Thursday, June 30, 2005

Some Thoughts On My Return To Work

"Why did I go to work today considering there is a day off tomorrow? Maybe it's good to pretend that you actually give a damn about your job once in a while"
"War of the Worlds really was a horrible movie"
"8. That's the eigth time I told someone that my vacation was good and fun"
"Damn, Tony showed the gift I got him to Boss, who I didn't get anything. Ah well"
"Seriously, why the hell did I go to work today? Everyone, including the Boss thought I would call in sick today"
"Some workmates, let's call her Laria Me, is really an airhead. She just got married. I wonder what the sex is like for her husband"
"Why the hell did I eat Fish n' Chips for lunch? Not really a good way to stick to your diet"
"My goodness, I may be married in two years. I really better start saving money"
"I need a vacation"
* * *
* * *
Started Salsa classes today. I am going to be looking forward to dancing with my girlfriend every Thursday.

Last Day Off

Before I'm back to work tomorrow. Bonus: only one day at work then a long weekend! So I today I:
-went to the bank to do some banking and realized I'm not exactly well off in the money availability department.
-had lunch with Sharon at Oakville Place.
-watched War of the Worlds with Jeff and Mike. I thought the movie was horrible, just horrible.
-caught up with what I missed on the net.
-developed some pictures from my trip.
-watched "Dance With The Stars" and got excited about my first dance lesson tomorrow with Sharon.
Maybe I should call in sick tomorrow as I am still experiencing dizzyness, but I suppose every once in a while I should look like I give a damn about my career. Plus I need money to determine if I should upgrade my computer or just buy a new one. No reason, only because I want one. After I pay off my car...

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Back In The Great White North

And boy do I have a headache.
I love coming home to someone, and how she loves me back. I'm going to have lunch with her tomorrow.
Hot here. What is this, the Philippines?
Now then, to unpack.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Done Already?!?

Looks like! I had a great time on my trip. Among the things:

-family. With the exception of the whole money thing, the family was great. They treated me like a King here and I met family I didn't know I had (and not in a bad way).
-shopping. Things were cheaper here!
-eating. Admitedly, I'm sick of eating right now. I gotta go on a diet. But otherwise, the eating here was cheap.
-swimming. Whole lot of it in Palawan and in resorts.
-"Ninong Jason." Yikes I have a wack load of Godchildren and nephews/nieces/cousins. And they all wanted to hold my hand, like I was someone special.
-crazy driving. If I tried driving at home like they do here, I would not have a license anymore.
-txt mssgin. I can't wait to get home and just call people. My fingers hurt. But it is quite convenient to contact people that way and for cheap.
-looking forward for the next time I visit. Who knows when that will be, but I'll be sure to bring Sharon. My family is looking forward to it!

Okay, so in 9 hours I will be on a plane to Tokyo, then on a plane to Toronto. I am sort of dreading the trip (I have a feeling I'm going to be ill in the air), but I'll be glad when it's over.

Next trip? Back to California and Las Vegas sometime before the end of the year. At least the flight is only 5 hours. Yay no money!

I'll be back, and hopefully in small veranda red centre justified. And I'll try to post pics of course. Oh Canada!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Last Resort

Where we went yesterday, that is. We went to one last resort, called "4 Kings." It was fun because the whole family was there. Lots of swimming again, although the pool was the dumbest design because they used these tiles that got slippery when it got wet. So of course, all the bandaids I brought were used up. My shin was cut, Nina's shin was cut, and Ate Carol's arm was cut. Other than that, it was fun. Also played basketball there, and I really, really think it's way too hot here to play outdoor basketball (heat stroke anyone?). Oh, and the fact I was wearing sandals doesn't bear well for my arches. Sounds like a whole lot of complaining, but really, it was fun. I got to perform a couple of songs for my family on the videoke machine (they think I'm "DA MAN" here) and I took a picture with all my Godchildren with the shirts on. I'll post the pic when I get home.

Speaking of home, last day here! Has it been two and a half weeks already? It feels like I've been here for a month. Prolly because everyday we've been doing something. Today is no exception; dispadeda day and last emergency day of shopping. Oh, and I have to pack. Erg. I'm sad I'm leaving, but relieved and happy too. We'll see.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Happy 25th Pang's Da Man!

