Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Day Two of Seven

Started the day early. I had to finish up the upload I've been doing since last night.

Practically spent the whole morning on waiting. That's the thing with government offices - bureaucracy. Well, we can't do anything about that... it was almost lunch time when we finally got to work. We just set it up and ran a few tests then went out for lunch.

I accompanied Janmejay, the Indian national I am working with for this project. We went to Chowking where he had halo-halo for lunch, which became his favorite. He's a vegan and is having a hard time looking for vegan food.

After a while he told me he wanted to see the mall across the street... but when we were crossing the street, he notices how near the bay was. We changed our minds and went to the bay area.



I saw this area on my way to the hotel the first day I was here. I saw some sights I wanted to take pictures of. Now's my chance.








Dinner time, I looked for a place to eat... The hotel food was just awful and the price is sooo not worth it. I asked from one of the hotel staff and they suggested that I try Food Net. I haven't been eating properly. I mean, if it's not Jollibee, McDo... or Chowking... my gulay! Yoko na!

So I walked, searching for a place to eat... while talking to Nelia over the cellphone. I asked her, if it was her to choose, what would she eat. She said pizza... well ok, there's this pizza place here. Boston Cafe, Dumaguete... The place seems nice... I liked the setting.



I ordered bottomless iced tea, classic spaghetti, boston cafe favorite pizza, and a very interesting dessert, "cake or death???"





And the verdict.... my gosh! Disappointing.

#1. Boston Cafe Favorite - is supposed to be their best house pizza... fails to deliver. The taste is ordinary. And.. where's the beef? Ok, so less beef. Then, what the heck is this. A pizza with no identity. I can't seem to taste what makes this different or what is unique with this pizza. It's just, y'know, pizza... with the toppings... cheese... *sigh.

#2. The hot sauce - what the heck!? It's an ordinary hot sauce, maybe the cheapest available in the market. I hate this kind of hot sauce. Ok, tabasco maybe expensive.. but I guess Mama Sita or some other cheaper hot sauce might have done it... but this ultra cheap kind... no...

#3. Classic Spaghetti - I might be a bit bias on this one coz I'm not really a fan of sweet style spag... I even requested if they can make this not sweet, but I guess the sauce is prepared already and they can't modify it... ok, fine... but my golly wow... it's too sweet. Again, I did not find anything unique in their recipe. I'm a spag-man... you can't fool me when it comes to spag.. and I'm telling you Boston Cafe guys, you seriously have to look at your spag.

#4. Cake or Death??? - A very interesting name. Very interesting menu picture. Seemed tasty. Again, another disappointment. It lacked the chocolate taste I was looking forward to. The cake is bland, the chocolate syrup is not chocolate enough... it's just... frustrating. I haven't been so frustrated with chocolate cakes (except chocolate cakes on ordinary bakeries) than that moment.

I paid P260 for everything... and was it worth it?

Ok, it's cheap... value for money? A big NO. I would understand if it were priced a bit higher... but please get it right!

I got stuffed but it felt like I did not eat...
....

Oh man, I wanna go to Bacolod... I need to eat... please...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

7 Days

OK, so I guess I skipped episodes. New year dinner... my birthday... valentines?... lots.

Oh... and I have a facebook account now. Haha. Didn't wanna get one. Friends keep telling me to make one for the longest time, Nelia said she'd create one for me... and until I finally did. Why? Well, I dunno. I guess I wanted one... I guess. But it's fun... well, not really... just like friendster when we first used it. It's fun to gather friends and add them to your friend's list... then after a while... saturation point. No more friends to add... or just adding friends for the heck of it... then something better comes along... goodbye facebook, hello... whatever. Aaaaanyway...

I'm out for 7 days. Back again traveling as I used to do way back... yes, it's work.
Right now I'm here in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. I've been in Negros Occidental so many times but it is my first time here in Dumaguete.

It's nice. I'm staying at Plaza Maria Luisa, just a small hotel. It's ok. My room is ok, the bed is clean, and wifi is free!

There's one nice hotel here, Bethel, but it's fully booked... wifi is not free. That sucks.

