts in clearing the beach. The sand was actually quite fine and definitely walkable on barefoot.
The huts were pretty basic but there was no lockers to keep your valuables. I was with friends from Daet (one of whom is well known in Bagasbas) so I wasn't bothered but paranoid tourists would beAs I am not a good swimmer I thought learning to surf in Bagasbas might be safer (and cheaper) than heading to Siargao and winging it.

I've been told the beach in Bagasbas is perfect for a beginner plus it's cheap. It's less than 1k for an hour with a personal tutor and a proper board.
The hour long lesson went really quick. As it was my first time I managed to kill it on the board!
Just kidding, I struggled a bit at the start. I did manage to stand up properly but I was knackered by the end of the hour.
Not me but it can be!
So our group proceeded to our favorite past time. Eating out. We went to a restaurant (Catherine's I think the name was) besides the Bagasbas Lighthouse Hotel. A lot of the food was just alright but the watermelon shake and the Sinigang na isda was amazing.

Olives in pizza,maybe. In fries?

Suppose to be steak...more like burger steak
On another point, I think the Bagasbas Lighthouse is the best accommodation you can find that's near the beach. It's priced nicely but the lack of competition means the standards leaves a lot to be desired.
With the hassle of traveling and the lack of choices for accommodation I am wondering about the positive benefits the beach could provide to Daet if only they have the infrastructure - but this seems to be a common theme for a lot of our tourist spots.
Like getting to El Nido from Puerto Princesa or getting to Coron from El Nido. 

It was well fun though but a lot of that is because I was with friends in a pleasant beach.
We didn't stay overnight as Naga is home for me but I am definitely making plans for coming back; I
am just praying it would be easier to get to and nicer when I do.
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January 26th, 2014 No comments
Ah, the Queen City of the South!
I have a friend who is just overwhelmingly proud of his city; nothing wrong with that but his fervor for Cebu is just something else. He can literally talk about his home city for hours on end.
So on his invitation, it was his birthday as well, I journeyed to Cebu.
On the first day, we actually swam with whale sharks but I haven't got that much photos to brag err show.
The whale sharks were very friendly and you can swim really near them.
I think they might have been conditioned to stay near the shore and expect people not to hurt them. It was definitely worth it though. The water is a bit deep though so you must know how to swim to really enjoy the experience although life vests will be provided for those who can't but it won't be the same

 On the way back to the city, we passed by this shrine/church in what I can only remeber as Lindongon. Allegedly, miraculous I think it's beginning to look more ostentatious more than anything. It's starting to look like a fort (ala Helm's Deep with the long bridge)
This used to be a small chapel

Slippery tiles!
 The next day we went for a quaint tour of the city. With the Carlos Celdran of Cebu.
 We went to the usual touristy spots; the alleged Magellan's Cross, the Sto Nino Church and Fort San Pedro to name a few.
We even passed by the oldest road in the country.
 We stopped by the Cebu Cathedral. It still has some of the original lime stones they used to build it.

 At the middle of the tour we went in this bodega but that bodega hid one of the gems of Cebu - the Jesuit House. The Jesuit house is more like a museum now. It's a testament to how life would have been back then. It was lovingly restored by the architect/owner of the building. 
Around the museum is an actual working warehouse. I was told it was used because financially they can't afford to keep it idle.
 It's uniquely charming and I was pleasantly surprised.
 The last day was just food tripping. Dimsum Break, Spicy Lechon...Cebu won't disappoint gastronomically.
Just like Manila and some parts in Naga though expect heavy traffic during rush hour and when it's hot it is freakin' hot.
 To cap the day, we went to one the hills overlooking the city. You can see how big Cebu is. You can see why people start to compare it to Manila. It's somewhere in between I think. It's not as busy, not as polluted but can be just as exciting.
P.S. SM Cebu Seaside City is a massive, massive gamble err...project. It kinda mirrors SM MOA although hopefully with better transport links and a more level parking space.

