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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Christian, The Lion

My friend, Vicky, sent me this link. Very touching! 

Here's the story, if you find it hard to read and watch at the same time: In 1969, John Rendall & Ace Berg saw a lion cub for sale in Harrods. Cramped & lonely in a small cage, they decided to bring it home.

A local vicar allowed them to exercise the cub, now named Christian, in the church grounds but he very quickly became too big for their flat.

The only thing they could do was to try and reintroduce him to Africa, which they managed to do. A year later they wanted to visit him but were told that he was now the head of his own pride and as such was completely wild and would not remember them. Undaunted, they went anyway.

After many hours of looking for the pride, this is what happened when they finally found the wild lion... (I won't turn the volume up on this one though)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Corrupted iPod

OMG! I was trying not to panic when after connecting me iPod to my lappy, I got a message from iTunes that goes sumpthin' like "Your iPod is corrupted. You need to restore it or reconnect again." I tried to reset it (by holding down the Menu and Middle buttons for a few seconds) but it didn't work.

I went online immediately to find solutions. 

Then somebody advised to do this after reset, hold down middle button and play button to switch to Disk mode. I tried it but it still didn't work.

I kept trying but nuthin' worked. Super crap! How can I survive without my freakin' music?!

The next morning, I tried again. This time, I did the following:

First, I reset the iPod without connecting it to my lappy.

Next, I held down middle button and rewind button. This gave me a new screen, reminiscent of DOS F8/BIOS days. I looked for Reset inside the Power menu.

Then, I reset again and plugged it to my lappy.

Voila! My iTunes finally recognized my flippin' iPod. Whew!!! Too bad, my mp3s are all gone. Next time, back up everything is the moral lesson here. Also, remember to disconnect your iPods properly. Wait for that OK sign.

So next time you get the same message, you know now how to solve the issue ;oP

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I ♥ Nokia

For the past few weeks that I've been using my Motorola Razr, I've been feeling frustrated with its texting features. I use the predictive text a lot and Motorola really sucks at it. 

When Kuya informed me that somebody is planning to sell a Nokia N95, the idea of buying it entered my mind. I love Nokia and I'm so used to its features already.

After exchanging text messages, I finally met the seller. I tested the phone and made sure that it's in good condition before buying it.

Now, I'm back to being a Nokia owner/user. I won't ever leave Nokia again.

One nice thing about the N95 is that it has a 5 megapixel camera. Now that I can't use my digicam, this would be a good substitute.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Dark Knight

Everyone is saying that Heath Ledger could win an Oscar posthumously for his role as The Joker. After watching the movie, I must say, he stands a good chance alright.

If you're a teevee addict like me, you'd recognize the familiar faces of Prison Break's Mahone (William Fichtner) and Lost's Richard Alpert (Nestor Carbonell).

I wasn't expecting the Bat-pod would come from the Batmobile.

I like the effects that they did for Harvey Dent's face.

The choose-whose-boat-gonna-blow scene reminds me of the "Saw" series. I thought everyone will die.

I'd love to see the movie again. The sound system in SM Fairview sucks. I couldn't hear much of the dialogues. Crap!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Trip to Trinoma

Rain won't stop me from spending my time at a shopping mall. It's the weekend and I just CANNOT stay indoors. Since I've never been to TriNoma, I thought of paying it a visit today. TriNoma means Triangle North of Manila, by the way.  It's very near SM North Edsa. I took a jeepney ride to Philcoa and a quick cab ride to the mall. I get excited whenever I visit a new place ;oP
On the first level, I found shops like Levi's, Gift Gate, The Body Shop, and Diego. *yawns*

I quickly moved up and found electronic stores like Avant and Electroworld. I'm in search of a nice digital alarm clock but found none.

I think the third floor was created specifically for me. I found stores like Calvin Klein Jeans, Springfield, Brookstone, Topshop, Dimensione and Zara. OMG! They also have Power Mac Center. They sell MBAs worth 93K. I found a Time Capsule but it's too expensive for me, 14K for 500 GB. Plus, it's heavy.
At a shop called Hobbes & Landes, I bought a Pets @ Work towel featuring a cat named Kam Kam and a face towel featuring a dog named Don Don. So cute! You can check out some of their stuff by clicking this link.

At Zara, I bought a shirt with a Hangover design and a pair of Grandpa pants (y'know, the ones that Blake Lewis likes to wear too). The pants is too long so I looked for a place to alter it. The sales attendant advised me to go to Alterations Plus. They charged me 150 pesos for it. A huge difference to the 14 dollars that I pay in the US to have my pants shortened.

TriNoma is huge. 3 hours of shopping ain't enuff. I still have to try the Five Cows resto, look for the reverse waterfall, and check out their cinemas. Next weekend perhaps? Teehee.... 

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, Kuya!

To my big brother, hapee hapee bertdey!!! I wish that you'll be more successful in your new job there. As always, whenever you need help, I'm just a phone call or a flight away ;oP

'wag ka masyado magpakalasing sa birthday mo.

Days Like These

At 7:30, Bengers, Pattie & I headed out to Sentro in Greenbelt 3. We had reservations at 8 but I was advised to come half an hour earlier. 

I invited 11 more friends: Nikks, Joyish, Table, Bulilit, Rene, Jun, Faye, Boy, Mike, and Lizette. Nikks & Table would be joining us later. Jun had some errand to do so he couldn't make it anymore. Mike took a raincheck too.

