Friday, December 31, 2021

[CAYO] Budget and Itinerary


WEDNESDAY: 29 December 2021
Van (Belize City - San Ignacio - Belize City) - 80.00
AirBNB (2 Nights) - 207.64
Love Town (Strawberry Smoothie) - 10.00
Convenience Store (Groceries) - 10.00
BZD307.64

Thursday, December 30, 2021

[SAN IGNACIO] The White Lady of Xunantunich


I was supposed to stay in Cayo for a few days and explore two or three Maya ruins by the border before crossing over to Guatemala but because of the immigration snafu, I had to cut my stay short by a day. In effect I only have one day for sightseeing now. Since Xunantunich appears to be the most doable sans group tour, because the tour agency I contacted didn’t want to take me in for some reason, I decided that Xunantunich it would be then. First stop, how to get there? Well, get your ass to San Ignacio.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

[BELIZE] Budget and Itinerary


MONDAY: 27 December 2021
Tropic Air (Coxen Hole - Belize City) - 420.15
AirBNB (2 Nights) - 414.04
Airport Transfer (Airport - Downtown) - 54.00
Hub 501 (Grilled Pork Chop w/ Rice & Orange Juice) - 34.00
Caribbean Charm (Groceries) - 35.00
BZD957.19

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

[BELIZE] Belize from Above


Belize has always been just there next to Mexico but somehow I always snubbed it because of visa issues. For Philippine passport holders, we used to be visa on arrival as long as we have a multiple entry US visa. But we still had to pay, like, USD50 to get in. I don’t know what happened but when I finally landed here, I didn’t have to pay anything. Apparently, Philippine passport holders are now visa-free here as long as you have a valid multiple entry visa for either the US or Canada. If you have both, they award you with honorary Belizean citizenship. Nope, that’s a joke. What, I can’t make jokes anymore?

Monday, December 27, 2021

Don't Look Up

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Astronomy PhD candidate Kate Dibiaski (Jennifer Lawrence) discovers a 7-10 km wide comet hurtling straight towards Earth. Her professor Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) calculates the space rock’s route and trajectory and is 99% sure that it will result in a direct hit in a mere six months. Terrified, they ring the alarm and get an appointment at the White House with the help of Dr. Teddy Oglethrope (Rob Morgan), the head of the Planetary Defense Coordination Office. When President Janie Orlean (Meryl Streep) and her son Chief of Staff Jason (Jonah Hill) prove to be more concerned about her midterm popularity rating than the extinction level threat, the two Michigan State University alums embark on a media tour to tell the world about what they have discovered. What follows is a not so enjoyable game marred with politics, media sensationalism, and some personal tribulations here and there. Will their efforts be enough to save the human race?

Sunday, December 26, 2021

[ISLAS DE LA BAHÍA] Budget and Itinerary


FRIDAY: 24 December 2021
Port Tax (La Ceiba) - 25.00
Galaxy Wave Ferry (La Ceiba - Roatán) - 792.00
AirBNB (3 Nights) - 4,059.45
Taxi (Dixon Cove - Coxen Hole) - 360.00
HNL5,596.45

Saturday, December 25, 2021

[ROATÁN] West End and West Bay


The only West End I was really interested to visit before was the theater district in London. After my UK Visa application got denied, Broadway filled that gap. Who knew that I would end up visiting another West End but instead of theaters and musicals, it’s all about Caribbean beaches! Not bad, eh? Capping my Honduras itinerary, the Bay Islands have been the evident highlight of this gallivanting around the country. Despite being scammed by taxi drivers from hell, it was all worth it in my opinion.

