Hurricane

The guys, Lifehouse, have a new single out!

Caramoan Sunrise

Caramoan mornings!

Caramoan mornings!

This is what greeted me on one of my mornings staying at Paniman Beach, Caramoan Islands, Camarines Sur, Philippines.

Kissing the Clouds in Sagada

  Alright.

I’ve been away from the keyboard for faaaaar too long.

And I’ve been itching to write about my endeavors in this beautiful place for the longest time but things kept on getting in the way.

It’s really true that if you work towards realizing your dreams, they will eventually come true.

But life also happens, so if you encountered a set-back in your plans, it does not mean that your plan is not meant to happen, it’s just life is like that sometimes. You gotta learn how to juggle stuff and be flexible.

Soooo… Right. Sagada.

So, technically, Sagada is about a 12 to 14 hours ride from Manila, traffic not included. About 8 hours to Baguio or Banaue, then around 4 hours to Sagada, either way. This all depends ofcourse on the weather, if the weather is crappy, you may spend more time on the road. And the terrain is not for the faint hearted. No pun intended. My travel buddy slept through the trip.

Sleeping travel buddy.

It was just my luck that the weather decided to be stormy the day I arrived in Manila. It was a great thing that Victory Liner had a twitter account and they informed me through twitter that all busses to and from Baguio were suspended because of the bad weather. It was also through twitter that they informed me that the suspension was lifted that same day, albeit already after noon (I arrived in Manila around 9AM). The power of Social Media. Plus @victorylinerinc‘s response time was so fast I was so impressed that I always make it a point to travel w/ them to neighboring provinces in Luzon whenever I’m in the area.

Anyways, If it’s your first time to try travelling in such a length of time, I’s strongly suggest that you travel by day to Baguio or Banaue and spend the night. Then you can take the first trip to Sagada the next day. That is because if you travel straight to Sagada, you’d be too exhausted to enjoy your first day. Plus, by doing a side trip to either Baguio or Banaue, you get to visit one other place too. If you’re travelling as a backpacker, it’s less expensive to take the Banaue route and take the van to Bontoc the next day and then the jeepney from Bontoc to Sagada. If you’re adventurous, you can try riding on the top-load of the jeepney to Sagada, most tourists do that for the thrill. The land trip to Sagada is very scenic, we went the Benguet route via Baguio since the Banaue route that time was not possible because of impeding landslides. I was so awed by the ravines, the terraces, and sometimes the almost zero visibility road. In this trip, it was not only the destination that was important, it was the road trip itself. One memorable experience was when our bus made a stop at a barangay in Benguet, I went to check their toilet and was surprised to find that their public toilet is the Antipolo Type, but it was clean.

View from bus window

View from the bus window, again.

Here’s an example itinerary for 3 days & 2 nights:

Day 1

11 AM – Arrival at Bus Terminal

11:30 AM – check-in at accommodation

12 PM – Lunch

1 PM – Cave Connection

Day 2

5 AM – Sunrise watching @ Kiltepan Peak

6:30 AM – Orange Picking @ Rock Inn & Farm

7 AM – Breakfast @ Café Bodega, Rock Inn & Farm

8:30 AM – Echo Valley & Hanging Coffins

11 AM – Trek to Bomod-ok Falls

Day 3

Sleep in

8 AM – Shop for Pasalubong

11 AM – Leave for Baguio

Here’s also a link to a detailed itinerary when I was still in the process of finalizing it, complete with hotel names and links to restaurant menus and rates. Just click here. Remember that the photos and websites on the link are not mine, those are owned by their respective bloggers and web admins, websites I ran into when I was pooling resources for the trip. One more thing, rates are bound to change with out notice.

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The Old Anglican Church

The Old Anglican Church

On top of a rock formation at Echo Valley with Sagada proper in the background.

On top of a rock formation at Echo Valley with Sagada proper in the background.

Hanging Coffins of Sagada

Hanging Coffins of Sagada

Take note, trips to and from Sagada starts at 5:30 AM and last trip is at 1PM. Also, the orange-picking season is only during the “ber” months. And one more thing, to those who are gonna do the cave connection, please use trekking shoes or aqua shoes and proper gear.

Orange Picking @ Rock Inn and Farm

Orange Picking @ Rock Inn and Farm

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View from Kiltepan Peak.

View from Kiltepan Peak.

The walk down the side of a mountain along trice terraces to Bomod-ok Falls.

The walk down along trice terraces to Bomod-ok Falls.

Look at that!

Look at that!

The majestic Bomod-ok Falls.

The majestic Bomod-ok Falls.

Taking a dip.

Taking a dip.

The thing that I noticed in Sagada and really left a mark on me was the silence. It was eerily silent, but that’s just how I like it. No loud TV or music, no honking of horns or shouting people in the streets, and the first thing that greets you in the morning is the blessed silence. Sweet. Sagada also has an array of inexpensive lodgings, what you would spend most their is the food and the ride. I didn’t see any trykes there last October. So you’d either walk or hire a private van. Food is sumptuous!

The famed Lemon Pie and Lemon Tea @ Sagada Lemon Pie House

The famed Lemon Pie and Lemon Tea @ Sagada Lemon Pie House

Chicken Adobo by Sagada Lemon Pie House. Really huge portions!

Chicken Adobo by Sagada Lemon Pie House. Really huge portions!

The first thing we did after checking-in was, well, we ate! We checked out The Yoghurt House which was just a few meters away from where we were staying.

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Granola and Strawberry Yoghurt @ The Yoghurt House

Baked Chicken w/ Potato Rosti & Veggie Salad

Baked Chicken w/ Potato Rosti and Veggie Salad @ The Yoghurt House

Java Chicken @ The Yoghurt House

Java Chicken @ The Yoghurt House

I think the most important thing that one should take into consideration when travelling is to do research so you’ll have your expectations set. Travel light and lighten up, it’s an adventure. Interact with the locals and ask questions. If you get lost, remember the rule to always look for the/a church or the nearest police station. Should you have questions and you’re a twitter bum, you can contact me or @survivingsagada, or log on to SAGGAS.

With that said, bask in the mystifying ambiance of Sagada. Kiss the clouds!

A Generation of Apathy

A few weeks back, there was a report about this graduating student from De LaSalle University who found a dying man slumped in the streets just outside the premises of said institution. It is a busy street, a lot of people pass by it because of the train station situated nearby, but no one helped the man. A lot of bypassers looked at the man and may have expressed pity, but no one helped him or asked for help.

When the student found him, no one can tell how long the man have been there, slumped and dying. The student can barely find a pulse. He mobilised help to get the man to the hospital. The police officer stationed near the place refused to lend them the patrol car because it’s for “police business”. I wonder what he meant by that.

The next time the student visited the man was on the man’s wake. He did not make it.

I saw all this in the news, it was not even a 5 minute report. The student was very disappointed. Maybe like me, he was thinking that maybe if someone just helped the man right away, if one of those bystanders just helped, if the university just extended help, if the police just let them use the patrol car to bring the man to the hospital; maybe the man would’ve survived.

We have become so engrossed with ourselves, our woes, our joys. We always think about “me”. I have always believed that we are all interconnected. Our decisions affect everyone else. I think that this generation treat life so lightly. We have become so wrapped up in our own worlds, our vanity. We are so engrossed with our schedules, our jobs, ambitions. When was the last time you took the time to watch the sun rise or set just for the heck of it?

I have never been religious, but it reminded me of the “Parable of the Good Samaritan”, everyone else who looked on the slumped man became the Pharisee and, uh, the other one (can’t remember), they were good people but not selfless enough. We all look at the world with wary eyes. But come to think of it, if all of us become wary and disattached, will we ever become truly happy?

If earning a living is all there is to life, then I think it’s a friggin’ waste of time. In my opinion, all of us are instruments in making everyone else become the great people they are born for. How we’re gonna do it? That’s what we have to find out. But i’m sure as hell that being self-centered and apathetic is not the way i’m gonna do it.

Back to regular programming.

Another Sunrise

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Over the mountains of Cagayan de Oro City 9000, Northern Mindanao, Philippines.
Picture taken from Upper Carmen, Cagayan de Oro using a 5mp Alcatel OneTouch Soleil phone.

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Balete Tree

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Balete Tree found in Camella Homes, Cagayan de Oro

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Sunrise After Work. The Dawn Brings Hope.

Sunrise After Work. The Dawn Brings Hope.

Over the BMW Show Room at Mastersons Avenue, Pueblo de Oro, Cagayan de Oro City.
Using a Nokia C7-00 phone. Camera mode/settings on Auto.

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A Day in Midway White Beach Resort

Midway White Beach Resort

Midway White Beach Resort

Midway White Beach Resort is located at Tubigan, Initao, Misamis Oriental. It’s a 50 minute plane ride from Manila to Cagayan de Oro City and 45 minutes drive from Cagayan de Oro City to Initao. Entrance fee is 50php, amenities include; ZipLine, Open Cottages, Jetski, Banana Boat, Glass Bottom Boat, Swimming Pools, and Private Rooms.

