Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fare Increase

OMG! Another fare increase!!!
What's wrong with the world!?!? Prices are going up, spend is going up, but the supply remains the same.

The Philippine Inquirer today published the news about another fare increase that has been approved by local authorities and that will take effect within the week. I remember back during my elementary days (that's about 12 years ago) that the fare was only Php 1.50 per person (Php 1.25 if student). Now, the fare is at Php 8.00 and will be at Php 8.50 within the week. That's almost a 6-fold of its original cost! Wow!

If only the fares are directly proportional to our money-making.

Full story at the Philippine Daily Inquirer here: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20080708-147151/UPDATE-NEDA-approves-fare-hike

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Frank hits Iloilo the hardest

Last weekend, typhoon Frank ravages Iloilo and submerges the province, making this event the worst tragedy in Iloilo's history. I couldn't help but feel so helpless with the situation. I am here in Manila, safe while the city I grew up in is literally like an ocean.

I couldn't contact my parents last weekend because the phone lines were dead, and even if I were to call them via mobile phone, the power supply was also dead and thus, the minute they ran out of batteries, they were unreachable. Fortunately, they were safe despite the heavy rain and strong winds, and our backyard flooded up to the knees.

My prayers and thoughts go to the families and friends who have been victims of this horrible tragedy. I have yet to hear from my friends there. I really hope they are safe.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Manila Condo Units

Are you looking for Condo Units here in Metro Manila or in the Philippines?
Don't fret!

ETON Properties has a wide variety of Condo units up for grabs. ETON is part of the Lucio Tan Group of Companies.

If you are interested, please send a private message to my good friend, Schyler Gan for more details. You may contact him at: http://schyly.multiply.com

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Tambuli Resort, Cebu

Cebu is known for its beaches and diving spots. While I had my vacation in Cebu for the summer, we went to Tambuli Resort, in Mactan Island. It has one of the nicest beaches I know. Its waters are flourishing with all the wonders of nature: schools of fish and sea weeds. It is also great for kids as it's very shallow. And there is little risk of stepping on those sharp shells because the waters are carpeted with the sea weeds. The crystal blue waters combined with the fresh sea breeze will definitely make your summer escapade worth it all.

Entrance is Php200 plus Php 150 for an eat-all-you-can buffet.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Phil. Taoist Temple, Cebu

If you're in Cebu, you have got to visit their Beverly Hills, home of the Philippine Taoist Temple. Upon reaching the temple, you will be mesmerized with the amazing view of Cebu City and be captivated by the windy, fresh atmosphere. The place is so peaceful and serene that you can't help but feel so holy every time you face the altar.

The Philippine Taoist temple has been one of the many tourist attractions in Cebu. They have a small version of what seems to be the Great Wall of China, and they also have this gigantic dragon structure where lots of visitors take their pictures.

Also don't miss the MA-CHO Temple... a temple for the macho-wannabes in the world, just like Marc hehe:

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

AT&T's Pinoy endorser

This guy didn't pass the American Idol 2008 auditions. But he sure made an impression.

Ronaldo Lapuz is a 45 year old Nevada-based Filipino who wrote the song "We Are Brothers" and auditioned with this song for American Idol 2008. Simon Cowell was entertained by him, even remarking that his song could be a hit. Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul joined him on the platform as he sang those repetitive lines of "I am your brother, your best friend forever, Singing the songs, The music that you love... Brothers til the end of time, Together or not You’re always in my heart, You hurt your feelings And you will rain on mine... I love you brother!" Add to that, Ryan Seacrest from outside also came in and joined the trio dancing on the platform! What a sight it was!

And now he performed on stage for millions of viewers across the globe with his original composition and his extravagant costume during the American Idol season finale! His performance was crazy! He went out of tune, out of rhythm, and from a music major perspective, it was horrible! But it was so entertaining that for the second time, Randy, Paula, and Ryan joined him on the stage to sing "We Are Brothers!" It was his moment of glory!

Despite being labeled as the Pinoy William Hung (who did a rather gutsy "She Bangs" in the past American Idol season), I didn't feel embarrassed at all when I saw this guy perform during the American Idol season finale. When I heard about William Hung, I felt bad for the guy because #1) He was too ambitious hahaha; #2) his voice is irritating; #3) he was too stiff. But I have to admire him for his guts. Ronaldo Lapuz is different. #1) His voice is tolerable (but he goes out of tune once in a while); #2) He is very humble (He even thanked Simon for allowing him to sing to the world and spread his message of Peace); #3) He is original! And he also has lots of guts!

