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Monthly Archives: March 2007

Trip to Davao-Day 1

 

Right after we were fetched from the airport, Ate Neth mentioned her itinerary for my stay in Davao. Honestly, it didn’t sink in to me just yet. I was just as awe as a kid being in a new place and happy as an adult to be away from work, spending time with just for me, my interest and spending it with friends.

 

So there I was in the van with Ate Neth’s family. She’s pointing this and that (Sorry, Ate Neth if you are able to read this) telling me significant places and we pass them along, nothing sinked in. Well, it is for a fact that I am bad at names and recall them specifically, unless I do get my pen and paper to jot it down. I was just thinking repeatedly over my head, “I am here. I am finally on my vacation. I am away from work? Totoo na ito! (this is for real)”

First stop, dinner. After we fetched Peng, Ate Neth’s youngest sister from the Redemptorist (?) Church that they say it like Baclaran church, they were discussing which place is best to have dinner. As we passed along a crossing with all those billboards with still some neon-lighted ones, it reminded me of Quiapo or Monumento Circle. I hid a laugh to myself. I found it silly that I seem to associate place in Manila or places that I have been to with certain areas we are passing by. This is perhaps one of those syndrome when you are away from your usual place.

Stop no. 1: DINNER

We went to Gardena Fresca. It was somewhat a new place to eat there and their first time also to checkout and try the place. I heard it was referred by a friend of them. The area has a man-made pond in the center of the place and you are to dine beside the pond. Ambiance was ok although the place was poorly lit.

 

We were situated near the pond so the breeze was colder since it rained I think a few hours before we arrived. Food was great. We had loads of plates to finish. Ate Neth ordered grilled panga ng tuna and I think it was grilled marlin (or was it the other way around?) There’s also sinigang na tuna, pork barbeque, steamed bachoy, kinilaw na tuna, adobong tahong and of course sisig.

 

As an evidence, here is Isabel telling us the food was tasty and she liked the sisig but she had a hard time seeing what’s she’s eating.

 

The other half of the long table: (L-R)Ate Neth, Kuya Ge (brother-in-law), Francis (the small kid drinking ice tea), Ate Len (Ate Neth’s sister), Peng (the youngest sister) and Hazel (family friend).

 

Janggo (Ate Neth’s cousin) and girlfriend, Annie.

 

The restaurant has swings be the man-made pond/lake located quite near from our table. (L-R)Ate Ajie (eldest), her daughter, Pepay, Francis, Ate Neth, Isabel and Ate Len.

 

Stop no. 2: Night Cup (or was it Cap… whatever!)

While we were by the man-made lake in Gardena Fresca, we saw some bright lights somehow aligned by the upper part of the area. They said the area is called Hilltop where you can view the whole of Davao.

 

The best photo that I can take. Didn’t bring may tripod so I can’t set my camera to a slower speed to capture a better view of the area at night.

 

We also passed by this high-end subdivision (sorry, forgot the name) where they said Dawn Zulueta, an authentic Davaoeño and her politician husband lived.

 

Stop no. 3: Jack’s Ridge

This place is like Eastwood. Well, in short a gimmick area for Davaoeños to go to unwind and relax. Instead of just a strip of restos and bars, tiangge (flea market), swimming pool and there’s also a park and some historical points or areas stating a significant finding or history of Davao! I wouldn’t know that Davao used to be a underwater thousands of years ago if not for those giant clams/shells that was unearth in the same area where Jack’s Ridge is? Well… some facts to know in a gimmick place huh?

 

The area is located on a cliff. So, instead of just a straight strip of restos or park, one has to go down the flight of stairs (to be safe) or well, be daring and walk down a bit stiff path along the place I call “Lovers’ Lane”.

 

Here’s one proof why I call it, “Lovers’ Lane”. Hahaha! It’s just Janggo and Annie, I mean them pose for me. But in that area, I recognized that all benches were occupied by “pairs”, well, that night it was a typical pair of hetero-lovers.

