Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Kwakaduck Vs. Styleloca

June twenty seven – twenty zero nine

6 am: Van terminal headed to Sta. Ana, Cagayan. As most of you may know I do look like a Korean (well that’s what everyone says) and Styleloca does look Korean/Chinese herself. Travelling together or just going around a mall makes the experience just more interesting. Conductors, drivers, dispatchers talk to us in English as if we haven’t been in this country for twenty one years. It’s just funny, and I often play along when this happens.

Dispatcher: Sta. Ana? Sta. Ana? Two of you? Here, Here, about to leave, five minutes
Kwakaduck: Yes.. Yes.. Okay..
Dispatcher: Sit at the back?
Kwakaduck: No.. No.. (points at the front seat)
Dispatcher: Okay.. Okay..
Looking Korean has its pros and cons (but that deserves another blog entry).

After 30 minutes, we rolled out. The van didn’t have a/c but it was early in the morning and the breeze was just fine. We had our iPods to keep us entertained. John Mayer, Keane, Stereophonics, The Killers were in my playlist for the trip getting there. Three-fourths in the trip, a not so pleasant surprise was bestowed upon us. A fucking HUGE Spider was roaming around the top of the car! (see picture) we were freaking out. It was quite embarrassing that we were both genuinely afraid, while everyone else couldn’t care less.

The amazing landscapes seen outside our windows made the three-hour trip to Sta. Ana not long at all. I love driving around the countryside and seeing the wonders of nature, far from traffic, pollution, tall buildings, malls, which the cities bring.

Boom. We have arrived and yet another “I am not Korean” moment. When we got off the van, we walked towards the tricycle terminal to be brought to the resort. 50 meters away from the terminal, the drivers and dispatchers, were shouting “Kawaii.. Kawaii” so loud while waiving their hands. Kawaii is even a Japanese word right? Doesn’t matter. Anyway it was a bit embarrassing. So again, I played a long.

Tricycle Driver: Sunset? Sunset? (Sunset is this exclusive casino and resort for Japanese rich mofos. Sunset has its own airstrip, that’s how rich ass the people who go there are) Oh, that was why they were shouting Kawaii.
Kwakaduck: No..No.. Jotay’s..
Tricycle Driver: Jotay’s? Okay Okay.

Jotay’s Resort was more than what I expected, considering that the price was reasonable, and that we were in the middle of nowhere and not yet one of the prime tourist spots in the country. The staff was young, nice and very polite. We were quite beat from the travel and took a nap for an hour or so before having lunch. Food was pretty okay, nothing special but good enough. Being beside the sea made me think that seafood would be cheap, I found out that I was wrong. Crabs were Php500/Kilo, prawns were around Php250 for 3 pieces, but it was cooked well, very tasty and fresh.

After lunch, we hopped on the bangka and the 50 minute ride to Palaui Island began. On the way there, we were fortunate enough to see a dolphin (yes, just one) swim around. I was not able to take a picture because of my excitement. The scenery on the way to Palaui is just astonishing. You get to see the 3 sisters, the Nostrils, wonderful birds catching fish as they fly around sea (I don’t know what they’re called). You get to pass small beaches with ultra white sand along the way. I kept on saying “I love this shit” on the boat, as if I was a kid inside Toys R’ Us for the first time. Then Boom-Boom-Pow, after a long wait, you get a glimpse of Cape Engaño, the lighthouse at the tip of the island and the ultra white beach. I couldn’t help but say “Damn, that’s fucking amazing”.

After a quick dip in the cold waters of the sea, we started our trek up Palaui to the Lighthouse. You have to cross this jungle first, and once you cross, you are then sent to what seemed like a different dimension. Vast neon green hills, bluer than blue waters of the sea (see picture). It was truly amazing. The Sun was Sizzzzling Hot! (Kho, 2009) (I have to stop quoting this!) more than ever. My tumbler of water might not be enough for the two of us because of the scorching heat. Half way up, Styleloca wasn’t feeling very well. I was afraid she would faint or something! WE WE'RE FAR AWAY FROM A HOSPITAL. It was just too hot, and the only physical activity she has is when she goes around the mall and fixes clothes and other girly stuff. That’s it. She just needed to take occasional breaks and some water. She made it *apir!*

You know those movie scenes were they look lost in some jungle then arrives at one spectacular place? That’s how it felt upon reaching the lighthouse. The lighthouse was completed in 1892 by the Spaniards to do what lighthouses do for ships in sail. During this time, it was just basic, to give light as a signal, that’s about it. First thing I noticed was the amount of detail put into this place. That’s one thing I find spectacular about things the Spaniards left, is their attention to detail. It was built with large bricks with a view which almost made me pee on my shorts. (you’ve got to see them photographs). We spent more than an hour appreciating the beauty of this place, taking photographs of anything and everything, even me levitating (I have superhuman powers – see picture). The extreme heat gave us the urge to start our trek down and take a swim in the clear blue waters. It was unfortunate that it was already getting late, and the tide was starting to rise, the bangkero thought that it might not be safe to go Anguib Island which is another 40 minutes away. It is said to have even whiter and finer sand in this beach. Boo. Maybe next time?