So much guts that AT&T has even asked him to endorse their product! Here are his videos:

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Krua Thai, Cebu

One of the highlights of our trip to Cebu was the last dinner before leaving for Manila at Krua Thai. We got to experience Thailand food in the middle of Pinas, who'd have thought of that? I haven't seen the restaurant here in Manila yet, so I don't have any basis of comparison. But all in all, here are the things that amazed me about the Krua Thai:

1. Food = Yummy. You have got to try their Tom Yam soup for a spicy, tingly start
2. Restaurant ornaments: from the draperies, to the "big faces" hanging by the wall, to the jewel-studded classic images of Thailand.
3. Inverted umbrellas = one of a kind. The umbrellas hanging upside-down on the ceiling is a marvel to watch.
4. Eccentric Jars & glasses (goblets): The kind usually found in King Arthur movies or during the height of the Knights' reign. Very cool!

If you plan to go to Cebu, don't miss this. Krua Thai is at:
Unit K Crossroad Mall, Banilad, Cebu.
Tel No. : +63(32) 231-8338
Fax : +63(32) 231-8338

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Kagura: Japanese Style Restaurant

If you're looking for a good Japanese restaurant in Cebu, then you can't miss Kagura at A.S.Fortuna St. Banilad, Mandaue City. The place itself is very nice, with bamboo floors and bamboo walls with kimonos hanging on the walls and traditional Japanese umbrellas adding a homey feel. You get to experience the Japanese way of eating while kneeling (seiza), but for people who aren't used to this, you can just sit in whatever manner you want to. So take off your shoes, slip on those sandals (provided by the restaurant) and find a comfy place to sit and enjoy your meal.

Expect to be served with great authentic Japanese food served in bento boxes with matching chop-sticks. Best of all, they serve a WIDE variety of Japanese meals, not just the usual maki/sushi/tempura/rice toppings that *some* Japanese restaurants offer. They also serve Sake (Japanese rice wine) for those who are curious as to how it tastes. All in all, you'll really feel as if you were in Japan.

Unfortunately, when we went there, there was a rodent patrolling the place hahaha. But we were already in bliss after having finished our meal when we found that out so we didn't really mind. Hopefully, the restaurant team does something about it or else their sales will greatly be affected.

So if you're looking for a taste of Japan in Cebu, don't ever miss Kagura.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ilongga Goes to Cebu

We went to Cebu to visit Lorrie last April 18, 2008. We're very grateful for her and her family's hospitality. Despite our short stay, we were able to enjoy, relax, and pig out! We had a taste of Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, and Thai food in a span of 4 days. And of course, the ever masarap Lechon. Salamat salamat kay Lorrie for the very very warm welcome. :)

Just a few things we did while we were in Cebu:

Coffee and liquor nights; Tambuli Beach; Crash course on Chocolate molding; Food Trip (especially the rat at Kagure resto hehe); Beverly Hills hike (O di ba, meron din BH sa Cebu!) sa Taoist Temple; Pa-importante sa Airport wahaha (we were informed that the flight was delayed so we waited at the Waterfront Casino. Luckily we went back 30 minutes ahead of time, only to find out we were being called by the Airlines because we were the only remaining passengers who haven't boarded yet hehe. Natupad ang pangarap naming magpa-importante sa eroplano!!)

I'll probably blog about them some time in the next few days.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Filipino Attitude

I always believed that Filipinos have this "opportunist" attitude. By "opportunist," I mean they always seem to be very aggressive in every circumstance that would probably be beneficial to them. Sometimes this is what I call the "this-may-be-good-for-me-therefore-I-should-grab-this-opportunity" attitude.Well anyway, who wouldn't? But what sets the Filipino apart from all the other races is the MEANS to get what they want. Some people break their moral and ethical standards, or even go as far as breaking the law just to grab that "wonderful" opportunity in front of them.

Let me give you an example. This morning on my way to work at the MRT station, there were only 2 ticket booths open. Because of the large number of people wanting to buy MRT passes, a long line started to form. Then suddenly, the third ticket booth opened. I was on my way to the third booth (tinawag ako nung babae, "Miss dito na po"), and I was about to give her my money, but there was this guy who just arrived at the station and who suddenly ran in front of me and gave his bills to the lady. What an ass. See the attitude there? He saw the small space between my bill and the ticket booth lady and grabbed the opportunity of buying first instead of me, even if it meant totally disregarding the people who have already been in line for a couple of minutes.

