Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Of smooth landings and the little things

After flying in and out of Manila for so many times (more than I ever imagined I'd be doing), I've decided to dedicate a blog post to the people who make air travel [more often than not] convenient for everyone.

Smooth landings = great pilot

I often think that if a pilot is good, a smooth landing is imminent and from the many times I've flown with Cebu Pacific this year, I have come to a generalization that Cebu Pacific pilots are good when it comes to touching down the runway. Someone actually mentioned that Filipino pilots are known for their smooth landings - yey for the Pinoy pilots. :)

Little things do matter

From the many times I've been on a plane, the instances I'm seated on the window seat are just a handful. Just two weeks ago in our NAGA-MLA flight, I got the chance to sit on the window seat (because the person beside me wanted the aisle seat instead of his window seat) and just before our plane started moving I looked out the window and what I saw made me smile. :)

I was wondering why the ground crew were all standing in line just a few meters away from the plane and why they didn't enter the airport after finishing all the pre-flight checks. turns out, it was their SOP to all line up and wave goodbye to the departing plane and all the passengers in it. It's such a minute detail, but it matters to me and maybe to other passengers as well. That simple gesture made me feel that it was more than a routine for the ground personnel, it's a way of showing the passengers that it's more than just a business - it's a service. :) So to those who have qualms about flying, try sitting in the window seat and just when all doors have been closed and the fasten seat belt sign has been switched on and your plane is about to depart, look out the window and you'll see a bunch of friendly faces bidding you good bye and wishing you a safe flight. :)

Here's a grateful shoutout to the men and women who keep the airline industry afloat both literally and figuratively!
***Photo credits go to (found through google images)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

And the honeymoon begins for P'Noy

He began by saying, 'kayo ang aking lakas'... And I felt that it was a fitting start for a new administration that presents a promise of a new Philippines. Today was actually the first time I stayed tune to the TV to witness the inauguration of our country's 15th president, President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III and I think most Filipinos at home did the same as me. Why? I guess most Filipinos felt that the new Aquino government is indeed a far better cry to the administration that preceded it. To give it straight, today was a day of hope and the start of yet even more fervent hoping from Filipinos.
There were so many beautiful sound bytes from the new President's inaugural speech, just as in all speeches given by our past presidents, but today felt a bit different, not just for me, but for the over 500,000 Filipinos who trooped to Quirino Grandstand. Today, it was a second Aquino president addressing the nation - the second Aquino who symbolized the hope that is still left in the hearts of Filipinos. The words of P'Noy were both promising and very challenging:
> Sa araw na ito, dito magwawakas ang pamumuno ng manhid sa hinaing ng sambayanan.
> Hinding-hindi ko sasayangin ang pagtitiwala na ipinagkaloob ninyo sa akin
> We will make government an abler not a hindrance to business
> Sa mga nang-api sa sambayanan, wala akong karapatan na limutin ang inyong mga kasalanan
And my favorite...
> Ngayon, tayo ay kabilang sa isang bansa kung saan maaari nang mangarap muli
They say that every new administration has its honeymoon period. My wish for the Aquino government is that this honeymoon period will never end so all the legacy that precedes Noynoy, all the promises and hopes of a new Philippines will not go to shame.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Florentina Homes: Our good karma in Dumaguete City

Good Karma does exist - this I found out during my last Visayas fieldwork with my colleagues, Scheh & Yael. You see, we have been through so many twists and turns with a number of jumps as well (literally and figuratively), throughout our 3-day journey. We took the ferry to take us from Iloilo to Bacolod and for some reason, none of us had beginners luck. Our 1 hour ferry ride was nothing close to smooth sailing. On the outside, we kept our cool, but we were sweating cold in reality -- silently hoping that the gods of the sea would hear our plea for our ferry agony to end. When we arrived in our destination after an hour and a half of mastering the will to keep ourselves from vomiting, we knew we've survived the worst. But then our bus ride to Dumaguete came next.

