Skip to content

Watch out…

November 2, 2011

My Christmas Story

December 29, 2010

December 24, 1990

Mommy was busy all day preparing food for our Noche Buena. As always, main course included chicken. I can no longer remember the other “handa” as I was tasked to clean the house. Tatay, on the other hand, took the time off from house chores and opted to spend time with our male neighbors over bottles of hard alcoholic beverages. I was really pissed off with Tatay that day that I told Mom to ask him to go home and help us both inside the house. But since Mom knew that Tatay was having some personal dilemma, she told me to let Tatay spend the day in that manner. Being an immature daughter that time (Or up to now? Hehehe!), the “sungit” in me surfaced and I decided to go to where Tatay was and kind of nagged in front of his friends. I remember telling him, “Tay, bakit ka umiinom dyan? Bakit di mo na lang kami tulungan ni Mommy sa bahay?” Surprisingly, Tatay did not get mad at me but instead told me that he will go home as soon as he and his friends were done with what they were drinking. Of course, I got more pissed off and went home overly mad and disappointed in Tatay.

After doing my task at home, I opted to sleep early. I intentionally did that so I would skip eating Noche Buena with Tatay. That’s how pissed I was.

Oh well, I was successful with my evil plan as I overheard Mom telling Tatay not to wake me up anymore since I got too tired cleaning the house. I heard disappointment in Tatay’s voice when he said “Taon-taon naman tayong nagno-Noche Buena. Bakit naman kasi natulog ng maaga?”

December 25, 1990

Remembering what happened the day before, I woke up still mad at Tatay. So I gave him a cold treatment and did not utter a single word to him the entire day. I just spent the day inside the house while Mom was busy entertaining relatives and guests who passed by our house for a short chit-chat and quick snacks. Again, Tatay opted to spend time with the male neighbors. Still, I did not understand why he would prefer to spend Christmas with them.

Later in the afternoon, Mom and I were scheduled to hear mass at the nearby church. So Mom dragged me to where Tatay was to let him know that we will just leave for church for a short while. Still, I did not talk to Tatay. On our way to church, Mom tried to explain to me why Tatay was being odd like that. She told me of Tatay’s dilemma on his frustration with how life has been treating us. Tatay has been out of job for long. Work has been difficult for him. He provided for us by getting project-based jobs. Something that’s too unstable. (Mom and I never complained about it though.)

After my short talk with Mom, I kinda understood where Tatay was coming from. But still, I did not talk to him when we arrived home. I just slept it off.

December 26, 1990

At around 8 a.m., Mom woke me up and asked me to get dressed immediately. She said I need to go to my aunt’s house (Tatay’s younger sister) in Marikina to tell her that Tatay was shot and rushed to PGH. Upon hearing that, I jump out of my bed. I asked my childhood friend to accompany me to my aunt’s house as I was a bit too young then to travel that far.

Since I wasn’t able to get much detail from Mom, I couldn’t explain much to my aunt why and how Tatay was shot. Together with my oldest cousin, we all rushed back to PGH. My childhood friend likewise accompanied us to the hospital.

My aunt, cousin and I went straight to the Emergency Room. We then learned that Tatay was shot in the head and has nil chance of having a normal life or worst, staying alive. The doctor told us that the bullet got stuck in Tatay’s pituitary gland. So even if he will survive, he will forever be in a coma state.

Upon hearing that bad news, the 3 of us immediately approached Mom and asked what really happened. Mom said she was inside our house when it happened so she was just told by neighbors that a random guy who waited for Tatay to come out did it. Tatay was on his way to work when the guy followed him, walked passed him, took out a gun and pulled the trigger when Tatay bent down to fix his shoe lace. Tatay was able to duck and avoid the bullet. But since Tatay was no coward, he tried to ran after the guy and when he ran further down an alley, he slipped and bumped his head on the floor. Since Tatay could not get up immediately, the guy took that chance to move close to him and aimed his gun onto Tatay’s cheek. Pulled the trigger. And then ran off. Mom said that was what our 3 neighbors told her. (Well, the story got a bit more complicated than that… and believe me, it truly is a very long story.)

Now back to the hospital scene…

Tatay’s mom and siblings, Mommy’s relatives and friends from the neighborhood started to arrive. Since the hospital did not have sophisticated equipment that time, our friends and relatives tried to help Tatay breathe with the use of a silicon resuscitator. Each person took a 5-minute turn in pumping that silicon thing. Each of them tried their very best and hoped to revive Tatay for hours. But still, there was no response from Tatay. The doctor was right. His brain got damaged by the bullet and Tatay only had above-zero chance to live.

December 27, 1990

Relatives and neighbors who were with us at the hospital took shifts in trying to revive Tatay. But the most they could do was to sustain his breath.

At around 8 pm, it was my uncle’s turn. He took the rubber pump and tried to resuscitate Tatay. After some minutes, he noticed that Tatay is no longer responding. So he called on Mom and my aunt. The doctor approached. Checked on Tatay. Then turned back to Mom and my aunt. Told them that Tatay is already gone. I was asleep when Tatay’s passing happened. Mom woke me up and broke the sad news. I saw in Mom’s eyes how exhausted she was but still kept a strong outlook. She said we all needed to go back home to rest while Tatay is sent to the morgue.

At first, relief was our only consolation after knowing that Tatay’s ordeal has ended. For 2 days, he looked so miserable in that metal bed together with other ill-fated patients inside the Emergency Room. After hours of waiting, everyone got so excruciatingly tired. Tatay can already rest. He need not suffer anymore… and so as our friends and relatives.

