Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hakuna Matata

I do not know why I logged in today. I do not feel like retelling what has been happening to me though... too lazy. I guess I will just share what I learned while I was doing the zipline activity in Chiang Mai. The guide said, If you worry about how far down you can fall you will not enjoy. Everyone has to come down eventually so why worry. I think the same can be said about life. If we worry too much how much we can lose or how badly we can fail, we can end up not enjoying or living life to the fullest.

I guess that morning I learned more than how to zip line. :)

Got to run again last night with friends. The air was cool so it was really great. I hope to be able to run more in the future. Just found out MIzuno has a shirt that has a pocket especially for the iPod Touch!!! *woot!* Gotta get one of those! Maybe two... We'll see... Oh and yeah, I finally got myself an Oakley for running! *woot!* Speaking of acquisition, my long time crush is now mine! My dad gave me an LV Insolite for my birthday. Not the color that I was crushing on because Rubis is an old color, he got me the latest color of Insolite Orange! Love it still... it's like part Hermes part LV now hehe because of the color Orange. I lahveeht!!!


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

From the Netherworld

I know I said I will be posting about Shmango but I do not feel like talking about something that has happened almost a month ago. I do not feel like talking right now actually. I am too sleepy but am too lazy to take my contacts out. I am such a sloth. I guess I am a bit tired. I just got back from the Netherlands yesterday and I have not gotten any proper rest yet. Still, I had a wonderful trip and I thank the Lord for keeping me safe and for guiding my way during the trip. I spent two nights in Amsterdam and then moved on to Almen, Gelderland which is twenty minutes from Zutphen which is twenty minutes from Apeldoorn which is an hour and a half from Amsterdam. It was a rather complicated train trip and in fact, going to Almen I even got lost because though I boarded the train from the correct platform I somehow managed to still ride the train that is going to a wrong direction but the Netherlands is small and so I only got delayed by an hour. I was not in a rush though so I was okay.

It was just the Ehzerworld Langoed Hotel and farms and fields around it. Nonetheless, being the restless person that I was, I decided to just run. I brought my jogging pants and running shoes because I really planned on doing this there. I wanted to practice for an upcoming bout with a friend of mine. It was still rather cold but I wore my Nike sports jacket and yes, it has rightly earned the title sports jacket because for the first time in the two years that I have owned it, it was used for something sporty. I ran more than ten kilometers (nonstop!) and I felt like I can run more! It was probably because of the nice cool weather. When I wanted to go to a restaurant, I ran. When I want to buy water I ran to the nearest grocery store (14 KM roundtrip!). I even walked for 28 kilometers going to Zutphen because there was no bus on a Sunday. I had fun!

I was able to see sheep and lots of cute ponies and horses. I found out that fresh air smells like cow dung and I found out I can outperform my 5Km no walking record. It was during that solitary experience that I was able to think about everything that is going on in my life. It gave me a nice venue for introspection and retrospection. I was able to pray and I was able to reflect. I felt so free just running with the cold wind slapping me in the face. I was flushed after running but I always like what I see in the mirror after running or walking. I also love the sleep that comes after. :)

Life treated me well in the Netherlands and I think or at least I would like to think that while I was there I lived and ate and slept healthy. Now I am back to abusing my body. Tsk. Sleeping late and waking up late. I will try to sleep already so that I can keep up the healthy life style I picked up in the Netherlands.

I realize that I have not really talked about my Amsterdam visit but I am really too lazy right now. And sleepy.

Good night world!


I hope I will be able to finish the paper I am about to write. I only have a few days left. I must move. I must.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pearl Farmazing Race

Last March 3 to 6 I was finally able to go to Davao!!! I was supposed to go some years ago but my mom did not allow me due to the abductions happening there. There us still that fear but because I went because of a conference my mom had to let me go. That and I just turned 30. More on that later though! :)

On my first day I got there at 745 in the morning! I barely slept the night before, it was great that someone woke me up! Thank you!!! Whew!

I just went into my hotel room at Marco Polo, applied n-layers of sunblock and off to Pearl Farm I went. When I got to Pearl Farm wharf I learned that you had get there by 8 in the morning or you have to take the one pm boat and then leave by 4 pm. My friend after learning there is a buffet lunch inclusive of the 1550 Php charge was de ided to go that morning so we asked for another way to get there. The receptionist said we can take the ferry for 13 php and then the "motor" to the Pearl Farm. We first had to take a cab to the Sasa Wharf. We thought, okay that sounds doable. We paid for our entrance fees and we were off to the other wharf.

We had to walk a bit to get to the Sasa Wharf. For a while I thought we were lost already because we had to pass by a lot of alleys and a little market but alas we saw the wharf. It helped that my friend knew how to speak the Visayan language.

The water was amazingly clear, I coukd even see the schools of fishes swimming by and this is a wharf!!! I was super excited to see Pearl Farm!

