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Enjoyed Ilocos Norte, the second time around

August 22, 2010

I was 80% sure of canceling my Ilocos Norte trip last July.  It was going to be my second time in Ilocos and I realized that I might not see anything new.  To add, I just came from my Cebu trip, which I enjoyed so much and I was sure that my bonuses was not due to be credited.  I also was not yet sure of filing up my monthly quota.  However, I am glad that I totally went against my original plan and went to the famed and wonderful Ilocos Norte with two of my high school buddies.

What I did was to make sure that I have paid my plane fare, called the correct tour operator/driver, research the places to go to(this was what I failed to do for our Cebu trip), plan  my daily budget(which I again failed to do for our Cebu trip) and to add a slight personal touch, get close again to a college friend who is now Ilocos based.

Going there was a breeze, we chanced upon seeing a promo for Ilocos Norte at Php 800 one way courtesy of Cebu Pacific.    It was a good price since a luxury bus would cost Php 600 for one-way travel.  Although, the flight was delayed, the flight was smooth and we were there on time.  What my friend and me did was to go to Dap-Ayan where we had two rounds of the original Ilocos empanda.  The first time I went there, I had empanada for breakfast, lunch and dinner so it was that night was not really record breaking for me.  We also toured the city at night where I noticed it was as clean as Marikina minus the people and the jeepneys.  Everyone from the tricycle drivers to the hotel staff was nice. Saturday was the adventure day when we went to Cape Bojeador, the famed lighthouse.  It was my first time to go to a lighthouse and the view was awesome.  The second place we went to was the Bagui Windmills.  It is a must see.  People usually go there for photo opportunities and relaxation.  Our tour guide cum driver told us that he once had Korean tourists who bought beer and just relaxed amidst the wind and the windmills. The last leg was what I wanted to go to the most, the town of Pagudpud where we went to Saud.  I have to admit that I chose to go to Saud only since going to the Blue Lagoon meant more moolah so I just talked my friends over to going to Saud since it’s Pagudpud anyway and with the rate of enjoyment we were having, I am sure it would not be the last time where we will be going to Pagudpud.  Saturday did not end with our Pagudpud adventure since I met and introduced my good friend Dane to my highschool friends.  She also treated us for an authentic Ilocano dinner at La Preciosa. The food although by itself was palatable tasted 100x better with a friend’s company while chatting over college and catching up with others’ lives.  Me and Dane chatted until the early wee hours of the night and ended with me touring her at Hotel Tiffany where I was staying with my friends.  Since we had more tan 12 hours to spare before our plane leaves Ilocos Norte, we chose on having a Laoag City tour the following day; Sunday.  We first had mass at St. Williams Cathedral, followed by a hearty and authentic Filipino breakfast courtesy of Jollibee(I told you, Filipino) and toured the city.  We saw the wonderful churches of Sta. Monica, the UNESCO famed Paoay Church, saw the Paoay river which was formerly a town, went to the Marcoses houses, walked along the halls of Malancañang Ti amianan, ate the famed Pinakbet Pizza, saw the sand dunes,bought Chichacorn and Sukang Iloko(which you should not leave Ilocos Njorte without) and of course, went to Fort Ilocandia where I felt I was part of the Gossip Girl cast.

Over all my Ilocos Norte trip was different from my Cebu trip.  However, the government was correct in saying “WoW Philippines” since it never failed to leave a Filipino like me at awe with it’s beauty.  Truly I am at awe that I have decided to have a quarterly trip across the Philippines as well as to be truly proud and happy to be a Filipino.

Finally, Cebu!!!

June 28, 2010

Yes, I have been wanting to go to Cebu even when my beloved Mama Ming;my grandmother was still alive.I thought that all Cebuanas and Cebuanos could be as nice, kind, loving and good-looking as her.    Here was my grandma, who possess more than what I formerly mentioned, a true blue proud Cebuana.  I loved her so much that I would save a large space in my heart for Cebuanos like her.  It was a good thing that my hunch was correct all the time. From the moment that I stepped outside the plane, I never saw a face that never smiled. Cebu might have been so good that the title, “The Queen City of the South” was enough.  Cebu was indeed the queen city of the south.  It actually is different from Manila having an identity of its own.  Everyone was helpful whenever we asked for directions and what nots, the only persons whom I found rude where some East Asian men who never even bothered to say excuse me and who seemed to purposely push me when I was in a queue(although I really wouldn’t want to generalize and I think they just came from an argument with the customer service girl who was why they didn’t notice the people around).  Other than that, everyone one was nice, from the beautiful East Asian girls in the coffee shop who gave us their seats since they were finished(I told you it wasn’t nice to generalize), to the nice Caucasian looking and sounding guy and of course the nice Cebuanos who were always there to help a Filipino tourist.

