Monday, September 28, 2009

Makati City, Manila, Philippines 2009

I’m far from done with my Oslo fotos and I’ve also received the package from my parents with the USB stick with our Cebu and Bantayan holiday fotos but strangely when I copied the fotos into Picasa, only 1 folder was successfully replicated and the other folders in the USB stick were deleted? UGH, I hate this really! I was only able to copy our Bantayan Island holiday fotos and all my Cebu fotos were gone. Murphy's Law. NOT AGAIN. I’m scheduling another appointment with my mom. I will just remote control her laptop and download the Cebu fotos one by one. This will for sure take h-o-u-r-s!

Anyway, I felt obliged to share now with my readers the fotos I had in Manila during our few days stay there just last month. After the super typhoon in Manila last weekend, I just want to show Makati, at least, at her best, before the aftermath.

We didn’t really get to go around Makati much so we only had a few fotos of the place.

This is along Ayala Avenue at the Makati Avenue crossing.

You can see here a part of the buildings of Salcedo Village through the Ayala triangle park and next foto is taken from the new Greenbelt with the buildings from Legaspi Village in the background.

The pedestrian walkway between Landmark and Greenbelt and Makati Avenue from the pedestrian walkway towards Ayala Avenue. So many new malls and stores, I don't know anymore where to start looking!

More fotos of Makati here: Makati City - Metro Manila, The Philippines

Typhoon Ketsana, or Typhoon Ondoy as locally called, was the worse typhoon that visited Manila in 40 years. The waters were not only knee-deep but one-storey house deep! I was looking at fotos on blogs, in Facebook, on the news and I just can’t believe how fast the water levels rose in a matter of 6 hours of hard pouring rain. Locals claimed it rained 24 hours non-stop.

I still remember my flooding days in Manila, after all, I live there a decade of my life. There were two flooding incidents that I remember very well.

In 1995 I walked through the flood in Manila from Ayala in Makati where I worked to San Antonio Village near Pasong Tamo where I used to live. The flood was above knee-deep and I was desperate to go home, so I walked through the murky and grimy waters with my high heels on, afraid to be stepping onto something weird or any sharp objects that might hurt my feet. My feet survived (after much scrubbing under the shower) but the shoes were of no use the next day.

Then I think it was in 2001 when another flooding revisited Manila. This experience I remember vividly as it was my last flooding incident.

I have since moved houses and at this time I lived in Wack Wack, Greenhills. Apart from the very pleasant and green surroundings (view was the golf course), a big part of the reason why I chose to live here is because the area is on higher ground, thus flood free, however, driving from Makati through Mandaluyong is a challenge as Mandaluyong is a valley that descends down to the Pasig River. My car was gliding through the flood in Mandaluyong area (this is at the end of Shaw Boulevard towards Kalentong) with me inside! I almost panicked. The water current was not heavy but the car was flowing steadily and luckily I hit a much higher ground. I took advantage of this right away and quickly detoured while holding my breath, hoping the car will not stall.

It did not but I was trapped. I couldn’t go home. Everywhere around me was knee-deep water and I dared not drive through the flood anymore. It was almost midnight and logic told me that the last thing I would want is being carried again by the water flow or getting the car stalled in the middle of the flooded streets. Who will help me? I would be the most vulnerable victim out there!

So I searched for a gas tank station nearby where there is light (these tank stations always have glaring flourescent lamps, they are safer places as dubious individuals do not want to be in the light, afraid to be identified) and parked across the street. I stayed the night inside the car. I wasn’t really able to sleep as I was mindful and having doubts of the constant flow of male passers-by. In short, I was scared of being robbed, and worse, raped. The car’s window tint is not too dark nor too light but people passing by can clearly see someone is inside. Not a good thing when you are a woman, and alone... during a typhoon.

Anyway, I am just reminiscing.

News and videos from the Philippines:

Inquirer Article: The European Commission (or EU) gave the highest donation of 2 Million
BBC Article: Philippine death toll rises to 246
BBC Video: Flood leaves chaos in Philippines
BBC Video: Philippines battles flood chaos (beware this is a very disturbing video)
BBC Video: Philippine rescuers 'overwhelmed' (the aftermath)
CNN's iReport Fotos and Video: Typhoon Ketsana

I hope the thousands of misplaced people in Manila right now have a roof above their heads and that help has come through.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Miss Landmine 2009 exhibition in Oslo

Dutchman and I visited the controversial Miss Landmine exhibition in the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum in Akershus Fortress (Oslo) featuring the candidates from Cambodia. The project is currently banned by the Cambodian government just last 28 August 2009, a week away from the pageant opening date to be held in Phnom Penh. Officials say that the beauty pageant will destroy the dignity and honour of the disabled, especially the women. A taboo.

