Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Manila 2012

Exactly one year after, the 24th of October, I was back in Manila. I will never forget this day. The only reason why I was in Manila on that fateful day was because of Big Bang's Alive Galaxy Tour. That will  have a special blog post, so for now, let's just stick to the moment prior to the concert.

To capture a photo of the sky on board a plane is one of my dreams. That's another item crashed off my bucket list. The difficulty level of achieving this is not so high, but I'm an obedient person who follows the rule of turning off all gadgets while on air. However, I defied the rule and screw my obedience to finally (and personally) take my very own photo of the sky on board a plane. I really sneaked in the middle of the flight and waited for the flight attendants to be busy. Ninja moves! I realized that I'm gradually fulfilling my dreams and slowly crashing off items in my imaginary bucket list and my "10 Things I Want to Do Before I Die" list. I feel so alive and happy for that.

Touchdown Manila! We then headed to SM Mall of Asia. It was our sole itinerary during the trip, since the concert is held at MOA Arena. We stayed there the entire day. What I'm most proud about us was the way how we commuted going to MOA. We planned on riding a taxi cab, because it's really scary to get lost in Manila especially that we're only tourists. However, my uncle welcomed us at the airport and guided us on how to reach MOA by shuttle bus and multicab. Our adventurous spirit was spreading like wildfire, so we rode a shuttle bus going to Baclaran. The fare was only 20 pesos each. After reaching Baclaran, we rode a yellow multicab going to MOA. The fare was only 8 pesos. We only asked our way around, trying our very best to speak in Tagalog, but my sister did all the speaking. It was really fun, and I was so proud of us for taking the risky way like a boss!

Another item crashed off my bucket list - ice skating! I did not skate last year when I was in MOA because I was wearing a tight pencil skirt, so this year's my chance to skate and I did not back down. You can really see how much fun we had. You can also really see that we don't know how to skate. It's obvious that we are first-timers, but after a time, we did it on our own.

I was really slouchy while skating, I look like I'm a hunchback. I keep on bending my knees, because it's a basic. I'm too afraid to fall, and thank goodness I did not. My sister fell once, but I'm glad that she didn't hurt herself. We were so jealous of all those professional skaters and those who are not, but who know how to skate gracefully. We idolize those who performed that afternoon. They were ridiculously good.

Bianca did not skate. She just stayed on the side of the skating rink and took our photos. Thanks, Biankee! Bianca is my fellow VIP. She's my favorite person to fangirl with.

After a tiring day of strolling, going to and fro the Arena to check out some Big Bang merchandise  and going around the mall, shopping, we landed on Aristocrat for our dinner. We tried restaurants not found in Cebu.

We mostly shopped at Uniqlo, because there's no Uniqlo in Cebu and Big Bang used to be an endorser of Uniqlo. The wife of Bianca's idol (Akanishi Jin) is also a Uniqlo model. Plus the fact that some of their clothes are affordable. Oh! Bianca and I saw Michelle Madrigal in Uniqlo. She's so petite and beautiful. I was starstruck that my eyes just automatically followed her going out of the store. I literally gasped when I saw her.

Aristocrat's food are majestic! I think the java sauce did the trick, but honestly, even without the java sauce, their food is superb as they are. When you add the java sauce, the flavor just burst in my mouth with all its crowning glory. I hope an Aristocrat resto would open up in Cebu very soon.

I cannot publish this post without this photo. This handsome kid is so friendly. I smiled at him and he smiled back, he even waved at us. He is such a cutie patootie! I have a soft spot for cute kids, and no, I'm not a pedophile. I simply love kids, because they bring me joy and they unleash the child in me. 

This time, we were already at the airport waiting for our flight home. We headed straight to the airport, because my sister had to catch her early flight. Unfortunately, her flight was cancelled due to Typhoon Ofel. It was raining really hard. It was so funny because after the concert, I was like "Oh my God. My life is complete. I can happily die now". But when we arrived at the airport, with all the cancelled flights due to Typhoon Ofel, I was like "Lord, I was only joking. I still wanna live. I don't wanna die, yet". Anywhoo, do you notice that girl behind my sister with a yellow green bag? I'm sure she also watched the concert, because she was wearing a Big Bang Alive Tour shirt. I was smiling while looking at her, and when she saw me, she smiled back. We, VIPs, are definitely friendly. I can attest to that.

My Manila trip this year was short, but absolutely jam-packed. We just stayed there for 2 days and 1 night, but we were very busy. We were not able to take much photos, because we planned on taking shots at Manila Bay, but Typhoon Ofel is a traitor. We wouldn't want to bask in the rain just to take photos at Manila Bay. I'm still thankful that our flight going to Manila was not cancelled. If it was, and the result was that I can't watch the concert, then I'd probably go berserk, wail hysterically, and destroy all the things in the vicinity. You'd see a deranged person in the airport, more violent than Claudine Barretto. That's hypothetical, so don't be afraid of me.