It was a rather quick ride. After the ride I saw the "sky lab" which are tricycles. We asked where the "motor" was. Up to this moment I thought they were talking about a motor boat as in my experience in Phuket. No. They. Were. Not. They meant a motorcycle! I almost backed out if it were not for the fee we already paid! So off to the craziest motorcycle ride I went! We went up and down the winding rough road of the mountainous island we went! After 30 minutes of motorcycle adventure we saw the majestic sea and of course the famous Pearl Farm. Whew!!! We paid the driver 150 php each and then we went inside Pearl Farm.

We were given welcome drinks and then we ate at the lunch buffet by the infinity pool. The food was grwat but i did not want to overeat so I just chose the food I liked. After, I slathered on even more sunblock and then we headed to the other island to swim. The water was soh clean I eanted to swim to the other island!!! The sand was also white and fine but unlike Boracay sand, the sand was hot. I had to tiptoe while shrieking in pain. The sand was littere with dead corals which made it harder to get to the deeper part of the water. The water was very salty it hurt my lips but because I love to swim in the sea, I did not care. I touched a star fish for the first time! There was a diving board but I was way too chicken to jump. I was afraid the fall might dislodge my goggles and water might get into my contacts.

Better get a lasik first. :)

By the end of the day my friend and I have gone to all the beaches and pools that are there. On the way ho e we were able tk catch a ferry going back to the Pearl Farm Wharf. There was limited bathroom and super limited time so I just changed into my dry clothes withiut taking a bath. I know, I am gross like that. :) Whew! I was soh tired I fell asleep i the ferry and my friend had to wake up because I kept on leaning towards the Korean guy! How embarassing! But you see, I was too tired to care.

When we got back to the hotel most of the participants minus the students were already there so we were asked to take a quick bath and to prepare for dinner. I had to move quick because normally it takes me aound an hour to bathe but I only had 30 minutes!

Made it on time with time to spare and luckily too because The dinner that was to come was amazing! With us was a Vietnamese professor working on the same field we are.

More on the dinner next time. I have to get to work like everyone else. :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

You Chiang Mai Life

For a moment... Corny!!! :)

I have been uber busy for the past few weeks hence the silence. I apologize for those who were trying to reach me while I was away.. *sheepish grin* I could not answer phone calls... too expensive and I am too much of a cheapskate. :)

Just a run down of stuff I have been doing, well the fun stuff anyway. :)

I was in Chiang Mai, Thailand from March 4 to 8, I did not drop by Bangkok and I do not regret it one bit because Chiang Mai snagged my heart. I love it soh much I think it is now my most fave city! :) *sigh* Thinking about it now makes me want to fly there now.

On my first day, I got there at 5pm already. A bit too late to do anything so I just went around the Night Markets (yes, this is in plural form) and had my most fave and most missed coconut! Sweetest coconut juice where art thou? :) I started searching for pasalubongs and of course the quest for pickled mangoes began. This is (aside from the coconut) my fave food in Thailand. Surprisingly, pickled mangoes is not so big in Chiang Mai as it is in Bangkok. I found no pickled mangoes in the night markets. They had assorted preserved fruits but no pickled mangoes. It was during this time that I learned about the Flight of the Gibbon (this was featured on Amazing Race Asia with Marc Nelson and Rovilson which was enough to get me all excited!!!). Needless to say, I signed up right away for my last day in Chiang Mai because the following day I had to attend the conference already. After a yummy noodle soup dinner, I went home to get some rest. I also told myself I will not leave Chiang Mai without experiencing Fish Spa. :)

That night, I found out that the conference was not to begin until the afternoon so I decided to go to the Flight of the Gibbon the following day!!! I was so excited! It was 3 KM worth of zip lines and hangging bridges and rappelling! I have not done something like that before and it was so exhilarating! I met a Slovenian and a Swedish girl, a couple of Canadians and Brits that look like Middle Eastern! We all had a grand time! :) After the zipline adventure, we had lunch at one of the houses in the village and then we went to see the waterfalls where I hiked and hiked until I was panting like crazy... Boy, was I out of shape. I hate climbing!!! Of course I looked mindlessly happy in the pictures. I'm a pathological cam w&*^#.