This morning, I finally realized why only Filipinos are like this. My answer is that, we are in a country where people are not given equal opportunities. And so with that, people find ways and means to grab every opportunity that comes their way, because they might not get that chance again. In other countries, everyone has equal opportunities. They don't have to be so aggressive and disregard their ethics because they know that they will have a fair share of what's there. When I was in the States and in Singapore, people calmly line up and wait for transportation to arrive, because they know that the next bus or the next train or the next taxi will be there in a few minutes. Here in Manila, you'd have to push your way to the swarm of people just to get in front of the line.

Hay Buhay.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

On Rice Shortage

For the past few days, reading the news or watching late night news programs has been really frustrating. There are a lot of issues on rice shortage in the Philippines, and the government claims that this shortage is normal because of a global crisis. Add the fact that there is a population growth in the country, the basic law of supply and demand is definitely applied in the current rice shortage situation. The Arroyo administration is willing to "spend" Php32 billion for rice procurement and for ensuring that there is enough supply of rice for every hungry mouth in the Philippines. Wow, yay. Should we go out and rejoice then?

You gotta be kidding. What the hell has happened to our rice? Aren't we an agricultural country, and isn't the Philippines claimed to be one of the more abundant rice producers of the world? Why are we then importing rice from the US?? Of all countries, the US!?! The "rice crisis" should have been an opportunity for agricultural countries such as the Philippines. This is where other countries would demand rice, and prices should go high, and we should have been able to benefit from that. We could've been rich, or at least pay most of our debts. But instead we're spending a big PHP32 Billion for rice! How ironic is that!?

Sigh. If only we invested on technology to enhance agricultural productivity. What did we do? Well, maybe you should look at the bellies of the clowns sitting in our government offices.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Vacation is finally over

My summer vacation to Singapore last week is finally over. I've been feeling the "after-effects" of it for the past few days -- pretending I'm working but really my head is floating somewhere -- but now, I kind of realized my happy summer days are gone. Oh well. Snap back to reality: tons of work has come my way. But nevertheless, I DO need work. Precisely because of the fact that my funds have terribly depleted in that vacation week I got. I need to fatten up my financial account so that I can go on another vacation again! Weee.

Anyway, it was my goal this year that I get as much vacation as possible - travel and see different places at experience a lot of things from different cultures. The reason for this is that I might not get another chance again... I've decided that this year will be my last year of not caring about my future. Next year, the real deal begins: I need to actualize my plans for my future. Scary, huh? But at some point, there has got to be some line between just thinking about your life, and thinking about your life in the next few years. Tsk. Side effects of getting old.

I thought about moving to Singapore during my vacation there, and I really really like it a lot in there. Good public transportation, safe environment, great workplace, great place to save a lot of money. But what happens after that? Do I really want to settle down and become a citizen of Singapore? Do I want to raise my kids surrounded by a multitude of cultures and diverse races? I have some standards on how I will raise my kids and how my family will be, and I don't see Singapore as the ideal place for that. *sigh* I'm really getting old.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Another Good Samaritan in Singapore

This afternoon, it was raining heavily here in Singapore, and since I'm a tourist here, I didn't come prepared for this weather. I didn't bring any umbrella, nor did I bring my jacket. So after having lunch, I couldn't go back to the office because it would mean crossing the roof-less over pass and me getting soaked in the rain. To kill time while waiting for the rain to stop, I decided to wait near the elevator of the apartment across the office.

Maybe I looked pathetic while sitting at the stairs and waiting for the rain to stop, or maybe I just looked stupid. But either way, I was surprised when this little girl (probably a third grade student) came up to me and offered her umbrella. It totally caught me off-guard, and I was so touched that I just looked at her with my jaws dropped open with a question mark on my face. Wow.

I didn't accept the offer out of impulse, probably too taken aback by what happened. But the generous act from a little kid gave me such a wonderful feeling that I'll definitely remember for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ilongga Goes to Singapore

My first day in Singapore was... a disaster! From getting to work, to meeting up with my friends, things just kept on going from bad to worse! But if there's one thing I'm really grateful for, it's the wonderful Good Samaritans of Singapore. :)

Being new in Singapore, I didn't have a clue as to how public transportation worked. I didn't know that if you have an EZ-Link Card, you just tap upon climbing the bus, and tap again upon exit. If you don't have a card, then you can drop your coins and get a receipt. So when I climbed the bus, I just sat on the nearest chair I could find... under the impression that I can pay later. When I reached my destination (Yo Chu Kang station), I asked the driver how much I needed to pay, and he told me to just tap the card. And I was like, "huh?" I didn't have cash, nor did I have coins so I gave him a $2 Singapore bill. Apparently, they don't have change for bills because their mode of payment has always been card or coins. So I told him I didn't have coins and I was almost freaking out because I haven't paid yet. Well, the driver was pretty generous and let me off the hook without paying! He told me to buy a card and pay the next time I ride a bus. What a relief!

