Sunday, January 27, 2013

NASUGBU: 01 - Punta Fuego


Exclusivity. I guess that is the best feature that this place could offer. Exclusivity, because of its rather obscure location away from civilization that you are assured your own spot at the beach because of the absence of a tourist infestation. Exclusivity, because the Internet tells me that one needs to buy shares worth at least a million pesos to gain access here, on top of a monthly membership fee.

Monday, January 21, 2013

SIEM REAP: Budget and Itinerary



FRIDAY: 18 January 2013
Capitol Bus (Phnom Penh – Siem Reap) – 5.50
Snacks (Stopover) – 5.50
Mekong Boutique Hotel (Superior Twin/2 Nights) – 42.00
Dinner (Mekong Boutique Hotel) – 4.00
USD57.00

Sunday, January 20, 2013

SIEM REAP: 03 - Mekong Boutique Hotel



I decided to splurge a little in Siem Reap, which would seem a bit strange to some people because this is not even close to splurging for them. Taking advantage of Agoda’s promos, I booked a two night stay in a boutique hotel for thrice the price of my dorm bunk at the Mad Monkey in Phnom Penh. Still, it did not go over a thousand pesos for a night, and so I have to say that it has been a good bargain. Mekong Boutique Hotel is far from perfect, but the friendly staff members who were always accommodating made up for the little quirks such as the bathroom door that would not close. I also got a complimentary pick-up from the Capitol Tours office via tuktuk to the hotel, which is a good deal if you are coming from the airport or the bus station because those two are quite far.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

SIEM REAP: 02 - Let's Put a Smile on that Face


When those Khmer emperors from centuries ago had their temples constructed, they probably did not have any idea that a tourist infestation would occur later on. And so, as much as you would like to think that Jayavarman (Jayavarboy, Jayavargirl, I am not really good with names) had those awesome Mahabharata depiction carved here or those topless Apsara dancers there especially for you, well, time to wake up dude. The world does not revolve around you, but it does around THEM. Call them narcissistic but that is how it worked back in the good old days. Lest you forget, those rulers were also politicians, and although one could only guess if what they really wanted was a premature election campaign infomercial, like that of Empress Cynthia Villar, for example, their technology back then could not really afford such innovation. Hence, they turned to architecture.

A Beautiful Affair (ABS-CBN): Kabanata/Episode 60

Kabanata 60
Naghasik na nga ng lagim si Henry. Sa araw ng pagdalaw sa kanya ni Leon ay magpapanggap ito na naininikip ang dibdib at dadalhin sa pagamutan ng mga kasabwat niyang nakaibang-bihis upang hindi mapansin. Sa salu-salo ng mga Pierro at Saavedra ang kanyang tuloy. Natunugan naman ito agad ni Leon kaya dali-dali siyang nakahingi ng tulong. Putol ang bahagi na ito ng mga kaganapan at ipapakita na lamang makalipas ng anim na buwan na nakaligtas silang lahat at si Henry ang namatay sa pagkakahulog at pagsabog matapos siya pagtulungan nila Edward at Leon. Sa huli ay si Leon at Gen din ang nagkatuluyan. Ganoon din naman sina Ava at Harry. Si Edward naman ay ipapakita na lulan ng kanyang sasakyan at papunta sa kung saanmang lugar na may kalayuan. Siya mag-isa.

