Through Your Eyes

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I always find it fascinating to know how others see things. Once you get a description of something, it no longer involves a person seeing something. It now includes interpretation of what was seen. Our interpretation now brings into it bits of how we feel at a time, what our experiences are, what our preferences are.

Now, can you say the same when seeing a picture? I’d say yes. It’s an interpretation of what a person feels is significant. What is beautiful. What is interesting. There are artistic shots and there are just candid , “Ahh this looks nice” shot. I prefer the second one. Though at times, those candid shots makes an artistic picture.

I like looking and observing. You can leave me in a corner and I won’t get bored as long as I see anything interesting. I also do people watching. Perhaps what makes it interesting for me is that a place, a person, even an object had seen things that if only we have the power to replay would show us an intriguing story.  A pen – perhaps used to write a love letter, a death threat, a business agreement? Imagine knowing this things, the history.. just because you touched an object.. or even a person.

Things change when you meet a person who interests you so much. Suddenly, you want to know what they see. You want to be a part of their world. You crave to be a part of them. Even if you are in an engaging environment, it just seemed a bit boring.  Things become monotonous  unless it involves that person.:)

An age-old adage says that “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”. I get to decide what is beautiful. And in my eyes all these pictures are beautiful. I love them. Maybe because I am in love with the person who took them.

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Food Place Review – Apag Marangle, Bacolor Pampanga

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When I was planning my birthday outing with the family, I originally wanted to go to Isdaan in Gerona, Tarlac. We could just take SCTEX since we would be coming from Pampanga as we would be visiting Tatay’s resting place first. But they find the place too far and so I had to look for other options. Sister suggested we try Apag Marangle which is located near Greenbelt in Makati. Thinking of the Makati traffic, I said we should just visit the original branch which is located in Bacolor, Pampanga.  And so we did.

First off, the place is a bit too hard to find. They are literally located along the highway with just a medium sized banner. We got lost and drove thru the highway twice before we found the place. It wasn’t much help that the people we asked gave different directions. I guess the place is not that popular with the locals.

The restaurant is made up of several dining area in bamboo stilts. It is located in a fish pond where you can also opt to catch fish for consumption. Sister said they recreated this set up in Makati.

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Menu is printed in a tarpaulin that is shaped and colored like a banana leaf

 

After we ordered some dishes, our server recommended chicharon and atsara for appetizer. Now that is something I have not heard before.

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Chicharon and Atsara. Good combination. (4.5/5)

I remembered two friends while having this. I think they’d love to have this with brew kettle.:) This is a solid 4.5/5.

Here’s what we had.

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Ensaladang Mangga (3/5)

Usually ensaladang mangga tastes good because of the bagoong. This is where the dish failed. Shrimp paste was too salty.

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Sago at Gulaman . (3/5)

Instead of the usual soda, we ordered sago at gulaman. I think the syrup used was overcooked. It had a bit of a bitter taste.

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Rellenong Palaka (Betute) . 3/5

I didn’t really try this one. I was just not in the mood. Lol. I guess I prefer just the frog legs. Not the whole frog that definitely looks like a frog.

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Nasing Marangle. (3/5)

Sister said this is good so we ordered it aside from the plain rice that we got. It wasn’t that good. It is just rice with pinakbet and some lechon kawali as toppings. Nothing brilliant, really.

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Pork Humba. (4/5)

This one is good. We wanted to get another order but it would take them a lot of time to prepare it so we just enjoyed this one.

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Sinigang na Manok. (3.5/5)

This is good but a bit too oily. The good thing about this is they used native chicken so it was quite tasty.

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Steamed Shrimps. (3/5)

Overcooked.😦 Not good. I could have cooked shrimp better.

We also has some grilled hito which I wasn’t able to take a pic of.

Overall, I wouldn’t be coming back to this place. Location wasn’t that nice. The food was mediocre. Nothing memorable.

Hongkong Trip 2015 (Day 2 – Disneyland, Day 3)

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Since we will already be in Hongkong, it goes without saying that part of our itinerary is Disneyland. I again used klook to get our tickets and I also got a gourmet meals voucher to cover our meals during our stay in Disney.  The tickets cost 896 HKD (for 2) and the meals, 530 HKD (for 2) which includes lunch, dinner and a snack. Pretty good price.:)

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What can I say about Disneyland? It’s for kids. Lol. I wasn’t able to enjoy much coz I get to compare the rides with that of Universal Studio.  The rides here is really more for kids. Lol. The only ride I enjoyed is that of the Space Mountain. But still no match to The Mummy in Universal. Lol.  So what else can I do to enjoy? I shopped. Lol. It wasn’t planned but since I felt bad that my niece wasn’t with me so I ended up buying more than I intend to shop. But it was okay. They love my pasalubong.:)

Here’s a few more of snaps which does not include my face.:)

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We also watched the Lion King and the street parade (twice). I was also tricked by my friend to go and see “It’s a small world after all.” Cute. Lol.