Back in Jotay’s, and enjoyed the beach + the sunset. I played around with the waves, which made me miss surfing. I want to go again (surf), I must go again (surf). It was a very peaceful place; I think we were the only tourists at that time. Others were locals enjoying their weekend. Ended the night with prawns, and beer, we were beat.

Morning came, enjoyed the sun and water for the last time before leaving, had breakfast. My favourite bacon and eggs + coffee, Styleloca had Tapsilog + Minute Maid. We chose to ride the bus going back to Tuguegarao, Florida bus line has trips from Sta. Ana to Cubao which departs at 130 pm and 330 pm. We chose this since we would be travelling in the afternoon and no a/c in the afternoon would mean dehydration for the both of us. It was a comfortable bus, a/c was okay, and seats were spacious, good job.

I therefore conclude that this trip has been one of the most awesome experiences I have had during my Tuguegarao stint, but I do hope there is more to come. Bring it on Cagayan. I have two more weeks of TUG-X before we go back to MLA.

Need information about Sta. Ana? I’ll be glad to tell you what I know. :)

more photos on Facebook

dios mio.

i felt like dizzy. haha.
i need to develop a stronger gut.
think faster, decide quicker
and be able to have the best position possible.

Friday, June 26, 2009

TUG-X Day 19: Here comes a new challenger

Codename: Styleloca
Favorite Attack: Smack down with her Style Guide
Finishing Move: The Stare of Death, then style your clothes after
Fashion Arena Wonder Girl - Let's see how she does in TUG-X

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'm fucking lovin' it

The delivery boy was doing I do not know what not and left work early today, damn it. My craving for a Big Mac and Nuggets was just too intense and I could not bear the thought of those two not touching my lips, stroking my tongue, slowly going down my throat and filling my tummy. I got up on my ass, from this damn soft and comfortable bed I’m back on right now, got on a tricycle and said "Kuya, sa Mcdo po"

I was greeted by Janice with a smile and said "Good evening Sir! Welcome to Mc Donald's!” I responded with a tone that would not make my hunger be obvious. Tried to speak slowly as to hide my eagerness as I see the big images of French Fries, Burgers and Sundaes on the menu. "One Big Mac Meal, Go Big Time, Orange Juice yung drink, and six piece Chicken Nuggets please" were the poetry spoken. Those sweet words can make a politician win an election by a landslide, those sweet words can sweep any woman off her feet, those sweet words, ohh, so sweet words.

I was planning to take these wonderful things home, planned to put myself in a trance while I slowly divulge myself with these art pieces created by this maestro hired by Mc Donald's Tuguegarao branch. Maestro needed more time to prepare. I was first served with large crisp French Fries dipped in this sweet ketchup which some can eat alone. Those delicate art pieces arrived, and I was off. "Kuya, sa Arellano, sa Kimikarlai Hotel po".

Got home, laid out these art pieces on the floor and stared at them, appreciating its beauty. They were so beautiful, but my mouth was watering, as if it were being teased, as if it was forbidden. I began to hold the Big Mac so delicately, as for the juice, sauce, lettuce, cheese, burger patty would not move and destroy the perfection of this amazing burger. First bite, visions of my first time flashed through my head, it was even better than my first. 5 minutes, and it was gone. I moved on to the golden brown nuggets dipped in spectacular barbeque sauce which can make all your problems go away. Comfort was what I felt. Every bite made me feel as if I was back home, remembering those late night cravings satisfied. There is no better feeling. I'm fucking lovin' it.

I should get paid for this shit.

a love letter

june twenty five - twenty zero nine

Dear Feria,
Please head west, or better yet, calm down.
I'm going to another nature trip this Saturday!
Hope you cooperate.
I'm going to Sta. Ana, Cagayan which is at the tip of Luzon, Eastern part, hope that does not attract you much.
I'm excited for the beach, and most especially, the 19th century lighthouse built by the Spaniards.
I can already imagine the awesome shots... whoo...



