Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Bangkok on my Mind

Thailand and I, it was a slow and subtle attraction. I enjoyed you, we did a little dance, I explored your crannies, and your malls, and your floating market, ate your streetfood and then had the vilest digestive reaction and the worst stomach ache ever. Guess my stomach's more sensitive than I thought!

THE CULPRIT - i think. (This is a wanton noodle soup found in Platinum mall. I think the water was dirrrty)

banana pancake - one of the greatest gustatory delights of Bangkok

sandbagging, yeah. 

It was short and sweet, but I appreciate you being the gateway to my Indochine backpacking adventure. That's it.

 Oh, I loved Khao San. It was a wasteland.

When I reached the hotel at 4 in the morning from the airport, the first thing I saw was a little Caucasian girl eating up the face of a Black rasta man. And I was like whoah. I was amazed by how free flowing everything is, including having to small talk a Black man who is about a shade darker than Don Cheadle and told me I had a pretty face and would I want to have a drink at one of the sidewalk bars in Khao San. Sorry man, I am no racist but, it was just that I cannot outline your face.

And why were there so many black men in Thailand at that time? I don't know. Memories, memories.

What else? Walked around the place where there were a looot of temples, golden ones, shimmering ones. Had to fight the space with old tourists from cruiseship tours who hurl Italian staccatoed cursewords.

 We will meet again Thailand, probably Chang Mai and Pai. And I hope to shop til I drop again in Bangkok preferably in Chatuchak which I wasn't able to meet because it was submerged in the flood at that time. Yes this was around October of 2011. Google it.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Cebu City photo walk

Cebuano version of Quiapo Church

i got chills when i got here. i don't know. history buff. that's me.

prayer woman performed Sinulog or prayer performed as a dance.

oldest street in the Philippines-- research it.
Casa Gorordo

TIPS: Cebu City is very accessible. You can walk to one place of interest to the next, but you can also take a cab. There are a lot of cabs just like in Manila. For example the Basilica is only walking distance to the Magellan's Cross and Fort San Pedro. You can hire a cab to take you to Casa Gorordo, public market, Daang Colon and other interesting places all over the city. Have a prayer woman perform the Sinulog, it's a treat to watch them and pray for your health and safety. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Perfect Cone and the Perfect Storm

It was the stormiest night (two stormy nights to be exact)  I have ever experienced while away from home.Apart from Pedring, there was this rally by the blasted employees from Philippine Airlines that left me stranded.  But the rain, yes, it was damn strong.

Traveling through air to return home at the time was the scariest thing. The turbulence was endless. It is  impossible to believe that the day I landed on this Southern region the sun was shining like fire on my hand. Daragang Mayon even made an appearance.
Bicolano superstition has it that Mt. Mayon doesn't make an appearance to people who do not deserve her presence. That most of the time, travelers get to gawk at endless clouds and not so much of an outline of the perfect cone. But that day I went there was priceless. I got to see her in her full glory.

The trip was a blur to me now, as I try to recall it. But two things struck me the most - The Mayon volcano was indeed beautiful. I was star struck. At that time I felt really really lucky to have the opportunity to visit the place. I made a wish. Yeah, I'm starting my own supertitions about seeing places that I've been wanting to see since I was in Gradeschool (Banawe Rice terraces, you're up next).

Second, the food! (this warrants an entire entry, maybe next time). Coconut milk is the king. I'm sure a lot has been said about the food in Bicol, but before you leave,  try the sili ice cream at 1st Colonial Grill.