Wednesday I'm out of here going to Bacolod and stay there until Sunday. By Sunday evening I should be back in Manila... then I'll spend the whole week next week at home... if possible.. hehe.

I'll post here plus some pics as much as possible. :-)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Kwismas Twee

When I was a kid, Christmas is my most-awaited event of the year. I feel excited when Christmas draws near. Anticipating for all the gifts, toys and money I will get from my parents, and tito's and tita's. As time went by, of course we all gotta grow up some time, these gifts, toys and everything else disappeared. And then things got a little opposite now; yer the one giving gifts, toys and money to the kids. So the excitement you feel when Christmas is drawing near turns to anxiety and fear of being compared and criticized, y'know how kids are. So more and more, Christmas has been less exciting than it used to be. Sheeesh. Adults...

For so many years, since I left my parents to live an independent life, I never really got around to decorate my place of Christmas-y things and stuff you put by the door or in other available spaces in the house.

This year is different, though. A little different. Well, for one, I'm not single anymore. But the angst is still there and some other worries but I've learned to cast them aside thru the years of hiding from my godchildren and saying "next time" to my kid cousins, nephews and nieces. Yea, I'm that thick. Hahahaha.

My wife bought a Christmas tree. Then I realized this is the first time I'll be decorating my place with Christmas-y things. Kewl. When we started dressing up the tree, a feeling so familiar to me started coming back. I feel like I'm a kid again. Sure, I'll be hiding from my godchildren still, I'll still be saying "next time" to the kids but something feels different this time, which I haven't felt for a long time.

When we finished dressing up the tree, it was a thing of beauty. More beautiful than the Christmas tree I've grown up with since I was a child. And mind you, at that time, the Christmas tree we had, in my eyes, was the best ever.
We're gonna spend Christmas in the province, Nueva Ecija. As usual, I'll do most of the cooking. I have a couple of things I recently learned thru "experiments" plus a couple of usual things like pasta, ref cake and maybe a little pork barbecue. No, not pork... I dunno. Oh, and I have to think of what veggies I'll prepare...

The theme this Christmas is "Healthy Food".

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Anticlimactic

Bad trip na bagyo to. Nung gabi pa lang, nagdedelikado na yung plano naming byahe pabalik sa Quezon para sa Undas. 8am na, malakas pa rin ang hangin at ulan kaya nag-decide ang aking mga in-laws na ipagpabukas ang biyahe. Pati yung mga relatives nila sa Mandaluyong, nag-cancel na rin. Kapag umuuwi or may family outing, dito sa Muntinlupa ang meeting place at ginagamit yung pampaseherong jeep ni Tatay at ni Tito July.

Bandang 10am, umaliwalas na. Tapos na ang bagyo. Biglaan na namang nag-desisyon na ituloy ang biyahe pauwi ng Quezon. 2pm ang alis. Hindi na makakasama ang taga-Mandaluyong kasi hindi sila aabot, so kaming mga taga-Muntinlupa lang. May konting oras pa kaya pumunta kami sa simenteryo kung saan nilibing ang baby daughter naming na si Sarah Victoria.

Yep, nagka-anak ako. Kaso lang premature, 8 months nung nakunan si misis. Sayang.

3pm na rin nung nakaalis kami sa bahay papuntang Quezon. Hindi naman masyadong traffic pero madami kasi kaming hinto kaya 8pm na yata kami nakarating dun. Isa sa mga hinituan namin yung tindahan ng bibingka. First time ko nakatikim ganitong klase ng bibingka. Iba yung luto eh, hindi yung tulad na nabibili natin sa gilid-gilid pag sumasapit ang Disyembre o yung nabibili natin tuwing simbang gabi. May buko filling sa loob, masarap naman, pero para sakin mas masarap kung medyo matamis pa ng konti. At lalong masarap kung bagong luto, tulad ng nabili naming, ang tagal din naming nakahinto, hinihintay namin maluto. Sulit naman ang paghihintay dahil masarap. Akala ko nga kung ano, habang ngumunguya ako tinanong ko pa kung anong tawag sa kinakain ko, sabi sakin, “Bibingka. Hindi mo ba alam ang bibingka?” Wehehe. Nag-attempt pa sana akong sumagot pero hindi na lang. Medyo napahiya ako ng bahagya. Haha.