The Resort.

The Resort.

Open Cottage rate start at 300php, as  of this writing. While standard room rate starts at 1400php. If you take the jeepney from Cagayan de Oro’s West Bound Terminal, fare will cost you around 50-70php, bus fare is around 70-130php.

Fun w/ friends @ the beach front.

Fun w/ friends @ the beach front.

For more information, visit their website Midway White Beach Resort. Or call them at +63 9177196042 or +63 9272855608.

fun

 

Random Thought

I am resigned to my fate.

Does not mean I have to like it,

or not complain about it.

Where To Stay in Cagayan de Oro?

Alright, so Cagayan de Oro City is located in Northern Mindanao, Philippines, blah blah. Provided that you already know how to get to the City by plane or boat, your next agenda would be where to stay. First of all, these are just suggestions from yours truly. There are a quite a few hotels and inns around the city. And no, I’m not writing them all up.

  1. Stargate Dream Vacation Resort go ahead and click on the link, it’s gonna bring you to their facebook page. They opened to the public just last March 09 of this year.  It’s located at Upper Macasandig, South Diversion Road, Cagayan de Oro City. I heard, that the view there is breath-taking, overlooking the Cagayan de Oro river. But again I just heard that from the grapevine.
  2. N Hotel the link will take you directly to their own website which will showcase their rooms and amenities. It’s strategically located at Kauswagan National Highway. They’ve got Wi-Fi, a restaurant, a laundry service, fitness center and a pool. You can also arrange for an airport or seaport pick-up. They accept all major credit cards. Travelers check is a no-no though. Contact nhotel@gmail.com or +63 88 858-2200.
  3. Travelers Pod now this is nice. Located at the Ground Floor, Gateway Tower, Limketkai Center, Cagayan de Oro City. Check their website by clicking the link above to check their “pods”. Lowest “pod” rate is 400php. The great thing about them? You’re in the heart of the city. Just outside it is the Gateway Tower branch of Jollibee (a fastfood restaurant), Mercury Drugstore, major banks and ATM machines, and you can take the “overpass”to Limketkai Mall. Wait there’s more, you’re a ride away from Ayala Centrio and Gaisano Mall. Email them at info@travelerspod.com or call them at +63-88-851-8988.
  4. Golden Stallion Suites located at 21 – 27 Street | Barangay Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro, at the heart of the city. Read some good reviews about the inn from TripAdvisor. Rate per night starts at 700php. They have yet to put-up a website, contact them through (088)8511912 or (08822)725071.

The hotels or inns above are a few of those strategically located w/in or near the city for convenience. So if you’re planning on visiting CDO for your summer getaway to White Water Raft or whatever, you may want to stay somewhere convenient, true? Go check them up and reserve.

Do not forget your sunblock.

Random Thought

My heart, my heart,

My heart that’s in mourn.

So few, so few,

Are hearts that are true.

“Zing” Moment Song Themes

If you’ve seen the animated movie “Hotel Transylvania“, then you’ll get what “Zing” means. But for those who have not, it’s that moment when you look into someone’s eyes for the first time, and you hear alarm bells in your head screeching “RUN!” — err— it’s colloquially coined “Love at first sight”. Yes. That thing. Mushy, I know. But who cares? It’s the love month! Duh?!

So yeah, this is gonna be a post about the song’s I think would really sound great in the background, while you stare into someone’s eyes and see the apocalypse –err– your dreams realised. The very essence of your daydreams in flesh. This could segue into a make-out session song too. Uh-huh. Mood music. Generally, these are songs that you can slow dance to w/o having to listen to the singer lament about his/her lost love (coz it’s supposed to be a “Zing” OST), which is a certified mood breaker.

Here goes my list:

  1. “(Where Do I Begin) Love Story” originally performed by the late award-winning American singer Andy Williams. The song was first introduced as an instrumental theme of the 1970’s movie Love Story starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali McGraw, based on Erich Segal’s novel of the same name. The movie made the line “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” popular. The lyrics to the music were added after the theme became very popular. The music was by Francis Lai and the lyrics was written by Carl Sigman.
  2.  “Portrait of My Love” originally performed by English singer Matt Monro during the 1960’s and written by Norman Newell OBE. The single is Monro’s second record with Parlophone records and his highest UK chart success.
  3. Can’t Help Falling In Love” recorded by the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll Elvis Presley during the 1960’s. The melody was based on Jean-Paul Egide Martini’s popular novel “Plaisir d’Amour“. The song was featured in Elvis’ 1961 film Blue Hawaii. Several artists have made a cover of the song through the years, most notable is the British Reaggae band UB40, whose version topped both the US and UK charts for weeks. The swedish group A-Teens and Taiwanese boy band F4 made a cover of the song for Walt Disney’s Lilo & Stich.
  4. “Falling In Love at a Coffee Shop” performed by American singer-songwriter Landon Pigg. The song is most noted of its first line “I think that possibly, maybe I’m falling for you“. The song has been used by jewellers DeBeers and AT&T for commercials, and has been to date, Landon’s most known work.
  5. Come Away With Me” is the 3rd single, written and performed by pianist-singer-songwriter Norah Jones from her debut album(2002) of the same name. The single was featured in the movie Maid in Manhattan starring Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes. Though the single was not as popular as the first single “Don’t Know Why”, the whole album was both a critical and commercial success selling about 26 million copies worldwide and winning 8 music awards from the Grammy’s (Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Producer of the Year, Best Engineered Album Non-Classical).

Enough slow dancing. At this point, you should have gotten comfortable enough with each other (if not a broken ankle or blistered feet) to move on to the next stage. Like dinner. There are other songs out there. But dancing to more than 3 songs in a row is hideously ridiculous if not hilariously pathetic, IMHO. So why did I put up 5 songs? There’s a 5 minute smooch break in between songs actually. 😉

What I Want For Valentines #2: A Night in Dahilayan

Dahilayan Adventure Park is located in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. About 46 minutes drive from Cagayan de Oro’s Lumbia Airport. No public transportation passes en route to the area, so you may either take a private car or travel via public transportation from Lumbia Airport to Agora Bus Terminal; by cab it will cost you about 200php, by PUJ roughly 20php (Lumbia – Carmen Market and Carmen Market – Agora Bus Terminal). If you decide to take the PUJ route, bus fee(airconditioned) is around 100-150php to Manolo Fortich. Keep in mind that no PUJ currently passes en route to the park, so it is advised to pre-arrange a pick-up vehicle from Manolo Fortich to Dahilayan. If you know someone from the locality, that will work to your advantage, if none, you may try to contact the Dahilayan Adventure Park for options.

Route to Dahilayan from Lumbia Airport Cagayan de Oro via Google Maps

Route to Dahilayan from Lumbia Airport Cagayan de Oro via Google Maps

The place boasts of scenic views, fresh air, and it’s remote enough to be a get-away from all the hustle and bustle of the city. You can commune with nature and reconnect with the nature lover in you. And since basically the place is in Bukidnon, the temperature rapidly drops.

Foggy Path

Foggy Path

Foggy Skies!

Foggy Skies!

You can touch the clouds.

You can touch the clouds.

Perfect excuse to snuggle.

Perfect excuse to snuggle.

Misty Saddle Ridge Camp.

Misty Saddle Ridge Camp.

Cowboys Grill

Cowboys Grill

The Cowboy’s Inn and the Cowboy’s Grill are both located inside the Saddle Ridge Camp.

Cowboys Inn.

Cowboys Inn.

The second thing that caught my attention upon entering the Inn.

The second thing that caught my attention upon entering the Inn.

Apart from the Inn, there are cottages you can choose from.

Cottage.

Cottage.

This reminds me of a Hobbit Hole.

This reminds me of a Hobbit Hole.

Now this is a fancy trailer.

Now this is a fancy trailer.

If you happen to get tired of snuggling, you can ransack the park or ride all you can!

The Forest Park. 'Tis where you Zip.

The Forest Park. ‘Tis where you Zip.

Park where the Peacocks rule! You see no Peacocks? Do not be fooled!

Park where the Peacocks rule! You see no Peacocks? Do not be fooled!

This where you "hang" when you try the Zip Zone.

This where you “hang” when you try the Zip Zone.

Chef's Favorite. A pastry house and cafe in front of Saddle Ridge Camp.

Chef’s Favorite. A pastry house and cafe in front of Saddle Ridge Camp.

Yup, there is a Pastry House & Cafe just outside the Saddle Ridge Camp. And behind the Pastry House & Cafe is the Cozy Cabin. It’s like the transient homes you find in Baguio. You get to rent a whole house with a pool. What do you do with a pool in the freezing weather? I tell you my friend, a lot! Plus, the house overlooks a wide carbbage farm (yes, carbbage, according to Cozy Cabin’s toddler prince), and Dahilayan’s 120 feet Dropzone. Awesome? Hell, yeah! You get to be the witness of every brave dudes undoing. They all scream like a banshee.

