Thursday, December 16, 2010

jollibee + bora

day 9 in the motherland.
our days are numbered. there are so many things to do, so many people to visit but so little time. i don't want to leave.
woke up at 4 today to go to mass at 4:30 am. today starts the simbang gabi a novena in preparation for christmas (mass at dawn). i love how christmas is pretty much still christmas here and not happy holidays.
i just got back from boracay and i had the greatest time. everything was amazing; the seafood, the water, the sun. i am stocking up on vitamin d for when i get back to gray, cold fast-paced toronto. i didn't take as many pictures - i had the hardest time fiddling around with the cam settings and it was too sunny that i couldn't really see what i was taking on the cam's lcd.
a summary of my bora trip:
- jollibee's before our flight: 1 burger steak+chicken joy = heaven
- 1 flight on a propeller flight + 2 bus transfers + 1 boat ride = gorgeous beachfront
- mojo potatoes at shakey's
- buko shake+papaya shake = not a good idea (but still very tasty)
- running on the beach without shoes on
- seafood under the stars and live music
- island hopping
- pukka shells on pukka beach
- sun bathing on the parao (sail boat with nets on either side that you sit on)
- breakfast of champions: garlic fried rice, over easy egg, dried fish (tuyo) with vinegar
- waking up at 5:45 am and sleeping past midnight
- starbucks runs and white chocolate sans rival (DIVINE)
- massage on the beach
- falling asleep on the beach
- firedancers
- mochi balls stuffed with ice cream
- a nice definitive tan line from my bathing suit

tomorrow's excursion involves greenhills. the quest for black, cutout flats continues.
enjoy the pictures and have a great weekend everyone!

ps: more pictures here

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Saturday, December 11, 2010


day 5 in the motherland.
- i am having so much fun. especially with my adorable cousins.
- still jetlagged, as you can tell. i was thisclose to falling asleep but then i had to take a shower.
- or maybe i just can't sleep on time
- i have been having wooonderful food, three times a day. unprocessed, home cooked and fresh.
- i love that when i come down there is breakfast waiting for me. sigh.
- getting used to the traffic. now i totally get why they say filipino time
- in fact, i'm loving the traffic (since i'm on vakay). i get to nap in the car.
- more on traffic: despite the horrible traffic, there's not a lot of road rage, from my experience anyway. since traffic is an accepted reality, there's really no point in getting mad.
- they don't have intersections here. they have u-turn slots! i kinda like that better.
- bought bathing suits and dresses for $137 CDN
- i am excited for bora on monday! i cannot wait to tan. can't go back without one. teehee my aunts were being funny about it..."really, that's what you want?"
tomorrow is the rosehill reunion. can't wait to see the old classmates!

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Monday, December 6, 2010


i am in manila now. i survived a 15 hour flight and a 2-day stop in hong kong with my lovable but mischievous brother.

sunset on the plane.

i first had my misgivings about the city, upon seeing the line of smog that the plane had to descend into and being welcomed by the familiar smell of foody mart as the cabin doors opened.


but i am in love with hong kong. it was definitely an assault for the senses, in the best possible way. lights and huge ads everywhere, people shopping and laughing at midnight, christmas songs, the smell of perfume and food. believe it or not, it felt like paris to me.
shopping is so cheap, if you know where to go. :) my aunt, being in the garments business, took me to an area where everything is at wholesaling price. *_* swipe, swipe went the card, but i didn't feel bad. i bought so many for less than $100. i spent more on wifi access (relatively speaking) than i did on clothes.
on our last evening i finally gave in and tried peking duck. i probably wouldn't try it again when i go back to toronto, but it was a good combination of the taste of pork and chicken. hehe. our most gracious host gave us some lessons on dinner tapping your index finger twice when the server pours out your tea for you. or having your left hand on the table while eating.
my last day in hong kong was spent in macau, china. we took the turbo jet which sped through the murky and brown waters of...the south china sea? i'm not sure what it was, but it looked pretty dirty. luckily i didn't have that much to eat that morning because the ride was sickening. so i popped a gravol, slumped into my seat, closed my eyes and listened to music all the way to macau. we didn't do much gambling, which is what macau is known for, but we did have lunch there and strolled around the venetian.
we took the 10 pm flight to manila and i was ko'd. i felt drugged and beaten up. i woke up at...2 pm today. my aunt drew the curtains, and for the first time looked at manila in daylight. banana and papaya trees in her backyard, all swaying with the light breeze (not so hot after all! thank god we're here in december!). i sat down for lunch (sinigang! spareribs! ah!) and marvelled at the bananas - they are soooo yellow and soooo sweet here! (compared to the oversized, white canadian bananas). my shirts got ironed for me (i cannot and should not get used to this) and my wonderful, wonderful aunt took us for a massage and i felt pains that i never knew existed in my legs. oohhhhhh it was lovely. afterwards we went for dinner at eastwood, which finally satisfied my curiosity.
oh dear friends, my vacation officially started today. my brother hid my citrix token for me. so i can stop checking my work emails. tomorrow i am going to wake up at the normal hour, get waxed, get a haircut and get a bathing suit.
enjoy the hong kong pics. i have yet to take pics of manila. coming soon :)

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Friday, November 26, 2010

a free woman.

