October 30, 2010

Prologue: Detour to Boracay

I've always wanted to travel alone, to be away from people, obligations and work. Traveling alone would give me the time to think alone, be on my own pace and do whatever I wish to do, a trip that would make me think over things and have what I call "The trip for the Heart, Mind and Soul".

I've set my eyes on going to the North of Luzon, the 8th wonder of the World Banaue Rice Terraces and its surrounding communities; Batad, Bontoc and Sagada. A week long trip would have granted me the total rejuvenation and release all the stress in me.

Then things got grim when a typhoon  ravaged the North days before my trip and directly hitting Banaue to Sagada and its region causing landslides and closing the roads that lead to the mountains. I was so disappointed because I couldn't go when my parents didn't allow me. My mind was just intoxicated with stress and problems and I just have to get away from the mind-dusting and violent civilized city called Manila. They decided that I should just follow my brother in Boracay.

I didn't really like Boracay that much because it's crowded and I liked places that are quiet like Palawan. For rest sake I said yes and would give the island a chance. I wasn't that excited in leaving at all because my mind was still in the Rice Terraces but anyway this trip is all expenses paid.
5:00AM - I woke up and took a bath, shaved a little bit to trim my beard. Did my morning glory (That's sitting in the throne disposing you know what) got dressed up, checked my things and had my final goodbyes and I was off to the airport.
The NAIA Terminal 3 (Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3) If I'm not mistaken this is the newest Terminal.

7:37AM - Inside a cafe, just sitting down waiting patiently for my flight to come. My brother knew I was coming so he was texting me from time to time, getting updates from me. The best thing I was doing in the cafe was chewing gum cause of all things I needed to do, I forgot to brush my teeth.

My ticket going to Caticlan Airport, which is 2 hours closer from the old Kalibo Airport.

8:07AM - While I was strolling around the terminal (yes, I was walking up and down through the terminal gate hall like it was a mall because sometimes I just don't want to be bored and want to see something new) I saw a lot of team vacationers. Varsity players flashing their jackets and wearing them proud. Some of the schools were Adamson University, College of St. Benilde and the Ateneo de Manila University.

8:30AM - Just to be sure that I would have a smooth sailing travel to Boracay, I did morning glory part 2 just to be really sure. After a while of just sitting down looking left and right, constantly checking my cellphone and smiling at children when they look at me, It gets really boring waiting at the airport.

well as you can see, someone is already sleeping and other people trying to amuse themselves.
The bus ride going to the plane, the seats were horrible, the seat's leg space were so small

9:20AM - The plane was late and had just started boarding passengers, I hate being late because it shows laziness, we were supposed to leave at 9:15! Good thing that I got the window seat and no one's beside me, I got to be comfortable . 

The plane that'll bring me to Caticlan
I'm not really fond of flying, I'd rather go to a place via ferry boat or by land. I'm scared of height, I get nervous so often that you can't talk to me minutes before the flight.

In the plane, I thought the flight attendants would dance just like what I saw on youtube.
Inside the plane, as I said was all alone, 2 seats were mine for my big butt, behind my seat was a European mother with her daughter who kept admiring things they see at the moment, take note that we were still in the runway. Up front is a group of European travelers who were kinda noisy, but who can blame them? Everyone was excited to see Asia's best beach. As for me I was just observing the other things like the sound of the crying baby and eavesdropping behind.

Manila from above

When the engine started to rev up and the plane went on full speed for take off, that's the time I always close my eyes and pray to Jesus to give me a safe trip. When I opened my eyes it was like a different world already, like being the eye in the sky. I saw Corregidor and Taal Volcano and it's Magnificent. 

As we leave land and all I can see are clouds and the deep sea, I can only wonder what Boracay has prepared for the next 4 days and 3 nights that I'll be staying on the island that has been known around the world.

October 27, 2010

Watch out for my 5-part special blog series about "BORACAY ISLAND"

Watch out for it, I've been there for 4 days and 3 nights that's why I haven't been blogging lately but just wait a little longer I'm preparing to blog from the morning I woke up, what I did in the Island and how hard was it to leave the paradise.

