Monday, January 24, 2011

Bohol Travel Kuwento

I managed to back-post an entry which I initially wrote in September 2009 but was only able to save it as a draft. I finished it today and you can read about our Bohol Travel Kuwento here.

I really want to go back to that place. Hopefully really soon.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

2011 Personal Projects

I managed to do 6 out of my 10 personal projects last year. Not bad. Hoping for a better batting season this year. I should take a leaf out of what I learned in MBA and make my objectives SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timebound)

Here are my 2011 Personal Projects

# 1. DECLUTTER! (more on that in another post)
# 2. Be more physically active (walk/cardio at least 3x/week)
# 3. Cook/bake at least 1x/month
# 4. Find a new hobby by end of Quarter 1
# 5. Be pregnant by Quarter 3
# 6. Meet with "old" friends at least 1x/month
# 7. Try a new restaurant at least 1x/month
# 8. Visit my mom and sister in the US by Q2
# 9. Celebrate Basti's second birthday
# 10. Celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary

Busy Week

This week has been very exhausting in a sense that I would get home past Basti's bedtime already. It was only yesterday that I arrived home just in time for dinner and had time to play with Basti.

On Monday, I stepped out to meet with my childhood friend.
On Tuesday, I went to a wake.
On Wednesday, my officemate and I had our physical exam to check if we're fit to work-out.
On Thursday, I went to another wake.

And now, I'm here at Asian Hospital waiting for my doctor for my annual exam. And tomorrow, it'll be another busy day as we'll be out of the house again.

Hope next week won't be this exhausting.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Childhood Friends

My memory is not dependable nowadays but I do know that I had a happy childhood.

My siblings and I would spend most of it outside our house playing with the other kids in the neighborhood. We would play patintero, pico, habulan or whatever game we could think of until the sun would go down. Our maid/yaya would yell out threats from inside the house as we refused to come in even when it's our bedtime.

In the early 90's, our playmates from the corner house had to move away. I remember missing them so much. I have this vivid sensory memory of their house always smelling like newly baked cookies or cakes. I thought we would never see them again but apparently, the world is not as big as I thought it is.

A few days ago, I was looking for a person in the village who can bake Basti's 2nd birthday cake. As we won't have a party, I just wanted a simple cake for him. Googled spewed out Bohemia Cakes which apparently had an address which is 2 houses away from our home. I asked my husband and in-laws and though they know about the house, they're not aware that there's a bakery there.

I searched for the owner's name and a familiar name popped up. Through the wonders of Mark Zuckerberg's creation called Facebook, I was able to find a name to match the face. My memory was then kicking my brain telling me that I know this person and everything connected. I was still not yet 100% sure if she's my childhood friend so I sent her a message in Facebook. She replied a few minutes later with an affirmative.

Like someone who's suffering from amnesia, bits and pieces of our childhood came trickling back--the scent of their home, the games we used to play...but basically how happy we were.

A few more FB messages, we managed to set a time and I just came back from having tea with her. I saw her mom, brother and dad and they're the same welcoming people who I met years and years ago.

It was great to see her again and I can't wait to reconnect with her. We spent more than an hour catching up and she invited me back to their house. I can't wait to go back.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Travel Kuwento: Hongkong Dec 3-5, 2010 DAY 3

We were leaving on the last flight back to Manila on Sunday night. We opted to check out early though so we can still go around Hongkong without worrying our check-out time.

As tradition, hubby took a picture of our hotel room and the view. This is what the view from our room looks like:

Apparently, there are no houses in HK, just condos.

We decided to go to Hongkong Island and ride the tram going up to the Peak or ride the never-ending escalators. Instead of the MTR, we decided to take the ferry just to see how it's like and also to see the famous Hongkong skyline from the sea. This is my picture with my husband posing with the Hongkong Island harbor behind us:

After treating my family to lunch at a fastfood place, the siblings wanted to return to Temple Street to see if we can score more finds. After meeting up with an old friend who is based in the country, we then took the MTR up to Jordan Street where we walked towards Temple Street.

After buying more pasalubongs, we had an early dinner at one of the food stalls there and proceeded back to the hotel where we retrieved our baggage and waited for our shuttle to pick us up and bring us to the airport.

It was an exhausting trip. Moreover that we had to watch over my siblings who are not familiar visiting a foreign city. It was fun though experiencing these things with my family. We're already looking forward to the next trip--wherever that may be.

Planners Galore!

Taking a break from the Travel Kuwento, I'm giving away 3 planners as shown below:

My #1 New Year's resolution is to declutter and I'm giving, throwing, selling away some stuff. I've already cleaned out my closet and vanity table. I still have tons of stuff to clean but at least, I've started.

