Hikes | Travels | Food

Mt. Pulag's Akiki-Ambangeg Trai

A day hike to Luzon island's highest peak

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

How I Amused Myself One Dark Saturday Night

Oh no, you pervert!

Not that kind of amusement!

Around 11am of Saturday, at the height of Typhoon Ondoy, the electricity went off and after eating, napping, practically draining my cellphone battery texting people and straining my eyes trying to read an old book about a tragic Mt. Everest expedition in 1996, I was left with nothing to do but explore the ideas in my head. It was only past 8pm then.

Argh. I cannot bear not moving. Suddenly, a brilliant idea struck me!

How about if give "teleportation" a shot?

I shared the idea to my younger sister – she’s an adult too by the way and I believe she has kept her insanity intact despite sharing a roof with me for over 20 years. Of course, that’s what I’d like to believe. She’s family, and like any normal supportive family member, she agreed to try it with me. The thing was, we have very different personalities so she went to the mall and watched a movie while I went to Santiago De Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain. It’s the football stadium belonging to the Real Madrid football club where Cristiano Ronaldo is currently playing.

Oh and I met him by the way while walking along the corridors. We instantly clicked because we’re both playful, fun-loving and I made him laugh! His English was better and we understood each other well. I even watched their match that afternoon and he waved at me from the field.

After their game, which they won, we had dinner at this fancy, quiet restaurant and we became instant buddies. He also found himself confiding in me. That freaked me out a bit because we just met. Hello? Feeling close?

I was slightly worried of my private life and thought of how I would look like in the newspapers but then again, why should I care? It’s CR9!

After dinner, we made it a point to keep in touch and I flew back home the following morning.
Hey, even “teleporters” take the plane once in a while because it gets boring zipping from one place to another that quickly.

In the afternoon, I went trekking along this wide, dusty field surrounded by bananatrees. Beside me, was my dearly beloved, the object of my fantasies , the guy I nearly saw forever with. We talked about some stuff and laughed a lot.

Then we rode a paintless 4x4 and there we talked some more and for some reason, he kept staring back at me, as though he wanted to tell me something.

I didn’t hear what he was trying to tell me because I slipped into dreamland after that.

I woke up, several hours later, very groggy. I felt a slight headache too. I guess it was jet lag.

Please help the victims of typhoon Ondoy by donating to Red Cross:
Let us all pray and extend help to those victims of the tropical storm ONDOY.HOW YOU CAN HELP: Donate to the Red Cross Rescue & Relief Operations - Send RED...AMOUNT to 2899 (Globe) and 4483 (Smart). **The service only accepts the following amoun...ts: 10, 25, 50 and 100 (Pesos)


Visit this link to see where you can drop-off your donations. Please be careful where you deposit money or leave your donations. You would want it to go to the people who need it more not to soulless profiteers.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

An Easy Way to Help the Victims of Typhoon Ondoy


Let us all pray and extend help to those victims of the tropical storm ONDOY.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Donate to the Red Cross Rescue & Relief Operations - Send RED...AMOUNT to 2899 (Globe) and 4483 (Smart). **The service only accepts the following amoun...ts: 10, 25, 50 and 100 (Pesos)


Visit this link to see where you can drop-off your donations.


Repost : How To Help Typhoon Ondoy Victims

Source: http://ph.news.yahoo.com/gma/20090926/tph-3-drop-off-areas-designated-for-ondo-d6cd5cf.html


The government designated three drop-off points for relief goods intended for typhoon Ondoy's victims, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said in a dzBB report.

These drop-off points are the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) center at the Batasan complex in Quezon City, the DSWD National Capital Region (NCR) Office in Quiapo, Manila, and the DSWD National Resource Operations Center in Pasay City, said Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro who also heads the NDCC.

DSWD in Batasan can be reached through phone numbers +632 951 7119 and +63918 421 9780, the DSWD NCR through +632 734 8634 to 35 and +63915 291 3722, and the DSWD National Resource Operations Center through +632 852 8081 and +632 734 8622.

