Thursday, October 31, 2013

[Throwback Thursday 10.31.2013] Angels and demons: I'm the new angel in town

Being just three years ago, this doesn't sound like a veritable throwback post but I'm going ahead anyway since it's Halloween and the post is about Halloween.

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So three years ago today I wore this at the office while celebrations were in full swing. Our department went for a heaven and earth theme where half of the floor space was designated as heaven and the other half hell. Unfortunately I was assigned to heaven and I dreaded dressing up as an angel. That is until I thought of a compromise.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

[Lookbook 10.26.2013] Military on the runway

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Got invited to the Penshoppe SS14 show last Saturday, my first time attending any such show for Philippine Fashion Week. It was also highly unusual for me to go out of my comfort zone that is Makati and brave the crazy traffic going to the SMX Convention Center. But I made it, so yay!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Love it or hate it: Wakeskating atop the Banaue rice terraces

So there has been some uproar over this wakeskating stunt atop the centuries-old Banaue rice terraces. Yes, it's on top of the rice paddies along the mountains of Ifugao. To the uninitiated like me, wakeskating is akin to wakeboarding, except your feet aren't bound to the board.

Screen grab from YouTube.
 
The mere thought of staging such a stunt right atop these postcard-perfect terraces is bound to elicit a lot of opinion. But my, watching the video, there's no denying that it's just awesome!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Penshoppe SS14: The men's pieces

Last night Penshoppe presented its new collection for Spring/Summer 2014 at the SMX Convention Center as part of Philippine Fashion Week. The hall was all black, so both backdrop and runway, which were made of mirrors in a sleek and edgy arrangement with varying degrees of protrusion and elevation, stood out.

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Spectators descend on the runway after the show.

The collection was characterized by stripes, palm tree prints, and other graphic patterns, as seen across polo shirts, t-shirts, tank tops, lightweight pullovers, and a few long-sleeved shirts. The patterns likewise extended to ball caps and bags. There were a lot of short shorts (something I personally like) in light colors and prints, with a couple of light-colored jeans thrown into the mix, while sandals was the footwear of choice. The models, who all sported a wet-look, brushed-up hairstyle, either wore long beaded or braided fabric necklaces, sometimes both.

Here are all the men's runway pieces from the show:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bali's Geger Beach: Where sunbathers converge

In the posh resort area of Nusa Dua in Bali, not all hotels are on a beachfront property and such was the case with our second hotel while in the island, Mantra Nusa Dua. Not to worry, however, since these hotels have special access to a nice little patch of cream-colored sand called Geger Beach.

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Yeah, life's a bitch. I mean, beach.

A five-minute ride from Mantra, Geger Beach is several meters from the main road bound by the gargantuan resort The Mulia on one side and the exclusive St Regis on the other. In between are a few residential homes, concession stands, and other structures.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Blogapalooza 2013: I'm attending!

I have never attended any blogger-related event before. I guess I'm just wrapped in my own little world while blogging away. But finally I've signed up for one, the Blogapalooza 2013, for which I'm excited!

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Happening on Nov. 16 from 11am all the way till 9pm at the Function Room 1 of SMX Aura, Taguig, Blogapalooza 2013 will be a gathering of bloggers and businesses in what is touted as the biggest business-to-blogger networking event. So yes, it's time for me to step out from my own little world and go meet other people.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

[Throwback Thursday 10.24.2013] United Nations Day

I just learned that today is United Nations Day, thanks to the many posts I've been reading on social media, most of which are about reminiscing what country they supposedly represented back in school. Well I thought hey, I had a few photos of me for UN Day when I was a kid!

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My AirAsia Zest destination wish list

I got my first taste of flying AirAsia back in 2010 in Thailand via a domestic flight from Bangkok to Phuket. It was a good experience and I was more than pleased with their really low fares. I actually remember getting excited while booking and I went ahead with pre-selecting our seats, a feature that was still unheard of among local airlines at the time, pre-purchasing hot meals, and even getting comfort kits that included an inflatable neck support among other things. I still have those kits with me, keepsakes from my first AirAsia flight.

Not long after, AirAsia started its Philippine operations. But because they only flew from DMIA in Clark, Pampanga, I wasn't really able to travel in the Philippines or travel in Asia with AirAsia because of proximity issues. But I had always hoped they'd fly from Manila.

Fast-forward to September 2013, my wish was granted.