That night was the darkest moment of my life. December 26 and 27 were the longest 2 days that I have ever experienced in my entire life.

December 28, 1990

That ill-fated incident started to sink in to us all when we saw Tatay in a casket. We never imagined that we would celebrate the Holiday Season like that. Everything happened so fast. Tatay was already gone. Everyone was mad but anger and hatred could not bring Tatay back to life. We felt sadness more than we felt anger.

For 2 days, friends and relatives came over to pay their last respects to Tatay.

December 30, 1990

At 11 am, we were already at the Church for Tatay’s funeral mass. I was touched to see the number of people joined us in church. And they were with us all the way to the cemetery. I remembered what people say about death: a person’s worth will be justified by the number of people who will attend his funeral. I felt that Tatay’s death was not just my loss. I saw from other people’s eyes that they likewise felt the loss.

At 12 noon, we laid him to rest at the South Cemetery in Makati. The South Cemetery was not a new place of me as I used to go there with Tatay to visit his grand parents every November 1st. I felt so sad to be there for Tatay’s send off. Tears were pouring hard. My grandmother, Tatay’s mom, felt so devastated. All the people around us, relatives and friends alike were grieving with us. It was both sad and overwhelming.

It was my last day to be with Tatay.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So that was my Christmas story 20 years back. Since then, my Christmases have never been the same. There will always be something missing every time the Holiday Season comes. I would never be able to celebrate it with Tatay anymore. And the saddest part that still haunts me up to now is that I opted to be bad girl during Tatay’s last days. It was my first time to act that bratty against him. And not eating Noche Buena with him and Mommy that year was the worst thing I’ve done. Had I known it was my last Christmas with him, I should have done the opposite. I should have been good to him as I always was. I should have treated him how a good father deserved to be treated.

Now that he is gone, I can only apologize to him in prayers. And only in prayers that I can tell him how much I love and miss him.

Tiring but fun weekend…

October 23, 2010

On normal days, my weekends were spent either by chilling at home playing like an uber lazy potato couch or strolling the mall endlessly (mostly for window shopping…  echos!) with mom. But last weekend was extra different for me.

October 16, Saturday

My company organized a green project dubbed Save Mother Earth. Since I have never volunteered in any similar projects in the past, I got very much excited to be part of something for our dearest Mother Earth. I was even one of the first to register for activity. There were 2 activities in Metro Manila: Ipo Dam in Bulacan and Gourmet Farms in Silang. The Ipo Dam Tree Planting Activity was suited for the more adventurous volunteers as it involved boating and trekking. Since I’m a bit more maarte no longer that adventurous, I opted for the Silang trip as I wanted to learn something about being organic.

As early as 4:30 a.m., I was already on my way to the activity’s main pick-up point in Makati. Too early huh?! Another unusual thing for me as I’m not a morning person. Volunteers were required to come at least before 5:00 a.m. for the registration and bus assignments. Despite it being a well-planned activity, we were 1-hour behind the scheduled departure time. We arrived in Silang at around 8:30 a.m. and waited for other volunteers from the nearby branches to arrive. We then had a short orientation about the farm and how organic farming contributes to the improvement and preservation of nature. Oh hah, it’s like I learned a lot, LOL.

Shortly after that quick briefing, all volunteers were divided into groups and assigned to different farm activities. My team and I were asked to weed out some grass and other astray plants from the lettuce plantation. I tried to work as quietly as I can and concentrate on my weeding while I heard complaints from my teammates how hard it was. I even heard one say, “If I was home now, I would only be resting and watching DVD.” For me, it was too odd to hear complaints like those as no one forced them to volunteer. They were right though. For corporate people like us, doing something like that was a bit hard.  Then I thought, it’s easier to plant in Farmville than doing the actual work… plowing, seeding, broadcasting (the official farming term for putting organic fertilizers a.k.a animal manure) and harvesting were done in just one click of the mouse. And it’s way much easier if an FV farmer has purchased the tractor, seeder and harvester. Things would be faster than usual. For FV players, I’m sure you know what I am talking about here. LOL.

Although tiring, it was really a fun and fulfilling activity knowing that we have done something for and learned how to take care of Mother Nature. And it was stomach-filling when Gourmet Farm treated us to a sumptuous organic slash Mediterranean lunch. See how yummy and inviting the food was:

And that ended our tree planting activity in Gourmet Farms.

As initially planned, my colleagues and I went straight to Tagaytay. 

First stop was the Pink Sisters’ Convent. Just like an ordinary visitor, we spent some quite time to pray. It was nice to be back there. It made me remember some important memories from my past… which I won’t share in this entry. LOL.

Then, off to another important activity… ukay-ukay shopping! Being an ukay fanatic, it slipped to me there were ukay shops in Olivares Shopping Complex along Aguinaldo Hi-way. Thanks to our senior office who took us to the place. We spent roughly 3 hours to at least 4 ukay stores. And just like any other ukay shopping activity, I panicked. I ended up buying branded jackets and trench coats at prices you could never imagine. LOL.


October 17, Sunday


I again started my day early as I was among the registered participants of the Blue Water Day Spa Fun Run in MOA. Since the 5K runners gun-time (Oh yes, I registered for that lotsa distance!) was scheduled at 5:20 a.m., I was again on the road before 5:00 a.m. And this time, I dragged Mommy with me.

