Off to Manila [Day 1]

I am taking a five days leave from work and September 23 was the first day.  Our flight was morning and we are expected to arrive in Manila before 12.  But due to an unfavorable weather, we were a bit delayed in our flight, but no complaints whatsoever.

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The night before, I slept so late, I think it was past midnight already and me and daughter were set to leave at exactly six in the morning to have an ample time to taking the bus to catch our 10 o’clock flight.  So, the lack of sleep + more delays at the airport + rainy Manila = almost two hours delay to our expected check-in at Leesons Residences in Malate.

I was undecided which taxi to take, yellow taxi or the taxi at the departure level.  But after checking it through, we left via the departure level and that saved really saved me several hundred pesos fare from airport to Malate.  Yellow taxi will cost me Php 530.00 while the taxi at the departure level only cost me Php 150.00 though I was the one who paid the Php 20.00 at the skyway toll gate. It was not bad decision after all.

The delays tired me much and the same with the daughter plus the rain, so we spent the afternoon, sleeping. lol!

If we don’t need to have dinner, then we would have slept the night away.

Here are a few photos for the first day:

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An interesting sight from up the sky. I’ve seen this place several times already but still I did not have the right name of the place. No one ever took the guess when I posted the pic in my FB wall.

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The plain the brought us to Manila. :) Cebu Pacific is my unofficial flight carrier when I fly during my travels.

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A just-got-off-the-plane selfie! While on our way to the baggage carousel. :)
I don’t look worried. Right? Though i was a bit worried because it was raining in Manila and I was thinking that the bad weather will mess up my travel plan.

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The daughter! excited or tired?
I cannot tell but it seems she’s not affected of the delays because her phone contain lots of books to read. Poor mommy me isa libro lang ang dala for the whole week. lol!

May: the Travel Month is Over!

May 2012 is over and June is here.  Goodbye May and I want you to know that I had the great time of my life during your time.  Imagine, I made 4 trips just within the whole month.  Trips to places that i’ve never been to yet and to places where i’ve set foot many many years ago yet.

Thanks to time there is what we call summer and there is also what we call vacation that made me able to do these trips.  I’d like to think that April was a super busy month for me plus the death of my father, so I deserve to have a break during the second summer month.

The first trip was to Davao (first week of May) for the Davao Food Appreciation Tour 2012.  Been to places that if not for DFAT I will never have the chance to see and enjoy the food and places for a good four days.

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The second trip was to Siquijor with some friends from work.  We passed ferried to that mystic island via Dumaguete and it is also my first time to set foot in Dumaguete. It was a planned we agreed on since middle of last year. So I can say I am a bit prepared for it – emotionally and financially.

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But even how much prepared I think I was — I was not ready for the heat! Temperature so high in Siquijor that the moment you are out of your hotel room, sweat just pour out continuously for three days.

The two other trips for the month of May was not planned for long.  The Tour Mindanao of the workers was only planned in April and the unexpected trip to Kidapawan was only decided that week and the huling hirit for the summer get way was to HongKong which was decided only in April.

Good thing Tour Mindanao trip is free same with the Kidapawan, but the one in HK was not free.  It’s my daughter’s trip, but as her mom I have to tag along.  Thanks to Adbeans, I  was able to buy my ticket.

It’s now June and after the HK trip last weekend, and the Gingoog one day trip last Thursday, i’ve got to rest for now and just work and work.

I’ve got some planned trips coming up but still in few months.  There’s still time to work to pay for a P1600.00 travel tax.

More travel-related posts is posted at my travel blog and photos are posted in my Facebook account.

Paseo del Mar, Zamboanga City

If you have been to Zamboanga City for a day or two and have not been to Paseo del Mar, then you miss one of the beautiful landmarks of the city. We spent 4 nights there and I was able to see and feel the place during our third night because we went there to have dinner and also have a look for the nearby areas. I was so excited to see the place. I thank Ace & Kerslyn (Davao couple), Bing & Pat (Iligan couple) for agreeing to go there once again even if you have already seen the place the night before.

Here are some of our photos: (all my photos are night shots) i wonder how the place looks like in broad daylight.

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a pose of remembrance at the entrance :)

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They said the place is full during weekends.  People are there to eat, to enjoy the sea breeze, enjoy the bands (they have it on weekends), and others are just there to walk around.

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these guys enjoying the distant lights and sea breeze.  it showered around this time.

I enjoyed taking photos of the lamp post before finding a place to eat.  And this one my fave shot of all:

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The place we ate at and the food photos will be shared in another post. :)

This trip was related to the Mindanao Bloggers Summit 4 which was held earlier that day at the Garden Orchid Hotel.  City tour was scheduled the next day yet. (that would be another post in this blog).

My TVIRD Experience

Never did i imagined going up to see a mine site as far as Canatuan mine site  in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte.  We were informed that the trip will take 3 hours but after 12 hours bus travel from Iligan City to the Latin City of Asia , the trip feels like going back to my hometown.  It was not exactly 3 hours.  It was more because upon leaving the highway, the road leads up and down into the mountains.  Our vehicle was not the highland sporty type so the speed was just moderate.