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Robin Thicke & Maroon 5: Won’t go home without (seeing) you

January 14th, 2014 No comments
Before I head home, my friend managed to score tickets for Maroon 5 showing at the O2 Arena in London. Woohoo!
The cream on top was Robin Thicke was headlining along with PJ Morton.
It was my first time at the O2 and it was huge (comparing to the Dome in Cubao, hehe)
There were restaurants, bars, coffee shops and it even got its own tube station right in front - Oh wait, the Araneta has that. :)

 I decided to grab something to eat first as I knew it was going to be a long night. They start letting people in at 6:30pm but we didn't go in until about 8-ish so I was more than happy with my position in the pit.
The price difference from the general admission/standing compared to the side seats is massive and I thought all the fun will be where people will be dancing so I wasn't bothered with seats.
I wasn't wrong it was mostly umm matured people on the side seats and they couldn't really stand up to dance as they will be blocking the view from behind.
My phone (Nexus 4) doesn't do them justice but I was still able to see Robin and Maroon 5 - no squinting/binoculars needed.
I thought Robin Thicke was good. Soulful voice and he was dancing with his suit on. I couldn't even move comfortably with mine  - so kudos to him and his suit.

The concert wasn't seamless though. In between singers they had to do this to change the stage. So they turned the lights on. People went to the toilet to pee and buy beer.

A few minutes later....

 Then Freddie Mercury err Adam Levine came out. I certainly thought he was channeling the Queen with his moves and mustache. The girls weren't complaining though. Shouting, yes...

That is one huge HD TV!

It was a night to remind the masses just how many hits they have and they do have a lot. The band's guitarist is amazing and their Grammy Award nominated keyboard man (PJ Morton) didn't miss a bit. It was the first time I heard Adam Levine sing live and in between the sweary expletives he was alright. It was a fun night.
There was even a sing along moment when they played She Will be Loved - acoustically-ish. 

I wasn't really able to get a lot of pictures. First my phone's camera is crap and I'm just not the type. I'm more of the enjoy the moment kind of person and not the catalogue every step kind.

Where's Wally?!
Oh well, time to go home.
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Manchester Christmas Market 2013

December 20th, 2013 No comments

 It's Christmas and  I am on my annual pilgrimage  to the Manchester Christmas Market.
I have been told the ones in Germany is more festive with that proper Christmas spirit in the air. There's also the Winter wonderland themed Christmas Market in London but time and budget constraints make my stay more fun, relaxed and thorough on this side of England.
My friend's mum from Laguna will be going to London but I'm gonna take a raincheck (for now).
A lot of the stalls are about the same as last year in Manchester which is a bit of an advantage as I can pass for a local in the Christmas markets at least; I was basically the tour guide for our group. That being said the variety of food and the number holiday trinkets are still perfect for stuffing fillers.
We initially tried to go on a night walk; the Christmas lights and the warm mulled wine makes the chilly air less stingy.
And the air was proper nippy but thankfully there weren't any snow yet and the road was frost free so it wasn't that slippery and I was still able to stride around hurriedly with my trainers. 
...and day
They are still selling proper Christmas trees and wreathes , I swear they look a lot like the plastic ones so people who haven't seen proper ones aren't missing a lot. There are mistletoe for two pounds; gag gift for 150 peso?! Divisoria na lang..,

The feel of the day market is a lot different. There are still one or two groups getting drunk; I think they were there for the Christmas parties.
There were a lot more people shopping around rather than just eating and drinking.
There were a lot more baby strollers - we had ours as well, so we part of the bottle neck inducing crowds.
We started at Albert Square, the one with the lighted Santa Claus. Oh, behind that is their City Hall.
A big part of City Hall is usually closed during normal days but they have extended access during the Christmas Markets as they allow people to use their toilets. There aren't enough toilets or maybe it's not spread out. They don't used porta potties so they have to open up otherwise restricted toilets.
The City hall is still getting on with their offical business otherwise; paperwork won't stop with the market will it?

 The United Kingdom being part of the EU means people from the continent have free access to work and play in any part of the United Kingdom.
One my stops every year is the Little Spain booth. In Spain, they said if you want proper paella you have to order a day in advance and it has to be for a group as they cook paella in a big pan.
In the Christmas market though they sell it for tingi-tingi - very Pinoy.

