Enchanted Kingdom 2014: Back after 7 years

Sorry ha, EK lang ang kaya ng “travel blog” ko eh

March 22, 2014 — Having lived my entire life south of Manila, Enchanted Kingdom has always been part of the options for quick getaways—especially if we’re up for something a little more than mall bumming, but a lot less than a semi-impromptu overnight. The place is off-city so it’s definitely a lakad, it provides cheap thrills and group/family bonding scenarios, and you can be yourself without having to worry about anyone you know seeing you. For lack of a better term, you can go all out and be baduy—sling a belt bag balikbayan-style or wear man sandals with socks, for crying out loud. No one will care.

This may have been my 5th time to EK (6th, maybe). All I know is my last time there was in 2007; April 1, 2007, to be exact. My then-girlfriend, now-wife had a friend who had a Brit boyfriend. He had about 2 weeks here and we were tasked to fill the void between out-of-towners, so we mostly did doable-in-a-day, reachable-by-car trips. Hence, Enchanted Kingdom. I also remember this vividly because I was already blogging then, and I documented it photo blog-style. (Of course, I could’ve just said that.)

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Palawan virgins no more 2: Microtel by Wyndham

We went to Puerto Princesa, Palawan last March 4-8, 2014. With me were The New Mrs. V (wife), Baby Bagyo (baby), Ru-FB (sister 1), and Ninjanine (sister 2). You can read the first part here. That post was also my comeback piece after a three-year hiatus from blogging and needless to say, I enjoyed it a little too much. This is why I’m smacked right in the middle of a possible three-part epic post, detailing every activity we did and every place we went to.

So without further ado, let’s finish this bitch up!

We continue on the 2nd day circa 2pm after our short stint at Robinsons Palawan, about to check in to our 2nd and main hotel.

Read me – UPDATE

This post was supposed to be “Palawan virgins no more – part two”. I originally intended it to cover at least days 2 to 3 of our 5-day vacation. But, lo and behold, I didn’t realize I had so much to say about the hotel. So, it became a semi-review/rant about Microtel.

Microtel by Wyndham Puerto Princesa, Palawan – k lng.

Our relationship with Microtel Palawan did not start on the right foot. Influenced by my wife’s passion to harbor all-encompassing hate, I saw them as mapagsamantala in their marketing. I will not dive into the details of our scuffle with them but I will tell you that it all happened during the booking period. With that said, I will admit that my opinion of this hotel is slightly tainted.

The looks

Let’s start with the architecture and the ambiance of the hotel (naknamputs).

Vantage point: at the very front of the hotel. Beside the signage is their main entrance.

Vantage point is at the very front of the hotel. Beside the signage is their main entrance.

Same vantage point but looking left. This is also the same side our room was located.

Same vantage point but looking left. This is also the side where our room was located.

Same vantage point but looking right.

Same vantage point but looking right.

Looking at the back so this is the front of the hotel. The hotel sits on reclaimed land and one of the staff said that area with the mangroves is still reached by seawater.

Same spot but with my back against the hotel (so this is what’s in front of the hotel). The hotel sits on reclaimed land and according to one of the staff, this area is still reached by seawater (through tunnels or passageways, I’m guessing).

This is what you see standing right in front of the main door.

This is what you see standing right in front of the main door. (Lovin’ the walis, ha.)

Upon entering, you turn left, enter a 2nd door and this is what you see. The front desk is not to your right.

Upon entering, you turn left, enter a 2nd door and this is what you see. The front desk is now to your right.

Baby Bagyo just loves that round sofa thingy.

Baby Bagyo just loves that round sofa thingy.

This is what's in front of the front desk. The New Mrs. V waiting to check in.

This is what’s in front of the front desk. The New Mrs. V waiting for her turn to check in. Ru-FB nakasagap ng Wi-Fi at nag-FB.

That's their front desk. On duty was the less-attractive receptionist who was not named Ice.

That’s their front desk. On duty was the less-attractive receptionist who was not named Ice.

