17 December 2011

Puerto Princesa Weekend

For years I've been dying to go to Palawan. I've heard so much great things from friends, from television, and from the internet. It didn't help that my girlfriend is from Puerto Princesa and she went home as early as November to spend the holidays with her family. I already booked tickets for me and my family to visit Palawan by February next year but I couldn't wait any longer so I decided to see my girlfriend for the weekend.

03 December 2011

azkals: the new barangay ginebra

there used to be a time when all filipinos cared about was basketball. the PBA was on a high and everybody was part of the barangay. barangay ginebra, that is. those who are not ginebra fans are either employees of the other teams who gave them free tickets or just wanted to be "different" and mini-miny-moed on a list of pba teams.

years later and the hashtag #AzkalsVsGalaxy become a worldwide trending topic. i would not bet a year's salary for a #GinebraVsLakers hashtag becoming a trending topic in the near future. now every filipino is into football. all the haters are either bored by the game or again just want to be "different" and go against the flow.

30 November 2011

heaven's paella

thanks to the demolition of the ACS building, our saturday lunch is now filled with uncertainty. the building used to house the old reliable jollibee wherein saturday after saturday i order the 2-piece chickenjoy and get bottomless refills of gravy. i never get tired of that crispy chicken skin, and now thanks to this blog i'm craving for it. now that its gone, we started to explore different restaurants around our building. last saturday, we had barbeque paella at heaven's barbeque.

24 November 2011

out of the running

my first jab at running was a practice run at up diliman. it was just before the recent craze for running events peaked and i wasn't into it enough to finish an entire lap. then like zits on my face 15 years ago, running events sprouted everywhere. even my small college had one and that was my first ever official run.

my run wont be a finalist in the best first run ever award if there was one. i basically jogged a fourth of that 3k run then walked the rest. then right after the run me and my friends went straight to rodic's for their famous tapsilog. we were starving after that run walk. after feeling guilty of eating my run away with that sweet tapsilog, i vowed to live the healthy life and try to join more runs (and actually run) in the future.

20 November 2011

a great burger in an unlikely house

it was an ordinary sunday with my family and we decided to have lunch at pancake house. browsing through the menu, all i wanted was a typical rice meal or a sandwich. i never really thought about burgers in a restaurant with pancakes in their name. i ordered a potato salad and a clubhouse sandwich. my mother ordered the jumbo house burger and soon as i heard it, i instantly changed my mind and ordered the same. she had me at jumbo. my mother, being a mother, gave way and changed her order to a sandwich.

15 November 2011

politicality

i haven't seen good philippine tv in a while and now i'm religiously following this GMA drama. no, not the network, of course i meant the ex-president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. i just watched the Arroyos go into NAIA, put on a show and then get burned by immigration.

as soon as i caught the tweet announcing the TRO on the watchlist order of the DOJ, i got hooked. for days i've seen and heard different sides on the watchlist order whether its unconstitunional or not. the problem with the law is that it has loopholes, and to be perfectly honest, i believe both sides are right. it's just a matter of interpretation of the law. that being said, what are we arguing about here? the right to travel? do you honestly think that a normal filipino would experience the same? ramona bautista got away easy. though in all news network headlines, she is not of national interest. but cGMA is.

14 November 2011

figaro bakes

it was the day before my girlfriend went home to palawan. we were supposed to meet at gateway at around 3pm. i got there on time but the heavy traffic at aurora swallowed up her time. our time. i originally planned on waiting at starbucks to at least add another sticker for that overrated planner but all tables were already taken. i then decided to look for another coffee house and settled finally at figaro.


13 November 2011

KBOP: not a big Deal

maybe it was from watching too many korean drama series that my mother suddenly craved for korean food. when asked where we should eat, she would always say "anything korean." i then saw an deal on metrodeal.com for "Unique Flavors of Korea with KBOP's Delicious 4 Course Set Meals" at 50% Off. i purchased a voucher right away and happily told my mother. after waiting more than 2 weeks for the voucher to be valid, we finally had the chance to taste KBOP's flavors of korea.

it was a quiet Eidul Adha in Mckinley Hills. we arrived only a few minutes before noon but there were only a handful of people at The Venice Piazza. we came in at KBOP as their first customers which had my mother doubt the popularity, and hence the taste, of the restaurant. we ordered the set meal number 3 and added a couple more dishes. set 3 includes Kbop chicken, tuboo chorim (braised tofu), seafood pancake, korean Gyoza, 5 cups of rice, and a pitcher of iced tea. to add, we ordered  the kbop lechon and tomi chim plus a couple of servings of kimchi.