Here are some of the contestants below:

Cambodia is clearly not yet healed from its tragic past. But being Asian myself, I can also see the other side of the coin why the Cambodian officials refuse to go along with. In Asian culture a disabled beauty pageant can indeed be seen as a mockery. Asian people in general are respectful, traditional and sensitive, meaning they can easily be offended. They are also a very superstitious lot that tend to put meanings into almost everything.

In addition there are still thousands of undetonated landmines in the Cambodian countryside that kills and maims unsuspecting civilians each year. Obviously this is a much greater, more critical and lingering problem the country needs to solve.

Some of the press clippings about the controversial Miss Landmine contest collected and exhibited at the event.

The goal for Miss Landmine beauty contest is to raise awareness about global landmine contamination, the dangers posed for the unexploded landmines, identify the position and identity of the rest of the landmine survivors and enhance the self worth of the participants.

I voted for a candidate online but I will not tell who.

Click here to view the Miss Landmine magazine with the fotos of the contestants: Miss Landmine Magazine and click here to vote: Vote for Miss Landmine

Travel Period: September 2009
Destination: Oslo, Norway

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Oslo Airport Gardermoen

Hi, just back from Norway and for those into flying, I’ve got here some airplane and airport eye candies while I work on my Oslo fotos.

Flight to Norway is about 2 hours including taxiing. The flight itself was uneventful; I mostly spent my time reading the travel entries in the in-flight magazine. One of the interesting stories there is a Norwegian couple who got married in a romantic chateau in France. For the Norwegians, and their astronomical eye-popping prices duly inflated with government tax, it is much cheaper for them to wed outside their home land. Or, to vacation all the time and stay away from home.

We took Norwegian Air, the new price fighter airline company of Norway. They fly direct to Oslo and Copenhagen from Amsterdam.I’m not fond of flying. I get tense when its take off and landing. And when there is turbulence I try to diffuse my nervousness by forcing myself to nap.

There are a few airports in Norway but the main international airport is called Oslo Airport Gardermoen located about 50 kilometers north of Oslo in the Akershus region.

Now here’s something to fittingly rave about the Gardermoen Airport: It is a glass house! There is so much light everywhere and I can perfectly understand why there is a need. During late autumn, throughout the winter until early spring, darkness envelops the whole country with during winter only having 4 to 5 hours of daylight. So with placing glass walls and glass ceilings, this bids a positive psychological effect that facilitates a much lighter and happier atmosphere. Light always livens up the mood. Even the tube connecting the airport gates to the airplanes are made of glass.

Here is a couple of unfortunate baggage's falling off from the cart in Gardermoen during handling from the plane to the baggage belt. Aside from this, we witnessed a young blonde man (local methinks) handcuffed and literally dragged by his feet, while protesting, by two police officers.
The glass see-through tube from the airport gate to the airplane and queuing up for our take-off turn on the runway.
As a visitor, the easiest and cost-effective way to get from Oslo Aiport to Oslo Sentralstasjon (Oslo Central Station) is by train, and the best choice, which unfortunately is not advertised visibly in the airport, is the NSB train, the country’s national train. The local stop train takes roughly 25 minutes to get to Oslo Sentral. One-way ticket is 102 NOK per person, and re-tour is 204 NOK, which is about €24. Not cheap.

When leaving Oslo S to the airport, take the Lillehammer stop train as this stop in Oslo Airport Gardermoen. Don’t mistake this with the Lillestrom train!

The other train option from the Oslo Airport to Oslo Sentral is the expensive airport express train called Flytoget. I strongly suggest--use this only if you are going to Norway on business and you need to be at your meeting early. Flytoget Express Train takes 19 minutes to get to Oslo Sentral and services the tracks 6x per hour. Not much difference in time really compared to the national train but the price, yes! One-way ticket is 170 NOK and re-tour ticket is 340 NOK, a whopping almost €40 train ticket! The price closely rivals Heathrow Express and Gatwick Express but not comparable really because the UK railway and London metro is a complete enigma for someone who is not local. Norway railway on the other hand is very straightforward.