Friday, December 24, 2021

[ATLÁNTIDA] Budget and Itinerary


WEDNESDAY: 22 December 2021
Transportes La Cristina (San Pedro Sula - La Ceiba) - 150.00
AirBNB (2 Nights) - 1,511.32
Taxi (Terminal - Barrio La Julia) - 50.00
Mercaditos Las 24 Horas (Groceries) - 209.96
HNL1,921.28

Thursday, December 23, 2021

[LA CEIBA] Honduras' Girlfriend


And now on this episode of “There’s Nothing to See in *insert wherever dafuq you ended up this time” we feature La Ceiba, the capital of the Caribbean department of Atlántida. Not originally on the itinerary, I thought it was a cheaper alternative to taking a flight to Roatán which would have cost a little over $100. For those headed to either Útila or Coxen Hole, La Ceiba has ferries plying those routes for around $30. The caveat is you have to pass by La Ceiba, which many people actually do. They don’t stay here, though.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Hawkeye: Episode 6


6. So This Is Christmas?
Eleanor ends her business relationship with Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) as her daughter gets closer to finding out the truth. Kate is furious but Clint suggests siding with her mother, him knowing what the Kingpin can do. They attend yet another flashy Christmas party where they are attacked by the Tracksuit Mafia under Fisk’s command. Yelena Belova also crashes the party to settle the score with Hawkeye. Soon, a series of confrontations ensue: Kate Bishop vs. Kingpin; Maya Lopez and her second in command Kazi (Fra Fee); Clint Barton and Yelena Belova. Maya accidentally kills Kazi after tying to persuade him to run away with her. Clint takes a beating from Yelena before the truth about Natasha’s death is revealed. Kate gets the better of Fisk after a difficult duel. Fisk manages to escape the authorities but is ambushed by Maya in an alley and is shot several times. Eleanor goes to jail for Armand’s murder while Kate spends Christmas with Clint and his family, thinking out loud as to what her superhero moniker should be.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

[CORTÉS] Budget and Itinerary


MONDAY: 20 December 2021
Bus (Comayagua - San Pedro Sula) - 100.00
AirBNB (2 Nights) - 1,956.13
Uber (Terminal - Downtown) - 78.67
TGI Fridays (JD Chicken + Strawberry Shake) - 576.40
Uber (TGI Fridays - Bantrab) - 58.00
Pulpería El Shaddai (Groceries) - 59.45
HNL2,828.65

Monday, December 20, 2021

[SAN PEDRO SULA] Murder Capital of the World 2019


It wasn’t until a friend commented on my San Pedro Sula selfie that I got an idea about how dangerous the city could be. I thought the unenviable distinction of being the Homicide Capital of the World was monopolized by Tegucigalpa, another Honduran city. And so, I looked it up and found some articles about the world’s most dangerous cities and how SPS was the Murder Capital of the World in 2019. Wow, Honduras. Murder and Homicide, eh? Must be fun, those hobbies, for you to excel in both.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

[COMAYAGUA] Budget and Itinerary


SATURDAY: 18 December 2021
Transporte Langueños (Tegucigalpa - Comayagua) - 50.00
AirBNB (2 Nights) - 1,532.04
Citi Market (Groceries) - 72.00
HNL1,654.04

Saturday, December 18, 2021

[FRANCISCO MORAZÁN] Budget and Itinerary


TUESDAY: 14 December 2021
Bus (Choluteca - Tegucigalpa) - 115.00
AirBNB (4 Nights) - 3,172.68
Uber (Colonia Rodriguez - Agalta) - 104.09
KFC (1 pc Chicken w/ Mashed Potato & Pepsi) - 85.00
De Todo (Groceries) - 114.00
Dunkin Donuts (Donuts) - 164.00
HNL3,754.77

Friday, December 17, 2021

[TEGUCIGALPA] Malling in Tegus


And so, we reach the capital. After a bit over 3 hours on a bus with an intermediate stop in between, I found myself alighting the vehicle at a busy colonia that looked sketchy at best. It’s time to put Uber to the test. Activating my mobile data, I scouted for Uber drivers and found one, who arrived after 15 minutes or so. My first impression of Tegucigalpa, or known to many by its nickname Tegus, is that of a hilly Spanish-speaking Manila. I guess what caught me by surprise was the weather, though.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Spider-Man: No Way Home