These drop-off points were designated to make donations more "systematic," Teodoro said, adding that bottled water, clothes, blanket, and food will be accepted at these facilities.

Petron gasoline stations all across Metro Manila can also accept donations, DSWD Secretary Esperanza Cabral said in a separate report aired over dzBB.

As of twelve noon on Saturday, 5001 individuals have been rescued in Marikina, Teodoro added.

He also confirmed that 42 persons in Rizal province were killed by typhoon Ondoy.

Of this figure, 10 were in Angono, three in Montalban, one in Teresa, 23 in Tanay, and five in Baras, he said, citing a text message from Rizal governor Casimiro "Ito" M. Ynares. - GMANews.TV"

Be careful of text scams and always verify the source first before donating money.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Aiming For Batanes?

Here’s some good news for those who are planning to go to Batanes, the northernmost province in the Philippines.

Starting October 12, 2009, Sea Air will have daily flights from Manila to Basco (Batan Island, Batanes). Currently, Sea Air flies there thrice a week – Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
That’s only 50% good news, because the fare is still quite high but I tell you, it’s worth it. Batanes is the most beautiful place I have seen this year and I’ve already been doing a lot of wandering around.

Here’s a sample airfare computation for a flight for November 2009:
Total Roundtrip airfare via Sea Air : 13,647.20 Philippine Pesos

We were quite blessed because when we went here last June, we only paid 5,000 Pesos ++ which we booked via Zest Air. Unfortunately, Zest Air has stopped servicing this route and had moved us to Sea Air months before our flight. It was a good thing because Sea Air has expensive fares. I wouldn’t have been able to go if the air fare was this high. It’s even more expensive than a flight to Kuala Lumpur via Cebu Pacific.

Once you have booked a flight to Batanes, the amount of money you will require depends of the kind of traveler you are. You can spend less than 3,000 pesos for 3 days including food, transportation and lodging if you are the backpacker type.

When is the Best Time to Go to Batanes ?

According to the Sea Air website, with Batanes’ proximity to Taiwan, it experiences four seasons :

"Fall is from September to November, winter is from December to February, spring is from March to May, and summer is from June to August."

So take your pick! I think I want to experience the Batanes winter next time I go here. That would be more exciting. We went there during the Batanes summer – which was the start of the rainy season for Manila. What an adventure it was because the day we left, typhoon Feria was heading straight towards Manila. The sky was practically gone, the rain was pouring hard as we made our way to the domestic airport. With fervent prayers, our flight finally pushed through after a two hour delay.

Please visit my blog post regarding our Batanes trip. Links to the pictures, travel information, budget needed, other sources of Batanes information are there too.

Other travel information on Batanes here : http://www.flyseair.com/destinations/batanes

How to Get to Batanes:

To Book a flight for Batanes coming from Manila, go here : http://www.flyseair.com/

Alternatively, you can also fly to Batanes from Tuguegarao, Cagayan Valley via Chemtrad (sorry, I do not have their contact information).

Additional Information from my Multiply Contact, the Batanes Mountaineers:

"Skypasada has flights from Laoag to Basco and Tuguegarao to Basco.Their roundtrip fare start from 8k to 9k.Take advantage of our 2 mountain Climb promo. Visit our multiply site.***Batanesmountaineers.multiply.com***E-mail: batanes_mountaineer@yahoo.com"

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Coron on One Foot

Though my left leg hasn’t fully recovered from my most recent mishap, I couldn’t let my plane ticket to Busuanga go to waste. The round trip ticket from Manila to Busuanga in Palawan only costs  453.44  Pesos, booked through Cebu Pacific’s seat sale last March 2009. Even if only one foot of mine is fully functional while the other had 7 stitches, I was determined to have a great time and do some hiking!