A Beautiful Affair (ABS-CBN): Kabanata/Episode 59

Kabanata 59
Habang nagpapagaling sa pagamutan ay makakatanggap si Leon ng tawag mula kay Edward ukol sa pagpanaw ni Carlotta. Naroon naman upang umalalay sina Gen, Emy, Fred at Mang Epong. Sa paghahatid kay Carlotta sa huling hantungan, isang bagong simula ang nais salubungin ng mga Pierro at nais na nilang itama ang lahat ng mali. Hihingi si Arturo ng tawad sa mga anak at sa apong si Leon. Ipapawalang bisa ni Edward ang pagiging mag-asawa nila ni Gen. Ibabalik nila kay Henry ang bahagi ng Lucia na nararapat sa kanya. Tatanggi si Sabrina sa una ngunit papayag na rin matapos takutin ni Edward at ni Harry. Si Leon na ang mamamahala sa Meraviglie at sa PGC ngayong isa na siyang ganap na Pierro, at dahil hindi na mag-asawa si Gen at Edward ay malaya na silang dalawa na maging maligaya. Si Edward naman ay magpapasya na iwan muna ang lahat at magpakalayu-layo. Mukhang maayos na ang lahat, subalit may pahabol pang balak si Henry upang maghiganti sa kanilang lahat.

A Beautiful Affair (ABS-CBN): Kabanata/Episode 58

Kabanata 58
Kakailanganing iwanan ni Gen si Leon upang humingi ng tulong dahil nauubusan na ito ng dugo. Makakahanap siya ng dalawang tao na tutulong sa kanya at makatatawag ito kay Edward upang idulog ang mga pangyayari. Mabilis naman na sasaklolo si Edward at uutusan na rin sila Harry na huwag nang tutuloy sa piging na alay sa Meraviglie dahil nga sa banta ni Henry sa kani-kanilang mga buhay. Mahahanap ni Carlotta si Leon at magkakaroon ng pagkakataon ang dalawa upang makapag-usap ng masinsinan, kung saan sasabihin ni Leon sa ina na maari niya itong matanggap, ngunit hindi pa sa ngayon. Matutunton ng mga kinauukulan si Henry at sa bigong pagtakas nito ay susubukan siyang pasukuin ni Carlotta. Dahil sa katigasan ng kanyang ulo, ikamamatay ni Carlotta ang pagligtas sa kanyang buhay.

A Beautiful Affair (ABS-CBN): Kabanata/Episode 57

Kabanata 57
Nasa kamay pa rin ni Henry sina Gen at Leon at tamang tama lamang na darating si Carlotta upang ibahagi ang magandang balita kay Henry na si Leon ang nawawala nilang anak. Laking gulat na lamang niya na madatnan si Leon na duguan sa upuan at papatayin na ni Henry. Ang pagdating niyang ito ang magliligtas sa anak. Dito na rin maibubunyag ang lahat ng lihim, kahit na si Henry na lang ang hindi nakakaalam. Matapos nitong malaman ang totoo ay manlulumo ito ngunit hindi magtatagal ay uunahin pa rin niya ang masamang balak laban sa mga Saavedra at mga Pierro sa halip na pakawalan sina Leon at Gen. Dahil alam ni Carlotta na ganito ang mangyayari, gagawa siya ng paraan upang makatakas ang dalawa, ngunit magpapaiwan upang magpanggap na sang-ayon pa rin siya kay Henry. Makakatakas sina Gen at Leon ngunit sa sugatan na kalagayan ni Leon, makalalayo kaya sila sa kapahamakan?

A Beautiful Affair (ABS-CBN): Kabanata/Episode 56

Kabanata 56
Sasabihin na ni Emy kay Leon na si Carlotta ang kanyang ina. Hindi ito matatanggap ng binata at pipiliin na huwag na lang ito ipaalam pa sa kahit na sino. Iniisip kasi niya ang kalalabasan ng lahat at kung paanong lulubha pa lalo ang kalagayan nila ni Gen ngayon pa na lagi na silang pinasusundan ni Edward. Mahuhuli ni Edward ang dalawa sa Ropa matapos sabihin ni Leon kay Gen na si Carlotta ang kanyang ina. Isang away sa pagitan ng dalawang lalaki ang magaganap. Hindi nila sasabihin kay Edward ang totoo ukol sa pagkatao ni Leon. Muling babalik si Carlotta kila Emy ngunit magmamatigas pa rin ito na hindi sabihin ang totoo sa kabila ng pagmamakaawa ni Carlotta. Hindi makakatiis si Mang Epong at ilalantad nito ang totoo kapalit ng pangako na mamahalin nito at pangangalagaan ang anak gaya ng kanyang ginawa sa nakalipas na mga taon. Sa pag-alis nila Gen at Leon sa Ropa ay dudukutin sila ng mga tauhan ni Henry at malalagay sa alanganin ang kanilang mga buhay.

