Thursday, February 24, 2011

Trippin' Manila

***NOTE : This post had been residing in my draft for a week. I don't know why I couldn't get myself to focus and finish this up. But anyway, I'm trying. So forgive me if this is kinda late and overdue.


Probably the funniest and wackiest trip I've ever had was my recent trip to Manila. We had a good time, laughing, fooling around most of the time (a group composed of 8 dysfunctionals, what do you expect?) We fondly call ourselves DYSFUNCTIONALS. I don't know how I've gotten myself into this group. I mean, am I dysfunctional? Really? It's just amazing how you find friends at work, discover the things you have in common and tada....!!! you instantly click and evolve and the last thing you know you've formed a bond.

Anyway, this blog post is not about my dysfunctional friends. This is about my trip. Did I say it was fucking hilarious? Yes it is! Actually, I almost canceled but my restless feet think otherwise. I have more than one good reason why I should be there. And yes, it was worth the decision.

The first thing we did when we arrive, we hopped into the shuttle at the airport, had breakfast at McDonalds and spent the next 5 minutes arguing if we're gonna cross the street or not. The friend of my colleague who was supposed to meet us didn't make it. She just texted us the directions going to their place where we're gonna stay for 3 days. Since most of us are first-timers in Manila, we really don't know what route to take and which transpo to ride. But anyway, my colleague's friend wasn't good in giving directions. Or should I say, couldn't make herself clear in her text messages. Trust me, it won't be helpful if you mix up the word 'Sucat' (that's the name of the place we're staying) and 'Tatawid' (literally means "to cross" in english) in one incoherent sentence. I mean text.

After a series of talking, discussion, brainstorming, creative thinking - No, we actually didn't do that, we saw a passenger jeepney with the signboard : SUCAT Tatawid. Huh! Brilliant. She could have said to take that sucat tatawid route and we wouldn't have wasted our time.

Anyway we arrived at the place, settled for a few minutes and headed to Tagaytay. I was very excited coz it was my first time to visit Tagaytay and I'm eager to see Taal Volcano in its picturesque glory.

This volcano is surrounded by fresh water lake. It's been quiet for decades but a few years ago it showed signs of seismic activity. Nevertheless, we were all enthralled by it's unique beauty.

By mid-afternoon we were on our way to Enchanted Kingdom, a themed park in Laguna. The rides were exhilarating, and if not extremely heart-stopping - extremely dizzy-causing. I have this stupid fear of dizziness, so I didn't purchase the ride-all-you-can ticket. Asked what's the most challenging ride for me?: the carousel and the mini-train! HAHAHAHA!

We all fell asleep on our way home. No wait. We were LOST and it took us almost an hour and a series of Q&A on the street. We even got up on the wrong jeep (for non-filipino readers : that's our transpo mode in the Philippines) and then went down when the driver told us we hailed the wrong one. There was a time we were arguing how much we're gonna pay for the fare. The minumum fare was Php 8.00 and there were 9 of us. When my colleague asked how much is 8 X 9, someone blurted out 86! Then someone challenged the answer and said it's 64. Ahhmm..excuse me girls, what multiplication table you're using? Coz the last time I checked, 8 X 9 is 72. Okay?!

It was really funny and embarrassing and we can't stop laughing about it. Thank God we arrived home at almost midnight. Dead tired.

The following day, we went to another themed park. This time, it's meeting the sea creatures up close. And personal! Hehehe... We visited Manila Ocean Park. We went to see the dancing jellyfish, the sea lions' show and the oceanarium - a very huge aquarium where you can find different species of fish and corals.

For the whole experience, I had so much fun watching sea lions perform. It was my first time to see a sea lion actually (yah, yah, yah what a pity!). They did some tricks, danced and we could only say WOW! What's running through my head? : Hmmmm... can I have a sea lion pet? That would be really COOL.

By the way, there' s this kid who I really find amusing. While we were watching the sea lion's show, this kid kept on shouting : "Sea Lion King! Sea Lion King!" Uh oh!! He must have mistaken the poor sea lion to that famous animated movie. Then her mother told him, "No, that's not sea lion king." He kept quiet and then shouted : "LION! LION! LION!" Hahaha! Child, we're in an ocean park, we're not in the zoo. Tsk, tsk, tsk....

