Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Childhoodland

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I lost interest in blogging lately.  I might close this soon.  I'll keep my fashion blog though.

I haven't been in Nueva Ecija since my granny's birthday last August.  I was supposed to go Christmas time but I was in the UK.  I don't really like visiting there as there aren't anything going on.  So when my brother announced that it was my aunt's bday, I took the opportunity to visit granny.

My trip was pretty okay.  I was able to gossip and play cards with the oldies.  I learned that my cousin who's 19 got married.  Everyone was opposed to it but she started living with a guy so they forced them into marriage.  My dad is okay and he started smoking again.  He's not even working and have no source of income, I don't understand why he have vices.  He's only 54.  Too many negative news.  This is why I avoid going to the province.  On the bright side, I was able to eat lots of good food and had a nice chat with Tito Arman.  He's sensible and hard-working, I like him.  My most vivid memory of him was when I was 5 or less when he visited my aunt(who was living with us then) and  I poured a bucket of water as soon as he got there.  I was that Maldita but I warmed up to him when he started showing me and my brother some magic tricks which resulted to my brother swallowing a 50 centavo coin but that's another story.  :P  Granny was very happy to see me.  She screamed at the sight of me and told me that I am the most beautiful grand children she got.  Take that my sis!  :P

How was your weekend darlings?

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Pearl Farm Holiday

I've been to lots of holidays but I can't remember relaxing.  As an Asian, I felt like it's my obligation to see everything and anything that the place has to offer.  If you don't believe me, check Filos facebooks when they go on trips.  :P  I didn't realise how relaxing it is to actually go on a beach holiday with nothing planned.  Initially, I thought things will be boring but I loved it.  We woke up just in time for breakfast everyday because we know how Luke feels about missing free breakfast(LOL!!!), snorkelled, sunbathe, eat and read books.  Every morning, Luke and I would feed the birds and fishes.  Sometimes, I would walk for 30 minutes to make myself feel better about the breakfast buffet.  I am sorry to report that Luke's durian disaster continued until Pearl Farm.  He didn't eat for 3 days and lost his chin weight.  

It rained 2 days out of the 4 days that we stayed there.  Good thing that they provided a telly and a separate toilet room for Luke's needs.  Our stay in Pearl Farm was very pleasant.  They attended to both my needs and Luke's.  One night, whilst having dinner, Luke has to leave me to do number 2 and the staffs were concerned about it.  I told them that he was ill and they referred me to the main office for help.  They have a medical attendant available and gave Luke meds to ease the pain.  I had an unblocked ear incident which they unblocked partially.  If I have to say anything negative, it has to be the hot shower that goes off after 5 minutes of use and the unattended gym with just okay facilities.  


Luke friend, Charlie.
This pool have an amazing view of the beach and Mt. Apo.
Samal Houses.  We stayed in Number 5.
Fish Feeding at half past 10AM.


My view whilst sunbathing.


"may I tuck in si chan".  :P


The ala carte orders in Pearl Farm are very reasonably priced with generous servings.  It starts from 300PHP.  The buffet has a massive selection too and just 750PHP per person.
  
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Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Marco Polo Davao

In Davao, Luke and I stayed in Marco Polo.  Marco Polo is one of the highest buildings in Davao.  It must be one of the most famous too.  Even the Eden Mountain Resort tour guide knows the building.  :)

There is nothing fancy to the Marco Polo room that we stayed in.  It is a standard room with bath and shower.  I liked the youthful colour of holiday inn's better but that's just me.  The breakfast buffet is amazing though.  Luke told me that it is better than Marriot in Pattaya.

Our stayed was quite pleasant apart from the day that we arrived and found out that our room was unlocked.  It sh*ts the hell out of me. It made me feel unsafe.  The first thing that went to mind was to check the safe.  I have no valuables to be honest.  My laptop is ancient but it got all my photos on it from 2006.  I didn't want to lose all of them.  Luke immediately reported the situation.  The Marco Polo staff reviewed the security cameras and found nothing.  It was a mistake not to lock the door.  We only received an apology call.  No note or sorry basket of fruits.  Luke told me his experience ones in a big hotel in Thailand.  He said he received a basket of fruit and wine when he was sent to the wrong room.  I was expecting something like that to be honest.  

Marco Polo is situated in the heart of the city of Davao with either view of the city or Mt. Apo.  We got the Ateneo de Davao University view but that's okay.  It is near major shopping centers, in front of Aldevinco(which is like a big pasalubong tiangge) and near F. Torres which is a small restaurant strip.  There are generous amount of taxi and public utility jeeps in this area.  Bags and lugguages are checked upon entering the building and any smelly food aren't allowed in(take that durians!).  










