Category Archives: Friends

Washington Visit 2013 – Seattle (5/25/2013)

Ride The Ducks

Started the day with a tour via Ride The Ducks of Seattle, situated near the Seattle Center. It gave us a view and history of Seattle in a hilarious and entertaining manner. Was definitely a treat!

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Seattle Center / Space Needle

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Chihuly Glass Museum

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Experience Music Project

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Pike Place

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Kurt Cobain’s House

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Washington Visit 2013 – Mt. Rainier (5/26/2013)

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Washington Visit 2013 – Leavenworth (5/27/2013)

Drove two and a half hours from my friend’s place in Puyallup to a place called Leavenworth. It’s known for its Bavarian setup. Not sure, how it came about, but all shops an houses around the area followed the same theme :)

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Nutcracker House/Store

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Tea!

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Specialty Stores

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Muchen Haus

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Even Safeway had a different font

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California May 2013

Spent the weekend with Lalaine and Russ.

Oakland Zoo

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Udupi Palace

Had lunch at this South Indian Restaurant.

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UC Berkeley

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A Beautiful Boracay Wedding (April 13, 2013)

Back in Boracay after 6 months!

Was blessed to be invited by my good friend, Bucky, at his wedding in Boracay this weekend. Bucky was my batchmate in college at the Ateneo de Manila University and we both stayed at the college dorm, Cervini Hall for the guys and Eliazo Hall for the girls. When he mentioned that the wedding will be in Boracay, didn’t think twice about it! I immediately booked my flight and hotel.

I arrived in Boracay last Friday night at 11:00 PM, two hours later than expected. The plane could not leave Manila because of some congestion in Kalibo. Apparently, flights to Caticlan were redirected to Kalibo because of some event. So, I did not get a chance to meet with dorm friends who were already in Boracay.

The wedding was not until 2:00 in the afternoon. So, I decided to have a relaxing morning by the beach. Got my simple breakfast at One Crescent Place before heading out to the beach. In my beach bag was a book, sunblock, my phones, phone charger and, of course, some money. I planned on having a massage at some point by the beach. Yes, massage by the beach. And it only costs PHP 400 at most (around US$ 10).

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When I got to the beach, this was the sight that welcomed me.

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While walking by the beach to look for a good spot to hang out, I accidentally saw Roldan, another dorm friend from Ateneo waiting for his breakfast at Jony’s. Then we were joined by Albert who was checked in at Jony’s along with his fiance, Cor. Albert is also from the dorm. We went to Jonah’s for some fruitshake. Their milkshake is a must-try. Albert got an avocado milkshake, I got a mango milkshake and I think Roldan got a banana-mango milkshake.

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At Jonah’s with Albert, Cor, and Roldan.

Since we still had time, we decided to get a massage by the beach. We went back to Jony’s and they helped get a masseuse for us.

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My view during the massage

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Roldan and Albert getting their massage. Look how close we were to the water.

By the time Roldan and Albert were done with their massage, the water has reached the table. It was high tide!

The Wedding

Got to the Holy Rosary Parish church a little bit before 2:00 PM. It was so cool to see these cool Cervini guys again. Back in college, there was a group of 15 guys in Cervini who called themselves the ‘Lonely Hearts Club’. Their goal was to make sure all of them find the one for them and get married someday. Bucky was the President. He is now officially resigned, the third to the last to get married :)

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Roldan, Me, Joseph, Bucky (the groom!), Wong, Albert, Cor

A few minutes later, we were all asked to take our seats. The doors were opened, and the radiant bride walked in.

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Kaye was so lovely and elegant in her bridal gown

Father Lito Mangulabnan, SJ, who was our Head Prefect for a period of time at the dorm, officiated the wedding. He knew Bucky well. During homily, he assured Kaye that she was marrying a really good man.

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You may now kiss the bride!

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All excited for the newly weds!

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Ride to the reception

Cocktails

The newly weds served cocktails at Sea Wind. Wong hosted the event along with one of Kaye’s lady friends. Wong was hilarious! I think he did a great job making the program fun for everyone.

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Veggies, oysters, lechon

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After cocktails, we were asked to join the newly weds for some pictures with the sunset in the background.

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Glorious sunset

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Sweet and beautiful…. hello, low tide

Dinner

A section by the beach was setup for dinner.

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Our table assignments

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Got this beautiful shot of the reception area and the bluish sky after the sun set and the little moon came out.

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We welcomed the newly weds to the party with sparklers!

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Kaye’s bestfriend opened the party with a heart-felt message to Kaye and Bucky. Then, he surprised them with a number from their friends – a dragon dance! According to Wong, the dragon dance was for prosperity and fertility! ;)

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I was just telling the guys at my table that I wanted to watch a fire dance by the beach. Then, these wonderful people came in! According to Wong, the fire dance was also for fertility! Lol

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During dinner, Kaye’s father asked if he could sit with us at our table. He was overwhelmed by the entire thing. But he was very happy for his daughter. He went on to share with us how they brought in the butchered cow that was roasted on the spot for the wedding. They hired a boat from Bacolod to Aklan. They brought all the stuff they needed to roast and the men who will do it.

Dancing ensued after the dinner and program. Fun times!

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With Albert and my best buddy in college, Joseph

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Nikki, Wong, Albert and Kaye’s friend

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Woohoo!

