Thursday, December 6, 2012

Life in slow motion

Once, while looking up a potential vacation destination, I chanced upon a blog which warned would-be travelers that services were slow in that part of the world.

It had to do with waiting time at eating places. I remember particularly that the blogger said something like "there's no sense of urgency to serve you your food" and that visitors "would do better to conform with the pace of life in the locality and not to expect the kind of speedy services that they are used to in a cosmopolitan setting". Something like that.

I think I understand that better now.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Constant, este Coastal Cleanup

When my husband asked us to join “Tracking Trash”, Shell’s initiative in support of the 27th International Coastal Cleanup last October 6, this Cebuana imagined a white sand beach, maybe rocky, littered with plastic and the odd debris here and there.

Instead, I found it dark, pebbled and lined with shanties.  The site that Shell chose was near its refinery in Tabangao, Batangas and home to a small settlement.

(from left) Shell executives Jay Javier, Conrad Parizal and
Cesar Abaricia wait for the Shell contingent
at the assembly area.
I was amazed at Shell’s preparations. We were given a hearty breakfast then sent off with bottled water to the assembly area in Barangay Tabangao Aplaya, where the staff briefed us on how to conduct and document the cleanup. Each team was given a data sheet, gloves, sack and sharp sticks for trash pickup.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

You're asking what?

I saw this post in Facebook today:

To all my contacts, friends, I request that: With the recent
changes in FB, now one can see things from people who are not
in your contacts list. Just because a contact of yours makes a comment or "likes" in some activity of that person. I do not want people to contact me, and would like that they not read and see all my comments and stuff. But I can not change this myself because facebook has configured it this way. But you can do it for me. PLEASE place your mouse over my name above (do not click), a window will appear and move the mouse on “FRIENDS" (also without clicking), then down to "Settings", click here and a list will appear. Click “COMMENTS & LIKE" and it would thereby remove the CHECK. By doing this, my activity amongst my friends and my family does not become public. A Thousand Thanks! Paste this on your wall for your contacts, if you care about your privacy.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Better remembered

When my husband and I were still dating, he took me to El Pollo Loco at the SM Megamall in one of my visits to Manila. He wanted me to experience one of his favorite eating places.

Although I never took to the yellowish chicken, I appreciated the gusto and enjoyment he always displayed at eating there so we always included it in any of our Megamall visits.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

No room for cynicism in Aloguinsan

My sister and her family were visiting from the US so I flew to Cebu to see them, two weeks into their trip. By that time, I knew they’d already been to the beach, malls, eaten lechon and done the round of new restaurants, visited the dentist, spa, hair salon…in between all the other planned activities.

So when my sister told me I could do what I wanted on two of the days I was spending with her and the rest of the family in Cebu, I didn’t hesitate. I’d learned about the efforts for community-based tourism in Aloguinsan, Cebu via FB from Boboi Costas, who serves as consultant, as well as friends who’d been there via their FB postings.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Hubby was flying back home late on the day of our anniversary.  So instead of going through the long drive home after picking him up from the airport, my daughter and I decided to surprise him with an overnight stay in Makati at a serviced apartment.

I’d had occasion to visit the Somerset Salcedo apartments, since it is accredited by the company where I used to work.  I liked the rooms, but I wanted a place nearer the commercial business district.  I tried reserving a unit at the Ascott Makati, but they were fully booked.  Then, I remembered how one of the managers had switched to the Somerset Olympia apartments for the same reason, and though she warned me that the rooms were a bit old, and smaller than their Salcedo counterpart, she found the accommodations OK, since it was just walking distance from the Glorietta malls, as well as the eating places at the Ayala Triangle Gardens.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Birthday surprise

My husband recently found himself alone on his birthday in Thailand, where he was attending a seminar. I decided to surprise him by emailing a request to Holiday Inn Bangkok, where he was staying. The request was simple: for them to print out the attached birthday greeting that my daughter and I had made for him and to give it to him when he came down to avail of the breakfast buffet.

Given the simplicity of my request, I actually expected their positive response but was still pleased when I got it.  What happened next was unexpected. Since he had so many assignments, hubby didn’t go down for the breakfast buffet but went straight to the seminar room, also located inside the hotel, to start working.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The flowers do not wish to be disturbed.

That's what the sign on top of the table centerpieces says yet hubby picks them up for a closer look.  Both of them.  To his credit, he just looks.

The one serving us explained that they had to put a sign on the decor since some of the patrons tried removing and/or touching the flowers  to check if a.) they could be removed, b.)  they were made of real icing and c.) a and b.

Monday, June 25, 2012


This hissing sound made from pursed lips used to irritate me. Dili ko taxi (I am not a cab), I would tell the one doing it.

I find it rude to be hailed this way.  Why not call me by name?  Equally rude is finger pressure on the back - the very offensive cousin to the tap on the shoulder, especially if you don't turn immediately and the finger keeps digging into your back.

I had a good friend in college who would do a very exaggerated version of it on my arm or on my thigh even if we were face to face.  Miat!, she would say across the library table, as she would scrape her middle finger on my upper arm to get my attention.  Ann!, I would respond by digging my middle finger with exaggerated pressure into her arm as well.  It never failed to amuse her.  She never stopped.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sa Kabukiran

Bukid na gyud ni (This is as rural as rural goes).

Our house is surrounded by a lot of greens, but I only realized how close we are to nature when one rainy night, I drew aside the curtains to find a frog clinging to the glass window.

Accckkkkk!!!!  If there's anything I hate, it's slimy creatures.  I cannot stand frogs, lizards - any reptile, I think.  Another night, I looked out and there, on our terrace, was another frog.  Now, I check the terrace floor and sides before I go out.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Letting Go

When my husband's promotion entailed re-assignment to Batangas City, relocation was not really in the picture.  I had a good job in Makati City, my daughter was in a good school and Batangas seemed nearer than it was.