There are other fun things you can do in Dahilayan Adventure Park if you’re an adrenaline junkie. You can try getting a heart attack by trying the Dropzone, cruise around riding an ATV like you own the place, get a brain hemorrhage by trying their Zorb, slide away in their Luge, turn your life upside-down on the 360 Kicking Swing, or give the ponies something to grunt about. Whatever bursts your bubble.

But as for me, I’m gonna savor the place. The silence. The serenity. I’m going to friggin’ snuggle until my toe fingers all fall off.

Check Dahilayan Adventure Park online for more info about rides, extreme sports, rates, and everything under the sun.

For those who’re interest with the Cozy Cabin, drop them a line or two here: cozycabin@gmail.com.

I am very much interested in spending my February 14 evening there, procrastinating. Oh, well.

What I Want For Valentines #1: Codename Ostrich

Malunggay Pastel Breads & Cafe's "Ostrich Burger" served with fries.

Malunggay Pastel Breads & Cafe’s “Ostrich Burger” served with fries.

  Yup, the patty is made of ostrich meat  with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber. Plus the bun is  made of Malunggay flour.

Malunggay, also known as horseradish( Moringa Oleifera) falling under the genus of Moringa, is widely known for its high nutritional values.

So, you see, a burger with a soft bun made of Malunggay flour with ostrich meat for the patty is sinful… Sinfully healthy.

I discovered this treat at Malunggay Pastel Breads & Cafe, at their Pueblo de Oro, Cagayan de Oro City branch, just across the street from Camella Homes’ main gate; in the province of Misamis Oriental, Mindanao, Philippines ( Yes, let’s be clear about the address a tad bit). For 150php, it’s very filling.

Ostrich Burger

Ostrich Burger

Bird's Eye View

Bird’s Eye View

Close Up

Close Up

Romancing “Evidence” by Urbandub

So, as I was saying, the Love Month has already started and have started the “Valentine Blues” by posting an excerpt from Thomas Moore’s “Believe Me, if All Those Endearing Young Charms” yesterday. To even that out, I’ve decided to post a video today of a sad love song, or somewhat like that. If yesterday’s post celebrated the endlessness of love, today’s post is gonna be about the repercussions if the love is just not true, or the flesh is weak. Ofcourse, the video is just a representation and does not automatically depict my thoughts of what should happen to cheaters.

The song is aptly called ‘”Evidence” performed by UrbanDub, a rock band from Cebu City, Philippines. The song is from their 4th studio album “Under Southern Lights” released last 2007.

Romancing: Thomas Moore

"Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms" by Thomas Moore.

“Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms” by Thomas Moore.

It’s the Love Month again, I thought of celebrating the start of the Valentine blues by posting a few lines from Thomas Moore’s very romantic poem, “Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms“.

I personally picked these lines for, aside from it being very mushy, it symbolizes how romantic relationship should be, or how Love should be. It does not fade through time, but it stays the same from start to finish.

Oh, and this is actually a folk song, a popular one at that, during the 19th century. It  was believed that Thomas Moore wrote this for his wife who, after contracting scars due to smallpox, believed that he cannot love her. Thomas Moore then wrote this to reassure his wife that he would love her regardless of how she looks.

Cheers, Earthlings! *wink*

P.S

Stop breaking hearts! It’s Valentines!

Random Thought

Just realized that I find it hard to make money as a motivation for anything. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, I just know that I am aware that I need it to pay bills and stuff, but it’s not enough to motivate me to excel or accomplish something. To make me happy.
And I know I’m incoherent and not making sense. Merde.

Romancing: Gabriel’s Inferno

Gabriel's Inferno

Gabriel’s Inferno

“Facilis decensus averni…”

Just finished reading Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard. Such a classy book, kudos to the writer and everyone behind it. After “Fifty Shades of Grey” and the “Crossfire Series“, I was adamant to read another erotic novel. It can be tedious, reading about people going at it over and over again. I was just starting to read Dante Allighieri’s “The Divine Comedy” to break the monotony.  So after reading a tweet, I was curious enough to look the book up online.

So, the first thing that caught my attention is the book title “Gabriel’s Inferno“, very fancy. It turned out that the hero is a Dante Specialist. Dante being Dante Allighieri, the genius who wrote “The Divine Comedy“. The Divine Comedy is divided into three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. It is a common practice to say “i’m reading Dante’s Inferno“when referring to the first part of the book. And that is also the reason why the title caught my attention.

I adore the book because of the infusion of Dante and Beatrice’s story into it. Beatrice Portinari being Dante’s Muse in writing “The Divine Comedy“. Having an idea about Dante and Beatrice’s story, I finally decided to give reading Gabriel’s Inferno a shot.

Prof. Gabriel Emerson, a 33 year old  dashing Dante Specialist with a shady past, who believed that he was beyond redemption but tried to atone for his sins after finding his “Beatrice” one  turbulent and hazy night a few years back. He thrives in extravagance and in sin, not wanting to find redemption. Unable to forgive himself.

Julianne Mitchell, a 23 year old graduate student aspiring to be a Dante Specialist. Abused and broken during her childhood and her previous relationship. She embarks in a journey that would hopefully bring her closer to her Dante.

Together, they will rediscover their self worth, love and salvation.

Before you delve into Professor Emerson’s world though, let me tell you, you will end up researching Dante’s Inferno if not The Divine Comedy.

I cannot wait to find out more about this story’s Virgil, who happens to have a Rabbit fetish. Virgil, in the book The Divine Comedy, is the soul who lead Dante out of Inferno. I have a feeling that he’ll have more part in the next book, Gabriel’s Rapture.

Alright, here are some quotes from the book:

“Not Death, But Love”

An Excerpt from Sonnet I of Elizabeth Barrett-Browning's "Sonnets from the Portuguese"

An Excerpt from Sonnet I of Elizabeth Barrett-Browning’s “Sonnets from the Portuguese”

The picture used is not my own and is the property of whoever took it.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning will remain a personal favorite, for always.

Romancing: John Keats’ “La Belle Dame sans Merci”

An excerpt from "La Belle Dame sans Merci" by John Keats

An excerpt from “La Belle Dame sans Merci” by John Keats

I have always been fascinated by this poem and John Keats.

It can be literally translated to “The Beautiful Lady Without Mercy” and was written as a ballad by Keats in 1819.

There is a 15th century poem of the same title also written by a French poet, Alain Chartier.

The photo was taken in Cordova, Cebu, Philippines by Chicozen.

Cagayan de Oro White Water Rafting Adventure

Brace Yourself!

Brace Yourself!

So, we were told that the reason why it is called White Water Rafting is because of the color of the foam that forms in the rapids. Ideal months to try it out is during the rainy season, July to February. There are several levels that you can choose from; Beginners, Advanced, and  Advanced II. I’m not sure if  it’s the same in every rafting club in the city though. All I know is that we signed up for the Advanced level and we were given a 19 kilometer stretch with 21 rapids and 6 freaking hours of adventure. And it ROCKED like GANGNAM STYLE! Or like NINE INCH NAILS, whatever rocks your boat!

The Calm Before The Tempest

The Calm Before The Tempest

The day we decided to “raft” was rainy, so we had a “decent” current, decent enough to scare the shit out of me. When I saw what the river looks like, I was adamant. Hello! I am not an adrenaline junkie, nor have I fancied myself as one. While the guides were giving instructions on how to paddle and what to do when we fall overboard, I was giving the river my most impressive evil eye. But the cloudy and drizzly weather made the whole experience amazing. I prefer wet to sunburn.

Paddle!

Paddle!

Forward!

Forward!

Whoa!

Whoa!

Team work!

Team work!

My knees were shaking on their own accord, including my lips. I had ginormous dinosaur chickens in my stomach. But yes, my fear only lasted on the first kilometer. The rest, I ROCKED! Do not wear slippers when you’re rafting, wear something with straps or something that will stay with your feet through the crazy ride. Bring extra clothes and don’t bother bringing gadgets with you, even if they’re water proof, you wont get to have the time to use them. Your club will have their own photographer and/or videographer to capture your “Kodak” moments at a reasonable price. Braid or tie your hair. Warm up before the adventure, you wouldn’t want to get cramps.

Rock it!

Rock it!

Back paddle!

Back paddle!

Wet!

Wet!

Fun!

Fun!

Yes, it was fun! Adrenaline rush! The most challenging part was, this was a few months after typhoon Washi (Sendong)hit the province, so some of the rapids were rearranged. It was a challenge for the guides and nerve-racking for us.  Just remember to remember the safety tips

A break in between rapids.

A break in between rapids.

Keep paddling!

Keep paddling!

Collision!

Collision!

The sport will test your physical strength and how well you follow instructions.

Where fun is equal to danger.