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Everyone on their feet dancing and drinking

It was so warm that night that the guys, led by Wong, took off their white shirts and danced the night away. Even the groom took off his shirt! Haha! By the way, Wong – as Bucky asked throughout the event, how did you get that physique? ;D

Unfortunately, I could not stay long at the party since my flight the next day was at 9:30 AM. I had to leave the hotel at around 6:00 AM. Boracay is about two hours away from Kalibo. I needed to take a 15-minute boat ride to Caticlan, then another an hour and a half land trip by van to Kalibo airport. There is also an airport in Caticlan but the flight I got was in Kalibo.

One Crescent Place

This boutique hotel was not on the beach front, but it was right behind the church and was only 3 minutes away from the beach on foot. Found it on Expedia. Why I picked it? The rates were reasonable, the reviews were good, and it was close to the church. I actually did not know where the church was except that it is in Station 1.

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Breakfast area outside

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It was a very neat place and the room was cozy. But, what I liked most was the service. When I told the guy during check-in that I will miss breakfast on Sunday, since it is normally served at 7:00 AM, he said they can serve my breakfast before 6:00 AM. And they did, and they made sure I was already awake to take my breakfast at 5:45 AM.

https://www.facebook.com/onecrescentplace/

http://www.onecrescentplace.com/

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My Weekend in Baguio (May 5-6, 2012)

A few weeks ago, I made a promise to a few friends, especially to Ariel, that I will meet with them in Baguio for dinner and drinks on May 5 to compensate for missing out on Ariel and Allen’s special day last February 4 (It was all because of this).

After a night at the movies with my archu-friends, I went directly to the bus station to get a ride to Baguio. Got on the 3:00 AM trip and arrived in Baguio at 10:30 AM. Ariel and Odo picked me up at the terminal and took me to Hale ‘Opua Bed and Breakfast where we spent the night (more on this later).

FOREST HOUSE

 I didn’t know a lot of good restaurants in Baguio. So, I turned to Foursquare to get an idea of popular restaurants around the area. As soon as I spotted Forest House in the list, I knew it was a place I wanted to visit. None of my friends have been there but I heard it was a must-try place. I went ahead and placed a reservation with them.

What a quaint place Forest House was! We were welcomed by this impressive fireplace.

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We were led to a corner table with a window. Nice!

That’s our table by the window

And look at what was on the table. Yes, this is definitely our table.

Thank you for getting my name right!

While waiting for my friends to arrive, I couldn’t help but walk around the picturesque place and take pictures!

Going to the deck

From the deck, I saw a yard below which got me curious. Apparently, below the restaurant was bed and breakfast.

Entrance to Bed and Breakfast

Artsy

By the time I got back to the restaurant, the place was already filled with diners. Dan, Ariel and Allen arrived as well. Immediately, we ordered food!

Inihaw feast!

While eating, we were treated to some wonderful music by this trio.

The band playing very good music for the diners

And, of course, here is the group

Dan, Ariel, Allen and I (Odo was behind the camera)

More information about the Forest House Bed and Breakfast, visit www.foresthousebedandbreakfast.com.

Part 2 on Hale ‘Opua Bed and Breakfast to follow :)

My afternoon with James

All week last week I have been looking forward to meeting with and spending time with my good friend, James Wall. After a 3-hour nap and after I got all my stuff out, I called James to find out if he was available to meet. He picked me up at my hotel at around 4:30 PM. It was so nice to see him again. He looked very lean, still very handsome but a bit tired, I suppose.

There were 2 main reasons for the physical change in him - first is he’s been into P90X and he’s been eating healthy and, second, it was rather personal. He was glad at the chance to go out and meet with a friend  and I am equally glad that I called him so he could have an afternoon away from whatever was bothering him. We first went to Cave Creek which is like a western/cowboy type of town. However, James did not like it when we got there as it was not the same place he used to visit. We walked around a bit, then decided to continue driving towards Scottsdale. We really did not know where we’re going so we just kept on talking about stuff. Then, we got to this place called Kierland, it’s like an upscale outside mall, something similar to Bonifacio High Street. We walked around until we saw this Italian restaurant called North. They had a patio with mists, so we decided to sit there and have something to eat and drink.

With James Wall at North Restaurant in Scottsdale, AZ

The afternoon went by so quickly. That always happens when you have great company :)

Hopefully, I get to spend another afternoon with James before he flies to San Francisco for a conference next weekend. I will be on my way to Pleasanton when he gets back.

Postcard from an old friend

Finally connected with a good, old friend last Sunday through Yahoo Messenger. It was a long shot. Was pleasantly surprised to get a message back from him. I probably should go online more.

Here’s the postcard he sent via e-mail after I sent him pictures of me and our old friend, Dicky, and our godson, Miguel Luis.

I miss the old days.

My day with Miguel Luis and Dicky

Miguel Luis is my godson who I have not seen in years. Wow, he’s grown a lot. He’s turning 10 today. Here are some pics from our meet up today at SM Megamall in Ortigas, Pasig. He picked the place. His original pick was Starbucks which was full. We tried Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and it was full, too. Then we saw this place across Starbucks that had available tables – CrePes and Cream. Their ice cream and choco milkshake are quite good.

I finally gave Miguel his gift that I got 2 years ago. Glad he liked it. He easily transformed Optimus Prime to a truck and back. Now, he still doesn’t have Bumble Bee and other autobots. Time to hunt :-)

With Miguel Luis and Dicky

Miguel Luis turned Optimus Prime to a truck

Miguel and Optimus Prime

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MIGUEL LUIS!