Tuesday, June 30, 2009

lovely day

Yesterday, we took a walk on the beach. This is our favorite time-- right after a typhoon. The sky looked newly washed.

The water was as flat as a sheet of glass.

And there were hardly any people on the beach.

Boracay is truly lovely this time of the year.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

thank match

Please! Do yourself a favor and read this. It will make your day, I promise.

Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

good eats

My Top Five Boracay Restaurants:
1. Aria for their Tagliatelle con Tartufo, Asparagi e Prosciutto di Parma (In English: "that pasta dish with the white truffle")
2. Angel Wish Dish for their Chili Crabs
3. Kasbah for their Lamb Tagine
4. Real Coffee for their Jack-A-Lean Omelet
5. Casa Pilar for their Squid Adobo Rice

The lamb tagine is not meant to be shared. You'll end up fighting over it.

The Jack-A-Lean is two eggs, tuna and pesto. Very filling!

Squid adobo rice: Ugly as sin, but tastes heavenly.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

high school book report

My Top Five Life-Changing Books (when I was a teenager):
1. A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle
2. Illusions by Richard Bach
3. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
4. The Kinsey Reports by Alfred Kinsey et al
5. any issue of Penthouse Forum

Photo borrowed from magazineline.com.

Oh, that Letter of the Month! That was really good writing.

in love

I just love the way the Panasonic Lumix LX3 looks. Here's a picture of it with THE WORKS:

Photo borrowed from panasonic.net.

It's so adorable. I could stare at it all day. Total eye candy!

And yez, it talks to me. Right now, it's saying, "Take me on an African safari."

And the pictures it can take! We took a walk last Saturday evening. Saw a few things.

This camera is low-light heaven.

Our last stop was the twins' birthday party. Happy birthday, John and James.

I think I should give my camera a name.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


My Top Five Shopping Malls in Metro Manila:
1. Shangri-la Plaza
2. Power Plant
3. Gateway
4. Podium
5. The Block at SM City

View from Sebastian's ice cream place at The Block.

Notice that my favorite malls are tiny, relative to the giant supermalls that are mushrooming all over the place. I'll tell you why.

When I was a small DB-- maybe five years old?-- my aunt and her then-boyfriend took me to the old Harrison Plaza. Everybody used to go there because of the bump cars. (Martial law babies, you know what I'm talking about.) They decided to be funny and let me walk ahead and then hid from me. I freaked out. Only when I started crying did they come out from their hiding place. They were laughing at me, naturally.

Since then, I have had an unreasonable fear of wide open spaces inside huge buildings. Does that make sense-- open space, but indoors? The first time I entered SM Megamall, I got vertigo.

I'm not bitter.

i scream for ice cream

My Top Five Ice Cream Flavors:
1. Black Sesame from FIC
2. Coney Island's New York New York (Does this still exist?)
3. Sebastian's Up All Night
4. Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey
5. Strawberry, but only from Haagen Dazs

Stuffing my face at FIC.

missing you

Now that I have returned the Fisheye Lomo camera to its rightful owner, I miss it.

I miss its unpredictability...

Its general wackiness...

This camera forces you to think out of the box...

And shoot from the hip.

Good thing my new Lumix LX3 has a fisheye lens attachment. Wiwit!

newer toy

After thinking and thinking and thinking, I finally got it-- the Panasonic Lumix LX3. I was actually Secret-ing a high-end point and shoot for myself earlier this year. It took me a while to choose between this camera and the Canon G10. In the end, I picked the one which was more... elitist, shall we say? Yez, I admit that I am a snob.

Here are some pictures I took with the LX3, right out of the box:

I love the wide thingy! I'm more of a landscape-person, not a people-person.

I still haven't read the manual. All of the photos were taken with the "Auto" setting.

I will get to the instruction manual eventually.

Friday, June 19, 2009

come back soon

We arrived in Macau on 28 September 2008, and visited the churches and temples the next day. On 30 September 2008, we went up the Macau Tower, and later watched Cirque du Soleil at the Venetian. (Ah, I didn't tell you about that.)
I visited Victoria Peak in Hong Kong for the first time on 1 October 2008. Pop and I were at Ocean Park the next day, then all three of us went to Lantau Island the day after. On 4 October 2008, Pop and I marveled at the Ten Thousand Buddhas. (Another story for another time.) We came home the next day.

Areas for improvement: 1. I was not happy with the camera I was using. 2. There were hordes of Made in Chinas-- what I call the mainland Chinese, to differentiate them from overseas-born Chinese-- because of the national holiday. 3. The weather was not so great as there was a typhoon. I saw this sign in one of the restaurants.

But, I had a great time. I know that Pop did, too. I hope Ma enjoyed SOME parts of it, at least.

Anne Hathaway said it best.

food trip

Of course, we ate well. This was, after all, Hong Kong.
We had the roast pigeon. My favorite part is the tiny brain. You didn't know that it's edible? You grab the little head, tear the lower beak off, peel the skin off the skull, remove the bits of bone and expose the brain. Then, you slurp it up. Tastes like foie gras.