It was my first time to run that distance and I was still having doubts if I could finish the marathon. I started running with one of my colleagues. But since I had a slower pace than her, she left me and I run on my own. Good thing, I try to run every weekend so it did not tire me out as easily as before. After the 3K distance, I started to feel a bit exhausted and walked for awhile. I tried to regain my strength and I started to run again. It felt good when I saw the finish line. I wasn’t much concerned on the time so I just maintained my pace. When I was getting near the finish line, I saw Mommy standing.  I waved at her and she waved back at me with a big smile on her face. It was such a nice finish for me. My official run time was 41 minutes. Well, not bad for a first-time 5k runner. That’s my own opinion though. LOL

After a short breakfast with 2 of my colleagues, Mom and I went straight home. I needed to rest for a while as I still have another scheduled appointment later that morning. Well, when I checked my mobile phone on our way home, there were already messages from one of my grade school classmates confirming our small get-together.

At 11 a.m., I met up with one of my female grade school classmates whom I last saw when we graduated from elementary in 1987. Yes, it has been 23 years since we last saw each other. It was kinda surprising to know that the bond we had more than 2 decades ago was still there.

We went to Greenbelt 3 to meet up with 2 other classmates. Apparently, they were our classmates from Grades 1 to 3… so the last time we saw them was in 1985. We initially met up with our male classmate and waited for the other as she came from a far far away land called Farview. Ooops, Fairview pala! LOL. I was again surprised that our female classmate immediately recognized me (us) and called me be my real name. Hmmm, I guess my facial features did not change much. Since it was way past lunch time and all of us were dead hungry already, our male classmate took us to Jupiter and was thinking of having lunch at some videoke bar there.  It a bit too early for videoke so we ended up having lunch at a nearby Chinese restaurant.

It was really fun catching up with each other. We had so much to talk about. Fun stories when we were much younger. Nice things that we are experiencing now. And surprisingly, even the not-so nice things were inexplicitly shared.  I then thought, these friends are really the ones worth seeing slash keeping. As compared to other get-together stories that I have heard in the past, I felt no pretentions nor the I-came-to-see-you-because-I-wanna-brag-how-successful-I-am kinda attitude. All went there just to catch up and reconnect with each other. I have a good feeling that it was the start of a new close bond with my long lost friends slash classmates.

Hope to see you soon, guys! 🙂


A piece of me in the eyes of a cousin…

September 30, 2010

Yesterday, I received a text message from a cousin who now lives in the province. It was just last year, I think it was Christmas season, when I saw her again for the first time in years. She left our neighborhood maybe more than a decade ago to live a new life in the province. She really did not age much when I saw her last year. But when she saw me, the first thing she said was, “Kid, ikaw na ba yan?!” (Kid, is that you now?!). I didn’t know if you should get offended or what. Well maybe, I really aged big time. LOL

Just a brief backgrounder, my cousin and I were never really close when I was younger. She was more than 10 years older than me so we belong to different generations. When I was still a teener, she already had a family of her own. Most of the things were different for the two of us. But I guess, we share one thing similar. We were both snobs. LOL. Even at a very young mind, I felt that she never liked me or just be around me. She never liked my guts nor my attitude. For one, I was bratty when I was younger (up to now, I think) and wasn’t too friendly. I kept myself busy with studies and did not interact with them much. So among the cousins, I was really the outcast. But it never bothered me. I was living in my own little world then.

But last year’s encounter erased all that. When she approached us, Mom and I instantly invited her inside our house to have a small chat. We did not talk much about the not-so-nice things in the past but rather the happy on-goings in each of our lives. Since then, she started to communicate with us (so it’s true, I’m the one who is the snob as I don’t initiate communication or maybe I’m just too busy with work… echos!) even with just a simple “Hi! How are you?” And that’s the exact thing that happened yesterday. But it transpired to something touchy when she started texting this to me:

Alam mo Kid, kinukwento kita sa mga anak ko dito kung paano ka naging isang mabuting bata noong araw. Si (name of eldest child) parehas mo rin syang matalino kaya hindi ko sila mapabayaan na 3 dahil lahat sila matatalino. Si (name of eldest child) nag-graduate ng salutatorian sa elementary. Second year high school na siya ngayon. Si (name of 2nd child) 1st year at si (name of 3rd child) Grade 4 naman.

I was still preparing my reply message to her when I received her follow up text:

Si T’yang Floring, napakaswerte nya sayo dahil mabait at matalinong bata ka noong araw. Swerte ka rin sa kaniya dahil sya ang naging Mommy mo. Simula’t bata ka pa lang, nakita ko na kung gaano ka nya kamahal.

I had to re-write my reply and I sent her this:

Kaka-touch naman ang text mo, ‘te. Pinipilit ko lang suklian ang binigay nina Mommy at Tatay sa akin. Yung mag-aral ng mabuti was the least I could do. Mabait sa akin si Mommy kaya she more than deserves all the good things that she is experiencing now. Ikaw din, ‘te. I’m sure ibabalik sayo ng mga anak mo ang pag-aalaga mo sa kanila. Nakakatuwa at matatalino silang lahat. Mana ba sa ina?

She instantly replied me with:

Hindi sa akin. Sa iyo.

I just smiled when I read that. And so I told her that I think it would be nice if I get to meet her children someday soon. She hoped to bring the eldest though on her next visit to Manila.

That short exchange of text messages really meant something to me. I never thought that people like her would have that impression about me. I know, I can be rough on the outside, a snob at times and a wicked little girl most of the time. Well, that’s who I really am in the eyes of people who don’t know me too well. Maybe, just maybe, a person only needs to look a little harder in order to see the real me… just like that… in the eyes of my cousin.

Back to blogging… at last!!!