This is the right hallway on the first floor. To the right of the TV is the front desk.

This is the right hallway on the first floor. To the right of the TV is the front desk.

This is the dining area where they serve buffet breakfast (when the restaurant is in use—you'll see this later).

This is the dining area where they serve buffet breakfast (when the restaurant is in use).

The back of the hotel, right side (right if you were facing the front).

The back of the hotel, right side (right if you were facing the facade).

The back, left side featuring one of the lazy hammocks. This is not the immediate beach; this portion is elevated as you'll see later.

The back, left side featuring one of the lazy hammocks. This is not the immediate beach; this portion is elevated as you’ll see later.

The swimming pool.

The swimming pool.

Another view of the swimming pool showing the restaurant and the small kiddie playground (like).

Another view of the swimming pool showing the restaurant and the small kiddie playground (like).

We'll never forget that swimming pool because that's where Baby Bagyo first learned how to swim "all by herself."

We’ll never forget that swimming pool because it’s where Baby Bagyo first learned how to swim “all by herself.”

I guess I have nothing bad to say about the way the hotel looks in general. It’s not spectacular, but it’s definitely way above average.

The location

Look at the 4th photo from the top. That’s the front of the hotel; there’s no visible form of sibilisasyon in sight. The hotel is located in the middle of nowhere and is one of those places you stay put on come nighttime. There was this one time The New Mrs. V ran out of smokes in the middle of the night and no one, not even the staff, advised us to go to the nearest sari-sari.

The “beach”

Looking back, I think we would’ve done okay if we settled for a non-beachfront hotel. Microtel’s beach is one that could use quotation marks. You could literally walk 2 kilometers without any usable, swimmable ocean. During low tide, you get a barren sea of sand the size of 10 football fields.

Like I said, the hotel sits on elevated land. This is their beach during high tide, taken at exactly 12:19 PM.

Like I said, the hotel sits on elevated land. This is their beach during high tide, photo taken at exactly 12:19 PM.

Come low tide, water disappears like there's no tomorrow. This is the same area; photo was taken at 5:20 PM.

Come low tide, the water disappears like there’s no tomorrow. This is the same area; photo was taken at 5:20 PM.

Hotel's at my back and I'm looking straight. See those two trees? The hotel put lights on them. Seriously, may kuntador dun.

Hotel’s at my back and I’m looking straight. See those two trees? The hotel put lights on them. Seriously, may kuntador dun.

Hotel's at my back and I'm looking to the right.

Hotel’s at my back and I’m looking slightly to the right.

Went down the beach, walked straight, looked at the hotel.

Went down the beach, walked straight, looked at the hotel.

Walked a little bit to the left.

Walked a little bit to the left.

Here's a photo that shows the "sea of sand."

Here’s a photo that shows the “sea of sand.”

Just look at the scale of that. See those two dots? Those are Ninjanine and Ru-FB.

Just look at the scale of that. See those two dots? Those are Ninjanine and Ru-FB.

Patches of water everywhere.

Muddy patches everywhere.

Finally reached the end. The open sea—Sulu Sea.

Finally reached the end. The open sea—Sulu Sea.

The journey back to the hotel begins.

The journey back to the hotel begins.

That is freaking far.

That is freaking far.

The only use we had for this beach was our sandcastle-building session. Sayang swimsuit ni Baby Bagyo.

The only use we had for this beach was for our impromptu sandcastle-building session. Sayang lang ang swimsuit ni Baby Bagyo.

The room

For some reason, I forgot to take detailed photos of the room. It was okay, though; I remember it having nice blue floor tiles that were easy to keep clean (yes, those are the things I remember). We got a room with 2 queen-sized beds and they were standard, hotel-issue ones (nice, in other words). It had a beach-view balcony that was really small, probably around 4 by 2 feet. It had a nice flat-screen, possibly a 32-inch one; it had a small ref, a lighted cabinet, and a desk. The bathroom is okay, but I can’t forget my one peeve about it—it didn’t have a removable shower head (the one with a hose), only a permanent overhead one. A removable one is very important especially if you’re trying to bathe a child or hose down sand-filled slippers, shorts, bathing suits, etc.

