Sunday, January 24, 2010


One Saturday morning: “Let’s go to Nuvali this afternoon!”

this afternoon” came one week after.Ü But at least, I’m glad to say, we finally got there.Ü

How to get there:

The Nuvali website gave several options on how to get there. Since I was torn between Mamplasan and Sta. Rosa, I asked my cousin what better exit to take and I was told to take the Sta. Rosa exit. So I did. And with just a text message as a guide (Sta. Rosa exit then take the way going to Tagaytay, a little bit after Paseo de Sta. Rosa is Nuvali on the left) I got to Nuvali without any hassles. You won’t get lost anyway since they have signs on the way going there and it would be hard not to notice the big NUVALI sign on the Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay highway.

It took me around 40min. to get there coming from Sucat on a Saturday afternoon. I was a bit surprised that traffic was not heavy at the time I was driving at SLEX (except from Sucat to Alabang, but it was moving) and I was just too happy to traverse SLEX with its now wider road and still without any lubak

What to do:

There are several things that you can do at Nuvali: Eat, bike, feed the fishies (this is not a typo error, I really call them "fishies" coz it's cuter Ü), ride a boat, at gumulong-gulong sa grass.

Some of the few establishments at Nuvali are Yellow Cab, Crisostomo, Starbucks, Bona Coffee, Brothers Burger, David’s Tea House, Pig Out, and Conti’s. The latter two is where we had dinner & dessert. We were joking around while eating at Pig Out coz it took them forever to serve us our food when we only ordered crispy pata & fish and they weren’t exactly brimming full of customers at that time. But lo and behold! Come 7:30pm the waiters, who were wearing superhero costumes, started dancing to the tune of Insomniac & this other song that I don’t know the title. We were just laughing our hearts out coz it was the first time for all of us to see Batman, Robin, Supergirl, Batgirl Jasmine (teka, hindi naman superhero si Jasmine???), and that girl counterpart of Robin (who’s she? "Robina", according to my friend? LOL! And when we asked her, hindi rin nya alam kung ano’ng superhero name nya. Haha!) dancing! I actually took a video of them so that I’ll always remember the first time I saw superheroes dancing.Ü Oh, it also took them long to bring our bill.

: This is what we did at Nuvali. P60.00 to rent their bike for an hour. They only have mountain bikes for rent but you can choose the bike that fits you best in terms of height. Bawal umangkas. Only 1 person per bike. And no slippers allowed. Good thing my friends brought shoes along otherwise, one hour kaming magtititigan dun. Or maybe they can just run while some of us ride our bikes. LOL! Helmets are a must and must be worn at all times. Plus, you have to sign a waiver and surrender an ID before you can rent one of their bikes. What’s nice about their bikes is that it has a basket in front, very much practical especially for girls so that we have a place to put our bags or any what-have-yous. You can only bike on the designated paths which means you’ll have to share the lane with the people walking around the place, which wasn’t actually that crowded when we were there (but it was still a challenge for me coz I was like a drunk driver on a bike. Such a laughtrip for my friends. Such a nerve-wracking experience for me. Haha!). Our motto for the day: "Have bike, will go anywhere." So we got to the farthest part that our bikes can reach. I was just too happy to get there because we were able to bike on the road (no need to stay on the path) since cars were not yet allowed to pass and there were no other bikers around. Oh heaven! This is my ideal biking situation.Ü By that time, I ♥ biking already.Ü

Feed the Fishies
: For P15.00, you can feed the Kois in the big pond. But you can only feed them from 8am-5pm because the fishies are on an “After 5” diet. So get there early. I’m just wondering if you can bring your own feeds to give to the fishes. Wag lang sigurong bread, kasi masisira ang diet ng fishies. Bawal ang carbs. They’re on a diet, remember?Ü I was actually surprised to see all the fishies in the pond. They were just oh-so-many! Too many actually that my heart goes out to them coz they were like fighting for dear life just to get some of those feeds that the people were giving them. It was like the feast of the Black Nazarene, fish-style, minus the rope.

Ride a Boat
: P30.00 per head for a round trip ticket. They don’t offer one-way tickets. I don’t know why. Hehe! A special trip (I guess this means you get the boat all to yourself) costs P180.00 for a minimum of 6 pax (I didn’t ask what the maximum is). I’m not sure how long the boat ride is. I don't know where they'll bring you. I’m not sure what you’ll see or what you can do at the boat aside from sightseeing (mag-gupit ng kuko siguro pwede…but why would you do that?Ü). Next time I visit Nuvali, I’ll ask them these things so I have something to tell you guys. For some reason, riding a boat doesn’t appeal to me that much so I’m not sure if I’ll ever get to do this activity here.

