Saturday, August 11, 2012

SM Mall of Asia: Tourist Destination

       I am a mall rat. I admit it. I kinda like to just stroll inside malls when there are few people around (so I go afternoons) .
       One the best and the biggest (if not the biggest) mall in Asia is... Mall of Asia.
Fronting Manila Bay ( best sunset in the world) this is in Pasay City and very near Ninoy Aquino International Airport(NAIA). This is another tourist destination you can't miss.

       Tourists come here to shop and view the sunset while drinking San Miguel beer.
Yesterday we went there( SMX Convention Center, MOA) for the 23rd Travel Mart exhibits. Today is the last day... So do drop by and support Philippine tourism.

Sunset seen in Mall of Asia

Fountain refreshes the soul

Young people strolling

23rd Philippine Travel Mart: SMX Convention Center Mall of Asia

      The 23rd Travel Mart Expo is from August 10- August 12, 2012.
Yesterday I met my daughter at SMX MOA (what's with the acronyms). It was a sunny day, MOA (Mall of Asia) was filled with mall rats like us, craving for noise and a break from Facebook. I think the only time that families have a time out and talk to each other is when they go to the mall.

At the wake of floods and typhoons, people moved on with their lives.

      The 23rd  Philippine Travel mart is a Travel Expo which aims to promote tourism in the country. Hotels,resorts,food stores, restaurants,tour groups,and anything that concerns tourism participated in this endevour. It was well attended yesterday (considering the weather)and I hobnobbed with travellers, backpackers,flashpackers and others.

My daughter and her friend were able to secure discounted tickets to Enchanted Kingdom.

Check it out at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia. 
Entrance Fee: 50Php
Schedule: 10a.m.-9p.m.

This is a yearly event created by the Philippine Tour Operators (PHILTOA). 
We toured the expo and found to our delight different booths and pavilions exhibiting the various tourist attractions in the Phillippines.

Moro moro

Performers wearing gay costumes

Ms.Earth Philippines and other Beauties



See you there!

Friday, August 10, 2012


The rain did not stop falling.
Unlike dodging bullets
Or thwarting muggers

The rain doesn't decide
Who to fall on
Nor where or when

It just does.
And when it does,
Run you all, into the crevice
whence you came

Or a high tree,
Cling to electrical wires.

While the rain pours,
Children swim in the coffee water,
Men jigger on the streets,

You wander why people
Cannot erase that awful smile

You see, in my country,
A smile is free.

But after the rain
There will be costs

After all, death is not.

So do the hustle
Sound the alarm
Let the chariots waiting
Take us all

After all,
On doomsday,
Death is free.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Day I Took the Pen


        There are techniques on writing cute metaphors, catchy first liners, thought provoking conclusions.
        I’m also pretty sure there is a surefire way to write fiction that will sky rocket in the best seller list and make me filthy rich like J.K. Rowling. I’m still in the process of finding it out.. There is one wish that I have in my heart. I hope I’m still young and beautiful when I receive my Nobel Prize. Only that.
          Stephen King said that in writing, one doesn’t need a plot. Yes, he said that. You don’t believe me? Just read Tommy Knockers and you’ll find out. Kidding aside, the king (no pun intended) of horror suspense novels doesn’t believe in plots. Well I can’t blame him. Plots are lima sinco. Hmm… no plot… I’ve been doing that but it doesn’t seem to be working for me…
            Characters, now that’s different. Characters begin to a have life of their own in the stories that pretty soon you will be held by the hand and taken to places you have never been.
          To be a writer, you need to live in a wooden house that opens to an astounding view of the sea, or a cottage overlooking the hills of Baguio, or a condotel in Tagaytay that can only be reached by cable car. If you don’t have any of those, forget it. You can’t be a writer if your mind isn’t nourished by panoramic scenery. No way, Jose.
             In your beautiful abode, set up your own personal space, a space you call your own. You need a bulletin board, and stacks of paper and other stationery. A plant or fresh flowers can help to feed your aesthetic needs. In that sanctum, everything should be sacrosanct.
             Anyway, you need this space so that nobody will know if you’re not really productive. You can have a little catnap here and there, pig out on krispy kreme.
             If I remember right, you need a portable typewriter, the older the better. Now why is that? In the movie The Shining, Stephen King’s character played by Jack Nicholson had one. It was very creepy. You see, Jack’s character was in a rundown hotel, and he was working rigorously typing away from dusk to dawn and what did he write? He wrote on several hundreds of paper,” All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” Creepy huh? 
           Then there’s Demi Moore in the movie Half Light. She portrayed a best selling writer. She also had a typewriter she fiddled with until she found a boytoy. She found a very interesting muse in the form of a hunk who lived in an island alone. This hunk guarded the lighthouse, and he turned out to be a ghost. The ghost turned out to be a non-ghost who plotted to kill her but fell in love with her instead. Way to go Demi…. Talk about plots. No plot is best. Stephen said that. 
         When I started writing I had a Royal typewriter given to me by a friend of mine. It was an antique. I really had that feeling of having arrived. I felt like a writer. I was teary eyed even..
          We were inseparable, my typewriter and I, even when I got married. My husband was amiable at first, but when I started talking to it, hugging it, kissing it and feeding it, that was the last straw. He got me a personal computer complete with the latest monitor.
          How do you get ideas? To start with, you can’t. There are no more original ideas. You have to copy, filch, pilfer, lift, in other words, steal from other authors.
No, you say. That’s plagiarizing. Well, you can call it whatever you want, if you don’t do it you have nothing. If I start naming names now I might end up in an ivory tower, locked up and the key thrown away.
           Then you ask,” How do I get away with it?” Now that’s your job as a writer, to guile people. 
You see, even Shakespeare copied his plots. Now, the weaving of the story into a fantastic and beleivable(or unbelievable) story is called talent. That way, they won't really know that that's not a new story after all.To make your writing look and seem different. To make the reader experience like nobody ever can. I think some schools are now offering a course on that. 
          There’s another one. Don’t stay in your ivory tower: unless you have long blond hair, it’s not good for a writer to be cooked up not knowing what’s happening to the real world. You see, writers like us need to know what sells and what doesn’t. It’s like the Starbucks phenomenon. Every nook and cranny of the world has one. Join the bandwagon.
             What kind of books should you write?
 If you look at the shelves in bookstores like National bookstore, you will find Tagalog romances galore.( No, don’t go to  posh bookstores at the upper high street Fort, or Rockwell, because they don’t carry romances in Tagalog.)
             That’s where the market is. Teenage girls, bored middleclass housewives. Then there’s chic lit, or chic literature where the protagonists always end up alone but hopeful. You can also consider doing cookbooks, we can’t have too many of those.And there's a whole new world out there called cyberspace. Anything can happen there.
            There’s a proliferation of ghost stories the likes of which can raise my grandmother from her grave. Anybody can write that. You can interview people about paranormal experiences that they have encountered. Everybody has one.
In a nation where there is as much as 171 languages scattered in more than 7,000 islands, why is it we don’t have a vast compilation of novels and short stories? Are we doomed to reading short, short, ghost stories and jokes about whoever is sitting in the power throne in Malacanang?
 Tagalog romances are very important to hone the artistic potential of fledgling writers. We cannot belittle these novelists because it is a large task to be writing one hundred or two hundred pages of fiction. Of course some are good, some are bad, but it is a start.
  At this stage, we have to reach to the wider audience to resurrect (sic) any kind of literary ambition we have as a society.
           There’s a big market out there waiting to be tapped. Big bucks! Show me the money! Write that on your bulletin board.