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Saturday, 19 March 2011

Davao's Crocodile Park and People's Park

On our last full day at the city, Luke and I planned to go zorbing, ziplining and dining at Jack's ridge.  None of them materialise as Luke was killed by the durian shake.  More on that later.

On my previous blog, we went to Eden Mountain Resort and The Philippine Eagle Center.  On our way to Eden, a local at Davao recommended Davao Crocodile Park.  We wanted to skip this as we just been to Palawan Crocodile Farm but it is close to the Zorv and it was crazy not to go.  Turned out, we are both disappointed.  First, the Zorv is not as challenging as I think it is.  I went Zorbing in Boracay as little over a year ago and I can't be asked to do it again.  I mean, there is nothing special to it.  Luke was not convinced.  As for the Crocodile Park.  It was a waste of money.  The Palawan Farm is wayyyyy better.  We had guided tour there too.  In Davao Crocodile Park, you literally have to do everything yourself and there aren't any baby crocodiles around.  It was expensive too.  3 times what we pay for the Philippine Eagle Center and 6 times for him as he is a foreigner.  We both feel sorry for the animals.  They were trapped in small cages and looked miserable.  Instead of being happy with the visit, we left with very very heavy hearts.  :(  






Luke knows that decision making is not my strongest point.  I mean, I like to experience the best in everything so I can't really choose.  :P  After our Crocodile Park visit, I told the taxi to take us to People's Park in Camus.  I think it helps to pretend that you know where you are going to avoid being offered tours from random drivers.  Luke and I wanted to go to a barbeque restaurant but we arrived just after their closing time.  Gutted, we ended up in a restaurant called Casa Leticia just across People's Park.

Luke:  You are having durian shake?!
Me:  Yeah.  Yeah. *very confident as if I had it before*
Durian shake arrived.  Took a sip on it and it tasted like it smelled - like sh*t.

To put it lightly, the durian gave Luke the runs and he is still experiencing it.  He is never making me choose a restaurant again and he doesn't wanna go back to Davao because of the durian smell.  Yikes!!!  He is traumatised.


The People's Park is free and is very clean.  To me, it looked better than Rizal Park.

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Monday, 14 March 2011

Philippine Eagle Center, Eden Mountain Resort and Matina Town Square in a day

Philippine Eagle Center:


As I've mentioned on my previous blog, Luke wanted to go to the Philippine Eagle Center.  We are currently staying in Marco Polo and when we enquired, the tour would have cost us 9000PHP, that's like one YSL Arty Ring in my language.  :P

Here's what we did.  We open the guide book.  Luke wanted to take the taxi but I don't trust the taxi people here.  It's expensive and they don't give out change.  It's as if we are in Manila.  Anyway, the guidebook said that we have to get off to Calinan and take a motorcycle from there.  Luke asked if we still trust the book and I said yes.  I had to put all my trust to it as I hate the feeling of getting ripped off.  Thankfully, after more than an hour and 35km L3 and motorcycle ride, we reached the Philippine Eagle Center.  

Here's the breakdown of what we've spent versus the 9000PHP Marco Polo Tour.

L3 from CM Recto to Calinan - 80PHP for 2 people
Motorcycle Ride(As in single na motor)  -  100PHP as the guy didn't have change.  We were generous that day.  I was thinking," I want a pimped out tricycle".  We rode a single instead of tricycle.  It was so much fun.
Entrance to Philippine Eagle and Park -  55PHP each person
Motorcycle ride to the terminal - 30PHP

I am not a big fan of zoos but the Philippine Eagle is one of the must see place in Davao.  First, it is not a rip off.  I'll blog later about the Crocodile Park.  Second, the animals feels like they were in their natural habitat.  I can't say anything negative about it.  The Philippine Eagle Cafe is not a rip off too.  Luke and I had so much fun!


The motorcycle that Luke and I took to the Philippine Eagle Center.
The Philippine Eagle Cafe.

Luke's amazing photo of the Philippine Eagle.  Look how sharp it is!!!
The Philippine Eagle Museum at the background.
The L3.  Similar to FX but cheaper.

Eden Mountain Resort:

I've heard so much good things about this that I can not not go.  I don't know if I've mentioned this in my previous blog entries but Luke and I didn't have a concrete plan about Davao.  We only wrote things that we wanted to do and that's it.  No directions or addresses.  Nothing.  I expected to be greeted by tourist companies in the airport but we weren't.  

