The-Naked-and-Famous

SOUND CHECK: THE NAKED AND FAMOUS

The band was formed way back 2008 but I recently learned about them last 2011 because their first single “Young Blood” which was used in the TV series, The Secret Circle and “Hearts like ours” was used in The Vampire Diaries. From then on, I fell inlove with this band! The Naked and Famous is an alternative rock band from New Zealand and impressively, they penetrated the US music scene by their synth-electronic pop kind of music. Their music is light with dreamy sounds that compliments Powers and Xayalith voice harmonies.

The band has already two major albums out in the market. Surely, this band has lots to offer in the future.

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The Naked and Famous
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NATIB (2009)

The first time I went to Natib was year 2009 together with Scout MC and UPM. I think it was my second mountain to climb. I was merely a newbie. We left Manila at around 3:00AM. We rode Genesis Bus going to Orani, Bataan and got off at Orani Public Market. We hired a jeepney to take us at the jump-off. You can easily find it because it has bilyaran o lomihan. There was also a videoke that time.

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Grexy, Ming, and Carl (2009)
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Orani Public Market (2009)

As I remember, it was summer when we climbed Natib. The first part of the trail was open and the sun was scorching hot. A few hours of walk, you will find the grassland and the gate.

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Mt. Natib from afar (2009)
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Take 5 (2009)
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Another view of Mt. Natib (2009)
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Jay Cabrera and Taguig boys; approaching grassland (2009)
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Grassland (2009)
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The gate (2009)

After the gate, you will pass a shortcut which is the pinagbutasan but we decided to proceed and take our lunch at Mang Goryo’s Kubo. You can load your water here because it’s the last water source going to the summit. I think we chose to take the shortcut.

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I was really exhausted here (2009)
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Take 10 (2009)
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Take 5 (2009)
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Summit assault; Donna’s face is funny (2009)
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Scrambling and Rock climbing (2009)
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Approaching summit (2009)

Then by dawn, we arrived at the summit of Natib! We were already tired but of course happy. We were able to watch the sun set.  The summit campsite is small and as the night went on, the summit started to get foggy.

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1..2..3.. “awww” sunset at the summit (2009)
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may lakas pa kayong mag pose ah (L-R: Donna, Ver, Fey, Jay, Jeman, and Carl) (2009)
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summit campsite (2009)
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Grexy, Carl, Fey, Ver, Jay, and Jeman (2009)
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Our guide, Kuya Willy (2009)
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Foggy socials (2009)

The next morning, it went hot again. We had a clearing at the top. The team had a little photo ops and cooked and packed our lunch and descend down so we can drink in the town.

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Team 1 (2009)
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Team 2 (2009)
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Team 3 (2009)
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Group Picture (2009)
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Descending (2009)
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Socials again (2009)
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Ang pu-pula (2009)
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The thorn among the roses; Kuya Wilnor (our guide) with Kathy, Donna, and Ming (2009)
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Fey, Kuya Willy, and Kuya Wilnor (2009)

 

Ozzie-Wrong-vibe-shield

26 for now…

I turned 26. Another year added to my age. I still kept thinking about what I’m going to do with my life. I think too much I guess but I can’t help it, I mean, I’m not that young anymore right, so I need to straighten things up.

So, what’s up with my life right now? I took up MBA program at the university. I’m really psyched because I have new learnings particularly in Business and Marketing. Its all new to me and I’m doing extra effort to study. I believe that getting a MBA will prosper me in the near future which I’m really interested at. I’d also like to teach whether in Communication or Business. I really like the path I’m taking now. Who knows, if I still have time and means, I’d like to pursue a Ph.D in the future. Dr. Michelle Lei Victorino. :) sounds good!

For now, I’ll just concentrate. I will not entertain negative vibes. I’ll just focus on what will help me to grow as an individual. I will attain my MBA! And to inspire us, here are some songs about ageing . Enjoy! :D

What’s my age again? by Blink 182

23 by Jimmy Eat World

What’s up by 4 Non Blondes

Forever young by Alphaville

When yer twenty two by The Flaming Lips

Young and Beautiful by Lana del Rey

When you were young by The Killers

Good Riddance (Time of your life) by Green Day

the scaredy cat went under the sea

Oh yes! The scaredy cat went under the sea and still alive!! Thanks to UP ORG, I was able to experience scuba diving 101 :)

Dancing
Uyeye!
Dancing
Yey! Yey!

