Monday, August 30, 2010

Ling Nam

As you have guessed, I was not so delighted by the eating experience.

Yesterday I craved something new to eat. I was deciding between Korean and Vietnamese, and I ended up in a Chinese dimsum house. The place is LING NAM, located alongside Shop Wise Don Antonio. I've been passing by the place for quite a time now and I thought of trying their food. It was a dimsum house so their main specialty is noodle. I ordered Beef Wanton Noodle (P155) and Siopao Asado (P60). If you ask me, the same order of wanton noodle and siopao can be bought cheaper from Chowking and would taste better.

Ling Nam Don Antonio

Anyhow, the interior of the place has nothing new to offer: wooden tables with dirty looking covers, red cushioned sofa on the side, crowded place, missing tissues on the tables, chit chatting waiters. As you have guessed, I was not so delighted by the eating experience.

The food was not too spectacular. I felt like I was eating a noodle bought from an ordinary mami stand and the siopao had nothing new to it, except the sauce that looked so sticky you'll mistake it for a glue (except that it's brown).

Overall, I would not recommend the place.

TRAVEL | Tagaytay Outing - Part 7 MAHOGANY MARKET


MAHOGANY MARKET

With all the cheap vegetables and fruits, one cannot help but spend a lot in this market.

This is the haven for mothers and old women. With all the cheap vegetables and fruits, one cannot help but spend a lot in this market. What’s more is that you can still haggle with the price. I think as I grow up, I’m developing the art of haggling which is important for budget conscious people like me. In addition, there are medicinal/herbal plants sold in this market. One of my fellow workers was really into herbal medicines she was amazed to see all the cheap plants here.

So many fruits and vegetables, you'll just have to buy as much as you can

TIP:

Save your money so you can bring home lots of vegetables and fruits from this place. They say meat is also cheap here but I didn’t ask for the price though. I’m just not the market type of person.



TRAVEL | Tagaytay Outing - Part 6 BAG OF BEANS


BAG OF BEANS

I brewed some at home and it was great. I’m just happy we passed by the place. I’m such a coffee addict.

If I was with my girlfriend/s or some boy friends then it would have been nice to stay for a while in this coffee shop but most of the people I was with were quite disinterested in drinking coffee so we chose to buy some coffee products instead of drinking at the coffee shop. They have different kinds of coffee from Robusta to local Kapeng Barako. I brewed some at home and it was great. I’m just happy we passed by the place. I’m such a coffee addict.

Bag of Beans Coffee Shop

TIP:

If you are a coffee lover, visit the place. Price is quite high, but Starbucks is still the undisputed overpriced coffee.



TRAVEL | Tagaytay Outing - Part 5 MUSHROOM BURGER


MUSHROOM BURGER

For people who say Mushroom Burger is extraordinary, well I’d like to say that “to each his own.”

The night before the trip I was reading about Tagaytay and I was intrigued by this Mushroom Burger house they say the trip to Tagaytay won’t be complete without a visit to this special place. So after Picnic Grove we proceeded to this old house. I tried to hold my expectations down and good thing I did that.

Mushroom Burger

For people who say Mushroom Burger is extraordinary, well I’d like to say that “to each his own.” I never found the burger anything special. It did taste like real burger but I was never a fan of burgers so it wasn’t so great for me. I’m not really disappointed but I’d say it was not worth the trouble.

Do I look hungry...?
TIP:

Not exactly a place to include in your itinerary unless you’re a vegan in search of alternatives to your eating burgers.



TRAVEL | Tagaytay Outing - Part 4 PICNIC AREA


PICNIC AREA

The picnic area is quite crowded also so better get used to many people talking and chatting around.

Restaurants in Tagaytay are just overpriced so we decided to bring our own food. It was an excellent decision. We brought fried chicken, steamed fish, adobong pork, cooked rice, some rice cake, soft drinks, and water. We only had to pay P150 for the cottage. The view was spectacular minus the tall grass and garbage lying around. The picnic area is quite crowded also so better get used to many people talking and chatting around. There are delicacies sold by locals around. I didn’t ask for the price because I was not so fond of sweets. Then there are massage people offering their service for a minimum donation (usually P50). There are also souvenir shops at the exit of the picnic area so one can easily buy “pasalubong.” The prices of the items are quite reasonable.

TRAVEL | Tagaytay Outing - Part 3 ZIPLINE


ZIPLINE

Thinking it was exciting, we eagerly tried the ride... only to be disappointed

Ziplining is the act of crossing a ravine suspended in air by a zipline. The ride costs 200 (which is higher than Enchanted Kingdom’s rides). Thinking it was exciting, we eagerly tried the ride. There are two options with the ride- one way and two way. One way, you cross and don’t come back. Two way, you’ll come back. But seriously it was not worth the money. The one way is too boring enough. You won’t feel any excitement. Plus, the fact that the people there are taking photos for P100. Imagine, just one photo for a hundred bucks. Simply laughable. 