September 27, 2010

It’s been quite a while since I last touched my blogsite. I really wanted to post something or at least finish that birthday-in-hongkong-and-macau series that I have started some months back. Sadly though, time wouldn’t let me (but truth is, it was my old rusty lappy that won’t let me go online as it keeps on failing me whenever I try to open it) as I got a bit too busy with a lot more important things.

So what were the things that kept me away from the blogworld?

Well, these past few months have been both tough and nice for me. Tough because Mom got sick with high fever, intestinal flu and pulmonary problems… for more than two months!!! And that really freaked me out big time. Mom has never been that sick before and we have stayed away from hospitals for the longest time. But from June to August, we became avid visitors of hospitals within our vicinity. She underwent lots of check-ups, various medical procedures and had to take loads and loads of medicines and vitamins. The doctors did not know what was wrong with her as all her medical examinations showed fairly good results. With that confusion, the doctors suspected that it could just be old age symptoms that hit her. But now, she’s back on track and getting better every single day.

That incident though made me I realize a lot of things. With Mom getting sick, I…

… never cared for anything else in the world and had to put everything behind. I needed to be financially liquid but work was not my top priority at that very moment. I knew that not being at work would take a toll on all the good things that I have done in the past. But I really couldn’t care less. I stopped seeing my friends as I needed to dedicate my time for Mom. I even stopped my medication (still remember that lymph node thingie last year?) so I could support Mom with her medicine requirements. I needed to get her cured. That’s the only thing in my head that time.

… felt so much blessed with the love of family, friends and neighbors. They all offered prayers and moral support. And there’s this family who lived next door who relentlessly stood by our side. Voluntarily, they took care of Mom whenever I’m at work. They assisted us the best way possible and never asked for anything in return. I knew, God really worked wonders through them.

… realized I needed someone by my side. Eventhough I got help from family and neighbors, I felt so alone. I thought that if we had a man inside the house, maybe things will be different for Mom and me. If Tatay was alive, things would be much easier… way easier to bear!

Oh well, enough with the melo-dramatic story. Let’s just move on to the nice part:

While Mom was sick in June, we still pushed through with our 2nd Hong Kong adventure. This time, we were not alone as we were joined by 2 of my friends-slash-choir mates and 1 childhood friend-slash-neighbor. We stayed in HK from June 19 to 23 then moved to Macau for an overnight trip. For the nth time, I enjoyed HK (despite Mom’s slow pace and frequent visit to rest rooms, LOL). We were able to visit new places like Big Buddha, Po Lin Monastery and Ngong Ping. Sounds a lot eh! Apparently, they are located in just one area. LOL. And not to mention, we spent a lot of shopping time at the City Gate Outlet. So, most of my pocket money was drained on day 2 of our trip. Huhuhu! As always, the Disney trip was something I looked forward to and I got surprised that I was able to enjoy Disney more than before as parades were way awesome than usual. Plus, I no longer took much pictures of me so I got a lot of spare time savoring the place better. For the first time, I was able to really enjoy the fireworks display as I was just a mere spectator… not a photographer nor videographer. Of course, we also went to other usual tourist spots like Ocean Park (which I found to be overly improved from my last visit in 2008 as there were more rides and amenities), Ladies Market and Avenue of the Stars. It was truly a relaxing, fun and shopping-filled trip for me, Mom and my 3 friends.

For your viewing pleasure, here are some pics from that HK-Macau trip:

See, I don’t have much pics. LOL.

Now that I’m back on track, things have somehow stabilized. Mom is getting better each day. Work is getting tougher. My online life is slowly going back to normal (read: only my FB and blog life, chat life has always been active. LOL).

Well, I really hope that I could sustain this i-really-wanna-go-back-to-blogging feeling. I really missed this other side of me. I missed telling stories online, updating friends with my daily rendevous and posting uber-worthy-to-share pics. I also missed blog walking and getting in touch with my old-time blog friends.

I really missed these things big time… I just hope that I was missed as much! 😛

See you all soon then! 🙂

Day 4 – Birthday in Macau

May 24, 2010

Day 4 (April 25) – Macau Adventure

In my 2006 HK visit, I (together with Mom and my 2 aunts) had a short side trip to Shenzhen, China for some quick shopping. While in 2008, I failed to see Macau due to heavy rains. Together with a colleague and some friends from church, I got stranded inside our hostel room and had to wait for 3 hours for the flood water to subside. So this time, I really prayed hard that everything will be fine as I have been dying to see Macau for the longest time 🙂

And so, Mom and I woke up early so that we could at least spend the entire day in Macau. Since it was my first time to travel there, I had to research from the internet some instructions on how to get to Macau. And I did that just some minutes before we left the hotel. That’s how unprepared I was, hahaha! I didn’t know that there was a Turbojet ferry station in Tsim Sha Tsui. We had to travel to Hong Kong Island and opted to take the ferry at a station near the Shueng Wan MTR exit. Well, that’s the prize I get for not researching ahead of time. LOL.

At around 9:00 a.m., we were in line to purchase our ferry tickets. Too bad though but the cashier was already selling tickets for 11:15 a.m. trip. Well, we really should have left the hostel earlier. So, Mom and I opted to have breakfast. She had her’s at Starbucks while I ate at KFC. Magastos ang nanay ko noh?! Hehehe! After breakfast, we tried to pass time by doing some window shopping. Oh yes, it was a successful “window shopping” activity! I didn’t buy anything. Yipee! LOL.