Where fun is equal to danger.

There are no safety belts, so hang on to your seats.

There are no safety belts, so hang on to your seats.

Exhilaration!

Exhilaration!

At the end of the 19 kilometers, I was cold, hungry and goddamned tired. But I was elated. It was waking up the next day that was a bish, it hurt all over. My high lasted for a month or two, and yes, I am gonna do it again.

There are several White Water Rafting clubs in Cagayan de Oro City, try looking them up in Facebook or Google. We signed up with 1st Rafting Adventure, but the club should not be a major factor. Just let go and have fun!

By the way, did I tell you that the view was fantastic? Ciao!

Romancing: A Lovers’ Quarrel by Robert Browning

A Lovers' Quarrel by Robert Browning

A Lovers’ Quarrel by Robert Browning

The picture used was taken at Dahilayan Adventure Park, in Bukidnon, Philippines.

Monte Richi Beach Resort

The resort is located at Danao, Jasaan, Misamis oriental, Northern Mindanao, Philippines. About an hour drive from Cagayan de Oro.

Monte Richi Beach Resort

Entrance of Monte Richi Beach Resort

View from the balcony on the second floor.

View from the balcony on the second floor

2 Floor Cottage

2 Floor Cottage

Ground Floor. Fully Furnished.

Ground Floor. Fully Furnished.Comfort Room.Comfort Room

Comfort Room

Comfort Room

Lavatory

Lavatory

To the 2nd floor.

To the 2nd floor.

Balcony

Balcony

Divan

Divan

Coffee Table

Coffee Table

Inside the room.

Inside the room.

Cable TV

Cable TV

The beach.

The beach.

beach

beach

If you wanna learn more about the place, please visit their facebook page.

Romancing Flight of the Conchords

So, I recently ran into this music video by the duo, Flight of the Conchords, the title of the song is “Feel inside (And Stuff Like That)”, if you watched the video you’d understand how they come up with the song title and the lyrics. The charity single was recorded in collaboration with other new Zealand artists namely;  Dave Dobbyn, Brooke Fraser, Boh Runga, Sam Scott, Luke Buda, Savage, Young Sid,Tyree, Deach, PNC, Zowie, Ruby Frost, Kids of 88, Rikki Morris, Moana Maniapoto, Nathan King, Maitereya, Victoria Girling-Butcher, Elizabeth Marvelly, Peter Urlich and Cherie Mathieson.

Enjoy and have fun!

Video

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The sad thing is…
You need only ask;
And the mountains I will climb.
But you never do.
You never will.
I am but someone you know.
Someone who hardly ever passes your mind;
Your eyes never will shine,
At the mention of my name.
Your heart never will skip a beat,
At the sound of my voice.
Your breath never will catch,
at the sight of me;
I will forever remain yours.
Forever a fan of your being.
Forever loving your existence…
At a distance.
But for the very truth,
that your heart is bound,
I would have pursued you…
Pursued us.
But we can never be,
unless the Universe be kind.
Which it hardly ever is.
Or will it ever make an exception…So long.

Aside

Pablo Neruda: “Full Woman, Fleshly Apple, Hot Moon”

Pablo Neruda

an excerpt from “Full Woman, Fleshly Apple, Hot Moon”

None of the materials here are mine, except the idea of over-laying the poem to the image. The picture and the poem are each owned by the respective artists who made them.

Cry Me A River: A Technician’s Lament

Crying does not resolve anything. Yes, sometimes it makes you feel better, but at work? I personally frown at people who can’t take criticisms about their work; constructive at that. Pardon me if I strike you as “callous”.

As a technical support representative who take in escalated calls from Level-1 agents who exceeded their time threshold ( which is normally 50 minutes ), one of the things that I have to ensure aside  from properly addressing the technical problem, is to make sure that at the end of the call, the client is happy about the entire experience. No shit?! Those who have had the misfortune of dealing with a technical support representative would know how taxing it is to spend 10-15 minutes on the phone with someone who knows what they’re doing. How much more if you’re on the phone with someone who have no idea what they’re talking about for 50 or more minutes?!

Case in point, two days ago, I got a call escalated to me, which I felt would’ve been resolved with in the 50 minute threshold. When the call got escalated, the documentation of the previous technician was so vague that it didn’t help at all. Documentation is done so the next technicians would know what transpired during the call, what troubleshooting steps were done, and what is the clients network set-up so the next technician would know what steps to do next. The previous technician’s documentation was composed of “running the software” and “consulting point person”, and as an ugly old fart in technical support, I do not consider those troubleshooting at all. So, when I received the call and after reading the case notes, I asked the tech what she did during the call, why she did not do certain steps, and so on and so forth. I even gave her advise on what to do next time she encountered the same problem. So I had her endorse the client. I swear in the name of my next boyfriend that I was not even yelling at her, I may have sounded strict, but I have always sounded strict. So, while I was troubleshooting, her point person approached me and told me to be friendly with her “agents” because they’re newbies. She also told me that I made the previous technician cry.

Seriously?! If you can’t handle being criticized about your technical prowess, or lack thereof, then you should not have chosen the profession. The real world is a jungle, it’s dog-eats-dog. When you seek employment, you are paid to deliver whatever it is you are employed for. In technical support, you are expected to provide quality customer service through world-class technical support. So where does 50 minutes of doing practically nothing fit into “Quality Customer Service” and “World Class Technical Support”? If you can’t understand the problem, ask. If you don’t know what you’re doing, escalate the concern in the first 10 minutes; do not wait for 50 minutes. These are basic protocols which are ingrained to these technicians  before they are “fed to the dogs”, as they say. The call center industry thrives through customer satisfaction surveys. How in the freaking world do you think will we ever get a satisfactory remark from a customer, if you put on idiots on the phone who run around in circles for the first 50 minutes, and escalate it afterwards? If I was the customer, I’d think like this: “If there was someone there who can resolve my problem in the first 20 minutes all along, why was I routed to a dummy first? Are you guys effing with me?!” I’d definitely create a hate mail or tell my friends on Facebook and Twitter about the whole ordeal.

That technician was probably a noob, but that’s not an excuse. Once you take in a call, you are supposed to resolve it. I am not saying we should be perfect. There are things I do not know, and it’s just a bummer that I have no one to escalate it to. So I research. In any industry, we are all expected to do our designated part. It’s inevitable that we falter and commit mistakes. It is expected that we get reprimanded and criticized, justified or not. We just have to do our part well. Swallow the criticisms. Learn from our mistakes and not repeat them. Don’t take shit from anyone. If someone points out you’re wrong, check if they’re right. If they’re right, then acknowledge your mistake. if they’re wrong, let them know you’re just following protocols as per stated by blah-blah.

Bottom line? When the shit hits the proverbial fan, don’t go crying to your supervisor, or point person, or manager, or whoever about it. Because if you try to pull some strings, then pray that whoever you’re shitting on don’t have some stronger strings they can pull. Politics is ugly.

So back to that incident, i got upset about it. Because to be truthful, I wasn’t even being mean to that technician at all. I didn’t even have my mean self on. Technical support representatives, newbies or not, should not be treated like extinct turtle eggs. They should learn how to handle their calls or their clients will eat them up. If they are not technically ready, why put them on the phone? If you can’t handle the pace, then step out. Quit. It’s either you learn the dance and dance it well, or don’t dance at all. Doing things half-heartedly produces half-hearted results.

Excuse this ugly old fart for ranting. But please stop the crying spree. If you intend to drown me, I am sorry to inform you that I know how to swim.

“The Spaghetti Incident?”

“The Spaghetti Incident?”

Spaghetti is a long, thin, cylindrical pasta of Italian origin. It is mostly made of flour and water. Traditionally Spaghetti is 50cm long. The word Spaghetti is the plural form of the Italian word Spaghetto which is a diminutive of spago, meaning “thin string“. Spaghetti is frequently served with tomato sauce, which may contain various herbs (especially oregano and basil), olive oil, meat, or vegetables.

But of course, this blog is not about Spaghetti the food, but about the Guns ‘n’ Roses album. I just have to sidetrack you foodies a bit, I’m mean that way. I’m gonna rant about how I stumbled upon the album. I blame this all on @iambonakid and her moms CD. As you figure out by now, I am not a hugeynormous Axl Rose fan, or a Guns ‘n’ Roses fan for that matter. But I grew up with people who worship their music. I used to think that Jon Bon Jovi & Axl Rose are brothers, who can blame me? I mean, they almost look and sound the same. I sang along to “November Rain” and “Patience” never really paying attention to whoever is the artist, I just enjoyed the music.

So last Tuesday, as I was saying, we were playing @iambonakid’s CD and this beautiful song came on, “I… don’t have plans & schemes. I… don’t have hopes & dreams. I… I… I… don’t have anything. Since I don’t have you!”. And like what always happens to me when a melody catches my fancy, I pause, tune out everything, and just listen. Imagine my relief when the player actually showed who the artist is, just a bummer that it didn’t show what the title of the song was. It was only later, through another friend, and a GnR die-hard fan, that I found out what the song is and from what album it was. I have heard different versions of this song, from different artists, but Axl Roses’ version captivated me.