Friday, January 18, 2013

PHNOM PENH: Budget and Itinerary


WEDNESDAY: 16 January 2013
Air Asia (Kuala Lumpur – Phnom Penh) – 80.00
MYR80.00

Thursday, January 17, 2013

PHNOM PENH 03: The Mad Monkey



Whenever I see posts from Filipinos going to Cambodia, it seems as though they always tend to book hotels instead of guesthouses, and so I thought that the options for cheap accommodations were not that many, except that I found out that accommodation in Cambodia, in general, is actually cheap. Still, I preferred a guest house for the Phnom Penh leg, and I ended up at the Mad Monkey.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

PENANG: Budget and Itinerary



SATURDAY: 12 January 2013
Taxi (Makati – NAIA 3) – 151.00
Travel Tax (NAIA 3) – 1,620.00
Terminal Fee (NAIA 3) – 550.00
Cebu Pacific (Manila – Kuala Lumpur) – 1,328.90
Cebu Pacific (Beefsteak w/Rice & Pepsi + Dewberry) – 420.00
PhP4,069.90

PENANG: 01 - Ryokan Chic Hostels


I guess I made the right decision to choose this relatively new guest house for my stay in Penang. Located at Lebuh Muntri, it means close proximity to Red Garden for your cheap hawker food stalls, and a few cartwheels away from the core district of this UNESCO World Heritage town. There is a bar downstairs connected to the reception area. There are rooms on the ground floor, second floor, and third floor where the six bed dorm I booked is located and reached through a small spiral staircase from the second floor's common showers.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Les Misérables

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is granted parole after 19 years in prison for stealing a piece of bread. Finding it difficult to seek employment due to his status as an ex-convict, he is taken in by a bishop, whom he ends up robbing out of desperation. Caught by the authorities, he is brought back to the church only to be set free after the bishop lies on Valjean's favor, which the latter sees as an opportunity to start anew. Eight years later, he becomes a mayor running a factory where single mother Fantine (Anne Hathaway) earns a living. Victimized by the ever present phenomenon known as workplace politics which leads to her unemployment, she resorts to prostitution and almost ends up in jail after an altercation with an official. Valjean takes the liberty of taking care of her daughter, who grows up to be the lovely Cosette (Amanda Seyfried), but they are forever hounded by the persistence of Javert (Russell Crowe), a strict enforcer of the law who has made Valjean's recapture for breaking his parole as his raison d'etre.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Beautiful Affair (ABS-CBN): Kabanata/Episode 55

Kabanata 55
Kasabay ng pagsisisi ni Arturo ay ang paglabas ng mga lihim ng nakalipas at ang mga bagay na nag-uugnay sa kanilang mga Pierro, mga Saavedra at kay Henry. Ang lolo ni Henry ang tunay na may-ari ng Lucia ngunit napunta ito sa mga lolo nila Gen at Edward. Lalo pang tumindi ang mga kasalanan nila kay Henry ng iutos ni Arturo na ipapatay ito. Sa ngayon ay kumikilos na rin si Henry sa tulong ni Carlotta upang maghiganti at ipadukot ang mga may kaugnayan sa kaguluhang ito at kabilang doon si Gen. Tuloy pa rin ang paglabas labas nila Gen at Leon kahit sila ay nakabalik na sa Pilipinas, isang bagay na hindi ikinatutuwa ni Edward at magiging dahilan ng kanyang pagiging mainitin ang ulo kay Leon. Natunton na ni Carlotta si Emy at umamin dito siya si Amina. Hindi aaminin sa kanya ng dalaga na si Leon ang nawawala niyang anak.