Just came back from the "reason" why we're here in the first place: Tito Frank and Tita Aluh's 25th Wedding Anniversay party. I was part of the entourage, and read the responsorial psalm and a prayer for the blessing. I was a little nervous, and then I realized I screwed up half way through; I was supposed to read the response as well. Damn, shows just how much I pay attention in Church.

We then went to the restaurant. It was small, but the food was really good. Three weeks of eating Filipino Food, and the Roast Beef and Mashed Potatoes were really great. My family was also funny with the mic, chanting "Jason! Jason! Jason!" trying to get me to sing a song. Yeah. Right. Sounds like something I would do. Embarass someone, that is, not sing. (I didn't sing, by the way). At the end of the party, it was like some karaoke party, with everyone singing and whatnot. Oh, and the brownout in the middle of the party due to the extreme rain was also fun. Only in the Philippines!

Oh I also witnessed my cousin Happy try to say a joke during her speech, but fail miserably. It was so awkward, it was funny.

On Friday I watched my nieces Kiah and Towee dance during a high school recital/performance. They were good, but I couldn't help but feel that it is still a very conservative society here. No girls allowed dancing with boys, so it was an all-girl dance troupe. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but their parents would have a hell of a time in North American culture.

I also bought the majority of what's left to buy, including getting my Kuya Rocky a good badminton racket (they are crazy about the sport here) and my Ate Mye some "rubber shoes." Oh, and I also bought myself some Chuck Taylors. Yee-uh. Looks like Monday will be the last of the last days of shopping, with only Ate Karol left to buy. Oh, and me, of course.

All in all, it's been a great trip. I'll prolly miss my family the most, especially the little kids who made me laugh to no end. Boy, am I going to have stories to tell when I get home.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


I hope that yesterday was the last day I went shopping. Bought all sorts of gifts for people, including: bag; Bench shirts; Lacoste shirts; CDs (real ones...wait, that's for me); candies; cheese; magnet; barrel man; carabo (that's for me again); shoes. Wait, I don't think I'm done yet. Crap!

Been to so many malls, I'm sick of it. Including: Greenhills, 168, Tutuban, Visoryo, Market Market, SM Bicutan, SM North, SM Megamall, Alabang Town Centre, Glorietta. I also finally went to Greenbelt, the upper class mall where I bought a real Lacoste shirt. It's cheaper here, but it's still not cheap. Oh well, I'll splurge for myself as well. We also ate a restaurant called Sentro, which is a new age Filipino fusion restaurant. Yet, we had corned beef sinagang. Fusion? Right. Regardless, it was good and the crispy pata was the best I've had here (and believe me, it's like every other day is crispy pata).

I think I still want to buy Converse Low Cut Chuck Taylors. After that, THEN I'll be done shopping. Don't know exactly what the plan is today, but tomorrow is the party, then after that the days will prolly go by quickly then I'll find myself on a plane going home. Dr. Sy was right in that 3 weeks is a perfect amount of time; I'm ready to go home by next week. But first, more sweating.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Low Batt

I think it is finally catching up to me: fatigue. I have "low batt" as they say here (means "low battery" or no energy. My goodness the slang here, eh). Man, I've been going out everyday since I got here and I think I need a rest. But...

Woke up early this morning as Kuya Rocky, Ate Mye, Ate Karol and her mother in law picked us up to go back to 168. Geez, from the start I knew it was going to be a long day.

Ate lunch and it was then that I concluded: diet for me when I get home. Geez I really am wanting to go workout. Enough with the eating; I decided that I would not eat for the rest of the day.

Went to Caloocan, but luckily Ate Carol saved me from having to actually stay there by offering me to take me back to Las Pinas. It's not that I didn't want to stay there, but it was hot and they had no A/C and I would be doing nothing. So I went to Ate Carol's house while my parents stayed in Caloocan.

At Ate Carol's place, Sophie and Annejosh greeted me with their usual hyper selves. I never received this much attention before from children, and I love it (although it is quite tiring). They are very smart for their age (4 and 3), and I think I'll miss them a lot when I leave.