Yet again, we endured more than 6 hours of zigzag roads that got our stomachs turning and our heads aching. Again, we clinged on to our mastery of keeping ourselves from vomiting. We arrived a little before 9PM in Dumaguete, just praying for a good enough place where we could rest our more than worn out selves. But the heavens gave us more than we asked for.

Thus began our experience of good karma. The moment we arrived in Florentina Homes where we were billeted, we felt better. The whole place was very inviting - with all the happy colors and cozy interiors. Getting to our room was an even better story. I smile even up to now when I try to recall how relieved we felt and how it showed in our giddy way of surveying our apartment style unit.

We were given the Interlaken unit, which was a Swiss style aprtment unit. It had 2 rooms, a kitchen, a living area and even a spacious veranda. It was in all ways quaint and cheerful with happy colors of sky blue, apple green, yellow, white and hints of red and brown. We knew we hit the good karma pot and that we would get our well-deserved rest in our cozy rooms.

Florentina Homes to me is such a novelty. The diner, Gabby's Bistro, Rana Verde, the coffee shop and Oasis, the pool area all contributed to create the cohesive charm and appeal of this subtle treasure in Dumaguete. It had so much liveliness and quirkiness and personality that would guarantee any traveler a nice time or a peaceful retreat. The great menu was a great bonus too plus it's just 5 mins. from the airport as well as the city proper. You might think I was paid to write this, but I don't have that much readers anyhow, but I really wasn't. I was just so amazed that a wonderful experience could come after some significant difficulty. You may think I'm exaggerating, but for me, Florentina Homes was indeed our good karma in Dumaguete. Find out more at

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Never liked your veggies but love your pizza - try a Dear Darla

I know I know, it's been around since last year, but I just got around to trying it just now and I simply loved it, that's why I'm writing about it.

I never thought that alfalfa sprouts would be as gastronomically pleasurable until now - thanks to Yellow Cab's Dear Darla Pizza. It's a good balance of veggies and the oily good stuff for those who aren't hardcore vegetarians, but are trying to slowly change their ways. For those who haven't tried it yet, the Dear Darla pizza is just like your typical Yellow Cab pizza with cheese, onions, olives and capers, the difference is, it's thinner (it think) and it's cut into long strips instead of triangles so it would be easier to roll. Just spread out the arugula leaves and top it with the alfalfa sprouts, and you're ready to roll and bite into the yummy, but sort of healthy treat that is the Dear Darla pizza. It's really worth trying and I hope it stays on the menu. Can't wait for my parents to try it. I'm sure they'll love it even more than I do. Yey for Yellow Cab and their attempt to bring a tinge of health to their yummy yummy pizza. Try it! Go!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New Snack Out Now: Potato Chips Salt & Vinegar!

Have you tried the latest snack from Jack 'n Jill Potato Chips? Potato Chips Salt & Vinegar. It's honestly my new favorite - maybe because it's in a happy happy shade of yellow and I love the play of saltiness and tangy taste on potato chips. It's already out in selected groceries, so make sure to get a taste of this snack that's packed with crisp tangy goodness. I promise, it won't fall short of your expectations (all my biases aside). :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Nine Works' RENT delights

525,600 minutes... almost everyone knows the song 'Seasons of Love' from the musical play Rent or maybe even the movie and almost everyone fell in love with the way it was sung, its melody and its lyrics. Last night, I fell in love again with this beautiful song and many others I didn’t bother to listen to that much before, while watching Nine Works’ staging of the timeless musical play by Jonathan Larson.

Though I already know the story and the songs by heart, I didn’t really know what to expect when it’s staged by a Filipino cast (since I didn’t get to watch the ones in PICC and Music Museum). Overall it was great and more than I expected, and I think the strongest aspect was the casting. The lead Pinoy actors were really perfect fits to the characters they played. Although the girl who played Mimi was good too, I was expecting someone with a higher pitched voice to play the young, spunky and sensual girl that is Mimi. Giancarlo Magdangal on the other hand, as Roger was a real revelation – his voice and acting gives justice to the serious and passionate character. I just thought he was mainstream so I didn’t think he could pull off the character of Roger with such gusto. But if you ask me, it was Albert Bautista, the guy who played Angel, who really stole the spotlight taking along with him, OJ Mariano as Tom Collins. Their characters were such a delight to watch - nakakaaliw talaga. They left me and the entire audience smiling and laughing despite all the taboos portrayed. Another highlight for me was Carla Guevarra who played Maureen, she was bratty, carefree, blunt, seductive and a good singer too - galing! 525,600 props to Nine Works and their pure talent and love for their craft!

