Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Weekend --

It was a spur of the moment thing -- I ditched my high school's 95th Foundation Day to go to Cebu and visit my cousin.

It was supposed to be a surprise but my cousin found out about it. =P

We couldn't get tickets from Air Philippines so we ended up taking Cebu Pacific. The flight was late so we arrived in Cebu an hour late. My cousin brought us to Ayala Center Cebu where we met her husband (who had his hair cut) --

They brought us to Bigby's for lunch and I had their ribs, which came highly recommended. Johann had the Tsunami Chops, which he really enjoyed. ^_^

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Bigby's is opening a branch in Iloilo very soon and we are looking forward to bringing my sister and parents there. ^_^

My cousins had a wedding to attend in the afternoon and Johann was meeting some WOW TCG players based in Cebu so I had the afternoon to myself. I dropped off Johann at Neutral Grounds Cebu where they were having a WOW TCG tourney (which Johann joined -- he had 2 wins and 3 losses) I went back to Ayala Center and purchased a pair of Charles and Keith shoes on sale. I was tempted to get another pair of Crocs, but I need "formal" shoes more than casual.

At 5ish, I went back to JY Square and waited for Johann to finish his game. We then went to Sunburst for dinner -- had the chicken skin and Johann and I shared 3 pieces of chicken. I love Sunburst. I don't understand why they had to close their branch here in Iloilo. I really love Sunburst.

The next day, we got treated to a tour of Cebu. Stan brought us to Magellan's Cross and then to the oldest cathedral in Cebu (Sto Nino). We stopped by La Fortuna for tikoy balls and other yummy treats for pasalubong.

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My cousins warned me that Magellan's Cross wasn't as big as it looked in postcards and calendars. There were so many tourists having their picture taken with the cross.

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Sto Nino was very beautiful but, since it was a Sunday, there was a mass going on so we couldn't really go in. There was a La Fortuna bakery nearby so we stopped by for some pasalubong shopping.

We also bought some bibingka -- the Mandaue bibingka is very different from the bibingka from Iloilo. Their bibingka is cake-y while ours is very coconut-y.

Stan's parents treated us to lunch at Grand Majestic located inside the Cebu Grand Convention Center. It was a Chinese buffet with peking duck and ribs. It was an amazing buffet and so affordable too! Johann and I both want to live in front of the restaurant so we can eat there every day.

(I don't have pictures because I was embarrassed to take out my camera and take pictures of the spread.)

We also got to visit SM City Cebu and Metro Gaisano, which is connected to Ayala Center Cebu.

Cebu is a lovely place to visit. The shopping is good and food is amazing.

All the while we were going around, I got to talk to my cousin and it made me realize how much I missed talking to her. (We have chat sessions over Y!M but it's very different having the actual person there.)

We returned to Iloilo Monday morning and we were already making plans for our next visit to Cebu. The next time, we are bringing Seth and my sister and we're going to stay longer.

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The view going to the airport

Friday, February 23, 2007

Random Thoughts

One of my students informed me that "Avian Flu" (Bird Flu) in translates as bird with a very bad cold in Korean.

* * *

This same student also told me, when I asked him if he's made friends here, that he doesn't see the point in making friends here because he knows they're all just going to leave and never see each other again.

I sort of understand this sentiment -- many of our students are leaving for Korea this weekend and I'm trying to detach myself from the experience because, if I don't, I'll probably be bawling and missing them even before they get on the plane.

We said our goodbyes earlier and I maintained my calm as I told my favorite student (a mother who is a gifted "paper-folder") that she has improved tremendously from the time we started six weeks ago. I told her to keep practicing and to write to me in English.

I was getting choked up but I managed to keep it all in --

On Monday, we're getting new students and the cycle begins anew --

We will befriend them and have lovely dinners out and then say goodbye to them again in a few months.


* * *

Johann and I are making plans to go to Korea this September or October. We were supposed to go to Malaysia and Singapore in August, but the appeal of seeing a new place and meeting up with old students is too tempting --

* * *

I like eating ice cream from a bowl. I like when it's all mushy and melty.

* * *

I like Nutella.
And mustard.
But not together.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I wanted to be Hiro! >_<

Matt Parkman

You scored 75 Idealism, 37 Nonconformity, 29 Nerdiness

I don't want to be a chump.