Day 1 – Arrival in Busuanga
From  the Francisco B. Reyes airport in Busuanga,  we took a 45-minute aircon public van (150 pesos/head – standard rate) towards Coron – where most establishments are. I didn’t see any alternative transportation from the airport so I guess almost everyone takes the public van. Cebu Pacific and PAL has their own van and they charge the same fee. On your way to Coron, mountains on both sides of the road will welcome you that you wouldn’t mind the bumpy ride along the unpaved highway.

We went down at the National Highway near Sea Dive, which is just small road passable by two motorelas (a 7 seater tricycle) at a time. We didn’t have a reservation anywhere so we just asked a tour operator – the first one that caught our way from the national highway – Paradise Planet.

The proprietor – Ms. Dolores expertly guided us around the side streets in search for an accommodation. Most of the inns and hostels near the highway were already fully booked due to the Kasadyaan Festival. The main activities were occurring on August 28 – a week before we arrived but guests had already started pouring in. We went to about four other lodges before landing at Krystal Lodge which was situated above the water. The good thing about it is that has an environmental compliance certificate. To get there, you enter a side street from the national highway and walk over a long wooden bridge. All rooms have a private toilet and bath. It’s quaint set-up with amazing views of the ocean and mountains makes it one of my favorite accommodations. We only had to pay 600 pesos a night and the room was good for 4 people.

They also have other huts which can accommodate bigger groups. You can also have your food cooked here for a fee. They also have a lot of wooden benches where you can meditate or take a nap. My favorite time here is before 6am where the water is clear and you can see the fishes. At this time, you will hardly see any one awake and you can do some thinking.

Hiking in Mt. Tapyas
After lunch at a nearby eatery, we proceeded by tricycle towards the jump-off of Mt. Tapyas (10/head).

We hiked Mt. Tapyas a little before 4:00pm. What was normally a 45 minute trek turned out a grueling 90 minutes for me and my limping foot. My friend Cons was nice enough to wait for me. Along the way, we encountered a beautiful 11-year old girl named Michelle who followed us until the shed before the summit. That girl told us a lot of odd stories about Mt. Tapyas – mostly unfortunate accidents – about people falling down from the mountain, ghosts, witches. I find her adorable still though.

We also met Charlie, a photographer with huge lens – sort of like the ones I see in National Geographic. I was so amazed I blurted out “Wow, ang laki ng lens mo!” (“woow, your lens are so big”) which did not sound too innocent. I was glad he didn’t take it the wrong way as he warmly chatted with us after that. He also went with us to Mt. Maquinit which is the ideal place to go after a short hike at Mt. Tapyas.

From the foot of Mt. Tapyas, we hired a tricycle towards Maquinit Hot Springs. My friend Jules and Glee who went there before us told us not to miss it. Now I know why. The views here are amazing. The backdrop of the Hot spring is the ocean and the mountains around it. There’s also a nice mangrove here and wooden bridges.

Dinner was at Bistro Coron where we ate a satisfying meal of pizza and pasta. The smallest pizza costs 179 pesos which is good for two. That was the only thing I ate and the four slices were enough to fill me up. Cons ordered pasta and pork chop which I also tried. It was a good order as well. Meals costs 150 above. They also serve breakfast. I’m just not sure what time they open though.

Day 2 – Island Hopping

Initially, I did not want to do the normal touristy things like island hopping but because I was clumsy enough to get stitches, I couldn't climb Mt. Darala which I initially planned. I’m glad I went mainstream though. The usual tourist spots in Coron are amazing.

We booked the tour via Paradise Planet. Ms. Dolores pretty much took care of us while we were they in Coron.

I almost did not go because I was concerned that my stitches would hurt when it gets wet with salt water. But since I didn’t have anything else planned, I decided to join the tour. Our first stop was Siete Picados – or the seven islands which is one of the best snorkeling spots in Palawan. Water was so clear and from the boat, you already see corals and fishes. It was too tempting to miss. I took a deep breath as I went into the water from the boat ladder. Surprisingly, I did not feel any pain. We snorkeled for 30 minutes and proceeded to Kayangan Lake, where we climbed another flight of stairs molded from soil. We also went swimming with the baby sword fishes. At 91 Beach, we ate a filling lunch of grilled tuna, cucumber and tomato salad, banana, vegetables and rice all you can. After that, we went to the Skeleton wreck where you can see the front portion of a sunken Japanese ship. It was eerily deep so I transferred to another side where I saw lots of fishes. Our final stop was CYC beach where the ocean is connected to a mangrove. View here is great – lots of mountains everywhere.