Taga hawak ng paella

The highlight of the day was spending it with my friend's baby. Yup, we were on baby sitting duty and it was his first Christmas Market and although he fell asleep he was kind enough to carry our food and shopping in his pram. Ang bait.
We have to talk to him in English cause a pediatric nurse friend told us that's usually better early in their life so baby talk in English; northern accent optional. haha

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Golden Rice

December 9th, 2013 No comments
I read that a local environmentalist group has devastated a GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) testing field in Pili last August, I was embarrassed and saddened.
A testing field for a GMO called the Golden Rice was destroyed. The rice apparently is enriched with beta carotene to combat Vitamin A deficiency; a common cause for blindness.  
I do, like most people, care for the environment recognizing that we are in every bit affected by what happens to it. A natural extension of this is a concern about the effects of the proliferation of GMOs.
Promise of a brighter world
To be honest, I used to be reluctant about GMOs. There were a lot of questions surroundings its safeness both for the environment and the people who plant and consume it.
Decades have passed and thousands of studies have been done and there still aren't any concrete proof saying it is harmful to humans.
It could be that it is too early to tell if there are long term health consequences in taking GMO's but in the meantime we cannot let millions of people go hungry due to lack of affordable food if the technology to make them cheaper is here. 
It's a question of probable risk against actual consequences. 
Environmental tolls on the other hand are real; although honestly speaking it is the lesser of two evils. 
The Green Revolution that multiplied the outputs of the rice fields uses pesticides and petroleum based fertilizers which can pollute streams and potentially devastate local animals and plants.
The flip side though is catastrophic.
In the very, very unlikely event that we don't have any storms, floods or drought to devastate our soon to be developed perfectly irrigated farm fields it still wouldn't be enough to meet the demands of a bigger and richer world.  The arable fields we have just wouldn't be enough.
Organic farming which is touted as the panacea means we would have to cut down millions of trees and thousand of hectares of virgin forest to meet the growing needs of the world; that would hasten species lost by destroying their natural habitats and increasing the frequency and intensity of flooding due to the trees lost as well as speeding up global warming.
Lastly, the contention that GMO's would impoverish farmers isn't always true. Though the cost of artificially modified seeds can be daunting at first the anecdotal instances where farmers are poorer tend to stem from greed and ineffiencies.
True a lot of high yielding crops are patented and adds cost to poor farmers but patents expire and the seeds potential won't. It would be ideal if an unbiased, altruistic organization spearhead the GMOs research or even the government but in the meantime companies who controls the majority of high yielding seeds must be regulated and a line must be drawn on what cannot be patented.
With regards to the Golden Rice seeds this last argument is moot, the seeds are managed by International Rice Research Institute meaning if it does pass the necessary tests; poor farmers would have access to it.
Considering that population growth is a very real factor for the world compounded by the malnutrition experienced by millions of people worldwide; GMO's offer a real solution.
It has worked before, the world has more than doubled its agriculture output in the past due in part to pioneers like Norman Borlaug.
Mr Borlaug work has saved billions of mostly poor people from death due to starvation. He has made food more affordable and abundant and has been widely recognized in preventing a much touted food famine in South Asia.
Meanwhile, organic farming and its market continues to be a past time of the rich countries. Mass produced, affordable staples is the fruit of the Green Revolution and it is a shame obscurantist in our country would deny our people of this technique which at the very least improves people's lives. 
It is an imperfect practical solution but until a more viable solution is found we must continue what we can in saving people from preventable hunger.

''some of the environmental lobbyists of the Western nations are the salt of the earth, but many of them are elitist. They've never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites...If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for fifty years, they'd be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them these things." - Norman Borlaug

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IloIlo: You had me at La Paz Batchoy and your idyllic charm Part 2

December 5th, 2013 No comments

Ted's La Paz Batchoy was great. Even....comparable to wait for it.... Kinalas.