This is the only photo I have that shows part of the room.

This is the only photo I have that shows part of the room.

Here's a little extra something that happened on our last day there. The hotel was host to a kiteboarding event thingy. This was taken from our room's balcony.

Here’s a little extra something that happened on our last day there. The hotel was host to a kiteboarding event thingy. This was taken from our room’s balcony.

Final thoughts

I expected so much from Microtel, especially because I wanted my preformed opinion of them reversed. Had the hotel been A+ at everything—location, amenities, service, etc.—I would’ve still considered them the right choice, but, sad to say, it didn’t.

Final thoughts – pros

They do have a free shuttle service that will pick you up from the airport, bring you back to it, and bring you to nearby spots such as restaurants. But I feel it was already born out of necessity due to its middle-of-nowhere location. Still, it’s a plus. They have shuttle schedules spread throughout the day that can take you anywhere reasonable.

Final thoughts – cons

Ah, here goes. Although explicitly stated on the terms and conditions, I still hoped they would forgo the extra-person charge. We booked a room for 3 that had two queen-sized beds; there were five of us (1 baby). Upon checking in, boom! We were charged Php 750/night per person, which meant 2 x Php 750, x 3 nights — an extra Php 4,500 added to our total cost. Ouch. Okay, why am I ranting about this even if it was already to be expected? Because hotels of this caliber (price range) should not charge for extra occupants, unless maybe if the guests ask for extra cushions or extra breakfast coupons. This, to me (based on experience), is an unwritten rule in hotel management 101 (but what the heck do I know). For one, how do you think people are able to stage bachelor parties in hotel rooms? They (bachelors) sure as hell aren’t going to pay extra for the strippers’ lodging, am I right?

Here’s another thing that pissed me off in a na natawa nalang kami kind of way. This hotel charges Php 150 for Wi-Fi access to the room. Wi-Fi is free at the lobby, but if you want it in your room…pay up, bitch! Seriously? Uso pa ba yun? Pati sa bus libre ang Wi-Fi, ah. Again, especially for a hotel of this caliber.

I also felt the staff did not go the extra mile. They weren’t rude or anything, and to be honest, they did not not do anything we asked or requested. They were polite, as expected, but I just feel a lack of sincerity behind their smiles. I really don’t know. Again, I was just looking for the extra mile or the rockstar treatment (rrraawwkkstar pa naman ako).

Holy ginataang tulingan, Batman, I didn’t realize I had so much to say about this hotel!

Pak shet. I may have to rethink this Palawan series of posts. I’ll just let this one be only about Microtel. This means I may have a possible 7-part novel in the making. Damn.

Puerto Princesa, Palawan virgins no more – part one

March 4-8, 2014

This trip had been in the offing since early last year and I’m glad it finally materialized. It’s one of those vacations you book just because of piso fares—which makes my wife even more cuckoo—but it was the first time to Palawan for everyone in our group so it was something we really wanted packed full o’ adventure.

Needless to say, we all fell in love with the capital city of the Philippines’ Last Frontier. We may have only visited 60% of what PP has to offer, but we covered all the biggies—PPSRNP, Honda Bay, Ugong Rock, etc. (Okay, Tubbataha Reef is not really kid-friendly so we Douglas McArthur’d it.)

This post is really nothing but a written account of our stay. This is not a guide (even though you might find it useful), this is not a review (although there are some), and this is definitely not a promotion. What this is is a freaking diary entry, and most of all, it’s a warm-up post as I have not written for three fucking years!

