We normally have visitors every Christmas – friends, neighbors, but mostly relatives. But this Christmas it was different. By 11:00 AM last Dec. 25, our house was literally full. SRO. 3 vans full of relatives and more.

It was fun, but I have to honestly say that I don’t like kids. You know the under-10-year-olds that are literal pain in the arse. It went well, though. But I found myself sleeping in Nanay’s bed in the middle of it all. The lack of sleep from the previous morning masses took its toll. Yes, on Christmas day.

Juansen, who I hope is not becoming anti-social like me, joined me in the bedroom eventually. He was Facebooking on his Dell when a friend of his posted that she finished Qwop. What? And he showed me what he and his classmates are currently playing. And Qwop it was.


You will be Qwop, the nation’s sole representative to the Olympics. And you will only be allowed to use Q-W-O-P on your keyboard.

It was so fun but I have to admit, I’m no good at these flash games. So for 4 days now, I find myself playing Qwop whenever I can. And this is the best I’ve done:


55 meters. But I have to warn you it’s very addicting (read: time consuming).

Play it here.

A Reunion with Old Friends


Okay, I’m not really a fan of the mall but this is my second post about MOA so perhaps I’m beginning to like it there.

My old neighborhood friends and I marked December 4th as our reunion after some years of not being completely together. Well, we were still not complete that day cuz one was in Dubai, the other was in Camarines Sur, and the other one’s 5-year-old bumped his head a few hours before the time we agreed to meet.

Okay so, the original plan was just to have dinner at Gerry’s Grill cuz one of us still had to go to work at ten. But when we learned that she took the night off, we immediately changed plans. The supposed dinner became a night out of beer and sounds.

Having not gone to a night-out for quite some time, all of us didn’t know what was the in place to go. So we decided to just go to MOA’s Sunset Strip and just choose from there. With all the bars lining up the strip, we were sure an establishment or two would attract our attention.

We first looked for a place to dine, since all of us haven’t had dinner yet cuz we were supposed to meet up just for dinner. After much walking inside the mall and arguing over Mann Hann or McDonald’s (weird choices), we settled for Kalye Juan (the signage of which, by the way, was written in jejemon).

132_0450b The small resto was full we were just so lucky that a group of diners decided to leave just as we were entering the establisment. From the name of the resto, we were expecting to have a very Pinoy dinner - you know with sinigang na baboy, kare-kare and all that. They had those in their menu, alright, but uh, I know I could cook better than their chef.

To add to that, their service was so slow we wished we lined up at McDonald’s instead. At least there, we would know what to expect. And don’t get me wrong with that, I love McDo very much.

Anyway, after the Php1,840 dinner (not bad considering we were a party of 8), we headed to the Sunset Strip. And since it’s our first time in years to go out together, there was much picture taking. What with all the Christmas decorations MOA had put up for the eyes to feast.

There was the giant Christmas tree…


The wreaths adorning the light posts…


And Manny Pacquiao’s statue among others.


It was just so funny that the statue didn’t look like Pacquiao at all. After much pondering on who the statue’s face reminded me of, I laughed when I realized it looked like the boxer’s big fan Mark Wahlberg. Really, you should take a closer look.

100_0231 Anyway, after more picture taking and walking, we ended up at the resto-bar named StarDish. My friends chose that bar cuz it’s one of the only two that had live bands performing. And for that, we sat nearest the side of the stage.

It was almost midnight when we started drinking, and since I am really not much of a drinker, I only had a couple of bottles. Two bottles that lasted until about 2:30 AM. Beer was cheap. We had four buckets plus a couple order of finger foods and we only paid Php1,340. Well, Rachel dropped 500 so the rest of us only spent around 120 pesos each. Quite cheap for a very fun stay. I must say, it’s really the company (and not the place) that makes a night-out fun.

Anyway, I don’t really recommend StarDish to those who want fine service. But hey, if you’re like me who don’t wanna spend a lot just for drinking, it’s the place for you.

Arrived home around 3:30 AM to a waiting mom and an ecstatic-to-see-me Princess.