Dutchman likes to film take-offs and landings. He is crazy about airplanes or anything artifical that flies . He should have been a pilot.
Our plane, Norwegian Air enroute to Amsterdam flying above Oslo or nearby in the surroundings.
Dutchman describes the city as a ‘uitgegroeid dorp’ which means—a developed [insert smirk here] village. Oslo is really small, 10 minutes of biking and you will find yourself in the outskirts of the city already.

Still, I’d like to go back there sometime in the near future to see the Fjords. I’ve already done some research, about 1200 kilometers coastal drive from Kristiansand to Trondheim via picturesque towns of Stavanger and Bergen, but I plan to combine this trip with boat and train to cover all the bases.

More stories about Oslo soon. 

Travel Period: September 2009
Destination: Akershus (Ostlandet), Norway

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Intro to Oslo: Edvard Munch

A lot of painters—and artists per se, lived very poignant and pitiable lives. Most of them had mental illness, suffered from severe depression and at some point were suicidal which makes you wonder and question the significance of their art. Perhaps this is the crux why they stand out, why their artworks have become world famous. It suitably and subtlety channels the volcanic chain of emotions gripping them in to their paintings, and then to the ordinary viewer, like you and me.

Like Edvard Munch, he was a great example of the above. He was constantly tormented by his psychoneurotic obsessively religious father who was utterly devoted to pietism, which I consider perilous by the way. I do not trust these radical religious fanatics.

So tomorrow I’m off to visit his legendary children—he was childless and considers his beloved paintings his children, and hopefully I will feel and experience the anguish he felt when he painted ‘The Scream’.

Until next week. In Oslo, Norway!

Travel Period: September 2009
Destinaiton: Oslo, Norway

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Best cheap meal in Manila and jogging on a Sunday morning

When Dutchman and I are together—say during the weekend or when we are traveling, just like what happened during our travel to the Philippines last month, and this is when there is no family around—we tend to eat twice only in a day. We love to sleep in so by the time we wake up it is already brunch, and then later, dinner. I wish everyday would be like this but I guess a big part of the morning is gone, which isn’t good also.

So when we were in Makati, and after a tiring shopping day without lunch, we scoured Glorietta for a place to eat. We don’t want heavy stuff, no fast foods either, we just want to snack a bit, but at 4:30PM it looks like the restaurants are empty or they are getting ready for dinner. Then we passed by Cabalen and I had to stop when I saw the poster: Cabalen Merienda—P138 only! I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me so I quickly did a Peso to Euro calculation on my head. Huh—that can’t be? That’s just €2 for a limitless merienda (means snack) buffet!

Cabalen Merienda serves the ff dishes:
—Dinuguan (pork blood stew)
—Pancit Malabon (stir fried thick rice noodle)
—Pancit Palabok (thin rice noodle with seafood sauce)
—Lomi (thick fresh egg noodles made into a soup)
—Macaroni salad
—Ginataang Bilo-Bilo (glutinous rice balls in sweet coconut milk)
—Goto (beef tripe rice soup)
—Tokwa’t Baboy (braised tofu and pork from pig’s ears)
—Lumpiang Togue (bean sprouts spring roll)
—Okoy Kalabasa (squash and shrimp fritter)
—Turon with Langka (fried banana roll with jackfruit)
—Biko (sweet sticky rice)
—Pichi-pichi (cassava cake rolled with grated cononut)
—Puto’t Kutsinta (dry rice cupcake and glutinous brown rice cake
with grated coconut)
—Karyoka (deep-fried glutinous rice flour cakes)
—Palitaw (thin glutinous sweet rice with grated coconut and sugar)
—Halo-halo (shaved ice with various sweetened beans, glutinous rice
balls, fruit jelly, flan, ice cream and condensed milk)

They also had cassava fries (fried in brown sugar) served which I really liked.

This is probably our best and cheap meal in the Philippines (or ever, at least for now). I think we paid about or under €5 together with our bottomless iced tea. Dutchman and I had to keep shooing the diligent waiter who keeps pouring iced tea on our glasses, lol. We didn’t anymore have dinner because we were so full.

Highly recommended! Especially for those who would like to sample Filipino cuisine.