After a few minutes, I dragged Mommy to the ferry station. It was a bit too early. But hey, we still needed to pass through immigration. SOP thingie when transfering from one country to another. And there we saw long queues of travelers. It took us some 20 minutes to wait for our turn. And another 20 minutes for actual boarding. I have already secured return tickets, 7pm that is. Which means, we only have 5 to 6 hours to see Macau.

It was just a short 1 and 1/2 ferry ride. And before 1:30 p.m., we were already in Macau.

Before we left Manila, we were able to contact a former female neighbor who is now living in Macau. She was kind enough to meet us at the station and alloted the entire day to be with us. The old lady is a friend of Mom’s and they haven’t seen each other for more than 16 years. I was the one to first see our neighbor. She was with another companion.  I approached them, called our neighbor by her name and introduced myself. She looked at me, a bit confused, and said, “Winkie? Ikaw na ba yan? Ay, dalaga ka na pala!” Hmmm, I think her last statement was wrong. I guess it should have been, “Ay, dalaga ka pa rin?!” LOL.  I took them to Mom, who was a few feet away from us. They hugged as soon as they saw each other. Our neighbor was in tears… tears of joy, that is. She said she was so happy to see old friends.

We didn’t spend too much time at the ferry station and decided that we catch up while touring the place.

I was really amazed with how Macau looked like. It’s much better than the pics. The place is so clean. Roads are so wide. No jammed traffic on the road. And what’s best is that almost everything is free! LOL. Well, we traveled around expense-free as hotel shuttles are available everywhere that took us to places that we wanted to go to. Rule of thumb though, read the bus signs so you won’t get lost. LOL.

Our first stop: the famous Venetian Hotel.

Since we had a very limited time, we just stayed a little over an hour at the Venetian Hotel. Just a quick late lunch and some photo ops. Maybe I should quit with my long story telling and  just let the pictures tell you how we explored the place:

Next stop was the City of Dream. It was just across Venetian Hotel. But hey, we still had some photo ops while transferring from one hotel to another. LOL.

I really did not know what to expect from this hotel. In fact, I wasn’t much interested to go to that place as I thought we were just visiting another hotel-slash-casino. So I kept on telling our neighbor that I wanted to visit other famous landmarks like Ruins of Saint Paul and they always reply me with “Wag kang mag-alala, makikita mo lahat yan. Maliit lang ang Macau.” But when I try to look at my watch, I felt it was too impossible to move to other places with that limited time.

As we were touring inside The City of Dreams, our neighbor approached a ticket booth. Then she handed us 4 tickets for a show called “Bubble Show”. They said it’s something that we shouldn’t miss. But since it was only a little past 3pm then, we opted to tour the place a little more. A few minutes later, the son of our neighbor came and told that he will be the one to take us to Sao Paulo. Not in Brazil, Ruins of Saint Paul’s that is. LOL. We were then short of 1 ticket for the Bubble Show. Good thing that our male neighbor did not intend to watch with us as he has seen it so many times already. He basically went there just to meet us and tour us after the show.

When I entered the dome-shaped theater, it reminded me of Planetarium in Luneta Park… less the chairs! Well, I instantly knew that pictures can’t really tell how awesome the show was. So, I opted to capture it in video. But please pardon the resolution. I just used my trusty old digital camera… it’s only 5MP. Sorry!

(If you can’t view video from this page, just click HERE.)

Our neighbor was right, it was something we shouldn’t miss. The Bubble Show was indeed the most spectacular digital show I have seen so far. And the best part? We watched it for FREE! LOL.

It was already 5pm and we all rushed to our next pit stop. Good thing though, there was a shuttle right outside the hotel that took us directly to Sao Paulo.

They were right all along, every place in Macau is just minutes away. In less than 20 minutes, we were already in San Ma Lo. Everything in San Ma Lo is nice to look at… and of course, nice to take pics. LOL.

Well, photo ops wouldn’t be complete if we are not in it…

This place is very much similar to our local Walled City or the so called Intramuros… in a much cleaner and more organized way though 🙂 It brought so much history as we toured the place. According to our tour guide-slash-neighbor (as as checked with Wikipedia), Macau was colonized by the Portuguese people for more than years before it was turned over to China in 1999. Thus, the cobble stone look.

Since it was a Sunday, Mom asked that we visit some churches so we could at least say a short prayer.

Then, off to Sao Paolo…

It was already 6 p.m. then and we were still in Sao Paolo. I started to get worried that we might not able to make to our 7 p.m. ferry schedule. But again, our neighbor assured us that we’d be at the ferry station in just 15 minutes. But hey, we managed to buy some of Macau’s famous delicacies and take some photos while rushing to the shuttle station. Late na, shopping at picture pa rin! Hehehe!

At 6:25 p.m., we were already at the ferry station. Our neighbor was right again, we did beat the time. We were even 20 minutes earlier than required check-in time.

There was a long queue of passengers when we arrived. The lounge was already full that I had to sit on the floor while we were waiting for our ferry number to be called. We waited for like 15 minutes.

It was another 1 and 1/2 hour travel from Macau to Hong Kong. And at around 9:30 p.m., we were at the hostel room, tired and exhausted from that jammed-pack Macau trip. It may be a short trip, but Mom and I enjoyed it a  lot. Too bad though, we weren’t able to see Macau at night. Most people say it’s best to see that awesome place when it’s well lit at night. Did I regret it? Hell no! Because I will be coming back to Macau… real soon! 😛

To be continued…


Day 3 – Birthday in HK

May 16, 2010

Day 3 (April 24): Birthday at Disneyland!!!

