Friday, May 18, 2007

good news and bad news in RP elections

Most of the votes for the local elective posts have been counted and the good news is that being a celebrity is not enough to get elected in the philippines anymore! yehey! this is a painful and expensive lesson not just for wannabes richard gomez and cesar montano, but also for manny pacquiao ( who is photographed below, after the counting ), lito lapid and anjo yllana.

tito sotto looks like he won't waste taxpayers' money in the senate. good news uli, ate vi is set to be batangas gov! too bad di nay makaka-team up si christopher de leon...sayang, can you imagine the batangas capitol with ate vi and boyet? parang may shooting araw-araw!

Mano po 5: Ala 'eh!
Ate Vi: Vice Boyet, nasaan ang pondo ng bayan?
Boyet: I'm soooorry, hindi ko alam! Baka na kay Val!
Ate Vi: Si Val, si Val, si Val! Lagi na lang si Val! Wala syang ginagawang masama!
Boyet: Akala mo lang wala! Pero meron! meron! meron!!!(sampalan!) (halikan!) The end.

Well, it seems Boyet will share the same fate as ex-wife Nora Aunor na natalo sa Bicol. Pero ang kanyang look-alike, si Teri Onor, landslide winner as vice mayor ng Bataan! Ate, kuya! Walang Himala----po!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


On mother's day, we woke up earlier than usual because I wanted to go swimming before the rainy season starts. But we wanted a place that was nearby and not too expensive. We nixed the idea of Tagaytay since we just went there. Ma vetoed Water Fun in Sucat. So where to go? Sneak into a fancy hotel? Luckily, Twinx knew a co-teacher who owned a members- only club in Merville called Nomad's. She got us in for free(Yey!!!) and we were able to spend the whole day just lazing by the pool and watching mostly Europeans play cricket and football and lawn bowling. You have to buy ticket stubs to pay for food and other items (just like in school fairs) which is not so convenient for us but very profitable for the club. By the end of the day, we still had about a hundred pesos' worth of stubs, which was not enough for ma to buy a souvenir cap so instead of buying another bunch of tickets worth P200, we just bought drinks and ate merienda at greenwich, just outside the subdivision.

How I wish we could have our own swimming pool! But with our area's water shortage problem, that will just have to remain a dream for now.

Monday, May 14, 2007

election pinoy style

Isn't it interesting that most everything a Pinoy does turns into a celebration? Elections here resemble a fiesta. Campaign posters are made to look like banderitas. There's music, there are entertainers, and food all around.

i went to the gym near our parish church where we were to vote. jon and ma were there because they were volunteers for the PPCRV (parish pastoral council for responsible voting). we brought them water, chairs and a flashlight, just in case there was a power outage at night.

we were able to fill up our ballots quickly as most voters would probably wait till the last minute to go to their polling precinct.

stone age in 2007
last time, we had tables with plywood partitions to use as voting booths. this time around, we didn't even have tables! people had to write on monobloc chairs while squatting on the floor!
Dirty finger. Me showing off my indelible ink stain

Monday, May 07, 2007


Nuestra Senora de Paz y Bienviaje

I got a call at work from my sister telling me we were going to Antipolo the next day because we always go in May. So, off we went and naturally, the church was filled to the rafters and spilled all the way out to the parking lot.

Lots of people go here especially before leaving for foreign shores or have their new vehicles blessed because this is the church of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. I go because we get to buy kasuy and suman and other fruits after mass.
Summer fruits: Duhat, kasuy still attached to its fruit, lanzones,mangoes, mangosteen, santol, green mangoes and siniguelas

Not the horse we grew up with. This new papier mache horse rocks like a hobbyhorse

I find the new additions they've made to the altar a tad too over- the- top. All the gold and the large paintings are distracting...but I do like the stained glass.
Jesus works out---he has abs!

Tagaytay Highlands

Ma at the clubhouse. Note the fog at 9 in the morning

We’ve been to Tagaytay before but going to the Highlands was like taking a peek into the lives of the rich and privileged. It’s kinda funny to see Swiss-style cabins in the Philippines but I guess that reflects some people’s dreams to live abroad or maybe a cheap way to pretend you’re in the Swiss Alps, surrounded by cold weather and pine trees. It’s supposed to be for members only with fees reaching more than 3x my monthly salary. Luckily, ma knew a member who graciously helped us get in as guests. Getting there is a bit difficult especially when your car is over 30 years old. Pa was so worried about how we were going to get out of the place because the way to the exit looked soooo steep but yeah, our car rocks!Jon at the peak which offers a grand view of the city and Taal lake