09 November 2011

Slice N Dice: bare t-boned

it was a year back when i started noticing slice n' dice outlets. they were offering steaks for as low as 99 pesos. their locations were a bit inconvenient, reason why it was only when they opened a store in the nearby sm valenzuela that i got to try their steak.

when i see the word "steak," it's almost impossible for the typical filipino to incorporate the word "sizzling." i grew up with sizzling plates in food courts and even in our highschool canteen. back in the day we also tried the steak town restaurant along west ave. when i saw the slice and dice outlets, that's what i imagined the menu would be like, different kind steaks but with a better-than-foodcourt type of atmosphere. sadly, you could memorize the menu due to the lack of choices, it was almost all t-bone!

07 November 2011

gaining grounds

it was from one of our medical representatives that i first heard of the idea of coffee grounds for your garden. we were in the middle of a sales meeting when she just had to stop it just to tell me her latest discovery. i believe she saw it on tv as celebrities use starbucks coffee grounds as body scrubs but knowing i'm into gardening, she shared this "grounds for your garden" project by starbucks. the project was introduced in 1995, offering free bags of used coffee grounds to enrich garden soil.

02 November 2011

The New Samsung Galaxy (wh)Y

i got a flyer of the samsung galaxy y a week back and was impressed with the features particularly if you know how cheap the phone is. you get the basics, touchscreen (multi-touch), wi-fi, bluetooth, 3g, camera, and the android platform, which i believe is the selling point of this phone. the android os makes this a versatile phone with thousands of apps to choose from the android market. the samsung galaxy y runs on android 2.3.5 gingerbread.

buy and sell

it was on the dying days of friendster when i first saw an ad of ayosdito.ph, a buy and sell site in the philippines. it has been second nature to me to ignore such ads, particularly those that pop up and covers my entire screen. aside from the fact that these ads are annoying, they also have a bad reputation of being sources of viruses and trojan horses. recently, ayosdito.ph was posted as a sponsored ad on facebook, offering ipads and iphones upon registration. officemates noticed and asked me if the ad is true, if they could really win if they join. of course they could. but i wouldn't bet on it. to me, ads like these are better ignored, offering something you don't need. or so i thought.

01 November 2011

saturday at the market

for years now, salcedo village has been host to the more than 100 vendors selling at the salcedo community market every saturday. i've been working in salcedo village for quite some time now but the weekly routine of saturday sales meetings made me always forget to visit the place which is only a five-minute walk from our office. i've read about the weekend market countless times on the internet and even saw some feature clips on tv. this time i made an alarm to remind myself to have lunch at the salcedo community market.

28 October 2011

are they really Big Better Burgers?

yes, i'm a burger guy. from roadside ten peso burgers to big towering signature burgers of different establishments. i've been seeing BBB outlets lately and wanted to check if they really are "better" burgers.
i ordered their basic one third pounder with cheese. the packaging was good, a simple wrap with a BBB sticker but though bigger than a burger mcdo, or yum burger, i was underwhelmed when i saw it. as a patron of big macs, champs, whoppers, and other big burgers, i was expecting "bigger" or at least "big" as per my burger vocabulary.


27 October 2011

rise

it was really unfortunate that the hostage crisis last august 2010 happened on PNoy's watch. it was during a time when confidence in the philippines was being restored through the show of a clean and transparent government. suddenly, the philippines was once again on world headlines but for the wrong reasons. the bad rep that the philippines got was only softened a bit by our miss universe bet and our world renowned singers and boxers.

26 October 2011

trash talk

manila is a filthy place whether we admit it or not. just look around and you'll see trash sitting on the sidewalk, be it a small cigarette butt or a plastic bag  full of garbage dismantled by a dog or a scavenger. why is it that manila as one of the cleanest city in the world would elicit laughter for the mere absurdity of the idea?

from my earlier post public toilets many filipinos are dirty people, peeing on walls. i pointed out that part of the problem is the scarcity of toilets. i believe the same goes for trash. i've learned not to be part of the problem and hold on to my trash until i can find a trashcan. there will be times that i would go home, check my pockets and there would still be candy wrappers inside. where are the trashcans? 


21 October 2011

public toilets

i was at d. jose station of the lrt waiting for the train. the trains were late as usual and when they came, they're packed. i stood there looking at my watch constantly. i was already half an hour late, i need to get on the next train. i was ready to force myself in, elbows in the bow-out position, when i suddenly felt a rumble inside my tummy.

i walked away from the train and towards the guard on duty. i asked where the toilets are and he just answered me with a poker-faced "wala eh." i asked myself if i could just wait it out but with 7 stations left, i knew i wont make it. good thing there was a jollibee nearby that joyfully accomodated my duties.

19 October 2011

DEAL or NO DEAL?

Let's save together suggests one group buying site while another boasts We got a Deal. but do we really save on deals? not always.

group buying has been in existence since 2000 but really took off around 2009. Disclaimer: Wikipedia reference. it's a great concept since buying wholesale really does give you a much better price. it's a win-win situation for both seller and buyer. the seller will most likely reach his quota while the seller would not have to reach deep down his pocket to buy an item he likes. it also gives small businesses a chance to be known and gives consumers a chance to try such businesses at minimal cost.