We initially planned to start our day early and be at Disneyland as soon as it opens, 10 a.m. that is. When I woke up, I immediately grabbed my laptop to check mails slash Facebook account. I also got busy with my iPod to chat with a friend. It took me a while getting online. That chat friend was way too special not to talk to. Plus, I waited for the Lacoste store across the street to open as I wanted to buy myself a birthday gift. Same time last year, I gifted myself with a Lacoste item. And this time, I got a bigger version… in black!

 Note to self: Need to find a boyfriend real soon so I don’t have to spend my own money to buy things like these. Do it ASAP!!! LOL.

At around 10:30 a.m., we left the hostel. We headed to Central first as I needed to go to a money charger. Day 3 pa lang eh ubos na agad ang Hong Kong dollars ko! Huhuhu! Mom and I decided to have lunch somewhere in Central since food prices inside Disneyland are sky-high. So, guess where did we have lunch? If you are thinking about some authentic Chinese restaurants, then you are dead wrong. We had lunch at Jollibee… again!!! Well, I’m really not at all much of an adventurer when it comes to food. I feel safe with the usual food chain that I know. It’s better be safe than sorry. LOL.

It was just a quick lunch. Some minutes before 12 nn, we were on our way to Disney. We took the MTR, alighted at Sunny Bay Station and transferred to the famous Disney Train which took us directly to Disneyland.

Syempre si Mudra lang ang may pic. Don’t bother to ask why, LOL.

As soon as we exited from the Disney train station, my digicam did not stop clicking. Sorry naman, adik kaming mag-ina sa picture. Eventhough we have already taken pics on this spot, we still took the chance of taking another one. Too bad though lots of tourists are doing the same thing. LOL

We walked towards the gate and more shot were taken.

Now, you know the disadvantage of traveling with just one companion… all pictures are in solo. Hahaha! But hey, I was able to think of a way on how Mom and I will have shots together. Thanks to the trash bins inside Disney and my digicam’s timer function, I was able take something like this:

It was exactly 12 noon when we started to explore Disney. Just in time for the High School Musical Show which was held at the end of Main Street. Since my last visit was in 2008, seeing a High School Musical  Show was a first for me… and so for Mommy.

As expected, HSM’s Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale looked Asian in the HK Disneyland’s version.


We opted not to watch further as it was too hot already. We went to our next stop…  Tomorrow Land.

I don’t normally stay long in this area as I feel that the rides here are a bit too lame for me (read: just for the ultra young ones). But I got curious with that Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster thingie so I grabbed Mommy inside. I wasn’t able to try this ride slash game during my first 2 visits and I never thought it was so much fun. We were like part of Buzz Lightyear’s army. Our task, blast the evil Zurg and all his dominions. LOL. Mommy, on the other hand, was confused how the game was played. Oh well, she really couldn’t see all the laser lights as well as the targets. Na-defeit na naman ang purpose! Whahaha!

Since Mommy is not much of an adventurous when it comes to amusement park rides, we just opted to walk around and explore the place once more.

At around 3:oo p.m., we went back to the Main Street, in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. The most awaited Disney Parade was about to start. We were positioned at a very nice spot… just fine to take these shots:


Then came the princesses…


And then, the stars of the parade…

After the parade, Mom said, “Parang kulang yata yung parade. Ang iksi noh?” I got confused and tried to recall the past parades that I watched. Then I realized, she was right. Some Princesses’ floats were missing. I was really surprised! Sometimes Mom can really be too keen on minute details. Grabe, ako ang nagmemory gap dun ah! Hehehe!

The entire afternoon was spent walking around, eating, taking pics with the Disney characters… and shopping! Oh yeah, you read it right, I shopped! But just a few because there’s nothing cheap inside Disney. I just wish I had more moolah so I could buy all my friends a Disney souvenir each.

Since we were a bit late for the photo ops, we were only able to take pics with Mickey and Minnie:

After that short photo op, we had early dinner (or was it late snacks??? LOL) at one of the restaurants nearby. It was freaking cold (and I’m in mini-skirt… ang lakas kasi ng loob! LOL) so we just opted for soup noodles. Here’s a friendly tip: If you are not much of a big eater, it’s advisable to share food with a friend of the same appetite.  Foods are normally served in big portions.

At 7 p.m., we were again on our way back to Sleeping Beauty’s Castle… this time, to watch the fireworks. We again got a nice spot. Too bad though, my ultra obsolete low-tech digicam couldn’t take good night shots. So please bear with these pics…

Watching it for the third time still gives me fun and amazement. It was truly magical!

Right after the fireworks, there was an announcement that the park will close in 30 minutes. So, people panicked and did some last minute shopping. And since inggitera nga ako I’m likewise not done with my souvenir shopping, I panicked, too. LOL . I just bought some items for my precious nephew and nieces. There’s one item though that I have been eyeing on. I just feel it’s too expensive for me to own so I just opted to take a pic with it…

Note to future BF: Can you please buy this Minnie Mouse stuffed toy for me? I promise to love you more! LOL.

In as much as I would like to stay, shop and take pics, I had no choice but to leave. Disney closes at 8:30 p.m.

I don’t think I’m gonna miss Disney that much this time… because I will be back very soon! LOL.

It was indeed a fun and magical birthday. I saw and felt that Mommy had so much fun as I did. Well, she deserved it more than I do.  She should be the one celebrating. Besides, she was the one who gave birth some 34 years ago. LOL.

So, that was my 34th birthday… in Hong Kong Disneyland!

To be continued…




Day 2 – Birthday in HK

May 8, 2010

Day 2 (April 23): Avenue of the Stars, The Peak and Symphony of Lights

We started the day early. We left the hotel a little past 8 a.m. Since Mommy was not able to appreciate Avenue of the Stars during her first visit, I opted to take her there early in the morning so she could see the place well with less tourists.

