PHUKET: PHI PHI & KHAI ISLANDS

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If there’s one reason why I got excited when we booked our flight to Phuket last November, it was the trip to Phi Phi coz I’ve long been wanting to see it after I watched the 2000 Leonardo DiCaprio hit, The Beach. The movie was filmed in Ko Phi Phi Leh, one of the 2 major islands of Phi Phi (the other one’s Ko Phi Phi Don) and it looked really majestic on screen.

We planned to go to Phi Phi Islands on our 2nd day in Phuket. The trip costs THB1,400-1,600 but since I was with the ultimate haggler in the whole wide universe (my friend, Nheng), we got ours for THB1,250 each. The package includes boat ride to Ko Phi Phi Lei, Ko Phi Phi Don and Khai Islands plus buffet lunch (Western and Thai food) plus snacks and drinks on the boat.

Some photos taken at Phi Phi..


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We were approached by a bunch of Indians to have our photo taken.. (and told us in jest that they’re gonna publish it on an Indian magazine.. hahaha!)

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Beer bellyyyy!!!!!

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Lunch

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Planker on my back

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Island of monkeys

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… then at Khai.
 
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Despite all the fame and hype, Phi Phi didn’t really amaze me as much as Philippine beaches did (e.g. Palawan, Coron, Camiguin, etc.). Sure, Phuket is nice, Phi Phi and Khai Islands are beautiful.. it’s just that it’s overrated. The sand is average in terms of being white and fine; there were a lot of vessels blocking the way for pleasurable swimming.

Aside from snorkeling, there are no other things to do than laze around and relax.. but how can you relax when there’s a lot of people wandering.

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Of course, these aren’t the only criteria that determine how beautiful an island is but I’m just speaking based on my experience as well as preference. Anyway, who am I to complain.. might as well rent the whole island so there won’t be other people there, right? Hahahah! Smile with tongue out

It only saddened me that beaches in the Philippines are a lot more breathtaking but many of them aren’t really known worldwide. Could it be that we have poor tourism campaign? Or perhaps it’s the infamous hostage taking and crime scenes in the country that’s veering away potential tourists.

Oh well, it wasn’t that bad though.. coz I saw one of my idols..

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Bob Marley.. hahahahahahahaha! :P


HELLO AEGESSHI

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hello miss

Blame the 4-day off on Chinese New Year, I totally forgot about a lot of things, including updating this blog and even doing the chores. While a lot of my friends and colleagues went on vacation, I stayed at home glued to my laptop watching a Korean drama called “Hello! Miss”, also called “Hello! My Lady” (or Aegesshi, a Korean word for Miss, or baby, or young lady.. not sure though, better ask your Korean friends, if you have one. Hehe), a 16-episode drama that was aired in 2007 (I read it was also shown on GMA in the Philippines a few years back).

I used to spend my weeknights watching “My Binondo Girl” on TFC coz of the daily dose of kilig it gave me. Oh well.. when you’re single, you would just settle for romantic teleseryes than sulk and wonder why hasn’t anybody come and sweep you off your feet. Smile with tongue out

I felt sad that My Binondo Girl’s over coz I’m gonna miss Andy Wu (one of my most loved characters on Philippine TV). He sure can make any woman fall for him. So I waited for a “replacement” of him in my heart. Daniel (Coco Martin) of "Walang Hanggan" came and I began liking him, but the show’s too dramatic for my taste. It gives me heartaches more than laughter so I just opened my computer and began searching for Korean series to waste my time for (man, 4 days at home was sooooo boring.. all I could do was eat, sleep, watch TV, swim and swim in booze). Then I revisited an old favorite site – maaduu, it’s a free, legal site (only in Singapore in Malaysia) that boasts a collection of Korean dramas from 1999 up to present. Some friends told me to watch “City Hunter”, I know it’s being aired on ABS-CBN in the Philippines but I opted to watch “Hello! Miss” instead coz it stars two of my favorite Korean actors – Lee Da Hae and Lee Ji Hoon.

Lee Da Hae has one of the prettiest faces in Korean entertainment (though there are some rumors of her undergoing plastic surgery), she looks so sweet and angelic, and funny too. Her 2005 hit “My Girl” is also one of my favorite Korean shows. Lee Ji Hoon, on the other hand, is one of the very few Korean actors that I like. I first saw him in “Wonderful Life” and since then I got interested in seeing more of his projects. I know he’s not that popular in acting world (coz he is a singer turned actor and in fact, prince of KPop as they) like that guy in “Boys Over Flowers” (Sorry, I don’t know his name) but Ji Hoon has this smile that can make me smile too. Haha! I feel like I’m back to high school while writing this. Smile with tongue out

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SYNOPSIS (taken from HERE)


Lee Su-ha (played by Lee Da-hae) inherited the historical home, Hwa Ahn Dang, of the Je-an Lee clan after her father left for Seoul with another woman years ago and her mother died last year of stomach cancer. That is when her dual life began as the head of the nearly-ruined clan as she refused to give up on the Hwa Ahn Dang. But one day she meets Hwang Dong-kyu (played by Lee Ji-hoon), who asks her to sell the Hwa Ahn Dang to him by any means. Dong-kyu is the grandson of a servant who 50 years ago ran away from the Hwa Ahn Dang after stealing its cow and a bale of rice. But after much bickering, Su-ha and Dong-kyu end up falling in love with each other.
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One of the things that I liked about this series is how it was able to somehow introduce me to the Korean traditions with all those manor homes, the family, elders and lady of the manor stuff. I ‘ve been so fascinated by everything about Korea (except for the music.. haha!) -- its culture, food, people, fashion and entertainment that it has become a dream for me to visit the country one day. I was, in fact, booked to Busan and Seoul last year but I had to let it go coz of my relocation to Singapore that brought changes. Anyway, it can wait.. hopefully this year, so I better save my Leave credits for it. Smile

It’s also amazing that though it depicted the old Korean culture, it also did not ignore the fact that we’re on the 21st century, hence, shows the modern Korea as well. It’s like I am watching a documentary and current events shows at the same time. But of course, it’s not all about culture that got me enthralled, it’s also the romance. Da Hae and Ji Hoon definitely have the chemistry that made me smile in most of the scenes. You know you’re addicted to (and affected by) a romantic series when even taking a bath you keep recalling the scenes in your head, unintentionally skipping meals so you can finish the whole episode and smiling for no reason at all.