Tuesday, June 23, 2009

bear called his other bear friends for a drink


june twenty three, twenty zero nine

after having breakfast, cnn told me about what was happening in the market abroad
it still ain't over.. this time it was because of the report given by the World Bank

Bloomberg: June 22 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. and European stocks tumbled, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index down the most in two months, as the World Bank said the recession will be deeper than previously forecast. Treasuries rose, while oil fell below $67 a barrel and metals slumped. read report here

The Pinoy traders are probably going nuts as we speak.... wonder how PSE will close today.

the slump continues...

photograph from here

Monday, June 22, 2009

TUG-X Day 14: Sizzzzling Hot! (Kho, 2009)

effin' a! what a freakin' hot day!
today's hi: 34 deg. C. oh please no!
wind chill: 38 deg. C.! this is fucking crazy

on yahoo messenger:
miguel javier: fuck monday man! i hate 'him'!

what's up with today? i feel like shit.

this just in: (on yahoo messenger)
Kai Kapunan: dude, ano ba dyan? disyerto na?

random thought: if there weren't any airconditioning here in the branch.. siguro kasing lagkit ko na si Hayden Kho sa video?

Friday, June 19, 2009

TUG-X Day 11: client call

great temperature for a client call... hot damn.

calling on:
#1 Councilor since the Mayor and Vice-Mayor are in Canada for some conference
City Treasurer
City Accountant
City Development Planning Officer
that's some freakin' city hall you got there Tuguegarao, looks like a country club/hotel

yan ang account officer!

one of the few things I dislike about this City
(hate is too much of a strong word)

so we should go kalesa on their ass!

then.... a pleasant surprise....
Sir Obet! finally.. someone from back home...

in this picture (L-R): Jaime Cuenco, Sir Obet Castolo,
AVP Minerva Virtucio, Mgr. Noli Lucero,
Nikkolas Tolentino, AVP Evelyn Ventura

This just in: Sinanta part two! yeeaahmeehn..

Thursday, June 18, 2009

TUG-X Day 10: Fear Factor Tuguegarao

Jaime: Go go go go!
Ma'am Ivie: ooh.. waaaahaha!
Jaime: Kainin mo.. kainin mo! mmmmmmwaaahahaha!
Beautiful TUG women: nagtitilian
Jaime: whooo! whooo! whooo!
Ma'am Ivie: oh how's the taste? wala naman diba?
Ate Wendy: oh.. wala naman.. parang wala lang..
Ms. Loy: tingnan mo itsura mo.... lumabas pagka intsik mo!

cant believe I did it... haha! what an experience, I'm gonna be telling this story to my future kids... haha!

in Ilokano, it's called Abal-Abal, first they said it was cockroach from the bukid, so they're clean, and I'm one of those guys afraid of ipis! what more eat em'.. after doing it... I went out and the guard said it wasn't cockroach, it was a beetle or salagubang... same thing man...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

a bear in the market

stocks are down.... good thing I don't have any...haha! when will this yogi bear leave and a raging bull arrive? if you're a fortune teller, let me know... let's start buying :p

TUG-X Day 9: show & tell

9:11 in the a.m., sitting on my desk (yes, I have owned this desk, only for a month though), enthusiastic since our coach for this Related Learning Experience, the Tuguegarao Branch Head will be arriving at around 10 a.m. Hoping that our task for the rest of the month will be cleared up and mapped accordingly. Finally, we can get some work done other than goofing around in the branch, entertaining the branch ladies by any means possible, looking for things to fool around with like hopping on an armoured car, counting a shit load of money, and other sorts of activities.

Just finished reading “Show & Tell” an article by Paolo Lorenzana of Rogue, focusing briefly on the life and experiences of Georgina Wilson. I still can’t quite catch my breath because of both the astounding beauty of Ms. Georgina Wilson, and the astonishing words by Mr. Lorenzana. You have to read it to know what I’m talking about. read article here
An excerpt from this article -> “There is an unspoken jurisdiction you may submit to when you are in the presence of Georgina Wilson. It’s almost like the world is a street that’s just been put on pause and she’s having a dandy time walking through it.” Hot damn, wish that kind of poetry would just go airborne from my mind.

Georgina Wilson photograph by Mark Nicdao on Rogue

TUG-X Day 5: nature trippin' tuguegarao style

Upon arrival to Callao, I was pessimistic because all I saw was a river, and a mountain. The Mighty Kuya Randy said that we had to ride a bangka to cross the river and go all the way up the mountain and enter the cave, and so we went. The gruelling steps started which I failed to count since my mind was so focused upon climbing. Jaime took a lot of breaks (haha!) which was fine since I also needed them. Surprisingly, a Lawin (hawk) showed up, grabbed the camera and kept on shooting, wished Jaime had a telephoto lens with him, but it was good enough, cropping action will do.