Whilst in the L3 to Catilan, I asked the driver how to get to the Eden Mountain Resort.  He said if we wanted to go, get off at Ulas and take a jeep to Toril and from Toril take a tricycle.  That's just what we did.  On our first day and the first time we took the taxi in Davao, the driver offered us to drive to Eden Mountain Resort, return for 2500PHP plus another 1000PHP for the crocodile farm. Good thing we didn't as we were both disappointed with both tourist spots.  I mean, coming from the Philippine Eagle and spending less than 500PHP everything will feel like a rip off.  Luke and I took the Shuttle Tour.  I remember telling Luke that I feel like I paid to hear advertisements.  :P  The spot overlooking Davao and seeing Luke touch Makahiya for the first time were the two good things that came out from it.

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The Umbrella.  I asked Kuya why his tricycle is different from the normal tricycle.  He said, they were called "Umbrellas".  Paid 400PHP return from Toril.  I think it's a good deal considering it's 13KM each way.

This is what you get for paying 180PHP each for the snack/ entrance fee.  We both felt ripped off.  We didn't opt for the buffet as we weren't that hungry.

Matina Town Square:

As recommended by Cocoy, we went to Matina Town Square.  It was a Saturday and it was very busy.  This place is a must go for big barkada.  It gives out a inuman feel.  They had a live band playing old karaoke songs that night and made me miss my girls back in Manila.  

Luke and I ate in a place called Goat's eye.  We tried their sizzling goat which Luke and I both love.  We ordered cheese sticks spelt as chiz which Luke couldn't stop making fun of.  We also had calamares.  It was perfectly cooked.  :)  

After Luke commented about the lovely night we were having, I choked with the spice from my sizzling sisig.  I turned tourette at this point and told Luke that I am gonna smash the bottle in his face because I blamed him for not ordering drinks soon enough.  He did say, "kuya" though but they didn't hear him so I had to shout.  I told you I'm f*cking mental.


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Ronaldos at F Torres

Luke and I were very surprised when the Cebu Pacific flight to Davao flew without any delays. :P  We got nothing planned in Davao.  Luke wants to go to the Philippine Eagle Center and Zorb, I want to go to the Eden Mountain Resort and try Davao's zipline.  I will tell you more about those later.  

I was very hungry by 5PM and you know what happens when I'm hungry right?  I turn into a b*tch.  I still don't know to this date how Luke can handle me.  I feel like a bi-polar sometimes. 

It was raining when we arrived in Davao.  According to the guidebook, F Torres is a foodie haven so Luke and I decided to check it out.  We were a bit disappointed as I was expecting strips and strips of restaurants offering variety of cuisines. Yeah, there were lots of restaurants but you had to walk the whole street.  I was turning tourette so Luke decided to go to Ronaldo's.  It was a very quiet restaurant in the middle of the the F Torres Street and very minimal in design.


House Bread.  Garlic Bread and Rye Bread in Squid Ink.
This was amazing!  I think it was bruschetta.
My seafood pasta was okay.  Too much cream, it was overwhelming the dish.
According to Luke, his steak ala pobre was nice.

B*tch face.
I randomly said these stupid lines to Luke:
"You are a fake Catholic!".  When I took him to the church we passed by and asked him if he wanted to stay.
"This wouldn't happen if you bought me a Melissa.", after I had my flats wet.  Jesus!  I am mental.

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Sunday, 13 March 2011

Marina de Bay, Palawan



This is an honest account of what we have experienced from Marina de Bay.  Some good, some bad.  You have been warned.

Luke and I took the honeymoon package.  It was 10980PHP per person for 4 days, 3 nights of stay, breakfast, lunch and dinner included, welcome drinks with chocolates, bottle of wine and fruit basket, rejuvinating spa treatment, city tour, honda bay tour and underground river tour.  Sounds nice huh?  

First Day:

Our flight to Puerto Princesa was 3 hours delayed thanks to the ever reliable Cebu Pacific.  When we arrive, we couldn't find the van that will pick us up.  I had to call Marina de Bay to inform them that we have arrived and few minutes later, the driver found us.  Marina de Bay is located 25 minutes away from the City with the view of the bay.  :P   I was expecting a beach view but never mind.  We were given our welcome drinks.  Good thing as Luke and I are both thirsty.  Straightaway, the concierge asked me if it was okay to bring the wine later.  She didn't mention the chocolates or the fruit basket.  Dinner time arrived, we went to concierge to claim our free dinner.  She said, it wasn't included so we went back to our room to double check and went back again to the concierge to tell her that it was included.  She told us that she was gonna double check it with the manager and that might just be a typo.  We went to our room and received a call asking what time we are going to dinner.  The food was nice, the staffs were attentive and the ambiance was okay.  Later that night, I heard a scream from Luke.  He found a live cockroach in our room.