Too bad we didn’t get a room at the Swiss chalets with a real fireplace. I guess that’s for members. We only got a standard room and a superior room at the Highlands Inn which was ok, but rather ordinary. We were a bit early for check-in so we were just given our guest card which we were to use all throughout our stay. One doesn’t pay with cash at the highlands. One simply signs for it and the member will be charged at the end of the month I guess so the only cash we shelled out was for the tips for the waiters. (There was a note that said do NOT tip the waiters, but we did anyway)We went to the mini zoo, the gardens, and most of the touristy places but compared to Corregidor, there’s really not much to do unless you’re willing to pay for it. Even the use of the swimming pool isn’t free (at least P100 per person)
So if you have plans of going there, here are tips on how to have a ‘sulit’ vacation:
-Sneak bottled water inside your room! It’s ridiculously expensive if you use the one inside your mini-ref.
-While you’re at it, bring snacks and fruits as well!
-use the shuttle ride to go wherever you want (it’s free!)
-We didn’t go to the steakhouse because we knew the steaks cost P1000 on average but everywhere else, the food was relatively affordable at around P200 per person.
-if you can, ride the funicular and cable car as well (it’s free too). Just remember that the cable car is only operational every hour from 9am to 5pm on weekdays and more often on weekends. The funicular (which we weren’t able to ride) runs only every 2 hours.
-While check-out time is at 12 noon, you don’t have to leave right away. You can go all over the place for as long as you want. Just remember to return your guest card so you can get a receipt of how much the member who sponsored your stay will be charged so you can pay him later.
-here are some of the prices of some activities that might be of interest :
animal farm: P63
country club pool: P150 (weekends & holidays P215)
camp highlands pool :P100 (weekends P150)
horseback riding: P255/hour
bowling: P95/game
internet P120/hour---what?!?
All in all, we really didn’t have as much fun here as we did in Corregidor. We’re happier in simple places that are cheap and culturally interesting. In fact, save for the funicular and cable car, everything in the highlands can be had cheaper in most hotels in Tagaytay.

We waited for almost an hour for the cable ride!
Llamas at the animal farm
edited to add more prices (2007)
at the Sports Center Lunch set 1 -P190
set 2-P180
Baked fish fillet- P200
Grilled hamburger -P200
Southern fried chicken -P200
they do accept Senior citizen's cards, though
at Golfer's Lounge
Filipino breakfast- P235(best meal in our entire stay)
at the country club
Calderetang kambing-P220
at Geraldine's (Americana-style soda shop just like in Archie comics)
banana split-P165
Roastbeef sandwich-P95
Peaches and cream-P165
Lucky me noodles+hot water-P60!

Higlands Inn room rates (no breakfast):
Superior room P3660/night
Starndard room P3050/night for 2pax
extra person add P336

Thursday, May 03, 2007


I must admit I wasn't expecting much from Corregidor because after last year's Boracay, what place could even compare? Well it's not an A-list beach resort/island but that is also its charm. Quiet, uncomplicated and relatively affordable, I found myself enjoying my overnight stay on this island. I'm not a morning person but I woke up at 5am with the restof my family to be at the port near CCP at 7am. The ferry is very comfortable and the ride was quite relaxing. Jon had a question that made me laugh (and

will probably make his geography teacher cry) "Nasa Visayas na ba tayo?" We were on the ferry for just 1 and a half hours. We were only in Cavite. A trip by boat to Boracay would have taken 12 hours!We got off at 9:30 am and were greeted by the a fleet of trambias, buses made to look like the trams that used to service this pre-WW2military base. We were quickly whisked off by our funny tour guide and shown all around the island.Since we were staying overnight, our bags were checked-in at the Corregidor Inn. I had forgotten that the chicken sandwiches we had made were still in the bags. By noon, I was starving! Fortunately, the tour was quite interesting and even if you didn't plan on learning anything, you will come out of the tour enlightened and less eager to engage in warfare. Seeing the ruins and walking through the Malinta tunnel light and sound show made me realize how futile war is. The buffet at lunch is nothing special but so welcome to my hungry tummy. After lunch, we continued the rest of the tour and were then given 2 hours of free time to cool off or play games at the recreation center.

Check out how high that bed was!

We were able to check in early in my parents' room and cooled off while the day trippers melted in the summer heat. I loved their room. It had a 4-post bed and a drawer with mirrors that made you feel like you had stepped back in time. By 4pm, as we waved bye-bye to the tourists on their way back to Manila, we headed off to the beach which was surprisingly clean. Sure the sand was black and there were huge rocks on shore, but the sea itself was clear and the sand underneath very fine and free of rocks and jellyfish. In fact, we had the beach all to ourselves and only had to leave because we had to go on a sunset trek at 5:30pm.

This was the last we saw of our new beach ball. Someone left it on the shore and the next we saw it, the ball was a tiny speck drifting off to Cavite

This was what our guide called 'fantasy shots'--posing in the sunset

Our new tour guide brought us to the 'topside' so we could take pictures of the sunset on the highest point of the island. Then, we were brought to the ruins of the hospital and morgue where ghosts were still said to earthbound and sometimes appeared in pictures. We were reluctant to go in at first and I fervently prayed for all the souls still trapped there but thankfully no ghosts popped up in my camera. I was afraid that I'd see a ghost in one of the ruins and the guide would say that every person who had seen that ghost died within a few days! I've obviously read too many horror stories!

Look ma, no ghosts! Just some suspicious looking orbs of light

If there's something you should bring, it's an ipod or some reading material. There are only 2 cable TVs at the inn. One at the lobby and one in the library and both in places without airconditioners.

The next day, ma went on the sunrise tour to the japanese tunnels while we snoozed.

Then we had the best meal on the island: the Filipino breakfast with bottomless brewed coffee which Pa and ma loved. Then while the next batch of tourists arrived, we went back to the beach, then leapt into the swimming pool and basically relaxed till it was time to go home.We enjoyed the trip so much we vowed to return with some aunts of ours who could definitely use some R&R!


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