A Beautiful Affair (ABS-CBN): Kabanata/Episode 54

Kabanata 54
Aaminin ni Gen kay Leon na usapan lamang ang pakikipag-isang dibdib niya kay Edward at hindi niya talaga ito mahal. Sa una ay magtataka ang binata kung bakit ito sinasabi sa kanya ni Gen subalit magpapasya rin ito sa wakas na gagawin ang lahat upang hindi na siya pakawalan at maghihintay sila hanggang matapos ang pangako sa mga taong pinangakuan bago nila habulin ang kanilang kaligayahan. Sa kabila nito ay babalaan pa rin ni Edward si Leon kahit na malinaw sa kanilang dalawa na ipaglalaban na ni Leon ang kanyang nararamdaman sa pagkakataong ito. Uuwi si Emy sa Agusan dahil pinasunog ni Carlotta ang bahay niya. Pasusundan siya nito upang matunton ang kinaroroonan ni Leon, at pati na rin ng nawawalang anak ni Carlotta.

A Beautiful Affair (ABS-CBN): Kabanata/Episode 53

Kabanata 53
Dahil sa pagkaabala ni Edward sa Meraviglie ay magkakaroon ng pagkakataon sina Leon at Gen na makasama ng madalas ang isa’t-isa at libutin ang lungsod upang mapawi ang pagkainip. Matapos ang kanilang naudlot na sana’y halikan noong nakaraang gabi, magtatagpo na naman ang kanilang mga landas at magsasaya naman ang dalawa na walang ginagawang hindi kanais-nais. Matapos magpalipas ng gabi na walang ginawa kundi magsiawitan at maglasing, uuwi si Gen kay Edward na wala sa sariling katinuan, at may mga masasabing mga bagay bagay na hindi dapat sabihin sa harapan ni Leon. Itutuloy nila ang pagliliwaliw kinabukasan, isang araw na puno ng tawanan at kasiyahan na tila ba nasa Vienna lang ulit silang dalawa.

A Beautiful Affair (ABS-CBN): Kabanata/Episode 52

Kabanata 52
Sa kanilang pagpunta sa Tokyo, hindi alam ni Gen na kasama pala nila si Leon, na magiging dahilan ng pagkakailangan nilang dalawa. Matapos ang pagpapakilala kay Ginoong Yamamoto at sa asawa nito at maiiwan pa si Edward upang ayusin ang ilan pang mga bagay na dapat ayusin upang maituloy na ang pagpapatayo ng Meraviglie. Dahil wala namang nakakaalam na usapan lamang nilang dalawa ang pagpapakasal, sa isang silid lamang tutuloy sina Edward at Gen. Aaminin sa kanya ni Edward na mahal pa rin siya nito at gagawin lahat upang maibalik ang dating pagtingin ni Gen sa kanya. Mukha namang hindi na ito mangyayari pa dahil andiyan na ulit si Leon at hindi maiwasang ipakita ni Gen na mahal pa rin niya talaga ito. Samantala, iniwan na rin si Carlotta ni Ava matapos malaman nito na pinalayas ng ate ang kanilang ama. Galit din siya sa ama ngunit natatakot siya sa kung ano ang maaring gawin ni Carlotta kahit pa ipinangako nito sa kanya na wala siyang masamang hangarin sa kapatid.

A Beautiful Affair (ABS-CBN): Kabanata/Episode 51

Kabanata 51
Lalapit si Arturo sa apo na si Ivan na gumuguhit ng larawan, isang larawan ng ama, ina at kapatid na hindi kilala ng matanda. Ito ang pagsisimulan ng isang matinding away sa pagitan nila ni Carlotta kung saan mapapatunayan ng huli na ang kanyang ama nga ang may pakana sa pagpapapatay kay Henry. Palalayasin ni Carlotta ang ama at sasaklolo naman si Edward na magiging dahilan upang magkaroon din ng isang mahalagang pag-uusap ang dalawa. Maglalabas si Carlotta ng sama ng loob at maibubunyag na rin sa wakas kay Edward na nagbalik lamang ang kapatid upang maghiganti. Babalik na si Leon sa PGC matapos kausapin ni Edward. Ito ay dahil sa hiling ng Hapon na mamumuhunan sa PGC na si Leon ang maging isa sa mga punong abala sa Meraviglie. Nais din nito makilala si Gen at mangyayari ang lahat sa Tokyo.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sisterakas