While waiting for the rest of the guests, we ordered drinks. I got me-self some ice cold San Mig Light. Faye arrived shortly. She requested sizzling tofu. Right, it's one of the specialties of Sentro. How can I forget! We also got some veggie rolls.
Rene and Boyette arrived a few minoots apart. Then came Lizette and Joyish. Joy is leaving for the US on Monday.
Then it was time to eat. We had some corned beef sinigang (even though I requested a more sour soup, they didn't make it the way I wanted it), galunggong fillets cooked in EVOO and the ever sinful boneless crispy pata. There were a lot of leftovers so I took home some of them. I have plenty of food on Monday ;oP

At 10, we decided to continue the fun at a new videoke place called "Maru". It's located near KFC in Jupiter st. and right beside Strumms. Sherwin informed me that it's not up to par with "Red Box". He wasn't kidding. The place looks old and dingy.

You can sing your hearts out at 280 pesos for three hours and it's consumable. Well, when we looked at the drinks menu, most of them are in the 100 peso range. Beng ordered Vodka Ice and they didn't have it. When Joy tasted her drink, it wasn't good at all. I played it safe with San Mig Light. Oh, the service sucks. The intercom that they have inside the room doesn't work.

As for the videoke system, they have two big books for you to choose your songs from. Be careful though, a good chunk of the pages are for listening songs, meaning, the songs have freakin' vocals. Why would I go to a videoke bar and let some unknown singers sing the songs that I wanna sing?! 

Oh, 98% of the songs are old. Although, I was able to sing songs like "A Very Special Love", "Maybe It's You", "Tila". Ogz, if you're reading this, they have "Used to Be". Too bad, I can't sing it alone.

Joy had to go somewhere else so she bid goodbye after an hour. She missed Nikks' arrival though. Then Pattie said goodbye and Rene followed suit. When it was only the three of us left, Boy arrived. Still no sign of Table.
After our singing stint, we didn't know where to go next. It's still early (1 o'clock). Beng suggested to go to Warehouse in Pasong Tamo but the plan didn't push through. Instead, she went home. Teehee...

So it's just Nikks, Boy and I. We went back to the office first to leave our stuff behind. Then we had some coffee at Starbucks in GB3. Catching up till 5 in the morning. Whew!

Received a text message from Table. She's got caught up with work so she couldn't join us =o(

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bye, Wok Inn. Hello, Krispy Kreme!

The new office location has its perks. UCPB is a lot closer now. There's a branch along dela rosa st. From the office, make a left and cross the street. Then walk towards Landmark and just a few distance away, you'll see one to your right. Just before a 7-Eleven store. No more underpasses.

I have an HSBC credit card and every time I pay, I have to make a long walk towards the RCBC branch. Am happy that they have one branch inside the Enterprise which is along Ayala cor. dela rosa. Very near the office. Yay!

The malls are quite closer now too. You don't need to hail a cab or fx to visit them. I can get my daily exercise ;oP

Sugar fix is also near. There's a new Krispy Kreme store along Ayala near Goldilocks. *drools* No need to visit The Fort or Megamall. Tabel, Bengers, Lizette with Hubby in tow and I chilled out there for a while. Their dozen costs 265 pesos. If you get 2, you will save 30 bucks. I got some decaf coffee too. The good news is, they have free wi-fi. Now, I can go there anytime I want for me donuts, coffee and wi-fi ;oP

Say bye-bye to "Wok Inn" in Park Square. It was replaced by a similar resto named "Dragon Wok". Change of management perhaps? They still have our favorite sipa, grilled squid and halaan.
Found a store in Park Square selling MacBook Air for 88,500 pesos. That is roughly 19 hundred bucks. Still no sign of 3G iPhones.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Back to Work

Woke up at 5 this morning. Forgot to buy coffee or hot choco so I immediately went inside the bathroom for my hot shower.

Left Bulacan at 6. Paid 9 pesos for my jeep fare going to Tungko. There I boarded a bus going to Fairview. It set me back 28 pesos.

My tummy was complaining so I looked for a place to eat. Jollibee was the perfect choice for my hunger. I got some corned beef brekky. I so miss this! 72 pesos for the meal.

Shortly after, I boarded a bus going to Ayala. Fare is 55 pesos. Total fare one way is 92.

Tomorrow, I might aboard a Philcoa jeep and wait for my bus in Fairview instead.

At Paseo de Roxas, I got off and looked for our building. I remember from the stories that it's near the corner so I began walking. I texted Beng and asked for the address.

I found the building SSHG Law Centre but I wasn't sure if this is the right place. I went inside and checked the building directory. That's when I got Beng's reply. It's the right place alright. This is it!
On the 6th floor, I saw two familiar faces right away: Rudy and Ramil. I was hoping to see Nikks' face at the reception though. I was greeted by Joy and Beng.

I'm also happy that on my first day, I wasn't late. I arrived around 9:30ish.

Made chikahan with Dennis M. Then I went around greeting peeps: Onse, Mon, Dave, Sherwin, Olive, Rey, Onie, Randy, Nicko, Racquel, Norma, Jun, Boy and Faye. I don't know some of the new guys so I didn't approach them.