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

In the aftermath of Mysterio’s death and his frame-up thereof, Peter Parker’s (Tom Holland) life will never be the same as he and his girlfriend MJ (Zendaya) as well as best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) deal with the repercussions of such accusation as well as his identity being made public. Desperate for a quick fix, the webslinger seeks the help of Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) who has lost his title as Sorcerer Supreme to Wong (Benedict Wong) after being blipped out of existence for half a decade. Miscasting a spell, the sorcerer inadvertently leaves a dent on the fabric of time and space. Soon enough, an unsuspecting Spider-Man is attacked by Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) on a bridge, with both of them realizing after a heated battle that they are not from the same universe. As more villains from different worlds start to emerge, the web crawler attempts to reverse the consequences of his wish before it’s too late.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Hawkeye: Episode 5

 

5. Ronin
2018. During a mission to save a Black Widow who does not want to be rescued, Yelena Belova’s quick five-second trip to the loo takes away five years of her life as she gets dusted by Thanos’ snap. As she is brought back like many others, the first person she looks for is her sister. Cut to present, she ambushes Kate in her old apartment for a small chat. She insists that Barton killed her sister, but Kate suggests she find out who hired her to assassinate him who she wholeheartedly believes to be a good person. Donning his Ronin suit once again, Clint decides to settle the score with a relentless Maya once and for all. They engage in a duel which he easily wins. As he tells her how it was her big boss who hired him to murder her father, seeds of doubt are planted about the loyalty of her right-hand man. Yelena follows Kate’s advice and makes a discovery that will be hard for the young archer to swallow, for it is her very own mother Eleanor who hired Belova, with proof of her involvement via a photo with the Kingpin.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

[CHOLUTECA] Budget and Itinerary


MONDAY: 13 December 2021
Immigration (Entry Tax) - 100.00
Bus (Guasaule - Choluteca) - 40.00
AirBNB (1 Night) - 571.32
Wendy's (10 pcs Chicken Nuggets w/ Fries + Coke & Frosty) - 181.00
Supermercado Monjars #2 (Groceries) - 63.00
HNL955.32

[CHOLUTECA] Don't Go to Choluteca


The logic behind it was simple. Why should I endure a bus trip that is more than 6 hours long plus immigration time when I could just split the itinerary into smaller segments, right? And so the León – Tegucigalpa journey became León – Chinandega – Choluteca – Tegucigalpa, with intermediate stops at two border towns. I’d say it has been effective. So far only the Choluteca – Tegucigalpa leg lasted a bit over three hours. The rest were manageable at two hours or less. And then, Choluteca.

Monday, December 13, 2021

[CHINANDEGA] Budget and Itinerary


SATURDAY: 11 December 2021
Expreso (León - Chinandega) - 37.00
Tricycle (Market Terminal - Downtown) - 30.00
Hotel Cosiguina (2 Nights) - 2,886.11
Subway (6" Combo) - 225.00
Water (Hotel Cosiguina) - 30.00
NIO3,208.11

Sunday, December 12, 2021

[CHINANDEGA] Towards the Nicaraguan Border


But why are you going to Chinandega, it’s boring and there’s nothing to do there! Said every other person you told that you are heading to Chinandega after León. I understand the concern, people, but uncle here is getting too old to endure bus rides that last 5 hours or more, which is probably more than what a León to Tegucigalpa land transfer would be if you factor in the border crossing. And so, I decided why not just split the trip into several legs to avoid the long bus trip? León – Chinandega – Choluteca – Tegucigalpa.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

[LEÓN] Budget and Itinerary


THURSDAY: 9 December 2021
Expreso (Managua - León) - 71.00
Taxi (Market Terminal - Downtown) - 40.00
AirBNB (2 Nights) - 2,622.85
McDonalds (Burger w/ Fries & 4 pcs Nuggets + Coke & Sundae) - 244.00
Super Express (Groceries) - 104.50
NIO3,082.35