Simbang Gabi


I haven’t been blogging much. Blame Simbang Gabi for that. LoL!

This is how far I was from the church door. I was luckier, though. Others attended mass outside the church gates.

No, but seriously, I almost couldn’t concentrate on anything anymore since December 16th. You see, I sleep at 12 AM, sometimes even later than that. Then I have to wake up at 3 AM to prepare for the 4 AM mass. I’ll arrive home by 5:45 AM then after breakfast I’ll have the luxury of another two hours of sleep. No more after that until 12 midnight again.

The first two days was okay. Exciting, even. Because this year, I decided to do Simbang Gabi alone. It’s not because of anything but the fact that I really wanna complete the nine mornings. It’s different when you plan things with someone. I’m sure I wouldn’t wanna go to church too if the person I planned to go there with cancels, just like what had happened many times before. And due to my desire to complete the nine mornings, and since I’m already kinda used to going out alone, I decided to do Simbang Gabi all by myself.

So I ride a tricycle and a jeep to go to church at around 3:30 AM. There are actually two churches near our house but I want to go to the church I (almost) grew up on. After mass, which ends at 5:00 AM, I walk 45 minutes, on a different route, to go home.

And I love walking during those hours when it’s dark and the normally busy road is almost deserted. Now, I’m not talking about your normal village street with residential houses and cars parked on the sidewalk, this is a road where jeeps and cars and even trucks pass by during the day.

Some parts are totally dark with no streetlights at all.

From the church, I pass by 7-11 to buy a 10-peso bottle of Hidden Spring. Then I start the 45-minute walk with only my earphones to keep me company. It’s hard to find others to walk with because my house is kinda far from the church. Most of the people from my area go to either one of the two nearby churches. And I kinda like it that way.

The dawn is all mine to enjoy, like I’m the only man left alive.

What's Your Favorite TVC?


I don't get to watch much TV these days. But one of my feeds lead me to these videos which I rewatched over and over again. LoL! I really enjoy tv ads done with good tastes.

Neil Coleta, who has appeared on a couple of television shows already (Lipgloss, Rosalka), stars in these two Nestea tv ads.

He is also on Voice Combo Sandwich's "6 Senses" ad which appeared middle of this year.

Sometimes, these TVCs are better to watch than the shows themselves. Don't you think?

When a Climber Has To Be Taken Down


Czech American tennis great, Martina Navratilova, tried to climb the 19,341-foot summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro but was taken down by mountain porters due to breathing problems with just 5,000 feet to go.

Martina was taken to the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre for assessment and was eventually flown to the Nairobi Hospital for further tests. She suffered from high altitude pulmonary oedema - an accumulation of fluid in the lungs.

The 54-year-old, 18-time Grand Slam champion was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year but declared herself cancer-free six months after. She underwent 6 weeks of radiation treatment to make sure cancer cells are all killed.

The rest of Martina’s Mt. Kilimanjaro team, consisting of 27 climbers, was gutted to know that Martina had abandoned the climb, but they had to continue what they had started.

As for Martina, many may think that she failed. But for a cancer survivor to be able to climb 14,000 feet above sea level is quite an achievement.

You can read about chronicles of the climb here.

photo: yahoo.com

Gloomy Skies, No Candies


November 29, 2010

Sunset Strip, MOA



November 29, 2010
Sunset Strip, MOA

Dusk at MOA


November 29, 2010. Took Princess to MOA's Sunset Strip for a walk. It rained, and the sky was covered with dark clouds the whole time we were there.

The dusk, though, was beautiful.

Mt. Pundaquit - Anawangin Cove Adventures (Part 2)


Click here to read Mt. Pundaquit - Anawangin Cove Adventures (Part 1).

So I was able to cross the little patch of water and was soon climbing up the rocky trail towards the top of the hill. K, who was barefoot cuz he thought he’d just go walking along the beach with Gerald and Troy, was walking so slowly cuz most of the stones were sharp-edged.

Halfway up, I looked up and was rewarded with this view:

Uphill, though, the view was most breathtaking.