The entire cast is really worthy of praise, but the ones above are the actors that I think stood out. Do yourselves a favor please– watch RENT and fall in love with the wonderful lyrics and melodies of Seasons of Love and La Vie Boheme and the pure humanity of this beloved play!
Viva La Vie Boheme indeed! =)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The latest in my sea of shoes

I was just window shopping while waiting for my dad to pick me up, when I spotted something pretty. It was a pair of penny loafers sans the band and with a twist – it was in pink faux snake skin. I went inside to have a closer look and within a heartbeat I knew I had to own a pair. *swoons* I asked for my size, but unfortunately they didn’t have mine in pink, so I tried on another color just to see how it feels. It was really comfy and the instep was very soft. I asked for the product code and the number of other SHOEBOX branches so I could look for the pretty pink loafers in my size.

The weekend after I saw the pair of shoes, I went on a frantic quest in Greenhills. Alas, they had the pretty pink penny loafers in my size. I tried it on and happiness followed suit. I was twice as delighted to find out that the shoes were very reasonably priced at Php 699.00 and thrice as delighted to learn that they were made in Marikina, also known as the Philippines’ shoe capital.

This now brings me to another thing I’m very passionate about. As Alex Lacson said in his book , ‘12 Little things every Filipino could do to help our country’, I firmly believe that we should ‘BUY LOCAL. BUY FILIPINO’. It’s a simple gesture that could go a long way. It’s a noble principle and a simple show of patriotism. So why don’t you go out and scour the malls and tiangges near you, you’d be surprised how some of the nicest things you’ll find are made in the Philippines by Filipinos.

Try checking out the other pretty footwear that’s truly Philippine made at Shoebox with branches in Cybermall Eastwood, Greenhills near Vmall and others that I may not know of. All in all, the day I bought my pink shoes was a good shopping day for me – beaming again with Pinoy pride because of the chic and comfy pink penny loafers looking flats I now call my own. :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Finally! My very own Longchamp Le Pliage Eiffel

I've always loved bags, especially since I have a mother and a handful of aunts who love bags as well. Today, I can proudly say that I have earned my very own semi-luxury bag with the debut of my Longchamp Le Pliage Eiffel in Papier. Earned? Yep, it's my 'professional fee' for having worked as the coordinator for my brother's wedding last December 19. And it’s gonna be the start of something new. :)

Allow me to rave about Longchamp Le Pliage bags. Two years ago, these bags weren’t as popular as they are today here in the Philippines, but since then, it has had its loyal following of Filipinas toting this carry-all bag. The thing I like about Longchamp Pliage bags is its functionality. The ones I have are all in medium, and they can fit in a whole lot of stuff. Its genuine leather handles are sturdy enough to hold whatever it is that’s in your bag. The plain color Pliage bags look very chic and it can go from work to a nice stroll in the mall after office hours or even a dependable hand carry for going out of town or out of the country. Its name Pliage means to fold – you can fold it up and place it in your luggage so you have an extra shopping bag for your trips too! Plus, it’s rain proof and very easy to clean – a good thing for those girls on the go. :)

So why write about it? Because it’s functional and chic, yun lang? Like all other bags, you could say. But to me and many other girls my age, the Longchamp Le Pliage bags are starter bags for those who have a penchant for designer bags. It’s in the cheapest matrix of the glorious world of luxury bags, but it’s a good start and a good little investment I suppose. That’s how I see it. Next stop… PRADA and CHANEL and of course, HERMES… NOT. Hehe. Right now I shall just linger around and spread more Longchamp love. :)