We ended the night with a walk around town. Activities in anticipation for their fiesta on August 28 were ongoing – like the fair, sports events like boxing. We also got to try Mango Sling for free. Tanduay had a tasting booth set-up near the plaza. Our last stop was Kawayanan Grill Station along Don Pedro Street. I did not order any drinks as I was saving money. Cons tried the banana shake which was good. The place had an amusing garden setting where you can chill with friends.

Day 3 – Homeward Bound
That’s basically it, my two whole days in Coron, Palawan. I reposted some travel information from my albums below and I hope this can help you when you travel here.

Sharing some travel information.
Itinerary in Coron
Day 1
Hiked to the summit of Mt. Tapyas
2. Dipped in Maquinit Hot springs
3. Dinner at Coron Bistro
Day 2
Island Hopping – 5 islands
Day 3
Fly back to Manila

How to Get to Coron:
Flight to Book from Manila:Manila to Busuanga -airlines servicing this route are PAL Express, Cebu Pacific and Sea Air (these are what I know as of this writing); How to get to Coron Town Proper from the Airport: From the Francisco B. Reyes airport, your way in and out of Coron town proper are aircon vans that charge 150 pesos/head. I didn't see any other public transportation. These vans pick up passengers after each flight. To get back to the airport, just book a van at the ticket outlet of your airline operator in Coron. They leave 3 hours before your scheduled flight. Cebu Pacific's ticket outlet is located in 183 National Highway, Coron.

Accomodation in Coron : Krystal Lodge - 600 pesos/night - good for four persons;near the national highway; 10 minutes walk from the public market, general merchandise stores, bakery, internet cafe, eateries, restaurants; basic and exotic accomodations, fan rooms only, with private t&b (no hot and cold), situated above the water, with environmental compliance certificate, very great views of the ocean and mountains around Coron, no restaurant but you can have your food cooked here for a minimal fee; no television in rooms, free coffee; can have your clothes washed here for a fee. Very ideal for backpackers who love nature.

Address : Path to the entrance is on a side street along the National Highway in Coron Town, Busuanga, Palawan; less than 10 minutes away from Sea Dive resort on FOOT (Sea Dive is a popular resort here so you can use it as your reference). You can also request for the driver of the van to drop you off here at no extra cost. Mobile: Ms. Mielyn (not sure how to spell her name) - 09284108074 E-mail: mhye_310@yahoo.com.ph

Aside from Krystal lodge, I also saw the following lodges and resorts that are near the public market in Coron:
1. Sea Dive - most popular accomodation ; better get a reservation here via email and call them if they don't reply at 0920-9458714 Sea Dive has excellent reviews all over the net so it's still worth checking out. It has a great view too but I prefer the view in Krystal Lodge. Website here.
2. La Sirinetta
3. LMP Lodge
4. Amphibiko

Haven't tried any of these lodges so just Google these places and see if anything comes up.

Where to Eat/Drink/Get Drunk in Coron:
1. Bistro Coron - serves American and Italian dishes like pasta, pizza, chicken wings, sandwiches. Pizza's great. The smallest and cheapest is at 179 pesos -good for two; The waitress said it was 12 inches but it looked like 10 inches to me. Anyway, it was really good and quite filling. Cheese was amazing. I prefer the pizza from Casa Napoli in Batanes though. Serving size for each meal is enough to satisfy a hungry Filipino stomach. The prize range is 150 pesos above. I don't know what time they open but they serve breakfast too.
Address : National Highway, Barangay 5