Here’s what I claimed for the gourmet voucher that I got. I only paid for the soda coz you are only supposed to get iced tea.:)

 

 

Lunch! :)

Lunch!:)

You also get to choose between an ice cream pop or popcorn. Ice cream won.

You also get to choose between an ice cream pop or popcorn. Ice cream won.

Dinner. :) I had a hard time finishing this one.

Dinner.:) I had a hard time finishing this one.

We no longer waited for the fireworks as we were supposed to meet our previous office mate. She was quite happy to see us and insisted that should we decide to visit again next time, we should definitely stay with them. So nice.:) She took us to this dimsum place which I totally forgot to take the name of. I also wasn’t able to get pictures of the food as we were so busy catching up. But seriously, that dimsum place is sooo good. Everything we ordered were yummy. And for a good price too. We ended up talking too long that the meal and chikahan ended at past midnight. Good thing we were still able to rely on the public bus to bring us back to our place.

Day 3, we woke up late as we are too tired. After a quick breakfast, we went to the ladies market to buy a few more items for pasalubong. Afterwards, we took a shower, packed our bags, crossed the street and waited for a bus to take us to the airport. A bit of a hassle though. I booked our flight back via airasia since the one via Cebu Pacific is either too pricey or too early. Bad thing is that they don’t tell you that you have to check-in in one terminal and leave at another terminal.😦 We just made it at the nick of time! It’s like we are in an amazing race. And on our way back to Manila, there was a typhoon coming. So I had the most awful turbulence experience ever. As in we had to stay on air for a lot longer and we had sudden drops that feels like a few meters. Lol.

All in all, this is not one of the best trip I had. Definitely will not be on my list of must comebacks.:)

 

Hongkong Trip 2015 (Day 1)

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My friend and I were supposed to go to Thailand for our annual trip. Unfortunately,  a few months before we were able to buy our plane tickets, a bomb scare was reported in Thailand.  As much as I have been looking forward to a trip in Thailand, we had to reconsider. Safety first. So I went looking for another place to visit. My second choice was to visit Cambodia. But when I checked the cost of plane tickets, it was a bit too high for my budget. Also, the schedule of the flights are so far away that we would have to stay for at least 5 days in Cambodia. That is how we ended up in Hongkong.:)

Hongkong is not really not in my list of must visit places. Reasons? Well, I don’t really find the country exciting. I have read many accounts of how ‘different’ tourists are treated there. So yeah, not that excited.

Since I was the one in charge of setting up our trip, first thing I had to find is a place to stay. We had to choose a place that isn’t too pricey as we don’t really intend to stay that much. We just need a place to bathe and sleep. I found Cosmic Guest house – http://www.cosmicguesthouse.com. I was initially shocked to see how small the rooms are but I was informed by my friend that is normal. Wow. Anyways, we got a 2 double bed ensuite with street view. Good thing I changed it to double bed. I can’t imagine how small the single bed would be. Here’s how it looks –  http://www.cosmicguesthouse.com/images/stories/rooms/double_win/pano.html

Our first day, we went to The Peak. I searched for the best price on-line and found out about klook. It is a website that offers discounted tickets to attractions in Hongkong. They also have an app that you can use to get more discounts.:) I got our the peak tram 3 in 1 combo for 506 HKD. This includes a guide who took us from Central MTR Exit K to a special lane (skipped the regular line) to take the tram going up. Once we were there, we are given our tickets to go to the peak and another set of tickets for the Wax Museum. I was more excited to see the was museum. Compared to the other visitors who had their pictures taken with the wax figures, I was more amazed at how detailed the figures that I took a close up picture of them. Here are  a few.

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Right after, we went to the peak. It is not something I enjoyed. Lol. I’ve seen better view.

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After this, we went back to the hotel as we are sooo tired.  Plus we need to go early to visit Disneyland.:)

 

Office Demon

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I started out really happy with my current work. I had a great boss. The NICEST, MOST SINCERE boss that I had the pleasure to work with. As in genuinely NICE.

I have a pretty diverse group of coworkers who at first I don’t like – they were a bit loud than I normally am – but now love.

My work assignment is stressful but at the same time rewarding. A lot was expected from my group but I do feel  I was able to deliver.

Come the unfaithful day in 2014.

A demon arrived at our work place.

Of course, not the literal demon. But with his ways, thoughts, actions and words, he is quite the same. He made our lives miserable. He is a con artist disguising as a senior officer. So sad that management felt the need to place him in our midst. My super nice boss left. And four more left. Now another one is leaving. In just a span of more than a year, he has ruined a place I was considering as my second home. I have to spend 10 or more hours, 5 days a week, dealing with his evilness.