Later that day, I had to go home to fetch my sister first then proceed to Marina Square to meet with my friends. I was SOOO confident I wouldn't make a mistake, after all, the way back should be the same with the way I went to work. Little did I know that it doesn't really work like that in Singapore. After getting off at Yo Chu Kang station, I went to ride the bus that I thought would pass our place, on the same station I got off that morning. I read the bus line guide, and I was also confident with what I was doing because the guide listed our place as one of the stops of the bus. But NO, it didn't happen that way. I was taken to the Southern part of Singapore -- much farther than where I was supposed to go! When I asked the driver, he told me that I had taken the wrong bus and I needed to take another bus to go back! Waaah... I was hysterical! What's worse, I ran out of Cellphone load and I wasn't able to send a message to my friend on what I should do!

So I tried to look for the nearest bus stop, but I couldn't find one. I was really scared! I didn't want to ride a cab because that time, I was afraid the cab would just take advantage of my getting lost. So I asked the security personnel at the nearest residential building near Sim Lim Square for directions and where I could possible find a payphone. I told him "I'm Lost, I'm Lost!" and it was a trigger for him to also ask his companions for directions. Unfortunately, he didn't know of a payphone nearby, and my friends place was too far and too complicated to reach by bus. So he told me to just take a cab going there.

I was on the verge of tears, and my voice was shaking when I told him I didn't want to take a cab because I was afraid. But he was so generous that he offered to talk to the cab driver to bring me to my place. Upon hailing the cab, he gave me SGD$20 for my fare! Wow! How generous can that be? Giving 20 bucks to someone he doesn't even know, and to someone who foolishly wailed "I'm lost, I'm lost!" just a few minutes ago? Wow.

The cab driver was a blessing as well. He offered his mobile phone for me to contact my friend! I was really on the verge of tears when I told him the story of how I ended up at the wrong place. And when I told him I couldn't contact my friend, he gave me his phone and told me to call my friend! Wow! Are people in Singapore really this helpful? He brought me back home to fetch my sister, and also brought me to our meeting place. And he wouldn't accept any tip! Again, wow. I'm just so thankful to have met them when I needed them most.

My Singapore adventures are just starting. But I'm sure by the end of the week, I'll have more stories to tell.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Yosi Boys sa Sidewalk

Haynako bad trip tong mga tao na mahilig magyosi habang naglalakad sa kalsada. Kala mo sa kanila yung daanan, buga lang ng buga kung kelan nila gusto. Hindi ba nila alam may mga tao na nasa likod nila na sakam na sakam lahat ng binubuga nilang usok!?!

Bad trip talaga pag may makasabay ako sa umaga na nasa harap ko at nagyoyosi kasi lahat ng usok nila eh nalalanghap ko. Masakit na nga sa ilong, masakit pa sa mata!! Alam ba nila ang konsepto ng "downstream" ha!?! Aynako sana naman maging considerate ang mga tao at wag na magyosi habang naglalakad kasi kawawa ang mga nasa likuran nila!!!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008



I've been wanting a vacation ever since that La Union trip... Lately it has just been so stressful. Not exactly from the work I do, but from the pretending-I'm-working situations at work. Ano daw? What I'm trying to say is that my work isn't challenging anymore. Everyday, it's all just the same routine, the same stuff to do, the same files to work on, the same people to contact... It's just so monotonous. Who would have thought that no-brainer jobs can be stressful for someone who's used to fast-paced, critical situations? I thought these jobs would be my personal paradise because I won't have to overwork my brain anymore. But I guessed wrong. My job is boring... too boring that one of my biggest problems everyday is on how to make myself busy the entire day.