2. The Old House - a restaurant along the National Highway which serves American and Italian food; Food here is about 150 pesos and above; They also have a budget meal -one piece chicken with a huge cup of rice. It's like 1 1/2 sold at 70 pesos. Serving size for regular meals is huge! One order can be shared by two Filipinos. We tried the budget meal and the heaping plate of Spaghetti (around 160 pesos- good for two) with Olive oil and tomatoes. Yummy!
Location: National Highway; walking distance from Sea Dive ResortNational highway in Coron is quite long so it's good to remember the prominent landmarks like Sea Dive, Palawan Pawnshop, Cebu Pacific ticket office, public market

3. Eateries along the national Highway near the public market and port – ranges from 30 pesos above;

4. Kawayanan Grill Station - I think this is along Don Pedro Street near the Municipal Hall. Drinks here cost 50 pesos above (local beers); It has a garden setting; nice place to hang out ; non-aircon; great crowd; they have a band playing here twice a week

5. Binalot – meals placed inside banana leaves; I forgot the address but this is walking distance from the public market (about 3 minutes on foot). You can ask the people in the street. I assume they all know where this is. They open at 6am.

Tips on Traveling to Coron:
1. Better book your accomodation that is within walking distance from the public market because this is where most of what you need are located like the port (jump-off to island hopping), eateries, drug store, restaurants, pubs, Allied Bank ATM;
2. Compare the rates and the inclusions when you book a tour package. Most of these islands have entrance fees so make sure it's included in the package as well. We booked our tour via Paradise Planet and we received excellent service. Contact Information below.
3. Bring enough cash as most establishments do not have a credit card facility. There are only two ATM’s in Coron – Landbank (along National road going to the airport) and Allied Bank (alogn Don Pedro Street near the town proper). None in the Busuanga airport; There’s also Money Gram money transfer here – near the National Highway beside Palawan Pawnshop.
4. Groceries – you can buy them from Palyn store which is also along the National Highway, near Sea Dive. Prices are good. This is where we bought most of our snacks and drinks. They’re already open at 6am.

What to Do in Coron:
1. Island Hopping
a. Siete Picados - great place for snorkeling - lots of interesting corals and fishes to feed
b. Kayangan Lake - entrance is at 200 pesos - one of the cleanest river in the Philippines; water here is about 10 feet deep; you can also swim with the little swordfishes
c. 91 Beach - lunch by the beach
d. Skeleton Wreck - where you can see the front part of a sunken ship - eerily deep
e. CYC Beach - beach with mangroves
*You can book this with a tour operator; For 5 islands, me and my friend paid 950 pesos each and we shared the boat with 6 other people.
Inclusions:More lunch that you can eat,istilled water, 5 islands,entrance fees

Contact Info of the Tour Operator we availaed in Coron: Paradise PlanetProprietor : Dolores BasbasMobile : 0909-995 6630Email : dolores_basbas@yahoo.comSite : www.coronparadiseplanet.multiply.com
*she can help you with almost everything from getting Mt. Darala guides, secure accomodations, booking flights, Calauit safari, island hopping at competitive rates; very professional and treated us well
Office Location : Along the National Highway Near Sea Dive

Another popular tour operator offering great rates is the Do It Yourself (DIY) by Owen Ferrer. Their office is also along the National Highway, one block away from the Old House.Site : http://diycoron.wordpress.com/

2. Hike Mt. Tapyas

How to get to Mt, Tapyas : You can actually walk to the jump-off from the national road - near Sea Dive. From the National Highway, cross the street, head straight towards Palawan Pawnshop (also a prominent landmark), turn left when you see a Poblacion 4 arch and walk straight uphill until you see a tall flight of cement stairs from your left. It will probably take you 30-45 minutes to walk from Sea dive to Mt. Tapyas jump-off. An easier way is to ride a trike from the town (10 pesos per head) - that's how much we paid and there were only two of us inside the tricycle.