99% of us on the trip were first timers and that 99% represents the attendees of the Mindanao Bloggers 4th Summit that is hosted by Zamboanga bloggers.

Personally, if not for the summit, i would not have the chance to see Canatuan Mining and will see with my own eyes the betterment of the community specifically the Subanons.  TVI Resources Development  brought hope to the people of Canatuan and Siocon in general.  TVI promotes responsible mining by promoting environmental protection programs and sustainable development programs.  Being guided by human rights paradigm the company implemented community development projects that promotes sustainable life even beyond the life-of-mine and into the future.  Meaning if ever the company leaves, the community will still survive.

There were several things that awed us bloggers when we stepped foot in their area.  First, the majestic view of forests, mountains, and hills and endless cloudy blue skies.  Second, impressive buildings which we later known are staff houses.  They also have the entertainment building.  Then thirdly, the food!  It was started with a heavy snacks before the orientation began and later the sumptuous lunch, and again another heavy snacks after the exit conference.  My daughter and I were so blessed of the free food saving us the food budget for that day because even the breakfast and dinner were also shouldered by TVI.  They were so generous.  Thank you, Sir Ernie Rojo for touring us to the mine site.

I know i missed a blogger seminar that day down in the city but the things i’ve learned up there was just enough to cover up any regret.  The video was shown at the summit proper – but seeing the proof of responsible mining was one thing i would never regret missing the blogging seminar that day.  I know it’s now only me who was blessed.  All of us who were there were so impressed.  There was one thing though i wished — sana lahat kami nakasama.  Sana wala ng seminar dun sa city para lahat nakasama.   Not only were our stomachs filled but our knowledge were also enhanced.  Just so bad it rained hard that it hampered the plant site tour because it would be dangerous for us to go up the building.  Good thing we were able to come down from the open field site safely while the rain was pouring in torrents.  If it did not rain, we could have the chance to touch those reddish black stones that contains gold.  Maybe we can also get a handful of those silver looking stones. :) And for sure we could have gone to the most top of the open field to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Canatuan mining.  Oh another place we missed seeing which i would have love go to and see was the lake or the dam area.

I really don’t have too many nice pics at the open mine field because i was confined to a very small area of the viewing deck.  The rain was so strong that we can’t move around to take pictures of the whole area.

Oh well – picture talk loudly than words so i want you to enjoy the pics now.  Enough of the blah. lol

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THE MAJESTIC SKY VIEWS

I was sky watching, ya know? ;-)

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Another place we visited was the Subanon community.   Before our group went to see their nursery, a pillar of their FAITH and SALT program we witnessed how they welcome us -

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We did not stay long at the open mine pit because it rained.  It rained so hard that if we waited for the rain to stop, our vehicle might have a hard time going down.  So we proceeded to the exit conference where some administrators and department heads where there to answer our questions.  This is their way of practicing “transparency” in this company.

I have really seen responsible mining there that made me wish that somehow at least all small-scale mining fields in this country are handled by investors such as TVI.

I have so many photos that i wanna share but maybe in the future posts or in related post i will be making in my other blogs.  After the exit conference that was made earlier than scheduled because of the rain,  we had this souvenir photo:

I have so many photos that i wanna share but maybe in the future posts or in related post i will be making in my other blogs.  After the exit conference ,  we had this souvenir photo:

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Manila Trip – Day 3

The day was spent mostly traveling.  I left Olongapo City that morning.  It was a beautiful sunny morning compared to the day before.  I remember i wished that the Sunday’s weather was the weather that Saturday and we could have gone to the beach.  But anyway, there’s still more sunny days to come and hopefully can visit Mitch and Deye again in the future and go with Deye to the beach.

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Mitch sent me off at the bus station.  Actually, near the bus station (Victory Liner).  I took the van because i was still dropping off at SM – Pampanga to see my son.  I took a picture of this monument to serve as a landmark for me in the future.  I think it is indeed a landmark of the city.

After i settled my stuff inside the van, i went out of the van to take photos of what’s around me.  So that’s the monument and i also saw this colorful building -

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An Inn

Arlene’s Inn II
Contact No. : (47) 223-2429

I think at the back of that is the bus station.   If I just knew that the bus also drops right at SM then i would have taken the bus, maybe a Genesis one.  :)

Not far from the the spot where the van is waiting for passengers is the yellow jeepney stop.  That jeepney goes to Sta. Rita where Mitch residence is.

Now i hope all of the above will help me in my future travel back to Olongapo if given the chance.  And hopeful too that future travels will bring me beyond Olongapo.  I can remember ten years ago, we went swimming in Iba, Zambales and i guess that was the furthest part of Luzon that i’ve been to.  Somehow Kuro eyeballs will bring me to Pangasinan and more more beyond.

I think the travel was to SM Pampanga took 2 hours and it was a very sunny day.  I tried taking photos of the sceneries but the van’s glass is not very clear.  There were many interesting places that we passed by.  It would have been a great photo shoot opportunity when passing that way in a private car so that anytime you can ask the driver to stop because you’ll take photos.