Zipline Fee - One way: P200; Two way: P400; Photo: P100 (Not worth it, charge to experience)

You'll be ziplining to the other end of the ravine and that's it.

TIP:

Don't choose the two way if you don’t want to waste money. The photographs are not worth the pay too.



TRAVEL | Tagaytay Outing - Part 2 PICNIC GROVE


PICNIC GROVE

Don’t make the tourists and visitors their main source of income as if it’s the only job that they can do in this world.

It was not difficult to find this place, although we still got lost owing to the fact that the place has no sign and all. The only way you can recognize the place is with the sign saying that iy has zipline. To me, it was like an old park needing some more renovation. Cars have to pay P35 and people P50. Inside there are so many locals offering horseback riding and boat riding, each overpriced. I wonder how the local government can tolerate this kind of business activity. People are ripping off the tourists. While sitting under the shade of a tree, one man loudly exclaims, surely to be heard by everyone-
“Tatlong araw na kaming di kumakain! (We haven’t eaten yet for three days)”
Wow, is that our fault that they have not eaten anything. As Rosanna Roces in her movie, “Ligaya ang Itawag Mo sa Akin”
“Kanya-kanya tayong gawa ng salbabida (Each of us needs to make his own way)”
Secretary Ace Durano might have been right when he said that,
“Pag may turista, may trabaho (If there are tourists, there are jobs)

But for crying out loud, don’t make the tourists and visitors their main source of income as if it’s the only job that they can do in this world. After all, they are there to help tourism and not traumatize people from visiting places like Tagaytay.

Such a majestic view. You'll forget all your problems when you see this.
TIP:


Never bite into horseback ride offers nor boat riding. Most of them are really overpriced. They charge you P1500 but you can get it for as low as 800-1000, haggle as much as you can. Don’t buy the drama of the locals.



TRAVEL | Tagaytay Outing - Part 1


On the way, I saw the Taal Lake. The view was simply majestic. I felt that surge of awe with what I have seen. I never imagined Tagaytay to be this beautiful.

For the last weekend of August, my colleagues and I decided to take our good friend Jake to Tagaytay to have a change of atmosphere. I have only been to Tagaytay once. Not until this visit did I realize that Tagaytay was a part of Cavite and not Laguna. I can still remember the pineapple in Palace in the Sky- which we deliberately avoided since there is nothing special there anymore with all the vandalisms done in the place. We decided to proceed immediately to Picnic Grove. On the way, I saw the Taal Lake. The view was simply majestic. I felt that surge of awe with what I have seen. I never imagined Tagaytay to be this beautiful. Back on my first visit, I never really appreciated Tagaytay as much as I have now. With the clear skies I saw the lake and the infamous volcano. It was just like what they say, a lake within a lake. I’m so proud of this piece of treasure the Philippines has. It’s not difficult to say that our country is such a gifted one.

Me, the Mang Gio the driver and the crosswind en route to Tagaytay
Overlooking Taal Lake with company friends and Korean friend, Jake

TIP:
You need to leave Manila or anywhere early so you can see the beauty of the Taal Lake in the morning when the sun is still shining. The sun in the afternoon is quite high and doesn’t foster basking under it. Tagaytay’s weather for the most part is hot. Traffic’s bad in the afternoon to early evening so better go back home before rush hour (4pm – 5pm) or after rush hour (9pm – 10pm).



Wednesday, August 25, 2010

PNP Picture Taking at Quirino Grandstand Bus Hostage Taking



Sense of respect is universal, 
but some people just didn't learn this value while growing up.



Is it cultural difference that could explain how some Filipinos can be so insensitive in the face of a serious international setback. The policemen could have forgotten how their action can affect the families of those who perished in this senseless bloodshed. Or maybe their brains have already been so busted from all the pressure they're facing now.

(Above) PNP in action. (Below) Naive students from Pluto!

Now the Chinese people are aggravated but this display of disrespect to those who have been involved.

Personally I think, these policemen have just crossed the line and should apologize most especially to the families of the victims. I bet if one of their kins have been a victim, they would also feel the same way as these Hong Kong people do.





Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Quirino Grandstand Bus Hostage Taking

I'm not ashamed to be a Filipino. I'm ashamed that one Rolando Mendoza happened to be a Filipino- one quote I read from Facebook.

11 hour hostage taking in Quirino Grandstand, August 23, 2010

I just don't get how some Chinese people can blow the situation out of proportion. I mean, it's not my fault that one stupid Mendoza would wake up one Monday morning and decided to get into a tourist bus and started killing passengers there. It's not my fault that the police force is nothing short of lousy policemen naive of what to do in a hostage taking crisis. It's definitely not my fault that the government officials now and public leaders are pointing fingers to each other as to who should be responsible for this horror.

