Friday, April 15, 2011

I Want To......

Music: Adele (19 and 21 albums shuffled)


Not everything applies to “you can never teach an old dog a new trick”. I don’t believe that we can never learn anything new even if we are old. They say, best to teach them young. Yes it is best to teach people when they are young because of how quickly children can learn and pick up or move their bodies so to speak because they have this overflowing energy. Unlike us adults, we are run down with so many things in life; we get floored every single day from all the day to day activities to earn a buck or two. But I say it is never too late.

I love music. I really do. Well I will try my very best to sing a tune or two to save my life or someone else. It is the best pacifier I can have for anything I feel. For the past days I have been listening to Adele (same music I put here). It’s stripped less electronic sounds, guitar, bass, violin and piano dominate the whole album. That makes me think of going back and teaching myself how to play the piano. I wanted to when I was about 16. Mom asked me if I was really serious about it and she would send me money to enroll for every week’s class. I guess I chickened out and told her I would just stick to playing sports. Years later, here I am thinking I want to. Posted it on my status on facebook and my aunt went on rambling about it is never too late to learn something as well as my friend. I guess with everything slowing down in my life right now, school’s going to be out in a matter of time – I just need to pass one last exam and I am free from my graduate school, I would. Maybe when I get enough resources I would definitely do something about this “I want to….”

Not doing anything makes our brain dull. I guess we need to keep learning to make use of the brain cells we have. We don’t want them to dry out or possibly fossilized in our heads. Haha

I leave you with this: if you want something in life, make sure you do everything to get it (of course in the most rightful way possible), we wouldn’t want to end up regretting years later and ask ourselves why didn’t we ever?

Peace out!

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Losing Weight is Hard to Do..... but DO-ABLE!!

Music: Temper Trap, Arcade Fire, Bruno Mars (yes haha) and The Boat That Rocked Soundtrack (shuffled)


There were days that you just wouldn’t want to have your picture taken, days that you wouldn’t want to go out because your favorite clothes that used to fit seems fitting for a younger version of you. Sometimes you just want to wallow with a pint of ice cream and watch your favorite romantic movie. Days that people would compare how you looked a few years back they’ve seen you from how you look now. Family reunions or gatherings that end up being filled with so many questions as to what you have been doing and why you’ve gained such weight rather than asking how you really are.

Most of us go through things like that I have mentioned. One way or even more than the other. When I was 13 I used to weigh 40 kilos at around 5 feet, which was actually below what I supposed to weigh. My relatives would usually tell me to eat more, drink milk, and take vitamins so I could weigh appropriately. Remember this was after puberty so puberty wasn’t the case. Come high school I still weighed below the scale. I got into the varsity team for Badminton in school. So that would mean I have to undergo training each day to be able to compete. Day in day out I have to jog a few rounds around the oval, do drills on the court and play games until the guards tell us to go home. Even on a Saturday, we go to the gym and play.

Being a badminton player in the varsity had its perks; I was able to work out and go places for free and meet a lot of people. This continued until my college years. I once again became part of the varsity team for Badminton. The training was more hideous than in high school – I reached the national games in high school and I thought the training was grueling but not compared to college. I had to free my Fridays and I had to practice at least 3 times a week then jog on the side as well on top of classes you have to take.

Point being is, I was fit. I did not have to worry about buying clothes because I can easily fit into those I wanted, I can easily grab pants that I want not worrying how it would fit me. Getting clothes was a breeze.

Fast forward 5 years later. I weigh more than what is appropriate for my height at 5’4 and my age. I have to be between 124-138 and I weigh more than that and it is such a struggle losing the extra baggage. Day in day out, I sit for nearly 10 hours a day (or even more if there are things that need to get done), I felt so bloated. Clothes won’t fit. My favorite pants is gathering and housing cobwebs in the cabinet as it’s 6 inches smaller than my actual size now. Ah the heartbreak!

Anyway, you wouldn’t really get up on it until it really hits you hard. I stopped having my pictures taken – I opt to be behind the camera or if ever my pics are taken I screen them before posting them. I saw great clothes I wanted to buy but I couldn’t find the right size. Family keeps comparing the version of me during my high school and college days to now. My back started to ache (mild scolio lumbar area), my knee started to ache as well and I had to undergo therapy. It was a hard realization and it was frustrating. I had to get up on it and do something.

I started working out religiously last March. I cut down on carb intakes. Created a work out routine that would fit my schedule – jog on Tuesdays and Thursdays and box on Wednesdays for at least an hour and a half. I gave up pork, soda and rice for lent – but I think I would continue it until it’s out of my system. Counted my calorie intakes as well as eating more fruits, vegetables and drinking more water.

I hope to be 20 kilos lighter by September. That is my goal. I don’t know if I can make it there but I plan on continuing this. I feel a bit lighter now – I actually lost 6 pounds for the whole month. It is not big I know but it is something. I don’t really deprive myself from eating the food I want like pizza but I eat now in moderation plus my abstinence from pork, rice and soda for lent helps.