The Spaghetti Incident?” is Guns ‘n’ Roses’ fifth studio album released November 23, 1993. The album consists entirely of cover versions mostly of glam/punk rock songs of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. The album title is an inside joke referring to a food fight between Axl Rose and Steven Adler, the former drummer of the band,  involving spaghetti. Adler was fired from the band over his heroin addiction in 1990. The first track of the album “Since I Don’t Have You” was originally performed by The Skyliners. IMHY, this album rocked though it lacked the “rage”  they usually have on their previous albums (think Appetite for Destruction), and GnR gave justice to the songs.

Romancing: Message In A Bottle by Nicholas Sparks

 

Message In A Bottle

Message In A Bottle by Nicholas Sparks

 

 

I saw the movie many years ago with Kevin Costner as Garrett Blake. I remembered how I feel when I saw the movie, I remembered that I cried. And I remembered liking “the man who wrote the letters” a lot. And it was one of those few things I remember fondly when I look back in my  –errr– childhood. I now know what Kevin Costner, Mandy Moore, Miley Cyrus, Richard Geere, and Zach Efron have  in common; they all starred in a movie adaptation of one of Nicholas Sparks’ novels.  And it was only recently that I found out that “Message In A Bottle” is actually a novel turned into film and it was written by someone named Nicholas Sparks, also, I cried reading “A Walk to Remember” but I thought it was written by someone from the Medieval Period ( I have not seen the movie adaptation as of this writing) like “Scarlet Letter”.

Anyway, i’m writing about THE book, and not the movie. I have found more reasons to love the story after i read it. It was so poignant I decided to give up reading any Nicholas Sparks book for some time. I think my heart broke a little more when I finished it. I can totally relate with Theresa though, in a world where every man we meet is an asshat, finding a love letter like what Garrett have written could make any normal woman yearn to be loved with the same magnitude or intensity. I think I would’ve done the same. Really. Not may people can love like that, and not many men can write a letter like that.

Unfortunately, just when Garrett decided to cast all cares in the wind and follow his heart, the ocean claimed him. I really hate tragic endings and sad love stories. But i think that’s the redeeming factor of the book, it shows you why you must always “seize the moment” and not waste any opportunity. Most importantly, I cant help but notice the fact that Garrett and Theresa helped heal each others wounds without them being aware of it,which makes me think of the adage “Every person that comes into your life came for a reason”. Not everyone may stay, but everyone will leave a mark.

Carpe Diem!

The Tarsier Encounter

Tarsiers are tiny, fury creatures endemic to the Philippine islands. As per wikipedia, the specie is already vulnerable for extinction. Seeing one, is in my “Bucket List”, things i have to see or do, and places i have to visit before I eternally rest in peace. Why did I want to see one? My answer to that before is “Why ever not?” or “Because I haven’t seen one.”. I have had numerous plans of travelling to Bohol to see this primate, and all of those plans got cancelled. I was slowly feeling that I am not fated to see these fluffy creatures, losing hope. I swore the cosmos was conniving against me. But, alas! The universe is full of surprises.

Last September 17, 2012, me and friends visited the “Amazon Aviary” inside the “Rainforest Park” in Mobolo, Cebu City, Philippines. And voila! Caged, and clinging to a branch of a tree ( which ofcourse I failed to identify), are two super cute Tarsiers. Eyes round like they’re always in a surprise or something. Unblinking. I was not able to check if they got lashes. And i still can’t figure out what the Tarsiers were doing inside the aviary, since aviaries are supposed to be an enclosure for confining birds. I know that they are very fluffy, but not enough to pass as birds or be mistaken as one. But anyway, I was not able to snap a picture or pose beside them since 1) camera w/ flashes are prohibited, and snapping a pic with out a flash is moot since it was dark inside their “cage”; 2) they got a plate full of worms beside them. I wasn’t able to even touch them since the caretaker said that might stress them out. My puppy-eyes and pout did not work on the caretaker… At all! Anyway, they are really tiny. I knew they were tinybefore I saw them, but seeing how tiny they are with your own eyes is different. You wanna cuddle and tickle them. Their hands and feet are like… Like the hands and feet of a young komodo dragon. They sorta remind me of bats, minus the wings and oversized ears.

So, yes! At last, the universe has heard my plea and decided to smile on me! I have now officially met or seen a Carlito Syrichta ( their scientific name ).One item down, 99 more to go in my bucket list. I suppose I should make a wish to the sun, or the moon to get my next item to get to come true? Or maybe I should do a naked rain dance? But one thing is for sure, never give up on your dreams or goals. Who knows? It may just come true.

Entrance of the Rainforest Park

P.S

I know it’s been a while since I last posted, but hey, a girl’s gotta enjoy life!

Tsunami Scare…Again?!

Tsunami Scare

A 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck 96km E of Sulangan, Philippines about 12:47:34 UTC  August 31, 2012. Aftershocks were felt as far south as the province of Davao in the island of Mindanao, Philippines. The quake was said to be of Tectonic Origin.

International news have started reporting about Tsunami Alerts, Tsunami Watch, etc… People, specially those who live near the coastal area are ready to flee, if they have not done that yet. I think what the authorities need to be clear about is what the Tsunami Alert means, what is expected to happen, what the authorities expect the people to do and what the people need to look out for. Setting expectations.

Going into panic wont help. When you’re in panic, you won’t be able to think reasonably and logically which is what we need during emergencies so we could strategize. To equip yourself please check this Earthquake Preparedness FAQ’s by USGS.

Do Not Panic!

Romancing: Bus Stop

One late rainy evening, I was stranded inside a van with eigth other people; sitting beside a really good smelling guy who happened to be my cousins cousin. Anyway, we were travelling back to urbanity and there happened to be a heavy downpour, so we need to park on the side of the road because our driver can hardly see through the rain. And to make matters worse, a blackout happened.I can hear the tell-tale moans of the mostly dead while they crawl out of their graves screeching “Braiiiiins! Braiiiiiins!”, and the Twilight Zone theme started playing inside my head. Fortunately, our driver turned on the stereo and Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers (maybe?) started serenading the airwaves. It was followed by another old song, and another one. Our driver being in his mid-fifties, only had OLD songs ( Fly Me To The Moon, The Last Leaf, etc..) in his playlist. I was able to sing-along to most of the songs he played except for one. The great smelling dude beside me came to the rescue, he sang-along to the song softly. I loved the melody of the song and the line “Bus stop, wet day, she’s there I say, Please share my umbrella…Bus stop, bus go, she stays love grows, Under my umbrella…”. I fell in love with those two lines, well, because it was raining (fate?), and the great smelling dude was singing to it with so much emotion while tapping his fingers on his thigh (Yes, I did notice that!). So I managed to engrave those two lines in my memory and Google-d it when we reached home. It’s an old song from the 60’s performed by the English pop and rock group The Hollies and was written by UK songwriter Graham Gouldman.

Bus Stop

Bus stop, wet day, she’s there, I say
Please share my umbrella
Bus stop, bus goes, she stays, love grows
Under my umbrella

All that summer we enjoyed it
Wind and rain and shine
That umbrella, we employed it
By August, she was mine

Every morning I would see her waiting at the stop
Sometimes she’d shopped and she would show me what she bought
Other people stared as if we were both quite insane
Someday my name and hers are going to be the same

That’s the way the whole thing started
Silly but it’s true
Thinkin’ of a sweet romance
Beginning in a queue

Came the sun the ice was melting
No more sheltering now
Nice to think that that umbrella
Led me to a vow

Every morning I would see her waiting at the stop
Sometimes she’d shopped and she would show me what she bought
Other people stared as if we were both quite insane
Someday my name and hers are going to be the same

Bus stop, wet day, she’s there, I say
Please share my umbrella
Bus stop, bus goes, she stays, love grows
Under my umbrella

All that summer we enjoyed it
Wind and rain and shine
That umbrella, we employed it
By August, she was mine

The song made me smile and feel warm and fuzzy. Hope it does the same to you.

A Poem On A Love Note

I really find this piece romantic. I am not even familiar who the author is, but this was sent to me written in a card. I melted. Who wouldn’t? The sender qouted the poem in the card he sent the same way I have presented it in the image. I can’t find who Emily Matthews is on http://google.com, or on the list of American poets. I am not even sure that’s who the real author is. Hence the tittle “A Poem On A Love Note”.

I have no communication to the sender of the card anymore. So if anyone can shed some light, it would be much appreciated.