Walang kuryente gawa nung bagyo. Sa bahay nila Tita Nida kami tumuloy, doon kami nag-hapunan – candle light! Hehe. Gutom na gutom ako. Hindi na kasi ako kumakain ng husto kapag bibyahe ng matagal. Nag-aalburuto kasi ang tyan ko at ayokong abutan sa daan, sobrang hassle yun. Sira na naman ang diet ko. Ginataang manok ang ulam pero ang nilantakan ko eh yung tuyo. Ang dami kong nakain. Pero as usual, “in and out.” Pagkatapos kumain, mayamaya ng konti, diretso sa kasilyas. Si Mac ang nag-bansag sakin ng “in and out” nung nag-outing kami noon-noon-noon (tagal na) kila Rickleng kasama sila Carol, Don, Mae, Eric, Margot, et al.

Pagtapos kumain, syempre tagayan blues. Hindi mawawala sa Quezon ang “barik”. Naka-dalawa’t kalahati kami ng Matador. Tamang tulog lang pero medyo nalasing din ako ng konti. Hindi ko na nga namalayan na pinalitan pala ni Nelia yung damit ko. Pag gising ko na lang nung umaga, nagtataka ako at iba na yung damit na suot ko. Tinanong ko sya kung paano nya nagawang palitan ang damit ko at kung ano pa ang ginawa nya sa akin nung gabing madilim na iyon habang wala akong ulirat dahil sa alak. Wahahaha! Para ka bang nagbabasa ng Xerex? Writer ako non eh…. JOKE!!! HAHAHAHA!

Maaga akong nagising. Siguro 6am yun, hindi ko lang napansin. Pero paikot-ikot lang ako dun, walang magawa eh. Natutulog pa si Nelia, wala akong maasar. Parang sya nga yung nalasing eh. 8am na siguro nung nagising sya… errr, nung ginising ko pala. Aburido tuloy nung umaga. Hehe.
1pm nung pumunta kami sa simenteryo. Doon nakalibing ang busong kapatid ni Nelia, si Nelson. 16 years old lang nung malunod sya sa dagat dito mismo sa Quezon sa isa sa mga summer outing nila.


This is now officially my favorite place here.


Nelia & niece, Yumi

4pm na nung umalis kami ng sementeryo. Pagdating uli sa bahay, kainan blues uli. Nagshooting-shooting kami ng basketball, palipas ng oras bago umuwi. Napagdesisyunan na umuwi na rin pabalik ng Manila nung araw na yon. Balak pa sana naming mag-beach uli, gaya nung huli naming pag-uwi dito sa Quezon pero parang nagkatamaran dahil pagod na rin ang karamihan. Mag-schedule na lang daw uli kami sa ibang araw para mas marami at mas masaya, kasi hindi nga nakasama yung Mandaluyong.


Jay-are and daughter, Yumi


Chacha-ble and the furball.

Brownout pa rin nung mga oras na yun kaya nasa labas lang kami habang hinihintay lumipas ang oras. Hindi rin agad kami bumyahe kasi mata-traffic lang kami kung sasabayan namin sa pag-uwi ang iba pang mga nagsipuntahan sa probinsya. 8pm na nung umalis kami doon, balak pa nga sana na 10pm pa umalis pero naiinip na si Lola, hehe, gusto nang umuwi.
Normal lang naman ang biyahe, wala naman kakaibang nangyari. Nag-attempt akong matulog pero hindi rin ako nakatulog. 11pm na nung nakarating kami sa bahay. Nakakapagod din pero masaya. Sana next time matuloy na yung beach. Hehe.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Instant

And just like that, we’re back in an instant. A lot of things had happened and I’d really like to blog ‘em all but that’ll be too long and boring. So, instead, I’ll mention it from time to time as we go along. Try to catch up. :-)