At the other side of the hill, there’s another beach much like the cove. There seem to be no activity there, though. There was actually no one in sight.

When I asked around, I learned that it is so rocky on that part that boatmen find it hard to go there.

After about half an hour, K and I decided to head back. But we couldn’t help but stop by the cove again for some more photos.


Back at the camp, we were divided into groups. I was put in the group in-charge of cooking together with K, Gerald, and Judylyn. We never cooked, though. We just washed the fishes and pork (okay, they washed it, I just pumped the deep-well thing).

I have never been much a fan of eating so I won’t elaborate on the food. But really, there was so much food. So much, at least, for the 200-peso contribution I gave which included 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 1 dinner.

After lunch, I killed time at the swing facing the beach. Almost beside me were these boatmen waiting for their passengers to go home.

Most of us slept the afternoon off. But I guess I overslept. I almost missed the sunset!

Here’s my little video of the Anawangin sunset using my Kodak ZX1:

Everyone spent the night drinking aside from me and the other applicant named Ervic. A little before midnight, they started the deliberation. I wanted to watch but the other guest was told not to watch so I didn’t push my luck anymore.

The deliberation finished a little before 3 AM and I was able to sleep around 4 AM, reason why I missed the sunrise.

More time to kill Sunday morning. I tried to go to the little beach at the right side of the cove but the rocks were so slippery and the waves so strong. The boatman I talked to said I should’ve done that a little earlier when it was low tide. But, oh well, I overslept so I missed the low tide.

This souvenir vendor passed by while I was on the swing (again).

I bought this bracelet for 50 pesos. And look, I was darker than the vendor.

It was kinda disappointing when they said we wouldn’t be having a side trip to the Capones Island anymore, just like what was stated in the itinerary. Sayang. I knew it would be long before I could go back there again. And it’s really sayang cuz I saved a lot on this trip by going with the Stallions. When I was planning an Anawangin trip, my original budget was 3,000 pesos, most of which goes to renting a boat. But going with the Stallions had me shell out only (believe it or not) 900 pesos.

After much eating, we left Anawangin for Pundaquit on a pumpboat at around 3:30 PM.

Here’s me with the Stallions applicants:

With the entire group minus 2 (Euflin and Ma’am Mimay):

After about 30 minutes or so, we arrived at the little fishing village of Pundaquit.

From there, we took a tricycle ride back to San Antonio Municipal Hall, then another Victory Liner ride back to Manila. It was almost midnight when I arrived home to the happy barking of my dogs and my Nanay's pork sinigang.

As much as I like traveling, I also like the idea of going home to my loved ones who I know miss me when I'm out.


* Ride a Zambales-bound bus and ask to be dropped off in front of San Antonio Municipal Hall (Victory Liner student fare costs 202.00 as of 05Nov2010. And in case you’re wondering, I was with students so they thought I was one. My bad.)
* Hire a tricycle to take you to the jump-off (25.00 per head with 4 persons max or 100.00 if you wanna hire it for yourself.)
* Trek Mt. Pundaquit to go to Anawangin Cove or hire a pumpboat for a minimum of 1,200 pesos a day.

* There’s no fresh water in Anawangin and bottled water and soda prices are double than their regular prices.
* Toilets are not so nice and you have to fetch your own water from the hand pumps.
* No rooms so you have to bring your own tents if you wanna stay overnight.
* It can get boring. Bring your own entertainment in case your friends slept early or you woke up early and your friends overslept.

Don't Drink & Blog


Last Thursday, on my way to the cinema to watch Harry Potter, something at Penshoppe caught my eyes. It was near the entrance of the store and was staring right at me.

I couldn't resist.

Keno - Ohayou [Music Video]


Who misses Hunter X Hunter?



One of my goals is to climb Mt. Pulag via the Akiki trail. I know I need to prepare physically for that one. So it will be just a dream for now.

So even if I can't join the KPMS on this climb, I'm posting the poster below JSYK.

I'm sure, though, that even if I'm physically prepared, Nanay won't allow me on this one. December 23rd is already Christmas in our house.



