Monday, November 16, 2009

Holidays Again!

I just love the holidays...

Its mid November now and the weather has still to turn nippy, but already the holiday atmosphere is creeping into the metro.

If you pass by Makati, you will find that its already festooned with ornaments, it seems that everyone wants a little break from all the collective stress the country accumulated this year.

Here's hoping to a very very Happy Holidays this coming December!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hong Kong 2009 part 2

Picking up where I left off...

The first day in Hong Kong 2009 was pretty much uneventful. Compared to the other visits to HK, the first day usually turns out the same. After settling into the hotel, we go out and change our cash and have a late lunch. The remainder of the day is usually spent going to the local malls and shops looking for cool stuff to buy.

Fast forward to day 2!

This time around we happned to actually have a few first timers to HK with our family. This meant, that though we are by far no longer tourists in the traditional sense (we no longer go on tours when we are in HK), this time around we had to engage in a bout of "touristy" things. First up on the agenda is HK Disneyland!

Now if you ask me, first timers in HK who have to yet travel to any other part of the world "should" see a Disneyland at some point in their life. Though HK Disney is by far the most diminuative of the Disney theme parks, it still serves its purpose. Another thing that first timers to HK should see is Ocean Park, but we didn't go this year, so maybe next time...

First on the agenda for the second day is breakfast, Disneyland is relatively easy to get to from the city (its just a train ride away, but food there costs more than it does outside, so having breakfast is a good thing.

For this stay we decided to have a traditional touristy breakfast. When going to HK and you used a tour package to get there, they give you a bunch of complimentary breakfasts. We decided to have one of those now instead of the usual hotel buffet breakfast. It's a nostalgic thing...

The breakfast coupon gives you a choice of hams n toast with two eggs, or franks and toasts... I have to admit, their ham and toast is very good!

This is the subway map around HK, we will be taking the Tsim Tsa Tsui red line to Central then, take the orange line to Sunny Bay where the Disneyland train is located. After that it's just a scenic ride to the resort. All in all, the commute takes less than an hour or so, also depends on how fast you transit from train to train during connections.

Here is the interior of the Disneyland train, as you can see, it is quite different from the normal HK trains that run around. Even their handrails have been "Mickeyfied"

Below is the arrival station at the resort (or should a say at the resort's proximity), arriving by train gets you closer to the resort than actually arriving by tour bus. By train Disney ticket booths are located about 5 minutes casual walking 10-15 if you're snapping pictures. If you arrive by tour bus, the walk takes about 2 to 3 times as much! IT'S quite far! It was like the stroll from hell! So if you are thinking of going to the resort, save your feet and go by train. Your dogs will thank me!

Here is the entry way for the walk to Disney Land...

Below is the entry plaza to the theme park. This where you can get your tickets and various other souvenirs. Get your souvenirs after incidentally

This is the arch that separates the entry plaza from the theme park itself, adorning it are words seemingly from Walt himself, or from some talented writer...

From here, we first go off to Tommoroland! Usually, the cooler of the other locales within Disneyland Hong Kong.

By the way, what was different from last time we went here, is that this time, there is a new trail game that Disneyland HK was currently using at the time of this posting. A sticker trail hunt, which involves us scurrying about the park grounds trying to match up certain symbols to their respective representation, like; love, prosperity, fortune, wisdom etc.

If you complete it, you get a set of foil lucky stickers! Weeee...

Anyway, moving on, we proceeded to Buzz Light Year's Astro Blasters. Basically a laser light shoot em up with Evil Emperor Zurg and his minions as targets.

It's really just all good fun, I mean sure sometimes the effects are cheezy, but you really have to get into the spirit of things to enjoy this place. Besides, the kid that came with us had a blast, so it's all good.

Above is Main Street (I was about to add USA, but was not sure if it only applied to Disney parks in the US) which branches off in the middle to the respecting areas of the park. Visible waaaaaay back is Cinderella's Casltle. It is actually represented very very well! You get a sense that you're in some twisted cartoony historical street.