Romancing: A Myth of Devotion by Louise Gluck

 

Photo by museumsyndicate.com

The Abduction of Persephone

“Doesn’t everyone want to feel in the night

the beloved body, compass, polestar,”

 

 

I have always been a sucker for sad love stories, love unrequited, sad love songs, sad poetry, etc… As much as I love “Happily Ever Afters” stories that is. I have always dreamed of personally witnessing a man reading a piece with so much passion, alas, this has stayed a dream so far. For finding a guy who is poetic is about as hard as finding a needle in a haystack.

Anyways, one day while I was procastinating in my room by reading old books, i came across the “When Hades decided he loved this girl…” line from a poem and got hooked. You see, for me, Hades & Persephone’s love story, is one of the best “love unrequited” stories ever made — or could ever be written about. I sometimes make stories up about these two, Hades and Persephone; in my mind, but never got it into writing. So I read on, and surprisingly got teary eyed. I found the poem poignant as it is blunt.

For me, the poem narrates the story of a being in love, so much that he did everything for the woman he cared about. Everything, except to lie. So he created a world close to what the woman he love was used to, then he waited patiently for the woman to get used to his reality. Anyone who have experienced the punishment of waiting can relate to this poem. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Never promise anything that is beyond you. If you cannot promise forever, then focus on what you can offer.

A Myth of Devotion

When Hades decided he loved this girl
he built for her a duplicate of earth,
everything the same, down to the meadow,
but with a bed added.

Everything the same, including sunlight,
because it would be hard on a young girl
to go so quickly from bright light to utter darkness.

Gradually, he thought, he’d introduce the night,
first as the shadows of fluttering leaves.
Then moon, then stars. Then no moon, no stars.
Let Persephone get used to it slowly.
In the end, he thought, she’d find it comforting.

A replica of earth
except there was love here.
Doesn’t everyone want love?

He waited many years,
building a world, watching
Persephone in the meadow.
Persephone, a smeller, a taster.
If you have one appetite, he thought,
you have them all.

Doesn’t everyone want to feel in the night
the beloved body, compass, polestar,
to hear the quiet breathing that says
I am alive, that means also
you are alive, because you hear me,
you are here with me. And when one turns,
the other turns—

That’s what he felt, the lord of darkness,
looking at the world he had
constructed for Persephone. It never crossed his mind
that there’d be no more smelling here,
certainly no more eating.

Guilt? Terror? The fear of love?
These things he couldn’t imagine;
no lover ever imagines them.

He dreams, he wonders what to call this place.
First he thinks: The New Hell. Then: The Garden.
In the end, he decides to name it
Persephone’s Girlhood.

A soft light rising above the level meadow,
behind the bed. He takes her in his arms.
He wants to say I love you, nothing can hurt you

but he thinks
this is a lie, so he says in the end
you’re dead, nothing can hurt you
which seems to him
a more promising beginning, more true

 

 

This post is dedicated to those who have waited, who have lost, and to those who keeps on waiting. Hope springs eternal.

It Would’ve Been Funny If It Wasn’t Annoying

You encounter situations everyday that yank your chain, test your patience, and make you chuckle afterwards.

____________________________________________

Here is an example:

The Drawer

                                                                     

A woman called in to install her router for the first time. After the tech support representative verified her network set-up, the lady was asked to run the set-up CD that came with her device.

Tech: Okay ma’am, please run the set-up CD that came with your router.

Woman: How do I run it?

Tech: You insert the CD on the CD drive of your computer ma’am.

Woman: You mean the drawer?

Tech: The CD drive ma’am in your computer, where you insert CD’s so you could play a movie or music on your computer.

Woman: Yeah I know, it’s the drawer. So I have to open the drawer then and put this CD in?

Tech: Uh, yes ma’am.

( The tech waited for the woman to tell her that the Autoplay or the wizard has popped up.)

Woman: Are we waiting for something?

Tech: Ma’am, is the set-up CD still in the process of being recognized by your computer or the Wizard has already started?

Woman: Oh. You mean I have to close the drawer?

_________________________________________________

I know right? The tech should’ve told the woman to close the freakin’ drawer first.

Here’s another.

_________________________________________________

Tech: May I ask who’s your internet provider?

Client: What do you mean?

Tech: Who do you get your internet from?

Client: Oh, the big “e”.

Tech: Pardon me?

Client: You know, the “e” you click when you surf the net. Internet Explorer. That’s what it says.

The Big E

  

_____________________________________________________

If you did not find that funny, here’s another one.

_____________________________________________________

Mozarella Firefox

 

 

Tech: Are you using Internet Explorer as a browser on your computer?

Client: No. I think I have Mozzarella Firefox.

_______________________________________________________

Now, aint that cheesy? Here’s my favorite!

______________________________________________________

Dead Router

 

 

Tech: Good day, how may I help you?

Client: The louteh is nah on-ning.  I unpluck an lepluck it, is still nah on-ning.

___________________________________________________

You wouldn’t be laughing if you were the one who received the call, or you were the receiving end. Believe me, you’d realize it’s funny only after your shift ends and you had a good nights sleep. During the call? It’s annoying.

I may be updating this soon though.

Romancing: Sonnet II, Sonnets from the Portuguese

An Excerpt from Sonnet II from Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "Sonnets from the Portuguese"

An Excerpt from Sonnet II from Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “Sonnets from the Portuguese”

 As popularized and written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

David Cook: Live In The Philippines

David Cook

 David Cook is coming back to the Philippines with two tour dates; July 14 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Manila, and July 15 at the Waterfront Hotel & Casino, Cebu. 

David, who rose to fame when he won the seventh season of the American Idol, is currently promoting his self released single “The Last Song I’ll Write For You”, following his departure from RCA Records. 

For more info, visit PhilippineConcerts.

On Love: Emily Dickenson

Emily Dickenson

 No one has ever said it better.

I think it’s a person’s incapacity to forget those they have loved.

Even those who have loved and lost, they would always remember those they have once loved.

Even in old age. The old and the wise would look back on the days when they have found love.

Even those who wants to forget, always finds something to remind them of love.

Even in death. People think of Love and Life, and of how that who passed have loved, was and is loved.

Romancing Fifty Shades

Fifty Shades

Fifty Shades Trilogy by E.L. James

So yeah, Fifty Shades is actually an erotic novel written by E.L. James. The novel is a trilogy, with BDSM elements. It follows the story of the young business magnate Christian Grey, and his amorous interest in the college student Anastasia Steele. One would think that it would be an ordinary gorgeous-rich-man-fell-for-ordinary-poor-girl story at the start or maybe a knight-in-shining-armor-saves-damsel-in-distress story, you’ll have the surprise of your life. After reading all three books ( Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, Fifty Shades Freed ), i really believe that it was the Damsel in Distress who saved Knight In Shining Armor this time.

I’m not gonna go into details about the story ( I need you to read it and decide yourself ), only that though it started as a Twilight fanfiction, the similarities between the two stories ended at the degree of loyalty that can be seen on both couples on both stories. Yeah loyalty, like i’d-walk-barefoot-to-the-ends-of-the-earth and i-can’t-imagine-a-life-without-you kinda loyalty. Where Edward Cullen was the perfect gentleman, Christian Grey was not. Both have similar traits though, like how they bend-over-backwards just to make sure that their ‘partner’ is safe, always. Another is how Edward Cullen tried to stay away from Bella, and warned her against him. Christian Grey did thesame with Anastasia. Both men think that they are bad for their women and tried resisting their attraction at first; Edward wanting Bella‘s blood, and Christian wanting Anastasia to be his submissive. But both men gave in to temptation eventually. Regarding the heroines, well, they share some traits too, apart from being both brunette. Both Isabella Marie Swan and Anastasia Jean Steele are klutz. They both think that they don’t deserve the attention and love that they’re receiving from their men. They both have a lot of insecurities. They both have swooning tendencies when around their men. They are both shy but got some spunk. Oh, and if Twilight had Jane Austen, Fifty Shades have Thomas Hardy.

I loved the Twilight series, but what I loved most about Fifty Shades is, the characters are more realistic and less perfect. Christian Grey have his human demons that he got to deal with. Mostly, the conflict of the story revolves around Christian, his lifestyle, his dark past and how he dealt with it. I jokingly told my friends that Fifty Shades is the human-porn version of Twilight. Ofcourse, if you read it, you’ll know Fifty Shades is so much more. I love that the writer took time in resolving Christian’s conflict, which should be the case since trauma is hard to deal with. I think having a megalomaniac-business-magnate-with-a-shady-past boyfriend is more realistic, this is to those who can’t stand Urban Fantasy. The story revolved around how Christian tried to heal, and how Anastasia tried to be what Christian needs without giving up who she is, and how they worked around their “Hard Limits”.

What I dont like about the story? I didn’t think that it’s humanly or femininely possible to gush and swoon as much as the heroine did in this book. I can’t comment on the “erotic” part of the book, the only other hardcore erotica I’ve ever read is Anne Rice‘s “The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy“, compared to that, I think Fifty Shades is meek. And about the BDSM elements in the story? I’ll qoute Anastasia Steele, “I love your kinky fuckery”. It’s not too hardcore, I think because the hero cared for the heroine, or maybe because I believed the hero cared for the heroine while I’m reading it.