And for the most exciting part... tan tada dan................

The Blogger Meet Up!

Yes. Finally. I got a chance to meet personally my blog friends Sey and Gnetch. For the first time. Say Hello to us!!!

Ooopppsss! Just the back view. I haven't ask for their permission they might actually kill me for posting this.☺

I really look forward to doing this again sooner, girls. It was FUUUUNNNN!!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How to survive Valentine's Day

So how did you guys spend your Valentine's Day? Candle light dinner, movies, walk in the park? I bet most of you received chocolates and bouquet of flowers. That is usually the picture when you're in a relationship or you have someone special. Valentine's day seems colorful, splendid and you're eager to celebrate it like christmas.

Well good for those who have found true love. But what about the single ladies? The available and ready-to-mingle ones? Hmmmm... that can be tricky. And tough.

Since I'm single and have skipped dating on Valentine's day, I have mastered the art of ignoring it and act like it is just an ordinary day. After all, it IS an ordinary day so what's the fuzz people? I mean it's not even "red" on the calendar. Okay I'll stop right here before I sound bitter.

Anyway, if you don't have that someone special to spend and celebrate VD with, here are some of the things you might consider doing to divert your attention to the overly-commercialized-notion-of-flowers-chocolates-candle-light-dinner-and-sweet-nothings. There! I just sounded hateful, didn't I?

First things first. Stay away from Facebook. When I say stay away, STAY AWAY! In my case, I opened my FB and found enormous, overwhelming love quotes posted in my friends' shoutouts. Love was truly in the walls of FB. They're everywhere screaming at me, telling me it's valentine's day right into my face! Ugh!!

Conclusion : Facebooking on VD is a bad move.

Second. Drown yourself with work. Render overtime if you must. With your deadlines hanging on the edge I'm sure you'll forget about red roses and chocolates. In my case again, my boss was absent and I was just staring at the computer for most of the time.

Conclusion : Tell your boss not to be absent on VD. If he insists that he would under unforgiving circumstances, demand loads of work from him. That's a good way to keep yourself busy, plus... you leave the impression of being a massochist employee.

Third. Don't listen to love songs or any songs that has L.O.V.E. on the title. So much for being a massochist.

Conclusion : Listen to korean songs. At least you can't understand the lyrics... Just don't look up for "Saranghae" on google. That means I LOVE YOU. Damn it!

Fourth. Stay at home and sleep early. That's what I should have done last night. But my friends suggested we dine outside and celebrate our being single and free. 3 against 1, I gave in. We went to a family restaurant and had a good time. The ambiance isn't romantic and most of the diners were, well, families. It makes easier for us to get through the night.

Conclusion : If you can't escape and you can't help but go with your friends, family restaurants are a better option.

So. Did I survive valentine's day? Yeah. Pretty much! Besides, VD isn't just for sweethearts. It is for friends, family, co-workers and even enemies. Everyday can be valentines day if you share the love, pass it on, and magnify it in deed.

Belated happy hearts day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I can do this!

When I said this is going to be my year, DEFINITELY it is! Uhm, I have to make sure I spelled "definitely" correctly coz when I posted a shoutout on Facebook I wrote something like : difintely. Argh! I'm screwed!

I got a good news two weeks ago. I wanted to share it to my mother, friends, relatives and of course to my awesome bloggy friends but I retreated coz it wasn't official yet.

I'm being offered a promotion!!! Yep! It really came a surprise and my first reaction was : Wait. Are you kidding? Then I could picture myself with the new responsibility and the pressure that comes along with it. I turned it down. When it comes to huge responsibility and commitment, I'm a runner. I always have this fear of disappointing people and I don't like it when their expectations on me aren't met. So I babbled NO without batting an eyelash, without even thinking I'm missing out an opportunity.

After that talk with my boss, I began to reconsider the offer. It's going to be a tough job but the perks are high. I weighed my options, the pros and cons, and it all lead to one thing - I would be the stupidiest girl alive if I'm not gonna grab it.

Good thing was that they were not giving up on me. I had another talk this time with our HR and she gave me a clearer picture of what lies ahead. 2 weeks. That was the initial plan. I'm going to try it for two weeks, get the feel of the job then I'll decide if I'm OK with it.