I was supposed to get a massage at Ate Carol's house (a CLEAN massage) from the masseuse she always hires, but she couldn't make it. So instead I went to the golf driving range with Kuya Jojo. It was fun, and interesting having someone place the ball on a little pile of dirt that acted as a tee. Talk about being pampered. And the cost of having all this service and about 100 balls to hit? Converted about $4!!! I don't think I can go back to Canada's driving ranges anymore. Oh, and I got a blister on my thumb. I don't think I'm a good golfer.

Came back to Paranaque, where now I'm waiting for my parents to come home. I'm tired, but tomorrow is, yes, another day. I'm borrowing money from Tita Mila, as I am (surprise surprise) over my $1000 budget. Ah well, it's not like I go here a lot!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Have You Forgotten About Your Real Life?

I was dreaming today that I was talking to myself and that was one of the questions I asked myself. The answer? Damn, it seems I have.

It's only been a couple of days since I've last posted, but it seems like so many things have happened. Let's see if I can remember:

Friday: -spent the day with the California cousins and Rocky mall hopping. We ate at Tony Romas because according to my cousins who had at that point only been in the Philippines for two days, "we miss American Food." Right. They ordered so much and then only ate half. I think sometimes they are so OA, but I'm not complaining since I got to eat baby back ribs for free.

Saturday: -spent the day visiting family in Cavite with Nina and family. For some reason I always thought I didn't have a lot of relatives on my Dad's side. I was wrong. My Dad's Dad (my Lolo) had a lot of brothers and sisters, and there are some of them still alive. Oh, and I also thought my Dad lived in Caloocan his whole life and that's where he met my Mom at a young age. Wrong about that too, as I went to the neighbourhood my Dad grew up in when he was a young boy. And all the metal gates were personalized with the name "Marquez." I really seemed to have been in a Marquez neighbourhood. It was really quite interesting to me.
-while there, the one thing I can say was it was HOT. We went to all the homes in the neighbourhood we had to, and not any of them had A/C. Sauna like, and the electric fan just made it seem like a convection oven. But whatever, it was nice to meet people on my Dad's side, like my Dad's aunt who he jokes with like how I joke with some of my aunts (like my Dad reminding her to put his name in her will).
-we then went to Duty Free Mall and bought, well, nothing. But we did eat at Luk Foo Cantonese Restaurant for dinner with Tita Mila, Lola, Tito Manny, Tita Carmen, Noe and of course, my shadow Nina. We also apparently sat at the table next to ex-Philippines President Ramos, who was entertaining some international guests. My family was so awestruck, and if anyone from that party looked at our table they would have seen (with the exception of Canadian boy over here) a bunch of Filipinos "trying" not to look that interested but with their mouths open. On top of that, apparently, the last time my Mom went to the Philippines in 1997, she went to a place where he was as well. So she pretended like it was no big deal. Funny stuff.
-according to my funny girlfriend, she also "won" that day, as I finally called her using a phone card. She said that I couldn't go three weeks without talking to her. I guess so, but she is so physically sick I don't really think she could say she completely won. It was nice talking to someone who wasn't family (at least, not yet. Holy gay)

Sunday: -went to Church in the morning. Church here is like Church at home, except in a diffrent language and longer. My Tito Manny was funny; in the middle of the homily he said to me out loud in Church, "the Priest is really taking a long time." Out loud.
-Tita Dulce, (the other) Tito Manny and my cousin Karen who I met for the first time picked us up on Father's Day. I haven't met Karen because she was just born after the first time I came here. We ended up going to a waste disposal plant my Tito Manny runs that is apparently the biggest and most extensive for private industries. It had wastewater treatment equipment, so that really interested my Dad (who also was so engrossed at looking at the machines that he somehow didn't see a shallow ditch on the plant floor and ended up taking a spill. Great, looks like my clumsiness now doesn't seem to be going to leave in the future). The place reminded me very much of North America.
-we then went back to Tagatay, where we ate at a restaurant where the table we sat at was like a clubhouse that extended over a cliff. It was an amazing view, although my Mom's heart I don't think fared well. From there, we went to a nice little Church and other places to eat. Oh, and the whole ride I was cramped in the back of an SUV that only little kids could find comfortable. My knees were so scrunched up and my back was so sore I felt like an old man.
-we went to Eastwood with Tita Dulce, Karen and Marco (who I haven't seen or talked to in 18 years). Nice place; if you out with your friends. I think even my cousins were kinda feeling gay, as Tita Dulce insisted all went out together. It was like, "your family, your young, I will force you to have fun." But whatever, they were all very nice. We then slept in Malabon, where Tita Dulce lives in an exclusive neighbourhood. They truly are the richest of my family here, where the showerhead pressure and warm water really reminded me of home.