 Iloilo being an old city has a lot of cultural prestige.
There are a lot of old universities, an interesting museum and very low set, cool-ish jeepneys.
I didn't have time to tour - not even sure if it was allowed  to enter- any of the universities here.
It would have been a great experience I reckon. I was in Glasgow this one time and I couldn't resist the charm of the University of Glasgow. I mean I had to do a quaint little walk to get to it but its image was just breathtaking.
I imagined the history of our old universities also have the same breathtaking character; minus the long walks.  

Drop it low. Really interesting as I am only used to the Sarao ones.

Iloilo apparently has an abundance of maritime schools.

Photo was taken in a mall. Apparently there's a pageant contest for them. Huh

 The only way to end Iloilo is with a massive food binge. There was this locally famous grill near our hotel (forgot the name - it has branches across the city) which apparently makes the best liempo in the Visayas. It was good but honestly speaking I liked the Lechon Kawali better.
 And lastly, some sweet coffee to wash everything down. Prepping up for Boracay and Cebu!

Cake with brownies at the botton. Just alright really.

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IloIlo: You had me at La Paz Batchoy and your idyllic charm Part 1

November 24th, 2013 No comments

Good location and okay breakfast.
It's kinda sad that I've been  abroad first before I've gone to the Visayas. To remedy that I spent two whole weeks pledging to be a proper tourist in this part of the country.  My first stop was Iloilo. A friend, who came from this neck of the country, was happy to show us (me and a Cebuano friend) around.  As most Pinoys, his mum was very hospitable and was too shy of her beautiful home that she booked this newish hotel. We still crashed at her house for a lovely dinner though.
Smallville 21 Hotel was our base for a few days. Smallville itself is a quaint part of the city. The name alone is super. :) 
 It was in a good place; I think this is where all the night life is happening. It's near the river so it was cooler than most places and they've got convenience stores that functions as cheap bars as well. I mean there are proper seats and tables outside - throwing up is extra.

Right opposite the hotel is a branch of Coffee Break. It's their version of Starbucks - ours is the Coffee Bean, ain't it. There's actually a lot of branches around the city. The first one we tried was in the city centre.
Their coffee is a bit sweeter than Starbucks; Perfect for the typical Pinoy. I would have loved it better if the coffee was stronger but when it comes to price and sweetness; I'd ditch Starbucks for Coffee Break. 

Cakes! Nothing special though tasted a bit mass produced, eh like Starbucks

Had the Almond Frap; almond bits. Yey!

 Time to head out.

 We went to the famed UNESCO World Heritage Miag-ao Church. It was a bit of a drive from the city. It was well worth it though.
It is a very unique church with its design and purpose. Apparently, it used to function like a fort as well hence the big foundations and walls.

It was raining but being proper troopers we didn't really care. The town itself seemed seemed a bit small but  multi-purpose. Besides the church I think UP-Visayas has a massive campus in the area that focus on Fisheries. We had appointments back in the city so couldn't (probably can't anyway) go around the town and the university properly. 
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Amazing day in Boracay…

November 8th, 2013 No comments

It was my first time in Boracay last October, a friend from Iloilo offered to show me around and I took him up on the offer. 
I went to Iloilo first, did the tourist stuff, and after that it was only a short-ish bus ride to Caticlan. 
It was lean season so accommodation was affordable and we were able to stay at the beach front in Station 2. 
It was a packed holiday. As it was my first time in Boracay the days were obviously too short for me; especially as I get up nearer ten-o-clock in the morning. Here are the pictures of Day 2. It was actually raining on and off but fortunately only in short bursts. 
I give credit to my camera for making it look sunnier than I remember.

We had to grab an late dinner to catch one of the shows which was apparently on its last leg. It was a bit baffling that the bulk of their show was done during the lean season but hey ho. 
There were still a lot of foreigners though - Koreans, Chinese, Japenese but being Filipinos we got a wee bit of a discount. 

A lot of miming but it was a fun cabaret show. 

Dream Girls. Dream probably. Girls uhummm

Probably seen a bit too many Bayanihan dances. It was fun though.

Korea! I'm not really a big fan of K-Pop but if this is the folk dances of Korea, wouldn't mind seeing them.

Buy 1, Get another 1 on the fans.

 We went to a buffet after. It was where all the dancing chefs were.  Unfortunately, I was too hungy to take a video. So I have shamelessly grabbed this Youtube video to give you a  glimpse..