No offense, but I still love Cebu more than Manila. In my perspective, Cebu is a more livable city than Manila. It's really hard to commute or travel around Manila, because of the traffic and because of the evil drivers. I'm not generalizing, but most drivers are so mukhang pera. Most taxi drivers demand a huge amount of money for a short distance. Come on! Most of them ask 400 pesos for a travel from MOA to NAIA 3. I mean, seriously? I understand that the taxis were limited during that day, probably because of the increase of passengers who watched the concert. But the fare that they demand is so irritating. Can't they just rely on the the taxi meter for the fare? I never experience that high a demand in Cebu. The highest fare that a taxi driver demanded from me in Cebu is around 250 to 300 pesos, and that's from Ayala to Lapu-Lapu City (very far compared to MOA-NAIA 3 distance). I hope the local government can do something about this problem. They need to regulate it, because it gives a negative impression for the tourism of Manila. Still, we were fortunate to find a taxi who only asked 300 pesos. He also engaged in our chit chat, too. He came from Ormoc, so it was not so hard to communicate with him. He's funny and told us "Adik kasi kayo sa mga Koreano" after I told him that we have been standing for hours waiting for a taxi. Alam talaga na we watched the concert, even if we did not tell him. Ikaw na, kuya. 

That's all! Pardon me for the ramble. I still hope to go to Manila, maybe next year's Big Bang concert? They promise to return, so I shall wait for them.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Molave 2012

I'm a probinsyana and I'm proud of it. I embrace my being probinsyana, because it's an element of who I am. My personality's composition would not be complete without the probinsyana in me. There's something about having that probinsyana character in a person that is so special. Probinsyanas who subsequently live in the cities have peculiar traits, in a good way. The probinsyana spirit must be cherished by whoever possesses such. Probinsyanas are very elemental, and perhaps that's the primary reason why I am very close to nature. There are more from the probinsyanas than the mere fact that they came from the province. On that note, let me immerse you into my homeland - Molave, Zamboanga del Sur in Mindanao. This is where I was born, where I spent the first twelve years of my life before I transferred to Cebu. Molave will always be my home, but my domicile is a bit of complicated. I go back there every summer, but I have no intention of returning there as a resident. I plainly pay a visit.

This Catholic church is St. Vincent Ferrer Parish Church. It is the modified version of the church. The church before was a typical old Catholic church, which was located just at the front part of this church, now the parking area. Now, it is modern, better, and bigger. This is where our family always attended Sunday mass. As a child, I never really wholeheartedly listen to the mass (even until now). My siblings and I would always ask cents from Mama to buy food at a store outside the church. I remember, we would always buy cotton candy. Sweet tooth!

House of Saints is a new addition to the church, which has been up for about two years, if I'm not mistaken. Honestly, I only noticed it this summer 2012. Yes, this is another backlog post way back from summer.

The following photos showcase Molave Plaza, the town's park.

People can actually go up through the stairs and witness the view around the park and the park's proximity. It's not too high.

A view from the top. We can see the church's cross from there.

Another view from the top...

...and another. This is just basically the coverage of the view from the top.

You see the building under construction? That's the Municipal Hall.

The landscape design of the Municipal Hall is superb. This is not the whole landscape design, though, but I assure you, it's wonderful!

My post only features the church and the park, because we weren't able to take photos of the other sites around the town. Molave is just a decent, simple town, but a tad advanced and modern than its neighboring towns. It has more establishments compared to the other towns in the province.

Have I told you about the story of how Molave got its name? I think I already have, but I forgot the specific post. Well, this town has the tallest Molave tree that was visible way from afar. Thus, the natives from the mountains always point to the tree as a guide every time they have to come down from the mountain. When they are asked where they are heading, they would answer, to the Molave tree or simply, Molave. And that's where Molave derived its name. Sadly, I have never seen that Molave tree in the twelve years that I have lived there. The tree has probably died or was cut down before I was born. 

Oh! I planted a Molave tree at our school when I was in Grade 6. I would always take care of that little free, protected by a fence around it. I haven't gone to the school, but last time I went there (about 5 years after planting the tree), I haven't seen the fence. However, there were slightly big trees in the area where I planted it. Perhaps my tree was one of those.

The photos were post-processed with vintage-ish curves presets, because I'm feeling nostalgic.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Corporate Attire with a Fashion Twist + Marites Vitug's Book Launching + RB's Birthday

Wednesdays are Corporate Attire days! The four of us donned different floral designs on our dresses on that day. Hence, the dainty girl in us jumped for joy for the floral party. Rafael is a photobomb.
That day, September 26, was RB's birthday. The one wearing that cute floral blazer.