For now, work out continues. The important thing is I love what I am doing, I am determined to achieve my goals and I don’t deprive myself from the food I crave for – which is good.

Til the next entry – that is when I lose the whole other 17 kilos I want to lose. Haha

Til then!

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Explore the North Side: Vigan

Music: Angus and Julia Stone (Shuffled)

sundown at Vigan

We reached Bantay, Ilocos Sur around 10:30 PM from Pagudpud (it was around 4 hours trip).

Bus: Florida
Route: Pagudpud to Bantay
Fare: 210 pesos
Travel time: approximately 4 hours.

From Pagudpud we were dropped off in Bantay, Ilocos Sur. (Petron Station). Then we got in to a trike that would bring us inside Vigan. It was a 10 minute ride and I think we paid around 50 pesos. We checked in Gorjion Hotel in Vigan (Double Sharing costs 3000 pesos plus 550 pesos for extra person – we were given discount so we only paid 3000 for the night until noon the next day (12NN check out.)

After settling in, we went around Vigan because I wanted to take pictures at night. I have always wondered how Vigan would look at night and what I saw did not fail me.

calle crisologo

heritage street

heritage street at night

another view of heritage street

We haven’t eaten dinner yet since we left Pagudpud around 6PM. So we decided to try the famous Vigan Empanada. I think my friend Suz had this quest to try every Empanada she could find. Haha this was the first.

first empanada for the night: scrambled egg inside

I don’t really have anything to compare Vigan with in my memory since it was my first time, but I can tell that progress is slowly creppin in. Some of the old houses were converted to Jollibee, Max’s, Mang Inasal and Mcdo – I didn’t try getting inside all of them. I wanted to get the Vigan feel.

And we did. Tho thing is the “NATCHOS” we tried was weird. Haha it was I think a mix of mr. chips, mayonnaise, fried longganisa and shredded cheese. It was really something.

natchos - yes with the "T" - mr chips, mayo and longganisa haha

My friends yet again ordered bagnet for the second time and I due to the commitment I made, ordered steamed Tilapia. To sooth the cold, we tried the Vigan Choco – mind you this was delicious I wanted to have another cup!

i know its just tableya but it was so delicious that night

We had an early day but since there was a free breakfast offered by the hotel, we took our time hanging out at the garden. It was a good place really. Grace’s friend Ryza picked us up since they volunteered to serve as our tour guide.

First on the list was Chavit’s Baluarte. Let the pictures speak to you of how the zoo looks. Entrance was free too!

baluarte zoo

cute deers!

these birds were the sweetest!!

it was as if they were mother and child

i couldn't get enough of them!

It was time for lunch and of course since I couldn’t eat pork, I ordered another fish. Though we were able to try Poqui Poqui Balls (really it sounds funny but it tastes good!). We ate at Cafe Uno/Grandpa's Inn.

a painting inside grandpa's inn and its interior

it looks modernized but the inside looks so awesome

entrance to cafe uno

poqui poqui balls (tortang talong)


Then we went to Hidden Garden where my friend Suz had her third type of Empanada – her second was before we ate breakfast. We bought one at the plaza before heading home last night.

the pale empanada with sunny side up egg inside

The difference from the first empanada we tried was that the red empanada’s egg was scrambled whilst the pale ones were sunny side up.

Then off we went to a few places like where they make pots, vases and all those stuff – we have one in Bicol in Tiwi Albay so it was really nothing new to me. We also visited few old houses that now served as museums like Father Burgos’ house and the Crisologo’s as well. They were big old houses really. Shows how powerful and rich the families are/were.

Our second to the last stop was the Bantay Bell Tower. Magnificent architecture. Plus the Church was amazing!

Bantay Bell Tower

Nuestra Senor de Caridad Church

front view

Last stop was the Heritage street. It was really busy compared to the 10pm stroll we had the night before. It was filled with souvenir shops and tourists haggling for pasalubongs. We went there right smack on sunset – my favorite time of the day! Pictures came out amazing!

heritage at sunset

The hotel was kind enough to keep our luggage for us even if we had to check out at noon.

The north is such a beautiful place. Now that I was able to visit Pagudpud and Vigan, I am sure in my heart that I will come back in a heartbeat.

Vigan is so rich in history. But the thing is, the town is slowly changing. I hope that the houses are kept well as it reminds us of what was once were. There is so much to appreciate in this town. And it would be a waste for anyone not to experience Vigan as well as Pagudpud.

With this, I wish you guys will be able to enjoy these two towns like I did. Although it was a short trip – just over the weekend and it seemed like a suicidal one due to the long trips, but it was so worth it.

Visit these places before it changes to something that could lessen our appreciation. 

To Manila: 
Bus: Partas (Cubao - Pasay)
Fare: 700 pesos
Travel Time: approximately 10 hours

*life is an adventure.... never stop exploring it.... that includes different places!* 

til then!