Monday: -went to 168 Visoryo Mall with Tita Dulce and her driver in Karen's Ford F150 Pickup Truck. (Man I want a pickup again. In the future, hopefully). At that point I was starting to get "enit oolo" (frustrated) with my parents and I just wanted to go somewhere by myself. I mean, 21 days straight with your parents 24 hours can get frustrating, as patient as I try to be. I just wanted to do my own shopping without waiting around waiting for them.
-they dropped us off to Sangandaan at Tita Nory's house, where I finally blew up and said I wanted to go to the mall without my parents (although I think at that point I meant without my Mom). One problem: no ride. So my cousin Michelle, Tito Bobot (Mom's youngest brother) and my Dad and I took the Jeepney and a bus to get to the SM. I ordered 5 Personalized T-Shirts that read, "I (heart) Ninong Jason!" and one shirt that read, "Ninong Jason". See, if it seems like I'm giving them extra attention, then it wouldn't be so bad actually being cheap. But dammit, FIVE GODCHILDREN? wtf? It would take one night to complete it, so I would have to pick it up the next day.
-bought gifts for not only my Godchildren (with the exception of Kiah) but for all my cousin's children as well. At about $3Can each, I don't think it was that bad. The Godchildren of course I spent more money on, but dammit they really need birth control around here. (Aside: I bought "extra expensive" stuff for Michelle's kids since she helped me pick out gifts, although she is the one who requested the stuff knowing none of her children are any of my Godchildren. She is, however, most likely the cousin I would get really angry with if I actually lived near her or was exposed to her a lot. She talks so much and is one of those cousins that I think expect handouts from us because apparently we're rich. Whatever, if you know me I absolutely hate those kind of people; the ones that expect something of/from you and almost try to scheme it out of you. I'm so bad talking about my family like this, but dammit she annoys me. Maybe it's the talking a lot thing that really annoys me, or how her children are wild or I don't know. Bleh. Enough of that.)
-gave all the children gifts and I felt like Santa Claus. A Santa Claus without money for more gifts.
-went out with all the cousins in Eastwood to a place called Blue Oyster. My guy cousins were hilarious because Freddie (a Californian) was treating. They kept on saying, "yehey! skies the limit!" Heck, I felt good because I wasn't paying for once. Although the next place we went to, Punchline, I did end up paying for. By the end of the night all the Philippines cousins were saying "Freddie's da man! Jason's da man!"
-Oh and that Punchline place I went to was interesting. It's one of those comedy clubs that has a lot of interaction. Although the "hosts" are gay guys in drag and one straight girl (who I swore was staring at me the whole night). They usually sing a song for you or you could sing a song too. My crazy Tito Bobot, the only elder that came, went on stage and sang a song, although the whole time I had mixed emotions because the hosts were making fun of him the whole time. I mean, there are jokes and you can make fun of yourself and all, but it just kept going on and on. It was actually quite annoying by the end of the night, so we left early. Besides, we had to wake up early the next morning to go swimming. I slept in Las Pinas at Ate Carol's, for about 3 hours.