 Food wasn't bad either. :)

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J.Co Slow lines, Okay donuts

October 24th, 2013 No comments
What's with the lines again?
It happened with Gonuts Donuts then Krispy Kreme now the craze seems to be the new kid in town - J.Co
I've never been that patient lately with lines. Although like most Pinoy I am curious about new food and stuff I don't really fancy waiting in line something that long.
However, my father wanted me to bring some J.Co for my cousins so I obliged. I was told to go in the middle of office hours to avoid the queue but lo and behold I still had to wait.
What I can say though is there is a line because the people who work there move a bit slow. Proper slow. Take your time, chat with workmates, have a laugh while people are standing around slow.
I did manage to get some donuts and it does taste okay but as long as there is a queue or until other family members ask for them; I won't be lining up they're good but not that good. Sure they're not as sweet as some of the other donuts but donuts are meant to be sweet. They're fried sugars for Pete's sake
Hmmn.., how about Cronuts?
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Alone for a day in Barcelona

August 27th, 2013 No comments
I caught a commercial about Estrella Damm on the television a few weeks ago. Quick warning, not for prudes as it wasn't MTRCB/CBCP approved.
Moving on. I remembered fondly my trip to Barcelona last year to meet a very good friend who was passing by. It's so rare that I get to see her so since I was fairly near that time I hopped on a flight to Spain; luckily, there was a cheap and direct flight to the city so it wasn't much of a hassle except for my battered bank account.
I did meet my friend on my first night in Barcelona but to both of our disappointment she was working the next day so I had the entire (working) day to myself. 
This was what I did on my eight hours that I was alone. 
As it's my first real day on the city. I decided to bike's part of a tour kaya may direction naman.  I did meet some people but it's not worth posting them - fleeting acquaintances if you will. I mean if they looked like the people on that video I would have made them this post's cover. JK
We stopped by for beer and mojito at a beach bar. We locked the bikes nearby apparently there's a lot of bikes getting stolen around the city but since I'm using a rental I wasn't that bothered. I still locked it though - they might make me walk all the way back. 
Man made beach for the Olympics in Barcelona. Very nice
ALLEGEDLY this used to be a throne room

La Sagrada Familia

After the short bike tour.  I took the furnicular to the Olympic Park on Montjuic. You could walk it from the city centre or take the bus but since I haven't rode a furnicular before and I was lazy...I rode the funky tram
Cool manholes.

Calatrava telecommunication tower

Missing handle sa poso., :)
Feeling even more lazy I took the outdoor escalator around

Before I knew it, I was in La Rambla again to meet my friend. She has brought her friend as well so it was kinda fun.
We found this local bar off La Rambla perched on a chair and just killed time. Tapas, pizza, servings of Paella and drinks.
We had a couple of jugs of Sangria - my first time. Now, I usually don't like red wine but this was actually good.
We had proper fun - just like the Estrealla Damm video, I mean we weren't bad looking the only real difference is no one took a video of us and we didn't have beer.   Bit tipsy really when we went home.
On the third day, we had to part ways as I had plans with friends who weren't in Spain. I took another flight and had to try this milky concoction called Horchata at the airport. They were serving red wine and soda both of which I didn't really fancy.
Why did I try it, for the very shallow reason that I had Horchata by Vampire Weekend on my playlist at that time.
Horchata on my way back.

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Another unintended effect of travelling: Imported na pamerienda