Jun was setting up my computer so I used his laptop to update my resume. The folks back in the US need this. Hopefully they could give me a new VISA soon.

It's time to inspect the new office. The ceiling lacks a handful of covers (one is directly on top of me). Since not all light fixtures have bulbs in them, the office looks gloomy. With enuff budget, this place could brighten up again.
When you go inside the pantry, it's like stepping inside somebody else's kitchen. The old stuff was there: the coffee maker, both manual and automatic, the condiments, hot & cold water dispenser and the refrigerator. The cabinets don't have door handles yet.
Sherwin advised me to open this particular door located beside the sink. When I opened it, it's the emergency exit stairway. It looks like a scene from an old war movie. Chernobyl was Sherwin's description.

I'm just glad that there's a piece of the old Enterworks left—the cubes. I crouch down so all I see is the cube. I imagine that I'm still in the Standard Chartered building. Teehee....

Now, let's talk about the public restrooms. Stress on "Public". It looks like a better version of the MRT restrooms. But it smells and still no toilet seats or free tissue.
I learned later on that at noon, the lights are killed and at 7 pm, the aircon is turned off to save on electricity.

I miss the Standard Chartered building. That place has so many fond memories.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

See You in December

Ugh! I dread this day. I hate saying goodbye to my family again....

I woke up early as usual. I caught Angela wiping the faces of her still sleeping children. It's school day and they need to prepare and go to school before 8.

For brekky, I had some tuyo, scrambled eggs and sinangag. Perfect!

I had 3 hours to kill so I decided to hit the beach again. Started from D'Mall. After floating and swimming for awhile, I began itching. I left the area and walked the stretch of the beach towards Station 1, past Willy's Rock.

In front of Friday's, I continued my swimming. I have the area to myself. Ahhhh. Feels sooo great.

Before 10, I walked back towards D'Mall and went back home. Took a bath and had an early lunch. Angela cooked some beefsteak and chopsuey.

Around 11, Fiona appeared in the doorway. She's done school for the day. After taking her lunch, we went back to her school and looked for Mommy and Lance.

Kissed and hugged Mom & Lance. Bid goodbye to Angela and Joy at home. Lastly, Fiona kissed me goodbye. Before leaving the house, we took these photos. Fiona is such a beautiful girl, no? Angela informed me that Fiona's crying when I left the house =o(
After a 10-peso ride to Cagban, 20-peso boat ride (plus 50-peso terminal fee), and a 40-peso tricycle ride to Caticlan ariport, I checked-in my luggage. No excess weight this time. Paid 20 for another terminal fee.

The plane would be taxiing down the NAIA Terminal 3 so that's good news for me 'cause I'm excited to see what's inside this freakin' controversial airport.
Terminal 3 is a big airport alright. The plane stopped some meters away from the doors so I did a lotta walking. Inside, some walls have cracks in them. Creepy!
We were told that our luggage were the first ones to appear on the conveyor belt. We were also given souvenir items from Cebu Pacific, consisted of a red pouch with 2 toothpaste sachets, a Colgate 360 toothbrush and a Colgate mouthwash. Sweet!

Then it's time to find a cab. Their public transportation ain't efficient yet so I had to walk a good distance to reach the highway. There I hailed a cab going to Mantrade MRT station.

I noticed that the MRT ride hasn't improved at all. Yes, they changed the voice of the station announcer. It's more clear now. But we still need a LOT of trains to accommodate the passengers. It's like a can of sardines in there.

I decided to watch "The Dark Night" in SM Fairview. I'll share my review in a different post. For dinner, I had some beef misono at Tokyo Tokyo. Tomorrow, I'll be seeing the office for the first time.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Back at Tirta Spa

A few minoots after 5 in the afternoon, I boarded a tricycle and asked the driver to take me to Tirta Spa. If I had known that it's just a walking distance from Kuya's house, I would have just used my two feet.

I jumped when the gong was struck--even though I was expecting it already. This is to signal that a client has arrived. I noticed that they put flowers now along the edge of the ascending pathway.

Two spa attendants welcomed me. They asked if I know what service I'm gonna get. I told them I need to see the list again.

The Men's Vitality looks inviting: a facial plus body scrub. It's been awhile since I last had a full body massage.

When I was about to pay, I noticed that I forgot to bring my credit card. Crap! I told them that I have to come back ASAP.

Take 2. I eventually got their Promo 2, consisted of a calamansi & ginger body scrub, a Hilot massage, and a Biodroga facial (which is imported from Australia).

Lyn accompanied me to my villa. Placed my flip-flops in a basket located just to the right of the door. I was led to the changing area. They offered this thong for my body scrub. 'twas too large for me but I wore it anyways along with their sarong.

I sat down and drank some ginger tea while my masseuse explained to me the scrub, oils and creams that will be used for me body. Am excited now.

Lyn advised me to lay face down minus the sarong. The massage started from the hair/head, then came the back of me legs, then the arms, then the back and shoulders. She then told me to turnover. Legs. Arms. Tummy. Chest and shoulders. I controlled myself from giggling when she scrubbed my tummy.

I was a bit concerned with my injured left pinky finger but nuthin' bad happened to it.

Afterwards, I took a shower. Lyn advised me to refrain from using the body wash.