(taken with jarvis. in, of all places, oakville.)

i have been staying till 9 pm at work and coming in over the weekend just to finish things. 200 kits, a bunch of BEO revisions, 18 canadian cities, 18 expense reports and 2 nerve-racking events later, i am now a free woman. harhar. what saved me from all the insanity was hot, sweaty yoga. yum yoga.
finally, dear friends. i have finally allowed myself to get excited about my two upcoming trips: mont tremblant for our national sales conference, and the long awaited family-food-fun-heat filled manila trip.
the only downside really is packing.
i HATE packing. what's worse is i have to pack for two kinds of weather.
so being the googler that i am, i googled how to pack for a trip. and i found a nice packing list. it's quite helpful.
and just like when shopping, i think it's important to have a full belly to pack. and this is when i say good bye and make myself a nice open-faced nutella sandwich.
have a good weekend everyone. and if you're packing for a trip too, good luck. :)

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

it was so easy and the words so sweet

how time flies! and this poor blog hasn't been updated in ages. i looked at it today and i must admit that my little countdown on the left shocked me a little bit.
16 days before i leave. and before that i will be travelling again.
*i need more time!*
so many things to do: applying for travel insurance, getting shots and drugs (teehee, dukoral!), packing (which i hate), clean my room, do my laundry, getting painfully waxed.
as it gets closer though i am getting more excited for this grand finale of the year. i am in need of a break.
despite all the savasanas and deep inhales and exhales, the mind can not relax. when i used to dream of forgetting to hand in essays or being caught cheating, i now dream of work - missing speaker's notes, conference materials that never made it to its destination, missing a plane.
i will make sure that this break will be full of simple things, to erase those cold, grumpy november days. i will have 8 hours of sleep. i will forget about work. i will spend quality time with family and friends. i will take pictures. and eat freely.
have a good day everyone.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010


my siblings did such a good job with birthday presents this year that i must share!
from my sister i got the prettiest tea set (cups+saucers, dessert plates, creamer, sugar pot and a teapot). i don't really drink tea. the closest thing to tea that i drink is um, bubble tea and tea that they serve in japanese/chinese restaurants. i don't really go out of my way to make myself one. when i want something warm and comforting to drink, i usually go for coffee or a latte. my room is like a little kitchen cupboard with my teapots and teacups and cake stand. the next thing i want not pans...but worse: fake little macarons. harhar.

i love the packaging...just like hat boxes

she also got me a copy of miss dahl's voluptuous delights !

i must admit that i have been watching delicious miss dahl over and over again. when i want to induce myself to sleepiness, this is what i watch. not because it's boring but because her voice is so calm and soothing and her show has the best soundtrack ever. unfortunately the BBC cancelled it. she wasn't very well received in the UK: she was accused of being a nigella wannabe, was slammed for her want of kitchen skills, and was criticized for exploiting her "rich girl" and literary (her grandfather is roald dahl) roots to create a cookbook (blargh, but who doesn't really these days? we've got disney actors/actresses-turned-singers). but argh, sophie, we love you here. she is exactly what we need. i think food shows nowadays are either too testosteroned or too technical. every week they take you to the grocery or the market. sophie dahl cooks from childhood memories and takes you to a fromagerie one day, an antique store, to the cemetery or to the seaside. her food is easy and simple to make and if i had to describe it would be like a blankie or your favorite doll: it's comforting.

my brother bought me four of the pretty penguin classics designed by coralie bickford-smith to start off my collection (which has led to a purchase of another eleven from i only have 5 left to collect (have to wait until they are released in september). unfortunately crime & punishment and madame bovary are sold out, and i refuse to buy lady chatterley's lover (the last thing i want is for one of my future/imaginary kids to crack open the book and lose themselves in lady c's lustful escapades with a...gardener? was lady c's lover a gardener? i only know this because i HAD to read it for school and write a paper on it).

i remember reading little women when i was in grade 2. having re-read it as an adult, i have to say that i still hate amy and love jo but have now finally come to terms with the fact that she ended up with mr baer and not laurie. jo and laurie would have killed each other.

i love the bookmarks.

that is all. i should really update this blog more often.
today felt like thursday. it should be friday tomorrow but alas it isn't.
if you want to buy the tea sets, indigo still has them. as for the books, hurry before they are all gone!
have a good week all :)