The gang

For the sake of storytelling (and to get a little more excitement to this comeback post), let me introduce you to the gang. To respect each one’s privacy, I’ve decided to replace real names with ninja-like code names. Here’s the group:

  1. Boy Banal – yours truly, aka The Official Heartthrob of Parañaque
  2. The New Mrs. V – ang Miss Universe ng Buhay Ko
  3. Baby Bagyo – true love personified
  4. Ru-FB (roo-ep-bi) – as in FB nang FB (sister 1)
  5. Ninjanine – looks-wise, the sister who can give The New Mrs. V a run for her money

L-R: Boy Banal, Ru-FB, Ninjanine, Baby Bagyo, The New Mrs. V

Day 1

From NAIA-3 to PPIA and the tricycle ride

Because Ninjanine booked her ticket separate from ours, she got an earlier flight. We had to accompany her to the airport, though, since it was her first time to fly. Unfortunately, this meant waiting in NAIA-3 for 4 hours. NAIA-3 is our best terminal, right? I’m not going to go all Chuvaness here but the check-in area was hellishly hot. Then, the lower-level boarding gates wreaked of cigarette smoke. The smoking areas are sealed and separated but it did not matter. Had we known, we wouldn’t have waited there until the last minute especially since we had Baby Bagyo, who was then only a week shy of turning three.

Check out my very pawis Baby Bagyo. Hot, baby, right?

Now that I've quit smoking, I hate cigarette smoke with a vengeance. It was really sakit ulo-stinky here.

Now that I’ve quit smoking, I hate cigarette smoke with a vengeance. It was really sakit ulo-stinky here.

There’s really not much to say about Puerto Princesa International Airport. It’s a small airport in a sleepy town but it serves its purpose.

Touchdown and reunited with Ninjanine. You made it, sister!

Touchdown and reunited with Ninjanine. You made it, sister!

We took two tricycles (at the drivers’ insistence) to our first night-hotel and paid Php 100 (Php 50 each) . We would later realize that we got slightly scammed here. We’d comfortably fit in one trike on our succeeding trips, maleta and all. The funny thing, though, was all throughout our stay we were in awe at how honest and trustworthy the Palaweños were. Little did we know, our relationship with them started with a raket. No biggie.

Greenspace Palawan Bed and Breakfast – Like!

We knew we’d arrive post daylight so we got a cheap B&B that was close to the airport for our first night. Greenspace was a top contender after going back and forth through all the online travel aids, and I think it was the professional-looking photo set that got us to finally choose it. Needless to say, it did not disappoint.

Unwind, unwind before going out again for dinner.

Unwind, unwind before going out again for dinner.

Greenspace is located 5 minutes away from the airport—on Dacanay Road—which is perpendicular to their EDSA-equivalent, Rizal Avenue (that is if EDSA were only 2 lanes, didn’t have buses, pollution, and allowed tricycles). What you’d never realize if you’d only look online, however, is that Dacanay Road is a one-lane eskinita. For me, that’s where this B&B gets its appeal. You have everything within a stone’s throw, yet you get the detachment only a semi-inaccessible road can offer.

The place, the main building (house) looks like it’s no more than 3 years standing. Paint looks fresh; furniture, hardware does not look abused. It has a minimalistic cum zen cum modern look to it (whatever that means) which I really dug. They had free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, the works. One of the signages says it’s a pension house but I’m not really sure about that. What I’m sure of, though, is it’s also the owner’s residence.

We spent around Php 1,600 for an overnight stay, officially for 3.

The shower.

The shower and the porcelain throne.

Clean, simple sink area.

Clean, simple sink area.

The succeeding photos of Greenspace were taken the morning after.

This is probably the only thing weird about the room - a balcony on the first floor that's a meter away from the perimeter wall.

This is probably the only thing weird about the room – a balcony on the first floor that’s a meter away from the perimeter wall.

The very bare hallway.

The very bare hallway.

The "lobby."

The “lobby.”

The front desk (as seen from outside).

The front desk (as seen from outside).

The open dining area where they serve breakfast.

The open dining area where they serve breakfast.

The facade of the house.

The facade of the house (I should get paid for this).

This is Dacanay Road. At the very end is Rizal Avenue (walking distance).