So that's it. The Mayon volcano is only a mere sidestop when traveling to Bicol region, what with Caramoan islands and Naga nearby. But  I only dedicated my trip to the capital of Legazpi in Albay alone.Next time I write about Bicol I'll make sure to talk more about Caramoan Islands, Naga and CWC plus blogger must-writes like how to get there and where to stay than this endless blabber about perfect cones and ice creams.
Needless to say, Bicol, I'm not done with you yet!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A glimpse of "Paradise" in Cebu

As a way of celebrating the proverbial "End of Summer", I shall write a post about my favorite city in the Visayas - Cebu! 
Last year I had the privilege of visiting Cebu for the second time. The first travel to Cebu wasn't that memorable because we literally just passed by the city on the way to Bantayan Island. We were rushing! Backpacking at its finest. But the second time in Cebu was an entirely different story. The trip is more on the luxurious side.
Armed with a book and money minus the laptop and minus work obligations this is by far my purest vacation. Meaning no stress, no hassles, doing absolutely nothing!  I had the entire weekend !
So what did I do? I spent it wisely by lounging around "paradise" the first day and doing a DIY city tour the next day.
The paradise I'm talking about is none other than Shang-rila Mactan!
stately exteriors. real classy

I went straight from my 8:00 am PAL flight to the little kiosk inside Mactan International Airport where I waited for the coaster to arrive that shall take me to Shang-rila Mactan! the ride was pretty short, around 20 minutes. 
What welcomed me was a very regal looking and elegant complex. I left my bags at the concierge and went straight to the little boutique where they sell the day trip package.

The daytrip rate was 2,000+ which includes  the use of pool, lounge chairs, spa, entire grounds,  beach, and other activities. This was glam-packing at its finest! The daytrip package also includes a sumptuous lunch buffet!  

The buffet is located at a restaurant called Tides. Class A luncheon baby! All quality gustatory delights are there. I cannot forget how I devoured all those lovely looking cakes and sipped the unlimited cappucinos. Uh-ummm. And for the record, the most melt-in-your-mouth salmon sashimi I've ever had.
I also had a golden time basking under the sun and by the beach. Definitely one for the books. One of the best luxurious experiences I've had!

 I can easily rough it if I want to but sometimes a girl has got to feel luxurious. And I got it all and more. Will definitely be back.

DIY Cebu city tour on my next post!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I went to Boracay and all I did was eat Pesto Omelet

So I finally met Boracay September of last year and it was overwhelming.

Overwhelmingly beautiful. And unbelievably accessible (if you land in Caticlan).  I've been to marvelous beaches (the country has a lot of that)  and yes they are oh so beautiful. But most of the places are hard to get to (Bantayan, Pagudpud, Siquijor, Guimaras) and  probably the other accessible beach I've been to that I can think of is Bohol. Yes, traveling is about the journey and not the destination so it's all good with me.
But as I walk barefoot in the Boracay sand, feeling the legendary powdery sugary texture of it, all I have to say  to Boracay is, "Where have you been hiding all my life?".

Of course Boracay is hardly a secret treasure. In fact it has been overexposed that a lot of adventurers who are worth their dime shy away from it (ehem), because it is such a cliche.
But cliches are used over and over again because there must be something good about them. A cliche that is tasteful is called a classic. And yes the beauty of Boracay is classic.

Being in Boracay is like being in the metro with a backdrop of a beautiful beach. It feels like I am very near the city. In fact the place is so cosmopolitan, I can imagine hailing a taxicab to take me back to my rented apartment. And yes, there is a Starbucks! Everything that I needed is here! And a beautiful perfect beach at that. Who am I to complain?

For people who want to feel isolated and yes pardon me for saying "one with nature", sadly you won't get it here. Maybe you can get it from the other coves near White Beach.

It's sad that I barely spent two and a half days. Most of the time I was cooped up in my room, doing hardcore writing.  I almost did not push through with the trip because of the impending deadline but what the heck. Also I am meeting some friends there so I might as well go.

I wasn't able to watch the famous sunset, or dip my toes in the waters. I wasn't able to  party at night, or to island hop and do all those beach activities. I did not even get to try the famous shake.

 but i did have a photo op at the Willy's Rock aka the telltale Boracay rock

I went to Boracay and all I did was eat Pesto Omelet from Real Coffee.And it was good! You should try it.

So I am Boracay virgin no more. It is overwhelming and also underwhelming just like any other first times. But there will be more to come. It ain't no one night stand baby. And when I come back I will make love to it like the first time on the second time.