I’m really scared shit when it comes to water related activities or sports (that’s why I’m a cat. Cat hates water). Even I have floaters or life vest, I’m still scared.

The experience was new, fun and scary at the same time. New, because it was my first time, fun because I saw lots of marine life, and scary because I saw a huge, really big sea turtle which was close to my body!!! surprised-catUnfortunately, I don’t have pictures underwater or even the sea turtle. Thanks to Ian, our certified dive instructor and his crew for teaching us the basics and of course Janjan, whose very patient with me even when I’m almost giving up.

You can try scuba diving even if you don’t know how to swim. You just have to breathe and equalize but of course its more fun if you can swim. These are some of the photos courtesy of Ken Vibar, Bambi Lausan and other UP ORG:

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Waiting for the boat… (Left to Right: Janjan, Rey, Ariel, Bambi, Ming, and Bitoy)
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Off to the Dive Resort
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Dive and Trek Resort
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Cat and Dog
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Scuba Diving Orientation at Dive and Trek Resort
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Preparation for the dive. I cried here.
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Cherry’s turn while Ian instructing the basics
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Hand signal
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Okay
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Andrea went underwater
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Hi! Zat! Double okay!
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Rey and Cherry
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Korean? Chinese? Japanese?
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Left to Right: Bertuz, Bambi, Bitoy, Ariel, and Ming
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Serious? Zat and Ming
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Preparing for the dive! Waiting for our oxygen replacement (L-R: Nomar, Bertuz, and Ming)
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What a FACE!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA Here we go!
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I don’t know what is it. Comment if you know :)
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Aren’t you supposed to be pink? Starfish.
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Corals and Fishes
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More fishes
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I don’t know what’s this.
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Cute!

If you will ask me if I will go under again, definitely yes! This time, I will ask someone to take pictures of me underwater :D

WEGO_2013_2014_Travel_Trends

2014: Looking Forward

New year, a fresh start. Whatever you want to accomplish in the year 2014, Go for it! I don’t have any New Year’s resolution. So, I listed down several things I want to do for the year 2014:

  1. Travel alone to the farthest south: Zamboanga or Tawi-Tawi
  2. Travel alone to the farthest north: Batanes or Palaui Island
  3. Travel alone outside the Philippines: Vietnam or China
  4. Learn (at least) 1 Foreign Language: Mandarin
  5. Improve my Health: Running (again), Eating good foods, and Not staying up late.
  6. Lessen alcohol intake: (THE HARDEST THING TO DO) 1 bottle of beer.
  7. Simple Life: Less Facebook, No smartphone, More books, and music.

:)

talomo

Talomo

On my Davao: The Return entry, we planned to climbed Mt. Talomo prior to the MFPI 35th National Annual Climb Congress.

Mt. Talomo is located at Calinan, Davao City. There are two (2) known trail; the Tamayong and Baracatan. Bryan a.k.a. Kalag our friend from Tribung Mindanao Mountaineering Club (TRIMMOC) decided to join our climb which is a big help for us.

Day 1

From Davao city proper we headed to the bus terminal going to Calinan Public Market. We bought our supplies and meals here. Around Calinan Public Market, we hired habal-habal to take us to Sicao Village. Tip: It would be better if you add extra fee to take you to Sicao instead to Purok 6. It will save your time and strength. BUT mind you, hold on tight because the road is very rough, slippery, and has steep slopes. Hands-off to our habal-habal drivers! (too scared to take video during the ride).

From the drop off point, we walked to get to the house (but its an office actually) where we spent our first night. We prepared our meal plan and cooked our dinner over our little spooky socials.