Congratulations, you're Matt Parkman! You're a great person: caring, hard-working, and honest. You might not have the best of luck, but you do your best in all areas of life. Your kind and responsible nature is rare, and you should be proud of it.

Your best quality: Heart
Your worst quality: You may take more abuse than you deserve

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 93% on Idealism
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 18% on Nonconformity
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 17% on Nerdiness

Link: The Heroes Personality Test written by freedomdegrees on OkCupid, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Favorite lines from movies (recently watched)

I'm fine.

Johann and I celebrated Valentine's Day by watching Elizabethtown. (Seth slept over at my sister's room. ^_^)

I thought it was very clever how this very short sentence was used to convey so much of what the movie was about.

This is a movie where many of the characters suffer a devastating setback in their lives and each one tries to recover from it in their own way. Drew Baylor, Orlando Bloom's character, is coming to terms with having lost one billion dollars. He was getting ready to "take the easy way out" when he gets a call from his sister informing him that their father had died. He has to postpone his plans in order to handle his father's burial. He finds himself in his father's hometown called Elizabethtown where no one knows of his "disastrous failure" -- yet. His mother, recently widowed, takes a different road to recovery. She becomes this frenetic ball of energy, going from tap dancing classes to learning how to cook organically to learning how to fix a car.

The movie offers a wonderful perspective that helps one find an answer to the question "How does one recover from such a catastrophic disaster?". In the end, one realizes that he/she really is fine.

* * *

I used only the good notes.

For our post-Valentine date, Johann took me to watch The Holiday. I loved Nancy Meyer's work in Something's Gotta Give and had high expectations for this one. I loved the chemistry between Jude Law and Cameron Diaz. (Jude Law was so dashing in this movie. >_<)

Every time Jude Law appeared on screen, I would lean over to Johann and tell him (teasingly, of course) that I wanted him to look like that.

And Johann's reply?
1. "I need snow."
2. "I need to have sheep in the background."

The ending was a bit problematic but that's because Meyer's propounds a complicated situation to begin with -- how can people from opposite ends of the Atlantic maintain a long-distance relationship?

It's a fun movie to watch and gush over (but Something's Gotta Give was better written, IMHO)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

This is how I know I married the right guy

For Valentine's, I gave Johann some World of Warcraft TCG booster packs (thankies E for getting them for me ^_^) --

I gave it to him after lunch, which is usually time we spend with Seth.

He was letting Seth hold the packs and he was asking Seth to pick out packs (and Seth would pick out a pack) and then he looks up at me and asks --

"Does this work? Divining rares by baby?"


Apparently it doesn't. The packs Seth picked out were all duds. The last two packs, which Johann decided to open drool-free had the good cards.

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This is the two of them. Rubbing (the other one drooling on) the packs for good luck.

* * *

New Toy! --

I wasn't expecting a birthday present from youngest brother because he told me the Crocs Mary Janes he got me for Christmas was already my Christmas/Birthday gift. Imagine my surprise when I got this --

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The cutest littlest camera on earth! >_< ... well, not really. But isn't it cute? I'll be buying film for this today and will be playing with it over the weekend.

Monday, February 12, 2007

A place called Peppy Thai

The first time I heard of this place was in 2000 and my father and I went there for lunch. I wasn't very impressed with the place back then -- it was nothing more than a nipa hut and several tables and chairs. Even then the place was packed and we waited for a table only to be told that there was no more food.

Recently I saw a tourism advertisement for Iloilo on television. It was produced by one of youngest brother's high school classmates. The advertisement showcases everything Iloilo had to offer, including Peppy Thai.

Apparently it has flourished in the past seven years and now boasts of a concrete structure and a larger area. I was intrigued by its hours -- 10am to 2pm, Mondays to Saturdays. No dinner hours were listed.

One morning, Johann and my sister decided to look for the place -- and they came home with bags full of food.

During that visit, my sister struck up a conversation with one of the servers at Peppy Thai. The place was owned by a Filipino missionary who worked in Thailand for about 10+ years. The missionary is now very old but still insists on preparing all the dishes. You have to get there early enough because once the food is gone, it's gone -- he (she?) doesn't cook anymore. If we wanted bagoong rice, we would have to order it a day ahead.

Last February 3, we decided to bring our Korean friends there. They were amused about having to eat lunch at 10 o'clock in the morning. We arrived at Peppy Thai expecting to be the only people there -- so we were surprised to see that there were already some people eating.