The hike up to the summit of Mt. Tapyas will depend on your level of fitness. Some people can climb it in 30 minutes. If you're injured and walking on one foot like me, it will take a gruelling 90 minutes. The hike towards the summit is like climbing a very tall building. The trail is 100% cemented. The stairs have railings so you can use it as your support plus there are covered rest stops. Climb it in the afternoon. after the sun has stopped beating down.Open 24 hours and no entrance fees will be charged; No need for a guide. We were told that some foreigners would spend the night there. Amazing views of Coron from the summit.

3. Take a dip at Maquinit Hot Springs
Open from 5am-10pmIdeal time to go is 5pm-7pm ; For me, I suggest going here at 5pm so you can enjoy the scenery of the mangroves, ocean and mountains; Not earlier because the water's too hot. The people here say it's nice here when you go when it’s raining How to Get to Maquinit Hot Spring: From Coron town proper, tricyle fare is 300 pesos; You will have to pay for the whole trike. Each trike can seat about 7 persons. The trike will also wait for you (one hour minimum waiting) as there is no other transportation from there. The one we rented was charging an additional 50 pesos for each extra hour we stayed. We didn't mind, water's too hot for you to dip more than an hour anyway. It's in a pretty remote location. You can also book this through the numerous tour operators around Coron. You can probably negotiate for more waiting time at no extra cost. Entrance Fee : 100/head ; lower for students and senior citizensOther Facilities : humble restrooms where you can take a bath; free use of cottages; You can also grill your food here

4. Overnight at Banana beach – considered by locals as one of the best beaches in Coron;

5. Calauit Island Safari - check with local tour operators

6. Scuba Diving – lots of tour operators offering this. A lot of tour operators are located along the National Highway near the public market

The vans from Coron town depart three hours before the scheduled flight. There are lots of public vans going to and from the airport and is available at every flight. While waiting for the plane, me and Connie sat in one of the cottages located at the right side of the airport building. There, we were able to chat with a staff from Cebu Pacific who lived near the area. He informed us that there’s a nice waterfalls and river, about 3 minutes away from the airport. I made a mental note to check it out the next time I go here.

Odd Venture - The Evening It Rained Beautiful People

If you’ve already spent time with me, you would know, that me and the fashion industry are not in the same realm of existence. The physical activities that cause me amusement must have the elements of dirt, body pain and sweat present for me to enjoy it. Finesse, is still a trait I am trying to acquire.

Last evening, I was able to venture into the world, which I’ve only seen from a distance, through the medium of television. I do like watching Project Runway, ANTM, The Hills, Make me A Supermodel - not for the clothes but due to sheer amazement at the ability of the cast to create something beautiful while they are under pressure. I also love the competitive, tense atmosphere reflected in each episode.

My friend offered me a part time job as one of the people who handled the registration for the Pre-Launch party of the 1st Philippine Model and Fashion Congress held at Aquaknox in Makati. It was an event that was participated by photographers, make-up artists, modeling agencies and aspiring models. Since it sounded different, I accepted the post in a heartbeat and laugh to my heart’s delight when I it finally sunk what I’ve gotten myself into.

What an experience it was! Congratulate me for having only 3 bloopers for that evening – tripped once on the red carpet, fell on the stairs after talking on my cellphone – witnessed by the resto staff and all the passers-by around Aranaiz Avenue and soiled my fave shirt with soy sauce prior to the event – witnessed by my two new acquaintances. It wasn’t my fault, it was that sushi’s! That’s pretty uneventful for me already.

I was able to talk to a lot of people – event organizers, bouncers, waiters, photographers, real models, aspiring models, annoying wannabes and what have you. The original plan of me helping out in the runway by shouting out the model numbers before they walk in the ramp did not push through but I get to watch the show and hand out sheets of papers to the aspiring models.

I was also able to exercise the power of my patience and composure as I dealt with some wannabes who haven’t even began their modeling career and already acted like a diva. Geez, there was this girl I wanted to kick but I managed to smile sweetly to her while I attended to her annoying query. That modaf*cka ain’t getting any special treatment from me. I then had a resolution that I should only engage in this activity once in a while or I might gain some stiletto wearing foes who can stab me in an instant.