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Explore the North Side: Pagudpud

Music: Jay Sean (the songs have been gathering dust)

Welcome to Pagudpud

I didn’t plan on having March as a “travel month” for me but it ended that way. I just wanted to celebrate my birthday early in Palawan but ended up traveling til the end of the month.

Side note: Although the Bicol trip was an emergency, my granny died (my mom’s aunt), God bless her beautiful soul so I had to go home to pay respect to her for the last time. She was always smiling even when life got rough. Anyway, that’s a different story.

My friends from work have been planning on visiting Vigan for a few months now. We didn’t really have the exact date up until the first week of March. We made sure it was right smack to our bonuses so we could have enough moolah to spend. The trip was actually great, it was short but great.

I usually go to Baguio each year, every year to be exact for work and to hang out with friends so it is never really that new to me. Every time I go there, I wonder, why I haven’t visited Vigan and Pagudpud yet. So this year I made it happen.
We left work at 6pm to make sure we get to the terminal right on time.

Bus: Florida (located at Manila)
Route: Pagudpud (make sure you get the bus ticket straight to Pagudpud)
Fare: 700 pesos from Manila to Pagudpud
Travel Time: Approximately 11 hours (12 hours max)

We go to Pagudpud around 6:00 AM and it was pouring! We didn’t expect it would be that rainy that morning since the last time I checked, the weather was clear that weekend for the North side. We got off the bus not knowing where to go (still sleepy and we took the trip nomadic style – backpacking). We didn’t have any contact in Pagudpud, did not reserve any room in any resort. We found kuya Boyet, our trike tour guide. We asked him if he could take us to a place where its cheap but clean – we just needed to shower and change because we were only staying there for a day.

Tour guide fee: 1200 the whole day  (you can tip him more if you want) – includes North and South Side trip (Bangui Windmills, Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, Kabigan Falls, Caves, Patapat Viaduct, Blue Lagoon etc. pictures later would speak of the spots)

Name: Boyet Ganno
Trike Number: 076
Contact: +639302851599

Kuya Boyet

He took us to Jun and Carol, an okay place for a day. We didn’t really care about the view and what not since we will be touring the South and the North Side. We paid 800 pesos for a room which could house 4 people as there were 2 queen size beds there.

We left the cottage around 9:30 to start our trip. We traveled around 45 minutes to Bangui, mind you I was sitting outside the trike so I suggest if that’s the case (if you rented a trike tour) put on a tonful of sun block. I don’t need to explain any further.

Bangui windmills. Great innovation to generate power. I don’t need to say more.

windmills on the left facing the sea

aaah amazing sight of technology and nature

it was really windy really and the waves were big

After enjoying the breeze at Bangui, we were off to see Cape Bojeador Lighthouse about 20 mins trike ride yet again.

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse up close

Afar: Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

After enjoying the view at Cape Bojeador, we were starving so we asked Kuya Boyet to take us to a place where there is good food. He was actually going to bring us to one of those carrenderias, but we decided to ask for a good place to eat. He brought us to BergBlick resto, (after nearly an hour trike ride) there was good food there! It’s a Dutch-Filipino Resto.

Entrance to BergBlick cozy place

chicken with mushroom and asparagus (since I couldnt eat pork due to my abstinence for lent)

Bagnet - nuff said. too bad i couldnt eat not even a single bite

Full from all the food we ordered, we headed to Kabigan Falls. You need to register and pay 10 pesos per person for entrance fee plus a tour guide fee for about 100 pesos or more depends on how much generosity you have in you.

beautiful falls! my slippers almost lost its life tho from the rapids

After our 30 minute trek (30 mins up, 30 mins down and about 10 mins stay at the spot we went straight to Patapat Viaduct.

I forgot to mention, the weather did clear up that morning when we left the cottage. So God was on our side that weekend. 

Patapat Viaduct was awesome! I was able to have my weird photos on the street because there were only few cars passing by and since it’s a long highway it took a while for trucks, vans, cars to pass by. YES!

Patapat Viaduct

street prayer

By this time of the day, I was really wishing I put on sun block (I thought it would be really gloomy that day). I was being roasted by the naked sun!

We headed to Blue Lagoon, you have to pay 20 pesos for entrance fee to see Bantay Abot Cave, Dos Hermanos, and Blue Lagoon. It was worth it.

my friend grace at Bantay Abot Cave

i had to climb a few feet to get to that spot haha crouching tiger hidden dragon style!

Blue Lagoon is beautiful, the sound of the waves was calming.

my friends suz and grace at blue lagoon (yes i served as the photographer too - nothing new to that)

We ended the day around 5:00 pm. We had to go back to the cottage to make sure we make it to the bus stop around 6PM for Bantay (for our Vigan trip)

I am splitting this entry into two since the text and the pictures are already a handful for Pagudpud.

If you guys wish to visit in Pagudpud on a budget, go hit up Kuya Boyet, he will take you around for that amount of money. Pretty sure you won’t regret it!

To be continued.....

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