Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Litratong Pinoy: Mithi (Wish)

. . . gusto kong maglaan ng isang buong araw sa Tagaytay.

. . . gusto kong matapos na ang kasalukuyang semester at makapagpahinga mula sa mga takdang-aralin.

. . . gusto kong maglaan ng isang buong araw na nagbabasa ng mga kakabili ko lang na libro.

. . . gusto kong bumlaik sa Ilocos.

. . . gusto kong makita ang autumn (taglagas) sa pagpunta ko sa ibnag bansa ngayong Oktubre.

. . . gusto ko ng Sony Pink Vaio.

Marami pala akong gusto! hahaha! :)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Books - any suggestions?

I bought two books earlier at the Powerbooks sale. I decided to take advantage of the sale as it'll only last until end of August. I wanted to buy two books - one with a serious theme that shall keep me thinking and the other - lightly themed.

My hands caught the book of Anne Enright.

As described at wikipedia:

The novel traces the narrator's inner journey, setting out to derive meaning from past and present events, and takes place in Ireland and England. Its title refers to the funeral of Liam Hegarty, an alcoholic who committed suicide in the sea at Brighton. His mother and eight of the nine surviving Hegarty children gather in Dublin for his wake. The novel's narrator is 39-year-old Veronica, the sibling who was closest to Liam. She looks through her family's troubled history to try to make sense of his death.

The other book is the second installment of the famous twilight series. Unfortunately, the first book has already been sold-out so I was only able to get a copy of the seocnd book.

The thing is - I am not yet planning to start on reading any of these books. I am saving them for a long overseas trip which I will be having on October. I'll be having three long flights so I need to be busy doing something.

Do you have any other suggestion for a book that I can read on the plane?

I am trying to stay away from books by Paulo Coelho, Nicholas Sparks, E. Segal, S. Sheldon and J. Archer as I've already read quite a lot from these authors.

A Very Special Love

Have you seen this film?

I've caught this movie twice already (first with my brother and friend; second: just earlier with E). E liked it so much (either he sincerely liked it or just being sarcastic) and said he wanted a part 2 (ano daw?!). I sincerely liked it. Yes, it has all the elements of a typical and predictable Filipino love story - but I still found it amusing and funny. Save of course for some cheesy moments in the film which I couldn't stand, I had to cover my eyes and ears. I like Sarah on this film and John Lloyd was just soooooo cute.

One fanatic movie-goer described the movie (as shown in the commercial plugs) as: "Soooooobrang ganda." She shrieked.

To comment: "Ganda lang."

Have you seen this film?

Vigan, Ilocos Sur

The last stop of our northern exposure was the rustic town of Vigan. It was quite different from what I expected. The town of Vigan is now modern with several establishments from food chains, banks, restaurants and souvenir stores. The only reminder of the Spanish ear is the famed Calle Crisologo and some museums.

The Crisologo museum ignited an interest among me and my friends to research on the intriguing and colorful history of politics in Ilocos. We started with how the late Congressman Floro Crisologo was murdered during a mass in the Vigan Cathedral and his son, Bingbong, was accused of arson. A few days ago, I was reading on the history of martial law in our country. Who do you think has the biggest to gain with the murder of Congressman Floro Crisologo?

Sadly, due to time-constraint, we were only able to visit Calle Crisologo and the Crisologo museum. We weren’t able to see the rest of the museums like those by the Quirino family and the Ayala museum.

Calle Crisologo is a road with a long stretch of houses dating back from the Spanish era. The streets are made of cobbled stones. The houses have been converted to souvenir stores.

(a shot of me at Calle Crisologo, Vigan)

Earlier that day, we visited Baluarte of Chavit Singson. Baluarte showcases the collection of animals by the former governor of Ilocos Sur. Singson’ property is enormous – the same goes with his collection of animals. There is no entrance fee. I’m wondering where he gets the funds to maintain the place.


Pagudpud. Somewhere North. Far. Tip of Luzon. Breath-taking. Bluish-green water. Tide. Surfing.

The storm somehow has calmed. With a few drizzle of rain, Pagudpud remains peaceful. With only a few resorts in the area, the place seems untouched. This is a perfect place to relax.

We stayed at Kapuluan Vista Resort. The resort combines both modern and nature. The beds are of simple white. The couple who owns the place as well as their staff were warm. We were warmly accommodated.

The food was especially tasty and really good. It appears to have been prepared with a lot of love.