If you want any of the above planners, send an email to cdsangalang at gmail to com. Unfortunately, this is for meet-ups only in Makati or Alabang area.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Travel Kuwento: Hongkong Dec 3-5, 2010 DAY 2

We all woke up late Saturday morning. But the kids were up early as they know that Saturday is their date with Mickey Mouse and Friends. Yes, it's the day that we will all finally set foot (except for hubby) on Disneyland! Yahoo!

Everyone has been looking forward to this day, especially the kids. I was also excited (although trying to be nonchalant about it) as I was not able to visit Disneyland when I was in the US 20+ years ago. I've been pretty sore about it and I was so glad to be given the chance to visit the Magical Kingdom.

After a quick breakfast at McDonald's, we took two taxis which brought us to the MTR station where we can catch a train which would take us to Sunny Bay station. From there, we will board another train which will bring us to tadah! Disneyland resort.

The Disneyland train gave us our first flavor of Disney. From the mouse-shaped windows and handles (as seen below) to the statues on the train.

When we got off the Disneyland station, the kids were jumping up and down with excitement. We paused to get our bearings and walked towards the direction of the park. Lo and behold, this was the sign that greeted us and my heart skipped with delight. This was our first stop of non-stop picture-taking for the day:

We entered the archway and all around us, we could hear Christmas music and Disney songs. Magic is definitely in the air and it brought out the kid in all of us. More than a hundred meters down, this fountain of Mickey surfing on top of a whale greeted us:

It was another round of scurrying to get FB-worthy shots and that was mine above. A few more minutes later, I told everyone that the whale was not the reason why we went to Disney. So a few more shots later, we turned right and followed the crowd which led us to the park gates.

According to my hubby, HK Disneyland is the smallest Disneyland there is as it only has 4 attractions: Main Street (bottom), Adventureland (left), Fantasyland (top) and Tomorrowland (right). Map is taken from

At Main Street, everyone wanted to look at the souvenirs first but I said we'll just buy before we go home. As we're still at a loss on what to do, we decided to ride the train and see the whole park. From there, we'll just choose which attraction to go to next.

From the train, we decided to ride the Dumbo ride at Tomorrowland. After that somewhat boring ride (we barely got off the floor), we decided to have lunch. I chose the Mickey Mouse waffle below:

After lunch, we decided to try Tomorrowland. I couldn't resist having this photo with the orb where I could literally say, Pasan ko ang daigdig (I carry the world).

Since the waiting time for the ride was still long, we decided to line up with the photo op with Buzz Lightyear:

I also had one with the statue:

We finally got into Space Mountain and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. It was an indoor rollercoaster and you cannot see a thing inside except for "stars", "moons", etc. You don't know whether you'll be turning or falling or rising or whatever. It adds to the thrill. It's not surprising that we look like this:

After the ride, we saw a booth outside selling ice creams and I just had to buy this one:

We were fast getting tired so we hurried off to Fantasyland but the lines were too long. We just posed for pictures at the houses and Sleeping Beauty's (or was that Cinderella) castle below and walked to Adventureland.

At Adventureland, there was Tarzan's tree house(below) where we had to ride a raft to get to his treehouse.

We were all just so tired by then that we decided to go home (but not before buying our souvenirs first). I went gaga over the coin press machines as I remember playing with them when I was in Vegas 20+ years ago.

All I wanted was to go back to the hotel and sleep but my family had other ideas. They wanted to go to Temple Street to look for more bargains. As I was overruled by the majority, we took the train to Jordan where we looked for a place where we can rest. We ended up at this "authentic" Peking restaurant where we ended up paying for a lauriat meal that we barely enjoyed. We found the peking duck delicious though--as modeled by my sister below:

We then trudged off to Temple Street where we browsed through the famous night market. Unfortunately, after a few meters, I just gave up that I sat down literally on the street. I was so tired and cranky and all I wanted to sleep.

Everyone thankfully agreed to go back to the hotel where we went off to our own rooms. The next day, I learned that my siblings left their kids with my dad who babysat them and went back to Temple Street to do more shopping.

Anyway, that's it for Day 2. Day 3 will hopefully follow tomorrow.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Travel Kuwento: Hongkong Dec 3-5, 2010 DAY 1

When: December 3-5,2010
Who: Me, Hubby, Father, Sister with her husband and son, Brother with wife and daughter (party of 7 adults and 2 kids)
Where: Stayed at Harbor Plaza 8 Degrees at Kowloon side and visited other places which will be detailed in the itinerary below
Airline: Cathay Pacific

At the start of the 2010, my sister told me that she wanted to bring her family to Hongkong and asked if she could join me and my husband in our annual holiday. We consented and as early as February, we were scouting around for cheap packages going to Hongkong for a December booking. However, travel agencies do not yet have prices for December and it was only in August that we were able to find a package and it was at the Cathay Pacific website. Promo was inclusive of airfare, hotel lodging, land transfer and HK Disneyland entrance ticket. Not bad for the price.