Gumulong-gulong sa
: Need I explain more?Ü Kidding-aside, Nuvali is a place where you can just sit on the grass and enjoy the scenery…if biking, boating, or feeding the fishies is not your thing. Take lots of pictures. Go on a jump-shot-picture galore or do one of those nakapabilog-ang-mga-ulo-habang-nakahiga-sa-grass pictures. I’m sure you’ll have loads of fun doing these things. And the people around you will have loads of fun watching you do these things, so it’s a win-win situation.Ü

Will I go back to Nuvali?
Sure! Why not?Ü Will I go biking again? Of course I will! I won’t stop now that my biking skills are slowly coming back to me. Even though my body’s aching all over because of the experience.Ü Will I feed the fishies? No. Kasi naaawa ako sa kanila. Will I ride the boat? Please read above.Ü What I’ll definitely do the next time I’m at Nuvali is to take a lot of pictures (Hey, I might even do the suggestions I gave above…di na baleng mag-mukhang weird.Ü). For now, I’m just going to look forward to my next Nuvali side trip. TTFN!Ü

Oh, btw, here are the rates.Ü

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I ♥ HK

Last year, I just really wanted to get out of Manila for my birthday. So when our Australia trip, which became a Singapore trip, didn't push through, I was devastated (ask Jovy...she knows. Hehe!). Anyhow, I figured, maybe i'm just really meant to spend my birthday with my family. True enough, this was the trip that did push through...with just a little planning. Kaya next time, ayoko na mag-plano. Hahaha!

It was actually during Ondoy's wrath that I was booking our trip. All we needed was land arrangement anyway and we're good to go. At that time, was offerring this really cheap travel package at USD48/pax for a 3D2N at Panda Hotel in Hong Kong (at the end of this blog are some pictures of the hotel.) The only catch was that the deadline to book was on that day that Ondoy was wreaking havoc in the entire Metro Manila area. Seeing as it was really impossible for anyone to leave the house at that time, the person whom I talked to tried to work things out so that we can just pay on the next working day. Good thing everything went well and in just the few hours since I suggested that we all go to Hong Kong for a short vacay, our entire trip was all set.Ü

The package actually included, aside from the hotel: roundtrip airport-hotel-airport transfer, a half day Hong Kong city tour, and complimentary breakfast at the nearby McDonald's. If you're more than 3 pax in the group, you can also avail of the Shenzhen tour that they're offering at no additional cost.Ü However, the Hong Kong city tour & Shenzhen tour are not worthit. Although both are offered for free, you'll be better off just planning the entire tour on your own. All you have to do is get that Hong Kong Visitor flyer at the airport and it shows you all the Hong Kong tourist spots...where to shop, where to dine, what to do, including how to get there via the MTR. No need to join any packaged tour. And with an MTR station at almost every corner in Hong Kong, you won't get lost, I promise (given that you know how to interpret a map Ü). However, the Shenzhen tour is a different story 'cause you'll be needing visa to enter China, which the tour company already took care of. However, it's still not worthit since they just brought us to a place selling Jade, a place selling Silk, and a place selling Tea. Totally not worth our time...unless Jade, Silk, and Tea are your thing.Ü

Oh, btw, we didn't go to HK Disneyland anymore coz we've all been to Disneyland in LA & from what i've heard, ga-tuldok lang daw ang HK Disneyland and we wouldn't have enjoyed it seeing as we've already been to a bigger Disneyland before. Besides, the goal of this trip was for food tripping...Roast Duck toppings galore! And we didn't have to go to Disnyeland for that.Ü

So...what are the essentials needed by any Hong Kong tourist? Aside from the Hong Kong Visitor flyer that I mentioned above, you'll need a map of the MTR (get it free at any MTR station) and a map of Hong Kong (I got this at the hotel lobby). Of course you have to take note of where your hotel is and what MTR stations are the closest to your hotel so that you can find your way back home...unless you leave bread crumbs along the way like Hansel & Gretel.Ü Aside from those two things, you'll need moolah of course and a comfortable pair of walking shoes. Needless to say, we were armed with all these essentials as we trooped around Hong Kong for 3 days.