Yes, we're still fashionable, despite the corporate-attire rule. We bring fashion into the formal world of the legal profession. There's no law in fashion, right? 

Since it was RB's birthday, we surprised her with kalamay, sandwich, chocolate cake, mocha cake, her favorite steak sauce, her favorite lip balm, and some other stuff.

Eating time!

After snacks, we went down to attend the book launching of Marites Vitug's Hour Befor Dawn: The Fall and Uncertain Rise of the Philippine Supreme Court. This is a sequel to her Shadow of Doubt: Probing the Supreme Court. She's the one and only (I suppose) journalist who has been sued for libel by a Justice of the Supreme Court. Fortunately for her, all the charges filed against her were voluntarily dropped by the Justice himself. I loved her speech! You can really tell that she's a great journalist with the content and substance of her speech. I was even engaged to listen to her all throughout her entire speech. It's very seldom that I listen to a speaker, I only listen when the speaker speaks with wit and humor. She has those. She was even so honest about naming her book Twilight to jump into the popular saga and attract attention, but her editor suggested Hour Before Dawn, so as not to be so obvious. I commented that's it similar to Breaking Dawn, though. Anyway, what is most interesting about her speech is the part where she narrated her conversation with Justice Velasco over dinner, about dropping the charges against her. Unfortunately, I could not afford to buy her book, because I'm saving my money for Big Bang's concert, but my other classmates are so lucky to buy her book (at a discounted price) and to have her signature on the book, personally signed by her after the purchase.

Class picture! We waited for our professor to arrive, expecting that he was going to have a lecture after the book launching. While waiting, we took class pictures, because we love our section. 408 love!
Since our professor did not arrive, we went off to RB's house for dinner. Foooood!

At RB's house, having photo op after dinner, right after our tummies were filled with so much delicious food. That's her mom in yellow. Can I just say that I adore her mom? She is so fun and talkative. She loves to take pictures of us and really wants us to do wacky all the time. 

This is the kind of wacky that her mom wants. Both arms raised, tongues out, and big grins on our faces. She says we're too formal, but we were just shy. So yeah, she got what she wanted.
We were going upstairs to their rooftop and party the night away with a drinking session. It was really fun, you can see it on our faces.
Thank you, RB! Happy birthday! We, 408, love you!

All photos belong to Charro, the pretty girl in pink skirt and lace top. Thank you for the photos!

P.S. I tweaked my blog, again. It's somewhat a major change, because it's the entire template that I changed, including the fonts. I opted for minimalism, because I think my previous (newly edited) template was too girly and dainty for me. It doesn't fit me. I'm not too girly and dainty. I preserved the header, though. I love it too much at this moment, so I'll allow myself to marvel and savor my header.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Through the Eyes of Instagram

I bought this notebook at National Bookstore. I was elated when I found this notebook, and I never let it go the moment I got my hands on it. The quote is very significant to me, because I've read this quote somewhere. It was an article about a group of volunteers who planted trees in the city (somewhere). Forgive me for forgetting where that was, and for having no link for that article. I think it was for Greenpeace or ONE, but I'm really uncertain. I totally forgot! Pff! My senior moment.

Squeal! Aren't my stick-on notes the cutest? So kawaii! I only bought them at a Novo Store in Mindanao last summer. I think they only cost P15. Cheap, right? That's why I immediately bought them, though I still have stick-on notes. You know, those plain, boring-looking ones.

Milk tea! I'm recently addicted to milk tea, thanks no less to my sister who is also a milk tea addict. I miss her, but she's arriving tomorrow, so I guess it's a milk tea date with her then. These were Anina's treat! Her birthday was on September 27. I hope she's happy with Raz and I's gift for her. 

My very own copy of Preview Magazine's September Issue! On the cover are my favorite fashion bloggers, Tricia GosingtianLaureen Uy, and Camille Co.

This cute elephant mug was gifted by my best friend, Meg. Ahhh. I miss her! We're so busy with our studies, so we seldom hang out. I hope we can see each other this sem break. I miss you, Meggy!

Meet Baby Dime! Yes, he's been featured in my blog for countless times (I'm exaggerating). I love this kid so much! His eyes are wonderful! Look at them. They're so cuuuuuute! His hair are like those of Rock Lee. Dimebag! Dimebag!

Another Dimebag set of photos because I love him too much. He's such a geeky kid! His toys are no less than iPad, iPhone, and SII. Kids these days!

The cutest caterpillar I have ever seen! Took this photo years ago when I was still a PolSci student in TC. My friends and I saw him crawling on the roadside. I'm usually afraid of eeky, crawly stuff, but this one's an exception. It's too cute to resist.

