Tuesday, September 20, 2005

tagaytay beckons

okay, here's my weekly update.

boo-hoo-hoo. i used to update this blog regularly before, but now? no more freaking time to do it. ngayon, i managed to squeeze in a few minutes while i am downloading my pics to be used in this issue. sigh.

anyway, went to tagaytay last weekend. i had so much fun. stayed at the tagaytay highlands. the place is really beautiful, with a commanding view of the taal lake and volcano. (we stayed at belle view). the elevator was astig, like the one at luxor. pababa! they start at the 12th floor, down to the ground. it was just amazing.

dined at antonio's. fab, fab, fab. a really beautiful place in the middle of freaking nowhere. makes you wanna go, 'wtf?' anyway, immensely enjoyed my ├╝ber expensive meal. but it was well worth it, ambience and all.

right before you step to the dining area is the pond with koi. diners can also choose to eat in this area

the decorations are beautiful. who would have thought that achuete could be a nice centerpiece?

this is the view from the pond. i can't wait to return to this place.

went also to the farm of one of gloria diaz' sisters in alfonso, cavite. i got to interview one of the diaz sisters, isabel, a famous painter who's based in new york. the farm/house was featured two years ago in architectural digest lang naman, the bible for all interior designers. amazing. my jaw dropped. had a really, really good dinner under the full moon and the stars.

i thought that the rains would spoil this trip. thank god, it did not rain last saturday.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

toxic

and i thought i was in for a ride.

my schedule the past few days have been extremely erratic and my irregular sleep hours + jet lag have made me kinda cranky (kinda lang). the past two days have been the craziest and i have been having 16-hour days. no fun.

anyway, enough of the bad. in with the good.

my friends and i watched 'footloose' at the meralco theater last week. it was okay. jay-r and iya villania were surprisingly good. i need to watch the original so i can compare. i've got quite a number of questions in my mind. the music was swell. i swear, nothing can beat 80s music. hahaha. oh oh almost parahhhdise. damn. saw a lot of celebs and non-celebs. hehehe. then we headed to metrowalk for dinner (dencio's!). i was a tad disappointed with their sisig. what happened?

another highlight: went to ateneo last tuesday for the 'misa ng katotohanan' led by the jesuit brothers. i came face to face with former president cory aquino and i had the chance to ask a couple of questions. her responses boiled down to one thing: pray. [pray!] we've got to pray.

anyway, i saw this friend from 16 years ago. yeah, college years. damn, i feel old. anyways, it was safe to say that i haven't seen him in ages [10 plus years]. i was looking for a seat at the church of the gesu [a really nice, uniquely-shaped church]. so i took a seat where i could take a good look at the goings-on near the altar. you know the feeling when someone's staring/looking at you from behind? i got that feeling, so i looked around and saw him. it was so strange and unexpected. i never would have thought that i would see him there.

felt guilty because we started catching up before the start of the mass. he's married and working on his masters (economics!) at the ateneo. i never thought of him as a super religious guy but he told me he frequents the gesu before his classes. he took off in the middle of the mass. and i got that feeling once more. look, look, look. and i saw another familiar face. he belonged to a younger batch but i went to some classes with him and our common friends. another strange and unexpected thing. he's now a priest! goodness. we exchanged waves and went on with the mass.

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Friday, September 09, 2005

iced tea overload

'baka naman magka diabetes ka na niyan.'

that was what my manila co-worker quipped when i told him that i've been having na iced tea binge since i stepped foot on philippine soil last saturday.

who doesn't love iced tea? i know i do, especially the ones offered by the restos here in the pilipins. here's the deal. they sell iced tea for at least 40 pesos per glass. the bottomless ones go for 50. call me anything you want, but given that choice, i think everyone must go for the bottomless, right? maybe wrong. but me? i always end up ordering bottomless iced tea and on the average (so far), i've been chugging 4 to 5 glasses per resto. that's like 10 pesos a glass. not bad. hehehe.

side note: i remember reading in a blog somewhere about the bottomless iced tea craze. if i remember it right, the blog said that based on unofficial research (or studies, lol), the only you could actually "sulit" [when you feel that you one-upped the resto by consuming iced tea that's no longer healthy for you] the 50 pesos per glass you paid, is when you actually consume 25 glasses because each resto's cost of a glass of iced tea is only 2 pesos. or something. isn't that outrageous? no wonder my iced teas have been surprisingly sweet. oh well.

by the by, i discovered a new drink. it's called c2 and i am addicted. i've been drinking one bottle a day since i arrived. they're everywhere, and you can buy them at the friendly mini-stop stores in your friendly neighborhood. i know its green tea but this one's very good 'green tea'.




i just realized. maybe i should drink more c2 than the restaurant iced tea. green tea's healthy, right?