When my mom learned about it, she said that in lieu of Christmas gifts, she will shoulder part of our fare and said that we should bring our brother and his family with us. To make the family complete, I called my dad and invited him to come with us and he agreed (after I told him I'll shoulder his fare).

So we were set, Hongkong, here we come!

Our flight was at 0630AM and we were supposed to be at the NAIA1 airport 3-4 hours before. I told them that I'll meet them there at the entrance as the tickets and itinerary were with me.

My siblings were so excited so they slept at my Dad's house and they arrived 10-15 minutes before my husband and I did. As we're a big group, the nice people at the check-in counter directed us to a different line where we checked in at around 330AM.

As it was everyone's (except for me, Leo and my brother) first time at the airport, they were roaming around checking the stalls and we finally waited for our flight at the gate. That's my brother, my husband, my nephew and my dad with an airplane (that Cathay) at the back.

As we had kids with us, we were able to board ahead of everyone else. We were able to find our seats and I so love the monitors behind the headrest as seen below.

My siblings were excited of course. A couple of our airplane shots:

Another interesting thing is that they have a camera underneath the plane which gives you a belly view of what's outside. So at take-off, it shows you the front wheels and when the plane leaves the ground and vice versa at touch-down.

Breakfast was served and I liked the corned beef pandesal and fruit bowl.

We arrived in Hongkong an hour or so later. I would love to fly Cathay again in the future, especially on a long-haul flight. Too bad they're a bit pricey. When we left the plane, we were made to ride a train which took us to immigration. We cleared immigration, exchanged a bit of our dollars and proceeded to our land transfer booth.

We boarded a bus which took us to the hotel which was 30-45 minutes away. I enjoyed the view and was reminded that Hongkong was indeed a port/harbor city. I was also amazed by how tall and thin the buildings are.

We made it to our hotel in due time and while waiting for our room to be ready, we walked around to find a place which would serve early lunch. We found a hole-in-the-wall place and walked in to try out authentic chinese food. Much to our consternation, the server does not speak any word of english and we had to order by pointing to the picture of the food that we want.

After taking our order, she prepared the food and served it to us as well. Talk about being a one-woman-show. Apparently, the rest of the staff (which we deduced was her family) was out shopping for ingredients. Here's my brother-in-law posing in front of the (in)famous restaurant:

We headed back to our hotel where we happily found out that our rooms were ready. Unfortunately, one room is not on the same floor so Leo and I decided to take that room with my Dad rooming in with my brother and his family. Since we were up early that day, we all took a nap and woke up at around 3PM where we headed out to look for a snack. We found a nearby Yoshinoya where Leo and I ordered the yummy meal below:

After pigging out, we walked to a nearby park where we savored the deliciously cool weather and enjoyed the thought of just being in a foreign land with your loved ones.

We then decided to take the shuttle which would take us to Nathan Road so we can see the sights. Unfortunately, we were a bit overwhelmed by everything so we just headed to a nearby Mcdonald's where we whiled away the time while waiting for the shuttle to take us back to the hotel.

And that ends Day 1 of our Hongkong Adventure.

Happy New Year!

It's been awhile since I wrote something down. December was undoubtedly so hectic that I went home late every night (blame it on the traffic and the parties) and when January hit, I got sick of acute gastroenteritis which did not only suck much needed fat out of my frame, but also my productive and creative will as well.

Now that I'm on the mend, might as well update my blog and share some of what has happened to me these past few weeks.

I complained last year that I was not very busy during the Christmas season. Well, karma decided to give me a punch in the face by giving me several activities one after the other by the end of November.

Not only did I have to buy and wrap gifts, I scheduled our annual holiday on my birthday which was on first week of December (will write about that after this post). Two days after I got back, we had our group Christmas party and our team had a presentation where I was (unfortunately) the director/stage manager etc. I was supposedly part of a concert three days after the Christmas party but I had to beg off as I could not attend the practices anymore.

Then there were the Christmas buffet lunches (I had three, I think...or was that more?) thus the additional weight gain for me. A week before Christmas, I hosted our team Christmas party which was fortunately, a hit that I held another contest at the office the last day before Christmas.

Did I mention that a friend also got engaged and we attended her engagement party? Too bad I could not stay long. I missed some of our common friends who also attended.

I'll try to post about each event one at a time and hopefully, I'll be able to document everything before my undependable memory starts to fail me.

In the meantime, hope everyone will have an absolutely awesome and great New Year!