We passed by McDonald’s first for a quick breakfast, then off to the Avenue of the Stars. It was my first time too to really see the entire place. So, Mom and I were both Avenue of the Stars virgins. LOL.

Apparently, there’s nothing much to do there but to walk, check out HK stars’ badges on the tiled floor, appreciate the place… and do photo ops. Of course, we did a lot of the photo op thingie. LOL.

We explored the place for at least an hour. After that, I led Mom to the ferry station for our next pit stop, the Victoria’s Peak. I learned from my previous trips that ferry was the cheapest way to transfer from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central District and vice versa. So, with just HK$2 per head (roughly PHP12 or USD0.25), we reached the other side of Hong Kong.

I guess the HK$2-ferry ride is also the cheapest Hong Kong tour any tourist can get. Here are the things to see when on board the ferry:

In less than 20 minutes, we were already in Hong Kong Island. Some cheap ride slash tour, eh? 😛

We passed through the IFC building (the tallest building in the last pic… uy, titingin yan sa pic! hahaha!). The weather was fine. Not too hot and not too cold… just a bit windy… LOL.

Apparently, it slipped on me that there’s a bus near the ferry station that can take us to The Peak. I again dragged Mommy for a long walk and waited for the bus somewhere in the Central District. Besides, walking is really good for my Mom. (Palusot ko lang yan! But in reality, naligaw na naman ako sa HK! Hehehe!). Since we were in Central, we opted to have lunch in no less than… Jollibee! Nasa Hong Kong na, Chickenjoy pa rin ang lunch! Hehehe!

Right after lunch, we waited for Bus #15 at a parking lot opposite the Jollibee area. That bus took us directly to The Peak. We sat on the second level… front row! That was the best seat anyone could get.

It was a bit of a long ride. Probably 30- to 45-minute ride. I forgot that Mom is somewhat acrophobic. She got nervous when the bus drove high up the mountain. I felt she held my hand so tight. Sorry na Inay, nalula ka na naman!

Bus #15 stopped at the parking area of The Peak Galleria. Yep, they have Galleria there too… akala nyo sa Pasig lang meron noh? LOL.  We passed by the mall and went straight to The Peak Tower. Still feeling acrophobic, Mommy was having second thoughts on going up and seeing the view. Ano ba? Na-defeat ang purpose ng pagpunta namin dun! Hehehe!

We visited some shops first while I continued on convincing her to take a quick peek at HK’s highest tourist spot. She afterwards agreed but on the condition that I won’t force her to look down. Feeling talaga ng Nanay ko eh sadistang anak ako! Whahaha! Oh well, at least she also agreed to have some photos taken from there. She never looked down though. LOL.

And of course I also had my shot… courtesy of Mommy!

(Just a little secret: It took us 5 shots just to get that one. The first 4 shots were either too high or too low. And there was one where I was not in the pic. Ganun kalabo ang mata ni Mudra. Shhhh, don’t tell her I told you huh? LOL).

After capturing some nice shots, we opted to go back to the mall and passed by Madam Tussuad’s Wax Museum. Since it wasn’t part of our budget itinerary, we just harassed Bruce Lee’s wax format which was displayed outside the museum.

Few meters away from the museum were various novelty and souvenir shops. There was one though that caught my attention. A certain guy was making hand wax of a female Caucasian tourist. I got so curious watching them making the hand wax. And since inggitera ako it was really interesting, I had one done for me, too. With just HK$40 (roughly Php 240 or US$5.50), I got this to take home with me:

Kelangan talaga na “I love you” sign? LOL.

After that Victoria’s Peak experience, we went back to Central via bus. We just spent time roaming around and then went back to our hostel room and took some rest.

At around 6:00 p.m., Mom and I were again ready to go. We had quick dinner near the Avenue of the Stars so it would be easier for us proceed there for the Symphony of Lights.

Any Hong Kong tour wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the Symphony of Lights. It’s HK’s night tourist attraction where various buildings located both in Hong Kong Island and Kowloon participate in a bright display of lights. And the best part… it’s free of charge!  According the, Guinness World Record has named the Symphony of Lights as the World’s Largest Permanent Lights and Sounds Show.

At 7:30 p.m., we were on our way back to the Avenue of the Stars and we saw a thick crowd already settled there waiting for the show to start. It was Mom’s first time to witness that Symphony of Lights show and she was amazed how the lights danced with the background music. It was just a short 30-minute display of lights but it was surely fun to watch.

The show finished at 8:30 p.m. And since it was still early for Mom and me, we went straight to the Ladies Market in Mongkok which was just 3-MTR stations away from Tsim Sha Tsui. The Ladies Market is a must place for shoppers. Almost everything is sold in Mongkok… electronics, shoes, bags, clothes, novelty and souvenir items, DVDs (pirated! yes, they sell those in HK too. LOL) and whatever a shopper could ever think of. As for me though, I don’t shop much on the streets of Mongkok or the so called “tiangge”. I do buy pasalubong items from there though. I have other agenda why I went there… to shop at the Esprit Outlet Shop. That shop is like heaven for me as I get to buy stuff at uber low prices… way cheaper than Pinas prices.