We then reached the cave, I was immediately blown away. It was my first time to see something like this with my own eyes, Discovery Channelesque, it was awesome. First thing I noticed was how huge the cave was, the chapel inside is the first attraction you would see. It was so mysterious, quite creepy, but not like any chapel I have seen, that’s fo’sho. Started to go around the cave, took shots of anything interesting that came across us. It was just astonishing, it felt cool inside, minimal sunlight, ground temperature, it had an amazing feel, a great experience, I am truly glad. Fortunately, Kuya Randy used to be a photographer for his college paper, his shots were pretty good, it made us look as one of those wacky and enthusiastic guys in Discovery Channel, like Ben Grylls from Man vs. Wild which by the way is an awesome show. You just have to see the pictures, you just have to.

After two hours of taking pictures and going around the cave, we decided to go back and have lunch; all the spelunking made us hungry. There was only one place where you could eat at, and they took advantage of it. It was just like any other carinderia, but priced as if it was McDonalds. Whatever, we were just too hungry to complain. We didn’t have enough of nature just yet, so we decided to take kayaks and go around the river. It was hella fun, but not as amazing as the cave. Unluckily, it rained really hard last night which made the water look a little brownish. The sun was scorching, good thing we already applied two layers of sun block on our skin. The interesting part was when you reach “Mororan” which was a small area wherein water from inside the mountain fell. It looked like rainfall. The water was so cold and refreshing, spent 15 minutes just lying there. We continued on and reached the sight of a Bat Cave. No, not that bat. The guide said that the bats would go storming out of the cave at around 6 in the afternoon, we were 4 hours off. Continued on by the river, went for a quick dip in the water at the designated area just to cool our body temperatures off. We then started to kayak back, another 5 minutes in Mororan, then went on back. One more 45-minute tricycle ride back to Tuguegarao and the hotel. I was so beat, shower, pancit for merienda then siesta time it was.

more photos on facebook

TUG-X Day 3: Inday Celebration

June Eleven / Twenty-Zero nine

First time to celebrate this as a part of the Development Bank of the Philippines, and apparently, everyone is required to come in to work with their Filipino inspired attire. I didn’t bring any so I had to shop for something to wear; I was able to come up with the easiest attire, a “magsasaka”. I had blue jeans and flip flops with me, so I just got myself a white camisa de chino and an orange bandana inspired by Mr. Hayden Kho in JM, which logo looked like SM. It was quite funny walking the streets of Arellano to work wearing that outfit, but I didn’t care, no one knew who I was anyway. The women from the branch had their Barot’ Sayas, it was classic. The Bank’s clients were quite amused of how everyone was dressed, Filipino pride it was. We brought Jaime’s camera to work and I waited for the right moment to bring it out and shoot the ladies. Once we did, they all went crazy. Goal #4 up by a point. Ma’am Ivie the branch cashier made us eat this local delicacy “Sinanta” which was this spicy noodle soup with chicken, mushrooms and other stuff, it was really good, Jaime had 3 servings.

TUG-X Day 2: first day of work

June Ten, Twenty-Zero Nine

Goal #1: present myself very well
Goal #2: establish rapport
Goal #3: meet everyone in the branch
Goal #4: win their hearts
Goal #5: get some actual work done

Results: (rate 1-5, 5 being the highest and most successful)
Goal #1: 4 (my shirt was a bit wrinkled due to the travel)
Goal #2: 4 (I can be shy at times, especially when meeting people for the very first time)
Goal #3: 3 (some were just too busy)
Goal #4: 3 (still working on it, this can’t be done in a day)
Goal #5: 2 (it was unclear what we had to do because our coach wasn’t around)
Grand total of: 16/25

TUG-X Day 1: the flight to tuguegarao

Good thing our flight departs at 1230, had time to pack my bags in the a.m., though I had to wake up at 7. Had brunch and off to NAIA T-3. 2nd time in this terminal and for those of you who have yet to see this one, it is quite impressive. Really bright, modern, awesome a/c. Maleta was overweight, dude, i’ll be gone for a month, it should be. Jaime arrives in the airport and we had our last manila meal, Yellow Cab. Note: he already had two whoppers that morning. Flight was okay, haven’t been on a CebuPac flight since 2006, seated at 2B, Tin Tin the flight attendant was very close to us, had a bit of a taray vibe, but she was fine.

Arrival at Tuguegarao Airport, first thing you notice, is the scorching heat. Siryoso the Sun is angry in this part of Luzon. Extreme heat, extreme Sun, in addition to that, you barely can feel the wind. Tricycle ride to Kimiralai Hotel, funny sounding name for a hotel right? Upon arrival to the hotel, we were greeted by a friendly and pretty looking girl named Grace. Had a room already reserved for us with the help of Jamie’s friend Mila. Went straight up to room 307 and blasted the a/c on. Clean and nice room, TV, Wi-Fi, a good friend, I think I may just survive.

TUG-X (The Tuguegarao Experience)

30 Days in Tuguegaraowith two main goals:
1.) To finish my work and do it well
2.) To experience everything Tuguegarao style