There's something about the steamed fish in HK. It's so fresh, fresh, fresh!

If you ask my grandmother, the greatest cook I had ever known, how to cook a fish, she would say, "First, you buy a live fish at the market. Then, you take it home and kill it." That's fresh, people.
Pop and I wanted to try something different. We ordered a geoduck clam. It was still alive and pulsating when the maitre d' showed it to us. We told him to slice it up. Ta-dah! Geoduck sashimi.
Since they were in season, we ordered the hairy crab. There's not a lot of meat. It's just mostly cholesterol. It was dangerously delicious, but I feel that it tastes better in Shanghai. That's another story, though.

no livestock here

It took a long time for me to convince Ma to join us when we went to Lantau Island. I had to explain to her what time she had to wake up, how we were going to get there, why taking a taxi was not practical...

We took the cable car. This sign greeted us:

Er... Livestock?

This cable car system seems to cross mountains and oceans. And did I mention there was a typhoon?

Isn't that the airport over there?

We went to Lantau Island to see the famous giant buddha.

I bought a small replica to take home with me.

feels like rubber

The last time I was in Ocean Park was more than 20 years ago. It has a special place in my heart because it was one of those rare times that I and my co-spawn, a.k.a. "Siblings", went on a trip together.
This time, it was just Pop and me. I had an appointment with a dolphin.
In the email from Ocean Park, I was told to be there before 9AM or get left behind. Naturally, Pop and I were there at 8:10AM. The other participants were all almost an hour late. I hated them on sight, but then I hate all children anyway.
Finally, I met Molly the dolphin. Molly's a boy.
Who's the biggest kid in the pool?

Afterwards, we walked around. Ocean Park is still very nice, although hilly and humid. Some people say that it's better than Hong Kong Disneyland.
When Pop got tired-- I woke him up at 7AM that day-- we took the toy cable cars back to the main entrance. Aren't they cute?

Back on the ground, and looking forward to air-conditioning.

to be a tourist in hong kong

The trouble with traveling to Hong Kong is that everyone in my family has been there dozens of times-- including my travel companions on this trip, my parents. You won't believe how easy it is for us to get to Hong Kong. And it can be quite cheap. It's even cheaper than touring our own country.

So, when we got to Hong Kong, my parents tried to take over the itinerary that I had meticulously planned. They lost.

I wanted to go to Victoria's Peak, ride the Peak Tram and look at the Hong Kong skyline. Oops, forgot it was a holiday. There were hordes of people.

We got to the top at around sunset.

I decided that we should eat at Cafe Deco. To this day, Pop remembers it as one of the most unexpectedly expensive restaurants we've ever been to.

If there's lamb on the menu, I will order it.

If there's sea bass on the menu, Ma will order it.

Before we left Victoria Peak, we watched the fireworks and just enjoyed the skyline.

leaving las vegas

On our last day in Macau, I took a walk alone and visited the Cathedral, which is actually the church closest to our hotel. It was lovely and peaceful.

There was absolutely no way Ma would have wanted to go there, because you have to climb some stairs to reach it. Alternatively, you can go behind Largo de Senado and climb the hill to get to it. I didn't mind the alone time, though.

This delightful yellow building beside the Cathedral is the Bishop's Palace.

At noon, we went to the ferry terminal and caught the Turbo Jet to Hong Kong. As usual, Pop made sure that the boat did not leave us behind.

I am definitely going back to Macau someday. And I'm going to take some really fly pictures. Count on it.

o sole mio!

I believe that Ma's favorite part of the Macau trip was visiting the Venetian.

The Venetian Macau is humongous, and it seems to be divided into equal parts hotel, casino, and-- you guessed it-- a shopping mall.

The fake sky was nice... if you don't mind seeing the rivets. At first, I thought they were fake birds painted on the ceiling. But the marks were all perfectly round and placed at regular intervals.

So I just stopped looking up.

We went on a fabulously expensive gondola ride. Our gondolier was cute and very friendly. Sang very well, too.

All in all, we enjoyed the Venetian, but I don't mind not staying there. Now, if it were offered for free, though...

a place called vertigo

The next day, Ma gave up on the sightseeing. So only Pop and I went to the stupendous 338-meter high Macau Tower. I don't like the building's shape so much, though. Come on! What's it supposed to be? Here in Asia, we have towers that look like bamboo, skyscrapers with holes in them, and phallic symbols galore. There's a serious lack of imagination here.

There's a Lamborghini in the basement. Very nice.

When we got to the first observation deck, I noticed that I could see through the floor!

That's when Pop had to sit down for a while.

I had wanted to try to bungy jump, but I was afraid that Pop would freak out. So I decided to try the Skywalk X.

You get a 360 view while walking along the outside of the tower. On a somewhat clear day, you can see Hong Kong and the China mainland, as well as the landmarks of Macau.