It was such an exhilarating experience to go to Cebu and walked the same roads that my grandmother walked and kiss and touch the same glass inside the Sto. Nino Shrine that she touched.  My friend told me that it’s difficult to be practical when you are extremely sentimental to which I don’t really care.  What’s practicality’s worth with a lifetime of memory?

very hour of stay there was different, from the tasty and delicious Lechon of CnT, to the wonderful malls of SM(if you happen to be there, try C3 cuisine(Asian Fusion), they serve good food in B-I-G servings, up to the historical places like Fort San Pedro and not excluding the night life.  It was all worth it.  Moreover, it was not really that expensive.

I really enjoyed being in Cebu.  I am actually planning on going back.

Miley Cyrus, I never thought you’d capture my heart, with When I look at you

June 18, 2010

It’s not often that I would like a romantic song.  However, this song by Miley Cyrus caught my attention when I was walking home from work a while ago.  The funny thing is that I pictured myself singing this in church. 🙂  The song is a love song, but it’s not limited to the usual romantic love that we know.  It can be used for the family, close friends and even people who touched our lives even if they did not know it.  I am posting it here since I so love the song.  Every line speaks of love.  It’s like a bouquet of roses, it’s beautiful if you took a piece and placed it in a vase, however it’s the best when you bundle them again and put them in a vase as a whole. Miley, I never thought you’d capture my heart with a song.

When I Look at You

by Miley Cyrus

Everybody needs inspiration
Everybody needs a song
Beautiful melody, when the nights so long

Cause there is no guarantee
That this life is easy (Yeah)
When my world is falling apart,
when there is no light to break up the dark
That’s when I (I, I) look at you
When the waves are flooding the shore and I
can’t find my way home anymore
That’s when I (I, I) look at you

When I look at you
I see forgiveness, I see the truth
You love me for who I am like the stars
hold the moon
Right there where they belong and I know
I’m not alone (Yeah)

When my world is falling apart,
when there is no light to break up the dark
That’s when I (I, I) look at you
When the waves are flooding the shore and I
can’t find my way home anymore
That’s when I (I, I) look at you

When the waves are flooding the shore and I
can’t find my way home anymore
That’s when I (I, I) look at you

You appear just like a dream to me
Just like kaleidoscope colors that cover me
All I need every breath that I breathe
Don’t you know you’re beautiful (Yeah, Yeah)

When the waves are flooding the shore and I
can’t find my way home anymore
That’s when I (I) look at you

You appear just like a dream to me.

The Neverending Story…Timeless

June 14, 2010

The movie “Neverending Story” was shown sometime in 1984. It was a year after I was born. I remembered seeing for the first time when I was in preschool. During that time, I can remember the big dog that can fly, the “chosen kid” who rides the dog, the princess, and the villains. I never really paid attention to it much other than my sisters’ having a crush on the main star, who unfortunately or fortunately quit showbiz and is teaching dance lessons.

It just occurred to me last week while going home from work listening to the radio via my mobile phone. The Never ending story refers to each of our stories. Don’t judge me but it was a “Eureka” moment for me. Yes, movies give us nostalgia by putting an end to the situation where watching. But same as the cliché; an end is the beginning, what happens now when the new story begins. No wonder I found open-ended movies more appealing. LOL.

The movie actually reminds me of my cute kiddie days when everyone seemed to be swept of by my cuteness( I know, I just wrote something egoistic), but aren’t all kids are. The story actually is about a bullied kid who sought refuge in the school’s attic by reading the neverending story. It gives hope amidst a troubled world. Delete the poor 80’s sci-fi effects and this movie can still be a blockbuster nowadays. The story, fantastic, the lesson, timeless.