I went back to the couch and had some water with lemon. Next was the hilot massage. Lyn scanned my back three times. She informed me that she didn't detect any "lamig" other than the areas of my tummy and the "reproductive system". I dunno what she meant by that.

The massage was really nice. I like the hand, feet and knee massages. The leg stretching could use some more pressure though.

During the last 30 minoots, Lyn concentrated on my face. I was thinking about the Olay cream that I normally use. Hopefully that won't have any strange effect with the creams being used on me face. She used her fingertips to massage my face lightly. I enjoyed that.

I would've loved to stay on the bed and get some sleep but it's already time to go. Oh, man!!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Games That Kids Play

Before bedtime, I play with Lance and Fiong-Fiong. Their favorite game is "Touch the Color". But they are limited to the basic colors and those that I see inside the bedroom. Of course, I can't ask them to touch Ecru or Turquoise yet.

So I thought of other easy games to play. They requested "Singing Bee". Hmmm... I began singing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and let them supply the missing words. I followed it up with "Baa... Baa... Black Sheep", "Jack and Jill" and "London Bridge". Then we stopped. I can't think of other nursery rhymes.

I introduced to them the "Pitik Bulag" game. I would close my eyes with my left hand and then one of them would flick my hand. I would then open my eyes and with my other hand, I would give a signal. Either 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5. If anyone raises the same number, I would lightly pinch his/her ear. They enjoyed it.

Also, we play the "What am I Thinking?" game. This stimulates their thinking power. I would describe an object and then they would shout what object it is.

Now, do you know any other games that don't require electricity or expensive gadgets?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

What a Wacky Family!

Too bad my digicam charger & battery were freakin' stolen. Now, I rely on my cellphone camera to shoot these photos. At an early age, I think these two bundles of joy are just loving them cameras!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Stretch it Out

Due to jetlag, I don't get enuff sleep nowadays. I wake up before the rooster crows at 5 in the morning. Maybe I should replace his job ;oP

Today, Kuya & I visited "Mandala Spa". The place still hasn't lost its charm for me.
Back at home, we had so much fun playing with the Stretch effect in Photo Booth:

Hapee Berdey, Laaa!

Tried contacting you, gurl, but the phone only rang a few times. Not sure if it's still your number. Anyhoo, happy birthday, La!

I miss you ;oP Mwah!

Bora Once More

After cooking breakfast (I missed eating skinless longganisa from Pampanga's Best), I quickly prepared for my trip to Boracay. I made sure that I've got all the pasalubong (or gifts) for my family. Unforch, Kuya's new A&F shirt got included in the stolen goods. Anyhoo, I'm gonna give him my old iPod so that would make him happy.

Left Bulacan around 10:30. Not sure about the traffic situation so I alloted a lotta traveling time. It cost me 35 pesos to reach Philcoa. I immediately found a cab that took me to the domestic airport. Paid 200 pesos for the trip. Along the way, we saw a very thick gray smoke coming out of a burning building--turned out that it's the PureGold mall in Libertad.

After presenting my stuff to Security (Wall·E was getting a lot of attention), I looked for the Cebu Pacific counter. The airport personnel weighed my luggage--18 kilos. There's a sign that indicates I need to pay 100 pesos for each excess kilo. Dayyum! That's 800 pesos. She advised me to pay for it in another counter.

When I got back to her shortly after, my luggage is gone. I asked her where it was. Turned out that it's already been checked in. I'm getting paranoid with this check-in stuff.

Next, the terminal fee set me back 200 pesos. Ugh! Afterwards, I entered the boarding area where fellow passengers are either awaiting their flights or eating lunch. I've got more than 2 hours to kill so I looked for sumpthin' to eat. I found a stall selling home cooked meals. The kare-kare got my tummy excited so I got some. Coke Zero & a bottled water completed my lunch. I was shocked when I learned about how much the lunch is. It's, like, 235 pesos. I said, "Whaaaaaaat?! How come?" The food alone costs 135 and the coke & water cost 50 pesos each. That's freakin' highway robbery. Well, the only nice thing that came out of this experience is that, the food is good.

3 o'clock came and it's time to board. Cebu Pacific just recently offered direct flights to Caticlan. I got a good deal with my tickets. If you book on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, you get the cheap tickets. All in all, I only paid 4700++ pesos, compared to the 8K ticket that I got in December.

The flight time is about an hour. SeAir still offers the quickest--35 minoots. Anyhoo, Cebu Pacific normally plays trivia games to entertain their passengers. This time, they asked 3 questions about some of their flight destinations. The first question talked about this island in Singapore where visitors came by the thousands. I quickly raised my hand and answered, "Sentosa" (I felt like Hermione in a Hogwarts' class). I was correct so I got this orange souvenir pouch. Oh my godzilla, another orange pouch. Y'see, I put the money I lost in a similar container. The other two questions were the nickname given to the next Olympics stadium in Beijing ("The Bird's Nest") and a fun festival in Cebu ("Sinolog").

The Caticlan airport still hasn't improved. They still dump your luggage without any system. So passengers flocked to the receiving spot like vultures wanting to get a piece of their meal. Then you must enter your personal info on a piece of paper and hand it over to the airport crew. It's like the disembarkation thingie that you do in international flights. Not sure why I need to do this every time. They should just have a computer system that tracks this.