Second Day:

Luke and I were scheduled to do the Underground Tour.  When I asked the concierge for the pick up time, she said, 8:00-8:30AM.  The tour guide arrived at 8AM and we had to be rushed.  Halfway through our trip, we were told that ID is a must before boarding the boat that will take us to the Underground River.  We weren't informed but thankful that we had our IDs with us.  We arrive from our trip and found the fruit basket ready.  Since Luke and I had nothing to do in Puerto Princesa, I asked him to "claim" our rejuvinating spa.  We arrived just before 4PM and had to wait for he masseuse at 9ishPM.  They didn't inform us.  We had to wait the whole time.  We did asked every hour though and they were very apologetic.  The massage was fantastic!   The masseuse were very nice and we felt very relaxed.  Luke found another cockroach and I found a very non-absorbent towel with holes.  

Third Day:

Hurray!  Our chocolates and wine finally arrived but not on the same time.  We had dinner out as we were bored with the food that they served.  Don't get me wrong, they were nice and the staffs were very friendly and accommodating but we were tired of the same grilled viand, plain rice and side veggies.  No cockroach this time and towels with holes,just non-absorbent.

Fourth Day:

We were taken on a city tour.  The driver and the tour guide, both from Marina I think were very chatty and friendly.  The packed food was amazing!!!  We were given 2 sets, burgers and rice with grilled fish and pork.  The burger was very succulent.  As for the rice meal, we gave it out to the waiting drivers.  

The Room:

The room was okay on filo standards.   It was not okay for Luke.  He is a foreigner by the way.  He said, the room was too dark for him.  I have to agree with him on this.  The dark colour of the room didn't help either.  The nipa absorbed too much light.  You can't open any of the windows too.  

The Service:

The staffs were very friendly and accommodating.  I can't say anything negative about them.
The massage is a must try!!!

Everything else:

No facilities.  No safety deposits on rooms.  You have to ask for the manager to keep your things on their safety deposit.  We didn't dare do it.  
No swimming pool.
The shower was just okay.
Shampoo and soaps were provided but I suggest bringing all your toiletries.  
We were provided with coffee and tea but no kettle in the room.
No free drinking bottled water too although I can never be sure.
The room was big.
There is a smoking area at the back of each villa.
There was a telly with 3 channels - 2,7 and 13 or 4.  
Wi-fi was very weak.  We can't connect at first.  

Puerto Princesa City Tour

We are scheduled to do the city tour on our last day in Puerto Princesa.  We checked out at 8AM on Marina de Bay, our flight was at 1PM and the tour took 3 hours.  We had to skip all the unnecessary stop overs.  

Our first stop was the Crocodile Farm.  This is not to be missed if you like Nature and crocodiles.  They take care of both the freshwater and salt water crocodiles.  The small zoo was interesting too.  Mosquito repellant is necessary though.  Good thing Mr. Banks is always ready with "mozzie stuff".  

The second stop was Baker Hill.  Camwhore worthy and pasalubong place.

The third stop was the butterfly farm.  I wanted to skip this as I've been to one in Bohol but I'm glad I didn't.  They have so many interesting animals(?) there.  Almost everything I can touch.  I had scorpions, millipedes, walking stick insect.  I am sure my sister will run on the sight of each of them.  :P

Final Stop, Mitra Mansion.  The view was amazing from here.  Too much green it feels gives the feel of Tagaytay.

Surprisingly, the Cebu Pacific Flight to Manila from Puerto Princesa was only 25 minutes delayed.  We arrived in Manila just before the rush hour.  As soon as we got into the Airport Metered Taxi, the driver asked which part of Novaliches we were going.  I told him Mindanao Ave.  He said, If you are going to Novaliches Bayan, you are going to pay a different rate.  Oh boy, here we go again.  Luke and I were very worried about the driver.  He can't barely open his eyes.  We almost collided with a car and his excuse was, "the car was sliding".  Luke shouted "stay awake!, stay awake!".  Luke was traumatised and asked the driver to drop us at Trinoma instead.  Took another cab from Trinoma, good thing he didn't rip us off.

At home, Luke asked if he can use our bathroom.  

Me:  Are you using the shower?
Luke:  What shower?  You don't have a shower.
Me:  That's why tabo(a small bucket) is provided.

Luke entered the shower.

Luke:  Ailema, how do I shower?
Me:  Use the tabo.
Luke:  I thought you only use it to pour water over the toilet bowl.  Why do you have two pails?  How do I use them?
Me:  No difference.  Just use the tabo and pour the water into your body.

Then I heard him scream.  The water was cold.  We don't have hot water in our home.  This is third world living for you Luke.  :)

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