So yeah, the transition from pre-Anastasia Christian and even up to the early parts of the book, to the Christian who wanted to become better and to the Christian who eventually faced his demons is great. Yeah, I think that’s what I really love about the book. Christian’s redemption and Anastasia’s transition into a “beautiful swan”.

And on that note, let me quote the panty-combusting Christian Grey: “Laters, baby.”

P.S.

We aim to please. *wink*

TRIVIA: The book covers are related to Christian’s kinky nature. One way or another.

Father

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father’s Day

Everytime I think of the word “father”, I always envision a man playing the guitar and singing. Because that’s what my father do. That’s how he bonds with us. My father is not verbose, when he’s at home and not doing anything, he would pick up his guitar and start playing a tune. We would slowly gather around him and start singing along. We would sing old tunes; Beatles, Eagles, Frank Sinatra, Paul Anka, etc… My earliest memory of my father was of him playing “Love Will Keep Us Alive” on his old battered guitar. And it was only recently that I noticed that my father do not consult a record book to learn how to play a song, he just listens to the song.

There was a point in time that I believe all fathers sing and play the guitar, and then I grew up.

I can’t tell my Papa about girl stuff, or about boys, but it’s always important to me that he approves of the things I do. Even now that I’m all grown up and have become more impossible, I always seek my old’s counsel. More so of my fathers.

Father, easy becoming one. Hard being one.

At the end of the day, the children’s relationship with their parents will determine how good a father or a mother one has been. It’s never about expensive clothes or gifts.

Happy Father’s Day, Papa!

Romancing Sonnets from the Portuguese

How Do I Love Thee?

How Do I Love Thee?

 An Excerpt from Sonnet number 43, most famously known as “How Do I Love Thee?”

Galaxy Defenders With Style: MIB3

Men In Black III

MIB3

Oh yes, they’re back! Extraterrestial Police that look like Federal agents. Complete with black suit, dark shades, alien friends, and all kinds of funky gadgets. To those who don’t know, Men In Black is actually a comic book series by Lowell Cunningham, originally published by Aircel Comics in 1990; which would later be bought by another publishing house before  Marvel Comics in bought it in 1994. Yes, Marvel Comics; Spiderman, X-Men, Avengers, Captain America, and more. I know right?

The third installment, MIB3, of the Men In Black franchise ( MIB in 1997 & MIIB in 2002 )  still stars Will Smith ( Agent James Darrell Edwards III/ Agent J) and Tommy Lee Jones ( Agent Kevin Brown/ Agent K). The story revolved around an intergalactic criminal,  Boris The Animal’s (Jemain Clement) obsession to eradicate Agent K from the face of the Earth. Agent K apparently apprehended Boris The Animal back in 1969 and locked him up in LunarMax ( A prison on the Moon ) before the latter’s plan to invade the Earth came into fruition.

As the story unveiled, Agent J did the time jump to save Agent K from Boris The Animal, who went back in time to change the outcome of that fateful day in 1969. Agent J time jumped to 1969, a year when it’s not so good to be ‘Black‘ in America. People gawked at him since he was walking around in a suit like nobody’s business, a time when ‘Black’ people are treated minor to those who are white. Two police officers even flagged him down because he was wearing a suit and driving a car.  But because of the time jump, he found the answers that have eluded him since he was a kid and since he have known Agent K.

I really enjoyed the movie, having watched it in 3D today. Will Smith is still as funny as hell. His comic character along with Tommy Lee’s stoic one provided the balance. I can remember the time when the first Men In Black was released, I really loved Will Smith’s “Here comes the men in black, galaxy defenders. Here comes the men in black, they wont let you to remember!” song. Ironically, I’ve never forgotten about MIB. Everytime I hear the name Will Smith, a picture of a guy wearing a black suit and dark shades and the “Men In Black” anthem starts to play in my head. So yeah, the first MIB may be more exciting than the last two franchises. But MIB3 is movie with it’s own charm. Worth the while.

Three thumbs UP!

Don’t Let Me Go: Prostitution, Labor, & Servitude

Just ran into this video today while looking up the band The Click Five. I can’t believe I missed this song from my inherent obsession with MTV Exit last year.

The American band The Click Five partnered with MTV Exit last year to create a video for their song “Don’t Let Me Go” to raise awareness about Human Trafficking.

MTV Exit is an organization which focuses on 3 major forms of trafficking in Asia and the Pacific: sex trafficking and forced prostitution, labor trafficking, and forced domestic servitude.

IMHO, apart from the fact that the video is for “humanitarian” purpose, I really love the song!

Go spread the word jah mon!

Peace!

It’s “American Idol” People!

It’s been like, what? Two, three days? But I’d really want to rant. So let’s imagine that you’re indulging me.

On May 23, 2012, 21 year old Phillip Phillips from Georgia was named the Season 11 American Idol, beating 16 year old Jessica Sanchez from California. Jessica, having Filipino blood, was crowned the Filipino pride. Steamy arguments have come up on Social Media sites regarding Jessica’s defeat, a lot of Filipino netizens felt that she was discriminated because of the fact that she is not “entirely” American. People should remember that America being America, means no one there is through and through American ( I dunno whatever people meant by that other than the fact that you are born in that country and you acknowledge that you are a citizen of that country and will abide by it’s laws, but for the sake of argument, let’s indulge ), since the country is a melting pot of almost, if not all races in the world. Some netizens argued that Jessica lost because she does not look American at all, and that Phil being a white guy, fit the “American” description. First and foremost, the first American’s ever recorded to have occupied the American nation were the Injuns/ Indians, so if your description of “American” is white, then you would’ve disregarded the American Indians, the original settlers, for their skin color is depicted as “reddish”. Next, the only other requirement for qualifying for the show is that the contestant should be an American citizen, natural born, or naturalized. And Jessica Sanchez very much qualified for that show. Meaning, she’s American. Get over it. So why are some Filipino netizens so pissed off? Beats me. Jessica’s being Filipino is just a matter of ethnicity, just like  the other contestants who could’ve been part Cherokee, Cajun, French, Creole, etc… Being part something-something in the US of A is normal. So why aren’t they whining as much as, or like we do? Go figure.

Is American Idol racist? I don’t think so. We should take into consideration that one of the original and main-stay judges, Randy Jackson is a  Black-American, and that there have been a number of Black-American’s who won the title; Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Jordin Sparks. And also, it’s actually the people of America who decides who wins, are you actually willing to declare that majority of the people of the USofA are racist just because most of them voted for a white guy from Georgia? Will you not take into consideration the musical history of that country where white guys with guitars were actually legends. Think Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley. It’s also the same country where Michael Jackson is worshipped, a Black-American.

Let’s just face it, it takes more than vocal prowess to be American Idol, or even a singer or artist. And let’s be fair, both Jessica and Phillip worked as hard as the other. They just differ in genre. So what if there have been 5 white guys with guitar Idols? Music, like fashion got seasons. There is a season where a certain genre is more patronized. And I resent the statement from social media websites where they said that WGWG’s hardly ever have a carreer, most of these dudes they referred to have been making music even before they auditioned for American Idol. These guys are sensitive when it comes to their art, and mainstream record labels most often than not would likely control what kind of music they make ( in relation to finances ofcourse ), that’s why they go underground or indie. It’s not always about money, or prestige. If you believe that that’s all there is to music, then you’re not a musician, you’re just a voice, in my humble opinion.

And last but not the least: HELLOOOOOOO! IT’S AMERICAN IDOL! Let America do what it want’s to do with their shows, mind your own freaking business.

(This blog post is dedicated to all Filipino Netizens. Peace!)

On Books And Writers

             

               Ever since I was young, I have always been in awe with books, even my fathers’ mechanical books; where they have all sorts of — well, mechanical tools. I like the smell of paper. It smells like earth sprinkled with rain after a long draught; facinating. The first books I ever owned was a set of Fairytales by the Brothers Grimm; Rapunzel, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and such. I remembered my mom indulging me, in the guise of buying it for me and my sisters; when she knew I was the only one who loved to read. Buying that book set cost us a lot, and we never had enough money back then. Thinking back about that specific moment, when I was tugging at my mama’s sleeve begging her to buy the set, brings a smile to my face.

               I dunno about you, but everytime I have a book in my hand, I always think about the writer. What he or she’s like, if they loved books when they were very young, if their parents read to them before they go to sleep, if they got kids, or if they are married. I think about what motivated them to write the book. How they came up with the plot. Who inspired the antagonist and the protagonist. How many nights they stayed up. Where and how they wrote it. How many times did the manuscript got rejected. How many times did they revise it. If the writer is writing about this certain topic because they are passionate about it, or they just wrote it because it’s the fad.