 

Ate Neth and Isabel, on the viewing deck, overlooking… a well-lighted cemetery. Peaceful!

 

Ate Neth said the place is usually alive more often at night than in the morning because it’s overlooking a cemetery! Well, quiet and defined area for the living overlooking the dead… hehehe!

 

This vacation will surely be a different one thanks to Isabel, Ate Neth’s daughter. Finally, I’d have pictures of my vacation with me in it! She seemed to be fascinated with my camera and has interest in my Canon G5 camera. She learned fast! She took this picture by the way.

 

(L-R)Pepay, Janggo, Annie, Francis, Peng, Ate Neth, Ate Ajie and ME!  

Ate Neth and me by the viewing deck, in my attempt to capture the cemetery behind (or below) us. 

The kids at the park. 

Kuya Ge, Ate Len and Francis at the park. 

Annie, Isabel, Janggo and Pepay with her signature pose! 

Last stop: A club inside the parkOk, I knew I should have paid attention by I missed out the name of the resto-club inside (or below) Jack’s Ridge! From where we came from (where we parked and where the tiangge is, we had to go down quite a length of stairs down to reach this place where a band is playing some famous RnB and love songs. Now, I do believe that life here in Davao is really cheaper than living in Manila. For just an entrance of P50.00, you get a free drink with the choice of San Miguel Pale Pilsen, San Mig Light, iced tea and I forgot the 2 other choices. The band was good. The ambiance was cool. Our planned night cap ended up drinking beer. It was only Ate Neth and Isabel who ordered iced tea and all the rest ordered San Mig Light! 

Kuya Janggo after a bottle and a half beer of San Mig Light with Francis.

 

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Break(ing Rules)

 

I have been holding a plane ticket for quite sometime. Ate Neth, a good friend of mine (and almost an older sister to me) booked that ticket and gave to me as a present. It was supposedly her birthday present to me, last October. I ended up using it way past my birthday.

It’s a long and different story on how Ate Neth ended up booking me this month… What’s important:

 

1.) It’s bound for Davao, to her place. FAR and AWAY from the hustle and bustle of Manila traffic, stress and most of all, from work.

2.) It’s the farthest out of town trip (almost) by myself.

3.) It’s REAL and no one’s going to stop me…

 

My boarding ticket…

 

There in my hand, my boarding ticket Ü I finally got my vacation after how years from the last trip I made for Boracay. I met up with Ate Neth’s cousin, Janggo and his GF, Annie at the domestic airport. We were suppose to board by 3:50PM but was delayed 20 more minutes due to some “technical” trouble encountered by Cebu Pacific. It wasn’t just our flight anyway.

 

Domestic airport scene: People waiting for their flights to be paged.

 

The Cebu Pacific plane we are to board. The girl in front of me is Annie, Janggo’s girlfriend.

 

My window view. That next plane I think is bound for Kalibo. Those people boarding mostly is bound for Boracay.

 

We boarded at exactly 4:10PM and flight was about 2 hours. No problem. Been on airplane travels for more than half a day and crossing continents and timeline. Good thing I was placed on a window seat. Once settled, this got my attention:

 

Plane aircon was amazing. I mean, it’s undeniably cold enough but not to a point that it would require me to wear a sweater. It isn’t too visible in the photo I guess that the cool air is being emitted quite obviously.

Excited and hard-headed, (which is not quite me, I am a strict follower of rules and regulations, but not this time!) I took photos and videos as evidences that I am truly on my way for my deserved getaway.

 

Exhibit A:

 

Me by the window, with the somehow best window view (and the best among the 3 photo attempts) as the plane hasn’t taken off yet.

 

Exhibit B:

 

Yeah! Yeah! I know… we are supposed to turn off all mechanical devices specially mobile phones. But as I said, I am hard-headed and rule breaker.

To know rule I’ve broken, click here and here.

 

And also, I am not quite sure of the Xray in the airport is working after all. Because, I kind of forgot that I have a small bottle of lotion and an atomizer with cologne in my hard-carried bag. They were suppose to confiscate it because no one was allowed to bring any liquid forms in the plane…

 

Oh, I see… but guess what? I just did!