Friday, December 10, 2021

[LEÓN] Cathedral Rooftop View


Since I’ve already been to Granada, I had very low expectations for León. After all, how different can these two colonial towns be, right? If you’ve already visited many others in Latin America before like Antigua or San Juan, the pattern would probably be stuck in your head by now. I don’t know if the low expectations were to blame or if León is really just the better of the two, but I enjoyed the lion city more than Granada. Personally, I’m guessing it is because of the views from the cathedral’s rooftop.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

[MANAGUA] Budget and Itinerary


TUESDAY: 7 December 2021
Aventón (Airport - Colonia Centroamérica) - 255.00
AirBNB (2 Nights) - 3,058.31
Bottega (Bolognese & Carbonara + Coke) - 590.00
NIO3,903.31

[MANAGUA] Puerto Salvador Allende


I was supposed to go out after my shift at 9 AM, but despite sleeping 7 hours the night before I felt really dizzy. And so, I thought it was about time I listened to my body and dozed off. Whatever time I wake up, I don’t care. Sightseeing in Managua will be incidental. After 3 hours, I woke up. Apparently, I only needed a nap. I had to tweak my itinerary a bit and started the day by calling an Aventón to drive me to Galerías Santo Domingo which was apparently just 10 minutes away by car.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Hawkeye: Episode 4


4. Partners, Am I Right?
It turns out Eleanor is also at home, turning the sword ambush into an awkward getting-to-know-you phase. Eleanor has a brief parent-to-parent talk with Clint asking him to spare her daughter from the dangers of his job, which leads him to persuade Kate via different means to go back to living a normal life. However, she is persistent as ever, and he gives her one more chance. On a mission to retrieve Natasha’s tracer Rolex which was stolen from the Avengers compound and auctioned later on, the two archers get into loggerheads as far as field mission techniques are concerned. She finds the watch in an apartment that apparently belongs to Maya, who ambushes her in an ensuing fight. Forced to be on the lookout from a rooftop, Clint is attacked by a masked assailant. The foursome all end up on the same roof and end up in a battle royale, revealing the incognito attacker to be Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh). As Kate almost fatally falls off the building resembling Natasha’s demise, Clint wants her out for good.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

[SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN COAST] Budget and Itinerary


SUNDAY: 5 December 2021
La Costeña (Managua - Big Corn - Managua) - 7,120.15
Domestic Travel Tax (Airport) - 71.00
Casa Canada (2 Nights) - 5,684.99
NIO12,876.14

Monday, December 6, 2021

[SOUTH CARIBBEAN COAST] So Where's the Corn?


Don’t ask me, I have no idea either. It seems to me that random trips brought about by impulse buying of flight tickets can turn out to be a good or bad decision depending on how well you plan things spontaneously. In the case of Corn Islands, the return flight ticket from Managua seemed a bit steep, but I thought hey we’re already here so why not try out our luck, right? And so, I purchased the flight ticket and booked the hotel online. We land at Big Corn, and then take the boat to Little Corn. Easy, no?

Sunday, December 5, 2021

[MASAYA] Budget and Itinerary


FRIDAY: 3 December 2021
Taxi (Granada - Masaya) - 300.00
Airbnb (2 Nights) - 2,178.85
NIO2,478.85

Saturday, December 4, 2021

[MASAYA] Uncle Lucifer, I'm Home


When Mother Earth handed out natural resources in Central America, Costa Rica received many of the rainforests and beaches while neighboring Nicaragua went gaga over the lakes and volcanoes. I’ve been to three regions so far and all of them have their own volcano. Rivas has Ometepe’s twin peaks. Granada had Mombacho. Masaya shares its volcano with Managua right there at the border but gets the honor of getting the national park and the volcano itself named after it.