No Bitchin’ happenin this summer

May 4, 2010

” If  I won’t step on a beach anytime this april till may 2010, I’m going to do some serious bitching” as I told my co workers.  Well, bitchin’ ain’t happening here since I just came from my Batanggas/Tagaytay trip with my friends from work.  This is a sequel of my entry “One less lonely boy this summer”.  It does seem that some well planned trips might not happen due to uncooperative fickle minded friends.  My Puerto Galera trip with my college bff seems to be blurry and my Laoag road trip with my Highschool barkada will not push through.

The Matabungkay trip I just had with my coworkers was planned monday that same week.  The funny thing was that the announcement for the long weekend was also late that was why we crammed for the last-minute to have a reservation. All the famed resorts in Laiya like Aquatico, La Luz, Kabayan, Virgin and etc. were fully booked.  The same was the case with some resorts we know in Calatagan and Nasugbu.  We opted for Batanggas due to its proximity since we went there directly after our work.  Two of our friends were also Batanggueños so they also served as out tour guides during the trip.

I remembered swimming in Matabungkay when I was around 5 years old, thus I already knew what to expect.  The Matabungkay resort as a resort was complete in it’s amenities.  What we did was to rent a boat for snorkeling since there weren’t much for us to do in the beach.  Due to some reasons, we decided to stay in the resort for one day and transfer to go to  Tagaytay.

Overall, it was a trip worth remembering since one of my close friends will be going to Singapore soon to work as well as I am having plans of leaving as well. Hmmm, I wonder if my family have finished the Buko tarts from Rowena’s.  Reminiscing the trip makes me crave for those tarts.  🙂

Malate Party animal in me just got cremated

April 25, 2010

“The party life in Malate is not as fun as before, well maybe because a few years ago, the party there was us..” as uttered by my good friend whom I went with in Malate yesterday night.  This 30+ year old  good friend of mine had been exposed to the Malate party since he was 17 and he was a witness to the evolution Malate especially the Nakpil- Orosa strip has been into.  As for me, it had been roughly around more than 5 years since I first stepped in malate to party.  Even if I just had 5 years party life(if there is such a term) experience in Malate, I also feel the same way with my friend.  I also saw how one club changed its name to another, how the streets, albeit with different clubs still looked the same after all these years and how new faces would be frequenting the place although there are still some who look familiar.

I always wanted to go to Malate since college, I can only imagine that things that I can be doing and experiencing whenever my college friends would tell me how it was like.  Unfortunately, I was just an obedient and too honest dependent student that time so I was unable to go.  Flash forward to 8 months from my college graduation and I found myself in this mystical place frequented by people,men in particular, who shares the same dilemma as mine.  I was almost in tears seeing and being inside the place where everyone was the same.  It is not easy for someone to feel different all the time.  It was the place where I wanted to be.  Again, fast forwarding my experiences; it was a mix of frustration from wondering why no one even bothered to introduce themselves, to feeling beautifully whenever I’d be meeting a couple of different guys a night, of shock from seeing some lifestyles I am not accustomed to and etc. Being in malate during those periods were instrumental in my growth as a human being, a man and I have to say although it’s dramatic and cheesy, a Filipino male.

However, I realized that just like a beauty queen, I have to give way to the up coming beauty queens.  I had my chance of being a hottie in Malate and al;though I still have that “magic”, I’d better use it somewhere more helpful not just for me but for everyone around me.  So, even if I am not swearing on not stepping on that place again, I will not go there as frequently as before.  I was able to refrain from that place for more than a year so I know I can still do it this time.  Moreover, if I’ll be going to that place, it will be with the company of my real good friends.

The Malate Party animal in me just got cremated and I think it will be a Boracay Party animal the next time I’ll be partying again.

MA in another country, why not?

April 17, 2010

at 27 and ten years after my highschool graduation, I cannot but think of the things that I’ve done and accomplished.  I am perfectly fine with what I have, there are days when I wish I had more but then again, more of what?money, fame, friends, because if we will analyze things, we might not have that much money now, but we do have a lot of friends or vice-versa.  It does not really follow that the rich are the happiest people on earth right?  Which lead me to seriously consider doing graduate school. Yes, everything I’ll be learning in school will be better taught practically by my everyday experiences, however, my everyday experiences are tiring,routinely and sometimes stressful.  Furthermore, it does not provide me the chance to read other researches or articles about our current situation.

Being thankful for my friends, who have finished and are finishing their MAs, I have an open mind wether I’ll be taking my masters here in the Philippines or abroad. There are a lot of pros and cons to consider.  however, before I do consider these, I first should decide on which further studies I should take.