So stay tuned and check out this site in a few days :) ciao!

This is where I got the new theme photo of my blog.

October 15, 2010

Sembreak and the Top 10 moments!

After 4 months of studying, getting my ass to work at the school paper and doing left and right favors, I finally survived the first wave of the year. This was the hardest one yet, even if I only had 6 courses it was so hard to balance time for each one. At first I was just taking it easy because in my mind I thought "nah, it's just all about writing, I can do that" but by the time writing activities started in mid July, I was starting to have some vocabulary shortages.

Writing an average of 10 articles with at least 600 words each is kinda stressful, all those topics and the ability of changing writing styles from Creative non-Fiction to Sports Writing is confusing! Sometimes I write like a feature writer when I'm supposedly writing an Opinion and Editorial piece. It like twister fries when I do homeworks everything kinda just tangles up and I get a little crazy thinking how to write this and that and it has to be different from this and that.

But of course I'll be such a sissy for just complaining about my last semester, It was hard and toxic to the brain, I didn't have so much time to be with my friends but hey, there was more fun in spite of all those stressful moments. A lot of whole new experiences that only a view can have. Here are some of the best moments of my first semester. It's based in the overall mood and experience.

TOP 10
Ranking at top 10 is the midnight food trip with my friends Janine and Thor and my cousin Miguel, all the foods you wanna munched on is there! Only at Banchetto Ortigas.

Ranking at 9 is meeting People Asia Editor-in-Chief Joanne Ramirez, to tell you the truth, this interview with would have been ranked higher if not for the longest walk I've taken in my life. Blame it on the guy at the right most corner, he said the building was close enough, but it turned out to be a walkathon at Ayala Avenue.

At number 8 is my first time watching Mixed Martial Arts live, it's the URCC 17: Havoc, the best part of this is that we got passes thanks to my classmate Clarice who got us ringside tickets. This was part of the "Sports Journalism" course homework, but while covering this event, we drank beer while watching knockouts.

At top 7 is our exposure visit to TV-RADIO station DZRH where we got to experience what was it like to work at a studio and we had a chance to be on air live during the last 10 minutes of the program.

At number 6 is my "Sports Journalism" class, this course is a breather for us, it somehow kept us at  a balance with other stressful courses. Even though this required Sunday classes, we got to bond really well together and I'll miss moments like those especially while covering events, not to mention the free tickets we get from sports entertainment. One of which is the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

At number 5 is the "Dominican Youth Group" Reunion, I got to know a lot of them last summer in the Youth Summer Camp where I met really nice new people in my life and meeting them after almost 5 months brings so much joy in me. I was the happiest person that time, it's so nice to catch up with them.

Ranking high at number 4 is meeting 5 time Palanca Award winner Grace D. Chong, author of "Gifts of Grace" and the child book series "Oh!Mateo". She gave so much inspiration in me that I rediscovered my passion for blogging. This "the bumpy journey of life" blog is actually the 3rd reincarnation. I was so much inspired by her and it was just amazing knowing about her and her past.

And at number 3 is our food review of "Mofara's Halal Food Haus" during our Feature Writing course with Mr. Bana. I've blogged about this experience HERE . I thought I wouldn't like it but now I'm craving to go back there anytime soon for the 3rd time, my friends also got curious about Halal food after I blogged about it.


At number 2 is the college sembreak getaway called "CALLTIME" it's an activity together with other Programs in the Institute of Communication, that includes Communication Arts, Broadcasting, Advertising and of course the one I'm taking up, Journalism. It's so fun and it's mainly an outing at any water based park or resort and so far it's the best I've been into. I left all my stress and anger in that park. oh that's in "AMANA WATER PARK, Bulacan" 


The number one on my list of top 10 moments of the 1st semester would be my cousins' visit here in the Philippines. I toured them around Manila on their 2nd day in the Philippines and visited 7 museums in one day, I was so happy showing them what Philippines was all about. They are of Pure Filipino descent but they were born and grew up in America. I saw them again after 12 years! One thing I'll miss about them is that they like the food "Bistek" which I didn't like to eat before and because of them I love it now.