AirAsia has partnered with Zest Air in a bid to further revolutionize air travel in the Philippines. As such, Zest Air has now been rebranded as AirAisa Zest.


The new AirAsia Zest logo. Visit the site now by clicking on the photo!

With this alliance, AirAsia Zest can now bank on the strength of these two airlines' network of domestic and international routes as well as, of course, unrivalled daily low fares. Best of all, this now means AirAsia Zest flies from Manila!

From NAIA Terminal 4, AirAsia Zest flies to the following domestic destinations: Cebu, Davao, Kalibo (Boracay), Puerto Princesa, Tagbilaran, Cagayan de Oro, and the following international destinations: Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Shanghai, Incheon.

This much-welcome news has gotten me into coming up with my AirAsia Zest destination wishlist. Here's my top five:

1. Incheon, South Korea
Is it just me who hasn't been bitten by the Korean bug yet or what? The prevalence of K-Pop, K-Drama or Koreanovelas, Korean groceries, Korean ice cream, Korean salons, and everything Korean in the local Philippine scene is undeniable.

Monday, October 21, 2013

REVIEW | Mantra Nusa Dua: The (fairly) new kid on the block

(Update, Nov. 23, 2014: I just learned that the hotel is no longer part of the Mantra chain. It's now called Puri Nusa Dua.)

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My view every morning at breakfast.

The thing with staying at newly opened hotels is that, well, everything is brand new, much like our experience at Hotel Icon in Hong Kong back in 2011. You're almost always sure you don't have to worry about dated furniture, icky bathtubs, or poorly-maintained facilities in general.

Just recently we got to try another new hotel, in Bali this time. And this new kid on the block is Mantra Nusa Dua, the Australian hotel chain's latest addition to its family, which is just around four months old. Here's a rundown about our experience.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Swapping your old car and looking like a badass with Foton

Our old little car we fondly call "Minitron" is gonna be five years old soon. That means it's high time to say goodbye to him and welcome a new baby. But I don't think it will be just some "baby" that I'll be looking for considering how bad flooding has become in Metro Manila of late. Oh, the horrors of having to brave the streets inundated by heavy rainfall, where you're never sure if your car's gonna stall!

Now how about a badass "baby" like the Foton Thunder pictured here:



Thursday, October 17, 2013

[Throwback Thursday 10.17.2013] Baclayon Church, Bohol: Regret for my past underappreciation for heritage

Seeing those images of Bohol and Cebu's old churches destroyed, I understand that after expressing their horror and sadness, people are suddenly filled with an air of nostalgia about past trips to Bohol, particularly to these once-glorious heritage structures.

I'm no different, but I realized how little attention I actually gave to these churches. Of the churches affected, I've only been to Baclayon (although I've seen the Loboc Church but never went inside). Oh yes, regrets. And more so because I've only managed one decent photo of her:

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The Baclayon Church belfry, as viewed from the back near the convent area.

That was in April 2005 and I haven't even been able to photograph the church! It's just the belfry, which topmost portion had since collapsed. I have a couple of indoor shots but since I was just carrying a lowly Kodak KB-10 point-and-shoot at the time, the prints were dark and simply terrible. I was, however, able to snap a few low-res shots from my Nokia 6600.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

From heritage to ruins: The old churches of Bohol and Cebu

Yesterday's magnitude 7.2 earthquake sure jolted the nation. Amid all the photos and clips we saw of people scampering for safety, heartbreaking evacuations, and of the resultant destruction, it was hard to ignore the images of centuries-old Catholic churches in Bohol and Cebu that either sustained major damage or were simply reduced to rubble.

Truly one doesn't realize how important something is until it's gone. I never really cared much for such heritage structures before and it was only recently that I started developing some interest in them. However faint that interest is, at least I'm starting to point my camera at them.

While I'm relieved to learn that the old churches in Siquijor are intact, including the one with the wooden floor in Lazi, regret is the only thing I feel with regard to the ones in Bohol, some of which I've never even seen.

I found this collage of before and after photos of these churches from Facebook, which is just hearbreaking.

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Collage circulating throughout social media, downloaded from a Facebook user.

I also saw this YouTube video of the actual collapse of the belfry at the Basilica Minore del Sto Niño in Cebu. It's just terrifying.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My belated introduction to Korea's Caffe Bene

Thanks to a colleague who's a diehard Koreanovela fan, I got introduced to Caffe Bene. And who knew there was one just a few steps away from our office?