Tuesday: -woke up with a very stiff neck. Luckily Tita Nory was there and she massaged it. The plan was to go to a place called Laguna where there are hot springs due to the volcano nearby. This place has a bunch of little hotel/resorts with pools that you can rent out for the day, which we did. The place we stayed at had a big pool and kiddie pool with slides, billiards table and karoke machine. It was a fun day with my parents, Nina (couldn't forget her especially since I promised her she would go swimming with me and I made her cry last, Ate Carol, Ate Mye, Kuya Rock, Tito Bobot, Tita Nory, Ate Carol's Mother in Law, Kiah, Towee, Kuya Paul, Ate Michelle (grrr...), First, Miguel, Gel, Yumi and the very adorable Sophie (who did not stop the whole day saying, "Oh Ninong Jason!") and Annjosh (and their Nanny).
-speaking of Nina, I felt like a Father or Big Brother, making sure she ate and that she was alright. I had a blast with her though; she is a very good girl and quiet and doesn't ask for much. I did feel like a "bad Father" though in that I forgot she didn't eat a big lunch and at the end of the day with her in the pool all day she felt dizzy (at that point I remembered that she really doesn't ask for anything, including food). Must keep in mind in the future: kids need to eat in order not to feel dizzy. I think she's happier now, although according to her she wants to drop out of school and come to Canada with us. Again, the kids here are really cute.
-rushed back to Caloocan to get the personalized shirts, which came out great. I had to get one to First, who is leaving for Japan tomorrow morning and I wouldn't be seeing for the rest of the trip. Also gave one to Kiah and Joshua; only Sophie and Jazmine are left. If anything, my family will remember me here as "baaet" (nice), which I learned from Lola and which I would like to think that I did and not cheap.
-finally came back here, to which I can't believe I just spent the better part of an hour typing up this post. I swear if this post doesn't actually post, I'm gonna hit this computer with a post. Not really, although it would be very annoying.

Whew. Time to sleep so I can wake up early tomorrow morning to do it all again. Gonna go to 168 again then to Caloocan to try on my barong. I also need to borrow money from my Tita Mila which I will pay her back. While everything here is relatively cheap, it doesn't help having to have to pay for a lot of stuff. Especially if you have a cousin who tells you to buy a KFC toy because money is nothing for us "rich folk." Argh, gotta stop getting mad over stupid stuff, and can't let it ruin my vacation.

So much more has happened, but I can't remember it right now and dammit if I'm going to type it up. I'll just make up a story to tell if I can't remember it properly. Sounds like something I'd do.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Back Online!

And a whole lot has happened the past couple of days. Off the top of my head:

-been sick. Head hurting, sinuses congested, throat hurting, coughing, sneezing, runny nose. Tried taking Philippines medicine; yeah, didn't work. So glad when my cousins from San Fransisco came and I took Tylenol Extra Strength from them, and now it seems to be working fine. For some reason Tylenol is banned here. Thus, I'm taking illegal drugs. I am bad; a bad, bad man.

-mall hopping. Didn't find a lot of stuff, but I did buy cheap (think $7Can) leather shoes for the party. One time use and give to my cousin. They might think I'm rich or something. Oh, and while I was at the mall today with Rocky and the American cousins, we saw some white people looking confused and I shouted, "don't worry, I'm not from around here either!" Rocky, my cousin, said, "yeah, me too! I'm from the other city!" Everyone laughed. I think they were from Australia. Yes, I'm trying out my humour on the international scale.

-trying to control my eating, although we've been eating out a lot here. I'm still treating my family, but I don't mind. Again, the food is really, really cheap here. Me, Rocky, Freddie, Happy, Jolly, Jazmine and Jae Jay did eat out at Tony Roma's though. Apparently they missed "American Food." They paid. I ate some salad (remember the whole lack of vegetables thing here). I was happy. Oh, and I had a pizza slice last night. Finally, some meals without rice.

-made my cousin Nina cry. She is staying in another house, and she's been texting me good morning and that she misses me. So on Tuesday, I texted (oh yeah, I'm also texting like crazy here. Ako Pilipino!) her in the morning before she went to school, "I'm going to Boracay, and I'm taking the dogs!" She replied, "Okay, just be careful of the jellyfish" not knowing she was bawling because she wanted to go to. Her Mom had to text me to text her that I was just joking. I did, and it damn near broke my heart. I was telling her a joke and she was still telling me to be careful, like a trooper. I thought she knew I was joking! I told her the dogs were going. The dogs!!! She's only 7. Maybe I should have known better. So I even called her and told her not to worry because we were not going there. And I've been texting her good morning and good night everyday since. We are now at the same house again this weekend, so now she can keep her eye on me.