The bus and the police

I just don't get it. We the innocent ones always suffer because of the lack of skills of the supposed to be pillars of our country. People in Hong Kong are now in danger maybe not of losing their lives, but losing their jobs. The hatred towards Filipinos has been etched in our neighboring countries simply because we failed to act accordingly, to protect the people.

I really just don't get it. But to the people who died in that tourist bus, to the family of all the victims, to the country dismayed at the incident- I truly understand where you all are coming from. If this happened to us then we may just be in the same shoes as you are.

What I do get is that only time can heal this. May things be well again between the Philippines and China. In requiem to the victims and the family.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Venus Raj in a "major-major" way


If only she had maintained her composure and cool, she could have nailed this one. She was this close!
Miss Philippines 2010 Venus Raj (source: http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs221.snc3/20870_133199553381072_100000730850717_201132_8360180_n.jpg)

I'm not really sure if I'm going to be happy about the Philippines winning 4th place in the recently concluded Miss Universe 2010 (well to begin with I never expected the Philippines to win anyway except perhaps for the Miss Photogenic award which was won this year by Miss Thailand). Yes it's true that the Philippines (Venus Raj, 22) proved her beauty to the world but the thought of almost being crowned just a few intellectual answers away is really killing me.

Who's she kidding when she answered William Baldwin's question, "What is your major mistake and how did you correct it?" Her answer:

You know what sir, in my 22 years of existence I can say that there is nothing major-major problem that I have done in my life because I am very confident with my family, with the love that they are giving to me so thank you so much that I am here. Thank you thank you so much!

Gosh, the answer didn't even hit the question. So during the coronation, i just hoped that the judges would have considered the tragic hostage taking that took place the night before and somehow give the Philippines a chance to be cast in a better light.


Make no mistake about it. I am proud of what the Philippines has achieved in this pageant. I'm just bitter at the thought that we could have done better. In any case, I salute Venus. You are such a blessing to this country.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Confused

Deciding where to go this Saturday evening, I'm halted between going to a spa and Starbucks.
The sizes that can make you dig deep in your pockets
 
Versus

24 hours of relaxation minus the so-so food

It's actually almost 7pm and as usual, I am running out of time again and later I will regret my impulsive decisions. But I am actually thinking which one would be the better option since I still have some important paper works to finish later this evening. But now that I've written this, I feel like I don't want to go to Starbucks anymore and get ripped off from their overpriced coffee and donut. I think I can just do the paper works here in my room. What I need to do is to just buy some instant coffee and borrow the kettle from the other house. I think that would be a good plan. For the meantime, I must go now and have that relaxing spa/massage, have dinner and start working on the papers. Perfect.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

EXAM TIME

Can you answer any of these mind-boggling questions???

WORLD HISTORY

Describe the history of the papacy from its origins to the present
day, concentrating especially, but not exclusively, on its social,
political, economic, religious, and philosophical impact on Europe,
Asia, America, and Africa. Be brief and concise, yet specific.

ASTRONOMY

Define the universe; give three examples.

MEDICINE

You will be provided with a razor blade, a piece of gauze, and a
bottle of Scotch. Remove your appendix. Do not suture until your work
has been inspected. You have 15 minutes.

COMPUTER SCIENCE

Write a fifth-generation computer language. Using this language,
create a computer program to finish the rest of this exam for you.

PUBLIC SPEAKING
Twenty-five hundred riot-crazed aborigines are storming the classroom.
Calm them. You may use any ancient language except Latin, Hebrew, or
Greek.

CIVIL ENGINEERING

This is a practical test of your design and building skills. With the
boxes of toothpicks and glue present, build a platform that will
support your weight when you and your platform are suspended over a
vat of nitric acid.

MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
The disassembled parts of a howitzer have been placed in a box on your
desk. You will also find an instruction manual, printed in Swahili. In
10 minutes a hungry Bengal tiger will be admitted to the room. Take
whatever action you feel is appropriate. Be prepared to justify your
decision.

ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING
You will be placed in a nuclear reactor and given a partial copy of
the electrical layout. The electrical system has been tampered with.
You have seventeen minutes to find the problem and correct it before
the reactor melts down.

BIOLOGY
Create life. Estimate the differences in subsequent human culture if
this form of life had developed 500,000 years earlier, with special
attention to the probable effect, if any, on the Philippine social
spectrum circa 1640. Prove your thesis.

RELIGION
Perform a miracle. Creativity will be judged.

MUSIC
Write a full piano concerto. Orchestrate and perform it with a flute
and drum. You will find a piano under your seat.

LOGIC

Take a position for or against truth. Prove the validity of your position.