 

Good thing 2 young ladies that were seated beside me are not annoying as those seated behind us. They speak quite aloud. Well, there as excited as I am going to Davao but I don’t have to be somewhat shouting when just conversing to the person beside me. I wasn’t as friendly as I would have been. I am still tired from the weeks work. I had to rush my deadline so my team won’t be burdened with jobs that was supposedly mine with my absence. I was friendly as always, but didn’t bother to ask their names and took their photos to be blogged here. If I was as perky and bubbly as before, I would have done so. But right that moment, I was just being “nice”. Had a little conversation and smiled. It was only that day, a few hours before that flight that I finally grasp the thought that I AM on my way to get my break –– my vacation.

 

Exhibits C:

 

Too bad I only fantasize that I am Batgirl and unable to fly and see these beautiful clouds like Supergirl when in flight. I am still at awe when I see airplanes, clouds and sunset. So imagine me on a plane and seeing sunset and different cloud formation. No evidence on that one. I just filled my eyes and mind with such a wonderful (and literally blinding) site. God is truly an artist.

 

Exhibit D:

 

And as the pilot announced that we are a few thousand feet above Davao and about to land in a certain number of minutes, I sneaked a few snaps of my ever-reliable SE K600i. We arrived almost dawn

 

Exbihit E: 

 

The plane we disembarked from. Yup! Here I am in Davao. Annie, Janngo’s FG, mentioned that she smelled durian the moment she stepped in Davao International Airport. Hahaha!

 

And I am quite impressed with Davao’s airport… clean and somehow reminded me of Narita International Airport. Perhaps, because of the glass panels and the people I see beyond the glass wall, waiting for their planes. But it’s definitely much, MUCH better than Manila’s old domestic airport.

 

Weird as it was, I texted a few friends informing them where I am and it’s cold and raining here for a summer weather. Some answered the usual, “Cool” and “Enjoy your stay, etc… etc…” but Jose, my VBF, answered me with the geographical facts about Davao! Hay! My ever serious and walking encyclopedia friend, Jose… propesora ka na nga!

 

So, here I am, in Ate Neth’s house. Met her sisters, brother in law and the kids! For now, I rest… and more adventures (and pictures) to post.

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2007 in Satisfied and Accomplishments

 

Detoxify

Lately I have been feeling this weird thing in me. I wish I could easily say it’s just a matter of over eating or something. But I really don’t know…

Could it just be this hormonal thing that women experiences due to “having” monthly? Or could my body is really complaining on stress and pressure these days? Is it my lifestyle now that pushes my physical strength? But I am fearing most of all, is I knew that something is really wrong inside me. I am admitting it that I’m not scared of hospitals or doctors, it’s just what they are to tell me that scares me…

Knowing the truth, that scares me.

What if they tell me, I only have a month to live? Call me over reacting or perhaps I’ve been watching too much movies and soap operas but what if…

What if…

I have nothing accomplish yet to make me say I am ready to whatever is install for me. I am a late bloomer. I have to admit that it was only now that I am really getting conscious of what is tomorrow for me or what lies ahead or what should I be preparing.

As far as I know, I have fun and enjoyed my youth in the simpliest enjoyment that I could have attained. I mean, I am not a hardcore party goer nor a fashionist that gets drunk and wakes up somewhere beside her place. I mean, I smoke (not known to my family), drink like a man as my friend describes me, and tried pot 9but really didn’t enjoy it). Some still call me a kill-joy. Well, to each his own. But I think that’s enough. I have to grow up… have a REAL life.

Life’s purpose? For my own, I don’t know really. Before my plans were simplier: graduate, work, have a family… or at least a kid that I’ll be able to love and give him/her a decent life. But… I haven’t read that book about finding purpose or something like that? Could I be too late?

Sigh.

Is this what I will be every time I medicate myself (paracetamol), wake up earlier than expected, eat breakfast at Jollibee and drink coffee?

Hahaha.