-speaking of little people, I have a bunch of Goddaughters, nieces and nephews that all want to hold my hand and go with their "Ninong Jason." I'm so flattered because they don't want anything in return. Just to be with their english-speaking uncle I guess. Among the cute ones are: 6 year old Yumi, Tita Nory's granddaughter who really is a Mini-Nory (think talktalktalktalk) and who keeps calling me "Guapo"; and 4 year old Sophie, Ate Carol's kid and my Goddaughter, who talks very good english and screams at the top of her lungs and laughs at everything. Frikin' hilarious, I tell you.

-saying "Ate" and "Kuya". Haven't done that in my life, but while in Philippines, I guess I should. In fact, I am finding myself talking very Fobbish in general. Yikes.

I'm positive there is much more that has happened but now I forgot. Plus, we are going family-visiting tomorrow and the whole weekend starting tomorrow early morning, so I guess I should sleep now.

I better call my girlfriend soon, I hope she knows I miss her and that I love her. One week here but it already feels like two and a half. Time goes by

Monday, June 13, 2005

The Palawan Experience

Lots of fun, beautiful beaches, and calm. We had to take an airplane to get there (a one hour flight) where I got massive headaches, but I guess it was worth it. My trip:

-went to the airport, only to discover my parents forgot their bag. Worried we were going to miss the plane, but timing turned out okay.
-when we got to the airport, we had to take a bus to the plane, a ride that lasted about 1 minute. That minute, however, was mostly filler as if the bus drove to the plane straight instead of making a big U-turn, we could have gotten there in 10 seconds. It was quite funny how short the busride was.
-we got to Puerto Princessa, the capital city of Palawan. Talking about how small the airport was, the baggage "car" consisted of a man pushing a cart after unloading the luggage from the plane. Again, quite a funny sight. Oh, and the security measures compared to Canada were very stringent. I say that sarcastically, because I am not sure if they even know what they were looking for. And if they found a bomb, what would they do? Get the baggage man to push it away with his cart?
-we stayed at the Palawan Village Hotel. Hotel may be a misnomer, as it was more like a big house. At least there was A/C and a TV and a shower! My dad is funny: he was complaining there was no remote control for the TV. Considering we had a brownout, I think electricity should be more of a concern.
-first day there we went to the grocery store to get lunch for the following day. Palawan I think is Tricyclecity Philippines. So many, so dirty.
-at the grocery store, I saw a Japanese drink there with Engrish labels: "Invisible but can be drink" and "Cannot be seen but can be drinked"
-ate dinner at a seaside restaurant with a piano man as entertainment. Good sisig, good food.
-woke up early the next day and had breakfast at the hotel. Man, EVERY MEAL Filipinos eat must have rice. This place must be an insulin-makers dream.
-we went to Honda Bay and rented two small boats with drivers to take us Island Hopping. We went to three different islands, taking about 45 minutes to get there. It was a nice ride. I took pictures, but I'll have to post them when I get back.
-did a lot of swimming and snorkling. I put so much sunscreen, but still ended up getting burnt on my shoulders and back. I should've gotten SPF1000.
-Tuna salad and corned beef sandwiches for lunch. Sarap!
-after spending the whole day island hopping, we got back to the hotel where I took one of the best showers of my life. We then went to eat out at a restaurant called "kinabuch". What did they serve there? Filipino food and rice of course. I really don't think Sharon can survive here.
-slept early, woke up early. Went to the market one last time, and went for a Black Gulaman run at Chow King before we left. I am drinking so much of the stuff, I think I'll be sick of it when I get home. But in the meantime, I love it!
-back on the plane, back with a headache.

All in all, a great trip. Got to know my cousins Noe and Paolo more, especially my adorable cousin Nina. When we went to the market, I had to tell people "hindi ako marunong mg salita ng tagalog" taught to me by her. They looked at me like I was going to take them away to a different world. At least, I think they did. I like to boost my ego every once in a while.

I also learned to text message like crazy now. I knw Im in d Pilpns whn all i do is txt. I evn txt Shrn, ArJ n Nee in Cda.

Going out with my cousins Rocky and Mye today, possibly to get fitted for my Barong. My Tito Frank and family from San Fran is also coming today. Holy family reunion.

I'm getting bitten by mosquitos like crazy here. At least they won't have high cholesterol due to the crestor.

