this lack of update is brought to you by

the fact of the matter is i am utterly disgusted disappointed by my lack of updates since the rain started pouring, considering how my sister graduated over the weekend. she was fourth in her batch of molecular biology and biotechnology students - the same batch that had one of the eighteen summa cum laudes in the entire diliman system. so, not bad really, considering, and i therefore conclude i am mediocre. hahahaha. no, seriously, my sister is brilliant.

so anyway, since coming from that weekend off and surviving the rainy stretch of days with andrea in bangkok -- she's back now teehee and right now we're obsessing about that camella commercial and how she looks EXACTLY like that kid -- well, after that, i've been suffering dysmenorrhea (oh to be a woman at this point in time) and about up to *here* with Read-Along work, so what's new. heh.

i hope adam lambert bumps danny gokey off the American Idol stage and that the skies clear up before our clan reunion on the weekend of the 9th. thanks universe. xoxo.



come home! :)

photo taken last month in zambales, c/o ruthie ♥


you make a girl insane

i've always had reservations about writing something set in an all girls high school basketball team because it scares me to think about how it could trip a lot of real chords unintentionally, but then again, aren't we all about tripping chords everywhere?

footnotes to a mixtape
~3800 words, to barbie's music from the buffet table.


laiyeah! (2009)

or, alternatively, the third and last of a series

this one here's for the graduates. :) 2009 being dual-grad time for krista and wy, i dragged le familia to laiya for some sun, sea and sand on black saturday, capping off holy week's three-part beachineering tryst all over the place. hehe. this was also drea's first beach outing with my family (yay!).

saturday's outing was in balai sa laiya in san juan, batangas. the drive was surprisingly short and relatively unmarred by holiday traffic, much unlike our six-hour bataan trip on thursday. we left the cavite house at quarter to 6 and arrived at the beach around 9, with auntie on the wheel and i navigating from the backseat with dad on the passenger seat. krista and drea were dozing off; wy was listening to taylor swift on his psp (seriously).

the place was surprisingly deserted on a black saturday when we got there, much unexpected really. i had prepared myself for jampacked beach resorts in nearby batangas, since i figured this was where everybody else would be trooping, what with its proximity to the metro, but lo and behold the shore was clear and quiet.

and so, we camwhore.

krista and wy wanted to rent snorkels and life vests, and so we did. actually, the life vest rental was a good idea because the waters got deep not too far out. the snorkel mask was good for small fishy viewing (ika nga ni wy, "minnows" - whatever).

as previously mentioned, the beach was unusually unpopulated, and the resort had only a few people in it aside from us. we actually got to play billiards for a few rounds - this was how un-peopled the place was. and we loved it.

around noontime, drea remembered that she brought her zips with her, so she showed us a few moves:

as expected, type ni wy ang zips:

here he is pictured trying to play zips under the shade. ka-arte. heheh. anyway, drea says wy is a fast learner - much faster than i am, at least. hehe.

anyway, buffet lunch served by the place was awesome - we had grilled tuna, caldereta, stew, rice and singkamas with bagoong and mangoes for dessert (yum). their dining area was located on the second floor, amidst trees. dining was al fresco, and the summer breeze went perfectly with their mangoes and the drying salt on our skins. teehee.

let it also be noted here that you could come up anytime and fix yourself coffee or tea here and drink it while lounging in their rattan recliners or their egg-shaped duyan. double teehee.

by noon, we'd almost had our fill of the sea, it was time for some tanders timeout by our cabana:

regaining our strengths in the afternoon, we figured, maybe it was time for jumpshots:

but then, some jumpshots are not meant to be:

(sorry, natawa talaga ako dito hehehehe)

(buti pag anino lang pinipicturean parang magkaka-body size lang kami nina krista at drea. WAHAHAHAHA.)

we went home around 5:30p.m. but by then we'd already been caught into the outpour of vacationers into manila. we had dinner on slex and reached metropolis alabang around 9-ish. drea and i boarded a bus home to makati since auntie was too tired to drive all the way to makati then back to cavite hehehe.

all in all, a good beach trip. actually, a good series of beach trips, at that. hehehe. my shoulders hurt from sunburn and sleeves are currently some form of punishment, but hey, it's all good.

summary of expenses: P750/pax daytrip rate in balai sa laiya. covers entrance, welcome drinks (we had mango juice), the cabana, buffet lunch, one light snack (they delivered sandwiches, fish chips and juice to our cabana and we ate them by the beach - pwede na rin) and of course, the bottomless coffee. covers as well free use of junior billiards table - which wy enjoyed immensely. rental of life vest, P100/day. rental of snorkel mask, P100/day. pwede na rin. if you're not really looking for a pool (kasi sadly they don't have one) this resort deserves two thumbs up. :)


temptation island, bataan edition!