Friday, December 3, 2021

[GRANADA] Budget and Itinerary


WEDNESDAY: 1 December 2021
Taxi (Rivas - Granada) - 1,056.75
Airbnb (2 Nights) - 1,768.65
Peso a Peso (Groceries) - 210.00
NIO3,035.40

Thursday, December 2, 2021

[GRANADA] Meet Antigua's Sister


And the resemblance can’t be any more similar. I already forgot where I read it, but it was mentioned once that Antigua and Granada were, indeed, considered as sister cities. Town layout and overall Hispanic character aside, the two also share other similarities such as the presence of a volcano in the background and the ubiquitous colorful houses which make you feel as though you’re roaming the streets in the New World of the 1500’s on the other side of the Pacific.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Hawkeye: Episode 3


3. Echoes
2007. Growing up deaf and with a prosthetic leg, Maya relies heavily on her vision and develops a knack for mimicry in order to survive. When her beloved uncle perishes in one of Ronin’s killing sprees at the Tracksuit Mafia headquarters, she vows to hunt the guy down for revenge. Now that she is considered as the leader of the group, she brings Clint Barton and Kate Bishop in as hostages to interrogate them regarding their involvement in the retrieval of the Ronin suit. He informs her that Ronin already died in the hands of Black Widow, which she immediately dismisses as a lie. The two escape their assailants amidst an explosive car chase in the streets of New York. After repairing his hearing aid, Clint is taken by Kate back to her mother’s penthouse so they can sneak in and find some info regarding Jack and the Tracksuit Mafia through the classified files of her mom’s security company. As her access is eventually disabled, Barton sneaks around and is ambushed by Jack, held at knifepoint with his very own Ronin sword.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

[RIVAS] Budget and Itinerary


MONDAY: 29 November 2021
TicaBus (Liberia - Rivas) - 1,020.00
Immigration (Municipal Tax + Tourist Card) - 460.00
Airbnb (2 Nights) - 2,820.00
Vila's Rosti-Pizza (Chicken Fried Rice + Coke) - 230.00
NIO4,530.00

Monday, November 29, 2021

[RIVAS] Almost Ometepe


The officer looked at my passport. Asked a question. Ran to his supervisor. The officer looked at my passport. Asked a question. Ran to his supervisor. The officer looked at my passport. Asked a question. Ran to his supervisor. We arrived at Nicaraguan immigration at 12:05. I exited the building at 13:35. In that hour and a half, that immigration officer only managed to process TWO people, me included, as opposed to his other co-workers. While I’d like to think that he was just power tripping or being strict, he did stamp 90 days on my passport anyway. Perhaps it was the guy’s first day at work?

Sunday, November 28, 2021

[GUANACASTE] Budget and Itinerary


THURSDAY: 25 November 2021
jetBlue (New York - Liberia) - 86,503.40
Taxi (Airport - La Choza de Laurel) - 5,000.00
La Choza de Laurel (1/4 Grilled Chicken w/ Rice + Coke) - 5,600.00
Airbnb (4 Nights) - 123,413.56
Uber (La Choza de Laurel - Manuel Córdoba) - 3,900.00
Uber Eats (McDonald's) - 10,534.00
CRC234,950.96

Saturday, November 27, 2021

[LIBERIA] Trekking La Leona in Boxers and Flip Flops


Liberia was not really on the itinerary but considering how challenging it has been to find cheap flights or even just a flight to and from Nicaragua, it seemed to me that the only option left was to fly to Costa Rica and take the bus from there. Finding a $100 flight from New York to Liberia on jetBlue, I didn’t need a lot of convincing to book it given how it usually costs so much more. Landing in Liberia means painting Guanacaste on my Costa Rica map red. Now I’m left with just Alajuela and Heredia to paint the entire country velvet.

Friday, November 26, 2021

House of Gucci

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) does not really come from a poor family. Although they lack the pedigree, her father does own a trucking company where she works an administrative position. When she lays her eyes on Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver) at a friend’s party, she immediately knows she has found what she really wants. She begins stalking him afterwards and he eventually falls for her charms. When his father Rodolfo (Jeremy Irons), 1/2 of the fashion empire disagrees, Patrizia charms her way to the other 1/2. Aldo Gucci (Al Pacino) is more adventurous when it comes to business, takes his nephew Maurizio in, and treats him like a son given his disappointment with his own Paolo (Jared Leto) whose ideas are deemed too eccentric for the company. Once the power couple are back in the game, a dysfunctional family drama unfolds, pitting family members against one another until it all leads to a murder that would scandalize the fashion world.