Korean dramas really melt my heart. Probably because of the absence of stories within a story within another story that Philippine drama shows present, the charming actors/actresses, or merely the simplicity of the plot.

So I guess whenever I feel like crying my heart out, I’ll watch Pinoy soaps, but when I would just like to smile and (pretend to) fall in love, I’ll look for another romantic Korean series, care to suggest one? Smile


2011: A YEAR OF CHANGE

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Unlike my usual New Year posts, I am writing about circumstances (instead of people) that had significant impact on me in the year that was.

As they say, change is the only thing that’s constant in this world. Even one tough and determined person (like me) cannot escape from it. It all started when I got an irresistible opportunity to work for a consulting firm here in Singapore. From then on, my life has changed in probably the most exciting way… Smile


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Singapura: New home.


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My career started to BLOOM.

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I sometimes miss having a yaya back home. But it's okay. I'm proud to be one domesticated GODDESS now. Hahaha!

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Found a family away from home. Because family doesn't always mean having the same blood running through your veins.

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Celebrated 1st Birthday away from family and friends in Manila.

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Night life no longer means going out, partying and dancing the night away.

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HAPPY HEART. Single is fabulous.

It has been an awesome year for me. I feel so blessed and really happy.

I am hopeful that 2012 will bring me more changes.. for the better, of course.

I pray as well that God will already bless me with that “gift” I’ve been praying for so long. Coz I’m ready. I’m certain He can see how ready and excited I am now.Smile

HELLO 2012!

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Welcoming the New Year with my brother, sister-in-law, niece and cousins in Manila. Smile

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As always, I did a lot of cooking. :)
                   
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Wishing you all a prosperous New Year! Love, love, love. Smile

CHRISTMAS 2011: ELECTRIC FUN

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Before I left Manila (or maybe until now), I was an advocate of Point-of-View Stand Up Comedy that my boy friends are passionate about. I religiously watched every single gig in the metro and tried my best to have them watched by my other sets of friends too. Somehow I succeeded, a lot of my friends became “fans”. I am also glad that even if I am no longer based in Manila, they still watch and hang out with my boys.

My life back then didn’t just mean gimmicks and night outs, I was also active in supporting NGOs and charity events by some groups and individuals. I love benefit shows so much that GB (my boy friend) set up a show called “Isip Bata” on the night of my birthday (2009) in one of our most frequented bars in the metro at the time (Ditzy Diner) coz he knew that I wanted to do something different on my 25th birthday. Our barkada threw a Jollibee Party for the children of Gawad Kalinga Payatas and the money we gathered from the show was used to buy school supplies for the kids. Some friends were also generous enough to donate other goods that we put in the loot bags to be given away. That was fun and I ‘d love to do it again in the future when I come home for good in the Philippines.

And what a better way to celebrate the season than combining 2 of my interests – Stand Up Comedy and Philanthropy.

My friends and the management of Tomato Kick in Katipunan came up with a show last December 28th for the benefit of Sendong victims.

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This is what I love about my boy friends. They may be funny and naughty but they have a heart. They use their talent for a good cause and I love them for that.

It was also like hitting 3 birds in one stone for me, coz apart from supporting comedy and charity, I was also able to see and bond with my friends who I have not seen in a long time.

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Gogolosh <3

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Geebeeeeee!!!!

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Si Kuya Alex sikat na?! (Watch daw kayo Usapang Lalake on Studio 23 :P)

Too bad I wasn't able to invite my blogger friends to this event (I know you grabbed the opportunity to spend quality time with the family and I didn't want to demand for your time.. hehe!). I hope next time we can plan an event like this so we can bond and party too.  :)


CHRISTMAS 2011: GLAD TO BE HOME

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I still have a lot of topics to write about here but since I had a 9-day vacation in the Philippines recently, I got swamped when I got back to work last week that made me busy as a bee so I’ll just write a short entry about this festive season.

I left Singapore on Christmas Eve and was supposed to arrive at 12:15AM in Manila. Unfortunately, my flight got a bit delayed (imagine an airport full of OFWs carrying too much/excess baggage as pasalubong for their families that airline crew had a hard time managing, ergo, the plane wasn’t able to leave on time).

Anyway, I finally arrived in Manila at around 1:30AM. I had to spoil my family’s Noche Buena at home coz I asked my brother to pick me up from the airport. Haha! I was finally home past 2 in the morning.

Not bad though.. I was still able to join the Noche Buena… with leftover food. Haha!

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The following day (Christmas Day), my brother (with his wife and daughter) and I met up with our sister (with her husband and kids) for dinner.

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Our parents were also there via Facetime. Hahaha!

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It was such a fun night coz I was able to play with my niece and nephews who I really missed. And even if our parents were not able to come home for the holidays, I still feel complete coz my siblings spent time with me though they already have a family of their own now.

My siblings and I were never close when we were young. But as they say, when you get older and mature, you will learn to value your family more. After all, family will always be family no matter what happens. So they should come first before anybody else in the whole wide universe, right?

Indeed, it was a Merry Christmas for me. Smile

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