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Totoy (Vice Ganda) and Detty (Ai Ai de las Alas) are half siblings separated in childhood when her mother catches their father cheating on her with his mother, the maid. He vows to seek revenge on his father's family for treating them like dirt, something he finally gets to do when decades later he emerges as the head of one of the country's leading fashion companies where his sister, now poor and with two kids in tow, applies as his executive assistant. He does everything to make her life miserable, but suffers the consequences when Roselle (Kris Aquino), the eccentric COO of a rival fashion line, pirates Detty and takes advantage of her talent in fashion design to use against Totoy, who is presently known by the name Bernice.

I have decided to avoid Wenn Derramas' movies because I end up writing the same observations for every one of them, given his talent for rehashing everything from soap opera story lines to memorable battle cries of people bullied online. Perhaps what makes Sisterakas different is that despite the use of the very same formula, we get to witness three box-office juggernauts joining forces in one movie. It worked. The movie is now the highest grossing Filipino film of all time, overtaking Praybeyt Benjamin, which was also top-billed by Vice Ganda.

One More Try

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

A one night stand produces for Grace (Angel Locsin) and Edward (Dingdong Dantes) an offspring, whose existence he first finds out about when she approaches him after a long time. The kid is sick with a rare type of leukemia that would kill him, unless he gets a transplant from a sibling. The answer should be simple, another one night stand, but what complicates things is the fact that he is now married to Jacq (Angelica Panganiban), and she is now committed to Tristan (Zanjoe Marudo). Will the four of them choose to turn a blind eye on a clear act of betrayal to save the dying child?

Dantes' performance here is way better than his acting last year in that comedy flick called Segunda Mano. Although most people would say that there are actors from other movies more deserving of the MMFF award, at least it could be said that his acting here is competent enough to merit a win. There are less moments of over acting and more on emotions manifested through body language.

Friday, January 11, 2013

BEIJING: Budget and Itinerary (2)


WEDNESDAY: 9 January 2013
China Eastern (Changchun - Beijing) - 370.00
Airport Express (Capital Airport - Dongzhimen) - 25.00
Metro (Dongzhimen – Yonghegong - Dongsi) - 2.00
Happy Dragon Hostel (1 Bunk in 4 Bed Dorm/night) - 70.00
Mineral Water x2 (Happy Dragon Hostel) - 4.00
CNY471.00

Thursday, January 10, 2013

CHONGWEN: 01 - The Temple of Heaven


There were two itinerary casualties thanks to my laziness when I was in Beijing last year: the Great Wall and the Temple of Heaven. Wait, allow me to correct that. The first one was because of stupidity as I got lost despite following detailed instructions. For the latter, yes, we can say that it was due to laziness. When you arrive at a place at around half an hour before it closes, I guess that qualifies as laziness. This time around, I was able to visit the temple grounds. At last.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

[HEILONGJIANG] Budget and Itinerary


SUNDAY: 6 January 2013
D1353 (Shenyang North – Harbin West) - 166.00
KFC (1 pc Chicken w/Fries & Coke + Egg Tart) - 37.00
Bus 21 (Wrong Side of the Road) - 1.00
Bus 21 (Right Side of the Road) - 1.00
Harbin Russia International Youth Hostel (1 Bunk in 4 Bed Dorm/3 Nights) - 180.00
CNY385.00