This is Dacanay Road. At the very end is Rizal Avenue (walking distance).

Off to our next destination.

Off to our next destination.

But first, we go back to the night of the first day, dinner time.

Balinsasayaw Restaurant – a meal worthy of the first

The plan was to unload at Greenspace and have dinner at a sikat restaurant. However, we were all very tired so we decided to look for a nearby eat. Luckily, the corner of Dacanay and Rizal housed a big, open, native-style restaurant called Balinsasayaw. It has this wordless signage that features a bird.

The bird-only signage. That's Baby Bagyo going crazy over the laser lights.

The bird-only signage. That’s Baby Bagyo going crazy over the laser lights.

We all really enjoyed the food especially the Balinsasayaw Salted Rice. We had a good first meal and we all thought it was a taste of things yet to come. Little did we know it set the bar high and we’d be disappointed more than satisfied on our succeeding meals.

From the inside. Very native, bahay kubo-ish.

From the inside. Very native, very bahay kubo-ish.

Balinsasayaw's new brand ambassador modeling the menu.

Balinsasayaw’s new brand ambassador modeling the menu.

We asked a lot of natives for the best restaurants in PP. Looking back, I’m surprised no one ever mentioned Balinsasayaw. We were unable to go to all the recommendations, of course, but we did go to a lot. Personally, I think Balinsasayaw should be on that list.

We spent around Php 850 here – for 5 including Baby Bagyo.

Day 2

After a night of Red Horse and a simple silog breakfast courtesy of Greenspace, it was time to pack move on to the next hotel. We rode a tricycle to their main mall, Robinsons Place Palawan, where we were to be picked up. There’s no SM in Palawan by the way, I think that’s worth mentioning.

Robinsons Place Palawan

We spent the time waiting for our sundo shopping for minor necessities and in this short period of time, we already saw the whole mall. I like their Robinsons. It’s sized just right, easy to navigate, has all the essentials, and does not look probinsya-ish at all. We’d go back there one more time when we got tired of local tastes and craved for unhealthy fast food.

Robinsons Place Palawan

Robinsons Place Palawan

Wait! Pang-IG ko ito!

Wait! Pang-IG ko ito!

One of the main wings. Dencio's side.

One of the main wings. Dencio’s side.

Halt! I really did not think this through.

I’ve already passed 1,000 words and I’m only on the 2nd day. Since the next part will be a long, photo-filled section about our hotel (Microtel), I’ve decided to cut it short here. Watch out for the next part (maybe 2).

Manila International Auto Show 2010

Naks, 2 blog posts in 2 days

Here is my “coverage” of the the recently concluded Manila International Auto Show. I went on the last day, April 18, 2010, Sunday, at about 4:30 pm. Manila International Auto Show or “MIAS” is not really known for customized cars. Although there are, they are separate from the the major car brands’ booths. And if you’re familiar with the World Trade Center, the custom cars are at the smaller building at the left side. MIAS is also known for Russ Swift—that precision driver dude who drives cars on their sides, and parallel parks like there’s no tomorrow—all of which I have not seen in the 3 years I’ve been going.

What’s special about this year’s show? Tough one, but WilCars is at the top of my list. WilCars is a collaboration between Alex Restoration and, wait for it, Willie Revillame. In other words, there is a space there with a Ferrari, a Porsche, 2 Mustangs and an Audi R8—all of which are Willie’s, all of which have “WIL” in their license plates. Papi, idol ka talaga. More about cars in the gallery, click below.

Thoughts In Binary’s “Mahal Ko Na Siya Bebot of the Show”

Go figure. I don’t know what it is about these promo girls, but with all these blogs covering them, they’ve become celebrities in their own right. Phrases like “uy, si Mica Atanacio” or “uy paps, si Jem Milton” come out of our mouths like rapid fire. And in each of these shows, there is always someone, often a new discovery, whom I’d like to take home and… Usually she’d be the one quietly taking her job seriously, while most “Pinoy parazzi” hoard the likes of Paulene So and Abby Poblador.