So it isn't that bad anyway, I've got more good things to show if I go on and on, I realized that "business before play" really does it and I got to enjoy all of these things because I didn't worry about failing subjects because I know I've done my job well and I deserved the fun moments I did.

How bout you? ever thought of your top tens Till next time! :)

October 8, 2010

Last week's FOODtastic experience!

For the past 8 days, I've done nothing with my life but eat, eat and eat. Not just eat but I try, try, tried other foods than the usual I eat at home. 

I think it's foolish, when you go somewhere like a restaurant and then you ordered hot dogs and eggs? I mean that's processed food you can also buy at the local supermarket and cook it yourself for less than 70% of what you'll pay the restaurant. Why not try hot dogs and eggs like this:

Let me introduce you to the dish that could only be found inside the walls of Intramuros, Manila. Meet the Sizzling friends: Hot dog, meat loaf and egg drowned with gravy, ain't that something? Totally a new experience for the taste buds, and it's not even expensive, that meal only costs 35 pesos, that's like 50 cents in terms of American Dollars. It's a good meal and a money saver. Money well spent in this meal. 

The next one, they call the Seafood Ramen:
This Japanese dish boasts of its natural marine life. The soup gives you the splashes and waves of the roaring sea. Ramen meals are better if they are bought from authentic Japanese restaurant. This one however was just a mere 6/10 for me, the serving is big and it satisfied my hunger but the taste was missing. Too bad this was the first time I tried to eat ramen and it was a failure. I would still consider this Japanese cuisine encounter a FOODtastic experience because of the awesome marinated prawn tempura.

For the young patriotic tongues out there! Yes yes history tells us that the Japanese and American fought in our land during WW2 and they're cuisines should not be part of the Filipino culture, that's what they all say. They overreact, I love my country, no doubt about it, I fought with people dissing my beloved Philippines, but we should also understand that the world's changed, this is the era of peace, the closest to heaven.

MOVING ON! If you want to get a taste of our famous Filipino cuisine but you are on a tight budget, don't worry because Mang Inasal restaurant is here to save our flattening wallets! For just 99 Pesos or 2 Dollars, you get to enjoy the "rice all you can" promo! The style of Mang Inasal is closely patterned with "Tokyo Tokyo" but this time, Filipino foods are served.

This is the pork barbecue of Mang Inasal. The place is considered a college student's wallet favorite, they have all the choices of their juicy chicken and pork viands.

When I learned that I was chosen as a Photo Editor for our school paper, I treated myself and coincidently it was my 1st time to eat there. I had 4 cups of extra rice. Celebration indeed.

There's another restaurant like this offering Pinoy food, one of my favorites is the J.T's Manukan. Not Justin Timberlake but one of the Philippines' best actors of the 80's up to the present, the star of the world famed 1982 film "Oro, Plata, Mata" (Gold, Silver, Death). His restaurant is surprisingly not meant for the Class A citizens, but the theme is a simple open air grill restaurant, meant for the average Filipino citizen to enjoy what he offers. If you're lucky just like me you might even have a chance Joel Torre himself drinking beer or wine with his buddies like he doesn't own the place. JT's really affordable too! one great place for the masses!

Last but not definitely the least of my FOODtastic week experience. This ended my week with a bang! I walked at least a kilometer or 2 just to get here, the first time I was here I was with my professor and several classmates, but earlier I was just with my 2 friends who missed the spicy hot Halal cuisine at Quiapo, Manila. As I said on my previous blog, it was "The Mecca of Halal Food" each time I eat there. I missed the "Chicken Papar" at Mofara's Halal Food haus! I munched out at it again, I guess my brother Muslim diners quicly noticed that I was Catholic because me and my friends were the only ones sweating so hard while eating. The new addition to the Halal experience is the Halal Burger, we went on to find the place where my Professor who is Royal by the way, he gave us directions on where to buy this burger. It was another experience, it looked like the same burger but the taste was different, it had a certain sweetness in it. It was surprising to learn that the ones who were cooking were Christian believers, I was a little dumbfounded at that time, I thought that Halal food business only hire Muslims.