[HEILONGJIANG] Harbin Russia International Youth Hostel


As long as you follow the instructions on how to reach the guest house, you would not be lost. Get off at Gao Yi Jie. Face ICBC and the road where the bus is going, yes, that one way street. Look left. You will see a road that says Number Seven, if I remember it correctly. Follow that road. Facing ICBC, you would be heading to your left, meaning you would be crossing that road where the bus was. This guest house is on the Ninth Street. So, follow Seventh Street to the left until you reach the intersection, turn right, and walk two blocks down to reach Ninth. The guest house entrance is in an alley right after Ninth, to the right. There is a large sign saying Russian Hostel. I cannot recall clearly if that is what was written. Anyway, you would know.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

[HEILONGJIANG] Harbin is a Winter Wonderland


If Russia and China had a love child, Harbin would be its name. The people would be speaking Mandarin in general, but it would not be uncommon to find Russian speaking Caucasians roaming the streets. It would have buildings that display Russian architecture; a street with stores selling Russian chocolates; and lots of frozen spit on the pavement. Whether you come in by plane or by train and no matter what you decide to ride when you leave, remember that Harbin's winter is one of the harshest on the planet. You have been warned. Make sure that your layers are in place.

Monday, January 7, 2013

[HEILONGJIANG] Harbin Ice and Snow Festival


When someone tells you that he or she is going to Harbin, more or less the reason would be the annual Ice and Snow Festival held every January. Considered as one of the four big winter festivals on the planet, this is Harbin's biggest tourist draw. And so, the million dollar question: is it cold? To which my answer would be: Are you on drugs? Harbin is on the same latitude as Montreal. January, considered as the coldest month of the winter, experiences temperature drops of at least -20 degrees Celsius. Sculptures made from blocks of ice could be seen anywhere from the sidewalks to the parking lot in front of the train station, and they are not melting. Perhaps, that gives you a clear idea?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Beautiful Affair (ABS-CBN): Kabanata/Episode 50

Kabanata 50
Ngayong mag-asawa na si Gen at Edward, magkakaroon ng hindi inaasahang suliranin sina Sabrina at Carlotta. Dahil sa pag-iisang dibdib na ito ay naging pag-aari na ng mag-asawa ang ari-arian ng isa’t isa, na nangangahulugan lamang na ang mga bahagi ng puhunan na pagmamay-ari ni Edward sa Ropa ay kay Gen na rin. Dahil mag-asawa na sila, nabili na rin ni Edward kay Gen ang Lucia na siyang pagtatayuan niya ng Meraviglie, habang nakuha naman ni Gen ang salapi upang mapigilan ang paggiba sa mga bahay ng kanyang mga tauhan sa Ropa. Sa kaarawan ni Leon ay ibabahagi sa kanya ni Mang Bert ang mga pangyayaring ito at ang mga kaganapan na rin sa PGC. May isang Hapon na mamumuhunan at kailangan ni Edward ng isang magandang pagpapaliwanag gamit ang mga iginuhit ni Leon. Ito na nga ba ang paraan upang makabalik si Leon sa PGC at mapalapit muli kay Gen?

A Beautiful Affair (ABS-CBN): Kabanata/Episode 49

Kabanata 49
Sa wakas ay nakahanap din ng paraan si Edward at Gen upang lutasin ang kanilang mga suliranin: ang pag-iisang dibdib. Dahil nakasaad sa iniwanang pamana ng lolo ni Gen na sa kamag-anak lamang maaring ipagbili ang Lucia, ang pagsasama nilang ito ni Edward ang pinakambisang paraan. Makukuha ni Edward ang Lucia, at makukuha naman ni Gen ang salapi na kailangan upang maging muling pangunahing may-ari ng Ropa. Ayaw muna ni Gen sa una, ngunit mapipilitan siyang dumating sa pasyang ito matapos makatanggap ng balita na ginigiba na ang tirahan ng kanyang mga tauhan. Ibabalita naman ni Carlotta kay Henry na malapit nang matupad ang kanilang mga balak. Gayunpaman, mukhang hindi pa rin masaya si Henry matapos marinig ang balita.