I love animals. And although I'm not a devoted vegetarian as of the moment, I bleed seeing animals as young as these chicks colored, caged, and sold to kids who don't even know how to take care of them.

Some of them end up dead even before anyone care to buy them, and what happens to those bought by the kids, I'll never know. Lucky are those who go to loving hands.

Mt. Pundaquit - Anawangin Cove Adventures (Part 1)


I've always wanted to go to Anawangin cuz I've always read and heard so many beautiful things about it. So when I learned that K's third training climb with the MLQU Stallions Outdoor Club would be Mt. Pundaquit with a 2-day stay at the Anawangin Cove, I immediately begged him to ask their president if I could guest-climb with them.

It was a short-notice, though. He informed me Wednesday night (Nov 3) that the club allowed me to go with them; assembly was 8 PM Friday (Nov 5). I immediately canceled my Balagbag Falls day trip with a friend that Saturday. But I couldn't cancel Princess' follow-up CBC that Friday.

And I crammed. The itinerary included a boat ride from Anawangin to Capones Island to Pundaquit on the way home, and I don't know how to swim!

So after bringing Princess to the vet Friday morning (and learning that her RBC's kinda high which might result into a stroke [God forbid]), I went to the mall to buy stuff including a whistle, soccer socks for compression (I over estimated the mountain, it is only 400 something MASL), a box of Ziploc, a headlamp, and a float vest. I know, I'm so paranoid.


It actually fit in my 40L Sandugo backpack with the earth pad, Lock & Locks, and these:

So K, Gerald, and I rode the PNR, which was my first PNR ride. It was SRO, but good enough.

Anyway, only a few of them were at the MLQU grounds when we arrived.

After several trips to 7-11 (I really can't stand waiting and doing nothing), we left MLQU around 10:30 PM for the Victory Liner terminal. All 20 of us had been reserved for the 11:05 PM bus bound for Zambales. It was cool that Victory Liner leaves on time. And it was so cold that I started having a cold halfway through the ride. What's more, most of our jackets were inside our rucksacks which were deposited at the baggage area under the bus. Foolish me, it was my first time to ride an aircon bus since I started traveling and keeping a sweater with me on bus rides had never been something to make a special note about.

But just the same, we arrived in San Antonio, Zambales in one piece (plus a cold for me). It was 3:00 AM. We then took a tricycle ride to the jump-off where we had an early breakfast, use of the bathroom, and a warm-up.

We started the hike at 4:30 AM. It was so dark that those without headlamps were made to walk in between those who had. So nice that I bought one. I actually didn't wanna experience ever again what happened to us in Pico de Loro.

Look! All sweaty in the wee hours of the morning.

It was a friendly trail, almost flat then moderately steep less than an hour into the Anawangin Saddle which is the midpoint of the traverse. It is also the summit, but to better say that you've been to Mt. Pundaquit's summit, you can trek up a little higher to the right to what seem to be a hill on top of the mountain.

It was 6:15 AM when we reached the saddle. It wasn't dark anymore but the sun was still hidden behind the mountains. The mountain is a grassland, and at that point, I could understand why the Stallions wanted a night climb. We would literally toast under the heat of the sun with no tree to give us shade if we climbed during the day.

We stopped at the saddle, taking a break and regrouping. From the jump-off, I was already part of the tail group, actually positioned at the very end of the tail that I wasn't pressured or anything to keep up with the pace. LoL! But then something happened to the leg of one of the members in the tail group making most of the members stop to wait up for him, therefore the applicants and the guests reached the saddle ahead of the members. The applicants should have been in the middle of the team leader's group and the tail group. But since someone was hurt, I was among the first few to reach the saddle. LoL!

And that's the Anawangin Beach low behind me.

After taking forever, we resumed the trek. Since it was a deliberation climb, the applicants were made to find their way from that point on. The members would leave trail marks along the way, which would test the applicants' skills to read the signs.