Instant #1

We went to Sariaya, Quezon this weekend to attend a wedding of my wife’s niece (yes, I have a wife now.). Actually, we were one of the ninongs & ninangs. It was a good ol’ traditional barrio wedding – simple catering and mobile setup. This will be my third time attending such a setup and this will be my first time to be ninong in a wedding. I know, I’m not that old but I’m old enough. :-) And besides, these newly weds are practically kids. 16 years of age - both of them. Damn, so young, what a waste. I mean, at that age, there’s the rest of the world to explore. They haven’t even experienced Manila life, I guess. Or even college, at that. Ang dami nyo pang gagawin sa mundo. The girl’s pregnant. Tsk. Oh well, that’s life and the decision is theirs. I will not meddle but as ninong, IF they ask for help, guidance and advise, I am here. All they have to do is ask.


Instant #2

After eating and a short program, it was time to go. We had planned to go to my in-law’s place just in the other baranggay and probably spend the rest of the morning to… well, I dunno. But as we were moving towards the main road, we just decided to go to a resort. We have clothes for changing, towels, and of course food! As with barrio wedding tradition, sponsors and relatives were given food for take home. So you have the whole family, a ride, food, clothes and towel… plus you have a nice weather – all sunny and clear, so what’s the missing element? The beach!!!

Good thing I brought along my trusty Panasonic VS6. This camera phone is just nice. The quality is not that good but heck, that's still 2MP and I'm pretty much ok with that compared to VGA. I love this phone. Although I'm seriously look at getting a DSLR, a simple one just to get my feet wet on DSLRs. The ones like Rors'; point and shoot.

There’s heck of a lot of beach resorts there, of course, we went to the nicest one: Dalampasigan Beach Resort.

It WAS really nice. The place was huge! …and we had it for ourselves! Off-season, no one else was there. The pool was all ours, the beach was all ours... ahhhh, the life.


Of course, as with any other beach outing you can’t go without… BEER!


This is what I’ve been craving for… no, not beer. A time to relax. Enjoy the outdoors. Enjoy the sun. Having a beach and a pool along with it that idea never really crossed my mind so imagine how I felt. It was bliss.

And here we are enjoying the beer.


And of course, the beach.


It was around 3pm when we left the resort and head straight to my in-law’s place. Not an hour had passed and the drinking session began. Quezon province is famous for their Lambanog, so it’s natural for the men here to have high alcohol tolerance. I’m all good. I had my fair share of drinking fiasco in my heydays of alcohol abuse. I think it was around 9pm when my wife, Nelia, “saved” me from these veterans and went off to sleep. It was a good sleep.


Waking up isn’t that bad. When I had the alcohol just right, I mean just enough and not in a level where I’d spill my guts out from vomiting, the waking part is all good.

Early morning, we went again to the beach, but this time, the fish port. Not the big, messy, chaotic port but just like any other beach except that nets are set from the shore up to a certain distance. Up shore, a place is set up for a peculiar way of selling these fish. Bidding. I’ve never seen anything like this before. A bucket-full of freshly caught fish up for sale to the highest bidder. And unlike the auction, the bid is whispered to the seller. Then ultimately, when the seller agree to the price then the sale is good.

Too bad, I left my Panasonic phone in the bag so I just used my P900's VGA camera. Sucks.

The bidding takes place here.


And these are what gets sold.


The view were nice and I'm really pissed that I didn't get the desired output from this camera. Oh well, this is my attempt to make these scenes artistic. Bleeekkkhhh.




And this one is reeeeaaally frustrating. I saw a bottle and I wanted to shoot it in a nice way. I can't describe it but I know what I want. But this came out...

Yea, I know what yer thinking... garbage! Frustrating.


Anyway, after buying some fish we headed back home. My mom in-law already knew what she'll prepare for lunch. And lunch was great! Kamayan! That was the first time I experienced something like this and it was really nice. Hehe.

Before the on-slaught.


After the mayhem.


Hehehe. This is one of the best weekends I've ever had in a looooong, long time. And what's great about it is... we're going back there this weekend! Hehehe.

Ah yes.... the life..