               In short, the effort into how the book came into being matters to me. Having a short stint in writing in a college paper, shattered my delusions about how being a writer is a fairytale. I got my articles rejected, got a few poems corrected. I believe that there is no such thing as a badly-written book when it comes to fiction. Writers being artists, look at the world with different eyes. Their view on how things should come into being and how things are, is more often than not, different from the reading public. So, when you read a book of fiction, It’s alright if you did not like the book. But respect for the writer should be in place. Remember, everything that is done with love, passion, and great effort, is a thing of beauty.

               The art of writing, for me, is the means of one’s mind to discover the boundaries of one’s imagination, the limit of one’s belief. When you write, you challenge your mind to conjure brilliant things, tweak possibilities, play with the impossible, and speak the sometimes unspeakable. You express what you are through your writing, your hopes, your dreams, your angst and your beliefs. So for me, with every book comes a part of someone’s self, like a limb. Because when one writes with their passion, they put their heart to it, rip a part of themselves and put it into writing in a book. Writers risk  exposure. Their books is the printed testament of their passions, arguments, beliefs and their love.

“Some books leave us free and some books make us free.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Romancing: Pablo Neruda

Poetry

Romancing Pablo Neruda

Hungered for The Hunger Games

It was late last year when I came across the series. Being a bookie, normally I’d just delve ang get my self blissfully lost in the story. But when I found out that the plot is post-

The Hunger Games

apocalyptic I dismissed it, being not a fan of the genre (into Urban Fantasy, Postmodern Thriller & Crime Novels ), I didn’t want to waste time and get disappointed.It was not until this last February that I decided to give the series a shot after endorsements from good friends. Given the fact that I was not a fan of the genre, I still liked the book. But was not impressed in total. The plot was good, but there are a number of books and animes sharing the same plot. But I still felt it was a good read, and that it was well written.

When I found out that it was to be adapted into a movie, I was pensive. I was afraid it’s going to be another I Am Number Four. But when I researched and found out about the casting, I got excited. Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss) nailed Mystique in X-Men: First Class, and Josh Hutcherson (Peeta) I have seen in Bridge to Terabithia which I adored.

After I finally saw the movie last week, I have to give it to the producers and everyone behind the movie, they did extremely great. Movie adaptation I imagine, is a messy business. You got to make sure you present the story into film with out having to deviate (much) from the book.

The Hunger Games

There are certain things that they changed and/or omitted from the story, like the Mockingjay pin Prim gave to Katniss in the movie; it was actually the District 12 Mayor’s daughter who gave it to Katniss in the book. Also, when Katniss & Peeta arrived in the Capitol, they omitted the part where Katniss met a servant girl in their quarters; the same girl that she and Gail had seen being pursued by Capitol authorities in the same forest where they hunt. Plus the fact that Peeta lost one of his legs in the games. In the movie, Peeta didn’t get any artificial legs. Apart from that, i think both actors did very well.

Jennifer looked every inch like an action star, reminded me of Angelina Jolie in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. She may very well be the next Angie. Josh Hutcherson for his part, acted like what I expected a strong guy who have never starved should.

All in all, I’m giving the movie 4 thumbs up (for I only have 4 thumbs). My hunger was sated.

Lamest Post In The Planet

“Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.”  ~Russel Baker

Yes, I have not posted anything in nearly a month. And i’m blaming it on;

 1) The weather. It’s effing humid in my side of the planet. Therefore, I’m too antsy to ever want to be creative, or sit in front of the computer and try to make my brain work.

2) It’s summer. I am pissed that while everyone is on vacation, I am stuck at work. Ofcourse, if I had not gotten sick in the past weeks then I would’ve had the Vacation Leave slots and money to go get some nice R ‘n’ R.

3) Tons of reading material. A friend took pity on me since I am left behind; and they’re in Boracay and I got nothing to occupy my time  except work, so she dumped tons of PDF’s on me. And when I got books, I got to read. It’s how i’m wired.

4) Twitter. It’s just so demanding. It’s like drugs, once you get started, you can never turn your back on it.

5) I’m lazy. Yeah well, I’ve never denied that I am. It’s just more so during summer. What with the heat & humidity. Geez, this city I live in is like a hugeynormous sauna!

So, sorry to you non-existent reader, fan, stalker. I will make it up to y’all promise.

Smooches!

Ooooo lookie!

This is where I wanna be!

This is where I wanna be!

Romancing Julian of Macedon: The Sex Slave

  

     “I am Julian of Macedon born of the House of Diokles of Sparta and the Goddess Aphrodite. I am the champion of Greece, Macedonia, Thebes, Punjab, and Conjara. Known as Augustus Julius Punitor to my enemies who quaked in terror in my presence.”                        

Dark Hunters: Fantasy Lover

Dark Hunters: Fantasy Lover

“Julian of Macedon, Julian of Macedon, Julian of Macedon”  You’re supposed to say that name thrice during a full moon while holding this ancient book, and *poof!* a Macedonian warrior/general/demigod cursed to become a sex slave will come make your dreams in bed come true.  No woman can ever say “Naye” to him, no woman will come unsatisfied when he’s done with them.  I am currently itching to go look for said ancient book and chant the spell under the full moon. And yes, Julian of Macedon is the hero of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s “Fantasy Lover”, the first book of the Dark Hunters series. 

Dark Hunters are beings who “kills things that go bump in the night”, like Daimons; vampires who suck souls and leave you pretty much dead-er than dead after necking you. Dark Hunters are people who have suffered great injustice  and struck a deal with the goddess Artemis upon their death for immortality and a night of vengeance against those who did them wrong in exchange of their souls and eternal servitude. After that, they have to babysit the whole humanity against those who bite and mean it. And they are led by Acheron Parthenopaeus, a sizzling hot immortal dude who loves biker boots and leather. Technically, Julian of Macedon is not a Dark Hunter, however, the first Dark Hunter in the series, Kyrian of Thrace, is somewhat related to him. Kyrian is another scrumptious, bodacious being worth drooling over. He used to fight along side Julian in ancient Greece before Julian got cursed and vanished.

Let’s flash back to Julian. After 2000 years inside the ancient book/scroll and being a sex slave, he got summoned by Grace Alexander; a woman who got commitment problems, in present time New Orleans. However, Grace was just tricked into doing the summoning spell by her Gypsy friend Selena Devereaux; a stage friend and psychic who wanted her to get a man and get laid. Grace refused to exchange body fluids with the hot Macedonian warrior, while Julian refused to be simply refused. 

The whole novel is, well, (since i love urban fantasy this is a biased review) fun. Seduction, wit, humor, sarcasm, kick-ass fight scenes. Everything I want in a book, plus one hot papi in the character of Julian. Julian being gifted by Aphrodite with beauty no woman can refuse, finally met a woman who refuses him while not really wanting to. It’s fun how the story uncovered the details of the sex-slave’s life in ancient Greece, from being born a demigod to becoming an ancient war hero, to being trapped in an ancient scroll, to learning how to drive a truck. And how Grace Alexander became Julian’s saving grace.

This is a PG 18 book. Prudes, nuns and wannabe’s  are advised not to read it, lest you get yourself a’ swoonin’.

And yes, I know I’m blabbering. Don’t I always?

When Customer Support Fails: My Globe Chat Support Experience

So, last week i got me a savvy new phone. Swapped my ancient SonyEricsson K580i with a Nokia C7-00. Cool new phone,  8mpix double flash LED and HD video with a Symbian based OS. Problem was, I can’t connect to the internet using mobile data. So, I did what I usually do, backed up my data and reset the phone to factory defaults; then loaded my mobile providers internet and GPRS settings. Still no go. Then, I tweeted for help. After doing the few things suggested by people from twitter, i finally gave up and checked their chat support (for I got asthma at the time).

Voila!

And, as far as I know, there’s no place in Cagayan de Oro that’s called Puerto Princesa, there is Puerto.

And finally:

And my reply:

Crickets singing in the background…

And they keep singing…

No reply. So sad.

And so twitter friends say,

This is the complete transcript of the chat session:

https://www.facebook.com/vampirebutterfly/posts/1943512964303?comment_id=1655026

The point of this whole article is, I am wondering where the support behind all those Customer Support/Care blah-blah is…

When i started the chat session, I stated that it’s not a signal issue by telling the representative that I was connected via Globe Tattoo. Look where it got me. I got asked stupid questions. Working as a technical support representative, i always try to do basic troubleshooting before I call for support, and I always have been nice. In other words, I KNOW  THE DRILL. So i know, and I believe that i should’ve gotten better Customer Support. GlobeTel should start changing how they run their Customer Service, because most of the time, people stay because of the quality of service they get from every company’s front liners. Mobile Service quality is as bad as the Customer Service.

Go figure Globe Telecom.

New Look of the Day: Look of the Day

New Look of the Day on InStyle.com

Look of the Day

January 19, 2015 – Emma Roberts

Published on January 20, 2015 at 08:50PM

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