I boarded a tricycle that took me to the Jetty airport. Before going through another Security, I paid 50 pesos for the terminal fee, another 50 pesos for the environmental fee and 19.50 pesos for the boat in 3 separate windows. Stupid system.

After the 10-minute boat ride, I reached Cagban. I searched for a familiar face but I had to wait some minoots before I saw Angela and Fiong-Fiong running towards me. Am so happy to see family. Fiona has grown since I last saw her (in December). Still very pretty.

Lance welcomed me to their new house. I gave him Wall·E. Big smile. The new house that Kuya got is very near the school where Lance & Fiona go to. In fact, it's just "ober the bakod" (over the fence). West, our Yellow Lab, is bigger now. I gave him my right hand to lick. Mom gave me a kiss and I gave her a hug. I finally met Disney who's sleeping. Yep, she looks like Lance alright. We also have a new "kasambahay" named Joy.

I distributed my other gifts: 3 big chocolate bags for the family, Vera Wang bag & wallet for mommy, the Disney Princess school and lunch bags for Fiona, Victoria's Secret stuff for Angela, and a nice pink baby cloth for Disney.

Then we feasted on some Goldilock's goodies that I bought at the airport. Mom & I had some coffee while catching up. At 6 pm, Kuya arrived. For dinner, Angela cooked paksiw na bangus (I requested for besugo but there's none here) and ginisang alamang (I missed Daddy's version of this). Kuya also cooked some pininyahang manok.

The kids wanted to play Wii but I forgot to tell them that I didn't bring batteries with me. So tomorrow, Tito Dondon MUST buy some batteries.

Before hitting the bed, I watched "Ako si Kim Samsoon". Too many dayyum commercials. And I noticed in this episode, Regine is crying in all her scenes.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Next Destination: Boracay

For the past few days, I've been having a hard time booking a flight to Boracay. I use my HSBC credit card but after typing all the deets, I get this additional security code thingie. I have no idea what to type there so online booking is useless. I went to SM Fairview last night and looked for a Cebu Pacific booking office. Nada.

I went back online and looked for a contact number. They only have one phone number in Manila and it's always freakin' busy.

Then I thought of asking a friend to book for me. All I need is the credit card info. I asked Bengers first. Turned out that she doesn't own a credit card. She referred me to Joyish. After a quick exchange of personal info, I got booked... finally. I then did some online banking with UCPB and transfered moolah to her. Super thanks, Joyish!

I'll be seeing my family tomorrow around 4-ish. Am excited to see Disney too.

Very Bad Day

Around 4 pm today, I heard a shout from our neighbor. "Don, your bag is here!" That's great! I welcomed the guy who brought it. I noticed that there are plastic string locks attached to the locks of my luggage. I grabbed a pair of scissors and cut them.

There it is... my stuff. I opened the Polo Ralph Lauren bag containing my documents. My documents are there but there's one important thing missing... An orange pouch bag containing my money. Oh my God! I can't believe this!

I checked everywhere. It's not there. I called the NWA number but they told me that their representative can be reached tomorrow. Their office is from 8 to 3 pm only. Oh my God! I don't know what to do next.

I lost more or less 18 hundred dollars and less than 10K in pesos. My savings in Virginia are all gone.

I checked even further and found out that I lost the A&F shirt that I bought for Kuya, my cellphone charger, and digicam battery charger including the battery. Those are the only ones I remember missing. I dunno if there's more.

I went online to report the incident to NWA. Hopefully, they have answers for me. They MUST have an answer for me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Thank God for Neighbors

I don't care what others say about money. It's pretty important. I don't think I can live without it. Today is survival day. I don't know where I'd get money to buy me food. I have 73 bucks but I still need Pesos to go to SM Fairview and have it exchanged. Can't do that.

Ate Fely, mommy of Allen, brought me some brekky. Ginisang ampalaya with sinangag. After a few minutes, she gave me some hot choco. Oh my God! Thank you.

I went to Manang Ateng, mommy of my good friend, Nimfa. She owns a store and I asked if I could "borrow" some corned beef. I also told her about my problem. She offered me some money and phone credits. I need to call Northwest and Kuya later.

I used Allen's phone to call Northwest. I talked to Jeff and he informed me that my luggage will be traveling from Detroit to Manila tonight (same flight as I was yesterday). That means, it will touchdown in Manila around 10:30. Now, that's a good sign.

In the meantime, I can worry about other things. Kuya finally reached me and we got to catch up. I told him about my delayed luggage and my helplessness at this point.

Can't do much today. Once I get the money, I'll be paying my neighbors, including Bok who picked me up at the airport.

I heart my neighbors.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Going Home

At 9:30, I brought my baggages down with the help of Raz and Ogz. I can't believe I'm going back home. I will miss Ashburn so much.

Richie offered to drive me to the airport. My 3 bags won't fit our Prius so I requested them to use the other vehicle.

My only concern is overweight baggage. I've got so many stuff to bring home. I even left a whole lotta stuff in the closet that I share with Ogz. That's how much stuff I've got. Thank God that each checked-in baggage only weighed around 60ish pounds. Whew!

The flight personnel gave me a center seat all throughout my flight. Bummer.

At Security, I dunno what happened but I got an additional security check. I was thinking maybe the different look in my passport contributed to it or the shemagh that I wore or maybe I look like somebody in their police report.