July 24th, 2013 No comments
Who doesn't like merienda? It involves two Pinoy past times in one go - eating and gossiping.
In merienda, I think, like anything else simpler is always better like pandesal with spread.
Now during the past few weeks, I have - slightly - upped the ante on our merienda fare.
For now, we're putting away the Cheez Whiz and focusing on the sweet spreads in my cupboard.
The first holds a special place in my heart and pancreas (insulin) - the Coco jam! Now I may not be a zealot for plain Coco jam like the time I was into the sushal version Nonya Kaya but it (Coco jam) is a timeless favorite. I started trying out newer spreads around the time I discovered Kopi Roti along Magsaysay. It was also the time Breadtalk started selling Kaya spread and I started hoarding.
Then a hotel we stayed at in Belgium introduced me to the Speculoos spread (They say it's the new Nutella). I scrounged in Carrefour and found some to bring home. I've had the little Speculoos biscuits before; they usually serve them in proper coffee shops - but the spread was something else. It was sweet yet not overwhelming.
A friend of mine sent a special variety of it - Speculoos Cookie Butter - saying it was the best spread and is quite limited, only sold in the States blah blah. Tasted it. I preferred the original Speculoos spread.
At the end of the day my promdi sweet tooth will probably always crave for Coco Jam though; even if I may have the occasional Nutella, Lotus Speculoos, strawberry jam and marmalade on the side. 

But what about pantulak? If possible especially in this warm-ish weather, Pimm's. We were served once with this British drink daw half swimming in ice and pieces of fruit and fell in love straight away.
One time, I'm not sure if it was the weather but I had a throbbing headache (I think because of the heat) but still managed to finish a litre of Pimm's with three friends. Headache gone.  True story.
Coincidence? Probably but don't  they say alcohol is suppose to make your headache worst.
I wish I could find one in Manila. They say they might sell some in Ayala or Rustan's. Fingers crossed.
I mean it's not just for Wimbledon it's the perfect drink to have with friends.

For guys and girls; it's a summer drink
It's a bit hit and miss though with imported food. Case in point: Marmite.
Marmite is a British spread put on toast which has a very old, yeasty very salty flavor. My friend told me it's a love it or hate it kinda thing and OMG do I know which side I am on.

Not a fan. But you have to try things at least once right? I mean I've already tried snails in Morocco  (not that bad, btw) and at this day in age there's only a few things I won't (willingly or knowingly) eat.

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Music festivals

July 6th, 2013 No comments
I must go to a music festival before I turn 35. These are proper music festivals - off the beaten road, camping, booze and tail (daw) kind not the one held in school auditoriums with Muslim inspired music danced by school teachers or a high school dance crew fumbling around or a duet na pilit na bumibirit or - egad - doble cara


My country has the Wanderland.

Wanderland had a great start - but a lot of catching up to do, I heard.
There are many foreign bands and they seem to be headlining the acts. Nothing wrong with that but I'm not sure why that was the case. I don't think I'm bigoted when I suggest we give equal prominence to our local (struggling) artist. The way Glastonbury did for Mumford and Sons.
But I heard ( from a very reliable source/judge), it was alright. They should, I think, switch to wristbands. They're more efficient and look way cooler than paper tickets.

P.S. I don't know who the hell the chap is but he was blocking the view...jk. Great vid though

Merry old England has the most number of musically gifted people in the Billboard Hot 100. Glastonbury highlights that and then some.
Let's  talk about the elephant in the room - don't expect to shower for three days. Wet wipes lang daw. That' the Glastonbury way..haha. Pero I reckon I might be able to tolerate that for this...

Saka where else can you wear rain boots without looking like a dork?
I'll bring a Philippine flag para pag nag sweep ang BBC camera - boom. haha. I discover amazing singers when I watch Glastonbury (sa internet lang) like Maverick Sabre...

and the world discovered Mumford and Sons - who headlined Glastonbury 2013.
Yun lang nga medyo magastos. Napabili kasi ako ng album ni Maverick Sabre. Why oh why did I activate one-click purchase in Amazon?!

Boom na Boom sa Boom, Tomorrowland
What a fitting name for this town. Okay so it's in Belgium so I have to apply for a visa yet again. Unless. How do you say marry me for visa in Spanish? haha
I was 'researching,' right, apparently this place is close to Antwerp and has loads of accommodation to boot so di masyado stressed maghanap ng toilet at shower.
A Portuguese work mate told me, he was also keen on going here so it's not just my Asian curiosity for techno that draws me at lalo na dahil sabi nung DJ we are young, we are beautiful and we deserve the buzz around this festival...ano pang pipigil satin, di ba? Well beside the immigration desk.