Meet Ms. Sherlyn Gonzales. By the way, that’s a really funny name. I know she might not look much in the photo below, I was shocked too when I downloaded them, but believe me, she is damn fine. I then googled “Sharlene Gonzales” after remembering how much I laughed when I asked her name, and this was the only link I came up with. I’m not even sure if that’s her, because Jesus, the bangs ha. Pero ganda niya, pasok na pasok sa criteria. Click below, marami pang kwento sa gallery.

Naujan, Oriental Mindoro

Was where we went to, Holy Week 2010. Why? Because we did not have any plans, and like I “tweeted” (yes, I have Twitter), we almost ended up in Puerto Galera. Naujan is about two hours away from White Beach via automobile. The only reason we got to know of this unheard municipality is because of our third wheel, Reeza ni Sir A, of whom whose family hails from, who at the last minute suggested we go to instead—since Sir A could not come.

Going to Naujan, we took our usual Puerto Galera route with minor modifications—figure out a way to go to Alabang, bus from Alabang to Batangas Pier, Batangas Pier to Calapan via roro (minor modification), then 45-minute jeep ride to Naujan town proper.

So what the hell is in Naujan? Nothing, really. Although the bore was mainly caused by us not having a car to go around by. Literally minutes before leaving, I googled for some exciting scenery and found out about some lakes and falls—all of  which ended up in our hindi napuntahan, next time nalang list.

To cut Naujan some slack, here are some of the things I’d never forget: They had naturally-hot water coming out from their pipes. It was really hot and it made me say “Ang kulit ng tubig dito” a dozen times. They had this nice, clean and huge probinsya “plaza” (as in “kita tayo sa plaza…”), where the locals gathered and mingled on an almost daily basis. The town is dead by 8:00 pm, so if you have an inuman session and run out of beer, sorry.

What else? The beach, or rather, the dagat is referred to by the locals as “Black Beach.” Typical dagat for me, but just imagine how the two girls I was with reacted. In fact, we were foreigners in an unforeign land, simply because we had Likas Papaya skin. Oh before I forget, the standard ulam order in their “restaurants” was Php 30. Dirt cheap, and so does a pack of Marlboros (Php 30. Php 34-35 in a typical Manila sari-sari), which left me really, really dumbfounded.

So, that’s it? No, I have to end this post in a high note. And this, said in nothing but pure honesty, so help me, God, is the truth and nothing but the truth. The locals, I love you guys. You are the best. As cheap as the food already was, we could have survived even without our wallets. Food and drinks everywhere, food just after we’ve eaten, and lodging good for three separately (which we did not take, obviously). Plus, the locals can drink. Good thing I have some summer practice. Special shout out to the Gayos and Balita families.

Click below for photo coverage.

I heart Anne Curtis’ boobies

It’s funny how people refer to this as a “nipple slip”

It was a whole, albeit small, boob that popped out for all of Boracay to see. God, I love that boob. I have not been affected this much by a “boob-bu,” hey, I coined a slang, since Marian’s—and that was a whole lot clearer (video) and bigger (boob).

I heart Anne Curtis

I have always liked Anne Curtis. I’ve been placing myself in all these imaginary sexual scenarios since I saw her all drunk and flirty (with Luis Manzano) during the heydays of Mustang, the bar. I like her look; she looks like a nice person who can punish you in every evil, conceivable way possible. I like her skin tone, I like her curves. And this photo, Jesus Christ.

So, what now…

Now, because you took the time to read my post up to here, and because I heart Anne Curtis’ boobies so much, I’ve decided to host said “boob-bu” video here, and photo here—and none of that RapidShare crap also—self-hosted, and will be archived here for all eternity.

Just remember though, such shall be called “boob-bu” from hereon after.

The less important Paramore tickets issue

Why is it that people my age (twenty-somethings) find it hard to admit they like Paramore?