So I was asked to stay in this aquariumish room you see in the airport beside security. It's not a busy day so there were only a few people passing by. I tried to stay calm and collected. I even smiled at the people. One thing that I noticed that people that go through this additional security look all pretty serious.

Anyhoo, a lady officer carried my stuff to this machine and checked my stuff. She uses this circular paper and wipes the edges of my things. My iPods were checked. The laptop. The digital camera. The edges of my carry-on luggage.

Each test came negative and no alarm went off. Whew!

After a few minutes, she left me as if nuthin' happened. I almost forgot to claim my passport and boarding pass.

Before I boarded the plane, the flight attendant advised me to check in my carry-on luggage 'cause it's big or plump. Eh? She stuck this sticker to the handle and gave me a copy.

My flight got delayed a bit so I left Washington, DC around 1 already. It only takes about an hour to reach Detroit but I prefer not to be late in my 3 o'clock connecting flight to Manila. I don't wanna be stuck in the airport. Never Ever!

When I reached Gate 38, I noticed boarding hasn't started yet (but there are tons of peeps awaiting) so I grabbed a quick lunch at McDonald's.

It's past 4 already and still only a few got in. We left around 5 pm. 11 hours to burn. I watched "The Mist" on my lappy and "Fool's Gold" on the NWA screen.

I recognized a has-been actor in the passengers list, it's Illac Diaz. I wonder how many jologs like me knows that he "was was" (got this from Nikks) an actor.

Even with the best gadgets, my Sharper Image sleep mask and Bose noise canceling headphones, I wasn't able to get some shuteye. Not even 30 minoots. I feel tired.

3.5 hours of flying again from Detroit to Manila. Ugh!

Notice that I didn't mention the food that I ate? It's because the food isn't worth mentioning at all. Sleep deprived and good food deprived. What a freakin' combo!

Ah, it's nice to see Manila again. As soon as the plane door opened, I dashed towards Customs. It didn't take a long time for the papers to get processed and I patiently waited by the baggage carousel.

First one that I saw was my black Samsonite luggage. Another long wait. Next one was my tangerine Samsonite luggage. Then I got a bad feeling. Very bad feeling for my third luggage. Y'know, the one that got checked in at the gate.

When the last bag got dumped at the carousel, I felt sick. Oh no! Curse that flight attendant! I asked one of the airport personnel where I could report my missing luggage. He pointed me to the NWA station.

The guy there who does too many things all at one got my info. He told me that the luggage got left behind in Detroit. Dayyum! That luggage is extremely important to me. It's got chocolates for Lance & Fiong-Fiong, my bank cards, cash and important documents. Raz, if you're reading this now, Jojo's Boston Celtics cap too.

Am deffo not a happy camper today.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Am happy that I finally got to see "Wall·E" tonight. And, boy, Pixar delivered a very fine animated film!

Wall·E, in case you didn't catch it, is short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter and E is for Earth Class. He's the only one left in his class so he's kinda lonely =o(

He spends his time cleaning out trash (left behind by earth's previous inhabitants) and builds them up into tall buildings. It's quite neat when you see his stack creations.

To relax, he watches a 1969 movie called "Hello, Dolly!" Now, I wanna see it too and hold hands with my Eve... ehem. He records his favorite audio and plays it back when he needs inspiration. How cute!

I can't imagine being alone in this world with trash all around me and a pet roach to keep me company. Well, at least, he still got TV, his 1st-Gen iPod music, and his collection of knick knacks.

He is so adorable especially when he's actin' like a teenager who's foolishly in love. He's sooo cute when he's shakin' too. I Wall·E's wake-up scene!

Now, let's talk about his love interest, Eve. Don't let the very simple & sleek design fool ya. This robot could obliterate you in a single shot.

There's another cute robot in the film called "M-O". He's the Bree-Van-de-Kamp bot.

My favorite scene was when
Wall·E rebooted in the last scene and he returned to his startup feature—losing his personality and all. I was, like, Oh nooooo!

For the Mac lovers out there, watch out for the boot-up sound of Wall·E ;oP


Friday, July 11, 2008

Ako si Kim Samsoon on PinoyChannel

Are you missing out on Pinoy teevee shows? Well, my friends from Regine Multimedia recommended me this site where you can watch your favorite shows back home, both from the Kapuso and Kapamilya networks. Go to pinoychannel.tv.

I'm currently watching "Ako si Kim Samsoon" starring Regine Velasquez & Mark Anthony Fernandez. I enjoy watching Regine as "Kim".
She has quite a knack for comedy. The show also showcases the talent of Tessie Tomas (as Kim's mother), Eugene Domingo (as one of the chefs), Carmi Martin (as Cyrus' mom), plus tons of characters.

There's a Korean show called "My name is Kim Sam Soon". Unforch, I didn't see the original so I can't compare the two.

Catch the show after "Dyesebel" on GMA. But for us without any Filipino channel, there's still hope. Super thanks to Shouketsu2k4 for uploading them vids.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

iPhone 3G

The Jeezus phone is coming out in 2 days. I'm leaving for home the day after so I'm torn between buying it or not. Obviously, I cannot use it yet in the Philippines. Fo' sho, they don't have a software that could hack the phone yet. So it would be like having an iTouch. A 200-dollar iTouch. Another option is to buy an already hacked phone in Manila but it won't have GPS nor 3G. The good thing is, I could use it anywhere I go though. But it's gonna be expensive like hell. Hmmmm....