Coachella for realz. Crabs - the good kind
Kung mobile app lang ang labanan Coachella wins hands on. Aside from the fact that it's in California so sunny weather and awesome beaches they also have....

Crab fries!
Mind you like Glastonbury they have umm young at heart people... who some (not me) might say is having a midlife crisis trying to recapture their youth.

I just hope I'm able to go to at least one proper festival before I turn 35. Otherwise, move over Danny boy, I need to take a photo as well.

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Wadi al-Mujib: Added to bucket list

July 6th, 2013 No comments
There are a lot of history in the middle east.  While I probably won't find myself backpacking around Iraq and Israel anytime soon, I do want to visit the middle east for a couple of days and I do understand a lot of countries are dry (the not-so-fun what are we going to drink on a night out dry) fun can be had entirely alcohol free.
I've always been intrigued by the richness of their culture and geography. The closest I've been to culturally speaking was Morocco. I kept an open mind and had a great time.
Although, Islam has been getting some flak no thanks through the action of a few extremist it has shaped the middle east  into something so unique and beautiful.
Before I get to preachy, I'm going back to this additional entry into my bucket list. Wadi al-Mujib.
It's apparently a trail where you are  knee-deep in water at the start, and you basically get wet for the 1 - 2 hour scenic trek to get to the top where there is a huge waterfall.
Internet Photo...Just need to do the more awesome pose when I get there
Egypt could be great as well but I guess I'm gonna wait a little while after the protest dies down. Baka ma stranded lang pag nag kagulo., mahirap na. ahaha
There are beaches and resorts as well in Egypt but my plan will really revolve around the pyramid - mounted on a camel.

I've said it before I need travel while I'm still (fairly) young. I guess you can still travel when you're older and when you've got a family but I reckon that's a different kind of fun.

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Basa, basa – pag may (transit) time.

June 16th, 2013 No comments
First of all, I apologize to my future self for the jologs title. I still don't know where that phrase came from and I swore I would never use it but - hey, ho - never say never. Napaka jejemon lang.. crap. That's the first and last time you'll hear that from me.
Moving on, a lot of people put in reading as one of their hobbies when being interviewed or answering boring and obtrusive personal questionnaires.
I used to be one of them. I used to like reading books. The Adnu Library helped a lot as they have one of the best libraries in Bicol. I dropped by the Naga City public library once when they were in Centro and then again when they moved to Magsaysay but I still stand by my former statement.
The Ateneo library stood out because they had ( or have - haven't been lately) an extensive list of general interest, fiction and non-fiction collections. Whereas most university libraries only have academic collections.
It was a hobby that I grew out of unfortunately. That is until I discovered...long layovers!

Doha Airport

The longest I had to wait is still 8 hours. The longest offered was twenty-two hours in Changi by Air France; I obviously passed. I've never been to Singapore and I imagine I can go to the city - Philippine passport ata ito - but I don't imagine 22 hours will do me or it justice.
Eight hours can be really long if you're stuck in a crappy airport. I was told international airports vary wildly like the one in Dubai is allegedly amazingly big while the one they have in Doha is basic. They are building a new one in Doha according to their website but it's been 3 years delayed so far.

I usually just buy some newspaper or magazines when I'm bored but lately I've been converted to e-books.
I got the nook at a discounted rate and have been fairly happy with it.
Continuing my scheme to get a day!
 I'm rediscovering books I liked when I was in high school; Gibran, Steinbeck & Dumas.
Although, I'm a fairly light reader now with Sedaris and Lemony Snicket (guilty pleasure) bookmarked.
I guess it works out cheaper when you factor in the cost of newspapers and paper books and the hassle of carrying them around airports.
I could do other stuff around airports. Eating around is another way to kill time - literally. Like the one in France (CDG), the line to pay was so slow. The lone girl on the counter was taking her sweet time. Screw passengers anxious about missing their flights. Haha.
To think it's not cheap as well and it's not like it's cuisine material. It was canteen-ish.
I would have appreciated a McDo meal and cheap.
I digress. Nook you awesome gadget. Thank you for keeping me entertained and laughing even when I'm alone downing my third can of Coke waiting another six hours to pass before my connecting flight. 

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