So apparently, there is an issue surrounding people who bought Paramore tickets for Php 10,000 (like that in itself is not an issue). To summarize, people who bought VIP tickets ended up in the same place as those who bought Gold tickets (Php 3,950). However, I am here to bitch about a less important, if not, useless issue—I was not able to see Paramore.

I was able to hear them though (what?). Having still been undecided on the day itself might have had something to do with it. And, if it weren’t for me dreaming of some Hayley-goodness the night before, I probably wouldn’t have come.

Still without parking, we arrived at Mall of Asia at exactly 8:30 p.m. By the time we reached the concert grounds, the ticket line still spanned about 50 meters, and that appalling-choice-for-a-front act had finished their set. When we were only about 15 meters from the lone ticket booth, some irritating irritated guy announced that Bronze tickets (Php 550) had run out. What choice did we have? I was not willing to shell out Php 3,000+ (Silver ticket x 2) for a concert that was already two songs in.

Thoughts In Binary

About the Php 10,000 ticket scam. If you shelled out that much for a Paramore concert, you should really rethink as to what issue you should address—your fanaticism or what had happened. Either way, you’ve been robbed, big time. On another note, why don’t you make yourselves important and actually be a VIP.

About my ticket (or lack thereof) issue. In my defense, probably 80% of the concerts I’ve been to, I did unarmed (no ticket upon arrival), and, I have not seen a line that long. Seriously, one ticket booth for a concert this big? Even that small Saosin concert had 3 lines leading to the desk which sold tickets.

More blog updates for the year 2009

Here goes part two.

Manila Auto Salon 2009

The end-of-the-year “ber” months are filled with great car shows. The Manila Auto Salon is probably the biggest, and is a personal favorite because of its location—SMX Convention Center. Convenient, spacious and cold, which makes tambay easier (Jesus). We went for two consecutive days, just so we could photograph more promo girls. Still, we were late as hell, but I think I did quite good.

Bumper to Bumper 2009

Like I said, full of car shows. What I did not know, however, was that I was about to experience a different form of babe fix. Like you wouldn’t believe, FHM had this sort of FHM Girls showcase, which coincided with the awarding of Ms. Bumper to Bumper. Although there wasn’t anyone there I haven’t seen before—Abby Poblador, Arra Castro, Jem Milton, Paulene So, etc., it was still quite exciting to see them live in skimpy bikinis. Hey, I love cars, in fact, most of the time I go in support of someone (club), but I’m getting tired of car commentaries. So, to sum it all up, Arra Castro is really, really cute.

bilyar.NET 2009 Christmas party

Hey, I own bilyar.NET. Yes, I do. But I haven’t been attending or showing myself for the longest time. It is in good hands and I trust my partner and moderators. But that doesn’t mean I can’t have some Christmas pool fun with the boys. It felt good to give away all those prices, and award some trophies, plus I made some new friends. And, best of all, I played some kick-ass pool.

Saosin live in Manila

Holy humongous crap, this was 2010 already. It is already quite late to blog about this so let me just include it here for archiving. The extent of my Saosin dunong begins and ends with Translating The Name. I know they rocked and all, and blew everyone’s brains with “Seven Years,” but I was just not able to keep up. Weirder still, I only knew of the concert on the day itself. So, if not for my cousin, Boy Paketing: Ang pinaka umiidolo sa Saosin kahit ako nagpakilala ng Saosin sa kanya, who would’ve gone even if didn’t go, I wouldn’t have seen Papa Cove.

So, that’s it for now. I will be back soon for sure. By the way, some of the photos are not linking to their corresponding gallery albums yet. I still have some sorting to do, so, wait for that.

Blog updates for the year 2009

Greetings motherhackers. It has been 319 days since my last update. Below are what I would have written about if I were still an active blogger. May this post inspire me to write more this year.