I think I can still wait for a cellphone upgrade. Whenever I think about an upgrade, something bad happens to my current one. I've got this cellphone curse. I keep losing my phone the moment I think about buying a new one. It gets stolen or I just accidentally leave it somewhere, like in cabs. I remember I left my cellphone in a cab in the US. I got it back after a few days. Only to lose it forever when I went back home a few months later.

Y'know, maybe talking about it helps. I just wanna break the dayyum curse.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Must Eat Rice

Here in Indiana, I seldom get to eat rice. During lunch, we often go to Subway or Arby's 'cause of proximity. At night, there's no nearby Thai or Chinese restaurant. Bummer.

Tonight, Dave, Ian and I went to an Italian resto named "Biaggi's". I got what our waiter suggested, "Chicken Pietro". He informed us that its taste is just out of this world. Really... 

Anyhoo, when my meal came, it's got grilled chix breast, portobello mushrooms and veggies that I don't like to eat: carrots, cucumber and onions. Bleh!

The chicken has this strong balsamic vinegar taste. I wish it was served with rice or some pasta. One thing nice about eating with Dave is that, he shares his food. Me likey. He gave me some of his pasta with clams.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I ♥ You, Daddy!

It's been a year since I lost my Daddy. We all dearly miss him. I miss going home to Bulacan and find delish meals waiting for me. I miss his laughter. We have the same unique laughter. I miss him taking care of me. I miss buying pizza for him every Sunday. I miss eating lunch or dinner with him. I miss listening to old tunes every Sunday. I remember I made him a CD containing old songs that we both like.

Daddy, thank you for all the things you've done for the family. We all love you. Mommy, Kuya, Angela, Lance and Fiong-Fiong miss you so much. Oh, did I mention that we have a new baby in the house? Her name is Disney ;oP

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Wanted: A Place to Stay

When I come back home next week, one thing that concerns me a LOT is my travel time. It takes about 5 hours (at least) to get to and from work. That could eat up most of my rest/sleep/gimmick time. I don't want that. Nikki suggested that I check out Jhie's condo at the Fort. She has an extra bedroom I could use. Plus, I might be able to bump into Kristine Hermosa, a local actress, there too. Teehee.

And then there's Rene's condo for rent. I haven't talked to Rene yet but I'm considering it too.

I don't know when I'm gonna be back in the US again but I deffo wanna come back. In the meantime, I need a nice bed to welcome me when I'm done with my 8 hours of work plus 4++ hours of gimmick.

Bose QuietComfort 3 2

One more week and I'll be seeing the busy streets of Makati again, getting stuck in traffic for freakin' hours again, inhaling all the pollution of Manila again, and spending hours of my time commuting again. On the good side, I'll be seeing my family, friends and colleagues. I'll be seeing my new niece named Disney. I'll be tasting the best dishes in the world. Nuthin' beats Filipino food. Teehee. I'll be swimming in Boracay again. I'll be catching up with friends that I so miss hanging out with.

But first, I need to buy something to make Lance and Fiong-Fiong happy. The baby doesn't know the concept of gifts yet ;oP Raz, Ogz and I went to Toys 'R Us in Sterling today. There were Batman toys, new Transformers Animated toys but they look kinda weird, the usual Barbie dolls in every imaginable costumes, etc. I got a new toy for Lance which I'm sure he'll like. For Fiona, I got her some bags. Don't ruin the surprise, Kuya.

We then had our late lunch at Akira. I'll miss their fresh tempura and the best soft-shell crabs I've ever tasted.

We picked Richie up so we could all go to Leesburg Premium Outlets.

My first stop was at Bose. I tested their QuietComfort 3 noise cancelling headphone. It's a lot smaller than the previous version. It has a rechargeable battery already, unlike its predecessor where you need to have a supply of triple-As. It effectively cancels out unwanted noise but the on-ear design wasn't what I wanted though. The sales attendant advised me to try out QuietComfort 2 which has an over-the-ear design. I find this more comfy.

I asked about their factory renewed models. From 299 bucks, I got a 50-dollar discount. Plus the guy gave me another 10 percent. So happy I could do the dance of joy ;oP I trust Bose in giving me the best music experience. Now, with my sleep mask from Sharper Image (the best there is) and this noise-canceling headphone from Bose, I might have a better flying experience. I seldom get some shuteye when I'm up there in the air.

I heart Kenneth Cole. I give them props for creating shoes with unique designs. I'm a sucker for uniqueness so I got this new pair of dark brown shoes with a very nice sole design. Can't wait to wear them.

I'm still not done with my packing and buying "pasalubong" for family and friends. Maybe on Thursday and Friday I can do some of that.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Fourth of July Shopping

After lunch, Raz, Ogz, Alwyn, Richie and I proceeded to "Potomac Mills" in Prince William, VA. Richie wanted to check out IKEA there too. Raz hasn't been to an IKEA store yet too. So that's one of the plans today.

Found a nice "Ed Hardy" shirt at some store whose name escapes me right now. Too bad their Medium is a teeny weeny tight for my chest. So I left the store disappointed. I glanced at the window and found a mannequin wearing the shirt that I wanted. The shirt looks bigger so I went back in. Asked one of the sales personnel named John and he gladly undress the lifeless model for me. Yay, it's large!