After this, I was pooped but I had two hours to kill until the conference so I decided to go to the Wellness Center at the hotel for a sauna. It was soh relaxing! After a nice warm bath I went to the conference venue but I found out that the registration was literally just a registration and I was to come back after two hours for the welcome cocktail! I had two hours to kill and I wanted to maximize my stay so... I went for a Fish Spa for one hour!!! :)

It was ticklish at first but then after a while you get used to it. The fishes are called Gara Rufa (yes, like that actress who walked out from a talk show) and they were originally used in Egypt. After the Spa I saw wonderful improvements on my feet!!! It felt smoother... I wish the Fish Spa would be as cheap as it is in Chiang Mai. A Chinese friend whom I met at the conference told me it's cheaper in Bangkok... Next time I will be sure to try that out too! :)

After the fish spa, I went to the welcome cocktail... and then I saw a spa there and started craving for a body scrub, a massage and a royal bath *hehe indulgent brat!!!*. So... When I got back from the Welcome Cocktail... I went to the hotel spa and got myself a Tom Yum Body Scrub, Tranquility Massage and a Tom Yum Bath (yes they made me a human Tom Yum soup! Who would have thought the prawns are pampered like that! ). I had a nice long sleep after this! I loved the massage, this is the first and the only massage that I have every truly enjoyed in my life! I long for a massage like that to this day! *sigh!*

After this it was serious work and a series of conferences that I attended. After the first day of conferences, I went to the Warorot Market to look for (still!) pickled mangoes and found the mangoes... Along the way I discovered the Elephant Safari and signed up for a trip on my last day. I also discovered a designer and promised I will come back. I bought my mangoes and cheap cherries and went back to the hotel and then off to the conference banquet where we had a feast, a cultural show and got to fly our own hot air balloons!!! How cool is that?! After the dinner, I was pooped! I just transferred photos and then I was off to the Internet shop to chat with the people in the Philippines. :) Missed home already!

After chatting I went back to the hotel to rest early as I had to talk the following day. After my talk, I listened to other people talk some more and after the conference, I went to the mall and bought three pairs of the same shoe of the same color (only one color was available) of the same size! The sales lady was baffled but was happy to sell all the shoes. I got sandals by Scholl with arch support for my mom and then my sister said she wanted a pair too and then I figured I wanted a pair too so I can rest my aching feet after wearing heels... :) I also got myself a DQ dipped cone! Fave! I got some Wacoal stuff because they were sooh cheap there! Also I got something for my heels that I have, to this day, not found yet... I wonder where it went. I saw it the day i unpacked and then lost it forever... Darn.

On my way to the mall I saw the most tender moment of a dad and a kid. The dad was a caucasian European with his wife and three kids. The youngest (and cutest) looked exactly like him with big round clear blue eyes, blonde hair and he was very schleepy already. He looked like he was two and the older brother is four and the eldest girl is I think six. I digress. The father had huge biceps and he carried in his arms so tenderly and lovingly his little boy who was slowly falling asleep and he gently kissed his forehead...*sigh* That, I think is the most tender moment and I wish I could have captured it somehow. I have the scene play in my head on demand at times when I want to think of a nice moment. :) It's one of my happy thoughts. :)

After shopping, I went back to the spa because the massage was so great, I had a foot massage, and Indian Head Massage, Body Wrap and a Rose Petal Bath. I love that the spa has better service than The Spa and it's way cheaper too and it was in the hotel so after the treatments, I go back to the hotel and laze around. I was checking out the following day though, so after relaxing, I had to pack my stuff. I had to wake up really early the following morning too for the elephant safari.

The Safari was beyond words. At first there was a show and then I got to ride the trunk of the elephant. I thought that was the closest I will get for a ride but no. I got to ride the bare back of an elephant!!! I am afraid of heights but the photos looked amazing hehe! It looked like I was having the time of my life. As if that is not enough, I also have a photo sitting on an elephant 's lap and got sneezed on *major eww!!! Good thing I had alcohol in my bag!*

After the Elephant Show we went for an Ox Cart Ride to the village and went shopping for stuff. At least the other tourists went shopping, I just looked around as I was on my last few Bahts hehe... I think I had only around three hundred Baht left. :) After the shopping I went for an Elephant Safari. I crossed the river and climbed a mountain on the back of an elephant driven by a Mahut (elephant trainer). I also had my photo taken feeding the elephant sugar cane. That was fun! I was laughing because the elephant kept on asking for more!

After that long safari, I had a hearty lunch with a couple of retired Brits who were not snobs, perhaps because they were not from London. They are from Kent, yes, the hometown of Becky Bloomwood *hehe!*. They were very nice. :) After lunch, we went for a bamboo raft ride that I got to drive btw. My darn camera ran out of battery though! Boo!!! After the safari, we went to the orchid farm and because I did not have battery anymore, I could not take pictures anymore.

I got back at the hotel at around four pm and I was going to leave for the airport at around six pm so I decided to walk around and check the other shops nearby and then at quarter to six I went back to the shop of the designer whose clothes I adored and bought some pieces for my sister and for my self after this, I ran to the hotel and off to the airport I was.

When I got to the airport there was DQ again. I wanted a medium cone but I could not buy it because I was one Baht short!!! Darn!!! :) So I got the small cone. When I got to Bangkok it was boarding time already so I did not even get to visit the shops! Boo... Then it was time to go back to Manila again and as always, I could not wait to get back.

I always miss Manila after a trip outside. Nothing beats my Philippines.

That was just my trip to Chiang Mai!!!


What a mouthful! I will write about the other stuff next time... Too tired already. :)