Friday, June 10, 2005

First Full Day Here And

It's still frikin' hot. Not that I'm complaining or anything, but damn. Add on top of that there is air conditioning in the room I slept in and air conditioning in the cars I travelled, and it equals even more coughing and headaching. But whatever, so far I'm having a great time, meeting all sorts of family and what not. So, a quick bulleted version of what I did today (hopefully in chronological order):

-woke up at 5:30am, after going to bed at 2:30am. I guess Nina was right in that you wake up really early in the morning here and can't go back to bed.
-went to Las Pinas with Tito Manny driving the Grand Vitara to pick up Ate Carol and Kuya Rocky. We then proceeded to go cemetary-hopping, visiting Tito Boy, then Lolo Manoling, then Lolo Mario/Tito Oiram/Lola Bun.
-stopped for lunch at Chow King, a Chinese fast food joint. I had beef and wonton mami. I also bought lunch for everyone else. The total cost for feeding 6 people? About $13Can. $13!!! Considering how cheap food is here, I can't forsee this trip being light on eating out. Luckily my Doctor said my cholesterol levels are normal again (and yes, no excuse, but I'm on vacation, it's hard to control).
-while at Chow King, I noticed a food stand that sold fish balls and squid balls. The name was "KISS -- King of Balls" (I thought it was hilarious for some reason)
-went to Sangandaan, Caloocan City to see Tita Nory and family. I also met all sorts of new nephews. They laughed at me because I can't speak tagalog. I then proceeded to give them 1 Pesos each. They now love me.
-speaking of where Tita Nory lives, I was somewhat surprised at how...sparse?...their homes were. As well, getting there we passed by shanty towns. Sometimes I lose sight at how lucky I really am to be living in a country where the standards of living are so high. But at the same time, everyone here seems happy and somewhat carefree. Not that it's an equal payoff, but it still amazes me to think where my Mom grew up and how she lived to how it is now. Oh, and the names of the family I met today? Tita Nory, Tito Elfren (Tita Nory's husband), Michelle (Tita Nory's youngest), Yumi, Miguel and Gel (Michelle's kids), Joshua (Tita Nory's eldest Jennifer's adopted boy who also happens to be Tito Bobot, my Mom's brother's kid), Monay (Tito Bobot's eldest), Tyrone (Monay's eldest), Monay's youngest (forgot her name) and Boboy's (Tito Bobot's eldest boy) wife and newborn kid. We also met Anthony (my second cousin) and Tito Boy Dilat (Anthony's Dad) and their family. Whew.
-went back to Las Pinas and met my other Goddaughter, Sophie, who is Ate Carol's eldest. Oh, and her youngest child, whose name escapes me right now, but she was ultra chubby cute. Had breadsticks stuffed with cheese and meat, a product Ate Carol sells at a mall. Wasn't too bad.
-went back to Paranaque, slept in my sweat for about 20 minutes, then Kuya Rocky, Ate Mylene (Ate Carol's sister), Kia (their daughter and my Goddaughter), her supershy elder sister (forgot her name right now too...damn, it's really hot), and Ate Carol came to pick my parents and I up to take us to the Duty Free Mall near the airport.
-my parents bought a lot of stuff, and all I bought were postcards. Wow. I did, however, treat for Jollibee, a McDonald's type of chain here. The food was typical fast food. The total cost for feeding 8 people? $15!!! So I also splurged another dollar and had Kenny Roger's Roasters Corn Muffins (which I sorely miss when Kenny went belly up in Canada).
-went back to Paranaque, where I now have to pack for tomorrow's trip to Palawan, where we have to take a small plane to get there. According to Kuya Rocky, who is a funny guy, the name of the airline we are taking is called Asia Spirit (that is the actual name of the airline we are travelling): the airline where you leave Asia but arrive in Spirit. A ha a ha a...hmmmm....hope it's not actually true.
-other thoughts from today: traffic is bad; the whole "4 driving lines is actually 8 driving lines in the Phlippines" thought is true; there are a lot of stray animals here; if any of my workmates were to come here, their heads would explode due to the "water source safety" and "food safety" that is being practiced here; if I were to live here I would like to have a motorcycle and drive like a lunatic; and, I would not like to live here. Hey, I grew up in a different environment that I love. Why would I?
-Oh, and Sharon's name came up a lot and how she prolly wouldn't be able to visit here for long because she may not be hungry due to lost appetite. It may be very true too. But hey, all my relatives said she looks "exotic" and "pretty." I wholeheartedly agree with them. Barf!