At 10:30 p.m., Mom and I called it a day. We reached the hostel at around 11:30 p.m… just 30 minutes before 12:00 midnight of April 24 (my birthday!) 😛

To be continued…

Day 1 – Birthday in HK

May 3, 2010

This year, I had the longest birthday celebration ever. Well, it officially started 2 days before my actual natal day, April 22 that is. That was the day, Mom and I flew to Hong Kong. I secured an early flight so we could maximize our trip. We took a PAL flight (not promo fare, hah, hah!) so we boarded at the NAIA Centennial Airport.  Apparently, the day before our flight, April 21, was a bit too grueling experience for me. I still haven’t booked any accommodation and hadn’t completely packed our things. Obviously, that was not the usual me. The traveling Winkie would normally secure hotel bookings at least a month before every trip and have packed her luggage one week earlier. Well, it’s really a long story why those things happened. Thanks to the internet though (and my friend Vida), I was able to get online bookings via I just opted for a cheap and ultra affordable inn slash hostel slash guest house. And I didn’t regret it.

Coming to Hong Kong for the third time still got me excited. But what got me more excited was the PAL flight. Aside from the fact that it was my first time to go to HK via PAL (Oh yes, I’m a sucker of Cebu Pacific’s zero fare), we boarded on the airline’s newest aircraft, the Boeing 777. It was really huge as compared to the usual airbus that I used to board into. Plus, I got to enjoy music and movies during the entire flight… eventhough I’m just in the economy section. LOL.

Here, see the beauty of Boeing 777:

Since I just got us basic hostel accommodation, no free transfer was included in the package. Mom and I had to do public commute to the hostel. We took the A21 bus which brought us to Tsim Sha Tsui. The hostel was located at the 12th Floor of the Chung King Mansions. I got it for less than PHP9,000 (around USD200) for a 5D4N-accommodation.

It was pretty nice. Comfy beds. Clean bathroom. Free wifi. Just right accommodation for the right price. LOL. The downside though was there were only 2 English channels in their TV set. BBC and Pearl channels were my only bestfriends during our stay there. But what the heck, we are always outside the hostel the whole day.

It was a bit past 2 p.m. when we settled in our room. Mom and I opted to go out, find something to eat and start with our afternoon walk in HK. Oh yeah, I wasn’t that much prepared in terms of itinerary so we just let our feet take us to places. Besides, I have never really explored Kowloon that much during my first trips as I always got to stay somewhere in Central. 🙂

We walked further down Nathan Road and looked around so I could plan for our next 4-day stay there. Since I looked so harrassed and exhausted, only Mom was able to do some photo ops near the HK Coliseum. And here is her best shot (Oh hah, sounding so very America’s Next Top Model huh? LOL):

Noticed the road? It’s kinda wet, isn’t it? Apparently, it rained when we set foot in HK. I now believe that I bring the rain with me. I’m such a rainmaker, LOL.

That’s Nathan Road 🙂

Since I feel a bit more comfy being in the Central District (pasosyal talaga, hahaha!), Mom and I decided to have our late lunch there. Plus, I needed to go the the Worldwide House, a sort of Filipino mall, to have my money changed to HK dollars and get discounted Disneyland tickets. Yep, I always buy my amusement park tickets from there. A ticket is originally sold at HK$350 (roughly Php 2,100 or US$48) at the Disneyland proper while I got ours for just HK$315 (around Php 1,860 or US$ 43). So, I basically saved a total of HK$70 on our Disneyland tickets. Some discounts there, eh?!

The rest of the day was spent walking, malling and browsing.

At around 6pm, I felt a bit odd so I dragged Mom back to the hostel. For the second time in the history of my travelling career (hahaha, I like this term!), I got sick on the first night. I had a terrible headache so I just opted to rest early.

To be continued… super bitin noh?! Hehehe!

Happy Easter to all!!!

April 4, 2010

According to history, Easter is the most important and festive day in the Christian calendar year as it celebrates Christ’s resurrection three days after his Crucifixion. Having this as a fact, I just wonder how Easter Sundays were celebrated thousands of years ago.

When I was still in my younger years, Mom would normally organize a small private Easter party just for the kids in our family. We would always get so very busy every Black Saturday decorating eggs which will be later on used for the most famous Easter Egg Hunting. Those nicely painted eggs were normally hid in unexpected places inside our house. My cousins and I were given decorated baskets where we would put all those precious Easter eggs that we found. And one with the most number of eggs gets the grand prize. Being one of the youngest among the cousins, my basket would normally end up empty. So, I would just run to my room, cry my heart out and feel pity for myself. My older cousins would then give me one egg each… making me the one with the most number of eggs. Well, Mom never gave me the prize because that’s not the rule of her game. But hey, at least I’ve got some Easter eggs in my basket. LOL. Come to think of it, I was really a spoiled little brat… but in a very subtle way. Hahaha!

But hey, have you ever thought why Christ’s Resurrection or the so-called Easter Sunday is celebrated with eggs? Well, I tried to stoke my keys and googled my way to seek for answers. And here’s the most believable explanation I’ve found:

Eggs have always been associated with the Easter celebration. Nearly every culture in the modern world has a long tradition of coloring eggs in beautiful and different ways.

The origin of the Easter egg is based on the fertility lore of the Indo-European races…The egg to them was a symbol of spring…In Christian times the egg had bestowed upon it a religious interpretation, becoming a symbol of the rock tomb out of which Christ emerged to the new life of His resurrection.

The True Origin of Easter

Before I went for long vacation, I received an early Happy Easter email from one of my colleagues. I was expecting to see those usual holiday greetings with typical-looking Easter eggs like these:

But I was wrong!!! Because these are what I saw:

Some eggs, eh? Well, at least now we know how-slash-what eggs feel when we try to make them into Easter eggs… or just plain breakfast. LOL.

Happy Easter to all!!!