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We ordered a small portion of everything they had (since we had just had breakfast and our Korean friends were planning to go to Breakthrough for lunch) and they gave us a hat with a number -- apparently, that's how they know whose order is whose.

While waiting for the food, we took out our cameras and started taking pictures --

This is my favorite feature of the restaurant --

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The food came and everything was delicious. I especially love their red curry and their thai fried rice. They also have noodles which are similar to pho noodles and you can order it either wet (with soup) or dry. I liked the dry version better. ^_^

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Peppy Thai is located along the highway but when you're inside the restaurant, you would quickly forget this fact -- everything is green and quiet and airy --

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... and everything is so damned cheap! The rice is PhP45 and the dry noodles is PhP53. They have delicious pork bbq which goes for PhP25 a stick.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

My "to do" list for the year

...because it is good to have a plan (and a dream) ^_^

1. Purchase a LeSportSac bag with a funky print.

2. Go to Boracay. It's a 4-hour+ drive from Iloilo but that's still closer than most people. (The last time I went there was with college friends. O_o)

3. Go to Malaysia and Singapore. My youngest brother will be in Malaysia for a conference this August and we're going to meet up with him. It's cheaper for us to see him in Malaysia than for us to travel to Japan. (Although I want to go to Japan -- >_<)

4. Get a new cellphone. I really want a Sony Ericsson clamshell! (Maybe on my next birthday...)

5. Get the following books:
a. Eric Schlosser's Chew on This <-- the sort-of sequel to Fast Food Nation
b. Linda Medley's Castle Waiting Hardcover
c. the rest of Nick Hornby's books -- Housekeeping vs Dirt, Polysyllabic Spree, etc.
d. Gail Carson Levine's books (I only have Ella Enchanted)
e. Shannon Hale's books

6. Write about Tracy Chevalier's books

7. Take Seth to a Gymboree class in Manila or Cebu

8. Lose the last 20 pounds of pregnancy weight (and an extra 10 ^_^)

... to be continued

Friday, February 02, 2007

Back from Manila

We were in Manila from the 25th to the 29th of January. We were there for two reasons: first, to meet Seth's great grandfather and, second, to attend my friend's wedding.

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This is Seth's great grandfather who is in town for a few months. He lives in Canada and the last time Johann saw him was 13 years ago.

Seth was fascinated by him. He kept looking up at him and holding on to his hand.

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This is me and my darling at the airport waiting for our flight. Seth is cool with airplanes. Going to Manila, he insisted on standing and looking around. On our flight home to Iloilo, he was actually asleep.

We did what our doctor suggested, feed him during take off and landing to help him relieve the pressure in his ears. We also had a few of his favorite toys in his diaper bag and that entertained him when he got restless.

It's interesting observing how people react to a smile-y baby. While waiting to disembark, Seth would smile at the passengers passing through and many of them would stop to coo and play with him.

* * *

A "small" problem at the airport --

Our flight to Manila was perfect -- seamless. The plane left on time and was going to land on time.

Waiting to land, our pilot tells us that the airport was temporary closed because there was a "small" problem. We circled above for 40 minutes. 40 f**ing minutes. It was during this time that Seth got cranky and restless. We were not allowed out of our seats so we couldn't carry him and walk around.

We finally landed. Our plane queued with the other flights that had been delayed. When we got to the baggage claim area, we discovered that the terminal only opened one carousel and there were four flights worth of luggage to be unloaded.

It took us another 30 minutes to get our luggage. By this time, Seth had missed his first nap and was irritable. He calmed down when we got to the condo and he took a short nap.

The "small" problem? Apparently, our beloved president was taking a flight out of the country.

Small problem indeed.

* * *

Haul --

This trip was all about books for me. I managed to get a copy of Frank Cottrell Boyce's second book (after Millions) Framed and that's what I'm reading right now. We also managed to get a copy of Fast Food Nation. I also splurged and bought a copy of Ann Martin's A Corner of the Universe.

A big chunk of my money went to purchase a travel stroller for Seth. (I'll write about it in our other blog.)

On the whole, it was an eventful trip.
- Seth got to meet his grand uncles, grand aunts (from both sides) and his paternal great grandfather.
- I got my Starbucks fix and a nice haircut.
- Johann got his stash of comics and a some books (from the National Bookstore sale).
- My sister was able to get everything that she needed.