Encanto

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

During their clan’s darkest hour, matriarch Alma Madrigal is touched by a miracle through a magical candle that never loses its flicker. Along with it rises an enchanted house, very much alive and would be the center not just of the Madrigal family’s lives, but also of the town that flourishes next to it. The magic is also extended to each and every family member by giving them a special ability: son Bruno has visions of the future; daughter Pepa can control the weather; while Julieta cooks food that can heal any kind of ailment. The grandchildren also have gifts: Dolores has enhanced hearing; Camilo is a shapeshifter; Antonio can communicate with animals; Luisa has superhuman strength; and Isabela is the perfect granddaughter who can make flowers bloom. But there is one granddaughter whom the magic skips. Mirabel is ordinary, without powers, and is prophesized to put an end to the candle's magic.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

[NEW YORK] Budget and Itinerary (6)


THURSDAY: 4 November 2021
jetBlue (Cartagena - New York) - 242.87
Airbnb (2 Nights/Hudson Yards) - 260.19
MTA Card (Reload) - 11.50
Jollibee (2 pcs Chicken w/ Rice & Coke + Fries) - 11.08
AMC (Eternals) - 17.99
Convenience Store (Water) - 3.85
USD547.48

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Hawkeye: Episode 2


2. Hide and Seek
Barton’s Christmas plans are derailed as he is forced to babysit Bishop, who finally meets her favorite Avenger but not in the best of circumstances. Finding the dead body of a socialite related to her soon-to-be stepfather while donning the Ronin suit, she finds herself being trailed by one gang after another, the most persistent of which is the Tracksuit Mafia who burns her apartment down. Barton drops her off at her mother’s security firm for safety where she tries and fails to implicate Jack for random accusations off the top of her head. Meanwhile, Clint tries to retrieve his Ronin suit from the apartment fire but fails to do so, instead finding it stolen by a firefighter joining a live action role play. Eventually recovering the costume, he sends his children off to their mom as he deals with the ramifications of his vigilante past once and for all, with unsolicited help from Bishop who soon joins him in custody of the Tracksuit Mafia who are revealed to be working for Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox), a deaf copycat who goes by the name Echo.

Hawkeye: Episode 1


1. Never Meet Your Heroes
Battle of New York, 2012. A young girl is inadvertently saved by one of Hawkeye’s arrows from a crashing Chitauri vessel. Losing her father in the process, she vows to be her mother’s protector and asks for a bow and arrow. 2021. Now an overachiever and a bit of a troublemaker, Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) does not agree with the decision of her mother Eleanor (Vera Farmiga) to marry Jack Duquesne (Tony Dalton). Reluctantly attending one of her charity galas, she stumbles upon a black-market auction putting Ronin’s retractable sword and costume on sale to the highest bidder. A gang of small-time thugs ambush the gathering. In the resulting mayhem, Jack steals the sword while Kate grabs and dons the suit, leading to an anonymous photo and consequent media report about the masked vigilante’s return. Enjoying time with his kids in Manhattan, Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) sees the news item and is forced to hunt down and eventually rescue the wearer of his costume from the Tracksuit Mafia.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

[MASSACHUSETTS] Budget and Itinerary


SATURDAY: 20 November 2021
Megabus (Manhattan - Boston - Manhattan) - 77.48
Airbnb (4 Nights) - 390.83
McDonalds (10 pcs Nuggets w/ Fries + Coke) - 9.30
MBTA (2-Rides/Subway) - 4.80
USD482.41

Monday, November 22, 2021

[BOSTON] Downtown + Waterfront + North End


With Harvard out of the way my mission here in Massachusetts, aside from learning how to spell Massachusetts, is done. But since we’re already here and based in Boston, why not explore a bit, right? I think my assessment of the city might have been unfairly affected by the gloomy weather, though, what with the constant rain and gray skies. I still ended up enjoying the chilly stroll, however, particularly in the areas of Waterfront, North End, and Downtown.

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