The wonderful side of it was this – I was able to immerse with different kinds of guys. I met a Jake Cuenca look-alike who had the most amazing eyes. We chatted for a few minutes in the registration area but he had to go inside for the activities and I haven’t seen him since. If I weren’t so professional, I would have retrieved his contact information – which I had full access to and sent him a message, but I didn’t. He’s too young anyway. He told me he just graduated from college. Oooopsy! That’s almost the same age as my younger sister. Then there were these guys asking me for free condoms because Durex was one of the sponsors. Hahaha! The coordination with the sponsors were done by a different group so I really didn’t have anything to do with that. Then there were these photographers who wanted to share some hot gossip about someone popular in the fashion scene but they restrained themselves from telling me because I didn’t know the person anyway so the malicious gossip would be less appealing to divulge.
The turn-out of celebrities who already made it in the fashion industry was great – that’s according to one of the organizers. Since I am not familiar with most of them , I just had to take their word for it. There was indeed an influx of beautiful people in Aquaknox that night , especially the guys so I’m not complaining.

Two dreams came true that night – well from what I know anyway. You see, part of the goals of the event was to give exposure to aspiring models – even those without prior experience. Two people showed up at the front door – who would qualify under plus-size category. They were really apprehensive at first when they saw most of the people milling about – average sized people in the hippest clothes. In my book, these two persons are beautiful and have equal shots – given the right attitude, clothes and all that. So me, RD and Cynthia encouraged them to come in. We were so successful at it, we were able to convince them to go and they made it up to the runway! There were more than 30 aspirants who came in – some got terrified, they didn’t even get past the photo shoot. They made it all the way and ended with modeling jobs that evening! I feel like a proud mother. (I really hope and pray they make it big because they’ve got great personality – quite idealistic of me, I know). Right before they went home, we took our pictures with them – sadly I wasn’t able to take a shot with my camera. They thanked us profusely and they looked immensely happy.
The event finished past midnight with more partying after that. My friends and me were so hungry we ran off to Quezon Ave hoping to eat at Grilled Tomato – one of my favorites but they were already closed so we capped the night with more food I can handle at Mang Inasal.
It was a great evening – saw dreams came true right before my every eyes, met and talked with really cute guys and learned stuff about myself as well as the fashion industry . I was also reminded another principle I adhere to – never ever abandon a dream for it will come true someday.
The funniest line I’ve heard that night was from this pretty lady who signed up – she told us that “Oh, I’ve done modeling. I’m a run-away model.” …Well, she surely didn’t run-away that evening - even ended up with a modeling stint.
What an urban voyage this was. I was able to travel to a different dimension – the world of fashion, a place which I was scared to venture because it was so different from what I was used to – sports, relentless food trips, laughing like a hyena and books. I enjoyed the experience but I truly missed my camping gear, football, my non fiction book finds and fast food!
More pictures here :

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Writing with a Hang-over : Wee Morning Thoughts

A sip of free lemon margarita
A sip of Nina's mohito
A sip of lemonade which I returned to the waiter after, because I it was the wrong order
My own glass of Pepsi
A cold glass of water
A glass of banana Bailey’s
A sip of Red Horse from a friend
A 330 ml of Red Horse for myself
A sip of Strawberry Rhum from someone's glass
Half a glass of water another person's glass
Mexican food from everyone's plates

And approximately two liters of vomit later, I am back to my normal self.

I can’t sleep yet as several things are going through my mind.

First, I noticed that the way I drink, is the same way I deal with life. I like getting a little bit of everything . I have so many interests, yet so little time and I know that the best way to maximize my life is to focus on one thing at a time so I can master each endeavor. A major hurdle that I am trying to battle is my short attention span. It takes a lot of effort to hold my attention. I think, the most number of time I’ve focused on something was 30 minutes. When I’m talking to someone who doesn’t share the same interest as me, I tend to cut the conversation short and refrain from talking to them the next time I ran into them. I realized that this limits my interaction to people and that it restrains me from improving my social skills.