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The Caffe Bene exterior along the Valero Access Road in Makati City. Love that brick wall and decorative clock!

So the uninitiated in me learned that Caffe Bene is a Korean chain of cafes, the leading one so to speak. We tried the one along the Valero Access Road one afternoon, which is located rather inconspicuously at the ground floor of the Multinational Bankcorp Center right next to LKG Tower. Much like myself, I don't think many people know that such a cafe existed in the area.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The chill vibe amid all the chaos at Bali's Jimbaran Beach

It's where Balinese locals readily tell you to go to catch the sunset and enjoy fresh seafood. Jimbaran Beach is a ridiculously long stretch of cream-colored sand located on the southern tip of the island of Bali, Indonesia. It's just a short 15 to 20-minute ride from Alindra Villa where we were holed up for one night and which provided complimentary shuttle service to this spot.

Apart from a good view of the setting sun, they also promised fresh seafood. Well, this was what My Bibe and I had:

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As fresh as they can get!

The restaurant and the food
A strip of about 24 different restaurants line up the beach, all of which have a small area for unloading passengers, a wet market-like section where you choose your fresh catch for cooking, an adjacent grilling section, an indoor restaurant, and of course, an outdoor area by the beach where everyone basically is. I mean, who stays indoors when there's a gorgeous sunset outside?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

[Throwback Thursday 10.10.2013] Forklift float

So Ms World 2013 Megan Young will be holding a motorcade tomorrow along Ayala Ave. in Makati City. I certainly don't know how riding a float and waving in front of a crowd feels like. Well, this was probably the closest that I could get to that:
 
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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

[Lookbook 09.23.2013] Working the camera all by myself

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This is what happens when I'm all alone in our hotel room, all dressed up for dinner while waiting for My Bibe--selfie shots. With a remote whose battery had run out, I resorted to my camera's timer, carefully positioning my equipment atop pillows and alternately a table. It took a bit of practice, I must say.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Alindra Villa's Terracotta rooms and pool villas: An attempt at fusing traditional with modern

After showing you the ethnic villas at Alindra Villa, I'm taking you to this property's other two compounds: the Terracotta compound housing their more modern rooms and suites, and the back compound where the swanky pool villas are found.

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The Terracotta compound open grounds.

The Terracotta Compound
As with the front compound, this area has an open lawn at the center. We were told that this space is also used as a venue for parties and other events. Surrounding it is a two-story building where the Terracotta rooms and suites are located. There's a restaurant on the ground floor but which, unfortunately, we haven't checked out. There are also an open-air terrace and two lounge areas upstairs for guests.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The ethnic villas at Alindra Villa: A showcase of traditional Indonesian architecture

In my recent review of Alindra Villa, I basically gushed about how beautiful and relaxing this place is in the lovely island of Bali, Indonesia. There I mentioned that the property is zoned into three distinct areas: the front compound where their ethnic villas stand, the Terracotta compound housing their more modern rooms and suites, and the back compound where their three modern pool villas are.

I took a ton of photos but I couldn't use them all in my review, which in itself is already brimming with pictures. So I thought of dedicating two separate posts to show you their different accommodation options. This first one is all about their ethnic villas.

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The front compound where Alindra's four ethnic villas stand.

Alindra Villa is the brainchild of an Indonesian architect and painter who has a profound love for antiques and traditional architecture. Employing his vast collection of antique wooden Indonesian homes, he reinterpreted these traditional abodes and fitted them with modern comforts. And so his four ethnic villas were born.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

[Throwback Thursday 10.03.2013] Cap and socks

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Aww...such a cute baby I was back then, huh? This was taken in the late 1970s on the street where we used to live in Moonwalk Village in Parañaque. Judging from the pic, I wasn't even a year old here yet.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

REVIEW | A wonderful Balinese experience at Alindra Villa

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The showstopper ceiling of our joglo-style villa.

Surely I can just lay in bed and stare at that exquisite ceiling, marvel at the amount of detail that went into that beautiful centerpiece. I feel fortunate to have stayed in this villa with My Bibe recently, even if it was for just one night. Needless to say, I am in love with the place and I know that I run the risk of turning this review into a gushing writeup. But here goes...

Welcome to Alindra Villa in Bali, Indonesia!
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