So this week has become a little bit "filled" with chicken, pork and beef and it was kinda awesome that I ate at different places without even noticing it until today. I haven't done food hunting in my life and I must say that it was awesome. By the way, I'm going back to Mofara's Halal Food Haus in the near future! 

                           To finally end this blog here's a picture of your very satisfied blogger. I'll be back! 

Note: Please feel free to comment! say anything at all! :) cheers!

October 3, 2010

Filipino Indie Films. The new Industry.

I've grown up watching lots of Filipino and Hollywood movies in the 1990's. My personal favorites then was Terminator 2, Liar Liar and Forrest Gump. Yes I know, my favorites were weird considering that I was so young before, they should be cartoons and other animated stuff but I got to watch my favorite cartoon movie "Beauty and the Beast" when I was in High School! 

I guess I really am growing up backwards. These days in my "teen years" which I ended last September 4 by turning 20, I love watching animated movies like "UP" which made me teary eyed, the closing of the "Toy Story" franchise. That was part of my childhood, the very firsts animated films I watched, and the latest movie which I watched in 3D, the cute "Despicable Me".

Then I got interested in Filipino films, comedy and then some love team movies of Rico Yan and Claudine Barretto, Aga Mulach and whoever his leading lady is never fails. Of course how can I forget the best love team in my opinion, John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo. I really Idolize john Lloyd Cruz because he can have so much character and he's a real "Leading MAN" if you know what I mean.

After John Lloyd and Bea's "One More Chance" I really didn't like any other Local films. With One More Chance, everything was new, the storyline, the character, the settings, everything was good. The story was a masterpiece. No one comes close to it, well at least during the last 3 years (It was filmed 2007).

Then after One More Chance, Filipino films really just got more "profit minded". I know the Film industry is business BUT! that's given, these past releases has just been so frustrating, Filipino film makers aren't just into the "Art" anymore, everything is so technical and predictable. The stories are either recycled or ripped off from a holly wood film. Especially the Film Festival where it would highlight the best movies of the year, but no, It shows the crappiest movies of all time. The only movie I think that has a good storyline but got bad reception was "Wapakman". ok the Superhero thing and graphics really sucked, but the moral story about "Family first" and "Family Responsibility" was heartfelt. No one makes masterpieces anymore these days. Movies like "Oro, Plata, Mata" and "Ganito kami noon, Paano kayo ngayon?"

I now enjoy in Indie Film hunting. Since I can't catch Cinemalaya Festivals, I go to Quiapo to buy DVDs, I know it's illegal but hey, It's just for my own personal use, I'm not gonna rip it and put it up on torrent, I'll just keep it so that someday when the Filipino film industry get's crappier, I can just play these films all over again to remind me how films used to be good.

With Independent films, You get to see unique and sometimes weird story lines which actually makes it batter than the budgeted films. Everything is new and raw, sometimes not knowing the actors and actresses is good because you don't expect any character he or she might portray. Here I am typing to the rest of the world bashing the Filipino film Industry, well may this be an eye opener to those up there. Indie is the new Film industry in the Philippines, and it's not crappy. I've only watched a few but I liked it all.

here are some of the films I watched.

SA NORTH DIVERSION ROAD (Very weird but awesome)

SA ILALIM NG COGON (Surprising Story line)

LAGARISTA (One of my favorites! Interesting Love and Life story)

BIYAHENG LUPA (A tragic but entertaining story)
These are just some of it, but if I compare it to mainstream movies? Lagarista might be actually in the top if you're talking about Love.

Sigh. What happened to Filipino film Industry?