Now… on with the show…

 

List No. 2: Signs That You Haven’t Moved On

I have been a fan and listener of Monster Radio RX 93.1. Well, to be exact, I LOVE listening to the Morning Rush that Dela Mar and Chico has been hosting for years. Ever since I moved and had my own place, they have been accompanying me every morning. 2 single, non-conventional minds if I may say so… what else can I ask for? Perhaps that’s why I can relate with these two… plus they are soooo funny.

Just a few days ago, I heard on their TOP 10 a topic which I can definitely relate to:

TOP SIGNS THAT SAYS YOU HAVEN’T MOVED ON

10.) Press-releasing that you’re now OK and had moved on to your friends just so they won’t bring up the topic anymore.

For the simple reason that you don’t want to talk about it and you had enough of their blah-blahs over and over again.

9.) Always in defensive mode when love is the topic of conversation.

Of course, who wouldn’t be specially when you know what is connected to such topics? At this point, some wishes they have some invisibility mode to switch on.

8.) Having this feeling of incompleteness despite all the accomplishments and achievements you are acquiring.

And you think of him/her, that it would be better if s/he’s there to share it with.

7.) Uses the his/her name as your password or his/her bday as your pin code.

Need I explain further?!

6.) When there’s a change in your life, whether good or bad, it’s always him/her that comes in your mind FIRST.

Because you got used to it that s/he’s there beside you and you wanted to tell or rant it to him/her.

5.) You don’t erase his/her messages in your phone or email inboxes.

Anything from him or her, however irrelevant or useless the messages are you have an excuse to keep it.

4.) Erases his/her number and yet you memorize it by heart.

Amen?!?

3.) Comparing him/her to this new one you are dating, you just met or being pair with or a new “prospect”

Bottomline: S/he is still better than anyone elses. Because you still prefer him/her.

2.) Texting and/or calling your common friends and checking how they are and even asking them if they’d like to hangout.

Because you have an “agenda”. At the back of your mind, you’re hoping that they’d mention anything about how s/he is doing. Fishing some infos in other words.

1.) Placing his/her surname with your first name.

Does it sound good? Well, better get out of your room, go to out with your REAL friends or may be it’s time to visit a trust doctor for your head?

Well, it hit me well. Though I won’t deny that most of the ones listed here are quite applicable to yours truly. I laughed at myself each time I heard them being stated over the radio. Perhaps the very reason why I got to remember most of them.

At least I am now accepting it… that indeed I haven’t moved on. To make things straight––the person I am claiming I haven’t moved away from… I never really had him from the start, and he never knew actually.

There. One step at a time. Perhaps that’s another listing I can write about: Reasons why we don’t profess our true feelings to?

Hahaha!

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2007 in Realizations, Simplified

 

The Entry That I Owe

Obviously, this entry is more than a month’s old. I owe it to myself to announce as a form of acknowledgment, the changes that are about to take place.

It’s a new year for me and I decided to have a new life… well, a new way of life. CHANGES will be applied to my life.

Change no. 1: GYM
I planned to enter all my gym experiences on my first week but since it’s already “outdated” let’s just say it was OK. Learned some moves and “positions” which I never thought in my life I could do. Don’t ask. Perhaps the experience will be better read with my VBF’s entry HERE. I had a few cramps with the muscles I never knew ever existed until they ached last week Ü And my internal organs that seemed to be displaced was somehow re-ordered? Hahaha! I just felt my fallopian tubes were stretched after doing those awkward positions in public. But all is well. Hope it pays off in 12 months.

The gym to where Jose and I seek “refuge”… :p

But all is well, as long as I remind myself of this duty I am imposing to myself, I guess I am creating a new discipline. Though I have been skipping my gym time due to work or family duties, I really try to find time and travel to get to the gym. I really prefer going doing weekends rather than after work hours at weekdays. I don’t like crowds and it seemed like you have to fall in line for an equipment or something. But on weekends, like yesterday, you have all the space you want and no rush feeling for me.