By the way, Main Street is famous for housing certain sweet and souvenier shops and is the venue for the daily parade!

Stay tuned for more in depth Disney goodness in the next entry!

Peace O_ox

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hong Kong 2009 part 1

As already well established in this blog, I love Hong Kong - my entire family does! So whenever my family and I go on a little trip we usually end up there, usually if the budget permits a little shopping. If not, it's usually some other Asian country, but whenever we get the chance to go, HK is on top of the list.

This year, we were able to go early, although it was after the Chinese Lunar New Year - which meant HK holiday season was out.

Anyway, so off we went on the 12th of Feb to HK!


We were taking a different airline this time around... Cathay Pacific. And normally that would give us good reason to celebrate, because back in the day when we would go to Hong Kong on grand family trips (lots and lots of family coming along practically saturating the airport with blood relatives) we would be lucky to be on a Cathay Pacific flight. To elucidate further, Cathay Pacific back in the day sported really excellent flight standards. Sure you would get to Hong Kong with an hour and thirty minutes worth of flying, but you would be served really good food and be treated to a couple of funny sitcoms and loads of movies on your personal screen.

This year we were "lucky" to be on such a flight - little did we know how wrong we would be...

Right off the bat, things were already turning sour, the flight was at such an ungodly hour. Dear Lord, some people I reckon were only just getting to bed. But for us we were on our way to the airport at 3AM!

I don't know about you folks, but to leave at three meant to wake up earlier than that, and what decent young man sleeps anywhere before 11PM? Alas, I had to try - so I slept the night before (tried to at least) at around 9 (in reality 11), so with only 3 hours of sleep I woke up at 2AM to change and ready my things for our exodus at 3.

Next up, since we were taking Cathay Pacific, we would be once again using the old Filipino classic airport. Naia 1. I don't know about you, but I used to have fond memories of Naia 1. Sadly, now Naia 1 has been reduced to a run down airport which was GROSSLY overcrowded and very much neglected.

Below is the dull common area for passengers to grab essentials such as food or a potty break before proceeding to their respective departure gates.

Since it was now 4AM, we were feeling a bit peckish, so we got whatever food we could sin order to fill up before our flight later on. We ended up eating a bunch of sandwiches (actually they were not at all that bad) and mineral water. Flying tends to dry your nose and skin so hydrating before a flight is good - make sure you pee first though as sometimes airplane lavatories are nightmares.

After a light breakfast, the family and I preceded to the pre-departure gate to wait for boarding. What took us by surprise was this mob of people! I mean, come on... I should think we would be able to ease to congestion on airports now that we actually have THREE in the same area! Sad to say it was standing room only for us while waiting for boarding.

Finally we were able to board, and in short order the plane took to wing. Now airborne, I was actually feeling a lot better, I was ravenously awaiting the scrumptious delight that Cathay Pacific would serve us for breakfast. However, breakfast service wouldn't be until about 30 minutes after take off. So I decided to whet my appetite by immersing myself with some cool movie or comedy with our personal screen.

However, I would be disappointed to find out that there were no such shows or movies for that matter. Just a looping run of exercise things and a few entertainment shows... Boring! So when breakfast finally came, I thought it would be the defining moment of the entire flight... wrong again! They served a small sandwich with some weird vegetable curry filling that was really weird!

What on earth happened to Cathay Pacific?!

Anyway, an hour and thirty minutes later we landed in Hong Kong. Much relived to be away from the dreadful flight, the family and I preceded to the gates and on to the pick up area for hotel transfer service.

Above is a poster for the in-airport tram. It really did come every 2 minutes... "Relax" already I could feel the stress of the early flight and the horrible food melting away!

Above is the train that would take us to immigration and the baggage carousel, notice that there is a glass divider that separates the train from the boarding ramp. This is now a standard feature amongst all subterranean train systems in Hong Kong. I think they have been for a couple of years now, what is interesting is that before them there were no dividers so people could theoretically get hit by a moving train while waiting on the ramp - scary...