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

a quarter of a century old

i turned 25 yesterday. funny, looking back at a post from last year, my birthday again, was full of flowers, yummy cakes, italian food, hugs & kisses AND harry potter. this time it's a little different. i actually got over my fear of organizing something for myself and did a movies under the stars with my closest friends.
there is nothing better than eating sandwiches with the sun setting behind you and watching where the wild things are outdoors, listening to your best friend talking about her wedding plans (i love you, A), sitting on blankets and running across a field to the parking lot, hand in hand with the sweetest girls.

i've promised myself that before turning 26 that i would
- run a 5k
- learn taekwondo
- get my license (g1. yes...i failed my g2. twice. blargh)
- learn spanish
- learn to use illustrator

and again, because i like making lists, here is a list of things i've learned and am still learning in my 25 years here on earth.
- treat others not because you want to be treated that way. but because they are people.
- fake it till you make it. that includes confidence.
- do not expect too much from others. be understanding. make excuses for people, but never for yourself.
- always be on time for others
- keep your promises or think before you say yes
- delegate
- think before you speak, email or text.
- ask for forgiveness right away, even when it hurts.
- love not as much as you can, but as much as the person needs to be loved
- only you can change your course. so take charge.
- quality, not quantity, in clothes and in friendships

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

it's official: philippines!

we finally bought our tickets! it took us two months to decide on the dates and i am relieved that it is all finalized. we are doing a two-night stopover in hong kong and then manila. i haven't been back since we flew to LA for christmas in 1996 and then moved to canada in 1997.

that's 13 years!

i am so excited. i have cousins that i've only heard of and met through facebook.
so yeah, being the dork that i am, i've put up a countdown on the sidebar of this blog. it eases the pain of not being able to take any vacation days right now.

have a great day everyone!

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Monday, April 26, 2010

cherry blossoms

it's 11:10 PM and the wind is howling like crazy. is it the same for you or is it just in markham?
a week from now and john will be on his way to new york. it will be sad, but he needs to do what he needs and wants to do. i just need to be patient and to keep trusting that everything will fall into place. i must admit that i am excited for him. it's the type of thing that you watch in movies. :)
but ah, enough emo-ness. we finally got to experience the much talked about (and photographed!) cherry blossoms. we started the day at ikea teehee and watched chloe.
BLARGH. we didn't know that it was going to be THAT bad, but knowing that it was an atom egoyan film should have given it away. never again.
to remedy the failed motion picture experience, we walked to petite thuet and bought macarons. their macarons are so much better than the ones i got from la bamboche. they were perfect: a nice little outer crust and chewy inside. my favorite is rosewater. the girl at the cafe even tied a little ribbon around the box ("purple or blue?" could i have pink please? ha.) we took the train to high park and followed the crowds.
if you haven't gone, you should. it is so beautiful. it looked snow. light pink snow. and everyone there just looked so happy.

have a great week everyone.

a canopy of pink loveliness.

i will miss this old man.

rosewater, hazelnut and salted caramel.
sigh. i can eat them all day.

macaron-shaped heart.

macaron toast. we toast to everything. even chopsticks.

john's very first macaron experience.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

more pictures from victoria

victoria is one of the prettiest and cleanest cities i've been to. i walked for three hours just taking pictures, but it would have been nice to have shared it with someone too!
highlights from the victoria trip:
- scariest room ever: i stayed at the fairmont empress, which is apparently haunted. i swear, i was woken up in the middle of the night by something or someone, tugging at my comforter (something a cat would do when they're trying to wake you up).
- chinatown - i loved, loved their chinatown
- discovering the venus sophia tearoom
- japanese takeout on my bed, with food network in the background
(scroll below for more picsies)

have a great friday everyone!
tomorrow john and i will make the trek to high park to see the sakura trees and i'm hoping that we'll have time to watch the backup plan. harhar, yeaaaaahhh, it's j. lo and the idea's been done, but i also enjoyed the wedding planner and maid in manhattan. harhar.
enjoy the sunshiney day.

more here.

Get the flash player here:

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

i love you, room.

in the past 6 days i have gone on 5 flights, slept in four hotels, been to 4 different cities, and rode in one tacky white stretch limo (to saskatoon, can you imagine) and have indulged in abundant conference food and client dinners. i had a lot of fun and learned a lot and feel so blessed and thankful to have been given this awesome opportunity, but i am so glad to be home. to be with family.

i came home yesterday and wanted to get down on my knees and kiss the carpet of my room. i know that sounds a little dramatic, but sleeping in a different hotel room every night is not as romantic as it seems. it is lonely and in some ways, a little freaky.

today, i have never felt so happy to wake up in my own bed and to spend the day just la-dee-da-ing around. in joy i have eaten 3 bananas with nutella and made a nice salisbury steak and mashed potatoes dinner for me and my sister and john, watched three movies (out of 9 movies i've checked out from the library) and reruns of the delicious miss dahl.

i hope your saturday was as good as mine.

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