So we were divided into three groups again. The members would all take the lead, then the applicants (aside from K and another applicant named Eric) would follow trail after 30 minutes. Then the two guests (I included) with K and Eric (who looked like a high school student, btw), formed the tail group. And we were to leave the saddle 30 minutes after the middle group of applicants.

It was funny, though, that after only a few minutes of walking, we spotted the end of the middle group. So the four of us rested again to let the group ahead of us keep their distance.

It was the most relaxed time of the trek for me. First, it was a descent. As much as others say they hate descents because it hurts their knees or whatever, I love it even more than uphill trekking. Secondly, Eric and K were two of the most behaved applicants and we shared lighthearted talks while resting and walking.

At the foot of the mountain, we again found the other applicants just about to leave after taking a rest. K and Eric started teasing the group on how slow and weak they were. Then K, being the leader of the tail group, decided to take a different trail than the other group was taking. And then we started seeing trail signs. As it turned out, we took the right path to the beach.

After all the rests and stops, we arrived at Mansayon Beach Resort a little before 8:00 AM.

Don't let it fool you, though. Not because there's a so-called resort in the area doesn't mean they have all the amenities you have in mind. They have old-fashioned toilets (no flush), and deep well hand pumps the water of which smelled like kalawang so it's not really potable. They don't have cottages so you really have to bring your own tents if you're staying overnight. I was advised by K to bring my tent so I brought my 4-person dome which I realized was 9 years old already. I wasn't able to take any picture of it at Anawangin but it's the same tent I used at Kwebang Lampas.

When it rained at the camp Saturday night, though, I realized I needed to buy a new one. Water, though minimal and not really noticeable unless you're like me who keeps noticing the weirdest of things, can now seep at the seams.

But before it was night (sorry for the fast-forward), I immediately roamed around after settling. No one wanted to go with me cuz it was stifling hot so I walked around alone.

The cove has such a calming atmosphere that I could just stay there for hours and not get tired of the place. What's actually good about it aside from the natural beauty of the place is that there are minimal tourists around.

Thanks to the person who invented the digicam's timer, I was able to take pics of me even when I was roaming the place alone.

When I spotted the hill to the left of the beach, I knew it was where those amazing pics of Anawangin Cove were taken. I immediately headed to the direction of the hill but stopped and thought twice about crossing that little patch of water going towards the cove.

My reason for hesitating to cross the water? This:

Haha! And the stories that you can't really be too careful when swimming in Anawangin so you have to wear your float vest all the time. Okay, paranoia. But that's me.

I really had to go back to the little store selling overpriced sodas to ask the vendor if it's safe to cross the water on that side of the beach, blah, blah. They said it's safe but that I have to be careful on going up the hill.

On my way to the store, though, I saw K, Gerald, and Troy walking along the beach. I didn't know K followed me on my way back to the hill until I was about to cross the water.

It was waist deep (on my 5'3" height, btw) and the little fishes were ticklish despite the leggings I was wearing under my shorts.

Part 2 of my Mt. Pundaquit - Anawangin Cove Adventure to follow.

Click here to read Mt. Pundaquit - Anawangin Cove Adventure (Part 2).



Taken October 21, 2010 while waiting for a ride to my sister Leni's house with Angel. It was a busy day which started with a trip to the doctor for me, then an unplanned check-up for Angel. Then I paid BIR at Landbank; went with Angel to SSS; then a little shopping at MOA.

My sister's kids were already sleeping by the time we arrived for a little visit. Juansen was having a 39-degree fever. Jansen, though, woke up to eat the McDo burgers I brought them.

Asian Boy Wants To Be Female Pop Star


I love talented kids, especially those who know what they wanna be as early as 5 years old. Let's just hope, though, that no parent talked him into doing this just for popularity.

Now the dance-off:

Morning Princess


Good morning! Princess just had breakfast.

We're just happy to announce that she had been cleared of bacterial infection upon CBC last Friday at Animal House Alabang. Props to Dr. David Diwa!

Now all we need is to find an Elizabethan collar that would fit her and I can walk her any hour without her licking the street.

Both AH Alabang and Bicutan branches don't have one. Perhaps I should go to Cartimar again.

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