Anyway, after a speedy immigration and baggage claim, we proceeded to the hotel transfer terminal. We were pleasantly surprised that due to the small number we came in we would take two Toyota Serena's to the hotel instead of the bus that would bunch us up with other travelers destined for their hotels also. So not only did we save a lot of time by not bringing the other travelers to their hotels, but also got to experience a wonderful way to travel in Hong Kong!

As the Serena's had large front windows, and since I had a much much better camera now than before, I was able to take a few cool scenic photos with relative ease. Above is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. I forget the name, but there it is. Below is the vehicle we traveled in. It was such a smooth ride that my cousin and sister who rode with me on car number 2 feel asleep right away.

Below are some smoggy snaps of the cityscape as it looms into view while pulling into the major business districts.

Here is another shot of the looming city.

Here is canton road, which I also like to call hotel row. On the right hand side is an entrance to Harbour City, there are quite a few, and Harbour City itself is integrated into the Omni Group of hotels, Marco Polo, Prince and my favorite Hong Kong Hotel. One could just get lost in Harbour City with all the shopping. By the way, this is also the place to get electronics from, they may be more expensive than the ones sold on Nathan, but they come with a warranty and is sure to be brand new! On the left side are some shops, malls and places to eat!

Below is Holiday Inn where we will once again stay for the duration of our stay - home base.

Stay tuned for the next segment of my latest adventure in Hong Kong!

Peace O_ox

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas In The Air

Is it me, or has the season come in guns blazing? I recently found myself enjoying a cool December night a couple of days ago, and that's when it hit me - the holidays are here.

I just love the festive season! As lights begin to festoon every corner and each street of Makati, I begin to see that Christmas truly is in the air. I feel the season tug at my childhood each morning I wake up. I find myself hard pressed to get out of bed, instead wanting to just curl up in my warm sheets and just lazily sleep the cool morning away - a physical memory of my years spent as a child enjoying long holiday breaks.

The weather lately has been so pleasant, unusually cool for tropical Manila,something I only really encountered as a child. As I grew older and vacations and holidays became shorter, so too did the season get warmer. Now with the weather all cool and wonderful, I find myself longing more and more for a nice long holiday!

Did I ever mention that my family and I are Holiday nuts, we're real big on the holidays here. Each Christmas season we spend a lot of time with family and just generally being all "Christmasy". We all still do the gifts and everything, and after Christmas dinner, we all gather around the tree, distribute gifts and open then in front of each other. Usually much to the amusement of the funny gifts we often receive.

I love this season, and despite what people say, I really do believe that Christmas is for everyone and not just for kids..

Friday, November 14, 2008

Back Online!

After a somewhat looooooong break from blogging, I am once again back online!

Ridiculously enough, I took a boat load of pictures during my break so that when I do get back I would have loads to blog about. However, despite the method to the madness I now find myself absolutely swamped in topics... @_@

So I plan on compiling the updates on a single entry that hopefully won't be too picture laden, not to worry I've learned to minimize uploaded pics. -_O

So for now, let me just leave you with "It's nice to be back!"

Peace! O_o

Monday, July 21, 2008


This song kills me...


You watch the season pull up its own stage
And catch the
last weekend
Of the last week
Before the gold and the glimmer have been replaced
Another sun soaked season
Fades away

You have stolen my heart
You have stolen my heart

Invitation only, grand farewells
Crash the best one
Of the best ones
Clear liqour and
Cloudy eye
Too early to say goodnight

You have stolen my heart
You have stolen my heart

And from the bottle flow, we are in celebration
One good stretch before our hibernation
Our dreams are sure
And we all will sleep well
We'll sleep well

You have stolen
You have stolen my
You have stolen my heart

I watch you spin around
In the highest heels
You are the best one
Of the best ones
We all look like we feel

You have stolen my
You have stolen my
You have stolen my heart

By: Dashboard Confessional



I guess after a while everybody gets a little tired... Just need a break for the good 'ol juices to flow. Will posts updates again soon... Promise! Hehehe