17 October 2011

Budget Tour to Kuala Lumpur Part 2

It was day 2 of our KL trip but we still woke up late. Just like old times. Our itinerary pointed to Genting Highlands but as luck would have it, all Go Genting package trips were sold out. It's best you buy tickets at least a day before to ensure your trip. Now we were stuck in KL Sentral and nowhere to go. There are a lot of other places to see in Malaysia but my girlfriend really expected some Theme Park atmosphere and experience the thrill of the rides. Then I remembered a saw an advertisement of Sunway Lagoon on the train while we were on our way to Batu Caves the previous day.

16 October 2011

the king of blank CDs and everything else

there used to be a time when pirated cd's didn't have the tag "pirated." compilation cd's were presumed original as they were still expensive and some even have great covers. remember cruisin' and contagion? after a while, prices started to go down as more and more people got their own cd writers but only a few sell blank cd's. enter CD-R King.

15 October 2011

Friday the 14th Misadventure

it was friday the 14th and it's our 19th 14 together. a dinner and movie date seems just about right for the occasion. we tried the kansi at inasal at iba pa and it was not bad at all. my girlfriend enjoyed the soup and ranked it third next to the one we had at boracay and another at taverna luna. needless to say she needed another cup of rice. the chicken was just your typical inasal chicken. the paa and pecho tastes like the ones served on bacolod chicken inasal or mang inasal less the chicken oil.

13 October 2011

Budget Tour to Kuala Lumpur Part 1

Many of my friends have been to Kuala Lumpur and their experiences were generally bland. For them, it was just like being in the Philipines with the Twin Towers. That didn't stop me from exploring Malaysia's capital. Their stories gave me lowered expectations from the city and that just made me appreciate everything more about Malaysia which they say is Truly Asia.

I was with my girlfriend and her friend tagged along. It was her first trip outside the Philippines and my girlfriend and I were more than willing to give her a great time. We booked a promo fare from Cebupacific which only amounted to Php2,675.05 per person round trip. Booking was made October 2010 for travel on March 2011. (Again, this was a time before fuel surcharges were reintroduced).

Running Total: Airfare + Travel Tax (Php1,620) + Terminal Fee (Php750) = Php5,045.05

12 October 2011

Late Night is my CNN

for the better part of my college, i would sleep not sooner than 1am since i have to wait for that leno guy finish his old unfunny jokes till midnight. then conan comes in, saves the day and then a quick "bye everybody bye" would put me to sleep. i've been a conan fan since way way back. and after waiting for like 5 years for him to take over the tonight show, i was hyped. it's a well deserved honour for conan plus i get to sleep an hour earlier.

after waiting a few months, there it was. it's no longer late night with conan o'brien, it's the tonight show with conan o'brien. but nothing changed in philippine cable schedules, it was the same old shit. leno and the bald guy at 11, conan and max at 12. what the f*** is going on?

then came the second coming of the late night wars. leno was such an ass that he took back something he gave back years back. then bearded conan was gone. the only consolation was that jimmy fallon was holding his own when he took over late night. not to mention the roots which is awesome.

conan then got a new gig at tbs but my thirst for late night was gone. from time to time i would come home late at catch my sister watching conan or jimmy. i wouldn't get their jokes. i can't understand what they were talking about. and i came with a realization. late night was my cnn.

it was from conan that i get news. his monologues would be recent events worthy of jokes. or not. it's funny just the same. but then when i won't get the joke, i would look it up just to get in on the joke. so recently i downloaded a bunch of conan and jimmy fallon shows to catch up and my daily commute was no longer excruciating. i also got to know a few stuff that wouldn't normally be part of your 24 oras or tv patrol. i found out that there was this old lady who's booby popped out at dancing with the stars, that arnold schwarzenegger commissioned 3 statues of him to be built in california, and that in a recent study obese people now outnumber hungry people, to which the obese people said "hey, we're hungry too!"

now that's news i enjoyed!




Tarsier-sized Expenses for Your Bohol Trip



I was on the front seat of a kia picanto with my girlfriend and my other girl friends at the back. we were chatting with our driver who hails from the states and married a filipina. He asked us how much was our airfare and i think he almost fainted when he found out.

Our airfare totaled Php1,420.16 for the four of us. It was booked February for travel on July. That's Php355.04 each person, Php200 less if we travel without checked baggage. It takes a lot of patience and a bit of luck to catch such promo fares. (As of April 2011, all bookings are now have fuel surcharges, Php200 one-way for local travel and around Php500 one-way for international travel. Cebupacific also introduced Lite Fares, basically removing checked in baggage, previously at Php100, now at a minimum of Php150 for local, and Php350 for international).