Secondly, I am excited and nervous about my side job tomorrow evening. I am going to be engulfed by models, people who need to look good all the time and preppy people. This is such a different world. I feel like I am about to enter another dimension where I will come across my alter-ego. I wonder how I’m going to fair in the world of fashion. But you know, the thrilling part is, aside from being the girl in the registration area, I will also get to participate in the backstage. My friend told me that I was assigned to call out the models before they proceed to the ramp. That’s so cool.

Third, I need to sleep already and hope my thoughts will stop running through my head when I hit the bed. I have to be at our outdoor group meeting and Basic Mountaineering Course where I get to blabber about Cultural awareness for the second time. Hehehehehe! You see I’m not a good public speaker. But what can I say, no matter how many times, I embarrass myself in front of a crowd, I never back down. Nyahaha!

hik! good night everyone..oh, it's past midnight..

good morning Philippines..

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

An Unexpected Occurrence

I am yet to embark on a new adventure this weekend. Guess what?! I am taking on the competitive world of fashion! It's rather an unfamiliar territory for me and I can't just buy any map from the bookstore or create my own itinerary. I will be enslaved by the events organizer and bounded by a schedule which I had no prior approval.

As with any new destination I went to, I find it a bit scary and exciting at the same time.

The event is a pre-launch of a fashion thing in Aquanox in Makati. I forgot again what they really call it. It's too alien of a term to stick on my mind. I am helping a friend with an event she's organizing and I will be serving as "the girl in the registration area". My friend said, I will get paid, get fed and drink all I want because it's an open bar. Too bad I don't really drink much. There's going to be tons of models and people from fashion agencies. I find it quite hilarious. I surely didn't foresee myself engaging into this sort of thing. Fashion isn't exactly my interest. I like wearing dresses for comfort's sake and I watched America's Top Model and The Hills but that's just about it. I like sweating and mud more. Football is my first love and remains to be my one great love. I've never had it with anyone - the same feeling I had whenever I'm in the field - that feeling of happiness, safety, comfort and contentment, but that's another story.

The opportunity just fell on my lap - which is a good thing since I've been contemplating on doing something new lately. I could also use the extra income.

Wish me luck! :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Kikay Tale #1 – An Encounter in Mt. Asog

Warning : Mushy Post

Somewhere along the mountain at approximately 45 minutes from the summit, I encountered an enchanting creature as interesting as the diverse flora and fauna in Mt. Asog.

I had been resting for several minutes. I was tired, hungry and hurting from all the grasses I had to clung to. Out from the bushes a group emerged. From that pack, a person caught my eye.

I smiled at him. He smiled back. I don’t know if it was the mud on my face or the hardened soil on my hands and legs that caused him to look my way. Perhaps it was the way my hair was sticking across my face or the stench of rain and sweat coming from my body which drew him.

He smiled again, and I smiled back.

I had to look away. If this went on some more, I might not have the strength to go down the slippery slopes of this amusing mountain. His smile is like a lightsaber that pierced through my ala-Dark Vader heart. How I managed to remain conscious despite the thinning air is Cupid’s miracle to a lady like me who’s had more than enough embarrassment in her life.

After several minutes of interacting, we parted ways without knowing the each other’s name. Aw, the name behind that handsome creature. I wonder what could it be? Is it as unique as Fatum (The Latin word for Destiny) or as simple as Mi Angel?

The encounter lasted only for several minutes but the way he smiled and the way his eyes crinkled like I was the most joyful thing in the world is a recurrent scene that plays in my head several times during the day and I find myself wondering, will I ever see him again?

I am back in the city and continuing my adventures. I haven’t given up hope that I may ran into him one of these days. If ever I do, will he remember me, or will I have cover myself with mud for him to recognize me? And if I never see him again in this lifetime, I am grateful for the joy and giddy feeling he gave me. Maybe he was my Haley’s comet – that someone that comes once in a lifetime. :P

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