Some shots of the beach:

En route to Pagudpud

We checked out of Fort Ilocandia on our second day and headed to Pagudpud. En route to Pagudpud we had two stops. First of which was the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse.

I initially thought that Cape Bojeador Lighthouse is no longer working and is purely for tourism purposes. The member of the coast guard stationed at the light house on that explained that it is still being used. We were at the light house when the storm struck us with heavy winds. We got stranded at the light house before we were able to go down. The view from Cape Bojeador is magnificent.

Quoting Mr. Howie Severino: The Cape Bojeador Lighthouse rises about 600 feet above this lonely, treacherous coast. According to the Coast Guard, there has been no known major ship accident here since the lighthouse was built in 1892.

Heading further north, we then stopped to see the famous Bangui windmills, which apparently provides electricity for some parts of Ilocos. Of all our destinations, I was really excited to see this the most. Sadly, this was where we got struck the most by storm Frank. I only managed to get a few decent shots of the windmills. I vow to go back there. I’m wondering – how many windmills do you think are there?

After about three hours of travel from Laoag and facing the raging storm, we finally reached Pagudpud. What greeted us was purely breath-taking – a display of bluish green water.

Ilocos Norte

My fascination for old houses can be traced from college. It probably came to be because I was studying at Manila and was surrounded by a quaint, rustic community. A trip to Intramuros then made me tremendously happy. Fast forward to where I am now, the busy and fast-paced lifestyle at Makati makes me long for a place of tranquility. My daily digest of real-life architecture now involves rising buildings and fast food chains surrounding Paseo de Roxas and Ayala. Sigh. How I badly need a break.

My recent Ilocos trip did just that. To be honest, it wasn’t that recent. We went there on the last weekend of July, got caught in the storm and my busy sched at work got me to blog about it only now. I’m happy I can finally cross Ilocos on my my must-see-places list .But then again, I want to go back. I want to repeat my northern adventure!

I went there with my officemate friends and we traveled by land. We left Makati at 11:30 pm and I saw the Ilocos Sur welcome arch exactly six hours after. It was only then that I realized that Ilocos was a long stretch. After about another hour and 30 minutes, we passed the town of Vigan. We didn’t stop over there yet because our first itinerary was the city of Laoag. After traveling for about 8 hours, we finally reached the town of Laoag. Luck seemed to have played a trick on us as the weather was quite gloomy. The sun was not on sight yet it did not stop us from exploring the then overcast city.

We stayed at the famed Fort Ilocandia Resort – the only five-star hotel. It was a fine-looking hotel and the staff was very cordial. The hotel’s design was patterned from old architecture and somehow, the smell of the hallways reminded me of museums. We only stayed here for one night but we enjoyed it. Our package included a buffet breakfast which served really yummy food.

Day 1 Destinations

Malacanang Ti Amianan

(L: Fedinand's room, R: Imelda's bed)

This used to be the rest house of the Marcos family and now owned by the government. The care taker narrated to us some facts about the house. Fronting the house is the vast Paoay Lake where the late president used to play water sports. The Marcos family often had ballroom sessions in this house.

I noticed that Ferdinand Marcos had the bigger bed but Imelda had the bigger room and a spacious dressing area.

Paoay Church

This was exactly how I saw it at various images and postcard.

Marcos Mausoleum

We were not allowed to take pictures inside the area where the late president’s body rest. We were ushered to a dark room where the only light was surrounding the body of Ferdinand Marcos. The experience was kind of eerie as a peculiar music was playing in the background (like that of the Gregorian chant).

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Luk Yuen Noodle House

We ate at this Chinese restaurant at the SM Megamall branch to celebrate my college friend, Mic's birthday. I grew up going to SM Megamall for our shopping needs, as probably the case for every Pasiguenos. It is the nearest mall to our place with almost complete amenities. Being familiar with the mall, sometimes it is difficult to pick a place to eat at inside the mall. With SM Megamall undergoing renovation, it is even harder now to choose a place to eat at.

Luk Yuen Noodle House is one of those typical Chinese eateries. Service was good here. Our servers were polite and quick to attend to our needs.

Some of the food was ok but some fell below my expectations.

Noodles Cantonese style. I liked the taste of this but the serving was small.

Sliced Beef with Broccoli

Boneless Chicken in Lemon Sauce

Yang Chow fried rice. The waiter said that it was good for 2-3 persons but it really was a small serving. As well, it didn't have much ingredients (sahog).

To satisfy my Chinese carvings, I’d still go to North Park.