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Sunday, September 04, 2005

dateline makati

okay, so there's some semblance of normalcy in my life after the 14 and a half hour flight from los angeles to manila last saturday. we arrived at the naia around 5:00 am and i had no idea it was raining so hard until i finally stepped out of the airport.

the lines at the immigration and customs were long. the wait for the luggage was long. ho-hum.

i felt very happy upon seeing my mom, my brother and my niece. i'm home again. after exchanging a lot of pleasantries, we decided to leave the airport and start our trek to home. we had to stop for breakfast. my first meal in pinas? a jollibee breakfast meal. longganiza, no less. plus peach-mango pie. my meal came with a free copy of the philippine star. not bad.

jollibee at the north luzon expressway. this was my first jollibee breakfast meal. ang sarap talaga ng garlic rice. instead of coffee, i had dalandan juice.

after a leisurely drive, we reached cabanatuan around 9. i had to exchange some of my green bucks so i can start spending. hehehe. for my family. went shopping! and window-shopping. bought a pair of my disposable contacts. had a 7-course lunch at one of my mom's fave resto, and i ordered food i terribly missed: tinumis, sizzling daing na bangus, ampalaya con carne, sinampalukang manok, sisig, pata tim, bicol express. i also had mango shake. sarraaap.

four of my favorite dishes (clockwise): sinampalukang manok, sisig, ampalaya con carne and tinumis [a variation of dinuguan. in my province, they cook dinuguan with young tamarind leaves]

i'll post [more] pics as soon as i download them.

anyway, normal blogging will resume shortly...

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Thursday, September 01, 2005

iPhone

[something distracted me from my semi-stressing day.]

after an almost three hour meeting, i went back to my desk. went to google news, and found this.

a motorola cell phone + iPod's iTunes = iPhone. i want one!

apple is launching it in san francisco next week. tsk, tsk, tsk. and it will only be available through cingular. gee.

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'excited ka na ba?'

it's ten minutes to nine. i'm in the office.

friends and co-workers who know about my trip to manila have repeatedly asked me the question (in all forms and variations): 'excited ka na ba?' and i have responded: 'baka sa araw ng alis ko' ['maybe on the day of my trip']. [it's hard to fake excitement when all that's on your mind is the building pressure to deliver.]

true enough.

i didn't sleep until 4:00 am earlier, and i only have about a three-hour shuteye. we're supposed to have a 9:00 am meeting. i'm so screwed. i have three pieces of luggage at home waiting to be packed. the major ones have breached the dreaded 70-lb mark; the hand-carry tinkering on the 7 -kg line. yes, i've been warned that even my hand-carry will be weighed by the pal people. damn.

and to think i still have to bring some stuff from the office. an ex-roomie has something as padala, too. what gives? on top of my head, i am thinking of the stuff that i'd [probably] leave. the six-pack spam [my brother's]; the 6-pack corned beef [brother's too. i don't know with him. the best corned beef i have tasted come from the philippines [argentina, purefoods, swift, not necessarily in that order]. last time i was home, i hoarded more than 10 cans of these canned goods. btw, australian and new zealand corned beef are also to die for. literally.]; the ginormous jar of cashew nuts from costco [mom's]; the 12-pack of dove [mom's and titas]; big pack of pistachios [dad's] and the twin-pack of aveeno lotion [mom's]. sigh.

my mind's a mess. i hope i don't forget anything important. [like my passport.]

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70 pounds + 70 pounds

less than 24 hours before my flight...

it's already past 2 am and i have not finished packing yet. some friends and relatives have 'padalas' and it's so hard to say no.

it's funny how 140 pounds of everything is not enough. always not enough. my gulay. i'm already having headaches. and to think i still have some materials from the office to bring. it looks like i over-shopped. the stuff that i bought last march that did not make it to the 140 lbs then? not making it again. and to make matters worse, they will be joined by more stuff. like that ginormous jar of cashew nuts and the huge creamer from costco. plus bars and bars of dove and irish spring. goodness!

i have a 9 am meeting tomorrow in a few hours. then i'll go home to do the final packing, and off to the airport ago. wish me luck.

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