I've had problems that seems like a never-ending bridge to pass. I'm stuck in the middle of the bridge, not knowing where to go. Tears falling, heart palpitating, breath losing. What am I gonna do? Should I jump off the bridge and end it all. I was slowly getting fixed, but now I'm all broken. Shattered into pieces in one whip. I don't know what to do. I'm gradually decaying... dying... perishing. But I will always believe. My bridge is fully constructed, and it leads to a life where God wants me to reside.
"We'll cross the bridge when we get there."

Follow me on Instagram, @marszhel.

P.S. I did minor tweaks in my blog. Did you notice my new header? It's so Victorian, right? I've always wanted to incorporate a Renaissance design in my blog. I was suppose to go into a major change, but my blog can't handle the major changes. I have to revert back to the classic template, but when I did, my gadgets were all obliterated! I did not panic, though, because I was able to backup my beta template. Reverting back to classic template is always a failure for me. My CSS and HTML editing skills are getting rusty already. I don't know how to edit them, anymore. Boo! My only solution is to update it to beta template, again, and just make use of the template designer. Oh well.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Abandoned Shell to Abandoned Semester

The first semester of law school has officially concluded. Freedom! It went too fast, but I won't complain. I've been meaning for the semester to end, because I'm overly excited for October 24. With the end of the semester, my blogging duties must resume. Poor abandoned blog. Frown not, my dear blog, I'm back and I'll be bombarding you with explosive posts. Prepare for a series of explosions. My C4 will be detonated in 5 4 3 2 1. BOOM!

We took a stroll months ago in the old Shell Depot in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. They have abandoned this lot. Rumors floated that a Gaisano Mall will be constructed here, but I think it won't happen. Mainly because a Gaisano Mall is under construction in the same barangay. It's less likely that two same malls will be constructed in one barangay. I fervently hope a mall will be constructed here, though, preferably Ayala or SM.

The island just across is Cebu. This strait separates Cebu and Lapu-Lapu City.

It so happened that subsistence fisherman were fishing that afternoon. Took a photo of them to consecrate their diligence. Don't be shy, kuya. Just smile and wave, boys. Just smile and wave.

Spot Raddison Blu Hotel across the sea!

I laugh abnormally. Forgive my stupid, happy face.

Spot Robinland Penthouse where we had our acquaintance party last year. Woot! Woot!

Model pose! My cousin is as abnormal as me, but I don't know how to pose like a model, though.

I told you she's abnormal as me.

My Mama's jump shot.

My first ever perfect (more or less) jump shot. Not to mention my lion hair. Hoorah!

So this is how tall the grasses get in an abandoned place. Wow! These grasses could grow as tall as the bamboos! I'm amazed. I wanna have bamboo grasses in my lawn...someday.

Right after this stroll, we headed to my cousin's house. There, we stuffed our tummies with barbecues! I swear, her yaya is the best barbecue cook in town! The barbecues are well marinated, savory, and flavorful. Better than Larsian and Fon's barbecues. Promise. I'm not being biased.

I love random, out-of-the-blue strolls with my loved ones. I was at a delirious stage the entire semester, but a break will suffice to calm me down. There's nothing like a fresh walk, the cold wind meeting your skin, and all the forest green. This is the closest vibe of nature I could get in a bustling city. I have no time to go to the South and the North side of Cebu, but now that the semester is over, I could go to anywhere I want, wherever I want (if my budget permits). Yes, I always take into consideration my budget. In fact, it's my primary consideration. I'm a full-time law student. I'm not working, hence, I have no salary. I only depend on my allowance for all my expenses. That's why I'm forever grateful to my kind-hearted relatives who never forget to slap me with cash every once in a while. I have a job offer, but I don't think I can manage juggling law school and work. I even don't know how to manage my time now that I don't have a job, much less if I'm already working.

Before deciding on whether to work or not, I'm remaining in my celebrating mood for the semestral break. I've overcome a semester of law school. It's an achievement in itself, but I am still in an agony anticipating for my grades. I hope I'll pass all the subjects. Not just me, but all of us; all my fellow classmates and friends. I've said that I would give up law school if I'll get a decent job in LA, even just a janitor to mop the floor of Staples Center. That's a decent job. I'm that desperate to go see Kobe Bryant. But really, it all depends on my grades. If I pass, then I'll continue, but if I fail just one subject, I might not. So universe, if you really want me to pursue this, you'll let me pass all my subjects. I believe that I will my pass all my subjects, though. My belief and prayers have always been helpful. What I believe and pray for always (or most of the time) manifest in real life. That's always my secret, which is not a secret anymore. BELIEVE.