Wednesday, September 29, 2010


The next day was such a crazy crazy day. I actually had to write about the events of that day (Wednesday, September 28) the following day because of how exhausting it really was. It started at 2:30 am when I woke up for some strange reason and saw a woman at the foot of my bed in the room I was staying at by myself in the backyard of my cousin’s house! Anyways, so I saw this woman and distinctly saw her face sharp distinguished nose fair skin, punching the wall. I know I was freaking out but stayed super still to avoid having her stare at me. After about a minute of rationalizing that I was probably dreaming (which I definitely wasn’t because I slapped myself), the woman disappeared and then I saw that the door was open. I thought this was strange and yes scary because I am pretty damn sure that I locked that door last night AND I am the only one with a key to this room. I tried to close my eyes and sleep but of course I was scared out of my mind. So there I was awake at 3am and I wasn’t being picked up until 7:30!

Finally, Jed picks me up and we begin our adventure via commute. First taking a tricycle (a batman & robin –esque mobile but not as cool) then by jeep. But with the traffic, the heat and the squished passengers, I couldn’t take it. By couldn’t take it I mean, after being on it for half an hour sweating and almost falling asleep, I told my cousin we should cab it. The cab was such a good idea since it was so much faster and air-conditioned plus we drove through the scenic route.

So after a total of a two and a half hour commute, we arrived at the Hospital where my aunt was undergoing a mastectomy. And to my horror, we (Jed and my other tita/aunt) were asked to come down to the operating floor where the surgeon brought out this mound of meat on a silver bowl. I didn’t fully realize what it was until he turned it over and I saw the pale skinned nipple. I’m pretty sure I almost passed out or vomited. And then he asked if we wanted to see the lump, to which my medically inclined cousin and aunt nodded and I just walked out of the room. It was quite a traumatizing experience, yet at the same time, when I think about the position that my aunt was in, I was sad and almost disgusted with my reaction. I had a good six hours to dwell with my thoughts since it took that long for her to undergo surgery and stay in the recovery room before being brought up to her room.

While I waited though I had the chance to try the Jollibee palabok for lunch and then grilled bangus (milkfish) for dinner. Both were pretty yummy and super cheap!

AM in Manila

So I woke up this morning and felt completely at home. Even driving from the airport to my cousin’s place I felt quite familiar with my surroundings. Today my cousin and I brought her son to his Montessori preschool where we sat and observed for a good half hour. While doing this observing the super cute little Filipino babies (4 year olds), I realized that I want one! Hahaha.

Anyways, afterwards we had lunch at Izakaya Kikufuji. It was so cool since we sat on the floor like in traditional Japan. I ordered, on request since they didn’t have it on their menu, a tuna tataki and gindara (a fish close to sea bass). The Tataki was a bit of a disappointment because instead of being pan-seared it was fully cooked well the outside was or maybe the fish was just a bit drier than usual? I’m not sure I just know that I wasn’t impressed. But then the Gindara came and I was in LOVE. It was so freaking amazing. Grilled fish with this sweet-esque soy sauce/BBQ sauce. We also had Katsuni (porkchop with egg) also quite yummy. After we went to the Coffee Bean in Greenbelt and I tried their Matcha Green Tea frozen yogurt… SO GOOD! Then I spent the rest of my money on self-indulgent treats such as assorted types of macarons from Bizu and cupcakes from Sonja’s at the Fort! The macarons were soo yummy, nice and crisp on the outside and chewy in the inside! Cupcakes from Sonja were also nice but the icing was a tad bit too sweet. Looks pretty though!

Take off

So as I sit here and wait for my plane to board, I decided that instead of reading the plethora of material I have prepared (as well as have been graciously gifted with) I would write the beginnings of my South East Asian Adventure travel blog. Yes, this will probably be full of random ramblings (more than usual) since I have managed to stay awake for the past two days. Crazy? Maybe? But being the coward that I am, I have decided to spend my first sixteen hour solo flight sleeping instead of engaging in conversation with my fellow row-ers. On the off side that all the caffeine I’ve consumed will prevent me from sleeping at all, I have given myself the task of learning some Japanese (since I’m travelling via Japanese Airlines).

Anyways, this is supposed to be about food and how I can intertwine my adventure experience into it. WELL, upon entrance to the airport, I decided to try the Smoked Turkey on Caibatta from Starbucks. For a whopping $6.49 I was not impressed. I guess the bun was so big that it dried out the sandwich and I’m not really a fan of tomatoes so that was a fail. Okay well, the lady at the gate has just spoken some super fast Japanese that I am assuming meant that I am boarding soon (I completely missed the English version before hand). --- Will write back in Tokyo!