or, alternatively, bataan tryst 2009

for a while there, i thought this trip would not happen at all, but after several last minute arrangements, from reservations for the trip to recruitment of participants to surfing sulit.com for van rentals, we got there anyway. it was Maundy Thursday.

so now, presenting...

hahaha. actually, this picture lacks two beachineers, but i couldn't resist putting the title on the sand space. it was begging for it! hahaha. the beach we headed to was bataan white corals in morong (P300/head entrance fee, cabana for 10 @ P1,500), but this photo was shot on the opposite shore.

after much haggling, the final number of beachineers reached 10 on d-day, and we left makati at 5 a.m. holiday traffic doubled our estimated travel time, so we reached the resort around 11:30 a.m. the sun was already high, we were already starving, and sorry to say their restaurant service was a disappointment, but no matter. we wanted to get sunburnt so we hit the water as soon as possible, appendicitis be damned.

we rented a banca (P100/head) to get to the opposite shore. it was supposedly better for beaching, since the shore we left was full of jellyfish, but after a bit we started feeling stings anyway. ah, jellyfish, what to do with you. anyway, when the water starts stinging, you know what to do:

jumping shots, of course. (props to fran k for this one) hehehe. actually, i am in this picture - i'm the left-most one, and yes, i didn't know i could jump this high before this shot, either.

pardon the ridiculous camwhorage, minsan lang naman, wag nang pumalag, oki?

(really, this photo's filename is "woohoo-nakuha-sa-anggulo.jpg")

that trip to the other shore had time limit, sadly, so we had to head back to the resort after an hour. tumambay na lang at dumalife sa kanilang seawater pool. and yes, the water was salty. very.

and then somebody suggested beers by the seawater, and so i said, what the hell, why not?

ito dahilan kumbakit maskuladong bading yung result ko eh.
and then the sun started its descent, hence the golden hour when everything the sun falls on just looks golden:

i know they look exactly the same, but then again, minsan lang, pagbigyan na please.

we left the resort after sunset, after wrestling with their clogged communal shower and then we trooped to SBMA to have dinner. we were hoping for Gerry's but then it was full and the waitlist had at least 14 sets of people ahead of us. so we went somewhere else, and their service was thankfully quick.

we reached makati around midnight. all in all, everybody pitched in P1,000 each for the resort, the van (P4,500 with gas), the toll fees and the driver's food. not bad, eh? anyway, that certainly deserves a repeat. so ano guys, next week ulit? hehe.

endnote. some photos taken by drea. postcrossprocessing mine. drea's attempts (as seen on facebook) do look better. ahehehe.


to pinatubo and back!

or, alternatively, of course the title of this post deserves an exclamation point

My legs still feel like lead today and there’s a healing gash on my left knee to remind me of where I was on Sunday.

Believe what everybody else is saying - the Pinatubo crater *is* breathtaking – on both the literal and literary senses, but clearly, this is getting ahead of myself. This photo was taken at around half-past 7 in the morning of Sunday, and that morning started five hours earlier, at 2:30 a.m., which was the time we left ParaƱaque for Pinatubo.

Being a novice trekker, I was quite nervous of the whole climb-thing, what with rumors that some people trekked for THREE HOURS to get to the crater. Add this to the fact that I am naturally afraid of heights, I figured the worst that could happen is that the guide would have to carry me through half the trip. Oh dear.

We got to the starting point Pinatubo Spa Town around 5:30 a.m., proving how Ate Maricar’s driving and direction skills could never really be underestimated. But if you think that’s early, consider that when we got there a van full of people had already arrived there first.

We boarded a 4x4 jeep around 6 a.m. We paid the package price of P1,250/head, which included the jeep, the guide and shower time after. We had water, we had trail food (oh Growers Nutribar, why had I met you only now?), we had cameras (easy-to-carry digicam ones, I think, would be far more practical than the bulky DSLRs). I wore my worn Mojos with socks – yes I knew they were bound to get wet in the several streams along the way, but if you’re pretty prone to injuring yourself on rough surfaces (more on this later), you’d be better off with covered feet.

Anyway, the 4x4 ride took about an hour. I think it was really supposed to take an hour and a half, but boy did our driver really cut half an hour from that trip with those mad driving skillz hahaha.

Anyway, when they said the hiking trail would be full of rocks, they weren’t joking. As previously mentioned, I was a novice hiker, and when I looked at the trail, I was like, if I were to walk for three hours in this I would *die*. Or have to be carried for half the trip. Whichever comes first.

But then, it turns out the hike would only take about 20 to 30 minutes. Apparently, they had shortened it for the summer, since this path we took, aptly named Skyway for the speed with which you could course through it, was accessible due to the nice weather. A good thing, generally.