A Beautiful Affair (ABS-CBN): Kabanata/Episode 48

Kabanata 48
Patuloy pa rin ang mga pagtatalo sa pagitan ng magkakamag-anak. Nagtatalo ang mag-ate na Edward at Carlotta tungkol sa Lucia, na nais pa rin bilhin ni Edward upang maging lupa na tatayuan ng Meraviglie. Bukod dito, nais din niyang bilhin ang nasabing lupa upang makatulong kay Gen. Lalapit naman si Gen sa kanya upang idulog ang suliranin ukol sa pamunuan ng Ropa, na unti-unti nang nakukuha ni Sabrina dahil nabili na rin nito ang bahagi ng puhunan na pinanghahawakan ng kapatid na si Natalia, matapos itong takutin na ibubunyag ang kanyang lihim hinggil sa pakiki-apid nito sa isang mambabatas noong siya ay bata pa. Bukod sa pagbubunyag na ito, mapagaalaman naman na si Emy at ang batang nagngangalang Biloy na hinahanap ni Carlotta ay iisa.

A Beautiful Affair (ABS-CBN): Kabanata/Episode 47

Kabanata 47
Dali-daling tutungo si Gen sa Davao upang ayusin ang suliranin sa nasunog na pagawaan. Sasamahan siya ni Edward dahil ang pansariling sasakyan panghimpapawid nito ang kanilang gagamitin. Lingid sa kanilang kaalaman ay si Carlotta ang nag-utos na pasabugin ang pagawaan. Dahil din sa kanyang kagagawan ay makakabalik si Sabrina sa Ropa kung saan gugulatin nito ang pamangkin sa pamamagitan ng pagpasok sa isang pagpupulong kung saan ipaaalam nito sa lahat ang kanyang pagbabalik. Mahuhuli ni Leon si Emy at Mang Epong na aalis dapat papuntang Maynila upang hanapin ang kanyang ina. Ikaiinis ito ng binata ngunit sa payo na rin ng kaibigan na si Fred, hahayaan na nito ang dalawa at pagbibigyan gawa na rin ng araw araw na pangungulit ng mga ito. Sasabihan ni Sophia si Edward na muling gawin ang lahat upang maging sila ulit ni Gen, ngunit sasagot ito na hindi niya nais masira kung anuman ang kasalukuyang mayroon sila, ang kanilang pagkakaibigan na pipiliin niyang pangalagaan sa ngayon.

A Beautiful Affair (ABS-CBN): Kabanata/Episode 46

Kabanata 46
Ang Lucia na minana pa ni Gen sa kanyang lolo ang nagdadala ngayon ng suliranin hindi lamang sa kanya kundi pati na rin kay Carlotta. Kapwa nais ng dalawa na galawin ang nasabing lupa: Si Gen, upang ipagbili ito kay Edward; at si Carlotta, upang kamkamin ito at gamitin sa binabalak na paghihiganti ni Henry sa mga Saavedra. Hindi maaring ipagbili sa hindi kamag-anak ang lupain na nangangahulugan lamang na mananatili ito sa mga Saavedra. Si Emy at Mang Epong naman ang mangungulit kay Leon upang hanapin ang mga tunay na magulang nito, isang bagay na ayaw na niyang gawin pang muli dahil ayon sa kanya ay masaya na siya sa kanyang buhay. Sa pagwawakas ng kabanata ay masusunog ang isa sa mga pagawaan ng Ropa, isa pang suliranin na dadagdag sa mga alalahanin ni Gen, bukod sa hindi pa niya alam na pagbabalik ni Carlotta kay Sabrina ng puhunan ng Ropa.

