18 October 2012

Have moved...

Moved my talking here, not that I've been doing a lot of talking lately...

08 March 2011

Giving it another shot...again

Another four months has passed since my last shot at blogging. Looking back at that last entry I said I was itching to go back to blogging. Some itching that was. Anyway, I was in Ho Chi Minh that day and now I'm in Bangkok. Both occasions are work-related. That time I was in HCMC for the Vietstock and now I'm in Bangkok for the VIV. It's the animals, thank you.

I will write about that Vietnam trip and this trip and I won't take forever to do that either. But as it is, I have to get ready for a market briefing I have to cover this afternoon. So I will post my pics, do whatever later tonight. This is just to psyche myself up and to get myself in the blogging mode again. I don't really think too many people will be reading this blog, and in fact it might just be me, but it's good to get some words out.

Something to write about later...view from my hotel room window, one taken last evening, the other taken this morning:

10 November 2010

Hello again hello

Hello again, dear blog...it's been a while, more than 2 years and 7 months actually. No excuses, but then I'm not really sure if anyone bothers to read this other than me :). Nevertheless, I'm going to try again.

I am, as I type this, sitting inside a nice, cozy botique hotel in Ho Chi Minh. My second trip to Vietnam this year (first one ever was in earlier this year in July). Here to work of course, the first couple days to cover a livestock exhibition and the next several to attend our annual team meeting. It would be good to see everyone again after almost a year.

Since I am in a bit of a rush--got to go to the exhibition hall early--I will wait until later to write more about this trip. Suffice to say, I'm itching to get back to blog writing...I think ;-)

23 March 2008

What can I say...

It's been a long time, more than six months. I've been lazy and have mostly reading other blogs instead of posting on my own. A few things have happened...team meeting and trip to Phuket, moved to new house, Ben's done with Kindergarten, and now waiting for Irip and family to come home for a visit.

First things first. My boss decided to have our 2007 team meeting in Phuket or at least, in Phang Nga which is the province adjacent to Phuket (at least I think it is...obviously I won't do such a hot job in travel writing). We stayed in La Flora resort, which was pretty filled up because I think it was peak season. Was there from Nov 22-26. Most of the time was spent in the meeting room, as we learned some new things from our regular workshop speaker, Harry Dillon, and kept each other up to date with what each one of us is doing in our respective areas. It was nice to see the entire team together (Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Singapore, Philippines). Photo below:

The team at La Flora

One of the Andaman Islands, can't remember anymore which one this is, I thought the rock at the bottom right of the picture looked like a beached whale

This one looked like a low-cut boot

Me before making a decision to plunge in

Conny and me after I decided to test the waters

Anyway, during the 2nd day of the workshop, we took half the day off for a trip to one of the Andaman Islands for snorkeling. It was about an hour by fast boat (I got seasick going in). And since I cannot swim unless my feet can reach the bottom, and the sea was quite deep, I was determined to just stay in the boat and watch everyone else have fun. As it was though, Conny (my boss from Malaysia, convinced me to jump in the water at least once. After all, I would be wearing a life preserver, so I took a deep breathe and did jump in. Water was nice and cool, and with the snorkel took a peek. It was BEAUTIFUL, the fish, the underwater plants, I'm so glad I let her talk me into it. Too bad I didn't have an underwater camera. Would've been nice to take a picture. What photos I have were taken from the boat, and here they are.

Coming back from Thailand, I started working myself up for the move to the new house (well, technically, it's not a new house, since we're the third family to move in, he he he), but it's a bigger house than Mapagbigay and since it is within a small subdivision, a much quieter place. We've got a chapel across the street and the clubhouse just next to it, so Ben has a place to play in. We eventually made the move in mid-December, and rather than spend Christmas home in Baler, I asked Papa to come down to Manila and we celebrated the holidays in the new house. New Year was spent home in Baler though, I just couldn't let the holidays pass without going home.

And so now, we've been here nearly four months. We've settled in (although we still need furniture), and we're pretty much used to the extra distance. One nice thing about the house is that we're closer to Kuya Toti's house again, so it's no longer a hassle going over there.

Meanwhile, we are now waiting for Irip, Girlie, Pau and Enzo to arrive from London (via Singapore) on March 26. It'll be the first time they'll be visiting after leaving nearly four years (almost five for Girlie) ago. I can't wait to see them again.

Well, I gotta get back to work. I just felt I needed to get going with this blog again otherwise, I won't ever come back to it. Next month, I'm heading off to Cebu, and I might be able to visit Bantayan Islands. If I do, I should have photos from that.

02 September 2007

Read or Die

I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon browsing books at various stalls at the 28th Manila International Book Fair at the World Trade Center in Pasay with Terrie and Carrie. Can't say it wasn't productive, but I have to admit, it was depressing. Depressing because I don't have the resources to buy all the books I want to buy. Well, let's face it, I'll never have enough resources to all the books I want. Nevertheless, I did walk away with six books for Ben and one book for myself.