Alright well here I am, sitting at th

is gate a good three hours before the plane boards. I tried to take up time by adventurously purchasing a bowl of Japanese Ramen that I thought was fairly yummy and way too filling (but at 750Y I guess it has to). What it consisted of, I don’t really know besides some so

rt of ramen noodles, beef, corn and this other thing that I have a hard time trying to describe. It’s like mixing the texture of ginger and jello together …. I know that doesn’t sound appetizing at all (trust me I had to mentally prepare myself to eat it).

I didn’t get much sleep on the plane ride over, I think there was still some caffeine lingering in my system and by the time I hit the half way mark I realized that it would be better if I saved my sleep for when I got to Manila since it would be night. I did get to re-watch Disney’s Wall-E. I forgot how cute that movie was, I found myself getting super teary (fine I shed a several tears –could have been from exhaustion). I also watched Iron Man 2 and The Karate Kid. It was a fairly comfy flight since I was in the aisle and there was an empty seat beside me. The food though, I was not too impressed. For lunch? Dinner? I’m not sure what time zone I was in but I had this fish except it was deep fried and not so great. I did have some of this noodle thing that tasted like ebi sunomono without the ebi or the sunomono. I’m not sure how to explain that one. And then for the next meal I got half a ham sandwich with this super cute and super yummy little pickle!

Anyways, I’m pretty sure this blog is super long as it is. I wish time would go by faster! I want to get to Manila already!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Is anything in life really complicated? Or is the fact that we have analyze things down to the little details that cause us to feel that things are complicated? Am I making any sense? Maybe I'm being to vague, maybe I'm doing it on purpose or maybe I'm just rambling about nothing except something to ramble about. I think I have made my life seem complicated when really when I get down to the basics its not.

I sit here writing at the stupid time of 5AM on a lovely Saturday and think if i wasn't in love with sleeping, I would get up this early everyday. I've let the cold morning air hug my face and through the amazing windows at the apartment, I've just witnessed the sky transform from an dark navy to a periwinkle blue. No matter how dreary this weather may seem, I still love my own ability to feel it. I love the sky and how it seems unreachable. I love the cold and how it can be calming. I love the rain because it's refreshing.

And while I think these random thoughts and feel these random emotions, I know that there will be times when I will hate all of these. Am I a raving lunatic right now? Maybe. Or maybe I'm just brain dead from being frustrated about not being asleep! I swear I began this blog with an actual topic in mind...
Everything is basic. I'm not trying to impose that 'its black or its white' mentality. I just mean to say that life is basic. Everyday we live to survive. Whether through feeding ourselves or social networking, we all exist and make choices based on our need for survival. And no matter who we are and what stupid nasty things we have done, we (well most of us) are mentally capable of using our own reason to find means to keep 'trucking'.
I think its funny sometimes how different we all can be, not just physically but mentally, emotionally and the combination of all of those. But I appreciate difference. I appreciate differences in opinions, beliefs and personalities. And for the most part, I appreciate the different, the outcast and the loner (I read a book with this title in Grade 5 and people made fun of me =( ). There are those who through their outcast-ness have created amazing things like Bill Gates with Microsoft. ... I almost feel like I'm preaching. Maybe this is my Dad's genes coming through (he likes to preach--- err him and his siblings talk a lot).

Anyways, this past week I enjoyed Daing (Filipino term for Milkfish) and eggs at Kulinarya while my cousin tried their BBQ Chicken Skewers and Tofu & Pork with vinegar sauce. Located behind Coquitlam Centre, their food was a tad bit overpriced but when you factor in the scarcity of Filipino restaurants within the Tricities, it seems like a good business strategy. Except their service was ... horrible. I have gone there before and I've always been treated amazingly except last weekend the servers were not paying ANY attention. They forgot the coffee we ordered and then did not refill empty water glasses, they never came around and asked if wanted anything else until the place got busy which really was their way of handing us the bill.

Then several days later, I went with my cousin to Chada Thai which never really disappoints (except that one time I found a hair in my dip =S). Anyways, we had these Golden Crispy Shells (with minced chicken with sweet corns, carrots, and chestnuts) which was original in its presentation but it tasted ordinary. We also had medium Green Curry Chicken served with bell peppers, eggplants, and basil and it was sooo yummy. It was the right creamy, the right spicy and the right salty. And of course we had Pad Thai a MUST at Chada Thai. We had plenty left over for the next days lunch for sure.