Since it was a Sunday, not much of people working out in the gym specially when it is morning. Me and my VBF, Jose had gone to our routines and I decided to try the sauna for 15mins. Well, well, well… now I know how pigs feel when they are being baked! At 70 degrees Celcius, it seemed that all my fats inside me are boiling. Of course, I am exaggerating but at the 1st 5 minutes, I am perspiring like Maria Cristina Falls! I will do the sauna habit every after gym from now on… hihihi! Ü

Change no. 2: My OWN Place
Yup. Finally, I had the chance to move in my own place. It isn’t just a room but it isn’t really a full house setup yet. But I am having the place all by myself. A bit scary of course, but the excitement overpowers it. It’s a bit far from my work where I stayed for over a year and it’s literally a few steps away from my workstation. Now, it would take me 2-3 rides. But still, it’s my place… living there all by myself.

Right now, I have my comfy sofa bed, a trusty electric fan, clothes rack and a small suitcase to hold my clothes, a lamp and a stool that I can use to encourage me to work on my “personal” projects. Hopefully if I get to establish my billings and pay bit by bit my financial debt, I’ll buy a few more furnishings so I can invite a few friends to come over, at least they have chairs or bean bags to sit on ;)

Change no. 3: TIME
I told my friend once that if time can be brought, surely I won’t afford it because it will be E-X-P-E-N-S-I-V-E! But will all these plans and changes I wanted to make, I have to MAKE time for it. All shall be for me, my self-satisfaction (and preservation) and all the rest will be secondary. I may sound selfish but those who know me would understand and will be happy for me for it’s been years that I have been satisfying other people, prioritizing others far from myself.

If I can’t make my deadline because from the start it’s unrealistic anyway, why bother kill myself for a f*cking deadline?! Leave it! Finish whenever. Pack and go home or go where ever my feet (and budget) bring me to.

If I am lazy or feels bumming around, or I just wanted to go out, cool myself inside non-infested malls or coffee shop, I’d do so. As far as I know I can compensate that action. All will be well ;)

Bottomline, time for what I want and love to do… time for myself.

Exhale.

And there we have it. 3 changes that I shall partake. All about me, myself and I (period). Now, let me start doing it and continue those I’ve started.

 

An Unexpected Night Out

A few days, Jose, my VBF invited me to join him in one of his event. It was I think his debut as a writer. He is one of the writers who comprise the book “Tikman Ang Langit”, An Anthology for Eraserheads –– that early 90’s band that touched quite a lot of teens back then (and until now).

Of course, it was a weekday. And I was late. No! I missed it actually. The Eheads had this almost reunion (they disbanded by the way for a decade now).

“The Eheads almost had a reunion…. They played. And I missed it all”, I keep telling that to myself over and over again.

ARGH! (I hate myself!)

Oh well, perhaps my consolation is being with my VBF and understanding that I really dragged my ass out of my seat at work just to make it at his book launch. Plus being with him and 2 of his other gay friends in an unplanned night out.

Let me pullout a used movie concept, twist it a bit to adapt in my situation that night and call the scene: 3 Gay Men and a Fag Hag Lady.

Bow!

First stop, Sta. Cruz area.

How to get there I really have no idea. All I know is it’s near Quiapo and that we are to dine at this great old Chinese restaurant with a hefty serving of food. I read about it in one of Jose’s blog and saw the pics. Now it’s my chance to experience it. On our way there, Jose shared a few historical facts. Like the fountain below…

It’s a landmark that the place is Carriedo. Heard of the place from my siblings and parents. And with it’s majestic art, it was the first fountain ever constructed by this certain general to commemorate something… gees. Jose, I’m such a disrespectful with history. I’m really bad at it…. So sorry. Next time, I shouldn’t be ashamed to take down notes or at least pay attention to details… or listen and be where I am when you are talking about history.

Now, as for the Chinese restaurant it’s called Wah Sun. And as mentioned earlier, it’s really old and undeniable an authentic Chinese restaurant. As a proof, check out the pictures below.


Jose, my VBF… such a nice smile you got there.