Losing my belly

I really wanted to blog about this journey inch by inch, but I just couldn’t find the will to blog. Last year, I started to exercise regularly. What started out as a way to kill time when it was the kumander‘s turn to “solo”  the internet became a full on obsession. I went to the condo’s (more on that later) free gym at first, then I “upgraded” to Slimmer’s World—I have had a lifetime pass since 2003 so it just made more sense. I started with a 37 1/2-inch belly (tape measure on belly button), and ended with a record 29 1/2 inches. I went to the gym religiously, 4 times a week, from April to October. I was successful at trimming an inch every 3 weeks. I do not have an “after” shot, but you’d know what I’m talking about if you know me personally and have seen me recently. Photo below was taken around May.

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Condom living

Whoever decided to abbreviate condominium as “condo” had no sense of humor. 2009, for us (kumander), was the year of the “condom.” I liked how so much—mall, bank, food, etc., was so accessible. I liked how easy it was to keep track of everything, I liked how condom personnel took care of a lot of stuff. I liked how the building did not “sleep,” especially for a night owl like me. I did not like the overpriced association fees, and not having a car most of the time (it was “broken” for most of 2009). I actually liked cleaning and washing the dishes. I’m weird like that. Oh, and I liked living in such high (literal, 9th floor) a place. We rented a 2-bedroom (really small bedrooms) in Las Piñas.

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Two monitors and a snake

My almost yearly laptop update ended last year. I ditched the old “lappy” for a desktop powerhouse. I have read and always wanted to try a dual monitor setup, and last year I experienced how effective it really was when kumander brought home a 19-inch Samsung from work. I hooked it up as an extension for my laptop, and voila. Now, I don’t think I could go back (working) to a girlish, single monitor, small-screened, weak ass laptop. I have two Samsung 733NWs with a combined total resolution of 2880×900. Oh, and about that snake, click here to see what I found lurking beside my desk.

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Triangle tires

These are some cheap ass tires. China-made but, well, it works. I have been using this sporadically since October last year. To give you an idea of how cheap these are, my 18-inch 225/40 cost only Php 3,000. If you know about cars and tires you would really appreciate this. Anyway, to quote the guy who sold them to me: “Triangle pero bilog.”

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To Naic, Cavite, with love

How I wish I could remember more about this impromptu trip. One thing I could not forget though was, when we woke up the next day, after all the drunkenness, there beside our house stood the ocean. The people were really great, considering I had no right to be there in the first place. Another thing I remember was talking to them about all these great “nature” places we could not go to because of our schedule. We plan to go back there this summer, and, maybe I’d write a more exciting post.

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Jesus, I did not realize this would turn out to be an epic post. Part two tomorrow.

Trans Sport Show 2009

Went there Saturday afternoon, April 25, which most probably was the busiest time of the show’s 4-day stretch. I don’t think I liked anything in particular that much; before, when there was so-sweet-a-ride, I’d go as far as visiting it a second time. This year, none. Maybe my taste has gone where my age has, I don’t know.

Another crazy thing worth noting, people were like paparazzi on viagra. Remember the time when having a DSLR was cool and unique? 2-3 years ago, it went from that to being the “in” thing, to being just regular. Now, it’s just annoying. People were lining up and “bunching” up to take pictures of the girls which would’ve made even Britney jealous of the attention. Noong araw, I needed to compose myself and suck up some gut before I could even ask the girls to pose for pictures.

But there were a lot of hot girls. Because I could not find any “worthy” cars, I devoted my time and attention to the models (yes, I proudly took advantage of the paparazzi movement). There were high-class (and high-priced) promo girls, gro-looking girls, then some so-so girls. Ms. Abby “red head” Poblador (Playboy February 2009) won Ms. Trans Sport Show, and the only other one who seemed to have some form of fame was Ms. Paulene So, who appeared in Maxim’s March issue. I’m sure there were other notable figures.

Anyway, I was also there in support of our El Presidente and Phat Audio big boss Alvin Cu, who shook the whole Megamall with his “King Kong” Mitsubishi Space Wagon. Congrats, parekoy. Click below to see the whole photo set and to have a first-hand feel of my trip (and the show) as I say it how it really is in my commentaries.

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