Day 2

At past 8:00AM we started to trek. Before entering the tree line forest, it will give you a scenery landscape of mountain ranges. We decided to take our lunch at camp 1. The trail is mostly covered with trees and you can see lots of fallen trees. Very takehi’s castle. Finally we got to the river. Be careful here, the rocks are slippery. Another 30 mins. then we arrived to camp 1 to take our lunch.

As we proceed to camp 2, It started to feel cold. We were getting higher and higher because the trail is getting steeper and steeper (logical? hahaha). At last! before it went dark, we arrived at the campsite area.

Day 3

The whole night was really a survival.. we were freezing! We woke up early, had the usual ritual e.g. strecth here and there, breakfast, photo ops, etc. We started to descent and headed back to Davao city proper.

the gwapings: kalag, bimbo, yot, and oj plus the (2) unknowns
spooky socials: ken, bimbo, the (2) unknowns, kalag, yot, and oj
mountain ranges landscape before entering the forest line
takeshi’s castle trail
are we there yet?
at the river stream, resting. yot, kalag, bimbo, oj, and ken
the river stream
resting.. kalag and ken.
still… along the trail. the trees are covered with moss
so enchanting…
how beautiful…
almost there…
view of mt. apo from mt. talomo. hi! neighbor
at the campsite area
our guide/porter. thank you!
advertisement! oj, bimbo, ming, yot, the guide, and ken

P.S.

You can also see Matutum. Till we meet again Talomo!

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FEEDING THE DRAGON: YING YING TEA HOUSE

It was a gloomy Saturday afternoon when Ken and I crave for some Chinese food. Since I am working in Intramuros and were both sucker for dim sum, Binondo is our gateway to fill our hungry stomach. Ying Ying Teahouse serves wide variety of dim sum and other usual Cantonese cuisine.

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The busy street outside Ying Ying Tea House

From where I sat, I saw their roasted meat on display. It looks enticing at the same time scary.

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Hanged chicken and pork for display.

Were not much into rice that time, so we ordered Hakao, Friend Dumplings, Shrimp Cheong Fan, and Buttered Chicken.

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The usual suspects: Soy sauce, Fish Sauce, Pepper, and of course Chili paste

I’m not happy with the Hakao. Its small and very ordinary. I’ll give it a 2/5.

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Hakao

What I like is the Shrimp Cheong Fan. The subtle taste is emphasize by the special sauce. The shrimp inside is tender yet juicy. Steamed for perfection! I’ll give it a 5/5.

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Shrimp Cheong Fan

We also tried their Buttered Chicken. The taste is just right. They definitely used butter instead of margarine. It costs Php 265.00 for a half chicken I guess. I’ll give it a 3/5.

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Buttered Chicken

You must try the Fried Dumplings. It’s crunchy and tasty. I usually go for steamed dumplings but I don’t know why the molo wrapper itself tastes good. Its perfect for sharing. I’ll give it a 4/5.

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Fried Dumplings

The dim sum price ranges from Php 70.00 – Php 90.00 per order (4 pcs. in a steam bamboo, kinda pricey) while the fried dumplings/fried wanton costs Php135.00 for 8 pcs. per order (not bad). Next time, I will try their Hot Prawn Salad. I heard from my Mom that it taste good.

KWENTONG FX

Umaga. Siksik ang mga tuhod sa pagkaka-upo sa masikip na espasyo sa likod para sa mga pasahero ng FX. Okay na din kahit paano dahil malamig ang hanging lumalabas sa aircon. Inaantok pa bago pumasok ng trabaho pero pilit nilalabanan habang nagpapatugtog ng mga kantang maiingay. Paused. Pinapakinggan kung may magbabayad hanggang post office… eh wala. Play. Biglang may sumakay na babae. Bilugan ang katawan. Kung titignan, mukhang nagtratrabaho sa isang supermarket o sa isang services offered company base sa unipormeng suot. Idle moments. Kinuha ko ang lip balm sa bag para gamitin, napansin kong tinignan ako ng babae ng nakakunot ang noo habang ako’y naglalagay… naisip ko, problema nito. Walang pakialam. Maya-maya, tila parang may hinahanap ang babae sa kanyang bag. Magbabayad pala ang babae, nakita ko ang 1,000.00 pesos at iilang barya. Sa kanyang mukha tila problemado. Buong lakas na sinigaw niya na “Manong bayad ho” pero “Nako, wala ba kayong barya? wala akong panukli. Kalalabas ko lang” ani ng driver. Patay. Kunwari wala akong narinig. Dedma. Pero hindi ko alam anong meron sa bibig ko at bigla ko nalang tinanong at sinasabing “Magkano ba barya mo? Dagdagan ko nalang” Oo. Naging good samaritan ako (kung yun ang term dun). Naisip ko kasi paano kung mangyari din yun sakin? Paano kung malimutan o malaglagan ako ng wallet? 