Because if it were any more traumatic I’d swear I’d never go back EVER, but then, it wasn’t so bad, so really, I’d do it again. =) Anyway, this was what greeted us when we got there:

Movie-scenic, I thought. Like something snatched out of Lord of the Rings or something. Thanks to the Ates for dragging us along:

Sulit na sulit ang pagod. Actually, the hike through the rocks, negotiating with the streams was easier than getting through the steep stairs. Oh god, the steep stairs were what got me, really. Laglag talaga ang baga ko, damang-dama ko ang bigat ko, etc.

Anyway, happier times on the way down to the crater: (this flight of steep stairs would be such a bitch later, when it was time to climb it on the way home)

Pagkababa dun, sa sobrang ganda parang tinatawag ka na ni Lord: (haha)

Eto mga kasama ko, unaware:

And of course, we swam:

(Me: Nay bakit me bubbles?
Naychona: Nak, kasi bulkan ata yung ilalim eh.)

We were first on the crater, and we left when people started pouring in like crazy. The shore was pretty short, and things were bound to get pretty crowded so we decided it was time to hike back to square one.

As I’ve said the hike back up the steep stairs earlier was such a bitch; we had to stop three times along the way to catch our breaths. (Actually, kami lang pala ni Ate Chona. Go figure) While I was busy fixing my lungs, Andrea was busy taking splendid pictures:

Sabi ko nga, parang Lord of the Rings lang.

On the way back, my knees were already relatively weaker than when we began hiking that morning, and during one of them moments of weakness I accidentally brushed my left knee forcefully against one the bigger rocks. Hence, a gash. Which hurt, really. Hehe. Parang bata lang eh, umuuwing may galos. Napansin na nga ng mga nakasalubong naming hikers who were only on their way up at 10 a.m. (ang init na nito, we could only imagine) na my knee was bleeding. But no matter.

Anyway, ito pala yung sinakyan naming 4x4 with kuya and our guide:

Sa pagod, we actually managed to doze off in the 4x4 kahit super tagtag. Haha. Ako nagigising pag nauuntog so I figured, to hell with trying to sleep. By this time I was already hungry anyway so I thought of that instead.

I’d like to note here that the shower facility at the Spa was pleasantly surprising. The fee for the shower, turns out, includes locker use and use of other stuff like plastic bags (simple but really convenient), alcohol and swabs (for wounds like mine), soaps and fresh towels. Plus points talaga na hindi nabasa yung towel na dinala namin from home.

Anyway, we ate at SM City Clark because it was convenient and we were starving. I think it was only a little past noontime, and we were not really too keen on going home and so we headed to:

Oo me ganito pa, panalo!

The place was pretty much still under construction, and the entrance fee was in the form of a “donation” (to be determined by visitors, of course).

Wala pang chocolate hills, etc. pero meron nang Rice Terraces. Meron ding mga huge rock formations tulad nito:

They bullied me into climbing. It was really scary. Hahaha. Panalo me band-aid eh. We left and visited Ate Maricar’s relatives. Kapampangans are really awesome cooks, btw. Thank you thank you!

We arrived back in Casa at midnight, after having crepes for late night dessert at Rockwell and buying the latest Maxim issue at 7-11. Ho-hum. Hahaha. Talagang in passing lang eh.

It was a long day, tiring but we’d do it again in a heartbeat!

Summary of expenses: P2,5k all-in with transpo, gas, toll, food, etc. But only because we had the best financial managers ever. =)


i dismantle broken fans for breakfast

very early this morning, andrea woke with a start. long story short, the standfan had stopped working. le sigh, it was barely two years old; i dismantled it this morning using my father's trusty screw driver. awa ng diyos, nagkasya pa rin sa loob ng kahon from which we took it out when i first moved here. signos ba ito ng darating na pagbabago universe, hahaha.

anyway, i think my sister is a considerable percentage closer to graduating this april. hahaha. she had me proofread her acknowledgement page - my favorite part of the thesis, truth be told. bilang namems ako sa sarili kong thesis days (looking back, ngayon ko lang ata fully na-appreciate yung words na "for binding". ano ba yun.) e inungkat ko ang final manuscript ng thesis namin ni julie na na-save ko sa isang CD somewhere. wala lang. dapat talaga pinag-iisipan kung sinu-sino yung nilalagay dun e. haha joke lang.

anyway again, the other day i tried to write something. it's always a struggle lately, and this one i had to wrestle out of myself early in the morning. i just find it frustrating how i could start staring at the computer screen at 8:30 in the morning and only start typing around 11. damn.

and guys, guys - have you heard of schuyler fisk? because she's amazing. ktnxbye.