LIAONING: Budget and Itinerary


TUESDAY: 1 January 2013
China Eastern (Shanghai - Dalian) - 390.00
Airport Bus (Airport – Qing Ni Wa Qiao) - 20.00
Bus 23 (Qing Ni Wa Qiao – Dalian Foreign Languages University) - 1.00
Dalian South Mountain Youth Hostel (1 Bunk in 4 Bed Dorm/1 Night) - 65.00
Bus 23 (Dalian Foreign Languages University – Zhongshan Square) - 1.00
KFC (1 pc Chicken w/Mashed Potato + Fries + Hot Milo + Hot Milk) - 42.50
Bus 708 (Qing Ni Wa Qiao – People’s Square) - 1.00
Bus 16 (People’s Square – Xinghai Park) - 1.00
Taxi (Xinghai Square – Dalian South Mountain Youth Hostel) - 17.00
Food Delivery (Fried Rice + Sprite Bottle) - 11.00
CNY549.50

Thursday, January 3, 2013

SHENYANG: 02 - Capitalism and a Manchurian Palace



No, this is not a term paper. I just think the title is apt, in more ways than one, to describe not just the palace but also the city hosting it, and maybe even China itself. Located in a shopping district and surrounded by various manifestations of capitalism, from the small fruits-on-a-stick stall to the ubiquitous larger mall, Mukden Palace is an appropriate depiction of an ever growing China; the unlikely fusion of old world charm and modern commercialism.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

SHENYANG: 01 - Shenyang Sanpi Youth Hostel


Now, this one was pretty hard to find, which I think was strange because the road where it is located is quite crowded, and with a Tesco at the corner how could taxi drivers really not have an idea where it is? Anyway, finding it is probably the only complaint I have for this hostel, along with the creepy building foyer where the elevator is. Just this tip, if coming from the train station and seeing Tesco to your right, keep your gaze to the right. This guest house is on the first bus stop after Tesco on the same building as a brightly lit KTV. Be on the lookout for signs. In the evening, they have a red marquee flashing the name of the guest house. In the morning, they just have a signage of Youth Hostelling International. Do ring the bell before you enter the building. Again, the entrance is to the left of the left of the KTV, with writings in chalk spelling the name of the guest house. The unit number is there. Ringing the door bell is necessary because the elevator does not function unless you have a key, which is similar to a poker chip.

DALIAN: 02 - Is This Russia?


The excitement that was absent on my way to Suzhou found its way back to me as the airport bus rounded one more corner, fully exposing Dalian's collection of Russian inspired buildings. I have never been to China's bigger northern neighbor, but Dalian did give me a good glimpse of what would have been in store had I not dropped Vladivostok from the itinerary. Of course, Harbin would eventually prove to be more Russian than Dalian, but I saw Dalian first. Hence, the fascination.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

DALIAN: 01 - Dalian South Mountain Youth Hostel


I think this was the only one available on Hostelworld, which means I really did not have any other choice. In any case, I was not dissatisfied with my stay. I do not know of the receptionist is the daughter of the owner. Or was that the manager? They are both very helpful and accommodating anyway. By the way, their dog is so cute. The location is uphill but the climb is tolerable, and Bus #23 is always waiting for you at the base of the hill. Besides, who does not want a bit of exercise. Just be careful not to slip on the icy streets.

SHANGHAI: Budget and Itinerary (2)


SATURDAY: 29 December 2012
Taxi (Makati – NAIA 3) - 147.50
Travel Tax (NAIA 3) - 1,620.00
Terminal Fee (NAIA 3) - 550.00
Cebu Pacific (Manila – Shanghai) - 1,983.00
Snacks (Cebu Pacific) - 230.00
PhP4,350.50

PUDONG: 03 - New Year's Eve on the Wrong Side of the Huangpu


There really is not much to expect when it comes to New Year's eve celebrations in Shanghai. Come to think of it, they are Chinese in the first place and have their very own new year to celebrate come February. Still, I had to be somewhere during the night before 2013 starts, given how I chose to be away from family at this time of the year when i really should be with them. I did not think that Suzhou would have something grand prepared so I thought maybe Shanghai would be the better bet.

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