Maybe I should just learn to cook , this way I can stop complaining and whining.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Recently, I watched this cute heartwarming little animated sketch based on the real life of 70ish year old couple ( broadcasted by StoryCorps. It was so touching I thought I would write a blog about it as millions of others probably already have. Except now that I sit here and think of all the possible things I could be writing, I draw a blank. My mind although not empty is enveloped by the emotions and feelings I have within the depth of my heart (eff that sounds cheesy but its true). I feel like nothing I have to say or write can even express the feelings and emotions I have after reading/watching that. Sadness for the death that occured to such a loving couple, happiness knowing that a love so strong and people so amazing still exist in our modern individualistic world today and hope that there are thosands of other people wanting the same kind of values that this old couple encompased within their life together.

More importantly, this video along with thigns that I experienced this week has brought about the notion of value. Value as a measurement for people, relationships and life. I take people around me for granted sometimes. Living in an apartment by myself for the past month, I've missed my dog, my siblings and yes lol my parents for simply being around to keep me company or for a casual conversation. Sometimes I've taken forgranted my friendships and my family, knowing that they out of all people should be most understanding, I treat out of disregard at times. And life, we never seem to seriously comprehend how great it is until we are forced to see how limited and fragile it is.

Being so young I admit that I've been careless this summer. Careless with my time, my money and my friends. I look back now and see how stupid or foolish all my endeavors have been. And I recognize that while its necessary to think of your current necessities, its almost more important to consider your long term and future necessities.

Anyways, last friday my cousin decided to be the super amazing person she is and cook me and some friends a pretty freaking memorable dinner. There was a meat, cheese and crackers platter for appys. She cooked medium rare steak, truffle mashed potatoes with mushrooms and asparagus and she also baked a snapper filet with lemon pepper and various vegetables. And for desert, vanilla ice cream and fondue! .... I still feel really full thinking about all of it. But I learned how to make mash potatoes nice and creamy! And more importantly, I spent the night with my bestest friends in the entire world, definitely not a night to forget =)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I have such a love-hate relationship with money. I love it because, well, having it means having a lot of things I want. And I hate it because I need it to have anything I want. Since when did your standard of living depict your life happiness? I guess I haven't been around long enough or not as educated enough to answer that question. But similar to a Catholic priest's sermon, money is the root of all evil. I say this because I see money as the entity that separates groups of people within society, the 'haves' and 'have nots', the West Vancouverites and the East Vancouverites, the CEOs and the Third World citizens. While yes, some people work hard for their money, there are millions of people working SO hard yet don't earn half the amount I earn for sitting on my ass and writing this blog (not that I get paid for my amatuer blogging, I'm just blogging at work --I'm horrible I know).

Money has become a form of measurement. It measures how 'good' your life is, how many trips you can go on, how many things you can buy. It has become the focus of our life, to be successful for the most part means to make as much money to be 'financially comfortable'. It's so easy, as a resident of a Commonwealth nation, to talk about money and working hard, as we have more opportunities and possiblities for success available for us. We, I have been educated enough to be self-reflective and humbly grateful, to know the differences between my life and the lives of others not just in the Third Worlds but even in this country. I can sit here and preach while acting completely out of contradiction.

These past few weeks, I've indulged and penny pinched. Hitting the pub for wing night one day and lounging at the Keg patio with lobster and filet mignon another. Anyways, last weekend I went to the Philippine Festival in Richmond where my parents bought me lunch! haha always good. We went to this little Filipino Restaurant called Little Ongpin. Supposedly, the original Little Ongpin is in the Philippines and is known for it's amazing food. We ordered a lot of stuff most of which I don't remember but among them was Kare Kare, not pronounced as I initially thought (care-care) but like KAR-EH KAR-EH (it's in caps so you must say it with attitude). It is a yummy stew made with peanuts (my fave), green peas, bok choy, eggplant and whatever meat you want (usually pork?). We also tried this new style of Filipino rice that was mixed with Bagoong (shrimp paste pronounced as BAG-O-ONG) and green mango and pork. I'm usually up for new and exciting things so I liked these =) ... AND THEY WERE FREE (courtesy of my parents anyway). BTW, I stuck in a photo of chocolate frozen yogurt with strawberries in the beginning because they looked so freaking amazing.