Off to Palawan! But first, to the shower...

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Made It!

And the first thing that comes to my mind as soon as I stepped foot in this country? "My goodness it's humidly hot"

You can tell when I'm doing my Philippines vacation posts because I am unable to format my posts; so, it will be this plain font and colour.

It's 2:11am here, which means it's 2:11pm in Mississauga. I have a killer headache going on right now, but at least I didn't barf in the airplane. The headache and dizziness, though, can be blamed on the trip here.

Today I met all my nieces and nephews, well, not all of them, but a lot of them. Oh, and of course Tita Nory and family.

Tomorrow we are going cemetary hopping to visit Lolo Mario, Tito Boy, Lola Enyang. I would write more about what happened today, but I think I'm getting tired.

Yehey! Pillapeens!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Dis Ish Is Padedas

P-A-DE-DAS! I'll be leebing, on a jet flane, will be back again in three weeks. I'll see how much I can update this blog, considering I may have limited internet resources. We'll see.
I'll miss everyone, but of course I'll most miss my darling. This would be the longest I've been away from her. Not to sound overtly barfy gay, but what will I do without her? No, I don't sound like a lovesick teenager at all. Three weeks isn't that long, and plus, she will have her long awaited "Sharon time" for herself.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

And The Wookiee Fascination Continues

Great group shot:

I wonder if any of these guys have the same name
Went shopping today for the last of the "necessities" for my trip. Also took Cheyanne shopping and absolutely spoiled her. She feels bad about me buying her things and actually makes me pretty happy as an Uncle, so I don't mind. As I said to everyone: she's the only relative of mine that does not ask for anything; thus, I buy her something.
Three days left...


That's what a Wookie would say. Watched Sith (that's Sith, not Shit) with my Padame. Wasn't too bad. I wanna watch Episodes 4, 5 and 6 again.

As Fozzie used to say, "Wookie wookie wookie" (or something to that effect)
Getting sick the hell? This can't be good, what with 4 days to go before I go. Yikes.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Last Friday Before The Departure

Long day at work, had beef brisket noodle soup from Noodles Delight, spent QT with the GF, bought stuff for the trip from Walmart, went to Kelsey's for Bruschetta with the friends, played a quick round of poker with them, got home, and am left thinking: "this time next week, I'll be on a plane to Palawan!" Yee-uh!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Congraduation Baby!

Went to Sharon's convocation reception today, and met all the smart people. Oh how they would never fit in with a Government agency. They are so geared towards private sector, I felt so out of place.
Then we went to the Great Wok at Central Parkway Mall. 25 years living in Mississauga, and that was the first time I've ever been there. Had a good '80s white-Chinese food feel to it. Everything, however, tasted like corn to me. I dunno.
Getting excited...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Staff Day

At the Mississauga Convention Centre today. Long, but at least not as long and boring as last years. Saw the idiot there who cancelled on Clarica, and didn't say much to him. I better be careful or I might say something I'll regret.
Lately I've been getting more and more angry. At various things. I can't wait to go on this vacation. Get away from all this shit.
Went shopping today with Cheyanne for her First Communion/Birthday/Confirmation gift, but didn't end up getting anything. She kept feeling bad that everything was expensive. I told her not to worry and that I'll take her out another day. I love that kid; she is the one niece I have that is not selfish or greedy. All the other nephews are idiots. Wow...I really, really gotta get out of this place for a while.

Poker Chaump

Finally won at a family poker game against Con, Elmer, Meng and Toots. Then I promptly gave away $5 each to Toots' kids. They are good kids, I'm gonna miss them.
Also met Cheyanne's "boyfriend." Geez Louise it's gonna be a headache with the boys in her life. I am touched, however, that she considers me one of her favourite uncles and that she can tell me things. Then I realize that may mean one of 16 uncles. How special. But anyway, I don't remember being 14 and "in love." Maybe my generation is just different.
Long day at work. Shut down a place, but re-opened it two hours later. Ah well.