And what do I love about Hong Kong? Roast Duck Toppings. MTR. Wellcome. That big & clean airport. Sephora (Oh yes! They have Sephora there! No need to travel all the way to the US!Ü). Everyone walks the same pace as I am (I'm a fast walker. And even their escalators are faster! Or was that just my imagination?Ü). And the fact that it's just a few hours flight from Manila.Ü I'm sure I'll find more things to love about Hong Kong, but for now, that's all I can think of. BTW, of the many times i've been to Hong Kong...i've never been to Ocean Park. [Hahaha! I don't know why...]. TTFN!Ü

Sunday, January 10, 2010

2009 in Retrospect

It is, once again, the start of a new year. And same as in the past years, we (as a nation, and the whole world, I suppose) are welcoming the new year with new hopes, new desires, and a dream that the new year will be the start of a better life for all of us. But before I embrace the year that is forthcoming to all of us, let me first reminisce the year that was, which is 2009. So…what would the highlights of my year be? Let me see…

  • Rang in the first day of the new year with an impromptu Tagaytay day trip with mom’s side of the family [I just love reunions & impromptu trips! Note to self for 2010: Be more spontaneous!Ü]
  • I got to go to the following places this year: Calaruega, Pinatubo, Boracay, Subic, Bicol, Bataan, Hong Kong, US.

Some trip highlights:
  • That heavy rain (with matching blackout & baha) while eating at Aling Lucing’s Sisig place on our way back home from Pinatubo
  • First time to try Parasailing at Boracay [So much fun!Ü]
  • Bumping into Jay-R at Boracay (with bonus picture c/o Mom…hehehe!)
  • Vacationing with typhoon Dante while in Bicol
  • Wakeboarding at CWC [This is us making the most of our Bicol trip with typhoon Dante Ü]
  • Bicol road trip on our way back to Manila [12 hours on a rented bus Ü]
  • Ninang Merl & Uncle Ken’s and Tatay Wenceslao & Nanay Conchit’s renewal of wedding vows (25th and 50th…in this day & age, this is such a milestone!Ü)
  • That Black Friday sale in the US [I finally have a laptop! After 14.5 hours of waiting outside of Best Buy…hahaha!]

  • Some close friends who got married: Aya & Jomike [and now with a BWP Junior on the way!Ü], Charm & Kim Ü
  • Got to attend the following PAL-sponsored trainings: Presentation Skills Workshop, Basic Family Assistance Training, BA Certification
  • Passing the BA Certification training and being a certified CqBA!Ü
  • My high school batch’s 10th year reunion [It was so nice seeing old familiar faces again.Ü]
  • That Pussycat Dolls concert [Thanks Shiela!], Club LAX [Thanks Jen!], Transformers & Harry Potter @ Director’s Club, MOA [Thanks again, Shiela for organizing Ü]
  • First time to try Pole Dancing and Lazerxtreme Ü
  • Single Ladies/La Perla Ladies night out [First time to ____ (fill in the blanks). You ladies know what happened that night. No need to elaborate. Hehehe!]
  • Got to see that partial solar eclipse on the 22nd of July [Candy: “Amazing!” O ha, partial solar eclipse pa lang yan! Pano pa kaya kung total (eclipse of the heart)? LOL!]
  • Celebrated Father’s Day at Circles in Shang [Thanks to the promo!]
  • First time to join two "run for a cause" events this year…and both got postponed because of typhoons [Sana hindi ako ang dahilan. LOL!]
  • Lunchmates photoshoot for Maan [I ♥ that white blanket. LOL!]
  • Did some catching up with best friend Silver, long-lost college batch mate Derek, and Vegas tripping with Tita P Ü
  • Tried to reinvent myself with an eyeliner & hair highlights towards the end of the year. Hehe!Ü

Some not-so-nice things that happened in 2009...
  • Manong Guard’s scrutiny of my outfit on a Saturday morning [Manong: “Ma’am, bawal po yung naka-shorts.” Take note: I was wearing knee-length shorts. HOWEVER, (even) short(er length) skirts worn during weekdays are allowed. Kung alam ko lang na sisitahin nya ko, I would’ve worn super short shorts para justified naman ang pag-sita nya sakin!]. However, I’d take this anytime compared to that BDO fiasco back in 2008.
  • Used up half of my allotted ELs for this year (which is actually not a good thing coz I only use my ELs if there’s flood due to heavy rains)
  • Typhoon Ondoy. Although I’m thankful that all we had to deal with was that 12-hour blackout at our area. It’s just heartbreaking to see those who were not as lucky as we were.
  • Failed attempt to reformat my PC from Vista to XP on Christmas Day. Hay, it was just so frustrating.
  • FB taking over the time that should've been spent writing my blogs [Currently contemplating on killing my FB account. Hindi ko pa ata kaya. Hehe.]
  • 756e72657175697465646c696b65

And quite a few personally unrelated matters that I just want to take note of...
  • Obama’s inauguration
  • Death of the following icons: Michael Jackson, Cory Aquino
  • AH1N1/Swine flu
  • Typhoon Pepeng

So...that was 2009 for me. For 2010, I only have one resolution and that is to: SMILE. Always.Ü Good luck to me on that! Hahaha! TTFN!Ü