Anyway, we’re trying to wake up early now so we can make the most of our weekends. Like today, Dutchman and I went to the sports community center (I want to check out the sauna soon), he went swimming and I went to enlist for gym. Unfortunately, the gym opens at 10AM on a Sunday, a bit late than the rest of the activities in the center, so instead I took a walk around the surroundings and saw nice paths. I went running.

Whilst jogging, I saw women nicely dressed donned with lovely hats and the men in suits. It’s Sunday, where are these people going? A church bell rang and I realized they are all going to a church service. I rounded the small austere-looking protestant cathedral watching as families gather outside the entrance greeting each other with hugs and kisses. A really good looking young guy, in a dark suit with a huge smile across his face galloped past me. He was clutching a bible securely in his hands. A middle age lady, in pink and white dress with a titanic quirky pink hat that reminds me of socialites carousing in daylight during Ladies Day at the Royal Ascot Race in Berkshire, England was in a hurry as she sprinted towards the church's doorway.

The scenario before me brought me in deep thoughts—two decades ago I was like these people; a god believer who goes to church every Sunday, in fact twice a week and reads the bible every day. It’s a bit strange thinking about those people inside the church now and putting me into their shoes. They are happy people; they seem to be. I remember listening to the pastor's sermon—the guilt being used as a weapon, the lively songs we used to sing, hugging each other, I even did Sunday School for the kids, but the weird thing is I don’t miss all of these. No, not at all. In fact, I am quite happy I am out of it. For two decades I am free. Free to be who I really am and want to be.

As I ran further, I saw other joggers running by a path along the wide canal where ships and boats pass by. The wind was quite strong against my face—chilly too and I’m glad I wore a jacket. I like what I am seeing. Moving forward, I will be walking and running in this area during the weekends, and then I will run further to discover other areas of the city. Hmm, this is a nice plan indeed.

So when I got home I told Dutchman I won’t be going to the gym anymore, instead I will be running. It’s much better to run and explore the surroundings than be locked up for an hour inside a room with other people sweating on the machines.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010 is out!

It looks like the Swiss know their act this year in spite of the global financial crisis and the continuing pressure from the European Union and the world business leaders to open up the nation’s best kept secret—the Pandora boxes of bank accounts from wealthy individuals. Switzerland may have the wealth status but many regarded this wealth as coming from—questionable, and even blood money. I guess the Swiss can turn the eye other and pretend they are humanoid borgs. All for the glory of money.

The 2009-2010 Global Rankings:

1. Switzerland
2. United States of America
3. Singapore
4. Sweden
5. Denmark
6. Finland
7. Germany
8. Japan
9. Canada
10. The Netherlands
11. Hongkong SAR
12. Taiwan, China
13. United Kingdom
14. Norway
15. Australia
16. France
17. Austria
18. Belgium
19. Korea, Republic
20. New Zealand
21. Luxemburg
22. Qatar
23. United Arab Emirates
24. Malaysia
25. Ireland

87. Philippines

The usual Nordic suspects are in the top 10 except for its Salmon producing sister falling behind on the 14th slot. I’ll be in that region next week and will try sampling the high quality (read: expensive too) of life the UN has been raving about for like decades already.

There is an impressive line up of six Asian countries that have sprung up into the list, and two Arabian countries too, while my beloved Philippines who was once the tiger of Asia, revered in the region by her neighbours during my childhood days and before I was born, has now sunk deeply in the dark bowels of flaccidity. 87th slot, previously occupying the 77th slot a year before. How so sad. Questions like—How come? WHY have the Philippines lacked competitiveness?

Personally speaking, I find Filipinos not really competitive at all because in the Philippines if you are a cutthroat individual, people will label you with these anti-social monikers that would eventually alienate you from the all-for-one and one-for-all collective type of society mentality—mayabang (proud), ambisyosa (ambitious), feeling (like you have delusions of grandeur), etcetera, which I must say are NOT bad qualities of a person at all, in fact they are basic characteristics of an individual who will definitely succeed in life, and moreover, who will make a difference. OK, I hope nobody despises me furiously after writing that, lol! I am not in a belligerent mood tonight so I will stop.

The Dutch on the other hand, after sliding from the previous held 8th slot to 10th this year, haven’t really been quite as ruthless as they should be. Well, some would probably say—at least we are in the top 10! Umm, OK.