I wonder how can a person who is blessed with a good work, a relatively good health and wealth (as he often flaunts), can spend much of his time plotting revenge to people who hasn’t done anything wrong to him. Why so vengeful? What’s with all the hate? When he talks and you see his face, you can literally see how bad of a person he is. He can simply ruin your day and yes, your life.

I know that this would end. His reign will end.He will loose his ‘powers’. It’s just sad that my second family had to suffer this much.

Karma should come running to him and give him a big big big hug.

Soon.

 

 

 

 

 

Run Fatty Run! (My first 5K run)

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I always wanted to run. Not from my problems, although I tried (once or twice, or more…)

Running is one of the most popular healthy regime right now. It is one of the cheapest too. Just get some running shoes, find an open space and run like your demons are behind you. I myself prefer to run than any other sport there is. If a sport has anything to do with hand and feet coordination, then I’m definitely out. Not my biggest strength really.

So when I got an email from World Vision that they will be holding their annual world vision run, I decided to join. I opted to join the 5k run instead of the 3k run cause I feel 3k is a bit too short. I do runs on my elliptical machine and 3k I can do easily. I want to challenge myself so I went for the 5k run. I actually was tempted to do the 10k cause I like to have a medal but decided against it. I don’t think a 10k is a good first run for me. After all, I know that running on a machine is quite different from actual running.

I did try to prepare on this run but then stress took over. Which means the start of stress eating. The few pounds I lost on our biggest looser challenge (which I won) at work made a great comeback and even invited a few more pounds for added measure. REALLY HARD to stay fit when you’re too stressed at work. Not to mention the microwave oven in our office is now broken so instead of bringing food from home, we usually buy at the nearest fast food shops. Anyways, I tried to run on my machine every time I have the time. I was also able to have a few weekend run in Rizal park with my co-worker.

And then I got my race kit.:) It is now real.:)

Race KitWas glad to get a lot of support from my friends and family. On the day of the run, which is a Sunday, my friend and I met at McDonalds in Gil Puyat at around 4 AM. Too bad that the cab I took opted to take me to some “scenic routes”. If I wasn’t afraid he’d leave me in some place, I would have called out on his antics. Anyways, was about 5 minutes late on our meet up. We proceeded to SM MOA where the event will take place. We went to the baggage counter to leave our things and watched the start of the 10K run. After a few minutes, it was our turn.:) We had some warm up, and then it was time for the run. And off we go. Lol. It was hard! I don’t have any issues with my knees. My legs. But I had a hard time running. It must be my weight. As my friend said, I can run fast but I cannot sustain it cause I find myself too heavy. But the good thing is I finished the run.:) In 46 minutes. Lol. Not too fast. But I wasn’t the last so, Yey!:)

I do plan to run another 5k and then a 10K. We’ll see if I have the guts to go on 21K.:)

On off the bucket list!:)

Food Place Review – Funnside Ningnangan (San Matias, Sto. Tomas, Pampanga)

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This is our current go to place whenever we go to San Simon Pampanga to visit Tatay in his resting place. Apparently, this is the flagship branch and they now have branches in Angeles City, Pulilan in Bulacan, Tarlac and Apalit.

Here’s what we got last January 25, 2015:

Lumpiang Ubod for Nanay.

Lumpiang Ubod for Nanay.

Didn’t get to try the lumpiang ubod but since Nanay liked it and I didn’t get to hear her complain, that would be a 4/5.

Bistek Tagalog

Bistek Tagalog

This was a big hit. From my brother to my two sisters. It was that good that we have only started to eat and our eldest sister decided to order right away two servings of this for take out. 5/5

Pork Asado

Pork Asado

This wasn’t such a hit with the family. Not because it wasn’t good. It’s just that we (I) can and have cooked this one. 3/5

Grilled Hito (Catfish)

Grilled Hito (Catfish)

I love this one. The fish was fresh and it was grilled to perfection. I think I ate half of this. 5/5

Lechon Macau

Lechon Macau

We ordered this cause Nanay wants to but nothing out of the ordinary. Wasn’t that crisp too. 3/5

Butter garlic shrimps

Butter garlic shrimps

I requested this to be cooked chili garlic style but I guess the cook doesn’t know how. 3.5/5

Funnside Crabs

Funnside Crabs

These crabs are cooked in salted red egg. Was good! Just can’t eat that much cause you gotta take card of your blood pressure. 5/5

Miki Bihon

Miki Bihon

This was a token order cause it was my birthday. Gotta keep up with the tradition. 3/5

All of the items above excluding the noodle dish but including 7 cups of rice and two 1.5 liters of soda, I only have to pay Php 1,800++. Way below my budget for that food trip.:) We also bought some Maja at Php 120 each. Was good. It was like a cross between a maja and a leche plan.  Those with sweet tooth would love it.

Location – 4/5

Ambiance – 4/5

Cleanliness – 5/5

Food – 4.5/5

Service – 4/5

Value for money – 5/5

Will definitely go back again and again and again.