CHEMISTRY
You must identify a poison sample which you will find at your lab
table. All necessary equipment has been provided. There are two
beakers at your desk, one of which holds the antidote. If the wrong
substance is used, it causes instant death. You may begin as soon as
the professor injects you with a sample of the poison.

PSYCHOLOGY
Based on your knowledge of their early works, evaluate the emotional
stability, degree of adjustment, and repressed frustrations of each of
the following: Alexander of Aphrodisias, Ramses II, Gregory of Nicea,
and Hammurabi. Support your evaluations with quotations from each
man's work, making appropriate references. Translate all quotations in
Tagalog.

SOCIOLOGY
Identify the sociological problems which might be associated with the
end of the world. Construct an experiment to test your theory.

ECONOMICS
Describe in four hundred words or less what you would have done to
prevent the Great Depression.

MATHEMATICS
You have 60 seconds to mentally solve the mathematical problem below. Begin.

8,256.091 + _________ - ________ x ________ ¸ ________ = -38.07623

(Bonus question: Why is 11 not pronounced onety one? Provide a full
numerical analysis in justifying your answer.)

POLITICAL SCIENCE
There is a red telephone on the desk beside you. Start World War III.
Report at length on its socio-political effects, if any.

ART
Given one eight-count box of crayons and three sheets of notebook
paper, recreate the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Skin tones should
be true to life.

PHYSICS
Explain the nature of matter. Include in your answer an in-depth
evaluation of the impact of the development of mathematics on science.

METAPHYSICS

Describe in detail the nature of life after death. Test your hypothesis.

PHILOSOPHY

Sketch the development of human thought. Estimate its significance.
Compare with the development of any other kind of thought.

GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

Describe in detail. Be objective and specific.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

At 1am

Almost 1 am.

I am forcing myself to write something though there's really nothing to write about. But yeah there's one thing that keeps bothering me, "HOW IN THE WORLD CAN JESSICA ZAFRA SLEEP 8 HOURS A DAY?"


Jessica Zafra (someone I look up to in the field of writing)
Source: http://en.wikipilipinas.org/index.php?title=Jessica_Zafra

Well she said it herself. She sleeps enough but she's able to write all these brilliant composition which I think would take me days to finish. How can she ever do that> It's so unfair when I can only sleep for 3-4 hours a day. Wish I can really do that. These days, that wish to sleep early has become an obsession to me. It's almost 1 am now and I intend to sleep at that time. Well the other night I slept at 1:30am so I guess half an hour earlier would really be an achievement.

Just some things to finish tonight and I can go to bed and hopefully catch that much needed zzz's. Just have to fix my schedule for tomorrow. Ahh, the agony of scheduling. I was never like this, so particular about time. I was a happy go lucky person before but I can't do that anymore. It's so expensive to be so carefree and that's one thing I can't afford.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sleepy

It's very difficult to start writing in the morning without my daily dose of coffee. I'm starting to think that it is the coffee that is talking and not me. It's definitely like intoxication. So I better head to the kitchen now.

What have I to say today? I'm trying to squeeze out something. Well there should be something worth writing. Oh yeah about claiming but that was yesterday. Couldn't find the heart and mind to enter that one.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Superpowers

Dream Sequence:

The location was in a familiar village in my childhood. If I am not mistaken, it was a combination of Zaballero, Tagkawayan and Maryhill College.

All over the place I can see pre-evolved human beings (e.g. Homo Habilis) trying to set up their houses.

I was flying in the dream sequence. For the moments that I was walking, I was with a mob. I had the ability to make my imaginations come true but only on a limited time. I had to ask one person to give me my power to make my imaginations come true.


The last thing I knew was that I made some place explode. It was a forest. All the rest had some sort of superpowers too.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

PISAY


Source: http://en.wikipilipinas.org/index.php?title=Image:Pisay.jpg

Just can't help but write this review as thoughts from this movie kept running in my head the entire night.

The movie (directed by Aureus Solito) is divided into four sections namely: freshman, sophomore, junior and senior. Each section has its story, character and issues to resolve. As the sections insinuate, the characters playing are in relation to their high school level inside PISAY, the science school in the Philippines where the brightest students in science are studying. Each section is linked to each other, all dealing with socially relevant issues occurring during the Martial Law 1980s.


Source: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_S-ulTXagq_Y/RqukkHUeg0I/AAAAAAAAAP0/RchVLliIRmo/s400/pisay1.jpg

I guess what made this movie truly impressive to me is that I can relate to it. I applied to PISAY also when I was in high school and thank God I didn't pass. I can only imagine what could have happened to my life if I was accepted. As seen in the movie, students were pushed really hard to be on the top of their classes. However some students (which would definitely include me if I were there) were having some difficulty keeping up with the demands of the school whether academically or through principle.

All in all, I loved the movie as I learned valuable lessons from it.

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