May panahong nakakagawa at nakakapag salita ako ng di maganda sa kapwa. Kilala ko man o hindi. Feeling ko, ako na ang pinaka masamang tao sa mundo.  Sa isip-isip ko, kung may impyerno man, sigurado dun ako pupunta dahil sa mga kasalanan at masasamang pag-uugali. Pero napatunayan ko, hindi naman pala ako ganun kasama. O akala ko lang? Pero ganun pa man, proud akong may naitulong ako sa kapwa ko. Hindi ako naghahangad ng kapalit pero binigyan ako ng babae ng movie pass. Oha diba. Ang 6.00 pesos na itinulong ko katumbas ng 110.00 pesos na sine.

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there’s a danger up there

Currently eating laing na gabi while writing this.

I myself climbed Mt. Mayon in 2012 but didn’t make it to the summit. Sure it is one of the toughest mountain/volcano that I climbed. It is very steep and the stones are slippery and it will definitely test your fear of heights. That’s why I have big respect to those who climbed the summit of Mt. Mayon especially the guides.

Yesterday, I was browsing my newsfeed on Facebook when I read a post from Bicolano friends stating that Mayon erupted and there were at least 2 confirmed dead at around 8:00 AM. News spread fast until lunch time that the total casualties are 5 deaths (4 foreign tourists and 1 local guide) and 7 injured. In a live interview that I watched on ANC news, “Kenneth”, one of the local guides told what happened. He said that they were ascending when suddenly they heard an explosion and the next thing he saw is that big rocks showered from the skies like rain. He even saw the foreign tourist dragged by big rocks. Never seen a change in volcanic/magma activity, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said that the incident maybe a result of phreatic eruption which seems to be normal in most volcanoes.

Sadly, we can’t control nature when it reacts to mankind but we don’t just sit and wait for it. We have to strive to gain knowledge to defend ourselves during this kind of scenario. Accidents do happen but safety precautionary measures can lessen the impact. Even its beauty encompasses danger, I know for sure Mayon still and will attract climbers all over the world. My mama asked “Oh takot ka ng umakyat?” I answered “Nope”.

To the survivors, I hope you don’t stop climbing.

To the souls. Find peace.

bagnet

FEEDING THE DRAGON: STOOPS BAGNET ILOCOS

Who doesn’t love Bagnet? Way back 2010, I went backpacking to Ilocos region. It was my first time to taste the sinful Bagnet and the moment it landed my taste buds, it was superb like it was melting in my mouth with fireworks (not literally). Bagnet is Ilocano version of Lechon Kawali but way better. The skin and meat is crunchier and tastier. My cravings grew stronger and every time I hear restaurants that serves Bagnet, I try it. Luckily, Stoops at Taft-Vito Cruz received good remarks on their Bagnet meal.

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Packed with hungry people even at night

Stoops is located at corner Arellano St. and P. Ocampo St. right after the small bridge (if you are coming from Taft). The place is small and open like carienderia style. The great thing is, its not that expensive. For only 90-150 pesos you can have mouth watering Bagnet with side dish and rice. It is great paired with bagoong Ilocos and sukang Ilocos.

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i ordered big meal for 150Php
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bagnet up-close. so crispy and tasty.
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Great paired with KBL (kamatis,bagoong,lasuna)

on the go climbs, backpacking, food tripping and anything in between.

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