The inside of Wah Sun. Not much of people when we got in. It really looks old and I can say it’s quite an authentic Chinese restaurant with the furnishing, red table cloth, the smell and it isn’t airconditioned but well-ventilated by wall and ceiling fans.


The “men” I am with… (from left) Blas the fanatical teacher, Ian the gay rockstar, and Jose the coping diva and my VBF.


My friends, the food. And I think it’s just half of what we ordered!

We were all full and we have lots of leftovers. I had Kamto Rice Topping and shared Jose’s Shanghai roll, Camaron Rebusado and Beef Brocolli. It was soooo much but it was soooo worth it. I promised that I will bring my Nanay and friends (on separate occasions of course) here when I got the chance.

And what’s more unique about the place is it has “wild life” creatures when you entered their 2nd floor restaurant. Below are just some of the few creatures that caught my attention…


An alligator in the room?

Well, it’s actually inside an aquarium. Jose said when he first went there the alligator was just half the size of the aquarium. now it looks like this…

This is stressful. I pity the creature. May be that’s why there’s the sign “Dangerous!” posted. I may sound odd but I remembered the late Steve Erwin :(


There were Kois and turtles plus I think eels in a small pond with waterfalls by the entrance on their 2nd floor restaurant.


More birds… sorry I dunno which species they are but Blas said definitely they’re not just parrots or a Tucan.

Sorry I wasn’t able to edit or lighten the photos. Still I am loving my camphone for being much reliable than my old one. Thanks to my handy dandy and very reliable SE K610i Ü

The place is definitely, quoting Jose, one of Manila’s hidden secrets. I’ll surely recommend it to my friends who love to eat and not much of a picky in terms of the ambiance but more of their tummy being filled ;)

The COMIC-GEEK ALLEY

Next, we went to this place in Magallanes. Sorry Blas forgot the name of the place but it’s a haven for comic enthusiasts and action figure collections. But knowing Blas haven’t slept for more than 48 hours, was awaken with the mere thought of going to that place Ü Jose even said Blas’ having an orgasm at the very moment he set foot on the premises! I used to be such an enthusiasts but a few years back I lost interest and gave away my few collections. That perhaps will be another blog entry.

For the sweet-tooth crazy… 

Then, Ian suggested to have coffee… or rather fill us up, who happen to be ALL crazy over sweets. Then off we go to Serendra, to this place called Cupcakes by Sondra. I imagined it exactly as Ian described it. Kitchen concept was like that of a housewife living in the 60’s to 70’s era! Cool! All pinkish and girlish, from the counters, the furnishings, and the kitchen equipment! Ian told us that Sondra has to import from the US. Wow! And I’d say it’s all worth it Ü Of course, we might look stupid acting like tourists and taking photos wherever we like to but who cares, we are having fun and enjoying it! Proves that the place is nicely done and very unique.

I was’t able to take pictures of the place but I happen to snag a photo from Jose’s blog…

Me and my VBF… don’t ask why he is pointing to that signage :p

And that (the place), folks, is what you called concept-based! Nice job, Sondra! Plus your cupcakes are heavenly!

As some proof…

CUPCAKES!!!!!


My cupcake… Chocolate Oreo… or whatever name it was given, this cupcake is calling me… M-E!!!


The yummy inside of my cupcake… YUMMY!!!

If I can only  buy a dozen at that time and consume it… I will! But we are really still full from the Wah Sun meal. But definitely, I will get my hands with the cupcakes next time I go to Serendra.

Thanks, Ian for the treat and for bringing us there. I don’t usually get to such places because aside from it’s quite far from my location, I really can’t find time like this night out. I am grateful… very much! Ü

Well, that’s about the sum of that exceptional night out. We had to cut the fun because I have work the next day. But I can’t wait for the planned weekend off to this beach I went too with the same gay folks Ü

Thank God I had the chance to get out, had fun and unwind with these guys.

More of the adventures and much better narration, click here from Jose’s, my VBF’s blog Ü

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2007 in Satisfied and Accomplishments

 
 
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