Continued shopping at "Hollister" and "Abercrombie & Fitch" but didn't find anything good. Went inside "Banana Republic". I went directly to their Clearance rack and found two pair of pants. It's hard to find 33/30 or 34/30 here. Actually 29 is more of my length. One pair of pants I got for just 14 bucks. I'm happy with my discoveries ;oP

At 2, we convened at the food court and had some lunch. Not too happy with my food. Bleh!

Then it's Marshall's time. I spent a good deal of my time at the polo shirts and tie section. I've been buying them for work lately. Again, they don't have too many of my size, 15 1/2 and 32/33. I found only a couple and bought 3 ties that can go with 'em.

I bumped into Raz and since I'm done with my shopping, I accompanied her at Polo Ralph Lauren store. I found a nice polo and she got the same design for Jojo, her hubby.

Last stop was at some jewelry store. I decided to upgrade my diamond earring ;oP

We checked out the IKEA store next. There are so many things you can spend your money on here to beautify every single room of your house. Every time I see a nice looking bed, I try it out. Had some snacks there. We ordered some pasta and meatballs. 
We enjoyed our trip there.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

I Wanna Go Home!!!

After waiting at the airport for like 3 hours last night, we got booked for today's 8:10 flight. The good thing there is that, I get to spend the night at one of the nicest hotels in downtown Fort Wayne. Too bad I only get to enjoy the bed for 4 hours. But it's a night I won't forget ;oP

Anyhoo, when we got to the airport today, my heart sank when I saw "Cancelled" on our status. Dave & I proceeded to the ticket counter right away.

I was rebooked for the 6:30 am flight that got delayed. I would be leaving Fort Wayne around 8. Hopefully, I'd finally get home later today.

As for David, he was shocked to find out that he got booked for the 8 o'clock flight TOMORROW! The flight coordinator quickly changed that and put him on the same flight as I am.

8 o'clock came and we boarded the plane. I was a bit anxious if we would get deplaned again. After a few minoots of waiting, we're up in the air. Thank gawd.

After an hour, we finally saw Detroit airport. We have less than an hour to kill. Found a Motown store and bought souvenirs. Then a weird alarm came off. Security men were running. Lights were flashing. I asked one of the store personnel about it. It looks like a fire alarm somewhere in the airport. Oh no!

The loud sound stopped after, like, 20 minutes *sigh*. When I reached my gate at A66, I was shocked to see that I have to walk about 35 gates backward. Oh man!

Inside the plane, I was seated at the last row. I was thinking, "I wanna go home and get some freakin' rest". There's another commotion that went on. 3 rows before me, the air vent kept on spewing water (it looks like a faucet with a really bad leak). The passengers who were supposed to seat there were worried. Who wants to sit on a wet chair!

I asked the flight attendant where the water is coming from. She told me that it's from the air conditioner and there's nuthin to worry about. A guy in uniform appeared from the back and took care of the probs. Whew!

At 11:45, we landed at the Dulles airport. Tired. Hungry. Dave & I claimed our luggages, got Dave's car and got some food along the way to the office. So happy to see Ashburn.

One Night Only

Before heading out to Fort Wayne last Sunday, I enjoyed my A&W snack with my rootbeer float. I so miss drinking this.
You can find this elephant statue at Fort Wayne airport. It's located near Security. I would've ignored it if not for where it came from:
This landmark is located just beside Residence Inn on W. Jefferson Blvd.
Before going to the airport today, Dave & I checked out a Filipino store in Lima Road called "Manila Grill". Yesterday was a very disappointing day 'cause when we got there, they told us that they only cook meals from Wednesday to Saturday. Oh man! I was already craving for some local dishes. I was 100x sad & drooled for nuthin'.

Today, we're lucky. They have pork spareribs sinigang, pork afritada, broccoli, and pork tow-cee-noh. It was self-service and buffet style. I got some sinigang and afritada. I told Dave to taste some of the afritada. He liked it. Turned out that Filipino dishes ain't alien to him. He got a taste of "lumpia" before and "pancit". I told him that whenever I cook lumpia again, I'll bring him some. I'm glad he embraced my type of food ;oP We had a very hearty meal. 

Due to severe thunderstorm in Detroit, Dave & I couldn't fly back to DC tonight. After waiting for like 3 hours, we surrendered and just looked for a place to stay. Northwest was very LOUSY providing us hotel service. They told us there's no room available anymore in any of the hotels. Right! Around 8:30, Dave advised the flight coordinator to call Hilton 'cause last week, he got bumped too and he stayed at Hilton for the night. Hilton is always glad to accommodate their distressed passengers. I Hilton!

We got the room for, like, 89 bucks. Boy! Oh! Boy! The room was pretty nice. My mini office space is quite nice. There's a mini coffee machine awaiting. I was able to connect to the internet right away too.
I've got twin-sized beds. I don't like the floral design on the bedsheet though. Huge window but no view. Crappy! That huge bottle of water is not free. Of course, I didn't touch it.
The TV ain't LCD yet unlike in other Hilton hotels.
In the bathroom, there are two tissues near the toilet. No special presentation of towels either.
As for the bathroom amenities, they have Crabtree & Evelyn soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion and even mouthwash! Sweet!
Too bad our flight tomorrow is at 8 am. I would love to stay in bed forever.

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