And so the 2 weeks of test began. It was a whole new experience. A bit challenging if I may add. I learned to like the job (the job I never ever considered taking at first) in the span of two weeks. I took in with me the same fervor, the same enthusiasm that brought me here. I set aside the fear, my personal concerns and focused on getting my tasks done as best as I could.

That must have done the trick. Last night before I went home, my would-be new boss and I had a talk. We sealed the deal. I'll be officially on developmental assignment (DA) starting next week. Wow! The years of pure hard work had finally paid off! This is the perfect time to put to the test everything I know. This is it! This is my time.

Monday, February 7, 2011

I'm gonna miss you, Pie.

I never expected to start my Monday morning like this. Got a message from my mother that my dog, Piper died yesterday. It's a sad thing. Heartbreaking to be exact. Although I got a feeling she's not gonna live longer, (she's 70 in dog years) it is still difficult to come across with the fact that she's gone for good. I didn't know it will be the last time I'll ever spend time with her when I went home for the holidays. Last night, I was just talking about her to my roomates, telling them how notorious she was to other dogs, but sweet when we were around. I didn't know at that moment all I will ever have are memories of her.

10 years. That's how long she stayed with us. She isn't just a pet. She's a family member. My mother loves her. My brother loves playing with her when she was younger. Back in those times when she was full of vibrant chasing everyone in sight. That is why we have to put her on leash, she drives all our neighbors crazy.

I don't know where dogs go when they die. Is there a purgatory or heaven for dogs or something like that? My friend comforted me by saying all dogs go to heaven and I should cheer up. Whether true or not, I want God to tell her how much she's loved and missed. How much joy she had brought into our lives.

But do you know the hardest part? It's when you wanted to cry but you couldn't coz you were in the middle of a meeting. Yes. I was fighting back tears and trying very hard not to bawl in front of everyone. I would look ridiculous if I would, won't I?

taken on New Year's Eve. She refused to be taken that's why I held her face haha!

Friday, February 4, 2011

I know you'll understand... :(

If Facebook has photo tagging, I'm coming up with post tagging. Whatever! This post is especially intended for Sey, Gnetch and Mitch. But anyone can read this of course!

I know you guys are eager for our Blogger meet up. And so do I. The thought of meeting my bloggy friends in person, and for the first time is thrilling and I couldn't wait for that idea to transpire. I can't imagine how much talk, and laughter, and fun we're gonna have. What's more exciting for me is that it's gonna be my first time to set foot in Manila! Yeah, been everywhere in the PI but not in Manila hahaha! Crazy.

As I've mentioned in Twitter, got the ticket like 6 months ago. I'm supposed to be there next week. So let's cut to the chase... Looks like my chances of going there are slim huhuhu... But I'm not saying that I'm NEVER going there.

Really guys, I'm twice as disappointed as you might be. It feels bad letting you down and all those anticipation and talking on facebook won't mean anything if I'm not going to push with it. I hate breaking promises, but as much as I wanted to keep it there are things beyond control that I just couldn't ignore.

It isn't final yet. I'm just telling you in advance how things look on my side. My fingers are crossed though. Hopefully we can do this sooner.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

CAMIGUIN Day 2: White Island

As early as 5AM we were up on our toes. The heavy downpour of the rain had finally subsided but the sky doesn't promise a warm day. We were itching to hop on the island even the night before. As we neared to the shore we can already see the bare, white sandbar that shifts depending on the tide. Then the rain was starting to pour again as we managed to cross the distance amidst bumpy waves. It was one hella ride - the longest 5 minutes I've ever had.

Here's a photo treat. Excuse the somewhat blurry capture. It was raining and windy at the same time.

View from our boat as we're about to dock in it's fine, white sands.

Torquise water surrounding the shifting sandbar.

Despite the rain, tourists don't seem to want to miss it.

Mt. Hibok-hibok on the backdrop. The only active volcano in the island.

The sandbar. It formed a slithering snake. Sometimes its a C or an I.

My friend and I trying to explore the island up to its tip. It's the only one that has white sands. The shores of Camiguin have black sands due to severe volcanic activity. Hmmmm..that's quite a trivia there!

There's another island that we wanted to visit, Mantigue Island, but the badass weather is sooooo uncooperative. Anyway, there's two more reasons why I need to re-visit Camiguin soon. :)


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