Read further the full report at the World Economic Forum: Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Ouderkerk aan den Amstel: idyllic little village just a stone’s throw from Amsterdam

One of the little picturesque villages in the Netherlands which happens to be just a stone’s throw away from Amsterdam is Ouderkerk aan den Amstel. By car, it’s the first exit from the highway after leaving the A10 highway ring and joining the A2 highway to the direction of Utrecht and Maastricht. An easy option from Amsterdam would be by bike or boat as it is fairly near. If taking a look at the map of North Holland province, one can see that the village is right across Amsterdam Zuid Oost with only the A2 highway separating it.

I’ll have to warn though that this village is REALLY small. The place is ideal for lunching or having afternoon tea combined with a nice walk or a bike excursion in and around the surroundings, which I must add, the landscape past Ronde Hoep nearby is very pretty. The zigzagged dike doubles up as the country road is above sea level and the canals and vast fields below form a majestic panorama. Or, if you arrive by a boat, you can always dock somewhere and then have drinks by the café restaurant on the corner of the white wooden draw bridge called Korte Brug over the Bullewijk River.

Draw bridges are typically Dutch and the one in Ouderkerk aan den Amstel over the Bullewijk River, which is a tributary river of the Amstel River in Amsterdam, gives this little bucolic village its very own fascinating charisma.

This is the Kerkstraat, the main street of the village that leads to the St. Urbanus Roman Catholic Church and ends on the other side with a couple restaurants and shops. This wooden white bridge is called Korte Brug and the river below it is called Bullewijk River which is an offshoot of the River Amstel in Amsterdam.

The "De Oude Smidse" cafe restaurant is a pretty location to have drinks or dining while enjoying the serene village surroundings over the river. Unfortunately, my Nokia Navigator wasn't of much help here as it can't really take nice pictures against the light. On the same street, one can find the more than 100 years old bakery, Bakker Out - baking since 1897.

Here is another foto of the Roman Catholic St. Urbanus Church. There is a Protestant Church on the other side of the river which isn't as pretty as her Catholic sister (and which is always the case anyway as Protestants are more conservative than the "bourgondisch" Catholics). To get out of the village just follow - Doorgand verkeer.

Anywho... just want to say that when I was here and when I was leaving my way via the dikes in Ronde Hoep all the way to Vinkeveen, I passed by a police car and a tow truck busy pulling out a muddied car nestled between a duct and the meadow below the 2-meter high dikes. Goodness heavens. That is one long jump to get down there! The driver must have driven above the required speed limit which is 50 km/ph–the roads are narrow and winding–and lost control of the wheel. OK, tell me... why I am not surprised to see that the driver was a woman? lol

Ouderkerk aan den Amstel is also two centuries older than Amsterdam. Yes, that old!

And for such a small village, who would expect that there are 7 restaurants in residence here? One of which is even a Michelin-star restaurant. During summer months I read that there are culinaire walking tours being held here too.

A few more fotos here: Ouderkerk aan den Amstel - North Holland, Netherlands

Well, I’d like to come back to Ouderkerk aan den Amstel and park myself on the deck terrace of De Oude Smidse café restaurant by the little draw bridge over the Bullewijk River. On a beautiful sunny day, I think it’s one of the nice and romantic places to sit down, enjoy a glass of chilled wine and watch the world go by.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Inglourious Basterds in summary

Watched Quentin Tarantino’s new movie yesterday – Inglourious Basterds and I’ll have to say that if you have watched Pulp Fiction then this is about the same caliber, as fiction as you can get yet with the right prudence of seriousness, extremely funny scenes with equally funny characters, violent as usual, and with a storyline that has different plots crossing and locking into each other. Typical Tarantino brand.

I’ll leave you to go over at the official website of the Inglourious Basterds to watch the trailers. Make sure you watch the different trailers they have. I think the International version is the best although these trailers will never do justice to the film. Then traverse over at Youtube and do a search on the movie’s name. Read the comments as they are just hilarious. You will also see remnants of the neo Nazi propaganda, posts from anti-Jews and anti-Americans fighting for comment space in there.

We watched the movie in Pathe Rembrandt Theater in Utrecht. Good thing that the conscientious always-a-boy-scout Dutchman bought the tickets online because when we got there 15 minutes before showtime, crowds were packing like shrubs at the cashier with a long tail of people queuing up all the way to the cobbled street outside in Oudegracht. This is probably the first time I have experienced in my going to the movies in the Netherlands that the cinema is full.