Should I go on another vacation again? I'm going to Singapore with my sister in two weeks -- partial vacation. My officemate also offered another possible vacation spot that I am most tempted to join. *Sigh* Should I go for it? Despite being broke? Hahaha. Here are the details anyway, you guys might be interested:

Event Date: Mar 29-30 (Ride 1)

* overnight accommodation
* roundtrip aircon transpo (tourist bus)
* half-day wakeboarding rental with gears
* breakfast meal on DAY 2
* side trips: Eco Village (Bird's Aviary, Gazebo, Chicken Farm), Market, Deer Farm at Ocampo
* with WI-FI internet at Eco-lodge & Coffeeshoppe area
* amenities: game room, swimming pool, skate park
* paid entrance fees
* night swimming

First Come, First Serve! Payment is required. Complete payment procedure will be given upon receiving your reg form.

2900 - those who are staying at an AIRCON studio type rooms with own bathroom, dining area/terrace (21 pax)
2700 - those who are staying at an AIRCON cabin w/ common bath & restroom with hot & cold shower (20 pax) -- reserve for Leia's group
2500 - those who are staying at a FAN cabin w/ common bath & restroom with hot & cold shower (7 pax)

Draft Itinerary:
Mar 28, Friday
9-930PM Meeting Time at Mcdo QAve (giving of IDs)
10:00PM ETD Manila

Mar 29, Saturday
8:30AM ETA Naga City
9-1030AM Naga Public Market/ Pasalubong Buy
10:30AM Brunch at Bigby's Cafe
11:30AM ETD Naga
12:00NN ETD Resort
12:30PM Prepare to leave to wakeboard facility
01:00-05:00PM Wakeboard Lesson
06:00PM Dinner at the resort

Mar 30, Sunday
08:00AM Breakfast at the resort
09:00AM Eco Village Tour/Free Time/Swimming
11:00AM Check-out
11:30AM Lunch at the Resort
12:30PM ETD CamSur Resort
01:30PM ETA Deer Farm
02:30PM ETD Cam Sur

Mar 31, Monday
01:30AM ETA Manila

Pls send all your inquiries and registration form to travel.factor@gmail.com. Pls edit your subject to: Camsur '08: Mar 29-30 and indicate what package price are you reserving for.

Their website is: www.thetravelfactor.org

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ilonggo 101

This week's words describe the physical conditions of people:

SungĂ®: I don't know the tagalog term for this (hairlip)
Libat: Duling (cross-eyed)
Bungol: Bingi (deaf)
Pi-Ang: Pilay (crippled)
Putot: Pandak (short)
Tambok: Mataba (fat)
Niwang: Payat (thin)
Bunguton: Ma-bigote (bearded)
Higku: Madumi (dirty)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Watering Hole @ Shangri La Ortigas

If you're looking for a cool place to chill out after a day's work, and it so happens that your workplace is in Ortigas area, then look no more! Watering Hole at the Shangri La Plaza, Ortigas is the perfect place for you! It offers great food at a reasonable cost, and great music for free! Here are Pam, Joel, Marc and I enjoying the place:

If you're one of those stingy customers, you can choose to stay outside the resto and enjoy the traffic, the buses, and the commotion from EDSA. But for just a 100 bucks, you can go inside, enjoy the music performed by the band of the day, and dance all you like! Truly this place will be your stress reliever after a tiresome day.

For more information, here are the details of the resto:

Mobile: (0917) 824 2332

634 0288

634 0284



Ground Flr. Carpark Bldg,
Shangrila Plaza Mall,
Mandaluyong City

Or you may visit their website at: http://www.wateringhole.com.ph/

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Nescafe Cafe - Airport

If you're at the Centennial airport for domestic flights here in the Philippines, more often than not you'd visit the Nescafe Cafe located inside the boarding area. They sell what they do best - coffee. They have the plain Nescafe coffee, decaf, cappuccino, latte, and mocha. Plus they also have a variety of flavors from around the world that you'd want to try out. Surprisingly, their coffee is quite good. Just don't forget to bring cash because they don't sell coffee cheap. Think Starbucks pricing.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Angelicum Chapel - Iloilo's Pride when it comes to Christmas Lights

Each year, Angelicum chapel has one of the highest electricity bills when December arrives. This is mainly because of the Christmas lights that they have set up all over the Lezares Mansion inside the Angelicum campus in Iloilo City. For the residents, this has become an annual tradition, and most visitors who spend Christmas with them are given the chance to visit and marvel at this amazing showcase of lights.

Angelicum started this trend. Now, a lot of towns in Iloilo also adorn their plaza's with lights. Pototan, for example, has their town plaza filled with different lights that wrap the trees and bushes. The Central Philippine University also followed Angelicum's trend and had their campus wrapped in lights.

If you're in Iloilo during the Christmas season, don't miss the spectacular lights.