Tuesday, June 28, 2011

hongkong disneyland, another story

after venting my frustrations and disappointments for hongkong disneyland in this post, it's right about time to focus on what were the wonderful things the park had offered me. of course, in my heart of hearts, it was an experience worth remembering for life! not just because i had to make the best out of my volatile money's worth but simply because it's disneyland!

hongkong disneyland this year celebrates its 5th year in giving joy and wonderful experience not just to kids but to those kids at heart alike. see that number 5 above? well, who are more fitting to sport that banner other than the disney veterans, mickey on top of the float signifying his superiority, the usual cuteness of donald duck, the playfulness of goofy, and the extra nice minnie, all waving hello to the crowd!

Friday, June 24, 2011

stonehouse hotel, quezon city

the sound of the hotel's name may give someone a completely wrong impression, leading probably to a sleazy character or those types that offer a fraction of a 24-hour stay. but behold! this was far from anything like that.

when i choose an accommodation, i don't look for a grand stay because that would mean a superfluous spending which i'd rather do, not in the confines of my hotel room but in somewhere i most likely feel the sunshine or the rain, whichever the crazy weather would grant.

staying in metro manila can be a daunting experience. you need to consider a lot of things and make priorities, the quality of the accommodation, the hotel rates, convenience and most importantly, safety. well, i never expected i could get an almost share of the entire package without sacrificing a thing or two.

 Stonehouse Hotel

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

a quick visit to intramuros, manila

this month is one of those times when philippine history is a buzz, in media and almost in everywhere. aside from independence day falling on the 12th day of june, Phl also commemorates the 150th birthday of our national hero, jose rizal on june 19.

but most likely, the significance of these events for me or to a lot of people? is if these would be declared as non-working holidays. p-noy had taken a different perspective from his predecessor and did not move the independence day to the nearest monday, considering that the holiday falls on a sunday this year, which would "supposedly" push for more local tourism as the glorious lady had campaigned. at least p-noy gave in for the special birthday of rizal and declared june 20 as a non-working holiday, in lieu of june 19 which is a sunday.

it's tragic on how you tend to mature with age and get engrossed with too much work and self-centered initiatives, that any nationalistic event would just likely be a fleeting information and its significance is only its most awaited declaration of a non-working holiday.

i hope that visiting one of the most important historical sites in the country will help me step back from that notion.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

excess baggage in hong kong disneyland

for the lack of really good theme parks in our country, they would likely be part of one's itinerary in an international travel, especially if the country of destination offers one of these huge parks which never fail to awaken the kid in you! if you can't relate, maybe i'm referring to another set of people who are technically beyond childhood but still delight on those cartoon characters in their squeaky voices. hehe

when i was too naive for the corporate world, was too fresh from college and just even finished the ordeal of a project defense with deliberately intimidating panel of instructors, i had this first job interview for a manila-based IT company. it was more of a prelimimary interview by the recruiter and while we were on the height of the interview process, i spilled the beans on how i didn't mind a job which would require constant travel and as what she had said, there were chances of travelling to hong kong for that job opening. why exactly would i want that kind of job, she asked. "because i love to go to hong kong disneyland!!" hong kong disneyland was on its first few months of operation at that time so i was too excited to go there, walt disney and disneyland japan were dead impossible.

it sounded too silly but i don't regret it anyway. and no, i didn't get the job. :P it turned out their technical round called for geniuses.

but five years after, i ecstatically found myself in hong kong disneyland!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

ngong ping village, hongkong

it's already almost 2 months since my short stint in hong kong but sadly, i haven't finished everything yet. i know, i should do this fast before oblivion gets me and it's running like wild! anyway, at least i'm on the 3rd and last day now.

ngong ping village is in lantau island, a 45-minute train ride from tsim sha tsui with one train change. we were up early again to visit briefly the ngong ping village by taking a cable car, which was i think the highlight of our trip. briefly because we would be in disneyland in the afternoon. tic toc, tic toc!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

sweet overload in maitre chocolatier

one hot sunday afternoon prior on my friend's sleep over errr bridal shower, i raided ayala center cebu for something i could give to the bride-to-be and of course, tagging breinn along. you could just imagine his blank face and obvious obliging answers when i enumerated to him what i had in mind and at some point, mindlessly asked him what that unique present would be. i just thought lingerie were too common. he even had to endure being stuck with me inside beauty bar while i tried to figure out what i would buy. hastily, he agreed that i settled with a raspberry shower gel which the fragrance he also liked and it was on sale! win-win situation for both of us, i could finally have my present and he could be out from beauty bar fast.

to make my introduction even longer, i had to commend beauty bar's cashier for carefully and patiently wrapping the shower gel before she put it in a nicey paper bag and finished it with a ribbon. first time i experienced this kind of wrapping service in Phl and it was for free!!

after my gift was all set, it was time to feed the one who put up with me in the very last place he'd rather be seen.

and whose exhaustion won't melt with chocolates?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

how to get from NAIA terminal 2 to terminal 3 and vice versa

NAIA has three terminals, located quite far from each other in a passenger's perspective. terminal 3 presently caters to cebu pacific and air philippines, terminal 2 otherwise known as centennial terminal is exclusive for philippine airlines and of course, the much talked about terminal 1 that is reminiscent of the old filipino movies (i'm imagining my elementary days), caters for other international carriers.

getting from one terminal to another isn't hassle-free as travellers would like it to be. although in our country, we filipinos can just let it pass for we are used to things like that. well, at least NAIA terminals are serviced with shuttle vans which are much less expensive than fixed-rate taxis.

i've written a post about how i intended to fly to manila early june and the time had finally come to make use of my award tickets courtesy of mabuhay miles. i had no choice but to fly amid my busy schedule for i needed to act as a chaperon to my sister and my cousin who for the first time, will go to the far-away manila because they're downright crazy over a korean pop girl group called 2ne1. kids these days.

their cebu-manila flight, through cebu pacific airlines will be arriving at terminal 3 while my philippine airlines flight will be at terminal 2. for i hadn't prepared much financially in this trip, i was more into a cheaper option so the shuttle van was a good alternative to get me to terminal 3.

here's how i tried using NAIA's shuttle service.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

a preview of macau's take on our appetite

no matter how fast we were off from one place to another, we had somehow included a trivial experience of macau food. though, it might not be one of the things we could instantly recall when we think of macau but at least, we had these pictures to remind us that with all those adrenaline rush and heart-pumping mini jaunts around macau, we managed to stuff our stomachs with some food for energy.

Egg Tart Up Close

some say that you shouldn't leave macau unless you have tried their famous egg tarts. pastel de nata in portuguese, is a sweet pastry with outer pastry crust and an egg custard in its center, baked for that satisfying goodness. i regarded it as a hot equivalent of leche flan in the philippines which is also made up of a whole lot of eggs for that guilt-infused sweet craving.