Cinemas in the Netherlands are tiny and Rembrandt Theater probably has the biggest seat capacity in Utrecht. The Dutch are really not avid cinema goers as many of them are so cheap (and proud of it) they just watch movies downloaded free from the internet at home.

The film has a very impressive international casting. German, French and English were spoken all throughout the movie. It really gives you the feeling of transcending boundaries, cultures and languages, and it’s inspiring to see actors such as Christoph Waltz (Lt. Landa in the movie–I was quite enamored by his charismatic yet stealthy performance but I can understand why some people find him irritating haha) who spoke fluent German, French, English and Italian!

One of the funny scenes in the movie is when Brad Pitt aka Lt. Aldo posing as an Italian escort to German actress and spy, Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger) at the Nazi film premier spoke Italian with a very, very, very thick American accent, “Buongiorno!”

The rest of that scene was just frickin hilarious.

On the other hand the movie has a tragic Romeo and Juliet effect with the characters, Shoshana Dreyfus (Melanie Laurent), the French-Jewish survivor turned Theater owner and Fredrick Zoller (Daniel Bruehl), the Nazi soldier hero. There was momentous heartbreaking gravity there when they both killed each other.

Another favorite character is Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz (Til Schweiger), the ex Nazi who became famous for killing Gestapo officers and recruited into Lt. Aldo’s the Barterds team. His character in the film is so mean, unyielding and driven that it’s almost and insanely bordering comic. It is strange but so true!

3 hours long. Worth it. Watch it.


Saturday, September 05, 2009


In the last years, I have to admit that I’ve become a bit paranoid about keeping this blog. Part of me wants to lead my life privately but the other part of me doesn’t want to let go chronicling my life, well at least the fraction that I am willing to open up to the world wide web. Obviously, there is a great deal of my life that I don’t write in here and don’t intend of doing so. Not now and not in the future.

And apart from sustaining a busy life and having less time to attend to extra blogging and social networking affairs, this paranoia is the major reason why I closed the comments, the chatbox and took my email address out from this site. I am selfish. I want something that I can control. I only want one-way traffic and nothing else.

So seeing that I approximately have 26,000 views of my profile perplexes me a little bit.

The other day, one of my colleagues at work told me, “I think I’ve come across your blog.” (I might have flushed in shock and embarrassment when I heard him say this)

“You blog right?” – PAUSE – “You’re the type who would write, I’m sure of that.” (I might have stammered trying to find words to say!)

“I don’t know how I came across your blog but I was searching and saw-Oh, this looks just like you!” (so as you can see there is no escape, I had to sheepishly admit)

I told him to keep it low profile and between ourselves which is fine by him he said. But honestly, it’s making me paranoid... UGH.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Philippines: Long ago Boracay

While waiting for the USB stick to arrive loaded with our Cebu and Bantayan Island holiday fotos–a replacement from the damaged fotos–allow me to muse over Philippine’s famous beach destination, Boracay. (I had my mom on the phone yesterday and she said we should receive the package this week or next week, yehey!)

I’ve only been there once which was a couple moons and eons ago. As you can clearly see my fotos below are already chipped, flawed replicas of the old pre-digital camera age.

I know this is a bit odd, but I don’t really hanker to go back to this numero uno desired holiday spot. I mean really, about every breathing creature in the Philippines raves about this place. No joke, until now the media moguls in the Philippines are still screeching with the headlines – Boracay is (still) it. But, whenever Dutchman and I are in the country, we prefer to discover new places and tread down unknown territories rather than exhibiting and carousing ourselves in trendy places.

Dutchman took this pristine foto (well, these fotos actually) of white beach and the outriggers being rocked by the waves at bay in Boracay.

Typically Philippines, the road master, the jeepney sprouting with passengers like lentils.

The little cousin of jeepney, another Philippine proudly made, the tricycle (other names include trike and pedicab).

This year we didn’t go farther from the home base because the whole family went with us for the island getaway. My mom has problems with traveling far so I thought Bantayan Island on the northern tip of Cebu would sanction an effortless approval from her. And it did.

I’ll post fotos and stories about our stay there when the fotos arrive (in a USB stick!).

On our next Philippine trip, I have a selection of big islands-as per Dutchman’s request-on the list to explore: Leyte, Samar or Negros Occidental (we’ve been to Negros Oriental). So, I guess either one of these. I'll draw lots when the date draws near.

Travel Period: October 2000
Destination: Boracay (Aklan - Visayas), Philippines

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