Anyway,  after a few minutes i was into the building, i got a text and it was from the father and son tandem.  I replied texted them my location and in a few minutes they were there.  I was so happy to see my son.

Here’s one of my fave photo of Jaizon that day.

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I told him, “gayahin mo” (imitate him) but that’s all he did but smiled. I feel he thinks i was crazy. lol!  But he was such a sweet boy for doing my request.  After this shot, we were off to that Fuji center to develop some of the photos i took to be left with them.

At almost 3 i really have to say bye.  The sent me off at the bus stop outside the building.  I took a Genesis bus.  Once it was off, I dozed off and was awaken at Caloocan already.

Blooper I

I didn’t know where SM North EDSA is. But i have already told the bus conductor and driver am dropping off at that bus stop.  They forgot about me.  The bus conductor was not the “shouting” type guy.  So we passed by SM North EDSA.  Maybe the guy was curious why i kept looking at him straight to his eye. He just smiled and i asked him, “malapit naba SM North?”  And he replied, ay! dapat bumaba ka dun (the stop where we just left).  I did not panick but keep on smiling. lol!  So i told him, hey, i really dunno where to stop.  I need to go to SM North.  He instructed me to get off at the next bus stop, cross the highway through the overpass and took a bus back to SM North.

The overpass experience is also unforgetable. It shakes when there are big busses passing by below. Oh my i just walked slow and pretended i was just feeling ok. lol!  I was not okey.  I was scared the wind will blow me off from the middle of the overpass. hahaha

To make the long story short, i arrived at SM and it was full of people.  I can’t hardly move comfortably.  I have to find a non crowded place to settle myself and text my cousin of where i was and what to do next.  I went up to the 2nd floor and i saw one place that was not crowded.  Settled my stuff in one of the chairs and i made an order.  While waiting for the order to arrive, i texted my cousin.

He did not come to pick me up.  Instead he sms me that i should take a van that will go to SM Fairview and i have to get off at Puregold North Fairview.  They are there across that mall, waiting for me.  So i went.  I did not doze off to sleep.

Blooper 2

I was watchful of the places and the buildings we were passing.  I must see a Puregold that they described.  Then the guy beside me said, heto na, Puregold North.  I saw the word North and got off right away.  When i looked at the signage again, i read “PUREGOLD NORTH COMMONWEALTH. ”  I was scared for a moment and was mad at the driver for letting me off.  I then texted my cousin am at the wrong place.  I told him i am lost!  He said i can now take a jeepney and get off at Camaro. Oh haii i really dunno Camaro.  We arrived at the place midnight so i was not able to see some landmarks.  In the morning, i was in a hurry so i was not able to really check what landmarks i could use if in case i will just be alone in going home to their place.  He called and said, don’t take the jeep! I can see you now! I was so relieved. lol!  The thing was, i was at the right place but he gave me the wrong location of Puregold. :D  I was sorry for a moment for thinking bad at the driver.  It was my cousin’s fault. hehehee

We arrived at Rhoda’s place.  Had a time to relax and enjoy a bit of the sunset that can be seen from the window, did some online tasks and pack for the next day’s travel back to Mindanao.

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It was showering a bit yet i saw a glimpse of sunshine.  :)

Manila Trip Day 2 – Trip to Olongapo City

Our Weekend Memoirs

I woke up early but looking at the time i was already late for the agreed time of 6:30. Mel and company will pick me up at the Mc Donalds of SM North Edsa. I took the taxi camoran to north esda thinking am already very late. Good thing we arrived almost at the same time.

I was worried of the traffic but it was not so much. I took a shot of this just so i would be familiar of where I am passing. :)

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I thank the taxi driver for bringing me to the right spot since we already passed by mc donalds and i was expecting that mc donalds is inside the mall. i only told the driver am off to sm north, not mc donalds. when we arrived at the mall, he said, “oh saan ka na bababa dito?” i replied, “sa mc donalds po!” And he said, “lampas na tayo!” Oh my i was worried! I don’t like the idea of getting off and then walk back because I might get lost. :D  Good thing he brought me back.  He find ways to get me back to that corner.  :)  I paid him 120.00 and that comes with a receipt. Cool!

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That’s Trinoma Mall over there. And Mel told me pala to wait at the SM McDo across Trinoma.

When Mel and company arrived, i got in and after a few minutes of pleasantries i doze off.  I had a late night (1:30 am) and woke up 6:30 so for sure i was sleepy.  I love sleeping in a moving vehicle so the car really was a great place to sleep for me that time.  :)  I think i slept 80% part of the trip.  I started to get really awake when we are just a few kilometers off the Subic Free Port Zone.

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i wonder what’s this hill called

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yahoo we’re at our destination now!

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Below Mitches home is this plant with blooming chillies. :) Her daughter said she loves to eat that because she is a daughter of an Bombay (referring to her dad).

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Great thirst quencher.  :)

It was a humid day.

This is the day, too that i had this huge P I Z Z A with friends. :)

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My Manila trip was indeed a very memorable weekend.