To be honest, I have more books that I can read. In fact, my reading list is way too long now. But I've always been a reader. Not a voracious reader, but I read quite a bit. I remember when I was in elementary school, I would go through several library cards in a year because of all the books I borrowed. When I was in the States, I spent countless hours in the school and public libraries. Over the years, I must have read hundreds and hundreds of books, if I haven't passed the thousand-book barrier yet. I don't know, there's just something about books that draws me in. And it's very rare that I go into a bookstore that I come out without making a purchase.

Last night, my friend Terrie cited a quote that goes something like book collecting is for the gently mad. I guess we are all partly mad, since we all look at ourselves as book collectors of sort. Me, I so love the smell of new books; it's addictive. I hope that Ben will also grow up loving books. I've started him early, buying him books and reading to him at night. I want him to know that books are not only great entertainment, but great learning tools too. These days he loves looking at picture books, and he can read some of his books now, those especially written for his age. I hope he'll grow up to be a book collector too. Oh nothing like the book collectors of first editions and rare stuff, but kind of like me.

I also bought some postcards of old photographs from Bookmark at the book fair. The photo of a Chinese cobbler caught my eye. I thought it a beautiful picture so I bought the set, 12 photos in all, taken from around the turn of the last century (circa 1900s). I'm sharing some of them now (I'll post all of them in my Multiply site):

This picture of a Chinese cobbler caught my eye

A banana vendor

Executioner (well, this picture was kind of unsettling. I don't know
if the guy is really being executed or he just posed for the picture.)

We also bought a shirt that with "Read or Die" printed on it. You sure are missing out on life if you're not reading.

30 August 2007

Feeling nostalgic

I was looking at one of my brother's photo album and found a picture of the old Tan house in Baler. We'd always referred to it as "tindahan" (store) because it used to have a store at the ground floor, first ran by my grandparents, then by Ka Enga (who I think is my grandfather's nephew).

What do I remember about that house? Let's see, let me jot down 25 of them (this is not in any particular order):

1) the wide wooden staircase with the nice balustrades, where I remember running up and down with my brothers and my friends
2) the wall clock (with a silver face and black casing) with a scary (or what I thought then was scary) sound.
3) the old white bookcase with the Charles Atlas body building brochures, and some other books from I think even earlier than WWII, among other things
4) the beautiful floor, made with wide, long planks of narra; no need to polish it, just run the "bunot" or a cloth and it shone
5) there were two water tanks, one was a round, closed tank (part of which is still existing and used today), and the other a concrete rectagular box (my friend Me-Ann and I used to pretend it was our swimming pool
6) two gas pumps at the back of the house
7) the huge generator; i think my grandfather (fondly called Tatay) was among the first to have a generator in Baler, so we had electricity at night, long before electricity became available to everyone there
8) the pugon
9) the capiz windows
10) the big storage space in the second floor, where my friends and I used to hide when we played hide and seek. it was a scary place when i was a kid
11) the bats that hid between the roof and the ceiling and which came flying out at dusk
12) the wooden salt box (i don't know what else to call it) which is in one corner of the store, which we sat on and jumped down from when someone was buying salt so Ka Enga, or whoever was in the store, could get the salt
13) the dark warehouse which we had to pass to get from the store to the back part of the house
14) the big dining table (there were 10 kids in my father's family)
15) the Christ the King statue that was up on one a shelf on one of the posts inside the house
16) a small black/white photo of President Manuel Quezon under the wall clock
17) my father's case of classical music LPs (most of which were Beethoven material)
18) my uncle's collection of 48 rpm vinyl records, which sadly he just left lying around and allowed to get ruined
19) my uncle's bed in the ground floor
20) my uncle's office in the ground floor
21) an old yellowing refrigerator
22) the cabinet that housed everything from plates and "cubiertos" to my father's toiletries to leftover food
23) the nearly floor to ceiling cabinets in the store
24) the makeshift scoop (made from a long wooden stick with half of a plastic oil container) that was used to clean the gutter and also to mark the lines for our "bayato" ("patintero") games
25) my grandfather's b/w portait that was hung on one of the posts in the second floor; i used to always marvel at how much my father look like him

Actually, I remember a lot more about that house. I loved looking out the window to the mountains that looked so close. I loved climbing up those windows too and sitting there with my legs dangling down. The windows were encased with bars, and on there were planks in the bottom so we could sit on those). Sadly, it was torn down to give way to a new, concrete house, which I am sad to say doesn't evoke the same feeling in me as the old house did. When they were planning to build a new house, I keep wishing that they would just renovate the old house. But that wasn't what happened. I wished I had taken more pictures of it, but here's the one I found in my brother's album. This was taken at the initial stages of tearing down, and that's my brother Irip and my nephew Enzo in the pic.

Ah, those were the days...

08 August 2007

I got this link from my friend Carrie, and I just want to share it. You gotta give it to those Japanese, they are very good at stuff like this. Enjoy!

One Click