           Unless you’re one of those types who write for art’s sake.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Blackbeard's Seafood Island:Market2! Boodle Style

Blackbeard's Seafood Island
Open Market/ Ground floor, Market Market Taguig, Metro Manila

          Pinoys love eating. And the style close to our hearts is rice and dish on banana leaves and kamayan(eating with bare hands).

         This time it’s boodle, meaning a large banana leaf will be filled with rice, fish, crabs,pork chicken etc. Then everybody can partake from the same leaf! The family that eats together stays together.

Boodle feast (700Php) for 3-6 people.
The budget for one person is 150Php+++

Not bad.
Boodle Feast 700Php+

Favorite of families and yuppies

Nice ambience

Lights galore

Ahoy there!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Cafe Mary Grace =Heaven at the Fort

Cafe MaryGrace
Ground floor , Serendra One , Fort Bonifacio, Global City, Taguig

         The Fort Taguig is a more aattractive place nowadays. I just love to sit and relax, drink coffee, ensaymada, and pasta
        If you see twinkly lights in Serendra One even though it’s not Christmas you must be at the vicinity of Marygrace where the food and the people remind you to keep going back for more.

        Aside from the melt in the mouth ensaymada(73Php/pc), cheese rolls(42Php/pc) deliciouscakes and other delectables that they concoct, they also serve other gustatory delights such as pastaand gourmet sandwiches. We ordered sandwich which did not disppoint us but I couldn’t remember what kind it was..(.Good food can make you forget even your name).

        The Marygrace mushroom pasta with truffle(262Php) is so creamy that your mouth craves for more. The peach tea(75Php/huge glass) is another signature beverage that really kicks the taste a notch higher.
I love the rum butter cake(83Php/pc) which is incidentally a little heavy on the rum, but hey, who’s complaining..teehee..

The place is cute and Christmassy

Marygrace Mushroom Cream pasta with truffle (262Php)

Peach tealicious. Tiny notes that make your heart grow fonder
I love the rum cake (83Php)

Sandwiches are a must try

Hong Kong: Short Visit and Exit from Macau

      Our one day Hong Kong shopping spree took us 11 hours which started at the Macau Port (Turbo jet at 300HK$ back and forth)) to the Hong Kong harbour.
We took the MTR( train)  and then walked a bit to the Peak tram (40HK$)which will carry us to the Victoria Peak . 
    From the Peak we saw the fabulous Hong Kong Harbour view which was so dreamlike owing to the mist that was gathering.
 Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum is where you can find your Favorite celebrities’ lifelike replicas and it’s amazing that Bruce Lee didn’t fight back when I tried to smash his jaw ; )
  There are lots of restaurants at the Peak (Cafe Deco, Mak’s, Pearl) We ate at the Mak’s Noodle House which according to Anthony Bourdain of No Reservation is quite good and authentic. Well, we were hungry but noodles again? Boohoo.

Victoria Peak

Boat to HK

Breather in Hong Kong Park
Having Mac sundae with currant syrup

Cascading water at HK Park

Pioneers in Victoria Peak

Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum
Waterfalls At HK Park

The Peak
Baked Mac at Little Fusion